Disclaimer:Anything related to the Harry Potter series is the legal property of J.K.Rowling. Sadly, I am not she and am making no money from this story. Original characters and plotline are my own, please do not steal... actually steal away, I don't mind! -
Summary:Three years ago, at the word of Dumbledore, the Wizarding World condemned Harry to a fate worse than death. Now they've realised their mistake, but the Boy-Who-Lived isn't about to forgive and forget. How will the World deal with The Boy Who Lived turned Dark Lord? This war just got a lot more interesting. Extremely Dark!Harry Contains Het and Slash.
Author's Note: Veneratio was an idea I had a long, long time ago (first published 2004, so four years ago - sheesh). The original concept is COMPLETELYdifferent from the fic I am now publishing, though a lot of the ideas involved later on are the same. It's the fic that's had most thought poured into it, and I know exactly where the story is going. Hell, I've even planned the sequal. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: Hello there Sanity, it's been a while!
Walking the staircase down to the lower depths of Azkaban, Albus Dumbledore's mind was in turmoil. Only in the past few hours had Harry Potter's innocence come to light and since then things had been happening extremely quickly. The public, forgetting that they too had called down the boy hero, were calling for Fudge's head (or at least his position), for Dumbledore's dismissal, and for action to be taken. It was unnacceptable to them that a sixteen year old child should be condemned to Azkaban, and to the lower depths no less.
The lower depths, miles below sea level and fashioned from the rock of the earth itself, played home to the dementors in their full numbers. They left their dark haven only to feed upon the prisoners in the prison fortress itself, or when ordered by the Ministry of Magic. Few that were sent there were ever released, and if they were they were much without sanity. In the history of the wizarding world, only five people - including the boy who lived - had ever been sentenced to such a fate.
Reaching the door of Harry Potter's cell, Dumbledore nodded to his Auror escorts to dismantle the wards. After a few moments there was a shimmer of magic and the Aurors confirmed the wards to be down. With a heavy sigh Dumbledore layed his hand on the cool, stone door and pushed it open.
Five minutes beforehand
Laying in his cell in the lower depths of Azkaban, eighteen year old Harry James Potter would be unrecognisable to any who knew him were it not for the scar on his forehead. His hair grew past his shoulders, but was matted and had several clumps missing and his green eyes had lost their shine. The robes he wore were now several sizes too big for his body and hung tattered across his bony frame. Sanity had long been driven from his mind, and he was completely unaware of everything around him.
He did not notice the swirl of magic to one side of him, or the woman appearing at his side. He did not notice her tip his head back, or the potions she tipped down his throat and it was not until he swallowed that he realised anything was happening at all.
As the liquids passed into his system the cold left him, his sanity returned and he screamed hoarsely for a few seconds before falling to the ground, panting heavily.
For the first time in just over three years, Harry Potter was aware of his surroundings.
It took Harry a few seconds for his mind to catch up, but after a moment he remembered exactly what had happened. He remembered arriving back at the Dursley's after his terrible fifth year, mourning the death of his godfather and one of the only father figures he had known in his young life. He remembered the Ministry coming to arrest him some days later, despite his pleas that he had not left the Dursley house since his return. He remembered Dumbledore explaining to him about the attack on Diagon Alley, about how many of the survivors had identified Harry as one of the attackers. He remembered Dumbledore telling him how much trust he had in him, and how he believed Harry's pleas of innocence.
Dumbledore's trust had died when Harry confessed under Veritaserum. He had stopped believing when they had cast the priori incantatem spell, and watched the Cruciatus curse emerge from Harry's wand.
Harry had tried to explain that the curse had been used on Bellatrix Lestrange. He tried to tell them that the "Veritaserum" had been tampered with. The man questioning him, much like the trial from his fifth year, had only asked Harry yes or no questions and the potion, one that was unknown to Harry, had only allowed him to agree with each question.
Fudge had tried to sentence him to the Kiss, but Dumbledore had been "kind". He suggested the Kiss was too harsh. It was he who had suggested life inprisonment in Azkaban, the lower depths specifically due to Harry's potential for power. The public had been shocked both by the suggestion and by the fact that it had come from Dumbledore, but had agreed momentarily, calling for Harry to be sentenced to the lower depths. Fudge had been only too willing to oblige them.
With an angry growl Harry tried to move but his limbs hurt too much and he fell in a heap on the cold, stone floor. The woman was at his side in an instant.
"Don't try to move. We must wait. In a few moments the Aurors will release the Ministry wards around you and the cell and I will be able to teleport you out of here. All will be explained afterwards." She said, putting one of Harry's arms around her shoulder and helping him to stand. After a few moments he managed to find his balance and she let him go. They waited in silence for a few minutes before they heard movement outside.
A light washed across the cell, and across Harry. He felt a release, and knew whatever wards had been placed upon him had been removed. He only had a moment to wonder over this before the woman grabbed his arm and the cell disappeared in a swirl of colour.
Teleportation was like nothing Harry had ever experienced before; unlike other modes of magical transportation it was surprisingly comfortable. For a second it felt as though Harry - and presumably the unidentified woman who had collected him from Azkaban - had been surrounded by a swirling tornado of colourful wind that had obscured Harry's vision. A second later when the wind had died down he was no longer in his cell in Azkaban.
He was in a large, circular room, and was surprised to find himself alone. The layout of the room resembled that of the Gryffindor common room, though the dark blue walls, bookcases and the dark wooden floor made Harry think it would probably suit Ravenclaw more than Gryffindor. The fireplace was burning brightly, and along with the many burning candles throughout the room, cast dancing shadows upon the walls. In front of the fireplace were a black couch and two matching chairs, each one looking much comfier than anything Harry had seen in years. A bookcase covered a quarter of the wall, stretching from near the serpent door behind Harry - one that reminded him slightly of the door in the Chamber of Secrets - to the simple desk on the opposite side of the room from the fireplace. The bookcase was empty however, so Harry ignored it and turned to examine the rest of the room. He noticed that three doors led from the room; two on either side of the room and one up a set of stairs.
Noticing for the first time a single piece of parchment on the desk, Harry quickly picked it up and scanned it.
The door up the stairs leads to your bedroom, and has a connecting bathroom. There are robes for you in there. Also food will be left for you. Eat something, get some rest and someone will come and get you soon.
There was no name on the parchment, but Harry did not dwell on it. Quickly making his way up the stairs he came before a door. It looked to be made of wood, but there was no handle, and seemed to be no hinges either. Harry tried pushing, kicking and even commanding the door to open. Whenever he touched the door a slight tingle ran through his hand, and he placed it softly against the hard wood trying to figure out what it was. Running his hand down the wood Harry was surprised when it began melting away, and he realised it must be similar to the high-security vault doors in Gringotts. When he had passed the threshold the door reformed in place.
The bedroom that seemed to belong to Harry was beautiful. The floor was darker wood than that of the room Harry had come from, and the walls were the same blue. Most of the dark wood floor was covered by a rug, midnight blue with a border of pitch black. Against the western wall was his bed with a bedside table on the left of it. The bed looked much better than any Harry had ever seen in Hogwarts - it looked to be a double bed, made of some wood Harry couldn't recognise. The canopy seemed to be black, but was almost transparent. The bedclothes were black, and softer than anything Harry had felt in years. At the foot of the bed was a trunk, similar to the one he had used during his time in Hogwarts.
He had to quash his compulsion of comparing things to Hogwarts at some point; too many bad memories lay there and they only made him angry.
A fireplace, chest of drawers and a wardrobe were the only other things in the room. Apart from the door he had come through, there was one other that he assumed led to the bathroom. Walking quickly towards it, Harry was not disappointed.
The bathroom was much brighter than the rooms Harry had come from. There seemed to be no actual source of light, but the room glowed to the point it almost hurt Harry's eyes. It took several moments for them to adjust before he could look at the white bathtub - larger even than the one in the Hogwarts prefect's bathroom. The walls were tiled in a mixture of white and pale, sea blue. The floor was made of something that resembled marble, but Harry instantly knew it wasn't. The stone had a quality about it that made it slightly different from marble that Harry couldn't exactly place, but he didn't really deem it important so he forgot about it. A bin, a mirror and an armoire decorated the room, and a single door on the opposite side lead to the bathroom Harry assumed.
