As it turned out, 'ferry from Newcastle' was a pretty vague thing to look for.
Since the break of dawn that morning, Harry had been crouched atop a container crane that stood in the Port of Tyne in Newcastle, an industrial port that connected to the River to Tyne which then further connected to the North Sea, inside which was where the Prison of Azkaban was located. The Port of Tyne was also the biggest Ministry operated magical port in the northern United Kingdom, so if there was a ferry leaving from Newcastle to Azkaban, as Auror Moody had let slip that it was, it would be leaving from here.
Or so he hoped.
Harry's Gamer's Mind was in full effect, Mage Sight was engaged, and his glowing eyes were scanning across the port, but so far, he was struggling to find anything magical in or around the Port at all.
Nothing glowed in his Mage Sight. No wards, no magical ships, no barrels of magical merchandise, no nothing. There wasn't even a wizard in sight.
It shouldn't have been surprising to him, though.
In the early 1600s, wizarding interest in transportation via ships and ferries had started dwindling alarmingly due to the advent of Portkeys and Floo. Due to that reason, politicians at the time had decided to outlaw public use of ships and ferries for transportation, a legislation which had been lumped under the International Statute of Secrecy, signed and enforced by almost every magical nation on the planet.
Thus it was decreed that Wizarding Ports in muggle areas were to be concealed by the use of Illusionary magic and the ships spelled to travel in ways that would not be noticed by anyone either magical or not. Most shipping work, other than the occasional ceremonial ship, had been reduced to the transportation of large amounts of merchandise that even portkeys couldn't carry. Magical Ports had thus been hidden away from the public eye, having become a background process that was taken care of by the people who were in charge of it.
In many ways, ports and ships were sort of like the house-elves to the Ministry. Deadly useful, but never meant to be seen.
Unfortunately for Harry, that had been all he could find about Magical Ports in the Flamel Library. No information on how the Ports were hidden. No information on where. That, he had deduced, he would probably only find in the Ministry archives.
Harry sighed tiredly, his mind drifting to his conversation last night with his guardians as he kept waiting and watching.
"Harry," Perenelle asked, her eyes filled with concern, "Where have you been? You were supposed to be home over six hours ago!"
"I…was," Harry slowly trailed off. Having arrived back home a couple of hours after midnight, he hadn't been able to sneak past his guardians as he had hoped he'd be able to. The new anti-ID wards that they had installed had prevented him from using his IDs to sneak in. Furthermore, he hadn't planned this conversation out very well. How was he supposed to tell his guardians that he was going to do the exact thing that he had agreed to stay away from just that very same morning?
The solution that he had gone for had been to not tell them and handle it by himself, avoiding all the awkward conversation and chastising, but he hadn't been lucky enough to dodge them on his way in.
"So…" he started, "You remember what I said about not doing this whole being a hero and rescuing people thing yesterday, right?"
"Harry," Nicholas asked wearily, no doubt immediately sensing where the conversation was going. "You did mean what you said, didn't you?"
"Absolutely," Harry hurriedly assured, "One hundred percent. My days of breaking into Ministry guarded places and breaking out unfairly imprisoned people are over. But…"
"But what Harry?"
"As it turns out," he said, trying to keep his tone upbeat, "I need to break into a Ministry guarded place and break out an unfairly imprisoned person."
Hedwig let out an amused squawk from the corner of the room.
A moment's awkward silence hung in the air, before, instead of chastising him as Harry had expected, Nicholas leaned back into his chair with a frown and asked, "Why? What happened?"
Glad that his guardians were willing to hear him out before passing judgment, Harry told them of his little spying session at the Ministry which had led to him finding out that Jarvis had simply been a pawn in a larger game, manipulated by a mysterious figure that even Jarvis himself seemed to know little about.
Then he told them of how Cornelius Fudge had popped in and decided to send him off to Azkaban in the name of shifting the blame from himself to someone else.
"I'm not surprised that the Minister pulled something like that," Perenelle muttered, "Even when we first met him to argue for your guardianship he seemed like a rather self-interested fellow. It would make sense from a political standpoint to redirect the public ire towards Jarvis."
"Fine then," Nicholas said after some deliberation, "I'll handle it, Harry. It shouldn't be too hard to reach out to some old contacts through Albus and mount a rescue-"
"We barely have three hours, we might not be able to reach him on such short notice," Perenelle interrupted with a frown, "Didn't you read the letter from Yao, Nicholas? She mentioned that they had met yesterday and that he had left for rural India after their meeting yesterday, looking for trails of Riddle's journey through the area. Owls would take too long to find him. Even through Patronus…no. Our Patroni aren't particularly discreet…besides, it would take too long."
Harry frowned, "Patroni?"
"That's a lesson for another day," Nicholas answered, before turning back to Perenelle, "We can't reach out to any of the old crowd then, not without risking exposure. I…I think that we might have to handle it ourselves."
"I…erm…" Harry interrupted timidly, "I was sort of hoping to handle it all by myself-"
The murderous glares he received from his guardians shut him up immediately.
A loud bang to his left dragged Harry out of his thoughts. Instantly perking up, he turned carefully to look towards his left, where he caught sight of the remnants of a bright red muggle firework dissolving into the early morning sky. It was a signal.
Nicholas had found something.
Swiftly turning on his spot, Harry disappeared from the top of the crane.
He reappeared in a small empty room a few kilometers away from the spot where he had been keeping watch, exactly where Nicholas had instructed him to go when he received the signal.
Stumbling a little as he fully rematerialized, he caught sight of Perenelle standing near a corner, leaning against the wall as she too waited for Nicholas to return from his expedition to the Ministry Library in search of the Port addresses.
Sure enough, less than a minute later, Nicholas apparated in with a near-silent swoosh, a large piece of paper clutched in his hands.
"Did you find out where the ships leave from?" Harry immediately asked.
Nicholas conjured up a table, spreading the large piece of paper on top of it. It was a map. A map of the harbor. Except it seemed to have another plan drawn right over it, drawn in red ink…roads and winding pathways crossing over lines and buildings and streets that already existed.
"I don't understand," Harry muttered confusedly, trying to make sense of it, "Where is the Wizarding Port? What's all the stuff drawn in red? Is this a misprinted map?"
"No," Perenelle muttered from beside him, peering curiously at the map, "This isn't a misprint. It's a schematic…three dimensional."
Nicholas nodded and pointed his wand at the paper.
With a gargle and a pop, a soft blue mist erupted out of the tip of his wand and started pouring onto the paper, and from that mist rose a ghostly three-dimensional cross-sectional map depicting the Port of Tyne and all that lay under it.
The cross section of the map depicted a humongous cavern underneath the port that opened up right into the river and if the schematics on the map were to be believed, that was where the wizards had taken the port.
