Welcome back! To another chapter of The Heir and the Champions!

Holy fuck, that last chapter was insane, Harry's fight with Fáfnir, Harry finally using Gáe Bulg, Harry accessing the Domain of the Moon, and everything that happen in between. In this chapter, we see the fallout from him doing that, some good, some bad.

But before we move on to that, I feel the need to answer some questions and clarify a few things for everyone, cool?

Question: Will Harry get the Armor/Curse of Fáfnir?

Answer: No, in the saga, Sigurd/Siegfried bathed in the blood of Fáfnir by accident to get the invulnerability that the blood can grant, Harry didn't do that, Harry landed on the silver stokes of thorns, he didn't land in the blood. As for why I am not doing that is simple, I don't want this to turn into an overpowered Harry story and jump through hoops to explain why this and that did work on Harry because he has it. And having an overpowered main character who can solve all his own problems because "ZOMG! He so stonk!" is the dumbest way you can write a story. Let's be honest here, how many of you have become invested because of Harry building his own power and strength starting as a traumatized child who wanted nothing more than to hide in his cupboard away from the world, to this now, still traumatized, but strong self-assured hunter no longer looking for a cupboard to crawl in when things get bad?

The core of this story is about an abused child learning he is more than what he was told he was growing up and how he gets there, and I refuse to trivialize his upcoming challenges by giving him the Armor of Fáfnir. Could I nerf it? Sure, but why jump through those hoops when I can just not do it, Ya know?

Besides, this is my story. I will write it how I want.

Question: Gáe Bulg!?

Answer: Oh, yes. The writing was on the wall the whole time for this and the foreshadowing was real. This is the real thing that Harry gets out of this fight, his penultimate spear technique. The Gáe Bulg is Scáthach divine armament that she had passed down to only one other student, Cú Chulainn or otherwise known as Sétanta and it was the reason why she throw Harry down into the chasms in the first place, she was looking for someone worthy to pass it onto in the modern era so her name could once again echo throughout the land and She found Harry worthy of it. To give Harry access to it she snapped a piece of her own spear off and fused it with his, so Harry could call upon the power when he needs to, if you want a full breakdown of how it works, go back and read his "Servant stat sheet" and look under Noble Phantasm. But what everyone needs to realize real quick is that while Harry can use it, he has not mastered it, as we will see in the following chapter and the last. The curse seeks to end anything it can, be it god, titan, monster, or mortal, even the user of the technique. There is a trick to mastering it, Scáthach knows it, and Cú knew it before he even got it, but it's not something that can be taught but I'll be keeping that to myself for now. This also doesn't mean that his spear can work on mortals now, the curse is in the spear, not the other way around, so Harry can't run around stabbing Death Eaters with the spear.

And let me be clear on this, without Gáe Bulg, Harry had no hope of killing Fáfnir.

But now we see the aftermath of the first task unfold.

on with the show!

Harry Potter

Harry breathes out a sigh of relief as he stood tall on the stock of silver thorns, Harry had done it, he had killed the dragon before it could hurt anyone else, he looks down at the tore apart and ruin carcass of the dragon Fáfnir, or whatever the hell its name was. He could still hear the curse of Dún Scáth rending the body down into mush and bits, Harry ideally wonders if he was going to get in trouble for killing it, but mentally shrugs, it wasn't his problem anymore. Harry jumps down from the thorns and onto the destroyed body before leaping off of it towards the back where the fake Nest lay that held the eggs. Harry quickly picks up the golden one and holds it above his head, but he receives no cheers, no cries of joy, just a grim silence, and looks from the crowd.

"Harry!" Zoë calls out, standing in the middle of the arena with a smile on her face and Moontide in her hand, Harry smiles back as he jogs over to her and holds up the egg.

"Got it," He says with a smirk, as Zoë just shakes her head as Harry feels the twin blessings of the Hunt and Moon slowly leave him, the burning in his sternum returns but not as bad as it was in the dragon fire, he stumbles a bit with his steps, exhaustion sweeping over him like a blanket. His arms and legs feel like lead weights as Zoë catches him, making sure he doesn't fall on his face.

