It was an ordinary day.
Nothing new or exciting to foreshadow the hell of emotions and pain Harry would go through later in the day when he walked out of the newly built Grimmauld Place that morning with several ministry letters in his hands and a piece of toast caught between his teeth. He caught sight of a not-so-inconspicuous reporter flash a camera from the other side of the street at him, but Harry paid him no mind.
It was four months after the fall of Voldemort and people were still mobbing Harry as their hero and savior. Still. Hermione had told Harry the fame and lack of privacy wouldn't go away for awhile, if not ever, but Harry had been genuinely disappointed when Hermione had been right yet again.
He couldn't go to the ministry, or to even Hogwarts, without being stopped at least five times in the street by various people wanting to congratulate him. To ask his opinion. To apologize for doubting him a few years back. To shake his hand. To make sure they knew how proud of him they all were.
It was exhausting.
So Harry ignored the now usual displays of flashing photos and focused on the several pale sheets of parchment between his fingers with tight lips. Poor Neville, Harry thought to himself as he read the last line of the letter from St. Mungos. Perhaps I'd ought to stop by afterwards and see if he's okay. It wasn't everyday your parents died, Harry knew. Not that Neville had ever really had a proper relationship with them, true, but they were still his parents.
Harry reread the letter, committing the words to memory. "No dark magic signatures or evidence of foul play were found." It was too soon for a autopsy since they'd died this morning, but Harry figured that that was a good start. "Were observed only hours before, for midnight vitals, and attached rolls are copies of normal exhibited.." Harry skipped a bit, going through medical words and magic he didn't understand, and focused farther down the letter. "...believed that Alice Longbottom was the first to sustain irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, which resulted then in heart failure. Frank Longbottom followed his wife's pattern not thirty minutes after while Medical Staff were trying to resuscitate Mrs. Longbottom..." Harry looked up and munched on his toast. And then dead. Both. In one night, not an hour apart.
Harry sighed and filed the St. Mungos update and attached paperwork to the back of his stack. Perhaps he'd leave the interview with Kingsley and the Muggle Relations Office early tonight so he could drop by. He knew Hermione would handle most of the important things without him.
His eyes narrowed at the fresh letter in front of him, slowly reading through the words and taking in Azkaban's seal at the top right corner. They had all thought the last of the Death Eaters had been brought in to trial or wiped out from the wizarding world. "..Escaped this morning with three others... outside help..." Harry's jaw rotated backwards slowly. Apparently not.
"Mr. Potter! Mr. Potter!" a short male reporter yelled from the side of the road at him. "Mr Potter! Do you have any comments on the Minister's newest announcement this morning from Azkaban? Are you worried there might be more death eaters left? Do you have a plan of action?"
Harry glanced at the darkly robed man. Other reporters revealing themselves from the sides of the road and from the morning shadows of the buildings seemed to gather courage from the first one and began shouting at Harry as he walked farther down the street. Fourteen more yards until the disapparation perimeter, Harry thought to himself.
The crowd mobbed together on all sides of Harry in a complete circle, yelling and shoving the nearest person to them in a vain attempt to reach closer to Harry.
"-any leads on Lucius Malfoy's escape-"
"-Hogwarts opening again-"
"-muggle policies for new students-"
"Mister Potter is it true you're being considered the new head Auror?" the short first reporter yelled out to his left.
"No," Harry answered the question solely. What an absolutely ridiculous notion.
"Sir, do you plan on-"
The air around Harry went dark and suddenly, the very oxygen seemed to get heavier.
Death Eaters was Harry's first thought.
Reporters screamed on instinct and Harry whirled around, his robes whipping with him to whatever attack this was. His wand was immediately in his hand, up and pointed to the chilled air.
"Run!" reporters screamed at each other, panic spreading like fire.
"Praesidia invocamus. Fortissimum. Qui iam victi mors, et ita fac iterum." a whispered voice chanted through the darkening air around him. Soft, almost childlike, but chilling and dark. It sent shivers down Harry's back and the saliva disappeared from his mouth.
"Harry Potter!" the short reporter from earlier yelled at Harry from across the street. Harry looked up instinctively at the call. The man's eyes locked onto Harry and his mouth dropped open in horror. His hand raised upwards into the air and his pointer finger extended towards him, pointing at something terrible behind him.
Past experiences had forced Harry to understand that all too well.
"Run!" he shouted at the man, stepping forwards and throwing himself as fast as he could across the street. "Move! Get up! RUN!"
The smoke-like air around Harry followed him as he ran, and Harry choked in the darkening black. The mist grew a personality of it's own and gripped his legs, pulling him down, sending Harry heavily to his knees. His wand slipped from his fingers on impact. NO! Harry reached forwards for his wand, missed, and landed on his stomach, his fingertips ghosting the edge of his wand. The mist pulled him back sharply as if it sensed the danger it was about to encounter, and his wand was lost to him in the next moment.
