A/N: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its fruits whether natural or artificial
A/N2: Thanks to rockhead2233 for taking some time to read through the draft.
Potter Manor, Potter Island
British Indian Ocean Territory
Harry sighed as he stepped into the welcoming front porch of the house that is Potter Manor in Potter Island. In the opinion of the fifteen year old, this had been one of the busiest days that he had had to go through since he was declared Duke of Gryffindor just a few months ago.
During the impromptu meeting between himself, Amelia, Bode and Hector, the Duke of Gryffindor had to listen to after-action reports being given by members of both those who had survived the siege and the men and women under the command of Hector that were rushed to the Ministry to assist.
Thankfully – or rather, Harry was told to be thankful about it – the Department of Mysteries was completely destroyed before the two parties had to withdraw from the ministry building. Hector then added – much to the amusement of his people – that the entire Ministry had been secured since he was pretty sure that the fuel air bombs that he and his men had left behind had done their job.
Of course, thanks to the fact that the group of Hector's did not dare to venture out of their relatively safe cover zones and since the survivors from the Ministry were busy trying to save themselves, there was no clear word on how many had attacked the Ministry, though Kingsley had to remark that at least a hundred wizards were included in the attack.
The Duke of Gryffindor turned his attention toward his back and had to smile as he watched Hector help Amelia down from the passenger seat of the Land Rover Snatch that they had used to transport them from the location of the portal connecting the underground reserve ministry building to the island.
Amelia looked as if she would have rather walked, but given the distance that would have been impractical and the only other transportation option available to them – one of the utility helicopters waiting outside the defense bunker – was vetoed from being used since the magic shielding of the helicopter might not be enough seeing that the guests had just come from a battlefield.
Amelia allowed Hector to help her off the passenger side of the Snatch at the same time that the Snatch following them pulled to a stop just a little bit behind the first. From the second Snatch, Kingsley and three of Hector's men involved during the battle stepped out.
Unlike her boss, the black auror was more comfortable coming down from the aircraft, though Harry had to wonder if that was because Kingsley had been trained to work undercover in the non-magical world.
A 101 Forward Control utility truck followed after the second Snatch. This truck pulled to a stop in front of the first Snatch and the first thing that Harry noted was that the truck was carrying a heavy box that reminded Harry of the box where the quaffle, bludgers and snitch were kept.
Two impressive looking men had to help each other bring down the box and carry it into the manor house.
"This is an impressive place, Lord Gryffindor," Amelia said as soon as she had gotten over her queasiness that resulted from being aboard a non-magical form of transportation. Beside her, Bode did not seem all that bothered at all, though if Harry were to guess, he would have guessed that Bode, like Kinglsey, had also trained for undercover work in the non-magical world.
"Potter Manor," Harry replied as he looked at the former head of the Department for Magical Law Enforcement, "My home."
Surprisingly, Bode nodded before he asked Harry if it might be alright if they entered the house. Harry gave his permission and led the guests into the house.
The first thing that Harry noted when he entered the house was his wife waiting for him. She was standing inside the house with her arms on her hips and staring at him with a look that made Harry wish that he could remember what it was that she was mad about and hoping that she would not string him up for too long before accepting his profound apologies.
When she caught sight of him, however, Hermione's arms flew down from her hips and straight into Harry, eventually finding themselves on his back as she kept a tight grip on him. Without words, she moved her head so that her lips were just parallel to his and they kissed.
When they broke the kiss, Harry grinned at his wife and said in a small voice, "I thought that you would be angry with me," he admitted.
"Oh, I am angry, Harry," she replied with a smile, "but not at you," she looked at Hector with the same look that she had given her husband before their kiss and the former United States Marine cringed while in the back of his mind, he wondered if the gods hated him for making him survive Dessert Storm.
"My Lady…," the head of the Potter Bodyguards tried, but Hermione stopped him with a motion of her right hand and the bodyguard fell silent.
"What is it, dear?" Harry asked, concerned for his wife since it was not every day that she was irritated as much as she seem to be right now.
Hermione turned her attention back to her husband and sighed, "Al," she began, "I've read his notes and I found some disturbing things in it," she looked at Hector and asked, "Were you aware of what he was researching?"
Hector shook his head, and smiled when he realized that the Duchess of Gryffindor was no longer aiming to kill him.
It was only at that moment that Hermione Potter realized that they had guests. She turned to them and blushed when she recognized who they were and she bowed toward them while muttering an apology under her breath.
Amelia and Bode accepted her apology, but then remarked that there was no need for it since they did not send word of their arrival.
"Auntie!" the enthusiastic voice of Susan Bones said as she caught sight of her guardian.
