A/N: Hey everyone, welcome to my newest story. You'll note, as time goes on, pieces that are obviously a little bit AU in the Potterverse, but how else is one supposed to really merge two universes? I hope you enjoy what I come up with.
November 12th 1996:
Harry froze, staring straight into the pitch black eyes of Dragomir Rustok. Other battles raged around them, but all Harry could focus on was the Death Eater in front of him. But he wasn't a Death Eater, was he? His shirt was sleeveless and his skin was reasonably unblemished; there was no skull marring the pale skin of his forearm. Less than a second ago Dragomir's eyes had been blue, and Harry had certainly been able to see the whites of his eyes, because they were actually white! But there was something so much darker in those black eyes than Dragomir had ever managed to conjure up in their previous confrontations – although confrontation might not have been the best word for it. Until now Harry had never come across Dragomir during any of the skirmishes with Death Eaters. New recruits were hardly an unusual thing, what with the state of the community at the moment, but Dragomir had never shown the slightest inclination to join either side of the war in all the time Harry had known him. In fact, he barely associated with the Wizarding World at all. The man ran a bloody bookstore not far from Privet Drive in Little Whinging!
Harry narrowed his eyes and took half a step back, gathering his magic around him, letting it taste the air. It was a habit he had gotten in to as the war continued to escalate – it was impossible to replicate someone's magical signature, the flavour of their magic, so it allowed him a silent, unobtrusive way to check for imposters. The Mad-Eye Moody/Barty Crouch Junior thing had really set him on edge about how easily people impersonated others in the magical world. When he first met Dragomir in the summer before his fifth year he had been surprised to see that the man even had a magical core. He was a pureblood who had chosen to live as a muggle. Sending out tendrils of his magic he enveloped Dragomir in it. Immediately his magic lashed out, violently, and the black eyes sparkled knowingly, amused. His core was the same, sure, but it was absolutely drenched in the most repulsive thing Harry had ever had the misfortune to come into contact with. It was a thousand, a hundred thousand times fouler than a core controlled by the imperius curse. It was a full-blown possession, but for the life of him Harry couldn't think of what would have that kind of power.
Someone screamed his name, but Harry ignored it, even as a stray spell ruffled his hair. The green light momentarily distracted him, seeing how close to death he had once again found himself, but he couldn't bring himself to look away from the black eyes for long. It was strange, how the thing in Dragomir didn't seem in any way inclined to attack him. In fact, it seemed content to watch Harry struggle to comprehend the situation. Emerald eyes narrowed and Harry frowned, committing the feel that possession gave off to memory. Black eyes wasn't much to go on, but he would find out what was doing it, because it was working for Voldemort and needed to be destroyed, one way or another.
The sounds of battle died away and the pair turned away as one for a quick glance of the battlefield. The Death Eaters were either dead, immobilised through spells or injury, or had disapparated. None of the Order were dead, not that he could tell anyway, but he wasn't entirely sure if he would care either way. Most of the members of the Order he now knew had stood by and watched while he nearly died year after year, and a large majority of them had higher education or training. Wasn't he supposed to save their asses?
'Dragomir' smirked and leaned close, breath tickling the shell of Harry's ear. "See you 'round, meat bag," he whispered, before pulling back and disappearing in the blink of an eye. Harry stood there, confused, but he guessed it wasn't so unbelievable that the possesser could utilise Dragomir's magical core. But 'meat bag'? What the hell was that supposed to mean?!
A hand landing on his shoulder jerked Harry out of his thoughts, and he spun to face them with a glare on his face. Tonks reared back as though burnt, hair fading to brown at the fierce look on the Boy-Who-Lived's face. Somewhat satisfied with the reaction he got Harry let his glare linger for a moment before dropping it with a sigh.
"I'm supposed to take you back to Grimmauld Place..." Tonks offered up hesitantly in explanation for grabbing him. It was absolutely ridiculous that they wouldn't teach him how to apparate. Their excuse was that it was against the law, that he was still too young, but with the ministry quickly falling to the Dark Forces did the trivial laws like apparition age really matter? Others said it was the Trace they were worried about, but Harry had read plenty of books that stated clearly that wandless magic was nigh-on untraceable, unless you used your magic like Harry did to seek out other magical signatures, and it seemed that absolutely no-one else had ever thought to do so. Apparation was possible without a wand, highly possible in fact, but magical folk had become too reliant on using a focus over the years to want to risk it. With all the books he had been scouring since Sirius's death he had learned an awful lot about magic and the way it worked, and it appalled him to realise how truly backwards their society was. It wasn't even just the way they dressed and the lack of technology and knowledge of the modern muggle world, it was the use of magic.
"Fine," Harry responded absently, already wondering what sort of books he should begin with to conduct his research into the black eyed creature. Shrugging, Tonks gripped his forearm tightly and spun on the spot, forcing Harry to momentarily experience the gut-wrenching sensation of being forced through a tube. Apparation via a focus was so much more uncomfortable than the descriptions he had found in an obscure magical text describing natural magic. Harry shook his head distractedly as he righted himself from the awkward landing. It wouldn't do for him to constantly dwell on what he felt were the short-comings of society. If he became too fixated on it he might just let Voldemort take over the Wizarding World, then the rebels and the Dark Forces would kill each other and there would be no-one left to ostracise him when they found out what he wanted to do with his own magic. Not that it was really any of their business, but they would make it their business.
Ignoring Tonks, not really caring about how anxious he was probably making her, he walked up to Number 12 and let himself in. While he had been planning on going straight up to his room, Sirius's old room, he was accosted in the gloomy entranceway by Remus Lupin. The werewolf appeared stressed, or rather, more stressed than usual.
