By: James D. Fawkes
— o.0.O.O.0.o —
Goblet of Fire, page 644
Voldemort ignored Harry in favor of examining his own body. Large, long fingered hands, like pale spiders, cascaded smoothly down his own chest, his arms, his face. The unnatural red eyes gleamed more brightly in the darkness. He flexed each of his fingers, exultant rapture written across his expression. He took no notice of Pettigrew, twitching and bleeding on the ground, clutching at the stump of his right hand, nor of the great snake that slithered over the grass and dirt like water, circling Harry, hissing.
Reaching into a deep pocket of his robe, he withdrew a long wand, caressing it gently. He gave it a casual flick and sent Wormtail into the headstone upon which Harry was tied; Peter fell to the foot of it and lay there, crumpled and sobbing. Voldemort finally looked at Harry and laughed, high, cold, mirthless and triumphant.
Wormtail's robes shone with blood; the stump of his arm was wrapped in them.
"My Lord," he choked, "my Lord…you promised…you did promise…"
"Hold out your arm," Voldemort said lazily.
"Oh Master…thank you, Master…"
He produced the bleeding stump, but Voldemort laughed again.
"The other arm, Wormtail."
Harry's eyes closed and he took a breath, mind racing. He had done it before, hadn't he? He had escaped Voldemort three times, now, hadn't he? His first year, with the Philosopher's Stone, his second year, with the diary and the basilisk, and even when he was only a year old. That meant he could escape again, didn't it?
"It is back," Voldemort said softly, "they will all have noticed it…and now, we shall see…now we shall know…"
Harry' scar flared with pain as Wormtail let out a howl; he opened his eyes as Voldemort pulled his fingers away to see that the Dark Mark on Wormtail's arm had turned black. Harry closed his eyes again and desperately thought of ways to escape.
"How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it?" Voldemort whispered. "And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?"
The Portkey might work, Harry thought. If he could get free, then he might be able to sneak over to it while Voldemort looked away. He could make it back to Hogwarts, warn Dumbledore that Voldemort had returned, if only he could get back to the Triwizard trophy that had brought him to this place in the first place.
"Listen to me, reliving family history," Voldemort said quietly. Harry's eyes snapped back open, "why, I am growing quite sentimental…But look, Harry! My true family returns…"
There were dozens of pops as wizards appeared, between graves, behind the yew tree, in all the shadowy places. All of them wore hoods and masks. One by one, they stepped forward and a block of icy dread dropped into Harry's stomach. They were slow, cautious, as though they thought it were an illusion. Then, one of the Death Eaters fell to his knees, crawled forward, and kissed the hem of Voldemort's robes.
Behind him, his fellows did the same; each fell to his knees and approached the Dark Lord, kissing the hem of his robes before they stood and steadily formed a circle, enclosing Harry, Wormtail, and Voldemort, all standing before Tom Riddle Senior's grave. There were, however, several gaps, as though they expected more. Voldemort, however, did not.
"Welcome, Death Eaters," Voldemort said quietly. Harry shut his eyes again and took a shuddering breath. There was no escape, now. Alone, Harry might have been able to escape Vodlemort. But with all of the Death Eaters, standing there, forming a circle, there was no hope of getting past all of them.
He didn't have his wand, the Cup was too far, outside the circle, and there was no Dumbledore, no Fawkes, here to save him. Harry had no way of escaping his fate, this time, there was nothing he could do.
Harry felt a small jolt of hope shoot through him. There was one thing available to him, but he wasn't sure whether or not it would work. Sirius had been teaching him, using mailed instructions and a few private visits during the weekends, how to be an animagus. He had yet to actually transform, so he had no idea what he was, but the act itself may be shocking enough to buy him some time.
"You know, of course, that they have called this boy my downfall?" Harry's eyes snapped open again as Voldemort came nearer. His scar flared with agony. "You all know that on the night I lost my powers and my body, I tried to kill him. His mother died in the attempt to save him — and unwittingly provided him with a protection I admit I had not foreseen…I could not touch this boy."
Voldemort raised a single long finger and rested it near Harry's cheek.
"His mother left upon him the traces of her sacrifice…This is old magic, I should have remembered it, I was foolish to overlook it…but no matter. I can touch him now."
