A/N: Well…here is the first chapter of my next story. I hope you all like it. JKR owns it all!
How It All Started
It was a busy time of year for Harry and the other 5th and 7th students, as they prepared for the OWL's and NEWT's that started the next morning. Early June was a wondrous time to be outside, with its blue skies littered with soft, puffy clouds, and the sun shining down, warming the grounds, making the colors of Spring's renewal burst forth. As Harry stared out the tall windows of the common room, from his seat at one of the study tables, he decided it was just to nice out to stay indoors, so he stood up and began making his way towards the exit of Gryffindor Tower.
Just before reaching the portrait that guarded the entrance, Harry heard Hermione shout, "Harry! Where are you going?"
Turning around, taking a few steps back into the room, Harry said, "I'm going outside for a little fresh air. I'll be back in a little while."
"This is not the time to be lazy, Harry! Our first exam is in the morning, and you have to be ready. Gallivanting around the school grounds is not going to help you prepare… better you just stay put and continue studying. If anyone needs the extra work, it's you and Ron!" chastised Hermione.
"Hey! What did I do wrong?" asked Ron, looking up from his book.
"Nothing, Ron…go back to studying." stated Hermione, waving off her red headed friend.
Feeling his temper rise at her comments, Harry retorted sharply, "Just who do you think you are, Hermione? I don't like what you're insinuating, and if you haven't noticed, I've been studying for the last 6 hours straight, even skipping lunch. I really don't think my taking an hour break is going to make much difference in my overall scores…the way I figure it, if I don't know the material by now, I never will. You seem to forget that you're not my mother, Hermione, and I don't want or need you harping on me…also, you can keep the insults to my intelligence to yourself, got it?"
By now, everyone was avidly watching the growing argument, when Hermione responded to Harry's words, hotly saying, "Well, I never! Harry, your attitude is going to cause you to fail….and when you do, I'll be the first to say, 'I told you so'!"
Taking a few deep calming breaths, reeling in his anger, Harry responded, "Hermione, you may be one of my friends, but that doesn't give you the right to act like this. I'm going outside for a walk, and hopefully by the time I return, you will have lost this attitude, and calmed down some. We are all stressed right now, so I'll blame this situation on that, and not stoop to insulting you back."
Without another word, Harry left the tower and made his way outside to enjoy the warm afternoon sun. As he found a quiet spot, away from any prying eyes, he looked around once more to be sure, then conjured himself a blanket to lay on and a few snacks. He couldn't let anyone know that he was advanced enough to do conjuration, which was hard even for 7th year students, so Harry was always extra cautious when doing magic above that of a 5th year student.
Still a little upset by his supposed friends insults, he thought, 'Wait till she finds out that not only will I be testing for my OWL's, but also my NEWT's, and I have no doubt that I'll ace both tests. People are really going to be in for an eye-opener when they learn what I've been up to this year.'
After eating a few of his conjured snacks, Harry lay back to look up at the clouds, using his folded arms as a pillow, and got lost in the memories of how this crazy year all started.
It was the night of Halloween, during the grand feast in the Great Hall when Harry's life would be forever changed by the arrival of an odd looking bird that came flying in, landing directly in front of him. Looking the creature over, Harry had a strange feeling that he should recognize what it was, being vaguely reminded of some other bird he'd seen, but couldn't quite place it.
The feathers covering the main body of the bird were as black as a moonless night, but when they moved, seemed to come alive and had the startling affect of looking like liquid fire. Its talons and beak were a very blackish, blood red, with the long tail feathers and wing tips shimmering a silvery black, almost like they were coated in ice crystals. The avian creature was stunning to say the least, and Harry felt an instant connection to it, similar to what he felt around Hedwig, only more intense in some unexplainable way.
"Harry? Harry!" Hermione whispered loudly, breaking the silence that had engulfed the Great Hall.
"Huh?" asked Harry, looking away from the bird for the first time, only to find the entire hall staring at him and the odd messenger.
"What does it want?" she asked sharply.
"How am I suppose to know, Hermione? Your guess is as good as mine." said Harry back, just as sharply.
