And here's the update for the "Harry Potter: the Serpent Lord". Enjoy!

* Review response:
FateBurn, El Pirato, The Swordslinger, Penny is wise, tchizek, ElementalMaster16, bloodshound, JPElles, Silverstargirl, Clearhorse, skywiseskychan, Coru 32, nopparitari, KattyByNature, laxmad, lordamnesia, thank you for your reviews, folks!
DarkLord98, Dragon and Sword Master, somehow, I doubt that my Voldemort turned out to be much weaker than the canon one...
ViolatedMonkey, they are FOURTEEN, for god's sake! You can be still a fool at that age. Stop measuring them as if they are proper adult with years of experience to support their every decision.
The Sinful, unfortunately my tournament doesn't make sense... But at least I tried to make the duel at the cemetery make some - in canon Voldemort could have just AK'ed Harry while he was still tied to the tombstone and be done with it.
Jonn Wolfe, nope, neither of those two... I did have him go abroad the previous summer for a reason.
Slytherin66, hehe... Narcissa will make her appearance once again, that is for certain. Not sure about Sirius, though... Might think of something.

* AN: You are so gonna HATE me for this chapter... At least until I post the next one... Also, "Worochi no Aramasa" is the legendary sword many of us know, though usually under its other name...

* Disclaimer: I DO NOT own "Harry Potter" and its characters in any shape or form. Same with "Freezing" anime/manga series or anything else I might mix in.

"human speech"
"wraith speech"
'human thoughts'
"powered speech / true prophecies by the seer"
"spells / parseltongue"

chapter 73: No cover, all man

Thankfully for Harry, Wormtail was a good little minion, thus the resurrected Voldemort was dressed in a long black robe before the young Potter's mind could have been traumatized by the sight of the naked Dark Lord. And given the returned wizard's flat and mostly absent nose and skin so pale that it looked blue, one could only imagine what other deformities his body had, thanks to the many dark rituals he had performed on himself in the past...

After examining his new body to ensure that at the first glance everything was working as it should, Voldemort turned his attention to Pettigrew and, ignoring the rat's pain-filled cries, grabbed his left arm and forced the sleeve of the robes up past the elbow, baring the tattoo-like Dark Mark to the world. Then he pressed his finger onto the mark, causing it to turn black and making Wormtail howl in pain as a signal to the other Death Eaters was sent.

A couple of minutes later numerous wizards had arrived via apparation, all of them dressed in the black cloaks with hoods and masks to hide their faces. One by one they moved forward, cautiously approaching their once-again-alive Master, as if they could hardly believe their eyes. Voldemort stood in silence, waiting for them. Then one of the Death Eaters fell to his knees, crawled toward Voldemort and kissed the hem of his black robes.

"Master... Master " He murmured. The Death Eaters behind him did the same; each of them approaching Voldemort on his knees and kissing his robes, before backing away and standing up, forming a silent semi-circle around their Master who stood just a few feet away from the tombstone Harry was tied to. The sobbing mess that was Wormtail was also somewhere there, but no one was paying much attention to him...

For a few seconds that felt like eternity, everyone was silent. Then, Voldemort spoke. At first it almost sounded like he was merely greeting those who had come to this little reunion, but soon the Dark Lord started verbally tearing into his followers, accusing them of being traitors because they had pleaded innocence, and ignorance, and bewitchment to escape the punishments. And, of course, because none of them had searched for him, Voldemort, following the events of that Halloween night thirteen years ago.

One of the Death Eaters – Avery – then got on his knees and tried to beg for forgiveness, but the Dark Lord wasn't about to listed to him and promptly interrupted him by placing him under the Cruciatus curse. The curse was held for maybe half a minute, before the resurrected bastard finally lifted it, announcing it all of his followers that he doesn't forgive and doesn't forget. Then, to show everyone that he could be generous and merciful too, Voldemort gave Pettigrew a new hand. Which also finally made Wormtail to stop sobbing...

Meanwhile, Voldemort commented that that traitor, Karkarov, will be hunted down and killed for his betrayal, reminding everyone that there was no way to retire from the ranks of Death Eaters. Done with his followers for the moment, the resurrected Dark Lord turned his attention to Harry.

"And, finally, here's our guest of honor, Harry Potter." He said. "And, as you all might know, not only this boy was the reason for my fall those thirteen years ago, but now this little fool had dared to steal the noble name of Slytherin from me, and even shared it with the blood-traitorous bitch Lucius was so much unlucky to have as his daughter... Yet, for all of his transgressions against Lord Voldemort, I still find myself in the need to thank him: without him I would be unable to return."

"Master, we crave to know... we beg you to tell us... how you have achieved this... this miracle... how you managed to return to us..." Lucius Malfoy spoke after a few seconds of silence.