She was on the second floor of the Manor, but that did not stop her from flying into the arms of the woman who had raised her. Thankfully, she had the good sense not to jump from where she was and instead, used the stairs, though with the speed that she used while going down the stairs, she might as well have flown.
Amelia and Susan exchanged greetings before Amelia shot Harry a look that made the Duke of Gryffindor cringe. He knew that the formidable Madam Bones would now be demanding an answer from him, but fortunately, Harry already had an answer ready.
"Why don't we talk about this in the dining room?" Harry suggested, while motioning toward the general direction of the named room. Amelia looked at Bode before she turned her attention back to the young man whom she realized had saved her niece and nodded.
A few moments later, both Amelia and Bode found themselves speechless. It was not only because of the sheer size of the dining room and the center piece of the dining room, where the dining table sat, but also because of who was already waiting for them inside.
Neither Amelia nor Bode recognized the man and woman who were seated near the head of the table, though if the greetings that they exchanged with the Duke of Gryffindor and his wife were to be of any indication, the two members of the Ministry for Magic of the United Kingdom would bet that the two were the Hermione's parents.
Amelia easily recognized Remus Lupin. A year's worth of letters praising the man for his teaching prowess had been the most memorable thing for Amelia about her niece's third year and Amelia had done her research about the man, in addition to having had a passing acquaintance with Remus when he was an auror trainee.
What really surprised Amelia, however, was the presence of Arthur Weasley. Having read the reports, she could not help but laugh when she realized that Fudge was right, Sirius Black had arranged for the kidnapping of their fellow member of the Grand Council.
With Arthur now with them, Amelia realized that they only needed Sirius and Amos to form the Council and declare whoever it was that attacked the Ministry to be traitors to the crown, though that hope was quickly dashed when Remus informed her that Sirius was in a meeting with the Muggle Prime Minister.
Of course, what really dashed her hopes was the fact that Amos was not only absent, quite possibly, the former head for the Department for Regulation for Magical Creatures was still coping with his loss. With a sad sigh, she closed her eyes and remembered the sorry state of Amos. He was a mess with the tears that were streaming down his face and had refused to even move from where he had sat himself. The healers worried that he might lose his mind and had been trying to help him when they were forced to leave him so that they could accompany the Duke of Gryffindor.
As Amelia had expected, the Duke took the seat at the head of the table. What was surprising, however, was that fact that the Duchess sat to the left of her husband at the head of the table. It was a strong statement that in this council, Hermione Potter was considered Harry Potter's equal.
"Lord Potter…" Amelia began, but quickly amended that to "Harry," when she remembered him asking her that she refer to him using his first name from now on. Harry turned toward her and she asked, "I seem to remember that Anton had taken the visage of your head of security during your trial, yet I do not see the man."
Amelia was not sure what was wrong with what she had said because the mood of those seated with her – save Arthur and Bode – turned somber. After a few moments, Harry turned his attention to the former Head of the Department for Magical Law Enforcement and said, "Madam Bones, Al York had given his life in his line of duty."
Amelia stared at Harry for a few moments with his mouth open, shocked about his loss. After a few moments, she closed her mouth and gave Harry a stiff nod before she apologized, "I apologize, Lord Potter, for the way that this tragedy came to light."
Harry smiled, though Amelia could tell that the smile did not quite reach his eyes, "He went exactly the way he wanted to go Madam Bones," he said. He sighed and then turned toward his wife and asked, "What did you find out?"
"The 'End Prophecy'," Hermione said, which resulted from a sharp gasp from Bode. Hermione turned toward the man and said, "I take it that you are aware of the prophecy?"
Bode nodded, "One of the greatest secrets of the Department of Mysteries was this so-called 'End Prophecy'," he explained to everyone since apparently, even Amelia was unaware of the prophecy, "It stated that when the last son of the Basilisk falls, the sword of Gryffindor would pierce the thin veil that covers our world," Bode looked at Harry and he nodded.
Harry understood, "Then I would have to prepare to pierce that veil then," he replied, when Amelia and Bode looked at him with confused expressions, Harry explained, "The last son of the Basilisk obviously refers to the last person that carries the blood of Salazar Slytherin, Tom Riddle, also known as, Voldemort," to their credit, neither Amelia nor Bode flinched.
"We thought so as well," Bode replied, "But why talk about piercing the veil now, you can only do it after Voldemort is dead."
"He is dead, Mr. Bode," Hector said in a low voice. Remus nodded and then took over, "Using non-magical technology augmented by magic, we used one of his followers to locate his hideout," Remus explained, "We then asked the Royal Air Force, the air arm of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, for assistance, and they were only much too happy to oblige."
