Sorry for the delay. Things kind of went a bit nuts regarding my other Harry Potter story and that ended up taking quite a bit of time.
Anyway, one with the show!
Harry From Another World
Chapter 9: Of Goblins
Present Day – Diagon Alley.
The portkey deposited the group of seven in a small spot set just to the left of the marble stairs that led up to the front doors of Gringotts Wizarding Bank. It was one of the few designated points at which all portkeys to Diagon Alley arrived, and the group quickly began to climb the steps in case anyone else arrived.
Auror Proudfoot went first, followed closely by both Cuthbert Mockridge and Dirk Cresswell of the Goblin Liaison Office. Minister Scrimgeour and Auror Savage followed, with Harry going behind them.
Amelia Bones brought up the rear and from her position was taking the time to observe this older version of Harry Potter.
He was very much on the alert, his eyes scanning in every direction. There was no doubt that he was expecting the worst to happen here.
The guards standing on either side of the doors nodded courteously as the group passed, and all save Harry returned it.
Inside the lobby of the bank a few witches and wizards looked up at the sight of the Minister for Magic himself walking in, but they were otherwise ignored.
There was a free Goblin teller sitting at the far end and Scrimgeour led them over.
The Goblin looked up as they approached and in a disrespectful tone demanded "Yes?"
"Please send a message to the Director," replied Scrimgeour, patiently. "The Minister of Magic, along with two senior members of the Goblin Liaison Office and the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement wish to discuss an urgent matter with him."
The Goblin gave only a slight nod of acknowledgement in return before hopping down from his seat and strolling off.
Amelia looked to Harry again. He almost seemed to be in a state of hyper-alertness. It appeared as though he was watching every Goblin in the lobby at once and was clearly ready to strike down the first one to make a wrong move.
She rather hoped that this whole situation was sorted out before that outcome could happen.
Present Day – Hogwarts.
Susan, Lavender, Neville and the others had watched Harry go with heavy hearts. Despite Harry's assurances, they could not help but feel sick at the thought of their leader passing through the doors of a Goblin-controlled Gringotts without an army behind him. To their minds, trying to work with Goblins was suicidal, but the Ministry had been adamant about trying a peaceful resolution first.
"Excuse me," asked a soft voice.
Susan looked down and saw that the younger version of Hermione had just approached them.
"What's the matter?" she asked.
"Well," began Hermione, sounding incredibly nervous. "Well, we were just wondering why you all seem so edgy about Harry going to meet with the Goblins."
Susan looked to Lavender, who simply shrugged her shoulders in reply.
"Ok," said Susan "I guess that it's only fair. I know that Dumbledore has already accused Harry of having unfounded prejudices over this matter, and I would hate for the rest of you to come to that conclusion."
Even the teachers and the handful of Aurors and Order members who were lining the walls of the hall as protection detail had turned to hear the story.
Susan looked over the gathered faces and saw a few that she would rather not know this story, but she recalled Harrys take on the matter. They were here to help, and the best way to help was to scare them into taking action before it was too late rather than taking the wait and see approach that Dumbledore was so fond of.
And anyway, if anyone in the hall now was a threat to them, Daphne already had their names on a list entitled To Be Obliviated.
She cleared her throat and began.
"Very well. During his rise to power, the self-styled Lord Voldemort," (she ignored the shivers) "created several powerful, dark artefacts that aided him in his quest for absolute power."
She decided that it was best to not go into the details regarding the items, even if the more unsavoury characters present would be obliviated soon.
"Voldemort hid these artefacts in several key locations around the country and, in seeking to bring him down, we went in search of them. By this point the Ministry had fallen and Hogwarts was under Death Eater rule so hunting these objects proved exceptionally difficult. We did, however, come to suspect that one was being stored within one of the many vaults at Gringotts, a vault belonging to a family of Death Eaters.
"In disguise Harry and I made our way to Diagon Alley and approached the bank…"
Diagon Alley was very different from its former, vibrant self. Most of the shops were boarded up now, including Ollivander's Wand Makers, Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. What few shops there were that remained open were mostly those dedicated to the Dark Arts, though a few more familiar names remained, such as Eeylops Owl Emporium, Twilfitt and Tatting's clothes shop, Slug and Jigger's Apothecary and The Ministry Press publishing office.
