Hell Hath No Fury...
This Chapter by briandrozd2000
modified by Skysaber
Azalea Harriette Potter, known by the loathed monikers Harri Potter, the Girl-who-Lived, and the Witch-who-Conquered, allowed herself to smile as she saw her former friends begin the ritual. She was abusing the life-debt each of those here owed her, and soon it would all be over.
It had been seven long years since she had finally killed that bastard Tom Riddle. Surprisingly her life had only gotten worse after that. Before Voldemort's death at her hand, she had figured her life couldn't get worse. After all, she was still living with her Aunt and Uncle every summer and had had to deal with Snape and Malfoy at Hogwarts. Living with the Dursleys had become an exercise in paranoia as she reached her teens, her uncle and cousin only kept from sexually abusing her thanks to her accidental magic, and while she had no fear of her aunt raping her, Aunt Petunia had rapidly become the most violent of the trio as Harri's likeness to her mother grew. Hogwarts offered little safety with both Snape and Malfoy attempting to force themselves upon her. The thought of what might have happened were she not practically immune to the imperious curse always left her cold. All of the other professors seemed to be more than willing to turn a blind eye to Snape's advances and abuse of power, and under Dumbledore's reign as headmaster, Malfoy could have gotten away with murder.
It was ironic, in a way, that the only person Malfoy truly tried to murder was Dumbledore himself.
Hunting down the horcruxes was practically a vacation for her compared to the constant fear she had had to deal since her fourteenth birthday. There were times during the hunt where she actually felt safe, after all.
With Voldemort's death however, Kingsley's ministry and what remained of the Order of the Phoenix began moving against her. For about a week or two, she was toted around as a champion, and told repeatedly that the wizarding world of Europe owed her their lives. Then, in an effort to show 'healing' from the war, they tried to force her into marriage with Malfoy.
Even now, her throat filled with bile at the thought of Malfoy touching her in any way.
Hopefully the muggle-style letter bomb she'd sent to the bastard before the ritual began would take care of that nightmare. At least it ought to spoil his ongoing wedding plans.
She had fled from Europe. After even her supposed friends had turned on her she felt she had little choice. It was also yet another reason to loath the nickname 'Harri' that all of her friends insisted upon using. Honestly, what was wrong with 'Azalea'? She'd come to like the luxury of having her first name be used while abroad.
Traveling across the world was a boon to her. For the first time since her fourteenth birthday, she felt truly safe. Oh, sure, she had to always look over her shoulder for British aurors or Order members hoping to kidnap her, but that was just it. Everywhere else in the world, their actions would be kidnapping, and she could count on aid from local aurors and other good Samaritans, unlike back in Britain where the only one she could count on was herself.
Muggle doctors and magical healers had mostly managed to correct the ravages the years of malnourishment, abuse, and neglect had caused her, and this ritual would do the rest. She had learned a variety of magic during her travels, from ancient runes to golem crafting and advanced transfiguration to a dozen of forms of magic British wizards had long disdained as barbaric or even 'dark': Chinese-style alchemy, chi sorcery, Native American shamanism, sympathetic magic, and even a few old druidic practices preserved by the colonists.
The ritual that was currently happening was one of her own design, a combination of several rituals she wanted done. Azalea lay on the freshly skinned pelt of a jaguar she'd slain herself as part of the initiation rites of Aztec jaguar warriors, in a reed boat, on the central slab of rock in a druidic circle, wearing the dwarf-wrought chainmail and ceremonial regalia of a maiden to enter service as a valkyrie, bearing the runes and totems of Cherokee eagle shamans and Norse bear soldiers, surrounded by pots and jars full of the secrets of Chinese alchemy and Egyptian sorcery, with an Irish bone harp resting at her feet, and those were just the more recognizable elements in the vast web of painted ink runes and symbols surrounding her in the druidic stone ring.
She'd contacted her one-time friends and promised she'd return to England if they agreed to pay back their life-debt by performing this ritual.