"Have you ever seen this bird before?" asked Ron.
"No, I haven't." Harry answered.
When Harry again turned his attention back to the bird, to the awe of those who could see, the bird lifted its right talon, and instantly a scroll shimmered into existence, grasped firmly within the dangerous claws. As Harry reached out to take it, his hand was held back by a wrinkled older one, and looking up, Harry could now see that the Headmaster was standing behind him, along with Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick, and Sprout.
"Do not touch it, Mr. Potter. I will take the note, and make sure it is safe." said Dumbledore, who took out his wand and summoned the note. Much to everyone's surprise, the scroll didn't leave the clutches of the bird's talon, but in fact, seemed to be disappearing again. The bird sung out a melodious note, calling out to Harry in a very comforting way.
"Headmaster, I don't think anyone but myself will be able to take the note from this beautiful bird." stated Harry, never breaking eye contact with the marvelous creature.
"Then, Harry, I will have to forbid you from taking the note." said a strict Dumbledore.
"With all do respect, sir, I don't think she will leave without my taking the scroll from her." said Harry.
"How do you know that it's a female, Mr. Potter?" asked a suspicious Dumbledore.
"Just a feeling I get from her…like how I knew Hedwig was a female owl before being told. A sixth sense, I guess." stated Harry, shrugging his shoulders, then continued, "I also feel that she isn't here to harm me…I really can't explain it, sir."
"I'm sorry, Harry. Until I know for sure this note is safe, and the person trying to correspond to you is safe, I can not allow you to take anything from this creature." Dumbledore said sternly.
Before Harry could respond, Hedwig flew into the hall landing next to the black bird, where the two just stared at each other, as if silently communicating, then after a few short moments, both turned to look at Harry. Hedwig gave Harry a reassuring hoot that caused him to smile down at his owl, then giving her a loving pet, he asked, "Hedwig…you think everything's safe? I can trust your friend, right?" Hedwig gave another soft hoot, then rubbed her head against the other bird, showing her trust that no harm would come to her Harry friend.
"Headmaster, if Hedwig feels this comfortable about the situation, then I feel completely safe…Hedwig has never steered me wrong before." stated Harry, reaching out to take the scroll, only to be stopped, once again, by Dumbledore.
Giving a stern, non-twinkling look, Dumbledore said, "No, Harry…unless I can check it, you will not be taking the letter, and that's final."
Harry felt his anger begin to rise at the Headmaster's words. so turning to look at the adults around him, trying to remain as calm as possible, Harry asked, "Then what do you propose, sir. Obviously she isn't going to leave, and she won't give anyone else the note. I'd also like to say that I'm a little upset that my mail is being screened."
"I'm sorry, Harry, is not my intention to start screening your mail, but taking into account that it's Halloween, and the fact Voldemort usually likes to 'celebrate' this date, I have to take a different approach where your safety is concerned. Obviously you can understand my hesitance when a strange bird I've never seen before suddenly show's up bearing you a letter." said Dumbledore gently.
"I do understand, but I'd like to point out that just because it's a bird that you don't recognize doesn't make it necessarily a bad thing. How many people get notes via Fawkes…not many people have ever had the benefit of seeing a phoenix before, so I don't see how this is much different, sir. Plus, if it's a portkey of any kind, it won't work within the wards of Hogwarts, so there's no need to worry about that." stated Harry.
"Headmaster, Mr. Potter does have a point. Once he has the letter, we can scan it for any curses before he breaks the seal." said Harry's Head of House.
Looking at the other adults around him, and receiving nods of agreement to what Professor McGonagall had just said, he looked towards the two birds, then at Harry before finally making his decision and saying, "Very well, Harry, but you will open it here, in front of us."
"Yes, sir." said Harry, then turning around as the note reappeared, he reached out to the black bird for the third time, successfully retrieving the note. Standing, once he had it in hand, Harry handed the letter to Dumbledore to scan it for any hexes or curses. Once that was done, Dumbledore began to break the seal, when Harry said, "Sir, I believe the contents are for my eyes only, and if you've not found any problems, I would like to read my own mail?"
