This is a sequel to my other story, In Every Darkness, which I would advise you to read before you read this one, otherwise just about NOTHING will make sense to you, although I have endeavoured to re-explain most things, to an extent so that no one has to re-read all of In Every Darkness to remember everything I'm talking about.
Let Harry's seventh year at Hogwarts commence!
Shines a Light
Chapter One: Home
Harry was lying on his back on the floor, staring up at the unsympathetic white ceiling. "Again," Tatsu ordered heartlessly.
Harry groaned and very slowly and painfully raised his body from the floor and touched his forehead to his knees, then fell backwards with a cry of pain. Who would have thought that what he had been able to do almost without thought the year before could now be so hard? "I can't do this anymore," he whispered, shamed.
"He's right, Tatsu. He broke his back a week ago, you can't expect to him be perfect now – he's done ten push-ups, where most would not be able to do one – let him stop now," Neko said. "After all, he can try for eleven tomorrow."
Harry groaned at the mere thought of the next day, when he would have to repeat the process of the last half an hour. Ten push-ups – at the moment it sounded like a lot, but he knew that only two weeks ago he would have been able to do one hundred without thought.
Well, two weeks ago was before the last Quidditch match of the school year. In that match, Harry had caught the Snitch, winning the game and the tournament for his team, Unity. But, just after he had caught the elusive golden ball, a Bludger, hit before he caught the ball, had struck him in the small of his back, and had broken it
Harry had been in a coma for several days, and the magical world had feared for his survival. Despite the fact that magic could heal what Muggle technology could not, broken spines still presented quite a problem.
Then he had woken up, just in time for the last day of school, and the world had celebrated. Well, the part of the world that supported the Light had, anyway. Those who followed Lord Voldemort would have been a lot happier if Harry had simply died while in the coma.
Now he was home. It was funny to think of Privet Drive as home, but it was now. Harry no longer lived with the Dursley's, who had been killed along with Remus Lupin the year before on Harry's birthday. Now he lived with the man who had moved next door the summer before – Tatsu Kendo.
Tatsu had been a good friend of Harry's parents and godfather both, and had fought in the war against Voldemort the last time, despite the fact that he had been born a Malfoy, Lucius's older brother, in fact. Tatsu was a squib, but he, and many other squibs had powers that the rest of the Magical world had long been unaware of. Tatsu had left when the Malfoy's disowned him, and had gone to Japan, where he had met others with the same talent that he had – they called it Modifying. This was when someone 'modified' a spell that another person created, and in Japan there was quite a group of them, from all over the world.
Tatsu had taken the place of the Dursley's as Harry's guardian, and Neko, one of the other Modifiers, had moved in with them at the end of the school year, as she had decided that she liked England better than Japan.
"You're right," Tatsu remarked quietly, smiling both at Harry and at Neko. From what Harry could work out, Tatsu and Neko had never had any romantic connections, but they were very good friends. "That's enough for the day. Here, Harry, let me help you up."
Harry accepted Tatsu's hand and clambered slowly to his feet. Magic had healed his back to some extent, but if he wished to keep limber for the rest of his life, he would have to keep as fit as he possibly could – of course, with Tatsu around, this was hardly a problem.
Harry knew perfectly well that he had to do everything he could to flex his back and move around, but it was so painful! Then again, if he didn't, he would freeze up, and face the possibility of never being able to move again.
"Why don't you go for a walk, some fresh air would undoubtedly do you good," Neko remarked once Harry had straightened himself and painfully flexed his back to try and ease the ever-present stiffness.
Harry smiled faintly, almost sarcastically, "How could I get home if I went too far and was unable to return? What would I do if a Death Eater attacked? I no longer have my relative's protection over me, remember." These two concerns were now major in Harry's life. If a Death Eater attacked, he would not find it easy to turn it back, finding swift movement as difficult and painful as he currently did.
"Well, actually, I wanted to give you something," Tatsu said, "And now seems the ideal time to do so, since you will be able to use it now. I thought that your back could become a problem in allowing you to function properly, so I went to have a little talk with our new Minister of Magic."
