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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:
- While the battle rages above them, Harry is held hostage by Shacklebolt to force Melony to open the vault with the key to the Egyptian shrine. Harry disrupts the plan, but in the melee, Melony is gravely injured. Harry holds her lifeless body until the battle is over and the goblins return. Hermione and Arthur Weasley are summoned to help Harry with his injuries, and Harry learns about the casualties of the DA in the street-level battle.
Chapter 36 - Darkness
Harry felt the point of the blade digging into his throat. He lifted his head away until it was pressed against the rock wall he was leaning against. He had to speak through clenched teeth.
"What are you saying? What is this about?" asked Harry. He suppressed the urge to summon his wands or try Expelliarmus. With the tip of the stiletto pressed under his chin, those would be too slow.
Shacklebolt smiled. "You have interfered with my plans, Potter. There's something here I came for. I've been working for years to get it, and I'm not about to get this close and go away without it."
"The scarab?" asked Harry.
Shacklebolt's laugh was deep but cold, "2 points Gryffindor - you've done your homework. Yes, my master has need of it."
"But ... you're an auror!? Don't they check for the Dark Mark?" asked Harry incredulously.
"They'd be foolish not to - but not all of the Dark Lord's servants bear the Dark Mark - I know you've met Mr. Pettigrew - and not all bonds can be detected," replied Shacklebolt.
"So it was you who had Fudge under the Imperius!"
"Arthur would be so proud - 2 more points Gryffindor! But that occurred only recently, actually. That bloated fool hated these vermin as much as I do. I merely needed to nudge his mind toward private schemes to destroy them, nothing as crude at first as the Imperius. He was easy putty to me: I only had to remove memories of reasons to not destroy goblins. It was his idea to modify graphorns: he was quite the schemer in his own right. I made sure he put me in charge of the project, privately of course. It was rewarding enough to oversee development of a weapon to lay these rats' nests bare and exterminate them, but my real goal has been to get the scarab for my master. That is why I have posed as their friend. I fooled them as easily as I have fooled everyone else. It's good to enjoy your work, Potter - too bad you'll never have the chance to know. By the way, how is it that you are not unconscious from my stunner? It has brought down bigger men than you before."
Harry glared at him. He realized he needed to delay in hopes someone would arrive.
"I don't know; I've been treated with lots of murtlap this year; that might have helped. How can you do this - you fought the Death Eaters last year at the Ministry?"
"Yes, cover had to be maintained, and lacking an excuse to not go, I had to put in an appearance and make it believable. I actually accomplished far less than I might have - many of the Death Eaters are not such formidable fighters. It is one thing to make sneak attacks, as they most commonly have done, and quite another to engage in a pitched battle."
"You protected us all by modifying Marietta's memory last year!"
"Cover had to be kept - besides, I knew my master needed you to retrieve the prophecy concerning the two of you for him. You could not do that if Fudge had you arrested."
"And what about that goblin who died, Griball - I just remembered that you were at Gringotts' the day Griball disappeared."
"Yes, I needed a goblin to test our heliopaths on, and he went off by himself to sulk. I followed him and lent a sympathetic ear, then suggested we go to my home for some goblin mousewine. I was well-known down here as the goblins' best but secret friend, so he actually believed I had such a vile brew. The heliopaths worked wonderfully, as you obviously have heard. It was remarkable how many times we had to revive him so we could do more tests fortunately I had learned quite a bit of goblin-healing when I visited down here."
Melony gasped when she learned that Griball had been subjected to heliopathy regularly and growled at learning that goblin-healing had been used to prolong such suffering.
"Melony," snarled Shacklebolt, "Don't even consider trying to do anything: if you make a move I don't order or disapparate, this blade will be in Potter's brain before he draws his nest breath."
"So the plan was to drive the goblins into rebellion so that you could kill them all with heliopathy, and then break into the vault to steal the scarab."
"Exactly, Potter! Five points Gryffindor! And it was working very well, too, until you and your friends calmed the goblins and got the anti-Apparation law blocked. Then my master lost patience. That's when we realized we could combine missions - let Fudge's private army wipe out the goblins, with me here to collect the scarab, while my master's other servants broke open the Ministry cells."
