Disclaimer: JK Rowling and George Lucas own it all.
A/N: I listened to your thoughts. Many did not like where I went with this so I changed it. The new story will not feature such an angry Harry. He will still be powerful. This will not be a harem fic! There is mature content in this story.
A Song for the Lost
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore took a sip from the golden goblet on the table in front of him. The pumpkin juice burned going down his throat. He grimaced. A shiver traced his spine, spreading to his extremities in a wave of induced ecstasy sweet enough to make his toes curl. The brandy he had spiked the juice with did the trick.
"Wonderful juice," he proclaimed to the other professors at the staff table.
Minerva McGonagall smiled sadly at her mentor and friend. "Yes," she said, the word hesitant, paused as if there might be more she wanted to say.
Dumbledore might be drunk, but he was not the most powerful wizard in the world for nothing. He easily picked up on the quiet in her voice. Gingerly, he reached out a hand and took one of hers. "My dear Professor McGonagall, have I not always encouraged you to be honest with me and speak freely?"
McGonagall nodded, meeting his twinkling eyes with her own. Her occlumency barriers snapped into place on instinct. Even if on the surface she did not believe the Headmaster would try and pry into her thoughts, it was best to be prepared. Powerful wizards had habits of dipping into actions that were unsavory even without realizing that they were doing so.
"You seem distracted, Albus," she started, her voice soft and unassuming. "I have been worried about you since that night."
Dumbledore's brow furrowed and his eyes darkened for the briefest of moments. He did not need to be reminded of that night, not now, not at the Welcoming Feast. He tossed and turned at night enough without McGonagall laying into him about it, too. He knew that his inaction had caused Harry to lead his friends to the Ministry of Magic. His lack of good judgment had cost the life of a boy he cared for deeply and doomed the fate of wizarding Britain.
"My dear," he said, tension straining the words, "I appreciate your concern, but I fear there are some things that kind words cannot help." He took another sip of his pumpkin juice, grimacing less than before as the alcohol dulled his taste buds.
"Albus, that is ridiculous. This isn't about me trying to ease your suffering. It is simple fact. The Veil is something that can never be accounted for. How were you to know that he would go to the Ministry or that he would chase Sirius through the Veil of Death? You are blaming yourself for something you could not control," she said in a low voice.
Dumbledore's eyes narrowed dangerously. "Minerva, there are things in this world that you do not understand, cannot understand. I am powerful, perhaps too powerful, but it does not change the fact that I have failed. I should have been able to do something. Harry was, perhaps, my greatest responsibility."
"Many young wizards and witches have died without you blaming yourself for their deaths, Albus," McGonagall countered. She pointed out to the crowd of students, a fake smile plastered on her face as she looked out at them. "How many are not here that should be? Harry Potter is not the only student missing from our ranks."
Dumbledore sighed and leaned back in his chair. He did not smile, forgetting about the students watching them. He hung his head in thought. Long strands of white hair fell around his face, covering it in a manner very unbecoming of the normally dignified Headmaster. Several of the other professors and a few of the students looked quizzically at the man they hailed as their leader, their beacon in an ocean of darkness.
"It is too late for us, Minerva. You don't understand. Everything has changed. Harry Potter was all that stood between Voldemort and global domination. The Dark Lord will continue to rise just as sure as Harry fell," Dumbledore said morosely. And he meant every word. The loss hung thick in his voice. Logically, he knew that a prophecy was little more than words. Fate was never set. Freewill dominated everything that a mortal did; only immortals were bound by unbreakable rules and laws. That's what made mortals so dangerous. Nothing restrained a mortal's actions. Only self-imposed barriers prevented them from reaching the stars and bringing them down on the world.
Logically, he knew this. In this case, however, logic did not matter. He just felt pain and loss. A hole opened in his heart, a hole that could not be filled. The love he felt for the Boy-Who-Lived was that of a concerned father, a father who had sacrificed his only son foolishly. Despite McGonagall's arguments to the contrary, it had been his fault. The guilt of Harry Potter's demise rested on him alone.
Only three months earlier, Harry had escorted a group of his friends to the Ministry of Magic in order to stop the Dark Lord Voldemort from killing his godfather, Sirius Black. The whole ordeal had been a façade planted in Harry's mind by the Dark Lord in order to draw him to the Ministry. As soon as the group arrived, deatheaters sprang their master's trap and attempted to capture Harry.
Harry and his friends, thanks to their time practicing with the DA, proved to be more of a challenge than the deatheaters had expected. While the students did not defeat their much more experienced adversaries, they were able to surprise them and hold them off until the Order of the Phoenix arrived.
