Harry sighed as he sat back in his chair. He was going to have to tell the story again. The one about his life. He felt a surge of pride thinking about Kari who had just finished her first ritual in the tradition of the Potter 'Inheritance', as it had become known over the past few hundred years.
Harry now looked around fifty or so, a look that belied his actual age of just over four hundred. The only difference is the streak of shining silver hair that had started to appear over the past hundred years or so. In that time the Potter clan had flourished due to the demands that Harry had instated as the head of the family along with his wife. Every child started their training at the age of four. After swearing an oath of secrecy that they would never speak of the events outside the immediate Potter family. First they learned how to control their magic. After that, usually around the age of seven, they started learning Occlumency. Then another type of mind protection that only the Potter family knew of in this world. After that more oaths were taken in an ancient magical language swearing to never use their power for evil or selfish gains, then they studied more, learning an ancient language of magic that Harry himself learned after being tossed into another world… But this is told of later in our story.
Harry sighed as he watched Kari finish a healing ritual she had no doubt been studying for months. She stood proud after completion even though Harry knew that she was exhausted. He sat in his chair, thinking about his very own story. One very few in the world knew.
Harry looked up as he felt Kari's presence drawing closer and glanced at his watch. Nearly three hours had passed as he sat thinking. He smiled at the youth as she entered and plopped herself into another chair opposite him. The side effect to the ritual is that one would require very little sleep again. It used the energy from food to keep one awake for days on end unless the recipient decided to sleep. It was the first ritual Harry himself had used and one he found to be the most useful in all his years.
"Well, go on then Grandpa. I've been waiting eleven years to hear this story and I'm just about to the end of my patience." The little girl stated.
Harry grinned, Kari was one of his favorites. She had so much of him and his wife in her. She was already powerful, oh yes she had power in spades, but also extremely smart.
"Alright Kari, alright. I guess I need to start at the beginning of our tale. It was October 31, 1980 and James and Lilly Potter were just starting to read a story to a fifteen month old Harry James Potter…" He continued on with the events that occurred after that moment in his life. He held back most of the events with the Dursleys, still making sure the little girl in front of him knew how the three humans felt toward him and magic in general. He went over events that happened to him from first through fifth year with a practiced story teller's grace that left all listening captivated and hanging on his every word. He had been interrupted a few times and always took the time to explain what ever question the small child had. He then went onto his sixth and final year in Hogwarts until he came to the point where he had broken up with Ginny and returned to his dorm room after the funeral.
Harry continued on from there. "I didn't know what to do at that time. Now you see why you are put though such difficult training at such a young age. I never want one of my line to go though what I had to. If worse comes to worse you will all at least have a solid base to start with unlike I had. I refuse to coddle my children so much that they are ignorant of what they really are and what is going on around them. Do you understand this?"
The little girl had taken in the entire story, amazed at what Grandpa had gone though up until that time and how naïve his protectors were to think that he should be shielded. Still now she knew the reason she spent long hours studying while her friends were out playing. That's not to say she didn't have time to play. Really she had all the time she wanted and once she started to learn magic she always looked forward to the lessons. It was all a matter of time management really. "Yes Grandpa I understand. Everything makes so much more sense now. Is Voldemort the reason all of the Potters can now talk to serpents?"
"Yes and no." Harry said elusively. "He is one of the reasons. The reasons we can speak to all the lesser serpents. Snakes, lizards and the like. The larger ones are because of a different reason I believe all together. It might just be the augmentation between the two magics, I don't really know."
Kari nodded again wondering what else might have happened to allow the other family gifts to occur. It was true that all Potters since Grandpa had the ability to speak to all serpents and the wizarding worlds fearful stigmata still confused her as she thought of how much good had come of the gift her family was able to wield with such ease.
"Now to continue." Harry started the small child out of her musings. "I was laying on my bed thinking about what I needed to do. At the time I didn't stand a chance against Voldemort. He was many time more powerful than I, more so than I could even comprehend at the time. He knew more about spells and magic in general than I ever thought I would know even if I had fifty years to study without him breathing down my neck. I knew that the first thing I needed was knowledge but the information in the Hogwarts library would do nothing for me really. I needed more… more power, more spells, more time, more equipment and all those that chose to go with me were going to have to have that same skill. Until my dying day I don't think I will ever find the reason the thought seemed to just pop into my head but I jumped from my bed, grabbed my invisibility cloak and map from my trunk and tore out of the common room before anyone had a chance to stop me. All I was focused on at the time was to get to the Room of Requirement." Harry paused as a spark of realization entered the young girls eyes. "Yes I see you see where this is going. To make a long and boring time short. I was able to 'Require' the room to summon forth every book that had ever entered into that school and to separate them into the type of magic they were. Needless to say it would have taken centuries to learn all that information. So I decided to break a few more laws, I already had quite a list going, and found an ancient spell that would copy every book there onto parchment the room provided. It took about a day for the spell to copy all the books and as I gathered the parchment and left the room…it vanished." He smiled thinking back on that moment. Laughing he continued on. "I was furious at the time. Anyone who saw me storming down the halls moved away from me and anything that wasn't stone started trembling with the amount of magic that was radiating off of me. Hermione, Ginny and Ron finally calmed me down that night and made me explain things to them. They were shocked at my story and Hermione in all her wisdom started planning immediately. We didn't have any more time, which is why I was so mad. The Express was to leave the next morning. After we found our compartment Hermione laid out her plan to all of us. I will forever say that she was the smartest witch that I have ever met. Even smarter than Grandma in many ways." The little girl's brows rose at the statement.
"Put the boxes of paper over there in the corner Harry." Hermione ordered as they returned to the castle via a secret passage way. They were again in the Room of Requirement which had produced every book that had ever been in Hogwarts. Millions of books were covering thousands of rows of dusty shelves.
As the other three removed hundreds of cases of computer paper that Hermione purchased from a from a wholesale store that was near her house after they had apperated from the train station.
Ginny looked over the amount of books and shook her head. "This isn't going to work Harry. How in the world are we going to be able to carry all these around with us? Even if we shrunk them and cast feather light spells on them we could never know what they are about. We need a way to condense all of this."
"Yea Ginny's right." Ron said looking around the seemingly endless room of books. "I remember seeing some of multi books in Flourish and Blots when we went to pick up our school things last summer. Could that work?" He glanced over to Hermione who was the resident guru with anything bookish.
"It might work." Hermione said looking around. "They do just combine a certain number of books together to give an index and…"
"We know what they do Hermione." Harry interrupted before she could go into one of her long winded explanations. "What we need to know is if you know the spell or how to organize all these." Harry said waving his hands around the room.
Hermione huffed at the interruption but was side tracked by the next problem that had presented itself. "No, I don't know the incantation." She said slowly. "But I'm sure we could find it in one of these books. The problem is which one."
Three people jumped as a book 'popped' into existence directly in front of Ron. "What?" He asked at the three strange glances he was given. "We are in the Room of Requirement. I just required the right book."
Hermione gave him a calculating look that made Ron blush, Harry snicker and Ginny to fake vomit then went searching though the old tome. The rest just sat back and waited for her to figure out what to do. "Well I know why those books are so expensive now." The bushy haired girl commented not looking up from her reading. "It is a very hard incantation not to mention it takes a extremely powerful wizard to cast it. I bet the people capable of doing it make quite a bit of money for each one they do."
"So do you think one of us could do it?" Asked Ginny.
"Not any of us." She answered her friend but she wasn't looking at Ginny. Her eyes were trained on Harry who was now looking bewildered. "But I bet Harry could." She said confidently.
"Me?" Harry said quickly.
"Yea you." Ron stepped in. "Mr. I can cast a patronus at the age of thirteen that drives away a hundred dementors.
"Mr. I fought Voldemort five times and lived." Ginny followed.
"Mr. I was Dumbledore's protégé in training." Supplied Hermione. "Face it Harry, whether you like it or not you are probably one of the most powerful wizards alive now. Once we train you up a bit you will be able to face off with Voldemort."
Finally Harry sat in front of the old book and started learning the incantations that he would need. The one Hermione seemed to have him studying would create a new book for each different subject matter. That would be helpful no doubt when it came to trying to find or study what was needed.
"… and that is how we got all the books that we had to train with." Harry concluded to the little girl sitting in front of him. "It turned out well." He said as he pulled a very old, very used looking book from the shelf to show her. "See here?" Harry opened it to the first page. It showed a list of books on the page. "I don't really know how or why it happened but the incantation ended up listing the books according to complexity. Oh that saved mine and Ron's lives more times than not. Now to get the book you want you only have to press a finger to the book title."
Kari looked at the book in amazement. Her Grandpa had made this. It definitely looked like it went through a war. Actually it looked like it lived thought five or six. It had a thick leather cover and what looked like riveted steel bars on hinges to make sure that it didn't come apart. Inside had a list of book titles with a paragraph description of what the book had in it. She flipped to the next page and the next. It was the same thing. More book titles and briefings. Now however the information she saw was starting to become unknown. A few pages more and she had no idea on the subject matter. She kept flipping pages and the list of title seemed to go on and on. Flipping to the final page she read the number on the bottom of the page, 674. She gasped at how many texts must be inside that one book then looked over to the bookcase one the wall. At least ten other books looking the same with only different words printed on the spine greeted her eye.
"Yes we were quiet shocked at the sheer volume of information ourselves." Harry chuckled. "Personally I don't even thing Hermione was able to read all the information contained before she passed away. Though no doubt she tried. That woman knew more about magic than anyone I knew at the time. Since, your Grandma and I have exceeded her but it did take a century more to do it. Yes Hermione could have changed the world if she would have lived like your Grandma and I. It is a difficult burden to bare watching so many of those you love move on without you and knowing that your time is not yet up." Harry looked sadly out the window and Kari could feel the sadness in the magic that always seemed to radiate from her Grandpa.
