The Great Goblin Rebellion October 1991
What triggered a goblin rebellion in October 1991? Harry Potter's introduction to magical Britain goes differently, and Hagrid's trip to the secret vault…well, the cart gets tipped off the track completely.
Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling, the creative lady who shared her wizard and his life with the world. She's kind enough to allow others to play on her beach for a while.&& From Last Chapter &&
Ted asked, "So, what's the news that brought you all the way to the south of France tonight?"
Taking a deep breath, Andrew replied, "The Dark Lord and his Death Eaters struck today. They knocked the Hogwarts Express off the tracks while it passed along a long length of pastureland. The engineer and his assistant were killed, but there wasn't anyone else on the train."
Dora went to her mother to be held, "Harry and I would have been on that train today."
"But you weren't!" Andromeda whispered as she held her daughter. "My children weren't there."
"We're never going back to Britain," Daniel said as his wife held their daughter, and Ted comforted Harry before Andromeda and Dora pulled them into a family embrace.&& CHANGE SCENE && 2 September 1991
The rumbles and conversations did not cease when Minister Fudge rose to address the Wizengamot. The Daily Prophet carried multiple photos of the Hogwarts Express derailed and motionless. The engine and coal car had rolled over, and the smokestack was crushed. The damage to the cars varied – two were burned out, three lay on their sides, and two more were crushed after flying into each other. The dark mark – the calling card of the Dark Lord – floated over the train, visible for the muggles to see.
"The Obliviaters have been successful and removed the memory of the Dark Mark from the minds of the muggles," Cornelius reported. "But there are pictures of the train – the crashed train – in muggle newspapers today."
"You're responsible for this!" Lord Ogden shouted. There was some confusion for several minutes before everyone understood that the rich wizard was shouting at Albus Dumbledore, not Cornelius Fudge. "If you'd taken care of Tom Riddle when he was a student at Hogwarts, none of this…"
"Horace Ogden, you can't think I would harm a child!" Dumbledore interrupted.
"Harm! I didn't suggest you harm him! You're the one who leapt to that conclusion!" Ogden replied. "I was going to say if you had fostered him with any wizarding family instead of sending him back to London during the muggle war, Tom would not have been as willing to dabble into the dark arts!"
Lady Marchbanks stood and said, "I remember London during the 40's when the Natziums were dropping their booms and mickles on the muggles, day, and night. Entire blocks of the city were wiped out!" (Nazis, Bombs, and Missiles)
The arguments continued loud and contentious for another half hour without any resolution or plan for action. The Grand Warlock and the Minister for Magic dismissed the letter from Gringotts demanding an update on the ministry's efforts to locate Dark Lord Flint, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Death Eaters.&& CHANGE SCENE && 20 September 1991
Albus Dumbledore heard a voice calling his name to wake him in his office at Hogwarts. Seated at his desk, he'd fallen asleep again in the middle of the afternoon.
"Dumbledore!" called the voice, and Albus recognized DMLE Director Amelia Bones was calling him through the flames in the floo. The elderly wizard struggled to his feet and approached the floo moments before Bones and Alastor Moody pushed their way through the flames to stand before the headmaster.
"Albus! Are you well?" demanded Alastor.
Brushing aside the concern of both unscheduled visitors, Albus replied, "I am perfectly well."
"We've been trying to reach you for an hour, and you've not responded to Patronus or shouts through the floo," Amelia said. "Isn't there anyone else in the castle?"
"Only Fitch remains. Madam Pence placed the library in stasis before she left for a book-buying mission in MUSA," Albus replied. "Pomona was devastated when the castle closed her greenhouses."
"You should have someone here with you besides portraits and house elves," Alastor observed. "And Professor Sprout gave an interview where she states that YOU closed the greenhouses without allowing her to check them for safety."
"Why do I need anyone here? I am perfectly safe," replied Albus again. "And there's nothing in a greenhouse that can be dangerous."
"Did you get the wards updated to exclude the Death Eaters?" asked Amelia.
Albus replied, "Why would I do that? They would not attack Hogwarts."
"But they might kidnap you," Amelia replied. The headmaster blinked in disbelief; that idea never crossed his mind.
Moody interrupted the headmaster's contemplation of the idea with disturbing news. He announced, "The bodies of three mercenaries were deposited in the Atrium this morning. The goblins had decapitated them."
"And the body of Augustus Rookwood was delivered shortly after that, but he'd died of poisoning," Amelia added.
"Are the goblins poisoning Unspeakables? Who were the hit wizards?"
