Harry Potter & the Darkest War (my Book 7)
|Yeah, well, I've tried writing an HP7 before but this one is somewhat better planned out and written. Feel free to post in the thread, and without further ado, I present unto you all:
HARRY POTTER & THE DARKEST WAR
By Nick Garland
CHAPTER ONE: The Last Day
Harry Potter sat at the desk in his bedroom, scribbling notes frantically. It was his last ever day at number four, Privet Drive, where he had lived since he was a baby with his abusive Uncle Vernon; Aunt Petunia, his mother’s sister; and Dudley, the Dursley’s son, and the most obese and idiotic boy that Harry had ever known, but Harry was not saying farewell to the Dursleys (not that he wished them to); he had not even packed, for Harry Potter was thinking, planning… he sought Horcruxes, the mysterious artefacts endowed with parts of Lord Voldemort’s soul, supplying the Dark Lord’s immortality.
There was a thud at the door. Harry leapt up and repeated the spell he had seen Nymphodora Tonks use two years previously to instantly pack all of his belongings, when he was still a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry… before Voldermort’s return and the death of Albus Dumbledore; before Harry Potter had to leave his girlfriend, leave his classmates, leave the Order of the Phoenix, all to search for four of Voldemort’s Horcruxes (though one may have been destroyed) and then destroy the Dark Lord, only assisted by his fellow young wizards, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.
There was a loud crack on the street outside and Harry looked up from a hastily sketched spider diagram of possible locations of Horcruxes. He rose and walked to the window, where he saw the tall, ginger-haired figure of his best friend, Ronald Weasley, standing on the pavement, clutching a very old-fashioned, and surely third or fourth hand, suitcase to his side. Ron wore a scruffy shirt and tie, which reminded Harry of how little wizards knew of the ‘Muggle’ world; Ron clearly had yet to master the art of doing up a tie, which, Harry recalled, was still something the 100% Muggle Dudley still struggled with, at the age of seventeen.
Beside Ron stood Hermione Granger, his girlfriend. Hermione wore, quite naturally, a pair of jeans and a warm coat, on the chilly morning; very chilly for July, but that was always the case, it had been for over a year now, since the Dementors of Azkaban betrayed the magical community and sided with the insidious Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
Harry opened the window and waved frantically as Ron approached the door. He mouthed ‘don’t’ and bombed downstairs, trying to be as quiet as he could while sprinting, and slipped the door open slowly. He didn’t fear Vernon Dursley’s wrath anymore, but he definitely preferred not having to have a heated conflict with the man.
“H…” Ron opened his mouth to greet his friend, but Harry clapped a hand over his friend’s mouth and gestured upstairs. Hermione nodded and Ron put his thumbs up, so the trio crept quietly upstairs and into Harry’s room. There, they shut his trunk; seized the cage containing the snowy owl Hedwig; and crept downstairs.
“Where are you going, boy?” Came a positive hiss from the living room. Uncle Vernon stood watching them, red-faced, as Ron’s hand rested on the door knob, “What are they doing in my house?”
“I was just leaving,” Said Harry, oh so calmly, “For good. Unless you want me to stay? I can perform magic outside school tomorrow… and these two are already seventeen.”
Harry spun his phoenix feather wand lazily and tossed it, catching it and slipping it into his trouser pocket.
“Well…” Vernon started angrily, but instantly lost his nerve. He merely said, “Then get out, boy. As though we’ll miss you!”
Harry Potter smiled for the first time in months as Ron threw the door wide open, and the terrified face of Dudley Dursley peered around the corner.
“Shazam,” Harry said, pointing his wand vaguely at Dudley, before coolly slipping out of the door, hefting his trunk, while Ron carried Hedwig.
“Well,” Hermione smiled grimly, “It’s off to Bill and Fleur’s wedding, and then…” She stopped speaking. None of them wanted to discuss what would come after that… Harry tried to smile reassuringly, but was sure his face appeared to be more of a somewhat fearful grimace. It was time, he knew; time to head out into the wizarding world, away from the Dursleys and their abuse; away from Uncle Vernon’s wrath, Aunt Petunia’s snotty, but quiet, loathing, and Dudley’s childish tantrums.
And then it happened. The nightmare was happening all over again. Evil was on Privet Drive; Harry could feel it, the dark magical aura; like a sixth sense.
“Something’s wrong,” he said, “We’re not alone. We have to get out of here!”
“Harry, what do you mean?” Asked Hermione, “There’s no one here… look.” And she silently cast the Lumos spell, illuminating the area with her wand tip. No one and nothing threatening seemed to be around.
“We’re not alone,” he repeated, confidently, “Disapparate… get out of here. I need to…”
“Harry… come on!”
Harry did not move. Instead, he dived down, whipping his wand out a bolt of green magic shot through exactly where he had been standing a millisecond before.
“Who’s there?” Gasped Ron.
“Get out of here!” Harry ordered his friends, just before he bellowed, “Expelliarmus!”
A jet of red light illuminated the dark night as it knocked a dark, hooded and cloaked figure flying. Harry ducked, as a second curse sailed at him.
“They’re using the killing curse, Ron! Disapparate, for God’s Sake!” He yelled, firing off the Impedimenta jinx, to little effect, as his shot was blocked by a familiar-looking enemy, “RON!”
Ron ducked to avoid a skimming hex, then shook his head frantically, as Hermione cursed a Death Eater.
“I’m not leaving you, Harry,” Yelled the ginger-headed, lanky young man, aiming his wand rapidly.
“Ron!” Harry saw a bolt of green rocketing at his friend. He ran, stumbled, tripped… and dived, pulling Ron down, “Apparate!”
Harry heard a crack and felt his insides writhing; then he opened his eyes wide, panting. The trio stood at the front of a familiar, ramshackle building; the Burrow. But now it was deserted and wrecked. The door had been blasted in, the house ransacked. When once it was a bright, cheerful; now it was chaos.
“We have to get word to the Order,” Hermione said, “Or else…”
There was a shout. They’re here! Harry gasped… out of the frying pan, and into the fire! It had been a trap!
