Disclaimer: Forgot to put it in the first chapter but if any one cares HP belongs to the goddess JK Rowling. This FF belongs to me.
He gasped as he fell out of his dreams and for a moment lay still, breathing hard and blinking away the last vestiges of sleep. He slowly sat up and stretched like a cat after a nap. Indeed Harry had been taking a little nap in the afternoon after a strenuous morning session. He slowly sat up and thought for a moment about what he had witnessed as he strolled out of his bedroom. He freshened up, had a little snack from Daisy and retired to his study and picked up his pensive. Something had happened today which perked up his interest like never before, he had a 'Vision'. He knew without the least bit of doubt that the vision had been genuine. His growing skills at occlumency had proved that swiftly enough.
He had no sooner fallen asleep and he found himself looking out through another set of eyes. He had very nearly panicked before his training had kicked up and he had calmed himself quickly as he took a look at his surroundings before he realized that no one else was present in the dark room. He wondered for a moment why he been pulled into the vision before he realized the great anticipation and nervousness that Voldemort was radiating and he decided to watch. Harry brought forth the memory to the forefront of his mind and slowly brought up his wand and deposited the memory in the pensive before him and then entered it himself.
The pacing suddenly stopped and he sat down on a dark throne like chair as he felt the person he had been waiting for arrive. The door opened and a person who could only ever be described as non-descript arrived in the room. For any normal person, describing him would be impossible and their eye would simply slide away from the face of the man and the senses would simply not register, making him almost invisible to the naked eye. The man was one of his best and most unknown operatives in the acclaimed Dept of Mysteries. Nearly twenty years ago he had entered the man into the place as sleeper agent with one and only one single goal, a goal that he had conceived as the only path for his greatest victory. And now nearly twenty years later he would be getting the fruits of his patience and labor. Only a month ago he had received word from him that what he had sought for was finally within his reach and now he couldn't wait to find out about it.
The man never spoke a word but knelt and bowed to him and the looked straight in the eye and he reached out to the forefront of the heavily guarded mind and sought out the bubble of memories that contained the information that was to be delivered. Once he withdrew from the mind, the man simply bowed and left. The entire exchange hadn't taken more than a minute, with not even a word spoken and yet he had provided him with every thing he was to know. The memory had been most comprehensive. It showed the operative taking in a mirror and so felt like he was talking to them.
"0ne week from today on the 30th of June, a small muggle fishing boat will dock at the fishing port in Dover along with the hundreds of others and unload a large crate which would be brought to the warehouse for processing. The crate itself will be completely like every other crate present however it would be brought in by a group of unspeakables and who will hand it over only once they are sure that no problem of any kind is going to occur. The group is going to bring the crate to a warehouse that has been under the Ministry control. The DOM personal will be keeping watch on that day for this particular exchange. It has been decided that at 5.00PM when most workers in that section will be having a break, the DOM team will bring the crate to the warehouse. The security wards on the crate is quite unique and have been cast by each of the individual members of both the teams and will have to reversed by each of individual members before the crate can be transported from Dover. When this happens the outer crate will be stripped and there will be a large black metallic box. This box contains the items you are seeking my lord. However, the entire security on this box has been done in runes and is passive. The security will only activate when attempts are made to open the box itself."
"There will then be a break of 10minutes before the next set of security enchantments that must be cast by all the members of both the teams for the next transport to the ministry. This break is to allow for synchronization of the magic from all the members and once this is achieved, it will only take 5 minutes for the final set of enchantments to be cast. Once this is done, the crate can only be opened in the DOM by a special set of reversals from the Head of Dept. It is a completely foolproof plan except for the 10 min when the teams are preparing to cast and the 5 minutes when the actual casting of the enchantments are done. Thus 4 additional operatives are being sent to guard the teams during this time."
The next was a whole gamut of information on the security procedures and the enchantments needed to be cast and broken, the timings that were required to be followed and all the do's and don'ts. It was to say the least complicated. Every thing was calculated by the unspeakable to the minutest detail, right from the number of scans that would be made to the time that a scan would need for a section of the wards and which charm would need to be cast for each individual scan, which flagstone should not be stepped on and the routines of the guards.
