AN: Sorry about the long wait, but I was on vacation for a bit, plus moving into a new home, setting up a new internet connection, and returning to work in Iraq, it's been nothing but fun and joy. Plus some other stuff has come to light, so updating might be a bit slower now, I don't know, it depends on what happens. Now on with the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own HP or anything like it. I am just borrowing the characters for my play.
The Silence of Harry Potter
Chapter 4: Meetings and a Slight Inheritance – Part 1
Right after the knock on the door
From the last chapter:
"What happened," demanded Sarah as she took in Hermione clutching Harry and heard what she was saying to the near catatonic dull eyed boy.
The look that Filiwi was projecting was one of anger and contriteness. She quickly filled everyone in on what had happened while viewing Harry's memories, ending with her anger at the Dursleys causing Harry's current state. When she was finished describing the final memory, the other three adults were also unhappy with the Dursleys.
Sarah rushed over to the recliner and pulled both children into her lap, giving them both motherly hugs. Gently rocking back and forth, she added her soothing voice to Hermione's as they tried to pull Harry back from his mental refuge.
Filiwi was just to the point of casting a Revenerate spell when there was a knock on the front door.
Brokenblade and Adam shared a look. With a nod, Adam moved over to the door as the Goblin Security Chief took up a position to cover the door. They both knew it was about time for Minerva McGonagall to arrive, but one could never be to cautious.
Peeking through the peephole, Adam saw that it was indeed Minerva. Opening the door, he greeted the aging witch.
"Good morning, Minerva," Adam said with a smile. "Please come in."
The aging witch quickly took in the scene that was unfolding in the room. Turning to look at Adam, with her lips pressed into a thin line, she asked what was going on. While Adam filled her in on what he had been told, Brokenblade looked at Filiwi, his expression saying that he wanted something more.
"Very well," the Goblin Healer started to reply in her native tongue, "but without a Pensive, I can't properly describe what has fully been done to our young charge. What I described to you is just the basics really, the everyday stuff. How he turned out the way that he has is quite surprising."
"So," grunted the Security Head, "he is like this because he relived his memories? What did those dragon dung do to the young Lord to cause this?"
"It isn't what they have done to him," Filiwi sighed, "It's how he responds to anger and aggression that is the problem. When he started to feel my anger at how he was treated, he assumed that is was directed at him and his mind retreated to a place of safety. From watching it happen, it seems that this has evolved as a survival technique that has allowed him to cope with his relatives."
"Can you bring him out of it? Lord Ragnok wants to meet him today and discuss the Treaty with him."
"There might be a way," the Goblin Healer said, tapping her chin, "but it involves moving his most terrifying memories and putting an emotional block on them. He will still remember them, but they wouldn't affect him like they do now."
"I defer to your knowledge in this matter, First Daughter."
Giving her fellow Goblin a hard look, Filiwi turned and moved back to the slowly recovering young man. Kneeling down so she was at his eye level, she re-initiated the mental probe.
My Lord, she projected softly into Harry's mind. I am here.
WHAT are you doing back here, came Hermione's incensed reply.
I promised to help your bondmate, and I will. You both must understand that the anger that I unfortunately showed was not directed at you or Harry, but at those with those with whom he had been placed with.
In Goblin society, Goblin children are considered a precious gift, since there are so few of them born at any one time. To be put through what your bonded has been put through, the ones responsible would have been put to death instantly, and the child would have been made a ward of the Clan Chieftain.
While Hermione chewed on that for a bit, the well meaning Healer continued.
When I let some of my anger show, it reminded Harry of his former home life. So, his mind responded the only way that it has ever responded to such anger, it shut down or more likely, simply transported his mind to someplace that it considers safe. I am here to help you bring him out of his safe place.
And how do you plan to do that?
I know of a way, but as you are his bondmate, I need your permission to do it.
Before Hermione could ask what it was, Filiwi continued.
Basically, what I am going to do is put a block those memories that affect him the most, and move them to an unused part of his mind. He will know what they are, what they contain, but he will not be able to access them without my being here. He will still be the same person that he was before, but those memories will not affect him as much as they used to.
Once things get settled, once a day, I plan on helping him work through each of those memories until he understands that anything that happened in his former home life is not his fault. That there was nothing that he could have done to prevent it. Since you have also seen these events, I would like your help with this and it will help you deal with these memories as well, milady. Will you help me help your bondmate?
Yes!, came the instant reply. Please do what you can to help Harry. I can barely feel him and it's hurting so much. Please, I need him back!
The moment that she said that, Harry came roaring, almost overwhelmingly, back. Before either of the shocked ladies could say anything, the contrite emerald eyed boy spoke softly in his mind, like a small child peeking out from behind a couch after doing something that they weren't supposed to do.
I'm sorry for hurting you, Hermione, I really am, but I was so scared that she was going to be like Uncle Vernon when he is mad like that. Can you forgive me?
Instead of saying anything, the distraught young lady somehow pulled Harry into a crushing, loving mental hug and sobbed with relief in the real world on her bondmate's shoulder.
Of course I do, silly, she eventually said, her mental voice full emotions, but you really didn't do anything wrong, Harry. Your mind did what it always did when faced with that type of anger. Please promise me though that you won't do that again. I can't stand it when I can't feel you. It hurts.
In both the mental world and the physical one, Harry simply nodded his head in agreement.
I promise, Hermione.
Turning to Filiwi, in a very small voice, he asked, Are you still mad at me, Goblin lady?
Mustering up her most soothing voice, she answered.
No, milord, I am not angry or mad at you. The anger that I have is directed at those who put you through this. I promise you that I and those that are with me will never hurt you, Harry. Remember, Brokenblade is offering to teach you and your bondmate how to protect yourselves from others who would like to hurt you. Will you let him?