Approaching the armoire, Harry marvelled at its beauty. It seemed to be made of a black wood, with the tinniest veins of silver running through it. It looked to be covered in spiders webbing, and the handles - also made of silver - were simple and round, each inset with a smooth, black stone. Pulling on one handle, Harry opened the armoire, revealing three shelves. The top shelf took up most room, and was split in half down the middle. On one side, folded neatly, were bathrobes and on the other were towels, all of which were dark blue in colour. The second shelf and third shelf had equal spacing, and each was filled with bottles and packets. The second shelf held a number of ordinary bottles containing things such as shampoo and conditioner, whilst the third shelf held many different potions and salves.
Removing a bottle of shampoo, conditioner, a bar of soap, a robe and two towels Harry walked over to the bath and pulled off the ragged robes he had been wearing in Azkaban. They tore off easily, ripping almost in half and falling to the floor. Harry could barely bring himself to look down at himself, knowing that spending three years in Azkaban must have taken its toll on his physical form. Turning on several of the silver taps Harry watched the bath fill with purple-bubbled water. Making a note to explore the rest of the taps later, Harry climbed into the water.
Having been left in the freezing cold of Azkaban for three years Harry didn't feel the water burn at first. Seconds later he jumped out of the bath, screaming as he was scalded. Looking down, Harry was almost sick as he took in his ribs, almost completely visible through his unhealthy skin, which was tinged pink from the water. Quickly moving through the taps, not turning them on for more than a second as he looked for a cold-water tap, which he found after only a few, Harry let the bath cool from the cold water before re-entering.
Harry didn't know how long he had stayed in the bath before he began cleaning himself. He savoured the feeling of the water on his skin, and enjoyed watching as the grime fell from him. The water was obviously magical because no matter how much dirt Harry scrubbed from himself it stayed clean, and he noticed that the dirt seemed to disintegrate with a sparkle seconds after touching the water. He had used the whole bottle of shampoo and half the bottle of conditioner before he even started to feel clean, and his scalp hurt from pulling his fingers through his tangled hair.
Getting out of the bath, Harry was surprised to find the floor did not become slippery with the water - probably through magic - and he quickly dried himself off and put on the bath robe he had brought from the armoire. Going back to it, Harry inspected the potions on the third shelf. There were several that caught his attention, including phials of eye correcting potion, facial-hair removing potion, and several types of healing potions and magic replenishing potions. Taking a bundle of them, Harry exited the bathroom back to his own rooms.
Opening the door back to his bedroom, Harry was surprised to see several plates of food waiting for him. The spell that the woman who had taken him from Azkaban had cast meant he wasn't as ravenous as he should have been, and he merely picked up an apple and bit into it. After a three year diet of water and bread - of which Harry was sure he hadn't eaten most days in his insanity - the taste of the apple was breathtaking, and Harry bit into it several more times before placing it down and moving to the wardrobe and chest of drawers. The chest of drawers was full of underwear, shirts, trousers and anything else Harry could think of to wear underneath robes.
What the chest of drawers was lacking, the wardrobe made up for. Robes of almost every kind imaginable hung there - multitudes of colours, designs and styles - and Harry couldn't help but run his hands over them. Harry guessed that this was what Draco Malfoy's wardrobe must be like on the inside, though on giving it a second thought Harry guessed that Malfoy's wardrobe, or wardrobes, were probably bigger, better and filled with robes that were more expensive. He doubted Malfoy would settle for anything less.
He settled on a set of dark green robes made of velvet type material. Underneath them he wore a tight, black shirt with silver designs and a pair of snug fitting black trousers. The sleeves of the robes split from the elbow downwards, revealing the designed arms of the black top, and fastened at the front. Harry was uncomfortable with the high collar at first - it felt constricting, much like the neck-brace from his trial - but after a few calming moments he was fine with it. Across the breast of the robes, above Harry's heart, was a small snake embroidered in silver. They fell to Harry's feet, and he left the bottom unfastened. A pair of black boots he found in the bottom of the wardrobe completed his outfit, and Harry walked over to his bed and sat down to examine his potions.
Picking up the first phial that came to hand he realised it was the potion for removing facial hair. Harry was surprised when he had put his hand to his face to find that he had very little facial hair. He had thought that with three years of not shaving it would have grown quite long, but thankfully it had not. He remembered re-growing his hair overnight, long ago when he hadn't know about magic or Voldemort or any of his betraying "friends", and wondered if the same accidental magic had kept his facial hair from growing too out of control. Downing the potion to get rid of what little was there, Harry felt an odd tingling, slightly burning, sensation around his lower face, and when it had stopped he was glad to feel that his face was once again hair free.
The second potion was the vision-correcting potion. It had a warning label saying that it took around an hour for the potion to finish working, and that the hour would be rather painful for the drinker. It also stated that after the potion had finished working the drinker's eyes would turn black - much like Harry remembered Snape's and Hagrid's being, causing him to wonder if they had both taken the potion at one point - and that they could not be changed with any normal charm without upsetting the corrected vision.
Harry had always loved his eyes - so like his mother's as he'd been told by countless people - and it would be a shame to get rid of the colour. If his plans for revenge were going to work, however, his glasses would need to go; he could not afford the liability that they possessed.
Uncorking the bottle, Harry quickly drank the foul tasting, clear liquid. It burned his throat as it went down, and soon the burning sensation had moved to his eyes. As the potion continued to work Harry had to bite down on his lip to keep from screaming, and he lost all knowledge of what was happening around him. When the hour was over, he found himself on the floor, lip bleeding and glasses lying broken beside him. He didn't need them anymore, so he didn't bother trying to scoop up the pieces.
The healing and magical replenishing potions were simple enough, and Harry didn't waste in time in wondering about taking them. He felt much better after drinking them. The cut on his lip was quickly healed, as well as several injuries from Azkaban that he didn't even know he had. The small sense of fatigue that had been playing on his nerves left him as he swallowed down the glowing, blue magic replenishing potion.
With a contended sigh, Harry moved the empty phials into the bedside table and fell unto the bed and into darkness.
Harry was awoken from a particularly strange dream about pink hippogriffs attacking Hogwarts by a sudden crack that he easily identified as being of a house-elf - or some other magical creature he had yet to encounter - apparating into his room. He sat up quickly, almost falling from the bed in his slightly groggy state, to see that he was right.
The house-elf was unlike most Harry had ever seen in many ways. For one she - and Harry thought he knew for sure that it was a female - was wearing a set of fancy robes. They were dark red, almost black in colour, and of a design very similar to Harry's current robes other than they had full sleeves and the embroidered bird on the breast was in gold and silver. Also, she had a wand and a very short but intimidating dagger. A small sash was tied around her middle, like a belt, and both items were tucked carefully into it. The wand was easily as ornate as that of his lady rescuer and Harry wondered where it was they had gotten them. She had the same yellow eyes as all house-elves, and the same large ears, but her eyes were not enormous and staring at Harry in awe, in fact she wasn't looking at Harry at all. She was seemingly searching her pockets for something.
"Master, Lady Morgana has asked me to tell you that someone will be coming to your room to collect you in fifteen minutes, and since they cannot enter your bedroom asks that you be present in your living room." Said the elf in perfect English, surprising Harry to no end. Finally finding whatever it was she was looking for the house-elf looked up and stretched her hand out to him. "She has also asked I give you this, so that you can set the password to your room guardian."
Harry took the small item - an intricate golden key - from the house-elf and she bowed her head slightly before disapparating.
Realising he didn't have much time, Harry rushed into the bathroom and to the mirror.
It was the first time he had seen himself since Azkaban, and he was glad he had not looked at himself before. His skin was pale, and his black hair was a still tangled mess, despite being washed and conditioned several times. The robes looked good on him though, and strange as it seemed to him the black eyes suited him. They didn't remind him of either Hagrid's or Snape's, though they were the same type of black. His looked colder, more menacing than either the potion master's or the half-giant's. Noticing a medicine cabinet built into the wall beside the mirror that he had not previously seen, he quickly threw it open hoping there was a brush of some sort inside. Instead there were more potions bottles. Looking through them he quickly found one that he thought might help, and quickly scanned the label attached to the side of the bottle.
