Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or co. they are owned by JK Rowling. She owns the characters, I own the plot. Also, if this is similar to any other fics, it was not intentional. As per usual, any original characters, theories about magic and anything not already known to the HP world is mine. I borrowed the concept of the Living Metal from Yuri Narushima's Planet Ladder so no; I do not own that concept.
Genre: Angst, Drama
Rating: R for violence, language, probably some sex later on etc.
WARNINGS: This story contains SLASH which is a sexual relationship between two males, if that squicks you then get the heck out of here! This is fanfiction folks, if you want to read canon I suggest you stick to JKR.
Synopsis: AU. After two years of training at a secret Wizarding Institute, Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for his 7th year. Secrets abound and one Transformation will bring to light a truth that will lead to the downfall of the Light. Severitus Challenge! Dark!Harry.
A/N: Well, here it is (a day early even!) for those who are members on my Group. This is my fourth Slash fic and my first HP/LV and my first Severitus! I hope you like my take on things, I found that there just weren't enough Dark!Harry Severitus so I decided to write one. Feedback is most welcome, no flames please. Enjoy!
Thanks to my Beta Robyn for going over and correcting any mistakes!
Parseltongue, foreign words, letters/articles etc.
Emphasized words, headings,
The Hero Returns
See the conquering hero comes!
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums!
-Dr. T. Morel, in Libretto for Handel's Joshua
Arcanum Institute of Magic, Unplottable Location, Unknown
Monday the 14th of July 1997
The sun was shining brilliantly, the sky was clear and cloudless and the most gentle of summer breezes was blowing. Lush foliage abounded, covering the ground and gentle hills and valleys in various shades of green. Tall trees dotted the landscape, adding character to the strange complex. For miles around the tan brick building that was the Arcanum Institute, as far as the eye could see this was the property owned by the school. The school was located on an Unplottable Island that no one but the Headmaster actually knew was located at. What set the Arcanum Institute apart from other Wizarding Schools was the fact that they only accepted the absolute best students from all over the world, be they scholarly gifted or gifted with amazing wells of power. Another thing that set this school apart was the fact that it was a year round school, which had almost no contact with the outside world. Letters and packages were received quarterly, once in March, once in June, once in September and once in December. Classes ran from 8:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. respectively with an hour long break at noon for lunch. It was a rigorous school and once again, only the best, most promising students were allowed entry and today one of those students was leaving.
The almost seventeen years old Harry Potter, the famed Boy-Who-Lived was finally being allowed to return to Hogwarts. Prior to his Fifth year, Harry had been transferred over to the Arcanum Institute of Magic by order of the British Minister of Magic along with the blessing of one Albus Dumbledore. As much as Harry had learned and become the best at all his subjects, he would never forgive either man for literally tossing him to the ends of the world to fight his demons alone, without any support. This brings us back to the fact that Harry Potter was leaving the Arcanum Institute for good today. Not that it would have mattered, he was needed the war against Voldemort was getting bleaker and the Wizarding World needed its hero. Harry Potter was not pleased to say the least.
Dressed in his school uniform, which consisted of weatherproof khaki trousers, black combat boots, a white cotton T-shirt and a short sleeved khaki button up shirt Harry looked oddly like a student from a Military Academy. Harry stood just two inches shy of six feet, he had a muscled frame that was tanned golden and was capable of acrobatics that would have marveled some circus performers. He had long ago had his eyes magically corrected and had grown his hair out to his shoulders, giving him the appearance of a young man entering the prime of his life. Smoothly navigating the halls, Harry headed to Headmaster Randolph's Office where he would be departing by Port-key back to the United Kingdom and Hogwarts specifically. Pausing in front of a cherry wood door, Harry rapped three times and entered the room.
The Headmaster's office was large, mainly filled with bookshelves, small sitting areas and large windows showing the extensive grounds. Harry walked directly to the desk and stood in front of it waiting to be acknowledged. Headmaster Randolph was a man in his early fifties with graying chestnut hair and light hazel eyes.
Looking up from his paperwork he smiled, "Harry I see you're prompt as usual, are you eager to return home?"
"I'm about as eager to go 'home' as a cow is to get branded," Harry replied caustically.