Another thing that had changed dramatically since last summer, Harry thought to himself. On Christmas day, Fudge had been killed by Lord Voldemort, and as far as most of the world was concerned, Albus Dumbledore had died also. This was not the case, however. Dumbledore had let himself appear to die, in order to protect Severus Snape's place a spy in the Death Eater ranks. Harry wasn't sure what had happened to Hogwarts' aging Headmaster, but he knew that the man was alive and, presumably, happy, somewhere out in the world.
Alastor Moody, with the help of Kingsley Shacklebolt, had managed to calm the Order down, and was now its head, though everyone could see that he would soon hand over the reins of the business to the younger man. Minerva McGonagall was Headmistress of Hogwarts, and her nephew Michael had taken over as Transfiguration teacher.
In the Ministry, a woman from the Order named Genevieve had taken Fudge's place. She had been put in place as acting Minister, but when the Wizarding world had recovered enough to call a vote, she had won anyway, having proven herself a capable ruler in the interim.
"What did she have to say?" Harry asked. He didn't really know her at all. He had seen her face in the paper, but had never actually met her in person.
"Well, she thought that what I was proposing was a great idea and organised for me to get some help from the some of the other Ministry officials and members," Tatsu replied, "Which I can tell you right now, Fudge would not have done, despite the fact that my request was sensible."
"What was your request?" Harry asked, now beginning to get a little impatient with Tatsu's sidestepping of the topic.
"To help me to make this," Tatsu replied, reaching into a pocket and drawing out a small box covered in red velvet, like the boxes that Uncle Vernon had given Aunt Petunia jewellery in when he was having a particularly good time at work.
Harry took the box from Tatsu and opened it. He could barely manage to hide his disappointment. Inside was a just that – a piece of jewellery. As he looked, however, he realised that the jewellery was by no means normal.
It was a band of silver, about half a centimetre wide, and was engraved with a flame pattern. The difference was that the pattern moved, much as Wizarding pictures did. Before Harry could ask what was so special about the ring, Tatsu urged him to take it out and put it on.
Not wanting to disappoint his friend and guardian, Harry did as he was bid, slipping the ring, which looked quite large, onto the ring finger of his left hand. It immediately shrunk to fit him perfectly. Harry could almost think that it wasn't there at all.
A dragon, not engraved but created separately from the ring and joined – or at least, Harry thought it had been joined – later in the process of making the ring, appeared. It had apparently been curled up on the underside of the ring, but it now moved itself to a position straight over Harry's finger, spreading its wings wide, and resting them so that they curled down the side of the ring. Its tail was curled around its back legs, and it extended its head a little way up Harry's finger, then apparently went to sleep.
Harry looked questioningly at Tatsu, "It's a great piece of work, I can admit that," Harry remarked, "But I'm not sure how it's supposed to help me."
"It's a Portkey," Tatsu said, blunt and to the point for once. "Except that it never fails, as most Portkeys do. To get anywhere you like, you just have to say 'take me to' and add the destination of your choice. It can also take you directly to Ron, Hermione, myself or Dumbledore, if you just say their name."
"So could I ask it to take me to Voldemort's Fortress?" Harry enquired.
"No. It can't take you places unless you have permission to be there, given by the person in charge, or the person you are looking for," Tatsu replied. "That's the way these things work. If Ron or Hermione were kidnapped by Death Eaters, then you could ask it to take you to where they were, and if they were in Voldemort's fortress, then you could go there."
"So how did Barty Crouch send me to the graveyard?" Harry asked.
"Simple, he was going to set up a Portkey, which should have taken you to the start of the maze – he had Dumbledore's permission to do that, so he could – and he had Voldemort's permission to make a Portkey that would bring you to him," Tatsu replied. "Ron and Hermione's parents both gave their concession – as minors, you have to ask their guardians. I asked them and they agreed anyway."
"Alright," Harry replied. "This seems really cool!"
"I should hope so. You should find it smoother than a normal Portkey as well, I spent quite a bit of time making it as perfect as I possibly could," Tatsu added. "With Neko's help, of course."
"Of course," Harry agreed. "Thank you both!" He gave each of them a careful hug.
"Why don't you try it out and go have a shower and get changed before you go on your walk," Tatsu suggested.
