Harry Potter and the Serpent Conquest
Book Three of The Heritage Series
Lost in the Wilderness
It took over an hour for the trio the remove all traces of themselves from the flat overlooking the Ministry Apparition point, as they removed the web of protective magic they noticed the increased traffic surrounding the alleyway and then the city became swarmed by dementors.
His argument with Remus had weighed heavily on Harrys mind, he hoped that Remus had gone back to Tonks once he had calmed down and that he would open-up to her about his fears. The two of them were good together if only Remus would allow them to be.
Ron and Hermione had remained mute on the topic, but he knew that they had probably talked about him while his back was turned, and he didn't blame them, after all he knew he had seemed cruel, but he hoped that his actions would help the situation rather than make it worse.
The flat had been returned to its original dilapidated condition, it took time to reverse the cleaning and repairs they had carried out, but they had done it.
With the last threat of the magic in the structure removed, Hermione had grabbed both boys by the arms and twisted on the spot and they left the cold and gloomy dementor infested city far behind.
Given the late hour the three of them decided it would be better if they found a place to stay for the night. Hermione had taken them to a seaside town where she had once stayed with her great aunt. They found a cheap Bed and Breakfast to spend the night which Hermione paid for using the money she had brought with her.
The cost was higher than they had expected it to be when Ron asked to get a separate room rather than share with Harry, he didn't explain his reasoning, but Harry felt like Ron was holding the Remus situation against him.
Harry had tried to sleep but he felt on edge and kept looking out the window expecting to see Death Eaters walking up to the front door, or dementors flying over the sea towards him. Instead he sat with the ivory box Dumbledore had left for him open in front of him and he tried to recall everything he could about the memories that it contained.
Dumbledore had thought that these memories would help them, and he wondered if the box held secrets he had yet to unravel.
What did the memories of his mother's family or that of his muggle family help except show his conception was through a love potion?
He remembered that Sirius had found the Cave because he had found notes in his office made by Dumbledore who have been researching Voldemort's Horcrux's for years, he wondered if the previous headmaster had an idea of how many of the anchors Voldemort had created or if there was other information that could help them now still in the Headmasters office at Hogwarts.
It didn't take long for Harry to exhaust his recollection of the memories, the lack of a pensieve meant that the memories were useless to him now. He wished he had taken the pensieve from Black House, but he had forgotten about it before he sealed the property.
Without further available distractions in the box, Harry tidied up his notes and decided to peruse the book that Nicolas Flamel had gifted him with and hoped it would occupy his mind.
The book contained a wealth of knowledge most of which was beyond Harry's own understanding of numerous aspects of magic. Some of the information that Harry could understand and follow its notes had completely enthralled him, there was observations that he had never considered before, while other pages detailed other cultures magical practices.
He found notes on the wandless practices of the African continent and the notes hypothesised that the invention of the wand and its influences on modern magic and stunted magical development in recent years, and how regrettable that the practice has fallen out of favour because of the difficulty in learning the skill in conjunction with learning to utilize a wand.
Some of the more interesting pages detailed various magics all of which dealt with transmutation, or the transference and siphoning of magic and substances. The notes were drawn from all corners of the world, yet all of them used the same principles to achieve a great array of outcomes.
No matter how interesting he found the book it didn't stop his tiredness from getting the better of him and he fell asleep in his chair with the book on his lap, his dreams was unusually quiet with only glimpses of Voldemort's thoughts.
They left the B&B after a meagre breakfast and they left without a backwards glance or any sign of regret. Not liking being in the same area for too long they disapparated away to avoid detection, being in the muggle world was safer but Harry and Hermione were not going to be complacent, especially when Ron drew attention to himself with his lack of accustom to muggle life.
"So where are we this time?" Ron asked looking around at the open countryside.
"Wiltshire." Harry said pointing across the fields towards the distant rock formation, "What made you pick this place Hermione?"
"It just popped into my head, you know what are the chances of Death Eaters would come to an ancient stone monument?" She said, "I came here once on a school trip."
"Are we safe out here do you think?" Ron asked looking around for any sign of a threat.
"For now." Harry nodded.
