Greetings all. Thank you for reading the first chapter of this story. It's been nearly eight years now since I've last written anything, but I decided to get back in the saddle and knock one out. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have. If you like it, then you'll be pleased to know that there should be much more to come! And now, without very much further ado and very little combined pomp and circumstance, I present to you:
Harry Potter and the Unlocked Knowledge
Chapter One: That Oddly Wise Voice in His Head
Harry, sitting in the car as the Dursleys approached their Privet Drive home coming from King's Cross Station, smirked again as he thought of Mad-Eye Moody's effect on his relatives. The car ride home had been entirely silent, with only Uncle Vernon's occasional furtive glances at Harry the only acknowledgement that he was in the car. This was a marked improvement over previous treatment, and Harry thought that Moody's idea may have been long overdue. For not the first time, Harry wondered at how his mood seemed to have improved from previously in the year. He'd been moody, that's for certain; argumentative, disagreeable, and generally unpleasant. It was though a veil had been lifted and he did not have some oppressive dark feeling in him. This was strange because, for the first time this year, he actually had several reasons to be moody and unpleasant.
His godfather, the only parental figure he had who cared remotely about how he was doing, was now dead, thrown through the Veil of Death in the Department of Mysteries earlier in June. Also, that same day, Harry was possessed by the spirit of Lord Voldemort – a terrifying and painful experience – and discovered that because of a prophecy, his parents had been slain when he was a year old and he had been hunted by Voldemort ever since; he was, literally, a marked man. Was it merely his hormones that had made him so grumpy this year? Although truthfully, the moodiness had been present before this year at times, too. Once he'd discovered the prophecy, though, all that had changed. He no longer had time to be an argumentative teenager, he had to save the Wizarding World.
"Boy…are you going to get out of the car?" His Uncle asked, beginning harshly and then, once he realized that those…freaks might be watching, lowered his voice. Harry realized, quite foolishly, that he'd been so absorbed in his thoughts that the Dursleys had already pulled into 4 Privet Drive, Dudley carted his trunk upstairs, and the others were in the house. Harry shook his head and retreated to his summer hideaway.
"Dinner will be at 6 o'clock. Be sure to tell those people that we fed you."
Aunt Petunia called as Harry climbed the stairs up to the smallest bedroom.
Hmmm, Harry thought to himself, actually being told when dinner is like I'll be served some with the rest of the family…that'll be a change.
And that is exactly why Moody had words with Vernon, you fool. And you had tried to stop him! Another voice answered. Harry had no choice but to agree with this voice – he made a mental note to thank Moody when he sent his first letter to the Order.
After Harry pulled some clothes and schoolbooks out of his trunk – his wand had been kept up his sleeve for the entire car ride in case of Death Eater attack – he retreated down the stairs for dinner. He rechecked his wand, just in case, and chuckled to himself about his paranoia; Moody would be proud both that he no longer used his back pocket as a wand holster – he did, after all, want to keep both buttocks as they were – and for his preparedness for the unexpected.
Is it really paranoia if you have, in fact, a history of attacks on your person during the summer? Perhaps it is more "necessary caution" for expected attacks. The same voice of reason from before added; once again, Harry agreed with it – this voice was pretty smart. He felt a small burst of pride that he'd come up with such smart ideas lately; after all, a voice in his head must be his own.
He sat at the far end of the table – still separated from his relatives by at least one place setting, but in front of a decent-sized portion of food; Harry wouldn't ever want an equal share of food with Dudley or Vernon – it was at least twice as much as he could ever stomach – but a single plateful was plenty for the young wizard. After a rather silent dinner, Uncle Vernon hadn't even complained about the latest incompetent secretary, Harry put away the dishes and went back to his room, intent on reviewing some of his schoolbooks to alleviate the boredom that was already creeping into his consciousness. To his surprise, he found an owl waiting for him on the windowsill. He grabbed its load – a magazine, and it flew off. Harry looked at the magazine and saw that it was a copy ofThe Quibbler. A note fell off of it and he found that it was from Luna.
Here is a copy of Daddy's magazine. I arranged to have you added to the subscription list, as I figured that your summer with the Muggles might be a little boring and this would be a good way to keep yourself occupied. I never got the chance to really thank you for offering to help me find my things for me at the end of term. No one has ever done that for me before, and it's nice to have people who offered, almost like having friends. Have fun with the Runic Puzzles, they're my favorite.
Harry was rather touched with Luna's thoughtfulness, and scribbled her a quick note saying such, sending it off with Hedwig. As he did this, he was for some reason rather disgusted with his untidy scrawl – his quillmanship was terrible. He did not realize why this bothered him, for it never had before.
Opening up his new copy of The Quibbler, he glanced at the cover article, which featured a rough-looking older gentleman with an untamed mane of red hair interspersed with grey: Rufus Scrimgeour – Were-lion behind the Rotfang Conspiracy? Privately, Harry thought that Scrimgeour, the Head of the Aurors, did indeed resemble what a were-lion might look like, with his hair, his beard, and his proud stance. Also in this edition were, with the Ministry's acknowledgement of Voldemort's return, several articles having to do with the defense of one's home from Swarming Blurptibblers, which The Quibbler believes have joined You-Know-Who's side against the Wizarding World. These pests were easily distracted by layering an object in the yard with honey to lure them away from attacks. Harry, smirking, turned the page to reveal one of the biggest draws of the The Quibbler, the infamous Runic Puzzle. Not having taken Ancient Runes, though, Harry was about to turn the page when he glanced at the clues.
Symbol for strength and speed as well as potential…obviously Uruz, sign of the ox. Harry paused and blinked a few times. By Merlin, how did I know that?
Why wouldn't you know it? Its rather simple, after all; the harder runes are lower in the puzzle. That strange voice in Harry's head answered. Harry warily looked to the very last clue – indeed, it seemed that the lower clues had to do with lesser known aspects of the runes.
Male sexuality and fertility? Well, sexual love is Kuraz, but specifically male is Thurisaz. Harry filled them into the puzzle, still questioning how in the world he knew these things. Wasn't this the topic of Hermione's Ancient Runes O.W.L. that she'd sworn she'd mistranslated?
I bet this is just early material so old that it slipped Hermione's mind, Harry reasoned to himself. As if on cue, the smart voice from before stated, No, Harry; this rune puzzle exceeded O.W.L. level slightly. It wasn't quite as advanced as some of the N.E.W.T. material, though; that has a lot of introductory warding on it. Harry resolved to ask Hermione to verify the voice's information, even though somehow he knew it to be fact; indeed, it was as though he'd always known Ancient Rune N.E.W.T. content. Quickly finishing the rune puzzle that he somehow knew should have taken longer, he got out a piece of parchment and quill and jotted a quick note to Hermione, this time making an effort to improve his abysmal quillmanship. It did little good, and his untidy scrawl was only slightly more legible.
