Disclaimer; Dead puppies aren't much fun, but they can be funny.
As soon as everyone was ready, Harry had them grab on to him and he closed his eyes. Centering himself, Harry reached out with his mind and pulled...
At first as they sailed through an empty void, Harry felt an empty ache deep within his soul. He knew then that he'd abused his magic, but this sort of reaction was unlike anything he'd experienced before. Eventually the three began to slow and Harry felt like he was flying into a sandstorm, each little speck grinding his skin like a sand blaster. The pain grew until it reached unimaginable heights and he felt his skin being sanded away. Abruptly Harry and his passengers slammed to a halt and fell onto a stone floor in a darkened room. Fire ripped through his arm when he moved and when Odette cast a light spell he saw a large bone white fang lodged halfway through his bloody arm.
Slowly Harry forced himself to dig the communications mirror out of his shredded pocket.
"Mooney," he whispered, "are you still there?"
"I'm here Harry, what's wrong? You don't sound so good."
"Tell Dumbledore to send Fawkes down to the Chamber of Secrets and ask Madam Pomphrey to get my bed ready. We're here but the wards did a number on me coming in."
"Merlin," Remus swore aloud before running passing on his message. "Help will be there soon but expect to be grilled later on how you plowed through some of the strongest wards in history. Is Madame Delacour hurt too?"
Gabrielle and Odette assured him they weren't, "No, I guess this is just magic punishing me for breaking the rules again."
His musings were interrupted by a flash of fire and a trill of phoenix song when Fawkes popped in moments later.
"Hey Fawkes, do you think you could take us up to the infirmary?" Harry asked politely.
Fawkes gave a nod and turned to present his tail feathers to the group of travelers. Phoenix travel was apparently one of the better forms of magical transport Harry decided. All they felt was a warm caress as flames licked over them and suddenly they were in a different part of the castle entirely. Pomphrey was on him in an instant tutting about how he was leaking blood from every pore. First she forced a mild pain relieving potion down his throat then dealt with the immediate problem of an eighteen inch long tooth in her patient's arm.
"How did this happen?" She questioned him as she cast detection charms at the fang to check its toxicity.
"My spell backfired," Harry explained. "Usually I can summon things bound to me with a simple spell. I was pretty injured down in the Chamber so I thought I'd give it a try. The problem was that I couldn't summon a castle anchored into the bedrock. It would be like trying to move the world. So instead the magic inverted on me and dragged us here."
"I really don't understand but I'll take your word for it. Now Mr. Potter, it appears the fang is still very toxic. Fortunately time has dulled the power somewhat so we should be able to cure it. Now when I remove the fang, you're probably going to lose a lot of blood and you might even pass out but I should have no trouble closing the wound. Then we'll start dealing with the rest of this." Pomphrey waved distractedly at his full body abrasions.
Harry closed his eyes and tried to do a bit of self diagnosis, "I'm not being poisoned," He looked to Poppy with a confused expression. "Could my earlier massive overdose have somehow made me immune? I can't detect much, it's like somebody turned the volume way down on all my magical senses, but I'm definitely not being poisoned."
"It's possible, but I'll still have to run a few tests. Now, on three... One... Two..." The nurse never got to three, she swished her wand on two and caused the fang to come flying out. Just like she promised the wound gushed blood and Harry fought to stay conscious. Madam Pomphrey cast seven spells in the first five seconds and Harry could feel the flesh in his arm knitting back together. Eventually it got to a stage that she thought was acceptable and she summoned a jar of ointment and gauze. "Now we just need to dress the wound in this potion to boost your immune system and stimulate your natural healing. You'll need to change the dressing every morning but you should be right as rain within the week if there isn't a delayed reaction to the poison."
Gabrielle nodded and copied the instructions down on a parchment her Grandmother handed her.
"Thank you, now let's just make sure there's nothing else wrong with me and work on closing up the rest of this," Harry gestured at his bare legs which were looking much better than they had when he came in. "I've started healing myself but I should have been nearly done by now. I really don't know what's wrong with me."
"Well let me take a look..." Pomphrey cast several charms but sucked in her breath with a look of shock when the results came up. "How in the world did you do that?" She nearly yelled at him.
