Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, or anything affiliated with it. If I did, Harry wouldn't be nearly as big a pussy as he is in canon.
Author's Notes: This story is written in response to jon3776's challenge "Seven Queens of Darkness, Seven Ladies Of Light". This story is as much mine as it is Jon's, as he helped greatly with the initial ideas and the base plot. If you haven't read his works, do so now, you won't be disappointed. Thanks already to the readers, because if you're seeing this, then you're taking time out of your life to hopefully enjoy something I'll provide.
A war, waged by a madman who knew nothing but the hate of others.
A war that has begun to slowly spread like wildfire throughout the world. Consuming and destroying.
Harry has lost many he truly loved, but in their stead he pledged justice.
As well as revenge.
But what happens when Voldemort mutely walks by the lines of morale, and desecrates that which Harry most cherishes?
Could you kill the ones who you so longed to see again?
Could you kill the people you love most on this earth?
Family who you've lost once already?
Even worse, would you become that which you hate most, to save a world that might already be lost? To force others to your power for the sake of triumph?
To fail is to die.
To succeed is to live.
But in the end, will you be a heroic Light Wizard?
Or another bloodthirsty Dark Lord?
Thalarian T.M. Productions Presents:
Harry Potter and the
Queens Of Darkness, Ladies Of Light
Epic Prologue: Ass To The Wall
Harry Potter was once told that in the world there was good, and that there was evil. Another time, he was told there was only power, and those who wished to seek it.
A few years later, he would find what the world truly consisted of.
The screwed, and the fucked.
At least that's how he felt. In this day in age it was hard to think otherwise. Four years since the entire Wizarding World had steadily crumbled into chaos and rioting. Four years since his life had begun it's terrible descent into unadulterated anguish and pain. Ripped apart, piece by agonizing piece.
Four simple years after the fateful fall of Albus Dumbledore, by the wand of Severus Snape, open war had been declared by the Dark Lord on everything and everyone. Magical, Muggle, and creature that didn't join his side. Nothing was sacred, and everything was a target. Muggle and Wizarding cities across all of Europe had fallen under brash, insurgent like attacks from the Dark Lord's forces. The coming months were seen with tension and aggression on both sides of the war.
It was nothing compared to the years that would follow, and it was a dream come true when placed alongside the last seven months.
Harry grunted as he sat up in the cot like bed that he had set up for himself inside the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Reaching over, he picked up the small canteen set on the ground beside it. He drank softly, throat dry, no doubt from the cold air inside of the old castle. He wiped his mouth on his sleeve, placing the canteen back, and this time pulling up a small bag of dried meat he had been able to squander from a muggle grocery store in what was left of downtown London. There wasn't much of downtown still standing.
It's how most of the Wizarding World was left now. Two years ago had seen one of Voldemort's biggest push in power, attacking the America's, China, Russia, Japan, France, Germany and several other powerful wizard and witch countries. Even though the attacks were swift, with minimal conflict between the Dark Lord's forces and the countries governing bodies, it was enough to put the entire magical world on its toes. It put every police force on guard, and if anything, locked down the world tighter then it had ever been.
It had also shown the world his power, and the weapons he wielded. It worked exactly as he had hoped, drawing the attention of every dark wizard and creature across the entire globe. It wasn't long before reports began to fill into the various governments, having lost track of entire hordes of creatures. Several Vampire, Werewolf, Troll, Orc and Giant clans had gone missing virtually overnight. While the rest of the world puzzled over their disappearance, Harry and the existing Order knew exactly what had happened.
They were answering Voldemort's silent call. They were raising the banner of the Dark Mark, and claiming his campaign as their own.
Harry laid back for awhile, chewing the jerky softly, staring at the night sky that shown through the half obliterated ceiling over the Great Hall. Despite the chill in the air indicating winter, it hadn't started to rain yet, which was just as fine. It saved him the trouble of having to put repellent charms on the giant hole. That in of itself, was far too tedious then he cared for. He swung his legs over the side of the cot, wincing as the cold stone floor met his bare feet. He reached his traveling pack, a muggle backpack Hermione had picked up for him nearly four years ago. He unzipped the sack and pulled out one of the various fruits he had stashed away. A peach.
Her hair. Peach.
Her laughter. 'Is that new shampoo?' Another soft giggle as he tried to get another smell. 'Hey! Come back here! I was enjoying that!' She laughed again as he chased her, trying valiantly to get a hold of her hair again. She danced out of his grasp again, wagging a finger in mock annoyance. 'You have to be a good boy or no..AH! Hahaha!' He had her, spinning her around in the air.
Again, her laughter. Her smell. Her smile.
Harry blinked rapidly, confusion lining his face. He was lost in his own world again. The world where everything was right. The world that should have been. Some sticky substance in his palm brought him back to reality, and he grimaced has he opened his hand, revealing the crushed pulp that was once nothing more then a simple piece of fruit.
A fruit that brought back such terrible memories. A snarl escaped his lips as he threw what was left of the offending food towards the far end of the Hall.
This whole fucking place was nothing more then terrible memories.
With a small, wandless blast of magic, his hand was clean and he shook his head, moving back over to his bed. He threw himself down in a huff, his hands going behind his head.
Dumbledore had given him a mission before he died. Find the Horcruxes, destroy them, destroy Voldemort. Bring Ron and Hermione along for backup, and make sure no one knew. It was simple, clean, and elegant. Or at least, it should have been.
They had left school a few days after the funeral, Ron and Hermione promising that they would be at his house soon, a couple of days at most. At the time, Harry had been happy seeing his two best friends budding attraction that they were finally admitting to themselves. In a way it was comforting, knowing that possible love could exist in the darkest of times. The plan was when they arrived, they would spend a day going over their brief plan and ideas, attend Bill and Fleur's wedding, come back to Harry's, and spend the time until his seventeenth birthday exploring every possible option they had.
The plan didn't even make it that far before it was shot to hell.
Harry had watched solemnly as his relatives had come to pick him up, not really in the mood to deal with their scathing remarks, or attitude towards his 'freakish' ways. Remus, Tonks, Kingsley and Moody had confronted the three muggles before they even reached Harry, vowing that they were to treat him with respect and courtesy, or they would come down on them like all hell had been let loose. Vernon had smiled brightly and wholeheartedly agreed that Harry was 'Entirely welcome in their house, however long he wanted to stay.'
Harry should have known, sensed, even questioned that something about the whole situation was off. Never had his Uncle come close to accepting Harry in Number 4 Privet Drive. Even the Order members that had confronted him, looked at each other in confusion, taking some notice in the change of character that they had experienced the year before when they had spoken to the man. However, Harry had grabbed his things and followed his Aunt and Uncle, Dudley trailing behind, towards the car. When Petunia had turned and asked Harry how his school year had been and whether he had a good time, the Boy-Who-Lived immediately felt odd about the situation, giving the older woman a hesitant reply. Any moment now, he was expecting the the snide comments and the tense atmosphere that would fill the car all the way home.
But it never happened, as her reply was nothing more then a kind smile and a nod of her head before she set herself in the passenger seat. The most shocking turn of events had been Dudley, who had offered nothing more then a pleasant smile as he helped Harry load his belongings in the trunk. If it weren't for the fact that Vernon had called out from the driver seat about beating traffic home, Harry would have stood on that sidewalk all day, waiting for the sky to fall or pigs to fly. Something to show him that the apocalypse still remembered it's part in the destruction of planet Earth.
The beginning of the drive home was pleasant, Harry had to admit. He exchanged small talk with his Uncle, who asked him a few question from his place in the drivers seat. Petunia had begun to discuss something she had read in the paper with Dudley. Harry could hardly bring himself to comprehend what was happening. Did his relatives know what a horrible time he had at school, and were trying to cheer him up? Had they finally accepted him as a human being, and not some freak? No, the change was too drastic, too new. Something was definitely amiss.
Before he even had time to fully asses the situation, Dudley had turned to him, smiling broadly. So broadly, that it made the hairs on the back of Harry's neck stand on end.
'You know, we were going to do this the easy way. But your friend with the magical eye would have caught us before we even had a chance. Oh well, it's more fun doing it like this.'
That statement did nothing more then cause Harry to tense up. It was when Dudley pulled a slim, jeweled dagger from his jacket, Harry finally realize his predicament.
These people weren't his relatives, and whoever they were, they were here to kill him.
Survival instincts kicked in, and Harry shifted backwards, just in time for the knife to pass where his throat had been. Harry quickly reached out, Seeker reflexes coming full circle, and snatched at 'Dudley's hands. The two wrestled in the back seat, fighting for control of the sharp object that had come close to stabbing one of them several times.'Vernon' had barked something from the front and 'Petunia' dived in the back as well, causing Harry to kick and elbow in any direction, doing all he could to keep a hold of part of the dagger's handle. It proved futile as 'Petunia' had managed to squirm behind Harry and pin his arms behind his back. 'Dudley' grinned viciously, tossing the dagger from hand to hand, waiting for the precise moment to plunge it in Harry's exposed chest.
'Don't worry Potter, once you're gone, we'll have plenty of fun wtih your little redheaded girlfriend...'
That had given Harry all the incentive he needed, and without warning, he struck out with both his feet. The impact had knocked the breath out of the larger boy in front of him, causing the knife to drop harmlessly on the back seat. What nobody had accounted for, was the force of the kick sending 'Dudley' into the door frame, catching the door handle. Wizards obviously didn't lock car doors on a normal basis as Harry got nothing more then a look of shock on the fat boys face, before he was sent tumbling out of the now open backseat. The resounding thud and lurch of the car driving over a large body had left no doubt to the imposter's fate.
The car swerved sharply, throwing Harry and it's occupants around violently. They had been driving on a muggle freeway, their speed causing the car to flip suddenly, tumbling on an obvious path of destruction. Harry let loose nothing more then a short startled scream as his entire world became one large collage of sparking and wailing metal, shattered glass, and the distant squeal of brakes on the cars behind them. He barely remembered the sound of exploding glass from behind, a cut-off scream, and the sudden spattering of red and grey ooze on his face.
The car finally slid to a stop, smoke filling the entire cab. Harry coughed violently, blood running thickly in his eyes, his body aching everywhere. He groaned slightly, rolling over on his back in a car that was now quite firmly flipped over. Green eyes opened slowly, glasses lost and aching from the amount of smoke permeating the air, before they landed on what was left of his 'Aunt'. Somewhere during the crash her head had been smashed between the car and the pavement through the blown in window. There was nothing left of her cranium except mangled pieces of shivering meat and a dripping mess.
Harry's eyes remained unfocused as he shifted, wincing as he felt a biting pain in his leg. He'd felt something akin to this before, and was fairly certain his leg was broken. How badly, he couldn't tell, but for the moment he had to get out of the car. He righted himself, hissing as another bout of agony lanced through his side. With the blood and smoke doing nothing more then clog his vision, he let his hand trail down his ribcage, searching for the source of his discomfort. His mind reeled when his hand closed around a large jagged shard of glass. A shard that was quite firmly lodged in his side.
Even despite his throat tightening, Harry could still feel the bile fight it's way up. Only through extreme effort was he able to swallow it down, shifting himself towards one of the blown windows to hopefully make it outside.
He grunted in surprise as a hand clamped over his throat, followed by another. He quickly reached up, clawing weakly against the strangle hold being applied. His body was shifted, and his vision filled with a bloody and broken 'Vernon', who was reaching around from the front seat. Crimson liquid matted what little hair he had on his head, and Harry was almost certain there were teeth missing. 'Vernon' leaned forward, vile breath cascading across Harry's paling face.
One of the hands left his throat, and Harry began to struggle with renewed vigor. By this point though, it was useless. With his entire body aching, and the glass in his side, he didn't have the strength to push away the man holding his throat. But he continued to try, even as he watched the fat man in front of him pull out a wand. The hand around his throat tightened even more, placing the tip of the wooden instrument against his scar.
Harry shot his left hand out and grasped at the man's wrist, trying to redirect his wand. The other searched around vainly inside the upturned vehicle, hoping for something, anything to use to get this maniac off of him. The blurred image of his 'Uncle' just smiled insanely, easily keeping his wand in place
He felt his hand close around something solid, and without thinking he brought it about with what strength he had left.
The jeweled knife stabbed easily into the fat man's throat, his eyes going wide as blood poured from his mouth. His hand released Harry's throat, and the boy took a gasp of air. But the adrenaline didn't stop. With a strangled cry, the Chosen One pulled the knife as hard as he could, tearing it through 'Vernon's jugular with ease.
Harry slumped back, gasping, as his 'Uncle' crashed down face first, choking and gurgling on his own red fluid. Without waiting for anything else, the raven haired boy fell on his stomach, dragging himself through an opening in the backseat.
He immediately felt the cool, late afternoon air hit his face. He placed a hand on the car, the other still firmly clamped around the knife. Hoisting himself up, Harry finally took note of the stopped traffic, muggle civilians standing and staring at the car wreckage in awe and fear. Most of what he saw was blurred, but he could make out the approaching lights of emergency vehicles. His leg almost buckled under the weight applied to it, and his side had long since gone numb.
He blinked stupidly as the last ten minutes blurred past in a shadowy haze. He swayed slightly, knife clattering harmlessly against the ground. He couldn't even struggle as a comforting, yet strong pair of arms wrapped around him, and he felt himself being squeezed as if he were traveling in a tube, half realizing that he was riding along in a side-long Apparation.
The moonlight filtered through the hole in the ceiling, caressing the inside of the Great Hall, providing some illumination other then the few floating candles Harry had set up.
Harry sighed, running a hand through his ever unruly hair. Hedwig should be returning anytime now. Hopefully with some good news that he was waiting on. His thoughts drifted again, playing in his mind like an old time slide show.
It had taken the Ministry weeks to cover everything up. Each of the bodies had been recovered, and the Dark Mark was clearly visible. Nott Sr., Goyle Sr. and an unknown Death Eater were no longer in Voldemort's service.
It had been Remus and Moody who saved him from the wreckage, Apparating him to the safety of 12 Grimmauld Place. The imposter's comment about the 'friend with the magical eye' finally made sense after that. Moody would have easily picked up three wand traces had they carried them into the station, so they had ditched two and left one in the car. What they hadn't planned was Remus' werewolf half picking up their slightly changed scents. Kingsley would later inform him that the true Vernon and Dudley Dursley were found scalped and mutilated in a neighbors backyard. Petunia's body was not found, at least, not at that time. They had been killed the day they were to pick him up.
His ordeal was a dramatic slap into reality, as his friends and the entire Order watched as Madam Pomphrey spent nearly six days bringing him back up. The Daily Prophet had published story after story, most of the headlines running something like "Dark Lord Tries For Chosen One's Life!" or "Boy-Who-Lived Against All Odds!" Despite winning 'Against All Odds', it didn't stop Moody from drilling his arse for leaving his wand in his trunk.
Ginny had spent almost the entire time with him, holding his hand, laying in bed beside him, or just softly stroking his hair. Even after their breakup, she stayed with him as much as possible. All of the Weasley's did. When Ginny would rest, Ron and the Twins would constantly break jokes, trying to keep his spirits light. Charlie would bring him pictures of the dragons in Romania, and sometimes magazines to make sure he didn't get too bored. Bill would sit at his bedside, and just talk about any topic that brought up a conversation. Arthur would smile, and pat him on the shoulder. Molly smothered him with food and care.
Even Hermione, sometimes with Ron, sometimes not, would just sit next to his bed and talk with him. Read him a book or just share a comfortable silence.
One of the biggest shocks had been Fleur and Tonks. When Ginny would fall asleep beside him the two older witches would softly make their way into his room and levitate her back to hers. The two would then return and settle themselves in the overstuffed chairs next to his bed, and just talk to him. Tonks would mainly relay any information the Order had, despite him not being a member. Fleur would ask him about his life at school and the things he had done. A few times Bill or Kingsley would accompany them, and a nice four way conversation would arise.
Remus had been the most pleasant though. Even though his times were rarer then the rest, they were none less heartfelt. He had brought pictures of his parents and more stories of the Marauders terrorizing Hogwarts. It was a priceless time with the werewolf that he held dearly.
Harry sat up from the cot, rubbing furiously at his left eye. He very rarely cried anymore, even when memories like this surfaced. It was part of who he had become. What he had to become. He shifted until he sat on the edge, feet resting gently on the stone floor. Since he had thought about this much, he might as well continue. Better to do it now, in the relative safety of Hogwarts, then at a time when it could get him killed.