Giving a dissatisfied look, Dumbledore said, "Of course, Harry." then handed the note over to his pupil.
Harry made sure that he was facing the adults, so they wouldn't be able to read the letter over his shoulder, broke the seal and began reading:
Dear Mr. Potter,
Please do not be alarmed by receiving this letter, as I mean you no harm. I feel confident in saying that this note, I'm sure, has caused quite the stir considering the bird that delivered it and the odd timing of its arrival. The beautiful bird, know as a Black Phoenix, is yours to keep and will bond with you, once you accept the proposal that I am offering.
It is well known that you, Mr. Potter, are enemy number one to this person who proclaims himself a Dark Lord. You may not be aware, but the flow and stability of magic only flourish when there is a Dark Lord and a Light Lord presiding over it, protecting the delicate balance that is essential to all magical beings. These two individuals continue to rule until one or both die, at which time, Magic herself selects two more individuals to watch over her.
For the last 50 or so years, we have not had a Dark Lord or a Light Lord and this has caused an imbalance which has lead to an increase in the number of squibs born, many magical creatures to slowly dying out, and the magical power levels to which all wizards and witches are born, is on the decline. Does it not cause you to wonder why so few people now a days are at the same caliber, magically speaking, as the older generation. All these occurrences can be blamed on the imbalance in the magical flow that will be made steady when the true Lords of the Dark and Light take their rightful places.
What many people don't understand, or are mislead into believing, is that a Dark Lord is evil. This is not the case at all, and in fact, a true Dark Lord is able to use his or her gifts for the betterment of the wizarding world just as much as the Light Lord. Let me further explain that Voldemort is not the current Dark Lord, nor is Albus Dumbledore the Light Lord, as he claims, although he was chosen, but declined, which I will happily explain to you when we meet.
Mr. Potter, you are the one Magic herself has chosen for the role of Dark Lord, or at least you will be once you turn sixteen in a few short months. Please do not let this news disturb you, for this is a wonderful gift you have been chosen to receive. The Light Lord, a William Arthur Weasley, is also receiving a letter from me this evening, and if he accepts, upon your birthday, balance will be restored once again.
I will be honest with you, Mr. Potter, and say that you do have a choice. If you choose to accept your status, this gift, as wonderful as it is, is also a very demanding position, and will require you to train and work very hard and comes with a very high price. What is this price? You will have to forfeit your human status, your mortality, to becoming a being of the dark by choosing either to be a vampire or a werewolf, although that is simplifying things. The Light Lord must also give up being a human, usually choosing to be an elf or veela.
At this point, I'm sure your wondering what a Dark Lord does, or how anything 'Dark' can be used for good, bettering our world. Let me start by generalizing what a Dark and Light Lord responsibilities are.
The Dark Lord's responsibilities are:
1. Oversee all dark creatures allowing them to prosper, which is a necessity in the balance of magic that must be kept, but not allowing them to become overpopulated or out of control.
2. Ensures the knowledge of Dark Magic is passed on and taught, but guides and polices its use strictly. Blood Magic and Chaotic Magic are just a couple of examples that are classified as Dark. What the Ministry of Magic calls Dark Magic, or Curses, is not a true representation of what this branch of magic is. This will be further explained during your training.
3. Monitor's all governments that make laws that could disrupt the balance of magic, along with the Light Lord, to ensure its flow is not interrupted, and if it is, seeks out a way to remedy the problem, or change the laws, as is your right as the protector of magic.
The Light Lord's responsibilities are:
1. Oversee all light creatures allowing them to prosper, which is a necessity in the balance of magic that must be kept, but not allowing them to become overpopulated or out of control.
2. Ensures the knowledge of Light Magic is passed on and taught, but guides and polices its use strictly. A couple of types of Light Magic are Healing Magic and Elvin Magic. What the Ministry of Magic has classified as Light Magic, is not a true representation of what this branch of magic is. This will be further explained during your training.
3. Monitor's all governments that make laws that could disrupt the balance of magic, along with the Dark Lord, to ensure its flow is not interrupted, and if it is, seeks out a way to remedy the problem, or change the laws, as is your right as the protector of magic.
