I'm sorry about the extremely long time in between updates but a lot has happened in my life recently. My Uncle recently passed away and my summer job has been taking up a lot of my time…I'll try and update as often as I can.
An- I made a mistake when I said that Addie was the youngest…read on for more details.
When the food appeared around the table everyone quickly claimed a spot. Adela grabbed her father and mothers hand's forcing them to sit next to her. Severus shook his head in amusement of his granddaughter, he then quickly felt despair. He wouldn't get to see his little girls' little girl grow up. The werewolf's son had said that he died. That was most likely why Addie had run to him when she got there. Severus took the seat next to his daughter that was unoccupied only to have Kingsley sit next to him.
Albus was very happy at this point, he was glad to see Severus and Harry get along for the sake if Addie. He was also glad he had made the connection between Hermione and Sirius. They would both still be miserable, no one had known about Rae because there was no documentation of the women. He quickly looked down the table where Harry was sitting and saw that Rae had taken the spot next to him.
Hermione had been like Addie and pulled her parents next to her. Her mother next to herself and Harry, whereas her dad was on her opposite side with Allie and Fred next to him. Next to Fred sat George and Charlie with Bill next to Charlie. Fleur sat on the other side of Bill with Mrs. Weasley on the other side of the table throwing her glares.
Percy sat on the other side of Dumbledore (who was sitting at the head of the table) with McGonagall on his other side. Mad-eye sat next to the Gryffindor head of house and Remus next to him with Teddy in between himself and Tonks. Mr. Weasley was next to his wife and Tonks whereas Ron sat next to his mother and Luna who had Neville on her other side and Cedric next to him.
Conversations around the table were slightly excited to see the future. "You and Mummy never really told us anything. You told us key points and nothing after that." Addie said.
Kaitlyn froze at that, "You said 'us' does that mean you have siblings?" Harry froze as she said this as did Severus. He might have other grandchildren and he didn't even know it.
Addie sighed she hadn't meant to let that slip. She looked pleadingly at Allie. Allie thought for a moment, she too wanted to tell her parents about her younger brother. She was only thirteen herself, but her younger brother was only nine, he had wanted to come as well, but their Mum had said no. Allie gave Addie a small nod, Addie sighed in relief before turning back to her parents and grandfather.
"I have an older brother and a younger brother." Addie said with a smile.
Harry and Kaitlyn smiled as well, that made Harry feel slightly better about Kaitlyn and himself surviving the war.
Severus on the other hand was shocked, he had three grandchildren and he never got the chance to meet them. As soon as the books were over he was going to have a talk with Albus. He didn't want to be a spy for the light if it meant he didn't get to meet his grandchildren.
"What are their names?" Kaitlyn asked.
"Well, Severus Osmar Potter is the oldest, he's fifteen. He wanted to come but he was babysitting James Aidan Potter, he's two and I'm twelve." Addie said.
Severus was shocked that they would name their son after him. "Do your names have meanings?" he found himself asking.
Addie looked thoughtful for a moment, "Well, my name, Adela means noble and serene. Mummy said that was because I reminded her of Daddy. My middle name Lily, that's obviously after Grandmum Lily, which means purity.
"Severus is kind of like Sevilin which means beloved, and he was named after you. His middle name, Osmar means divinely glorious. Mummy said that his name was chosen because he was born maybe a year after the war.
"James was of course named after Grandad James, which means 'the supplanter' or holds the place of another. His middle name, Aidan means the little fiery one, Mummy picked that name because they almost 'lost' him and Daddy and Mummy were really scared. Severus made me feel better though telling me that if Jamie didn't make it Granddad Severus, Granddad James, Grandmum Lily, and Grandmum Tayen." By the time Addie had finished with her story everyone around the table had begun to listen in.
They had smiled at the meanings of the names and had some tears in their eyes after the explanation of Jame's name. Severus, though he loathed the name had a hard time swallowing when she said that little James might not have made it. The Potter/Snape family continued in conversations and the others started other conversations. Allie on the other hand was talking to her Parents, Uncles, Grandparents, and Aunt.
"So what about you?" Fred asked, "Do you have any siblings?"
Allie had a smile on her face, "I have a younger brother, his name is Arthur Roan Weasley, and he's only nine so he has to wait two more years before going to Hogwarts."
"Do you know what his name means?" Hermione asked, she had always liked to learn the meaning of names.
"Umm…Arthur I think means as strong as a bear and Roan means…little red-haired one." Allie chuckled at the last line.
When Allie explained little Arthur's name it caused everyone in the Weasley family (plus Hermione, Sirius, and Rae) to laugh. "Well, it certainly fits doesn't it?" George laughed.
"Do we have any guys to look out for?" Charlie asked in a playful menacing tone.
His words caused Allie to blush and Fred to frown at his daughters blush. "Oooohhh…who is he?" George said, trying to tease Fred than anyone.
Allie mumbled something unintelligible. "I'm sorry what was that?" Sirius asked frowning now too.
"His name is Scorpious." She answered shortly.
"What's his last name?" Fred asked pushing. Hermione reached over and slapped his head.
"Fred! Leave our daughter alone!" Fred smiled and blushed at the way she said 'our daughter'.
Allie sighed, "Malfoy." That caused all of the Weasley men (and Sirius) to turn red. Mrs. Weasley, Hermione, and Rae were all there glaring at the men. They quickly sat down and shut-up.
