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Published: 09/21/2004Updated: 01/14/2005Words: 139,369Chapters: 38Hits: 79,228
Harry Potter and the Goblin Rebellion
- Story Summary:
- Year 6 - The goblins are threatening rebellion: Now that Fudge acknowledges Voldemort's return, he is pushing wartime policies, which oppress the goblins. Voldemort is seeking the secret in an ancient Egyptian magical site. Harry is being drawn into these two seemingly-unrelated developments. At the same time, he must train students in the schoolwide DA, while the burden of the Prophecy is filling him with visions, which cause Harry to pull back from his friends. But love has a way of arising whether it is welcome or not. For Harry, the course to resolution is never smooth, but if Harry can thwart Voldemort's plot, he can gain access to the secret which could enable him to use the 'Power the Dark Lord knows not.'
- Chapter Summary:
- After a very pleasant Christmas, Harry and friends get serious again about goblin politics and securing scarab charm from Voldemort.
Chapter 36 - Christmas
The Christmas Feast almost looked like it could have been held at the Burrow, except of course that the Great Hall could easily have contained the entirety of the Burrow, with ample room for the garage and garden as well. Since Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Ron and Ginny were already planning to be present for the Feast, Professor Dumbledore invited the rest of the Weasleys to join them, and all but Bill - and of course Percy - did. The Weasleys took this time of being safe and together as an opportunity to celebrate their mutual love, and the atmosphere was quite infectious. Hagrid, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Harry needed little encouragement to join the mood, even though Harry maintained his reserve which had by now become instinctive. Soon the few other students and most of the rest of the staff who had stayed at the school were just as full of the Weasley Christmas spirit as were they. Only Filch and Snape seemed unaffected.
Molly Weasley took this opportunity to introduce Winky around to those of the Weasley clan who had not met her. She and Arthur Weasley were among the last to arrive, and the reason was obvious. Winky was extremely shy about meeting the rest of the Weasleys and kept darting back toward the safety of the dungeons. Molly Weasley coaxed her along slowly. Even when they finally got to the single table set for all the guests, Winky kept clutching to Mrs. Weasley's leg and peeping out like a frightened 3-year-old. As each new Weasley was introduced, Winky would force herself to step out from behind Molly Weasley's robes and politely curtsy very deeply. The twins responded by gently taking her hand and kissing it continentally.
"Okay, you two, silliness is one thing - she'll get used to each of us in time - but you'll not be playing any tricks on her, understand?"
Fred and George bowed almost to the floor with a magnificent sweeping of their hands.
"Why Mother Dear, we would never think of treating Miss Winky with anything less than the kindness and courtesy that all the Weasleys have come to expect from us."
"You'll do better than that, at least until she's learned your ways!"
As when Dobby visited the Burrow, Professor Weasley insisted that Winky sit with them and share the meal and companionship. After all, they said, she was soon to be a Weasley. She had trouble accepting the notion that her masters-to-be would want her at the table as an equal. She was more controlled in her reactions than Dobby tended to be, but her eyes remained rimmed with tears throughout the feast.
After he had gotten most of the way through his first plateful of feast, Ron asked, "So Winky, what do the other elves think of your adoption?"
"Well, they insists on the word placement, but they is very happy for me, Master Ronald, sir. If truth be told, though, sir, I think they is much happier for themselves at being rid of me."
Charlie, who was sitting next to Harry, hadn't known how poorly Winky had taken to getting clothes, but didn't want to embarrass Winky. He whispered a question to Harry, who very quietly explained what she had been like.
After the feast, capped off with a grateful round of applause for the house elves, games were started. At first, everyone was so full they could play nothing other than indoor games. Gobstones and Exploding Snap, of course, but also other wizard games Harry had not seen before. There was Rotten Pumpkin, in which a charmed bladder full of stinky goo was tossed amongst the players back and forth across a circle, and was required to be held and thrown only by a levitating charm; when it touched someone rather than being caught by a charm, it exploded its nasty contents all over the person. Harry and Fred got into a duel with each other in the game, giving the Pumpkin all sorts of curves and spins as they tossed it back and forth at each other ever harder; then Fred winked and nodded his head slightly toward George and on the next throw, Harry diverted the Pumpkin with a vicious spin at George, who was caught unawares and found himself completely covered in syrupy goo that smelled like old hippogriff urine.
