Disclaimer: I own nothing. JK Rowling owns it all, and I make no money from it.
A/N: Do not let it be said that I do not listen to my readers. So many people complained about my story, "By the Grace of God," and the direction it took at Chapter Seven that I decided to nix the entire thing and do a rewrite. This story will not be a harem, and it will not involve time travel. Harry will have multiple relationships, but I will not reveal them at this point. I hope you all like this version better.
By the Grace of God
The silence swam around him mockingly. It was almost as if the dank, lonely cell knew who he was and the crimes he had been charge with committing. But that couldn't be true, could it? Brick and stone do not breathe, do not think. They could not know. Then again, in the wizarding world, things are never as they should be.
Wizarding world… He latched onto that thought. Yes, wizard… That's what he was: a wizard. Even the dark cell could not rob him of that; even after ten years, it could not take away his identity. It could not destroy who he was, not permanently.
For the first time in several years, the wretched, pathetic shell of a man remembered who he was. Cold green eyes peered between locks of matted, slimy black hair and stared out between the bars of his cell deep within the walls of Azkaban prison. Every detail returned to him; every moment of agony and torturous betrayal that had led him to ten years of suffering locked behind bars on an isolated island far from civilization. He remembered…
Quirrell. Quirinus Quirrell. His victim.
Wait, that wasn't right. Not a victim. He was the victim. He hadn't murdered Quirrell. The spirit of the Dark Lord had possessed the professor. He was just defending himself from the Dark Lord's attacks. He hadn't meant to…
But no one believed him. They said that Voldemort, the Dark Lord, was dead. Dumbledore tried to argue on his behalf, but they didn't want to believe the truth. Their fear clouded their judgment.
And Snape. Professor Snape.
The potions professor had claimed that Quirrell was only trying to stop anyone from taking the Sorceror's Stone, trying to defend from the very darkness that possessed him. That testimony gave the court all they needed to ignore the truth. It gave them the scapegoat they needed to explain the events… the sacrifice for the common good… the sacrifice in the form of one who had already lost so much… it gave them…
Harry Potter. The Boy-who-lived. Him. Now, he was in Azkaban. His friends had abandoned him. The one place he could have called home, even sanctuary, stolen from him. The world he had so desperately wanted to join had put him away to be forgotten.
But wasn't he their savoir? Didn't they know he stopped the Dark Lord's resurrection? Surely they would return soon. Maybe they would let him go free. Maybe they would release him from their chains.
No! He might be captured, but he would not dance for his captors please. He would not beg. Harry Potter never begs, not anymore.
The air in the cell suddenly thinned and dried. Harry Potter stood, bones cracking and creaking as they were extended after years of disuse. Ragged, torn grey robes fell around him, hanging down to his bare feet. His muscles shouldn't work at all. By now, they should be atrophied. He should at least feel pain, discomfort. He felt nothing.
Nothing but rage.
Harry Potter raised his hands in front of his face. The dim twilight that leaked into his cell outlined the silhouette of scabbed, filthy skin. He flexed his fingers. They responded with slow, rhythmic movements that were stiff but effective. He stretched the fingers apart as far they would go then reached deep down inside himself to the shell that he had hidden within the past ten years. With a force of will he shoved that shell to the forefront, against the walls of his mind, and watched as it shattered. As it broke, blue-white lightening flickered between his fingertips, sizzling as it arced under his control.
No, he would not be a prisoner. He had secrets, secrets buried so deep that no one at Hogwarts ever knew, secrets so deep that he had forgotten, secrets that would tear the wizarding world apart.
Harry thrust his hand forward. Surges of lightening exploded from his hands and shattered the cell's barred door in a burst of shrieking metal. He stepped between the smoldering ruins and into the open corridor beyond the ruined door.
Orian Throathammer was not a normal goblin, at least not by wizard standards. He stood almost seven feet tall and weighed somewhere upwards of 350 hundred pounds. He was built solidly, with little fat and mounds of muscles. Most goblins, at least the ones seen by wizards, were short stumpy characters with the uncanny ability to leer a human into fits of worry and anxiety. Other than their menacing appearances, they were generally harmless.
Orian Throathammer was not harmless. The thick blanket of rippling muscle coupled with the heavy broadsword strapped to his back proved that much. Include that his name had been earned in the triumph of many battles during which puny humans and elves alike were crushed beneath the hammer that was his strength, and it was easy to see why him and his kind stayed out of the limelight of wizarding society. Wizards would be too terrified to let true goblins interact with them. There would be wars, wars his nation could sorely afford.
Once, long ago, the wizards had tried to impose laws on the lesser goblin-folk. The lesser ones had rebelled and fought hard against the wizards to win their freedoms. The bank Gringotts had been created as an attempted peace treaty by the wizards, but the Lords of Goblin-folk refused to accept the wizards' restitution. They demanded a means of permanently securing the lesser goblins from the corrupt wizard government.
After many long days and nights, a contract could not be reached, and the two races descended into war once more, a war that would be remembered differently by each side. In the end, after the blood-shed threatened the survivability of both races, a third party had to intervene, a party led by the greatest of mortals, the half-fae Merlin.
