Chapter XV: Warnings

Chapter XV: Warnings

A Chapter by Ashleigh
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Harry tells Crawbeck about Albus' insane plot and Crawbeck reveals Albus' strange visit to Gringotts. Harry finds out that Voldemort is searching for Bellatrix.

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                Harry briskly walked into Gringotts Wizarding Bank and headed towards the front desk. Griphook was on duty. When he saw Harry, he bowed deeply and gave a gracious smile.

                "Mr. Potter. How may I be of assistance?" he asked kindly. Harry pulled out his vault key and showed it to Griphook.

                "I'd like to make a withdrawal from my account and I'd also like to speak with Crawbeck in private, please," Harry told the goblin. Griphook nodded and took the key from Harry.

                "Of course, Mr. Potter," he said obediently. "Crawbeck is just finishing up with a meeting right now. If you would like, I can have another goblin take you to your vault first. He should be able to see you once you return," he advised. Harry nodded.

                "That's fine. Thanks Griphook," he said. The goblin bowed once again and immediately called for another goblin. This one appeared to be a female (although at first glance you wouldn't be able to tell the difference) and she introduced herself as Recail. She took Harry down to his vault in one of the speedy carts, but when Harry went to withdraw his money, he was faced with a dilemma. He turned to Recail. "Er... you wouldn’t happen to know approximately how expensive baby supplies would be?" he asked. When Recail raised her eyebrows suspiciously, Harry elaborated. "Cribs, toys, clothes... that sort of thing. You know, for a friend of mine," he lied.

                "At least 1000 galleons," she sighed with exasperation. Harry thanked her, hoping that she wouldn't question him further and took double the amount she suggested. Recail rolled her eyes in annoyance and brought Harry back upstairs with his money bag full.

                "Mr. Potter, Crawbeck is ready to see you now. Recail will take you to him," Griphook informed him from the desk. Harry nodded and followed Recail down the big marble hallway and she let him into one of the far rooms at the back. It was the same room Dumbledore had talked with Slipknat in, but of course Harry didn't know that. Crawbeck stood up when he saw Harry and outstretched his arms in a gesture of respect.

                "Mr. Potter! I am glad you came to talk with me. I have some news to share with you," he said, shooing Recail out of the room. Once she was gone, he sat down in an armchair and beckoned Harry to do the same.

                "News?" Harry asked, puzzled. He knew that Voldemort had taken over yet another part of the wizarding world, killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children along the way, but that had been all over The Daily Prophet for weeks. Anyone who didn't already know about it was either a muggle or a fool.

                "Yes. It's about Albus Dumbledore," Crawbeck informed him. Harry's eyes went wide.

                "That's exactly what I came here to talk to you about," Harry said, flabbergasted. Crawbeck nodded solemnly and sighed.

                "It seems we now have not only one, but two enemies on our hands," he said darkly.

                "Yes," Harry agreed. He sat down in the armchair across from Crawbeck and sighed. "I guess I'll start," he began. Harry explained about what had happened between Dumbledore, Tonks and Remus. He told the Head Goblin about Dumbledore's insane plan to take over Voldemort and how he had tried to kill Remus. He then went into how Tonks had luckily walked into the situation and got it under control. When Crawbeck questioned Harry on why she hadn't taken him into custody, Harry explained that he had threatened to kill her parents, and that no one would believe her or Remus over Dumbledore anyway. Crawbeck stroked his chin thoughtfully.

                "Hmmm... this is disturbing news," Crawbeck replied gravely. "I will alert the goblin army and make sure they are aware of this." Harry nodded nervously.

                "What did you want to tell me?" he prodded bluntly. Crawbeck sucked in a breath and slowly let it out. He leaned forward in his chair and gave Harry a penetrating stare.

                "This occurred quite some time ago. I am very sorry that we could not get together to speak of this sooner. Mr. Dumbledore came in to Gringotts requesting to speak privately with Slipknat, who is Head of the Will and Testament Department as you already know." Harry waved his hand impatiently, wanting Crawbeck to get on with it. He continued. "He asked Slipknat if you had questioned the goblins about why he had the keys to your vaults and properties. He seemed very secretive, as if he was hiding something. Slipknat assured him that you had not questioned his motives and Mr. Dumbledore left. Slipknat immediately alerted me to the encounter and as I had pledged my allegiance with you, I felt it necessary to notify you." Harry put his head in his hands, thinking hard.

                Why hadn't he questioned Dumbledore's motives? Now that he thought about it, he shouldn't have had his keys. Had he really been so blinded by false trust in the man that he overlooked such an obvious and suspicious act? How could he have been so stupid? The worst part of it was he may have put Bella and their child in danger by never questioning. If Dumbledore had had his vault and property keys, surely he would have ways to infiltrate the mansion? Harry sighed and secretly kicked himself for being such an idiot.

                "Thanks for telling me, Crawbeck," he finally answered, getting up from his seat. "I'll be on my guard from now on," he assured him. Crawbeck nodded and shook Harry's hand.

