I do not own Harry Potter. He and the world in which he lives are the property of J.K Rowling.
Neither do I claim to own all of my ideas concerning magical creatures and powers in this story. They have been drawn from a number of sources. But I like to think I have merged them in my own way.
There is darkness. There is evil. There is chaos.
They are not now, nor have they ever, truly been the same thing,
Harry Potter and the Son of the Dragon Chapter 13:
To my readers, especially to those who have been waiting far to long for this update. I can only over my apologies. When I finished Chapter 12 I honestly thought I would have more time and would be able to update more frequently. Well obviously that did not happen. What did happen was that early in 2011 I got offered a secondment to Malaysia with the company I work for. So the last 12 months have been not only moving to a completely new country but also learning a completely new job while at the same time dealing with some things from my old one. Needless to say this has left me not lacking time to write, but lacking the mental stability and peace I seem to require in order to make any progress on this story.
Will the next chapter be out sooner? I certainly hope so, but I have burned peoples expectations in the past by promising that and then not delivering. All I can say is I have not given up on this story and will continue to work on it whenever I can.
A few notes on the chapter itself. I wont lie I found a lot of this hard to write and I am not completely happy with it. What is more this chapter really contains a lot of history and a setting up of events for future chapters but little in the way of action or progress in events. But somehow I felt it needed to be told. Now that this is done hopefully I the next few chapters will flow more easily.
And now without further waffling please enjoy chapter 13.
"Hmm not bad but not good either little brother. You have obviously not been practicing enough. We will have to remedy that."
Incredulous Harry looked up into long, grinning white fangs and smiling blood red eyes.
And indeed it was Luther that stood holding him in place. The Blood Dragon Vampire was wearing his customary black outfit, complete with overcoat. In the dim light of the chamber the clothes were barely visible, but his pale face and long white fangs stood out like the moon on a cloudless night.
Luther gently released his grip on Harry. As soon as he had done so he sheathed the blade in his hand into one of the dual scabbards that Harry knew was concealed beneath his coat. Harry started to do the same with his wand and knife. Then stopped, the figure before him looked like Luther, sounded like Luther, even fought like Luther (which was like no one else Harry had ever met or seen) but there was something missing, something absent.
Seeing his wariness and the way his wand and knife were subtly moving back to a guard position Luther smiled minutely and gave Harry a nod. The same nod he had given during their weeks of training every time Harry had ever mastered a particularly difficult lesson.
Harry was still maintaining his on guard position looking for any sign of deceit when finally he felt it. The feeling was almost impossible to describe to someone who had not experienced it. It was a feeling of presence, a certainty that he was not alone. If Harry had every needed to put it into words it would be the feeling of walking in a dark forest at night with the certain knowledge that there was a predator walking with you. But also the knowledge that predator was there not to hunt you, but to hunt with you. It was something that Harry had felt since the second night that Luther had rescued him from Voldemort, but that he had only been able to identify over the weeks of training that had followed. It was the feeling of his bond with Luther and it was a feeling that had been absent since he had returned to Hogwarts.
With that the last of his wariness vanished. In a blur he sheathed his wand and knife before throwing his arms forward to hug the vampire.
"Luther!" he cried again happily.
Harry felt Luther's shoulders stiffen for a moment, before the vampire lowered his arms and returned the embrace with a brief but heartfelt hug. But then he quickly moved to disengage Harry's arms and hold him at arms length.
"What's this little brother?" Asked the vampire quizintly.
"Have you missed being beaten around the practise floor so much you want to go straight to unarmed combat?" he asked, although the slight smile on his face and the laughter in his red eyes belied his serious tone.
"Luther" Harry repeated again. "What, how.."
"Both very good questions Harry and ones which will take some time to answer. Let us retire into a slightly more comfortable setting for this discussion". That said Luther turned away and started walking deeper into the chamber, towards the towering statue of Salazar Slytherin that had once contained the Basilisk.
Harry paused for a moment and then quickly followed after him, noting that unlike Luther, who seemed to be walking near silently, the sound of his own footsteps echoed loudly through the ancient stone hall. Luther glance briefly over his shoulder at him and Harry could see the smirk on the vampires face. Frowning he tried to lighten his own footsteps, but he only succeeded in muffling them slightly by the time they reached the far end of the hall.
Rather than moving towards the statue, as Harry had half been expecting, Luther instead moved to a section of the wall that stood on its right side. Slowly he began to tap against the stones of the wall in a seemingly random pattern. Harry watched expectantly, nevertheless he was still surprised when the bricks of the wall started to move and reposition themselves. Until moments later, where before there had been a blank stone wall there was now an elaborate stone archway leading into a fire lit chamber. Luther immediately moved forward into the chamber, Harry quickly following after him. No sooner had they entered than Harry heard a noise behind him. He spun around to see that the stone blocks had shifted again, leaving a blank stone wall where the entrance had been. Turning he started to survey the room which he had entered only to start in shock.
He was in a large rectangular stone room. The room was spacious, with a high ceiling, dominated by a large stone fireplace covered with elaborate carvings of serpents. That however was not the cause of Harry's shock. In front of the fireplace stood a coffee table and two armchairs, one of which Luther was already making his way towards. Two very familiar armchairs that Harry had last seen more than two weeks ago in Luther's own quarters at the Orders secret retreat.
"You've moved into the Chamber of Secrets?" Asked Harry incredulously.
Luther turned to smile at him as he removed his coat and hung it over the back of his chosen chair.
"Not completely Little Brother. The Orders Keep in Britain is my home and my responsibility. I would never abandon that. To say nothing of the fact that dear Natasha would be most disappointed if I tried. It was necessary however to move some items here, I fear that many of the preservation charms on this place have started to degrade. Understandable given how long it was since they were cast." Finished the vampire as he lowered himself elegantly into the seat.
Harry moved forward to claim the other chair, sinking into it with familiar ease. "This place, where exactly is this place Luther? How did you manage to sneak through Hogwarts and into the Chamber?"
Asked Harry as he leaned forward eagerly.
Luther smirked and lifted an eyebrow as he leant back in his chair with a casual elegance that would have put the Malfoy's to shame.
"What little brother, you thought that the basilisk was the only secret the chamber of secrets contained?"
Luther laughed on seeing Harry's building frustration before taking pity on his bonded wizard.
"It is quite a long tale little Brother and I for one could use some refreshments before I begin it. Assuming that is that Gutripper has been able to tear himself away from his new obsession long enough to prepare anything for us."
