Disclaimer: It's JKR's not mine.
Chapter 13: Duel and Discussions
Great Hall, Hogwarts, Northern Scotland
The crowd gasped as one, watching in terrified awe as the deathly green light speed towards Harry, the sound of death rushing on the wind filling the silence as it crossed the dueling strip to its destination.
Harry's brow rose in actual surprise. An eleven year old Draco Malfoy having the knowledge to cast the Killing curse was unsurprising, but to have the power and mindset necessary to cast it was astounding, and spoke volumes to those who considered how things and people could end up in the future. Shaking his head and sighing, Harry wondered how such a fool could end up in the House of the cunning, when he was willing to so clearly show his hand and his allegiance so early on. Harry was positive, by the looks on several of the professors, especially Snape, being Malfoy's god-father, that they were thinking along the same lines as he.
Raising his wand, Harry prepared himself. He could easily dodge the curse, but he had a point to prove. He could easily conjure something to block it, but Malfoy would probably try again like a fool. Harry knew Malfoy would kill himself if he tried to cast it again, since he had obviously magically exhausted himself casting the Unforgivable. Malfoy's knees had buckled under the power of the curse and he was having trouble rising back to his feet to watch his curse speed towards Harry. Harry had to end this now.
"Ambrosca Aegis!" Harry thought fiercely, concentrating hard on bringing up a powerful spell of Harry's own creation. During his time in training, Merlin had taught him about the magic behind the unforgivable curses, their creation, and the way they worked. This shield was the pinnacle of Harry's achievements into defensive magic.
Harry very rarely had to voice his spells, so his spell blaring to life without a sound from Harry was not surprising, but the sight of Harry's wand suspended in air in front of him as Harry cast wandlessly, funneling power visibly forward into his wand, shocked even Dumbledore, who knew that Harry was only using his wand to enhance the power of a spell that was supposed to be cast silently and wandlessly. A blinding gold array of thousands of lights shimmered into being around him, spinning rapidly forming into the appearance of thousands of golden razors, shining with the brilliance of the heavens. Between them, rays of golden light formed a shimmering, translucent globe of magic. Harry smirked as he focused his power into maintaining the shield. This was his final defense, the Perfect Defense, the Shield of the Divine.
The entire school, professors included, gazed in horrified silence as Harry stood confidently within his unknown shield, watching as the wings of death soared towards him with the fury of the unblockable Avada Kedavra.
The Headmaster bowed his head in acceptance while time seemed to slow for the old wizard as 'the Chosen One' stood before the unforgivable and attempted the impossible, to shield against the unblockable. Could he have been wrong? How could Harry die so easily? He ignored the shrieks and screams as professors and students began to realize what was about to happen and started panicking. Many started firing spells at the barrier protecting them all from the duel, but the Headmaster knew that even he was powerless to protect Harry from this. If he did, then both combatants would lose their magic.
So many of those watching buried their faces in their hands, unwilling to watch the death of their savior. Malfoy watched his curse, unwilling to give in to the hope that he had killed the 'Boy-Who-Lived'. The only ones who watched with heads held high, confident that Harry knew what he was doing were those in the Emrys house, for they had seen this spell within Harry's memories while in his pensieve.
Time sped back up and the green jet of the killing curse splashed against Harry's golden shield and dissipated. Harry knew that he could stop funneling power into the shield and allowed himself to only focus on keeping the shield raised, while the power behind the killing curse it absorbed would power his shield almost indefinitely.
Those with their heads buried in their hands were still listening for the dead thump that would never come, while the Headmaster looked as stunned as Malfoy and any of the others who had dared to keep watching. No one knew how, but Harry Potter had done the impossible. He had shielded against the Avada Kedavra.
Malfoy was too stunned to move while an infuriated Harry brought his wand forward and incanted "Dragwyddol Parameínei Imbecillus!"
A sickly yellow light, stinking of age and decay twirled around the tip of Harry's wand before he flicked his wand, instantaneously blasting Malfoy's crotch with the permanent impotence curse. Another flick of his wand and Malfoy was blown off his feet into the barrier again, and Malfoy slid down, finally unconscious from the combined pain of his injuries and his exhaustion.
'To the victor go the spoils' Harry thought to himself as Dumbledore brought down the shield to the applause of most of the students in the school.
According to ancient law and wizarding custom, Harry could now take a single favor from Malfoy, and Malfoy would be magically forced to accept it, much like an unbreakable vow. The difference being that Harry had to specifically ask for something as payment for his victory, or magic would never accept whatever Malfoy tried to do to pay off the debt. Harry could hold it over the Malfoy heir's head forever if he wanted.
If Harry was to go up to him and ask that Malfoy surrender all his family's gold, titles, land and whatever else, Malfoy would be forced to do so. If Harry went up and ordered him to murder his parents, he would be forced to do so. The price of loss was the main reason these duels were so rare anymore. The cost of losing had ruined many old families, the Weasleys being the most recent family in history to lose their wealth and titles a mere three centuries before.
Gabby quickly caught up to Harry and gave him a hug as he was headed out of the Great Hall. Behind him, the rest of Emrys House formed ranks between Harry and the rest of the school, many of whom were trying to get closer to congratulate him and ask him about all the spells he used, especially his shield.
Harry glanced back at Malfoy. Draco was currently being attended to by Madam Pomfrey, who was casting many diagnostic charms while mending Draco's bones and bruises. She also began to force feed Draco potions, but continued to look stumped as she tried to figure out the final spell that Harry had cast on him was.
Harry shook his head, causing Gabby and the others to look at him in concern. "It's nothing," he sighed quietly. By the looks on their faces, they clearly weren't buying it, but understood if Harry didn't want to talk about it in the open, so they quietly followed him back to their common room.
Great Hall, Hogwarts, Northern Scotland
The Headmaster watched as many students loudly applauded Harry and even attempted to go up to him, but true to form, Emrys House quickly formed ranks around him, as they had quickly begun to do, even so early in the year.
The loyalty and devotion Harry inspired was remarkable, as was his charisma. Everywhere the young Lord Potter moved, the world seemed to either love him or hate him. There was no in-between.
