No Need for Salvation
By Shadow Fiend
Disclaimer: I claim no rights to the Harry Potter books which are the creation of J.K. Rowling and further disclaim any rights to the movies based upon the aforementioned fiction. My work is merely an extension of the material presented and will receive no monetary compensation or gratification, it is written merely for my and my reader's pleasure.
Hundreds of eyes flashed to the front of the Great Hall as the door swung open with a dramatic bang. Students and teachers alike averted their eyes to the front, expecting a late student, or perhaps a displeased Professor Snape. What they saw would change the course of their lives forever.
It was the beginning of another term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was also the height of Voldemort's return to power, having regained his body three years hence. Seventh year Gryffindor, Hermione Granger was the newly named Hogwarts Head Girl and her boyfriend Ron stood as Head of the Prefects. Slytherin Draco Malfoy held the position of Hogwarts Head Boy though his mysterious absence on the train had been duly noted by both of the aforementioned and numerous whispers as to his whereabouts had circulated throughout the hall from the moment of arrival.
It was an age of darkness for the Wizarding World, though Hogwarts remained in relative isolation from the decimation that took place outside its boundaries. At the moment, the war was at a standstill. Voldemort did not possess the support to move further with his plans and Dumbledore did not possess the strength to kill him. It was a standstill, with a dangerously powerful wizard heading either side and hundreds of families being shredded in the process.
Gradually, the "light" side was losing hope. It was inevitable really. When Harry Potter had disappeared from his relatives house at the age of four it had not seemed so dire to find the savior of the Wizarding World. Now, when they needed him the most, the integral figurehead for the Light, they did not possess the manpower to hunt for him and few were able to retain the hope that he was still alive.
Still, Hogwarts had somehow managed to keep its innate innocence intact. Few spoke of the troubles outside Hogwart's walls and the inter-House rivalries had come to a virtual halt, each house in quiet agreement not to belittle the sanctity of the ancient walls. Neville Longbottom and Blaise Zabini had possessed a large hand in that.
Each were somewhat of an outcast in their own Houses. Neville's Gryffindor dorm mates, though fond of the clumsy boy, whispered amongst themselves that perhaps he did not possess the courage that a Gryffindor should possess. Blaise's Slytherin house mates looked upon the quiet and studious boy with silent suspicion. Where was the cunning worthy of a Slytherin? Where was the sly nature, the lies and deceit? Eventually, the two had come together, bonded in a common cause, and had helped to break down the walls of inter-House feuding, proving, finally, that it was possible for the House's to get along.
Draco Malfoy had, surprisingly, also played a major role. With the rise of the Dark Lord, all eyes had turned to the Malfoy heir in quiet inquiry. Every person had wondered the same thing: where do Draco Malfoy's loyalties lie? Malfoy had surprised everyone, when, a day before the Slytherin was supposed to receive his Dark Mark, he walked into Diagon Alley, stood at the entrance of Flourish and Botts and proclaimed his loyalty to the Light side. Malfoy's announcement spurred a mass conversion of many dark supporters, turning the tides in the Light's favor for a short amount of time.
Draco had also faced the consequences for his loyalties. The Dark Lord had put a bounty upon his head, promising a position at his right hand to any witch or wizard willing to capture the Malfoy. His father, in shame, had attempted to disown his son, but his recent incarceration and subsequent escape had made it impossible to file the paperwork or receive legal consent. So Malfoy was still a Malfoy, though never likely to return home. Fortunately, the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore's mythical protection agency, had offered the Slytherin security and safe passage in honor of his courageous act and an agreement that the seventh year would relay information he had been privy too during his brief period in the Dark Lord's circle of trust.
Sirius Black had shocked everyone when he escaped from Azkaban four years ago, and awed thousands when he appeared months later with Peter Pettigrew in tow, proving his innocence and, at the same time, achieving vengeance as he watched Pettigrew's soul sucked out by the Dementors. In restitution for his undeserved incarceration, Black had received five million galleons and his former position of 2nd in command in the ranks of the Aurors. Since, Black's merciless campaign to find his godson had frustrated the Department for Magical Defense to no ends, though his unceasing determination had invoked respect in the Head of the Department, Amelia Bones.
It had been a long couple of years for the side of the Light and they were in need of some much desired relief.
