Chapter 26 The Goblin’s Amulet

The Goblin’s Amulet

Chapter 26: The Goblin’s Amulet

Harry had his wand pointing straight at Soto threateningly. Hagrid grinned through his gruff beard. Now it was official. Soto could not possibly hope to win through this. Harry advanced on Soto and Albus was pleased to see that Soto was backing off, hands up in surrender. He looked very easy about it, like he was expecting this and even hoping for it. Harry stopped when the wand was inches from Soto’s heart and Soto fixed him with a significant look, as if daring him to do it. Daring Harry to kill him like he did Voldemort so many years ago.

“I wouldn’t worry,” Harry breathed lowly. “There’s nothing in there for me to hit.”

“Funny,” Soto said through bated breath. “Have you gone this far beyond diplomacy?”

“This has gone far enough, Lean,” Harry told him. “I’ve allowed you freedom for too long. I’ve overlooked your manipulations too much. But when you’ve threatened my family, you’ve gone too far.”

“Oh, is that who you’re after?” Soto said in mock realization. “Well, wrong room, Harry Potter. The real threat to your family stands in that room,” Soto gestured to the room Incommodo had gone in, the door of which had just opened. Albus exhaled a sigh of relief. Mark walked in first but at his heels was Incommodo. Both looked furious and uneasy as if they had argued intensely in the room. Mark for one seemed very deeply disturbed and his legs were shaking so much, he had to sit down on a seat Seth had strangely pulled up for him.

“Mors!”

“Easy, Potter, I was just leaving this infernal place,” he growled, half of his wispiness gone as if the argument with Mark had strengthened his voice tenfold. He took one look out the window before turning back to a questioning Soto and he reverted back to a wisp, “Three of your guards standing outside are dead now. You’ll be having company soon. But a promise is a promise… Avada Kedavra!”

Mark screamed and Lily covered her eyes. But Harry heroically leapt in front and summoned a loose wooden plank from the walls to take the blast instead. It burst into flames which Soto doused. Now, visibly, Soto looked very uneasy and Incommodo looked unmoved by Harry’s action. “So, the Potter family has chosen the Hero’s path… and the consequences that come with it. I’ll be taking my leave then. Unlike the both of you, I have an office to return to.”

In a quick whirl of his cloak, he was gone. Harry returned to Soto, as if no interruption had taken place. His wand had not left Soto’s heart. “You head a group called the Purifiers, a danger to our world,” Harry told him knowingly.

“And now, they’ve become your greatest asset,” Soto bowed and snapped his fingers. From a shadowy corner of the room, the blonde woman Orgella stepped out. “You’ve been watching the events that transpired here?”

“Yes, Soto.”

“Harry Potter saved my life and I am afraid I- what is the phrase- owe him one,” Soto gestured. “Gather who you can from our Purifiers in the forest. Have them fight the Reservation at their home base. With their forces marching on Hogwarts, they are at their weakest.”

Orgella looked astonished at this order but did not question it. She looked at Harry in astonishment as if trying to understand something. “Y-Yes, Master. I understand.” And she Apparated.

The gesture did not move Harry though, nor did it move Albus. Mark seemed skeptical too. Even if Soto had something against the Reservation as well, he had everything against their family. Harry seemed to be of the same mind too. “We’ve seen enough, Soto. Your lies will not work with me as they might’ve worked on school kids. Your strengths are now useless and your advantages turned against you. Accept your punishment and turn yourself in. Your Arsenal of Education ends here.”

“Put your wand away, Harry Potter,” Soto told him. “Your kids are still safe and”-

“You’ve threatened them TOO LONG!” Harry screamed in his face. “Surrender!”

Soto turned to Albus, “Take your sister and brother. You may leave.” He turned back to Harry, “There, they’re free. Their usefulness has runs its course.”

But Albus didn’t leave. Neither did Lily or Mark. They stayed, watching with breaths held. Hagrid took position in front of them, as if to shield them form whatever may occur. Soto sighed, “If I had wanted to kill them, would they not be dead by now? You are the only one who can help, Harry Potter,” Soto began earnestly. Harry raised his wand to signal he wouldn’t negotiate. That was when Soto blurted out, “The prophecy. Your son gave it to me.” Harry almost dropped his wand in shock and Soto used that moment of weakness to draw his own wand. “So worried was your child that he would lose his siblings, he offered me not only the Prophecy but a map of Hogwarts and the Amulet itself.”

