Chapter 75

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Harry called for another drink for himself as the head goblin spoke,

"Mr. Potter, we would like to present you with a token of our appreciation."

Harry grabbed a drink from the tray that appeared in front of him and watched as Rabastan and Voldemort returned to his side. They wore matching mysterious smiles and the mischievous glint in Voldemort's crimson eyes was enough indication that he was going to be in trouble later…not the bad kind of trouble…But trouble nonetheless. He batted his eyelashes at the head goblin and spoke,

"Are you sure you want to present the token of appreciation to me, Sir?"

The head goblin waved away his inquiry and spoke,

"Of course, Mr. Potter. It is common knowledge that The Dark Lord is in possession of your wand and you lack a weapon to protect yourself. Your bar brawl last night garnered quite a lot of attention mainly because you fought with your bare hands. If you had been in possession of your wand, it might have been over with just one curse."

Harry smiled bitterly as he took a sip of his drink and glowered at Voldemort before turning his attention back to the head goblin, heaved a long-suffering sigh and spoke,

"Yes, sadly, Voldemort doesn't trust me with a wand. He believes I'll run off as soon as I get it back. Now, logic suggests that if I wanted to run to away then I would not be making such an effort to support him. What do you think? Do I seem like I intend to run away?"

Nicholai laughed,

"You are as unpredictable as the weather and as erratic as a tornado, Harry. Lord Voldemort's distrust is justified. Now, if you were in my captivity then I would most certainly keep you collared and chain. Someone as desirable as you is too precious to lose and absolutely irreplaceable."

Harry didn't deign Nicholai's statement worthy of a reply so he pretended not to have heard him and raised a questioning eyebrow at the head goblin who looked a bit flustered and was eyeing his neck. Harry was willing to bet that he was imagining a collar there. The head goblin snapped his fingers and a bundle wrapped in black silk appeared in his tiny arms,

"This is for you, Mr. Potter."

Harry was absolutely curious about the contents of the bundle. He handed his drink to Rabastan, took it from the head goblin and unwrapped it. The silk slipped to the floor revealing sleek black metal. It was a sword. He knew it from the build and the structure but it was unlike any sword he'd seen. It was nearly weightless but thrummed with power. He traced his fingers over the cold metal and then gripped the handle to unsheathe it. A black double-edged blade twice as long as Godric Gryffindor's sword appeared. Looking at it made Harry's stomach churn. Something about the metal…it crawled through his mind and called to him at a spiritual level. He was absolutely fascinated by it as he ran his finger over the blade. The head goblin spoke and Harry lost his focus and cut his finger on the ultra-sharp blade,

"The blade of… Oh, sorry, Mr. Potter. I did not mean to startle you."

Harry stared at the cut on his finger and watched dazedly as the metal soaked up his blood and emanated a hellish red glow. The temperature dropped by several degrees in the hall and he was certain that he wasn't the only one who felt it. A deathly silence filled the hall as all conversation came to an abrupt halt. Harry couldn't take his eyes away from the glowing blade. It felt like he had an infinite amount of power at his disposal. Voldemort's sharp voice cut through the silence,

"What in the world is that?"

Harry tore his gaze away from the blade and looked up. He noticed the trepidation on Rabastan's face and a look of pure rage on Voldemort's as he glared at the head goblin, who looked absolutely flustered and utterly thunderstruck. He stammered,

"The…The blade of Asmodeus."

Nicholai's dark laughter rang through the silence of the hall,

"You believed it was counterfeit, did you not, little Goblin? You believed it was a fake. That is why you gifted it to him. If you had known its true power then you would never have let it out of your greedy hands."

Voldemort was shaking his head and the head goblin looked absolutely flabbergasted. Harry didn't know what powers the blade had but he knew that it was bothering the head goblin that he had given it away. Well, too bad for him because he had no intentions of returning it now. He smirked wickedly and asked,

"So, judging by your faces, I am guessing that this is something extremely powerful. Now would any of you care to explain who the hell is Asmodeus?"

Voldemort looked absolutely exasperated, the head goblin looked like he was about to curl up and die and Nicholai's aquamarine eyes were glinting with amusement,

"Asmodeus is known as the demon of lust…The prince of lechery..."

Harry burst into uncontrollable giggles and swung the sword in the air,

"The demon of lust…The prince of lechery…Oh Merlin, this is just incredible."

The blade stopped glowing and Voldemort spoke,

"You shall not be keeping that."

Harry tightened his hold on the hilt and ground out,

"No bloody way. You're not taking this away from me."

Voldemort vanished and before Harry could turn around, the sword was yanked away from his grip followed by a shout of agony. Harry spun on the spot and found Voldemort's hand wrapped around the hilt, his eyes closed and his teeth biting into his lower lip to contain another cry. The sword was searing into his flesh. The flesh of his hand turned grey, then white, rimmed with red. It looked as if he'd stuck it in glowing coals. Harry snatched the sword from his hand before it could hurt him anymore and watched as Rabastan rushed forward to heal him. Harry sheathed the sword with a curse as his stomach twisted into knots. He hadn't wanted Voldemort to get hurt. He stepped closer to them and asked Rabastan,

"Is his hand going to be alright?"

Rabastan smiled assuredly and spoke,

"It already is…Look…"

Voldemort's hand looked perfectly healed and had regained a healthy colour,

"Did it worry you, Harry?"

Harry bit back his sigh of relief and scoffed,

"No, I knew you'd be fine."

Voldemort smiled and patted his cheek,

"You were worried."

Before Harry could refute that, Nicholai spoke,

"I am not surprised that the sword has already bonded with him. He is the only one who can wield it now. Anyone else who attempts to shall be reduced to ash."

Harry looked down at the sheathed sword in his hand and was about to speak when a flash of blinding green light illuminated the hall. Harry had no time to react as his eyes fluttered shut reflexively. He was suddenly wrapped up in an embrace and recognized the familiar warmth almost instantly.

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