Back to the Present
Two figures stood framed in the doorway, cloaks billowing around them in much the manor the resident Potions Master, who, in fact, sat at the Head Table staring at the two with an unwonted expression of surprise evident on his face.
The first man stood tall, at a height of six foot or so, and the hood of his dark cloak was down, revealing startling features to a gaping student body and staff. His face was angular, and his piercing violet eyes were pulled back in a slight crescent shape, hinting of a distinctly Asian ancestry. His dirty blonde hair was pulled into a ponytail and fell mid-back, leaving his face to open view. His lips were thin and pulled taut in what appeared to be disapproval, though for what reason wasn't readily apparent. His nose was long and his nostrils were flared as he glared back at those staring at him.
The second figure was shorter, perhaps just past 5'5", and was smaller as well, though his structure could not be predicted because of the large cloak he donned. His hood, unlike his companions, was up, obstructing the view of his face, and he looked downward, outright refusing to meet the eyes of any of those who observed him.
Both men's cloaks were of an interesting design, and it was highly unlikely that they had been constructed in England. They were black, but flared out widely at the bottom and at the sleeves. The neck was high collared but made so that it flared at the neck and underneath they both wore tight fitting black pants and shirts. They looked to be of the Romanian fashion perhaps, or maybe even of the Russians, who's tastes had been distinctly abstract recently.
It was not, however, the clothes, which struck the most fascination as the two men began to walk across the frozen hall towards the staff table, but the loud clanging sound which brought all eyes to the floor and connected with a foot long chain which bound the smaller man's combat booted feet together.
The taller man stopped abruptly, grabbing his companions upper arm and forcing him to a standstill. His violet eyes flashed fiercely at a Hufflepuff first year who stood stockstill in the center of the aisle between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables. His arms were full of sweets which he had obviously filched from the Gryffindors but had not had time to bring back to his table before the two men had arrived on the scene. Now, he squeaked at the sudden attention, dropping the food and diving back to his seat. The snacks disappeared before they even hit the floor. The man snorted slightly in contempt, and, still gripping the other's forearm tightly, propelled him forward to stand, finally, before the staff table.
It was then, in the still silent hall, quiet perhaps, for the longest time in the history of Hogwarts, that the Headmaster seemed to come out of his self-induced shock. He stood abruptly, smiling gaily and nodded his head at the two who stood before him. "Ambassador, it is a pleasure to meet your acquaintance this fine evening."
"And you, Headmaster," the man said, bowing his head slightly in respect. His voice was soft, but could be heard throughout the hall. His accent was rich, but not easily placed. Then he turned his head to the Headmaster left and made a formal bow, "Lord Snape."
Severus Snape, who had watched this entire display in an unusual silence of shock, suddenly shook himself out of it as a more characteristic expression of annoyance crossed his features. "It is 'Professor' at Hogwarts, Arminius, as you are well aware."
Murmurs erupted across the room at the revelations that Snape recognized, knew this man, that this 'Arminius' and called the Potions Master 'Lord', and that he was, apparently an ambassador. The talking died down enough just in time for the hall to hear Arminius' placid response.
"Old habits are hard to break my Lord," he said, but a cunning smirk played at his lips.
Before his hot-tempered colleague could respond, Professor Dumbledore stepped in, "Too true, my friend, too true. Is this him?" he asked, changing topics abruptly and gesturing to the man standing on Arminius' left.
"Kree," Arminius replied in affirmation, the foreign term rolling gracefully off his tongue. "That it is."
"And were such precautions–," here Dumbledore paused to gesture widely at the fetters binding the smaller man's feet, "–really necessary?"
Arminius dropped his gaze to his young charge. "How many times did you try to run on the way here?"
The figure said nothing, merely shifting his feet slightly, but otherwise did not respond. Arminius growled in annoyance. "You will answer me when I address you," he rumbled. His free hand reached over to grab his companion's cheek, forcing it up and consequently forcing the hood down.
Immediately, chaos erupted across the Great Hall at the young man's appearance. Ebony hair fell to his shoulder's in spiky waves, framing an ovular face. Two sparkling emerald eyes gazed fiercely out from a tanned face. The youth possessed striking features really, handsome at least, with flush pouting lips turned down in a frown, and strong cheekbones. Most notably, however, were the two scars accentuated upon his features. One was a star shaped scar on his left cheek, six lines running in different directions to form an astral figure, with one tip at the base of his eye running down diagonally and disappearing into his hair at the bottom of his cheek. The other one, however, was one that all in the hall immediately recognized. A lightning bolt on his forehead.
