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Published: 09/21/2004
Updated: 01/14/2005
Words: 139,369
Chapters: 38
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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 32

Chapter Summary:
Harry tells Professor Dumbledore about the attack on Bill as Hermione brings the Weasleys around. Harry feels that he has brought all the hardships on the Weasleys, but they reassure him. They all gather at Professor Weasley's office. Dumbledore tells them how the threat has been resolved and has a talk with Harry about the extent of his connection with Voldemort, particularly Voldemort's new tack to get at the secret of the Egyptian site.

Chapter 32 - To the Rescue

Harry went tearing madly up and down the various stairs and hallways to get to the Gryffindor dorm. If anyone could help, it was Dumbledore, and Harry had to get to his communicating mirror to call him. He was surprised at his own speed: although he had been doing a lot of running and usually pushed himself, he had not been running sprints, so he did not know that he could run this fast. Of course, he did know he could take three or four stairs at a time, which he was doing, as he often did that between classes just for the challenge.

Suddenly Harry went tumbling as the rug came out from under him. He heard a maniacal cackling and knew immediately what had happened.

"Peeves!" he shouted, picking himself up and resuming his run, "Now's not the time!"

Peeves popped up through the floor in front of Harry, causing Harry to pull up short.

"This is a great time for games, Potter. You seem stressed and you know how much I care about the students' welfare. You need some playtime. How about a song?"

Then Peeves puffed himself up tall, straightened the lapels on his sickly orange suit, and began to sing so loudly that dust fell from the candleholders:

Nasty, little Harry Potter,

Just a child, can't hold his water.

Should I tell the Weasley daughter: -

He put his hands where he hadna' oughta?

"Whatdya' think, Potter? Good for the year-end Feast? Help me write a few more verses."

Every time Harry tried to duck around Peeves, Peeves would get in his way. At the end of his patience, Harry remembered a way to deal with a poltergeist. He pulled his wand and shouted "Expecto Patronum" (though he hadn't needed to shout it in months, at a time like this shouting vented his annoyance and anxiety). The silver stag formed and speared Peeves with its antlers; the stag kicked up its heels and went tearing at full gallop down the corridor, with Peeves ensnared, screaming and cursing all the while. Harry never did see the stag dissipate and did not really care how far Peeves was carried away.

Harry came through the portrait-hole to the Gryffindor common room at a run. The room was packed with an after-Skirmish party. Almost all the Gryffindors were gathered in groups, re-enacting for each other their own and others' parts in the day's activities.

"Coach!" they all shouted when they saw Harry, as much a cheer as it was a greeting. This was obviously a group still so full of excess energy from the Skirmish that they could not rest if they had wanted to. Even the fifth- and seventh-years had put off taking up their OWL and NEWT studies for the time being. They all crowded toward Harry, wanting to share their stories and bring him into their activities.

Harry just pushed madly through, though it was like swimming through treacle, yelling "It's an emergency! Sorry, not now! Pardon me!" repeatedly. Harry saw Ron standing with several others talking animatedly. Ron scowled toward Harry and turned his back, but Harry grabbed him by the collar, yelling "It's Bill!" As Harry knew would happen, their anger with each other evaporated in the demands of the moment; pique was a luxury that could not be afforded when lives were at stake.

Harry flew up the stairs with Ron not far behind. He threw open his trunk and pulled things aside carelessly to get to the mirror. Grabbing it, he jumped onto his bed, calling for Professor Dumbledore before he even landed. There was no immediate response. Ron appeared in the door with a panicked, questioning look.

Before Ron could speak, Sirius's portrait asked "Harry, what's wrong?"

"Sirius!" said Harry, "It's Bill Weasley. He's in grave danger. I need to speak to Dumbledore. Can you go through the school portraits to find him?"

"I'm on it!" said Sirius, disappearing from the portrait.

Ron started to ask what was happening, when Ginny burst in interrupting with "What's going on?"

