Suspicions, Schemes and Surprises
Knowing from Harry’s memories of Gilderoy Lockhart what this spell was capable of doing to someone, Daniel instinctively shoved Harry out of the way and took command of his body. Acting with the speed of thought, he seized control of the spell just before it made contact with Harry’s body. Quickly shifting the colour of the spell out of the visible light spectrum, Daniel dispersed its energy so that it would cause no harm to anyone. He was fairly certain that from Dumbledore and the Minister’s perspective it would appear as though the spell had hit Harry.
Keeping the expression on Harry’s face blank, Daniel listened as Dumbledore told him, “Harry, you got out of your Uncle’s house after accidentally blowing up his sister. You took the Knight Bus to the Leaky Cauldron...”
Daniel’s attention was yanked away as Harry tried to take control of his body back, screaming. /How can he do this to me? I thought he cared about me.../
Not having much time, Daniel did something he knew he would regret for years to come, but right now he couldn’t let Harry have control. They couldn’t allow Dumbledore to know his spell had failed to hit its intended target, otherwise the elderly man might try some method he couldn’t counteract to change their memories. Confining Harry in a corner of his mind and silencing him at least for now, Daniel returned his attention to what Dumbledore was saying.
“...you agreed to the Minister’s request to remain in Diagon Alley and not go into muggle London, after the Minister assured you, you weren’t going to suffer any punishment for the accidental magic you used on Marge Dursley.” Dumbledore concluded.
As he laid out what he wanted Harry to remember about last night, Dumbledore watched the boy’s face carefully. For a brief moment it looked as though he might be fighting the memory charm, but then his face again took on that slightly dazed expression left by memory charms so Dumbledore thought he’d been mistaken. It had probably been a reaction to Marge Dursley’s name and not his spell failing.
When he was finished, Dumbledore pointed his wand at Harry and said, “Quiesco.”
While Daniel recognized the Latin word for sleep, he once again dispersed the spell before it could reach its intended target. He had no intention of letting this man put them to sleep. God knew where they might wind up while they were. He wanted them conscious so they could escape if need be once they were left alone. He did however give the impression that the spell had worked by closing Harry’s eyes and relaxing his body as if it were asleep.
“How long will he sleep, Dumbledore?” Daniel heard Minister Fudge ask.
“It should last until morning,” Dumbledore him. “Has the Accidental Magical Reversal Squad finished removing this incident from the appropriate records and files?”
“They should be finished cleaning up the records here by now and all other locations have already been taken care of and all the people involved have had their memories modified.” Fudge told him. “Once we leave here, there won’t be a trace in any muggle records that Harry Potter was ever in this Hospital.”
“Good,” Dumbledore’s voice sounded pleased. “We also need to retrieve Harry’s belongings from his Aunt and Uncle’s house and get them to the Leaky Cauldron before morning.”
“My people will see to that.” Fudge assured him then commented. “You do realise Albus that we were very lucky that Black didn’t find him first.”
Black? Who is Black and why would he want Harry? Daniel wondered. From the way the two men were talking, it sounded as though they thought this Black person might do Harry harm, but given what they had intended to do to the boy, Daniel wasn’t going to take that at face value. So far from Harry’s memories and what he had seen with his, or rather Harry’s own eyes, these two seemed to be big fans of political expediency and to hell with the truth or doing what was right for someone else.
He was so caught up in his thoughts he almost missed Fudge’s question. “Are you certain it’s safe for him to be left on his own in Diagon Alley, given the current situation?”
“Oh yes, he’ll be perfectly fine there.” Dumbledore assured him. “The shopkeepers will be alerted and I know they will keep an eye on him for us. Besides we need time for tempers to cool at his relative’s house.”
“Perhaps you are right?” Fudge conceded. “It would be better for all concerned if some time passed before they saw each other again. There will be less chance that the memory charm will unravel that way.”
Daniel waited until his Ascended senses told him they were alone in the new location before opening his/Harry’s eyes to see where they had been taken.
Without raising his head, he looked about the room he found himself in with interest. The furnishings and the room itself looked like something out of the seventeenth or eighteenth century. The walls were white plaster with wood beams visible in it in the fashion of those that were built during the time of the fifteenth or sixteenth century. There were no electric lights in evidence, only candles and a fire in the fireplace on the opposite wall.
The trip that had brought him to this room had been weirder than any trip he had every taken through the Stargate and that was saying something.
After Dumbledore said something that sounded like ‘moblicorpus’ which he translated to mean mobile body Daniel had had to fight the instinct to struggle when his body began rising off the bed and into an upright position, given that Harry, at least as far as the other two men knew, was asleep. A moment later he felt someone taking hold of his hand and could feel something resting between his palm and the other person’s palm. Once the other person had a secure hold on his hand, he heard the word ‘portus’ muttered. What followed was odd to say the least. It felt as if someone had stuck a hook through his stomach and that hook jerked him along paths of energy he could feel flowing around him almost like a mini Stargate. The method of transport was almost instantaneous because the smells of the hospital vanished and he couldn’t make sense out of what he was hearing or smelling in the new location.
Before moving more than his head, Daniel swept the room with all his Ascended powers to make sure there was no one left behind here to keep watch on Harry possibly hidden under an invisibility cloak. Once he was satisfied that they were alone, Daniel released Harry from confinement and returned control to him.
“How dare you!” Harry blazed up. “You have no right to do whatever you want with my body! How is what you did to me any different from what the Goa’uld, you claim to fight, do? You hijacked my body and kept me prisoner in my own mind! While I am not anxious to die, I won’t put up with you taking control whenever you damn well feel like it!”
He continued in this vein for several minutes before falling silent long enough for Daniel to ask, /May I say something now?/
/What can you possibly say to make what you did right?/ Harry retorted.
/Nothing,/ Daniel admitted. /But I don’t intend to apologise for what I did. It had to be done and I would do it again in a heartbeat. That Dumbledore of yours was determined to return you to the Dursleys and he didn’t want you putting up a fight. I don’t know why they want you returned to what is clearly a dangerous environment, and right now I really don’t care. The fact that Dumbledore and Minister Fudge were willing to use a memory charm to insure that you went meekly back to your relatives tells me that they didn’t give a damn about what you wanted or what happened to you. There’s also the fact that there is no telling what it might’ve done to my memory if I hadn’t stopped the spell and I have too much I want and need to remember to let some old man who thinks he knows what’s best for you mess with my mind or yours./
Daniel’s words reminded Harry of the fact that it was Dumbledore and not Fudge, who’d cast the memory charm on him and that brought all the anger and sorrow he had felt at the Headmaster’s betrayal back to the forefront of Harry’s mind. /Why would the Headmaster do that to me? Why would he want to send me back there, knowing how they treat me? I know the Headmaster always looks for the good in people, but surely he couldn’t believe that this was an isolated incident?/
/I wish I had an answer for you but I don’t./ Daniel told him. /I just know that no matter how much you may hate the way I did it, we couldn’t let him know that his spell had been blocked. While I wish I could’ve left you in control, it was too risky. From what I’ve seen of your life, you haven’t learned how to lie convincingly yet. I have. If Dumbledore knew his first attempt failed, he might’ve tried a stronger spell or something that I wouldn’t be able to counter and that was a chance I wasn’t willing to take. Dumbledore and Minister Fudge remind me a lot of some of the people I met during my time at the SGC. Ones who only cared about what use they could make of you. You could trust them to keep you alive up to a point, but no further. Once you’d outlived your usefulness, they wouldn’t care if you lived or died. I’ve gotten very good at fooling people when I’ve had to in the last seven years, especially those in power who intended to cause me and those I’ve sworn to protect harm./
/Am I one of those you’ve fooled?/ Harry asked in a small voice, not really sure he wanted to know the answer.
Daniel sighed, /Harry, while I may not always tell you everything, you are the only person I can’t lie to. You and I may be two separate souls in this body, but because we are bound together, you would know if I were lying to you, just as I would know if you were lying to me./
A thought suddenly occurred to Harry, /Do you think he’s done it to me before?/
/What?/ Daniel asked puzzled then caught on to what he was asking. /You mean tampered with your memory?/
/Yeah. Could he have?/
/I don’t know,/ Daniel admitted. /It’s possible. I mean Dumbledore didn’t seem to have any regrets about doing it this time and that could mean he’s done it before, or that he’s so convinced he is right that he can justify anything he does, at least to himself. We may want to investigate your other interactions in the wizarding world to see if he had a hand in any of them. If that is the case then it makes him a very dangerous individual, maybe even moreso than this Voldemort character because that means he has probably already done a number of shady things in his quest for what he probably thinks of as the greater good and he won’t stop at simply altering your memory./
/Are you saying he’s engineered everything that’s happened the last two years?/ Harry couldn’t help feeling shocked.
