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Chapter 34 – Normality
Harry was falling, falling from somewhere very high, all around him blew fire in the winds in all directions. He could feel the heat from the flames licking at his body as he fell, flaying his arms around him trying to get his bearings. The lower he fell, the more visibility he had. He could see pools and pools of lava below and swooping hills in the distance, creating huge gaping canyons surrounding him. Thinking he should try apparating before he hit the ground, he had to do something. Suddenly a feeling of flying took over him like he was riding his Firebolt. He closed his eyes as he let this feeling flow through him. He spread his arms and willed himself to fly, the feeling was strange, a complete body tingle shot through him and he opened his eyes. He was flying. The body tingle continued but it was tolerable. This feeling was amazing. Harry reveled in it, with catcalls and whoops, he spun in circles and flew in loops, this couldn't be happening it was unreal. Then from out of no where he hears a huge roar and he turns his head to realize there is a huge monstrous Dragon right on his tale, and he doesn't look happy. Hearing another roar, Harry turns the other way and spots two more huge Dragons to the side, tracking his movements with their huge yellow eyes. Everywhere Harry looked, Dragons. Not knowing what to do and fearing for his life, the body tingling stopped abruptly and Harry dropped like a rock again, free falling to his doom. As he fell, the warmth from the fast approaching lava was getting stronger. Harry figured he will most likely burst into ashes before he even hits the lava. He grew so hot the heat was unbearable, he imagined his skin was already burned off, he felt on fire. With his eyes closed his final thought was how did he end up like this. He let out a final war cry as the lava approached, his hair burst into flames before he landed in a pool of lava.
Harry sat up so fast, screaming bloody murder, covered in sweat, slammed his head against something and instantly fell down again.
" Bloody Hell! " said Harry as he rubbed his forehead where it felt like he split his head in two. His body was on fire, it still felt like he was on fire, the pain was excruciating. He was covered in a sticky almost sap like layer of sweat. and seemed to be in some sort of coffin.
A blinding light erupted from the bottom of whatever he was in, so bright Harry had to shield his eyes with his arms. Blinking his eyes repeatedly, his vision slowly returned to focus. Standing before him was Slammer, Boggs, Kongack, and Bloodfist. Just behind them was a Goblin Harry didn't recognize, witch was not unusual but this Goblin didn't look like a mere guard, he looked more important then that.
" What happened?" asked a puzzled Harry still rubbing his head where he hit the front cover of the hyperbaric chamber.
" You were in a right state of exhaustion, your body had shut down, if we didn't put you in our healing chamber, you wouldn't be awake until next friday, and I assumed you would want to return to your school without being noticed you were gone. " Answered Kongack
" How long have i been out? " asked Harry
" Only Six Hours, my Lord." replied Bloodfist
" Six hours!" shouted Harry as he jumped down from the chamber, almost slipping on the sticky like substance that was covering him.
" Relax Lord Harry, everything has been taking care of and your alibi is set, let me take you to get more comfortable as we chat." said Whiplock from just near the door as he dismissed several guards that were following him.
Looking down at himself, Harry realized that was the best plan of action at the moment, he was a mess.
" Sure, that sounds like a good plan. So, what did i miss while i was out? how many Biggsby students lost their lives?" questioned Harry as he was being led away from the others by Whiplock.
"It is not as bad as we feared. " said Whiplock still leading Harry down numerous twists and turns of the maze known as the Gringotts underbelly.
" How Many?" repeated Harry
" Sixteen " answered Whiplock before adding; " Only nine were students, five were teachers and the other two were cleaning staff. " sighed Whiplock
" Sixteen ...I though it was going to be much higher then that." pondered Harry
" I am sure Lord Snakeface was hoping for a much larger number too, he will not be pleased when he gets word of this, which I assume he already has."
" Im sure he has...sixteen, i was sure it was going to be more...there were so many bodies." Harry said as the memory played out in his head.
As Whiplock led Harry into the final hallway, Harry suddenly froze in his tracks. Whiplock finally noticed Harry was not following when he reached their destination and opened the door only to realise harry stopped earlier down the hall.
" Harry? Are you okay? What has you troubled?" asked a concerned Whiplock.
Suddenly Harry was having a flashback of what he thought was a nightmare of lava and dragons. The full body tingling sensation was returning and it seemed to be coming from the room that Harry had stopped in front of.
