Disclaimer: Harry Potter and associated characters belong to J.K. Rowling. I am using them without permission but am not making any money from this endeavour. This disclaimer applies to this and all further chapters of Weapon. Characters you don't recognise belong to me, as does the plot. No using without permission. (Hypocritical, I know.)
Archiving: certainly, so long as I get credit, although tell me so that I can list the archive so that everyone knows where to find stuff.
Warnings: Sex, blood, gore, torture... um... Oh yeah... almost forgot, this is slash, shounen-ai, yaoi, homosexual, gay or whatever you want to call it. If you don't like or tolerate, don't read.
This is the sequel to 'Possession' and starts off almost directly from where 'Possession' ends. It's not entirely necessary to read 'Possession', but it would probably help enormously. It is still HP/LV but for the moment, I'm concentrating on advancing their story. Enjoy.
Weapon (Possession Chapter LII)
Chapter I - Reflections of Light
Dumbledore sat in his office watching flickering flames. Fawkes was crooning softly and the song was comforting. He needed it now, needed all the comfort he could get. Outside the night was cold, cloudless and the light from the stars glittered harshly reminding him that no matter how well things seemed to be going there was always a chance that something would go wrong.
He didn't need the reminder. He never needed the reminder.
His blue eyes were tired.
He supposed he should be sitting with Harry but at the moment Poppy was treating the boy and both Remus and his Godfather were attending him. Nothing was going to go near Harry for a while.
After Hagrid had brought Harry to the castle, they'd managed to get him into a private section of the infirmary without anyone knowing, and he had used his authority to spell bind both the Aurors and Hagrid into silence. They'd searched the area Harry had appeared in but had found nothing. As Hagrid had claimed, the boy had just appeared, obviously apparating into the Hogwarts wards.
The Aurors had choked on the thought of the amount of power necessary to do that but he had just nodded, knowing that Harry had that power and more. Hagrid hadn't even cared, not about that anyway, he only cared that the young man was safe. Still it had fallen to Dumbledore to calm the Aurors, reassuring them that everything was okay and spinning for them the blatant lie that Harry had only been able to do it because he was very stressed and had called forth the wild magic unconsciously.
Dumbledore looked upwards, closing his eyes, stroking Fawkes.
So much had changed in the last twenty-four hours and he needed to be alone to consider everything. He had been planning the battle against Tom for decades and his plans took everything into consideration. There had been set backs; he had never expected to lose both Lily and James. There had been changes; he hadn't anticipated the complete ineptitude of the Ministry but never that there been a time when he thought he had got everything wrong.
He had never expected Tom's forces to be so strong.
They should have lost last night.
He had never expected to see rebellion within the ranks of Death Eaters.
That was the only reason they hadn't lost last night, the only reason they had this chance to train, to fight but he had thought Tom would have kept a closer eye on them, kept his forces loyal only to him or destroyed the Rebellion long before it impacted upon him.
He had never expected the Vampires to get involved.
They had never before shown interest in the squabbles of Wizards, remaining aloof and powerful, eternally evil and assured of their own ability. They had always watched, even when approached, they would only train a select few in the Dark Arts but never interfered themselves, no matter what happened. It was understood that if, when wizards controlled their forces well enough, then the ancient enmity would be renewed.
He had never expected the Aurors to be so ineffective.
They were trained by the best, they could fight, they were skilful but their magic was weak and against an opponent who knew all their spells, it was a test of strength, and they had been found sorely lacking. It could be corrected but it would take time.
He had never expected Tom to develop feelings for Harry.
The torn robes, broken bones and lingering effects of the cruciatus curse hadn't hidden all the evidence. He was sure, that if Tom had willed it, there would not have been a mark on the boy but the Dark Lord wanted them to know. Tom wanted them to know the full extent of his power that despite everything that was happening he still had time to mete out more personal torture.
Of course Tom probably didn't think about it like that and by the marks on Harry he had taken some care.
Crucio had left its mark, so had the more mundane beatings but while there was semen there was no evidence beyond that of sexual assault. The Dark Lord had prepared Harry's body properly before he had raped him or else he'd used a potion. There was no bleeding or tearing. It was a small mercy, one that did not in anyway make the act forgivable but at least the physical pain of rape was not something Harry would have to experience again.