The bustling throngs of Wizards and Witches that Harry remembered from his early visits to the Alley were now gone. In their place were a group of Snatchers who were patrolling up and down the street, a few Death Eater-relatives and sympathisers making their way between the few shops, and a fair few people dressed in rags who were huddling together in the doorways of some of the abandoned shops.
"And this is what they consider a better world," muttered Harry.
Susan nudged him in the side warningly and then nodded towards the large marble building that stood at the end of the street. They began heading towards the building, doing their best to ignore the moaning of those huddled in the doorways.
The group of Snatchers approached them but walked on by. Thanks to the creative application of some magic neither of them looked like their normal selves, which was just as well, as Harry's face was looking down at them from every direction due to the sheer number of wanted posters that featured him. Susan herself was also on a few posters, but nowhere near as many as Harry.
But, as neither of them looked like themselves, and as the Snatchers had no reason to suspect them of being muggleborns, the group ignored the couple.
They made it to the bank and went up the marble staircase. Four men dressed in full Death Eater uniform stood guard outside the doors and this time the couple were halted.
Two of the men produced long golden rods called, rather unimaginatively in Harry's opinion, Probity Probes. Their propose was to detect hidden magical objects as well as spells of concealment, which was exactly what Harry and Susan were using for their disguises.
The probe being used to scan Susan went off and one of the other Death Eaters reached out and tore open her pocket. Inside he found a small silver device with several runes etched into its surface.
"Well, well, well!" said the Death Eater, smugly. "What have we got here then?"
"Pureblood Scum," replied Susan, calmly.
The runes on the device flashed and a faint pulse of magic crackled through the air.
A moment later the Death Eater handed the object back to her and said "Carry on," before he and the other three resumed their positions.
'Just as Padma and Lisa had promised.' thought Susan.
The couple walked through the lobby of the bank and came to a teller who was sitting about halfway along on the right hand side. He looked up at them with beady black eyes and sneered at them before asking "What do you want?"
"We wish to speak with the Director of Gringotts," replied Harry. "Inform him that our business is urgent and failure to meet with us quickly may just result in us closing our vault."
The Goblin had undoubtedly been about to inform them that the Director did not have unscheduled meeting with unimportant people, which was why Harry had added the threat of closing his vault. The Goblin had no knowledge of who they were, but losing any vault, no matter how small, was considered bad business.
"Very well," replied the Goblin. "Wait here."
It took the Goblin a good twenty minutes to return, during which time several people came and went, including Bellatrix Lestrange, the very person whose vault they wanted to get into. Fortunately she was just leaving as the Goblin returned.
"The Director has consented to meet with you. Follow me."
Present Day – Gringotts.
The group were led along several corridors before they finally came to a stop outside a pair of large, ornately carved oak doors.
Like the front doors of the bank, these doors were guarded by several warrior Goblins who brandished both sword and spear. Harry eyed the lot of them distrustfully, though none of them made any move.
The Goblin teller who had led them there approached the door and knocked. A shout in the Goblins' native tongue came from within and the Goblin opened the door and stuck his head in. A few mangled words later and the teller pushed the door open fully before gesturing for the group to enter.
Seated behind a large mahogany desk there was an ancient looking Goblin. He was balding, and what hair he had left was long, wispy and grey. His large ears jutted out sideways from his head rather than upwards like most Goblins and his pointed nose was so long and so bent that the tip of it was level with his chin. A pair of wire-framed glasses sat on his nose, covering his black eyes which were still as sharp as those of a Goblin fifty years his junior.
The ancient Goblin looked up as they came in and opened his wide mouth to speak, an action that revealed many pointed, brown teeth.
"Ah, Minister Scrimgeour. To what does Gringotts owe this pleasure?"
The doors swung shut behind them, sealing them in the room. Harry glared at them for a moment before turning his gaze back to the Goblin. Amelia noted the look on his face. The loathing that Harry felt for this Goblin was plain to see.
"Director Ragnok," replied Scrimgeour. "We are working towards bringing down the Dark Lord who wages war upon the people of this land and require the assistance of the Goblins of Gringotts."
"How so?" asked Ragnok.
"It has come to our attention that Lord Voldemort created several dark artefacts during his quest for immortality. After extensive research, we believe that one such item may be stored within this very building, in the vault of the Lestrange family. Based on this we ask that you conduct a search of the vault in question for the artefact."
