Autor's note

Dear readers,

Welcome to my story, I hope it holds your interest. I'm so excited to be able to add my version of 'what happens next.'

Loving the series since the very first chapter, it took me more than ten years to finally develop the following story. After Voldemort's death, there remains so many questions to answer regarding our heroes. Ms. Rowling left the end of the story wide open. Did our Trio or any of the others ever attend school again? She mused briefly that Hermione, of course, probably returned to school to complete her education, and to graduate properly.

It made me wonder: What if they all returned to Hogwarts? What if they learned that, even though the Second Wizardry War just ended, that there was still a dark danger that had lingered far longer than Tom Riddle? What if the dark magic Riddle used was evolved from old secrets, secrets discovered and honed in an advanced culture existing long before the Western World defined their wizards and witches? What if this threat forced enemies together to fight the ultimate battle that would decide the future of the world?

There were many ancient cultures with mystics and miracles, but in no other was magic as integral as in the golden age of Egypt.

I've been fascinated by Egypt and its history for most of my life (never traveled there, regrettably). I decided to let our heroes and their 'allies' cross paths with an old and deadly Egyptian curse and it's fallout. This is NOT a mummy story, nor of the 'a curse of the pharaoh' genre, but a tale all its own. I spent a long time searching for a foe that would challenge Harry, Ron, Hermione, Draco, and the others in Hogwarts, someone who could really get them into really deep water.

I finally found him, an historical personage who was indeed condemned as a dark wizard in the era of Ramses III.

The full summary follows:

We catch up with our heroes on the train ride to a restored Hogwarts, Hermione, Harry and Ron now returning to repeat their final year. Many were offered a chance to repeat their year because they missed so many lessons during Snape's and the Carrows' régime. Among the returning students is Draco Malfoy, much to Hermione's dismay. Of course, the house-rivals do not get along, but they have no time to develop their enmity for each other. The reason is the arrival of their new teacher for Defence Against the Dark Arts.

He arrives from Ashmounein, the Egyptian School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, accompanied of four of the best students in the school, in accordance with a new program of International Wizard Cooperation concocted by the Ministry. They are apportioned among the four houses, settle in quickly, and make friends with the other students. Before long, the peaceful schooldays become more serious.

While the escaped Death Eaters seek vengeance on those who 'betrayed' Voldemort (like the Malfoys), even invading the area around Hogwarts, strange things are happening within the school. Shadows in form of ancient Egyptian gods are moving at night over the walls of Hogwarts, students sense the haunting, and old artifacts have gone missing. Hermione learns that there have been burglaries in Muggle museums in London, Berlin and Paris, only ancient Egyptian artifacts taken. The Golden Trio, their friends, and a rather unwilling Draco are forced to act. They learn that the four houses of the Egyptian school are bound together by an ancient link – far older than realized – and that there's also a connection with Hogwarts and its founder, Salazar Slytherin, the students that someone from long ago has come to collect a deadly prize.

One thing more: This is a mixture of adventure, mystery and romance. Sparks fly between Hermione and Draco, their conflict escalating and developing in directions no one expected. Look for the Harry/Ginny, a jealous Ron, a wonderful Luna Lovegood who discovers her purpose in life, and the four mysterious Egyptian students whose souls are connected to ancient beings no one realized still existed.

And now, TaDa! the Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor anyone else of the universe J.K. Rowling has created. Concerning the new portions: I researched ancient Egyptian traditions, gods, etc, and I write of them with the greatest respect of that old culture. The villain of this story is an historical person, only vaguely referenced in the old papyruses, and I use his name and manner of life with no intention to offend any possible descendents.

Warning: The historical events concerning the death of Ramses III are slightly changed.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I've enjoyed creating it,

Yours

Lywhn

Prologue

Waset, Egypt, 24 Achet (Thebes, 20th June 1156, BC)

Mercilessly the sun beat down over the land of the Nile and onto the royal metropolis, the heat felt even inside the thick walls of the large palace hall. It shimmered between the grand columns, over the baronial walls with the images of battles and hunts, crept over the marble floors. Thick silence reigned within these walls, even peopled with guards, witnesses, observer, judges and the criminals who had been brought to face the final verdict in their trial.