"I don't think we have the time to teach him the Bubble-head charm," Perenelle muttered as she surveyed the schematic, "Do you have any other kind of magic that would let you breathe underwater for some time, Harry?"
Harry nodded. "I can manipulate air and water well enough to keep myself breathing for at-least a few minutes."
"Good," Nicholas said, "Then your part of the plan still remains the same. As for us, we will be on brooms, cloaked and within eyesight, ready to intervene if necessary."
Harry nodded, "I'll get into the Port through one of the entrances and get onto the ship. I'll get in, grab Jarvis, handle the Aurors as quietly as I can, and then get out as fast as I can."
"I avoid Moody at all costs," Harry said. This was one thing that the Flamels had insisted upon him doing if they were to allow him to go in and get Jarvis out by himself.
"Are you sure it's a good idea for him to go in there?" Perenelle asked concernedly.
"It isn't," Nicholas said with a frown, "We're pretty much sending him into a live trap. But the Squib needs to be freed. We can't reach Albus and we can't wait till we can. A squib wouldn't last even a few hours inside Azkaban and the only point that we can reasonably intercept and rescue him is the ferry."
Harry's mind couldn't help but pull forth yet another one of their conversations from the previous night.
"Don't hold anything back," Nicholas ordered as he paced around the library, pulling out books off of shelves and flipping through them one after the other, "Tell me everything about what happened. Even the tiniest bit of relevant information that the Squib or the Aurors may have let slip could help us make this whole process infinitely easier."
Harry nodded from where he was sitting, closing his eyes and casting his mind backward into the night using Gamer's Mind.
In a singular fleeting moment, the perfect recollection of the Interrogation Room formed in his mind. Without leaving behind any detail, he started describing exactly what happened in there, starting from how he had heard the two Aurors talk about the interrogation with Ollivander and how he had then snuck into the Ministry and then into the Interrogation room.
Nicholas audibly took note of a lot of little things Harry mentioned, but nothing elicited quite the reaction as Harry's answer to one of his questions.
"The Aurors, tell me about them. Can you describe them? Did you catch their names?"
"I did," Harry replied, his eyes still closed as he recollected their names, "One was Kingsley Shacklebolt, that Auror I met in the Alley before fighting Jarvis, and the other was a strange bloke called Alastor Moody. He had a really scarred face. A fake eye too, I think. Do you know him?"
There was no reply.
"Nicholas? You there?" Harry asked, his brow furrowing.
Frowning, Harry opened his eyes. Nicholas stood barely a few feet in front of him holding a book, his expression frozen. Slowly, he turned his head to look at Harry, who was growing more and more concerned, and muttered something barely audible.
"What's that Nicholas?" Harry asked worriedly, "I couldn't hear you."
"He knows you're coming," Nicholas said, louder this time, his words sending a chill down Harry's spine, "It's a trap."
Shaking his head, Harry interrupted the fierce bickering that had started between Nicholas and Perenelle.
"It's alright Perenelle, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself. If I wanted to get out of there, I could always just drop into an ID or apparate and escape. Besides, with you both nearby, I doubt he could do much."
"Still," she said, "I can't help but think that we should be doing this instead of you."
"Absolutely not," Harry vehemently said, "Moody knows that I try to protect people. You yourself said that he has a soft spot for vigilantes because he used to be part of a vigilante group in the previous War. He won't go all out on me. But he might not take well to someone unknown showing up. That'd take a lot more explaining and I'm not sure even Professor Dumbledore would be able to convince him to back down from his investigation afterwards."
"He has a point," Nicholas said, "Once Albus is back, we should be able to get Alastor off Harry's trail easily without risking revealing us still being alive. Right now, though, us being directly involved is dangerous."
Reluctantly, Perenelle nodded and after a quick hug, apparated away with Nicholas.
Quickly taking a detailed look at the three-dimensional map of the Underground with Gamer's Mind active to memorize it and mark out where he would enter it, Harry pulled out his wand and pointed at the mist.
The mist dissolved into nothingness and Harry grabbed the map before stuffing it into his Inventory. He quickly pulled out his jacket and Invisibility Cloak before putting them on. They might not be much in terms of stealth in front of Moody's ancient magical eye, but they would hide him well in front of others.
He was about to apparate out when suddenly he noticed something strange.
It was awfully quiet inside his head.
With an amused smile, grabbed the seam of his breast pocket and shook it, chuckling at the indignant squawk that came at him in return from inside the magically expanded space.
"You're the worst," an angry voice echoed in his head, "I was dreaming of flying through clouds made of apples! Do you know how good that feels?!"
"I'd imagine the apples hitting your face as you fly through them would be pretty uncomfortable," Harry pointed out.
"Not if you eat fast enough," Hedwig replied before asking, "Is the boring stuff over yet?"
"I was scoping out the area and making a plan," Harry replied flatly, "It wasn't boring at all."
"You were sitting around brooding on the top a crane for three hours staring at nothing. It was boring enough to make me fall asleep."
"I wasn't brooding!"
Hedwig completely ignored his indignant outburst, asking, "Where are we heading? Did Nicholas manage to find where the port is?"
"He did," Harry replied warily, "It is underground, but I think I have a pretty good idea of how to get in there. Problem is, it might not be very comfortable.
"Seems pretty comfortable to me," Hedwig snarked at him from inside her spacious pillow-padded expanded space in Harry's pocket.
"Just shut up," Harry growled as he painfully struggled to fit inside the narrow cylindrical post box which was barely three feet tall, ignoring the strange looks from the passing Muggles. Closing the door of the box behind him with much difficulty; he could feel a muscle pulling in his leg; he cast an Observe at the box once again.
Entrance to the Magical Port of Tyne
The Entrance to the Magical Port of Tyne is a small post box which requires a Password to be spoken into it from the inside in order to grant passage from anyone who wishes to gain entry to the Port Cavern. It is small in size because this entrance is only used by house elves working for the Port. This password is given to this large and ugly stone gargoyle which rarely talks but is capable of doing so.
Password – Merlinium Foray
Reading from the Observe and desperately hoping that some sort of expanding charm would kick in once the password was said, Harry quickly shouted out the password, "Merlinium Foray!"
The box didn't expand. Instead, rather unexpectedly, the floor underneath him vanished.
"AAAARRRGHHH!" Harry instinctively screamed as he slid down the pipe-like structure before he realized he was giving himself away and clamped a hand onto his mouth. The slide was long…almost longer than the one at the Chamber of Secrets and just as slippery, but somehow this wasn't wetting him or his clothes as the slime from the Chamber's pipes had.
At first, the drop was almost vertical, but then it slowly leveled into an incline as it twisted and turned and carried him further and further into the ground. He could see nothing at all in the pitch black darkness below him. The sounds of the traffic and the city above faded away as an eerie silence replaced it.
For a moment somewhere in there, Harry completely lost his bearings.
