Lord Voldemort howled and screamed with inarticulate rage and fury as he was tossed hither and thither on the winds of the aether. Once more, his plans for immortality had been thwarted by that old goat Dumbledore, and that damned boy Harry Potter! Only this time, they had help!
Voldemort eventually settled where he had ended up the last time his soul had been blasted from his body: Albania. He could still feel the pain from both Flamel's attack, as well as Potter's Summon. Of all things, it had to be a bloody phoenix, just like Dumbledore's pet burning turkey!
Voldemort raged and ranted in that dark, lonely forest, though nobody, save for some spooked woodland creatures, could hear the sound of his fury. Expletives in an eldritch language echoed through that isolated place, gargled and growled curses that few people would understand. And yet, they did little to convey the sheer depth of Voldemort's hatred and anger towards his adversaries. For that, he wanted a physical body, a wand, and said enemies here so that he could use the Cruciatus Curse on them repeatedly, at least until he sent them into the void with the Killing Curse. Failing that, his own worthless minions. Lucius Malfoy was a definite case in point.
Eventually, his anger was spent, the flames of his rage dying down to embers. He was still angry, still filled with hatred, but now, he could begin to think more clearly. He analysed his defeat. He had underestimated his foes, had gotten too cocky, especially after he broke free from Flamel's attempt at sealing him. And even that had taken a monumental effort, one that may only have been possible with the magic-enhancing effects of unicorn blood. He would have to research such magic in the future, to make sure appropriate countermeasures were taken.
But Calamitas had surprised him with combat prowess, transfiguring part of herself into a weapon. Admirable, if it weren't so damnably painful to experience! And Flamel was some sort of Summon entity? If he was, he was one that had clearly too many ideas above his station. And said station was to be Voldemort's ally…or a corpse. Voldemort preferred the latter now: Thor's Hammer was certainly painful.
But Harry Potter and Dumbledore remained the chief targets of his ire. Dumbledore was a given for decades: meddlesome old bastard, an antediluvian fogey with delusions of morality. A powerful wizard, but one who didn't seize power. Instead, he dispensed dubious wisdom from on high, hollow platitudes and meaningless observations.
And Harry…Harry had only been on the radar since Severus overhead the prophecy. And twice now, that damned boy had made him taste the most bitterest of defeats, defeats that, if it weren't for the Horcruxes, would have seen him falling into the darkness of death.
Voldemort frowned, or at least he would have, had he a face. He could feel now that only two Horcruxes remained. He didn't know which ones, but he could only feel two tethers binding him to this domain. He needed to make another one before long, and hope that nobody destroyed either of them in the meantime. If Lucius still had the diary, then he hoped that he wouldn't do anything stupid with it…
Lucius Malfoy contemplated the diary in front of him, on a table in Malfoy Manor. Voldemort had entrusted it into his care long ago, and had told him something very important. If Voldemort had disappeared for a long enough period of time, then Malfoy was to somehow place the diary into the possession of a student of Hogwarts. The student would then be controlled into opening the infamous Chamber of Secrets.
Malfoy considered it. Harry Potter had come to Hogwarts, albeit under a new name: Harry Gainsborough. Harry had rejected Draco's offer, though apparently did so relatively lightly. But Draco didn't take kindly, which was a shame: the boy's lack of acumen was irritating. Once Lucius had sorted through his son's rantings, he managed to build up enough of a picture of Harry. What little Severus had been willing to divulge only served to make that certain. The boy was too much like his father, a do-gooder who supported Muggles. That being said, the boy had at least impressive powers, albeit apparently linked to those mysterious magic foci that he had, Materia or something.
Harry also had allies, not just at Hogwarts, but in some sort of family. Both the now-pardoned Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were definitely allies, as were the Weasleys. He also had two newcomers on the scene, a pair of witches who spoke with American accents, and who had some sort of animate Muggle toy that somehow remained functional at Hogwarts.
Jen Calamitas and Aerith Gainsborough were definite mysteries, though he had gotten a general impression of them, albeit through secondhand sources. Calamitas had the attitude of a pureblood (and had claimed to be such to Draco on the Hogwarts Express), and seemed to be confident of her ability in magic. Draco had even explicitly compared Calamitas to his mother.
Gainsborough was another matter. Apparently a Halfblood, she seemed to be demure and too kind. And yet, even Draco had noticed that she had a steely core. Snape also pointed out that she had faced down a mountain troll without fear, and had grievously wounded it.