As Harry sat back, the first thing he felt was trepidation, trepidation at what the treasure was that Voldemort had waited for 20 yrs, that Voldemort required so highly and prized so greatly. A treasure that would ensure his absolute victory! It was a frightening thought to say the least. His first and foremost instinct was to inform Dumbledore. Even with everything that had happened, it was in a way the most probable thing to do. He had the resources to make sure that what ever it was, it would not fall in Voldemort hands at any cost. He very nearly started to pen a letter to Dumbledore before his mind caught up to his actions and he stopped and sat back. He thought of the consequences of such an action. First Dumbledore could simply dismiss such a vision as a trap by Voldemort and write him a lengthy BS about how he would have to practice occlumency again and he might also try sending Snape to teach him again, which he would be an all around disaster.
However in the rare event that Dumbledore decided to take him seriously the Dumbledore would surely want to confirm what he saw and the only way for him to do that was to meet him. If somehow Dumbledore met him away from Privet Drive then he would instantly realize that Harry was out of his control and he would take steps to make sure he was back where he belonged. If Dumbledore did come to Privet Drive, then the man would no doubt sense the innumerable changes in the wards and now that he thought about it, some of those instruments in Dumbledore's office must have been to properly monitor the wards at Privet Drive & perhaps the only reason Dumbledore hadn't yet come here was that he didn't know and hadn't been able to monitor them.
Moreover of if he did come to Privet Drive then Harry doubted that he could do any thing to prevent Dumbledore from doing what ever he wanted. True, Harry had a great advantage with Gia and could monitor and command the wards with ease but he had noticed that there were some very specific triggers in all the wards. No doubt Dumbledore had taken part in their construction and that meant he could bypass the wards with ease. Harry sighed as he thought about those triggers. He had been working to overcome them though it would be a long time before that happened. All that meant that Dumbledore was out. It may have been selfish but he was not going to risk his hard earned freedom from Dumbledore's control in any way. It simply wasn't worth it in his mind.
However there was still the matter of the treasure. There was no way he could allow Voldemort to get his hands on it. From the anticipation he had felt, Voldemort required whatever was in the box and had gone to extreme lengths to try and obtain it. Thus Harry concluded that it must be a great artifact of power of some sort and he would dammed before he allowed Voldemort to gain any more advantage than he already had. He could of course simply contact the DOM and inform them, but really what was he going to write,
I had a vision that Voldemort is going to steal something from you guys and there is a traitor who gave all the information to him. Please take care. Bye.
Yeah right! Like anyone was going to believe him. The same he supposed went for his friends and as much as he hated to say it, for Bill and Remus too and that was true especially after the fiasco at DOM. And he was back to square 1, what was he going to do. So he left that part alone and went through the vision again especially the part after the vision when Voldemort had thought of the Death Eaters he decided to send on 30th. He immediately noticed something that had been nagging him and tiny silver of an audacious plan started to form in his mind. It was one heck of an ambitious one with very little chances of working and yet, yet he had one week to plan and perfect and he would still have a backup if anything went wrong. Yes! Voldemort wasn't going to know what hit him. But he would have to be careful, very careful.
That night he started to plan, plan as he had not in the last five years with every thing he had. He wrote down his ideas and what he would have to do to accomplish his goal. It would take cunning, ingenuity, timing, patience and a bit of nifty magic but he had no doubt that he would be up to the task.
He grunted as he rolled aside and fired another spell before the target collapsed. There was a small sound of clapping and the old man walked up to the teen who was picking himself up and patted him on the back.
"Well Neville, that was a mighty good job you did. I must say though that you are really putting some work into it and I for one am impressed".
"Thank you sir" replied a pleased Neville Longbottom as he surveyed the workout field behind the family manor.
"Well Neville, why don't you clean up and take a break for today. I got something to talk to August. I am sure that you will want to take a look at those new plants that Algie brought back for you". With the jovial old man started back to the manor leaving Neville to catch up slowly.
Neville sighed as he thought of all that had happened and the consequences. Six months ago he had been a bumbling, nervous, and pudgy looking boy with little confidence in anything but herbology, a timid target for literally everyone in the school, afraid to do anything and always feeling that the hat had made a mistake by placing him in Gryffindor in spite of anyone's words. His own family hadn't had any confidence in him and any time he had entered a room he would look down hoping not to see the looks directed his way, looks that said "Here comes the squib". Even his astounding talent at herbology had not been taken seriously.
