Now, the last chapter! Originally going to be merged with the last, but I think you can see why it wasn't. Long enough...
The Year Five story will be entitled The Call, and will see the continuation of one storyline introduced in this story...
Harry thudded to the ground, just outside the maze. The whole audience stood up suddenly; cheering, oblivious to the tragedies and dangers to have just occurred.
From the teacher's box, the Doctor, Amy and Rory leant forwards suddenly; the Doctor leapt out of the box, falling a mildly dangerous distance in an effort to reach Harry. First though…
He darted into a small room, normally used as the Quidditch teams entered the pitch. Moody stood within it; walking towards Harry.
"Hi, Barty," the Time Lord panted, "We need you."
He wasn't afraid to sue the Death Eater's real name; no one else could see them. They were alone in that small passage.
"Hm," Barty Crouch Junior grunted.
"Harry's back," the Doctor exhaled, breathing quickly, "He's got a Stalker. We need you to Imperio, you know, the classic stuff."
"Right," Moody rolled his eyes.
The Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher turned, a few steps. He hesitated for a moment; a few metres from the entrance to the pitch, and public sight.
In a flash, he span around; wand tightly in hand. "Stupefy!"
With no time to react, the spell struck the Doctor. Eyes wide, the Time Lord fell to the ground.
Barty Crouch Junior strode up to the Doctor, looking down through narrow eyes. "I'm not your slave any more," he muttered; contemplating something worse as he played with his wand. Then, dismissive, he brushed his wand over the Doctor's head, moved the wand away and murmured the full-body-bind jinx.
A sensation not unlike an egg being cracked ran down his back; he recognized the feeling from the books. Disillusionment charm; he'd been made invisible, and petrified.
The Doctor could do nothing but stare out through unmoving eyes, as the Death Eater impersonating Moody strode away; straight for the Stalker-possessed Harry.
In that time, the Time Lord strained against his magical bindings; unable to move. And no one would, no one could come to help him. He was unseen, and silent.
Out in the pitch, by the entrance of the maze, silence had fallen. Harry stood, sobbing, on the verge of sleep, over Cedric's lifeless body.
The crowd had only just realized the Champion's death; and his father forced his way out of the crowd, distraught. "That's my son!"
Moody knocked Amos Diggory out the way, irritable, gripping Harry by the arm.
"He's back," the Boy Who Lived murmured, weary. "He's back…"
The Death Eater hefted Harry to his feet. He muffled a smile with his twisted lips; perfect.
"Who?" he spoke gruffly; knowing the answer, and ecstatic with it.
Without waiting for an answer, Barty Crouch Junior pulled the lethargic Harry out of the pitch; relying on the distraction that the lifeless Cedric provided.
"L-Lord Voldemort," Harry stuttered, as he was dragged out the passage.
The Doctor lay, invisible, along the side of the route. He was forced to stare, as the Death Eater took Harry Potter away.
A triumphant sneer began to play over Moody's lips. His master had returned, and the world would tremble.
Harry and Crouch reached the Defence Against the Dark Arts office; cluttered with an assortment of supposed Dark Detectors. Many of them were active; off the scale. Irritable, despite his 'joyous' news, Moody jabbed a curse at a sneakoscope, silencing the whirring.
Harry slumped into a seat; Barty watched, slowly enjoying himself. The last Stalker was in the Boy Who Lived; slowly taking away his life. Crouch was perhaps the only person, in all Hogwarts, who'd be willing to cast Imperio, to save the Boy. And he wouldn't.
"The Dark Lord's back, you're sure?" Moody spoke once more, gruff, inwardly happy. He kept his emotions hidden.
"Yeah," Harry exhaled, after a few seconds taking in the speech.
The black haired student found he couldn't concentrate. It came from the same feeling of numbness spreading up his arms. Half-asleep, perpetually.
His eyes couldn't stay open, his body wouldn't let him remain conscious, his nerves were gradually fading, and his brain took too long to process anything. The symptoms were part of an inordinately long list; and if he thought through them, it might takes days, especially with the constant distraction, the constant lack of any mental concentration.