Once dinner was over everyone made their way to their previous seats and Dumbledore grabbed the book. "I think I shall read after that emotional dinner." Everyone nodded and he began. "Veritaserum,"
Harry felt himself slam flat into the ground; his face was pressed into grass; the smell of it filled his nostrils. He had closed his eyes while the Portkey transported him, and he kept them closed now. He did not move. All the breath seemed to have been knocked out of him; his head was swimming so badly he felt as though the ground beneath him were swaying like the deck of a ship. To hold himself steady, he tightened his hold on the two things he was still clutching: the smooth, cold handle of the Triwizard Cup and Cedric's body.
Cedric shivered at that and Luna swiftly got up and wrapped her arms around him. He sat there frozen at first before warming into the hug. Ginny and Kaitlyn smiled at the two. They figured they would make a cute couple, Luna could be…slightly 'dreamy' and Cedric could keep her grounded.
He felt as though he would slide away into the blackness gathering at the edges of his brain if he let go of either of them. Shock and exhaustion kept him on the ground, breathing in the smell of the grass, waiting… waiting for someone to do something… something to happen… and all the while, his scar burned dully on his forehead…
Dumbledore looked thoughtful at that. He was fairly certain that Harry was the seventh Horcrux he did not mean to make, but he needed more facts. He decided that if they kept reading they would find out more about his theories.
A torrent of sound deafened and confused him; there were voices everywhere, footsteps, screams… He remained where he was, his face screwed up against the noise, as though it were a nightmare that would pass…
Addie frowned at that and climbed up into her father's lap. She was only two years younger than him but she felt safe there. Harry wrapped his arms around her as Kaitlyn leaned against him. They were all a family, maybe a strange family that had lost many members but a family none the less.
Then a pair of hands seized him roughly and turned him over.
"Harry! Harry!" He opened his eyes.
He was looking up at the starry sky, and Albus Dumbledore was crouched over him. The dark shadows of a crowd of people pressed in around them, pushing nearer; Harry felt the ground beneath his head reverberating with their footsteps.
He had come back to the edge of the maze. He could see the stands rising above him, the shapes of people moving in them, the stars above.
Harry let go of the cup, but he clutched Cedric to him even more tightly.
"Harry, once we get out of this room I would like it very much if we could hang out. Maybe get a butterbeer with our friends? I just think we can become good mates." Cedric said. Harry smiled and nodded.
He raised his free hand and seized Dumbledore's wrist, while Dumbledore's face swam in and out of focus.
"He's back," Harry whispered. "He's back. Voldemort."
"What's going on? What's happened?" The face of Cornelius Fudge appeared upside down over Harry; it looked white, appalled.
There were groans at this, "That idiot." McGonagall mumbled. Dumbledore heard her however and chuckled softly causing others to look at him like he was crazy.
"My God - Diggory!" it whispered. "Dumbledore - he's dead!"
"No shit Sherlock!" Sirius exclaimed, causing Hermione and Rae to smack both of his shoulders. "Oi! What is this? Sirius gets his family back and then gets hit day?"
Remus, Rae, Hermione, Fred, George, Allie, and Tonks chuckled. "Yes." They said together causing everyone else to laugh as well.
The words were repeated, the shadowy figures pressing in on them gasped it to those around them… and then others shouted it - screeched it - into the night – "He's dead!" "He's dead!" "Cedric Diggory! Dead!"
Cedric flinched at that again, "It's alright Cedric. We can change this, we don't have to have Voldemort come back meaning that you won't die." Her face morphed into one of pain as she said the last word.
"Harry, let go of him," he heard Fudge's voice say, and he felt fingers trying to pry him from Cedric's limp body, but Harry wouldn't let him go. Then Dumbledore's face, which was still blurred and misted, came closer.
"Harry, you can't help him now. It's over. Let go."
"He wanted me to bring him back," Harry muttered - it seemed important to explain this. "He wanted me to bring him back to his parents…"
"You're just making yourself seem crazy mate, there's no need to explain." Cedric said with a sad smirk, still clutching Luna tightly. Harry's face twisted into a slight smirk, though it looked painful.
"I get that a lot anyway."
"That's right. Harry… just let go now…"
Dumbledore bent down, and with extraordinary strength for a man so old and thin, raised Harry from the ground and set him on his feet. Harry swayed. His head was pounding. His injured leg would no longer support his weight. The crowd around them jostled, fighting to get closer, pressing darkly in on him -"What's happened?" "What's wrong with him?" "Diggory's dead!"
"He'll need to go to the hospital wing!" Fudge was saying loudly. "He's ill, he's injured – Dumbledore, Diggory's parents, they're here, they're in the stands…"
Cedric paled and froze at that.
"I'll take Harry, Dumbledore, I'll take him -"
"No, I would prefer-"
"Dumbledore, Amos Diggory's running… he's coming over… Don't you think you should tell him - before he sees -?"
"Harry, stay here -" Girls were screaming, sobbing hysterically… The scene flickered oddly before Harry's eyes…
"It's all right, son, I've got you… come on… hospital wing…"
"Dumbledore said stay," said Harry thickly, the pounding in his scar making him feel as though he was about to throw up; his vision was blurring worse than ever.
Severus and Kaitlyn began to worry, "That'll be the poison…" Kaitlyn just groaned and hugged her boyfriend and daughter closer hoping that this was all just a dream.
"You need to lie down… Come on now…"
Someone larger and stronger than he was was half pulling, half carrying him through the frightened crowd. Harry heard people gasping, screaming, and shouting as the man supporting him pushed a path through them, taking him back to the castle. Across the lawn, past the lake and the Durmstrang ship, Harry heard nothing but the heavy breathing of the man helping him walk.
Mad-eye, McGonagall, Snape and Dumbledore frowned at that…no one should be moving Harry against Dumbledore's orders.
"What happened Harry?" the man asked at last as he lifted Harry up the stone steps. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. It was Mad-Eye Moody.