Luther had barely mentioned the Goblins name when he suddenly appeared beside the coffee table with a muffled "crack". Luther's Goblin butler was as ever attired in his immaculate uniform. In addition he held above his head a silver tray laden with food that was almost comically large on his small frame, yet the goblins actions belied its obvious weight as he gracefully set the tray on the table before them.
"I believe you called for me sir." Said the Goblin in a tone that some how managed to be subtly insulting while being unfailingly polite.
"Ah Gutripper, so you do have time to attend to your other duties in addition to your newest hobby. I do hope you at least remembered to wash your hands before preparing the food." Luther's voice was unusually playful as he bantered with the goblin.
Gutripper in turn affected indifference as he started to set out the contents of the tray on the table. Laying a plate of sandwiches along with an assortment of other snacks before Harry along with a goblet and a beaker. "Very droll sir. But the young wizard has done nothing to me for which I would stain my honour by accidentally poisoning him. You can be assured that the food is quite safe." Gutripper finished as he laid a steaming goblet of crimson liquid before Luther and stepped back from the table.
"I am as always assured by your utter professionalism Gutripper." Replied Luther as he reached out and picked up the Goblet. Bringing it to his lips and swallowing down more than half the contents in two gulps. All the while his eyes never left those of Gutripper and as he laid the goblet back down on the table both the vampire and the Goblin had pulled their lips back slightly to reveal the very tips of their pointed teeth in what was most definitely not a smile.
Harry, looking over from where he was helping himself to the sandwiches and what turned out to be a jug of mulled wine, watched the interplay with a touch of concern.
"Is something wrong? The banter between you two is a little more, pointed, than usual." Commented Harry.
Luther's lips twitched in a smirk and he turned his face slightly towards Harry, although his eyes never left those of Gutripper.
"Don't concern yourself little brother. We are in the middle of a slight contractual dispute. Gutripper believes that he is entitled to additional wages as he has needed to clean and render the rooms of the chamber fit for habitation. A not inconsiderable task I will confess. However the contract between The Order and Gringott's clearly states that the butler appointed to the Orders representative in Britain is required to maintain his residence in a fit state. As the rooms in the chamber are now my residence they fall under the current contract of service and as such no additional payments are required. Gutripper was slightly upset to discover this." Finished Luther as he turned his face back to the Goblin with a widening smile.
On the surface Gutripper appeared remarkably composed at this statement. The goblins eyes however told a very different story.
"As you say sir that is indeed the strict interpretation of the contract as it has been in place for many years. I congratulate you sir, you would have made a fine lawyer." He said in tones of icy politeness.
Luther who had been about to take another sip from his goblet started and was barely able to prevent himself from spluttering. Firmly placing the goblet down on the table between the chairs the vampire turned an aggrieved stare to his servant.
"Now Gutripper, I realise you are upset but there is no need to be insulting." Stated the vampire in a tone that sounded almost hurt.
"Indeed sir." Replied the goblin and to Harry's utter shock he actually sounded slightly contrite. "I do apologise that was uncalled for, I don't quite know what came over me. With your permission I will withdraw my previous comment and rephrase it." This last was said with a slight apologetic bow.
Luther ducked his head slightly in acknowledgement and waved his hand magnanimously.
With dignity Gutripper drew himself up, his face perfectly composed before uttering a single word.
"Tightwad." Harry nearly choked on his sandwich at the Goblins casual insult, but he actually did choke when Luther responded in kind.
And so it went on for several more seconds. The Vampire and the Goblin passing insults back and forth like to children in a schoolyard scuffle. All the while maintaining a level of pose and decorum that would not have been out of place in the House of Lords.
Finally they finished when Luther's reply of.
"Extortionist" provoked a different response as rather than instantly responding Gutripper instead bowed deeply.
"Thank you for the compliment master but I do believe it was your turn to insult me. I believe that means the round goes to me once again." Then after gathering the now depleted tray from the table the Goblin Butler favoured Harry with a brief nod before disappearing with a sharp crack of apparition.
Seeing Harry's bewildered expression Luther smiled slightly before setting down his goblet and leaning.
"Contrary to what you may be thinking little brother, no the two of us have not gone mad. As you may have gathered goblin servants are very rare. Only a few among their kind are willing to serve other races in such a way. However as you have no doubt seen from Gutripper such servants are all extremely competent, utterly loyal to the terms of their employment and have a wide variety of very useful skills. However the downside to this is one must learn to accept and live with certain aspects of their personality that makes them fundamentally Goblin."
Here Luther paused to take up his goblet once again and take a small sip.
"You are no doubt thinking that I am being unfair and more than a little petty for refusing to pay Gutripper for what is clearly a significant increase to his usual workload." Luther paused again and looked over at Harry, noting the calm considering look he was giving him. A far cry from the impulsiveness Harry had possessed only a few weeks ago. Smiling in satisfaction Luther resumed speaking.
"Something for you to remember for the future when dealing with Goblin's little brother. Is that it is in their very nature to be both vicious and merciless. However this does not mean they are without honour. Far from it in fact. Once an agreement is made they will strictly abide by its terms. To the very letter. This does not however, prevent them from seeking to exploit terms or circumstances not covered by their agreement. You may have noticed that the carcass of the basilisk you slew is no longer lying in the main chamber." Said Luther as he gestured to the door way to the main chamber behind them.
"I encountered it when I entered the chamber for the first time. From your memories I knew it had been years since you had slain the beast but I was surprised at the condition of its carcass. It seemed to have suffered very little decay given the amount of time that had passed since your second year. Given the condition of the corpse and the rarity of the beast in question I took it upon myself to negotiate with the goblins to have its remains removed and processed for you. A service which they were happy to provide. For an appropriate fee of course. As he is directly contracted with me Gutripper handled the negotiations with Gringotts. This not only ensured the best possible deal for you but also meant that as the negotiating agent Gutripper can claim a portion of the value of the items under the contract. Hide, scales, venom, fangs, blood, bones and organs of a thousand year old basilisk. Let me assure you little brother by being appointed as agent for such a transaction Gutripper has been more that adequately compensated for the additional work he has needed to do to make the rooms here habitable once again. However he is still a Goblin, to not complain about a loss of potential extra revenue would go against his very nature. Hence our little dispute."
Harry digested this information for a long moment. He would be the first to confess that he had never really thought much about the chamber or the monster within it after the end of his second year. After the year ended it was just one more thing he wanted to put behind him, then his next year had brought a whole new set of problems to focus his attention on and he had never really had the time or the inclination to turn his attention back to the matter. He could excuse himself from such an oversight, but he had to wonder why Dumbledore or one of the other members of staff or even someone from the ministry had not wanted to explore the chamber and its contents. After all it was a place built by one of the founders. Who knew what other secrets or knowledge it may contain.