With the Order present, the tide of battle turned. In a desperate effort to thwart her would-be captors, Bellatrix Lestrange hurled a wild curse at Harry's godfather, Sirius Black. The spell connected. While it did not do much physical damage, the energy from the impact knocked Sirius off-balance. The wizard fell over and tripped into the Veil of Death, an ancient artifact of unknown origin. Harry, having watched his godfather fall, chased after him and flung himself into the veil in pursuit of the last of his family.
While the deatheaters were eventually defeated and the Dark Lord thwarted, the loss had been heavy. All present agreed that to lose Harry and Sirius was a greater blow to morale than anything the Dark Lord could have done at the Ministry. The trap had been set, and Dumbledore had allowed the entire Order to be fooled. His mistake had cost them their hero.
A sudden prickling along his skin made the Headmaster look up from his sullen wallowing. The air in the Great Hall bristled with an influx of magic. Candles around the room flickered, their lights casting shadows along the walls and floors. The Headmaster stood, surprise and confusion written across his face. He reached for his wand, but his dulled senses slowed his reaction time. He felt the curse coming before it hit, but he was too slow, the drunken haze too thick. He watched helplessly, numb fingers grabbing at the Elder Wand within the arm of his robe, as the massive double doors of the Great Hall exploded inward in a shattering of splintered wood. A large mountain troll burst from the wreckage, masked wizards pouring through the ruined doors in its wake.
Hogwarts was under attack.
Why? Why did she have to do another year in her own personal hell?
Luna stood at the edge of the Astronomy Tower's open windows. The cold September air blew through her dirty blonde hair. Her wide, silvery grey eyes watered as the air brushed against them. For a moment, a fleeting moment, she felt alive.
But the lie did not hold for long. No matter what she told herself, she could not cover the truth. She knew what awaited her. The path had already been written out. The coming year only held more pain, more ridicule.
Nothing had changed.
Her only savior had been a dark haired boy with green eyes. Fate surrounded him. If Harry had still been alive, everything would be different. Voldemort would die. She would find love. The world would be at peace. Unfortunately, when the Boy-who-lived died, the entire world felt the shockwaves.
Now, Earth would burn. She could see it just as easy as others noticed the color of a room or the ripples in a pond. Her gift told her the truth. She was never wrong. The world would burn.
It would burn without her.
Luna stepped up to the edge of the stone, her bare feet stepping lightly and her toes curling around the edge as she stopped. The wind blew harder. She grabbed the wall to keep from falling.
She didn't want to fall. She didn't want anyone to think this was an accident. She wanted to jump, to act purposefully. To die because she chose to die. In that one way, at least, she had power over the Fates. The gods could not take her choices.
The blue robe slipped from her shoulder. She wore a black bra that made her pale skin stand out. The small, thin fabric matched the panties she wore. She reached between her breasts and undid the clasp. The bra fell, exposing her breasts to the night. She watched it become smaller and smaller as it descended until finally it stopped, catching on one of the castle's lower spires. Would they find her impaled on that same spire? Her fingers slipped through the strings that held up her panties. Slowly, she nudged them down her legs.
The first spell hitting the castle wards brought her out of her daze. The shockwave rippled through the night, piercing the sensitive perceptions that allowed her to see things other magicals could not. She tumbled backwards under the impact, falling hard on the stone floor behind her. It took her a moment to realize that she had not jumped and was very much alive.
A moment later, the sky filled with a burst of orange and yellow light followed by a streaking metallic object that glided through the air before slowing and descending before the castle's front entry.
Luna crawled over to the window, grabbing for her robe and bringing it around her body, suddenly not caring to complete what she had come to do. She watched, fascinated, as the object – long, narrow, and easily the size of a house –landed in front of the door that led to the Entrance Hall. It sat there for a moment, unmoving, before it hissed and vapor shot out from an opening that appeared. A ramp extended.
Luna gasped, unable to believe her eyes as she watched a single man in all black step from the opening and return to the world of the living.
It took all Hermione Granger could do not to cry over the food in front of her. Ron, clueless as ever, shoveled food into his overly large mouth. Bits of meat and speckles of mash hung from his mouth and dotted the front of his robes. She tried not to vomit and looked to Ginny for support. The red haired beauty didn't notice, though, as she was leaning against Dean Thomas, playfully batting at the boy's shaggy hair and grinning. That almost sickened her as much as Ron. Didn't they care? Their best friend had just died. He should be sitting with them at the feast.
"Hey, Hermione, pass a roll, will you?" Ron said between mouthfuls. At least the boy had enough manners to not talk with food in his mouth. That was marginally better than he had once been. Still, she could not help but feel revolted.
