One morning at breakfast…
"I should have known it was too easy."
"What?" Ginny asked worriedly, "Harry, what is it?"
"How long since the end of the Dark Cloaks?"
"Three years. Why?"
"There have been seventeen murders in the last four weeks." he replied.
"What are you thinking?"
"They were just the appetizer; we have yet to get to the main event."
The fire flared and Sirius' head showed up, "Hey Harry, I think we may need you to quit playing around with quidditch now. It's time for us to get down to Auror business."
"Someone tried to take Uncle Fred."
"We should be able to track them easily enough. Merlin that man is a genius, mad as a hatter, but a genius. I'm glad I'm not on his bad side."
"Where are you?"
"Fred's secret place, he won't talk to anyone else. He only let me near him in order to get here and call you."
"I'll be right there." Ginny punched him in the arm, "I mean we'll be right there."
When they reached Fred's place he was sitting on a chair with a cup of tea shaking in his hand. Ron stood at one shoulder and Sirius was at the other. He looked scared, terrified really. This had Harry very concerned, never in either life time had he seen either one of the twins this shaken.
"Fred, what on earth happened?"
"He was wearing a mask so I couldn't see his face. Nothing but red eyes Harry, red eyes."
Harry nearly stopped breathing, "Can't be he died, there was nothing left to bring back."
"I'm sure it's not him, but someone at least close. Do you have that sword handy?"
"I know where to get it."
"I suggest you start carrying it. I've made a scabbard for you. I made it for last time but you took care of them so quickly that I didn't have a chance to give it to you." Fred reached toward a cabinet near his chair.
"Hopefully we won't need it this time."
"We should have known…"
"I know we should have but…" Harry took the scabbard.
"You like to keep a higher opinion…"
"Of the miserable wretch's society breeds." They finished together.
"You two are just freaky. Do you want to explain to us mere mortals now?" Sirius whined.
"In my last life I fought a dark wizard."
"Voldemort." Ginny said, "But you defeated him."
"Yes," Harry replied, "but he had one physical attribute that really stood out."
"Those freaky red eyes." Fred said, "Of course the snake look was there too but you could look past it if you tried hard enough. But nothing could get you past those eyes."
"It could have just been a spell," Ron said, "or a prank."
"No," Fred said, "I checked."
"Well I guess it's a good thing we haven't signed those contracts yet." Ginny said.
"I couldn't talk you into signing yours could I?" Ginny's glare was the only answer he got from that stupid question.
"When can we take our entrance exams?"
"Finnice will be so happy." Sirius wiped a fake tear, "He's been on my bum for three years trying to get you on board. You know a happy Minister makes for a happy Head Auror."
"Fine boss," Harry said, "But…"
"Don't kill me Ginny," Harry said, "don't make Ginny and I a team."
"What?" Ginny whispered through gritted teeth.
"You're too much of a distraction for me." Harry grimaced waiting for the explosion.
"Are you saying that I'm too hot for you to pay attention to the job at hand?"
"Ok, I guess I can understand that." Ginny said flipping her hair over her shoulder, "But I better get a great partner."
"I think I have a better idea." Sirius said, "Please don't hex me Ginny."
"That will depend on your idea." she responded.
Daily Prophet two weeks later
The Derby Dementors have been struck by a tragedy. It was announced today that their star seeker has been severely injured in a practice session. Details haven't been released but it seems to be bludger related. Harry Potter, named for the legendary Auror and Hogwarts Headmaster, has been the top seeker in the league for three years running. That was when he came onto the scene and stole the show. A virtual unknown with a sad past he gained attention and then fame during his professional début. In that first game he beat the Puddlemere legend Mark Bent to the snitch and hasn't let one go yet. Derby's second seeker hasn't got a lot of play in the last three years but it seems he will now.
The article continued for two more columns. It had quotes from Derby players and coaches and few from other teams. The most comments came from his keeper and brother in law Ron Weasley. It also stated that his wife, one of the star chasers, was distraught and not available for comments.
"It seems to be doing what you wanted." Ginny had read the article and was now glancing through some of the get well cards, "I feel bad these people are wishing you well when you're not even hurt."
"I know, but deep cover means deep." Harry said.
"Doesn't mean I have to like it." she replied, "At least I won't have to act like a distraught wife, I really will be. I'm going to miss you so much."
Harry pulled his wife into a tender hug. He would miss her terribly too. He tried to lighten the mood a little, "For what it's worth Sirius is very sorry. He would like it if you would remove the curse now."
