Marauder's Court

An: And here it is! The sequel y'all have been waiting for! I hope you guys enjoy it! I want to thank everyone who enjoyed Black Ivy and have waited for this sequel. Hopefully, I deliver a story you will enjoy. Don't forget to look out for the revamped version of Black Ivy coming out soon! Now without further ado, let's get started!

Other note: I have changed Lily's sword name from 'Akuma Habesuta' to 'Akuma Gari' (Devil Hunt), because one reviewer noted it sounded better, and I agree with him.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling has that honor.

Chapter 1-Establishing the Field of Play

Gringotts Wizarding Bank; Diagon Alley, London, England

Ragnok, Chairman of the Gringotts bank and ruler of the Goblin Nation, sat at his desk with a frown. He had been frowning a lot lately. Ever since Albus Dumbledore's manipulations came crashing down, his bank was working double time to deal with the fallout.

Not only did Dumbledore have the nerve to meddle in their affairs, but the Dark Lord Voldemort had the nerve to have one of his Death Eaters keep a Horcrux in their hallowed halls! The nerve of those humans!

Though, he couldn't complain too much. His people were closing in on meeting their goals. Goals that have been set by his forefathers centuries ago! Granted, it wasn't the way they thought they would accomplish them, but when playing the game, one must not complain about the circumstances.

His thoughts were interrupted when another goblin knocked on his door. "Come in," he said not looking up from the reports on his desk.

A goblin walked into the office. "Chairman, sir," he intoned respectfully. "I have the reports you wanted, and DMRD (Dark Magic Retrieval Department) Head has given me the Horcrux detector today to give to Beast Slayer Basilisk Fang."

Ragnok smiled. "Excellent! Basilisk Fang will be at the bank sometime after the Dueling Tournament tomorrow. Make sure to hand the device over to him, Griphook," he said.

"Yes, sir," Griphook said. "And the plan?"

"Will begin as soon as Basilisk Fang has the detector in his hands and is out of our halls," Ragnok explained.

Griphook nodded. "Should I inform the parties involved?"

"Yes. And while you're at it, fetch me Warder Rune Crusher. I have a mission for him."

"It shall be done sir."

Unknown location; Scottish highlands

Hermione groaned from her position on the large queen sized bed she was lying face down on. Her body felt like someone dipped it into acid. Not too far off considering her situation.

Groggily, she forced her eyes open and flipped onto her back. The Gryffindor bookworm sighed tiredly as she stared at the canopy over her bed. Looking down at herself, she scowled. Her clothes were ripped beyond repair and barely covered her C-cup breasts or stomach. Her pants were non-existent, and her panties were only held together by threads.

Cuts crisscrossed her legs and stomach forming horribly intricate runes and symbols. Her arms and chest were in a similar state. Deep lacerations streaked across her once tan skin like serpents caressing her body. All the cuts seemed to glow periodically before dimming, making the angry red scars seem even more inflamed.

Hermione shook her head and painfully sat up. She carefully pushed herself off the bed and walked tenderly walked into the bathroom. She turned the water for the tub on and stripped slowly, careful not to aggravate her wounds. Her shirt was only holding on by her left shoulder, so it was easily to take off, though she winced when she moved her shoulder. Her panties simply came apart when she grabbed them, so she just let them fall to the ground.

Once the tub was full, she cut the water off and walked to a cabinet. She pulled out a phial and poured its contents into the water, making it turn a deep purple. She slipped into the warm water sluggishly, wincing as the potion infused water cleaned her wounds. She immersed herself in the water until only her head was above the water. The potion in the water made quick work of cleaning her wounds, and soon, she was able to move around without pain, but it did little to soothe her aching muscles.

She cleaned herself quickly and got out of the large tub, absently wrapping a towel around herself. She walked through a door and into a large dressing room. Without much thought, she grabbed some clothes and dressed herself. She wore a white blouse and a plaid skirt and a pair of small heels. She quickly put some robes on and walked out into the bedroom she woke up in.

Without even stopping, she walked out of the bedroom and walked through the halls of the large castle. She paid painstaking attention to her surroundings as she walked. It was a lesson she learned the hard way since staying in the castle. Never let your guard down. Always be aware of your surroundings. It was a lesson Hermione had taken for granted once. She wouldn't do so again.

The scars on her back were enough of a reminder.

After a long, agonizing walk, Hermione made it to her destination; the sitting room. It was a large room with tapestries framing it, and Victorian style furniture scattered neatly around the room. A recliner sat in front of a roaring fireplace with a small table beside it. Hermione could make out the black hair of a person sitting in the chair.