That settled it for Mad-eye, he had seen the signs…him in the time teaching at Hogwarts was an imposter. Dumbledore seemed to see it as well.
"Cup was a Portkey," said Harry as they crossed the entrance hall. "Took me and Cedric to a graveyard… and Voldemort was there… Lord Voldemort…"
Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. Up the marble stairs… "The Dark Lord was there? What happened then?"
Severus and Kaitlyn frowned as well as Harry, Addie, Sirius, Rae, Tonks, and Remus.
"Killed Cedric… they killed Cedric…"
"And then?" Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. Along the corridor…
"Made a potion… got his body back…"
"The Dark Lord got his body back? He's returned?"
"And the Death Eaters came… and then we dueled…"
"You dueled with the Dark Lord?"
"Got away… my wand… did something funny… I saw my mum and dad… they came out of his wand…"
"In here Harry… in here, and sit down… You'll be all right now… drink this…" Harry heard a key scrape in a lock and felt a cup being pushed into his hands.
"Drink it… you'll feel better… come on, now. Harry, I need to know exactly what happened…"
Moody helped tip the stuff down Harrys throat; he coughed, a peppery taste burning his throat. Moody's office came into sharper focus, and so did Moody himself… He looked as white as Fudge had looked, and both eyes were fixed unblinkingly upon Harry's face.
Severus gasped at that, he had given Harry the antidote to the potion…but why would an imposter try to save the boy they were trying to kill?
"Voldemort's back, Harry? You're sure he's back? How did he do it?"
"He took stuff from his father's grave, and from Wormtail, and me," said Harry.
His head felt clearer; his scar wasn't hurting so badly; he could now see Moody's face distinctly, even though the office was dark. He could still hear screaming and shouting from the distant Quidditch field.
"What did the Dark Lord take from you?" said Moody.
"Blood," said Harry, raising his arm. His sleeve was ripped where Wormtail's dagger had torn it.
Moody let out his breath in a long, low hiss. "And the Death Eaters? They returned?"
"Yes," said Harry. "Loads of them…"
Everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats, most of them had figured out that Moody was an imposter.
"How did he treat them?" Moody asked quietly. "Did he forgive them?"
Everyone who didn't understand started to wonder…
But Harry had suddenly remembered. He should have told Dumbledore, he should have said it straightaway –
"There's a Death Eater at Hogwarts! There's a Death Eater here - they put my name in the Goblet of Fire, they made sure I got through to the end -" Harry tried to get up, but Moody pushed him back down.
Moody nodded, he had a pretty good idea that the Death Eater had disguised himself as the Auror.
"I know who the Death Eater is," he said quietly.
"Karkaroff?" said Harry wildly. "Where is he? Have you got him? Is he locked up?"
"Karkaroff?" said Moody with an odd laugh. "Karkaroff fled tonight, when he felt the Dark Mark burn upon his arm. He betrayed too many faithful supporters of the Dark Lord to wish to meet them… but I doubt he will get far. The Dark Lord has ways of tracking his enemies."
"Karkaroff's gone? He ran away? But then - he didn't put my name in the goblet?"
"No," said Moody slowly. "No, he didn't. It was I who did that."
There were gasps at that, everyone who didn't have an inkling of what was going on, such as Ron, glanced at the Auror in shock.
Harry heard, but didn't believe. "No, you didn't," he said. "You didn't do that… you can't have done…"
"I assure you I did," said Moody, and his magical eye swung around and fixed upon the door, and Harry knew he was making sure that there was no one outside it. At the same time, Moody drew out his wand and pointed it at Harry.
"He forgave them, then?" he said. "The Death Eaters who went free? The ones who escaped Azkaban?"
"What?" said Harry.
He was looking at the wand Moody was pointing at him. This was a bad joke, it had to be.
"CONSTANT VIGULANCE!" Mad-eye barked again, hoping to ingrain the information into their minds. When Harry, Kaitlyn, Hermione, Ron, Fred, George, Sirius, and Tonks didn't flinch, he eyed them appraisingly.
"I asked you," said Moody quietly, "whether he forgave the scum who never even went to look for him. Those treacherous cowards who wouldn't even brave Azkaban for him. The faithless, worthless bits of filth who were brave enough to cavort in masks at the Quidditch World Cup, but fled at the sight of the Dark Mark when I fired it into the sky."
"He's talking about Malfoy." Neville said with a sneer, he hated all Death Eaters for what happened to so many families in the war.
"You fired… What are you talking about…?"
"I told you Harry… I told you. If there's one thing I hate more than any other, it's a Death Eater who walked free. They turned their backs on my master when he needed them most. I expected him to punish them. I expected him to torture them. Tell me he hurt them, Harry…" Moody's face was suddenly lit with an insane smile.
"Tell me he told them that I, I alone remained faithful… prepared to risk everything to deliver to him the one thing he wanted above all… you"
Kaitlyn, Rae, Addie and many other women hissed at that, but none as loudly as Kaitlyn Araxie Snape.
"You didn't… it - it can't be you…"
"Who put your name in the Goblet of Fire, under the name of a different school? I did. Who frightened off every person I thought might try to hurt you or prevent you from winning the tournament? I did. Who nudged Hagrid into showing you the dragons? I did. Who helped you see the only way you could beat the dragon? I did"
There was total silence at that, no one really knew what to say.
Moody's magical eye had now left the door. It was fixed upon Harry. His lopsided mouth leered more widely than ever.