Bill and Fleur had pushed the wedding back a few days, until Harry was well enough to attend. He had felt horrible at the time, that his problems had caused the two trouble in planning what was to be their special day. Fleur had merely laughed off his apologies, kissing his cheeks and saying nothing. Bill had been a bit more vocal. You didn't actually think we'd have it without you, did you Harry?
And so it happened, two days after Harry was up and moving. Bill and Fleur became Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. The wedding had been a beautiful affair, both sides of the family coming together in celebration, despite the dark times ahead. Fleur had looked every inch the princess, a beautiful wedding gown, and Bill had seemed happy to even be standing alongside her.
Harry had been in the front row, smiling and clapping with Hermione at his side, watching Ron and Ginny take their parts in the ceremony.
The reception had found everyone dancing and drinking to their hearts content, taking full advantage of the festivities. Harry watched Ginny from a distance, admiring her as she danced with her brothers and other patrons. Laughing as she carried on with Hermione, Luna, and a few other girls who had been invited as well. Seeing her happy, as opposed to the worried and tearful looks she had held the entire time he was recuperating at Grimmauld Place, only solidified his decision to keep her at bay.
Maybe this was the beginning of his anger. Oh, he had experienced anger before, many times in his life. But maybe this was the first time his anger was directed at the world as a whole, rather then being magnified to someone or something. It would be a long time before he truly figured it out.
He pushed his hands in his pockets, stalking away from the reception and towards the small lake that was nestled nearly a mile away. He had thought about everything that had led him to this point. His parents. Hogwarts. Voldemort. Dumbledore. Magic. It had been hard not to think about the things that could have been, had he never been given the bloody scar that rested on his forehead.
That's when a dark realization had descended upon him. The day he fought his relatives' imposter's. He hadn't given it much thought, recovering and distracted with the activity in and out of Grimmauld.
He had killed a man.
Not by accident, or with a spell.
But with his bare hands. Cold, unforgiving, and relentless.
He could recall staring at his hands dumbly, wondering if somehow the blood would suddenly show up. It never came, no matter how long he stared. That's when something even more terrifying made itself known. He had enjoyed it. On some sick and twisted level, he had put his revenge and vengeance into that knife.
His hands shook lightly. This was entirely new territory for him. He'd never felt like this. Never had he felt so comp...
A boom far off in the distance tore his attention away, and he watched, fascinated, as fireworks began to explode in a symphony of colors. They were beautiful, giving the night sky a lovely display of life.
The night sky. He hadn't known it at the time, but he had stood there for nearly five hours, thinking, alone.
That's when he heard the shuffle of feet and the soft sway of fabric.
He turned, and found her looking at him, smiling. The various fireworks illuminated her face, red hair pulled from it's ponytail and flowing freely down her back.
'I know what you're thinking.'
She had known what he was thinking and without any preamble, she held out her arms for him. Wordlessly offering him protection from the demons she knew were desperately trying to break into his psyche. He couldn't even remember walking to her, but before he knew it, he was in her arms. She kissed his eyes, his cheeks, his lips. Whispering how everything was going to be alright.
She ran her hands through his hair, placing a feather light kiss on his scar.
And soon, they were laying in the grass. Her dress long since discarded, his clothes in heap next to them. Her breasts against his chest as he moved against her. Legs wrapped around his torso. Hot breath mingling as their names flowed out. Her heat, her passion, her love. Thinking back, he was surprised no one had come looking for them.
It didn't matter. It had been a special time for both of them. They had walked that small bridge of adolescence into adulthood.
The first of a few precious, special walks they would have.
A soft hoot tore Harry from his revelry. He looked up, not expecting to see anything but knowing Hedwig was there. He held out an arm for her as he heard the familiar sounds of her wings flapping. He had unthinking held out the arm he hated so much. He was about to correct himself and hold up the other, but he could already feel her weight settle itself. He smiled lightly.
Dear Hedwig. She didn't care if it wasn't his real arm anymore. She loved him no matter.
Even if the mithril was a nice platinum color, it didn't help his feelings on it.
Harry waved a hand, canceling the concealment and illusion charms that Hedwig was under. Soft, snow white feathers faded into view, and her eyes stared at him unblinking. It had actually been Padma's idea to start placing their owl's, especially Harry's, under charms to keep them safe. With werewolves and bounty hunters on the prowl, creature's such as owls would be easy to track, even kill. And the last thing they needed was their owls to start giving away their positions. Padma, Marietta, and a few others has developed an anti-scent and chameleon charm, made specifically for their animals. Totally immune to the normal Finite incantation, and long lasting.
Harry removed the small parcel of parchment that was attached to her leg, offering her a bit of his jerky as she settled down on the bed. He unrolled it, reading Neville's handwriting.
I received your letter. The group will assemble at your location, per your instructions. I've secured transport and services for your travels to the coordinates we found.
It will be available whenever you're ready to move out.
The group won't be happy with you. You know that don't you?
But I made a promise to someone that I would stand behind you no matter what, and I plan to keep it.
I just hope you know what you're doing, my friend.
Harry disintegrated the note with his fingertips. The Order would be assembling on his command in a couple of hours. What was left of it anyways. In a way, it was as strong in numbers as it had ever been.
But that was only because of the members of the D.A., who had joined Harry as members of the Order. Many of the older, more experienced Order members they had lost in the past few years of fighting..
Doge. Diggle. Fletcher. Podmore. Amelia Bones, who had joined not long after Dumbledore's death.
Harry's left eye tightened shut as the last few names ran across his mind.
Hagrid. Arthur. Molly. Bill. Fred.
Harry's mithril fist clenched, only a fraction of his true anger showing itself. They had all perished in this one sided slaughter the remaining Ministry still claimed was a war. It had stopped being a war seven months ago, and instead turned into a fight for survival. The Order of now was comprised of only a few original Order members, and the rest were young adults from Harry's D.A and people he knew in Hogwarts. Neville, Marietta, Demelza, Susan, Padma, George, Angelina, Alicia, and many others.
Even despite their size in numbers, they lacked the precious experience the older members brought to the table. Minerva, Tonks, Hestia and Kingsley were training everyone as best they could, but it took time to master even a fraction of what Harry had been specialized in by some of the greatest. Even then, his training had rolled into his seventh year at Hogwarts, being overseen by Mad-Eye and Aberforth, two of the best duelists he had ever seen.
Neville was the exception. No one else had the raw talent and power the once shy boy had shown, save Harry. He was the only new Order member who had the experience Harry and the remaining older members had when dealing with Voldemort and his army. He had stepped up and trained alongside Harry and his friends the summer after sixth year, even though his induction into the Order Of The Phoenix came much later then many of the others. The Longbottom boy had come a long way and although he would never be near Harry's level of power and skill he was still good enough to hold his own in a fire-fight.
He had also saved Harry from the brink of collapse all those months ago. That fateful night when he, Marietta, Demelza and Fleur had walked in on him. The night he, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the All Ender and other nonsense the Prophet had called him, was going to shove off into oblivion and leave the rest of the world to fend for itself. Everything had changed after that. Even if it they had only truly been close for the past six months, it had felt like six years. Five unlikely people becoming so close in these unlikely times.
They almost reminded him of...
He couldn't think of them like that. They were nothing like those traitors!
Even if they weren't really traitors of their own will?
A few of the candles exploded in a disgusting display of wax and sparks. Harry shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He had to get a better handle on this, his anger. If he even had a hope of doing what he planned, he needed to be as mentally collected as he could be.
Harry glanced at Hedwig, who had long since snuggled into herself and drifted off. She had been working very hard as of recent, relaying vital information between himself and Neville. A mission that only two living people knew of, and only which Harry knew all the details. Longbottom had been hesitant to help him with his request. He had a small idea of what Harry planned. It had led to one of the few fights between the two of them that Harry could remember. Especially when Neville realized Harry had told the girls and the Order nothing of it so far. In the end, he had grudgingly agreed to help on the most minimal of knowledge. What other choice did he really have? The entire world was losing ground by the day, rather then by the week as it had been months ago. This mission was their only hope.
A mission that might change the tide of the war. Change every hope they were clinging too.
A ritual that might blow up in his face if anything went wrong.
The Boy-Who-Lived began to shed off his lounging clothes, preparing to dress in his battle robes and gear. His mind wandered again as he absently went through the motions that had long since become second nature.
The entire Weasley family and friends had seen Bill and Fleur off when they left on their honeymoon to the French girls homeland. A few days later, Minerva had confronted him, asking him to attend an Order meeting that night to help discuss where the future of the Order rested.
It had been a clusterfuck to say the least.
Harry could clearly remember quite a bit of arguing, especially on the part of Alastor and Minerva. One wanting to up and destroy anything and anyone they considered to be in league with the Dark Lord. The other wanting to wait until the summer had passed, and the students had returned to the safety behind the walls of Hogwarts before any action was taken. Harry could clearly sympathize with both of them at the time. Alastor and Albus had been friends for decades, fighting in the wars against Grindlewald and the First Rising of Voldemort. It was a soldiers bond, something that nobody else, save a few in the room, could comprehend. A bond that had seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and the absolute horrendous.
Minerva, however, had been a trusted shoulder to Albus for many years. A buffer that Albus would sometimes speak to just to ease the weight of knowledge and stress his weary bones contended with on a regular basis. It was a soft, trusting friendship that was spawned over many nights of tea and casual conversation. She had also been his biggest supporter inside of Hogwarts, protesting against anyone who would try to do him wrong.
It wasn't long before people began choosing sides, screaming and yelling at one another. Demands were thrown, sarcastic remarks about each and everyone's usefulness, and downright insults. It had come close to wands being drawn, before Harry had finally spoken.
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...
In an instant, all sounds had stopped, and voices silent. Each person in the room, Order member or not, stared at him in absolute shock. It had been a risky move on his part, but it seemed like the best option at the time. The only two who didn't have looks of shock, were Hermione and Ron, who had heard it once before.
He couldn't stop it once he started, and it wasn't long before Harry began to story of his first year at Hogwarts. The Philosopher's Stone. His second year. The Chamber. His third year. Sirius and the Dementors. His fourth. The Tri-Wizard Tournament. Fifth. The Department of Mysteries.
He couldn't tell how long he was talking, or even when everyone had sat down and listened intently to his perspective on everything. But at some point Ginny had made her way to his side, wrapping an arm around his waist and burying her head in the crook of his neck, murmuring softly to him. Hermione had also been next to him with her head buried in his shoulder, hand firmly grasped in his as she gave it soft, comforting kisses. Ron had been beside his sister, leaning over her with a hand on Harry's other shoulder, forehead resting against the temple of his raven haired brother..
No matter what happened in the future, Harry would always remember that exact moment. The only moment in his life, when he truly believed he would win, and that everything would be perfect afterwards. Oh how times had changed. How they had changed.
With barely the strength to continue, he had told them finally about his sixth year, and the entire story of the Horcruxes. The final moments of Albus' life. The horrors they had faced in that seaside cave. The mission that Dumbledore had left behind for him.
His mind and body were exhausted when he finally finished, and the three at his side ushered him upstairs for rest. He left the Order with all the information he had, letting them decide their own fates with it.
He was amazed to find Alastor and Kingsley standing outside his door that very next morning. They had proposition for him. Something the entire Order had discussed after his departure the night before.
Not the standard Auror training.
Not the school training of Hogwarts.
Not the training that even Unspeakable's underwent.
It was training to be a killer. An efficient, hardened machine. Training to be a dark, deadly shadow on the wall of those he meant to harm.
Wandless Magic. Advanced Combat Magic. Dark Spells. Silent Casting. Muggle Martial Arts. Weapons. Stealth. Hand-To-Hand Combat. Tracking. Thievery. You named it, he was to be trained in it.
They had laid it all before him that morning, right in his bedroom door. Told him exactly what they planned to do, and how they planned to train him. All he had to do was accept.
Before he could answer, however, Moody had told him there was one thing he had to do beforehand. A way to prove if he could handle what they planned to put him through. If he had known then, what he knew now, he probably would have rold them to shove it.
The two led Harry downstairs, where he was surprised to see the entire Order assembled, including Hermione and all of the Weasley's. Many had disgusted looks on their faces, and if he didn't know any better, Hermione and Ron looked downright pale and worried.
That's when he saw him.
Only, there was no trademark sparkling. No soft smile. No aura about him that made him feel approachable.
It only took a moment to recognize this man. Aberforth Dumbledore. Albus' younger brother.
It was the man standing next to him, that made everything fall into place. The disgusted looks. The unsure glances between all the people in the living room of the Burrow. The nervous tension in the air.
A Death Eater.
Harry still couldn't recall much of those first few seconds, but he did remember letting loose a blood curdling roar of rage. The screams of the assembled women and shouts from the men who didn't get involved, and the sudden force of nearly five of the Order men trying to hold him down. It had been an almost futile attempt on their part. The look of absolute fear on Snape's face had done little to ease him at the time.
Charlie was the first to go, as Harry's unintentional magic spurred forth. The Romanian dragon tamer had little time to react as he was lifted and tossed across the room. Fred and George were next, landing on each other in a heap on the couch. Kingsley had been flung off by a swing from Harry's right arm, enhanced with the magic coursing through his veins. Moody had fired a stunning spell, a binding spell and a pretifying spell. All to no avail.
It had been Aberforth though, who stepped up and thrust a hand out, freezing Harry in his tracks. Gasps permeated the small room, shock the dominant facial feature. Harry could distinctly remembering his surprise that day. Aberforth, whom everyone thought was no better then Dung, had shown just a snippet of his true nature for the first time. His voice had been neither cold, nor warm. Just neutral, the way his personality had finally shone through until his last days.
'I loved my brother Potter. The same as any sibling loves another. He chose a path in life, and knew exactly where it would lead him. If there is anyone in this room to pass judgment, it would be you and myself. I have made peace with the outcome of what has happened, and am prepared to move on, knowing that my brother lived a rich, full life. Now it's time for you to make that same peace, if you have any hope in the future.'
Aberforth had been nothing more then the bartender at Hog's Head. A questionable person who had given off an I-Don't-Care attitude since Harry had met him once. It had changed that day, the Order's perception of him. He had been the way he was because he never cared to show anyone his true nature or power. It was exactly how he would teach Harry that year and a half afterwards. Aberforth never used a wand after that day, relying solely on wandless magic to train Harry. He laughed when the raven haired boy had first asked how he could do such an amazing feat, when Albus had relied on a wand for so many years.
'Albus was and always will be stronger then I ever could be. But he understood one simple concept. Never show your true colors, until it's time to paint.'
Harry's mind refocused on that day in the Burrow. More importantly, the look on Severus' face as he stalked forward. He had placed a small purple envelope in front of Harry's still frame. When he stood again, there was no hate or malice in his eyes. No looks of absolute disdain that had marred his features for so many years. There just stood a tired man, sick of his lot in life.
It would be two years after that day when he and the Death Eater would finally meet on that common ground, and bury their hatred of each other. The abandoned warehouse. The enemies that had them surrounded. Those two days where they had relied on each other to live.
His voice was just as dead on that day, as it had been in the warehouse.
'We have something in common, Potter. We've both...lost...someone who was...who...'
Snape had paused, as if to say more. But he merely shook his head, opting instead to leave the room with a disgruntled snort. Aberforth gave a few moments after the Death Eater's departure to release Harry from the spell he was under. A part of the Boy-Who-Lived wanted nothing more then to chase down the greasy scum that had killed the one man who had meant so much to him. His train of thought was quite obviously mirrored on his face, as Aberforth stared coldly at Harry, motioning to the letter at his feet with a nod of his head.
Harry took a moment to compose himself, before reaching down reluctantly. The envelope was light, and his name was neatly written across the front in soft sparkling gold. He broke the wax Phoenix seal on the back, slipping out a piece of parchament with elegant handwriting.
If you are reading this, then I have moved on to the next great adventure. I hope to make something grand of it.
I have never properly told you something that has long since been due, and it will be one of my biggest regrets I carry into my next life.
