Introduction: This story is a sequel to Harry Potter and the Secret of Lord Seilftrist published by myself. You can find a link to this story in my author profile. It is suggested that you read it first, but you may of course just jump right in to this one. If you are a reader carried over from Seilftrist I am very pleased that you have found your way here. A quick review might be appreciated to let me know that you are here. :) Enjoy!
Disclaimer: The author does not own Harry Potter nor is he making a profit from this story. The author forbids the use of this story for commercial profit. The author also readily gives permission for the character and objects he has invented to be used in other fics by other authors, or for this story to be published at other sites on one condition. The author must be notified at the e-mail address listed within his profile. This disclaimer shall apply to all chapters following.
Flame and darkness swirled around him forming a daunting form that towered before him. A hot wind seemed to press him down almost trying to force him to kneel. A voice that sounded like the crumbling of rotted cloth echoed loudly around him slowly saying, "Lord Potter. Thy power is meager and mine power is omnipotent. Surrender and bow to me."
"Never!" The High Lord of Phoenix screamed. "I will never bow! You cannot compel me to do your will! Your power is broken!"
The flames and shadows became more intense. The form before him seemed to grow taller and more angry. The hot wind shortly became unbearable and the High Lord felt his skin burning. "Fool! My power will not be broken forever! BOW!"
Harry Potter's eyes shot open as he breathed heavily and sat up. He quickly took in his surroundings. His spacious room was dark and moonlight shown in through the large windows that overlooked the gigantic garden. Ginny Weasley was standing over him staring at him with concern evident in her eyes. She was wearing a t-shirt and shorts as pajamas. "Harry, wake up. It was only a dream."
"Only a dream," Harry mumbled tiredly.
Ginny sat down on the bed next to Harry, "Then again, maybe more of a nightmare. You were yelling so loud that everyone in the manor could probably hear you. I was afraid that you were going to lash out with your power in your sleep as well."
"We're the only ones in this place," Harry pointed out.
"You were still loud," Ginny said. "What was it about this time?"
Harry laid back down and set his head on the fluffy but firm pillow. "The same one that it always is," he answered unhappily. "Remember how Voldemort talked about a master? I think that this might be him."
"That isn't your concern right now," Ginny admonished kindly. "All you need to care about is getting rest and recovering. If you want to be out of bed before the rest of my family shows up you need to get a lot more sleep than you've been getting."
"I kind of have to worry about it," Harry retorted. "It's not like I have much choice about the dream do I? Besides, I've been in this bed for nearly a month!"
"I wouldn't mind spending a month in bed. You might be able to get out of bed tomorrow if you get some sleep." Ginny replied. She reached out and placed her hand on Harry's forehead. "No fever so you aren't delirious. Just try to get some sleep." She stood up and rearranged the sheets and blankets over Harry.
"You mean that you might let me out of bed tomorrow. You're trying to bribe me to go to sleep aren't you?" Harry said as he snuggled under the blankets on the king-sized bed.
"That's right," Ginny said impishly. "If you sleep I'll let you out of bed and you'll be able to see what your own manor looks like!"
"That would be nice," Harry retorted. "The only place I've seen is this bedroom, your bedroom, and the bathroom. You could have at least carried me through the house to my bedroom. You had to take me directly to it instead."
Ginny laughed, "You don't like being an invalid do you? That's good because I don't particularly enjoy being a nurse. Just try and get some sleep okay?"
Harry nodded grudgingly and watched as Ginny crept back towards the bathroom with held a connecting door to her own spacious bedroom. He smiled, she was beautiful, and kind, caring, loving. . . The list could go on forever. With these cheerful thoughts Harry peacefully fell asleep.
Harry slowly woke up from a deep and peaceful sleep. For some reason the room seemed brighter than usual. He sat up and looked towards the windows. That was why, it had finally stopped raining and the sun had shone its face. He had thought that it would never end.
Ginny cheerfully strolled in carrying a breakfast tray for two. "Look who's up!" Ginny said. "Have a good night of sleep other than your nightmare?"
"Wonderful," Harry replied dryly.
Ginny smiled and set the breakfast tray over Harry. She then walked around the bed, hopped up on it and sat herself cross legged next to Harry. She then helped herself to a plate of eggs, sausage, potatoes, and toast. "Be sure to eat up Harry! You'll need your strength because you are expecting and official visit from the Minister of Magic."
"I don't want your father to see me lying around in bed!" Harry exclaimed.
"He won't if you get out of bed and meet them in your study," Ginny replied as she sipped some orange juice.
"I'm not hungry," Harry muttered. "Besides, where is my study?"