Hope you got back from the train ride alright and are enjoying the time spent with your parents. I owl-ordered some Ancient Runes books earlier in the week and they were waiting for me at Privet Drive when I got here thanks to Hedwig's efficiency. Luna sent me a copy of the Quibbler, which is apparently renowned for their runic puzzles, and I was just wondering if you could correct my work for me to see how I did while consulting the books. Also, I was curious as to the content of the Ancient Runes O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams, and I figured that you'd know all about them. Ugh, I can't believe that I'm already so bored as to do homework during my break. Thanks for everything.
Harry examined his letter, still disappointed at how unprofessional his scrawl looked. Wait a minute…unprofessional? Who am I, Percy? He shook his head, folded up the note and tied it to Hedwig's talon, petting her affectionately as she took off for Hermione's house. Alone, he wondered exactly how he knew the answers to the rune puzzle, but could not fathom a single reason. Troubled, he lay in bed and dozed off surprisingly quickly to a dream-filled sleep.
In his dream, Harry was back in the Department of Mysteries fighting the Death Eaters. Surrounded by prophecies, he observed his friends stunning the Death Eaters while running away to escape. The problem with stunning is that they just keep reviving each other. The Death Eaters were more effective because they used curses that caused enough damage to prevent you and your friends from getting back up. The logical voice permeated his dream. It made sense, but Harry argued, Well, of course, but I'll not use Dark curses just because they do. I'd feel terrible if I killed one, even though I hate some of them. Thoughts of Bella's vicious laughter and Lucius Malfoy's cruel sneer arose in his mind. Then modify the stunner so that only you can awaken them – a compromise that could save lives without you having to become a killer yourself. Harry had to admit, this sounded like a good option. Is it…possible to do that? I've never really heard of the method of spell creation or anything at school. Is it hard? Harry timidly conversed with the voice. It was odd talking with the voices in one's head, but somehow seemed appropriate. Well, it can be fairly complicated and difficult to derive the necessary Arithmancy equations for real spell creation, but this would only be a simple modification of an existing spell. It's about N.E.W.T. level Arithmancy, nothing too difficult – just tie it into your magic signature and you're all set. Despite never having taken Arithmancy and having no reason to be able to comprehend much of what he was just told by the voice in his head, Harry found himself nodding in agreement and cursing his stupidity – how much more smoothly would the battle at the Ministry have gone if he'd only thought of this earlier.
The voice ran a smooth commentary over the entire series of events, paying particular attention to the weaknesses of the various Death Eaters; when Dolohov faced off against Hermione, the voice said, Ah yes, Antonin did always have a broad knowledge of curses, but they are not well practiced; if he'd known what he was doing, that nonverbal spell would have killed her. As he commented on the angry beam of thin purple light that hit Hermione's chest. Harry recognized it as the Rupturing Curse; he knew that with a little more power behind the spell, Hermione would have been in a whole lot more trouble than a few days in the hospital wing.
Watching Neville and himself run to the chamber of the veil, he grew quite anxious as the Order members showed up to save him. Really, it was quite remarkable that you six did so well. I would have expected more casualties; the Death Eaters have either gotten lazy or out of practice. Don't expect such leniency again. Harry was forced to agree. It seemed that several, such as Bellatrix herself, were not yet recovered from their stay in Azkaban, and were quite weak. Not that he, himself, performed all so spectacularly, he thought ruefully. He was, of course, then forced to watch Sirius and Bellatrix in his final battle. Sirius was a rather skilled duelist, but he was out of practice, in addition to having never fully recovered from the muscle and mind atrophy that occurred in Azkaban. As Bella's stunner pushed Sirius through the veil, the voice spoke once more. Enough people have told you that Sirius' death is not your fault, I don't think that needs repeating. Of course, had you been a fully trained Auror and had years of experience fighting Dark Wizards, then perhaps expectations of you would be higher, but a fifteen year old cannot really be expected to block the legilimency attacks of the Dark Lord, nor duel his followers to a standstill. The important thing about losses, Harry, is that you must learn from them. Instead of gawking at Sirius' body flying past, as you, not to mention the entire rest of the Order, did, you could have quickly summoned his unconscious form to yourself. Had you killed Bella before this encounter, or disabled her in some other way, perhaps he wouldn't have died. Or, on the contrary, perhaps another Death Eater would have tortured him into insanity with the Cruciatus Curse while you and the others were bound and forced to watch. Remember, the "if only" game works both ways. Harry, with tears in his eyes, grumbled out an acceptance of this. He knew that he'd do better next time – he would do as the voice told him and learn to fight the Death Eaters, learn their weaknesses; next time, there'd be no Order casualties. You also must remember that the Order members knew full well what the risks were, just as the Death Eaters did. They were willing to make the sacrifice and pledged their lives when they joined; it is admirable to want to protect them, but you must not get hung up on their deaths. Mourn them and live on as they would have wanted – particularly Sirius.
His dream progressed further to the atrium, where he was hiding out against Voldemort before Dumbledore arrived. When the statues were animated, Harry noted the fine Transfiguration work of his mentor and somehow knew the spell he'd used – wait a minute, wasn't animation N.E.W.T. level Transfiguration work? Even knowing this, he knew that it wasn't all that difficult to pull off; heck, Dumbledore had done it nonverbally, after all. Of course, if Voldemort had quit firing Killing Curses and actually tactically analyzed the duel – it seemed that Tom had let his temper control him again (Another weakness of the Dark Lord, Harry, the voice insisted) and was being bested by his old teacher because of it. As Dumbledore shot off the powerful Bludgeoning Hex at Voldemort and the silver shield popped into existence, the voice prompted, Ah, the Imprimis Shield – you'll want to practice that one as well, of course. After we somehow deal with that underage restriction, of course. Oh, and the Flame Whip Curse…a useful piece of magic. Harry wasn't sure when he'd learned that curse, but it seemed as though he knew both the powerful shield and the curse. Had he researched them in preparation for the third task? Was this from the D.A.? Harry didn't remember the specific circumstance, but somehow he had learned these before.
Finally, the duel ended as Voldemort disappeared in a cascade of water from Dumbledore and Harry watched, transfixed as he was possessed by the Dark Lord. As he recalled forcing the evil spirit from his body, he suddenly knew when he'd gotten this wealth of foreign information. With the duel finished, the surroundings shifted from the Ministry Atrium to Harry being alone in darkness. The voice was separate because Harry had pushed him out of his mind, but Harry now remembered the voice – it was a slightly more mature version of the 16 year old Tom Riddle that Harry faced in the Chamber of Secrets. Harry paled as his mind reeled with shock. Voldemort was in his head!