It was unnerving that this continued to remind the aging Headmaster so much of another very promising student. Though, he had to admit there was a vast difference between the knowledge and power that Harry now possessed, and that which a young Tom Riddle possessed at the same age. Fortunately, Harry had proven that he had chosen the opposite path at the intersection of love and hate, of good and evil. Though many were still questioning this, Albus, himself, remained certain.
The Headmaster was still as shocked as anyone that Harry had been able to shield against the Killing Curse, but kept his usual mask of calmness and comfort on in order to project it to his students, many of whom were still rocking in their seats, stunned at what they had witnessed. Oh yes, he would have to remain calm for his students, and hopefully quickly dispel that chaotic reverberations that the duel was bound to send throughout the wizarding world. Harry had come back to change history, and he was, but he was making himself even more of a legend with every move he made.
"Albus!" Madam Pomfrey's voice shook him from his reverie.
"Did you not here me, Headmaster? I've been trying to get your attention for nearly five minutes!" Madam Pomfrey replied, huffing angrily. The Headmaster knew to tread carefully. His nurse only got this angry when it dealt with her patients, and it couldn't be anything good.
"I'm afraid not, Poppy," the Headmaster stated gently in a calming manner, but it did no good. "Please excuse an old man, as my mind tends to wander ever more these days. Please continue with what you were trying to tell me."
Madam Pomfrey looked affronted, but continued nonetheless. "I don't see how you could have allowed such a blatant display of violence and hostility Headmaster, but Mr. Malfoy is certainly paying the price for your oversight. He had many minor contusions, sever bruising on several parts of his body, a ruptured kidney, several fractured and shattered ribs, a completely shattered wrist, a punctured lung, a cracked skull, massive internal bleeding, a concussion that should have left him in a coma, and the worst case of magical exhaustion I've ever seen in such a young child!"
Professor Dumbledore nodded and took note of Mr. Malfoy's injuries as his nurse gave her report. "You have healed Mr. Malfoy's injuries, I presume?"
Madam Pomfrey spluttered indignantly. "Of course I have! I've healed all except for the bones that were shattered. I healed the broken ones, but had to vanish the others and give Mr. Malfoy Skelegro to re-grow them."
Professor Dumbledore nodded happily. "Then thankfully Mr. Potter held back from permanently injuring Mr. Malfoy. By tomorrow Mr. Malfoy will be fully healed and ready to return to his classes."
Madam Pomfrey was seething. "Of course not, Headmaster! Mr. Malfoy will be required to rest until I deem him fully healed and ready to resume his classes. That won't be until I figure out what Mr. Potter's final curse was and how to counter it!"
Madam Pomfrey nodded. "I've only seen a few curses like it, and none of them good. If I were to guess, Mr. Potter used a modified Impotence Curse, as it shows the same symptoms, but has thus far resisted all my efforts to counter it. At this rate, Mr. Malfoy will never have children, or indeed, have any sexual experiences requiring him to… get it up… I believe the term is."
"How serious could this curse be, Poppy?" Professor McGonagall interjected, looking worried.
"Unless Mr. Potter provides us with the counter curse, the senior Malfoy line ends will Mr. Malfoy." Several eavesdropping students, many of them Slytherins, gasped. "It will be forever painful for Mr. Malfoy to use the loo and any time that Mr. Malfoy becomes aroused, it will be extremely painful for him, even as the curse keeps him from gaining an erection. There are known muggle methods that could bypass this, but this specific curse seems to affect Mr. Malfoy's entire reproductive system, meaning that even his seed has been cursed barren."
There were more gasps from eavesdropping students. Unfortunately for Mr. Malfoy, the Headmaster knew that Hogwarts' exceptional rumor mill would ensure that the entire school, and quite possibly many parents, would know of Mr. Malfoy's injuries within twenty four hours.
Looking around, Professor Dumbledore watched as many of the eavesdroppers pretended not to be listening and hurried away to their dorms. "Perhaps, Poppy, it would be best to continue this discussion later, say at tonight's staff meeting?"
"Of course, Headmaster." Madam Pomfrey quickly levitated Malfoy and followed him out of the Great Hall, towards her infirmary.
Emrys Common Room, Hogwarts, Northern Scotland
"That was a wicked duel, mate!"
"Thanks, mates." Harry grinned at the twins. Leave it to them to get him to lighten up, and forget his worries, even if only momentarily. Harry sighed and leaned back into one of the couches and felt his body relaxing into the soft cushions.
The entire way back to the Emrys common room, students and professors alike had attempted to get close to Harry, congratulating him and asking about the unknown spells he had used on Malfoy, but the entire Emrys House had formed ranks around him, and refused to let anyone harass him. Harry honestly didn't mind, but he was grateful for the chance to relax and think over everything that had happened before he had to deal with the rest of the school.
Harry sighed. He had figured it would probably be this way, but now he knew for certain that there was no way to save Draco. He had chosen his path. Harry was honestly extraordinarily surprised, and very impressed that Malfoy not only had the gall to cast the Killing Curse on the Boy-Who-Lived, in front of the entire student and teacher population of Hogwarts no less, but that Malfoy also had the power necessary to cast the spell in the first place. It should have been highly inconceivable for any fifth year, much less a first year, to have the ability to effectively cast any of the Unforgivable Curses.
Draco, Harry knew, had sealed his fate with that final curse. The only reason that the Malfoy Heir wasn't already headed for Azkaban was that it was within the terms of the duel, and the terms of a duel between the Ancient Houses overrode any laws against the spells used, since the combatants magically agreed to the terms. Basically, if magic accepted it, so did the Ministry.
"I can't believe Malfoy had the nerve to cast the Killing Curse on you, Harry," Hermione said from beside him, breaking Harry from his thoughts.
"Neither can I."
Pretty soon, everyone was in agreement, but still Harry made no comment.
"What do you think, Harry?" Gabby questioned, sitting on the floor in front of Harry, with her head on his knees looking up at him.
"Malfoy bit off a lot more than he can chew," Harry replied thoughtfully. "He has pretty much doomed the House of Malfoy, even if his father hadn't already done so. The repercussions of this duel are going to ring far and wide."
Many of the girls looked confused, but Hermione's face lit up.
