Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Grand Conspiracy

Chapter 05: Up in Flames

by madnesspersonified 2 Reviews

Sequel to a Twisted Timeline. The more things change the more things get wacky. Not for the mentally sane. LunaHarryFem!Harry.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Humor - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Luna - Warnings: [!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2008/07/27 - Updated: 2008/07/27 - 8328 words

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Chapter Five: Up in Flames:

Harry and Luna sat there, one of the last names that they had ever expected to hear ever again being fingered as the person behind this shadow organization that was using the Ministry as their personal puppets. Truth be told, Harry had nearly forgotten that Dumbledore had existed, it was not like he was in public eye in several years. If this was true, it appeared that Harry had not seen the last of Dumbledore, no matter how much he wanted to.

“Dumbledore, no one’s seen him in years,” commented Luna carefully after a moment’s pause.

“I know, which is a reason why he could be behind this,” remarked the contact as his eyes looked towards the side of the room, almost looking out the window, but there were obviously none. “You need to know, they’re after you, Harry Potter. They are not going to rest, you messed with the rules of the game, you disrupted the balance of the Grand Conspiracy. I might not be able to do anything, they might be after me, but no…you can and they won’t come after me.”

“What makes you certain that won’t if they even get one hint of what you told us?” asked Luna calmly and with that, their contact reached into his robes as he slowly put out a small vial.

“Can’t get me, if I’m already dead, man,” remarked the contact and quickly, he popped the top, and before Harry and Luna could do anything, the man tipped the pink liquid down his throat. Seconds later, the man dropped down, eyes rolling in the back of his head, as he slumped to the ground. Luna rushed over to help but Harry gently grabbed her wrist.

“Can’t be helped, he’s already gone, how he managed to make that potion is interesting as, it’s very hard to make,” said Harry, as he looked at the lifeless form of the man.

“What does it do, I don’t recognize it?” questioned Luna and Harry looked at her, not wanting to really go into detailing.

“Do you really want to know?” asked Harry and Luna nodded, her Ravenclaw nature of gathering knowledge for things she did understand, drying her curiosity. “It’s a potion that slowly dissolves the insides of a person, starting with the vital organs. Not a pleasant way to go, I came across it in one of the nastier books in Grimmauld Place.”

“Now what, Harry,” said Luna, abruptly changing the subject and suppressing a shudder, before she looked at the unconscious contact.

“We need to leave as soon as possible, for a number of reasons,” said Harry. “For one, we can’t be seen here, especially me, with a poisoned man and second, with the information we have now, if any of it’s true, it’s unwise to linger.”

Luna nodded as she followed Harry outside the door, both quickening their pace. The door once again swung open as its own accord. Harry held his wand over his shoulder, ready to curse anything that moved in front of him. A rustling sound had caused Harry to spin around and blast a fire spell. Fortunately, the sound was just blowing leaves and Harry relaxed, but only slightly, keeping on his guard, as he turned from the smoldering leaves.

“We should apparate when we get outside the gate,” suggested Luna. “Back to your headquarters.”

Harry nodded, gripping her arm, turning slightly, at the rustling sound in the bushes. Taking a half of a step forward, Harry verified it was just the wind. Not turning his back until they were safely back and even then, walking around in a cautious matter, Harry apparated with Luna.

A shadowed figure stepped from behind the bushes where he crouched.

“They know,” muttered the shadowed figure to his hand, knowing that it would have been unwise to silence Potter directly, they did not want to tip their complete hand too soon. Plus, he was only an average wizard, intelligent yes, but in a duel, Harry Potter would flatten him in little time flat. Their leader wanted them to deal with Harry through indirect means and not engage him directly, at least not yet.

In the Department of Mysteries a body laid on a table, illuminated in an orange glow. Several figures, obscured in the darkness, watched the progress of the figure. The eyes of the figure flickered open, looking around in confusion.

“Welcome,” stated one of the voices from the shadows. “By all rights, you should have been killed, but just barely though circumstances that have defied all logic, you hung onto life long enough. Your skin was damaged from beyond repair, but we transferred your consciousness into a new experimental magically enhanced battle armor, that can withstand temperatures as hot as the sun itself. Along with a few other gifts we have given to you, you shall be a great asset to a great cause, Inferno.”

“I know who I am,” said Inferno, as he raised the right arm of the battle armor, causing miniature fire balls to appear on the tips of his fingers, causing Inferno to stall, before he stared at the fingers, transfixed. “Wait a minute, I did that without a match or a lighter.”

“Of course you did, we helped you do that with the gifts you were granted,” stated the shadowed figure in a bored tone of voice. “No matter how skilled you were, you were limited by the tools you had and the amount of fuel you could afford.”

“Now, that is not a problem, as you can control the element of fire, as easily as breathing,” remarked a second shadowed figure and Inferno looked absolutely ecstatic, as he realized what he could do now. “However, I believe Muggles have a saying, we scratch your back and you scratch ours.”