Snapping back to his senses, Harry asked; " what is in this room? "
" Nothing, we use it for storage mostly, is something the matter? "
" Can I look around for a minute? "
" Of Course you can, but we really should get you cleaned up first young Master." smiled Whiplock as Harry finally agreed and continued walking closer to whiplock trying to shake that tingling sensation.
Upon entering the room, Harry couldn't believe what was before him. The best way to describe it was the room looked to be a harem of some sort. There were cushions and chairs scattered around the largely lavished room not to mention scantly dressed females of many races lounging about, including Human.
before Harry even stepped fully into the room, several Guards swooped in and ushered everyone away from him at the same time escorting Harry and Whiplock into a room off to the side, closing the door behind them. Inside was a Large bedroom with racks and racks of fine clothes and robes.
" You can get cleaned up in the wash room in that room there, everything you need is provided, you could of course, have a few servants take care of everything for you, like your great Heritage before you. " hinted Whiplock as he motioned towards the room they just vacated filled with attractive woman.
" Your joking right? " asked Harry seriously
after a short pause...Whiplock bust into laughter.
" oh the look on your face was worth more then all the gold my vault. " bellowed Whiplock
" Real funny. " moped a bashful Harry
" Who were all those girls Whiplock? You don't really have slaves do you? "
" No Harry...not in the way you think. They work for the Bank, I assure you every one of those girls is here on their own free will. Let us say that keeping rich clients happy can sometimes be a rather grey area."
" Grey area...right. " pondered Harry
" I will leave you to it, when ready, that door will lead you to where i'll be waiting. There are some issues i need to discuss with you before you return to school." declared Whiplock as he left the room.
Harry entered the wash room and immediately stripped down and dove into the huge spa like tub. The hot water washed away all the sap like substance from him as he relaxed under the fountain, letting the hot water mixed with oils rain down on him. After several minutes of just laying there letting the water message him, he was interrupted by a voice.
" Master Harry Sir? "
Opening his eyes, Harry spotted Dobby standing where his discarded clothes lay. Dobby snapped his fingers and Harry's dirty remains disappeared.
" Dobby, what news do you have for me? "
" after the faculty received word about the attack, the Headmaster sent Inquiry as to your whereabouts. He was extremely upset and caused all kinds of ruckus in Gryffindor Tower."
" Ha! I bet he did." laughed Harry as he exited the tub and got dressed.
" Did he make another attempt? " asked Harry
" Of Course he did, and failed beautifully, we have surveillance video for your enjoyment later." Smiled Dobby
"That's great, should be entertaining. Walk with me Dobby, I Have to debrief with Whiplock before I Return to school. Have you heard anything from David?" asked Harry as he made for the door fully dressed.
"I have, most of his Captains are safe, but he did have a few casualties." Said Dobby as he walked down the winding hallway with Harry until they reached a gold door.
As Harry and Dobby entered the room, a surge of magic enveloped them for a few seconds before releasing them to walk further into the room. Inside, awaited Whiplock, sitting in a very comfortable looking chair that was placed in a circle. The circle was made up of about fifteen chairs. Some had people Harry didn't recognize, along with people he did. There were four chairs empty. Whiplock motioned for Harry to sit in one of the empty seats across from him.
"What we discuss between these walls does not get spoken again outside of them. The protection charms cast around this room will make it very painful for you to share any information we discuss here if you do so willingly….as for unwillingly…the protection charms will prevent it, as long as you choose not to share. Are we all clear on this? "asked Whiplock to the circle.
After no one had any objections, Whiplock continued
"We have all been working towards a common goal for some time now….some longer than others….some sacrificing much to get us to this point. Each one of us has an important role to play to see the end of this war." declared Whiplock
Every one seated grunted or nodded their heads as Whiplock continued.
"This is the first time that some of you are finally meeting in person, as you can see, we are missing a few who are working diligently as we speak. We will not introduce ourselves to one another, for security reasons, just know that if someone was not loyal to our cause, they would not be alive once they entered this room. As you already know, The Dark Lord is bringing this war closer to fruition then we expected he would be considering he is not at full power yet. We have countered each of his moves well to this point, thanks mostly to Lord Potter, but we must not assume we will stay this successful in future events."
"Let us take this time to be grateful that we have Lord Potter on our side." Spoke one guest shrouded in darkness.
