Thank God You're Here: The Power He Knew Not
by Voice of the Nephilim
Disclaimer: I'm up for work right as the sun rises everyday. It's very safe to say I do not own the rights to Harry Potter.
Challenge: if there is one thing dumbledore taught me it's this, "Who the hell cares about 'legal' and 'illegal' I've got the power and you don't" (courtesy of Manatheron)
The Power He Knew Not
Harry Potter stood at the end of a clearing, beneath a sky that had darkened to steel grey, as if the sun itself wished to not witness the scene. The steadily intensifying winds swirled the debris which presided over this dusty Golgotha, where the seven figures stood at the other end of the once proud plain, motionless aside from their swirling robes. Directly across from him, staring back with crimson eyes blazing with baleful hatred was the other person the prophecy referred to. Not that the prophecy had done him much good.
While Voldemort's legilimency probe that shattered Ron Weasley's mind and left him a drooling mannequin had succeeded in obtaining the prophecy, little good it had done him. Voldemort still had no idea what "The-Power-He-Knows-Not" referred to. After today, he would have a pretty good idea.
The deal was simple, an exchange. Harry would hand over Helga's cup, Voldemort's sole remaining Horcrux, and Voldemort would hand over Hermione, Harry's sole surviving close friend. With the oaths being taken, neither would be attacked if by one another unless the terms of the exchange were violated, in which case all bets were off. This at least provided for Harry and Hermione's safety. Voldemort had no intention of losing his final Horcrux.
After a few moments of staring down one-another, it was Voldemort who broke the silence.
"What do you think of my renovations to Hogwarts?" he sneered, his six most loyal Death Eaters smiling with mirth. Harry knew Voldemort had chosen this place as a painful reminder of Harry's past failures, and because of the anti-apparition wards that sill held despite the massive cataclysm that had befallen her once green fields.
Harry chose to ignore this barb, and began to walk forward, Horcrux in hand. Voldemort inflicted a piercing gaze at Wormtail, who took this as his sign to roughly drag a relatively unharmed Hermione to her feet.
As they met at the center, green eyes locked with small, watery ones. Something unseen passed between the two men, but not a single word was exchanged as a cup and a young woman were. Hermione collapsed, sobbing, into Harry's waiting arms, his wand still clasped tightly in his right hand. Wormtail regarded their reunion with what seems to be regret, before a high, cold voice commanded "Bring it to me".
As Wormtail turned to leave, Harry sent a silent Imperio at Wormtail's back, before sending out his final instructions to his parent's betrayer. After about a dozen steps, Wormtail stopped, bent over and place the cup on the ground. Still about fifty feet from Voldemort, he had to raise his voice to be heard.
"Wormtail, what are you doing?"
Wormtail replied without looking up. "Master, how are we to be sure that this is the real cup?"
Voldemort felt both rage and panic rise within him, as he felt things begin to go wrong. With a voice that was rife with malice, Voldemort began, "If they hadn't brought the real cup, I would have been able to k-".
Voldemort found himself cut off as Wormtail shrieked "Avada Kedrava!" at the top of his lungs. With his wand being a mere six inches from the cup, Voldemort never got the chance to summon it. With Wormtail being six inches from the cup, he never had a chance to avoid the advanced acceleration rate of metal shrapnel, which shredded Wormtail like a wood-chipper, leaving only a scarlet seeping pile of red meat and torn rags.
For a second, Voldemort could only look on, in stunned silence. In the second before his world threatened to descend into a red rage, he found himself distracted by Potter's mocking voice.
"With the amount of times you assholes have used the Imperio Curse, you'd think that you would have actually done some research into it, as to improve it; especially after all the people who have broken free from it."
Now that the oath was broken, Voldemort knew had he could kill Harry at his whim. Still he was curious at what Potter was getting at. Sure, he no longer had his Horcruxes, but there lay other paths to immortality, and Potter sure wasn't good enough to challenge him in a fight yet.
"Using Unforgivables, Potter?" asked Voldemort rhetorically. Adding a false note of sincerity into his voice, he continued "What would the old fool think?"
A small smile found its way onto Harry's face, as he replied "If there is one thing Dumbledore taught me, it's this:
Who the hell cares about 'legal' and 'illegal'? I've got the power, and you don't"
Voldemort stated on in disbelief. What the fuck was this? He had used the Imperious curse many a time. Struggling to keep his voice level, Voldemort responded "That power is not unique to you"
Harry grinned at Voldemort, before asking "Ever wonder why people will strong will-power can break the Imperious? You know, aside from the obvious answer of being strong-willed" Harry paused for a second, before continuing "It's because they're being forced to do something they don't want to do"
While Voldemort rather thought that was the point of the curse, he was curious as to where Potter was going with this.
Harry then continued "However, if one is under the Imperious curse, but being ordered to do things they want to do, then they never can summon forth the will to break it. Enticement, Voldemort, something that is a foreign concept to someone who would use fear and terror to rule. And what better enticement than the protection of those you love?"
Voldemort felt himself go rigid as the truth of the situation struck him. Still, Harry continued on, saying the words that chilled Voldemort to the core.
"My mother gave her protection to me, a protection born from the intense love she felt unto me, granting me a power that you could never begin to understand. That with a brief Legillemncy probe, I could re-produce those feelings within anyone I chose."
Despite the fear that he had been beaten, Voldemort summoned the last shreds of his confidence, and defiantly stated "Regardless, since you've broken the oath, there's nothing to stop me from killing you!"
Harry smiled, a cold expression that would not be unfamiliar upon a Dark Lord's face. "There are a few people that might take exception to that, Voldemort".
Voldemort turned slowly, and gazed upon his five remaining followers, who had stayed silent during the entire interaction, even insane Bellatrix, could always be counted on for some foolish declaration of loyalty whenever her lord was challenged.
Lucius Malfoy, whom had failed to kill Potter when dueling him at the ruins of the Ministry.
Bellatrix Lestrange, whom had been defeated at Stonehenge, yet Potter had decided to let live.
Severus Snape, whose declaration of hatred for Potter had seemed to have died out after he failed to kill him at the raid upon the Burrow.
Antonin Dolohov, whom had also been defeated by Potter at Stonehenge, yet also allowed to live.
Reginald Yaxley, whom had been defeated but allowed to return to his master with a plea of peace.
And Peter Pettigrew, whom Voldemort had kept close as a personal servant, never letting him go on any important missions.
Voldemort looking upon them, and no longer saw coincidence. He looked around and saw a place he would be unable to apparate from, nor use a Portkey. He saw an oath that allowed Potter to break it with minimal repercussion. He saw himself along before five of his most deadly Death Eaters. He saw himself facing downright terrible odds.
With crystal clarity, he heard a single command.
My first properly posted story, and I liked how it came out. Inspired by BigDonaDiet's "Harry Potter and the News". Thanks to Vash, Korisovra, Grubdubdub and RichardC269 for the kind words.