Disclaimer: As I took the pains in mentioning it in Be Careful... I do not own Harry Potter
Author's notes; I would suggest that you read my earlier work of fan fiction Be Careful What You Wish For before this as it is a part of this work of fan fiction.
Warning: this chapter, in fact this entire story may contain clichés. I know that for a fact and recognise it. You'll only be pointing out the obvious when saying that in a review. Oh, and everything takes place seven years after canon. i.e. canon Harry's fifth year was in 1995-1996 but in this AU, it is in 2002-2003.
Rise of the Wizards
Harry Potter contemplated life as he sat in his well appointed study in his ancestral manor. He occasionally took sips from a glass of firewhiskey that he held in his hand as he stared into the fire in front of him.
Just today he had started his morning off with a confrontation with his former friend Hermione Granger. Well, 'confrontation' was a bit of an understatement; it had been more of a blazing row than anything else.
Harry supposed it was a good thing that his office doors had a silencing ward embedded into them, automatically cutting off all sound the minute the doors were closed. Had it been a muggle office, the whole floor would have been able to hear the shrieking of that harpy; that was a fact that Harry was sure of. As it was Harry's ears still rang with the sound of her voice.
Was she always this shrill, Harry thought, or did living with the Weasley matriarch along with her twit of a husband improve her shouting ability?
Harry amused himself for a bit thinking of Hermione Granger sitting with Molly Weasley in one of those acoustic rooms and practising her vocals with Molly interrupting her with tips now and then ('no no, dear, you should modulate your A's like this ... add a bit more snap to the name there ...') before he sobered and his thoughts returned to the topic of the conversation.
The Harry Potter Magical Child Protection Act, or as he liked to call it, the HPMCPA, (he still was getting used to having his name associated with anything much less important bits of legislature) was an important part of his plans for the wizarding world.
It was a wild idea, one cooked up by two lost sixteen year old former school rivals who were really feeling the pressure of the world on their shoulders, albeit for different reasons who had decided to get drunk just once to forget. To forget the bitter rivalry they once had, the fact that they were both pawns in opposing sides of a war that was really between two bitter manipulative old men who should have died long ago, a war that was never going to really end as long as one of those aforementioned old men lived, a war that would probably end the wizarding world's existence for good.
As such neither of them ever in their wildest dreams imagined that anyone would have ever been interested in their drunken ramblings, much less that the same person would have actually formed a coherent plan from them.
Then again, considering that the same person has managed the impossible and has successfully cheated death nearly seven hundred years ago, and still continues to do so, it really shouldn't have been so surprising.
He definitely had come far in his life. He no longer was the eleven year old wide-eyed child who saw Hogwarts as a haven from his abusive relatives, nor was he the same naive fifteen year old who only saw the world in black and white and was convinced that Dumbledore was always right.
Harry remembered exactly when everything had changed for him. The precise moment when he stopped being Dumbledore's pawn and had finally seen the world for what it was and what needed to be done;
Harry's scar burst open and he knew he was dead: it was pain beyond imagining, pain past endurance –
He was gone from the hall, he was locked in the coils of a creature with red eyes, so tightly bound that Harry did not know where his body ended and the creature's began: they were fused together, bound by pain, and there was no escape –
And when the creature spoke, it used Harry's mouth, so that in his agony, he felt his jaw move...
'Kill me now Dumbledore ...'
Blinded and dying, every part of him screaming for release, Harry felt the creature use him again...
'If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy ...'
Let the pain stop, thought Harry ... let him kill us ... end it, Dumbledore ... death is nothing compared to this...
And I'll see Sirius again...
And as Harry's heart filled with emotion, the creature's coils loosened, the pain was slowly lessening. Bolstered, Harry pushed ... he thought of his parents, how they had with their dying breath tried to save him, how they also had, even beyond the grave done the same thing again years later.
He thought of Sirius again; how he had offered Harry a chance to be away from the Dursleys forever, a chance for a new life, and a link to his deceased parents, and the feeling in him swelled.
At the same time, in the Department of Mysteries, unbeknownst to the remaining combatants there, a locked door suddenly glowed brightly around the edges filling the entrance chamber with an intense yet soothing light.
The creature suddenly let go of Harry as he felt an intense rush of emotion that a small part of him recognised as love. Harry then found himself in a void full of a roiling white force. In front of him was a black mass surrounded by a force of green and red.