Four huge, shrouded wizards loomed over them, wands aimed.
“Stop,” Harry whispered, “Let them go. You want me, not them.”
“Harry…” muttered Ron, “Look…”
Hope was restored in Harry Potter like fire roaring up in its hearth, as six figures appeared in one conjoined crack! Remus Lupin, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Alastor ‘Mad Eye’ Moody, Professor Minerva McGonagall and Rubeus Hagrid were suddenly there; the first five with their wands raised, Hagrid clutching his pink umbrella in one hand and a club in the other!
“’Arry!” He yelled. Harry was stunned to see his old friend in battle- Hagrid wasn’t allowed to use magic by law, for he had been expelled from Hogwarts fifty years previously, having been framed for opening the Chamber of Secrets and releasing the monster of Salazar Slytherin, “Get outta here!”
Hagrid fired a hex, roaring:
“Hagrid!” Harry roared, diving down to knock a Death Eater reeling away into the aim of Lupin, who knocked the dark wizard out with a nifty ‘stupefy’ spell.
“Run, dammit!” One of the Death Eaters was hollering, and Harry recognised the voice, with a jolt of horror…
Moody was upon Malfoy in seconds, firing off a curse that Harry didn’t recognise; something resembling a silver fireball. Malfoy dodged and dived to avoid a second shot.
“Ya can’t escape me, Lucius,” Called Mad-Eye, and then a hex knocked him reeling from behind and Malfoy and a tall, robed figure was running, “That’s Augustus Rookwood! He should be in Azkaban… so should Malfoy!”
Lupin and Tonks were examining the two fallen Death Eaters worriedly. It was Lupin who spoke:
“And these… Rabastan LeStrange and Walden McNair… all of these should be imprisoned…”
“The Ministry’s failed us,” Croaked Moody, “This calls for desperate measures.”
But Harry never got to hear of the manic old auror’s ‘desperate measures’, as he, Ron and Hermione were shepherded away by Lupin, as Moody and the other Order of the Phoenix members hastily discussed these measures.
Harry felt a pang of annoyance. He was seventeen tomorrow! HE was the so-called Chosen One to kill Voldemort! He should…
“Harry,” Lupin sighed, “We’ll tell you everything in good time. Just sit tight.” He smiled slightly, reassuringly. Harry nodded, resisting the urge to protest, “For now, we are all going to apparate you back to Grimmauld Place, where we believe some of your other friends await you.”
“Who?” Harry was puzzled; surely Ron and Hermione were the only people relevant to the Order, or the Death Eaters, and Lupin clearly didn’t refer to other Weasleys.
“Mr. Longbottom and Miss Lovegood, Harry,” Lupid looked at him, surprised, “Had you not heard? Both of their guardians are… missing. Presumed dead. Voldemort is striking at you on all sides, Harry.”
Harry couldn’t believe it. He felt guilty. So guilty. He had brought Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood into this… and now they were like him; without true family. What had he done? Harry wasn’t sure what he could ever say to them…
Please read AND review the story! Reviews are what keeps me persevering with a story; so if you hate it, don't review.
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 1st, 2007 10:53 AM
Ah, yeah, for the record, I write fast, so fear not, you won't all be having to wait around for a few millenia for a chapter...
CHAPTER TWO: The Orphan Club
Harry was apprehensive, to say the least, when Lupin showed him into a bedroom and there, sitting on the bed, their eyes red and lips trembling, sat Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood. Ron and Hermione entered behind him, stopping as Harry paused.
“Hi,” he said quietly.
“Hey, Harry,” whispered Luna. Once, she had been so cheerful- despite the fact that she was the victim of much scorn due to her father’s odd theories in the magazine The Quibbler.
“Neville,” Ron nodded awkwardly to his friend, “Luna.”
“It’s OK,” Neville said quietly, “I haven’t changed.”
“What?” Ron’s face showed his confusion clearly.
“I mean… yeah, my grandma’s dead, but…” explained Neville, “I’m still Neville. I haven’t changed. You can talk to me.”
“I… I understand,” Harry replied, and Ron nodded fervently.
Luna burst into tears and Hermione hurried over to her, gesturing to the boys to get out; which they did, hurriedly.
“God,” lamented Ron sadly, “If You Know Who carries on at this rate, Hogwarts may as well be an orphans’ club or something.”
Neville scowled up at him, and the red-headed boy looked suddenly awkward:
“That wasn’t funny.” This was the first time Harry had really seen Neville stand up against one of the friends since their first year, when they had attempted to sneak out after hours to prevent Professor Quirrel stealing the Philosopher’s Stone for Lord Voldemort, “Shut up.”
Harry sighed. Neville wasn’t an orphan- it was much worse than that. His parents had been magically tortured into insanity by the LeStranges and Barty Crouch Junior.
“Neville, I…” Ron looked worriedly from Harry to Neville and back again, pleading for a change of subject.
“What I want to know is…” Harry interjected tactfully, “…how the Death Eaters found us just as we left.”
“You’re not suggesting…?” began Ron and Harry nodded fervently:
“Yeah… I think there’s another wolf in the fold.” Neville gasped:
“Surely not… it could be Snape…”
“No way,” Ron replied, “No way is Snape doing this. As soon as the Order learned about him, everything was rearranged; new times, new meeting places; it’s a good thing Grimmauld Place is unplottable, or we’d have to move completely.”
“So… it has to be another traitor, doesn’t it?” Persisted Harry.
“Not at all.” The trio spun around to see Hermione frowning at them, “Honestly, Harry, not all information comes from spies, you know. He could have had men watching Privet Drive 24/7…”
“Or,” cut in Ron hurriedly, “Maybe he’s got Snape using Polyjuice Potion. After all, Snape already knows where we are, so…”
“I doubt it, Ron… didn’t you hear what Lupin said? The house has a Revelis Charm cast over it. Form concealing spells and potions can’t work in Grimmauld Place,” sighed Hermione, evidently frustrated at the theories, “It’s not exactly a secret that Harry would be leaving around his seventeenth birthday, after all, and…”
“Oh for God’s Sake…” groaned Ron, “Bloody Hell! Will you shut UP, Hermione!?”
