Cleansed Power: Harry Potter, a post OotP fic
Author's note: I've decided to post the start of my firt HP Fic now. I plan on having this story reach over 150k in word count, and most likely the per chapter word count will be higher than what is currently here. I AM searching for a beta reader, and this chapter will go through them after I have decided upon one. (Please note that I will need you to show some sort of previous work and/or editing skill before I consider you as a beta. If anybody has a recommendation regarding a beta, please feel free to let me know) The solid pairing in the fic will be H/Hr. I won't say any others for certain, but the way things are looking is G/N and R/LL. RL/NT are also likely. Note also that Ron will not be portrayed the best for some time, although he will be redeemed. (For those who fear I may make him a 'bad guy', it's just what I view as a logical human reaction when what happens happens)
Without further ado, the disclaimer for this entire fic, and then the story.
Harry Potter and all related characters and storylines are copyrighted by their original owners and leased owners; this is an unauthorized, non-profit, use of the aforementioned material.
Chapter One: Snapping out of it, Explanations, and Cleaning Blood
The journey home to Privet Drive was a sordid affair; glances sent Harry's way by the threatened Dursleys were full of malice, and traffic delayed arrival to his 'home', prolonging the discomfort of forced contact with his 'family'. Harry silently brooded upon the events leading up to his trip away from Hogwarts, providing yet another blatantly depressive fact to his summer existence. He couldn't help but restate in his head the words that caused him this brooding, like a record player jinxed to repeat.
Sirius is dead. He's gone; the only family I've known and liked is gone.
It was his own bloody fault of course – as Hermione had told him before, he had a 'saving-people-thing'. Even as angry as he was at the time, he knew it was true. He'd reasoned out that it wasn't a bad thing…but it had resulted in him killing his only godfather this time rather than saving him. Not to mention the countless times his friends could have been killed, along with Dumbledore and others of the Order.
I'm really brilliant aren't I? Prolly could give Crabbe a run for his money…
He continued expounding upon his own negligence and arrogance as the car pulled into a driveway and stopped. He had already gotten out, grabbed his trunk along with Hedwig, and was standing in his room before he realized that he had done any of it. Returning to his thoughts, Harry began freeing Hedwig, opening his trunk, and putting away his robes and other clothes.
Just as he was reaching for quills and the only remaining pack of parchment he had, a soft trill snapped him out of his mind's own constant nagging. Fawkes sat on his footboard, preening himself with dignity that was matched by Hedwig's own cleaning. He held out a leg which had a small leather roll attached to it. Harry stared mutely at the phoenix, wondering vaguely what he'd done now.
Walking reluctantly over to Fawkes and detaching the leather roll, Harry felt the familiar tingle of magic wash against his hands. The leather suddenly unrolled itself, revealing a piece of regal parchment, which in turn floated off of the leather and into Harry's now empty hands. Promptly, the leather re-rolled itself, and flew back to Fawke's leg – which was still outstretched, giving the appearance that this wasn't too abnormal for him.
Harry glance down at the parchment, realizing what he had just received. This was no ordinary letter; it was something of utmost importance – a sealed, promised, and more importantly expensive letter and piece of parchment now rested in his hands. This letter could only be read by the one it was intended for, unless they chose to share the information with another, and had to be sealed by the person who wrote it, with two others present who both knew a high degree of Occlumency and Legilimency. This was to verify the absolute truth of the document, and the multiple charms and hex-triggers placed around the piece of paper proved just how important it was. Of course, he only knew about these letters because Hermione had told him about them, but still…
Pulling the letter closer after his initial shock of actually seeing one of these, Harry noticed the unique scrawl immediately; this letter was from Sirius.
I know that you're reading this because I died in our most 'Mysterious' location and I would like to send you a message that I was too cowardly to give you before my death. I'm sitting here writing this, knowing that tomorrow evening will be my last…I should let you know how I've come to see that before I move on.
As you know (I hope), your mother Lily was somewhat of a seer – she saw things before they happened, but not to the extent of being able to make predictions…most of the time. Usually with concentration she would be able to see one or two minutes into the 'future', or a possible future. Her gift wasn't incredibly reliable, which is why for the most part it was ignored. She had, though, made a few predictions…you've seen the trance before, so you know when I say that these were different what I mean.
I was caught in the middle of one of these trances while you weren't yet born, and your father was meeting with Dumbledore. It was a short and simple prediction, which I'm thankful for (we both know my memory is rather bad) and I was immediately caught in it when the opening statement was made. For your sake, let me write it down on this parchment, so that you can realize the full extent of what I'm trying to tell you.
"Betrayed by his servant, the pad-footed one - he who marauds - shall die the eve of six saviors' escape, in a place most mysterious. Heralding the light his body shall leave, and the marked one's powers shall be unblocked soon after."
