Harry struggled futilely as he remained trapped against a headstone. His entire body trembled as he fought to free himself but his hands were forced back against the angel with a scythe holding him in place. He was helpless to do anything but watch as his worst nightmare came to life right before his eyes.
He had been transported to this graveyard with Cedric Diggory at the end of the maze in the tri-wizard cup. He had urged the other boy to take the cup if not alone, then with him. The cup which had been a portkey, something that neither of them had known when they had taken it.
They found themselves in a graveyard, one that was startlingly familiar to Harry. In his uncertainty he had hesitated, even after seeing the Riddle gravestone. He had realized they needed to leave immediately when his scar had exploded in pain. Pain that had paralyzed him and it was all he could do to stay on his feet.
The cauldron had burst into fire as a raspy hoarse voice, one he had heard twice before. In an encounter during his first year, in front of the Mirror of Erised, on the back of Quirrell's head. Then once more in a nightmare before the quidditch world cup. "Kill the spare!"
The older boy had died instantly when he was hit by a killing curse by the same man who had betrayed his parents. Harry had tried to leap to take the curse, but the pain from his scar made the leap barely more than a lurch. Whatever he had tried, it was too late, the older boy, one who he might have tentatively called a friend was dead.
For an eternal second Harry stared down into Cedric's lifeless eyes. Given how much he had practiced the charm, on instinct, Harry had tried to summon the portkey to where he crouched over Cedric's dead body, but he had been levitated at the same moment away from Cedric and against the grave.
The portkey hadn't been a total loss, it had collided with Cedric's dead body and without hesitation the boy's corpse was whisked away from the battle.
Harry had been helpless as he was levitated up against the gravestone and it shifted to pin him in place. He watched as not only had Voldemort been brought back to life, but that his blood was an ingredient in the process.
Voldemort had returned to life and had gotten a new body.
An ugly mostly disgusting body, but a body none the less. Harry watched without speaking as the pale figure had used Pettigrew's arm to summon his followers. All of whom had arrived within moments, completely clad in their masks and dark robes. Several of their identities were revealed though, as Voldemort himself had apparently unmasked them.
Harry had only met Lucius Malfoy before, though several of the other names Voldemort had mentioned in his rant about disappointment in his followers, Harry assumed had children in fellow students in or near his year.
Voldemort, at the moment was berating his followers for their lack of faith and support. Lucius Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle had all been exposed, as much due to the thrashing around the Cruciatus curse caused throwing off their masks as from their master's monologuing and scolding.
Then Pettigrew had interjected, saying that he had come for his master. Voldemort had scolded him saying it was out of fear and not loyalty. But he none the less rewarded the traitor for the limb he had cut off by replacing his hand. Harry wanted to curse the betraying little rat, now not only responsible for his parent's death, Sirius' imprisonment, but also Cedric's death too. The entire scene made the rage Harry felt rise.
He shifted against the stone holding him in another futile movement but that seemed to draw Voldemort's attention.
"Harry! I'd almost forgotten you were here!" His deceptively soft voice rang out, "Standing on the bones of my father. I'd introduce you, but word has it that you're almost as famous as me these days."
Harry didn't say anything in return but Voldemort could not seem to resist the chance to gloat as he turned to his followers, "The Boy… Who Lived!"
Voldemort turned back, his eyes going wide and a sneer forming on his face, "My, how the lies have fed your legend Harry! Shall I reveal what really happened that night thirteen years ago?"
He turned and walked away walking in front of his followers, "Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers?"
Harry didn't answer, but Voldemort didn't seem to need an answer, "It was love!"
He was speaking to his followers now, "You see when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, she provided the ultimate protection!"
"I could not touch him!" He gestured at Harry, "It was old magic. Something I should have foreseen! But no matter, no matter. Things… have changed!"
Voldemort darted forward and lifted his arm dramatically extending a finger, "I… can touch you… now!" And he pressed his finger right against Harry's scar.
Harry threw his head back and screamed as pain jolted through his body, worse than anything he had ever felt before. Voldemort was grinning widely.
That's when it happened.
One moment Voldemort was touching his forehead while Harry was pinned to the gravestone, struggling with the unmoving stone scythe holding him in place in an attempt to get away from the unending torture that Voldemort was causing him.
The next moment the entire gravestone nearly exploded as Harry suddenly forced it away from himself.
Only it was not a grudging inch by inch movement. No it was literally an explosion.
Voldemort had time to widen his eyes in shock while his body was suddenly flying across the graveyard only to come to a quick and abrupt stop as he smashed head first into another ornate statue.
Harry had stumbled to his hands and knees looking around wildly in confusion… or for his wand, unable to find it anywhere.
The Death Eaters who before had been watching in almost worshipful reverence had been stunned into inaction as all of them stared for a few moments uncertain what to do. Lucius reacted first, his wand napping forward and unleashing a spell on Harry.
It impacted on Harry's shoulder and he saw a small amount of blood burst from it before the pain registered in his head, and as if it opened the floodgates all of the death eaters cast a variety of spells at him.
Harry screamed out in pain from the sudden onslaught
Only for his scream to be silenced when one of them cast a killing curse. Harry blurrily saw the green light coming at him but couldn't process fast enough before the killing curse hit him straight on and suddenly it all went dark.
Harry suddenly found himself elsewhere. He opened his eyes slowly, and found himself on the ground in a place that was very white.
He realized two things.
First: He was naked. Not a good thing in most circumstances, but something he viewed as particularly bad given the last thing he remembered he was surrounded by people who hated him and wanted to do him harm.
Second: Not far away was an absolutely horrific misshapen creature. It was curled up in the fetal position, splayed upon the ground as if someone had negligently tossed it there before all knowledge of it was forgotten. Harry realized that it was nearly the same pale sickly white as Voldemort, and the face definitely resembled the one he had just seen on the resurrected Dark Lord.
Harry immediately scooted away in an awkward backwards crab-walk from the thing, though the creature made no move to attack or even acknowledge him through its plaintive cries.
He awkwardly stood up, and looked down at himself, once more becoming very self-conscious, wishing that he had clothes. As if responding to his will, suddenly he found himself clothed in pants and a t-shirt.
Feeling more comfortable now that he was no longer nude in an unknown place, he found himself looking around at the area that he discovered himself in. It took him a minute to realize it looked like King's cross.
If King's Cross were pristinely clean. And glowed white. And was empty of people.
He wasn't sure which one of those options were least likely to happen. But mentally filed all three under the "When Hell freezes over" kind of strange that typically occurred in his life.
His introspection was interrupted by a soft, almost reverent voice from behind him, "Harry… my baby..."
Harry whirled around with wide eyes.
Standing there were the people he had only seen in his photo album, nightmares, and in the Mirror of Erised.
Lily Potter had both of her hands clasped to her mouth and was clearly fighting the tears welling up in her eyes. She looked like she might collapse at any moment from weak knees as she stared at him.
Beside her with his arm around her shoulder, probably the only thing keeping her upright was a man that could only be his father. Harry saw for himself that the images he had seen were accurate, the man had the same dark black hair, and a similar facial structure.
Harry noted all of this in the corner of his mind as his jaw dropped in disbelief and he took a small hesitant step towards them, as if getting too close would be all it took for the people in front of him to just fade away, or he was going to run into a reflective piece of glass like he had so many nights during his first year staring at the Mirror of Erised.
However, that small step forward was all it took to open the floodgates.
Lily Potter lost all pretense of composure. She lurched forward forcefully out of James' grip and threw herself forward, hitting Harry like a missile and wrapping him up in her arms while sobbing loudly as she repeated over and over. "I'm sorry… I'm so sorry."
Harry didn't know what she was apologizing for. He couldn't even get in a word in to ask her. She was clinging to him and was nearly hysterical. However the thought that was foremost on his brain was that his mother was hugging him.
It was something he had dreamed of for years. His brain caught up with his actions and his armed wrapped around her tightly, and refused to let go. He found himself weeping softly as well.
A moment later he felt another arm settle over his shoulders and squeeze him in close. Harry looked up at the touch as he realized that his father had joined the embrace as James Potter pulled Harry and his wife into an embrace as he also hugged his son. He could see in his father's face, the tears that were also in his eyes, though he kept his composure moderately better than his wife or son.
It was several minutes later before they calmed themselves. James stepped back to give Harry a little bit of breathing room, he didn't step far away, his hand remaining on Harry's shoulder.
Lily on the other hand patently refused to let go of Harry, and every time he so much as shifted his body she squeezed tighter, as if afraid he would be pulled from her. For his part Harry made no move to pull away, breathing in deeply, and just relishing the feel of finally holding his mother after so long.
"Why are you sorry?" Harry asked quietly, once her sobs had calmed to merely sniffles, though he didn't pull away to ask the question.
Lily hiccupped softly, but took a breath to forestall another round of sobbing. Instead she leaned her torso back slightly to look upon him directly, her hand reaching up to brush her fingers over his face, cheek and through his hair. Harry found himself looking into eyes that were so similar to the ones he saw in the mirror every day.
"I'm so sorry we weren't there for you. That we died and you were raised by that… that…" Lily seemed to struggle to form the words.
"Fucking bitch and her bloody erumpet of a husband," James added helpfully, if a bit darkly.
Harry shook his head slightly, as his mind finally started to process what was happening and where he was, "So… I… I'm dead?" He asked hesitantly, taking several times to finally form the question, once the reality of what was happening set in.
He found that it really wasn't as horrifying a concern as he thought it might otherwise be. He saw his parents exchange a look but another horrifying realization struck him. "Cedric Diggory… is he…"
Lily and James both bowed their heads, "The traitorous rat hit him with a Killing Curse. I'm sorry Harry… he is dead." Lily said quietly, speaking for both of them.
Harry flinched and bowed his head. It was his fault the boy was dead. Tears sprung to his eye and he clenched his eyes tightly. He attempted to pull away from Lily not wanting to see the disappointment he felt reflected in her eyes as he was sure it would be.
Lily had other ideas as she shook her head and pulled him close, not letting him pull away, "Baby, it's okay. It's not your fault. Cedric has passed through already and told us that he doesn't blame you." She said as if she could read her son's mind.
Harry tried to pull away for a few more seconds but didn't have the heart or will to fight to pull away from his mother's arms. "How can he not? It's all my fault. I insisted… I practically made him take the cup with me. I couldn't do anything and just stood there while Wormtail killed him! I was completely helpless and couldn't do a thing about it."
Harry haltingly looked up at his mother, and only the understanding and complete lack of accusation he saw in her face kept him from breaking down completely once more.
"No, Harry! It's Voldemort's fault for starting all this. It's Peter's fault for casting the curse, it's Dumbledore's for allowing the farce of a tournament, and the crap in the wizarding world. It's the wizarding world's fault for allowing all of it happen in the first place time and time again," said Lily, her famous temper he'd heard so much about building up steam, even causing her husband's eyes to slightly widen, before she stopped suddenly, deflated, and cupped one side of her son's face.
"But you tried. You just... can't save everyone." Lily said quietly but with absolute conviction in her voice, as she used her thumb to wipe a tear from Harry's face.
Harry looked up at her and took a small breath, no one had ever done that before. The tiny gesture alone was more comfort than he had ever received from an authority figure in his entire life. He wasn't sure he could agree with the fault not being at least partially his, but he wasn't going to argue, not now.
He sighed softly and allowed a small smile to cross his face. "And now I'm dead too," he stated quietly.
He was strangely comfortable with the concept. The idea of not putting up with the Wizarding World or the Dursley's becoming rather calming as he thought of the prospect.
"Not if you don't want to be." James replied quietly, entering the conversation for the second time.
Harry tilted his head to look at his father surprised etched on his face.
James turned and pointed at the disgusting creature still curled up some distance away. "That was a piece of Voldemort inside you. When you were hit by the killing curse, it separated from you. Now… the choice is yours. You can choose to go on, or chose to return."
Harry couldn't hide the revulsion on his face or in his voice as he looked at the deformed baby, "What was a piece of him doing inside of me?"
James and Lily exchanged a look before Lily spoke up, "It was something Voldemort did to himself. He used some of the darkest magics available, including murder, and split his own soul. Then he put pieces of that soul in different objects, creating anchors for himself so that when he lost his body, his soul didn't pass on."
"That's why he won't die," Harry said as his mother's words sank in.
"Yes." James answered.
"Why on Earth would he put one in me?" Harry couldn't help but ask. "That doesn't make any sense at all if he's trying to stay alive."
It was Lily that spoke up in response, her tone was explaining but soothing as she stroked his brow lightly, "He didn't mean to, as far as we know he doesn't even know that he did. When the killing curse rebounded his soul was so unstable that a sliver broke off and was lodged in the tiny crack in the protections my sacrifice left in you right before it sealed itself over. The tiny crack caused by the killing curse."
"Our deaths protected you from the curse and helped protect you from the piece infecting your personality and your soul," Lily continued solemnly, before she brightened a bit, "Now because it was in you, you have your choice. It can pay the price of the Killing Curse instead of you. You can move on, or you can return."
Harry wasn't certain what to think about that. It explained why Voldemort was still around... but.. .
He wasn't sure he just wanted to be dead… but here he was with people that loved him.
Seeing the indecision on Harry's face James spoke again "Before you choose there's some things you need to know."
When Harry looked at him curiously, James shrugged and then gestured, a couch appeared as if conjured. Harry idly recognized it as the same as one of the comfortable ones that sat in Gryffindor common room.
James nudged his wife and Harry to both sit on the couch. It was a slightly challenging task as Lily refused to relinquish her grip on him. But after a bit of shifting they managed it. Harry found himself sitting with his mother on one side and his father on the other.
Though once they actually got situated with Lily settling for squeezing Harry close, James looked puzzled for a moment. "I'm… actually not sure where to start…"
When the silence dragged on for a moment, Lily spoke up first, "Before you were born. There was a prophecy. The exact wording is sort of stupid, but essentially it says you are the only one who can kill Voldemort. One of you has to kill the other. It also said you would have a power he didn't know."
"Me? Why me?" Harry asked in disbelief.
Lily looked at James for a moment, her gaze somewhere between anger and accusation,
"To be fair. We're not certain." James hedged slightly.
"Dumbledore thinks it's 'love'. And expects you to die for the Wizarding World," Lily spat.
Harry looked up sharply, his eyes narrowing. He wanted to disagree, he really did, but even he had his doubts after the past year.
He focused on what she said though, remembering a conversation he had with Dumbledore during the first year, after his confrontation with Quirrelmort. Harry remembered Dumbledore talking about Quirrell being unable to touch him, because of the mark his mother's sacrifice left. He remembered reaching up to touch his scar and Dumbledore saying no, it couldn't be seen, that it was inside him. When Harry had asked what it was, Dumbledore had replied that it was love.