"Harry Potter?" questioned the students amongst themselves. "But...he disappeared when he was four, he hasn't been seen since. It must be someone who looks like him. Yeah that's it. But he has the lightning bolt scar..."
Arminius' cutting voice quieted the whisperers as they strained to hear what would happen next. "I asked you how many times you tried to run on the way here boy."
"Paq," came his quiet mutter, his voice thick and heavy with emotion, though his fierce eyes and stolid face portrayed nothing.
Arminius snorted. "Surely not," he sneered disbelievingly.
"Paq," the scarred man insisted, shifting his stance defensively and wrenching his face away from the offending hand while simultaneously pulling out of his grip. Arminius made to grab for him again when his attention was diverted by the Headmaster.
"Does he speak English?" Dumbledore inquired pleasantly, though his twinkling eyes showed disapproval as well as curiosity.
The man scoffed. "Of course. It's my understanding that all the boys are trained in virtually every world language. To my knowledge, he speaks English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, my mother-tongue, and, as strange as it may seem–Gaelic–fluently, though he most likely has the rudimentary knowledge to understand most any other."
"A remarkable achievement," Dumbledore said warmly, smiling benignly at the teen, though he received no response.
"I believe you are being complimented, Maverick," Arminius said, shaking the silent youth. "Is it impossible for you to show some manners?"
Maverick swatted the hand shaking him away defensively, but turned politely to the Headmaster and bowed his head, "Riky, axim," he said in a tone which suggested respect, even if most of the hall couldn't translate the words. Dumbledore could though, or at least, he smiled kindly and nodded.
"Perhaps we could continue this in my office, Ambassador?" Dumbledore suggested, but Arminius shook his head.
"No thank you sir, I'm just here to make the delivery, I'm expected back at the embassy by half-night."
"Yes of course," Dumbledore said acquiescently. "Is there anything especially important that we need to know before you are on your way?"
Arminius' violet eyes turned to stone. "He's a feisty one, so be on your toes. I guarantee you he will try to run as soon as I leave. I'd suggest you keep him under constant supervision and tie him down at night, else wise he won't be there in the morning. I'll leave the chains if you like."
"That won't be necessary, thank you," Dumbledore said politely, though his tone suggested warning.
"Do as you wish," Arminius shrugged. "But beware, he's Excalibur trained and their type aren't ones to be taken lightly. I doubt he has qualms about violence and he excels at magic. You, as strong as you are, may not be able to control him."
"Thank you, Ambassador," Dumbledore said after a moment, "I will be sure to keep that in mind. You will find a thestral at the entranceway to take you to the embassy."
Arminius turned heel and headed for the door. Then, almost as if it was an afterthought, he turned back and waved his hands, making the chains disappear. Immediately a light surrounded the boy, and magic poured out from him. A moment later it died down and Arminius said lightly, "I had blocked his magic, but since you seem so sure of yourselves, I'll allow you to deal with it." Then he was gone, and the Hall was left staring at the one remaining.
Maverick stood absolutely still for about a minute after Arminius disappeared, his eyes focused on the wall right over the Headmaster's head. Around him, student's had regained momentum, conversing excitedly amongst themselves, though all eyes were still fixed to the Head Table. Dumbledore was silent, seemingly trying to figure out what to say and beside him Snape was fuming.
Then, all of a sudden, Maverick turned on his heel and ran, just as Arminius had predicted he would. The headmaster returned to his faculties at once. "Stupefy," he shouted at the boy who had just reached the door, but Maverick rolled away from the jet of red light.
"Stop," the headmaster commanded, his voice grave. "Let us talk. I do not want to hurt you."
Maverick rose to a defensive crouch, and all of a sudden there was a wand in his hand. "Stupefy," he shouted at the Headmaster in return, and grabbed the handle to the door as the Headmaster was forced to construct a shield. Before he could turn it however, a hiss of pain erupted from Maverick's lips as the handle burned him. Cursing, the boy turned, facing a very irate Snape and a stern McGonagall who were fast approaching. "Reli Exoculum," he shouted out, and a white light surrounded him as a shield. Ignoring the Professors behind him who were now pounding on the somehow solid shield, he turned his attention to the door in front of him, allowing a string of Latin to escape from his lips.
