Chapter Three - I'm comin' out
Voldemort was not having a good week. First, Harry Potter did something to him that scrambled every nerve in his body and weakened him tremendously. He figured is had to be Harry Potter, since not even Dumbledore could have done this, the man was too kind-hearted.
Second, the team he sent to get the prophesy had gotten captured! One of his Ministry spies, before he was arrested, saw the team he sent, including Pettigrew, in the Wizengamot chambers, so now the Wizarding World knew that he was back.
"So what if they know I'm back. They still fear the very name of me," Voldemort said to himself out loud. (Gotta love megalomaniacs.) "And soon, they will fear me even more, for I will soon strike, and strike them where it hurt."
"I didn't know you knew anything about politics," said Hermione as soon as Dumbledore and Harry told of their day at the Ministry.
"I don't, really," said Harry.
"What?" asked Hermione monotonously.
"I mostly just played that by ear, recalling everything I've ever seen of crime and political dramas, as well making sure to be the opposite of Fudge," said Harry with a straight, honest face. Hermione just stared at her friend in horror.
Ron waved his hand in front of Hermione's face. "I think you broke her," he said.
"Anyway, Harry, just a reminder that one of the perks of claiming your seat is a that you are now allowed to use magic freely," said Dumbledore with a twinkle in his eyes. "The age of restriction no longer applies to you."
"Cool!" Harry then conjured a bucket of water, and dumped it on Hermione's head.
"It didn't work," said George.
"She's still frozen," said Fred.
"Wait a minute," said Ron, as Hermione started to come around. Blinking a few times, she felt moisture on her skin. Feeling her hair and clothes, she found that someone had soaked her with water.
"Alright, who did this!" she screamed, as everyone now laughed.
"I did, as I was testing my new magical freedom," said Harry with a grin.
"Hmph. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to change," said Hermione, and she stomped out of the room.
"I'll let her cool down a bit, then apologize," said Harry.
During all this, Sirius was sitting, stunned at the fact that he was now a free man.
"I'm free. I can't believe it, I'm free!" he kept muttering to himself.
"Believe it, Sirius," said Remus. "And the best news is, you can finally take in Harry."
"Sirius, I think it would be best if... " started Dumbledore.
Everyone looked at Harry in shock at his outburst.
"No, no more Dursleys. I have a feeling. This is the school year we need to end this, or things will only go from bad to worse," said Harry.
"Are you sure?" asked Dumbledore.
"Very sure. It's like... magic is crying out for this to end, and end as soon as possible," said Harry.
"I see. This must be from all the magical creatures that are now a part of you. If you are right, and I fear you are, then we haven't got a moment to lose. Severus informed me last night that Voldemort was severely weakened from what you did to yourself, Harry. Apparently the soul fragment that was in Harry was pulling a bit of Harry's magic into Voldemort, helping to sustain him in his body," said Dumbledore. "Now that Harry has pulled the plug, he lost a good deal of his strength."
"Wait, you mean Harry was a Horcrux?" asked Sirius.
"How do you know about them?" asked Dumbledore.
"Dear old mum," said Sirius sarcastically. "She tried to cram as much Dark Arts stuff into my head as she could, but I kept resisting. After I split, the Potters took me to a St. Mungo's mind-healer, and I got what did get in erased, though I didn't get it all. I didn't have the time, as I would have been in the hospital long after school started that year."
"I thought you were a little screwy in the head that year," said Remus in jest.
"Oi!" yelled Sirius while the twins, Ron, and Harry laughed.
"Anyway, one of the books that lady crammed into me was one about horcruxes. It also included a spell on how to detect them. I think it was 'Reperio Totus Scindo Animus'," he said, doing the wand movements to go with it.
It was a great surprise that, when the spell was cast, an item in the curio cabinet started to glow. Professor Dumbledore got up and went to the cabinet. Looking through the glass, he found a locket with a serpentine 'S' on it.
"Sirius, do you know where this locket came from?" he asked the dog animagus.
"No, I have no idea," Sirius replied when he joined him at the cabinet, along with Harry.