"What's wrong?" Harry perked up as much as he could.
"What's wrong is that your blood looks like it's been through a blender! Almost half of your red blood cells have been shredded by whatever you did, you need blood replenishment potions NOW and maybe even a transfusion." A few quick waves of her wand summoned a new set of equipment and potions from her store room.
"Wait!" Harry threw up a hand to stop her before she forced the first potion down his throat. "If I don't get those potions, will I die?"
The nurse looked at him strangely for a few moments and thought about it, "No, but you won't be good for much and it will play havoc with your liver. This is very serious Mr. Potter and not something to play around with. You need blood to carry oxygen through your body. As depleted as you are you will tire easily and have trouble staying awake for long periods of time. The main trouble though will be your liver. Some cells die naturally every day, but the body isn't meant to have that much dead material in it at once. As it dies, your body releases poisons which the liver filters out. That many dead cells all at once will be very painful and could damage your liver."
"I won't take the potions," Harry told her, pushing the first one away. "I've been learning another method for magic lately that revolves around tying your mind, your magic, and your body together. If I take anything that messes with my blood it will set me back weeks at the very least because the foreign magic will have to be purged first and I'm not able to do that yet. Like I said, this was the backlash of a spell gone wrong, I can't afford to risk tampering with my blood right now or the next one could be worse. Especially with Voldemort coming, I can't take that chance."
"If you're going to be in a fight, you need all your blood more than ever!" She protested.
"Blood magic is good for healing, I can use what I've got left to make more. Just give me something to help out my liver and heal these scrapes. I need to be able to move and I need every trick in my arsenal."
A little less than an hour after they had arrived, Harry Gabrielle and Odette walked into the staff lounge that the Order had commandeered. Madam Pomphrey wanted Harry to stay of course but he conjured himself a sling for his arm and ignored her protests as he let himself out. Remus and the elder Weasleys nearly mobbed him as he came through the door but stern glares from Odette warned them off.
Moody stomped over and looked them over before grunting, "Good of you to show up Potter. I may not agree with your decision but that's in the past now and it does make this fight just a little less complicated."
"At least you're honest with me Moody," Harry extended his hand and was mildly surprised when the grizzled old Auror shook it. "Now who's in charge here?"
"I am, Dumbledore is busy with keeping the school and ministry from falling apart so he asked me to coordinate our fighters," Moody informed him.
"Well don't stop on our account. We'll play catch up on the details but if you'll tell us what you need we'll do the best we can," Harry promised.
"As if you and the tart could do anything anyway Potty," came a sneer Harry knew all too well. "Your precious agreement with the Dark Lord says you couldn't fight even if you were brave enough. How predictable that you'd try to soak up all the glory to prevent everyone from seeing what a coward you really are."
"Why if it isn't my least favorite Malfoy," Harry called brightly as he turned around. "Let me guess you're the new spy? If Dumbledore believes that he's dumber than I thought. So let's assume that your information is even remotely accurate. Can we assume Voldemort is bringing the dementors? Or maybe trolls, werewolves, vampires, giants, or some other Dark beasties to act as shock troops before the Death Eaters invade?"
"Of course Potter, the Dark Lord's army is vast and powerful..."
"Spoken like a true follower and propaganda box," Harry cut him off. "Now let me enlighten you to one of the loopholes I slipped past Old Man Riddle last time I saw him. He can't order any of his forces to attack children, and must punish any that do, but I am only restricted from fighting Voldemort and his Death Eaters. I've got a free pass to kick Dementor ass and anything else not wearing a Mark. I'm sure that there will be more than I can handle anyway so functionally I'm just as useful as ever." Harry looked smug, "And you call yourself a Slytherin!"
"Typical show off Potter."
"You know Harry," Odette started slowly, looking at Malfoy, "I wonder what the going rate for a spy is. I'm willing to bet Voldemort would give you a few extra weeks if you went ahead and saved him the trouble of executing the little boy."
Draco paled slightly when Gabrielle nodded enthusiastically. "Oh yes, he did seem to enjoy killing that Snape fellow. But I don't want you to get your clothes all bloody, why don't you just send him another letter?"