No matter, Lucius thought. Before one of the Dark Lord's own artifacts, and the infamous monster from the Chamber of Secrets, they would all fall. If he played his cards right, Dumbledore would be ousted, and Malfoy would control Hogwarts.
But what to do? Who to put it with? He could try anyone, true, but he wanted to cause a lot of damage, not just to Dumbledore and Potter.
A malicious grin came over his face. Yes, why not? He would choose one of Weasley's spawn. The youngest, the only girl, was due to start this year. Have one of the Weasley children take the diary, and be made to do its bidding. Word on the grapevine was that Arthur Weasley, blood-traitor that he was, was pushing for a new Muggle Protection Act. This would scupper the new legislation as well as bring Malfoy into control at Hogwarts all at once.
He was unaware, as he began to murmur to himself, that one of his house elves, a bat-eared, bug-eyed little thing in a dirty pillowcase, was watching and listening. And even if he was aware, he didn't think that Dobby would dare try anything.
Which was something of a mistake.
"…And so, Mr Lockhart, I have decided that you shall be the next Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher," Dumbledore said, trying the hold back the disgust he felt towards the gilded peacock sitting in front of him.
Gilderoy Lockhart smiled winningly. He was good at that. Very good. Dumbledore had his little twinkle in his eyes, and Lockhart had his winning smile. "Excellent! I must say, Headmaster, it'll be fun to teach these rascals how to fight the forces of darkness like I have done! Especially the Boy Who Lived himself! Harry Potter! Though I'm curious. The Daily Prophet said that he had changed his name. Why would he want to do that?"
"Harry was adopted by one Elmyra Gainsborough, who is a Muggle. Her adoptive daughter, and Harry's adoptive sister, is a Halfblood witch. She is assistant to Madam Pomphrey, while you will be assisted by Professor Jen Calamitas."
"Oh, no need for that!" Lockhart said with a smile. "I'll be fine teaching them by myself!"
"I insist, Mr Lockhart. Professor Calamitas is a very able assistant, and I have gone to a lot of trouble to keep her on. Don't worry, she won't get in your way, and she's very able. She has hunted many a monster of some repute, and she has read all of your books, and enjoyed them immensely."
As comedy, Dumbledore failed to mention. Jenova had laughed her head off (almost literally) while reading Lockhart's books, pointing out the continuity errors, as well as the obscenely flowery prose. She also found some of the mishaps he actually wrote about hilarious.
"Ah, well, I suppose that's all right then. Let it not be said that Gilderoy Lockhart dismissed competent assistance when offered." He leaned forward and asked, confidentially, "Is she a paragon of beauty?"
"As much as your good self, Mr Lockhart," Dumbledore said, with a thin smile. He handed Lockhart a photo from the yearbook.
Lockhart looked at the photo, and smiled. "Ah, what a haughty, regal beauty she is! What a noble brow! What wonderful eyes! What graceful hair! Oh, I hope she doesn't overshadow me."
Dumbledore smiled, but inwardly, he was thinking, Sometimes, there just isn't enough vomit in the world(1)…
Dio wasn't sure what to make of the latest addition to Battle Square at the Golden Saucer. The man had fallen out of the sky, screaming in a humorous manner, into the Corel Desert Prison below the Golden Saucer. After he asked about some people whose names hadn't been heard of, he began picking fights below. Dio was struck by how the reports portrayed the man: despite being a buffoon, the man was a pretty good fighter. In fact, he had gone through more than a few complete rounds at Battle Square, and now, he was Dio's champion for fighters to fight against.
Even so, he was, first and foremost, a buffoon. Look at him, strutting about in his red clothing, with swords in scabbards at his back. He also wouldn't shut up. Since he claimed to be a mercenary, Dio nicknamed him the 'Merc with the Mouth'.
"So, this is the arena where we do glorious battle while the readers cheer us on?" the Merc with the Mouth remarked.
"…Readers? Don't you mean the audience?"
"To-may-toe, to-mah-toe," the Merc responded with a shrug. He looked down at the arena of Battle Square. "A bit small, but not bad. Rather like your speedos. Ah, but there was that Colisseum I fought on on one world. Tagged along with one group for a while on that one. A couple of hot babes amongst them. Ah, but you should see the fanart for them."