Before Harry could answer, Hermione answered for the both of them that they would really like to learn how to protect themselves.
Harry, we need to learn this. If only so we can make sure that no one hurts you again. I need you, Harry! I can't go through it again when you fade away from me. Please!
At this point, he was willing to do almost anything to keep Hermione from crying, so he agreed to it. Once he had, his bushy haired soul mate sent him a mental kiss full of every ounce of love that she could. This had the effect that she wanted, it made him realize that maybe, just maybe, he was worth being loved by someone.
Now, the Goblin healer continued, I know of a way that will make it so that the memories that affect you most will not have the same effect as they once did. You will still remember them, but they will not have the hold on you that they now have. I have spoken with your bondmate about this and she thinks that, for now, it is the best way to help you, until we can go through them and talk about them. May I help you?
Will it hurt?
No, it will not hurt. I will just be putting a small block on them. Once we go through them again, one at a time, I promise you that you will come to understand that what happened to you was not in any way your fault, but of those that did it to you. Milady has also agreed to have it done to her, since she has also seen them. It will help you both. May I proceed?
Yes, Harry, let her do this. I will be right here with you when Filiwi does it to both of us. We need to do this.
Hermione and Filiwi could both feel Harry's reluctance, but he eventually conceded to the process. Not knowing what to expect, both children braced themselves for who knew what, but it was over before either of them could panic.
It's done, milord and milady. How do both of you feel?
Both of the children started to browse through their memories, trying to see if anything was different. They quickly realized that the worst of Harry's memories no longer had the same affect on them as they once did. The relieved children both smiled and gave the Goblin Healer a mental hug each.
Thank you, Harry practically shouted in his excitement and kept on repeating it over and over, his joy obvious to both of the ladies.
Thank you, Filiwi. I think that this will help him quite a bit.
No thanks are necessary, milady. I am just doing what I am supposed to, and that is helping milord understand that what happened to him is not his fault.
Still, though, thank you and please, remember to call us by our names, Harry and Hermione. We are not used to being called milord or milady, and I do believe that it will take Harry a long time to even accept being called that by mum or dad, let alone anyone else.
Very well, mi- Hermione. It shall be as you request.
Mentally clearing her throat, Filiwi attracted Harry's attention.
Mi-Harry, she started, you have to understand that this is not a permanent fix. We will still have to go through each and every memory that you and your bondmate have. It will be very painful sometimes, but remember neither I nor Hermione will ever do anything to hurt you. Hermione because she loves you and I because in the short time that I have known you, I have come to realize that you are a very special young man and I am beginning to like you as well.
You, you lo…lov…love m-m-me, Hermione, a very shocked Harry stammered mentally at Hermione.
Yes, Harry, I do, a blushing precocious brown eyed young lady responded, blushing in both the bond and the real world. I have loved you for a very long time, Harry. I know that you don't remember what love is, but you will, I promise, because I am going to show you and so will mum and dad, and Ms McGonagall, and Filiwi and…and…everyone else we met yesterday.
Still not believing that he was worth being loved by anyone, let alone by Hermione, the beautiful girl that he had been dreaming of for so long, Harry just decided it was best to agree with her.
Slowly pulling her doubting bondmate into a loving hug, she decided to show him exactly how much she cared for him. She sent him a mental projection of all of her feelings for him in brilliant burst of emotions through their shared bond.
The emerald eyed young man was left dumbstruck by it. Slowly, his thought processing started coming back. After several more moments, he did something that surprised both Hermione and Filiwi, he returned it in full measure. Both of the ladies were left speechless for several seconds. Filiwi recovered first.
I am sorry, but we have to end this. We have a lot to do today. My father, Lord Ragnok, wants to meet with you before lunch. I understand that it might take a while to get through the various things that have to be done. I also think that there is another meeting scheduled for this afternoon with some very important people. Tonight, we will go over a memory and then file it away. So let us return.
Before either of them could respond, Filiwi broke her connection and ended her probe. Blinking rapidly, her eyes slowly focused on her surroundings. Smiling at the scene in the recliner, the glamour wearing Goblin slowly rose to her feet and moved back over to stand next to Brokenblade.
In the recliner, the two young children were so close, it seemed like that they were of one body. A slight golden glow surrounded the both of them as they pressed their heads together. Hermione wore a huge smile on her face that threatened to split her head in half. Harry's expressive emerald eyes had brightened and he now sported a shy smile, while still looking at the floor. Sarah was still gently rocking the pair gathered in her arms.
"What did you do to cause that," Minerva asked with a worried voice.
"I did what was necessary," explained the Goblin First Daughter. "During this morning's session with Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw and his bondmate, I unfortunately let some of my anger at his former hosts to show through. This in turn caused milord to retreat into his mind as I suspect he has done on several occasions."
"With the help of milady, I was able to bring him back from his place of safety. In order to help him cope with what has been done to him, with permission from both him and his bondmate, I have placed minor memory blocks on the worst of their memories of Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw's … upbringing."
"As for the glow that you are seeing, that is a product their happiness. There was a moment of doubt where milord did not believe that he was worthy of being loved by anyone, let alone his bondmate. Milady simply corrected that and what you are seeing is the result of that action."
Minerva slowly approached those sitting in the recliner. Bending down so she could get a better look at Harry, she let a sly smile briefly cross her features as the Scottish woman saw just how happy the emerald eyed boy was. She also noticed that Harry's clothes had reverted to their original state.
"I see that," the elder witch said with amusement in her voice, "your clothes have changed back to those awful rags of your cousin's. Here, let me fix that, Harry."
