Title: Harveste Addams and the Goblet of Fire
Crossover: Harry Potter and the Addams Family
Summary: Let's have a little FUN this year, shall we?
Warning: Addams Family Sadism and Cross-dressing, Spoilers -do I have to write that?-
A little advice from the start! Open that darling review page now, coz this is a loooooong chapter, and you may have a lot to yell at me for. And before you say it, yes I know, I changed Blaise again! Blue eyes instead of brown. I just had this pretty picture, and it's fixed now, I promise! Blue-eyed Blaise!
Kamerron, I've never been complimented on my spelling and grammar before, so yay, thank you. But you know I've gotta do a Hermione now right? I can't stand to have an error somewhere in my over fifty thousand word whatever-you-call-it. You guys are just all so precious, I can't stop gushing. My brother can't stop me gushing, and he's almost at the point where he'll take a hammer to the piano just to shut me up.
Gods, I wish I had Benny Davis' voice… Axis of Awesome is called that for a reason!
I just found a weird anomaly in the canon Goblet of Fire. When the niffler pounced on Pansy, it was after her watch. Her watch. What's a pureblood doing with a watch?
24 hours awake so far! Sleep is for the weak, man~! I'm staying awake on a diet of cigarettes, water and all the Naono Bohra I missed during my empty-hearted yaoiless phase!
Edit: A thousand thanks to Eryn for catching my n00b mistake!
Mother had taken care of Cousin What's expulsion in a typically winsome Addams way. Professor Karkaroff had been admitted into the infirmary with eighteen crushed bones, and his hand had looked like a loose bag of jelly. Wednesday had hugged her and asked with delight when she would be able to do that too.
They were sitting around the lake, a crackling bonfire between them. Well, except for Draco and Hermione, who said that the smell of roasted Grindylow was worse than the Great Squid. Blaise, for a reason unknown to anyone including himself, had tried a bite.
"How is your schoolwork, my viper?" Morticia asked pleasantly over the sounds of retching. She was perched on a rock, looking deathly glamorous even with the wholesome background of Forest and skyline rising behind her.
"Quite well, Mother, I'm sorry to say. I just seem to pass, whatever I do."
"Pugsley's worse off." Wednesday reported as she gnawed at her skewer. "He's graduating."
They all sighed.
"We'll just have to hope he does better in New Orleans. The local priests have ways of dealing with interlopers that would make your Father cry tears of joy. And what of your… friends, my viper?"
Harry looked up curiously at his Mother's new tone. "They're not on the menu."
"Not yet." Wednesday ducked the inevitable senbon and rolled her eyes.
Morticia Addams kept her sighs to herself. She had never had this problem with Fester or Pugsley. Those two were enraptured with explosives and poisons and toxic waste. Harveste and Wednesday, however, were turning out to be more passionate about other things. They probably got it from her side of the family, pioneers to the current generation of Black Widows and Praying Mantises of the world. She could remember her school years still, and the band of suitors that had followed her around. She could also almost remember where she had buried most of the bodies.
Wednesday was still a touch too young to learn that side of the Art, but her deadly viper had three under his wing, all groomed and tended over the years with the same care that she extended to Cleopatra, her African Strangler. It was just another sign that he was growing up, ready to maul his way out of the womb and into an unwary world. She dabbed at her eyes, a little teary with pride.
"Mother, what's wrong? It's not too cooked, is it?" Harry prodded the meat over the fire experimentally. There was a loud sizzle.
"It's nothing, darling. I shall have a bit of the face, thank you."
When Blaise had recovered, Mother had entertained them with the shamisen. Harveste, who had grown up listening to it, had kindly plugged his friends' ears with beeswax after the first five notes.
Now they were getting ready for bed. Wednesday had been roped into helping Viktor comb out Cousin What, and the result was particularly lively. Harry instinctively distributed his weight, staying in a stable stance as another eruption rocked the dungeons. Draco had no such luck and let out a squawk as he fell over his trunk.
"Are they going to keep this up all night?" Blaise asked as the blond tried to get up, only to tumble over again. He was surprised none of the Professors had come in yet, but then again, they had seen what had happened to Karkaroff.
Draco gave up and decided to belly-crawl to the bathroom.
Harry watched him go with a chuckle, then turned inquisitively as Blaise touched his arm. "Darling?" he asked, raising an eyebrow as the tips of his friend's ears started to redden.
"Er… ah, nothing."
"Pansy half-wit." Draco snorted, deciding to crawl back in again, uncaring of the fact that his Egyptian cotton pajamas were being used like a floor mop. "He wants to know what pet name you've thought up for him. He wouldn't shut up about it all ni – oww, godsdammit, you sadistic sonofa -"
Harry climbed into bed and arranged the covers around his lap, watching indulgently as another brawl broke out in front of him, and each move was as dirty as Uncle Fester's socks, which was saying something. It seemed the feud was on again. How exquisitely entertaining. One had to wonder what they were fighting about though.
He was a little glad he had erased Daphne Greengrass' memory. She was more fun that way. With her still upright and walking around, Hermione had a chance to exercise her kind of justice.
"I'll rip her lungs out."
"Now, now, darling." Harry chuckled, his fan a crimson crescent against his pale skin. "Don't make promises you can't keep."
Hermione's hands were fisting spasmodically around Daphne's generously given copy of Witch Weekly like she wished it were a neck instead of just a glossy magazine. It had been opened to the page proudly declaring Harveste Addams's Secret Love Life. It was not so much an article as it was a photo album, with a big picture of him with Hermione in his arms during the First Task, Hermione talking to Viktor Krum, Hermione laughing with Cedric Diggory over their Herbology textbook and best of all, Hermione in a Draco-and-Blaise sandwich in the stands during the Second Task.
Draco had taken one look at it and had blushed so brightly he could have glowed in the dark. Blaise had just snorted.
The article had gone on for three paragraphs about his prowess as a Champion, his grades and his looks, then had continued on for two pages about Hermione Granger and how she was an uninhibited girl, ensnaring all the available men in Hogwarts. Daphne Greengrass had been quoted as saying her unattractive schoolmate was either very well-versed in love potions or an incubus. Hermione had seen red for a moment and completely macerated twelve spiders in her mortar and pestle for Potions even though she had just needed one.
"Calm down, Hermione." Blaise said, watching her clenched fists as she ground down her thirteenth spider. "At least Rita Skeeter didn't write it."
Harry smiled to himself and continued to stir. He would be coating the Slytherins' seats with this particular potion later on, and then he would just stand aside and let the diarrhea flow.
Hermione started receiving Howlers and threatening letters the very next day. Harry had appropriated the one with Bubotuber pus and was now happily drinking it instead of pumpkin juice.
Wednesday had been watching his friend with malicious eyes all throughout yesterday, and now, with her umbrella shadowing her face from the detestable sunlight that was beginning to warm the grounds, she made her move. With a grenade.
Harry stepped back with a smile, pulling both Draco and Blaise out of the line of fire. Hermione evaded like she had been born into the Addams family. Her favored weapon, the double-bladed long staff, was back in her dorm room, but he had taught her where to keep daggers, and she used them well, swinging them in a nearly invisible arc that blocked shrapnel. Not all of it, of course, but a little more practice would iron out that deficiency. Wednesday stood in the clearing dust, her pallid face expressionless.
"Did you make out with Cedric?"
Hermione blinked in bemusement, not bothering to wipe the blood that was oozing down her neck, and looked to Harry. He shrugged. "What - are you talking about that article?"
"Answer me." His sister said, still in that even tone, toying with the pin on another grenade.
"Are you jealous?" Hermione asked incredulously, her mouth dropping open in shock.
Draco winced. "Ooo, wrong answer."
