With a Little Help From My Friends

by Teacherbev

Summary: When Hagrid brought Harry to Diagon Alley, someone noticed something odd about the child and vowed to solve the mystery...with a little help from his friends.

Disclaimer: If you recognize it, I don't own it. If I have borrowed from something that belongs to you, please let me know so that I can either credit you or remove it. No infringement is intended.

AN: I am a retired special education teacher who likes to play in JKR's sandbox and hope you enjoy what I write. I do apologize though, I don't use a beta but I am visually impaired and physically disabled so sometimes I don't catch all of the typos, particularly if it is an actual word so spell check doesn't find it, so please bear with me. I type in 18 font but I can't make the spellchecker any larger..

AN2: I am floored, over 300 reviews so far and I thank everyone of you, especially those of you who gave me prophesies. The best of them are posted on my homepage and if I use yours I will name a character after you, can't guarantee what type of creature you will be but...

Chapter 3: Meetings and Plotting

Gringott's Bank, August 1, 1991

It was still way too early for Bill the next morning when he went to meet Misty and Griphook for an early breakfast before beginning to treat young Harry again. The young goblin healer on duty reported the boy had not so much as stirred the entire night, though Misty told them that was to be expected with him having the Draught of Living Death in his system.

"So what injuries will you have to heal, Misty? I admit I was almost too tired last night for the list to register in my fuzzy brain." Bill asked as he spread some kind of fruit preserve on a crumpet before taking a bite of the fluffy pastry.

She swallowed her bite of cranberry orange scone before answering the handsome young cursebreaker. "Mostly tissue damage from being beaten, some hairline fractures that need strengthening, but a fair few bones that were actually broken without ever being set so they have healed badly. And malnutrition and the long term effects of starvation that you don't see here in England at all. I had to read up on some of my old texts about healers in the third world countries to find some potions and spells to use on the poor boy. His foul relatives must have just fed him the bare minimum necessary for him to survive and even that of very poor quality. He is anemic and has multiple vitamin deficiencies and his weight and bone density is critically low."

Bill had suddenly lost most of his appetite as he thought of his own family. They might be poor in material items but they were never shorted on food or love. And since they grew most of their own vegetables and some fruit, and their mom traded baked goods and preserved food with neighbors and the local market for what they didn't grow, they had never lacked for a healthy variety. His face paled so his freckles stood out even more than normal. "But you will be able to heal him completely won't you?"

Misty nodded because she still had a mouthful. She swallowed and explained, "Because he hasn't hit puberty yet, his body will allow the healing to be complete or nearly so, if he was just a little bit older..." She shrugged and continued. "He has had a constant drain on his magic for the last ten years, that and it has been used for constant healing and supporting the meager food he got, so when the drain is stopped and his nutrition is adequate, he is going to be one massively powerful wizard." She stopped eating in thought and wondered aloud, "I wonder if old Dumbledore was trying to drain him to be a squib? I bet he didn't know the constant steady drain on his magic would have the opposite effect. We're just lucky that Harry seems to be such a nice boy, he could have turned out a bitter, cruel sociopath after the way he was raised you know."

Bill took a sip of tea and agreed, "And we'll all work very hard to keep him that way won't we?"

Forbidden Forest Spring Solstice 1984

Ragnok straightened his formal battle gear before motioning for his son to step up to his right hand, helping him to lead the five member goblin delegation into the clearing for the first conclave of the Magical Beings Council in over two hundred human years.

He looked neither right nor left as he walked through the foliage to the area set aside for his peoples, a short squat throne with a short stool beside it for his son and then three more stools slightly behind for his advisers, Longtooth, Bentnose and Sharpfang.

He nodded at the centaur leader, Greycoat and waited for the meeting to begin. He idly noted the other delegations present and speculated on who they were waiting for and who would refuse to show up. The werewolves were to his right, he nodded at Lupin and Millingham, thankful that the feral ones like old Greyback weren't there. Next to them he spotted six merpeople, each encased in their own bubble of water, followed by an entire flock of fairies, their small bodies flitting around in such a splash of colors that it was impossible to get an accurate count of them.

A single giant sat picking his teeth with a toothpick the size of a log beside a stately dragon and a pair of golden griffons. A small group of unicorns stood somewhat aloof between the griffons and a rollicking mass of kneazles and crups that seemed to be chasing each other like the cats and dogs they resembled. A lone and rare ice phoenix perched above the group in a tree gently ruffling it's silver, blue and gray feathers, it's soft trill sounding like laughter at the antics of the tumbling group below it.