Causes effects similar to the skill of the Metamorphmagi, where the drinker can alter his or her own appearance by concentrating on changing it. One potion will change only one feature, so for each feature you wish to change you must drink one potion. May not work for those with animagus abilities.
Realising that he could simply fix his hair with this, Harry downed the potion and concentrated on his hair becoming straight and lengthening out to his shoulders. It took a lot of concentration. but eventually there was a strangle tingling sensation in his scalp and he watched as, like a sped-up film, his hair shortened in places, lengthened in places and tamed itself flat. It happened fast, and in a matter of moments Harry's hair was straight and to his shoulders. It was the first time he had ever managed to make it sit flat, and he smiled as he viewed himself in the mirror. The long hair worked well with the black eyes, and the dark robes accompanying gave him a menacing look. He downed another bottle of the Metamorph Potion quickly, concentrating this time on his body. repairing the skeletal figure brought on by his years in Azkaban to a more healthy looking frame.
Sliding a finger down his bedroom door, he was happy when it melted away, and he entered his living room. It was as he left it, though the note from earlier was gone. Taking the key that the house-elf had given him he walked to the large, serpent door.
The door did indeed remind him of the one in the Chamber of Secrets. It was circular and made of silver, but only a single snake adorned it - ruby eyes shining from within it's detailed silver head - as did a small keyhole on one side. Placing the key into the keyhole, it disappeared, and the snake raised its head to look at him.
"Passsword?" It hissed, and Harry knew it had spoken English. Deciding to try speaking in parseltongue to the snake, he concentrated on it, and was happy when his answer was delivered in a fine hiss.
"My Password is 'Open'." He hissed, noticing the snakes jewelled eyes widen slightly as he spoke.
"You speak the language of the Serpents?" Hissed back the snake, its eyes not leaving Harry's own black ones.
"I do, and I do not wish for my password to be accepted in any other form." Said Harry, adjusting his robes to be straight. The snake nodded, and once again rested its head on itself and closed its eyes.
Ten minutes later, with Harry sitting on the couch and rather bored, he heard a knock on the other side of the door. He loudly hissed for the door to open, and a man walked in. He had silver grey eyes, and white-blond hair, and Harry instantly knew he had to be related to Malfoy in some way. His robes were coloured pure black, with silver lining the cuffs of his arms and the high neck. Across the breast of his robes was a symbol - a dagger with a serpent winding up it's blade - embroidered in colour and outlined in silver, and when he drew closer Harry noticed that the serpent was bleeding, blood running across it's green scales and down the blade of the dagger. His cloak continued the theme of silver and black, though it was clasped together by a silver pin inset with an emerald. Black gloves covered his hands, leaving his head the only visible part of his body. Harry could clearly see several daggers strapped to various parts of his body, and was certain there were probably others he could not see.
Harry was surprised to see that he wasn't smirking at him in the way he had come to expect from the Malfoy family, but was smiling a true smile. Perhaps he was only a distant relation?
"Harry I assume. Follow me, there are a few people you need to meet and a few things you need to be told." Said the man, turning and walking through the door. Harry quickly followed him, and soon they were striding through labyrinthine passageways and corridors, until they came to stand before two giant doors. With a wave of his hand, the unidentified Malfoy made the doors open, and Harry wondered if he could somehow perform wandless magic.
The room they had arrived in reminded Harry of the first time he had set foot inside Hogwarts, and he felt his eyes drawn in almost every direction. A fire was burning in a large, ornate fireplace - purple flames casting eerie glows around the room. Paintings, maps, scrolls - barely any of the dark wooden walls could be seen through the items that decorated them. The floor was wooden also; darker than the wood of the walls and covered by a giant black rug, embroidered with a silver pattern that reminded Harry of spider webbing. Suits of armour, ones much more regal than those that could be found in Hogwarts, filled the large room, though only a single statue stood against one wall.
The statue itself attracted Harry's attention when he noticed it. Unlike the plain stone statues of Hogwarts this serpent-shaped statue glowed and flickered in reflections of the purple flames. There was no doubt that it was crafted with magic - constructed from a beautiful ice-blue crystal that Harry was unable to identify - and had more detail than anything Harry had ever seen. The scales of the creature were minuscule and flawless, and the reflected flames made patterns that were ever dancing across the surface.
"It's made of aquamarine" said a voice in Harry's ear, making him jump in fright. The Malfoy man was watching him, and had obviously noticed the attention he had been paying to the statue. "If you look closely though, you'll notice the eyes are purple - they are made of machinite. It took Gellert almost three weeks to complete, which by his standards is an extremely long time." He continued, eyes appraising the crystalline serpent.
Just as Harry was about to ask who Gellert was, the unidentified Malfoy cut him off.
"All will be explained to you when you meet the Coven." He said, walking away from Harry and towards the impressive crystalline statue against the far wall. Harry trailed behind him, taking notice of the glowing purple eyes of the basilisk - for Harry had recognized the distinguishing features of the King of Snakes - and the clear crystal teeth that protruded from its closed mouth. He heard the man in front of him mutter something and immediately the statue came to life, slithering several feet to the side to reveal a door that had previously been hidden behind it. Harry was reminded of the gargoyle that guarded Dumbledore's office, and began to get frustrated that everything seemed to still remind him of Hogwarts. Deciding not to think about the castle he had once called home again, Harry walked through the door after the man.
The room behind it was dark.
Harry stood still for several moments, looking around in the darkness that enveloped him. He didn't know where the man had gone, and as he didn't know his name, couldn't shout for him. Frustration was creeping into him again, and he slammed his foot roughly against the wooden floor - the sound almost echoing in the room and making it seem much larger - and Harry sighed in defeat. He was on the verge of shouting 'Malfoy' when he heard someone whisper.
Seconds later a torch flickered on. Then another and another until a total of thirteen were lit, illuminating the room and revealing to him that not only was the Malfoy man there, but so was the woman who had brought him from Azkaban and two other people.
The four people were sitting at an arc-shaped table that held thirteen seats. The centre seat was much more ornate than any of the others, and it was Harry's rescuer that had taken up this position. On her right and left were two empty chairs, next to the empty seat on her left sat the Malfoy. The other people that had yet to speak - one female and one male - were sitting next to each other three seats to Harry's rescuer's right. Harry assumed there must be specific seats for each person because there were spaces between them all. He also wondered where the other people who sat there were.
Realising every eye on the room was upon him, Harry unconsciously straightened up slightly waiting to be addressed; he didn't want to shatter the silence with one of the many hundreds of questions he had to ask. Seeming to notice his reluctance the woman at the head of the table leaned forwards and began to speak.
"Harry Potter, you may be wondering why we have brought you here, though I ask you not to interrupt until I am finished my explanation." She said, continuing when Harry nodded his assent. "We are the Coven of Interficium, rulers of the underground city of Tartarus. We call Tartarus a city, though really we are an army, created for the single purpose of overthrowing the Wizarding World and bringing it under our own rule. You are currently within the castle of the Coven, who as I said are the rulers of Tartarus. Currently, however, the Coven is incomplete." She said, gesturing towards the empty chairs on either side of her. "The Coven is prophesied to have thirteen members, all of whom have already been decided on, though some of whom are not even born yet. All members are destined to become the most powerful of the Dark and when fully formed we will become the most powerful organization in the world, capable not just of overthrowing the Wizarding World, but of bringing it back from the anarchy that will ensue with the destruction of their Ministry and their order, and ruling them in a way befitting of wizarding kind. You Harry, are destined to become one of us, a member of our Coven. As such we have brought you here to train you, for there is much left for you to do in the Wizarding World before you can join us here until our completion. Generally when someone is brought to Tartarus we have them fake their death in the Wizarding World, however we have bigger plans for you - a mission only you will be able to accomplish I feel. Of course, you will also be allowed to take revenge upon those who betrayed you."
Revenge. She had spoken the word so serpent-like, and Harry felt his blood boil. The word burned through his mind as soon as she spoke it. That was his goal, and there were so many he would reap it upon - not only Voldemort and his Death Eaters, but those who had betrayed him - especially Dumbledore.
