Path of the Necromancer
"Daphne are you alright?" Harry asked, it was early morning and he had been up wondering if his contractor had left him any targets. The answer it seemed was no but he was instead faced with a different dilemma. Namely a pale skinned, dark eyed and thin lipped Daphne almost crawling down the stairs.
"Fine, fine," she muttered "Just a bit under the weather,"
"Daphne from where I'm standing the weather has buried you, how long have you felt like this?" Harry asked rushing up the wooden steps and helping her to her feet. For a second Daphne made out like she was pondering.
"Well I got up about ten minutes ago, so ten minutes." She commented dryly not liking to admit that she was feeling bad, often she was the one making people feel better and not the other way around. Harry picked her up and slowly walked her towards her room. Her skin paled slightly as he did so.
"How do you actually feel, I mean what feels... bad?" Harry asked bluntly, not too sure if he was being abrupt.
"You haven't had sympathy for being ill before have you?" Daphne asked rolling her eyes before coughing slightly. She did not look good and for some reason Harry noticed she looked almost worse.
"I just feel drained, exhausted, heavy: in a moving way and nothing else before you say anything and just worn out. I'm sure I'll feel better in a minute." Daphne muttered not resisting as Harry laid her down on the bed and tucked her under the covers.
"Harry are you... Daphne!" Hermione exclaimed entering the room from the hall. Her face moved from shock to concern in an instant.
"Uhh, I have no desire to repeat the conversation. I'm sure I'll be fine Hermione." Daphne sighed with a whisper lurking behind her normally rich powerful tones. She laid back on the pillow, without the will or energy to move her head back up to look at the two.
Harry took a moment to study her, aside from her deathly white skin; her normally flowing river of black hair was now thinned and straw like. Her hands trembled, her breathing seemed heavy and he suddenly agreed with the word drained. Though it looked more literal from where he was standing.
"Hermione?" he didn't need to ask the question but he already knew the answer. Hermione would know nothing about this illness or she would have already said it, though they both knew this looked like more than just a cold.
"You two! I'll be fine, honestly. Just let me sleep it off," Daphne muttered faintly through closing lips and blurred vision. Her eyes snapped shut and within a moment she was asleep. A deep one and Harry and Hermione turned to each other, both were confused but neither were doctors.
"Maybe we should get her something," Hermione suggested,
"Do they sell new layers of skin?" Harry asked and Hermione sighed.
"Look, I'm sure it's just as passing cold. I mean she did share her body with you so maybe this is just the recovery phase. I don't know. Though we could get her some pepper up potion and see how that goes," Hermione suggested looking slightly wary.
"Well let's go."
"How many?" the shopkeeper asked the moment he heard Harry and Hermione's request, both looked at each other. Slightly unsure of the answer, they weren't doctors or experts after all.
"How much would you recommend for a cold?" Harry inquired with a shrug. He seemed bored of them already and for a second Harry wondered how he would react if he took down his hood and revealed who he really. Hermione was of course out in the open but no one had made much of a fuss over the missing muggleborn.
"Three, four, no more that that though. Don't want to overdose, I'll put you in for four," the man half advised, half muttered as he took the galleons Hermione pretty much thrust at him. Harry could have paid but getting money out of his vaults wasn't really on his mind at the moment.
"Thanks," Hermione muttered half heartedly walking out of the potion shop in a meaningful stride. Harry followed suit and yet the moment he was outside a slight chill spread over him. Being that he couldn't really feel the cold or indeed the heat any more he realised something was trying to tell him something. He walked over to the side of the shop, wondering if there was a breeze or something calling him, nothing.
"Miss Granger?" A comforting voice questioned suddenly and Harry felt a wave of relief. He turned to see none other than Albus Dumbledore coming towards them with a warm smile. He looked thrilled and despite the sudden chill Harry was glad to see him.
"Professor?" Hermione questioned looking around for Harry, she seemed relieved too. Why hadn't they contacted the headmaster over the last few weeks, he could have been a great help and Harry wanted to know how he would react when he found what the power he knows not would be. The chill came at those words.
"Miss Granger, what happened? You scared us all to death?" the man half joked looking just as happy to see her. Harry was about to go out and greet them but at the same time something held him back. What was it?
"I just woke up in hospital," Hermione began and then Harry did stop, something was echoing in his mind but he just didn't know what it was.
"How? I'm not unhappy of course but I was told your injuries were..." the old man began slightly confused and then Harry remembered the prophecy. He had been thinking about it earlier but now there was something in his mind about it. It was the power but hadn't Dumbledore already told him what it was.
"Well I was going to die and then..." Hermione's voice tuned out as Harry remembered what the power was supposed to be. Love.
She who disguises herself as love and her agents the voice of the one who had started this quest echoed in his mind. Dumbledore was a champion of the idea of love, but he couldn't be the nemesis could he? Then again Harry didn't even know who the knowledge riddled demon's nemesis was.
