AUTHOR'S NOTE: I've been thinking about doing this for ages. I always wanted to write a good HP/Charmed crossover, but though I had ideas for time to time, I didn't just want to write the story just so that I could see so that I could see the two universes clash. I needed a plot, and suddenly found one in a moment of inspiration. And so here I am.
I can promise that this fic will be different from most other HP/Charmed crossovers out there. First off, it's one of the few with Chris and not the Charmed Ones interacting with Harry and the gang. Secondly, as far as I know, it is the only crossover with Chris in it which does NOT ignore the fact that Chris is born around 2005 and Harry was born in the 1980's, so they are twenty-five years apart. I don't know if it is a peculiarity in me, but I cannot compromise the cannon of any fandom that far without feeling I've done a disservice to that fandom. The fic is set in the year 2025, when Chris is 20. It ignores the whole traveling-back-in-time-to-save-Wyatt scenario. In the story, Wyatt is just…evil. Full stop.
Please read and give me your comments; this is an experiment and in spite of the fact that I have typed out a complicated plot outline with all sorts of dates for all sorts of events so that I can integrate the two worlds without compromising the cannon of either of them, I'm really unsure about how this will be received and exactly where I'm going with this. (Rest assured I will finish it; I never leave fics unfinished). That said, I promise I'll never subject you to an author's note this long ever again, so sit back and enjoy the chapter!
Title: The Last Horcrux
Chapter 1: Prologue
"Oh my- Harry! For Merlin's sake, wake up! You have got to come and see this."
Harry Potter, leader of the Order of the Phoenix, and youngest Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, groaned as his consciousness was dragged kicking and screaming from the realms of deepest slumber. Resisting the urge to turn over and go right back to sleep, he dragged himself across the room to see what had gotten Kingsley Shacklebolt, former Ministry of Magic employee, all hot and bothered.
"What the hell is it this time, Kingsley?" He asked tiredly, rubbing sleep from his eyes and leaned over the man's shoulder wearily to catch a better look of whatever it was the man was poring over. "And it had better be the end of bloody England, or there'll be hell to pay for waking me up…" His voice trailed off as his brain finally caught up with his eyes.
"Bloody hell!" He grabbed the map and scrutinized it frantically.
Shacklebolt nodded grimly. "Should I call a meeting?"
"Please," He said without looking up, barely noticing when a fireplace and a box of Floo powder appeared out of nowhere. He was, after all, completely used to it, having used the room for two decades. He bent over the map, blocking out everything else until he chanced to look up and found that the last members of the Order of the Phoenix were stepping out of the fireplace. None of them looked pleased at being roused from their sleep.
"Sorry to have woken you all, but something came up," Harry told them. I need copies of this, fifty-five copies, He thought, and the maps appeared in his hands. He began to pass them around. He glanced around the room again and realized it was getting a bit too crowded for comfort. I need the room to be a little bigger…bit more…perfect. Oh, and a chair each for everyone as well…As the room complied with his demands, he couldn't repress a brief moment of self-satisfaction. He still couldn't believe that he was the first Headmaster to think of setting up office in the Room of Requirement. It was so very convenient; he knew that if any of the other Headmasters had known about the room, they would not have spent years in that circular box of a room on the third floor.
"So, you mind telling us what this is about?" Someone asked, jerking him out of his thoughts. "What type of map is this?"
"H-map," He explained, "We've got a reading of Horcrux activity." There were exclamations of amazement and excitement all around. It was the first time in fifteen years that maps had given any indication of activity on the H-maps. It was a wonder Kingsley had even checked them, most of the Order considered them more or less redundant and rarely bothered to monitor them when they were on duty.
Ronald Weasley sucked in a breath as he studied the map. "San Francisco?" He asked, voicing what was going through everyone's heads. "That's…unexpected."