"Your thirst for revenge is like a scream; it pierces through everything it touches and leaves only destruction in its wake. Until you have exacted your revenge you will not be able to join us here to await the Coven's completion. The future I have seen for you shows you as a Dark Lord, greater than any that have come before you, and with a clearer outlook as to what you are fighting for. You may have wondered why, with all his power, Voldemort was not asked to join the Coven? Also, Salazar Slytherin, thought to be one of the darkest and most powerful wizards in history? The answer is simple;their outlook on the way the world should be is warped. Voldemort cannot see the importance those of muggle descent play in the wizarding world. Both he and his ancestor looked to blood as the key factor that determines the worth of the witch or wizard. His perceptions are unfitting of a true Dark Lord, unlike those I can tell you yourself already have. Also, he is more power-hungry than any one person should be. Had he been brought here, he would have no doubt tried to gain control, resulting in unnecessary bloodshed."
Harry nodded. He had always realised how warped Voldemort's way of thinking was; to be rid of everyone of Muggle descent was insane, and a waste of much unfilled potential. Had Voldemort won the war magic itself would be endangered. Squibs were a particular danger when it came to inbreeding.
"Now, I believe introductions are at hand. However first you must realise that we the Coven are much more powerful than the average Witch or Wizard. We hold many secrets, known or unknown to the Wizarding World, including the secret of immortality. The majority of Tartarus are gifted with this knowledge, and as such you will find people here from all times." Said the witch, rising to her feet and sweeping her heavy cloak back as the stood. "I am Morgan le Fay, though I would prefer you call simply me Morgana rather than use my title. My gift of foresight showed me certain events that would come to pass, and so I founded the Coven, around which Tartarus was formed, as a way to prepare those who would join in our war. It was I who discovered the secret of immortality, and once this meeting is finished I will impart this knowledge onto you. When your training begins I will be teaching you mind magics, such as Occlumency, wandless magic and healing."
Gesturing to her left for the next person to continue, Morgana resumed her seat, and the Malfoy man stood, throwing his cloak back as he did.
"I am Armande Malfoy, only Dark Lord to ever be produced of the Malfoy line, and one of the few Malfoy's to look past blood. If I am correct, you are familiar with my family." He said. On Harry's nod he continued "Yes, well, I apologise for their bigotry. I will be training you in the majority of the Darker Arts and in Alchemy and Weaponary." He said, nodding once more before returning to his seat and allowing the woman on the other side of the table to stand.
To look at the woman one would never guess that she was Dark. Her red hair was short, falling just above her shoulders, and her green eyes were brighter than even Dumbledore's. Her black robes left her shoulders bare but had a high collar similar to that of Armande, though much more feminine, and the sleeves slit from the elbow downwards, revealing a long pair of black gloves and a silver spider-like thing that had legs seemingly sinking into the skin of her arm, and which held a large, shimmering red stone. She wore no cloak, but in her hand she held a staff of dark wood, tipped with a fiery red crystal that seemed to be ever moving, as though filled with smoke.
"My name is Ophelia Monoceros, cousin of Rowena Ravenclaw through her father's side. I worked for the ruling Dark Lord of my time as an assassin, though my name is cursed by most of those in the Wizarding World as the inventor several of the most powerful Dark Arts curses, most of which have become lost over time. You will be learning spell creation, general spellwork and be trained in assassination by myself. " She said, nodding slightly before returning to her seat.
Turning to the last person in the room, Harry was certain he recognised him from somewhere. He stood silently, his eyes locked on Harry's. His eyes were beetle black, like Harry's now were, suggesting he too had taken a vision-correcting potion. His hair was also blond, and was tied back from his face in a ponytail. His robes were deep green, with a single embroidered emblem across the left breast. Harry vaguely recognized the symbol - a triangle encasing a circle, split vertically through the centre - but couldn't place where he had seen it from. The man's cloak was black, fastened with a clasp of the same symbol as on his robes. A scar ran from him beside his right eye to his jaw line - a nasty, ragged scar that looked as though someone had slit his face open with a blunt knife.
"I am Gellert Grindlewald, I'll be teaching you Transfiguration, Duelling, Ritual Magic, Conjuring and Enchanting. You may know of me as the Dark Lord Grindlewald." Said the man, making Harry widen his eyes slightly in recognition. He remembered now where he had seen the symbol; right before he had been taken to Azkaban he had been reading "The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts", and it had a whole section on Grindlewald. Harry hadn't bothered to read the whole thing, but skimming through it had left him with a rough account of what had apparently transpired at the final battle between Dumbledore and the Dark Lord.
"Aren't you supposed to be in prison?" Harry asked, causing Grindlewald to laugh.
"Aren't you?" He asked amused, and Harry quickly realised what a stupid question it had been. "No, they rarely check on me these days, and when they do they only look through the door to see if I'm still alive. It wasn't difficult to create a golem to take my place. I will return to the Wizarding World though, during your war. I hope you don't mind, but Albus and I have some... unfinished business to attend to."
"The old bastard." Spat Harry at hearing his name, thinking that he would like nothing more than to have half an hour alone with Dumbledore in a torture room. "Just promise me you won't kill him without letting me curse him a couple of times?" Gellert gave Harry a strange smile, but only nodded and resumed his seat.
"Albus Dumbledore is more manipulative than even you know Harry." Said Morgana suddenly. "The reason we have taken you from Azkaban now and not sooner is because they have discovered your innocence and all wards around you had been removed. Had we taken you sooner, despite the magics we have at our disposal, they would have been alerted. At the time I appeared to you, Dumbledore was already on his way to you with select members of his Order, hoping that you would be his pawn again once removed from Azkaban. He will try to lure you to him when you return Harry, though I doubt you would go to him no matter what the circumstances. Had you remained there, in your state of insanity, he was planning on using the Imperius curse and forcing you to fight Voldemort under his direct orders. Your mind would not have been able to fight it off."
"Doesn't that mean they'll find my cell empty?" Asked Harry, suddenly worried though he had no real reason to be - he doubted Dumbledore nor the Ministry would be able to find him wherever he was currently.
"Don't worry Harry. Tartarus has many secrets - the city is actually thousands of miles underground with only one physical entrance and three forms of magical entrance, none of which are known to the Wizarding world populace, though one of which is a coveted secret of the Ministry. The physical entrance is protected by an advanced version of the Fidelus charm and enchanted with spells more advanced than the Wizarding world even knows exists. There is a spell on the entire city so that no time will pass outside it whilst you reside within - we activate it when a new member such as yourself arrives for training, and deactivate it when they leave. By my estimates your training will take around ten or twenty years, longer depending on what abilities you may possess, but when we put you back in your cell in Azkaban no time will have passed at all. There are a few technicalities that will need to be addressed before your training can begin however, and if you will follow me we shall address these now." Said Morgana, rising from her seat and sweeping down to where Harry was standing. Muttering and nodding a goodbye to the other Coven members, Harry hurried after her as she walked out the door.
Morgana had called it a Castle. If this was a Castle then that would make Hogwarts an extremely small house, somewhere around the size of Hagrid's hut. The sheer size of the building was phenomenal, and there seemed to be a room for just about every purpose and a thousand rooms without one. Morgana had shown him the way back to his room to make sure he knew how to get to it, and had told him that once he had his wand it was his choice to decorate it in any way he liked. As he had walked through the castle Harry had been going over re-decorating ideas in his head, and had finally settled on a single change he would implement when he returned to the room. Before that a second issue needed to be addressed.
Having come straight from Azkaban, Harry had no wand. He didn't even know if his original had been broken or not, though knowing Dumbledore he had likely kept it in case it proved useful in the fight against Voldemort. Harry had no doubt Dumbledore was positively dancing at the prospect of wielding the brother wand of Voldemort's own.
Still, when Harry had set eyes on Morgana's wand again, all thoughts of his previous ones were long forgotten. True, if he could he would get it back, mainly for sentimental purposes, but he would never use it again once he had obtained a new one. The craftsmanship of Morgana's wand was unique. She informed him that not only did the wand have a duel-core, a mixture of basilisk fang and runespoor scale, it also had a focus-stone, a magical gem especially enchanted to focus and release magic. The wand was expertly sculpted, carved with designs that ran it's whole length with the focus-stone nestled at the end of the wand, which was carved to look like a bird's claw.
