Summary: When Liam Carpenter began his fourth year at Hogwarts, he didn't expect to be participating in a legendary tournament, not least one that would be modified to be even more dangerous. He certainly didn't expect people to find out that he was Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. And he did expect that he would walk the path to greatness alone, however much it hurt, but he did not factor in a little sister who's determined to knock some sense into him, and who is too hyperactive for her own good...
When Albus Dumbledore took up the Elder Wand so many years ago, he thought that he'd finally be able to change the world, for the better. Yet, nearly fifty years after he defeated Grindelwald, he found himself at the helm of a country which never managed to recover from a War, a country riddled with prejudice and corruption. But the Wand tells him different, never mind that he knows that it's eating away at his psyche...
Darkness looms over the horizon as the prelude to the Second Wizarding War begins, a tale filled with betrayal, lies, drama, anger and pain. Will Harry, in his misguided belief that he is truly alone, fall to the same darkness that had taken the Dark Lord so many years ago, or will Dumbledore fall prey to the seduction of the Deathstick first, despite his best attempts at resistance?
Magic, Rituals, Secrets, Weapons, Discoveries, Creatures, and worst of all...the prospect of a date to the Yule Ball. Welcome to the world of Harry Potter.
October 31st, 1994
"So, who do you think it'll be?" asked Ron Weasley, as he and his two best friends, Hermione Granger and Neville Longbottom, made his way up the grounds to the Great Hall where the Choosing of the Champions would occur.
"Well, I hope it's Angelina," said Hermione, "I'd at least like for a Gryffindor to have a chance."
"Oh come off it, Hermione!" scoffed Ron, "as long as Viktor Krum is participating, nobody else stands a chance!"
"Just because he's a brilliant athlete doesn't mean that he has a chance to win this tournament, Ronald! It doesn't even mean he'll get chosen!"
Neville rolled his eyes as the two of them began arguing, as was their norm. Sighing, he withdrew into himself, wishing his two best friends would finally realise the truth and snog each others' brains out...
Spying a lone figure sitting outside on the bench in the Entrance Courtyard, he squinted to make out who it was.
He hestitated as he recognized the black hair and distinctive green eyes, even from a distance. Maybe he should leave her alone, especially today.
His thoughts took on a different track altogether, as he thought of the significance of Halloween for the British Wizarding Community, ever since the end of the Wizarding War. Young Harry Potter had somehow stopped the darkest wizard in several millennia, and freed Britain from one of the worst reign of terrors it had suffered through. Neville shuddered as he thought back to the stories he'd heard, when his father would sometimes get lost in thought and think back to those days.
In fact, he was certain his father would be targeted if Lily and James Potter hadn't survived that night somehow, and hastened to warn them about impending Death Eater attacks. Even now he sometimes feared that his parents, both Aurors, would find themselves on the wrong end of the wands of one of their enemies from the war, perhaps Bellatrix Lestrange or her family...
No, he shook his head, it wasn't proper to have such thoughts.
"Hey, Neville," he heard her say, and he realised, that lost in his own thoughts, he'd somehow meandered over to her. As always, he felt the familiar twinge in her stomach as he beheld her pretty face and those intense green eyes.
"Hello, Amy," he said, "not going to the Feast?"
"I will, in a moment," she replied gloomily. "Mum and Dad are here as well, and you know what they're like today..."
He gave a nod, that was all he could really do. One of the greatest mysteries besides Harry Potter's defeat of the Dark Lord, was where Harry Potter was now.
On his eleventh birthday, the Wizarding world had waited with baited breath to be re-acquainted with their saviour. He had been kept largely out of the public eye by his parents, and both him and his little sister, Amaryllis Potter, had grown up sheltered and sequestered. But on the 31st of July, 1991, the Potters had come up with terrible news...Harry Potter had vanished.
Searches had been conducted all over the country, investigations launched, but to no avail. Their Saviour was gone, vanished. There were rumours, of course, that he'd been sent to live with the Potters' Muggle relatives, from where he'd vanished, but there was no evidence to point to that. The entire circumstances surrounding his disappearance were shady.