"Are you okay?" The Lieutenant asks in a soft voice as she pulls one of his arms over her shoulder and begins to help him to the champion's tents.

"Yeah, I think I used a bit too much of, well, everything really," Harry says as he walks with Zoë before yawning deeply.

"Well, let's get you checked over by the medic, after that we can head to my room, and get something to eat after then you can nap on the couch," Zoë offers as they walk towards the entrance, The Headmaster watching the two of them, a curious look on his face.

"Sounds wonderful, could use an Atalanta-style catnap right now," Harry says with a smile as the two hunters meet the Headmaster by the champion's entrance, his eyes scanning Harry for a long moment before his sighs in relief.

"It is good to see you no worse for wear, my boy, and the dragon dispatched before it could go out of control," Dumbledore says with a smile as he folds his hands behind his back before he turns to the twisted remains of the King of Greed.

"Did you know about that?" Harry asks, gesturing to the dead dragon with the golden egg, "Or did you see something else?" He follows up by raising his eyebrow at the Headmaster, Dumbledore frowns, an angry look entering his eyes for a moment before it vanishes.

"When we were watching I saw a white scale Quetzal, it wasn't until the wards fell that I caught a glimpse at its true form," The Headmaster says, his eyes scanning the arena devoid of any twinkle, "Of how and why that was, is something I'll be looking into, as well as how the dragons got switched out just before the task," he says as he turns to walk with the pair of hunters.

"I saw a black scale one," Zoë says, her eyes narrowing as they walk, "I'm sure it had to do with the Mist,..." Zoë says, trailing off, her lips pressed in a thin line.

"As excited as I am to learn what this Mist you speak of is, Lady Nightshade, Perhaps, that is better left for a later time, this evening, in my office after you see to your younger brother, Mayhaps?" Dumbledore offers with a look at her, and Zoë takes a moment before nodding to him before the group of three make their way to the tent, but just before entering Harry stops.

"Wait, hold up, let me just…" He says before tossing the golden egg through the flaps of the tent before turning back to the dragon, holding out his hand, "Come on, come on," Harry mutters before yanking his to him just before the corpse of the great dragon twitches as his spear rips itself from the body before flying into his hand, "There we go," Harry says with a smile, "Okay, all set now," he says turning to Dumbledore who had taken a step back and was inspecting the spear with a fearful but curious look on his face.

Harry shrugs it off before the three of them make their way inside the tent to find the rest of the judges arguing amongst themselves with the other Champions looking on with varied emotions, Krum looked annoyed, Fleur looked amused but switched to excited when she sees Harry enter the tent, Angelina looked concerned even when she saw Harry. Madam Pomfrey quickly makes her way over to Harry, shoving Bagman and Kakaroff out of the way, ushering Harry and Zoë over to a bed as Dumbledore walks over to the judges to try and calm them down. Harry tries to wave Madam Pomfrey off, but she wasn't having any of it.

"You're bleeding, Mister Potter," Madam Pomfrey says in a flat but stern voice before pointing at Harry's right arm.

Looking down at his arm, Harry blinks in shock, "Oh, that's a lot of blood," he murmurs as a steady stream of his own life was pouring out of him, and like a child who doesn't know he's hurt till it was hurt until someone points it's out, his shoulder soundly feels like it's on fire.

"Yes, it is," Madam Pomfrey says unamused, before she and Zoë start to help him out of his armor and jacket, Harry taking the green and silver scarf and tossing it over to the head of the bed to keep it clear of the blood and planting his spear out of the way. Madam Pomfrey sets about cutting the shirt over his armor off before Zoë quickly helps him with the latches on his chest piece before his undershirt got the same treatment as the golden lion shirt. Harry hears Madam Pomfrey's shocked gasp before Harry looks over to his ruined shoulder, the scars that he had gotten when he first tried to use the Gáe Bulg had reopened and were bleeding badly.