"To continue though: It didn't take long for us to end up in the Chamber of Secrets. It was the only place we could think of that would be nearly impossible for people to find us in. Hermione immediately started in on our study schedule. I don't remember much about that, it was a very long time ago, but I do remember that I was given the task of researching wards and the dark arts." Kari gasped at that information. "Come now child, surely in your study you have seen the magics that the Ministry are calling dark." Harry shot her a slightly scathing look for her naivete. He knew she knew better than that. "As a matter of fact the ritual that you just preformed, the one that could one day save your life, only required a potion to be made and a chant, one that killed no living being or used any dead being's parts, one that is used to heal, is considered a dark art by our Ministry. They think the power it gives is false and unworldly, enhancing a wizard's ability and giving them an advantage over others that could not perform such a ritual. Balderdash! Anyone could come up with the needed materials for the ritual even after a few years of saving up and as you can see, even an eleven year old with no formal education is capable of making the potion." Harry looked intensely into the girls eyes. "Don't always acknowledge the stigmata of certain magics. It took me a long time to open myself up to the idea and many deaths of loved ones before I came to the realization that there really is no good or evil magic. It is the intent of the user that makes the magic dark or light. Now I could use nearly any light charm to cause someone's death and any dark curse to save a life. Think before you categorize something."
Properly cowed the young Kari raised her eyes to meet those of the one man she respected above all other men. Her Grandpa was her role model in life. She hadn't previously known he was so versed in both sides of magic before but now she thought she understood him a little better and maybe herself better as well. After all, Grandpa was hailed a hero of the wizarding world and if what he said was true she would have to give it more thought. Maybe even talk about what he had meant. Not now however, now she would continue listening to the story. She nodded for him to continue and received a smile in response.
"I did well with my study." Harry continued, "It seemed I was probably the only one who could use the arts but not fall to the temptation of power they held. It was the power of knowing you could end someone's life, the power to play God, that so many fall into. Of course later we found a ritual that removed the risk and completed it to ensure that none of us would fall into that trap. Still being nearly seventeen and having no discipline when it came to studying I soon found myself wondering. I mean all we did was study all day and exercise in the morning and night. Soon I found myself looking though the other books that I had. So far each of us had stuck basically to the subject matter we had agreed on, but as I was flipping though the others I found something amazing…."
Harry sat on the hard cold stone of the Chamber and looked though the new book. It was nice being able to use magic but for the love of all things magic, after only six days, he was getting cabin fever. Dropping the multi book on warding he started rummaging through his now way too small trunk for anything to do. Finding nothing he groaned in frustration and grabbed the nearest book to him. The iron bound leather only stated that it was the book on memoirs. He really didn't fancy reading about some eleven year olds crush from a hundred years ago but flipped it open anyway and started to flip though the pages. As expected many of them were from people that had been forgotten with the passage of time. He found one listing from Cho and decided that he really didn't want to read that one. He continued flipping the pages for anyone that might catch his eye. A name with a large summary caught his attention and he quickly flicked back a few pages to get a better look at it. What he found shocked him to the core. There in front of him was the recorded memories and thoughts of one Godric Gryffindor. Numbly and without thinking his finger pressed the name and the book pages started flicking back of their own accord. He blinked. When he opened his eyes again the leather bound book was now on the first page of Godric's diary.
…I have been told by one of my dearest friends that I should start a collection of memories and knowledge in the written form of a diary. Personally I don't really know why this is needed when what ever needs to be taught could be done by using the same books I did or by finding a master to study under. However my friend is very wise and I have found he doesn't ask someone for something unless he has a reason for it. Over the years I have come to trust his judgement more than any other. I should say that he is my role model, the one magic user in the world that I look up to. I believe the same goes for all my friends. I have found that he is impossible to dislike for long periods of time. God knows that he has infuriated me on more than one occasion but as I thought about it later I realized that he was correct or I could at least see his point of view.
Hogwarts has just been created and without him it would not have been possible. Still for some reason he did not want to be included as an official founder. Salazar and I found this incredibly strange as my mentor was the one to provide the funds to enable us to build this fine school of magic. The school is being based on four houses, one for each of the founders, however he seems to be the embodiment of all that is great in each of us. To my great pride he is the bravest and most courageous man I have ever known. His skill in battle is unsurpassed. He is crafty and cunning though. I have never seen him allow his anger and rage to lead him into a hasty move. Even when his love was taken by the Dark Witch he still was able to think clearly and rationally like Salazar would have. He is wise beyond even Rowena and has a love of knowledge that threatens to surpass her. Though he is the most steadfastly loyal friend anyone could ask for. He is not afraid to use any magic. As a matter of fact that seems to be my biggest concern and has caused us many disagreements as he continues to side with Salazar in the matter of magic. He then will turn around and anger Salazar with undeniable logic as to why any magic user should be welcome and not scorned…
Harry's eye's popped as he read the journal entry. Another founder? One that was even more skilled and powerful then even the founders? Good lord, what else could be in this book that would turn Harry for a loop. Foregoing his previous cabin fever he delved back into the book.
Hours seemed to pass by and the house elves brought lunch before Harry found another entry that really dropped his jaw.
…It has come to my attention that there are those who believe that my power and the power of my peers here in Hogwarts was a natural occurrence. I nearly scoffed at my mentor as he brought this up at dinner tonight. How could anyone be as powerful as myself, Salazar, Rowena, Helga or our Mentor without the use of enhancement rituals. True it is not in the basic curriculum for the reason that so many are dangerous and could end a life if done incorrectly. None of us feel the need for our students to risk their lives when they may not want to or without the supervision of a parent. It is not our place to force our will onto those of the next generation. Yes we have helped many parents and children with rituals that might have been beyond their grasps but never taught in Hogwarts. Personally I have undergone nearly twenty rituals. None have required a living sacrifice…well at least not a human. I believe Salazar has preformed nearly thirty now along with one he made that allows him to converse with snakes. Personally I don't see his fetish with those things. Yes that basilisk of his is useful from time to time with potions and such as well as a very promising defense if ever needed but bbbrrrruuuu… the thing gives me the willies and when Sal is conversing in it, well it is by far the most spine crawling experience I have ever had. Thank God we got him to put it in that secret chamber under the school. At least now it can patrol and keep the school safe without being seen by the students. Lord knows one of the more foolish, probably one of my Gryffindor's, would be stupid enough to try to look it in the eye…
"NO FUCKING WAY!" Harry yelled as he read the passage.
"Harry, language!" Hermione scolded across from him.
Harry never even acknowledged her though as he continued to stare at the page in front of him. All the information he just learned was threatening to overwhelm him. The founders used rituals to gain their power, they all knew about the Chamber of Secrets and the basilisk he had killed. The bloody thing was a security measure and used for potions ingredients.
"Harry are you alright?" Ginny asked as Harry hadn't moved for the past fifteen minutes. Hermione was looking at him strangely as well. Still he didn't answer.
"Harry? Harry!" Ginny yelled. Still no response. She walked over and looked at what he was reading and quickly realized it was probably not anything on wards or dark arts. Walking around to his front she knelt down and placed a hand on each side of his face. Lifting his eyes to meet hers she again asked what was wrong.
"Did you know that Gryffindor wrote a journal while here in Hogwarts?" He asked his gathered friends.
"Did he?" Hermione jumped up and ran next to Harry as she realized what he was reading. Soon all four were crowded around the book reading it.
It didn't take long for the information to be read and thought through.
"Well, this might change a few things." Ron stated still in shock. It wasn't every day that you leaned about the fifth founder and all that happened.
"They all knew that the basilisk was down here." Ginny said in bewilderment.
"That's all interesting and everything but lets think about the practical aspects of this." Harry said above the din. "The founders all, ALL, preformed rituals to become what they were, to become as powerful as they were. Godric said he had done twenty or so, they couldn't have all been power enhancing." Harry thought for a little more. "Alright" He muttered to himself "I'm going to start looking for rituals to do." He stated to his friends. "I should have thought of this before. How many wizards are as powerful and Dumbledore?" Harry asked his friends, seemingly out of no where. He didn't wait for an answer. "Only Riddle and that's only because of rituals that he admits to doing. I'm betting that Dumbledore did the same to defeat Grindewald as well. It should have been obvious that it would be a mathematical impossibility for four, well five, such powerful mages to be in the same country at the same time. Okay Hermione, I'm going to read some more of the journal to see if it gives any hints on where to start with rituals then I'm going to start researching them. I'm going to do a few." He said with conviction. Ron seemed to agree and nodded along.
Hermione worried her hands together thinking. "But they are suppose to be dangerous. If you mess up the magical backlash could hurt you, even kill you with most of the more powerful ones." She stopped her worrying and seemed to come to a conclusion. "No. No we won't be doing any of those. It's just too dangerous. We don't need to risk it. We only need to keep studying like we have and we will eventually be able to fight better than any death eater and then we could gang up on Voldemort."
Harry turned on her livid. "If you want to be a complete fool and ignore an entire branch of magic then suit you self." He hissed sounding much like a snake. "Don't, however, expect me to follow your foolishness and don't even begin to think that you can keep me from choosing my own path." He glared at the girl thinking it was about time for her to realize that she was not his guardian and that if he chose to take the risk the rituals involved then that was his choice.
"Oh you think so?" Hermione glared back. "If you decide to go down that path of darkness then I will ensure you don't make it far. What do you think would happen if Mrs. Weasley found out you were performing rituals to increase your power?"
Harry closed his eyes and took a calming breath then snapped his eyes open again. It was the first time that the other three in the room realized why he was the Chosen One, Voldemort's equal. Green eyes glowed with power and rage, magic filled the air around him, his ebony locks fluttered as if he was riding a broom and every stone in the massive chamber shook as the power kept getting stronger. When he opened his mouth to speak it was no more than a whisper but it was easy to hear, like he was speaking more into her head then speaking. "If you choose to do that I will have no choice but to remove you and any one that chooses to follow your views from this chamber. I will continue on alone if I have to. I will remove every memory of you ever knowing me from your mind and leave you to your own devises. I have a job to do, a destiny to fulfil and by God I'm going to enjoy being the one who splatters Riddle's brains across the field of battle. Make no mistake Hermione, none what so ever, if you get in my way, be prepared to be run over. You have no rule over me or the others here. We each make suggestions and we each act on those suggestions in the way we feel most benefits us."
Hermione, indignant, stormed away and into a side tunnel. The other three could see the tears falling as she left.
"What was that all about Harry? You can be a right bastard. She was just trying to look out for you." Ron yelled and took off after her.
"What about you Gin. Going to give me your point of view?" Harry sat back down still with he air of power around him.
"No, I think you're right. This whole week she's been trying to make herself the leader. Like this is some silly study session. I don't think she realizes that this is a matter of life and death."Harry nodded and turned back to his book.
"Where did you find that anyway Harry?" Ginny asked before he could get back to his reading.
"Oh, look for the multi book for memoirs. There are a ton in there. I bet if you looked hard enough you might find the one you wrote to Tom. I found Cho's but didn't feel like reading it. I bet you could get some juicy stuff on Malfoy and other deatheaters though."