"Here, Here!" stated the collective group as a few raised their goblets in salute to Harry giving him the floor to speak.
"Thank you everyone, but as most of you know, I was not granted a choice in the matter like most of you were given. I did have a choice to make though, to accept my fate and give up, or fight to the very end, until I breathe my last breath. I think you know which option I chose." Stated Harry as he was greeted with smiles all around.
"What can you tell us about last night's attack?" asked someone wearing Ministry robes.
"Last Night's mission was led by a Vampire Clan who follows the direction of someone named Vladimir Vogats. His Clan's mission was to attack the students of Biggsby Academy, plain and simple. What I want to know is why Biggsby was chosen, why not one of the other Academy's in the area?" asked Harry
"We believe that the Dark Lord chose Biggsby by random because he knew he couldn't attack one of the big three schools. We are in the works for laying down protection to the remaining schools as fast as we can." Answered a Goblin Captain
"We expect more attacks are forthcoming. Especially when Vogats reports that it was you who thwarted him again." Stated Whiplock
"We have another unexpected problem on our hands, Dumbledore and the Order of the Pheonix. When word reached the Headmaster that you were involved once again, he was adamant about talking to you; he does not like being left out of the loop." Said a woman with dark red robes.
"I am aware that he attempted to breach your Trunk again, rest assured that will never happen. With some blood I had taken from the Headmaster, I cast serious blood wards to ensure it will never happen." Smiled Whiplock
"Yes, we will monitor the Headmaster and his clan, they could be useful when push comes to shove." Said the woman in red.
"It was earlier predicted that the Dark Lords power would be fully restored sometime in the coming summer, that timeline seems to be accurate. The fact that he is so aggressively attacking now has us caught a little off guard. We have been preparing based on a summer timeline, we will be better suited if we can at least delay the Dark Lord until summer."
"That is the plan. We have several deep cover operatives inside the Dark Lords Camp. This is why we were so quick to respond to the attack on Biggsby. They will keep us informed as much as they can. We are building up an army and have several clans of fighters on call but it is important for us not to involve Lord Potter unless we absolutely have to."Declared an old Man with a shiny bald head.
"Wait, What?" asked a confused Harry
"Don't get us wrong young Lord, we know how dedicated you are to ending this war, but all of our successes recently have been because of you. We need the people and the Dark Lord to know that we are strong and can oppose him without you, even though that isn't completely accurate." Said the woman in red.
"She is right young Lord, but that doesn't mean that you can't continue to work behind the scenes. I suggest Lord Harrington will do nicely." Smiled Whiplock
"I understand. I will continue to work on those plans currently in motion and try to stay out of trouble as long as you keep me informed." Said Harry as he rose from the circle.
" We will meet in one month unless something happens that needs to be addressed. Let me walk you out for I have a few things I need to discuss with you before you return to Hogwarts." Said Whiplock
With Dobby following behind, Harry and Whiplock walked out of the room.
"I have had contact with David, he was concerned after he tried to reach you and could not do so because you were in the healing chamber. Might I say, that is one risky mission you tasked to young David, how you managed to place him where you have, I have no idea." Smiled Whiplock
"Let's add it to the list of things I cannot explain. I don't need to remind you how important it is that no one knows his true identity." Answered Harry
"Are you still on track with searching for Potter Castle on Holiday?"
"I am, unless old snakeface decides to do something that requires me to change my plans."
"Excellent, I feel that is most important for right now, I know it has been said, but you drained your core dangerously low, we cannot afford anything happening to you. Please try and control your magical output in the near future." Smiled Whiplock
"I Know. I have to be more careful, but I insist that I never once felt like I was overusing my core or my magic. My power seems to be changing and I have been having instances where I have been over powering some spells." Said a pondering Harry
"Its understandable, and most likely it will continue to give you some problems as you mature. Just know, that when you are in need of your magic the most, it will not disappoint you, so don't worry about that part. When you have grown and are fully in control of your magic, you could possibly be the most powerful Wizard in known history." Smiled Whiplock
" Do you really think so?" asked Harry as he stopped walking and looked Whiplock in the eyes.