Both children and Sarah jumped at the sound of Minerva's voice. Harry slightly more than the others. Noticing this, Minerva quickly reassured him by saying that she was sorry for startling him. He nodded shyly and buried his head in Hermione's hair. With a quick flick of her wand, the Transfiguration Mistress changed Harry's clothes to something more presentable to the world at large.
Turning to the two Goblins, Minerva asked at what time was the meeting set for to see the Clan Chief of the Clan Chiefs. Brokenblade responded that whenever everyone was ready, then they would be transported via portkey to Gringotts and be led to a conference room that had been set aside for this meeting.
The VIP Security Head looked over the assembled group of humans, casting a critical eye on what they were wearing.
"Remember," he said gruffly but gently, "you are meeting someone whom you would consider to be a Royal like your Queen. He is after all the leader of our Nation."
Filiwi gave him a hard look as he said that. The Goblin Warrior had the grace to look sheepish after he saw her look. Before he could say anything else, Filiwi spoke up.
"Sarah, Adam, if you two could change into something that you would wear to a business meeting, that should take care of you. Milady Hermione, Milord Harry, I actually have something here for the both of you that you should wear to this meeting. Please put them on and as soon as everyone is ready, we will be on our way."
Putting action into words, the Goblin Healer reached into her pocket and pulled out a shrunken box and set on the floor next to Hermione. With a snap of her fingers, the box enlarged to the size of a small trunk. Seeing the children's surprised looks, she gestured for them to open it.
Acting together, the bonded pair of kids slowly opened lid on the box. Everyone gasped as they saw what was inside. The clothes it contained appeared to be of very high quality with threads of gold and silver running through the seams. Gently reaching in and grabbing the top most set of robes, Hermione pulled it out and gave it a quick shake.
As the robe unfolded itself, she was in awe of it. A tasteful blend of a deep maroon and light gold, the robe had three Family Crests, one for each family that Harry belonged to. They were absolutely beautiful in Hermione's opinion. Harry just stared at them, afraid to even touch them.
Placing the one that she had pulled from the box on the coffee table, she reached in for the next one. It was as gorgeous as the first one. This one though had a slightly different cut to it, a more feminine cut. The chocolate eyed girl's eyes glistened as she turned to look at the glamour wearing female Goblin.
"For me," she asked in an awed voice.
Filiwi just smiled and nodded her head.
Sarah, Adam and Minerva all marveled at the quality of the robes. Minerva and Sarah both reached out and touched them. The silky smoothness of the material left them wondering just how expensive these robes really were.
"This is Chinese Fire Wolf Spider Silk," cried the Deputy Headmistress. "That is extremely rare! It is even more rare than Acromatula Spider Silk or Basilisk hide. Where did you find these?"
"My father sent them over this morning," Filiwi said with a smile. "From what he told me in a note that he sent with the box, these robes were left with his predecessors to be given to Harry and Hermione when the Treaty was finally activated. Now that the Treaty has been read and is active, these robes now belong to Lord and Lady Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw. Wear them with pride Harry and Hermione, for they were commissioned by your many times removed Grandparents. They also have auto sizing charms on them, so they will grow with you as you age."
One of these is mine?
"Yes, Harry," his soulbond mate said, still in awe of the robes.
Won't someone get mad at me if I wear it and it gets dirty? I don't want anyone to get mad at me, so I don't want to wear it. You can though, Hermione. I think that you would look very nice in it.
Harry blushed as he said that to Hermione over the bond.
Hermione turned to look at the blushing emerald eyed boy. Leaning over, she took a hold of one of his hands and put the other one on his cheek. Slowly, she made him look her in the eyes.
"Harry, my wonderful bondmate," she said in all seriousness, "I promise you, no one will get mad at you if you wear this and it gets dirty. I really don't think that you will be playing in it anyway, Harry. I think that these are just for wearing on special occasions. Right, Filiwi?"
"You are quite right, Hermione," the Goblin First Daughter said. "These robes are only for wearing to a Wizengamot session or for meeting someone who is considered very important, say like my Father or your Queen. These robes are not for everyday wear, so don't worry about wearing them or getting them dirty, Harry. More than likely, you and your Bondmate will only be wearing these, at the most, ten times a year. Today is one of those times, so if you could please, put it on. We really need to get going."
With that being said, Sarah and Adam headed back upstairs to put on their best business suits, while Minerva and Filiwi helped Harry and Hermione with the robes. For his part, Brokenblade informed the security crew that they were preparing to leave the house and go to Gringotts via portkey. Pretty quickly, everyone was ready to go.
Once everyone back in the room and Minerva had transfigured her everyday robes into something more appropriate to meeting the head of the Goblin Nation, Brokeblade produced a length of rope.
"Everyone, please grab hold," the Goblin warrior said gruffly. "This will take us to the directly to the conference room where the meeting with My Lord will take place. You will feel a tug just behind your navel, but the thing to remember is to act like you are walking before we land. I will tell you when to get ready. Now here we go."
Just like that, everyone in the room vanished in a flash of light.
The room that everyone landed in was an overly large conference room. Placed directly in the center of the room was a large ornately carved table of ancient red oak. The inlaid carvings on the table showed various creatures and battle scenes. All around the table were very comfortable looking executive level chairs done in the same color as the table.
At one end of the table, it looked like a mini office had been setup, due to the small file cabinet and desk that had been set in place there. There was also a slightly raised section of the table set to a slight angle like one would find on a podium. Next to the raised section was what looked like a stone bowl with runes carved into it.
Lining the oak paneled walls were various portraits of important passed Goblins and other creatures. The room was lit by two Chrystal chandeliers. The ceiling had a highly detailed mural depicting an ancient battle taking place between goblins and dwarves. There were some comfortable looking couches placed along the walls.