Harry seemed momentarily disturbed by this. “Al… is this true?”

“The map, yes but the Amulet,” Albus grinned, Mark forming a small grin too. “The Amulet was a fake!” Albus felt no fear in revealing this now. Not with Hagrid and Harry there.

Harry almost laughed along but Soto’s expression was unfathomable, “So, I’ve been tricked. We can discuss this… perhaps over lunch during the summer, I am almost positive we can reach an understanding,” Soto offered. “After all, I alone know how you can work Slytherin’s Heir to your advantage. Without me, I promise your quest is doomed to failure, I just have a simple request.”

“Your demands?” Harry asked.

“A job in Hogwarts,” Soto told him. “As Dark Arts Professor.”

“Stupefy!”

Soto parried the spell at Hagrid who rose up to full height once again. The air seemed to shake as Hagrid glared at Soto. “I’ll deal with him,” Harry insisted to Hagrid. “Don’t risk your life. It’s my family he wants.”

“You must tone down rhetoric against them and allow people to hear both sides,” Soto said angrily. “Hogwarts is asymmetrical. It teaches Defense Against the Dark Arts, but students don’t even know what they are to need defense. They don’t know what they’re defending against. The time has come to choose all or none. You can’t take one.”

“The Dark Arts has put us in enough danger,” Harry yelled. “It spawned the likes of Grindelwald and the Dark Lord.”

“And they were brought to justice, but you forget your history,” Soto said tensely. “Barty Crouch used the Dark Arts against the evil. It isn’t the label of the Arts, it’s the act in which you use any kind of magic. Why, I could kill you with a stunning spell to the heart, de-bone your skull… none of that is Dark Arts by label. They were made Dark by the act in which they were done.”

“I don’t have time for philosophical discussions,” Harry said stubbornly. “You won’t have a job, considering who you are. If you are so intent on helping, let my family go and… integrate your group into the Law Enforcement. Then, we’ll talk business.”

“You choose to completely ignore the prophecy,” Soto said shakily. “Tell me, Harry Potter who does your true allegiance rest with?”

“Expelliarmus!”

Soto parried it easily and as Harry dodged the rebound, Soto Apparated only to appear right in front of Albus. He seized him and had his wand on his neck threateningly. Lily screamed but Soto was knocked back hard, dazed and winded but no unconscious. Hagrid was helping Albus up, his umbrella in hand once again, and Harry turned back to Soto. “Your tricks will not save you now.”

Soto spun around and a ring of fire erupted from the ground around him. It did not burn the wood being inches above it, but it did threaten Hagrid and Harry at once. Soto rushed forward again and took Mark by the neck, binding him with glowing ropes. Hagrid and Harry doused the fire. “They’ll kill Mark the second they are cut by anyone but myself.”

From the shadows, a small, familiar figure leapt out at Soto. He barely managed to avoid the surprise attack but the blonde figure did not stop. Aries V. Kimble fired spell after spell at Soto, forcing him on the defensive. “Leave my Mark alone!”

“What the”-

“Stupefy!”

Soto avoided it but sent a black jet at her. Aries dodged it easily, ducking under Soto and rising up behind him, “Impedimenta!” Soto parried it easily but she raised her wand again quicker than Mark ever could, “Stolidus Tardus!’

Soto spun around and two more rings of fire exploded around him as a silvery jet of light exploded from Aries’ wand. Aries shrieked as Hagrid doused the fire before it made contact. Harry turned to Aries as Soto caught his breath, visibly outmatched and by a student. Something had shocked him. Aries had not managed a hit on him but he was surprised. He turned to Aries, “Y-you know the Dark Arts. Where did you learn this Dark Magic?”

Mark gaped open-mouthed at her and Harry looked puzzled. Aries herself spun around fiercely and pointed her wand at his neck, “I am Aries V. Kimble, Lady Duelist of the Salem Witches Institute, future graduate of Hogwarts, and future wife of Mark Wallader. I have nothing to say to you!”

“That hardly answered my question,” Soto commented. He grinned as he realized something, his eyes fixed on Aries with interest. He turned to Mark and fixed him with a cruel smile, “You’re a little liar. You’ve been playing me for a fool this whole time, Mr. Wallader.”

