Harry Escapes

By Wolfwalker

Chapter 5

 

"Well if it isn't Baron Sweet Tongue," Gravelthorn sneered as he spotted Harry walk up the tunnel. Glancing at the clock he saw the lad was early.

"Strange," Harry said loudly, "I could have sworn I heard the voice of a sore loser, someone who had lost the last four bets he made.” Grinning he greeted his account manager, "Gravelthorn, you're early I see."

Chuckling as he nodded Gravelthorn rubbed his hands together, "I plan to exceed my estimate. We will gain at least six extra hours with this move I bet."

Grinning evilly, Harry watched as Gravelthorn backed up several steps with a worried expression on his face. When he was sure he had suffered enough he said, "No bet," before breaking down in laughter. Calming down as Gravelthorn let out a sigh of relief he told him, "Before we start, I want you and just you alone to come through. I need to show you where everything is to go and to provide a warning, to ensure a fair and equitable deal."

Nodding slowly, Gravelthorn stepped through the tunnel interface and joined Harry on his side. Holding up a hand as he looked back at the teams he assembled he said, "Wait until I am back. No need to start the clock earlier than we wish and endanger our bonus."

Chuckling, Harry started walking across the tunnel and into the chamber, "A vault door here, tied to my blood," he said as he patted the rock wall of the opening.

“Doable and expected," Gravelthorn said with a nod as he followed Harry into the chamber.

"I'm hoping this is going to be large enough," Harry said as the lights came on in the chamber when the sconces sensed magic. Standing in the middle of a room four times as large as the great hall, with two large alcoves off the end he frowned, "I never did get to visit my family vaults, so I have no idea if this is going to be big enough, too big or just right."

Looking around the chamber, Gravelthorn nodded his head several times as he mentally planned where to put everything. "This might do. It will be tight, but it should do."

Looking at him in surprise, Harry asked, "Just how much money and stuff are you transferring anyway?"

"As per the deal," Gravelthorn smirked, "everything tied to you as the Potter and Black."

"Black?" Harry was quick to question. As far as he knew he was only entitled to anything Potter related, or as Gravelthorn had told him, that had been willed to him by others after the downfall of Voldemort.

"You are the heir of Black, through your godfather Sirius Black," Gravelthorn explained. "You are also related through your grandmother, who was the sister of the Black head. As your godfather was thrown into prison, without a trial, by Black family law, if after five years of not attending his duties, the next heir shall be named Black. The last Black, died six years ago."

"I see," Harry said as he motioned to be followed and started towards the door. Once again in the tunnel, he pointed to the right, "I've been told that way leads to the vaults and tunnel to the surface.” Turning left he said as they approached the light, "I've also been told this chamber we are about to enter, used to be used as a training ground and farming area for your people when they lived here." Entering the chamber and smiling at the gasp he heard from Gravelthorn he said, "The Quetzalcoatl have changed this chamber, they now use it as a nesting ground."

Turning to face Gravelthorn he told him, "These grounds are currently in use, so damaging or disturbing the nests will be responded with lethal force." Pointing to the yellow splashes of magical paint he said, "I spent the morning marking a safe route away from the nesting area to the arch opening to the old city." As Flys Brightly flew down and landed on Harry's shoulders, and looked at the Goblin, he said, "I hope you chose from your people those who will not fall into Jewel Lust, the Quetzalcoatl will consider the deal broken if you go past the allotted time or disturb their nests."

Looking up and staring at the flying snake that landed on Potter’s shoulders, Gravelthorn swallowed hard and nodded his head, "I shall behead the first of my brethren who even look like they are falling into Jewel Lust. I will make sure all know to stay on the marked path on pain of death. This deal is too important to allow it to be damaged by brutish behavior."

"Shall we return?" Harry asked as he turned back towards the tunnel. "It is almost noon, and the magical clock will start once you set foot back on this side of the tunnel after instructing your people on what you want them to do."

Gazing longingly at the arch he barely could make out on the other side of the jungle, Gravelthorn nodded and followed Potter back into the tunnel. Walking in silence he went over and discarded several deals that he wished to propose, trying to find the right one to offer up to open the door for further deals and his elevation.

Walking back through the tunnel to the other side, Gravelthorn drew himself out of his thoughts and gazed at the assembled thousand Goblins, drawn from all their branches worldwide. "Directly across from the interface is the chamber that will become the new vault." Wiggling his fingers above his head he drew a map of the chamber with his magic. "The two back alcoves, the one on the right shall be for books, the library. The alcove on the left shall be for items." Wiggling his finger again and changing the image he told the workers, "Galleons on the left, Sickles in the middle and Knuts to the right. They are to be stacked neatly. They are to be stacked from front to back with precious gems and bars of wealth placed in nearest the alcoves."