Even Dumbledore would have been hard pressed to realize the ritual required the sacrifice of all other participants save the subject - namely herself. It was too bad he was already nine years dead, and thus unable to participate. The Aztecs had been undisputed masters of sacrificial magic, with more than a dozen ways to destroy a human life in return for power, and the druids had not a few themselves. And what better way to destroy your enemies than to transform their lives into benefit for oneself?
Seeing those who had betrayed her repeatedly start to silently scream in pain, even as the magic in the ritual forced them to complete it warmed her heart in a way that she couldn't even begin to describe.
The first part of the ritual after a web of initiation rites was expanding and supercharging her magical core, changing it and her DNA with it. While she had agreed to return to England, she'd never agreed to stay; and once the ritual was complete, her altered magical signature would allow her to disappear completely from the ministry's radar. As far as any magical tracing or detection would care, 'Harri Potter' would be dead. The alterations to her DNA - purely a side effect of changing her magical core - would ensure that even if British wizards ever thought to try finding her though such muggle methods, they'd fail. That this part of the ritual would regress her age back to seventeen was just another side effect of the Aztec magic involved, one year for every life lost as part of the ritual, and one she couldn't decide was a blessing or a curse, as she'd grown to enjoy the respect afforded to herself as a maturing adult and her youth did not have many good memories associated with it.
The pain that she'd normally be experiencing due to such extensive and permanent physiological changes was naturally being shunted to her betrayers instead. No reason for her to go through that torture when her 'friends' had so eagerly volunteered.
The second part of the ritual was combining some of that sympathetic magic with good old Egyptian necromancy, specifically tomb robbing curses. The target of that part of the ritual was actually the galleons, sickles, and knuts she carried on her. She carried only the barest fraction of her fortune - seven coins of each type - but the voodoo would use the coins on her as a representation of the rest of her fortune still within the goblin vaults. The necromancy was the wasting disease that the rest of her fortune would carry; anyone touching galleons, sickles, or knuts that belonged to her would catch a disease that would rot away their bodies, eventually killing them, so long as the twenty-one coins she owned remained hers. Better still, since the curse was on the coins she carried with her, it would be undetectable on the rest of her fortune to any of the goblins' or Ministry's standard tests. Even a curse-breaker like Bill, who was familiar with Egyptian curses, wouldn't be able to find the magic that was killing them, as it wasn't directly on any of the coins in her vaults.
And her will, which thanks to the first part of the ritual would be active as soon as the ritual finished, was all set to offer to divide her remaining fortune among anyone in the wizarding world who wanted some. Between the size of the combined Potter-Black fortunes at about six million galleons and the reduced size of the British wizarding world at a little above thirty thousand, everyone would get at least two hundred galleons and change out of it. And the traitorous and greedy goblins would be the first to go.
Of course, the second part would keep the sacrifices alive until the last of the fortune was divided up among those who wanted it; they had to be alive to witness the curse begin.
It was the third part that would ensure their death however. It would send her to someplace she could call home, someplace far beyond the reach of whatever British wizards might survive the plague she was about to unleash upon them, someplace where she could belong and find true friends and maybe a boyfriend who would love her for who she is and not her fame, someplace where she could still make a difference. And maybe, if she were really lucky, someplace where she could gain some measure of vengeance against the two people who had made her life hell, but would still escape this last bit of vengeance: Dumbledore and Snape.