The Dark presence, which was the soul fragment of Voldemort's that was lodged in Harry's scar, had been kept at bay by the Light Blood Ward that Lily Potter had cast on her son. However, as with all forms of powerful Old Magic (Dark or Light) this ward was powered by a powerful emotion, which in this case was love.
Unfortunately, Dumbledore had inadvertently weakened this ward when he, not fully understanding the nature of the ward, had placed Harry in a home where he was hated at worst and treated with cold indifference at best. As these emotions were the opposite of Love, the blood ward had weakened very slightly. It was enough for the soul fragment to form a magical connection with Harry
It was due to this after all that Harry could speak Parseltounge and also wield a wand that was a brother of Voldemort's.
This ward then was further weakened even further when Voldemort had used Harry's blood to regain his body. Thus the bond between the soul fragment and Harry became a bit stronger.
However in an ironic twist of fate, by using Harry's blood, Voldemort had become a sort of Horcrux of Harry's.
When being possessed by Voldemort, the blood ward had temporarily fallen as, unbeknownst to Voldemort his mutilated soul had nearly connected with the fragment in Harry's scar. However, they were not successful as Harry had pushed Voldemort out.
Had Harry stopped at this point, the wards would have been restored by the power that he had accessed in the Love Room and his own magic.
But all of this was unknown to Harry as he gazed upon the black mass. He could feel the power rolling off it, sinister and yet strangely intoxicating. He didn't know how long he stood there looking at it, was it a few seconds, hours, days or decades? Time, it seemed, had come to a halt as he gazed at what was in front of him before he reached out ... forever changing the course of the wizarding world.
Harry could feel the wrongness of the presence of the mass in front of him and he knew that it had to go. At the same time, he could feel the power it held. It intoxicated him ... called out to the darkness in his very soul created by his less than happy childhood and the various encounters he had later on in his Hogwarts years ... and for the first time in his life, he listened.
The instant he came in contact with it, he felt the power rush into him. Immediately the dark presence that was enclosed within started fighting back, trying, in the process, to drain him.
But Harry wasn't dissuaded. He, with all of his considerable willpower, marshalled the newfound power within him and fought back. Harry also had a distinct advantage of a full soul, so the fragment of Voldemort's soul didn't really stand much of a chance. As the power flooded into him, it came with a cacophony of sights and sounds, disjointed memories and thoughts.
Just as Harry felt that he might burst from the influx of power and lose his sanity from all the foreign thoughts within his mind, it abruptly stopped. A bloodcurdling scream then shattered the abrupt silence as the malignant black mass in front of him disappeared.
Harry opened his eyes to find himself staring at the floor of the ministry atrium with a pounding head. The wet feeling on his forehead coupled with the coppery smell of blood and the pain in his scar told him that it had burst open and was bleeding. Harry then slowly and gingerly got to his feet using the wall for support.
As he got up, he absently noticed that a few wisps of a foul looking black smoke had come out of his scar. Disoriented, he barely noticed as Voldemort Apparated in momentarily and disappeared with a weeping Bellatrix right in front of the minister and half of the ministry.
Albus Dumbledore took a moment to look at Harry to ascertain whether or not he was alright before turning his attention to Fudge, who took that moment to stagger forward white-faced, escorted by the golden statues animated by Dumbledore followed by his equally white-faced Aurors and an appalled Amelia Bones.
'He was there!' shouted a scarlet robed man in a ponytail, pointing at the pile of golden rubble that was the remains of the animated statue of the wizard that had trapped Bellatrix a few moments ago. 'I swear it was You-Know-Who Mr. Fudge. He took that woman and Disapparated just now!'
'I saw him too Williamson' gibbered a white faced Fudge,
'He was right here! In the Ministry no less,' Fudge continued rambling for a bit, moaning at the state of the Fountain before Dumbledore got his attention.
Normally Harry would have felt glee and taken a vindictive pleasure at the look on the Minister's face as he was finally proven to be right and not as the Minister believed "a deranged attention seeking liar trying to destabilise the peace in the Wizarding World by inciting panic". But Harry was too tired to feel anything. The loss of his godfather hadn't sunk in and throwing Voldemort had been rather taxing on his magic.
So he watched tiredly as Dumbledore proceeded to rub the fact that he was right all along in his own subtle way into Fudge's face before all but ordering the Minister of Magic to send some of his Aurors to apprehend the Death Eaters captured down in the Department of Mysteries.
