The action of betraying one's country, a group, or a person; or simply treachery. Against what was deemed to be cherished, beloved or prized. I have never deemed a treasure, something of value. Belittled and scrutinized for my blood status. Ostracized for my odd notions praised only when needed but not accepted nor appreciated as a person. Although I was not alone in being harnessed as a weapon, used then discarded. I was publicly discredited and humiliated by those whom I once thought, no believed were friends or family.
To understand the British Enclave, one has to understand the Wizard's Counsel. It was established long before the Ministry of Magic was a concept. And from there the Wizengamont emerged, fifty wizards and witches convene to pass judgment upon high profile cases. This "meeting of wise men" who live two to three times the average muggle contemplates and judges all.
Equality is a matter of opinion.
Unknowingly the stage was set, characters in place and the first Act began.
The sharp sound pierces through the hall as the walnut gavel banged unto the sound block. Ten levels deep within the Ministry of Magic case number 1991205 was in session. Each seat filled clad in black or red, fifty pairs of eyes watching closely as each barrister argued in their favor.
One of the consequences of breaching the most secure structure outside of Hogwarts. The other consequence of this breach for the 'greater good' wasn't committed where would the British Enclave be? Yes, the act was committed and the law was broken. Shouldn't clemency in its purest definition be bestowed to the "boy who lived' and his closest companions?
Two hours of statements and counter-arguments came down to a simple question "How do you Lord Harry James Potter, Ronald Bilius Weasley, and Hermione Jean Granger plead in the burglary of Gringotts Wizarding Bank on the first day of the Fifth month within the year of nineteen hundred and ninety-eight? "All three stood at the instruction of the Barrister Faustworth. Three voices responded as one "We plead guilty."
The court erupted in murmurs and shouts of unrest. Not the usual pandemonium that follows the trio but enough to aggravate the judges.
Senior Judge Grothprow stands, "In light of the reason the law was broken. We commend you Lord Potter in your part in ending the War, however, you are not above the law. We of the Wizengamont make the decision within the laws of our nation sentence Lord Harry James Potter, Ronald Bilius Weasley and Hermione Jean Granger each guilty with the penalty of 10,000 gallons restitution and a five years sentence which is to be met at the hands of the Goblin Nation."
All three were lead out and away from the left within the chambers. Instead of taken to the holding cells the trio was ushered to the Ministry office.
Kingsley sits with a heavy sigh as he looked at the children who helped end the Second Wizard War. A perfect example, of people representing all bloodlines and classes. Harry the half-blood of a noble bloodline, Ron the poorest of the three but old pureblood line and Hermione, the middle-class muggleborn icon. To think all that they have accomplished. It wouldn't be enough. The government was going to ask for more.
Arthur, Molly, and Percy came into the room with concerned faces. Ron was the first to crack, "How am I going to pay for this?! I'm a hero how in the hell are they able to treat me this way!"
Harry shakes his head, he still hasn't taken it all in. "Don't worry mate I'll pay for most of it."
Hermione sighs "Harry, you don't have enough." The tension in the room swell. Dumbledore used a large majority of the Potters vaults to fund the Order. Harry could be comfortable for the rest of his if he was frugal. The Black inheritance was still in litigation. Both the Malfoys and Andromeda were contesting Sirius' will to have Harry as the sole heir.
Tilting his head Harry turns to Hermione, "If I sell some land?"
"Your Ancestral land would make a killing." Putting her hand on his to quell his response, "You would need a team Cursebreakers to break all the family wards, that's an expensive upfront cost you currently can't afford."
Percy agreed with Hermione, "Hermione correct."
Ron mutters snidely, "Figures."
Ignoring his brother Percy pushes on, "The best thing you can do Harry, is to pay your own fine. Don't rely on the Black funds as of yet. Maybe afterward you can help Ron."
Kingsley's eyes narrow at the young man. Noting that they excluded Hermione.
Percy adjusts his robes, "There's more."
All look to Percy to elaborate.
"There will be additional charges pressed against Hermione."
Taken aback Hermione whispers, "For what?"
Percy looks uncomfortable, "Assault."
Kingsley tired of the games bark, "Stop with the dramatics, who and when?"