It was a drawback for a mortal using the Curse of Dún Scáith, the curse will instinctively seek to end the closest thing mortal, which was the user, and attack them until said mortal was able to fight it off with their willpower and control it. Scáthach had warned him that it would happen, and the scares would never fade, while Harry had a natural aptitude for using the curse thanks to his Blessing of Swift Death, it didn't mean he had mastered the feat of arms by any stretch of the imagination, he lacked what both Scáthach and her old student had and it wasn't a thing that could be taught sadly enough.

Harry hisses out in pain as Madam Pomfrey goes about cleaning the wounds and blood off of Harry, applying a numbing charm before she begins to cut away at the cursed flesh and pouring elixirs and poultices into the wounds clotting the blood and making the burst flesh sizzle uncomfortably.

"By the Witch-Fathers Mace, Potter, what type of spell did you use!?" Madam Pomfrey asks him, sounding more concerned than angry with him as she continues to work on his shoulder.

"I think we would all like to know that," Mister Crouch says, face twisted in something akin to anger, as he and the rest of the judges, minus Zoë, turned to look at him with various degrees of anger or uncertainty, and in Dumbledore's case, curiosity.

Harry would have shrugged if not for Madam Pomfrey currently working on his shoulder, "It's called Gáe Bulg, it's a curse, for a lack of a better term, that will always seek the heart of the target and pierce it, implanting magical thorns that grow throughout the body and ripping it apart only to bloom flowers after it has rendered the body into mulch," Harry explains as he watches the faces of Mister Crouch, Bagman, Madame Maxime, and Angelina twist in disgust and anger, Kakaroff just looked pissed, Dumbledore looked uneasy but still curious.

"Dark Magic," Crouch spits out as he glares at Harry, "Which is no doubt illegal, Mister Potter," he says, his face going red.

"Doubt that," Harry says before he turns to watch Madam Pomfrey conjure dressing around his wounds before doing the same with a sling for his arm.

"And why do you think that?!" Crouch spouts off angrily.

"Because if you had Gáe Bulg down in the books as an illegal curse, I'd be shocked that the Ministry even knows about it, and in learning that the Ministry is dumber than me," Harry says with a scoff, "Because it's technically not even a curse, Hades, it's not even magic really," he says as he pulls out his wand and cleans the sleeve of his jacket from his blood.

"Then what iz it?" Madame Maxime asks, eyeing the spear.

But before Harry could answer, someone else beats him to it, "It's a Feat of Arms, I think," Angelina says before everyone turns to her confused and a bit shocked, "What? Gáe Bulg was the Spear of Cú Chulainn, THE hero in the Ulster Cycle, it's like in the top ten weapons my mom has been looking for, and spent two years chasing rumors all over Ireland trying to find it," She says with a shrug, before pausing and turning to look at Harry, "Which now I feel the need to warn you about her now, she's a bit of a weapon nut, as soon as she hears that Gáe Bulg showed up here she's going to go sparse trying to get to it, sorry," She says with a grimace as though she had accidentally cursed him.

Harry shakes his head at her words, he'd worry about that later, "The point is, it's not illegal if it isn't in the books as illegal," He says as he pulls on his jacket the best he can before standing up.

"Whether it's illegal or not doesn't matter," Crouch says as he begins to move to Harry's spear, "It is obviously a dark artifact and will be confiscated," he says as he reaches out for the spear, just as Harry turns and calls the spear to his hand, catching it before spinning it with a flourish before pointing the tip at Crouch, causing the entire tent to stop and to watch with wide eyes.

"To quote someone," Harry says in a very low voice that comes out almost as a growl, "If you want my spear, you'll have to pry it from my cold dead hands," he says looking Crouch dead in the eyes, face twists in fury as his arm jerks right before Zoë brings Moontide to his throat with a glare.

"Try it," Zoë says in a dangerous whisper, stopping Crouch dead, "And you'll have to deal with both of us," She says, her eyes bleeding a dark gold that makes the man step back and turn to The Headmaster.

