Ragnok looked at Harry expectantly. Harry had never seen such an intense interest in what a wizard had to say by a goblin.
"Can I ask that this information stay between Gringott's and myself?"
Ragnok answered him, "Since this piece of magic was used against us 2000 years ago, there has been an interdiction by the Chiefs of the Goblin Nation against this abomination's creation becoming known by wizards and other magical creatures. We have, at every opportunity, destroyed any reference as to the creation methods of such a vile piece of magic whenever we had opportunity. Information on their destruction is allowed to our warriors, curse breakers and other wizards that we have decided were worthy of the information and that could aid in the destruction of such.
"A clause has been built into every treaty we have ever had that allows us to destroy any enemy of the Goblin Nation that used this, the blackest magic that we have encountered. Any magical creature that brings the use of it to our attention is owed wergild, as long as they themselves have not used this magic. This wergild is paid from the assets and chattel of the enemy that we destroy.
"Should any creature knowingly hide or pass along such hideous devices, we shall use whatever methods available to destroy them financially, unless they themselves were the creator, whereupon their total destruction is required.
"So Mr. Potter, I can assure you: No information of this shall be passed beyond the walls of Gringott's to any magical or mundane being."
Wow, Harry thought. Bob had been totally right about sitting back and watching the show.
"I have become aware that Tom Marvolo Riddle, descendant of Salazar Slytherin, created 7 of these devices. 6 of them were created intentionally and one was unintentional." Ragnok looked interested in this last bit.
"The scar upon my forehead, received when the killing curse rebounded from me based on the rites of protection and sacrifice that my mother endured, became his 6th horcrux. Through pain and sacrifice, I have seen this destroyed. The diary I destroyed with a basilisk fang after my defeat of Slytherin's beast was the first that Riddle created."
Ragnok looked at Harry with awe. The destruction of a horcrux from a living being without the loss of the life of that being had never been accomplished. Usually such a thing overcame the being and they could be easily possessed by the creator of the horcrux. This had happened to a Goblin Chief and was the reason that they so hated this magic.
Harry decided to just tell the goblins up front where they all were.
"By various means, I have found that the items are as follows:
"The diary of Tom Marvolo Riddle was created first and was placed in the hands of Lucius Malfoy for safekeeping. The death of the girl who is now a ghost at Hogwarts known as Moaning Myrtle was used in the creation of this device. Lucius, in an effort to destroy a political rival, passed it on to the daughter of Arthur Weasley. I do not believe Lucius Malfoy, nor any other follower, was aware of the exact nature of the device. By possessing her, the beast of Slytherin was loosed on the castle, requiring me to destroy the beast and the diary.
"The Gaunt family ring, located under the floor boards in the shack formerly owned by Marvolo Gaunt, was the second created. Riddle killed his biological father and his father's family when he obtained this to create the device and framed his mother's brother for their deaths. He died in Azkaban.
"The locket of Salazar Slytherin was created 3rd or 4th I believe. This was obtained by Riddle from Hepzibah Smith by murder. Miss Smith obtained it from the shop owned by Caractacus Burke, which he worked for after he left Hogwarts. This locket was sold by Riddle's mother to Burke before she died in childbirth. Regulus Arcturus Black, a follower of Lord Voldemort, found out that he had created a device and where it had been hidden. He recanted his association and sacrificed himself to obtain it back and ordered his house elf, Kreature, to ensure its destruction. Unfortunately, the means of its destruction are beyond a house elf and in remains in the Black family home at this time. I do not know of the death associated with the creation of this device. Inform the house elf that you are destroying it please and that this is on the wish of his master Sirius Black. It will help in the long run.
"The Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw, located in the Room of Requirement at Hogwarts Castle was possibly last the last created intentionally before his body was destroyed. The ghost of Helena Ravenclaw was manipulated by Tom Riddle to revealing the location of Diadem. He then placed it, after he turned it into a device, in the Room of Requirement when he came to the castle under the guise of requesting a job. I also do not know of the death used for the creation of this device.