"Did Dumbledore never have you examined by legilemency?"
"Of course, but occlumency is studied by all the aurors. Some are merely passable, but I made sure I could not only protect my mind, but present an innocent façade. I feel you are trying to read me even now, in your clumsy, rudimentary way. As you can see, I'm every bit as good at protecting myself as your dear Professor Snape."
Harry looked at him suspiciously, "Are you really Kingsley Shacklebolt?"
The wizard with the knife at his throat smiled, "I'm the only Kingsley Shacklebolt you have ever known."
"Well, both plans are failing, Shacklebolt. Dobby and I have stopped your heliopaths and forces already are protecting the Ministry."
"Ah, well, I do not know what is happening at the Ministry. That's not my mission. As for my part in the day's events, while it is unfortunate that more goblins were not exterminated - yet - I think matters will turn out well nonetheless. All your vermin friends are occupied but this one, and she has been ordered by her glamdring to not let harm come to you."
Shacklebolt stood and faced Melony, "Melony - what would you do to keep harm from coming to Harry Potter?"
She bowed her head, "Glamdring's orders - I must do anything to protect him from harm."
Seeing an opportunity with the stiletto away from him, Harry shouted "Expelliarmus."
Nothing happened except Shacklebolt laughing.
"Why do you think I am using a muggle weapon - I saw you perform the disarming spell without a wand. It doesn't work on muggle weapons. And before you get any ideas about summoning your wands, let me assure you that I am an expert knife thrower and can have this blade in you before you get to the word 'wands.' Now, then Melony, open that vault there, number 717, and get me the small wooden box inside," ordered Shacklebolt.
"NO, don't give it to him," shouted Harry, "It's worth more than either of our lives."
"I won't do it," she said weakly.
Shacklebolt squatted down toward Harry and stroked the tip of the blade down Harry's face and then Harry's neck.
"Are you sure you won't reconsider, Melony?"
Shacklebolt plunged the tip of the stiletto deep through Harry's right shoulder under the clavicle, with an audible 'thump' when it struck the inside of a rib in Harry's back; then he roughly pulled the blade back out. Harry stifled a scream and grabbed at the wound with his left hand. Blood flowed freely but did not spurt.
"Voila!" said Shacklebolt unctuously, "Melony, there are many more places I can harm him before he is dead, Melony. As long as I hit no arteries, we can drag this out for quite some time. Were you not told to keep Potter from harm? Do I need to demonstrate all the ways in which I can harm him without immediately killing him for you to obey orders?"
"Forgive me, Mr. Potter, I must: Glamdring's command."
Melony approached vault 717 and placed her finger at the lower left edge of the door. As she ran her finger around the edge, it glowed and separated. Harry noticed that although Shacklebolt squatted next to Harry, he was watching Melony and had let the stiletto come a couple of inches away from Harry's throat. Suddenly Harry grabbed the blade in his left fist and with his right arm punched as hard as his summer boxing practice had taught him, given his awkward position and damaged leg and shoulder. Shacklebolt was momentarily stunned, but held onto the stiletto handle, just as Harry maintained his grasp on the blade. Shacklebolt sprang back at Harry, trying to drive the knife into Harry's neck, but Harry resisted and used his right leg to kick as fiercely into Shacklebolt's crotch as nearly a year of intense exercise would allow. Shacklebolt staggered back, but kept hold of the knife: Harry felt the double-edged blade slice through the flesh of the hand he had grabbed it with.
Then, cursing at Harry, Shacklebolt lunged again. Melony seized her opportunity and leapt with all her strength at Shacklebolt. Both of them fell backwards against the door of vault 713. There was now very little light, as the battle had migrated up to the lobby. Harry could just make out that the door of the vault was dissolving against the weight of Shacklebolt and Melony. Harry had seen this vault before and realized that the door would reappear when they had fallen through. There was a sucking sound as the vault drew the auror and the goblin into itself.
As Shacklebolt fell, Harry yelled, "Accio Melony!"
