Kingdark: I have decided to leave the previous chapter as it is instead of merging it with this one or deleting it altogether. Heck, I might rewrite the whole thing as a later funny scene later. This chapter and future chapters will assume it happens but nothing said or done will have any -REAL- consequences. Not really. This chapter is going to be ten thousand (10.000) words or longer. That should come equal to roughly thirteen pages give or take.
I had forgotten that the host of a symbiote is supposed to refer to him- (It? her?) -self as 'we' or 'us'. Let's just pretend I already did that in previous chapters when needed. Harry is going to act out of character from his canon self because of Puck and because of the changes he needed to go through for the prologue to work. Harry himself was already strong in the books and he wasn't an idiot either. Adding an extremely intelligent and ancient symbiote in that mix will make
Harry very dangerous for all factions. Harry and Puck cannot communicate live that means in real time except through writing in a journal. Puck can communicate through emotions, images and occasional pain to get Harry's attention. Another thing I want to make obvious is that in EXTREME EMERGENCIES Harry and Puck MIGHT be able to manage a real time conversation. In normal situations and until Harry manages to master himself through meditation and time they can only communicate when they are dreaming.
The issue regarding Stargate SG-1.
I already mentioned that the events, locations, races and whatnot of stargate sg1 may happen on the background. I have found a time line where I will base everything on. The first episode of the series takes place somewhere in '97. Since the story begins in '94 that's still a long way to go.
Let's get this show on the road!
Word count note: 322
Consequences of your actions...
Harry joined the Headmaster in going to his office. Hermione and Ron were following. He could sense the anger and confusion that his friends were feeling. A guilty feeling was starting to worm itself into his heart. Had he gone to far? Eventually they reached the Headmaster's office, entered and after the Headmaster ordered something to drink for his students and himself they could finally get to the heart of the matter.
"I don't normally meddle in the lives of my students." The Headmaster began. Ron, Hermione and Harry reacted to this statement nearly identical to each other proving that they were still 'attuned' to each other's moods.
Seeing the scepticism practically radiating from the three teens, Dumbledore wasn't reassured at all. He hadn't been that bad had he?
The Headmaster frowned at their reactions but continued nevertheless. "I like to think I have a good sense of humour. I don't really like to punish students if they prank students if the joke is in good taste and doesn't focus on the same person too much or if the person on who they are focussing doesn't deserve it." The Headmaster ignored the reactions of his students and continued as if they had said nothing.
"Even I have to draw a line when a student invites a virtual manhunt in my school. Taunting older and younger students alike risking spells just to make things more exciting. I found some of your evading tricks very impressive. Very few wizards tend to look up, a piece of advice I shan't forget any time soon less I become the victim of a prank myself." he continued.
"I have to admit I can proudly say that I have managed to avoid a great deal of practical jokes." The Headmaster told them.
"I am unsure if you even realize it but you managed to unite the school in that little manhunt of yours. It made no difference in what house you were sorted as everyone worked together trying to find, hunt and capture you." The Headmaster informed them.
"Tell me, mister Potter why you didn't join your friends when they invited you and when you refused why you didn't tell them why you didn't join them?"
Harry shrugged. "We already explained that in the great hall." Harry reminded them.
"We like the Weasley's. We really do. But staying with them doesn't afford you too much peace and quiet." Seeing Ron becoming angry, Harry wanted to stop mount Ron from erupting before it was too late.
"You know we are right Ron!" Harry argued. "Your mum does have tendency to boss us and Hermione around even when we are her guests! Now, we don't mind doing the occasional chore -that's just being polite- but we were practically doing nothing else at the burrow when we stayed with them! we've been doing enough chores with those stupid muggles who happen to share our blood for a life time!" Harry told them seriously.
As Dumbledore watched and listened to the conversation, he paled when he heard how Harry referred to his relatives.
Ron honestly considered Harry's words for several moments and his anger deflated as quickly as it had risen. Harry was right. His best friend had on occasion dropped hints that his home life was far from ideal.
That it was far worse then just doing the few chores he had to do at the burrow himself. It had never occurred to him that Harry had wanted to laze about doing nothing once the summer homework was complete.
Ron was also concerned why Harry referred to himself as multiple people. Glancing at Hermione he knew that she had realized the same thing. 'Later Ronald'. Ron thought to himself. 'Deal with that later.'
"This summer we came to an agreement after we reminded them that we could legally curse them into chickens and get away with it." Harry informed them smugly.
"We don't know why we didn't think of it sooner. It might have given us decent enjoyable summers starting from the summer after our first year." Harry said.
"It basically said that they would give us what we are owed. Presents for all my birthdays, something for my Christmas and something extra as an apology. I basically threatened them until they agreed to give me what they owe me." Harry shrugged.
"In return we will only bother them with a week every vacation. That should be enough to charge the wards compared to our previous stays at the Dursley's." Harry informed them.
"That is non-negotiable too Headmaster." Harry added just to be sure.
"This will continue until we are seventeen and not a day later." Harry finished with a nod.
"Harry.." The Headmaster said quietly.
"Surely... You don't mean that?" The Headmaster seemed very upset from what Harry told him. Just like his other two students he was very concerned from how Harry referred to himself. "Has the unknown magic I sensed on Harry's scar taken over? Come to think of it, where IS Harry's scar? I can't sense it any more either... Did it dispel itself for some reason?"
'No.' Dumbledore concluded. No to both. "Harry would act very differently had he been taken over by some sort of foreign magic." He wouldn't care about Hermione. Probably.
Harry glared at the Headmaster. "We don't care about my bitch of an aunt, our walrus of an uncle or our wale of a cousin. They lost the right to call us family by how they treated us the last thirteen years give or take a few months. Spoiling us for a week every year will get them out of being cursed silly but we never promised to get them out of prison time." Harry snickered.
"That's very sneaky!" The Headmaster complimented. It was also a test to see how he would react.
"We thank you Headmaster!" Harry smiled. "If it hadn't been for how we grew up then we don't think we would be here now!" A slight exaggeration but mostly true. Harry had to think fast quit a few times when he was younger. It had given him the skills he needed to avoid punishment of extra chores more then once. Having a genius symbiote with him only enhanced those skills of his.
"Oh, and if you do anything to stop us from getting payback..." Harry said lowly. "You won't like what we will do next!"