"Not likely." she sighed, "I'll remove it when you come back home in one piece."
"Really Gin, he needs to be fully functional so he can lead the Aurors." Harry snickered picturing Sirius' face when he realized what all the hex had done, "I need the Aurors to back me up and not leave me hanging, Sirius needs to lead them."
"Well I guess I can return his ability to speak in real words." Ginny grinned, "But do I have to remove the rest of it?"
"I thought it was all one curse."
"Oh no, there are seven. You know seven is the most powerful magical number." Ginny grinned.
That bit bothered Harry, he remembered the last person who had said that, "But six is a pretty good number too. What do the others do, I know about the speech and having no feeling in his hands."
"Several other places don't have any feeling either, but I doubt he'll talk about that." Ginny worked hard to control her laughter, "But all the numb parts I'm classifying as one hex. I just used it several times. Then there are the rash, itching and fungus. The last two are a bit delayed in showing up; he just needs to get enough into his system first."
"How many of these are Weasley products?"
"Five. Two of them I developed myself."
"Should I be worried about what you're going to do to me for going along with this?" Harry asked.
"I won't do anything to you… yet." Ginny grinned wickedly, "I do want you safe at home."
"Thanks, I think." Harry snuggled closer and started kissing just behind her ear, "We only have a few more days, let's not talk about that anymore." Ginny was about to agree but her lips were suddenly far too busy.
Harry kissed Ginny just before she left. It would be the last time until all this was over. He then turned himself invisible before leaving the house behind her. He walked two blocks and then apparated to an alley that was on the far side of London. There he donned a brown hooded cloak then made himself visible. He quickly made his way down to a pub in a badly run down section of town. He cautiously stepped into the pub and moved to a seat in the rear after making arrangements to stay for a few days. The seat he chose had a good view of the front and back doors as well as the stairs. Sirius had chosen this as the spot to start looking for the dark wizard. It was rumored that his followers liked to gather here.
Leaving his hood up he slouched in the chair. He had learned long ago that proper posture was a dead giveaway when undercover with this sort. When his drink arrived he pretended to take a long swallow, in reality he did a few spells to check for poisons and dark magic and then banished a bit of it away. That drink and all the ones after it were checked and then disposed of in the same way. Harry watched as people came and went. Transactions both legal and illegal took place right in front of him but he didn't take any action. He watched for evidence of a new dark wizard and his followers. He found plenty.
As the night wore on Harry found he was getting more attention from the dark wizards followers. He was just considering calling it a night when a fight broke out. He decided this was just what he needed to cement a reputation with the wizards. He stood after finishing his last drink and moved towards the stairs. The brawlers were throwing spells back and forth as he crossed the room. When he reached the stairs they both sent spells at his back. He flicked his wand blocking both spells then proceeded up the stairs as if nothing had happened. He checked his room before entering and then set up several crude but effective wards and detection spells to protect himself while he slept. It was another lesson learned in his previous life, if you used Auror grade spells they would know you were an Auror.
The next evening Harry was back at the same table, it didn't take long for people to notice him again. When another fight broke out earlier in the evening than the previous one he stayed in his seat. When the combatants spell came too close he stunned both but otherwise didn't move. Someone revived them and sent them out of the pub, meanwhile someone sat at Harry's table.
"That was some fine wand work." the man observed.
Harry didn't respond. Undeterred the man continued to try to pull Harry into conversation without success. Finally it reached the same time he had left the night before; he got up and left the table with no comment. The man who had been talking watched him walk away.
Over the next several evenings a different man would sit down and try to talk to him, Harry still didn't respond. Each evening he would get up and leave when it reached the right time. Finally after a week he was approached by a man who appeared to be of higher economical level than the others. He sat down and got right to the point.
"I hear you're a decent wizard with a no nonsense character. I represent a man who is looking for people like you. Will you come and meet him?"
"What does he want?"
"Well he wants to talk to you. Will you meet him?"
"I don't think you understand." the man said rising and pulling his wand, "You will be coming with me."
Harry casually stunned the man, but otherwise didn't move. Next three men approached him and started firing spells. Harry deflected them and then while appearing to take a drink he stunned each one. He was still in his seat when seven men started towards him.
"Are you sure you want to attempt this?" Harry asked.
Instead of fighting one man spoke up, "Our leader is impressed with you. He would like to extend an invitation to join our organization."
"What is this organization?"
"Not something we discuss in public."