"Ah well." Harry said over Hermione's yelp and the machine gun–rapid explosions that followed her. "She'll get tired after a while."
Blaise raised an eyebrow as Wednesday hared after Hermione, eyes narrowed and teeth bared. "Which one are you talking about?"
"Hermione's clever. She can handle it."
Harry had been right. His friend had managed to convince Wednesday that she had had nothing to do with Cedric, though exactly how she had explained while evading certain death remained a mystery. The Hufflepuff boy hadn't had a chance to help, what with the Weasley twins pulling out all the stops in their jealous realization that his sister might just prefer the older boy. The last time Harry had seen him, he had been buck naked with a large furry tail attached to his bottom, running like a wild fox with the hunting hounds behind him. The Weasleys had been bearing rifles and no one had been brave enough to ask whether they were fake or real.
Draco had started laughing until Blaise had popped the exact same candy into his mouth. There had been spirited attempts at strangulation, and hair everywhere.
Hermione snickered into his shoulder as they started up again.
"Give me back my wand, you poncy git!"
"Try and take it, ferret-brains."
"Alrigh' you two, that'll be enough o' tha'." Hagrid said amiably as he trooped up to them with a big wooden box in his arms. "We''ll be handlin' nifflers today."
Harry raised an eyebrow as Hermione squealed most un-enchantingly. The contents of the box were not more Skrewts, as he had hoped. Rather, there was a group of cuddly-looking, badger-like creatures, black and downy, just like the huge-eyed stuffed toys in Pubert's room, except they weren't fanged, poisonous and mangy beyond the normal bounds of sanitation. If he put one in the box, he was sure the docile nifflers would eat each other trying to get out.
"-find 'em down mines and such. They like sparkly stuff, there you go -"
A girl squeaked as a niffler pawed at the rings on her hand. Harry looked at the furry thing speculatively, wondering whether it would taste better as a barbecue or a roast. He didn't see Blaise, devilish gleam alive in his blue eyes, reach in to the box. He heard Draco scream though.
Ah, young love. Better than a kick in the nuts.
The twins were found that evening in the Great Hall, naked as the day they were born and painted in the Hufflepuff colors with carrots wedged in their mouths.
"You know, if you wanted to get my sister's attention, you might have done better if you'd put those carrots somewhere else."
Cedric had gotten into detention for his little stunt, though McGonagall didn't look like she had minded too much. Harry walked next to him, Snape having reached the end of his tether after being afflicted with crabs and sentencing his smiling student to detention for breathing loudly. They were headed to Hagrid's hut for a bout of scrubbing and entrails. Harry didn't mind either as he'd had enough practice with Grandmama and her kitchen.
"I thought it might be overkill."
"No such thing."
"Um…" Cedric looked a little uncomfortable, and he rubbed his cheek self-consciously. "Is this the part where you give me the Big Brother speech? Should I be breaking out the flame retardants and stuff?"
Harry smiled pleasantly. "Wednesday is more than capable of taking care of herself. You should know that."
Cedric chuckled, the tension easing from his shoulders as he rubbed scar on the back of his neck where a bread knife had gotten too close. Wednesday had taken her own sweet time warming up to him, but he felt that it was worth it. There was just something about her, and Harry too, but she was just a touch more homicidal. It was cute, in a disturbing way. And besides…
"So, how are you and Hermione?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, you guys are so…I mean, you can't have much free time with Draco and Blaise hanging around…"
Something rustled in the underbrush, and Harry whirled towards it. Cedric would have sworn his eyes had taken on a sort of gleam, even though there was no moon in the sky. Then he stopped thinking about it when a cloaked figure staggered out from between the trees. It looked decidedly unsteady and Cedric automatically moved to help whoever it was, but Harry's sudden grip on his arm was like a steel band.
His voice was as gentle as ever though, and he was still smiling. "Why don't you go and get Professor Dumbledore and Madam Pomfrey, hmm? Tell them it's Mister Crouch from the Ministry. I'll stay here and look after him."
"How can you-"
Harry tapped his nose and smiled again. Cedric blinked, then nodded slowly.
The brunette watched him leave and heard the groan of the great wooden doors as they were opened. It would take him fifteen minutes to get to the infirmary and approximately ten more to find Dumbledore. All in all, without convenient Apparition, it would take everybody at least half an hour to get back here. Plenty of time to do what he had to, what he wanted to.
"Tell me, Mister Crouch," he said conversationally as he knelt down next to the prone, shaking body. "Do you know Sirius Black?"
His work had been halfway done for him anyway. The man was on the verge of death and he knew it. Bartemius Crouch Senior had looked at him with unseeing eyes and sung like a canary, every single stain on his soul bared to the open air and his lone listener. Harry didn't even have to use his thumbscrews, which had been a bit of a bummer. But he knew now, he knew everything, about the son that hadn't died and the mother that had, a long, dark yarn powered by love and duty. It had been touching, in a twisted way, and Harry knew all about twisted.
From there, he could piece the whole year together and take an educated guess as to who Mad-Eye Moody really was. It didn't take a lot of brain-power to see how the year was going to end. Dear Tom had been popping up like a bad pun ever since his first year. Who was he to stop it? The wizarding world owed him a little challenge.
Dumbledore had come to the rescue too late. Mister Crouch's eyes were already clouding and he closed them, fingers lingering just for a moment on the slowly cooling flesh.
"Mister Addams, what happened here?"
"Mister Crouch has expired, sir. I thought that would have been obvious." Harry said blandly and stood up, dusting off the back of his skirt. Cedric caught his elbow to steady him and he smiled in thanks. The boy really was a gentleman. What a change from the usual axe murderers and raving psychopaths, Weasley twins included, that Wednesday usually preferred to mix with. He turned back to their Headmaster, who was looking at the body, his jovial sparklies dimmed.
"Barty Crouch!" Madam Pomfrey gasped in disbelief, finally catching up. She clutched at the Headmaster's robes. "Albus…"
"Did he say anything, Mister Addams?"
"Something about rules, sir." Harry said, his eyes lost in the curve of his smile. "And then he tried to kill me."
"You don't have to sound so cheerful about it." Cedric muttered behind him.
"Mister Addams," Dumbledore rumbled, looking out of his depth and suddenly furious. For the first time, Harry could actually believe that the man had defeated Grindelwald. His Power spread out like the wings of a phoenix, a hot wind that beat against his face and the odious smell of cinnamon. "Mister Addams, did you kill Barty Crouch?"
Madam Pomfrey gasped again and even Cedric's arm tightened on his elbow.
Harry continued to smile. "Certainly not, Professor. I wouldn't be so crass as to leave a body lying around. It would implicate me, and that would just be… silly."
The day continued normally, even though the Third Task would be happening that the evening. Word had gotten around about the death of Barty Crouch on the grounds and the fact that Harveste Addams had been the only witness, resulting in ridiculous gossip and tall tales being bandied around the school. The newest one was that he had killed Barty Crouch by way of Thestrals, a pot of jam, two ironing boards and a tea kettle.
"Idiots." muttered Blaise, looking around darkly.
"They never say what kind of jam, do they?" Harry asked with a smile as another horde of girls passed by them.
"Gooseberry." Hermione supplied thoughtfully. "Or maybe rhubarb. They taste foul enough to kill someone."
"Strawberry." Draco said, tempted to swing his bag at a Ravenclaw's face as she laughed too loudly. "I hate strawberry."
"Man after my own heart!" A jovial voice said from behind them. Harry threw a dagger in its direction before turning around. "Well done, viper!"
"Lady Addams, you look more beautiful than ever."
