Another Goblin Rebellion
Giles stared at his alarm clock with utter loathing. It was a liar. It had to be lying. There was no way it was already time to wake up. He hadn’t even gotten to sleep yet. As it beeped away, Giles quietly wondered if it might be time to upgrade to a clock radio. Sure, the cultured voices of public radio could be just as annoying this early in the morning, but at least then he’d have a name to put with the expletives.
Last night had been a disaster. Among the two girls and him, it had taken them nearly two hours to get the grible traps in place and working. They had a close call when one of the neighborhood cats decided to investigate, but it gave the trap a wide berth. Perhaps cats in other places were curious, but around the hellmouth, felines seemed to sense that nine lives didn’t go very far. Once their traps caught the gribles behind the theater, it had taken him another hour to successfully banish the beasts. He was so tired by that point, he doubted the banishment took the critters to the right dimension; they probably hadn’t even made it past Sacramento, but at that point Giles didn’t care.
He had arrived home, exhausted at three in the morning, expecting to find his brother asleep. Instead Severus was wide awake, clutching his wand, prepared to hex any intruder that dared to approach. It was only Giles’ familiarity with the house and Severus’ broken hand that let him dodge the curses in the dark. Once Severus recognized Giles and quit flinging hexes, they had to wait an additional hour before Severus would agree to let Giles either care for him or go to bed. “Polyjuice,” he claimed.
Giles had nearly fallen asleep at his desk during that hour, but as soon as the hour was up, Severus was barking commands. “I need a glass of water. I need more pepper-up. Fluff my pillow; this bed is hurting my back. I need to relieve myself.”
As he attended to his brother, Giles came to the conclusion that he never wanted to be old. The day he became bed-ridden was the day he would ask his slayer to stake him; it would be a mercy. It was a great relief when Severus finally agreed to take the tranquilizer and get knocked out. As soon as his brother was dozing, Giles slipped the wand from Severus’ fingertips and hid it in the kitchen. By the time Giles had gotten showered and into his bedclothes, it was nearly four.
Then came the nightmares. He hadn’t dreamt of death eaters for years, supplanted by more recent horrors of Eyghon, vampires, prophecies, and the fragile life of his slayer. Now, the dreams were back, and each one ended the same way- with Severus pointing his wand at him, an Avada Kedavra at the tip of his tongue.
As he stared at the blurry red numbers, he couldn’t help but wonder if history was about to repeat itself. Was he to return to that horrid time when the troubles of wizards spilled over into the troubles of men? Were his nightmares to become a reality? Then again, maybe he was overreacting- as if that was possible on a hellmouth. For all he knew, he could be on the verge of the next great Goblin Rebellion. Perhaps in fifty years, he could go back to Hogwarts and hear Professor Binns droning on the Goblin Rebellion of 2000. He could just imagine ol’ Binns say…
“Would you turn that bloody beeping noise off! Some of us are trying to recover from a nearly fatal accident here. And while you’re up, can you fetch me some water?”
Oh yes, it was going to be a lovely day. Giles could tell already.
“Goblin Rebellion of 1770? We didn’t cover 1770.” Damon whined.
“It’s on the syllabus.” Rookie answered.
“I don’t remember that. When’d we cover that?”
“Last Thursday.” Severus answered.
“Can I borrow your notes, cous?”
A chorus of “No’s!” answered.
“What happened to family duty and all that rot?”
“Sorry, Lestrange, but I must have been absent…or asleep … that day.” Lucius said, flipping through his notes.
“Ditto.” Rookie sighed, his parchments scattered across his bed.
The boys all turned to Severus. “Well, Mr. Last Thursday?” Lucius smirked.
“Don’t look at me. My notes are as follows: The Goblin Rebellion of 1770 began when British colonists.”
“British colonists what?”
“I don’t know; the notes just end.”
“I don’t suppose you were awake, Rosier?” Lucius lazily glanced at the bed across the way.
“No, and it gets worse. That Rebellion isn’t in our book. I checked this morning.” A chorus of groans rose from the various beds. The third years had been banished to their bedroom to study, as the O.W.L. obsessed fifth years had take over the Slytherin commons room. After an hour straight of studying, the boys were getting a bit restless, to say the least.
“Well then, I guess we’ll just have to hope he doesn’t ask us about it.” Lucius pronounced. “Muddy, where do you think you’re going?”
All eyes turned to the figure, who had quietly packed his bag and had made it half way to the door before anyone had noticed. “Out.” Rupert answered.