As this thought was completed, a middle-aged man with black hair streaked with grey on his sideburns popped into existence in Harry's dream world. Harry instantly drew his wand and pointed it at the man - he looked far too much like the teenaged Tom Riddle from Harry's point of view and, with the conclusion he'd just drawn, he knew that the sensible "voice" in his head was just another plot of Voldemort's. Had he ever truly driven him from his mind, or was he just sitting, biding his time?
"Harry, I know how you must be feeling right now." The older man began slowly, deliberately making his actions non-threatening. Harry's eyes narrowed as he held his wand steady, ready to curse Voldemort into oblivion if necessary.
"Stop. Don't get any closer, Voldemort." Harry spat viciously; he was understandably still upset at being manipulated into thinking the voice wasn't evil.
"It's just Tom, now, Harry. Please call me Tom. The person I was...Voldemort...you killed long ago." Harry had no idea what he was talking about, but he was used to Voldemort's lies and didn't pay much attention.
"Get out of my head, Voldemort...Tom...whatever you want to be called. Get out now, you don't belong here. I'll fight you." Harry threatened weakly. If this was Voldemort, Harry knew that he stood little chance of success, even if his mind was the battlefield. Wait a minute...Harry thought to himself, if this is my dream, then I should control what it looks like. He imagined that he was in front of Hogwarts, and focused hard on it; he smirked as the great castle suddenly appeared behind him, and ran through the doors to the Entrance Hall.
"Harry, wait! I need to explain some things to you!" Tom called after him as he gave chase. Harry, remembering the layout of the castle quite well from the Marauder's Map, ran through the castle until he got to the statue of the hump-backed witch and muttered under his breath so that the witch moved out of the way; knowing Tom was right behind him, he moved the witch back to cover up the entrance and silently huddled in the corridor.
"Harry, I know you're there. The entire dream world revolves around your thoughts, so its rather difficult to hide. I also know you can hear me. If you feel safer in that passageway, you may stay there, but please listen to what I have to say; its very important. Alright, where to start...
"You know that I am, or once was, the man you know as Lord Voldemort. But I am not all of him; if that makes any sense at all. Voldemort, because he feared death so greatly, split his soul and hid those pieces away so that he could never be torn from this world and would live forever. When he attacked you that, his soul was in seven pieces - he believed that seven, being a powerfully magical number, would grant his soul some shred of stability and save him from the inevitable insanity that having a permanently ruptured soul brings on. However, when his curse was deflected, his soul was further split and one piece hidden not in an object, but inside of you, Harry. You were so young that this piece of Voldemort's soul intermingled with your own, with little tendrils affecting you in a myriad of ways: you became moodier and you are a parseltongue, for instance. In most, this piece of soul would have been more than enough to corrupt you to become a destructive, unbalanced person much like Voldemort himself, but you were strong enough - such a pure and good person - that you instead changed the piece of Voldemort's soul for the better.
"In the Ministry, Voldemort attempted to possess you using the Horcrux - that's what a split piece of soul inside you is called - but could not stay because of the utter purity of your own soul. In forcing him out, you also severed many connections to your own soul that the Horcrux had made for fourteen years. Thus, here I am - a Tom Riddle influenced by you and your childhood." Tom's speech stopped as Harry emerged from behind the statue of the witch, his wand trained on Tom, No, Voldemort, he mentally chastised himself.
"So you have all my memories, as you've lived my life here beside me." Harry stated.
"Yes, Harry. And you have some of mine, as you've started to notice. Currently you have all of the knowledge I gained in Hogwarts, and for a few years beyond. Soon, all the rest of the knowledge will...assimilate itself." Tom explained. He held no wand, Harry noticed, and had not yet done anything overtly threatening. Still, Harry kept his guard up.
"So why don't you go back to Voldemort like a good little piece of soul - Horcrux, whatever you are - and tell him all of my secrets? Then he can attack my aunt and uncle's house, kill me, and live eternally ever after." Harry demanded harshly.
"Even if I could, Harry - which I cannot, I assure you - I would not. I told you Harry, instead of Voldemort's soul turning you evil, quite the opposite happened and you turned a small piece of Voldemort...well, I wouldn't say good exactly, but...human would be a good word. You'll find that I share many of the same views that you do as, in fact, we formed the opinions together in many cases." Tom paused awkwardly for a moment before continuing, "Harry, I thought about just letting you live your life free of me, just keeping silent forever, but...I want to help you, Harry."
Harry let out a short chuckle as he raised his wand, which he'd unconsciously let dip slightly, back to point at Voldemort, "Okay, now I know you're lying. You told me yourself, the one thing Voldemort fears more than any other is death. Why would he, or some 'human' version of him, aid in bringing about his own death?"
"An excellent question, Harry. I no longer like to consider myself Voldemort. Rather, I am Tom Riddle, a person Voldemort could have become if circumstances had been different. Truly, I am more a result of your own personality than Voldemort's. He is a fearsomely powerful wizard, Harry; he is also exceedingly knowledgeable, possibly more so than any other wizard except Dumbledore; however, he does have weaknesses. Together, we can explore those weaknesses and find a way to beat him, Harry. Here, in your mind, I can aid you in getting comfortable with the spells you will now know. I can help you in any way you need, Harry, I offer any aid I can give you."
"Well Tom, then answer me this. If I have all of Voldemort's knowledge, then why don't I have his memories? I should have endless memories of torturing muggles and killing off countless wizards, but I find that I can only recite the names of the victims and describe how they died...its not like when I watch him through my scar connection." This had come up in Harry's mind some time ago, and he was quite interested in a reasonable answer.
"Well, first off, you have only all the knowledge collected by Voldemort before the night your parents were killed; I am uncertain as to how much he has learned since then, although I believe that he gained a significant amount of experience with possession and likely a fair bit about body creation and rituals to merge it with a soul, given what we know of his activities. And finally, about the memories… The reason you do not have them is that I hold them. I released the knowledge as it was crucial for you to have; the memories are...quite unpleasant, Harry. I am quite ashamed of my behavior and the atrocities I committed. I would protect you from watching countless innocent's die by what will seem like your wand." Tom appeared contrite as he said this.
"How can you keep things from me, if I apparently can't keep anything from you?" Harry said, thinking he'd found a hole in this story that, in a strange way, made more sense than anything he'd come up with.
"Ah, another good question, Harry. I am a sufficiently skilled Occlumens that I can shield my thoughts when I so desire. However, knowing how we don't like to have information hidden from us, I will make you a promise to share my thoughts and relevant memories with you. I will, if necessary, even show you the revolting memories that I have. I will also help you with your Occlumency." Harry thought this over, and shook his head in agreement.
