A/N: Well, here I am again! It seems that most of you liked that last chapter, as I got many reviews for it! That made me very happy! Alas, I couldn't get this out quicker because of what is the bane of many FF writers… multiple plot bunnies! In this case, I had to get out at least the first chapter of another fic (My HP/Elfen Lied x-over; Harry Potter and the Diclonius) but now that I have, I am back to this! You should see definite progress in this chapter, maybe a little HHr action and definite proof that Harry is indeed more powerful than Hermione in combat at the least. Read and enjoy my friends, read and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I still don't own Harry Potter or Warcraft, I do have a lv 70 (woot!) Undead Warlock on Medivh though.
Summer's EndThe Burrow, end of August
Ginny Weasley was confused.
Now this wasn't truly a very uncommon occurrence. Many of the things she saw people do confused her to no end. So often she saw people take the irrational path in life, whether it was in their views on blood purity or on their views on light and darkness.
She didn't deceive herself or hold herself above others of course. She knew that she had been very irrational at one time, with her crush on Harry Potter and her views on magic. All of that changed after her encounter with the diary, and the piece of Tom Riddle that resided within it.
Now, she loathed Tom for what he had made her do, for trying to kill her, for using her as he had. That didn't change the fact that his touch had changed her in some ways that she viewed as positive. During those times when she had been possessed, her mind and Tom's had been connected, sharing information on the most basic of levels. She didn't know what that fragment of Tom had learned from her, but Ginny had learned quite a bit from it. While the leakage was jumbled, and only sorted itself out over time, Ginny had very gradually found herself in possession of a plethora of dark knowledge, from spells to creatures.
At first she had been horrified by what she found herself remembering, but over time, as she got older and as more of the knowledge sorted itself out, her horror diminished, changing into curiosity.
Much of the knowledge she gained she knew was dark, but she couldn't help but see the good it could be used for. A dark paralysis spell that essentially destroyed the nerves of a person from the neck down was certainly a horrible weapon, yet it could also be used on life sentence prisoners to prevent them from escaping, perhaps even as an alternative to Azkaban. Several pain curses could be used to stimulate the nerves in someone's body to wake them from a coma without damaging them. On top of those, there were also many dark spells that were little more than more powerful versions of normal spells, right down to a darker version of the cheering charm that had once been used to help counter depression. The reason why they were termed dark still eluded her.
To top off her change of views, in the middle of her last year she had made a startling discovery. Before then she had made a vow to herself that she wouldn't use the dark spells she had learned, the only real holdover she had retained from her previous views. However, with the revelation of Tom's return to life, she had reevaluated that, and mid-way through the year had cast her first dark spell, the dark cutting curse. She had been surprised at a number of things when she did it. The first was at the power of the spell, which but through the dummy she had had the room of requirement create with ease to leave a scratch in the wall behind it, where the normal cutting curse would have only left a slash on the dummy if that. The second thing that surprised her was the ease with which she cast the spell. She had been expecting a bit of a problem with it, but instead she had gotten it on her first try, something which she attributed to the knowledge she had acquired from Tom. The final thing that had caught her off guard was just how good it felt to cast the spell. She had vague ideas that it would feel different than casting a normal spell, but she hadn't expected to feel such a great rush of pleasure not to mention power.
That had been it for her reservations. From that moment on she had begun to master as many of the dark spells as she could, whether they came from the memories that Tom had left her with or from books she found in the room of requirement. She had even found some small amount of parsel magic, which she found she could learn and use due to her having acquired parseltounge from her possession. Soon she found herself in a quandary though.