"Your analogy is more accurate than they would be willing to admit to so stay on your guard. As much as I wished it wasn't time for you to go I've held them off long enough, they approached me in January after all. I'm sure I don't have to tell you to be careful and stay on your guard; we both know what's waiting for you when you get back to Great Britain. Stay in touch and should you survive the War you'll always be welcome to return here. Now you should take the Port-key and go, heaven knows what they'll begin to think if you should be delayed." Headmaster Randolph said handing Harry a shining Graduate's Medal.
Harry accepted the Medal. "I mean to survive the War Headmaster, and I'm sure we'll see each other again someday." As he put the Medal on around his neck, he felt the familiar pull behind his navel and then there was only a swirl of colored lights.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Scotland, Great Britain
Monday July 14th, 1997
Sirius Black could barely restrain the lopsided grin that stole over his face; his Godson was finally coming home! It had been over two years since he'd last seen Harry and he was eager to have a look at the teen. Now a freed man thanks to the capture of Peter Pettigrew Sirius now had every intention of bringing Harry to live with him and Moony at number 12 Grimmauld Place in London. He may have hated the townhouse that housed the Most Noble House of Black but it was his and Harry would need to be somewhere close to all the action not to mention someplace well warded. They were waiting in the Headmaster's Office as Harry was due to arrive within moments. 'They' ended up being Albus Dumbledore, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Mr. And Mrs. Weasely and family, Hermione Granger and several miscellaneous Order Members including Sirius's hated enemy, Severus Snape.
Dumbledore glanced at his watch. "Any moment now, if you will all move from the center of the room please."
Not two minutes later a tall, tanned dark haired young man appeared in the center of the room. Sirius felt his jaw drop open in shock. This was his Godson?! When Harry had departed, he had been a short, scrawny fourteen-year-old and this man was a tall, muscled...man! Everyone was shocked silent, staring at the man who could only be Harry Potter with those emerald eyes.
Harry glanced around the room, expressionless. "I do believe I am expected am I not?"
That was all it took Ron and Hermione both rushed forward together. "Harry!"
Unfortunately, they managed to get about two feet away from Harry before they ran smack into a ward and bounced off, falling painfully on the ground.
"I wouldn't recommend approaching me quite like that; I always have wards up for security I'm sure you'll understand. I would have warned you but I wasn't quite expecting to be mobbed so quickly." Harry explained, looking faintly amused.
Remus gazed at the young man as if he was trying to figure him out. "You've...changed."
Harry looked cold for a moment. "What were you expecting? I was trained at Arcanum for two years, there's no way I'd come out of that place the same boy you all knew."
Dumbledore looked old and tired. "It was for the best."
"I'm sure it was you can't fight a war without a weapon now could you?" Harry said positively frigid.
Mr. Weasley stepped forward. "That's not how it is, Harry."
Harry snorted. "Please don't insult my intelligence, I was instructed in Combat Tactics by the best Aurors in the World I know what I'm talking about. It wasn't your desire that I return it was that the Wizarding World demanded their Savior. If Arcanum has taught me anything, it is that few things or actions are without a price."
"Harry-" Hermione began.
"Save it, I haven't the time to listen to whatever propaganda you've come to believe about the war and my place in it. I've haven't spent the last two years being molded to be the ultimate weapon just to come back and listen to this drivel. If I'm back to risk my neck for the sake of a world full of cowards who can't even say a name, then I want statistics and the latest intelligence on Voldemort." Harry said cutting her off.
Dumbledore sighed, how had he changed so much? "There is an Order Meeting tonight, and I'll explain everything then."
Harry looked like he was going to argue for a moment but frowned instead and nodded. "I can wait I suppose." Harry glanced over to the window. "Just what time is it here?"
Ron glanced at his wristwatch. "12:10 in the afternoon."
"Looks like I was right, too bad Connor won't get my letter until September. That leaves me with fifty minutes; I suppose I can find something to do until then. Now, where am I staying until school starts?" Harry asked.
Sirius smiled. "You'll be staying with me and Moony at Grimmauld Place."
"Sounds good, why don't we head over now? I've got to sort through my things and then I'm off to Diagon Alley." Harry suggested.
The adults all blinked. "Why do you need to go to Diagon Alley?"
"I've an appointment with Mr. Ollivander every fortnight for the rest of the summer."
Dumbledore frowned. "Why are you meeting with Mr. Ollivander?"
"I can't tell you that, it's an Arcanum secret. Headmaster Randolph would have my head on a pike if I spoke about it to anyone. Not that it's any matter of yours, Diagon Alley is the safest place in Great Britain as I recall. Unless Voldemort or you have found a way to circumvent an Anima corona promitto, I doubt that there's any objection you could voice to what business I conduct within the boundaries of Diagon, Knockturn and Leisure Alleys." Harry said simply.