Merlin stormed the goblin stronghold that housed the High Lords and beat them into submission. By goblin law, Merlin, being part fae and therefore one of the Others, had rightfully challenged the High Lords for rule of the Goblin Nation and won. Noble and proud, the goblin lords submitted themselves to the rule of Merlin and his descendents until one could challenge and overthrow him.
After seizing the authority of the Goblin Nation, Merlin schemed his way through the ranks of the magical world and took their government into his own hands. In the end, all families recognized him as the proper ruler of magical Britain, Ireland, and France. None attempted to contest him.
So Merlin built the Chair of the Rightful and crowned himself king in order to stop the wars between the wizarding world and the Goblin Nation. For many years the peace lasted, and many of the archmage's descendents ruled with honor and fairness that rivaled the legendary rulers of both races. For a time, none came against the House of Emrys.
But as with all good things, the peace came to an end. Argois II, great-great-great-grandson of Merlin died in the year 1565, and no heir could be found. The crown dissolved into a disputed title that none of any race could rightfully claim. Before long, after a long string of pitiful rulers, the races began to war again. The wizards tried to force their will on the lesser goblins, and the lesser goblins fought against the control of the wizards.
In the end, it had been him, Orian Throathammer, who had driven the wizards away with the unleashed fury of the goblin hordes. Now, he stood guardian over the Nation, waiting patiently until the goblins would need defending from wizards once more. He would be ready for that time. If need arose, he would be ready to kill and feast on the carcasses of the dead until every last wizard again feared the sight of goblin-kind.
Orian turned on his heel, his face a mask of emotionless calm. The plate body armor he wore clang as he spun. The black goblin steel remained unscratched despite the centuries of battle it had seen. The fire from the hearth in the small room reflected against the metal, making it glow with the image of burning fire.
The woman in the doorway was skinny. Most humans were skinny by goblin ideals, but she was extremely so, petite was the word humans used. She wore her brunette hair tied into a bun. Thinly rimmed glasses sat on her shapely nose but did not hide the bright surprise in her blue eyes or the admiration she clearly felt for the Goblin Lord. Her high cheekbones and smooth, angular jaw flexed and her full lips turned upwards in a small smile as he acknowledged her, a smile that made even the hardened warrior soften.
It was out of place in the deep caverns of the goblins' world.
She bowed deeply; the pantsuit and blouse she wore moved perfectly with her figure, as if the fabric curved around the shape of her body like water.
"My Lord Orian," she said, her voice ringing in melodiously softness. "I bring news."
Orian nodded and growled. "I hope it was worth you disturbing my day, Miranda. I have little free time."
She bowed again. "I assure you, Dreadlord, I would not have brought this to you under any other circumstances but during that time which is most private."
"Speak your news, girl," he barked, his patience wearing thin. "Humans, even you, bother me when it is this early in the morning."
The woman, Miranda, smiled. She knew better than that. Lord Orian adored her more than he favored most goblins save his mate. "The beacon has been lit, my lord."
Out of all the things Miranda could have said, this was the last thing the Goblin Lord expected. He cleared his voice, unable to speak for just a moment, and said, "Be careful with what you say. Are you sure your human eyes have not misinterpreted what they actually saw?"
Miranda shook her head, still smiling. "No, my lord. Even now the Ways of the King are being lit."
"By whose order?" Orian snapped. Who would dare order such a thing without his approval? If this turned out to be a hoax then thousands of goblins would have to be told that their hopes were in vain, that they still had to hide in their secret cavernous world beneath the surface. The Moridunum Beacon was created by Merlin himself as a way of identifying his power so that none could take his form and steal the throne. If it were lit, it meant that the power of Merlin had been used and one of his blood still lived.
An heir to the throne.
"None, my lord. The Ways are being lit without an original source. They are springing to life as if touched by magic."
Orian frowned. Something inside him twisted and flopped, desperately trying to be released. But dare he release such thoughts? Dare he hope for that which should never have taken place?
"And the beacon?"
Miranda nodded. "Come and see for yourself, my lord."
Normally, Orian would have been angry for the human's brashness at daring to order him, but his anger could not swell right then, not at a moment such as that when the whole of his realm might change, when the whole of the world might changed.
He pushed passed Miranda, who stepped away with a bow, and walked from the door to his chambers into the great opening outside. The caves opened into a mammoth cavern from which hung thousands of stalactites, all glistening with precious metals awaiting to be mined. A river of clear, clean water ran through the center of the cavern, sending echoes of running water bouncing from wall to wall. At the farthest end of the cavern, almost directly across from his door, rose from the ground a formation of crystal shaped into a basin ten times Orian's size. Within in it burned a blue fire.
A magical fire.
"The Moridunum Beacon is lit," he whispered, his voice unable to rise any louder. It did not need to; for, every goblin and orc within the great cavern was already staring in awe at the Beacon. They stared because it could only mean one thing.
From behind him, in a small, but confident voice, Miranda said, "A king has been found."
Orian only nodded. After so long, the House of Emrys had returned.
A/N: Should I go ahead with the rewrite or is this story dead?