Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the characters, themes, etc. from Harry Potter...
The Freakishly Long Author's Note (because everyone needs a good rant, right? I love rants...love reading them too...): I am (as usual) so so soooo sorry it took me this long to update...school has been pretty tough, then I got H1N1 (no freakin' joke...) still have the after effects of it, and am currently in the middle of applying to collages...anyone have connections at a good art collage, preferably Columbia College Chicago?....worth a shot. ^_^; Real life sucks...*goes and cries in a corner*
Okay, okay, I'm not really that depressed, I swear, but everything seems to be sort of...bunching together...first my computer wouldn't get an Internet connection (another reason I haven't updated in a while), then my camera stopped working, then my scanner died, blah blah blah...on and on in a circular motion...Yeah, eventually I just said, "To hell with it!" No point fretting over what can't be done...so, to cheer myself, I made time to type this lovely chapter...and hopefully will be able to spit out the next one soon...
...then again, NaNoWriMo is starting up, which means I'll be doing that all next month (all writers, join in! It's awesome! DO IT!)
Okay, I'll stop with the moping and complaining and pity-partying and go to...review reply! (I wanted to reply to more, but didn't have the time...sorry! ;_; I still love you all!).
Quickstone: *gets very weepy* that's...so....nice! ;_; Thank you soo much! I know exactly what you're talking about and always end up pondering, "Oh God, I'm not...THAT bad, am I?" and the fact that you think I'm not means so much to me! *throws you a bunch of cookies* Thank you so much! I hope I do not disappoint you!
moss and stone: I'm glad you're liking it! I really do try and make it...different from others, but sometimes it just seems like it'll end up like all the rest...*sighs in frustration* but I shall try and keep it as interesting and different as possible!...without making it ridiculous, of course.
MartinDeShade: Thank you! I was hoping I wasn't twisting things too much, so your review really lifted my spirits! The best non-evil Voldemort story? *cries a little* too kind, ye are, too kind! *throws more cookies*
BSoloman: You shall see...all will become clear in time! *does a weird mystic thing with hands* The answer to your last question, yes, you can write a good fic without Voldy...but, golly, what's the point? ;)
RRW: Thank you, as always! I love Harry's new friends and end up doodling sketches of the four of them during lectures...while taking notes on the side, of course! ^_^; Anywho, the murderer(s) will be revealed...in time. P.S. I keep meaning to read some of your stories...hopefully I'll have time in the near future...^_^
JWOHPfan: Actually, it always depends for me...I don't think I hate Dumbles and yet can't particularly say I agree with him either...like a love/hate relationship, ya know? Either he has to be evil or entirely goofy (kinda like Luna...smart, but a little too out there...). Hate that whole "I will control your life" thing...blek. And on that note, the plans for revenge begin...probably...
Phantom Feline: Ugh! For some odd reason, every time I flipped it on, it would turn back on again, so I just gave up...but now I believe it is enabled, so anonymous people, please review! Woah, last line? *doesn't remember...and goes back to see what it was* ...Ah! Yes! The destroying Dumbles part! Good 'ole Tommy couldn't be more blunt, hn? How I do love that dear Dark Lord...(er, not just the one in my fic...in general...Voldy rock all the way!)
Senyor Fier Mensheir: *gives a wink* I believe it would be okay to go ahead and say, "Hell yes" to that...I mean, who can say no to Tom? ^_~
Mihra-Attar: Okay, your review just about made me cry...again. Usually it's always "Update soon!" which, don't get me wrong, I absolutely love hearing because it means you actually really want to keep reading, but to have someone tell you to enjoy it and take your time...*sniffs and dabs at eyes a little* THAT means a lot. Thank you sooo much! *gives you a whole barrel of cookies* Though, admittedly, two months is probably a bit too much...oopsie...
