Disclaimer: All rights belong to J. K. Rowling.
Harry Potter: The Sleeper Awakens
Rex quondam rexque futurus.
Le Morte d'Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
The breeze drifted over the barren hilltop wafting motes of dust in the evening air. A tall man dressed in robes the colour of a winter marsh stood waiting. His hood was thrown back over his shoulders and he gazed out over the landscape. He was pale with a build more reminiscent of a grey hound than a human. His eyes were shadowed by his brow and long brown hair floated around his face as he stood in the wind. The one for whom he had been waiting arrived with no more sound than a snap of the fingers. She stepped from the empty air and he turned to look into the cowl of her hood which concealed her face. For a few moments the hooded figure stared back, before she turned away from the mild gaze. She flung back the hood, waves of hair the dull colour of a tannin filled river, spilling over her shoulders.
'Are we ready, Bridget?' He asked gently.
'Please don't call me that, Father, it's Bodhmall. The answer's almost. We need to obtain the child of the blood, but the hunt is drawing to a close. A Dumbledore or a Peverell should suffice,' she answered her voice lilting strangely with an accent made from a mixture of a dozen different tongues, though Irish was the most evident. The woman was tall, perhaps six foot two, and broad shouldered.
The man glanced up at her, raising an eyebrow in amusement, 'Awfully formal tonight aren't we? Are you practising for your coven? I keep telling you we do not need their help. Dumbledores are the elder line are they not?,' he mused.
He frowned pondering the information like a crossword clue, 'However, if what you tell me is true it would be near to impossible to capture one of them. You don't feel like trying to drink the barkeeper under the table do you? I thought not. I had thought though that the Peverells were dead? Didn't I hunt them into extinction? It is so very ...inconvenient to find out that one is wrong, though in this case I suppose it is a blessing,' he admitted grudgingly.
'I believe the youngest escaped you and your cousin, long enough to sire children,' replied Bridget a hint of amusement tingeing her voice. He waved his hand impatiently for her to continue. 'His descendants lost their name continuing only in the female line. The relic he stole from you protected at first him and then his children when he passed it on shortly before you discovered him. There may have been other survivors from the line of Cadmus Peverell, but they seem to have died out. The line we do know of is much reduced, only one of them left, a boy of fourteen.'
'Typical, if I didn't know better I'd swear that he set me up to lose the things in the first place. He always was too fond of humans. No offence meant,' he grumbled, fidgeting with suppressed energy.
'A boy of only fourteen? How detestably cowardly this will seem if word ever gets out. If I could not hear his commands still cry out from beneath the Hollow Hill I would wait. I have resisted them long enough as it is though. His lordship will not be pleased that I have delayed. Then again when was he ever pleased?' The man paused. His companion waited, head bowed, for instructions.
The wind was rising and began to sweep down clouds the colour of the sea across the sky. The man looked out, across from the hill where they stood over the purple heather of the moorland to a hollow where sat a massive, shinning, golden, stadium large enough to fit ten cathedrals. Around it men hurried like ants casting the last of the short lived spells they thought it needed, hurrying for the deadline.
He smiled grimly. 'I have a plan, Little One. Do we know where he lives? No. Very well then. There is not long left, now until they host their 'Quidditch World Cup',' he tasted the words like strange fruit before shuddering, shaking off the taste. 'I hate that sport. Never has there been greater evidence that adrenaline, danger and morons go hand in hand. Still luck has smiled upon us. We shall take the opportunity to strike and before long the gates will be open, the Hollow Hill shall sing and I will be free. Though it shall mean that these little witches and wizards will wish they had never been born. All wars carry costs.' He thought for a moment, 'the boy will be coming won't he? He isn't the only sane one of their entire nation or something.'
'Yes Father, I guessed that might be your plan. I've already checked the lists,' Bridget sighed, sometimes he let his ideas run ahead of his brain. 'Although I had assumed that that was why you'd called me here.'
He turned to her, 'What? No, that was just because I wanted to have a look at it. The sport might be terrible but it is quite pretty. Now Bridget …'
'Don't call me that.'
He continued, ignoring her, 'I have business elsewhere. An old friend of mine to meet and an alliance to gain for which I must cross over the sea to obtain her advice at the very least. I will send you instructions on the plan, improvise as you see fit. Nothing is foolproof and you may well see something I miss. I trust you to arrange for him to be taken when the time is ripe,' he paused, and looked at her a surprisingly tender look flashing over his features. 'Do not do it yourself, for I do not wish to lose you,' he said fixing her with his gaze, 'in the end we shall be victorious.'
'I shall not fail you,' she promised earnestly, privately deciding to ignore his instructions.
'Good, now go and have some fun,' he turned to leave, 'Oh, just one more thing, what is his name?'