The walked away from the stone circle towards the local village and found themselves a local pub and sat in the beer garden at a bench, they were underage, but the staff didn't seem to care or notice.
"I think it is time for us to really sit and plan what we are going to do now, and to come up with places for us to look for the Horcrux's." Hermione said and she pulled out a pad of paper and a pen from her bag, and she conjured a privacy ward around them, "Harry you said that Dumbledore and Sirius believed that Voldemort only used places that held significance to him to hide his horcruxes."
"That was their theory." Harry nodded and from his pocket he pulled out the Locket they he and Sirius had found in the Cave. "This was inside the cave, however that is not the Horcrux, that is right now secure in Gringotts."
"So, what is this then?" Hermione asked picking up the locket, "a decoy?"
"I don't know." Harry admitted, he had never told Sirius the truth behind that fateful night and how it had all been for nothing. "However, that cave was most definitely created to hide and protect a Horcrux."
Hermione studied the locket closely and subtly used a number of spells on it to try and identify any magic in it, but it did not yield to her.
"Well whoever planted this no doubt was trying to hide the theft of the true locket." She pondered, "Shame you never found out how Mrs Black acquired it, we might find out who else has knowledge of this dark secret."
"Let's get back to the point of the situation and away from the failings of the Black family." Ron said darkly, "So how was the cave so significant to warrant the use as a hiding place if this theory is to be proven to be correct."
"Well that cave was where he took two of his fellow orphans and it was where he tormented them, its significance is that was where he first discovered the extent of his power of cruelty and what he could inflict on those who displease him." Harry explained, remembering the memories he had reviewed and his own insight into his psyche. "that cave was the just the start in a long line of unimaginable things he has done."
"The Lestrange Vault?" Hermione asked, "Why didn't he use a vault of his own though? Why use the bank anyway?"
"I don't think he ever had a vault of his own, or if he did I doubt he ever claimed it. After all the Gaunts had no wealth of their own that he could have claimed." Harry shrugged, "However he would have seen the bank the first time he went to Diagon Alley, and he would have envied any who had a vault there, he came from nothing and went through school on a scholar ship."
"So, what was the significance?" Ron asked not understanding, "What does the bank represent to him personally?"
Harry considered what Ron said for a moment, but he found that he could understand the relevance.
"Bellatrix is one of his most loyal followers, the Lestranges are an old family with an old vault." Harry said, "he entrusted his treasure to her to stoke her infatuation to him I would imagine. But it would also mean that the bank would protect his own treasure like it does for the other wizarding families."
"And the Diary?" Ron asked looking unconvinced of the theory, "What is so special about the use of Malfoy Manor."
It was Hermione who answered it this time having followed Harrys reasoning behind the other locations and understanding the significances herself now.
"Well." Hermione said thinking hard, "I suppose he wanted to reward Lucius like he did Bellatrix, however I think he preferred that a part of him was hidden in a large house like Malfoy Manor. They hold a great significance to the old pureblood families. He is a descendant of one of the Ancient families after all, had his family not fallen to poverty they would have had a large estate like the Malfoys."
Ron snorted, "that land was ours once."
Harry and Hermione exchanged a look with each other, they knew it was touchy subject with Ron his families fall from grace had always been a sore point. Of all the Weasleys it effected Ron the most.
"So where else do you think will be important to him?" Harry asked, "I can think of only Hogwarts."
"His school?" Ron said disdainfully, "You have said this more than once, but we are talking about You-Know-Who not you!"
"I am well aware." Harry snapped, "However the two of us are orphans, I am sure you can see the parallels between us both."
"Yes, I can see them." Ron muttered to himself.
"Well we know he hid in Albania for years" Hermione said quickly to prevent an argument, "Its possible he hid something there, but we cannot search an entire forest. What about Borgin and Burkes?"
"I doubt it." Harry reminded her, "Any item of any wealth or significance would have been sold by those greedy old codgers. However, it could also be possible they would recognise the dark stain of his soul on them, it would be too risky."
"Where else would have significance then?" Ron asked, "What about the orphanage?"
"He wouldn't hide one there." Harry said simply, it would be like him using 4 Privet Drive, a place that had him captive for years. "No, that place held no significance."
