The day dawned, bright, warm, and filled with rush hour traffic in the busy shopping district of Diagon Alley. Men and women rushed about picking up the different items and such that they needed for the day. Mothers who had seen their children of to Pre-Hogwarts care centers meandered about, buying dinner and gossiping about everything under the sun. Fathers rushed about looking for last minute anniversary and birthday presents. Young teens fresh out of Hogwarts were looking for places to find a steady wage or just talk to people. All in all it was a usual day in the British Wizarding world after the fall of the Dark Lord Voldemort.
A man sat in the corner of the porch at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. It allowed him a generous view of the alley and the looming marble monstrosity at the end. His head was covered in a simple black ballhat and he wore a pair of sleek silver sunglasses. A sneer marred his face. He wasn’t eating anything, but he held a Daily Prophet in front of him.
His dress attire was as nondescript as his headwear, simple dark colored shirt, a light hooded sweater and a pair of black pants with a pair of trainers. Passerby who saw him quickly dismissed him as they rushed past, evidently forgetting the trouble that used to plague the Alley upon the visit of darkly dressed men. He ignored the masses in turn, his gaze set on the white marble building in front of him.
He was a hero and they had taken his money, all of it, simply for a few measly complications. It couldn’t have been that expensive to replace the glass roof and sure, he had freed a dragon but it wasn’t like they didn’t have another two. The only thing that they had any real right to be mad about was the sword he had taken with him. The whole Imperius-ing of a Goblin might have a little to do with it. That didn’t give them the right to steal his whole inheritance though. They had gone too far, and now he was going to take back what was his.
He stared at the old yellowed parchment that was held behind the copy of the Daily Prophet he was pretending to peruse. The marks made from the meeting last night were still fresh. He took careful note of the moving dots upon the parchment. Noting the number of Goblin tellers sitting behind their desk. His sharp gaze watched as a dot labeled Bill Weasley moved through the common area before disappearing in the spot that was marked with a fireplace.
As he watched, a new name popped in through the fireplace labeled Ferdinand Esteben. He knew that was the name of the international Dragon care provider. The arrival was, he noted, on time according to the list of expenditures he had written down on the parchment to the side.
A shadow passed by him, he looked up and locked eyes with Seamus Finnegan who was making his way towards the front of the bank. He had a slight twinge of concern for the stocky Irishman whom he considered a close friend now-a-days despite their rocky fifth year. As he watched the Irish Casanova move to position, heard the words from last night’s meeting ringing in his ears, “Ain’t nothing I can’t handle, just worried about me eyebrows. I don’t wanna freak out the ladies ya know,” Seamus waved off Harry’s concern.
Harry hid a small smile as he remembered Dean’s witty reply of, “Like you don’t already”. The two certainly hadn’t lost any of the camaraderie in the years after graduation. Even with the distance lent to the friendship with Seamus’s acceptance of an apprenticeship to Charlie Weasley and Dean Thomas’s work as a Ward breaker and Vault cracker. Harry realized he was delaying the plan with his reminiscing and glanced back at the parchment. Now was the chance to strike, there were only a few goblins and a small cluster of wizards.
He peered around from the edge of his paper and noticed his cohorts waiting for the signal. He dropped the paper and double checked the duffle bag that sat at his feet, stuffing the schematics within. The contents were revealed to be a myriad of different tools that would be useful to this day. He zipped it back up and slung it over his shoulder, signaling with a nod and a touch of the hat’s brim. The operation was about to begin.
He stepped through the first set of doors and stopped to read the poem that he had first seen so long ago. The corners of his lips twitched upwards before he steadied himself. He felt his Occlumency shields blink into existence, shielding his intentions from the wards around the building. The Vault Keepers stood at attention, halberds gleaming in the sun that bled through the high windows. He nodded slightly at them and continued forward.
He let out a small sigh of relief as he passed through unscathed. He glanced around and took note of how many tellers there were. He and his friends had figured that for every teller, they kept five Vault Keepers on call for security assistance that was not necessarily worthy of the impressive ward suite that was laid over the building. He smiled fully now as he noticed his friends filing in separately and spreading out. Each wore different dark colors, a hat and sunglasses, each also carried a duffle bag. He nodded to them and in one fluid motion he dropped his bag and threw his hands to the ceiling palms up.