Ragnok seemed to consider him for a minute before replying "I am afraid that I must refuse Minister. Privacy is of the utmost importance to our customers here as Gringotts. We cannot just go rummaging through their vaults on a whim."
"Actually, you must comply," said Amelia. "According the 23rd Ministry-Goblin Treaty, Section 8, Subsection Q, Paragraph 44, the Goblin Nation agreed to comply with any search request made by the Ministry so long as the search is for dark magical artefacts."
Ragnok glared at her for a moment before giving a nod of his head and replied "Very well."
He got out of his seat and made his way over to the corner of the office where a rope hung down from the ceiling. He pulled on this once and somewhere outside the office a bell rang.
A few moments later, just as Ragnok was resuming his position behind his desk, four other Goblins entered the room and stood to attention.
Ragnok addressed them "The Ministry has just informed me that there may be a dark artefact within the Lestrange Family Vault. I want a search conducted immediately."
"We believe that the object in question should be a small golden cup," added Scrimgeour. "We cannot be certain, however."
The four Goblins glanced at him before turning their attention back to Ragnok. The Director nodded and they left to conduct their search.
Before the door could shut Ragnok called out "Sockeye! Nickeltooth!"
Two of the warrior Goblins who had been standing outside entered the room and saluted the Director.
"Kindly take out guests to a waiting room," said Ragnok.
"I think not," said Harry, his tone dark. "We will remain where we are."
Sensing a threatening tone in Harry's voice the two Goblin guards raised their spears and pointed them at Harry who immediately drew his sword in response.
Harry and Susan were led along several corridors before coming to a pair of large, ornately carved oak doors. Several Goblin warriors stood before it and one stepped forwards, calling out "Halt."
Harry and Susan stopped in their tracks.
The books opened and the double doors opened. The Director made his way through the horde of warriors to stand in front of the pair.
He stared at them for a few long moments before demanding "Why do you seek to deceive the Goblin Nation? Remove your disguises at once."
All of the warriors pointed their spears at the pair and, after exchanging a look with each other, Harry and Susan drew their wands and cancelled the spells on themselves.
The Director broke out into a wide, sharp-toothed smile. "Ah, Harry Potter and Susan Bones. I can understand why you came here in disguise."
Susan nodded and said "Forgive us Director. It was for our own safety and we meant no offence."
Ragnok nodded and replied "Very well. Let us conduct our business."
He gestured for them to follow him into his office and they did so.
Once he was seated behind his mahogany desk the Director fixed them both with a serious glare and asked "So what brings two of Britain's most wanted to Gringotts?"
"We are seeking to bring down Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters," replied Harry. "We have obtained information regarding several objects that he made in his quest for immortality and we seek to destroy them. We have reason to believe that one such object may be located here in the bank and we ask that you conduct a search for it."
The Director watched Harry carefully for a moment before replying "Very well. Which vault do you believe it to be in?"
"The Lestrange Family Vault," answered Susan "We believe the item may be a diadem."
The Director nodded his head before making his way over to the bell-pull in the corner. Four Goblins entered and Ragnok instructed them to search the Lestrange Family Vault for a dark artefact, making sure to add the possibility of it being a diadem.
The four Goblins nodded and left as the Director called out "Sockeye! Nickeltooth!"
Two of the warriors who had stood guard outside came in.
Ragnok addressed Harry and Susan again "The search may take some time. Perhaps you would be more comfortable staying in a private waiting room until our search is complete?"
"Thank you," said Susan. "That's very generous of you."
The Director nodded to the two warriors who came forward and gestured for Harry and Susan to follow them.
They made their way from the office, one Goblin in front of them and one behind. Harry took Susan's hand and squeezed it reassuringly before dropping it again. They rounded a corner and Harry suddenly heard Susan stumble and fall. He had just turned to look at her when he felt a pain in the back of his head and his world went dark.
Present Day – Gringotts.
"You wield the Sword of Gryffindor?" asked Ragnok, his eyes lingering greedily upon the blade in Harry's hand.
"What of it?" demanded Harry.
While everyone else in the office was tense, the Goblin leader clearly saw an opportunity to make a profit.
"I propose a trade," he said. "The cup for the sword."
"Not a chance," replied Harry. "The cup does not belong to Gringotts, therefore you cannot bargain with it."