"Of course!" She exclaimed. "All of the Malfoy's influence comes from their wealth, his father's contacts and influence, or from their titles. Harry has already stripped them of the vast majority of their wealth. During the duel, Malfoy was given the chance to yield and save his honor, but instead he chose to lose, dishonoring his House and family name. By losing, Malfoy gave up his family's honor and the other pureblood elite families are going to see them as weak, costing them their pride, business contracts, and almost, if not all of their political influence. To the rest of the pureblood elite, the Malfoy's will be looked down upon as weak trash, especially after losing to a half-blood. It's not inconceivable that by the end of the week, Malfoy ends up being the servant of every other Slytherin. And now, Harry can even claim their titles as his prize for his victory over Malfoy, which would ruin the Malfoy's in every aspect."
Harry nodded, while many of the others looked awed. Neville and Susan had grins, both having been raised to Head two pureblood elite families.
"That's barbaric," Lavender said.
"That's pureblood politics," Neville replied, shaking his head. "The weak have no honor amongst purebloods."
"Neither do muggleborns," Lavender replied, "And they aren't treated like servants, no matter how much they are looked down upon. It's only the pureblood fanatics that treat muggleborns like slaves."
"That's true," Neville agreed. "But muggleborns are expected to be the way they are. Most people wonder why purebloods look down on muggleborns so much, but very few ever ask why. The answer is muggleborns weren't raised to know our ways. They aren't raised to understand wizarding culture and politics, our way of life. Instead, most of them come into our world and immediately begin insulting us, even if they don't mean it. Muggleborns are full of wonder of our world, thinking that they understand as they go through Hogwarts, but almost always trying to mix muggle and wizarding culture in their ignorance. They understand nothing of wizarding politics, history, culture, or even our Hierarchy. Muggleborns are not raised and taught our ethics, music, heritage, or even our manners and formalities."
"The old families raise their children to understand their place in society, to know their heritage, and train them to take up the mantle of responsibility that will one day be theirs. They allow their children contact with the right people from young ages, in order to give them the contacts and influence they will need later. The reason most of the pureblood elite hate muggleborns, is because they were raised by muggles and are so stooped in muggle culture that they refuse to learn our ways, seeing them as archaic and barbaric. Instead of learning our ways and gaining their place in society, they try to mix our cultures, ignorantly destroying our way of life in the process. Most nowadays believe purebloods are cruel and power hungry, but the reality is we only want to preserve our ways, our knowledge, and our magic."
"The thread that keeps our world separate from the muggle world grows thinner and thinner each year as muggleborns corrupt our world, even without meaning to. Seriously, the Ministry has attempted to pass laws that would require muggleborns and their families to join our world up to three years earlier, in order to help them understand what they are, and the world they belong to, but the main argument against it is that it's unfair to muggleborns, forcing them to start school three years earlier, but ending at the same time as purebloods. Instead of being willing to learn our ways, to protect our society, muggleborns fight instead for equality. In pureblood elite society, 'equality' does not exist. Muggleborns believe that they have the same rights as everyone else, which in a way is true, but that doesn't mean that they have the right to positions that they wouldn't be able to handle better than a pureblood, simply because the pureblood applicant has been trained and taught what they needed to know for the position from a young age. Muggleborns are given equality from the moment they step into our world, but their ignorance of our ways, couple with their refusal to learn and accept wizarding culture, along with their trying to forcibly mix our cultures, lead many to hate muggleborns."
"The most dangerous part about muggleborns is that the more of them there are, being ignorant of our ways, and why we must keep our world secret, the more likely the muggles are to find out about us all. For each muggleborns that enters our world, their siblings and parents are told also. If they were brought in earlier, and taught the simple things that pureblood children as trained in early on, they would stand a much better chance at getting better careers later on and their families would understand the importance of maintaining the Statute of Secrecy."
"That still doesn't tell us why Malfoy would be reduced to a servant," Lavender stated.
"Actually it does," Harry responded. All their heads turned his way. "Malfoy was brought up to understand his place, and our ways. He should have considered his family honor more important to him than his own. To the pureblood elites, family honor and social stature are everything. Who wants to have dealings with someone who was foolish enough to go against one of the most important creeds they were raised to defend? Family first, no matter what. By bringing shame upon himself, he shamed his family, and acted in a most atrocious manner, unbefitting of his upbringing. Malfoy was raised to maintain the strictest level of propriety, but instead acted the fool. To the pureblood elite families, Malfoy acted as a drunken dog would, and will forever be treated as such, unless he somehow does something to regain his honor and that of his family. All actions have consequences to not only yourself, but also your family. Your every action reflects your family and your upbringing. All purebloods are taught this very early on."
"Wow," Hermione said her head low. "I didn't realize it was that tough."
Harry nodded. "Muggle culture is a lot more about social tolerance nowadays, which is why most muggleborns don't understand, and refuse to accept wizarding culture. Muggles teach their children to accept each other, even when they know others are wrong. Instead of being taught to fight against what they term as 'sin', they are now teaching their children to accept it if society says it's okay. Wizarding culture may be archaic, but muggle culture is leading down the path to self-destruction. Muggleborns are raised to accept things that are wrong, because muggle society accepts it as a norm, even as these things corrupt them and spread disease."
"You're wrong, Harry," Hermione interrupted heatedly, her face red in anger. "My parents taught me right from wrong, just as any good parent would."
"Really?" Harry questioned.
Hermione nodded furiously.
"Okay then," Harry stated calmly. "How many children that you grew up around abide by their parents' every command as they should, since children are supposed to respect their parents? How many children grow up thinking only of themselves and their future, but care nothing about the future of their family? How many teenage girls do you see waiting until marriage, or being with more than a single bloke in their lifetime? How many blokes trying to shag everything he sees, instead of courting the girl he truly wants to be with? If you look at the history of the States in the last century, the creation of their country from rebellion notwithstanding, every human rights movement of the last century has gone against many ancient traditions, and ends up being even more troublesome afterwards. Everyone is born to have the same rights, but at the same time, these muggle movements weren't about rights, they were about forcing society to accept going against their morals. The most shameful part is most people now accept these morally bankrupt ideas as correct in every sense of the word. The point is, muggles see our society as archaic, but we have merely enforced our ethics and morals upon our children, and rejected the corruption of muggle society's immoral values."
Hermione's mouth open and closed, but no sound came out.
