Well, it's been a loooong time coming, but my muse has finally returned and I managed to get a new chapter out. I hope you'll like it, and look forward to more chapters. Also, I have a poll for you. Do you want to see this story continued in a new crossover after I finish with year seven, and if so, which one? For now, my only suggestions are Stargate and Mass Effect, but if you have other ideas, feel free to suggest them, and if I am familiar with it and like the idea, I will write it. In the meantime, read and enjoy.
Harry landed on the Hogwarts grounds face first, and although painful, it was necessary for his plan. By the time he got to his feet, a crowd had gathered around him.
"What's with all the commotion?" Harry asked, while at the same time answering his friends' silent questions with a short 'Later.'
"You were missing for over an hour, Mr. Potter." Dumbledore replied.
"Really? All I know is I was portkeyed away when I grabbed the cup, and when I landed I stumbled, fell and banged my head on a rock or something. When I woke up, the cup was right before me, so I grabbed it and ended up here." Harry replied, and his head wound only corroborated his story.
"You should get that cut seen to, Potter. I'll take him to the hospital wing, Albus." Moody spoke first, and Dumbledore nodded.
"Of course, Alastor. Mr. Potter's health should be our first priority." With that, Harry walked away from the grounds and into the castle. It wasn't until they reached a fork in the corridors that Harry felt a wand poke him in his side.
"Left here, Potter. I want to have a word with you first." Moody growled as he led Harry back to his office.
"You may have escaped the Dark Lord somehow, but your luck has run out boy. Today you will die and he will reward me above all others for it." Moody gave him an evil grin as he raised his wand at Harry.
"So, it was you all along." Harry's grin grew into a sinister chuckle with his head bowed low. When he raised his head however, his eyes had slit and he had purple markings around his eyes. But the real surprise for Moody was the fact he couldn't move.
"How do you like my paralysis technique? It took me a while to learn to cast it with just a look." Harry grinned.
"How?" Moody croaked, his body straining against Harry's power.
"Now, that would be telling. So, why would Alastor Moody help Voldemort? Imperius? No, too noticeable." Harry mused. "Unless, you're not Moody."
Harry grabbed the empty flask hanging on the man's belt and took a sniff. He recognized the scent, having spoken with Snape right after one of his NEWT classes and gotten curious about the potions in the room. It was polyjuice potion.
"So, where is the real one? Tell me and your end shall be quick." Harry asked the still paralyzed man.
"Go to hell Potter." The fake Moody snapped.
"Wrong answer." Harry gave the man's neck a quick chop which knocked him out. Afterwards, Harry removed his leg and glass eye, knowing that the polyjuice potion would wear out eventually. Once he was done with that, he began searching throughout the room for the real Moody, whom he eventually found in a compartment of a magical trunk. Using a transformation technique to look like Dumbledore, Harry pulled him out and fed him a soldier pill to get his strength up a bit and then dragged the impostor out and had a shadow clone bring him to the Room of Requirement while he headed towards the hospital wing.
It was a few hours later that he was summoned from there to the Headmaster's office.
"How are you feeling, Mr. Potter?" Dumbledore asked once he was seated.
"A bit tired, but alright otherwise." Harry replied.
"I won't keep you up for long then. Now, would you be so kind as to tell me what really happened tonight?" Dumbledore asked.
"I was kidnapped for a ritual to restore Voldemort. It worked, although perhaps not quite as he had intended. One of the ritual components was blood of an enemy, which I offered willingly." Harry began. Dumbledore was silent for almost a minute, digesting the information, then he released a soft chuckle.
"I daresay that was perhaps the best you could have done under the circumstances. You have I believe at most a basic understanding of rituals?" When Harry nodded, Dumbledore continued. "By giving him your blood willingly, you have placed Voldemort in your debt. He cannot attack you personally until the debt is repaid."
"So, he has to save my life before he can kill me? Well, I'm glad to learn I came out ahead in all this." Harry smiled.
"You should not underestimate Voldemort, Harry. I know perhaps better than anyone just how strong he is." Dumbledore warned him.
"I never underestimate anyone, Headmaster. I will be on my toes with him." Harry turned serious quickly.
"Good. Now, there's one last thing I'd like to ask of you. Tomorrow, I'd like you to accompany me to the Ministry to inform Minister Fudge that Voldemort is back." Dumbledore's words were met with a chuckle from Harry.