Harry was aware that he had sat down on his bed only slightly, while letting the full weight of the prophecy written down sink into his mind. The 'marked one' was an easy guess as to who it was, although Harry felt uncomfortable with the new nickname; he couldn't figure out exactly why the group whom had traveled to the Department of Mysteries was called 'those six of light'. Surely, it could just be in reference to how they are opposing the 'dark', Voldemort, but perhaps it meant something else…
Now I know you're probably going to start saying 'but he didn't know when!'…and you'd be right about that, halfway. I've always been one to follow my hunches – I wouldn't exactly call it intuition – which is why I so rabidly thought that Moony could have betrayed your parents. Well, I was wrong on that account, but don't let that fool you, today I had a feeling that couldn't be ignored. I recalled the prophecy out of the blue, and felt a small sense of resolution settle in my gut. I'm sure you'll like to argue that maybe it didn't have to happen, and that perhaps my resolution was just Kreacher's horrid cooking, but it did. Just trust me, please.
That's enough of all the droopy information for now, huh? Well, let's get on with all the other stuff you need to know. Gringotts will be sending you a letter soon announcing my death and your inheritance of most of my fortune – some is going to our mutual friends, and I have set up a fund for the Hogwarts DADA class to use for equipment and teaching, so in a way it's for you too. If you could give Fred and George my blessing for their shop, that'd be great (In my will I have turned over my full Marauder support for their advertising, so all they need to do is convince Moony).
Harry couldn't help but laugh at the last. Remus would most likely not give a second thought to throwing his support behind the twins if Sirius had. He thought briefly at the amount that Sirius must have to give away if he could give money to Hogwarts that would actually improve it…and as for his own inheritance…he had already received more than enough from his parents.
The rest of the details can wait until the hearing of my will – I assure you, you'll get a kick out of it (even if you are still mad at me for dying). One thing you should know so that Hermione doesn't get sick when you enter Headquarters is that I have ordered Kreacher's death on mine…I know that you would have had to get rid of him anyway (damn House-elf is the only servant I have to betray me), but this saves you the trouble of trying not to kill him – I wouldn't wish his attitude on anyone else (I wonder how many people he's ruined over the years?).
With all that over, let me just say best of luck. Your parents and I will wait for you over here, and tell Moony we'll do the same for him. Hope you can 'unblock' that power soon…perhaps Hermione could help you with that. Indeed, I'm sure she could. (Although I doubt that it will have to do with her being the 'bloody brightest witch in Hogwarts, and a pest too' as Ron told me once)
Harry wasn't quite sure how to take all of this knowledge he'd been presented with. Once he read the prophecy, he'd felt both a weight fall upon his chest at the knowledge that Sirius too had his death dropped upon him with a foresight, and also a sense of relief, knowing that his Godfather didn't blame him. If all Sirius had done was explain the prophecy, Harry would've been a lot less confused though.
"What the does he mean by 'perhaps Hermione could help you…'?"
Of course he'd ask for her help, but why mention her specifically in it? That wasn't only the only bit – Harry never expected a donation to Hogwarts to be part of this more personal letter, perhaps the will, but why in this too? Sighing in frustration rather than sorrow, which was an improvement already from the past few hours of being stuck with the Dursleys, Harry got up from his bed and grabbed some parchment and a quill to begin writing a few people.
Hermione, of course, was the first he wrote. She was not only the most intelligent friend he had, but a person he would trust with anything. Or…almost anything. He wasn't quite sure yet whether he wanted to tell her about the prophecy, but mainly just so that he could protect her. He moved his thoughts back to the letter he was writing. Relating some of what Sirius's letter had said, and the just of what he thought should be kept secure in owl post, then asking for her help. Her help in one, finding this power he was supposed to realize, and then also in figuring out how to feel – guilty at no longer feeling responsible? Hurt for everyone else who didn't have a prophecy as warning? He was pretty sure she'd be surprised at the length of his letter, considering that usually it was she to write the novel-length post.
The next he wrote to was Dumbledore, as Fawkes still sat by his bed, staring at him as he wrote. Hedwig flapped over to Harry as he was finishing the letter to Dumbledore – although since he probably was present for the writing of the letter, it didn't matter. In it he also requested help in finding this power…between Hermione and Dumbledore, he didn't think he'd have to wait long for his power to be revealed.
After tying the letter to Fawkes' leg, the phoenix disappeared in a burst of flames, and Harry could turn his attention to writing a letter to Remus. Relaying all of the information he was asked to by Sirius, and all of the other pieces of information he thought would be useful, Harry continued on to say that the trip home was fine, and that the Dursleys would likely not be paying much attention to him thanks to Moody's little speech.
To Ron he wrote the least, not because he didn't want to say much to him about the ordeal, but because there wasn't a whole lot of information in the letter that Harry felt concerned him, and that would likely lead to uncomfortable questions by his friend. Ron didn't always have the…tact…that Hermione did.
Tying the letters to Hedwig's ready leg, Harry told her where each was to be dropped off, ending with Hermione. She knew that when she got to Hermione's house she was to wait, as she had yet to get an owl of her own.
Exhausted even though it was only just dinner time, Harry went back over to his bed and lay down, taking off his glasses and falling asleep almost immediately.