Before they went to create Harry's wand however, Morgana took him into a strangely cold room filled with an ethereal fog that hung close to the floor and wrapped around their feet as they walked. The room was dark, and although there were torches lined along the wall none of them were lit. Had it not been for the eerie blue glow that seemed to fill the room, Harry would have been unable to see anything at all. As it was, the only things to see in the room were pedestals, hundreds of them, each one carved of black stone and surrounded completely by the ethereal fog. Atop each one sat an egg.
"This is the hall of familiars, we each have at least one, though we are not limited to that number - I myself have three." Said Morgana, waving her wand and igniting the torches around the room. Alight the room looked magnificent. It was a circular room, with the torches being the only things adorning the walls. Coming closer to the torches, which flickered with blue flames, Harry realised they were giving off no heat. They cast eerie dancing shadows across the room, and across the mist that still swirled around their feet. Looking up Harry realised even with the room alight the ceiling was so high it disappeared into darkness.
"Walk around Harry - you'll know which ones belong to you when you find them." Said Morgana, leaving the room and shutting the door behind her. Harry stared after her before turning to the eggs that filled the room. There were hundreds of them, each differently patterned and coloured and Harry wondered how he was ever supposed to find his familiar amongst them. Walking to the first egg - a deep red one with a black crack-like pattern across it - Harry laid his hand upon it. The egg was cold, and after a few moments of feeling nothing he gave up and walked around the room, placing his hands on several eggs as he walked past them.
It was a small, black egg that seemed to absorb light that Harry first picked up, and he knew that whatever creature inside it was dark in origin; something that thrilled Harry more than he would have admitted. When he had placed his hand upon it had given off the same tingle of energy in his hand as when he first held his wand, and Harry hoped that meant that the egg must be right for him. He looked over the pedestal for some clue as to what it contained, but there was nothing to indicate the species of Harry's new familiar. Taking the egg in his arms, Harry walked once again through the pedestals, laying his hands upon each egg as he did so.
Harry found one more egg in the room that heated upon his touch, one that seemed to be made completely of ice. It was much larger than the first egg he had collected, and he could almost see the creature that was inside. At one point he almost dropped it as whatever creature was inside opened one eye, gazing at him for a second before closing it again. Carrying one egg under each arm, Harry exited the room.
Morgana looked at the eggs, and it was clear she knew what each of them held.
"What's inside them? I have a feeling this one," he said, holding up the black egg to show her, "is extremely dark, but we never really studied eggs in Care of Magical Creatures."
"You'll have to work that out on your own, along with what needs to be done in order for them to hatch. You'll find a book on magical creatures in your personal library, which can be accessed through your living room. I'll show you now, and we can drop off the eggs before we make your wand." Said Morgana, motioning down a hall for him to follow.
Nodding his acceptance, Harry grasped the two eggs and followed behind his guide.
Harry's room was one of the higher up rooms in the tower, and therefore had a lot of space for regrowth should he decide to add any more rooms to it. The library could be accessed through one of the two doors from his living room. The room on the western side of the room led to his study, and from there the library, and the eastern door led to his potions lab and supply room.
He ran up to his bedroom, dashing inside to place the eggs on the bed and out again so fast that the melted door didn't even have time to reform before he was back outside. Morgana informed him that from there they would go to the wand creation room, which was quite close - something Harry was glad to hear.
The door to the wand room was similar to the door of his bedroom. When they arrived at the door, it seemed to be nothing more than a large plate of metal. When Morgana ran her finger down its length the door melted into nothing, allowing them entrance to the room behind.
The wand room was like nothing Harry had ever seen before or even imagined. He had imagined a grand room, but one similar to the layout of Ollivander's, filled with dusty boxes holding wands that Harry would have to wave like a fool until he found the right one. He was glad to enter and be proved wrong.
The room was filled with cabinets, and a large workbench in the middle. There were more jars than in Snape's storeroom, and several large cabinets filled with jewels, woods, wand cores and potions. Walking over to one of the cabinets Harry read the jars of wand cores they had there; Essence of Lethifold, powdered phoenix eyes, unicorn bone. The supposed rarity of the items seemed of no consequence to the Order, as each jar seemed almost full.
"First we'll need to find out the individual characteristics of your wand." Said Morgana, drawing his attention away from the cabinet. On the table in the centre of the room she had gathered several wands, each of a different wood. "These are test wands, to tell us which wood we should use for your wand. They each have a neutral core, so they should work well with any witch or wizard's magic." She explained, picking up the first wand and handing it to Harry.
The first wand, when waved, sent a jar of quicksilver flying through the air. The jar was, thankfully, charmed to be unbreakable, and it bounced several times before coming to a stop on the floor. Harry decided the wood was not for him and moved to the next one.
Through the course of the next ten minutes Harry tried the test wands with varying results. Three were attuned to his magic at different levels, and he had set them aside for later inspection. Twelve woods had been discounted already as not being in tune with Harry's magic. One of them, an ebony wand, had let out a blast of magic so powerful it had almost torn a hole through one wall, and Harry had quickly moved it as far away from him as possible.
The next wood Harry picked up sent a rush of magic through his hand, and Harry knew this was more attuned to him than any other wood he would find there. The wood was a rich red in colour, and seemed to glow on Harry's touch. Morgana seemed to have noticed this as well, and took the wand from Harry's hand.
"Bloodwood. Especially good for healing and protection spells, as well as channelling powerful dark magics." She explained, summoning a rectangular block of the wood from one cupboard with a wave of her wand and clearing away the test wands with the other. "Finding your core should be a lot simpler. My guess is that you'll find Dementor blood extremely attuned to your magic."
The Dementor blood was oddly beautiful Harry thought. It was in a jar, and had a quicksilver like quality, though it was the darkest black. Morgana had been right when she said it would most likely be effective, the blood seemed to be straining against the side of the glass as though trying to get to Harry.
"With a liquid base you'll need either another liquid or a powder; combining a solid and a liquid will cause the wand to fail once one has overcome the other. Since Dementor blood is acidic I would also suggest you not choose anything that is light-magic orientated, they will not mix well. I would suggest we try either Chimaera blood, Acromantula venom, Runespoor venom or powdered Thestral wings."
The named jars immediately appeared upon the table. Harry immediately moved the acromantula venom away; he didn't want his lovely new wand to remind him of anything from Hogwarts, and especially not of his traitorous "best friend". The Dementor's blood core would remind him of Azkaban, his reason for taking revenge on those who had wronged him and for shaping the magical world into what it should be, and now that Morgana had made him immune to them the Dementor's seemed rather enthralling to Harry. The three ingredients left were all powerful Harry knew, but he settled almost immediately on the Thestral wings. Death played too important a role in Harry's life to be discounted. When Morgana put them together, the black powder mixed easily with the acidic Dementor blood, making it fizz slightly before settling down. Morgana quickly poured Harry's wand core into a vial, returning everything else to the shelves with a wave of her wand.
"Lastly we'll need to find you a focus-crystal. As you can see we have hundreds, but there will only be one that truly represents you. Go look at them, you'll be able to feel which one is yours." Said Morgana. She busied herself in the potions cabinet, removing several vials of different coloured potions and laying them on the desk as Harry went to the cabinet that was filled with focus-stones. They sparkled in the torchlight, and Harry didn't even have to search for his own.
Sitting on one shelf between a shimmering pink stone and a deep red stone, was a red jewel in the shape of an orb. Its polished surface shined with the light of the millions of faces within it, and Harry picked it up to hold it closer to the torch. It was perfect, barely half an inch big and, for some reason Harry could not explain, it represented him perfectly. He carried the small stone over to the table, handing it to Morgana, who had gathered around twenty potions on the table before her.
"Interesting. Your focus is Alexandrite. It's rather rare to be used as a focus, but I think it fits you. Under artificial light, such as these torches, the stone appears red." She explained, drawing her wand. With a wave and a muttered incantation, which Harry recognised as that used to conjure pure sunlight, Morgana held her wand over the stone again. "As you can see though, under true sunlight, the stone appears green."
Harry almost laughed at the stone. To him it represented his nature; he had fashioned himself as the Gryffindor Golden Boy, but deep down, he knew he should have gone with the hat and become a Slytherin. He wondered how different his life would have been for a moment, but the upsurge of anger caused him to shove the thoughts away before he accidentally broke something.
