Harry stood before the maze, decidedly unimpressed. Since he and Cedric were as Rita Skeeter had put it so bluntly, sharing points, they were going into the maze together.
Next would be Krum, followed closely by Fluer.
Cedric grinned, and they split off.
Harry decided to wander around a bit and try to figure out what he should do if he got to the center. Meanwhile he thought back to the odd dream he had on Christmas.
A pale woman with disturbing eyes was laughing at him, and speaking to Dumbledore. He couldn't hear the words exactly, but the scene was much clearer than before. He could remember each movement, each detail.
Which is why he could somewhat make out what they were saying, even if he couldn't hear them.
The scene had sparked a memory, and he knew who the woman was.
The Dark Sorceress, the one responsible for hurting Aldenmor. When he woke up that morning, he had been unbelievably angry. Dumbledore had not only teamed up with a dark witch, he had done so to capture and use him in a game not of his making!
Clearly the time of judgment was too late for Dumbledore. But that didn't mean he couldn't judge them all the same.
Harry looked up, and realized that he was close to the center. How he avoided all the traps, he had no idea. But...perhaps he could get to the bloody cup and end this ridiculous farce?
He heard a scream, and realized it must be Fluer. He went in the direction he heard it in, and saw Krum, eyes glazed over.
Krum fell, and Fluer was unconscious. Harry sent up the red sparks, and ran. Cedric, having heard the same scream, bumped into him.
"Ow. Sorry Cedric."
"What was that?"
"I think Krum was under the Imperious. His eyes were glazed over anyway."
"Taken out by Krum. We should get going, since I just let off a bunch of sparks."
Both of them ran through the maze with ease, which bothered them quite a bit. Cedric admitted that he had a tough time earlier compared to this.
Something about the whole thing sent alarms racing through his mind, and as they approached the goblet of fire, Harry stopped.
"It's a trap."
Cedric paused, and turned to him confused.
"Every year I've been to this damn school something happens that forces me into a mystery of some sort or another. But this year has been relatively peaceful so far. Which means the goblet is a trap."
"Are you sure?"
"I have a good way to find out."
Harry picked up an ordinary rock and put it in his pocket. Once they reached the goblet of fire, he stopped Cedric from touching it, and threw the rock at it.
The goblet vanished upon contact. Cedric stared at him in disbelief.
They stayed in the center near where the cup was, and were promptly crowned winners. It would have been a Hogwarts win either way, because they were the only champions who could compete.
The Great Hall was decorated in Hufflepuff colors, as Harry had given all his points to the original champion selected. In his words when asked, "You're assuming I wanted to take part in this madness. Cedric deserves those points more than I do."
Harry had immediately gained the loyalty and respect of every Puff in Hogwarts, and quite a few who had graduated.
Dumbledore on the other hand, did not look as happy as he should have been for the win.
The rumor mill in Hogwarts was going crazy over something that had happened.
According to Snape, and confirmed by McGonagall, Fawkes had gone missing since little before Christmas. No one had any idea where he went, nor why he left.
But Harry knew. Dumbledore had gone over to the dark side of magic, and Fawkes was firmly a Light oriented magical creature. Fawkes had finally realized Dumbledore could not be saved, so he left.
Hadrian was on the train leaving Hogwarts yet again. Since Petunia and Vernon were still under arrest, Dumbledore wanted him to live with the Weasly clan.
He declined immediately, though he made it clear to the twins he loved their home. He wanted to spend more time with his 'uncles' which he had discovered by accident.
He grinned as he saw Moony on the platform. He took his chance and winked at the twins saying "Hey look, there's Moony of the Marauders!"
The fell for it, and followed his line of sight. When they spotted the tawny haired man with the black hound, they grinned.
"He's a werewolf, which is why my dad and Sirius Black called him Moony. The dog is Padfoot."
Their grins became somewhat feral, as they raced him off the train to shake Remus' hand. Padfoot was grinning in his doglike way.
"So this is Moony?" grinned Fred.
"And that's Padfoot?"
"We definitely need to visit you on the holidays!" they quipped in unison.
Padfoot barked in good humor.
"Can you believe that both of them are budding mages like us?" smirked Hadrian.
They all grinned, and an unholy alliance was formed. They would keep in touch over the holidays, while they formed the resistance against Dumbledore...and eventually Voldemort himself.
"So those were the twins?" asked Sirius.
"Yup. They took over as the Marauders when you left. They are some of the few allies I have in the school."
Sirius gave a sad smile, and hugged his godson tightly. Remus drove the small car back to the cottage...where they found three girls waiting for them. One had long black hair and a small wolf pup at her side. One was more stylish with a golden haired panther with wings. The third was a red head, and had what appeared to be a ferret on her shoulder.
"Adriane are you sure this is the place?" asked the ferret.
Adriane, the black haired one, turned to the ferret.
"I hope so. Griphook gave us that awful deck of cards after all. I've already lost Stormbringer, and there's no way I'm going to lose my only cousin."
Something clicked in Hadrian's mind. The surge of magic he felt when he threw the rock at the cup came back to him, as well as the vision.
