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Seeking The Lost by apAidan
Chapter 8 : Chapter Eight - Elves in the Shadows and Tools of the Trade
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 2

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Chapter Eight – Elves in the Shadows and Tools of the Trade

“Hermione once said that the problem with wizarding society, at least here in Britain, is that there we’ve lost sight of cause and effect. We ignore the fact that there are consequences for actions until it becomes so blatant and so disturbing that it becomes a major evil.” Shaking her head at the thought of her muggleborn friend and how she had been treated at the hands of pureblood bigots in Slytherin and the other houses, Ginny smiled grimly at her companion. “We allow petty thugs and two-penny tyrants to flourish in school and then we’re surprised when they grow up into vicious killers, corrupt officials, and virulent bigots.”

“Speaking of tyrants, tell me what you know of Maeve.” Smiling coldly, Amaudru settled back in her chair and stared expectantly.

“Subtlety isn’t really your strong suit.” Shaking her head, Ginny nodded to the other witch as she broke into a grin. “Realizing that I’ve not met the woman, here’s what I’ve gathered from my friends.”

Ginny leaned back, made herself comfortable, and began to recount the story of how Harry and Hermione’s relationship had been derailed by the machinations of their former Headmaster and rescued by their being selected as godparents to their now son. While being careful to not allow her emotions to colour the story, she explained how Maeve had intervened, with Sirius’ unknowing assistance, to allow the pair a choice on how they would live their lives.

Coming to the point of the story where the tale crossed her life, she told in dispassionate terms about Harry and Hermione entering her mind through her dreams and battling the final portion of Tom Riddle’s soul for her soul and life.

“She’s definitely one who keeps her own counsel and has her own agenda in matters, but from everything I’ve been able to gather she’s fiercely loyal to those she considers hers, which is not a bad thing I suppose.”

“That’s not what I was expecting, I’ll admit.” Closing her eyes for a second, Amaudru’s face masked the swirl of conflicting thoughts and emotions that Ginny knew must be occurring. Without opening her eyes, she nodded. “Without direct contact, I’m willing to concede she might not be exactly the person I’ve thought her to be since my father’s death.”

“I’m certain ‘we’ll’ have a chance to evaluate her in person, I can’t see our current plans keeping us from contact with her for a very extended period of time. And with Sirius, apparently, popping in and out of Grimmauld Place…”

“Yes, that’s most curious. Young Sirius is another part of this puzzle that I’m not quite certain of how to handle. Your former Headmaster is certainly better off being deceased, or he and I would have ‘words’ over how he so cavalierly treated your friends’ relationship, but I’m not quite certain of what to make of Sirius’ ability to roam the etheric at will.” Amaudru shook her head and looked puzzled.


“The silver mists you referred to in your story. Basically it’s the region that exists between the various worlds and planes of existence. Think of your world, the various afterlifes, the realm of the elves, and other locations as islands or continents of your physical world.” Nodding, Amaudru smiled as she could see Ginny processing the information.

“Then this ‘etheric’ of yours would be the oceans in between.” Ginny smiled at the look on the other witch’s face.

“Exactly, though it’s not quite that simple, but the analogy holds. There are shallow spots and deep, and there are things roaming the etheric that can swallow the unwary in a single gulp, so thinking of it as a planar version of the oceans will serve.” Nodding grimly, Amaudru shrugged. “And if there were maps of it, like the maps of your world from long ago, they would be vague with large areas labeled ‘here there be monsters’.”

Thinking for several seconds, Amaudru looked up at Ginny. “How did you say young Sirius died?”

“I don’t think I did.” Looking somber as she remembered the loss and pain Harry had suffered after the Department of Mysteries, Ginny shook her head. “He was murdered by Bellatrix while he was helping to rescue Harry and the rest of us from an ambush at the Ministry several years ago.”

“I’d thought Bellatrix was one that wouldn’t shy from using the Death Curse.” Looking grim, Amaudru nodded for Ginny to continue.

