Author's Note: Thanks for all the reviews! I apologize for the delay in posting this chapter. I have made Fiendfyre Barty Crouch Jr.'s specialty. Enjoy!
Sirius Black : Serena's husband, A Riddled Universe
Sirius Black : Harry's godfather, Original Universe
Barty Jr. hated two things – traitors and leaving a job incomplete. He would show Regulus what exactly happens to those who defect. He would then attend to the other brother, the dimension traveler, and finish what Dorcas had started. He saved the best for last, the Riddle family. Barty Jr. rubbed his hands in anticipation. He would hunt them down, each and every one of them. They messed with the wrong wizard!
Barty Crouch Jr. was a magical chameleon. He observed and adapted himself so that he would be able to morph into the person of his choice. Today was no different. After ensuring that Healer Lupin was going to be busy with an important operation for a long time, he decided that it was time to use the Polyjuice Potion to turn into Remus Lupin. While any other healer may have sufficed, the very name 'Lupin' opened many doors at St. Mungos. Remus was Riddle's favourite and was also his protégée. It was no secret that Riddle was setting Lupin up to succeed him. Therefore, in Riddle's absence, the staff and patients naturally deferred to the former werewolf.
He made a quick enquiry as to the rooms Regulus and Sirius occupied. Both of these rooms had Auror Protection around them, however, Regulus had his brother in his room. Barty Jr. was thirsty for revenge, but he preferred to extract it when the situation was more in his favour. He knew that Serena's husband Sirius Black was a decent duelist (though not as good as himself), but he didn't want to attack Regulus while Sirius stood guard. He would attack him when he was most vulnerable.
The other Sirius also had a visitor in his room, a young teenage boy according to the descriptions of some of the Healers. This sounded like the other dimension traveler who fell out of the Veil. Barty knew that the crossing through the Veil weakened the magical core of wizards. Sirius was greatly weakened when he arrived and he expected this boy to be no different. After all, he was a teenage boy probably still in Hogwarts. The worst injury he probably suffered was a paper cut while sleeping through Professor Binns' lecture.
It wasn't a difficult choice to make. While Barty Jr. was not a bloodthirsty monster, he realized that the boy would have to die. He was only collateral damage.
Barty caused a diversion to distract the Aurors. A couple of well-placed charms which made the floors and stairwell slippery seemed ridiculous but when placed in strategic areas were most affective. It was so childish that the Aurors investigating would assume that some child was playing a trick rather than a heinous mastermind was extracting his revenge.
When he landed on the floor which housed Sirius' room, he still saw an Auror standing guard outside it; the others had gone to investigate the commotion. At least one Auror was better than the original three which stood posted outside the room, thought Barty as he Confounded the Auror. He sent the man scurrying away and scanned his surroundings. He saw that there were no witnesses around.
Before entering the room, Barty ensured that his disguise of Lupin was still intact. He straightened his Healer robes and made sure that the room was soundproofed before entering. He didn't want anybody to be alerted to the screams which would shortly emit from the room. He smiled as he opened the door and entered the room. This would be a piece of cake!
Harry was glad when he saw that his godfather's breathing had evened out. His previous conversation with him had taken its toll. But Sirius didn't look at peace even while he was asleep. The years had not been good to him. It was strange that Harry wanted to be his godfather's protector rather than the other way around. He wondered when the situation had reversed.
It felt odd that Harry was the one picking and choosing which information he should reveal to his godfather, something which he despised when he was younger. Harry shook his head in disgust. He was behaving like a hypocrite. Sirius was not a child who needed to be pacified. He was an adult perfectly capable of making decisions on his own. Who was Harry to judge which information was to be given to Sirius?
Harry could have avoided many disastrous situations if he had been armed with the information Dumbledore had kept from him. He had accused Dumbledore of it, and now he was guilty of doing the same. As soon as Sirius woke up, Harry would make an honest disclosure. He would trust Sirius to tell him if the information was too overwhelming for him. But for now, all Harry could do was to wait till Sirius awoke. Patience was not Harry's strongest suit.
Harry was deep in thought when the door opened. He quickly adjusted his glasses and reached for his wand. He saw Lupin enter the room determinedly.
"Hello Remus," said Harry softly, not wishing to disturb his godfather's rest.
Lupin gave him a quick nod and closed the door quietly. However, the 'click' sound of the door was so ominous that Harry gave an involuntary shudder. What was the matter with him? Why were his instincts screaming at him that he was in danger? Only Remus had entered the room.