"It hasn't been easy, Harry, guiding you through these tasks without arousing suspicion. I have had to use every ounce of cunning I possess, so that my hand would not be detectable in your success. Dumbledore would have been very suspicious if you had managed everything too easily. As long as you got into that maze, preferably with a decent head start - then, I knew, I would have a chance of getting rid of the other champions and leaving your way clear. But I also had to contend with your stupidity.
"He's not stupid!" Kaitlyn and Hermione said while Addie exclaimed, "My Daddy's not stupid! And stupid is a mean word!" All of the adults and people from the present chuckled at the young girl's innocence.
The second task… that was when I was most afraid we would fail. I was keeping watch on you, Potter. I knew you hadn't worked out the egg's clue, so I had to give you another hint -"
"You didn't," Harry said hoarsely. "Cedric gave me the clue -"
"Who told Cedric to open it underwater? I did. I trusted that he would pass the information on to you. Decent people are so easy to manipulate, Potter.
"At least we know how to open it now without being manipulated." Cedric said darkly, upset at himself for letting himself be manipulated.
I was sure Cedric would want to repay you for telling him about the dragons, and so he did. But even then, Potter, even then you seemed likely to fail. I was watching all the time… all those hours in the library. Didn't you realize that the book you needed was in your dormitory all along? I planted it there early on, I gave it to the Longbottom boy, don't you remember?
Neville frowned, at least they figured that one out as well. "I may need that later, Neville." Harry said with false cheerfulness in his voice.
Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean. It would have told you all you needed to know about gillyweed. I expected you to ask everyone and anyone you could for help. Longbottom would have told you in an instant. But you did not… you did not… You have a streak of pride and independence that might have ruined all.
"So what could I do? Feed you information from another innocent source. You told me at the Yule Ball a house-elf called Dobby had given you a Christmas present. I called the elf to the staffroom to collect some robes for cleaning. I staged a loud conversation with Professor McGonagall about the hostages who had been taken, and whether Potter would think to use gillyweed. And your little elf friend ran straight to Snape's office and then hurried to find you…"
McGonagall frowned as well, she was used as well! Minerva McGonagall was never used unless that person had a death wish.
Moody's wand was still pointing directly at Harry's heart. Over his shoulder, foggy shapes were moving in the Foe-Glass on the wall.
"You were so long in that lake, Potter, I thought you had drowned. But luckily, Dumbledore took your idiocy for nobility, and marked you high for it. I breathed again.
Harry frowned at that, he wasn't an idiot for wanting to save others was it?
"You had an easier time of it than you should have in that maze tonight, of course," said Moody. "I was patrolling around it, able to see through the outer hedges, able to curse many obstacles out of your way. I Stunned Fleur Delacour as she passed. I put the Imperius Curse on Krum, so that he would finish Diggory and leave your path to the cup clear."
Hermione gasped, she was right. "You were right, 'Mione. Krum was placed under the Imperius curse." Fred said, his face set into a frown. He still didn't like that guy…
Harry stared at Moody. He just didn't see how this could be… Dumbledore's friend, the famous Auror… the one who had caught so many Death Eaters… It made no sense… no sense at all…
The foggy shapes in the Foe-Glass were sharpening, had become more distinct. Harry could see the outlines of three people over Moody's shoulder, moving closer and closer. But Moody wasn't watching them. His magical eye was upon Harry.
Kaitlyn and Addie breathed sighs of relief when they noticed that. No one else seemed to notice it though and they kept it to their selves as they glanced at each other.
"The Dark Lord didn't manage to kill you Potter, and he so wanted to," whispered Moody. "Imagine how he will reward me when he finds I have done it for him. I gave you to him - the thing he needed above all to regenerate - and then I killed you for him. I will be honored beyond all other Death Eaters. I will be his dearest, his closest supporter… closer than a son…"
"This is getting creepy." Charlie said, Bill nodded while Percy seemed a bit pale. Voldemort couldn't be back! He just couldn't!
Moody's normal eye was bulging, the magical eye fixed upon Harry. The door was barred, and Harry knew he would never reach his own wand in time…
"The Dark Lord and I," said Moody, and he looked completely insane now, towering over Harry, leering down at him, "have much in common. Both of us, for instance, had very disappointing fathers… very disappointing indeed. Both of us suffered the indignity, Harry, of being named after those fathers. And both of us had the pleasure… the very great pleasure… of killing our fathers to ensure the continued rise of the Dark Order!"
"Moody wasn't named after his father…" Ron said in confusion, causing Harry and Hermione to snigger silently.
"You're mad," Harry said - he couldn't stop himself- "you're mad!"
"Mad, am I?" said Moody, his voice rising uncontrollably. "We'll see! We'll see who's mad, now that the Dark Lord has returned, with me at his side! He is back, Harry Potter, you did not conquer him - and now - I conquer you!"
Moody raised his wand, he opened his mouth; Harry plunged his own hand into his robes –
Hermione glanced at her cousin, hoping he would be okay. Sirius and Rae were also looking slightly worried. Things were not looking good for one Harry James Potter.
"Stupefy!" There was a blinding flash of red light, and with a great splintering and crashing, the door of Moody's office was blasted apart – Moody was thrown backward onto the office floor.
There were sighs of relief at that. Harry would be okay…
Harry, still staring at the place where Moody's face had been, saw Albus Dumbledore, Professor Snape, and Professor McGonagall looking back at him out of the Foe-Glass. He looked around and saw the three of them standing in the doorway, Dumbledore in front, his wand outstretched.
"Thank you, Albus." Rae said softly, Dumbledore nodded. "You too Severus, Minerva." Said people nodded as well.
"I do not think my daughter would ever forgive me if anything happened to Mr. Potter." Severus drawled. McGonagall just smirked at the normally cold potions master.
At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore's face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could have ever imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore's face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he were giving off burning heat.