“Actually, she used a spell to push him through the Veil, and that’s what…” Ginny broke off at an outburst from her companion.

“The Veil?” Staring at Ginny in disbelief, Amaudru shook her head. “The ancient stone archway they built your Ministry around?”

“I wasn’t aware that’s why they located the Ministry where it is, but yes, the Veil in the Death Chamber at the Ministry. Bellatrix hit Sirius with a spell and it pushed him through the Veil.”

“By the four and twenty, Sirius was sent through the Veil of Enoch.” Shaking her head, Amaudru stared at Ginny for a second before continuing. “You do realize what this means?”

“Veil of Enoch?” Looking a bit confused, Ginny shook her head. “I’ve not heard it called that.”

“Bloody incompetent fools. Since they call it the ‘Death Chamber’ I can see why not.” Shaking her head, Amaudru sighed. “When they have the Death Curse and the Dementor’s Kiss as methods of execution, what purpose does the Veil serve?”

Looking puzzled, Ginny shrugged. “Never really thought about it. I know from what my father has said, it’s used very infrequently. Mostly they either just execute them straight off with the Killing Curse, since it’s not an Unforgivable if the Ministry sanctions it, or hand them over to the Dementors, though the new Minister has said he won’t allow that any longer.”

“Good for him, it’s totally a barbaric practice.” Nodding at the shiver that went through Ginny’s frame as she thought about someone being sentenced to ‘the kiss’, she nodded. “The Veil of Enoch is used when they’re not really certain of the guilt of the individual or if they’re simply ‘inconvenient’ to have around, as an attempt to keep their own consciences clean.”

“I’m not certain I’m following you. Dead is dead, correct? How could sending someone through this Veil of Enoch be better for your conscience than using a curse?” Shaking her head, Ginny was certain that there was some vital bit of this she was missing.

“It’s called ‘the Veil of Enoch’ because like Enoch, people who pass through the Veil don’t die, they simply pass through.” Seeing the stunned look on Ginny’s face, Amaudru nodded. “It simply sends the individual to whatever reward their life has garnered for them. For the guilty, it’s off to eternal torment and punishment. For the innocent…”

“Not that you could ever really call Sirius ‘innocent’, but this is incredible.” Thinking furiously, Ginny shook her head. “Does it make a difference?”

“I don’t think so, but there were rumors.” Amaudru looked thoughtful.


“Well, yes. The Wizengamot was in a total uproar for over a year back in 1609 when John Dee strolled back in and took up his seat after having very publicly gone through the Veil the year before. The official explanation was that Dee had pulled a prank on both the Muggle and Wizarding worlds by seeming to pass through the Veil; his death was widely reported in muggle England without a headstone, grave, or any records to corroborate it. There were always rumors that suggested he had actually gone beyond and then decided to return.”

“Is there any way to verify this? I can’t really go to the Ministry with something like this, even if Kingsley is in charge now.” Thinking frantically, Ginny was envisioning being able to restore Harry’s godfather to him if what she was being told turned out to be true.

“I would think not, the entire reason for constructing the Ministry in London where it is was to regulate access to the Veil and keep people from asking too many questions.” Thinking, Amaudru nodded slowly. “Your Veil has a counterpart on the other side of the world, and that one has a ‘keeper’. It’s not exactly a straight line, but with the shifting patterns of magic through the center of the planet, it’s about as close as one could expect.” Shrugging, Amaudru sighed. “Though Uluru isn’t exactly a pleasure trip from…”

“Uluru? As in Ayer’s bloody Rock in Australia?’ Ginny interrupted Amaudru’s musing as she began to see the hand of Maeve at work.”

“Well yes, but I’m a bit surprised. I didn’t think old Binns taught anything regarding the rest of the magical world other than goblin rebellions since he died. Though I’m not certain why you’re so excited about that fact.” Looking a bit surprised, Amaudru looked at Ginny expectantly.