"The snake Nagini. This was a snake that became Riddle's familiar and was used in rituals to maintain the form he used before he was resurrected by the ritual performed by Peter Pettigrew at the end of the third task of the TriWizard Tournament. I believe the death of Bertha Jorkins was used in the creation of this device. As you may have seen in the memory provided, I have killed this snake and destroyed the device." Harry, in fact, did not know whether it had already been a horcrux. It had been suggested by Bob, but not explicitly stated. However the nightmare he had where he saw the scene of Barty Crouch Junior's return to Voldemort from the snake's viewpoint implied it as well.
"Myself. I have already told you of it's destruction. However, while the device was destroyed, I still maintain a small emotional link with Voldemort which will apparently only end when he is finally killed. This is one way of which I have obtained information as regards the location of the devices. Other information as to how I obtained this information, must, by holy contract, be kept by myself and only Ms. Granger may be informed. In time, I may tell her. But I offer oath that the information I have as to the creation of such devices will not be divulged, nor will I divulge the small amount of information that I do have as to their creation methods, which does not include the exact method.
"The last, which you may be most interested in. Hufflepuff's Goblet. This was also obtained from Miss Smith. She, as a distant descendant of Helena Hufflepuff, held this as a family treasure. Miss Smith was killed two days after Riddle learned of her possession of the items. Her house elf was convicted of killing her by poison. This Cup was placed in the care of one of his top lieutenants, Bellatrix Lestrange, to be placed in her vault at Gringott's. As far as I know, it is there at this very moment."
Ragnok looked at the wizard in front of him. Never, in the 2000 years since the interdiction had been placed, had a wizard created so may of these vile devices. And never in the 2000 years had one wizard, or any magical creature, been so helpful in their destruction or personally destroyed so many. According to the wizard's story, he had destroyed three of them already, and had given the goblins all of the information needed to destroy the other four.
Goblin cursebreakers with the aid of others willing could remove the evil taint from items. According to their customs, the finder of horcruxes, should they desire it, were given the items as part of the payment for alerting the goblins as to their location.
The Goblin Nation owed significant wergild to the young warrior in front of him.
"Mr. Potter, as payment for the information you have provided, the Goblin Nation offers any recompense that you desire. We will provide services to you and the House of Potter at no charge in perpetuity. The items, once obtained, will be cleansed of their evil taint and given to you as part of the recompense. What boons do you request of the Goblin Nation?"
Harry thought about how he could use this information most effectively. "In exchange for the wergild owed, I ask for one Goblin-made item to be held in perpetuity: The Sword of Gryffindor. It is to be held by either his heir, or the head of Gryffindor House of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry should there be no current heir, to be used in defense of the school as needed."
Ragnok, the descendant of the maker of sword, would and could provide this gladly. The wizard apparently, by his very wording, did not know that he himself was an heir. The other heir was Scion of the Ancient and Noble house of Longbottom. Both the Potters and the Longbottoms had married into the Gryffindor line and been cadet branches.
"I also ask that the Diadem of Ravenclaw be returned to the heir of Ravenclaw, or should there be no heir, to the Head of Ravenclaw House to be used to guide students to Wisdom. The locket of Salazar Slytherin should be given to the Head of Slytherin House as a keepsake of their founder. I know that there is no other heir than Tom Marvolo Riddle and a death sentence hangs over him as a creator of these devices."
Ragnok could argue against that. As this wizard had defeated Riddle three times, he could claim rights as Slytherin's Heir.
"I also request Hufflepuff's Chalice to be given to the Head of Hufflepuff House to be held for use to aid in healing at the school. Apparently, according to my sources, (Bob, Harry thought) healing potions delivered by this Cup are increased in efficiency and may mean the difference between life and death.