"And you really think Fudge will accept that? It's obvious you're a Gryffindor despite your political experience." Harry grinned. Of course, not everyone had Orochimaru as a tutor. The man was a master of forming plans within plans. "I recommend you speak with Fudge about an as of yet unnamed Dark Wizard who seeks to continue Voldemort's work, and who may seek out the former Death Eaters to help him. Recommend tighter security on Azkaban and a discrete watch on known Death Eaters. If he mentions those that were cleared due to being victims to the Imperius, tell him that it is possible that this new threat may attempt to curse them again. You should also stress that these upstanding citizens shouldn't be informed of this for their own safety and peace of mind. If he complains about lack of manpower and budget, tell him that no effort or expense is too great to maintain the peace and prosperity we have enjoyed under his capable rule."
"I see now why the Sorting Hat placed you in Slytherin, Harry. I daresay your suggestion will be easier to pass by Cornelius than addressing the issue directly. Now, I believe I've kept you up for long enough. Off to bed with you." Dumbledore gave him a soft smile.
Once Harry was out of Dumbledore's office however, he headed straight to the RoR, where he spoke to his friends about the night's events until the time came to discuss their prisoner.
"What are we going to do with him?" Millicent asked as she looked over the sedate man that none of them recognized.
"Release him, of course. But first, get me the sealing kit." Harry smirked.
"Sasori's seal?" Neville asked.
"Yes, along with a reverse four symbol seal. I daresay that will be a surprise for the Death Eaters once they kill him." Harry smirked as he began to remove the man's clothes. Two hours later, Barty Crouch Jr. would return to his master's side, unaware of the seal holding subliminal orders in his head or the death-triggered trap seal on his chest.
Finally, it was time for the students to return home and once again the shinobi quartet broke apart for the holidays.
"Harry. We should get going if we want to get back home for dinner." Vernon greeted him at the station. This time, it seemed the man was alone.
"Uncle Vernon. I'm afraid I won't be going home with you, but I would appreciate it if you drove me to Heathrow." Harry surprised his uncle.
"You're traveling abroad?" Vernon frowned.
"I need to speak with a lot of people about my company. You know how it is." Harry replied and Vernon nodded, remembering well the many business trips he'd undertaken over the years.
"So, we won't be seeing you this summer?" Vernon asked.
"I'm afraid so. I expect it will take me about two months to finish my business, then I'll spend the rest of the summer with my friends at my godfather's. There is one more thing I wanted to speak to you about." Harry waited until they were on the road before he continued. "A few days ago, the wizard that killed my parents returned from the dead."
"Wizards can do that?" Vernon exclaimed.
"Well, he wasn't completely dead. I'm hardly an expert and he probably used some seriously twisted Dark magic to accomplish it. The fact is, he is back and he may come after you to get to me. Now, I've made some arrangements just in case." Harry handed him a piece of paper with two phone numbers on it.
"The first is my mobile phone. If there's any emergency, contact me. The second is a group of people that owe me some favors. Call them and they'll get all of you to a safe place." Harry explained. "For now, the most important thing to remember is to leave the house as little as possible and never after dark. Make sure Aunt Petunia and Dudley understand this. I don't know when or even if wizards will come after you, but I'd rather be safe than sorry."
"I understand, and thank you Harry." Vernon said after a few tense moments. He hated the fact that his family was put in danger because of his nephew, but at least Harry tried his best to protect them from it.
The rest of the ride was spent in less serious discussions, and soon enough Harry was on an airplane headed towards Bulgaria. This was only the first stop in what was a global tour meeting with the various companies he was now connected with.
It was a few days before his birthday which was his scheduled return date and during a meeting in New York that his phone began to ring.
"I am terribly sorry, but I must take this call." Harry excused himself, inwardly glad for the interruption from one of the most boring meetings he had during his trip. "Hello?"
"Harry, thank God. Something terrible has happened." Dudley's words sent a chill down his spine.
"Are your parents alright?" Harry asked quickly.
"They're fine, but you know Piers and Gordon, right? They found them in an alley an hour ago and they were completely catatonic. The paramedics tried everything to snap them out of it, but nothing worked. Harry, I almost went with them." Dudley's voice shook as he spoke. Harry remembered that the two boys were his best friends.