The Headmaster frowned. "I don't like what you are planning on doing. But if you are right, and the Dursley's deserve it, I don't see a reason to stop you. However... Dumbledore released twenty percent of his full power he normally controlled very tightly, all of it was focussed on Harry.
"If I find out that you are lying to me YOU won't like what I will do to YOU! Do you understand me mister Potter?" The Headmaster demanded.
Harry simply shrugged, seemingly unconcerned. "Whatever you say Headmaster. We don't see how it is any business of yours how we punish our... Blood relatives." Harry said simply.
The Headmaster was unused to the fact that even releasing twenty percent of his power appeared to be doing nothing to his student. Twenty percent had been enough to call the entire great hall to order at it's most chaotic in the past and it wasn't focussed on anyone specifically! He had focussed it all on mister Potter and it was like he hadn't sensed a thing!
"So what are the details of that agreement between you and your relatives Harry?" Hermione asked eventually.
"We will only stay with them for a whole week a year. Since we stayed five day with the Dursley's this summer that leaves a weekend for Christmas. After Christmas it leaves a week for every summer after every school year. We don't plan to stay with them if we don't have to."
"We will of course visit them very shortly this Christmas to accept our presents remind them they better come through with our agreement after reminding them that they can't hide anywhere on the planet. They simply never realized that we never agreed to keep them out of prison." Harry summarized with a smirk.
"That was actually very clever!" Ron complimented. "It still won't get you out of some sort of payback though. Do you realize how worried Hermione and I were this summer? If you had told us why you wanted some peace and quiet we would have left you alone some." Ron insisted.
"Bullshit." Harry retorted. "The letters we received were all pushy and insistent. It's why we stopped bothering to answer."
"But.." Ron muttered. "We never received a single letter from you!" Ron insisted. "Aside from the first letter telling us you wanted to stay at number four. After that you virtually disappeared!
"That's..." Harry began before cutting himself off. "You.. You aren't lying!" Harry half stated half asked.
"You really aren't! Then how do you explain those letters we got all getting more pushy and insistent signed by you and Hermione respectively all the time?"
'Hermione?' Ron asked nervously. "Do you know what he's talking about?"
Hermione smiled nervously. "I sort of put a charm on a letter when I sort of found out by mistake that a spell cast at the burrow doesn't result in a letter from the ministry." The girl admitted. "It was a thoughtless act and I had sent it before I could think it through properly."
"Please don't be angry with me!" Hermione begged. "I regretted it the next day after I really thought through what I did and when no more responses came from Harry. I... I don't really remember charming the letter." Seeing Dumbledore open his mouth, Hermione hurried to continue so she could explain properly.
"I was half asleep when I charmed the letter. I only have a vague memory of what I did. I.. ehm.. I got several letters during my first year during the summer. Apparently, I kept casting advanced spells in my sleep. When the ministry investigated my doing so they found out I had a rare magical disease known as 'somnambulism' and it is actually a very rare disease. The only solution is keeping the wand away from the young witch or wizard because it only tends to happen in witches and wizards before their seventeenth birthday." Hermione explained hurriedly.
"And you sort of conveniently forgot to tell that to Molly and Arthur?" The Headmaster concluded immediately.
"I never did so on purpose!" The young witch exclaimed. "If I can work homework or if I keep busy with theory nothing really happens. Really! I don't even know how I got to my wand in the first place because I placed it at the bottom of my trunk! I swear!" Hermione defended.
"I must have been angrier with Harry then I had thought. I had finished my homework at my parents home because I knew that I wouldn't have much opportunity to work on it at the burrow. I had several books with me too. But... I'm sorry, but what Harry said is true. You don't have much peace and quiet to do homework or to read a good book at the burrow, let alone getting some peace and quiet." Hermione finished miserably.
"I'm sorry Ron." the girl added.
"That's okay." The boy dismissed. "You are right. I suppose you can understand why I can't focus all that well on homework during the school year. It's not because of laziness.." Seeing the Headmaster frowning at him, Ron didn't retract his words.
"I really try, but I never really learned how to focus with a lot of noise. I'm also more a see and do sort of person. Practising is something I like to do too. But getting myself to read a book and remembering some of it is very hard for me. I'm lucky I can remember as much as is needed for my previous exams." Ron admitted with a blush.
"Please don't tell that to anyone." Ron begged. "I never told that to anyone and I don't want any special treatment about it. Just.. A room that's meant for studying and perhaps some quiet conversation would be an incredible help for me." The redhead admitted.
"The library isn't the right place for it because practising spells is out of the question. It wouldn't be a help for me alone either. I know of other kids that would like to be able to study properly too. The lower years don't pay much attention to the demands of the older years when they try to study." Ron continued.
Looking at the Headmaster, Ron knew he had to take advantage of the situation. "It would be a really big help Headmaster. I'm positive that I could improve my grades by a lot if only there was a place where we could study in peace behind silencing spells so you can talk quietly with your study partners." Ron said seriously.
"Very well. I will take what you said to me in mind." The Headmaster told Ron. "As for you mister Potter, no more man hunts through the castle when classes or exams are held. Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"Loud and clear Headmaster." Harry agreed with a wide smirk.
"It's getting late. You should all go to bed if you still want a few hours of sleep tomorrow." Albus advised.
The three students left his office quietly. Looking at the previous Headmaster, he used one of his privileges awarded to him as the Headmaster. "Tell the staff that Hermione, Ron and Harry are going to their dorms and not to take points or give detention if you happen to come across them."
The previous Headmaster's left their paintings to do what he had asked of them.
"Harry is different. Very different in fact. Can I still trust him? Should I trust him even?" Albus asked himself.
"The boy is angry and with good reason it appears. But what other options did I have at the time? Severus is already on Harry's case whenever he can." The Headmaster took a deep breath and relaxed. He carefully released the chains he had on his magic one by one until he no longer needed to chain his magic. He could only do so in the privacy of his office. Hogwarts alerted him when someone wanted to come to his office.
Being really powerful was exhausting if you didn't want your fellows to piss and shit themselves when you didn't control your magic properly.
"The worst part is that I'm forbidden to take care of that bastard Tom myself. If only I had read that contract better." Albus lamented silently.
"But alas, what if's aren't going to change anything. I have two choices as I see them." Albus thought to himself.