"Never thought about it that way, have you?" Harry questioned.
She shook her head.
"The point is," Harry finished, "that you shouldn't make snap judgments or decisions until you have gathered all relevant facts to a situation. The misunderstandings are on both sides because so many people already do that."
"You were raised by muggles, Harry," Tonks said. "So how did you obtain all of that information?"
Harry smirked. "You all saw my memories, correct?"
They all nodded, still looking unsure of where Harry was going with this.
"Merlin is one of the Divines, thus he is Immortal," Harry stated, as if that simple fact explained everything.
Everyone else still looked confused. Even Hermione was failing to put the clues together.
"Even after Merlin left the mortal realm, he has watched both wizarding and muggle societies for centuries. He has watched them diverge from each other and grow into what they are today," Harry continued, waiting for one of his listeners to connect the wands.
Hermione's eyes lit up. 'By Merlin, I think the girl finally gets it' Harry thought to himself.
"And you have all of Merlin's memories from your final Occlumency test!" Hermione nearly shouted.
Harry said nothing, but watched as it dawned on everyone else.
"Wow," George said in awe.
"Yeah," Fred agreed. "It didn't really hit me until now what that meant. You must know a ton, Harry. Imagine knowing everything that Merlin himself knows!"
"That's incredible, mate," Neville agreed. "It certainly answers the question."
Harry nodded and quietly rose to his feet, pulling Gabby with him to their bedroom, waving goodnight to everyone.
It had been a long night. After a shower to refresh himself, Harry joined Gabby in bed and fell into blissful sleep seconds after his head hit the pillow.
Professor Snape's Office, Hogwarts, Northern Scotland
The first two weeks of term were over. Just like every other year, he had to deal with ignorant school children not paying the slightest bit of attention first years blowing up cauldrons left and right.
Severus snarled, quickly marking the abysmal fifth year essay in front of him. Fifth year! How did they come up with the things they wrote? Were their brains filled with stinksap?
Severus could barely believe that he was admitting it, especially to himself, but Harry Potter was one of the few first years with any potential at all in his beloved subject. That child definitely had Lily's talent with potions.
He sighed. Thinking of Lily Evans brought many many bad memories to the surface of his thoughts, but ever since her son's first potions lesson with him, Severus found himself thinking of his only love more now than he had in the last decade.
Severus could still see those beautiful eyes, shining with hurt as he betrayed the only one he ever loved. He saw them still, every night as he closed his eyes to sleep. Now he saw them in her son. Harry Potter had his mother's eyes, her talent, and definitely her temper. But he also had a bit of his father's arrogance. Fortunately, that arrogance was tempered by his mother's amazing ability to care for others, and made the boy a powerful, charismatic character, even now.
Even Severus admired Harry; he was wizard enough to admit that. He could never admire the son of James Potter, but the son of Lily Evans was a different story. The son of Lily Evans, the child he had sworn to protect years ago, and so recently sworn to stand and fight beside. This remarkable child Severus could scarcely believe came from the blood of a Potter, but within an hour of meeting the boy was swearing an oath of service to his cause. Not even the Dark Lord had such charisma when he first began his campaign.
There was no doubt. Lily Potter's strength, her will, all of her hopes and dreams lived on strongly in her son. Severus vowed again, silently to himself, that he would do her memory honor. He would not do it to get rid of the life debt he owed Potter, but instead to redeem himself to the most remarkable woman, no person that he had ever had the privilege to meet and love. Hopefully, when they met again on the other side, he could look upon her and feel worthy enough to ask her eternal forgiveness for his crimes against her.
Coming out of his thoughts, he quilled a scathing remark on the atrocious essay, and sneered at the second year that he had scrubbing the first year Gryffindor cauldrons.
"Finish the last cauldron swiftly, Gibbons, and then you may go."
"Yes, Professor!" the small second year squeaked.
Moments later he was alone again. Severus couldn't wait until the end of the night. He certainly wasn't looking forward to the annual staff meeting held two weeks into each term to discuss how the students were doing. He still had about half an hour and wanted a little rest before he had to suffer through it.
Not five minutes later, there was a knock on his office door.
"Come in," Severus called sullenly.
Looking up, Severus was about to make one of his usual snide remarks, but was stunned into silence when one of the last people he ever thought he would see again walked into his office.
"Lupin," he sneered.
"Snape," the man responded calmly.
The old enemies stood there for a minute, looking each other over before Severus' lack of patience won out.
"Do you intend to enlighten me as to the reason you have sought me out Lupin?" he asked.
Remus Lupin said nothing, instead putting a box filled with potions vials on his desk.
Opening one of the vials, Severus took a whiff. The potion smelled familiar, but he couldn't place it. Waving his wand over it followed by a parchment, a list of ingredients was written down and Severus picked it up.
Remus Lupin watched Snape go over the list of ingredients, knowing that the potions master was recognizing the odd combination for a potion that he himself developed for his potions mastery, but the few odd additional ingredients was making the potions master unsure of what he held.
"What potion is this?" Severus queried, scowling at Lupin. It looked so very familiar, but the few odd ingredients stood out, making the potions master very curious of which genius could have possibly made a potion with such ingredients, and not have it blow up in his face. This couldn't be Lupin's work. He knew Lupin was good, but nowhere near this level.
Lupin laughed at him. The mangy wolf actually had the gall to laugh in his face, after he came to Severus!
"Do tell me, Lupin," Snape sneered. "What potion is this, and why did you come to me with it, just to laugh in my face?"
Lupin sobered, knowing that he needed Snape's help for the plans with the potion. "You of all people I thought would recognize it, Snape. After all, the Wolfsnare potion is a modified version, based off your own creation."
Severus scowled, but looking at the list of ingredients was taken aback. How could he have not seen it before? Minus a few ingredients, this list contained everything needed for the immensely volatile Wolfsbane potion that he, himself created.
Snape's eyes rose to meet Lupin's. "This is your work?"
Lupin shook his head.
"Then whose is it?"
Lupin refused to answer.
Snape harrumphed. "Does it work?"
"Well say something damn you, Lupin!" Snape roared.