"I think I might just do that. All this studying is giving me a headache. I just don't think we were made to cram this much into our heads at one time."
"You know Gin, I remember there being an entire multi book on rituals. That must mean there are thousands of them. Maybe there are ones to help you learn faster." Harry's eyes lit up as he stared at Ginny, mouth agape. "Just think Gin, there could be a ritual for all sorts of things, medical, health, maybe for studying and learning. I bet there's all sorts of subject." The implications reach both of them rapidly and they both smiled and jumped to each of their trunks to look for the leather and iron bound book.
"Ginny and I spent the next two weeks reading though every book in the index and there were surprisingly many. It seems that many of the rituals made came through Hogwarts at one time or another. Probably to get a teacher's thought regarding it. Even some extremely dark ones. Hermione and Ron didn't talk to us the entire time. Ginny and I became close again as two young people do when confined the way we where and still holding feelings for each other. Still by the end of the month the Chamber had changed dramatically. We were able to expand the Chamber and use the rock to transfigure what we needed. We ended up turning the thing into a huge flat. The walls and ceiling were smoothed out. We each had our own room with a only a curtain divider separating the bed from the rest of the flat. Hell a month of living together with no place for privacy had forced us to get over our childish bashfulness regarding our nude forms. Still it was easy to tell that each of us were attracted to the others of the opposite sex. I mean Hermione was a beautiful girl and so was Ginny and at Seventeen, or there about, anything with tits and ass would turn us on." Harry stopped and turned around. Kari was staring open mouthed and as red as could be. "Hum, yes, you probably didn't need to know about that. Needless to say after more than a year living together we knew each other…extremely well. It was odd with Ron and Ginny but being purebloods it didn't seem to bother them too much."
"Anyway by the end of the month we had the place deck out with everything we would need to make ourselves comfortable. Hermione had come around to my way of thinking after showing her some of the different rituals and the possible results and we ended up with two ritual chambers. Those are the same ones you will be using later if you need to perform a ritual at school. I don't want you to unless absolutely necessary and not at all until you are in fourth year but if you really need one done owl me or Grandma and we will come and help you."
"What rituals did you do Grandpa?" Kari asked.
"Well the first one was the same you just did. A healing, or really a rejuvenating, ritual. It turns food into energy so we no longer need to sleep if we have an extra meal. If we are cut it stops the blood flow. The cut seals quickly leaving only a fine scar. The healing speed depends on the depth or severity of the cut. It is a major health ritual that really encompassed around ten or so lesser rituals. It was odd as it was probably easier than the others that did less for you. I kept with the health rituals after that. I needed much more work done on me. I preformed a ritual to repair my eyes. It used two clear diamonds and gave me the ability to see better at night and to detect heat signatures if I want to. That's how I can see people under invisibility cloaks, well one way at least." Harry smiled mysteriously. "After that, one to remove my unhealthy looks I got from not eating much at the Dursleys. That filled me out and I actually grew a few inches because of it. It was rather painful as my muscle mass, bones and internal organs fixed themselves."
"I would recommend you do all these at some point in time. Even though you were raised in a loving environment you never know what might be fixed. It corrects any genetic defect. It would have fixed my eyes but I wanted the other abilities the other ritual afforded me. Let's see, after that I started performing strength enhancing rituals. This was all done as we were learning other things as well by the way. The first strength enhancing was done with were-wolf blood." Harry laughed remembering the events. "We of course had to leave the Chamber multiple times to get what we needed for the rituals. Hermione was full on with us by that time. Still we had made sure that we were not found our seen. When I found Remus he nearly killed me for disappearing like I did. It took hours to convince him we were safe but he gave me four vials of his blood without batting an eye. Tonks gave us some as well. It was a requirement in a ritual that would unlock any hidden talents and list them for us. We really doubted anything would show up being as how we were over the age that we should have seen abilities at that time. Still we thought it would be a good idea. She almost didn't give it to us but Remus convinced her. You already know the risks involved regarding a wizard's or witch's blood."
"After that I think I completed three strengthening rituals. The first was to get the strength of a were-wolf, the second the speed and third the quickness. We ended off with one that increased our stamina. I won't go into details but that little adventure had us breaking international laws that I could still get in trouble for if anyone found out. So with the added strength and quickness we started learning self defense. Somewhere along the line a book on street fighting came into our possession. It was dirty and concentrated on crippling an opponent in one or two blows so it was perfect for us to learn. After nine months we were pretty good at breaking bones."
"The rituals though were just about to come to an end for anything that wasn't involving power enhancement. We thought about performing some for wand concealment, where our wands actually moved to another dimensional space that was located in our arms but it was extremely complicated and we decided to wait for that one. We did do a few rituals on our wands and selves so only we could use our wands, summon them back to us yadda yadda yadda. So we had done about ten to twelve by that time. We had been there nearly a year by this time. We each were very versed in our chosen fields of study. Hermione found a very dark core enhancing ritual but it seemed the fastest way to gain the power we would need to fight and things were starting to get pretty bad in the real world. We knew that it was going to come time soon when we would need to start the search for Voldemort's horcurxes."
Harry looked at the girl as she gasped. "I see you know what manner of magic these are." She nodded. "I worry about what you are reading to where you would come across this type of magic?"
"I didn't read it any where Grandpa. I heard the term one day and I asked Momma about it. She just told me what they were and the purpose of them. They are truly dark."
"Yes they are one of the most evil magics ever invented. They are evil in every way. They can only be made by spilling innocent blood. For instance I couldn't make one by killing an enemy in battle or executing a prisoner."
"Voldemort made himself six horcurxes. Two had already been dealt with. The Diary in my second year and the ring that Dumbledore found. We knew that one was Voldemort's snake, or at least thought we knew. Another was Hufflepuff's cup and Slytherin's locket. There was one more that was unaccounted for. We needed to start and soon though. We had used our time wisely and thought that any traps that surely guarded them could be overcome with all our knowledge."
"Before we left we were going to do two power enhancing rituals. The first matured our magic, making it stronger, more concentrated, more tempered and stable. Just so you know any power enhancing ritual hurts like something that you will never understand until you do it yourself. Next year you will be obligated to do this one as part of your Inheritance. The second one well…"
"Harry are you sure we should be doing this?" Hermione asked for what seemed like the thousandth time. "I don't feel right about doing this."
"Will. You. Shut. UP!" Harry hissed snapping at her. They were hidden in some bushes on the edge of a property. Harry had a 'vision' of where the next attack was going to be and he knew some important and powerful deatheaters would be here. "You can do what ever you want but don't try to stop me. Do your part and dispatch your DE and apperate to the rendezvous spot. Whether you take yours with you or not I don't care. Regardless this will be the last night they will see."
Much had changed in the year they had been in seclusion. Harry had continued reading Gryffindor's journal and had changed many of his views on the current war. Godric had by then fought in three wars himself while at the school and been taught lessons that Harry was going to make sure he didn't repeat. The main on was in war people die. The deatheaters were terrorizing the country killing, raping and pillaging at will it seemed. It was time to strike back. The idiots at the Ministry were still trying to apprehend the 'criminals' and no sooner than a group of ten or more were captured then they were broken out again.
Harry looked at his team. Hermione was worrying about what they were about to do. It had taken long debates and many fights before she finally agreed with Harry. Since they had no way of holding prisoners they had to do the only thing they could to remove them from the battles to come. Ron had a kind of lost look in his eyes but his face was hard. Harry thought he was probably thinking about what they were going to do with the captured prisoners after this was all over. Ginny looked fierce and Harry felt himself getting hard just looking at her. God she was sexy when she was like this. He reached over and rubbed her ass. She smirked at him and looked at Harry Jr. waving hello back to her. 'Later' she mouthed and resumed her lookout.
Dragging his mind back to matters at hand he looked at his watch. "They should be here in ten minutes. Get to positions. Take them down hard and fast. We have no room for errors. Alright get to it." Three bodies ran across the yard to other pieces of cover faster than a human should have been able to. Harry himself was shaking with anticipation. It wasn't long until the 'pops' of apperation were heard not to far from the front of the house. Over time it seemed that caution was lost to the arrogance of the deatheaters. Six people draped in black robes and white masks sauntered up the walk. Three of them already had erections clearly visible thinking about what they were going to be doing in a few moments. It disgusted Harry to no end thinking that if he hadn't had this vision one of his friends from back at school would have been raped and killed tonight. Sure he didn't really like Cho any more but he had no wish for this to ever happen to the poor girl.
The six deatheaters stopped just feet from the front door at the ward line for the house, they were only a few meters from Harry and his friends. As the first one lifted his wand to break the wards, Harry's group jumped out firing curses as they came. Four immediately went down screaming. Harry turned his wand to another and murmured his favorite curse. Lightening erupted from his wand causing a great clap of thunder. The figure in front of him through up a hasty shield only blocking the curse partially. The deatheater was never ready for the physical attack that followed half a second later. Striking with his foot, the deatheater's knee collapsed in the wrong direction. Screaming in agony the deatheater fell to his side. He was silenced as Harry kicked him in the temple knocking him out.
Surprisingly the final deatheater was still battling it out trying to get out of the apperation wards they had set up as they arrived. Ron and Ginny had already moved to cut off the escape. Harry quickly stunned the five fallen deatheaters then moved behind the final one while it was occupied. He couldn't tell if it was a male of female. It was nearly impossible to tell with the cloaks and masks. As the deatheater retreated Harry murmured 'Sectum Sempra'. The deatheater never knew what happened as it fell to the ground with a gouging slash of the air sword left its mark. A quick 'Stupefy' later and blood clotting charm and all were accounted for.
Harry quickly grabbed the one that dueled so well as well as a second. Ron did grabbed his, Hermione hers and Ginny grabbed the last two. In a minute the battle was over and with four rather loud 'POP's the grounds were clear once again. Minutes later four people poured from the house with wands held tight. They could see the blood on the ground and the obvious signs of a fight but no one was there any longer. The family moved back into the house to call the aurors and report what had happened.
It had taken a lot of effort but the group made it back to the Chamber without being caught. Six injured and stunned deatheaters accompanied them. They bound each and removed their clothing to ensure that they couldn't escape. The wands were snapped, cores removed and wood tossed in the fire. After all it was foolish to waist a perfectly good ingredient. The clothing was removed and anything of value was taken. Mostly it was just gold but quite a sum, then the clothing too was burned and the tale-tell sizzle and popping of interrupted magical objects were heard as they were destroyed. Finally with each of them bound and silenced they were forced onto the wall with sticking charms and frozen in place.
