AU, Post OotP, No HBP, Harry knows he must take on Voldemort and finds unexpected allies.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Safelock took Harry down several passageways into a large conference room. Awaiting him there were five goblins seated at a table. The one in the middle appeared much older than the rest and was dressed in a brocade suit. On his right sat a much younger goblin in a pinstriped suit. The one furthest to the right was wearing a robe like a wizard would. On the first goblin's left the older goblin wore brightly polished, ornate armor, the younger also wore armor but not as ornate. Both of those goblin were armed Harry noted.
Safelock bowed to the five and introduced Harry.
"Elder, may I present Harry Potter. Mr. Potter this is Ragnok, the Bank Manager."
Harry bowed slightly and Ragnok waved Safelock away.
"Please be seated, Mr. Potter, I am glad you could take time to see us today."
"I had a choice?" blurted Harry and then blushed, "sorry, that didn't come out right."
Ragnok chuckled and the other goblins moved restlessly.
"I quite understand. I doubt Safelock phrased it as a request even though it was supposed to be. Allow me to introduce my companions. On my right is Gapetooth, my second and Waverider our Ritual Master. On my left are Stonegrasp, Senior War Leader and his second Paktok."
Harry bowed again. "Why did you want to see me?"
Ragnok showed his teeth. "Directly to the point, excellent. We, the goblin council, believe that you are a child of prophecy and wish..." he broke off at Harry's glare.
"Did Dumbledore tell you the prophecy? I can't believe that old man." Harry said angrily.
"Please, Mr. Potter, Albus Dumbledore has nothing to do with the goblin prophecy I am speaking of. However if there is a human one concerning you it would be an indication that we are correct in believing you are the one in ours."
"A second prophecy?" said Harry weakly, then he lowered his head and began to bang it on the table.
Harry lifted his head and glared at the old goblin then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"I apologize Sir, please continue with why I'm here," said Harry.
Ragnok nodded, "Long ago just after the end of the last war between our races a seer made a prophecy regarding a rising evil. Our wisest elders believe that time is now and we wish to offer our support in the coming conflict." The other goblins nodded their heads.
"Can you, er 'will' you tell me this prophecy?" asked Harry.
"It was originally in High Gobbledegook of course but has been translated into English.
'Ware the second coming
Evil One, Ritual Born
Death's Head, Goblin's Bane
By his sign you will know him
Goblin wager, all or nothing
Storms chaos banish the Dark
Stormbrow, Wizard Born
Prophecy's Child, Goblin Savior
By his sign you will know him
Goblin take heed, 'ware of greed
Harry stared at Ragnok and then glanced at the others at the table.
"How is that about me?" asked Harry plaintively.
"You are marked with the sign of the storm on your brow." Ragnok pointed at the scar on Harry's forehead. "If you were a goblin a very likely name for you would be Stormbrow. We resisted the idea that you could be the one until we learned of the evil ritual Voldemort used to be reborn. Still we did not choose to believe that the time of choice could be upon us. Less than a month ago you visited the Hall of Prophecy in the Ministry and while there exposed the return of Voldemort to the masses. We still are hoping that there can be another explanation but-- you mentioned another prophecy?" Ragnok stopped speaking with an expectant air.
Harry sighed, "I suppose you're right." He fingered his scar. "There is, or rather was, a prophecy about him and me. It smashed, so he doesn't know it. I have to kill him or he'll kill me."
The goblins exchanged looks.
"Pardon, Mr. Potter, you mentioned Albus Dumbledore. How long has he known of this and what training have you had?" asked Stonegrasp.
Harry grimaced, "He's known since before I was born but the only training I've had is Occlumency which failed and the standard classes at Hogwarts. Dumbledore seems to think that the 'power of love' is all I need to defeat that Dark Wanker but I don't think he's right."
The goblins moved restlessly in their seats and Paktok grumbled something rude sounding in Gobbledegook. Ragnok glanced first one way then the other as the goblins nodded to him.
"Mr. Potter, we believe that you are the one spoken of in the prophecy. We wish to offer you the complete backing and support of the Goblin Nation," said Ragnok.
Harry's mouth dropped open and he stared at the old goblin for a long moment.
"Why? I meant what's in it for you?"