Hermione was just getting done with dishes from her dessert when a snowy white owl flew in through an open window. Landing on the kitchen counter, she glanced at Hermione's parents before hooting at the girl herself. The hoot sounded so dignified and demanding that her parents began laughing at the regal owl and Hermione threw them a look before turning to see what Hedwig thought was so important.
Untying the letter from Hedwig's talon, she offered her shoulder to the bird and starting walking to the living room, where her parents were seated, just in case his letter was going to cause her worry enough to need to go see him.
"Which wouldn't really be a bad thing," she thought, "the seeing him part that is…"
Shaking the thought out of her head and sitting down on the sofa next to her mum, she opened the length of parchment and was surprised by how much Harry had written. Even when he wasn't dealing with Sirius's death (she cringed in recalling the event, and perhaps just a little also at the still raw part of her chest) he had never written this long of a letter before. As she started reading his letter, tears began forming at her eyes. Seeing this, her mother was slightly anxious.
"Is everything all right dear?" she asked, glancing at her husband with a bit of the worry showing on her face.
Laughing slightly, Hermione replied, "Yes mum, he got a letter from Sirius explaining a few things…and he's taking them quite well. He has even asked me for some help. Not that he really needs to ask of course. What sort of friend would I be if I didn't try and help him with his problems…?"
"Well, what was it that could have made such a change?" her dad cut in, sensing a 'Harry rant', as he'd taken to calling them in his mind, and privately with his wife.
Hermione read a bit more before answering – just so that she could get it right the first time, making everyone's lives easier, "In the letter Sirius told him about a prophecy made by his mum that Sirius would die there, that is, the Department of Mysteries, and knew that it would be that day. A couple other things were in the letter, but that was the most important part."
After a few moments of thoughtful silence, Hermione began to sniff softly as tears flowed upon her cheeks. She had just read into where Harry explained how Sirius had given her money (as a 'mutual friend' as Sirius called most of those he knew) and went on to say that Kreacher was gone, but not quite how. Explaining why she was crying to her mother and father, they sat stunned. From what she made it sound like, she'd be receiving a goodly sum of money – not that they cared about the amount, but it was still a shock.
"Perhaps you should wait until morning to send Hedwig back with a reply, hun, she looks a bit tired right now, and I'm sure you'd like to think through it" her mum said, gently prodding her in the direction of her room, and thus bed, with an arm that was giving a hug at the same time.
As Hermione finished up the letter, she kissed each of her parents good night, and agreed, walking slowly up the stairs and into her room, where she quickly sat Hedwig in her usual spot, on top of her desk, with a water dish and a bit of food laid out. Climbing into her pajamas and then into bed, she fell asleep silently, planning out her response to her best friend, and wondering whether he would perhaps be able to have a better summer this year.
Dumbledore sat at his desk, sipping a cup of cocoa while reading the letter Harry had just sent via Fawkes. Smiling at how Sirius knew exactly when he should tell his Godson this news, he started preparing to help Harry find this power, just as Harry requested. He also prepared for other things, sending out a flurry of owls to people that would be needed once Harry was back from Gringotts and the reading of Sirius's will.
It was a shame that such a good wizard had to be lost before he, the one who was supposedly all-wise, could realize how mistaken he had been in holding him to Grimmauld Place. The guilt of such a loss still weighed on his mind, even though he knew the circumstances of the prophecy. He realized with Sirius's death that he couldn't do the same to Harry. Now more than ever, he was determined that Harry would be protected…but now, it would be Harry protecting himself. He would learn what he wanted to, he would be told all that could be told without betraying trusts, and he would lead the light, just as he was destined to do.
Dumbledore popped a lemon drop into his mouth as he left the Headmaster's private quarters, heading out to Minerva, Severus, and Filius. Yes, he had made a realization, and this one would not cause Harry to suffer. He promised himself that.
Harry scurried about his room, straightening anything that he had left out of place, while eating a piece of toast and steeping tea. When he was sure that everything was in its correct position, and that the tea was coming along quite nicely, he sat down on his bed, thinking of the letter he received earlier this morning from Fawkes.
If you would be so kind as to meet me at your home's doorstep at 10:00 today, I have multiple things I think we should discuss. I assure you that you will not be disappointed.
It was currently 9:57, and Harry was still wondering what could have made Dumbledore want to see him so quickly after school had let out. He knew that the letter he had written was asking of some things, but he never expressed the desire to meet immediately – it wouldn't have been considerate.
Whatever the cause, he went downstairs and got to the door just as there was a knock.
Harry went through the motions of 'not knowing' the person outside the door, for the benefit of his Aunt, Uncle, and blob of a cousin. "Who is it?"
"Ah, Harry, this is Albus," was the muffled reply.
The Dursleys shot a glare at the door, and Vernon started to grow red in the face as he recalled just who 'Albus' was. He turned his glare upon Harry's back before recalling Moody's informative briefing, and just what would happen if he made trouble this summer. With an angrier, yet scared face, he turned back to the paper he had been reading.
"If you're the Headmaster, what do you see in the Mirror of Erised?" Harry asked, knowing that this was Dumbledore, but following the protocol that the Order had decided necessary.