Snape sneered. "Have you forgotten who exactly the adults are here, Mr. Potter? Not everyone will cater to your every whim."
"I'm not asking anyone to cater to my whims I am demanding what is within my rights, Professor. You may not be among the mass of people that believe I am their only hope of surviving this War but the vast majority of the Wizarding World believes that I am the only one who can save them. They are not the ones gambling with their life and I have no obligation to save anyone, especially a world of fickle back stabbers. I may have been Sorted in Gryffindor but that hardly means that my first choice is to rush out and martyr myself." Harry spat.
Snape flushed before baring his teeth, ready to snap back at Harry. Dumbledore however intervened.
"Mr. Potter is correct, he is not a child and will have as much privacy as is prudent. We will not ask what you do or purchase within the Triad Alleys but at the least you should inform an Order member of when you are planning on departing and returning from the Triad Alleys." Dumbledore said diplomatically.
Harry nodded. "That's fine. Now, shall we get going? I must arrive promptly for my appointment with Mr. Ollivander."
Ten minutes later, Harry walked into Number 12 Grimmauld Place where he was immediately greeted by Cassiopeia Black's shrieks, "Half-blood spawn! Defiler of my Father's House..." Sirius looked both apologetic and furious as he and Remus wrestled to close the curtains. Once the curtains had been wrestled shut, Sirius showed him to a bedroom and connecting bath on the fourth floor which Harry examined with some interest. The bathroom was decorated in dark blue. It had a loo, a sink with a vanity, a large mirror, a shower and a whirlpool bathtub. The bedroom was done in rich mahogany and emerald green, and the furniture consisted of a king-sized sleigh bed, an armoire, a bookcase, desk and a small loveseat. After his inspection he began to ward the room with his favorite Privacy Charms; Silencing spells, Anti-Eavesdropping charms, two different Obscuring charms, Anti-Theft charms and an automated Cleaning and Neatening charm. After he emptied out his trunk putting away his clothes, books and scrolls away, he opted for a quick shower and a change of clothes.
It was in the privacy of his room that he dared to remove the various Concealing charms that hid the presence of the Living Metal. He had been receiving injections of the Living Metal by Ollivander since March and he was now approaching the end of the regime. The procedure was dangerous to say the least, but the odds of surviving the procedure were about the same as the odds of surviving a Chimera attack in the wilderness. Today was a special day indeed, it was time to set the Focus Gemstones which meant that after the last injection today, he would have successfully finished the procedure and lived to tell of it. Harry glanced down at his wrists where the only visible manifestation of the Living Metal appeared in the form of two silver-gold bracelets. The bracelets were plain but they were studded with what might be taken as gemstones but upon closer inspection, were actually thumbnail sized doses of various Potions. The left bracelet was filled with different Potions but the right bracelet was filled with fifteen of the exact same kind of crimson Potion.
Harry felt a familiar rush of heat through his veins as he watched one of the crimson vials empty as it drained into his bloodstream. Barely a span of a heartbeat passed before the vial was quickly filled with more of the same Potion, thanks to a clever Renewing Charm he'd cast on the thumbnail sized vials. He made a large supply of the Potions he wore in his bracelets and spelled the various ten-gallon tanks to automatically refill the thumbnail vials whenever they were emptied. After the Potion spread through his bloodstream Harry finished toweling off and pulled on the clothes he'd set on his bed, white silk boxers, soft white calfskin breeches and a long-sleeved shirt made of white spidersilk. After he pulled on his black dragonhide boots, which reached up to his mid-thigh, he cast a spell to braid his hair and checked his appearance in the mirror as he re-cast his Concealing Charms.
Nodding in satisfaction, Harry grabbed his wands and tucked them into their hidden holsters. Two wands went into the holsters in his boots, a third went into a side holster in the waistband of his breeches and his first primary wand went into a holster up his right sleeve. That done, Harry headed downstairs to where everyone was to gather.
In the drawing room on the first floor, Sirius and Remus were talking with several of the Order members who were all speculating about the odd changes in Harry's attitude. There was no doubt that he had grown and from the reports the Arcanum Headmaster had sent, he was excelling at a rapid pace top of his class in all his subjects. While he might have grown mentally and magically, the adults were worried about his emotional growth or possibly the lack thereof. He had been fairly cold, blunt and sarcastic which he had not been before he had left for Arcanum. If anything his old secretive nature was a mere shadow compared to how he behaved and spoke now. Everyone was talking about the changes and muttering darkly about what the changes could lead to.
