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Trusting Your Intuition - Draco Malfoy
The Slytherin King

Draco Malfoy
Date: 2006-06-26 20:01
Subject: Trusting Your Intuition
Security: Public
Location:An inn on the outskirts of London
Tags:clackhog, gringotts, insurgence, nymphadora, pansy, tonks
The days since my birthday have been a shifting haze of anxiety, fear and nausea. My usual contacts for this kind of information are either unwilling to assist me or have disappeared which has only heightened my sense of unease. There are just too many inexplicable events taking place, so much devastation and confusion in the wizarding world right now for me to take all of it in and feasibly plot a strategy.

Most of the week I have neglected my mental and physical regimens that have been a steadfast part of my life for years now. For that reason I blame myself for my pitiable condition. Today I forced myself to rise from my bed before the crack of dawn and attempt to find my center. It took nearly an hour of yoga to release the tension in my neck and allow my rational nature to penetrate the chaos in my thoughts. I was most anxious for that small sense of clarity to begin formulating my next steps, however I continued through all of my exercises emerging with focus and determination.

Instinct is a phenomenon that should never be ignored, not always followed but always acknowledged. My instincts were telling me the first order of business for me to attend to would be at Gringotts. I had the utmost confidence my first real answers to the events transpiring would be there. The second was an owl to my cousin Nymphadora and hopefully a meeting with her today if all things went well.

I was placing my confidence in hunches that were dependent on answers to vague questions and hoping it would all come together in something understandable. I must admit only the desperate are willing to put so much on the line in those situations, I am that desperate and my instincts have rarely failed me.

It was nine o'clock when I left my flat. I chose to adorn myself in attire that would call the least bit of attention, hopefully allowing me to move quietly and with greater ease through the city.

An effort that proved unnecessary due to the absence of pedestrians in the byways. I did not feel that it was a wasted effort, it was a good opportunity to practice a neglected skill. Though I was certainly calmer, there remained an unexplained need for covertness.

Before entering Gringotts I paused in the alcove of a shop and surveyed the area around me. There were a few people drawn close together quickly entering the bank. It had been this way before and the memory of it stirred in me, I could almost smell the fear brewing in city again. I had to stay as focused as I could if I was going to be successful.

When nothing beyond normal occurred I moved from the building and made my way into the wizards bank. Entering Gringotts struck me very much like entering a cafe or pub in London when the rain wrathfully assaults the pavement. The transition of atmosphere is noticeable. Gringotts was very much carrying on as it always had with the exception that the lobby was significantly depleted of it's normal bustle. Only the couple I had seen enter a few moments ago were visible.

I made my way to the familiar floor of the bank and was greeted by a new attendant. This goblin was younger and wore a plastic smile that did not conceal his nervousness at my appearance.

"How may I assist you today, Mr...?" He asked politely his voice carried the familiar crackle as is common with goblins. It was a little too polite for a Gringott's goblin.

"Malfoy." I stated plainly and watched him for his reaction. "Draco Malfoy and I am here to speak with Karbog my financial consultant."

It was first noticeable in his eyes, the lids raised only slightly. I even detected a shift in his body language, which I must admit is hard to gauge due to the squat nature of his kind, but I read a tenseness in his shoulders. Several alarms began to go off inside of me and all at once I was allowed trained response to guide me. The next few moments were going to be important to reading this situation.

The goblin resumed his guise and proceeded to consult a ledger of some sort.

"Ah yes. It would appear that your account is no longer being held by Karbog and you have been reassigned to Clackhog." He pressed on with the same politeness. "He is a more determined consultant for you to be aligned with. I think you will be pleased with him." He finished with a nod.

"That will suffice." I consented with a nod.

The goblin rose from his seat and made for Karbog's office, entering after knocking on the door.

Every fiber in my body told me this was situation had to be handled VERY carefully. I had no immediate sense of danger, but an extreme sense of caution. Goblins were not polite they were tolerant. It was no secret that most Gringotts goblins carried no feeling of gratitude towards their wizard clientele beyond blunt, professional courtesy.

He returned from Karbog's office to me and bid me follow him. We arrived at Karbog's office and the first thing that caught my attention was the plaque on the door, it read 'Clackhog'. I was allowed to pass through and took in the massive presence of it's occupant. Clackhog was definitely not the average height or build of most of the employees. He was taller, thicker, and more filled out. All of the common traits, just bigger.

Clackhog rose from his seat and gestured to a chair in front of his desk. There was a single folder in on his desk and an ink and quill set.

I carried my smile through to the seat and nodded. Clackhog only took his seat after I had made myself comfortable. Such an act gave me the opportunity to disguise positioning my wand.

"I have come to check upon the status of my inquiries. Were you successful in finding suitable candidates for the my endeavors?" I asked in a business tone.

Clackhog opened the folder and removed three separately bundled stacks of parchment.

"I have found suitable candidates," he proceeded in a normal fashion. "I have compiled a list of three organizations who I found to be competent and desirous of such a venture."

"You have personally verified their backgrounds and qualifications?" I decided to press. I knew that my apprehension and curiosity of the situation must not be translated past my financial interests.

Clackhog nods affirmatively and speaks, "Indeed Mr. Malfoy, personally. I am confident you will approve of all three."

I browse the pages below me which, at the moment, mean nothing. It does give me the time to plot my next move; it's time to draw something out of Clackhog. I have to make an opportunity for him to extend himself.