Grudgingly, she passed him a roll.
"What's wrong?" he asked, a flicker of actual concern showing briefly in his boyish features.
Hermione felt a small hope blossom at Ron's open concern. Quickly, she responded, not wanting his moment of selflessness to pass. "It's Harry. He should be here with us, but he's not. Things are getting worse every day. People are dying, but all I can think about is him," she said rapidly, forcing all the words out.
Ron nodded and smiled sadly, an effort diminished by the flakes of food covering him, but tender nonetheless. "I know what you mean. He was my best mate." Then his eyes flashed and the sympathy drained away. He shrugged. "We got to move on though. Look at Ginny," he said, pointing a finger at his sister cuddling with Dean. "She's trying to move on. Maybe you and I could get together later and, um, work out some issues." He waggled his eyebrows in a way that left Hermione gaping.
Hermione had never been that into boys. She liked them and all – definitely preferred boys over girls – but the whole insensitive jerk thing kind of threw her off from really taking them serious. One day, she hoped, she would find someone who made her feel a little less like a piece of meat and more like a valued partner. Of course, the only boys she knew were teenagers, and they all were interested in only one thing. Unfortunately, over the past two years, she had filled out considerably and in all the right ways. Most guys her age, and even the older ones, had noticed. The only guy she hadn't caught leering at her was Harry. For the briefest of moments the previous year, she had considered maybe becoming more with Harry.
Hermione shook her head. 'I don't think that's a good idea, Ron," she said, trying to refuse as gentle as possible. Ron was her friend, pretty much her only friend at the moment. She did not want to lose that.
Ron's face reddened. "I guess I'm not good enough for you, huh?" he spat.
She shook her head, holding up her hands defensively. "Ron, it's not that. We're both hurting and-"
"Just leave it," he interrupted, his eyes growing cold. "I don't want to play second to a dead bloke," he said bitterly. He turned back to his plate of food and attacked it with abandon.
Hermione stared at her friend, too shocked at his outburst to respond. Ever since the Ministry, Ron had become more and more hostile. Every now and then, he would explode in strange outbursts of anger. It scared her. She didn't want to think what it meant for her friend, but the implications were there. Ron had been damaged at the Ministry.
She knew that the words he spoke were influences left over from the brains that he'd fallen into. They had done a lot to mess with his mental functions. On some level she understood that he could not control himself, but on other levels, more primal and basic levels, the words he spoke hurt, those words in particular. It wasn't her fault she felt the way she did.
Control yourself, she thought to herself. She didn't want him to see her cry. Taking a calming breath and another sip of pumpkin juice, she stood and walked out of the Great Hall, excusing herself early to the dorms. If Professor McGonagall had a problem with it, she would explain the situation. The stern transfiguration professor had a soft spot concerning Harry. No doubt, she would understand why Hermione needed to leave.
Hermione had only just left the Great Hall and started up the stairs when the doors to the entrance hall opened as if guided by an invisible hand. She saw the troll and froze, flashes of her experience with the one in First Year jumping through her mind. The troll did not seem to notice her, but the deatheaters who followed it did. She pulled out her wand and sent a curse flying, but the lead deatheater spun to the side instead of wasting energy on a shield. Silently, he returned her fire.
She could not move fast enough. Her robes caught on the stairs and he tumbled backwards, falling hard on the stone stairs. The disarming spell caught her full on in the chest, sending her wand flying into the awaiting hand of the deatheater who had cast the spell.
His laugh filled the corridor even as his comrades passed behind him and began their assault on the Great Hall. She recognized the laugh immediately. It's low, throaty vibration made her tremble.
"How appropriate it is that you should be the first one I encounter, Miss Granger," came the silky voice of Lucius Malfoy from behind the white skull mask. "I think I shall have a bit of fun with you, mudblood."
Hermione whimpered. She did not need anyone to explain what he meant Drove after drove of deatheaters poured into the great hall. No one would be coming to help her anytime soon. She tried to back away, to creep up the staircase, but he was faster. He was on her before she could make it to her feet.
The shattering of spellwork echoed as the professors and students attempted to fight back. Spell light glowed from the Great Hall. People screamed, both deatheaters and defenders. Lucius paid it all no mind. He stretched out his wand and flicked it at her. A full-body bind sped out of the end and swam over her, locking her arms to her side and rendering her motionless.
He laughed again. "A fitting position for Potter's whore," he said. Then his eyes widened, filling desire that promised depravity. His lips curled into a sinister smile, and he waved his wand again.