Shacklebolt was sucked through the open door, his eyes full of shock, his hands open and outstretched toward where the door had been as the door reappeared in front of him, entombing him. Melony came flying to Harry and he caught her like a father who was tossing a child. It was only then that he saw, by the dim flashes from the battle far, far above him, the glint of light off the handle of the stiletto, buried hilt deep in her chest. Harry called to her and gently shook her, and felt where he thought there should be a pulse. He found no response.
Harry began to cry. He fervently wished that he could bear the injuries instead. Soon there was not even the light from the battle, but just a very faint green glow that seemed to surround them, but the darkness didn't matter to Harry. He clutched Melony's limp body in the depths of the cavern and cried on and on, dripping tears from his cheeks, feeling the release at once of the tension and fears for all the deaths he had envisioned over the year. He ached inside. He thought of all the good times and hard times he and Dobby had been through, and all the dreams Dobby had for a life with Melony.
Every so often, Harry felt warm liquid running down his hands. He did not know if it was his tears or Melony's blood. He was not even aware of his own injuries or of the corpses of the casualties of the battle who had fallen from above which surrounded them. Harry began to rock gently in the lonely darkness and continued to weep, gazing sadly into Melony's pale green face.
Harry did not know how long he sat in the dark clutching Melony's body like that. He startled when he heard several cracking sounds nearby. He heard Grishnack's voice.
"Shacklebolt! Potter! Where are you? Have you left?"
Grishnack lit some lights as Harry said sadly, "Over here."
"Melony!" said Grishnack, with as much warmth as Harry had ever heard from him, "Potter, what's happened?"
"Shacklebolt was a traitor, in service to Voldemort. He made to kill me, and she leapt at him ... because you ordered her to protect me."
Grishnack told another goblin to get a healer as he checked Melony's eyes.
"She couldn't possibly have survived this, could she?" asked Harry.
"I don't think so. I'm no healer, though. We goblins have developed many methods of dealing with muggle weapons, so if there's any spark left, there's hope."
A healer from another hullabaloo arrived and began examining her. "Keep holding her, boy. I wouldn't have thought it possible, maybe it's your touch and your tears, but she is alive, though just barely. I have to perform the reversing charm."
Grishnack explained, "One of our tools against muggle weapons - the reversing charm undoes much of the damage done by muggle weapons if it is performed as the weapon is removed."
The healer first gave Melony the goblin version of blood restoration potion. Harry felt a surge in the warm liquid flowing down his arms to his lap. The healer performed an intricate series of hand movements and incantations in a language whose syllables Harry could not even pronounce, but which he recognized as gobbledegook. She grasped the handle of the knife as she continued to incant, and slowly withdrew it. Melony's flesh wriggled around the blade as it was pulled, and she gave a slight shudder. The healer took again her small bottle of blood restorer and put it to Melony's lips. It trickled into her mouth, and within seconds the pale green which Melony had turned was returned to the bullfrog green a goblin should have.
Melony opened her eyes weakly, looking at Grishnack, and said, "Is he okay? I tried to protect Potter."
Grishnack smiled warmly, "Yes, he is holding you even now. He will be fine, and so will you. You have done very well, Melony. We are proud of you."
"Boy, can you carry her to my clinic?" the healer asked Harry.
"I'm sorry, I can't," said Harry, pulling his robe from across his crushed leg and showing her.
The goblin healer gasped and said to another goblin, "Find him a wizard healer, fast. He is our true friend."
"If the battle is over," said Harry, "my friends Hermione Granger and Marietta Edgecombe should be there - they're healer trainees."
"Yes, the battle is over," said Grishnack, making a gesture to a goblin indicating he should go up to get Hermione and Marietta, "your friends ended the battle where we could not. They held the enemy in the lobby until we goblins smote them with irresistible force. When the remainder emerged into the sunlight, your friends disabled them all."
Harry smiled. The DA had come through. The goblin healer levitated Melony off of his lap and toward a hullabaloo entrance. Harry watched them until the hullabaloo door was shut. In a minute or so, the goblin who had gone to get help came clattering down the tracks in a railcar, bringing Hermione and Professor Weasley with him.