"I can either tell Harry the most relevant information, including why he would have to participate in the tournament illegally or I can keep my mouth shut and inform him after the fact to keep his reaction as genuine as possible. If I act on the latter then I risk losing what trust he has in me completely. If I inform him then he might give away enough to make the others suspicious thereby risking his magic because of cheating."
Dumbledore considered the pro's and con's and finally decided. He couldn't risk losing Harry's trust. He couldn't risk Harry making the same mistakes as he did. He couldn't risk Harry doing anything for power so he could destroy the person that destroyed his life. To kill the one that killed his loved ones. Dumbledore had to make sure that Harry had the skills, allies and knowledge so he could defeat Voldemort on his own, letting the boy choose whether or not to kill the bastard or to lock him up in the perfect prison.
Gryffindor common room
"We are going to bed." Harry announced. "We are tired and we aren't in the mood for more life changing events." Taking a look at his friends he nodded. "Let's pretend nothing happened until next weekend. We figure that's enough time to let things really sink in. Goodnight."
Having said his piece, Harry had vanished up the stairs before Hermione and Ron could say anything.
Hermione and Ron made no effort to go to bed though. Instead they made themselves comfortable on one of the 'special' couches older years usually reserved.
"Have you noticed Harry's odd way of speaking?" Ron asked his friend quietly. Hermione snorted. "Of course I did." she snapped.
She could feel Ron flinch and sighed. "I'm sorry Ron. I didn't mean to sound so angry. It's just... Harry is so different. He's much more... I don't know really." Hermione said apologetically.
'Mature.' Ron muttered.
Hermione blinked. "What?"
"Harry is acting much more mature." Ron clarified. "He's acting like he knows exactly what he wants and he's going to make sure he's going to get it. He didn't let the Headmaster intimidate him when the man released so much of his power." Ron shivered.
"Considering that's the amount that Dumbledore may use to keep people in line and Harry wasn't bothered, I find that really scary."
"Ron?" Hermione asked again. "What are you talking about? How do you know how much power Dumbledore used?"
Ron blinked several times. "Wait, you don't know?" He asked suspiciously. Seeing Hermione shake her head, Ron couldn't help a smile.
"Well what do you know, Hermione Granger, smartest witch of our year, smartest witch of our house and possibly somewhere in the top ten of smartest students of Hogwarts doesn't know something that I consider common knowledge!" Ron exclaimed.
"Ron!" Hermione half growled half whined.
"Na-ah!" Ron denied. "No way am I explaining this without enjoying the feeling." Ron snickered.
"You know that if you don't tell me I'll find out eventually don't you?" Hermione demanded. Ron's grin was even wider.
"That's where you are wrong milady!" Ron smirked. "This is the sort of common knowledge that isn't written down in a book or it would be in passing."
"Then tell me!" Hermione demanded. "Haven't I explained to you hundreds of things already?"
"Yes." Ron agreed. "Yes you did. But you forced me to read a few books so I could figure out the answer myself several times didn't you?" Ron pointed out calmly.
"But I never knew-" Hermione lowered her voice. "I never knew what you told us in the Headmaster's office!" She defended herself.
"Fine." Ron agreed.
"Don't interrupt me though because I will have to tell you a few things you will likely already know. I'm not taking any chances so deal with it." Ron warned.
Seeing Hermione's nodding, Ron nodded too. "Very well, give me a moment to gather my thoughts."
Ron and Hermione shared a few minutes of silence in comfort. Finally, Ron nodded to himself. He had figured out how to explain it the best.
"Al right, it's like this: You probably know that Dumbledore is one of the toughest, strongest and oldest wizard's of Europe right? Did you also know that Dumbledore is only somewhere in the top twenty of most powerful wizard's of the world? I mean exactly what I say too. Wizard's and witches have a different list and obviously Dumbledore isn't in the witch's list for obvious reasons. Power wise though he might be in the top twenty too. Power of males and females are measured differently you know? If that isn't bad enough that is completely ignoring the magical creatures that have a magic on their own. They too have a list that contains some of their most powerful casters." Ron lectured.
"Any witch or wizard that has his or her name in the top twenty list once needs to learn by law how to chain his or her power. It doesn't matter that you only got into the list once, once you do you need to learn. If you don't then hit wizard's will be sent after you who will apply some tattoo's on you that will do the job by force." Holding up his hand, Ron explained the obvious question.
"Magic is intelligent to a point. These witches and wizard's that don't learn it, or are incapable of learning for some reason can still use their full power if they feel threatened." Hermione shut her mouth with a 'click' when Ron had predicted her question perfectly.
"Don't interrupt me Hermione." Ron reminded sternly.
"As I was saying, witches, wizards or magical creatures that come into this list need to learn how to chain their power. Since this method encourages their magic to grow because it needs to work harder because it is chained, another chain will have to be added. The more chains are added the more powerful the witch or wizard is in general." Ron explained calmly.
"Witches and wizard's who have newly learned often appear to be much weaker then they truly are. Don't think that chaining your magic when it isn't needed will make you more powerful either. That method doesn't work for some reason. It is only after your magic grows over a certain limit that it keeps growing because of the chain method." Ron continued.
"Of course, the stronger the witch and wizard the more chains they need to manage and the more difficult it becomes to manage. Magic at that power is like a muscle see, the more you restrain it and force it to work harder the stronger it becomes. The stronger it becomes the more difficult it becomes to restrain it which is then followed by adding another chain to restrain your magic. I'm not entirely familiar with the exact date, but before there wasn't a clear set of rules when and how they could release their power. Keeping it restrained is Bad and I definitely mean Bad with a capital B." Ron continued his lecture.
"The stronger the witch or wizard, the longer they tend to live naturally. But let me go back a bit first. Before current generation of rules was established it wasn't a top twenty but a top hundred. Dozens of powerful witches and wizard's died because they were forbidden to release their magic unless they felt threatened. It was because of the violent death of these talented magic users that the new generation was allowed to release their power in the privacy of their home or office as long as it was warded properly. The top twenty is what it is called officially. It should probably be a much bigger number. The top twenty actually refers to how much chains you have to restrain your power." Ron continued.
"Anyway, the basic amount a wizard or a witch can release in public is roughly ten percent. That is usually more then enough to 'make' order in chaotic situations because it intimidates the weaker witches and wizard's to wet and mess themselves." Ron explained with a blush.
