Chapter 1: Power Unleashed
"Harry – no!" cried Lupin, but Harry had already ripped his arm from Lupin's slackened grip.
"SHE KILLED SIRIUS!" bellowed Harry. "SHE KILLED HIM I'LL KILL HER!"
And he was off, scrambling up the stone benches; people were shouting behind him but he didn't care. The hem of Bellatrix's robes whipped out of sight ahead and they were back in the room where the brains were swimming.
She aimed a curse over her shoulder, and the tank rose into the air and tipped. Harry was deluged in the foul-smelling potion within; the brains slipped and slid over him and began spinning their long colored tentacles, but he shouted, "Wingardium Leviosa!" and they flew off him up into the air.
Slipping and sliding, he ran on towards the door; he leapt over Luna, who was groaning on the floor, past Ginny, who said, "Harry – what –?", past Ron, who giggled feebly, and Hermione, who was still unconscious. He wrenched open the door into the circular black hall and saw Bellatrix disappearing through a door on the other side of the room; beyond her was the corridor leading back to the lifts.
He ran, but she had slammed the door behind her and the walls were already rotating. Once more, he was surrounded by streaks of blue light from the whirling candelabra.
"Where's the exit?" he shouted desperately, as the wall rumbled to a halt again. "Where's the way out?"
The room seemed to have been waiting for him to ask. The door right behind him flew open and the corridor towards the lifts stretched ahead of him, torch-lit and empty, and he was off again running.
He could hear a lift clattering ahead; he sprinted up the passageway, swung around the corner and slammed his fist on to the button to call a second lift.
It jangled and banged lower and lower; the grilles slid open and Harry dashed inside, now hammering the button marked Atrium. The doors slid shut and he was rising up, towards Sirius' killer.
He forced his way out of the lift before the grilles were fully open and looked around. Bellatrix was almost at the telephone lift at the other end of the hall, but she looked back as he sprinted towards her and aimed another spell at him. He dodged behind the Fountain of Magical Brethren, and the spell zoomed past him and hit the wrought gold gates at the other end of the Atrium so that they rang like bells. There were no more footsteps. She had stopped running. He crouched behind the statues, listening.
"Come out, come out, little Harry!" she called in her mock baby voice, which echoed off the polished wooden floors. "What did you come after me for, then? I thought you were here to avenge my dear cousin!"
"I am!" shouted Harry, and a score of ghostly Harry's seemed to chorus I am! I am! I am! all around the room.
"Aaaaaah…did you love him, little baby Potter?"
Hatred rose in Harry such as he had never known before; he flung himself out from behind the fountain and bellowed, "Crucio!"
Bellatrix screamed: The spell had knocked her off her feet, but she did not writhe and shriek with pain as Neville had – she was already back on her feet, breathless, no longer laughing. Harry dodged behind the golden fountain again. Her counter-spell hit the head of the handsome wizard, which was blown off and landed twenty feet away, gouging long scratches into the wooden floor.
"Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?" she yelled. She had abandoned her baby voice now. "You need to mean them, Potter! You need to really want to cause pain – to enjoy it –righteous anger won't hurt me for long–I'll show you how it is done, shall I? I'll give you a lesson–"
Harry was edging around the fountain on the other side when she screamed, "Crucio!" and he was forced to duck down again as the centaur's arm, holding its bow, span off and landed with a crash on the floor a short distance from the golden wizard's head.
"Potter, you cannot win against me!" she cried.
He could hear her moving to the right, trying to get a clear shot of him. He backed around the statue away from her, crouching behind the centaur's legs, his head level with the house-elf's.
"I was and am the Dark Lord's most loyal servant. I learned the Dark Arts from him, and I know spells of such power that you, pathetic little boy, can never hope to compete!"
"Stupefy!" yelled Harry. He had edged right around to where the goblin stood beaming up at the now headless wizard and had taken aim at her back as she peered around the fountain. She reacted so fast he barely had time to duck.
The jet of red light, his own Stunning Spell, bounced back at him. Harry scrambled back behind the fountain and one of the goblin's ears went flying across the room.
"Potter, I'm going to give you one chance!" shouted Bellatrix. "Give me the prophecy – roll it out towards me now – and I may spare your life!"