"As for the words which the people have spoken, I know them not. Go ye and examine them. When they go out, and they examine them, they shall cause to die by their own hand, those who should die, without my knowing it. They shall execute the punishment upon the others, likewise without my knowing it. When ye go see to it that ye give heed, and have a care lest ye execute punishment upon ... unjustly ... Now, I say to you in very truth, as for all that has been done, and those who have done it, let all that they have done fall upon their own heads; while I am protected and defended forever, while I am among the just kings, who are before Amon-Re, king of gods, and before Osiris, ruler of eternity."

The elder of the Noble Court of Examination looked up from the papyrus spread before him, containing the last words of Ramses III, dictated shortly before his death 72 days before. To soothe the nation, shaken by the conspiracy against their beloved pharaoh, the priesthood and the nobles of the court had officially declared that Ramses simply died of old age, and not that he had fallen prey to the despicable complot that his second-born son and his secondary wife Tiy had initiated. But the well informed knew better. The plot had been successful, even if the pharaoh had survived several weeks longer than his murderer had planned. It was enough time to uncover those who had initiated the plan before the dark magic, woven by one of his most trusted men, had sapped his final strength. Day by day, life had drained from him, first from his body, then from his soul. What no enemy warrior could do, what no poison had ever accomplished was dealt to him by his own flesh and blood, empowered by magic in its darkest and cruellest form.

Ramses III died on the 15th Schemu III (15th April, note of the author), but being a living god by status, he had the right to pronounce death-sentences, even after leaving the world of the living. The papyrus he signed made the Eldest of the Court his mouthpiece, and the Court would show no mercy to the conspirators, neither to the second queen and her son, nor to those whose minds had been poisoned by the brutal hunger for power.

Penhuibin, in earlier times the overseer of the herds, and now one of the most powerful warlocks in Thebes, straightened his strong body and coldly returned the glare of the Court members, showing no regret. As a child, he had realized that he could do things other people could not. Some priests soon recognized that he had magical powers far stronger than the other so-called 'wizards,' and he was trained by them to fulfil his duty to the pharaoh and the nation, using his magical skills to benefit the nation and his pharaoh, to heal and protect – by assuring that no wild beasts or robbers would steal the royal animals. What a waste! What a despicable responsibility he was entrusted with! It was far below his talents! He should have been the first of all priests, by Osiris, he should have sat on the throne! Not this old man who had left his best years behind!

As Pebekkamen, the first of the chamber, came to him and offered him the chance to show all of Egypt and the bordering countries his true powers, Penhuibin chose to follow. With the help of Pebekkamen and the son of Queen Tiy, the strongest books of magic hidden in the Royal Library had been brought to him, and he had learned more than most of the other magicians had ever attempted.

They should have succeeded! They should have brought Ramses to his knees! The old babbling monarch should never have been able to react!

But that's not how it happened. The conspiracy had been exposed and all those attempting to place another man on the throne were brought to trial, facing certain death.

The judge's eyes scoured him, and he fought a mocking smile as he returned the look of the old man. "Penhuibin, you've brought to trial because of the great crimes against our god and lord, conspiring with Pebekkamen and the prince, whose real name shall never be spoken nor written again. You are accused of using black magic to bewitch those who had been faithful to our lord. You blinded and bewildered them, robbed them of their free will and deafened their ears to every truthful word that was spoken. You built wax-figures and tortured them to weaken those who loved our lord and would never have betrayed him. You wove webs of fear and sin around guards and servants. Your deeds weakened our soldiers and endangered our nation, but above all your magic took our lord's life. Many witnesses have been heard, and they all confirmed the expectations of this Court: You are guilty of all evil deeds of which you have been accused. Do you have any rebuff?"

Penhuibin pursed his full lips, piercing black eyes engaging the two other co-conspirators, also facing the final trial. Pebekkamen stood motionless and silent beside him. The prince, who would go down in history under the name Pentewere, his true name lost forever, showed a mask of cold fury. His mother Tiy had wanted to win the throne for him. She'd been sentenced before them, and no one would ever know of her fate.

He took a deep breath, answering slowly, with only a hint of the arrogance he had shown his whole life: "I was born with magic in my blood. I could have been great, if given a chance, but I was condemned to the lowly work of a slave, a herdsman. Ramses feared me. He feared my might and he paid the price of underestimating me, me, whom he should have considered a friend and ally, a partner with him in power. I do not regret what I've done. There will always be those who fear what they don't understand. I am a wizard. There will be generations of wizards who will come after me, and someday there will be two worlds: one of blind people with no magic, and one that belongs to those like me. It is for those generations to come that I fought. For my people, in time, the world will change one day. For this I will face my fate with pride."