"And the Death Eaters?" Barty Crouch paced around his office, slapping the whirling Dark Detectors, and covering a Foe-Glass.
"They were there too," Harry murmured after several more seconds.
Inwardly, 'Moody' wondered how much longer Harry could live. He looked tired enough; the Stalker couldn't have much more to drain.
In any case… Crouch flicked his wand across at the door; slamming it shut, and locking it tightly. Harry didn't pay any attention, he couldn't.
Well, that would give them a bit more time. Enough for Harry to have the last of his life leeched from him; and if not, Crouch would just have to help the Stalker along.
"Did he punish them?" Barty looked sideways at Harry suddenly, eyes wide in a maniacal glee.
Harry blinked a few times, swaying in his seat. Something was off.
"In the graveyard," the Death Eater snapped, "Did he punish them? Those that ran away, denied him, stayed out of Azkaban? Tell me!" His voice rose to a shout, "There's nothing I despise more than a Death Eater who roamed free."
"They," Harry closed his eyes, almost drifting off, "He…he wasn't happy."
Strangely, his scar seemed to begin tingling. As his own mind seemed to slow, his senses failing, something else seemed to try and take over. That something was in his scar; burning, raging.
We must bring the Dementors to our side. Allow those who did not deny me to serve us once more. Harry heard a high, cruel voice come from his own lips. Flashes of darkness; screams, and of the masked Death Eaters. Worm-tail came back to follow me, he heard the rumours of my continued life. Can any of you say the same? There was just one other who dared to help.
Harry gasped, blinking, still immeasurably tired, as he looked vaguely around at Moody's office.
"Boy," the teacher walked closer, wooden leg clunking on the floor, knocking Harry's shoulder.
"Y-yes sir?" Harry murmured, still on the verge of sleep.
"I asked what happened. What did he do to those who betrayed him?" Crouch seemed a little to keen to learn the answers.
"He," Harry closed his eyes, sleepy, "He," his eyes suddenly snapped open; remembering. "There's a Death Eater in Hogwarts! He told me, he…they…" once more his lack of focus made him trail off.
"Don't worry," Moody muttered curtly, "I know who the Death Eater is."
"Is it, um, Karkaroff?" Harry swayed, tired
"Karkaroff?" Moody barked a laugh, "That fool tried to run away as soon as he felt the Dark Mark call us back. He got killed; people say it was some woman."
There was something Harry wasn't picking up, something…something obvious. Oh, why was he missing it?
"The-then who?" Harry almost fell out the chair.
Barty Crouch Junior paced around the office, contemplating for a few seconds. Well, Harry was close to death as it stood. Why not?
He wanted to see the boy lose hope; to see the life drain from his eyes, and to see the fear. The damned child who's killed the Dark Lord.
'Moody' paced around, to just in front of Harry. He lowered himself, until he was eye level.
"I am," he spat.
Harry shrank back; the vague consciousness in him just enough to register fear. What? That was…impossible. Dumbledore trusted him! Why would he serve Voldemort?
"I- I-" Harry couldn't say anything more. His eyes slowly drifted shut.
The Death Eater above him grunted, striking the boy's cheek once. No reaction. He rolled his eyes; irate, raising his wand.
"Crucio!" in Moody's body, in Moody's voice, the spell seemed odd, out of place. Yet still exceedingly menacing.
Nothing. Harry's body felt nothing, save for a distant, vague tingling. And even that, he didn't have enough energy to react to. He slumped forwards.
Barty Crouch Junior grabbed Harry's hair, forcing the student's head back, grunting. Harry's eyes were closed; the mind behind them as good as inert.
A muttered curse. The Death Eater stepped away, muttering a spell; opening Harry's eyes. That was all. No help. He watched, shaking in anticipation, as the Boy Who Lived gradually began to fade away. Crouch kept his wand tightly held in his hand; no one was coming to help, and he would not let the student escape.
