If I owned this, I wouldn't write it for free.
From 5 pm on the 25th October to 11.59 pm on the 27th October, Sephiroth Potter and the Goblet of Fire received the following: 1446 views combined on AO3 and FFN, 19 reviews, 2 C2s, 43 favorites, 52 followers (story), 12 followers (author), 1 Kudos, 1 Bookmark. At noon today (28th October), views had reached a total of 1786. In addition, another favorite and follower for the story popped up. I am in awe, especially as more keep coming in.
Again, thank you all.
Harry James Potter was less than pleased. He had been entered into the Tri-Wizard tournament. He had out flown a dragon, rescued the fair maiden from the lake (Okay, it was Ron. Still...), and emerged victorious from the maze. He had regained the memories of his past life and defeated Voldemort for what he was sure was only the latest of many times.
But, the Headmaster insisted that he return to his Aunt's abode. There was no commentary on how or why he had the authority to insist that he do so. He simply commanded and all those around him obeyed. If Harry didn't know better, he'd say the man had all of his friends under the Imperius Curse.
Well, at least he was fairly certain the old coot didn't...
Now, he was sitting in the park. It wasn't exactly a pretty place, though the sun was shining. It was, at best, a rectangle full of dirt and weeds with the occasional swing set and bench. He wasn't outside the house to enjoy it, however. He was out here to avoid dealing with the Dursleys. He snorted. His grand goal for the summer: avoidance.
Part of him did marvel over the number of weeds around him. There wasn't much, but it was still more than Sephiroth had ever seen in Midgar. In that foul city – if there was a patch of land with no concrete or metal covering it – there was only dirt to be found. Flowers, grass and weeds alike all avoided the place.
Speaking of avoidance. Dudley Dursley and friends were approaching from the south. He was getting sick and tired of dealing with the lot of them. Harry Hunting when he was a young child was bad enough but, these days, they taunted him with things that they had no frame of reference to understand. If it wasn't his hair, it was his eyes or his newly graceful movements. They were absolutely certain that he was trying to be a girl. He was absolutely certain that he would kill them all if he didn't leave soon.
The arguments for a grisly murder or three were quickly outpacing the arguments against.
He sat on his swing and listened to their taunts. At least they could only tease him about surface qualities. He'd discovered that he now spoke his first life's native language when sleeping. Or, rather, he'd had it angrily pointed out that he was 'talking gibberish' by his abruptly woken and furious uncle a few nights after he arrived.
As he sat there pondering the necessity for keeping the unrelated whale that his aunt married alive, he failed to notice the park growing colder and the sky darkening. It was brought to his attention when Dudley suddenly broke off and demanded to know what he was doing to cause it. He glanced around and cocked his head curiously. That felt like... a dementor? Or, maybe, more than one?
Harry, determined to deal with the problem quickly and quietly, just rolled his eyes. "Shut up and go home. Unless you want to deal with the latest attempt to kill me."
"Every other weird thing in my life has been a roundabout method of trying to murder me." He snarked at the boy. "Why should this be any different?"
"Yes. Kill me." Dudley's friends had run off. A fact that they both noticed at the same time. Harry frowned. "Come on. We need to get inside."
They ran. Dudley was nowhere near as fast as Harry, but Harry slowed down a bit to keep the boy near. He may mentally contemplate the idea of killing his last remaining relatives, but he wasn't going to let anything else do the job for him. He'd earned the right to do it himself through eleven hard years of slavery and sleeping in a cupboard.
They were going under a bridge when he realized that there was a dementor at the other end of the passage. He turned to lead Dudley back out and down another path, but a second dementor had boxed them in. He assessed the situation quickly. "Stay close."
Dudley was either gaining a sensible streak or scared out of his mind. Considering the sharp stench of fresh urine, Harry was willing to be it was the latter. Still, the boy didn't argue when Harry backed him towards one concrete support wall and positioned himself in front of him. Dudley wasn't even gibbering or trying to blame Harry for it, now.