'Harry Potter,' she answered. And then they were both gone and the wind blew unimpeded over the moor.
A tall pale man in robes the colour of a winter marsh appeared silently on a street in Dublin. It was early in the morning, the last of the stars were still fading from the sky. Above him a single lamppost flickered, as he stepped from the shadows of a doorway into the back of a long disused factory. He took a moment to catch his breath and settled himself against the wall of the building as wards flared up around the area
In the hallways of the Department for Magical Immigration in the Irish Ministry of Magic alarms rang shrilly in the as the appearance of a non-authorised, magical being by unidentified means was registered. Half a minute later a squad of a dozen highly trained law enforcement officials, known in Ireland as the Garda Draíochta, or Garda for short, apparated onto the street emerging in a series of loud cracks. Their arrival passed unnoticed by muggles as silencing wards sprung up around the area in time with the alarms.
Events of this nature were treated as high priority threats. Anyone who could break through Ireland's international wards, which even Dumbledore, supposedly the greatest living wizard in the world, was said to have had some difficulty getting through when he had tested them at the request of the Garda, was someone to be reckoned with. On the other hand, there hadn't been an alarm of this sort which was not later proved to be a mistake since the days of the last great wizarding war, which had ended in 1981. The secondary wards which prevented outgoing magical travel from the area where the initial report had come from were even tighter. The strength of the first set of wards concentrated into a smaller area still.
The chief of the unit of the Garda summoned to respond was a man named Eoghan Stiobhard, he had just finished the bitter mug of standard Ministry coffee as the alarms went off, 'Damn it! Morgan get everyone together. Ó Donnchadha,' he shouted round the corner to an adjoining office, 'I meant to call Izzy to tell her I'd be along soon, but the bloody alarm has just gone off in here. Could you call her and tell her I'll be along after I've dealt with whatever prat just triggered the wards?'
'Sure Eoghan, I'll be on it. Do you want me to ask her if she wants you to bring anything back for supper?' The sergeant replied as he carried on polishing his already shining boot, he had had nothing to do for the last two days since he had been called out to deal with a irate, eighty year old, wizard whose floo had turned his robes into a black leather corset, and little else.
'No, it'll wait till I get home.'
With a swirl and crack Eoghan was gone, dropping to his knees the instant he appeared on the cobbled street, green robes swirling around him. He glanced around, relaxing a fraction when he saw only a lean, tall, man leaning casually against the grimy, brick, wall of a building. No wand or staff was in his hands. Pointing his wand at his throat and whispering, 'Sonorus,' Eoghan spoke, his voice booming off the surrounding buildings, 'Sir, I demand that you raise your hands and do not lower them until you have been thoroughly searched.'
The man ignored the substance of the command, though lifting his face from shadow, he replied in a bored drawl, his crystal clear, English, accent raising Eoghan's eyebrows, 'I really haven't got time for this. What took you so long to get here? I've been waiting for simply ages.'
Eoghan was temporarily at a loss for words. After a pause he continued with an effort, 'Sir if you do not raise your hands now I shall have to order my officers to attack, we don't want anyone to get hurt tonight.'
'That would be all well and good, but I'm afraid I need to take a present to Bab, Mach and Ana and they really do hate it if you turn up empty handed. Terribly bad form, you know,' said the man apologetically, and then his hand flicked out with lightning speed. A jet of pale silver light flew from his outstretched palm and struck the chief of the Garda Draíochta between the eyes before he could even raise his wand to defend himself. Eoghan's body slumped to the ground, a hole, half an inch wide, bored straight through the centre of his forehead and out the other side. The other Garda paused for only a second before their training kicked in. There was a reason that no magical force had taken the Emerald Isle since before the days of the warrior wizard Fionn mac Cumhaill, and it wasn't that no-one had tried. The twelve wizards left spoke as one, power flowing from their wands into a glowing, green, shield which spread like ink in water from their wandtips.
A look of concern crossed the features of the man who had until now seemed at his ease, as he began to move towards the closest open section of the rapidly closing shield. The air temperature rose and sweat poured off the brows of the Garda as they chanted, unable to go faster without risking the possibility of a mistake in the wording which would undo all their work.
The man was running now, his form barely more than a dark blur.
The gap was closing the green shield shimmering, mere seconds from sealing shut as the man leapt.
'Contego!' Came the unanimous shout, or at least almost unanimous, one of the wizards was a second late and in that second the man stretched like a stream of water pushing through a gap. The magical shield which should have sealed him inside merely clipped him sending him flying with a clattering crash into a pile of dustbins and boxes which lay against the building across from him.