I'm sorry. For everything and anything that I might have done to hurt you. I was foolish old man, with a foolhardy wish that you would grow up without the pressure you so faced anyways. I was wrong in my assumption that it would be so, and you paid so very dearly for it. Nothing I can say in a simple note will ever amount to the pain I most assuredly put upon you with my mindless actions. I understand that now, even as I write this letter in what will most likely be my final day amongst your company.
The only thing I can do to even come close to making you understand why I did what I did, is to tell you one thing you never heard from me during my life.
I loved you greatly Harry. Like a son I never had. Even more, a grandson I was never given a chance to spoil, for fear of showing you favoritism amongst the other students.
I was their during the days of your grandfather courting your grandmother.
I watched as your father pursued your mother, despite her many protests at first. I watched as their schoolyard crushes blossomed into a man and woman's love. I oversaw their small marriage, a beautiful couple surrounded by friends and family. They looked wonderful, and only one time did they both seem more beautiful.
The day you were born. I was there Harry, even though you would never remember it.
Walking into the waiting room of Saint Mungo's, watching your father, Sirius and Remus alight with absolute glee. Stepping into the hospital room, and watching your mother glow with radiance. And there you were, nothing more then a pink, chubby little child who had yet to fully open his mother's green eyes. Small wisps of hair that would soon be as black as his fathers. When I stood beside the bed, you looked up at me for a moment, grabbing onto my beard in a grip that belied your newborn strength. It was quite a shock to say the least.
I will never forget the barks of laughter from your father and Sirius. Your mother giggled as well, even as she tried to unclasp your hand from my hair.
They loved you more then anything in this world. That day in the hospital we all did.
I was blessed to see you become the man you did. A man whom your parents would be proud of three times the world over.
That is why you must defeat Tom Riddle.
So that you may one day fall in love, and find the woman whom you wish to spend your life with.
So that one day, you too, may sit in a hospital room, your first child in your arms.
The Order is from now on, under your sole command. They will help you in your quest to achieve what I hope will end up becoming a fulfilling life for you Harry. As the first part of your life was not.
Your friends and comrades will help you.
You parents and godfather will help you.
I will help you.
I don't know how, but I will help you. If I have to transcend the lines between life and death, I will do so. Just as your parents have done in the past.
Now go Harry, and live. For me. For your parents.
But most of all, for yourself.
Harry couldn't even recall when his knees had hit the floor, but they must have at one point, because Ginny was next to him, holding him as he sobbed uncontrollably. Hermione and Ron were at his side not long after. Nobody said anything, allowing him to have his tears and to let him feel his sorrow freely this time.
What would be nearly a half an hour later, Aberforth would kneel and pick up the dropped letter, placing it carefully in it's envelope. That's when he said that it was time for Harry to begin the path few had taken before him. He gave Harry another envelope full of letters from Dumbledore, these ones nothing like the last. They were instructions plain and simple. Something he was to be given the day after the wedding.
Enclosed had been detailed findings on the possible whereabouts of the Horcruxes. Training he was to receive on behalf of the Order. Objects in his office that were to be left only to him. Information about his will, and what Harry would have to do to claim what was left to him. The request that he return to Hogwarts, and begin his defiance of Riddle from its walls.
Also inside, was a detailed account, of why everything in the Astronomy Tower had transpired the way it did. It explained Draco's fear of the task given to him by the Dark Lord. How Severus had confronted Dumbledore before the beginning of the school year. The plan Albus had put in place to save both Draco's life. Draco would become a Death Eater no matter what, but Severus would keep him out of harms way, and keep him from harming others, until the Dark Lord had been defeated.
At the time, Harry didn't think either of the two bastards' lives were worth even half of Albus', but what was done was done. It also gave him the proceedings of the Order, and asked him expressly to trust Severus at least on some degree concerning Voldemort.
That had been nearly four years ago.
It had been the day when he had finally taken the mantle Albus had carried for so many years. A mantle that he no longer felt he should wear. A mantle that would not fit the man he was anymore, or the man he might become after the mission he had in place.
It was time to set the mantle aside, and do what had to be done.
Because revenge was a dish best served cold.
Harry finished clipping the gauntlet closed over his right hand. He flexed it a few times, checking its fit, before sliding an arm length glove over his left. Everyone in the Order knew of his 'enhancement', as well as a select few outside of it.
His right eye, however...well it was hard to miss the ever present black bandage wrapped around his head. Or the edges of the scar behind it.
The Weasley's and a few friends had celebrated his birthday a few days after Aberforth and Snape had returned to the Order. Neville and Luna had been in attendance as well, and Harry turned it into a joint birthday party for his no longer portly friend.
It had also been the forging point for his and Luna's deepening friendship. One that would build to be on par with Ron, Ginny and Hermione in a way. The summer when he would learn of her 'gift'.
It had made sense in a way, all the times she had spoken so out of character. The ability to see the Thestrals. The creatures she so fondly spoke of, but never had anyone else heard of.
It's when they also learned of her dreams. She could see things nobody else could see. She could speak with beings no one else even knew existed.
Crying. In the middle of the night.
Oh, he knew it well. Harry and Crying had met many times under moonlight. Crying knew all of his secrets. Crying was a bitch that would show up whenever Harry wanted her the least.
Crying could also alert him to when someone else was having troubles, especially when he was close enough to hear Crying meeting with someone else.
And that's exactly how he found Luna. Curled up on the small couch in the Burrow's living room during her overnight stay. He couldn't see her face, as her back as to him. But he could recognize the telltale signs.
Quaking shoulders. Gasping breaths. An incoherent word or two.
Faster then he could even blink, she was sitting up, staring at him wide-eyed as he approached the back of the couch. Luna quickly wiped at her eyes, running a hand through her tousled blonde hair. Oh yes, Harry knew these symptoms well. And the steps that would follow when you didn't want the person before you to know what was going on.
Step One. Make yourself presentable, so whoever would confront you would ask the most minimal of questions. Questions that you could easily divert.
'Are you ok?'
'O-of course, Harry. I was just...crying over the extinction of the Trumpel Footed Felps.'
Step Two. Smile reassuringly so that they would repeat the first question. You could then reiterate your answer, making it seem more truthful.
She smiled lightly, as if trying to ease his worry. He continued to play along.
'Are you sure?'
'Oh yes. Every animal has to die out at some point.'
Step Three. Ask them a question. Put them in the light to hopefully divest any more attention from your problem.
'Why are you up so late Harry?'
'Oh, heh, just getting another slice of that delicious cake Molly made.'
Step Four. Laugh lightly if they get embarrassed, or sympathize with them if they aren't too happy. Anything to keep the attention away from what they may have seen.
She giggled softly when his cheeks blushed lightly. Exactly what he wanted her to do.
Unfortunately, Luna was out of steps, and Harry knew it. That's why a stern expression had suddenly fallen across his face, and her giggling stopped as she looked at him quizzically.
'So, what's wrong Luna?'
He could seen the brief shock that met her pale blue eyes, and the confusion that he hadn't moved on to another subject like she was suspecting. She wrapped her arms around herself, self-hugging in a very un-Luna like way. Harry was so used to seeing a girl that held such patience and resolve, never once crying to getting angry at all the terrible things the kids at school did to her. It was heartbreaking to see her like this, and Harry began to wonder if this wasn't something she did on her own. To keep up the calm face she held during the day.
'I...I just had a bad dream, that's all...'
Harry walked over in front of her, sitting on his haunches and rubbed her shoulders. If anyone knew about dreams of the bad nature, it was him.
'A bad dream about the Felps?'
He had asked the question half jokingly, hoping that it might make her feel a little better. He wasn't expecting the sudden fear that crept into her eyes, nor when they began to dart softly around the room.
'No...not the Felps...something...something else...'
Her fear began to transmit a bit to Harry, and he took a soft look around the room. Was it possible someone was tampering with her mind? Was it from the experience in the Department of Mysteries? He swallowed hard, and licked his now somewhat dry lips.
What was it?
She didn't answer right away, instead locking Harry's gaze with her own.
He was about to ask her another question, when her eyes gained a far off look, and her voice came out soft, quaking quietly with fear.
'They were the present, and the past Harry. Too many of them. Too many for me to follow. But they made me watch. Watch everything with them. They said their were others, not like them, but not of this world. Other worlds. Other places. But they could see Harry! They peeled back their eyelids, and watched as time went by. They cut off their ears so they couldn't hear the past. Bit off their tongues so they couldn't speak of the future. They tried to peel back my eyelids. They tried to touch me Harry! Oh, oh no! I didn't want them too, but they grabbed at my skin. They held open my eyes, made me watch what would happen. Not just once, but time and time again. Watch as people I didn't even know would die. Watch as babies I would never meet were born. I...I cried at them to stop...but they had so much more to show me. I saw my mother. I saw Ginny and Ron and Hermione. I saw everyone.'
'Everyone, but you...'
With her final statement, her eyes regained focus, and her hands shot to his shoulders, squeezing painfully as her nails dug into his skin.
They said I couldn't look at you. That if I tried, I would lose myself. They said you were the Alpha, and He was the Omega. But you were He as well. They spoke of you Harry, both you and He. They said no creatures from any of the Planes were like you Harry. You were too unique. You were too powerful. But He was also unique and powerful. You with your Green and He with his Red. That you two would meet...and...and...
Harry had long since given up and trying to stifle his worry about the petite girl in front of him. Whatever was assaulting her dreams, this wasn't the first time, and it was most likely nobody knew of these things going on inside her mind. She was facing these things alone. But he had to know. Know what was going on so he could help her.
'What happened, Luna?'
She blinked at him, tilting her head as if she didn't understand the question.
'I don't know. I woke up.'
Harry look at her for a long time after that. She had let go of his shoulders at that point, resuming her self hug. His time with Ginny had helped him better understand his feelings, and how to deal with the cards that they dealt to him. It wasn't any surprise really, when he leaned forward and wrapped her up in his arms. She buried her face in the side of his neck as she sobbed, letting her fear ebb out of her slowly.
'Maybe she shouldn't sleep alone tonight...'
That soft statement caused Harry and Luna to look up slowly in shock, not knowing they had been overheard. Three figures stood in the doorway to the living room, each in similar states of nighttime dishevel. Ginny's hair was sticking up in some places. her tank top and shorts wrinkled a little. Hermione's hair was frizzing slightly, and her oversized T-Shirt hung loosely over one shoulder. Ron looked the worst by far. Eyes still half closed, night shirt half untucked from his extremely wrinkled pajama pants. Even worse was the enormous yawn he released, causing his sister to giggle and Hermione to slug him lightly in the arm.
The trio made it over to the couch, Hermione and Ginny sitting on either side of Luna; Ron standing near the edge. Ginny placed an arm around the distraught blonde's shoulders.
'You can stay with me and Harry tonight. If you think it would help.'
Ron looked flabbergasted for a moment, glancing between Harry and Ginny with a red face. Hermione rolled her eyes, grabbing his hand and yanking him down on the couch next to her. Harry gave Ron a soft smile, trying to ease the redhead about him sleeping with his sister. Ron just sat back and muttered something that sounded like 'I kinda already figured...'
It hadn't taken long to convince Luna that she probably shouldn't be alone after that, and soon Harry found himself laying on one side of Luna, arm over her shoulders, with Ginny on the other.
How he wished for days like that again.
Harry never did learn who 'They' were from her dreams, and never again did she have a dream that bad again. She had explained everything behind her dreams, the various creatures and places she saw, some of this world, some not. Hermione had always been skeptical of Divination, never fully trusting something that wasn't a practical practice that could be explained in a book. But when Luna spouted off something about his bushy haired friend in an incident occurring when Hermione was 9 years old, it hadn't taken much more convincing.
When some of the more upsetting dreams occurred, she would shyly knock on Harry's door. He never turned her away, and Ginny was completely accepting of the comfort Harry provided their pale blue eyed companion. Usually the red head would join them, offering her own brand of comfort. It had also come to a point that Luna would join Ron or Hermione as well, if neither Ginny or himself were available.
It had been a strong moment in the building of their four way relationship. Many days and nights he spent with Ginny, enjoying the cooling she provided his overheated mind. There were nights he even spent with Hermione, curled up together on the couch during Christmas at her parents house. Waiting for Ron and Ginny to make their appearance. It was something special the four of them shared.
Harry had long since finished transfiguring an elongated table spanning most of the length of the Great Hall. Dozens of chairs had already been placed along both sides of it. It wouldn't be too much longer before the first of the Order showed up, and he still needed to get other things prepared for when they arrived.
Grimmauld Place was no longer an option, what with it being a pile of rubble. That had also been where the second piece of Harry's life had been torn away from him, nearly 2 years ago.
She had given her life for him. Sacrificing herself so Harry wouldn't be caught. It haunted him sometimes, her comforting pale blue eyes as she pushed him through the Floo. The day Voldemort learned how to abolish the Fidelius Charm. The last soft smile he would ever see gracing her features, as her hand found his chest and pushed him softly into the green flames. Her destruction of the Grimmauld fireplace to keep the Death Eaters from following, even at the cost of her own life. Even as she took nearly six of the bastards with her.
Harry placed his palms against the table, leaning forward. He didn't want to think of this, but he couldn't stop. Too much had happened. His pain and anguish rolled around in his stomach like a serpent desperately looking for a way to release itself from it's confines.
Ron. A year and a half ago.
The Orphanage Riddle had attended, and the final Horcrux they were to find. His soft brown eyes, assuring Harry that everything would be ok, even as he ran out towards the front gates to stall the impending march of the Death Eaters who were attacking. Harry had tried to give chase, but a strong pair of arms wrapped around him and Hermione had Apparated them both to the Leaky Cauldron where the two had landed in a crying heap. They had known, even as they waited in Hogwarts for three days, that even though he had single handedly stopped the attack, he would never return again.
Harry's fists clenched and tears leaked from the corners of his eye. With his eye closed, he never noticed Hedwig look up in alarm, obvious even on the owl's face. Nor did he see the four silhouettes standing in the doorway to the Great Hall, entranced as Harry's magic slowly poured forth.
Hermione. A year ago.
The Burrow. The assault that had taken the lives of Arthur and Molly. The entire Order had been there, and had Snape not warned them of the raid from the Death Eater Inner Circle and Dal' Mouth orc horde only minutes before, then everything might have been lost. Anti-Apparation and Portkey wards cut them off from escape, and not everyone made it out. Such as Harry's last loving best friend. Her Stunner catching him squarely in the back, placing him on his broom and throwing an invisibility cloak over him. Charming his broom to fly towards a safe house in London. Her final stand would save many lives that day. At the loss of her own
He had never known the pact the four had made to keep him alive at the cost of themselves.
Harry pulled his hands back and slammed them into the table in front of him. Chairs began to float around him, his magic licking about and attaching itself to anything within its range.
Those three had been the ones to use their entire hearts to keep his hate, malice and overwhelming agony at bay as they suffered the first great blow to their lives.
Ginny. 3 years ago.
After the Golden Trio's graduation from Hogwarts. The summer before what would have been Ginny's seventh and final year. The training the three had undergone finally being completed. The sense of hope they each held as they had finally come into their own true potential. They had accompanied him to Godric's Hollow, to finally see the resting place of the two most important people in his life. The ambush Voldemort has set in place. Four young magicians against an entire two squads of Death Eaters. Even despite the odds, they were holding their own. Until that green curse. The curse Ginny stepped in front of him to take.
The Avada. From Tom Riddle's own wand.
When Harry had finally come to, he could seen nothing but bodies laying around him. His magic had taken control and he had let it loose.
15 Death Eaters. Not one of them distinguishable. Some not even bodies anymore, just parts. Blood was everywhere. Organs were strewn about like the remnants of a pinata.
And there was her body. Pale and unmoving. And he had broken down, holding her to his chest.
They had protected and saved him with their lives.
And now, they had betrayed them in their deaths.
Deaths that Voldemort now controlled.
The windows of the Great Hall imploded with the force of a canon, allowing Harry's bloodcurdling scream to resonate easily outside. Chairs splintered and cracked, tearing themselves apart and spinning around in a hurricane. The table caught aflame, parts of it exploding in wide trails of fire. Hedwig screeched and took flight, and the four people carefully watching Harry took cover behind the walls near the Great Hall entrance.