"Some good socks," was the mirthful reply from outside.
Finally opening the door, Harry stepped aside to let in the gray-haired, wise old man who was beaming at him with a full-blown twinkle going. He walked in the door and began to speak.
"Good to see you looking well Harry, I honestly thought it would be a bit more time, but nonetheless, good to see you well."
Turning to where the Dursleys sat, he approached Vernon, holding out a hand to shake.
"Vernon, wonderful to see you again, and Petunia you too. I see your garden is just as lovely as ever. Dudley, I have a healthy supply of lemon drops if you'd fancy one, I know many of my students enjoy them."
At this comment he turned slightly to wink at Harry. Meanwhile, Dudley was walking slowly backwards, alternating between clamping his hands to his bottom, and covering his mouth. Vernon merely kept reading the paper, mumbling a 'Thank you, pleasant day, isn't it?' while paling in the face.
Petunia got up, mentioning tea and snacks, but Harry interrupted her.
"Aunt Petunia, I already have some tea going up in my room, so the Professor and I will just go up there for now, if that is alright with him."
Harry looked over to Dumbledore, who just nodded and said, "I imagine that will do nicely Harry."
Giving a small bob of his head to the general direction of the Dursleys he continued, "Vernon, Petunia."
With that, Harry and Dumbledore turned and went up the stairs to Harry's room, closing the door securely behind them. Casting a quick locking charm and silencing bubble around the room, Dumbledore sat down at Harry's desk.
"Professor, would you like a cup?" Harry asked, playing the host for a bit while wondering what was going to happen.
Dumbledore glanced at the tea over his spectacles and surveyed the room for a bit. He turned back to Harry and began speaking.
"While I would love some tea, I believe we should be more preoccupied with business, I'm sorry. If you agree, we have a meeting at Gringotts in twenty minutes, and then we need to see to some new living arrangements."
Harry stared blankly at the headmaster, trying to make sense of all the different pieces of information he gave Harry.
"Er…sir, what?" Harry asked, confused.
"Well, you may of course stay here if you'd like, but I had thought perhaps that you'd like to leave?" Dumbledore said, incessantly twinkling and arching his eyebrows.
Harry looked at Dumbledore in confusion, rapidly thinking of how every time before this summer he'd never been given the choice, "But…but, sir, what about the blood magic?"
Harry got up and began pacing his room, still mulling over what was going on. Dumbledore watched on bemusedly as Harry glanced over a couple times while shaking his head. Finally, Dumbledore spoke again.
"Harry, I imagine this will be better to discuss after our meeting at Gringotts, so let's do that first, shall we?"
Harry looked over at him, stopped pacing, and made a few connections in his mind as to why the talk would be better after Gringotts.
"I get Grimmauld Place, don't I?"
Dumbledore responded with some sadness overcoming his eyes, "I do believe Ms. Granger has rubbed off on you Harry, but yes, I can only imagine you will be receiving Grimmauld Place today. And before you ask, you didn't receive a letter from Gringotts because I told them I would personally bring you to the reading of Sirius's will."
Anger flashed through Harry's head, but was quickly pushed aside as he saw Dumbledore's face, and recognizing that Dumbledore knew that it was Harry's choice on whether to go or not; he just wanted to get things done quickly to move on.
"Well Professor, I believe we've wasted enough time on my confusion, we only have five minutes now until we need to be at Gringotts, correct?"
"Indeed Harry, we'll be traveling by portkey," at this Harry groaned, "and it will take us directly to Gringotts's front gates. If you would please place one hand on?" Pulling out a piece of parchment, Dumbledore held it out to Harry.
Harry felt a smaller tug on his navel than he remembered, and then they were at Gringotts.
Harry landed in his normal way when using a portkey – disheveled, and slightly unbalanced. Dumbledore was just a few steps ahead of him, already having gained his balance and begun walking, so Harry followed. As they entered, nothing truly extraordinary happened, or at least, not until everyone present at that time saw just who had walked in. Not only did Albus Dumbledore, the strongest wizard of the time walked in, but following him was the Boy-Who-Lived. Two of the most famous faces in all the wizarding world walked in together as if it were nothing out of the ordinary.
Harry ignored the looks that they were both receiving and walked up to a Goblin teller with Dumbledore. Dumbledore motioned him up to the teller's window and he saw a rather familiar looking goblin. He wasn't quite sure how he knew – there were lots of goblins, after all, and many of them looked relatively the same – but he knew that this was Griphook, the first Goblin he had 'met'.
Harry, quite sure of his assessment, said, "Hello Griphook, I'm here for a will reading."
The Goblin stared back at him, with a bewildered look upon his face, and then looked over towards Dumbledore, who had an equally shocked look.
Harry looked back at Griphook, and then to Dumbledore. No one else in the bank seemed to have noticed however, as the bustle continued around them.
He looked back to Dumbledore and asked, "Is there something wrong?"
After a moment's silence, Dumbledore asked, "Harry, as far as I know, you've only been to Gringotts a few times, am I correct?"
