Don't look at me like that. I know.
Anyway, this is probably going to be the last chapter for a while again because I don't have anthing else written. And now the exuses. Well, let's start with utter laziness, I seriously couldn't be bothered people, I'd lost all motivation for this. Another is college pilled up, I was so close to completley failing, so a little priority re-arrangement was needed. There you have my less than dissapointing reasons.
The story is sort of planned for a few more chapters but nothing has been put down on paper or screen. Reading back over it I almost cringe at its cliches and grammer. I apologise once again. I would also like to say thank you for the reviews i am still getting, and if there are even people reading this still, thank you.
It Starts – Chapter Five: Of Bumble-bees and Ferrets
All was set. The plan had been tweaked a little because of recent events. Harry had been thinking of a way to deal with Malfoy without killing him, the more he thought about it, the more angry he got and the more likely that after tomorrow night the Malfoy Line would end. He had completely scrapped the idea of Malfoy gaining forgiveness through Dumbledore, there had been another attack on Sunday, on a young third year Hufflepuff this time, it was brutal; he had no mercy, the girl was lucky to be alive. She had been beaten over and over then raped repeatedly for hours; the DA patrols had found her in a sobbing bloody mess in an empty classroom, they had no idea what to do so Neville and Harry were called, who then called Hermione and Ginny to help the girl to the hospital wing. Harry had to hold Neville back from storming the Slytherin common room; only with repeated reassurances of revenge did he calm enough to leave it a few days.
Both Neville and Harry had checked on the girl, whose name was Rachel, she was severely traumatised and would be sent to 's that afternoon. Now that the staff had been notified to this one attack Harry urged Daphne to go forward, she agreed that it would be the best time to go forward, she then argued that it would be too much of a reminder for most of the girls and they would ever more distant to everyone.
Harry himself was disgusted by what he had seen, he had seen some horrific things in his past, but they all paled in comparison to the state they had found Rachel in, he could barely hold his seething rage, sometimes he had to check his aura, to see if it was showing. He had been a force to be reckoned with these last few days, if no one dared get in his way before, they were all but fleeing now; the groups of giggling girls had dispersed as soon as he had levelled them with a cold glare that could rival Severus Snape himself. He spent almost all his time with Daphne now, until he could ensure her safety he wouldn't take any chances, he had told Ron and Neville to keep an eye on Ginny and Hermione. None of them liked it but put up with their bodyguards protective moods.
Malfoy had been glancing over his shoulder every few minutes since the night of their little chat, whenever they crossed paths Harry projected his demise into his head, he too had fled quickly.
"What are you doing up here, Harry?" A soft voice spoke from the door to the stairs of the Astronomy Tower.
"Thinking, Headmaster, just thinking." Harry sighed, deciding to co-operate with his would-be-mentor for now. "I think I am beginning to understand your need for a Pensieve, my first week here was a busy one.
Dumbledore chuckled. "Such is the burden of being a leader, you either have too much to think about or too much time to think. I am willing to make some enquiries into any Pensieves that are around if you wish to purchase one." Dumbledore thought this would be a good start to rebuild some bridges.
"I would be grateful, Professor. What, may I ask, brings you out at this time?" Harry asked him, not really paying attention.
"I was in fact looking for you; I have a proposal for you.
"Oh?" Harry perked up.
"Yes, I have been thinking on your words from your first night here. First I must further apologise for an old man's mistakes and misgivings, it seems I have been too far removed from what is really important in this war." Harry raised an eyebrow in question. "It is not the greater good as I once thought, but each individual life, I was willing to sacrifice hundreds of people to save thousands without looking for another option, the greater good has been an obsession of mine from a young age, both I and a friend at that time, Gellert Grindelwald, strived to unite the Wizarding world, at first I agreed with his methods, until they got progressively darker, I then chased him from this country, not something many people know. I then took the lead in the fight for the greater good against him, culminating in our final duel, we were very close in skill and power, it was a close battle, but alas I have got lost in old tales. The proposal I have for you is this, join the Order of the Phoenix, it will grant you all the information you need, plus, I feel it would be a shame for us not to utilize each other's talents." Dumbledore finished, looking out into the dark night sky, it was barely nine and the skies were darkening already.
Harry stood there, quite stunned, he had not known of the friendship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, nor would many people he expected. "I will join, but this on no means constitutes as forgiveness, I still think it will be hard for you to let go of your controlling nature, much like Hermione is. Do not take this as an insult or a rejection; I am simply not ready to spread my trust thinly on the ground, especially where it may be abused. When is the next meeting?" Harry noticed the sad look in his Professor's eyes.
"There is a meeting starting shortly, that is why I came to look for you, it will be held in my office, shall we." The headmaster moved away from the battlements and toward the stairs, holding the door for Harry to go first.
Dumbledore was surprised when the Gargoyle guarding his office jumped away as soon as they were within ten feet. He looked suspiciously at Harry, thinking of question that had been plaguing him since last Monday, how had Harry bypassed the wards? He filed it away for later.
As they neared the top of the stairs, voices could be heard from within. Entering the office, Harry found himself surrounded by the foremost members of the Order, Remus, Moody, Kingsley, Tonks, The Weasley Twins, Bill, Molly and Arthur. All turned to look as they entered. Harry ran over to Remus and tackled him to the floor in his usual greeting.
"Moony, you old dog, where's this letter you were supposed to send me, eh? Too busy rolling in the hay with Tonks were you." This lit the Twins faces with glee.
