Chapter Nine: Meet the Family
5 November, 1994
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
"I don't care what you're wearing when you do it," bellowed a voice that instantly woke Harry from his slumber, mainly because it belonged to someone that shouldn't be there, "but you two best be downstairs and in the conference room in ten minutes!"
"Yes, Sirius!" the two teenagers shouted, trying to untangle themselves from the sheets that were currently tangled around them.
"Crap, you think he knows we snuck out last night?" asked Kara as she stumbled into Harry's bathroom, and turned on the water.
"I'm more worried he knows what we did before and after we snuck out!" replied Harry after he made a mad super speed dash to and from Kara's room to grab her robe.
Kara was already in the shower and washing her hair by the time Harry returned, hanging her robe on the back of the door as he rushed back out to gather his own clothing. Gathering up the things they wore on their adventure, Harry quickly stuffed the assorted garments into his wardrobe hamper. Then grabbing his own robe, Harry waited for Kara to finish her shower. Barely three minutes later she stepped out wearing her robe before making a mad dash to her room as Harry took her place in the shower.
In the span of five minutes the pair were showered and dressed, with Kara saying, "I don't think that's it, Harry. If he was going to find out about that we would have woken up with him standing over us, you know, trying to scare us silly."
"You maybe, you're his baby girl," countered Harry, shivering the thought. "I on the other hand am the son of his best friend, who would be hexed until next year for 'defiling his little angel.'"
"Two years," said a voice from behind them as the pair stepped out into the hallway.
Startled, Harry and Kara looked over to see Nym leaning against the wall in her "work clothes," meaning her golden blonde hair was only shoulder length at the moment. "So, did you two do something naughty last night? Other than what Sirius is currently furious about, that is?"
Harry was blushing his fool head off, but Kara pushed him ahead of them so she could have a whispered conversation with Nym. He tried to ignore the fact his advanced hearing still allowed him to hear everything Kara said, or the squeal emitted by Nym a few moments later. If that wasn't bad enough, he spent the rest of the walk downstairs listening as Nym's whispered suggestions on different methods Harry and Kara could use that wouldn't include actual penetrative intercourse. Needless to say, Harry was having a massive blood flow issue by the time he reached the conference room, whether from the amount of blushing or the fact his pants seemed to have shrunk several sizes.
Stepping into the conference room the first thing Harry noticed was the presence of not only Sirius and Remus, but also Angelique standing beside a woman Harry did not recognize. The woman in question was a striking figure, to say the very least, with her long flowing black hair and amber eyes. Her figure, one that could put any supermodel to shame, was accented by the female equivalent of a man's business suit all in white. He had to admit, the lack of anything on under her suit jacket and the impressive cleavage it revealed did not help with the tightness in his pants.
"What's up?" Harry asked, trying to sound as innocent as possible.
In response Sirius pointed to an assortment of newspapers spread across the conference room table. Stepping closer, Harry watched out of the corner as Kara did the same, he knew instantly that they were in big trouble. Each newspaper, in numerous languages from around the world, had various pictures of three flying figures. Only the grainy quality of the pictures prevented you from being able to make out who the figures were, but the green glow coming from the one had been enough light to tell they were human.
"I rather like the American one, the New York Times," Remus said disapprovingly, pushing one paper towards them. "'LOOK, NO WIRES!' Rather cute."
"Oh no, the French one is better," countered Angelique, pointing at one close to Harry and Kara. "I know the man who wrote it. 'ANGELS AMONG US!'"
Nym picked one up and tossed it to Harry with a smirk. "Nah! I like this one, 'ALIENS SAVE PLANE!'"
Harry just groaned, glancing at the London Times headline of, "GODS AMONGST US!"
"Bugger," swore Kara, flopping down in one of the chairs and looking confused. "Did any of them get a better picture of us?"
"No, thankfully they didn't," Sirius growled. "Not for any lack of trying. I called a few friends and they informed me that nearly three hundred pictures were taken of the three of you, I'm assuming the glowing green one is your friend Luna that Remus told me about. You're damned lucky it was dark out still and you were too far away for anyone to get a good picture of you."