Harry finally went down the row and 'envenerated' the prisoners. They slowly came to, pain still showing in some of their eyes. Only Ron's and Hermione's were taken out without excessive force.
"Well it seems we have ourselves a few stray deatheaters." Harry said to gather all their attention.
After the obligatory struggle to free themselves one turned and started to speak only to find that he couldn't. Three of them had been males as was easy to see now and the other three obviously females.
Harry continued, "As you can see your in a pretty tight spot. You have nothing on except your masks and are pretty much at our mercy right now. Why don't we see who we have here." Harry waved his wand and the first of the masked figures were exposed. He frowned as did the rest as the face of Dean Thomas was revealed. Anger showed on Ron's and Ginny's faces and Hermione looked like she would cry. Harry just shook his head.
The next one ended up being a girl from Ravenclaw that had graduated a few years before. She was on the quidditch team. The next was a surprise as the mask was removed to reveal the face of Agustus Rookwood, the Department of Mysteries worker that turned during the first war and Harry and his friends had battled in the Ministry. Harry smiled as he saw that this was the one he had broken the leg of. The next deatheater wasn't one any of them knew of. She did seem rather powerful though, they would soon find out for sure. As Harry removed the next one Ron cheered. For none other than Draco Malfoy was uncovered. Malfoy sneered at Harry and started trying to speak only to be ignored.
"He's mine Harry." Ron said with some excitement.
"Feel free to have him. Personally with all the inbreeding that his family has done I doubt you will get much out of him." Harry replied, causing Ginny and Hermione to smirk. Harry sighed, at least Hermione was putting up a good front while she was with the prisoners. That was the most he could ask of her.
The final mask was removed to reveal the insane eyes of Bellatrix Lestrange. If looks could kill Harry would be dead by then. She was the one that Harry had slashed the back of and he felt satisfaction that he had caused her such pain.
Staring at her he could see that she had gained much of her figure back from Azkaban. She was a looker ever at her age and it seemed both his and Ron's bodies reacted accordingly. "She's mine." Harry stated and the rest nodded, knowing the pain the bitch had put Harry through.
"I get Dean." Ginny stated. The rest agreed. Having dated the guy it was a real slap in the face for her.
"I'll take her." Hermione said pointing to the Ravenclaw who was now shaking and crying. Harry was disgusted with her. She would willingly do it to others but when her turn came she couldn't take it.
"What do we do with the 'Spares'? Ron used the last word or purpose. Harry had told them the entire story of what happened in the graveyard after the tri-wizard tournament ended and thought it was only fair to play by the same game.
"I'll use one. I'll do the ritual a second time." Harry said thinking
"Is that safe?" Hermione asked
"I think so. I'll check, but it only takes a week for the new magic to settle. I'll give it another to make sure though. I'll check though to make sure." Harry replied.
"I'll help you. Ginny, if it's safe you should do it again as well." Hermione replied. Ginny only nodded still staring at the captives.
"Listen up you deatheater scum." Ginny started. "Normally we would have just killed you all. This time we have a special treat for you though. You see you are the guest of honor in a ritual we are going to perform. What we are going to do is strap you to a table and suck every…last…drop….of magic from your bodies and transfer it to our own. You should be happy you were chosen for such a momentous occasion. For you are going to give us the power we need to ensure we can kick every deatheater's ass when we fight them."
The looks that the young girl were received were truly comical to Harry. Even Bellatrix looked like she would loose an eye. Malfoy actually started crying and pissed himself.
"When do you want to start?" Ron asked
"We should wait until morning to make sure we have everything ready." Hermione replied. "We can only do two at a time. So Me and Harry while you two guard the prisoners then you two the next morning."
"Well let's find out how much power each of you have." Harry sung acting quite chipper and excited, which he was. It was a spell they leaned in the Gryffindor journal that measured the power of the person's magic on a scale from 0 - 100, 100 being the most powerful someone should be naturally. It would read above 100 if rituals were preformed by the person or they were just naturally very strong. Starting down the line Harry was surprised by some of the numbers. Dean was a high 68, that was pretty good without having his magic matured yet. It would have probably gone up to the high seventies if he hadn't made a stupid mistake and became a deatheater. The Ravenclaw was 53. Rookwood was an unsurprising 139. Being part of Voldemort's first rise and part of the DoM he was sure to have done a few power rituals himself. It was just a shame that they couldn't siphon his memories.
'I'm going to have to see if there's a ritual for occlumency and legilimency later.' Harry thought to himself.
Malfoy showed at a measly 63, lower than a half-blood like Dean which Ron made sure to point out to the bigoted pureblood. The unknown female scored an impressive 94. She had probably preformed at least a ritual herself and finally Bellatrix scored and impressive 179. Harry would have thought no less of Voldemort's top lapdog.
"Since we know yours it's only fair for you to know ours." Ginny smiled sweetly at the prisoners. She waved her wand over herself. The number 92 stood out proudly. She smiled. Hermione did the same and the numbers 81 showed. She smiled a truly nasty smile toward Malfoy who looked sick. Ron's score was a 84 and finally Harry waved his wand. In stark fiery numbers 169 showed up.
Ron gaped a little at this and then turned his smile to the captives. "You know and this is all before we augment our magic. All we did so far was mature it."
After stunning the six deatheaters again and leaving Ginny and Ron to keep watch Harry and Hermione went to the chambers they would be using the following morning. They made sure the pain relieving potion was there along with some water to drink. A bone knife that had been made from one of the ribs of the basilisk was required for the ritual as well as a bowl of their own blood under stasis so it wouldn't go bad. The final thing was a piece of paper listing all the runes they would have to draw on the victim's body and where. They had been practicing long and hard for this moment and only Hermione knew what the runes meant, that being one of her fields of study, but Harry was able to memorize them all and know where to put them.
The next morning came quickly. Harry quickly retrieved Bellatrix from the wall and floated the still stunned witch into the ritual chamber. It seemed that Hermione was still asleep as there didn't seem to be any other missing deatheaters. After securing Bellatrix to the stone table he removed her bindings and canceled all the spells on her. She was now secured to the table the muggle way. A scream of rage left her mouth and Harry quickly stuffed and old sock from Vernon in it to muffle the sound. Taking the bone knife Harry made deep cuts along all the major pulse points. The screams of pain rose as he cut the main veins in her body spilling crimson blood all over the table. A quickly chanted spell and the blood flow stopped but the cuts remained. Harry smiled that everything was working correctly so far. He looked into the eyes of his godfather's killer and smirked at the pure fear that now resided there. It seemed that she didn't think they would do what they said the night before. He then set to the task of drawing the runes all over her body in his blood. He started on her forehead and worked down her neck, under her arms and around her breasts, around her nipples and down her toned stomach, between her legs and around her sex, down both arms and legs and her feet and hands. Finally he removed the gag, as she was going to scream Harry froze her mouth open.
"Thanks for the help there Bella." Harry said as he again grabbed his bone knife. He used a pair of clamps to grab her tongue and carved a rune in the center. A choked howl of pain came around the swelling muscle. Harry removed the spell after he finished.
"I'll do what ever you want Potter. Anything. I'll be your slave. I'll satisfy you every night. I'll fight as your right hand. I will give you power and gold. Anything just stop this. Please stop this." She begged.
Harry looked at her for a long moment. "How many times have you laughed in the face of those who said the same to you. No you chose your path when you took that damning mark, now suffer for it. I guess there are worse things than death. Remember Dumbledore saying that to you master in the Ministry. Like feeling all your magic ripped from your body and then your body aging years in the next seconds. You will feel it shriveling and then die as a muggle." The witch screamed again which was becoming difficult with the swelling of her tongue. She begged him to spare her.
"Don't worry Bella." Harry said after he double-checked the runes he had placed. "I will send you back to Tommy boy after I'm though with you. Grant it, it will be in five pieces but still you will be with your beloved master once again."
This only set the witch to crying and yelling all the more.
Stripping, Harry took the bone knife and moved to straddle the prone form. He started chanting an archaic language. With every chant the magic in the air grew stronger. Blood started streaming from the wounds once again, swirling around the two. The runes drawn over her body glimmered and sparkled. Harry continued chanting until the air was saturated with magic. He could nearly taste in. The coppery tang of blood could be smelt easily. Gripping the bone knife with both hands he raised it above his head and chanted the next verse. The blood circling the two drove itself into the bone turning it red as waves of magic poured into it. Harry realized the magic was coming from Bellatrix and she was still screaming as the magic was being ripped from her body. Finally, shouting one last word, Harry plunged the knife into her heart. The woman screamed in the ultimate pain as blue and crimson magic flowed from all parts of her body and into the knife. More and more came as the body below him started wasting away. Finally as Bellatrix couldn't scream any longer and blood flowed from her mouth, the magic stopped coming. Harry removed the knife and could see that the woman was still alive. Insane eyes watched as her magic was drawn from her and then Harry plunged the knife into his own heart. This time the opposite happened. The blue and crimson magic flowed from the knife into all parts of his body. Harry didn't know how long it lasted but it seemed like forever and just when he didn't think he could hold any more it finally stopped. He had screamed his throat raw and as Bellatrix saw all her magic flow into her Master's sworn enemy she finally died knowing that she had just helped in the defeat of her Lord.
As the magic stopped flowing though the blade it sprang from his chest and slammed against the stone wall shattering into a million pieces. Harry looked down at his chest and now saw a thin scar that was rapidly disappearing. In it's place a strange tattoo started to appear. It was a symbol to the crime he had just committed. As the Tattoo materialized he noticed it was a golden griffin that looked to be leaping out of his chest. It's mouth was open in a silent roar of rage. In one of it's front claws he held a glowing blue and crimson orb. It's feathered wings were raised as is looked to be ready to take flight, the peaks of the powerful wings were nearly touching as the reached the zeinith of the wing beat.
Harry stumbled off the table feeling as if he had used every ounce of energy he had. The pain wracking his body was almost too much as he reached for the pain potion. After shooting down the vile concoction he did feel much better but still moved over to the bottles of water waiting for him. It felt as if he had yelled off an entire layer of skin which was entirely possible with the amount of pain he was in moments ago. That was so much worse that the Cruciatus. After finishing with the water Harry stumbled out of the ritual room and shuffled to his bed. He fell asleep before his head hit the pillow.