Mikee: Find time I did, my friend...it just took a while. I'm glad you're enjoying it! Also, here are your Malfoys...well...one of them (don't worry, considering that I absolutely love the Malfoys, they will appear, all three of them). I pondered what to do with that extra horcrux/Harry...but ended up figuring that it would be too corny and easy if it were to just die with him, and yet...it was such a small amount that it didn't even seem to matter much...but I am still a bit troubled by it, so I might end up dealing with that later on...hn...
ashleytet: XD I'm not really sure what you're talking about (destroy Dumbles, I'm assuming), but as I am a fan of destruction nonetheless, I say right on!
Well, that's it....sorry if this chapter isn't all that swell....I haven't had time to read back through it (if I had to make time to do that too than I would never get it posted...) And on that note, let the chaos begin...
"We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive."
- Albert Einstein
Chapter 14: Too Many Hugs
We all turned around and saw them. Lance, Gunnar, and Alvis entered the DADA room, their faces confused and worried. I had never seen them so scared in all my time there, since they were usually always hyper and mischievous, and probably would have done anything to erase the faces from my memories now.
"What's going on? Where's Charles? Who's Harry? Who was that man that took Charles?" the green haired boy recited a mile a minute.
"Gunnar, calm down," Alvis said as he put a hand on his twin's shoulder. Lance stayed unnaturally silent.
I shook my head sadly. "I'm sorry, you guys, I can't explain that right now…"
"But we need to know what happened! What's happening to Charles? Why did he have to leave?" Gunnar stomped his foot with frustration.
I felt the dread return.
"Boys," Minerva began with her 'you had better or else' tone, "this is not the time. We will tell you as soon as he returns, so please go to your common room and..."
I sighed. "No, Minerva, don't."
She looked over at me with disbelief etched into her scowling face. "You can't possibly mean to tell them? They're only children!" she shouted while gesturing at the trio, as if it proved her point.
"B-but…they're Harry's friends," Neville stuttered. "He wouldn't want you to lie to them."
"Who's Harry?" Gunnar asked again.
"Do you mean Harry Potter?"
All eyes turned on Alvis.
"Yes," I said finally, becoming more depressed by the minute, "that's exactly who we're talking about. Your friend is Harry James Potter."
The three Slytherins were silent.
The room went silent. I gaped at the man who, I now confirmed, really was entirely insane.
"How dare you ask me that?" I yelled slapping away the teacup still being offered to me. "You killed my parents and made my life a living hell!"
"Please understand," he implored while staring sadly at the spilled liquids on the floor. He glanced up and looked me square in the eyes. , "I was not in my right mind. I never had an intention to go about killing muggleborns. However, when I slowly started to loose my mind, I began to think irrationally. If I had been in my right mind, I never would have murdered James or Lily Potter. James Potter was a very powerful pureblood and Lily Evans was one of the smartest witches of her age, muggleborn on not."
I gawked. Had Voldemort, Overlord of Darkness, just complimented my parents? Parents, might I add, he killed? He didn't even look pained at admitting it.
I sat back and observed the man before me. "What were your original intentions?" I asked, now genuinely curious.
It was Snape who answered me. "He had originally wanted a world without prejudice. A world where, for example, Lupin could live without being judged due of his lycanthropy."
Tom nodded. "I had also wanted a world completely separate from that of the human world. However, I soon realized that that would have been impossible since the pureblood lines are slowly dying out." He let out a sigh. "All that we would truly gt from that would be marriages within families, which would result in squibs."
So the man does see the problems in his previous plan. That's a relief. I don't think I would have wanted to live in a land of incest. Ew…And the whole 'no prejudice' thing sounds nice…and Remus would have freedom. So would the other creatures…
"So that's why you've gotten on the good side of the goblins," I confirmed.
Tom grinned. "And the trolls, vampires, werewolves, centaurs, veelas, dwarves, giants, halflings, and dementors." He pondered for a moment before adding, "I'm also currently working on necromancers and mermaids...just in case."
Oh Merlin, if I were Dumbledore, I'd call myself screwed. "Well, that's…" great? Terrible? Just lovely? "So now all you're after is…" I searched for a fitting word, "equality?"
Tom grinned. "Precisely."
Well, that's not too bad, right? "So why is Dumbledore in the way?"