As the arriving group landed, another group was entering the room and heading towards the small office area of the conference room. This group consisted of nine Goblins in very fine clothes. The one in the lead was very old looking distinguished Goblin with silvery hair and human looking features. He was also tall for a Goblin, standing close to average height for a human. His attitude projected power and confidence. It marked him as the Leader of the Goblin Nation.
One was a tiny goblin who mirrored the Goblin leader's mode of dress perfectly. He also carried various scrolls and parchments with him.
The other seven were the leaders of the various Goblin factions that made up the Goblin Nations. They were also dressed to impress. While not a tall as the one leading them, they too were tall for Goblins and projected power and confidence.
Several guards followed their leaders into the conference room. The guards were dressed in enchanted chain mail made of a shiny substance known only to them. They carried swords on their hips, shields on their arms and a spear in their dominate hands. The fierce look that they had in their eyes left no doubt that they would protect their leaders without hesitation.
Finally, three other Goblins flowed into the room. One was wearing the robes of a Master Healer and was obviously female. The other two wore dragon hide armor and gear that was associated with the section of the Bank devoted to the Cursebreakers. The three took up positions near the Clan Chief of the Clan Chiefs.
As the group from the Grangers landed in the room, several things happened at the same time. The two Goblins and Minerva landed on their feet. Adam and Sarah stumbled and only remained standing when they bumped into each other. Hermione and Harry fell to the floor of the room with the bushy haired young Lady landing on top of her emerald eyed Lord. Harry simply slumped into unconsciousness as they landed.
"Harry," asked a confused Hermione. "Harry, are you ok?"
There was no response from the prone figure that she sat on. Gently shaking his head to wake him up, she tried again. The others quickly became aware that something was wrong with Harry and crowded around.
"Come, Harry, please wake up! I can't feel you! Please, Please wake up! It hurts!"
The cries of the frantic nine year finally reached those at the other end of the room.
"Ah, this was not unexpected," said a gruff voice from the end of the table.
Hermione's head snapped up at that.
"What have you done to him," yelled the distraught young Lady.
Everyone quickly noticed that her eyes had started to glow slightly and flecks of emerald green were starting to appear in her eyes. Anger, worry and something else was starting to roll off of her as she sat on top of Harry.
The guards in the room were quick to react by forming a defensive line between the group that had just arrived and those that they were assigned to protect, with their spears lowered to the perceived threat.
"Please be calm, Lady Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw," the leader the Goblin Nation said in what, for a Goblin, was a soothing voice. "Your Lord has not been harmed in any way, it is simply that the wards that protect this room have put him in a state stasis. Perhaps an explanation would suffice while the Master Healer of Gringotts and these Cursebreakes work on your Bonded?"
Far from being soothed, Hermione's anger only increased.
"Why should I trust you," she seethed, her eyes now going completely green and her body starting glow dangerously.
"Please, Milady," the Goblin leader said placating. "We are only trying to help Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw. Please calm down and let my people work on your Lord. While they cure what is wrong with him, I shall explain why this is necessary."
"Fine," she said, anger still dripping off of her. "Start. Now."
Everyone in the room was stunned by the way that Hermione was acting. Adam and Sarah were taken aback by their daughter's actions and tone. She had never behaved like this before. Minerva was stunned into inactivity by the sheer amount of power that Hermione was projecting. She had felt the power that Harry had been unconsciously projecting, but it seemed that the bond had had some affect on Hermione's magic as well. The two Goblins that had escorted them to Gringotts were absolutely stunned at the way that a nine year old witch was talking to and handling the most powerful Goblin in the world. It was simply amazing.
As the trio of Goblins approached the prone figure on the floor, the incensed nine year old stood up off of him, making sure that she still had a grip on his hand. As the trio of Goblins neared, she gave them looks that said if they hurt him, she would do the same to them.
"It will be alright, Milady," the female Master Healer said calmly. "Listen to what my mate says, he truly does have your Lord's best interest at heart. Please, let us do our work."
"Excuse me," Sarah said in a voice filled with shock and a little bit of anger, "but could someone tell me exactly what happened to Harry?"
"Please, everyone, have a seat and all shall be explained. I am Lord Ragnok, Clan Chief of the Clan Chiefs of the Goblin Nation. Those seated around me are my Clan Chiefs for the many Goblin tribes scattered around the globe. The little one is my chief assistant, Griphook. Our Chief Healer, Master Healer Facata and the two Master Cursebreakers, Ripclaw and Bilhook, are here to take care of something that presented itself when Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw last graced these premises."
Minerva, Sarah and Adam decided to take the Goblin elder up on his request and took seats near the end of the table where the prone boy was. Filiwi moved over to help the others with Harry. Brokenblade took up position behind the three human adults. Hermione refused to leave Harry alone and stood next to him with her fierce emerald eyes looking directly into the Elder Goblin's black eyes.
"What do you mean," Minerva said frostily, "'presented itself when Harry was last here'? He was only here yesterday. What have your wards detected that Poppy could not?"
"Something that we have vastly more exposure to," Ragnok said in his gruff voice. "For those of you who don't know, part of the defenses built into this Bank are wards that detect Dark or Black objects that are brought into this building. When young Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw first entered the building, an alarm ward was triggered."
"At first, the readings didn't make sense, so a wait and see approach was adopted to see if what the Security Department was reading was accurate. Once you had left with your young charge, Madam McGonagall, the alarm ward went silent and the readings were proved to true. I have to say that this is the first time that we have ever encountered one of this nature, since they are mostly made of enduring items like a cup, book, or hat. Something that would last for a long time."
By now, both Sarah and Adam were thoroughly confused and Minerva had chill go down her back as she remember something that Dumbledore had told her one time.
"I don't believe that Tom is truly gone for good, Minerva. He will return someday."
The aging Transfiguration Mistress shuddered at the remembrance. Hermione was still staring at the Goblin Leader, fuming.