"That is a very interesting story, Lucius." The Dark Lord replied. "But that is something I will tell you all at a later date. Right now, there are some more important things that need to be done." Approaching Harry, Voldemort ran his long bony finger against the green-eyed teen's shoulder. "See this, Potter? Whatever defenses the mud-blood of your mother had used, they no longer work. This time nothing will save you." Turning his attention to Pettigrew, the Dark Lord spoke: "Wormtail, untie him!" Peter was just as surprised by this as were the rest of the Death Eaters.

"M-My Lord?" He questioned.

"Did I not speak clearly, Wormtail?" Voldemort hissed dangerously, prompting the rat animagus to move. "But if you must know... The rules of the rite of conquest dictate that Potter must be able to defend himself. If I were to kill him now, the magics of Slytherin will disappear, instead of returning to their rightful owner, myself. After all, the blood-traitorous wench who had been made the lady Slytherin is already dead." Harry, thanks to the magics of the lord Slytherin's ring, could tell that it was not so and Draconica was still alive, but he wasn't about to correct Voldemort: let him think what he wanted. "But worry not, my dear followers, as I've already demonstrated, Potter no longer has any protections against me. And he is but a little boy – do you really believe that the great Lord Voldemort can lose this fight?" No one dared to answer that question.

"All done, my Lord." Wormtail spoke. He was using his new hand to hold both of Harry's hands behind his back, while pressing his wand to the dark-haired youth's temple.

"Release him, and return his wand to him." Voldemort ordered. "Did you not hear what I've said. He must be able to defend himself." Doing as he was told, Peter let Harry out of his grasp, before throwing his wand to the teen's feet. The young Potter slowly lowered himself towards the ground as he picked his wand up, his eyes never leaving Voldemort or his followers. "Now, Potter, we will duel. This, of course, is but a formality, but a formality that must be kept."

Harry, knowing that right now his chances of running away were zero – the moment he tried that, two dozens of killing curses would be sent his way, and there was no way he would be able to dodge them all – had no choice but to agree to this duel.

"Now, you should bow." Voldemort addressed to his teenaged nemesis.

"Shouldn't you bow as well." The green-eyed Potter said back, sounding much more confident than he actually was. Still, since this was shaping into a proper duel, it would mean that the Death Eaters would not attack him without the permission of their leader... Maybe he still had a chance...

"As much as I loathe this, yes." The Dark Lord said. Then he did the slightest of nods to fulfill the condition. Harry did the same. "Now... Before we begin, Harry, I shall put a certain precaution in place." And as he waved his wand, a purplish dome appeared around the cemetery. "This is to ensure that you won't run away, Harry." Voldemort explained. "Only I myself and those bearing the Dark Mark will be able to pass through this barrier." This caused the young Potter to curse in his head – with the anti-apparation and anti-portkey wards still up, he now had no chance of escaping. At least until this barrier went down. "Now, we can begin."

"Confringo!" Wasting no time, Harry threw a blasting curse between himself and the Dark Lord, creating a smoke screen: since he now had no choice but to fight, he was going to do everything in his powers to live through it, which meant that he needed to heal his existing wounds first. And just to keep the Death Eaters and their boss occupied, he threw a few more blasting curses in random directions. Most likely none of them even hit anything, but that didn't matter right now.

Using the confusion in the enemy ranks he had just created, the young Potter dashed to hide behind one of the bigger tombstones, and as soon as he was there, he concentrated on healing the cut Wormtail gave him while harvesting his blood – it was a rather nasty one after all, thanks to the bastard's shaking hand... Meanwhile, as soon as Harry had started throwing the blasting curses around, all of the Death Eaters went for their wands, ready to answer fire with fire. Voldemort, of course, saw that and he stopped them before any spells could be cast.

"You are not to interfere in this duel. It is between myself and Potter. If I find that one of you gave Potter as much as a single scratch, I will Crucio you till you beg for the sweet release of death." His followers dealt with, the Dark Lord turned his attention back to the duel which already was quickly turning into a rule-less battle... Waving his wand to clear the smoke, he found himself unable to see his young nemesis anywhere. Which meant that the little bastard was hiding somewhere. Smiling cruelly, Voldemort cast his own spell: "Fiendfire!" Immediately, the cursed flames sprang from his wand, turning everything, even marble tombstones, in their path into ashes.

Thankfully for Harry, the stream of those cursed flames missed his hiding spot by quite a bit, thus giving the green-eyed teen enough time to think of a counter-measure. And while he wasn't powerful enough magically to overpower the Dark Lord and wrestle the control over the Fiendfire from him, there were other methods of dealing with such fires.