"You know, I just might do that," Harry smiled back at his guardian. It was so â€ different, to have people that he knew he could count on to do anything necessary to make him feel at home, and make his life worth living. And it was so nice.
"Take me to my room," Harry said clearly. There was a slight sensation of movement, rather like the few times he had gone shopping with his aunt and cousin, and had had to use lifts. Harry realised immediately that Tatsu must have used the Modifying magic to make the ride smoother, and more comfortable for Harry – the sensation of a normal Portkey was one that was connected with bad memories for him.
Once in his room, Harry grabbed some fresh clothes, then used the Portkey to take him to the bathroom, where he showered and dressed in more 'normal' clothes. He had been wearing his Gi, which was a cloth fighting-suit worn in many forms of unarmed combat, including Tatsu's. A wave of his wand and the Gi was no longer soaked with sweat.
Harry brushed his hair, which was starting grow quite long, because he couldn't be bothered to cut it, and was wondering if the longer his hair got, the easier it would be to manageâ€ of course, the fact that it was wet made it very easy to take care of at the moment.
He hadn't noticed a load of change, as yet, but there was some, which was better than nothing, he supposed. Heading back to his room, he hung his Gi in the wardrobe, then used the Portkey to get back downstairs to Tatsu's side.
"It's so much smoother than a normal Portkey," he said to his guardian with a smile. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, of course," Tatsu smiled in response. "Now, you may as well head off on that walk, hadn't you?"
Harry laughed and walked outside, sitting on the front step to pull his shoes on. He was wearing Doc Martins which Tonks had insisted he buy the year before on a shopping trip, as they were surprisingly comfortable, he wore them quite a lot now.
Closing the door behind him, Harry wandered down the street, looking over at the place were Number Four Privet Drive now stood again. Despite the fact that it had been levelled the year before in the Death Eater attack, it had been rebuilt, exactly as it had once been, and sold to a new couple with a baby girl. Harry wondered briefly how they felt, living in a house where the previous occupants had died a horrible death.
Harry shook his head, clearing this from his mind, and wondered off down the street. It was surprising how much everything seemed to have changed, now that he actually enjoyed living in Little Whinging, with a guardian he liked.
When he reached the park, he shook his head in disgust. It didn't seem that Dudley's gang had changed after the other's death. The place was a trash heap – all of the equipment was broken and covered with graffiti. Harry could still see, in a couple of places, the inscription 'Big D', but it was mostly covered with the names of others in the gang. They obviously had a new leader, whether that person was someone who had been in the original gang, or someone who had joined it after Dudley died, Harry didn't know.
At the other end of the park, on the corner, Dudley's old gang were standing around, smoking cigarettes and sniggering meanly at passers by. It was obvious that no one used the park any more – why would they bother? It had been ruined.
Harry shook his head slightly, sad that people would do this for enjoyment. If Dudley had his gang had been wizards, Harry would have said they would be ones who would join Voldemort the minute they were asked to.
Harry checked around, making sure that there was no one watching him. He was safe, of course, since no one came to the park any more, and anyone who could avoided passing it when the group of teenage boys were around. He took out his wand and waved it, murmuring a few incantations, clearing some of the graffiti away from a park bench, and repairing a ruined leg so that he could sit down.
He wondered if it would be possible to get the neighbourhood to rise up and chase Dudley's gang out – they were a group of cowardly bullies, nothing more, and if they were strongly opposed, then it would be likely that they would leave the park alone in future.
Harry shook his head slightly, maybe that could be a project for the summer, but he wasn't sure, as yet, if it would be worth it. He wasn't sure that the neighbourhood would want to try and oppose the gang
Harry sat for a long time, staring into space and thinking. His thoughts covered many things, from his happiness to living with Tatsu, to his rage that Voldemort was still out there, killing and torturing innocent people. He was so taken up with his thoughts that he never noticed that Dudley's gang had spotted him and moved in to see what someone was doing in their territory.
He didn't realise that they had gathered around him until it was too late.
Well everyone, here's the first chapter of Shines A Light, the sequel to In Every Darkness. Thanks to Charmed88 for beta-reading for me! I hope you all enjoy the chapter. The next ones should be out in the near future. For once, I actually have a story plan to work from, and I know exactly where I'm going with the story! Yay for me!