"Thank you, sir." Harry said with a dry mouth.
Dumbledore sighed, "Harry, the only reason why I'm so upset in the book is because I care about you more than a normal student…you're special Harry because I see you as the grandson I never had. I care about you very much Harry." Harry just beamed at that, he seemed to be getting more family than he ever dreamed that he would have.
"I see you as a grandfather as well, Professor…" Dumbledore's twinkle in his eye came back as well.
He stepped into the office, placed a foot underneath Moody's unconscious body, and kicked him over onto his back, so that his face was visible. Snape followed him, looking into the Foe-Glass, where his own face was still visible, glaring into the room. Professor McGonagall went straight to Harry.
"I cannot just leave my lions in pain, now can I?" Said woman said softly. Harry, Kaitlyn, and Hermione just smiled softly as they knew she would do anything to protect them.
"Come along, Potter," she whispered. The thin line of her mouth was twitching as though she was about to cry. "Come along… hospital wing…"
"No," said Dumbledore sharply.
Rae's face snapped sharply towards the headmaster. "No. Harry needs to rest. Especially after a traumatic event such as this!" Dumbledore sighed, he knew she was right but he was upset at this point and he just wanted answers.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Black."
"It's not me you need to apologize too."
Dumbledore chuckled slightly before turning to face Harry, "I'm extremely sorry for what's about to happen, Harry. You have to understand, I was angry at myself for not protecting you better, and angry and the imposter Moody for putting you in even more danger. At this point I just wanted answers and you needed to hear them as well." Harry nodded with a smirk on his face, he liked his long lost aunt…
"It's alright Professor."
"Dumbledore, he ought to - look at him - he's been through enough tonight -"
"Thank you, Minerva." Rae said with a nod towards her old Professor. Said professor just smiled slightly in her direction.
"He will stay, Minerva, because he needs to understand," said Dumbledore curtly. "Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. He needs to know who has put him through the ordeal he has suffered tonight, and why."
"As much as I agree with you, Albus, this is one exception." The transfiguration professor said with a stern face.
"Moody," Harry said. He was still in a state of complete disbelief. "How can it have been Moody?"
"This is not Alastor Moody," said Dumbledore quietly. "You have never known Alastor Moody. The real Moody would not have removed you from my sight after what happened tonight. The moment he took you, I knew - and I followed."
The real Moody nodded, he never would have removed the boy against the headmaster's orders.
Dumbledore bent down over Moody's limp form and put a hand inside his robes. He pulled out Moody's hip flask and a set of keys on a ring. Then he turned to Professors McGonagall and Snape.
"Severus, please fetch me the strongest Truth Potion you possess, and then go down to the kitchens and bring up the house-elf called Winky.
There were confused faces at that, what did Winky have to do with anything? "Why would you need Mr. Crouch's ex-elf?" Percy asked, Hermione sent him a glare.
"That poor elf didn't need to be freed! She was devastated over something she didn't do!" she yelled. Percy said nothing and ignored her, causing her anger to grow. Fred and Sirius had to hold her down so she didn't kill the poor boy. Rae just watched her daughter with a grin, they were so much alike it was ridiculous.
Minerva, kindly go down to Hagrid's house, where you will find a large black dog sitting in the pumpkin patch. Take the dog up to my office, tell him I will be with him shortly, then come back here."
Sirius smirked while Remus and Rae shook their heads in amusement. Hermione, Kaitlyn, and Harry just chuckled as they remembered the grim like dog that was Sirius' animagus.
If either Snape or McGonagall found these instructions peculiar, they hid their confusion. Both turned at once and left the office. Dumbledore walked over to the trunk with seven locks, fitted the first key in the lock, and opened it. It contained a mass of spell-books. Dumbledore closed the trunk, placed a second key in the second lock, and opened the trunk again. The spellbooks had vanished; this time it contained an assortment of broken Sneako-scopes, some parchment and quills, and what looked like a silvery Invisibility Cloak. Harry watched, astounded, as Dumbledore placed the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth keys in their respective locks, reopening the trunk each time, and revealing different contents each time. Then he placed the seventh key in the lock, threw open the lid, and Harry let out a cry of amazement.
"What? What was it?" Kaitlyn asked, her voice filled with concern.
He was looking down into a kind of pit, an underground room, and lying on the floor some ten feet below, apparently fast asleep, thin and starved in appearance, was the real Mad-Eye Moody.
Moody scowled at that, how could he let someone sneak up on him like that? It was unheard of!
His wooden leg was gone, the socket that should have held the magical eye looked empty beneath its lid, and chunks of his grizzled hair were missing. Harry stared, thunderstruck, between the sleeping Moody in the trunk and the unconscious Moody lying on the floor of the office.
Dumbledore climbed into the trunk, lowered himself, and fell lightly onto the floor beside the sleeping Moody. He bent over him. "Stunned - controlled by the Imperius Curse - very weak," he said. "Of course, they would have needed to keep him alive. Harry, throw down the imposter's cloak - he's freezing. Madam Pomfrey will need to see him, but he seems in no immediate danger."
Moody nodded, they needed information first. That was the important thing. Dumbledore on the other hand was frowning. He would normally have sent Harry to the hospital wing before making sense of anything. He must have been livid over the death of a student, that must have been why he was acting the way he was.
Harry did as he was told; Dumbledore covered Moody in the cloak, tucked it around him, and clambered out of the trunk again. Then he picked up the hip flask that stood upon the desk, unscrewed it, and turned it over. A thick glutinous liquid splattered onto the office floor.
"Polyjuice Potion, Harry," said Dumbledore. "You see the simplicity of it, and the brilliance. For Moody never does drink except from his hip flask, he's well known for it.