He nodded regally to his counterpart in the dwarfs, Sharp Ax and let his eyes slide over the hags and banshees. Best not to catch their eye, they were unpredictable at best and downright treacherous at times. He chuckled to notice that Aragog the giant acromantula was the only spider allowed entrance and that the centaurs had him surrounded by several well armed stallions with the thestrals and the hypogriffs on either side and Pegasus and Abraxans behind him.

He felt a sudden chill to his left side and turned bowing slightly to a phalanx of the ghosts from Hogwarts. He startled recognizing the four founders of the ancient school. He had not expected them and had not even known that they were still in this plane. He spotted the preternatural glide of a host of vampires appearing next to the ghosts and turned to the middle of the clearing, not expecting any other beings to attend. He waited, his impatience indiscernible to anyone but another goblin, when he startled to see a lone dementor float down from the treetops and stop with his cloak mere inches from the forest floor. It brought to his attention three very old and almost invisible aborigines that had blended into the foliage so well even his keen goblin eyes had failed to spot them. The only reason he had seen them is because they moved slightly to be farther away from the abomination now floating in the peaceful glen.

When it appeared as if no more beings would appear, Greycoat trotted out to the middle of the clearing and the phoenix trilled loudly to get all the beings attention for him. "Thank you Yuki," Greycoat began with a nod to the ice phoenix. "We are all met here tonight to discuss the child of prophecy and what to do about the wizards that are trying to control him. I will need a vow of silence from all of you here today for what we will discuss is sensitive and holy to many of our peoples."

It took quite a while for each species represented to vow and have their promise accepted by the magic of the glade, and the banshees, Aragog, and the covey of hags all refused and left the clearing before Greycoat continued after sending several of his warriors to make sure the beings completely left the area. He dismissed the crups and kneazles though he did tell them if they were needed their help would be solicited later. The merpeople also vowed help if needed but were very uncomfortable outside their normal element and could not help much in the current situation.

Greycoat cleared his throat and nodded to the beings left, somewhat surprised that they had received a vow from the lone dementor present. "I will share our prophecy with you and then would like to hear from any other people that have a similar prophecy about the child or the events soon to unfold. Nine generations ago, over two hundred years ago, our most revered Seer spoke thus. The Prophecy of Pazed made under ruler of the clans in the Forbidden Forest in the season of spring 1787:

Hear you people of the clans and hear you all peoples of the magic realms
Hear you dispossessed and scattered, threatened with annihilation,
You sundered from ancient homes and allies.
Hear the promise and possibility of ending the long exile from your birthright and the balance
Hear and be ready to work together for your restoration lest the chance fade to naught.

For one shall come in the dark days when one race's arrogance shall threaten doom to all;
A child torn also from home and heart and kin,
A child marked by evil's touch turned to evil's bane - by Mars bright light shall this be known -
When the marked one comes then shall the door open and the pathway appear for the restoration of the lost balance.
Then must you call the separated to unite
Then must you united resist the thieves of power
Then must you all aid the marked one with help and guidance to traverse the maze and obstacles placed to draw him to death and destruction for a twisted purpose.

This oh hearers will open the door and reveal the path to recovery and balance in a millennium of peace and prosperity; but find him not or aid him not or seek not union of all magic folk and the door will close, the path collapse and the balance will be crushed in a millennium of darkness and fear."

The glade was completely silent for several long moments as each being pondered the meaning of the centaur's words and compared it to their own knowledge. The oldest of the ancient aborigines stepped forward, suddenly appearing much larger and exuding an aura of power that few of the beings present had ever felt before. "Honored beings, my people have long shunned the world of others but the evil that threatens here now has the potential to destroy the entire world. If non-magical beings discover the magical world they will destroy us all in their quest to understand. And what they cannot understand they will destroy." He waited while several mummers of agreement were sounded and continued, his voice soft as a whisper but still clear to every being present. "We also know of the prophesied child, though our knowledge predates the coming of the arrogant white race to our shores. It was told to JaNettE, a revered prophetess who was given the knowledge during a dream walk

The future of our people rests not with our people
The future of all peoples emerges from the oppressors of all peoples
The future of all of magic will be found marked by power

Our most sacred sigil will rest on his brow
Our most sacred dreams will rest on his shoulders
Our most sacred hopes will rest in his hands

A child touched by death yet lives
A child hated by kin yet loves
A child deceived yet revealed

Self proclaimed Dark seeks to destroy
Self proclaimed Light seeks to control
Self proclaimed crumble as our cry is heard

His voice will call the hated
His voice will call the forgotten
His voice will call the wise

Those of the caverns will come
Those of the forests will come
Those of the night, of the light, of the twilight will come

Into an age of justice with mercy
Into an age of truth and pride
Into an age of equality and balance."

