-Harry Potter manages to slip away from Hagrid and return to Gringotts.
“Excuse me sir, I need to speak to someone about my account.” He said quickly. Harry had slipped away from Hagrid as soon as he could and headed back to the goblin bank. If they had held his families account for generations then maybe they could explain some of this Ancient and Noble house stuff.
“Your Key?” the goblin asked grumpily.
“I’m sorry, sir, but Hagrid still has my key. He does not know I am here, and I would like to learn more about my accounts.”
The goblin frowned at him before shuffling through some paperwork. Coming up with several loose sheets, he slid down from his stool and gestured for Harry to follow him. Several winding corridors later he was ushered through a large wooden door.
“Fast Axe, the special customer you requested we keep an eye out for is here.”
The large goblin took the papers from the goblin. A black desk that appeared to be made from stone dominated the room. Fast Axe pointed to a chair in front of it, “Sit, child.”
Harry scrabbled into the large chair as quickly as he could. He did not want to be eaten today.
“Now, you are here inquiring about your accounts however you do not posses the keys, correct?”
“Yes, sir. Hagrid kept my key, I did not know I needed to keep it.”
“Hagrid is your guardian?” the goblin asked raising one eyebrow.
“No, sir. The Dursley’s are my guardians. Hagrid is showing me around Diagon Alley so that I can get my things for Hogwarts.”
“I assume your magical guardian gave him the key?”
“I don’t have a magical guardian, the dursley’s are my guardians sir, and they are not magical…I mean muggle.”
“I must inform you that every magical child that lives with muggles is given a magical guardian. Yours is Headmaster Dumbledore, Mr. Potter. He should have informed you of this himself when he visited you each year.”
“Sir, I have never met Headmaster Dumbledore. I was only told last night that I was magical when Hagrid came to get me from the Dursleys.” The goblin bared his teeth at this.
“So you have had no training, no lessons in how to manage your family estates or what the correct manners are in magical society?”
“No, sir.” Harry said, his voice trembling. Why did he always have to let his curiosity get him into things like this.
“This is a very grave error Mr. Potter. If what you say is correct your magical guardian could be charged with neglect along with several other charges, withholding information of the magical world from a member of an Ancient and Noble house, refusing to check on a minor who is in his care, refusing to give the last head of a family access to his holding. This is very grave, at the least he would be removed as your guardian and a new guardian will need to be assigned.”
The goblin drew a massive stack of files and papers from a deep drawer along with a small dagger. Selecting the top sheet of parchment he set it in front of Harry, placing the dagger on top.
“Let us begin things in the proper and legal way so that no more coin or time is lost, Mr. Potter. Please prick your finger and place three drops on the parchment.”
Picking up the dagger, Harry paused. “May I ask why? Um..Sir.”
“You may call me Fast Axe, as it is a title and not a name Mr. Potter. And as you are not familiar with our ways I will explain, but I will caution you, Goblins are not known for our patience. Time is gold, Mr. Potter, and the only things Goblins hold dear are gold and honor. The paper is spelled to use your blood to verify that you are who you say you are. It will also produce a list of all your assets and holdings that belong to your family.”
Harry quickly pricked his finger and let the three drops fall, setting the dagger on the edge of the desk next to the paper.
“Fast Axe, sir, what are holdings?”
“Holdings are properties and titles.” The goblin said pulling several more folders from his desk. Looking at the growing piles of paper, Harry began to fidget, he would never get out before Hagrid noticed.
“Do you generally writhe in your seat or is it a nervous condition?” The goblin asked sliding the parchment to the side and laying another before Harry.
“Hagrid does not know where I am, he seems to really like Dumbledore and will tell him if I go missing. I am not sure I want him to know about me being here, Sir.”
The goblin waved the matter away with one clawed hand.
“That has been taken care of Mr. Potter. This will take some time to go through and straighten out. Young things are always hungry, I will call for some refreshments for you.”
“Thank you, Fast Axe.” The goblin simply harrumphed and began explaining the next document which would recall all his keys.
Four hours later, and a sore finger Harry was yawning into his tea. The paperwork on one side of the desk continued to grow while others disappeared in puffs of smoke, were rolled and handed to waiting goblins or shoved into random slots on the desk.
