Disclaimer: See Chapter 1
A/N: My readers are AWESOME! I am trying to make the final push to complete this story now. The final story arc about Camelot is starting and will be completed in the next few chapters. Thank you all for your patience and dedication to this story.
August 2, 1997
Daphne was happily laying in the sun. Susan was lying next to her. Both were in more modest Nomaj bikini's, knowing how much their boys liked them like this. Daphne wondered if Harry was looking at her as she let the rays soak into her.
"Do we need to go back to England in a week?" Susan lazily asked.
"No," Daphne said. She never thought she would like this so much, but now she was here, she didn't want to go.
"Oh, good. I was worried," Susan replied.
Daphne gave a smile that she doubted the other girl saw, as they were both closing their eyes to soak in the warmth. Even with the people around them, it was relaxing and quiet before a shadow came over them. Daphne opened an eye just a bit, expecting to see Harry. Instead there was a bronzed, young man that looked a lot like the statues they had seen at a museum yesterday. The cock-sure smile he was giving her already had her ire peaked.
Another boy was standing just before Susan.
Maybe if she didn't already have her own boy that was even better looking, she might have found the boy cute. Susan shifted. They said something in Greek. Daphne gave him an unimpressed look. "Excuse me, but you are in my sun," she told the boy.
"Ah, Anglika. My friend and me were wondering if you would like a dinner?" the boy asked.
She shared a look with Susan. She didn't look impressed either. This was the fifth time this week now. Harry and Dean were coming out of the water.
"I'm afraid we already have plans," Susan replied.
Both boys got offended looks. "Surely such beautiful sirens must need escort? It is so beautiful around here and you must see it."
The boy next to him just kept smiling. She was starting to think that he didn't speak English. Susan took a towel to cover herself to keep his leering eyes from roaming over her.
"Hey girls! Having a problem?" Harry asked loudly as he approached the boys.
The one that had been talking to her turned at the call. "We saw them first," the boy said. The other looked her up and down before turning to Harry and Dean. She didn't like it. Dean looked ready to start a fit. Harry met the boy's gaze.
"Is that right?" Harry challenged in an even tone.
"Don't start another fight," Daphne told him.
"I never start them," Harry replied.
The boy gave Harry a weary look. Harry may be about the same height, and not as bulky, but she knew his muscles were rock hard and he would level these idiots, even without a wand. "You know them?"
"I would hope so. That's my fiancée," Harry shot back.
Obviously, the boy didn't believe him and said something to the other Greek boy. Daphne sighed. She sat up, realizing their time at this beach was done. Susan had come to the same conclusion as she moved to pack up her stuff. The Greek boys squared off against Harry and Dean. Harry shuffled just a little to get into a fighting stance. She wasn't sure if the boys recognized it.
The boy that had been trying to chat her up scoffed. "My friend and I don't believe you."
Harry shrugged. "Doesn't matter if you do or not. Now get lost," Harry told them.
Daphne stood up as they squared up. She knew Harry never looked for a fight, but like with wizards, others could sense power and it always seemed that others sought it out or wanted to challenge it. "Come on, Harry. You can take me out to a nice restaurant," she offered.
Harry gave her a big smile. "Excuse me, boys. We would like to get with our girls," Harry told them. He moved to go past the boys. She saw it happened and moved before Harry could. They had been banned from the other beach for fighting. She crouched, her leg sweeping out as the boy went to push Harry. If the boy had made contact, she hoped Harry would only leave the boy with a black eye.
Totally caught off guard, the boy fell to the sand. His friend turned, only to pull up short when Susan had her hand on his arm and then he joined his friend.
The first boy rolled over, jumping up. He looked totally surprised at her. Daphne just ignored him, holding a hand out to Harry. "Come on before we get into trouble again."
Harry looked ready to laugh at the look on the boys' faces. The one still on the sand looked really upset. Harry moved around them. He put his shirt on and slipped into his sandals before he took her hand. He picked up her bag and put it over his shoulder. She gave him a smile, liking that he didn't feel self-conscious at all to carry the purple bag that Mrs Thomas had insisted they get the first day they had been here.
The boys didn't follow them or say anything else as they walked back towards the flat. "Can I say how hot that was?" Dean said behind them.
Harry chuckled. "It was pretty hot," he admitted.
She gave him a smug smile. "Well, my fiancé has taught me to defend myself."
"Did I hear something about a nice dinner? Susan queried.
"Something like that," Harry said. "Dean and I thought we would take you out to a really nice place. You know, one you need to wear a really nice dress. We'll get suits."