"What are you talking about," asked a confused Adam.
With a weary sigh, the Goblin Leader continued.
"You have to understand, Mr. Granger, that there are different types of Magical powers. Some deal what is called Light Magic, such as healing and shielding. Others are considered everyday usages, like cleaning charms and a host of others. Then there is what is considered the Dark and Black Magics, but don't confuse one for the other. Most of your basic combat spells can be considered Dark Magic because of the damage that they cause, but some spells are so Dark that they can corrupt the person casting them. Black Magic is something completely different as it deals with death and creatures that are inheritantly evil in nature."
"There is a ritual/spell combination that is considered the Blackest of the Black Magics. First, you have to be willing to commit a cold blooded murder of an innocent being to accomplish it. Secondly, you have to have the power and control necessary to even attempt the ritual and the follow on spell. Finally, the one carrying out the deed must be completely steeped in the Dark and Black Magics and be completely unredeemable."
"After reading what the warning ward detected and consulting with my top Cursebreakers and Healers, it is our belief that the one known as Lord Voldemort was attempting to complete a Horcrux ritual, but something happened to cause it to fail. The ritual and spell are designed to split a person's soul and put the broken off piece into an object for safe keeping, thereby making the person casting the ritual and spell somewhat immortal by having an anchor here on this plane of existence."
Minerva gasped and paled as she heard this. Adam and Sarah looked ready to vomit, while Hermione was growing ever angrier at the situation. Brokenblade just shook his head and sighed heavily and wondered at the stupidity of some human magic users.
"So, if I understand all of this correctly," Adam finally said in a shaky voice, "that the mad man who killed Harry's parents was trying to make himself immortal by doing this Horcrux thing and it somehow backfired, so now Harry might be carrying around part of this psycho's soul? My God, you are all mad!"
As he said that, Sarah gently laid a calming hand on her husband, then leaned over and kissed his cheek.
"Remember, honey," she said with feeling, "our daughter is now part of this world and so is Harry. We need to supportive of them."
Once she said that, Adam looked over at his daughter and saw how she was taking this turn of events. With a sigh, he squeezed her hand in acknowledgement. Getting up, the ex soldier moved over to his angry daughter and pulled her into a loving hug.
Suddenly, Harry's prone body arched in pain as a black mist was forced out of the lightning bolt shaped scar. Once the last of it passed from the open bleeding wound, the boy's body sagged back to the floor, blood oozing from the once sealed scar.
Before the black mist could do more than screech, it was sucked into a vial that had soul binding runes carved all over it and sealed in. The three Goblins that had worked on Harry for the last several minutes sagged with fatigue as the cleansing and purging had taken a lot out of them. Filiwi quickly cast a healing charm on the wound, sealing it back up into its famous shape.
After Facata had tried to reassure the young Lord's mate, she and the two Cursebreakers set to work on the young human. A quick scan revealed that there was indeed a soul fragment incased in the boy's scar. While the Ripclaw setup soul containing wards and his partner prepped the vial which would be used to house the fragment until it could be destroyed, the Head Healer for Gringotts ran a deeper scan over the boy to see how deeply the soul fragment was embedded into the boy's soul and magic.
For some reason, the soul was contained to just the scar and had not merged with the boy's soul at all. The soul fragment's magic however had been absorbed into the magical core of the young man. She also noticed that there were a few blocks, a siphon, and a binding on the human's magic.
Ok, she whispered in her native tongue, the young Lord here does have a soul fragment, but it is contained within the scar on his forehead. It has not merged at all with his soul or mind from what I can tell, and I don't understand why though. That is not to say that some knowledge or magical powers may not have been passed on. The fragment's magic however has been absorbed into his magical core. Will removing the fragment cause any damage to the magical core of this boy?
Ripclaw scratched his chin for a moment as he thought about it.
I don't believe so. If the magic that the soul fragment brought with it has been absorbed into the host's magical core, then it now belongs to the host and not the fragment. By the Sacred Stones! How old was he when this happened?
15 months, grunted Bilhook. For him to absorb his enemy's magic, his core must have been stronger than the other's. And look at his mate, she is just glowing right now. She is already very powerful in her own right. Come, let us get this done. I don't fancy making this one's mate any angrier than she already is.
Fine, Facata hissed. I will monitor his magic and life signs. You two, concentrate on the fragment.
Two affirmative grunts answered her orders. With that, they began the cleansing and purging ritual. The two Cursebreakers chanting softly while the Healer watched the boy's vital signs. It turned out to be far easier than it should have been. It was almost as if something was pushing the fragment out of the boy's body.
The lightning bolt scar burst open in a small spray of blood as the foreign piece of soul was forced from its hiding place. The boy's body arched in pain as the fragment left his body. It was painful to watch for the three Goblins since they hated having to cause the boy anymore pain, but it had to be done in order to get rid of the fragment.
Once all of the soul fragment had been ejected from Harry's prone figure, it was quickly contained in the prepped vial. It would be destroyed as soon as possible, it just reeked of evil.
The three tired Goblins sagged with relief and tiredness as the ritual was concluded. It was then that they noticed that the young Lord's mate still had his hand clasped within her own and not let go during the whole ordeal. A slight glow surrounded the clasped hands. The trio simply stared at that while Filiwi cast a healing charm to close the wound and turn it back into the famous scar.
It is done, my mate, said the tired Healer to Lord Ragnok. I also noticed that there are some blocks, a siphon and a binding on the young Lord's magic and his core. They will have to be removed soon or they could cause irreparable damage to him and his core.
What type of blocks and binding have been placed, grunted one of the Clan Chiefs.
I can't tell from the scan, Clan Chief Falcar. A magical blood test will have to be performed in order to find out. I can tell you that they were not placed there by anyone related to Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw.
