The Power of Magic
A/N: I haven't abondoned Chronicles but this wanted to be written too. No worries I have the next chapter of chronicles almost ready to go. I loved lord of the rings before I ever picked up a Harry Potter book and read the trilogy once a year at least. I know these crossovers have been done before and much of the included isn't new. I could probably list a half dozen stories that are some similar in some aspect but this is my version. Enjoy and if you find something that looks like your story than know that I probably read it and it stuck in my head enough to make it here. As such I own nothing about this story and fully acknowledge that many authors have contributed inspiration. My Thanks to you and enjoy!
Chapter 1: The Winner of War
Harry jerkily lifted his splinted leg over one of the countless pieces of rock strewn about the courtyard. It was always dark here now. Dark and raining. Harry wasn't complaining, the atmosphere matched his mood. Surprising really, since he had finally managed to complete the task his Mentor had set for him years ago. It was a good thing that 'the power the dark lord knows not' wasn't love. Harry had little love left. He couldn't remember what it felt like to see Mrs. Weasley's face welcoming him to the Burrow or Ron and Hermione smiling at him and offering to help him till the end. No the power the dark lord knew not found Harry after months of torture at the Dark Lord's hand. Well, his hand and the Death Eaters. Between them Harry was rarely left alone in his 'room' otherwise known as a 6 foot square stone box. No, the power Voldemort never knew was the power of the light despite the darkness. It was the power of not giving in to the Dark despite having no hope, no love and way to survive. It was the power of true magic. A magic that wasn't put into a spell but allowed to roam free to act of its own accord to serve the purpose it was called upon in any way it wished. It still had left Harry broken and bloody. A tortured soul, who despite the destruction of his sworn enemy still had no hope and no way to survive.
Water dripped from a piece of the ceiling and splashed in the pool accumulating in a worn track along the stone floor of the old second floor corridor. Harry's only thought had been to return home. But home was a dismal hulk, the charred and ruined remains of Hogwarts School. The giants had done most of the damage to the building but it was the dementors and Death Eaters that had destroyed the school just weeks into what would have been Harry's seventh year.
Harry had been out horcrux hunting. He had a hunch that one of Voldemort's horcruxes could be found in the old orphanage that Tom Riddle had grown up in before coming to Hogwarts and had dragged Hermione and Ron from the school to check it out. He had been right too. Hufflepuff's cup sat is an old cupboard in room 7b on the second floor of St. Mary's orphanage. The cup was in the same cupboard that Dumbledore had lit on fire to prove to Riddle that magic existed. Perhaps that was why Riddle had chosen it.
After disposing of the cup the trio returned just in time to see the dementors leaving the school. It was a massacre, there wasn't a soul left inside of Hogwarts. The lucky ones had died.
The war had gone downhill quickly after that. Ginny had died at the school with the rest of the DA. Neville had led them. Tonks and Kingsley had been at Grimmauld place when it was finally found and attacked. They had held it alone for 11 minutes before succumbing to the dozen death eaters attacking it. Hermione was next. She died defending Ron who had gone down to a well placed cutting curse. Both of them had been just outside of the room while Harry dealt with Nagini. Remus died in his werewolf form but not before proving that he had mastered it. Fenrir Greyback was hunting Harry and Ron. The werewolf leapt out to attack when a figure flew over a fallen Ron to slam into Greyback. Moony rescued them that night but couldn't survive the attack against the werewolf that had turned him. At least he took Greyback with him. Harry had transfigured his body back to human form for the burial. Remus wouldn't have wanted to be remembered in that form. The Burrow and Diagon Alley had been attacked on Christmas Day. Hogmeade was damaged and by the time the horcruxes were all found it was just Harry and Ron left from the old Order of the Phoenix. Ron was killed by Bellatrix one night before he was captured. Harry only found out how it happened when Bellatrix started to taunt him after his capture. She had found him alone at Hermione's grave.
"Hello Albus" Harry said, realizing his feet had taken him to the Headmaster's office. It was one of the few places in the school still intact. McGonagall hadn't had the heart to change it much in the few weeks she had been Headmistress. "He's gone, I'm done."
"Congratulations Harry. I knew you could do it." Albus said.
Harry was too tired and hurt to point out that killing Voldemort hadn't really accomplished much. There was no one left. Sure the foreign wizards from America would now feel safe enough to come in and mop up the Death Eaters and the economy would slowly rebuild itself. Harry himself had nothing left to fight other than an overwhelming sense of paranoia and fear. The side effects of torture. Everyone he knew and cared for was gone. And everyone left had seen him as a hero when he was a child. What would they see him as now? Some sort of demi-god probably. Blind sheep.
"I'm leaving Albus. Would you like to be left somewhere else?" Harry asked the portrait of his old professor. He had long ago stopped being angry with Albus Dumbledore. He hadn't forgotten what the man had done but he just didn't have the energy or time to waste being angry at a dead man whose portrait had still been capable of giving some useful information.
"Where will go, Harry? Why don't you take me with you?" Albus said looking carefully at Harry's worn face and numerous injuries. He had taken the time to splint his broken leg but his arm still hung limp at his side. His shirt was torn and his wet cloak left deep open slashes in his flesh and his blood exposed to the air.