Remus shoved Harry off him with a mock glare and a little blush and pulled him into a hug. "It's good to see you too, the letter is somewhere in the Manor, half complete. I got distracted." He glanced at Tonks, earning a fully blown Metamorphagus glare. The rest of the room were chuckling at them. Molly quickly engulfed him in a hug, she appraised him, apparently satisfied passed him to Arthur, he shook hands with the man he had come to see as the next best this to a father. Harry hurriedly explained about Godrics Hollow in hushed tones. He saved the best people till last.
"Partner," He nodded to George. "Partner," To Fred he said.
"Partner," They said to him in unison. Turning to each other they said "Partner."
"What did you do to Ron to make him so weird about wetting the bed?" He asked suddenly. They fell to floor giggling while Molly glared at them and Bill smirked.
"Yes, well, let's crack on shall we." Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling at the Twins. "Kingsley, what has been going on in the Ministry these last weeks?"
This led Harry and the Twins into a downward spiral of boredom, Kingsley's report was at best tedious. Rumours of this… Plans to do that… The only part of the conversation that caught his attention was the reports from multiple eastern European Ministries that Voldemort had been sighted multiple times, apparently just roaming in the countryside.
"Was Romania one of them?" he asked. Kingsley nodded the affirmative. A sudden thought popped into Harry's head and he ran from the office with one word. "Crap."
The sun had just set in a dark forest in Romania, strangely this brought out more people than it should have, for these were no ordinary people, these were Vampires. They had lived here for almost a hundred years now, almost time to move on, their presence had become more and more noticed recently, the people going missing every few weeks had gained the attention of both the Church and the Ranger's which patrolled this area of the large forest and it's nearby towns. Soon there would be Hunters after them, both from the Church and the local authority, it was time to leave.
Gabriel! A voice shouted in his head, a voice he had not heard in many months. The urgency in the voice worried him. Gabriel! Answer me!
Harry! What is wrong? Do you need help? Gabriel asked his blood brother.
No, nothing like that, it's Tom, I think he's looking for the Solomonari Fortress, we've had reports of him wandering around Easter Europe, he could be after something completely different but I need to be sure. Have you noticed anything? Harry asked urgently, it would be a disaster if Voldemort found the Solomonari Fortress, inside were supposedly thousands of years of text pertaining to all kinds of magic, he would be unstoppable.
The Solomonari were an ancient order of wizards that had their origins deep within Ancient Egypt and for thousands of years gathered all the knowledge they could, at first they were completely scholars, but soon they became corrupt by the power they possessed and used it to terrorise the people of Romania for hundreds of years, only when another secret order had stepped in and destroyed them outright, little is known of this order, it's name, The Shadow Guard, it's members consist of many magical creatures and humans. The Shadow Guard had stepped in only three times in history, this once, they interfered with the war between King Arthur and Morgan le Fay and last the Salem Witch Hunt.
No, nothing, we've been getting ready to leave so we could have missed something, our feeding habits have been noticed it seems, we will head toward the fortress and set camp outside, I will inform the rest of the Guard, thank you for the warning, my Brother. Gabriel was now starting to see the entire picture, this Tom Riddle had been roaming this country, unsettling the multiple clans of Vampires and Werewolves, they had then moved and encroached onto his territory, their alliance with the Werewolves was shaky to say the least, but he would not begrudge them this, he could use this build a stronger alliance and gather more of his people to him.
No problem. Keep me informed, and be careful Brother. With that the connection ended and Gabriel went to his mate, Elena.
She looked startled when he relayed Harry had said, she was too part of The Shadow Guard. "We leave immediately." He told her and he transformed into his own animagus form, a Black Wolf, and ran following his nose to the closest Pack of Werewolves, he recognized the scent of one of the Shadow Packs, Nathaniel's pack. Running for hours nonstop, he dodged tree's and leapt over fallen ones, as with most Vampire animagi, the senses of the animal mixed throwing out the bad and leaving the good, he could outrun any other animal in this wood with his enhanced strength and speed, the wolves hearing sight and smell were better than a Vampires, in essence he was the perfect wolf, a fact which he paraded to the friendlier Werewolves. He reached their camp within a few hours.
Quickly transforming into his original form, he entered the camp and presented himself for inspection, which consisted of good sniffing down and some hateful glances, proceeding to Nathaniel's tent he burst into his very old friends living quarters.
"Nathaniel, I need to speak with you quickly, it's urgent." Gabriel said calmly, not showing the panic he was feeling, if it was even possible for his kind to panic. Nathaniel lifted the wolf cub that had been lounging on his lap to the floor and offered him a seat.
"What is it?" His grave deep voice said.
"I have received word that this Voldemort that has plagued Britain for so long has ventured into this country, looking for the Solomonari Fortress, as you can tell this is most distressing news to the Guard; we are not as strong as we used to be. I come here asking your help, we can't let him take the Fortress, and we have no time to inform the Shadow Council. I leave as soon as I return to camp. If you are with me you should be able to find my coven. Goodbye old friend." With that he raced back out into the forest, transforming mid leap and bolting back to his camp.
Harry raced back towards the school; he had left so that he would not be disturbed while talking to Gabriel. Even in his eagle form he could not be there within ten minutes as he was miles away from the ancient castle.
Flying through the into an open window near the headmasters office he returned to his normal form, looking around for witnesses, he found none. Sprinting around the corner to the gargoyle, it leapt aside when it saw he wasn't waiting for it to move, impatiently waiting for the stair to carry him up. Would it kill them to have some normal stairs in this place? He thought, frustrated by the apparent laziness of the Wizarding world. He barged into the office without knocking, to find Snape and Dumbledore talking intensely.
"Headmaster we need to talk, urgently." Harry looked into the eyes of the aged wizard, he could see suspicion and worry there, and whether directed at Harry or Snape he didn't care.