Azalea could only smile as the ritual was finished, and those who had consistently betrayed her could finally scream in pain before finally collapsing, all completely unconscious. She sat up in her boat and did a quick glance over the gunwales at the limp bodies to count them and verify they were all out. Hermione Granger - the know-it-all bookworm who'd been her first ever friend, only to abandon her when rumors suggested she was the heir of Slytherin in their second year, and then once more after she was named by the Goblet of Fire. Ron Weasley - according to the press her first boyfriend, the first boy to try taking liberties with her within Hogwarts' halls and then getting away with it while she was the one reprimanded. Ginny Weasley - her second friend, the girl she'd saved from the Chamber of Secrets, who constantly tried to pimp her off to whatever guy wanted her. Arthur and Molly Weasley - her surrogate parents who'd granted 'official' approval of the proposed marriage to Malfoy. George Weasley - her surviving business partner who with his twin had sold pornographic pictures of her through the shop she'd provided the money for. And finally Remus Lupin - wolf animagus and supposed friend to her parents, who'd consistently used his position as her godfather to strip away her rights and sell her out to Dumbledore, enforcing her virtual enslavement at the Dursleys through his legal authority over her, and who had in the end faked his death during the war, cowardly leaving his wife and child to be killed so he could live, then hiding out until it was all over - just like his friend Peter had done after the first war.
Azalea nodded in satisfaction, and went over the last remaining steps in her plans. Around her in the reed boat were tucked in dozens of magic trunks, some she'd acquired during her travels, others she'd made herself, all packed with gems, jewelry, magical artifacts, books and treasures from her vaults, and the shrunken furniture from a half dozen houses, basically everything she owned that wasn't British magical coins. Most of this were things she'd been forced to leave behind when fleeing out of England and that she hadn't been able to get to while out touring the world, including both Black and Potter libraries. All of these chests had recently been covered in gold leaf and the hieroglyphics of grave goods that were to follow a person as they passed into the next world - which was exactly her intentions.
Wealth was power, and Azalea Potter had had enough of being powerless in her life.
Most of her real property, houses and such, had been sold off long ago, either by Remus to fuel his wild parties and outlandish high living lifestyle while she was left to languish and labor in poverty and squalor, or by Dumbledore to run his secret projects. The rest would sadly have to be left behind as she couldn't sell them off without alerting people to her plan. But she'd left them empty and filled with enough traps to keep a team of curse breakers busy for years, deeding them in her will to Ministry toads like Percy, Fudge and Umbridge. If they found the traps and curses in time they might not be killed by them, but the cost of removing them from the houses would be greater than the value of those estates.
There was one other chest, one she would not be taking with her, that one covered in the hieroglyphs used by Egyptian priests to make offerings to the dead, and safely hidden away in a safety deposit box in Switzerland. Inside it, fused to the bottom of the lid, were exact mates of the twenty-one coins she carried on her person, identical down to cuts and scrapes and dates of printing and already sympathetically linked to the ones she carried. As long as the safety deposit box was in her name and those coins were in it, the curse would continue; once she could no longer claim to 'own' those coins, the curse would stop affecting British wizarding coins that she owned. But due to good old Egyptian tomb curses, every time someone died who had taken coins from her, the stolen coins would return to that chest and the magic of the offering hieroglyphs would send them across worlds to a mated chest she was taking with her - one with an expanded interior able to hold all of that money.
Once the last of those six million coins got returned to her, which would happen only after British wizarding world was mostly dead, a Viking rune would destroy both the chest left behind and its coins, terminating the sympathetic link. Then she could break the original curse on the twenty-one coins she carried and be ok. Meanwhile a squib lawyer she had retained would sell off the box along with remains of the coins within. Until then, she would be unable to buy using galleons, sickles or knuts, as any of those she owned would catch the curse.
Not that that was a problem. Galleons, sickles and knuts were only the currency of magical Europe. Asia, Africa and the Americas all had their own versions, and those coins weren't cursed. So the bulk of her vast fortunes, everything she wasn't leaving behind, had already been converted over into those. When she had first left Great Britain, she had a fraction of the Potter-Black fortune - small enough that only the most detailed audit would reveal it - converted to muggle accounts under the name Azalea Harriette Grove. She had added to those accounts whenever she could during her long journey, while continuing to spend from the Gringotts held fortune instead. All in all, her muggle fortune had been quite substantial. Before returning to Britain, she'd converted that fortune into something portable that wouldn't leave much of a paper trail: muggle minted gold, silver, and precious gems in preparation for her upcoming journey, wherever it might take her. Even if she was limited to muggle cash, she carried samples of each that she could duplicate with charms at need.