Her problem was two fold. The first part of it was that she could tell she was the only one in her house, both at Hogwarts and at home, that used dark magic. Her surety of this stemmed mostly from the fact that she had found herself able to sense the darkness that came from dark spells on herself and others who practiced them. She had at first been fearful of being found out when she realized that, but she soon realized that only someone who used the spells could tell when another used them. She had been slightly worried when she had felt the darkness of several slytherins and ravenclaws, as they undoubtedly noticed it on her, but that actually turned into a blessing, as many of them had stopped harassing her and were even a bit more genial when there weren't any gryffindors around, and none of them told anyone. Her other problem came to her at the end of the year. After the department of mysteries, a battle which she escaped relatively unscathed from due in part to her dark spells, she had realized that she had a large problem in that she wouldn't be able to use magic period over the summer. This wouldn't be a problem, only she had become accustomed to the rush of power from casting dark spells, and, as much as she really hated to admit it, she had become addicted to the feeling to a great extent. The only answer she had managed to come up with was to stop using dark spells from the day she realized it, so she could become accustomed to the lack and not appear strange during the summer. It hadn't been pleasant, but she had conquered the problem without being found out.
Now however she had a much different problem. She, along with the other Weasleys, had been instructed to not write any letters to Harry over the summer by Dumbledore, who said it would just make him feel worse. The problem was that the idea in and of itself was the fact that as far as she could tell Harry hadn't agreed to this, which would imply that he wanted to receive mail. It frustrated her a great deal because she was incapable of sending a letter to ask him herself, due to her parents checking all letters before they were sent. It all seemed just a bit off.
Sighing, she realized that as she had been thinking it had gotten dark and she was more than a little tired. Rolling off of her bed she started to make her way downstairs to the kitchen. She was just about to enter the kitchen when she heard the voice of her mother talking animatedly. She couldn't hear much but she did hear her name followed quickly by Harry's several times. Curious at what her other was talking about, she quietly crept over to the corner that turned into the room in which the fireplace resided and listened.
"-and everything is going alright on your end, right?" Ginny heard her mother say, though she had missed the first part of the sentence.
"Yes, yes Molly, everything is going quite splendidly. The boy has no idea what's being done to him." Came the reply. Ginny's eyes widened as she recognized the owner of that voice as Dumbledore.
"Then I just have to keep lacing her food with the potion, and then she'll be married to Potter and be a rich widow soon after, right?" Came Molly's voice again.
"Yes Molly, that's correct. Just keep young Ginny under the potion for long enough to have her married to Potter and then you'll have rich successful children like you always wanted." Ginny had to stifle a gasp when she heard that. 'Potions? Harry? They're setting me up with Harry so I can be a rich widow? Wait, widow? Are they planning on killing Harry?'
"And you'll set me up with Hermione too, right Headmaster?" Ginny received yet another shock when she heard Ron's voice.
"Of course my boy! Just keep on informing me of the activities of Mr. Potter and when all is said and done you will have your Hermione even if we have to perform a binding ceremony to have her agree!" That last from Dumbledore caused Ginny to let out a small gasp of surprise and disgust. She knew exactly what a binding ceremony would do if used on Hermione particularly without the permission of her or her parents. It was designed to force unwilling brides who had been betrothed by their parents to wed their betrothed by making them totally subservient. If it was performed against the will of the parents and the person in question, it was known to use any means necessary to subdue the targets will.
Ginny had heard enough. Being as stealthy as she could manage she made her way back up to her room, all thoughts of thirst long gone from her mind. A discreet and undetectable scanning charm cast on herself revealed trace amounts of a love potion keyed to Harry's magical signature. 'Probably were planning to slowly increase the dosage to make it look like I fell in love with him on my own… bastards.'
Ginny didn't know what she was going to do about this betrayal from her headmaster and her own flesh and blood. She knew the she couldn't go against them on her own, but who could she turn to. 'Harry and Hermione are the other ones they mentioned planning to screw with, so I guess I'll see what happens if I tell them. Hopefully they'll believe me.'
Harry and Hermione stood across from each other, each of them standing on one side of a dueling ring in one of the largest training rooms in the entire vault. Neither of them moved, both of them standing still in battle stances with wands drawn.
"So, you sure you want to do this Hermione?" Harry asked from his place across from her. "I mean, you can still stop now, its no crime to admit you're not the better dueler."
"Oh and I suppose this "generous" offer has nothing to do with the fact that if I forfeit you get to choose what's for dinner?" She replied sarcastically."
