|The Darkness of the Soul
Author: Gawaine PM
Sequel to Harry Potter and the School for Wizards. Harry is a fugitive wizard. He is almost hopeless, when an opportunity from a forgotten source appears. Are there more problems with this job than meet the eye? COMPLETERated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Suspense - Harry P. & Hermione G. - Chapters: 15 - Words: 46,086 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 11 - Updated: 10-19-03 - Published: 09-08-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1512877
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Spoilers: Canon through OOTP, Harry Potter and the School for Wizards
Summary: Harry is a fugitive wizard. He is almost hopeless, when an opportunity from a forgotten source appears. Are there more problems with this job than meet the eye? Where is the new Dark Wizard and Lord that everyone keeps talking about?
Harry woke to the steady dripping of rain in the background. He had managed to firm up the roof of the leaky room just enough to make the water fall to either side rather than on his head, and the now soggy cardboard that he had piled up helped keep him above the places where it had pooled, but he couldn't do anything about the sound.
The sound of steadily dripping water brought him back to his second year, when he'd spent entirely too much time inside and under a girl's washroom. The year he'd fought a basilisk, and the year he'd met Ginny.
He still wasn't sure how he felt about Ginny, and looking back, he didn't know if he was more upset at Tom Riddle for nearly killing her or for directing the basilisk to attack Hermione. Since he'd probably never see either one of his friends again, it probably didn't matter.
The tower that he occupied was dark and gloomy. He clicked on a small Muggle flashlight that he'd bought at a filling station, and looked at the cheap Muggle watch he'd picked up at the same time. A quarter to midnight -- a lot earlier than he'd thought. As fitful as his sleep had been thus far, he had thought it must be nearly morning.
When he'd left Hogwarts, he'd had no idea of where to go. He had managed to get to Gringott's ahead of the Aurors, and the Goblins had let him make a withdrawal, and even exchanged money for him. They were probably happy enough to get the fees from him while they still could, before he was on the run. He wasn't sure what would happen to the money he left inside, so he had asked the Goblins to give a bag full of Galleons each to Hermione and Ginny. At least they'd have something. When he'd heard the Aurors coming, though, he'd slipped out as fast as he could, and he hadn't really put much thought into what came next.
He didn't have anywhere to go. He'd rather be Kissed than wind up at the Dursley's, and since he'd been responsible for Ginny's condition, he knew he couldn't face the Weasleys, even if he had managed to talk to any of them after Ron's death. He didn't even know where Remus was these days; he visited occasionally, but he was never available when Harry really wanted to see him. He was on his own, which meant he needed to find a place where he could at least sleep long enough to make new plans.
None of the hotels he talked to would rent to people without identification, especially a strangely dressed youth carrying a broom. Some of them even called the police, which meant the Aurors weren't long behind him. He spent a few days sleeping in dumpsters or on roofs, before he came up with an idea. He'd bought a bunch of groceries, and set out for a place he remembered from long ago, which he hoped was still deserted.
Harry felt a stab of nostalgia. He'd met Hagrid in this very room, eight years ago tonight. That was the first birthday he could remember that had been truly magical, in all senses of the word. It had been a night like this one, he remembered, a night which was the last one that he had felt totally alone. At least, until Albus Dumbledore informed him that he was going to face Azkaban for nearly killing a Hogwart's student, and that Ginny Weasley would probably never wake up.
There was a crash of thunder outside, and then a sound like a great pounding at the door. He supposed that something must have fallen against it, knocked off by the storm, but then the pounding repeated itself. Harry put his glasses on and grabbed his wand - he wasn't sure what was coming, but it probably wasn't friendly.
There was another crash, and the door fell inward. A tall figure was framed by the doorway, the ambient light of the shore in the distance outlining him. He was dressed in furs, a soaking hooded cloak over his head, his hands occupied by a wand and a silver-colored broomstick.