So where did he go from here?
Everyone had to regroup now. Elliot had been pushing the virtues of the Order and it would be up to him to make sure that when the Ministry came looking they were ready. They would need more than strength to fight and if the Ministry found them lacking...
Dumbledore suppressed a shiver. If the Ministry found weakness within the Order, Tom would find it faster and be far more ruthless. They would have to hold a full meeting soon, so that he could outline the future.
Tom... He too would be regrouping after Lucius' Rebellion. No doubt he would purge the Death Eaters and a new wave of recruitment would start, together with a new wave of terror. But that would give the Order the time he needed.
Blue eyes opened, looking back into the flames. As soon as Harry was recovered enough to walk on his own he would be inducted into the Order, the dangers of him knowing too much were now far outstripped by the dangers of not being able to protect him. He could only give thanks to the powers that be, that they had seen fit to return Harry to him again.
Harry needed it. If he was still calling upon the wild magic, he needed it more than ever, or was his apparation into the Hogwarts wards indicative of the ancient power he had inherited. Dumbledore shook his head, looking back into the flames as Fawkes trilled, butting his fire plumage into the ancient hand. Either way, Harry needed to be trained. Only he could become the weapon and from what the boy had said to him, beaten and battered, half conscious and in so much pain that the old wizard had been surprised he could even speak, the boy was willing to become that weapon, would sacrifice himself to see the Dark Lord fall. At least he hadn't been seduced by Tom's charisma.
"You will not die, Harry," Dumbledore murmured. "Your power will not allow it, not unless you are taking him with you, but you will have to sacrifice everything else. I'm sorry, more sorry than you will ever know, but this is the only way."
Fawkes blinked ruby eyes but nodded, as he trilled his question.
Dumbledore looked down at the phoenix. "Yes, it is unfair for us to place our expectations on him, to expect all our mistakes to be rectified by the following generation but there is no choice. I do not expect him to forgive me Fawkes, I do not expect him to like me and I will not be surprised if as soon as Voldemort is vanquished he turns his wand on me but Harry is the only one who can do this and I will accept whatever punishment he inflicts for doing this to him."
The bird nodded again, crooning sadly.
"I know Fawkes, I know," he whispered before becoming lost in his thoughts again.
Harry needed training and he would provide that training but by the time he was done, the boy would hate him and would most probably be scorned by the rest of wizarding society simply because he would be unstoppable, and so powerful. Wizards were not known, after all for their acceptance of those far more powerful than themselves, not unless they were convinced there was no threat, or unless they knew they could control it. But Harry would be an uncontrollable threat and that would be unacceptable. If they were stupid they would try to kill him, and that would be a huge mistake. If they actually learned something during the battles that were to come, they would try to recruit him and that was the best outcome he could hope for.
There would only be a select few who would accept him without seeing the power.
Albus shook his head, no matter what happened, he would do his best to enlarge that select few as much as possible. It would be the least he could do and it could be the only way of stopping Harry from becoming the next Voldemort.
He deliberately turned his thoughts away from the young Gryffindor, upon which so much depended. He could make plans but he would need to speak with Harry before anything solid could be determined. He would not make the same mistake as he had made with Tom, even if he still didn't fully understand what had driven the promising young man into the Dark Arts. No matter what Tom said, he had done everything he could.
For centuries they had been the Wizarding World's first line of defence. They had also been the last line of defence for Dark Lord had ever managed to drive them so far back. But Voldemort was not just a Dark Lord, and his forces had proven themselves to be well trained, and well organised, almost ridiculously so. And in proving it, they shown how badly defended the Ministry was. Gindlewald's forces had never even gotten close but it appeared Tom had learnt from the mistakes of the past.
The Aurors would need to be trained. Their skills were not lacking. They knew the spells, they knew how to fight but they could not translate their skills into strength. They were unsure of themselves and after recent events, they were not likely to be gaining any moral soon. He would have to work on that as they could not be allowed to continue as they were. They needed to fight the Death Eaters and win. That was the only way to give them the confidence boost but until then perhaps combined training with the Order would help.