Voldemort had violated the sanctity of Harry's most beloved people in his life. The red eyed monster had crossed every moral fiber there was to have and desecrated the dead for his own sick and twisted purposes. He had done something Harry deemed absolutely unthinkable by conventional magic, creating seven of the most powerful 'undead' soldiers Harry had ever seen. Soldiers that Harry couldn't fight. He had tried, Merlin how he had tried to fight them. The only confrontation he had with them, and it left him losing his arm and his eye, nearly his life. He had tried so hard to push every fiber of his being down to beat them, even as they killed Aberforth, Snape and Remus. But he just couldn't. Their magics were too terrible to comprehend. Their physical capabilities bordering on the phenomenal.
Could you fight the man who was your biggest confidant? Your mentor who taught you right and wrong?
Could you fight your best friends? The people who had given their very lives for you?
Could you fight the woman you loved? The girl who had soothed your aches and pains, and given you hope?
Could you fight your mother? Your father? The people who had given you life? Who had forever watched over you?
Seven Months Earlier...
The air around the large abandoned church was still and stagnant. The ceiling and long since been removed, and walls and pillars crumbling in many places.
Three soft cracks announced the arrival of the only people who had been near this church for decades, and Remus was the first to cover his nose. Aberforth took a long look around, silently casting a few detecting charms that revealed nothing.
'You're positive this is where Severus said to meet him?'
Harry nodded, taking a good long look at the run down structure before them. Something didn't feel right about the situation. Severus very rarely called on Harry for an emergency meeting, usually keeping things until the next Order gathering. He had, however, done this in the past. The Burrow assault was a good example.
The three made their way past the large wooden doors that had long since fallen off their hinges. The afternoon sky shone through the large open top, and the far wall that had fallen in on itself. This was definitely Snape's style though, choosing a place so far away from any that would look for them. Yet something about the whole scene just didn't feel right. Snape usually made his presence known the moment Harry would meet with him. Less time spent meeting each other was less time Snape had to worry about being caught.
Remus looked around, softly sniffing the air for any abnormalities. There was a small tinge in the air, something he couldn't quite place. A sickly, sweet smell. Metallic. Coppery.
Remus pulled out his wand with a fluid movement, eyes scanning the surrounding area. Harry watched the werewolf for a moment, unsheathing the Gryffindor sword from his back, his wand making it's way to the other. Aberforth merely pulled his hands from his pockets, once again casting detector and revealing charms. He quickly looked at the greying werewolf.
'What is it Remus?'
'There's blood in the air.'
As if on cue, a shocking cold descended over the three of them, the feeling of cold water being poured down ones back.
Confinement wards. Designed to stop all modes of Wizard transportation, including the activity of brooms.
The three quickly fell back to back, eyes darting around the old church sharply.
That's when they heard it. The repeated smack of one hand hitting the other.
Harry looked up and watched in horror as Tom Riddle shifted past the shadows near the alter of the church, walking into the open afternoon light. His hard, sharp laughter resounded off the remaining walls, causing the three wizards before him to back into defensive stances. He continued his clapping for a short while, reveling in the power he held over those before him. Harry could sense, rather then see Aberforth tense up, and Harry had a sudden urge to do the same.
Voldemort looked nothing like what Harry remembered him being. No longer was he bone thin, wearing a largely loose black robe. Something had happened after the few months when he had attacked the Burrow. When his forces had gone uncomfortably silent, and the Dark Lord himself had not been seen, even by his own minions.
His body was no longer the thin, weak frame Harry remembered it being. It looked stronger, leaner, far more dangerous then it had before. Even more terrifying was the obsidian armor and robes he wore. Plated like snake scales, with deadly spikes lining the gauntlets and greaves. A horrendous Viper looking helmet that made Harry's blood run cold.
'I must commend you, werewolf. I had not expected you to pick up the scent so quickly.'
Harry shifted, pulling the silver sword in front of him.
'What do you want Riddle? Where is Severus?'
The Dark Lord's red eyes shifted from behind the helmet, taking in the young man before him. His face twisted in a sick smile.
'Severus you say? I must repel my surprise, child. I had not known you two were so close.'
Harry grit his teeth. It was a game with Voldemort. Everything the monster did was game to played, seeing who could get the upper hand. The Boy-Who-Lived did not respond, pressing his feet a bit more solidly in the ground. Riddle's smirk widened, and h made a small motion with his hand.
'Severus has been enjoying my hospitality as we awaited your arrival, Potter.'
Harry's eyes widened as a tall, robed figure moved from the same shadows Voldemort himself had been occupying. It wasn' t the robed figure who had his attention, however. It was the beaten and bloody form of the Potions Master being drug along by the collar of his robes. He was thrown forward, landing with a large grunt as his chest hit the ground. Harry had been prepared to make a move towards the man, but Remus' had caught his shoulder, the greying wizard shaking his head lightly.
'He's to close to them. They are trying to get us off guard. We move, they attack.'
Harry listened intently as Remus whispered to him, and took a step back, pulling up his sword again. Voldemort's voice pulled their attention back to it's original target.
'I was surprised to find that Severus had indeed been betraying me all these years. Even as he had taken the old mans life, he was still working against me.' His voice hissed angrily. His snake like features suddenly twisted from it's sneer, instead replaced by the cocky smile he held only moments before. The figure behind him still made no move, cowl covering his identity. Voldemort opened his arms wide, coal black cloak billowing out behind him.
'Britain has all but fallen under my power, Potter. My forces have already destroyed half of London. My Death Eaters have purged the Ministry forces residing there. The Royal Family is under my direct control, the muggle populace not even realizing we exist and control their fate!'
'You are losing this war, child. Week by week, my forces continue to push your Light side into oblivion. The American's have all but fallen back to their own country. They dare not even step foot across the ocean for fear of my wrath. Make no mistake, their time will come. Your German and French allies will not withhold my demonic forces after I destroy you and your pathetic Order. No one who supports you will have my mercy. Everyone you have ever loved will die. Everyone you have ever stood with against me, will feel pain they never knew existed.'
His arms raised wider, locking his gaze entirely on Harry's.
'Unless you join me, young Harry.'
His final statement nearly caused Harry to rear back as if he had been slapped.
Voldemort held out one arm, hand extended. The smirk never left his face.
'If you swear loyalty and fealty to me, young Harry. I will allow your friends to live.'
Harry couldn't believe what was happening. The bastard who had taken so much from him was suddenly offering him a truce? Harry snorted and tilted his head in Snape's direction.
'If Snape is any indication on how you treat those who swear loyalty to you, then I'd rather keep my place as it is.'
Voldemort's red eyes shifted to the groaning form at his feet.
'Severus was a traitor, and so far has been lucky with my leniency. Besides, I have not raised my hand to him. That was left to someone who had much revenge to release upon him.'
'Pott..er...he has...brought..them...from dead...'
A black armored foot caught Snape quickly in the stomach as the man tried to speak to Harry and the others. His eyes went wide as the air was forcibly exhaled from his lungs, curling into a ball and clutching his stomach.
'Silence Severus! You are speaking out of turn.'
There was something feral about the Dark Lord's smirk, and it set all three wizards on edge. Aberforth stepped forward, hands prepared to fire the first volley of spell work if Voldemort made any hostile movements.
'You would kill Harry the first chance you had, Riddle. You are well known for your lies and deceit.'
Riddle's attention focused on the younger Dumbledore, this time his smile showing a row of razor sharp teeth.
'On the contrary...
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches...
Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh months dies..
And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal...
But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not...
And either must die at the hand of the other, as neither can live while the other survives.'
Harry's mouth fell open little by little as he almost lost his grip on the sword and wand in his hands. He could hear the gasps of his two companions next to him.
Voldemort knew the prophecy. After everything they had gone through to keep it secret. The people they had lost for it's cause.
And the son of a bitch knew it!
The Dark Lord could barely contain the feelings of power coursing through his body as he once again held the upper hand in this long standing battle with the Light. The prophecy they had so protected, for fear of it coming to his knowledge, had all been for naught. Oh, but the best was yet to come.
Aberforth was the first to recover, taking a brief step in front of Harry.
'How do you know about the prophecy?'
Voldemort's tongue snaked out and licked his lips, as a positively happy sound made its way from his throat. He motioned to the figure standing next to him.
'Why, the same person who heard it for the first time.'
Without any chance for the words to sink in, the person next to Voldemort pulled off their cloak, revealing a body adorned with black armored battle robes. The blackness of the clothes stood out against the pale pallor of his skin, and the stark white of his beard.
Harry staggered, almost losing his footing. Aberforth paled, taking a step back as if he'd been struck. Remus let out something akin to a strangled 'No!'
None knew how to comprehend what they were seeing, and even as their eyes met the gold, hate filled ones of Albus Dumbledore.
Voldemort threw his head back, arms raised in the sky as his psychotic laughter roared from his lungs. He refocused on the people in front of him, once again spreading his arms open in triumph.
'Let you three be the first to witness my true powers! I have transcended the true restrictions of Wizardkind, and become powerful enough to control life and death itself! I am a God amongst men, and there are none who can stand against me and the power I wield!
Riddle glanced at the younger Dumbledore, who was shaking with what could be nothing but uncontrolled rage.
'Even the Art of Necromancy cannot bring back the dead who have passed years before! That is no more Albus Dumbledore, then I am Death Eater! We will not believe your lies or your games you disgusting, vile...!'
The church groaned in protest as Voldemort's magic shot from his body, nearly bringing the structure down around them. His eyes filled with murder as he spoke.
'Do not dare to speak of things you know nothing of! The Art Of Necromancy is NOTHING compared to the cabalistic powers that are at my whim! I could crush the three of you with merely a thought! I have spoken the ancient tongue of the dead Cappadocian Vampire clans! I have bathed in the blood of hellish Pit Fiends! I have slaughtered the greatest of the Paranidian creatures who have ventured into our realm!'
Harry stepped forward, rearing up his sword and wand.
'The power you wield is nothing more then a child with a match, Riddle! The spew that comes from your filthy mouth are lies made for nothing more then scaring children who refuse to go to bed!'
The Dark Lord's eyes narrowed into nothing more then crimsons slits. His anger faded, replaced by contemptible smile.
'If I do not convince you child, I shall let others do it for me.'
Four more emerged from the shadows at the altar, hoods covering their faces.. The older male and youngest female wore sleek ritualistic black armor, the other two females adorning black armored robes that were similar to Albus'
Harry's sword clattered carelessly on the ground as one by one, they pulled back the coverings over their heads. Two redheads, a brunette, and a blonde stood before him. People he never thought he'd see again. Tears sprung into his eyes, leaking down his cheeks as their gold ones took him in with gazes of anger and hatred. Their pale skin reflected the sunlight. It just was not possible.
Luna. Her eyes covered by some sort of black buckle contraption, locked near the top of her nose.
Hermione. Her nose held high, staring down at him with contempt.
Ron. Face neutral and cold, eyes calculating everything before him.
Ginny. A grin of absolute blood lust staining her face, her gaze betraying none of the malice behind it.
The four people he loved more then life itself stood before him. Their gazes tore through his heart, and in the back of Harry's mind, he realized that they were no longer who he thought they were. But he couldn't breathe. Couldn't hear. Couldn't see anything other then his lost love, his lost brother, his lost sisters. He took a step towards them, hand outstretched as a strangled sob made it past his throat. He stopped as four voices chorused at once.
They resonated with perfect synchronization, absolutely cold and entirely heartless. Harry felt his hands shake, and the one holding his wand clenched until he could feel the bite of his nails digging into his palm. One feeling cut through his shock and anguish at seeing them. A feeling that reminded him of what he had gone through, burying each on of them. Reminding him of the nights he had cried himself to sleep, calling out their names. The nightmares he had relived time and time again. One, simple feeling.
Absolute, uncompromisable, soul filling rage.
Focused solely on Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Harry was unprepared as Remus grabbed him from behind, Aberforth grabbing his wrist that held the wand. Still, he tried. He kicked and screamed as the werewolf and elderly wizard held him with all their combined strength. Harry screamed at the snake like man before him, spit flying from his mouth at every word.
'You god damned piece of shite! I will FUCKING KILL YOU! Let me go! You bastard! You good for nothing son-of-a-bitch! I will tear you apart with my bare hands! I swear on my parents graves I will kill everything you have EVER KNOWN! I bloody hate you, you fucking monster!
'I FUCKING HATE YOU VOLDEMOOOOORT!'
It had been the first time in Harry's young life that he had ever admitted he hated someone. Never had he thought it even when he learned Wormtail was the one who betrayed his parents. Even when Voldemort had killed Cedric in the graveyard all those years ago. Not when Bellatrix had sent Sirius through that veil. Not even when Snape had killed Albus.
He had never felt this way. Every negative feeling he had over his entire life came spilling forth. Every Dark curse he could think of sprang to his lips. A hundred different ways he would kill the man before him filtered behind his eyes.
If only he knew what was to happen next, he would have never let Aberforth and Remus hold him back.
Voldemort threw his had back, almost losing himself in the hatred he felt over their bond. It was an ecstasy he had never felt before.
'Think of every person you've ever wanted to hurt child! Imagine all the times you wanted to taste blood! Release your anger and let it feed me!'
The Dark Lord lowered his head, meeting the hatred in Harry's eyes. It was a beautiful sight to behold. One Voldemort knew was only going to get better when he unwrapped his last present to young Harry Potter. The darkest smile he had ever known graced his face.
'Didn't your parents ever teach you not to curse?'
'We were never given the chance to teach him manners.'
A melodic voice spoke from behind the Harry and the two wizards holding him. He had heard that distinguishable female voice only one time in his entire life, and his entire body ceased it's struggling. Remus tensed up as he turned, looking into a pair of faces he had not seen in almost twenty years.
'Oh...dear Merlin...No...my god no...'
The Boy-Who-Lived had never heard Remus' voice speak as such, and he would forever hate himself for turning around.
And seeing his parents for the first time in his life.
A way he never, ever wanted to see them.
James and Lily Potter both stood near the entrance to the church that Harry and the others had walked through. Their bodies were just as pale as the rest, eyes gold and haunting. James' jet black hair seemed to soak in the light around it, and Lily's hair fell like liquid fire down her back. Ebony snake armor, heavier and more deadly then the rest of Voldemort's minions, graced their lithe bodies. What made them seem even more dangerous, was the sword each of them held, red and purple smoke twisting and writhing around the blades. James' face was blank and his jaw was set as his eyes shifted from Harry, to Remus, and back again. Lily wore a sickening, sultry look as she gazed between the two as well.
Harry would have fallen to his knees had Remus not been holding his shoulders.
Aberforth glared at the two near the entrance, speaking fiercely to his companions.
'Harry, you must listen to me. Those are not your parents. Those are not your friends. They may look and sound like them, but they would never serve Voldemort. Whatever these things are, they are just mirrors. They are not real.'
'Oh, I beg to differ Aberforth.'
The wizard in question turned back towards Voldemort, quickly standing between the madman and the two distraught wizards behind him.
'The people you see before you are quite real, I assure you. As I said before, I have evolved past even the great Merlin himself. I have resurrected those who have meant so much to your Light side, restored their souls, and bent them to my will. Something no other wizard could ever accomplish.'
'And I will teach you, you Harry. If you join me.'
It was with great effort that Harry tore his eyes away from his 'parents', his attention back to Riddle. Voldemort's held out his hand again, beckoning the young wizard.
'Do you not want to be reunited with your loved ones? If you join me you can be with them forever. With the prophecy keeping both of us alive, there wouldn't be an army in this world that could halt us. And why stop there, young Harry? There are many realms and planes of existence that reside beyond this one, just begging to be ruled. We would lord over entire worlds! Female creature's both exotic and beautiful would be at our feet, begging and panting for us to use them until our pleasure's were sated! We would command the most fearsome and powerful beings and warriors into battle! Nothing would be out of our grasp!'
'You know what I think?'
Voldemort's eyes narrowed as Harry knelt down and retrieved his sword. He held it up, lining it in sight with Voldemort. His voice was nothing more then a casual whisper.
'I think you should burn in hell...'
It was all that needed to be said. The time for words, was over.
Harry shot from his position like bullet, feet skimming the floorboards as he closed the distance between Voldemort and himself. He was met with a powerful blast of magic, one that lifted him heel over head and flung him away from the Dark Lord. Harry regained control of himself mid-flight, twisting his body and landing upright. He skidded to a stop, glaring up and seeing Albus' hand towards him. A blast of sickly purple power rocketed at Harry, and the Boy-Who-Lived brought his hands up quickly in defense.
