A/N (Edited) Just some light editing on this chapter, Nothing particularly significant. I just added some scene breaks and adjusted a few sentences mostly.
I am attempting to write something as realistic as possible. For this reason I will avoid overly bashing characters and try to steer clear of the whole Lord Potter stuff that plague fics. There will be a lot of character development particularly with Harry but all characters will have their flaws as we as people all do. I will include my own take on the whole inheritance stuff and titles and such. There will be unavoidable similarities with other fics but I will be as original as possible and if I inadvertently include key aspects from other fics I apologise in advance and no copying will be done intentionally and I do not intend to steal other ideas purposely.
As far as I am aware my idea is unique. As for pairings, they will be included but they will NOT be canon because to me they make no sense as the characters do not complement each other and let's face it, you don't get with your friends sister and you don't end up with someone as jealous as Ron. It WON'T be a Harry/Hermione fic though. I have an idea of pairings but you will have to wait and see. I am English so all spelling will be done in the Standard English format. Thank you and please rate, review and follow if you enjoy.
PS. I of course own no part of the Harry Potter universe but I'm looking forward to having my fun in the playground.
Honour Thy Blood
Chapter 1: Defiance
Albus Dumbledore was worried, very worried in fact. The expected alert from the wards that a portkey had been used within the grounds had reached him minutes ago and yet, there was no sign of a winning champion on the designated point of arrival. He had known for some time that he was assured a Hogwarts victory as both champions from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang had been rescued from the maze 15 minutes ago. His pride in his champions had since turned to fear for their safety as neither could be accounted for and the cup had clearly been taken. His usual calm demeanour began to waver and the eternal twinkle in his eyes had dimmed considerably. He turned to look at the other judges and saw looks of confusion reflected back at him. Upon seeing the look the headmaster adorned they too knew that something was gravely amiss. He looked towards the perimeter of the maze where he knew Moody would be patrolling but could see no sign of him. He stiffened suddenly an even deeper sense of fear creeping up his spine and settling into his very core. Moody. It was Moody who had placed the cup at the centre of the maze. The previous school year suddenly flashed in front of his eyes and his heart almost stopped in his chest. Moody was late to the feast, he was never late. Moody had avoided his company as much as possible this year and he and Moody had been friends for decades. It was Moody who had investigated Harrys' name being put in the cup in the first place and came up with nothing. The Moody Dumbledore knew would not have stopped looking until he found something. Snape had been adamant that suspicious ingredients had been going missing from his stores. Boomslang skin, lacewing flies… He was suddenly aware at how foolish he had been and now his laxity may have cost the lives of two of his students. He had simply put Moody's behaviour down to his eccentricity and his desire for privacy in his later years.
He stood suddenly and signalled to Professor McGonagall. She approached looking confused and then equally worried when she saw the expression on Dumbledore's' face.
"Minerva, where is Alastor?" he asked as calmly as possible.
"He took Mr Krum to the medical tent when he was brought out of the maze" she replied unaware of the seriousness of the situation.
Before she could question him Dumbledore was already moving quickly towards the tent so she followed him wanting to know what had clearly flustered the usually calm headmaster. When he reached the tent there was no sign of Moody and Madame Pomfrey was treating Fleur Delacour for a variety of cuts and bruises she had received in the maze. Before he could utter a word to the strict nurse cut him off.
"Albus, it appears that Mr Krum has been placed under the imperious curse and is very confused, he has no memory of being in the maze" she finished clearly concerned for the young Bulgarian.
Dumbledore looked towards Krum and could clearly see the tell-tale glazed look in his eyes. He strode towards him waving his wand in an intricate pattern muttering under his breath. He found more than what he had expected. He had indeed been placed under the imperious curse but his memory had also been wiped.
"Poppy where did Alastor go when he left the tent" he asked the Matron with a hint of urgency in his voice.
She looked at Dumbledore confused but shook herself from her momentary lapse to reply. "He said he was going back to the maze to wait for the other champions, Albus, what is going on?" she asked with her hands on her hips, back to her usual no-nonsense self.
"Please Poppy, remain here and tend to your patients" he retorted quickly and left the tent before either woman could question him further. Pomfrey and McGonagall shared a knowing look before the latter left to follow.
Dumbledore started to make his way towards the castle now having a very clear idea on what had happened. He had been duped and now two of his students and friends life hung in the balance. He knew the real Alastor had to be close by he would be needed for the vital ingredient to pull of such a plan. He quickened his pace the fear within him giving way to a cold fury, a fury he hadn't felt in decades. His eyes darkened and narrowed behind his half-moon spectacles and he could feel his magic react to his emotional state, it was boiling under the surface and leaking around him; his anger was palpable.