Very well, said a displeased Ragnok. Please do it so we can see what we can do for him and his bonded, my mate.
With that, Ripclaw produced a piece of parchment and a quill. Dipping the quill tip into the remaining blood that had pooled around the scar, he cast the necessary spell and let the quill do its work.
As the quill did its job, Ragnok quickly explained what had happened.
"It would seem that there was a piece of the one known as Lord Voldemort's soul in the young Lord. However, it did not bond itself with him, which is why it was so easy to remove it from him. His magical core also absorbed the soul piece's magic as well. This leads to the question of: How did this happen? Only the Sacred Stones know because we do not."
The three human adults gasped as they heard this. Hermione just seemed to get angrier.
"My mate also noticed that there are some blocks on Lord Potter Griffindor-Ravenclaw's magic, along with a binding and a siphon. We are now trying to determine the nature of the blocks, the binding and the siphon. That is what the quill and parchment are currently doing."
Just as soon as he finished speaking, the quill stopped writing and dropped on top of the parchment. Ripclaw picked it up and read what was listed. He let out a low Goblin whistle as he passed it Facata. The Master Healer for Gringotts went pale as she read the parchment.
Hermione, barely in control of her rage, let out a low growl. Facata went even paler as she heard the growl.
"The blocks," the nervous Healer started, "are on Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw's ability to heal himself properly, his Parseltongue magic and his Metamorphmagus abilities. These are just partial blocks and not full blocks as I feared. The Binding on his magical core only lets him use about thirty five to forty percent of his magic. That binding will have to be removed soon or it could cause a backlash. The siphon seems to be powering some wards at two different places, a number four Privet Drive and Hogwarts itself. These blocks, binding and siphon are about seven years old. The spell also reveals a health monitoring charm and a tracking charm."
"By Morgana, what have you done Albus," screeched Minerva, then she started to curse in Gaelic.
"Um," stuttered Sarah, "not to sound rude, but what does this all of this mean?"
"It means," a now angry Chief Goblin Ragnok snarled, "that one Albus Dumbledore has severely over stepped his bounds as Headmaster of Hogwarts and Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, and Supreme Mugwump of the ICW, but no doubt that he will have 'reasonable' explanations for what he has done. You don't get to his positions without knowing how to sidestep something like this. Do what you can for our young charge, Healer Facata. Then we need to get on with why we are here today."
"If you hurt him…," the still incensed Hermione growled out from her father's arms.
"Milady Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw," Ragnok started to say in what was a soothing voice for a Goblin, "we are doing everything that we can to help both him and you. Everything that we are doing is in accordance with the Treaty that was signed by our forbearers. Once these things have been done, I assure that we will fulfill our part of the Treaty as it now has been proven beyond a doubt that your Bonded has already done once what the whole of the entire Magical World could not do in 1981."
Once again, Facata and the two Cursebreakers started to work on Harry. This time though it was to remove the blocks, the siphon, the spells and the binding. After several minutes of work, they announced that they were finished and gave their results to the Leader of the Goblin Nation.
"From what my mate is telling me," the Goblin Elder grunted, "they were successful in removing the blocks, the siphon and two spells, but at this time completely removing the binding would most likely damage to everyone in this room. So they made it so that the binding would slowly dissolve over time."
"How long," asked Minerva, knowing what would have happened if the binding had been completely removed at once.
"My mate says that it would be best of the binding collapses over the course of a month. That will allow the young Lord's body to get used to having access to his full core."
"Do I even want to know what could have happened to Harry if that 'binding' had been removed all at once?"
"Mrs. Granger," Facata said kindly, "if I and these two Cursebreakers had done that, then most likely Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw's magical core would have overloaded causing it to explode. That would have killed him, his Bonded, you, me and everyone in this room and probably the whole building. He is that powerful."
"By setting it up so that the binding slowly dissolves over the course of time, it allows for him to get used to his new power levels. He and his Bonded will need to be monitored while this is happening, but I don't think that it will be too hard on them. As an added benefit, at as far as the magical world is concerned, is that it will be easy for the both of them to learn what is called wandless magic due to their combined power levels."
"'Wandless' magic," asked a confused but still fuming Hermione.
"Yes," answered Minerva. "It is an underused area of human magic, Hermione. What we call 'accidental' magic is actually a form of wandless magic, but is done by children and not adults like myself. Once a wizard or witch gets a wand, they become dependent on the wand and then only the most powerful of us can then use some form of wandless magic. I personally can only do some of the most simplest, basic spells wandlessly. Albus can do more since he is very powerful."
"So," Adam said with a frown, "all of that stuff Hermione has been doing would be considered wandless magic then?"
"Yes," the Transfiguration teacher said, "it usually only happens when the child is stressed or experiencing severe emotions."
Without warning, Harry's eyes popped open. In a blind panic, he ripped his hand from Hermione's grasp and bolted for a corner of the room. Crouching down next to a couch, his rolling eyes took in the room, the occupants and the furniture. Hermione was reeling in mental pain at the fear and other emotions that Harry was projecting.
When Filiwi tried to approach him, she was thrown back by his wildly uncontrolled magic as it lashed out at the least perceived threat to its master. The Goblin guards, still lined up and at the ready from earlier, started to line up the panicked boy for an attack only to find themselves contained by a wall of force.
Hermione let out a scream and clutched her head in pain as she fell to her knees. Adam, knowing better than to even attempt to go the panic driven young boy, held onto his pain stricken daughter as she cried out for her knees.
Sarah, using that soft crooning voice that most mothers use to calm down their children, slowly approached Harry. Sensing no threat coming from the woman, Harry's magic let her pass. Once she was next to him, the loving mother gently pulled Harry into her arms and onto her lap as she sat down with him. Rocking gently, she continued to croon with her mother voice.