Dumbledore then took the head of a statue and turned it into a portkey to his office (much to Fudge's impotent displeasure) and gave it to Harry.
Harry numbly took the portkey, and, feeling a familiar jerk behind his navel was whisked off to the Headmaster's office in Hogwarts, where his faith in Dumbledore would be further broken.
Harry stumbled out of Dumbledore's office about an hour later, his mind a swirl of many different emotions; chief among which was anger, grief and shock followed by a deep sense of betrayal. Just a few minutes back Dumbledore had seen fit to finally open up to Harry and tell him things he ought to have known much earlier. Suffice to say, Harry was not pleased with Dumbledore's earlier reticence.
At least it was a good thing that Dumbledore had taken nearly half an hour to come and then turn his world upside down, Harry mused. That had given him the time needed for him to gather his strength and adequately show his displeasure, destroying half the headmaster's office was pretty satisfying to say the least. And considering what Dumbledore had revealed to him, Harry could really not find it within him to even come up with an iota of guilt for destroying all those stupid silver instruments.
Underlying it all was a rather peculiar emotion that Harry was feeling, he could not name it. Though if pressed, he would describe it as 'disorientation'.
As it was, Harry could scarcely believe that it was still morning. Right now, he felt like going to sleep and not waking up. Ever.
Harry started towards the Gryffindor tower only to stop halfway. He was in no mood for human company right now, much less the company of vapid, snivelling, immature teenagers. He needed to think, to sort out the mess that was his head. A place not many people knew about.
Pondering this, he finally came to a decision, and, mind made up, he directed his feet towards the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy, where, after thinking of a peaceful place to rest and think, walked into the door which materialised on the blank stretch of wall opposite the tapestry.
Harry stepped into the Room of Requirement to find what looked like a small meadow under a cloudless sky. He lay down on a slight protrusion in the middle of the field to find that it did not feel like what he expected the ground to feel like. It was as soft as his four-poster in the Gryffindor dorm; in fact, he would say that it felt even more comfortable than his dorm bed. It was a decidedly odd if comfortable sensation, Harry thought absently before turning his thoughts to what had just happened.
First was the fact that his godfather had died, and here Harry's eyes started to glisten; Sirius was the first adult in Harry's life who actually cared for him and only him. Sure, he had Mrs. Weasley and Remus, but they weren't the same. Mrs. Weasley was his friend's mother and he really didn't know Remus that well comparatively. Harry wasn't blind to Sirius' faults, he knew that Sirius was a bit brash and reckless, and tended to act before thinking, and was also, Harry mused, slightly delusional and immature, but then again, he had been locked up for quite a long time, the Dementors definitely had to have an effect on his mind. Either that, or insanity runs in the Black Family, Harry thought, thinking of Bellatrix and how sadistically crazy she was.
His mood darkened as he thought of Bellatrix, Harry scowled as he saw her sneering face in his mind's eye. One day, I'll kill that bitch, he thought with malevolence imagining her form writhing under his wand in pain.
Harry abruptly stopped as he realised the rather violent directions his thoughts had taken. He didn't want to torture Bellatrix, did he? But a small part of him that he had not heard of before did. It craved her blood, the sound of her tortured screams; the satisfaction of watching the pain in her eyes as life slowly and torturously left her body-
At that, Harry snapped out of his thoughts. What was that about? He wondered, certain that he had never felt that way about anyone before, and confused as to why he wasn't truly bothered with it. Shivering, he focused back on the events of the previous few hours.
Thoughts of Bellatrix naturally led him to the incident at the atrium where he had tried to use the Cruciatus Curse on her. They then moved on to the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort. Harry felt awed by the power that was thrown around by those two wizards. That, he thought, was real magic Harry suddenly had a newfound craving to learn more to delve deeper into the depths of magic, to really see what could be done when one pushed the boundaries.
Eventually his mind drifted onto the aftermath of the battle and his subsequent possession by Voldemort. He shivered, that was one experience that he did not wish to repeat! He still felt the aftermath of that ordeal. Though he felt ... different somehow ... as if that had changed him forever. He did not know why or how but knew that in his gut.
Finally, his mind then turned towards the events in the Headmaster's office. His mood darkened, Dumbledore had said a lot of things that had angered him. Directly and indirectly; first off was that thrice damned prophecy. Harry couldn't believe that Dumbledore hadn't seen fit to tell him that before. Sure, a small part of him realised, he was too young at the time, and it was a heavy burden to place on anyone, much less a fifteen year old.
The duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort had definitely opened Harry's eyes to the harsh reality of what Voldemort really was like. There was a reason why Voldemort was considered to be The Most Feared Dark Lord in Modern Times, why people feared to even name him. Voldemort was deadly! Harry was lucky to have survived him thus far, he knew that Voldemort had underestimated him before. He knew that it was luck that had saved him in all his encounters with Voldemort. If Voldemort wasn't so hell bent on showing off and had he actually decided to finish Harry off, exchanging grandstanding and enjoyment for utility and convenience, and had he taken Harry as seriously as he had taken Dumbledore, Harry wouldn't have stood a chance.
Voldemort definitely won't be playing around the next time they met, this Harry knew for sure. Guess it means that I'll have to find a way to ensure that he isn't at his best then,he thought.
Harry wondered why Dumbledore hadn't made a better effort to train him. He knew that it would eventually come down to him and Voldemort, so why not do anything? After all, Dumbledore had taken a major interest in his life...
Suddenly Harry shot up as he remembered a part of his last conversation with Dumbledore:
Dumbledore stared for a moment at the sunlit grounds outside the window, then looked back at Harry and said, 'Five years ago you arrived at Hogwarts, Harry, safe and whole, as I had planned and intended. Well – not quite whole. You had suffered. I knew you would when I left you on your aunt and uncle's doorstep. I knew I was condemning you to ten dark and difficult years.'
The last few sentences rang in Harry's mind. Dumbledore knew! He knew about my home life at the Dursleys, and he did NOTHING!
Harry began to see red, there was an odd ringing in his ears as his mind began to rapidly process that information, discovered new associations not thought of before and reached new conclusions;
His first Hogwarts letter that had been addressed to his cupboard; that really was proof that if not Dumbledore, at least McGonagall knew! After all she did sign the letters personally ... how could she have missed that? His conclusion was that she hadn't she was too intelligent to have, so either she was ignorant of the fact or she did not pursue the issue beyond notifying Dumbledore about it. Both scenarios weren't too comforting. He refused to believe the third possibility that she knew but did not care. That situation was too horrible to fathom.
Then there was the man in the purple top hat, Dedalus Diggle, and the woman in the green dress, Emmeline Vance. Harry knew he had seen them somewhere before, and he realised then that he had and the significance; he had met them before he even knew of Hogwarts so they have been spying on me for what looks like all my life, yet they did nothing? Harry fumed
Then Harry had another epiphany; Mrs Figg: He had just found out last summer that she was a squib and in Dumbledore's Order. Unbidden, the memory of his encounter with her came to the forefront of his mind along with a part of what she had said;
'...I'm sorry I gave you such a miserable time Harry, but the Dursleys would never have let you come over if they'd thought you enjoyed it...'
'She knew too' Harry whispered to himself, horrified, 'She knew and didn't say ANYTHING!' Harry screamed out the last words.
At this, something in Harry snapped and he let out a primal scream of rage and anger, unleashing his magic out in a torrent of emotion. Wind whipped through the meadow and clouds formed overhead in the simulated sky. Wards flared up in the room in a bright display of colour as they contained the outburst of raw magic.
Finally, the stress and lack of sleep caught up with Harry and his rage subsided quickly. Drained, Harry finally passed out, all but dead to the world.
As Harry lost consciousness, his mind was still in peril. The soul fragment of Voldemort's within him had been destroyed; however, it wasn't a clean job...
The soul essentially consisted of a wizard's personality and his inherent magic. Now to get a personality, one needs to be able to draw from experience. Experience is a subconscious thought process, something that becomes ingrained in the brain. Basically they were what you'd call "muscle memory". Under normal conditions, had Harry not flown into a fit of rage and all but drained his magic completely, what little magic that had remained in his body after his various battles with the Death Eaters and Voldemort would have been enough, even in his exhausted state (Harry was a powerful wizard after all) to wipe this off. Unfortunately, Harry's episode had caused magical exhaustion leaving his body with almost no magic at the moment.
As such, the remains of the soul fragment would be able to reassert itself, but still stay separate, essentially putting Harry back at square one. It would have eventually been consumed by Harry's soul as Harry regained enough magic to fight back, but it might have resulted in Harry being put up in a nice cosy bed in the permanent ward of St Mungo's.