"You… think it's something else?" He asked.
James spoke quietly. "Like I said, we're not sure, but we think part of it has to do with the half of your heritage. Specifically the origins of the man who sired me."
Harry just looked at his father with confusion. Lily had sat back at this point and was idly running her hands through her son's hair. Harry, never one for being touched often, found he didn't mind in the slightest.
James sighed a little bit, "What do you know of your grandparents?"
Harry shook his head slightly and immediately replied, "Nothing. From both sides Petunia would never speak of her parents, and no one has ever told me anything about yours except for a quick thing about Sirius moving in with you."
No one had ever said anything to him about them at all now that he thought about it.
James' eyes narrowed and he growled out slowly, "Dumbledore… again."
Lily glanced at him and nodded a little bit in agreement but said nothing more. James looked down at Harry and ran a hand over his face. "What do you know of pure blood families then?" he asked.
"Um. I know Draco Malfoy is a whiny little bitch?" Harry ventured.
Lily started to giggle a little bit, "Sounds pretty much exactly like his daddy, Lucius."
James nodded in agreement. "He was so irritating. A born bootlicker. It was always, 'When my father hears about this!'" James mocked, doing a rather accurate impression. "We were five years younger than the arrogant idiot, and he would still whine that he would run to his father when a pair of third year's outsmarted him as a seventh year."
Harry snickered a little bit, and then smirked up at his father, "Every time, right after you embarrassed the prat?"
James grinned at his son and nodded. "Exactly." He ruffled his son's hair briefly before Lily returned to stroking it gently trying futilely to put it into some semblance of order, and not minding at all that it seemed to be a hopeless case.
"Well, I'll skip a lot of the meaningless details. But it was pretty much what the war with Voldemort was ostensibly over. The purity of blood." James explained. "Though really, it was so Voldemort could have a cause in his bid for power. He wasn't even a Pureblood. It was just something he could latch on to."
Harry nodded, "Yeah I know, he had a muggle father."
"Yes, though he was powerful enough, with a lineage to Slytherin, and with ideals that said that Purebloods should rule over everyone. So people eagerly followed him." James shook his head slightly, "That's beside the point. The fact of the matter is, that Purebloods are entrenched in power, but the truth is, they're dying out."
Harry looked up at James in confusion. He hadn't known that, wasn't sure how his father knew that and was trying to see what his father's point was.
"They're becoming very inbred, all in order to keep the purity of their blood." James explained seeing the look on his son's face.
"As one example, your godfather Sirius' parents were first cousins," James said. "And his mother especially was a piece of work," he shuddered theatrically after he spoke.
Harry scrunched up his face and then nodded slowly as he processed that.
"Craziness runs in that family," James added after a moment.
"Sirius certainly didn't escape it." Lily added.
"The point is, that Purebloods families are dying off more and more because of their inbreeding problem. More squibs are popping up everywhere, and infertility is happening even in magical family members who are not closely related," James finished, bringing the topic back.
"O...kay…" Harry said, now completely lost as to the point of the story. and what it had, if anything, to do with his own heritage.
James gave him an understanding look, "It was a problem my father Charlus had. Before she died of dragonpox shortly after the start of the war with Grindelwald, he and his wife discovered that he couldn't have children."
"But… then…" Harry looked at his father meaningfully, the question on his face obvious.
"Then where did I come from?" James asked with a chuckle.
Harry nodded a little bit.
"My mother, your grandmother, Dorea Black… was quite the rebel. She studied a wide variety of magic, and did a lot of traveling, venturing out into the world." James started to explain. "She was a youngest daughter, and her father doted on her, so she had a lot more freedom than was common for most pureblooded women, especially during that time."
Lily snorted but didn't say anything else.
"Apparently, on one of her trips she met someone. She said he was unlike any person she ever met before. She said his name was Nolan. He was not human," James said solemnly
Harry tilted his head, "What? What was he? A werewolf or a vampire or something? A male Veela?"
James snorted slightly. "No, he wasn't a werewolf. And there was certainly no Veela involved. Nolan didn't have magic at all..."
"What was he?" Harry asked, confused.
"He wasn't from this planet…" James said quietly.
Harry stared at his father for several moments before a smile began to cross his face, "You know… Sirius warned me you were a prankster…" His voice trailed off at the distinctly unfunny expression on his father's face.
Lily shook her head softly and spoke. "He's telling the truth."
Harry looked back and forth between them, confusion warring with disbelief on his face. "What…?" he trailed off uncertainly, unsure of how to phrase it.
"He was not from this Earth. He was an alien or at least that's what he claimed," James said to be clear, and then added somewhat sheepishly, "Of course, he also claimed to be from another dimension."
Harry blinked, "Was he insane?"
James snorted a little bit, "Truthfully? We don't know. He and my mother only spent a few weeks together. He claimed he was fighting someone when in the course of the battle they managed to send him to this dimension. He was just waiting for one of his allies to find and retrieve him."
"Okay…" Harry repeated, already having a sinking sensation as to where this was going.
James shrugged slightly, "Mum said she woke up in the middle of the night one night, to a high pitched whine of some sort, and she watched as he disappeared in a flash of light. One minute he was there, the next he was gone."
James sighed a bit and slumped. "My mother ended up pregnant with me. No matter how forgiving her father was to her behavior usually, she knew an unwed pregnancy was not something he was going to accept. He would have kicked her from the family, as an example if nothing else."
"However, my mother had made some friends, she was a frequent guests of libraries, and enjoyed talking about history. Something that endeared her to Charlus Potter." James continued quietly, his voice solemn, "When she discovered she was pregnant, she went to him, and asked for his help. He was fond of her and was sympathetic to her plight."
"Not to mention like all Potters, seemed to have something of a hero complex," Lily interjected with a fond smile at her husband.
"A saving people thing," Harry said wryly.
His mother smiled and nodded, "Quite."
"So they got married quickly, a bit of a whirlwind romance it seemed to everyone. But despite the age disparity the Blacks were proud that their little 'rebel' had snagged the head of the Potter family," James added, "They certainly didn't care about the age difference either. It was such a huge coup for what was traditionally one of, if not the, magicallydarkest family to suddenly be married into one of the ones with a reputation of… while I won't say lighter magic, I will say that Potters were known to go their own way. We had a reputation for championing causes and overcoming odds."
"Eight or so months later, I was born." James finished somewhat unnecessarily, causing his wife to snort in amusement.
Harry stared at his father for several long seconds, "So… you're telling me that my biological paternal grandfather… was an alien?"
"That's what he told my mother." James agreed. "She said he didn't seem insane, and that he had some abilities that she initially thought were some impressive pieces of wandless magic."
"Why do you look human? Why aren't you…. I don't know… green? Or have tentacles in odd places or something?" Harry ventured with one of the few bits of science fiction he had ever caught on the telly.
Lily snorted and then broke out in giggles, giving Harry an affectionate squeeze.
James looked rueful, "Your mother asked the same exact questions when I told her. Though… the tentacles could've been fun on occasion."
James received a slap for that comment from Lily, while Harry tilted his head once more demanding an explanation to the original question.
his father nodded solemnly. "She said he looked similar to any other human, he was a larger man, bulky. He said that dark hair and eyes tended to be traits of his race."
"Which is why you look so much like your father," Lily said with a smile, fingers still trailing through Harry's hair.
"With your eyes." Harry said, a shy smile on his face as he repeated the oft heard phrase to her.
She nodded with a matching smile on her face, "With my eyes."
"My mother said that she, during the few weeks she spent with him they only talked a little, and it was about random topics." James said delicately.
"They were too busy shagging like bunnies." Lily interjected.
James winced. "Hey, that's my mum."
Lily patted her husband's arm gently. but her grin was mischievous "That's kind of the point isn't it?"
James shook his head, looking a little embarrassed, "One of the things she said that he had mentioned to her was that his race were warriors, survivors, and above all they tend to be conquerors."
James looked somewhat abashed. "She said he was arrogant enough that she had no trouble believing that part."
James looked a bit uncomfortable with the idea, but clearly wanted to lay it all out for his son.
"Okay…" Harry said uncertainly. "I'm not sure why it's such a big deal, if they look human and all…"
"It's a big deal because he was clear that just because he looked human. He was anything but." James said quietly.
"How so?" Harry asked quietly. He was waiting for the other shoe to drop here.
"Their biology was incredibly different. They had powers and abilities far beyond humans." James explained.
"Like Magic?" Harry asked,
James shook his head quickly. "Like physical abilities. They could fly, move at incredible speeds. Had incredible strength, stamina, and durability. My mother was particularly complimentary of the stamina part."
He grimaced slightly at admitting that, pushing on so as not to dwell on a topic that required thinking of his own mother in that way. "And I'm talking immense, far far beyond troll, or giant or dragon."
"If you were more aware of the muggle world, you'd have seen news of others there with more comparable powers." Lily added somewhat bitterly.
Harry frowned. "Okay… but I can't do any of that stuff… I'm just… Harry."
James shook his head, "You can't do any of that stuff because, under normal circumstances... according to him, those powers don't manifest until you're in your early to mid twenties."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"One of the things Nolan and my mother did talk about was a discussion of children. Not of having them. They simply compared the way his culture treated children, with hers. Apparently it came about because she had mentioned taking precautions." James added wryly, "Precautions that thankfully didn't work."
"However we've watched and the things that he told her, you've already seen some evidence of it," Lily interjected, directing the conversation away from her husband's discomfort.
"I have?" Harry asked
James nodded. "You're a natural flyer. That's instinct. Something that apparently comes with ease and no training."
"You also heal quickly from injuries that would otherwise last for weeks or months." Lily added, "Not that I'm particularly pleased about being aware of that…"
Harry glanced back at her, and saw that her eyes were narrowed in anger and that her eyes seemed to nearly flame for a few moments, but it was clear by her stare, that her anger was definitely not directed at him. This was reinforced as she gave him a gentle hug as if reassuring herself of his presence now. .
James spoke up, adding on, "Their biology allowed them to heal quickly from wounds that would kill normal people, and come out stronger for it."
"And once something hurt them, if they didn't die… then they recovered and that same thing would have a negligible effect on them if exposed again. It would have no chance to hurt them then, much less kill them. And they were very hard to kill." James added. "We didn't realize it until late in my teens that specific trait also impacted magic and we kept it very quiet. Not even the other Marauders knew about it. Only my parents, and Lily knew about it. But I was never hurt by the same curse twice. If the first time magic was used on me, it hurt me, the second time it didn't affect me at all."
"There was also the basilisk." Lily added.
"The basilisk?" Harry echoed, his mind focusing on a familiar detail as he struggled to process what was being told to him.
"Yes," James agreed, "Basilisk venom is not only incredibly deadly, it is incredibly corrosive. I'm sure you noticed the effects when you stabbed Riddle's diary. Which by the way was another one of his soul anchors."
"Venom from basilisks is basically like acid, and humans die within seconds of being bitten." Lily added. "That's not mentioning that the bodies actually begin to digest within about a minute due to the corrosion."
"Apparently, Nolan told Mum that, because of the planet they called home, they were extremely resistant to toxins. So your body was already fighting it off. I'm not sure if Fawkes crying on the wound saved you from the poison or merely the corrosive effects, though your body was already fighting it." James said with a somewhat puzzled look on his face.
Harry stared as he thought about it. He hadn't considered that before.
"The rest of the abilities apparently don't show up until later." James said with a wave of his hand.
"At least under normal circumstances," Lily said quietly.
Harry frowned slowly at those words, before he looked up, realization crossing his features.
"Yeah, my mother wasn't really sure what that meant," James said, "But I can pretty much guarantee being tied up and tortured in a graveyard, is definitely not anywhere near 'normal' circumstances."
"So… that wasn't accidental magic?" Harry asked weakly remembering the gravestone practically exploding around him.
"No, it was your powers coming out a decade before they should have," James replied quietly.
"So I'm not human. I'm not even a Potter..." Harry muttered and looked down at his hands helplessly, finally unable to just assume this wasn't all a bizarre dream or a joke. The words of his aunt and uncle rang in his head, and he whispered harshly, "I'm... I'm a freak."
"No. you're not!" Lily's voice was sharp and immediate. As she shifted to take both of his hands in her own, squeezing them. Then her tone turned somewhat soothing but didn't lose its intensity. "You have never been, are not, and will never be a freak. What you are is my son. Our son. The one person we both love more than life itself."
Harry looked up at both of them, his eyes searching theirs for any hint of disappointment or of lie. He couldn't keep that disbelief off his face. For the first time someone telling him that he wasn't a freak.
James shifted off the couch and crouched down in front of his son, looking up at Harry, intensity in his dark eyes, "Make no mistake about it. Charlus Potter magically adopted me, though obviously in secret. In every sense except perhaps biological, he was my father. He raised me. Loved me. Doted on me like his own."
James placed his hands over his wife's who were still squeezing Harry's tightly. "You are my son. Our son, Harry James Potter, and you are every hope and dream that your mother and I ever had. And we both love you with all that we are."
Harry felt tears well up in his eyes at that and tried to blink them away, but his brow started to tremble, and then his jaw, and despite his best efforts, he burst into tears. Immediately his mother had pulled him against her and wrapped her arms around him once more while he sobbed into her neck.
A moment later his father's arms engulfed them both. It took several minutes for any of them to regain their composure. The only thing that kept Harry from being humiliated was the fact that both his mother and father had unabashed tear tracks down their own faces.
"I'm sorry." Harry said softly looking down.
"Don't be." Lily said immediately, "Despite how you've been raised by that bitch I used to call my sister. Emotions and feelings are not things to be embarrassed by or to be walled and never shown. Never be ashamed of how you feel."
Harry bit his lip tightly, unsure how to reply to that, but James shook his head as well. "Harry, you are who you are and we are proud of you. Despite everything you are still a good person, but do not be afraid to show emotion. You are not always fine. Getting angry. Being happy. Being sad. Those are all okay, and anyone who would think less of you for those emotions isn't worth your time."
Lily's voice was soft, as she wanted to make something clear before he had time to consider it himself without them there to reassure him. "Harry, Voldemort targeted you because of that fucking prophecy. We trusted the wrong person, and that is our fault. But we do not for one second regret sacrificing ourselves to save you. Nor do we want you to just throw your life away because you feel obligated."
"Or because some old man had you raised so that you would be groomed to be a martyr," James added darkly.
Harry looked up once more seeking reassurance from both of them and all he saw was love and concern radiating back at him.