"I do. The sooner you believe it as well, the quicker your magic will respond." Smiled Whiplock
"Thank You Sir." Replied Harry quietly
"It is all of us that will be thanking you Young Harry. Now go back to school and try to live like a normal teenager, at least for a little while with the assurance that we are getting things ready, you are no longer alone young Potter." Smiled Whiplock as he put his hand on Harry's back
"For the first time in my life, I actually believe that." Smiled Harry as Dobby stepped up and grabbed Harry's hand before the two of them disappeared.
Whiplock looked fondly at the place where Harry stood for a few moments before turning and walking back into the room where the circle was meeting.
Harry and Dobby re-appeared in Harry's Trunk. Harry glanced at the time and realized he had a few hours before he would need to make an appearance in the Dining Hall for breakfast.
" Don't wake anyone Dobby but let everyone know that I am back. Invite everyone for breakfast in my trunk. We will go over a few things and then make an appearance before class. I am going to spend some time in my office compartment, come get me once everyone has arrived, and tell Winky I am extremely looking forward to her breakfast." Smiled Harry as he made for the compartment hallway. Choosing the office compartment, a side panel opened and Harry entered his pass code and then the door materialized and in he walked.
After several well spent hours in his office compartment, Harry was left with more questions then answers. Whiplock was right, he had been burning both ends so to speak, he needed to slow down and gain focus. He dissected the confrontation at Biggsby in great detail, having a pensive does have its advantages. The biggest thing he noticed was why he was so magical drained by the time he left the school. His Magic flared out of control several times without him even noticing let alone miss a beat. He also noticed the reactions he received from the Biggsby students once his name was called out by Vogats. Even the staff seemed to be starstruck. He also seemed to scare many of the Vampire underlings that he didn't take time to notice before.
Harry also spent sometime revisiting that very vivid dream he had if it was indeed a dream, it could have been a premonition, it felt so real. Harry categorized every breed of Dragon that he could, a few were listed in his Library as extinct, witch gave creditability to the dream aspect. He had no idea as to the location, nothing seemed to fit what he was witnessing. With rivers of Lava and fire everywhere, it was almost like they were underground but that couldn't be possible, considering the heights he was falling from.
Harry decided that he would keep this dream to himself for now until he found out more, after all, it could have been just a dream.
Finally, Harry spent the last of his time in his office just catching up on previous missions he had left neglected. He made contact with several different operatives and set up others for later that night. Feeling better now that he was kind of caught up, it was time to see the gang and hear from Jenn and Krista to see how the kids at Biggsby are holding up. As Harry was making his way to the door, Dobby popped in and surprised him a little.
"Sorry Master, you says to get you right away once everyone has arrived."
"I know Dobby, its okay, it might be better if you didn't appear so close before me like that though, you know, a little space." smiled Harry
"Right, would you like me to take you there or would you rather walk?" asked Dobby
Harry answered by simply reaching out with his hand as Dobby took hold, suddenly they were standing at the head of a very full table.
"Good Morning everyone" greeted Harry
as everyone exchanged greetings, Winky's Breakfast was materializing right in front of them.
Harry looked around and noticed that Jenn and Krista were missing
"How are you feeling Mate?" asked Fred
"Im fine. Feeling much better now." answered Harry
"it must have been pretty bad for you to deplete your core so severely." pondered George
"Im not sure what you have heard, but it was not pretty. The school was pretty damaged and the students...the students were injured everywhere. although the number of fatalities were low, it could have been much, much worse." answered a very stoic Harry
"Jenn sent a message late last night that the morale isn't terrible, but most of the students are scared. They were rudely awaken to the real dangers of this upcoming war." answered Neville
" The fact of the matter is most places, wizarding places i mean, are to negligent. Everyone needs to be better prepared for when attacks occur. How to react, and procedures already set up in case of emergencies. Even here at Hogwarts, we need to set up a plan of action because before this war is over, I guarantee Hogwarts will be attacked at least once." said Harry
"He's right, any volunteers want to get the ball rolling on such a plan?" asked Neville as he looked around the table
"Don't all volunteer all at once." laughed Harry before continuing.
" Actually I think i have the perfect person in mind for such a task, give me a couple days and i'll get back to you guys."
" So what do we do now? What's our next step?" asked Katie as the collective group looked to Harry.