Harry and his friends entered the small classroom to see Dumbledore bowing over Morticia's red-tipped hand. Viktor was standing in a corner with Cousin What, talking with another dark-haired couple in a mix of animated Bulgarian and Bzz. Apparently the whole family could also understand the unintelligible squeaks, as Viktor's father nodded and laughed at something Cousin What said. Cedric was with his family too, as was Fleur, a group of silver-haired beautiful people that had Wednesday smiling and reaching for her pocket.
"You are too kind." Morticia was saying. "Especially since you tethered me to a post and left me underwater."
"You were in no danger, madam, I assure you."
"Oh dear. That's so disappointing." The headmaster blinked in bemusement and she stepped off the dais, leaving him to figure out exactly what she had meant. "My viper, how darling to see you again."
"Hello, Mother." Harry kissed the marble cheek then reached down to pick up his little brother. Something started to bang on his temple.
"Er, Harry, he's kinda got something -"
Harry reached up and pried out an arrow from the chubby fingers. "Pubert, you're supposed to hit with the pointy bit, not the shaft. See, the pointy bit is sharp, right? That's the part you stick in people."
"Hi, Mrs, Addams." Hermione said, tearing her eyes from the darkly distracting scene of her best friend showing his younger sibling how to load a crossbrow. She smiled hesitantly at Morticia and brushed a polite peck over her cheek. It was absolutely freezing, like licking a frosted metal bar. She was getting a bit used to it now though, and it didn't sting as much. "How was your trip?"
"Divinely nauseating. Gomez threw up blood."
"Oh." She was used to that too. "That's nice."
Father had challenged his eleventh set of enchanted armor. It crashed to pieces like the rest, but at least it had lasted ten seconds longer than the rest. They were learning.
Hermione Draco and Blaise had exams, so they had politely said their good-byes and headed off under Professor McGonagall's eagle eyes. That left Harry time to stroll around with his family. They ran into Pugsley on the seventh floor. He was cackling.
"Harry, check this out! Uranium! Loads and loads of it! And arsenic! I think I'm in Hell!"
He peered around the doorway. He hadn't heard of a poison room before. Snape would have gotten his hands on it years ago, and he knew that the surly Professor wasn't above adding a little extra kick to the food of his more unrepentant students. Nothing lethal, he was still a teacher after all, but enough to induce some heartburn and a throbbing migraine. Harry had been on the receiving end of a touch of hemlock quite a few times himself, and it wasn't his fault that Snape didn't know he liked Acromantula venom.
Somebody had been using this room. That or someone had brought all these things here and just left them. Flickering torches shed warm light on things wrought from worn metal, leather and blood-stained wood. There were weapons galore, a few axes and sabers along one wall, with vials and potion bottles on the other. They were filled with some glowing substance that only Pugsley could explain, seeing as he was the only person gushing over them.
"A torture rack! With real iron manacles!" Wednesday clapped her hands with glee, looking like she had just walked into the middle of London and found all her toys laid out before her to use on unsuspecting passers-by. "Harry, you didn't tell me about this!"
"I didn't know about this place."
"Yeah right. I bet you just wanted to keep these things to yourself. Look, they're freshly used."
"Gomez." Morticia said in a light lascivious tone, a teasing smile pulling at the corner of her lips. "Red-hot pokers."
"And leather straps!" Their father's eyes burned with memories. "Tish…"
Harry chuckled and grabbed his brother by the neck and his sister by the hand. "Come on. We should leave them alone for a bit. They've gone two whole hours without kissing and you know what that means."
"Aargh." Wednesday began tugging on her ears as soon as the door shut behind them, the enraptured moans abruptly ending. "Why'd you have to go and say that? Now I want to go and scrub my brains."
"Can I help?"
"Scrub your own brain, Pugsley."
Harry continued to drag them down the corridors. Pugsley, taller than him and pure muscle, actually liked the sensation of skin scraping over stone. He assumed that the floors in Salem were wood, well-sanded and cared for, and therefore not as much fun. "How about a second lunch? I've got a bit of dragon meat left from the First Task."
Pugsley stopped biting at his uranium and looked up curiously. "Wasn't that in November? Shouldn't the meat be all rotted and maggoty by now?"
"Ladies and gentlemen, the Third Task is about to begin! May I please ask all the champions to follow Mr. Bagman to the stadium!"
Harry stood up and straightened his skirt meticulously. Hermione had tried to persuade him to wear the boys' uniform 'just this once, you can't run in that thing!'. He had patted her head and gently reminded her of all the trainings they had been to when he had worn the exact same long, floor-length skirt. She had been a bundle of nerves all through dinner, adding salt to her tea instead of sugar and drinking it anyway. Draco hadn't eaten; he had just smooshed his green peas around until they resembled pond scum with a dash of tomato sauce. Blaise had been the only one outwardly collected, but now he looked at Harry with blue eyes like burning coals, a silent threat in them. He couldn't resist. They were too cute.
He bent to kiss them like he had in the Potions room, a class that seemed to have happened ages ago. Hermione tasted slightly salty, like the tea she had just drunk, but bitingly sweet at the same time. Draco's lips were chapped and dry from biting at them all the time, as was his habit when he was worried. Blaise's mouth was closed and unyielding, but he had just the tiniest hint of a blush on his cheeks when Harry drew back to smile at them.
"What the -"
"Harry, why did you -"
"Bloody git -"
"I'll see you later." He said cheerfully as he joined the other Champions. Cedric threw an arm around his neck and Viktor playfully nudged him. "If you're lucky, you'll see me die tonight!"
"What the -"
"Why did he -"
He was the last of the Champions to enter the Maze, and the darkness and silence of it enclosed him as soon as he stepped inside. It was cool and spelled against outside interference, so there was no one stopping him from conjuring up a teacup of his new favorite blend: Bubotuber pus and Acromantula venom with a dash of Marcus Flint to round out the flavor. He took a sip and sighed happily. Pure bliss.
Perhaps the Maze wasn't spelled very effectively after all. He could feel eyes following him and a surge of Dark Magic just before Viktor stepped in front of him.
Cousin's What's boyfriend moved like a puppet, limbs jerky and eyes clouded. Harry cocked his head, his saucer in one hand and cup in the other, and waited.
"What the hell are you doing, Potter?"
An eyebrow twitched. Viktor knew better than to call him by that name. The Imperius, then. Cousin What was not going to be pleased about this.
Senbon glided like silent death through the dark hedgeway, but whoever was controlling Viktor was well-versed in fighting. 'Whoever' hadn't counted on the Skrewt that had scuttled up behind his puppet though. Skrewts didn't have to make noise if they didn't want to, and held back their fireballs in favor of a quick and venom-filled sting.
"That's enough, Bellpepper. I'd like Cousin What to leave a little bit of me alive too."
He studied the prone body for a minute then waved a hand over the puncture. It took a lot of concentration, molding just a little bit of Power into swimming through the bloodstream and pulling out the foreign toxins, but he managed it. A drop of purple gravitated toward his palm, joined by another then another until he had a peach-sized ball of liquid in his hand. He dropped it into his cup. It was getting a little empty anyway.
"Bellpepper," he said, turning to the Skrewt. It clicked at him, and buzzed when he rubbed the hard black shell between the pincers. "Watch over him until the teachers come, please."
He pulled out his wand, though he wasn't used to it. Pure Power would laugh at the thought of making mere sparks to signal that someone was down, but he had to keep Cousin What in mind. A thin red stream made its way out of the way of the wooden tip, moving higher and higher, and he twitched his wand this way and that until it spelled out very clearly: Viktor Krum. If anything, his Cousin would throttle another teacher to make sure they came as fast as they could.