Now, now it was something else. He had seen the looks of pride sent his way by his formidable grand mother and the rest of the family. There seemed to a new spark of life in her again, a pride in him that he had never hoped to see. The assessing judgmental looks that he had always been the recipient of from his relatives were gone replaced by a confidence in him. Now when he entered a room he did so with pride at who he was and his accomplishments and the looks now said "He is Neville Longbottom, heir of the Great house of Longbottom, a hero". He shook his head and remembered again the day that was his turning point.
Six months ago he had gone to visit his parent at St. Mungos during Christmas as he had every year with his gran. However unlike before, he had come across three of his year mates. His gran had immediately invited them over and he had watched them with his face burning with embarrassment. He hated the pity that had shown on Hermione's and the poleaxed looks on Ron. But Harry's face had been blank and when he looked at Neville, it had been one of bone deep understanding and a quiet confidence, a confidence in him! When Neville had returned to Hogwarts the meeting with Ron and Hermione had been awkward to say the least, Harry however had looked deep in his eyes and the led him to the Room of Requirement. That day Neville had let go, let go in a way he never had and had thrown every spell he knew at the targets before him. That day his thoughts turned to revenge, for revenge he would become better, for revenge he would work, for revenge would fit his shoes and take back his pride and name. He would become worthy of his name and he would never hold back. And Harry had been there through every thing, spending extra time with him, working extra hard for him, giving his encouragement not in words but in showing his confidence at him and treating him as an equal and someone worthy of knowing. And Neville had flourished under his guidance, surpassing everyone expectations for him including his own, gaining a confidence in himself and his abilities for the first time in his life.
And then the FDM had happened and it still sent a shiver down his spine. When he had found out that Harry was planning to go alone to the Ministry, he had been terrified and yet he knew that he would follow Harry whatever the reason and he The-Boy-Who-Couldn't-Fly had marshaled his courage and climbed on to a Thestral and flown to the Ministry at speeds greater than any broom. He had held himself without even a squeak when they had been surrounded by the Death Eaters trusting in Harry to know what to do and when Harry had given the word, he had along with everyone else fired his strongest 'Reducto' and fled the room in a wild, hair rising, heart thumping race that he knew could end anytime soon with him and everyone he had come with dead. And yet through it all Neville had endured, he had not broken and covered in fear but had risen up in challenge, the voice of Bellatrix Lestrange stirring in him a rage that had whipped away his fear and a determination to win and to live like never before. True he had made mistakes, true he and Harry had almost lost before help had arrived in the form of the Order and Dumbledore himself, and true he had been injured, had been under 'Crucio', broken his fathers wand and seen someone die, but he had survived, survived against some of the most deadly people intent on killing him, survived in a situation where the least misstep would have been death, survived his greatest nightmare and lived to tell the tale. Through it all he had been frightened, terrified like never before but he had been exhilarated, excited and had never given up where any one else would have given up. He had come out the experience a changed person, stronger, confident and yet cautious with a sense of his own mortality and with a burning will to live.
When he had returned home for the summer, he hadn't known what to think or do. His Gran had been absolutely silent and not spoken a word to him on the way but the moment he had stepped inside she had hugged him hard as she could almost as if he would disappear anytime. Then he realized that all his family, relatives, as well as Grans friends were there and they were all looking at him with pride in their eyes. Why, even Rufus Scrimgeur, his gran's cousin, was there and he was the Head of the Aurors. After a few minutes they all sat down and he told them what exactly had taken place at the DOM. It seems the Death Eaters had been quite through in their work and had completely disabled the security and recording devices at the Ministry, hence why no one had responded in spite of all the unforgivables thrown around by the Death Eaters. It also made one heck of a problem for the Ministry investigators since every thing was jumbled up resulting in only confusion. After a hearty lunch with everyone, during which many of them had taken the opportunity to talk to him, he had retired with his Gran and uncles to the parlor accompanied by old Griselda Marchbanks and Derrick Green. Green, now quite old, had been the head of the Auror training dept. He was a very active person who in his youth had been a contemporary of Prof. Flitwick in the World Dueling Championships. Even now, he spent a large part of his time at the Ministry training new Aurors in combat readiness and as an advisor.