Unless, somehow Dumbledore had managed to keep the details of the events in the chamber quiet from those not directly involved. Come to think of it Harry could not recall Dumbledore making specific mention of the chamber in any of the announcements he had made. He had informed the students and the papers that the attacks had been caused by a dangerous beast that had somehow gotten loose in the castle. But he had never made mention of where the beast had been hidden or stated its connection with Slytherin. Harry pondered on Dumbledore's possible motivations for such an action, but it only took him a few moments to deduce a likely one. After all the Chamber had been created by Slytherin. The founder most often connected with the dark arts and the anti muggle and muggleborn sentiment that a large number of the Pureblood witches and wizards in Britain seemed to adhere to. Revealing that the legendary chamber of secrets, built by the founder, was in fact real could possibly lead strength to the views and policies held by today's Purebloods. Even more so if the chamber did in fact contain any writings by the founder to support this view. Rather than potentially strengthening the Purebloods and thereby Voldemort's potential political power Dumbledore had probably elected to let the secret of the Chamber stay buried hoping for a less volatile time when the chamber could be disclosed. Or it could just be that Dumbledore simply forgot about the chamber or deemed it unimportant. Either way the result was the same.
Suddenly Harry recalled just what Luther had said earlier.
"Luther, sorry but did you say that you arranged to have the Basilisk processed for me?"
Luther nodded as he set down his goblet.
"Yes little Brother, as I stated before Gutripper was able to negotiate a most satisfactory deal. Under its terms Gringott's will arrange for the full processing of the Carcass, ensuring that all the materials harvested are done so in such a way to maximise their potency and long term value. In exchange the goblins will lay claim to around fifteen percent of the harvested materials."
Gutripper's voice suddenly intruded on Luther's explanation. Appearing out of thin air with no other sign of the Goblin himself. "DONT FORGET MY AGENTS FEE MASTER!"
Luther gave a long suffering sigh and actually paused to pinch the bridge of his nose.
"YES THANK YOU GUTRIPPER!" The vampire roared to the seemingly empty air of the room in an irritated tone.
"Now as I was saying before we were interrupted Harry, Gutripper's agents fee comes out of the fifteen percent being claimed by Gringott's, he is also overseeing the harvesting work in between his other duties, so you can be sure that he will be doing his every best to ensure the Gringotts harvesters are doing all they can to ensure every last millimetre of viable skin and drop of poison is effectively harvested for you. The exception to this of course is the fangs which very clearly go to you as the slayer of the beast."
Harry blinked, still trying to process this information he asked the first question that came to mind.
"But Luther is the Basilisk actually mine? I mean you said that the fangs are mine for killing the beast but I had help at the time. And is that just for the fangs or the entire body? I mean if it's as valuable as you seem to be implying then I assume a lot of wizards would probably be eager to claim a piece of it. Wouldn't the Headmaster, or the Hogwarts board of governors or even the Ministry of magic have a claim to part of this as it's technically on Hogwarts grounds?"
Luther chuckled darkly. "Oh Harry I don't doubt that they would all love to claim a part of it, which is exactly why we are never going to give them an opportunity to do so. A full five percent of the fifteen percent we are allowing the goblins to keep is to ensure their discretion in regards to this transaction. That and I agreed that all future sales of the harvested parts will be conducted through Gringott's intermediaries for a 5% agent's fee of the sale price. I had to authorise them to put some of it on the market immediately to get them to agree to that particular term, but no more than ten percent of the total amount harvested, so you should have plenty of harvested materials to use in the future. By the way I also had to arrange for Gringott's to add a further two vaults to your account. One is for storage of the harvested materials, the other was because your Potter family vault was starting to overflow.
Harry silently digested that for a moment. He still wasn't sure what to think of the arrangements that Luther had made on his behalf. On one hand more Gold was always useful. During their training Luther had taken the time to point out just how important things like gold and money in general could be in a war using several examples from throughout history. Including how the Malfoy's had used theirs in the first rise of Voldemort and how Lucius Malfoy continued to do so to influence the Ministry. Needless to say Harry was no longer as dismissive or unaware of the importance of Gold as he had once been. More gold gave him a lot more options for the current conflict with Voldemort. But he wasn't sure about the rest.
"But Luther what am I going to do with all that, ... material" Harry said after a moment, he thought putting it that way sounded much better than cut up bits of Basilisk.
Luther's smile was all fangs as he replied. "Oh I have a few idea's regarding that little brother. I would tell you but I really would prefer for it to be a surprise. With your permission I would like to commission Gringotts to make use of some of the material. Will you give me your consent to do so?"
Harry considered that briefly. Not all his experiences with surprises involving Luther had been pleasant. But then again he had also largely benefited from them in the past. Even if he had not always thought so at the time. But when it came down to it he had to admit that while his studies of potions with Luther had given him a much better idea of the value of certain rare ingredients, both monetary and in terms of their potential effects, he did not have the first clue what uses the carcass of a basilisk could be put to. And when it came down to it, while he may not have liked all of Luther's actions in the past, he did trust the vampire to act in his best interests. Far more so in fact than many others that he had known for far longer.
Nodding he finally replied.
"Of course Luther, but if you don't mind, when we have a chance could you actually let me know what a harvested Basilisk is worth and what its good for? Considering I now apparently have a vault full of the beast Id better at least get an idea of what to do with it."
Luther nodded affably.
"Certainly little Brother, but I think we should leave that lesson for another night. I believe that you asked me just what I was doing here and how I managed to enter what is supposed to be one of the most well defended places in magical Britain?"
Harry nodded eagerly leaning forward in his chair as Luther began his tale.
"You remember the books that we found in the Library in the Orders Keep? How we discovered that just as you had inherited some gifts from me through our bond I had also apparently received a gift from you?"
Harry rolled his eyes slightly and nodded again urging Luther to continue. The vampire smiled and leaned back in his chair obviously enjoying holding Harry in suspense before he continued his tale.
"After our little discovery in the library at the Keep I sent word to The Master Librarian of the Order. I wished to make him aware that my bond to you had granted me the ability both to speak parsel tongue and to read the written form of the language that had been developed. I had intended it more as a curiosity than anything else. Parsel tongue is a rare gift after all, books written in it far rarer still. I was very surprised then when I received a message back from the Master Librarian. A message and something more." Here Luther paused and reached back into the coat that hung behind his chair. A moment later his hand emerged holding what looked like a roll of tightly furled parchment that he laid on the table before him.