He had encountered an Imperius'ed Fleur too, shortly afterward. He had no Skrewt to back him up, but there had been a convenient patch of Reverse-Space magic that had done the trick, and a senbon to the neck had taken care of her movements. Just to be sure though, he dabbed a little Bubotuber pus on her lips, which had swelled up nicely and had begun to form boils. But Wednesday wouldn't forgive him if he killed one of her toys after he had warned her off his, so with a heartfelt sigh at being deprived of one more prey, he sent up the message. Fleur Delacour beamed brightly in the starry sky.
The only ones left now were him and Cedric, and of course he couldn't kill Cedric. Harry sighed as he refilled his cup, but this time added a generous amount of Firewhisky and a raw egg. Maybe his sister was right, and he was getting soft. He certainly wasn't delighting in the normal torture and maiming that had been his family's bread and butter for years. He couldn't even remember the last time he had dabbled his fingers in blood for no reason at all or had a plate of hot innards without thinking of the calories. He could almost hang the blame on his friends. They were… melting him in some way, with their hugs and tears and the way they were so loyal and faithful and fun to mess with. But to be fair, he was molding them too, and now, to other people, they would almost be unrecognizable from the soft, unsure first years they had been.
Hermione was a dream, like a little Wednesday who didn't try to kill him at every turn, but that was alright. She was a dab hand at the long staff now and he would be willing to bet that she could hold her own against Pugsley. Of course, she still liked cute things and worried too much, but those were things he could easily overlook. Blaise had opened up to his more sadistic side as well, though he only seemed to let it out on Draco, as if the blond was the only one who could handle it. Hermione he treated like a piece of fragile glass, but he was wise enough not to overlook her during training. He was stiff and unsure still, but his conviction was strong, like a gladiator of old and Harry knew he would fight to the death for any of them. Draco, on the other hand, was like his fan, all sharp edges but still pliable on the inside. He was always the first one with an attack, foolhardy at times and easily distracted like a cat, but no matter how many times he was beaten down, he would keep on rising, keep on going.
Perhaps it was time to stop babying them. He didn't owe anyone anything, but if he did, if life was a series of choices… He had chosen the Addams, over and over again, and there was no reason he couldn't choose his friends as well. They were a part of him now, he had tasted their blood, their flesh, and protected them as best as he could with the damnable Light carving and carving at him and Tom being an utter brat about the prophecy.
All this thinking was starting to annoy him, and it was just his fortune that a Boggart crossed his path at that exact moment. He was bombarded with the scent of freshly baked bread and iced cookies, the sound of happy children, and the sight of a sapphire ocean lapping playfully at a golden beach. There were colorful umbrellas and sunshine.
"Riddikulus, you awful creature."
He rolled his eyes and slashed his hand down sharply, sending his china saucer deep into the sphinx's skull. Honestly, who asked riddles during a life and death situation, with someone casting Imperius everywhere and bloody Boggarts running amuck? Was she trying to be funny?
He pushed her furry carcass to the side, burning it with a snap of his fingers and continuing on. One more turn had him emerging from the Maze and coming face-to-face with Wednesday's beau- well, one of three at least. They stood across from each other on either end of a small grassy field, and in between them was the Tri-Wizard Cup.
"Hey, Harveste." Cedric smiled warily, crossing towards him. They met halfway, a hands-breadth or two away from the Cup. One of his arms had a long scratch on it, not too serious, and one side of his face was scratched.
"What did you run in to?"
"Doxies and Cornish Pixies." The Hufflepuff stood quietly as Harry critiqued him. "What're you drinking?"
"Tea." The brunette said shortly. The green eyes shifted to look behind Cedric's shoulder and an eyebrow playfully cocked as he gestured with his cup. "There's an Acromantula behind you."
"Wha – Bloody hell!"
Harry stepped out of the way as the advancing monster spider clacked its pincers angrily, quickly judging where the blind spot was and staying in it. He raised his teacup to his lips, watching blandly as Cedric stumbled backwards.
"Harveste, a little help -"
"Think of it as a character-building exercise. You haven't had enough, I think."
"What the hell are you talking about?" Cedric yelled as he dodged one hairy leg and rolled under another. "I'm Hufflepuff's Quidditch Captain! I exercise – aargh - all the time!"
"That's a good start." Harry moved again, always keeping behind the spider. He frowned down at his empty cup and filled it again. Two raw eggs this time. He would need the energy. "Watch out for the fangs."
"That's real helpful!"
Harry settled down on the grass, his eyes following every dash and duck languidly. Cedric would have to learn how to do this on his own and a lot more, if he was ever going to have the slightest chance at staying alive with Wednesday. He would have to learn how to re-breathe air for one, since his dear sister loved burying people who still had functional capacities, and if he remembered some of the species of spiders that she kept, then building up a tolerance to lethal bites was a must. Acromantula venom would be a fine start. It was for his own good, and it certainly wasn't because Harry was having fun watching him run for his life.
Cedric rolled under another leg and just before the spider turned, he jumped, grabbing onto the hairy leg and shimmying upwards like a chimney-sweep, hanging on to the bristles tenaciously until he was riding the bloated abdomen. There was a red stream of light, the Slashing Hex, and the spider's head rolled away, pincers still clicking madly in death. The body followed afterward, buckling joint by joint until it fell to the ground with a thud. Cedric rolled off onto the grass, giving the leg one last half-hearted kick as he tried to calm his racing heart.
"Well done. Very clean."
"Thank you… I think." Cedric panted, still trying to catch his breath as he stared up at the stars. "That was more sadistic than normal, even for you, Harveste."
"I am always more sadistic than normal."
Harry stood up and made his way to the Acromantula's head. Its eyes were glazed over, in the manner of Mister Crouch's and all corpses everywhere, and he had no trouble sawing off one fang and putting it in his pocket for later. Then he turned to the final prize with a smile.
The golden cup glowed, illuminated by an unknown source. He could smell Professor Moody's scent all over it and magic that had nothing to do with the sparkling light.
"My sister would be very angry if she couldn't kill you herself."
"What kind of – Harveste!"
But Cedric was too late. A rainbow burst around him, and with a crack, Harry was gone.
He blinked the stars out of his eyes as he stood up. He was in a graveyard, he could tell from the smell. If it weren't for the lack of stagnant water and broiled incontinence that always superseded Grandmama's cooking, he would have said he was back in America. The atmosphere was certainly gloomy enough, bordering on eerie, and there was a black, broken-down house on top of a hill. The overall aura was of Tom's, full of Dark Magic, a tinge of Blood Magic and snakes. Harry leaned against a tombstone overgrown with moss and brambles, intent on finishing his drink before Riddle's welcoming committee arrived.
He didn't get a chance to. Sighing, he Banished his cup and its contents as he heard voices coming toward him. Then, brushing off the front of his school shirt, he took two steps forward and collapsed theatrically. A thought entered his mind that he was channeling Draco, and he smiled into the ground.
"There he is, I knew I felt – is that a girl?"
Face pressed against the grass as he feigned unconsciousness, Harry rolled his eyes. Just because he wore a skirt and had long hair, really.
"Stupid, it has to be Potter. He was in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and our spy has more than taken care of everything. Let's get him to the gravestone quick before the Master arrives."
He let his head loll forward as they dragged him by the arms, his cloak and skirt and shoes gathering dew. He was used to playing dead, and quite good at it, though not as good as his Mother, who could fool a mortician. It was only natural for a child of the Addams family. The two who held him only went a little way, and then he was manhandled into place and bound to what felt like another gravestone, but much bigger. Most likely an angel or a family crest. He kept his eyes closed and his breathing even as another figure approached, then a familiar voice slithered through the air.
There was another sound, the crackling of flames, and the scent of snake grew stronger in the air as something bumped against his shoes. Python, he guessed, or anaconda. Certainly a type of constrictor at that length, nothing like his quick deadly Black Mamba.