"Oh come on, I was just saying."
"Well stop saying. The stakes we agreed on were that the winner gets to choose where we eat diner, right? We'll start as soon as this feather hits the ground." With those words, Hermione pointed her wand and wordlessly conjured a feather in the air in the middle of the ring. As Harry watched it float down to the ground slowly, he couldn't help but remember just how his day came to this.Flashback
"-So that's how we can go about finding people to recruit." Harry finished his idea to Hermione, who was sitting across from him garbed in the Warlock robes that had become her favorite, and waited for a response. When he received none he grew slightly annoyed.
"Hermione, hey Hermione you listening?"
Hermione continued to ignore him, reading the book she had in her hands as she had been for the past four hours. So far everything Harry had tried to convince her to put the book down and take a break had failed. Finally at the end of his rope, Harry walked over and shut the book in her hands while plucking it from her grasp.
"What was that for?" Hermione asked with a scowl on her face. "I was just in the middle of reading about the most fascinating spell that could-"
"Im sure whatever it does is fascinating but you've been sitting there reading without acknowledging me for four hours." Harry replied exasperatedly. "I mean honestly Hermione, there's more to do than just read and train all the time. We have money; we should go enjoy ourselves a bit. Im sure if we got some muggle money and went into London we could find a nice Italian place. I've always wanted to try Italian."
"Are you asking me out Harry?" came Hermione's reply. She was no longer scowling at him but had the ghost of a smile instead.
Harry was almost speechless when she asked him that. It wasn't that he hadn't considered doing such a thing, as he had been thinking of asking Hermione out since his birthday a month ago. But he hadn't brought himself to do it. Seeing Hermione's waiting expression, he quickly nodded. "Yes, I suppose I am."
Hermione fully smiled when she heard that. "Excellent," she said, getting up from where she sat and walking over to Harry. "I'm sure you agree then, that it would be best if we went to a French restaurant instead."
If Harry had been smart, he would've nodded his head to Hermione's subtle demand that they get French. But Harry wasn't really thinking, nor had he really heard anything past the word "excellent". This led to him responding, "No, I think we should get Italian."
Hermione's face showed surprise, as she hadn't really expected him to say no to French. It wasn't that she didn't like Italian she just really wanted French. Knowing that boys could be very stubborn but wanting to have Harry take her out, she quickly devised a plan.
"Harry, I really want French, so how about we make a bet. We'll have a quick duel and the winner gets to pick where we go to dinner all right?"
When Harry had heard her say she wanted French he had been perfectly prepared to say all right and ask where she wanted to go, but the emphasis she put on "all right" made it wound non-negotiable. Not finding the idea unreasonable, he said, "Ok Hermione, we'll have this little duel. Let's go."End Flashback
Harry was brought out of his reverie as the feather hit the floor. Both he and Hermione burst into casting, Harry firing a burst of fire energy that streaked at Hermione. She countered by drawing enough Felmagic to herself to form demon armor, which dissipated all but a little of the energy leaving her singed, before clutching an amulet that hung from around her neck and yelling out "I summon you from the Twisting Nether, come; Jakmat!" Causing the demonic imp known by that name to appear in a flash of dark energy before Hermione.
"Jakmat, attack!" Hermione yelled out while pointing at Harry.
"Yes Mistress." The imp said before charging and releasing a fireball, cackling madly as it did so.
Harry had not been idle as Hermione was summoning however, and as Jakmat released the firebolt Harry finished charging his spell and released it, sending a molten boulder hurtling toward Hermione and her pet. The pyroblast collided with the imps firebolt before absorbing it and continuing on it path. It reached Hermione and the imp and exploded loudly and obscuring Harry's view. Harry was waiting for the smoke from the explosion from the blast to clear and thus was surprised when three shadowbolts streaked through the smoke towards him.
