Josh ran through the streets, the very vision of a homeless street rat, but the truth was so much further from that it was almost laughable. Not only was he a wizard but a vampire as well, and what people saw was what they wanted to see. And what Josh wanted them to see, with an enforced glamour on. As he ran, he found it was extremely hard to keep up the run at a 'human' pace. There was one thing that everyone magical could agree to: that magic must be protected at all costs. Nobody could know about magic, the thought alone could strike fear into the hearts of everyone. As soon as he could he broke off into a side street and as soon as he was free of observers, he leapt onto the building, and with what would remind the humans of spider-man he jumped from building to building for five minutes, until he felt the wards shimmer over him. Jumping down at his destination, not even the slightest out of breath, he was confronted immediately with Alan, who was an Incubus― a Demon who preyed upon people to survive. For the most part, they could actually control it. They didn't need to feed often, so they were able to take on willing 'donors', at least until they found their significant other, if they ever did. It was next to impossible for them to find their mates. Magical people were more sustaining than Muggles, but magical people wouldn't go near them if they knew. Incubus and Succubae both have two forms, ones they have to control otherwise people would know upon seeing them. Their base form, one could say, was rather… a gruesome sight to behold. However, their 'human' form was alluring and thrilling; to be near them was to be attracted and in love, which was really only more of an infatuation. Alan himself had a glamour on; both forms attracted too much attention, so he used a glamour to look more normal to the humans.
"Everything alright, Josh?" asked Alan, surprised to see him back so soon; whatever it was, he realised it couldn't be good.
Josh just shook his head as he headed into the building sombrely.
"Sir, I have news," said Josh entering the main room where their leader was currently at a meeting with others of their kind. Judging by the looks of things it had gone well and they were finishing up. On the outside of the 'warehouse' it looked abandoned, but inside it was very nice indeed. Nothing too extravagant, just a place where they could get comfortable. A large living room with an entertainment system, and more seats than you'd find on a bus. They didn't match, but with so much furniture it wasn't surprising really. A meeting room, which doubled up as a dining room for the wizards and other creatures that ate there. A spacious bathroom with a bath, shower, the whole works. The library was by far the most impressive, it was huge, and everyone had contributed to it. The ministry would have fainted at the contents; they weren't all strictly legal. Surprisingly though there were many Muggle books as well; not all of them bothered to read them though. Some couldn't stand Muggles, with good cause however. Then there were many Muggle and Wizarding games strewn all over the place and surprisingly everyone played them. Snooker, pool, chess, Gobstones, there were even broomsticks, but they didn't get used other than by the younger members and those travelling.
"Welcome to the fold," said the leader to his guests, dipping his head in respect, abruptly ending the meeting. They had agreed to join, anyway; it hadn't taken much convincing either. They knew they had to join or be against them, and that wasn't something anyone wanted. His side consisted of nearly every coven in London now, plus the others who had joined over the years by hearing tales of them.
"Thank you," said Damien, nodding curtly. They knew it was only a matter of time. If they didn't join they would be flushed out. Things were changing, they had been for a few years but now, though, the leader was taking control of the entire 'underworld' as they called themselves. The underworld consisted of all people the ministry declared 'dark creatures', such as vampires and werewolves, and those who preferred the darker magicks in the magical world. They stared at the newcomer curiously, wondering what was going on.
"What news, Josh?" demanded the leader, his green eyes glowing with power and determination.
Josh looked at the newcomers briefly before he spoke; if he hadn't wanted him to talk, he wouldn't have asked. "Light wizards are coming; they're only five blocks from here."
"Interesting," said the leader, rubbing thoughtfully at his chin. The first time anyone had been searching for him, he'd ran circles around them. The second time he had defended himself; they were dead, their bodies discarded in the busy streets. Five blocks, though, was much closer than he was comfortable with. "Describe them to me," he demanded, wondering if it was the same people as before.
"One dressed head to toe in black, shaggy black hair, blue eyes, called Sirius Black. Another that smells strongly of werewolf, Remus Lupin; and another that stands out strongly with multicoloured clothes on is Dumbledore. The last one was a female called Charity Burbage; she had no mental defences whatsoever," explained Josh― it was how he'd managed to get the information.
"And their purpose for coming?" asked the leader once again.
"You," stated Josh.
"Why?" he then asked, eyes narrowed.
"To take you to Hogwarts," said Josh.