                "Thank you for coming today, Mr. Potter," Crawbeck replied. "The goblin army will be notified about this." Harry nodded in agreement and walked out of Gringotts with many thoughts weighing on his mind. He stood on the front steps of the bank, pondering his own idiocy when a young witch holding a crying baby bumped into him.

                "So sorry," she muttered quickly before rushing off without a second glance at him. The brief encounter had jogged Harry's memory. He was supposed to be buying baby supplies. Bella had given him an extremely long list. He pulled it out of his robe pocket and scanned down the list.

The baby's going to need:

A crib
Crib bedding
Stuffed animals and toys
Bottles
Bibs
Baby shampoo and bath supplies
Picture books
Diapers (lots of diapers)!
Clothes
Pyjamas
Pacifier

Forget one thing and you're in trouble, Harry!

                Harry sighed and folded up the list. He was almost glad that the baby was due soon. Maybe Bella would start being nicer to him. He looked around the cobble-stone street, but there wasn't a baby supply store in sight.

                "Great, just fantastic!" Harry grumbled irritably. He saw a frazzled wizard with two young infants in his arms and decided to ask him. "Excuse me, but do you know where I could find a store selling baby supplies?" he asked the man.

                "I'm afraid there isn't one in Diagon Alley, lad," he replied, trying to shush one of the babies. "If you want baby supplies, you're going to have to buy a few odds and ends from every store. I wish they had one store for everything..." he added wistfully. "It'd make my life a lot easier." Harry inwardly swore with frustration, but he nodded politely to the man.

                "Thank you," he said.

                "No problem lad. I hope you find everything for your baby sibling," he replied. Harry rolled his eyes. Did he really look that young? Then again, he was only seventeen but he felt much older. "Say, you look a lot like Harry Potter," the man commented. Harry nervously flattened his fringe over his scar and was glad he no longer wore glasses.

                "Er... yeah, I get that a lot," he lied before shuffling off to Flourish and Blotts to find some baby books.

                "Ah, Mr. Potter! How may I be of assistance today?" the friendly clerk asked jovially as Harry walked in to the tiny shop.

                "Er, would you happen to carry any children's books? Baby books, actually," Harry asked. Once again, he was greeted with a peculiar stare, but the clerk just shrugged and led him to an aisle of books closer to the back of the store.

                "I think you'll find what you're looking for here somewhere," he said, waving his hand throughout the aisle gracefully before heading back to the counter to greet customers. Harry thanked him and began to browse. There was so much selection that Harry had no idea which ones he should buy. He came across hundreds of titles, such as The Poky Little Centaur and The Silly Muggle. He finally decided on a bunch of magical creature books and safety books for his son or daughter and carried the massive pile up to the counter. The clerk stammered out the price in shock and numbly offered to get a box for him, which Harry gladly accepted. Walking out of Flourish and Blotts, Harry checked his list again.

                "A crib..." he muttered. Where on earth was he supposed to get a crib? After wandering around for quite some time, he stumbled upon the little knick-knack shop he had bought his contact lenses from and searched around. Sure enough, there was an old but beautiful antique crib. It was made of pure mahogany and handsomely carved to fit well in an old-fashioned Victorian home. The entire crib had delicate vines and birds engraved into it. For something so old, it was almost in perfect condition; a little more searching revealed matching antique crib bedding. Side padding, blanket, tiny pillow and all also decorated with tiny vines and birds. The fabric was a silken powder blue. Nodding his approval, Harry paid a fortune for the antique set and had the old clerk dismantle it and put it in a large bag so that it would not need to be delivered.

                "Stuffed animals and toys..." he said to himself. At least that one was easy. Zonko's Joke Shop carried a wide variety of children's toys (which were perfectly safe, unlike the rest of their products). Harry got a little carried away buying the toys and ended up walking out with a huge bag stuffed full of rattles, teddy bears and other odds and ends that a child would love to play with. It felt good to buy all these beautiful things for his child, because he remembered all too well how sad he had been as a little boy who never had anything nice to play with. If there was ever one solid wish Harry had ever made to himself, it was that his child would never experience the same childhood he did.

                By now, Harry was getting a lot of odd stares from the shoppers in Diagon Alley. He had a box full of baby books, a bag bursting with baby toys and an even bigger bag holding the pieces of an antique crib and bedding. What on earth was the Chosen One planning to do with all of these child supplies? Not wanting to draw any more attention to himself, Harry quickly finished up buying everything on Bella's list and caught the Knight Bus home.

                "Did you get everything?" Bella asked him pleasantly enough, looking up from her book in the sitting room to see Harry lugging in everything he had purchased. She got up to help Harry with the crib, as it was a little heavy. Panting, Harry nodded.

                "And then some," he replied jokingly. Bella chuckled and raised her eyebrows.

                "I see that," she laughed. She unwrapped the pieces of the crib and gasped. "Harry, this is beautiful! Where on earth did you find this?" she asked. Harry explained about the mismatched shop at the end of Diagon Alley. Bella looked through everything Harry had bought, approving of everything (which was a great relief for Harry). She especially loved the clothes, as most pregnant women did. "Where do you want to set all this stuff up?" she asked him eagerly, fingering through the picture books.