McGonagall could feel the anger radiating off him and quickly rushed to catch up to her long-time friend now knowing that something was very wrong indeed. Before she could ask, Dumbledore spoke in a dangerously low voice.
"Fetch Severus, tell him to get some veritaserum and bring him to Moody's' office" he instructed the transfiguration Professor firmly.
She stopped dead in her tracks at the unfamiliar tone of his voice. This was no longer the docile, lemon drop eating, strange humoured headmaster everyone had become accustomed to. This was the man that had saved the wizarding world from Grindelwald all those years ago. The man that all would be Dark Lords had feared since. She shivered at the fury she could sense but quickly rushed away to carry out his request.
Dumbledore made his way to the fourth floor, his wand gripped tightly in anticipation for the coming confrontation. He reached the door and steeled himself before taking a deep breath. He could hear muffled voices beyond the heavy door and before he could comprehend his own actions he had already given his wand a sharp flick sending a blasting curse at the obstacle before him.
The door exploded inwards, splintering into thousands of tiny pieces. When the smoke and haze had cleared he entered the room seeing Moody clearly unconscious on the floor next to his open trunk in the corner of the office. He quickly bound the unconscious form and stuck him to the wall with a simple sticking charm.
He heard a faint cough coming from the open trunk and made his way over. Looking down into the depths he could see a very thin and dishevelled Alastor Moody, minus one eye and one leg.
"The bastards got the jump on me Albus, Crouch, Pettigrew and some weird baby thing" he said clearly disorientated after his ordeal.
"Crouch"? Dumbledore asked, "Barty Crouch"? He asked surprised.
"Junior, Albus, that's the shit up there with you now with my eye and damned leg" Moody growled, clearly angry.
"Minerva and Severus are on their way here now Alastor, we will have you out in a moment" Dumbledore replied, relieved that his friend was at least alive although a little worse for wear.
He turned to look at the imposter only to be met with the sight of a man he thought dead for many years. The leg and eye belonging to Moody had fallen to the floor as the man had taken his natural form, the form of Bartemius Crouch Junior. He looked considerably older; his sandy brown hair streaked generously with grey and the lines and wrinkles in the face and around the eyes told a story of an exceedingly difficult time in Azkaban.
He was roused from his thoughts by a sharp intake of breath coming from the doorway behind him. Turning, he saw the looks of surprise on the face of the usually stoic Snape and McGonagall.
"Is that…" McGonagall began only to be interrupted by Dumbledore.
"Yes, I'm afraid it is" he cut in. "Minerva, Alastor is in the trunk and in need of medical attention, please help him to Madame Pomfrey, Myself and Severus will handle this" he finished waving his hand towards the trunk without taking his eyes of the incapacitated man bound to the wall.
McGonagall pursed her lips and went about her task knowing that it was not the time to protest or question the headmaster further. She fetched the discarded eye and leg from the floor and levitated the real Moody from the trunk. She exited with the still grumbling ex auror leaving Dumbledore and Snape alone with the prisoner.
Snape moved to stand next to Dumbledore, rolling up his left sleeve as he did so, revealing a very prominent tattoo on his forearm which Dumbledore looked at and sighed deeply rubbing his eyes beneath his spectacles.
"Does this mean what I think it means"? The potions professor asked with an air of apprehension in his voice.
It was clear that although he was trying his best to remain calm he was more than a little nervous knowing what would be asked of him.
"I fear it is my boy" Dumbledore replied, looking every year he had lived and equally saddened. "Young Harry and Cedric are yet to return from the maze and the portkey warning alerted me to the cup being claimed close to an hour ago now".
"And you think that the Dark Lord may have them"? Snape asked no longer seeming nervous but slightly bitter at the mention of the Potter boys name.
Dumbeldore sighed again with slight exasperation knowing that his potions master had no lost love for Harry. "Based on his past history at this school it would seem that it is a fair assumption to make" He replied, keeping his frustration towards Snape and his views on Harry to a minimum.
Snape curled his lip in a sign of distaste. "Ahh yes, the boys history at school, which you insist in not sharing Albus, not even with the staff here" Snape retorted in a mixture of annoyance and curiosity.
"They are not my stories to tell Severus as I have said time and time again" Dumbledore said irritably, having had this argument several times with several members of staff. "Suffice to say, Harry is a very remarkable and gifted young man and if you could see beyond your petty differences with his relatives you may see it yourself. Despite what you think Harry seeks neither fame nor glory for his feats but I daresay if he did he would be much more revered and reviled in our world than he ever has been. All he wants is to be normal Severus and yet society will never allow that" he finished sadly. "However now is not the time to discuss Mr Potter and his many achievements, please administer the veritaserum to our guest so we may see what we can learn from him".
Snape knew a closed discussion when he heard one but it did not stop him feeling agitated towards the headmaster and his aloofness when it came to Potter.