Dumbledore just gazed at him for a few minutes and nodded slightly. Snape got up to leave, but Harry stopped him.
"You should be here too Snape. It's concerning what Tom is up to in Romania." After one moment of surprise, replaced by a sneer of mutual loathing he sat back down.
"How would you know what the Dark Lord is doing? None of his Death Eaters know."Snape asked, half mocking and half curious.
"I'm not saying anything until there is privacy wards placed around us and I have an Oath of Secrecy from both of you." Snape actually smirked at that and Dumbledore looked shocked. An Oath of Secrecy was serious thing when broken. Harry not waiting for them to do it flicked his wand and set the most powerful privacy ward he knew. Dumbledore caught sight of his new wand and became even more suspicious. "The Oaths if you please." When both hesitated got ready to leave.
"Fine Potter, have your stinking Oath." Said and irate Snape, surprising Harry that he was the first to cave. He recited the Oath with grimace while Harry smiled like it was his birthday.
"Harry, are you sure this is necessary?" Dumbledore pleaded with him.
"Yes." Harry answered firmly. "As I told you earlier, I don't trust you." His shoulders slumped slightly but he consented to the Oath.
"Right, you said that Tom was looking for something, that he told no one." He said to Snape, who nodded. "Have either of you heard of the Solomanari?" The look on Dumbledore's face was pushing comical, Snape looked bewildered. "They were an ancient order of scholars who went power crazy, until someone stepped in, I am not allowed to speak of them, but I think you are aren't you." He directed at Dumbledore. Sighing he pulled a book from a drawer in his desk.
"Yes, I am allowed to speak of them, they considered me joining them before Grindelwald had risen, I have not heard of them since, they are most secretive. The Shadow Guard are the protectors of what is right and just, whether it is good or evil. How did you come to know of them, Harry?" Dumbledore looked at the point of drawing his wand on Harry there and then.
Harry sighed, he did not want to reveal much about his travels, Dumbledore would not approve and Snape may even hug him. "While I was away I travelled all over the world training, in Romania I came across a coven of Vampires, at first they hunted me, until I showed them this," He held his House Ring up.
"And what would that do to stop hunting Vampires?" Snape sneered. Harry once again stared at Dumbledore, the headmasters shoulders slumped even further.
"The Potters are directly descended from Godric Gryffindor, and while that is significant here in Britain, it holds a little pull with certain groups on mainland Europe, most prominently the Vladimir Coven, tell me, how is Gabriel?" Dumbledore was now returning to his twinkly best.
"He's worried, they are not as strong as they were before, and he has allies near-by, Werewolves and other Covens, but if he calls, I'm going." Harry told them, leaving no room for argument.
"Is this out of loyalty or is it some sort of alliance between the two of you?" Dumbledore asked seeking what was behind the veil of truth.
"Both. I can't talk anymore, I need to keep alert, and the wards around the castle may disrupt his message." Harry broke his privacy wards and left the office.
"Do you think he's done it Albus?" Snape asked sombrely. The boy had just earned a small amount of respect.
"I'm afraid so, he is a remarkable young man, so resourceful; this war has just got that little more interesting. Now, we must too help with the defence of the Fortress, if Harry receives the call, you must go with him, with the best fighters we have. It is imperative that we not let Tom get what is contained there. Not even I would dare enter such a place; the temptation would be beyond bearable."
"You want to send me away with Potter? You realise that we hate each other?" Snape was aghast at the idea of prolonged exposure to that little brat.
"Yes I do, but this will help you both get over your ego's, which was not a problem until this year, his arrogance is now indeed what you have been telling me these years, but I think now he has a right to be." Dumbledore said a little sceptically.
"If anything his arrogance is even more than his fathers, if possible, but I have to admit he is skilled." Snape ground out.
"His Occlumency is especially formidable; I could not even break his defence." Dumbledore admitted thoughtfully. "Now I feel we should both get on with some work, Good evening, Severus." Snape stood and stalked out of the office, only to be confronted with the insolent brat himself.
"What are you doing loitering about, Potter?" Snape spat venomously, that infuriatingly familiar smirk on his face just like his father.
"I wanted to talk to you, surprising as that is. He asked you to come with me if I go didn't he." It was statement not a question. Snape nodded stiffly. "Well if we are in fact on the same side, we should maybe call a truce on this little feud we have going, what do you say?" Harry extended a hand hopefully, what took place then was the fasted handshake in history, his cloak billowing with the speed he took off down the corridor. Harry grinned at thought of a truce between a Potter and a Snape. Little did he know, in the office above, the headmaster was chuckling to himself by what his portraits had just reported.
"Are you sure everything is ready? Has the delivery arrived? Are Blaise and Eddie ready? Did they get the Disillusion Charm?" Ron rattled off nervously. He had been like this all day, it was happening tonight and he was as nervous as schoolgirl before a ball.
"Yes, for the love of Merlin yes. Fred and George have sent the powder. They both got it easily. Just sit down before I put you on the ceiling with a sticking charm." Ron sat quickly while Neville chuckled quietly next to him. "If you're so worried, let's go over the plan once more for the eleventh time. First we get into position by the grand staircase, that way we can find out who out of the people being tailed is going to be attacked. Then we get in front of them, we know all the routes in castle thanks to the map so it won't take long. We get the four of you into your alcoves then I wait down the hall and it all kicks off, happy now?"
"Yeah… I think." Ron said. Harry shook his head and proceeded to hit it on the table a few times while giggling hysterically.
"I give up, I really do. Tell me when it's time to go; I'll heal the blood dripping from my ears before we leave." Harry said dryly. He scooped some chips onto his plate with some steak and kidney pie and dug in. Ron seemed to forget his nervousness and dived into the food.