"Casuus orberio!" While he would have liked to avoid casting such powerful magics, this was probably still the cheapest and easiest way to remove the cursed flames from the area, which is why Harry decided to use it. This spell – which like many others in his arsenal, came from Salazar's journals – created a tear in the time-space continuum that sucked anything nearby into itself, before collapsing and disappearing in a couple of seconds, once there was no more energy to sustain it.

A miniature black hole was most definitely not what Voldemort had been expecting, which caused him to do nothing but stare as the thing ate his Fiendfire, leaving not a wisp of it behind, no matter how the cursed flames fought for their 'freedom'... Meanwhile, the young Potter dashed to hide behind another tombstone. There, doing his best to ignore the aftereffects of using such a power magic in his state, did his best to finish healing his wounds.

"That was some interesting magics, Harry." The Dark Lord hissed. "I'm actually quite impressed with them. But they are still nowhere near what you'll need to beat me." And then he started casting bombarda curses blowing the tombstones in his field of vision up one by one in a random order. On his eighth attempt, Voldemort finally had correctly guessed, where his young nemesis was hiding, but the said teen was prepared for that and had shielded himself from the stone shrapnel with one of the less known magical barriers – the one designed specifically to stop physical objects from harming the caster.

And as soon as this shield was no longer needed, Harry dropped it, immediately sending a few red beams of magic in Voldemort's direction silently. Thinking that those were the disarming charms, the revived Dark Lord lazily summoned a Protego shield in front of himself. Unfortunately for him, the spells used by the young Potter were quite different from what he had been expecting. So he was greatly surprised when they went through his shield as if it wasn't even there. And he was even more surprised when, upon hitting him, these spells did nothing.

Or at least he thought they did nothing... The spells Harry had used were Sanguinae restituerao, or the blood-replenishing charm and like its name suggested, this piece of magic restored the target's blood. It was meant to be used during the battles and for that very reason it was designed to bypass the majority of standard magical shields. However, unlike the potion used to the same effect, this spell would create more blood as long as it still had power. In other words, if overpowered, it could potentially hurt or even kill the recipient through forcing too much blood into their circulatory system. For that reason, this spell fell out of use in the late thirteenth century...

And while the young Potter had no idea how durable that homunculus body of Voldemort's was, he was still quite positive that the hit he had scored would be enough to cause the Dark Lord some serious problems. Unfortunately, it would take the spells some time to take the full effect, so...

"You are quite full of surprises, Harry. Too bad, they won't help you any." The reincarnated bastard hissed, before dropping his Protego shield and counterattacking with a string of curses. None of them hit the green-eyed teen, though, as he quickly dove to the ground, letting the curses sail above his head, before talking cover behind one of the still-whole tombstones.

Knowing that he was safe for a few seconds there, Harry thought about how he was supposed to fight this battle for now. He couldn't use his ace up his sleeve – the weapon that would make Voldemort's horcruxes worthless – just yet: he needed to slow the resurrected bastard down properly first. After all, given how much he had exerted himself this evening already, he'd be able to power that weapon up for maybe fifteen seconds at best... And that meant that he had two attempts to land a hit. Three if he was lucky. No, bringing that weapon out would have to wait until Voldemort was as slow as a snail and reacted as fast as a sloth.

As for what he could to do while the blood-replenishing charms were doing their dirty work... Using the implanted eye too was out of question: since Voldemort too was a parselmouth, the eye's magic would have absolutely no effect on him. Furthermore, since his knowledge of spells that could ignore magical shields was not an unknown to the Dark Lord., the bastard would now dodge all of his spells, instead of blocking them... Which meant that casting any at him would be nothing more than a waste of energy – energy that should be preserved for the use of that weapon.

Any further thoughts about how he should stall the battle until he will be able to score a definite hit on Voldemort had to be put aside as the tombstone Harry had been hiding behind had just been blown to pieces.

"What's the matter, Harry? Why do you keep hiding instead of fighting me head on? Even that mudblood of your mother had the balls to stand up against me and fight." The resurrected Dark Lord taunted. Suppressing the urge to throw some nasty curse back at the man, the young Potter quickly moved to the next cover available... The extra blood he had spelled into Voldemort's homunculus body was yet to affect him negatively, though his skin was already losing its zombie-bluish color and started turning somewhat more healthy-pink. At this rate, it will be another five or so minutes, before the Dark Lord will start suffering from hypertensive emergency...

For the next several minutes the 'fight' had continued just like that: Voldemort would throw curse after curse at Harry, who would either dodge the spells of hide behind any cover still available. Of course, this was quite irritating for the revived bastard as this whole duel was taking much more time than he had expected. That, and the approaching hypertensive emergency – along with the chest pains, headache and slight vertigo it brought – was making him more prone to such agitation as well. And as he was getting unusually angry because of his inability to off his teenaged nemesis quickly, his spellcasting also suffered, becoming sloppier and less frequent.