He didn't know what to say, so he coughed lightly and looked down, bringing the topic back to less emotional grounds.
"So if I go back, I have all of that to look forward to, being strong, being able to fly without a broom?"
"We… don't know." James admitted quietly.
That threw Harry off, and seemed counter to everything they just said.
"Okay, not totally true," James amended, "But with the exception of my growing immunity to curses, and flying skills, my abilities never truly activated before I was hit with the killing curse. Something, unlike you, which I didn't have a 'Get Out of Jail Free" card given to me by my mum for. So we have no idea what will happen."
"You said growing immunity…" Harry nodded slowly and chewed on the inside of his cheek. "So the killing curse still works."
"It worked for me because it killed me on the first shot. There was no way for me to recover," James shrugged helplessly, "Just boom… I was dead."
"But it won't hurt you anymore." Lily's smile was almost feral. "You've been hit with it now… we gave our lives to protect you from it… and that thing stuck in your head finished the process. If you go back. It won't hurt you anymore."
"What happens if I don't want to go back?" Harry asked quietly. His voice was almost timid. He was scared they'd be disappointed in him for even asking… but… he had felt more caring and love here than he had in his entire life.
Lily turned and faced him, taking his hands in hers once more and met his eyes, so startlingly like her own. "Harry, I won't lie to you. You've had a rough life."
Lily's eyes darkened. "Dumbledore putting you with my bitch sister, in the hopes of keeping you beaten down physically and emotionally…"
James voice was a snarl, "He needed a fucking martyr and wanted to make sure you didn't get the 'Potter arrogance' and decided the best way to accomplish that was to put you with magic hating relatives."
His expression turned sheepish, "Apparently confidence is a fairly standard trait of our race. At least according to my mother. Though she called it arrogance. It just happened that it was a trait the Potter family was also known for as well."
Lily just shook her head, focusing on Harry. "Your years at school have been no different. Because of that prophecy," Lily she, practically spitting the words out of her mouth.
Harry looked at her and his eyes narrowed slowly, then said, "Dumbledore knew."
James didn't say anything but his jaw clenched in anger. Lily's eyes flashed and she nodded slowly.
"That's what he's been doing." Harry said slowly as pieces started to fall into place. "He's been trying to arrange confrontations between the two of us since my first year."
"He's definitely got your brains Lils," James said quietly.
"He set up the stone in the castle to draw Voldemort there... and set traps we could get past..." Harry continued quietly as an explosion of understanding occurred. "Then this year he let the tournament happen."
Harry's voice was rising in anger as he realized just how much he had been set up. He felt his mother squeeze his hands gently, causing him to look in her eyes. Her understanding gaze reassured him and he took a deep breath.
Another thought occurred to him and his eyes narrowed. "Did he also set up Sirius in Azkaban?" He asked quietly.
James sighed a little, "Not entirely."
Lily's eyes flashed in her own anger. "Your impulsive hotheaded prat of a godfather went after Pettigrew on his own. Never once stopping to think that everyone would think him a traitor."
"He abandoned his responsibility to you on his quest for revenge," her voice was angry and accusing.
"To be fair, he sort of lost it," James voice was more soothing, "He essentially lost three of his best friends all in one night, and seemed like he was in shock."
Lily shook her head slightly, "Doesn't excuse it."
"I know. Just there were some mitigating factors," James defended.
"But Dumbledore didn't help, didn't get him a trial for which he would have been forced to testify with veritaserum," James added, anger building in his voice.
"Just let him rot there for thirteen years," Lily spat, "And hasn't done anything to force a trial since then, even after you told him of Padfoot's innocence..."
James nodded in complete agreement.
"So why should I go back if he's actively trying to screw me over?" Harry demanded.
"You don't have to," James responded instantly.
"And you can stay with us forever… but…" Lily added almost immediately
"But?" Harry asked, his tone filled with a tinge of dread.
"But… if you go back. Who says you have to keep following Dumbledore's lead?" Lily asked with a wicked grin on her voice.
"What choice do I have?" Harry asked with a sound of resignation
Lily's grin was once more vicious and James had a smirk of his own on his face as he replied. "Dumbledore and the Ministry messed up. You were entered in the tournament. A tournament explicitly for wizards who are of age."
"When they did that they stated that you were of sufficient capacity to enter a magically binding contract," Lily's voice was nearly gleeful.
"Essentially... they declared you an adult. Making you responsible for yourself," James explained.
"And the instant you stepped in to confront that bloody dragon, you accepted the contract," Lily added.
"So... if I go back..." Harry trailed off, uncertainly.
"Before… you couldn't access most of the family wealth. But now? You are responsible for yourself. They can't tell you where to go," James said.
"You have access to all of your inheritance, without a damn thing Dumbledore can do to stop you. The wealth of the Potter family, which is… a rather large amount of money. No more requirement to go to magical school, or anywhere else," Lily said, before her face took on a particularly murderous glint, "Including back with my bitch sister."
Harry smiled at his mother's vitriol. He was glad that someone seemed to find it unacceptable.
He bit his lip and then looked up at his father and then into his mother's eyes, "But Mum,... if I go back... I won't... see you..."
"We will always be here watching over you until you join us. But… we would want it to by your own decision, and not one forced upon you. That's why we're giving you this choice rather than telling you what to do," Lily responded quietly.
"And you never know... maybe we might meet again before you come to the afterlife," James added.
"You are the last Potter," James spoke again after several long moments of silence, "We want you to live your life. Go out have fun. Have your own adventures away from a dying society and meddlesome old men. Go explore the world. Meet new people."
Lily turned to glare at her husband for a moment, though there was no real anger in her expression before she turned back to Harry "Do what makes you happy Harry."
"You should do stuff for you. Go see the wonders of the world. Buy an expensive motorbike and just go somewhere. Go to expensive or historic restaurants," James said. "Go catch some bad movies at the cinema and make out with a girl in the back row of an empty theater."
"Go see some of the historical sights of Europe. See the Parthenon in Greece, cruise down the Nile, hike the Great Wall of China," Lily expanded, "Read a book for the enjoyment of reading it without being nagged to do it. Go sit on the beach and watch a sunset and a sunrise just for the enjoyment."
"Start a few bar fights… erm. Well that part probably isn't a good idea with your strength, but at least close down a few bars. Meet some girls, have a few pregnancy scares," James gestured emphatically, only to be cut off with the sound of a light slap on the back of his head.
He rubbed it ruefully where his wife had just swatted him, and summarised lamely, "Just… have fun!"
"If you find some girl and want to settle down with her away from all this, great. If you want to become a celibate monk and study Gregorian chants, fantastic. If you want to shag half the women you see, and they're amenable, by all means." Lily's tone made it clear she was teasing.
James whose expression had morphed to one of horror at the monk suggestion on the other hand nodded rapidly in agreement with the last suggestion behind his wife's head
Lily didn't even turn around but kicked backward with her heel, causing him to whimper slightly. Though it didn't stop the older man's grin.
Harry watched the interaction and laughed at how playful the two seemed with one another. A shudder seemed to run through the representation of King's cross station.
"Your Time… is nearly up," spoke a female voice that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere.
Harry looked around for the source of the voice but could find no one. He asked, curiosity in his tone, but no real expectation of being answers, "God is a female?"
"We don't have long," James said somberly, ignoring the question, but with reluctance in his voice. "You need to decide."
Harry looked back and forth between his Mother and Father for several drawn out moments as the temptation to stay with them warred with the idea of living his life. At long last he spoke quietly, if not entirely enthusiastically. "I'll go back."
Lily smiled and hugged him, though tears welled up in her eyes as well because she knew he'd miss them, and she would miss him. James nodded and clasped his shoulder in approval.
Harry looked back and forth between the two of them. "What do I do when I go back?"
"When you go back. You will still be surrounded by people who attacked you and who are partially responsible for the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands of muggles and magicals." James said, his voice turning hard.
"They killed us. They killed Cedric. Deal with them as you see fit." Lily added, her voice no less flinty. "I hope to see all of them pass through here shortly. In very small pieces. Their afterlife is going to be more than a little unpleasant. I intend to make sure of it."
James nodded. "After that? Your abilities have manifested and will grow the more you use them. They are not magical, and my mother said they won't be stopped by conventional magical means."
"Not to mention your magical powers will no longer have that disgusting leech on them." Lily added with a sneer at the body on the ground not far from them. She turned back to Harry and met his eyes seriously "Go where you want. The world is at your fingertips, don't let this small bigoted cloistered backwards world hold you within its confines. It's a small dying world that only exists mainly in a few forgotten pockets of Europe."
"We've found since we died, that they've lost all concept of what magic really is." James added.
Lily nodded, "There is so much in the world for you to find, those who have powers... some similar, some different, but they're out there. They're not held in a world whose only advance after the Victorian age was a knockoff version of a radio."
"And I doubt it will take you long to find them. Or them to find you," she added with a trace of warning in her voice.
"Remember," James said somberly. "Do what makes you happy. Spend your life on a beach watching sunsets and girls in bikinis. Take up motorcar racing. Take over the world. Take up residence on the moon. Leave the planet and explore the universe, since we don't know what's out there. Whatever!"
James looked at his son's eyes, making sure he understood the seriousness of his next words, "Remember. No matter what. We are proud of you and there is nothing you can do that would make us not love you."
Lily leaned forward and kissed his forehead. "Never doubt that we will always love you."
Harry closed his eyes as he felt his mother's lips on his forehead and then felt them fade away.
His mother's voice was gentle, "And remember, while your protection may not work against the dark lord right now since he has your blood, it doesn't mean it's gone."
"Oh, and when you see Snape again, remind ole' Snivellus that, just like your father, your mother loves you with all her heart… and holds nothing but contempt for him." James voice said with a trace of anger.
"The death eater pointed Voldemort at our family. Then abuses my son. I hope his living existence is misery because when he dies he'll find out what true hell is." Lily's voice was filled with anger, even though he couldn't see her any more Harry could feel the caring for him in her voice.
"Remind him that he's nothing but a dirty greaseball, who holds a childish grudge against a dead man, taking it out on his son." James' final words hung in the air.
"And remember, we love you. Always and forever. No matter what." Lily's voice rang with finality.
Everything faded away in white.
"He passed the test," the female voice spoke once more at King's Cross station, which now only housed Lily and James Potter.
"I don't like that you're testing him, like everyone else in his life." James said angrily, not even bothering to look around for the source of the voice as he kept his arms around his wife.
"Ah, but I am not life, nor am I arranging tests. He is simply overcoming circumstances. Circumstances that give him the opportunity to be something unique in existence," the female voice spoke. "If he succeeds, he has the chance to have an impact on more lives of people than he… or you for that matter, can even imagine exist."
"Do you want him to succeed?" Lily asked quietly.
"I… do not know," the female voice said. "On one hand he has been touched not only by me, but by my brother… and not just once, but multiple times. You know this. And his potential to impact things… is more interesting than anything I have seen since Litharge was granted its charter by myself and my siblings."
"And on the other?" Lily asked quietly, closing her eyes.
"On the other, the idea of being subjugated by him… by anyone is unnerving. To say the least." The voice admitted quietly.
"Then why do this?" Lily demanded, her eyes flashing as she looked around.
There was a pause before the female voice replied quietly "Events… are in motion that would see someone encroach on my domain. If I do not chose a master, one may be forced upon me and do as much damage to the realm of the living as to that of the dead."
"I need someone who embraces life despite being faced and touched by Death. I need someone who will not break under the burden placed upon his shoulders, nor become corrupted by it," the voice which had grown emphatic and passionate once more turned cool and calm, "Harry Potter… is my choice."
"He is our son." James said his tone half resignation and half defiance.
"He is also one who may defy the gods. Who may... one day stand in the presence of the Endless," the voice said quietly. "I know not what path he may take… he is unique in existence because neither does my brother. That unnerves him most of all."
When Harry reopened his eyes, he was lying face down and prone on the damp grass of the graveyard. On one hand, his body felt different, even the way he breathed was different, on the other he felt pain from a majority of it, though mostly on his chest.
Before he could even ponder the condition and location of his body, much less the life-changing conversation he had apparently just had with his dead parents, he was distracted by intense arguing occurring a mere few meters away from him.
"-aster wanted to kill him! You will be lucky if he doesn't cut out your entrails for doing it!"
"I took no chances! You saw what he did! He disembodied our Lord for thirteen years!" cried a voice Harry recognized as Lucius Malfoy's.
"I checked, and Harry Potter is dead. You best hope our Lord feels the same way you did, when he wakes up… otherwise you may end up the same way," the voice snarled.
For some reason, this statement kick started Harry's brain and thought process. The full impact of his current predicament hit him, and Harry's eyes snapped open. He frantically glanced around as inconspicuously as possible for his wand, before he remembered Voldemort still had it in his possession.
He hesitated a moment wondering if he should just keep playing dead. But if he did that, Voldemort would almost certainly wake soon and discover the ruse.
It was then that he realized his body didn't hurt as much as he expected, and he could see his cheeks and arms had blood on them. He could tell he was wounded… but… at the same time, his head was clear and even breathing felt easier. He felt power practically thrumming through his body. So great that, a burst of confidence in his ability to survive this situation came to him. He wondered if this was the Potter Arrogance in effect. He didn't care either way.
He was done being pushed around and afraid. That had been his entire year… hell his entire existence. The Dursleys, the students at Hogwarts, the teachers, the press. All felt like they could kick him around and bully him. He was done with that. He didn't have to earn their approval or love. He knew irrevocably that he was loved by the people who meant most to him.
He also knew that if he was going to be killed again now, then he had two parents waiting for him who would welcome him with open and loving arms.
He abruptly, and almost casually pushed himself up and found it easy to stand up solidly on two feet. He looked around realizing that most of the Death Eaters were not facing his way, what drew his attention was that he could see them all clearly, though his glasses were also no longer on his face.
"It's not possible!" a voice, that was probably usually male, screeched like a harpy as his status of being alive was already discovered.
As one, the Death Eaters all turned to find Harry standing up. Every last one of them was immediately drawn to his eyes, which now glowed with an unholy emerald light.
As he waited to see how the Death Eaters would react, which in the back of his mind he honestly had no idea why he hadn't moved to attack first, he glanced down at his body. His shirt was nothing but a scrap as it hung across his torso now. His pants were ripped and shredded as well, his body was covered with bruises and deep gashes. But what most arrested his attention was that the cuts were quickly disappearing before his very eyes.
"Kill him!" a still maskless Lucius shouted hoarsely while interrupting Harry's self-inspection.
Clearly the blond man was far more terrified of a Harry Potter that refused to die than he was of his Master finding out that Lucius had killed him.