Harry started to explain, but not ten seconds after Ginny had come in, she was followed by Arthur and Molly Weasley and Hermione.

"Mr. Weasley! Can you contact Bill? Everyone at the site is in danger."

"Harry! Harry!" It was Dumbledore's voice from the mirror. "What is it, Harry? Sirius said there was an emergency."

"Voldemort's given up on trying to break into the site directly! He's going to do something to the site to keep others from it, too. He waited till dark so that all the goblins and wizards who have been working on it would be killed too, so they couldn't come back later to keep working on it!"

"Okay, Harry. I can take care of it. You and all the Weasleys go to Professor Weasley's office. I'll talk to you there," Professor Dumbledore said quickly, then disappeared from the mirror.

Harry stood there panting for a few seconds. Then Professor Weasley said, "Right then, it's in Dumbledore's hands. As much as I would like to do something useful, there's nothing I can do that he won't be able to. Let's all head down. You can give us the details when we get there, Harry; it's best you don't tell about it where we can be overheard. Take the mirror with you, in case the Headmaster prefers to speak with you that way. Hermione, you come, too."

As Harry started for the door, Molly Weasley stepped in front of him and caught him in a bear hug. "I don't know what we'd do without you, Harry."

He stepped back. "Without me!? Without me, none of these awful things would have happened. Bill wouldn't be under attack! Professor Weasley wouldn't have been bitten by that snake! Percy wouldn't have split with you last year if the Ministry weren't calling me a fruitcake. Ginny wouldn't have been possessed. You Weasleys are being torn apart because of me - and you hug me and thank me? You ought to be hexing me into St. Mungo's!"

"No, Harry! We'll have none of that. Those are evil things to be sure, but they were caused by evil people - not you! You may be the focus, but you are not the cause and you cannot feel guilty. We knew what we were getting into when we accepted you into our home. We will not allow you to take blame for all this. Goodness knows you have burdens enough to carry without taking Voldemort's guilt as well."

"Absolutely," said Ron, putting his arm around Harry's shoulder.

Ginny took Harry's hand in both of hers. "Harry, I'll not listen to you taking the blame for what happened to me. Mum and Dad had taught me enough that I should have known better than to mess with a possessed object. As I've thought about it, I've realized that I was probably targeted because Dad was doing his job so well, not because we are your friends. But I knew better than to mess with that diary and I failed to follow the rules I had been raised with. I was the fool: you were the hero - got that!"

Harry nodded and gave her hands a squeeze. "Thanks. Maybe it's just that I am so sick and tired of living with all this danger."

Arthur Weasley put a hand on his shoulder. "Of course you are, Harry. We feel it too. You'd be a fool to feel otherwise. The most dangerous thing you ought to be facing is the next quidditch match. You should be able to date girls without having visions of them dead. I wish I could tell you when it would end, but I can't. But I can tell you this much - you'll have a pack of Weasleys with you all the way."

"Thank you. I cannot tell you what that means to me," said Harry.

"If that's settled, then, let's head down to my office," said Arthur, "Dumbledore'll be expecting us there."

"Erm, Professor Weasley," said Hermione quietly, "perhaps I should run on ahead and, erm, tidy up a bit ... considering how things were when I got down there."

Arthur glanced at his wife and then said, "Oh ... yes, Hermione, that would be good of you, since you're already been down there. Why don't you use the Floo and the rest of us will walk."

Ron looked at his father and then his mother and said, "Why, what's the ..." Then he winced and said "Oh, Mum! Dad!"

"Ewww!" said Ginny, laughing through her nervousness over Bill.

At Professor Weasley's office, Harry sat quietly, clinging to the mirror and staring at it as if it might run away. Arthur Weasley used the Floo network to keep Fred, George and Charlie informed, while Molly Weasley got Winky to bring in some tea, biscuits, and a few butterbeers. Ron and Ginny paced nervously, like caged animals. Hermione pulled up a chair behind where Harry was sitting and absent-mindedly rubbed his back as she nervously bit her lip. Harry never looked up as he explained what he could figure out about the situation. He didn't get very far before Dumbledore appeared in the mirror.

