The Surprise in the Vault


“I really appreciate you helping me out like this.”


“Really, it's no problem. I could use the practice anyway.”


Harry Potter and Padma Patil were walking along Diagon Alley, on their way to Gringott's Wizarding Bank, his sneakers scuffing the walkway next to her delicate beaded sandals.


“How's your training going, anyway?” Harry asked politely.


“Well!” Padma's face lit up. “Bill says I'm one of his best trainees!”


“That's a lot coming from one of the best Curse Breakers in the world.” Harry looked impressed.


“Yea. It's pretty cool.” Padma looked quite smug for a moment and Harry did everything he could not to laugh at her swagger.


“Well, I'm pretty sure my parents weren't up to the level of Egyptian mystics.” Harry chuckled.


“I would hope not!” Her eyebrows went up.


Harry opened the door for Padma, inclining his head as she passed him.


“Cheeky,” she muttered at him.


He snickered as they approached a large desk with a goblin sitting behind it. He was small for one of his kind, with large pointed ears and an enormous hooked nose. He looked up and coolly appraised the pair.


“I'd like to get into my parent's vault.” Harry produced a packet of papers and a small gold key.


“Of course, Mr. Potter,” the goblin said brusquely. “Walk this way, please.”


They were led down a small hallway that ended with an enormous cavern and a small red cart on a set of tracks, ready to take them anywhere. They loaded into it and Harry took a deep breath before they were off, faster than one could think the small cart capable of.


They zoomed through the dimly lit bank, finally slowing down and coming to rest just as Harry was beginning to feel ill.


The humans staggered out of the cart as the goblin hopped out and made his way to a large, reinforced door.


He got it open as Harry and Padma approached. Padma gasped at the large amounts of Wizarding money heaped about the room. “Good grief, Harry! Didn't your parents know about CD's and hedge funds?”


Harry chuckled. “I guess not.” He made his way through the room to a wooden chest tucked behind everything.


“I will leave you to your task,” the goblin announced. “If you need to return to the surface please pull the rope.”




The large door closed and Harry and Padma were left staring at the box.


She pulled her wand out of her pocket and waved it at the chest, revealing bands of energy wrapped about the box.


“Ooh!” Padma exclaimed. “I think I'll need your help with this one.”


Me?” Harry said confusedly. “I don't know anything about curse-breaking!”


“It's not really a curse,” Padma said, her eyebrows going up. “It's under a lot of protections and this is going to be like a giant knot.”


She pulled at one of the bands with her wand and held it away from the chest. She let go and it snapped back into place.


“Ack! Harry exclaimed.  “Is it dangerous?”


“No,” Padma assured him. “Just tricky.”


They began pulling the bands of energy, sometimes making them become more entangled and having to go back.


“I've got it!” Harry said quickly. “It's all about that one over there! I've got it!”


“Harry, no!”


But it was too late. The energy bands were dislodged and reached out to whatever it was closest, unfortunately, that was Harry and Padma.


They snapped into place, slamming Harry and Padma together and binding them.


“Erm...” Harry turned beet red as Padma glared up at him. “Sorry.”


“I'm not dying in here, Potter,” Padma said in an annoyed tone of voice.


“I should hope not!” Harry said, startled. “We just have to get over to the rope. Come on, just put your foot over here and pivot while I--”


Padma let out a squeak as their feet became tangled up and they toppled over, thankfully onto a large folded tapestry.


“Erm... sorry.”


Padma started laughing and Harry found himself chuckling along with her.


“Did you drop your wand?” Padma asked.


“What do you think?” Harry shook his head.


“Well, I didn't drop mine,” Padma said and Harry let out a sigh of relief.


“It's going to take a bit, but I think I can get us out of this.” She looked down and frowned. “Maybe.”


“Sorry,” Harry said again.


“OK.” She took a deep breath. “Bend your left arm. You should be able to work it out to get leverage.”


Harry did as she said and was relieved to find one of his arms free. “Oh, that's better!”


“We're not out of this yet,” Padma said grimly. “We're lucky these bonds have some stretch to them. It's going to take a bit of work, but I think we can flex our way out of this.”