The smell of food brought Harry from his slumber. Blurry eyes looked out into the large flat to see Ginny singing as she grilled some sort of steak. He could smell the potatoes cooking as well. It was the best they could do as the elves couldn't reach the Chamber but they had everything they needed ready for them when they visited once a week. All that needed to be done was to cook it. The smell of the cooking meat was divine and the knotting of his stomach told him he had been out of it for a while now.
"How long was I out?" He asked as he made his way over to her.
"Good your up. We were getting worried. You finished the ritual yesterday morning. You've been asleep for nearly two days now. This is our midnight dinner." The group had forgone sleep after the first ritual to make sure they had plenty of time to study. It just seemed lazy to sleep when they weren't even tired after they ate another meal. In essence it gave them another nine or ten hours a day to study and practice. It did feel strange to wake up again.
"Oh she didn't do the ritual. By the time she woke up you were already well into yours and we could hear Bellatrix's screams. It was so loud that I think she made a few of the firsties upstairs piss their pants. After taking that unknown lady into the ritual chamber Mione found she couldn't concentrate well enough. She was just about to cast silencing charms around when you started screaming." The young redhead looked intensely at the ebony haired man. "Then you started screaming. It was different though. We could tell you were in pain, so much pain, but the power behind it was staggering. We waited to make sure you where alright so Mione didn't start her's yet. It pretty much scared the living tar out of us though. Is it really that painful?"
Harry looked at her knowing that he couldn't lie. "Yea, it hurts. Worse than the Cruciatus does. Still I plan on doing it again."
They fell into a silence, each thinking about different things.
"Do you think I should do it?" Ginny finally asked as she worried her bottom lip.
"Yes, definitely. It is only painful to you for a minute or so and you can get the only scary part done in one second of determination. I think that each of you should do it. Maybe just one at a time though to make sure everything works out alright and all."
"Yea, your right as always." Ginny smirked, "You did make the captured DE's nearly go insane with fright. I even think they canceled classes in the castle to try to find out what was going on. It really was that loud. We've already received reports you and Bella were heard all the way to Hogsmead."
"It certainly felt like it when I finished. I'll tell you though, I'm glad we did that dark art immunity ritual earlier. I could definitely see how the magic we are using could become addictive and we start abusing it. Thankfully we don't have to worry about that now though."
"I spent the next two days regaining my strength." Harry mused to Kari. "We continued on with the rituals at a slower pace. Now that I was awake and well, Mione did the ritual to the unknown woman. That time we made sure to cast silencing wards on the roof and walls so the sound would only escape into the flat area. We made sure the prisoners heard the screams. We were ruthless Kari. Seeing friends and loved ones die can do that to you. We turned just as heartless as the deatheaters were. Anyway, Ginny ended up using Rookwood and Dean and Ron, Malfoy. I had spent that time gathering parts to another ritual that I was going to perform soon and was already studying for. I was trying to find a different magical focus than just a wand. Something that could help physically in a battle. I didn't really want a sword or a knife as a focus, that's not to say that I didn't think of using one as an off hand weapon, and ended up deciding on a staff like the mages of old use to have. It was extremely difficult. Staffs are made differently from wands. A staff has to be made custom for the user. What makes it so hard is the shear volume of ingredients I needed to collect that could end up as part of it."
"The ritual was one that the founders had gotten from their Mentor, for the knowledge of how to make one had been lost for centuries even at that time. No one knows how he found the information and Godric had fumed for pages about it. When it came to weaponry he could be nearly as determined to learn how to make and use them as Rowena could get with her many books." Harry laughed out right thinking back to that. "Anyway, it's not really a ritual per se, more of a potion and spell combination, throw in a splash of alchamy, some divination, rune work and arithmancy, well you get the point. The potion was for divining. Nothing like most of the seers now days. It wouldn't tell the future or anything like that, but with the spells and everything, it could pick out what was the best to use. There was a catch, the maker had to get all the parts that would be chosen from. That means that if I wanted the best conductor of my magic I needed to get as many magical items together as possible. I thought that was all there was to it at the time. I was wrong. So much more goes into using a staff, but I will get to that later."
"While the other were doing the power ritual, I spent most of my first week searching the forest and grounds of Hogwarts for anything that might be magical. I got hairs and feathers from hundreds of magical creatures and I tried to vary how I got them, freely given or by force. I made sure to say away from the real dangerous parts of the grounds until I had my magic back under control. After that I traveled for three weeks strait, usually going to fifteen or twenty places in a day, collecting any and everything that I could get my hands on that might make a good core material. By the end of my time I had thousands of veils containing some of the rarest substances on earth."
"When I returned I told my friends what I had done and told them that I would gladly give them what ever didn't match to me as a peace offering. Needless to say they were livid with me for just leaving with no explanation of where I had gone. I had gone on a rampage. In Africa I slew a Nindu. In Russia I fought a small clan of vampires. I took hair, fangs and blood from them before I killed them all. In Romania I found that stadistic Horn Tail that I had to fight for the tournament and took her heart, fangs, blood and hide. Most creatures and people were very helpful though after they found out who I was. Gabrielle, the girl I helped during the Tri-wizard, donated some hair and blood as well as quite a few other veela in the area. Remus got a whole lot of were-wolves to donate. Tonks helped with her hair. For most other things I captured creatures and put them in a stasis egg for safe keeping. I didn't know what part I was going to use but I didn't want to kill anything I didn't have to."
"On my way back I even stopped by a magical leather worker I had met from Germany who agreed to make a few things out to the dragon hide for me in return for helping him out with a little critter infestation he had. So I told him what I wanted and he agreed. I gave him most of the hide and then left with an approximate date to return."
"That next week I preformed the power ritual a second time on the last deatheater. Mione had been researching non-stop to make sure that it wouldn't do anything bad to Gin or I. I had my own thoughts on the matter as well. It ended up that we could each do two total as that was the amount of 'hands' for lack of a better word the animals were holding out in the tattoo that we each received from the ritual. Ginny ended up with a large tiger with feathered wings, Mione with a black unicorn and Ron was a dark gray wolf. We didn't have a clue what they meant until later though. I thought about waiting to find someone more powerful to perform the ritual on but we were starting to talk about getting a move on in search of the horcruxes and I wanted every advantage I could get as soon as possible. I would find a way later to augment my power even more. We all knew that Riddle was stronger than any one of us alone even with the power rituals. We would probably be an even match with all of us against him. The magic from the girl was a dark blue with green and after everything was done the griffin had a ball of shimmering blue and green magic in it's other claw. It took longer to assimilate the second magic. Probably because I hadn't gained total control of Bella's magic yet. It would probably take years of training it much like when I started school for the magic to come to me as easily as it use to. I could feel even then the slight separations that was the different peoples magic in my body."
My birthday came and went with the planning and we had a small celebration. As October approached we decided it was finally time to leave and search out the horcurxes." Harry sat back and sighed, trying to think of what next to tell Kari.
"What did you do to prepare? I mean you were going to be gone for long times. You had so much already that it wouldn't fit in your trunks. You all needed more supplies and cloths and all sorts of other things. You hadn't even made your staff yet so why did you decide to leave then?" Kari was on the edge of her seat. She wanted to know everything.
Harry gave a barking laugh at the inquisitiveness of this girl. He was sure that Hermione had been born again. "Well the food was easy after I asked Dobby and Winky. The next day when we arrived in the kitchens they handed each of us our own little sacks. They weren't any bigger than a potato sack and made of a durable looking burlap. Confused I looked in mine and was amazed. They had expanded the insides to hold nearly an infinite supply of food all with stasis charms. Three metal decanters ended up holding a endless supply of water, pumpkin juice and butterbeer. Each sack held literally hundreds of already cooked and wrapped meals as large as anything they would have gotten from at Hogwarts along with nearly every sweet we could think of. They said that Dumbledore had told them to follow any requests Harry had for them and to help him in any way possible. So that took care of our food needs for as long as we needed."
"For the trunk space, Ginny had found the charms to be able to expand spaces and create new dimensions, or more accurately create pocket dimentions. Using these we created our own multi compartment trunk. Out of vindictiveness I decided to make a new one for me out of Whomping Willow wood. I was still sore at the thing for the my second year and my third when it broke my broom. The thing was livid I'll tell you when I hacked off one of the larger branches. I figured that since I had plenty of wood now I could make each of us one. With magic it was rather simple. Having the supplies we needed already we just transfigured the rest. We had found out a while before that I could conjure nearly anything permanently. It wouldn't fade like most conjuration. So for screws, fittings and filigree I used platinum. I never hadn't gotten the hang of silver or gold at the time. As it was it took nearly all my energy to create so much of the noble metal. After that Ginny and Hermione finished all the charms. I then added wards to each of them making them nearly impervious then for security I had us each use a dark art blood ward. The reason for this is that any one trying to open it without my permission would be burned severely. The insides had five compartments each, each containing a pocket dimension with five times the actual space. Finally Ginny charmed them so that they would expand and shrink on our voice command. Ron then added a powerful feather light charm to each. So as you can see we were all set to get going."
"The next morning we all apperated out and that is where my story really begins. We ended up spending a week in muggle London. We bought an entire new wardrobe for each of us. After all, it had been over a year since we got anything new and with all the changes to ourselves. Well we needed new clothes that didn't have transfiguring magic all though it. You never know how the different magics would react in a fight or if someone just cast a finite on us it would have hindered our movements way too much. We all got a few nice things but mostly tough clothing… jeans, jumpers, leather clothes… that type of thing. After that I portkeyed to Germany to pick up my items from the guy. He had made me a duster out of the black dragon hide. I still have it as a matter of fact, but I had a few new ones made that are in much better condition. He had even attached a hood onto it to make it like a modified cloak that wouldn't fly around so much during a fight. It was full body and stopped only a centimeter from the ground to give the effect of gliding. He knew who I was and knew that I was going to be getting in quite a few scraps over the next years, he had no idea how right he was, and I was extremely grateful for the good work he did. He then made me some boots with a knife sheath on the outside of the right one. Finally he gave me two gloves he had made out of the hide. It looked like a combination of gauntlets and bracers. Each only had quarter fingers but covered the first knuckle in a fight. They went three quarters up my forearms with an attachable wand holster and attachable throwing knife holster for which ever hand I used. I got the same for the Ron, Gin and Mione as well but their coats were trench coats since we were going to have to blend into the muggle world probably more than we would be in the magical."