"You wouldn't want to follow me Albus. I'm going to disappear and you've always liked to help shape the future. I'll send a note and someone will find a place for you. Maybe you can tell them about a wonderful School in Scotland that taught young witches and wizards about magic. Tell them the stories of students waiting for that first letter and their trip across the lake. Tell them about the faces of those children when they first see a magical castle lit by candle light in the night. Talk about the ghosts and poltergeist the castle held. Remind them of the pranks and the laughter they caused. Talk about the friendships and Quidditch and the gamekeeper's love of dangerous creatures that only he could love. He even hatched a baby dragon in his wooden hut. Norbert he named him." Harry was unaware that he was babbling now and that Dumbledore's face was becoming more concerned as he got more lost in memories. But at least they were memories of a happier time that didn't include pain and Death Eaters
Harry disappeared to a small guest room just off the Headmaster's suite. Dumbledore had told him about it not long after the fall of Hogwarts when Harry stumbled into the office. Harry threw himself on the bed that was quickly becoming moldy from the constant moisture in the air. What would he do tomorrow?
Morning came despite his lack of a plan. He meant what he'd told Dumbledore though. He was leaving. There was too much pain and despair in the Wizarding world or maybe it was just in him. The Wizarding world would rebuild itself as wizards came out of hiding from their fear and returned to the country they fled. The Wizarding world as it had been, and would be again, could only lead to another Dark Lord's rising. There was too much hate, fear and prejudice for peace to reign for long. But he was tired and it wasn't going to be him who changed the Wizarding world.
"Tell me about the Potter estate Albus. There has to be some little cottage somewhere out in the country that no one will find or bother me at." He directed towards the portrait.
"If there is, I don't know of it. But there is a safe-house out on the Devon coast. There aren't roads to get to it and most of the land is rocky and barren." Albus started.
"Perfect." Harry interrupted. The idea of being alone where no one would come calling was the only thing that appealed to him right now. "Where is it and how do I get there?"
"Harry, rest for awhile. You're injured Harry. Take care of yourself first and then think about where you want to go from here. You're free Harry. You can live now." Albus said, concerned that his one-time student would self-destruct if left alone.
"I'll never live, Albus. Not here. I'll be jumping at shadows and dark robes until the memories are gone. And they'll never be gone Albus." Harry said with a shudder trying to free his mind of the months of hopeless torture. "And soon they'll come here. I can't be found. I'm not their hero anymore. Better they think I died." He said glancing around as if a crowd would soon appear to capture him and put him on display somewhere, no doubt in a stone cell.
A last tour around the school to say goodbye was Harry's next task. He walked. He saw Gryffindors coming into the school just after winning a quidditch match. They were talking and joking and laughing and wondering just how the Butterbeer always appeared in the common room after winning games when everyone knew you could only get it in Hogsmead. There were Ravenclaws moving in small groups of twos and threes to the library to look up some fact. Hermione looked interested in their conversation. Ron was more interested in looking smug with the knowledge of the secret tunnels and the twin's current activity.
'Scaroow' The booming noise echoed and the illusion faded completely into pain and hands grabbing him. They didn't use the cruciatus curse anymore. They didn't want him insane that quickly. They tore strips of his skin from his back and pressed burning metal into his legs instead.
A nudge to his face by a cold bone-colored beak broke him out his second set of imaginings. He slowly uncurled from the ball he had become on the ground looking wildly around as the images faded leaving only the pain he had come with the day before.
"Hello Cera." Cera was a griffin cub Harry had found in the Forbidden Forest. An odd find in any forest as they preferred the mountains and plains. She was only a few weeks old when Harry found her, by his best guess. But griffins are famous for not trusting or coming into contact with humans. Cera had stayed annoyingly close. She was now a young adolescent about the size of a very large dog or small pony, and was currently checking over every inch of Harry to make sure it was him. Harry hadn't seen Cera since before he'd been captured.
The ghosts, real and imaged, were gone from the halls of Hogwarts and it was time to leave. Harry had sent a note with an owl found just a few trees into the Forest so someone would claim the portrait. Holding Cera close, he apperated out of Hogwarts.
He appeared at coordinates Albus had given him and for a second mourned the loss of Hogwarts magic. What would Hermione say? He had just apperated out of Hogwarts.
It was a rocky terrain not suitable for most life but some greenery stuck up between the rocks and the heartiest plants had cracked through them. The cottage wasn't more than a hunting cabin but it would do. Harry wasn't under any delusions that he would live here long. He was injured. He had a broken leg, numerous cracked ribs, and a broken arm. He was covered in bleeding wounds. A few wounds had closed but most had not. He hadn't eaten in days. The Death Eaters always offered him food. But it came with a price. Killing a muggle without magic would get him a full meal. He vowed never to eat such a thing. He contented himself with the slice of bread he could get for twenty minutes of silent torture. His silence that is and if he made a sound they started over again. The Dursleys had been good training for this.
He entered the cottage and gingerly lay down on a dusty sofa. Cera whimpered next to him as if sensing Harry's intent to give up and die here. The griffin would at least be at home in the terrain. She would find game to hunt. She would surely offer to share it right now if she thought he would eat but Harry would be content to never eat again the memories associated with food weren't conducive to an appetite.
Harry wasn't sure how long he had lain there or how many times he had screamed in his sleep. It was dark outside and Cera was on the floor munching on some dead rodent. Harry hoped it was a ferret. The rat was already dead at Voldemort's hand.
For a moment he wondered what had woken him and then he felt it. It was magic, his magic. It was wrapping around him and through him and he just relaxed. It could whatever it wished and he gave it no direction or purpose. It kept building in intensity. A small part of him wondered what it would do. Had magic ever been like this for anyone else? He didn't think so.
Harry closed his eyes. He was still bleeding though much less than he had been. He was tired and weak and the magic would do what it would without him to witness it. The last thing he felt was Cera standing to move next to him and trying her best to wake him.