You are currently viewing The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Thirty-Eight

The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Thirty-Eight

Griphook stood behind the counter, staring off into space. He hated working the late night shifts. There were hardly any customers to speak of. The higher ups didn’t even let him take a book with him to relieve his boredom in case a client decided to walk in during the middle of the night. He let out a derisive snort at the thought, trying to remember the last time a client showed up this late at night.

He checked his watch, letting out a long sigh. He still had another three hours before his next break, and from the looks of things, the guards standing by the entrance were just as bored as he was. He stifled a yawn as he looked at his watch again, willing time to move faster.

He looked up quickly, the quiet evening came to an abrupt end when a portkey triggered, alerting him that a high-value client had just arrived. The silent alarm quickly followed, alerting them to the presence of an intruder. The guards immediately snapped to their feet as the giant doors slammed shut behind them.

Griphook looked over the counter, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he stared down at a girl slumped over on the floor. Like all bank tellers, he knew exactly who the high value clients were, and the girl, whoever she was, certainly wasn’t one of them.

He came around the counter, as the guards stood in front of her, pointing their spears at her neck.

“Don’t get too close,” one guard warned. “She could be dangerous.”

That was when they heard a groan from the girl as she sat up. Whoever she was, she wasn’t in good shape. She was covered in cuts and bruises, her clothes were torn and singed, clearly indicating she had recently been in some kind of battle.

“Who are you? How did you get that portkey?” Griphook demanded.

The girl moaned, clutching the wound in her side, “…where am I?” she asked, looking around in confusion.

“You are in Gringotts bank, now answer my question,” Griphook repeated himself as the guards pointed their spears menacingly at the girl.

Ron’s eyes went wide as he looked at the spearheads pointed right between his eyes and scrambled back. “Ron, Ron Weasley,” he  replied quickly.

“Alright Ron, Ron Weasley,” Griphook said, glaring at the child accusingly. “Where did you get this?” he asked, picking up the bloody Gringott’s card.

“Harry gave it to me,” Ron stuttered out. “He said you would help me,” he said, remembering the words Harry said before the portkey activated.

“Harry Potter?!” Griphook asked, surprised himself. He exchanged an uneasy look with the guards, who seemed just as surprised. “…This is his blood?” he asked. “Is he still alive?!”

“I don’t know,” Ron replied. “Someone attacked us. Harry covered the card in his blood and gave it to me. That’s all I know.”

The guards slowly lowered their spears, realizing this situation was well above their pay grade. The Chairman had an interest in Harry Potter, and everyone employed by the bank, goblin, and human alike were under strict orders to treat him with the utmost respect and curtesy. Griphook shared an uneasy look with the two guards, not sure if the order extended to his friends.

“What should we do, sir?” The guard asked, looking to Griphook for orders.

“The blood…” Griphook said, looking down at the card, then back at the girl. “That’s how you bypassed the protections on the card. It couldn’t tell the difference between you and him.”

“Sir?” the other guard asked, not sure what to do.

“It’s above our pay grade,” Griphook said after a moment’s thought. “Call the Chairman, have him meet us in the infirmary. Let’s go, girl,” he said, pulling up the still disguised Ron by the shoulder. “The Chairman will decide what to do with you.”

Ron breathed out a sigh of relief, thankful that the goblins wouldn’t kill him outright. Unfortunately for him, it was the exact moment the polyjuice potion ran out, returning him to his normal self.

The guard immediately raised their spears again in alarm, aiming them at his chest and head, ratcheting up the tension again.

Ron slowly raised his hands, wincing from his injuries. “I know this looks bad,” he said carefully. “But I haven’t lied to you. Harry is my friend. He knew I was using polyjuice potion when he gave me the card.”

“You,” Griphook said after a tense standoff, pointing to the first guard. “Keep on your guard. We still need to take him to the infirmary, and you,” he said, pointing to the other guard, “get the chairman, tell him it’s urgent.”

Ron breathed a sigh of relief as he slowly lowered his hands. “Thanks,” he said to Griphook.

“Don’t thank me yet, human,” Griphook warned. “If you aren’t who you say you are, if you’ve lied to us about anything, no one will ever find your body.”

Ron gulped nervously as the goblins led him through a doorway, taking him deeper into the cavernous bank. As he followed the teller he couldn’t shake the thought that he escaped one near death experience, only to find himself in another.

He looked around nervously as they passed more and more goblins, wondering just how many guards the bank had as they walked through the seemingly never ending hallways.

After a brisk walk, Griphook stopped at the infirmary doors, pushing them open as he led the human inside. “Narglug, there’s a patient for you,” he said, catching the attention of the ancient goblin sitting behind the desk.