At the other side of the room, the students and Harry's friends were also in a deep conversation all worried about Harry's sudden distancing from them. Ron and Hermione both were experiencing a mixture of regret and wistful at the loss of their friend, there was no doubt that the trio would never be the same. Ginny on the other hand was in a state of bewilderment, how had Harry changed from the shy, modest boy into this cold, domineering man? What had Arcanum done to him? Neville, Seamus and Dean who had all just arrived fifteen minutes ago were trying to piece together what they'd heard about Harry so far. Could he have really changed that much in two years?
The doors opened and abruptly the conversations halted as Harry strode confidently into the room. For a moment there was a minute of gaping and staring before the adults got their expressions back under control.
Harry smiled coolly. "Is everyone prepared to go?"
Dean gaped, eyes wide. "Harry?"
"Unless there's someone else walking around with an Avada Kedavra curse scar, I do believe I am indeed Harry James Potter." Harry said with slight amusement.
Neville blinked. "You look great! It's been so long since we've seen you."
"Likewise and as much as I'd like to catch up, I can't be late for my appointment with Mr. Ollivander. We can talk after my appointment; no doubt everyone's curious about how my life has been the last two years." Harry said a bit more kindly.
Sirius stepped forward. "Floo or Portkey?"
Harry raised his eyebrows. "How about Apparition?"
"When did you learn Apparition?" Hermione demanded.
"I learned the theory about a day after I arrived and had it mastered by mid November. There's really no better motivation than being forced to undergo an Auror's Trial, if that doesn't motivate a person to learn to Apparate nothing will." Harry explained sharply.
Tonks blanched. "I was twenty when I took my Auror's Trial, are they insane?!"
Harry smiled in commiseration. "Yes well it couldn't have been as bad as mine. We were tested weekly in the wilderness, at least eight kilometers from the school and we had to make it back to the school by sunset. There's nothing like fleeing for your life from graphorns and tebos for the first kilometer, climbing down a quarter kilometer cliff face and fording a raging river. Then once you climb onto dry land you're forced to duel your Professors, infiltrate an underground fortress, capture a magical beast of some sort, evade the security patrols and make your way back to the school before the escape timer runs out. Yes that certainly was a motivation to master Apparition, and I got tired of spending the night in the Infirmary. After I learned to Apparate, I managed to cut down my Trial run to about four hours which was among the fastest times."
"You did that on a weekly basis the entire time you were at Arcanum?" Sirius exclaimed horrified.
Harry shrugged. "Who needs a Dueling or Combat class when you've got to run that once a week?"
Remus frowned. "Isn't that...dangerous?"
"The Graphorns and Tebos are trained not to do too much damage and the teachers stop cursing you once you can't get up. There are Cushioning Charms under the cliff and Merpeople to keep you from drowning in the river. After you've either been hurt too badly to continue or you're cursed too badly to be countered, then it's up to the House-elves to rush you off to the Infirmary to be healed or counter-cursed."
Seamus winced. "When do you fall under 'hurt too badly to continue'? A broken bone?"
"A broken leg, a concussion, two broken arms, hands or wrists, a stab wound deeper than an inch in your back, torso or leg, being under the Crucio for more than two minutes or having it cast on you more than three times." Harry listed.
Everyone gasped as one. "They cast Unforgiveables?"
Harry shrugged. "Well it would hardly be realistic without them, don't you think? They can cast Imperio or Crucio but they aren't allowed to cast real Killing Curses, they use illusions. However if you get hit with one of those you get the breath knocked out of you."
"Hmm, they might be doing something right at that school." Moody said thoughtfully.
Harry glanced at the clock on the mantelpiece. "We really need to get going."
Remus nodded. "Molly and Hestia will Floo ahead of the other students with Tonks bringing up the rear. Moody and Kingsley will Apparate ahead of us to the Apparition Point and then you, Sirius and I will Apparate after them."