"Albus!" Crouch snaps, "Are you seriously going to let this boy walk around with a dangerous dark artifact in your school?!" he half shouts at Dumbledore. At this, the elderly Headmaster looked conflicted, his brow furrowed and lips pressed into a thin line, on the line of letting Harry keep it because he knew that the boy would not use it on the other students but it was still a dangerous weapon, he eyes drifted over to Harry's shoulder, Luckily Harry took the choice out of anyone's but his hands as he folds the spear back into its swiss army knife form, causing more looks of shock from everyone, and hands it to Zoë.

"The spear is the property of the Hunters of Artemis," she says with a smile while taking it from Harry and slipping it into her pocket, "If you wish to try and take possession of it you will have to get through me, Lady Diana, and the MCUSA," her smile grows poisonous at this and the look on Crouch's face.

"And if you really want to talk about dangerous, let's talk about that dragon I just had to kill," Harry says as Zoë lowers her sword, "Because that wasn't a Quetzal, I have no clue what the fuck it was, but it wasn't a feathered serpent," he says as he leans down to pick up his chest piece, looking back up he sees the judges faces a mixture of confusion and frustration, "Does no one know where that thing came from? Because I assure you that thing was out to eat me," Harry snaps at them, but no one answers.

"Whatever," Harry says angrily, moving past Crouch and the judges, "I got your stupid egg, I'm tired, I want to get something to eat and fall asleep for the rest of the day," he says heading towards the exit only to be stopped by Ludo Bagman.

"Mister Potter, you've yet to award points or gotten the clue for the next task," Bagman says, trying to sound diplomatic, Harry stops a few feet from the door, before turning to them with a glare.

"I don't care, or did you miss that?" Harry tells them, his anger quickly becoming evident.

"Still, rules are rules, Mister Potter, I assure you that the Ministry will be investigating how and why the dragons got switched, but we still need to do this part of the task," Bagman says with a reassuring smile Harry doesn't believe for a second.

Harry sighs out, "Fine, whatever, get on with it," Harry says impatiently as he tosses his armor on an empty bed before walking over to his egg and picking it back up before setting it beside the armor as half the judges scowl at him as he fights off the urge to flip them the bird.

"He broke the rules and killed the dragon," Crouch says with a scowl, "One point," he says with a glare at Harry.

"I agree with Crouch," Kakaroff says, "One point, I'd give him zero if I could," he says with a frown, giving Harry a side eye, as Harry rolls his own eyes at the man.

"Ten points," Zoë says, after putting Moontide away and crossing her arms, "He hunted his prey, killed it, and retrieved the Golden Egg, it is not his fault that he had to use extreme measures to fix your Ministry's blunder," She says with a glare at Crouch.

"Eight pointz," Madame Maxime says, "While it iz a zame he had to kill ze dragon, it looked to me that ze had no choice but to do it," she says with a nod.

"Seven points from me," Bagman says with a smile and a glare from Crouch, "I agree with Madame Maxime, it's just a shame he got injured while doing it, bloody good showing however," he says before running to Dumbledore.

"Eight Points as well, and a guarantee that I will be looking into these matters personally, Harry," Dumbledore tells him, and Harry nods.

"Well, with that we have our rankings," Bagman says as he steps forward, rubbing his hands, "In first place, we have Miss Angelina Johnson with forty-two points," Bagman says gesturing at Angelina who stands tall with a proud smile on her face, "Followed by Miss Fleur Delacour, with a grand total of forty," he says shooting a smile at the Fae before turning to Krum, "Coming out in third is Mister Victor Krum at thirty-eight points, and finally Mister Harry Potter with thirty-five points," he finishes with a smile and a nod before taking out his wand and flicking it to the side of the tent, which falls away to reveal a large map of a forest, four red dots were placed on it in seemingly random points all numbered one through four.

"Now what you see before you are a map of Hogwarts own forbidden forest," Ludo says with a smile, "This will be your first clue, the next will be inside the golden eggs you have retrieved during this task, so if you could all open those now," he says while walking over to the front of the map and waits as each of the champions opened their eggs and pulled from them a clay jar with leather sealing the top.

"A Pithos?" Zoë asks, her far scrunched up in confusion.