Hermione paused for a moment, seeming somewhat upset, as Ron stormed off downstairs. Hermione opened her mouth to shout after him, but seemed to think better of it, and hurried away into Harry and Ron’s room, where Luna was sitting, red-eyed on the bed.
“First time they’ve had an argument about something important,” Neville muttered, “So, what do you want to do, Harry?”
“I… Neville?” Harry looked at his friend oddly. Neville seemed in remarkably high spirits, considering his carer had recently been murdered by the same people who tortured his parents to insanity, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah… I guess,” Neville shrugged.
“Exploding snap?” Asked Harry, picking up a pack from a large chest on the side of the landing.
“Harry!” Ron came bolting up the stairs, wand out, and bellowed, “EXPELLIARMUS!”
Harry was hurled across the landing and the cards looped up into the air, the box snapping open… and exploded with the force of a hand grenade!
“What the…?” mumbled Neville, cowering several feet away from the smoking hole in the stone floor.
“They’re Fred and George’s,” explained Ron, panting, “They’re trying to work out altered designs, but… um… they don’t work yet. Better not let Mum find out they’ve been leaving their joke stuff everywhere or she’ll kill…”
“Harry? Ron? What was that noise!?” It was Mrs. Weasley. She stared from the shredded pieces of card spread across the floor to Harry, to Ron, and to Neville. There was a loud crack! Fred and George appeared, grinning, closely examining four pouches brimming with gold Galleons, silver Sickles and bronze Knuts.
“FREDERICK WEASLEY! GEORGE!” Mrs. Weasley screeched furiously, “WHAT DID I TELL YOU ABOUT LEAVING YOUR DAMNED TOYS ABOUT THE HOUSE!? WHAT DID I TELL YOU!?”
“Mummmm…” Fred grumbled, slipping the bags of gold into his robe pockets, “If you think about it, those cards could be very useful against You Know…”
“DOES HARRY LOOK LIKE HIM!?” Shrieked Mrs. Weasley, “WELL!? HONESTLY! I WANT EVERY SINGLE THING FROM YOUR JOKE SHOP OUT OF THE WAY BEFORE TONIGHT!”
And with that, Mrs. Weasley turned tail and stormed off in a display that made Ron’s look tentative and weedy. Ron whistled and glanced sideways at the twins:
Fred and George, for once, didn’t seem amused…
More coming up verrrrrry shortly when I finish the next chapter...
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 1st, 2007 10:56 AM
|CHAPTER THREE: Tying the Knot
The next week went past in a blur, and Harry had very little time with Ron and Hermione alone, to work on his Horcrux theory. Soon enough, Harry’s birthday had passed and it was the next Saturday. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Luna were sprawled around the third living room, or as the Black’s had proudly labelled it: the drawing room (“As if the house isn’t old fashioned enough as it is”, Ron had commented, dryly).
Harry sat with the box of assorted Honeyduke’s Specials from Ron under one arm and was clutching Advanced Secrets of the Dark Arts and How to Combat Them: The Ultimate Guide For Aurors, from Hermione, in his free hand, speed-reading every third line vaguely. Ginny, Neville and Ron were engaged in a loud and somewhat dangerous game of Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes’ Finest Apocalyptic Snap; constantly diving for cover as their cards erupted into flames, and Hermione was constantly called on to cast a quick extinguishing spell upon the table, before the entire room was ablaze, which meant she and Luna were having a rather disturbed discussion, which ranged from the issues of The Quibbler’s Rotfang Conspiracy theory, to an emotional session regarding death and the afterlife, and finally to Hermione attempting to teach Luna various charms and hexes; though the depressed younger witch seemed to have lost all magical control, blasting Ron with a torrent of ice cold mud when she was supposed to be using the Accio spell to summon a kettle, cups, milk and sugar from the kitchen.
“Snap!” Yelled Ron, diving aside to avoid the dramatic fireworks, “Another round?”
Neville and Ginny were laughing hard and Ron looked utterly bemused, until he noticed there were no cards left, only embers and ashes:
“Yeah,” he mumbled, “Maybe I should mention that to Fred and George.”
Right on cue, the twins Apparated into the room with a crack! Fred was smoking a long, pink pipe lazily and George held a wine bottle of what appeared to be white toothpaste in each hand.
“FRED! GEORGE!” Mrs. Weasley was back, “I WON’T HAVE YOU SMOKING!”
She waved her wand, but Fred held up his, countering the blow.
“Mum, these are just our latest creations,” beamed Fred cockily; his voice slurred thanks to the pipe, obstructing his speech, “The Weasley’s own tribute to the War Effort!”
“Oh, and what would that be!?” Snapped the ginger-haired woman violently, “Another batch of Peruvian Darkness Powder for the Death Eaters maybe? Or an instant death chewing gum?”
“Mummmm…” George smirked cockily, “Would we? Please… this is just our Dark Magic Protection Pipe… we haven’t come up with a title yet. What do you think of ProtectoPipe? Too muggle?”
“Well… how does it work?” Came Mrs. Weasley’s suspicious reply.
“Simple,” Fred grinned and tossed the pipe to his mother, “The fumes…”
Harry gaped at the multi-coloured smoke billowing from the device.
“…they turn grey when they come into contact with anything dark,” continued George, “So, say, if you think Ron here is really Voldemort’s pet doggy in disguise… you just breathe some of the pipe smoke like so!”
Fred aimed his wand and the pipe and flicked it, propelling some of the gaseous, stinking fumes into Ron’s face. Ron doubled up, coughing.
“If, and only if, the smoke turns grey; the pipe detects dark magic about the person,” winked Fred to conclude.
“I see,” said Mrs. Weasley stiffly, “And the bottles?”
“Oh, these’re just instant death potions,” winked George. His mother made to leap up, and then saw the others laughing, “Nah, they’re just a freezing potion we’re working on. See, you can already get exploding snap cards, so we thought cards which freeze your body slowly, and only defrosts when you win.”