To say the least. Most of the Death Eater activity took place in Europe and sometimes in Asia, but never in America. The D-maps for USA had given no indication of Death Eater activity in over fifteen years. Everyone had just assumed that the Dark Lord was not interested in that part of the world, or that they had found a way to cloak or protect themselves from his power. Communications between Europe and America had been virtually non-existent for going fifteen years now, and even before the war, there had been little interaction between the two wizarding races. Harry could not help but feel grateful. He didn't think he could have coped if the weight of that world as well as this one had been placed on his shoulders.
"Are you sure the maps are even working anymore?" Hannah Macmillian asked, skepticism apparent in her voice. "What?" She added upon seeing Hermione Weasley and Remus Lupin bristle at her words. "I appreciate that you spent years working on them, and that if it wasn't for them we would never have found the other Horcruxes, but the maps haven't given us any readings for years! And now all of a sudden, San Francisco? That isn't even a war-zone!"
"Perhaps not, but it will fast become one if what the map says is true," Ginny Potter interjected, folding her arms across her torso and looking seriously at everyone. "There are innocent people, civilians there, who might be in danger and we can offer them protection here. Merlin knows we have the resources. It's our duty to at least go and check if there's some truth to this reading."
"Of course there's truth to the readings," Hermione snapped, unable to contain herself, "These maps never lie. Professor Lupin and I put the same enchantments on them that were used on the Marauder's Map, the only difference being that we made them read Horcrux activity and not where everyone is in Hogwarts."
"We've been over all this a million times," Remus added, "The maps work. End of story. What we have to worry about now is the Horcrux activity. We've been looking for a lead like this for ages. We can't afford to waste time, there's a very small window before the Horcrux is moved again. And if, as Dumbledore suspected, it's Voldemort's snake, it will move as soon as it makes its kill."
"There's an Apparition point here," Harry told everyone, holding up the map and pointing to a spot within walking distance of Golden Gate Bridge. "It's not very far from where the Horcrux is."
"If it even is a Horcrux," Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody muttered under his breath.
Harry ignored him. "Here's what we're going to do," He said, all business. "Ron, Professor Lupin and I will Apparate to San Francisco. I want Ginny and Hermione to monitor the P-maps for that area. And don't argue," He added as the two women drew themselves up in protest, "I'm not risking more people on this mission, and there's nothing you can do to change my mind." Hermione and Ginny deflated, there was no point arguing with him when he was so decided. "Minimal magic, no engaging in combat, we just get in, assess the situation, and get out, hopefully unnoticed. Clear?"
Everyone nodded, and the room buzzed with activity as people took their posts, began to numerous types of enchanted maps, muttered into the two-way mirrors which every team leader possessed , and began to organize back-up. Harry felt no small amount of pride when he considered just how efficient they had all become. There was a time when he would have actually had to direct them, and now they were doing everything necessary without his having to say a word.
"Come on," Harry muttered to his best friend. "Ready Professor Lupin?"
"Then let's go."
"Be careful!" Ginny and Hermione exclaimed in one breath, as they always did when their husbands went on missions even remotely risky.
"We will," Harry and Ron chorused, rolling their eyes at each other and giving their wives a swift kiss each before making their way to the fireplace. The exchange had become customary, a tradition. It was familiar and comforting.
Harry stepped into the fireplace and reappeared moments later in the Shrieking Shack, the Apparition point closest to Hogwarts, an ideal location accessible from the protected Hogwarts grounds and yet located in Hogsmeade outside the Anti-Apparition wards. He greeted the team posted there for the night-shift with a quick nod, and then unfolded the map, checking to see if the Horcrux had moved. Thankfully, it hadn't. Nodding to Ron and Remus as they stepped out of the fireplace, he closed his eyes and concentrated…and reappeared with a crack in San Francisco.
His jaw fell in shock as he took in his surroundings. All around them, there were signs of destruction and war. Smoking ruins, heaps of rubble and debris, buildings which looked as though they would crumble at the slightest provocation, main roads which had once been made of concrete, now broken, uneven paths of mud and rubble with chunks of cement and tar mixed in. It was a horrifying sight, ten times worse than any war-zone in Europe. More disturbing still, the Apparition point was completely out in the open, which meant that the building which at one point must have sheltered it had been destroyed. Not that there was any chance of discovery; there was not a sign of life to be seen anywhere.