Tom clenched his teeth together as he bit out, "All that old man wants is control and the only way he thinks the creatures can be controlled is by making them outcasts."
I shook my head. "But…he let Remus…"
"Oh, he might seem like an all-round goody-two-shoes," Tom sneered, "but I assure you, the only reason he even let Lupin come to that school in the first place was to prove that. Lupin is the exception that makes him look good. He wanted respect from a werewolf to use him as a bartering tool against others, as a pawn to convince others to follow him."
"But…why doesn't Dumbledore want creatures?" I asked, though dreading the answer.
Tom coursed a hand through his brown locks. "For all the reasons other stupid, naïve wizards and witches don't. Because they're different."
Ah. So that's the core of it all, isn't it? Voldemort is different from others. So much so, that some would probably think of him as abnormal. It's no wonder that he would stand up to others that have the same issues as himself.
"Is a good actor."
"How do I know you're not?" I challenged.
Tom looked thoughtful for a moment, tapping an index finger to his chin. "Well," he began at last, "why not?"
My eyes rolled. "Oh, I don't know, because you're a murderer?" I snapped.
"I told you, I wasn't in my right mind…" he pressed, hands in the air in mock surrender.
"Then what about Ms. Figg! Or Colin!"
He stopped waving his arm and gave me a rather dumbfounded look, his eyebrows crossing together and mouth slumping to a frown. "Harry, what on earth are you talking about?"
I growled and shot up from my seat. "How dare you forget them? You and your deatheaters killed them only days ago!" Snape, who I had forgotten was even there, grabbed my arm in warning.
Tom, however, continued to stare at me with blank confusion. "Harry, I have not ordered my deatheaters to kill anyone. There are very few of them that even know I am alive."
I jumped, wand in hand, and swerved around to where the voice had come from. Standing in the doorway was a man clad in black slacks and wearing a white, clean pressed button-up shirt. In his right hand he held a cane with a menacing silver snake head on the grip.
"It's nice to see you, Severus," the man drawled.
"Likewise, Lucius..." he said uncertainly, causing the blonde to smirk.
I directed my attention away from the Malfoy and returned my mind to the current situation. "If you didn't kill them," I continued, "than who did?"
Lucius shrugged, his blonde hair shifting on his shoulders. "Who knows? But I assure you, none of us had a hand in their deaths." He paused for a moment before adding, "Actually, the deatheaters who are still running about have killed no one for years."
I frowned. "But…then who's been killing people all these years? And why, if not for your revenge?" I asked, confused to say the least.
Tom cocked his head to the side. "I do not know. My most loyal of followers know I have returned, understand what my plans are, and are very much willing to follow me. Others, some that had joined me later in my…escapade, when I no longer held any sanity, have been put in Azkaban." He shrugged good-naturedly. "I'm not responsible."
I took a pause to take it all in. I went back through the conversation we had been having and there was still one thing that bugged me.
"Why would Dumbledore want control over the wizarding world?" I queried.
"The glory." I turned, surprised, to Snape. "I had mentioned before that he had been acting rather…haughty. It would not surprise me if he simply wanted to take over the wizarding world, control it, and rein in the fame of it all."
So Dumbledore was an egomaniac? Well, geez, he can have my life if he wants fame so much. If he really is a nutty as they're saying, than I'd be willing to bet that my existence is just one big annoyance. I'm practically stealing away all his fame…
"Voldemort," I asked as an idea hit me, "did you try anything at my Quidditch match this morning?"
He quirked a brow and replied, "You had a Quidditch match this morning?"
Well, that answers that. "Snape, where was Dumbledore during the match?"
Snape frowned. "I don't' know. I don't believe he ever actually came. Actually, now that I think about it, he never even came to see if you were okay…"
"Okay? Why wouldn't he be okay?" Tom asked, actually seeming to be genuinely worried.
"Potter," Snape began as he realized, "you can't possibly be thinking that he would…"
"He could have," I said with a shrug. "Than again, this Dark Lord here could be filling me with a load of lies right now and I probably wouldn't even know the difference."
"How about if I take some Veritaserum?" Tom suggested. "You can ask me whatever you want, though nothing personal, please."