After a few moments, a spot of light appeared below him and started growing rapidly. The tunnel started growing lighter and lighter, the magical dry-slime on its smooth walls becoming more and more visible as Harry tried to look down the tunnel and see what was there to catch his fall. It took his eyesight a second to see it and his mind another moment to put to place what it was.
It was the ground. Solid. Stone. Ground.
Eyes widening, Harry immediately fixed his eyes on the ground underneath and started pushing his own body to turn. It was terribly difficult to find any traction against the slippery tunnel, but despite that he managed to get a spin going, wildly chanting the three D's in his head.
'Determination Deliberation Destination Determination Deliberation Destination Determination Deliberation Destination!'
Just as the tunnel was about to run out, he felt the pressure of Apparition and vanished, reappearing on the spot where he would have splatted down onto, almost stumbling and falling into what he soon realized was a gaggle of the port house-elves who had surrounded the spot and were looking up the tunnel to see who was coming through.
Due to use under stressful situations, a skill has leveled up!
Silent Apparition Lv-6 (54%)
Destination, Determination and Deliberation. Apparition is a magical method of transportation and is basically the magical action of travelling by having the user focus on a desired location in their mind. It is by far the fastest way to get to one's desired destination, but is tricky to pull off correctly and disastrous if botched up.
Cost-40 MP per use
Quickly waving the window away, Harry carefully stepped through the small crowd of house-elves and once he was on the other side, dusted his clothes and walked through the stacks of produce boxes that walled the path that led away from the house-elf entrance that he had slid in through.
Moments later, after Harry had lost and found himself three times, the walls ran out and Harry stepped out into the massive cavern that was the Magical Port of Tyne.
He had to stop for a moment to take in all that he was seeing because the sight in front him had stunned him to a standstill.
"Holy cow…" Hedwig's astonished voice rang in his mind and Harry had to agree with the sentiment.
The cavern was enormous-at least a hundred and twenty feet tall-its roof covered in rocky stalactites and natural rock serrations. The walls were rough and exposed the gorgeous natural patterns of the rock formations, glinting in places where gemstones had been created by the enormous pressure of the earth above them. As many boxes and barrels were scattered around the damp floor as floated around overhead, magically arranging themselves and flying along to wherever they were meant to be stored.
The most incredible thing, however, was the enormous wall of water, blue and churning and powerful, that covered the entire opening face of the cavern. It sounded deafening; like a hundred angry lions roaring at once; the sound made it almost impossible to hear even his own voice.
It took a moment for Harry to realize what the enormous wall of water was.
It was the River Tyne, being held back from completely drowning the cavern by an enormous barrier of magic.
The cavern, Harry couldn't help but theorize, must have once been a natural water formation that used to be flooded by the Tyne. When the wizards had come, they pushed the water out to the mouth and then built the floor before repurposing the whole thing into a port.
In the outcrop of water that jutted out from the base of the watery wall and spanned half the floor of the cavern were a bunch of piers, at which were floating three wooden ships straight out of the 1800s-wooden masts, wooden varnished hulls, enormous mermaid figureheads the size of a decently sized house-the whole deal.
As Harry watched, the mermaid from one of the ships; the smaller one with only one over-deck floor as it's cabin; sprung to life and sprung into the water before rising up near the edge of the water and deftly untying the ropes that anchored it to the port, before diving back in and gracefully leaping out of the water near the ship once again to take her place at the bow of the ship.
Out of the corner of his eyes, Harry caught sight of a house elf waving its hands in sync with the mermaid's movement and marveled at the sheer power that the creatures wielded.
The ship slowly pushed away from the edge and towards the wall of water.
The four dark-robed wizards that stood on the deck, who seemed to be the only ones in the entire port; the whole thing seemed to be run by house elves and pre-determined magic; swiftly hurried into the cabin and shut the door after them just as the bow breached the wall of water and entered the River.
'Wizarding ships are actually submarines,' Harry thought amusedly.
Hedwig's voice broke him out his reverie and snapped him back to reality.
"I'm all for staring at giant water walls and admiring them, but aren't we supposed to be getting onto one of those ships? What if the one that just left is the one we're supposed to get on, you dummy?"
With a soft curse under his breath, Harry immediately cast an Observe on the leaving ship, and sure enough,
Named after the carrier of damned soul to Hades, this ship has been the official transportation vehicle for Prisoners of Azkaban for centuries. Legendary due to having held numerous incredibly powerful prisoners for their trips to the dreaded Dementor Domain including Cruesha the Terrible, Dark Lord Mortimer, as well as many others, it is protocol for this ship to carry four Law Enforcement Officers as well as one Auror along with the twelve member crew to complete the transfer process.
It can last underwater for 15 minutes before it needs to resurface.
"Fuck!" Harry cursed audibly, making a nearby house elf jump and look around confusedly as he sprung into a sprint which sped up into a Unicorn Boost powered run. Jumping over barrels and piles of produce and ropes as well as working house elves, he made a mad dash for the pier as the ship slowly sank midway into the water wall. He didn't slow down as he reached the edge of the pier, instead jumping with all his might as he dove head first straight into the water, spinning himself as soon as he breached the surface as he used Hydromancy to make the water torpedo him towards the ship as fast as he could.
As he neared the edge of the wall, he swiftly turned the direction of his motion upwards, tearing out of the water with enormous force and shooting upwards into the air in an arc, landing on one knee on the back of the ship just before it fully got submerged in the water wall.
Harry had used Aeromancy to cushion his landing a bit and whatever slight thud of his landing had remained had been covered by the roaring of the water of the river. However, being caught wasn't his biggest concern. It was breathing.
Urgently, he moved his hands in a swift circle around his himself, using Aeromancy and Hydromancy in conjunction to create a large bubble around his head as he entered the wall of water, getting submerged in the river entirely just as the bubble completely formed around his head.
It was like being in one of those sensory deprivation chambers Harry had read about.
The turbulent water made it near impossible to see beyond just a few feet in front of him-the noise of the roaring river all around him was deafening him to the point where he couldn't even hear his own thoughts and the mind-numbing pressure of water above him was taking all of his concentration to push back against.
"Harry," Hedwig's wary voice echoed in his mind, "I think your Cloak is malfunctioning or something."
"My Cloak is what?"
Looking down at his hands, he became instantly very aware that his Invisibility Cloak, which had managed to stay on him through his wild running due to the numerous sticking charms he had used, would be of little use underwater. A strange set of distortions had replaced his hands as if he was made of glass.
It wasn't that the Cloak was malfunctioning, Harry realized. It just wasn't built for being underwater. The higher refractive index was causing his invisibility to go awry.
"I need to find a place to hide," Harry muttered as quietly as he could to Hedwig, not because he was afraid of being heard, but because he was trying to conserve the air in his bubble.