"What do you want me to say, Snape," Lupin replied calmly. "This potion ensnares the possessing wolf spirit within the werewolf and completely prevents the transformation. Upon the light of the full moon, the potion negates the power of the rays of the full moon, encasing its power and releasing it as healing magic throughout the werewolf's body, healing the pains and damage done in the few days leading up to the full moon. It only has to be consumed once during the week leading up to the full moon. As you can see, your creation was modified into this, so it's partly your work."
"Why have you brought it to me, Lupin?" Severus tried to hide it, but he was immensely interested in the newly dubbed Wolfsnare potion.
Lupin grinned back at Snape, not fooled in the least. "Come off it Snape. You and I both know that you are wishing with all your might that I would just leave now so that you could run back to your potions lab to examine this potion."
"But of course," the potions master replied, not denying it.
"I brought it to you out of professional respect, since you created the potion this is based off of."
Snape didn't believe a word of it. "Truly? Do your actions not have anything to do with requiring a licensed potions master to sponsor it in front of the International League of Potions Masters?"
"That has a bit to do with it," Lupin admitted. "Except I don't want you to sponsor it. I want you to claim the sole creation of it. None would doubt your ability, or your word that you were able to modify your own potion, making it immensely more effective."
Snape was stunned. "Surely you don't think I'll believe that you are allowing me to take full credit while giving nothing in return? You do realize that I will test it thoroughly before even attempting to sponsor it before the League?"
Lupin nodded. "I'll be the one you test it on, if you are willing. But I'm not the creator of this potion, and as such, I am not the one allowing you to take full claim of it."
"Who created it, Lupin?" Snape asked, honestly very curious of the answer.
Lupin shook his head slightly. "Before I tell you that, I need to know if you agree to his terms."
Snape glowered. "They are?"
"First, exactly half the profits for its creation will go to its creator, and half to you."
"Second, it will be provided free to any werewolf unable to purchase it once a month."
Snape stood suddenly. "What? Do you honestly expect me to give it away free?"
Lupin sneered right back. "The decision isn't yours to make, and if you disagree I will move on to the next potions master on the list."
Snape was furious but nodded his agreement.
"Good. Thirdly, you will lead a team of potions masters across Europe, who will make and distribute the potion each month to the apothecaries and werewolf communities, along with any Ministry's that we can push certain laws through to.
Snape thought for a moment. His schedule was already busy, but he figured that he had enough time on hand. "Agreed."
"Great," Lupin smiled. "I was hoping that you would agree. Your appointment before the League is a week before Halloween, and you have a summons to present this potion to the Wizengamot with the presentation of a new law that has been drawn up during the annual Samhain Wizengamot gathering."
Snape's jaw fell. "You already knew I'd agree?"
Lupin nodded, grinning widely.
"You used me!"
"No," Lupin shot back. "I just made you an offer no potions master worth his salt could refuse."
"Fair enough," Snape conceded. "Who created it?"
With that, Lupin walked out the office, leaving a speechless Snape behind. Smiling to himself, Lupin headed to see an old friend. "What an end to a beautiful day!"
Headmaster's Office, Hogwarts, Northern Scotland
"Welcome everyone!" the Headmaster began cheerfully. "It has been an entertaining first two weeks into the new term and I am quite sure that we are all anxious to discuss how our new students are fitting in with their houses and doing in their studies."
Professors Flitwick and Sprout looked as excited as the Headmaster. The tiny jovial professor was always ready to preen in pride over his new flock of ravens and of course how well they always did in their studies. Professor Sprout, on the other hand, was as jovial and friendly as her half-goblin colleague, but it was extremely unusual to find any Hufflepuff that wasn't outgoing and friendly to nearly everyone. They badgers seemed to be in a perpetually good mood until they were offended.
Professor McGonagall looked weary. Her House of lions had certainly had the most upsets since the beginning of term, and it had certainly shown in her students' behavior, which at the best of times was already rowdy and rambunctious. Still, the Deputy Headmistress knew that her lions just needed a stern, but fair hand to guide them, even though this year the youngest Mr. Weasley was certainly trying her patience.
Professor Snape merely scowled. It was certainly no secret that he loathed these annual meetings, even if he grudgingly agreed to their purpose. This year, however, he had real concerns. His godson was proving to be a great deal of trouble and meetings like this would, in time, garner information worth passing along to Mr. Potter. Usually, this information came later, when the Headmaster could pass it to him in utmost confidence.
Professor Snape glanced over at their new colleague. The new Head of Emrys House. The mutt was leaning back as if nothing at all could ever concern him. The decade in Azkaban must have addled the mangy dog's brains even more than they had already been. Oh, how he loathed how the mutt could grin so casually about everything, and somehow have everything turn out exactly how he planned it.
"So," Professor Dumbledore continued, clapping his hands in front of him, "Our meeting tonight should take a bit longer than normal. I apologize for this, of course. It is due to the new Head of House that suddenly became such a necessity to have. I believe we should start with Hufflepuff House, per usual."
Professor Sprout beamed around at them all. "Well, this year, I haven't got much to say except that my badgers welcomed their new housemates splendidly, and my first years are adjusting very well. I couldn't be happier. They seem to be getting along with each other and the other Houses so well this year!"
Professor Snape snorted, earning himself a glare from Professors Sprout and McGonagall.
The Headmaster smiled serenely. "Thank you, Pomona. Gryffindor House next, if you please, Minerva."
"Of course, Headmaster," the stern witch replied. "As every year since they arrived, the Weasley twins have been giving all of us a run for our money, but this year they seem to be pulling out all the stops. The scale of the pranks played already this term is much larger than usual. However, and I can't believe I'm saying this, their youngest brother Ronald is already becoming an even larger problem. Instead of immature, mischievous pranks, Mr. Weasley is outright rude to other students, already attempting to gain a measure of power over his fellow students. I've already had to stop many of my older lions from thrashing him utterly, his elder brothers included. They seem to be targeting their youngest brother even more as I quote 'Ronald is a disgrace to the Weasley name. The jealous prat wants fame, so we'll make him infamous!'. They have certainly held their word. My other cubs are already learning to keep their distance, except for Miss Perks."
Professor Snape looked on neutrally, mentally reminding himself to give points to the pranksters who normally made his life hell. He had to admit, though, their grades didn't show it, but they were geniuses with potions. If it was a choice between them and their youngest brother, whom had already garnered Severus' eternal ire with his sheer inadequacy in his subject. The boy was too lazy to pick up a book of any sort and had no desire to learn anything beyond Quidditch.