"The survival of the Goblin Nation. Voldemort has approached us with the offer of an alliance. I believe he would turn on us the minute he achieved his goals. I don't believe you would."
"Oh, ok, what does complete support involve then?" asked Harry.
Ragnok showed his teeth and Stonegrasp chuckled.
"We offer you training in combat or wizard magic, we will hire whatever teachers or experts are required, a safe haven within the Goblin Nation, the bank will track all monies used to support Voldemort, document his supporters and at the correct time freeze their assets and turn over evidence to the Ministry of Magic of collusion with Voldemort. We can manipulate certain accounts and reduce his funds immediately. I believe we can draw out negotiations with Voldemort for up to six months and when you believe you are ready to confront him we will invite him to meet with us in our territory and help you kill him."
"So you want to use me to get rid of Voldemort?" said Harry.
Ragnok shrugged and spread his hands. "You could look at it that way. I prefer to see it as only aiding you in what you must do anyway."
Harry nodded, "At least you're being upfront about it. Ok, if, no when, Voldy is gone what will you want from me? Assuming I survive, that is."
"Your influence on the Wizarding World on behalf of the Goblin Nation." He held up a hand. "Only what you wish to do for us. We shall not make demands."
Harry nodded and appeared lost in thought.
"Would you like to take some time to think about what we are offering?" asked Ragnok quietly.
"No," said Harry with a smile, "I accept. When do we start?"
Waverider spoke for the first time. "Mr. Potter I believe we should start with a cleansing ritual. I sense Dark Magic about you. I have been led to believe that there is also some slight connection between your mind and that of the Dark Lord. Perhaps we can reduce the connection by ridding you of the excess dark residue."
Harry blinked at the Ritual Master and nodded. "Yes anything to keep him out of my head. I had Occlumency lessons last year but that didn't go well. I actually felt worse each time."
"How soon could this ritual be preformed?" asked Ragnok.
"Excellent, Waverider. Mr. Potter, shall we meet again tomorrow when you've recovered from the ritual to formulate a plan for training? I have some ideas but you will need to tell us what you would like to learn and approve your teachers." Ragnok looked at Harry and then the other goblins, seeing agreement nodded and got up and left the room.
Waverider beckoned Harry to follow him and led him deeper into the Goblin caverns.
"Mr. Potter, this is Jecnic my apprentice. He will help you to prepare for the ritual. I have full confidence in his discretion. Jecnic, Mr. Potter, will be undergoing a full Cleansing Ritual this evening. I will go a prepare the chamber." Waverider left.
Jecnic showed Harry all of his teeth. "Follow me. We will begin the preparations." Harry followed the goblin into a small room. "Please remove your clothing Mr. Potter. You must scrub your body using this solution, rinse here," he pointed to a bucket near a drain in the floor, "and immerse yourself in that tub." This time pointing to a large steaming bath. Jecnic then stood there looking at Harry.
"Are you going to watch?" asked the blushing Harry.
"Yes, I must as part of the ritual."
Harry nodded and stripped. "Can you explain what will happen?"
"Of course. After you have bathed, make sure you thoroughly clean you hair as well, we will proceed into the next room. There I will ink various runes on your body using a potion especially designed for aiding in the release of impurities in your body and magic. From there you will be taken into the Ritual Chamber where you must kneel in the center of the power circle. Waverider will begin a chant in Gobbledegook, at some point during the ritual the dark magic will begin to leech out of your system. There may be some discomfort depending on just how much dark magic you have performed or been exposed to."
"So the Dark Magic just goes away?" asked Harry.
"No, it doesn't just go away, don't you know that magic never just goes away? It will be channeled away from your body and go through several purification steps before being added to the wards that surround our caverns," said Jecnic.
"How often do you do this kind of ritual?"
"All wizard employees of Gringotts who have been exposed to Dark Magic in the course of their duties are required to undergo Cleansing at least once per year. We also provide these service to any wizard who requests it, for a small fee of course," said Jecnic, showing all of his teeth again.
A slow grin spread across Harry's face. "So you have wizards paying you to use their magic to reinforce your wards? Brilliant!"