After tallying his visits up – which Harry admitted weren't many, he said, "Yes, only a couple I believe, but what does that have to do with anything?" Getting a sudden thought in his mind, Harry asked, "I haven't insulted you Griphook, have I? If I have, I'm terribly sorry, I don't know much about my finances, and even less about Goblins…you see my History class is fairly boring and even then we mainly deal with wars…"
Before Harry could ramble on any further, Dumbledore cut in with a smile, "Harry, you've done nothing wrong, but I do believe it's shocking for you to so readily recognize Griphook. Goblins are known for being a bit tricky to identify. Even so, we should leave this for another day, as shocking as it may be, we have a lot of business to attend to, and I imagine that Griphook has his own duties."
Griphook gave a nod at this, while still looking at Harry with what could be considered awe in his eyes. "If you could prick your thumb and validate yourself on this sheet, Mr. Potter, I'd be glad to take you for your piece of the will."
Upon hearing the words 'prick' and 'validate', Harry looked at Griphook in askance, "Why do I need to prick my finger?"
Dumbledore smiled behind Harry as Griphook shook his head and replied, "We need your blood to verify that you're actually you, Mr. Potter. Your blood carries your unique signature not only for your body, but of your magic."
Shrugging his shoulders, Harry pricked his thumb upon a needle proffered by Griphook, then pressed it upon the sheet of paper. The small blood print turned blue as he pulled his thumb off, and then changed to a dark maroon before the sheet of paper burst into flames.
Harry stared where the paper used to be and asked, "Is that supposed to happen?"
Griphook looked up at Dumbledore, and then back down to Harry. "No, but let's try again with a new sheet just to make sure the magic on that piece wasn't faulty." He didn't mention that the last known case of a sheet having faulty magic cast upon it was over ninety years ago.
The same thing happened when Harry placed his thumb upon the sheet again. Slightly alarmed that they couldn't prove that it was really him, he asked, "Why isn't it working?"
Griphook sat in silence for a moment, then spoke again, "I will go get the director to look over this matter. I believe there is some interference with your magic. The blue indicates that your body signature is correct – we know this from samples taken when you were born. The maroon however, shows that your magic is not matching with what it should be."
He then stepped away from his post, and went into a back door.
After waiting for ten minutes, spent with Dumbledore reading a book he had somehow brought out of his robes, and Harry fidgeting, Griphook came back with another Goblin. This Goblin had on a fine dark gold cloak over a peat brown button up shirt and trousers. His hair was well-kempt and had the slight smell of muggle paper checks.
Upon stepping up towards the desk, he announced in a voice only slightly stuffy, "I am Director Bludrok, and if you could offer some more blood into this pot, it would be much appreciated."
As he said this, he pulled out a silver dish that had a pattern of gold laid on the outside that appeared to move as the dish did. It wasn't deep enough to be called a bowl, yet truly couldn't be called a plate either. Pan didn't seem to fit the aura of brilliance it portrayed, and so the only thing Harry could think of calling it was 'dish'.
Dumbledore's eyes glanced down at the dish and he asked Bludrok, "I wasn't aware that I would be seeing the use of Caimloku today. Do you think that it is truly that serious, Director Bludrok?"
Bludrok turned his eyes up at Dumbledore and said, "It is Mr. Potter, and his account is one of our largest, so it would be a dishonor to the both of us if I used anything lesser."
Smiling at Harry's surprised face, and then placing his book back in his robes, Dumbledore simply replied, "Very well." Towards Harry he said, "Do not worry about the blood, Goblins are the keepers of the most advanced blood magic on the planet. They know what they are doing."
Still a little unnerved at the prospect of giving his blood to this…'Caimloku', as Dumbledore had called it, Harry warily pushed his thumb onto the dish only to have it light up spectacularly. Pulling his hand away, he saw liquid forming at the base of the dish, filling to almost the top of the lip. The bowl's lighting died down quite a bit, but it still shone a fair amount, and the liquid in the declined part of it was mainly a see-through black, with strikes of green jumping like electricity within. Nobody moved for a few minutes as the glow slowly faded from the dish.
As soon as the light dispersed, Bludrok began to peer into the liquid. Waving his hands over it to cause slight disruptions, he pulled a piece of parchment over and began writing. Occasionally he would glance up at Harry – particularly the scar on Harry's forehead. It seemed that the only noise that was present was the scratching of quill against paper, and mutterings in Gobbledegook, but Harry couldn't look up to see if everybody in the bank had left, or whether something else had happened. He vaguely thought it unlikely that everyone else had left, but couldn't quite place what could have happened to create such a silence.
After a time that seemed infinite, Bludrok stopped his glare into the black liquid, and set down his quill. He then turned to Griphook, and gave an order in a soft and wondered tone. Harry, still absorbed by the liquid, gave a start when he realized that the Goblin no longer was speaking of the liquid.
Leaning forward on his elbows and grasping his hands together, Bludrok now stared into Harry's eyes as he spoke.
"Mr. Potter, I believe I have found the problem. Please listen to the explanation I have before asking questions, as the situation we have discovered is something quite rare. I would ask the same of you, Mr. Dumbledore."