Dio looked back at the Merc. "…Has anyone told you that you are insane?"
"If they do, I never listen to them. Sanity is highly overrated when you're wandering the gulf between dimensions," the man said with a shrug. "Ooh, ooh! What's the battle theme for this place?"
"Umm, we pipe through the battle themes from Loveless," Dio said, nonplussed by the insane mercenary and his incessant questions.
Dio signalled to the sound technician. The mercenary listened to the tracks, bouncing his head gently in time to the music. After the music had finished, he said, "Hmm, not bad, not bad. But when I come on to kick a challenger's ass as your champion, I want to play my theme."
"Which is what?" Dio asked, dreading the answer.
The man clicked his fingers, and suddenly, from the very air itself, a powerful rock theme began, fast paced and blood-stirring. For all the fear Dio had about what this guy would consider his theme, this was actually cool. It was excellent battle music, fast-paced and enjoyable. Not exactly high culture like the ones from Loveless, but even so, it was bloody good.
He could have done without the mercenary doing air guitar though.
As the music faded away, the mercenary said, "You like?"
"I like," Dio said, nodding enthusiastically. "But how did you conjure the music out of thin air?"
"In my long travels, and through many arduous experiences, I have learned the art of many things. Like breaking the fourth wall, and conjuring up my own theme music. Hey, by the way, you readers? What do you think about the remake? Will it be the best thing ever, or will it suck worse than a turbo-charged vacuum cleaner?"
Dio didn't know who he was talking to, or what the hell he was talking about. Trying to get the conversation back on track, he said, "Does the theme music have a name?"
"Yeah. Nobuo Uematsu called it Clash on the Big Bridge. Yes, that is right, faithful readers," the man bellowed to his non-existent audience. "It is I, the most popular Final Fantasy character of all time, and the greatest and most handsome swordsman, the one, the only GILGAMESH!"
Dio leapt into the air when he heard applause coming from the air. There wasn't an audience here, not at the moment. "Did you just conjure up your own applause?"
"Well, I'd like to think it's the readers applauding my arrival in this fanfic, but hey, you could be right, and I could be just being delusional. This happens when I take lessons from Deadpool," Gilgamesh muttered. "Anyway, folks, that's it from me for the time being, at least until Quatermass gets off his ass and writes the next instalment of the series, Holiday. What will happen then? Will I get to face off against the Boy Who Lived? Well, at least this Harry Potter is more badass than the canon one. Will I get a hot date, with Tifa, or Jenova, or both? Will Luna utter any more enigmatic utterances?"
In her room at the Gainsborough house, Luna said, to the confusion of everyone around her, "Does Dumbledore's eyes twinkle?"
"Oh, she's good," Gilgamesh remarked.
"Of course. You're not the only one who can break the fourth wall in this story," Luna said. She then smiled at the readers. "Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Cetra Heritage Saga: Holiday. You might have to wait a while for it though. Poor Quatermass is feeling a bit burnt out finishing this instalment."
"Bloody crybaby," Gilgamesh sniffed disdainfully. "It took him three shitty instalments to introduce me! I want my moment to shine now!"
Luna shook her head. "Anyway, watch this space for Holiday. Take your time, Quatermass. See you soon, and don't let the nargles get to you!"
HARRY GAINSBOROUGH WILL RETURN IN…HOLIDAY.
CHAPTER 30 ANNOTATIONS:
Bloody Gilgamesh. I wish he'd stop taking lessons from Deadpool. It's expensive repairing the fourth wall…
Anyway, this marks the end of the third instalment, and second full story, of the Cetra Heritage Saga. It'll be some time before you get to see the next instalment. I've burned myself out somewhat on this story.
14K views, though, with 57K views on Harry Potter and the Cetra Heritage, and 5K views on Birthday. Holy crap.
Anyway, review-answering time! EricDraven239: That's not going to happen, though Harry will be the sort of hero Sephiroth should have been.
And that's it. See you later!
1. A quote from an episode of QI, when in the episode Everything, Etc, Clive Anderson gets a buzzer that plays part of Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. Stephen Fry then utters that quote.
CHAPTER 30 SOUNDTRACK:
IT IS I, GILGAMESH!: Clash on the Big Bridge: Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition version, from Final Fantasy I (PSP version), originally from Final Fantasy V, composed by Nobuo Uematsu. What else could it be? Seriously.