After all, the general public opinion is that Schizophrenia isn't a good thing. And people that suffer from it are considered to be a danger to society, especially if their alternate personality is that of a megalomaniac Dark Lord.
However Harry was lucky enough to be in the heart of a near sentient magical castle.
The Room of Requirement was designed by Rowena Ravenclaw with help from the other three founders (not that she'd ever admit that) to be a sort of control centre/panic room for the castle should it ever fall under siege from "those filthy muggle heathens" (Gryffindor's words, not that he-or any historian for that matter-would ever admit it) that populated the wide world.
It was in a way, Ravenclaw's contribution to the castle's defence should the need arise. Gryffindor and Hufflepuff had created the wards as a first line of defence, while Slytherin had decided that a basilisk would be a good last line of defence (never mind the fact that the bloody snake would be as much a danger to the defenders, but when you are anyway going to be overrun and burned alive at the stake, death by basilisk stare is surprisingly preferable!)
However, the wards worked like a charm (considering that they were a part of that branch of magic) and as such, much to Ravenclaw's disappointment (not that she'd ever admit that either) the Room was never needed.
Over the centuries, as the magical world became more and more secure and isolated from the muggle world, and the castle became more of a school than a defence structure, the Room's original use was forgotten and was used for more mundane things. Eventually as the magic within the castle and the room built up over time, and the castle became more sentient, the room also changed and evolved through time till the current result was seen.
The room was also in a really bizarre magical way, in the centre of the castle which was situated exactly over an intersection of four different major ley lines, (the actual reason why the Founders had chosen this place to build their castle) there was a good concentration of magic in that area.
The castle sensed that the wizard lying prone right at the centre of its very heart was in major distress and needed help. So it started pumping a small fraction of the magic within it to help the boy.
This helped in integrating the soul fragments into Harry's soul, changing his very nature by a slight amount. Harry gained, in addition to his previously acquired ability to speak to snakes, an experience in duelling, something which Voldemort had perfected during his younger years before his rise into notoriety. Harry would have to increase his arsenal of spells on his own for this to be of any use though.
Another useful talent that he had picked up from those soul fragments would also be the knowledge of Apparating as well. Voldemort had done enough Apparating in his life that he could almost do so silently and without much thought in almost any position. He had also done quite a bit of Apparating through moderately powered anti-apparation wards as well as under the stress of combat. And now, Harry too could do so. Not that he knew that at the moment.
In addition to that Harry also had gained Voldemort's mastery of the mind arts. After all, Voldemort had been a practising Occlumens and Legilimens practising the arts almost constantly ever since his sixth year when he had discovered that art.
Now the body is rather conservative. Harry's magic was basically the reason why despite his relatives' treatment of him he didn't look like a one of those starved refugee children from a war torn country. Most of his magic had gone into healing him and ensuring that his body was properly nourished. This had the effect of making him magically weaker, and also stunting his magical growth.
It was only because Harry was so naturally powerful that he still remained a wizard and the Dursleys' wishes of "beating the magic out of him" weren't realised. As such while he would be powerful, he would not be able to reach his full magical potential.
However, Hogwarts while sentient wasn't intelligent, and thus had underestimated the amount of magic that Harry would need. After all, "a little amount of magic" to it was more than enough power to make two squibs moderately powerful wizards. As a result of this, Harry had a lot of magic left over in his nearly empty core.
So his body used this opportunity and Harry's still growing core suddenly expanded so that by the time he reached his full maturity, Harry would be even more powerful than he would have ever been. There was also still enough magic left within him so that his body began to utilise it to take care of the last vestiges of malnutrition. As such Harry filled out a bit more so that he no longer looked pinched, but lean. His height increased by an extra inch or so till he was standing at a respectable six feet.
Hogwarts, sensing that he was still using magic to heal, decided to help a bit. The end result was the extra benefit of repairing Harry's impaired vision so he no longer was half blind without his glasses. Also, the numerous scars and bruises that Harry had collected till then healed over till they all disappeared. The notable exception being the scar on his forehead that instead of disappearing became lighter till it was barely discernible.
Finally, as Harry's body no longer had any pressing needs to take care of, the magical transfer stopped, leaving a much improved Harry Potter that now lay resting in the middle of the room.
I would like to thank my friends, FirePhoenix86 and McFluffin (check their stories out); you guys have been really helpful!
Read and review; flames shall be treated with a cold disdain and summarily ignored.