As he did so, two of his team drew out odd little contraptions that resembled mouths with feet. They wound the keys on them and dropped them. The little toy-like objects scampered off to who knows where and began to make loud screams and general noises. Gold beams flew from his hands into the ceiling even as the other two of his team simultaneous locked the outer and inner doors into the building. The Vault Keepers on the other side banged on the door and screamed curses at them in Goblin. One of the two smiled and blew them a kiss. They were effectively stuck in their own entrance way with no way of calling for help.
Massive doors at the other end opened up to reveal the awaiting contingent of Vault Keepers who charged forward. They were covered head to toe in heavy plate armor made of a silvery material and they also carried halberd similar to the ones outside. As they ran forward, one of the team reached again into his bag and withdrew what looked to be a Muggle American football only covered in blue writing. He heaved it overhand and it sailed into the middle of the charging Goblin Brigade.
The moment it entered their midst a bright blue shield, the same color as the writing, exploded outwards, it passed through the armored guards until it encompassed all of them and then held. They ran directly into the now seemingly solid barrier and promptly put an end to the charge.
The man who was throwing golden light still had not moved from his spot as the four other team members went about brandishing their wands and holding out sacks. The few customers unfortunate enough to be trapped in the building swallowed heavily as they dropped their wands and things into the sacks. The golden glow dissipated and the man sagged slightly before drawing his own wand.
“No one will be harmed; this is simply a re-acquisition of finances that used to belong to someone very important. I promise that when I have acquired what was stolen, I will leave these sacks here at the main doorway and you may recover it when you are finished,” the patrons were confused. They slowly looked to each other but no one had an answer.
While the man calmly spoke to the human patrons, two more were busy hauling the Goblin tellers from their seats and throwing them into the blue bubble. The Goblins spitting many a curse and threat at them.
“Sir, we only have thirty minutes until the shield runs out. We need to get moving,” One of the men spoke, an strong Irish burr garbling the words a bit.
“No problem, just giving them a warning. Incarcerous.” The group of humans were bound in thick ropes and pushed to the side.
“Alright men, let’s do this.”
“Sir, we’ve received several communications from Diagon, specifically from Gringotts. It seems that a few patrons are stuck inside and family members who had been waiting outside are getting worried. Gringotts has gone into lockdown mode sir, and there hasn’t been any kind of communication from them so far.”
“Who’s overseeing the wards schematic for Gringotts, Mr. Malfoy?” The minister pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation as he spoke. Draco flipped a few papers on his notebook.
“It’s Theodore Tonks, Minister. He hasn’t reported anything though.”
“Get me Auror Tonks on the Floo please,” Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt murmured.
“Right away sir,” Draco replied before moving to the large fire place set up across from the Minister’s desk. With a loud call of ‘Auror Department, Ward Schematics Hall, Gringotts Room’ the fire turned green for a moment and after a short wait Theodore Tonks, affectionately referred to as Ted, appeared in the fire.
“What can I do for you Minister, sir?”
“Has there been any activity on the ward schematics for Gringotts, Ted?”
“No sir, all clear and green here. The most was an Floo call earlier, but that was just Bill Weasley leaving from his night shift. Other than that, it’s been business as usual. Were we looking for something specific?”
“No Ted, it’s just that Gringotts has been locked down according to passerby accounts in Diagon. Understandably it has left a lot of people confused and concerned,” Shacklebolt responded.
“Well, the only thing I can think of is if the Goblins decided to do a drill. You know, the ones where they shut everything down for round half an hour without telling us until afterwards. It always gets some people’s knickers in a twist.”
“Ah yes, I suppose that’s the most logical reason, but didn’t they do that already this month,” Malfoy reminded the Minister.
“No sir, not according to the records,” Ted responded swiftly. His hand appeared in the fire next to his head with the mentioned monthly records. Draco took it and scanned the sheet.
“Hmph, I guess I was wrong Minister,” he said, his tone slightly wary.
“That’ll be all Ted, thank you.” With that, the Auror’s head disappeared from the flames and they dulled back to their usual burnt orange, warmth returning to the embers and the office.
“Draco, I don’t like this,” the Minister said to his aide, he took a small pause.
“Send me McLaggen, and have Weasley and Zabini investigate the branch please.” Draco simply nodded his head and swiftly moved to his task. The Minister reached into the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a small bottle of whiskey along with a glass. After pouring a small amount, he replaced the bottle and picked up his quill.
“Paperwork, my immortal enemy. You shall be brought to heel today,” he muttered as he began filling out form after form.