Ginny grinned and held Harry's plate up near his nose. "Doesn't that smell good? If you eat I'll show you."
Lacking nothing else to do Harry ate all of his breakfast despite the fact that he had absolutely no appetite. As soon as he finished, Ginny assisted him in getting out of bed and dressed. She then led him as he weakly walked down the hall outside of his room. They went down the staircase near the center of the hall and walked down another hall. Ginny opened a door and led Harry into a spacious study.
On the other side of the room was large windows that took up much of the wall. In the center of the back wall stood a pair of french doors that led to a large terrace outside. Harry could see several tables on the terrace and a swimming pool just beyond it.
Ginny led him to the large desk and sat him in the high backed swivel chair behind the desk. "There you are. Shuffle some papers around and act like you're busy or in the middle of important business!" Ginny said humorously. She glanced at the carriage clock that sat on Harry's desk. "The Minister is due to arrive at any minute. I shall show him in." It was hard to tell that Ginny was talking about her own father. She grinned and left the study.
Harry mentally assessed his physical condition. He felt that he could still stand up and weakly walk back to his room or outside without too much trouble. When he had first arrived at Phoenix Manor with Ginny, walking to the bathroom once a day was all he could barely manage. If Voldemort tried to take him on at this point, he was a goner. That was why they had faked a public image that showed him recovered fully but still taking a holiday.
He had passed the long month so far with Ginny spending half the day reading his get-well cards to him and generally caring for him. The other half of the day while he was resting she spent around the manor doing whatever she enjoyed. She had mentioned the spacious library with every book imaginable as well as the swimming pool and spa out in the back.
The door opened to admit Ginny and her father, Arthur Weasley, the Minister of Magic. They strolled over to Harry's desk. Mr. Weasley took a seat in front of the desk and Ginny walked to the side of the desk and sat down on another chair. "Hello Harry," Mr. Weasley said cheerfully. "Ginny says that you've made substantial improvement."
Harry smiled weakly as he leaned his head against the high back of the chair. "I suppose that you could say that."
"This isn't entirely a personal visit," Mr. Weasley began. "The general public is becoming worried that maybe you aren't as healthy as we've made out. I know that you're just basically tired but the public is beginning to fear that maybe you're on your deathbed or something. We were wondering at the Ministry if it was possible for you to make a public appearance. Maybe a press conference where you answered some questions, perhaps make a few statements about You-Know-Who, that sort of thing."
"Absolutely out of the question!" Ginny declared immediately.
Harry shot Ginny a I'm-not-on-my-deathbed glance and then answered Mr. Weasley. "I think that I could maybe do something in a couple of days."
Mr. Weasley smiled, "Thank-you Harry. I'll talk to Ginny about setting a specific date and time. We'll do something simple at the Ministry I think. There will be of course plenty of security to make sure that nothing happens."
Harry smiled and nodded. He didn't usually like being in the public eye but it would be a chance to do something about the problem at hand. "When are you and your family going to come and stay?" Harry asked.
"Next Saturday," Mr. Weasley replied. "I can't thank you enough for inviting us Harry."
"It's no problem," Harry said. It was true, he liked feeling like he had a family to live with. "I think that Ginny has already assigned rooms. I wouldn't know how because I haven't been able to see any of them yet."
Mr. Weasley stood up and shook Harry's hand, "I hope you regain your strength soon Harry. The world is depending on you. I must be going."
Harry nodded, "I'll try."
Mr. Weasley said goodbye and let himself out the door.
"Why doesn't he just Apparate?" Harry asked Ginny as he turned the chair to face her.
"Security," Ginny answered. "The Ministry has placed wards and such all around the manor. I placed a few of my own as well. There are also guards patrolling the perimeter."
Harry groaned, "All that for me? Who do they think I am?"
Ginny laughed, "They think that you're Harry Potter. I don't know how they got that idea though. . ."
Harry put on an innocent and pleading look, "If I promise to be good can I go swimming?"
"You don't know how to swim Harry!" Ginny responded, pretending to be shocked and scolding him.
"What about the spa then?"
Ginny rolled her eyes, "I suppose you can do something. I'll go and fetch a swimming suit from your room so that you don't have to waste your energy. I'll even come and swim with you."
The appointed day for the Harry Potter press conference arrived and a black ministry Rolls Royce pulled up in front of Phoenix Manor to find Harry and Ginny waiting for it on the front steps of the manor. Harry and Ginny were both primly dressed for the occasion and Harry was standing up without any help from Ginny.
The Ministry chauffeur who acted much like an Auror or hit-wizard smartly jumped out and held the door open for Harry and Ginny to get into the car. He closed the door, walked around the front, and got in and began to drive.