Harry leaned forward interestedly and saw almost immediately that what he had taken for parchment was in fact a set of scrolls. Something he only recognised from the oldest sections of the Library at Luther's keep. The scrolls themselves were clearly ancient, yellowed with age, although there were no other signs of damage. The scroll handles were made of dark wood carved with beautiful detail in the likeness of serpent's heads and serpents scales. Noticing that Harry glanced at Luther sharply.
The vampire grinned exposing his fangs and nodded.
"The Master Librarian's missive told me that over a thousand years ago, just before he disappeared from the records of the wizarding world, Salazar Slytherin left these documents in the Order's care." Luther pause at the look of shock on Harry's face and correctly interpreted the question he was preparing to ask.
"Yes Harry, Slytherin was known to our Order. While he was in no way a traitor to the Wizarding world he knew of and understood the purpose we served. He and those wizards of like mind to him shared certain opinions with those of our Order and he was also aware that against certain threats we were better served by working together than at cross purposes. According to the Master Librarian the records of that time say that Slytherin made no secret of the fact that these documents would be useless to us without the ability to speak or read Parsel, but he also stated that if any in our Order ever possessed that ability then we were to make use of these documents as we saw fit."
Harry frowned. That had been a lot to take in. But still he could not help asking
"But what are they Luther, what do they contain?"
Luther grinned again before moving to place the scroll on the table. As he did so the space infront of him was suddenly cleared of the goblet and trays that had occupied it, another sign of Gutripper's constant attention and efficiency. Luther then leaned over and after setting down the scroll started to slowly and carefully unfurl it, showing what was recorded within. Harry leaned over eagerly to inspect the contents. The exposed sheets of parchment appeared to be made up of diagrams and designs with notes scattered over them and blocks of text in the margins. Harry had no idea what it could be until Luther reached a new section and Harry found himself looking at something shockingly familiar.
"Wait a minute" Said Harry his voice barely more than a whisper. "This looks like.." His eyes snapped up to look at Luther who was wearing one of the widest grins that Harry had ever seen on the vampires face.
"You're kidding!" Harry stated in a kind of awe and Luther's grin only became wider.
"No Harry" Said Luther, "You're eyes do not deceive you. What you are looking at is a Founders copy of the plans for Hogwarts, Slytherin's copy to be precise written in his own hand."
Harry meanwhile continued to look down in awe at what was clearly a diagram of the Great Hall of Hogwarts, complete with instructions on how to charm the ceiling to show the sky outside.
Some time later Harry paused in his avid review of what had turned out to be a surprisingly large amount of designs and notes contained in such an apparently small scroll. The scroll was apparently charmed to contain much more than it appeared, it had also shown the ability to enlarge parts of itself on command to allow sections to be viewed in much greater detail. However now that he had gotten over his initial awe Harry gave voice to a question that had been in the back of his mind ever since he heard of the source of the scroll.
"But Luther why on earth would Slytherin leave these with the Order? I mean I grew up in the muggle world, but even I know how highly the four founders are venerated, even today. Heck the purebloods practically worship Slytherin's name. To any wizarding family these would be a treasured heirloom. Why would he entrust it into the hands of a group of Vampires? From what little you have told me I get the impression that relations between the wizarding world and the vampire clans were even worse back then than they are today?"
Luther looked up from his chair where he had been reclining and observing Harry's devout interest in the scroll with tolerant amusement. The smile on his face turned wiry as he fell in to what was now a familiar lecturing tone.
"Relations between the British wizards and the vampire clans are both better and worse today than they were a thousand years ago Harry. Better because they have little or no contact. There are no organised clans within Britain. That is one of the terms of the treaty. The few clanless that exist here make a point of keeping their heads down and not bringing themselves to the attention of the ministry. They lack the organisation and the power to do anything else. The few who do not are quickly taken care of. In other countries on the continent this is not the case. But now is not the time to go into a detailed review of the various arrangements that exist between the European wizarding governments and the vampire clans.
However there is one way in which relations between Vampires and the Wizards of Britain are worse than they were. Even a thousand years ago the British wizards were not quite as insular as they are today. Young wizards often travelled far and wide to experience all the various type of magic the world had to offer. That sometimes brought them in conflict with the clans and that meant they became very aware of what vampires were capable of."
Here Luther paused and turned to look at Harry
"You are correct that wizards have as little love for Vampires, indeed for many of the other magical races, now as they did back then. But in the past there was at least a degree of respect. A mutual awareness of what we were capable of. But the wizards in Britain have grown more insular now. Secure in their own arrogance and perceived power. They have lost what little respect they once had for the other races and one day that is something that could serve them very ill, for while they have stagnated the clans and several of the other races have not. But that too is a discussion for another day. You were asking why Slytherin would entrust these documents to us when they would have so clearly been valued by any wizarding family or organisation?" Asked the vampire as he lifted his head to meet Harry's eyes.
Harry, his eyes intent on Luther could only nod.
"You are right Harry that any Wizard would protect and treasure these documents. But you have seen how the purebloods like to strut both their wealth and their ancestry before others. Slytherin was likely concerned that any wizard that inherited these documents would either be unable to keep from flaunting them before others or would be tempted to use them for his own ends. Whereas where he may not have fully trusted the Order he would have known that we would have done our utmost to keep secure anything potentially so potentially valuable or useful left in our care."
Harry frowned confused. Luther shook his head slightly and gestured at the scroll.
"You don't understand Harry, these are not merely a set of designs for the building of the castle and its grounds. These scrolls also contain how Hogwarts was made! All the spells, all the rituals all the enchantments that the founders shared and performed together to create this school are recorded within, including the defences." Luther finished after a significant pause.
Here Harry's eyes went wide and across from him Luther nodded before turning his eyes down to look at the scroll on the table between them.
"What is more they were designed to be self updating."
Luther did not look up as he heard Harry's gasp of shock but chose to continue.
"When I first looked at the documents I was slightly disappointed. After reviewing them in detail it was apparent that they dated from Slytherin's time. Detailed reviews of the defensive wards showed nothing to prevent apparition or the creation of portkeys. Understandable as these forms of transport were not developed until long after the time of the founders (1). However when I opened them again after entering the chamber I was surprised to note that there was information there that I had not seen before. These scrolls," said Luther tapping a finger against them for emphasis "are somehow tied into the magic of the castle itself. As soon as they were within the chamber they started recording all the changes, all the amendments and all the upgrades that had been made to the main defences in the last thousand years. Including how to circumvent them," here Luther paused again to look Harry in the eyes, "and how to bring them down."
What followed this statement was a long discussion in which Luther slowly showed Harry all of the defences that formed part of Hogwarts detailing why it was considered to be one of the most magical and heavily defended places in the world.