There was a splash, and then a steady voice, steady like an iron bar, full of pride and loyalty. There was a crack somewhere beneath him and the smell of dust, but Harry didn't move, interested as he was.
"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son."
Blood Magic, was it? He could taste it humming through the air, very faint, as if it wasn't used to being called by this voice in this place. That meant this was probably a new spell, or Blood Magic hadn't been practiced here before.
"Flesh of the servant, willingly given, you will revive your Master."
Whoever was speaking was strong and steady, and with Blood Magic, that was very important. A weak person would not be able to cast it correctly. He supposed Tom had him to thank for that. If he hadn't caught Peter Pettigrew, then more than likely it would have been him who would be chanting, and dear Tom wouldn't have been at full strength. He heard another splash, and the sweet scent of blood invaded his nose.
"Blood of the enemy, forcibly taken, you will resurrect your foe."
He heard steps coming toward him again, and then a sharp pain on the inside of his arm. Dear, dear, what a disappointment. Wednesday would have cut at softer, more sensitive flesh, nearer the armpit for example, where it would have left a lasting, more annoying sting, instead of just over his forearm.
There was a sudden burst of white light, so bright that he fought not to shield his eyes from it, fought not to squint. He succeeded. He had Pugsley to thank for that.
A fine mist of water droplets smattered against his face, and a cold breeze picked up, whirling around and around. The feeling of Blood Magic grew, drumming against his temples and pressing down on his chest, and then it left just as suddenly, sucked into a vacuum that was just in front of him and a snake-like voice hissed into the night.
Lord Voldemort had risen again. What fun.
Harry could barely stop himself from cackling. That was Grandmama's forte, he told himself sternly, and he had no right to cackle. Yet.
"My Lord, you promised -"
"Hold out your arm," The snaked voice hissed lazily. "The other arm, Rosier."
Rosier was the faithful one then. Evan Rosier, if he remembered correctly, expert at Cruciatus, Imperius and a few other Dark curses, declared dead fourteen years ago. Harry wondered whether to kill him now or save him for later.
"It is back, and they shall have noticed. And now, we shall know…"
Tom's voice was breathy, as if he wasn't used to having a mouth and lungs that could actually hold air. His voice was high and cruel and somehow satisfied. He was sounded like the sort of person people would run screaming from at first sight. He was professionally creepy. Harry liked that in a man.
More steps, and a cloak slithering on the ground, then the smell of… soap and dust. Evil had never smelled so disconcerting. A long, warm hand touched his face, very long, double jointed even, and hotter than a boiling cauldron.
"Wake up, Potter. Time for you to be scared."
"Not likely." Harry finally said, opening his eyes to meet ruby-red ones. He had been right about the professionally creepy part. The man's face was stretched over his bones, as pallid as it had been the first year he had seen it, and a skull all his own gleamed like a billiard ball in the light of the cauldron fire. He had no nose, just slits like a snake, and his chin and cheekbones were as sharp as razorblades. "You look well after fourteen years of non-existence."
The man had no outer eyelids either, just inner ones that went from one corner of his eyes to the other then back again. He was silent.
"Have you nothing to say to me after all these years? I would think you had a speech or something prepared for this eventuality."
Tom's eyes narrowed at him in that peculiar way. "I do not need to speak to you, Potter. You have fulfilled your purpose."
The flap and swish of cloaks filled the air, and the scent that he had familiarized himself with intimately at the Quidditch World Cup returned. Death Eaters, and more than there had been at that silly game.
"Addams, if you please." Harry said with a smile that had the Dark Lord looking a bit more discomfited. "Harveste Addams, and I'll thank you to use it, unless you want me to use your real name."
The slap was hard but expected. Still, knowing it was going to come didn't soften the blow. He tasted blood from a cut on the inside of his cheek.
"You have no idea who I am, little boy, little Potter."
"Have I touched a nerve? We are sensitive when we've just woken up, hmm?"
Tom glared at his smiling face and struck him again, harder, on the other cheek. Then, with a flap of his robe, he went to meet his pets. Rosier shot him a venomous look, the blood from his severed arm still dripping own his robe, and followed his Master, with the other two in his wake.
That sibilant voice started up again, first triumphant, then chastising, but always sadistic. Harry ignored it in favor of experimentally tugging at his bonds. They were tight, as expected, with no give. His siblings couldn't have done a better job. He looked up to the sky, wondering what they were doing now. Was Pugsley playing with his uranium, or had he already built a bomb that could level Scotland? Was Wednesday exacting her pound of flesh from Fleur or was she strapping Cedric to the Iron Maiden? And what of Cousin What and Viktor? What were they doing now? Hermione had brought up an interesting question a while ago, and now, as he waited for dear Tom to stop Crucio-ing his Death Eaters, he was left to ponder it.
He had no illusions as to what his friends were doing at this moment. They would be frantic; Hermione physically, Blaise silently, and Draco madly. They were easy to predict, his darling friends. He smiled to himself.
So, back to that all-important question: How did Cousin What and Viktor have sex?
It…well, it would probably have something to do with curling, or maybe crimping and fluffing…definitely some tugging involved… and hair cream, Cousin What got very buzzy at the sight of hair cream…
"Yes, Harry Potter has kindly joined us for my rebirthing party. One might go so far as to call him my guest of honor."
Harry lowered his chin to see Tom slithering his way back, his pack of Death Eaters following him like dogs on a leash. He took a deep breath, tasting the scents on the wind that blew toward him. Rosier, tinged with blood, three smells that were slightly familiar… ah, yes, Crabbe, Goyle and Nott Seniors, and a few scents from…from the Ministry, yes… very interesting that… and… Malfoy… Well, well.
Tom did have a speech. Harry listened avidly to a story about blood, his favorite topic, and his Muggleborn, biological mother, who had apparently given him a sacrifice.
The voices stopped as quickly as water from a closed tap. Tom advanced towards him threateningly, his robe flaring and his eyes red, wide and mad. "What did you say?"
"I said it was soppy, which is true. Sacrifice of love? Only writers of romance novels believe that drivel." Harry pointed out.
"Is that so?" Tom hissed, the end of his wand twitching as if he were barely hanging on to his proud visage by the skin of his teeth. "Then what is your explanation, Potter, as to how you survived a curse that is said to be nigh Unblockable, whilst I was thrust into purgatory!"
"I distinctly remember telling you to use my real name." Harry said, a cheeky gleam in his eye. "Perhaps you were just off your game that night. You are still human after all, To -"
It was unbearable, excruciating, maddening. It felt like he was being roasted, like hot pokers were pressing into his eyes, his mouth, his ears, every inch of his skin, followed by knives being tapped into the very marrow of his bones then twisted, twisted, twisted until he was like Karkaroff's hand or Draco's green peas. He felt like foot-long splinters were being driven under his nails, and he couldn't move, couldn't breathe because he was screaming, screaming so loud, louder than anyone had done under Wednesday, under Grandmama, and there was just pain, pain, pain everywhere…
Lord Voldemort laughed cruelly as he lifted the curse from Harry's panting, shaking body, and his Death Eaters laughed with him, too scared to do anything else.
"How does it feel, little boy?" Tom hissed threateningly. "How does your first taste of real pain feel?"
"Oh." Harry took a deep shuddering breath, then another one. That pain…had opened his eyes to what was really happening now. "Now I understand why Mother loves red-hot pokers so much."
"My Mother – oh -" Harry shuddered as another spasming ripple danced along his nerves. "-I've never really understood until now – ah- it was glorious. Absolutely divine. Do it again."
Tom looked at the end of his wand, impressed at himself. He'd Crucio'ed the sanity out of his victims more times than he could count, but this was the first time it had happened so quickly. The boy had barely been under for two minutes, and he was already as mad as Bellatrix. Finally, he shook his head and unbound the Potter boy.