"You don't know that." Ron said, "If your wrong we could overlook a possible horcrux, so we should still check despite your dismissing it."
Harry looked at his friend and frowned, his attitude was annoying him.
"Fine." Harry said to ease the awkward moment, even though he knew it was a fool's errand. "We can travel to the Orphanage and see what he left there."
"Good." Ron nodded, and he turned to Hermione, "At least we have a plan now, so once we get the Horcrux that is there we will be a step closer to finishing this war and can get back to normal."
Hermione didn't look convinced and frowned in confusion and looked between both her friends, "Well what if there isn't one there, surely we should be sure we have crossed every T and dotted every I. "
Ron shot her annoyed look and took off inside the pub to get a drink, although what he would order from a muggle pub Harry didn't know.
"What is his problem?" Harry asked Hermione.
"I don't know." She said biting her lip and staring at Ron talking to the barman, "he is just struggling to adapt to our new situation, he is worried about his family though. His shoulder is hurting still which is making him irritable. I think he thought you knew more than you do."
Harry blinked surprised, "you all know exactly what I know, I thought I made that clear."
"No, you did." Hermione said firmly, "I have tried to talk to him about it, but he is being stubborn, I think he just wants to do more to help people."
That wasn't something Harry could argue against, it was after all why they had targeted the Ministry to help the people by getting the Order the tools that they need.
"I don't disagree, we do need to help the people I just feel the best way we can do that is to take down Voldemort." Harry stressed, "the longer he lives the longer this war will last."
"You don't have to convince me of that Harry." Hermione said as she threw the locket into her bag, "I understand what is at stake, however the two of us have less to lose in this war."
It was an odd thing to hear coming from Hermione but then he supposed there was a truth in what she said that he hadn't thought of before.
"What kind of pub doesn't serve butterbeer!" Ron complained as he stormed out of the pub.
Hermione rolled her eyes, "Really Ronald. Butterbeer is a wizard drink, you should have ordered a lemonade or Coke."
"Let's go." Ron said moodily, "It is going to take us a while to find the Orphanage I would imagine, do you even know where it is?"
"London." Harry shrugged, "but I really don't think…"
"So, let's go." Ron said ignoring him.
Hermione gave Harry a look to tell him to not to press the topic and he agreed although he wondered wanted to have it out with Ron to get everything out in the open so that they could sort things out.
They had made their way back to London looking for Wools Orphanage, but they could not find it and they had been forced to go to the Records Office to find its location. It was hard being in the city with the skies filled with Dementors, more than once they had been forced to change direction as a dementor floated down the street.
It took almost half a day for them to find a record of the old orphanage and when they did they immediately set out to its location.
However rather than find the building that Harry had seen in the memories they instead found a large tower block of offices. The Orphanage had been demolished decades prior as part of an urban redevelopment program by the looks of the area.
"What about if it is under the building?" Ron said eagerly walking around the building as if expecting to find a large sign that said a Horcrux is buried here. "We can't know for certain that there wasn't one here, it could have been found?"
"That's a good idea, lets destroyed this building and dig up its foundations on the off chance that there is something hidden here." Harry said waspishly having been forced to come here even though he knew it was a fools errand.
"Well it's not like you have any other ideas!" Ron said angrily, "Do you have any other dead ends to send us down?"
"I didn't want to come here in the first place." Harry reminded him curtly, "This was your idea, I said he would never have placed one of his anchors to life here, but you wouldn't listen. We need to try and find out how many of the damned things he made."
"How do we find that out?" Ron demanded heatedly, "Do you think he will tell us if we ask him nicely?"
"I don't know." Harry admitted even though he wished he had an answer.
"Well I don't think he could have made that many." Hermione interjected getting between them both as if she couldn't bodily block their sniping. "From what I have read on the subject there is only so much manipulation you can perform on the human soul, I am surprised he created as many as we know about."
"Why?" Harry asked, he hadn't read the books on the subject himself as he didn't want to learn that magic, not to mention Hermione had the books secure in her bag.