"Harry," he called out softly, as though afraid of startling the teen, "Professor Dumbledore would like to speak with you in the kitchen." Rolling his eyes Harry wiped his dirty hands on the robes the Order insisted he wear on raids before gesturing for Remus to lead the way, despite knowing perfectly well by now where the kitchen was. Remus wrung his hands tiredly before relenting, heading back down to the grimy kitchen.
Headmaster Dumbledore was seated at the head of the table, clad in one of his signature burn-your-eyes-out-bright robes. Harry suppressed a shudder at the sight and stood calmly at the other end of the table, hands hanging by his sides rather than behind his back like some of the no-name Order members hovering around the room.
"Harry, my boy," Harry narrowed his eyes in displeasure at the endearment. Hadn't he made it clear that he no longer appreciated the way the Headmaster treated him? "It pains me to say this," no it doesn't, Harry thought bitterly, "But I think it would be for the best if you didn't accompany the Order on any more raids." Harry froze, fury racing through his veins. How dare they? How dare they?!
"Under what reasoning?" Harry asked blankly, his voice emotionless as he tried to reign in his anger. It wouldn't do to blow up at the Headmaster again, not when he was already so wound up.
"Dear boy, you obviously aren't ready for proper combat yet. Staring down Death Eaters is hardly an efficient way to defeat the enemy." Someone snickered and Harry shot them a furious glare, clenching his fists.
"Fine!" Harry spat, spinning on his heel and racing up the rickety staircase, barricading himself in his room. Thanks to some handy spells the Goblins at Gringotts had taught him the room was soon warded to an extent that only either Bill or Dumbledore could break in; Bill because of his own training from the Goblins, and Dumbledore through brute magical force. Hopefully it wouldn't come to that, but as things were Harry didn't plan on going back to Hogwarts any time soon, not when he had so much to do, things that were real world important rather than learning stupid household spells in Charms and Transfiguration. If they thought they could stop him from doing his god-damned duty then they were sadly mistaken.
Belatedly Harry realised he would have to purchase new books for his new research task, which meant he would have to venture out of the house, perhaps to an internet café. Another thing he had learned – it wasn't magic itself that affected electronics, there were specific types of wards that scrambled them. Wards like those at Hogwarts and Grimmauld Place.
Two Months Later:
Ever since that fateful raid Harry had locked himself up in Sirius's old room, only eating food forced upon him by the hyper-active house-elf Dobby, whom he had allowed through the wards on the room, and leaving only to use the bathroom. A week after his self-imposed imprisonment a crate-full of magical texts on mythology and lore turned up at Number 12, which many an Order member attempted to open, but failed as Harry had specifically requested such a pre-emptive measure from the Goblins, which they had been only too happy to comply with (thievery was a crime far worse than murder in their minds, and it helped that it was noted that the protection would piss off several other wizards). After a lengthy and informative visit with the Goblins during the Summer of Fourth Year before the Weasley's arrived he had read up on Goblin etiquette, something which they hadn't expected, and now a fair number of them truly respected him, hence all the favours.
A month after that a series of packages of rare, obscure and discontinued muggle texts arrived, via Gringotts, with the same protections.
Harry's friends had tried countless times to encourage him to leave the room and come back to school. Hermione, upon learning what it was he was doing – he had felt the need to explain himself to her in the hopes that she, as a rather obsessive studier, would understand - had left frustrated, thought on it for a week, then returned the next weekend with a magically expanding notebook. If he was going to hole himself up and study for the rest of his life then she decided she may as well be supportive, even if it tore her up inside seeing him like that.
Harry, on the other hand, was furious. None of the magical texts had any leads whatsoever as to the mysterious possesser. It would have been so much easier if they creature had been magical in origin. So he had hit the muggle books, but they were barely any better. Black eyes really wasn't much to go on, when he stopped to think about it, but it was important to him that he get to the bottom of it all.
At one point he had been about ready to throw the Anthology of Nordic spirits out the window, and that was an extremely rare book that had cost him a fair bit to acquire. He had to calm himself, reminding himself that just because it wasn't useful in this hunt – and when had he started calling it a hunt? – didn't mean that it wouldn't still be an invaluable resource at some other point in time.
It had gotten to the point where Harry was so fed up with it all that he actually started reading the Old Testament. He'd never been much for religion; as a child it was because of the way his family treated him, and as a teen it was because of his magic. The whole Judeo-Christian thing didn't really look too kindly on magic users after all. It was on a whim really; he had purchased it along with a series of other books on mythology, because he wasn't really sure what other sorts of things would classify as Christian mythology, and decided to read it in order to take a break from the tedious study he had been doing. He certainly hadn't expected to actually find anything in it.
"Hell," Harry mumbled softly as he caressed the book with a finger, "A creature from Hell. Why do I get the feeling that Dragomir was possessed by a Demon? Of course it has to be something I have no idea how to kill, it couldn't just be some lowly vengeful spirit that I could have had exorcised..." It was a stab in the dark really – nowhere had it actually mentioned black eyes as a sign of possession – but Harry had always had the worst luck, and so deep down he knew it had to be a demon.
"Actually, why didn't I think of that earlier?" He wondered, closing the worn copy of the Old Testament and placing it on the desk. From a muggle standpoint, that should have been the very first thing to cross his mind. Demonic possessions were some of the only sorts of possession that muggles knew anything about.
"Damnit!" Harry kicked the desk in frustration, cursing violently when he smacked his toe.
He could not deal with demons.
Not from Grimmauld Place.
Not with magic.
Not without knowledge that he knew he was incapable of getting where he was.
He would have to go and seek out the professionals.
Just, before anyone complains, I KNOW that it's rather a stretch for Harry to suddenly come to the conclusion that it was a demon, but just look at this as a means to an end. This isn't the important part - it's a gateway.