"No," Harry told them, "I won't turn him in, yet. As much as he deserves whatever happens, the Order needs some way to keep track of everything Riddle is up to. In the mean time I'd like to talk strategy and specifics with Moody, so I'll need the ferret out of here."
Malfoy bristled at the back handed dismissal but started moving when the veela women conjured fireballs and gave him a meaningful look. Moody meanwhile gestured over towards a corner that was empty.
"Good to hear that you're not going to be a liability in this fight," Mad-Eye said gruffly. "When Lupin told me you were coming he gave me the impression you would only be support crew, and I don't mean to hurt yer feelins lad but you'd be more trouble than you were worth if we had to protect you on top of everything else."
"I was afraid of that too, but to be honest Madame Delacour pointed out the loophole, it wasn't intentional. I was just as surprised as the rest of you." Harry sighed heavily as he looked out the window. "I don't know how much help we'll end up being but you will want us focusing on the nuisance fighters. Grandmum and I both have good patronus charms but it's still far beyond Gabrielle's skills. I wouldn't have even brought her along but they both tore into me. They said something about a wife's duty and veela never letting their mates go into danger alone, it seems whenever veela get mentioned it automatically puts me on the loosing end of the argument."
"Nah, that's women in general," Moody told him, "One of the many reasons I never married. It'll be a shame to see you hiding in the rear though. You're a powerful wizard and from what I know of that incident in the Ministry last year you've got some decent instincts."
"Don't think of it as having me in the rear, think of it as me covering your back. We can't all be one on one with the baddies," Harry looked out the window and stared pensively at the front lawn of the school. "I just got an idea. Do you know any spells to let you see heat?"
"Sure, and my eye has a few tricks too as you well know. What's your plan?"
"Watch," Harry dropped into his meditation and reached for the lake. The cold fresh water lake felt different from the warm salty ocean but in it's essence it was still the same. Within moments a thick, pea soup fog began rolling off the lake and covered the lawn. In a matter of minutes the fog was so thick that they could not see the ground from their second story window. "We're in a freaking castle, it was meant to withstand assaults by much larger armies. If we can stay inside and pick them off as they try to get through my fog we'll be a lot safer. The fog is very cold so if we just watch for hot spots we can hit them before they ever see us."
"It would also let us take them out without killing them," Moody said thoughtfully. "If they can't see their allies fall, they can't bring them back into the fight. How hard is it for you to summon this or get rid of it?"
"I can mix it up in just a few minutes as you saw and I can literally hold it all day without getting tired. Why don't you try to get rid of some before I answer the rest of the question? We'll see how it holds up to combat conditions." Harry was genuinely interested too, he'd never tried to affect the weather with spells but this wasn't genuine weather either. Mad-Eye shot off a spell to vanish some of the fog. Harry felt the spell as it hit, his magic in the fog striking against the spell. Some of the fog did disappear but it was only a tiny spot in the vast cloud and was quickly replaced. "Interesting it's like having a spell hit your shields. Why don't you try a jet of water? Rain usually clears up a fog."
A quick spell later and Harry was feeling some very unusual sensations. The water jet cut right through his fog like a large axe through a defenseless hamster but it didn't actually diminish the fog. As soon as the jet was past the fog flowed back into place and Harry didn't feel any difference in his magic. While the banishing charm used up a bit of his magic when it vanished the fog, the water did not.
"That could be very distracting in battle but I think it will work pretty well. Now I'll just clean this up and you can tell me where you want us exactly." Harry went for effect and extended his arm along with his mind. He mimed seizing the magic back and the dense fog collapsed with a whoosh, a visible wave of water falling to the ground as it receded towards Harry.
"Neat trick, it just might help us. Now we expect that the Dark Lord will send in inferi first to soften us up. Are you familiar with them?"
"Walking corpses, they're generally mindless except for the desire to attack the living," Harry confirmed. "They can be a pain in the rear to destroy."
"And since they are not alive your fog would only give them an advantage. Take your two witches and half the seventh years, the inferi are yours and we'll need you to help if any dementors show up," Moody waved towards Odette and Gabrielle. "Get a list of volunteers from Lupin, and come back to me when you've got a plan."