Daphne beamed at him. "I have a nice dress that I found with Susan yesterday."
He raised a brow at her. "You didn't tell me that."
"I don't tell you everything," she said with a cheeky smile.
Harry hip checked her. A week being out mostly in the Nomaj world and away England had let her let her guard down more than she ever thought she would.
"Should we invite Astoria and Eric to come too?" Susan asked as Dean leaned over, just about hanging off her. She laughed at him and pushed him back.
"If we see them. I have a table for twelve reserved," Harry told them. "I thought everyone would want to go to Saburo's."
Daphne gave Harry a huge smile as Susan's mouth dropped open. "Saburo's! I heard that is like a year to get into!"
Harry shrugged. "I have friends."
"And what friends are those? I didn't think you knew anyone outside of England," she asked.
"I have friends," Harry said.
Dean laughed. "How much did it cost you?"
"I don't care, we're going to Saburo's! What time?" Susan demanded.
"Six," Harry told them.
Susan squealed. She grabbed Daphne's hand. "That only gives us over four hours! Why didn't you tell us earlier!"
Harry laughed at his cousin. She managed to get Harry's shirt to pull him down for a kiss before Susan pulled her away. "I love you."
Harry gave his goofy grin that always sent a thrill through her. "I hope so."
She was going to find out how he got them into the restaurant later. Susan was right. They had to get ready.
It was a few hours later when she was looking at herself in the mirror. The wizarding world had nothing like this dress. It clung to her, nicely showing off her curves. She ran her hand down her side. "Morgana's tit, Daphne. Does mother know your wearing that?" Astoria asked.
Daphne smiled. "Mother doesn't have a say. I'm seventeen now."
Susan came over to look at herself in the mirror. The red head had a red dress that showed off her body almost as much as the black dress Daphne was wearing. Astoria's mouth dropped open. "I want one," her fifteen-year-old sister jealously said.
Susan laughed at her. "You look good in that dress, Tori. Eric will love it."
"But I want him to drool like Harry and Dean are going too," Astoria whinged.
Daphne took on a sly smile. "Do you think I'll be that lucky?"
Susan giggled. "You know, there are reasons you are a vixen."
Daphne's smile grew into a rather self-satisfied one. "Harry doesn't complain."
"I bet he doesn't," Susan said. "This isn't too much?"
"Bloody hell, you two are going to have every guy in the place looking at you," Astoria was still going on.
"Astoria approves," Daphne said.
Susan giggled again. Astoria rolled her eyes. "I still want a dress like that," she whinged again.
"When you turn seventeen, I'll get you one myself," Daphne promised.
"Should we see how our boys like them?" Susan asked, looking a little nervous.
"You look great, Susie," she assured her friend.
"You are both bloody smoking hot," Astoria said. "You are getting me a black thing like that."
"Once you're seventeen. I wouldn't want Eric getting the wrong idea too soon," she said with a smirk to her sister. Astoria flushed a little. It was so much more fun teasing her sister now.
She hooked an arm into her sisters. Astoria was in a very flattering golden dress that had a cute bodice and flared at her hips. Eric would love it. Susan giggled at her antics as she pulled her along. Daphne was enjoying that they could just let loose here.
They were in a large flat for their stay. The bedroom she shared with Susan was on the second level, with Astoria next to her. Their parents were in a room below them while Mrs Thomas and Auntie Ami were in rooms on the far side of the flat.
Walking out onto the mezzanine, she was able to look down on to the large sitting and dining area. Everyone was waiting for them. Harry looked up to them as Susan laughed at something Astoria whispered. Daphne was watching Harry as his green eyes caught sight of her. They widened a little, then drifted down and up her body. The thrill that went through her when he mouthed a silent, 'Wow!" had her thanking Mrs Thomas for convincing her to get the black dress. The woman had said all woman should have a little black dress that takes your man's breath away, and then makes him shag you like you never thought could be. She had blushed at that but felt the anticipation at the look Harry was giving her.
She was so intent on Harry that she didn't really notice anyone else. He met her at the bottom of the stairs. "Tell me I'm not dreaming?"
She giggled at him. "Why would you be dreaming?"
"There is no way I am this lucky," he said, leaning down to kiss her. She smiled into the kiss.
Someone cleared their throat. They both looked over to her father. He was not looking pleased. "You are going out like this?"
Her mother came over. "There is nothing wrong with it, Anders. Young women wear dresses like this all the time in the Muggle world. You look beautiful, Daphne."