The Headmaster nodded at this, even though his face clearly showed the desire to ask what had happened – a look Harry couldn't remember seeing Dumbledore have before.
"First, we shall start with some background about the device before you. Caimloku is an ancient artifact that my ancestors created near a thousand years ago. Three hundred lives, all magical Goblins, were sacrificed in her creation. This was during a time of warring between Goblin clans – where curses upon our magic was commonplace, and we needed a device that would show whether somebody was afflicted by such a curse or not. You see, we can remove almost any curse from an object or magic, but first we need to identify it. Within the dish, each curse has its own unique trail, much like each spell you see has its own distinct aura. When your magic signature was disrupted so much that we could not verify it, Griphook had the right thought in thinking that you had been cursed powerfully. What I am seeing in Caimloku proves that. I have come across a number of curses in my considerable lifetime, and have never seen either of these. One, because it is so rare, and the other, because no living thing should have it."
Bludrok gave a moment for his rather lengthy introduction to sink in.
"The first curse really isn't considered a curse when used as magic, but pertaining to blood magic properties it is. It does not actually affect our verification process, because of the relation you had to the caster. I believe that this curse would be protection by a parent cast upon you. As I do not know the specifics of how it was cast and such, and as I don't need to know, I will not dig further. Normally, it wouldn't be causing a problem, but that brings us to the second curse."
Harry nodded, already knowing what curse 'no living thing should have' was.
"The Killing Curse has a very unique signature. We only have records of it because the ministry once thought that perhaps they could protect against it through blood. They were wrong, but their error has given you great fortune today. This curse seems to have interacted with the other I mentioned. The coverage of the familial blood magic is very little, which suggests to me that it has both been eaten away by the Killing Curse, and weakened by time. It would easily take me the flick of my finger to rid you of it. The Killing Curse, however, has remained incredibly strong over the years. I believe this is because magic has been feeding it all this time. Mr. Potter, I will be blunt. If you had not come in here and needed to have you blood verified for this will, you most likely would have died in two years time, after having your magic weaken significantly during the last year. Your magic has been feeding the curse."
Harry tried to make a comment on this, but found that even though he wanted to break his agreement to not speak before Bludrok was done, he couldn't do to the shock he felt. Dumbledore had a brief flash of worry and surprise flash across his face before masking it.
"Now for the good, although bittersweet, news. I am able to remove the curse from you. There will be a price though. Because of how the bonding of the familial magic works, it has been pulled along in with the Killing Curse, and will have to be removed along with the Killing Curse in order to rid yourself of it in its entirety. If you do not, you need not fear your life for another twelve or so years, but I will not be able to break the block on your magic."
At the word 'block' Harry's ears perked up. The prophecy Sirius had mentioned said something about 'unblocked' powers. Bludrok seemed to sense his burning urge to ask the question and said, "Questions are now welcome."
Immediately, Harry asked, "What is this block on my magic, and how will removing these curses remove it. Also, would doing this damage my ability to use magic in any way?"
Bludrok smiled a bit before answering the questions, having seen the Headmaster nod at each point Harry made.
"The block is caused by the curse feeding on your magic. It is like a leech pulling away power from you, so that it may survive and grow stronger. Furthermore, you wouldn't have been affected near as much as you have been if it weren't for the fact that your magic needs to constantly defend against this curse. Initially, the first casting of the curse itself diverted much of your magic to defense. Over the ten years you had until you started Hogwarts, the diversion of your magic increased. As Headmaster Dumbledore can attest to, magical books are more easily read and spell casting is more easily caught on to when a greater amount of magic is available to the Wizard or Witch. This is due to the nature of the magic reacting to the magical theory. What is little known – mainly because of how lost blood magic theory is, is that the magic directly learns the theory through the magical properties of the book – thus the stronger 'pool' if you will of magic will need less time to accumulate the theory. I imagine that as your schooling has gone along, it has been harder and harder to learn spells."
At Harry's nod he continued.
"While I don't doubt there have been other factors that have influence that ability, I would suggest that it is predominantly not your fault. If I'm not mistaken, you are moving into sixth year at this point. I believe it would be wise to contest your OWL results regardless of what they are, and offer the fact that you were under the strain of a curse as reasoning. Your performance, no matter how good, will be astronomically better if you choose to open this blockade."
Harry broke in at this point, asking, "My Defense Against the Dark Arts abilities and grades have always been fairly good though, so doesn't that disprove this theory?"
"I do believe that the fact your magic has been focused on little else besides fighting the strongest Dark Art there is for the past fifteen or so years would contest to that. Now, as for your second question, after removing these curses, my estimates sit at having you recovering your full magic within one week. I would like to point out that if any other Witch or Wizard had this similar experience, they would already be five years dead. If we had been able to remove it from them even before their death, it would take little more than one day to have them recover. This is not a slight to your abilities, but rather, a compliment," Bludrok replied without missing a beat.
Processing what he'd been hearing the last ten minutes, Harry started to ask just how it was a compliment when Dumbledore stepped in.