Pushing against the low visibility ahead, he pushed his way through the water further towards the back of the ship, and grabbed onto one of the enormous thick piles of ropes that had been secured to the back half of the ship's deck near the stern, grunting as he used them to cover himself and make a makeshift hiding spot.
The Observe on the ship had told him that it could last 15 minutes underwater, which meant that it was bound to surface for air soon. When it did, he would make his next move, but until then, all he could do was wait.
Settling down and making sure to pump more mana into his Hydromancy to keep the water-bubble intact, he hunkered down, waiting for the ship to surface.
The ship was supposed to surface after 15 minutes, but Harry counted almost 20 increasingly breathless minutes before he started to feel the ship incline upwards and the water rush against him downwards.
"Hold on Harry!" Hedwig's voice echoed in his mind, pulling him out of the haze of fuzziness he was slipping in and out of due to oxygen deprivation. Doing just as Hedwig told him to do, Harry held on tightly to the ropes and prepared himself for the ship to hit the surface.
H.M.S. Charon broke the surface with enormous force, hurtling itself out of the water so fast that for a brief second, the entire humongous ship felt as if it had been suspended mid-air by an enormous puppeteer in the clouds.
But that brief second passed soon enough and it crashed down onto the surface, wobbling uncertainly for a minute or two before settling into a smooth sail.
Quickly using a heating charm to dry himself, Harry untangled himself from the pile of ropes and headed towards the forward half of the ship, taking care to move stealthily despite his Invisibility Cloak.
After all, it wasn't much use against Moody's magical eye, which could see through solid objects and Invisibility Cloaks.
The front of the deck was surprisingly awash with activity.
Ropes were tying and untying themselves and barrels and boxes were moving themselves on their places, jumping and somersaulting around the four dark cloaked wizards who had just stepped out of the main cabin and were stretching their arms and taking in the view of the morning sea around them.
"Take the sun in as much as you can, Morbinson," Harry heard one of them tell the other, "You'll miss it when we get closer to the prison. The elves at the port were saying there's a storm beginning to form there."
He frowned. Nicholas and Perenelle were following the ship on brooms. A storm could prove problematic.
With a loud whoosh, the sails unfurled themselves, catching the winds. With a soft jerk, the ship started moving, soft sea breeze pleasantly wafting over the deck. Despite the urgency of the situation, Harry couldn't help but pause for a second to admire the majesty of the vast blue sea that stretched out till the horizon in front of him. He took a deep breath, savoring the peculiar smell of the salty air and the multitude of sounds that assaulted his ears.
The Port of Tyne was a small speck in the horizon behind them, Harry realized with a start when he looked behind him.
The ship was moving much faster than it let on.
Wrapping the Invisibility Cloak tighter around himself, he carefully inched closer to the dark-robed wizards that roamed the front deck, keeping an eye out for any sign of the one-eyed Auror who was no doubt going to be the one in charge of this little mission. A quick look at the titles floating above the wizards' heads revealed that they were the four-member Magical Law Enforcement officers who along with Moody were in charge of the transfer.
They were also, Harry decided, his first targets.
There were many ways to go about taking them out. He could dispatch them quietly by dropping them all into IDs, but that would mean that they'd be lost forever since every ID Harry created was new and different from the previous one. He could also use Unicorn Boost and his strength to throw them all overboard before they realized what was happening, but that would risk them being able to get back on board by using some form of magic. He could if he was feeling risky and didn't want to keep his stealth for much longer, try and fight them all, but fighting a bunch of trained wizards who potentially had not only been warned against his abilities but also prepared to counter them had its own set of probable issues.
Those were all ways that Harry would have attempted had he been working alone.
Luckily for him, he wasn't.
He was working with a pair of ancient wizards. More importantly, he was working with a pair of ancient wizards who were very good at a particular spell.
Harry grabbed four marbles out of the small pouch on his belt and took careful aim before one by one hurling them at the wizards with as much force as he could.
Harry grinned as multiple flashes of color lit up the deck as the four Aurors were carried away by the portkeys.
Yet another reason why Nicholas had gone to the Ministry instead of Harry himself was to set up a broom cupboard with powerful enough one-sided-locking and silencing charms that even an Auror wouldn't be able to break. Harry's wand casting wasn't at that level yet, so it was for the best that Nicholas did it.
If everything went to plan, the MLE officers, unable to Apparate due to the Ministry wards, would be discovered by the Department of Muggle Affairs janitor a few hours later, unharmed, if a bit cramped.
When Perenelle had first handed him the pouch of marbles and Harry had first observed them, he had been very impressed.
Impact Activated Portkeys
A marble enchanted to be a one time use Portkey. A Portkey is an object enchanted to instantly bring anyone touching it to a specific location. Travelling by Portkey is said to feel like having a hook "somewhere behind the navel" pulling the traveler to their location. This particular Portkey is activated by impact at high velocities.
Destination: Ministry Broom Cupboard #24
It was an impressive bit of magic done by Perenelle with a little bit of Arithmancy to modify the normal touch-activated enchantment into an impact-activated one. It was also something that Harry doubted he would have ever thought of, knowing for a fact that he would have taken the path of least resistance and simply dumped the MLE officers overboard, risking them coming back or getting very hurt.
It was certainly nice to have help.
With the MLE out of the way, the only one he had to worry about was Moody. Harry had been extremely stealthy with the way he had dispatched the officers, so with a bit of luck, the Auror would hopefully none the wiser about his missing underlings.
Carefully, Harry tiptoed over to the door that led into the over-deck cabin of the ship, which had been left open by the MLE officers, and stepped into it, quietly, taking in the room inside.
The inside of the walls had been lined with obsidian and the room had been split into two parts by a wall of iron bars that seemed like they belonged in a jail rather than on a ship. It was locked by an enormous lock on the door. One part, which the door opened into, was probably for the Aurors. It had spare sets of robes hanging from the walls, a couple of leather suitcases on the floor, and two benches to sit on. The other was where Jarvis lay unconscious in tattered clothes bound to the wall by shackles that bound his wrists and ankles.
The boy looked broken…hungry…nothing like the strong boy Harry had fought in the Alley.
Harry eyed the shackles on him. Judging by the way they glowed even to the naked eye, he had a feeling that they weren't lacking in magical protection.
The room was empty otherwise.
"Where's Moody?" Hedwig asked warily in his head.
"I don't know," muttered Harry as he strode further in and took the lock into his hands, ignoring the sting that his hands felt as soon as he touched it, attempting to crush it with his enhanced strength. It didn't even dent. He tried the bars next. They were also impossible to bend.
Hedwig was quick to catch on. "Spelled indestructible, no doubt."
Harry nodded, frowning, before he activated Mage Sight. A soft yellow ward surrounded the lock as well as the chains that bound Jarvis, which he observed.