"Doesn't she?" Harry asked.
Astoria giggled. "Told you," she said to Susan.
Auntie was looking at them before nodding. "Susan and Daphne are young women now. I don't see any issue with this."
The Higgs were looking at them with wide eyes. Eric, as much as he seemed to love Astoria, was looking at them the same wide eyes. Harry put an arm around her waist. "We should go. The car is already waiting."
"Car?" Lord Higgs asked.
Harry nodded his head to Dean. "Dean suggested we make this a formal night, so we were able to find a limousine."
"This was all your idea, don't get me dragged into this," Dean said with an easy smile.
The last week had been an eye opener for the Higgs. Her parents and Auntie Ami had been introduced to the Nomaj world over the last few years, and most adapted well. Daphne was finding she liked going between both worlds and was in full support of Harry's plans for their future.
To see a car big enough to sit all of them just about had the Higgs wondering how the Muggles weren't magical.
Daphne didn't really pay attention as Harry helped her in. They shuffled towards the front. "This is a bit extravagant, isn't it?" Mrs Thomas asked.
"I thought this a special night," Harry told them.
"Why would it be so special?" Auntie Ami asked.
Harry gave a sneaky grin. Daphne narrowed her eyes, feeling Harry was planning something.
"Well, Neville, Susan and I have celebrated our birthday's together for the last few years. The party you threw us the other night was nice, but I thought we were missing a few," he told them.
"Harry, you didn't," Daphne asked with huge eyes.
"I knew I should have waited a few years to give you full access to your accounts," Auntie Ami said, shaking her head.
"I don't usually spend money like this, and goblins finished selling the basilisk last month. I had a little extra," Harry replied.
"When do we get to Saburo's?" Susan asked.
"Would you let me pay for some of this?" Mrs Thomas asked.
Harry rubbed the back of his neck. She kissed his cheek. "Mrs Thomas, if Harry didn't have the funds, he wouldn't do this. Would you please just accept this tonight?"
After a moment, the woman nodded.
Then they got to the restaurant. Neville, Tracey, Hermione, Blaise, Minister Longbottom, the Grangers, Sirius and his rather pregnant wife were already there… Daphne had to laugh when Terri ran to hug Harry.
"Hey squirt," Harry said affectionately to his cousin.
"I'm not a squirt," Terri said. "Mum and dad said we are here all week. Are we really going to see gorgons?"
She smiled at the girl. "I hope not. You do know they turn you stone if you see them?" Harry questioned.
"Only if you see the snakes on their heads. The book said so," Terri told him.
Dani came up ot her side, giving Daphne a side hug. "You are beautiful tonight."
"You are too," she said. Dani was as good as her sister, not to mention her prodigy in Slytherin.
"He can take on hit wizards, but my little sister has him doing circles," Dani asked. They both laughed to see him spinning around as Terri was talking about all the things she wanted to see this week.
"You're sister does know we are in a Nomaj area?" Daphne asked.
"Yeah. She is just too hyper," Dani replied.
"Reminds me of another little sister," Daphne said over her shoulder.
Dani laughed. "Susan isn't that bad."
Daphne smiled. "I like Susan, you goof. That one though…" she playfully nodded her head towards Astoria.
Dani laughed more.
When they were shown in, Harry had reserved half the restaurant. Four waiters and the concierge were on them right away. Harry sat next to Terri, who was still talking his ear off about everything she wanted to do this week. Daphne sat on his other side with Dani next to her. There was no real seating arrangement, so Neville, Tracey, Blaise and Hermione sat across from them.
"You two look to have gotten some sun," Hermione commented.
"I hope there isn't any tan lines," Tracey teased.
"There are young ears," Daphne reminded her best friend.
It may not have been the romantic dinner she had thought it might be, but she was just as pleased to have her friends and family around. Especially since Harry was having the time of his life. Watching him with Terri, she knew he would be a wonderful father.
For the first time, she was starting to like the idea of having children. They would still wait a few years, but Harry wanted a big family. He had one. She would make it bigger for him. In the mean time, they could use the practice. She made the decision to sneak into his room tonight.
August 6, 1997
"Theresa, wait up!" Gary called out.
"I've got her," Harry said with a laugh, taking off after her.
Garry was huffing as they walked up to the acropolis, while Auntie and Dani were shaking their heads to see Terri and Harry run off. They had been running around Athens all day and had waited to come here late in the day. The rest of their group had either gone back to Glyfada or were shopping in the old wizarding district in the centre of Athens.