Ron grinned, but Mrs. Weasley had other ideas. She pointed her wand directly at the bottles and they vanished.
“Oh, grow up, boys!” She snapped, “And get ready! We’ll have to leave for the wedding in a few hours! Get your dress robes on; hurry, hurry!”
The group scattered, pouring up the stairs to get their dress robes on and be ready for Bill Weasley’s marriage to Fleur Delacour. Soon enough, they were all ready to Apparate, Harry, Neville, Ginny and Luna standing with Professor McGonagall, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Arthur Weasley and Remus Lupin respectively. They all departed in a series of cracks!
Harry felt his insides churning and then they were there, standing in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry stared around, shocked. This wasn’t where he had expected the wedding to be held… and the “no-Apparation” spell had evidently been lifted. Harry felt suddenly nervous, though he had no way of knowing if his nerves were reasonable. Surely, the Order would not risk their lives just for a wedding…
And then Bill Weasley and a tall man, bald and stick thin up to a huge beer belly, wandered in. Bill looked so different from the handsome man who had once been the pride of the Weasley brood. Three deep scars crossed his face; the wounds now an unhealthy greenish colour yet far from healed, if they ever would. Bill’s once long ago was scraggy and torn, a bald patch running over his scalp; another mark of his dreadful clash with the werewolf Fenrir Greyback, in Hogwarts the year before.
Harry whispered to Mr. Weasley:
“Uh… who’s that with Bill?”
“It’s Spellbinder Melch,” whispered the red-headed, balding man, “He’s an old friend of Remus, said he’d be glad to help us out. In fact, Kingsley’s trying to recruit him for the Order.”
“Him?” Harry was very surprised. Spellbinder Melch looked hardly heroic material- damaged goods, more like. He was continuously coughing into a purple handkerchief with stars adorning it. The decoration made Harry think of Albus Dumbledore, and that was heartache he did not need now, “He hardly looks…”
“Don’t be fooled by appearance, Harry,” winked Mr. Weasley, “Melch is a very powerful wizard, you know. Why, I once saw him use one of the finest Impedimenta charms I’ve ever seen, in the Hog’s Head of all places. And trust me, Harry, not many good wizards go and display their power in the Head. That takes guts.”
“Dumbledore did it.”
“Yes, Harry, but that’s Dumbledore. He didn’t just have guts, he was the greatest wizard in centuries!”
“Hello, Arthur,” Spellbinder Melch wheezed at them, stroking his peculiarly shaped nose, “Did you hear the awful news?”
“No? What is it, Algernon?” Asked Arthur worriedly.
“The bloody Hog’s Head barman’s missing!” Melch remarked angrily, “The place’s been all boarded up, like… and I like a good drink in the Head! The barman was a real good guy too… he was a great friend, old Abe!”
“I see,” Mr. Weasley sighed and nodded slowly, “I’ll make a note of that, Algy.”
Another attack. Harry was worried… what if Voldemort started butchering muggle-borns again, or…
“Ladies and gentlemen!” Bellowed the Spellbinder and the guests hurried to their seats as Fleur arrived, “I bid you welcome! To the wedding, we shall proceed. Lock hands, friends.”
“What’re they doing?” Harry whispered to Ron.
“The Unbreakable Vow.”
“What?” hissed Hermione.
“The Unbreakable Vow… that’s why there are never any wizarding divorces.”
Harry wasn’t sure whether he should be amused or horrified.
“William Arthur Billius Weasley,” began Algernon Melch, “Do you vow to guard this woman, Fleur Gabrielle Delacour, through any strife and evil; be it magick or Muggle, dark or light, false or just?”
“I will,” whispered Bill.
“And do you vow to never leave her, until death parts you?”
“And, finally, do you vow to support her, to support her, and to cherish her; in sickness, in health, in wealth, in poverty, until death’s calling.”
As Bill said each vow, a link of fire bound his hand to Fleur’s, until three joined them, then Melch repeated the questions, this time to Fleur, and three more fiery links bound them, finally bursting up and then dying away.
“The vows are complete,” nodded Spellbinder Melch, “You are, by the laws in place by the Ministry of Magic in Act Thirteen of the Spellbinders’ Lore, husband and wife!”
Bill and Fleur kissed, and Harry smiled, joining in the applause. Wizard weddings were odd events, no doubt, but he couldn’t help grinning as he clapped, despite the rude, annoying behaviour so often shown by Fleur (or Phlegm as Ginny called her); despite Voldemort; despite Dumbledore’s death… there was still good in the world!
Next, we see some obvious plot development! Shock! Horror!
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 1st, 2007 12:24 PM
|CHAPTER FOUR: A Most Dangerous Plan
The party raged through Hogwarts’ Great Hall for all the night. Ron found himself in his element, ending up showing Fleur’s little sister, Gabrielle Delacour, various jinxes and spells melodramatically. However, Harry wasn’t enjoying himself so much. He sat quietly, sipping at his pumpkin juice, and watching Ginny and Luna engage in a tense chess match. As the night drew to a subdued close (Bill, Fleur, Charlie, Mr. Weasley and Tonks were all half asleep after a heavy night of drinking), Harry sat lazily munching on the leftovers of a pumpkin pasty.
“Excuse me, Potter.” It was Professor McGonagall, looking weary but smiling slightly nonetheless, “Could I have a word? In private?”
“Uh…” Harry glanced at the others, who shrugged and nodded vaguely, “Sure.”
Professor McGonagall led him away, up through the school and over the rising staircase to her office, where they sat across the desk from each other.
“Harry,” she said slowly, “I want to know everything. Everything that happened on the night that Albus… I mean, Professor Dumbledore… the night that he died.”
She was stressed, nervous. Dumbledore’s death had clearly hit the new headmistress as hard as anyone.