Light flashed and a cutting curse hit the front of her robes, tearing through them and the skirt and blouse beneath them. Lucius flicked the wand and the clothing peeled apart, revealing the small blue thong and lacy bra beneath them. Even the body bind could not keep Hermione from shuddering as his eyes traveled over her exposed body.
The deatheater reached down with his wand and traced the tip from her chin, down the front of her body, and to the groove between her legs. He dipped it between her thighs, pushing the fabric gently against her sex as he did so. "Hmm," he half-whispered, half-moaned. "This will be pleasant."
But he didn't have the chance to further his desires. An unseen blast caught the deatheater in the side. Malfoy soared through the air and over the railing of the staircase. He sprawled across the marble floor, out of Hermione's sight.
Two of the deatheaters outside of the Great Hall saw their leader so easily thrown about and brandished their wands. Before they could fire off a spell, a dark figure dressed in all black appeared out of nowhere. A snap-hiss filled the air, and a green light a little over a meter long erupted from a silver cylinder the figure held in his hand. The figure leaped through the air and twisted the light beam; both deathereaters cried out as their wands and the hands that held them fell to the floor. A half-second later and their cries were silenced.
Malfoy scrambled to his feet. Hermione, still bound, watched helplessly as he sent a curse flying at her mysterious protector's back. She tried to cry out and warn him, but the body bind had not faded in intensity and held strong. The figure jumped, launching himself an impossible six meter, and curled his body into a backwards somersault. The spell shot through the empty space where he had been standing while the figured landed behind Malfoy without a sound. He twisted the light again, cutting through Malfoy's neck like it were butter, and the pureblood's head rolled from his shoulder, eyes still staring at where he had shot the spell.
When Malfoy died, the spell broke. Hermione pushed herself to her feet and wrapped the torn robes around her exposed frame. The mysterious figure turned his head towards her. The power radiating off of him was stifling, so strong that it made her take a step back. It wasn't magic, at least not any kind she had felt before. Magic was like a river of power that swam through a person, steady and strong, but this was more like an ocean. It did swim as much as it encompassed, almost tangible in its strength. The figure raised a hand and held it out to her.
"Come on, Hermione," he said.
The voice was deep, deeper and fuller than she remembered, but it traveled beyond her ears, to the recesses of her mind where such things exist and are stored for recalling. A fog lifted from her eyes and she saw him. The black hair, messy and unkempt. The green eyes, furious and raging. "Harry," she whispered.
Her hand closed around his. The breath rushed out of her lungs He was real. Harry Potter had returned. Suddenly, rational thoughts left her brain. All she could do was fall into him, her arms wrapping around his neck. She didn't care about anything else. The deatheaters, the students, the professors, Ron, her ripped robes. None of it mattered. All that mattered was Harry.
He was alive. The tears wet his clothing.
Desperation, desire, and deep need in the pit of her stomach lunged outward. Her robe slipped, opening for him. Her lips searched hungrily for his. A moan of pleasure and disbelief escaped her lips as he wrapped his arms around her, returning her embrace. Their lips met and…
He responded. His lips opened to hers. They folded against hers, savoring the touch, the sensation, the ecstasy. Their tongues met. His hands slipped inside her open robe, arms encircling her waist, fingers gripping her skin. She pressed her body against his, not caring about the sounds of fighting coming from the Great Hall. She wanted to feel him against her. She needed him to satisfy her. Only he could. Only Harry. Daring to push him further, she took his hands in hers and brought them to her breasts and…
Nothing. He stopped.
Hermione pulled back, her brain working again. Harry's lips were still. He pulled his hands away and settled them on her waist, his fingers over the thin strips of fabric of her underwear. As she looked up at him, he smiled, but it was just that, a smile. Hurt filled her face. Tears threatened to pour from her eyes. This was Harry; how could he spurn her? She was throwing herself at him, and he didn't want her.
The shock disappeared, and the reality of Lucius's attack hit her. The pain and fear she had refused to acknowledge broke through the dam of denial like a tidal wave.
Harry's arms left her waist. He grabbed her by the shoulder and lowered his gaze to meet hers. No, don't look at me this way, she thought. She didn't want him to see her being so stupid. She didn't want him to see the shame. His rejection was bad enough. She wasn't good enough. Just a mudblood. Just a whore.
"Stop," he said, but it was more than words. His words rang. They chimed in her head, racing through her mind to the logical center, the center she always depended on. There, in that deep recess, his voice said again, "Stop."
The fear and shame disappeared. Hermione blinked and looked up.