"How is our patient doing today?" asked Lupin as he scanned Sirius' chart with a grim smile. Harry's eyes narrowed. Lupin's voice was still the same but a tad huskier and more detached.
"Still tired. He is resting now," said Harry as his back straightened. He never saw Remus so unapproacable and clinical. Maybe he was tired after a full days' work, but that didn't explain the expression in his eyes. It was Arctic cold. This made him feel uneasy so he held his wand firmly by his side, away from Lupin's vision.
Harry observed the wizard. His stance was of a man preparing for an attack. The tense shoulders, the calculating eyes, the stiff wand arm indicated that this man was more intent on causing injury than on healing. Lupin suddenly raised his wand toward Harry.
Harry quickly threw up his Shield which expanded across the room. This man was dangerous and had decided to forego idle conversation and harm them. He was definitely not Remus Lupin.
"Expelliarmus!" bellowed Harry as the spell sent the imposter flying across the room. He quickly moved to wake his godfather up. He needed to get Sirius out of the room. The last thing he needed was Sirius being caught in the crossfire.
"Now, now. This is a proper duel boy," said the fake Lupin as he stood up, anger illuminating his countenance. "Crucio!"
Harry's body locked down as the pain surged through him. The Cruciatus Curse caught him unawares. Regardless of his previous exposure to the curse, it still turned his blood into pure fire.
"Childish spells will get you nowhere," smirked the imposter as he renewed the curse. "Even though you have lived like a boy, you will die like a man."
Harry's arms stiffened and his eyes tightened. He could fight this pain. He needed to. For Sirius!
Harry sent a quick stunner at the fake Lupin. The imposter dodged it but was shocked. He didn't think Harry would have been able to fight of his curse.
"Incendio," said Harry, as he set fire to the man's robes. He hoped that the distraction would help Sirius escape. He sent an 'Augumenti' charm at Sirius dosing him in cold water. It worked as Sirius' eyes flew open while the imposter extinguished the fire. The gleam in the fake Lupin's eyes was frightening.
"Those who play with fire happen to get burnt," said the imposter. He sent a curse towards them. But Harry put a shield over Sirius.
"RUN!" said Harry, hoping his godfather would flee, as he saw the cursed and violent flames rise from the spell the imposter had uttered. Fiendfyre!
"NO!" exclaimed Sirius, who on gaining awareness of his surrounding tried to knock the fake Lupin down with his bare hands.
Harry closed his eyes. He had studied the counter-curse, actually Hermione had studied it and insisted on him learning it as well. "Ego præcipio ignis prohibere!" he said though the flames didn't diminish, instead they grew larger. Hermione's face filled his mind and she was furious. 'YOUR WAND MOVEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT, HARRY! CIRCLE IT AND POINT!'
So he quickly circled the extent of the fire and pointed in the dead centre and said, "Ego præcipio ignis prohibere!"
He could feel the fire trying to rebel and fight back. Hermione had warned him that only powerful wizards could command this fire because the Fiendfyre was temperamental so he held strong and pushed his intent to subjugate the fire through his magic.
The Fiendfyre must have sensed his intent and power because it tried to drain him. 'Fiendfyre is sentient, Harry' said his mind-Hermione, 'Stay strong. Show it who is in command.'
Harry pushed another strong burst of magic through his wand and the fire immediately dwindled. Harry focused on the remaining flames forcing it to die down as well. It gave a lot of resistance but Harry stood firm. The fire had finally died down leaving behind ashes, but it had sapped most of Harry's strength.
He turned to see Sirius and the fake Lupin brawling on the floor like Muggles. Sirius had caught the imposter by surprise and had managed to knock the wand out of his hand. He proceeded to tackle him man-to-man. Both of them tried to reach for the wand but were unsuccessful. Harry summoned the wand which lay abandoned in the corner of the room. He stunned the imposter and helped his godfather back to the bed.
Harry made sure that the imposter was in a Full Body Bind before he conjured thick ropes to ensure that this man couldn't possible escape. After he was satisfied that the Fake Lupin wasn't going anywhere soon, he turned his attention to Sirius who was agitated to say the least.
"That…That creature isn't Moony," spat Sirius.
"He isn't. Stay in bed, Sirius," said Harry as he summoned his patronus.