"The females will direct you," Gravelthorn said as the image dissolved, "they also shall remove you if you come close to falling into Jewel Lust." Raising his voice he told them, "The deal is thus. If we accomplish the transfer and set up in six hours, we may retrieve what we wish from the old city for twenty-four hours. For every hour we fail to complete the transfer, two hours will be removed from the allotted time. For every hour under the required completion time, we will gain two hours to add to our retrieval time." Glaring at the army of workers he growled out, "I will see us gain an additional six hours, have I made myself clear?"


“RRRHHHHHHH” the Goblins cheered at his words.

"The deal is not complete until the new vault door is in place and sealed to the Potter blood," Gravelthorn said as the cheering died down. "Once we have achieved victory,” he told the smiling Goblins, “we will traverse through a jungle cavern to the arch leading to the old city. At no time is any of you to veer from the yellow marked path. The Flying Snakes, use the chamber as a nesting grounds and will consider the deal broken if we endanger their young. I hereby order all females to arm themselves and to guard the marked path. If any dare step outside the marks they are to be eliminated."

Seeing that he had instilled the proper warning, Gravelthorn turned and glanced at the clock, with the timer counting down, "Our time starts...Now," he said as he ran back through the tunnel and across the chamber so he could direct the flow.

Standing to one side as a flow of Goblins rushed across the tunnel, Harry watched with amusement as Gravelthorn glared at the clock that had started to count down to zero before growling orders out at a faster rate. Feeling Flys Brightly rub his face against the side of his he asked, "So why the sudden desire to ride around on my shoulders?"

"Eldest One has ordered that I learn to speak the language you do to others," Flys Brightly told Harry. "The best way to do so is to feel the vibrations you produce to go with the sounds I hear, so I may mimic them."

"It will be interesting to see if it works," Harry said as he caught one of the female Goblins staring at him. He had never seen a female Goblin before, but seeing that she had three sets of breasts, he was pretty sure she was female. Nodding at her he opened his hand, palm out to invite her to speak.

"Potter of Potter," the female, Gold Dust said as she walked towards the Potter heir. "May we converse?"

"As long as it is understood any deals will brokered through Gravelthorn," Harry told her. Seeing her nod, he motioned for her to follow as he caught sight of dozens of crates full of shrunken shelves being carried past. Stopping near the opening to the chamber, he leaned against the rock wall and asked, "What did you want to talk about?"

Breaking away from the awe filled sight, Gold Dust looked at the Potter and asked, "Do you know what befell my people and those in the above lands?"

"I know what I've been told, by Eldest One and from what little I read from the translated records left of the event," Harry told her as he watched the Quetzalcoatl fly around. "It started over six hundred years ago with the theft of an item vital to the safety of the people and lands. The thief entered through one of the Goblin tunnels," he told her as he looked to see her shock. "I have no idea how he managed that, but I've noticed all the protections your people put in place in the bank are around the vaults, not the tunnels themselves. And you have a great resource in your tunnels and being able to travel across the world."

"Do you know the name of this thief," Gold Dust hissed out in anger at the thought of a thief using their tunnels to steal.

"Flamel, Nicholas Flamel," Harry told her. "What he stole is what he calls a Philosopher’s Stone, but in truth was something far different. While it could be used to heal and that is what he did, by using it monthly he healed his body of anything, including aging, the removal of the Heart of Magic allowed the next calamity to happen."

Seeing she was silently growling and gnashing her teeth, Harry told her, "Two hundred some odd years ago, the Spanish Magicals tried to conquer this land. To bring the three nations under their control. They created a magical plague, that they thought they had a cure for. To their surprise, it killed them before their cure could even begin to flush the plague out of their system. And the people here, without the protections the Heart of Magic gave them, they fell to the madness the plague created." Looking at her he said, "From what I understand, your people fell within hours of the plague being released."

"The city and land above was the height of the Magical world at one time, the lands were neutral and peaceful trading was the norm." Harry said with a sigh as he closed his eyes briefly and imagined what it must have looked like. "It will be once again if I have my way."

"Why are we not dead?" Gold Dust asked as she cataloged the Potter’s statement.