"Enough of this foolishness. I will give you your chance and you will fight me, Potter. We will see who is human and who is not."
Harry flopped bonelessly on the ground. Pride was nothing next to that delicious ache. His parents would understand, he was sure. "I don't think I can move." He sighed to the grass. "And it's Addams now, I did say."
"Crabbe, Goyle, get him up. Rosier, give him his wand. Get up, Potter, or I shall Crucio you again."
Harry bit back the words he was dying to say. He couldn't tease in his condition. Grow a spine, he told himself. Mother would be more than willing to practice the Cruciatus on him afterwards once he told her about it, and that meant he had to get back to Hogwarts to tell her. So grow a spine and stop being so tingly like Hermione in front of a niffler.
He let his classmates' fathers stand him up on his feet, vaguely wondering how to break it to Crabbe Senior that his son had passed on to the Great Beyond. He knew that Vincent was known for staying over at the Goyle's, but surely his father couldn't be that stupid. Oh wait a second… perhaps he was. At least now he would have the excuse that Tom had killed Vincent for the good of the cause. He turned an interested eye when Rosier reached for his wand, which he had pushed out of his sleeve intentionally so he could have the pleasure of seeing whoever touch it writhe in agony. But Rosier seemed to have to sort of silver arm replacement for the one he had sacrificed for Tom, and he didn't so much as twitch when he picked it up and pushed it into Harry's hand.
So much for small pleasures.
"Now, we duel. You have been taught to duel, haven't you, Potter?"
"Addams," he corrected with a smile. He didn't actually mind the serpentine man using his birth name. It put them on even footing. "And yes I have, thank you for asking, Tom."
Red eyes narrowed at him again, and the yew wand twitched. "Then we will bow, as proper wizards…"
He could sense Malfoy's eyes on him as he courteously inclined his head to what the wizarding world considered as his worst enemy. Harry smiled blatantly in his direction. Let Lucius see what his son had gotten him into.
Even though he really didn't want to, even though he really wanted to feel those exquisite lashings, he forced himself to move, rolling aside just in time for someone behind him to get hit. Whoever it was didn't seem to enjoy it the same way he had.
"Crucio! Confringo! Defodio!"
Harry dashed in and out of the gravestones, ducking down as a spell zoomed over his head, leaping over a blast of red light aimed at his feet. He skidded behind a tombstone just as the third spell blasted deep into the rock, showering him with gravel. His blood was beginning to pump anew from the excitement, and he could feel his teeth starting to ache. The moon was a mere sliver in the sky, sliding from waning to dark, which was fine because he had eaten well two days ago, dined on young centaur foal and with the pain still coursing through his veins, he felt…he felt…
He raised his voice to the sky, and an inhuman sound came screeching out of him, blasting through the air, high and victorious, like bats, like banshees, like the vampires of old, but he wasn't old, he was new and he was hungry and he wanted his Power now.
It answered just in time. He turned and slashed his hand, nails outward, at the throat of a Death Eater who had been creeping up behind him. And now, now, there was blood for him. He sank his sharp, sharp teeth deep into the man's gaping wound, his eyes trained over the gravestone to watch for the others. They were getting close, but they couldn't see him yet. Let them see.
To you, Loki.
He stood up, his green eyes embers barely hidden in the dark fringe of his hair, his pale face and his gruesome, macabre grin, all teeth and mad curves that weren't fashioned in a smile so much as a threat. When he ran, he started on two feet, but the call was too much and he ended up on all fours, pulling one hand closer to his chest as he tumbled out of the way of another Crucio, only to rear up, grab the nearest cloaked man, rip his mask off and bite into his screaming face.
To you, Loki.
He braced his legs on the man's withering chest and kicked him away, using the momentum to spring onto another gravestone. He was like a fox among prickly black chickens, and they squawked and clucked as they tried to get away from him and cast at the same time, trying to disarm him, maim him, stop him. He let another howl rampage through his throat and the Power lashed out, knocking men off their feet and kicking up dust. He stepped on the leg of one, drew out the Acromantula fang and stabbed whoever it was in the eye.
To you, Loki.
There would be no need for weapons tonight, no senbon, no fan. This time was intimate as any other, when the only thing standing between a human being and Death was you, and that was the time, the only time, you could dedicate yourself to the gods, when you could give a life in exchange for a life. It was not giving up Light for Dark or Dark for Light. This was deep, this was old, and he knew it, as surely as he knew he'd just torn a man's arm off and beaten him senseless with the soggy end.
To you, Loki.
And every time he did, he grew stronger, and Tom knew it. There was no end to the Power, as long as you were ruthless enough, as long as you were willing to be cursed, and he was fine with that. He didn't need to scramble around Malfoy; the man had ducked as he had jumped, and now there was nothing and no one between him and dear Tom Riddle. His red eyes had narrowed into mere slits, spell after spell leaving his wand, colors bleeding into one another, red green red blue purpleredredgreen. And here was Rosier now, the patient pet, the steady pet, the faithful pet, now the armless pet, because Harry had grabbed his silver arm and yanked at it with all his Power and smacked him across the face with it.
"This is Blood Magic, Tom." He hissed hungrily, ravenously into the stoic Dark Lord's scaly face. "And not that wriggling, half-baked ritual you performed. There is no substitute for a life, not blood nor flesh nor bone, and you are a little human who doesn't know what they're doing."
Harry still had hold of Evan Rosier though, and the man, the faithful man, slumped against him in the finality of death.
"Here's your toy back, Tom. You were right; I have fulfilled my purpose. You're alive now, aren't you, alive and kicking, or trying to anyway. Do try, Tom. Grow stronger, grow better, and then when you are, come and play with me."
He had shoved the dead Death Eater into Tom's face, grabbed the Cup and Portkey'ed away. It had been as easy as pie, but now his Power was raging through him and he fought the pull, trying to fuzz it out at the edges so it wouldn't be so obvious. There was only one thing that could calm him down, or maybe two, or maybe three. He only had a second in which to mop his face free of blood when the first of those calming things came barreling at him.
"Valkyrie." He said, struggling to get control over his shaking hands. This was one reason why they didn't go out the morning after the dark of the moon. The Power was rising high, singing to him, talking to him, telling him things about everybody and everything. It was deafening, and he buried his face in his sister's hair to drown it all out.
And here was the second, and he was enfolded in an arctic embrace like no other, He couldn't pick a fight, not here, not now, there were too many spectators, and there was always a possibility that the death toll would be so high they wouldn't be able to ride the Power out without dedicating one half of Great Britain to one Trickster or the other. There were six of them here now after all. Once you started sacrificing, the exchange had been made, an open link that they had to temper through the years. They could invoke every day if they wanted to, not just at the dark of the moon, but that would be overkill, and where would you expend the Power in the end? It was all about control, maintaining the balance.
"Well done, darling. Deep breaths, like I taught you."
He felt like a child again, after his first sacrifice, when the Power had taken him and showed him how the world could be.
"Harveste!" Two voices entwined.
"Harry!" One voice different, but the same.
And they all cannoned into him as one, even Blaise the Aloof, touching him, combing through his unbound hair, soothing and gentling him instinctively.
And here came the rest of the hounds. The scent of Light was so sharp that he hissed in the dark braid before looking upwards.
"My boy, what happened – Cedric told us -"
"Harveste, thank the gods you're safe -"
"I couldn't remember a thing after I had woken -"
"Let me through – Let me through - Potter -"
He let himself go slack, falling into arms that he knew would be there.