Only Neville's family, and a select others, knew the true story behind his disappearance. Harry Potter had been sent to live with Lily's sister and her family, the Dursleys, for his own protection. Only he had never returned, never been seen again. Petunia had firmly maintained that Harry, who was a no-good child anyway, had run away of his own will even after the kindness she and her husband had shown him.
And so Harry Potter was lost to the world forever, and every Halloween, the Wizarding World would raise their glasses and toast the Boy-Who-Lived, who later became the Boy-Who-Vanished.
There had of course been rumours of sightings, and the Potters had pounced upon them, but they were all false trails. Harry Potter was gone for good.
He couldn't blame Amy for being gloomy, she would never get to know her brother, as she should. Being an only child himself, Neville could sympathise with her loneliness. Looking forward to finally getting to know the one person you could share all your secrets and joy and sadness with, and then knowing that he had vanished forever – he couldn't imagine it to be too nice a feeling.
So lost was he in his thoughts once more, that he barely noticed as Amy, lost in her own thoughts, fell into step beside him, as they went into the Great Hall together, and took their seats at the Gryffindor table together.
Looking around, he saw his own father and mother, who smiled gently at him. The Hall had been expanded magically, somehow, he reasoned, so that the family and guardians of students could sit at the extra couple of tables set for them – Dumbledore's work, no doubt. Next to them, his Godparents, the Potters, weren't looking to well, their eyes red and puffy. The same went for Sirius Black, who had been Harry's godfather, and just about resembled a kicked puppy. Remus Lupin, their other friend, wasn't in attendance.
The adults definitely looked worse for the wear. Ever since Peter Pettigrew's escape from Azkaban, all Aurors had started a massive manhunt to locate the infamous traitor who had sold the Potter's out to the Dark Lord.
He shifted slightly, as Ginny Weasley made her way up to them and took a seat next to her best friend, Amy. The girl had been involved in the Chamber of Secrets scandal his second year, and Amy and she had become best friends following that. Of course, she was extremely tight lipped about the entire incident, claiming her memory failed in certain parts of the story. From what he could glean, though, it wasn't a very nice experience, and Ron would still go white and break whatever he was holding if it was ever brought up.
He suddenly caught snatches of their conversation, his ears perking up.
"It's been three years since he's vanished," Amy was saying. "Mum and Dad managed to get a one-month extension on the search, but that's all the Minister allowed. He's going to be declared officially dead tomorrow."
For a second, he was struck by how dispassionate she sounded, even as he tried to pretend he wasn't eavesdropping, but then he realised that that was simply the way she was, a fiercely private person. They'd been friends as long as he could remember, and she had always been this way. Besides, she'd never really met her own brother, and all she could do was form an image of him from the stories she'd heard and read (most of which were highly exaggerated).
"He's going to be declared officially dead tomorrow night, Nev," he jerked as he heard her speak. "And yes, I know you're listening –"
"W-what?" he stuttered.
"Oh come on," she said, "we've been friends, what, 11 years now? You think I'd know better by now?"
Behind her, Ginny rolled her eyes. For all their friendship, Amy was as blind as a bat, absolutely oblivious of Neville's feelings for her. On the other hand, he did manage to hide them better than her idiot brother.
"Let's just enjoy the feast and the ceremony, shall we?" he suggested innocently, making a weak attempt to change the subject.
"I suppose," said Amy. "I do hope Cedric Diggory gets selected, he's positively scrummy..."
As the food appeared before them, made more exotic thanks to the large number of foreigners present, Neville stabbed his fork into his food a bit more forcefully than necessary.
Making his way through a hearty dinner, he couldn't help but feel for the Potters. Tomorrow, they'd have to face the harsh truth that their eldest son and heir was dead, once and for all.
Unless the boy-who-vanished somehow turns up from nowhere within the next 24 hours...he snorted, that'd be the day.
At that precise moment, the doors to the Great Hall were opened, and he looked up to see Liam Carpenter stumble into the hall, his hair all over the place as usual, glasses askew. Sniggering spread all over the Hall as he made his way over to his house table, his fingertips smattered with ink, and a generous portion of it on his nose.
Up on the Head Table, Professor Snape did not look to happy with his House student.
Liam, to put it simply, was the outcast of the school. A self-proclaimed Muggleborn in Slytherin (the first in several years), he was vindicated and tortured by his own housemates, and shunned by the rest of the school thanks to his house colours. He could always be seen in the library, studying all by himself, but his grades were extremely average, exactly at the middle of the class. There was nothing special about him, yet as time went past, people began to bother him less and less, and just leave him alone.