Harry jumped to his feet, ready to counter whatever curse the figure threw at him. He was astounded, though, at the figure's exclamation. "Harry Potter! At last, I have found you!" The man's features were still shadowed, but he had a thick accent that was familiar to Harry. The man leaned his broomstick against the wall, and pocketed his wand, and then moved to embrace Harry. In the miniscule light of the flashlight, which lay on Harry's improvised nightstand, Harry had a view of the man for a brief instant. He steadied himself, then decided to trust that fate hadn't completely abandoned him.
"Viktor Krum! It's great to see you!"
The two men, both renowned Seekers and powerful wizards, sat in the tower, talking in halting sentences. Viktor's English was better than it had been, but not perfect, and Harry hadn't talked with anyone in weeks. He was out of practice.
The tower was more comfortable now. Viktor had fixed the roof and walls, and transfigured some of the spare rocks into a pair of overstuffed chairs. A fireplace had sprung into being on the wall, making the place almost cozy. Harry hadn't known all the charms Viktor had used, but wouldn't have performed them before Viktor's coming even if he had - he was afraid that the Ministry of Magic would trace him by it.
That brought him to a question he had been afraid to ask. "Viktor, how did you find me? And why was it you that found me, not one of the...official people...who are looking for me?" He didn't ask if Viktor was working with them - he knew that Aurors always worked in groups of at least two, and he didn't think any partner would be patient enough to stand out in the rain while his mate and a murderer sat down by a fire.
"Ahh, Harry. You are not truly friendless. Someone, probably your Headmaster, has been laying false trails. Your Ministry couldn't find you if it assigned every last man to the job, and I don't think Arthur Weasley will think it is worth it, do you?"
Harry wasn't too sure about that, but he wasn't going to argue the point. "Then how did you find me?"
"We at Durmstrang don't think much of the idea of Unforgivable Curses. Fah - a single Killing does not a Dark Vizard make, ja? Especially when it didn't finish the job?"
Harry hung his head. He didn't even want to think about what he'd done.
Viktor continued. "So, when I heard you were between positions, I thought I would see if you wanted to verk with me."
"You're offering me a job?" Harry was more than a little stunned.
"Yes. Here's the letter, all proper, no?" He handed Harry a small envelope, and he was again drawn in by deja vu. It was a small letter, addressed merely to Harry Potter, the United Kingdom, with a seal on the back. He looked at the seal more closely - he knew it wasn't Hogwarts, and wasn't too surprised by the large D in the center of the wax. "Durmstrang," he muttered, as he opened it up.
"Is dere someting wrong wit that, Harry?" Viktor asked, beginning to look offended.
"No, not at all. Just...happy it wasn't Beaxbatons, you know?" Harry smiled weakly. He wasn't sure what he thought about Durmstrang, but he knew he couldn't be much of a chooser. His remark seemed to have the desired effect, though, and Harry opened the letter.
"They want me to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts?" Harry was surprised.
"Well, it's actually called Studies in Dark Arts. We do focus on Defense, but you may end up teaching a few spells that are useful, even if they are called Dark by some people." Viktor sniffed. "That will be up to you, though. Do you want the job? Durmstrang will not send you back to your Ministry, have no fear."
Harry needed a moment to think. He hadn't turned himself in, hadn't faced his punishment, so he wasn't willing to die - what was he willing to do to live? Did he want to live here in the tower, until his food ran out and he starved, or the place caved in on him, or it was rented to some ruddy tourist trying to avoid the post? "Viktor," he asked, stalling, "how are you involved? Would we be working together?"
"Ya, I'm at Durmstrang, when I'm not playing for Bulgaria. I am a sort of mascot," he said proudly, with a goofy grin. "I teach flying, and coach the Quidditch when I can."
"That's great," Harry said, sensing that Viktor hoped for approval from Harry, even if he wasn't sure why. "I'll take the job." Harry's voice wavered, but he hoped he sounded confident. Viktor helped him shrink the few things that were worth keeping, and they both got their brooms.
"This is great, ya! Herm-me-one will be so happy."
"Ach, I did not say. She is the one that asked me if I could find you a job. Now, let us fly!"
Harry was dumbstruck, but he couldn't ask Viktor anything more about 'Mione until they got to Durmstrang - and by the time that happened, he was too exhausted to ask anything at all.