"In other words, Madam Bones, Mr. Bode," Harry said, "Voldemort is dead, buried under a pile of rubble delivered by two non-magical jets; the last son of the Basilisk has fallen."
Amelia and Bode wanted to argue, but surprisingly, the objection came from neither of them. It came from the most unexpected person because she always agreed with Harry when they were in public, "I don't think that Voldemort is the final son of the Basilisk," she said. Harry and the others stared at her and she quickly added, "Irina was less than forthcoming but I think she knew who the person is."
"I see," Harry replied, seeing the look on the faces of Amelia and Bode, he quickly added, "I would not force her to reveal the secret, I am sure that it will be revealed in time, but for the time being, lay off of her, she has just lost Al, and I do not want to take advantage of that."
Both Amelia and Bode nodded, though it was clear that both wanted to continue arguing. A few moments later, Bode slammed his fist on the surface in front of him much to the surprise of everyone. After apologizing, he quickly explained, "Harry, remember that I told you that Dumbledore was always protecting Voldemort?" he asked, and Harry nodded as he shot his wife a look that promised her that he would explain everything later, "This is the answer!"
Harry paused for a few moments, and then he smiled and nodded. Unsurprisingly, however, it was Hermione – who still did not have the full picture – who responded, "He thinks Voldemort is the last son of the Basilisk," she said, "He does not want him to die because if he did, then the secret of the magical world would be out," she turned toward Harry and said, "Think about it love, first year…"
"The Philosopher's Stone," Harry said, and then he nodded, "Traps that three first years were able to defeat would not have been a hindrance to someone of his powers, even if he was just a wraith, the old man wanted Tom to have the stone."
"Same with the diary, love," Hermione said, "The wards of Hogwarts would have detected it and yet, he did nothing, he wanted Voldemort resurrected and he did not care even if one of his most loyal followers had to bite the dust."
"Ginevra Weasley," Harry said when he saw the questioning looks on the face of Amelia and Bode. Harry also noted the look of sadness on Arthur's face, but at this point in time, there was nothing that he could do to erase that look from his face. Irina was right, just as there is no magic that could compel a person to love someone, there is no magic that could compel a person to fall out of love for someone, especially, two parents.
"In our Third Year," Hermione continued, "He should have known that Sirius was innocent since he was there when the Fidelius was cast, but he did nothing, he wanted you weak so that Voldemort could easily kill you."
"Not really connected Hermione," Emma said
"Mrs. Granger I presume?" Bode asked, entering the conversation for the first time since it was moved to the dining hall. Emma nodded, and Bode continued, "I beg to differ, Madam, but having Harry weak was going to be a lot of help to Voldemort."
"The prophecy," Remus said, he looked at Harry and said, "It said that you are the only one who could defeat Voldemort, Dumbledore knew, so he couldn't have Voldemort die," he paused and then nodded, "It makes sense."
Harry and Hermione nodded, "With me dead, there would be no one who could bring an end to the bastard," Harry said just as Hermione hugged him, "Well, thankfully, the bastard is dead."
Amelia and Bode nodded, relieved that the Dark Lord was finally dead, they seemed to have forgotten about the 'End Prophecy', but they were forcibly reminded of this when Hermione opened her mouth once more, "The war between Harry and the old man would reveal our world," she suddenly said, she looked at Harry and said, "This war would reveal our world Harry."
Harry blinked and then nodded as he realized what his wife was saying. It all made sense now. Al had told Harry that Albus Dumbledore wanted control, and there was no way that the old man could take over the magical world without the non-magical world noticing. Too many national governments were connected with magical governments and those non-magical governments would squawk when their magical counterparts suddenly changed.
Worse yet, Harry realized, the Army that the old man was keeping would not be able to hide for long. Their relatively large size – at least fourteen thousand men according to an unconfirmed intelligence report – would not go unnoticed by the non-magical world. At the very least, they would be watched and that would not be good for anyone.
What was confusing, however, was that if Voldemort was not the last son of the Basilisk, then the magical world would not be revealed. If the last son of the Basilisk was still alive, then the sword would not pierce the veil. That meant, therefore, that the last son was fated to die sometime during the coming war or was already dead.
"It was a sure prophecy Harry," Bode said, correctly guessing the turmoil within the young lord that was reflected on his face. The former Unspeakable looked at Harry and asked, "I assume that you know what that means?"
Harry nodded, "A prophecy that will come to pass no matter how much you try to prevent it," he said, nodding towards the former Unspeakable.