"Nor do you have reason to," added Amelia. "The cup is a dark artefact and the law dictates that such objects must be handed over to the Ministry."
"That sword belongs to the Goblin Nation," argued Ragnok.
"It was paid for!" retorted Harry, hotly.
"It was stolen!" barked Ragnok, slamming his fists onto the desk.
The silver blade flashed through the air and for a moment the others in the room thought that the Director was about to lose his head.
"Look at it!" snarled Harry.
The tip of the blade was scarcely an inch from Ragnok's throat. The Director sneered at Harry before fixing is black eyes upon the blade.
After a few moments his eyes widened in wonder and he looked back up at Harry.
"You are not from this world," he stated.
"No," replied Harry. "And neither is the sword. You have no claim to it."
Ragnok seemed to flounder for a moment and said "Very well. But I know that you have access to the sword from this world."
Ignoring the raised spears of the two warriors, Harry pressed the tip of the blade right against the Director's throat, snarling "Look closer."
Ragnok glared down at the blade for several long moments before stating "This blade has known Goblin blood… my blood."
"And it will again if you do not comply with your own treaty," hissed Harry.
Ragnok glared furiously at that before turning his attention to the two guards and barking "Get down to the Lestrange vault! I want that cup here now!"
The two warriors hesitated and left. Ragnok left his desk and stomped out of the office after them.
Once they were alone, Cuthbert Mockridge turned to Harry and asked "Now really, was there any need for that?"
Sliding the sword back into its scabbard, Harry replied "Believe me, there was every need."
When Susan woke up her head was pounding. The area around the back of her skull hurt particularly badly, as though she had been hit by something particularly heavy.
She groaned and looked around with bleary eyes. It was dark, the only light being a faint orange glow from a distant lamp. As her vision cleared she realised that they were trapped. Stone walls blocked them in on three sides while the fourth consisted entirely of iron bars that ran from the stone ceiling to the stone floor. In the middle there was door, also made of metal bars.
She pushed herself into an upright position and immediately noticed Harry lying on the floor a few feet away from her. She crawled over to him and shook his shoulder.
"Harry! Wake up!" she whispered.
He grunted and rolled away.
"Harry!" she hissed loudly.
"Hwha-?" he asked, blearily.
"Harry, wake up!" she urged. "We're in trouble!"
Harry grunted again and raised his head.
"I said we're in trouble. We're in a prison cell."
Harry sat up and looked around before asking "How did we get in here?"
"The Goblins must have attacked us."
"Heh, heh!" laughed a cruel voice. "You've got that right, little witch."
They turned in the direction of the voice and saw that a very large Goblin was standing just on the other side of the bars. He was a hulking figure, about as tall as Susan and well-muscled. He was heavily armoured, including a spiked helmet, and had a sword tucked into a scabbard at his side along with several deadly looking knives and daggers.
"Why are we in here?" demanded Harry.
"A matter of national security," replied the Goblin, mockingly.
"What do you mean?" asked Susan, but the Goblin only laughed and walked away.
"Oh, I don't believe this!" snarled Harry. "Weeks of planning to get into the bank unnoticed down the drain, and what have we got to show for it."
"Harry, calm down. I'm sure we can sort this out."
"I doubt it!" came the voice of the Goblin from further along the corridor outside their cell. "And don't bother going for your wands. They've been taken."
Harry huffed in frustration before rounding on Susan and demanding "Tell me again, why do we bother trying to save this fucking world?"
Susan shook her head and replied "It's getting harder and harder to answer that question, Harry."
They heard a door open somewhere in the distance and the light in the corridor increased significantly.
A few moments later, Ragnok himself was standing on the other side of the bars, accompanied by an entourage of ten warriors, each of whom looked imposing, but none were as large as the first had been.
"It seems that your information was correct, Mr Potter," began Ragnok, holding up a glittering diadem with a beautiful sapphire sitting in the middle.
"What are you playing at, Ragnok?" demanded Harry, coming closer to the bars. "Let us out of here. We need to destroy that thing!"
"I think not," replied Ragnok. "Your cause is lost, Mr Potter. There has been a shift in power that cannot be reversed. All that can be done is for those who remain to use what assets they have to bargain their continued existence. Your good self, along with Miss Bones and this diadem will go a long way towards ensuring that the Goblin Nation continues to see strong profits for years to come."