"So much for America not being a war zone," Remus muttered under his breath
Ron snorted mirthlessly from behind them. "That's the biggest bloody understatement of the century."
Harry's heart clenched suddenly with sorrow and guilt. He should never have assumed that America was safe. So what if there had rarely been any communication or between the two wizarding communities even before the war? So what if he had all of Europe to worry about? He could have saved all these civilians if he had just bothered to check. Merlin knew Hogwarts had the resources necessary to shelter them. For the last ten years, it had frustrated him to no end that until they were unable to destroy the last Horcrux he would not be able to go up against Voldemort with the remotest chance of victory. Forced to lie low, he had wished fervently on more than one occasion that he could have saved more people, done something more useful than sending teams on suicide missions to search for the missing Horcrux. To find out that all this time, he could have rescued these civilians, helping those who must have been trapped here…
He pushed away the thoughts; there was no sense in agonizing over something they could no longer help. He looked around, and was dismayed but not surprised when he was unable to locate any of the landmarks from the map, not even Golden Gate Bridge. Everything remotely recognizable had been destroyed. Whipping out his wand, he held it to where the Horcrux was marked on the map and muttered a quick Point-me spell. The pull of his wand was faint, but still there. Beside him, Ron and Remus cast the same spells and together they made their way, staying in the shadows and taking cover behind boulders as much as possible. Because it was a war-zone, they didn't dare to use any light, but a few burning buildings and a half moon worked as well as any Lumos spell so they were able to manage quite easily.
They had walked for fifteen minutes when a faint, but terrified scream split the air. They exchanged startled looks, coming to a stop. "What the hell was that?" Harry whispered, unnerved.
Ron shrugged, equally uneasy. "Sounded like a woman."
The pull from their wands had become stronger, indicating that they were nearing the place. Quickly, they cast Disillusionment Charms on each other, and, completely camouflaged by their surroundings, they crept forward without the fear of discovery. Another scream split the air, louder this time.
"Definitely a woman," Remus whispered, and swallowed, "And I can smell blood...and death." If Harry had not already been worried, he definitely would have been at thisn. Experience had taught him that Remus's werewolf instincts were rarely off the mark.
With and unpleasant sense of foreboding, they doubled behind one of the few buildings that were still standing. Judging by the pull in their wands, they were now a mere fifteen feet away from the Horcrux...as well as the person who had screamed.
They words, "Wyatt…please…" were said in hoarse, desperate tones. The raw anguish in that tone made all of them freeze where they were. Laughter filled the air, harsh and cruel, infinitely worse than Voldemort's in its callousness.
"You know what to do to stop me, Chris," said a voice, presumably Wyatt's. The note of definitive amusement in his tone reminded Harry of how Voldemrot had taunted him in that graveyard in his Fourth Year at Hogwarts. He shuddered. Another cry of pain was heard from the woman, accompanied by anguished, desperate sobs from the one who was pleading with Wyatt; Chris, had Wyatt called him?
"Wyatt…please…don't do this… not Bianca, too…please…"
"Tell me where it is," Wyatt said in a bored tone, "And she lives. If not, then I'll give her the slowest, most painful death you can possibly imagine. A thousand times worse than the deaths I gave your uncles and aunts and cousins…enjoyable as those were. Do you want me to kill her as well, Christopher? The woman you love more than any other?"
Harry and his companions exchanged horrified looks as they realized what was happening. Harsh, desperate sobs mingled with anguished whimpers and cold, cruel laughter. It was all any of them could do to not intervene then and there.
"Chris please…" Bianca's voice hoarse with screaming; raw with agony, "It's only a goddamned book."
"Yes, Christopher," Wyatt's said, mimicking Bianca's desperate tones, "It's only a goddamned book. One you can't even read, at that. And you're sacrificing the one person you love more than any other…for a book?"