"I have wanted this for so long, but I can't. You are upset," he told her. He was smiling the whole time, a dazzling smile brighter than she remembered him having. That's when she realized he wasn't wearing glasses anymore. In fact, a lot had changed. He was taller, more muscular. His eyes blazed, not just stared. They held fire and passion. His hair wasn't as unruly as it normally was. It laid flat in a way that his hair had simply refused to do before. He was older, she realized. He looked at least five years older, at least twenty. The only thing that hadn't changed was the scar. It still stood out on his forehead just as prominent as it always had.
"I must fight."
Then, just as soon as he had come, he left, spinning away and charging towards the Great Hall. She heard him shout something into a bracelet at his wrist. Five seconds later, twelve men in grey armor stormed into the Entrance Hall with things that looked like bulky rifles. Black visors hid their faces, but she knew instantly that they weren't wizards.
Hermione shook her head, grabbed her wand, and cast a quick Repair Charm. The robes and clothing beneath mended. She was Hermione Granger. She did not let her friends fight alone, especially friends like Harry Potter. She wasn't going to lose him again. Her grip tightened on her wand and she ran after the Boy-Who-lived.
Dumbledore was old, older than most. He had seen many things and forgotten most of them. This day, this night, he would never forget so long as he lived.
Trolls, deatheaters, even acromantulas stormed the Great Hall. Students immediately panicked. That made matters worse. The professors and older students were not able to fire curses for fear they might hit the younger students. The deatheaters had no such fear. They tore through the student body without discrimination. Ten children were dead or incapacitated in a matter of seconds.
Despite the hazy feeling from the alcohol, Dumbledore was able to get around the Head Table and through the rampaging students quickly enough. By the time he did, some of the older students had started to fire curses back at the deatheaters. Bodies littered the floor.
His world spun. How had this happened? The wards should have notified him earlier. He should have been able to feel them failing. The Headmaster of Hogwarts was tied directly to them. They signaled to him about everything, even when a student had lost points. Collapsing wards should have been more significant than a student losing house points.
No. He shook his head. He couldn't allow himself to go down that road. That path had plagued him more than once since Harry died. He couldn't do it again, not now. He had to fight.
Spells blazed around him, but when Albus Dumbledore raised his wand, the magical world took notice. His first spell channeled more power than any deatheater in the room, perhaps more than the top five combined. It raced in a dark crimson arc towards the first troll. The burst of magic tore through the thick flesh of the twelve-foot behemoth, ripping away tissue and bone to explode from the other side in a shower of blood and fluid. The spell did not stop there. It was too powerful. It kept going, lashing out at the group of deatheaters behind the troll, taking two of them with it as it faded into nothingness.
The display of power was enough to give the deatheaters pause. They stopped, but only long enough for the trolls to focus the target of their anger on Dumbledore. Four giant mountain trolls charged him at once.
He might be good, but at times, even he had to nod to sheer force. He did so, spinning around and vanishing in a blink. The wards guarding Hogwarts had collapsed, including the wards that prevented apparition. He reappeared far from the trolls, on top of the Slytherin tables. The large beasts, stupider than they were strong, did not stop their charge and collided. The resulting fight left them beating each other and hindering the deatheaters as students fled. Dumbledore waved his wand, lifting several unconscious – hopefully, only unconscious – students from the ground and gently banished them towards a defensive ring some of the professors had managed to set up.
Dumbledore spun, disappearing and reappearing again several meters away from the trolls. His wand twirled and an explosion of magic sent a wave at the deatheaters who had managed to escape being cannon fodder from the troll fight. Six deatheaters were thrown into the air and into the tangle of trolls. The trolls did not seem notice that the deatheaters were in the middle of their fight; they just pounded them as well.
He was powerful. Powerful and wise. However, even power and wisdom such as his had its limits. As much as he might have wanted to be, Dumbledore was not omniscient. He did not hear or see the pale wizard appear behind him. As concentrated he was on defending his students, the great Albus Dumbledore did not sense the Dark Lord's spell until it wrapped around him, binding him with dark energy and bringing him to his knees. He watched helplessly as the Elder Wand rolled from his hand and sharp pain sheered through every muscle in his body.
Voldemort waved his wand and the trolls stopped struggling. Dumbledore felt himself being turned towards the doors. Voldemort moved into his path. The fighting stopped, the professors and students too terrified at seeing their leader so easily brought down, the deatheaters in awe of their master.
Voldemort walked over to where the Elder Wand lay and lifted it from the floor. He twirled it in his fingers, inspecting the ancient wood with calculating red eyes. His snake-like features glowed with excitement. His thin mouth twisted in a mockery of a smile.
"Impressive, Dumbledore. How have you hid this from me for so long?" He pocketed his own wand and took the Elder Wand in his wand hand, bringing the ancient focus to bear on the Headmaster. "I should have known it was you who had it, old man. Who else could have possibly possessed it? This explains so much. Finally, I am able to understand how you could defeat me so easily."
