A/N: On these characters, I own no rights. Or even wrongs. That's important I guess.
Last time on The Power He has Not:
Gryffindor Heads Suite
Head Boy's Bedchamber
Time for a happier thought. Ron had no expectation of surprising his cuddly little precog, but enjoyed her reaction anyway. Between the money he had saved over the summer holidays working for the twins in Diagon Alley, and the loan he had negotiated from them (they had been particularly soft touches in the hours following Denise's birth) he had scraped together the Galleons he needed to purchase the engagement ring she had pointed out months before as the ring he would buy her. He reached over to the bedside table for the small box. "Luna Lovegood, would you do me the honor of agreeing to be my wife?" he opened the box and put it into her hand.
Luna sat up, squealing in excitement. Moving to sit astride him, she removed the ring from its box and put it on her hand, then lay atop him kissing him. After a few seconds, she giggled. "It feels like it might be time for a little more research."
Unable to believe his luck he held her still for a moment. "Any subject worth research is worth review..."
Harry Potter and the Power He Has Not.
Chapter 25 - Confrontations
Hand to Hand:
Harry flew through the air. Again. Smashing into the wall, he fell to the ground.
"Pathetic. A cub could have blocked that throw Slikmor. Get up, try again."
Harry shakily got back to his feet. War Master Baglock really didn't seem to like him much. It made him look wistfully back to his time with Snape, who hated him, but never seemed to actively try to kill him. Reentering the circle, he assumed (again) the ready stance.
Slorhook frowned. There wasn't a single member of the squad, including himself, who would have been able to stay in the ring with the War Master. What was going on?
Harry waited for the War Master to make the first move, when he managed to dodge the first stroke; Harry closed in to the War Master and drove his knee into the goblin's crotch as hard as he could. His joy turned instantly into horror when his knee cap impacted into something hard, and exploded into agony. The War Master's hands closed on his arms.
"Surely you didn't think that I would leave myself unprotected Slikmor? Your lesson begins now." As Harry lost consciousness he knew that the punishment being done to his body was being done by an expert.
"Enough!" Slorhook was on his feet, and put himself between his fallen squad member and the Clan War Master. "Killing him would serve no purpose." He maintained eye contact with the furious Baglock. "Earrip, Liphook, get Slikmor back to the barracks. Get a medic to tend to him. Thutnose, sentry, outside now."
Slorhook waited until his squad had left the chamber. "I require an explanation War Master. I am his Squad Leader, his life is mine. What were you doing? I tried exactly the same maneuver on you when we first sparred at squad training, and you taught me the error of my ways and carried on with the lesson. You didn't respond with kill strokes." Slorhook's eyes never wavered from those of the War Master. "What is wrong with you?"
"That weakling has no place in our caverns"
"That weakling captured the crystal. He admittedly does fail at almost every physical challenge, but he never quits. You have trained less worthy Goblins, and never reacted like this. Even the training name you gave him is an insult. When you put him in my squad, I was angered, and treated him harshly. He never complained. He did everything I asked, does his best, and is first to volunteer for any duty. You know all these things; they are in my daily reports. Why are you doing this?"
Leeblit Squad Barracks.
Harry woke to the sensation of cool moisture on his crotch. /Oh god no, not since I was 4./ He sat up suddenly and opened his eyes to look into the eyes of a female goblin show was giving him a sponge bath.
"You're awake." She said, stating the obvious.
"I am. Thank you for your service Mistress."
"Mistress? Why do you address me so?"
"You appear to be doing the work of a healer, my culture tells me to address healers accordingly." He blushed, "I apologize if there was any insult, none was intended. I have never met a female goblin before."
"Just as I have never met any human at all before. I am ahealer, though I do not use magic as your do... You are a wand user, are you not?"
"I wasn't, then I was, but am no longer, which is why I am here, learning to defend myself." He looked down at the bruises all over his body, "Just not very well it seems."
"I am Lorath, Daughter of Baglock, Healer for the Clan.
"I am Slikmor, Son of James and Lilly Potter, and major embarrassment for the Clan. Your father doesn't seem to like me much."