Hermione had never considered Ron to be really smart. But it really turned her on to see her friend lecturing her. Hermione licked her lips. Damn. Did she need one hell of a ice cold shower! "Down girl, down!" she scolded herself.
Ron was oblivious to Hermione's state though. "Considering that Harry shrugged Dumbledore's power of like it was nothing without losing bladder or bowel control... Let me tell you it's-" UMPH Ron was cut off as Hermione literally jumped him.
Let's the the couple get acquainted shall we?
Harry, who had been lingering on the stairs to see if Ron and Hermione would say anything else. He had found the prompted lecture very interesting. When he heard Hermione jump his friend he subtly cast a few notice-me-not charms where they were and another charm to give them a mild shock if they happened to be caught up in their passion. He was sure that Hermione was too young to be a mum.
Crawling in his bed and closing the curtains he did his meditation like he usually did and after a good fifty minutes finally managed to get into 'that' state where he could communicate with Puck easily.
"How much does what Ron told Hermione apply to us?" Harry asked immediately. "Well... I'm already restraining your magic in an effort to make it stronger." Puck admitted.
"Then stop doing that immediately." Harry ordered. "Ron said that it wouldn't work yet." Harry reminded.
"But it has!" Puck protested.
"It has?" Harry repeated. "But Ron said-"
"Yes, I know what he said." Puck interrupted. "I haven't restrained it completely as the chains Ron mentioned imply. I just made it more difficult for you to cast magic, making your magic do more work thus making you a bit stronger."
"Fine then." Harry said. "Monitor it very careful though. Speaking off... Has it worked already? If so will I be able to add a few more wandless spells to the few I already know?"
Puck shrugged. "Only one way to find out. Let's test it tomorrow."
'Excellent!' Harry exclaimed.
"How much are you restraining then?" Harry wanted to know.
"I'm estimating that I'm restraining roughly thirty to forty percent of your magic. Considering you are still very powerful... Though I do loosen the chains whenever it is necessary." Puck admitted.
"I see..." Harry mused. "Al right then. I don't think we have much more to discuss right?" He asked just to be sure.
"No. I don't think so no." Puck agreed.
Harry closed his eyes and let sleep take him. Harry vanished from his conscious mind scape leaving Puck alone in his thoughts.
"Of course there is the matter of how easily I can influence the emotions off...-" Puck trailed off when he noted Harry was already gone.
'How rude.' Puck remarked.
The next morning.
The next few days were awfully standard. Ron and Hermione were shocked out of their bout of passion before they could go to far. Though they were now a couple making many wonder how long that would take. Their arguments were legendary in Gryffindor and the other houses.
Harry on the other hand had begun to prove to all the teachers that he was turning over a new leaf so to speak. His grades were climbing steadily and his homework papers were of a quality not seen before. The writing style of the papers were in Harry's style and had just enough detail to keep to what it was supposed to be about. This meant that Hermione hadn't been involved. It was a well known fact among the teachers that Hermione tended to added a lot of details in her homework that was often not even asked for.
The announcement of the tri-wizard tournament had been taken with a lot of excitement by all students. Before anyone knew it the first week of school was already over. For Harry this meant the long avoided confrontation with his friends. The confrontation was surprisingly short. Hermione and Ron had decided that Harry was fully justified in wanting to be alone. The charm of Hermione was forgotten and ignored.
Harry's confrontation with Dumbledore was an entirely different set of problems.
Harry's point of view.
Harry calmly gave the password and allowed the escalator to take him to the Headmaster's office. "You wished to talk to us Headmaster?" Harry asked as he entered his office.
"Yes I did." The man agreed. "There are a number of things you need to know. You are fourteen now and even though I would really like you to keep your innocence a little while longer, I have no choice in the matter any more."
Albus told Harry about the discovered imposter and what the man admitted too under truth serum.
"Why can't you demand a public trial?" Harry asked curiously after the Headmaster had finished talking.
"Even I am bound to rules and law Harry. This means that I cannot demand someone to be given truth serum without proper investigation. Unfortunately, it is very likely that an accident will happen should he be given to the law enforcement department. It is for that reason I cannot ask or demand a trial for Sirius. An accident might happen while he is in custody."
"We see." Harry muttered. "What is it then that you wish of us sir?" Harry asked eventually. The man had explained plenty but hadn't put it too bluntly.
"I want you to participate in tri-wizard tournament under the disguise that you actually didn't. The fake Moody would have put your name in the cup under a different school, making you the only student and the only choice thus guaranteeing you would be chosen."
"Why tell us and not keep quiet until after the fact?" Harry asked curiously.
"I would risk losing your trust if I pull something like that." Albus answered.
"And if we refuse?" Harry asked eventually.
The Headmaster turned to look outside his window. He was quiet for several moments but finally gave his answer.
"I really want to avoid doing what would happen then Harry. Try to understand that I have very few options available to me. If you know what awaits you at the last task, you can prepare for it. The only way for Voldemort to be destroyed is for it to get a new body. The boy that was once Tom Riddle had long since died. Probably when he tried to kill an innocent infant."
"Hey, we were already a year old you know. That's not an infant any more." Harry protested weakly feeling a little embarrassed.
The Headmaster ignored that remark and continued like nothing had been said at all. "There were so many other things he could have done, though neither of them would be much better. He could have kidnapped you instead, letting you grow up under one of his servants so you would ultimately serve him. Or he could have dosed you and your parents under the draught of the living death and then drop of you off in a muggle hospital somewhere. So many alternatives yet the man chose to murder an innocent." The Headmaster lamented.
"Anyway, I chose to tell you because I believe you will do the right thing. There is an ultimate reason why Voldemort came after you after all. A prophecy made by an ancient oracle that took control over the very woman that teaches here."
Dumbledore didn't really know why he revealed even more information then he intended. Perhaps if the boy really understood he would work with him instead of being forced to remove his memories?
"Even though I have the raw power I cannot destroy Voldemort myself. Nor can I arrange to knock him out so you can finish him off." Dumbledore did not look at the boy sitting in his office. "Try to understand child that my magic will prevent me from doing so. I can help you, teach you, get you the allies you need, the spells you need, the knowledge you need but ultimately Voldemort will need to be defeated, destroyed or imprisoned by your hands."