"The Headmaster of Hogwarts, the manipulative old man, he cajoled, stole, borrowed, I really don't care, Flamel’s stone and hid it in Hogwarts as bait for a trap. By adding me also as bait he hoped to draw out a dark lord, I'm still not sure how he planned to deal with him, as his traps or tests were surprisingly simple to get around." Opening his eyes and seeing he had her undivided attention he continued. "He had his people drop hints to entice my curiosity all term, and when I discovered what he was using as bait, I planned. After confronting the professor who was possessed and finding myself with the stone I put into action one of the plans I had come up with if I ever got my hands on the stone. I did not want it to be used as bait or used against or with me as bait in the future. So I hid it in a Moke skin pouch I had in the heel of my shoe. And scattered garnet dust and chips around, so it looked like I had to destroy the stone to save it." Staring her in the eyes he told her, "That stone was the Heart of Magic."

"Interesting," Gold Dust said softly as she re-evaluated the Potter.

"I found out, from my discussion with the oldest of the Quetzalcoatl, what the stone was and was directed to bond to it. So I was protected." Harry pointed out as he got to the part of the history lesson that answered her question. "Eldest One escorted me to the place the Heart of Magic used to be housed and I replaced it. A wave of cleansing magic exploded once I replaced the Heart, destroying the plague and raising the wards."

Seeing her think about what he said he told her before she got any ideas, "As we left the chamber the Heart rests in, we sealed it behind the strongest protections so none can get near it again."

"A wise precaution," Gold Dust said with a nod of agreement. "Tell me, do you know what or who possessed your professor and where the professor is so we may examine him?"

The way she said examine, Harry thought they would not enjoy it. "He's dead, I killed him when he tried to kill me on his master’s orders. As far as who possessed Quirrell, it was Voldemort. At least that is who the spirit claimed to be. I do know my touch hurt it."

"I see," Gold Dust said simply. Potter was a warrior it seemed. "While not brokering a deal, do you know who must be contacted to make deals for this land?"

"Me," Harry said as he pushed his body off the wall. "From what I was told, I am the ruler of these lands. The only sentient Magicals living here, because they were mostly immune to the plague were the Quetzalcoatl, and they named me ruler of these lands."

"Then my conversation with you must stop," Gold Dust bowed her head slightly, "as I do not wish to go against your wishes to only broker deals with Gravelthorn currently. I shall take my suggestion to him. I thank you for your time and must return to oversee the others."

"If it is not forbidden," Harry asked, "why are so many of the females of your race here? I've never heard of anyone seeing a female Goblin before."

"We are here as dispensers of punishment," Gold Dust smiled ferally. "Female Goblins do not fall under the sway of Jewel Lust."

"I see," Harry told her as she walked away.

Half an hour later, after discussing what he and the female Goblin had talked about with Flys Brightly, Harry made his way back down the tunnel towards his new vault.

"A word Gravelthorn," Gold Dust said as she walked into the chamber and stopped near the account manager watching everyone like a Griffin watches its prey.

"Councilor," Gravelthorn bowed his head. Even though he had been given command over any females who joined in the transfer, he did not want to get on the wrong side of one of the Goblin council.

"Did you take into account the battle of death, the Potter was in a few short weeks ago in your transfer plans," Gold Dust asked as she noticed one of her sister Goblins draw her sword to chastise on of the young males.

"I did," Gravelthorn nodded. Telling her, "It was mentioned during the Potter’s escape plans being discussed, before the haggling began. The vault and holdings were liquidated and added to the investment portfolio."

"Good," Gold Dust smiled as her sister Goblin banished the remains of the male and any blood from the area. "Then there should be no chance of the deal being broken on our end for not including vaults tied to the Potter."

"No, Councilor, I double-checked this morning against the blood created list," Gravelthorn told her. "All vaults, monies and items have been accounted for," he said as he checked the clock one more time. Not that it had changed much since the last time he checked two minutes ago.

"The only other item I have been made aware of, that you should be informed of," Gold Dust told him as she eyed him up as a possible mate, "is these lands have been cleansed and protected once more. And the ruler is the Potter."

"I see," Gravelthorn said as he narrowed his eyes as he thought of several deals that information would open up.

Seeing Gravelthorn’s face move as he went into deal building mode, Gold Dust smirked as she moved away so he could scheme. Spotting a male haphazardly stacking coins, she moved off, yelling at him, "Worm, what part of neatly, did your minuscule brain not understand."

Sitting on one of the smaller crates, off to one side just outside the tunnel, Harry was talking to Eldest One and learning more of the history of what the city was like before the plague. He had agreed to let the empty crates be placed up against the chamber wall after they had been emptied, so as not to clutter the tunnel. Hearing a voice squeak behind him, he turned to see a young Goblin practically pissing himself in fear. "Do you need something?"