"Alright, but don't hide things from me just because you think I'm not ready for it. If you think that, you may tell me the content and let me be the judge. Also, I'm pretty pitiful at Occlumency and quit my lessons with Snape." Harry grimaced at the reminder of that fiasco.
"Agreed. Also, I think that you will find that, without Voldemort's soul influencing you, Occlumency, along with shielding your emotions, will become easier. After all, you have half as many thoughts and emotions to deal with. After all, I will be using my own Occlumency and I guarantee you, no mere Potions Master can penetrate my mind." Harry smirked, amazed at how comfortable he was around his nemesis after such a short time. Well, he doesn't really look like Voldemort, after all. Indeed, Tom did look more human than any incarnation of Voldemort than Harry had ever seen. Even the sixteen year-old Riddle had a perpetual sneer marring his handsome face; this version seemed happier, and actually smiled as he made a crack at Snape. And he made a crack at Snape. Commendable. Harry smirked, but thought, But still…I can't trust him so easily. Look at what happened when I trusted those visions about the Department of Mysteries.
"Indeed, the Potions Master is quite unfriendly, isn't he?" Tom smiled as he explained, "Yes Harry, you do indeed broadcast your thoughts quite loudly. I couldn't help but overhear, really. Of course, you really do need to work on clearing your head every night; that's the first step of Occlumency." Harry nodded, noting that Tom was conspicuously silent about the lack of trust Harry had for him.
"One more thing, Harry. If you are to be successful in your battle with Voldemort, we need to work on strengthening your magic, and the only way to do that is with practice. At the orphanage, I was working with nonverbal wandless magic consciously for a year and a half before I began Hogwarts, which very quickly strengthens your magic; you cannot even do nonverbal magic. Of course, for you to practice, the Trace will need to be broken." Tom said to him. Harry, quite truthfully, didn't know what he was talking about.
"Uh…what is the trace? And how can you do wandless magic?" Harry questioned. As soon as he asked the question, knowledge of the subject flooded his mind; it really was quite annoying to not know what you know.
"Harry, you've seen Voldemort do wandless magic, as well as Dumbledore. You've also done it yourself, though you were rather flustered at the time. Do you remember the lumos spell you cast while fighting those Dementors last year? Or how about when you blew up Aunt Marge? Or when you Apparated to the top of the Muggle school? All of these were cases of accidental wandless magic that happen to all magical youngsters. Of course, it is much more difficult, and draining, to do this intentionally. And the Trace, as I'm sure you've remembered, is how the Ministry tracks Underage Magic. Of course, if you retreat to your magical core and draw back in the tendril of magic leading off to the Ministry, they will be ignorant of your magic use. They will, of course, also be ignorant of any unlicensed Apparition you may do in the future. You must make that trip alone; I may suggest doing so immediately when you awaken, for morning has arrived, and it is time for you to wake up." As Tom completed his last sentence, Harry was indeed jerked back to the realm of the awake, and shook his head to clear it.
Was that a dream, or do I really have Voldemort in my head? Harry thought in his half-awake state.
Sorry to disappoint, Harry, but I really am here. And I told you before, I really prefer Tom to a childish nickname I made up in school.
Well, there's my answer, Harry thought ruefully. Now, I have to go see my magical core.
Harry closed his eyes and retreated deep within himself, as he somehow knew how to do. Deep within him was a pulsing golden ball of magic. It was beautiful, ethereal: pure magic in an unadulterated state. The closest magic he knew that could replicate this was a patronus, but that was merely a cheap knock-off, a mere shadow of the pure magic. Mentally shaking his head, he refocused on the task at hand: sever the Trace. Seeming to float all around the ball, he found two tiny tendrils that flew away from his core. Wasn't there supposed to only be one Trace? Thinking back, he realized that Dumbledore must have put a Trace on him too – how else did he know about the magic use last summer; his letter had arrived at almost the same time as the Ministry's! Most interesting, Harry concluded. He supposed it was a good idea, though, because if he'd done magic, it most likely meant that something was attacking him, and Dumbledore would have wanted to know about that.
He grabbed hold of the tendril and, with a mental grunt of exertion, yanked hard, pulling the magic back to himself. Hand over hand, he was relieved to finally see the end of the magic tendril in sight, and sighed with relief as it rejoined his magical core. He repeated his efforts with the other tendril – this one seemed to be even longer and more resilient than the last. That made sense though, as Hogwarts was further away than London, and Dumbledore was certainly a more powerful wizard than whoever else put the Trace on him, unless Tom Riddle served some time delivering babies at St. Mungo's without his knowledge. Harry chuckled slightly at THAT mental picture, which was quite ridiculous to see his burning red eyes as he said, "Congratulations, it's a boy!" Finally, the tendril's end was in sight and it, too, was returned to Harry's magical core. Harry again sighed in relief as he forced himself to emerge from his core and back in to the real world.
Harry's sight cleared and he immediately lay down on the bed he was sitting on. He'd awoken just before his excursion to his magical core, but he felt like he'd run a marathon!
Hedwig hooted irritably at Harry as he finally arose from his bed. She glared at him, then gestured to her food dish, which was empty. Harry took out some treats for her as he filled up the dish, hoping that would make it up to her and she wouldn't nip him hard; it didn't, and she bit his finger as if to say, "You don't think this makes up for it, do you?" Harry smirked at his predictable pet and filled up her water dish too, which seemed somewhat empty. He finally noticed the letter on her leg and detached it, finding that it was from Hermione as he'd dreaded. If he had done all of those runes in the puzzle correctly, then this wasn't just some weird dream/vision where he'd learned some new things. It was real, and he had the knowledge of a psychotic killer crammed into his head. Summoning up that Gryffindor courage, he tore open the envelope and started in on the letter.
Wow, I'm so glad to hear that you've been having a productive end of the year and summer! I'm sorry to admit that I thought that you didn't accomplish much after our trip to the Ministry, but I'm certainly pleased to be disproved. I checked over your work on the runic puzzle (I'm so glad to hear that you have taken them up - I've been doing them ever since we met Luna last year and I think that they REALLY helped me out on my Ancient Runes O.W.L. I'm curious, however, as to the origin of this sudden interest in Runes - are you contemplating a career in curse breaking like Bill? I'm told it's an exceedingly difficult career choice that requires excellent N.E.W.T. results in Runes, so you might have come on board a little late. But, if you study really hard extracurricularly, you may be prepared to take the O.W.L. by our seventh year and then work on N.E.W.T. work after school. In either case, I'm happy that you found such a constructive way to spend your summer!