Angelique cut in at this point, saying, "Orders came down from the top levels of government, magical and non-magical, to begin a full investigation into who those three figures are. The magical governments instantly denied that one of their citizen's could be involved in something like this thanks to the various secrecy acts something like this would violate. They also pointed out that no spell currently exists which allows a person to fly unaided, though several government think tanks are now scrambling to figure out how it can be done. Only the fact it happened here in the UK has prevented the other governments from flooding the area with agents. It seems the British Ministry of Magic has denied the whole thing, mostly because they refuse to admit the existence of airplanes. That doesn't mean the top covert agents from around the world aren't headed here as we speak, I'm sure they are all just 'on vacation.' All of them will be intent on finding out exactly who and what you are."
"You just painted a HUGE bullseye on your heads, you two!" bellowed Sirius, who was now pacing back and forth. "Your little act of heroics has probably made you three the most sought after people on the planet! I hope you're bloody damned well proud of yourselves!"
Harry thought about it for a moment, then standing up straight he nodded. "Actually, Sirius, I am proud of myself! Those people would have died if not for the three of us and if that means we take a bit of heat for it, so be it! I will not let innocent people die if I have it within my power to stop it!"
Kara, now standing at Harry's side and looking defiantly at her adopted father was the next to speak. "I'm with Harry on this one, dad! We got lucky and managed to be in the right place at the right time, allowing us to save the lives of those people. Sure, they got pictures of us, but no one can tell who it was. I mean think about it, what did you think we were going to do with our powers, sit on the sidelines and do nothing? Get real, dad!"
"Don't you take that tone with me, young lady!" shouted Sirius, now angrier than Harry had ever seen him. "You are not Clark! I will not have you running all over Earth risking your lives like he and his friends did! You're too damned young to be fighting madmen and who knows what else! I'll be damned if any daughter of mine is going to act so irresponsibly! I should just take you back home right now and keep you there until you get some sense in that empty head of yours!"
"Too late," Harry said with a low growl. In a flash he vanished from the room, only to return a moment later with the file Davenport had given him and tossing it on the table. "I'm already the prime target for one madman. You may not think we're old enough, but he sure as hell won't care! And fuck you, Sirius! Kara did nothing wrong last night and if you actually gave a shit about her you wouldn't be insulting her now! Oh, just so we're clear here, if you ever insult her like that again you'll fucking answer to me!"
Without saying another word, Harry was out of the room faster than the eye could follow. Well, any eye except Kara's as she had followed right behind him. Within seconds they were out of the room leaving Sirius and the others gaping at their sudden departure. Nym, being more used to Harry and Kara's tendency to vanish suddenly, picked up the file and started to read. Within moments she was pale faced and crying as she found the transcript of the prophecy. Seeing his cousin distressed, Sirius took the file from her now numb hands and started to read. His reaction was much the same as Nym's, letting the file fall to the table before collapsing in a chair and crying. This had everyone's attention now, and soon they were all sitting around the table in shock.
"That poor boy," spoke the unnamed woman, looking out the window with a sad expression. "Our Seers knew his future was filled with peril, but to see it started before he was even born is just too sad."
No one said a word, they all just nodded. Sirius had always known Harry and Kara would eventually become heroes, but he had hoped they would wait until they were older. If he was really honest with himself, he wasn't angry because they had been seen. No, he was terrified that they had done something so dangerous when they were supposed to be safe. The fact he couldn't be there to help them the night before just left him feeling powerless, a feeling he hated. That's why he had yelled, because he was scared for them. No parent, biological or otherwise, wanted to see their child in danger. At least no good parent.
"We need to find them," murmured Remus, looking up from the file at Sirius. "Harry is going to need us more than ever now. These Horcruxes scare the shite right out of me and it says Voldemort made multiple ones."
Nym wiped her eyes before pulling her wand and casting a location charm to find the missing pair. "They're in his room."
"I'll go," stated Sirius, standing up and wiping his face. "I'm the one that bungled this, so I'm the one that has to make it right."