“How do we do that?” Harry asked.


“When I move that way,” Padma nodded at one wall, “you go that way.” She nodded at the opposing wall. Then we work it back and forth until we get some slack.”


“I think I got it,” Harry said.


They grunted at first, moving like opposite pendulums as they fought their bonds.


Suddenly Padma stopped. She looked at Harry and he blushed.




“Been awhile, Potter?” She giggled.


“However did you guess?” Harry said sarcastically.


“All right. Let's do this thing,” Padma said seriously.


They began to work at the bonds again. After a moment Padma let out a little sound and blushed.


“Been awhile, Patil?” Harry grinned.


“You shut it,” Padma said, her face flushing with embarrassment.


Harry rubbed against her purposefully


“Oh, gods, the rumors were true! You are evil!”


Harry growled playfully and she laughed. She wiggled her hands down to the seat of his robes and gave him a pinch, causing him to thrust at her.


“You better stop that,” he said warningly. “All this wiggling could work our robes up and then were would we be?”


“Hmm...” Padma pretended to think about this. “I think I know... d'you want to see?” She began pulling his robes up slowly and he leaned down to kiss her. He put his one free arm around her while the other began pulling her robes up.


“I'm setting my wand down over here,” Padma warned. “Don't break it.”


“Yes, ma'am,” Harry said with a grin.


Soon skin contacted skin and both of them let out a small noise at the sudden sensation.


“Can we even do this without using our hands?” Padma asked.


“Are you ready?” Harry asked, nibbling on her ear.


“How am I supposed to know?” Padma asked.


“Can't you tell?”


“Sometimes, not all the time.” She gave him an annoyed look.


“Well, let's see if we can find out,” Harry gave her a smirk before beginning to prod at her.


“I should hope not.” Padma said with a huff. “It's be rather sad if I was fully aroused at a poke and a squeeze-- <i>OH!”</i>


Harry had managed to wriggle himself to her entrance and was nudging it. “You feel awfully aroused to me,” he breathed.


Padma began to moan as he rubbed over her, almost entering, but falling back to teasing her.


“Oh, God, Harry, put it in.”


Harry was more than happy to oblige her and soon he found himself sliding into her easily.


“What were you saying about a poke and a squeeze?” Harry chuckled.


Padma groaned and bucked her hips at him. He responded by thrusting deep into her. He watched her eyes roll and he grinned as he set about pleasing her as best he could when all tied up.


She began moaning, louder than Harry would have expected, and he turned red. He didn't mind being found, but not like this.


He moved faster and he felt her clench around him, her teeth sinking into the fabric of his robes. She continued groaning as his frantic pace picked up. He felt the bonds around them begin to stretch under the force and Padma took the opportunity to wriggle an arm up to grab at them and push them down, leaving them bound from the waist down.


Harry shuddered and collapsed, his face drenched with sweat, heaving great gulps of air.


Padma patted him on the back and chuckled.


“Next time, you're on top,” Harry panted.


Padma laughed. “What makes you think there's going to be a next time?”


“Wishful thinking, I suppose.”


With their shoulders and arms free of the bonds, they found it much easier to shimmy out of them. They seemed to shrink as they went, finally closing in on itself when finally freed of their feet and letting out a blast of light before it disappeared.


They began putting themselves back together and Harry made his way over to the chest. He opened it and laughed.


“What is it?” Padma asked curiously.


Harry pulled out a handful of papers. “Family documents.” He began flipping through them. “Birth certificates, death certificates.” He paused at one and frowned.


“What is it?” Padma asked as she picked her wand up.


“My parents were married in Stockholm?” Harry looked bewildered. “Really?”


Padma started to laugh, then looked down at the tapestry they had just been lying on. “Then that must be...”


They looked at each other and scrambled to unfold the tapestry.


“Oh!” Padma breathed in as it was opened. “Harry, it's huge!”


Harry stared at his family tree, marveling at all the names carefully stitched into the pattern.


Padma started to laugh. “I can see why it's hidden away!”


“Why?” Harry asked, squinting at it.