"Nott, hurry up or we'll miss them!" Draco hissed at his roommate. Nott looked up and glared at his from his place near his mirror, checking his hair.
"Calm down Malfoy, I'd say you were almost worried, their traitors all of them, we're doing out Lords work, Potter alone cannot stop us." Nott said easily, he had not been with Malfoy when he attacked Greengrass and had been laughing at the exaggerations.
"I know that." Malfoy spat back. "He just has a knack of well and truly fucking things up for us. We'll have to be on guard tonight. Let's go."
And so the four of them left to find Thomas Acheron, the bastard child of Charles Avery, a Fifth year born just before the fall of Lord Voldemort. Finding him lounging in the common room, surrounded by enough girls that Draco had to scowl at him. He jumped up and loped his way across to them.
"Who are we hitting tonight? Is it that snivelling little first year that keeps bumping into us? That's happening to often to be a coincidence." He drawled, leaning against the wall with a casual indifference that made both Draco and Nott a little jealous.
"Let's drag Crabbe and Goyle away from dinner and I'll explain then." Draco told him with a glare that screamed 'I make the rules'.
Thomas snorted. "That is if they haven't locked themselves in a closet from the outside, I can think of kettles smarter than them."
Crabbe and Goyle were indeed in the Great Hall, stuffing their faces to bursting point, much to the detriment of Pansy sitting opposite them.
"You two, come on." They grunted and rose, following Draco like he had them under some enchantment. Three young men walked out of the hall with grace that caught a few eyes, soon followed by two gambolling half trolls. None in that hall suspected them of what they were about to do.
In good time they were in position, all they had to do now was waiting. Each completely invisible, the goons were silenced for good measure, they waited with a patience that some people would call Dumbledore-ish. Hours passed with no sound except Filch crooning to his sexually frightened feline.
Voices drifted to them from the staircase above, someone younger than them, saying goodbye to his friends started down the steps. He filed passed them oblivious to his danger, that made three of the boys smirk, though neither knew it. Following silently, they tailed the boy until he was about to turn the last corner to the Hufflepuff common room. Draco was about to grab the boy when he realised he was completely without backup, he let his quarry carry on as he turned to find where his comrades were, seeing none of them he slowly made his way back down the corridor, not a peep could be heard, nothing to be seen except for old armour an brass torches.
A ghostly laugh made him spin around franticly for the source only to find him about to curse thin air. Mocking his own weakness and cowardice, he turned continues on his hunt.
Harry watched with pride as his friends taught the DA their first patented spell. Hermione had been creating little charms for about two years now, her help came in very handy when they got stuck a few times. Harry had just sat back as they developed a new version of the Dark Mark; it was basically a holographic pure gold phoenix.
When cast the casters wand would alert others to it and the whether the charm is celebratory or a warning. The visual effect though were much more impressive, outshot the phoenix it wingspan at least twenty feet, talons the size of their forearms, its blazing white eyes piercing every shadow. It rose more gracefully than any dancer or other being could before letting out a shriek of hope and encouragement and bursting brightly into pure red flames which lingered in its shape for a few minutes. It was a simple spell in essence but it was more about the symbolism it created, than a way to fight Voldemort.
"Okay everyone, lets wrap this up, great job on mastering the Mark of the Light, as we are now calling it, it is only to be used in emergencies or as an all clear signal. Next time will be business as usual, so off you go and enjoy the rest of the night." Ron brought the meeting to an end, with a little nod to his Hufflepuff friend.
Harry pretended to talk to Blaise and Eddie until everyone had cleared out; as soon as it was clear they disappeared and followed the small boy. Harry could sense five extra people as they came down the stairs, he let his hand become visible when they had gone further on to let the rest know where he was, he cast a few quick charms so they could see him clearly as well. Speeding up after the Slytherins they found them just turning into the last corridor before the Puffs common room. The five saviours crept up behind the four lagging behind the leader and quickly and efficiently too them out with silent stunners and incarcerating charms.
While the others goons were being dragged off Harry observed the look of confusion, panic and suspicion on the blond ponces face. Strolling off up the corridor cheerfully, Malfoy following like overly suspicious puppy. Harry couldn't hold his laughter anymore and decided to mess with the idiots head and let out a distorted chuckle. The 'I-Want-My-Mommy' look popped onto his face as his span like a record (AN: Bad eighties pun ). Messing with him for a few more minutes Harry let his anger out and flung him down the corridor, and dropped his disillusionment.
"You! I'll get you for that Potter!" Malfoy screamed while getting to his feet. Harry just smirked evilly at him and dodged the severing curse hurling at him with a nimble sidestep and started walking slowly towards the seething blonde.
"You know Malfoy, I did warn you; all you've really done is proved to me that people who grow up in the magical world have no sense of logic. After all you and your friends are clearly outmatched by not only me but most of my friends, yet you still attack people." Harry's demeanour changed instantly. "How heartless do you have to be? She was barely thirteen. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Malfoy seemed torn between terror and pride, which only seemed to make Harry angrier. His eyes flared slightly and his aura glowed slightly. While slightly intimidated, Malfoy continues looking proud and answered.
"She got what she deserved, the filthy little mudblood that she was, that was the only thing she was good for anyway. It's your fault anyway, if you hadn't stopped me from taking Greengrass, I might not of had to have the young one, it really is a shame you can't learn you place, Potter, down on the floor with the scum, licking the boots of the dark lord." Malfoy said in a bored tone, glancing around the corridor for his back up, not paying attention to Harry.