A very powerful shielding spell used protect metalwork, locks, and other inanimate equipment from tampering and destruction. It is widely used in security and law enforcement agencies as a protective ward to contain and secure objects and people. It takes 5 years of learning in the Auror academy to gain skill enough to cast this.
It was Moody's handiwork. Harry had no doubt about that. With a deep breath, he activated Runic Burnout on the Aegean ward.
Runic Burnout Lv-6 (21%)
A precise sucking of magic from a ward by using it to refill one's own core. It starts causing damage to HP when magic continues to be sucked after the MP is full. A common way to get around it is to use up mana as fast as it comes in.
Do you wish to use it on: Aegean Ward?
Lighting a flame in one hand, Harry pressed yes.
Specified Ward is too complex for your current level. You need to have a minimum of level 8 Runic Burnout to break it.
Harry stared at the message aghast.
He had never encountered such a ward that he had been unable to take down, even ones created by Dumbledore and Nicholas! How could he not take down some protection ward! And with such inconvenient timing! Was complexity that big a factor in his Runic Burnout skill?!
Distracted as he was, Harry almost didn't react in time when a red window popped up in front of him.
Area Sense: Incoming Dangerous Spell!
Eyes widening, almost instinctively Harry blurted out, "ID Create!"
And just like that, a red tint overtook his world and suddenly, the whole ship vanished from all around him. Harry screamed as he dropped suddenly, hitting the water like a wall of cement.
He sank like a rock, shaking his arms wildly as he tried to swim. It took him a wildly panicky second to get his bearings back and activate Gamer's Mind, which gave him the mental fortitude to use Hydromancy to turn and push himself back towards the surface.
Up at the surface, there was no ship in sight.
"What was that about?!" Hedwig's incredulous voice echoed in his mind.
"The IDs had no vehicles! No moving stuff!" Harry snapped angrily, reiterating one of the few rules that the ID had different than the real world, quite pissed with himself for letting that little fact slip by himself in a crucial moment, "Someone cast a spell at my back and I acted on instinct. I didn't even think!"
"You need to get back there as soon as possible, then."
Agreeing and quickly muttering the counter-command, Harry brought them back to the real world, where the ship had left them a few hundred feet behind.
Powerfully twisting the water under him to propel him forward, Harry quickly caught up with the ship before shooting himself upward with a wave of his arm, catching onto a small ledge on the rear end of the hull before using it to steady himself and find footing below him. Throwing his weight around, he built up a good enough swing before using the entirety of his now immense STR to swing himself upward, grabbing onto the lip of another ledge.
Swing after swing, he propelled himself upwards until he grabbed hold of the railing of the deck and pulled himself up onto the edge, shimmying along the edge for a bit before jumping over onto the deck and sprinting quietly around to the entrance of the cabin.
Carefully, he peeked in with Mage Sight active. Someone had shot a spell at him from behind, presumably Moody, and he had no intention of walking into another trap.
The person inside, however, was definitely not Moody.
It was a taller man, well built, glowing a bright and powerful green in his mage sight. He was holding a wand in his hand, tapping away at the lock.
"Observe," Harry muttered under his breath.
Harry's eyes lifted into his hairline as he read the results. This wasn't Moody. He'd been able to read Moody perfectly fine the previous day. This was someone else much more powerful.
Confirming Harry's suspicions, barely a moment later, the lock opened up with a snap and the gate slid open.
Realizing that the mysterious super-powerful wizard was about to take Jarvis to only heavens-knew-where, Harry decided that it would probably be best to intervene as soon as he could, preferably not violently since he would probably end up getting destroyed. Thus coming to a conclusion, before the mysterious figure could reach Jarvis, Harry took off his Cloak, stuffed it into his inventory.
"It's a bit rude to introduce yourself with a spell to the back, don't you think?" he asked with his wolf-voice and Bloodlust active as he took a deep breath and stepped inside.
A number of things happened simultaneously the moment Harry's feet crossed the threshold of the door.
The door slammed shut, hitting the heel of Harry's feet rather painfully. The mysterious wizard turned around rapidly, the tip of his wand glowing bright red. Also at the same instant, large burst of magic engulfed the whole ship and the cabin, washing over his senses and blinding his Mage sight.
Then Time froze.
Not time, Harry realized, as a hidden door beside Jarvis swung open and Moody strode out, his mangled face twisted into a wide grin and the fake eye revolving around wildly.
It was them that had frozen.
"I certainly agree, lad," he said, sounding positively chuffed with himself, "It does seem pretty rude."
The first thing Moody did after stepping out and saying his kick-ass line, which Harry decided he had probably been thinking up for the last hour while he had been shut in that hidden compartment, was search the mysterious man.
There wasn't much to be found.
The man's wand refused to come away from his hand despite having lost the glow on its tip and he had literally nothing else on his person other than the clothes on his back. His face seemed to be covered with an Obfuscation charm that made him almost entirely unrecognizable and impossible to place.
Harry could only imagine that he had prepared for the eventuality of being caught, just like he had.
When Moody started searching Harry, he didn't find anything other than the pouch of Portkey Marbles that Harry had attached to his belt, which he yanked free and started to inspect. Hedwig's pocket had been enchanted to be hidden by Perenelle and that was an enchantment that thankfully not even Moody's eye could pierce.
The pouch, though, was carefully made trap. A Portkey that would activate and carry away whoever took it off of Harry's belt. Much to Harry's distraught shock, however, it simply glowed blue in Moody's hand for a second before it imploded into nothingness and disappeared.
The Auror, instead of being angry, seemed impressed.
"Clever boy! You knew! You knew that I knew! And your little trap would've worked too if it hadn't been for the Anti-Portkey wards! You, little lad, would have made for an amazing Auror! I'm almost regretting catching you," Moody said, patting Harry's back.
"Now you!" he said, his expression doing a full 180 as soon as he turned from him to the mystery man. "You are an anomaly. You shouldn't have known when the boat was scheduled to leave. You shouldn't have been able to break that Aegean ward. You shouldn't have been able to apparate onto a moving ship either."
He was almost nose-to-nose with the man and his wand was digging into his gut.
"Most importantly, your Obfuscation charm shouldn't be working on my eye. Tell me. Why is that happening?"
With a wave of Moody's wand, Harry's tongue and face unfroze, and he was able to speak. So was the mystery man, apparently.
"It's nice to see you, Professor," he said, and even through the Obfuscation charm it was obvious that he was smiling. His voice was obviously masked. It had a sort of metallic quality to it that only came from some of the voice modulating charms Harry had read about in the Flamel library.
Moody frowned, "Dunno what you're talking about. Haven't taught anyone anything a day in my life, no matter how much that old Dumbledore wanted me to. Now, do be a lad and stop wasting my time, will you? How is it that your charm works on my eyes?"
"Very well," the man graciously said, "My charm works on your eye because I am using a version of it was modified to subvert Ancient Sumerian revealing spells."