Almost as if rehearsed, the Death Eaters raised their wands as a group to point them at him, and before even one spell was fired, Harry simply reacted on instinct.
He leapt forward, covering over ten meters in a single movement, too fast for any normal human eye to follow. One moment, he was standing in front of the gravestone he shattered, and the next he was amongst them, heading directly toward Lucius Malfoy.
He threw a blind punch, hoping to stagger Malfoy enough to then find some cover, as useless of a plan as it might be in this situation. His fist connected with the elder Malfoy's face… only the result didn't stagger the man.
The first attack that utilized his newly awakened powers caused Lucius head to explode like a ripe melon. Harry felt the head barely resist the impact of his fist.
The sudden violent execution of the attempted murderer of Ginny Weasley froze Harry for only a moment as he stared at his hand covered in red blood and dark red globs that he would later realize was the dead man's brain matter.
It was a fighting faux paux. The equivalent of staring at your own explosions on a battlefield, and something that any veteran of combat would have chided him for had he managed to survive. However, it was far less damaging because all the Death Eaters in the clearing had done the same thing, staring at him in awe.
Up until that very moment, Harry hadn't quite understood what his father meant by an "increase in strength."
After a long moment, he looked up from his blood and gore covered fist and glanced at the surrounding Death Eaters.
As they gazed upon him, a fundamental shift occurred in every witness' mind. Fear was something they understood. They used it as a weapon. They had long been used to causing fear in their victims and terrifying a magic world that was even now afraid of so much as uttering their master's name. They were used to being only afraid of one thing; disappointing their master. The punishments for which were usually severe and involved prolonged exposure to the cruciatus.
But now, each and every one present could easily admit to being absolutely terrified by the visage of the boy in front of them.
Their spell onslaught had shredded his champion's uniform, leaving only a scrap of fabric around his neck and shoulder, essentially making him shirtless from the waist up. They could see the various injuries they had inflicted closing up before their very eyes, even deep cutting curses were knitting.
His entire body was splattered in blood. Some of it was his, although a much fresher coat belonged to the now clearly dead Lucius.
Their hesitation would be the undoing of many as Harry seemed to get over his surprise first. He turned toward the nearest death eater and attacked. Physically leaping at him. The death eater let out a shrill cry that turned to a wet and gurgled gasp as Harry's first entered one side of his chest and exited the other.
A few death eaters instinctively tried to fire spells at the moving Harry, hoping to slow or stop him. The night filled with flashes of light, including the green of the killing curse.
Nothing was effective, the Death Eaters couldn't even tell if their spells landed with as fast as Harry was moving. Their actions cost those Death Eaters their lives as Harry attacked them, moving from one to another. Single blows from his fist able to land mortal and devastating blows to the death eaters.
His movements weren't elegant or done with any amount of skill, they were just blind punches or in some cases slashes with his hand laying flat in the form of a knife. The lack of skill was lost on the Death Eaters in the pandemonium as they fled.
Harry didn't hesitate further. These were the same people responsible for supporting the murderer of his parents. These were the same people that had terrorized a nation and had gotten off by claiming the Imperius. The same people who had been living their posh lives while his innocent godfather rotted in a prison. The same people responsible for inspiring fear in the masses and for killing Cedric Diggory. And the same people who had shown up without hesitation at their reborn master's call.
In the end two of the death eaters realized that it was a lost cause and apparated out of the graveyard. The rest were left in pieces laying on the ground.
Harry hadn't said anything as he attacked beyond the one inarticulate cry of rage. He stood in the graveyard, now completely drenched in blood.
His entire body was thrumming, practically vibrating with excitement, like a weight carried for so long was gone.
A groan caught his attention as he turned to look over at the source. He found Voldemort had been laid out, near where Harry had initially tossed him. Harry assumed that the Death Eaters had pulled him away from the mausoleum he had been thrown against.
Harry shifted toward the sound, he wanted to get a hold of his foe before Voldemort was conscious enough to flee from the scene as well. As if the thought directed his actions he found himself moving toward that direction… only he wasn't walking, he was floating.
His body floated so that it was hovering a few meters over Voldemort, who was slowly regaining consciousness. Nearby he noticed Wormtail's silver-handed form unconscious on the ground as well.
It took Harry a second to realize he was descending, and realized that he was floating directed by his own mind. He resisted the urge to take flight immediately, instead he moved to confront his parents' killer.
As he drifted down toward the body, a large snake reared up and hissed defensively "You will not touch my Master!" before striking forward toward Harry with fangs bared.
Harry didn't have time to think about it. He reflexively caught the snake's head in his hand and squeezed, which crushed its skull, pulping the snakehead in a liquid mess that exploded outward in an arc of fluid, bone, and gore.
The entire body of the snake jerked and spasmed as it let out dying gurgle. A moment later, a hideous green face, apparently made of smoke, appeared and screamed, a cry of anguish and agony, before dissipating in the meager breeze.
Harry tossed the snake aside after staring at it in shock for a moment before his parents words came back to him. It only took him a moment to connect the dots and realize exactly what had once been contained in that snake, before his eyes once more focused on the dark lord on the ground.
Voldemort's eyes were fluttering as he clearly neared consciousness, and he put a hand to his head with a groan of pain. Harry glanced down and saw that even with what happened, the reborn wizard had kept ahold of his wand. It lay prone next to his body, still in his fingers, ready to be gripped and wielded.
Harry's eyes narrowed at the wand that had cast the curses that had killed his parents, and in that moment he descended from floating. With one movement his foot smashed down on the wand, and by extension Voldemort's hand, incidentally crushing both.
That woke the reborn Dark Lord up briefly, at least that's what Harry assumed happened based on the scream of agony from the humanoid thing… before he went silent once more.
Harry blinked at the sudden silence, peering downward.
The Dark Lord had bloody fainted.
Harry couldn't help the way his mouth curled into a slight smile at the response before he reached down and with an ease that surprised him he lifted Voldemort up by the throat. This time there was no pain in touching the being. Nor was there fear of the vaguely humanoid wizard. Instead, all Harry felt was contempt.
It was at that moment that there was multiple a loud pop of a portkey appearing nearby.
"Aurors! Everyone freeze!" Shouted one of the men that had materialized with the pop of the portkey, causing Harry to turn and look at the group.
There were over a dozen people in the standard outfit Harry had come to recognize as aurors, though Harry also noted that Dumbledore, Mad Eye Moody, Cornelius Fudge, green bowler hat in hand and all, and Snape.
They all stared in surprise at the boy in front of them. The Boy-Who-Lived was standing there, clothing in shreds, covered in blood and holding someone... or something up by its neck.
"What has happened here?" Dumbledore demanded as he took in more than the scene of Harry holding the figure by his neck.
Harry looked up, his anger still burning, if anything only getting more intense at seeing the man in front of him. "We were brought here by a portkey. The cup. We tried to get back, but Cedric was hit by a killing curse."
"I was invited for a front row seat to the Dark Lord's resurrection." Harry shook the still unconscious body of the dark lord he held by his neck as he held him out to the side of his body distastefully. .
There were gasps all around. "Is... that...?" a young female auror with distinctive pink hair started to ask, her voice shaking slightly.
Harry nodded and started to reply but was cut off by Moody whipping his wand forward and suddenly shouting, "Avada Kedavra!"
Harry's eyes widened in shock as he realized that the green light was headed directly for him and not for the dark lord hanging there in his grip. He knew his parents had said that the spell couldn't hurt him now, but it was one thing to know that and another to understand that instinctively. His response at having a spell shot at him was reflexive.
Even if it seemed the spell was moving in slow motion enough to dodge, he took Moody's advice from defense earlier in the year. He put the most convenient object possible between him and the curse.
An object which happened to be the Dark Lord's body in his hand.
The Dark Lord's body jerked and then went utterly slack in Harry's hand. A moment later a foul-looking shade emerged from the body with a howl of anger and anguish.
"Nooo!" the shade screamed out in loud in a voice filled with hate and despair. It had an ethereal quality to it that caused everyone to shudder.
His cry was echoed by a cry of horror from Moody. "Noo! Master!"
Snape's reaction was to clasp his arm and stagger backward as if physically struck.
"Potttterr!" The shade hissed, "This is not over! Enjoy your temporary victory! You cannot stop me forever! I will be back and next time the entire Wizarding World will remember why they're still afraid to say my name!"
The shade turned and then seemed to realize Dumbledore was there. It let out another shriek of impotent rage and immediately flew away.
Dumbledore seemed to gather his wits and shot a spell at the departing shade but missed as the shade disappeared into the night sky.
However his followup spell didn't miss though his target was not the dark lord's now departed shade. Instead, the old man had turned, stunned and petrified Moody. The grizzled auror offered no defense, as he seemed to be so horrified by his actions he hadn't even moved from his knees as he stared into the night sky where the shade had disappeared.
"Dumbledore what in blazes is going on?!" Fudge demanded looking around wildly. "That… that couldn't be…"
"That is exactly what I'm going to get to the bottom of," Dumbledore responded, his focus alternating between the stunned Moody and a Harry Potter who seemed different. "Please be patient and I'm sure we'll determine what has transpired."
"I guess I don't need this anymore," Harry said almost absently, tossing the body of the dark lord to the ground, in disgust. The body had begun to decompose to dust at a ridiculously fast pace.
Snape, who hadn't said anything when he recovered from whatever blow he had received when the Dark Lord had been struck by the spell, was quickly searching Moody's immobile body.
He pulled the flask away and sniffed it and then a double take. "Polyjuice!" he hissed softly.
He stepped back and pointed at the bound retired auror, "Whoever this is, it is not Alastor Moody!"
Harry happened to be looking at Dumbledore as Snape spoke, and saw the look of resignation and complete lack of surprise there. He clenched his fist slowly. The old man knew.
If anything, Harry knew that any resignation the old man felt was likely because the traitor's identify was going to be revealed now, rather than some method that had been planned for to benefit Dumbledore more.
One of the aurors who had taken this momentary respite to look around to be aware of any further attacks in the graveyard, ran up to Fudge, his face had a distinctly greenish pallor. "Sir, there's… got to be at least ten dead bodies over there. They're all in pieces like they were hit with blasting curses," he said as he delivered his report breathlessly.
He took a few steadying breaths, that seemed as much to keep his stomach contents in as it was to get air into his lungs. When he finally got control of himself, he continued, "They're all wearing death eater robes and masks. We've identified Nott, Crabbe, Goyle, and… we think Lucius Malfoy. The body's head is gone, but I'd recognize that snakehead cane he has anywhere!"
Fudge's expression turned even more pale and he looked around wildly.
Dumbledore's face however looked ashen as he stared at Harry in horror, "Oh Harry… my boy, what have you done?"
Harry opened his mouth to reply but was cut off by a desperate cry from another Auror.
"We've got a live one over here!" One of the voices of the aurors called out.
The unconscious form of a fat short man with a silver hand was levitated off the ground. Harry vaguely remembered tossing a death eater at the betrayer of his parents. Or rather he remembered batting the torso the upper half of a Death Eater at the man.
"Oi! I know him! His picture was in the paper last year. That's Peter Pettigrew..." the voice suddenly turned confused as he spoke aloud. "Isn't he supposed to be dead?
At that pronouncement, Fudge's expression turned sickly, and unfortunately for him, nearly everyone present saw it. The problem was, they were ministry employees, used to the corruption and all had no desire to potentially lose their jobs by pointing out a mistake to their boss beyond what their comrade had just done.
However, when Harry saw the fat man being levitated out, he had no problem commenting on the situation and letting everyone hear exactly what Fudge wouldn't want spread around, "He was the one that fired the killing curse at Cedric!"
Harry could almost see the Minister trying to come up with excuses or a plan, so he spoke up loudly, "Yes Minister, just like we told you last year, we saw Peter Pettigrew alive. He was the one who was my parent's secret keeper, and betrayer. Not Sirius Black. He was the one who murdered those muggles on a public street all those years ago. Not Sirius Black."
"Now he's responsible for the death of Cedric Diggory," Harry looked down at the now empty robes in front of him. "And tonight he was the chief brewer behind the resurrection of Voldemort!"
"Don't say his name!" Snape spat out suddenly amidst the almost unified shudder that gripped all present besides Harry and Dumbledore.
Harry almost laughed aloud, and it took every ounce of willpower he had not to spit in Snape's face at his cowardice. But he was heavily distracted as he could almost hear the wheels turn in the head of the old man who his parents had warned him about.
He watched as Dumbledore alternated between looking perturbed as he stared at the bound Mad Eye Moody and occasional glances at Harry. The boy showed no sign of being horrified at his actions even as he continued to stand there shirtless and covered in blood amidst the bodies of prominent and influential members of society. Dumbledore himself had worked so hard to hide his involvement in the pardoning of their crimes in the last war.
That worried Dumbledore almost as much as another escape by the spirit of the Dark Lord.
Everyone's attention was drawn to the body of the famous Auror on the ground, despite him being bound and petrified the man's body began to jerk and writhe. The fake eye was forced out of his face, and the leg was forcibly pushed away from where it connected at his knee.
Harry looked down in the same interest as everyone else as the man's skin began to ripple and seemed to fall away from the body as it contorted and jerked, the man letting out a gargled groan as it happened. A few moments later a much lankier, not to mention whole, man was revealed on the ground.
The man started to push himself up, since apparently the polyjuice wearing out had broken the magic that had petrified him. He was quickly wrapped up in ropes by one of the aurors who reacted first. And it was Snape that identified him.
"Barty Crouch Junior!" he hissed out.
Fudge stared and his mouth moved open and closed several times as his mind struggled to believe what he was seeing before him, "It's not possible, he was dead!"
"Apparently not…" Snape responded sharply.
"I guess we know how I was entered into the tournament," Harry said bitterly, making sure every single person heard.
He was tired of cover-ups and the lies. If Fudge was going to try and add to the list of crimes Harry had witnessed yet were never given public light, he was going to at least make sure every single person knew what Fudge was doing. Given the way the wizarding world seemed to work, rumor would get out no matter what they said.
Harry had no idea how right he was, given a small beetle that was currently sitting on the Minister's shoulder and hearing everything that happened.
Fudge, on the other hand, was struggling with having to make an actual decision for the first time in years without an advisor telling him exactly what to do secretly behind locked doors. He looked at the weeping Barty Crouch Jr. and then over to Pettigrew, at the dismembered bodies scattered around and then at obstinate and standoffish Harry Potter, and finally Dumbledore as he tried to put things together.