"Where are you taking us, Terri?" Harry asked catching up to the hyperactive eight-year-old. Her half wild hair had worked its way out of the plate and was trailing behind her as she ran.
Terri laughed. "Can't you see the colours?"
Harry could feel the old magic here. It was ancient, half wild and strong. It was the strongest place they had visited so far. It felt like Hogwarts with the amount of magic, just far older. "Where do you see the colours?"
Terri pointed towards a half destroyed building to their left. "It's like a fire," she told him, still running towards it. "He's calling to us."
Harry frowned. "Terri, wait, let's see what this is first," he said, reaching out for her. She swerved and took off as fast as she could. Harry took off after her, feeling the magic growing stronger. "Terri! Wait!"
She ducked around a few people, allowing her to get away from him. "Just trying to get my cousin," Harry told them. "Excuse me. Terri!"
She had ducked under a rope and was running up some crumbling stairs. He jumped over the rope, went up the stairs in two hopping leaps. She was into the door of the open roofed ruins before he could catch her. He finally caught her standing at the ruins of a doorway that would have led into an inner sanctum.
Terri was looking at a ruined plinth along a wall that was only half standing. She pointed towards it. "There is an old magic there," she told him.
"I'm sure there is, but I don't think we should disturb it," Harry told her, having had enough adventures and other issues to know when to be cautious now.
Terri went to take a step forward. Harry stopped her. The second her foot hit the floor just past the doorway, he felt the magic surge. Not caring about the Statute of Secrecy, he pulled his wand. He was just a fraction of a second too slow as a blue fire shot out of the plinth and hit them both in the chest.
It felt like the world was spinning. Terri fell and he collapsed next to her, moving to protect her. A moment later, the smell of coal fires, the ringing sound of metal work and guttural glare of fires surrounded them.
Harry sat up, his wand coming up. Terri was still hunched over. His eyes grew wide to find them in a cave. Several giants, about the size of Grawp were working at old fashioned blacksmith furnaces. One of them was looking at a crucible. Another had what looked like a breastplate he was hammering on. A third was making horseshoes. More amazing were the clockwork men tending the furnaces.
They all ignored Harry and Terri.
That was until a man spoke up behind them. "It has been an age since anyone has called on me. I thought all my power gone in the world of man."
Harry spun around, a shield going up. Terri sat up, her eyes wide. "I thought you the only one with gold in their colours," the girl said.
The man had skin bronzed as though he spent hours in the sun, but they were in a large cave. He held a hammer that was easily the size of Harry's head. The metal he held in his hands was bright red, as though it had just been taken out of the fire. The muscles on his exposed chest and arms bulged. With the man being about as large as Hagrid, even Harry found him intimidating.
The man quirked an eyebrow at them. The voice was full of age and power when he spoke. "That magic won't do much here, boy. You see my aura, young one?"
"It is rather nice. Golden with flames and all sorts of metals," Terri said.
The man smiled, putting the glowing metal back into the furnace. "Do you know who I am?"
Terri shook her head. Harry dropped the shield and put his arm down to his side. He figured that he would have no chance if the man wanted to hurt them.
The man sighed. "Not many do, anymore. I suppose you have sought me out for knowledge or a sword to replace that trinket you have."
Harry blinked. "Trinket?"
The man scoffed. "That thing of iron and silver, blessed by magic to be powerful. It's a mere trinket to the craft work hear. Made by those betraying blighters, I assume?"
"What is he talking about?" Terri asked.
"No bloody clue," Harry said to her.
Harry, unsure what to do, made a snap decision. He reached under his shirt to pull out the sword he always kept on him. It was a goblin made silver sword. When it came out, the man made a disgusted face. "It is even worse than I thought. That shoddy craftsmanship is part of why I expelled them."
Harry rose an eyebrow. "Shoddy craftsmanship?"
Harry barely had time to grab Terri and pull her to the side as the man took a huge step towards them. The man was fast. He was powerful. The sword snapped a few inches above the hilt as the man's blacksmith hammer impacted.
"Shoddy craftsmanship," the big man said, going back towards his anvil and furnace.
Terri was holding onto his side. "I want to go back now," Terri told him.
Harry was looking at the broken goblin blade. He had never heard of anything being able to break one.
"I will not harm you, little one. Do you seek a boon, Potter of the Peverells, Peverells of the Ionians? Tell me you have more than that bauble on your arm left to trade," the man said, sounding bored. "Or you, Danforth of the Potters, of the Peverells, of the Ionians?"