"So, now we make the wand?" He asked, hoping to finally be able to use magic again. It had been three years since he had been thrown in Azkaban, and the lack of magic made him miserable, especially since feeling it rush through him when he had taken the magical regenerative potion. Smiling slightly, Morgana nodded, drawing a small dagger from within her robes.
"Consecrating both the focus-stone and the wand in your own blood will ensure that nobody other than yourself will ever be able to use it. All Coven members before you have done this, though it is not necessary."
Harry took the dagger, running it softly across his upturned palm. Immediately a small puddle of blood began to form, and Morgana quickly passed him two vials, which he poured the blood into. When he had finished Morgana placed her wand on his palm, and without a word it healed.
"Now, first we'll need to combine the wood and the core. I'll do that, since you don't have a wand and you can't use mine. This will also give the shape to your wand." She explained. With a graceful sweep of her wand both the block of bloodwood and the duel-core liquid floated into the air, momentarily shimmering before combining into a single object. The rosewood then began to transmute itself into the basic shape of a wand, though after a moment it became obvious to Harry that the wand was anything but plain.
The hovering wand, surrounded by a glowing light, was longer than most normal wands - around 26 inches at least - and had a minuscule representation of a basilisk carved into the wood, and wrapping around it's length. The basilisk was about two centimetres thick, and it curled itself lazily around the wand. Surprisingly the wand didn't seem to have a handle, and it didn't level and sharpen into a point as most wands did. It remained the same thickness the whole length, and at the end of the wand formed into the head of the basilisk that ran it's length, mouth open, eye-sockets hollow and an indentation left upon it's forehead focus-stone, though Harry realised that not a lot of the stone would be left showing. The wood of the wand itself seemed to have been stained with the Dementor's blood. The red wood was covered in veins of black all over, though the carving of the basilisk remained free of them - it appeared lighter than the original bloodwood.
With another brief wave towards it by Morgana, the focus rose softly into the air, accompanied by one vial of Harry's blood. The blood briefly wrapped around the stone before seeming to sink into it. The stone then took its place upon the forehead of the basilisk, melding into the wood as though the wood was made of liquid, before settling with only a tiny amount showing. It glowed briefly red, revealing to Harry that the basilisk's hollow eye-sockets and open mouth allowed the glow from the stone to pour through them.
With a final wave of her wand the last vial of Harry's blood, along with ten of the potions sitting on the table, rose gently into the air, coming free of the bottles that held them. They swirled together, a tornado of colours, before mixing to create a black liquid that was quickly leeched into the wood. Harry watched as the black liquid sank into the wand, but the carving of the basilisk seemed to be struggling to absorb it. Finally the blackness left the potion, leaving the red of Harry's blood behind, which quickly hardened over the carved basilisk, making the wand completely smooth once more. The finished wand floated softly into Harry's hands, a shower of brilliant white sparks shooting from the mouth of the basilisk as it made contact, and the red glow of the focus-stone lighting up the eyes.
The wand was more like a sceptre, and Harry twirled it across his hand and through his fingers several times before taking it by the handle. It was much easier to grip than his old wand and the Alexandrite focus-stone glowed softly red, shining both from the forehead and through the eyes of the basilisk. With a short wave and a murmured spell one of the potion vials transfigured into a small sheath for the wand, which Harry quickly attached to the belt of his trousers. It was only temporary until he managed to get a real one, but Harry was rather proud of his first piece of magic since Azkaban.
"It's amazingly crafted, more like a short staff than a wand. The potions added have made it unbreakable, and it can't be damaged. Also it won't need cleaned, and since you used your blood in it's making it will always suit you, no matter how you may change." Said Morgana, taking the wand from Harry and twirling it steadily between her hands. "You could probably use this for a physical weapon if you tried. We'll test it once training begins. Now all we have to do is connect you to the Stone and then you can go back to your rooms.
Leaving the room the two headed down three flights of stairs and came to a floor that had only a single door. It was made of solid rock and had intricate designs running over it completely. Removing the dagger from within her robes once more, Morgana ran it across one finger and placed the bloodied fingertip upon the door. She then whispered something complex in a language Harry couldn't understand, and the door shone for a second before opening.
The room was stranger than any Harry had been in so far. An enormous, red stone - Slightly smaller than Hogwarts Harry reckoned - floated in the air, and Harry immediatly realised it was a Philosopher's Stone, though much larger than the one that had been owned by Nicholas Flamel. Stranger yet were the thousands of tubes that ran from the stone, metal ends piercing the sides and sinking deep into the stone's surface. The tubes dissapeared gradually into nothing, and moved constantly like tentacles. Whilst Harry was gazing at the sight before him, Morgana walked to a single cupboard in the room.
"You've probably already realised that this is a Philosopher's Stone, and I know you know what that is already. It's actually hundreds of smaller stones fused together through magic and alchemy. I found that when consumed the Elixer of Life will keep the drinker alive, as long as they keep drinking it. Without an almost constant consumption the elixer will become a poison and slowly kill the drinker. The reason for this is actually the saliva of the drinker, which corrupts the potion slightly, causing it to lose its potency and turn poisonous. If injected straight into the bloodstream however, only one dose of the potion is needed every three years. If not taken at the precise time the user will simply start to age until they next consume, however the Coven have invented a way around that."
As she said this, Morgana lifted a silver instrument from the cupboard. Harry recognised it as the same type of thing Ophelia had been wearing on her arm, though this one had a long, thin tube with a metal spike running from the clear jewel in the centre.
"This will fix itself to your arm, and the needles will fuse themselves to the veins in your arm. The process is rather painful, however this tube will then fix itself to the stone and magically break off and link to the hollow jewel in the centre. It will draw the elixer from the stone and magically transport it into the jewel, at which point every three years the object will inject the elixer straight into your bloodstream. As long as the stone remains and you remain connected to it, you will cease to age and will not die by natural means." She said, walking to Harry and drawing up the sleeve of his left arm. "This will hurt quite a bit."
Tapping her wand to the instrument, the legs suddenly flexed and it walked to the inside of Harry's arm, driving it's needles into the soft flesh exactly where Voldemort's Mark would have been. The pain was intense, and Harry could feel the metal arms moving around beneath his skin, and could feel his veins burning as the metal fused to them. After a few moments it was over, leaving only a dull throbbing in Harry's arm. Morgana quickly tapped the stone again, causing the tube to float upwards and bury it's own needle inside the stone, which promptly filled the jewel of the armlet with the blood-red Elixer of Life. With a third tap of Morgana's wand the tube broke away from the jewel, leaving them connected by only a small string of magic which quickly faded away.
"We're finished everything for today, so you can go back to your rooms." She said, handing Harry a piece of parchment. "This is a map of the castle. It's similar to the 'Marauders Map' you had; it shows everyone in the castle where they are, unless they are in a warded room. All rooms are marked, so you'll know where your heading, and it will only show the layout of the floor your standing on."
Harry unrolled the scroll of parchment to view it. He could see himself and Morgana in the "Stone Room" as it was labelled on the map. The only other moving dot marked on the map was labelled "Trindy" in a single room that branched off from the "Stone Room" labelled "Guard Room".
"Who's 'Trindy'?" Asked Harry, holding the map out for Morgana to see.
"Trindy is one of the three house-elves we have here." Explained Morgana as she quickly closed and locked the wardrobe. "They're not enslaved like they are in the Wizarding world, but it's hard to wean them away from serving, so we just let them do whatever they want. They'll come if we call them, but usually if they don't want to do something they'll say so. Since we don't treat them with disrespect they've become loyal to us, a good thing since they have very powerful magic, and will probably be able to help bring other house-elves to us when the Coven is ready to surface. Trindy is the house-elf I sent to you today, and the others are "Bandon" and "Skillit", two male house-elves."
Harry nodded in understanding before pocketing his map.
"I'll go back to my room now, unless you need me for anything else?" He asked, and when the witch shook her head and waved over her shoulder in farewell to him he turned to leave. The door was still open, and he walked out and quickly made his way up the stairs and through the corridors back to his room.