I glance up from my parchment and fix the goblin in the eyes directly. I decided a firmer approach and a question posed to steer the transaction into my control is appropriate.

"Before my vacation I was in the process of investing my inheritance for its longevity." This was a accurate statement of my intent before Pansy and I fled. "I found Karbog very competent in his knowledge and his ability. For what reason has he been removed from my service?" Direct and blunt; a Malfoy would exhibit nothing else in financial matters. It was also a method of redirect that I had employed at Hogwarts to gain the information I needed from those around me.

Clackhog tensed. It was more visible than with the attendant because of his size and definition. My abruptness had given me one piece to this puzzle. I stared into his eyes, unswerving; I allowed the pause to continue as Clackhog attempted to compose himself. I could read the signs of discomfort in his eyes and body. I had the upper hand and knew to be damn careful with how I used it.

When Clackhog spoke it was with the same deepness and crackle to his voice, but his eyes spoke otherwise. "I am quite certain, Mr. Malfoy that you will find my services to superior to those of Karbog. It was for that reason that I have been assigned to assist you in your endeavors. Are you unsatisfied with the information I have compiled for you?" he inclined his head to the parchment in my hand.

He finished with a nod, yet his face assumed that same questioning look I received upon our parting my last visit to Gringotts.

"No," I answer after a long pause. "Your competence in the matter of my financial pursuits appears to be adequate." This time the shift in his posture is clear, for some reason the silence is causing him to become nervous. My indirect questioning is drawing on something that is causing him a great sense of duress.

I allowed the moment to linger as long as I could, if Clackhog didn't speak soon I would have to recover and take the tone down a bit and pursue my financial arrangements.

The slightest bead of perspiration lined Clackhogs forehead, something I had never witnessed of a goblin. Then, he broke. It was a supreme act of control that I contained the look of triumph I felt radiate from within me.

Clackhog lowered his crackly voice to just above a whisper. "I apologize, Mr. Malfoy, we were not informed that you would be arriving. You can assure your father that the warriors of my clan are vast and well trained; we will be in position to deploy on the first of July, as agreed. It has been very difficult to go undetected but we are applying ourselves most diligently. Your father's aid is most appreciated and we will be ready to receive it. I would not suggest proceeding," he rasped, and shifted his eyes to the parchment, "until we have completed the task."

His eyes searched me intently for some sign of acknowledgment or decline. I offered him neither. I knew it was time to leave. To play this game any longer when I had no idea of its origin or detail was dangerous.

I rose from my chair with ease, still clutching the papers in my left hand and my wand firmly in the other. "Indeed." I spoke in the same tone I had carried. "I will be in touch with you at my earliest convenience. Your diligence will be rewarded."

Clackhog nodded and I departed. I made my way through the building with tension building in each metered step. My mind raced over the behavior of the goblins and Clackhog's final words. It did not escape me that my presence caused him great trepidation, nor how much that information bothered me.

Clackhog must be in the upper echelon of a goblin insurgence and my father found a way to position himself in an alliance with them. That certainly explained his behavior; however it opened a Pandora 's Box of disturbing thoughts and questions. Was my father responsible for the chaos that was sprouting up over Europe? How long would it be before he became aware of my knowledge and what would be his course of action when he did?

Gringotts was going to be stormed on the first of July by a faction of goblins determined to over take the financial hub of wizarding England. Goblins would only align themselves with a wizard of considerable power and influence if it were advantageous to them. How many goblins would Clackhog have in his clan? It couldn't be more than five hundred and certainly not less than a hundred, could it? This seemed to be an insufficient number of warriors to conquer the defenses of Gringotts. My father must have known that and promised them some form of magical assistance. What was this 'aid' they were so ready to receive from him? My father is very knowledgeable of dark magic, but surely not enough to break the many wards, creatures and spells protecting Gringotts all at once.

I exited Gringotts and made a quick sweep of the streets. Even now the news of my visit to Gringotts may be making its way back to my father, and I was not ready to deal with that yet. Only a few paces into my journey, I looked over my shoulder, and I aparated to an inn on the far eastern side of London.

I used a Disillusionment charm to change my appearance and entered. I knew the owner and he was still in my debt. Aside from the inn and bar he was a vendor in certain wares that were less than savory, which was how we met. I had the opportunity to assist him in relocating his competition and setting him up with a far better supplier for his merchandise. Here would be the safest place for me for the time being and he would not betray presence to anyone.

I requested an owl, some parchment and a small bottle of brandy be sent to my room. It was now imperative that I contact my cousin. We had to meet as soon as possible, even if I had to show up at their door. I indulged in a large shot of the amber liquid and took care of the owl post. I rose from my seat and stood by the grime covered windows, surveying the street below. I loathed to affiliate myself with Potter, a Daily Prophet glory whore like no other, and the Order. I was equally indisposed to being aligned with my father.

I must make use of this information now, while it was at its greatest value to those who needed it the most. My cousin Nymphadora was already set in the Ministry of Magic as an Auror, and could make inquiries about Pansy without rousing attention and she was still in league with the Order. Nymphadora and her husband could also serve as witnesses in my defense if my father's involvement were unearthed. I was forced to leave my home country once; I will not be forced to leave again. I will rebuild the greatness of my family's name among our kind, and I will be doing it with Pansy at my side, no matter the cost.

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September 2006