Harry dropped the hilt of his sword. That had been a three thousand galleon sword, and now it was useless. "Uhm, no boon. I just want to get my cousin back to where we came from."
The man showed a little more interest. "Truly, all you want is to go back home? You who called me?"
Harry took Terri's hand. "That's all we want," he told the man.
The man started to laugh. It was a booming laugh that had Terri covering her ears. "I can think of very few mortals that have found me to not ask something. For your desire to only keep your cousin safe, I tell you this, Potter of the Peverells. The knowledge you seek will take three to break it, as it took three to forge it. Should you allow my unfaithful to gain the knowledge your ancestor took from them, I give you this warning. Should the cursed ones gain that knowledge, only those that will force them to heal will save you."
Harry gave the man an uncertain look. That sounded too much like prophesy for his liking and he hated prophesy.
"Can we go home now?" Terri asked the man.
The man gave her a smile that almost made him look even more frightening. "For you, little miss, I offer you this."
He reached up to a shelf, bringing down a very finely crafted head band that looked to be made out of silver and adorned with small jewels. He was holding it between two fingers, and it looked dwarfed in his hands. "A piece set for a queen, and one that will hide your powers from all those you don't want knowing."
"But I like seeing the colours," Terri said.
"It will not stop you but prevent others from using you. Here, it is freely given," the man said. "Let it be not said that Hephaestus does not repay his debts. Now, son and daughter of the Peverells, you will return."
The blue fire that had leapt into them suddenly burst out of their chest. Harry gasped at the sensation. It wasn't painful, but it wasn't painless either.
When they came too, Harry found auntie, Gary and Dani around them.
"What happened," Harry asked, sitting up.
"Easy. We found you both passed out here. I don't think visitors are allowed over here," she said.
"Terri, are you alright?" Gary asked.
She got up, the hair band in her hair.
"Where did you get that? It's beautiful," Dani asked her.
Terri reached up. "A really large man gave it to me."
"It's radiating magic," auntie told her.
Harry shook his head. "It was someone named Hephaestus," Harry said.
Gary's eyes went wide. "Harry, it's said this temple had a shrine to Hephaestus."
"Bloody hell," he said.
Auntie reached down. "When did you get this? This isn't the normal sword I know you have."
Harry blinked. Looking next to him, Harry's eyes grew to see a bronze sword that she picked up. It was similar in shape to the one he usually used, but there was something about that had him thinking the goblin wrought blade he had before had been a piece of junk. "Aahhhh, I think just now?"
August 15, 1997
Harry was happy to be home. Greece had been phenomenal. Days in the sun with his family and his betrothed. Nights of his betrothed sneaking into his room. That still drew smiles. Then there was Athens.
Terri had been spooked for a few days. Harry was still spooked. He knew magic was alive, in its own way. He had felt great power. That had been scary levels of power from Hephaestus, if that had been the god of Greek legend.
Looking at his sword, he had a hard time not believing it. He had three other goblin made blades in is vaults, not to mention the four others he had displayed in Potter Green. Before him, a second blade of goblin make was in two pieces. The bronze sword on his lap had cut right through it. No matter what he had done so far, the new sword in his hands hadn't dulled, chipped or shown any signs of wear.
The symbols on the blade were old Greek. He had been able to identify them. He had been able to translate them, but it didn't make any sense. Even with that, he could feel the magic in the artefact.
The curious thing was that some of this ancient language was in his library, and he was sure some of this was the base of the Peverell power. He hadn't been able to identify the script until now. He had been looking for languages a thousand or two thousand years younger.
Picking up the sword in the light, he moved it so the blade picked up other aspects. Looking at it, he thought the shifting writing to look familiar.
Master is thinking, Sasshassa said from his feet. The basilisks had joined him in the library of the keep.
I am. I have seen this before, he said to his companion.
It smells like the crystals, a sleeping Harssess replied. She had been that way since he had come back.
Harry's brow scrunched. He felt the magic in the blade, but he didn't remember anything else feeling like this. What do you mean?
The magic smells like the crystals. It is pure, she replied.
Harry's mouth pursed. After a moment, he got up and started to head towards the ward crystals. Sasshassa followed while Harssess enjoyed the fire. Do you smell it too?
Yesss, master. Smells like the crystals but is not. The sword smells of power and purity. The crystals are sour, but strong, Sasshassa told him.
"Interesting," Harry said.
When they made it to the cave, the normally softly glowing crystals were brighter than normal. He found that interesting. As he got closer, they grew in strength. Harry's eyebrows rose up his brow.