“Other than the fact that we’re getting ready to head for Australia to search for Hermione’s parents. And, according to Maeve, Hermione’s parents will be at Uluru on what would be Midsummer’s day back here in England.” Shaking her head, Ginny whistled in appreciation.

“Well, if you compound that with the fact that Midwinter’s is one of the four seasonal days that the gate leading to that Veil will be open, I’m beginning to see that our bonding has more layers behind it than I originally thought.”

Nodding to the items before her, Ginny smiled enthusiastically. “Since it seems that there are multiple reasons for my being here, why don’t you enlighten me on these tools you represent?”

“I think you’ll do quite well.” Looking down, Amaudru smiled as she gazed at the items on the table. “Now where shall we begin?”

Amaudru went on to explain the other items that made up the kit for the Black Dagger. The earrings would allow the wearer to understand spoken words as if they were in a language she spoke along with augmenting the hearing of the wearer and allowing her to pinpoint where a sound originated from with sufficient certainty to allow for the casting of spells against foes who were invisible, disillusioned or otherwise concealed, were the first items discussed. Ginny reached down and picked up both of them.

While not sentient like the necklace, both of the diamond and emerald studs fairly bristled with subtle power. Slipping the modest diamond studs that her brother’s had gotten her for her last birthday from her ears, she inserted the enchanted ones into her ears and suddenly was amazed at the sounds she could hear. Seaxwielder turning the pages of parchment in a journal outside the vault, the gentle hiss of air flowing from a vent near the ceiling, the slow steady drip of water somewhere off to her right.

Taking several seconds to familiarize herself with controlling the sensitivity of the earrings, she settled on a level that was only about half again as acute as her normal hearing. At Amaudru’s prompting, she visualized the pair of earrings she had just removed. As the new pair warmed for a split second, she conjured a mirror and examined her reflection. Smirking at herself, she nodded as her reflection showed her wearing the same pair of earrings that she had left Grimmauld Place with earlier. Concentrating a bit, she could ‘see’ the true likeness of the pieces of jewelry through the illusion masking them, and she smiled as the necklace allowed the enhanced perception to fade, letting the simple beauty of her brothers’ gift to shine through.

Next was the broach. As her fingers brushed against the opal and ruby creation, she became aware of the nine small opals that surrounded the central ruby as Amaudru explained the purpose of the piece of jewelry. The broach would act as a portkey, set to eight locations of her choosing, one tied to each of eight of the nine opals. She could set these places as she chose, and could unselect locations that no longer served her purpose. The only restriction on this ability was that she had to be somewhere to ‘select’ it, so if she reassigned a gem to a new location, she would lose portkey access to that original spot until she returned there by other means and reassigned it.

The ninth opal was permanently tied to an extra-dimensional space that acted as a holding cell for the wearer. One individual wizard, muggle, or creature could be transferred instantaneously to that location to await the wearer’s pleasure by touching them and willing the transfer. While the individual so imprisoned was aware of the passage of time, in a vague sense, the effects of time bypassed the prisoner. The otherwhere holding cell also had an observation area where the wearer could transport herself to question the detainee. The only drawback was that if another individual was sent to the holding cell, any current occupant appeared in its place, fully aware that they had been imprisoned against their will. A detainee could be brought forth to the wearer’s current location without sending a replacement.

Affixing the broach to her cloak, Ginny looked back into the mirror she had conjured earlier. Concentrating, she visualized a bright yellow muggle button with a smiling face in its place. Slowly, the reflected image took on the typical smiley face image that she remembered from seeing on a button that she had seen muggles wearing in the village near her home.

Finally, their discussion turned to the pair of rings. Gazing at the goblin silver bands that each held a simple stone, Ginny allowed Amaudru to introduce each to her. The one containing a simple cat’s eye stone had been dubbed ‘the duelist’s friend’ years ago. The ring, meant to be worn on the thumb of the wearer’s main hand, was linked to one particular bladed weapon and could be attuned to her wand and could summon either to hand with just a thought, effectively allowing an individual to switch between the two at the speed of thought. It also provided protection against being disarmed.