“I can’t, professor, not everything. I swore… I can’t tell anyone where we went that night. All I can say is…” Harry made up his mind, “Something happened when we went. We returned to Hogwarts on brooms from Madam Rosmerta. I was in my invisibility cloak. Malfoy burst onto the tower, he disarmed Dumbledore… and…” The words caught in Harry’s throat and he spoke at a slow whisper, “…he used his chance… his wand… to paralyse me… so… wouldn’t interfere… saved me and lost… lost wand because of me. Malfoy had to kill him. Voldemort’s orders…”
“Yes, Harry?” said McGonagall softly, pushing a goblet of water over to him.
“Then… Malfoy couldn’t do it. Other Death Eaters arrived… Greyback. Then… Snape. Snape came… killed Dumbledore! And Dumbledore begged!” Harry was in tears now, but not of sorrow, of rage… rage at Severus Snape! “Dumbledore trusted him, he begged for his life… and Snape murdered him! He murdered him!”
“Harry…” the professor sighed, “Thank you. Here.”
McGonagall flicked her wand. A handkerchief fell into Harry’s lap. He wiped his eyes and she spoke, quietly, gently.
“Now I have to tell you something… the Order have a drastic plan.” The headmistress spoke slowly, sadly, “You saw the Death Eaters who attacked you? Lucius Malfoy? Walden McNair?”
“Yes.” Harry nodded in confirmation.
“Well, Harry, I am sure you know they should have all been in Azkaban,” continued McGonagall.
“Yes!” Nodded Harry fervently.
“Well, we, that is to say The Order, have a plan,” explained McGonagall, “We are going to take over the Ministry of Magic, depose Rufus Scrimgeour and, well, rule.”
“But… professor… the Ministry will strike back at the school! They’ll…”
“That, Harry, is why only certain Order members, those who cannot be jeopardised, shall take part in the raid. It will be led by Alastor Moody, Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks.”
“I see.” Harry wasn’t sure what to say, or what McGonagall expected him to say, “Uh…”
“Harry, I was just telling you this because, well, I know you’ll need support. The whole Order know it. We just want to forewarn you and, well, after this… there should be more firepower at our… and at your… disposal, should you need…”
“Thanks,” Harry mumbled and rose hurriedly, “Thank you, professor.”
His mind was chaotic. Were the Order mad!? Or was this the only way? Everything that once seemed so black and white was suddenly contrasted merely with shades of grey, getting darker by the second…
When Harry returned to the Great Hall, Ron and Hermione looked at him inquisitively.
“What…?” Began Ron, but Harry cut him short:
“Later. I’ll tell you everything… later.”
“Well,” yawned Spellbinder Melch, “I’d better be getting back to the ministry. There’s still some oddments of work I need to sort out for that old nitwit Squeak in the Muggle Relations department… and I guess I need time for a good old blubber about dear Abe.”
Arthur Weasley nodded, his eyebrows raised. Melch definitely used some odd words for a man who seemed rather formal before, but Harry was too tired to think, and the next thing he knew, he was standing outside of number twelve, Grimmauld Place, Lupin’s hand resting on his shoulder.
“Alright, Harry?” Asked the werewolf and then Harry was sure he heard a howl.
“Minerva! Hurry!” Lupin gestured to Professor McGonagall, who jogged away, followed by Kingsley Shacklebolt and Arthur Weasley.
“What…?” Began Harry.
“They need to attend to one of our more… illustrious prisoners,” remarked Lupin dryly.
“Prisoners?” Harry gasped.
“Yes. We decided taking them here would be safer than sending them back to Azkaban,” nodded the greying man.
“That was Greyback,” gasped Harry.
“Mmm… yes,” nodded Lupin, “Though I can’t help almost wishing we hadn’t picked him up. Now the Order are more sure than ever that I’ll have to… well…”
“Recruit the werewolves to our side?” Asked Hermione sharply.
“Yes,” Lupin nodded, “I’m going to be away for a while soon… trying to do just that. And, Harry…” Lupin took Harry aside now, out of the earshot of the others, “I fear I may never see you again, so… this is for you.”
Lupin held out a silver dagger, hand shaking.
“Many spells don’t work against the Undead, but Dumbledore gave this to me, just in case anything ever got out of hand. Anything not truly living can be slain with this… mystical entities. Werewolves… Dementors… Inferi… vampires…”
“Thank you.” He concluded weakly, and as Lupin walked away, he couldn’t help feeling a sense of foreboding, not unlike the one he felt the last time he saw Sirius Black before his untimely death…
TO BE CONTINUED! What fate awaits Remus Lupin? Can the Order really topple the Ministry of Magic? And what is Voldemort up to during all this? Fear not; all shall be revealed... if I don't f**k this up!
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 1st, 2007 03:10 PM
CHAPTER FIVE: To Godric’s Hollow…
The day had arrived. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Luna awoke early and sat in the ‘drawing room’, where Harry took his time, explaining what Dumbledore had believed; about the Horcruxes, about R.A.B, about that fateful night on the Astronomy Tower.
“Wow,” gasped Ginny, “What could it be, though? The last Horcrux?”
“Gryffindor’s sword?” muttered Ron.
“I read something like this in The Quibbler,” nodded Luna, “Andrew Hastlebury, lead singer and mage-guitarist of Andy and the Magick Muggles, uses a spell on his guitar to live forever.”
“What?” Hermione gaped at Luna, “Are you out of your mind!?”
“So, what are we going to do now?” Asked Neville, cutting over Hermione’s shrieks of scorn.
“I’m going to Godric’s Hollow… to find out about my parents… if they knew anything…”
“We’ll come, Harry, we’re with you to the end… at least, I am.” It was Neville who spoke, and the others stared at him. Finally, they nodded. Every one of them nodded unwaveringly.
“But, for now, I need some help. I need help thinking up where and what Voldemort might use as a Horcrux,” Harry sighed, “Any ideas?”
They whispered for hours, scrawling notes, but never seemed to get anywhere. Finally, Ron yawned and Harry spoke up:
“You guys go to bed. I’ll carry on without you.”
And so, once again, Harry was wracking his brains for hours, to no avail, until he heard a loud crack! The scowling form of Kreacher, Harry’s house elf and the former slave of the House of Black, appeared.