"Wait, I've seen that before, but where?" Harry started searching through his memories. I know I've seen it somewhere. A locket with an 'S' on it... locket... lock...heart! Lockhart! I saw it in second year! That narrows it down, now onto the 'S'... s... essssss... Harry looks up. "I saw an image of it in the Chamber of Secrets! It was on Slytherin's statue!"
"That means that Tom has been gathering the treasures of the Founders," said Dumbledore, just as Hermione came back in, with Ginny in tow.
"Sorry for the water, Hermione, but you have to admit, it was a lot better than trying to slap you awake," said Harry.
"I forgive you, Harry. Did I miss anything?" The group caught her up on everything.
"So we now have another one of Tom's horcruxes, and we're trying to figure out what's left?" she summarized.
"Yep, and we were just about to start" said Harry. "The only thing we're sure about is what was left of Gryffindor's: the Sorting Hat and his Sword. Does Hogwarts, A History list any personal or favored items of the Founders?"
Hermione clapped her hands. "Good thinking! Let me get my book."
Ron just shook his head. "You just had to activate the monster, didn't you?"
With Hermione's help, they figured out what other items might be horcruxes: Ravenclaw's diadem and Hufflepuff's cup. The last person to see the diadem was Ravenclaw's daughter, now the Grey Lady. The cup was in the hands of the Smith family, as they were the descendants of Hufflepuff.
"I also wouldn't put it past him to make another one. I'm betting his snake, seeing as how close he is with it," said Harry.
"Harry, do you remember if there was anything else on the statue?" asked Dumbledore.
Harry went over the memory once again. "A ring... it had a symbol on it," he said.
"What was the symbol?" asked Remus.
"A... a line, a circle, and... a triangle, the circle in the triangle and the line dividing them both in half."
Dumbledore gasped. "It can't be," he whispered.
"What is it, sir?" asked Harry.
"Tom made a horcrux out of one of the Deathly Hallows," replied Dumbledore.
"What are they?" asked Hermione.
"A legend," replied Sirius. "The story goes that three brothers were traveling and came across a raging river. The three conjured a bridge to cross, and were met by Death halfway. He congratulated them for beating him, and rewarded them with an item of their request. The eldest brother asked for an unbeatable wand, and was given one made of elder wood. The second asked for a stone to resurrect a loved one, and Death picked up a river stone and imbued it with that power. The third asked for a cloak to hide, and Death gave him the cloak off his back."
"Nice summery, but I'm afraid that the Hallows are real," said Dumbledore.
"What?!" exclaimed everyone in the room.
"The three items were given to three brothers: the Peverell Brothers."
"Peverell. I remember that name," said Remus. "After James' parents died, we were in the graveyard, James was leaving a flower on each of his ancestor's graves. One of the graves had the Hallows' symbol and this name: Ignotus Peverell."
"That would mean I'm a descendant of his, which means that my cloak..." started Harry.
"Is the Cloak of True Invisibility," finished Dumbledore.
Harry's legs gave out underneath him, and he sat down hard on te couch, nearly breaking it with his weight.
"Wait, if Harry has the cloak, how did You-Know-Who get the stone?" asked Ron.
"He got it from his uncle, Mofrin Gaunt," said Dumbledore. Harry just placed his head on his hands.
"He's a distant cousin of mine, isn't he?" he asked through a gap in his hands.
"He is, Harry. Tom is a descendant of Antioch Peverell, the recipient of the Resurrection Stone," said the headmaster. "Antioch is also the maternal great-great grandfather of Salazar Slytherin, just as Ignotus was the maternal great-great grandfather of Godric Gryffindor."
"What of the third item, the Elder Wand?" asked Harry, lifting his head. Dumbledore said nothing, but withdrew his wand.
"How?" asked everyone in the room.
"Cadmus Peverell never married, having lost his life in his sleep after bragging about his unbeatable wand. The wand passed from owner to owner as each one was defeated in a duel, until I claimed it from Grindelwald at the end of World War II," said Dumbledore.