"Rookwood was a Death Eater working with Dark Lord Flint. He was poisoned at least four weeks ago and suffered a terrible month before he finally died. And the mercenaries were hired by the Death Eaters to penetrate Gringotts and assassinate the chief of the goblins," Moody explained. "The goblins sent photos of the bags of gold taken off the bodies."
"The ministry must challenge the goblins for the taxes due on the gold," Dumbledore stated.&& CHANGE SCENE &&
Perceptive witches and wizards noticed the guards in Gringotts were nervous after the 20th of September. On several occasions, customers in the lobby reported hearing shouting and the sounds of battle axes bouncing off iron shields or helmets from deeper in the bank. Dirk Creswell, Ministry Liaison with Gringotts, prepared a detailed report on the battles between the vault managers dealing with the Dark Lord Flint, the Death Eaters, and the Ministry for Magic. But no one paid attention to the two-page document.
By the beginning of October, every teller wore bloody bandages around their heads, arms, or shoulders while dealing with clients, and everyone saw signs of battle damage in the hallways. Each visitor to the lobby was also handed a copy of the bank's complaints against the ministry for not addressing the problems of the Dark Lord, the Death Eaters, and the use of the Philosopher's Stone to create gold. Wizards curtailed their visits to the bank, refused to allow their wives and children to enter the lobby, and spoke quietly to each other about the ministry's unwillingness to listen to the goblin complaints.
Vault Director Ragnock dealt with duelling vault managers on a daily basis as every goblin prepared for rebellion, if not outright war, with Magical Britain. At the beginning of October, the goblins were unanimous on the decision to rebel, but they still argued about their goals.
Ironstream demanded the unconditional surrender of wizards to the goblin's demands for freedom to invest outside Magical Britain and to use modern banking technologies – Credit Cards and Debit Cards fascinated the goblins.
Steelcrusher wanted Gringotts to have the autonomy to negotiate with muggle businesses (squib run) to purchase food, raw materials, and finished goods without a wizard's business in the middle.
Sowsbreath argued for hiring their own mercenaries to deal with Dark Lord Flint and the Death Eaters.
Ragnock, under pressure from the other leaders of the goblin nation, pushed his warriors and vault managers to prepare for the hunt for the stone. As long as Nicolas Flamel had kept the stone in France, the country of origin, he was safe from prosecution for creating an object that threatened perpetual war with goblins and dwarves. If Gringotts London got their hands on the stone, they could destroy it within the laws of the ICW. (If Flamel somehow managed to get the stone back to France, the ICW could prosecute him for transporting it across borders).&& CHANGE SCENE &&
In the south of France, several British families established contact with each other to discuss school options for their children. Muggleborn, half-blood, and pureblood students needed formal instruction, and the families had individually rejected Beauxbatons and Dramstrung as unsafe or socially and culturally appropriate. A letter from Lady Longbottom (in Paris) addressed the need for a school for the British refugee children and that the Abbot family was working with Bones, Finch-Fletchley, and herself to start a school for a limited number of children.
Edgar Bones, son of a hero from the war against Grindelwald, remembered his father's tales and investigated an abandoned villa outside of Milan. The complex had been used as a training school for hit wizards during the fight with Grindelwald in the 1930s and 40s and never converted back to being a private residence. At the height of the war, the Alpine training facility housed 200 trainees along with 30 officers and trainers supported by a dozen house elves. To become a school, the facility needed a library, a new dining hall (though the kitchens were intact) and a good scrubbing.
Lady Longbottom was able to locate, with multiple elves losing their positions with magical families fleeing Magical Britain in the summer. The Abbots, Bones, and Longbottom family were comfortable with money but they needed funds to complete the uplift of the buildings, hire instructors, and get the school started. With permission from Ted and Andromeda, Harry authorised his vault managers (Potter and Black) to take possession of the abandoned magical villa. Then the families founded the Magical Education Centre of Alpine Italia. Representing the new foundation, Andrew Poppins rented the property for seven years for the annual fee of one galleon.
The goblins preferred this solution for educating the children who'd fled Magical Britain; an overseas school for the British magical children supported the notion that returning to the status quo among the wizards, goblins, and muggles in Britain was not an option.
Standing in the foyer of the soon-to-be school, Dora asked her parents, "Will Hogwarts ever reopen?"
While Ted and Andromeda looked sad, Harry said, "Dora, let's make this a great school this year. If things…when things in Britain get straightened out, they'll have to make Hogwarts as good as Magical Alpine to get us to come back."