“Look at it, Harry! Look at how many names are only related to one person!”


Harry's brow furrowed. “That's strange.”


“It's been enchanted!” Padma explained. “They used to so that so they wouldn't have to expand a tapestry later. It does it itself.”


Harry's eyes darted all over the tapestry and his eyes went wide. “You can't hide anything from it, can you?”


“No, you can't.”


“How many illegitimate children are my ancestors responsible for?” Harry spluttered.


“Apparently a lot.” Padma's eyebrows went up. “This guy has--” she quickly counted, “Seventeen?!”


“Good lord!” Harry exclaimed. “He needed a hobby!”


“Looks like he had one.” Padma smirked.


He began flipping through papers in the box again. “Some of these are really old--” He stopped abruptly and stared at a piece of parchment.


“What is it?” Padma asked, concerned.


“A bill of sale,” Harry said disgustedly. “My family owned other people.” He put it back in the box. “I feel sick.”


Padma went to him and put an arm around his waist as she looked it over. She let him go and walked back to the tapestry. She let out a giggle.


“What's so funny?” Harry asked as he walked over.


“That.” Padma pointed to a pair of names.


Peter Potter (H.) - Fatima Potter (W.)


“That's an awful lot of names under that pair!” Harry exclaimed.


“Listen, back in the old times people had to do what they could when they fell in love with a servant.” She shrugged. “One of my grandfather's uncles infamously bought a girl he was in love with and they had several kids together after they fled the country.”


“Did they get married after?” Harry asked.


“Erm... no.” Padma blushed. “Different castes, he was already married...” she trailed off.


“Oh!” Realization dawned on Harry. “What happened?”


“Before he died made sure she was set up in London with the kids. Wanted to make sure his wife didn't take revenge against them.”


Harry looked embarrassed, as if he didn't know what to say.


“Love isn't always neat and clean, Harry. Sometimes it's complicated and messy and you've got enough here to prove it.”


“I can see that,” he said as his eyes roamed over his family tree, down to his name at the bottom. “Oh. My. God.”




“Look over here. Where it goes when it forks.”


Her eyes scanned over the tapestry. “Harry! Isn't that--


“My cousin Dudley.” Harry's face was aghast. “He's really a Malfoy.”


“You've unburied a lot of secrets today, Harry. Maybe some should stay buried. Lucius Malfoy doesn't need to know he fathered a squib.” Padma put a hand on his back.


“I have a lot to think over,” Harry admitted.


“You do.” Padma said firmly as he put the papers back into the box. “So, tell me. Why did you ask me to come here instead of Bill? I know he's the better curse-breaker.”


“I was hoping I could ask you out, but that’s rather pointless now,” Harry said sheepishly.


“Hardly. I think you owe me a meal after that,” Padma said haughtily.


“I suppose I have worked up an appetite,” Harry said in an amused tone of voice.


“I should think so,” Padma teased him.


Harry went over to the rope hanging from the ceiling and pulled it. “Miss Patil, will you do me the honor of accompanying me to the Three Broomsticks for some lamb stew and a pint?”


“Tom's got his lamb stew today?” Padma perked up.


“None other.” Harry grinned widely as they heard the small cart pull up outside the door to the vault. The door swung open and a skinny goblin with a scar down one cheek and beady black eyed stared at them.


“Thank you,” Harry said to him as he took Padma's hand and escorted her out.


The goblin seemed to sniff the air before giving Padma and Harry a scowl, but he said nothing as the pair turned bright red.


They loaded in the cart and they were off, once again zooming over the tracks that would lead them to the surface.


“Dinner's on me,” Padma announced as they staggered out of the cart.


“Really?” Harry asked as the goblin shuffled alone behind them.


“Sure,” Padma said with a twinkle in her eye. “Wouldn't want to you to think I'm the wrong sort of girl.”


The goblin behind them snorted and they both hurried out of the bank.


“Cheeky!” Harry snickered at her once they were back out in the daylight.


Padma laughed at him. “You'd better get used to it!”


He smiled at her, a smile that made her blush. “I think I already am.”