“I don’t anything about these Muggles, but I’ve heard this saying,” remarked Inferno. “What’s the game?”

“Nothing major, we need to retrieve another agent of ours that has gone rogue,” said the shadowed figure, as a swirling mist appeared, revealing the face of Lotus, causing Inferno to look at her. “The fact is that we have ample reason to believe that she has been swayed from our cause by the one of the most dangerous men in the world today, Harry Potter.”

“That little brat who foiled me twice,” thundered Inferno, causing fire to shoot out from his body in all directions. Fortunately, they had foreseen this and had charmed all the materials in this room to be fireproof. “You think he’s dangerous. I’ll show you dangerous! I’ll scorch him.”

“And you shall, he may be at the same place where you had left him,” said the shadowed figure, as he reached forward, handing Inferno a small black box. “This will allow you get safely get out of this building to the outside world.”

“Really, why do you want me out of here and not let me walk out of here?” asked Inferno.

“Because it’s a long and boring walk,” stated another of the mysterious figures shrewdly and Inferno grinned, before he touched the box. It was apparently that his skin was not the only thing that melted during the accident. Inferno disappeared in a blink of the eye, as the room cooled down several degrees, as their home made elemental was gone.

“It proceeds to the next stage, a true test of the abilities and limitations of Harry Potter’s magic,” remarked one of the shadows cryptically.

In his headquarters, a trio of terrified looking mobsters was reporting the latest failure to an enraged looking Eckstein.

“You goons are hopeless, you were humiliated by a skirt!” yelled Eckstein. “Some little slut, made a mockery out of my organization, you had the powerful weapons, why didn’t you vaporize her?”

“We tried Boss Eckstein, really we did, it’s just she blocked our attacks and knocked the weapons out of our hand,” argued the mobster feebly, but Eckstein’s look obviously left no room for argument. “Please, Eckstein, she was good, she fought well it was like…”

“I don’t want to hear it, I’ve never been more disgusted in my life,” remarked Eckstein, who’s frazzled nerves could not stand to here the “m-word”. “If I find this girl, I will put her in her proper place. No dame is going to ruin my plans to shut down Barone, is that clear?”

The three mobsters nodded their heads feebly but at that moment, the doors burst open. Wansuke, followed by his bodyguards and his interpreter entered the room. The interpreter looked at Eckstein, with an amused, smug expression on his face.

“Really, it might be best for you to run your organization with more class, Mr. Eckstein,” said the interpreter, as Wansuke just stared at Eckstein, with a distasteful look on his face. “Barbarians have better poise than you do and I would suggest you not treat your employees with such disrespect, you might find it coming back to haunt you later.”

“Who are you?” demanded Eckstein, as he reached for his weapon but a dagger flew out of nowhere, landing on the top of his desk and nearly removing his fingers, as one of Wansuke’s bodyguards had removed the pink hair dryer from the desk.

“Really, no need to use your…unique little toy,” said the interpreter as he looked at the converted pink hair dryer, with amusement. “My name is of little interest, but I’d like to introduce you to the future lord of the mafia underworld in Britain, Master Genki Wansuke. He is already the premier Yakuza leader but mere enterprise in one country does not wet his ambitions any longer, he wishes to move forth.”

“What, this is my country, I won’t let some Chinese hotshot take control when I’m around,” remarked Eckstein before he snapped his fingers. His men in the room moved forward and quickly dropped to the ground, the blades of swords impaled into their back. Wansuke’s men slowly removed the swords, blood dripping from them. Wansuke turned to his interpreter, saying something in Japanese.

“Now, Mr. Eckstein, as you have seen, any attempts to fight us will be useless and quite futile. As you could have guessed, our two warriors in this room is just an extremely small sample of the vast empire at the hands of Master Wansuke,” said the interpreter, but Eckstein just sat, unmoving, careful not to do anything that would end in his own untimely demise by stabbing.

“Charming,” remarked Eckstein, choosing his words carefully, as he eyed the sharp, blood stained blades in the hands nervously. “Now, you’re not here for a cordial visit…”

“More perceptive then we had previously given you credit for,” remarked the interpreter, as Wansuke just stood in the backgrounds, arms folded, no emotion showed on his face. “Mr. Eckstein, changes will take place in this country, especially once we have properly dealt with Barone. We had previously sent another to eliminate him, but given further analysis, that no longer seems feasible. Harry Potter is also a concern, as he has been groomed to take over that organization and if all indications are correct, will be ascending to power before too long. Master Wansuke is troubled by this potential, as Harry Potter has been an unintended cog in our operations before.”

Wansuke grunted, before talking rather quickly in his language, relaying something to his interpreter.

“Just mind your place Eckstein, you may have some potential for Master Wansuke’s operations, but misstep, and it will not be a pleasant time for you in your final days,” stated the interpreter, as he bowed, along with Wansuke, who was handed the pink hair dryer. Wansuke grabbed it in his hands and with great strength, he crushed it in his hands. It dropped to the ground, as Wansuke just fixed a cold look on Eckstein, before he relayed a message to his interpreter. “I trust and do hope we do business in the future.”