The Garda turned, one or two feeling the twinge of magical exhaustion. It had been too long since a serious problem had arisen, they were out of practice. The man rose awkwardly from the pile of crumpled rubbish, limping slightly as he stepped delicately between a killing curse and a dark purple streak of light which would have crushed the vital organs. He ducked under the body bind from the Garda in front of him and grabbed the soft flesh of the man's throat before tearing it out, spraying blood over the cobbles. Picking up the large, green robed man he hurled him into the path of half a dozen spells where the corpse exploded in a rain of gore. Pulling a jagged piece of metal from one of the bins out of his hip he hurled it towards another of his assailants. The Garda raised a shield but as the piece of iron struck there was a flash of white light and the shield shattered leaving the man to collapse into a heap as the spell hidden by the obvious physical attack sucked the magic out of him, leaving only an empty, dried husk. The iron shard itself sank with a sickly thud six inches into the chest of the man behind him.
The remaining eight wizards fanned out, warily. Firing alternately to maintain a constant stream of hexs, curses, jinxes and even harmless charms and simple coloured lights to prevent their enemy from attacking. A cutting curse clipped him and the man sank to his knees, blood dripping down his forehead as spell after spell smashed into a glittering cone of light, which he seemed to maintain only by force of will. His head was bowed and the Garda took a step forward sensing imminent victory, unaware of the slight smile playing over his face. A final volley struck the shield and it began to crumble. A piercing curse struck his thigh and the man, screamed, jolting backwards. His arm whipped forward, the fingers curling inwards as if in a reflex action and five pieces of metal, brick and stone smashed into the backs of all his opponents leaving only three. His other hand caught his fall and he spun, on it, barely avoiding a series of bludgeoning curses.
He rolled behind a dustbin and tried to stand, only for his leg to crumple under him. His finger's brushed the steel and for an instant it shone white. The three Garda fanned out further. The man came into sight of the Garda on the right hand, a swift circle and stab and a jet of azure light launched itself at him. He kicked the dustbin into the way with his good leg and catching the lid flung it at his assailant's face. The Garda tried to blast it aside only for the spell to rebound and smash into his chest, leaving him throwing up his entrails on the street floor. Simultaneously a curved yellow streak of power splashed into the wall behind him, melting three of the bricks and groaning the man tried to crawl away. A body-bind curse hit him in faint blue wave and he went ridged. The two Garda left sighed in relief, one going to try and save any of their companions they could while the other went to handcuff the attacker.
She was beside him when she realised that there should not have been a blue flash when the curse connected. An arm lunged upwards, smacking her in the solar plexus and she crumpled to the ground, coughing. A hand slammed a broken cobble down onto her windpipe, crushing it and she knew no more.
The last Garda spun around a second too late as her companion's wand impaled her right wrist, binding her to the wall behind her. Her wand dripped out of her nerveless hand. She shrieked in agony. She hung by her hand from the wall, hardly able to thing from the pain. Unable to apparate because of the still active wards.
'Still alive are you?' A cold, hard, voice asked as the stranger hobbled over to stand beside her. He winced from the deep, oozing wound on his calf, along with a number of other smaller wounds which speckled his body. The blood dripping from them was dark, almost black in the lamplight. She nodded desperate to distract him as she began inching her undamaged hand towards the emergency portkey hidden in the folds of her robe, it would activate the second after her flesh touched it.
'Who are you?' Her fingers could almost close on the small, silver, coin which would send her back to Garda Headquaters.
The man leaned against the wall, breathing painfully. 'I've used a great many names, Reynard, Loki, Sir Bertilak upon one occasion, Auberon, Lucifer some have called me, Jack Green, Old Harry, Eileifr, but you can call me Jonathan. Jonathan Holland, I think,' he winced as a smile flitted across his face, 'it gives a very earnest impression.'
Her fingers touched the coin, 'See you in Hell,' she spat expecting to be whisked away the following second. Nothing happened. She gripped the coin desperately still nothing happened.
'Oh I am sorry, you didn't actually think that would work did you? I put up my own wards against that type of thing when I arrived. I did say you were late.' His smile was thin and tight lipped as he drew a long handled silver blade and drove it into the underside of her jaw and up through her brain. He heaved himself upright, stretching slightly, his joints cracking. He limped among the bodies transfiguring them into twelve small, silver, coins before cutting a narrow gap through the wards and slipping away into the air of the night-time city.
It was another thirty minutes before the back up team arrived on the scene and another fifteen minutes before Sergeant Ó Donnchadha was able to call Eoghan Stiobhard's wife and tell her that it seemed unlikely from what evidence they could find that he would be coming home, and that as soon as the IM (Investigatory Mages) had managed to recreate what they could of the scene he would tell her the results. What he did not tell her was that already seem that one man had, by using little more than a few highly controlled summoning charms, his bare hands and a couple of unidentified spells killed twelve of the best magical law enforcement officers in the world.