Harry meanwhile, calmed Aries down with a hand on her shoulder, “What’re you doing here?”

“I snuck here with Phoenix,” Aries said breathlessly. “He’s outside with the Law Enforcement Head, Lucius Malfoy.”

“He let you in here?”

“No, dolt, I snuck here when he left,” she said impatiently, no trace of a lie present.

“Feisty little girl,” Soto commented humorously. “Keep her on a leash,” he added to Mark. Harry Potter raised his wand slowly but a bang sounded from upstairs. Soto looked up, eyes wide in apparent fear. “Goblins. Looks like the Law Enforcement failed. Harry Potter, our talk will have to wait. The Goblins will wipe us all out. Everyone here, fight for your lives.”

Harry did not answer. He just raised his wand at the door and Soto released the bonds around Mark. Hagrid crashed through the open window and fell to the battle below to take part just as the first small figure came rushing in. “Stupefy!”

The small figure strafed to the side with amazing speed and rushed up, hands glowing light blue as they jabbed at Harry’s chest. Harry summoned a dome shield just in time as Soto fired a lethal black spell at the Goblin. Five more rushed inside. Albus took Mark’s back and rounded on the rushing Goblins. Back-to-back, Mark and Albus fired their own spells at the Goblins. Not only them, but Lily also joined the fray, wand out and taking their backs too. Aries V. Kimble took Lily’s back on their other side too. Even Seth had abandoned the neutral position and took a position beside Albus.

A heavy jet of light streaked towards them but Mark turned and used his wand to block it from hitting Albus. As Mark defended Albus’ life in such a way, Albus pointed his wand under Mark’s arm and to the floor under a group of incoming Goblins rushing at Harry and yelled “Lubricus!”

The Goblins slipped unsteadily as Aries pointed her wand at the door, “Colloportus!”

As the door slammed, Mark fired his own red spell, “Fulgeo!”

A red beam of light zapped through the air and hit a Goblin in the face. He screamed as his face burned and Soto rounded on the attacking Goblins, firing a jet of yellow light. A Goblin laughed as a dome similar to the one Harry summoned protected him while the others let themselves slide over to where Harry and Soto stood. Soto yelled and jumped out of the way, firing a jet of green light. One sliding Goblin fell dead while the other remaining three regained footing.

Soto and Harry were standing beside each other, dueling against jets of blue light coming from the palms of Goblins. Harry brandished his wand readily to fire a jet of red light. Soto backed away, “Disarming will not work on them, Potter. They possess no wands.”

The door blasted open Harry fired a shield spell at the opening to block off a crowd of Goblins rushing in. Stella then miraculously jumped in through the window from below, looking furious. She rushed at the shield too to add to the defense. “Leave Potter, Soto. The Purifiers need backup outside. It’s crazy out there!”

Soto flicked his wand and yelled, “Expulso!”

The remaining Goblins were blasted apart and Soto rushed to Stella’s aid to hold the Goblins off. The Goblins behind looked furious, three jets being fired at once at Albus and Seth. Seth was blasted back, unmoving and Albus felt himself collapse. He was against the wall, bleeding from his lip. Mark and Aries took each other’s backs instead with Lily standing in between. Harry and Soto released a shield to keep the rest off but the Goblins combined their power and broke through, rushing in fiercely. Soto dove to the side and Harry Potter fired an explosive spell to keep the eight arrivals off.

The Goblins’ arrival complicated matters a great deal. They seemed furious as they all attacked Soto and Harry mainly and still managed to break the ranks Albus, Seth, Mark, Aries and Lily had formed. But Lily was soon overtaken by a crowd of Goblins. She released a Bat-bogey Hex like Ginny had sometimes, and the Goblins stopped. Bats from their noses started fighting them and Aries fired Stunners at them. One Goblin had to take the front and block it off with one hand while with another hand, used a glowing fist to dispel the bats. Soto appeared beside her with a crack and yelled “Expulso!” just as a Goblin fired a jet of blue light from its hands.

Another explosion rocked the shack as four Goblins were blasted apart and landed feet away as a blue jet hit Lily square in the face. She fell back and down to the floor, eyes shut. Soto did not seem to notice, “Stella, take them away!” he gestured to the Goblins. “They will serve as bargaining chips.”