*Deep below Gringotts*
“Seamus has taken care of the dragons for now I think, Neville, Ron, take the first cart back up and see what you can do about holding off any reinforcements. Dean, get the vault open. I’ll handle any rogue Vault Keepers while you’re working,” the leader, who had discarded his cap and glasses a short while ago, revealed himself to be none other than Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Won. His green gaze cut through the darkness, eyes glowing with the telltale sign of a night-vision charm.
The two Purebloods nodded and donned their disguises again. Both were stalwart friends and loyal partners in crime but they usually weren’t asked to do anything this risky or illegal. The worst he had Neville do so far was cross breed an illegal batch of Pixie Nettles with the Muggle drug Marijuana to try and make a recreational narcotic. That had been both a spectacular success and a complete catastrophe, but Harry and the gang would never forget the sight of a completely stoned Holyhead squad practicing Quidditch starkers. Ginny had somehow been involved in that one too if he remembered correctly.
Dean set to work crack the Goblin enchantments, pulling out several tools that looked Muggle in origin but sparked with gold and silver as it came in contact with the door. His ability to adapt Muggle tools to magical uses had been part of what led to his internship with the personal Vault production company “WizSecTech”. He had singlehandedly turned them from a niche market production line to a top of the line company in a year’s time. The man was a wizard, both literally and figuratively, with security protocols, something Harry both envied and appreciated. Harry looked at him expectantly.
“Shouldn’t be more than eight minutes Harry,” Dean called across the cart tracks. Harry simply nodded in satisfaction; they still had twelve whole minutes to get the vault open and then portkey away. He felt a vibration and a heating sensation in his pocket, he pulled out a small hand mirror and as it came up, a face appeared.
“Hey Harry, the Minister reacted like we thought, I think he’s sending people your way anyway. McLaggen was dragged into his office about two minutes ago. He was pale as a ghost. I also heard that the lead Auror team was missing from the lunch crowd. Be careful.” Harry nodded to the mysterious and stowed the mirror away. He flicked his wand and a ghostly white stage burst forth. It cantered a few feet away and then came back. Its head bent down and Harry whispered into its ear.
“Ron, Neville, we’re going to have Auror company soon, keep out of sight stay out of harm’s way. If they try to come through they shouldn’t be able to make it unless they have a Portkey directly in by the Goblins, as we know this is entirely possible but highly unlikely. Harry, out.” The stag bowed low once and then dashed off up the tunnels. A gout of fire blew from one of the side tunnels which Harry could hear the Irishman cursing up a storm before the sound of two clackers rang out once more.
“Dean, how long?”
“Three minutes,” was the strained reply. Even the master had trouble with Goblin Vaults, but he was also excited if the tone was a sign.
“I’m going to arrange our distraction out of here, As soon as it’s open, throw the Black Hole in and we can get the hell out of here.” With that last order, Harry dashed up the tracks towards the spot he had heard the yells and the roar of flames originating.
As he skidded around the corner, he had to duck as huge gouts of deathly orange and red flew over his head. Seamus had his wand point directly in front of him, holding a concave piece of rock that was curved away from him. It was slowly being melted and disintegrated by the heat of the two dragon’s combined breath. Harry could see the sweat soaking his back as his cooling charms worked over time just to keep him from being cooked.
“Alright you fecking bitch. You wanna ava a go?”
“Seamus, time to enact Operation Destroy Shit Take Two,” Harry yelled, summoning his own concave shield. Seamus’s face lit up with excitement.
“About time ya wanker. Although, ya coulda picked a better name. Not really that impressive of a title innit? Gets the point across though I suppose.” Seamus started to silence one of the clankers and backed up towards Harry at the same time, Harry meanwhile started up his own clanker. The dragons were confused for moment before they started to move in the direction that Seamus was backing too.
“On three I’m going to blind them, you cut your clanker and Portkey the hell out, alright? The wards holding the spot open won’t last more than five minutes. As soon as you’re out send a Patronus to Ron and Neville.” Seamus just nodded, concentrating on his part.
The pair slowly got the dragons oriented towards the tracks leading up to the main bank building. Harry whispered an incantation and the Dragons suddenly found themselves blinded by a strip of cloth, held firmly in place. Since the magic was not affecting their actual bodies, it held. Seamus pulled out a Portkey and nodded at Harry before disappearing in a whirring show of light. The clanker in Harry’s hands pushed the dragons forward and they started to meander upwards. Harry charmed the clanker to follow them and continue making noise for another three minutes and turned back to the vault.
“Dean, how are we doing?”