"Exactly, Lady Nightshade," Bagman says, pointing at Zoë with a grin, "Keeping with the theme of the ancient past, the next task will be set in the forbidden forest, and everything you need to know about the challenge will be in or on the Pithos, it's up to you to figure out what you're doing and what challenges will be in the woods, but here's the twist," Ludo says looking at all the champions, "None of you have the full picture, each of you have the same goal and the clue to that will be inside the Pithos itself, but for what added challenges are none of you have the all of them, you can either work together with one another, finding out the challenges and how to conquer them together or…" Bagman paused, smiling to add a dramatic effect to it all, "Fight it out with only one victor," he says, and as Angelina and Krum began to eye the rest of the champions as Harry felt Fleur's gaze snap to him.

"The red dots on the map will indicate the starting place by points, wards will be set up around the arena to keep you inside, and once inside you will have twenty-four hours to complete the task, and unlike this time you'll be allowed to bring a pack with what you need to survive in the woods," Ludo says while gesturing at the board behind him, "Now any questions?" he asks.

Harry studies the map, there was no telling where in the woods it would be, seeing it only gave a vague outline of the map with no geographical lines or landmarks possibly done on purpose to hide the region from the champions so they couldn't scout it ahead of time, what worried Harry the most was the placement of the numbered dots, one was in the dead center of the map with three not too far from it towards the southwest from it, two was closer to the east of the map which was directly north of number four. Harry turns slowly to face Fleur, her eyes glowing with the orange-yellow light, her pupil slitted as the grin on her face grows demonic, and Harry knew that no matter what the task was, no matter what challenges they put in the woods, Fleur would only be going after one thing and one thing only; Harry himself.

The Front Lawns of Hogwarts, ten minutes later.

Harry had said nothing and asked no questions before taking the jar and leaving the tent after fixing up his golden lion shirt and grabbing the rest of his stuff, Zoë following him with a glare of her own to Fleur. They had walked in silence out of the woods and up the path to Hogwarts, Harry lost in thoughts of fighting the half-fae, something dangerous enough that Zoë didn't want Harry within a hundred meters of them, he was going to have to sit down with her and find out what all they can do before the second task, but as luck would have it, Harry had a few months before he really had to worry about it. All he wanted right now was food and sleep without being bothered by people, {"Well, most people anyway,"} Harry thinks to himself with a small smile, as he sees who's waiting for him at the top of the hill.

Gathered at the top of the hill and divided into two groups were some of the people Harry considered the closet to him, Fred, George, Katie, and Alicia from the Quidditch team, Katie and Alicia were both holding large red flags with golden lions on them laughing at the twins whose faces were painted in the same color of the flags as they waved, danced, and acting like fools as Harry was walking up the hill, Ron and Hermione were also there, looking nerves and worried about what had happened between the three of them. Ron was throwing suspicious and calculating looks at the other group standing by them as Astoria waved at Harry when she sees him, Daphne was standing at the top of the hill looking at him with a soft smile, off to her left he could see Tracey was talking to Theodore, who looked to be blushing under Tracey's wild grin while Blasie was watching them with a smirk, making a comment or two that had Theodore glaring at him.

As the two hunter crest the hill, Zoë stops a respectable distance behind Harry as he joins the gathering at the top, walking up to Daphne he holds out her scarf awkwardly to her, "I, um, I brought your scarf back," He says, shuffling from foot to foot, nervously under the curious looks from everyone around them.

Daphne's purple eyes look down at the green and silver scarf before looking back into Harry's eyes and sighing, "Has anyone ever told you how awkward you are, Harry?" she says with a smile.

"Ummm," was Harry's intelligent answer before Daphne rolls her eyes and threw her arms around his neck before drawing him into a kiss, Harry instinctively wraps his arm around her waist to draw her closer, vaguely hearing a few gasps coming from the Gryffindor team and a hoot from Tracey yelling "Get it girl!" over off to his right. As the two break from their kiss to the shocked faces of most who were standing around them, the Twins were the first two to speak up.

"Oh, Harry, we are going-"

"To make SO MANY parseltongue jokes-"

"At your expense!"