“Half breeds,” he grumbled to himself, “Mudbloods. Muggle filth. In my mistress’ house.”
“Kreacher,” Harry yawned, “I thought I told you to go to Hogwarts.”
“Yessss, master, but Professor Halfbreed did not want Kreacher. She sent Kreacher away,” he spoke with a sneer etched across his ugly face, “Banished me, halfbreed scum did.”
“Kreacher, shut up with all the ‘halfbreed filth’ and ‘mudblood’ and all that, alright!?” Harry snapped at the house elf, “Unless you want to make yourself useful for a change!?”
“And how would Kreacher make useful for half…” Kreacher paused, mouthing into thin air, as if he had become suddenly mute. Finally he said, “How would Kreacher make himself useful?”
“I dunno,” Harry really did have no idea, “Not much, unless you know where Voldemort’s got his Horcruxes hidden?”
“Is Master ordering Kreacher to tell?” Came the reluctant, nervous reply, and Harry spun around, staring madly at the elf:
“You mean you know where a Horcrux is!?” He shouted, “And I am ordering you to tell me, Kreacher!”
“Yes, master, Kreacher knows,” nodded the elf, “Must Kreacher tell?”
Kreacher looked terrified, his eyes darting around the room as if to seek an escape.
“What is it, Kreacher? Where is it? Tell me how you found it!” Harry barked.
“Upstairs, sir, it was Master’s…”
“Which master!?” Pressed Harry, his heart pounding.
“R-R-“ Kreacher was fighting against the magic binding him to Harry, “Regulus! Regulus Black!”
“Oh my God,” Harry stared at Kreacher then produced the fake locket Horcrux that he had taken from the cave on the night that Dumbledore died, “Regulus Black… R.A.B… the locket!”
“Yes, yes,” Kreacher nodded, though his face was an image of pure agony and hatred. He croaked for a moment like a strangled frog and then cried, “Master Regulus… wanted to destroy… but I couldn’t let him. Told Mistress Bellatrix! She… killed… but… Regulus… he made me keep a secret…”
“Where is it now? Show it to me! Bring it to me, elf!” Harry was yelling now, frustrated, angry and excited simultaneously.
“Kreacher will return.” The elf bowed, his face still distorted, “And Kreacher… shall bring locket.”
“And don’t tell anyone else! Or let them even see the locket! You get it and bring it straight to me, understand, Kreacher!?” Snapped Harry, and the door flew open as Kreacher vanished with a loud crack! Lupin and Mr. Weasley stood in the doorway, wands at the ready, staring at Harry.
“What’s going on?” Asked the Lupin.
“I… it’s… Dumbledore business,” Harry finally said and Lupin nodded:
“I think I may understand. Would you mind leaving us, Arthur?”
Mr. Weasley nodded and walked out, as Lupin whispered:
“Voldemort… he’s using Horcruxes?”
“How did you know?” Asked Harry, taken aback.
“Harry, you are shockingly indiscreet in these matters. May I suggest a little more care when dealing with Lord Voldemort?” Lupin sighed.
“Aren’t you leaving?” Harry queried, “To recruit…?”
“Yes, I was just leaving when I heard shouting, so I called Arthur in at once with a Patronus and, well, don’t worry, Harry.” Lupin saw the worried look on the young man’s face, “I will keep your secret. Goodbye.”
And with that, Remus Lupin strode away, preparing to depart Grimmauld Place for what could be the last time…
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 2nd, 2007 04:29 PM
CHAPTER SIX: A Lost Memory
It was a week later, and the dead of night. Harry, Luna, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville clutched their brooms at a bedroom window.
“Ready?” Whispered Harry, unsure whether to order his friends to go back or beg for their help in the long run. He glanced at the locket in his hand that Kreacher had given him; unsure of how to destroy it. It had seemed resilient to any Muggle or Magical means of destruction; destructive curses, decomposition charms, chair crushing, knifing, the list went on… and he had yet to tell the others about his find, though he was unsure of why exactly.
Harry slipped the Horcrux into his robe pocket and threw the window wide open, swinging onto his broom and shooting out. The others followed, Neville and Luna somewhat slowly.
“Quiet!” Hermione hissed at Neville, who was mumbling nervously to Luna, “Neville!”
Slowly and surely the sextet of the remaining D.A members made their way out of London and followed a rather hazy magical map that Hermione had cast, to a small town that she insisted was called Griffith-On-Trent. They swooped down and, sure enough, on the outskirts of the town, found a small bungalow house. The door hung loosely off its hinges and the windows were smashed; youths having hurled stones at the building. The young wizards crept in, and surveyed a wrecked hovel, once a beautiful old home. Nothing seemed to be left of what had surely been the most beautiful house in the area… nothing, but a small vial of silvery liquid lying at Ron’s feet.
“Harry…” hissed Hermione, “Is that…?”
“Yes.” Harry reached down and picked up the vial. Sure enough, it was a memory, “Come on, let’s look around more, and then get back to Hogwarts.”
The six heroes searched every nook and cranny of Godric’s Hollow, but found little… until Ron saw a piece of parchment, damp and torn. He ran to it and picked it up, staring at the writing; the familiar, spider-like, joined script of Albus Dumbledore.
My dearest friends, James and Lily,
I pray above all hope that this letter finds you in time, before all is too late. My friends, I have done a terrible thing. Through the Death Eater Severus Snape, now a spy answering to me and me alone, I have betrayed you, and I have betrayed my most trusted, and trusting, allies. I heard just weeks ago, a Prophecy pronouncing that implied your son, little Harry, could well be the only person capable of ultimately defeating Lord Voldemort.
With this knowledge, I investigated prophecies; and I learnt that, most likely, you both must die for the Prophecy to be fulfilled. I betrayed you, believing it to be the only way to end the War. I persuaded Peter Pettigrew to divulge your location upon Voldemort himself and the Dark Lord is coming for you, my friends! I have betrayed you in a way that I shall regret for the rest of my life; however long that may be.
I bid you safety, and I swear to you my sorrow.
