I do not own Harry Potter or Superman, Marvel and DC do.
Departures And Plans
The station vanished into the distance as the Hogwarts Express accelerated away from Hogwarts, its wheels clattering on the tracks.
"Why do we even have to ride the train?" Harry protested as he flopped back against the bench. "I mean, we could simply take my trunk to my flat, then head off to our respective homes."
"It's tradition." Hermione said as she watched several laughing students walking past the door. "But once we reach King's Cross, we simply go home via Diagon Alley."
"After several boring hours on the train." Harry grumbled.
"Look, if it bothers you that much, just take a nap." Neville sighed.
"I just want to get back." Harry sighed. "Professor Snape said that he'd meet me at my home to discuss a project that I came up with for his students and Sirius wants to show off the house that Jor-El built for him."
"Sounds interesting." Neville agreed. "By the way, my parents asked me to ask you for two more comm-watches like gran has."
"Shouldn't be a problem." Harry lay along the bench, his arm flung over his eyes.
"They also asked me to ask you if you had any objection to them hosting this year's summer's Ball."
"The Potter-Longbottom Summer Ball?" Harry mused. "I don't see why not. Alternating between our families will drive home the fact that we're allied. It'll be expensive, though."
"I'm sure we'll manage." Neville snarked. "So, anyone for a game of Cluedo?"
"You've really got addicted to Muggle games, haven't you?" Hermione joked as Neville pulled a familiar box out of his travel-trunk.
"When did you get that?" Harry asked curiously and Neville smirked at him.
"The ending of the year and the departure of our students is always so… emotional." Dumbledore remarked as he stood atop one of Hogwarts' balconies, watching the plume of smoke that marked the Hogwarts express' departure dissipate.
"But you'll have the fallout from Lockhart to amuse you." Filius commented from the temporary platform he was using to peer over the raised banister. "I, on the other hand, have been summoned to Gringotts for the summer in order to ensure I have the skills to use my axe properly."
Albus glanced at the incredibly-sharp weapon slung across Filius' back.
"Out of curiosity, just what is it made of?" He asked. "It looks like steel, yet somehow… not."
"It's a type of titanium alloy." Filius replied. "Although the entire weapon is a single molecule, making it incredibly strong. Stronger than diamond, in fact, and with an edge sharper than an arctic wind."
"A good weapon for a warrior." Albus agreed.
"Now, all I need to do is learn how to use it in conjunction with my wand." Flitwick grumbled.
"Ginny." Percy nodded to his sister as she stepped into the compartment, then turned his attention back to the board. Rolling three dice, he gave a slight smile as George's two dice both rolled lower numbers. In response, the three figures of bearded wizards held out their staffs, causing a glowing light to drive back the wand-wielders on George's side.
"What is that?" Ginny asked, tilting her head slightly as Percy rolled his dice again, targeting one of Ron's advanced units.
"It's called Mage Venture and it's a good game." Ron said as he scooped up the three dice before picking up a card and adding it to his hand. After a moment of contemplation, he put down a card showing a giant key on a swirling circle with the number 5 printed over it.
"I choose to Portkey 5 mages to Bristol." he said, tapping the units in question. As they slid into their new position, Ron looked at Percy.
"I'm attacking south." He stated and Percy picked up the two defenders dice.
"So… you have to conquer the UK in this game?"
Fred picked up the card planted face-down in front of him and showed it to her.
Hold Stonehenge for 5 rounds without it being attacked
(*) (*) (*) (-) (-)
"While that card holds one possible victory condition, there are others." Percy explained as he and Ron both rolled. "Gah! Lost one."
"So did I." Ron nodded, then he rolled again. "This game may have been invented by the Malfoys, but it's good…"
Having returned with his mother to Malfoy Mansion straight from Hogwarts, Draco Malfoy sat behind his father's desk which was covered in the various files that his father had collected on his allies and enemies. However, his attention was on a thick envelope marked Emergency use only – Read the instructions first! Do not wear!
The pages he was leafing through described just what the ring was as well as how to use it without risking becoming just another body being hijacked by the Dark Lord.
"Interesting…" He mused, looking at the snake-styled ring. "But how to use this properly?"
After a long moment, he put the ring and sheets of paper back into their envelope and opened one of the folders, reading it carefully, then he leaned back and smirked.
"Yes. Yes, you'll do perfectly. Now, how to make you jump at the chance? How to convince you to use it rather than ask me why I do not wish to use it…? Aha!"
Carefully closing the folder, Draco picked up his quill and a sheet of paper.
"Madam Bagnold." he muttered as he began writing. "We have a common enemy, one who has caused us both great damage. As I am not a female, I cannot use the power-enhancement ring which I enclose as a token of my wishes for an alliance…"
Sirius watched, mouth open in shock, as a wolf ran around the garden. Beside him, smirking, stood Severus Snape.
"I do believe that I have now proven myself the better man, doing what you could not." Severus stated. "While I do not belittle the effort that you went to in order to become an animagus, I have overseen the project that has removed the werewolf curse forever."