"Obviously if he named you Slikmor. Did he tell you what it means?"
Harry pondered for a moment. "It never occurred to me that it meant anything... I've always just thought of names as just names." Of course Harry probably means something. I'll have to ask Hermione. "So, what does it mean?"
"Sli means 'weakling' in the old tongue, Kmor means 'one with ideas above his station'. Your name is quite the insult."
Harry laughed. "It fits me I suppose. Compared to the warriors, I am indeed a weakling. Since I lost my magic, most of my ideas seem to be above my station. There are worse things to be."
She seemed shocked. "A warrior so insulted would swear avendetta. You are as unusual as my brother described."
"An accurate description is hardly an insult. Given my options, I either laugh or cry, I choose to laugh. Who is your brother?"
"Your squad leader. I don't know his training name, only his family name, which I cannot share."
Names were important to Goblins, yet another aspect of their culture that he would probably never understand. "I had no idea."
Slorhook entered the room, Harry struggled to stand, but his injured knee refused to support his weight, and he collapsed on the bedding."Squad Leader?"
"I was unaware you were in Healer rotation for my Squad Lorath. Imagine my surprise to find you sponging down one of my troops."
"Brother, your descriptions of the human was accurate, Iwanted to see for my self." She put her hand to Harry's chest and pushed him down. "As of right now, I out rank your squad leader Slikmor. Your knee won't support you for at least 3 days. Give the poultice a chance to work." Her attention returned to Slorhook. "You have no say in what healer treats your squad Brother, do we need this argument?"
"There will be no experimentation with the human Lorath. The family won't stand for it."
"Whom I mate with is no business of yours Brother"
/Mate with? What the hell?/ "Uh, I'm right here." The two goblins turned their attention to him. "I'm betrothed to a girl I love a whole lot." He turned his attention to Lorath "Not that I'm not flattered, but I..."
"Shut up Human. My brother jumped to conclusions. I have no such intentions toward you. Besides, " she looked at him in an evaluative way "You couldn't handle the ride."
Harry turned to Slorhook. "A friend would kill me, right now."
"A friend wouldn't have turned down my sister" Slorhook gave him a death stare. Then started to laugh.
Emma sat at the table in the kitchen ignoring the looks of disapproval coming from the Elves. There was something about a mere human being in the kitchen area that they deemed inappropriate. She smiled to herself. Dobby was going to take her to Glasgow after lunch to do some Christmas shopping. Daniel and she had found that they could blend into the general population quite easily here. Dobby monitored them on their trips to ensure that they were not found by the wizards who most certainly hunted them.
Hermione had written yesterday saying that she would be home for the Christmas Holidays. Emma had found a lovely old church in Gourock where they could attend Christmas Services, It was Church of Scotland, but the differences were minimal. Hopefully Harry would be there as well. She doubted that he had been brought up with much religion, maybe he wouldn't be interested, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.
Harry's plans for opening an orphanage here on the estate had fallen to the side. The Ministry wouldn't allow it, the idea of Wizards being entrusted to non magic users was beyond consideration for some. His idea of training with the Goblins on the other hand seems to be in progress. Occasional letters from him telling tails of drills and exercises and discipline seemed to hide how much he missed them all.
It was surprising her just how much companionship she was getting from Narcissa Malfoy. Perhaps it was the isolation, or the horror of what her husband had done, but the woman had started out barely civil, and had gradually over the last three months become almost a friend. Daniel had taught Draco to play pool out of boredom on both of their parts, and amazingly they too had bonded. Unlike Harry, Draco's playing had actually improved with time, and he won occasionally. Draco had in exchange introduced Daniel to Wizards chess, which while being the same game as the one they had grown up with, had an entertainment value for spectators that normal chess did not. The first time one of the pieces (a knight? She didn't remember) had argued with Daniel over the move he was making had her laughing like a mad woman.
She stood, and accepted the refill of her teacup from the elf, and left the kitchen to see what Daniel was doing and to get his suggestions for a Christmas gift for Draco...
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