In the end, Fudge did the only thing his rather feeble mind could think to do in a situation where Lucius wasn't there to tell him how to react and Albums hadn't taken control of the entire situation already.
"Arrest them!" he finally shouted to no one in particular, all while waving his hands exasperatedly in the air and puffing his chest dramatically.
The reaction from those who had arrived with him certainly wasn't the one he expected from someone as important as he considered himself. as Aurors all looked at him in a completely confused and befuddled state. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Fudge remembered being chastised by Amelia Bones about exceeding the mandate of his office or some rubbish by ordering Aurors to perform tasks, but he immediately shunted it to a dark corner of his mind. Such things weren't relevant while in the midst of making ground-breaking decisions for the Wizarding World.
When they aurors around didn't move to obey he raised his voice , "I said arrest them! Arrest Crouch and Pettigrew… and Potter!" he demanded loudly.
"Cornelius…" Dumbledore started to say soothingly in a manner that set every adult present on edge.
"What?! For what?!" Harry blurted out in shock at the Minister interrupting whatever Dumbledore had been about to say. "Do you even have the authority to order Auror's to arrest anyone?"
Harry certainly hadn't expected the man to try to blatantly just hide this away like this under the banner of 'I'm in charge, do what I say'. Fudge wasn't used to being questioned about his actions when he finally made them though. For years, he had stuck to his guns and done exactly what his advisors said, and never wavered when others told him trifling things like 'We don't have the money for that,' or 'You don't have the authority to do that,' or 'Your secretaries can't be hired based on a veritaserum based interview about whether they'd sleep with you without additional charm and potion work being used.'
Actually being questioned in front of others now by the Boy-Who-Lived, and who he was quite miffed that he was still more popular than him in the polls, despite a year full of articles aimed at slandering him or his friends. This experience only seemed to make Fudge angrier.
The leader of Wizarding Britain puffed up like a peacock and stated aloud, almost to an enthralled audience who wasn't present, "I'm going to find out what happened here Potter! How Crouch Jr. and Pettigrew are alive, and arrest them and you in connection of the deaths of a dozen respected Wizards."
Harry's eyes narrowed and a sneer appeared on his face. "You mean the marked Death Eaters that arrived at their master's call? Where he didn't have any opportunity to cast an imperius curse, and they came at the first chance he had to call in almost fourteen years?"
"Of course you would say that, you are obviously responsible for their deaths!" Fudge spat, his face turning a remarkable shade of red and well on its way to darkening even more.
"You mean the ones who watched and laughed at me being tortured with the Cruciatus Curse? Who then tried to kill me after I knocked their bastard master across the graveyard. You're damn right. I did kill them!" Harry shot back at the Minister, his blood beginning to boil.
Cornelius' eyes widened and then a malicious grin appeared on his face as he looked around at the aurors who were watching the altercation between the minister and the Boy-Who-Lived. "You all heard him! He admitted it. Arrest him!"
Admit the mutters of 'sounds like self-defense to me,' from more than one Auror present, Harry merely laughed, "Arrested for defending myself in the face of Killing Curses. Even you can't be that dumb, Fudge. Even if these are the people who pay to keep you in office, even you can't actually believe you can find me guilty of any crime here at all."
When still no one rushed forward to implement his will, Fudge actually turned and shouted at the Aurors who looked at him like he was deranged, "I am the Minister! Arrest him or lose your jobs."
Only one of the Aurors stepped up to Harry slowly as the boy stared at the Minister in disbelief.
All were surprised that the boy didn't move an inch as the Auror snapped magical inhibiting cuffs on Harry's wrists, ones that Harry had recalled the false Moody had displayed in class that year. The bindings, in theory, worked to suppress a person's magic to keep them from casting or using any magic abilities . Harry felt a suddenly draining feeling on him, the longer the cuffs stayed in place, though he instinctively knew that they were only inhibiting his magical abilities. It was more an annoyance than anything.
Harry only felt pity for those that believed that these small strips of rune-engraved metal would allow Fudge to cover the true events of this night up and make him go quietly into the night without a fight.
Cornelius Fudge was now practically salivating at what he perceived was going to be an easy series of events that would ultimately lead to his world being right again. "I think a stay in Azkaban will teach you to respect your Minister, boy!"
For the first time, an ugly look appeared on the Boy-Who-Lived's face, and all besides Fudge realized something had just fundamentally changed with the Minister's last words. The Auror's who had recently passed through Hogwarts recognized a sneer that would make Severus Snape proud, and the man himself, present next to Dumbledore, actually had a look of wounded pride at seeing a look on his usual victim.
"I will never respect a moron." Harry spat back at the man, losing any restraint or inclination to be polite or respectful to the man, before turning away and ignoring the way he swelled up.
Harry looked up at Dumbledore, he wasn't sure what he expected the Headmaster to do, so it was more out of curiosity than anything. Given the old wizard's previous behavior he expected some platitude or something from the man. He knew that, with everyone knowing of Voldemort's continued existence, Albus Dumbledore couldn't afford to throw away Harry at the moment, and figured the old man would be forced to intercede at this point.
The way his parents had described the situation, the old man had dedicated years to fulfilling his plans, and a monkey-wrench such as this wouldn't be allowed to take root and affect his goals.
However, Dumbledore just looked at him sadly, before he shook his head, "Harry, my boy, you are not helping matters at all with this behavior, even after you've been found at the scene of such a horrific crime.."
"I had no choice. It was me or them." Harry said stiffly, correctly reading that the Headmaster's disappointment lay solely with the deaths of the Death Eaters around them.
"My boy… there's always a choice." said the old man as he looked remorseful, as if he were about to cry. "There is always a choice between doing what is right and what is easy and you will have to face consequences of the choices you made. I'm afraid I will not be able to protect you from this."
Harry's head snapped up and he met Dumbledore's eyes for several seconds, his fists clenching tighter and tighter as he had the final remnants of any sort of respect he had for the older wizard shatter and he felt his rage grow. However instead of shouting about the injustice of it all, his response was completely different.
"Protect me, Headmaster?" he asked with deceptive softness. A softness that everyone present instinctively recognized had something inherently wrong to it. It was as if a spring that had been wound too tight had lost all its tension. A spring coiled after years or torque had been placed upon it.
A spring all of them now wished had never unwound.
"When have you protected me?" Harry asked, his tone idly curious, though he didn't wait for a response. "You didn't protect me when you had a Voldemort possessed professor teaching students my first year."
"You didn't protect me from the basilisk roaming the halls at the school my second year. You don't do anything to stop the rampant bullying and abuse of students like Draco Malfoy… hell you don't even stop the bullying from teachers." Harry continued calmly. "You didn't protect me from your pet death eater Snape every time he decided to berate me and torment me because of my parents. Parent's whose deaths he is directly responsible for."
Snape paled further than he usually did and just stared at Harry in impotent rage and disbelief. Dumbledore looked just as astonished at the revelation that Harry knew that information as anything else.
"Of course, those almost universally apply to the rest of the students in the school doesn't it? You didn't protect them from the abusive teacher or students either." Harry shook his head slowly.
"However, I do have to thank you for clarifying where you stand, and your position on my life," Harry said, his voice overly calm and gentle. His arms held down in front of him in the magical cuffs. He looked thoughtful for a moment, "What's right and not what's easy? Interesting turn of phrase."
"Of course… what is right would not have been sticking me with my aunt and uncle for the first ten years of my life in the hopes of keeping me timid and malleable as your perfect little martyr." Harry said quietly. "Happy for a respite to Hogwarts every year where I would be oh so grateful to you."
Harry's eyes were fixed on Dumbledore's face and to Harry the man's expression just confirmed everything that he was saying.
"What is right would have been not allowing me to compete in a tournament this year in the hopes of sparking another confrontation between Voldemort and I." Harry stated almost blandly. "Something you've tried three of the past four years to do, hoping to fulfill the prophecy..."
Dumbledore looked like he'd been punched in the gut as his mouth opened and closed, his face going completely pale at Harry's words. But, before he could say anything, Harry cut him off.
"What is right would have been not to allow another Defense against the Dark Arts professor's attempt to kill me. That makes three out of four. It probably would have been four if Lockhart was competent with anything but memory charms," Harry's voice was getting louder, and stronger.
Dumbledore looked taken aback and couldn't figure out how to respond This was not the Harry Potter he was used to dealing with. Harry, when confronted with authority figures, should be submissive and timid. He should be willing to do what it take to please them. The idea of facing prison time should've been too much for the boy, causing him to almost shut down mentally as events spun faster than he could fix them.
But Harry somehow had knowledge that he had carefully concealed from the boy. He couldn't help but wonder if Voldemort had revealed that information to him.
Dumbledore was certain that around all of these aurors and other people he should be shying away from the attention, not wanting to be singled out or held up as 'different' in any way. Harry Potter should not have been standing there looking defiant and unbowed.
Especially not when with his wrists in magical inhibiting cuffs, something that should have had him nearly bent over from the drain on his magic, forcing a distinctive hunch as a wizard or witch's body, so used to having magic flow freely, was wracked with pain as it dealt with the impact of their own life force being used against them.
Despite standing there in naught but scraps of cloth hanging from his body, covered in blood and dirt, and in the magical inhibiting cuffs around his wrists, and threatened with the prospect of facing what was considered Hell on Earth by the Wizarding World. It was Harry who still somehow seemed in control of events at the moment.
"You finally made a mistake with your little plans though," he said, his voice still soft.
"He's not the one headed for a stay with the dementors, boy," Fudge replied once more, feeling the need to be heard amidst a conversation he would admit that he knew nothing about. "You'll spend the rest of your life in Azkaban, or… or maybe I'll have you kissed for the murder of so many wizards!"
It was Fudge's words more than anything that cemented his decision. The man had no intention of performing an investigation, a precedent Harry had personally witnessed twice with Hagrid and Sirius. There was nothing for him now in this world, other than Sirius, and even Fudge would be hard-pressed to hide the fact that Sirius wasn't responsible for his actions with an alive Pettigrew handed to the Auror's on a silver platter.
Harry ignored Fudge and turned to address the Aurors present rather than Dumbledore and Fudge, "You saw tonight. All of you. That shade. The spirit of Voldemort. He regained and lost a body tonight, and he'll do it again in the future."
"According to prophecy, if you chose to believe it, there's only one person who can stop him." Harry's voice was loud and carried to all parts of the graveyard, "And when he does finally come back. You're on your own."
Harry turned his head to look at Dumbledore, but he kept his voice loud, speaking to everyone there. "I won't do anything to help or so much as lift a finger to save your small-minded... inbred pathetic... little world any longer."
Dumbledore paled dramatically. There was no way to hide the contents of the prophecy now, even if he was the only one to hear it, Harry had said enough for people, even slow witted ones like Cornelius Fudge come to their own conclusions. He had to mitigate this, he had to calm tensions here. "Harry…" Dumbledore took a step forward toward Harry his hand raised in a calming motion.
"Fuck off old man. Fuck you. Fuck your death eater pet... and fuck your world. Find yourself another martyr." Harry spat, all pretense of calm or politeness gone from his face as he stepped back, "You get to lie in the bed you helped make."
A bitter smile crossed Harry's face. "Maybe if you're lucky, it'll be as comfortable as the cupboard I was forced to sleep in for the first ten years of my life with those magic hating child abusers you stuck me with."
Harry turned his head to look at several of the aurors who were staring at him, his eyes catching those of the distinctive pink haired auror who seemed not long out of Hogwarts and was definitely the youngest person there, but he spoke to them all, "You work for these idiots. Good luck. You're going to need it. You want my advice? Get the hell out of Britain and this shithole of a 'wizarding' world."
"How dare you!" The Minister bellowed, spittle flying from his mouth, finally seeming to come back to his senses as he had struggled with Harry's diatribe. "How dare you say something like that after admitting to murdering so many wizards?"
Harry smiled another cold smile, one devoid of all warmth and familiarity, "Minister, as my last act… I have to be seen doing something!" he said, echoing the words the Minister had said to Hagrid during their second year as justification for the half-giant's arrest.
Harry didn't wait for a response, he held up his manacled hands in front of him, very deliberately letting everyone get a clear view of him. Then with a slight flex of his arms, he expected the manacles to break. They did, only rather than snapping, the manacles shattered into pieces, causing more than one auror to gasp.
Harry grinned and floated into the air with barely a thought, causing the gasps to increase.
He saw Dumbledore as well as several others pull out their wands and aim them his direction His eyes narrowed in anger, and as a final shot, he bolted forward faster than their eyes could follow.
Dumbledore stared at his now empty hand in shock.
"Ahem," Harry cleared his throat from behind everyone
They turned not having seen him move, to see Harry floating a dozen feet in the air. Harry held Dumbledore's wand in his hands with a grim smile on his face.
He snapped the wand effortlessly and blinked briefly in shock as he felt a surge of magic go up his arms and into him. However there didn't seem to be any other effect.
"No! You fool!" Dumbledore lurched forward in horror a cry of great loss in his voice as he felt himself lose command of the Elder Wand.
Harry smiled sweetly at Dumbledore and then took great delight in snapping it several more times before crushing all the pieces in his fist, before tossing the pieces in an upwards arc. "Just consider that payment for all the times I had to do your job for you by ensuring the safety of Hogwarts."
"Tata!" He said and shot upward into the sky, narrowly dodging several spells shot his way from aurors and Severus Snape.
'Snape!' he thought suddenly, realizing he had some parting words from his parents to give what he now knew to be the person responsible for their deaths.
"Oi, Snape," he taunted as he rose into the night. "I found out tonight you were the Death Eater who pointed Voldemort at my parents. You're nothing but a pathetic jealous wretch who could never get over the fact that my father was clearly the better man! So you got my parents killed because of your pettiness and tried to take it out on the child who never knew them. They're waiting for you on the other side and Mum will have some things to say to you after the way you treated her only son!"
His words carried over the group as he disappeared into the sky faster than any of them could track.
Ministry attempts to arrest Boy-Who-Lived after he defeated You-Know-Who again!
That's right dear readers. As scary as it is to believe, You-Know-Who was temporarily returned to a body last night, fully able and willing to restart his campaign of terror against Magical Britain and the rest of Western Europe. Using the Tri-Wizard tournament as part of a plot to return to a body, he kidnapped the two Hogwarts champions, with the help of a Death Eater thought dead, impersonating a Hogwarts Professor. More on that below!
Unfortunately, one valiant Hogwarts Champion, Cedric Diggory was killed as part of the plot to bring the Dark Lord back to life. However, You-Know-Who obviously did not plan on one thing.
Harry Potter was there once more to stop him. And stop him he did! Harry Potter proved that the first time he defeated You-Know-Who when he was a baby wasn't a fluke!