“Hmm,” Narglug said, putting down his newspaper with a raised eyebrow. “A human, huh? Haven’t treated one of them in a while. Alright boy, on the bed, let’s have a look at you.”

Ron nodded, very aware of the goblin standing behind him with his spear at the ready, and the many other goblins roaming the hallways.

“Drink these,” Narglug said, handing Ron two vials of blood replenishing potions. “It looks like you’ve lost a lot of blood.”

Ron gratefully took the potions, downing them quickly. He immediately felt better as the weakness and dizziness he had been experiencing faded to a more manageable level.

Narglug opened a jar of salve next, applying them to Ron’s open wounds to stop the bleeding and help with recovery. “I don’t have anything to help with the bruises, but I’m sure a medi-witch or wizard will help you with the rest,” Narglug said.

“Thank you,” Ron said gratefully, feeling much better than when he arrived.

A moment later, the door swung open again, this time with the Chairman and the guard from earlier. Ron recognized the goblin immediately from when Harry solved Merlin’s vault.

“Who are you?” The Chairman asked as stared at the human, keeping his face impassive, and looking for any hint of a lie or deception from the human.

“My name is Ron Weasley, sir,” Ron replied, feeling very far out of his depth. He knew from his older brother Bill that the chairman was the ruler of the goblins, and not the type of person you ever wanted to end up on the wrong side of.

“Chairman,” Griphook correct, an edge in his tone. “You will address him as Chairman Gringott.”

“Sorry,” Ron corrected himself quickly, hoping he hadn’t offended the goblin leader. “Chairman.”

Gringott waived it off. “Tell me what you’re doing here.”

“We were attacked,” Ron explained, keeping his story simple. “Harry gave me his key so that I could escape.”

“Harry Potter,” the chairman said, a smile working its way onto his face despite himself. The boy was clever, perhaps more clever than he gave him credit for. Circumventing the bank’s security was no small task.

“Griphook,” the chairman said, seeing no obvious sign of deception from the boy. “See that the protections on the cards get updated,” Gringott said. “I don’t want something like this to happen again.”

“Yes Chairman,” Griphook immediately replied.

“Your name is familiar to me,” the chairman said, looking back at Ron, a shrewd look on his face. “Why is that?”

“…I have a brother… Bill Weasley. He’s a curse breaker,” Ron replied, still wondering if he was going to get out of this alive.

“Bill Weasley… yes,” the Chairman replied, tapping his chin. He remembered meeting the man once or twice. For a human, he was good at his job.

Ron felt his eyes droop as the potions and his injuries caught up with him, making him feel more tired than he had ever been in his life.

“You may rest here for the night,” the Chairman said, his eyes softening slightly as he turned to leave, “and you will be gone by morning.”

Ron nodded tiredly as he lay back down, only half hearing the rest of what the Chairman said as his eyes fluttered closed.

Ron sat up slowly, still feeling the injuries he received the previous night. He touched his side gingerly and grimaced, biting back a groan of pain as he opened his eyes. The wound had closed over, but it was still tender.

“Good, you’re awake,” Narglug said as he looked up from his book. “I checked your wounds. You’ll live,” he said dryly. “And have a couple of nice scars to impress the ladies with. We should all be so lucky.”

Ron felt his face flush at the idea of what a certain girl would think if she ever saw his scars. It was just too bad he couldn’t tell her the truth, not without putting her in danger as well.

“Thanks,” Ron said as he got off the bed. “I need to get back to Hogwarts,” he said, thinking about what the others must be going through, wondering where he was, and what happened to Harry.

“It’s just after 6, you can use the fireplace to go to Hogsmeade,” Narglug said, pointing his thumb. “You can walk the rest of the way to Hogwarts from there.”

“Thanks,” Ron said gratefully as he took a pinch of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace. “The Three Broomsticks,” he said, stepping inside.

A few moments later, Ron stumbled out of the fireplace and made a beeline for the exit, narrowly avoiding crashing into a few of the customers as pushed past them. If he was lucky, he could get back to Hogwarts before classes started, and find out if Harry was ok.

He followed the well trodden dirt path towards the school, annoyed that he couldn’t jog any faster, not without aggravating his injuries further. After close to thirty minutes, he arrived at the school grounds, looking around in shock at the destruction caused by their escape. There were a few scorch marks on the castle walls, deep furrows dug into the ground, and even one of the bushes looked like it was smashed, as if someone had crashed landed in it.

‘It was too dark last night to see all of this,’ Ron thought as he looked around at the obvious signs of battle. That’s when he saw it, something glinting in the bush.