"Alright, I'll talk to some people and see what we can come up with," Harry promised. With a wave to Gabrielle, Harry walked out to start their planning.
In a disused classroom, three people were working hard on their preparations. Harry had his nose stuck in a book, cramming last minute notes for the magic he was about to perform. Gabrielle was clearing off the teacher's desk and setting up a selection of candles while Hermione dug through the selection of books she'd shoved into her book bag before Harry dragged them to Hogwarts.
"Gabby, I keep getting this mixed up," Harry called, looking up from his book. "Are we trying to do something hot or cold?"
"That depends, do you want to persuade the Zombi to go somewhere else or do you want to kill them?" Gabrielle asked as she finished setting up the work area with found or transfigured items.
"Either works but it's probably best to destroy them so Voldemort can't use them again," Harry told her.
"That's hot, anything aggressive or passionate. Cold is when you want information or calm action."
"Rats that means we won't be calling Papa Ghede," Harry commented as he flipped to a different entry in the book. "After he let me introduce you to my parents I kind of like Ghede."
Hermione's head whipped around, "What are you about to do?"
"Nothing dangerous or Dark," Harry promised his friend, who was clearly a bit upset by his last comment. "I'm going to ask a Loa for help is all."
"Ask a Loa? What's that mean?"
Harry thought about how to explain what he knew without making it sound like scary Dark magic. Eventually he decided to just omit the proper names and explain it the same way it was first explained to him. "It's kind of complicated but let me see if I can explain.
"Belief is a powerful thing, both for muggles and wizards. Over time if enough people believe something it comes true, sort of like divination and prophecies. What I call Loa might better be named Avatars. They are basically an idea made real because enough people believe it and gave it power. Once they gain enough power to really affect the world they also start to acquire a personality based on how people imagine them.
"What I am going to do is ring the door bell and ask one of these Avatars to come visit us for a little bit. Specifically there are four Loa, three bothers and a father, that would know more than anyone alive about inferi. I'm going to ask one of them if they could help us deal with the inferi easily so no one gets hurt."
"So you're just going to pray to some invisible god and hope your problems disappear?" Hermione looked offended. "I don't mean to insult you but I don't think that's really going to help."
"Not exactly, it's more like casting a spell to give a ghost a body temporarily so they can help you," Harry wiggled his hand in a noncommittal fashion. Turning to Gabrielle he handed her his book and pointed at one section. "Since your Grandmother is out already gathering other little surprises, call her up on the mirrors and make sure we can get everything on this list. My Creole is still not as good as my French and I'd hate to piss off a Loa because I couldn't read the instructions."
"Haven't you done this before?" Hermione asked him with a touch of concern.
"Not exactly, but I've seen it done a few times," Harry avoided looking at her. "And technically never with this particular Loa, but I know his family so I'm just going to wing it and hope for the best."
"Harry, you can't..." She started but Harry moved to cut her off.
"There's a bit of wiggle room, I'm not going to get us all killed," Harry promised while thinking to himself that he'd be the only one seriously hurt by a bad summons, "Now go round up the Order. I want all the heavy hitters and anyone really important in here before Grandmother gets back. Dumbledore too, kick him in the shin and drag him by the beard if you have to."
The Order members didn't quite make the deadline but Harry took advantage of the time to pass out some of Odette's supplies to his seventh year group. At first they were all confused by the strange plastic devices but after a demonstration of their abilities from Harry (writing his name on the front lawn in flaming cursive letters impressed them a bit), the seventh years went off to have a water fight – err... we mean practice – with their new water guns and saved the petrol for the battle. Moody who had arrived first had seen the demonstration and expressed his approval. Fire was a critical weapon against inferi and flaming petrol would save their magical strength for later in the battle.
Once everyone had arrived Harry took charge of the meeting and asked everyone to settle down before giving a very sketchy outline of his plans. "It's a two part ceremony but I wanted you all to know which guests might be joining us tonight so that you won't curse them if you see them. The first part should give us all a bit of a boost and the second might or might not help out against the inferi themselves depending on how things go. If you want to stay and watch that's fine but no matter what happens do not interfere. Leave it up to the Delacours."