There was a charmed phoenix piñata which actually flew: the students had to hit it with a puncturing spell as it circled the Hall. They played a round of 'Mystical Chairs,' which was played like 'Musical Chairs,' except that there was a chair for everyone, but with each round one of the chairs would disappear when someone sat on it. After that, Professor Flitwick charmed a set of chairs for them to play 'Maniacal Chairs' - again similar to Musical Chairs, except that the chairs didn't want to be sat on, so you had to catch and subdue one to keep your place in the game. There was 'legerdemain limbo,' in which you could use shrinking spells to help get under the limbo stick. Professor Weasley had brought along the muggle dartboard set Harry had given him and he insisted on games with everyone he could corner.
The whole Hall was filled with songs and laughter. Until, that is, it was noticed that Ron and Snape were locked in a grudge match of wizard chess. As people gathered to watch, Harry learned that Professor McGonagall had goaded Snape into it as he tried to slip away without participating in any recreations. As much as Ron might have wanted to ease relations with Snape, Harry knew that there were two games for which Ron would never willingly accept defeat - quidditch and wizard chess.
The game seesawed tensely. Time and again Ron would build an edge over Snape and then look up at him and smile. Then Snape would exchange a few moves and be right back in the game. Suddenly Harry realized that Snape was using legilemency to get a notion of Ron's plans. He wrote a message to Ron saying "Don't allow him to make eye contact," and held it up behind Snape. Within fifteen moves after that, Ron had achieved a checkmate.
Snape stood and congratulated Ron. "Well done. I would have had no respect if you went easy because I am a professor."
Then as Snape looked Ron in the eyes, he suddenly turned and glared at Harry. He took Harry aside and hissed, "Potter! Mr. Weasley was thinking how grateful he was for your help. I did not know I was playing against a team. What sort of help did that entail?"
"Far be it from me," said Harry, with a grin and holding open the folded note from his pocket, "to tell Ron about strategy. I just thought that he also should not be playing against a team - especially when that other team included himself."
After the chess game, the Weasleys got together and challenged the rest of those present to a game of quidditch. The Weasley team was to consist of Ron as keeper, Charlie as seeker, the twins as beaters, and Ginny and their parents as the chasers. The Hogwarts team consisted of Harry as seeker, a chaser each from the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff teams who had stayed, Professor Flitwick as the third chaser, Madam Hooch and Hagrid as beaters and Professor Snape pressed into service as Keeper. Professor McGonagall was pleased to officiate.
The air was quite cold and crisp as the teams took to it. Tactics were adapted to the circumstances. Even the most powerful broom available did not give Hagrid enough speed and mobility to roam the pitch, so he staked out a position near his team's goalposts as had been done in the Ravenclaw-Slytherin game. Any bludgers that came near that end of the pitch were immediately batted all the way to Ron's end, and Ron got ample practice dodging them. When Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were able to get the quaffle, they would maneuver to get it to Ginny who, with the excellent handling and speed of her Firebolt, could make a run at the goal around Hagrid and take a shot. The Chasers for Harry's team had no particular coordinated strategy but had excellent reflexes and mobility, as well as a general sense of the play. The biggest problem the chasers on Harry's team had was that Fred and George Weasley were only too happy to be back in a quidditch game at Hogwarts and didn't mind getting very physical; Madam Hooch, however, countered that with her own surprisingly physical game, directed against the twins and Ginny primarily.
The score seesawed until Harry caught a glimpse of the snitch. However, Charlie had been dogging him the whole game, knowing that he was rusty while Harry was at peak conditioning and had a better broom. So instead of making directly for the snitch, Harry dove toward the nearby Hufflepuff banner about ten feet off the ground. It would have been a true Wronski feint if Harry had headed for the ground, but Harry just wanted Charlie occupied, not hospitalized. Charlie was in hot pursuit, craning his neck to see where Harry saw the snitch, getting closer and closer to the banner. Suddenly Harry dove and button-hooked around the banner, but Charlie couldn't pull out in time and pummeled into the thick brocaded cloth. He got tangled and tumbled to the ground. Harry darted back to midfield where he had seen the snitch go and was able to grab it just seconds before both Weasley twins would have converged on him. Harry ducked and the twins collided with each other, but only obliquely, so that when they fell to the ground, they only wound up bruised and sore, laughing for the sheer joy of the game. The catch of the snitch gave Harry's team a 120 point victory.