Ever so slowly, the raging magical storm slowed to a stop and finally ended when Harry snuggled into the arms and chest of the woman holding him as silent tears fell down his cheeks. Hermione joined the duo when her father realized that she needed to get to Harry and released her from his arms. A soft glow surrounded the children as soon as contact was made.
Harry was apologizing profusely in the bond at causing Hermione to be in pain. Hermione for her part, was trying to explain what had happened from the moment that they had arrived at the Bank, concluding with the spectacle that was Harry's unleashed magic.
I love you, Harry.
I.. I…lo…lov…love…yo…you too, Hermione.
The bond became even more solid once Harry said that.
You do realize, Father, a shaken Filiwi hissed as Brokenblade helped her up from where Harry's magic had tossed her, that whatever trust that I had gained with the young Lord is now lost. It will take me a while to regain it, if ever.
What do mean, Daughter, grunted the Goblin Leader.
The young Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw has been abused both emotionally and physically since he was left with his … CARETAKERS, Filiwi continued, spitting out the last word. He does not trust adults or people who lie to him or hurt him in anyway. From the looks of things, I think that as of right now, he will only trust his Bonded, her mother and possibly Madam McGonagall. He does not trust males at all. His Bonded's father is currently the only male that he might even consider trusting for now.
I and Brokenblade were considered trust worthy because he does not see us as human but as something else. Now though, I don't know, especially after what happened earlier.
Explain, Facata demanded.
Last night and this morning, I had a Mental Healing session with the Lord and Lady. Last night's session went well. At the urging of his Bonded, the young Lord showed me the night of Voldemort's defeat and other memories. This morning's session covered some of what his life was like at the Dursleys. It ended prematurely when I accidentally let some of my anger through mental probe. What the young Lord has gone through should not have happened to any being on this planet.
It took the combined efforts of myself and My Lady to bring him back from his mental place of safety. I then performed a partial memory block on the worst of his memories. The interesting thing is that I also had to perform it on My Lady as well, since they have been dream sharing for about 4 and a half years.
I almost lost his trust with that incident but was able to regain most of it after performing the memory charm. Now because of what has happened, I don't know if he will trust us. You will have a hard sell and will have to prove beyond a doubt that you will not cause him to be harmed.
Can you show us these memories that upset you so?
Not without his or his Bonded's permission, Father. I will not violate his trust and lose what little I possibly still have left.
Very well, Daughter.
While the Goblins had been talking in their native tongue, Minerva slowly approached the clutching trio. Kneeling down, she tried to capture his attention.
"Harry," the aging teacher softly said, "are you going to be alright?"
The look of betrayal and hurt in his eyes cut her to the bone. She was almost in pain at his look. Clearing her throat to remove the lump that had gathered there, she continued.
"Harry dear, has Hermione been showing what has happened since we arrived here at Gringotts?"
He nodded his head.
"Good. Do you understand why the Goblins did what they did?"
"Yes," a shaky voice Hermione answered for Harry, "he does. But we want to know why they did it they way that they did. Why not just explain it first then ask if we wanted it done. Why?"
"I don't know, but let's ask them, shall we? Oh, would you mind sitting either on one of the couches or in a chair, Harry dear? This floor is not exactly comfortable for my old knees."
This brought a shy smile to Harry's face as he nodded his head in agreement. With her knees popping as she stood up, Minerva let out a groan. Hermione let out a giggle while Harry blushed and buried his head in Hermione's bushy hair. Minerva noticed that Hermione's eyes had returned to their normal chocolate brown color.
"Come on you three, up you get."
With Minerva' help, the trio slowly got to their feet and made their way to end of the table furthest from the Goblins at the other end. Both Hermione and Sarah seated Harry between them, with Minerva sitting next to Hermione and Adam next to his wife. Filiwi and Brokenblade took up positions standing behind them. Filiwi placed herself directly behind Harry, while Brokenblade stood behind Adam.
Facata, Ripclaw and Bilhook wondered down to stand with the Goblin Leaders and stood off to one side. The guards were ordered to return to their positions along the walls.
Silence reigned for several moments as Ragnok stared at Harry, trying to get his measure. The ladies surrounding Harry quickly noticed that he started to tremble and shake a little under that stare.
Father, hissed Filiwi warningly.
A grunt answered her warning.
"Before we begin with this meeting," the leader of the Goblin Nation opened in his deep voice, "I would like to state that I will not apologize for taking the actions that I did prior to, during and after your arrival, Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw. I deemed them to be necessary steps in order to fulfill our side of the Treaty."
"As I explained earlier," he continued, "according to our readings, you had a soul fragment attached to you. If I had waited until you were here, explained what we wanted to do, there was a chance the fragment may have realized what was going and tried to take you over. If that had happened, then we would have had no choice but to do everything we could to stop or kill you. That is that nature of Horcruxes. They all seek to return themselves to whatever form that they are from. Now, do you understand why I took this course of action, young Lord Potter Gryffindor-Ravenclaw?"
Contrary to what the Dursleys had continuously told him, Harry was not dumb. He was actually quite intelligent. As he nodded his head that he understood, Hermione hissed a yes. Ragnok sighed.
"Griphook," he called imperiously, "the items from the Treaty vault."
(AN: I thought about ending the chapter here (evil grin in place), but then I figured why not take it a bit further?)
The tiny Goblin hurried over the desk where he had place everything that he had been carrying when he had entered the room. Retrieving a sealed case, he quickly handed it over to his master. Thanking the tiny Goblin, Ragnok took the case and placed on the table in front of himself.
"Now," the Clan Chief of the Clan Chiefs continued, "as you can see, this case is still sealed with both of the Crests of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. What it contains, I do not know. I do know that only you and your Bonded may open this case, My Lord."