The very earliest of the plans showed that Hogwarts was actually built on top of a massive ancient stone circle. It was this circle that provided the magic that powered the castles formidable enchantments. Enchantments that had only grown stronger with age as they literally became part of the very stones. Circles such as these, although generally ones that were much smaller could be found scattered over the British isles. They were built long long ago by the Druids and the races that had preceded them to direct and channel magical energy. Today most of the circles were little more than dead and decayed ruin, but the work they were created for is done, calming wild magic, making it ordered and structured. Stabilising it. Luther stated that the circles were initially needed after a great catastrophe long ago radically destabilised the magical energies of the world. When Harry had asked how long ago this event took place Luther had quietly stated somewhere between 10 to 20 thousand years before ignoring Harry's wide eyed look of shock and moving on to resume their discussion of the Hogwarts defences.
From Luther's lecture Harry learned that that while the defences of Hogwarts were once very formidable, designed and fully able to hold off any army of the time (either magical or mundane). They were now largely old and badly maintained. From what they could tell from the scrolls the last significant update to the castles defences was around the time of the reign of Henry the 8th roughly 500 years ago. The suits of Plate armour scattered around the school were actually introduced at that time and had originally been intended to serve as part of its active defences.
While the wards around the castle had been regularly checked and maintained throughout the years little has been done to upgrade them. "Which," Luther commented "was strange". It had once been the duty of every headmasters to upgrade and improve on the Castles wards and defences as part of their tenure. Each one adding a new ward or active defence that was to be their 'signature' upon the school for all time. But over the last few centuries that tradition had somehow lapsed. Luther noted that Dumbledore had actually done the most in recent memory to improve and enhance the schools defences. But even then he had acted only improve the schools passive defences acting to maintain and repair the existing wards and emplace new ones to prevent entry to the school through newly developed magical means. He had done nothing to improve, update or even maintain the schools once formidable active defences to take account of other recent developments in Magic.
When Harry asked Luther how that could have come to pass the vampire had shrugged and said that he did not know for certain but it may be that the Headmasters themselves had lost the tools left by the founders detailing the scope and makeup of the schools wards and defences. If they did not know the full extent of the wards in place or how to update and amend the existing ward schemes they may be reluctant to tamper with what they don't understand lest they risk either damaging the school or finding themselves locked out of it but the very wards they were seeking to amend.
"Merlin." Said Harry looking down in awe over and hour later a little overwhelmed by learning of the number of wards, enchantments and other defences that were actually part of the place he had considered home for the past four years. "Hermione or Dumbledore would kill to have a look at this."
"And I would kill to prevent that." Said Luther his voice suddenly absolutely flat.
Harry raised his eyes to the vampires in shock, but Luther's face was suddenly stern, the red orbs of his eyes flat and serious.
"Think little brother. Don't tell me all that training I gave you has been undone so quickly. In the last conflict against Voldemort Hogwarts was one of the only strongholds of the light. It was one of the few places that was considered to be safe from attack. Perhaps the only place whose security was not breached. If Voldemort became aware of the existence of this document.."
"Then he'd stop at nothing to get it." Finished Harry as he started to rapidly think through the implications. "Merlin's balls, if he could use this to get around the defences, he could send Death Eater's right into the school. If they managed to infiltrate the school during one of the meals they could take the entire student population hostage. Dumbledore, the teachers they would be unable to fight back effectively. With one stroke.." Harry trailed off.
Luther finished for him, voicing the thoughts that he could see running through Harry's mind. "With one stroke he would be able to take hostages from a high percentage of the British wizarding world. Including most of the prominent families that control the ministry and the wizengamot. And at the same time all he would need to do is rekey the defences and he would be holding his hostages in possibly the most magically protected structure in the world, with all of those defences under his control."
Harry sat as he processed the full implications of just what that would mean. With full control of Hogwarts and its entire student population held hostage Voldemort's position would be nearly unassailable. The ministry of magic would be left with an impossible choice. Either bow to Voldemort's demands, whatever they were, or risk sacrificing their children and with them a good portion of wizarding Britain's future. Harry had no faith that the aurors or the Order of the Phoenix would be able to retake Hogwarts or even rescue the students if Voldemort managed to gain control of the school. He had seen far too often in the past how the wizarding government reacted to crises and tragedies. They were far more apt at locating someone on whom to place the blame than they were at taking decisive action.
"Merlin." Harry swore softly. "At one stroke he could win it all. Hogwarts, the ministry, Britain itself. If he had the students of Hogwarts hostage everyone would be too afraid of what he would do to them to even consider resisting." Harry turned to look at Luther.
"Is that it? Is that what he's been planning all this time?"
The vampire paused before replying. "I believe it is one of his plans." Seeing Harry about to protest the partial answer Luther raised his hand. "Remember little brother, my sources of information regarding Voldemort's plans are limited. I have no agents directly connected to him. I rely on my contacts and the Order's information network for the intelligence I receive and they are sadly not optimised to monitoring the activities of wizards, particularly those of a Dark Lord who is trying to conceal his activities. However there have been indications that Voldemort is planning something. My contacts have been able to determine that lately there have been purchases of large quantities of certain items from many of the less reputable apothecaries. Taken at each individual location they are not overly suspicious. But together you get a large quantity of items that could be used in the brewing of paralysis potions along with other potions designed to dull the will of humans and keep them biddable. Several of my contacts in the dark community have also indicated that in recent times there have been several queries regarding artefacts of the founders. Particularly those connected to the founding of Hogwarts. This would seem to indicate that someone is planning something connected to Hogwarts itself and as you have already noted an attack on Hogwarts to seize the student body would have devastating consequences for the side of the Light in this little conflict. What is more we need to be wary while I do not know for certain that Hogwarts is the target or that the other information I have uncovered is connected to this I have recently heard rumours that Voldemort is planning something significant to occur on or around Halloween, the 31st of October. That particular date is also known in some cultures as the Festival of Summers End or the Festival of the Dead. It can be powerful time for certain forces to be put in motion as you are no doubt aware Harry after all it was Halloween on which Voldemort originally decided to attack you all those years ago.
Here Luther paused and stared significantly at Harry once again.
"But do not assume that this is his only plan little brother. Only a fool charts a single path to victory and assumes that it is the only one he will need to walk. Whatever mistakes he may have made where you are concerned Harry, never forget that we are dealing with a Dark Lord whose ruthlessness, cunning and daring came close to bringing Magical Britain to its knees once. He has lost none of that ruthlessness or the cunning of one who claims to descend from Slytherin's line. Underestimate him at your peril little brother."