After Harry set down, he saw Charlie Weasley stomping toward him. Charlie grabbed Harry in a headlock and rubbed Harry's head with his knuckles - Harry's first big-brotherly noogies.
"Take advantage of an old guy, will you?" said Charlie.
Harry grinned and laughed.
Ron said, "Well, you aren't going to take that from him, are you?"
Harry shook free and began to grapple with Charlie. Harry had six months of intensive training behind him, but Charlie had both size and years of wrestling with dragons to toughen him. They pushed and shoved and wrestled fiercely until finally they both got tickled about the situation and started laughing. Once they started, they had trouble stopping and even more trouble wrestling. When they finally calmed down, they realized how cold they had gotten. Everyone walked back up to the castle together for hot mulled wine by the fireplace. Even Snape seemed less tense than usual.
The next day when Hermione arrived, it was no surprise to Harry, Ron and Ginny that she had a stack of books on ancient Egypt, scarab beetles and archaeology. They had to admit that the materials really were quite fascinating, even if as muggle books they totally failed to address ancient spells and the like. This was actually something of a comfort, as they realized that anything that they learned through these books would be known by Voldemort, a notorious master of all forms of lore. They explained the details of what they had learned but had not dared to put in a letter to Hermione. After the celebrations of the previous day, they were all content to read these books and discuss what they learned, apart of course from the breaks they took for meals, exercise and sparring practice.
Later that evening they discussed what sort of thing might be in the site Bill was helping to protect. Hermione leaned toward a recipe for a potion, while Ron favored an incantation. Ginny thought it must be for either resurrection or immortality in some form, maybe something that would allow for infinite rebirth, like a phoenix. Harry favored the idea that it was some sort of protective charm.
Suddenly, Hermione had an idea. "Harry, do you have any idea when Melony will be back here again?"
"Not really. I think she and Dobby have been visiting weekly. Dobby will be here to clean up in about an hour. We can ask then if you want to stay up."
When Dobby arrived they learned that Melony was to visit on Saturday evening. Dobby was only too happy to agree to bring her to the Gryffindor common room.
On Saturday evening, Melony, Dobby and Professor Flitwick arrived just after 9 p.m., as Dobby had promised. After they had made greetings and light chat, Hermione got to the point.
"Melony, we believe that Dobby's hullabaloo had received an important magical charm and placed it in their vault before they were attacked by Death Eaters and killed. We think Voldemort is still plotting to get to it. I know that the rest of the goblins are not ready to accept that Dobby is the surviving goblin who owns the contents, but if we were right, wouldn't Dobby be able to open the vault himself?"
"Hermione," interrupted Harry, "he hasn't got the key."
"Well, there are always ways to deal with that, Harry," replied Hermione, "keys can get lost."
"Yes, there are ways around it, Miss Granger, but they would be unnecessary in this case," said Melony hesitantly.
"Really," said Hermione enthusiastically.
"After I learned the story of Dobby's hullabaloo, I learned which vault belonged to them," said Melony. Then she added in an ashamed whisper, "I was curious."
"Wonderful, then how can Dobby open it?"
"Miss, the vault is keyless. It's very near the Hogwarts vault. Either a Gringott's goblin or the rightful owner can open it by running a finger all along the seam around the door."
"Then Dobby could just go there, run his finger around the door, and it should open for him: and wouldn't that prove to the rest of the goblins that he was really a goblin?
"Ah, yes, Miss Granger."
"And you'd be allowed to marry him," said Hermione, "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm being presumptuous, it's just that you two are so sweet together. I should say, that's what you could do if that's what the two of you wanted?"
Dobby squeaked and quivered at the thought, but Melony hung her head.
"Speak not of such things to me, please, it is too unkind," said Melony sadly. "All that you say is true, but it will never happen. It is only under Grishnack's protection that Dobby was allowed beyond the lobby of Gringott's. If he attempted it without a glamdring's protection, he would be killed on sight immediately. When Dobby was brought down before, it was for a health emergency caused by a goblin. Without such cause, no glamdring would do so."
"But, wouldn't they want to know what happened to the last member of Dobby's hullabaloo?"