Greycoat called for refreshments and the groups split up and regrouped into small inter-species groups as they discussed the ramifications of the prophesies that had been shared. Ragnok wasn't surprised to be approached by the werewolf Lupin as he was a well known good friend of the elder Potter.

"Esteemed Ragnok my I speak with you for a moment about young Harry?" Lupin said with a bowed head, showing his submission to the leader of the goblins.

Ragnok nodded and gestured for the wizard to lead him off a little way. "I was expecting to speak with you as soon as I saw you in attendance. Before you ask, no I do not know the whereabouts of young Harry and his parent's will was sealed before we were able to execute it."

Lupin smiled wearily and ran a hand through his prematurely graying brown hair, "I thank you for that information, but I know where Harry resides, I just cannot approach it nor can I send a letter to him, either by post or by owl. They are returned to me as no such person exists. His despicable aunt Petunia Dursley has custody of him and he is currently in a small village in Surrey. I have been able to glimpse him from a distance but I cannot approach him without severe pain."

Ragnok raised an eyebrow. "It appears that you do know more than we do. How did you come by this information, if I might ask."

"Because of my condition and the more and more unfavorable laws being passed, I spend most of my time in the non-magical world. I work through a service that provides substitute teachers by the day for primary children. Lily helped me to get the proper credentials and background information and it has worked well. I remembered her sister's name and the name of her husband from some of Lily's rants about her and simply looked them up." He gave a small, rueful chuckle. "It really isn't that hard in the muggle world."

"So what can I help you with Mr. Lupin?"

"I want to know what's going on...I know for a fact that Harry was to go to Sirius, and I know that as Harry's bound godfather, Sirius was physically unable to betray him. He would have lost his magic and his life if he so much as tried. And I know that James and Lily had a list of suitable guardians named, none of them were Petunia and her whale of an abusive husband."

Ragnok was hard pressed not to show any excitement at the news, "Do you remember who was also named as suitable guardians? If we could get the will unsealed, it would help immensely if we already had the paperwork readied."

"Well, I know that I was listed but am now unable since the new anti-werewolf laws were passed. First was Sirius, then me, then Frank and Alice Longbottom, Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall and then finally Filius Flitwick. I know for a fact that Petunia and Dumbledore were both specifically prohibited as well as anyone the old man tried to name, like his pet death eater Snape or the fawning and conniving Molly Weasley."

Ragnok stroked his chin in thought as he hummed a guttural noise deep in his throat. "Yes, Dumbledore tried to convince us that he had a valid marriage betrothal between the youngest Weasley and the young Potter heir, but we pointed out that only the legal Head of House had that right, not a self appointed guardian and when we asked him to unseal the will so that we could verify his claim, he remembered an appointment elsewhere that he was suddenly late for." Ragnok gave the wheezing noise that was a goblin's laugh and Lupin joined in with a soft chuckle.

"Ah yes, I imagine unsealing their will was the last thing the old coot would want." Lupin agreed.

Ragnok looked serious again, "Forgive me if I touch a sensitive subject Mr. Lupin, but I thought you would have sided with Dumbledore, after all he did arrange to have you attend Hogwarts when most other Headmaster's would have scoffed at the mere idea. What turned you against him, if you don't mind my asking?"

Lupin ran a hand through his hair as he thought about his answer for a moment while Ragnok waited patiently. "James, Sirius and I had figured out about the old man before we left school. You know that they became animagi in 5th year to help me?" At Ragnok's simple nod he continued, "Well, it's surprising the amount of information that Peter came back with from scrounging around in his rat form. He would tell us of conversations he would overhear, though I don't think he ever figured out what was going on, I may have loved him like a brother but he wasn't the brightest lumos in the group. So by the end of school, we took anything the old man claimed with a great deal of skepticism and learned how to shift through whatever he claimed to find any truth, and I'll tell you what, there wasn't much of that."

Ragnok leaned forward conspiratorially, "Would it surprise you to know that Peter Pettigrew's vault is still active..." he paused for effect and then continued, "and his will is still sealed within Gringott's system. The magic claims that Mr. Pettigrew is not so dead as the wizard's believe." He stepped back in surprise as Lupin's amber eyes glowed with rage and the power of the werewolf inside threatened to escape.