Harry nodded taking the lesson to heart. During his time in the Orders keep Luther had pounded into him (often literally)not just how to fight with weaponry and spells but also with strategy and tactics. One of the subjects used to teach this, one that would forever be burned into Harry's mind, was how the first war, the first rise of Voldemort had actually been fought.
Everyone Harry had ever talked to who had been involved in fighting or just living through Voldemort's first rise had just talked about them as "Dark Times" when no one felt safe. But no one except maybe Moody had been prepared to expand on that, to give Harry the details of what had actually taken place. Luther had not only been prepared he had insisted and now Harry could only wish for the ignorance he had once possessed.
Voldemort's was best known for his overt campaign of Terror. The attacks he had organised or lead against muggles and muggleborns and then against Wizarding families who had defied him were well documented and remembered. But very few people were aware of how much of Voldemort's campaign had also been political in nature. While the Order of the Blood Dragon had taken no involvement on either side during Voldemort's first rise they had monitored it closely. After the end of the first war Luther had looked into the events even further, seeking to chronicle just how it was that Voldemort had so nearly brought the British wizarding world to its knees. After all that kind of knowledge had the potential to be useful to the Order. Some of what he had found had only made sense years later when he was able, through several intermediaries, to obtain records of that time from the ministry of magic itself.
Voldemort's campaign of Terror may have been what he was best known for, but arguably it had been his political ploys that had been the most effective parts of his campaign. Luther believed that when Voldemort had first started his rise to power the number of his followers had been small. No more than a dozen individuals at most, wizards all with none of the Ministry labelled 'dark creatures' that later flocked to the Dark Lords banner. Such a force should have posed no real threat to a Wizarding population the size of Britain's, which had at that time been one of the largest in the world (2) given that Europe and much of Asia were still recovering from the losses of the second world war. Wizarding Britain should have been able to call on hundreds of wizards to counter Voldemort's Death Eaters. Yet they had not. The answer as to why lay in the Ministries records.
The first thing that Luther had discovered after piecing together ministry records going back nearly two decades was that Voldemort's campaign had actually begun nearly a decade earlier than most believed. The initial attacks by Voldemort's forces, the as yet unnamed Death Eaters had been almost exclusively against muggles. Attacks against muggleborn wizards had been limited to those that had largely removed themselves from wizarding society choosing to live a nearly completely muggle life. What was more the attacks were initially very infrequent, occurring at most once every several months.
The result of this was that the attacks had been almost ignored by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Oh Obviators had been dispatched to preserve the Statute of secrecy and Auror's had investigated the sites of the attacks but little real effort had been made to find those behind the attacks or prevent them from occurring.
The reason for this came from the Wizengamot. The legislative and ruling body of the Ministry of Magic had to approve any significant increases to the Auror force or any significant change to its methods and operations. This was a legacy of a time centuries earlier when there had been fears that without such checks in place a minister of magic would attempt to use the Aurors, who had originally been created as an impartial force to keep the peace in the public places wizards gathered, to make himself a ruler over Wizarding Britain.
Given that the attacks had not overtly endangered the statute of secrecy and that none of those attacked had any connections to members of the Ministry or the Wizengamot itself, the majority of the Wizengamot saw no need to change the way things had operated for years especially as it initially appeared to be only Muggles that were being targeted. A few members, the memory of Grindlewald's rise to power on their minds had tried to urge the Wizengamot to action, to nip this potential problem in the bud before it spread. But they were overruled by the pureblood faction.
Meanwhile the attacks themselves gained the attention of other members of the pureblood factions. Both muggle haters and those from old families who had grown up on stories of how the Ministry of Magic had gradually stripped away many of the powers and privileges they had once held. This provided a fertile ground for Voldemort to recruit and increase the size of his followers.
Later as Voldemort's forces grew the areas targeted for his attacks started to increase as did their frequency. The areas where the attacks took place spread out further occurring not just in Britain but also parts of Scotland, Wales and even Ireland. This forced the ministry to spread its Auror's thinner in an effort to maintain the statute of secrecy. This also made them vulnerable. What Luther believed to be the first true clashes between Aurors and Death Eaters were not even recorded as such in the Ministries records. Instead it was recorded that several Aurors were killed in what were believed to be either attacks by Dark Creatures or panic attacks by muggles. Interestingly all of those aurors who died were either from known light families, were known for their sympathetic views towards muggles and muggleborns or who were muggleborn themselves. However this was not noted by the ministry of the day who responded in a manner that was all too predictable to Harry.
Shocked by the sudden series of deaths from apparent Dark Creature attacks the ministry started to push through legislation restricting the rights of Non human races. Werewolves, Vampires, Giants and others. Initial drafts of the legislation were actually rather tame, but Luther believed that Voldemort used his supporters in the Wizengamot feed the growing prejudice and paranoia against nonhumans. Encouraging the final legislation to be far tougher and restricting than had originally been intended. Suddenly being's that belonged to what were now classified as "Dark Races" were no longer able to work in wizardng businesses or live in wizarding communities. In some cases they could not even enter sections of the Wizarding world and they lost any right to appeal before the wizengamot or even to receive a trial for any suspected crimes.
This process did not happen overnight, that would have been obvious even to the conservative and hidebound wizards of the day. But instead the laws were gradually introduced and amended over several years. As the attacks on Muggles, Muggleborn wizards and gradually on Aurors and even pureblood wizards sympathetic to them increased in frequency progressively tougher and tougher legislation was brought in against the Dark Races that were perceived as the source of the problem.
At the same time Voldemort started to send his emissaries among what were now dubbed the "Dark Races", who with their now very real complaints and grievances against the ministry were only too happy to listen to him. Voldemort needed only to promise them a place in the new world he was building and to restore rights that they already should have held in order to secure their loyalty, thereby substantially increasing his forces.
Over the same time period moves to increase the size of the auror forces were either blocked or hampered. Again by Voldemort's agents within the Wizengamot. Bills and legislation for increased funding and training and moves to implement changes to the way the Auror's operated were either delayed or minimised. This left the Aurors either short staffed or so limited by the rules and procedures they were required to enforce that they were unable to effectively counter Voldemort's tactics.
Luther also told Harry how he had noted that most of these amendments had yet to be overturned or updated even now nearly two decades after they had first been introduced. The problem was that far too many of the old families found the legislation too useful to consider seeing it overturned. The bills that limited the size and training of the Aurors meant that were never enough of them to investigate all potential crimes brought to their attention. This in turn allowed several purebloods to get away with actions that were technically illegal under Wizarding law. Where as the legislation that limited the Auror's authority to both question suspects and respond with lethal force to threats allowed both Death Eaters and other members of the Pureblood faction to either evade capture or to delay their trials until their families could make "arrangements" with contacts within the ministry for their release.