While Malfoy was digging his own way into his grave Harry got close enough to strike. Continuing his tirade like the good little sycophant that he was, he did not see the kick that was swinging for his face. Falling from the blow, he rolled away into a suit of armour. The spear wielding suit roughly dragged his feet and held him a foot off the ground by his arms.
"Thank you Frank so good of you to help." Harry said to the armour, which nodded. "I don't believe you've met Mr Malfoy here, I'm sure he's pleased to meet you, but his jaw is fortunately dislocated, just like the snake he is." Harry lashed out with his fists until Malfoy was whimpering in between his laboured breathing; Harry reckoned that it was four or five broken ribs, a good start. "Drop him." He dropped to the floor oddly, landing face first with a sickening crunch from his nose. "How does that feel Draco? Is it painful? Is it uncomfortable? Just think how all your victims felt after hours of this, and that's just the boys, as for the girls, well, you would only get that treatment in muggle prison. Hmm, that's not a bad idea. For now, this will have to suffice." Malfoy writhed in pain as Harry kicked him between his legs. "Draco my friend, you're in for a rough night."
Neville and Ron watched as Harry beat Malfoy half to death and back again, each wondering if they had finally descended to the level they swore they never would, finding both a deep satisfaction and even deeper self-loathing at being a part of this depraved act of violence that barely held any meaning beyond humiliation.
Only Harry knew of how this would get the evidence they needed to be rid of Malfoy and his cronies.
Glancing at the Eddie and Blaise showed much that same contemplation their faces as they held the captives tightly in front of them, forcing them to endure witnessing the beating of their so called leader, seeing him for what he really was. It was all they deserved.
Madam Pomfrey thought once upon a time that she could easily separate her feelings from her profession, it would be as easy as flipping a switch between her very caring personality and the strict matron, though now she had to admit that it was becoming much harder than she would have predicted. It was never this hard during the first war; Hogwarts was primarily left alone, a few petty duels or calming draught for a grieving student.
These days though she was not prepared to deal with the amount of brutality that had leaked through to the school, regular beatings, the duels becoming more deadly and the worst crime in her book by far, rape. Seven girls had been found broken and abused in random parts of the school, none of them would reveal anything, too scared to even utter the name of their tormenter, she had her suspicions, nothing concrete but enough to feel the wall that separated the two parts of her lives come crumbling down and letting a burning hatred for her suspect form.
Still, she must remain civil and professional with her latest patient, Draco Malfoy. She found him and four others outside her infirmary, all battered and bruised. She couldn't help but feel a grim satisfaction fill her as she expertly and a little roughly dropped them onto their beds. The Malfoy child was by far the worst of them, multiple broken bones, concussion and some internal bleeding. The others just had some superficial cuts and bruises.
After stabilising the young man she left to her office to alert the headmaster of the incident.
"Headmaster? Albus? Are you there?" She called out of the fire. The ancient man strolled into view with concern written on his face.
"Poppy, what is wrong?" Albus said, his brows furrowing in confusion.
"It's the Malfoy boy and some his friends, I just found them outside the infirmary beaten half way through next week. Malfoy is in a bad way, I think you should be there when he wakes, I have a few questions to ask him and need your skills to get the answers out of him." She told him with a pointed look.
Albus suddenly felt like an errant schoolboy caught in the act nicking biscuits from the staff room. He had hoped no one would pick up on him using his Legilimency to find wrong doers. Well, nothing a good obliviate won't undo, he thought, about to reach for his wand, Wait, what are those things that are getting in the way all the time? Pesky little things, hmm, ah, morals, such nuisances, well never mind, on we go.
Yes, on we go indeed! Another voice cheered dramatically.
"Headmaster, are you alright?" Poppey asked confusedly.
She's onto us Alby, make a distraction and hide behind your desk, the voice said.
Albus ignored his recently emerged overdramatic split personality. "Yes, Poppy, fine. I'll be right along."
Her head disappeared from the fireplace as he walked over to Fawkes and stroked his plumage. "You wouldn't by any chance know why I have an overdramatic split personality would you?" he asked the phoenix. All he got in answer was an amused trill and a knowing look. He sighed and left for the Infirmary, on the way, Dave, as he had now identified the voice, suggested some very inappropriate things, so much so that the headmaster blushed and walked quickly walked away from the very confused and slightly disturbed girls.
On entering the Infirmary he was immediately dragged towards a bed on the right, currently occupied by a pleasantly unconscious Draco Malfoy.
"How may I be of service, Poppy?"
"Well, as you know there have been many incidents this year that have landed students in one of these beds, and as we could not get the victim to speak out against their attacker we could only heal them and send them on their way. What I haven't told you at the request of my patients is that all of the female victims were sexually assaulted as well as beaten, including Miss Jones last week, though while I have nothing concrete, I believe that Mr Malfoy is behind these attacks, along with his friends. The reason you are hear is that I know you are a skilled Legilimens and can tell if a person is lying. While I know it is unethical, it is not illegal in extreme cases. So I am asking you to help me investigate these atrocities, for the safety of the school." Poppy spoke with such a fierce determination that headmaster could do nothing but agree with her.
"I am sorry that we have waited this long to investigate, I have been letting my priorities slip in light of Mr Potter and the War. Shall we start now or is he not to awake yet?" Albus asked with deep regret in his voice. He now realized that he brushed aside the other attacks as the temper of youth, so caught up in the investigation of Harry, he had not seen what was really going on in his school, to his students. Shame washed over the headmaster, it was then that he decided that he would retire at the end of the war, if he was around to see it.
"He should be fine, if a little confused." She woke him up with a wave of her wand and waited for him to stir.