Without another word, the Yakuza representatives left, as Eckstein sank back in his chair. He had no idea that running a vast mafia organization would be this stressful, all he cared about was the money and the power it gave him. He looked at his ex-employees, as they had long since expired on the floor. Eckstein sighed, he had a few more weapons, he would need to figure out a plan to eliminate Barone soon and perhaps he could deal with this new threat that Wansuke and his organization presented. He was becoming really desperate, he needed to do something.

“Eckstein, I am here to inquire why Barone has not been eliminated yet,” said a cool voice from the side of Eckstein and Eckstein spun around, looking rather panicked, before he realized it was his mysterious benefactor.

“I wish you would knock for entering the room,” muttered Eckstein.

“I did not ask for your opinion on my etiquette, I asked you for an explanation why Barone is not dealt with,” remarked the mysterious benefactor.

“These things can’t be rushed, I’ll deal with him, just going to take a bit longer than I thought, especially when his new girlfriend or whatever that bitch was showing up,” said Eckstein and at that moment, there as an eerie silence that filled the room.

“Describe her,” said the mysterious shadow calmly.

“Dark hair, emerald green eyes, pretty good looking, fought like a trained assassin, or at least that’s what my men told me,” remarked Eckstein. “Why?”

“Just eliminate Barone, Eckstein,” said the mysterious shadow and with those words, Eckstein had just known that his benefactor had checked out, as suddenly as he appeared. The mobster leaned back, sighing. Running an organization was not all it was cracked up to be but he would not let these minor setbacks ruin his plans for domination.

In the Three Broomsticks pub in Hogsmeade, a group of men were sitting around the table, after a few drinks, just talking about what came to their minds, as they sat around.

“The Ministry, they’re going though our mail, I’m almost afraid to send a letter,” said one of the patrons.

“Yeah, we might hurt their feelings,” remarked another one of them. “The Ministry can’t take any criticism, we would have been better off if You-Know-Who had taken over.”

“The Ministry is ran by idiots, that bloody Yankee bastard is going to cause another dark lord and it will be all their fault,” said the third man, as he took a swig from his drink. “Shouldn’t really be saying this, but the Ministry can’t do anything right, hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had set up the entire Potter mess to give them an excuse to lord over us.”

“MINISTRY OF MAGIC, WANDS ON THE TABLE, HANDS IN THE AIR!” boomed a commanding voice and three men turned around, to see a group of irritated looking Aurors.

“Not, going to take us alive,” slurred one of the men as he stupidly sent a stunning spell which one of the Aurors obviously blocked, before he blasted the man backwards. The other two men were sober enough to realize that it was futile to fight the Ministry, and they placed their wands down.

“You are being brought in for conspiring to destabilize the Wizarding World,” said one of the Aurors roughly, as he held his wand on the back of the head.

“Just by stating my opinion?” asked one of the men with widened eyes.

“No, you have been found to be have a potential to rebel against the Ministry of Magic, Minister Scrimgeour and Head Auror Winston wants anyone who speaks anti-Ministry sentiment to be taken in for question,” responded the Auror, as they lead the three “rebels” out, as the others in the pub sat very still, not wanting to do anything that might have attracted the Ministry attention. In fact, there might still be Aurors hidden within the Three Broomsticks right now.

Harry and Luna returned to Headquarters. Safely inside, they felt they could breath easier.

“I just can’t believe it, he poisoned himself like that,” muttered Luna.

“If any part of what he told us was the truth, he did not want to live his life in fear,” suggested Harry and Luna nodded in agreement. “Still, I worry about us now, consider we now know the information that he relayed on us. I’m going to have to have security increased both here and at your home, don’t want your parents to get attacked after all.”

“No Harry, thank you,” said Luna with a smile. “Dad has a few nifty surprises built into the protections around our house, but never can be careful.”

“No, you can’t,” remarked Harry darkly, as he reflected back to certain mistakes he had made in the past, mistakes that he had regretted. They were learning experiences, but at the same time, Harry felt it would have been better if he would have avoided them, as they reached the upstairs area, where Lotus burst out from the doors looking rather frantic as she looked towards Luna and Harry.

“Harry, something just happened that I think you might want to know, I’ve just ran into some rivals of yours, and they had weapons,” said Lotus quickly, getting straight to what she felt Harry needed to know. “These weapons weren’t like anything else, they shot powerful blasts of magic, my most powerful shield just held them back.”

“Okay slow down Lotus, take a deep breath, calm down,” said Harry, as he saw that she was so upset that she had accidental magic coming off of her, that could have split the entire headquarters over but Lotus just frowned.

“How do you expect me to stay relaxed when it’s them who handed dangerous weapons over that were intended to hurt you?” demanded Lotus and this took Luna and Harry aback.

“You mean the people who…well set you on Harry, gave them these weapons?” asked Luna and Lotus nodded, looking a bit fearful for the first time.