He stepped forward and angled the vial of potion to allow 3 drops to fall into the already open mouth of Crouch JR. He stepped back drawing his wand from his sleeve and with a muttered "Ennervate", the unconscious man began to stir, his eyelashes fluttering open to reveal his glazed blue eyes showing that the potion had taken affect. Without hesitation Dumbledore stepped forward and began his questioning.
"What is your name" He asked calmly, not displaying the worry he felt.
"Bartemius Crouch Jr" came the monotonous reply.
"Where are Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory" Dumbledore asked his voice now laced with a small amount of urgency.
"If the portkey worked as intended they would have been taken to Riddle Manor in Little Hangelton" he replied with a cruel smile.
Dumbledore was truly shaken now. "Severus, get any and all information you can from him then send for Amelia Bones directly and tell her to bring only aurors she trust implicitly. I will return as soon as I can" he finished calling out for his phoenix familiar.
With a final look of disgust towards Crouch Jr, he disappeared in a flash of fire leaving behind a confused potions master, annoyed that the headmaster had departed before he could open his mouth to speak. Snape scowled at the space where Dumbledore had only seconds ago been standing but turned to further question the only remaining man in the room. He knew that tonight was going to be a long night.
Harry Potter was not in a good place. He was on his knees clutching the smoking remains of his phoenix feather wand; he knew his time was coming to an end.
He had taken his parents instruction and tried to run for the cup that would return him back to the safety of the castle and away from this hellish nightmare. It was not to be however. His leg bitten by the acromantula had given out mere feet away from the trophy and as he raised his wand to summon it to him, it was struck by an errant spell. All that remained was a smouldering slither of wood with a bright red feather protruding from the end still smoking from its destruction which he clung to regardless of its now useless state.
He was exhausted, breathing heavily and quite severely injured. He looked at the colder growing corpse of Cedric with an unfathomable amount of sorrow.
He replayed his parents' words throughout his mind. Hearing the love they had for him in their own words had given him his final burst of energy to make his escape but alas, it was not enough to overcome the physical trauma he had sustained. The bite, the several torture curses, the exhausting duel with Voldemort and the blood loss from the dagger wound given to him by Pettigrew had concluded in him finding himself in this position.
Now he knew that all he had left to do was face his inevitable death and he would be damned if he died on his knees cowering at the feet of the man who had murdered his parents. Tom Riddle, the man who had mercilessly taken the life of both his mother and father was stood only a few dozen yards away. The reason he had been raised by the Dursleys, the reason he had had a miserable existence the reason he found himself how and where he was now.
He would not die on his knees, he would look the bastard straight in the eye the same way his father had and defy him to the last second just as his mother had.
There was nothing left to take from Harry Potter except his dignity and there was no way he was giving up anything else to the murdering bastard who had already taken everything he held in his heart away from him.
He was suddenly filled with a rage he had never thought possible, it coursed through his very veins like molten lava. How dare this bastard trap him and trick him the way he had and only try to duel him when he was already wounded? He realised something in that moment.
Tom Riddle was nothing but an opportunist; he really was a slytherin through and through. The Death Eaters in front of him mistook his shaking for fear but could not see the emerald fire that danced dangerously in the young mans' eyes. They were very much taken aback when they heard him chuckling and saw him stand on shaky legs to face the Dark Lord despite the fact he was unarmed.
His leg was quivering violently under his weight but he knew this was his defining moment. He would make sure that Tom Riddle would never forget that the last Potter stood before him in his final moment, as defiant as his Mother before him and as fearless as his Father.
He laughed again when he saw both, the look of confusion and grudging respect on the face of Riddle. He spat out the blood that had formed in his mouth and returned to staring his adversary in the face just waiting for the end that he knew was to come.
Voldemort looked upon the boy in front of him amazed that he had the ability and the fortitude to face him the way that he was. He could not help but respect the final stand that Potter was making. In this moment he saw the man that he would become and he felt a shiver make its way up his spine at the thought of that coming to pass.
He knew one day that Potter could have been his downfall and he knew that he had been fortunate in his plan to bring him here and end it now before he could become a real threat.
Knowing now that there was no way for the boy to escape he allowed his wand to hang loosely at his side before addressing his foe.
"I'm impressed Potter" He said casually. "You have finally shown me why you have been considered my biggest threat all these years, I see the anger in your eyes, the desire for vengeance, you would have been quite the rival had you lived that long" He finished.
The Death Eaters around him looked confused. Did the Dark Lord just praise a half-blood and a child? Did he just claim that this boy was his biggest threat? They believed that Potter had gotten lucky thirteen years ago and that it was he had been nothing more than a setback in the Dark Lord's plans. They could not see the potential that Potter had. As far as they knew he was not a remarkable wizard and was not overtly talented.