"Wh…Where a-am I?" He stuttered out. He looked around and saw all of his 'friends' gathered around him in beds just like his. Professor Dumbledore gazed down at him calmly, that infuriatingly passive look on his face.
"You are in the Infirmary Mr Malfoy. It seems you were attacked last night and left outside, quite a beating you took. Do you remember anything from last night?" Dumbledore asked him. Panic flared up in him as he remembered what was planned for last night, he desperately scrambled to get his Occlumency shields up, but to no avail, he was too weak to grasp them.
"No, nothing, nothing at all. Can I go now, Professor? I have work to do." He tried to get out of bed, only to be forced back down by the icy glare of Madam Pomfrey.
"No, you are in no state to go anywhere." She practically spat at him.
"Calm yourself Draco, you be allowed to leave when you are healed, now, are you sure you don't remember anything? We need to find the culprit before they strike again. Tell me, have you heard anything about the recent attacks?" Albus saw the panic spring back into his face and took the chance to examine his surface thoughts.
What he found saddened him greatly, images violence and brutality. He saw the attacks on the younger years and he saw these five boys corner each of the girls that had been attacked, but stopped before he encroached on their privacy. Pulling back from the young man, he looked down at him with severe disappointment. Glancing over at Poppy he nodded slightly. Immediately hate boiled up in her eyes and she stalked off to her office.
"I believe we need to have a very serious conversation, Draco. Also, I am saddened to say that you are expelled from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." A flash of light and the crest on the boy's robes disappeared.
Daphne awoke just as Malfoy was being treated. She climbed sleepily out of bed and made her way to the bathroom, staring at her bedraggled reflection in the charmed mirror.
"Rough night?" the huskily charming voice said.
"Bad dreams," She said through a yawn. "But good at the same time."
"Ah, the best kind, now off with you, your man will be waiting."
She hurriedly showered and dressed before quickly walking to the entrance hall to wait for Harry. They were to sit with her friends at the Slytherin table, it would be a pivotal point in their relationship, not that it would change anything, but she wanted her friends to like him. As much as she wouldn't admit it, she was nervous; Blaise and Tracey could make things difficult if they wanted to.
"Why would such a breathtakingly beautiful woman be all alone out here? Surely someone would not keep you waiting." A pair of rough hands circled around her waist and soft lips brushed her ear, making her shudder.
"You know, my boyfriend would not like you being so intimate, he's rather dangerous." She whispered.
"I think you'll find that I can handle myself, I did defeat a Dark Lord after all." Daphne span round to face him, leaning up and placing a chaste kiss on his lips.
"Good morning, lover."
"A very good morning indeed," He smiled down at her. "C'mon let's not keep the other snakes waiting." Grabbing her hand and tugging her into the hall over to the green and silver table. Most of the occupants glared at him or just eyed him wearily; he smiled and waved cheerily at them, openly mocking them all. At the end of the table, Blaise and Tracey sat trying to hide their laughter.
"Do you have a death wish, Potter?" the tall aristocratic boy asked.
Harry snorted. "It's way too late for that; I do have the second most dangerous person in the world after me. The first is sitting next to me.," He ducked a swat from his right and then one from his left. "although I might have to revise my list soon. So why isn't Malfoy here threatening my life and calling for his daddy?" Harry shared a look with Blaise.
Tracey perked up. "Well, it seems he's been the one behind all these attacks, from what I've heard he was found half dead outside the infirmary. I don't know how Dumbledore made him spill, but he got everything out of him. He's been expelled, and there's nothing that his father can do." She finished with a satisfied smile. Harry nodded grimly, he had hoped Dumbledore connect the dots. "I thought you would be doing cartwheels around the Quidditch pitch in your birthday suit." Daphne choked on her juice and started giggling.
"I am happy, but you know who he follows, whoever did this has just earned the ferret a one way ticket to Voldemort's feet. No one deserves that, but if it keeps this place a little safer, good riddance."
Blaise nodded firmly. "Anyway, did you hear about the Puddlemere seeker, he pulled a three hundred foot Wronski Feint, the other guy broke both his legs and most of his ribs…?"
Both dissolved into incomprehensible Quidditch talk as the two girls gossiped about the happenings around the school.
Ron and Ginny looked on with envy. Ron was not used to sharing his best mate, he hated the fact that Harry got on so well with someone else, and a Slytherin at that really grated on his nerves, he watched them both talk animatedly about who knows what and tried to remember what Harry had told him about being an close minded before shoving it to the back of mind and letting his sense of betrayal out.
Ginny was truly beginning to hate the slut who had taken her man, she glared at their hands holding each other under the table, that was supposed to be her sat there. Her plan had fallen through with the expulsion of Malfoy, a new plan had to be made, something more bold.
"Could you two be more obvious? He's more than welcome to make some more friends, your acting like he just killed your kitten." Neville told them firmly. Ron had the decency to look ashamed while Ginny just continued to glare at Daphne. Neville shook his head and went back to his breakfast, thinking over what had happened over the last few months.
He, like everyone else was shocked to hear that Harry had gone missing, most thought that Voldemort had taken him or that he had run from the coming war, but Neville had always thought that he was fine, simply taking the time he needed to acclimatize before being thrown into the middle of a battle that had been going on well before he was born.
He had spent a lot more time with Ron and Hermione since the start of term, and if he was honest, he didn't know how Harry coped, it was almost painfully obvious that they were head over heels for each other to everyone except themselves. Their arguments had taken on a legendary nature, the First Years were terrified of both of them and the rest of the Gryffindor's keep well clear when they are at each other's throats.