“Please start at the beginning, we found out something out about this too but I need to know exactly what happened, but first, if I’m interpreting this right, they came here, didn’t they?” asked Harry but Lotus shook her head. “I could have sworn I left Hermione to take care of anything that came up.”

“You did, but she had a family get together or something to go to, so in her haste to leave, she told me to take care of anything,” remarked Lotus. “She just barely left, when two of your employees came to me, some guy named Eckstein had his goons nosing around your stuff, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at what he was doing.”

Harry sighed, he would have hoped that Lotus would have had the common sense to stay inside and not risk being seen, until they could find out who was behind her creation, but Harry supposed it was foolish to expect something like that from a female duplicate of himself.

“Continue, please,” encouraged Harry.

“Well I made a Portkey, we took a look, they were nosing around the crates as your men had said, so I decided to confront the on that,” narrated Lotus. “They said some things that prompted me to attack them. They pulled their little toys on me, my shield blocked it, barely. I managed to disarmed them, they seemed to have second thoughts without their weapons, I captured one, interrogated him, managed to coax some information out of him, and disposed of him.”

“Good, about how I would have done it honestly,” said Harry.

“Oh, I managed to get my hands on one their little weapons,” added Lotus as an afterthought.

“Brilliant, I can have a look at that, and then tell you what I found out,” responded Harry, as Lotus nodded, before she led both of them into the main office, where Lotus had stored the weapon. Pushing open the door, Lotus stepped back, allowing Harry to look inside, looking rather confused. “There’s nothing in here but this hair dryer…”

“Believe it or not, that’s the weapon,” said Lotus. “Odd, isn’t it?”

Harry pulled out his wand and a scanning spell indicated that this was in fact a dangerous weapon and not the common household appliance that it would seemed to the untrained eye.

“Yes it is…wait a minute,” said Harry, as he felt something powerful. Carefully, he pried open the bottom of the hair dryer and gave it a small shake. A small glass tube fell out, Harry catching it. Harry looked at it, inside, there was a swirling light, trapped within the glass and Harry studied it intently.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” commented Luna with interest, as she looked over the tube, no one had been able to store magic in such a way, or in fact, not at all. Harry remained silently, but he was doing a number of charms, to properly gage what he had before him and what the capabilities of the weapon would be.

“Transfiguration, it’s a stored and renewing Transfiguration spell that transfigures household appliances into deadly weapons,” remarked Harry. “Of course, how deadly the weapon is really down to exactly how powerful the person wielding it. Muggles and squibs could maybe pack enough of a punch to kill other Muggles and squibs, while injuring magical people. The average wizard on the street might be able to vaporize an entire city block with this little weapon.”

“And someone who has a great deal of power,” said Lotus.

“Well, it depends on the deal of control they have or rather wanting to have over their ability to perform magic,” said Harry. “In an untrained hand with a lot of raw potential, it could have the potential to blow the Earth to bits.”

“I’m really glad you thought me all of that magical theory,” muttered Lotus with relief, had Harry not thought her all of that mundane stuff, she shuddered to think what she could have done had that happened.

“Actually adds a bit of credence to the theory that Dumbledore did this, considering he was a master of Transfiguration and would be able to spin something like this,” said Luna and Lotus’s eyes perked up.

“So, this Dumbledore person’s behind it or at least you think,” remarked Lotus and Harry just nodded.

“I should have known, Dumbledore wouldn’t have let it rest, it might have been twelve years, but he’s finally concocted a scheme to get back to me for not falling into place as his little weapon,” said Harry with a sigh, he had hoped he was rid of Dumbledore, but the best hopes were rather mistaken. “I’m going to discuss this matter further, but when Hermione gets back and I’ll get in touch with Sirius and Remus as well, I’d like to hear all of their perspectives before I do anything irrational.”

Rita Skeeter sat in her house, a smug expression on her face, having written another article, the third in many days, exposes in the deficiencies of the Ministry of Magic. It seemed they were getting worse and had restricted the rights of the people more each day, checking owls, listening in on Floo conversations, and just patrolling the streets, taking people in once they heard one word on the Ministry. Rita felt her sworn duty was to warn the public, even if she had to step on some rather important toes. The only thing that Barone’s appointed supervisor made her take out was an accusation that Scrimgeour was using his daughter’s death as an excuse to gain more power. Still, Rita had learned by now to tone down her words, while still getting the message across.

“THIS IS THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC! RITA SKEETER, YOU HAVE TEN SECONDS TO OPEN UP, YOU ARE UNDER ARREST FOR TREASON AGAINST WIZARDING BRITIAN!” shouted a booming voice from outside and Rita had scooped up the jar from the fireplace. Truth be told, given the recent events, she had almost expected this to happen and prepared to move towards the fireplace, but much to her horror, a magical shield had appeared around it. Her escape route had been blocked. For security reasons, she had put an anti-Animagus ward around her house. Despite her form being an easy route for escape, she could not chance the fact that some closed minded person who had taken offensive of her articles and happened to also be an Animagus would have snuck into her house under their form to kill her. The chances were one in a trillion, but Rita was never one to play the odds.