Harry sat back and watched Aurors close the gates to the manor as they zoomed past. The Ministry car seemed to be going a lot faster than any Muggle car he had been in. For the majority of the trip the chauffeur was silent and Harry fell asleep shortly before they entered London.
Ginny tapped Harry gently on the shoulder, "We're nearly there,"
Harry woke up and groggily watched. as the Rolls Royce pulled into what appeared to be a grungy parking lot. The chauffeur parked the car and opened the door for them to step out. Ginny led Harry over to a run-down shack that sat on the edge of the lot. She opened the door for him and led him in. After entering she closed it and Harry felt a slight jerk as the floor lowered beneath them.
Ginny led Harry down a short hall-way after the elevator reached the main floor. They exited the hallway into what appeared to be a large square in front of a gigantic building. They must have come in through another entrance to the Ministry.
The square was filled with reporters and as soon as Harry appeared they began to take photos of Harry. The continued flashes nearly blinded Harry as the crowd parted and Harry and Ginny made their way through to the top of the steps leading to the building. As they passed reporters yelled questions in an attempt to see if Harry would answer them.
A podium had been set up at the top of the stairs and several Aurors stood near it. Mr. Weasley appeared with a pop and greeted Harry. "I'm glad to see that you could make it Harry!" Mr. Weasley said kindly. "I'll see to it that you don't have to answer too many questions." He turned and walked towards the podium. As he did so the reporters fell silent. "This press conference is for Mr. Potter to answer questions about recent events as well as a few other things. He has no planned statement so he will merely answer a limited amount of questions."
At Mr. Weasley's gesture Harry approached the podium and partially leaned on it for support. Ginny had also come to stand beside him in case his legs gave out. All the reporters started asking questions and Harry pointed to one.
The crowd fell silent as the man asked a questions, "Mr. Potter, what is the status of You-Know-Who?"
"His status is what the Ministry has publicly stated," Harry answered. "He is at large and dangerous. I believe that his power is gaining and that active steps must be taken." Harry then pointed to an older female reporter who Harry recognized as the chief political commentator for the Daily Prophet.
"Do you believe the current administration at the Ministry capable of taking the necessary steps?"
Harry nodded, "I do. Mr. Weasley is a very capable man and I'm sure his policies are as good as they can. If you follow his leadership you won't go wrong." He pointed to another younger female reporter from Witch Weekly.
"What exactly happened when you encountered You-Know-Who on the day that Minister Tessyth was assassinated?"
"Voldemort was making an attempt to seize a powerful magical object. The object is now in safe hands. During the confrontation he fled and I got hit with too much power thus causing my current medical state." Harry dryly watched as the reporter scribbled down what he had said. He suspected that when he checked Witch Weekly next time it came out, the feature story would be a story of his daring adventure with a lot more details than anyone there could have even come up with. "Next," he pointed to another reporter.
"How is you personal health?" a male reporter asked.
"I'm feeling great," Harry said. "Real great," he muttered under his breath.
The media bombarded Harry with questions for nearly an hour. His questions seemed to satisfy their interest and concerns. During that hour Harry had noticed people other than reporters slipping in. Children were foremost among the newcomers.
Mr. Weasley glanced at his watch and stepped up. "All right folks, I think that's about enough. Mr. Potter will now sign autographs for those who wish to meet him."
Harry soon found himself seated at a small table with a rather long line. He signed autographs and exchanged pleasantries with those who came. Many were parents with their small children and teenage girls. Harry could sense Ginny's amusement as she watched all the teenagers flirt with Harry. She wasn't worried about Harry. "Where do all these people come from?" Harry said quietly to Ginny. "I've never seen them at Hogwarts."
"Well, some have come quite far for this event," Ginny whispered back. "Then of course there are other schools here and there, none as big as Hogwarts though."
Harry spent the rest of the morning and a good part of the afternoon at the autograph table. Finally Mr. Weasley announced that it was over and Harry was free to go. "Harry," Mr. Weasley said. "I can't thank you enough for doing this. You've calmed down everyone somewhat. Knowing that you're okay makes them feel safe. This came for you by the way." He handed a sealed letter to Harry.
Harry nodded and said goodbye. Ginny helped escort him back to the Rolls Royce. This time around he had to lean on her for some support. The chauffeur helped them in and they were heading back to Phoenix Manor.
"What's in the letter?" Ginny asked.
"I don't know Harry," answered. He broke the seal, opened it and read the letter.
We must meet immediately. I'll be waiting for your return at Phoenix Manor.