When he couldn't stand the unending bickering and sideward glances he spent his time with Luna. He could only understand about three words out of ten, but when he did understand her he couldn't help but like the girl, she was so quirky and unique that he soon found himself crushing on her, which she had found quite amusing when she called him out on it, in a rather blunt way. She had not said whether she felt the same way, so he had just let it pass and not so discretely admired her body as she walked away.
"Neville! Neville!" He shook his head to clear his thoughts as Hermione glared at him in annoyance.
"What?" He said somewhat irritably, after all it was a rather pleasant thought.
"It's time for Charms; we're going to be late." She snapped at him, he checked his watch to see they still had fifteen minutes to go, he looked at her bewildered.
"We've got ages yet." Neville went back to his half finished breakfast. Hermione huffed and stomped her foot, it still amazed Neville that girls actually did that. He now owed Harry ten Galleons. She stalked off and he knew it was going to be one of those days.
Walking into Charms Harry sat towards the back of the class next to Neville and Ron who were shooting wary glances at Hermione. He snorted loudly, another argument by the looks of it. Flitwick was bounding around, greeting students and generally acting like a hyper active three year old on cocaine, with ADD.
"Ah, Mr Potter, good to see you back, didn't get a chance to talk last week, just wondering if you enjoyed your travels, didn't happen to find any interesting charms we could try did you?" He exclaimed excitedly.
Harry grinned devilishly. "Well there was this one I found in Italy that gives your eyes a temporary boost so you can see through certain materials, cloth, wood, brick and even metal. It was quite useful on my journey. The only drawback is that it has to be cast silently." Harry told the Professor. Some of the girls looked scandalized at the thought of teaching this charm to a bunch of teenage boys. The boys were eager to learn and would probably ambush Harry later.
"That sounds like an extremely complex charm; I doubt we'll be able to cover it this year, maybe next year when we've covered all your NEWT work." Flitwick looked extremely uncomfortable at the thought of x-ray vision inside a room full of school girls. He cleared his throat and hurried to his stack of books. "Now, today class we will be looking at the Patronus Charm, I know some of you have covered this with Professor Snape this year, and a few last year with Mr Potter. What do we know about the charm? Yes, Miss Granger?" Hermione looked immensely pleased to be called upon.
"The Patronus Charm is the primary defence against Dementors, most witches and wizards are only able to create a fine mist to repel them or hold them off, a Corporeal Patronus usually takes the form of an animal that represents the casters personality or in some other cases it takes the form of a loved one's personality. To be able to cast the Charm you must be able to bring forth a very powerful emotion, a happy one is the easiest to use, but I have found that other positive emotions work as well." Hermione told Flitwick.
"A very good description Miss Granger, I'd like you all in your own words to give me a description of what you think makes the Patronus work. Now, a demonstration is in order, any volunteers? No?" Most of the class looked anxiously around, none of them as confident as they would have liked with the charm. Harry sighed and put his hand up. "Very good Mr Potter, up you come."
"Expecto Patronum!" He said lazily, Prongs burst forth and stood proudly at the front of the class.
"Excellent Mr Potter, ten points to Gryffindor. Now class as you can see this example is larger than the normal Stag, the most prominent theories as to why this is are the power of the memory or the emotion and the power of the caster, this has been argued for many years, especially since You-Know-Who convinced the Dementors to join him in the First War. What do think it is, Mr Potter?"
"I would say it was a combination of the two, the memory and emotion would be needed to create the form, then the power would be used to determine the size, brightness and effect it has." Harry explained easily, he had thought about it a little while he was travelling, and happened to stop by Azkaban for some research.
"An excellent theory, Mr Potter." Flitwick tittered excitedly. "Now class, what other uses does the Patronus Charm have?" Harry walked back to his seat and let his mind drift.
His visit to Azkaban had quite obviously not been an enjoyable one, he had no idea he was actually been going towards it until he felt the Dementors just as he reached the shores of the island. His research had comprised of a new spell designed to destroy or severely injure Dementors. To say it had rather disgusting results would be putting it mildly, to be quite honest he still didn't feel clean.
Before he knew it his day was over, having no more lessons he wandered up to his dorm room and grabbed one of his Fathers journals.
3rd of March 1975
Today was kind of weird, first we had potions with Slughorn, I for once did not blow up the cauldron, Padfoot did instead. Then Evans started harping on about Cauldron safety, which in itself is nothing new, but she wasn't screaming her lungs out as she normally is. Snape the git just smirked the whole time Slughorn was giving me and Padfoot detention. Slimy Git.
Moony totally put me off my stride in Transfig, saying Evans was staring at me, as if, she wouldn't do anything like that in public. So, I was distracted and McGonagall took points cause I missed the kitten and turned her desk into a puppy.
Anyway it's not really the lessons that have me freaked out, it's the corridors, between each lesson I found myself going down the same corridor over and over again, something keeps making me go back there, all that's there is some old armour and blank wall with some eroded carvings. Dad did say things in Hogwarts would react differently to me than other kids but this getting ridiculous. Some people are starting to wonder why all the paintings and armour bow and salute when I walk past, I told them it was because Hogwarts respects my genius, but that got Evans all riled up, I seriously don't get what her problem is, she acts all snooty when there are people around but as soon as they're gone she talks to me like a human being again, seriously!
OK I got to go, Marauder meeting time.
Harry had just put the journal away when Neville and Ron trudged in sullenly and slung their bags across the room. He watched with a smirk on his face as they buried themselves in their beds.
"You know, this room was a lot happier before you came in, what's up?" Ron surfaced from his bed to half heartedly glare at him.
"Snape." Neville's voice came from his pillow.
"Hermione." Ron said at the same time.
