Rita writes and Amelia gets an attorney. Harry takes a trip to Brighton with Fenrir and captures some soul pieces.
Part 28: Rita Strikes Again!
ALBUS DUMBLEDORE HAS HEART ATTACK!
Dear readers, writes Rita Skeeter. Yesterday on the twentieth of January, at about five PM, Albus Dumbledore suffered a heart attack at his estate in Northallerton, in Yorkshire. Coincidentally, it was just after Minister of Magic Amelia Bones returned from his home where he is under house arrest, that he was struck down. Is this a mere coincidence, or is there something more invidious. If you will recall in his statement given after his ouster from the Wizengamot last June, that Dumbledore himself claimed the Ministry had been taken over by the dark aligned forces. Given that Madam Bones is currently on a political rampage, prosecuting many purebloods, all widely known to be upstanding pillars of the community, as Death Eaters, gives this trendy and earnest authoress pause for thought.
Says, Minister Bones; “This unfortunate event has nothing to do with the ongoing Death Eater trials. In fact, I had just provided some pertinent reading material as requested by the former Chief Wizard and had returned from his home to the Ministry when I was informed by interdepartmental owl of his condition, the owl being sent by a staff member who had been monitoring him as part of his sentence. The very second I read the notice; I turned back to the floos in order to return to Dumbledore’s home. As I readied myself to travel, I was joined by Master Auror, Alastor Moody, and three Auror Healers, Dunnings, McMichaels and Trask. We flooed directly to Dumbledore’s home and found him unconscious on the floor. As soon as the Healers had stabilised him I authorised his transport to St. Mungo’s, where he remains in guarded condition.”
It makes a good story, but what is the real truth? Madam Bones’ administration is if possible even less forthcoming with information that Millicent Bagnold’s, whom she ousted personally, also in June. (For indications that Amelia Bones is not actually a pureblood, but in fact the illegitimate half-blood child of the late Heironymus Bones, see page 11)
In the Minister of magic’s office, a teacup shattered as Amelia erupted from her chair. The paper lay on her desk, stained with tea.
She ground her teeth. How dare she? How dare that noisome odious…insect, cast aspersions on her father? She stormed around her desk, heading for the door. She was going to kill that…bitch!
Fortunately for Rita’s continued longevity, Connie Hammer walked in at that moment and gently but firmly shoved her boss back to her chair. She set a glass on the desk before the Minister, filled it with firewhiskey and ordered; “Drink!”
Amelia glared, only to find her expression mirrored by her old friend.
“I know you’re right hacked off just now, but storming into The Daily Prophet’s office in a temper isn’t going to help. You need to calm down and design a proper strategy. Now, drink!”
Amelia angrily lifted the glass and tossed off at least half the numbing liquor. Her eyes popped as the fire in the whiskey lit her from the inside.
“Damn!” She coughed up some smoke, though fortunately she didn’t belch flames; and wheezed; “That’s some really good stuff!”
“It had better be. It’s well over three hundred years old. I keep it around for ‘special occasions’.”
“So I see.” Amelia had recovered the use of her voice, though the fiery burn of the firewhiskey had settled into a warm glow in her stomach. She could feel herself relaxing.
“You calm?” Connie asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Calmer than I was.”
“I’m getting tired of that…creature slandering me.” Amelia groused.
“Slander is spoken. You should know that.” Hammer snarked, earning herself a glare. “However there is an equivalent for the printed word. It’s called libel. I happen to know the laws covering libel were set aside when Albus Dumbledore took his position as Chief of the Wizengamot. Apparently he enjoys watching people at each other’s throats.”
“Yeah, I can see how he’d like that…bloody pervert.”
“It’s more than that. It’s one of his ways of keeping the opposition distracted while he plays his little games. With those laws inactive, instead of watching him, his opponents are occupied trying to schmoose up to the press in order to make each other look bad and at the same time trying to keep themselves from looking like comeplete idiots. Now, ‘dear’ Rita has been bucking him for a long time…in fact, it appears to me that she has a personal grudge against him. She’s using that to pummel him in the press. Unfortunately since he allows it with his grandfatherly smile, she can do it to us as well.”
“What do we do?” Amelia asked.
“We wait.” Connie was calm as a summer morning.
“How long?” Amelia barked. She really wanted that reporer’s head on a plaque!
“About twenty, thirty seconds, actually.”