Lupin visibly shook as he fought internally for control. He turned away and wandered over to a large tree which he punched viciously several times before grabbing the trunk and dropping his head to the rough bark. His shoulders heaved several times before he leaned his head back and howled in pain and rage. The entire group had stilled and turned to watch the raw outpouring of rage and grief. The other werewolves went to him and surrounded him in order to comfort their brother but it was long moments before the other beings returned to their now softer conversations.

Ragnok felt a deep chill enter his body and his group of goblins surrounded him protectively as he turned to find the lone dementor gliding close to where he now stood. He bowed his head warily, unwilling to allow the being to come any closer. Dementers didn't have the same effect upon goblins but they were still not very welcomed.

The dementor touched a medallion on it's throat and screeched like a rusty nail on a metal plate. After a second a mechanical translation issued forth from the medallion. "Ragnok, we want one thing from your Chosen One and in return we shall leave the child alone forever more."

" And what is that one thing?" Ragnok couldn't help the sarcasm in his tone, but he didn't think the dementor would notice anything, after all wizards never noticed anything.

"We do not belong to this plane, we are forced to remain, bound to do the wizards will as long as the Amulet of Nangod remains here. We are bound to the amulet and whoever holds it, currently the miserable, worthless Ministry of fools. Destroy the Amulet and allow us to return to our own plane of existence and we shall give the child the seal of protection. With the seal upon his brow, no demon or evil spirit can possess him and his mind is protected from all outside interference and attack."

"He would be protected from possession, the Imperious curse and attack by Legilimency?" The shock in Ragnok's voice was audible as he pondered the possibilities and the tremendous boon that would be to any child caught between Voldemort and Dumbledore, both of whom used Legilimency as naturally as others breathed.

The dementor nodded and waited for an answer. "Yes, we could destroy that amulet for you. We have long thought the Ministry is too corrupt to have the power you wield at their command. It is too easy for an unscrupulous wizard to interfere with justice and the Kiss is irreversible. Do you know were this amulet is and how it can be destroyed?"

The dementor nodded again, his long tattered cloak billowed out in an unseen breeze with his movement. "It is currently held in the Ministry's vault and it can be destroyed by melting in the furnace used to melt gold into galleons. But the furnace then needs to be destroyed so that the power of the amulet cannot be resurrected ever again."

"If we melted the amulet and then threw the furnace into the fires of Mt. Etna, that would remove any chance of resurrection would it not?" Ragnok had a calculating look upon his face as he stroked the small beard he wore.

"That would be sufficient, or you could just throw the amulet into the lava of the volcano and that would destroy it utterly as well."

"Well then, I think we have a deal, but we cannot show our hand until we have access to the boy himself, It would not due to have the Ministry catch on to what we are doing now would it."

A long crackling hiss emitted from the chilling being, "No it would not. But if you were to, shall we say, remove the amulet and replace it with a cunning forgery, then we would be at your control and would then be able to ignore any Ministry directives to have an 'accident' with certain prisoners as has happened in the past. We are able to taste the guilt or innocence of those we feed upon and know there are a few in Azkaban that do not belong there."

Ragnok showed surprise and his eyebrows elevated as he asked, "How many? And why are they there then?"

"We do not know the exact why, but currently there are still 6 there who do not taste of evil. Throckmorton, McCaffetty, Smithson, Washburn, Black, and Keyes do not belong with us, but we cannot release them. If you were to gain control of the amulet, we could appear to feed upon them without causing their minds to break. As it is, we have been instructed to feed upon them more harshly than the others, and we have been commanded to leave the ones bearing the evil one's mark upon their arm alone."

Ragnok spoke for several more minutes with the dementor, getting the specifics of the amulet and finalizing schemes with the unsettling being before they were called back to the group.

The meeting lasted until sunrise, but a preliminary accord was reached and the individual groups were satisfied with the beginnings that had been made.

August 1, 1991

Bill was surprised to find Ragnok among the group of goblins awaiting them when he and Misty returned to the large chamber that Harry was resting quietly within.

Bill bowed nervously, after all, he had never been in the presence of Ragnok before and didn't know that any human employee ever had. He waited, his head bowed respectfully.

"Rise Senior Cursebreaker Weasley. We have much to discuss and little time to accomplish it. We will dispense with formalities for this occasion." Ragnok motioned for everyone to take a seat at an oval conference table that was over to one side of the room.