When the serpent door closed behind him Harry looked around his room in contemplation. During his journey around the underground castle he had come up with several ideas on how to decorate his own space - most of which he didn't know how to do yet but was sure he would find out from the library - and he quickly went up to his bedroom to change into some more informal robes. He quickly found a plain set of work robes, but decided to just wear the shirt and trousers he already had on, rather than weighing himself down with the extra clothes. With one last look towards the two eggs sitting on his bed he quickly went back to the living room.
As he entered his study - the torches lighting as soon as he crossed the threshold - the first thing he noticed was a window. He was confused for a moment, before he remembered the windows in the Department of Mysteries that were charmed to show pictures of the outside. The current view from Harry's window looked to be from about three stories high, and showed a simple field on a slightly rainy day. Ignoring the window for the time being he turned to examine the rest of the room.
There was the door that led to the library against one wall. It was a basic door, and Harry doubted there were many magical protections on it. Sitting in front of the window with it's back facing towards it was a desk and comfortable chair, both of which were constructed of dark wood, with the chair having deep red cushioning. Sitting on the desk was a pile of parchment, several bottles of different coloured inks and three different quills. There were also several cabinets in the room, similar to muggle filing cabinets, and a single decorative cabinet with glass doors that was so far empty. The floor was once again wooden, and the walls were surprisingly a strange shade of light brown that went rather well. A dark rug covered parts of the floor, and a single bookcase stood to one side, currently empty. Walking towards the library door Harry quickly entered and almost fainted on sight.
The ceiling in the library was like that in the hall of familiars - too high to see - and Harry didn't even want to guess how many bookcases there were. They seemed to go on for miles, and Harry quickly noticed a single table standing beside the entrance. The book on it was black, and on top of it sat a letter.
This is the index book. To use it say what you're looking for and tap your wand to its pages and it will give you a list of books containing the subjects you requested.
Pocketing the letter Harry drew out his sceptre, twirling it idly around his hand as he flipped the pages of the index open to a random page. All pages were blank and he touched the basilisk's head to it.
"I need books on decorating, household charms and household transfigurations." Said Harry clearly, not sure if he was doing it right or not. The focus-stone of his wand glowed slightly, and the pages of the book shone with it. Seconds later Harry watched as words flew down the empty isles between the giant bookshelves, floating down and seeming to print themselves onto the page. Several minutes later, and hundreds of book titles on the pages, they finally stopped coming, and Harry picked up the index book and began to look through it. Several titles caught his eye, but he hadn't a clue how to get them; the book gave no references to where they might be in the monstrous library. He could always try a summoning charm, but he didn't have anything to really concentrate on and didn't really feel like shouting some of the ludicrously long book titles only to have it not work. Taking a chance he pressed the tip of his sceptre to a book title, and was surprised when it faded away.
Seconds later, a leather-bound copy of "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Decorating Charms, and Then Some!" Shot through the air towards him, landing softly on the table the index book had been sitting on. Several taps of his sceptre later and Harry had copies of "Every Household Transfiguration You'll Ever Need to Know" and "1001 Decorating Spells and Charms Made Simple" accompanied the original book on the table. Harry used the index book several more times, ending up with two more books; "Advanced Memory Potions" and "Familiars: The Eggs and Onward".
Levitating the four books behind him Harry quickly made his way back out into his study. He had realised that he was going to be able to read even a fraction of the library he would need to somehow "smarten up" and so he'd asked the index book for anything on memory enhancements. There were two books that had been listed; one of potions and one of spells, and though the subject had never been his favourite Harry at least knew that he would get a second chance if he messed up a potion, because he could always use a spell to make sure it was correctly brewed. There was no telling what he might do if he tried to spell his own memory better.
Flipping through the book he found a potion on advanced memory enhancement, granting the drinker not only an almost photographic memory but also greater control over the brain, making things much easier to work out and understand. The potion was routed deep in the dark arts, and included several ingredients that would definitely be considered illegal in the Wizarding world, but Harry quickly wrote out every piece of information on the potion and it's brewing instructions. The only problem was it would have to be retaken once a year, but since it kept for five years he could easily keep it in stock.
Banishing the potion book back to the library and running to dump the other four in his bedroom, Harry quickly decided that he might as well make the potion now rather than after decorating.
The potion lab was surprisingly clean and decorative considering what Harry was used to. Then again, taking into consideration the fact that the only Potions lab Harry had ever set foot in had belonged to Severus Snape, it didn't seem so surprising after all.
The walls and floor of the potions room were plain stone, though they were smooth and the walls decorated with charts and tables relating to ingredients, formulas and mixing techniques. Along one wall was a table lined with cauldrons, and a door led to what Harry assumed was a storeroom for ingredients and along another wall were empty cabinets for potions. Opening the door and realising he was right, he quickly gathered everything he needed and moved towards the nearest cauldron.
According to the recipe the base of the potion was to be Centaur Blood, and Harry quickly measured out the proper amount and poured it into the cauldron. As per the instructions he added 35 grams of powdered Hippogriff Feathers, which Harry had to charm to be solid enough for him to powder. Several more ingredients later and the potion was to be heated, at which point Harry quickly added the chopped ginger root, powdered sage and the chopped dragon heart before mixing it together with a spell listed in the instructions.
Three minutes later - thankfully matching with the instructions - the potion turned black. Harry ended the spell, and mixed together the powdered moonstone with a large flask of moonbeam essence. The clear liquid dissolved the powder almost immediately, and when Harry added it to the simmering potion it the blackness seemed to flee from the now-yellowing liquid, leaving behind a shimmering blue potion.
Harry sighed in relief. The potion was one of the hardest he'd ever had to make - a combination of both spells and potion making - and he had had no help whatsoever. He was happy that it had worked, and bottled the whole potion, giving him ten large bottles of it. It would only keep for five years, so in theory five would go to waste, but Harry placed them in one of the empty cabinets anyway.
Taking only one flask Harry decided to drink it in his room. He carried the bottle to the room and sat on his bed, moving aside the eggs and books to keep them from being damaged. When he drank the potion he felt nothing for a few seconds, then a pain began to build in his temples, spreading slowly out to cover his head. It reminded him of when Voldemort had possessed him in the Department of Mysteries, and he screamed out, unable to hold in the pain. Moments later it was over.
Harry sat up, his vision blurred from unshed tears in his eyes and slightly dizzy. Wiping away the tears he looked around, and realised at once that the potion had worked - he clearly noticed things he hadn't even paid attention to before - and he quickly grabbed "1001 Decorating Spells and Charms Made Simple" and began to read it. It took him over two hours to read the full book, but by the time he had finished he could still remember everything it said on the first page. It took a further five hours to finish the other two books and he decided to try a simple colour changing charm first.
The theory behind the charm was simple; concentrate on the colour you want the object to be whilst casting the charm and use a general "swish and flick" motion. Glancing around the room he decided first to change the rug. His rooms had been decorated in dark blue - a very neutral colour and one not filled with too many bad memories for him - but the colour wasn't really him. Focusing on the rug he swished and flicked his sceptre towards it, and with a whispered "Mutatio." The eyes of the basilisk glowed red as a threat of silver light left its mouth.
It was as though a dye was running outwards in every direction from the point the thread had touched, and soon the rug was dark, seaweed green in colour. The walls followed suit, and soon the entire room was matching in colour. Harry decided to keep the bed as it was, but quickly charmed the fireplace to burn with pale blue and silver flames. He left the bathroom as it was too, though he charmed the towels and robes to be black. The living room was his biggest project as he transfigured the table into an ornate desk and conjured a seat for it, turned the walls seaweed green, conjured several wall hangings, charmed the fireplace, charmed the bookcases to the same wood as the floor and conjured a couch matching the original. He made a mental note telling himself to take books from the library to fill his bookshelves, and quickly re-entered his room.
Banishing the decorating books back to the library Harry finally turned to the book on familiars and began reading through it. He found the ice egg first, and quickly read over the passage beneath it.
Phoenix: Glacialus Breed
Ice Elemental - Bird Variety
Rare - Extinction Level A
Of the seven breeds of Phoenix the Glacialus (Ice) is among the rarest. Glacialus Phoenix are those born from ice - when they die they melt, only to refreeze minutes later. Unlike the Phoenix breeds of Accendus (Fire) and Terrenus (Earth), Glacialus Phoenix are not reborn young - they are reformed exactly as before. The heart of the Glacialus Phoenix is made of pure ice, and is almost indestructible. The only thing that can melt the heart of the Glacialus Phoenix is the fire of the Accendus breed, just as the ice of the Glacialus is the only thing that can truly kill an Accendus Phoenix.