/No, that’s not what I’m saying. But I do think he has arranged certain events to make sure you made the choices he wanted, thinking that those choices were your own./ Daniel pointed out. /For example, he sends Hagrid to pick you up when they are having trouble getting your letter to you. The person he incidentally gave the job of picking up the Philosopher’s Stone to as well. This is a man who while I have no doubt is a kind-hearted individual, couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. Dumbledore must know this, so why would he trust him to pick it up and to insure one-seventh of the defences guarding it? He also had to know of Hagrid’s bias against the Slytherins which while not as pronounced as Snape’s toward Gryffindor’s would insure that you got the Slytherins were bad and avoid them at all costs speech. And last but not least, I think he arranged your first meeting with the Weasleys. I think he also arranged for Ron to be your first lengthy contact with a wizard your own age./
/You’re saying that he set me up with the Weasleys?/ Harry couldn’t believe it.
/Just think about it for a moment,/ Daniel urged then laid out the inconsistencies he’d found so far. /According to the sorting hat you were evenly balanced between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Even though he couldn't know for certain that Slytherin would be one of the Sorting hat’s choices for you, Dumbledore wanted to make sure you to chose Gryffindor over any other House. He may have known from Hagrid about your meeting with Malfoy, but he couldn’t be certain that that would insure that you would choose the House he wanted you in, so he arranges for you to meet a family that currently has several members in Gryffindor. Mrs. Weasley is not a very subtle person you know. She has sent five children to Hogwarts before your friend Ron, not to mention going there for seven years herself and yet she has to ask in a loud voice the number of the platform. And her saying ‘Packed with muggles’ that was to get your attention so you would have to ask them how to get on, since Hagrid hadn’t told you. Whether that was on Dumbledore’s orders or not, I don’t know, but it is very suspicious. Then there is the ride up on the train. Ron told you the train was full, but yet no one else joined the two of you or even disturbed you other than the Weasley twins and the lady with the sweets trolley until the trip was almost half over. Again, I’m not saying that Ron isn’t really your friend, but it is just another thing that doesn’t make sense unless there was an unknown hand controlling it, because you should have been interrupted long before then, if only by other students who were curious to see who was on the train./
Before Harry could make any comment, they heard the doorknob rattle.
/Lie down Harry,/ Daniel ordered, /pretend you’re asleep./
Harry complied without wondering why he should do anything Daniel Jackson told him, given the man’s actions earlier. He listened as several people moved about the room putting things down. Whoever they were they weren’t talking, nor were they coming near the bed he was lying on. It seemed they were in a hurry to finish their business because they left a few minutes or so it seemed after entering the room.
Harry kept his eyes closed, listening carefully as Daniel stretched out his Ascended senses to make sure they were alone again. The only thing Harry heard was the rustle of wings while the only living thing Daniel detected was a bird of some kind.
/There’s no one else in the room other than a bird./ Daniel told his host.
/That’s probably Hedwig, my owl./ Harry told him.
/Your owl?/ Daniel was stunned for a moment then remembered, /Oh yes, you mentioned something about your owl earlier./
/Want to meet her?/ Harry asked eagerly as he opened his eyes.
/I don’t think I have much choice. Where you go, I go, remember?/ Daniel reminded him with a laugh.
/Oh yeah,/ Harry gave a slightly shaky laugh. /I’m still not used to this./
/Neither am I,/ Daniel admitted, /but we have time to get used to each other./
Hedwig stared at her master’s body where it was lying on the bed some of her concern easing, but not all. There was something off about him. The magic that bound her to him as his familiar was still there as strong as ever, but every so often it seemed to vanish to be replaced by a different signature entirely as if the person before her were no longer her master. Had her master somehow been possessed? And if he had indeed been possessed, why didn’t the old white-haired wizard who kept the place her master went to every year, detect the change himself? She would have to be cautious around her master until she figured out what was going on.
Harry approached his owl. “Hedwig, you were such a clever girl, going to Hermione to get help for me.” He stroked her breast feathers with his finger. “If we really are near Diagon Alley, I’ll have to remember to pick you up a special treat.”
As Hedwig watched the expression on her master’s face changed slightly and she felt his magic signature disappear again. She flapped her wings, trying to back away from the hand that was next to her.
Her master’s magical signature was back.
“What’s wrong girl?” Harry asked.
/I think somehow she is detecting me./ Daniel told him. /She reacted that way when I spoke to you./
The signatures had switched again. She was getting very confused.
“Can she?” Harry’s voice asked further confusing Hedwig.
/I honestly don’t know./ Daniel told him. /I suggest we ask her. If she is a magical creature, she may be able to sense a change in your aura or something similar when I am active./
“Hedwig, are you feeling something peculiar about me?” Harry asked.
Hedwig uncertainly bobbed her head and waited to see what happened, preparing to flee for help if necessary out the open window.
“And I bet you can’t make sense of it can you?” Her master’s magical signature had vanished again. “Hedwig, allow me to introduce myself. I am Daniel Jackson and through a very peculiar set of circumstances, I saved Harry’s life last night and in the process bound mine to his without intending to.”
Seeing the sceptical look in the owl’s eyes, Harry quickly rushed to tell her. “It’s true Hedwig. If it hadn’t been for Daniel, Uncle Vernon would have killed me last night. The only problem is we can’t separate now, or it will kill both of us.”
Hedwig gave him a look as if to say ‘do you think I was hatched yesterday.’
“It is quite true my dear Hedwig.” The other was back again. “I am sort of from the future and also an ascended being. I thought Harry’s body was my own when I first woke in it and in the process of healing the injuries and pulling him back from the brink of death, I somehow tied our life forces together. It wasn’t intentional I assure you. The joining I mean, not the saving of his life.”
If ever an owl could give someone a look like your mother when they suspected you were telling them a lie, Daniel thought that Hedwig managed it. Looking around the room, his eyes fell on the mirror over the dresser. Extending his arm to the owl, Daniel said, “While I can’t separate from Harry for very long without killing him, I can show you what I look like, maybe that will reassure you I intend no harm to Harry.”
Hedwig studied him carefully for a moment. She felt no immediate threat from him and her curiosity was beginning to get the better of her. She hopped on to the extended arm and let him take her over to the magical mirror.
A white glow covered Harry’s hand as it passed over the mirror. Hedwig could see that the image of she and her master had been replaced by the image of an older man with close-cropped, golden brown hair and blue eyes. The mouth was smiling. Hedwig studied the face intently, looking back and forth between her Harry and the mirror. It was a good face Hedwig decided. She would trust him... for now.
She gave a questioning hoot.
“That is the image of Dr. Daniel Jackson, archaeologist and linguist from the year 2003.” Daniel assured her. “I have no idea how I came to be here or in Harry’s body, but until we can figure out a way to safely separate, I will be a part of Harry’s life and given Harry’s penchant for finding trouble that’s probably a good thing.”
Hedwig hooted in agreement accepting this change in her master’s life and memorised the other’s magical signature so she could tell them apart.
“Hey!” Harry sputtered indignantly, annoyed that his owl was agreeing with Daniel. “You’ve found far more trouble than I have Dr. Daniel Jackson, so you haven’t got room to talk.”
Daniel wisely made no comment, given that Jack had often called him a trouble magnet. O’Neill had often said that whatever trouble might be lying in wait on a planet would suddenly decide to occur the moment he got near it; from earthquakes and landslides to Goa’uld who hadn’t paid a particular world a visit in several millennia suddenly deciding that today was a good day to check out or reclaim it.
/Where do you think we are?/ Daniel decided to change the subject as Hedwig returned to her perch.
/Well, if I had to take a guess, I would say probably the Leaky Cauldron, given that Dumbledore mentioned me meeting Fudge there./ Harry told him. /I know the Leaky Cauldron has some rooms, though I’ve never stayed in them before./
Given that they had to have some kind of plan in place before they confronted Dumbledore again or anyone else who might know Harry well, Daniel asked, /How long before we have to go to Hogwarts?/
/If we go back to Hogwarts you mean,/ Harry countered
/I think we will have to,/ Daniel told him thoughtfully, /if only to buy ourselves time. The more time we have the more foolproof we can make our plan so that if we do have to leave or go into hiding, they won’t be able to find us if we don’t want them to./
Harry considered this for a while and realised Daniel was probably right. While it would be impossible to plan for everything, it would be better to have a plan in place that covered the big things at least that way they wouldn’t be scrambling frantically to fix something when it went wrong. If it went wrong, he amended to himself. But then again with the way his luck usually ran and adding his new companion’s into the mix, bad luck was sure to follow. /The new term starts in about two weeks./
Thinking off the top of his head Daniel said, /The first thing we need to do is find out the complete state of your finances and who has control over them given you are still a minor./
/That means a visit to Gringotts in the morning,/ Harry told him.
