Yo! Thank you to all readers so far!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters...
Bright and early the next morning, a magically disguised Marvolo and Harry found themselves standing in the large, marble hall of Gringotts bank. These disguises were basic, yet effective, and worked on everyone other than the goblins, who saw through them the moment they stepped into the privacy sealed area that was around each teller.
The goblin they were standing before stared, blinked, stared some more, and then cleared his throat and asked them what they wanted. It was Marvolo who spoke, firm and confident, and they weren't even questioned before they were led to a large office where they could speak to one of the higher positioned goblins privately.
When they were seated, Marvolo finally explained what the situation was. "We have recently learned that a magical dampener of some sort has been placed on Mr Potter here. We would like it removed as quickly as possible-cost is no concern to us."
"And who exactly placed this dampener on Mr Potter?" questioned the goblin slowly.
No more time was wasted. The goblin called for others of his kind who specialized in this sort of magic, and after a long series of words neither Harry nor Marvolo understood a single word of, the dampener was removed, and Harry immediately fell unconscious.
"The removal backlash," the goblin explained plainly. "He will wake in approximately an hour, and will need to sleep again in two, and at that point he will remain asleep for twenty four hours, so that his magical core will have the chance to regulate itself to the state it should have been in."
Holding Harry up against him, Marvolo inclined his head in understanding. "How long was the dampener on him?"
The goblin checked a sheet of parchment that had been placed on his desk. "November 1, 1992," he replied. "It has been on him since, siphoning away at his magic. He should consider himself fortunate that he has been able to perform any form of strong magic at all."
Marvolo asked a few more questions, the goblin explained a few more things, and then the two were taken to a side room where they could stay until Harry woke. The man lowered the teen down on the cot, and sat down in the nearby wooden chair, disguised blue eyes resting on the unnaturally pale face.
He still could believe Dumbledore had done something to incredibly cruel to someone he claimed was meant to save their world. The magical dampener, he had been told, was a type that siphoned only a small amount of magic at a time, so that it wouldn't be so obvious that it was in place. But Harry, according to the goblins, had a very large magical core, so even taking away a tiny bit of magic was, for him, actually a rather large amount. Enough so that within ten years or so, Harry would have lost enough magic to deplete his core, which in turn would have ended up killing him.
It was good Severus had discovered this now. Damage had been done, but it was minimal. Harry was going to be very weak and tired for the next month or so, but if he got the rest he required, everything would be fine and well, with no permanent harm.
It was difficult to know without asking him directly, but Marvolo was curious to know whether Harry had noticed or realized that he had slowly becoming weaker with each passing month since he had been twelve. He was also going to have to ask him whether the date the dampener had been placed on him had any sort of significance. All Marvolo could tell was that it had taken place during the school term, but not much more.
Marvolo tapped his fingers on his knee, thinking. He still wasn't quite sure what to do, even now that Harry was on his side, neutral though he may be. Removing the tracers, getting Harry away from the Muggles, and removing the magical dampener had all been the priority. But now all of that had been taken care of. So where did that leave him?
Harry had said, he recalled, that he wanted to return to Hogwarts in September. But as the Order now no doubt knew he was missing, what excuse could he have for where he had been? A kidnapping could work, Marvolo thought, if a rescue came along with it. Perhaps a day or two before September first, Severus could take Harry to Order headquarters, claiming to have rescued him from his imprisonment. ...Yes, that could actually work.
"Ugh...Merlin, I feel like I've been in the middle of a Hippogriff rampage..."
"Yes, you'll be feeling that way for a while yet," Marvolo replied casually, pleased to see Harry awake and coherent.
And so the Dark Lord explained of what he had learned after Harry had passed out, recounted everything the goblins had told him, and as he spoke, he kept his eyes on the teen's, making note of the stony expression on his face.
"So it's gone?" Harry questioned once he'd finished. "Completely gone? No more Dumbledore stealing my magic?"
"It's gone, Harry," Marvolo confirmed. "No more anyone stealing your magic."
Relieved beyond belief, Harry sat up, groaning when his head throbbed in pain. "You mentioned a date earlier? When the dampener was placed? When was it again?"
"The first of November in 1992," the red eyed man replied.
"Second year... Oh hey, that was the day after your diary self made Ginny open the Chamber of Secrets and the basilisk petrified Filch's cat." And as Marvolo blinked, Harry found himself frowning. "I don't...I don't remember even seeing Dumbledore that day," he admitted slowly. "And I'm pretty sure I would after the Chamber thing, especially since I was sort of blamed for it at first."
Marvolo nodded to show he was listening, but wasn't at all surprised by what he was hearing. "I expect Dumbledore either wiped or altered your memories-the former being more likely, as you have no recollection to seeing him. Unlike compulsions, which he has also been placing on you, a dampener has no need to be reinforced. Once it has been placed on someone, it's there for good unless removed by a goblin, the way you had yours removed."
Harry froze. "Compulsions?"
Marvolo blinked, a little caught off guard by the reaction. "Yes. ...Did you not know?"
"No!" Harry knew what compulsions were. He'd read about them when he'd been researching for the Tri-Wizard Tournament a couple of years ago. But he hadn't ever thought they were being performed on him! "What were they making me do?"
So Marvolo told the teen what Severus had told him about what he had concluded, and that stony expression returned, quickly followed by a frown. But Harry didn't say anything. Even when Marvolo made sure their disguises were in place and the two left Gringotts to return to the manor, at which point Harry was instructed to eat and head back to bed, warned about how long he would be sleeping for, Harry didn't say a single word.
Marvolo couldn't blame him, and didn't ask for him to speak.
So apparently, I have a fever. I don't know how I didn't notice until now. It would explain why my eyes are burning and why I've been shivering for the past few hours. I was literally outside for five minutes. That's it. Having a weak immune system sucks. I know the chapter's short, but at least it's an update. Be happy. Looking forward to reviews! Laterz!