"Why?" Harry asked curiously. "Why would you be limited that much?"
"Because-" The Headmaster began.
"Because I did a ritual that would give me a huge amount of power to defeat the dark lord of the forties. A man with so much natural power that even I could do nothing against him. Dozens of wizard's and witches in the top twenty died in vein in several encounters." The Headmaster paused. "Do you know what I mean with the top twenty Harry?" He asked.
"Yes, Ron explained it." Harry agreed quickly. Not giving any details that he happened to listen when neither were aware of it.
"That dark lord was somewhere in the top ten. High up in the top ten, probably in the top five. I on the other hand was not even in the top twenty at the time. My power was still growing steadily and I would probably have become close to his power naturally but I did not have the time."
"The point is that the ritual I did demanded a price. A price that I'm still paying but thought very fair at the time. My power would be increased permanently until I could equal his power. I would keep my talent and would get to live to how much power I had in return..."
The Headmaster swallowed. "In return I could not interfere with future dark lords. I could defend myself but I could not finish him off permanently. That would be the job of the next 'champion. I saved hundreds if not thousands of life with my decision but ultimately..."
"Voldemort has probably killed as many as I have saved. It's something I'm still struggling with to accept." Deciding that he had enough of the depressing subject. "Suffice to say that I literally don't have a choice." The Headmaster finished with a nod.
"Fine." Harry agreed. Puck had been nudging him to accept. His symbiote knew something he didn't. Perhaps it was what would happen had he refused?
"There is... something else." Dumbledore admitted. "Had you refused I would have removed the memories of this conversation and replaced it with something else. I would not have undone it. However, your reaction needs to be genuine. So I..." The Headmaster steeled himself. "I still need to change how you remember how this conversation went. I swear to you that I will undo it once all four champions are chosen." Dumbledore swore.
Harry felt the panic of his symbiote and his gut told him that any memory altering spell might alter puck's genetic memory too.
Puck could not communicate with him live. He proved that urgency can defy logic and reason.
"Tell him about me but do NOT let him alter our memories!" Harry winced at how weird it was to 'hear' a foreign thought coming from within.
"Sir, there is something we need to tell you that you need to know. You cannot perform any form of memory altering spell on us."
Albus frowned. "Perhaps this has to do with why the boy refers to himself as two or more people?"
"Can I trust you sir?" Harry demanded suddenly. "Can I really trust you? Trust you to trust me? I need some form of guarantee from you sir because frankly what I have to tell you is something precious to me."
"I'm not so old yet that I betray my students out of senility Mr. Potter." The Headmaster retorted calmly. "However, if it makes you feel any better, I will swear a mild oath of secrecy."
"Just swear that you will not tell my secret to anyone unless I give you detailed and specific permission." Harry instructed. "That you will tell me if you wish to tell anyone. Oh, and you cannot under any shape or form tell Snape." Harry added with a nod.
'Professor Snape Harry.' The Headmaster sighed. "As long as this secret doesn't hurt you, or if it doesn't form a threat to any of my students or my staff I think I can agree."
"Then we will have a problem sir. Because I can't promise anything regards of... The Slytherin's head of house."
Albus pinched his nose. "Fine." The Headmaster agreed. "You or whatever your secret may be may react in self defence against my staff. You cannot start it but you may end it. Is that agreeable to you?"
'perfect.' Harry agreed.
The Headmaster swore a mild oath of secrecy that would prevent him from telling anyone without specific permission from Harry.
Harry told the man everything. The asteroid that the magical community somehow missed. His slight skill in wandless magic he had practised in for hours at a time the previous year and how he had applied it at the time. Mostly so he could intimidate his blood relatives.
He told the Headmaster what he did during the summer, how he read everything he could get his hands on and how his symbiote aided him with it.
"We have to tell you though Headmaster that it isn't Puck who is responsible for my better grades. He and I cannot communicate through our thoughts. The only way we can communicate is through our dreams. It is also because of Puck that you cannot perform any form of memory altering magic upon me. Puck is absolutely terrified what it'll do to him." Predicting the next question, Harry answered it before the Headmaster could express it.
"Puck has learned how to communicate with me through feelings and images. Mostly through emotions. He's getting better with images but it tends to be confusing and distracting."
Harry did not utter a word that they could communicate but only in emergencies and because it was very difficult not to mention very weird. He also refused to say a word about the huge amount of information that Puck had absorbed through whatever sort of parasitic magic that had been hiding in his scar.
"I can offer you a compromise of sorts though. "Harry offered. "Puck and I are bonded very tightly. He cannot lie to me and the same is true for me. What Puck can do though is help me control my emotions and make me ignore information at a certain time. You'll just have to trust me I suppose."
"Dare I risk it? It doesn't matter. If I still try it anyway I will have lost his trust."
"Very well." Dumbledore agreed. "I will trust you Harry. Do try and make your reaction genuine for that is very important. If anyone has even the slightest suspicion of this meddling... The consequences will be very serious. This will be no detention, prison time is more likely. Boy who lived or not."
"Why though? I mean, obviously, cheating is against the rules. Why would it result in prison time?"
"It's... Complicated." The headmaster admitted. "I'm not sure I can explain it properly. Isn't the result more important then the why at this time?"
"I suppose." Harry muttered unhappily.
He sighed. "Fine then. Just trust us Headmaster. You shan't be disappointed. Now, we only have one thing to say: keep Severus Snape on a tight leash because we shall not let him bully us for much longer. We don't care that our father may or may not have been a bully. He's an adult and we are a teenager still. If we wish to be... Childish then that is our right until we are seventeen. Severus Snape has lost that right decades ago. Tell him to regain his professionalism with us and only take or give points when appropriate and we won't have a problem."
"If he doesn't?" Albus asked.
"Then we won't be attending his class any more and will petition an boycott for his classes and detentions. We will record every point taken and given and will send that to those where it should go. He doesn't want his name or reputation as a potion brewer compromised now will he?"
Albus looked back through his windows. "I've told him time and time again that you aren't your father. I will remind him again to be professional in his classes. If he doesn't I will put him on a monthly probation." The Headmaster said eventually.