"Disaster averted!" he reassured them.

"And Bill?" said Molly.

"He's uninjured."

"That's not a very reassuring description, Albus," said Arthur, "Please - what is his situation?"

"When I reached him, he and a company of goblins were at the excavation and a sandstorm had just started. They thought it was just a typical desert storm and were going to wait it out. My message told Bill what Harry told me. Bill's message back said the storm was turning fiercer than most, so he was going to gather all the goblins next to the structure and conjure a shell over all of them. The sandstorm filled in the entire excavation, so they are currently buried under 60 feet of sand."

Both Weasley parents put their hands to their mouths; the children just stared in horror.

"They have enough air for days, and I have contacted the rest of the goblins there and confirmed that Bill and his company are all alive. The Egyptian goblins will begin digging them out, making it look like a body recovery effort, rather than a rescue. They will have to be excavated rather than Apparate out, as there are anti-Apparation charms in place that would even stop goblins and elves to protect against sneak attacks. It will take less time to dig them out than to adjust the spells, and they really do not want to weaken the site's protections anyway. They brought ample water with them, but they will get hungry. As long as they aren't attacked again, they will be fine."

"They won't be attacked," said Harry.

"He's returning here, Harry?" asked Dumbledore.


"Harry," said Dumbledore, "we need to go through what you are able to tell about Voldemort's thoughts. First, take me through exactly what you knew of the attack."

"Yes, Professor. As you know, I had been feeling his frustration growing for months. Finally, he decided that his efforts there were unavailing and there was a more promising path. He has not given up on getting what's in the ... he thinks of it as a shrine. This other way involves doing something here in Britain. He didn't want anyone to open the shrine while he was away from the area, so he decided to make it inaccessible and to kill all those who were working on opening it. It was both for spite and to destroy any information they might have gained. The sharp pain came when he was feeling his excitement at killing them all. He felt himself very clever at coming up with a way to do both with one act, but I could not tell exactly what the plan was. I knew it was something like a flood, but not exactly that."

"Your connection has come a long way, Harry," said Dumbledore, "especially for reading from so far away. This is very disquieting. I hope that he is not equally able to read your mind."

"I believe he is, but he is rather contemptuous of me, so he only bothers when he wants something. Also, the more love I feel, the more unpleasant it is for him to look into my mind."

"Well, you're surrounded by people right now that are more than willing to help in that regard."

"I know, and I am so grateful that they have refused to run from me. Goodness knows they ought to. Professor ...?"

"Yes, Harry?"

"I didn't just feel pain in my scar or sense his thoughts. Some of the thrill and pleasure at killing filled me, too."

Dumbledore nodded. "And what is your reaction to that?"

"It scares me, and makes me a bit queasy. I know that people can often be pulled into doing things that they know they should not, that they normally would not, when an immediate source of pleasure beckons."

"Yes, Harry, it's called seduction. Do you think you want to kill for pleasure?"

"It fills me with revulsion, and yet, I remember so vividly the great sense of exultation Voldemort had as he started whipping up the sandstorm: it seemed very attractive."

"I am not surprised. This is the very nature of pleasure. As has often been said, 'how can anything that feels so good be wrong?' Of course, pleasure alone is not a proper guide for beings. There are good pleasures and bad pleasures, and it is up to us to choose which we will embrace."

"I train to fight and it feels good to me when I beat those I spar with. Is that bad?"

"I don't think so, Harry. Everyone wants confirmation that they do things well. Do you not also derive pleasure when your students succeed in what you are teaching them?"

Harry closed his eyes and smiled, "When I've been working with someone to help them to get a new spell, especially the Patronus, and they finally do get it, I feel like I could hug the entire world."

Arthur Weasley reached to Harry and gave him an affirming pat on the shoulder.