Needless to say, Rita regretted that, as the door burst open, revealing several Aurors, who walked inside, wands on Rita.

“Wand and hands where we can see them,” said one of the Aurors firmly and Rita did so, before she turned to them.

“What could I have done to warrant this arrest?” asked Rita, even though she knew.

“Those lies you wrote in the previous day’s Daily Prophet,” said an Auror in an irritated voice. “Accusing the Ministry of being inefficient, Minister Scrimgeour can’t allow that kind of propaganda to be spread.”

“You mean the article that was condemning the Ministry about taking in people just because they had a few words of constructive criticism towards them and not going after Death Eaters,” said Rita but the Aurors were not in the mood to hear one word from her.

“Silence, Skeeter,” said the Auror as he pushed Rita forward. “Your writings has caused untold damage towards Wizarding Britain, people are stirring, not having faith in their Ministry because of your destructive lies. An order is already being put through to outlaw the Daily Prophet, on the suggestion of Head Auror Winston.”

“Really, well that’s a nice way to get the entire Wizarding World exposed,” muttered Rita under her breath, but the Aurors held their wands on her.

“Move along Skeeter, to Azkaban,” said the Auror roughly, as Rita allowed herself to be lead off by the Aurors. Truth be told, she was not the only journalist who had taken the Ministry to task in recent days. The Ministry was rounding up people who had the slightest word to say about them, but three large scale attacks by individuals claiming to be Death Eaters had occurred in the past day, with the Ministry doing nothing. While very few were killed, it still served to illustrated the Ministry’s incompetence and once more realized they could get away with these attacks, as long as they did not spread anti-Ministry propaganda.

In his office, Harry had just finished explaining to both Sirius and Remus about Lotus’s unique circumstances. In his opinion, they were taking it rather well, but there really was not all that much they had to say about it. Hermione sat, calmly waiting for the news Harry told her he had.

“Okay, now we’re brought up to speed, what’s the news you have, Harry?” asked Hermione.

“Well Luna and I went to visit the contact who had some information that would rock the foundations of the Wizarding World,” remarked Harry. “To make a long story short, the true origins of magic have been hushed up for many years. If this guy is telling the truth, the first magical people came from outside this world. Yes, I know, far fetched, but they’ve been planning to eliminate those who they consider inferior. They have no problem with anyone who can wield magic, yes even muggleborns and half bloods. Once again, all the words based off of someone who did not have it all there, but if he’s right, there has been a group of people who have worked behind the scenes, using the Ministry of Magic as puppets, keeping them stagnate, to go for their ultimate objective, to replace all Muggles in the world with clones subservient to them.”

“Clones, why not just kill all the Muggles?” asked Hermione skeptically.

“Who knows, I didn’t come up with this plan,” responded Harry swiftly, with a shrug. “They’ve used the battle between good and evil, hand picking people to be dark lords while others to be the savior. With the world distracted they could work on their plan behind the scenes, out of sight, out of mind.”

“So, exactly who’s behind this?” asked Sirius.

“I’m getting there,” said Harry. “The person who is chosen to lead this grand conspiracy, as it was called, is chosen. A fake title, known as the Grand Warlock, is given, and the latest Grand Warlock is Albus Dumbledore.”

Silence, Remus and Sirius looked at each other, Hermione just sat there. Given what had gone on between Harry and Dumbledore in the past timeline, she fully expected Harry to latch onto this explanation.

“You know, no one’s seen Dumbledore for years, ever since he was stripped of everything he owned and resigned from Hogwarts in fact,” said Hermione. “Not that I don’t believe you Harry, it’s just odd that he would be quiet for all these years.”

“It does make perfect sense, in a way,” remarked Remus. “Assuming everything that this person said was true, Dumbledore could have used this defeat to take himself out of the public eye and into work with this plan. At one time, I might have not thought Dumbledore was not capable of anything malicious but now…”

“Not surprising,” concluded Sirius but Harry just remained silent, before he took a deep breath.

“He knows that I managed to alter time as well,” remarked Harry and this caused several gasps to echo throughout the room. Harry waited until everyone had quieted down. “And he won’t rest until he kills me, because I disrupted his little balance. This shadow group had me pegged to be the next dark lord, after Voldemort was vanquished. I’ve refused to play their games.”

“So what are you going to do Harry?” asked Hermione.

“I’m going to get them first,” responded Harry firmly and the look on Lotus’s face indicated that she had similar ideas. “The first thing’s first is we need to track down Dumbledore. Find him and we’ll find out for sure whether or not he’s behind this entire plan.”

“That’s going to be easier said than done, Harry,” warned Remus. “When Dumbledore walked out, he didn’t look back. I don’t even know if we could find one person who has even heard anything from Dumbledore, much less one that is willing to talk.”

“But, we’ll try,” said Hermione quickly, as she saw the desperate look in Harry’s eyes. “It will take some time, but we’ll do it.”