Stella did as told but Goblins were everywhere now. The room was overrun and bangs outside signaled a battle had erupted out there as well between the Law Enforcement led by Malfoy and the Goblins. Mark and Aries nodded together and raised their wands at the same time and yelled in perfect unison and sync, “IMMOBULUS!”

The Goblins around the room froze. All of them. But more Goblins started appearing in the room, many using glowing blue hands to allow the others to regain mobility. It appeared they would be retaking the room in no time when Hagrid crashed through their ranks from behind. “YOU THREATENED HOGWARTS!” Hagrid roared. “The castle of Albus Dumbledore!”

He punched through their ranks, scattering them all around and out of his way and he blindly thrashed at Stella next. She was too slow and she flew out of the window and to the pavement below. Hagrid advanced on Soto next, the Goblins clearly no longer a factor. Or so it had seemed.

Soto walked up to a stirring Goblin and kicked him over to Harry Potter. “Interrogation, I believe.”

Though Harry still lacked trust in Soto, he pointed his wand at the Goblins and yelled, “What’re you doing here? Answer me! How did you know to come?”

“Ah,” the Goblin coughed. “Harry Potter. We’re here because we’ve been tracking Soto’s movements. Our amulet… The Goblin’s Amulet holds many powers. So Wizards fail to hand us the power we’ve been seeking for generations, we harness our own! Witness! For we have found it!”

Four Goblins put their fingers together and a white hot wave overtook the entire room. Hagrid appeared unaffected by this but Albus found his map, wand, and even the real Amulet fly out of his pockets. His wand was incinerated in the wave, even Mark’s wand was incinerated. The map disintegrated but their troubles were far from over. He reached for the amulet but the Goblins got it first, grinning all over. “The half giant may have avoided this but… BEHOLD!”

The Goblin held up the large golden amulet. It glowed golden and Harry jumped back. Soto yelled and backed off against the wall. This had definitely not gone according to plan. Aries widened her eyes in fear as Albus crawled over to Lily’s unconscious form.

“As punishment for concealing the amulet from us!” the Goblin yelled gleefully as a large shield encompassed all fellow Goblins and leaving the Wizards standing helplessly. “Death!” The last thing Albus saw or heard was a loud explosion, Harry’s yell and orange fire engulfing him completely. He distantly heard Soto and Harry yell incantations, briefly saw Hagrid grabbing Harry and positioning himself in front of him and the kids to take the brunt of the blast but it didn’t matter. The last thing Albus saw was a giant mass falling on top of him before he too fell unconscious and his world went black.

At Hogwarts…

Professors Redgrow, Vulneroman and Ackerly stood at the forest entrance with five or so figures in robes sporting a white twister over a black sea. As Soto had promised, Purifiers had arrived to help. The Reservation seemed just at the light, unable to break through to the grounds and the teachers fought back.

This did not mean the students were safe; however, as Alexis and Hugo who had both been outside found themselves in the crossfire. Lorcan and Lysander who had been outside tending to some Flobberworms and Fire crabs to study up extra on homework were also caught up in it. Jets still made it through the barrier separating them. A jet of fiery white light hit Hugo square in the chest. Alexis let out a small gasp, knowing how devastated Albus would be. She took a stance in front of Hugo and fired back at the Reservation.

Otto Blackberry and Teddy Lupin held the line by Alexis. Three wolves pounced on Teddy viciously and Otto fired a spell to knock one off before pouncing on another, fangs open and bared. Another jet of light hit Alexis square in the face and she fell back, face bubbling but eyes shut. Lorcan and Lysander were also defenseless when they peeked their heads out from Hagrid’s backyard to see what the commotion was. They only just managed to look up as a Vampire under the Imperius Curse pounced on them, fangs bared.

Professor Vulneroman was roughly dealing with three Reservists at once, Redgrow was Transfiguring grass into needles to keep the Reservists at bay and Ackerly was Charming the trees to block their path further. One woman from the Reservation flicked her wand lazily and the trees blasted apart but they only regrew, determined to keep them off.

Then, as if from nowhere, arrows had barely missed them all. One had turned tail and run only to be pierced by an arrow. A group of Centaurs charged in and broke the ranks up. The Reservation left the vampires to be exterminated by the defenses Hogwarts put up as they made their way back to their sanctuary.