The ghost of Rory Pond drifted through Hogwarts castle. The final task had just occurred; casting his mind back, it was easy to remember what happened.
Moving with a grace, a self-assurance cultivated over many decades, yet one he did not feel, he found his way to the Quidditch Pitch; where his living self, still disguised as Dumbledore, was hastily reading his script from the fourth Harry Potter book.
"Hi, um, me," the ghost began speaking, struggling with the odd situation.
"Huh?" Dumbledore's body turned around, a fashion very bizarre for the elderly frame.
"Try page 589," the ghost said, remembering. "Trust me."
The living Rory blinked; looking at his own ghost, confused. Then, doing his best not to think about the confusing circumstances that would lead to this, he flicked his way a little way back to the page number.
Rory quickly read the page, frowning as he got to the end. He looked up suddenly, into the eyes of his own ghost.
"Harry's in danger," he said suddenly. "There's no Dumbledore to save him from Moody."
"Yeah," the ghost nodded, as if it were obvious. "You need the Doctor."
"Right," Rory paused, "Where's the Doctor?"
"I can't remember," the ghost admitted, frowning, "I never actually went there."
Amy popped into the box for a moment. She looked from the ghost, to her living husband; "Back in a sec," she said, broadly grinning.
The redhead ran out the box, to McGonagall; who stood alone, having just finished a fairly loud conversation with the Minister for Magic. Fudge seemed, to put it mildly, unhappy with the deaths occurring at Hogwarts: Minerva hoped she'd managed to avoid him shutting the school.
"Hey!" Amy waved, "Hey, McGonagall."
The head of Gryffindor turned, frowning, tight-lipped.
"I need you to find something for me," Amy said, grinning. "Well, someone."
"What?" McGonagall's eyes narrowed, "And who?"
"The Doctor of course," Amy skipped closer, "Same way Dumbledore did. Third year apparently, right at the start."
"Third…" Minerva's voice trailed off. Frowning, she raised her wand to the air, and then, tentative: "Accio Doctor!"
A clatter, and a distant rumble. The grass near them was flattened, yet nothing visible was there.
Frowning, McGonagall murmured a charm. The Doctor's paralyzed frame came into sight; laying on the ground, previously made invisible. McGonagall knelt by his side, touched her wand to his head. She murmured something else, and the Time Lord came, seemingly, back to life.
"Well that's better!" he gasped, grinning, "Hi Amy, hi Minnie, um, Minerva!" he beamed. Then he fell serious; "Oh, old Moody's got Harry, hasn't he? Well, we can chat later. Not that anything stops me chatting. Onwards!"
Regaining his vigour with startling ease, the Doctor ran back to the castle. In one hand, he held the shining, green, sonic screwdriver high. Amy followed him, eagerly; McGonagall stopped after a few steps, walking back to collect many more teachers.
Harry knew nothing of the world. It had almost all faded away. Sound was reduced to a misty echo. Sight was no more than a featureless blur, one he couldn't focus on. Any sensation was met with an impenetrable numbness; and his mind registered none of it. His brain was a complete void, too slow to notice any of his tiredness now.
Moody stood above him, wand in hand, and looking down with a savage victory. Something odd stirred within him; he pushed the sensation away.
Time to finish the job.
Clenching his hand into a fist, the Death Eater pressed the tip of his wand to Harry's scar. "Avada Kedavra." Nothing.
Barty brought his wand up; peering at it. If that…
"Stupefy!" The door swung open, lock bypassed, and the Doctor ran in, grinning broadly, sonic screwdriver held in front of him and transmitting the same signal, preventing any and all magic.
"Hi Barty," he grinned.
Somehow he'd forgotten the wrongs committed; well, not forgotten, simply brushed them aside. Now wasn't the time for vengeance, now was the time for life, for saving life.
A man with the appearance of Dumbledore followed him in; along with Amy, McGonagall, Severus Snape, and a rather bewildered Minister for Magic.