"Gaunt's Ring is a special case. I must ask this as a boon of the Goblin Nation. This item is magical device of great power with great chance of a corruption of its use. The stone on this ring has another name: The Resurrection Stone. Along with the wand held by Albus Dumbledore and the Invisibility Cloak passed down in my family, it is a part of the items known as the Deathly Hallows and are the basis for the story of the Three Brothers in the Tales of Beetle the Bard."
Ragnok was floored. These items collected together, were a source of great power for the wizard who held them. They were wizard's magic and could not, outside of the cloak, be used by non-humans and no wizard had ever revealed their location to a goblin.
"I ask that the Ring be held by the Goblin Nation, away from the use of any wizard, in perpetuity. They may only be released by Oaths of Secrecy and Return by my descendants and only at need sufficient to convince the Chief of the Goblin Nation."
"I should tell you at this time. There is a prophecy in the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic. According to my sources, this prophecy was given to Albus Dumbledore and had something to do with the reason he attacked me as a baby. Should it be appropriate, I offer alliance to the Goblin Nation for his destruction. I also ask for future alliance with my intended, Ms. Granger, in her quest for equal rights for all magical people and creatures. My intended, although she does not know she is my intended yet, has a thing about rights for non-pureblood witches and wizards and other magical creatures such as house-elves. As she is the brightest person I know, I intend to spend my life helping her in her quest because she can only succeed when she puts her mind to something."
Ragnok vastly appreciated the wizard Harry Potter. In the guise of boons from the Goblin Nation, he had offered hope for the first time in many years to tear down the discrimination of the wizarding world against goblins and other non-humans, as well as the bigotry of the pureblooded factions. He had asked for very little for himself personally and had apparently thought of only the future of which Ragnok could wholeheartedly approve.
Never in the history of Goblin-Wizard relations, had one wizard aided the goblins so much with no thought using the goblins for their own power. Usually alliances were requested by wizards to aide them to rule over others. Goblins rejected such things, because they had no desire for tyrants. They only asked for the right to maintain their traditions and their own sovereignty.
"I will agree in principle. If your intended is such a one as yourself, the resources of the Goblin Nation shall be used toward such a goal. Is there anything else you ask of us?"
Harry thought about it. "May I consult my advisors? I will not reveal to them any information as to the devices, but I need to ask them about some plans I have."
Ragnok agreed and led Harry back to the outer office. Harry saw that Hermione and Sirius were relieved to see a smile on Harry's face after his meeting. That meant there wasn't trouble. Trouble with goblins was bad business.
"Director Ragnok, can you cast the privacy charm again?"
"Okay, Sirius, how dark is the Black family anyway?" Harry asked this knowing full well the answer.
"Well, pup, until me, the family has been pureblooded bigots with little regard for niceties for many generations. Why do you ask?"
"In a minute. How would you like to get rid of all the dark items of your family?"
Sirius whistled. "How do you plan on doing that?"
"If you are willing to give up any goblin-made artifacts from your vaults or property, I think I can convince the goblins to do it at no additional charge. What do you think?"
Sirius shrugged. He didn't need all that crap. "It's alright by me. Getting rid of all of it will be a burden off me. I was thinking about where we could live, but all the Black properties would be too hard to clean up fast enough. A Potter property might work, but as it's been years since any were inhabited, clean up for those might have been problematic as well."
"Well, as we were planning on going on vacation with Hermione's family, maybe we could arrange for the goblins to work on those. As my guardian, I would need your permission to offer the return of any goblin-made artifacts from my properties and, even though the family wasn't apparently dark, you never know what skeletons in the closet might be there."
"I can agree to that."
"Hermione, I have a question for you. What plans do you have after Hogwarts?"
To Hermione, this was out of left field. "Well, I was thinking of going to a University afterward. I was thinking about getting into law. A lot of things about the magical world are backwards and I want to try to move it forward to at least the 20th century. Beyond that," here Hermione blushed, "I've thought about a family as well."