That alone worried him, but he would have to think about treating his cousin's shock later. He couldn't use his wand on these things. It was illegal. Logically, there should be a self-defense clause. However, this was the government and bureaucracy was seldom logical.
Adrenaline raced through his veins, forced through by his pounding heart. Part of him was afraid. Part of him, however, was exhilarated. He'd been spoiling for a good fight.
He lifted his left arm and fire flew towards the dementor on that side. The Firaga was nowhere near as overpowered as the one he'd thrown in the maze less than a month before. It was still enough to take down the attacker with a single hit. He brought his hand back down and curled it around empty air. A moment later, Masamune materialized in his fist.
His Firaga had set the stones alight on that side of the passage, so the dementors – the three of them remaining – approached from his right. He felt the memories of the past threaten to overwhelm him, but he pushed them aside with the discipline that he'd used to overwhelm and dominate Jenova after his first death in the reactor. He would submit to no one.
He moved forward quickly, enacting a trick he'd learned from Genesis. Fire wrapped the blade of his sword and his hand flicked faster than the eye could see. The first dementor fell to the ground, split neatly in twain and smoking. The other two withdrew slightly in surprised fear.
He let the smirk play across his lips. "Let's play."
It took four slices of his blade to drop the remaining dementors, mostly because they dodged far better now that they weren't expecting him to be incapacitated. He looked down on their corpses and surveyed the area one last time. There were no more coming, apparently. He let go of the katana and it vanished.
He returned to Dudley. The pig had slid down the wall when his legs gave out beneath him. The increasing stench indicated that his cousin had added fecal matter to his already urine soaked trousers. Dudley's tear filled eyes stared up at him. "W-what.. What was t-that?"
Harry sighed, letting his battle ready state fade. "Dementors, Dud. Nasty things. I don't know why someone hasn't wiped them all out." He hauled him to his feet. "Can you walk?"
A gesture had the fire dying down to nothing. He turned to take Dudley home, only to see Mrs. Figg standing there. "Don't put your wand away, Harry. There might be more."
He raised an eyebrow. Huh. She knew about magic. One of Dumbledore's people? It would make sense to have observers nearby, though he'd never have pegged her for a Turk. "That would be more of a concern if I had used my wand to dispatch them. If you'll excuse me, we must be getting back to the house."
He left her standing there, gaping, as he pulled Dudley along.
Arriving back at the Dursley's was a hassle in and of itself. The so-called adult portion of the family was trying to pin the blame for Dudley's state on him. He wasn't going to have it, but he knew that raising his voice would get him nothing except a sore throat. A flick of his wrist and a Stop spell held them silent and immobile. "I did not cause Dudley's condition. Had I not been with him tonight, you would have a son missing a soul. As for taking him to the hospital, it is not necessary. All he needs is a bath and some chocolate."
He turned to take Dudley upstairs, but paused to look back. "The spell should wear off in a few minutes. I suggest that you don't attempt anything. This is me being nice."
He had just managed to feed his cousin some chocolate and persuade him to bathe alone when he noticed the first of many owls at the window. A quick glance at the contents of the letter it carried was enough to make him chuckle. He didn't use his wand or any form of magic that they were familiar with, and the only people who saw were in the know. Not that he'd fight them on it. If they took his wand, they'd discover just what he could do without one.
A few minutes later, he had collected a stack of parchment from the Ministry, Dumbledore and others. He rolled his eyes at Dumbledore's loopy writing. Don't go anywhere? Like he was safe here? The events of the evening did seem to have proven otherwise.
Still, if he could survive Shin-Ra's Science Department, he could survive here for a little longer.
He checked on Dudley one last time, who seemed much better for the chocolate, and retired to his room. He secured the door, propping the rickety desk chair under the handle. It wouldn't do much to deter a wizard or an angry Vernon, but it would at least give him enough warning to be armed and ready. He settled – above the worn blanket as he'd discovered that he overheated much more easily these days – on the creaky bed and let his eyes drift shut.
