"We goblins are creatures of the earth," K'han explained. "The first goblins were born into a realm of earth and fire, birthed from the rivers of lava that flow up from the very bones of the earth itself. Back then goblins could move through stone like you could water, as we are creatures of earth and fire."
The goblins listened intently while their leader spoke.
"It was a paradise," he said reverently. "We goblins spent our time crafting guns and drawing veins of heavy metal in the layers of rock. We did not walk on the surface and we avoided large bodies of water for comfort reasons, not because we couldn't cross these boundaries. In fact there was only one single solitary thing that could stop us, a living metal that acted like water raining down cracks through the rock until the pressure and the heat caused it to evaporate back into the upper reaches only to rain down again."
"Goblin silver," Kr'Ature said.
"Not yet," K'han corrected. "A large group of goblins found themselves stuck, as a shift in tectonics saw the mountain range they were in surrounded by a forest of living metal. Driven to the upper reaches goblins were discovered by humans and you know how humans are."
"We fear what we don't know, and what we fear, we hate and what we hate… we destroy," Harry said solemnly.
"What?" the goblin leader asked confused. "No, humans aren't like that at all."
"We're not?" Harry asked.
"No, every time you meet a new species you war for a bit, to get everyone's blood pumping, and then the next thing you know there are half human hybrids everywhere!" K'han snorted.
"What?!" Harry stared in shock.
"You humans mate with anything and everything! Whenever you run across a new hybrid of some sort you can be damn sure a humans been involved!"
"My father was human," Billy admitted.
"So was mine," Seline added.
"The giants are half human to begin with," K'han said shaking his head. "I have no idea what humans jumped to create them, but they did it enough to create a stable species once more. We keep careful track of our bloodlines so humans can't breed us out of existence. It doesn't take too much more human blood to turn a goblin warren into a dwarven mine."
"Can we get back to the story please?" Harry begged.
"Sure," K'han said calming down. "Anyway the half human goblins didn't suffer any discomfort from being on the surface or in the water and while they couldn't walk through stone the living metal was easy for them to handle. These new goblins tamed the living metal and turned it into one of our greatest weapons."
"Great," Harry said with a forced smile, positive that if this was a side quest he was much too young deal with it at the moment.
Everyone turned to Aphrodite.
"Partially my fault, but I like to blame my father for all the hybridization, he blazed the path for everything that followed," she explained. "Besides I deal with love, the emotional connection, not the physical expression."
Everyone turned to Eros.
"I'm not apologizing."
Harry returned to the emporium amidst cheers and applause from the residents.
"I can't believe you not only managed to escape from jail, but got the aurors to pay for damages and makes repairs," Shelly said in awe.
Harry waved, rattling his chains, before remembering to put them away. A quick flick of the wrist caused the goblin runed chains to withdraw into his cuffs which themselves shrunk into bracelets. "They had no choice, we're legit," the young wizard said proudly.
It took nearly an hour for all of the former slaves to get a turn checking to see Harry was alright before turning in.
"I can't believe you put me in charge of all this," Stanley said.
Harry grinned. "I figured you'd need a new job, since I'd put you out of business. Plus, you should have enough connections to wholesale potion supplies for us, because we're going to need tons!"
"I do actually," Stanley said thoughtfully.
"How do you apply to Hogwarts," Harry asked Stanley, jumping to a new subject.
"You don't apply, an owl just shows up with your acceptance letter telling you you're in," Stanley explained.
Harry frowned. "That won't work for me. Seline and Billy are obviously a part of my party." Suddenly it occurred to him Shank-Ko was too.
"Can they even do magic?" Stanley asked.
Seline and Billy shrugged.
"I think we need wands to find out," Billy offered.
"Shank-Ko," Harry called out, attracting her attention. "Do you want to attend Hogwarts?"
Shank-Ko frowned. "Too many pureblood bigots and I have too much goblin blood to legally own a wand. I'll stick with goblin magic."
OK, well let's go bug the creepy wandseller. He'll know," Harry decided.
Ollivander was surprised to see Harry return to his shop in such strange company. "Back so soon, Mr. Potter?"
"I need to get wands for Seline and Billy," Harry explained.
