Sorry this took so long but I actually got hit by a few random bunnies that Ive been working on lately. If I get to a point with these new bunnies that I think Ill keep running with them, Ill post them.

This story is set back in the timeline of The Mummy Returns, so heres a basic rundown of the Harry Potter timeline in relation to this chapter.

1922: Harry Potter is born to Lily and James Potter.
1923: Harry is a year old and his parents are murdered by Voldemort.
1927: Harry is five and goes to Egypt with his distasteful relatives and becomes Kedar.
1933: Harry turns eleven and starts Hogwarts.
1936: Harrys fourth year at Hogwarts.
1937: Third Task takes place.

ShadeDancer

Disclaimer: Not even in my dreams do I own Harry Potterbelieve me, Ive tried, but the thought of lawsuits deters all such dreams. I also dont own anything recognizable from either the Mummy or the Mummy Returns.

Chapter 2: Judgement

Kedar relished in the pure heat of the desert sun, the feel of the sand beneath him. It was pure heaven after the long days and nights spent within the confines of the tent while healing Fleur. Nearby Sadiki lay patiently in the sparse shade of the oasis Kedar had escaped to as Ra circled overhead. They were all happy to be out. Kedar was even happier that he had been able to escape the hovering Cedric. He knew that he owed the Hufflepuff answers, but he wasn't ready to have that discussion at this moment.

"He is a stubborn youth." Imhotep spoke within his mind. "He will not be deterred for long."

"I know." Kedar replied back. "But I wished to have a chance to speak with you first. The Commanders will call for me soon and I still need to speak with Ardeth. Only after that I will explain things to Cedric."

"You still fear what I was before, despite accepting me into yourself." There was no accusation in Imhotep's words, only statement.

"I would not say fear, if I had doubts I would have purged you from my consciousness by now. If anything it is a disquieting sensation to have another mind within my body."

"The Books are powerful things." Was Imhoteps reply. "But be wary using them. With the Books can come a lust for power. You will attempt to right wrongs only to realize too late that you have started a chain of events that cannot be halted. By reversing the deaths of those two children you have altered the future, but we have no way of knowing if it is for better or for worse."

"I know." Kedar had known the risks, but it had felt like he had to bring Cedric and Fleur back. "If I knew there was a way to destroy the Books, I would for that reason alone. As it is I can only hope to keep them protected and safe."

Imhotep didn't reply. There was a way to destroy the books, but it was not one that Kedar would be ready to face yet. Oh, he didn't doubt the Medjai's resolve. It wasn't that. Kedar had a destiny before him that needed to be fulfilled and there was a great possibility that the Books would play a great role in the years to come. Imhotep did not envy Kedar one bit. He too had once had a destiny as great as the one Kedar now bore, but he had thrown it away for what he had believed to be a love to span the ages only to discover Anck-su-namun had loved him for the power and favor he had held with the Gods. The same Gods that had cursed him to torment ever since he had failed in his sacred duties.

"Imhotep…"

"Kedar." Whatever Kedar had been about to say or ask was interrupted by Ardeth's arrival. "I thought to find you here, my son."

Kedar stood and bowed slightly to Ardeth, hand over his heart to show respect and goodwill. "Amisi was kind enough to provide distraction so I could breathe the fresh air of the desert and escape the calls of the people."

Ardeth smiled as the two knelt face-to-face on the little bit of shaded sand the oasis provided. "Amisi is a wise and courageous girl. She feared for you while you were entranced, but stayed strong to aid you in whatever way possible. She is also the one that sent me out here after you, at your request, but only once she thought you had been given sufficient time to relax."

Kedar inclined his head and reminded himself to find a way to show his thanks to Amisi for her help in his escape as well as for sending Ardeth out to the oasis.

"I need to speak with you, but desired to do it away from the tribe. It is a grave matter and one I feel we needed to discuss and plan upon before I spoke with the Commanders."

Ardeth nodded. "I suspected as much. What is it that weighs upon your mind, my son?"

For a moment Kedar stayed silent, now that the moment was upon him he wasn't sure he would be able to tell Ardeth what he had done, but he was a Medjai and knew that it was his duty to speak.

"I battled Voldemort in the graveyard when I was taken, along with Cedric, from the maze the night of the third task." Kedar started, knowing he had to give the background information. "Voldemort used a ritual involving flesh, blood, and bone to construct himself a body capable of hosting his spirit. The bone was from his father, the blood was mine, and the flesh came from the man Benny who was once the servant of Imhotep."

Ardeth made to speak, but Kedar held his hand out to implore for silence.

"There is more. There was a point during the battle when our magic connected, mine with Voldemort's, forming a visible bond between the two of us. There was a third party involved in this bond. Imhotep."

Ardeth cursed. "The wizard's ritual brought the creatures soul back? He inhabits the body with Voldemort? We must speak with the Commander's at once. We must find a way to separate the two souls before they have a chance to learn too much from each other."

Kedar held his hand out again when Ardeth made to rise. "Imhotep's spirit is not residing within Voldemort's body. He is residing within mine."

The brief flare of hope that had lit Ardeth's eyes extinguished as if it had never been there. "Kedar…"

"I know what I did, Father." Kedar decided to implore to the paternal side of Ardeth instead of the Clan Leader. "I know the risk I took, but I also knew the risk of leaving Imhotep with Voldemort. Imhotep has sworn to me that he means no harm, said himself that he did not want to reside within Voldemort for fear of the darkness within the other man and what that darkness could do with his powers. Imhotep is not the creature that we were once charged with keeping in the grave, not since Anck-su-namun betrayed the love he had given her."

