This is the Prologue of a challenge by acepro Evolution. I have adapted that into the second of my Animagus Series. This is unrelated to Lumentor, the first one, except that Harry is still an animagus. This is the first challenge I have been offered, and, as such, the first I have ever attempted.
Albus Dumbledore woke with a start as he heard the sound of the gargoyle releasing the stairs. It was well after midnight. Who could possibly be visiting him this late at night? Then, the door opened and closed. He heard a voice say "Colloportus", followed by a squelching sound as the door sealed.
He picked up his half-moon glasses and put them on. With their enchanted lenses, he was able to see Harry Potter, even before he removed his Invisibility Cloak. The Third Hallow was so powerful that it had required the Elder Wand and most of his magical power to enable his glasses to see through it. He'd repeated the process with his friend Alastor's magical eye.
"How can I help you, Mr. Potter?" Albus asked the young man.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir, we need to talk." Harry stated in a voice that Albus had never heard before. It was a powerful voice, with just a hint of magic, the result of someone with so much power that it overflowed.
"How can I help you, Harry? I must remind you that you should be in bed, but, since it's the last night, I can't really punish you."
"Frankly, sir, you have some explaining to do. I've fought and killed Voldemort, or Tom Riddle, if you prefer, in some incarnation twice in two years. It doesn't seem a coincidence to me that we end up fighting. Last year, I was willing to let it be, since I assumed that it would be a one time thing. I thought that after that year, I wouldn't have to worry about it until you told me. I can't afford to wait any longer."
"Who are you?" Albus demanded, rising out of his seat, the Elder Wand in his hand.
Harry sighed. "I am. The Harry Potter you knew is not. I have hidden just about everything about myself." He chuckled hollowly. "The Hat would've been right to put me in Slytherin."
"What are you talking about?" He didn't lower the wand.
"When I was younger, I was punished by the Dursleys for even scoring the same as my cousin, so I hid my intelligence. Over time, I just concealed everything about myself. At school here, I befriended Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. I kept my grades lower, so Ron wouldn't have another thing to feel jealous about. It also made Hermione happy, to be the best. I didn't really care. So I kept on hiding myself. The Harry Potter you know is a shy, yet courageous young man with decent grades and magical power. A persona I crafted to be the unassuming boy who no one would pay attention to. The real Harry Potter is the one who successfully completed the Animagus process this year after his friend was petrified. The one who managed to kill a basilisk and Quirrell."
Albus was flabbergasted. "How did you- When did you-" The mention of the Dursleys proved his identity. Only himself, McGonagall, and Hagrid knew of them, and both were sworn to secrecy.
The animagus process takes three full lunar cycles to complete. It involves several extremely rare ingredients for two potions. The potions are so difficult that very few even try to make them. Even Severus would be hard pressed to do so perfectly. It was also extremely dangerous, because if not done right, only parts of the drinker would change. Imagine being a human with the internal organs of an animal. Even if the parts shifted correctly, it could not be undone by any means.
"I'm sure you don't believe me." Harry sighed. "Watch." Harry vanished in a crackle of lightning, leaving in his place a black bird just smaller than Fawkes with emerald eyes. Lightning crackled along its feathers. It was consumed in lightning, then disappeared. It reappeared with a slight zapping sound and the faint smell of ozone, right next to Albus. Harry shifted back and lowered Albus's hand, so the wand was no longer pointed at him.
"Harry? Why did you-?"
"Because Hermione was attacked by a basilisk. I knew that I was immune to its gaze, due to my Parseltongue, but I needed a weapon that I could use against it, since basilisk skin is better than dragon skin against magic. It was a choice between finding a magical weapon and learning to use it, or finding a branch of magic that could help." Harry shrugged. "I took a gamble that my form would be able to fight, since my search for a magic weapon proved… unfruitful. The only ones I found were either not for sale, or outside my budget. Luckily, it seems that I was able to use one anyway."
"Harry, why didn't you come to me?"
"You were having a hard enough time as it was, dealing with the petrifications. I knew it was going to come to me in the end. I figured it out when Hermione, Ron, and I were brewing the polyjuice. The chamber was hidden in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom, in Parseltongue. Since I was the only one who could open it, I knew I would have to do it. It was only a matter of time."
Albus was stunned. "You- You knew that you'd have to fight a basilisk."
Harry shrugged again. "I studied them as much as possible. Honestly, since you sent me the invisibility cloak, I've probably spent more time there than Hermione."
"Don't even try to deny it. You're the only one who would have had access to me, not to mention the trust of my father, to have it and give it to me. McGonagall might have been trusted, but she'd never give it to me while I was in school."
Albus chuckled. "I guess you really are smarter than anyone gave you credit for."
Harry sighed. "Could you please tell me why all this happens to me? Like I said, I let it by last year, but I'm not going anywhere without an explanation."
Albus shook his head and pulled off his glasses. "I wanted to keep this from you, so you could have a childhood, but I guess that you deserve to know. Are you sure?" At Harry's nod, Albus touched his wand to his forehead and removed it, pulling away a silvery string. He placed it into a basin that had been lying on the desk.
"That's a memory, right?"
"Yes, Harry, it is. It contains the reason for Voldemort's hatred of you. This is your last chance to back out." Harry shook his head and looked into the Pensieve. When he came out, he just chuckled.
"Harry, why are you laughing? This is a very serious matter." Albus said with a disapproving look on his face.
"I know. It's just that it's a relief. I mean to know that I have the potential to kill him and a power that he doesn't. I mean, he returned from the dead, so I was afraid that he'd outlive me. I want to get rid of him for what he did to my mother and father."
Albus froze. "You're not scared?"
"Of course I am. But fear is useless at the moment, so I'm suppressing it. I believe it's called natural Occlumency."
"Harry, I think that it's time that I took you under my wing." He opened a hidden compartment in his desk and pulled out a small phoenix pendent from it. He handed it to Harry.
"Welcome to the Order of the Phoenix."
Well, that's the prologue. It takes place after year two, but the story will begin at book 5 instead.