"Alastor?" Fudge exclaimed, surprised at seeing the righteous, even if paranoid, man holding the Boy Who Lived at wand-point.
"That's not Moody," Rory/Dumbledore shook his head slowly. "Something so simple, we didn't notice," he winced, knowing his lines were wrong, "Maybe, um, in the excitement of the night he's forgotten to…" Rory wasn't sure what to say next.
Moody looked up sharply; making an action, as if to gulp from his hip flask. Too slow. The Doctor flicked his screwdriver off; a curse was flung across the room, stunning the Death Eater.
They watched as the Polyjuice Potion wore off, revealing his true form. Barty Crouch Junior, Death Eater.
"Hello," the Doctor strode forwards, grinning at the snarling man, "Do I know you?" the Time Lord frowned, "You know, I'm sure I've seen you before."
Barty spat up at the Doctor.
"Oh, fine, be rude," the Doctor rolled his eyes, stepping away. He turned to face the other teachers, "I don't suppose you know why he looks familiar? Nah, didn't think so," the Time Lord sighed, looking down.
"Anyway," Cornelius Fudge coughed, "I would very much like to know what's going on."
"Boring," the Doctor pouted, "Anyway, first thing's first. Stalker." The Time Lord stood in front of Harry; the boy was slumped forward, breathing imperceptibly, weary.
"Oh, those again," Fudge rolled his eyes, "They would seem to be inconsequential-"
"Oh, inconsequential now?" the Doctor interrupted; "Nothing's inconsequential. Ever. Now, is anyone going to cast Imperio?"
Silence greeted his matter-of-fact question.
"Come now," Fudge said eventually, "You cannot be serious."
"I'm always serious," the Doctor looked surprised. A second later, he corrected himself; "Except when I'm not. But I'm serious now, no, wait, I'm the Doctor. Sirius is somewhere else. So, anyone going to help?"
"The Imperius curse," Fudge echoed, aghast
"Yeah," the Doctor nodded, easily, unused to the wizard stigma, "It's the only way to banish a Stalker. Affects a mind, tell them to leave; it runs away. Simple."
The Minister for Magic just stared at the Doctor. Few people discussed the Imperius curse so openly; let alone with the Minister listening.
"Is this the kind of man you employ?" Fudge looked around at 'Dumbledore', incredulous
"He-he has his moments," Rory stuttered.
"Doctor," Minerva McGonagall cut in.
The Doctor knew nothing of the wizarding world; at least, he knew nothing of the details, it seemed. Imperio was one of the three greatest taboos of magic.
"Do not discuss the Imperius curse quite so lightly," she reprimanded, "It steals all of a person's will. It is not something to be done quite so easily."
"It is not something to be done at all," Fudge interjected. "Use on another human is a life sentence in Azkaban."
"It won't be on a human," the Doctor rolled his eyes. "Oh, you lot and your categories. An alien will be told to leave. Harry's life will be saved. Saving a life; is that really so hard?"
"Complete loss of will," Minerva shook her head; "It is not a good fate."
"Is it better to die?" the Doctor looked sharply at the teacher; "Lesser of two evils. It's always the human prejudice that stops you seeing it; you can save Harry, and the Stalker won't mind. I can promise you that; it won't even notice."
Silence. The Doctor stared at McGonagall and Fudge; breathing heavily.
It was an odd contrast; just behind him, the Boy Who Lived was exhaling with similar strain, yet with none of the weight.
And behind the two teachers, Snape watched, sneering. By him, Amy and Rory stood, just to the side, trying to remain uninvolved.
"Come on," Amy murmured, rolling her eyes.
Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, did seem somewhat swayed by the Doctor's plea. Yet he could not come out in support; reputation was worth as much as the man in the murky world of Ministry politics. He could not forgive an Unforgivable.
The argument was effectively brought to a halt as someone snapped. "Imperio!"
Harry breathed a little easier; blinking several times, then slumping further forwards. He exhaled audibly; simply asleep.