With that, Ragnok gave the box a gentle shove and used a bit of his Goblin magic to send it down the table to the other end. Once it arrived there, Hermione grabbed it as it stopped in front of them. Looking at Harry, she nodded to him.
Standing up, they both placed their hands on the box over the Crests. The now familiar tingling sensation made its way through them as it made sure that they were who they were. As the sensation withdrew, the Crests ceased to exist in a puff of smoke. Each grabbing a corner of the lid, the bonded young children opened the box.
Looking inside the box, they saw that it contained several items. The nearby adults also craned their necks to see what was inside. On the top of everything was a scroll neatly tied with a red ribbon. Just below it was a rather thick tome that looked ancient and was bound with a leather cover. Off to one side rested an extremely white egg that seemed to be glowing from the inside. On the other side of the tome lay a golden chain that had a pure diamond gripped in a claw of some kind.
Well, Harry sent to Hermione across the bond.
Take the scroll first, Harry, she responded.
He could see the gleam in her eyes as she looked at the ancient tome nestled in the box. Nodding in agreement, the Horcrux free young man gently lifted the scroll from the box. Before she could grab the leather bound book, Hermione was stopped when the ribbon on the scroll vanished at Harry's touch.
Leaping out of his hands like the letter from Rowena, the scroll floated in the air just above the box. Slowly a head appeared above the scroll. Once the head had reached a kind of solidity, it looked like an older version of Harry, except for the eyes which were a piercing grey.
"Greetings, young ones," the projection boomed out in a deep voice. "You didn't think that I would let Rowena be the only one who enchanted letter to you, did ya?"
The floating head let out a long belly laugh. When it had finally calmed down, the head turned serious.
"I know that by now, Harry, that you have had the soul fragment removed from the scar on your head. I am sorry that I could not tell you sooner, but Rowena forbade me from telling you. She says that if I had, it would have led to disaster and that is what we are trying to avoid."
Turning around, the head greeted the assembled Goblins.
"Greetings, War Chief, may your enemies run from you in fear and my your halls over flow with treasure. I am Godric Gryffindor as you have probably guessed by now. I, Rowena and Helga would like to thank you for helping out our Grandchild and his Bonded Mate. In recognition of the risk that you took for removing that vile filth, I, Rowena and Helga deed to you the area at the edge of the Forrest that you have long used as a safe haven from strife. It is now yours and if you like, the Hogwarts wards may still cover that area if you wish it along with your own wards."
Quickly turning back to Harry, the magical head of Godric smiled.
"Quick, Harry, give the War Chief the parchment that is stuck to the lid of the box!"
Nodding, Harry looked at the lid and saw that there was a piece of parchment stuck to the lid. On instinct, both of the children reached for the parchment at the same time. A tingling and a short glow later, the parchment deed came loose in their hands. Smiling shyly, Harry let Hermione hand the deed over to Filiwi, who sent it zooming to her father.
The gobsmacked Goblins rapidly read through the parchment and it was exactly what the floating head had said it was. When the Goblin Clan Chief saw that the head was looking back at him, he inclined his head slightly and smiled a toothy smile that sent shivers down everyone's spine, including his own Goblins.
"Now that that is over," Godric continued with a smile. "Harry, I know from my loving wife that your life to date has not been ideal. I know, that that is an understatement, but I do promise that it does get better, my Grandson."
"Trust your Bonded, my Heir, and you will know what the right thing is. At some point, you will have to learn to trust others. I know that that will hard for you, but not everyone will hurt you, Harry. That is not to say that there won't be those that will, because there are. It is the nature of things."
"You can trust the Goblins, Harry. They live and die by honor and will honor their word once it is given. Beware though, do not cross them or break your word to them or you will know what it's like to be a hunted animal."
The head shuddered for second, the continued.
"Inside the box, you will find several items. Some are for you and the others are for Hermione. Helga has also included something to help you in your destined task. The box is bigger than it seems, so there is more in there than you can see right now."
The magical head of Godric gave a warm smile to both Harry and Hermione.
"The egg that you see is a phoenix egg. It was given to me by a special friend of mine who said that it would be of great help to you. The book is from Rowena's personal collection, use its knowledge well, Hermione. That necklace that you see is for Harry. Rowena and I both made it. It will allow Harry the ability to mentally talk with those that he chooses to. It works the mind ready spell, but not as tiring. Be warned though, if you use it on those who do not wish to speak with you, Harry, then you could cause to both them and you."
"Under the book, are four sets of basilisk armor. One for each of you, Harry, Hermione and I'm sorry but I don't know the parents names. They will provide protection from some of the more spells that exist. I made those. Beneath those, you will find what Helga has left for you: another book for you on healing and some magical plant seeds that, if grown properly, can be made into healing salves and potions. I do believe that she has left you the necessary instructions on how properly care for her plants."
The magical head then took on a hard look.
"In a hidden pocket of the box, I have left you some wand core material. DO NOT go looking for them right now. Rowena tells me that you will know when the time is right for them to be found and made into your wands, my Grandchildren."
"Use what we have gifted to you well, my Grandchildren. Remember, love and trust each other and you will know happiness, even in the darkest of times. With all of my love, my Heirs. Godric."
With that, the head disappeared in a shower of light and the scroll fell to the table top.
Harry was just about to reach into the box to grab the egg when the door to the conference room opened.
AN: Sorry, couldn't resist it. On a more serious note, I was hoping that this chapter would have been done sooner, but it has taken me close to 3 weeks just to get this far. The next chapter will continue with the meeting and several people will show up to it. IF I can, will try to squeeze in Dumbledore and his reaction to what is going on.
Also, real life sucks. Especially when it gets in the way of writing.