"Thank you sir." Harry nodded. He stood up, still ready to dodge if the Headmaster tried something at the last moment and eventually left the office. Harry's actions did not escape the Headmaster's notice. He had to give the boy credit that he wasn't so naïve and gullible any more. That might have something to do with the alien symbiote though.
Shaking his head again, the Headmaster turned to watch through the window again. "Who would have thought that this would be the reason for Harry's changes. Another alien from outer space eh? It's a good thing I made those promises. If I hadn't my other oaths would make my choices even more difficult... Which reminds me, I have to tell Harry to be extremely careful with me. The oaths I made in the past might force me into actions neither of us want. Stupid magical oaths I was blackmailed into making. I wouldn't want him to end up like HIM after all! Even so, I would never have suspected... Another..."
After a few moments the headmaster frowned. "Why didn't he ask about the prophecy?" The headmaster wondered.
Harry continued his good grades in all of his classes. Whatever the Headmaster had done it had worked. Severus Snape had gone from the most hated teacher in the school to a person that nobody could classify. One moment he could be a very decent teacher and the next you would end up with points being taken for trivial things. The potion master had apparently decided that ignoring Harry completely was better then appearing immature or being a bully. Harry could live with that. He had even dared to ask a number of questions relating brewing and whatever potions they were making. The man ignored him in that class and had slipped him a simple note.
'Don't expect answers in class. I shall give you references on your homework.'
Harry could agree to that. Harry's grades climbed in potions after that as well. Harry only asked intelligent questions related to the brewing itself that couldn't be found in the text books itself. Snape usually answered those because they were relevant to his class.
The man had begun to have a zero tolerance for any sort of prank in his classes. He came down hard on his own Slytherin's too. Potions were too dangerous to mess around with.
The man often referred to texts that would be useful for his next class. Harry found himself asking fewer questions with every class that passed during the next couple of weeks. Since he already asked few from the start that was saying something. Snape on the other hand realized that his class listened a lot better to him which had fewer explosions as a result. Harry still didn't like Snape and the man returned the feeling eagerly. They had both agreed to try and not annoy each other if it wasn't needed.
The students of other schools had begun to arrive weekly. Some arrived through floo others through portkeys. This continued until only the seventh years of both schools were still missing. Since it were those students that could only share their name they would arrive with a lot of drama.
Both the French an the German school had an average of roughly six hundred to seven hundred students each. It was for this reason that the new students hadn't arrived in one go. The Headmaster had hired several tutors that taught French and German so that the Hogwarts students could communicate with the German and French students and not force them alone to speak English. That wouldn't be fair after all.
The house elves had never been as busy as they were now. With hundreds of more students, the amount of food to cook, the amount of dirty laundry and everything else was increasing by leaps and bounds. They had never been busier or happier.
Choosing of the champions
Many of the seventh year students had put their name in the tri-wizarding cup. Some of them hadn't because of their studies. The death rates of previous tournaments had sometimes wiped out all champions in one go! What was the point if you might not survive at all?
Albus had swallowed a potion that would allow him to keep perfect control over his emotions. It would give him an devastating headache afterwards, something that couldn't be fixed with a potion either. He simply couldn't risk anything going wrong.
"The cup has decided the first champion." Albus announced. "The first champion is for Durmstrang and is a male... The first champion chosen tonight is..."
"Let's hear it for... VICTOOOOOR KRUM!" The entire great hall exploded with applause. The boy was an incredible Quidditch player and an incredible wizard according to just as many.
"Please come and stand before the teacher's table. Mister Krum." Albus requested politely. He had decided to let the other champions see who their rivals would be. Mostly so they could witness the reactions for the fourth champion.
The cup had been getting hotter and hotter again and finally expelled another name.
The Headmaster grabbed the note out of the air. "The second champion is one our French cousins on the main land and is a very pretty lad. Or so I'm told. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls let's hear it for FLEEEUURR DELACOOOUR!" The Headmaster of Hogwarts exclaimed.
The applause that followed was slightly less enthusiastic because the girl wasn't an international Quidditch playing star and not as well known.
The third and final champion was decided when the cup expelled a third name for Albus to take.
"The last champion is of course for the best school of Europe but then I'm sort of biassed." The Headmaster announced after a moment with a smile that proved he was messing around.
"It's a member of our house of loyalty and hard working. Let's give a loud applause for CEEEDRIC DIGGGOOOREY!"
Hogwarts, divided between rivalries or not did not want to appear any lesser so all four houses cheered applauded and made their pleasure known. Cedric barely controlled his emotions and was already regretting putting his name in on a dare instead of focussing on his studies like he had planned. Every Hogwarts student was cheering especially the Hufflepuf's. Finally they would get a chance to get their house some glory!
"Oh dear, did I make a mistake in asking Harry to participate? How will the other houses react with this apparent intrusion on Hufflepuf's glory? I better stop any resentment from forming in the first place." Plan of action decided the Headmaster waited a few moments for Harry's name to appear only for nothing to happen.
Dumbfounded, Albus could do nothing at the moment and turned his attention to the chosen champions.
"For the next task, you may bring all the equipment you can carry on your person. It's been decided that the first task will be explained plainly without any riddles at all. The goal is two fold. First you will be transported to another location underground, built by our Goblin friends to try and built a better relationship between wizard and Goblin. The place is an old underground abandoned city from a very long time ago. In this abandoned city there will be a hidden treasure. Each champion will start at another location, will have an equal amount of clue's and are roughly equally as long to complete compared to each other. The champions may use any and all resources at your disposal as long as you make a list with what you carry." Headmaster Dumbledore explained calmly.
"You can do that or make a crew of six including the champion with normal sized equipment. That means that you can still take a great deal of things with you but it has to be the full size. Trunks aren't allowed and neither are enchanted sacks. The more people you take with you, the less equipment you can bring. It's a quality versus quantity kind of decision. Every champion may ask three questions which will be answered honestly or ask for three items if the champion cannot get it him or herself. Each item will have a 'cost' which means you may have even less equipment with you. You cannot have both. It's either the questions or the items. It cannot be combined. It's one or the other." Albus clarified.
"The champions may return to their seats so the feast may-" Albus paused when his attention was caught by the cup. It's fire was flaring wildly, almost angrily in fact.
The magic that that cup radiated was nearly painful. "What's going on?" The Headmaster wondered.