The two say with a laugh, and not for a single second did Harry not believe them. But before Harry could shoot back, the rest of the team starts to cheer again as Angelina runs up the hill the Pithos held over her head as the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Tracey, and Astoria starts to cheer "Roar, Roar, Gryffindor, Roar, Roar, Hogwarts!" as Angelina gets to the top of the hill, and as Harry watches his teammates all huddle up like they normally do after a win, he feels a tap on his shoulder, he turns to find the mismatched eyes of Theodore Knott looking at him.

"I hope you don't mind if I steal you away from you, ah, girlfriend?" He says as he turns to look at Daphne with a raised brow, who was hugging Harry around his midsection on his good side, she nods at his words, looking at him with a glare, daring him to say something, "Right, your girlfriend, and your housemates for a moment," Theodore asks.

Harry looks at Daphne, before turning to Ron and Hermione who were still looking at him, Harry sighs but nods, Ron and Hermione were something he was going to deal with soon, maybe over dinner. Breaking away from Daphne and walking a few feet away from the group, Theodore pulls out his wand before muttering a spell under his breath and making an M motion with his wand, and turning back to Harry.

"The Curse you used to kill the dragon, Where did you learn it?" Theodore asks his mismatched eyes of green and brown burning into his with questions and hope.

Harry pauses for a moment, unsure how he should answer that question, but then the words of his teacher come back to him, "You are to be my Herald," "From Scáthanna," Harry says, watching Theodore's eyes widen and his breathing getting deeper.

Theodore licks his lips, "And, and where did you meet her?" he asks, narrowing his eyes at Harry.

"At Dún Scáith, in the Land of Shadows," Harry tells him, "In return for showing me how to use it, I was to do two things for her, the first one was to be her Herald, and the other was to remind everyone that her school belonged to no one but her," Harry says as Theodore opens his mouth to say something, but quickly closes it, looking shocked and a bit scared.

"What do you mean by School?" Theodore finally asks, and Harry looks from him to Hogwarts, before Theodore makes the connection and gasps, when Harry looks back at Theodore, his eyes were wide looking at the school, shock, fear, and elation dancing in his eyes as Harry turns back around to walk back over to the waiting group, as the boy whose blood was as old as the roots and knots of the sacred groves that had once dotted the land watches the boy in the silver jacket walk back to the others he can not help but to feel the anticipation in his bones of the coming of things older than the knots and roots.

"Zoë! Wait! Don't!" Harry yells, running up to the looming form of the girl in the silver jacket that stood menacingly over the scared form of Daphne, her hand inching to the blade at her side.

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster's Office, 12:58 Am.

Albus Dumbledore had a great many things on his plate to deal with, The Triwizard Tournament and the disaster it was becoming, he had originally thought of bringing it back with tighter restrictions, safety nets, and contingency plans for each task, he had supported the idea. He thought it would do the students of the school well to meet other members outside their communities would broaden their minds and open them up to other forms of magic and friendship. But then Harry Potter's name came out of the Goblet of Fire and the threat of Voldemort was now looming again, Albus couldn't fathom what Tom had cooked up this time, but he knew it was in no way good and now, with the completion of the first task, other matters were added to his plate.

First was the fact that Lady Artemis could not find where Tom was hiding, the next was the fact the dragon that Harry was to face was switched out by a person or persons unknown with a dragon from myth and legend was also troubling, Tom, for all his power had never once approached the dragons for any sort of Alliances, for much like Tom, dragons saw none above them and would refuse to the bow before anyone.

Harry had told the name of the dragon he had killed to Lady Nightshade, Miss Granger, and Mister Weasley over dinner in Lady Nightshade's room, Fáfnir, the Dragon from the Völsunga saga, how it made its way into the first task was still unknown even after he and Lady Nightshade had inspected the cage that held the Quetzal, finding the remains of it half devoured, and questions the Dragon Keepers, they had turned up nothing. While Lady Nightshades had said she would be informing Lady Artemis about what had happened did bring some hope for finding out what had happened, Albus personally thought it would be a waste of time, the person behind this had covered their tracks too well for either Lady Nightshade or himself could track and in the safety of his own mind he doubted that Lady Artemis could find out anything more about the who on her end either.