Harry grinned at her. "Well, if I might be included in that plan, I think I like that." Hermione blushed more as she hugged Harry hard. "Would you like a scholarship to a University? Some things that came up with Ragnok might afford you one." Hermione looked excited. This was a dream come true. The only thing that had worried her about her future plans was how to get into a University without attending regular schools. It was difficult to get into the best schools after Hogwarts.
There was a program for those that wanted to continue their non-magical educations, but it often only covered the least expensive schools. Purebloods, while wanting to encourage muggleborns to leave the wizarding world, did not want the Ministry spending gold to put them in the best schools. It was one of the things that she wanted to change. She thought that muggleborns shouldn't lose the opportunity for scholarships that happened when they attended magical schools. Her parents would have helped of course, but even well-off families such as her own didn't have an easy time of covering such a vast expense.
Harry turned and nodded at Ragnok once again. After he cancelled the privacy spell, he began his pitch. "After consulting my advisors and guardians, I would ask the following:
"In exchange for the destruction of dark items at any House of Black family properties and vaults," here Harry gave Ragnok a somewhat significant look that Sirius and Hermione missed as they were looking at Ragnok, "the house of Black will offer the return of any goblin-made items that may be found at such properties or vaults. This request includes aid in the renovations to make the properties habitable or able to be sold. Is that acceptable?"
Ragnok caught on quickly. This would give them opportunity to get the horcrux from the Black family home. The return of any goblin-made artifacts was an additional bonus. "The Goblin Nation accepts. As consideration for the courtesy shown, proceeds from any item that have their curses removed will be deposited to the Black Family Vault. Is that acceptable?"
Sirius replied was surprised. This was much more than they had asked for. "That would be more than acceptable."
"Architects and construction bosses under our employ will wish to contact you this week as to your wishes for the properties in question. As an added note, I need to inform you of the following: according to information we have recently received, your brother, one Regulus Arcturus Black was killed when renouncing his Master, Voldemort, and opposing him in a significant way. In doing so, he inadvertently aided the Goblin Nation. The offer made in the proceeds is in recognition of this fact."
Tears fell down Sirius's cheeks. His brother had not died as a death eater but had died opposing Voldemort. He had thought he had failed his brother, only to find out that his brother was truly on the side of the light when he died.
After giving Sirius a moment to compose himself, Harry continued, "I would make the same request for any Potter properties. As to my properties, my guardian has agreed with me and I offer the return of any goblin-made artifacts held by the Potter family to be returned in exchange for the removal of any dark items and the renovation of any properties to make them habitable. This is not as urgent as the Black properties as I am the ward of Sirius Black and will not need to inhabit these properties in the near future."
Ragnok could see that this wizard was going out of his way to offer courtesy to the Goblin Nation. "That will be agreeable. When would you like to meet with the architects and construction bosses?"
Harry thought about it. "May I make a request first?" Ragnok nodded. "I have not seen my parents' wills, and with my guardian's consent, I would like to read their wills around the time of my birthday."
Ragnok got very tense. "Mr. Potter. Your wizarding guardian pro-tem, the Headmaster of your school, should have arranged for you to hear your parents' wills on your 11th birthday. Has this not been done?"
Harry shook his head and Sirius, in the background, got very mad. "I have never heard their wills, not received information as to what their legacies were. I only recently found out that there were properties and vaults associated with their estates."
Ragnok got very upset himself. "There will be fines and penalties associated with this failure. I will discuss these with you after the wills have been read, in addition to arranging the matter discussed."
"That will be fine. At the time that you discuss such things with Headmaster Dumbledore, you might also want to discuss the information that we talked of in your private office. The Headmaster's library is the only place that I know of that might contain the information." Hermione looked very interested. Information was her thing, and any chance to obtain it would not be passed up. Harry, however turned to her and said, "Some information cannot be given out. I will tell you what I can after it is resolved." Hermione almost pouted. Harry knew something she didn't but apparently he couldn't tell her everything.