He walked over to it cautiously, pulling out his wand, just in case it was another trap. His eyes widened when he realized what it was, a leather-bound book. ‘It must belong to someone in the study group,’ he thought, picking it up. ‘They must have dropped it during the fight,’ he thought excitedly.

He attempted to open the book, but it was spelled shut. Even an Alohomora didn’t work. He let out a sigh, tucking the book into his robes as he made his way to the castle entrance. ‘Harry should be able to get it open,’ he thought.

“Ron?! Is that you?” a voice shouted, causing Ron to turn around only to find Hermione barreling towards him, wrapping him in a tight in a hug. “We thought- what’s wrong?” She asked, noticing the obvious discomfort on his face.

Ron hissed out in pain as Hermione’s arm pressed against his side, causing her to immediately take a step back. “Are you ok?” she whispered in concern.

“I’m ok,” Ron replied, biting back another groan. “Just a little sore.”

“What’s going on?” Sally asked as she watched Hermione barrel into Ron, then step back like her hands were on fire. She hadn’t thought Ron and Hermione were that close.

“Nothing,” Hermione said quickly, turning to face Neville, Sally, and Draco. “I was just checking on Ron. He was really sick last night. I didn’t think you would come out for training today,” she said, glancing meaningfully at Ron.

“Yeah,” Ron said, quickly catching on. “I’m feeling a little better now, not enough to run laps, but I thought some fresh air might help.”

“I’m glad,” Sally smiled. “It was a little boring without you and Harry.”

“What happened to Harry? Where is he?” Ron asked, doing his best to hide the feeling of dread as his heart pounded in his chest.

“He said he had some business to take care of,” Draco replied. “He won’t be back until late.”

“…Oh… I’m sorry I missed him,” Ron replied, knowing that it was a lie to keep Neville and Sally from finding out the truth and putting them in danger.

“We should probably call it an early day,” Hermione suggested quickly. “It’s getting a little too cold to be out here this early, anyway.”

“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea,” Neville replied. “My warming charm isn’t doing very much against the cold.”

“Oh, ok,” Sally said reluctantly. There was something off about Ron, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. He looked pale and wasn’t acting like his normal self. “Hey Ron, how about a game of chess after classes?” she asked, hoping to ask him what was wrong in private.

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Ron replied, forcing a smile onto his face.

“Ok, I’ll see you guys later,” Sally said, taking another glance at Ron before heading back into the castle.

When the castle door closed behind Sally and Neville, Hermione, Draco, and Ron looked at each other, wondering who should start first.

“…What happened to you Ron?” Hermione asked. “You look terrible.”

“The study group, they knew we were in the Ravenclaw common room, but they got there a lot faster than we expected them to,” He explained. “We used the brooms to escape, but they chased after us. It was bad, really bad. They were so much stronger than last time. Harry gave me a portkey that took me to Gringott’s. They treated my injuries, and I came back after I woke up. What about Harry though? What happened to him?”

“We don’t know,” Hermione replied, the worry causing her voice to break. “You both just disappeared off the map, one after the other. We thought you were…” she trailed off, unable to finish the thought.

“It’s alright Hermione,” Ron said, grabbing her shoulders as he looked he locked eyes with her. “It was bad, but I’ll be ok. We need to focus on finding Harry now.”

“He disappeared off the map near the lake,” Draco replied, pointing toward the shoreline. “We searched last night, and this morning. There was some blood, and a hand print in the mud, but that was it.”

“Ok… ok,” Ron said, doing his best to process the information as he took a deep breath. “Harry’s ok. He must have found a way to escape too.”

Draco and Hermione nodded along. They had the same fears as Ron, but neither one of them wanted to say it out loud, either.

“What happened after Harry disappeared?” Ron asked, looking for any glimmer of hope that he could latch onto.

“Peeves,” Draco answered. “The twins bribed him with all their fireworks. He set them all off at once. Everyone came outside to find out what was going on, and they ran off.”

“That’s good,” Ron said, putting the pieces together. “Harry must have escaped in the confusion. He’s probably somewhere getting his injuries treated,” he finished, sounding a lot more confident than he felt.

“What now?” Draco asked. “If Potter couldn’t beat them, the rest of us don’t stand a chance.”

“We’ll talk to my brothers,” Ron replied. “I have to tell them I’m ok, then we’ll figure out where Harry is, and what to do next,” he finished as they walked back to the castle.

“We don’t know how Fred and George will react when they see you. I’ll go get them,” Hermione offered. “We’ll meet you in the classroom.”