“Yeah Harry, I know how much this means to you,” added Sirius, as Lotus, Harry, and Luna sat around, before Sirius corrected himself. “To all three of you.”

Before anyone could leave, the phone on Harry’s desk rang. Harry quickly grabbed it and answered it.

“Barone speaking,” stated Harry in a gruff voice.

“Barone, it’s me, Boss Eckstein, the man who will single handily bring down your little empire,” taunted Eckstein from the other side of the phone. “Of course, we’ve never met in person, I don’t deal with small time gangsters.”

“Eckstein, is there a point to this little call?” asked Harry in an agitated tone of voice.

“Oh, there is believe me, you see, we could go back and forth for months, maybe years, lose a few good men on either side, kill some innocent women and children in the middle of a heated mob war, all that good stuff,” remarked Eckstein. “Or we can settle this like men, a nice good old fashioned fist fight, right in the street.”

“You’re serious, aren’t you?” asked Harry in an amused voice, who knew this fight would end exactly in five seconds, with a stunning spell to the chest.

“As a heart attack, Barone, unless you’re nothing but a little chicken pussy,” taunted Eckstein. “So how about it, Barone, in the street, you leave your little girls at home and I tell me men to back off. Just bring your two fists and I bring mine.”

Harry paused, there was no way he was not going to except this one. No one calls Harry Potter or Boss Barone, a little chicken pussy and gets away with it alive.

“Eckstein, I have a few free minutes, so why not?” answered Harry. “I can use the workout.”

“Good Barone, I’d hate to see any unnecessary blood shed, I’ll meet you in downtown London in two hours,” concluded Eckstein. “It will give you enough time to update your will before you leave.”

With that Eckstein hung up the phone.

“It’s a trap, you know that right?” asked Luna calmly.

“Of course, but I’m not going to let a little worm like Eckstein trap me, he’s just set himself up for a fall,” responded Harry.

“No, especially if he’s working in the league with those people, you should go after him,” added Lotus firmly. “We’ll research the whereabouts of Dumbledore and it would be a good idea if you could try to pry some information out of Eckstein before you kill him.”

“We’re on the same wavelength, Lotus, that’s exactly what I plan on doing,” said Harry with a smile, but he looked around uneasily. “Lotus, go with Hermione when she returns home, in case this is an elaborate ruse by those people to capture you. I know you can handle yourself, but still, I just have a feeling the little additions to the hair dryers are only a small sample of what they are capable of and besides, I doubt they would even think of looking for you in the Muggle World

Lotus just nodded, she could help the others find where Dumbledore and gain some revenge for being tricked into killing, Harry, so she could get on with the rest of her life with Harry and Luna.

Harry told them all goodbye, before he left, to get ready to meet with Eckstein. Eckstein did not tell him an exact location, just a general area, but Harry was taking everything cautiously, just in case Eckstein had a bit more up his sleeve then the weapon that Lotus had found.

In an abandoned warehouse in downtown London, Eckstein paced back and forth, as he looked towards his men high above, who had the converted hair dryers, standing high above, ready to blast Barone as he entered the warehouse.

“Now, you mugs listen up, I want Barone and I want him dead,” ordered Eckstein gruffly. “I want him more than dead, I want to see him reduced to dust, I want his blood staining these walls. I want him done, obliterated, destroyed, finished, caput.”

“Right, Boss Eckstein,” droned the mobsters in a rather bored tone of voice, their boss seemed to be more obsessed with eliminating Barone recently than doing anything to better the empire. They briefly wondered if they hedged their bets with the wrong person, but since they were still getting paid, this obsession was alright. Eckstein stood back in the shadows, with a smirk, he was going to be the one to deal Barone the final blow, but he had no problems with his men taking a few shots at him, as long as the crushing defeat was left to him.

Harry’s alter ego arrived right downtown. Barone held his wand out, he stepped forward, looking from side to side. At that moment, an imposing looking brute of a man stood forward.

“The Boss wants you inside,” grunted the goon, towards Barone who looked rather amused, that this overgrown gorilla thought he could tell him what to do. Magically, the goon was pulled up into the air and hoisted up, so he was face to face with Barone, thrashing his legs and baring his teeth. “Let me down…”

Barone did not respond, rather he peered into the mind of Eckstein’s muscle bound goon. His mind was rather simple, so it did not take Barone long to find out what he had suspected, that Eckstein had been setting him up for a fall. Quickly, Barone threw the goon off to the side, causing him to smash into some nearby trash cans. That knocked him out and Barone walked forward, scanning the inside of the door. On a ledge above the front door, he saw several men above, wielding those pink hair dryers. He saw Eckstein as well, standing with a smug expression on his face. Barone entered the warehouse calmly, wand at the ready, just the spell in mind to deal with his would be attackers.

Eckstein looked smug as he saw Barone walk inside, the fool was walking right into a trap.