Lucius Malfoy in particular was very confused. He had had his son watch Potter from day one and by all accounts Potter was mediocre at best. Had his son missed something? Or had he simply let his jealousy cloud his judgement of the young man stood in front of him?
He looked into Potters' eyes and saw the fire that burned within them. A bright emerald fire that he would not forget resided there and it made him feel uneasy. He swallowed back his unease with an audible gulp and looked back at his master to see the grudging respect etched on his face. There was something about Potter that he was wary of and Lucius Malfoy detested being wary.
"I offered you the chance to stand by my side in your first year at Hogwarts Harry, do you remember? Of course you do. You foolishly turned down my offer, but I stand by what I said, you would have been great, together we could have been great" he finished ignoring his followers around him. "But Lord Voldemort only offers his hand once Harry, you refused and now you die a pointless death for nothing" He spat in anger.
Before he could raise his wand the young man dared to laugh at him again and Voldemort thought for a second that he had simply gone insane.
Harry found himself amused by the speech. He wasn't sure if he had lost his mind all he knew was that he was no longer scared. In fact he was now looking forward to it all being over. There would be no more pain and no more fear. He would finally be reunited with his parents, which he had always desired more than anything else.
He had dreamed that he could bring them back and they could live happily together as they should have been able to but he had long since given up on that dream of folly and childish wishes and had resigned himself to the fact he would have to wait until his end before he could see them again.
He knew his luck would eventually run out but he did not expect his time would come to a close so soon. But now he accepted it had and the prospect of being with his family had made him quite impatient for it all to finally be over.
He gave a final laugh before looking at Riddle critically one final time. The anger he felt was pulsing through him but he composed himself, he would show no more weakness.
"You're right Tom I did refuse you then and would now" Harry stated with satisfaction at the anger he could see in Voldemorts' eyes at the casual use of his given name. "You're a coward Riddle, attacking people in the dead of night, torturing harmless innocent wizards, witches and muggles. I would rather die a thousand times than join you, I doubt you have had an honest fight in your life" He spat his anger showing in his voice. "Yeah you'll kill me but there will always be people who will stand against you and one day you will be where I stand now and I hope that who is holding that wand shows you the same kind of mercy you have shown in your life" He spat again favouring his injured leg. "Fuck you Tom Riddle" He finished spitting blood at Voldemorts' feet wearing a cruel smile.
Voldemort was shocked but the shock quickly turned to anger.
"All who stand against me will fall just like your foolish parents and now you" he screamed in rage. He levelled his wand at Harry the tip already glowing an eerie green. "Avada Kedavra" he shouted with all the hatred he could muster.
But before he even began his incantation a thick, opaque black fog had rolled in and surrounded him and his Death Eaters. He knew his aim was true and that from this distance there was no way he could have missed with his spell but he was furious that he would not see Potter fall.
A gentle single popping sound permeated the silence followed quickly by another. He furiously waved his wand dispelling the fog to find the spot where Potter had stood was now empty. All that remained was the no longer smoking remains of his destroyed wand.
He knew his spell had hit and he knew that Potter could not apparate through the wards around the graveyard. He was confused and furious. Someone had taken the corpse he planned on parading through the streets of the wizarding world to show that he could not be stopped, not even by Harry Potter.
He took some comfort in knowing that Potter was finally dead but he wanted that corpse. He screamed again in rage sweeping his wand and levelling the remaining tombstones in the graveyard.
Someone would pay for this travesty.
He watched through his steel grey eyes from the edge of the graveyard. He knew that this day would come but he had not expected it so quickly.
He knew that Voldemort had not truly been killed thirteen years ago and had used that time to learn as much as he could about the man. It had been difficult, according to the wizarding world he had died not long after the fall of the Dark Lord but in reality, he had spent the last thirteen years preparing for his inevitable return.
He had learnt many months ago from the muggle newspapers about the disappearance of Frank Bryce, the Riddles' gardener and vowed to keep vigil on the property from then on. He had the property watched continuously through his elves but had learnt very little. He was aware that wards had been placed around the property, simple wards only; muggle repelling, anti-apparition and basic notice-me-not charms but no people had been seen entering or leaving the property until tonight.
His elves had alerted him to what was happening and he quickly made his way here. He saw the other boy bought along with Potter murdered needlessly in cold blood and knew if he didn't act then Potter would follow shortly.
He watched in anger and sadness as Potter was bound to the tombstone and had his blood stolen to be used in that disgusting potion by the fat rat looking man. He watched in a mixture of awe and horror as Voldemort rose from the cauldron and equal fury as he tortured an unarmed and defenceless Potter.
He witnessed Potter stand against him even though it was a helpless situation and the odds were against him. He watched their brother wands connect and felt a sense of pride fill him as Potter bested the Dark Lord. He watched the shades emerge from the wand although he could not hear what they were saying he could see the determination appear in the boys' eyes.