"Director, please!" begged Susan. "Don't do this! You can't!"
"The fate of the Nation is my responsibility, Miss Bones, and neither you nor Mr Potter may dictate how I choose to ensure its survival."
"You can ensure its survival by helping us to bring down Voldemort."
Ragnok shook his head and turned to leave.
Harry lunged forward, reaching through the bars in an attempt to grab the Goblin Leader by the sleeve of his robe.
The huge Goblin from before reached out and seized Harry's arm in a vice-like grip.
Ragnok eyed Harry distastefully. "Careful, Mr Potter. This robe cost more than your education."
With that the large Goblin pulled Harry forward violently, and action that came to a painful stop when Harry's face smashed into one of the bars and his nose broke. The Goblin let go and Harry staggered backwards a few steps before falling to the ground.
Ragnok looked to the large Goblin and said "As you were, Sledgefist."
The large Goblin nodded and returned to his position whilst the others left with Ragnok.
Just before the door at the far end shut they heard Ragnok shout "Bring in the Griffin!"
Susan knelt beside Harry and helped him to sit up. His face was covered in blood and his nose was pointing the wrong way.
"I think my shoulder's dislocated," said Harry as Susan helped him.
Susan examined the arm and confirmed that it wasn't right. Fortunately Susan had, out of necessity learned how to fix such a problem the muggle way.
Harry cried out loudly as his shoulder was returned to its proper location but, after taking a few deep breaths was able to mutter "Thanks."
Their attention was drawn to something moving out in the corridor and they looked up to see a large and ferocious looking animal standing on the other side of the bars. With its head, wings and front legs being those of a golden eagle and the hindquarters, rear legs and tail being those of a lion, the creature could only be a Griffin.
It gazed at them with large amber eyes before settling itself down on the floor. A moment later the large Goblin, Sledgefist came over with an iron chain. One end was clamped around one of the Griffin's rear legs and the other was attached to a metal hoop on the wall.
Present Day – Hogwarts.
The occupants of the Great Hall sat in rapt attention as Susan told her story. The students were meant to be in lessons now, but no one was prepared to interrupt the tale.
"That one moment," said Susan. "That one action by one selfish Goblin Leader opened our eyes to one terribly truth. Our fight would not end with Voldemort. The war wasn't with Voldemort. He was just a face, a symbol of an even deeper problem, a problem that dated back centuries, millennia even. It's a problem that festers and grows in the hearts of many.
"The problem was greed. The lust for power, the pursuit of wealth. A sickness of the mind that has affected Wizard, Muggle, Goblin and many more since time immemorial.
"The Goblins would happily condemn thousand, if not millions, to death at the hands of Lord Voldemort just so that they could keep gold running through their nasty, clutching fingers. They were a breed who would sacrifice the lives of many just to maintain their grasp on what little power they had. They were every bit a cancer on the world as the Death Eaters, the Ministry, the followers of Gellert Grindelwald and every war criminal and terrorist ever found in the Muggle world."
Silence filled the air as everyone digested the story. There were those in the hall who despised Goblins, but to liken them to Death Eaters, or the followers of Grindelwald was unheard of, far less a likening to a muggle terrorist.
But they began to think about it, and some saw the likeness.
Hermione in particular recalled how a Goblin rebellion sometime in the eighteenth century was begun. A Goblin by the name of Ug the Unreliable, a known con-artist had peddled leprechaun gold to several witches and wizards. He was finally caught when he tried pulling the trick with the Ministry, paying a fine for an earlier scam with leprechaun gold. Naturally he was quickly tracked down, arrested and put in prison. The Goblin Nation went on a rampage in response, despite knowing full well that Ug was like and knowing that his actions were in breach of at least two previous treaties. This resulted in one little wizarding hamlet in Yorkshire being razed to the ground and the deaths of all thirty three wizards living there, as well as another forty in Diagon Alley. A massive act of terrorism and for what reason? A wizard calling out a Goblin on his duplicity.
How often had a similar thing happened in the muggle world? How often were innocent lives lost in retaliation for a guilty person being put behind bars?
The silence was broken by Harry's voice. Susan reached into her pocket and pulled out a silk pouch, from which she took a crystal.
"How are things going over there Harry?" she asked.