"Yes, Harry, I know the feeling well," said Dumbledore, approvingly, "It is what keeps teachers teaching. Focus on your healthy pleasures - quidditch, teaching, the people you love - and you will strengthen yourself against the seductions of destructive urges."

"I feel stronger just for having told you about it, and getting your advice."

"Good, Harry," said Dumbledore, "Now, what do you know of Voldemort's current plans?"

"He still wants access to the shrine and whatever's in it. He thinks he has safeguarded it and is traveling back either to Britain or very nearby. He has people placed with some sort of capacity to get to it, but he's waiting for something to happen to strike. I'm not sure what, but it seems to have to do with the law to make the goblins take down their anti-Apparation spells, but it's not just that."

"Of course, "said Arthur, "the spells come down and he sends Death Eaters in for a quick raid."

"Perhaps," said Dumbledore, "But the vote on that won't come until late next month and that article in The Quibbler has done a marvelous job raising public sentiment against it. We stand a very good chance of getting it rejected."

"Besides," said Hermione, "our talks with Dobby's goblin friend Melony confirm that the goblins would never take down the protections of their homes. There would be a rebellion first."

Ron snapped his fingers, "That would provide an excuse for the Ministry to attack Gringotts. No doubt Vol..., Vol..., HE's got some people placed in the Ministry who could seize the scarab in the confusion."

"No doubt, Mr. Weasley" agreed Dumbledore.

"Professor," said Harry.

"Yes, Harry?" said Dumbledore.

"I know that what's been said makes sense, but I don't think that's it. There's something about overcoming the goblins' self-defense."

"I wondered about that, Harry, for two reasons. First, the goblins are quite formidable in their own right, especially in defense of their homes and property. The Ministry simply hasn't strength enough to attack Gringotts, although a siege could be laid. I doubt that even Voldemort could survive in his reborn body if he were to make a frontal assault on the goblins in their homes, so long as they are not otherwise weakened. And second, the new law would require removal of anti-Apparation spells from the homes, but it would not do so for the vaults. The spells on the vault containing the scarab itself, assuming it is there, must be overcome. The goblins can open the vaults, of course, but it is hard to imagine what would motivate them to betray the owners of a vault - they would sooner die, as it goes against what is almost the deepest magic of their kind."

"'Almost the deepest', Headmaster?" said Ginny, "what is deeper for them?"

"Excellent question, Miss Weasley: protection of home, which includes obedience to their glamdring, and the glamdring could not bring himself to order violation of the sanctity of the vault for anything less than protection of lives. But there are other ways to defeat protective spells long enough to remove a small package - unfortunately quite a number of them so we can't be sure what to protect against. Harry, does your scar tell you anything else?"

"Voldemort is going to sleep about now, quite pleased with himself over what he has done to Bill and the goblins there."

"That's another reason I didn't want Bill to suddenly evacuate. If he had it would be obvious that you were reading Voldemort's mind. He seems not to yet be aware of the range and detail you are capable of."

"Well, the less he thinks about me, the better I like it."

"I understand, Harry, but we both know that will be only a temporary respite."

"Yes, Professor Dumbledore," said Harry. Then realizing that matters were properly dealt with, Harry visibly relaxed from his tension. "Professor, is the occasional butterbeer one of those healthy pleasures I can enjoy?"

"Why, yes, it is, Harry, just like the sweets I favor. Just remember, though, as with the sweets, too much is too much. But please, go ahead and have one now. You deserve something pleasant. You have saved several lives tonight. All the Weasleys, and everyone who cares about them, have cause to celebrate."

"Most certainly, Albus," said Molly Weasley, as she tapped the top of a bottle of butterbeer with her wand and the cap flipped off. Smiling, with tears filling the corners of her eyes, she handed Harry the bottle and then gave him another enormous hug.

"Harry, it's okay to let yourself take credit for the good you do. Thank you again."

"Thanks, Mrs. Weasley," said Harry, "I'll try to remember that."