In fact, you've convinced me to owl-order all of my N.E.W.T. books even earlier than I anticipated and I've been taking a look through them. N.E.W.T. Runes looks fascinating because we start dealing with wards and how to tie them to runestones (which is the only way to really make them at all permanent, of course). I think that will be one of my favorite classes, but of course it has lots of competition with Arithmancy and Transfiguration. I'm ever so excited to begin Human Transfiguration this year also, of course, and Arithmancy is always fascinating with the broad variety of topics covered.
Anyway Harry, I do hope that your summer is going well, and I might see you at the Burrow, where I'll be staying later this summer.
Harry smiled at the letter that contained so much of Hermione's personality in it. When she wrote, it was almost like he could hear her in his ear, jabbering on excitedly in a whirlwind about every topic under the sun.
So Harry, when are you going to ask her out? Tom teased mentally, finally communicating with him again - a first since he'd emerged from his core.
Hermione?! I'm not really interested in her like that, Tom...she's like a sister to me! Harry defended. He heard a mental chuckle from Tom as he countered, Oh really? I've been in your thoughts, Harry. Hermione is a nice girl, and she has...developed quite a bit from the bushy-haired bookworm you saved from a troll, as you well noticed. Need I remind you of the Yule Ball? You're attracted to her, even if you think of her as a sister. Harry reddened. True, Hermione had become pretty, and even prettier since the Yule Ball, but she was still like a sister to him.
I guess she's pretty, but...I just don't think of her like that. Besides, I think a certain redhead DOES think of her like that. Harry smirked, well aware of the reasons behind Ron's jealousy.
You think so? Ginny and Hermione, huh? Well, I guess you can fantasize if you wish...Harry's eyes bugged out slightly at THAT mental picture, one he quickly banished from his thoughts so that Tom couldn't see it.
Excellent Occlumency work there, Harry. I told you it'd come naturally. Now, you must realize that those thoughts are perfectly normal for a boy your age, Harry. Personally I never fell in love, but I used my charm to great effect on many poor girls in the Slytherin dorms. I encourage you to seek out the love you have never experienced - it will give you something to fight for. If not Hermione, than perhaps the other redhead in your mental picture...or Ron, if therein lies your interest. That brought Harry up short as he exclaimed aloud.
"What? RON?! You know I'm not like that!" He cried, momentarily forgetting the mental communication.
Harry, there's nothing to be ashamed of. After all, when I was in school the Hufflepuff boy's dorm was rife with it, I always heard. And of course, the older Slytherin's commonly took aside a first-year for "initiation". I'm sure your dorm is similar, or will be this coming year. Harry shook his head - he too had heard rumors about other dorms, but had never witnessed it himself.
"BOY! What the bloody HELL are you screaming about?" Harry's face whitened slightly before Tom suggested a good idea.
"Oh, nothing, Uncle Vernon. Just talking to Mr. Moody from the train station. He's invisible right now." Harry smirked as Uncle Vernon turned ghost white and started backing out of the room quickly.
"Wha-wh-what? H-he can turn invisible? Can you all do that?" Harry beamed as he walked over to his trunk and slipped on his invisibility cloak.
"Of course, Uncle Vernon," Harry said invisibly; he moved right next to Uncle Vernon's ear and finished with a whisper, "you will never know when a wizard's around unless they want you to know." Vernon sped out of the room, terrified he called up to Harry a few seconds later, safely away from the teenaged wizard.
"Well, lunch'll be in an hour or so. Don't want you to miss a good helping sized meal, right Harry?" Harry smiled. As much food as he can eat? This summer was certainly looking up. Maybe he should have acted more Slytherin from the get-go...
Yes, I've always found that intimidation tactics like that are far more effective than actual violence like Gryffindor's often employ. You can most assuredly duel any Slytherin, and likely many Death Eaters to a standstill, but can still be intimidated by threat of force and superior numbers. This is, of course, why Voldemort made sure to eliminate any wizards or witches with the crass to say his name - he put Death Eater spies everywhere who would report back to him when the name was said, and he would have that person killed. This generated the "You-Know-Who" generation who won't say his name, even after his supposed death. Coincidentally, he developed plans to integrate the word "Voldemort" as a part of the Trace on under-aged wizards and Apparition detection for of-age wizards so that he would instantly know when someone dared use his name. That is incidentally why I know enough about the Trace to eliminate it from you. He never succeeded with his plan, but the magic was all worked out; if he can get the control in the Ministry this time around, I've no doubt that he'll do the same. Tom explained. As much as Harry still resented the presence of Voldemort, as he occasionally insisted on thinking of him, in his head, he was now starting to admit that Tom was knowledgeable and fairly wise. Even if he did think Harry was a poof. Harry didn't think his wisdom applied to that kind of thing anyway.
Now, Harry, as I mentioned, you need to work on strengthening your magical core. Voldemort, in addition to using several dark rituals that I don't recommend, to enhance his power, started with controlled bouts of wandless magic since age 9. He frequently had outbursts of accidental magic prior to that. So, levitate that book. Tom mentally motioned to the copy of Intermediate Transfiguration lying inside Harry's opened trunk. Harry, knowing how the process of wandless magic worked thanks to Tom's knowledge, reached out his hand, focused on levitating the book, and channeled magic through his arm to his outstretched hand. The book barely vibrated, but Harry's energy seemed sapped a little.
You've got to be kidding me, that's all I can do?! Harry mentally screamed. Tom chuckled and replied, Well, that's what you get for not making use of your magic for so long, only using magic in class as needed. You should be lucky that you're an above-average powered wizard to begin with, or you might not get that far.
Harry sighed, realizing that this process of building up his "magical muscle" so to speak, was going to take a long time, and pulled a feather out of his pillow. Attempting to levitate it, he did so, and it flew to the ceiling. Tom gave him pointers to improve his control, but to improve his stamina he merely needed practice.
After an hour's work, Harry was able to make the feather levitate to a height he desired and dance in the air. He had virtually no effect when he tried the Summoning and Banishing charms, but consoled himself that these were 4th year material. He was sweating when Aunt Petunia called him down for lunch.
Uncle Vernon spent the entirely of lunch with his eyes moving wildly around the room, attempting to find the invisible Moody he believed present. When he asked in a whisper to Harry whether he was present, Harry looked around, narrowed his eyes, and then smiled brightly and waved to "Moody". Vernon snapped to attention and spent the rest of the meal white as a ghost and loudly asking if Harry needed anything. It was a good thing that Dudley was at a friend's house this Saturday, or he would have been totally confused at this turn of events.