He saw Potter fall and his heart filled with dread. He heard Potter laugh and thought as the Death Eaters did they he had finally snapped and lost his mind.
He saw Potter stand and look at the Dark Lord defiantly and saw an all too familiar look in his eyes, a look he hadn't seen in many, many years.
He could not be prouder of the boy in that moment; he swelled with joy at the memories that that look had awoken within him. He would have attempted to save the boy because of his own history but now he was determined. He could see the potential in him the same potential he had himself witnessed all those years ago.
Upon seeing that look he knew the boy was the best hope of someone ending the Dark Lord once and for all. He tore at the anti-apparition wards furiously knowing he had to work quickly and precisely to pull his plan off.
As he tore through the wards he could see the green glow at the tip of the Dark Lords wand and quickly twirled his wand in a figure eight motion followed by a sharp jab towards Riddle and his followers creating a thick black from the end of his wand.
When he was sure he would not be seen he apparated behind the boy only to see him hit full on in the face by the killing curse. He caught him as he fell backwards seeing an inky black substance pouring from the infamous lightning bolt scar followed by an ear-splitting screech that made him recoil in nausea at the reek of the darkness he could feel.
The black inky mass dissipated quickly and he checked for a pulse not expecting to find one present.
Shockingly it was there, very faint, but there. He disapparated home with haste knowing he needed to be quick to save the boys' life.
Albus Dumbledore arrived in the graveyard in a flash of fire, wand in hand ready, only to hear the tell-tale cracks of several people disapparating before he could catch his bearings.
He looked upon the scene of destruction with his keen eyes trying to discern what had happened. It was clear that quite the fight had taken place and he held on to the small glimmer of hope that his students had managed to hold off Voldemort long enough to escape.
The feeling was short lived however as he spotted the lifeless body of Cedric Diggory only a few feet to his left and the triwizard cup discarded next to him.
A sad silent tear escaped him as he mourned the needless loss of a fine young man. He composed himself quickly knowing that Cedric could no longer be helped but there was still hope for Harry.
He approached the enormous cauldron and peered inside. He frowned at the unknown potion but could sense a few of the ingredients; flesh, blood and bone. He felt queasy knowing that nothing good could be born from such a concoction.
He abandoned his musings in search of any sign of Harry and was caught short when he came upon the broken remains of his wand.
He picked it up in a shaking hand feeling the warmth of his familiar radiating from it.
Fawkes trilled sadly at the destruction of a wand he had helped create and trilled again in an even more melancholy manner at the thought of the loss of the wands owner.
Dumbledore sighed wiping away the tears that he was unaware had formed in his eyes again and fired off a patronus to Severus asking him to send Amelia Bones to the graveyard as soon as possible.
He continued with his investigation of the area piecing together what had happened. He felt the expected presence of Tom Riddle being very familiar of the types of spells he used. He felt the all too familiar presence of his more prolific followers having come across them many times during the last war. He found the ward lines and ran a diagnostic charm to see what types of wards had been created.
He frowned at the results. He ran the check again to be sure he was seeing the outcome for what it really was.
There was no denying it. There were signs of an anti-apparition ward but the ward had been broken by a very skilled wizard.
The presence was somewhat familiar to Dumbledore but he could not place it, the wizard had concealed himself very well.
He checked the graveyard again for any other sign of the wizard and was again surprised and confused to find a sudden sharper presence of the individuals signature where he had found the remains of Harrys' wand. The sudden presence led him to believe that whomever it was had apparated directly where Harry had stood and away again.
He knew that he would learn little else from here and could only hope that this person was an ally and had managed to help Harry escape.
He knew that it was important to find Harry if he was alive there were things he needed to know and he just hoped that he would be forgiven for withholding so much from the boy. If Harry had not managed to survive then Dumbledore knew that the coming years would be very dark indeed. Without their beacon of hope and saviour the wizarding world will crumble to dust without much resistance and Tom Riddle would exert his will upon them all.
"Do you think it's possible he escaped?" He asked his still trilling familiar.
Fawkes paused and cocked his head to the side, his black beady eyes focused on his long-time friend. He screeched a long hopeful note eliciting a deep feeling of hope within the headmaster who simply stroked the birds' plumage and smiled gently his eyes regaining some of their usual twinkle.
"You're right my friend, we have to have faith in Harry, he has certainly overcome the odds enough times now for me not to count him out" He finished feeling a little more calm knowing that there was still some hope that the boy was ok.
He knew that if Harry had been captured and taken away by Tom that he would soon be made aware of it. Tom would be compelled to boast and would feel no need to hide in the shadows with the death of Harry.