"So, you're awake," an elderly, but powerful voice rang out. "Did you sleep well?"

Hermione nodded. "Yes, ma'am," she said. Her voice was monotonous but respectful.

"And how are you holding up, dearie? I know I was not very merciful last night."

Hermione knew answering with anything but the truth would not be pleasant. "I was hurting this morning, ma'am, but the potion you gave me to place in my bath helps. I'm still sore, but I can continue on."

"Glad to hear," the woman said and placed a potion vial on the table next to her seat. "Drink this."

Hermione blinked. She didn't recognize the color of the liquid inside. It was a silvery-black with flecks of orange and purple swimming around. "May I ask what the potion is, ma'am?"

"You may," the woman nodded. "This was a potion used many years ago by slavers and Lords." Hermione stiffened. "It's a very potent combination of loyalty, behavioral, and love potions that makes a person completely subservient to whoever puts their blood into the potion." That did little to ease Hermione's uneasiness. "It is called the Aeternum inserviunt. Though, it is more commonly referred to…as the Liquid Imperious."

Hermione couldn't help but ask hysterically, "Why do you want me to drink that?!" She slapped a hand over her mouth. That was very disrespectful! She chastised herself, wondering what her punishment was. The last time she spoke in such a manner, she woke up three days later with several broken bones.

She heard the woman chuckling as she rose from her chair. She turned around, and once more, Hermione was taken at how beautiful the woman was. Black hair cascaded down her back in a tangled mess of curls. Dark, piercing brown eyes that were even sharper than Professor McGonagall's (something Hermione didn't think was possible!) stared down at her. By looking at her, you never think she was as old as she was. She seemed a few years younger than Professor McGonagall, but Hermione was not fooled. This woman was centuries old.

The woman smiled at Hermione, and the bushy haired youth felt a small smile slowly form on her own face. The woman crossed the distance between them, and knelt down level with Hermione. She placed a hand on Hermione's cheek and caressed it softly, like a mother comforting her child.

"Dear Hermione," she said softly. "There is a war coming. I sense its coming, Magic senses it, even Nature herself is preparing. To win, the soldiers fighting it must be prepared for anything. You wanted to be ready, correct?"

Hermione nodded slowly. "Then trust me. You wanted to make a difference in this world, in this coming war, and I shall make sure you are." The woman stood back up and walked to the table. She grabbed the Liquid Imperious and said, "Today is about resistance. Naturally, the Imperious is difficult to overthrow, but the Liquid Imperious…only my darling Julian and his four protégés have ever thrown off the effects. I didn't add any blood to the potion because it dims the potency, so you will be getting the full effects."

She looked at Hermione and said, "I must warn you; while under the Liquid Imperious, you will be in pain. You will suffer. And, you will wish to die. We can stall this until you are feeling better if you like."

Hermione shook her head frantically. "I…I need to do this now," she said. "J-just…" She looked up at the woman and asked, "Do you really think I can war off such a powerful potion?"

The woman smiled again, though this one was much colder. "My dear, you are a Nightlock. My only descendant with magic. I am confident you can conquer this. Are you ready?"

Hermione steeled herself. "Yes, Grandmother. I am." Swallowing hard, she grabbed the vial and gulped the contents in one go. She grimaced at the taste. Not even a second after drinking the potion, Hermione felt as if her insides were burning. She gasped, falling to the ground in a heap. Then she began screaming and lashing out, trying to ease the pain.

Hera Nightlock, the famed Darkest Witch ever to live and the caregiver and mentor of Julian Potter, smiled sadly as she knelt back to the ground. She gathered Hermione close to her and placed her in her lap, calmly stroking her hair and whispering a Scottish lullaby in the distressed girl's ears.

Potter Manor; South Wales, England

The sound of metal clashing against metal sounded out in the courtyard of the Potter manor.

Harry panted as he blocked another strike from his mother's sword, Akuma Gari. He swung Black Ivy's sheath at her, forcing her to jump away. He followed after her with a rising diagonal slash.

Lily met the strike with Akuma Gari. Sparks flew as the blades locked. Harry threw a kick at her leg, but Lily moved her leg away. He tried again with the other leg, but the same thing happened.

Harry swung his sheath at his mother, but she quickly met the blow with her sword's sheath. Turning on his heel, Harry spun around his mother and tried to slice her unprotected back. Lily back flipped over the blade and, faster than Harry could see, sent her sword into his gut. "Yield," she ordered.

Harry scowled. He racked his brain for a possible way to get out of this situation, but nothing came to mind. He cursed mentally and hung his head. Lily smiled at him. "You did much better this time, sweetie," she told him as she sheathed her sword.