Then came the meeting with Cornelius, Bartemius, and Lady Nightshade; they had tried and failed to confiscate the Gáe Bulg from Lady Nightshade. Because complain as they like, cite laws as much as they could, and say everything and anything about returning an item with cultural heritage to the rightful owners as they could, Lady Nightshade is a visiting dignitary and had the papers to prove it. She had told them if they wanted the Gáe Bulg they would have to remove it from her person by force or go through the MCUSA with a formal request, which Albus knew would fail if either of the men tried. They had moved on to the mix-up with the dragons in the first task, and Cornelius complained about how much of a laughing stock they were becoming in the ICW for not being able to host a single International event without something happening.

But the first and foremost thing on Dumbledore's mind was his school and if it really was His school.

Albus Dumbledore was no fool and knew what lies beyond the Gate of Skye and, more importantly, who. He knew of the stories of the Warrior Maid and her school, but it wasn't until Young Mister Potter had confirmed to him where the Gate under his school led did he finally start to believe in them, to have proof that Hogwarts wasn't in fact, Hogwarts but the ancient fortress of Dún Scaith rebuilt by the founders almost over a thousand years after the original fortress was destroyed. Whether the four founders knew of this has been lost to time, but as Dumbledore sat at his desk, his tea long grown cold, he couldn't help but think that they knew, that they at least suspected what they had built the school on top of.

For many months ago, while exploring the stacks of books and scrolls left behind by the Headmasters that came before him one night, he stumbled upon a Treatise on Roman Ritual Magic by accident when a shelf in his private library collapsed from rotting wood and heavy books. He had once thought it was a mere coincidence that he found it on the night that the King of the Wild Hunt had been freed from his prison in the ancient forest just beyond the grounds, but now, Dumbledore wasn't so sure.

Harry using the Gáe Bulg during the first task wasn't just to help the boy survive, no, Albus was sure of it, She was sending a message. That she would return and reclaim what was once hers, and fury and woe was the only thing she had for the poor fools that would try and stand in her way.

He had long ago translated the Treatise and the high ritual magic that lay within, a spell of blood and sacrifice powerful enough to bind a god in a place of power, the blood needed for this was demi-god blood and another god acting as a catalyst for the ritual. If the Roman soldiers that had come to the islands thousands of years ago did so to enact such magic, to clear the way for their own gods, then the joke was on them, for an untold amount of years later the same treaties holding the spell had made its way into the very school they must have destroyed years later with a counter ritual already written in the scroll when Albus had found it. The ingredients were simple, the obsidian bowl was easily made, the chant was tricky because one had to recite it in Celtic but not impossible. The hardest part was what the counter spell called "The Blood of the Shacklers" did it mean the blood of the one who had cast the spell? Or the blood of the gods involved? Or perhaps the blood of a demi-god from that Pantheon that had sealed the other gods? Albus hadn't a clue, but as he leans back in his chair, closing his eyes, the fireplace and candles throwing shadows across his office, he ideally repeats the chant from the counter spell, hoping to puzzle it out.

"By three they come, to a castle in shadows shadow,

By three they come, before the empty throne,

By three they come, bearing the crown, the shield, and the dagger,"

The candles begin to flicker as if a wind was trying to snuff them and the light of the hearth begins to burn low, but heedless of it, Albus carries on.

"By three they come, to draw up shackle and lock,

By three they come, lighting her way,

And with the blood of the shacklers, the three will show her the way home,"

The candles are blown out and the fire turns to smoldering embers in the fireplace and shadows take the room in its inky endless blackness.

"and by three, they open the way home,

Scáithanna, Scáithanna, Scáithanna,

By three we have come, to welcome you home,"

And a chill runs up Albus Dumbledore's spine, the same chill that had run up his back leaving fear in its wake as he saw a boy use a curse that had not seen the light of day in almost two thousand years, and his eyes snapped open, looking into the darkness…

As it looked back.