By the time the runes had been placed and Harry was led into the Ritual Chamber his ears were beginning to buzz. He thought it was the potion in the ink. He barely noticed half a dozen goblins standing around the edges of the room as Jecnic helped him kneel in the center of a circle of runes and symbols carved into the stone floor of the room. He heard the chanting begin and the buzzing became louder, he began to feel as if he were floating above himself. Suddenly a bolt of white-hot pain lanced through his head, the floating feeling was gone and in its place was pure pain. He didn't hear his own screams or see the horrified looks of the goblins. He didn't feel the magic begin to boil out of him; he only felt pain and a faint distant scream, suddenly cut off.
Harry woke to the soft murmur of voices. He opened his eyes and did not recognize the blurry images around him. He turned to try and find his glasses.
"Hello there, I'm Healer Johnson, how are you feeling?" asked a man coming into view and handing Harry his glasses.
"Oh, erm, I'm fine," said Harry.
The healer smiled and said, "Ok, does your head hurt?"
"No it feels pretty good really, better than usual actually," said Harry, grinning.
"Good, take a moment to stretch, sore muscles, aches, pains of any sort?"
"My muscles ache some," he admitted, "'bout like a rough quidditch practice."
The healer nodded. "No lasting damage then, that's good. Now, do you remember what happened and where you are?"
Harry nodded, "Yes, sir, I remember the ritual. Jecnic said there might be some discomfort." The healer snorted. "Don't blame him. I've never been normal." He glanced around, "this is my room in Gringotts."
"Well you are technically in Gringotts, the caverns below it anyway. Your ritual caused quite a commotion. Ragnok himself has been demanding updates on your condition and by now my assistant has informed him that you are awake. You have been asleep, recovering for nearly two days. My goblin counterparts tell me that Waverider is also recovering well."
"Oh, I didn't realize Waverider was hurt," said Harry.
"Not hurt, Mr. Potter, only exhausted from shunting the power release across the purifiers. I understand that you nearly overloaded the wards." The healer smirked at Harry. "I believe that Waverider is impatient to speak with you about what happened."
"Uh, is he angry?" asked Harry.
The healer shook his head, "Not at all Mr. Potter my counter part claims to never have seen Waverider quite so excited before."
Harry just stared at him.
"There is something else we should discuss. I am the Senior Healer here at Gringotts. Your privacy is assured under both patient confidentiality and my oath to Gringotts. Since you were brought to me unconscious I did a complete scan on you Mr. Potter. I would like you permission to request your medical records from your previous healers and from your muggle doctor. I wish I could have done one before you underwent the ritual. You are underweight and small for your age; I see signs of long-term stress and would guess that you don't sleep well. I'd recommend taking a nutrient potion for the next six weeks or so to try to bring your weight up. That needs to be combined with exercise and appropriate amounts of sleep. Your stress levels could be a cause for concern. If you were an employee under my care I'd insist that you see a mind healer before I'd allow you to return to work." The healer sighed, "As it is I can't force you to, however I can recommend someone, if you'll let me. "
Harry hesitated for a moment. "I don't have a muggle doctor. My Aunt took me to a clinic a couple of times for vaccinations for school and the eye doctor once. The only healer I've ever seen is Madam Pomfrey at Hogwarts and I kind of don't want to let anyone know where I am. I have nightmares and don't sleep well, I don't know what a mind healer is to know if that could help or not."
"A mind healer can help with nightmares, Mr. Potter. As for your Hogwarts records my information shows that you are emancipated?" he paused for Harry's nod. "Then you are perfectly within your rights to request them yourself or to have your solicitor do so for you. If you do get them I'd appreciate a chance to look them over. Perhaps there will be some indication that would explain your reaction during the ritual."
"Ok, I'll ask Safelock to do that and forward them to you. I think I'll be doing some training with the goblins so you may see me again. I...if you think I should I'd like to speak to the mind healer. They won't be able to tell anyone what I say will they?"
"Everything is confidential Mr. Potter, I can't even tell my wife that I met you." said Healer Johnson with a smile. "Now you seem to be recovered so I can release you. I'm sure that by this time there is a least one goblin in the next room waiting to speak with you so I'll just get out of here and let you shower and dress."
Clothes were laid out for him when he returned from the bathroom. Dark blue trousers, silky crimson shirt and an open robe matching the trousers with tall black hide boots. Harry stepped into the sitting room to find Ragnok, Waverider, Safelock and Kikki.