He knew not many would truly stand against him if Harry fell to his wand. He was sure that Harry had not yet been killed as he could still feel the presence of the blood wards he had erected at Privet Drive and if he were to die the wards would fall immediately.
He would alert Amelia to his disappearance and hope that a combined effort could find Harry alive and well.
He was broken from his thoughts but the arrival of the head of the DMLE and two of her aurors. They hadn't always seen eye to eye but Dumbledore knew she was honourable if nothing else. She herself had lost most of her family during the last war and he knew he could have a powerful ally in Madame Bones.
"What the hell is going on Dumbledore?" She asked impatiently. "The school is in uproar wondering what is happening and the press is having a field day shouting about you and your incompetence". She faltered seeing the grim look in the eyes of the chief warlock and faltered further still at the site of the body of Cedric Diggory.
Dumbledore sighed again, a sad sigh. He explained everything that had happened to the director and her two aurors who simply gaped at what they were being told.
When he was finished Amelia looked simply dumbfounded and overwhelmed by all she had heard.
"Fudge will never believe it" She managed to stammer out after composing herself for several moments. "He won't believe until he sees it for himself and with Lucius Malfoy pulling his strings he will simply ignore everything". "What the hell can we do Albus? What do we tell the Diggorys' and what about Potter?" She asked firing the questions quickly not waiting for a reply.
"We tell them the truth Amelia, that's all we can do and hope that people see the truth for what it is, and Harry is very resourceful, believe me there is very little in this world that would cause our young Mr Potter real trouble" He chuckled in fondness at the memories of Harry and his perchance for finding himself in situations and coming out on top over and over again.
Before she could scold him for his inappropriate laughter he raised a placating hand.
"Mr Potter is a very capable wizard I will not divulge the unknown specifics but suffice to say he has done things that most would deem impossible. He mastered the Patronus charm at 13 years old and drove off all 100 dementors that Cornelius had deemed fit to guard Hogwarts after Sirius Black escaped" Dumbledore said satisfied at the look of awe on the faces of the aurors and the head of the DMLE.
"That's impossible, no one can drive any more than a few Dementors at a time" The young female auror retorted disbelievingly.
"My dear Nymphadora I can assure you that it is in fact possible as young Harry himself did it and had he not he and his godfather would have suffered a most unfortunate fate" Dumbledore replied amused at the young metamorphs constant changing hair colour.
"Why would Potter save Black? He betrayed the boys' parents to the Dark Lord" Amelia asked confused more so than she had ever been.
The young female auror was paying rapt attention, she was very interested in hearing Dumbledore's' answer to that question, very interested indeed.
"As chief warlock of the wizengamot I cannot influence your investigation but I daresay that you will find the most peculiar magical presence of a wizard thought murdered by Mr Black some thirteen years ago in this very graveyard" He said, not elaborating further.
Amelia blinked taken aback at that statement. "Pettigrew? You're telling me Pettigrew is alive and in league with the Dark Lord?" She asked suspiciously, not sure if she could believe what she was hearing.
"It is not my place to say and you know that I cannot officially take part in any investigation, however, I'm sure if you take a look into the official documents you will find some very interesting reading or more accurately lack of reading" he finished putting as much emphasis on his hint as possible. "Anyway you are here now to do your job and I must speak to the Diggorys' and inform them of what has happened" He finished reverting back to his mournful demeanour. "And I believe that when you are finished here I have a most interesting man you will want to take into custody, he is pivotal to what has occurred this evening" he finished flashing away in flames again back to Hogwarts.
Amelia simply shook her head and tried to digest what she had been told and what she had learned. There was much to do and it was just the beginning.
She had no reason to doubt Dumbledore, he was not one for scaremongering, if anything he had played down the seriousness of the situation.
She knew that her life would become very hectic and very busy but she would not allow anyone else she cared about to die at the Dark Lord's hand.
She had work to do and lots of it.
Nymphadora Tonks was deep in thought. She had always believed that her cousin had turned traitor against his best friend and now she had just learnt that there was a chance that it wasn't true.
She had much to think on and much to do.
She would take Dumbledore's' advice and look into the matter starting with this graveyard and then she would speak to her Mother.
If anyone knew the kind of man Sirius Black was it would be her. She set to work with a lot of information whirling through her mind determined to find the truth.
Harry Potter found himself in a very strange place, strange because there was nothing but a translucent grey mist.
Although the mist was fairly thin there was nothing else to be seen but he felt that he was certainly not alone.
There were voices, many voices that seemed to come from nowhere whispering to him but none were discernible except for the occasional word that he could hear if he focused enough.
He walked forward lost in thought, some of the voices fading to nothingness as others became clearer.