Even so, there was something strange about the boy. He seemed to welcome his solitude, keeping quiet and answering only when called upon in class, and even then, his answers would be concise, to the point, and more often than not, matching word to word from the textbook, with no input of his own. It was as if he was almost trying to fit in, trying his best to be completely average. Yet at the same time, he seemed to be almost uncomfortable in his own skin.
He snorted a bit into his food – listen to him, sounding so paranoid. He might just make an Auror yet, like his parents, even though his heart really lay elsewhere...
Liam took his usual spot at the Slytherin Table, away from his housemates, muttering a quick 'Tergeo' to siphon the ink off. He dived for the pudding, his head still throbbing from the dream he'd just experienced, and couldn't make any sense of. Who among all the people in the Great Hall could be Voldemort's (and how on Earth was he still alive?) spy, and why would Voldemort even need a spy in Hogwarts? And most importantly, he had a sinking feeling just who Voldemort wanted to trap in his plans.
Sadly, the food vanished just as he got his hands on it, leaving the Snakes around him snorting. Ignoring the laughter, and the pangs of his stomach, he turned around to face Dumbledore, who was getting to his feet as well.
He could feel his anticipation rising, however, as Filch carried the casket into the halls, knowing that he was in for an exciting night and an exciting year. He'd get to see some amazing magic this year...
Even so, he was still thinking hard.
It's someone close to Dumbledore, someone he'd trust. Someone with access to a disguise all the time.
His stomach seemed to drop out as his eyes fell on Mad-Eye Moody, who took out his hip flask and took a drink, shuddering horribly as he did so.
Holy shit. Polyjuice Potion.
He felt rooted to his seat, knowing that one of Voldemort's servants was in the room this very moment, and he could do nothing about it. Was it Peter Pettigrew, he wondered. But no, Peter had been in the room with Voldemort, and unless there was some magic that enabled Peter to split himself into several pieces, it couldn't be him here.
He'd have to talk to Dumbledore as soon as possible, but right then, all he could do was sit and watch. If he was correct, things would go pear shaped very, very fast for one Harry Potter.
Harry Potter, who'd been abused and neglected by his Muggle relatives. Who'd found out that he'd been deserted by his parents. Who'd run away from home at the age of eight. Who'd been practising magic ever since he'd come across a group of Goblin Miners near Devon, even though it was not of the Wizard type. Who held the distinction of being the first goblin-friend in 500 years, the only person after Nicholas Flamel. Who was sitting in the Hall at that very moment, unseen by his own traitorous family (who would abandon their own child?), courtesy a disguise set up by Ragnok himself.
He watched as the flames in the Goblet turned red, and in quick succession, spat out the names of Viktor Krum and Fleur Delacour as the Champions for the visiting schools.
He watched as the flames reddened again, before throwing out another scrap of paper.
"The Champion for Hogwarts is..." Liam's stomach tightened, "Cedric Diggory!"
He gave a sigh of relief as he clapped along with the others. Maybe, for once, things were turning out his way. His mind was already on the stash of chocolate frogs he had under his bed, that would help soothe his aching stomach.
"Excellent!" cried Dumbledore happily. "I am sure I can –"
But Dumbledore had stopped speaking suddenly, and it was clear to the entire Hall why he had done so. Liam's stomach seemed to drop out in fear.
All eyes were on the Goblet, which had somehow turned red again, and was spitting out sparks. A long flame shot out, borne on it, a piece of parchment, and Dumbledore caught it deftly in his hand.
The silence was palpable as blank shock flitted across Dumbledore's face, an expression not many could boast of witnessing. It was a while before he spoke the name that was written on the paper.
"H – Harry Potter."
If anything, the silence seemed to intensify, solidifying like ice in winter, before it was broken by a strangled gasp from Lily Potter, who was on her feet, eyes wild.
And suddenly, there was uproar in the hall, people shouting, questioning. Neville felt his own head reeling, until –
"SILENCE!" yelled Dumbledore, and all at once, quiet descended in the room.
"Bartemius," he addressed Mr. Crouch, "what does this mean?"