"And this rabble is part of your group?" Harry made sure there was a sneer in his tone.
"Lower level, every group has some of them. Very helpful in determining lucrative talent in prospective members."
"After I deal with you how many come next?" Harry shook his head, "Unless I deal with someone higher up you can forget it. I don't mingle with the lower end of things. I'm too good and I'm too valuable."
"That's the reason you're hanging out in this pub." Another sneered, "How impressive."
"There are certain people I want to meet." Harry said standing and moving toward the stairs, "This is the place to meet them but you are not the person I wish to talk too. Go back to your boss and tell him to send someone better. I'll think about it then."
More people in the bar stood and Harry was facing more than twenty before he reached the stairs. This fight was going to put him to a little more of a test. Doing as little magic as he could get away with Harry dodged spells and allowed them to hit others who were firing spells at him. By the time he reached the stairs he had one left to stun and then he went up to his room. It wasn't five minutes before there was a knock on his door.
Upon opening it he found someone with enough power to register. Finally he was getting somewhere, " Yes?"
"You think quite highly of yourself."
"With good reason."
"Maybe, but he is willing to hear you."
"I have nothing to say. I will however listen and decide. Portkey?"
"Let us be on our way then."
Upon arriving Harry witnessed several of those he had already fought being helped. The building he was preparing to enter was an impressive one. It reminded him of Malfoy mansion except this was bigger and more ornate. This guy must have an ego the size of London, Harry thought. In the entry way he could look up four levels. Beautiful artwork and tapestries lined the walls, while marble floors were covered sporadically by large expensive looking rugs. Harry was pretty sure you could hold a quidditch match in this room. The hall they walked down was also impressive. It held more artwork but had added statues to the mix. There were no doors except the set at the end that they were walking towards. As they reached them the doors opened on their own. Harry knew all this splendor and magic was meant to impress, he was glad he was still in his hooded cloak because he was sure the look on his face showed disgust. He stepped into the room through the doors at was brought out of his thoughts of the outlandish décor. At the far end of the room was a man sitting on an ornate throne. He reminded Harry of the way Tom Riddle had looked in that memory years ago, when he had asked Dumbledore for the job of DADA professor. Harry was certain this man had taken at least a few steps in Voldemorts shoes. He had no doubt that the man had been at least three steps down that road to immortality if not a few more. He knew his next few months would not be pleasant as he looked into the man's red eyes.
"State your name and show your face." the man on the throne demanded.
Harry dropped his hood and said, "Harry Potter."
In an instant thirty wands were pointed at him but he didn't even flinch. "Well, this is interesting. Interesting indeed. I thought you were in the hospital, bludger wasn't it?"
"You know how easy it is to manipulate people."
"You know my 'sad' past?"
"Orphaned as a young child and amnesia when escaping an abusive family."
"Yes, well that bludger reminded me of a few things, including why I hate my name." Harry grimaced, "People have stupidly long memories."
"So you just left the fame and fortune of quidditch?"
"Fame yes, stupid fawning fans yes, hordes of idiot reports trying to get every bit of you they can yes. Fortune no." Harry sneered with his best imitation of Draco, "Why do you think she's still playing, not a dime to her name."
"But she is still married to you?"
"Of course, she is still raking in the galleons." Harry was disgusted with what he was saying. But he had to get into a high ranking position. The higher he got the less time this would take. The intelligence Sirius had provided stated the man didn't like women to have any authority. There were none in his ranks and few that had jobs of any sort.
The man on the throne laughed, "I like you. Let me tell you about our group. Once I am done you will have the chance to join or die, you see how benevolent I am?"
Harry fought to keep his eyes from rolling at the idiot's speech.
"We are an organization that is working for the betterment of all wizard kind. We dislike how the ministry is being run. Browning had the right of it but lacked the ability to carry it off. They are serving their punishment for not waiting as they were instructed to do."
"And you are?"
"You may call me Master; I will not tolerate any other title. If you prove to be good enough I will share the secret of my success with you. But you must prove to be better than the previous four. They are failures."
"So in short you're out to take over the world and I can help if I want." Harry summarized, "Fine, I'm in."
Harry spent the next month helping people prove their own incompetence. He sabotaged attacks and foiled plans left and right leaving the blame for the failures on other people. His work wasn't really hard; they were a pretty poor bunch to begin with. Although, they were better trained than the Dark Cloaks. While others fell in rank Harry rose. It was within the first month that he managed to get into the top five. Then he turned his concentration toward the leader of the group.