Despite the pain and bindings, Dumbledore managed to treat Voldemort with a look of pity. "You don't understand, Tom. You still don't, no matter how much you claim to the contrary. The wand you hold is only a channel. It cannot give you true power. That comes from a different source all together."
Voldemort's face twisted in rage. "Don't tell me of sources and power! I am Lord Voldemort, the greatest wizard to ever live! Heir to Salazar Slytherin! How can you, old fool, tell me of such things when I embody them?!" His lips began to form the words that would end the Headmaster's life, and time slowed down.
Suddenly, Dumbledore saw it all, flashes of memories in front of his eyes, past mistakes and glories running across his vision all at once. He saw them and trembled, terrified and at peace, sad and happy. He saw the contradiction that had been his life, the fall of Harry Potter, and most importantly, the fleeting power that gave him life, magic stronger than he could ever master. In it, he reveled and exhaled, thinking to breathe his last.
The Killing Curse never came.
A snap-hiss interrupted the Dark Lord's tirade and the bindings on Dumbledore faded. His vision cleared, and he saw a black figure cut through several deatheaters at once. Bursts of red light, not magical spells but controlled bolts of energy, struck down the deatheaters the black figure did not hit. The trolls roared, Voldemort's binding having faded from them as well.
Dumbledore did not question the help of the mysterious figure. He reached out with his hand, pulled every bit of will he could into a field of wandless magic, and ripped the Elder Wand from Voldemort's grasp. The shock of deatheaters dying distracted the Dark Lord long enough that he did not sense the approaching spell until too late. Before Voldemort realized it, Dumbledore was firing curses.
Heedless of his own safety, Dumbledore threw everything he could at the unarmed Dark Lord. Voldemort staggered under the barrage and tried to pull his other wand, but he stumbled, his body flailing. A look of terror flashed on his face as the inferno that was Albus Dumbledore stepped toward him. Wandlessly, he cast several spells, but Dumbledore brushed them aside as if they were mere nuisances.
In a twist and a pop, Voldemort fled Hogwarts.
The Headmaster turned his attention back to the trolls, but as he did, he saw the last one fall and join the corpses of its cousins on the stone floor. The corpses formed a circle around the black figure.
Only the acromantula still stood. Everything else that had challenged Hogwarts lay on the floor either dead or dying. Only a few still had all their limbs attached. The giant spiders did not survive by mistake. They were not dangerous just because they were carnivorous. They were dangerous because they were as intelligent as humans. They, unlike most predators, had the ability to think beyond instinct.
The black figure did not wait for them to attack. He leapt in the air, somersaulting to impossible heights that carried him over the spiders and placed him between the beasts and the circle of professors and older students that protected the younger students. At the same time, the armored men behind him unleashed a wave of deadly bolts from weapons they held pressed against their shoulders. The bolts did not stray. Each hit the intended target. The smell of burned carcass filled the Great Hall. The black figure stood sentry, daring anything that still lived to try and break him.
Dumbledore took a step forward, raised his wand in case of danger, and found that he no longer held it.
The Boy-Who-Lived looked up from the carnage he had created, his eyes dark and frightening, a green lightning sword in one hand and the Elder Wand in the open palm of his other. He did not smile. He did not frown. He did not show emotion.
In a voice as cold as the iciest blizzard, he spoke the Headmaster's name. With it came threat and promise, every letter soaked in rage.
His hand tightened around the hilt of his lightsaber, but he lowered it to his side, pointing the ancient weapon at an angle. He closed himself off to the emotions that danced through the room. His eyes squeezed half-shut. The air hummed. He knew the sound. The hum of war, of death, of control… his lightsaber.
"There is no emotion, there is peace."
Dumbledore. How did he know that name? He stared at the man who looked so familiar and brought up so much anger. He stared at the crooked nose wizard, an old man. He stared and remembered the first line of the Jedi Code. Peace.
"There is no ignorance, there is knowledge."
He did not know them. Any of them. But the girl in the hallway knew him. And he had given her a name too hadn't he? Only, her name did not come with anger. With her, he felt desire, longing, need. He felt…
"There is no passion, there is serenity."
No. Jedi did not feel that. Jedi existed outside of that. They did not succumb to the instinctual drives that governed the lives of other beings. Serenity. Only serenity.
"There is no chaos, there is harmony."
The room began to calm. The death around him did not contradict his beliefs. The death was necessary. It facilitated life. Had he not acted, more would have died. Death meant nothing to a Jedi. Only harmony. Death did not exist.
"There is no death, there is the Force."