“Come on bitch, hit me with your best shot, right in the center of the room!” called Eckstein as he waved forward and Barone stepped forward, aiming his wand behind his back, jabbing it behind his back. The mobsters from above clutched their ears, dropping their weapons, as they lost their balance, falling down below. Eckstein’s eyes widened, before he quickly pointed his weapon and shot the full impact of energy right towards Barone, who avoided the attack. The weapon struck a crate full of vases, destroying them with the impact.

Quickly Barone moved around, using the speed and agility that was acquired due to dodging Bludgers in the previous timeline. Even though he had been on a broomstick, Harry somehow made it work, before he began to open the edge of Eckstein’s little weapon to remove the magical source. Quickly, he summoned it around his hand and faked getting knocked down. Eckstein prepared to aim the weapon at his adversary, but nothing happened.

“What’s wrong with this stupid thing?” demanded Eckstein.

“I disabled it,” remarked Barone calmly, as he held the glass tube between his fingers and quickly Eckstein whipped out a gun, it was time to get back to basics, but unfortunately, the gun became twenty times heavier with a wave of Barone’s wand. Eckstein was dropped to the ground, struggling to hoist his gun

“DAMN YOU, BARONE!” shouted Eckstein as he quickly dove behind a crate, before he reappeared with a remote control device. “Don’t even move, if you take one step forward, I’ll push the button, I’ve rigged this entire factory with explosives, just let me step away, nice and easily.”

Barone just stood, with a smirk, this idiot was not serious, was he?

“That’s right, bow down to the lord of the criminal world, Lou Eckstein always wins, huh Barone, what do you have say to that?” asked Eckstein as he held the remote in his hand.

“Accio remote control,” said Barone calmly and the remote control flew from Eckstein’s hand right into Barone’s. The cocky young mob boss attempted to make a break for it but ropes shot out of mid air and tied around his arms and legs, before Barone yanked him, face to face. “Okay, Eckstein, spill it, who set you up with the hardware?”

“Like I’d tell you,” said Eckstein, and Barone jerked his arm up, causing the ropes to contract around Eckstein, snapping his bones, causing Eckstein a great deal of pain. “Alright, alright, alright…the guy never showed his face, he showed great disdain for me, mocked me, but hey, he gave me power, to rule the world, which I will do…”

“You seem to be under the faulty assumption that you’re going to live Eckstein,” replied Barone coldly as he forced his way through Eckstein’s mind, rifling through it. He found the location of several places where the drugs he had been putting on the street were manufactured, Barone made a mental note to have them destroyed. “The only thing I’m agonizing over in fact, is exactly how to kill you.”

“You can’t, I’m all powerful…” muttered Eckstein, who wondered if he should have went to medical school instead of going into organized crime.

“Yes, that would have been wise,” said Barone, still reading Eckstein’s mind, before he summoned all the explosives that Eckstein had planted in the building to him. The explosives shrunk and with in an instant, the explosives vanished, with Eckstein collapsing, feeling something inside him, that was slowly poisoning him. “Well, Eckstein, I give you credit, at least you’ll have an explosive ending to your attempts of underworld domination.”

Quickly, Barone gathered up all the weapons, before he banished them back to one of his less used bases of operation, where he would be returning shortly. Eckstein attempted to crawl after Barone, but he clutched his stomach, as Barone left the factory. Looking over his shoulder, Barone ensured that he was far away before he pressed the button to the remote that activated the explosives.

In a flash, the factory blew sky high, causing flames to shoot into the air. Eckstein’s short lived reign of terror as a crime boss had concluded but at least he went out with a bang.

Barone dropped down in front of his headquarters, turning back into Harry Potter when he was certain that no one was around. His grey hair turned black as his features began younger and less scarred. Looking up, he saw smoke pouring out from the bottom window. Quickly Harry burst inside, coughing, as he saw the walls of his headquarters on fire, several charred corpses on the floor, the smell of burnt flesh sickening Harry’s stomach, as saw a glowing yellow outline, with orange eyes walk out. As the figure moved forward, Harry saw that his skin was dark black.

“Honey, I’m home!” shouted Inferno as he aimed his fingers before he shot blasts of red hot flames right at Harry, who just barely managed to put a shield up to block. The intense heat caused Harry’s concentration to break, forcing his legs to block and fall down to the ground. “So, Potter, isn’t it? How do you like the new and improved Inferno, Version Two Point Oh?”

Harry quickly raised his wand and shot a heavy stream of ice cold water right at Inferno. He could have sworn that he just killed this guy. Inferno quickly evaporated the water, before Harry’s wand caught on fire in his hand. Harry threw the wand down, as he watched it burn to dust. Only really intense magical heat, the kind given off from an elemental wizard could set a wand on fire. The fact that elementals were a myth because the human body could not stand the strain of channeling the power to control elements for much time raised more questions than answers in Harry’s mind. Harry was glad he had a spare, the wand that once belonged to Dumbledore, at another location, but that did not do him much good at all right here.