"We have a final meeting with the Creatures Council in three days time to finalize our plans but here is what has been worked out over the years." He motioned for Griphook to pass out a sheaf of parchments to each being present.

"Firstly, Mr. Weasley, I know that you are very young for the responsibility, but since you are over 25 the laws of the wizards allow you to receive guardianship of young Harry. If we can push the paperwork through would you accept?"

Bill was speechless and his mouth gaped open most unbecomingly. He ran a hand over his hair and considered his options. Yes, he was 25 but just barely. But he had been taking care of his younger brothers and sister for years . He knew that if anything were to happen to his parents, he was their designated guardian, since no one in their right mind would want Aunt Muriel to have sole custody of Percy's rat, let alone a vulnerable child. Harry was just a couple of months younger than Ron, would he raise Ron is something happened to Mum and Dad? And could he refuse a request from the leader of the goblin nation? He had thankfully lost the gaping goldfish impersonation before he answered. "Yes, Esteemed Ragnok. He is the same age as my youngest brother and I would raise him if something happened to my parents. I could do no less for Harry."

Ragnok grinned and motioned for Bentnose to leave and process the paperwork. He continued to discuss the plan with Bill, Misty, Griphook and Ironfist. "Harry will be secreted in a very secure location once he has been healed and all tracking spells have been removed. That location has been prepared and ready for several years and has layers of wards from goblins, wizards, and dwarfs such that no magic can be detected, no tracking or scrying method will work and it is unplottable and untraceable. We have tutors from many races standing by to begin training the young lad in everything he will need to survive from both the Dark who want him dead and the Light who want him for their own purposes. We will send out several letters to select families seeking out suitable companions and fellow students for him so that he can have friends and classmates as well as trustworthy adults for guidance. We anticipate that most, if not all of the ones we invite will agree, since most of them are disgusted with the current climate in the wizarding world."

As Ragnok stopped to take a drink of water, Bill asked politely. "If you don't mind my question, who will you invite?"

"I do not mind, Mr. Weasley. We will be inviting the families that were supposed to have custody of young Harry, the Longbottoms and the Bones, as well has the Greengrass and Zabini family as they are both from the so-called Dark Magic side but remained neutral in the last war, the Boots, the Abbotts, the Diggorys, and the only Blacks that did not embrace the madness of Voldemort, the Tonks. That would give us nine students, five boys and four girls if young Astoria Greengrass does not participate as she is a year younger than the others, an even ten if she does."

Bill nodded as he pondered the families named. "A good cross-section of pure-blood families, half-blood families, traditional, and progressive... very impressive Esteemed Ragnok, very impressive indeed."

Ragnok smiled, his pointed teeth somewhat menacing, "I am glad you agree, since you will be living with them and teaching them every day. You will teach Ancient Runes, arithmancy and eventually warding and cures-breaking. An aborigine named Summer Storm will teach charms, basic magical theory, wand-less magic and spell casting, a werewolf named Remus Lupin will teach History of Magic as well as Defense against the Dark Arts and Care of Magical Creatures. We have a vampire named Dimitrios who will teach astronomy and rituals. We are hoping that Madame Longbottom will agree to teach Wizarding Etiquette and that Madame Bones will handle Wizarding Law and Politics. Madame Abbott has a Mastery in Healing, Mrs. Tonks has hers in Transfiguration and we hope both will agree to teach. Griphook will teach basic finance and estate management, and Mr. Boot has a black belt in Muggle fighting techniques that we hope he will teach as well as physical fitness. We will add others as the need arises."

Bill whistled softly through his teeth and Misty looked impressed. "May I volunteer my services as well, Esteemed Ragnok?" Misty finally found her voice, she had been too awed by the presence of the King of the Goblin nation to speak before this.

Nodding his head in agreement Ragnok answered, "Of course, Healer Harper, both you and Master Weasley will be paid for your work as you are still working for Gringott's after all. And you will be free to take any of the courses offered if you would like. I do know that Madame Abbot is looking for an apprentice and might consider you for Mastery training if you wish to ask her."

Misty looked like Christmas had come early, she was call Healer here at Gringott's but if she worked at St. Mungo's she would only merit the title of Medi-witch or nurse. An apprenticeship with Madame Abbott would allow her a Mastery in Healing and she would then be able to work almost anywhere she wanted to.

The meeting was cut short as Bentnose came back into the room, accompanied by Longtooth who had not been there before. Bentnose bowed to his king before handing a massive pile of paperwork to Bill. "It only needs your signature everywhere I have marked it and to be witnessed before becoming valid. The muggles were happy to sign over custody and I didn't even have to threaten them." he looked somewhat disappointed that he hadn't needed to harm the detestable muggles.