Cursing Harry raised his wand and yelled out "Protego Umbrum!" which caused a translucent purple shield to spring from his wand while he began to sprint to the right along the edge of the circle. As most Azerothian magic was made to do the shadowbolts followed Harry despite his dodge before splashing against his shield. A moderate amount of the shadow energy leaked through, draining Harry a small bit, but not enough to be of consequence for the duel.
With the smoke having cleared Harry could once again see Hermione, who had used her imp to block the pyroblast leaving her unscathed. Hermione however, was looking at where Harry had been standing before, leaving her side vulnerable. Quickly drawing standard Arcane energy to his hands he unleashed four barrages of arcane missiles at Hermione.
Normally Hermione would have been able to muster some kind of defense to the attack but she was caught off guard. First one, then another, then the last two arcane missile barrages hit her in the side, sending her flying out of the dueling ring to the ground and ending the match.
Having won the duel Harry jogged over to where Hermione had landed and was laying on the ground groaning a bit. As he ran he felt what energy he had expended return, one of the godsend benefits of the dueling circles. Hermione would only have the sting of a loss to deal with instead of holes in her side. As Harry reached her she propped herself onto her elbow to face him.
"You came at me from the side, didn't you?" She asked him a bit annoyed.
"Yes, I did." Harry replied. "You have to remember that neither your nor your opponents feet are glued to the ground during a fight or a duel. Too many wizards forget that and it makes them vulnerable to those who don't waste energy on a shield when they can dodge." Harry offered his hand to Hermione to help her up.
"Yeah, I'd best remember that so I don't get beaten by you again." Hermione said with a bit levity before taking the offered hand.
Harry pulled Hermione up but didn't factor in the increase in strength he had had ever since he had started eating right and training. This led to him pulling Hermione up too hard, which almost caused him to fall over backwards as she run into his chest. Having no other way to avoid falling down he wrapped his arms around her to regain his balance.
For the first few seconds Harry was afraid that Hermione would be annoyed at him, so he was surprised when Hermione reciprocated the gesture, wrapping her arms around him and holding him close. They stood there for a few moments before Hermione looked up at Harry, who was a few inches taller than her.
"I guess were getting Italian then?" She asked him as she looked up at him.
Harry could of stared into her chocolate brown eyes with their life and power for hours but instead he answered. "French actually. My treat."
"Really?" Hermione asked, leaning in closer to his face. "But I thought you wanted Italian?"
"I want to make you happy more." He said, before closing the rest of the distance between their lips and kissing her tentatively, a kiss that she returned. The kiss was one of the best things Harry had ever experienced. Harry had only had one kiss before, and Cho's wet kiss didn't even come close to the kiss he shared with Hermione.
The kiss lasted a minute, just a kiss, no more, before they broke apart. Smiling at each other, they walked out of the training room, Hermione telling Harry all about the French restaurant she knew as they went and Hermione nodding happily.
Coast of Azkaban Island
Lord Voldemort, Dark Lord and Heir of Slytherin, looked at his gathered minions. There were dark wizards in scores and werewolves and even vampires from the clans he had managed to sway to his cause, all-standing before him.
"My loyal death eaters and honored allies." He began, having cast the sonorous charm wandlessly and silently. "Tonight is the night when we will free our captive brethren, who currently are held by the weak ministry in the prison of Azkaban. Tonight is the night that we remind the wizarding world who the true masters of magic are. Tonight is the night we gain our citadel, as well as the aid of the dementors. Tonight is the night that our victory begins. Tonight is the beginning of our victory!
On this night, the world will know that the reign of Lord Voldemort has begun! None will stand in our way!"
The ranks of his minions swelled with cheers and battle cries, the bloodlust of the group having been roused. Voldemort stood still for a moment to bask in the energy before speaking one last time.
"Tonight is our night! Attack! Attack Azkaban!"
As the dark army stormed forward, Lord Voldemort allowed himself a smile.
A/N: well this was one of the harder chapters to write. It took me thinking of this as a Christmas present to you, my readers to get it done. Frankly im not sure if I did a good job or not, particularly with the interaction between Harry and Hermione. So please my friends and readers, as always; like it? Hate it? Either way, please review it!