He thought back to his final moments and felt a sense of pride at how he had carried himself and had goaded Riddle into anger. He was surprised that his life did not flash before his eyes as the green light of the killing curse hurtled towards him. Instead he became acutely aware of everything around him in the moment; the smell of his own blood and perspiration, the gentle breeze of the June evening that gently caressed his damp skin but above all else he felt the serenity knowing that all of his heartache and pain would soon be over.
Yes, there were people he would miss but now he would get to be with those who he had had for only the briefest amount of time when he was a baby.
He walked forward quickening his pace at the thought of seeing his parents again only to be stopped in his tracks by a gentle voice that easily drowned out the other surrounding murmurs.
"Please stop Harry, listen to what we have to say and then you can make any choice you want to. I promise that we won't try to change your mind once you have heard us out" The familiar voice said in a somewhat pleading tone.
Harry was shocked. He knew that voice but had only heard it in his darkest moments pleading for his life to be saved and hers to be taken instead courtesy of his worst nightmares and his run ins with the dementors. He swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat before replying.
"Mum? Is that you" He asked not able to hide his excitement at hearing his Mothers' voice for the first time not in his nightmares.
"Yes, it's me Harry" The voice of Lily Potter answered full of enough emotion for Harry to know she was chocking back her tears. "Please stay where you are, if you come any closer then there is no going back" She finished clearly saddened at the situation her son had found himself in.
"No going back?" Harry asked confused. "But I'm dead aren't I? There is no going back from death" He stated matter-of-factly.
"You are both dead and alive Harry, you are currently in limbo, the space between both worlds and from here you can go back the way you came or keep walking forwards and move on to the other side" the voice of Lily Potter explained.
At that explanation Harry moved to take another step forward but was once again stopped by the voice of his mother.
"Wait Harry please" Her voice pleaded again. "Let me explain" She finished.
When she saw that her son had stopped again she took a deep breath and began speaking once again.
"Your soul was tainted by an essence of Voldemort from when he attempted to kill you as a baby and when the curse hit you it removed the taint from you. So in effect the killing curse took a life of some form as intended but, you do not have to give up yours. I am not allowed to say any more than that as we are not allowed to interfere with anything from the other side. If I said anymore I would be cast out from this place and we would never be able to see each other again" She said in obvious frustration. "You have the chance to go back" She continued "you can try to stop Voldemort and save your friends and all those you care about or you can walk forward and pass on, it is your choice" she finished with a sigh.
Harry knew there was much more to it than what he was being told.
"What happens if I decide to walk forward and pass on?" He asked in a calm voice that did not reflect his turbulent emotions.
The voice hesitated before sighing. "All I can say it that there will be very dark times on the other side, there a very few who will stand against Voldemort and those few will likely fall" the voice replied. "Like it or not Harry these people look to you as a beacon of hope and without you there will be reluctance to fight".
"But I'm just me, I'm just a boy" he replied frustrated.
"No Harry, you are not just a boy. What you did and how you faced death in the graveyard is what separates you from everyone else. You fought back and even when you knew the end was coming you did not beg or plead for your life as almost all others would. You accepted your fate and showed Voldemort something he had never seen; unwavering bravery in the face of death. The only person who he fears is you Harry. He could not kill you as a baby and now he believes he has succeeded. How do you think he will react knowing you had again survived his attempt at killing you? It will give everyone hope that he can be stopped and I'm sorry Harry but you are that hope as much as you don't want it to be" she explained sadly to her son.
Harry was confused and frustrated.
"Why does it have to be me? Why can't someone else do it just for once? I am ready to die, I want to die, I want it all to be over. How can you ask me to go back now after everything I've had to deal with? Every time things go wrong everyone turn their backs on me then its left to me to deal with it all and then it starts all over again" He finished breathless from his outburst, his eyes welling with tears.
He took a deep breath before continuing.
"I've had enough, I just want it to all be over, so why should I go back and help them only for them to hail me as a hero when it's convenient for them and then be shunned all over again when it's all over? He asked in anger again.
Before the voice of his mother could reply another voice was heard above the whispers.
"Because that is who you are Harry" A deep masculine voice answered. "You don't see yourself as a hero but you simply do what is right. You don't do it for the adoration and approval of others and you don't do it for the fame and glory, you do it because you can, because you know that it is the right thing to do. You are different to the others, you have the courage to fight the fight that they can't and you have the potential to succeed. If worst comes to worst then he will kill you again and you will find yourself back here but we both know that if you step forward now you will never find peace here knowing that you could have been that difference. You are a Potter. We stand against tyranny, we fight the battles that others can't because that's who we are and that's what we do and always have. You can't change who you are Harry; you can't fight what is in your blood. Who do you know that can stand and face Voldemort the way you have and end him? I saw that look in your eyes as you faced him at the end, you wanted to kill him and had you had a wand you would have done everything you could to do it. He killed your parents and condemned you the life that you have had to live, are you really going to let that go and let him do that to countless others? I think not" the voice finished its speech.