Chris did not answer, just began to whimper and sob in complete, raw anguish. Ron, unable to stand it anymore, whipped out his wand and muttered a Silencing Charm so they would not be heard.
"What the hell are you doing?" Remus hissed, "He could have easily sensed that! Or did you not sense how powerful he is?"
Ron ignored him. "We can't just sit here and do nothing," He said to Harry, pleadingly.
"He's too powerful," Harry replied, with infinite regret. "Much as I want to, there's no way we can take him on. His magical aura…it's even more powerful than Voldemort's. We'd be killed in an instant."
"That's not possible," Ron argued, "No one can be-"
He was cut off by another scream and more sobbing from Chris.
"Are you sure we can't take him on? Three fully-trained, powerful wizards…"
Two decades ago, Harry reflected grimly, he would have jumped right in to the fight without pausing a moment to think about the possible repercussions. Now, at forty-five, he was a lot less impetuous, and a lot more experienced. As much as it killed him, they could do nothing. Decades of experience in magical battles and a special talent at Defence Agains the Dark Arts had made him more sensitive to magic than almost anyone else in the Order. He could sense the auras of all three people present and he could also sense that both Wyatt and Chris were more powerful than anything he'd ever encountered. There was no way the three of them could take on Wyatt. Not when Chris himself been overpowered.
"I'm sure," He said, hating himself for saying the words that condemned Bianca to a slow, painful death…and Chris to the most unimaginable anguish. "We'd be dead in a heartbeat, Ron."
Resigned, they sat there, each praying desperately that Chris would not break. The torture went on for a full two hours more, unbearably long and agonizing to bear witness to. Harry had never felt more helpless in his life. He did not dare to perform anymore magic or move from their position for fear of being detected. As it was, they were just stuck there, listening yet unable to do anything. He was not sure which was more harrowing to listen to; Bianca's screams and her desperate pleas to Chris and Wyatt, or Chris's anguished but staunch refusal to back down. Harry found himself close to tears at several points. He knew that if it was him in Chris's position and Ginny in Bianca's, he would have been incapable of resisting. As time passed, Wyatt became more and more furious and more and more violent in his tortures, but it was clear that Chris was not going to back down.
With an exclamation of disgust, he shouted, "Excalibur!" There was a tone of finality in his voice which made everyone's blood freeze.
"NOOOO!" Chris shouted desperately, clearly in response to whatever it was Wyatt had said. There was a sound of metal cutting through flesh bone, a prolonged scream from Bianca, and then…silence.
"You bastard!" Chris shouted, voice rent with unimaginable grief, "You fucking bastard; now I'll never tell you anything-"
He was cut off by an angry roar. "You dare to defy me? You will pay!" Wyatt thundered. There were two loud cracks, the unmistakable sounds of bones breaking, and Chris cried out in agony. "Now you can't walk," Wyatt said over Chris' hysterical sobbing, "And you can't orb, either, I've cloaked the place. Oh, and, don't even think of calling anyone, they won't be able to hear you." He laughed cruelly, "Oh, little Christopher, so very brave…I wonder how brave you will be if I leave you here for a week? How brave, when you lie here starving and alone, surrounding by the rotting corpses of your beloved family…"
Chris interrupted him, but his voice had been reduced to a whisper from the sobbing, so they could not hear what he'd said. Whatever it was, it caused Wyatt the greatest amusement. His laughter rang in the air again, making Harry and his companions cringe in fear and disgust.
"No, Christopher, they are not," He replied coolly, "I would not have killed them if I still considered them to be, would I? The truth is, I have no family. Now, you can stay here with their corpses, with your guilt, and when I come back in a week's time, you will be begging me for death, never mind keeping any secrets."
"I will never beg you for anything again, you bastard!" Chris shouted, his voce broken and cracked and hoarse, but full of conviction, "There's nothing left for me to beg for!"
"We'll see," came the unconcerned reply.
A moment later…and Wyatt was gone. They could no longer sense his magical aura. All that was left were Chris's pain-filled whimpers and sobs. Exchanging looks, the three companions crept out of their hiding place.