He deactivated the lightsaber. The Force swirled around him. He allowed his senses to ride it, to take in his surroundings. These were students, students and teachers. The masked humans and their pets had attacked a school. He stood in a school. His home.
For a moment, the taint of the dark side rose up, and he reached to grasp it. Nausea rolled up from his stomach, but the power of the dark side could cure that. He could wipe away all pain.
Harry fought the anger back. He clipped his lightsaber to his belt lest he use it without thinking and make matters worse. The soldiers behind him relaxed. He felt the tension leave their shoulders. Still, they did not lower their guns. They were too well trained for that. They would not stand down until he ordered them to. This world was strange and unknown. Danger could wait around every corner.
He looked at the man he had called Dumbledore. Again, the rage he associated with the man came, but it would not master him. He was Jedi. Serenity.
"I know you," he said simply, not sure of what else to add.
The old man nodded once. The shock that marked his features changed to relief, then to pleasure. "Yes," he said, his voice sounding old and feeble despite the powerful image he portrayed in the Force. "I daresay that you know me better than most of my students have ever known me."
"Your name is Dumbledore." Harry said.
The man nodded. "And yours is Harry Potter."
Harry shook his head. He had a mission to complete. This man knew him, knew his past. Finally, pieces of his puzzling life began to fall into place. So many questions filled his head, but they all had to wait. The Axis orbited the planet waiting on him to signal the all-clear.
"I am Jedi Harry Potter. My men and I observed these subjects attacking, and we rendered our aid. As an ambassador for the Galactic Republic, I request audience with your leader."
Dumbledore looked taken aback. Clearly he had not expected such a formal answer from Harry. The old man nodded and beckoned towards a stern-face woman. The woman approached at once but never took her eyes off Harry.
"Professor McGonagall, escort the students back to their dormitories. As soon as the Ministry arrives, explain to them that I am seeing to the security of the castle and will meet with them as soon as possible." He gave her a sharp look and raised a finger. "Ensure that the investigators speak to no one but a professor until I return."
The woman gave a quick nod, turned, and went about her business.
"Now, Mr. Potter. If you and your men will follow me to my office, I am sure we can get everything cleared up very quickly."
He nodded. Without being ordered to, the soldiers formed a defensive formation around Harry, blocking the old man from having direct access to him. Under any other circumstances, Harry might have smiled. For some reason, he didn't want to show even the slight bit of pleasantness towards Dumbledore. He opened himself to the Force and allowed it to calm his thoughts again.
Held deep within the embrace of the Living Force, Harry followed Dumbledore, his fingers stroking the lightsaber at his waist.
The Republic Dreadnaught Axis orbited Earth at approximately 56,000 km. At 6,000 meters long with a shiny, metallic hull and brightly flaring thrusters, the dreadnaught should have been easily visible from Earth's surface. At that moment, however, not even the most advanced Earth satellite could detect Axis.
The technology to make such a feat possible was not well known, at least not on the scale required by a ship the size of Axis. Cloaking technology required exact calculations and a lot of focused power. Power wasn't the problem. Axis could feed off surrounding stars thanks to solar energizers built into its hull. Add in the fusion converters and the cooling stabilizers, the dreadnaught was essentially a self-sustaining, fully armed battle ship capable of rendering a planet lifeless in a matter of a few days. The problem with cloaking came from the calculations. Small ships could easily be cloaked. A starfighter did not have much mass, relatively speaking; therefore, the calculations did not have to take into account a large surface. Mathematically speaking, the technology to successfully cloak a ship the size of Axis did not exist.
Fortunately, Galactic Republic Central Command did not agree with things like "impossible" and "should not exist." Thanks to advancements in stygium crystal focusing made by Republic scientist and kept virtually secret, Axis had been built as the first of its kind. As a result, for all intents and purposes, the Republic had no vessel named Axis. That also meant that its commanding officer, Admiral Eton Ken, did not exist, at least not on any active duty rosters. According to the Republic Intelligence Database, Eton Ken died ten years before Axis was complete.
Eton Ken stood on the bridge of Axis staring out the massive viewport that topped the bridge. The green and blue planet beneath him shined like a gem in the blackness of space. He hardly noticed the stars. Those he had seen thousands of times before, but the beauty of the planet before him almost brought tears to his eyes. It was one of the few things that could.
Life. The planet represented life unsoiled by the pains of galactic war and the movement of modernization. It represented purity. A thing Ken barely understood.
Axis had been out of known space for eight weeks when they discovered the planet. The two Jedi on board Axis claimed they could sense it, a miracle in itself seeing as how none of Axis's advanced long-range sensors had pinpointed any sort of life-sustaining planet in the region or any of the surrounding regions. Tired of the desolate emptiness offered by wild space and in desperate need to find a location that could be fortified, Ken readily agreed to investigate the Jedi's hunches.