It never landed, as a blue counterpart slammed into it, detonating both in an expanse of colors. Aberforth moved swiftly in front of Harry, robes following his trail. Electric blue energy crackled between his hands, and his voice was firm and resolute.
'I will handle Albus.'
Harry was never given a chance to argue, as Aberforth flung himself at his older brother. Albus moved in kind, floating slightly above ground, and shifting back and forth between the magic thrown at him. Harry prepared to assist the younger brother but a hand on his shoulder stopped his movement. He looked behind himself at Remus, who's eyes were still transfixed on the two people at the entrance.
'That is his fight Harry, let him have it. You concentrate on Voldemort. I, on the other hand...'
Remus reached down and grabbed a stone near his feet, and within seconds, his wand had furnished it into a shimmering blade.
'...will deal with James and Lily.'
Harry was again going to protest, but the older wizard did something that Harry had never witnessed before. Remus grunted, his jaw clenching to a point that almost made it break. Without warning, his frame suddenly widened, filling out the robes he wore. Muscles became thick and defined, and the hair on his head lengthened considerably. His face hardened, and fangs suddenly protruded from his mouth. It took a moment for Harry to fully understand what Remus had done. He had used his magic to partially activate his werewolf half. A trick he never knew existed. Remus' suddenly deeper and deadlier voice spoke.
'Go now Harry, and kill that bastard.'
The werewolf sprung without question, his transformation making him move faster then ever before. James and Lily were prepared though, and the two were suddenly twisting and turning in tandem, fending off Remus' flurry of attacks.
Harry readied himself a second time, Voldemort not having moved from his spot. The sinister smirk across his maw did nothing more then irritate Harry further. Harry pushed his magic into his muscles, just as Aberforth had trained him to do. It was a technique elder wizards and witches used during duels, allowing their older muscles to regain speed and power as needed. He blurred as moved to the side, feet stepping for only a fraction of a second as me ran.
Voldemort kept smiling, even as Harry closed in, sword poised to strike. In an instant, Harry saw the black blur of movement from the corner of his eye, and he sifted his trajectory to ward off a swipe from a black, glowing mace. His sword clanged against it, and the smirking face of Ron Weasley suddenly filled his vision. The second it took for his brain to register shock, was apparently all the time Ginevra Weasley needed to land a spinning back kick to his midsection.
Harry buckled under the unexpected blow, and he quickly rolled backwards when the ground met his back, flipping onto his feet. Well enough, as a barrage of spells tore through the ground where his body had been mere milliseconds before. He glanced up, watching as Hermione opened her hands, several glowing curse floating between them. An arrogant smile graced her face as she looked at him, and the spells quickly ignited from their positions. Harry spun, several of them searing the back of his robes, and he swung the Gryffindor sword around, batting the rest away. The Potter heir brought his wand to bear, firing off a rapid succession of his own curses, almost all of them non-lethal.
A series of sparkling black throwing knives intercepted each and every spell, causing Harry to curse under his breath. The shifting in air flow was the only warning he had as he ducked low, allowing more of the enchanted knives to fly harmlessly over his back. He stood quickly, eyes quickly seeking out Luna, more knives magically appearing in her hands. She threw them again, and the Boy-Who-Lived sprung backwards, dodging them all with ease. To Harry's horror however, the knives stopped in mid air, changing direction, and shooting at him again. He pushed more magic into his arm, the sword in his hand disappearing as it moved to shear each knife. He noticed Luna in the side of his line of vision making quick, complex patterns with her hands. He destroyed all but one of the knives, the last one slicing the side of his leg.
He hissed in pain, realizing too late that Luna must have been controlling them. Somehow, even with that contraption over her eyes, she could see him. His eyes widened as he sensed someone behind him, throwing his sword over his shoulder and deflected what would have been a sword slash to the back. Ginny laughed darkly as he blocked, swinging her leg around for a roundhouse. Harry lifted his forearm, catching the crook of her ankle against his wrist. His deflection did nothing but delay the inevitable as Ron's gauntleted fist slammed into his midsection.
Harry released his breath with the blow, grunting as he somersaulted backwards, desperate to put some distance between himself and his assailants. This was nothing like what he was used too. He had taken on many fighters before, sometimes even entire squads of Death Eaters. But this was a whole new ball game. Death Eaters didn't work together, protect each other, and attack simultaneously. They fired spells as individuals, hoping numbers would wear others down.
Harry gasped for breath, eyes flickering across the battlefield to survey the situation. Hermione and Luna were still standing near the altar, closest to Voldemort. Ron was several meters away from him, slowly closing on his right, dark mace in hand. Ginny was to his left, a short sword bouncing between her palms. They were fighting together, in absolute harmony. Hermione and Luna background support. Ron and Ginny front lining. Each of them wore superior smirks, and it suddenly all clicked into place.
They had trained alongside him for years. Ron and Hermione the most. They knew his moves. Knew his fighting tactics. Knew his instincts. They could predict what he would do just as he did.
His face paled as it sunk in. In each of their pale forms, it really was them. They weren't just empty look-alikes made to fuck with his mind. Only they could predict him like this. He had to get through to them!
'You guys have to listen to me! Voldemort is controlling you! You have to stop this!'
Ginny filled his vision, a look as if she was in extreme heartache. Her face had made him want nothing more then to gather her up in his arms and say everything was alright.
'He offered you to join us Harry, but you turned Master's hand away. Don't you love me anymore, Greeneyes? Don't you remember how I saved you? I am here before you, and you don't even want to be with me anymore? Don't you even care about the nights we spent together, do those mean nothing?'
Harry's face paled as she spoke, her words tearing at his heart. He wanted to scream at her how much he loved her, what she meant to him. But as he opened his mouth to speak, her foot connected solidly with his chest, causing him to stagger. Her laughter was dark and heartless, mocking him. She continued to attack him, voice venomous.
'You just up and went on without us didn't you! You didn't give a damn whether we lived or died! You were just in everything for yourself!'
Tears stung his eyes, and he wanted so badly to rebuke everything she said. They had meant the world to him, and their deaths had almost caused him to give up everything. He dodged the sudden swipe of her blade, hearing Ron's cold voice from somewhere behind him.
'Do you know what it feels like to die Harry? We do. We died for you. We are so close to being a family again that all you had to do was say yes. But you couldn't even do that, you just had to be the hero...'
Harry turned just in time to deflect another blow from Ron's blackened mace. He moved to sidestep, but Ron cast a spell Harry couldn't understand, a phantom whip springing from the redhead's hand. It wrapped around Harry's ankle, and he yelped as he was hauled off his feet. Ron began to swing him around, and the whip suddenly dissipated, releasing Harry in mid flight. The young wizard landed hard on his hands and knees, the force jarring his bones.
A sizzle in the air caused him to move before he even had his bearings. A bright yellow spell splashed against the ground right next to him, scorching it instantly. He stood quickly, holding his sword up as Hermione phased in front of him. Her voice was one of arrogance and contempt as she looked at him, as if she was exasperated.
'Did you know we loved you? That we had such high hopes for you. We used to talk about how we would all move on in life after you would defeat Master. But you couldn't even save us, could you?'
'Please! All of you, stop this!'
She fired more spells at him, and he dodged left and right, until she fired a spell at the ground in front of his legs. A sudden shadow appeared underneath him and he yelped as he slipped in waist deep. Black oily hands suddenly burst from the shadow, grabbing and clawing at his body, trying to force him under. He gasped and sputtered as they drug him down, gripping his clothes. He cast a blasting spell into the shadow, effectively freeing himself.
He crashed into the ground when he landed, pushing himself up with shakey arms. A black dagger sliced at his shoulder and he sucked in air through his teeth. More daggers collided with the ground as he moved swiftly. He felt someone behind him and he spun, coming face to face with Luna. Even with that black contraption over her eyes, he could tell her face was inquisitive, as if she was wordlessly asking him a question.
'Did you ever feel the cold hands of sinners? Did you learn the hyms of Fallen Graces to deal with our passings? Or did you just repent your soul, Lived-Who-Boy, and ashen our memories?'
Daggers flew from her cloak, desperately trying to stab him in any place they could land. He threw up a a Protego shield, drawing in a gasp as each and every knife bypassed his shield effortlessly. They spun around his body, and his arms snapped to his sides, bound by an invisible force. Small glowing lines became visible from each knife, digging into his skin. Harry grunted, letting loose a magical burst that snapped the red lines, releasing him.
Harry grit his teeth, taking a few steps back. Their remarks hurt just as deeply as their blows. He had spent so much time mourning their deaths, thinking he would never see them again but wishing he could. But not like this. Not bent and twisted like marionettes, dancing for a bloodthirsty son of a bitch. He brought up his Occlumency training, pushing his emotions down as much as possible.
He had to try and save them. Cut a puppet master's strings, and he loses control of the puppet. Without another word, he flung himself back into the fray.
Aberforth could sense Harry diving back into battle, and he mentally congratulated the boy. Whatever Voldemort had done to bring back Albus and the others, it was affecting Harry the hardest. The younger Dumbledore was not one to lie to himself though. The odds were 3 against 8, fighting opponents that were much more powerful then themselves.
Their chances for survival were minimal at best.
Aberforth threw his hands in the air, detonating another powerful burst of magic from Albus. He did not care if the man before him was once the true Albus Dumbledore or not. He had thrown his lot in with Voldemort, and that was justice enough for Aberforth to end his life. Somewhere, deep down, he knew the true Albus would expect it of him.
If only it wasn't easier said then done.
The ground under his feet exploded, and Aberforth redirected his magic to protect himself. He motioned his right hand in a wide arc, creating a blue barrier that quickly groaned under the intense pressure from Albus' instantaneous spells. His right hand pulled back, shooting forward when his shield collapsed. The blue magic was once again crushed in Albus' hands, and the older Dumbledore let loose another barrage of magical energy.
Aberforth knew this was unlike any duel before. They were not using conventional spell work. This was pure magical essence, drawn directly from a wizards magical core. Manipulated in the hands to do the casters bidding, be it healing, destruction, or pain. His voice rang out to Albus as he deflected more blasts of magic.
'Dare I ask why you threw yourself at the mercy of Voldemort, Albus!'
The only response he received was three spikes of black lighting spearing up from the ground where he once stood. He responded with a white beam of light from his hands, intending to slice Albus in half. What he had not expected was for the older Dumbledore to catch the light, redirecting his power through the spell. Aberforth couldn't react in time, and he cried out as the spell exploded in itself, hurling him bodily backwards. He landed hard on his side, coursing his magic to propel himself upright almost as soon as he had landed. That's when he heard Albus speak for the first time. Cold and unwavering.
'You will die today, Aberforth.'
Aberforth wasn't sure what had him more worried. The nature of the threat, or how Albus tonelessly stated it as if it were merely a fact.
The younger Dumbledore quickly stabbed his hands in the ground, a wall of sharp ice slicing towards Albus. The dark wizard merely threw out a fist, shattering the spell altogether. Aberforth received a response in one of the church pillars, infected with dark magic, being hurled at him. He pushed his magic down with all his might, lifting his body over the construct. He landed hard, releasing a volley of small, blinding white discs. To his amazement, Albus phased out of existence, letting the discs pass harmlessly where he once stood.
Aberforth was never given a chance to react as he felt a hand against his stomach, and a blast of dark magic almost caused his ribs to cave. He flew through the air, hitting the wall with an audible crack. He groaned in agony as he felt his shoulder most likely dislocate, but he pressed forward, unwilling to go down just yet. He thrust his good arm forward, allowing a line of bright yellow magic to spring from him, making a large arc in the older Dumbledore's direction.
Albus threw a hand in the air, redirecting the magical line effortlessly. He had never known it was a diversion, until nearly a dozen white magical orbs slammed into his body, detonating on impact. Aberforth yelled, pushing with all his might as he released orb after orb of destructive white spell work. It was only seconds after that he stopped, falling to one knee as he felt his magical reserves give. His breath came in nothing more then labored gulps, as he stared tiredly at the smoke where Albus had once stood. He had placed every ounce of will he had into that finale of magic. With the sheer power behind it, it would have easily decimated twenty of Voldemort's best trained Death Eaters.
So he was absolutely stunned to see Albus standing unharmed as the smoke cleared, a twisting blood red and black spell shooting from his body.
Remus could almost feel Harry's shock as he magically jump started his werewolf transformation. There weren't many werewolves that could do it, but it was a simple practice, if one just used their head. He could almost smell the power that James and Lily radiated, and he knew his regular body would never last a moment against them.
He had also done it because it was easier to block out feelings, and focus on the very edges of Lycanthrope blood lust. He had to block out his emotions. The moment James and Lily appeared, he had wanted to run to them, hold them and see if they were real. At least, that's what his human side had wanted.
His Lycan side though, smelled nothing but enemy. An enemy that threatened his friends, his 'pack'. And in the land of the wild, that was cause for death.
Lupin swung his broadsword in a wide arc, werewolf strength letting him move with speed that should have been unnatural behind such a large weapon. He was mildly surprised as Lily jumped over it in a clean side-flip, James ducking low enough that it passed right over him. The two shot forward, James with a low sweep, and Lily with a high slash. Remus merely shifted his leg, stepping over James', and flinging his sword upwards backhandedly, deflecting the redhead's blow. Lily was flung backwards, sword shoved from her grasp. She landed on all fours like a cat, red haired splayed out behind her. She rolled to the side as Remus' sword came crashing down, splitting the floorboards and embedding in the ground beneath it.
His ears quickly picked up James' fast chanting, and the werewolf silently cast the strongest shield charm he knew. Orange scythe-like magic stabbed into his shield, dissolving wherever it touched it. In mere seconds, his shield was annihilated, and Lupin dove out of the way of another volley, pulling his sword free as he leapt forward. The floor buckled under his landing, and he pushed off again, jumping even higher then the time before. He maneuvered upside down in mid air, using his wand to cast a number of bone breaking curses.
His eyes widened as James let the curses bounce uselessly against his armor, never once pausing in his chanting. More of the magical orange scythes flew in his direction as he landed. Relying on instinct alone, Remus slammed his foot into the floorboards, causing many to stand on end. The orange spells splashed against the wood like water, completely disintegrating. Realizing that James' attack was purely magic based almost made Lupin smile.
Had a foot not come crashing through the wood, catching him squarely in the chin.
Remus' world was knocked dizzy for a second, and he wheeled about, catching James still extended foot with his hand. He spun the older Potter around by the ankle, releasing him towards one of the church pillars in hopes of crushing him against it. He nearly gasped in shock as James positioned himself horizontally, allowing his feet to crush against the stone pillar as he caught himself. The shock was short lived, as he noticed a sword in his peripheral vision, aiming directly for his neck.
He brought his sword up as well, blocking the vorpal blow. However, he wasn't prepared for Lily to jump up and suddenly snap her knees on either side of his head, twisting her hips violently in hopes of snapping his neck. The action caused Remus to twist himself abnormally as well, doing everything he could to keep his vertebrae in one piece. They both landed on the ground, Lily losing her grip on him. He stood up as fast as possible, albeit shakily. Hopping backwards, using his wand to cast blood boiling curses as he went.
Lily batted each one away with a swing of her sword, and she flew forward, closing the distance between them faster then Lupin could get away. His sword clashed with hers, arm almost buckling under the pressure. He braced the forearm of his wand hand against the flat of his blade, pushing as hard as he could against Lily's unimaginable strength. He grit his teeth, growling irritatedly as his sword slowly began to crack against her dark weapon.
In the end, it wouldn't matter.
Because only a second later, an arm placed itself over Lily's shoulder, palm wide open. Lupin barely received a chance to register the look of triumph on James Potters face, his arm over his wife's shoulder, the dark spell already formed in his palm.
One second too late, Remus realized he had been set up by Lily's attack.
There was barely enough time for him to feel the pain as it impacted his chest, throwing him a dozen yards away. He groaned loudly as he landed, feeling himself settle on his stomach. His body could no longer keep up his partial transformation, and he felt his robes loosen as his anatomy lost it's magical control. He pushed himself too his knees, barely conscious as he did so.
He didn't even have to look, to know their swords were bearing down on him for the kill.
Harry leaned on his sword for support, gulping in air as fast as he could.