"We're fine at the moment, though I might have pissed off the Director. I think the Ministry bods might be a bit cross as well."
"Well screw them. So long as you get out with that cup alive and well, that's all that matters."
"Thanks. Just doing my hourly check-in. They should have the cup soon so hopefully I won't be too long."
"That's good. I'm just telling everyone about the time you and I paid our visit to Gringotts."
"Oh yeah? Have you got to the part where we escape?"
"I'm just getting there."
"Ok. Well, I'll let you get back to it. See you in a bit."
"See you," finished Susan before tucking the crystal back into the pouch and placing it back into her pocket.
When she looked up again she noticed that young Lavender had her hand raised above her head so asked her "Yes?"
"So, how did you get away?" asked Lavender, trying to not sound impatient.
A small smile appeared on Susan's face.
"A little thing that I like to call The Harry Potter Factor."
The guard had changed. While the Griffin remained, Sledgefist had left and been replace by another, far smaller Goblin.
Their new guard was sleeping soundly in a chair, his snores and the heavy breathing of the Griffin being the only noise in the air.
Susan had managed to fix Harry's nose somewhat and it had thankfully stopped bleeding. It still hurt like hell though and needed proper medical attention. Already the area around it had turned black.
They had been there for five hours now and in all the time since his nose had stopped bleeding Harry had been watching the Griffin carefully.
Finally he muttered under his breath "I wonder…"
Susan looked over at him but he paid her no mind. Instead he crouched low and made his way over to the bars.
"Hey!" he whispered, but the animal paid him no mind.
Harry cast a furtive look towards the guard who was still fast asleep. Then he reached through the bar and prodded the Griffin on the beak before quickly withdrawing his hand.
The Griffin opened one large amber eye and looked at him. Remember his lessons regarding Hippogriffs, Harry applied the same technique, bowing low and maintaining eye contact. The Griffin raised its head and looked at him curiously before bowing in reply.
Harry moved even closer to the bars and asked in a whisper "Do you understand me?"
Two amber eyes stared at him for a long while until, just as Harry was starting to feel extremely foolish, the Griffin nodded its head.
Emboldened, Harry pressed on, asking "How would you like to get out of here?"
The Griffin studied him for a moment before nodding its head again.
"Right," said Harry "I'll deal with the guard. You get ready to run."
Harry stepped away from the bars and closed his eyes. Holding out his right hand he thought 'I really need some help.'
A weight settled in his hand and Harry instinctively grasped his fingers around it. Opening his eyes he was delighted to see the Sword of Gryffindor had appeared to him once again.
"What the hell?" hissed Susan as she got up and moved to Harry's side.
"I had no idea whether that would work or not," replied Harry as he hid the blade behind his back. He turned towards the sleeping guard and shouted "Oi, scumbag!"
The Goblin woke up mid-snore and sat upright. Glaring at Harry he demanded "What do you want?"
"I heard your mother makes extra money by whoring herself out to perverted wizards down on Knockturn Alley."
Susan looked at him like he had just grown a second head and snogged it.
The Goblin got up and in a fit of rage he charged towards the bars, arms outstretched with the intention of grabbing Harry by his robes. Harry was quicker. He pulled the sword out from behind him and drove it through the bars, impaling the enraged Goblin on the end of it.
He fell, clutching his stomach. Harry threw himself down and, reaching through the bars, ripped the bunch of keys off of the Goblin's belt.
Quickly he stood again and unlocked the door. There must have been some kind of magic on it for there was suddenly a lot of shouting in the distance, along with the sound of running feet.
Handing the keys to Susan, Harry said "Free the Griffin!" before crouching down beside the dying Goblin.
He seized the guard by his shoulders and demanded "Where are our wands?"
The guard said nothing but, before dying, his eyes gave it away.
Harry looked up and further along the corridor he saw a wooden box on the wall with a heavy padlock on it.
Susan and the Griffin soon joined him and she quickly found the key for the box. Inside were their wands, along with several other objects that that had on them when they had entered the bank, including Harry's mokeskin pouch, which he quickly opened to check that everything was still in there.
"Rather convenient, don't you think?" asked Susan.