"I see," the Headmaster said sullenly. It was true. He had seen it many times form himself already. The youngest male Weasley was looking to be a shame to the others. Then again, maybe that could be the cause of it. Out of his elder brothers Bill was Head Boy, Charlie was Quidditch Captain and a celebrated seeker, Percy was now prefect, and even the twins were well liked. "The burden of trying to find one's place in our world can be overwhelming. If I am correct, Mr. Weasley has been outshined by his elder brothers all of his life, and merely seeks to be out from under their shadow, and shine in his own right, but for now we shall have to wait and see."
The Headmaster looked around at his colleagues taking in his words, each nodding to themselves.
"You may be correct, Headmaster," Professor Snape interject, "However, Mr. Weasley seems to be immensely jealous of Mr. Potter and has gone out of his way to antagonize the boy many times already."
The other Heads of House nodded feverishly. They had all seen it. The tension between Mr. Potter and the youngest male Weasley was palpable to any who cared to pay attention.
The Headmaster sighed. "Jealousy rears itself in many forms, Severus. We must deal with this when the time and situation allows. I believe we should move on to Ravenclaw House. Filius, if you would be so kind?"
The tiny professor squeaked. "Of course, Headmaster! The loss of Miss Tonks to Emrys House at the start of term was very regretful, but she seems to be doing just as well." Here he caught Sirius' eye and smiled. "Still, my first years are getting along as well as can be expected, and our doing fabulously in their studies."
"That's marvelous news, Filius," Professor Dumbledore said happily. "It does this old heart good to know that those of our younger generations are taking their studies and futures so seriously and are doing so well! Never forget, they are our future, and it is our duty and privilege to pass along our knowledge, skills, and wisdom to guide each of them to be productive, successful witches and wizards in their own right. We must protect and cherish our children always."
Sirius coughed. "If I may, Headmaster. Would you like me to report on Emrys House next?"
Professor Snape glared at Sirius, who seemed unaffected as usual. Figures, Severus thought to himself. After so many years of being on the receiving end of his glares, the mutt was immune to pretty much anything Severus could throw his way, including his undying contempt for the man. Nothing the mutt could say or do would ever garner him any sort of friendship or appreciation from his old enemy.
The Headmaster leaned forward. This could be interesting. "Go ahead, Sirius."
"Well," Sirius began. "As you know, Emrys House is newly formed, but my students are doing great. The older students that were re-sorted into Emrys have been able to help our new students adjust to life at Hogwarts and they are doing pretty well so far. They are a pretty tight knit group, which is surprising, seeing as how a few of them are in third year and above. The only problem is can see is going to be getting some of them brooms and getting uniforms for the Quidditch season."
Professor McGonagall grew red, but Sirius couldn't restrain his laughter. "Headmaster, surely you can't think this is fair! Emrys House wouldn't even be able to field a team if you weren't allowing first years to play! You don't show that kind of favoritism to the other Houses do you?"
Sirius and Severus both snorted, but Sirius beat the potions master to the cast and said what they were both thinking. "The only reason you see a problem with it, Professor McGonagall, is that many of our players used to play for Gryffindor, and you won't stand a chance against them."
Professor McGonagall's nostrils flared, but she kept her temper in check.
"I believe Sirius may have a point, Minerva." Professor Dumbledore's eyes twinkled in amusement. "Surely, you wouldn't be against it if this was for Gryffindor? You have my permission to allow first year Gryffindors to play if it will allow you to reform the House team. I can't sit back and keep Emrys House from enjoying something that will help them to grow together and learn the value of discipline, hard work, and friendship."
Professor McGonagall was outraged. She clearly wished to lash out at something, but instead leaned back in her chair and fumed silently.
"Severus, if you would."
Professor Snape nodded. "I have given my first years their rules, and so far they have abided by them diligently. This year, many heirs of old families have begun their Hogwarts careers, and of course, began to immediately vie for power. Until the duel earlier tonight, Mr. Malfoy had gained clear superiority over his fellow first years, but that will quickly change."
Sirius looked confused, but said nothing.
"Why would that be, Severus," Professor Flitwick asked.
Severus snorted into his tea. "Slytherin House is the House of the ambitious and cunning. Draco has shown himself to be hot-headed and a fool. Clear Gryffindor qualities. He Lorded himself over his classmates because of his family's wealth and his father's influence. However, both are now gone so none of my snakes are foolish enough to not realize that any alliance with Draco or the Malfoy family will be very unlikely to help them gain their ambitions. Couple this with his shame, disgrace, and loss of stature from losing a formal duel between Ancient families, a duel that Draco arrogantly initiated himself in a testimony to a lack of cunning, and the young Mr. Malfoy will have a great deal of trouble surviving Slytherin House in the foreseeable future."
For some reason, by the looks in his colleagues' eyes, Severus doubted that they heard much of anything after he mentioned the duel earlier this evening.
"I am, however, quite surprised that Draco was not immediately expelled for his use of the Killing Curse, Headmaster," Severus queried.
This caught everyone's attention, and they also looked over at Professor Dumbledore expectantly.
"I couldn't expel Mr. Malfoy," the Headmaster replied. "It was a form duel between two Ancient Houses, as you said. You know there are old laws in place, allowing the agreed upon terms in such a duel to overrule Ministry laws and restrictions on spells. Mr. Malfoy and Mr. Potter both agreed to allow any spells, no matter what they may be. As such, Mr. Malfoy cannot be held responsible."
Professor Sprout's eyes went wide. "And anyone can initiate and agree to such a duel, Headmaster?"
"Of course not, Pomona," Professor Dumbledore replied kindly. "Only the Heads of Ancient Houses or their Heirs are able to do so. I am more concerned, however, on how young Harry managed the impossible. In all my years, even I have never seen anyone successfully shield against the Killing Curse. Whatever spell Harry used was very powerful, but could also be very useful to the Wizarding World in the future. Have any of the rest of you ever seen it before tonight?"
They shook their heads all around.
"A shame," the Headmaster said sullenly. "I would love to know what spell it was and how it worked. To think of all the people that would still be alive if they only knew how to perform that shield."