Harry stood stock still absorbing the words that had been spoken to him.
In reality he was clinging to a final strand of hope that he wouldn't have to go back but he had unknowingly already resigned himself to it.
"What about Dumbledore?" He asked partly out of desperation. "He is the only one who Voldemort is afraid" He stated.
"Dumbledore is a very old man Harry and he has fought his fight, this is a fight for a younger man. Voldemort does not fear Dumbledore he has simply struggled to defeat him in the past but those times are behind him now. Dumbledore could still hold his own against him but he does not have it in him to finish him magically or morally, he has his reasons but they are his to tell you but Dumbledore will not take a mans' life, no matter how necessary it is the masculine voice replied.
It was then that Harry knew he had to go back. As much as he wanted to walk forward and be done with it all he knew the voice was right. He would not find peace on the other side if he left the others to a horrible fate that he could prevent. He rubbed his eyes in frustration and released a long drawn out breath.
"Who are you?" He asked into the empty vastness. "And how do I get out of the graveyard? As soon as I wake up there surely he will just kill me again?" He questioned the male voice.
The voice chuckled at the questions.
"I'm sure you will know who I am soon enough Harry and you are no longer in the graveyard, you were saved and taken away as soon as the curse hit you, I'm sure right now there is a very worried man watching over you" The voice chuckled again.
Harry couldn't help but feel slightly annoyed at the voice. He chose instead to address his mother.
"Mum, what do you think I should do?" He asked.
"You already know what you have to do" She replied her voice full of emotion, knowing that he was going to be leaving again.
Harry simply nodded and swallowed back another lump. He turned to leave and walk back the way he came when the male voice spoke again.
"Remember Harry, fighting for others is all well and good and the right thing to do but never lose sight of your own reasons. You do what you have to to survive and protect those who can't protect themselves. War is war Harry, when someone is trying to kill you or those you care about there can be no hesitation you do whatever is necessary to make sure you and those who stand by your side make it through even if that means taking a life. You will regret losing someone you care about more than you ever will taking the life of someone who will not hesitate to take yours. Know your enemy Harry, know what you are against and know your blood and what it is you fight for. Fight fire with fire, it's the only way you and those you care about will make it through this alive" the voice finished no longer chuckling with amusement.
I will" Harry simply stated now aware of how different things would be. "I will" He whispered to himself before stepping again towards where he came from.
Harry woke taking in his surroundings. He was in a dark room decorated mostly in ornate oak furniture. There were various paintings on the wall and a thick chocolate rug on the heavy wooden floor in front of a crackling fire that was surrounded with a simple stone placing. He tried to move but found himself quite stiff and his joints protested against his attempts.
The stiffness of his joints aside he felt much better than he had expected. He felt that he was breathing easier than he ever had and that a huge burden had been lifted from him, he felt light and knew that it must be from the taint of Voldemort being removed from him.
He turned his head to take in the rest of the room only to be faced with a pair of sharp, penetrating steel grey eyes that betrayed no emotion.
The man sat beside him in a simple armchair was old, not as old as Dumbledore but fairly advanced in his years nonetheless. He had the look of a man who had seen and been a part of much in his life. He was not heavily scarred nor did he show any wounds but the eyes told the story of a truly hardened man a man who had faced and overcome much adversity in his time.
Harry swallowed nervously and attempted to moisten his dry mouth in an effort to talk through the nervousness he was feeling.
"So you finally decided to wake up Mr Potter" The man stated simply in a neutral voice. "It is about time".
Harry swallowed again at the mans' casual tone. "Who are you?" he managed to ask. "How long was I out?"
The man looked at Harry with a penetrating stare that seemed to see straight into his soul.
"You have been unconscious for 3 days" The man stated. "And as for who I am, my name is Arcturus Orion Black, your great uncle on you fathers side and I believe we have much to discuss and much more to do" he said gravely.
Ok, that's the first chapter done and I know that there is a lot to take in but this was written more to set the scene. There isn't much here that will play a significant part in the story but I felt there needed to be a real beginning to get the ball rolling and to really understand the way things will play out. I will not be focusing heavily on the horcruxes, they will be included but as you will see really soon the part they play is quite minimal and will not be dragged throughout the story. There will be plenty of action as the story develops and in the next couple of chapters too as the story starts to move forward. The next chapter will briefly focus on Dumbledore at the beginning and him announcing to the school what has happened and getting some of the reactions. All of the characters we know and love will be involved but this story is more Harry centric and focuses more on him and his development. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any suggestions and recommendations. This is my first fic so I'm sure I will make mistakes but if you point them out to me I will fix them as best I can. Please review etch it will help me improve my writing and that in turn will make sure you enjoy reading this more.