Another piece of parchment was expelled and turned to dust immediately. Then another and another. Several dozen names met the same fate. "The cup is only supposed to expel the old names when a new tournament is beginning in preparation for a new one. Darn it what is going on?" Albus asked himself. The potion allowed himself to watch without showing how he felt and he was never more grateful for it then that moment.
It was obvious to every student in the great hall that someone had messed with the cup. It was equally as obvious that no student could do something like that though. Not even a seventh year.
Finally after ten tense minutes and after hundreds of names had been expelled and then burned, one piece of parchment was expelled followed by all the flames going out immediately followed by the cup disappearing with a loud 'pop'.
The piece of parchment floated steadily before the Headmaster's eyes. Cautiously the man took the piece of parchment and read the content.
"The second champions of Beauxbatons, Durmstrang and Hogwarts are Gabrielle Delacour, Poliakoff Krum and Harry Potter!"
Dumbledore's announcement caused more then a little chaos. The staff from the other schools were speaking very quickly in their own languages to each other and even with Dumbledore's experience in them could barely follow.
"This might actually work out." Dumbledore realized. It had never occurred to him to slip in a second champion for each school. "But what about the Delacour girl? She looks like she is barely ten let alone fourteen! Of course the girl does have a Veela heritage so that might have something to do with it..."
Not wanting to have his headache any sooner then was needed the Headmaster used his favourite charm to silence loud students.
Dozens of students cried out in pain from the loud noise which was followed by a great many of curses. The verbal kind in various languages.
"Now that I have your attention." Dumbledore said calmly as if nothing had happened.
"I do not know who thought it would be funny to have a second champion for every school. Manipulating a magical artefact is not something you can do without years of experience. That means that the students that were chosen are very likely not responsible for this."
Dumbledore allowed his magic to relax for a brief moment. "If I hear that anyone is giving trouble for the second champions of each school then you will be punished severely. Do I make myself clear?" Albus focussed on an particular troublesome Slytherin student.
"I don't care for your reasons, your status of blood or who your father or mother may be. I will find out who was responsible for this and he or she will be punished. I don't want ANYONE be causing trouble for the other champions."
Albus repeated what he said in French, German and then in Swedish. "Is there anyone who speaks another language and doesn't completely understand what I said?" Albus asked calmly. Seeing no reaction, Albus nodded to himself. He had done his job, now it was time to figure out what just happened.
"I'm sure we all can think much better on a filled stomach so let's eat!"
The food appeared shortly after but it was obvious that the mood was ruined and that the majority of the students wanted to try and figure out what just happened.
Albus turned to his fellow teachers and ministry officials. "Let's get all our champions together once they ate something and see what they know shall we?" Not waiting for an answer the Headmaster returned to his food.
Ante chamber Great hall
All the students had left the great hall to get some sleep. It was getting late and the majority of the foreign students were tired. Especially the younger years. The six champions were standing with each other. Cedric had been outraged for a moment when other champions were chosen. But considering that little Gabrielle had been chosen and was only a firstie... No first year would be stupid enough to enter a competition that could kill adults even after they had prepared themselves.
"Now that we are all alone." Ministry official Crouch began calmly. "Can someone please tell me how the hell we ended up with SIX champions instead of three?" The man demanded.
"I wouldn't know." Cedric offered. "I entered on a dare. I never expected to be chosen. Hufflepuf's were known for their honesty and fairness. Even if they could end up in detention for the rest of the year after graduation.
The headmistress of Beauxbatons and the Headmaster of Durmstrang all looked like they didn't know to act outraged or angry.
"What are we going to to?" Madam Olympe Maxime asked calmly. "How is little Gabrielle supposed to stand a chance against tasks meant for adults? She just started learning magic for crying out loud!" The rest of what she said was lost as she switched back to her native French.
"If I may?" Harry offered.
The adults all looked at him with narrowed eyes but Harry ignored that. "The original champions can do the tasks originally prepared. The... Others can do something else. Something that fits with what the have learned. Perhaps a quiz about simple things from a book you give the younger champions?" Harry offered carefully.
What it meant was simple. A thin book would be given to Gabrielle. A few questions would be asked which points given for each. Since each judge could give ten points that would guarantee that she would be in the lead but at this point nobody could expect an eleven year old to participate in tasks for adults.
"I agree!" Fleur said immediately. "I don't care what it takes but I want my little sister safe. Had I even suspected that this could happen I would never have come! Come to think of it how did her name end up in the cup in the first place?" Fleur's English was perfectly pronounced with only the slightest French accent.
"I can answer that." Dumbledore told her. "The cup is a highly magical artefact that is intelligent to a point. Before a new tournament it expels all the previous names of the previous tournament. From what I know of the enchantments on the cup it can still 'remember' previous names. True names have power as you all know. All the names that were expelled must have had no relative currently in the great hall."
"But there were dozens if not hundreds of those pieces of parchments!" Victor Krum protested. His English was accented but understandable enough.
"I'm afraid that the wars from the last few decades and even centuries wiped out dozens of families in England alone and hundreds of families in Europe. When America was colonized centuries ago, hundreds of wizards and witches went there to look for glory. The result is what you see now. Every country had a school once. It wasn't a big one and they mostly had rich witches and wizard's most of the time since muggleborns witches and wizards could not be discovered very easily until the early 1800's." Dumbledore lectured. Seeing that even the teachers were interested, Dumbledore continued.
"Because of the last few wars and especially the last two muggle world wars hundreds of wizards and witches were lost along with thousands of books and who knows how much information passed down verbally?" Dumbledore shook his head.
"I don't know why 'only' six were chosen. I think we are lucky it were only six. We could've had hundreds of champions. Possibly with very uneven numbers too boot. I must say that I have to agree with miss Delacour. I do not wish a witch like Gabrielle to perish in a task she has no chance in. It would be like making a rabbit and a starved lion fight against each other and expecting the bunny to win. It just isn't happening."
"So what's going to happen then?" Harry asked curiously.
"I wish to team up with mister Potter and miss Delacour against the older champions." Poliakoff declared. "Mister Potter is a fourth year. I am a third year while miss Delacour is a first year. If the three of us are allowed to work together against the tasks for the other three champions I think we could survive."
Gabrielle had been listening quietly, her anger growing with everything the adults said and implied about her.
"Excuse me." She said quietly. She watched as the adults paused and looked at her with that look. Like she was an idiot or something.