The crystals sing, Sasshassa told him.
Harry could feel the magic drumming in them. Was it possible that the goblins refused to do crystals because they had lost the ability too, not because they wouldn't for wizards. He couldn't see the rune work on the crystals with how bright they were. Walking away, the crystals dimmed enough for him to see the pulsating rune work when he made the stairs.
Sasshassa moved towards the crystal.
What do you see, Harry asked the basilisk.
Power. It smells corrupted. The singing is trying to cleanse it, he replied to Harry.
Harry left the sword on the stairs and approached the crystal. He looked at the runes. Eros Peverell had cracked most of the runes. The few Latin scrolls, ones he thought went all the way back to Merlin himself, had more information, but he had not been able to piece together a full alphabet or translation key yet.
Merlin had also mentioned a bronze sphere. Harry was getting a suspicion the sphere was something from Hephaestus. Could it be a master key? Or the source of the magic to make the gems? Harry wondered if the reason the goblins stopped making these in the twelve-hundreds was because they lost the ability too.
As he traced the runes with his hand, he thought they looked off from the ones on the sword. Going back, Harry cast a mimic spell on the sword so that the runes floated up in a mostly solid blue wisp. It was something from Eros' journals. He would have to teach Daphne. There were a lot of things he would need to teach Daphne after a year of intensive studying of the journals and scrolls. If Dani or Terri wanted to learn, he would gladly teach them as well. The fact he had family to share family magic with was something he felt extremely happy about.
Harry sat back down on the hard stone floor. Sasshassa moved around Harry and the crystal. He looked at the glowing runes of the crystal then the smoky ones. He studied them for a while before he suddenly clapped his hands together and cried, "That's it! They are inverted, and some have extra markings."
Sasshassa hissed in irritation at the sudden noise. Is it bad? Do I need to attack?
Harry laughed. No. Don't attack. I get it. Eros had it backwards on some of these. I need the scrolls, Harry exclaimed, rushing to stand up. He had seen something like this in the scrolls from the island off of Sark Island.
Sasshassa followed, worried about this sudden change in his masters mood.
August 28, 1997
Croaker was frustrated. He had spent most of his life researching the magics of Camelot and the protections around it and felt as far away from understanding it as he did forty-six years ago when his then mentor had first taken him to the hidden city. It was apparent that it was much older than previously thought. It had been built about the time the Romans left the isles in the late fifth-century. Merlin had lived for almost three hundred years, but passed far before the Founders of Hogwarts had lived. Godric Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff had been trained by an Aurelius, but it was Merlin's many times great grandson with the name Peverell.
Slytherin had been trained by a descendant of Le Fey.
Having those two lines now combining led to a power in the old magics not seen for a millennia. The fact that the line of Pendragon and Aurelius already existed in Neville had him salivating. He could find a way to convince Neville to help, but Croaker knew he needed all three lines.
He also knew he needed to know how to use the bronze ball that was in a felt lined box on his desk. It was the key to the protections of Camelot. It was key to changing their world and making sure Wizards would go on as the Muggles left them behind. He feared what would happen once the Statute of Secrecy was breached. Why couldn't Potter understand that?
Why did he have to interfere with his apprentice?
Croaker knew it was Harry that convinced her to leave. She was brilliant. Really, a savant that he had only seen once or twice before. Her mind made leaps at fifteen he hadn't had at fifty.
He was stewing in all his failures over the last two years when a knock came at his door.
He closed the lid of the box. There was no need for anyone to know about it. The goblins thought the sphere destroyed in some ancient revolt. Most wizards had no clue it existed. The most interesting thing was that the runes had started to glow a fortnight ago. He didn't know what it meant, but the almost magically inert sphere had started to gain power, like it was recharging. He wished he knew what that meant.
"Come in," he said.
The door opened to admit a non-descript person in grey robes. "You don't need to wear your hood up when the department is sealed," he told the relatively new recruit.
"Yes, sir. Director Croaker, there is a young man waiting in the lobby to see you," a non-descript voice told him.
Croaker's brow rose. The department was supposed to be sealed today as an experiment was underway that should not be disturbed. "How did he get it?"
"His ring. He is a Wizengamot member and part of the founding families," the Unspeakable said.
Croaker thought of that for a moment. Only three young men could fit that description. Intrigued, wondering if Potter was finally coming around, he said, "Show him to my office and get us some tea."
The hood moved as though the Unspeakable was nodding his head.
He leaned back in his chair after putting the box on a shelf behind him.