"From what I read splitting the soul and extracting a piece and storing it outside of the body is an afront of nature and that damage dehumanises the person." Hermione explained, "Harry you said he didn't look entirely human anymore, you said he looked partially reptilian, or snake like?"
"Well he doesn't have a nose." Harry shrugged dismissively, "I always thought it was because of him feeding on Nagini that he looked like that."
"Yet again showing your lack of knowledge." Ron muttered quietly but not quietly enough for Harry not to have heard.
"What was that Ron?" Harry asked darkly, "You think I should have more information? Do you think this connection Voldemort and I share allows me to know everything he does?"
"Well it has to be good for something!" Ron said bitingly.
"Lets..." Hermione began to say when there was suddenly a crack on the street and the pedestrians around them cried out it shock. "That sounded like apparation!"
The busy street became chaos as spells began to hit people and then a light wall began to appear around the street.
"Containment ward!" Ron cursed, "We need to move now!"
Even as Ron spoke Harry dived towards his friends and gripped hold of them in a vice-like grip and twisted in mid-air before he fell on his face and they were drawn into the compressive nothingness.
One thing was abundantly clear to Harry, London was not safe. They had somehow tracked them to the street. And he wondered if they had somehow placed a new detection ward over the city which enabled them to trace witches and wizards out in the open in muggle areas.
However something else that occurred to Harry as they landed heavily in the field where they had landed after fleeing France on their mounts, was that the trip to the orphanage was a waste of their time and had almost led to their discovery which was entirely Rons fault.
While the wizarding world fell into further chaos, the residence of the Burrow sat at the Dinning Room table discussing the latest intelligence from the Order of the Phoenix, none of the most recent news was good and more importantly none of it pertained to the three people who they most wanted to know about.
The Muggleborn Registration Committee had been hindered by the loss of the ministry records but was still operating and was targeting those known to have what they deemed to be questionable heritage.
Many of such families had disappeared into hiding having noticed the foresight to see the changes that had been happening with the death of the previous minister. However, others hadn't been quick enough and were being arrested and forced to register themselves.
The Order had discovered that the Ministry was now paying witches and wizards for any tips on hiding muggleborns. They had also discovered that groups of unscrupulous people were being paid to act as enforcers of the Committee. These Snatchers as they were being called would apprehend suspected muggleborns by force, detain them and transport them for processing in exchange for a bounty.
So far the Order had managed to prevent a number of families being taken into custody and had reached out to many of the younger muggleborns and their families to prevent them being found and arrested and encouraged them to hide within the muggle where possible.
What the Order truly needed now was more resources, they were spread so thin and watched so closely it was difficult for them to do anything. Even those that they saved or warned they couldn't put them up anywhere as they had no safe houses left.
"I forgot to tell you all, I saw a large family being escorted through the ministry today. Both parents and there four children were there, the parents might have been muggleborn, but their children were not." Arthur said solemnly as he sat looking into his cup of tea, he was tired, and his face looked to be more lined than ever. "The youngest could have been no older than four years old. The worse part of this was that they were not apprehended by Snatchers, they turned themselves in voluntarily."
"What happened to them?" Molly gasped looking truly alarmed, "They are alive, aren't they?"
"I believe so," Arthur said quickly to reassure her, "According to Maggie they were given a lighter sentence because they volunteered. The father was sent to Azkaban for his supposed crimes while the wife is now under house arrest and monitored by the Ministry and she forfeited her wand."
"That is disgusting." Bill said shaking his head, "The children weren't not left traumatised?"
"No, they were taken into custody by the DMLE, they were protected by some of the more decent members of the department." Arthur shuddered, "It is a good thing Umbridge is still injured otherwise I fear the entire family would be in Azkaban. The issue is that many families still have faith in the Ministry and believe that it is safe to register, the Order is failing to help those that turn themselves over out of ignorance."
"We have said this numerous times." Fred said moodily, "If we can get the word out to the people they can help themselves freeing up the Order to help those who cannot help themselves."
"We heard you." Charlie said equally gloomy, "But how can we do that? The Prophet and the other publications are all under the Death Eaters control and all of them publish their ridiculous propaganda. Event if we could interfere with the printing process to place our own messages they would soon correct it and if they recognised our magical signatures they would come for us."