"I told you not to speak!" Harry roared improvising on the spot and with his hood drawn he emerged from the side of the shop with his wand drawn. Hermione jumped but didn't move, knowing who it was, despite him having a wand to the back of her head.
"Necromancer," Dumbledore breathed and now people were interested, a crowd gathered with all eyes fixed upon the scene as a strange masked man spoke to the greatest wizard in the world.
"Servant of Love, is that not the name of her agents?" Harry mock sneered having no idea if he was right or wrong but wanted to provoke a reaction. It worked and Dumbledore's face lit up with alertness.
"Not quite, though close I must say. Agent of knowledge," So Dumbledore did know about the other world of demons and godly figures. Indeed he seemed to be a champion just like him, but of a different demon.
"Though I was under the impression Voldemort was his champion." The old man said briefly and Harry wondered if he was doing the right thing. Dumbledore had been a constant help to him and yet because of which demons they spoke to they were at odds. Then again Dumbledore didn't know it was him.
"Circumstances change. I wish to outdo him, the girl was supposed to be bait."
"For who may I ask?" Dumbledore inquired and Harry saw fit to answer with a lie he came up with on the spot.
"Harry Potter. He escaped me once, I don't intend to allow him to do so again,."
"I see, what is your quarrel with him? What good will he do you?" Dumbledore demanded, he was hesitant, staling, believing the necromancer would kill Hermione if he attacked.
"There is no quarrel between us; his need to be is symbolic. In the same way I fear our quarrel exists." Harry commented realising he was improvising to a dangerous level and his identity was only a fallen hood away. Dumbledore smiled a real smile with actual warmth despite the circumstances.
"I must say I'm impressed, a champion who knows our quarrel is our master's and we are forced to partake. I have not come across another who thinks the same way as I, the others seem wholly devoted to their master. We however don't seem to be. However do not mistake my tone for one of permission I will not allow you to take Harry Potter of indeed Miss Granger."
"I'll bear that in mind." Harry replied softly before reaching within himself to harness the power which would send him home.
Though Dumbledore seemed to know what was about happen and as the purple sphere enveloped the pair he jumped back. Knowing it would take him to wherever the Necromancer lurked and that would not do. Though his next move was far more thought out.
"Oblivate." He turned on the crowd as a whole and in a moment as far as the world was concerned that exchange had never even happened.
"What the hell was that?" Hermione demanded the moment the two arrived back in the house, she was both furious and confused and looked ready to hit Harry once more.
"Sorry! You held me at wand point!" Hermione seethed knowing it was trick but confused about the motive. Though she allowed Harry a few moments to explain fully,
"So he's with the wrong demon?" she questioned after he had finished. They had decided to refer to the voice as a demon the moment Hermione had read the book on the mortus.
"No, he's with the nemesis of the demonic voice I've been hearing," Harry answered.
"So what does that mean! Do you have to fight? Or hate each other or..." Hermione asked with no idea why Harry would be in a fight with Dumbledore. As far as they knew the man had done nothing to either of them.
"I don't know!" Harry cut her off in one swift statement "But it complicates things."
"If Daphne was down here she would be able to express how irritating that is through dry sarcasm and I really want her to." Hermione muttered but her comment quickly reminded them of their original purpose and suddenly Dumbledore could wait.
Daphne was still asleep when they got upstairs. Hermione began withdrawing the potion and Harry looked her over, she looked slightly better and he hoped for a second that the worrying had been for nothing and she would be fine by morning.
"Oww," Hermione cursed, a sharpened side of the lid had opened a small cut on her hand but she dismissed it quickly. While the urgency was gone she still cared more for Daphne. Though as she poured the potion into a cup she tried to shake Daphne awake,
"Harry get off her!" Hermione's tone was sharp, scared and almost fearful and Harry looked up to see Hermione moving away from Daphne. Harry let go of the girl's hand and then saw Hermione looking at her hand with horrid fascination. The cut was healed.
"Her touch, its healing us." Was all Hermione said. Harry froze,
You understand dear boy that the bond you will share enters a realm of magic which is unknowable. It is well past the limits of even my understanding.
The words of the seeker chose that moment to echo in his mind. He and Daphne had shared a body for a moment, his soul was now within Hermione creating an unbreakable bond between the three of them. Somehow her touch was healing them. Though in the process it was killing her,
"Harry what do we do?" Hermione asked, she had nothing, no thoughts, no way of understanding how this had happened without even thinking if it could be cured. Harry had no idea either and from the words of the seeker he knew no mortal would. In that second all thought about Dumbledore left him and instead he felt the same driving force he had used to save Hermione. There was only one place which held the knowledge he sought, and he was bound to it.
"We need to get to librorum"