Ragnok took this in very deliberately. Albus Dumbledore had unknowingly or deliberately run afoul of many goblin customs. He had failed to inform them of the party responsible for the break-in of their vaults. As the Chief of the Wizengamot at least, the information should have been relayed. He had retained the Sword of Gryffindor when it had been revealed. This was not as pressing as Ragnok had relinquished the goblin claim to the item. But he also held information on the creation of horcruxes. Ragnok admitted that this might have also passed onto the Headmaster from his predecessors but something would have to be done about that. However, the failure to have a relevant will read to a charge could carry stiff penalties.
"After the will is read, I would request goblin aide in recovering the carcass of Slytherin's beast from the Chamber of Secrets and distributing the proceeds from it. I would like to discuss that at that time. During that excursion, I can help with one of the items you asked about." Harry could retrieve the Diadem for the goblins at that time.
Ragnok nodded his head. "That would be acceptable as well."
"I have a meeting with Amelia Bones of Magical Law Enforcement on Monday. After that meeting, I might have information to aid in the fight against Voldemort."
"Please feel free to come to us, and as he is now recognized as an enemy to the Goblin Nation, any aid we can give will be provided and any aid provided us will be compensated for." Sirius and Hermione looked shocked. Apparently a lot had happened in the private office.
"One last item. I have found that Ms. Granger here is interested in studying law after her Hogwarts education, in an effort to help to reform our society. Would there be any scholarships available should she qualify?" Hermione looked very hopeful.
Ragnok could see that Mr. Potter had skillfully avoided mentioning anything that they had talked about in his private office. By doing so, the Goblin Nation could reinforce the future alliance by arranging things without mentioning at this time that it was Harry Potter's instigation.
"The Goblin Nation is in full support of her stated goals and will cover all expenses to attend the muggle institution called Oxford University, in exchange for her future aid in helping the Goblin Nation attain equal status in the magical world." Hermione's eyes shined with unshed tears many of her future hopes and dreams would be fulfilled, apparently at the instigation of the main character in the rest of her future hopes and dreams, one Mr. Harry James Potter. She hadn't been this happy since a skinny, messy-haired boy had jumped on a troll to save her when she was 11 years old.
"Well, Mr. Potter. I think this concludes our meeting for today. Gringott's will contact you shortly before the 31st of July as to the matters discussed. At that time, we will be prepared to sign contracts with Ms. Granger for her scholarship to Oxford University. Mr. Black, we will contact you later this week as to the arrangements for your properties."
Harry and the others stood. Harry put his fist to his chest and nodded his head in salute. "May your vaults flow with gold and your enemies die by your hand."
Ragnok returned the salute and farewell with, "May your life be filled with bounty and your enemies be crushed."
Harry and the others left the office with a goblin escort.
Ragnok took a few moments to think upon his meeting with Harry Potter.
In the history of the goblin race, the number of wizards that the goblins trusted fully could be counted on one hand. In 4 hours, his views of Harry Potter, known to the wizarding world as the Boy-Who-Lived, had changed significantly.
Here was a wizard who was a successful warrior, who offered the goblins equal courtesy.
He had given them more information than they expected about the Dark Wizard known as Lord Voldemort. This Tom Marvolo Riddle had sullied their lands by instigating the placement of a horcrux in a goblin vault. The creature's follower Bellatrix Lestrange had aided in this; her vaults were forfeit. Mr. Potter's vault would fill considerably as a result of that.
Another follower, Lucius Malfoy, had, albeit unknowingly of its true nature, passed on a proscribed device. The goblins would have to warn Lord Black that his cousin, Narcissa Black Malfoy, would be in significant peril, as the Malfoy name, along with the Lestrange name, would be significantly damaged as a result of the revelations this day. On that, there was Goblin Honor involved.
Harry Potter could now expect the full weight of the Goblin Nation to be behind him in his endeavors. This he had earned.
Now it was time to put some plans into place and into action to secure the future of the Goblin Nation.