Moody cursed under his breath, what he had thought was smart turned out to be his downfall in the end. Dumbledore seemed to notice this and smiled sadly at his old friend.
The imposter needed, of course, to keep the real Moody close by, so that he could continue making the potion. You see his hair…" Dumbledore looked down on the Moody in the trunk. "The imposter has been cutting it off all year, see where it is uneven? But I think, in the excitement of tonight, our fake Moody might have forgotten to take it as frequently as he should have done… on the hour… every hour… We shall see."
Dumbledore pulled out the chair at the desk and sat down upon it, his eyes fixed upon the unconscious Moody on the floor. Harry stared at him too. Minutes passed in silence…
Then, before Harry's very eyes, the face of the man on the floor began to change. The scars were disappearing, the skin was becoming smooth; the mangled nose became whole and started to shrink. The long mane of grizzled gray hair was withdrawing into the scalp and turning the color of straw. Suddenly, with a loud clunk, the wooden leg fell away as a normal leg regrew in its place; next moment, the magical eyeball had popped out of the man's face as a real eye replaced it; it rolled away across the floor and continued to swivel in every direction.
Harry saw a man lying before him, pale-skinned, slightly freckled, with a mop of fair hair. He knew who he was. He had seen him in Dumbledore's Pensieve, had watched him being led away from court by the dementors, trying to convince Mr. Crouch that he was innocent… but he was lined around the eyes now and looked much older…
Everyone was sitting on the edge of their seats, they wanted to know who the imposter was.
There were hurried footsteps outside in the corridor. Snape had returned with Winky at his heels. Professor McGonagall was right behind them.
"Crouch!" Snape said, stopping dead in the doorway. "Barty Crouch!"
"What?!" Was heard throughout the room. Dumbledore held up a finger telling them that he would continue reading.
"Good heavens," said Professor McGonagall, stopping dead and staring down at the man on the floor.
Filthy, disheveled, Winky peered around Snape's legs. Her mouth opened wide and she let out a piercing shriek.
Hermione frowned, she hated thinking of house-elves like servents.
"Master Barty, Master Barty, what is you doing here?" She flung herself forward onto the young man's chest.
Even Percy seemed confused at that, "As much as I appreciate Mr. Crouch, I don't think he is a young man." Dumbledore nodded at that. There was only one explanation after that.
"You is killed him! You is killed him! You is killed Master's son!"
"Son?" Harry asked. Dumbledore smiled sadly.
"After hearing the chapter's title, Harry, I do believe the book will explain it. He just nodded at the headmaster and sat back, Addie in his lap and Kaitlyn leaning her head on his shoulder.
"He is simply Stunned, Winky," said Dumbledore. "Step aside, please. Severus, you have the potion?"
Snape handed Dumbledore a small glass bottle of completely clear liquid: the Veritaserum with which he had threatened Harry in class. Dumbledore got up, bent over the man on the floor, and pulled him into a sitting position against the wall beneath the Foe-Glass, in which the reflections of Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall were still glaring down upon them all. Winky remained on her knees, trembling, her hands over her face. Dumbledore forced the man's mouth open and poured three drops inside it. Then he pointed his wand at the man's chest and said, "Ennervate."
Crouch's son opened his eyes. His face was slack, his gaze unfocused. Dumbledore knelt before him, so that their faces were level.
"Can you hear me?" Dumbledore asked quietly. The man's eyelids flickered.
"Yes," he muttered.
No one said a word, afraid they were going to miss something.
"I would like you to tell us," said Dumbledore softly, "how you came to be here. How did you escape from Azkaban?"
Crouch took a deep, shuddering breath, then began to speak in a flat, expressionless voice. "My mother saved me. She knew she was dying. She persuaded my father to rescue me as a last favor to her. He loved her as he had never loved me. He agreed. They came to visit me. They gave me a draft of Polyjuice Potion containing one of my mother's hairs. She took a draft of Polyjuice Potion containing one of my hairs. We took on each other's appearance."
Things began to clear up for the older members in the room, while the younger people still looked extremely confused.
Winky was shaking her head, trembling. "Say no more. Master Barty, say no more, you is getting your father into trouble!"
But Crouch took another deep breath and continued in the same flat voice. "The dementors are blind. They sensed one healthy, one dying person entering Azkaban. They sensed one healthy, one dying person leaving it. My father smuggled me out, disguised as my mother, in case any prisoners were watching through their doors.
"My mother died a short while afterward in Azkaban. She was careful to drink Polyjuice Potion until the end. She was buried under my name and bearing my appearance. Everyone believed her to be me." The man's eyelids flickered.
"As much as it pains me to say, that was an extremely intelligent plan." Severus said, his eyebrows knitted together.
"And what did your father do with you, when he had got you home?" said Dumbledore quietly.
"Staged my mother's death. A quiet, private funeral. That grave is empty. The house-elf nursed me back to health. Then I had to be concealed. I had to be controlled. My father had to use a number of spells to subdue me. When I had recovered my strength, I thought only of finding my master… of returning to his service."
There were shudders at that, they hated the idea of Voldemort being alive.
"How did your father subdue you?" said Dumbledore.
"The Imperius Curse, I was under my father's control. I was forced to wear an Invisibility Cloak day and night. I was always with the house-elf. She was my keeper and caretaker. She pitied me. She persuaded my father to give me occasional treats. Rewards for my good behavior."
"Winky." Rae whispered.
"Master Barty, Master Barty," sobbed Winky through her hands. "You isn't ought to tell them, we is getting in trouble…"
"Did anybody ever discover that you were still alive?" said Dumbledore softly. "Did anyone know except your father and the house-elf?"