Draco sat in the abandoned classroom across from Weasley. The redhead was doing a good job of hiding how serious his injuries were, but it wasn’t enough to fool him.

Weasley was far smarter than he initially gave him credit for, especially when they first met. At times he was a rival, an annoyance, but as the school year went on he became an ally, sometimes even a friend. It was complicated, but if there was one thing he could count on from Weasley, it was to tell the truth.

“How bad was it… really?” Draco asked.

“…Bad,” Ron said with a long sigh, choosing not to sugarcoat it. “It felt like they were just playing with us, trying to tire us out before they struck. I got hit first. They sliced open my arm, then they got my side. Harry did his best to protect me, but it wasn’t enough. He got hit next. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “The amount of spells they could cast, and the power they put behind them, it was unreal.”

“Do you think Potter could have taken them?” Draco asked, curious about Ron’s assessment. He had seen Potter pull off some impressive spells as well, and if what Hermione had said about what happened in the forest wasn’t an exaggeration, he was powerful too.

“…Maybe. If he was fighting one, maybe two of them, and he didn’t have to protect one of us,” Ron allowed. “But all of them together…no. I don’t think even Dumbledore could have managed it.”

“Do you have any ideas on what to do about them?” Ron asked, curious to see the Slytherin’s viewpoint.

Before Draco could answer, the door banged open, nearly flying off its hinges as Fred and George rushed in.

“Ron!” they shouted as they wrapped him tightly in a hug, demanding to know what happened to him, and ask if he was ok.

Ron grimaced through the hug, holding back a groan of pain. He nodded, having expected the question from the twins, and went into a brief explanation of the portkey Harry gave him, and how the goblins treated his injuries.

“What about Harry?” Ron asked after he finished his explanation. “Has there been any sign of him yet?”

“No,” George said, pulling out the map and activating it again. “We checked through the night, and this morning, but there’s still nothing,” he said, showing Ron the map.

“Maybe he escaped the same way you did,” Hermione suggested.

“…I’m not sure,” Ron said, deep in thought. “I mean… if he had another portkey he would have left right after I did, right? He wouldn’t have stuck around to fight them.”

They all exchanged an uncomfortable silence as they considered what happened to Harry, wondering again if he had even survived the night.

“…There’s something else too,” Ron said, breaking the silence. He placed the leather-bound journal he found on the desk. “I found this when I came back.”

“What is it?” Hermione asked, as she tried to open it.

“I don’t know for sure, but I think one of them dropped it,” Ron explained. “I tried to open it too, but it’s spelled shut.”

“Harry was able to open their trunks,” Hermione said after a moment’s thought, refusing to accept the worst could have happened to him. “When he comes back, he can get it open for us.”

“I think we need to take this to the professors,” George said, recognizing the danger they were all in. “This is way over our heads already.”

“We can’t,” Draco explained, shaking his head. “What if they’re working with them? The only reason they haven’t come after us yet is because they don’t know who we are. If we come forward with this, it’s just going to put a target on our backs.”

“He’s right, George,” Fred added reluctantly, surprising his twin. “Think about it. Why hasn’t anyone caught them yet? How could they sneak an acromantula through the school with no one noticing it? How could they cast all the spells they did on the castle grounds without attracting everyone’s attention? Someone powerful is at the very least covering up what they’re doing.”

“Harry is missing,” George pointed out. “How long can we keep that a secret? People are going to notice.”

“We’ll wait until the end of the day,” Hermione suggested. “Harry’s probably hurt, and getting treated for his injuries. He’ll be back soon. We can decide what to do after that.”

“Alright,” George agreed reluctantly. “The end of the day, no later.”

“We still need to figure out something to tell everyone,” Draco pointed out. “With Potter missing, it won’t take long for the study group to put two and two together.”

“We’ll stick with what you told Sally and Neville. He had to leave the school, an emergency meeting with his barrister about one of his investments,” Ron suggested.

“Lavender and Parvati,” Hermione added to the idea. “They’re the biggest gossips in our year. When we go back to the dorms, I’ll mention it to them. It should spread pretty quickly after that.”

“Hint that Potter may be work on something big, like the new brooms for the school,” Draco suggested. “That way the story spreads faster.”

Talbott cursed as he search the school grounds frantically. ‘Where is it?’ he thought, nearly pulling out his hair in frustrations. “Accio journal!” he called out again, hoping desperately the spell would work this time, but just like every other time he tried, the journal didn’t appear. ‘Stupid,’ he thought to himself. ‘How could I have been so stupid?’