“Going take a little more than water to slow me down, given the new gifts that my shadowy friends gave me,” shouted Inferno. “I’m going to scorch the flesh of anyone who gets in my way!”

With that the floor right between Harry began to burst into flames, but Harry quickly put a cooling charm his feet, absorbing the brunt of the heat, before Harry spun his arm into the air, sending a triangle pattern, blasting Inferno with jets of cool water, before he moved his way up the stairs, but found his way blocked by a large wall of fire. Coughing, Harry put a bubble headed charm over his head, as Inferno quickly avoided the water attacks, his best ones. Harry saw that he was going to need something a bit stronger than the normal water charms to douse this arsonist.

“Come down Harry, unless you can’t handle the heat!” called Inferno and Harry levitated the fire extinguisher off of the wall. “Of course, I’m going to smoke you out anyway, so do whatever.”

“Up here, if you think you’re such hot stuff!” taunted Harry and Inferno soured up on a cloud of smoke, but Harry blasted the fire extinguisher right at Inferno. Inferno dropped down to the ground, slowed down, before he angrily spread his arms outwards, setting the walls on fire around him. Harry looked around, he could have sworn this nutcase would have set off the sprinkler system by now.

“That’s it, kid, now you’re playing with real fire!” shrieked Inferno, as he spread his arms out and sent several balls of fire right at Harry, who removed the Anti-Apparation protections before he disapparated. The stairs were incinerated but Harry was not, as he came behind Inferno, dousing the fire on the floor. Inferno advanced on Harry, his footprints burning into the ground as he made his way, before he raised two fists, made of pure fire. Harry quickly looked up, the intense heat had sealed the sprinkler faucets shut.

“REDUCTO!” shouted Harry, as he flicked his hand upwards, as several cool jets of water flew down from above but Inferno looked amused as the water smashed off of the body armor, that both protected him from being doused and enhanced his fire manipulating abilities.

“Not going to work!” sang Inferno, but Harry quickly used his magic to cause the water to form a consolidated shield arm. Inferno still looked bored, right before Harry froze the water right around Inferno. Inferno was trapped right in a block of ice.

Harry wiped the sweat off of his forehead, but the temperature in the room heated up to an intense level, that it was like being inside a pressure cooker. The ice melted and the water evaporated all in the blink of an eye, as Inferno stood, like a human torch, looking amused, before he blasted a steady attack of fire towards Harry. Harry struggled to maintain his shield, but the temperate kept rising, as Inferno continued his attacked. His skin blistered from the heat as Harry was knocked backwards into the next room, his shirt burned nearly off, reduced to a few charred strands of thread.

“Time to turn up the heat a few notches,” shouted Inferno and Harry closed his eyes, he wished he had some liquid nitrogen right about now, as that was the only idea that Harry had to stop this menace that came to mind. Inferno walked forward, scorching the ground as he moved forward, before he looked down at Harry. Harry struggled to pull himself to his feet, he was weak and dehydrated. He started laughing madly, delirious from the heat and lack of water. He was going to die, after all this, at the hands of some two bit arsonist with super powers. Inferno waved his arms around, large hot winds flew right into Harry’s face. “Now is time, for Harry, to be roasted like a marshmallow.

“NO!” shouted a voice in the ear of Inferno.

“What do you mean, no?” asked Inferno in an indignant tone of voice. “I have him finished, completely, utterly broken, this is what you wanted, isn’t it? You’re making a big mistake…”

“Not right now, the master has changed the rules of the game, now that certain information has come to our attention, leave Harry Potter,” said the voice firmly and Harry looked up, he saw nothing else but a shadow in the room in front of Inferno. “Did you find our rogue weapon?”

“No, I looked everywhere, she’s not here,” responded Inferno.

“So be it,” responded the shadowy figure after a searching look to ensure that Inferno was not deceiving him. “You’ve done well Inferno, now leave Harry Potter here to think about what he has brought upon himself and his organization.”

Inferno left, casting a longing look right towards the downed form of Harry Potter. The boy had ruined his flawless record by forcing him to flee like a common thug and then blowing him to pieces, almost killing him. He walked off as Harry looked up, a confused look in his eyes, wondering why these mysterious shadows would spare him, but then again, perhaps they were in fact. Harry struggled, he needed to get out of here, before he had second thoughts, but he was still dehydrated from the intense heat. Still, he had to try to apparate, as he realized that many of his valued employees were killed by Inferno’s new powers, but still, he held out hope that some had escaped. Harry closed his eyes, trying to summon what little strength he had left.

The arsonist stepped outside of the building, burning everything that his feet touched, before his eyes turned into a gas tank outside the building.

“On second thought, I do have a job to complete for Wansuke,” responded Inferno crisply, before he raised his hands and blasted the tank with a high impact burst of fire. Power was nice, but nothing beat cold hard cash.

Seconds later, the main headquarters blew sky high, leaving nothing but smoldering wreckage on the ground and charred skeletal remains on the ground, as smoke continued to fly into the air, the intense heat being felt for miles around where the hotel once stood.
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