Diagon Alley, London, GB
Monday July 14, 1997
Harry walked calmly through the archway leading into Diagon Alley; it had been more than two years since he had last been here. Everything looked exactly the same except for the additional security from both sides; Diagon Alley and the other two Alleys were the only neutral location in all of Great Britain. Through a month of negotiation they had reached that decision and it was the only safe place really in the entire country. Whispers spread as he walked to Gringotts and soon enough he felt eyes watching him. Glancing around the Alley Harry saw several Death Eaters watching him speculatively. Harry ignored it all though as he went to his Vault to retrieve money, his Godfather and Remus hovering around him protectively alert for the slightest hint of trouble.
When they emerged Lucius Malfoy and Walden Macnair were waiting for them. Sirius and Remus moved in front of him, no doubt thinking to shield him but Harry gently pushed them aside. Both men were dressed in custom tailored black and silver robes, Malfoy had his snake cane with him.
"Malfoy and Macnair what are you doing here? I would have thought you'd be with Voldemort planning the fifth attempt on my life, not that it will succeed mind you but I'm sure you're all quite capable of deluding yourselves into thinking it will." Harry said tauntingly.
Malfoy's eyes flashed with anger. "You'll get yours yet Potter!"
Harry yawned, "You must be losing your verbal sparring skills Malfoy; have you been taking lessons from Draco? You're positively boring these days."
"You insolent brat!" Lucius hissed, drawing out his wand.
Harry didn't bat an eye, "I wouldn't do that if I was you Malfoy, the consequences of breaking the Anima corona promitto are quite unpleasant from what I've read and you Malfoys are as vain as peacocks."
Macnair glared at Harry as he set his hand on Lucius's wand arm. "Don't Lucius, not here anyways."
A sudden coldness swept through Diagon Alley and Harry instantly looked away from Malfoy, knowing without a doubt what was causing the sudden chill. Not a minute later, floating black robed figures glided into view. In front of the normal clad Dementors was a silver-robed one the Dementor Lord, as Harry recalled from his texts. Dementors were wizards who through the practice of Dark Magic or Dark Necromancy attempted to Transcend into Lichs, who were Dark Undead Wizards. Very few, namely one in ten thousand actually managed to become Lichs, the rest either became Dementors, Banshees or Ghosts. No doubt Slytherin's Ghost the Bloody Baron had attempted and failed the Transcendence. The Dementor Lord was the one in charge of looking after the collective interest of the Dementors, he was the Dementor who had been closest to Transcending and thus the one who retained the most of his humanity and mind.
The Wizards and Witches in the Alley, moved away from the Dementors shivering as the cold sunk into their bones. Sirius was breathing harshly, Remus attempting to move him from his sudden stupor. Harry silently moved past the two Death Eaters and calmly approached the Dementor Lord.
"As I recall, Dementors were not allowed within the confines of the Triad of Alleys." Harry said in the Necromancer's can't, which was a kind of deep guttural hiss if one could imagine that.
The Dementor Lord chuckled which came out as a deep rattle. "We are not allowed to partake in the souls here within the Alley otherwise we may come and go as we desire to. You are well-learned I see but then, I can feel your power. You have been practicing theLight Necromancy have you not?"
"Perhaps," Harry replied secretively. "You are allied with my enemy so I would hardly give you an honest answer now would I?"
"You may not answer but," The Dementor Lord raised a cold, gray hand and brushed his fingertips along Harry's collarbone, up to his cheekbone. "A Necromancer always recognizes another whether one practices the Light or the Dark Necromancy...or both."
Harry leaned forward, "And a Necromancer always keeps his silence."
"Of course young Necromancer, there are few enough of our kind left in these times, may you have a good Summoning." The Dementor Lord said caressing Harry's cheek one final time before moving back and vanishing in a cold gray mist, his fellows also disappearing.
The moment they were gone, Harry took out his wand and conjured a mirror. Lifting up the hand mirror, he saw that he had dark gray marks on his skin from the Dementor Lord's touch. Had he been anyone but a Necromancer, the Dementor Lord's touch would have either burned him or made him unbelievably ill. All it had done however was temporarily stain his skin for a few days; it would wash away after a time rather like ink or marker.
"Harry, are you alright? You aren't hurt?" Sirius asked immediately at his side, gazing at the marks with shock.
"I'm fine." Harry replied.
Remus glanced at Harry confused. "Were you...talking to it?"
"Hmm? Yes, I suppose that we were talking a bit weren't we?" Harry said absently. "He was an interesting personage to say the least. Anyway, I'm going to go to Ollivanders. I'll meet you both at Fortescue's at three o'clock okay?"
"Right." Sirius said still staring at him. Harry barely spared a glance around the empty walkway as he headed over to Ollivanders.