"I certainly hope that I'm wrong, but if I'm right about what happened to them, then there's nothing that can be done about them." Harry really hoped he was wrong, as he didn't like the implications of what this event signified.
"Hold on, someone's arrived. I think mom knows him, she's giving him that look." Dudley said as voices were heard in the background. A minute passed before Harry heard a new voice speak.
"Potter, you've certainly stirred up a hornet's nest." Harry could recognize that particular voice anywhere.
"Professor Snape. I trust you are well?" Harry smiled a bit. His aunt had told him that she knew the man, although her words were far from flattering.
"You've caused quite a bit of chaos with your sudden excursion abroad, Mr. Potter. Still I must commend you since no one had any idea you weren't in England in the first place." Snape replied.
"About Dudley's friends, sir. Were they Kissed, and did He send them?" Harry asked in a serious tone.
"Yes, the two boys were Kissed, and no, the Dark Lord did not send them. He is laying low for now, gathering his forces for the day he steps into the open." Snape replied.
"It is both relieving and concerning to hear that, sir. I will be in London on the 30th. I assume you've come to arrange a meeting with me?" Harry sighed.
"Correct, Mr. Potter. Come to London to a street called Grimmauld Place. Someone will approach you and ask you for a light. You'll tell them your fire's run out and needs refilling. Understood?" Snape instructed him.
"Perfectly, sir. See you in a few days." Harry ended the call and returned to the meeting, his mind aflame with the recent revelations.
A few days later, Harry was at the designated street when a seedy looking woman approached him and holding a cigarette, asked him for a light.
"Sorry, my fire's run out and needs a refill." Harry replied.
"That'll be thirty quid, love. Follow me." The woman walked away, and Harry followed closely.
"Read that and think on it." The woman passed him a slip of paper and Harry read 'The HQ of the Order of the Phoenix is at Number 12, Grimmauld Place.'
As he thought about the words, something clicked in his mind and he saw as a house suddenly appeared in the space between numbers 11 and 13.
"Harry, so nice of you to join us." Sirius greeted him as he walked in the large kitchen.
"Sirius, what the hell are they doing here?" Harry was quick to notice the mass of gingers seated around the table.
"Well, they had some trouble with their house wards, and Dumbledore asked if they could stay here." Sirius replied quickly.
"As long as they stay out of my way. And Sirius, I'd keep an eye on the silverware if I were you." Harry smirked as the twins slammed Ron back in his seat. No doubt the pair were sitting next to their volatile brother expecting trouble with Harry in the house.
"I would not invite people I didn't trust in my house, Harry. In any case, Hermione and Millicent are also here. They wanted to speak with you when you arrived." Sirius replied with a reprimand in his voice about his baiting.
"Alright. Kreacher, have my room ready, I need to rest after my trip." The ancient elf bowed to the floor and vanished from the kitchen, with Harry following suit.
"Harry, so good to see you. We've been growing mad with boredom here." Millicent greeted him with a rather passionate kiss.
"Was your trip successful?" Hermione gave him a bone-cracking hug once the pair finally parted for air.
"Very successful. My income will double for this year, and I can expect a quadruple of my current annual income starting with next year." Harry smirked. "Anything exciting happen while I was gone?"
"You mean other than the Dementor attack? The only bit of excitement was three days ago when Ron tried to hit on Millie." Hermione smirked.
"He did, huh?" Harry got an evil glint in his eyes.
"Unfortunately for him, I was also nearby. I hung him from the kitchen chandelier and told him if he ever bothered Millie again I would break him like a twig." Hermione replied. Nearing seven feet and packing muscles that athletes would kill for, Harry had no doubt her threat wasn't an empty one.
"Well, I'm glad you girls are looking out for each other, even if Millie can take down a creep like Weasley on her own." Harry shrugged.
"So, have you been keeping up with your training?" Hermione asked as they walked up to the library and sat down. Immediately, a tea set and a platter of biscuits appeared.
"Is my room ready, Kreacher?" Harry asked as he was pouring tea for the girls.
"Yes, Master Potter." The old elf was surprisingly polite to Harry, which was a surprise since it usually insulted everyone. The reason for it was simple as it could feel Harry's power and it was also grateful to him for helping Sirius destroy Voldemort's locket, which certainly helped to improve Sirius's image in the elf's eyes as well.