Looking down at the ground, so as not to look at the giant flying death, the Goblin nodded and whispered through his fear, "Gravelthorn is readying the door to the vault. He wishes you to witness the completion, per the deal."

"I'll be right there," Harry told him and watched as he raced away. Chuckling he looked at Eldest One and told him, "I think he's scared of you for some reason."

Nodding his head, Eldest One sighed, "Our venom is highly deadly. But more so against the greedy ones. And after the plague came, to make sure it did not spread, we freely used it against all who tried to come through their tunnel."

"I understand," Harry said sadly as he stood. "To do otherwise would have meant the plague spreading across the world and the end of Magical peoples."

"The greedy ones worked fast," Eldest One said as he flicked his wings out and prepared to launch into the air.

"They had a deal to complete and in a sense a bet to win," Harry laughed. "If you know how to deal with Goblins, you know how to get the best out of their people."

Walking down the tunnel and into the chamber, Harry looked around and saw the neat orderly stacks and piles. Near the back, gold bars and bars of other precious metals where stacked high with ample room to move around. Walking down one of the aisles, and passing the two alcoves, he saw books, on shelves neatly lines up and items neatly placed on shelves. Moving back towards the middle he saw Gravelthorn watching him.

"Good," Gravelthorn smirked as he saw the Potter inspect their work. Motioning him to follow he said, "All that is needed is to bond your blood to the vault door and the deal is complete."

Nodding, Harry told him, "It is a lot more than I expected." Taking the small pin out of his shirt collar, he pricked the end of his finger and rubbed the blood where Gravelthorn pointed and watched with satisfaction as the doors glowed before going dark once more. Tapping his wand against the clock, stopping it he told him, "A door needs to be placed on your side of the tunnel, blood bonded to you or your successor in the future," smiling he told him, "but you gained an additional seven hours."

Wincing and chuckling as the echoes of the Goblins’ cheers rang in his ears, he turned serious and lowered his voice so Gravelthorn would be the only one to hear, "More Quetzalcoatl showed up than I thought would. They are settled in the branches above the path. Come on," he said as he started for the nesting chamber.

Looking at Flys Brightly he said, "Can you pass along to Eldest One the clock needs to be reset to thirty-one hours. Thank you," he said as Flys Brightly untangled himself from his shoulders and flew off.

"The next clock will start the moment you step through the city’s archway. So we have time to take it slow and walk the path before you take your people with you."

Nodding his head, Gravelthorn told Gold Dust, who was walking next to them, he would be back. "I have been thinking of the next deal we may broker..."

As the two entered the forest Gold Dust laughed as she heard the Potter scream out, "Are you out of your mind. You put the term Robber Baron to shame." The rest of her people were jolted out of their shock when they heard Gravelthorn raise his voice, "IF you weren't such a stingy miser, you would see the value of my offer, not insult me with that pitiful counter."

Laughing, Harry grinned at Gravelthorn, "Just like old times. I remember the first time I haggled with you, you fell off your seat. I had to look around your desk to see if you were even alive."

Chuckling Gravelthorn nodded, "I had never had to enter into haggling with a wizard before. The shock almost killed me. Which," he said slyly, "means out of the goodness of your heart, to make up for almost shocking me to death, you should accept the offer at a pitiful price of one hundred."

Shaking his head sadly, Harry craned his neck around so he could see all of Gravelthorn and told him, "Evidently you did not need hospitalization, so the shock could not have done too much damage. I can offer you sixty, the extra, above my counter, for emotional distress of being out haggled by a wizard."

"Madness," Gravelthorn rebutted as words died on his lips as they stopped near the archway and he looked through at the lost city of his ancestors.

Seeing how effected Gravelthorn was at seeing the city, Harry told him, "We both know we would have settled for seventy. So throw in enough food stocks for a year and I'll agree to seventy-three."

"Deal," Gravelthorn said absentmindedly, before blinking as it sank in what he agreed to. Groaning he pulled himself away from the visage and scowled, "Foodstuffs for a year. The cost of the foodstuffs alone will see me no profit but a single Galleon."

Chuckling, Harry told him, "I know." Laughter rolling out of him as the expression on Gravelthorn’s face become too much he started back, "You'll just have to take it out on some stupid wizard who does not know how to haggle like a proper being."

"Son of a..." Gravelthorn spat out as he watched the Potter walk away. How does he keep doing this to me he thought, he's still a child by wizard standards? As a cold chill ran down his spine he decided to do all in his power to be elevated before Potter did reach adulthood, he would not survive it, that he knew.

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