Yes, that was the only thing he could give them. The Ministry would have to work out their own plans and the Department of Mysteries Unspeakables would probably initiate their own training plans.
They would need training as well. As much as it would cause problems with the Ministry Remus needed to return. He was the only teacher capable of progressing all the year levels through at least basic practical self defence against the Dark Arts, and everyone would need that as quickly as possible. Although... If he sold it right... He could always make the pitch to the Ministry that showing a willingness to employ and support Werewolves would serve to help them resist the inevitable advances from the Dark Lord.
And right now, they needed to deprive Tom of every ally they could. It couldn't be like 15 years ago. They could not afford that arrogance.
There were precious few they could call upon now.
They were using just about every resource in the Isles and while they could call upon Europe, they could only expect a limited response. The European Ministries just weren't capable of fighting well, they had never been as developed as the Isles. Oh, they were competent enough in upholding the decrees of the International Confederation of Wizards, and with dealing with their own ghouls and horrors, but when it came to large scale warfare within their ranks, they had only a limited conception about how to fight. They looked to the Isles for guidance.
Western Europe would help as best they could. Eastern Europe was the vanguard in the battle against the Vampires and was too intimately involved with that to fight, even if they wanted to.
Asia was almost a complete unknown. Well, a complete provincial unknown. They had never shown the slightest interest in the politics of their brethren but equally they had never displayed any internal disputes. No matter what was happening they presented the same neutral, exquisitely polite face to the rest of the world and Dumbledore had a suspicion that they would continue to do so for the foreseeable future, no matter who won this conflict. Their motto was unashamedly, ignore us and we will ignore you. There would be no help coming from there, but neither could the Dark Lord expect their support.
Africa was worse. Magic there was almost as splintered as the Muggle Nations. They were capable of some highly skilful and devastating charms but were so tied up with internal tribal conflicts that they barely heeded the rest of the world. Even Egypt, with its ancient magical culture was so tied up in preserving the past that they could barely see the future. The southern wizards were worse. Again, no help would be forthcoming.
Which left the Americas and Oceania...
North America had a powerful wizarding presence and they would sense the need to help out their European counterparts for if Europe was to fall to the Dark Lord they would find themselves next on his target list. The Order had some members there but recruitment was hindered by the presence of their own equivalent Order. Still, he could expect some help. If nothing else they could advise on the best methods of concealment from Muggles since they, of all wizarding societies took great pride in their ability to hide and that applied to both the native and immigrant wizards.
Central and South America were much like Africa. They weren't quite as bad but they were more concerned with showing that they were better than their northern counterparts. Perhaps that was a way of recruiting them though... Dumbledore frowned. Yes, perhaps that could be used to his advantage although with the promises Tom was likely to make, he couldn't rule out some of them throwing their lot in with the Dark Lord.
Oceania was splintered like Africa but at least the factions worked together when it was in their interest. The population was sparse but they would help. They, like the Americas remembered their roots. Well, they did when it suited them.
As a last resort though, they could use both places as a refugee point, shipping out those who were too young or too old to fight.
NO! It was not going to come to that, Dumbledore thought firmly.
It was not going to come to that.
He would not let it.
He ran his aged hand over Fawkes again, drawing strength from the bird. His plumage was as beautiful as ever and right now the phoenix was in his prime. Strong, powerful, with a song that would give courage to anyone.
"I'll need your power as well," the ancient wizard said softly.
Fawkes responded, thrilling sympathetically and spreading his wings in a traditional display. The mottled fire patterns seemed to move in the uncertain light, making the bird even more beautiful.
"We'll need the Unicorns as well, if they can be persuaded, and the Centaurs. Everyone and everything that can fight against the darkness must join together or I fear all will be lost."
Another quiet croon conveyed the question.
"Yes," Dumbledore couldn't help but smile slightly. "Even Hagrid's pets if they will help, then we will fight with them."
The bird looked up at him, slightly reproachful that he had not said the most important thing before he flew to his pitch, singing kindly once more.
"You are right. Harry is the Key. Without him, we cannot fight, and without him there is no hope for victory. We will fight Voldemort, but Harry will be the one who wins. He is the only one who can."