Professor Flitwick squeaked happily. "But, Headmaster! We do know what spell it was, and how it works!"
The other Heads of House, along with the aging Headmaster gasped at his words.
"Well, earlier tonight, just after the duel, I was thinking along the same lines to myself," the tiny Professor began. "Suddenly, as I was sitting at my desk going over my third year essays, a page of research visualized in front of me and you wouldn't believe what it said!"
There was silence as the other professors waited for him to continue.
"Of course, it's a magnificently brilliant piece of charms work! Absolutely genius!" Professor Flitwick gushed.
"Get on with it," Severus growled, gathering many nods of agreement from his fellow Heads.
"Of course," Professor Flitwick replied happily. "As the research showed, to understand the spell, you would first have to understand how the Avada Kedavra works, which is an extraordinary piece of magical theory unto itself. To make it simple, there are three different parts of each sentient being. The body, which holds the spirit and soul, binding the three together. The spirit, which is the essence of one's immortal being. It is immortal and indestructible. Bound to the body, once released upon death, it will go on to the afterlife, or higher planes of life. The last and final part is the Soul. This is the essence of the life-force, magic, within each living being. In muggles it is not strong enough to sustain a magical being. It is immortal, but as it is essentially formed of magic, it is tied to the earth, and can be torn and destroyed. It is the Soul which binds the spirit within each being's body to the mortal realm. As the Soul is of the Earth, the Spirit is of the Divine."
There were nods all around once more, showing that they each understood so far, and wanted him to continue.
"The spell is called the Ambrosca Aegis, the Shield of the Divine," Professor Flitwick stated with pride. "And if I'm correct, judging by the handwriting the research was done in, Mr. Potter created it himself. It is a masterpiece of defensive magic, the Perfect Shield. It is cast silently and wandlessly. The Killing Curse works by using soul magic to severe the bonds between the body and soul forcibly, causing instant death. The Ambrosca Aegis works by drawing out the life-force within the caster's blood, and by drawing out a tendril of magic from within the caster's magical core, merging the blood magic with soul magic. The shield is instantaneously brought to bear, forming a barrier around the caster, drawing ambient magic from the area and absorbing any and all spells in order to power it, make it stronger, and causing the spell to require a minimal amount of power, but extreme control and understanding of the theory behind the spell. Golden in color, it calls upon the life-force and magic of both body and soul in able to disable not only the Killing Curse, but all others as well. It blocks anything, and is an invincible shield. The more thrown at it, the more that is absorbed, making it stronger. It can be held nigh indefinitely without causing magical exhaustion, due to it drawing sustaining power from ambient magic and all spells that hit it. It only requires the caster to sustain the will behind the spell, much like a Patronus."
It seemed as if Harry Potter had a real talent in leaving his teachers speechless. The theory seemed difficult at first glance, but thinking about it made it seem so simple. So logical! How could no one have ever figured out such a solution before? The answer was simple really. Very few wizards and witches delved into the ever mysterious and obscure branch of magic known as soul magic, and the Ministry had deemed anything even related to blood magic illegal centuries before.
Severus was the first to recover. "The question still remains, Headmaster. What will become of those who will no longer be willing to follow Draco Malfoy?"
The Headmaster inclined his head knowingly. "Indeed, my boy. Young Harry has certainly shown where he stands on the pyramid of power, and very few will be willing to challenge him after tonight's show. It is my belief that Harry purposely knocked young Draco Malfoy from his spot in the 'food chain' per se in order to save those who would have otherwise inevitably followed Mr. Malfoy down the wrong path. Now, without Mr. Malfoy's influence and forced leadership, they will have to think for themselves more than ever and they now have a very powerful influence keeping them from straying down a dark lonely path leading to Tom."
Severus shook his head angrily. "Draco is going to be slaughtered by his own House and you never know that he would have followed in his father's steps!"
"I understand how you feel about this, Severus," the Headmaster stated kindly. "But you cannot deny that your Godson is very like his father and though you have attempted to downplay Lucius' influence in Draco's life, very little has any impact on the boy. Harry Potter is able to see this, why can't you? You should be grateful. By disgracing and humiliating your Godson, Mr. Potter has brought him low and humbled him for the first time in his life. No longer can Lucius' money, power, or claims of superiority have any influence on the boy, since Mr. Potter has effectively stripped it all away. Let us hope that Mr. Malfoy is able to see the error of his ways, and avoid the path set for him."
Severus snorted. "Or he will give in to his anger and hate and become even worse than his father ever was."
"Let us hope not, my boy. For your sake, if not his own. On another note," the Headmaster began, "I am quite sure that we would all like to compare notes on Mr. Potter and his abilities."
The Professors looked around at their colleagues, and it was quite obvious that they were all hungry to compare notes on the enigma that was Harry Potter. All except for Sirius Black, who feigned interest, wondering what they each had to say.
Professor Flitwick spoke first. "We haven't started on any practical applications yet in first year Charms, but Mr. Potter is exceptionally knowledgeable in very advanced theories of Charms. We will begin levitating charms near Halloween, but if this research on Mr. Potter's amazing shield is anything to go by, then I believe there is very little I may be able to teach him. His knowledge and ability in Charms is far beyond anything I've ever seen, even among the greatest masters of the subject. I'm afraid that Mr. Potter will continue to be very bored in my class if held to the current curriculum."
Professor McGonagall coughed indignantly. "But surely Filius, there must be something you can teach the boy to keep him from being to bored! You are among the most respected Charms Masters in the last five hundred years and a champion duelist to boot!"
Filius sighed. "There is no need to teach Mr. Potter to duel, Minerva. Even without his obvious power and knowledge of combat magic, he showed earlier tonight that he could very possibly take even me in a duel. His stance and balance were perfect. Even though I could barely see it, his situational awareness is exceptional and his instinct to sense spells and magic around him was obvious by the way he moved when Mr. Malfoy's spells came near him. That kind of natural ability can't be taught."
"What are your opinions of the boy, Minerva?" the Headmaster asked quietly.
Minerva sighed, gathering her wits. "My opinions is much the same as yours, Filius. Mr. Potter is extremely bored in my class, but passes the time helping others learn the spells. During his first class, I asked him to show me the extent of his ability in my subject and he said he couldn't, but he did perform the Piertotum Locomotor spell flawlessly. As you all know, that level of animation is among the highest levels of Transfiguration required to gain a Mastery of the subject."