The second, adorned with a simple piece of jade, allowed the wearer to cloud the minds of those around her, effectively rendering her unseen as their conscious minds ignored her presence, attributing other reasons to explain away the results from any interactions the wearer has with the physical world around them.

Smiling thoughtfully, Ginny carefully placed donned the rings. As the ring settled onto her right thumb, she picked up her wand and ‘felt’ the two link. Setting her wand back onto the table, she got up from her chair, walked across the small alpine meadow, closed her eyes, and mentally summoned her wand to her hand. Almost before she was aware of the thought, she felt the presence of her familiar wand in her hand.

As the transformation was complete, she became aware of another presence linked to the ring. Concentrating on this other presence, her wand disappeared from her hand and was replaced by a matte black pugio or roman dagger. The wooden hilt felt as if it had been made for her hand, and the blade seemed to drink the light into it. The name ‘Sicarius’ sprang to her mind as she stared at the blade in fascination.

Looking down, she noticed that there was a leather wand sheathe attached to the belt she was wearing. The dark leather contrasted with her wytch elm and unicorn hair wand that was now held by it. Concentrating, she again switched and her wand appeared in her hand while the dagger disappeared. Looking at the sheath, she could see the essence of the dagger contained within it, but the leather construct appeared to be a simple wand holder, the like of which was available for sale in numerous shops in Diagon Alley. Finally, she concentrated on returning her wand to the holder, and it reappeared, leaving her hands free.

Crossing back to the chairs, Ginny smiled at Amaudru and indicated the remaining items. “Fashion suggestions?”

“Consider them accessories the prudent witch might find useful in the dodgier parts of the wizarding world.” Chuckling, she picked up the black slouch hat. “Not very fashionable, but quite capable of allowing it’s wearer to change her appearance to that of someone or something else.” Seeing the thoughtful look she smiled. “Not quite as convenient as being a metamorphmagus, but it will allow for you to appear to be someone else.”

Taking the proffered hat, Ginny placed it upon her head and concentrated for a second. While feeling no change, she glanced at the mirror and was only a bit shocked at seeing Severus Snape sitting in the chair she was currently occupying. Focusing her gaze, she could see her own image with that of the former Headmaster’s superimposed over it. Shaking her head, she banished the image and smiled. “Shoes?”

“Is there a witch alive who doesn’t need shoes?” Smiling, Amaudru picked up the pair of low-heeled dragonhide boots. “Waterproof, insulated, trackless when you want, silent when you need, and they appear as any pair you can imagine so you can wear them all the time.” Nodding at the thoughtful look Ginny was giving the boots, she smiled. “Also, they’ll help you keep your footing and allow you to land unharmed after a drop of a considerable distance.”

Taking the dark leather boots from her friend, Ginny noted the softness of the leather as she toed off her trainers and slipped them on. After a couple of seconds, they felt as if they had been made for her. Concentrating on them, she was amused to see them slowly fade from view, replaced by her familiar worn trainers. “How far?”

“Don’t really know, truthfully. I can tell you that one of your predecessors landed safely from the top of Salisbury Cathedral after chasing a Dark Wizard up there.” Seeing the puzzled look on Ginny’s face, she shrugged. “About four hundred feet down. She landed unharmed and took off at a dead run to catch the bastard before he escaped.”

“Merlin’s beard. How’d she end up there?” Shaking her head, Ginny thought about the time Harry fell from his broom during a match.

“Poxy bugger had tied a hostage up there. Guinevere apparated herself up to the spire to rescue a child. When she untied the girl, it tripped an anti-apparition jinx right after her opponent apparated himself to the ground. She jumped down, put the child down unharmed, and then outran him and left him trussed up like a Christmas goose for the local aurors to find.” Leaning over, Amaudru picked up the cloak and unfolded it.