“What?” For the first time in a long time, Amelia was completely dumbfounded.
Connie snickered. “I saw the article before you did, and I know you well enough to know were going to floo over to the Prophet with your wand blazing, so I contacted the Ministry’s legal experts.”
“We have legal experts?”
“Of course we do. Every government does. It’s just that Dumbledroe has hidden them. He uses them all the time for his own purposes, but actually prevents the rest of us from even knowing they exist.”
“Who are they, the Department of Mysteres?”
Connie just smirked. Amelia blanched and gasped out; “They are!”
“Don’t be ridiculous.” Hammer chuckled. “They’re not the Department of Mysteries, but they’re almost as unseen. They are a sub office of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.”
“What?” Amelia barked. “I was head of the DMLE! How could I have missed an office like…no never mind. ” Amelia facepalmed. “Don’t answer that. Bloody Dumbledore!”
A knock on the door interrupted. Connie called; “C’mon in!” and he door opened. A distinguished man of about sixty with a square face, greying brown hair, and intense blue eyes, entered the office. He was carrying a brown dragonhide valise. Lines around his face told them he liked to laugh, but his eyes showed that he rarely missed anything. Just then, he was examining Amelia closely.
“Samuel T. Cogsley, Ministry Solicitor.” He introduced himself in a smooth baritone. I understand we have some legal difficulty?”
“As a matter of fact, we do, Mister Cogsley.” Amelia replied, liking the man instantly. “Come in. Have a seat, please.” Connie smiled to herself
Cogsley did so and opened his briefcase, withdrew a dicta-quill and pad of lined yellow paper. He closed the case and set the pad and quill on top. Amelia called for Tootles and asked her hosue-elf to bring a tea service. When she’d returned, Amelia played mother.
Tea served and sipped, she began. “What do you know about libel, Mister Cogsley?”
“Quite a bit actually. I take it you’re less interested in a history lesson than a way to keep Miss Skeeter out of your hair.”
“And you’d be absolutely correct. This administration is having to fight nearly every pureblood in Britain in order to do our jobs properly, and with her sniping at us whenever it suits her fancy, she’s breaking our focus…and I hate to say this, mine especially. In the past year, she’s written twenty seven articles about how incompetent the Ministry is, sixteen since I was named Minister, and it’s causing the public to lose faith in us. This has to stop, if only to allow us to do our jobs. On a personal note, my father gave his life to defeat Grindelwald and I’ll not have her slandering his name in the papers.”
“Did Miss Hammer tell you slander is spoken?”
“Yes.” Amelia growled through clenched teeth. “She did.” Connie hid a smile. Amelia caught it anyway, and glared death and dismemberment at her protégé.
Cogsley chuckled. “Perfectly honest mistake you know.”
“What can we do about this?”
“Actually it’s simple. The laws are still on the books, but when he took office as Chief of the Wizengamot, Dumbledore set them aside…without discussion or vote, I might add. Instead he used his power of Executive Decision, to do so. As Madam Longbottom is the head of the Wizengamot now, she can simply re-enact the laws.”
“Just like that?”
“Just like that. Since they were only set aside, they’re still valid and awaiting re-enactment.
“Good. I’ll speak to Augusta and ask her to do so. In the meanwhile, I’d like to ask you to prepare a suit…just in case Rita and The Prophet decide to…how shall we say…side-step the laws.”
“I can do that. I’ll have a first draft ready tomorrow at nine, but I’ll need some more information.”
They spent the next hour discussing the specifics of the proposed lawsuit before Cogsley decided he had enough to go on with…at least for the start.
“Thank you, Mister Cogsley. It’s been a rare pleasure to meet you.” Amelia stood and offered her hand. Cogsley reached out and shook it warmly…for a second or two longer than was strictly ‘proper’. Amelia smiled softly and squeezed his hand before she let go.
Coglsey gathered his things and smiled again before he left.
Amelis turned to find her protégé grinning widely at her.
“You liiike him!” Connie sang.
“Connie, I’m gonna hurt you.”
“Oooh! You really like him!”
“Out!” She pointed to the door.
As Connie left the office giggling like a hyena, Amelia wondered if she did like the older solicitor. He was good looking enough, and seemed a pleasant chap, and it had been far too long since her husband had died fighting Voldemort…but did she dare get involved again?
She didn’t know.