/No,/ Daniel disagreed. /Actually it means a visit to Flourish and Blotts. We need to get a look at a book on goblin customs if there is such a thing. Given Dumbledore’s actions, I bet there are more things he has hidden from you than just the fact he doesn’t want you leaving the Dursleys. We’re probably going to have to go to the highest levels of management to get the answers we need./
/We’ll still need to get money from Gringotts, because there’s no place in there to read in Flourish and Blotts, so we’ll have to buy the books and read them here./ Harry pointed out. /Besides, if we are going back to Hogwarts, I need to get my school supplies and finish up my assignments for the coming year./
/ I can help with that./ Daniel offered.
/You know even less about the magical world than I do./ Harry pointed out.
/True, but I’m a very fast learner./ Daniel told him. /Besides I haven’t got anything else to do at the moment, so I might as well help you. You are a very bright young man Harry, despite what your relatives tried to get you to believe. Don’t let that intelligence be wasted./
/Great,/ Harry sighed, /you want to turn me into male Hermione./
Daniel laughed, then turned serious. /No, I just want you to use the gifts you were given and your intelligence is one of them. You have a very clever old man and a very cunning politician wanting to keep you in ignorance, for reasons of their own, not to mention this Voldemort character and the only way we may be able to overcome that is to use what we have; my brains and yours, and make them underestimate us in the process. Face it Harry, it’s the only way we’ll survive./
/I wouldn’t have called Fudge smart, given what he did to Hagrid last year and the way he announced that they had taken care of the problem of people knowing about how my relatives abused me like he was doing me a favour./ Harry pointed out.
/Smart and cunning are too different things,/ Daniel disagreed. /A person may not be all that smart, but if they are cunning enough, they can try and find their way out of situations that would leave a smarter person totally lost. Even a rat can be cunning when it needs to be, though it is not considered a very intelligent animal./
The next morning after they had breakfast in the Leaky Cauldron, Harry/Daniel went out back and wand out, Harry said, /Daniel Jackson get ready to experience a world you have never seen before./
Tapping the correct brick with his wand, Harry smiled at Daniel’s gasp of amazement as the brick wriggled as if it were ticklish and then a hole appeared and grew larger until it formed an archway.
In a voice similar to the one Hagrid used the first time he brought Harry to Diagon alley, Harry said, /Dr. Jackson, welcome to Diagon Alley./
Daniel found his first glimpse of Diagon Alley to be very informative. From Harry’s knowledge of the magical world which even Harry admitted was limited to his contact with other wizards like the Weasleys and those at Hogwarts and given the appearance of most of the building in Diagon Alley, he was willing to bet that most but not all contact with the non-magical world had been cut off some time in the seventeenth century. He knew from Harry that some had access to non-magical technological items like cars, stoves, among other things that had been enchanted to work without electricity. What he couldn’t understand was why if the magical community knew about the things that the non-magical community had produced, why had they chosen not to progress beyond the technological level of the seventeenth century in most of the things they used in their daily lives.
Harry smiled as he felt Daniel’s eagerness as he viewed the Alley for the first time. It did kind of surprise him though that a man who was probably way smarter than Hermione could still have all the eager innocence of a child when confronted by something he had never seen before. Hermione had seemed to have lost that innocence. The last time he had been in Diagon Alley with her, she didn’t bother looking around and exploring all the unusual shops, instead she had approached the visit with a businesslike attitude. That was, he reminded himself, until she saw Gilderoy Lockhart and like all the other females within a ten meter radius, she’d gone all gooey-eyed over the man.
/Don’t worry, Daniel, we’ll have plenty of time to explore, after we visit Gringotts./ Harry assured his eager passenger. In fact he was looking forward to having the time to really explore the Alley himself. The last two times, he had been brought here, he really hadn’t had the time to do so, because the people escorting him made sure he only went where he needed to go to get his school things and only made a couple of detours.
Harry headed to Gringotts and after presenting his key, was escorted to his vault by a goblin named Glathrock.
As the mine cart came to a halt in front of Harry’s vault, Daniel gasped, /Whoo! That was almost as much of a rush as going through the stargate./
/It is a bit of a wild ride isn’t it./ Harry agreed as he got out of the cart.
“Key please,” Glathrock requested unaware of their exchange.
Harry handed it over and waited while the goblin put it in the lock and opened the vault. When the green smoke coming out of the vault cleared, Daniel got his first good look at wizarding money and whistled at the piles of gold, silver, and bronze coloured coins. As Harry scooped some of the coins into a nearby sack, Daniel could tell from the weight as he handled them that it was real gold. He made a mental note to have Harry find out the exchange rate between the wizarding currency and the British pound. He figured they had to have one, given that those students who came from non-magical families certainly wouldn’t have Galleons, Sickles, or Knuts, until they converted some of their British pounds. Once they had that information, even if the exchange rate changed a bit, they would still have a general idea of how much they would have when they went out on their own.
Once they were back outside the bank Harry asked, fairly certain of the answer, /should we go exploring first or to Flourish and Blotts?/
Harry could feel the wealth of indecision in that word and decided to add fuel to the fire of indecision. /The only part of Diagon Alley we have to make sure to avoid is Knockturn Alley. Other than that we can go pretty much where we want./
/I’m beginning to wonder if you might not be related to Jack O’Neill because that sounds like something he would have said./ Daniel growled.
Harry laughed out loud and that got him a few strange looks from the passing witches and wizards, who couldn’t figure out what he was laughing at.
Harry/Daniel spent the remainder of the morning exploring the nooks and crannies of Diagon Alley. They stopped in a few of the more interesting looking shops and made a note to go back and look at a few others later. Then before tackling Flourish and Blotts, they stopped in for a well-deserved snack of chocolate chunk ice cream.
/Ummm/ Daniel moaned in pleasure at the taste of chocolate after so long without it. There was only one... no two things about being Ascended that he hadn’t liked, other than not being allowed to openly help people, though he had found a way around that restriction and as long as he had been discreet Oma had never called him on it. No the two things he’d missed most while Ascended besides his friends were; chocolate and coffee! He wasn’t able to have coffee yet because Harry was a little young for it, but he was certainly going to enjoy chocolate.
After draining the last drop of chocolaty goodness from the ice cream bowl, Harry/Daniel set off for Flourish and Blotts.
When they got to the bookstore an interesting sight met Harry/Daniel’s eyes. Instead of the gold embossed spellbooks that had been displayed in the store window the last few times Harry had been here, there was a very strong looking cage that seemed to be holding about a hundred copies of the Monster Book of Monsters. He felt Daniel’s astonishment match his own as they watched the books fight with each other.
/Is this normal for the magical world?/ Daniel winced, as one book was ripped apart by others sending pages flying everywhere.
/I don’t know./ Harry told him. /I don’t think they are alive and the only other books I’ve seen act as anything other than a plain old book were the ones in the restricted section of Hogwarts./
/Well whoever created the spell to make these books act alive, has a very warped..../
“Hogwarts?” A rather impatient looking man that Harry recognised at the manager of the bookstore interrupted their silent conversation. “Have you come to get your books?”
“Yes,” Harry dug out his book list, but the manager was ignoring him.
As Harry/Daniel watched, he pulled on a pair of thick gloves, picked up a thick, gnarled walking stick and headed toward the cage.
Remembering the book Hagrid had sent him for his birthday was also the Monster Book of Monsters, now securely bound with one of Dudley’s old belts and stored in his trunk at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry checked his booklist and saw that it was indeed listed on there as a schoolbook. Before the manager could open the cage, he told him “I already have that one.”
“You do?” The man looked relived. “Thank Merlin for that. I’ve been bitten five times today...”
The manager’s voice trailed off as two of the Monster books got hold of a third and proceeded to rip it apart.
“That’s it!” he cried, knocking the books apart with his stick. “I’m never stocking these books again. It’s been bedlam since they arrived and I thought the worst mistake we’d ever made was in getting 200 copies of the Invisible Book of Invisibility. We never did find them and the cost... Well, can I help you with anything else?”