Why would Potter come to him? The boy had been very rebellious and had the damned goblins at his side. He feared that they would find a way through the mists. If they did, then the little blighters could get at information hidden for centuries. He wasn't sure what it was they wanted, but he knew it couldn't be good.
A moment later, the door opened. The young Unspeakable ushered Potter in, then shut the door. "Take a seat," Croaker offered, a seat growing out of the floor.
"Thank you," Potter said. He was wearing a black cloak. When he took it off, Croaker was interested to see he was in Muggle attire. Over the last few years he had grown into a young man that reminded him so much of Charlus Potter, though Harry had a presence more of Charlus in his early twenties. Charlus had grown up with his brother, both being pampered and only forged into the hard men they became during the Great War. Harry had already been through a forge.
The Unspeakable that had shown Harry in silently opened the door and put a tea server on his desk before they could go any further. When the door closed, Croaker indicated for Harry to make his tea. "What has brought you seeking me out? I thought after our last conversation you were going to be seeing me with a wand in hand when you finally broke into Camelot?"
Harry didn't say anything as he made his tea. He took a sip before sitting back in his chair. "The goblin revolt of twelve-sixty-two," Harry started and Croaker had to use his prodigious occlumency skills to remain calm. "A small army of wizards and Nomajes managed to breech the goblin stronghold of Grimlast in the mountains of Wales. Until then, the goblins had been winning. From the records, the army lain waste to Grimlast and the goblins sought out a peace treaty soon after."
Croaker made his own tea. Harry sat there as though he had just made a profound statement and he was waiting for Croaker to respond. After clinging the spoon on the China cup, he steadied himself. "I see you pay attention in your History of Magic class, but I fail to see what this has to do with our previous conversations and the goals we each seem to want."
Harry took another sip of his tea. "What would you say if I told you the runes of Hephaestus have been perverted?"
Croaker had his own tea half to his mouth. His eyes locked on Harry's. It was a long silence before Croaker put his cup on the saucer. "I would say that you are dealing with myths and rumours that have no foundation."
Harry nodded his head, as though thinking of what he wanted to say next. "And the myths that the goblins were the original servants of Hephaestus before he created the cyclops and automatons?"
Croaker found himself forcing himself to breath normally. Could it be true? He had found references, but nothing that would confirm something like that. If it was true, then the goblin race was millennia older than thought. It also meant they had been the spawn of gods. How much magic could they possess?
"I take it that your library has found something about this?" Croaker enquired.
"I won't say where I got this information, but it is important. It is hinted at that the goblins took some of the knowledge with them when they betrayed their creator. They were then cursed to always long for the riches they gave up and to never know peace," Harry instructed Croaker.
If this was true, then the goblins had been so war like and treasure hording as a revenge of a god? It was like how the high elves were now a servant race. They had walked too close to the sun, as it is said, and were cast low by the deities they worshiped. He had an uncomfortable thought that Wizards or other magical races would be cast low like that. But there were no gods anymore. Or so he believed.
Not unless… there was an old prophesy that said the old magics could be revived, but he didn't know the details.
He leaned back in his chair again. "That is an interesting myth. I have not heard that before."
"It's not a myth," Harry stated.
Croaker looked at the boy. "Do you care to tell me how you know?"
"No. What I am interested in is the artefacts that the goblins once possessed. The most powerful were made of celestial bronze," Harry said, reaching to his side. Croaker had noticed the pommel sticking out of an extended pocket sheath. Harry undid the clasp and pulled out a long bronze sword that had a slight flare towards the tip. Glowing runes ran down the length. Larger ones ran down the centre, while fine etchings lined either side of the blade. "Goblin silver and steel are cheap replicates, but the best we have now. I think you have some celestial bronze nearby."
Croakers eyes widened. He had studied the rune work on the walls of Camelot, never being able to identify the material they were made out of. He had never considered that it might actually be the metals of the ancient gods. The boy must be the descendant of Merlin, the last known wizard speculated to know secrets like this. He was just about salivating over this heirloom.
"Do you have other family heirlooms like this?" he found himself asking.
"It's not an heirloom," Harry told him.
Croaker took his gaze off the sword. "What do you mean? Nothing like this has been seen or found in hundreds of years."
"Not since Grimlast?" Harry questioned.
Croaker knew the boy knew. How could he not with how specific his information was. Potter must know much more. Croaker needed this information, but with Potter being part of the Wizengamot, he couldn't touch him. There were rules, laws and oaths the Unspeakables took. It was why Croaker had to return most of his most valuable references. Losing the two Peverell journals and some of the others had hurt his research. Seeing what was before him and the object on the shelf behind him, the loss of the Peverell books was even worse.