After the thieves broke into Beatrice’s trunk, they all agreed to keep their ritual items on them, in case the thieves escaped again. He also kept his journal with him during the fight, and at some point during it, his journal had fallen out of his robes, and now he couldn’t find it.

Talbott rubbed his face, thinking about how much trouble he was going to be in when the others found out. He had been writing in it on and off since the study group recruited him in his second year. There were notes about the ritual, tidbits about their plans. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time.

After they completed their mission, they would be famous, known the world over. The journal was supposed to be the basis for the memoir he would write, but now it was threatening to ruin everything.

If the thieves got a hold of it, they could ruin hundreds of years of meticulous planning. He thought about going to the others and explaining what had happened before quickly dismissing the idea. ‘What if they kick me out of the group?’ He thought, hating the thought of not getting any of the credit after all the work he put in. ‘…I don’t even know if they found it. It could have just as easily been destroyed in the fight,’ he thought desperately.

Taking one last look around, Talbott sighed, knowing there wasn’t much point in searching for the journal anymore. He turned around, berating himself again for not noticing it was missing sooner as he returned to the castle.

“What happened to you?” Andre asked curiously when Talbott sat down beside him. “I didn’t see you in the dorm.”

“I went to check the school grounds,” Talbott replied evasively. “Just in case we missed something last night.”

“And?” Andre asked, wondering what Talbott could have found that made him so nervous.

“…Nothing,” Talbott replied, “I didn’t find anything.”

“You mean the…” Andre trailed off, looking meaningfully at Talbott.

“Yeah,” Talbott replied quickly. “There was no sign of him.”

“Why are you so nervous, then?” Andre asked. “That’s a good thing,” he said, misreading Talbott’s demeanor.

“It is?” Talbott asked curiously. “Why’s that?”

“Think about it,” Andre replied, now smiling as he casting a muffling charm to make sure no one overheard them. “It means these thieves want to keep this quiet, just like we do. They took care of the body, so the Professors wouldn’t ask any questions about it. That makes it easier for us to predict what the other two will do next,” he finished, clapping Talbott on the back happily.

“So you’re sure he’s…” Talbott asked.

“He has to be,” Andre replied confidently. “The number we did on him, it would have taken a fully trained medi-witch to heal him. With all the blood he lost, there’s no way he survived.”

“What about the other two?” Talbott asked. “They could still cause us a lot of trouble.”

“No way,” Andre said, shaking his head. “The guy from last night, he was the real threat. The one that escaped. He couldn’t even get off a single spell when we chased them, and I’m sure we hit him at least a couple of times, too. By my count, that only leaves one in any kind of shape to get in our way,” he finished confidently.

“You know what? I think you might be right,” Talbott agreed, seeing Andre’s point, and feeling a weight lift off his shoulders. Even when they chased them through the school and the forest, it was only one of them casting spells, and when he did, it was to protect the other two. They didn’t stand a chance on their own, especially after the last ritual.

Any guilt he felt about writing the journal behind the study group’s back melted away. ‘There’s no point rocking the boat now,’ he thought to himself. ‘They aren’t a threat anymore.’

“What about the ritual book, though?” Talbott asked. “We can’t do anymore rituals without it.”

“The alumni will have another book ready for us in about a month. I’ll keep it with me at all times, just to be on the safe side,” Andre said, canceling the spell.

“That’s weird,” Andre said, noticing the excited chatter of the other students. He looked around, his eyes settling on the Gryffindor table. “…I wonder where Potter is?” He asked, noticing the empty spot between Ron and Hermione. Over the last few weeks, the three of them had been practically attached at the hip.

“Oh, that?” Talbot asked. “It’s nothing to worry about. I heard a couple of first years talking about it,” he dismissed. “Potter left early this morning to talk to his barrister. Probably working on something to get himself another front page on the Prophet.”

“Really?” Andre said, studying the faces of Ron and Hermione carefully. ‘They seem a little nervous,’ he thought. “Did they say what Potter was working on?”

“No,” Talbott replied. “But they seemed to think it was something big. You think he might be trying to get a few Nimbus 2000s for the quidditch teams?” He asked, imagining what it would be like to fly on a professional broom.

“Maybe,” Andre said, returning to his breakfast. “I tried out on of the 1500s a few days ago. It was way faster than my Cleansweep 7. I wonder if Madam Hooch will let us use them for Quidditch games? It seems like a waste to only use them for flying lessons,” he replied, forgetting about Ron and Hermione as Talbott drew him into a conversation about the quidditch team’s chances this year.

Hi! Thanks for reading, we ended on another cliff hanger. any ideas on where Harry is? How is the story going so far?

thanks for supporting me,


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