That, along with a few visual signs pointing to the Dark Lord's current condition, was the signal that Harry had been waiting for so that he could finally counterattack. Hopefully, he will be able to end this all with a single blow, but... The green-eyed teen knew better than bet on such luck... Regardless, it was the time to use his.

Taking off the 'amulet' he had been wearing since the previous summer, he focused on pushing his magic into it. And after a few moment, the 'pendant' grew in size till it became a hilt-less straight katana, in sheath, of course. That done, Harry stopped hiding behind the remains of once rather big and ornate tombstone.

"Finally decided to accept your inevitable death?" Voldemort asked as he saw his teenaged nemesis willingly abandon his cover. He, of course, noticed the sheathed blade the aforementioned teen now held in his hands, but... Against him a mere sword would be more than just useless, wouldn't it? Though, the revived Dark Lord was still a little bit vary of it as he could feel some rather strong magics in it, even if those magics weren't offensive in their nature.

"No. The real battle begins now." Harry replied. "And I will end you." This proclamation only caused Voldemort to laugh, his followers to doing the same.

"Didn't you to my speech, Harry?" He asked. "I've walked down the path towards immortality farther than anyone before me. There is nothing that you – or that old fool Dumbledore – can do that will, as you put it, end me." He sent a random dark curse in the general direction of his teenaged nemesis, but it was dodged quite easily.

"Believe what you want." The young Potter replied as he carefully walked towards his enemy, trying to get close enough to have a chance at ending this fight with his next attack. Having tested the sword once, he knew that its blade was about seventeen yards long – it would be perfect if he could be a little bit closer to the Dark Lord that than, when he brought the sword forth... After dodging another couple of curses hurled in his direction, Harry finally reached the spot he found to be satisfactory.

Once there, he raised the sword in front of himself, holding it horizontally, and began unsheathing it. Quite understandably, Voldemort himself and his minions had their eyes glued to that sword as they wanted to know what kind of a magical blade it was that it was better than a wand. But much to their surprise, there was no blade in the hilt. Understandably, this caused waves of cruel laughter to spread through the ranks of the revived Dark Lord.

"What's the matter, Harry?" Voldemort asked. "Did you forget something?" This turn of events was just too hilarious. Honestly, how could the Potter brat think that this was a weapon capable of ending him? Even a proper sword would be nothing more than an inconvenience; a sword without a blade was even more useless... Harry ignored the jab completely.

"I ask for thy blessing, oh, the Lord of Storms." He chanted under his breath as he had his eyes locked on Voldemort, ready to dodge any spell sent towards him. "Grant me thy sword and thy power to slay the beast of darkness." As the last words were said, the green-eyed teen suddenly became enveloped in raw magical energy that roared towards the skies like a gigantic fire. After a few seconds later, this 'fire' calmed down, turning into a mere blue glow around the teen's body.

This lightshow understandably made Voldemort a bit unease as neither he himself nor Dumbledore ever wielded this much power. But since the brat's wand was nowhere to be seen, the Dark Lord was sure that the next attack against him would be made with that bladeless hilt that was now pointed towards him... Now, just what kind of an attack could it be?

"Come forth, Worochi no Aramasa!" On pure reflexes Voldemort somehow managed to dodge the gigantic spectral blade made from ghostly-red fires that suddenly sprang into existence around the hilt held by the Potter spawn. Having never heard about such a weapon, the Dark Lord didn't know what this sword was, but all of his instincts were telling him that it was extremely dangerous.

Being unable to end his enemy in one hit didn't really affect Harry and the next second he swung the oversized sword horizontally, forcing the revived bastard to drop onto the ground to let the blade pass above his head and, thus, avoid being hit. Quickly getting back onto his feet, Voldemort threw a killing curse at his nemesis, but much to his surprise, the sickly-green beam of death was blocked by the spectral blade, without that ridiculous sword suffering any sort of damage.

The Dark Lord was so shocked by the apparent failure of his curse that he barely had time to register the fact that Harry Potter was jumping towards him, the spectral blade already in mid-swing. But even if he saw that, he just had no time to react. The blade made of ghostly-red flames passed through him... And did absolutely no damage. This made the both combatants freeze in shock... And Voldemort was the first one to his senses.

"Avada Kedavra!" Being just a few feet away from him and still under the shock of having his plan fail, Harry had no time to dodge or to ever react. The killing curse hit him just above his heart and a moment later the last Potter's dead body collapsed onto the ground, the aura of magical energy around him and the spectral sword he had been wielding disappearing into nothingness...

That's all, folks!
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YES, that was an evil cliffhanger! Deal with it.