"Well, you're going to have to kill me, because it's gone!" Harry roared and, as he shouted it, pain seared across his forehead; his scar was on fire again, and he felt a surge of fury that was quite unconnected with his own rage. "And he knows!'" said Harry, with a mad laugh to match Bellatrix's own. "Your dear old mate Voldemort knows it's gone! He's not going to be happy with you, is he?"
"What? What do you mean?" she cried, and for the first time there was fear in her voice.
"The prophecy smashed when I was trying to get Neville up the steps! What do you think Voldemort'll say about that, huh?"
His scar seared and burned…the pain of it was making his eyes stream…
"LIAR!" she shrieked, but he could hear the terror behind the anger now. "YOU'VE GOT IT, POTTER, AND YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME! Accio prophecy! ACCIO PROPHECY!"
Harry laughed again because he knew it would incense her, the pain building in his head so badly he thought his skull might burst. He waved his empty hand from behind the one-eared goblin and withdrew it quickly as she sent another jet of green light flying at him.
"Nothing there!" he shouted. "Nothing to summon! It smashed and nobody heard what it said, tell your boss that!"
"No!" she screamed. "It isn't true, you're lying! MASTER, I TRIED, I TRIED – DO NOT PUNISH ME!"
"Don't waste your breath!" yelled Harry, his eyes screwed up against the pain in his scar, now more terrible than ever. "He can't hear you from here!"
"Can't I, Potter?" said a high, cold voice.
Harry opened his eyes.
Tall, thin and black-hooded, his terrible snakelike face white and gaunt, his scarlet, slit-pupilled eyes staring…Lord Voldemort had appeared in the middle of the hall, his wand pointing at Harry who stood frozen, quite unable to move.
"So, you smashed my prophecy?" said Voldemort softly, staring at Harry with those pitiless red eyes. "No, Bella, he is not lying…I see the truth looking at me from within his worthless mind…months of preparation, months of effort…and my Death Eaters have let Harry Potter thwart me again!"
"Master, I am sorry I knew not, I was fighting the Animagus Black!" sobbed Bellatrix, flinging herself down at Voldemort's feet as he paced slowly nearer. "Master, you should know-"
"Be quiet, Bella," said Voldemort dangerously. "I shall deal with you in a moment. Do you think I have entered the Ministry of Magic to hear your sniveling apologies?"
"But Master – he is here – he is below."
Voldemort paid no attention.
"I have nothing more to say to you, Potter," he said quietly. "You have irked me too often, for too long. AVADA KEDAVRA!"
Harry had not even opened his mouth to resist; his mind was blank, his wand pointing uselessly at the floor.
But the headless golden statue of the wizard in the fountain had sprung alive, leaping from its plinth to land with a crash on the floor between Harry and Voldemort, unfourtanately it was too slow and Voldemort watched with glee as the killing curse hit it's mark and blew Potter thirty feet in the air only for him to smash against the wall and slide down to the floor lifeless.
Voldemort's malicious laugh rang through the air as he turned to face the wizard who animated the statue.
"Dumbledore." He laughed, "How does if feel, knowing you failed to save the boy, Albus?" Considering Potter was finally killed, and right in front of Dumbledore he was feeling extremely charitable today, Dumbledore understandably was a little off kilter. In the background, Bellatrix's shriek of laughter could be heard.
Albus Dumbledore stood there for once his face plastered in shock as he saw that for the first time, old age had caught up with him. His reflexes had been a bit too slow, his animating had taken a bit too long, and now the poor fifteen year old boy had paid the price.
The two wizards and one insane witch froze as they heard a groan coming from the corpse on the ground. Voldemort's eyes flared insanely.
"NO! How can this be!" with out waiting for an answer his wand was out again and the curse once more left his lips.
This time, Dumbledore didn't hesitate, his reflexes were faster than they ever had been and he quickly ordered the statue to take the curse no matter what. He didn't know how Harry had survived the curse a second time, but he'd be damned if he would let him get hit again.
The golden statue of the wizard quickly stepped in between Voldemort and Harry, taking the spell which bounced off him and slammed into the wall causing a massive crater.
Harry groaned as he felt power surge through him. Dirty, tainted, evil power. He knew that he was woefully lacking in power compared to Voldemort. He knew Voldemort had much more power than he had, and he knew he needed power if he was ever stand up to him. And this spell had power. By Merlin the Killing Curse had power!