"Ah, Mr. Potter you are prompt, I see. I have everything waiting in the back room." Mr. Ollivander said as he temporarily closed the shop.
Harry nodded as he walked into the back room. The backroom was littered in wood, core material and tools. Harry glanced around the room with interest before taking a seat at a workbench, studying the machinery. Ollivander entered, two large trunks floating behind him. Ollivander opened the lid of the first trunk and removed four bottles the size of wine bottles. They all contained a glowing, metallic looking substance two where gold and two were silver. Setting the bottles down on the workbench next to Harry he reached back into the trunk to pull out a box the size of a jewelry case, when he opened it, Harry saw two vials filled with clear liquid resting in the box.
Ollivander motioned for Harry to get up. "Open the other trunk and take out whatever gemstone feels right to you."
Harry got up and did as he was told and nearly gaped when he opened the trunk. Gemstones the size of his fist were piled haphazardly in the trunk nearly spilling out, there were so many! Ollivander gave him a pointed look and Harry did as he was instructed taking out a gemstone holding it for a moment before discarding it and setting it on the ground. He set aside fiery rubies, dark sapphires, sparkling diamonds and luminous opals. The pile grew as he discarded emeralds, amethysts, topaz, garnets, citrines and pearls. Finally there was only one stone left a silvery stone with flecks of gold.
Harry picked up the stones and brought it back to Ollivander. "Then this would be the one."
Ollivander accepted it, eyes glowing. "How exciting! I've never heard of anyone needing this particular stone! This will be interesting yes, very interesting indeed. Take off your shirt and sit."
Ollivander walked back to the first trunk and removed what looked like a large syringe and a silver bowl. Taking a book off a shelf, he quickly read something over before mixing the liquids into the bowl. He poured a generous amount of the silver liquid, adding just a splash of the gold. Then he mixed the liquid until it was metallic silver with just the faintest hint of gold. Taking hold of the bowl filled with the Living Metal and the syringe he walked back to Harry. Harry held the bowl as Ollivander emptied the clear vials into the syringe.
"I'll need to inject the Stabilizer into you, it is not painful but you will feel a burning sensation as it spreads through your body." Ollivander explained before injecting the dose directly into Harry's spine.
Harry didn't even twitch and he felt a pleasant warmth flow through his body. After another ten minutes Ollivander filled the syringe with the Living Metal injected a dose into each of Harry's arms and legs, one into his neck and the last above his navel. It was a strange sensation and after a few minutes a tingling sensation formed in his palms and on his earlobes. Before he could ask what was going on, he felt heat pulsing through his palm and the edge of his earlobes. Then in front of his very eyes the Living Metal pooled to the surface of his skin, forming a strange glove with an unset gem carrier on his palm.
The 'glove' consisted of two 'rings' on his fingers and thumbs which were connected by braided threads to anchor the circular gem carrier on the palm of his hand. The circular gem carrier was in turn anchored to his bracelet by thicker braided threads. Looking at the back of his hand, Harry saw that thinner braided threads from the rings also ran on the back of his hand anchoring onto the bracelet so that the metal would not move. Reaching up to his ear, he felt earrings in his ears the largest the size of his thumbnail and the smallest the size of a newborn's fingernail. The metal in his 'gloves' moved once before it stilled, becoming a permanent attachment to his body, just like the bracelets.
Ollivander nodded slowly. "Pick up the stone with both hands and the Living Metal will absorb it just before it goes back to sleep."
Harry did as he was told and was surprised to feel the stone heating up before being absorbed by the Living Metal. A flash of light blinded him momentarily and when he could see again the stone was now perfectly cut and set in the center of his palms and he touched his ears, the once empty earrings were now filled.
"I'm going to guess that since I'm still alive, the procedure went as it was supposed to?" Harry asked as he put his shirt back on.
Ollivander began to put things away. "Wizards first used the Talismans to anchor the amount of power they were able to use. It's been two thousand years since any Wizard needed to use a set and you of course, are always the surprise. No one has ever needed a Starlight Diamond as a Focus Gem."
Harry gaped, he knew very well that Starlight Diamonds were the rarest Magical Stone on the planet and that only three had ever been mined. "What does this mean exactly?" Harry asked after regaining his composure.
"The stone will act as your Focus point; no one can ever remove the stone from you as the stone and metal are now a part of you. You will always be able to attack or defend as the situation warrants and the power at your disposal is much greater than anything a regular Wizard or Witch could command with a wand. There isn't anything you won't be able to cast, it's just a matter of learning the incantations, do not be surprised if you master even the most complicated spells on the first try." Ollivander said looking pleased.