Refreshed and stuffed from the meal, Harry retired to his bedroom to continue his experimentation with wandless magic. By the end of the day, which consisted of practice and a sizable dinner with the Dursleys, he nearly cheered when the heavy Intermediate Transfiguration book raised almost a full foot from its place in his trunk when he levitated it. Clearing his mind with an Occlumency exercise, he changed into his nightclothes and quickly fell asleep.
Before starting his daily exercises the next morning, Harry decided to make his room a bit more comfortable. Using some charms that Tom had learned in his later years at school, Harry performed an Undetectable Extension Charm on his room to quadruple the size of it; as it was the same size as the Dursley's oversized parlor - Uncle Vernon had many guests to impress, after all, and therefore the parlor was one of the most important rooms in the house - Harry found he had quite enough room to be comfortable. He transfigured his bed into a four-poster reminiscent of his bed at Hogwarts - though Tom was still not impressed with the detail work - and turned several of Dudley's old broken toys into lamps, shelving for his new desk, and a bookshelf for his schoolbooks. The desk, chair, and matching bookshelf were his masterpieces. After quite a few alterations, he finally got them to a rich mahogany with elegant handles on the desk drawers and a large, overstuffed chair or deep red leather and gold fastenings. Even Tom offered congratulations on a job well done, even if it did take him a few tries. Harry also added a few giant pillows for him to sit on as he cleared his mind. A few more ties become elegant throw rugs and the look was completed. He grinned as he surveyed his work, which Tom congratulated him on. While he "knew" all of the spells to do the transfiguration work, it took a lot of practice for him to make them work properly, much less do detailed work like his desk; this was a far cry from Voldemort, who could have done Harry's hour of work with a few lazy swipes of his wand.
For the next few days, Harry's schedule varied little. After the levitation and manipulation charms were performed wandlessly, Tom also gave pointers to Harry on nonverbal casting, which, Tom explained, was also more difficult than regular-cast spells, but not as draining as wandless magic. Tom insisted that verbal wandless magic was far too easy for Harry to work on, as he was progressing well with nonverbal wandless magic. Scorch marks from nonverbal stunners, bludgeoning spells, Impediment curses, and several other offensive spells littered the walls before Harry worked on nonverbalReparo spells. Transfiguration, too, was touched upon, as Harry nonverbally transfigured part of his wall into a mirror and then worked on first nonverbal shields and then wandless shields - this stopped when he tired of getting hit with his wanded Stinging Hexes that couldn't be blocked by his wandless Protego shields. However, the shields, weak as they were, still raised, and so he considered it an accomplishment.
Following this, Tom proclaimed him powerful enough to begin working on the more powerful and more specialized shields in addition to keeping up his work on wandless magic. He would work these out first with a wand, and then nonverbally. Tom wanted him to then move on to wandless shield-work, but Harry couldn't even raise the least among these improved shields wandlessly. The Fortis Aegis shield was glowing silver where the Protego shield was golden; it was slightly more powerful, but also blocked physical attacks equally as well as magical ones - a major downfall of the Protego shield. The Absolvo Ancile shield turned out a whitish sphere - Tom's Absolvo was a grey dome - that was much more powerful than both the Protego and Aegis shields, but had a similar weakness to physical attacks as did theProtego. It was also much more difficult to cast than either of the lesser shields. This shield was used most frequently in duels - Harry had seen it several times in the Atrium battle being cast both nonverbally by Dumbledore and wandlessly by Voldemort; Dumbledore did not possess quite the talent for wandless magic that Voldemort did.
Finally, Harry attempted the most powerful personal shield, the Imprimis Patrocinor. This was the shield Voldemort used that appeared as a giant silver shield with the emblem of Slytherin on it while fighting Dumbledore. Incredibly complex and requiring gobs of power to erect, this shield was the ultimate protection against anything but an Unforgivable. Harry could not erect this shield until almost two weeks after he arrived at Privet Drive, and was beginning to think he had a block for it until finally he shoved all of his power through his wand and blocked the stinging hex the mirror reflected back with a metallic blue shield adorned with a red and gold Gryffindor Lion. He smiled - the best part about the Imprimis shield was that it was easy to maintain; only the initial casting took any sizable exertion of power. The other shields required just as much power to keep erect. However, the Imprimis shield was unidirectional, and in fact only protected a small area. No one shield was perfect for every situation, which was why a skilled duelist knew many shields and their uses.
After Harry had mastered all of the shields – except the Imprimis, which he worked on concurrently with the next few spells – he began to work on additional offensive spells nonverbally. Tom's knowledge of dark and savage curses was likely second to none, but Harry avoided most of these curses like the plague, instead focusing on mildly damaging curses that were, importantly, more powerful than the elementary Stupefy spell. The Reductor Curse, one of those learned in preparation for the Third Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, was still quite useful; a more powerful version known by Tom was the Confringo Blasting Curse. One of his favorite curses was a combination spell –Conligo Totalus was a binding spell that provided the benefits of both the Full Body Bind Curse and the Incarcerous spell all in one. The Bone Breaking and Bone Shattering Curses were both pretty nasty additions to his repertoire; he greatly enjoyed the Fire Whip curse that he'd seen Dumbledore use in the Ministry as well, but he had yet to really master the control of the whip. Harry resolutely swore off using the Cruciatus or the Killing Curse, though Tom insisted that the Imperius Curse, in some situations, was certain to be useful; Harry still thought that he'd try something, anything else before resorting to the Unforgivable.
During these two weeks, Harry also spent some time just conversing with Tom. Instead of the mentally unbalanced and evil persona he still expected to find every time, Tom seemed to be a reasonable, frightfully intelligent, sarcastic adult that could identify quite well with Harry. Tom seemed able to read his mind – truthfully, he was just a part of Harry's mind – with regard to what Harry could take ribbing about, what Harry wasn't ready to talk about, and what Harry needed to talk about. This last subject brought the only real argument between them to a head about a week and a half into their training, right after Harry informed Tom that he needed to learn the Cruciatus Curse (he swore it off later).
I told you I'm fine, Tom. Just leave me the bloody hell alone! Harry thought angrily. He'd been getting better at merelythinking at and not yelling at the voice in his head.
I will not leave you alone and you are not fine! You've been throwing yourself into this training, learning troublingly dangerous curses, and have not given an ounce of thought towards dealing with your emotional baggage. Tom berated.
I'm fine. Now teach me how to make Bellatrix suffer more than Voldemort can.
It's those thoughts that will make me not tell you the intricacies of that curse, Harry. If you don't deal with your problems, they will only get more explosive. If you give in to those urges, I guarantee that you will turn Dark. I will not sit by the wayside as another Dark wizard arises to replace Voldemort! I and many others care far too much about you to allow that, Harry! Tom pleaded.