"Most don't even know of that horror, Miss Granger. I had never heard that tale myself. The older goblins speak rarely of that time."
"Yeah, wizards have been the same way," agreed Ginny.
"After I learned of it from Dobby and Glorfindel, I asked Grishnack about it and he confirmed the facts, but he would speak little of it. It was difficult to even get him to confirm which vault was theirs."
"I've got an idea," said Ron, "Melony could clobber Dobby in Gringott's and then he'd have to be taken down there for care."
Dobby looked up hopefully, nodding his agreement.
"Ron!" scolded Hermione, "How can you suggest such a thing?"
"Hey, you want to get him down there, don't you?"
"You must be a chess player, Mr. Weasley," said Melony, "to suggest making the gambit of taking an injury to achieve the greater goal."
"I am and I've done it before. It's not so bad," said Ron sheepishly.
"I'm afraid, though, it would not work. First I could not bear to hurt Dobby so grievously but for an enormous, imminent threat. And even if I could do so, he would be attended at all times by goblins who would never let him go anywhere but to a healing room and then right back out to the lobby.
"That really wasn't a terrible idea, Ron," said Harry, "Let's keep working on other ways for Dobby to be allowed access to the vault. Melony, is it possible that you could retrieve the charm?"
"I am a Gringotts' goblin, so I could open it, of course, but only if I were acting in furtherance of my glamdring's orders. My hullabaloo enchantments would not permit me to violate the security of the vaults," answered Melony.
"I understand," said Harry. "In the meantime, Melony, you need to talk of that hullabaloo's desctruction with the other goblins. Get the other younger ones such as yourself to ask their elders and learn about it."
"I can do that, Mr. Potter, but I do not hold out hope that they would accept Dobby."
"No, I'm sure you're right. I'm thinking of something else. We have written an article for The Quibbler to raise wizard opinion against the Anti-apparation law. I would hate for the goblins to take up arms before we have had a chance to turn the tide back."
"But Potter," said Professor Flitwick, "you don't actually think that even that slaughter will be enough to bring the goblins toward alliance with the Ministry, do you?"
"No, Professor," said Harry grimly, "The Ministry as it is presently run obviously does not want to have anything constructive to do with the goblins and the goblins know it. We have an uneasy co-existence right now. A goblin rebellion would severely weaken both goblins and wizards and leave us both more vulnerable to Voldemort's forces. I want the goblins to see just how dangerous the magical world can be when they go it alone. Voldemort is everyone's enemy."
Ron nodded sagely, "So you're saying that you want them to see that 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend.'"
"Ron," said Hermione, "I'm impressed."
"It's an old Arabic saying," explained Ron, "They have a lot of experience in warring and shifting alliances."
"Well, it gets at the heart of it," said Harry. "Melony, if you can get the goblins talking about the slaughter of Dobby's hullabaloo, without using his name of course, maybe the goblins will be more reluctant to jump to war."
"Maybe we can get an article into the Quibbler about it," said Ginny, "Luna and I can work something up."
"That'd be great, Ginny. I'd be happy to put my name on it if it helps," agreed Harry.
"I'll give you all the details you need, Miss Weasley" offered Professor Flitwick, "After all, it was my maternal family that was destroyed."
"Thanks, Professor," said Ginny.
Harry turned back to Melony. "Melony," he said, "I can't deny that the Ministry has not been acting as the goblins' friend, but the Ministry is organizing to fight against Voldemort, so it's not something that the goblins ought to want to see weakened. If you can get the goblins to start talking about the risks of rebellion and not just their anger at the Ministry, maybe we can forestall any disasters until we can get the Ministry turned around on goblin matters."
"I can certainly try, Mr. Potter, and it may help for a while. But let me assure you that if the Anti-Apparation law is passed and enforced, or if other impositions come, there will be no way to stop a war."
"I understand. But if there is an uprising, both wizard and goblin society may be laid bare to Voldemort's forces, and the extermination of one hullabaloo may be seen as a mere taste of what the future will hold."
Melony shook her head. "Gallons of Galleons! Everytime I come here I learn things that scare me so! But getting involved in such things makes me feel so powerful and free!"
And then she added in a whisper, "It is not like a regular goblin to be political, so I feel quite naughty, and that's fun, too."