As bright Blood-red eyes look into Dumbledore's blue ones, Blood-red eyes that shone with expectations, with intensity, with a waning patience. Dumbledore doesn't know how he could tell, but he knows the figure in the shadows raises her hand, and in a flash of red she summons a spear, burning with a malicious aura and a hunger for life, the figure cloaked in darkness raises the spear above her head before stabbing it into his desk, right through the Treaties, and whispers to him.

"What are you waiting for? You have all that you need, Albus-"

"-Dumbledore!" a voice says, jerking Albus awake, his office being flooded with the early morning light of dawn, "Supreme Mugwump Dumbledore, are you in?" the voice calls again from his fireplace.

Albus stands and makes his way over to the burning green flames and pear into them, a man was on the other side in a charcoal gray pinstripe suit, he had deep brown eyes that were almost black with crow's feet under his eyes. salt and pepper hair combed back and a youthful-looking face, as though his hair had gone prematurely gray.

"Good morning, Sir," Dumbledore greets the man, "to whom do I have the pleasure of speaking to this fine morning?" Albus asks, far too used to getting random floo calls early in the morning.

"Ah, my apologies, Supreme Mugwump," The man says with a strained smile, "It's been a long past few days for me, I must have missed placed my manners somewhere along the way, my name is Johnathan Doe, I'm an agent with the DoMC with the Magical Congress of the United States of America, I'm currently at the MCUSA Embassy in the Ministry of Magic and was hoping to steal a few minutes of your time for a private discussion of a sort," Agent Doe says with the same strained smile.

Dumbledore pauses, frowning a bit before sighing, "And what, prey tell, would this discussion pertain to, Agent Doe?" Albus asks.

"Mostly about one of our missing dragons and how it ended up at your school," The Agent says, keeping his tone polite, but Albus could tell he sounded as tired as Albus felt and the Agent looked, "and about a, shall we say, certain student at your school and his mother?" Agent Doe says with a raised brow as Dumbledore narrows his eyes a bit.

"Coffee or Tea, Agent Doe?" Dumbledore asks the man, clearing his mind with a breath.

"Coffee, Black, if you please," Agent Doe says with a smile.

"Excellent, give me five minutes to prepare, then you may come through and I'll have that coffee ready for you," Dumbledore says.

"Thank you, Sir," the Agent replies with the same strained smile, "I'll see you in five minutes," Johnathan says before the floo connection is cut.

And as Albus turns around, taking out his wand to put his office back in order before he calls for his personal house elf, he stops when he notices something, there was a hole stabbed through his desk and the treaties.

And he feels a very real chill travel up his back.

Ten of Pentacles

On this card, sits an old man with a long silver beard in the roots of a fruit baring tree, he is dressed in robes decorated in moon crescents and grape vines, in one hand he holds a crown and the other the Grim Reaper's scythe, he looks forward with a face of uncertainties. On one side if the tree stands a great castle, and on the other, a glowing crimson gate.

Chapter done!

I know a lot of you are going to be mad over the Ron and Hermione thing, but I beg your patience with that, it will be covered in the next chapter.

And hopefully, you all will understand why I'm not giving Harry the Armor of Fáfnir and accept it.

But this chapter is fun, with mostly explanations and setup, Theodore has learned the Dá Dánanna aren't as gone as he thought they were, and Albus is being haunted by a Queen who is ready to come home. Angelina's mom is getting a bit of set up because oh boy is she gonna be a weird person.

Daphne fucked up when she had kissed Harry in front of Zoë and if you think that's bad, wait till Artemis finds out.

The second task is now underway, I do wonder what is will be, hmm? How about a hint? Inside the jar is a piece of deer horn, but we'll get to that, we'll get to that.

In the next chapter, it's another article from everyone's favorite reporter!

Also, I'll be taking a "short break" from this story to finish up the second part of "In the Coils of a Serpent" and the next chapter of "The boy who vanished" along with reading up on Welsh lore, because I realized I knew absolutely nothing about it.

Kingsaxcul, Out!