I gave him a disbelieving look. "You'd actually do that?"
"Naturally. Severus," he turned to the Potions Master, "would you happen to have any on you?"
Snape nodded and pulled out a vile with a clear liquid sloshing inside. Tom took it from him, put three or four drops in his cup, and gulped it down without hesitance. He ignored the stunned looks he was receiving from his minion and the boy as he handed the vile back.
That being done, he clapped his hands together and gave them a small smile. "Now then, what would you like to ask me?"
"Is everything you have told me so far the truth?" I asked, trying to waste as little time as possible.
"Yes," he said, without a beat. "Excluding, of course, any times in which I was blatantly sarcastic in which I was obviously lying, but you knew that already so I highly doubt that would count." Tom's face was slack now as he drolled on in a dull voice.
"You were truly...out of your mind?"
"Quite," he answered.
"And Dumbledore was actually behind it all?"
Well, that answered that. "What do you want me to do?"
Tom grinned a bit. "Well, I'm not going to ask you to kill anyone because I know that you would never dare to do that…so, for now, simply wait." He frowned. "What do you think Dumbledore might have done?" he asked, though out of concern or curiosity, I wasn't sure as the potion was still in effect, though it was becoming apparent that it was already wearing off. How powerful was this man?
I shook my thoughts away."Oh, he just decided to propel me off my broom…a few hundred feet in the air."
Snape sighed. "Harry, you have no proof…"
"No, Severus," Tom interrupted, "Harry is probably right. That old man would hate for it to get around that their Chosen One is back in all his lively glory, sucking away his fame. Plus, Harry knew that I had most likely returned as well, which Dumbledore had told the people would never happen again. Revealing my comeback now would cause others to revolt against him. He would loose all control."
Merlin, that makes sense! I mean, that turns Dumbledore into even more of an egomaniac than I would have ever dreamed, but it still makes sense…and Voldemort isn't dumb. For him to be saying that, under Veritaserum, he must believe it's true…
"So, what now?" I asked.
"Now," Tom began, "we go and give little Dumbles a surprise."
"And that would be?" Snape asked dubiously.
"Why, your lives, of course."
"I can't believe he gave us a portkey that took us right in front of Honeydukes!" I whispered furiously as I looked around the deserted street. "And in the middle of the night!"
"If you would happen to notice, Potter, this is no longer Honeydukes."
I turned and, sure enough, there was a new sign on the building reading 'Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes'.
"So this is where it is!" I beamed, remembering how Fred and George were trying to branch out from Diagon Ally and had opened a new store near Hogwarts.
"Why would he take us here?" Snape muttered. "Why not in front of the castle gates?"
I grinned. "I think I know why."
So this must be why they chose this place. This way, they can keep an eye on the troublemakers that just so happen to find the entrance and make friends with them. Wait a minute, how did Voldemort know about this passage? Not sure if I want to think about that too much…oh, wait, Wormtail. That would make sense.
I walked towards the shop and gave a few knocks.
Snape rolled his eyes up at the night sky. "What do you think you're doing? It's nearly one in the morning. They're clearly not open. And what help would those blasted twins be?" Snape continued to bicker quietly to himself until the shop door opened and a red head popped out.
"Okay, what the hell is…Professor Snape?" Fred said, stunned out of his sleepy daze. He looked taller and perhaps even a little more mature with his more defined cheek bones and cleft chin.
"Did you just say Snape?" George said as his head popped out as well, expression identical to Fred's. He looked down at me. "And who are…" he stopped and blinked and rubbed his eyes as if he were seeing things. Well, who could blame him?
I shuffled my feet and avoided their piercing looks. Already they're minds were cranking away at the possibilities. "Sorry to bother you, but we need to use the…um…passage."
Their eyebrows shot up to their hairline, practically in sync. "How'd you know about that?" they asked in unison.
Debating whether or not to let the truth be known, I sighed. What was the point? Everyone would probably know by morning thanks to Tom's outing in the entire Hall. They'd just read it in the Daily Prophet in the morning. Finally, I looked up and gave them a smirk.