The manager helped Harry quickly find all of his schoolbooks and then left him when he said he was going to browse and see if he could find anything else he wanted.
Harry could feel Daniel’s pleasure as they wandered up and down the rows of shelves of books, pulling out the occasional that looked interesting to either him or Daniel. He liked to read, but it soon became clear that Daniel loved books. He didn’t seem to be quite as fanatical about them as Hermione was though. Hermione would give you a death glare if you dog-eared a page. He wondered if Daniel thought that books held only the truth the way Hermione did. He had never seen her doubt anything she saw printed in a book.
/No,/ Daniel told him. /I don’t think books are the final arbiters of truth. After all the things I’ve seen over the years, even before the Stargate, I know that people will obscure those truths they don’t wish to deal with or want others to know. Or as one of my history professors used to say: ‘History is written by the winners and they will say whatever they have to to avoid looking bad.’/
When they’d finally brought all their other selections up to the counter, along with Harry’s schoolbooks for the coming year, they had gotten a book on wizarding customs, one on wizarding law involving minors that the front flap indicated was self-updating, an older book on goblin customs, and at Daniel’s request Harry had gotten a book on Ancient Runes and their use in magic. Daniel was curious to see how the runes he knew about were used in the magical community.
It had taken them the better part of the afternoon to find a book on goblin customs that Daniel thought might be useful instead of highly biased and condescending about them. This one had been hidden in a very dusty corner near the back of the store and given the date on it, it appeared to have been written about two hundred years ago by a wizard who had dealt with them on a daily basis. Daniel just hoped that the customs of goblins hadn’t changed too much from when the book was written and that even if they did make a mistake with some customs, they would make points with the goblins for trying to honour their customs.
The clerk at the counters stared at the book on Goblin customs for a few moments in surprise. “I didn’t know we had any books by him left in the store.”
“Oh is it that much of a best seller?” Harry asked fairly certain of the answer.
“No not really,’ She told him. “Most people didn’t like his books. They felt that he had become too fond of the non-humans he studied and in his books he tried to give the impression that they should be equal to witches and wizards. Why would you want this book when there are others that are far more popular?”
“All we have ever been taught by Binns about them is the Goblin Rebellions.” Harry told her. “I thought it would be a good idea to learn about the customs of the people we entrust our money too, so I don’t intentionally give offence.”
From the expression on the clerk’s face, Harry was fairly certain that she couldn’t understand why he was going to all this trouble and her next words confirmed it. “Wizardkind and Goblins have treated each other the same way for centuries, luv. They don’t expect us to be any different, unless the wizard or witch works for them or is in the government.”
/Well just because someone expects to be treated a certain way, doesn’t mean that they want to be or should be./ Harry agreed with Daniel’s comment but didn’t voice that thought aloud, because he had already started attracting attention. Harry didn’t know if it was because they had recognised him as the boy-who-lived, or because of the topic of conversation and he didn’t care. He hated getting people’s attention. It always led to trouble.
In the main room of the Leaky Cauldron as Daniel ate dinner and read the book on goblin customs, Harry listened in on the conversations going on around them.
The main topic of conversation seemed to be Sirius Black. He overheard one man telling his friend over fire whiskey, “My wife isn’t letting the kids out on their own ‘til he’s back in Azkaban.”
And his friend said, “They have no idea how he got out, do they. How he was able to make it past them... you know the Dementors. I thought that wasn’t supposed to be possible.”
“I heard they even got the muggles lookin’ fer ‘im.” Harry heard a woman at another table say.
“I don’t know what they expect the muggles to do if they find ‘im.” Her companion replied. “Don’t know what the Auror will do either, given he’s the only man to escape Azkaban. That puts ‘im in a whole different league.”
“Well I just hope they catch him soon.” The woman countered. “I’m scared to death with ‘im out there.”
/I wonder who this Sirius Black is and why the Minister seemed so certain that he is looking for me./ Harry commented to Daniel.
/I don’t know./ Daniel told him, not taking his attention from the book. /Maybe we should ask Tom in the morning. Bartenders hear all sorts of things and he might be able to tell us./
/I suppose,/ Harry did know much about bars or bartenders. /Is that book very helpful?/
/Yes, it is./ Daniel told him. /It appears as if the Goblin civilisation is set up a little like the feudal society of the Japanese Shoguns. Honour and their position in the clan mean a great deal to them, however, that won’t stop them from taking advantage of you if they can, if it can improve their position in the clan. The trick will be to get them to respect us and see us if not as equals, then at least as worthy of fair consideration./
/When do you think we would be able to speak with the goblins?/ Harry wanted to know.
/I think we should wait a few more days because I want to reread sections of this book and also check out the laws regarding wizarding minors as well as the book on wizarding customs. I need to see if there is anything we can use in either of them./
/If it’s okay with you can we work on my homework tonight?/ Harry requested, /I’d like to get it done as soon as possible. Especially my potions homework./
Having seen Harry’s memories of that man’s harassment over the last two years, Daniel told him, /let’s put together an essay that is perfect and frustrate him no end./
“Hey, Tom,” Harry walked up to the barkeeper in the deserted main room after breakfast the next morning. “Can I ask you something?”
“Anything Harry,” the barman told him.
“Who is Sirius Black?”
“I’m not sure I’m the one who should be telling you that,” Tom responded cautiously, looking for a way out of having to answer the question.
“Why not?” Harry inquired. “I know from the pictures I’ve seen that both the magical and non-magical world are looking for him, but why? What did he do?”
The bartender tried to look away from the emerald green eyes, but found he couldn’t. He knew he was going to have to tell him at least some of what Black did. Sighing he said, “Black killed thirteen muggles and a wizard named Peter Pettigrew.”
“That’s not all he did Tom and you know it.” A man’s voice spoke up from near the doorway that led into muggle London unaware of who Tom was speaking with. “If your gonna tell a kid what happened, tell him all of it. He betrayed the Potters to the Dark Lord, kid.”
“Zack, you shouldn’t have said that!” Tom berated the other man, knowing it was too late to prevent young Potter from finding out the rest. Dumbledore had requested of the shopkeepers in the Alley that Harry not be told of Black’s connection to his family’s death.
“Why not?” Zack defended himself coming up to the bar. “These kids need to know how dangerous that man is.”
“But you didn’t have to be so blunt about it.” Tom gestured to the stunned boy standing beside him.
Zack took his first good look at the boy and realised that his callously delivered news had shocked none other than Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived. The boy was standing there his face pale and his eyes glazed over. It became quite clear to Zack that no one had ever told him who had betrayed his family to the Dark Lord.
Daniel felt Harry sort of blank out and slid him gently out of the way and took over until he could recover from this shock. They needed information and unlike Tom this man seemed willing to give it to them.
As he watched Potter shook himself and seemed to come out of his trance and asked. “Are you sure of that?”
“Everyone knows that he was your parents secret keeper, lad.” Zack tried to break the rest of the tale to him gently. “He was thought to be your father’s best friend. Betrayal of the worst kind that was.”
“Do you know why he did it?”
“He was a follower of the Dark Lord, what other reason did he need.” Zack said dismissively.
“Well what did he say at the trial about why he did it?” Daniel asked.
“There weren’t no trial, boy,” Zack told him. “Black was guilty as sin and everybody knew it. Why waste time and money on a trial?”
There were a number of things Daniel could have said to this, but he wisely said nothing. Instead he nodded his thanks to the man for the information before heading back upstairs to his room.
“You shouldn’t a done it that way, Zack.” Daniel heard Tom berate the other man.
“Why not?” Zack defended himself. “He deserved ta know about Black’s betrayal.”
“But not that way,” Tom countered. “Dumbledore said he would tell him when...”
And that was the last Daniel heard as he reached the landing for the next flight of stairs.
As they got closer to their room, Daniel could feel Harry begin to be aware of his surroundings again.
Daniel found himself feeling grateful that Harry didn’t try to take control back even after they’d entered their room. The boy had had a nasty surprise, if the news about Black was accurate. Yet another secret Dumbledore was keeping from Harry. Daniel couldn’t help wondering just how many more there were and were any of them worse than finding out that your father’s best friend may have betrayed your parents to their deaths. Given that there had been no trial, and probably no question either under the truth spell or truth serum that he had seen mentioned in one of the books at Flourish and Blotts yesterday, Daniel had questions about whether the man was guilty. The problem was going to be how to find out, given that Dumbledore for whatever reason had imposed silence on those around Harry. Unless one of them decided to break their silence to give him the magical communities version of the story, they would have to try the old fashioned way to find out the truth and given that the magical community seemed to want to keep it secret from Harry, that was going to be harder.