The blond girl with the panther had released some sort of crystal, which had broken some of the hold that the spell which kept his memories from him. Clearly it had broken the hold completely on the girls, since the black haired one remembered him.
I smell magic.
Dreamer looked to Adriane, before pointing his nose in the direction of the lone road.
"Dreamer, you aren't a dog," said Adriane.
Emily looked to the road and saw the car driving up. At the steering wheel...was the boy they just barely remembered. Hadrian Potter, Adriane's cousin. At the opposite side was a tawny haired man with warm eyes. In the back was a large black hound...and he was drooling on Hadrian.
The car stopped, and out came Hadrian.
"Hello cousin. Miss me?" quipped Adriane.
Hadrian had a grin, before replying, "Apparently I have, since my magic has been rebelling against whatever spell was put on us."
"I didn't know they let a fourteen-year-old drive here," said Kara.
"They don't," said the man on the other side.
"England's cars are reversed from American made. Same with the roads."
"Mind introducing us Hady?" asked the man.
"Remus, Sirius, these are my friends in America...and the only cousin I can bear to live with. Adriane is the one with the wolf, Kara has the cat, and the red head is Emily. Where's Storm?"
A pain-filled look filled his cousin's face, and Emily said "We lost her when we went to save the mistwolves. She bonded with Dreamer before we left."
"I'm sorry. Storm was a beautiful wolf, and she didn't deserve to go," said Hadrian.
The dog shifted into Sirius Black, who was promptly attacked by the Spinsters. He absolutely loved the little things, since he usually had them prank Remus.
Adriane was in love with Remus, though the man was originally nervous when she insisted on staying with him when he transformed.
It turned out Adriane was a fan of werewolves. Since Moony could sense her genuine love of all wolves, he was considerably more tame when he came out the next month.
For the entire month, they caught up with Hadrian. Everything calm, until they heard rumors.
Voldemort had come back through a foul ritual, and was most likely after Hadrian. The rumor set off a tidal wave of slander against Hadrian and Dumbledore. Fudge was condemning him as the new Dark Lord, despite the fact that Hadrian had survived the tournament and had saved a fellow student from a trap.
He was building off of Rita Skeeter's articles, and it was getting ridiculous. Rita had apparently come across Hadrian when he was talking to his students through the Spinsters, because she called him mad.
Personally he could care less, and when Sirius asked why, he gave the most interesting answer.
"Most of the magical world is about to lose their precious magic for a long while anyway, so why should I give a damn what they say about me?"
Which had left two pairs of eyes staring at him in disbelief.
"What do you mean, Hady?" asked Remus once he gathered his wits.
"I mean everyone in the magical world is about to lose their magic. And I mean everyone, including Voldemort himself."
Sirius choked, and asked "How?"
Hadrian gave them both long looks.
"Nightrider explained to me that as the Protector of Avalon, I have the right to judge magic users. I can only use it once every ten years, but I can live with that."
"What exactly does this mean, Hady?" asked Remus.
"It means the magical community is going to get one very rude wake up call. They need to get their heads out of the sand."
Sirius grinned with a ruthless smirk. He loved the sound of this already.
"The only people who won't lose their magic are those who don't abuse it. Particularly those who not only have magic stones but use them regularly."
"So your students and cousin won't lose their magic, but everyone else might?"
"Muggleborns might have a better time of it, but Pure bloods are not going to like it one bit."
Suddenly he realized why Remus was a Marauder. He loved pranks as much as Sirius did, only he was more subtle. And in their eyes, this was going to be the biggest prank the world had ever seen!
Hadrian was with Remus when it happened. All of a sudden the world grew cold, and it felt like there was no hope left. Remus drew his wand quickly, and looked around.
"Remus, what is this?" said Hadrian, his voice slurring a bit.
"Dementors! The incantation is Expecto Patronum, and you have to think of something happy!"
Hadrian couldn't think through the fog, but an image came to mind. Taking out his stone, he concentrated on a whip of energy. He began to create a magical barrier around them, and it slowly blocked the creature's influence.
Able to think clearly again, he thought of a happy memory.
Adriane and Stormbringer, racing him in the preserve, and barely winning, laying on the grass laughing with him as they enjoyed the beautiful scenery and weather. All their worries were gone for this fleeting moment, as they simply enjoyed themselves for one blissful moment.
The memory was crystal clear in his mind, as he drew his wand and yelled "Expecto Patronum!"
Remus watched amazed as the silvery mist quickly formed into a Stag...and was followed by a wolf. They charged the two dementors, driving them back. As quickly as it had begun, it ended. A hoot was heard above them, and following the sound, they saw a disgruntled owl.
It dropped a letter which began to smoke, then broke out in a voice they had never heard before.
Dear Mr. Potter,
Ministry readings indicated that you performed the Patronus charm at 1:35 P.M. on July fifth. As you are aware, use of magic is prohibited for those under the age of seventeen outside school grounds.
As this is your second offense, you are ordered to attend a hearing to decide your enrollment for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Failure to appear is subject to immediate expulsion and loss of your wand.