The group looked back, shocked, at the once-Death Eater Severus Snape, wand held high in a pale hand. He sneered at them; as if daring them to comment. Then, surprisingly, he flashed one look at Amy; almost in thanks.
"S-Snape," Fudge stuttered, "You know I can't let this go."
"I know," nasal tones from the black haired potions master
"But I'll, um, make sure the court knows of the, um, special circumstances," the Minister seemed strangely small, thrown outside his comfort zone.
"I expect nothing left," Snape snapped, turning; pacing out. Unsure, the Minister followed; supposedly to escort Snape for a court case.
The wizard paced past Amy; the redhead heard a few words whispered, presumably not meant for anyone to hear: "His mother's eyes."
The Doctor just stared, aghast, after them. Nothing to say.
He didn't want this. It wasn't right; not at all. It was necessary, simply necessary. Unavoidable.
Then again, far worse atrocities had been justified under just that statement, in the past. At least this time, Snape was hopefully to be given a fair trial; and to be released. They couldn't blame him. Not for…not for this.
In the office once more, Harry exhaled gently. Recovering
"Boy!" a woman's cruel voice; carrying across the field.
Draco turned; irate. A woman in an iron mask, long tangled hair descending, beckoned him. Momentarily nervous, the blonde Slytherin approached her; hand drifting towards his wand.
"Next year," her voice was reluctant, almost. She cared nothing for him; that was obvious. "Come when I say."
She flicked a talisman over to Draco. It looked almost like a coin from a distance, until he saw the details.
A snake's head; a serpent, flat, a frontal view of the snake about to bite. The fangs, etched onto the surface, were curled outwards, so that it gave almost the appearance of bulls' horns.
"Why?" Draco looked up, gripped by a fit of disobedience.
"You think you have a choice?" She simpered, purposefully mocking.
Snape's escort to the Ministry had been attacked; Minerva carried the message to the Doctor. Her eyes were wide, gripped with something between fear and indignation.
They knew next to nothing; one person survived, after hastily disapparating. They never saw how it ended; only a flash as the group was attacked.
Snape was to be escorted to the Ministry, to stand trial for casting the Imperius curse. The group escorting him had been attacked; all, save for the one who escaped, were found dead. Except for Snape; that teacher was nowhere to be seen. The working theory was some kind of abduction; though why, neither the Ministry nor Hogwarts could tell.
Only one piece of useful information had been given to them; the wizard who escaped had caught one quick glimpse of the attacker. Apparently, it was a woman, face disguised behind a metal mask.
Upon hearing the news, the Doctor paced away, alone with his thoughts and guilt. Dumbledore's Office; the best retreat he had.
"I'm sorry," the Time Lord's words whispered to the air.
Seconds later, the headmaster's echo came back. Urgent, the Doctor ran over to him; overwhelmingly sad, guilty tears threatened to fall from his eyes.
"Not you to," the Doctor murmured, hand resting on the possessed Dumbledore's shoulders, "I can't take much more guilt."
I can't take much more guilt.
"Please, let him go," the Doctor's eyes held enough emotion to sway most species in the galaxy. Please let him go. Mocking. "Why do you have to punish him?"
Silence. The Doctor stared into wide blue eyes.
"Next year," the Time Lord was speaking urgently now; "Next year, we need him, Earth needs him. That man, that brilliant man, Albus Dumbledore, he duels with Lord Voldemort. Saves Harry's life; that's pivotal, Harry could've died there…and if he does, then Voldemort will win. Dominate Earth; the immortal wizard."
The immortal wizard. The Voice seemed to take a perverse pleasure in relishing the words which the Doctor struggled with.
"Sorry for everything, but-" Pause. No echo. "I-" I.
Their voices had synced up. Each word came together; from his lips, and from Dumbledore's.
Pale, shaken, the Doctor turned, walking away. Not giving up, not yet and not ever. But there was no more to be done. Nothing more that could be.
To Be Continued...