“And for my personal favorite, a fashionable cloak to make the right fashion statement no matter where you are.” Standing up, she looked at Ginny for a second before seeing her nod. Placing the cloak around her shoulders, she proceeded to smile as it apparently morphed from one piece of outerwear to another. Cloak, jacket, parka, light windbreaker, jumper, you name it, the cloak cycled through a series of various incarnations in rapid order.

Concentrating, Ginny was amazed to see that the cloak actually took on the substance of each form, rather than the appearance. Shaking her head, she smiled. “I’m guessing it has another trick or two up its sleeve, no?”

“Funny you should mention that.” Making a gesture at the table, Amaudru smiled as a trio of wicked looking throwing knives appeared on the table. “Grab those and chuck one at me, if you will.”

Shaking her head, Ginny leaned over and gingerly picked up the three weapons from the table. Lightly touching her thumb to the tip of one of the places, she was reassured that they were, indeed, as sharp as they appeared. Looking up at her new friend, she quirked and eyebrow as the witch made a curious gesture and a man-sized rectangular target appeared about ten feet away.

“The first thing we’re going to have to do is acquaint you with the last secret of the necklace you’re wearing.” Smiling, Amaudru nodded encouragingly as Ginny looked at her skeptically. “Well, maybe not the last secret, but one you’ll need unless you plan on spending the next twenty years just learning how to use all of your new toys.” Nodding to the throwing knife in Ginny’s hand, she smiled. “Try to hit that target over there with it.”

Taking the knife by the handle, Ginny stared at the target for several seconds. Pulling her arm back and throwing the blade, she watched as the weapon rotated several times before hitting the target with a decisive ‘thunk’, hilt first.

“Actually, that’s not bad for a first attempt. Most people who’ve never done it before miss entirely, or hit with the side of the blade.” Smiling, Amaudru summoned one of the blades to her. Catching it deftly, she flipped it in her hand, so the blade was towards her and made a quick snap throw. The blade rotated once and then came around again as it buried itself in the target with a ‘thunk’. “There’s an entire science to this, and it takes most people long hours of practice to develop the eye and arm coordination to know how to hit targets at various distances.”

Nodding slowly, Ginny looked at the target and sighed. “I suppose your ‘secret’ will bypass a bit of that, correct?”

“This is where the fun part comes in. Over the centuries, twenty-seven witches and two wizards have been the Black Dagger. One of the unintentional benefits that the necklace provides is that it picks up relevant and interesting physical skills and holds them for the wearer. The muggles call this ‘muscle memory’; it’s the pure physical skills you learn through repetition and training.” Seeing the calculating look on Ginny’s face, Amaudru shook her head. “It’s not a total cheat. One of your predecessors was a muggleborn who had learned to play the violin as a child. If you found yourself in such a position, you would know how to hold the instrument, how to make it perform anything that she had memorized and played while wearing me, but you couldn’t just look at a sheet of music and play it to save your life. That you’d have to learn on your own.”

“How do I access these muscle memories?” Thinking of the things that had been revealed to her, Ginny was busily sorting out in her mind the advantages and disadvantages to this relationship she found herself in.

“Easily done, if you’re willing. What you must need do is allow the final linking between the two of us. I’ll, literally, become the voice in the back of your head that nags you from time to time. The physical skills of your predecessors will be available to you. At first, you’ll need to relax and let reflexes you don’t remember acquiring take over, but after a bit you’ll be able to decide between courses of action with conscious thought, though reflex is always quicker.” Smiling reassuringly at her, Amaudru held up one hand in a caution. “However, this is the point from which there’s no going back, take this step and we’re together until the end, or you find a suitable candidate to take up the burden.”

“I think I’m ready. If I’m going to do this, no sense going into it halfhearted.” Shaking her head once, Ginny looked up. “Ready.”