"So what do these items have to do with Harry?" asked Ginny.
"I believe that Harry is to become the Master of Death. What that truly is, I have no idea, for the items haven't been together since Waterloo," said Dumbledore. "A wizard soldier in Napoleon's army managed to get a hold of all three items and tried to use them against the British forces, but they instead sealed off his magic. The wand was won from the soldier just before his magic was sealed, and the Potter and Gaunt heirs at the time took their treasures back. I believe that the items can be used individually by anyone, but together can only be used by a descendant of a Peverell."
"Well, at least we're a little closer," said Hermione.
"Yes, and maybe at school we'll be closer still," said Dumbledore. "Well, I must be off. Oh, and Sirius, congratulations on becoming the DADA teacher." Dumbledore left the room, and a loud eruption of noise was heard, celebrating Sirius' new job.
The school letters came to them two days later, and within them was a surprise to many of the inhabitants.
"Prefect? I got chosen to be PREFECT?!" exclaimed Harry.
"Harry, I heard your good news. I'm the fifth year girls prefect!" squealed Hermione, coming into the room, along with the twins.
"Congrats, Hermione, but why was I chosen?" asked Harry.
"Probably because you get good grades, you won't stand for bullying, and are more than willing to stop a fight," said Ron. He was going to be jealous of Harry for getting the prefecture, but decided that Harry was the balance between him and Hermione, one of rules and rule-breaking, of studying and having fun. Ron was growing up more this summer, but he still wasn't ready for responsibility.
"Yeah, you're probably right," said Harry. To the twins "I bet you five galleons that Malfoy is the Slytherin prefect."
"We don't take sucker bets, Harry," said the twins in unison. Everyone had a laugh.
"Well, let's see what Sirius wants us to get for DADA," said Hermione, and everyone pulled out their booklist.
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 5) by Miranda Goshawk
Defensive Situations or How to fight your way out of a wet paper bag by Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody
"I'm surprised we didn't have this book last year," said Ron.
"I'm thinking Crouch, Jr. didn't know about it," said Harry. "Anyway, let's head downstairs so that your mum can gush over the fact that her adoptive son had made prefect."
"What makes you think..."
"... you're her adoptive son?" asked the twins.
"Please, I know exactly how she thinks of me. She's not that subtle," said Harry, and everyone had a light laugh.
Heading down to the kitchen, Harry and Hermione pinned their badges to their shirts and walked in. Mrs. Weasley took one look at them, saw the badges, and squealed with delight.
"YES! I knew you two would make prefect!" she cried.
"Told you," smirked Harry as he was given a huge hug by Mrs. Weasley. It would have been rib-cracking, if not for the upgrades.
"Anyway, we need to go and get our books. It won't be too long before we head back to school," said Hermione. Ron groaned at the thought.
The day finally came for the teens to return to Hogwarts. Right after breakfast, Harry cast a feather-light charm, followed by a shrinking charm on his trunk. He offered to do the others, and they thankfully took him up on it.
The large group of teens and adults took the subway to King's Cross, except for Harry, as he didn't want to cause a scene in Muggle London, especially in an area where there are people from all over the world passing through the station on their way to business meetings. So himself, Sirius, and Moody flame-ported to Platform 9 and 3/4, where they waited for the others. Sirius decided to travel to the school with Harry, as the two of them had a feeling that something was going to happen.
The Weasleys, Hermione and their guards walked in around 10:30. While waiting for them, Harry had attracted a lot of attention due to his new size and appendages. Most of the muggleborn wizards and witches who've gone to Gen-tech were a bit miffed that there was someone who could do magical creature splicing, but some like what they had gotten and admired Harry's choices. Colin Creevey, a Gryffindor fourth year, was the lion-boy that Tom the barman had mentioned, and was ecstatic that Harry was a dragon-man. He kept jumping up and down, trying to find his camera.
Draco looked at Harry from afar, saw what he looked like now, saw the prefect badge, and thought, Father can fuck himself, there is no way I am going to antagonize Potter. Not this year, and not ever again! He looks like he could tear me in two, take my head off, rip my heart out, or even all three!