Ardeth stood and this time Kedar did not attempt to stop him. "I do not know about this Kedar. I trust your judgement, but I also do not know if this is you who is speaking to me. You have admitted that the creature is within you, how do I know he is not controlling you and feeding lies through your mouth?"

"I know father. I too had my doubts at first, but I have spoken with Imhotep and he even helped me battle Death for the soul of Fleur. I trust his words and not because he is controlling my reactions; he cannot lie to me within my mind as he is. We cannot lie to each other. I know we must now face the Commanders, but I wished to speak to you first. I now remand myself into your custody."

Kedar remained kneeling where he was but ritually began to divest himself of his weapons, laying each one on the sand at Ardeth's feet before offering up his wrists to be bound. He was suddenly very glad he had warned Amisi that this would likely happen so she could be strong when Ardeth brought him in. He just wished that he was able to spare her this pain completely and hoped that by the end of Council that he would have the chance to hold her in his arms once again.

With obvious reluctance in his motions, Ardeth bound Kedar's wrists and gathered up the weapons before leading Kedar over to Sadiki and helping him mount. Kedar was glad Ardeth showed him enough trust and respect to allow him to ride normally instead of thrown over his horse's back like a prisoner of war, though Ardeth controlled Sadiki through a lead rope. Actually, Kedar thought wirily as his father glanced back at him sadly, Ardeth was probably half-hoping that he would use this as a chance to escape facing the Commanders and their judgment.

... ... ... ... ...

Kedar sat, his hands still bound, in the middle of a semi-circle of Commanders. It didn't bother him as much as one would think, he had been under the scrutiny of the Commanders before and it wasn't like the bonds could actually hold him should he decide to escape. The Commanders had spent hours questioning him and prodding at his every word; they had even called the mage-priest Anhar in to chant spells to drive out evil over him. Even then the Commanders were still unwilling to trust in Imhotep's presence. Kedar had expected this, had known it would come to this, it was their sacred duty to make sure Imhotep's spirit remained in the afterlife after all. But Kedar had one more trick up his sleeve. Glancing covertly at Anhar, Kedar received a nod to the silent question he had asked the mage-priest who had long been his teacher. It was time to reveal his secret, the one that would prove beyond a doubt that he had not been compromised by Imhotep's presence.

"Commanders." Kedar spoke for the first time since the proceedings had started without having been directly addressed first. "I had hoped you would be able to trust my judgment and the facts presented to you, but I also understand the fear Imhotep is for our people. I have a way to prove to you that Imhotep is no longer a threat and I have not been compromised. Anhar is my witness to this truth."

The Commanders looked at each other and whispers rippled through their semi-circle as they debated on whether to let Kedar present his proof or if they should simply pass judgment based upon tribal law. Through all this Ardeth had remained silent, but as the whispers continued he finally spoke.

"Anhar." His voice cut through the whispers. "What form does this proof take? Is it magical in origin or mundane?"

Anhar studied Ardeth, knowing why the Chief Commander had held his tongue through all of the proceedings; Ardeth had been unwilling to take part in possibly condemning his son in all but blood to death.

"The means of proof is mundane, but it is a thing of magic to our people."

Ardeth nodded. "Then if the Commanders are willing to grant me a favor, I would like to see this proof. It may be grasping at straws, but I do not want to lose my son this day."

The Commanders held another whispered conference, Ardeth once again holding himself aloof from the proceedings. At last the oldest of the Commanders spoke for the rest.

"For you Ardeth, we will do this. We also do not want to be the hands responsible for Kedar's fate should it be that of death. We have long seen Kedar as the future Chief of our tribe and if Anhar believes this proof will exonerate your son we can do no less than to witness it. Show us your proof Kedar."

Anhar rose and approached Kedar, inclining his head to the young Medjai in respect and acknowledgement. "If you will permit me, young one?"

Kedar nodded and extended his right leg so that the outside of his ankle was facing up to view; Anhar would have done it himself, but he had offered his hands to be bound and wasn't going to be the one to release them.

"You have my permission Anhar."

With deference despite his own high standing in the tribes, Anhar revealed Kedar's ankle and the sacred mark it bore—a mark that would prevent him from being unwillingly compromised by evil and stated that he was Chosen. Slowly Ardeth rose and moved forward to get a better look, carefully studying the black tattoo that was similar to the one he had seen many years ago upon Rick O'Connell's wrist. The dark lines of the Sacred Mark were unmistakable.

"It is real." Anhar reassured them all. "Kedar came to me about it after learning of the one born by Rick O'Connell. I confirmed it then and I confirm it now. The mark is untainted, Kedar is untainted."

Ardeth closed his eyes in joy before pulling Kedar into his arms, relief washing over both of them.

"Thank Allah." Ardeth murmured in Kedar's ear. "I could not have stood it to lose you, my son."

Ardeth let Kedar go, but did not move away, and Kedar had to turn slightly so he could face the Commander that now approached him.

"Be free Kedar, son of Ardeth." He said as he removed the rope from Kedar's wrists. "You have our trust."


Posted On: January 31, 2010