Yes, dear readers, as hard as it is to believe. This reporter braved the unknown and the dangers and witnessed it with her own eyes, You-Know-Who was beaten and held literally helpless at the hands of the Boy-Who-Lived.
This reporter can confirm that Harry Potter beat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named again, once more rendering him bodiless. Unfortunately… I witnessed that even killing the Dark Lord was not enough to stop him! The Dark Lord fled as a wraith, swearing vengeance in front of nearly forty Aurors, the Minister of Magic, and Headmaster Dumbledore to return again one day to terrorize the wizarding world and take his revenge upon Harry Potter.
What did our beloved Minister do then? Did he thank Harry Potter for his deed? Did he offer our clearly injured hero help or medical attention? No. Our Minister chose to try and have him arrested!
That's right readers, the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, attempted to arrest the young man who has now beaten the worst Dark Lord in history twice. Perhaps that is because some of the Minister Fudge's trusted 'advisors' were at the scene of the crime. But they were not there to help. At least not to help the Ministry.
No, the advisors were lying on the ground, all clad in full Death Eater regalia after being summoned by the then living Dark Lord, and defeated by Harry Potter in his battle with You-Know-Who.
But that's not all, when the Minister attempted to arrest Harry Potter, with the support of Chief Warlock and Headmaster of Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore, the Boy-Who-Lived refused to stand for the injustice. He said to everyone there including myself and the aurors, we all saw that You-Know-Who's shade said he would be back. But this time, Harry Potter vowed there would be no Boy-Who-Lived to save us and that there was a prophecy that said he was the only one who could; a prophecy that Albus Dumbledore has apparently known of for years and kept quiet about.
Then Harry Potter, The Boy-Who-Lived snapped the magic suppressing manacles in a display of magic that few could match, and in a similar display of magic only seen with the most powerful wizards, flew off into the night without the aid of a broom.
This reporter investigated and can confirm that there is a Prophecy in the Department of Mysteries for the Dark Lord and Harry Potter. I cannot know what the prophecy says but the fact that there is one lends credence to Mr. Potter's claims!
This brings up so many questions that deserved to be answered. Why did the Minister attempt to arrest Harry Potter? Was the Minister a secret supporter of You-Know-Who? Did he know his advisors were supporters? Is he corrupt or just a fool?
This reporter will not stop until she gets answers for you dear readers!
Dead Death Eater Found Alive after Masquerading as Professor!
That's right dear readers, Bartemius Crouch Junior, was polyjuiced as retired auror and current Hogwarts Professor Alastor Moody. This was revealed after he cast the killing curse at Harry Potter. A killing curse the Boy-Who-Lived blocked using the Dark Lord's own resurrected body! But how is this possible? He was confirmed dead in Azkaban years ago! According to official auror report Investigations continue into the disappearance of his father Barty Crouch Senior and how he is alive.
However, this reporter has the inside scoop from anonymous inside sources based on veritaserum confession!
Barty Crouch Senior promised his wife on her deathbed to free her son from Azkaban, which he did. How was this done, faithful readers? By Polyjuicing his wife shortly before her death and exchanging her for his son.
But as astute writers will no doubt point out, his wife died more than a decade ago! That is true. However the Senior Crouch had kept his son under the Imperius Curse for those years. Hiding him in his house and obliviating anyone who discovered his secret!
Barty Crouch Junior began to fight the effects of the imperius and eventually threw them off. After which he turned the tables and imperiused his father! Then he admitted to capturing Alastor Moody during events covered by this paper last August, and impersonating him for nearly an entire year in order to manipulate events of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. This reporter must confess to an apology in earlier articles claiming that Harry Potter was attention seeking. He did not enter the tournament nor did he cheat. Barty Crouch Junior entered the Boy-Who-Lived in the tournament against his will in a scheme to get the Dark Lord back his body!
A scheme which succeeded, if only temporarily!
This begs questions that must be answered. How did no one know this person was alive and free? How was he allowed to teach our children for an entire year? Certainly Alastor Moody's close friend Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts should have known something was off about his friend, why was nothing done?
Who else might he have hurt or cursed while he ran free? Why did no one realize it was beyond the abilities of a fourth year student to enter the tournament? Most troublesome is the question of what else might this Death Eater have done around our children while he was unsupervised around them for an entire school year?
I will continue to pursue those questions from those who should know them best.
Peter Pettigrew discovered alive! Revealed as True Betrayer of Potters!
Sirius Black Innocent!
That's right readers! Peter Pettigrew was discovered alive at the scene of Voldemort's rebirth! Many of our readers will remember Peter Pettigrew was thought to have died in the days following You-Know-Who's first defeat while trying to stop the villainous traitor, Sirius Black! He was even awarded the Order of Merlin posthumously for his heroic actions.
But this reporter has the truth for you! A truth so terrifying that many of you may faint from horror upon its revelation. A truth so shocking, that this reporter couldn't believe it herself when the secret was revealed to her.
Not only has Peter Pettigrew been alive all these years, but he bore the Dark Mark!
Not satisfied with just this information, this reporter investigated deeper! Something was wrong with the story we all knew if Peter Pettigrew was really a Death Eater in hiding for a decade if Sirius Black tried to kill him a decade and a half ago.
It turns out that Peter Pettigrew, in addition to being a Death Eater, was the true Secret Keeper for the Potters! Yes, dear readers, Sirius Black never betrayed his best friends and was actually trying to hunt the betrayer down! After spending days on the trail, he confronted Pettigrew in that muggle street all those years ago, only to be set up by the slippery rat! Then, the truly horrifying thing took place.
Sirius Black, the supposed 'Right-Hand' of You-Know-Who was never questioned after his arrest!
Sirius Black was never even charged with a crime in connection with the events we were told he was guilty of!
Finally, the worst and most troubling part of this entire fiasco. A fact that, right now, is causing repercussions to echo across the highest echelons of our vaunted society:
Sirius Black spent over a decade in Azkaban Prison without a trial!
The Boy-Who-Lived even claimed to have told our beloved Minister this information a year ago and nothing was done! Why didn't our Minister investigate these claims? Why was the Head of a Noble and Ancient House allowed to rot in prison without so much as a trial? This reporter calls upon the Ministry to right this horrible miscarriage of justice and wants to know how something like this could happen!
Harry Potter accuses Dumbledore of Abuse and Endangerment!
In a surprising accusation at Dumbledore in the events at the graveyard, Harry Potter said that "(Albus Dumbledore) could lie in the bed he made, like the closet (Harry Potter) was forced to sleep in for the first ten years of his life with the child abusers (Albus Dumbledore) left him with."
Young Mr. Potter didn't stop there with his revelations and accusations. He accused Dumbledore of hiring teachers who attempted to kill him, claiming that three of the last four had done so! This reporter was witness to one such act! The famed auror Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, and well known friend of the Chief Warlock, cast the killing curse at Harry Potter in front of dozens of witnesses!
A bit of further investigation reveals that one teacher conveniently "disappeared", one teacher is in Saint Mungos with no memory of who he is and one teacher was a werewolf! And, as I reported earlier, one teacher is a polyjuiced Death Eater.
"I don't blame Harry for saying he felt unsafe. Even in public… during our first quidditch match someone cursed his broom and tried to throw him off but no one managed to find out who did it!" said Angelina Johnson, sixth year Gryffindor. "Or last year when Dementors came onto the quidditch pitch during a game and attacked us, all of them going straight for Harry."
However, this reporter spoke to several students of Hogwarts who indicated that it wasn't just professors that caused problems in the school and Harry Potter may not have been the only one who was put at risk!
"During my second year, the headmaster announced at the opening feast not to go into a part of the school unless we wanted to die a most horrible death!" Heidi Macavoy, a fifth year Hufflepuff and Chaser added "We also had a troll get into the castle that year during Halloween!"
"During my third year we had people being petrified in the halls!" Roger Davies, a seventh year Ravenclaw added. "Our Head Girl Penelope, a member of this house was petrified after the message saying the Chamber of Secrets had been opened was painted on the wall!"
"This year that Death Eater… the one pretending to be Professor Moody, cast the imperius on us in order to see if we could resist it, and when I told my head of house, I was told that it was okay, he was teaching us." A fourth year Slytherin who requested to remain anonymity when speaking out for fear of retribution against herself or her family.
That's right dear reader, a convicted death eater was allowed to cast an unforgivable on our children!
"I remember Harry being the only one who resisted in our entire class. Finding out it was a Death Eater? No wonder he thinks it isn't safe." The same student concluded.
"Of course this is on top of the accusation that exonerated Death Eater Severus Snape routinely abuses his students, and condones his own students emulating this action. Further, Harry Potter accused Severus Snape of pointing You-Know-Who at his parents all those years ago."
Long thought to be a favorite and supporter of Dumbledore, the Boy-Who-Lived seemed anything but in the aftermath of the graveyard's ghastly events. If what Mr. Potter and all of these other students say is true, what kind of school is Dumbledore running? Why is he allowing our children to be endangered like this? These questions are ones only Albus Dumbledore can answer, but no answers seem forthcoming!
Stay tuned dear readers! This fearless Reporter will find those answers!
Rita Skeeter sat sipping her tea in her new apartment. She hadn't had much chance to enjoy it the past few weeks. She had been running around trying to gather up sources everywhere. Well.. not so much running as sneaking and flying in her animagus form.
At the Tri-Wizard, she had a front row seat to seeing Cedric Diggory show up with the cup. Instantly celebrations began, but she knew something was wrong. She had seen enough to know a dead body when she saw one. She had slipped out of the crowd and quickly transformed,
Hitching a ride on the Minister's shoulder was the best decision she ever made. Of course it was instinct at that point, because that's how she got most of her scoops, and there was no protection in the wizarding world to guard against animagus forms, especially one like hers.
She had seen the events of the graveyard and had been tempted to paint Harry as a rising Dark Lord given the image he briefly presented. Rita knew she could have pulled it off. But his words had stopped her.
Not out of any compassion or anything of that nature. But she knew that a large portion of her readers believed whatever she said, some were uncomfortable with the attacks on children she had been reduced to in a quiet year, when the events at the World cup were too confusing to understand or get much mileage out of.
However, in that one night, in just a few minutes, Harry Potter had given her weeks of controversy she could write about. Tearing down a child hero worked for a little bit, but the chance to pull down an entire administration? A chance to exploit a chink in the armor of one of the most respected wizards in the world? Coverups by ministry personnel? An innocent person locked in prison? A guilty one given an award by the Ministry?
She could get mileage off that for months, even longer! Merlin, these were the stories entire books were based on. And she was the one who broke every story and then privately confirmed every lead!
Daily Prophet sales had gone through the roof and, because of her well-phrased contract, she had a percentage take that caused her a huge bump in income. Sure, to better help her claim the moral high ground, she had to print one line of apology, but that was easily lost in all of the other headlines dominating the papers and people's conversation.
She was only winning praise for her actions and not just in Britain, but internationally people were recognizing her work based on the congratulations she had received and the letters thanking her from other countries.
Rita lifted her cup in silent toast to Harry Potter for the opportunity he presented her, as she glanced at yet another front page center article.
The Hunt for Harry Potter!
Harry Potter, has now been missing for weeks from the Wizarding World! Though there have been sightings, none have been confirmed. The Boy-Who-Lived fled after now Former Minister Fudge attempted to have him arrested for fighting a Dark Lord and his minions!
Owls have gone unanswered and pleas in this very paper have either been ignored or unread.
Newly sworn in Minister Rufus Scrimgeour had this to say. "One of this Ministry's, and this administration's, highest priorities is finding Harry Potter and returning him to the Wizarding World. We have assigned the majority of our Aurors in this search and have several concerned volunteers. This administration, in conjunction with the Wizengamot is taking steps to ensure that he returns."
When pressed on what steps the new Minister was referring to, no answer was given. Instead, he simply concluded his statement that anyone with information to Mister Potter's whereabouts should contact Aurors immediately, and that a reward of 5,000 galleons for information leading to Mister Potter's return was being offered.
This reporter, and all here at the Daily Prophet hope to see the hero who has twice saved us from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named amongst us again soon.
The article was a setup, as anyone with half a mind could read between the lines to see the truth behind the Ministry's desire to return Harry Potter. The administration's intentions were nothing close to altruistic, but Rita wrote the article with the proper Ministry spin anyways. She was banking on the payoffs of future insidious revelations that would come when the truth of the Ministry's desire to have the boy back became known.
To her, it was clear skies for her writing. There was nothing but more scandals on the horizon for her to rake out of the muck, and she had Harry Potter once again to thank for what would ultimately be the set up for her to take down yet another Administration. She already had done two nights of 'investigative reporting', and the things she had heard would likely put Scrimgeour and half his cabinet in Azkaban.
There would no need to turn her attention anytime soon to flinging mud at Harry Potter. The boy was sanctified gold in the minds of the entirety of the Wizarding World. The thought of lampooning her golden goose never even occurred to her. She had realized that the articles she had written about events surrounding the boy, portraying him honestly, had earned her more in the last month than she would normally earn in five years.
Once again, Rita raised her cup to her mouth and drank deeply, enjoying the taste of victory, and, even if her mind only imagined it, the taste of more blood in the water for the Ministry of Magic.
Harry was sitting on a beach chair, shirtless from the waist up, with only a pair of board shorts and sunglasses on. He was laying out nearly prone and he had his head laid back and was letting the mid afternoon sun beat down on him. He was also reading an odd looking book.
Next to him was an even more eclectic pile of reading material, Runic Studies, Education Standards of Great Britain, Quidditch Monthly, as well as a dozen other books and magazines he hadn't even gone through, though he was fairly sure there was a Playwizard in there somewhere Sirius thought he should be studying like there would be a NEWT examination upon it.
It was a pile picked half by him, and half by the only human he currently maintained constant contact with. He found himself zipping through it at a pace far faster than he was ever capable of reading before. He had only become aware of that increased paced when he had brought two books outside the day before and had read through them in a matter of minutes. He had brought over 20 books out this morning, and had zipped through them all.
Though he had especially liked the books on different healing magic. Given all his trips to the infirmary he had been more than a little curious, which was why he read the first one. But he had found himself truly interested.
He was taking his time with the current book, but he had read it before and knew he would need more books soon.
There was a slight pop of apparition not far from him, Harry tensed briefly but when there was no followup he relaxed. Even if someone who hadn't been invited somehow managed to breach the extensive and powerful wards on the island. Dobby would have warned him if it were an unfriendly.
He turned his head to see a man in somewhat outdated clothing ambling up the beach his way. A smile broke on Harry's face.