Worried by the boy’s continuing silence, Daniel called, /Harry?/
/Why?/ Harry finally cried. /Why would he do that? That man said he was my Dad’s best friend. How could he betray them like that?/
Remembering the time that Jack had gone undercover and everyone had thought him a traitor, Daniel told him softly, /We don’t know that he did./
/But that man said that he did./ Harry reminded him.
/Probably because that was what he heard or was told by someone else. He may not know the truth about what happened./ Daniel countered. /Remember what happened last year to you? Just because you can talk with snakes, a neat trick by the way, and suddenly you were this evil wizard out to kill them all even though you’d done absolutely nothing to harm them. And don’t forget what the Minister did to Hagrid, simply to protect his image. Throwing someone into prison simply because you have to be seen to be doing something and never mind that the person you are doing it to is innocent, doesn’t give me a high opinion of the magical communities justice system. Hagrid was thrown in prison without benefit of a fair trial and apparently so was this Sirius Black./
/So you think he might be innocent?/ Harry inquired.
Daniel sighed. /I’m saying that we don’t know. From what you have shown me, it seems as though most members of the magical community seem more worried about how they are perceived by others. It is their image that matters most to them. Also most from what I have seen in your memories and from observing them so far myself, don’t seem to want to think for themselves and that’s a very dangerous habit for anyone to get into. As for Sirius Black, I don’t think we should rush to judgement like others are doing and have done, simply because we don’t have all the facts and from what little we got out of Zack downstairs, I’m fairly certain the magical community doesn’t either./
Daniel could feel Harry calming down as he considered Daniel’s arguments.
/I have only one question. If we find that he is guilty, will you help me deal with him?/ Harry wanted to know. He needed to know his parents had been avenged.
/I will not help you kill him, but I will help you see justice done./ Daniel promised, then felt compelled to add, /and not the magical communities idea of justice either./
It was another couple of days before Daniel felt he had gained enough information from the books they’d purchased to try tackling the goblins at Gringotts.
Their plan was to go to Gringotts in the early afternoon when not so many people would be there and hopefully get out before the evening rush started. They wanted as few witches and wizards as possible to see them in the bank, just in case Fudge or Dumbledore was taking an unusual interest in Harry’s activities. They were fairly certain they wouldn’t be, but it was better not to take any chances.
Given that they had the whole morning before they were going to go to Gringotts, they decided to take care of a few other things as well and so their first stop upon entering Diagon Alley was to Ollivander’s to discuss Harry’s wand.
As they entered the wand shop, they could hear the jingling of the bell in the back. The shop hadn’t changed at all since he’d been here two years ago. He waited expectantly for Mr. Ollivander to appear.
“Mr. Potter,” Ollivander’s voice came out of the shadows between the shelves of wands. “Holly, eleven inches wasn’t it?”
“Yes, Mr. Ollivander.” Harry agreed then got to the reason he had come. “Mr. Ollivander, I need some information about a personal matter that may or may not affect my wand. Since you made the wand, and according to Hagrid are the best wandmaker in the world, I thought I would see if you could answer my questions if you have some time.”
“I have some time right now if you would care to discuss this matter.” Ollivander gestured toward the back of his shop.
Harry followed him back and settled on one of the stools near the workbenches. There was a few moments silence as Ollivander moved things out of the way then Harry spoke. “Mr. Ollivander, before I explain the situation, I need to be certain that this issue will remain between the two of us and that no one else will ever hear of it.”
“I assume you wish me to give you a wizard’s oath not to reveal this conversation.” Ollivander anticipated his request
“Yes, an oath not to reveal it to anyone or anything.” He added that last bit when Daniel reminded him of Riddle’s diary.
Once the oath was given, Harry launched into the story of what had happened at the Dursleys the night he blew up Aunt Marge, leaving out only the part where Dumbledore and Fudge had tried to alter his memory. Mr. Ollivander was very intrigued especially when Harry told him that Hedwig was able to detect when Daniel was active or changed places with him.
“Interesting,” Ollivander murmured. “So your familiar is able to sense the difference in your auras, even though you share the same body. Harry is it possible for him to separate from you long enough for me to see his aura separate from yours?”
There was a brief pause before Harry responded, or maybe it was Daniel, “If I do it may adversely affect Harry. The last time I did so, his heart stopped the moment we separated. If we stay separated too long we could both die.”
“You are Daniel?” Ollivander asked.
“I am.” The voice was Harry Potter’s and it didn’t sound any different than before which surprised Ollivander. In his long life, he had seen a few possessed individuals before and the voice of the other had always sounded slightly different.
“How do I know you have not been the one I have been speaking to all this time?” Ollivander wanted to know.
“Unless you can see us as Hedwig does, you do not.” Daniel countered. “Every time I am active, something in Harry changes, even if only slightly and she knows it is me. We do not know for certain what it is she sees.”
“Hedwig is Harry’s familiar.” Ollivander told him. “As such she is able to sense his magical core. Yours is obviously different from his and she is detecting that change.”
Daniel nodded. “We thought it might be something like that, though I called it a shift in his aura.”
“They are the same thing in the magical world. The aura is merely the visual representation of the inner core.” Ollivander told him then asked. “Daniel, how long could you safely stay separated? I need to see your aura, separate from his, before I can determine whether or not he needs a new wand, his current one modified, or if there will be no problem at all.”
There was a blank look on Potter’s face, before he answered, “No more than a minute and that will be pushing it. You will need to have some kind of stimulant on hand to help his recovery once I return.”
“I have several vials of Pepper-up potion here and can do an enervate charm to wake him if needed.”
/Well Harry, do you want me to do this?/ Daniel asked.
/I don’t want to do it, but it has to be done./ Harry told him. /We have to make sure my wand will work with you here and since I can’t do magic over the summer even in Diagon Alley, he’s the only one who might be able to tell us./
“You might want to provide some place comfortable for Harry to sit or lie down,” Daniel suggested to the wandmaker as he got to his feet. “Otherwise he may injure himself when he collapses.”
Ollivander looked slightly ashamed of himself for not having thought of that himself. He gestured with his wand and the stool Harry had been sitting on changed into a comfortable overstuffed armchair.
As he settled back into the chair, Daniel told him, “You won’t have long to see whatever it is you need to see, so make it quick.”
Not really knowing what to expect, Ollivander was startled when a moment later the spirit appeared beside Harry looking like a man with golden brown hair, crystal blue eyes, and dressed in a white sweater and pants.
“Hello, Mr. Ollivander, I am Dr. Daniel Jackson.”
“A pleasure,” Ollivander told him as he extended his magical senses to get a feel for the spirit/man’s aura.
The spirit had a bright, almost blindingly white aura that felt cool and yet warm like a comforting fire in the fireplace. There was a purity about this one’s aura that he had never experienced before and doubted he ever would again.
A moment later the man vanished from sight.
Remembering what he’d been told, Ollivander hurried to get the pepper-up potion from his first aid kit, and slowly and carefully poured to contents down Potter’s throat.
When Harry had recovered, he looked up at Mr. Ollivander. “Will my wand continue to work for me as it is?”
“I’m afraid not,” Ollivander told him. “It will have to be modified slightly, but I’m not quite sure what to use. I have never encountered an aura like your companion’s before and so that complicates matters. The only thing I do know for sure is that whatever is used to modify your wand, it must not only be compatible with him, but with you as well.”
It had taken several hours before they were finished at Ollivanders, but they had left with the modified wand and tested it to make sure it would work in Ollivander’s shielded workroom. Given that they still had a few hours before the time they wanted to be at the bank, they decided to explore some more.
As they wandered through the side alleys off of Diagon Alley, Daniel noticed something unexpected. He was beginning to feel the currents of energy that flowed through the magical area of London and it felt al lot like the energy that Oma had taught him to manipulate. He also noticed that the witches and wizards they passed in the Alley seemed to have the same type of energy around them, in varying degrees of strength. He wasn’t quite sure what use this new ability would be to either Harry or him, so he used the skills Oma had taught him to block out most of it. The only time this new sense jarred him was when Harry made physical contact with the witches and wizards around them.
In an old, shabby looking shop hidden away on one of the alleys closest to Gringotts, Daniel saw something he’d never expected to see again: The Eye of Ra. At his prompting, Harry picked it up so he could examine it and make sure his eyes or rather Harry’s eyes weren’t playing tricks on him. They weren’t. In Harry’s hand was an almost exact copy of the Eye of Ra medallion that Catherine Langford had given him before his first trip to Abydos.