"You told me about it, remember?"
They stood there, stunned for a moment before glancing at one another. It took about two seconds before identical grins smeared across their faces, the dimples in their cheeks throwing off the previous mature look. They gave Snape and I a bow.
I smiled. They had caught on quicker than I had expected. Then again, these were the Weasley twins; they were smarter than they acted. "It's good to see you two again, though I'm sorry that I've yet to visit your shop."
"Ah, don't worry, Harry…"
"…We don't mind."
"Just come back…"
"…as soon as you can…"
"…and you had better explain…"
"…just what the bloody hell's going on!" Fred finished with a smirk before shoving Snape and I towards the secret passage.
"Have a wonderful night!" they called in unison as we slipped away into the darkness.
When we arrived back, Snape took off towards the dungeons, grumbling about bloody twins and insufferable brats. I smirked. Sometimes, he really could be grouchy. I, myself, took off towards the DADA room.
"This is hopeless!" I heard Sirius yell from behind the door. "We'll never find him!"
"But isn't there anyway to track a portkey?" Gunnar said…wait, Gunnar?
"No, you have to have the actual portkey," I heard Alvis say. Was Lance there too?
"He's right. There isn't any way to find out where he is…"
"Do you think he was telling the truth?" I heard Lance mutter.
"Who?" McGonagall asked.
"That man…You-Know-Who…he said he wouldn't hurt Char…er….Harry. Is there any way that he was telling the truth?"
The room went quiet.
"No," I heard Hagrid say. "Tha' man's a monster! There ain't no way he'd just take 'im and not do nothin' to 'im…Oh Harry…" I could here him begin to blubber.
Okay, I can't stand the crying.
I slipped into the room quietly, without the notice of its occupants, and gave Hagrid a pat on the back. "It's okay, Hagrid."
"No it ain't!" Hagrid cried. "He's got 'arry an'…an'…." He turned around to see whoever was attempting to comfort him and stopped. "Harry?" he mumbled.
I grinned. "See? I told you it was okay." Then, I was attacked. Hagrid engulfed me in a giant bear hug and lifted me off the ground.
"Oh Harry," he began bawling even louder, "yer back! An' yer alive!"
"N-not for long," I squeaked out, "…if you keep…squeezing me…"
"Hagrid, give him some air," Remus said from behind. Hagrid gently set me back down and I stood in front of them.
"Harry…is it really you?" Hermione asked as her eyes began to fill with tears.
I looked down, my shoes suddenly becoming very interesting. "Yeah," I mumbled. "Sorry I didn't tell you, but I was worried that–" I didn't get to finish my sentence as I was swallowed up in yet another hug, though this one was not nearly as life threatening.
"Oh, Harry," Hermione cried, "it's so good to see you again! I have to tell Ron…and Molly! Oh, and Fred and George and Ginny and…" the list went on.
"Calm down, Hermione," I heard Sirius say from behind. Hermione let go and, no sooner was I grabbed again by Sirius.
"Harry, how did you get back?" he muttered into my hair, utterly bewildered. "What did he do to you? Are you okay? What happened?"
"Uh…that's going to take a lot of explaining."
"Well, it's a Saturday," McGonagall said, sitting down at one of the tables. "It's not as if we have anything that needs doing tomorrow, so we have quite a bit of time."
"Yeah, I guess." I sat down at one of the desks that filled the room and began my long, disbelieving tale.
La la la okay that's all for now....I have no idea when I'll update next...I WILL update, just not sure when....reviews might inspire me to update sooner (they usually do) but then again November is the month of evil for my AP Literature class, so I'm just not sure...hopefully I'll update within a few weeks! ;_;
Chapter 15: Too Many People – (aren't these titles creative?) Yeah, all I have to say is....Weasley's....revelations occur (big surprise) and plans are formed....oh, and people pass out....and did I mention a certain character pops up that we haven't seen in a while? Yep. By the by, this chapter was HELL to write.....literally too many people....*sigh*
Well, I will hopefully see you all soon! PLEASE REVIEW! It....inspires....