Percy swallows, "Umbridge, she wants to press charges for the assault at Hogwarts. Not registering under the Muggle Registration Act and theft of her necklace."
Kingsley on the charade, "What is your plan of action to help Hermione."
The older Weasleys grimace, then Arthur spoke, "If Hermione were to marry a pureblood then most of the charges would be dropped."
Holding his hand up to stop the potential eruption from Hermione, Kingsley growls, "I take it you were approached?" Both Arthur and Percy nod in agreement.
Molly tries to take the reins of the conversation, "Well it's not like Hermione and Ron weren't going to get married anyway. We can push up the date."
A shout was heard from an unexpected source, "When the bloody fuck did this happen?!" Hermione topples her chair in anger.
Ron's ears turn red as he was called out. Hermione turns, snarling at the boy, "What the hell have you been feeding your mother? We barely see each other, much less date!"
Caught in his lie Ron stutters then becomes indignant "We kissed! Look, I need to complete Aurors training and you finish school. Mum will teach you to be a proper witch and have my kids. It's not like you have options anyway. You've been panting after me for years."
Harry snatches Hermione away from Ron, the crackle of magic reflecting her anger was felt by all. Locking her arms and placing his hand on her mouth, Harry shook his head. "Look it wouldn't be a good move right now to make a decision."
Knocking interrupts, the conversation as the door opens, Bill Weasley enters.
"I have some good news. The Goblins were willing to negotiate and reduced the sentence and fees."
Everyone sighed in relief, Kingsley wanted details. "What are the new terms?"
Bill pulled the contract out for all to see. "Harry and Ron's fees would be drastically reduced if certain items within Harry's family vault are returned to the Goblin Nation. We are talking a two-three thousand gallons tops. As for the sentence, that can be reduced if Harry backs some Goblin friendly legislation. If passed the time it took to lobbying will be considered time served."
All review the contract, as the Weasleys and Harry convey their happiness on the news both Kinsley and Hermione see a problem, "Bill, what of my fees and sentence?"
The Curse Breaker looks up in confusion "What are you talking about? You're marrying Ron, yeah? So, the reduction also applies to you."
Shaking her head in denial Hermione's knees give way in disbelief as she covers her mouth. Kingsley is stoic at this point, "Is the reduction to her fees and sentencing contingent on her marring Ron? Or is it based on any pureblood?"
Looking to the rest of the group, "What kind of question is that? Mum has been crowing about Ron marrying Hermione for months."
Gripping Hermione's shoulder Kingsley coolly comments, "It has just come to Hermione's attention Ron's or should I say Molly's plans for her future."
Bill's shoulders slump as he closes his eyes in aggravation, realizing his mother's interference. "It's contingent on Hermione's marriage to Ron."
Gasping Hermione stands, looking at Molly, "You made sure I didn't have an option." Harry tries to interrupt. "No, Harry, don't try to justify this."
Molly looks to the men in the room, "She would be protected yes?"
Not to be left to be made the villain, Ron begins to yell, "You people act as if she's a prize herself. She's nothing, plain, frigid. Just a trumped-up Bossy Know-it-all! She should be happy I'm even thinking of marrying her." Scornfully, Ron points to himself, "I'm a great catch! A hero, a star Auror, I'm going places while she won't amount to nothing."
All were silent, warily Hermione speaks to the group. "As you see this wouldn't work." A sadistic smile spreads on her face, "Especially since the Ginger Hero has impregnated three witches. One isn't of age yet."
Looking at Harry in disappointment, Hermione leaves as Molly screeches plummeting Ron with her purse.
Ignoring his family drama, Bill steps to Harry, his crystal blue eyes bleed to amber, "You knew, didn't you? You didn't say anything against this."
Harry pales, "Molly said we would become a family."
Leaning close to the Chosen One, amber darkens as Bill growls, "Hermione was your family in all but blood you berk." Turning to his mother, "Tell me mum, how easy was it to discard Hermione wants and needs?" Emotion well from deep within him, remembering how ragged Hermione ran herself to help everyone. Yet no one, not even himself helped her. Squaring his shoulders, Bill decided it would end here. "Hermione won't forgive you and rightfully so."