As Harry handled the round, bronze amulet, Daniel could feel the power contained within it. It felt powerful like the weapon that Ra had hidden on Abydos. Daniel winced slightly as he remembered just how powerful that weapon had been when Anubis had used it to destroy Abydos.
As Harry studied the hieroglyphs carved onto the back of the medallion, Daniel for the first time in his life, had a vision, or at least that’s what he thought it was. He saw Harry standing out near a moonlit lake, surrounded by cloaked creatures that felt evil and the Eye of Ra was clearly visible on his chest. Then the vision was gone as quickly as it had come.
/Harry, I think that medallion is meant for you./ Daniel told him as he started to put it down.
/Are you sure you aren’t trying to get a piece of your past back?/ Harry inquired amused.
/No,/ Daniel shared the brief vision he’d had. /Can you tell me that’s already happened to you and that you were wearing a similar medallion at the time?/
Harry gasped at the cold and evil feeling that came from the cloaked figures in the vision, but before he could reply, the elderly witch behind the counter who had heard his gasp asked, “Is something wrong, dear?”
“Just got a bit of a shock from this medallion,’ Harry lied, then at Daniel’s prompting asked. “What can you tell me about this amulet?”
Taking the amulet from Harry, she studied it from the bronze disc to the snake shaped clasp that closed it before going into the back room and returning with a thick book. Opening the book, she flipped through a few pages until she found what she was looking for.
“The Eye of Ra was bought by my father in the 1890’s from one of the few freelance cursebreakers of that time, Shallan Maybar.” She told him, then added, “Most of the expeditions to Egypt and other places where there might be treasure were and still largely are funded by Gringotts. Cursebreaker Maybar was one of only a handful that worked on their own. He was very successful at it too for a while then he fell on hard times just prior to the turn of the century. He had to sell the items he had kept for his private collection. Most of the items that my father bought from him were sold off long ago. That amulet is the sole remaining piece of Maybar’s collections and for some odd reason no one has ever expressed an interest in it until now.”
“Why is that odd?” Harry wanted to know.
“While this shop maybe old and shabby looking, my father and I have a solid respectable reputation among the cursebreakers for having the best talismans for protection. The cursebreakers know that a lot of the older amulets and talismans have better protection spells on them than we can come up with today. They also know that neither my father nor I will buy or sell anything that we can’t verify some sort of provenance on. Nor will we sell them unless we can identify at least the type of spells on them.” She looked very pleased as she said this and Harry was willing to bet it was true.
Tapping the medallion sitting on the counter beside her, she told him, “This Eye of Ra is over five thousand years old and has some of the strongest protection spells either of have ever seen on it. When my father put it out for sale about eighty years ago after Cursebreaker Maybar failed to come back and redeem it, he expected some other cursebreaker would snatch it up right away, but none of them ever did. It’s as if it was concealing itself until the right person came along. Maybe it’s chosen you since the its last owner is most likely dead. If he were alive, he would’ve come back for it because he valued it highly.”
Harry didn’t know what to make of her fanciful claim that the amulet had chosen him, but in Daniel’s vision he’d been wearing it while standing near the lake at Hogwarts. He asked Daniel, /What do you think?/
/I don’t know what to think of her claim either, but we need to get it./ Daniel told him. /If it really is over five thousand years old then it’s something from the time of the Goa’uld or possibly even the Ancients./
“How much is it?” Harry asked the elderly witch.
“Five hundred galleons.” She told him.
“Five hundred galleons!” Harry couldn’t believe his ears.
“That price includes all the scrolls that were found with it.” She told him. “So far, no one has been able to figure out what they say. All the translation spells have failed to make them readable.”
“What makes you so sure they go with the scroll then?” Harry wanted to know.
“Because on the upper left hand side of each scroll is a drawing of the All Seeing Eye of Ra.” She went into the back and brought them out to show him.
She was right. There was a detailed drawing of the Eye of Ra medallion in the upper left corner of each scroll. Daniel recognized the language it was written in.
/Two of them are written in Ancient, Harry./ Daniel told his companion. /And the third is written in Goa’uld./
/So you can read it?/ Harry commented.
/I should be able to./ Daniel told him.
“I don’t have five hundred galleons on me at the moment, but I am going to Gringotts.” Harry told the elderly witch. “Will you hold them until I return?”
“I doubt anyone else will be able to see the amulet, but I’ll keep it behind the counter until you return, Mr. Potter.”
Harry looked at her surprised. He hadn’t thought she’d known who he was given she hadn’t had the usual reaction of most witches and wizards who met him for the first time - checking for the scar then announcing it to the world at large, so he is mobbed.
“I surprised you, didn’t I?” She observed shrewdly. “Yes, I recognised you from your scar, but I’m not one of those who gets all gushy and excited like a schoolgirl just because I’ve met somebody famous. My friends all tell me that the only time I get really excited is when I see a really old magical object or scroll. I wanted to be a cursebreaker when I was younger, but I didn’t have the fine sensing skills needed to detect some of the more subtle curses.”
“You sound like a muggle archaeologist I know,” Harry grinned. “He’s happiest digging up artefacts and uncovering forgotten pieces of history. According to a friend of his, he needs a minder because he forgets to eat when he’s involved in his work.”
/Hey, I’m not that bad!/ Daniel sounded slightly offended as the grey-haired witch giggled.
“I’m not that bad,’ Harry almost did a double-take at her choice of words, wondering if she’d heard Daniel, “but I can get a little involved in my research.”
“I know a few people who are the same way.” Harry told her.
Stepping up to the first open desk, Harry asked the goblin, “May I speak with an account manager please?”
Looking down at the young wizard standing in front of his desk, the Goblin asked, “Concerning what?”
“My family’s account here.” Harry told him.
The goblin gestured for one of the ones standing in a group nearby to come over. Leaning over he spoke to the other goblin for a moment. The second goblin nodded and scurried off only to return a few minutes later.
“Come with me,” the second goblin instructed.
Harry followed the goblin down a very opulent hallway to a closed door. Gesturing to the closed door the goblin told him. “Go in, Mr. Potter, your account manager is waiting.”
Mr. Potter, my name is Glaive. I am the account manager for the Potter family.” The goblin seated at the desk identified himself to the boy standing in the doorway. “Glathis said that you wanted to speak with me about your family’s account.”
“Yes sir. At least that is part of the reason I wanted to speak with you.” Harry told him as he closed the door behind him.
Then he did something completely unexpected. Bowing, he said, “May our business together be profitable and may your family be prosperous in all its dealings so that they bring honour to your clan.”
To say that Glaive was stunned would be an understatement. With the exception of the wizards who worked at the Goblin Liaison Office and then only when they wanted something, he had never been given the proper greeting required to open a business meeting. He was so stunned in fact that he almost forgot to give the proper response. “May your business always be profitable and your vaults full of gold honourably won.”
“Thank you,” Harry smiled at the goblin showing teeth, before getting down to business. “The first matter I would like to discuss with you as I told the goblin at the counter concerns my family account. I would like to know the exact balance as of today.”
“Because you are still a minor under both Wizard and muggle law, the only vault I can give you any information on is your trust vault.” Glaive told him regretfully. “For information on your family’s main vault, you would need to have one of your guardians present.”
“Even if my Aunt and uncle were willing to set foot in Diagon Alley, I would rather they didn’t know about the money my parents left me.” Harry commented dryly. “They would try and take it.”
“Well then you need to ask your magical guardian to come in with you.” Glaive told him.
“My magical guardian?” Harry had no idea what the goblin was talking about. “I don’t have any other guardian other than Aunt Petunia.”
Glaive opened the young wizard’s file to double-check the information they had before telling him. “When you were placed with your mother’s sister, the Wizengamot appointed a magical guardian to take care of any issues that might come up for you in the magical world without having to involve your muggle relations, since they had requested as little contact with the wizarding world as possible. Once a year we send a statement to the Wizengamot in a secure pouch that can only be opened by your magical guardian.”
“Do you know the name of my magical guardian?” Harry asked.
“The Wizengamot never provided us with that information.” Glaive told him. “They said it was done to protect the person’s identity. I mean imagine if the whole world knew you were the chosen guardian of Harry Potter. I gather from your question that this person has never contacted you, even after your entry into the wizarding world.”
“No they haven’t.” Harry confirmed his guess. “And they should have done so shouldn’t they?”