"They're bankers at heart," replied Harry. "Anything beyond the value of gold befuddles them; logic, hygiene, cooking… ethical behaviour…"
Just then the door at the far end burst open and a warrior charged in. He was wielding a rather impressive looking siege hammer and had it raised, ready to strike. Susan cast a simple tripping hex and the Goblin crashed to the ground.
As Harry cut the Goblin's throat to make sure it stayed down, Susan picked up the hammer and tested it in her hands. She then placed a spell on it to make it a little lighter before nodding her head in satisfaction and turning back to Harry.
"How are we getting out of here?"
Harry smiled and turned to the Griffin.
Present Day – Gringotts.
"Here!" snarled Ragnok, shoving the cup into Harry's chest. "Never darken my door again!"
"Pray that I never do!" retorted Harry, taking the cup and marching out of the room. The others followed, heads bowed a little in embarrassment.
Hostile eyes watched them all the way out of the bank, but luckily none of the Goblins were stupid enough to make a move.
Lucky for the Goblins, that is.
"Thank Merlin for that!" exclaimed Harry once they were back outside. "Who's got the portkey back to the castle?"
"Mr Potter, I think that we need to discuss what just happened in there!" protested Scrimgeour.
"Oh, really?" asked Harry with a groan. "Look, why don't we go back to Hogwarts? Susan tells it better than I do."
"From what you said over the crystal it seems that she is near the end of her retelling," replied Amelia.
"I'm sure she'd be happy to give a repeat performance," said Harry.
"Potter!" barked Scrimgeour, prompting an over dramatic sigh from Harry.
"Fine. Let's head to your office and get this over with."
"Don't you need to do something with that cup first?" asked Dirk Cresswell.
"Nah! We can do it at the Ministry. Who has the port key?"
A group of Goblin blacksmiths yelled and scattered as the huge creature bounded along the tunnel.
"Get back here!" roared Sledgefist as he and a battalion of warrior Goblins charged after them.
"How close are they?" shouted Harry.
Susan glanced over her shoulder and shouted back "Too close… Hang on!"
She drew her wand and screamed "Aqua Eructo!"
A massive orb of water erupted from the tip of her wand. It broke apart and surged off down the corridor. Sledgefist and his warriors were caught in the torrent and swept away.
"That ought to hold them off!" said Susan.
"Nice work!" replied Harry as he swung the sword and beheaded another warrior who had hesitated at the last moment and moved too late.
Ahead of them the tunnel opened up into a huge cavern. The sole occupant, a Dragon, roared at them and spat a burst of flame towards them, but the Griffin had already taken flight.
They soared over the flame safely, but some of the pursuing Goblins were not so lucky.
As the Griffin kept going up, Harry looked down and saw that many warriors were swarming into the chamber from seven different tunnels.
Susan flicked her wand again and shouted "Relashio!"
The chain holding the Dragon in place broke apart, freeing the dragon to rampage.
The dragon spat out an enormous flame at the Goblins and sent them back the way they had come, some screaming in fear, others in pain.
The great beast snorted and looked up. In the gloom it could just make out the Griffin, flying upwards towards freedom.
The Dragon quickly decided to follow, but there wasn't enough room to spread its wings so it began to climb.
A mine cart raced down a track towards them. Two security wizards sitting in it began firing spells at them and one just missed Susan. Harry returned fire and blasted apart the front right wheel. The cart screeched, sparks flew and then it plummeted into the dark abyss below.
At last the Griffin landed on the wooden platform that acted as a station for the carts. It bounded off along a narrow passageway and came out into marble-walled lobby of Gringotts.
At least five hundred warriors stood there, swords, spears, axes and siege hammers all raised and pointing towards them. The Griffin skidded to a stop before them.
Tellers were scrambling for the doors, hoping to avoid the confrontation. Their Chief, however, stood front and centre. He was twirling the diadem nonchalantly in his hands, mocking them with the very item that they had gone there to find.
"An admirable escape attempt, Mr Potter," he said, his face split by a wide, cruel smile. "But did you honestly think that the Goblins of Gringotts would stand idly by and allow a thief to escape?"
The Griffin snorted and pawed at the ground.
"Easy," said Harry, soothingly as he ran his fingers through the feathers on the creature's head.
He looked towards Ragnok and drew himself up.
"You may kill us, Goblin, or you may hand us over to our enemy, but either way your fate is sealed. If the Dark Lord emerges victorious over all then all shall suffer. Without new blood the Wizarding World will crumble and die in time and when it does the Goblin Nation will follow on behind, succumbing to its own hubris. But it the light should prevail, then the Nation will still suffer.