"Billy is no problem, as I do have a selection of wands I designed myself to match any half giant customers I may receive, however I have never created a wand for a spider-kin before and while it is not technically illegal, that's probably because the Wizengamot never dreamt anyone would ever do so," the old wandmaker confided.
"I'll pay for a custom wand," Harry said cheerfully.
Ollivander chuckled. "Very well, we'll start with Billy and then move on to Seline."
Unlike Harry's search, Billy's first try sent a fountain of gold and blue sparks in the air.
"Sixteen and a half inches, iron wood, with a core of unicorn mane hairs. While it is excellent for curses and blasting it will excel in any spells involving stone," Ollivander explained. "Due to size and amount of materials it's eighty-five galleons."
"I was being sold for less than that," Billy said, surprised at the cost.
"You're worth a thousand times that amount," Harry assured him cheerfully, setting a bag of galleons on the counter. "We'll need a wand holster and a care kit as well."
"I have a wand holster for it, but since it's iron wood it doesn't need a care kit, just take it in the shower with you," Ollivander explained. "And might I ask why you are carrying a door with you?"
"It's handy to hide behind," Billy said cheerfully.
"I see," Ollivander said in a tone that said he didn't. Turning to Seline he smiled a bit nervously. "Which of the four is your wand hand?"
Seline shrugged. "Any of the four and I can probably use my feet!"
Ollivander frowned. "I'm going to have to resort the spells," he decided pulling out his own wand, which looked to be wood bleached white by the sun and curved like a unicorn's horn.
It took a dozen spells and nearly half an hour before Ollivander determined it to be Musa Sapientumwood. At the children's blank stare he sighed. "Wood from a banana tree," he explained.
"Ahhh," they chorused.
"For a core… I'll need something personal, organic, and with a strong emotional connection to enhance her connection to the core."
Seline handed Harry what looked like a pearl. "Suck on it till it gets soft and then chew on it a bit," she told him popping one into her mouth.
Ollivander grimaced and looked away.
After a minute, Seline accepted the chewed up 'pearl' from Harry and added it to her own, mixing them together and stretching and folding them over until she had a number of strands of silk that she handed to Ollivander.
"Give me an hour," Ollivander told them.
"Okay, see you then," Harry said.
"What do we do now?" Billy asked once they left the shop.
"We need to get you two uniforms," Harry said. "Hogwarts has a dress code."
"I can't wear dresses," Seline complained.
"Why not?" Billy asked.
"When I hang upside down they get in the way," she explained.
"They probably have charms to prevent that," Harry said. "If not, I'll see if I have something in my backpack."
The three entered Madam Malkin's.
"Back so soon?" Madam Malkin asked, casting a calming charm on herself when she saw Harry had a spider-kin with him. Rumors about Harry having a pet spider-kin had already spread through the alley and most wizards and witches only knew of the extremely dangerous man-eaters from stories that ended with the loss of a wizard. Only the fact that it was not fully grown and was escorted by Harry kept her calm enough to cast a calming charm.
"I need Hogwarts uniforms for Seline and Billy," Harry explained, "and Seline's robes need an enchantment that prevents them from falling in her face when she's hanging upside down."
Madam Malkin smiled as that was a topic she was familiar with. "That would be part of our modesty charms line we have for young ladies, though I know of at least one wizard who had it put on his robes for some reason."
"Have them add it to your robes and you can go swinging with me," Seline said excitedly.
"And mine," Billy said embarrassed. "They don't make boys underwear my size and girls are always trying to peek under my robe when I wear one."
"And underwear for Billy too," Harry added.
"We'll start with you, if you'll come this way," Madame Malkin told Seline.
Seline looked nervously towards Harry who took one of her hands and led her behind the screen, knowing she was still nervous about being alone with around strange adults because she didn't want to get eaten.
"I'll get you a scarf," Madam Malkin told Harry, to preserve Seline's privacy while she was getting fitted.
"A black silk one!" Seline said, remembering a picture book with pictures of a pirate wearing a silk scarf on his head.
"That'll work," Harry agreed as Seline tied the scarf around his head leaving his eyes uncovered.
Madam Malkin pulled it down over Harry's eyes with a smirk.
Harry just shrugged, his glasses let him see through clothing anyway.
Typing by: Bankrupt Samurai!