"But I graduate this year," Dora replied. "I had wanted to become an Auror, but not now."
"Well, there are Aurors all over Europe. You can pick a country," Harry replied. "We liked France and Italy."
"Or go to work with the ICW," Andrew explained, interrupting the conversation for the first time.
Ironstream and Sowsbreath provided documents with the expenses required to prepare the school to open on 1 October. With permission from Ted and Andromeda, Harry authorized more funds to be dispersed, and contracts for food, cleaning supplies, and a greenhouse were completed. With Andromeda acting as Headmistress and Ted as Assistant Headmaster, they contracted with Gringotts Florence for their strongest wards to be placed around the school immediately.
Gringotts branches in Paris, Florence, Geneva, Vienna, Madrid, The Hague, Brussels, and Munich reached out to known refugee families using the services of the branches. Muggle authorities reached the muggleborn families as well.
The search for qualified professors did not take long – Filius Flitwick (Charms) and Pomona Sprout (Herbology) applied through Gringotts London. Andromeda and Ted would take turns teaching an accurate history class, and Andrew Poppins signed up to teach the Defence, Fight, and Duelling class. Madam Lois Chancery, a French potions mistress, agreed to teach potions to the firsties and, in her own words, 'repair the mess created by Severus Snape' for the students in the other years. Transfiguration would be taught by a goblin named Stonemason from Florence Gringotts. A master of transfiguration, Stonemason was interested in studying how magic developed in humans. The class, Muggle Studies, was replaced by Magical and Muggle Field Trips. Day trips would occur once each month with visits to muggle department stores, magical farms, muggle factories, magical government offices (ICW), muggle cathedrals and museums, and magical research centres.
Word spread around Europe about a temporary school for the refugees with inquiries from a few families, a few shouting matches (Molly Weasley refused the notion of paying full prices for her four sons to attend), and one very tense confrontation that occurred in Gringotts Florence. Ted and Andromeda Tonks were meeting Henry Abbot and Edgar Bones when Narcissa Malfoy entered the room uninvited.
"Is this the meeting for the school?" Malfoy asked before she recognized her older sister. In the seventeen years, the sisters had not spoken and had only seen each other at a distance in the Ministry Atrium twice.
"What are YOU doing here?" Narcissa demanded. "I was told the Black family was involved with this school!" Pointing at Andromeda, Narcissa stated, "That means you can't be part of it!"
Stonemason, the goblin from Florence Gringotts, oversaw the meetings and assured, "Signora Malfoy, Signora Tonks is headmistress of the school. We have sponsors from Longbottom, Abbot, Bones, and Potter-Black…"
Incensed, Narcissa Malfoy shouted, "My son is Heir Black! If you allow anyone else to spend our gold, you're stealing from the Black family!"
Guards with sharp swords surrounded Narcissa Malfoy, who managed to keep her wand tucked away. There were many tense minutes before Signora Malfoy was convinced to leave the bank peacefully and return with any attorney or other representative, she wanted the next day. Then, she could speak to Ironstream, Vault Manager for the Black family at Gringotts London, Heir Potter-Black, and the legal experts employed by Gringotts Florence.&& SMALL CHANGE SCENE &&
The meeting on the second day was tense as the goblins confirmed Harry Potter-Black as the magical heir of the Black family. Ironstream had been summoned from London, and he brought the Black family tapestry for everyone (Narcissa) to view. The goblin stated, "According to the rules of inheritance the Black Family follows, there is no circumstance where Draconis Malfoy can inherit the title (and vaults) of the Black family."
"What? Why?" shouted Narcissa.
Ironstream replied, "Your husband, Lucius Malfoy, debased his family by making them vassals of another wizard without permission of Lord Black. When your husband died, your son became the vassal of that other wizard."
"Ridiculous!" Narcissa declared, and her outrage at the previous declaration spurred unusual accidental magic by an adult witch that treated the goblin (Ironstream) as if he were a boggart. The goblin was surrounded by magic for a moment and then reappeared dressed like Lucius Malfoy in the highest quality wizard robes, a walking stick in his hand, and long white, blonde hair.
Seated with his guardians, Harry watched the witch, distressed by this news. Her son, Draco, was also unpleasant and loud with denials. But the Boy-Who-Lived was disturbed by how upset Andromeda and Dora were with the words from Narcissa and Draco directed at Harry's family.
"Stop!" Harry declared, forcing both Malfoys to cease their denunciations. "Family is important…"
Draco struggled to break the silencing command, but his magic was not that powerful, and Narcissa was drained (and aware of the naked blades drawn by the goblins).