"Yes," said Crouch, his eyelids flickering again. "A witch in my father's office. Bertha Jorkins. She came to the house with papers for my father s signature. He was not at home. Winky showed her inside and returned to the kitchen, to me. But Bertha Jorkins heard Winky talking to me. She came to investigate. She heard enough to guess who was hiding under the Invisibility Cloak. My father arrived home. She confronted him. He put a very powerful Memory Charm on her to make her forget what she'd found out. Too powerful. He said it damaged her memory permanently."
Percy seemed too shocked to say anything.
"Why is she coming to nose into my masters private business?" sobbed Winky. "Why isn't she leaving us be?"
"Tell me about the Quidditch World Cup," said Dumbledore.
"Winky talked my father into it," said Crouch, still in the same monotonous voice. "She spent months persuading him. I had not left the house for years. I had loved Quidditch. Let him go, she said. He will be in his Invisibility Cloak. He can watch. Let him smell fresh air for once. She said my mother would have wanted it. She told my father that my mother had died to give me freedom. She had not saved me for a life of imprisonment. He agreed in the end.
"It was carefully planned. My father led me and Winky up to the Top Box early in the day. Winky was to say that she was saving a seat for my father. I was to sit there, invisible. When everyone had left the box, we would emerge. Winky would appear to be alone. Nobody would ever know.
"But Winky didn't know that I was growing stronger. I was starting to fight my father's Imperius Curse. There were times when I was almost myself again. There were brief periods when I seemed outside his control. It happened, there, in the Top Box. It was like waking from a deep sleep. I found myself out in public, in the middle of the match, and I saw, in front of me, a wand sticking out of a boys pocket. I had not been allowed a wand since before Azkaban. I stole it. Winky didn't know. Winky is frightened of heights. She had her face hidden."
Harry paled, he had helped the imposter! Kaitlyn saw this and shook her head at him, telling him that it wasn't her fault.
"Master Barty, you bad boy!" whispered Winky, tears trickling between her fingers.
"Poor Winky." Hermione and Rae said together, causing Fred and Sirius to snort in laughter. Everyone glared at them as they had found nothing funny about the situation.
"So you took the wand," said Dumbledore, "and what did you do with it?"
"We went back to the tent," said Crouch. "Then we heard them. We heard the Death Eaters. The ones who had never been to Azkaban. The ones who had never suffered for my master. They had turned their backs on him. They were not enslaved, as I was. They were free to seek him, but they did not. They were merely making sport of Muggles. The sound of their voices awoke me. My mind was clearer than it had been in years. I was angry. I had the wand. I wanted to attack them for their disloyalty to my master. My father had left the tent; he had gone to free the Muggles. Winky was afraid to see me so angry. She used her own brand of magic to bind me to her.
"She pulled me from the tent, pulled me into the forest, away from the Death Eaters. I tried to hold her back. I wanted to return to the campsite. I wanted to show those Death Eaters what loyalty to the Dark Lord meant, and to punish them for their lack of it. I used the stolen wand to cast the Dark Mark into the sky.
Percy seemed stunned, the elf hadn't done it? The son of his idol had? He was so confused…
"Ministry wizards arrived. They shot Stunning Spells everywhere. One of the spells came through the trees where Winky and I stood. The bond connecting us was broken. We were both Stunned.
"When Winky was discovered, my father knew I must be nearby. He searched the bushes where she had been found and felt me lying there. He waited until the other Ministry members had left the forest. He put me back under the Imperius Curse and took me home. He dismissed Winky. She had failed him. She had let me acquire a wand. She had almost let me escape." Winky let out a wail of despair.
Rae and Hermione's hearts seemed to break at that thought, they were both thinking of different ways to help the poor thing.
"Now it was just Father and I, alone in the house. And then… and then…"
Crouch's head rolled on his neck, and an insane grin spread across his face. "My master came for me.
That caused even more shudders around the room. The way Harry described that was just plain creepy.
"He arrived at our house late one night in the arms of his servant Wormtail. My master had found out that I was still alive. He had captured Bertha Jorkins in Albania. He had tortured her. She told him a great deal. She told him about the Triwizard Tournament. She told him the old Auror, Moody, was going to teach at Hogwarts. He tortured her until he broke through the Memory Charm my father had placed upon her. She told him I had escaped from Azkaban. She told him my father kept me imprisoned to prevent me from seeking my master. And so my master knew that I was still his faithful servant - perhaps the most faithful of all. My master conceived a plan, based upon the information Bertha had given him. He needed me. He arrived at our house near midnight. My father answered the door."
The smile spread wider over Crouch's face, as though recalling the sweetest memory of his life. Winky's petrified brown eyes were visible through her fingers. She seemed too appalled to speak.
"It was very quick. My father was placed under the Imperius Curse by my master. Now my father was the one imprisoned, controlled. My master forced him to go about his business as usual, to act as though nothing was wrong. And I was released. I awoke. I was myself again, alive as I hadn't been in years.
Severus seemed to pale as the fake Moody continued to speak, if he thought Crouch Jr. was his most loyal he would need to work twice as hard when the Dark Lord did return. Kaitlyn saw her fathers pale face and began to worry about him.
"And what did Lord Voldemort ask you to do?" said Dumbledore.
"He asked me whether I was ready to risk everything for him. I was ready. It was my dream, my greatest ambition, to serve him, to prove myself to him. He told me he needed to place a faithful servant at Hogwarts. A servant who would guide Harry Potter through the Triwizard Tournament without appearing to do so. A servant who would watch over Harry Potter. Ensure he reached the Triwizard Cup. Turn the cup into a Portkey, which would take the first person to touch it to my master. But first -"
Cedric and Harry flinched at the reminder of the cup, at the moment they wanted nothing to do with it.