He had tried several times now to get to Voldemort, and each time he had been repelled by those he once knew. The fucking half-blood was still standing in the same position as before, watching the entire battle gleefully.
That's when he felt it, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly standing on end.
Remus and Aberforth!
He had vaguely been aware of their separate fights taking place, but his entire attention had been focused on the four combatants he used to call friends.
He whirled around, watching in horror as a massive dark spell erupted from Albus' body. Black ooze spurted from an invisible hole in his chest, exploding outwards as several large beams of red flew forth.
Harry's eyes quickly sought Aberforth's, and he was surprised to see the old man looking right at him, a soft serene smile on his face. It stayed there, even as the first beam slammed against his arm, tearing the limb from his body. The next hit his leg, ripping through muscle and bone. Another hit his abdomen, punching his intestines through his back. Even as several more impacted his body, he never lost his smile. Until his body finally gave, falling backwards in a heap.
His scream made it to the front of his mouth, echoing out Aberforth's name. His rage intensified, until two very distinct sounds made themselves known in the now silent church. The song of metal piercing flesh, and the tune it caused spilt blood to play.
The Boy-Who-Lived turned shakily, eyes wide in the face of this absolute nightmare. Only to behold Remus kneeling on the ground, two swords stabbing through his back, and out of his chest. The people he knew as his parents quickly withdrew the weapons, allowing Lupin's body to fall forward.
Harry wasn't even aware of willing his body to move, but his wand was in his hand before he knew it, flinging out spells as he ran. James and Lily disappeared, curses landing harmlessly against the walls behind them. The raven haired teen slid to a stop next to the dying werewolf, quickly dropping his sword and wand. He grasped Remus' face in both of his hand.
'Remus! Can you hear me? We gotta' get out of here!'
Remus coughed what would have been a reply, blood splattered on his face. Harry looked up at his opponents, all of whom were back standing at Voldemort's side, a demonic smile plastered to his face.
'I told you that you could not defeat me! I am more powerful then you could ever imagine. This place will be your grave!'
Harry grit his teeth in frustration, angry tears prickling his eyes. Aberforth was dead, and there was nothing he could do about it. There was no way he could even hope to get to Snape, who still lay at Voldemort's feet. Remus chances were no better then Aberforth's, but he would be damned if he didn't try. He quickly grabbed his wand, keeping his eyes trained on the eight black armored figures in front of him. Remus' grunted with pain as Harry lifted one of his arms around his neck, intending to lift the older wizard.
He had to get Remus outside the church, then somehow come back in and get Snape. He and the Potions Master may not have ever been friends, nor would they ever be, but Snape had always helped the Order when dealing with the Dark Lord.
Harry felt a hand push his chest, Remus taking his arm from around the younger wizard's neck.
'Y..ou have to get..out...of..he...re...'
Harry shook his head furiously.
'Shut up! We're getting the fuck out of here, and you're going to be fine!'
Remus coughed, a bit of blood splashing against Harry's glasses. He leveled a gaze at Harry, even as his eyes began to cloud over.
'Harry...I'm not...goi.ng...to make it...but you...you have to...survi..ve...'
Remus grabbed Harry's shoulder as hard as he could, shaking the younger man with his fading strength.
'They aren...t...your family...any..more! Do...n't...be...afraid...to fi..ght them...'
His hand slipped from Harry's shoulders, his head resting back against the ground. Even though his eyes were unfocused, staring off into space, Harry could feel them penetrating him, holding his attention.
A small smile graced his lip, body going slack.
Harry watched the light that was Remus' life fade into darkness. The Boy-Who-Lived knew what he was supposed to do. He had to cry, had to grab a hold of Remus and beg him not to leave him. Had to promise that the werewolf would be ok. Oh the tears were there, but the refused to fall.
He stood slowly, head hung and black hair covering his eyes. His sword was in his hand, as well as his wand. Remus was gone. Aberforth was gone. Somewhere off in the distance he could hear Voldemort laughing. A single, hot trail left the corner of his eye, burning it's way down his cheek. He reached up to touch it, somehow knowing it wasn't a tear.
It was blood.
A tear. Blood.
That's when he felt it, a space in the back of his mind. That paper thin line between madness and genius. Between happiness and rage. The dumping ground for all his emotions and feelings. The place Aberforth said he would find when he truly became a Master Occ'umens. And he embraced it, letting it wash over his body. His face lost all character, and he looked up, the eight people in front of him hazed with red.
They had made their statement. Had proven their motives with the killing of Aberforth and Remus.
And now Harry was ready to exact his revenge. No matter who they once were.
Harry wasn't sure how he knew, but instinctively he placed his wand against the handle of Gryffindor's sword, not even blinking as the wand slipped into the pommel as if it were being dropped in a bowl of liquid. It elongated, resembling something of a two bladed spear. But he didn't care. It was just an extension of his body. And extension he would use to wreak havoc upon those who had wronged him.
Somewhere in the background he could hear himself screaming, head facing the heavens. The winds around him tore at his clothing, the church walls rumbling in protest. He focused his magic the way Aberforth and Alastor had taught him, let it seep into his very bones.
He exploded from where he was standing, the ground tearing up as his feet left.
They wanted a fight. They got one.
For the first time since the confrontation started in the church, Voldemort was shocked. The Potter child was powerful, more so then he would have ever imagined. A sneer lined his face, and he threw out a hand, silently ordering all but Albus to attack. It would not matter in the end. Young Harry would fall.
Harry slid to halt, James and Lily upon him before he had a chance to get close to Voldemort, the same way the others held him back. This time though, things would be different.
He reared back with all his strength, throwing his spear like a boomerang at the two approaching him. James ducked, Lily flipping over it. Neither had time to prepare after their evasive action, Harry jumping forward, feet catching both of them squarely in the chest. He pushed off of them, flinging himself high into the air. James and Lily crashed into the wooden steps at the altar, landing perfectly on their feet, his attack doing nothing but briefly stalling them
Harry caught his spear as he flew through the air, twisting his body as a bombardment of curses whizzed past. He crouched as his feet hit the ground and in an instant Ron and Ginny were on top of him, weapons swinging with feral tenacity. His spear answered in kind, deflecting Ron's mace and Ginny's short sword. Soon the two had him pushed back, and their strength and fighting abilities on par with his. His desperately spun at the right moment, side stepping as Ron thrust forward with his weapon. Harry smashed his elbow into the back of the redheads neck, slamming him into the ground. He would have cheered mentally at the blow, had the redhead's astral whip not lashed out and struck him in the back. He winced but quickly recovered, landing in a ball and rolling out of it.
Harry turned just in time for a black knife to embed itself in the ground where he was standing. He thrust out a hand, magically forcing the ground to rise up in a wall before him. It hardly lasted long enough for him to dive out of the way. A fusillade of knives and bright spells crushed through the wall like it wasn't even there. The Boy-Who-Lived was already moving, shifting in and out of view as he raced towards Hermione and Luna.
The brunette threw her arms wide, before slamming them together in an amplified clap. A razor thin shock wave of sound sliced through the floor towards him, forcing him to cross his forearms in defense. He grit his teeth as his magic slammed against hers, rocks tearing up around his feet as he fought her power. The wave struggled against him, twitching and shaking, trying drastically to slice through his body. His forearms began to bleed, gashes showing slowly showing. He yelled out, pushing back against her spell with his power, rocketing it forward. She screamed out as it hit her, lifting her up and tossing her aside.
He could feel the air displacement again, and without a second to think, spun his spear around his body repeatedly. Each and every knife Luna threw was obliterated when his spear hit them. The pale blonde lunged to the side as a cascade of Harry's spells abolished the ground she was previously occupying.
Each spell he threw was lethal, and in the deep, dark recess of his mind, he didn't care. These people were no longer his friends. These people weren't his family any longer. The moment they killed Aberforth and Remus, they ceased to be known to him on any level.
Harry slammed his weapon into the ground, pushing the most powerful Reductor curse he could into it. It definitely had the desired effect, as parts of the massive church began to collapse when the ground trembled in a small quake. He expelled as much energy as he could into it, magically looping the spear to continuously cast. It would help distract his opponents, and hopefully help him keep the upper hand.
James was in his face before he could pull his weapon free, sword no longer in hand. Harry ducked and dodged the salvo of punches and kicks his 'father' threw at him. James forced him back, and Harry could quickly realize the situation. He was cut off from his weapon. They knew it. He knew it.
It was just a matter of what was going to happen because of it.
He had to hold back a grin as he watched Luna appear next to the two bladed spear, intent to remove it from the ground. The blast that rocketed her away when she touched it made the rest realize the Gryffindor weapon would let no one but Harry handle it.
He flipped over James' roundhouse, slamming his fist into the elder Potter's chest. To Harry's absolute shock, his fist sunk into James' ebony armor with a wet splat. The Boy-Who-Lived yanked on his arm desperately as it was held by the oily membrane, leaving him completely vulnerable up close. James smirked, raining blows upon his son. Harry blocked the blows he could, several landing across his body. His free arm quaked with each strike it defended against, threatening to snap if things continued. He growled deep in his throat, jumping up and hammering both his feet into James' face, pulling with all his might. The armor gave, releasing his arm with a disgusting wet discharge.
James pulled back, and Harry ducked low as Lily's kick from behind sailed over his head. He brought an elbow up to block her sudden swing at his face, raising a knee and blocking James'. He winced in pain as their blows rattled his bones. Harry was far stronger then a normal wizard, and with his magic coursing through his body, it only amplified his physical abilities. But the two people before him were able to easily cause him harm if their blows landed. Whatever ritual Voldemort had put them through, it had increased their strength and speed tenfold
And Harry knew that was not good for hand-to-hand combat when they had him effectively surrounded.
He pushed as much magic into his body as he could, blurring behind James and brining both him and Lily into his view. Hands lashed out, releasing two powerful Expelliarmus spells. James caught the brunt of it to his back, Lily to the chest, and soon both were bouncing across the ground violently. They vaulted upright when they both stopped, resuming their pursuit.
A sharp force impacted his knee, almost causing it to snap. He bit down his cry through grit teeth, heaving himself to the side as Ginny's fist grazed the side of his face, screaming with fury. He whirled about with all his might, bringing his heel against the back of her head. Her cranium snapped forward, plowing her into the ground chest first. She balanced herself before she hit, sweeping his legs out from under him, laughing insanely as she did so. Harry caught himself on his hands, hurling himself away from her.
A black curse slammed into his blindside as he landed, crying out at the feel of a thousand hooks tearing at his skin, flinging him against the wall. He grunted as he hit several feet in the air, sprinting alongside the wall when he regained his footing. The concrete exploded behind him as curses missed their mark. Harry slid to a stop, swearing out loud as Hermione phased in front of him, hands outstretched. Dozens of spells appeared at her fingertips, and almost instantaneously, they barreled at him. His instincts kicked in, and with a simple motion of his hand the concrete wall broke off from itself, effectively shielding him.
It buckled under the combined weight of her magical attack, but gave just the second he needed to avoid the assault. The brunette growled in anger, forced to dodge as a chunk of the ceiling nearly crushed her.
Debris continued to fall from his spears Reductor attacks, and he was vaguely away of Luna moving off in the distance. Most likely to get a better shot at him. He glanced around as he shifted, soaking in the battlefield. James and Lily moving, circling his position and preparing to strike. Ginny was already recovered, eluding the concrete and wood that fell near her. Hermione had teleported back near Luna, and both girls' hands were flashing with the obvious signs of casting.
No sign of Ron.
Harry hissed in pain as a pair of a onyx plated arms wrapped around his midsection, lifting him from the ground.
He yelled out as the youngest male Weasley tightened his arms. Harry grabbed a hold of them, but they were locked tight. He howled through clamped teeth, feeling his muscles and ribs beginning to collapse under the pressure. He reached back, placing both of his palms against Ron's ears. Two blasts of a sound spell, and Ron screamed in pain as everything in his hearing was magnified nearly a thousand times, releasing Harry and gripping his head. The Boy-Who-Lived spun around, grabbing a fistful of hair, plowing his knee in the young man's face.
Ron's head cracked backwards, nearly toppling over. His eyes shot open and without warning, he reared forward, slamming his forehead into Harry's chest.
The Chosen One landed hard on his back, pain beginning to seep into his tired muscles. He couldn't keep this up forever, and with how they were taking turns, it wouldn't be long before they brought him down. Even individually, they took his attacks as if they weren't anything at all, bouncing back just as quickly as he could dish out damage.
He heard the spells, rather then saw them, crackling through the air. He placed a hand on the ground, firing a wandless and wordless Expelliarmus. The force of the spell slid him across the ground like missile, black crackling curses just skimming his feet as he launched.
He reached a hand out, snatching up his spear as he slid past it. He was on his feet in the blink of an eye, drawing the weapon behind his body.
Lily was in upon him almost the moment he had risen, sword back in hand. Their swords met in a crazy splash of sparks, their faces coming close as their weapons were locked in a stalemate. Even as Harry struggled against her, face scrunched in exertion, her eyes were half lidded in a smoky look. Her voice came out like sultry, poisonous honey.
'I'm so happy to see you, baby boy. Mmm, you look delicious enough to break.'
Her statement caused him to completely lose his concentration, and she took full advantage of it, slashing wildly. He blocked where he could, dodged where he couldn't, but tears and blood were soon tinging his clothing. It wasn't long before James was in the mix as well, the three of them dancing to the sound of clashing metal and battle cries.
They both swung at once, and Harry caught the combined blow with the staff-like middle of his spear. Harry grunted in protest as they forced him to one knee, their combined might too much for him to handle. He spun his weapon, both of the end blades forcing them back, breaking out into a sprint away from them. He could hear them giving chase, as he desperately tried to think of a way to fight them off. James and Lily worked in absolute perfection with each other, just like Ginny and the rest. Never a misplaced spell or attack to harm one other.
Harry had many times caused Death Eaters to shoot their own, and it helped keep his advantage. That wouldn't be the case here. He glanced up during his run, almost grinning when a large chunk of the ceiling broke away and fell near them. He dashed in it's direction, trying as hard as he could to time it just right. He stopped directly underneath the falling piece, throwing his spear upwards with all his might. The large cement portion exploded into magnificent display of dust and rocks. The sudden shrapnel forced the two Potter's to evade, just as Harry planned.
They twisted around each other as they dodged, keeping their positions close. No time to react when Harry flew forward into both of them, fists outstretched. It hurt like hell when his knuckles impacted that damn black armor, but a powerful exploding spell from each fist was well worth it. Husband and wife were picked up off their feet, each plowing through separate pillars in the church. Harry cursed again in irritation as both of them were up in a heartbeat, rushing towards him.
What the bloody hell did it take to keep them all down?
Harry turned to grab for his spear, but a black knife sliced his arm. He pulled back, swearing in his head, dodging as more flew in his direction. Snatching one out of the air, Harry hurled it back at Luna. The blonde held up a finger, the blade stopping mere centimeters from her forehead. She twirled her finger, the blade mimicking the move, pointed forward and the blade joined the others still pursuing Harry. This time he did curse out loud, doing what he could to keep the controlled blades from slicing him apart.
He ran as hard as he could towards the nearest wall, sprinting up the side and flipping off of it. He could feel the air of the blades skim his hair as he flipped over them. Luna didn't have the time to redirect them with her magic, and each one plowed right into the wall.
He snatched up his spear, body alert and prepared for the next attack.
He was startled to find each one of his attackers standing still, staring at him with the biggest, most evil grins he had ever seen.
That's when it started...
Hermione was the first to start chanting, her voice sounding of many, not just hers. It was a language he had never heard before, but it's tone didn't deny any aspect of it's purpose. Her arms rose, and soon her feet were several feet from the ground. Dark flames began to pour off her body, licking and lapping at the air around her. Her pupils disappeared, the whites of her eyes filling with red.
Lily happened next.
Soon all six of them were in a position similar to Hermione's, and Harry could almost feel the tenebrosity touching his skin, grasping at any happiness or joy he may of had in his mind.
Whatever they were casting, it had a similar effect to the Dementor's.
Leave it to his 'friends' to remember one of his few weaknesses.
Harry grit his teeth, drawing magic from every core in his body. Light blue and white mist began to caress his battered form, lifting the few rocks that lay scattered near him. The church was still falling apart from his earlier attack, but whatever fell close to the black forms in front of him, disintegrated.