No one said anything as he turned and walked out of the room heading for Harry's bedroom. To Sirius it felt like the longest walk of his life, but in reality it took only three minutes. Once he was standing in front of Harry's door, Sirius took a deep breath before he knocked softly and opened the door. Inside he found Harry holding a crying Kara, who was sobbing as she clung to her boyfriend for dear life. Rushing over to them both, Harry pushed Kara towards Sirius and watched his godfather hug the crying girl for all he was worth.
"I'm so sorry, baby girl," whispered Sirius, his own tears now flowing again. "You two just scared me so badly when I found out. I didn't mean what I said, I really didn't. You are not empty headed, just the opposite and I'm sorry I ever said it. Can you forgive me?"
"Dummy," muttered Kara, her head buried in her adopted father's chest. "You don't think we were scared last night, too? What else could we do, dad? They were going to die! We couldn't just let that happen!"
"I know, baby girl," admitted Sirius, rubbing his daughter's back. "It's no excuse, but when you have kids of your own someday, I hope many years from now, you'll understand sometimes you say really stupid stuff when they do something dangerous. I don't want you to grow up yet, Kara, or you Harry. Unfortunately, now I have to admit that you've already done it when I wasn't looking and I can't protect you anymore."
"We protect each other, Sirius," Harry said from where he was standing watching them. "Last night we worked as a team and got lucky. Luna's help made it a lot easier and fewer people got hurt, but it taught me that I can't do this alone. I need all the help I can get."
Leading Sirius and Kara back to the conference room, Harry motioned for everyone to sit down before he began explaining the details of the previous night's adventure. Sirius, in a rare show of intelligence, was writing everything down while Remus and Nym asked questions. Angelique was also taking notes, though they revolved around ideas of places to search for the remaining Horcruxes. It was only when the woman in white asked a question that Harry remembered he had never even gotten her name.
"So, you're saying that Voldemort's soul reliquaries must be destroyed before he can die, correct?" she asked, her words tinged with just the faintest hint of a Greek accent.
"I'm sorry, who are you again?" asked Harry, uncomfortable now with the fact he had revealed so much in front of a complete stranger.
"My apologies, young Harry and Kara," the woman said with a regal smile. "My name is Hippolyta, Clan head of the Veela. I was curious to meet you after Angelique told me about you, along with wanting to meet the man that would hire so many of my warriors."
Harry remembered Angelique mentioning the woman and the fact she would require some type of special payment from him for hiring said Veela Warriors. "It's an honor to meet you, ma'am. I'm just sorry it had to be like this. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I'd really appreciate if you keep what you know about me and Kara a secret, please?"
"No worries, Harry," Hippolyta assured him, "I have not intentions of betraying your trust. In fact, I have an offer for you that may help you in the long run with your task. I believe Angelique mentioned I would seek a payment of sorts from you?"
"Yes, ma'am," replied Harry with a nod.
Smiling at him, Hippolyta stood and removed her suit jacket to reveal a set of Veela battle armor beneath. "For the matter of payment, that we can discuss later, but for now I offer my assistance in training you, Kara also, to better use your abilities. Not just for your unenviable task, but also for this competition."
Kara was watching as the Veela warrior removed her trousers to reveal a costume that bared a striking resemblance to the one her new friend Hermione wore. "Ma'am, I may know someone else that could use your help in training as well."
"Oh, and why do you say that?"
Kara told everyone about her meeting the previous day with Hermione, pointing out the similar nature of their armor and weapons. Hippolyta seemed quite interested to hear about someone that seemed to exemplify many of the Veela warrior traits, without being a Veela. She agreed to meet and speak with Hermione whenever a meeting could be arranged, leaving it up to Kara to notify the girl. Kara stated she would talk to Hermione when she could, knowing it might be a hard sell to the young woman.
"To answer your earlier question, ma'am, from what I read Riddle can't fully die till all his anchors are destroyed," Harry answered once they got back on topic, having accepted Hippolyta's offer of training. "We got one last night, but the other one was a fake."
"Harry thought since we know what the magic of a Horcrux looks like now, we could do a low orbit scan for the rest of them," Kara continued, looking around at the others.