The end result of this was that when Voldemort finally decided to step up to his overt campaign of terror, openly leaving the Dark mark over the sites of his attacks and actively targeting not only individuals but also entire families that either opposed or failed to support his policies, the Aurors were unable to stop him. They lacked not only the numbers and the training but even the authority to respond to the attacks in an effective manner.
What was more the few overt clashes that occurred between Aurors and Death Eaters were almost always one sided victories for the Death Eaters that left most of the Aurors dead. It could hardly be otherwise when the Aurors were lured to prepared locations by a distress call, only to be ambushed by forces of Death Eaters that not only outnumbered them but were often lead by either Voldemort's lieutenants or by Voldemort himself. It hardly helped matters when ministry policy required the Aurors to attempt to take the Death Eaters alive for trial, meaning they were using stunning spells and capture charms against lethal curses and the unforgivables.
Of course this initial advantage could not last. Eventually even the pureblood factions in the wizengamot could not deny the need to grant the Aurors greater powers. To say nothing of how by this time those not actually sworn to Voldemort were becoming horrified as they realised how many old families had either lost members or been wiped out entirely and just what happened to those who were unwilling to swear themselves to the Dark Lord.
By the end of the first war the Barty Crouch with the support of Dumbledore had convinced the Wizengamot to introduce emergency legislation granting not only Aurors but also other wizard's authority to use lethal force in their defence. The Aurors were also granted greater powers to capture, detain and question prisoners. It was under these powers that Sirius had been sent to Azkaban.
But despite these new measures if one read the records it was clearly a case of too little too late. By the time the Auror's had the means to effectively strike back against Voldemort the Dark Lord effectively controlled most of the country. The ministries area of effective control was limited to London and the village of Hogsmead's near Hogwarts. Even the areas such as Diagon Alley were largely abandoned. Wizards and witches were afraid of gathering anywhere in large numbers as the risk of inviting a Death Eater attack was too great. Indeed many wondered why the Dark Lord had not simply assaulted and directly taken control of the ministry already.
Harry now knew the answer to that. Luther had made it clear to him and the vampires conversation that night felt like it was permanently burned into his mind.
"You see little Brother, Voldemort's plans were far more elaborate than many people realise. Most think he just started attacking people at random to cow the population using fear. But I have shown you the truth that I have uncovered. Voldemort's plans were vast, complex and meticulous. He spent years laying the groundwork for them to ensure that when he finally stepped out of the Shadows and made himself known there would be no way for the ministry to effectively counter his forces. At least not until he had an almost overwhelming advantage. And that is what happened. While many of his attacks were random, these only concealed his strikes against those that opposed his followers either directly or in the ministry. By the time of his defeat Voldemort was in effective control of most of the country. He could strike almost anywhere with near impunity. Indeed I believe the only reason he did not act to take control of the ministry by force was that he was gradually putting his own people in place throughout the ministry and aiming to take control of it from within. Even those who opposed him most, Crouch, Baggold, the Longbottoms, Dumbledore. They were unable to do so effectively because he was aware of their strengths and took action to counter them. Indeed his planning was almost perfect except for one thing. And that one thing was you little brother."
"The news of the prophecy must have sent him into something close to a panic. Here was the one thing he had not planned for. One thing he could not counter. One thing that threatened to destroy all his careful plans all his years of hard work and scheming. It is small wonder that once he became aware of the prophecy that he devoted all his energy into stopping it rather than pushing ahead with his plans. And therein lies the greatest irony of them all. Because if he had not done so, if he had not tried to prevent the prophecy from occurring then by now he would probably have full control over Britain. You would have had to grow up to defeat not only Voldemort but an entire country under his control. Instead by his own actions he made the prophecy self-fulfilling. By trying to eliminate the threat he felt you posed he became the agent of his own downfall. Not only of him personally but of all of his plans. For you see little brother like many tyrants he had no faith in those about him. He had no clear second, no successor that his followers could turn to when he fell. This was deliberate on his part, it was to ensure that none of his followers could assemble a powerbase to oppose him. But it was also the key to his own destruction because once he was gone, like a bridge without a keystone the alliances and links between the forces he controlled just fell apart (3).
After his death his followers should have had more than enough strength to proceed with his plans, what they lacked was the leadership. His followers among the races of the Dark Creatures each had their own leaders and without Voldemort they refused to follow a wizard choosing instead to push for their own goals. Even his wizarding followers lacked a clear leader. After all his followers were mainly purebloods and the purebloods families are proud and hardly inclined to follow the leader ship of others. After the Lestrange's were captured in their attack on the Longbottom's things started to fall apart even further. Some of Voldemort's followers started to fight amongst themselves while others, such as the Malfoy's sensed the change in the wind and sought to save themselves by ingratiating themselves with the ministry who for once were quick to take advantage of the chaos caused by Voldemort's disappearance to start reinstating their authority. But none of this changes the fact little brother that before Voldemort's defeat he was winning the war and the only thing that turned his inevitable victory to a sudden defeat was you."
'Given that knowledge', Harry thought 'the number of wizards and witches coming up to him and wanting to shake his hand in his made a lot more sense. I just wish I had been aware of that back then and of what the implications of that were. Then again back then I was only eleven.'
Harry's train of thought was abruptly broken as Luther rose to his feet and in a single fluid sweeping motion collected his overcoat from the back of his chair and put it on.
"Enough little brother!" Called Luther loudly. "We have spent enough of the night pouring over dusty old manuscripts and recalling the lessons of the past, valuable though those lessons may have been. We only have a few hours of darkness left so we had best take care of your need while we can."
"My need" Harry asked confused as he quickly rose up to follow Luther as the Vampire was already passing through the reopened doorway into the main chamber.
"Yes little brother." Called Luther over his shoulder as he walked over to the giant statue of Slytherin in the chamber and started to tap another combination of the stones that made up its base.
"Have you forgotten already the need that drove you to seek out the chamber this night? I could feel your restlessness through our bond. It was how I knew to expect you coming this night. I must say you did better than I had expected to resist the urge this long. But that is not entirely a good thing."
As Luther spoke once again a section of the stonework rearranged itself into a doorway. This one leading into an utterly dark space. Without hesitation Luther strode through the doorway as soon as it formed. After a moment's hesitation Harry followed. The space inside was utterly black without the slightest bit of illumination. Even the enchantments on Harry's glasses only allowed him to see the spaces immediately around him. Then suddenly Luther spoke, not in his normal soft flowing tone but in the low sibient hisses of parsel tongue.