"He needs to go to the infirmary -"
Wednesday was loathe to let him go. Her pupils were dilated until there was nothing but black looking back at him. His Mother had the same expression, and Father, and Pugsley. Even little Pubert was looking decidedly monstrous as he chewed on an arrowhead. That was the effect of the blood and Power on the Addams family, both a blessing and a curse. More on the curse part though, and they wouldn't have it any other way.
"Miss Addams, let go – he needs to lie down, get some medicine in him – he's in shock -"
He locked eyes on his sister and mouthed something before he was manhandled towards the castle.
"What did he say? What did he say?" Hermione said anxiously, her lips bloodless with fear.
Wednesday's voice was dark and low, so they had to strain to hear her, but when they did, all the Addams began to smile, and slowly, so did Harry's friends.
He was pulled into a room that reeked of Polyjuice Potion and arranged on a chair. 'Mad-Eye Moody' puttered around, his wooden leg clumping heavily on the stone floor. His room, if the smell of boiled slugs and lacewings were anything to go by, was littered with broken Light Objects. Some of the artifacts were finely tuned to root out Dark Magic, so it was no wonder that they had been smashed.
"Here you go, Mister Addams, this will make you feel better."
He accepted the goblet politely and watched the man who was surreptitiously watching him in turn. He could smell Veritaserum in the pumpkin juice, not a powerful amount, but enough to make him tell the truth against his will. He narrowed his green eyes then decided to toss the contents of the goblet into Moody's face. See how he liked that trick.
His Power beat through him and he let out a long breath as he stretched out an arm and pushed the crippled man against one of his desks.
"No tricks now. I know what you are and who you are."
"What're you talking about, boy?" Moody growled, quite in character. "There aren't -"
"You are Barty Crouch Junior, and you are a Death Eater. You killed your father, and probably the real Moody as well… no, you'd need him alive for the Polyjuice. You have locked him up then. I have seen your Master, and he says hello."
"I don't know what you're talking about boy, let me down -"
"Don't lie to me."
He reached out. It was like it had been with Viktor, narrowing a tiny bit of Power into the bloodstream to get rid of the foreign bodies, but now he didn't bother being gentle. He pulled and the man started to scream, first low then gradually getting higher as his vocal chords changed, essence of Moody ala Polyjuice oozing in greenish-yellow drops from every pore. He kept pulling until the drops started to form a stream, and then he wasn't looking at Professor Alastor Moody, Auror, anymore but Bartemius Crouch Junior, young, straw-haired and insane.
He dropped his hand and the man fell to the floor, tied up just as the door banged open and his Family walked in, Dumbledore and Snape at their heels.
"I've had enough of this," he snapped testily. "Professor Snape, I assume you know this man. There is Veritaserum in the third drawer of that desk over there. Have him drink it and he will tell you that Voldemort has risen once again. I will have a bath now, and when I am done, Professor Dumbledore, you and I will have a talk."
Harry stalked into the Slytherin fourth years' bathroom. His Power was there, but a little weaker now that there was no blood to feed it. It wasn't enough though. He felt like he could bounce off the walls and he gritted his teeth in annoyance as he turned the hot water all the way up until it was scalding. He stood in the stream, clothes and all, taking deep steam-filled breaths. In and out, in and out, that was all it was.
Someone knocked on the door at the far end. "Harveste?"
He let out a breath, and took another one, concentrating on the beating of his heart.
"Yes, darling?" He said in a long sigh, eyes still closed, leaning his head back to feel the boiling spatter on his face.
"Your mother told me to keep you company, talk you down. Hermione and Draco are with her and the rest to make sure they don't tear Crouch a new hole or two."
"She will have her time with him."
"Good. As long as she leaves us a piece."
Blaise squinted to see his friend's expression through the steam. "We're your friends, Harveste, and he tried to take you from us. Honor, Justice, Eye for an Eye, and all that pureblood crap. Mother would have my guts for garters if I didn't prove I was one of you."
"Mmm." Harry ran his fingers through his hair. The water swirling into the drain was pink with blood. He took another breath.
The mahogany-haired Slytherin hopped up on to the marble-topped sinks and stretched until his muscles popped. It was like being in a sauna. "Why don't you have a nickname for me?"
"What do you mean?"
"You have your guardian spirit-cum-omen of death and your world-ending serpent. Which one am I?"
Harry decided it was a good time to step out of the shower. He was soaking wet and, to Blaise, he looked like a very handsome drowned rat. His hands squeezed the excess water out of his hair as he walked up next to his friend and reached across to wipe the mist from the mirror. "My make-up is ruined."
"Harveste." Blaise said patiently.
Though the water had been hot enough to cook with, his fingers were still cold, nearly freezing when they brushed over his cheek and throat, and a pair of lips pressed against his forehead.
"You are my wolf, my Vali - a killer, a murderer and a conqueror all at the same time." Harry said with a smile. "Come now, we don't want to keep Professor Dumbledore waiting."
Harry and Blaise entered Moody's room in time to see a Dementor about to swoop in on Barty Crouch and Kiss him to death.
Harry had excellent aim. The spell hit the creature square in the chest and it stopped in its tracks, shivering.
"What have you done!" A small man in a bowler hat exclaimed. Harry recognized him as Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic and the man Hermione had asked him about when he had shown her the Twenty-Four Dead article.
"Duck, Hermione, Draco. You might want to get out of the way as well, Minister, before -"
"- that happens. Would you like a handkerchief?"
An exploding Dementor was slimy to the extreme, but the smell was like garden upon garden of violets and roses. Hermione caught the looks on the Addams' faces and obligingly waved her wand. A wind picked up, sweeping the odious smell out of the window.
"Was that the Cheering Charm, Mister Addams?" Professor McGonagall asked, looking impressed at him for the first time in four years. "Excellent usage, twenty points to Slytherin."
Blaise caught Harry's wink and decided not to enlighten the Professor about just what his friend's Cheering Charm entailed. He still remembered Vaisey.
"You've killed my Dementor!" Fudge spluttered.
"He was going to kill our witness." Harry said ineffably, taking a seat next to his Mother. Blaise moved to stand behind him. "And since when was he your Dementor? He was a magical creature, and last I heard, you don't own them."
"Yes, well…they work for me, don't they? And this man is dangerous, Albus, you must acknowledge that, spouting lies about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named…"
"Like he's come back, risen from the dead? It's true. I was there."
"You can't… It's not… You-Know-Who is gone -"
Harry looked at the man with renewed interest. Cornelius Fudge was an even bigger rat than Peter Pettigrew, and that was saying something. He was nervous and twitchy, as if the only thing that mattered, more than truth, more than the safety of his people and Britain at large, was his all-consuming desire to stay on top and in power. He felt Wednesday twitch, and he cupped her hand in his, hiding the blade from sight.
"We all heard him, Minister." McGonagall said, and Snape's dark nodding head gave weight to her sentence. Severus Snape never nodded. "He testified under Veritaserum."
"He's mad – he'd say anything – it can't be true -"
"But it is." Harry said. "I was there and I saw him rise and I saw dead bodies." He left out the fact that he had been the cause of those dead bodies. "At… Little Hangleton, where the Riddle House stands."
"You lie!" Fudge yelled madly, pointing a shaking finger in his direction.
Harry reached upwards quickly and grabbed his brother's wrist. Father chuckled and relieved Pugsley of the bomb. "Why would I have any reason to lie, Minister Fudge? There is no profit in me seeing the Dark Lord all well again."
"For the press – fifteen minutes of fame – I've heard about you! You killed Barty Crouch Senior with a pot of jam!"
"Did they say what flavor?"