Ragnok looked pleased and then turned to Ironfist for his news. "I was able to finally procure a copy of the Potter's wills though it cost us a 100 galleon bribe to do so. It does indeed read as Mr. Lupin stated it did. Guardianship was to go to Sirius Black, who it specifically states was not their secret keeper, then Remus Lupin, Frank and Alice Longbottom, Amelia Bones, Minerva McGonagall and finally Filius Flitwick. It bars Dumbledore and the Dursleys specifically and bequeaths 30 pieces of silver to Peter Pettigrew if they are ever betrayed to Voldemort or his Death Eaters."

Ragnok threw back his head and laughed, "And that my friends, will bring down the Ministry and scour the Wizengamot." He rubbed his hands together in glee. "Let us adjourn our meeting now so that Healer Harper can continue her healing of young Harry. Gentle beings, I believe I have some letters to write and you to deliver before our gathering in three days." He stood and left the room, still chuckling in a rather disturbing manner ever few steps. His advisers followed him looking equally pleased.

Misty looked over her shoulder at Bill as she walked over to her patient. "Do you know what that was about, Bill?

"I have no idea, but it doesn't sound good for Fudge and his cronies does it?"

August 3, 1991

Misty had done all of the healing she could on young Harry and was now looking rather nervously at the group of ancient goblins surrounding the stone alter that Harry was laying on. He was still asleep, his emaciated form naked with a sheet draped strategically across his hips for modesty. Bill was standing above his head while she was off to one side, still available should the need arise but out of the way otherwise. Ragnok nodded reverently to the oldest looking goblin that the two humans had ever seen before stepping back and allowing the circle to close around the boy. Several goblins if full battle armor stood with weapons ready while others stood with beautifully ornamented drums, the tops waist high as the drummers stood ready behind them, long, cleaned leg bones of some huge animal at the ready in each hand.

At an almost imperceptible nod from the ancient goblin, a steady thrumming drumbeat began, the tone so low it was felt as much as heard. Simultaneously, the seven goblins encircling Harry began a chant, the monotone interspersed with a descant that added depth and feeling to the indecipherable words being chanted to each drumbeat. Harry began to glow with a soft golden light except for his forehead directly above his scar which pulsed with a black foul beat. A stronger beat joined in on every 7th regular beat, adding an otherworldly feel to the chant. No human rhythm used seven as it's base, but somehow it seemed to fit the goblins. The glow intensified as did the black swirl above Harry's head. Bill was close enough he could have reached out to touch the black cloud but he involuntarily drew back as far as he could while still holding Harry's head still, the black cloud reminding him eerily of a dementor's presence somehow so evil he could almost taste the vileness contained within it. A second drum was added, the tone of this one much higher, clearly audible above all the other drums on every seventh beat as well. The black cloud grew thicker and finally rose above the boy's head, completely clear of his skin. The chant grew, somehow seeming more intense even though the beat and tempo never changed.

Out of the corner of his eye, Bill noticed another goblin, dressed all in flowing white robes now stepped forward, a large red ruby held above his head. It was cut in a heart shape and the point was directly pointed at the swirling miasma. As the chant continued, the cloud elongated, the golden glow around Harry thickening until it was impossible to see the boy within the shield, the light so bright it made Bill squint. A low keening noise issued from the cloud, growing in volume until it resembled a banshee's howl before it was sucked forcefully into the now glowing ruby. A final sequence of beats and the room became unnaturally silent as the final seventh beat echoed.

Stunned motionless, Bill continued to hold Harry's head as all seven of the elderly goblins collapsed boneless to the stone floor. One of the armored guards reached over and opened the door and a phalanx of goblin healers entered and removed the crumpled bodies, each elder being carefully floated out the door without a word being said by anyone.

Ragnok turned to Misty and asked her to scan the boy for anymore spells, his voice still quiet with reverence from what he had just witnessed.

Misty walked towards the alter, her step faltering just a little. She drew her wand and ran it up and down the small still figure before turning to Ragnok with a pleased expression. "Everything's clear, Esteemed Ragnok, even the parasitic soul fragment is gone. We can safely wake him up."

AN: Thank you to all of you who offered prophecies to me, I haven't used them all, and some will be revealed later on in the story as the plot unfolds. Thank you for all of you who read my story, and especially for those who take the time to leave a review.