His magic reacting, working by itself it worked quickly to integrate the power the curse had into itself. His magical core, already full to the brim, needed to expand, but it couldn't. Not without reshaping the body, the body the magical core was currently in was already stressed to max in trying to maintain the magical core, and the current power levels were woefully insufficient to create a suitable body.
If Dumbledore had let the second Killing Curse hit Harry, it is very possible, probable even that the Curse would have given all the remaining power needed to destroy the current body and rebuild one more suitable for itself. As it was however, the second Killing Curse didn't get anywhere near Harry and so the magical core was stuck doing the only other thing it could do with all the extra power that Harry knew he needed yet didn't have room in his body for. It was given to his mind.
When Voldemort released the second Killing Curse, Harry's mind was immediately awash with the incantation, the theory behind the spell, and the proper wand movements on how to perform it.
Simply put, Harry learned the curse because he had seen Voldemort do it. His attention quickly focused on the golden statue, the animation charm was easily visible, for Harry that is, and the the wand movement, incantation and again theory was in his head, as if it had always been there. He barely noticed when Voldemort and Dumbledore started duelling more interested in the magics they were using as his mind quickly learned them whenever they were used.
It was amazing, he was actually learning high-level magic and it didn't take any effort. Upon seeing something done, he knew he could imitate it, as if he himself had been doing it for years. He came out of his daze when Voldemort disappeared, and Bellatrix shrieked "MASTER!"
Sure that the duel was over he stepped from behind the statue only for Dumbledore to yell at him.
"Stay where you are Harry!"
For the first time Dumbledore sounded frightened, and Harry was unsure why as the hall was empty aside from themselves, Bellatrix trapped beneath a statue sobbing away, and the baby form of Fawkes who was on the floor having taken a Killing Curse for Dumbledore.
And then Harry's scar burst open and he knew he was dead: it was pain beyond imagining, pain past endurance.
He was gone from the hall, he was locked in the coils of a creature with red eyes, so tightly bound that Harry did not know where his body ended and the creature's began: they were fused together, bound by pain, and there was no escape.
And when the creature spoke, it used Harry's mouth, so that in his agony he felt his jaw move.
"Kill me now, Dumbledore…"
Blinded and dying, every part of him screaming for release, Harry felt the creature use him again…
"If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy…"
Possession, thought Harry, and quickly his mind responded, telling him how Voldemort did what he did, how possession worked and the exact theory behind it so that once again it felt like Harry had been doing it for years and he knew he could do it to someone else.
But more importantly, he learned how to fight it. His magic had responded and his mind was filled with the way on how to fight it. His memories flashed back to his pitiful Occlumencey lessons and and the art that had once seemed so complex was now so simple it was absurd.
It was so easy, as Harry understood the theory, the practicality, and how to do it. He did. His mind closed off as he quickly built walls around cutting off the foriegn presence from his body, the creature's coils loosened, the pain was gone.
Harry was just able to see Voldemort re-appear and make for Bellatrix, and he reacted on instinct, his wand, which he didn't even realise was still in his hand, was quickly moving, and the words left his mouth before he could stop it, the hate searing at seeing his godfather's killer about to escape.
Absently he noticed Dumbledore's intake of breath in surprise but he ignored it to watch in glee as the curse hit Bellatrix, just as she disappeared. He threw his head back and laughed. 'Take that Voldemort!' he snarled in his mind, he may have gotten away but Bellatrix Lestrange was dead.
Drained, Harry collapsed.
There were voices echoing through the hall, more voices than there should have been. Harry opened his eyes, and saw his glasses lying by the heel of the headless statue that had been guarding him, but which now lay flat on its back, cracked and immobile. He put them on and raised his head a little to find Dumbledore's crooked nose inches from his own, his eyes devoid of any twinkle.
"Are you all right, Harry?"
"Yea." Harry said looking around. The Atrium was full of people, the floor was reflecting the emerald green flames that had burst into life in all the fireplaces along one wall; and streams of witches and wizards were emerging from them. As Dumbledore pulled him back to his feet, Harry saw the tiny gold statues of the house-elf and the goblin, leading a stunned-looking Cornelius Fudge forward.
"He was there!" shouted a scarlet-robed man with a ponytail, who was pointing at a pile of golden rubble on the other side of the hall, where Bellatrix had lain trapped only moments before she was kiled. "I saw him, Mr. Fudge, I swear it was You-Know-Who, he grabbed a woman and Disapparated!"