Everyone got loaded onto the train, and left right at eleven on the dot. Harry and Hermione then left for the prefect meeting.
Once there, they met the other fifth year prefects: Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott of Hufflepuff, Anthony Goldstein and Padma Patil for Ravenclaw, and of course, for Slytherin, Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson. The sixth and seventh year prefects where also in this meeting, though Harry only recognized one: Cho Chang of Ravenclaw.
"Good lord, Potter. What did you do to become a man worthy of my station?" asked Parkinson.
Harry snorted, letting off a bit of flame and a puff of smoke, which surprised everyone except Hermione. "I'm sorry, I don't associate with mongrels that belong in a pound. Anyway, muggle technology is doing wonders these days," he said. Harry then reached up and stretched, intentionally flaring the muscles of his chest and arms. Drool was starting to amass quickly from the teenage girls in the compartment, again save for Hermione, while envy was prominent on the faces of the guys.
"Potter, put your arms down. We don't need to be drowning in here," said the Ravenclaw head boy as he and the Hufflepuff head girl entered.
"Alright, I'm your head boy for this year, Michael Stone, and this is the head girl, Allison Snodgrass. Now, fifth year prefects, you've all read your rulebooks, right?" Eight heads nodded. "Good, now then, what Allison is passing out now is a log book. In it you'll be writing down any confiscated items, rule infractions, point rewards or deductions, etc., etc. At the end of the week, unless you're on patrol, you'll hand in the books, where they'll be reviewed by the heads of all four houses and the headmaster."
The meeting continued for the next hour, where they set up the school patrol schedule and the one to be used on the train. Harry and Hermione took the first shift.
An hour later found their shift done and they joined back up with Ron, Ginny and Sirius, who got a compartment with Neville Longbottom and a Ravenclaw in Ginny's year named Luna Lovegood.
They had barely said hello when an explosion rocked the train.
"Shit! He would attack right now!" said Sirius. Looking out the window, the group found a bunch of Death Eaters in the air on brooms.
"Go check on the engineer, Sirius. Ginny, you and Luna gather all the fourth years and below, as well as anyone fifth year and up who doesn't want to fight or are injured, and get them into the first three cars," said Harry. "The rest of us are going to do what we can to stop them. I'm going into the air. Maybe some dragon fire will deter them."
"Be careful, Harry. Voldemort's lost a lot of forces, and he's going to be out for blood," said Ginny.
"I'll do what I can, but I won't promise anything," said Harry, who opened the window, pushed himself out through it, climbed up to the roof, and unfurled his wings. The speed the train was traveling at was more than enough to help launch Harry into the air.
Harry pumped his wings, flying higher and higher. The Death Eaters have never seen a magically spliced person before, and paused in their spell casting. Sure, they come across spliced kids in Diagon Alley before and just sneered at them, but here was the first one to have dragon wings, and worse yet, it was bloody Potter!
Harry took the opening that surprise gave him and launched his attack, a stream of dragon fire pouring from his mouth.
"AAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!!!" screamed one of the Death Eaters as he was hit by the stream. His arm was completely burned and his wand was destroyed. He fell off his broom and landed badly in the field below.
The Death Eaters shook off their shock and divided their forces. Half went after Harry, while the other half continued attacking the train. But because of the division, the students on the train, as well as Sirius, who had sent a patronus call to Professor Dumbledore, put up a better resistance.
Harry, meanwhile, was fairing just as well. He kept dodging, weaving in and out of the spell fire, and attacked with his own spells and dragon fire. Five more of the twelve facing against him fell to his spells and his fire. Suddenly, the Death Eaters stop firing and back away. Harry's danger sense kicked into overdrive just then, and he quickly veered off to the right, just narrowly avoiding the Avada Kedavra that was aimed at him, even though it wouldn't have hurt him, it would make him be disoriented for a moment, and he couldn't afford that.
"Ah, Tom, my favorite playmate. How are you doing?" asked Harry as he watched Voldemort float up to Harry's flight level.