I won't turn Dark, Tom. It's only Bellatrix that will suffer – I swear I won't use it on anyone else. Harry said; his anger was justified, and she'd certainly sent many others to a similar fate – this was justice.
Only Bella? Why not Voldemort – he has commited far more atrocious acts. He killed your parents, after all.
That's a good point – maybe him too, but no one else. Harry conceded.
Perhaps Lucius Malfoy too. He tortured your friend Dobby for many years, remember. Not to mention he was at the Ministry that night. And Dolohov, of course, nearly killed Hermione that night. And Pettigrew has a lot to answer for, naturally. Tom urged.
You're right, Tom. All of them have hurt my friends – I can't let them get away with that! Harry was starting to see the sense in all this.
But Harry, with so many Death Eaters, you can't fight them all by yourself. You'll need some helpers. Tom said. Harry started to realize that this wasn't a good idea, and began to backpedal.
No, Tom. I'll just have my friends help, and then they can leave me alone with the Death Eaters who deserve the pain.
But what if they don't want to, Harry. Would you torture them, too? Put them under your wand and watch them writhe in agony as you hold it? You could, you know…why, with those spells at your command, you could have anything. And therein lies the problem, Harry. They're addictive. If you torture and kill Bella, you'll find that it leaves you even more empty and hollow than when you began, and no matter how many you kill, how much revenge you take, you will never be satisfied. I know this, Harry – better than anyone. I took revenge for all of the wrongs put on me by the boys in the orphanage, my father who abandoned me, children who'd tease me…all of them. And you know, Harry, that hollow feeling – the pain – it never did go away. Only this small piece of Tom Riddle's soul, the part that regained its humanity through your goodness, doesn't have to live with the pain. So, you want the pain to go away? Face it, embrace it, and know that it has no power over you. To do any less is to disrespect the memory of those you love. Harry, of course, had no response for this other than a night of tears from facing his grief. In the morning, he found that Tom was more right than he could have imagined, and he proceeded with this training after swearing to never use the Cruciatus Curse.
His wandless magic, along with his stamina, improved by leaps and bounds during these two weeks. He was now able to levitate and manipulate his entire trunk – he'd snuck down to the basement where Dudley kept a weight set to practice levitating those, summon some objects such as books and Hedwig's cage, fully cast the Protego shield and even a rather weak Fortis Aegis, and shoot out mild stunners from his fingertips. He had worked on some Transfiguration, and could now transfigure part of his wall into a mirror wandlessly. The real surprise, he thought, was his Banishing spell. Unlike the Summoning Spell, which he could only foresee using to get his wand back in a duel, he could banish his trunk against the wall with such force that it almost went through the wall – this turned into great practice for his nonverbal Reparo spells too. Vanishing the owl droppings in Hedwig's cage with but a wave of his hand was rather convenient too, he found.
His relatives were treating him quite oddly, though much better than in the past. If they threatened him, Harry need only make his eyes go wide and say, "No, Professor Moody, I'm sure Uncle Vernon didn't mean that – no reason to draw your wand." For Vernon to let out a squeal, fall over and scramble away from Harry as fast as he could manage. The first time this happened, Harry laughed until tears flooded his eyes. Of course, he could have cursed his relatives into oozing slugs reminiscent of Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, but since the same effect occurred regardless, he saw no reason to do so.
That, Harry, is one thing that makes you very different from Voldemort - judicious use of force versus excessive use of force and random violence and terrorism. Tom was always quite complementary of Harry when he resisted the urge to use his magic to solve arguments. Harry, ever eager to separate himself from Voldemort in any way, had yet to use magic on his relatives. He also thought this good training for school, since he wouldn't be able to curse Draco Malfoy every time he deserved, much as he wanted to, without spending (and deserving) time in detention. Harry rather thought that this demonstrated considerable maturity on his part, while Tom believed that it was his influence.
Bad news came almost daily, however, in the form of the subscription to the Daily Prophet. While ceasing to spread lies about himself and Dumbledore, they now reported the constant attacks of Voldemort and his minions. It was not uncommon for a large front page picture and cover article devoted to an attack on a prominent family - the Boneses, the Abbotts, Emmeline Vance who Harry recognized from the Order - and a smaller section on Muggle casualties - the loose Dementors responsible for cooler weather and attacks on Muggles, the Brockdale Bridge sending a dozen cars into the river, Muggle in the Ministry suffers aftereffects of Imperius Curse. Each day brought in editorials about the reasons for You-Know-Who's aggression, speculation as to what Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter were doing fighting Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries and the Atrium, articles hailing Harry Potter as "The Chosen One" prophesized to destroy Voldemort (a shockingly accurate guess!), and many calls for Fudge to lose his position as Minister of Magic. Harry was quite pleased at having the man, who he held responsible for several cases of making his life miserable, sacked immediately; however, Tom warned him that it would be an excellent inroad for Voldemort to worm his way further into the Ministry and eventually take control. Harry was somewhat comforted that a man named Rufus Scrimgeour, formerly Head of the Aurors, was elected. After all, if anyone could lead the fight against a Dark wizard, it would be the Dark wizard hunters. Tom remained skeptical.
After his two weeks of determined, exhausting work, Harry was working on his wandless casting and dodging (courtesy of an irregularly shaped mirror on his wall) when he noticed a small brown barn owl tapping on his window. It looked similar to the many employed by Hogwarts, with a beautiful heart-shaped white face lined by brown. Harry remembered – courtesy of Tom – that Hagrid had selectively bred the notoriously clever Hogwarts owls as one of his first tasks after expulsion. Harry, remembering that he'd lately been neglecting his first-ever friend, promised to mention it one day when he met Hagrid for tea. Thinking of Hagrid brought on thoughts of his classes, which in turn brought on thoughts of his O.W.L. results, which should have been coming shortly. He knew they were quite a ways away from Tom's straight O's – a Hogwarts record, getting O's in classes you'd never attended. Tom had, in his spare time, learned Divination and Muggle Studies, while attending Ancient Runes, Arithmancy, and Care of Magical Creatures for electives and received thirteen perfect O.W.L.s. Judging by Harry's own lack of free time during his first five years at Hogwarts, he had no idea how Tom managed that without a time turner, but then, even Dumbledore admitted that Tom had always been a brilliant student.
Releasing the burden from the owl's leg, he noticed the Hogwarts crest stamped in green wax as the owl flew back home. Opening the letter, he found a short missive from Professor Dumbledore – he knew that it'd been too early for O.W.L. results.
I am pleased to inform you that I shall be arriving at the Dursleys' home this coming Saturday promptly at 6 o'clock p.m. to bring you to the Burrow, where you shall spend the remainder of your holiday with the Weasleys, Miss Granger, and perhaps a few more friends. I also have a few other things to discuss with you when I arrive.