"Fascinating," said the leader thoughtfully. "They do not know who or what I am, do they?" The smirk was chilling but none were surprised by its appearance.
"No, sir. Do we go on the defensive?" asked Josh.
"Warn the others, but tell them not to act unless they absolutely positively must. No killing, just deal with them and move," said the leader. He would warn them first, but if they came again... well, it would be the last thing they did.
"What if they start?" asked Josh. They seemed capable. All light wizards were the same, act first and get away with it just because of their status as a 'light wizard'; sickening, really.
Intense eyes met Josh's before they spoke with determination. "Then they have my blessing in dealing with them in any manner they see fit." He wasn't going to let anyone brush him off or find him weak. He had spent years proving his worth, and he wasn't going to allow anyone, not even Hogwarts teachers, to cause his position to be brought into scrutiny and doubt. Yes, he knew who one or perhaps two of them were. The werewolf, though, piqued his curiosity, not many chose to hang around the likes of Dumbledore.
"Yes, sir," said Josh before he left the room.
"You know how to get in touch with us," said Damien nodding curtly; it was time to inform the others how the meeting went, no doubt they were worried.
"I do," stated the young vampire seriously. "Alan! Brecon!"
"Yes, sir?" said both vampires in unison.
"Alan, Escort them out," said the raven-haired leader. They had been blindfolded coming in; he hadn't wanted their location revealed just in case things hadn't gone well.
Alan nodded, and with that Alan and the two newcomers left.
"Brecon, I need information about everyone that's coming, including information about every Hogwarts teacher. Also information about anyone closest to Dumbledore, and I need it very soon," said the eighteen year old. Know your enemy, something he took to heart. He'd read the book five times; it had been Kai's favourite book and it was his now. Sun Tzu's book, The Art of War, had been something Harry had adopted and used rigorously. He should have done this research before now; unfortunately it had just been put off again and again.
"I'll be back soon," said Brecon, apparating away. He was a wizard, and probably one of the few who could get into the Ministry of magic undetected. Even if he was caught, they'd do nothing but scold him, his family was 'light.' He'd always felt out of place, wrong somehow; he'd began practising dark magic. It had gotten the better of him though; he'd been sucked into the thrall and allure the magic held on him. Then he'd met Alan, who helped him break out of the thrall; he now controlled his magic, not the other way around. That's not to say he didn't use dark magic―he loved it, and used it regularly, he just didn't let the thrill overwhelm him.
"Alan, keep an eye on them, do not get too close," said Harry, drumming his fingers on the seat. Doing nothing didn't sit well with him. Especially when it came to Albus Dumbledore being so close. Alan left immediately, flashing to where Josh said he saw them; his magic was different from wizards'. Stretching his arm out, Harry's eyes remained opened and determined; he stood there for a while just standing doing nothing. Then a large cloak flew into Harry's outstretched hand. He did not want Dumbledore finding out who he was yet, his hold wasn't complete in the underworld. He was a hair's breadth from it and he wouldn't allow Dumbledore to screw that up. Placing the cloak on, he buttoned it up, and placed his wand on his wrist. He wasn't going to let his secrets become known, he would use the wand to prevent it becoming obvious he was proficient at Wandless magic. The hood went down; to everyone it would seem as though Harry couldn't see, but with magic, his vision wasn't even the slightest bit impaired. He could see everything around him as if the hood wasn't even there. Stepping out of the warehouse, he moved off, not wanting to give up the main hideout. He would deal with them if he must. Outside he didn't need to worry about Muggles, since the entire area and nine acres surrounding were covered with Muggle-repelling charms.
Harry didn't have to wait long for information; Alan shimmered before him, tense and wary. Harry knew that feeling all too well, he'd felt it for Albus Dumbledore ever since he'd come to him in the hospital wing that night all those years ago. He'd been a little fool for months; fortunately Dumbledore had made the wrong move.
"Two moved off, but Albus Dumbledore and the female are coming this way." said Alan in explanation, just as dozens of pops surrounded the area; Josh had evidently succeeded in getting to the others in time.
"Where's Brecon?" asked Rick, looking around and unable to spot the wizard.
"He is on an assignment," stated Harry coolly.
"Yes, sir," said Rick nodding his head grimly, falling into his usual place; everyone was tense, waiting for the inevitable. Then he noticed the wards beginning to shimmer and strain as the wizard found them. He also observed that the defensive ward was not there; he wouldn't be entrapped when he successfully got through them. Their leader must want to confront them, it was the only reason the wards would be removed. "He's getting through the wards."
