"Beyond all Sciences, Philosophies, Theologies and Histories - a child's relentless inquiry is truly all it takes
To remind us that we don't know as much as we think we know."
Adventures in Magick by Pseudonymous Entity
Summary: What if the first friend Harry made in the magical world was a goblin, and Harry really, really liked fantasy fiction? Curious!Harry.
Characters: Harry Potter
Warnings: Harry's curiosity, and luck, is somewhat awe inspiring. Suggestions for additional warnings will be taken in to consideration)
AN: As always I welcome thoughts, questions, guesses, theories and limericks. In whichever order of importance you feel inclined to give.
ANx2: This story is in the process of being EDITED. early chapters don't quite match up to the quality of the chapters later on and the author is seeking to remedy this. Updates will still come once a month (or more than that if I have the time) and it shouldn't be necessary to reread the chapters being redone. If it is ever felt that it becomes necessary there will be a suitable mention of it in the author's notes.
ANx3: Here I go again on my own...
Ever Yours, Pseu [The clever, magnificent and ridiculously good looking]
"I have wondered on occasion
How the story looks from the Villain's point of view
Not to say I shouldn't like to see it myself through the Hero's point of view
Everyone likes the Hero after all, and all ends well for him usually
Still, there is this insatiable curiosity inside of me
That would like to see it through the eyes of the Villain
...if only because no one ever has
And I further wonder
Which path was worth it in the end
Who had the least regrets and the best adventure?
The Hero? Or the Villain?
And perhaps the most important question; who has the most fun?"
-The Luck Gambler
"Gringotts is this way 'Arry. We'll get you some coin and get then get yer school supplies. 'Course first I have ter pick up somethin' for old Dumbledore mind. Good man, Dumbledore. Trusts me see." Boomed an unlikely sized man beside a rather scrawny boy.
Approaching a building that to the boy's eyes -and they were very large eyes indeed- looked like a giant marble chess piece, he saw a small creature that appeared to be keeping guard. The spear and armor and altogether ferocious expression gave it away really. It reminded him so much of a set of storybooks he'd stolen from his cousin Dudley's second bedroom that he couldn't help but enjoy a moment of whimsy. As the giant of a man, whom Harry suspected to be in fact a giant, named Hagrid began up the stairs, Harry slowed to draw even with the guard. What an odd looking creature. Then again everything was odd lately, especially today.
"Fearsome Guard!" Harry called, "Is all well within your halls?"
The creature stared at him and just when Harry was beginning to think he maybe should have refrained from indulging his whimsy, the creature gave him a grin. It was just as fearsome as the creature it belonged to; all shining, sharp teeth pulled into a Cheshire crescent. If nothing else came out of that day Harry set himself to learning how to smile just so. For one, it was totally cool. For another, it would certainly scare the pants off Dudley and his friends. If he was really lucky he might be able to use it to discourage Dudley from Harry Hunting. This was a game his cousin -the aforementioned Dudley- thoroughly enjoyed to play as it involved chasing Harry until he was trapped or ran out of breath and then pummeling him until the bell rang and recess was over, or it was time to go inside for dinner.
Harry was not a fan of the game.
"The walls stand firm child of magic. All who dwell within fair well in body if not in pocket." Declared the fierce guard.
Harry felt his jaw fall open just a bit at the reply. This creature knew the tale, he knew it and he knew it well enough to answer back! Feeling daring Harry continued with the next line. "Fortuitous for I have come to venture within your halls."
The guard laughed then. It was deliciously shiver-inducing. "Is this your first visit thence, young mage?" A small crowd had gathered by then, though Harry didn't notice. He was far too entranced to pay mind to anything but this lovely being before him with the mischievous smile and murderous laugh that was indulging in his game. No one ever played with him! Certainly no one as important as a guard for a magical bank.
First, he finds out magic is real, then he gets his first ever birthday cake, then he discovers a magical world hidden behind an entirely ordinary brick wall and now he was making a friend. This was the best twenty-four hours in Harry's entire eleven years of life. Not very much in the grander scheme of things but when one lived in a cupboard under the stairs one didn't often have wonderful memories to fall back on when the bulb went out and one's aunt refused to replace it. Spiders made for poor companionship in the darkness.
"It is indeed." Harry refrained from jumping and clapping.
Harry's wonderful new friend gave Harry a considering look and then nodded decisively. "Well, I shall ensure you are given a proper first impression then shall I? If you will direct your eyes upward to the archway young mage you will see a rhyme I suggest you remember. After which I shall lead you into the main hall if it pleases you."
There were many surprised exclamations and incredulous glances exchanged at the last. Harry, of course, remained oblivious, gazing upward with interest. Large green eyes roamed over the words carved there, soaking them in. The warning was...magnificent. Everything a magical keep of treasure ought to have, in Harry's opinion. Once he was certain he knew them Harry turned to the guard and recited them. Just to prove he'd taken the creature's advice seriously.
"Enter stranger but take heed, of what awaits the sin of greed. For those who take but do not earn must pay most dearly in their turn. So, if you seek beneath our floors a treasure that was never yours, thief you have been warned, beware, of finding more than treasure there."
With an approving nod, he was ushered into the main hall of the building. Hagrid walked off to the side looking uncertain about the entire situation. Several people were staring as they entered though must were discreet. As for Harry, he didn't know what was so exciting. Perhaps it was the first visit for some of them as well? In that case, they could get their own guard, this one was his. Harry rather liked him.