"Our journey here was not unknown to others. Hand us over and they will know. Kill us and they will know. And what do you think they will do then? What will happen when the light knows that The Goblin Nation aided Lord Voldemort? What will happen when the light knows that Goblins cannot be trusted? Do you think that they will trust you with their gold? Do you think that they will allow The Nation to endure?
"You may think that you have saved them, but no matter what comes to pass in the future, know that you have condemned them all."
The sinister smile had disappeared from Ragnok's face and been replaced by one of fury.
The words that he screeched may have been in gobbledegook, but their meaning was clear.
The warriors surged forward, but in that moment there was another sound, a thump of something heavy landing.
Someone screamed. Something snarled. The floor shook and the chandeliers rattled.
In the wall behind the desk of the Head Teller a large crack appeared, followed by another and another.
The Griffin wisely slunk back towards the stone passageway that led to the platform.
The wall broke apart. Granite and marble flew everywhere and dust filled the air as the immense body of a Ukrainian Ironbelly Dragon burst into the lobby.
Panic reigned. Those Goblins that were not crushed by falling stone quickly scattered. Some threw their weapons and the beast while others simply ran.
The dragon spewed out a blast of fire, setting fire to many Goblins and every desk. Then it snorted and made for the doors.
Harry peered through the dust cloud and spotted Ragnok lying in a dazed heap near a burning desk. He urged the Griffin forwards and it did so. Harry lowered the sword and hooked the diadem on the end of it as they passed.
"Got it!" he declared as the Griffin eagerly made for the doors.
Outside the four Death Eaters had heard something going on inside, but had not realised that a dragon had gotten loose. They summoned the group of Snatchers who were patrolling the Alley for backup and approached the doors.
Then they heard the dragon roar. They backed away from the doors, but too late. The doors and several large chunks of marble burst outwards as the dragon broke through. Several of them were crushed by the debris alone, while another broke his neck when he landed awkwardly.
The dragon stomped out, crushing three more under foot.
For a moment the dragon paused, lifting its head to take in a few deep breaths of fresh air before finally spreading its magnificent wings and taking flight, a final swish of its long and powerful tail crushing the last Death Eater against one of the marble pillars as it left.
The last Snatcher stood to his feet and gazed in awe at the sight of the dragon soaring off over Diagon Alley. Then he became aware of approaching footfalls and turned just in time for Susan to knock his head off with her hammer as they passed on the back of the Griffin.
The moment it reached the edge of the top step the Griffin spread its wings and took flight, following the dragon to freedom.
Present Day - Great Hall
Once Susan had finished her story, the Great Hall was silent, something that was broken only when young Neville remarked under his breath "Wow."
"So that Griffin," said young Luna. "Is it the same one that is now living alongside the wargs down by Hagrid's hut?"
"It is," replied Susan. "After our escape from Gringotts the griffin carried us quite a long way before leaving us beside a lake. Harry promised to meet up with it again someday, and one day they did. But I think that's a story for another time."
"Quite," agreed Professor McGonagall. "Right, come on all of you. It's time that you should all be in class.
The students in the hall all got to their feet and began making their way towards the doors for what would be the second half of their second period of the day.
A/N: So how was that? I don't think I've ever written a chapter like this before so I hope I did a reasonable job. There will be a fair few flashbacks in this story, but I don't think it'll ever happen like this again, with the flashbacks occurring right alongside a similar event occurring in this timeline. They will be in the form of storytelling however as I don't think that there is too much call for pensieve use.
As for Older Harry's behaviour at the back in the current timeline, Mockridge was right in that it wasn't exactly called for, but hopefully you can see why Harry acted the way he did. Will this have later consequences? For now, no, but who really knows? I know roughly where this story is going, but there's always room to add more.
Before anyone accused me of making up Ug the Unreliable, I urge you to look him up on the Harry Potter Wikia. It's all there and it's not Pottermore stuff, but something from Rowling's official site from around the time Book 6 came out, if not before. Personally I can easily take a rather dim view of Goblins. I am all for equality, but Goblins strike me as the type who want equality for all but are not prepared to actually make any changes themselves and think that everyone else should conform to what they believe.