“If they intend to be a proper guardian to you then one would think so yes.” Glaive agreed.
/I bet it’s Dumbledore./ Daniel commented after a few moments thought. /After all Hagrid had the key to your vault and that would’ve had to have been provided by whoever was overseeing your finances./
Harry silently agreed with him. Dumbledore did seem to be controlling a number of aspects of his life he had never noticed before.
/You weren’t meant to./ Daniel pointed out. /Those who are really good at manipulating people can make it seem as though the whole thing was your idea to do whatever it was in the first place and you would really believe that if asked./
“I would appreciate whatever information you are able to provide on my account.” Given that the goblin had clearly indicated that they couldn’t provide full disclosure on his bank account without a guardian or rather an adult who had some responsibility over him present, Harry took what he could get and moved on to the next matter. “The other matter I was hoping you would be able to help me with is my parent’s will. Do you by any chance, know where I might be able to see a copy of it?”
There was a noticeable pause this time, before Glaive told him. “We at Gringotts do have a copy, though we are not the executors of your parents will. However as much as I would like to let you see it, I am unable to do so without your guardians permission, before you come of age at seventeen.”
/Harry we need that information, especially the banking account information./ Daniel pointed out. /I think we are going to have to invoke that hardship clause in the Guardian Law./
Harry nodded and Glaive thought their business was concluded until Mr. Potter said, “Account Manager Glaive, I am invoking Article 17 of the Guardian laws of 1560 which have never been repealed. I am doing this because I believe that my guardians, both Magical and Muggle, are not acting in my best interests. Gringotts as the primary banking institution for the magical world is obliged to follow aspects of it where it impacts on my financial situation.”
It wasn’t often that Glaive would admit to being surprised, but this young wizard had managed to do it twice. He felt compelled to point out, “You are aware are you not that we at Gringotts can not change who the Wizengamot has assigned as your guardian? Nor can we remove you from your Aunt’s care.”
Harry nodded, “but I can appoint an adult to act as my advisor in financial matters if I believe my current guardian or guardians are not acting in my best interests. Given that my magical guardian has never met with me since my entry into the wizarding world, nor have they provided me with any assistance in becoming acclimated to the wizarding world. As my guardian they should have done at least that much, seeing as how they were appointed by someone I don’t know to take care of me and my magical needs so that Aunt Petunia wouldn’t have to. As I understand the way the law is worded, my chosen Advisor’s decisions would be given more weight at Gringotts than either of my current guardians, is that correct?”
Glaive nodded. It wasn’t often you met a wizard who was willing to take the time to find out what he needed to make things work the way he wanted them to. Generally most of the ones he dealt with never thought things through, but Mr. Potter appeared to have done some thorough planning including looking up old laws that could help him. This had been his intention all along and a very intelligent one it was because an adult Advisor under that old law would be allowed to get access to those things young Mr. Potter had asked him for.
While he was fairly certain that Potter had already chosen his Advisor, Glaive still had to go through the formality of asking, “Do you have an Advisor chosen, or would you like me to select one?”
“I have already chosen my Advisor.”
“May I have the name of the Witch or Wizard you have chosen for this position of trust?” Glaive requested.
“And is he here?” Glaive inquired. The wards in the bank and surrounding the private offices had detected no one hidden behind an invisibility cloak or under a disillusionment spell. Surely the young wizard knew that his chosen Advisor had to be with him, even if he did want to protect his identity.
“Yes, he is.”
“Well, why didn’t he come in with you?” Glaive wanted to know.
“He did.” Harry told the goblin.
The goblin’s eyes darted around the room in concern. He knew that Gringotts had the best detection spells and wards that money could buy. No one should have been able to enter the bank without being detected. If a wizard had somehow come up with a way to baffle all their wards and spells it was going to be cause for great concern among the managers of Gringotts because it brought their security procedures into question.
Unaware of the concerns that he had roused in the goblin with his words, Harry continued. “Before he reveals himself to you, we need an Oath of Secrecy regarding what we have discussed so far and what we will discuss with my Advisor.”
Glaive was instantly suspicious. “What sort of secrecy oath?”
“Nothing dangerous to Gringotts or its employees... at least I don’t think it should be” Harry was quick to assure him. “As for the content of the oath itself, we would just like you to swear that what is revealed and discussed here will remain between the three of us unless Daniel or I give you permission to discuss it with someone else.”
Then hopefully to ease concerns the goblin might have, Harry added, “We are also willing to swear a magically binding oath that is to be discussed doesn’t knowingly endanger Gringotts.”
Glaive was still a little cautious since none of the goblin magic he’d performed out of Mr. Potter’s field of view had revealed where the adult wizard was hiding in his office, but he was also starting to get a little curious. After all it was rare that a wizard or witch would offer to give a goblin a magically binding oath. The only problem he could foresee was if the Advisor, Mr. Potter had chosen, asked for something beyond his authority to provide. He also wanted someone else here who was a bit more powerful than he was magically to see if they could detect how the human wizard was hiding himself. Carefully he told Mr. Potter and his unseen guest, “Mr. Potter, Mr. Jackson, while I would be more than happy to swear the oath you ask, given that the privacy and security of Gringotts customers is our primary concern, what you both may ultimately require, may be beyond my level of authority, so I would like to ask your permission to have one of our senior managers present at this meeting as well.”
The young wizard was silent for several minutes then he said, “He can sit in on our meeting, if he will agree to swear the same oath as you do.”
Glaive wrote a quick note and summoned a goblin to deliver it to the most senior manager available.
When the senior manager arrived, he didn’t even notice that Harry was sitting off to one side in Glaive’s office, instead he started speaking rapidly in gobbledegook to the younger goblin. While the tone of the goblin’s voice never rose, both Harry and Daniel were willing to bet that he was not pleased about being asked to come here. Harry/Daniel waited to see if he would ever give Glaive a chance to explain things, but he wasn’t allowing the younger goblin to say a word.
Because the older goblin showed no signs of running out of steam and Harry was beginning to get a little angry at being ignored, Daniel suggested, /Allow me./
Harry yielded control, wanting to get things moving.
As the elderly goblin paused for breath, Daniel commented, “You know if you gave him a chance to get a word in edgewise, you might find out why he asked you to meet with him.”
The unexpected comment startled the elderly goblin and brought his attention to the young wizard seated to one side of Glaive’s desk. Clearly not impressed by the young wizard, the elderly goblin asked. “And who are you to be giving me orders?”
“My name is Harry Potter. I am the reason he asked you to come.” Daniel informed him calmly. “And who may I ask are you?”
“I am Glamridel a senior manager of Gringotts, in fact the most senior.” The elderly goblin told him arrogantly.
Daniel bowed slightly from his seated position. “I am grateful that you chose to come and help us.”
“What is it you require my assistance with?” Glamridel asked, slightly mollified by the young wizard’s respectful attitude toward his age and rank.
“Before we discuss that, I must ask you to swear an oath of secrecy; not to discuss what happens between us today with anyone - living, dead, or inbetween.” Daniel told him.
“And if I don’t?” Glamridel demanded annoyed. “After all I am under no obligation to obey a mere child.”
True,” Daniel agreed. “I am sorry you are uncomfortable with what I have requested. However that also means that Account Manager Glaive may not be able to resolve all of my current issues if his authority doesn’t extend far enough.”
After years of dealing with the Goa’uld, touchy aliens from other worlds, and people like Kinsey, Daniel had gotten very skilled at getting angry people to do what he wanted... most of the time. He was fairly certain that the implication that his account manager was willing to swear the oath he wouldn’t would sting Glamridel’s sense of honour, if not his man, err, goblinhood, but he wouldn’t be able to say that Harry had deliberately impugned his honour, since no real insult had been given.
He waited a few moments before offering the carrot to the still silent goblin. “If it is any source of assurance to you, I will also be swearing a magically binding oath that as far as I know, what we will be discussing is in no way a threat to Gringotts or its employees.”
The older goblin stared at the young wizard surprised. It had been some time since anyone of any species had challenged him in such a cunning fashion. After being told that the wizard would also be swearing an oath that could cost him his magic if he swore falsely, if he refused to swear the one that was asked of him, he would lose face in front of a junior employee.
Finally and with no evidence of the frustration he was feeling at being outmanoeuvred by a wizard child, Glamridel told him. “Very well, Mr. Potter, you shall have my oath.”
Once the oaths had been sworn, Harry dug a potion vial out of his pocket and placed it on the desk.
“You’ll need to give me that in a few minutes.” Harry told the waiting goblins.