"Harry!" said Arthur, "He said you'd been hurt."
"Not enough to get me out of your exam, I'm afraid."
Hermione immediately began checking his leg.
"This is beyond me right now, Harry, but Madam Pomfrey will know what to do."
"There's also this," said Harry, pulling the robe up over his right shoulder. His t-shirt was soaked in blood from his right shoulder wound.
"No!" gasped Hermione and Professor Weasley.
Harry nodded, and then showed them his left hand, sliced to the bone of both his palm and fingers where the blade had pulled through his fist, "I guess this will need some attention, too."
"Madam Pomfrey will be able to fix him up, Hermione?" Arthur asked her.
"Yes, of course. It will take a few days, but we can do it."
"How did you get all these injuries?" asked Arthur.
"Shacklebolt - he was a traitor."
"I'd ask if you're sure, but the proof is right before me."
Harry nodded. "It sounds like the DA did brilliantly. I hope there weren't any casualties," said Harry.
Hermione bit her lip and looked away.
"Oh, no," said Harry, "Who? What happened?"
"Harry, you know the plan was to hold them in the lobby if you beat the heliopaths, so that the goblins could take care of them," began Hermione, "so when Ron, Ernie and Professor Weasley surveyed the area around Gringotts', they were looking for well-protected positions to move our forces to. Ron realized it was going to take time and he noticed a gargoyle above the Gringotts' entrance that was still stable after the front was smashed. He commented when he got back to those who had Apparated that one of us on that gargoyle could hold them in at least until we could get the others in place. Before Ron could even ask for a volunteer, Marietta said she had it and disapparated. Then we heard the crack from up there and she gave us a thumbs-up.
"Harry, she was brilliant, stunning everyone that tried to get out of there until we got all our forces in place. She single-handedly kept them from escaping and disapparating until the goblins were practically shoving them out through the door. Then several of them ran out at once and blasted the gargoyle, and she fell with all that stonework. Cho and I tried to levitate her, but with all the debris, all we could catch was stone. The remainder of the army came rushing out and they were caught in a crossfire from the students that would have leveled a mountain. It'll take St. Mungo's months to sort out all the hexes for trials, at least for those who survive. As soon as the firing was over, I ran over to Marietta, but there was nothing I could do."
"Was she crushed?"
"No, she fell on top of the debris. She wasn't gone when I got to her, but ..."
"Did she say anything?"
Hermione bit her lip. "Harry, don't ..."
"TELL ME," Harry demanded, his eyes pleading desperately.
"She said to tell you she loved you, and that she had been brave. She ... she said 'thanks for the second chance.' "
Harry suddenly got excited, "But if she could say all that, then maybe ... Accio wands!"
Both wands flew to his hand.
"Harry, don't!" cried Hermione, as he disapparated. She looked around frantically and found the goblin who had brought her in.
"Can you please bring me back up there?"
The goblin took her to the lobby and she picked her way through the debris and bodies to the entrance. She found Harry on the sidewalk amid the debris sitting beside Marietta, his crushed left leg splayed out. He was hugging the limp torso desperately and his shoulders shook, as her head lolled back on her neck, eyes and mouth wide open. Hermione came up quietly and put her hand on his shoulder.
"Harry, I'm so sorry."
"Hermione," he said through gasps, "do you know what a legilemens sees when he looks into the mind of someone who has just died?"
"No, Harry," answered Hermione quietly.
"Be very glad for that. I couldn't possibly tell you and I love you too much to try."
Harry let Marietta's body slump to the sidewalk. He arranged her arms neatly and closed her mouth and eyes.
"She wanted to leave a beautiful corpse, Hermione. What do you think?"
"There may have been beauty in how she died, Harry, but I can't say that there's really such a thing as a beautiful corpse."
Harry put his face down into his hands. Hermione sat on a low stone next to him and gently stroked his back. He laid his head on her thigh, looking outward at Marietta's body.
"Hermione, I can't cry anymore. I'm all cried out today. Can you do it for me?"
"Yes, Harry," sniffed Hermione, "I can cry for you."