Their darkness was at the point of overwhelming him, and their chanting had picked up in tempo. Harry grasped his spear in both hands, holding it upright in front of his face. Eyes closed, he conjured up everything that had ever brought him joy in his life. Every memory he loved. Every memory that had ever made him smile. The mists around his body began to churn, twisting and writhing as if he were in a blender. Their flames expanded, and their voices grew.
Time seemed to slow for Harry as he opened his eyes, heart thumping in his ears.
Dozens of black shapes sprung from their bodies. Semi-translucent wraiths that screamed and wailed into the air, writhing and wiggling as if in agony. Then they focused on him, driven by the force of their castor's. They raced at him, screeching like the hells were on their heels.
And Harry was ready for them.
Snape's eyes cracked when he opened them, the dried blood doing nothing to help his state of being. He had been slipping in an out of consciousness. But he knew Dumbledore and Lupin were dead. He had heard Potter's screaming and revenge filled cries.
For weeks, Snape had not seen or heard anything directly from You-Know-Who, most of his orders coming directly Lucius, who had haughtily pointed out that he was to be in charge during the Dark Lord's absence. All he had known, was that the Dark Lord had found something incredible. Some type of ruins buried deep within the countryside across from London. Some artifact that had caused the deaths of an entire fire giant clan, and their leader Yaga Shura who had been searching for it on the Dark Lord's behalf. He had known nothing more then that, and had greatly suspected that Voldemort had gone himself.
Things would become increasingly difficult to understand in the coming weeks.
The first to go missing was Nagini, who had sat faithfully next to Voldemort's throne in his absence. An unfortunate Death Eater had gotten too close at one point, and the snake didn't need to be fed that entire week. One evening she had been there, and the next morning, she was gone.
Then Wormtail had disappeared. The fat man had come close to dying so many times that for a while the ranks believed he had just botched up another assignment, getting himself killed or captured. But Avery had found Pettigrew's silver had on a pedastool near his doorway, bits of flesh, bone, and blood still dripping off when it was discovered.
Tension had started to run high in the ranks, and soon their were whispered rumors of a traitor in their midst.
The next to vanish was Bellatrix. Her loss was not greatly missed. She had fallen out of favor with the Dark Lord nearly two years ago when she led the assault on the Orphanage. Although Ron Weasley had been killed, their loses had been harsh. In a time when Voldemort was greatly playing out his forces strength. The fact that a single boy wizard could kill so many of his forces had thrown him into a rage. Bellatrix became greatly acquainted with the Cruciatus that day. She had left for her chambers one morning, screaming in a rage about some house elf. Three days later, her chamber doors would be opened when she didn't answer Lucius' call, and she was gone.
It had been nearly two weeks before another incident had happened. This one outside of the Death Eater ranks. Narcissa had gone missing, nearly throwing Lucius into hysterics. Draco had come to his door one evening, explaining that his mother had vanished, and that his father had almost every available Death Eater searching for her. The young boy was at an entire loss at what to do, and Snape had reassured him that everything would be fine.
They wouldn't be, of course.
The very next day after Narcissa's disappearing act, Lucius had become missing in action as well. Many of the higher ranking Death Eaters had searched the Malfoy Mansion, none turning up traces of either elder Malfoy.
That's when Draco approached him again, and Snape realized there was something horrifying at work.
The boy had been pale, hands fidgeting as he explained the things he had been hearing and seeing.
He spoke of shadows that seemed just a bit too dark at times, whenever he walked through the halls of their outpost, or even at the Malfoy Manor. Sometimes he could hear whispers from around corners, but nobody would be there. At times, he thought he had witnessed specters, sometimes at the end of long hallways, or out of the corners of his eyes. True, they had ghosts at Hogwarts so the supernatural should have been nothing. But the way he explained this, it was as if something had been stalking him. He said he had shivered when he recalled feeling a cold breath against his neck, name coming out in a whisper.
Snape had nodded, explaining to the Malfoy heir that something was amiss and he would begin investigating in the morning. The boy had bid him goodnight, and at the last second Snape had realized there was something more he wished to speak of. When he opened his chamber door to the hallway, Draco was nowhere to be seen.
Severus would not realize what was happening until much later, and when he had realized what was proceeding, the thickest fear he had ever felt descended upon him. He had tried to warn Potter, just in the midst of releasing the owl, when a hand had grabbed him from behind. He had spun, wand extended, only to drop it at the sight of Albus Dumbledore.
The rest was blurred into one big beating.
Severus tried to focus his eyes on the battlefield inside the church. He could see Potter, a golden mist enveloping his whole body. Even more amazing was the golden stag Patronus that reared it's head from side to side, thwarting off dark wraiths that continuously closed in on the young man.
He could see the resurrected warriors that Voldemort had at his command, bodies engulfed in blazing darkness. Their wraiths screamed and howled, fighting Harry and his casting with all their might.
Snape coughed, feeling the blood pool underneath his head. His body had been shattered in so many places. Ribs crushed, hip destroyed. His arm had been ripped out of the socket so hard, his collarbone had most surely snapped in the process. The gashes across his body continued to seep blood, and he was amazed that his intestines were even still inside his body. He felt a great stabbing in his chest, and knew something had been pierced.
He knew he wouldn't live much longer. No matter if Potter actually managed to get him out of there, he would die. No amount of healing could save him. That's why he had to make sure Potter made it out alive. He was their only hope. It had been the last wish of a dying man. A mentor he had killed.
Those last words of Dumbledore's had not been for his life, but for Harry's. And although the Potions Master cared nothing for the boy, he knew in his heart that he had long ago chosen the wrong path in life, paying for it now. He only wished he could relay the information he knew with Potter, how the Dark Lord had done what he had.
He glanced up at the twisted man who had once been his mentor, and the Dark Lord. They both had their gazes fixated on the battle before them. The would never see his action until it was too late.
He had never done this wandlessly before, but even as his hand reached out and grasped a small stone, he knew if he didn't try...
...Potter would not survive this fight.
The golden stag bellowed, twisting it's head around as more of the shadows descended upon Harry. It repulsed every one of them that came close, protecting the young wizard with everything it had.
Harry had his spear in hand, screaming out with all his might.
The church trembled with the force of magic, tearing apart wall to wall and blocks of it spinning around the entire area as if caught in a tornado. The ground around them broke apart, joining the stone and cement in the air. The combined power of the magics battling forced the clouds above them to begin raining.
Harry roared, releasing every amount of potency he had into the air. The shadows screamed in pain, and his Patronus charged forward, slamming into the entirety of them. The resulting magical explosion decimated them, the wraiths wailing as his stag tore through them one by one. His stag burst forward, lining itself with the dark wizards and witches that were casting. In it's last moment, his Patronus detonated, engulfing the entire acre in a blinding white light, the land being decimated as it it were hit by a nuclear bomb.
Harry slumped as the golden mist around him faded, coughing and hacking, air not making its way to his lungs fast enough. He leaned heavily against the two bladed spear in his hands, mind nothing more then a white buzz. He had expelled too much magic into his Patronus, and it had taxed his body beyond it's limit. Every muscle screamed at even the slightest movement. His glasses had shattered at some point, and he winced at the small cuts the shattered glass had left behind.
The church couldn't even be called such anymore, as the area around them was nothing more then war torn wasteland. Large slabs that were once walls littered the surrounding acre, pieces of the ceiling still landing here and their. The rainfall was ice cold, and sizzled into steam when it landed on Harry's skin.
His sight was blurred without his glasses, and he muttered a vision spell. Normally he would never use these spells in fights, as a simple Finite spell would render it useless. But at the moment he had nothing better.
When the smoke cleared, he could see Voldemort and Albus standing much farther away then before, the area they had been standing on destroyed when his Patronus detonated. Harry was distressed to see that neither was harmed in any way.
Even more horrifying was seeing each and every one of those he fought still standing, the evil smiles still plastered to their faces. His Patronus had destroyed their summons and annihilated the surrounding area, but the six of them were standing their as if nothing had happened.
In a fraction of a second, it all made sense.
They had been fucking with him.
This whole battle, he had pushed his body to the limits. Released his magic to the point where could possibly kill just about any wizard in the world in the blink of an eye.
But they had held back. Even when he hit them, they were ascertaining his threat level. Watching him give everything he had; every spell, every attack, every move. But they had hardly shown him anything, possibly only using a sliver of their true might. His body shook in anger as he realized that everything that had happened, happened for nothing. The hope he held every time he hit one of them, the jubilation he felt deep inside whenever he forced them on the defensive.
All just one clever ruse to analyze his power, and remember every one of his techniques.
The bloody bastards!
He rushed the closest one with a battle cry on his lips, anger and shame stoking the last fires he had in his body. None of them moved, and for a split second, he thought he might actually strike one down.
And at the last moment, he was met with Ginny's beautiful face as he thrust forward, her look of brief horror as he bore down on her.
Everything seemed to stop, memories of their time together rushing through his mind like a drive in movie.
The days they spent together at Hogsmeade. The moments when they had kissed. The times they had flown together on his Firebolt. The occasions when they had such deep and meaningful conversations.
The expressions of their lovemaking. The way she bit his shoulder whenever she came. The way she would cry out his name as he spilled into her ravaged body. The splay of her hair against the pillow. Her skin. Her touch. Her smell.
Little, elbow in butter Ginny.
His second of hesitation would be his downfall, as she smirked coldly at him in triumph. Another set up.
The hardest blow he had ever known impacted with his lower back, and the resounding crack was all he had to hear to know everything was about to change.
Ron's mace flung him over Ginny's form, and Harry cried out in absolute torment as his spine fractured. He hit the ground harder then any time he could recall, tears of agony piercing his eyes. He stood slowly, spear still in hand.
Two movements to his left captured his attention, and he moved to block the combined blow from James and Lily, but the paralyzing pain in his back almost toppled him. His spear was torn from his grasp as they struck, flying harmlessly in the other direction. He was not prepared for them to both reach out and take a hold of his outstretched arm that had held the spear.
The two dark warriors twisted with all their might, and the Boy-Who-Lived watched in terror as his arm was ripped free from his body, shattered bone and blood floating through the air. Harry screamed as loud as his lungs would allow, on the verge of passing out from the white hot pain.
Hermione was suddenly in front of him, two dark curses firing from either of her hands. Black electricity exploded in his mind as each one struck his thighs, searing his skin like nothing he had ever felt before. His screaming only intensified, and he slumped to his knees.
His mind was on the verge of snapping, the pain a hundred times more potent then any Crucio he had ever felt. Hands gripped his clothes as his screaming died out, holding him upright on his knees.
None of the pain could prepare him for the sight of Luna, followed by the unforeseen stab of a black knife through his eye.
An astounding roar of anguish thundered from his throat as he felt the soft orb of flesh explode in his eye socket, covering his face in white and red ooze as it was destroyed.
He didn't know how long he was held their on his knees, body on the verge of being entirely eviscerated. His breathing became short and shallow, and Harry could no longer feel any heat in his bones. His entire body felt ice cold, and the blood on his body burned against the frigid temperature of his skin. His body shook and trembled, feeding its way into a deep shock.
In the back of his pain filled mind, he could hear footsteps approaching, vaguely aware that someone was speaking.
'Do you understand now, young Harry? You were nothing against those that are my servants. You have been destroyed, and soon the world will fall to me and my minions.'
There was a voice in his mind, different from the speech of Voldemort.
'You Order will see their demise, as I will hang each one of them from their entrails on either side of my throne.'
Pott...er...can y..ou hear me...?
'I will spare the women, handing them over to my hordes to do with as they please.'
'The men will be fed to my hell hounds and the Troll clans.'
'And their deaths, will be on your hands. Now die Potter, knowing the world will die soon with you.'
Harry could barely control his shivering, and he coughed, blood spewing from his mouth and covering his lips and chin. He tried to speak back to Riddle, tell him he would see him in hell, but all that came was a raspy gurgle, followed by more blood filled hacking.
When he lifted his head, every movement nearly driving him unconscious, his good eye focused on the dark robed figure that still lay several meters away. A dark robed figure that was slowly sitting up.
Snape's eyes met Harry's one remaining green one, the Legilimancy he used too hard to keep up. The stone was clutched tightly in his hands.
The Potions Master would only have one chance, and he tightened his grip as he watched Ginny Weasley stalk forward, short sword in hand. He had to think of something quickly, distract the Dark Lord enough to throw him off guard. The Dark Lord was going to let the youngest girl kill him. She could end his life, the prophecy would allow it. Especially with what she and the other resurrected were. He wished he could have told Potter, told anyone what he had learned about them. But their was no time and no strength left to tell Harry how Voldemort had accomplished something no other wizard ever could.
Harry's eye regained focus as he looked at him, and Snape pushed his last remaining thought to Harry.
A door lined with books. A crystal ball. A cluttered desk. A tin. Candy. A note. A possible password only Harry knew, but no one else.
Snape couldn't read the young mans eye to see whether he received the vision or not, the Boy-Who-Lived was in far too much agony to think beyond that. He only hoped it would stay in his mind somewhere.
With that, Severus Snape, spy amongst the Death Eaters, swallowed every ounce of fear in his body to do what he would now.
It had exactly the reaction he had hoped for, the Dark Lord and all seven of his minions turning to the forgotten man who had called out his name. The absolute look of rage had almost caused Snape to clench up in fear.
But when one is already on their death bed, the Reaper will hold your hand through anything.
And without a second thought, Snape threw the rock as hard as he could, the shock causing all of them to react far too slowly.
And the Portkey he had made with the last of his magic worked to perfection, hitting Potter in the chest; tearing him from their grasp and teleporting him back to the halls of Hogwarts. To a special Portkey room only he and a few other knew of.
He smirked one last time as Voldemort bellowed in rage.
The smirk remained even as Voldemort's scythe tore his body in half.
Harry felt his hair slowly settle back down, glass falling around him like droplets.
Harry had not landed in the Portkey'd room like he believed Snape had expected, but instead in the Great Hall, during dinner. Students had screamed and ran has his bloody and tortured body had impacted the ground, and he could barely remember the feel of a dozen wands on his body, doing all they could to save him.
It had taken Madam Pomphrey, Fleur who had been her apprentice, Tonks, Kingsley, and six of Saint Mungo's finest to even bring him close to a stable condition. The dark magic left behind where his arm had been torn off was one of the major causes that had almost killed him. Something about their armor touching his skin had caused a resistance to the healing spells they had tried to administer. So Poppy had called in a specialist, the man who had created Moody's eye and leg.
He had worked tirelessly for nearly two weeks to graft Harry a new arm, designed from a special mixture of Himalayan mithrils, platinum and various other components. They had to regrow as much of his missing bone as they could, then magically attach the prosthetic to it. The amount of magical power the healers had placed in the construct had caused it to be far more powerful then a normal arm, but unreliable at times. It would sometimes lock up or freeze. Other times shoot a spell out unexpectedly. Things of that nature.
His eye they could do nothing for. Whatever properties were in Luna's daggers, it dispelled any healing. So they had cleaned it with muggle techniques and prayed that he could live.
For two months, he slipped in and out of critical condition, coming close to being in a coma several times. Fleur had taken to staying in bed with him, using her veela essence to try and curb his thrashing and screaming as the nightmares nearly stole his mind. She would later tell him that he screamed out in his sleep, calling for Ginny and Hermione. Ron and Luna. Remus and Aberforth. Albus. His mother and father. At the time, no one had known what happened at the church, and even now, he refused to tell anyone.
That's when Hogwarts had come under siege, as he was trying to recover from his wounds. With Albus at his side, Voldemort knew that intimate knowledge that built the wards around the ancient school. He had come with the intent to finish Harry.
The Auror's and Unspeakable's had done what they could, but they had been overrun within an hours, Trolls and Orcs decimating their ranks. Death Eaters stormed in on brooms, killing male students and kidnapping the females.
Many teachers lost their lives that day, desperately trying to defend the children they taught. But they too could do nothing.
But the one who had saved them all, was a little free house elf.
Dobby. And Winky. And every other elf that resided within the castle.
The house elves had confronted Voldemort's army all by themselves, and with a release of power that shocked even the Dark Lord, they sacrificed their bodies to banish his entire army off of the Hogwarts grounds. They had all perished in the attack, but somehow had created an unknown blood ward that no one could understand. Hogwarts was completely impenetrable to the Dark Lord and his servants.