It felt like seconds later that he opened his eyes. His senses, however, indicated that it was much later than that. The house and the houses around them were quiet. His enhanced hearing picked up few noises other than the meanderings of nighttime creatures. The window was open, though it had been closed when he dozed off. There was a breeze, warm and slightly damp, drifting across him. His nose... caught the scent of smoke and apples?
He turned his head. Sitting cross-legged on the desk, as the chair was unavailable, was a figure in a red coat. Medium-length ginger hair framed a delicate face. A red-bladed, basket hilted claymore rested on the man's knees. In his hand was an half-eaten apple. A Golden Delicious, if Harry wasn't mistaken. The man took another bite, humming in pleasure.
Juice-moistened lips tugged up in a smirk. "Sephiroth."
He nearly groaned, recognizing the playful side of his oldest friend. Then, he realized that Genesis – Genesis – was alive, healthy and sitting in his room. Genesis Rhapsodos, drama queen and swordsman, was sitting on his desk. He was alive to be mischievous. He was breathing. Gaia and Chaos, he was even happy to hear him chew!
Sephiroth had never been one for physical displays of affection. That was probably because touch was a bad thing to anyone raised as an experiment. Harry, on the other hand, had been starved of almost any touch – good or bad – until he'd met the Weasley family. One summer with Molly was enough to cure anyone of that aversion. She handed out hugs like stock brokers passed out cards.
"Oof!" Genesis' arms flailed a bit as Harry latched onto him. He barely managed to keep his apple and Rapier – his sword – from falling to the floor. Thin but steel-strong bands tightened around the red-headed SOLDIER. His face was buried in soft, silver hair and the scent of ice and leather overwhelmed his sense of smell.
Harry was shocked and more than a little embarrassed. On one hand, he'd desperately wanted to hug the man. On the other, this was something that the two of them had never – ever – done. He'd never seen Angeal and Genesis come in contact beyond the occasional pat on the back and they'd known each other far longer than he'd known them.
Nurse each other through Mako poisoning after injections? Sure. Have banter-laced arguments while showering in the SOLDIER barracks after a particularly strenuous workout? Of course, if they couldn't argue then there was something wrong. But hug? If they'd made a list of embarrassing actions, that would probably have been at the top of it. It didn't help that he had no idea how to extricate himself now that he was there.
He dropped his arms and backed away like he was burned, searching for something to say. He wanted to scream, to cry, to fall to his knees and thank all the Greater and Lesser deities that Genesis was here. He did none of these things. "That apple is not a Banora White."
Genesis, still wide-eyed, recovered enough to snort. "There are no more Banora Whites."
"You must have been heartbroken." He settled back on his bed and shot the man a teasing grin. "I still don't know what you saw in them."
"I'll have you know, O Great General Sephiroth, that they were the finest example of apple that ever existed." Even Genesis couldn't hold the offended look for long. They both broke out in quiet laughter.
Harry got himself under control and smiled. "It's Harry, now. Harry Potter."
Genesis paused in thought for a moment, then shook his head. His vivid blue eyes had a teasing glint to them. "No. I cannot bring myself to call you by something so plebeian. Though, I do like the new accent. It adds an element of class that you were always missing."
Harry sighed. "You are impossible. You do know that, Gen?"
One red eyebrow raised at the new nickname, but he let it slide. "If that were the case, then I would not exist. As it is, the evidence is right in front of you."
He groaned. "How did you get out of the Lifestream, anyway?..." His eyebrows drew together. "Come to think of it, I don't remember ever seeing you there."
Genesis shrugged. "I wasn't. I... Well, it was an odd sort of stasis. I broke out of it briefly, for a time, but re-entered it when I discovered that I wasn't needed. I've only been awake for a few months now – just after midwinter, I believe."
"How did you find me?"