"Harry, I have seen Caimloku work twice before, each time on a rather…average…wizard whom had a little extra money and thought it would be fun to request her use. The light she gave off upon them lasted a mere three seconds. The light you caused Caimloku to project lasted around four minutes. When Caimloku is casting her light, she is measuring your powers. I believe the difference in your powers with regards to the average Wizard would be about the difference between a liter jug and a muggle petrol transport vehicle."
Bludrok nodded before adding in, "It will take you longer to recuperate such a large amount of magical energy. As for your last question, not only would there be no harm to your ability to cast magic as I think you've figured out, and not only would you be able to learn your materials at above the average level, but your bloodlines natural talents would finally show too. From what I can tell, in your bloodline through you parents, you come directly from at least one Animagus, although it could possibly be two, and the ancestors you draw from on one side of your family have almost all been Animagi. This has a significant impact upon your Transfiguration ability as you might imagine. Also, due to the fact that you have had a charm – your familial blood curse – so closely intertwined with your magic for so long, some affinity towards Charm type magic would appear to be likely. As you have a large boost in defending against Dark attacks from the proximity to the curse, your magic has already had a long time to form itself into a resistance against Dark Magic. If my assumptions are correct, because many remaining classes at Hogwarts are only able to be learned, and not have garnered from blood-magic ties, you will find yourself doing well even with the setback of not being able to study properly for some time."
Harry could only stare vacantly at the Director after finally hearing the end of all he was told. Only realizing that he had stood up at some point in the entire discussion and started pacing after Dumbledore put a hand on his shoulder, Harry tried to sit back in the chair he had taken earlier while shaking. He soon learned that this wasn't a good idea, as the shaking through off his perception of where the chair was. He ended up landing on the hard marble floor, with a laughing Headmaster and grinning Director looking at him. He tried to get up with as much dignity as possible, and brush himself off before sitting down, but he began laughing too; perhaps for different reasons than the other two, but laughing nonetheless. He was still awed at all he had heard, but with his laughter relieving the stress of the situation, he found himself smiling at the thought of feeling his 'true' power. Just before agreeing to have the procedure done in its entirety, he realized he had forgotten one thing. His face turned crestfallen, and he looked at Dumbledore.
"I imagine that I should not have my blood protection removed, Professor?" he asked, in a voice that betrayed his reluctance. The answer he received, however, was one that he should have expected had he been thinking completely.
"Well, Harry, I hardly imagine it matters if you won't be living at Privet Drive after today."
He turned to see a grinning Dumbledore and eyes that were now sparkling rather than twinkling. The old man seemed at least fifty years younger as his eyes showed just how much he wanted to see Harry's 'true' power.
While seeming to barely think about the circumstances, Harry thought about a multitude of things while making the turn back to Director Bludrok. As the curse being lift from him was the most serious that could be inflicted, he knew there would be a lot of risk involved for Bludrok, and also knew that such a thing was important enough to his life to warrant a hefty payment. Thinking about what he'd heard about Goblins, from Hermione of course, during her comparisons of them to the House-elves, and the fact that they were so powerful in Blood Magic, Harry decided upon an appropriate payment. One that after dealing with Bludrok, he felt happy to give.
Harry came back to the now serious face of Bludrok and stated, "In that case, I would ask you to perform this cleansing on me, and would also like to offer to you a trade for this extraordinary service. Even if you would have me not pay you, I think you may reconsider when you hear what I am offering." Steeling himself for the payment, Harry stood and then bent slightly at the waist as he had seen the illustrations do in his History book. (they were the most interesting part, anyway)
"I, Harry James Potter, give to you my Oath as a Wizard, to seek the inclusion of Goblinkind among the fully instated Wizengamot, the Ministry of Magic, and the entirety of the Wizarding world, along your own allied magical creatures, as long as they do hold the intellect to discuss and arrive at decisions fairly. As symbol of this promise, I offer a Blood Pact after the cleansing, so as to bind our races together physically as well as symbolically."
While he hadn't really thought the words that had come out of his mouth – a traditionally given Wizard's Oath bound a spell upon the Wizard who was speaking it to speak only with great import – Harry had to admit that they had a certain flair that his "I'll help you and the other Goblins become a part of Wizard society, along with your friends, and want you to use my blood as part of this promise," didn't.
With the start of the Wizard's Oath, Bludrok had closed his eyes. At the end, Harry could have sworn there was a tear coming out of his eye. Without another word, Bludrok stared at Harry for a moment, nodded his head solemnly, and snapped his fingers. Behind Harry, Dumbledore was awed at the depth of the offer Harry had just offered Bludrok. He had known the strong sense of righteousness that Harry possessed, but he hadn't known just how deeply he was committed to those whom he was grateful to. His eyes also had tears in them, but because of the display of maturity the young man he had watched grow up now showed. After receiving the heartfelt apology for the destruction of his office space along with Harry's request for help, he knew the young man in front of him would grow to be an extraordinary wizard and gentleman.