"That will be enough." Dumbledore said, and his Light Magic throbbed through their temples like a bandsaw, and not in a nice way. "There is no way you can cover this up, Cornelius. Voldermort has risen again, and it is through Harry's -"
"- efforts that we even know anything about it. We have been forewarned, and forewarned is forearmed." Dumbledore stood up, towering over the shorter man and his power flared again. Harry pinched the bridge of his nose, and Hermione rubbed his back comfortingly. "And now, I will thank you to not bring another Dementor into my school again. Goodbye, Cornelius."
The Minister blustered his way out, ushered by Professors McGonagall and Snape. The door closed behind them, and suddenly the Headmaster's twinklies were back and brighter than ever.
"So, Harry -"
"Harveste, if you please, Headmaster."
"My boy, I hardly think this is the time for formality."
"This is the exact time for formality." Harry said, his tone hard. Draco, Blaise and Hermione looked at each other. "And before you ask, my Family stays here in this room until we finish talking."
"Certainly, my boy, but I'm sure Misters Zabini and Malfoy and Miss Granger have some homewo -"
"As I said before, Headmaster, my Family stays here, with me, or we don't talk at all."
Hermione smiled with pride and sat a little taller. Draco and Blaise said nothing, but just for a moment, both their hands tangled in the still-wet hair at the back of Harry's neck.
"Very well. Why don't you start by telling me about everything that happened, starting from when you touched that Portkey…"
And Harry told him, omitting the fact that he had let his Power go, saying instead that Voldemort had killed those who had betrayed him. He described the Reviving Ritual in detail, and he had felt his Father perk up at the idea. He told Dumbledore that it wasn't safe for Professor Snape to go back into the Dark Fold, and if the Headmaster had been surprised at his knowledge, he said nothing. At every word he said, he could feel the anger radiating from his friends, and the darker tinged hunger of his Family
"Well!" The old man said, clapping his hands with finality when he had finished. "That settles everything then. I knew he would be returning. We must begin your training at once."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Your training, my dear boy! Occulumency and Legilimency and Light spells. I know the lessons here in Hogwarts isn't particularly battle-oriented, but I have heard of the martial arts training that you four have been doing, and though I feel that it is neither safe or appropriate -"
"So you would rather see us get cut down on the battlefield, is that it?" Draco said hotly, his silver eyes as narrow and sharp as flints. "Harveste and his family have taught us survival skills that are invaluable, and if you knew the Dark Lord was coming back, why the hell didn't you do something about it earlier?"
"I do not appreciate your tone, Mister Malfoy." Dumbledore said, and Draco subsided at the chiding note, though his eyes still burned mutinously. Harry gently caressed the back of his hand, only to find that Hermione had beaten him to it. She blushed at him. "And to answer your question, parents are not very receptive of a curriculum that requires their children to wear protective padding."
Harry sighed and stood. "This will be enough for today."
"Mister Addams, I am not -"
"Professor Dumbledore, I have faced Voldemort tonight." Harry explained, trying not to growl. "I hope you appreciate that fact and respect my decision to retire. As for your proposal, I am afraid I will have to turn you down. My Family is responsible for my training, and they have done a splendid job. I survived tonight, didn't I?"
"Just because you did tonight does not mean that you will in the future, Harry -"
Suddenly, his Power slammed into him, fueled by his aggravation. Draco moved unconsciously closer and three sets of hands closed over his shoulders. This time, it was the Addams family that looked at each other.
"My name," he hissed, sounding eerily like Tom at that moment. "is Harveste Addams. I am not Harry Potter, and I will never be Harry Potter, ever. James and Lilly Potter are dead, betrayed by Peter Pettigrew –don't you say a damn word, I'm not finished yet- you could have taken care of Sirius, my godfather, like you had Severus Snape, who actually bears the Dark Mark, and you didn't, so I don't owe you a single godsdamned thing, do you understand? I will not fight for the Light, and I am not fighting for you, under you, or anywhere near you, so you can find some other malleable pansy to bend to your will. I hear Neville Longbottom's a good choice. So goodnight, Headmaster, we'll see ourselves out."
Hermione had finally gotten her wish. That first night, Daphne had somehow gotten up the gumption to threaten them again. She had been only two words in when Hermione had clocked her in a jaw with a mean right hook. Harry had been asleep, but he had Draco's word that it was awesome.
The Family had elected to stay in the seventh floor room, dubbed the Torture Room, for a week while they looked after their viper. It hadn't been there when they had climbed up, but after Wednesday had meaningfully drawn out her morningstar, a door had appeared very quickly.
They had Scryed for Professor Karkaroff, who had disappeared a few days before the Third Task. He had been Cousin What's engagement present.
Harry had heard about the twins' plans for a joke shop after they graduated, and had given them the thousand galleons that had been his prize money. In exchange, he had extracted the promise that they would continue to torture Cedric even when he was out of school.
Dumbledore, for all that he was a manipulative, sparkly-eyed bastard, was still wise enough not to entrust Barty Crouch Junior to the caring hands of Fudge and his Ministry. He had been under lock and key, doped up to the gills with Veritaserum. No one knew how he had escaped, and no one in the Family said a thing. It was all about keeping balance, after all.
"Draco, you bastard!"
Harry placed a finger on his Muggle Studies essay and looked up curiously. In exchange for not having his exams, his teachers had given him homework instead, piles and piles of it, like they were trying to bury him in parchment. He had done a quarter already, and it wasn't even five o' clock in the afternoon. How droll everything seemed after a fight with dear Tom and his blowout with their holier-than-thou Light lord.
Wednesday had decided to stay in Hogwarts until the end of the school year and go home to America with him. No one had tried to tell her any different, and the Beauxbatons delegation had seemed quite glad to see her go. He would have to ask her just what she had done to them on the flight over. She sat next to him now, twisting the arm of the dragon figurine and figuring how far it could go before it would snap. Hermione looked up as well, her worrying teeth stopping mid-gnaw on the head of a quill.
Blaise burst into the room, dripping wet and almost naked. He was clutching his towel around his hips with one hand, preventing all the suddenly interested girls from seeing too much. In the other hand, he held a shampoo bottle like it was a bomb. It was one of those very expensive brands, reeking of French vanilla and passionfruit. Harry fought not to gag and grabbed his thermos, concentrating instead on the fact that his friend had been a brunette. He wasn't anymore.
He was bright pink, and pissed about it.
"How d'you like being on the receiving end for once, Mister Candyfloss?"
"I'll fucking KILL you!" he roared, throwing the bottle at a snickering Draco, who was suddenly struck by a new wave of laughter as Blaise took a threatening step forward and promptly slipped on the slick stone floor.
Harry propped his chin up on his fist and watched the show, a fond smile flickering on his lips. Blaise was throwing everything he could lay his hands on, and globes, books, quills and cushions were flying through the air. Draco ducked and rolled, still laughing, every move bringing him closer and closer, and when he got in range, he grabbed Blaise's towel and pulled.
The high-pitched scream that raged through the air would have beaten any Merman, ripped its fins off and thrown it into a volcano.
"Honestly," Hermione sighed as Harry politely averted his eyes and retrieved a bit of his friend's decency with a quick pair of shorts. He wasn't above a few tricks of his own though. The boxers were a scarlet color that clashed horribly with the pink hairdo, with BITE ME cheekily written in big gold letters along the back.
Draco saw them and had to gasp for air.
"Alright, that's enough…"
The candlelight gleamed along the double edges of the staff.
Harry chuckled as chaos went down around him and went back to his Muggle Studies homework.
End of Part 5
Thirty-eight hours and still going!
You can blame the kisses on Hanson and their Mmm-bopping all over the place. And wizards are a one for bitch-slapping, aren't they? Don't send my muses after me please, I tried so hard to give them equally dark!love heartheart scenes with Harveste. I even threw Tom a bone!
Dear blue gods, if I don't get two hundred revs for this, I don't know what will!