“What’s in it?” Glaive asked
“Pepper-up potion and you’ll see why I needed it in a minute.”
They stared at the young wizard in confusion and concern, as he seemed to collapse in his chair.
Before either goblin could make a move toward him, a bright light appeared next to him and within that light was a man dressed in white with golden brown hair and blue eyes.
“Hello,’ he greeted the goblins. “Don’t worry Harry will be fine once I rejoin him. We can’t stay separated for long. Account manager Glaive, I am Daniel Jackson. I am the one that Harry Potter would like to be his Advisor on financial matters.”
With those last words the glowing man vanished and Harry Potter began stirring. Glaive was jarred out of stunned state by the boy’s moan of pain and grabbing the vial off the desk, he helped him drink the potion.
As Glamridel watched the young wizard recover, his mind was racing. As one of the most senior Managers at the bank, not to mention the oldest goblin working there, he was privy to a lot of confidential information that not even the wizards knew about, like the fact that Merlin was one of the Old Ones and had taught humans among others how to use their magic. One thing he had never expected to see in his lifetime was the fulfilment of one of Merlin’s final prophecies and the possible release of one of the most closely guarded trust vaults that Gringotts had. The first thing he needed to do was find out if Harry Potter were indeed joined with one of the Old Ones.
Glamridel waited until Mr. Potter was a little more aware of his surrounding before asking the only question they had in the Ancient’s tongue. “How do you gain access to the heavenly roads?”
Young Potter’s eyes still looked slightly dazed as he or the one who was sharing his body answered, “the Chapa’ai or Stargate.”
The second word didn’t mean anything to Glamridel but the first one did and it was the correct answer. An Old One again walked among them, albeit in the body of a thirteen-year-old wizard, who had been powerful enough as an infant to destroy Voldemort. Interesting times were ahead as well as what looked like the fulfilment of an ancient trust. Unfortunately the only way to find out if Harry Potter was indeed the inheritor of Merlin’s vault was to bring Lord Gringotts down here and that would require Mr. Potter’s permission because of the oath.
“Mr. Potter, Mr. Jackson,” Glamridel spoke respectfully to the pair before him. “I need your permission to bring Lord Gringotts the head of the bank into this meeting.”
“Why?” Harry sounded and felt very tired. Having to do this twice in one day had proven very draining.
Glamridel tried to explain without giving too much away. The responsibility for this vault lay with the Head of the bank and no one else. “Over one thousand years ago, we goblins were given a sacred trust by Merlin. Like your Mr. Jackson, he was one of the Old Ones. He gave us this trust shortly before he ascended to a higher plane of existence. We were instructed to release this trust only to the magic user who was joined to one of the Old Ones. I believe you are that one and Lord Gringotts must be told since he is the only one who can provide access to what we hold in trust for Merlin’s designated heir.”
“Give us a moment,” Harry requested.
Glamridel nodded. “Of course.”
/Daniel./ Harry called.
/I’m here./ Daniel’s voice sounded as tired as Harry felt.
/Do you know what he’s talking about?/
/No, but if I had to make a guess, I would say that Merlin was an Ancient. The question he asked, while a few of the words were mispronounced was definitely in the Ancient’s tongue./ Daniel told him after a few moment’s thought. /It is a part of the legend about him that he was able to see the future, or as one story had it he lived backward through time so he was remembering it not seeing it. If Merlin really was an Ancient, then he may have had the gift of seeing the future, or he may have had some way to travel back in time safely without disrupting the timestream./
/You’re guessing./ Harry was certain of it.
/At this point that’s all I can do./ Daniel pointed out. /We don’t have enough information to do more than guess right now. I did notice one thing though about Glamridel though. After he saw me, he became a lot more respectful. If he and the other goblins think I am a real Ancient then we may be able to use that to get most if not all the information we need to put our plans into effect./
/Do we really want to let someone else know about you?/ Harry inquired. /I mean if this keeps up, the whole wizarding world is going to know soon and when they do find out I doubt it’s going to go over very well./
/I doubt we’ll have to do it more than one more time for this Lord Gringotts person, but we’ll cross that bridge if we have to when we come to it./ Daniel responded evenly. /As for Lord Gringotts, we will only show him, if he agrees to swear the oath. We need to see what Merlin left for us./
/If it is for us./ Harry countered.
/You think there is another ascended being joined to a wizard roaming around England./ Daniel couldn’t resist saying it.
/The vault could be meant for someone in the future./ Harry pointed out.
/True,/ Daniel conceded, /but we won’t know for sure unless we see what he left for ourselves./
Harry looked up at the waiting goblins and told them, “If Lord Gringotts is willing to swear the oath of secrecy, then yes you may tell him. I would ask though that you bring some stimulant and pain relieving potions just in case we have to separate again. It’s painful and very draining on both of us.”
The message that Glamridel sent must have caused quite a stir, because both Daniel and Harry were willing to swear that Lord Gringotts had had to run to the office given how quickly he showed up.
After a brief conversation with both Glamridel and Glaive, Lord Gringotts turned his attention to Harry. “Mr. Potter, my employees tell me that you are sharing your body with another being is this correct?”
“Did they also explain about the secrecy oath I have requested?” Harry wanted to know.
“You do not trust the reputation of Gringotts?” Lord Gringotts questioned. “We have been the keepers of the Wizarding world’s assets and secrets for more than a thousand years. Our security has never been breached.”
“We both know that’s not true.” Harry countered. “My first year in the wizarding world there was a successful break-in to a high security vault and the only reason nothing was stolen was because Hagrid from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had removed the item with Nicholas Flamel’s permission earlier that day.”
Lord Gringotts looked annoyed at that reminder of his bank’s failure as Harry continued. “I have no doubt you have upgraded your security since that incident and you bank is as close to impenetrable as it is possible to be. I merely wish to assure that my secrets remain that... mine. The wizarding world is far too curious about me as it is. They turned on me last year because I am a parselmouth. I would hate to see what they would do if they knew about this.”
Lord Gringotts conceded that he had a valid point. The wizarding world did indeed have far too much interest in the life of the Boy-Who-Lived and he didn’t know how they would react to knowing that his body also now housed one of the Old Ones. “Very well, Mr. Potter, I swear upon my life and my honour that what is revealed in this room shall not be disclosed to any other being, living, dead, or inbetween.”
“Thank you, Lord Gringotts.” Harry looked over at Glaive. “Do you have the potions I requested for afterwards?”
Glaive held up two vials. “One stimulant potion and one pain reliving potion.”
“Thank you,” Harry turned his attention back to Lord Gringotts. “Give me a moment and I think we can satisfy your curiosity. I must say one thing though. If you have a question for him that you want to ask separately to him, ask it quickly, because we can not remain separate for long.”
Lord Gringotts watched as Mr. Potter took several deep breaths and then seemed to collapse.
A moment later a blinding white light appeared then dimmed down to reveal a man with golden brown hair. While the physical description didn’t match Merlin’s the blinding white light that surrounded him matched the one from the last description that goblins had of the great Wizard as he ascended to join the last of the Old Ones in the heavens. The Old One bowed slightly in Lord Gringotts direction and said, “Greetings Lord Gringotts, I am Daniel Jackson.”
“Greetings Mr. Jackson,” Lord Gringotts bowed back. “It has been a long time since one of the Old Ones walked among us.”
“Do you have a question for me, because if not I must rejoin Harry.”
“No I don’t. The test I need to conduct will occur once you are rejoined to him.” Lord Gringotts told him.
“Very well,” Daniel vanished without another word.
As Lord Gringotts watched, Glaive quickly moved over to Mr. Potter’s side and once Potter was aware enough to take them, helped him swallow both potions.
Lord Gringotts waited a few minutes for the potions to do their work before he spoke to the exhausted young wizard. “Mr. Potter, there is only one other thing I require in order to determine if Merlin’s vault is yours.” He held up a black stone that seemed to be all angles. “Merlin left this with us and said that when we found one we thought the vault might belong to to give them this and it would show us whether or not the vault belonged to them.”
“All I have to do is hold it?” Harry’s voice sounded very tired.
“That’s all,” Lord Gringotts confirmed.
“Will anything happen to me if I am not the one the vault is meant for?” Harry wanted to know.
“Nothing will happen if you are not the one the vault is meant for.”
Lord Gringotts again held out the stone and this time Harry took it. The moment it touched his hand a blinding white light filled the office. Surprised, Harry released the stone and the bright light vanished as the stone changed from white back to its normal black colour before hitting the carpeted floor.