With a fierce look at the goblins Kikki said, "Master Wizard must eat before talk."
Harry found he was extremely hungry and invited the goblins to join him. Waverider and Safelock only took tea, while Ragnok helped himself to a large sticky bun. With the worst of his hunger satisfied Harry sat back and looked at Waverider.
"Are you ok Waverider? The healer said you were exhausted?" said Harry.
"Yes I am fine, Mr. Potter. I was impressed with the amount of Dark Magic siphoned from you. I regret that we did not realize that kind of reaction might occur. I have some further information. The link to your mind and magic with Voldemort was unfortunately larger than I was aware of. When the Dark Magic began to leave you it also was drawn through your link from Voldemort." He glanced at Ragnok, and then continued, "We have reports from various sources that the ritual may have significantly weakened Voldemort. I have never heard of such a thing before."
Harry shook his head, "I'm never normal."
"Yes, well we have also heard that the ritual affected some of his Death Eaters. There were a dozen Wizards within the Ministry that drew attention to themselves, by collapsing in public. When examined, the Dark Mark was discovered and they were taken into custody."
Harry laughed, "Well that's certainly worth a little discomfort."
"I believe that Voldemort managed, in the end, to seal the link between you. It is still there but much smaller than before and all of the Dark Magic residue is gone from you."
"Brilliant! Thank you Waverider for doing the ritual for me," said Harry.
"I am most sorry for the pain you endured," said the goblin.
"I'm not worried about a little pain, everything turned out all right in the end and we hurt Voldy too. I think I heard him screaming in my head." Harry's grin was vicious and the three goblins returned it.
"On another matter, Mr. Potter," began Ragnok, "there have already been very discrete inquiries made in reference to your whereabouts. I believe that they originated with Albus Dumbledore." He eyed Safelock.
"Yes, Dumbledore is aware that you have left the Dursley's. He has not however picked up the trail that Mr. Black suggested that I leave," said Safelock.
Harry frowned and asked, "Trail?"
"I had hoped to speak more with you after your meeting with Elder Ragnok. Mr. Black suggested that because you would have access to the Hart identity, Harry Potter should take a vacation outside of Britain. Misdirection if you will. Mr. Black's words were; leave a trail that will have Dumbledore, the Order, the Death Eaters and the Ministry chasing their tails to find you while you live it up under his abnormally long nose. I believe he intended to stage his own disappearance with the excuse of following Harry Potter out of the country. I laid the beginnings of the trail while you were meeting with Elder Ragnok but wished to discuss it further with you. Harry Potter is currently resting in a muggle Hotel not far from Heathrow Airport. How would you like me to proceed?"
Harry looked at Ragnok, "Sir, do you want me to stay here for training?"
"I see no reason to confine you here unless you wish to stay here. I understood from Safelock that you had acquired an identity and residence. I believe that this new identity could easily find employment within Gringotts," Ragnok said, showing his teeth.
Harry thought a moment. "So I can go and do what I want. If I'm employed here then I can come and go with no one the wiser. I like that idea. Ok, Safelock, Harry Potter can leave the country. Where am I going?"
Safelock smirked and said, "I shall prepare you an itinerary."
"Now shall we discuss what training you would like Mr. Potter?" asked Ragnok.
"Ok, but please will you call me Harry? What do you suggest?"
"Mind magics, runic casting, an overview at the least, in rituals and summonsing, and perhaps enchanting." said Waverider.
"Offensive magics, battle magic and tactics, weapons training and Gobbledegook." said Ragnok.
"Politics, and the basics of accounting, investments and estate management." said Safelock. The other three in the room stared at him.
"You will need those thing after you've defeated Voldemort," stated Safelock defensively.
Harry let out a whoop and grinned at Safelock. "You think I can do it, don't you?"
Ragnok looked startled for a moment as Safelock nodded.
"Mr. Potter, Harry, we would not have offered our support if we did not believe that you could defeat Voldemort. You must have confidence in yourself."
They spent the next several hours in discussion, planning the downfall of the self proclaimed Dark Lord until Kikki appeared and reminded them that Master Wizard Harry needed sleep.