"I changed into the boots which fit perfectly and were perhaps the most comfortable things I had ever put on my feet. I slid a large knife I had bought from one of the stores we had passed while shopping the day before. It was a huge bowie that I could use as a last ditch effort. I put the gloves on and slid my wand into the holster I had put on my left arm and as I pulled the straps to tighten them I was shocked to feel the hide harden to give my wrists and knuckles more support as well as protect my arms."
"Now I don't want to sound too vane, but when I was though I cut quite and intimidating image. I was wearing all black, boots, leather pants, large belt, knitted long sleeve shirt, dragon hide duster and the gloves. All the dragon hide had been charmed to fit better and had temperature charms on the inner liners so would be quite comfortable in any weather we happened to be in at the time. Happy with everything I thanked the man and left. The others were quite happy with what they had gotten."
Harry looked over to Kari how now seemed to be drifting off a bit. Yes he knew this was the boring part of the story. "I know it is hard to keep your attention during this part but it all comes into play over the next years. I just want you to know what I had so you would realize why some things happen in the future. Don't worry though, we're about to get back to the excitement." Kari looked sheepish at being caught not paying attention. "Well the next day we went to a sporting goods place and bought a good knife for everyone. We also each got a smaller little folding knife that would be more practical to use for cooking or cutting smaller things. After that we just traveled a bit. We visited the Grangers who tired to keep Hermione from leaving again. Her father even tried to punch me but thanks to the rituals he only succeeded in missing and hitting the wall behind me. After that we went to Order Headquarters, visited a few friends. Everyone was quite shocked at our appearance. We had changed an a lot over the time we were gone both physically, mentally and magically. A few of the Order members thought to try to keep us locked away and even went as far as to try to force us when we disagreed. The duel that followed was both quick and effective. It took all of five minutes to take down the five members, two of which were aurors. It did them all well to be put in their places for two reasons. One to show that we could take care of ourselves and two to let them know what they were going to be dealing with when they fought the deatheaters. The curses and spells we used were not nice ones. It shocked almost everyone when they saw the ease that we used dark and battle magic so we sat down with them and told them why. We told them about finding Godric's journal and some of the things it had said about magic in general and the users intent."
"It was Halloween that we decided would be our starting point. For the most part we stayed out of the magical world to keep from being spotted and subsequently attacked. We had it all planned out. We would split up and go to the different stores we needed. We didn't need any books much to Mione's disgust. So while I went an bought all of us new firebolt brooms, Mione went to the apothecary an bought everything they had. Ginny went and got supplies and Ron went to get potions equipment. We managed to acquire somewhere around ten thousand galleons due to the deatheaters we had stopped up to that time. Malfoy Jr. suprisingly had nearly three thousand on him when we stopped him. It was plenty to cover what we needed at the time but we knew we were going to need more so we all met up at Gringotts when we were done…"
"Don't stop here." Harry said as they all met up in the steps to the wizarding bank. "We can separate everything once we get down to my vault."
The rest nodded, looking out from under the deep shadows of the hoods that adorned the trench coats they were wearing. It only took a moment to get a free goblin and after a little problem where Harry was informed that he now had access to his family vault where all the gold from his trust vault and the inherited money and property he had gotten from Sirius was now placed. The good thing was that it was a very secure vault and could only be opened by a Potter heir.
"Harry?" Hermione whispered as he started down the hallway to the cart. "Didn't you say that Riddle used your blood in the resurrection ceremony? If he has your blood, doesn't that mean he could get into your vault?"
Ron and Ginny who were just in front of them stopped suddenly and turned with horrified looks on their faces. "She's right mate." Ron said quickly and too softly for the goblin to overhear. "We need to get everything out until this damn war is over. Then we can return it."
"Plus there are rumors the goblins are thinking of helping Riddle if what Mad-eye says is to be believed." Ginny put in.
Harry looked over to Hermione to see her nod in agreement. "Alright, we'll put a quarter in each trunk. That way if we ever get separated we won't have to worry about running out of money. And don't argue with me about this." Harry stated glaring at the three who were about to protest. "I would give everything in that vault to get just one of you out of trouble and you know that. I don't care about the money. I care about you all."
"If you would please get in the cart Mr. Potter." The goblin interrupted looking both put out at the delay and also seeming quite shifty at the same time. His eyes kept darting back and forth as if trying to see if they were being followed and it seemed twitchy and prone to fright.
'Something's wrong.' Harry thought to himself as he climbed in after his friends. As he sat in the cart he casually reached to his boot and unbuckled his knife, he was starting to get a bad feeling about this. As he was down he softly tapped Ron's boot. Ron did the same but didn't show that he was preparing for a fight. Ron then passed the message and the rest did the same but showed no reaction outside. The cart ride sped though the dark caverns but with the enhanced seeing each had thanks to the rituals each could see where they were going in the dark caverns. Harry had switched to his heat site and was looking around but didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
As they reached the vault the goblin instructed Harry as to what he had to do. Walking to the door he placed his hand on a thin pedestal and allowed it to test his blood. It wasn't long until the door opened to allow them access. The four walked in an only gaped for a moment at the amount of gold and other items in the room while the goblin waited out side the door for them to return. Each taking out their trunks they started piling gold into the largest chamber they had. They were only able to get about half of it so not wanting to chance any of his gold going to fund Voldemort, he had Ginny and Mione start working on adding another compartment to the trunk. He really didn't want to be this long but thought this was better than the alternative.
"How big do you want it?" Hermione asked.
"Will the feather light charms hold if we make it large enough to hold all of it, kind of like a mini-vault?" Harry asked.
"Yea," Ginny answered, "The weight will be transferred to the pocket dimension. The feather light charm is only needed for the actual weight of the trunk not the contents inside. It will take a while to do everything correctly. Like two hours for all four but I think we should do it." Harry nodded. "Ron help out with anything they need. I'm going to check out what this goblin is up to. He's acting weird and I'm getting a bad feeling about this." The group had come to trust many of Harry's feelings after the events of their last year in Hogwarts so set to work as Harry inched closer toward the vault door.
Concealed in the shadows Harry watched the goblin speak into a patch on the shoulder of is uniform. Harry couldn't tell what he was saying but it seemed suspicious. Another ten minutes went by and the goblin again started talking harshly into his patch. Checking on the progress the others were making Harry noticed that they weren't even done with the first trunk, his. The goblin suddenly stopped talking and looked intently up the rail tracks. Following the goblins line of sight Harry couldn't see anything but he noticed the goblin briefly check to make sure the group was all inside the vault then looked to be flagging down something.
Realizing what might be happening Harry again switched his vision to see heat signatures. Three more carts came into view each holding two goblins each. The goblins nodded to each other and then separated and surrounded the platform. Harry could see the pale blue of the swords that were now held in their hands.
'Damn it' Harry cursed himself. Seven goblins and who knows what else they might be bringing. Harry only hoped the rumors of dragons being under goblin control down here were false. That was all he needed now.
Slowly he moved back from the shadows and to his friends. "Seven goblins are on the platform waiting for us, six with swords out and disillusioned. I don't know what else they're planning to bring out for us but we have the advantage. We know they are planning an ambush. It seems they are content to wait until after we leave the vault to attack so take your time and make sure we do this right. Don't use too much energy for the trunks so slow down if you need to. Make them big, leave plenty of room for other things. Ron come with me and help separate what is going to go with who."
After two and a half hours of working they were ready. Harry had found a corner that had pictures and letters from his parents and relatives. There was an entire wall of wands he took with him, he could use the core's for his staff if he needed to. Most everything else was just materials and books. It was Ron who found a small case that had some weapons in it. There were a few swords of different makes, a bow and quiver set, a few daggers and staves, some shields and even a blow dart gun. None seemed too magical but for the bow that seemed to have something on it to make it more powerful. Harry ended up taking the bow and quiver set as well as a sword. He had read about how Godric had used his sword in battle with great effectiveness. The thing was a wizard such as he could best use a long sword instead of the bigger swords that knights of that era were prone to use. It was light enough use with one hand but long and heavy enough to stop an opponents blow and long enough to reach your target without getting too close. Finding a sword that was once used by a Potter long ago Harry strapped the scabbard onto his belt. It had a long brightly shining blade that was wide at the base and tapered strait to a point. It had the same shining metal as a cross guard. The grip was what looked like a cherry colored leather with strips of gold to help give it grip. Then the pummel was a golden head of a lion with a crown on it's head, mouth open in a silent roar. Down the center of the blade on each side were runes that even Hermione could not decipher inlayed with gold to help them stand out against the gleaming metal. It held only a bit of magic to keep it sharp and stronger than most steel blades but that was it. Nodding his head, Harry slid it back into the black leather scabbard and placed a few throwing knives he had found in his bracer. He had no idea how to use them yet but wanted to have them knowing that they were probably going to be attacked as soon as they left the vault. At least he would have something sharp to banish into an opponent if he needed it. The rest of the weapons were distributed between the rest of the group None of the others decided to wear the weapons and just placed them into their trunks. Finally they had the entire vault separated and the purchases for the day quartered up.
"Wait here while I see if they're still there." Harry whispered to the other three. They nodded as Harry was the only one that had the ability to see heat signatures. That would change in the near future as the group saw how useful it could be. Each had at least two clear diamonds in their trunks after clearing out the vault and were already thinking about the ritual.
Harry came back looking determined. "Still the seven goblins but now they have a Waveren out there as well." Harry thought about that. It would be nice to capture it and up it in a stasis egg (think like Pokemon) to try to use it for his staff later on. They were powerfully magical creatures.
The others nodded. "You all take out the goblins, I have the Waveren. I want to capture it and it shouldn't be too difficult in these caves. I doubt that it can move all that well in here." Harry laid the plan out to them all. Agreeing they moved to the door.
Harry didn't wait for the rest to get out the door before his wand was in his hand and casting a canceling charm for the disillusionment. The shock of them knowing the goblins were there was all the rest needed. Faster than seemingly possible the other three burst from the door casting curses. Three of them were taken out in the first volley with cutting curses.
Ron moved to the next one that was charging with his sword ready to cut the red head into pieces. Whipping his wand around his head a bright fire red whip lashed out an cracked against the goblins shoulder. It tore through the flesh and broke the bone. Another strike and it's intestines spilled on the floor from a strike to the stomach. Ron spun jabbing with his wand at the next goblin who as gesturing with his hands starting some sort of magic. Before he could release the magic a ice blue beam struck the goblin promptly removing every bone in his body. It fell to the ground like a bag of Jell-O. He quickly searched for another threat seeing that everything seemed to be under control. Only Harry was still fighting but he was right. Due to the creatures size it couldn't move fast enough in the caves. It was already sporting a variety of battle scars before Harry banished one of the metal carts into the creatures face promptly knocking it unconscious. He turned away as he knew that Harry would be spelling the creature into one of his stasis things to take with him. It really was a good idea Ron though as he cast detection charms along the tunnel to ensure they were safe.