The wolf loped towards them before rearing up and transforming into Remus Lupin.
Sirius stared at the Potions Master, then he gave him a formal bow.
"Potions-master Snape, as the Lord of House Black, I recognize that you have provided assistance unasked for but gratefully received. As such, House Black acknowledges the debt owed to you… and for myself, I apologize for my actions when I was younger and far more idiotic than I am now."
Snape's lips briefly twitched, but he didn't take the offered straight line.
"I trust you'll understand if I bank the favor up against future need?"
Sirius nodded with a wry half-smile.
"Of course. You're too Slytherin to do otherwise."
"I'll take that as a compliment."
"It was intended as one." Sirius admitted. "Remus?"
"I can't wait to see how Harry reacts to this." Remus chuckled.
"It could be rather humorous." Snape agreed. "Of course, you may wish to register as an Animagus in order to avoid any… issues. Do you mind if I tag along? There are still several hours before the train arrives at King's Cross, and I feel it will be amusing watching the Animagi Department try to come to terms with the fact that they are looking at a sudden increase in their workload."
"I'll contact the Packs over the summer." Remus offered. "Offhand, I can't think of a single one that would turn down this opportunity."
"This is going to make a lot of money for you." Sirius stated and Severus simply smirked.
Harry watched with a slight tinge of envy as his two best friends were hugged by their parents, then Frank Longbottom released his son and walked across to Harry.
"Lord Potter," he said, projecting his voice so that everyone on the platform could hear, "For the boon you have granted House Longbottom, we in turn pledge our friendship to House Potter. Your enemies are our enemies, your friends are our friends and should you find yourself threatened, we shall stand by your side."
"Thank you…" Harry managed, still mentally reeling from fact that Frank had just given the formal vow of alliance in front of hundreds of people. "As Lord Potter, I accept your friendship. Your enemies are my enemies, your friends are my friends."
From the side, Hermione watched with wide eyes, aware that history was being made.
Millicent Bagnold was in the middle of eating a boring (but cheap and filling) meal at the Leaky Cauldron when Harry Potter made his way through, followed by the Longbottoms and a family that she didn't recognize. She glared at the boy who had destroyed her life as he passed through, then turned her attention to finishing off the thick stew in front of her, a stew that she would once have turned her nose up at.
After finishing her bowl, she fished out her purse and looked into it, carefully counting the bronze coins still inside it. With a sigh of annoyance, she put the purse away and rose from her too-hard seat, moving towards the entrance to the Alley in the hope of finding a small job to earn a few extra knuts for a mug of beer (another thing that she would once have disdained in favor of fine wine).
As the archway opened in front of her, a hoot above her head caused her to look up just as an owl landed, its leg extended. Millicent untied the letter and the owl flew off.
"What is this?" She asked, examining the envelope, then her eyes widened as she felt something that could only be a ring inside. Abandoning her quest for enough money to by alcohol, she Apparated back to her flat and moved to the kitchen table. Sitting down, she slowly opened the envelope, letting the ring roll out and land on the table.
"That has to be worth a fortune!" She whispered, staring with greedy eyes at the large stone mounted on the ring, then she noticed the letter still inside the envelope. Pulling it out, she unfolded it and started to read.
We have a common enemy, one who has caused us both great damage. As I am not a female, I cannot use the power-enhancement ring which I enclose as a token of my wishes for an alliance. The ring is an old heirloom which will increase the magical abilities of whoever wears it. It si my hope that you choose to use the abilities it will grant you to join me against out mutual foe, Harry Potter.
Should you choose to not use the ring, it will fetch twenty Galleons at Borgin and Burkes. If, however, you decide to augment your powers and join me, then I can guarantee you greater wealth and the chance to reclaim all that Potter has stolen from you.
The choice is yours. If I see you wearing the ring at lunchtime next Sunday in the Leaky Cauldron, I will introduce myself to you that we may join our efforts against the one who has harmed us both.
The decision is yours.
Millincent re-read the letter twice more, then looked at the ring thoughtfully.
The decision before would take quite a bit of contemplation, but she had time.
After all, these days, time was all that she had an abundance of.
Harry came to a halt at the sight of Padfoot racing across his front lawn with a wolf. Glancing up to check that it was still daylight and not a full moon, he turned his attention back to the cavorting canines. After a moment, he grinned and sprinted forwards, leaping into the air and landing on all four paws, then galloping forwards to joyfully try to pounce Moony, who saw him coming and dodged out of the way with ease.
Standing in the shade of the trees to one side, Severus watched the trio romp across the lawn, a wistful expression on his face, then he turned on one heel and vanished with a faint pop, leaving the trio to play until they collapsed from tiredness.
By Melanie Flitterwicket
Rita Skeeter has returned from her undercover assignment with a story
which will be published this weekend, a story about how former author
and idol Gilderoy Lockhart was seduced by the promise of power...
Author's Afternote – And so Rising from the Shadows comes to an end with a plot-hook or two for any future sequel I may write.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.