"Well, before last night that might have been an option," said Sirius from where he was still jotting down notes. "Problems is, the non-magicals will probably have their spy satellites covering the area around the British Isles before you can get the chance."
Angelique nodded, adding, "I already heard from my sources in the Government that was going to happen by noon today."
"Bugger!" growled Harry. "We should have done it last night when we had the chance."
"We could use super speed," offered Kara. "You know, take a quick jog around and look at all the important places."
Remus shook his head. "And how do you determine if it's an 'important place,' Kara? Last night proved that Riddle didn't just leave his Hocruxes laying about. The chances of you stumbling across one at super speed is astronomical. Probably as slim as him having put one in someplace like Gringotts or Hogwarts."
Just out of curiosity, Harry turned towards the direction of the castle in question and activated his mage/energy sight. Imagine his surprise when he immediately detected traces of not one, but two Horcruxes. The stronger of the two was located on the seventh floor of the castle, but seemed to fade in and out of existence. The second one was located far beneath the castle in what seemed to be an artificial cavern of sorts. Oddly, the second one looked like it had been damaged or destroyed, as only a trace of the dark magic still clung to it.
"Um, Remus, we might want to check out Gringotts," Harry said as he turned off his ability and turned to look at the man. "I only say that because there are two Horcruxes in Hogwarts."
After the explosion Harry's announcement caused, everyone began making plans. Kara streaked off in an attempt to find either Luna or Hermione, while Harry started looking for Neville. It was hoped that one of the three of them might have an idea as to the exact location of the Horcruxes. Kara returned twenty minutes later stating she had found Hermione at her secret training location. The young warrior was going to go gather up some friends to help them, including Neville and Luna, before meeting up with the group at the Embassy. Harry returned shortly afterwards, having had no luck finding Neville, but glad that Kara had succeeded where he failed.
Thirty minutes later one of the Veela guards announced that there were several people at the door requesting entrance. Hippolyta ordered the guard to show them in and within moments the group was sitting around the large conference table. Harry recognized Neville and Luna, but was at a loss as to who the mousy looking brunette girl or the three red headed boys were. Luna waived at him, then started making the introductions.
"Seeing as we're all here to solve a few mysteries, let me start with the easiest one," she said with a quirky little smile. "To my right we have Neville Longbottom, heir to the Longbottom fortune and bat inspired vigilante. To my left we have Hermione Granger, smartest witch of our generation and closet exhibitionist with a penchant for sharp pointy things."
"I'm not an exhibitionist, Luna!" growled the young woman in question, glaring at her friend, but sitting up straighter and brushing her hair back out of her face.
"But you do have a penchant for sharp pointy things," Luna teased before pointing to the three red headed boys. "These are the youngest Weasley sons. We have Fred, George, and Ron. The three of them have their own secrets to tell, but also know more about the layout of Hogwarts than anyone living, save maybe the Headmaster."
"At your service," chorused the elder twins, waving their hands in perfect synch along with wide grins on their faces.
"Yo," grunted the youngest, not bothering to do more than nod his head.
"While I'm not happy that Luna decided to reveal so much about my personal life," Neville said, glaring at the young blonde girl as he spoke, "I understand you need our help. I figured you would eventually, just not this soon."
Tossing the file to Neville, Harry looked at the others. "Yesterday we found out some information about Tom Riddle, better known as Voldemort. Because of the nature of the information, Kara and I did a bit of investigating last night."
"Not to mention a bit of flashy heroics," rasped Neville as he perused the contents of the file. "My sources notified me this morning that you three were careless and got your pictures in all the major papers around the world. You do realize that you've put us all in a bad position, don't you?"
"Oh, poo, Neville," Luna said, slapping his arm and ignoring his glare. "We did the right thing. It was only a matter of time before someone spotted one of us."
"Neville, old chap, old friend," stated one of the twins. "You would have done the same thing if you had been present."
"So, don't get all high and mighty now," finished the second twin.
"That being the case, Harry, what can we do for you?" asked the first twin.
"Not that we don't enjoy skipping classes for a bit of mischief, but the detentions get a bit tedious," added the second twin.