Gringotts Wizarding Bank, 8 January
It was a grand spectacle as the "Golden Trio" was escorted through Diagon Alley to the steps of Gringotts. The Goblin guards look upon the offenders with disgust. The damage to the building and underground was a blow to the Goblin Nation. It would only be appeased by blood. Knowing the Aurors had no jurisdiction on the very steps of the bank they turned in sequence and left.
All look up at the inscription in trepidation. A tall goblin opens the doors, his hard look of disgust took the boys back, Hermione bared her teeth growling. The goblin black eyes squinted as he bared in return admitting the wizards, "Move younglings, you have an appointment." Resigned Hermione adjusts her cloak squares her shoulders then looks to the others. Confused, Harry nods they file into the building. Goblin guards flank their steps as they are forced to bypass the tellers to the most high-ranking desk.
Hauteclere sat behind his desk, as the new Lead Master Account all that went on within the walls of Gringotts was his responsibility. The theft committed by immature, disrespecting wizards set off an in-depth audit for the past 100 years brought many dishonorable acts to light nearly setting the Goblin King into a blood rage. The most reprehensible was the Skan and Krale conspiracy. Once honorable clan lines now reduced to ash and bone. Seventeen wizard family vaults of all classes were closed with faked wills, personally supplied by the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. The gold was transferred to the Hogwarts School for the Unfortunate Fund, accessible only by Headmaster Dumbledore. The only reason there wasn't a second war with the Wizards was the uncovering of nearly two decades unauthorized access to the Potter vault, managed by former lead Account Manager Bogrod partner of Griphook and the efforts of the Cursebreaker William Weasley.
The Golden trio stood before Hauteclere, only one clasp hands in front, head bowed, eyes forward in respect. Both males stared with curious regard instead of the usual disinterest or disregard but still not with respect.
Harry was still confused on Hermione's display outside, looking around he noticed on this side of the bank the stone and wood were more ornate. All desks were set on platforms, giving the occupants advantage of looking down at the clients. Leaning forward Heauteclere glares at the young males, picking up the ledger, "It seems you discredit, Cursebreaker Weasley. You are now on Goblin soil, which you are in the minority. Here Goblin's rights and culture are to be respected did he not teach you how to address the Elder accountants? Did he not drill the proper portals?!" The boys cringed Lead Head Master Accountant rose. Grabbing his quill, he pauses assessing the younglings, the female is still as the males fidget. "Now it has been established, your disrespect and disregard of this nation how to do plead?"
Harry runs to the platform and object on Hermione's behalf before subdued.
Leaning forward, he points to the female, "Young Witchling, explain."
Only then did Hermione raise her eyes, "I help create and execute the plan of breaking in the vault to steal a Horcruxes. What should have been done is to contact you or someone of your status with this information and wait for confirmation the Goblin nation to destroyed it and was open to renegotiating."
Heauteclere, leans further, "What makes you think we would have destroyed it. This was not a Goblin matter. We could have left it in the vault and just sealed it."
Hermione blinked, then bared her teeth, her very inhuman sharp teeth. "That would not be good business, for the container was a Goblin artifact given to Helga Hufflepuff as a symbol of a direct Trade Agreement of goods with Hogwarts. Without that cup within the walls of Hogwarts, the Trade Agreement has become invalid. Also, it may influence other dark artifacts within the vault. Therefore, this would move to a highly volatile probability in injured workers."
Flicking his quill, "Then why was this not done?"
Hermione, lips became pinched as her face became flushed, "Ignorance, sir. Students within Hogwarts are only taught the 'Goblin War' nothing else."
"And does that absolve you of your crimes?!"
Shaking her head, "No, sir. Ignorantia juris non excusat or ignorantia legis neminem excusat. Not knowing the law was harmful. And most importantly time is the most precious commodity. Priceless in fact. What we did impede on business hours."
Leaning back, "And what do you say to the judgment that was placed upon you now, young witchling? What do you say in working for Gringotts for the entire sentence?"
Looking in the eyes of the Lead Master Account, "I am sentenced to serve the Goblin nation for five above-ground years."
Heauteclere glares at the young males then gave the nastiest smile to Hermione. "Separate them. You have done well witchling."