After praising him for a few minutes, Green had announced before everyone that if Neville wished, he himself would see to tutoring Neville in combat magic and dueling. Neville had been shocked as had his family. Derrick Green himself was offering to teach him, there was no way he would be refusing that. So Green had advised him that he would be sending a schedule of all the things Neville would have to do every day and he would also send him notes on the spells he would teach him so that he could prepare before hand. Green himself would arrive in the evening for a couple of hours of actual training. His gran had been extremely pleased with while his great uncle had been ready show all sorts of new plants he had acquired. However he suddenly remembered that his wand, his fathers's wand was broken and so he approached his grandmother about it. But she had only smiled and told him to get ready. A mystified Neville had been led to Ollivandrs in Diagon ally and to his great surprise, he had received his own BLOOD WAND.
Neville could still remember the feel of the wand when he first held. It was 11 & 3/4 inch wand made of oak. The handle was made of purified silver with a deep blue diamond in the thumb depression and core was a flower called the 'Tiger Lily' and a single feather of a coalt all dipped in his blood and powderd nails of a particularly ferocious bowtruckle. The oak wood meant endurance and the silver was a metal to represent power. The diamond acted as a secondary focus to strengthen spells and was also a superb focus for elemental magic. The core with Tiger Lily flower and a coalt feather was a surprise. Tiger Lily was extremely dangerous magical plant whose flower was an extremely sought after item both as an ingredient and for it powerful poison. The coalt was a deadly, feathered magical snake from the Americas, both poisonous and beautiful. When asked what it meant, the creepy old man had given him a beatific smile and told his gran that Neville was full of surprises and had an unexpected strength in him.
Nonetheless it was a very, very powerful wand and Neville took full advantage of the Ministry exemption, using his wand in every possible way. It responded to his magic like nothing else and he literally leapfrogged through his magical training with Green.
Another surprise had been from his gran who had started to teach him about the duties and responsibilities of a Lord since she had informed him that he would be assuming that mantle when he became 16. It was something that he had not even thought about since everyone including himself had assumed that she would continue to be the regent of the house. When he had told her that, she had replied,
"Neville, you are the rightful Lord of the House and you have proven you have the strength to wield the power that comes with it. Moreover the High Council will be meeting this year for the first time in as many decades and you as a Lord must represent us all rather than just a regent. I also think Neville that your friend will be most happy to see someone he can depend on over there."
And now nearly 25 days later, he decided to write to Harry and see what he was doing or perhaps see if there was anything he could help with. He liked Harry and his family had been very insistent that he contact him soon. His gran too had been somewhat anxious to talk to him for some reason. Though he didn't understand it, his gran had said that no letters were reaching Harry and if they were then he was not replying to them.
With that it mind, a pensive looking Neville Longbottom walked back to his manor house for a light snack and some refreshment. Later that night he decided that he would be penning that letter to Harry. He really needed to speak to him about many things and it would be better if he could do it face to face.
She sat facing them in the beautiful garden where the very trees sang their songs and magic flowed like an unseen river through it all. Decades ago she had come to them with her vision and they had understood and given her support but the future is never completely certain. They knew what would happen but not how and so they had watched and waited, looking for an opportunity when they could step in and show their hand. They had to be careful and plan everything over and over but now they were certain. The time would be soon and they had decided on a course of action which would be most beneficial to him as well as them. For they after all prized their privacy and secrecy. Thus it would start and the magic would be diverted from every other purpose to do a deed that would rival the greatest magical feats of even the great kingdom of 'Atlantis' itself.
However it wasn't all done. The pieces were moving but she couldn't be sure of them. What they were attempting to do was dangerous, more dangerous than any other ever attempted, yet it was required, it was necessary. They were decided on their course, now there was no turning back. She hopped to all that was that she had seen correctly. What was to happen would happen, for the better or for the worse.
AN; Hi guys. Long time now. After reading the number of reveiws, I decided to stop being an ass and start updating again. I might be slow but it will be there. I will try, try to get next chapter up by next month. Seez ya. Do you reveiw please.