"Light my Path!" As soon as Luther had spoken a series of low lights along the walls and ceiling started to glow revealing that they were walking down a circular tunnel of smooth rock walls nearly fifteen feet in diameter. The lights continued on into the distance curving slightly until they disappeared.
"As I told you when I first trained you in how to take your animal form." Luther continued on, hardly pausing as he strode briskly down the tunnel.
"The method I used to teach you has many benefits over the imitation that the Wizards use. But it also has its costs. The main one being that like any beast of the wild it hates being caged. As such you must find time and opportunities to let it run free. Lest you find yourself in conflict with the spirit of the beast you carry within you."
By this time they had moved further down the tunnel and around the curve. After a few more minutes of walking they came to a large elaborate wall blocking the tunnel. Once again the wall was elaborately carved with two large snakes that seemed to circle each other. At Luther's hissed command they seemed to come alive. Flowing and slithering across the face of the wall. And as they did so the wall rolled into the side of the tunnel allowing them to proceed forwards.
Immediately as the door rolled away Harry felt a sudden slight flow of cold air. The air was fresh and crisp and brought with it the scents of moisture, earth, plants and animals. The scent of a forest at night. Quickly following Luther Harry emerged from a cave to find himself in a small clearing of shrubs and undergrowth surrounded by the towering familiar trees of the forbidden forest as the moon shone down intermittently though the clouds overhead.
Stopping Luther turned to him and smirked. "You have endured the rules and restrictions of the world of men for long enough Little Brother. Now is the time to let the beast run free." As he started to speak thick tendrils of mist had risen from around Luther's feet. By the time he finished they had obscured his form completely in a thick cloak of mist. For a few moments they hung there before they started to disperse just as quickly as they came. But when they left instead of the tall regal form of the Vampire the nearly as familiar form of a massive black furred wolf sat on its haunches in his place.
The wolf gave him a very dog like grin for a moment before rising to all fours and turning to dart into the undergrowth. Moments later Harry gladly ceased his efforts to restrain a need that had gradually been building within him since he arrived back at Hogwarts and a moment later a Black Panther bounded through the forest on the Wolf's trail.
Much later that night several hunters of the centaur herd of the forbidden forest gathered around the herds elder in a clearing under the stars. The hunters spoke of the strange signs they had seen in the forest that night. One had found the prints of a wolf, but of a wolf far larger than any that was native to the forest. What was more the prints of the wolf were always close to what were clearly the prints of a huge cat. One far larger than any they knew to be native to this forest. More disturbing was that the trails of the two animals alternated between one leading and the other following to the two of them seemingly traveling together. That two such natural predators were apparently traveling together seemingly acting together was so unnatural as to be disturbing.
Another hunter had come across the remains of several acromantulas in the forest. This would normally have been cause for some celebration by the centaurs. They cursed the day that Hagrid had allowed the acromantula to settle in the forest and cursed even more the day the half giant had brought the evil thing a mate. Since that time the numbers of the giant spiders had grown tremendously. With no natural predator to thin their numbers they had started claiming a larger and larger portion of the forest. Now their numbers were so large that the centaurs could not risk taking action against them lest they be wiped out in retaliation.
So yes normally anything that resulted in a thinning of the colonies numbers would normally be a good thing.
But it was the manner of the acromanutlas demise that was disturbing. Some showed obvious signs of having been killed by magic. Their bodies blow apart, burned by fire, shattered by ice, eaten by acid. But others had been sliced apart. The precise wounds and cuts on their bodies evidence that the one who had done so was clearly a master of the blade. Given the closeness of the Wizarding School the user of magic was easily explained. But who would have such skill and savagery, for the state of the acromantulas body's left little doubt of that, that they could fight several fully grown acromantulas with a blade alone?
The hunters of the herd talked quietly among one another after they had relayed their news to the elder. The swishing of their tails and stamping of their hooves clear evidence of their unease as they waited for the elder to speak.
But the elder remained silent, his gaze fixed upon the sky where even through the clouds and the moonlit night Mar's light seemed to shine ever brighter.
Just before dawn Harry Potter returned to Gryffindor tower. He did not bother returning to his bed instead he quickly changed his clothes setting the now soiled and dirty ones away to be washed and then making his way down to the bathrooms to shower before changing into a fresh set of day wear and robes. While his dorm mates were not likely to rise just yet some of them may and he did not want to chance any of them asking awkward questions about the bruises he had gained from the nights activities.
As always Luther with Gutripper's ever snarky assistance had healed any significant injuries from their run in the woods and the unexpected tussle with the acromantula's. But as always Luther also believed in leaving any bruises to heal on their own. The pain of their healing being the best way to remember not to repeat the mistakes that had caused them.
Groaning Harry stood in the shower and let the steaming hot water play over his body. He was bone tired having literally run all over the forest during the night. Most of his body, except the places that would not be covered by his robes, was splattered with bruises. Including a particularly impressive one on his back after one of the giant spiders had sent him flying into a tree. Luther had at least been willing to take care of the bruises on his face and hands, no sense in risking awkward questions from his school mates or the teachers.
So he was exhausted, both physically and magically, he was battered and bruised and he had not had any sleep for nearly twenty four hours. 'So why' Harry thought 'do I somehow feel better than I can ever remember feeling since I got back to Hogwarts?'
He pondered the mystery for a few minutes but soon he put the thought out of his mind as he stretched and luxuriated in the feel of the hot water. After all soon his dorm mates would be waking up and he would need to face another day at Hogwarts
(1)Here I am assuming that there has been some development in the Wizarding world since the time of the founders. I cannot believe that wizarding society, even as insular and backward as I have portrayed it has not developed new spells or ways of doing things in the last thousand years.
(2)Why here am I assuming that Britain's population is quite large in the world? I am assuming that Britain's isolation, combined with the fact that there have been no recent major invasions of its shores has allowed its Magical population to remain undetected and largely unaffected by major upheavals that have hit other wizarding countries. In this story wizarding populations of Western Europe, with the exception of Britain were decimated either in the Napoleonic wars or the two world wars. While those of America either remain extremely well hidden from the rest of the world, in the case the Native Americans, or have simply not developed significantly. In the in America of this story there is little in the way of a unified developed Magical society. There are towns and magical settlements but there is no overall government that links them together. Wizards that immigrated to America did so to get away from the rules imposed by the magical societies in Europe and are too fiercely independent to form an effective unified government
(3)This is my take on how Voldemort's first rise occurred. It is not meant to reflect what I believe happened in canon. Perhaps I am giving Tom Riddle far too much credit and making the ministry to be far too self-interested but this is the way things played out in the universe of this story.