"So this is what you've done to yourself, Potter. I must say, this is an improvement. What ritual did you use?" asked Voldemort.
"Nope, no ritual. This was muggle science. I'd explain it to you, but it's over both our heads. Anyway, I think it's time for you to leave, as I really don't feel up to roasted snake. Reducto!" said Harry, casting a very powerful Reductor curse at the Dark Lord. Voldemort, who was shocked at the sheer size of the spell, couldn't dodge fast enough, and lost his left leg... and a bit more.
"AUGH! Not Asmodeus! You'll pay for this Potter!" screamed Voldemort, who disapparated from the field of battle, followed closely by the remaining active Death Eaters.
Harry was a bit shocked at what he learned about Voldemort just then, and just floated back down to the train and landed on the roof. He climbed back down to the exterior door to the car and entered inside. It didn't take him long before he found his friends, along with Sirius and Professor Dumbledore.
"Ah, Harry. Welcome back. I see it's not even the first of the year and you've had a run-in with Voldemort. Could you please tell us what happened?" asked Dumbledore.
Harry mechanically told them about his fight, but when he got to what happened with Voldemort, it had finally processed, and he had a shit-eatin' grin on his face.
"Well, what happened?" asked Hermione.
"Guy code: TMI," replied Harry.
"Never mind. Ginny, Luna, let's go," said Hermione, grabbing the other two girls.
"What was that?" asked Sirius.
"Something Harry and I set up with Hermione for when we start talking about male body parts," said Ron.
"Anyway, I blasted a very large Reductor at him, and he didn't get out of the way in time. I took out his left leg... as well as Wee Willy Winky," said Harry, still with the grin on his face. "Sad thing is, he called it Asmodeus. I've read Redwall, and Asmodeus is a very large adder in that book. I caught a flash before it was destroyed, and Voldie was vastly overcompensating himself, especially now." Harry started to laugh, which caused the others to follow suit.
"Well, everything is back to normal, more or less. No one was injured too badly, just a few scrapes here and there. You and the others did an excellent job in organizing the students to help protect the train. Now then, I will leave you all to continue your journey," said Dumbledore, who disapparated moments later.
The train arrived at the station three hours later. Harry had checked up on everyone and made a list of anything that was damaged or destroyed. Most of the students had said that they've already been seen by other prefects, but there were a few that had been missed. He checked with the other prefects to compare notes.
Once at the station, the first years were called over by Professor Grubbly-Plank, Hagrid's substitute from last year. The prefects and heads helped get the second year and older students loaded into the carriages. Harry had always thought that they were guided magically up to the castle, but now, he could see what was pulling them. Each carriage had a pair of winged, skeletal thin horses hitched to them.
"Hermione, could you give me your hand?" asked Harry. Holding out her hand, Harry grabbed it and brushed it against the horse's hindquarters. "Can you feel that?"
"Yes, I can. I always thought that the carriages were pulled magically, not by an invisible horse," said Hermione.
"I did, too, but I can see the horse, and it's very thin, and has leathery, bat-like wings," said Harry.
"They're called Thestrals," said Neville. "I asked Hagrid about them after a Care of Magical Creature class in third year, and he told me that he's been raising and training them to pull the carriages."
"Wow, for once Hagrid actually gave us a decent magical creature to learn about," said Ron.
"They're meat eaters," replied Neville.
"Spoke too soon," said Ron gloomily, while the others lightly laughed. The ride was over a few minutes later when they reached the main doors to Hogwarts.
Voldemort was in pain. Major pain. No, not from his destroyed leg, but from where his trouser snake was. Because the wound was still an open sore, it badly hurt when had to use the bathroom.
"Potter, the next time I see you, I'm cutting yours off, graft it to me, then I'm gonna kill you!" screamed the Dark Lord while on the can, trying to ignore the stinging and inflamation.
AN: Well, this was a joy to write. I've got some work going on for the next chapter of K&K, but don't expect to see it soon. I'm just not in a DBZ mood.