Voldemort pressed the cold tip of his finger against Harry's skin, and he thought his head would burst from the pain. He could not concentrate on the sound of Voldemort's laughter, let alone on transforming into his Animagus form. Voldemort moved away to continue addressing his Death Eaters and Harry took a moment to gather himself.
As soon as he had regained as much of his wits as he could, Harry focused his entire brain on the transformation, silently praying that he would be through with it before Voldemort took notice. He took in a breath and screwed his eyes shut, willing his flesh to change, to morph, and then it began with a near silent creak.
His bones began slowly to shift and change and he felt his chest expand farther and farther with each breath, like a steadily inflating balloon. Something powerful was happening, Harry knew, and, somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he was going to be a large animal.
"And here he is…" Voldemort hissed triumphantly, "the boy you all believed had been my downfall…"
Harry's skin crawled with an alien sensation as Voldemort lifted his wand and aimed it at him, and, suddenly, the ropes were too tight.
An odd sensation struck Harry, not at all like he had imagined the Cruciatus to be. It was a sort of tingling, like pins and needles but more intense, more painful, though not excruciating as he had thought it would be. It was over a moment later, and a moment after that, Voldemort lowered his wand, a bewildered look marring his face.
Harry's body continued to grow and expand and the ropes suddenly snapped. Harry fell to the ground, crouched on all fours as his nose and mouth began to elongate into a snout and his glasses melted into his skin. His hair shortened and changed to a tawny yellow, marked by black spots here and there.
Harry opened his mouth to scream as his bones cracked and morphed, but what came out was a low, feline growl. His fingers pressed together into paws and a tail began to sprout from his backside. Tawny fur, pock marked with black spots, slowly budded all over his body, and still he continued to grow.
"Avada Kedavra!" Voldemort shrieked, but the spell splashed against Harry's chest harmlessly. The transformation continued and Harry started to look more and more like a leopard, even though he was taller than the angel statue farther down the cemetery.
"Kill him!" Voldemort yelled to his followers. As one, all the Death Eaters raised their wands and pointed them at Harry, whose changes were beginning to slow down and finish.
"Avada Kedavra!" screamed more than two dozen different voices. All of the curses hit their target and dissipated. Harry continued to grow, amazed at the tiny tickle that the most lethal spell known to wizard kind had become against his skin.
Finally, Harry stopped growing and his transformation was complete. He was a giant leopard easily taller than an elephant with fangs at least a foot long, staring down at the tiny wizards who were flinging all sorts of curses at him, to no avail.
"Potter's a bloody Nundu," one of the Death Eaters whispered, but Harry heard him as though he had shouted. "Potter's become a bloody Nundu!"
Harry inhaled upon a strange instinct, then let out a deep breath, along with a cloud of sickly black miasma. The Death Eaters screamed and scattered, but excepting those (like Voldemort) who had intelligently cast a Bubblehead charm or those who had Apparated, none of them was fast enough to escape. One by one, they fell gagging and retching, dieing slowly and painfully.
Harry leaned forward and snarled at Voldemort, only slightly surprised at the growl that bubbled out of his throat. Voldemort sneered, then raised his wand and Disapparated with a small pop. His remaining followers did the same.
Harry the Nundu sat back on his massive haunches, crushing a few headstones accidentally, and pondered how he was going to explain this to Dumbledore.
— o.0.O.O.0.o —
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
A little idea of mine. I've seen Harry become a phoenix, a griffin, even a basilisk once. But I've never seen Harry have a Nundu as his Animagus form. So I thought, what would be the best time for this power to show itself? The answer came to me in a flash: Voldemort's rebirthing ceremony.
This was just a little something I did in about two hours, so don't expect it to be that great and don't expect it to be continued. That said, one of you can pick it up and run with it as long as you credit me for the original idea.
To all of my fans out there, waiting for some word on CCTAM and other projects, don't fret, I promise I'll get back to them. There's just some stuff going on that really needs my attention and there's a couple of things I'm going to wait for. Before summer's end, there'll be more, I promise (save any tragedies or anything really important popping up suddenly).
And he went galumphing back…
James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes
James Daniel Godric Alan Fawkes(Signature best viewed in Wendy Medium font style)