Genesis smiled. "During the stasis, the majority of the JENOVA cells were purged from my body. I still retain the powers I gained from them, however. That includes the ability to sense anyone with Her cells in them. I was curious to see if I was the only one, so I looked for the strongest concentration of them that I could find and came to investigate."
Harry frowned. "Are there any others?"
"It's hard to explain. I imagine that you're sensing it, too." He cocked his head. "There are... patches that are coming together and then separating. It's like someone – or several someones – are trying to return."
Harry nodded. "Good to know I'm not the only one feeling it. There are fluctuations in the Lifestream that support that, too. I wonder who's coming..."
A creak sounded through the house and both froze. Harry would know that noise anywhere. Their conversation had woken Uncle Vernon. His sleep-roughened shout echoed down the hallway. "BOY!"
He winced and looked at Genesis. "You should go. It's going to take forever to calm him down."
The Crimson Commander shook his head doubtfully. "Are you sure you don't want me to stay and handle him?"
Harry snorted. "No thanks. I don't need whatever stupidity he'll come up with in regards to a strange man in my room at this time of night. Though, if you were here to murder me, he might just be willing to help. We'll talk later. Meet me tomorrow in the park down the street."
Genesis nodded and fled through the open window. Harry took a deep breath, let it out and went to deal with his Uncle.
In a darkened forest, Voldemort tossed the last of the required ingredients in a giant cauldron. It was an odd recipe, old and quite likely to leave him with a hideous appearance. Still, it would increase his power by at least a factor of ten, even if it didn't counter the blood protection Evans had left on her son. Judging by the last encounter with the Potter boy, he would need the boost in casting strength.
He lifted the deteriorating hand of the possessed muggle to turn the page in the potions book. He reviewed it carefully - Nundu Saliva for disease immunities, Dementor bone for the fear effect, Dragon Scale for spell resistance and power, Fertile Earth because he wanted to have at least the possibility of an heir, and the Blood from his remaining followers to bind their families, make him heir to their lines and provide a human body. All the ingredients were properly prepared and added. The potion was the correct color and consistency. He was ready.
He stepped back and sucked the remaining life force from the body he was in. It collapsed to the ground and he floated up from it, only to dive into the blood-colored potion. He shrieked as it burned through him, feeling as if his very soul were caught in the fires of hell. A few moments and an eternity later, he rose from the cauldron.
He stepped out and onto the hard-packed earth, naked and sparing not even a glance for the corpse just a few feet away. He felt energized, alive in a way that he'd forgotten was possible. A wave of his hand had a mirror conjured to his left. His lips curved at the idea of never again needing a wand.
He investigated himself. Human in shape, he showed evidence of far more muscle than he'd had in his first life. His skin was fish-belly gray. His eyes were now an almond or feline shape, though they were still his distinctive blood-red. Delicate eyebrows arched gracefully above them, adding the finishing touch to his now fine-boned face.
He had raven hair on his head and in the appropriate locations on his body. Where he didn't have hair, there was a scale pattern on his skin. Closer examination revealed this to be pigmentation, not actual scales. Small, delicate-seeming claws graced his hands and feet. His gaze was drawn to his upper thighs and he chuckled at the size enhancement to a certain part of his anatomy that he had previously found... lacking. Feeling something sharp, he drew his upper lip back to reveal his lengthened incisors and canines.
A nearby squirrel caught his attention and he stiffened. His eyes glowed slightly and he opened his mouth. He sucked something in and the squirrel dropped to the ground, even as more power flooded his system. He blinked down at the dead creature for a few moments before smiling wickedly. Well, this is interesting... I wonder what else I can do...
As I said at the end of SPGOF, this is going to have slower updates. I'm only halfway through typing the second chapter, and I want to make it perfect for you. So, please, be patient with me. This is going to be quite a bit longer, so I'm going to aim for weekly updates this time.
And, really, Harry gets a power up and no one suspected that I would give one to Voldie? A Hero needs a Villain that tests his limits, after all...