“Out? Out where?”
“Does it matter?”
“You do realize we have a history exam tomorrow?”
“Of course.” Rupert was about to say he was heading to the Charms room, but wisely held his tongue when he remembered Professor Flitwick’s reputation for swishing and flicking. Not that there was anything to those rumors, but it was better to play it safe.
“So, where are you headed?”
“I don’t know. The library?” Rupert backed towards the door.
“Wait a moment.” Severus called out. Rupert paused long enough for his brother to approach him. “You’re going to that girly study group of yours, aren’t you?” Severus whispered.
Rupert blinked in assent. “If you bring me notes for the Goblin Rebellion of 1770, I’ll buy you anything you want from Honeydukes next time I go to Hogsmeade.” Rupert rolled his eyes. “Okay, you can go now.” Severus dismissed him.
Rupert went to the library. He circled the reference section twice, making enough noise for Madame Pince to look up, and cut to the very back row of shelves to make sure no one followed him. When he was sure the coast was clear, he went down to the Charms room.
“You’re late.” Lily scolded.
“I’m sorry, but I had to make sure I wasn’t followed.”
“And why would that matter? Are you ashamed of us? Are you afraid your Slytherin buddies are going to see you with a mudblood?”
“Merlin, not this again.” Beatrice muttered under her breath as
Lily got wound up.
Before she could get a word out, Rupert pinched her lips closed. “It has nothing to do with blood. It has more to do with a room full of Slytherins all missing the notes for the Goblin Rebellion of 1770. Trust me, snakes get vicious when they’re desperate.” Rupert let go of Lily and winked at her. “I was just trying to save you ladies from the evil clutches of Lucius Malfoy.”
Some of the girls giggled, some of the girls blushed, but Lily Evans scowled. “You’re impossible!”
“I’m afraid that’s a side effect of my condition.”
“Your condition?” The more gullible Hufflepuff asked.
“Yes, you see, I have this genetic malfunction. It’s called a Y chromosome. It’s surprisingly prevalent in society for being such a disastrous handicap.” Rupert managed to keep a straight face.
“You’re impossible.” Lily said, but this time she was grinning.
“You’re right. So tell me, does anyone have a clue about this Goblin Rebellion of 1770?”
There was a pause as the six girls shuffled through their notes. The Hufflepuffs quickly gave up. “Do you know what day that was?” Amelia asked.
“Last Thursday, and we know it has something to do with colonists.”
“We don’t know. Sev fell asleep.”
Despite their super-organized parchment systems and reputation for detail, the Ravenclaws couldn’t find anything. The group was about to give up on the topic when Lily shouted “Aha!” The group turned to her. “Black hit me on the head with a wad of paper then, so I was awake for that.”
“The oaf’s good for something then.” Rupert muttered.
“In his defense, he was aiming for James. I just happened to be sitting in between them.”
“That’s a defense?”
“So what do you have?” Beatrice interrupted, quill at the ready.
“While the wizard books refer to this as the American War for Independence, PB … that’s my shorthand for Professor Binns,” Lily commented, “prefers to call it the GR of 1770 to avoid confusion with the muggle war of the same name. Goblins, New Brunswick, Ministry can’t respond; Long Distance Apparation Ban of 1742, something, something… yay colonists.”
“That’s what it says.”
“What? I was falling asleep. Besides, it’s better than what you had, Amelia.” Lily pouted.
“Actually that gives us enough. We know the textbook name and the country. We can look it up now.” Lily beamed at Rupert’s compliment. “And, if we don’t have time to look it up, at least we know who won. Yay colonists… ow!”
“What?” Lily tried to look innocent, but her eyes sparkled with mischief.
“Next time, I’m sitting next to Beatrice.”
“Next time, you’ll have to get here on time, won’t you?”
Three hours later, five minutes before curfew, Rupert entered what he lovingly referred to as the Snake Pit. “Where were you?” Lucius started.
“The library.” Rupert repeated his earlier fib.
“We sent Damon up to find that Goblin Rebellion, and he didn’t see you.”
“Did he find the Rebellion?”
“No but that’s not the point.”
“It’s a big library; people get lost.” Rupert shrugged off the inquisition and headed towards Severus’ bed. When he had gotten close enough to his brother, he mumbled. “It’s the same as the War of American Independence. It was an important test case of for the ban on trans-Atlantic apparition, and you owe me fizzing whizzbees.”