"I am not surprised," said Harry dryly. Dumbledore wasn't only powerful but extremely resourceful, not to mention smart. He had done a lot in his one hundred and sixty, nearly seventy, years on this earth. He would be a problem, but if they could get him off their back and keep him ignorant of Harry's status and place here, at least just for a while, then he'd consider it a win-win. Of course he had taken a few of the more powerful wards down; if Dumbledore came back he'd be in for one hell of a surprise.
Rick moved beside Harry as the last of the wards came down; the others followed, protecting Harry. Although if they were honest, Harry didn't need it, he was extremely powerful when he wasn't hiding it. Then they saw Albus Dumbledore, a lot of them just for the first time. Rick observed Dumbledore; he was powerful, but looking at Harry he noticed his leader was a bit more powerful. Then again, Dumbledore was an old man; Harry was just coming into his power.
"Peace," said Albus holding his hands up in what was supposed to be a signal of surrender upon seeing everyone. As powerful as he was, he knew he wouldn't be able to fight the twelve magical beings situated in a circle. Not that it was his intention, he was here for one reason only, and that was to find Harry Potter. "We mean you no harm this day; we are merely searching for someone, someone precious to us."
Harry curled his lips, precious indeed, a sheep more like; it seemed Dumbledore didn't know who he was. Good, that was perfect. "Indeed?" he questioned, his voice cold and commanding, leaving Dumbledore no doubt he was the leader. An additional vampire, which meant there were thirteen people here that the old wizard could see. The speaker stepped forward, completely obstructed from view with his cloak.
"I am searching for a wizard, Harry Potter, the boy-who-lived," said Dumbledore, but none of them reacted at all. It was as if they didn't know who he was, but they were magical; surely they had at the very least heard the whispers of his names said in awe in every corner of Britain.
"And that search led you here?" scoffed Harry, derision deep in his tone.
"It did," said Albus perturbed, there was something wrong here. The others they'd spoken to had all heard of him. Either they were new here, or they were hiding something. He tensed when he felt magic probing at his mind shields; he strengthened them. The others he'd spoken to all avoided him or were all too eager to help; this was a new scenario he'd not seen yet. One thing he was certain of, his search here wasn't done.
"And how long has the boy been missing?" asked Harry, sneering at the old fool.
"Seven years," said Dumbledore, wishing one of them would meet his eyes, so he could see into their minds and know for certain. Yet none of them would meet his eyes, they were staring straight ahead, stiller than statues.
"He left Hogwarts and did not return after the leaving feast of his first year," said Charity, revealing more information. She stood awkwardly beside the powerful wizard, facing the intimidating group. Albus turned to face her, unimpressed, shaking his head slightly; he didn't want more information getting out.
"Everyone here has been as such for longer than seven years; you are wasting your time. Good luck with your quest, Albus Dumbledore. Be warned however, that you are unwelcome here; the next time you or anyone you send darkens my doorstep, you will find we aren't as…hospitable. This will be the only warning you will get, the next time there will be no warning given because there will be no reason to give a warning, if you catch my drift," said Harry, his voice filled with malice and spite.
"Are you threatening me?" asked Dumbledore, his magic flaring in his own warning. The man knew who he was, he cursed silently; of all people he had to bring Burbage with him. She had no mental defences at all; she didn't know much but it was enough to make him nervous.
The others all tensed, glaring ferociously at the impudence of the old man. Their wands were drawn, blood thirsty looks upon their faces.
"Think of it as you wish," said Harry, his green eyes sparkling darkly under his cloak, allowing a marginal flare of his own magic to lash out just as Dumbledore had done. Dumbledore twitched, showing the only sign of nervousness since he broke the wards. "Now leave," Harry added, pushing his magic, causing Dumbledore to stumble back three steps. Grabbing Burbage he Apparated out of there, vowing he would investigate them further. Nobody threatened him and lived to tell the tale, unless their name was Voldemort. He cursed silently, where the hell was Harry Potter? He'd searched everywhere in Scotland and England to no success. It was as if the boy had faded off the face of the earth. He'd done no magic, that much Albus was aware of, since he had someone in the Ministry monitoring all cases of accidental magic.
Big thanks to Jordre for editing the story :)