"I've been studying and practising magic for months even before I got to join Beauxbatons." The girl said quietly. "So please." She said.
"Don't you -FRENCH TRANSLATION UNKNOWN- me!" The little girl said angrily.
"Gabrielle!" Fleur shrieked. The older girl flicked her wands which caused the little girl's mouth to be washed with soap.
"If I hear you utter such... words again I shall spank you publicly do we understand each other?" Fleur demanded.
"Hey now!" Harry protested before Gabrielle could say anything
"Sister or not, you shouldn't hurt anyone like that!"
Fleur who's temper had been itching to boil over nearly did. Instead she decided to make a fool out of him by focussing her allure on him alone. "That should make him act silly enough." Much to her surprise though nothing happened. Harry, not knowing what sort of mess he was working himself decided to ignore the girl for now.
"Moving on-" Dumbledore said smoothly. "I think that what the younger mister Krum said is an excellent idea. Should we reschedule the first task to give the younger miss Delacour a chance?"
"Excuse me?" Gabrielle exclaimed. "Have you forgotten what I just said? I'm not helpless you know!" She wanted to say more but Fleur had silenced her with a flick of her wand. "Hush Gabrielle. The adults are talking. Just listen. It's bad enough you are still awake, it's way past your bedtime already."
Harry winced. That was not a good thing to say. He wondered just how stupid that girl could be. Putting his hand on the younger girl's shoulder he said in quiet broken French.
"Be calm. No get angry. Back pay later her." Harry told her. The girl opened her mouth to answer then remembered she couldn't say anything. She pointed at her throat.
"Al right." Harry muttered. "But don't you cause a scene. Older girls are scary you know." He told her in English. He undid the silencing charm with a flick of his own wand.
"You shouldn't talk French any more mister Potter." The girl snickered quietly. "Hey!" Harry protested. "At least we tried right?"
The ministry officials and the staff were in a deep conversation, the champions forgotten.
"Why don't we go to our dorms before we fall asleep where we stand?" Harry offered.
"Good idea, only I don't know where I'm supposed to sleep." Gabrielle admitted.
"I'm sure the house elves will add an extra bed in the girls dorms of our first years." Harry told her. "Fine." Gabrielle agreed.
"The same is true for you err miss Delacour." Harry added, after turning around. "The seventh years dorm have still plenty of room I think. It will serve them adults right for ignoring us like this." Fleur didn't react though and just stared at him unable to move a muscle.
Harry was starting to get nervous. "Or you can stay here too." The boy muttered. That stare gave him the creeps.
This seemed to snap the older Veela girl out of it. "I'm sorry, I got really distracted for some reason." The girl said quickly. "Why did you undo my silencing charm though?" The girl asked after a moment.
"Because you treated your sister like a retarded b- err girl." Harry corrected himself quickly enough. That soap washing spell thing looked nasty!
Harry shook his head. "Anyway, don't worry about it." Harry said quickly. "Do you two know where to sleep?" Harry asked after turning to the two Durmstrang boys.
"Yes." Victor agreed. "The ship that brought us here is used as our dorms. "I can transfigure a bed for Poliakoff in our dorms for the night."
"Al right then." Harry nodded. "Say, could I ask you a question? The both of you actually." Harry clarified as he pointed at Fleur, Victor and Poliakoff.
"Sure." All three agreed. "How is it that all three of you speak English so well when I've been studying really hard privately to speak French and German since the beginning of last summer?"
"I've been taught to speak English since I could speak French decently." Fleur answered. "My father is an important French ministry official and on top of that we own a company that exports to England and other English speaking countries so I had to at least understand it from an early age. Gabrielle joined me from an early age as well."
"I've been learning English since I got on the Quidditch team. I've been told that a celebrity that doesn't even try to speak the local language of another country when appropriate is considered rude, arrogant or even ruder names." Victor answered for himself.
"I have a talent for languages." Poliakoff said simply.
'Oh.' Harry muttered. "Thank you for telling me." Harry had been leading them to the great hall where the two Durmstrang students left them. Then Harry led the two girls to Gryffindor tower.
"Thank god that I know the password already. I hope that everybody is sleeping. If not, things can get nasty."
Harry gave a short tour as they were walking towards the common rooms. Not a detailed tour mind you. It was dark and late and all of them were exhausted and tired.
If the situation had been any different Fleur would have never have trusted the boy to do this. Few males were resistant to the allure. Males that were immune to it were next to impossible to find. It didn't mean that the boy was to be her destined mate or some such rubbish. He would most likely find himself having more then a few one night stands.
Common room – Gryffindor tower
Thankfully, the Gryffindor common room was empty when the three of them entered. Not knowing what to do, Harry decided to ask an house elf for help.
"Service please." Harry announced. A elf popped in immediately. "Could you add a bed for these girls in first and the seventh year dorms? It's only for a single night until they are told where they are supposed to sleep."
The elf nodded shortly. "Very well Master Potter sir. The beds will be there by the time the young misses go upstairs." The elf popped away.
"I'm afraid you'll have to transfigure your clothing for the night." Harry told them apologetically. "Unless you carry fresh clothing with you..."
Both girls went upstairs alone since Harry couldn't follow. He went to bed himself as well. It had been an incredible tiring night. He wondered when the teachers would finally notice they were gone.
Ante-Chamber Great hall
The teachers who had been in a deep conversation about complicated technical magical terms finally turned to where the champions were waiting only to see an empty spot.
"What just happened?" Dumbledore wondered. "I have no idea but I suppose they got too impatient and left." Igor Karkaroff the Headmaster of Durmstrang offered. He didn't need to keep up the pointless rivalry when they were alone right?
"I think they got the right idea." Olympe Maxime told the two males and what was left of the ministry officials.
That said all adults left to get some sleep as well.
"I have sensed another symbiote." Puck informed Harry. "That one failed to keep his sanity though."
'SAY WHAT?' Harry demanded.
I'm sure none of you could have guessed it but I really loath Snape. He is one character that is unredeemable in my eyes. Which make his actions very odd. Don't worry though, I don't bash without need. I haven't decided though if Snape lives, dies, gets punishes or something in between.
Any character can be written like a prick and any character can redeem himself or herself as well.
I don't know how I managed it, here you go! Roughly eleven thousand words!