"Ironstream told me you have plenty of money from the dowry…" Harry glanced at the goblin still dressed like Lucius Malfoy for confirmation that he'd used the correct word. Ironstream nodded, and Harry continued, "My guardians and Gringotts have begun teaching me what it means to be Heir Potter and Heir Black, but I have a lot to learn."
"Why do you come here and call my family names?" Harry continued. "That's bad manners!"
Turning to Andromeda, "Draco Malfoy can't come to our school. Dora would squash him like a bug the first week."
Ted sneered and said, "Dramstrung will not tolerate a puffed-up British hedgehog, and I don't doubt the Veela at Beauxbatons will take his measure quickly. You might receive some ashes back after the first week."&& CHANGE SCENE && School 1 October 1991
There was a warm welcome for each student as they arrived at Magical Education Centre of Alpine Italia. Headmistress Andromeda Tonks personally welcomed each of the 124 students for the seventh through first years of instruction. There were no houses to be selected – boys in one dorm and girls in another with some distinctions by age to allow for differences in study and social activities. There were tables scattered around a dining hall and the Tonks family made a point of not sitting together during the dinner to provide information and support to students. Harry sat at a table with other first years – Hannah Abbot, Susan Bones, Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger, and Justin Finch-Fletchley. The first years would have every class with seven students who would have been second years at Hogwarts. There were only four students from the 'third year' but seven from the 'fourth year'. Among the fifth-year students, the eight students were all Magicborn or Half-bloods. (Ted was in touch with several Muggleborn fifth years who were still in Britain). There were four students who would have been in their sixth year at Hogwarts. And in the seventh year, there were six students – two each Magicborn, Half-blood, and Muggleborn.
Harry and his classmates studied their schedules that night – they would have every class twice each week, always with the second-year students, and there were long study and practical periods set aside each day. The seventh years were the only year that wasn't combined with another year and they had mandated revision classes on Saturday.
The first two weeks of school, more fifth year students joined the school – four Muggleborn from Britain and one Pureblood, Percy Weasley. There were lots of questions by the other older students about Percy's missing brothers and lots of terrible stories about the terror twins who tormented their dorm mates. (After hearing Dora's tales about Fred and George, Harry and his new friends were glad that 'Gred and Forge' were not enrolled at Magical Education Centre of Alpine Italia.) At some point, Percy admitted that his great aunt paid his tuition to attend the school.
"Mum is providing tuition to Ron, Fred and George with Dad helping in the evenings," Percy explained. "They hope Hogwarts opens back up in a year or two."&& CHANGE SCENE && 29 October 1991
In the mornings, the local paper from Milan was delivered (with translation charms) and the Florentine Magical News arrived printed in Italian so that all the students could practice their reading skills in Italian. Once a week, the students read aloud in Italian for their professors. And everyone adopted the practice of reading the British Newspapers at tea in afternoon, or after supper.
On 29 October, the Daily Prophet reported that Dark Lord Flint had attacked Azkaban, the British prison with the intention of freeing the Death Eaters imprisoned there. The warden, the Aurors and the wards around the prison withstood the dark wizard's attack. And, when he sent his Death Eaters to try once again, actually breaking into the prison, a large number of them were captured: Greg Avery, Evan Rosier, Stanley Goyle, Paul Selwyn, Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Antonin Dolohov, and Ministry Executioner Walden MacNair. Only Dark Lord Flint and one follower, believed to be Antonin Dolohov, escaped.
The warden reported that the Death Eaters were easily confused and don't seem to have access to their full magical power. In the details of fighting around the cells, Amelia Bones noticed that Sirius Black had been ignored in the confusion of the attempted jail break. She began to ask questions about his guilt. Why did Dark Lord Flint not take his most loyal lieutenant when he tried to break out the Death Eaters?&& CHANGE SCENE && 30 October 1991
The next day's Daily Prophet arrived in the middle of the afternoon with headlines about 'Escaped! Treachery!' in the DMLE. An Auror, Corban Yaxley, was a Death Eater and in the hours before dawn, he had freed the captives and helped them all use the floos in the Atrium to escape.
Cornelius Fudge was furious (and petrified) and ordered the execution of the remaining Death Eaters in Azkaban using the Veil of Death in the Department of Mysteries that before noon that day. The Unspeakables acted as silent witnesses as Bellatrix, Rodolphus, and Rabastan Lestrange were thrown through the veil.
A press release from Gringotts demanding an accounting by the DMLE, the Minister for Magic and the Warden were ignored.