With humblest apologies and regret,
Harry stared over Ron’s shoulder at the letter… and stepped back, sweat pouring down his face. This was impossible! Unbelievable! Not Dumbledore! Surely not Dumbledore! And then the room went icy cold. The door’s slammed shut of their own accord… and Dementors glided into the room!
In the words of many a fool, "To Be Continued".
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 2nd, 2007 04:31 PM
CHAPTER SEVEN: The Gift to the Chosen One
Harry was sweating, gasping, pulsating with fear as the Dementors closed in… he raised his wand and cried:
“Expectro patronum! Extra patronum! EXPECTO…” And he was cut off, as the Dementor lowered his hood to reveal sickening, black jaws… and Harry’s wand fell aside… he dived to the ground, scrabbling away. Ginny was pulling the others towards the window but Harry was cut off… then he remembered Lupin’s knife, whipping it from his pocket! Harry slashed it across two of the creatures with all his might and huge, burning wounds fizzed and sparked before the Dementors howled and glided away! Harry snatched up his wand and concentrated on the moment last year as he and Ginny kissed for the first time after Gryffindor’s victory in the Quidditch Cup:
A silver-white stag erupted from the end of Harry’s wand, scattering the Dementors willy-nilly! Harry ran to his friends and the door swung open again and their ghostly attackers fled:
“Are you all OK?” Asked Harry after a tense pause.
“Yeah, I think so…” whispered Ron, and then the door was shoved back again and Lupin ran in, a wand in each hand, looking quite mad!
“HARRY!” He yelled, relieved, “You’re OK! I thought… as soon as Molly said you were all missing… thank God!”
Lupin wiped his sweaty brow with the back of his sleeve:
“I saw the Dementors…” he finished lamely, “Molly’s coming… and Arthur… I managed to persuade the others not to bother you.”
“Thank you,” Harry said briefly, before the Weasley parents were there, wands out and fiery eyed.
“HARRY! RON! WHAT DID YOU THINK…!?” Began Molly.
“Not now, dear,” interjected Mr. Weasley, much to Harry’s relief, “Harry’s been through a terrible ordeal and…”
“I need to go to Hogwarts,” Harry cut in on their conversation.
“What?” Lupin gaped at Harry.
“Well, least you’ve got some sense, boys,” Mrs. Weasley chimed up coldly. She had never been cross at Harry before.
“No, not to learn,” Harry shook his head firmly, “I need to… do something. I need to talk to Professor McGonagall.”
“Why?” Asked Ron’s mother nosily, “You’re not going back to the Chamber of Secrets or…?”
“I’m sure they don’t intend that, Molly.” Came a firm, familiar voice. Spellbinder Melch stepped proudly into the room, and for a wild moment, Harry thought he was Dumbledore, sweeping in so proudly, but moments later, he recognised the ugly, bald head, somewhat like a gnome’s, and the gross beer belly, that surely could make Melch a contender for runner-up of Heaviest Boy at Smeltings Preparatory School, as runner up received a large award of its own, thanks to the fact that Dudley Dursley had won it for all six years that he had attended the Muggle school, “In fact, considering my new position at the school, I’m sure…”
“New position?” Asked Molly, pausing.
“Ah, hadn’t you heard, dear? I am to be the new Hogwarts Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and head of Gryffindor House,” beamed Melch, as though he didn’t realise that decades of D.A.D.A teachers at the school had ended up dead, kidnapped, soulless, amnesiac and worse, “And, I believe, I could surely sort Harry out a visit to Hogwarts before term begins…”
And then, Harry noticed that Professor Melch was fiddling with something that looked oddly like a cigarette lighter. He stared at the ‘lighter’ for a moment and then said:
It was as if someone had flicked a light on in his brain. Harry stared at the altered form of Albus Dumbledore, and aimed his wand, anger welling up inside him. This man had betrayed his parents!
“Cr…” he began, and then pulled his wand back. He couldn’t do it. Not to Dumbledore.
“Harry.” ‘Melch’ stared down at him, “Come with me.”
“Algy…” began Mr. Weasley but Melch was already sweeping away, hurrying Harry along ahead of him, “Algernon! You can’t just… take Harry. He’s…”
“Yes, Arthur?” Melch looked coldly at Mr. Weasley.
“I…” Mr. Weasley paused for a moment… a moment when Melch shut his eyes… and there was a loud crack! Harry felt his world spinning, he opened his mouth to yell out… and then they landed in Dumbledore’s or rather, Professor McGonagall’s, office.
“Harry,” said Melch/ Dumbledore slowly.
“You killed them!” Harry roared, wand raised, “You made Pettigrew betray them! You set it all up so Snape overheard the Prophecy! You’re as bad as Snape! You’re as bad as Voldemort!”
“No! Take me back!” Harry yelled, waving his wand angrily, unsure what to do.
“Harry! Listen to me!”
“No.” Harry had enough, and he cried:
Melch waved his wand loosely, deflecting the bodybind curse across the office.
“STUPEFY!” Harry stared as the Spellbinder this time silently conjured a glowing shield of fire, which absorbed the hex.
“Listen to me!”
“You killed them!”
“Harry, please, listen…”
Harry fired hex after jinx after curse, bombarding the man who he once worshipped as the greatest, noblest sorcerer in the world.
“Impedimenta! Expelliarmus! SECTUMSEMPRA!”
Dumbledore blocked the last, potentially deadly curse and loosed a bolt of red magic, which paralysed Harry.
“Listen to me… please.” Dumbledore’s voice conveyed little of his old charm, his charisma, his indomitable nobility. Now, ‘Algernon Melch’ sounded terrified, desperate, “Harry, I made a dreadful mistake sixteen years ago, but… I didn’t mean for your parents to die. I didn’t mean for Voldemort to… yes, well, Harry. You know now, and I suppose this disguise is fooling no one.”
He flicked his wand niftily in an arc and whispered some inaudible incantation. Moments later, the tall figure of Albus Dumbledore stood before Harry once again, but this was not the heroic, magnificent Dumbledore that Harry had known; the man who stood unwavering in duel with Lord Voldemort himself.