“The Black Hole is in and I’ve just finished locking it. Much easier to lock it than to open it, let me tell you,” Dean called back as he finished shoving the Muggle shaped equipment into his bag. Harry grinned and watched as Dean also disappeared. He held up his hand in a manner reminiscent to what the Muggles were calling “raising the roof” whatever that meant. A silver bolt shot from his hands as he too was whisked away, his exit signaling the removal of the blind folds on the dragons and the clanker’s irritating sound.
The dragons, seeing light up above and sensing freedom, flapped their monstrous wings. Within moments they had broken the recently fixed glass dome of Gringott’s main hall and soared away, to the astonishment of Wizards and Muggles alike. The orb holding the Goblin’s broke and the ropes around the bank patrons disappeared. The doors unsealed and every Goblin in the vicinity was shouting rapid Gobbledygook as they attempted to figure out what to do.
Distraught relatives poured into the bank, hugging loved ones and just sobbing in relief. Through the mess stepped the Lead Auror Team of Blaise Zabini, Auror First Degree and Ginny Weasley, Auror Second Degree. The two looked around before finding the Goblin they were after.
“Rankgrot, we need to speak with you,” Zabini spoke. The Goblin that was named spared them a glance before returning to issuing orders.
“That wasn’t a request,” Weasley snapped. Her temper was legendary in some circles. The Goblin simply raised an eyebrow.
“If you must speak human, than speak. As you can see we are somewhat busy with this catastrophe that was conducted by five of your own, you filthy apes.”
“Well, that answers my first question. What did they look like?”
“You hairless apes all look the same, stupid, pink and squishy.”
“Were they disguised?”
“Somewhat yes, they wore Muggle caps and Muggle sunglasses, dressed dark and three of them had duffel bags. The wards did not recognize any hostile intent, so we assume they were well trained in Occlumency. The leader managed to dismantle and re-build the wards without a wand. Anything more I cannot say since they disappeared below the surface and I could not hear anything through the bubble. Approximately eight minutes after they went down, two of them came back up and hid themselves, no doubt look outs to ensure security. They received a Patronus and drew out invisibility cloaks. Then a second Patronus appeared and they Portkeyed out. A few minutes later the wards were reinstated. Now you idiots, I have a bank to manage and a contingent of Vault Keepers to punish. Good day sir,” The goblin spat out the last of his rant and swiftly turned.
“What shape was the Patronus,” Weasley called out.
“A stag and the second was a Fox.” Zabini gave the goblin a cool look before thanking him for his time. Ginny’s eyes clouded in anger and memory.
Ginny Weasley had just recently been promoted to Auror Second Degree and she had also been assigned to the Lead Auror team. She basically had gotten to where she wanted to in life so far. Next on the list was Auror First Degree, maybe Head Auror and then she’d retire after earning enough money to buy part of the rights to the Holyhead Harpies whereupon she’d be set for life with tickets.
Today however, was a shitty day and the prospect of Harpies tickets for life just couldn’t bring her more happiness. Today she had to deal with the savior of the world, Harry bleeding Potter, scoundrel, heart stealer and all around raucous Lord of the Ancient House of Potter.
Sure she had admired him at Hogwarts, and even fought beside him. They had dated but they never really hit it off and he had gone off on that stupid adventure of his to find Voldemort’s Horcruxes. You could read all about it in his new autobiography. Of course, she hadn’t read it.
She had even bought a poster when he had signed on with the Harpies to much controversy. She didn’t even want to know how he had managed that, but he had and he had gone on to lead them to four consecutive cups in both the British and Irish League as well as leading England to a National Cup. After that he had retired to a life of debauchery and mischievousness.
And today she had to deal with him, the bugger.
“Hello Gin, nice to see an old face amongst you lot. Every day it seems like a new crop of titchy little buggers,” Harry called out with an easy grin and a lackadaisical manner, quite contrary to the handcuffs currently keeping him seated on the bench.
“You wouldn’t really be aware of that if you weren’t in here every day, you know that right Potter?”
“But then you lot wouldn’t get to see my lovely face, now would you?”
“I, for one, would be glad if you decided to take a vacation far away from me, and it’s Auror Weasley to you, not Gin, especially not at work.”
“Aw, come on Gin, you know you love seeing my bright ray of sunshine every day,” he laughingly replied, a few of the younger Aurors laughed as well. Ginny turned on them with thunderclouds to match Harry’s sunny disposition and the younger Aurors scuttled away, lest Hurricane Weasley uproot them too. Ginny waved her wand and the cuffs disappeared, she waved again and a standard release form appeared.