"We need help. An imposter posing as Lupin attacked us in my godfather's room. We have got him secured," said Harry as he flourished his wand causing his silvery stag to fly away.
"Here, Sirius," said Harry as he gave him the other wand. "I will look around for help. Keep an eye on him." Sirius nodded and turned the wand to face the imposter with a hard glare.
Harry moved to open the door but it remained closed. Two 'Alohomoras' later, the door still remained shut.
"Blast it off," said Sirius tersely. Harry nodded and sent a quick 'Confringo' but still the door remained stubborn.
"He," said Sirius pointing the wand dangerously in the imposter's direction, "must have locked us in. He has definitely used some Dark Arts spell."
Harry frowned. He tried some of the counter-ward spells he had learnt but the door remained unyielding. He hoped his Patronus had worked; this was the first time he had used a Patronus to send a message in this world.
In this world, thought Harry with alarm, he was so stupid. No one in this world knew his Patronus was a stag and when he sent the Patronus off, he had not thought of a particular person. Patronuses were extensions of their human castors and recognized intent when delivering messages. But all he had focused on when he cast it was on finding help.
Harry cursed himself and his stupidity. He tried to muster his strength to cast another Patronus. Think of being reunited with Ginny, Ron and Hermione! Feeling the happiness and determination swell inside him, he felt the tip of his wand light up but his concentration waivered when the door shattered into a million pieces and a livid Riddle entered the room.
Sirius' wand swiftly turned towards him but Harry warned him off with 'No Sirius, he is a friend.' So, he returned his attention to the imposter, though he looked extremely wary of Riddle.
Harry's Patronus had sought out Riddle over all the other inhabitants of this universe when he had asked for help. His stag had trusted Voldemort's counterpart to help him! He didn't regret the decision.
Harry was impressed when Riddle immediately took command of the room. He quickly scanned the room taking in the destruction from the Fiendfyre and the broken chairs and table. He moved to ensure that the fake Lupin was properly bound and added a few more spells to bind him. When convinced of his inability to move, he turned to Harry in silent communication. Harry replayed the past events in his mind and observed Riddle's serious expression. Riddle frowned but remained silent, his lips pursed.
"Who are you?" asked Sirius defensively. Harry frowned, his godfather hadn't recognized Riddle. Then again, Riddle looked very different from Voldemort though they shared certain features. Harry had instantly recognized him because he had seen the seventeen year old Riddle of his world who bore a resemblance to Healer Riddle.
"You controlled the Fiendfyre," said Riddle in a quiet tone, though Harry could hear the astonishment in his voice.
"My friend had told me how to control it and luckily I remembered," said Harry.
Riddle gave a nod but Harry could tell that he had impressed him. This gave Harry a strange sense of accomplishment because Riddle was not a person who was easily impressed.
"We have been impolite, Harry," said Riddle, his eyes glittering with a strong emotion as he turned to the imposter. "Let us greet our guest."
"But..," said Sirius, who immediately held his tongue when Riddle gave him a warning glare. Riddle's glare would put the Basilisk to shame, thought Harry, as he saw Riddle approach the unconscious imposter like a snake stalking its prey.
Riddle stopped a few feet away from him and ensuring that he was properly bound, released the imposter from the Full Body Bind. The imposter spluttered and tried to shift but when he caught sight of Riddle, he grew still.
"Polyjuice Potion doesn't last forever," said Riddle, "You of all people should know that, Barty Crouch Jr."
"But he…," said Sirius, but Riddle told him to shut up. Harry moved towards Sirius and told him not to antagonize the man. At least, Sirius hadn't realized that he was Voldemort's counterpart. If he did, Harry was sure that even a Silencing Charm would not be able to silence Sirius' reaction.
"Speak up, Barty. It is rude to ignore your host," said Riddle silkily, "Unless you want me to comb through your mind. I can assure you that it will not be pleasant and I will not guarantee that I will leave it intact."
Barty shivered, he knew the seriousness of the threat. He spat at Riddle with a false sense of bravado.
Riddle took out his handkerchief and wiped his face. He pocketed it slowly and Harry dreaded his reaction. He was sure that Riddle was going to be fuming mad, so he was shocked to see him amused instead.
"Very well, Barty Crouch Jr.," said Riddle softly, the look in his eyes caused Barty to shiver again, "You will soon fear me more than you fear your own Boggart!"
To Be Continued…