"You needed Alastor Moody," said Dumbledore. His blue eyes were blazing, though his voice remained calm.
"Wormtail and I did it. We had prepared the Polyjuice Potion beforehand. We journeyed to his house. Moody put up a struggle. There was a commotion. We managed to subdue him just in time. Forced him into a compartment of his own magical trunk. Took some of his hair and added it to the potion. I drank it; I became Moody's double. I took his leg and his eye. I was ready to face Arthur Weasley when he arrived to sort out the Muggles who had heard a disturbance. I made the dustbins move around the yard. I told Arthur Weasley I had heard intruders in my yard, who had set off the dustbins.
The real Moody scowled, at least he had put up a decent fight.
Then I packed up Moody's clothes and Dark detectors, put them in the trunk with Moody, and set off for Hogwarts. I kept him alive, under the Imperius Curse. I wanted to be able to question him. To find out about his past, learn his habits, so that I could fool even Dumbledore. I also needed his hair to make the Polyjuice Potion. The other ingredients were easy. I stole boom-slang skin from the dungeons. When the Potions master found me in his office, I said I was under orders to search it."
Severus scowled, he hated being tricked. He didn't just hate it he loathed it. Kaitlyn swallowed when she saw his face, she had only seen that face in extreme circumstances.
"And what became of Wormtail after you attacked Moody?" said Dumbledore.
Almost everyone growled at that.
"Wormtail returned to care for my master, in my father's house, and to keep watch over my father."
"But your father escaped," said Dumbledore.
"Yes. After a while he began to fight the Imperius Curse just as I had done. There were periods when he knew what was happening. My master decided it was no longer safe for my father to leave the house. He forced him to send letters to the Ministry instead. He made him write and say he was ill. But Wormtail neglected his duty. He was not watchful enough. My father escaped. My master guessed that he was heading for Hogwarts. My father was going to tell Dumbledore everything, to confess. He was going to admit that he had smuggled me from Azkaban.
"Wormtail always was a worthless, good for nothing, son of a-"
"Sirius Orion Black! Your granddaughter and niece are in the room! If you finish that sentence you will be sleeping on the couch tonight!" Sirius paled at that and nodded. Hermione on the other hand looked a little green, she didn't want to hear anything about her parents personal life.
"My master sent me word of my father's escape. He told me to stop him at all costs. So I waited and watched. I used the map I had taken from Harry Potter. The map that had almost ruined everything."
Sirius, Remus, Harry, Hermione, Kaitlyn, Fred, George, and Ron scowled. Their greatest secret was about to be let out into the open. Dumbledore and the rest of the staff was looking interested though.
"Map?" said Dumbledore quickly. "What map is this?"
"Potter's map of Hogwarts. Potter saw me on it. Potter saw me stealing more ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion from Snape's office one night. He thought I was my father. We have the same first name. I took the map from Potter that night. I told him my father hated Dark wizards. Potter believed my father was after Snape.
Harry frowned, he never thought that about Snape. He might have thought he was a greasy git at some points but not a Dark Wizard. "Daddy never thought that!" Addie said firmly. "He laughed outright when he read that. He told me he thought Granddaddy could be a greasy git but didn't think he was a Dark Wizard."
Severus just raised an eyebrow at his daughter's boyfriend. Harry just shrugged with a blush on his face.
"For a week I waited for my father to arrive at Hogwarts. At last, one evening, the map showed my father entering the grounds. I pulled on my Invisibility Cloak and went down to meet him. He was walking around the edge of the forest. Then Potter came, and Krum. I waited. I could not hurt Potter; my master needed him. Potter ran to get Dumbledore. I Stunned Krum. I killed my father."
Percy paled further at that.
"Noooo!" wailed Winky. "Master Barty, Master Barty, what is you saying?"
"You killed your father," Dumbledore said, in the same soft voice. "What did you do with the body?"
"Carried it into the forest. Covered it with the Invisibility Cloak. I had the map with me. I watched Potter run into the castle. He met Snape. Dumbledore joined them. I watched Potter bringing Dumbledore out of the castle. I walked back out of the forest, doubled around behind them, went to meet them. I told Dumbledore Snape had told me where to come.
Severus mumbled some more before turning his attention back to the book Dumbledore was reading.
"Dumbledore told me to go and look for my father. I went back to my father's body. Watched the map. When everyone was gone, I Transfigured my father's body. He became a bone… I buried it, while wearing the Invisibility Cloak, in the freshly dug earth in front of Hagrid's cabin."
There was complete silence now, except for Winky's continued sobs. Then Dumbledore said, "And tonight…"
"I offered to carry the Triwizard Cup into the maze before dinner," whispered Barty Crouch. "Turned it into a Portkey. My master's plan worked. He is returned to power and I will be honored by him beyond the dreams of wizards."
The insane smile lit his features once more, and his head drooped onto his shoulder as Winky wailed and sobbed at his side.
There was utter silence as everyone tried to take all of that in. "I think we should all be heading to bed now. Let everything sink in." Dumbledore suggested.
They then all separated into the different rooms labeled as such:
Harry, Cedric, Ron, Fred, George, Neville, Bill, and Charlie in one room. Kaitlyn, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Fleur, and Tonks in another room. Sirius and Rae together. Allie, Addie, and Teddy together. Kingsley by himself, Dumbledore by himself, McGonagall by herself, Percy by himself, Moody by himself, Severus by himself, and Remus by himself. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley also shared a room.
They all said their goodnights before heading in to bed.