"Fair enough." Harry grinned at them one last time before leaving the room to find a cheery atmosphere. The common room looked to be exactly the same as his dorm, all the upper years looked to be pouting and Hermione was glaring at anyone that was talking above a sullen whisper from over her book.
He crept around everyone and stealthily left the common room. He went down to his favourite spot by the lake and lay next to the shore looking up into the darkening sky. It had been a weird few days, first Dumbledore asking him to join the Order, the talk with Gabriel and dealing with Malfoy.
Try as he might he still couldn't fathom why Dumbledore was going to all this trouble to get him back on side, there was the chosen one thing, but Harry had proven himself more than capable of handling himself without the Headmasters help, he supposed it could be from simple affection, or Dumbledore had finally recognized Harry as a part of this war and should be included to the mutual benefit of them both. He preferred that last one.
He could easily figure out why Tom wanted the treasures locked in the Solomonari Fortress, that place was filled to the brim with every type of magic known to man, and some that are not. With the knowledge in there Tom could become endlessly powerful, crushing all underneath his Godlike power.
A shadow crossed his vision , he opened his eyes to find his girlfriend standing before him with a slight smile on her face, her icy blue eyes looking down at him with a mixture of concern and amusement.
"Hey." He said, reaching up for her hand and twining his fingers with hers. He couldn't help but smile when he was with her.
"Hey, yourself. Do you know how crazy you look out here in the freezing cold?" She asked him quietly, gazing at their connected hands in a fond way.
Harry smirked. "Do you know that you have amazing legs, especially from this angle?" She let out a squeal of surprise when he pulled her down next him. "And yes. I know how crazy I look, I just wanted to think for a few minutes before I have to deal with everyone, you are obviously an exception." He added quickly after she arched he eyebrow.
"That's right, Potter, I'm the exception." She leant in and captured his lips in a gentle kiss. "Now, are you going to tell me what's bothering you or will I have to hex it out of you. You've been moping for days now, don't think no one noticed either." She poked his chest sternly.
Harry sighed, "You are way too observant you know that? I suppose I have been pretty distracted lately, it's really going to kick off soon." He grabbed her other hand and held them both gently. "I might have to leave soon, really soon." He looked up to meet her surprised eyes.
"Why? I thought that you would be staying now, is it because of Dumbledore, is he pressuring you? Or is it Granger, is she bossing you about again, I'll curse her if you want." Daphne babbled in panic. She hadn't realised how much she had come to depend on his presence.
Harry laughed at here wild expression. "Don't worry, it has nothing to do with them, its Tom, he's after something that I am bound to protect, its complicated." He sighed. "You remember what I said about the Vampires?" She nodded slowly. "Well, while I was with them I kind of joined a secret society of sorts, I can't tell you much but I will have to go when they call, and probably soon."
"A secret society? Seriously?" Harry nodded. "You really do come with all the trimmings don't you." She grinned.
Harry laughed in relief, he worried himself to death about what she would think of him for leaving so soon. The next question took him completely of guard though.
"How soon is 'soon'?" She asked suspiciously.
Hunkered down behind a log, Gabriel looked like he had been roughing it for the last few weeks, which if you were as literal as the werewolf crouching next to him who had been pointing out the obvious for the last half an hour they had been hiding from a roving bunch of Death Eaters, they had.
It had been almost two weeks since he had been warned by Harry. He and the wolves had started patrolling the forest as they made their way to the Solomonari Fortress, they had tracked these morons deep into the forest, but had underestimated their numbers.
"Jugson! What the hell do you think you're doing? Stay on the path!" The lead Death Eater screamed in the face of what looked like his second.
"Why? There's only trees here?" Jugson said stupidly. Some of the dozen Death Eaters chuckled.
"'Only trees'? You imbecile, this forest is crawling with Merlin knows what. Never mind...Anderson! you take the lead." A tall man stepped passed the leader and pushed Jugson back to where he was supposed to be. "Now let's keep moving. Go!" The leader snapped.
The group shuffled off deeper into the forest making as much noise as they could along the way. Gabriel let out a quiet sigh and looked towards his companion.
"Well, I don't think we have much to worry about from them." He said with a snort. Gabriel looked at him in frustration. He was apparently one of the oldest werewolves of Nathaniel's pack, and had been with him from the beginning over six hundred years ago.
"You continue to astound me Henry. We'd best go catch up with the others." Gabriel transformed into his wolf form and took off into the forest, knowing Henry would pass him easily. And so he did, throwing a wolfish grin as he did.
Harry walked past the wall again, he figured it must work like the Room of Requirement, but no. He tried the most powerful unlocking charm he knew, not that he knew many, he just blew things up if they were in his way. He glared at the wall, ever since he'd read his father's diary the day before this corridor had been drawing him in.
He'd probably had to be told by his father for the charm to take effect. And he had in a roundabout kind of way.
Harry glared at the wall for what seemed like hours before he gave. Taking his frustrations out on the poor wall with his magically infused fist, and was quite understandably surprised when he slipped straight through the wall and came face to face with a rather drowsy Godric Gryffindor.
"Ah, about time too, do you know how long I've been waiting for someone to talk to. Now, are thos lovely maidens still dancing about on the fifth floor?"
A gobsmacked Harry just nodded and watched in silence as the founder stretched his limbs.
Well, that's that I suppose its been a long wait for not much to happen. Please be vigilant, it wont be long...Ok I'm lying my arse of there. Its likley to be an age.
Enough with things that are completley my fault. What do you think? I like the scene with Pomfrey and Dumbledore, which was just for giggles at first then goth more serious as I went along.
Tell me what you think and no keep you eyes open for updates, and maybe even a new story which I've been adding to sporadicly for the last few months. R & R People!