"Where did you learn this technique Harry?" Dumbledore asked with a slight frown, "Though I trust your instincts and motives this sounds very like old stories of demon summonings and other dangerous magics. You would be wise to remember the tale of Dr. Faustus."
"Can you keep a secret sir?"
"Of course my dear boy, you should know that well enough."
Harry didn't so much as twitch but a gentle breeze ruffled through Dumbledore's hair and Harry's voice whispered in his ear, "Good, so can I."
Seeing that no one else was going to complain, Harry turned and started working. With great care Harry sprinkled sage and rosemary into an elaborate compass rose he had drawn on the floor. Gabrielle carefully placed blue candles at the cardinal points and Harry lit a stick of incense. Breathing deep he took one last look at the book beside him and started his chant.
"Iba a se isu
Nou eloj a lespir sou dye.
Iba a se isu
Nou eloj a lespir sou dye
Iba a se isu
Nou eloj a lespir sou dye
Met li ap aton!"
As each candle was lit with the incense the room became darker and more intimate. When the final candle was lit the herbs burst into flame and a thick blue smoke rose from them.
"Legba Antibon, Maitre Carrefore e Bondye a sosye, prete nou ou benediksyon. Puvri suel a mwen e plen nou avek pisans pou nou travay."
Odette whispered a translation to the Order members who chose to stay, "Papa Legba, Master of the Crossroads and Lord of Sorcerers, lend us your blessing. Open the spirit world to us and give us strength for our task."
The smoke from the herbs began swirling into a misty looking disk and everyone felt a massive surge of power flood the room. What looked like a bolt of lightning shot out of the disk and caught Harry in the forehead. As he fell backward in convulsions a second bolt shot out to catch Gabrielle. One by one the lightning unerringly struck out at everyone in the room no matter what shields they might try to employ. Instead of harming them however, the lightning burned with fierce power and filled them with strength and magic.
Once the smoke and lightning dissipated Harry carefully brushed the ashes and melted wax off the altar as he prepared for the second part. Gabrielle poured out finely powdered salt in a new pattern while Odette placed the thirteen black candles and other props. The salt pattern resembled a cross over a well decorated tomb and the candles arranged like the hours on a clock with one in the center. Harry meanwhile was psyching himself up for the most difficult part. In order to get the spirit to possess him (a small thing he neglected to tell the others about), he would have to endure a bit of pain. In a small wooden bowl he crushed seven bright red peppers and mixed them with a splash of cheap rum. Once the pattern was ready, Harry rubbed the mixture across his skin and took a long pull straight from the bottle. The spirit liked it hot and Harry had to struggle not to break up the ceremony,
"Set kout kouto,
Set kout pwenyad!
Prete ma dedin ah,
Pou ma vomi san mwen!
San mwen ape koule! "
"Seven stabs of the knife, seven stabs of the dagger. Lend me the basin, so I can vomit my blood. My blood is pouring down." Odette translated with a wince as Harry vomited the pepper and rum mixture back into the bowl then placed his hands over his eyes.
Harry could no longer see from the pain but forced himself to finish the invocation, "Baron Samedi, Bondye a Mort e Metrize sou les Zombi, monte mwen e koute nan nou pled. Itilize mwen kom ou swete."
"Baron Saturday, Lord of Death and Master of the Inferi, ride me and listen to our plea. Use me as you wish." Odette watched in morbid fascination as Harry's body twisted and changed. His small robes ripped and fell off him as a small child was replaced by a barrel-chested man nearly seven feet tall. His skin darkened and his hair formed dreadlocks. Quickly he snatched up the top hat and sunglasses that had been laid nearby and pulled on the coat tails
High pitched nasal laughter pierced the silence and the man who had taken Harry's place turned to the others. He looked to Gabrielle and seemed to recognize her, "It be de dead-boy's little girl! The otha' gede talking bout de boy, he messin' with big juju, Gi-gi-gi!" he laughed nasally again and sat on the altar as he lit a massive cigar. "So why de two white chillun callin' on big bad Baron Samedi?
A/N; Check my profile page for a link to a picture of how I imagine Samedi-riding-Harry, all the way at the bottom.