"I know, Williamson, I know, I saw him too!" gibbered Fudge, who was wearing pajamas under his pinstriped cloak and was gasping as though he had just run miles. "Merlin's beard – here – here! – in the Ministry of Magic! – great heavens above – it doesn't seem possible – my word – how can this be –?"
"If you proceed downstairs into the Department of Mysteries, Cornelius," said Dumbledore – apparently satisfied that Harry was all right, and walking forwards so that the newcomers realized he was there for the first time (a few of them raised their wands; others simply looked amazed; the statues of the elf and goblin applauded and Fudge jumped so much that his slipperclad feet left the floor) – "you will find several escaped Death Eaters contained in the Death Chamber, bound by an Anti-Disapparation Jinx and awaiting your decision as to what to do with them."
"Dumbledore!" gasped Fudge, beside himself with amazement. "You-here-I-I"
He looked wildly around at the Aurors he had brought with him and it could not have been clearer that he was in half a mind to cry, "Seize him!"
"Cornelius, I am ready to fight your men – and win, again!" said Dumbledore in a thunderous voice. "But a few minutes ago you saw proof, with your own eyes, that I have been telling you the truth for a year. Lord Voldemort has returned, you have been chasing the wrong man for twelve months, and it is time – you listened to sense!"
"I – don't – well" blustered Fudge, looking around as though hoping somebody was going to tell him what to do. When nobody did, he said, "Very well – Dawlish! Williamson! Go down to the Department of Mysteries and see…Dumbledore, you – you will need to tell me exactly – the Fountain of Magical Brethren – what happened?" he added in a kind of whimper, staring around at the floor, where the remains of the statues of the witch, wizard and centaur now lay scattered.
"We can discuss that after I have sent Harry back to Hogwarts," said Dumbledore.
"Harry – Harry Potter?"
Fudge wheeled around and stared at Harry, who was still standing against the wall beside the fallen statue that had guarded him during Dumbledore and Voldemort's duel.
"He – here?" said Fudge, goggling at Harry. "Why – what's all this about?"
"I shall explain everything," repeated Dumbledore, "when Harry is back at school."
He walked away from the pool to the place where the golden wizard's head lay on the floor. He pointed his wand at it and muttered, "Portus."
The head glowed blue and trembled noisily against the wooden floor for a few seconds, then became still once more, Harry once more felt knowledge being dumped into his mind, but this time he was able to use his newfound Occlumencey to push it aside for later.
"Now see here, Dumbledore!" said Fudge, as Dumbledore picked up the head and walked back to Harry carrying it. "You haven't got authorization for that Portkey! You can't do things like that right in front of the Minister of Magic, you – you..."
His voice faltered as Dumbledore surveyed him magisterially over his half-moon spectacles.
"You will give the order to remove Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts," said Dumbledore. "You will tell your Aurors to stop searching for my Care of Magical Creatures teacher so that he can return to work. I will give you…" Dumbledore pulled a watch with twelve hands from his pocket and surveyed it…"half an hour of my time tonight, in which I think we shall be more than able to cover the important points of what has happened here. After that, I shall need to return to my school. If you need more help from me you are, of course, more than welcome to contact me at Hogwarts. Letters addressed to the Headmaster will find me."
Fudge goggled worse than ever; his mouth was open and his round face grew pinker under his rumpled grey hair.
"I – you"
Dumbledore turned his back on him.
"Take this Portkey, Harry."
He held out the golden head of the statue and Harry placed his hand on it, past caring what he did next or where he went.
"I shall see you in half an hour," said Dumbledore quietly "One…two…three…"
Harry felt the familiar sensation of a hook being jerked behind his navel. The polished wooden floor was gone from beneath his feet; the Atrium, Fudge and Dumbledore had all disappeared and he was flying forwards in a whirlwind of color and sound…
A/N: Okay the reason this chappie is soo long is cause most of it is taken from the Order of the Phoenix sooo dont go round expecting all of them to be this length. Once again PLEASE NOTIFY ME OF ANY MISTAKES! I'M A PERFECTIONIST sometimes. (shrugs) Next chapter explanations from Dumbledore to Harry (taken from Order of the Phoenix with a few changes.) and Harry to Dumbledore obviously more questions about his power than answers but... Happy Reading!!