“We have accomplished much today Mr. Potter. Your vaults will be inventoried as will all the properties. All of your keys have been recovered. Your family’s investments have been sitting idle and losing money, this will need to be corrected. We will need to do an inheritence test at a later date to see if you are owed money from any other families as well.
“Your guardians the Dursleys have been recieving monthly stipends to ensure your wellfare. Clearly they are not doing so.” Fast Ax said, sneering at the torn and oversized clothes that Harry was wearing. The worst crime a goblin could commit was to steal money you had not earned. “Their finances will be investigated and the money recovered.”
The door opened letting a grey cloaked figure and two guard goblins inside. Fast Axe exchanged a fast stream of gobbledegook with the cloaked goblin. Gold clawed hands lowered the hood, to reveal the first female goblin Harry had seen. Her grey hair hung in braids that were full of chains of various precious metals and stones. Her face was dominated with large purple eyes unlike the male goblins who seemed more fang than face at times.
“Welcome, young Harry. I am Swift Strike, a goblin healer. Fast Axe has asked me to check you for spells and to see if you require any healing. Are you currently injured in any way?” her voice was strangly musical, clear of the grating vowels that the other goblins seemed to favor.
“A youngling with manners, this will be a treat.” She said softly, shooting a look at one of the guards who seemed to shrink into himself just a little.
“Now, I will spell the floor around you so you must stand.” Quickly setting his cup to the side, Harry moved to where she indicated.
She laid a circle of thick gold chain around where he stood. Gesturing with her gold claws she left glowing runes to hang in the air as she circled him, chanting under her breathe.
She paused, turning to look at Fast Ax, “This will take longer then I thought. He is heavily spelled and will need to stay overnight at least from the magical drain the healing of his body will take.”
“But I’m not hurt.” Harry protested.
“You have broken nearly every bone you have at some point. You magic has healed them the best it can but the breaks are fragile from prolonged malnutrition and need to be redone, you also have scar tissue covering your arms, chest, and back that needs to be removed and the skin re-healed. That is ignoring the bruises you have on your ribs and arms.This will take several hours to heal completely. I also would like to correct your eyesight and see if we can fix the lack of height that the malnutrition has caused.”
Harry had gone pale and stood within the circle of glowing marks shaking.
“Harry, you are not at fault for any of this. Goblins may have a harsh culture compared to that of humans but we revere our children. No goblin child would have ever been treated as you have. After you are healed we will see about making copies of your memories so that we have evidence against them. We will make sure that you never go back to them.” She said gently, carressing his cheek with the back of one hand.
“I am afraid we cannot say that quiet yet.” Fast Ax interrupted. “He is here with a watcher of Dumbledore’s choosing. He will have to endure one more day there before we can remove him. He must be seen to have been returned to his guardians. Then we will remove him. But we do not have enough information yet to take on Dumbledore. We must do this quietly.”
Swift Strike glared at Fast Ax and let lose a string of gobbledegook that made the goblin guards in the room shuffle around and glance at each other. After several minutes of this, Fast Ax roared something out, slamming his desk with one hand. Swift Strike merely raised an eyebrow and turned back to Harry.
“Now, lets start removing the spells.”
As each spell came away from him in a glowing mist, it was transformed into a link of chain that Swift Strike would place in a box one of the guards held. She named them off as they were removed. A spell to stunt mental swiftness, one to stop him from ever wanting to leave his home (a spell of servitude, that was long banned, it caused several other things, like pushing him to want to help others, no matter the cost), a blood binding to bind a health tracker, a spell to make him not want to speak of his abuse to anyone. The list went on and on. Most were small things but the binding of servitude would be the worst to remove since it was a mind control spell that affected thought and behavior. He had grown up with it on him for most of his 11 years and it had molded his young mind and embedded itself. It would take a mind healer to undo the damage. For now all the spells would be removed.
Once the last link was added to the box, Swift Strike gathered the gold chain from the floor.
“Are we done?” Harry asked. His head felt strange, and his arms and legs ached. It had been a very long day.
“Almost, come, we are going deeper into the caverns, so that you can stay in the Healing Ward. I know you are tired but you will get to sleep after this.”
“Thank you, Swift Strike, Fast Ax.” He said as he followed them into the hall.
“It is nothing, youngling. The young must be protected, after all who will uphold our honor once we are gone if not the young.”