Matilda Hopkins, Head of Misuse and underage magic office.
Hadrian looked at Remus in question.
"Second offense? What was the first?" said Remus in amusement.
Hadrian shrugged, "Before second year started, a House Elf used a levitation charm in my Uncle's house, and they blamed me for it."
"Sirius should probably hear this too. He might get a kick out of the story," snorted Harry. Remus apparated them straight to the cottage, where Sirius was crashing on the couch in his canine form. Remus growled, while Hadrian snickered.
Remus hated it when Sirius got dog hairs on the couch...even if he did occasionally get wolf hairs on his rougher nights. The TV was off at least, which meant he had decided to take a nap and couldn't be bothered to change back. Hadrian, in a spark of mischief, gave Remus a grin that was all to reminiscent of his father at the moment.
Since Sirius was on a blanket which jutted out onto the floor, Hadrian signaled Remus to grab one end. Remus, catching on to what his nephew had in mind, smirked as well.
Sirius yelped in surprise as the couch moved from under him and he fell unceremoniously onto the cold floor. He glared at his godson and best friend, who were laughing their heads off. He turned back and started an impromptu wrestling match with the two. The earlier scare went away until they had dinner, when Remus brought up the house elf story Hadrian mentioned earlier.
Sirius became all business and demanded to know what had happened. So when Remus explained about the dementors, he grew a little worried.
"That does it. We need to move into...(shudder) Grimmauld Place soon!"
"I thought you hated your old home? And didn't you say the last time you inspected it that it was uninhabitable?"
"That is why you and me are going to hit it with some major cleaning charms and silencers."
"Silencers?" asked Hadrian.
"My mother left her portrait there, and she tends to shriek if you wake her."
"Ah. I may have something to help with that problem..."
"I have a sword which can cut through magic like butter. Maybe we can sever the magic that allows her to speak?"
Sirius' grin was almost feral at the thought of shutting up his mother. Hadrian gave a feral one of his own, and helped Remus wash the dishes. Tomorrow was going to be a long day.
Hadrian walked with Remus to the courtroom. Luckily they had arrived a few hours early, since Hadrian wanted to see the Ministry. Remus would head back once he knew Hadrian could find his way out, so his nephew could explore if he wanted to. Hadrian had expressed an interest in the Auror corps, and wanted to hear more about it from the source.
Hadrian found himself in a different court room, full of ancient wizards and witches looking serious. He wondered why they were here over a simple matter of underage wizardry.
The Fudge walked in and he knew. His sight shifted to look at a woman who resembled a toad, and gave off an aura which set him on edge. He would have to ask Remus her name later.
"May we all come to order? We are here today to judge Harry James Potter of..."
"Excuse me Minister," interrupted Hadrian.
Fudge gave him an annoyed look.
"What does the accused have to say?"
"Why am I being tried in a court room like this for a simple case of underage magic use? And with a full court no less?"
"You are being accused of spreading lies which promote fear, underage magic use, and attempting to get rid of the Minister through slander."
Hadrian rolled his eyes.
"You have got to be joking."
Fudge did not look comforting in the least, as he sneered at the boy. Hadrian had a good idea where this was going, and he already had enough nonsense. So he called Nightrider for some help.
'Nightrider, how do I judge these people?'
Repeat after me. I, Protector of Avalon...
'I, Protector of Avalon,'
Do hereby call upon the magic, ancient and new...
'Do hereby call upon the magic, ancient and new,'
To judge this realm and it's mages. Let the magic of Avalon find those worthy of it's gift, it's promise, and it's glory.
'To judge this realm and it's mages. Let the magic of Avalon find those worthy of it's gift, it's promise, and it's glory.'
For those unfit or unworthy, I give their magic to the Isle of Avalon, until they are ready to be granted this gift.
'For those unfit of unworthy, I give their magic to the Isle of Avalon, until they are ready to be granted this gift.'
Now when you activate it, you must say this out loud, and enunciate clearly. Just in case they try to hex you before the judgment takes effect, I will arrive the moment the last word is said.
Fudge went through the farce of a trial, and was about to condemn Hadrian to a life of no magic when he stood. The look in the boy's eyes were cold, and they held no mercy.
"Do you have anything to say, Mr. Potter?" said the snide little woman on his left. Delores clearly couldn't see the boy's anger, or she wouldn't have said anything. Potter was not in a good mood.
"I do. It's clear to me that the magical community needs to be shaken up if it is to survive. The way things are now, it will collapse from it's own arrogance and the rot that has settled in. I fear I have no choice but to activate the Judgment of the Protector."
"Whyever do you think we need to be judged?" said the simpering woman.
"Because you have all developed a rot in your magic, and it needs to be cleansed. You in particular need to wake up, because it has settled deeply in your magical core. Only the worthy shall regain their magic."
That alarmed them greatly, and they were about to call the Aurors in to arrest him when he began the rite. Horrified, they watched as his magic expanded, and flew out to touch theirs. When he spoke the last words, a black unicorn appeared, and they vanished.