Harry, feeling a bit like he was watching a tennis match, answered. "I've found the general location of two of the items mentioned in that file. The problem is that one of them is deep under the school and the other seems to fade in and out of existence."
"What did you say?" demanded the youngest Weasley. "Did you say under the school?"
A little surprised by the sudden intense focus he was getting from the Hogwarts group, Harry nodded before explaining. "I have the ability to see magic, even through solid objects. One of the two objects is located inside an artificial cavern located about a mile under the school. The object looks like it was damaged, maybe even destroyed, but there are traces of the magic in question still lingering about it."
"This if very important Harry," one of the twins stated, looking incredibly serious. "Can you detect anything else in that cavern."
"And how do you get inside it?" asked the other.
Harry suddenly remembered the story Kara had related to him the previous day and understood why everyone was now looking at him so intensely. Realizing the importance of what they were asking, Harry turned back towards the direction of the school and focused on the magical abilities of his eyes. The cavern was easy to find, but there was a strange aura of magic that seemed to hide the entrance to it from his sight. Try as he might, Harry could not seem to find a way into the cavern that did not include him tunneling through over a mile of solid rock. Focusing back on the cavern, Harry noticed the skeleton of a massive snake along with the remains of a badly damaged book of some sort. What was really strange was a void in his vision at the far end of the cavern, at the feet of an enormous statue of a man. Like the entrance to the cavern, he could not make out any details about the void other than it was stationary and not very large, only about the size of a person sitting down.
"I know what you want me to find, but I'm not seeing her," he said as he turned back to face the boys. "I see a big snake's skeleton and a book, but other than that I've got nothing. However, there is a void in my vision, it's not big, but it might contain what you are looking for."
"How do we get in!" demanded Ron, glaring at Harry.
Throwing up his hands, Harry tried to explain. "I don't know. It's like my eyes just slide over the entrance. I know it leads up to the school only because I can't see anything about it as it heads upwards. It's like someone carved a large section out of reality and hid it from me."
"That makes sense," Neville said as passed the file he had just finished to Luna. "I've long suspected that Dumbledore used the Fidelius charm to hide the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets, that's the name of that cavern, but I had no proof. It's only because he forgot to hide the secret of the Chamber, not just the entrance, under the Fidelius that you can see even that much. Now we need to figure out how to reach it."
Neville glanced over at the Weasley twins, who in turn nodded and looked over at Ron, before the younger boy groaned. "Why me?"
"It's your turn, Ronnikins," stated one of the twins. "You had it last, so you get to retrieve it for us."
"Fine, but there better be some food waiting for me when I get back," groused the youngest Weasley before he suddenly vanished in an amazing display of sheer speed.
"Holy shite!" shouted Kara. "He just moved faster than even Harry and I can!"
"It's the secret to our success," said one of the twins. "Several years ago, we three found a curious egg out in our apple orchard."
"Yes, good memory that, Fred," agreed the now identified George. "We had just finished tying our dear brother Ron to a tree, I can't seem to remember why we did that, when a red and gold floating egg suddenly appeared in front of us."
"Being young and a bit foolish," continued Fred, "we decided to throw Ron at it."
George nodded with a smile, saying, "We had just untied our wee brother when suddenly the egg spoke."
"'Finding joy in life without ill intent or malice,' a voice said to us," quoted Fred, trying to make his voice sound deep and menacing as he quoted the drone. "'Pure hearts that embody loyalty and honor, but understand that even fear can be defeated with a laugh.'"
"Boom!" roared George, miming an explosion with his hands. "Suddenly there was a flash of lightening and the next thing we know, the three of us are laying on the ground with our dear mother glaring down at us."
"It was that very night we discovered our new ability," continued Fred. "We were chasing Ron around the house when suddenly we realized we were moving faster than anyone could see."
"The world seemed frozen around us as we ran," agreed George. "Of course Fred and I instantly realized the importance of our newfound speed for pranking people, but Ron felt it was too much work."
"Lot of good our speed did us," growled Ron as he suddenly appeared back in the room, pulling a folded piece of parchment from his robes. "When she needed us the most, our speed was bloody useless. All I've gotten from this 'gift' is a constant hunger because we burn off food too fast."