“This won’t hurt, exactly.” And with that, Ginny felt as if the top of her head were suddenly removed and buckets of thoughts and memories were poured in. Closing her eyes to stave off the sudden onslaught of vertigo, she could see isolated scenes involving various physical feats. Throwing a short spear with a strangely shaped handle she suddenly knew was an atlatl, and striking a large fur-covered beast hundreds of feet away. Climbing a sheer wall covered with some sort of crystal during a rainstorm. Pirouetting through the air to land gracefully on the head of a rampaging dragon and slashing both eyes with his dagger, only to leap free as the mortally wounded beast sought to avenge itself upon its killer.

As the images sped up, Ginny felt the rush of skills and scenarios pass before her as she absorbed the connection with the necklace. Bracing herself, she felt as if every muscle, every tendon in her body was thrumming with the barely suppressed need to do something, anything. Finally, with a start as she realized her hand was curved around the grip of a muggle pistol, she was done.

“That was…different.” Ginny mused hesitantly as her heart rate returned to normal. “Shall we try again?”

Leaning over, she retrieved another three of the throwing knives from the low table before her. Without turning to look, she snapped all three at the target, somehow willing the bladed weapons into her throwing hand from her left. Smiling at the surprised look on her mentor’s face, she then summoned three more from the table to her right hand and then proceeded to transfer them to her left hand and snap off three more shots in rapid succession, all without bothering to look at the target.

“Showoff.” Smiling smugly, Amaudru nodded towards the target. “It’s a good thing I didn’t move the target on you.”

Turning, Ginny nodded as the six throwing knives were buried half the length of their blades into the solid wood of the target surface. While the large rectangular target was devoid of any sort of design, if the silhouette of a human being had been superimposed on the target, centered and facing her, there would have been a pair of blades in what would have been the throat, the heart and about four inches south of the belt buckle on a male silhouette. Shrugging, Ginny then wandlessly summoned the blades to her hand and returned them to the table.

“You’ll still need those.” Looking up at Amaudru’s admonition, she grimaced as she remembered the point of the exercise with the throwing knives. Picking four of them back up, she nodded. “Sorry about that.”

“It’s totally understandable. You do have a lot on your mind at the current moment.” Ignoring Ginny’s pained expression at the wordplay; Amaudru picked up the cloak and placed it around her shoulders. As the cloak settled around her, it shimmered for a second and then became a Weasley family jumper.

“Chuck one of those daggers at me, if you would.” Taking her hand, she indicated the embroidered ‘A’ that was centered on her left shoulder. “Try for this.”

Looking at her skeptically, but trusting that she knew what she was doing; Ginny threw the blade at her, pulling her throw so that it would hit her hilt first. Her eyes widened as the blade missed the other witch by a good foot.

“You’re not really trying, you know. Give it a shot.”

Annoyed Ginny threw the next one; trying to compensate for the margin she missed by last time. The blade soared past Amaudru a foot on the other side.

“Not so cocky now, are we?” Grinning, Amaudru waited for Ginny to ask what was going on. When no questions were forthcoming, just a look of grim determination on Ginny’s face, Amaudru shrugged. “Once again?”

Closing her eyes, Ginny concentrated on the memories she had recently come into. While not finding anything directly applicable, since her predecessors had all been wearing the cloak, she did find memories of them learning not to flinch when projectile or missile weapons were sent their way. Taking a leap, she upped the sensitivity on the earring until she could clearly hear the heartbeat of the other witch. Concentrating on hitting a target she couldn’t see, she snapped off a third shot.

Less than a second later, a startled “Mon Dieu!” caused her to open her eyes. Amaudru was standing there, with a look of stark surprise on her face. Her right hand was gripping the hilt of the throwing knife which was stuck in her shoulder, bisecting the embroidered ‘A’.

“I’m so sorry; I didn’t pull that last throw.” Summoning her wand to her hand, Ginny began casting healing charms on the wound.