"What about the Quibbler?" Ginny asked quietly from where she sat, she tried not to draw attention to herself as the family discussed the war as her mother was still trying to protect her from it and would march her up to her room if she got too involved.
"You cannot be serious." Charlie snorted, "Xeno's paper? No one would take anything it said seriously! Its filled with pure fluff."
"Not if we give Mr Lovegood the information to publish." Ginny pointed out, "We could write the articles, he just needs to publish them. Wouldn't it be better to get the truth out to some rather than none?"
"Many buy the Quibbler as it is an amusing read." Molly added to the shock of the table, none had expected her to support her only daughter, "But the Prophet is not reporting a lot of what is going on, people are desperate for information, they could turn to other sources for that should it be forthcoming."
"It is a good idea." Bill said smiling proudly at his baby sister, and he turned to his father, "Do you think he would help us? Should we even ask him? The Lovegood's are purebloods so are safe from this new regime…"
"No, they're not." Ginny interrupted, "There are among the most eccentric of our community, the Death Eaters want everyone to follow their world view, can you see them doing that?"
Bill looked shocked for a moment but quickly covered it, "true." He reflected, "however they are for now out of the spotlight. They are at least not in the folder Harry gave dad. What I meant was do we ask them to help us even though we know it will put them at risk, and old Xeno has been wobbly since his wife died, if anything happened to Luna then who knows what he would do."
The room was silent, the Weasleys had known the Lovegoods for years as they were close wizarding neighbours, the older members could remember Pandora Lovegood, Lunas mother and remembered how her death had altered her widowed husband and it had estranged the Weasleys and Lovegoods for years.
"We might ask Xeno if he will help, but only he can tell us if he is willing to do so." Arthur answered he son and heir, "I agree with you that it is not right for us to put him in this position but if he does do it then it was out of freedom rather than coercion."
"I don't like it." Bill muttered darkly, and Fleur placed a supporting hand on his arm.
"Neither do I." Arthur sighed, "But he might be the only ally that we have in this war, and we do desperately need to get the word out to people. If it only saves a few then at least we have managed just that."
"If you think it is too much of a risk to use a publication, what about using the radio?" George offered.
"Most families have a wireless, and it will be hard for the Death Eaters to stop us broadcasting the real news." Fred added joining his twins' line of thought, "Lee works at the WWN, he can show us how we can do it."
"Absolutely not." Molly said aghast, "You have gone from endangering the Lovegoods, to endangering your best friend and all those who work at the WWN."
Fred and George frowned at their mother and looked like they were about to argue with her but decided to hold their tongues. Molly sat at the end of the table half-heartedly knitting one of the Weasley Christmas jumpers, most of her attention however was focused on the clock that sat on the kitchen mantle.
Ron's hand on the clock often moved between saying he was "lost" or joining the rest of the family in being in "Mortal Peril". Whenever his hand moved Molly would stop doing whatever she was doing and stare at the clock as it gave her a sign that her youngest son still lived.
"Should we go on through to the living room dear?" Arthur suggested to his distraught looking wife, she nodded numbly and held onto her while flicking her wand at the clock which began to float and followed them out of the kitchen.
With the parents out of the room the rest all shared a look, and Bill pulled out his wand and gave it a wave and created a sound barrier around them.
"We have to do something." Ginny hissed once the ward was up, "We can't just sit her while Ron is out there fighting!"
"I will approach Xeno about the Quibbler." Bill told her, "Dad won't do it, but we don't have a choice."
"No." Ginny snapped annoyed, "I will speak to Luna. Mr Lovegood will not do anything to endanger her, but she should be able to get him to help us."
"Are you sure?" Charlie asked her.
"I want to go and see her anyway." Ginny said firmly, "We are being forced back to Hogwarts by that new law and we need a plan on how we will fight back."
"You will do no such thing." Charlie said protectively, "You are to keep you head down..."
"What would you do if you were forced to attend a Death Eater run school!" Ginny shot back furious at her brother, "Would you sit still like a good pureblood and eat up the dung they will be selling?"