Murmurs swept the hall, shock, outrage. The members of the Court whispered to each other, priests were grumbling and nodding. Finally the elder of the Court spoke again.

"So be it! You, Penhuibin, will be punished for your evil deeds and the harm you brought to your countrymen. Our lord's wish was that the guilty be put to death. As you are not a servant, we will grant you the opportunity to end your life as you choose. In judgment, your body will not be preserved for the afterlife. It is the decision of the priesthood that Anubis not be offended by encountering your face and Toth will never write of Osiris' trial concerning you. Your body will be burned, but the ashes will not be spread over the streets, for they may infect the innocent. Your ashes will buried at the feet of the man you murdered. Your soul will never walk in the afterlife, nor will it be devoured by Ammit. Damned to suspension forever in the ether, you will be condemned to confront your sins until end of time!"

Penhuibin was dressed only in a loincloth, for clothing demonstrated status. The Court had assumed that that he would be terrified by a fate that others feared more than anything else, but they were mistaken. The figure before them did not cower, nor tremble, nor fall to his knees and beg for mercy. Instead, he lifted his chin and tensed his muscles. He spoke, eyes flashing, his voice soft but reverberating about the chamber, dark, full of venom and rage. "You bound my mind to bring me to this trial. You took away my staff to prevent me from helping you to see things from my point. But I am not as defenceless as you think!" He smiled, almost triumphantly. "I am free to choose my death? So be it!" he cried, his deep voice now booming through the hall. Even without his staff, his power was amazing, and if not for the spells of restraint the priest had put upon him, he certainly would have cursed them all and escaped, so he chose the only method he knew that could bring him back someday.

The ropes that bound his wrists were suddenly gone, and the hot air started to move, to whirl, to rage through the hall like a storm, sweeping the guards from their feet. Throwing his head back, Penhuibin spoke words in a language none could understand, and the wind increased. The priests and judges cried out in alarm, the guards tried to rise and to run towards him. His two fellow-conspirators backed away, terrified. Dark dust rose from the floor and danced around the wizard, enveloping him like a black cloud. In an instant, he stood before the Eldest of the Court who had been hurled to the floor from the force of the loosed magic. Bending down, Penhuibin seized the gold and silver dagger that belonged to Ramses, the icon representing the pharaoh at the trial.

Raising it over the horrified assembly, Penhuibin shouted: "My blood will spread through the world and will be in all those who serve Aphopis, the snake of the night. My ashes will become earth, from earth comes life! I will return like the phoenix – with fire and perdition! I lived twenty-eight years. One hundred thirteen days I was in power within this walls. One hundred thirteen years shall pass twenty-eight times before I return. This dagger will be my tool, this dagger will contain my mind, this dagger will be my passage!"

With those words he plunged the blade deep into his own heart, the home of the soul and spirit. The dagger glowed like an unholy fire; the blood that poured out from the fatal wound was picked up by the diabolical wind, and spread to everyone in the hall like a plague of locusts. As Penhuibin's body fell to the floor, his essence infused into the blade, the wind suddenly died down. The blood spattered by an unseen hand burned all it touched like acid.

Finally, silence returned. Trembling, shaking, the members of the Court and the priests rose to their feet. They had all underestimated the powerful magic Penhuibin commanded. The Elder swallowed and his voice was hoarse, as he said: "Death has come to the traitor. Take his body and burn it, as sentence was given. And take the dagger to our lord's temple at Medinet Habu. May Osiris watch over the devil's blade, for he is the lord of death and will not allow escape from his realm."

And so it came to pass. Penhuibin's body was immediately cremated and locked away in an urn, placed at Ramses' feet outside of is sarcophagus in Wadi Biban el-Muluk, the Valley of the Kings. The dagger was well hidden at the feet of the statue of Osiris, in the very temple Ramses caused to be built during his lifetime.

But the dagger vanished. One morning the priests could not find it in its place. The country was searched from the Great Sea to the southern mountains, but there was not even a tale told of its whereabouts. It was surmised that follower of Penhuibin took it to safety, passing it from wizard to wizard, and the captured mind encased in its blade waited.

And as the pharaoh's grave was opened for visitors during the Greek- and Roman epoch a thousand years later, none knew of the dark secret of the urn that was found there, ready to release an ancient evil to the world.

Twenty-eight times one hundred thirteen years did pass, until it was up to a handful of young people in a far away land to pay the price for the contempt and ignorant negligence of the Court's judges and guards…

TBC…