She expected the other Heads to be surprised by this, but there was an unexpected lack of reaction.
"However, I would like to add that Mr. Potter has a disturbing lack of respect for life, and deems any means necessary to keep others in line when he feels that they are doing wrong."
"You're wrong, Minerva!" Sirius snarled. "Harry merely understands that actions have consequences. An eye for an eye, without sugar coating it! He also clearly sees that some people require more direct methods in order to see the point."
"These are children, Sirius!"
"And as such, we are responsible for teaching them discipline, harshly if need be! Not every child has the same needs. Some need to be coddled, while others, like Draco Malfoy, require a firm hand."
Professor McGonagall was stunned. "Words of wisdom I'd never have expected to hear from you, Sirius. I never thought you were the type to settle down and have children."
Sirius bowed his fiercely glowing face in embarrassment.
"That is enough. Both of you," the Headmaster interrupted. "Sirius has a point Minerva, and Harry apologized and explained that it was not his wish to harm Mr. Malfoy. I expect this matter to be dropped, immediately."
The Heads of Emrys and Gryffindor both nodded, subdued for the time being.
"Brilliant! Do you have anything to report on Mr. Potter, Pomona?"
The Head of Hufflepuff shook her head. "Mr. Potter is very kind to those in my House and helpful to others during his classes. It is my recommendation that he be tested at the Ministry to determine his actual level in his studies and assign him to tutor others or assist his Professors to help keep him occupied. We all know how trouble follows those who grow easily bored with their studies."
The Headmaster nodded in complete agreement. Harry might not wish it, but it would be best to gauge the boy's abilities. "What do you think, Sirius?"
Sirius frowned thoughtfully. "I'm not sure. I'm sure Harry would have no problems being an assistant or helping tutor his fellow students. He seems to enjoy teaching. However, I very seriously doubt that Harry would be willing to allow the Ministry to test his abilities to their fullest extent. Obviously, for certain reasons I am sure you know, Dumbledore, I would agree completely with him. The Ministry should not ever gain knowledge of Harry's full powers.
The Headmaster's eyes shot up. He heard the warning in Sirius' voice and had to admit to himself that he had entirely forgotten that aspect that could easily be a very dangerous factor in Harry's life if the knowledge got out. "I agree, Sirius. Until we are sure of our support in the Ministry, we will handle this issue ourselves."
Sirius visibly sagged in relief at the Headmaster's words, while the rest turned to him in confusion, but gave up getting Sirius to be forthcoming with any explanations.
"Severus?" the Headmaster queried. "Surely you have something to say about Mr. Potter."
Severus shuddered, but maintained a calm façade. "Mr. Potter is… exceptional. He has his mother's temper and her hand in Potions."
Jaws dropped around the room. Sirius himself could be seen drooling in glee. Surely he could use this as blackmail in the future! Severus might as well have declared undying love for Harry.
"Such a glowing commendation from you, Severus! Is that boy that good?" Minerva asked in wonder.
"Mr. Potter is an extraordinary child. That is all I have to say," Severus snarled contemptuously, shocking them all into silence once more.
Professor Dumbledore was the first to come out of his stupor and rose to his feet, tapping his wand on his desk to get the attention of his Heads of House.
"Thank you all for coming. I believe that we have done what we came here to do tonight, and will walk away with much to think about. I will see you all for our post-Halloween meeting. Goodnight, and have a very well deserved rest, and I hope we can make this year continue to go prosperously for our students and staff! Dismissed."
Severus quickly fled the Headmaster's office amidst cries from the other Heads for him to elaborate on what had caused such a rapid change in his mood.
The last decade had been a relatively peaceful one for Severus, but knowing that James Potter's son would be attending this year had swiftly deteriorated his mood during the summer. Severus certainly made it no secret that he absolutely, completely, and utterly loathed the mere breath of the idea that he would have to deal with the son of his most hated childhood enemy for the next seven years. He was so sure, and loudly proclaimed the fact, that Harry Potter would be just as proud, just as big-headed, arrogant, and just as much a bully as his father was. Severus was so sure that Harry Potter's celebrity status would make the boy insanely pompous and insufferable to deal with. Of all the people to have to deal with on top of the rest of his immense work load. Severushated it. He had even toyed with the idea of resigning for the sole purpose of avoiding the boy, but his oath to protect the only son of Lily Potter held him firmly in place.
What could have changed the mind of the Potions Master so completely and utterly? The man was as intelligent and stubborn as they came. Try as he could to hide it, Professor Snape's colleagues knew him too well. Harry Potter's brewing ability might have impressed his father's childhood enemy, but it would have taken far more to gain the man's outright approval in such a fashion in a setting of only his peers and his superior.
Still muttering, the Heads of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Emrys rose to their feet and made their way to their own quarters.
The Headmaster tapped his wand to his own temple, casting a mild calming spell upon himself, and took one of his rarely indulged Dreamless Sleep potions from a drawer in his desk before making his way to his own bed. It had been a long, weary day, and he needed the rest if he expected himself to think things over clearly in the morning. He had to get a handle on so many new issues that continued to pop up ever since Harry Potter made his way back to the Wizarding World.
Would he be successful? What would Harry bring about next? What new spell? What new disaster? Trouble followed Harry like a magnet.
He was getting too old for this. That was Professor Dumbledore's final thought as he downed the potion and his head hit the pillow.
I am quite sure that I have written things in this chapter that could be, and probably are extremely offense to many, but each of us are entitled to our own opinions, and as this is my story, I have every right to state mine.
Many people might hate me and my story because of my viewpoint on situations that are coined under the terms of 'social tolerance' but I was raised to believe in right and wrong, with zero tolerance towards sin, or anything that I know to be wrong, so no flames please.
For any authors looking for a challenge, Please visit my Profile page and take a look at the challenge I have set. I have seen so very few stories of this type in all of my reading that I would love for someone to actually do it right for once, without making Harry good/understood/comforted, the way so called 'Dark' Harry stories normally go. Let's see if there are any authors out there that can actually do 'Dark/Evil' Harry.