He hadn't been chanting long when he suddenly felt a shift in his shield and cursed to himself wildly. He knew that the Hogwarts Headmaster was strong, but there were very few who could break through that particular shield–it was the strongest he knew! He felt a strong tug and his shield dissipated entirely.
He shifted his body, and all of a sudden he held two wands, one pointed directly at Professor McGonagall's head, another at Hermione Granger's. The rest of the hall, it seemed, or at least the staff and the seventh years, had their wands trained on him.
"Drop the wands boy," Snape commanded maliciously. "You are clearly outnumbered."
"I think not," Maverick said, speaking for the first time of his own volition. "I could kill both before you could even flick your wands in the proper incantation to stun me. I believe you English call this a stalemate."
"As I said before," Dumbledore interjected, "we do not want to hurt you Mr. Potter."
A couple of wands faltered at the name, and surprised titters ran through the hall.
Maverick's voice shook. "It was under your orders that I was kidnaped from my home, that I was chained, and forced away from my loved ones by a madman, that my magic was bound and I was given no choice. I do believe that constitutes harm."
Stunned eyes shot to the Headmaster at these accusations but Dumbledore just gave a weary sigh. "Surely you understand the state of affairs? I did not have a choice."
"There is always a choice," Maverick breathed, his accent well defined in the quiet hall.
"This is the place where your parents went to school Harry," Dumbledore continued. "The place where you were supposed to come. This is where you belong."
"It is not your right to decide that," Maverick yelled. "And you're wrong. I will never belong here."
Dumbledore sighed. Then his eyes caught his Potions Master's. "Severus, do it."
The Potions Master smirked and withdrew his wand. Then, in calm, succulent tones he spoke. "By the power invested in me as a member of the Noble House of Snape, so decreed by Merlin and witnessed by Arthur, I command you to drop your wands."
Maverick's face shone with shock, then hurt, then disbelief. His wands slipped out of his hands. Wands across the Great Hall returned to their sheaths in quiet relief. Dumbledore waved his wand and the two dropped wands flew across to him, which he drew into his cloak of moon and stars. Then he sheathed his own wand.
"It was not my desire to have you a prisoner, Harry," the Headmaster said gently, "but I cannot have you leave. It is my hope that within time you will come to see Hogwarts as your home. That you will find a love for this new world you have been placed in. Until that time, however, I am afraid that I will have to comply with Arminius' suggestions." He turned his gaze back on the Potions Master. "He will be under your supervision Severus. I expect that you can keep him grounded?"
"He will not disobey me, Headmaster."
"Good." The headmaster pulled something out from his cloak. "You will need to wear these at all times, Harry." It was two golden bands just wide enough to fit snugly over someone's wrists. Maverick bulked. "They will ensure that you remain within the boundaries of Hogwarts. If you try to go past the edge of the Forbidden Forest, you will be stopped," he did not say how, but the threat was clear. "They are also enabled with a tracking device Mr. Potter, so you will not be able to give Professor Snape 'the slip', as they like to say."
Maverick backed away in panic. "No," he gasped. "I will not be your prisoner." He grasped at the still locked door behind him, not even registering the burning pains resulting from his attempts. This type of thing had never happened before. Sure, he wasn't really free at Excalibur but he wasn't a prisoner either...he just wasn't free to leave. He was used to being the most powerful, and this experience was highly disconcerting. If only the one man hadn't been a fucking catalyst of Merlin, this wouldn't be a problem.
"Halt," the aforementioned man ordered, and Maverick allowed his hands to fall to his sides, panting slightly. The Professor took the offered bands and approached Maverick slowly. The youth cringed and backed up hard against the door, but he was not so brazen as to question the authority or fight this noble.
"Your hands Potter," the man said, grimacing distastefully at him as he did so.
Maverick closed his eyes as he silently offered his hands, feeling the entire time, as though he was voluntarily giving up his freedom. The bands slipped across his slim hands that tightened to fit snug upon his wrists. Maverick stared at them blankly, suddenly resigned.
"I am truly sorry Harry," the Headmaster said, sounding for all the world as though he meant it. "I did not want it to be this way."
Maverick did not respond, merely hung his head as the dark, dangerous Potions Master shoved him forcefully out the now open door.