His faith was greatly rewarded. After a lifetime of seeing planets torn by war and suffocated by the life forms that called them home, he had found a new planet, an uncivilized planet uncorrupted by the long, poisonous fingers of neither the Sith Empire nor the Republic. More than anything, he longed to leave the ship and make it his home, to finally escape the eternal civil war that seemed to never end.
Eton Ken sighed as he looked out at the blue oceans and swirling clouds. He blinked away the longing. Admirals did not forsake their duty.
"Commander Regil, move to approach speed. Calculate a vector for low orbit and dispatch the landing vessels."
The tall, female officer behind him snapped off orders to the bridge crew. Almost instantly, he felt the lurch in the ship's control as their velocity changed. Ken turned to the junior officer. Her blue eyes lit up as he looked at her, but it had nothing to do with attraction or affection. It was the excitement. Regil loved serving in the Republic Navy. She was military through and through. As always, her black uniform, an exact mirror of his save for the rank insignia she wore, was pressed and creased to perfection. Like every other officer onboard, the blonde female was thought to be dead by all but a few strategically placed individuals.
"Keep shields and cloaking up until we verify that they cannot detect us. The planet is primitive, but I would prefer not to have any surprises," he told her. "The Jedi will give confirmation."
She saluted and responded with an "Aye, sir!" in the sharp, brisk tone most trained officers used. He returned the salute and started from the bridge.
Ken managed to make it halfway across the deck before the bulkhead exiting the bridge opened and a petite brunette woman in tight grey robes entered. His shoulders tensed and his head started to pulse the second he saw the frown marring her smooth, angular face. She would have been stunning if she were smiling, but there was no mirth in the grey-clad woman's green eyes. Her whole body looked stiff. Her hand, in particular, seemed anxious. She flexed her fingers, running them along the shaft of the metallic cylinder object that hung from her waist.
The Jedi's lightsaber.
Whatever she was mad about, he knew it was best to get it over with. The Jedi Master could be a real pain if she were allowed to stew. "Good evening, Master Jedi. I was just explaining to Commander Regil that we will beginning our descent as soon as your padawan has secured us a landing site," he said in way of debriefing. His voice not showing any of the strain he felt. Good officers did not show their emotions.
The look the Jedi gave him could have frozen any sun. "My padawan has run into complications, Admiral. I need a shuttle in order to join him on the surface."
Ken frowned. "He ensured us that the planet would be safe and unaware of our presence, Master Katur." He hated problems. The military thrived on preciseness and order. While capable of changing to match whatever might come, no unit would be as effective as under ideal circumstances. He sighed. Working with Jedi had a way of always attracting problems.
She bowed slightly, spreading her hands. "His memories of this place were not as restored as he believed. There were unforeseen circumstances that should have not have existed. My padawan and your soldiers have addressed them, but I need to join him in order to finish the arrangements that will allow your landing parties," the Jedi responded. Then, her eyes grew distant as if she were staring at some far off point behind Ken. In a dreamy voice she added, "There are strange mummers here. The Force is twisted, agonized. I must discover the meaning."
The admiral raised an eyebrow. "Mummers? Our landing is delayed because you hear mummers? Tell them to shut up so I can land," he snapped, his voice a bit sharper than intended. The lack of sleep was getting to him, and the Jedi's insistence in delaying because of a feeling more than tested his thin patience. His entire crew was on edge.
The Jedi's eyes narrowed. "We cannot predict how the Force will speak; we can only listen when it does."
Ken shook his head in frustration but turned to Commander Regil despite his sudden desire to spit profanity at the Jedi Master. "Commander, prepare a landing cruiser for Master Katur and resume orbiting procedures."
He turned back to the Jedi and raised a finger. "Find me a landing spot, Master Katur."
If the Jedi Master was offended by his tone and gestures, she did not showed it. She merely bowed again and made to exit the bridge. At the bulkhead, she paused and looked over her shoulder. In a low voce she said, "If you do not hear from me in 48 hours, it would be best if you left this system, Admiral."
He stared at the bulkhead as it closed behind her. Where else could they go?
In shadows they waited.
The dark gave them power, gave them refuge, gave them home.
Through anger they were made; by rage they existed.
As one they opened their eyes. Each mind felt the same thing. They recognized each other without trying. They knew their creator, and they knew one another. From the same spirit, their image became life. And they knew…
Jedi had returned to Earth. As one, they embraced the force.
A/N: Go ahead with this or not?