"Thank you, Kreacher." Harry waited until the elf was gone before he replied to Hermione. "I have, actually. Using 'that' technique has really helped me go through some of the meetings I've had."
"I can feel you're stronger too, but I haven't been idle either. The surfers really seemed to appreciate my work, even if they didn't know I was causing the waves." Hermione smirked.
"But can you do it on dry land?" Harry asked with a smirk.
"As a matter of fact, I can. What about you, Millicent?" Hermione stuck out her tongue at Harry before turning to their third member.
"I swear you two are worse than five-year-olds, and you're supposed to be the top two students in our year." Millicent laughed as Hermione huffed and Harry grabbed his chest in a dramatic pose. "But joking aside, I've been training too. I've gotten the hang of both styles, and can use them reliably."
"…and maybe that overgrown hag won't be here." Molly Weasley walked in, followed by her progeny, and the woman's face turned sour when she noticed the trio sitting before them.
"May I help you, Mrs. Weasley?" Harry asked politely.
"She's been coming up here every day since she arrived, trying to remove all the books she claims are 'dangerous'." Hermione answered before Molly could.
"Sirius already removed the cursed books. This is a very poorly veiled attempt by a bunch of thieves to take advantage of their hosts generosity." Harry's words started to turn the Weasley matriarch a deep shade of red that slowly moved into purple as the woman seemed to visibly struggle from retorting.
"We're not bloody thieves like you, Potter." Ron however did not have that kind of self-control.
"The last wizard to call a Potter a thief lived only long enough to regret those words, Weasley. This is my godfather's house, in which we are both guests. Out of my respect for him and his name, I will not respond to that ill-thought insult, but do not expect me to be so generous in the future. Since you obviously don't know, I suggest you ask your father about the consequences of insulting a Head of an Ancient and Most Noble House. Now, I bid you good-day madam." With that obvious dismissal, the still livid woman pushed her children out the door and walked out.
"If I didn't know you better, I'd say you were the most stuck-up, arrogant snob I know." Hermione burst out in laughter the moment the door closed.
"Rubbing Weasley's face in his inadequacies is the best way to rile him up. It certainly brightens my day." Harry grinned.
"From what I've heard, he considers himself to be your rival." Millicent was also laughing from the encounter.
"Weasley, my rival? Perhaps if he showed a better performance, but alas, one cannot match wits with an unarmed opponent." Harry's words sent a new wave of laughter through the room and the trio spent several hours catching up and from time to time, cracking jokes at Ron's expense.
The next day, Harry finally met with Dumbledore, hoping to discuss the appearance of Dementors in his neighborhood. Needless to say, the discussion went poorly as Dumbledore seemed eager to evade Harry's questions. His misdirections might have worked on anyone else, but Harry was trained by a true master of manipulation.
"Headmaster, you know as well as I do that someone high up in the Ministry is behind this attack. Voldemort would not risk exposure so soon. Now, I wonder why in Merlin's name would someone at the Ministry try to kill me?" Harry snapped after several minutes of listening to the old man's excuses.
"Cornelius seemed reluctant to believe me when we talked. He insisted I name the source of my information, or he would refuse to take any action. I gave him your name and told him you personally witnessed the new Dark Lord speak with several masked Death Eaters." Dumbledore admitted.
"I didn't want my name brought in the discussion, and I especially don't like the fact that my family was put in danger. What has the Minister done since your talk?" Harry sighed.
"Nothing. It seems he has decided that I was just trying to incite panic and that everything is perfectly fine in Britain." Dumbledore replied.
"Just when you think you've seen the limit of human stupidity." Harry put his head in his hands. "So, what do we do now?"
"Let us worry about that, Harry. You just focus on the upcoming year. Which reminds me, your Hogwarts letters should arrive today. Now was there anything else you wanted to talk about?" Dumbledore replied calmly.
"No, sir. I guess I'll see you at Hogwarts." Harry said and stood up. True enough, by the time he joined his friends, their letters had arrived.
"Harry, we're both prefects this year." Hermione grinned widely, pointing at the shiny badge pinned on her shirt, and Harry saw Millicent holding hers in her hand.
"You're not the only ones, it seems." Harry grinned as he too fished out a golden badge from his envelope. "You know what this means, don't you?"
"Extra responsibility and less free time?" Millicent asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Well that, but also, access to the prefects baths." Harry smirked as his girlfriend smacked him in the shoulder.