"Thanks, Mum," Harry said as he sheathed Black Ivy.

"You're still allowing her drive to win to cloud your judgement," she admonished. "Your form was good, but when you let that desire to win get a hold of you, you lose your focus and make more mistakes."

"I know Mum," Harry sighed. "It's hard to, though. For the past two years, it was always 'win or be killed' with me. This last year was the only time I haven't actually had someone actively trying to kill me."

Lily scowled. She remembered the Pensive memories she and James had viewed concerning Harry's life up until now. Needless to say, she was absolutely furious at what she saw, and promised herself that her dear sister, her loving husband, and Albus freaking Dumbledore would pay in blood.

Shaking her head of those thoughts, she smiled at her son and said, "I know, Harry. But in an official duel, you need to have an iron clad grip on that. Should you break one of the regulations, you'll be automatically disqualified."

Harry nodded. He had heard all this when Flitwick drilled him during the school year. It was at this point that James walked out. He smiled at his wife and son. "Hey you two! Betty has finished dinner! Come on before everyone else eats it all!" He grinned and shouted, "And Harry! You know you need your strength for tomorrow!"

The mother/son duo smiled at each other and walked towards the eldest Potter male. James shook his head at them. "You know, worrying about the tournament tomorrow will just make you mess up, right?" he asked teasingly.

Lily glared at her husband. "There is nothing wrong with some last minute practicing," she told James icily.

He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah. Now come on! Everyone's hungry!" His mood turned solemn as he said, "And it's time for the announcement."

Harry's eyes widened. "Already? I thought we were going to wait until the Tournament was over."

"Something has come up," James said with a tone. Lily narrowed her eyes at him. He looked at her and said, "I'll explain after dinner. Come on. Everyone's already here."

Undisclosed Location

Albus smiled as he stared at the potion in front of him.

This contingency was one he had toyed with since Tom was in school, but he never had any reason to use it. His plans had never been derailed like they have been the past few months. Despite it all, Albus couldn't help but smile. He was enjoying himself. Sure, he could've done without permanent scaring from Bellatrix's Fiendfyre, but hey, if you weren't willing to get hurt, you weren't willing to play the game.

His thoughts drifted back to his failed plans. He chuckled as he realized he had been a bit too complacent during his little fall from the top. He would have to be better this time around. He could not afford to underestimate the other players again. But now, he would have a bird's eye view on things. He couldn't just continue sitting idly like the king governing his kingdom. There were times the king must be at the front lines to fight and inspire his allies.

The potion turned a deep purple. Albus smiled at it as he dipped some of the concoction into a vial. He chuckled. "It is time," he announced to himself as he drunk the potion.

Riddle Manor, Little Hangleton, England

Deep within the walls of the Riddle manor, Tom Marvolo Riddle, aka Lord Voldemort, was fuming. It had taken a whole year to set up the base for his new plan to get a new body, and yet he was still here in this little deformed little form until he could finally obtain the final piece of the ritual.

Sadly, he was not a patient man, so he was very irritable until Wormtail, the sniveling coward, came to him and told him the ritual was ready. And, much to Voldemort's pleasure, he had brought one of his most loyal with him.

"You have been most loyal to me, Barty Crouch Jr., but before I grant you your desire, I have a most important mission for you," Voldemort rasped with a cruel smile.

"Anything, My Lord," Barty Crouch Jr. said fervently.

"You must infiltrate Hogwarts this year," the demented shade continued. "Earn the trust of Harry Potter, and once you have, steal him from the school and bring him to me."

"Are you sure that's wise, My Lord?" Crouch asked. "Surely, there are others…"

"NO! The boy is everything!" Voldemort shouted. "It has to be him! No one else's blood will do!"

Suddenly, a large python slithered up to Voldemort. It hissed at its master, and the dark lord smiled. "My dear Nagini says that the old…Muggle caretaker, is just outside the door."

Wormtail moved to the door, but Voldemort rebuked him. "Step aside, Wormtail! So I can give our guest…a proper greeting."

Wormtail moved out of the doorway, and Voldemort raised his wand. "Avada Kedavra!"

The last thing the old caretaker saw was a flashing green light.

An: And that's the first chapter! Hope y'all enjoyed it! If it doesn't seem like a lot of information, it's because this first chapter is all about showing you who the main players will be in this story. Which would be: the goblins, Hermione, Harry and his family, Dumbledore, and of course, Voldemort. If you don't like, then don't read.

Up next: James bares grave news, while Voldemort, Dumbledore, and the Goblins begin starting their own plans. But just what is this great plan the Goblins are cooking on? Why is Hera Nightlock still alive and is Hermione ok? Find out next time!