Charlie took a step away from his sister seeing the fury on her face, while the twins grinned dangerously knowing that their brother was close to having a curse shot at him, they had learnt just how potent her spells could be first hand since she had attended Hogwarts.
"I know you will want to fight Gin." Bill said quietly, he was the even tempered Weasley sibling after all and took after their fathers disposition the most. "I will not try and persuade you otherwise as I would be the exact same in your position. But you need to be smart and keep ahead of the Death Eaters."
"I am not an idiot." Ginny said rolling her eyes, "Snape knows us all too well having taught us for years, we will do what the Order does and undermine them from the shadows."
"Come on then." Fred said poking her in the arm, "We will drop you off on our way back to the shop."
Ginny nodded eagerly and followed her brother to the door.
"Can you let mum know?" George asked Charlie, "You know she won't say yes if she asked permission."
Charlie did not look impressed at being the one who needed to tell their mother where her only daughter had gone and knew that it would not go well at all.
"Fine." He said grinding his teeth, "You will owe me for this, the three of you!"
The Twins and Ginny smiled broadly and all but ran through the door and out into the yard to get beyond the ward boundary before their mother could catch up with them.
Once they had dropped their sister off at the Lovegoods House and said a quick hello to Luna and surprisingly to Neville who was also there, the twins then apparated to their flat in Diagon Alley and quickly sent a note to Lee to come over as soon as he was finished at work.
Three days after their near miss in London the trio had barely stayed in once place for longer than a few hours or so at a time. Harry and Hermione were feeling paranoid after the Death Eaters has somehow tracked them and were not willing to stay in one place out of fear of being found again.
All of them were tired, but they were also hungry as they had run out of food again and they were trying to avoid large population centres for fear of being detected by the wards they thought had been placed across the country.
Ron's mood had soured further as they lacked food, and all but refused to eat the rabbit strew that Harry had managed to cook after hunting for the ingredients once he realised that Harry had killed the creatures for them to eat them.
Grinding his teeth in annoyance Harry poured the strew into two bowls, it was basic, only rabbit, onion, potatoes and carrots that he had managed to summon from a farmer's field as they passed it earlier in the day.
Hermione took the offered bowl eagerly and took a tentative bite of the offered food and looked up surprised.
"This is actually quite nice." She admitted, "Where did you learn to cook like this?"
"Bulgaria." Harry told her, he didn't need to elaborate they knew he had gone through hell when Sirius threw him into the Black Lodge and he had to adapt to survive.
"Did you kill animals when you were their too?" Ron asked looking at him shrewdly.
"I killed only that which I ate." Harry replied steadily.
"You didn't need to eat meat." Ron muttered turning away looking a bit green.
It was true Harry thought to himself, he didn't need to eat meat in order to fill his belly, he killed a creature just to satisfy a hunger that could be otherwise negated by eating plants or mushrooms. He hadn't thought of it before but then who thinks about where the meat that is on their plate comes from unless is staring back at them.
Ron sat and gloomily kept watch over the fields for any sign of Death Eaters or dementors coming towards them while Harry and Hermione sat trying to piece together places that could still have a horcrux hidden within while also planning where they would hide next.
"Seems to me the for all you two plan there is still a lot we don't know." Ron said sourly, "What we do know however is that two of those infernal things are sitting safe within Gringotts right now. So why don't we just deal with those now? Beats roaming the country aimlessly and without a plan."
Harry and Hermione looked at him for a moment and then looked at each other and shrugged.
"Could we get to them?" Hermione asked him, "Ron isn't wrong, if we can get them and destroy them that is two less to worry about."
Harry had considered trying to get into the Vaults to get those Horcrux more than once but getting into London was too risky given how they were tracked last time and Diagon Alley would be even more dangerous and it was why he hadn't voiced the idea himself.
However, they were sealed away in the box that Sirius had created and placed in one of the Black Vaults, to get to the Horcrux they would need to speak with the Goblins and he would need to check the records of vault movements as he didn't know exactly which vault Sirius had place them.
"I think Sirius placed them within one of the Black Trust Vaults." He told them, "However I do not know which one. I also do not have they keys to them so opening them will not be simple, however it is better that they are in a Trust Vault rather than the Ancestral vault. The security is nowhere close to being as strong and those vaults are not that deep."