Enjoy your week,
Albus P.W.B. Dumbledore
Order of Merlin, First Class
Headmaster, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
P.S. You'll be pleased to hear that I've restored some of the necessary clutter in my office, and removed the rest. Thank you for your help in my spring-cleaning, my office has not been so neat in nearly thirty years.
Of course, the one summer I get to threaten the Dursley's with invisible Moodys and practice magic to my heart's content, I'm forced to leave earlier than ever before. Harry thought wryly.
Oh, do quit your ridiculous teenaged complaining, Harry. You know as well as I do that you're lonely and would like nothing more than the company of a certain red-head…Tom chastised.
How many times do I have to tell you that I am not gay until you stop with the Ron jokes, Tom?! Harry mentally screamed.
…I was referring to Ginny, Harry. Interesting that you automatically assume Ron, though…makes you wonder, doesn't it? Harry threw his hands up, exasperated, when he realized that Vernon and Dudley had been watching his facial expressions change during his silent conversation and had witnessed him throwing his hands up in defeat at apparently nothing. Neither muggle said anything for a moment, and Harry took a moment to wave his wand around.
"There, I dispelled the privacy spell. Sorry about that, just having a little conversation with Moody – you remember, lots of scars and a scary eye? Anyway, what can I do for you?" Harry asked, mentally thanking Tom's Occlumency lessons for being able to lie so straight-faced.
"Uh…well…Dudley had a crazy thought and I just wanted you to tell him it was crazy. This cold weather we're having…its just a cold snap, right? Dudley said that it felt like those Demento-thingies. It's just the weather, right? Your kind doesn't have anything to do with it." Vernon appeared to get more frightened even as he spoke, and grew uncertain. Harry's face darkened.
"Very astute, Dudley. You're absolutely correct. The weather change is because the Dementors are mating." Dudley paled and faintly stuttered, "M-m-mmating?"
"Yeah. If you want my advice, don't spend much time outside – you won't be able to see them even if they're sucking your soul out. If you feel the effects worsen, run to the nearest house, car, whatever."
"I thought your people controlled them or something? Don't they guard a prison?" Vernon demanded.
"Well, they used to. Now, they've joined forces with the psycho killer who murdered my parents," and happens to be in my head, "and he gives them pretty much free reign to suck the souls out of muggles." Harry finished. This information did not appear to ease the minds of the Dursleys.
"Are-are we safe here, Harry?" Dudley whimpered.
"Yeah, of course. The blood wards – the reason I stay here is to make them stronger – will keep you safe from them. Also, they can't really fly through walls, so you'd have to open a door or something to let them in. So you're safe. Even if they got in, though, I can cast the magic to drive them away." Harry calmed them.
"So all your kind can do that, and just leave us normal people to have our souls eaten, then? Typical." Vernon grunted his displeasure.
"Oh no, most magic people can't cast it. It's a pretty difficult charm. If all witches and wizards could cast it, the Dementors wouldn't be very effective, after all." Harry explained.
"Wh-why can you cast it?" Dudley questioned.
"Well…I used to have a rather bad reaction to them, so I learned how to drive them off. Took me most of a year to learn, but I got the hang of it and drove back almost a hundred that year." Harry explained without exaggerating.
"What do you hear when they're around?" Dudley asked in a soft whisper.
"My mum and dad, on that night they were murdered." Harry said, just as softly. Vernon had nothing to add at this point, but Petunia, ever the eavesdropper, came out from behind him and asked, "You hear Lily?"
Harry, shocked that his aunt had actually mentioned his mum, only nodded. Petunia looked torn, wistful look, gave a sharp nod, and hurried downstairs. Harry, perplexed by this entire encounter, closed the door to his room and continued his work on wandless casting and dodging.
The next six days, too, passed by quickly for Harry. He discovered that a Disillusionment spell with his wand, coupled with wandless Silencing Charms around both of his feet, made him nearly impossible to detect – he practiced by sneaking around the kitchen while Aunt Petunia was in it and moving things around; this led Petunia to ask Harry if ghosts really existed and explained the occurrences. With a serious face, he said that it was more likely a poltergeist since ghosts can't move objects. She paled and quickly left him alone. His wandless Silencing charm got practice as he cackled with glee, but no sound reached the Dursleys.
Finally, Harry sat in the Dursleys' foyer with his trunk and school supplies all packed away, awaiting Dumbledore's arrival. As much as he would have liked to continue the rather intense conditioning he was undergoing, Harry did long for his friends and some company; with only the Dursleys to talk with, he rather feared that he'd become anti-social.
A soft 'pop' from outside drew his attention, and when the doorbell rang, he broke out into a smile. He flung the door open and hurriedly invited the Headmaster inside.
"Hello, Harry. You seem to be doing all right, then. Marvelous. Why don't we say farewell to your relatives and then be off." Harry wasn't sure this was the best idea, but led Dumbledore into the family room, where the Dursleys were watching television. Dudley, upon seeing the aged wizard, leapt – Harry was impressed with how quickly he moved, actually – off of the couch and hid behind it.
"Right, then. Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon…I'm leaving for the rest of the summer. I'll be back next year. See you, Dudley." Vernon grunted in acknowledgement, Petunia nodded sharply, and Dudley squeaked. Harry supposed he could hardly blame his cousin; every time he met an adult wizard, he ended up with either an enlarged tongue or a pig's tail. Though Professor Dumbledore was a former Transfiguration teacher and undoubtedly a master of the subject, Harry didn't think Dudley would be severely altered after this encounter. A pity…He thought with a smirk.
"All right, then, Harry. Now let me shrink your trunk for you," he tapped it with his wand and it became the size of a deck of playing cards; Harry put it in his back pocket, "and we'll be on our way. You'll feel slight pressure as I Side-Along Apparate with you." Harry nodded. He grabbed Dumbledore's left arm and they disappeared with a slightly louder 'pop' than with which Dumbledore arrived.
A/N: I have "borrowed" several spells from other wonderful stories that are on my favorites list. The shield spells mentioned are from LordDwar's "Summer of Change", as is the Conligo Totalus spell. I hope you can see that I am trying to paint a realistic portrait of canon Harry if he were to have some access to the knowledge of Voldemort. I reiterate, if it seems unclear, that Harry, while a wizard of above-average power for his age, is nothing special. He will, with all of the wandless magic to strengthen him, grow slightly more powerful than canon Harry, but the final battle will not be a Dumbledore/Voldemort-esque clash of two superpowers; Harry is not a superpower, just knowledgeable. That said, most of the magic taught at Hogwarts will be quite easy for him, once he practices a bit, because most of it doesn't require great expenditures of energy to cast.