                "Bella, we still have another three months to figure that out," he replied exasperatedly. Bella's face fell and she rubbed her large stomach, frowning.

                "Oh yeah... a whole three months!" she pouted moodily. "I want it out of me now, I'm so sick of being pregnant!" she whined, flopping down onto the couch.

                "Trust me; I'm sick of you being pregnant, too." Harry said without thinking. Apparently, that had been a big mistake. Bella's eyes flashed dangerously.

                "What's that supposed to mean?" she snapped aggressively. Harry began to shake his head.

                "Nothing, just that-" he started, but Bella interrupted him.

                "Just that you're sick of me is that it, Harry?" she yelled tearfully. Harry threw his hands up in the air in exasperation.

                "No honestly, I..." he faltered unsuccessfully.

                "Don't pretend to care about your family, Harry!" Bella cried, struggling to get back up before fleeing upstairs to their bedroom, crying her eyes out. Harry chased after her and yelled up the stairs.

                "Bella, wait! That's not what I meant! I- oh forget it!" he gave up, stomping bad-temperedly into the sitting room again to finish putting away the baby's things. Dobby appeared in the room and began to help Harry clean away everything. "Actually, Dobby could you go upstairs and make sure Bella and the baby are okay instead please?" he asked politely. Dobby nodded.

                "Of course, Harry Potter," the little house-elf squeaked, rushing up the stairs as fast as he could to carry out Harry's instructions. Harry finished putting away all the baby supplies on his own. Going into the kitchen to take some crushed ice up to Bella as a peace offering, he noticed Kreacher trying to mop up something he spilled with that day's newspaper.

                "Kreacher, I haven't read that yet! Use an actual mop!" he snapped in annoyance. Kreacher just muttered a bunch of curse words under his breath and walked away to find a mop. Sighing, Harry picked up the damp paper and wrung it out before glancing at the front page of The Daily Prophet: You-Know-Who Looking For The Wanted Bellatrix Black was the headline.

An anonymous informant has revealed that You-Know-Who is on the hunt for his most loyal Death Eater, Bellatrix Black (formerly known as Bellatrix Lestrange prior to her divorce from Rudolphus Lestrange, also a wanted Death Eater). The informant, who's word has been supported by the Ministry of Magic claims that Black went missing over ten months ago from the Death Eater community and has not been heard from since, cutting off contact from You-Know-Who himself.

"Well, obviously she's fled to avoid arrest, and You-Know-Who is trying to find her and punish her for running away. Smart woman, she knew that the Ministry is getting close to apprehending You-Know-Who and decided to cut her losses. However, rest assured that our Auror Department will have both You-Know-Who and Ms. Black in custody before the end of the month," Cornelious Fudge, Minister for Magic told the press when questioned about Bellatrix Black's alleged disappearance and her possible motives.


                There was more to the article, but Harry's hands were shaking too badly to read any more. He threw the paper in the waste bin and sat down numbly at the kitchen table. This meant that Voldemort was looking for Bella, which put her and their baby in grave danger. Voldemort would never think to look for her here. Harry Potter and Bellatrix Black having a secret love affair was almost laughable to the outside world, but how long did they have until Voldemort stopped laughing and decided to look into the matter once he failed to locate her everywhere else? Remembering that he was supposed to be getting crushed ice for Bella, he quickly beat up some ice cubes, poured the remaining slush into a glass and took it upstairs. He knocked gently on the bedroom door, not wanting to barge in on her while she was upset.

                "What is it?" Bella asked in a voice that made it plain she had been crying. Harry walked in to see Dobby fluffing up her pillows and he bowed to Harry before leaving the room. When she saw the crushed ice in his hand, the corners of her mouth twitched upwards slightly, but she crossed her arms and looked in the other direction.

                "I'm still angry with you," she told him severely. Harry put the glass down on the night stand and sat down on the bed beside her. He placed his hand over hers and she gave him a strange look. "What?" she demanded. Harry just smiled and shook his head. He wouldn't worry her. Not right now anyway.

                "Nothing... I love you. You know that, right?" he told her gently. Bella raised an eyebrow and nodded cautiously.

                "Yes," she said slowly. She opened her mouth to ask Harry why he was suddenly being so sentimental when she clutched her stomach and grimaced. The baby had kicked again, and Harry kissed her forhead before undressing and turning in for the night.

                As he lay there in the dark, with Bella's head on his chest and his hand on her belly where he could feel their child moving, his heartbeat quickened. What if he lost all of this? His girlfriend, his baby... they were the most precious things in Harry's life and in an instant, Voldemort could have them obliterated. He was about to start a real family and for the first time since he was a baby himself, he was truly happy. He would not let Voldemort take that away from him... not again. He held Bella closer to him and made a silent vow to protect them both against all odds. "You won't win, and you won't take my family away from me!" he silently mouthed to the cold-blooded killer who was searching for him and Bella at that very moment.



© 2008 Ashleigh


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Added on December 16, 2008


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Ashleigh
Ashleigh

I live absolutely anywhere and everywhere I choose, whenever I please, thanks to a little something called imagination., Canada



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