"What took you so long?" asked George, taking the parchment and laying it on the table.
Ron shrugged, pulling an apple from another pocket in his robe. "Stopped by the kitchen to get something to eat."
"Where did you boys find that map?" asked Sirius as he stared at the parchment.
"And how do you know it's a map, my dear sir?" asked Fred.
Holding out his hand for the parchment, which George reluctantly handed to him, Sirius unfolded the paper before drawing his wand and tapping the map. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good."
Suddenly the map spring to life, revealing a detailed map of Hogwarts including moving dots with the names of everyone inside and causing Sirius to smile at the boys. "I should hope I know what it is, Remus and I helped create it."
The two eldest Weasley boys suddenly jumped out of their seats and kneeled before Sirius and Remus before saying together. "We are not worthy to be in your presence, oh Great Marauders!"
"Oh get up, drama queens," groaned Ron, looking at his bothers for a moment before focusing on Sirius and Remus. "So, which ones are you? Padfoot, Wormtail, Moony, or Prongs?"
Sirius pointed to himself, saying, "I am the ever handsome and dashing Padfoot. Remus over there is Moony. Harry's father, James, was Prongs."
"I reserve my judgement for now, but where's Wormtail?" asked Ron, finishing his first apple and pulling another from his pocket.
A low growl from Sirius was his only reply, leaving Remus to answer for him. "Wormtail was our former friend, but he betrayed Harry's parents which led to their deaths at the hands of Voldemort."
After the obligatory gasp of fright from the Hogwarts students, save Neville who didn't even blink, Remus continued. "Peter was an Animagus, a rat to be precise, hence his name. After he betrayed us, Sirius confronted him and Peter caused an explosion that not only took his life, but the lives of several non-magical witnesses. The largest part of Peter to be found was one of his fingers, but the damage was done. It was his death along with the misguided belief that Sirius was the Secret Keeper for James and Lilly, that led to Sirius being imprisoned for almost seven years without a trial."
Ron was looking intently at Remus now. "You say he was a rat and was missing a finger?"
"Well, yes," answered Remus, slightly confused by the intensity of Ron's question.
Ron suddenly stood up and started pacing back and forth, fast enough that he was generating a small wind storm in the room. "Merlin be damned, I knew something was up! Damned rat kept vanishing every time I turned around, trying to escape no doubt! Should have let Hermione's cat kill the fucking thing in second year! Might have saved her if I had!"
"Um, what are you talking about?" Kara asked, watching as Ron continued to pace back and forth.
Ron ignored her, continuing to rant to himself as he paced, so Fred answered for him. "Ron used to have a pet rat named Scabbers. When everything was going crazy two years ago, back before our sister was kidnapped, Scabbers kept trying to get away."
"We couldn't figure out why the previously half dead lump of rat meat was suddenly so eager to get out of the castle," continued George. "At one point we found a diary belonging to a bloke named Tom Riddle, from the looks on your faces you recognize the name, and Scabbers seemed to come unhinged. He bit Ron and ran for it. We never found him again after that."
"I think I know where you are going with this, but please continue," prompted Remus, his face looking rather grim.
"Scabbers was missing a toe off one of his front paws," Ron finally said, coming to a standstill. "I'd bet all the galleons in the world he was your friend Peter. Probably been hiding out from his old boss after he got him killed. Can't imagine You-Know-Who would be too pleased to see his old chum after that."
It was now Sirius' turn to start pacing and ranting. "I'll find that little bastard and I'll kill him! No, I'll castrate him and then kill him!"
"Calm down, Sirius," urged Remus, getting a glare from the enraged man.
"You want me to just let this go!" demanded Sirius. "After everything he's done, not just to me but to James, Lilly, and Harry?"
"Of course not, but look at Harry," Remus replied pointing at Harry.
Harry for his part was visibly shaking with rage, his eyes burning red with barely contained power. "You think when Clark gets back he can show us how to make a Phantom Zone Projector, 'cause I'm thinking death is too good for that fucking rat!"