"Hey Kiddo," The man said and with a flick of his wrist sliding his wand into his hand and then conjured a matching chair to Harry's and flopped down next to him.
"Whatcha got there?" the man asked gesturing at the odd book in Harry's hand.
"Hey Sirius," Harry chuckled. "It's something Dobby found in Potter Manor for me after he found out that it wasn't in a ruin like we were told."
At Sirius' still curious look, Harry smirked, "It's a book, you know… you open it, and it has words inside that form sentences and tell you things? Or if it's from Hagrid, attempts to maul your hand. I know this is a bit too highbrow for you, since you tend to prefer magazines, with colorful pictures and few words, but I would expect you to at least recognize this..."
"Hardee har har." Sirius replied with sarcasm in his tone, though genuine humor was also present.
Harry smiled and then held it up, "It's one of my Grandmum's journals. She was brilliant."
After Harry had fled from Britain, without anything, quite literally without even clothes on his back… well not even that much really. It was more like just the 'pants on his legs'. Needless to say, he had been at somewhat of a loss. His entire life he had felt something wasn't right, deep inside. He had thought when Hagrid had uttered those fateful words to him, "Yer a wizard, Harry," that was what had been wrong. His entire life his 'relatives' had denied him part of who he was.
But always in the pit of his stomach and the back of his mind he knew that wasn't all. He could never put his finger on it but it still felt like a large part of his life wasn't as it should be. Now after four years, he knew what it was. He wasn't just a wizard. He was his parents' son. He was a Potter. He was whatever his biological grandfather had been.
He wasn't born to be controlled, passive, shy or afraid.
It had felt so good to tell off Dumbledore and the Minister. When he had shattered the magic suppressing manacles, it was like he had thrown off the shackles of the wizarding world completely. No worries about what other people thought, refusing to be guided, manipulated or controlled. For the first time in his life, he felt right.
Of course that didn't mean he was entirely certain about his future. He had no money, no possessions and no idea of where to go.
It had had taken him nearly an hour to stop and think about necessities like that. For the first half hour he was still seething and was just flying without direction. For the second half he had nearly forgotten his troubles entirely.
He was flying! He soared up among the clouds, higher than he had ever gone or dreamed going on his broomstick. It was a slice of heaven to feel the air through his hair and for it to move around him, for his body to shift at its slightest thought without fear of falling or the broomstick not being able to handle the demands he placed on it.
However, when Harry had finally stopped and tried to think, he had come to the conclusion that he needed help. His first thought had been his godfather but he hadn't known where the man was.
Second thought was rather startling and he had rather tentatively called for Dobby. Dobby had been exuberant when he had appear before Harry, only to be more than a little startled when he realized that they were literally up among the clouds. Of course when the diminutive being had realized that Harry Potter was flying without a broom he hadn't asked questions or even shown disbelief. He had just exclaimed that Harry Potter was a truly great and powerful wizard.
To say that Dobby had been a lifesaver over the next couple days was probably understating it.
In short order the elf had gathered all of Harry's possessions from Hogwarts. Of course Dobby later mentioned that he had also removed all the tracking charms from his items.
Dobby had only asked for one thing in return. Harry had been prepared to hire the elf, but the diminutive being had vehemently said he didn't want that. Dobby's price for doing it was imminently affordable, he had pleaded to become Harry's elf.
Despite knowing he would probably get an earful from Hermione, Harry had agreed. Which apparently was all it took for the little being to become his elf.
Dobby had then promptly dragged Harry to Sirius, who had been hidden in a cave in the forbidden forest. Harry had mentioned that he hadn't known that Sirius was that close, and Sirius had nearly erupted with accidental magic, saying that Dumbledore had promised months earlier to pass the message along so Harry could talk to him if he needed. Given Sirius' still emaciated and weakened state, the eruption of magic was telling as to just how upset the man was.
After Harry explained the nights events and revelations to Sirius, Harry had said that he planned to get the hell out of Britain. Sirius hadn't so much as hesitated or disagreed for a moment and they were out of the country that night. They went to the same island he had stayed on over the previous summer and into the fall.
Harry discovered it was simply called Black Island, a private Caribbean island owned by the Black family. Harry was surprised when Sirius didn't so much as hesitate to believe him, or disagree with his decision to get away. But he was grateful that there seemed to be at least someone in his life that trusted him.
Dobby and Sirius had been his only contacts with the outside world since he had disappeared nearly a month ago. He had only communicated sparingly with others. He sent out a few letters to friends, delivered by Dobby and not Hedwig. Harry was worried someone might capture his owl and he wasn't willing to risk her.
Hedwig had been miffed until Harry explained that he didn't want anyone to get it in their mind to use Hedwig in order to draw Harry out. That explanation and a few extra strips of bacon had been enough to get the owl to forgive him. Surprisingly she seemed to enjoy it on the island, floating around in the warm breeze
"Your grandmum was relatively brilliant… though I also don't think she focused on one or two areas so she never got a Mastery or anything," Sirius said as he stretched in his conjured chair.
"Right now? Her journal is talking about occlumency. She has all these notes about the stupid books that she disliked." Harry smiled a bit. Sirius had recommended looking into it after one of their first conversations when Harry mentioned nightmares.
Cedric's death and the deaths of the others he killed. Though they were evil and there was no doubt in his mind they deserved it, there was the guilt that he had been the one to do it. He had tried some of the books that Dobby picked up from the Potter Library and the Black Library.
However it had been his grandmum's journal that had been most helpful. It had given honest and direct advice rather than talking about organizing memories. It read a lot like muggle meditation Harry thought. Since he had stumbled on her notes in the journal, he had seen vast improvement. He wasn't an expert by any means yet, but he was improving by leaps and bounds.
"You're lookin' good, kiddo," Sirius said after a pause.
"It's amazing what three square meals a day and no verbal abuse from relatives, not to mention a lack of lethal traps set up by the Headmaster will do for someone," Harry replied with a grin.
It was true, whether that, or the impact of his 'alien' heritage emerging, he had hit a major growth spurt this summer and his body was showing the clear effects. Then Harry's expression fell and his eyes flicked downward. "Doesn't fix everything though."
Sirius eyes followed Harry's gaze to his bare chest. The skin of his chest had tanned, but that actually seemed to bring out the fact that his torso was criss crossed with faded white scars that seemed to be the result of the magical onslaught he had endured in the graveyard.
Sirius had brought several potions to try and heal them, but to no avail. Dobby practically had a break down when the ointment he brought hadn't seemed to work. Considering he was certain that some of the wounds should have been fatal, there were obviously worse outcomes than some noticeable scarring on his chest, back and neck. Of course that didn't stop Sirius from wanting to hunt down the two Death Eaters that had survived the graveyard and torture them slowly until they begged for mercy for what they had done to his godson.
Not like anyone would notice two more upstanding citizens of magical Britain disappearing suddenly amongst the insanity going on back there.
"I could say the same about you," Harry spoke up, pulling his godfather's mind away from the angry thoughts his mind had drifted to. "Not longer going for the half-crazed escaped convict look is a good choice. That's so very last-year according to some of the magazines I read."
Sirius chuckled, turning Harry's words around on him. "You'd be amazed what three square meals, no dementors and being a free man will do for someone."
Harry grinned widely at that pronouncement, "Good, it's about damn time."
He saw Sirius smile and nod though the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked with a sigh. When Sirius didn't reply immediately, he continued. "You might as well tell me."
Sirius sighed "Despite Pettigrew's confession, and testimony, the new Minister has not rescinded the search for you. Though he's termed it that they want to find you to protect you' instead of 'Wanted for the Deaths of...'. There was even mention of a 5,000 galleon reward to whoever tipped them off so they could 'bring you in'. For 'questioning' of course."
Harry nodded looking entirely unsurprised. "As I told him, the Minister is a moron."
"Oh, no. This is, in fact, a new Minister, Rufus Scrimgeour." Sirius corrected, with a small sneer on his face before it was lost.
"Doesn't mean he's not a moron too," Harry responded with a roll of his eyes.
"Fair enough," Sirius allowed, "You're not far from the truth in what you think. He wants you back in hope of bolstering support with his administration. The public is none too happy with the Ministry as a whole right now."
"Oh? Did someone give them a new opinion?" Harry asked with more than a trace of bitterness to his tone. "I don't see Dumbledore saying anything to rock the boat. Who's speaking to the sheep now?"
"Well, Skeeter has basically made it open season on the politicians. Reporters taste blood in the water and they're going for it. She just seems to be the best at the muck-raking, and it doesn't hurt her that what she's printing is apparently the truth for once."
"But it's not just Scrimgeour who wants you back," Sirius shrugged uncomfortably, "He wants you to bolster his numbers. Several pure blood families are pushing because of the deaths of their family members, in many cases their Head of House."
"Well, their family members shouldn't have been Death Eaters," Harry said with an indifferent shrug of his shoulders.
He had time to process the deaths he had caused over the past few weeks of relaxing on this beach. Initially, he had felt a bit of guilt after reflecting upon what he had done, but then that all vanished when he saw Cedric's face in his mind. The empty eyes that stared up at him. A Wizard in the prime of his life, who likely would've been a successful quidditch star and politician, relegated to dying at the wand of someone he didn't even know because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the end, Harry determined his actions were more of a public service akin to putting down a rabid animal than it was anything else, and repeated this opinions to Sirius when the man sought to offer his own clumsy brand of 'mind healing'. Harry assumed that the man's initial suggestion (and offer) to get him a hooker or two was pure jest.
It wasn't mentioned that the Occlumency helped tremendously when coming to these revelations.
"They had it coming to them the minute they responded to Voldemort's summons without hesitation," Harry said without an ounce of sympathy in his voice. "Funny thing, their pure blood looked just the same as any other blood when it was all over the place."
Sirius nodded solemnly, although the corner of his mouth twitched slightly at the mention of Malfoy. "Very true. I'm just sorry I didn't get to see it. Maybe I could've helped stop you getting a few of those injuries."
"Or you would have been too busy focused on Pettigrew or taunting Lucius or something and they'd have killed you," Harry murmured with a roll of his eyes. "I prefer living with the scars to you dying while trying to be stupidly heroic… or just stupid."
"Hey now… I wouldn't have done that." Sirius complained affecting an injured look, one that disappeared after he saw it wasn't working on his godson.
"History says otherwise," snorted Harry, not truly insulting his godfather, but getting more comfortable with the banter between the two of them over the past few weeks. He shook his head and changed the subject, "So the Ministry is getting read the riot act. What about Dumbledore?"
Sirius briefly narrowed his eyes at the mention of Dumbledore's name, before he grinned widely and boasted, "Oh, the Old Man is losing it big time."
Harry tilted his head curiously, waiting for the man-child to continue before he bounced himself out of the beach chair in his excitement. Granted, Sirius sprawled face down in the sand would make up for the delay in getting the information, but it would also lead the man complaining about sand where it shouldn't be, then he'd likely automatically change into his dog form and start licking himself.
He felt scarred from how many times he witnessed that occur already.
Sirius chuckled and looked entirely too smug, sitting back in the chair and looking out at the ocean around them, "Well, to start with, he's looking everywhere for you, sending out owls, and has all his friends search high and low."
Then, if possible, Sirius' grin grew even wider, "He had a conniption when he couldn't access your trust or family vault at Gringotts."
Harry outright laughed. On Sirius' urging he had sent Dobby with a missive to the Goblins declaring his desire not to have anyone touch his accounts or money until he had a full accounting.
He didn't want the Ministry trying to take it in some way in an effort to blackmail him into coming back.
The goblins had eagerly complied saying they'd been trying to contact him for years. He was somewhat relieved that one of the first things they told him was that the Ministry couldn't touch any of the vaults. No matter what they did. Otherwise some of the vaults of imprisoned Death Eaters would have been confiscated by the Ministry years ago.
"Oh yes, Dumbledore apparently inadvertently made a big production on the main floor of Gringotts in front of dozens of witches and wizards. The Goblins loudly denied him access after he was initially turned away because he tried to pull the 'he's your magical guardian' card or some hogwash." Sirius stated, his wide smile firmly in place.
"The Goblins took great relish in explaining to him about the consequences of his tacit approval in you entering an adult contract via the Goblet of Fire and all of the repercussions therein." Sirius laughed and looked at Harry, "Incidentally, and on a totally unrelated note, the Goblins have apologized for a tragic breach of protocol in discussing your account publically, revealing that according to the Ministry's own laws, you are an adult that can't be legally touched by the Ministry of Magic, etc etc."
Harry threw his head back and laughed out loud. The genuine laughter was something that Sirius had noticed came much more frequently now than it did initially after the events in the graveyard.
"Oh, that's good!" he finally said after he calmed slightly.
"I figured you'd say that. I told them it was quite alright, and that their method adding fuel to the fiendfyre was brilliant," Sirius said with a chuckle.
Harry noticed his Godfather become slightly distracted, and waved his hands in front of his face. Sirius pouted for a brief moment, then continued. "While we're on the topic, before I forget, there was one other thing from the Goblins."
"Oh?" Harry asked curiously.
"Yeah," Sirius scratched his cheek, while staring out at the ocean, his tone definitely distracted again. "Did you send them a message with Dobby saying that you preferred they invested your money in the muggle world?"
"Yeah?" Harry half stated, half asked, "They asked me what I wanted them to do with my investments and I figured, given my past experiences, I'd prefer they invest in the muggle world. What about it?"
"Well, seems you caused a huge stir in the goblin bank when you did that," Sirius replied.
"How?" Harry asked, genuinely curious.
"Well, based on Treaty with the Ministry, the Ministry has no right to any gold or objects in Gringotts. In return the Goblins are only allowed to interact and invest in the wizarding world, unless specifically directed otherwise by the Head of an Ancient and Noble house." Sirius explained slowly. "Something that has only happened a few times in the past with one or two Head of House purebloods investing in specific companies. Usually done by someone a bit more soft hearted than the traditionalists."
Sirius glanced at Harry and saw his blank look, "Usually it means that they fronted a loan or supported a squib that was born in the family. Something that most families just tended to disown and leave at an orphanage… or worse."
"Okay… not sure what that has to do with me…" Harry's voice was half puzzled by the topic and half irritated by his godfather's distraction.
"Well, when you did that, you essentially gave them carte blanche to enter the muggle world financial markets with the majority of your money not earmarked as reserved. Something they have been waiting decades to do. Once I found out how much they've wanted for this, I went ahead and made the Black finances available to them in the same way." Sirius chuckled a little bit, "I gather it's caused quite the stir amongst the Goblins, though I haven't been back since to follow up."