"How?" Moody asked, sounding intrigued, "I've been working on a spell like that for almost a year now."
"You'll figure it out," the man almost sounded amused with himself.
Moody shot him a dirty look, "How about you don't be a smartass and let me know if I'm getting this right, huh? Did you know that you need Auror training to break that Aegean ward? Of course you did, you were weaving through that ward too easily to not have been trained by someone from the academy. I'm guessing you're a rookie…no…you also knew the Azkaban transfer schedule and naval routes well enough to sneak aboard, so you have to be a senior. Maybe retired…no…you're too young…you quit. Am I wrong?"
The man shook his head, "Sharp as always, Auror Moody."
"Good to know. Now you see, Mr. Mysterious, we find ourselves at an impasse. Our young friend there," Moody said, pointing at Harry, "He is here to rescue Mr. Thompson there. That's all well and good, since I was the one who wanted him to come. You, on the other hand, are not invited. So the only reason you could be here is that you were the one who performed those dark rituals on the poor boy. And now, you're here to finish the job. I, obviously, cannot let that happen. So I suppose that this is where I inform you that you are officially under arrest."
With a twist of Moody's wand, the man's jaw tightened and he could speak no more. Then he turned to Harry.
"You," he said to Harry, "You have become quite the legend at the Auror Headquarters. I don't think the Ministry will prosecute you after you helped stop the attack at Diagon, but your identity will be exposed and your little hero-act will be over."
"Harry! You need to get out of here! If people know who you are then Nicholas and Perenelle would be under serious risk of exposure!" Hedwig reminded worriedly.
Harry agreed. As much as he wanted to save Jarvis, he was a guy who had his list of priorities straight. Nicholas and Perenelle were way too up on that list to risk their lives coming under attack.
Yet even as the thought completed itself in his mind, a guilty weight settled into his stomach.
"Don't worry," Moody assured, unaware of Harry's inner turmoil, "Maybe you could train to…refine…your skills a bit more and then they'll let you join the DMLE. You'd do well there, I'd reckon."
'No,' Harry thought to himself, ignoring Moody's attempts at…whatever he was attempting to do. This was beyond just him and his guardians. If Voldemort found out they were alive he and his acolytes would never stop coming for their knowledge and the Stone, and if heavens forbid they got their hands on them, they would be unstoppable. Not to mention the amount of people who would come after Harry!
Thus, finally making up his mind, Harry started trying every single command he could, keeping in mind what Nicholas had told him about Mad-Eye Moody.
"If you encounter him, get out of there. Don't fight. Don't hide. Don't try to trick him. Just get out. Despite all that you can do, Alastor Moody is one of the most formidable fighters the Wizarding World has ever seen. He is quick with a wand, quicker wandless, and is a master of twelve different forms of offensive magic. The man is sharp, paranoid and very cunning. He has taken down Dark Lords and terrorists and dragons and dementors. If you fight, I can guarantee that you will lose."
That was exactly what Harry was trying to do. Get out. Nicholas was right. Moody was cunning. He had masterfully dissected all of Harry's abilities that he knew of and had come up with a perfect way to neutralize him in a little more than a day.
Unluckily for him though, he didn't know all of Harry's abilities.
When none of his offensive magic or spells worked, Harry moved onto his passive skills. ID failed. Mage Sight was still active, if a little blinding, so when he thought, 'Observe' and a bunch of windows popped up, almost yelped in shock.
A ward that functions by filling the area inside it with magic to the point where no more magic can be accepted into the surroundings, preventing those captured inside from using magic in any form.
Trivyami Anti Transportation Ward
A ward that prevents the use of all Transportation magic such as Dimensional Travel, Floo, Apparition, Portkeys, etc. It is used to contain wizards and witches and prevent them from escaping a certain confined area. This ward is based upon a Nepali spell.
A ward that paralyzes everyone except the caster in the area of effect. It is very difficult and complicated to put together and often takes hours of preparation before it can be put together. Due to that reason, they are rarely used these days anymore.
Harry almost grinned as he read the Magenium Ward description and a plan finally formed in his head. He couldn't push magic out of him, but having exhausted a large amount of his own mana, he had no problem sucking it in.
'Runic Burnout,' he thought, and the window popped up.
Runic Burnout Lv-6 (89%)
A precise sucking of magic from a ward by using it to refill one's own core. It starts causing damage to HP when magic continues to be sucked after the MP is full. A common way to get around it is to use up mana as fast as it comes in.
Do you wish to use it on: Magenium Ward, Trivyami Anti Transportation Ward, Paralysis Ward, as well as 8 more connected wards?
'Eight more connected wards?' Harry thought with a frown. This could really be a bad idea.
A wand poking at the seam of his jacket hood immediately pulled Harry's attention back to Moody. He was running his wand along the edge of his hood, muttering spell after spell, his unpleasant smelling breath washing over Harry's face after every word he spoke.
Finishing up running his wand over Harry's hood, he moved back a few steps before pointing his wand at him. "It's a powerful piece of clothing, that jacket you've got there. Power of self-sacrifice is a terribly strong bit of magic. Ancient. Tricky too. It took a bit of work to find a way to nullify its protections, but find it I did. What do you say, eh? I reckon it's time we see who is under that hood."
The tip of Moody's wand started glowing an ominous purple and Harry's eyes widened as he realized that Moody had figured out a way to take his hood down.
Finally throwing caution to the wind, he pressed Yes.
Due to excessive and reckless use a skill has leveled up thrice!
Runic Burnout Lv-9 (23%)
A precise sucking of magic from a ward by using it to refill one's own core. It starts causing damage to HP when magic continues to be sucked after the MP is full. A common way to get around it is to use up mana as fast as it comes in.
There was a moment of complete silence in which Harry rejoiced at getting the required number of level ups to break the Aegean ward. His plan was to use the level ups he'd get from the Runic Burnout and use them to destroy the Aegean wards on Jarvis's shackles before apparating them both away. He was a bit happy that at least this part of the plan had gone well.
Then everything went to shit.
With an enormous explosive sound that made Moody turn around wild-eyed, the door behind Harry that his foot was still touching exploded outwards and the wards dropped all at once.
Harry had completely misjudged what taking down 11 wards at once would do to him.
Incredibly light headed, Harry dropped to his knees, barely conscious enough to hear Hedwig's worried cries and watch as the mystery man immediately sprinted over to Jarvis with an inhuman speed as soon as Moody's attention was off him, destroying the yellow Aegean ward with a swift wave of his wand along the way, grabbing onto him, and disapparating. Moody's Stupefies and Diffindoes washed off the man as if they did nothing to him.
Rescue Jarvis without giving away your identity!
Loss of respect from DMLE
Remain in dark about the one behind the attack
Just as only the two people were left in the room, a deep cold sensation settled into the air…into their souls…colder than any cold Harry had ever felt.
