Spoilers/warnings: All Harry Potter books, including Deathly Hallows. Story takes place after DH and is a continuation of my first story Masters of Manipulation. DH compliant, EWE. Story will contain: character deaths, violence, sexual situations, coarse language. Rated M.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros. Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's note: As I already explained in my profile, I took part two down after losing every plotpoint and draft I made with the crash of my laptop. I just had so many knots to tie that I couldn't do it by heart anymore. However, after receiving countless emails and PMs, and 'cause the story kept nagging at me in the back of my mind, I decided to rewrite MOM2. Rewriting this story also gives me the opportunity to change what I didn't like about the first draft and keep the bits I did like. I will take your reviews at heart and incorporate the concrit where I can. I hope you will enjoy reading about Vishna, Vlad, Bárthory, Rose, and everyone else again. I know I missed them. On with the temporal mess, again. Head-desk.
I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed MOM2 before, and hopefully, you will like it even better this time around.
Masters of Manipulation: Part Two
Prologue: The Oncoming Storm
It was a beautiful, sunny day on his sixty-ninth birthday. July 31st 2050 came in the midst of an unenglish dry heatwave with temperatures above thirty degrees Celsius for weeks now. A nice cooling breeze seemingly brushed his clothing and as he closed his eyes he could almost imagine being outdoors. Harry remembered being out on the patio with his wife Ginny and his three children again. Everybody was laughing and having a good time, because Ron had given a demonstration of the latest Weasley products. The wind felt comforting, like he was finally home and he wanted to remain in that state of bliss; but Harry knew he lay on the floor in the Department of Mysteries and that breeze was a signal of something far more ominous than mere wind. She was coming and he was stuck here, unable to move a muscle.
He hoped she would hurry up and finish him off already, and he envisioned bitterly what his tombstone would say, 'Here lies the great Harry James Potter, utter fool and moron.'
A blinding flash caused him to close his eyes once more. A crash followed when the door, he bolted, got thrown off its hinges. Everything was lost. He knew it was the end when the footsteps approached him.
'Potter?' a concerned, male voice said.
Surprised, Harry opened his eyes to see a pair of dark ones stare straight at him. 'Riddle? I thought you were dead?' Harry whispered.
'Eh, what can I say … been there, done that, didn't take my fancy. What are you doing here on the ground? This really is not a good time to take a nap.'
Tom knelt down and tried hoisting the now chuckling Harry up. 'Leave me,' said Harry in a hoarse voice.
'Oh, please, spare me the Gryffindor heroics. You know how much patience I have with those,' Tom said, annoyed.
'No, you're missing the point. You need to go … beyond.'
'Well, I am trying to avoid going beyond, Potter, if you don't mind.'
'Behind the veil … four pages … you need to …,' and Harry pointed toward the dais behind him where an ancient stone archway stood as everything turned black upon him.
'Harry! Harry!' yelled Hermione.
'It was her voice, wasn't it? It couldn't be,' Harry thought, confused. But someone was also shaking him rather persistently. 'Knock it off,' he muttered, and he was certain he saw a telltale silver flash.
'Potter, wake up. She is coming,' said Tom, and he glanced at the door apprehensively.
'The books … Tracker … behind the veil … the power lies. Hurry,' muttered Harry.
Tom frowned, when…
She was there. She Apparated right in from of them. The breeze, that followed her around, brushed her brown, bushy, long hair and her black robes billowed in the wind. But Harry only had eyes for her right hand, where her wand rested. She had it raised and pointed it firmly to the both of them. It was a familiar one, that wand. He had held it in his hand once upon a time, but now, he was no longer its Master and the Elder Wand was most definitely hers.
'Well, how touching,' he heard her say mockingly, and she tilted her head slightly at the endearing visual before her. 'My two favourite men are going to die together.'
A jet of green left her wand. Tom, unceremoniously, dropped Harry and swirled out of the way of the Killing Curse. It impacted on one of the stone benches and the bricks scattered around everywhere. For a second Tom seemed to weigh his options, glancing at the wand in his hand. But when she whipped her wand around to take another shot at him, Tom grimaced, took one last look at Harry, mumbled something about crazy Gryffindoric ideas, and dove through the veil before the next curse had a chance to hit him.
Harry had never felt so relieved in his entire life.
A snort came out of her mouth at observing this strange action of known death-phobic Tom Marvolo Riddle. It drew Harry's attention back to her, and alas for Harry, hers to him. An amused smirk plastered all over her familiar features as she observed his immobility on the ground.
'Thought I'd save you for last, Harry,' she explained rather mockingly. 'No hard feelings, but we all know he was the bigger threat to me. Any famous last words for posterity to marvel upon?'
Harry just stared at her. He still couldn't quite believe this was happening. He should have seen it coming, he should have.
'No? How disappointing.' She pointed her wand and casually repeated, 'Avada Kedavra.'
As Harry's final breath left his mouth, a cackling female laugh filled the Death Chamber alongside with an unusual dash of silver lighting.
'Harry! Harry! Wake up!'
Harry opened his eyes and stared straight into a pair of brown eyes, similar to the ones that had just killed him. It was unbelievably unnerving.
Hermione watched him worriedly. 'You were screaming. I thought I'd wake you from whatever nightmare you were having,' she said apologetically. 'I am off to see McGonagall. You have an appointment at the Auror Office at nine, so you better get up too.'
Harry sat up straight and checked out his body quickly with his hands. Every limb was still intact and functioning, but his pyjamas were soaking wet and he felt like he was coming down with a flu of some kind. His head pounded severely. That had to have been the worst nightmare he ever had, and in his case, that was saying something. It had felt so real. He was sincerely troubled by this dream or whatever the hell it was.
'What date is it?' he asked Hermione, confused.
'It is May fourth 1998. You just vanquished the Dark Lord and brought him back to life only days ago. Don't tell me you forgot all about that?' Hermione said, while looking at him like he was the most pitiable creature of mankind for doing something that insane. 'Oh, and just so you know, your "house-guest" is already up and running about … As is his new buddy, Ron,' she added sarcastically.
Hary closed his eyes and groaned.
Hermione slapped him on the back of his already pounding head. 'Since you caused this whole situation– '
'Since I caused it, I?' Harry objected.
'Since you caused it,' Hermione continued, folding her arms over each other, 'I think you better get out of bed and play referee before they kill each other, because I most certainly am through wasting my time on splitting up those two.'
Harry's counterargument was silenced by a stern glare that would have made McGonagall proud.
'You got him here; now deal with it,' she stated; but when she opened the bedroom door to leave, the heated voices from downstairs flooded in. 'Annoying, overbearing, jealous pricks,' Hermione mumbled on her way out.
'The door –,' Harry tried, futile.
Harry groaned once more at the concept of having to deal with another day of pointless bickering between Ron Weasley and Tom Riddle; and as he got out of bed to shut the door and eliminate the sounds that came through it, his nightmare was slowly beginning to fade in the distance.