" We continue doing what we have already set in motion. We train as hard as we can and we continue to stockpile supplies. After things settle down at Biggsby, I am confident that we will gain a few allies from their student population. We also continue to educate as many people as possible. I have a feeling things will slow down a little before they pick back up." said Harry
"Sounds good, on that stockpiling supplies front, I have made a few contacts to some store owners who are loyal to our cause. They are willing to aide us at a very reduced rate. That will make the Gallon stretch as much as possible." said Dean
"That's great work Dean! keep us informed and let me know when you need more funds." said Harry
" Will Do." smiled Dean
"Has Dobby informed you about the Headmaster attempting to enter your Trunk again?" asked Luna
"I am aware, don't worry about the Headmaster, that situation will work itself out in the end." smiled Harry coyly
"Are we going to make an appearance in the Hall for breakfast, because after eating Wink's food, there really is no going back." asked Katie
"We will, but we will come in towards the end. Just in time to cause a ruckus and then off to classes. " smiled Harry as everyone laughed as they finished up eating and exited Harry's trunk.
"Neville, can you hang back a second, I need a quick word." asked Harry as the others were leaving
"What's up?" asked Neville when it was just the two of them left.
" I want you to witness the Biggsby attack in my pensive, i need your perspective on a few things, but I want this kept between us for now."
" No Problem Mate. How about during free period today?"
"Yeah that works for me. Also, i need you to coordinate with Whiplock's warding team in regards to our little outing during the Holiday's."
" Right, Im glad were still going on that mission. My gut is telling me that we will find some answers for our many questions there somehow."
" I know what you mean. Let me know if you need anything after contacting them. Now lets go stir the pot and see if we can't get some steam to come out of the old kooks ears." laughed Harry as he led Neville out to join the others.
As the group entered the Hall, Breakfast was almost over and the Hall was at about thirty percent capacity. Harry led the group over to the Gryffindor Table closest to the Staff table. The Headmaster noticed Harry upon entry and was staring down the Potter Heir ferociously. Looking down the table, Harry noticed Ron sitting next to Hermione with Ginny and a few other fifth years, sitting across from them.
" You Know Harry, we have a big problem on our hands that we haven't even began to discuss." declared Katie
"We do?" asked a surprised Harry now getting everyones attention
"We do...what are we going to do about the Quidditch team?
After a few seconds of silence passed as Katie's words sank in, it was Neville that broke it, by throwing a muffin at Katie's head.
"What?, Geez people, you need to lighten up a little. Besides, its a legitimate question. Are you planning on playing Harry, with everything else on your plate and everything?" asked Katie
"She has a point. I really haven't given it much thought. What do you think?" asked Harry to the group
" I really want to play, my last year and all, but i realize that my time can be better used doing something else other then playing a game. Not to mention your time Harry." pondered Katie
"True, but if we don't play, Quidditch will still happen and who would represent Gryffindor?" pondered Harry
"I think you guys should play. Besides, we only have like five games all year." added Neville
"Don't forget practices" added Luna
"Right, well you could always set up a B squad and have them practice with the others. I mean, it's not like you and Harry need more practice, you guys already rule." stated Neville
"Awwwwe. Thanks Nev" beamed Katie
" You don't have to decide right now guys, besides we should go, class is going to start soon and I think the Headmaster is heading this way." declared Luna turning everyones attention to the staff table.
"Luna's right, lets go guys. Hey Katie?" asked Harry as the group scattered for the exit
"Yeah?" replied Katie
" Good call on the Quidditch, we definitely need to figure out what were going to do."
" Do you think Ron and Ginny might try out?" asked Katie
"I haven't thought about it, I suppose they probably will." pondered Harry as the group made it safely to the stairs as they began to shift and move taking the group away from the Headmaster.
"i still cant believe we have classes and such, school sucks sometimes." whined Neville as the others laughed
" Usually, I agree with ya Nev, but for me, I'm actually looking forward to it." smiled Harry as they entered the Charms classroom.
"looking forward to it?" asked Luna
"Yeah, too the normalcy of it all, you know? I think that's just what we need for now." said Harry as he took his seat.
"At least until the Holidays" winked Neville
"Harry, meet at lunch to finish deciding?" hollered Katie from the door.
"Yeah. Lunch. See ya Katie" Harry yelled back as Katie disappeared down the hall.
" Lets just focus on training, school, and Quidditch for now. Is that enough normality for ya." laughed Neville as the others joined in as Ron and Hermione entered the class and took their seats.
"Quiet everyone. Let us begin." declared Professor Flitwick
Harry sighed loudly as the others snickered