Moody's head snapped towards the hole that used to be the door, his eyes terribly full of fear, an expression that seemed almost entirely alien on his face. His voice was shaking when he muttered, "What have you done?"
With his head slowly starting to clear, Harry turned to look outside.
The ship had stopped moving and the sky was no longer the pleasant blue. Stormy clouds surrounded them as far as the eye could see. In the distance, a large dark building towered above them, and descending from that dark building towards them at an extremely alarming speed was an enormous dark shadow.
'No. Not a shadow,' Harry thought.
He had lit his hands on fire, using up all the excess mana from the wards that were blocking his senses and making him feel light headed. Little by little his senses were returning to him, but even despite that, it took his mind a second to place what he was seeing.
Hundreds of them.
Eyes widening as the realization completely set in, he pulled down every shield he had and turned up Gamer's Mind to its fullest extent, pushing down every single positive emotion he had into oblivion before flooding his own mind shields with mana.
With his Ghosting skill making him invisible to the Dementors, he jumped to his feet and dashed out onto the deck, where a dozen or so crew members were lying unconscious.
"They must have come up to see what the ruckus was and passed out due to the effect of the Dementors," Hedwig said, her voice distressed.
Moody had lit a lot of the deck, including most of the area around them, on fire, probably to discourage the Dementors from getting too close, and was apparating in, grabbing one of the crew at a time and apparating out. A light blue glowing honey badger Patronus prowled around them, growling in the direction of the rapidly approaching Dementors.
He was apparating them to safety, Harry realized.
"Where are you taking them?!" he shouted in Moody's direction. Moody was barely managing to stay on his feet, struggling more and more every single time he apparated in. Harry needed to help, or else he wouldn't make it!
Moody shot him a dirty look, before yelling back, "The Diagon! Tom's bar!"
Harry nodded before he sent his mana out, parted the fire and dashed through, grabbing one of the crew before apparating away to the Leaky Cauldron entrance and apparating back instantly, not waiting for Tom to acknowledge him or say anything.
He didn't have the time.
When he popped back into existence on the ship, the immense sea of Dementors had descended fully down to the water level and were gliding along the surface, blotting out the sea between the ship and the island. Hurriedly, Harry grabbed another crew member and disapparated, worriedly noting that Moody was barely managing to stay on his feet. He was going to lose consciousness soon. He knew it.
Sure enough, next time he popped back, Moody was lying amongst the unconscious and his Patronus had disappeared.
"Let me out!" Hedwig said as soon as they saw Moody passed out, "I'll take the remaining people to the apartment! No one will see me! You focus on protecting them!"
"Be careful," Harry said and opened up the seam of his pocket. Hedwig burst out into the open air and let out an encouraging trill before diving down towards the deck, grabbing onto one of the crew, and disappearing in a ball of fire.
Harry surveyed the area in front of him with increasing panic.
The Dementors had reached the ship; one of them had already risen to the deck and heading in the direction of Moody. Steadying himself with a deep breath, Harry activated Iron Fist and dashed forwards, slamming it into the Dementor's chest.
Unlike the Dementor he had beat in the ID, however, this one barely flinched.
Instead, it turned its head side to side, as if it was unsure of what had hit him. Harry, a bit shaken from the lack of reaction, slammed another Iron Fist into its jaw.
Again. No reaction.
It simply looked around, visibly more annoyed this time. Behind them, Hedwig flamed in and carried away the last crew member, leaving only Moody on the ship. Hoping that he was at least making a little dent, he slammed another Iron Fist into the Dementor's gut with all his might, this time setting his hand on fire for good measure.
Before he could pull his fist back this time, however, it caught his hand in a quick grip.
Its other boney hand came up to him, bits of dried skin flaking off into air around them as he felt the space around him a couple of times searchingly before its hand wrapped around his throat. Behind him, he could feel even more Dementors climbing onto the deck. The stress on his extremely low-level Ghosting skill was growing more and more unbearable.
Harry was struggling with all his might, trying to use Gamer's Mind to push away his fear, but he was no match for a hundred Dementors. He was close to cracking. He could feel it.
As the Dementor's hand grew tighter around him, Harry's heart started beating faster and faster despite Gamer's Mind, and then suddenly, it skipped a beat. A ping sounded in his ears.
Harry's eyes widened.
'No! Not now!' he thought. Hedwig, who had flamed back in after depositing the last crew member, worriedly flapped around the Dementor in an attempt to reach Harry and flame him out, but it barely even paid mind to her. It was stronger than the Dementor in the ID, better than it, smarter than it…hungrier than it.
It was in its element. It was in Azkaban.
Harry's mother's screams echoed in his ears again…louder this time…He could feel the Dementor lift him up to its mouth with one hand, lowering its hood with another…there was sucking…
Suddenly, the Dementor was yanked backward and Harry dropped to the floor. He caught sight of something bright and enormous circling him…no…there were two of them. The sense of despair in him was slowly being pushed away, but he was still struggling to pull himself together. He didn't have the time to make sense of it. He felt a soft hand on his shoulder and before he knew it, he was being apparated away.
Harry reappeared on a rocky surface.
For the longest of whiles, all that he could make sense of was a female voice…Perenelle…asking him, "Are you alright?" and Nicholas explaining that obfuscating wards around the Azkaban waters and the sudden storm clouds had delayed them from catching up to the ship and that they had come as soon as they had felt the wards go down.
He wasn't all there, but he remembered reassuring them that it was alright.
His legs were too shaky to stand up, but a few moments later, his eyes focused enough for him to see the sight before him.
Shaking slightly as he put weight on his legs, he stood up beside the limp unconscious body of Alastor Moody, wincing a bit as Hedwig flapped down onto his shoulder; she must have rescued the old Auror after all; and his guardians behind him.
"I suppose you were right," he commented with a chuckle, his voice hoarse, "Your Patroni aren't discreet in any sense of the word."
They were standing on a small rocky island about half a kilometer from where the ship had stopped with a glowing ward surrounding them that shielded them from the Dementors' sight. In the distance, two enormous Dragon Patroni; one Hebridean Black and one Welsh Green; flew around the burning remains of H.M.S. Charon as it sank into the rocky sea, battling the swarm of Dementors that were swarming it.
Beyond that towered the dark silhouette of the Prison of Azkaban.
Markus Black popped back into existence in a small, battered-looking living room of an abandoned house and walked over to a half-standing sofa and repaired it with a quick spell before laying the shivering Jarvis Thompson onto it and conjuring a small blanket before wrapping it around him.
"A-ar-are you going to k-kill me?" the shivering boy asked, his eyes wide with fear.
Markus did not reply, instead leveling his wand at the boy and muttering a simple warming charm. Jarvis visibly relaxed, but still eyed him with suspicious eyes.
He didn't blame him.