Harry took out a moke-skin bag filled with a thousand Galleons and set it on the workbench, then he recast the Concealing charms covering his ears and extending them to cover his arms from the elbow down to his fingertips. "The payment as usual, same time next week?"
"Yes, be especially careful when Casting, it will take a while for you to adjust to the power." Ollivander said as he walked Harry back to the door of the shop. Just before they he was about to leave, Ollivander leaned over and whispered in Harry's ear. "You will be ready for the second stone by the end of August."
Harry smiled a real genuine smile, the man really was aware of things. "I'll be careful. By the way, this is untraceable correct?"
"Perfect, thank you Mr. Ollivander, your family is indeed the best wandmakers in the world." Harry said with a bow as he swept out of the shop.
Ollivander watched as Harry walked away. "What times come that a Caster would need two stones?"
Harry met the others for a sundae brushing off their attempts at questioning him. After that Harry stopped by Flourish and Blotts and the Apothecary always aware of the eyes that followed him. He spent the rest of the trip in a preoccupied daze thinking about the number of secrets he was carrying. Headmaster Randolph and Ollivander knew about the Living Metal procedure, only four people knew about his schooling in Necromancy and the only one who knew about his Transformation was Professor Dumont the Potion Master from Arcanum. Then there was his darkest, most highly prized secret that no one living was aware of and as far as Harry was concerned no one needed to learn it, ever.
After Harry had finished picking up the more vital supplies, they returned to Grimmauld Place. Absently Harry excused himself and locked himself in his bedroom. He had too many secrets and not enough guaranteed privacy where he could possibly hope to keep all of them. The most important secrets to keep however were the one no one living knew of and the Living Metal. Harry had long ago accepted that someone would find out about his Transformation and Light Necromancy was not illegal and thus not something that needed to be kept secret. However there were few if any Light Necromancers alive and practicing and Harry did not want to be hounded to do Summonings so it was better left a secret until it was unavoidable. Harry closed the curtains in front of his windows and enforced the Privacy Charms on his room before slipping off his shirt. Harry looked at himself in the mirror as he removed first his Concealing Charms, the silvery-gold metal contrasted against his tanned skin and the Starlight Diamond gleamed. Tracing the cool metal, Harry reveled in the sense of power that was literally at his fingertips.
Harry watched himself in the mirror as he initiated the Transformation, heat spread through his back and he could feel muscles forming and bulging as his back, shoulders and chest tingled. Pain erupted from his back and chest for an agonizing moment as Harry felt his wings rip out of his back. He staggered to his knees as large scaly black wings shot out of his back, dripping blood on the ground and walls. The pain burned for a few heartbeats before his body went into overdrive producing endorphins to counter the pain. Concentrating Harry raised a hand and felt the energy for a Cleaning Charm pool in his hand before it was released, cleaning away all the blood spilled in the room and the blood clinging to his wings. Harry stretched his wings this way and that for a few minutes after the pain faded away.
In February of last year he had started transforming and fortunately his first Transformation had been in the presence of his Potion Master who had also had some Mediwizard schooling. Professor Dumont had cleaned him up and dosed him with a multitude of various Potions to help deal with the various aches and pains, blood loss, physical exhaustion and a few different Healing Potions to help his body cope with the new appendages and muscle tissue. Over the next two months Dumont had developed a Potion that took care of all the resulting changes due to the Transformations and in a way strengthened his fragile wings. The Invictus Potion was a fairly long lasting Potion that perfectly took care of all the symptoms of the Transformation well before the Transformation even took place. Things especially progressed better as the Living Metal became a key part of him. Every six hours the Invictus Potion was automatically distributed directly to his body through the Potion bracelets. As long as he Transformed once a day it was his secret to keep for however long he desired to keep it thus. Yawning, Harry sprawled onto his bed lying on his stomach; he would take a short nap as it was going to be a long night.
(1) Anima corona promitto- literally Soul Circle Promise. During the negotiations regarding the Triad of Alleys Voldemort, Dumbledore and a representative of the International Confederation of Wizards swore the oath that none of their respective followers/employees/members can physically or magically harm or kidnap anyone within the Alleys. Anyone who breaks the promitto can expect to be cursed for life with an unknown but supposedly disfiguring curse.