"I don't know what you are talking about," Croaker said.
Harry sighed. "I went to the goblins because I need to get into Camelot. I need the information in there to set up protective enclaves. Neville should be able to take up his heritage. Daphne should be able to clear up her family name. The Le Fay's were not dark. I have a feeling the Unspeakables have what I need. Do you have any idea why the goblins are helping me?"
Croaker let his concern show through his mask by pursing his lips. "I take it has something to do with that sword and why you suddenly know of their origins?"
"I received a warning. There is the potential that the secrets of making such weapons is there, not to mention artefacts that could help the goblins regain some of their knowledge. If you let me in, I will not be breaking my deal with the goblins, but they will still want some type of payment. Daphne, Neville and I can decide how much we give them," Harry told Croaker.
Croaker thought on this for a minute, taking up his cooling tea to sip at it. "You fear that the goblins will revolt again?"
"The goblins have not won a war with wizards since their defeat at Grimlast. Whatever they lost has broken their ability to hold their own against wizards. Ragnar wants what's in Camelot. I don't know if I want him to get it. The deal is they take a sphere that is said to control magic. I think they used it to make wards. There is also other knowledge there that could be catastrophic if the goblins get it. I agree that we need to get along, but their curse of greed and to now know peace will not be good for us or anyone," Harry replied.
Croaker studied the boy for a long moment. "You know what is there, don't you?"
"I have my suspicions. The question is, will you allow Daphne, Neville and myself to get in?" Harry asked to him.
Croaker didn't like this. He had his desires and wanted to control anything that might be found in Camelot. He wanted Hermione back. She had teased out more information about the seals that made up the Wizengamot and Ministry than he had in how it relates to family magic. The way Harry was talking though, Croaker wouldn't be able to get anything out of Harry.
"I need something in return," Croaker said.
"I have offered to train an Unspeakable in the warding I have been developing. They will have to take the oaths of guild once established, but it would give you unfettered access to our services. You will not be trained in the actual methods," Harry told him.
"I need more. There is untold knowledge and artefacts inside that city. It has been sealed for over thirteen hundred years. The wards are still impenetrable and far more powerful than anything we can create today. I can't even tell you what it would be worth to understand how to make the Mists of Avalon," Croaker told him.
"The greed of that knowledge and power is what caused Merlin to lock up Camelot and Avalon," Harry retorted. "I won't just let it run rampant. We can see what is there and offer the Unspeakables some when I know. I will not make any promises."
Croaker let out a sound of aggravation. "Not good enough. You want me to just open up a treasure trove that has been highly sought after for over a millennia and just go on a promise that you will give me the scraps? I still want the bloodlines. There are other things that can be accomplished."
Harry pursed his lips, deep in thought. "What are you going to do with our bloodlines?"
Could he finally be getting somewhere? "I never lied to Heiress Granger. I want to change our government. It is still corrupt and far too prone to nepotism. A more diffused and open government like many Muggle governments will do us better and may even save us. I don't think our goals that different, we just have other ways we want to go about it."
Harry was quiet as he finished his tea. "I have to talk to some people. If I can get everyone's agreement, you will give me access to Camelot? No questions? No other deals? No interference until we agree to release anything?"
Croaker had to swallow his desire. He wanted both, but if he could get the bloodlines, which were the key to the Ministry Covenants, then he would get one of his desires, and most likely Hermione back.
"I will have to get agreement from some of my colleagues, like you do," Croaker told him.
Harry nodded. "Should I see myself out?"
Croaker chuckled. "We don't just let anyone wander our halls. There are secrets here. May I keep the sword for a bit to study?"
Harry took the sword and put if back into its sheath as he stood up. "You let me study what is in that box and I'll let you study my sword."
Croaker put his occlumency into full force. "I don't know what you are talking about."
Harry shrugged. "Then I don't either."
Croaker wanted to slap the boy. Secrets were supposed to be the realm of the Unspeakables, not a whelp of a boy playing at powers he doesn't understand.
"Good day, Croaker," Harry said, opening his door. Croaker couldn't keep his eyes from bulging. The wards used in the DOM were the best he knew of, and he was in control of the ones in this room. No one should be able to do that. The door was quietly closed. Croaker was fuming at the audacity of Potter.
A larger part of him was crazily going over the conversation and the implications of what had just been said.