With a sigh, he cast a Muffling charm around the room and leveled the Elder Wand at the boy's forehead, watching as his eyes widened and he started shaking again.
"P-please. I didn't do anything. P-please don't h-hurt me."
"I'm sorry Jarvis," he said, a tinge of regret leaking into his voice, "But this may hurt. Obliviatus Obscura Revealus!"
The boy screamed as the memory-repairing charm went to work under the expert guidance of the Elder Wand carrying out its master's orders, stitching back together thoughts and memories that his own Obliviate had dissolved into nothingness. Due to the legendary wand casting the spell, the boy's recollection of all that had happened would be perfect to the tiniest detail, but as an auxiliary effect, the pain would also strike him tenfold.
Jarvis's screams lasted for a good fifteen more minutes and he didn't stop convulsing uncontrollably for the next thirty. When he finally stopped shaking and felt strong enough to sit up, Markus was sitting on a rickety wooden chair in front of him with a bowl of soup, which he handed to him.
With a hoarse, shaky voice, Jarvis asked, "Did I hurt anyone permanently while I was not…you know…while I didn't remember everything? Or worse?"
"That…is a relief. So tell me, did the distraction work? Did you get what you needed from the Ministry?"
"Good. That's good. I was worried I'd done all this for nothing," Jarvis said, chuckling slightly.
Markus didn't share his humorous demeanor. After a moment of silence, apologetically, he said, "I'm sorry you couldn't get to see your mother. I had hoped that after all the hubbub you kicked up in the Alley, she would see fit to handle such a high profile case personally, but apparently, I hoped wrong. I miscalculated and I am sorry."
"It's alright Markus," Jarvis said before pausing to sip on a spoonful of soup, "I saw her a couple of times…I couldn't recognize her then because you had my memories locked away, but…she seemed nice…kind…"
Markus nodded, "She is that. Selfless too. She was forced to abandon you due to societal norms and so that she could keep her job, but she has spent her life climbing up the DMLE ranks to the very top, trying to do good, and help people. I've known that since I met her for the first time in my Fifth Year at Hogwarts and I wanted you to see that too."
There was a moment of silence broken only by the crackling of the fire.
"And my father?" Jarvis asked, "You knew him too?"
"I did," Markus said with a smile, "He was one of the best men I ever knew, if in retrospect a bit loopy. He would give his life for those he loved. Unfortunately, he never knew you existed. I'd hoped that had you made it to Azkaban, you would've been able to see him for a bit before I rescued you, but…"
"I learned mid-way through your transfer that apparently he had found a way to escape from the prison some time ago. It…shouldn't have happened. Caught me off guard. I didn't manage to track him down," Markus said, sounding incredibly troubled, "I tried my best, Jarvis, I promise I did."
Jarvis smiled, before reaching out with a shivering hand and patting Markus's back and saying, "Your best is enough. Besides, I think it's time I let go of this grudge against my parents. They seem like they were good people. I… I suppose that it's best for me to move on."
Markus could almost physically feel a weight lift off his chest.
Grabbing the empty bowl of soup out of Jarvis's hands and setting it onto the floor, he grabbed a file off the nearby table and handed it to Jarvis, who gave him a questioning look.
"Ms. Bathilda Bagshot from the wizarding village of Godric's Hollow is an old lady with no other family. She has taken in many foster children throughout her life; both squib and wizards; throughout her life, but she lives alone now."
Jarvis started to interrupt but Markus held up a hand, asking him to wait.
"She was reluctant to take you in, especially because I was a complete stranger who showed up begging her to take in a child she knew nothing about, but once I talked to her over a cup of tea and explained your parentage to her she agreed to keep it a secret and give you a place to live till you are eighteen."
The young boy seemed stunned into silence, so Markus continued speaking.
"She is a nice lady and she'll take good care of you. If you are willing to listen, she will have many stories to tell. Once you are eighteen, you'll be able to access the account I have set up for you in the Bank of London. It has enough funds to give you a good start on whatever life you choose to have. I haven't forgotten my promise either, Jarvis. I will find a way to help you meet your father. I promise. But until then, I hope tha-"
He was cut off as Jarvis leaped out of his seat and grabbed him in a tight hug, his body shaking with sobs. Markus could do little but hug back.
It took Jarvis a while to get his bearings back, but once he did, Markus handed him the Portkey and the documentation that he would require upon reaching his destination, patting him on the back one last time as he said his goodbyes and thanked him. The young boy had taken a huge risk and endured a lot for him and while Markus knew he didn't deserve such loyalty, he appreciated it incredibly.
With a soft whoosh and a burst of color, the Portkey carried him away to his new home.
Markus walked over to the right of the room and stared out of the window of his childhood home into the streets of Godric's Hollow. While Jarvis's new home wasn't too far away from The Potter Cottage, but it was for the best that he didn't know where Markus had been lodging for the last few days.
In the future, Jarvis Thompson's dark life as a revenge-obsessed wizard killer and then his eventual suicide had weighed heavy on Markus, especially after he had discovered who his parents were. Redirecting his life into a better direction wasn't a huge change to the timeline, but it was something Markus was proud of nonetheless.
Besides, it wasn't as if he had been entirely selfless. He had been on his own mission while Jarvis had been out laying waste to the Alley.
That mission had been incredibly successful.
The diversion at the Alley had, despite having gotten slightly out of control, worked, and he had been able to break into the most secure wing of the Department of Mysteries and steal the item he had needed to acquire. A bracelet that not only blocked Scrying, Spying, and Divination magic but also produced false results that gave him near-complete anonymity. He wouldn't have been able to step foot near Dumbledore without raising a dozen red flags without it, so acquiring it was a great leap forward towards his overall goal.
Despite the good news, however, he had also realized that he had suffered from an incredible setback.
He had come back in time hoping that he could use his knowledge of the past to prevent the dire fate that awaited them in the future, but apparently, he wasn't the only one who was intent on changing the flow of Fate.
There had been changes…modifications…events that didn't line up…
Higher forces had been meddling with the timeline in ways that it shouldn't have been meddled with, creating unforeseen situations for him that made all his foreknowledge useless. Someone else had been messing with the past and they had a managed to score a hell of a head start on him.
His eyes drifted down to his ring finger, upon which rested a golden ring that held a small dark gemstone. The triangular mark set deep into the stone glinted in and out of sight, barely visible in the dim light.
It was time to go have a chat with an old friend.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the port and the end scene with future Harry and Jarvis. The chapter was very experimental. New locations. New characters. New reveals. New setups. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts.
Next chapter will be Harry and co. visiting the French version of Diagon Alley. If you have any ideas for shops, magical items, traditions, easter eggs, references, or characters that you'd like me to put in, let me know. I'll try my best to put them in as worldbuilding details and fill out the new locations with lots of details and quirks as I always try to do.