"I am as stumped as you are, Albus," replied Crouch, "but one thing is certain, Harry Potter, wherever he is, if he put his name in, he must participate, else he will suffer terrible punishments –"
Nobody noticed Liam's eyebrows shoot up, as his face took on a resigned look.
" – That is, if he is still alive."
There was a choked sob, and Lily Potter was in a duelling stance, wand in hand. "How dare you?" she screamed. "What are you trying to say, my son-"
"Lily, calm down!" said Dumbledore, even as James Potter tried to calm his wife down, the shock still apparent on his face. Amaryllis Potter left her seat and joined her family, as shocked at this turn of events as anyone else in the room.
Liam couldn't help but sneer at the sight of the Potter family, seeming so perfect at that moment of shared grief...oh, he knew otherwise...
"Harry Potter," called out Dumbledore again to the room at large, as if he wasn't expecting a reply.
"What is the meaning of this, Dumbledore?" asked Karkaroff. "No offence to the charming Lady Potter, but Harry Potter is lost to the Wizarding World, has been for years now!" Next to him, Madam Maxime nodded her agreement, as the students watched the unfolding drama, whispering amongst themselves. The Champions, who had been standing on a podium in the hall, were just as confused as everyone else, not really understanding that they had a new competitor, in the light of this new revelation.
"Then he must be found, Igor," replied the Headmaster, looking every bit his age. "The Goblet wouldn't register the name of a dead person, so that must mean that he is alive, and somewhere out there..."
There was another gasp from the Potter family, as shock, and then hope filled their faces.
"Harry Potter," said Dumbledore again, "if you are amongst us, I would ask you to come up to the front now." Receiving no answer, even as the Hall silenced in anticipation, he turned back. "We must restart the searches-" he began.
The sound of feet hitting the floor seemed to echo through the entire Chamber. Shocked, the Headmaster turned around, and like all the inhabitants of the Great Hall, he was stunned to see the activity coming from the end of the Slytherin table, which was normally reserved for...
Liam Carpenter stood up, an expression of utmost resignation on his face. Pulling his wand out of his robes, he muttered something illegible, and the entire Hall watched, transfixed, as his countenance changed. Gasps rang out in the hall as they looked upon the face of their Hero once again.
His jaw became squarer, even as he filled out a bit, gaining a few inches in height as well. His round glasses, so similar to the one James Potter wore, seemed to sit perfectly on his face. Dark brown hair turned absolutely jet black, looking as messed up as an uncontrollable bedhead. Lastly, brown eyes changed to a stunning green, almost luminous in their intensity, shining brightly behind round frames. The bored look which Liam Carpenter could never really pull off, looked perfect on him, and would cause several girls to stay up late at night, gossiping about him.
"Well, I'm back," he said, half shrugging, out to the absolute silence in the Great Hall. The Muggleborns caught on to the Lord of the Rings reference, but were too shocked to comment, even the first years who'd heard of the Legend of Harry Potter.
A split second's silence, as everyone took in the slender young man before them, staring at them with piercing, hypnotic almond-shaped green eyes, and then there was uproar.
"Well, what do you know?" asked Amaryllis to no one in general. "My brother decided to turn up after all!"
Author's Note: Well, as the title suggests, this is obviously a Slytherinised, non-canon version of one of my favourite HP books, the Goblet of Fire. I'll be updating this when I feel like it, or when inspiration strikes, so no pressure there. Chapters, will of course, be smaller, since this is a casual venture, even though it may even turn out to be more popular than my other works (shameless plug: Go check them out).
Speaking of which...ah, erm...my laptop crashed, meaning all my work on The Legend of Harry Potter has been lost. Updates just got slower. Maybe erratic ones in this story will sate your thirst for Fanfiction for now. I apologise, and believe me, I took the news pretty hard myself.
And yes, Powerful Harry, as always, and I'm going to enjoy writing this. The three tasks will feature, but there will be more. Ciao for now, keep an eye out for this. And review.
Pairings undecided. I'm thinking Harry/Minerva/Umbridge/Pomfrey/Bathilda Bagshot/Auntie Muriel.
No, I'm just kidding. Did you all just throw up a bit in your mouths like me?
This'll mostly be Harry-centric, so nothing yet.