Harry looked up desperately for something to hold on to, something to do, only to stare solely into the eyes of the reporter across the street. "Run!" he yelled one last time at the frozen reporter.
Run, he thought as the dark smoke reached over his chest and wrapped itself around his head, blacking out his vision. Run.
Cold chills seeped through his robes and embedded itself into his skin and bones. The blackness pulsated around Harry, drawing him backwards and off his stomach into the air. Harry's glasses slipped off his nose, and the thin wiring tumbled downwards before Harry could catch them off his face. Another cold draft pulled him backwards like a python to it's prey and Harry squirmed against the current as hard as he could. He tried vainly to grasp anything to hold him down, but the draft caught him upwards, and thrust him towards the sky faster than his own Firebolt would, and still, the chant continued.
This wasn't right. This wasn't the type of Death Eater magic he'd come to know and recognize. This was... it was different.
Not dark, exactly. But heavy. And it seemed to almost call to Harry. Like a string to a puppet. It yanked Harry backwards, and through the darkness, further into the chilled skies above him. Vaguely, Harry almost thought he heard someone scream his name. Hermione maybe. Mrs. Weasley?
The child-like voice of the repeated chant deepened into a man's voice around him, echoing in blackness before it multiplied into more than one. Several deep voices, and more joining in at every second. It was a like a choir, and chant got louder in his ears. The pull got stronger, and Harry felt all the air leave his body as if someone had taken a vacuum to his lungs. His insides twisted, his bones felt compacted, and a fiery shot of pain flashed across his head, over his scar.
No. No, this was not right at all. His scar hadn't hurt him since Voldemort's death. It wasn't possible. It couldn't be right. He'd seen the murderer fall. The whole school had. Voldemort wasn't-
And the familiar hot flash of burning pain set his scar on fire like a whip to wet skin. Harry grasped at his head in pain, unable to breath, and unable to scream. He choked on the air in his throat. His stomach heaved. His eyes burned. His chest tightened- and suddenly, the air thinned, his ears popped, and his back was slamming against cold concrete.
"Holy shi-" A young man's voice screeched somewhere to the left of Harry.
"Jonathan what are you doing here?" A woman's sharp voice asked across the other side of the room.
"I-" the young man stammered.
Air forced its way into Harry's chest, and his eyes flew open. His stomach recoiled inside of him, but he sucked in as much air as could through his gagging mouth and heaving chest. White blurry dots, and a familiar black haze of unconsciousness creeped along the sides of his eyes. "Wha-" Harry managed to spit out angrily. The room spun like a toy top, and Harry choked on his words. He closed his eyes forcefully and tried to breathe through his mouth. It wasn't working out all that great.
Around him, he heard the voices of men and women alike shouting at each other over him. In anger. Surprise. Anxiety. He recognized those tones, but none of the voices.
"Get Minerva, he just passed through," The first woman shouted at someone.
Professor McGonagall? What- Harry thought in a daze, his mind slowing in on itself and groggily catching bits and pieces of the shouting around him. Unconsciousness was close.
"-oks like a child!"
"It wasn't like I could chose who came through the-"
"-on't understand, we've kidnapped someone's chi-"
"-didn't I tell you this was a bad idea?" hissed a soft, familiar, female's voice. Who-
"-irius back down here, the portal has to be reclos-" Mrs. Weasley?
"Jonathan you get to your room this instant young man! Your father and-" Maybe Tonks?
No. No that can't be right, Tonks was dead. He'd seen the body. Who then- Harry forced his eyes open, trying to raise the hundred pound weights that felt like they were firmly over the catches of his eyes. He fought the drowsiness, blinked rapidly to focus the blurred, spinning world, and concentrated on his chest into relearning how to breathe by himself.
A curtain of dark red hair framed by a pale thin face hovered above Harry's vision. He couldn't see the details very clearly, but he could see that it was a woman, middle aged with laugh lines around the mouth, but aged lines between her brows like she'd been frowning a lot. She was glancing down worryingly at him, searching his face with her eyes. Her eyes-
Harry gasped up at the woman, and his heart seemed to come to a crashing stop in his chest. Her eyes. His vision might be blurry, but he could see the color of her eyes perfectly, and they were green. Bright green even under the shadow of her red hair. Red hair. Pictures hidden in a scrapbook under Harry's bed flashed across his eyes. Stones of pressure seemed to crack Harry's ribs and he gasped up at her. "You-" he spluttered.
"Lily, love, is it… did it-" A man's voice came from behind her.
The woman in front Harry tipped her head sideways at Harry. "James… look at him. He's-"
Harry's mind shut down like blinders to a shut window. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, a flash of heat washed over his forehead, and suddenly, Harry saw comforting blackness.
So what did you think about the beginning?
Maybe a oneshot. Maybe not. Haven't decided yet.
By the way, the translation meant "We call upon the strong. The strongest. One who has already defeated Death, and will do so again." .. spoiler.