All things considered, six million galleons was not a lot to pay for destroying the world that had consistently betrayed her. Especially when she'd be getting that money back.
With a cruel smirk, Azalea stood up, never having left the confines of her enchanted reed boat since the ritual began. After all, that would recreate a link to her current world, and the ancient Egyptian rites for moving on to the next one would have to be done again. In the bow stirred the winged horse that would serve her as a valkyrie, invisible in spite of not being a thestral. It would be making the journey with her, either into a better life if this worked out right, or to bodily move her into Heaven if it didn't. At this point she didn't much care which, as either way she'd be safe from her tormentors at last. Carefully moving to the stern, chainmail jingling as she did so, she used a copper knife to cut the flax cord binding her reed boat to this world and lifted up the ash pole to shove off, rising up off the rough stone slab and into the air, already phasing between worlds just as the Egyptian scrolls had promised.
Her 'friends' had felt they'd been canny, layering the area outside the ritual site with wards and spells to prevent her escape. They'd even put a ring around the ritual area under a Fidelius, so she couldn't even find the ground outside of the ancient druidic stone circle. Plus they'd felt quite confident in their wards against apparition, portkeys or flying. But none of that prevented her passing on to the next world, as the Egyptian rites had prepared her for.
And though they thought she didn't notice, part of the 'personal gear' they'd brought along for the after-ritual welcome back party had been gifts of jewelry - a necklace and bracelets that were effectively manacles, made to ensure she'd never leave the island again. Her 'friends' would have put those on her throat and wrists the moment they'd met her save for the fact that she'd insisted they'd interfere with the ritual they'd all sworn to do. And they would have. They'd keep her here, and that ran directly contrary to the intent of her ritual.
Because she was used to attempts to trap her, she also carried a Portkey-equivalent she'd created using methods she'd picked up in Asia, just in case. Her variation of the Portkey really used a method similar to phoenix travel based on the idea that fire expands outward in all directions. And similar to phoenix travel, no mere anti-portkey or anti-apparition ward could stop it. Not even the ones her so-called friends had placed over the ritual site.
Within moments Azalea was no longer in Britain, or even in that world.
Dennis Creevey could only smile wanly at the stack of Daily Prophet papers pilled before him. He had seen what the adults had wanted to do to poor Harri Potter and it had sickened him. So much so, that he'd all but walked out on the wizarding world as soon as he finished his OWLs.
He never did return to Hogwarts. Between the death of his brother Colin and the persecution of his heroine Harri, he despised Hogwarts, and had opted to instead go to a smaller, less prestigious school to finish his magical training. Ironically, this had done wonders for improving his education, especially in Potions. He went to work in the muggle-version of Arthur Weasley's department, a fairly new department created by the Prime Minister in response to everything that had happened with Voldemort.
When he'd heard the rumor that Harri had agreed to return provided she could get volunteers to perform a ritual with her, he'd suspected something was up. When he heard she'd died in the ritual - according to the Prophet's pundits, she'd preferred death to marrying the Malfoy heir - he knew something dangerous was coming. It was doubtlessly true that Harri would have preferred dying to marrying Malfoy, but Harri was unlikely to return simply to kill herself, even in a botched ritual.
No, the ritual had worked, and worked perfectly. Harri was alive, but had somehow convinced the goblins that she was dead. And she was likely plotting vengeance of some sort.
When the Prophet announced that Harri's will was offering galleons to any British wizard or witch who wanted them, he'd promptly headed to Gringotts to close all of his accounts and transfer all of his funds to muggle pounds. He'd advised all of the people he worked with to do the same thing if they had any galleons at all.