As you can see, your positions are very similar, and both can be used for good or for evil. For example, a ritual using Chaotic Magic can use magic to cause the weather to become unstable and destruction will follow, or it can be used to interrupt a hurricane, saving hundreds or even thousands of lives. On the reverse of this, a healing spell that is meant to stop a heart attack, by shocking the muscle back into rhythm, can also be used on a healthy person, causing the heart to short circuit, killing them almost instantly. Being Lords of the Light or Dark has nothing to do with being good or evil, as that solely rests with intent.
Like I said earlier, these are just generalizations, and indeed, your duties and responsibilities will be much more involved, which we will discuss in greater detail once we all meet.
At this time, I would like to tell you a little about myself. We have met before, and unfortunately, at the time, I was not very kind to you, however, having said that, like yourself and Bill Weasley, I too, have been chosen to carry out a great service to Magic. It took me months to finally accept what was being asked of me, but in the end, I have chosen the true path to bettering our world, unlike my previously followed beliefs. My name is Lucius Malfoy, and please accept my deepest apologies for any wrong doings I may have inflicted on you, and I will take any oath you or Mr. Weasley require of me to prove my sincerity and loyalty to this venture. I'm sure he's none to pleased with my identity either. When we meet, irregardless of your acceptance or denial, I will also show you the proof of all that I have spoken of in this letter.
As a show of good faith, I will tell you that there is a plot to lure you to the Department of Mysteries, in the Ministry of Magic later this year, involving your godfather, Sirius Black. There is a prophecy that Voldemort wants concerning you and he, and needs you there to retrieve it, where you will then be ambushed by many Death Eaters, either being captured or killed at that point. Let me also assure you that I am well aware of Mr. Black's innocence, and will be more than willing to assist in the clearing of his name.
In closing, Mr. Potter, I want you to know that you do not have to decide right away, but the sooner you do, providing you choose to accept the offered position, the sooner your training can begin. Please let me know when you are available to speak with, and I will do my best to schedule a convenient time for you, Mr. Weasley, and myself to all meet. I must also insist that you not share this information with anyone, other than Mr. Bill Weasley, until we have met and discussed other important matters.
The letter was shocking to say the least and Harry just wanted to find a nice quiet place to contemplate what he'd just read. Not ready to face the five adults before him, he took his time rolling back up the letter, even if it only gave him few short moments, before finally looking up while stuffing the scroll into his pocket.
Noticing how pale Harry was, Dumbledore gently asked, "Mr. Potter, Harry…are you alright? What did the note say that has you this out of sorts?"
"Um….sorry, sir….it's a personal matter, that's all. May I please be excused? I would like to be alone for a little while." asked a very nervous Harry.
"Harry, I must insist that you tell me what is wrong. Was it from Voldemort?" Dumbledore said, hoping to push Harry into revealing what the mysterious letter said.
"No, Headmaster…it wasn't from Voldemort, but like I said before, it is quite personal, and I'm unwilling to share any more information than that." stated Harry.
Looking his young protégé in the eyes, Dumbledore proceeded to use a passive form of Legilimency to search for the information he wanted. Seconds later, Harry shoved him away, looking at the man he always trusted in absolute shock and horror. They stayed like this, the whole hall observing the scene in total silence, until Harry's face went from shock, to anger.
"How dare you!" growled a very angry Harry.
"Harry, I had to…it was for your own good." said Dumbledore, reaching out to put a comforting hand on Harry's shoulder.
Moving away from the touch, in a cold, harsh tone Harry said, "Don't touch me. How could you enter my mind without my consent, taking advantage of my trust like that? I may not be very good at Occlemency, but I can still feel when someone enters my thoughts. Just stay away from me!"
With that, Harry left the Great Hall, never revealing to anyone there what the letter contained.
Noticing the afternoon was quickly turning into early evening, Harry stood up, banishing his blanket and food, and made his way back to the castle. Inwardly smiling to himself, he thought, 'The Dark and Light Phoenixes are rising…Magic will be redeemed once again.'