Bode nodded, "Yes," he replied with an equal nod back to the Duke, "With the contention of Lady Hermione that Voldemort may not be the last son of the Basilisk, I do not know how it would come about, but I can be sure that the time would come when you or someone else would have to pierce the veil that covers the secret of our world."
There was absolute silence for a few moments as minds worked to bring thoughts. A few moments later, Harry breathed in and nodded before he turned to his wife and nodded once toward her. No words passed between the two, but they understood each other's thoughts far better than any other couple.
Harry accepted this responsibility even if he was not sure if the person being referred to was him.
"By the way," Amelia said a few moments later, "Why is Sirius meeting with the non-magical Prime Minister?"
Harry answered the question, "At first, it was so that he could inform the Prime Minister about what has happened and is happening and to request some assistance," he shrugged, "now, I need him there to inform the Prime Minister about what might happen if we really need to reveal the secret of our world."
Every single magical being in the room – with the exception of Harry and Hermione – cringed at the thought of the magical world being revealed. Far be it from non-magical people wanting magical solutions to their problems, the real reason that the magical world was hidden from the non-magical world was because there was no way that the two worlds could work with the full knowledge of the existence of the other.
Misunderstanding and misconception would reign should the magical world be revealed and everyone in the room was sure that such misunderstanding and misconception would breed fear among the people. Fear, in turn, would lead to hatred, and that would lead to war.
A war that would see the end of the world when one takes into account the power of the weapons that the non-magical world has.
In a strange sense, what Dumbledore was fighting for would actually make sense, but if it was the will of fate that the magical world be revealed, then there was nothing that could be done. Besides, the way Dumbledore was doing it would just see the old man acquire more power.
Unseen by anyone else, the Hermione's hand joined her husband's as the couple took comfort with each other's presence in the face of these trying times.
10 Downing Street, London, England
Sirius was dressed as the quintessential banker or politician. A custom-tailored black double breasted suit with matching black pants and a red silk necktie made him blend in with the crowds that walked around London during these hours and it also helped him establish his identity as a member of the secret staff of the Royal Family when the SAS trained bodyguards attacked him.
When the head bodyguard saw Sirius's identification card, the man stammered as he apologized, but Sirius took it in good stride and an amused smile as he assured the man that everything was fine between them and that he would appreciate it if the bodyguards would escort him to the Prime Minister.
As it was not that late yet, the non-magical Prime Minister was still awake, though he looked as if he was already dressed for bed. Having heard, however, that Sirius Black, agent of Her Majesty, wanted to see him, he quickly made himself as presentable as possible given the time of the day and rushed to meet with Sirius.
They met at the conference room – typically used by the Prime Minister when he was in conference with his cabinet ministers – and after the pleasantries – minimal since both knew that this was an emergency meeting – got right to work.
"Sir," Sirius said in deference to the non-magical Prime Minister, "We have a problem."
Aboard the HMS Asgard, A-Class submarine Potter Family
Underwater approach to the Black Lake
Fred and George sighed with the rest of the forty eight member crew of their A-Class submarine as the eighty five meter boat maneuvered under water in response to the report from the observer that they had found the hole.
From their contacts within Durmstrang, the Potter Family Armed Group had identified the hole used by the ships during the tournament last year. High Command had then tasked the Asgard to carry a small team of thirty men to the Black Lake for a covert reconnaissance operation.
After three days of travelling from the British Indian Ocean Territory, they had finally reached their objective and no one aboard the submarine was happy about it. Though they had been assured that it was stable and that it was clear, clearly several, if not all, of the experienced seamen aboard the boat expected the passage to be booby trapped.
The situation did not improve thirty minutes later after they had crossed the passage. Although quite a few had to concede that the passage was not booby trapped, there were still several who maintained that it was, and that they were allowed entry because their enemies wanted them captured.
A few minutes before the clock struck eleven, there was a slight disturbance along the far coast of the Black Lake. Unseen by anyone, thirty men wearing form-fitting black wet suits climbed out of the submarine and onto dry ground before melting into the forest as their submarine dove to the bottom of the lake.
A nervous but determined Fred and George joined the twenty eight professionals who were only showing token nervousness. Neither Weasley brother was armed with a rifle or a sub-machinegun for this operation since they felt that neither of them knew how to use it.
Instead, they were given a sidearm each and were told to lug the equipment that High Command wanted placed on the edge of the Forbidden Forest. The magically shielded cameras and microphones would give High Command a better picture of the preparations of their enemy, but only if they could place them. With a signal, the leader of the detachment motioned for his men to move out, and in just a little over five seconds, the black suited men had disappeared.
Unfortunately for them, they were being watched.