"You surely can expect help from your Account Manager can't you?" Ron said looking bewildered now, "they are your vaults, you just need to demand access like all the other purebloods."
Harry heard the not so subtle attack Ron threw at him and ignored it.
"I doubt the Goblins are following the new regime, doesn't Bill always say that they believe this to be a wizards war and they do not care which side wins so long as they get their gold?" Hermione said thinking it through, "All we need to do is get through the banks doors and then we should be relatively safe in Goblin territory."
It wasn't that simple Harry thought to himself, while the bank itself was goblin territory the outside was no doubt closely watched by the Death Eaters or the Ministry puppets. However, if they could get passed the wizarding security on the bank then by Goblin Law Harry should be given access to the Vaults.
"If we are to do this then it will only be me who is going down to the vaults." Harry said.
"What?" Hermione said shocked, "No!"
"You want to do this alone? What the hell did you want us to come here with you for then!" Ron growled with annoyance. "Were not here for the fun of it Harry."
"I'm the client." Harry reminded them tightly, "those vaults are mine, as the client I can access them even when disguised. The Goblins will no doubt carry out a blood test to confirm my identity. If the two of you are with me that will complicate the process of me getting down to the vaults and the Goblins will not look as favourably on the two of you. My accounts are old and rich, the two of you do not even have your own personal vaults."
Ron's ears had gone bright red when Harry mentioned his own wealth and then when he mentioned Ron's lack of account he looked ready to hit Harry.
"So I am insignificant in your eyes now because I don't have gold?" He challenged.
"No." Harry said slowly, "I am just pointing out that the Goblins deal with business, they will want to keep mine and will not risk it. With you they are more likely to bar your entry and expose you."
"I don't think he is wrong Ron." Hermione said delicately, "After all if the Goblins expel the two of us and reveal our identities. Your ghoul ruse will be ruined, and your family will have to go on the run. Is there relative safety worth risking because you want to go into the bank?"
"Of course not!" Ron snapped.
"Good." Hermione said, "Then the two of us can remain outside and watch for trouble, we can send you a message should anything change, and you will need to get out."
"Should we not scout out the alley?" Harry asked them, it seemed rash to just go now.
"No." Ron said firmly, "We have the element of surprise, if they are monitoring London and then this needs to happy quickly before reinforcements can arrive."
Harry looked at his friends and could see that this was the path they wanted to take, and he didn't have the energy to try and convince them.
"Fine." He said finally, "But if we are to do this then we will all need to be well rested, this could go awry, and we will need our wits about us."
"Where should we sleep?" Hermione asked, and she picked up her bag, "I have a tent in the bag."
"No Camping." Ron said darkly, "Lets find a cheap B&B again, we can get some real food and sleep on a real bed. You two can place wards over it to protect us."
It was not an idea that appealed to Harry but thought it might improve Ron's mood so nodded and looked at Hermione and frowned, "Do you have the money for this?"
Hermione didn't look as though she wanted to do it either, but she nodded dutifully, "I should do, but if we are not careful we will burn through it all, I cannot afford to keep doing this."
"Nor should you have to." Harry muttered annoyed that they only did this to ease the burden that Ron was becoming.
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Here is the next chapter! So as you will have seen the Order is struggling, but is making strives to help more people but spreading the truth, you will have seen the beginning of the Quibbler publishing the truth for the Order and the idea of using the radio has sparked Fred and George to do something themselves. Ron is acting very glum, let me be very clear this not the same Ron from DH.
This Ron is not only worried for his family, but also wants the war to end as quickly as possible for another reason. If Ron stood in front of a Bogart now what he would see would not be a spider, he worst fear is something else that he fears will come to pass the longer the war drags on.
I read this back and I can see the parallels to the DH if you don't know what is coming which of course I do as I am writing it and I have the entire books plot points written out next to me as I am typing this note!
Next Chapter: So this has the working title of "The Bank Job" however that will most likely change once I have finished it, it is only called that for now so I know what it is about lol. This is so far a hard chapter for me to write, as there is a lot that I need to include in it as it sets up the following chapter.
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