Within a week he was proven correct. The Prophet's headlines reported that all of those who had participated in the ritual with Harri Potter had died, their magical cores completely drained, but hidden in the back pages were reports of a few unusual cases of an unidentified rotting disease. Days later escrows had begun to close on the houses she'd bequeathed, and Ministry officers started disappearing.
Another week, and the unidentified rotting disease was front page news, and panic was starting to settle in among the wizards. Gringotts itself was already reported to be nothing more than a tomb; the goblins had all contracted the same disease and started dropping like flies. He'd been prepared for it since he'd first heard about Harri's will, and had riot police in place near areas where the muggle world and magical world intersected. Thankfully as yet no one had been harmed in a riot.
Of course, now, there were scarcely enough wizards left to riot.
And he was callous enough about the whole thing that he didn't care. Worse, when he'd reported this plague and his suspicions that anyone who had not accepted money from Harri's will would be fine to the PM, the PM had only looked relieved, and Dennis couldn't find it in himself to disagree with that sentiment.
The last Prophet had been published this morning. The vast majority of the British wizarding world was now dead, and many of those that remained were dying. There weren't enough remaining healthy wizards or witches to maintain their own ministry, much less maintain a paper. Diagon and Knockturn Alleys were both abandoned. Hogsmead was a ghost town, and Hogwarts had shut down. Soon he, on behalf of the Queen and the muggle government, would have to deal with the survivors - mostly children too young to have laid any claim to Harri's fortune.
For now however, he filled a shot glass and raised it in a toast. "To you, Harri. You've got your revenge on all those bastards who forgot what we've sacrificed fighting Voldemort. May you have better luck wherever you are."
Azalea Grove woke from a trill of magic to find herself surprisingly cold. It had been the end of July when she'd had the ritual performed, fortunate as the linens provided by Egyptian rites did not provide much warmth and the combination of rituals did not provide much more other than the chainmail, a jaguar cape, and thick bearskin boots, but here - wherever here was - it was clearly much cooler. A quick glance around showed it was evening and she was near Hogwarts, her spirit barge floating a few feet off the ground. Her horse had dismounted from the ship and was grazing on the grass - creating a clear physical link between her and this world. She'd have to perform the moving on rites all over if she wanted to try this again.
But apparently those references to sleeping through the voyage applied regardless of whether the person making the trip was living or dead. It had been the magical feel of her bonded valkyrie steed forming a link to this world that had awoken her.
She frowned, realizing she'd somehow been stopped by the wards of the school. Her so-called friends really might have outsmarted her, insisting to use the stone circle closest to the school. Hopefully she hadn't set off anything to alert whoever the current headmaster or headmistress of Hogwarts was to her presence. It would be really bad if her friends woke or others found her before she had time to figure out where and when she was.
Knowing she had to investigate to find out any information at all, she tapped some of her druidic knowledge and transformed into a nondescript owl. She wasn't a true animagus - at least not as the British ministry had defined the term - but instead used the older pre-wand form the animagi training was later based on. The druidic rites required a lot more control and raw power than the wizarding animagi transformation, but allowed her to pick any natural form she wanted, even to the point of being able to be a white owl one day and a brown owl the next, something no animagi could do. With a quick flap of her wings, she launched herself out of her floating reed boat and flew up to the Great Hall, and peeked inside, careful to stay up in the rafters.
It took only a moment to recognize the scene. The goblet of fire sitting upon its pedestal and spewing out Victor Krum's name was more than enough of a clue. With a growing sense of horror born of seeing her own memories play out before her, she almost missed seeing who stood when Dumbledore caught the forth contestant's name, cleared his throat, and called out "Harry Potter."
Azalea was quite glad owls couldn't gasp when she spotted the tiny figure that was the spitting image of her father rise.
This would certainly be interesting.
With some minor additions, the previous installment was done by briandrozd2000 of the CaerAzkaban forum, who gave it up for adoption. I nibbled, and he told me to go for it.