“How in the name of the four and twenty did you do that?” Shaking her head, Amaudru stared at Ginny. “I didn’t think that was possible.”

“Demonstrate the cloak before the earrings, next time.” Chuckling, Ginny explained how she had surmised that the cloak was messing with her ability to correctly interpret visual data when she was trying to attack her. Once she took the visual component out of the process, she relied on her newly acquired reflexes to make a shot in the dark, dependent upon what she could hear rather than what she could see.

Rolling her eyes, Amaudru removed the cloak and handed it to Ginny. As Ginny settled it around her shoulders, she willed it to appear to be a lightweight jacket that matched her overall outfit. Looking up, she could see that the other witch was giving her an appraising look.

“Are we good?” Looking at Amaudru, Ginny studied the personification of the necklace, literally the office, she now possessed. “I think that I’ve kept my goblin friend cooling his heels long enough outside.” Smiling she nodded as Amaudru seemed pleased with her. “I take it all I need do is concentrate on being back in the vault.”

“You never left the vault. This little hideaway is available whenever you feel the need to speak, face to face as it were. Some of the Daggers have come here often, others not so much. One never returned after this initial meeting.”

“That would have been one of the two who didn’t get along with their Head of House?” Ginny was amused as the gallic shrug she received in answer. “Regardless, I think the two of us will be a bit closer than that. If nothing else, it’ll be interesting to get the perspective of someone who didn’t know me as a child.”

“Please, I’m living in your head now, of course I’ll know all about your childhood.” Smiling at the shocked look on Ginny’s face, Amaudru shrugged. “But, I’ll know it from your perspective, so that might count for something.”

Shaking her head, Ginny closed her eyes and concentrated on the vault. When she opened them again, she was greeted by the cool, even magical illumination that filled her vault.

Shaking her head, she glanced over at the door, seeing it was still secure, she reached up and gently touched the yellow button that was pinned to her blouse. Noting that five of the destinations were currently empty, and no one was imprisoned in her holding cell, she concentrated briefly. The three ‘occupied’ slots were attuned to the apparition point in the lobby of St. Mungo’s, the atrium of the Ministry, and surprisingly enough, an alcove that she remembered from her time dating Michael Corner that was just a few feet from the entrance to the Room of Requirement, hidden by the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy.

Touching the first open slot, she focused on her current location. Not entirely certain how the goblins would take her bypassing their usual security requirements; she decided she would keep this as a bolt hole of last resort.

Seeing a money bag lying by the shelf that contained galleons, she picked it up and examined it. Finely made from some sort of exotic leather, the number ‘823’ was embroidered under the flap in gold thread. She flipped open the top and began placing galleons into the bag.

Not feeling any weight added to the bag, she peered into the opening. Seeing nothing, she smiled and, remembering a story that her brother had told her, placed her hand into the bag and thought ‘fourteen galleons’ to herself. Drawing her hand from the bag, she saw the coins that were in her hand were galleons and she knew the number without counting.

Placing several more stacks of galleons into the bag, she then proceeded to do the same with sickles and knuts. Closing the bag, she attached it to her belt. Placing her hand on the bag, she concentrated on the coins in the bag. The amount 123 galleons, 47 sickles, and 35 knuts came to mind.

Conjuring a small box, she placed those clothing items she had replaced with their magical counterparts inside the box and then shrank it down and slipped it into the pocket of her jacket. Making certain her wand was securely in its holster; she stepped over to the door and placed her hand upon it.

As the door swung silently open she nodded in satisfaction as Seaxwielder looked up from the journal he was working on. Nodding to him, she crossed over to the cart and smiled. “Ready?”

“I take it you found everything to your satisfaction, Ginny?” Looking at her, the goblin studied her for a couple of seconds, and then nodded in apparent satisfaction.

“Everything is fine.” Nodding to the cart, she laughed. “Why don’t we see if we can catch up with my friends before they finish their tour of their new vaults?”

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