"Everyone alright?" Ginny asked as she took a jewel encrusted dagger from one of their attackers. She weighted it in her hand then tossed it into her trunk.
"No harm here." Ron announced as he check himself.
"I was nicked by a cutting curse but it's already healing." Hermione added thanking the rituals she had done to heal her without help. She could feel a small pull at her energy level as the magic set to work taking care of her needs.
"Damn stupid giant snake." Harry muttered. "It tried to bite me!" he lifted up the bottom of his duster showing a slight scuff by the leg where the inch long fangs tried to bite down. "I didn't know dragon hide could stop something like that."
"Glad it did though." Ginny said taking off his boot to show a bruise that was healing much like Hermione's cut was.
"Yea no kidding." Harry admitted as he put the boot back on.
They all climbed into a cart and started making their way to the surface. Once their they were met with a group of shocked and frightened looking goblins as they saw the pissed off wizards and witches getting out of the cart. It only took a moment though before one of them shouted something and all hell broke loose.
Ginny spun away from a red disk of magic moving toward her. It seemed as if everything was moving in slow motion thanks to the rituals and goblins weren't that fast to begin with. Their magic was better suited to something that doesn't need to be done quickly like warding. Waving her wand in a large arc a wall of fire shot toward a group. All that came out the other end were chard bones. She rolled as another group attacked. Whipping her wand horizontal to the group she growled 'sectum sempra'. Three of the five goblins fell to the ground with no legs screaming. The other two started moving their hands for the next spell but She shot forward. Her elbow crushed into the first goblin's neck crushing the wind pipe and at the same time she was kicking out catching the other goblin in the side of the leg. A snap and a howl let her know she succeeded. She didn't waist time though. In one motion she grabbed the knife from her boot and swung it in an arch until she felt a small amount of resistance then nothing again. Ginny looked to see the goblin fall to the ground, blood pooling from its neck. She lurched forward as she felt something slam onto her back. Spinning she saw another goblin with sword ready to strike a second time. It was clearly surprised that the strike did nothing more that piss off the girl. Ginny didn't waist time as she cast the killing curse and the goblin dropped, dead before it hit the ground. Looking around the floor she could see the bodies of many goblins in various states of death or dying. The other were looking around as well, ready for the next attack but the goblins that managed to survive had fled back into their caves.
Harry looked around after the fighting was over. Most looked none the worse for wear other than blood splattered all over them all. Some of it was probably theirs. He noticed Ginny had a line on the back of her coat where it looked like a goblin got her from behind. Ron was pulling a piece of wood from his cheek and Hermione was holding her arm. He bent down to check his knee. A damn goblin had caught him with it's sword. The blade didn't cut him but the force felt like it had broken a bone or two. A loud snap and a short scream told him that Hermione's arm was in the same shape as his leg. Suddenly his leg made a soft grinding noise as the bones moved back into the correct place and the pull on his energy to repair the damage done along with all the other small cuts and bruises. He quickly pulled out a bag from his pocket. Inside were a few fictional books they had bought for their enjoyment before they entered the alley form a small book shop and a few candy bars. Grabbing four bars he tossed one to each of the others who took them gratefully then shoved the bag back into his coat pocket.
"Well that was fun." Ron said as he was looking though some of the goblins possessions.
"I don't think they were ready for us. They seemed a bit surprised when we arrived." Ginny giggled as she moved over to Harry to look at his leg…again.
"The question is, was this the work of Voldemort or some other power?" Hermione thought.
"Of course it's Voldemort!" Ron started hotly.
"Maybe not Ron." Harry cut in confusing Ron. "Think about it. I've pissed Scrimgeour off all last year then what happened after the funeral. I remember him having a little conference with Umbridge and Percy after he left me. Maybe he thought I was too powerful a player to not know what I was up to."
"He's becoming as paranoid as Fudge from what Tonks told us." Ginny entered the conversation.
"I still think it was Voldemort." Ron grumbled. "I doesn't matter though does it. I mean we were meant to die then they could have made up all sorts of things as to how we did. Even saying we feel off the carts. By surviving, Gringotts will go out of business and another war will start."
"And we really don't need the goblins to side with Voldemort if they aren't already."
"We could try to talk with them?" Ron more asked then stated.
"No not now. We need to show them the consequences of what they have done regardless of who they are working for now. It will also show that we are more powerful than they know and will make them second guess going after us again. Especially if it was the Ministry." Hermione said as she thought over the possibilities.
"I know." Harry said grimly. "I've been working on a sort of magical bomb and I think I have it just about figured out. It takes a while but I can do it. Get ready to leave while I get everything ready."
The others started moving toward the door as Harry moved over to the halls where the goblins retreated. He had been practicing separating the molecules in the air and concentrating them in a specific place. Concentrating he conjured a field that stretched down the hall then vanished everything in it leaving a perfect vacuum. He then summoned every oxygen molecule he could. The air around him started to move as he felt the amount of oxygen in the air decrease as it headed into the now warded area. Harry could see goblins on the other side of the ward looking suspiciously at what he was doing. It didn't take long to have as many oxygen molecules packed into the place as possible. Harry moved back toward the front doors before casting ball of fire. He turned and ran, grabbing his friends as he sprinted from the building. They paid no mind to anything around them as they felt the ground rumble before a wave a heat hit them in the back pushing them forward into the cobble stone street. Spinning and looking at the cause they each saw a huge pillar of flame and crumbled stone where once use to be the wizarding bank.
"Well, that worked rather well." Harry commented.
"You think?" Squeaked a wide eyed Ron.
"Might think of making some type of fuse though." Ginny grumbled as she rubbed her bum.
No one would have to worry about he goblins for a long time. Even if any survived that explosion it would take a year even with the wizards help to dig out the place. It was kind of ironic that the warded tracks to the vaults were still accessible. Hopefully they didn't have a place for the other goblins to leave from. Harry doubted it with how security conscious the goblins where and that would be a major security risk.
Harry turned an finally took stock of the situation they had found themselves in. All around him black robed figures were staring at the burning building in shock. Members of the Order and Ministry were equally still looking into the flames. It was like someone had pushed the pause button. It didn't last long however. Harry jumped to his feet and drew the sword. The first deatheater was only a few feet from him and the blade passed through is neck. As he dropped to the ground the others were jumping up and started firing curses. The movement brought everyone back to reality and the battle began again.
It had only gone one for a few minutes before Harry heard the voice he was hoping not to hear for a while yet.
"Harry Potter. So nice to see you once again. And this time without your muggle loving fool's protection." Came the hissed words.
Harry grabbed a deatheater near him and held him against the wall behind him. The point of is sword already drawing blood from the man's neck. At the same time Ginny was hidden behind her attacker with her knife drawing a line of red across his neck. White blond hair could be seen escaping the hood of the cloak. Hermione and Ron were in similar situations, holding one deatheater by blade and another wounded one on the ground by wand.
Opposite them Voldemort had Remus, Tonks, Shack and a few of the Order and Ministry. It was a classic stand off. Harry knew that Voldemort didn't want these deatheaters dead. From the amount of curses they had used before capture he was sure they were in the upper levels of Riddles followers. He knew for a fact that Ginny had Lucius and had killed Narcissa earlier in the fight. Without that Malfoy money Voldemort would have a harder time getting what he needed.
"Well it seems that we have ourselves a little problem doesn't it Riddle?" Asked Harry as he took in the entire situation.
"Don't push your luck Boy!" Voldemort hissed. "You know you are no match for me. Though I must say I am impressed with how powerful you have become. You know my offer from your first year. You could join me and now that I have seen what you are capable of in only a years time I know we could be great together."
"Don't try that crap with me Voldemort." Harry retorted. Everyone else was silent willing to let the two converse, at least for the time being. "We both know that you don't share power and after all you have done to me can you really believe that I would join you? You've used one to many rituals if you think that."
Voldemort shrugged and took a step forward. "Naha." Harry responded shortly driving the sword deeper into the man's neck. A gurgled yelp was produced by said deatheater. "You just stay there and I here. I think we can come up with something." Harry advised the Dark Lord.
"Will you kill them Potter? Defenseless wizards. Will you kill them in cold blood? Is that what you want to world to know you as?"
"I'm only willing to return the favor Tom." Riddle hissed in annoyance. "Now as I see it we have one of two options." Harry glanced around seeing a few Order members he had seen earlier that week on the ground either injured or dead. Some aurors were in the same condition. "It seems we have both lost more than enough fighters for one day."
"So you suggest a… what, tie?"
"Live to fight another day. You seem to be a few inner circle members short these days as it is. As you can see Lucius is the only Malfoy still breathing these days and that could be taken care of rather quickly. It would be a shame for you to loose all that financial backing he's been tossing your way."
Voldemort eyes narrowed angrily as he though of his options. "I still have many competent followers left to me."
"You won't if you continue this fight. I know you can kill me if you wanted to right now. But not before we take out most of the rest of you best fighters. And how do you think you would do against the four of us together? I might not be a match for you yet but I guarantee the four of us will give you a good fight."
"Fine boy, I will leave and you will allow any of my followers still standing to leave with me."
"Fine, another day then."
"You can't do that Potter! You have no authority here boy. I'll have you arrested for this. Aurors take both of them!" Some unknown auror hidden in the back yelled.
"Will someone shut him up before he gets everyone here killed." Harry demanded.
No one had moved to follow the other man's orders and after a few quick curses he was quiet. The auror in the front and therefore in the most danger were willing to do anything to stay alive past this battle. They couldn't believe Potter could stand up to the demon and not cower with fear.
"Well done Potter. It seems as if you have grown a brain in that head of yours after all." Severus Snape stepped from behind Riddle to take his new place at his right hand.
Harry cursed, it coming out in a hiss as he inadvertently slipped into parsel-tongue in his rising anger. Voldemort laughed, clearly enjoying seeing and smelling the amount of fear in the air intensify.