“Sign this and get out of my sight before I decide to book you on something more serious than the theft of Susan Bones’ lingerie. I hear Justin Finch-Fletchley wants to wring your neck.”
“Pfft, as if he could,” Harry muttered as he signed on the dotted line.
“Now, get the hell out of my precinct.” Harry, knowing when the game was run, nodded, bowed slightly at the waist and hightailed it out of the room, but not before snagging a scone and high fiving one of the Auror Trainees. Ginny pinched the bridge of her nose and sighed.” As she looked up though, she noticed a stag Patronus cantering towards her.
“By the way, it wasn’t just Susan Bones. You ought not to wear such things at work Miss Weasley,a see through thong, really?” It asked in Harry tone, a laugh being bitten back. She colored an impressive red as she realized that there was indeed a slight breezy sensation ‘down there’. Oh she was going to get him for that.
Ginny Weasley and Blaise Zabini looked at each other, and shook their heads. Zabini was resigned while Weasley looked murderous.
“Goddammit, it’s bleeding Harry Potter and his Marauders,” Zabini muttered to her. She just nodded. They wouldn’t find any other evidence and with only hearsay of a Goblin and no magical residue to be captured. They had no case.
“Fuck!” Ginny snapped, she noticed that breezy sensation once more.
“That about sums it up,” Blaise muttered.
*Meanwhile, back at the Ministry again*
The young man sat, staring at the schematics in front of him, a perfect duplicate of the ones Harry had been using to practice surveillance upon the bank whilst waiting for the moment to act. The young man’s hair flashed through a selection of colors before stopping upon a bright burgundy striped gold color. He looked up to the mirror that he had stuck to the wall and noticed the garish look it gave him. He smiled slightly before changing it once more.
It stopped on hot pink, the exact same shade that his Godfather had mentioned was his mum’s favorite before she had died facing down the Dark forces of Lord Voldemort. His Godfather had mentioned how uncanny it was that although he retained his father’s face for the most part, he had his mother’s hair. He smiled wider at the memory.
Theodore Tonks was many things, and as a Metamorpmagus he could become many more things, but Harry had always remarked that the two things he like both about his godson was that Ted was loyal to a fault and craftier than a motherfucker. It was a Muggle slang phrase if he remembered the explanation correctly.
He had always wanted to be a part of a heist. Every man dreamed of doing it at least once. He had even drawn up a little list of people who would be on his team. His upbringing amongst his Godfather’s associates had left him with a less than stellar compass for morality. As his Godfather always taught him, there was justice and the law but sometimes the law was unable to deal with the injustices that plagued the world. If one wanted to get through life without being stepped on, they had to stand up for their rights and privileges. That was why, when Harry had asked for his help in righting this wrong, he had jumped on it.
Ted looked down and noticed that the six dots he had been keeping off the map were flashing, meaning the people they represented had gone, that meant he could remove the dots completely. Having never actually sunk into the parchment, there would be no record of the dots having ever existed.
Today was going to be a good day, he knew it. Maybe not as good as the Holyhead incident, but then again, with Harry around, he never knew what was going to happen next. He loved the thrill of it. Then, the Floo went off again. It was undoubted McLaggen, again, for the third time that day. The pompous windbag was going on and on about how he had the Marauders this time.
“Pfft, fat chance of that,” Ted thought. He ignored the Floo’s incessant flaring, indicating McLaggen’s repeated attempts at getting him to stick his head through. The guard change was due to happen in two minutes anyway and he’d let the next guy take care of McLaggen’s issues.
“I wonder what’s being served in the cafeteria today,” Ted thought aloud as he wandered off.
Just a little character list for those who are curious.
Harry Potter – No real profession other than mucking about
Seamus – Trained under Charlie Weasley as a Dragon Tamer
Dean – Was a Ministry sanctioned Safe Cracker but took to crime for fun
Ron – Keeper for Chudley Cannons and also Muscle for Harry’ Marauders
Neville – World Renowned Herbologist Master and explored, also Muscle for Harry’s Marauders
Ted Tonks – Auror within the corps, may or may not be a “dirty cop”
Shacklebolt – Minister of Magic
Cormac McLaggen – DMLE Head
Draco – Shacklebolt’s undersecretary with aspirations to the seat of Minister
Ginny Weasley – DMLE Auror Second Degree out of 10, 10 being an Auror still in academy
Blaise Zabini– DMLE Auror Auror First Degree,only two First Degree Aurors (The Head and the Older Lead Auror)
Rankgrot – Lead Goblin manager of Gringotts Day shift