Harry was shown to a bathroom and allowed to bathe before being tucked into bed and given a potion.
“It will make sure you sleep while the healing is happening. When you wake you will be very tired and hungry but a few good meals should fix you up. We will keep you here for a few days to make sure you are well and complete our business.”
As the next few days progressed Harry received book on Wizard culture, lessons on how to write with a quill, and was shown basic exercises he could do to slowly add some strength and muscle to his frame. All of his scars were gone except for the famous curse scar on his forehead. He had also grown and inch or so, not enough to be noticeable but enough that he vowed to continue to drink the daily potions regimen they were giving him until school started. His potions and books were packed into a new trunk that looked like a regular black school trunk but actually was heavily spelled and had several different password protected compartments. The passwords were in gobbledegook, which he was struggling to learn. After his insistence that goblin culture be explained as well, he was given several books on the subject and a primer to learn the language he could practice with.
He had finally cornered Swift Strike, demanding to know why the goblins were helping him.
“Why me? There must be other children you could have helped. Why me?”
“There is no easy answer, youngling. Partly because you have no blood relatives left to claim you so legally we could help you, partly because of the lose of profit the bank has suffered because your family investments have been fallow. However the main part is Honor. The goblin nation owes a debt to your family. It is a debt that was never repayed and we are honor bound to do so, even if it must happen generations later. A man of your family was called Goblin Friend once, it is an honor that is so rare as to almost be unheard of. He died protecting our King, giving his life to the goblin nation. Our King declared his Clan bound to repay the debt. Our current king is of this Clan, so the entire goblin nation has been bound to repay this debt. We will help you in what ways we can, Harry. Grown and learn and become a man your ancestor would have been proud to know. That is all you need to concern yourself with. ”
He was leaving to go back to the Dursleys today but he would not stay for long. The plan the goblins had come up with was brilliant. Since it was certain that Dumbledore at the least had someone watching the house to make sure he was still there, he would be there everyday. He was given a muggle repelling amulet that would keep the dursleys from approaching him unless it was truly necessary. He was also given a stack of nutrient potions and things to work on while he was there. But the best part was the time turner. Goblin magic was very different then wizard magic and they were not allowed to have wands, so they could only supply the books for him to learn from but they could begin teaching him basic goblin magic that used magic infused gems and metals. In order to do this and continue his lessons in the wizarding world, he was given a time turner that would take him back one day at a time. He would live each day of the summer twice, once with the Dursleys and once with the Goblins. His amulet also worked as a portkey, taking him straight to the training room each day. Once there he would exercise with the younger goblins and then have breakfast. Then he would meet with his teacher for the day and lessons would begin. He would spend the second day working in the garden for the Dursleys and doing the chores they assigned, before starting all over again the next morning.
All too soon it was time to go to Hogwarts. A goblin spelled to appear to be a short old man escorted him on to the platform and helped him load his trunk before giving him a quick clip on the shoulder and leaving him alone in the compartment. It was still early with only a few students making their way onto the train. Pulling a book out of his bag along with a half a sandwich, he settled into read. It would still be several hours until the train left.
“Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?” A young girl with frizzy brown hair stood in the door, looking unsure.
“Sure.” He said with a small smile. He needed to get used to making friends. The goblins were insistent that he needed alliances with other magical humans.
The girl noticed the title of the book he was reading, “Oh! Hogwarts a history!…” and was off on a mile a minute lecture on everything she had learned so far from her books.
“Excuse me,” Harry managed to stop her after several minutes, “But don’t you want to find out about the castle and the wizarding world yourself instead of taking everything you read as truth?”
The girl clearly was not sure if she agreed with this, and worried her lip, “Well, yes…but you cannot learn everything by exploring or trying it yourself.”
“And you cannot learn everything from books either. You have to try things too.” Harry insisted.”I’m Harry, by the way.”
“Hermione.” She said with a small grin. “So are you mugle born too?”
“No, but I am muggle raised. A friend of mine warned me not to spread that around though. There are some people in the wizarding world who want to keep the worlds seperate and they hate muggleborns. You might want to be careful.”
“Where in the world did you hear that? Is there any proof?”
“Yeah, I have a book on wizarding culture, hang on.” Harry stood on the seat and found it in his trunk. Taking the book with a quiet thank you, she settled into read.