"Don't worry Snivellus, before this is over I will have caused you the same pain I did your precious Bellatrix. I was the one to kill her you know." Harry theatrically shivered, driving the sword through the man's neck in the process. He fell dead and Harry just shrugged before turning his full attention back to Voldemort and Snape. Riddle looked a little amused at the casual way Harry had just dispatched one of his men. "I know you wanted her Snivellus. I was in your mind remember, and in your memories. I remember your lustful looks at her, your thoughts that are even now showing in your eyes, how you lust for her. Do you know how long it takes to drive someone insane from pain with out using the Cruciatus? A long, long time."
Snape lunged but Riddle's hand flew out and slammed into the Snape's cheek, driving him to the ground. "Do not ever attack without my authority again. Is that understood Severus?" Snape nodded quickly and moved a step behind the Dark Lord as he had been before. Then with a wave of his wand the standing deatheaters disappeared.
The Order members that were being held quickly took up positions behind Harry and raised their wands to prepare to attack.
"STOP!" Harry yelled. "He followed though with his side of the deal, now it's our turn." The fighters lowered their wands automatically, not realizing they were taking orders from an eighteen year old.
"Before I go…" A white piercing light shot from Voldemort's wand and encompassed Harry before he was able to react. Harry knew he had no help coming and as Voldemort kept up his mumbled incantation Harry started thinking about what he needed to do. Pooling his magic together and forcing the foreign magic to cooperate he pushed back against Riddle.
As Harry opened his eyes he could see the white light being attacked by his own. Crimson streaks, blue bolts, silver sparkles and golden waves of magic fought against each other. The force of the magic pulled the bag out of Harry's pocket and scattered the three books that were inside on the ground at his feet. The white was intensifying now as Riddle pushed more and more.
"This Harry is a spell I had made just for you." Voldemort's voice was strained with effort to keep the spell going. "You see I grew tired of constantly having you slip through my hands when I tried to kill you. So I forced the goblins into my service for this project because I knew you would be coming here eventually. You did well with them but they are an inferior race so I had no doubt you survive the encounter. But now here I have you and instead of trying to kill you I have something much better. Your former mentor kept telling me that there are worse things than death. I realized he was right. This spell will trap you in another plane of existence, one you can never escape from. One with nothing, nobody, no colors, no ground, no air, absolutely nothing but yourself for the end of time."
"No matter what you do Riddle I will find away to come back and kill you!"
"You think you could kill me! I have sixty years experience over you. You couldn't kill me if you had double that to practice and study!" Riddle replied seething. The white magic brightened to another intensity that seemed to shock the snake man and unsettle him somewhat. The spell picked up the three books and they seemed to absorb in the wall of white magic. Words poured from the books and started circling Harry who looked on as confused as Riddle now looked.
Knowing he didn't have much time left Harry turned to his friends. "Keep fighting and be prepared for when I get back. I will, I promise on my magic I will return to help you rid the world of this monster. Stay strong and don't wait for me. Live your lives, I don't know how long I will be gone. Find someone to love Ginny as I have loved you."
Ginny was crying but nodded knowing that now was not the time for arguing. Harry fell to his knees as the felt his magic loosing. Voldemort was shaking as he looked to be trying to break the spell that was draining all his magic from him. Shaking, Riddle screamed in rage and panic trying to figure out what was going on.
Harry turned to Ron and Hermione. "I love you guys. Watch out for each other and Ginny. I don't think I will be seeing you for quite a while but I will hold true to my promise. I will return. Take care of that old wolf Tonks." Harry spoke up as the alley watched him fighting against the curse. "I want my new godfather in one piece when I get back."
Tom Riddle was now on the ground, foaming from his mouth and blood coming from his nose, ears and eyes as the magical strain was swiftly becoming too much for him. Harry felt a pull on his very soul and screamed out in sudden pain as he continued to fight the spell. Another sharp jerk and Harry Potter disappeared following a ball of white magic that imploded on itself with a deafening clap of thunder. With the last vestiges of strength, Voldemort wrapped a hand around a ring on his hand and spat out some word and he too disappeared.
BUYING TIME - BUYING TIME - BUYING TIME
A wide eyed Kari sat perched on the very edge of the couch fascinated with the story and waiting for more. Harry smiled to himself. After so many years he had quite perfected the art of anticipation and using it to get the results that he wanted.
"I think that will be all for tonight. It is getting quite late." Harry stated as he looked over to the grandfather clock in the corner of the room.
Kari's face screwed up into an indignant scowl as her Grandpa ended the story just as it was getting interesting.
"You study hard and I will tell you the next part after you finish the next ritual." Harry said amused at his young charge as she stalked off to her room muttering about how she 'didn't even need to sleep anymore' and 'I'm not even tired anyway'.
After she was gone a tall woman with jet black hair and piercing ice blue eyes emerged from the shadows.
"Good evening luv. Did you enjoy the story as well?" Harry asked not even looking her way and seemingly knowing she was there the whole time.
"You know I always like to hear that story and I have to wait for the inheritance to be able to hear it myself."
"You still like hearing it? Even after I've told it to you so many times and you even participating in a major part of it?"
"Of course I do. Your such a good story teller and you have such a way with the children. It makes me want more just seeing you with them."
"We've already had twenty luv, and they grew and turned out better than anything I could ever have hoped for."
"They did that." Replied the woman. "It's would have been Lilly's three hundred and fifty first birthday tomorrow." She went on sadly.
"Yes I know." He replied sadly. "She was our youngest you know… my baby."
"We could have some more. I know they will never replace our children that have already passed on but I think it would help fill that void that we both seem to be feeling."
"I'll think about it and we can talk more on it another time. It's was so hard watching all our children grow old and then having to bury them. No parent should have to bury their own child no matter how old that child was when they passed. It still feels like yesterday when we buried Lilly but I know it was more than a hundred years ago. The ache is still as strong as ever."
"I know my love. It is the same with me even if our children lived an exeptionally long life by normal wizarding standards. Let's prepare to visit the children's tombs when the sun rises. Kari will be fine without us for a few hours. I doubt she will even leave her room for all the studying."
"Yes," Harry's eyes lit up in a way only the mention of Kari could. His wife knew that for some reason he loved the child more than the rest of his large family though he would never show it or admit to it, everyone in his family was dearly important to him. "Yes that girl has so much of us in her. I think the hat will have a difficult time placing her. When I look at her I see you and me but I also see Hermione, Ron and Ginny staring out of her eyes back into mine. It's unnerving at times even."
"Is she the one you have been waiting for?" Asked the woman.
"Maybe. I think so but she has much to learn still. We will keep an eye out and maybe teach her more if she shows promise, but I think she could be… she could be."
With that the aged pair moved out of the sitting room to ready themselves for the day ahead.
Kari glared at the spiral binder in front of her. Two pages showed listing the steps and results of two rituals that she was trying to decide to do. She had taken her Grandpa's story to heart from a few nights prior and started researching the healing ritual that would fix any damage that had already been done to the body and would accelerate the already speedy healing, due to the first ritual she did, for any future injuries. It was either that or the strength enhancing that would give her the strength and speed of a were-wolf thanks to the hair and blood that one of her friends had willingly donated earlier that month.
The Potters and Weasleys were the only families left from the group that had made the were-wolves lives much easier. Over the years they had, much due to Hermione's brain, found a way to control the curse, giving the people infected the ability to change at will and not be forced by the full moon. It was much like an animagus transformation but still much more painful. Still now the were-wolf community could work and all helped either family as much as possible.
Finally Kari flipped a coin, tails, the health ritual it was.
Three days later both Harry and his wife watched the young girl going though the steps to the ritual. This one was much harder than the first and much more dangerous. Each had inspected the potion she had made to make sure that it was perfect. They had watched as she cut different runes, eventually forming as large cross across her front. She seemed to be doing well though. She was using her occulemcy to it's maximum to keep the pain pushed to one part of her mind and allow her to work though the pain. Harry nodded impressed. Very few eleven year olds could do something like this.
The magic in the air increased as she finished the last rune and she started chanting in an old Norse tongue. She stopped and did the proper movements, bowing to each of the four cardinal compass points and preyed to the ancients to help her. She again knelt and took a bowl of silver blood, willing given from a unicorn, and bathed the runes she carved into her chest with it. She then took up a goblet with half of the potion in it and drank. Harry knew from experience how bad it tasted. Then as she continued chanting she poured the rest of the potion over her wounds.
A golden light started shining from her chest as the concoction was pulled into her body and the little girl dropped to the floor screaming. The mixture making it's way through her body felt like liquid fire boring into every part of her. She let out a piercing scream as her body convulsed and her back arched off the ground. It felt like it lasted hours and hours to the young witch but a more rational part of her knew it was only a few minutes. Finally the pain started to subside and she laid one the ground panting and shaking. She knew that it was suppose to be painful but what she had felt was the worst pain she had ever even thought of and there were suppose to be even more painful rituals.
'Like what Grandpa did to those two witches to gain their power. I couldn't imagine something like that.'
She stumbled to her feet and used the wall to support her as she left the room, not bothering to clean up just yet. That could be done after she rested and recuperated from her ordeal. She knew if she had done the ritual correctly she would have a symbol magically marked into her skin somewhere on her chest. Staggering to the full length mirrors, much like dressing room mirrors, in the readying room she searched for what she hoped she would find. She was sure she did the ritual correctly but she always had that annoying voice in the back of her mind about the dangers.
'If Grandpa, Grandma, their friends and the rest of my family could do it I can too.' She thought fiercely. 'Plus Grandpa was watching and would have stopped it if I was doing anything wrong.'
Glancing up into the mirror she smiles as she saw the 'cross of life' branded just above her left breast. It had worked. She sighed happily as she moved herself to the rooms built in showers to clean up. Then she was going to get some sleep. Then Grandpa was going to continue his story.
It took Kari two days to completely recover from the ritual and then clean up her mess but she was more than ready for the story to continue as she moved to corner her Grandpa the next morning.
"Okay, I did the second ritual…"
"Mmm, so you did. And you did very well with it. Though it was not one you needed to do just yet for the inheritance so you still need to do those two." Harry sat back in his chair looking over his book.
"Fine! But what happens next?" The little girl moved to the edge of her seat.
"Well normally you would study for the next one so you can get ready for Hogwarts."
"No, not that Grandpa. You know what I mean. Get on with the story."
"Oh that." Harry chuckled at how he riled up his charge. "Well I suppose you did earn it. Now were did I leave off."
"Where you always do to try to drive every eleven year old." Came his wife's reply as she took a seat next to her husband, smiling fondly at his antics."
"Ah yes, I suppose I do remember now…."