The Glacialus Phoenix were almost completely wiped out thousands of years ago when the birds still flew in colonies, in an unprovoked attack by the Accendus Phoenix, and since few have been seen. The grudge between the two is legendary, and if two come within contact they will fight to the death, unless they are a familiar and are ordered not to be their masters.
The song of the Glacialus Phoenix is stronger than that of any other, as most of it's body is made of ice - including the stem, barbs and barbules of the feathers - and as such it can use the water in it's body to contort the sound to it's will. Also, because it is constructed of ice, the Glacialus Phoenix feathers are extremely sharp, and can cut through many things. Lastly, like all the Phoenix races, Glacialus Phoenix can heal with their tears, travel through their element and can carry extremely heavy loads.
Hatching a Glacialus Phoenix Familiar
Hatching a Glacialus familiar requires the witch or wizard to melt the shell of ice around them with a drop of their own blood. The shell should take around fifteen minutes to melt completely, and when it does the Glacialus will be weak. It will die if not immediately placed in an extremely cold environment, so that it's body can refreeze after being brought from the egg.
Harry turned to look at the ice egg, and quickly charmed the fire to burn ice cold. The charm would last three hours, and hopefully the Phoenix would have adjusted by that time. Carrying the egg towards the fire, Harry quickly sliced his finger open with a severing charm from his wand, and spilt a single droplet onto the shell of ice. It immediately began to melt, and fifteen minutes later a rather pathetic looking bird was lying on the floor, wheezing and soaking wet and seemingly struggling to stay alive. Without a second thought Harry picked it up and placed it into the freezing flames, almost crying out in pain as the water on his hands began to freeze.
Turning back to the book, it took a lot longer for Harry to find the species hidden within the black egg, as there were several that resembled it. In the end he found it, near the back of the book with a warning on the page.
Dark Creature: Serpentor Breed
Cross-Breed - Serpent Variety
Extremely Dangerous - XXXXX Known Wizard Killer
Serpentor Breeding is Outlawed
One of the deadliest serpents known to Wizard kind, the Serpentor is a type of crossbreed serpent, created by fusing an unborn Cobra egg with the blood of a Dementor. This results in the Cobra becoming "undead" and possessing several Dementor-like qualities. The snake will become pitch black in colour, and the Cobra's hood - known to flare up when angry or disturbed - will control the Dementor's effects. When the Serpentor's hood flares it gives off the same effects as the average dementor; it will suck away all happy memories of anyone within range and leave them with only the bad memories. This effect will not work upon a familiar Serpentor's master or those with resistance to Dementors.
The bite of a Serpentor "Poisons the Soul". The poison is irreversible, and the one bitten will become a Dementor. It takes 23 hours for the poison to take full effect, and the victim will die slowly and painfully.
The Patronus Charm is not as effective upon the Serpentor as it is on a full dementor, but it will frighten the creature. It is as yet unknown how to destroy a Serpentor, as like dementors, they seem to be almost impossible to physically or magically harm.
Breeding a Serpentor is illegal, as they are almost completely uncontrollable, except by those well versed in legillimacy or those with the ability to speak parseltongue. Unlike a true Cobra they will never grow; the Serpentor will remain the length it hatches at, which will be between 2 and 5 foot.
Hatching a Serpentor Familiar
Hatching a Serpentor familiar requires the witch or wizard to use the spell below to break the egg. Warning: A Serpentor, once hatched, will attack the closest living being to itself, unless somehow ordered not to.
Harry quickly read the spell and prepared to cast it, positioning the egg several feet away from him he cast the spell, and immediately began to think of speaking in Parseltongue. The shell cracked moments later, and a beautiful, black serpent uncoiled itself from within. Seconds later it began to move quickly towards Harry.
"Stop!" Commanded Harry, the word issuing as a loud hiss. The snake almost instantly stopped in it's tracks, it's dead, black eyes surveying Harry as it drew itself up to it's full height and opened it's hood.
The Serpentor was about 3 foot long and its black scales glistened. It's teeth were shockingly white as it's grey tongue flicked from it's mouth and it's dead eyes locked on Harry's black ones. For a few seconds there was silence, and Harry refused to break eye contact. Finally the Serpentor's hood closed around its head and it lowered itself to the ground.
"You speak the language of the snakes."
It was possibly the most chilling thing Harry had ever heard - the serpent's voice had the shivering quality of a dementor drawing breath mixed with the hissing of a snake - and it send odd shivers down his spine. Its words were spoken so confidently, as though daring Harry to make a comment to negate them.
"I do. My name is Harry." He said, not exactly sure what his reply should be. The snake was eying him again - in a manner a lot less hostile from it's previous one - and it seemed to be searching for something. Harry stood, waiting for the snake to finish its observations.
"I have no name." Said the creature finally, slithering towards Harry. Kneeling down, he was surprised when the serpent curled around his arm, making it's way around his neck and once again staring him in the eye.
"We can look for a name for you tomorrow in some of the books in the library, I'm sure we'll be able to find one for you." Hissed Harry again, shivering as the cool scales twisted across his neck. It was strange, like ice but less uncomfortable and wet, and the snake itself reeked of darkness. Harry found it's weight comforting, and he stood back up, the serpent draped across his neck and through his arms.
"At some point a bird is going to come out of the fire." He hissed once more. "I don't want you to hurt her, as she's my other familiar, and I'm hoping you two will get along."
The snake nodded its head before settling it back into the crook of Harry's elbow. When Harry took a seat on the end of his bed, the snake shifted itself to lie across Harry's legs and the bed. Harry guessed it was between three and four feet long, and he noticed for the first time that it had a strange, grey-white marking on it's hood - like a letter "V" with a circle at each end - which he presumed was from the original cobra rather than the dementor blood.
Noticing a shifting in the fireplace, Harry quickly moved his serpent familiar - which seemed to have fallen asleep - fully onto the bed to allow him to stand. The sleeping snake instinctively curled in around itself, forming a coil. Moving gently so as not to wake it, Harry stood up and looked into the silver-blue flames. He could barely make out the form of his phoenix nestled among them, blending in almost perfectly with its surroundings. In a brief flash of light, the bird had left the fireplace and was hovering in front of Harry's face.
The phoenix was magnificent, glowing with a soft, bluish glow. It's feathers shone like crystals, and it's eyes - sparkling blue with pitch-black pupils - searched Harry's for a second before the magnificent bird perched on his shoulder. As it rubbed it's head against Harry's cheek - something that Harry found surprisingly warm, as well as comforting - it let out a trill of phoenix song more magnificent than anything Harry had ever heard before. He carried the bird to his bed and noticed its eyes rest upon the curled up serpent for a moment before looking back towards Harry. The snake seemed aware of the attention it was being paid, for it awoke then and stared at the bird. After several moments it turned to Harry.
"It is a female, and she also has no name." Hissed the snake as it unfurled itself and slithered down the bed and onto the floor. The phoenix trilled melodically as it perched on the bedside post.
"How do you know, can you communicate with her?" Asked Harry, eyes moving between the sparkling blue bird and the black serpent.
"The phoenix communicates through mind speaking, as do dementors. Wizards and witches can accomplish this too; they call it legillimacy I believe." Hissed the snake.
Harry nodded, making a mental note to learn legillimacy as soon as possible. Deciding to go and get some books from the library on the subject, Harry motioned to his two familiars.
"I'm going to get some books from the library on legillimacy now then. We can look for a name for you both while we're there." Hissed Harry, motioning for them to follow him. The snake immediately wrapped itself around Harry's leg and slithered once again onto his shoulders, and after a quick look towards the phoenix all three of them left the room, the door reforming silently behind them.
A/N:Well... longest single chapter I've ever written for anything. I'm really sorry it prattled on so much, I just started typing and didn't seem able to stop. I was going to continue but I did a word count and almost had a coronary. Anyway, I hope you all like the new direction Veneratio is going, it's been in the works for a while now and I'm glad to finally get it started!