Sirius, apparently had finally grown tired of the conversation, for the moment and pulled out his wand. He conjured what Harry could only loosely describe as a pirate's telescope, complete with Jolly-Roger skull and crossbones on the side. He gleefully put the instrument up to his eye and whistled.
"Damn this old dog's in love. Maybe I should swim out there as Padfoot and pretend to be lost." Sirius said.
Harry followed his godfather's roving eye and discovered why he was so distracted for the past few minutes. Occasionally, a muggle boat or two could be seen travelling between the other nearby islands in the chain their own island belonged to. For the most part, Harry had learned to ignore them and not truly register their appearances anymore.
Harry didn't need a telescope, his own visual acuity had grown exponentially, he just had to focus. This particular boat, which was certainly big enough to be classified as a yacht, had four women lounging nude on ship's bow while they sunbathed, and Padfoot's need to peep had overruled his need to provide information to his godson.
He resisted the urge the jam the telescope into Sirius' eye, figuring that the man had gone twelve years without any contact of the female sort, his insane yet hot cousin notwithstanding, and that it wasn't up to Harry to deny him now. Besides, it's not like they were under a time crunch, they had no place to be.
Harry was patient and eventually, Padfoot had gotten his need to quench his thirst for eye candy out of the way, and even Harry, with his enhanced vision could say that the women were incredibly attractive.
Sirius lowered the telescope and turned back to Harry. Harry couldn't tell whether the grin on his face was because of bathing beauties he had just basked in, or because of the next bit of news he was about to impart, "There's also the fact that Dumbledore can't use your friends to find you either, and it's been driving him nuts."
"Oh?" That was something that Harry hadn't heard before.
Sirius grin was huge at this point as he spoke, "Apparently Hermione has permanently left the country with her parents and sent a withdrawal notice to Professor Mcgonagall. To make sure it was all nice and legal for the government she included paperwork saying she was now enrolled at Beauxbatons."
"I think the old girl might have actually cried when she read that," Sirius added with a snort.
Harry however, felt his mouth curl in a very satisfied smile. He had been very worried about her being left behind in the current political atmosphere. He'd flat out begged Hermione in his letter to leave Britain so she didn't share Cedric's fate. He knew it wouldn't be safe, and he desperately didn't want her to be used against him somehow. Out of his two closest friends, she was by far the more vulnerable.
"And Ron?" Harry asked.
Sirius winced slightly, and looked down, "His parents are still big supporters of Dumbledore."
Harry winced while he simultaneously mentally braced himself. Ron was his best friend, but after his disappearing act for nearly a month Harry had felt they were on shaky ground. He had half expected this to be the next event which drove his sometimes flighty friend away from him.
"Therefore he's been grounded all summer after punching the Headmaster," Sirius added.
Harry looked up in shock, "He what?"
Sirius nodded with an almost sadistic smile, one that Harry easily remembered seeing on the faces of the Weasley Twins every time a prank was about to go off. "One of the twins let me see the memory. Dumbledore tried to convince Ron and his siblings it was for your own good that he find you immediately, and that Ron needed to help Dumbledore or you risked going Dark."
Before Harry could let any of his righteous indignation at that statement leave his mouth, Sirius continued, "Apparently that was enough for Ron to snap. Ron punched the old man, and then while Dumbledore was holding his busted lip, he grabbed Dumbledore's beard, pulled his face down into his knee, broke his nose."
As Harry began to laugh, Sirius waved his hands, ""No no, then there was to coup de gras."
Sirius had to take a moment to compose himself, even to get the rest out. "Then… then Ron pulled a leg back, held it for a moment, and kicked the old man square between the legs and started to tell him off for endangering not just you, but his entire family, including his sister."
Harry broke out in belly-shaking laughter as he heard that, while Sirius was laughing so hard he had tears in his eyes.
It was a feeling of relief for Harry. He had sent Dobby with letters to both of his best friends. He had warned them of what happened at the task, had been honest about what he did and what Dumbledore and the Minister's response was.
His warning had been not to trust Dumbledore, and after a comment from Sirius he had also mentioned what might happen with Draco Malfoy now in control of his family and money. How dangerous it might have been.
Apparently they both had taken it seriously.
"Oh, that's not all." Sirius was practically bouncing in his seat at this point.
"Oh?" Harry asked cautiously, though the grin hadn't faded from his face.
"Oh yes, Hermione apparently contacted all the muggleborns she knew, as well as friends she had or helped with homework warning them as well as highlighting the dangers they had been put in and how often they were bullied because of their blood status while the faculty let the Slytherin's get away with it." Sirius smirked, "I understand that hers was not the only withdrawal sent to Hogwarts. On a totally unrelated note, it was announced that enrollment in Beauxbaton's has spiked higher than it has in recent memory."
"Which pretty much ties into Dumbledore's next big blunder," Sirius continued, "Because the students withdrawing are mostly muggleborn and halfbloods, Dumbledore just got the Wizengamot to pass a measure demanding those who had started Hogwarts complete their education there."
At Harry's uncomprehending look Sirius further explained. "Of course that caused backlash from parents everywhere, and now those who didn't resign and get out of the country before the law went into effect, are now demanding answers from the Ministry and from Dumbledore. They're all wondering why they're trying to force their children to go to Hogwarts."
Sirius shook his head, "Dumbledore is running around trying to plug leaks on his ship everywhere… after it's half sunk."
Harry laughed softly and shook his head, he honestly was amused by the amount of trouble he was causing Dumbledore even remotely.
Sirius let him laugh before his expression turned grim once more, he allowed the silence to hang for a minute before he spoke up, his voice cautious, "Incidentally, now if you don't show up on September first, you will be breaking the law, and they can increase their search for you. They can also detain you and force you to go."
Harry looked up and met his godfather's eye, he wasn't sure how to tell him this but knew he could only put off the argument for so long. "I'm not planning on going back there." Harry said, bracing himself as he prepared to argue with the older man.
"Oh, thank Merlin," Sirius heaved a huge sigh of relief, flopping back completely into his beach chair. "After everything that happened I'm not sure which would be worse, Scrimgeour using you as a Ministry poster boy, you being shipped right off to Azkaban or having to go to Hogwarts and be under Dumbledore's thumb with whatever he might come up with. And… wIth the Ministry in such chaos, I honestly don't know which would happen."
Harry also untensed, and a smile came to his face as he realized that he wasn't going to have to argue with Sirius over it. He had pretty much decided that first night he would take his parents urging and be done with that world.
"Now, enough about me and the fuckup that is the Wizarding world," Sirius said in a brighter tone looked at Harry, "How goes your... practicing?" He asked with a wide grin.
Harry laughed once more, an increasingly more familiar feeling. SIrius was nearly as excited at finding out about his abilities as Harry was. "Well, I can hold my breath for a really long time, I stopped counting after about half an hour or so. I can fly really high, like above the clouds high. But I haven't really been able to figure out more than that with my abilities."
Sirius looked like was ready to protest when Harry held up his hand cutting his godfather off. "There's only so much I can test on an island like this Padfoot. However I did find out something interesting about a week and a half ago, I've been playing with."
SIrius looked at him attentively. Harry wanted to think it was because of their topic of conversation, but he knew it was also possible that it was because the yacht had finally traveled far enough that the women were not unknowingly on display to the island they had no idea was there.
Harry looked next to Sirius and concentrated and then waved his hand. A moment later another lounge chair appeared there, nearly identical to the one Sirius was sitting in, though the coloring was off and it seemed a little bit lopsided.
Sirius jumped slightly and looked at Harry in confusion.
Harry shrugged, "My best guess is that when I snapped Dumbledore's wand, that I sort of absorbed some of it's magic so I don't need my wand to do magic now..."
"I don't know Harry… I've never seen a wand do that to anyone," Sirius said slowly as he stared at Harry dumbfounded for several long moments before he started to laugh again. "I think Dumbledore actually cried about that wand though. He spent an hour collecting the pieces. I know he took the pieces to Ollivander's and old Garrick told him that there was no magic in the pieces. Magically Inert was the exact word used. He likened it to cold iron."
Harry grinned and shrugged, "My heart just weeps for him."
Sirius barked a laugh and nodded before lapsing into silence.
Harry could tell that his Godfather was thinking and trying to broach a subject with him. Now that the two topics Harry had been concerned about had been discussed, his friends, and his plan not to go back to the wizarding world. He was less tense, thus let his godfather think and contented himself with watching the sun which had just began to set.
"What are you going to do now?" Sirius finally asked.
"Now? I'm going to lay here and watch the sunset. It's quite beautiful." Harry replied honestly, his eyes focused in the distance and a small content smile on his face.
After another bout of silence Sirius spoke again, his voice more tentative as he didn't know how to bring up the discussion. "You can't stay here forever you know?" he said quietly.
"Why not?" Harry asked, "Dobby brings me food, no one trying to kill me, beautiful sunrises or sunsets, or both if I want."
Sirius sighed a little bit. "I know, but besides for me and Dobby you don't talk to anyone."
"Yes, but no one tries to kill me or manipulate me for their own ends," Harry replied evenly. "Besides, I thought you didn't want me to go back there."
"Merlin no, Harry. I don't want you to go back there," Sirius replied instantly.
"Then what?" Harry asked
"Go out, see the world. I don't care, there are muggle travel brochures everywhere. Pick a place and just go. Get drunk. Get yourself into some trouble that isn't set up by the Old man. Live your life," said Sirius as he gestured emphatically at the air.
Harry smiled sadly as he regarded his Godfather. "You sound just like my parents."
Sirius mirrored his smile, Harry had told him about his experience completely, and he had openly weeped as Harry talked about his 'death' and meeting his parents in great detail. "Despite being friends with me, your parents were both very wise people Harry. You have to go somewhere."
Harry nodded slowly, looking out at the waves. This was hardly going to be an argument. Harry was honest enough with himself to know that he was already feeling a bit restless.
"I will, Padfoot." he said softly as the sun started to set on the horizon, Harry's eyes following it and watching as the reflection grew on the water, "I just want a bit of time first for me. Time I know was my decision. Then when I leave, I'll know it was my decision to leave. And then whatever I do after, it will be my decision to go there as well."
There was a pause before Harry quietly whispered, "Will you come with me?"
He honestly wanted the company, but had an ulterior motive since he also didn't want his last familial link back in Britain during a time of such upheaval, or be able to be used to get to him.
Sirius was quiet for a bit before he replied, a slight reassuring smile on his face devoid of his usual sarcasm, "Sure, anywhere you want, kiddo."
Harry felt some of the tension leave his body as he relaxed into his chair.
"When?" Sirius asked after a few minutes of silence.
"Soon," Harry replied. "Not too long."
Sirius just nodded and the two men watched the brilliance of the sun set on the horizon as several minutes passed.
"You're only watching the sunset because you're hoping that yacht will float back around, aren't you?" Harry finally asked, with a smirk on his face.
Sirius grunted noncommittally not deigning to answer such an insinuation.
After a few moments, Harry did reluctantly add, "The third one was pretty hot. I'll grant you that."
His godfather's only response was another deep laugh.
"Thanks, Sirius," Harry said quietly after several minutes had passed and the sun was just a sliver in the crimson sky.
"Anytime kiddo," Sirius replied quietly.
Wooohoo! Another story!
1) So we have this story! What's it going to be? Well, it's going to be a crossover. Crossover with what? At its heart it will be a HP/DC Comics crossover, with one element added. Chances are pretty good that this will be a Multi. Depends on the characters really.
2) I have seen a bunch of good stories out there that in part inspired this one. Inspirations include fics like Terminal Justice by "Overkill A.K.A Irrational Intelligence", some of the works of megamatt09, and finally A Spark of Genius by michaelsuave and 'Death's Little Brother", by mjimeyg which in mind are still by far the best DC crossovers that anyone has ever written. This is my attempt.
3) What DC universe am I using? NOT THE NEW 52. *GAGS* This will be mostly comics pre-new 52 related but invoke probably elements of the cartoon tv show and Harry's presence will quickly make an impact on things. Of course I'm not a DC comics expert. So we'll see.
4) Plums Ponderings: I'll freely admit i know jack squat personally about the DC universe beyond the most basic of plots / scenarios. So, ultimately, the source of all plot here is Kat. All i do know is that I'm rather tired of the Kara / Powergirl / HP pairing where they immediately fall into bed with one another that pervades every story with certain authors, so you won't be seeing that here.
My job is to just clean up grammar, zero in on plot holes that, I as a newbie, can recognize, and try and make sure Harry gets to ultimately see more boobs than Sirius in this fic.
They're tied 8 to 8 currently. Well, maybe Harry's in the lead. Does Lucius Malfoy count as a boob?
Kat: He always undersells himself. He helps with characters and makes people more real. I don't promise any pairings. Those are all still up in the air. But yes, this is why I asked for a DC comics expert since I am not one. If you are one with time on your hands and willingness to bat around non-nu52 stuff. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me!
Alternative Chapter Titles:
"Pop goes the Ferret!" - Harry
"Wait till my father hears about this!"- Draco
"I was talking about your father. But sure, feel free to tell him." - Harry.
"The Downfall of Dumbledore." The Wizarding World
"You know. Yoda and Kenobi did the exact same thing to Luke Skywalker that I did to Harry, putting him with his aunt and uncle, keeping him ignorant of his heritage and important facts... and they don't catch this much shit from fanfic writers." - Dumbledore.
"Uh. No. Luke's aunt and uncle weren't emotionally abusive nor did they force him to live in a cupboard. Nor did we continually send him back there." - Kenobi
"Hey, you and I both even died helping redeem someone from their horrible life choices." - Dumbledore.
"Your reclamation project was an abusive petty childish little man who did almost nothing redeeming in his life." -Kenobi indignantly
"Yours was a whiny little brat who condoned the blowing up of a planet!" - Dumbledore irately
"Kenobi… what are you even doing here? You're not in this story! Get back to your story RIGHT now! Or I'm pulling out the hose." - Kat
"How uncivilized." - Kenobi
"Damnit Potter! I just got that body!" - Voldemort
"Yeah, that's pretty much the fourth time I've kicked your ass out of a body. Maybe you should get the point?" - Harry
"Not my fault! Not my fault!" - Barty Crouch Junior
"Sirius, the boat isn't coming back. You can go to bed now." - Harry Potter
"Damnit." - SIrius
"Is a bird! Is a plane! Is Master Harry Potter!" - Dobby
"What? It's not like he's using them!" - Ron Weasley
"Yeah, his wand-" Fred Weasley
"-was already broken." - George Weasley
"So what's he- " Fred Weasley
"-need the bits for?" George Weasley