They stopped at a dark wood desk inlaid with silver at the end of one of the long counters lining the hall. An older odd creature with very small spectacles perched on a very long nose sat behind it. The creature lifted a brow first at the guard, then at harry and lifted both together as the sight of their audience, which was roughly half the hall. The other half was politely pretending they weren't paying any attention.
"What may I do for you?" A gravel-like voice inquired.
Harry's guard motioned at him with his spear. It spoke volumes about Harry's trust -or lack of self-preservation- that he was the only one who didn't flinch at the movement. "Young master visits Gringotts for the first time and has used the proper greetings according to custom. I have, as the goblin with whom he initiated the process, brought him here directly."
Many whispers echoed about. Even Hagrid said something under his breath though Harry couldn't make it out.
"Well done." Murmured the teller.
His beady eyes inspected Harry with interest he didn't bother to hide. Either because he didn't think Harry would notice or because he didn't care if he did. It was enough to make Harry want to squirm and it was quite hard to resist the temptation. Luckily he had a lot of practice with standing still and being quiet thanks to his aunt. She often showed him off to her husband's business partners that came for dinner. The pretty little orphan they'd so graciously taken in or some such nonsense. Still, holding himself still just then seemed like the right thing to do.
"Do you have an account awaiting your arrival mister..."
"Potter sir. Harry James Potter and I am pleased to meet you." Harry said, enthusiastically.
"Potter he said."
"That's the Potter heir? Truly?"
"Is he really mummy?"
Harry blinked and, feeling self-conscious, curled in on himself just a bit. Attention like that never went well for him. He was meant to be polite enough to be passable and other than that remain invisible, or as close to it as he could get himself. He didn't seem to be doing a good job of it. Harry couldn't help but feel unbalanced for not getting a good smack when he knew he deserved once. If his family were here he certainly would have gotten one.
Hagrid cleared his throat and took a single large step forward. "I got his key right here." With that the man pulled unlikely object after unlikely object from one of his pockets, placing each item on the desk much to the teller's dismay. When a cage of mice, a metal lunch box, three balls of yarn, a crate of corked glass tubes and another owl were placed on it, it finally happened. Harry started laughing.
Several small bouts of laughter followed from those watching who thought it might be rude to laugh but apparently didn't find it rude to eavesdrop.
"I don't suppose you've been looking in the right pocket?" The Teller asked dryly.
Hagrid paused to think about it. The teller looked as though he might be considering stabbing himself with is own quill. Seeking to avoid such a thing, as it would put a damper on an otherwise wonderful adventure, Harry tilted onto the very tips of his toes, grasped the edge of the desk with a hand to stay balanced and asked, in his politest voice, "Is there perhaps another way?"
The teller looked at Hagrid who looked at the guard who in turn looked at the teller.
"Er...is there?" Harry asked, trailing off.
"Yes, little magician. Clever thinking on your part." Assured the guard, looking rather smug about something.
The teller pulled out a narrow drawer to his left while Hagrid began the task of somehow fitting everything he'd unpacked back into his pocket. Why the giant didn't carry an equally giant knapsack or something similar was something Harry decided not to bring up. Perhaps he could arrange to get the man one for the winter holidays. He had to have some magical friends at the school, one of the other staff members maybe. They would know what to do. If that failed Harry supposed he could make one.
He did like to sew.
Eventually, the teller brought out a glass ball. He studied it, looked up at harry and then handed it to him. The boy held it carefully and with no small amount of confusion. What was he supposed to do with this? The teller brought out one more object. A single, small, glass tube which he set on the desk.
"This won't hurt." Said the teller.
Harry hadn't even considered that it might and was now worried that it would.
He didn't get much time to worry about it however because within moments he felt a sort of pull from somewhere in his middle and the ball yanked him forward half a foot. Startled, Harry put up his shoe against the side of the teller's desk to keep from moving any further. A good decision as the strength of the pull started to increase shortly after. Harry was glaring at the ball in his hands when he noticed something peculiar. A dim light was growing within the orb, larger and larger as the strange force pulled and pulled. Eventually, the orb was completely filled.
After another ten minutes of nothing at all happening -and his leg close to giving out from the amount of force pulling on him- Harry glanced up at the teller.
"H-how much...longer...do you n-need me to do this because I...think I'm going to g-go flying through...the w-wall behind you in another min...minute. Just so you are p-prepared...for that..."
The teller snapped out of whatever trance everyone had fallen in, waving a hand over the glass tube on the desk. A glow similar to the one in the orb filled it as well. The teller waved his hand once more, the pull stopped and harry fell to the floor with a yelp. He scrambled to his feet and shot a dark look at the creature, intending to tell it off -sharp teeth or no- when he noticed everyone in the entire hall staring at him without even attempting to hide it. In fact, several of them had their mouths open, eyes wide.
Uncomfortable Harry turned to his guard for a suitable explanation.
"What? What did I do?"
That his guard was rubbing his hands together and eyeing him like a particularly favoured possession did nothing to ease his discomfort.
Notes: Thoughts? Guesses? Questions? Theories? Limericks?
Post. Script. As always I have no beta, thus any and all mistakes are entirely my own. Apologies.
AN: Chapter edited as of [2016.10.03] Edited again [2017.01.08]
-Ever Yours. Pseu