“I… I…” Harry had lost all sense of what to say. He had suddenly lost his great wrath and merely asked, “How are you alive?”
“That, Harry, is a very long story and I believe that it is unsuitable to tell at such a point… however, I understand your anger at me, so, very well, I shall tell you everything. It is time I explained to you what really happened on that night…”
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 2nd, 2007 06:54 PM
|CHAPTER EIGHT: The Final Memory
“Wait,” said Harry suddenly, and he produced the vial that he had found in Godric’s Hollow, “First… I wanted to see this.”
“Ah, a memory,” murmured Dumbledore, suddenly fascinated. He stared through his half-moon spectacles; long, bony fingers together in a steeple shape, “And where did you find that?”
“Godric’s Hollow.” Harry replied, and Dumbledore merely nodded, then produced his wand and struck the table once. A familiar stone basin appeared with a thump on the desk. It was his Pensieve.
“Pass me the memory, Harry,” the old wizard smiled slightly, and accepted the vial, pouring it slowly into the basin, “After you?”
Harry nodded stiffly and plunged his face into the liquid… and then he burst out and was standing in a tall, dark room. A boy of about his age was skulking in a corner, staring at a small scrap of parchment. Harry recognised the boy at once: the young Snape.
“Lily…” Snape was muttering, over and over, and Harry saw the parchment was a letter. Before he could read any of it, a red-headed girl of the same age stepped up behind Snape.
“You wanted to see me, Severus?” She spoke politely, but coldly, and looked uncomfortable in the future teacher’s presence.
“Lily,” Snape turned, smiling oddly, “I want you to know that I…”
“Snape! Is that you?” Snape’s face turned sour instantly. His face contorted in the disgust and hatred that he had shown the night he had ‘killed’ Dumbledore.
The young James Potter was walking towards Snape, wand out.
“What do you want, Potter?” snarled Snape, his hand twitching towards his belt.
“What are you doing with my girl, Snivellus?”
“James, leave it,” Lily interjected but Harry’s father went on angrily:
“Trying to get her to help out your bigot friends, Snape!?” Spat the elder Potter, “Bellatrix LeStrange today, is it? Regulus Black?”
“My business is my own, Potter.” Snape spoke calmly, but Harry noticed that he slipped his wand rapidly up his sleeve, “And I would like to keep it that way. If you’ll excuse me...”
Snape strode away, but James obstructed his path. The Slytherin suddenly had his wand moving in an arc, and cried:
James Potter was launched into the air and hung, helpless, until Lily suddenly aimed her wand. There was a loud bang and James fell to the ground, bellowing:
Snape was knocked flying aside and he lay in a heap, groaning. Finally, he whispered:
“Just because of your money, Potter… just because of they say your Gryffindor’s Heir…”
And then Snape was on his feet, storming from the hall.
“Was he accusing my family of lying?” hissed James, “Was he…?”
“Leave it, James,” cut in Lily and she restrained him, “Leave it.”
“I think, Harry, that is all we shall see for today,” whispered Dumbledore and slowly the memory faded away. As Harry crashed onto his chair, he spoke instantly:
“Is it true!?”
“Is what true, Harry? Though please remember, memories do tend to contain…”
“Am I Godric Gryffindor’s heir!?”
“Yes, Harry.” Dumbledore smiled for the first time since he had emerged from the form of Algernon Melch, “I believe your inheritance was indeed the last of Gryffindor’s wealth. And I also believe you and Tom Riddle are not the only Founders’ descendants to come to Hogwarts.”
“Who else?” Harry hissed.
“You know Zacharias Smith, I trust?” Harry pulled a face of disgust, “No, he isn’t the most typical of Hufflepuff students. However… nor was his great aunt, Hephzibah Smith, and yet she was the descendant of Helga Hufflepuff.”
Harry gaped at his former headmaster in astonishment.
“Him? Zacharias Smith!?” Harry wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry.
“Well, Harry, I have dilly dallied long enough,” said Dumbledore suddenly, “To that night in question.”
“During the summer holidays after your fifth year, Professor Snape was visited by two rather unwelcome guests…” Dumbledore paused and watched Harry carefully, “Bellatrix LeStrange and Narcissa Malfoy, neither of whom Severus particularly appreciated seeing. Mrs. Malfoy, however, was quite simply desperate to see him, as Lord Voldemort had, of course, ordered her son, Draco, on a virtual suicide mission; to kill me. Of course, she insisted Snape help him, and even went so far as to ensure Snape took the Unbreakable Vow; I had, of course, pledged to Severus that I, personally, would go to any lengths to ensure his safety on the job. So, Snape took his time, he delayed enough to connect me via a form of legimency and I humbly agreed to the plan, if it were indeed necessary.
“So, I knew the plan, Snape knew the plan, and we set up what I must say was one of the most elaborate death hoaxes of our time, one we also tested on Madam Amelia Bones, as it so happens. I am afraid, Harry, that I was indeed horrendously weakened in the Horcrux cave but, fear not, I was able to keep to the plan. When Professor Snape arrived, he did not kill me at all. Indeed, the plan worked out ideally. As I know, he had been teaching you nonverbal spells and though he said the death spell, you have to mean an Unforgivable Curse to use it, and he in fact nonverbally performed an altered cross between the Expelliarmus and the Levicorpus spells. So, I in fact had a rather slow descent down the ramparts, where I found my wand and rapidly cast a spell implying death. I lay there, seemingly dead, until I was within the tomb, when he Apparated away to safety.”
“Incredible,” Harry whispered, “But… you begged Snape…”
“But, Harry, I did not beg for my life. I knew not all the Death Eaters were stupid; sooner or later, they would notice there were two waiting brooms… and so I begged him desperately as a hint… so he would get the Death Eaters away quickly. Quickly enough so they could not discover you!”
And suddenly, Harry understood.
If anyone's reading this, posts would be appreciated!
Thanks to Badwolf for the great sig!
Apr 2nd, 2007 07:15 PM
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