Despite that, the school had been evacuated, hoping the students would be safer at their homes.
Oh the irony, as only a month later, Great Britain would all but fall to Tom Riddle.
Harry would awaken to find half the wizarding world fighting for their lives. The other half under Voldemort's complete subjection.
Suddenly, a pair of soft arms wrapped around his chest from behind, and he felt someone nuzzle the nape his neck softly. A cool, soothing aura washed over his tortured mind. Even though he was immune to her veela powers, if she centered them just right, it wold act as a light sedative. He closed his eyes and sank back into her embrace as she kissed his neck, doing everything she could to comfort him.
"'Arry.." She said his name with some concern. It didn't take long for him to figure that they had seen his display of anger in the Great Hall.
"I know. I'm sorry Fleur..." His voice was laced with reassurance.
Then he felt another pair of hands on his cheeks, thumbs softly stroking his skin. They had their problems in the past, especially with the whole Umbridge scenario, but things had changed dramatically for them since then. Even though she was no veela, she could calm his nerves just as well.
"Are you ok Harry?" Marietta's voice filtered through his ears.
He opened his eyes, first seeing the reddish brown of her curly hair. He met her brown eyes with his own and smiled lightly.
"As ok as can be expected."
Fleur made a small comforting noise behind him, softly kissing his shoulder.
"Quite a show Harry..." Neville's voice rang out.
The two girls stepped away from him and Harry turned, a wry smile on his features. "Yeah, I'm sure..." he replied sarcastically. He hated it when he lost himself. He hated it even more when his friends were witness to it.
Neville leveled an apologetic gaze at him, before pulling out his wand and repairing the damage Harry had wrought about. Fleur and Marietta joined him only moments later, the three of them waving their wands in intricate patterns.
Harry wanted to help them fix something he had done, but knew that it would only provoke them to shuffle him off as they tried to help. They tried so hard sometimes to do anything they could to ease him.
Another pair of hands ran along his shoulders and hair, brushing off the stray glass.
"You were thinking about it again, weren't you?"
He closed his eyes, nodding softly to Demelza's question. Her tone was no where near accusatory, just inquisitive. She was always very good at asking him exactly what was on his mind, in a way that was kind and soft.
She walked in front of him her, light blond hair bounding in it's ponytail. Her dark cobalt eyes scanned his clothing, grasping the front of his battle attire, shaking them lightly to get out any excess glass.
"I'm sure I would be perfectly capable of doing that myself" he said jokingly. She just smiled and stuck her tongue out through her teeth. When she was sure that she had him cleaned, she began helping the others in their fixing adventure.
Harry sighed lightly. He cared for them deeply, and they had helped him cope so much in the past few months.
Harry , after Fleur and the others had saved him from himself, had tried very hard to pick up the battle where he left off after that tragic event at the church. But things had spiraled so far out of control, he just couldn't garner the support to push back against Voldemort. The Ministry was collapsing in on itself, losing Departments frequently against the Inferi that had holed up in its walls. The Auror's and Unspeakable's were holding down the Departments they still had control of, creating magical barricades between the Department Levels to maintain the upper hand.
It wouldn't be long though before they had to abandon the entire Ministry office, and Percy had long since told Harry that he was doing everything he could to evacuate all vital documents and the like before they lost the Ministry.
Scrimgeour was still the acting Minister, but the Wizengamot had all been murdered, their bodies strung upon different areas of London. Once again it had to be with Albus' help, as he was the only one who knew all the of identities.
And the allies Harry had before 'The Church' had all but been assaulted by Voldemort.
Germany had been one of the hardest hit, and Durmstrang was now more of a embattled fort then wizarding school. Krum's latest reports put their refugee count at nearly 8,000. The Kraefte, Germany's law enforcement like the Auror's, had been pushed from almost all different points in the country. The entire German Ministry had set up inside the tall fortress walls of Durmstrang, the Kraefte defending the school with all their might.
Harry knew it wouldn't be long before they were crushed, and with Voldemort possibly taking over Germany, he would have a supply route that would reach the entirety of the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Spain, Italy, Poland and Asia. A big reach that Harry did not want him to get under any circumstances.
France had been hard hit as well, but luckily had more relief then Germany. When Beauxbatons had fallen under assault, the Veela society had stepped up and aided in it's defense. With their veela powers and incredible prowess with bows and enchanted arrows, the French school had been somewhat spared from attack. The French Ministry was on the verge of civil dissent, however. Too many wanted to just turn a blind eye to what they believed were other countries problems. The other side had tried to use the assault on Beauxbatons to urge their help in the war, but nothing was listened to.
This didn't even go into America, Japan and China.
"Off in your own world again?"
Harry blinked, his mind regaining focus. He looked up, seeing everything back in place from his tirade. He nodded at Neville's question. He knew they were trying to help, but with everything weighing on his mind, he just needed some more time to think.
More time to justify to himself that what he was going to do wasn't insane.
Even though he knew it was.
"You guys should probably go see if there is anything to eat in the stock downstairs. I still have some things to finish in here." He said despondently.
"Like preparing to up and leave the Order?" Marietta stated in a quiet voice.
Harry's eyes widened in shock, and he turned back to her, before glaring at Neville.
"What the hell did I tell you about saying anything?" He hissed.
The once shy Gryffindor held up his hands in defense. "I didn't tell them anything!"
Fleur stepped up in front of Harry, pulling out the exact letter he had sent to Neville earlier that day.
"I took it from 'im 'Arry. We knew you were planning some'zing wiz you 'oled up in 'Ogwarts for so long, 'ardley speaking to anyone. So I looked in Nev's bag and found it." She took a deep breath, closing her eyes. "I noticed you and Nev exchanging many letters, so I 'ad suspicions." Her crystal blue eyes opened softly, locking their gaze on him. "What is going on, 'Arry?" She asked in a small whisper.
The Boy-Who-Lived exhaled through his lips, trying to wrack his brain for an answer to give them. Even Neville didn't know all the details.
What was he supposed to say?
Hey, I spent most of the last four months in here researching in the Restricted Section of the library looking for a ritual to subdue people of legendary power so I can stop a madman. Oh yeah, it might not work and either kill me, tear me to another world...or make me another Dark Lord. Who knows!
He shook his head, turning his back on the foursome in the room with him.
"It's better if you don't know, Fleur." He responded softly, head hung slightly. "It's bad enough that Nev knows what he does, which is very little mind you. The less you all know, the safer you all will be."
Demelza took a step forward, arms crossed under her breasts. "Harry, we can fully take care of ourselves." She said indignantly.
Harry just shook his head, not responding. He couldn't tell them the truth. It would put too much at stake.
He felt a finger under his chin, lifting his head. He opened his eyes to Marietta's brown ones, hers darting back and forth as they searched his.
"Harry, we've stuck by you through a lot these past couple of years. More so then in these past months. I'm sorry if we've pushed you, but we're only worried about you. I know you well enough now that whatever you're planning you can't do it alone. I understand that everything is looking very bad right now, but if we have hope..."
Harry tore his chin from her grasp, a growl making its way from his throat. He stalked a ways away from her and the others, moving to the head of the long table. He suddenly turned, anger burning in his eyes.
"No, you don't understand! No matter how much hope we have, it won't do a bloody damn well of good when Voldemort marches his armies across the globe!" Their eyes widened slightly as he threw his arms out. "Don't you guys see it? We're losing this war! Their are entire countries out their perishing right now, and nobody can do a damn thing about it!"
Neville's eyes widened slightly when Harry began to speak. His raven haired friend had always kept very calm about what was going on in the war when he was in front of others. He had always been optimistic, no matter how bad things had looked. Longbottom glanced at the girls, seeing the tears beginning to well up in their eyes already.
"Harry, just calm down for a moment..." He said softly, hoping that the Boy-Who-Lived didn't have another reaction like he did before.
His green eyes shifted to Neville. "I can't bloody calm down Neville! They are out there right now, fighting for that bastard!"
All of them knew exactly who he was speaking of when he said the word 'They'.
During Harry's recovery the months after The Church, there had been reports filtering in of certain sightings. Auror's that had fought against Voldemort's forces had begun saying they could see the legendary Champions who had fought with Harry. Others even claiming they had seen Albus Dumbledore himself.
The more ludicrous had sworn they had witness James and Lily Potter.
At first, the Prophet had published the stories with a grain of salt.
After the first Ministry assault that had all changed.
Albus Dumbledore had shown up on the doorstep of the Ministry, knocking louder then any had been prepared for. He had destroyed the Department Of Mysteries and all of the forces sent to protect it single handedly. That was where Voldemort had first set up his foothold in the Ministry building, sending out Inferi and Ghouls to weaken the other levels.
James and Lily Potter, had leveled the Royal Palace, decimating the royal family and the surrounding mile, throwing the muggle side of England into a state of emergency. They had believed it to be terrorists, but were none the wiser that it had only been a wizard, a witch, and a body count of at least two hundred military personell.
Ron and Ginny Weasley. Brother and sister who had led the attack upon Hogsmeade, killing mercilessly, then retreating for no reason whatsoever.
Hermione Granger. The witch who had released Gargoyles upon downtown London, destroying the entire area.
Luna Lovegood. The witch had slaughtered two entire squads of Hit-Wizards, as well has who cast the spell that abolished the charms that had protected Hogwarts.
The entire Wizarding World was at a complete loss as to how to deal with them, the shock of them returning from the grave too much for most to handle.
"Merlin only knows where they plan to attack next, and we can't stop them with how we are now!" Harry's fist slammed against the table.
Fleur stepped up, holding her hands and trying to calm him down. "'Arry, you 'ave fought against zem in great number and survived. If you can attack zem one at a time..."
Harry ran a frustrated hand through his hair. "Fleur I know what you're talking about, but it won't work. I should I know since I have fought with them. But they were holding back. We have no clue as to what each of them is really capable of. They are using unconventional magic that none of us have ever experienced. We don't even know where they are getting their power from, let alone the power Voldemort might have if he has control of all of them. We can't win this war if we keep going on the way we are. That's why I'm going to do what I have to."
"And exactly what is that Harry?" Marietta's voice was firm, but Harry could hear the slight unease at the edge of her tone.
He couldn't tell them the truth. At least, not the entire truth.
He took a deep breath, preparing to tell them something about The Church. A place and time he discussed with no one.
"As you all know, I was portkey'd back to Hogwarts after I fought with them." Shock lined each of their faces as he spoke of something none of them ever expected him too. With their silence, he continued. "As you also know, Aberforth and Remus were killed there as well." They all nodded.
He reached into his pocket, pulling out a small bag that never left his side.
"Although the official report is that he has gone missing in action, Severus Snape was there as well. He was the one who saved me with that portkey, the moment they were going to kill me." A couple startled gasps caused him to pause. He looked up, seeing Neville and Marietta's eyes line with disbelief. Fleur had a concerned look, like she knew it was going to get worse. Demelza had a hand over her mouth, patiently waiting for him to continue.
"Before he saved me, he left an image in my mind. An image of a room to be precise."
"Ze room wiz ze crystal ball?" Fleur asked. Harry arched an eyebrow at her in question. "You used to mumble during your recovery about a room and a crystal ball."
Harry nodded, continuing. "Yes. That room happened to be the Headmaster's office. The crystal ball was a key, locked with a password only I knew." He knew they weren't going to ask what it was, so he kept talking. "It led to a room, with something that only two people knew still existed inside of Hogwarts. Snape and Dumbledore. It's the real reason Voldemort attacked Hogwarts, even if I was just a bonus."
Neville's hands were shaking, knowing that whatever Harry was going to mention, it couldn't be good. "What was it?"
Harry leveled a hard gaze at each of them, untying the end of the pouch in his hand. He pulled out what seemed like a shard of what was probably once a beautiful purple and red stone. He pulled out another shard. Then another.
Seven shards altogether.
"Oh...great Morgana...is that...?" Harry nodded as Marietta looked upon the shards.
Seven shards of a Philosopher's Stone.
"Yes, this is the reason I have been holed up in Hogwarts for so long. It's the reason I'm leaving the Order. It's what I'm going to use to fight Voldemort on his own level."
Fleur looked up at him, fear, awe, and a bit of uncertainty in her bright blue eyes.
"What do you mean, 'Arry?"
Harry closed his eyes again, letting his hair cover them.
"I'm going to use the shards to resurrect my own army to fight Voldemort's." It wasn't a lie, but it wasn't the truth either.
How could he tell them that he was really going to use the shards to subject seven mythological women, that might not even exist, to his power.
To resurrect them and make their powers his own, in hopes of being able to fight a war that might already be lost.
That he had spent the last four months, studying the ritual that would bring them back.
That he had also spent the last four months, scouring books upon books of legendary and mythological people, narrowing them down to a list that he kept inside his head.
He sighed internally, remembering each name that he had shakily written down on that parchment he destroyed after he had memorized everything.
Viconia Shar' Kalas. The Dark Mother to the Drow that had died out over a thousand years ago in the underground city of Ust' Natha.
Giselle De' Elysium. The First Pureblooded Veela Queen who had resided in the ancient overthrown veela city of Suldanessalar.
Persephone. The fabled wife of Hades, who was somewhere in the forgotten city of Atlantis.
Isis. The Magical Enchantress from Egypt, lost somewhere in the catacombs of the Great Pyramids.
Cassandra. The legendary Seer from the great war of Troy, cursed somewhere in Greece.
Each of those women were in places that no doubt held secrets no mortal should ever hear of.
But those five, were nothing compared to the first two he had written.
The darkest shadow that resided in the Garden of Eden.
And the brightest light that resided in the Citadel Of Rapture.
There was one thing that had plagued Harry the moment he hatched this insane plan. One question that he truly had no answer for.
Could he control them?
Author's Notes: What can I say? I sure as hell didn't mean to write such a large prologue when I first started, but there were a lot of things to cover.
As most everyone can see, the basis romance of this story will be a Domination/Love Slave story. All of the romance will be with OC's, who I will try and portray as realistically as possible (No Mary-Sues). I know this story is posted in the Harry/Fleur section on Ff Net, but that will not be a big romance in this fic, but they will definitely be very important to one another throughout the story. You will see how their relationship interacts throughout the fic.
Unfortunately, future chapters may not be nearly as long as this one, as this was mainly driven by the back story that needed to be explained to understand current events.
If anyone didn't pick it up, Harry is in fact 20 years old while this story takes place. It is also post HBP (As if you couldn't tell), and most of the story will play out his Seventh Year in various flashbacks. I know there are a lot of questions, and many things you probably scratching your head about, but most of the events that have transpired I haven't touched yet. Do not worry, I haven't forgotten any of it, but with the story I wish to make, telling everything right up front just won't do. Expect many more thoughts about the past, and things that have already happened.
I might already be able to sense some irritation that Albus and Co. are far too powerful, and that some may not like how they are portrayed as powerful. I apologize for that, but it is part of the story. Although I do not like Harry/Ginny pairings, and many times I don't even like Snape's 'good-guy' characterization, but there will be no bashing in this story of any characters. I'm trying to paint a true picture of a terrible time, and I feel bashing characters that people don't like will just make this fic into something of me releasing frustration on characters I don't care for, and I'm hoping it will be something more then that.
This story will be rated R/M with many chapters flowing into an NC-17 rating. All NC-17 scenes will be cut to adhere to F F Net's (Retarded in my opinion) guidelines for no smut. All NC-17 chapters will be posted on stated above, the utmost appreciation goes out to jon3776, who's absolutely great influence is what got this story rolling. Without his time and effort in relaying creative and imaginative ideas with me, this story wouldn't be nearly as well written and in depth as I hope to make it. If you haven't read his stories, then you are truly missing out and need to check his profile. You won't be disappointed. Thank you Jon!
Reviews, Constructive Criticism, and any love for this story are highly appreciated. I'm writing this story for you, the reader, and the more you can help me improve, the more I can do to make this story enjoyable for you to read. Don't get me wrong, I love the simple and uplifting comments, but I really want to know what you think so that I can continue to provide the best I can. I do not accept flames of any kind. You flame, it gets deleted, pure and simple. It's a waste of my time, a waste of yours, and let's be mature about stuff.
Thanks to everyone who reads this far, as you've given time an energy to hopefully enjoy what I have given. Please continue to read in the future.
Thalarian T.M. Productions.