A half dozen Goblins came to Bludrok after the snap of his fingers, lead by Griphook, whom because of the fact that he was the one to bring this to the attention of the Director, was in extreme favor right now. They began to draw a large circle of liquid similar to what was in Caimloku right now around Harry and Bludrok. Upon their own bodies they traced multiple runes, and then did the same to Harry. Bludrok dipped his hands into the liquid within Caimloku and drew the same runes upon himself, along with many more complicated designs. The Goblins who had been drawing the circle and runes sat themselves on the circle's lines and started a low, humming chant in Gobbledegook.
Harry felt a tingling began to spread from his heart. As it passed through his body, he felt lighter than air, even though he remained firmly in his chair. Bludrok began a higher chant, while pressing his small fingers against the runes paint upon himself before. Caimloku again flared into a brilliant light, and the liquid remaining in her flowed out, connecting Harry and Bludrok's foreheads in a stream of black and green fluid.
Now a separate, euphoric, tingling began from where the fluid touched his head, causing chills of happiness to go down his spine. He became slightly alarmed as the fluid began to writhe in the center point between the Director and himself, but saw the look of concentration on Bludrok's face and was reassured in the thought that he knew what he was doing. A slight pressure started to come next, from his heart again, as though all the blood in his body were being pulled out from that central point. Along with the pressure came another change in the liquid. The green streaks in it started to shorten, some disappearing entirely. This process continued as the pressure strengthened in his chest. When if finally got to the point of feeling almost painful, the green streaks were gone, and the black liquid began fading to a clear white color. The pressure stayed, but began to recede now. Once the liquid turned white, it separated from his forehead and began to flow back into Caimloku. Bludrok lowered the volume of his chanting slowly, and stopped altogether once the liquid was completely contained again. The runes on his body were gone. The outer circle of Goblins began to lower their chant too, and the tingling sensations left Harry. The chanting stopped, and then Bludrok fell back in his chair.
As if snapped out of a trance, the other Goblins fell back where they sat. Worried about the safety of them, Harry began, "Bludrok!" but was interrupted almost instantly when he started speaking.
"I am glad that this worked properly the first time. If you would allow me to rest a moment before we continue on, that would be wonderful."
The Goblins surrounding them were already getting back up tiredly and cleaning the runes off of Harry's body, and their own. A slight char was visible on the floor where the circle had been. A quick couple sweeps from a hand cause all the charring to disappear. The only evidence left of the entire ritual was the white liquid in Caimloku in front of them. Bludrok slowly sat up, looked Harry in the eyes, and smiled widely. His white, sharp teeth were fully exposed, but he looked absolutely gleeful.
"Now, Mr. Potter, I believe that we have some business to take care of. I would be most honored to take care of the matter of your will reading before we continue with your Oath, but it is most ultimately your decision."
Harry didn't even have to think as he stated, "No, I will fulfill my promise before my personal matters. I think it would be only proper after the enormous amount of effort you and your staff just exhibited."
Another Goblin came up carrying a gleaning sliver of a knife, with the handle of it only being a rounded part of the blade. Bludrok fished out a vial the size of Harry's pinky and handed it to the Goblin. Harry dutifully rolled up his sleeve and offered his arm to the Goblin with the knife. The Goblin bowed slightly and placed the vial next to Harry's arm. With a quick motion, a deep cut was made and blood freely fell into the expertly placed vial. When it was full, the goblin ran the blade was again over Harry's cut and it was sealed. Grinning at Harry, he placed a stopper upon the vial and handed it to Bludrok. Bludrok placed a spell over it, and then gave instructions to Griphook behind him. Griphook grabbed the vial, walked to the center of Gringotts where customers were standing upon the bank's runic symbol. He shooed them off of it, and then gently removed the stopper. Pouring the blood slowly over the symbol, he chanted quietly. As soon as the last drop of the blood fell upon the floor, it was absorbed into every piece of the rune. The whole bank seemed to shift, and suddenly a wave pulsed from the rune. Those outside the bank could see its protective shielding become visible for a moment, while those on the inside witnessed the change of everything Gringotts. The floors became shinier, the walls sturdier, everything more gold. The bank itself seemed to have perked up after the rune absorbed Harry's blood.
Bludrok said, with a tone of gratitude, "It would have taken us twenty days of spellcasting, seven quarts of freely given Dragon's blood, and forty-two thousand, nine hundred, thirty-three galleons to do what you have just done to the bank, Mr. Potter. I am suspect to believe that as Mr. Dumbledore stated, you are to average Wizards as 'a liter is to a muggle petrol transportation vehicle.' You have my and the entire banks gratitude. Now, I believe you came here for a will reading. If you could press your thumb against this piece of paper once more, we will begin."
Holding out a third copy of the paper that started this entire day, he smiled at Harry. Not knowing what else to do after seeing what his blood had done to the bank, Harry simply pressed his thumb to the parchment. The small print turned blue, green, and then gold. The parchment rolled itself, flipped into the air, and made a loud pop before disappearing.
Bludrok looked pleased and said, "Let us get on with business, shall we?"
Ending Note: How are you liking it? Feedback is greatly welcome. I hope to have the next chapter out within the week. Doreedo