The sight that met them would be etched in their minds for all eternity. The ground was littered with corpses, and it was clear from the blood and their marred and bruised flesh that their deaths had been long and painful. When he drew nearer, he had to swallow back a wave of nausea upon realizing them that some of the bodies belonged to children. A lone figure was slumped against a broken wall, his face in his hands, his entire demeanor racked with sobs. He was muttering unintelligibly under his breath. Both his legs were broken, and it was clear that he could not walk. When he leaned his head back against the wall as if desperately searching for something, anything, they got their first glimpse of the face of the man who had gained their absolute respect and admiration in the course of that horror-filled two hours. Harry stopped in his tracks at the sight of that face. There were red, angry bags beneath brilliant green eyes, swollen to twice their normal size from incessant weeping. Cheeks were stained with dust and tears and marred with bruises, and a face was covered with fingernail marks where the man had clutched at in sheer desperation. He had bitten through his lip, the blood from it staining his shirt.s But what shook Harry most of all was the fact that the man in front of him, was…was just a boy. Not much older than his daughter; certainly not a day over twenty…Far too young to have endured something like this.
Suddenly the boy stiffened. "Who's there?" He called out, but it sounded more like a raspy whisper. "Show yourself!"
Not wanting to cause him any more distress, Harry cancelled the Disillusionment Charm so he could see him. Big mistake The moment he was visible, the boy waved his hand and Harry suddenly found himself flying through the air. He collided hard with a wall, and lay there for a second, dazed. Chris raised his hand again, but Remus beat him to it.
Caught by surprise by an unseen attacker, Chris could do nothing to defend himself. He slumped to the ground, unconscious. "Harry? You okay, mate?" Ron asked anxiously.
"Fine, just a bit winded" Harry replied, squinting at Ron's dark outline until he too cancelled the Disillusionment Charm and became visible, "I should have warned him I wasn't a threat. Stupid." He rose and dusted himself off, disgusted with himself for doing something so stupid when he had sensed how powerful Chris was. Mad-Eye would have my head for that. Constant vigilance indeed.
"How the hell did he do that, anyway?" Ron asked, "I've never seen wandless magic that powerful before…"
"Oh, no," Remus muttered from behind them.
"The Horcrux has vanished. I can't get a reading off this map. I think it disappeared right when Wyatt disappeared. He must have had it with him."
"Great," Harry muttered, thoroughly displeased, "Fan-bloody-tastic. Mobilicorpus," He added, pointing his wand at Chris's form, so that it floated up off the ground. "There's no use staying here, now that it's gone. We have to get him to Madam Pomefry. I don't care about the rules," He added as Remus opened his mouth. "There's no way I'm leaving him here. We're taking him to Hogwarts. End of story."
"I wasn't going to say anything about the rules," Remus replied, "I'm not leaving him here either. Let's just get to that Apparition point before he regains consciousness."
"Wait," Harry said suddenly, as his gaze caught something. "Is that…Bianca?" He nodded towards one of the corpses. It was the only one which still had fresh blood flowing from it, and also, from the looks of it, the one that had endured the most torture.
"Yes, I think it is," Ron replied, looking ill. "What are you doing?" He asked in surprise as Harry approached the body of the young woman, at the same time keeping his wand trained on Chris so that he wouldn't fall. He sank to his knees beside the corpse and groped at one of its lifeless hands. Swallowing a wave of nausea when he saw that three of her fingers were broken and one of them had been severed off completely, he gently slid the engagement ring off her ring finger, and pocketed it almost reverently.
"To give to him," He explained quietly, and Ron nodded solemnly, averting his eyes.
Without another word, they began to walk. Dazed and overwhelmed, they were completely silent for the length of the twenty minute trip, their eyes focused on the still form of the brave young man floating before them, trying desperately to ignore the fact that the boy looked more dead than alive.
Next chapter, Chris wakes up in the Hogwarts Infirmary, and the people from the two worlds are formally introduced. Loads of Chris angst up ahead as well! Read and review, please:D