Two days later, Amelia called a meeting with Mr. Stephan Lander and Madam Sarah Mheere, the owners of the Daily Prophet, their Senior Editor Aloysius Euwings, and their star reporter and cash cow, Rita Skeeter.
She walked into the room, curtly turning down Euwings’ offer of tea and began to speak.
“I’m going to make this short and simple. Rita, you do know there are libel laws on the books, don’t you? Your sniping has gotten out of hand, and if I find you have been gaining your ‘insight’ into private conversatins through illegal means, I will have you in Azkaban, and will use your imprisonment to support a lawsuit against The Daily Prophet that will drive this paper into bankruptcy. I hope that is clearly understood. As it is, your assualt on my father’s good name has named you, and The Daily Prophet as compicit in the crime of libel and I will be preferring suit. Mister Euwings, if you have a viable story, by all means, print it, but unless you can verify the facts in that story, I’d suggest you not. Mister Lander, Madam Mheere, the freedom of the press only goes so far; with that freedom comes the responsibility to act and report in a reasonable and responsible manner.”
“You can’t muzzle us!” Euwings howled. “That’s censorship!”
“No, it’s not. It’s simply requiring you to ensuring your stories are more you’re your usual sensationalist tripe! You will verify all your facts before you print!” Amelia glared right back at the steaming editor, before turning and marching out of the editor’s office.
PART 29: Animal Control
Jan 26th 86, 17:39 PM:
Harry was waiting impatiently. He’d kept careful watch on the papers for any sign of the psychotic berserker he needed.
He found it. A young woman had been mauled very early that morning by some form of large animal. Before she died, she’d been screaming hysterically about a werewolf. Because Remus had been incapacitated by the full moon, Harry knew the report was accurate.
The ministry had zoomed in to alter memories, but as she’d died of her wounds, decided it wasn’t necessary. Still the whole area around Scunthorpe was alerted to the presence of a dangerous animal.
They couldn’t have been more right.
Harry had found him several dozen kilometres away, just outside Swinefleet. He was hiding in a cave in the foothills there. No matter. He entered the cave on silent feet, with a pulse rifle aimed ahead of him. Inside the cave, the startled werewolf scrambled to his feet.
“Y’ got stones, boy, but it ain’t gonna do y’ no good!” Greyback snarled, taking a threatening step forward.
By way of reply, Harry fired a three round burst from the pulse rifle. Harry regretted thai it was only set for heavy stun, but he needed Greyback alive…for the time being.
The high powered bolts of energy crossed the small cave in less time than it took to think and Fenrir Greyback flew backward, crashing into the rock, then pitched forward to land face first in the dirt.
Werewolves are notoriously difficult to harm, even in their human form, still two hundred thousand volts has been known to stun an elephant…and Fenrir Greyback had taken three such shots in less than a second. Harry was moving before Greyback hit the dirt. He crossed the little cave and clamped binders made of his molecularly bonded diamond around Greyback’s wrists. A second later the man’s burly arms were locked behind him, his ankles were similarly bound together, and a hockey mask over his face prevented his biting anyone…specifically Harry. A twitch of his finger and the savage Death Eater found himself upright.
“Pack your bags, Fenny.” Harry growled. “We’re going to the coast.”
He levitated his prisoner out of the cave and into the little shuttle waiting there, sticking him to the aft bulkhead. Extending his shields, he lifted the Doodlebug
More than ten minutes later, Greyback had finally regained his voice. He snarled. “Who are you?”
Harry turned in the pilot’s seat and aped the line from one of the Grangers’ favorite movies. “I am no one of consequence.”
“Bloody right you aren’t. New let me go or I’ll teach you the meaning of pain!”
“As you wish.” Harry touched a few controls and flicked his finger. The little shuttle slowed from three hundred miles an hour to around a third of that, and the door in the aft bulkhead opened.
Greyback’s next experience was being hauled through the air, backwards and face down, without a broom, at nearly five hundred feet up and over a hundred miles an hour. He screamed in terror.
That evening, papers in southern Lincolnshire carried the headlines:
IS THE MILITARY TESTING A NEW PLANE OR HAVE THE BANSHEES RETURNED?
He was still gibbering twenty minutes later as Harry ‘invited’ him inside. Music from hidden speakers played The Imperial March by John Williams. While he didn’t recognize the score, Greyback found himself more than a little unnerved by the harsh, driving music.
Harry didn’t bother to turn from his command couch to speak. “Welcome back. Are you gonna behave yourself, or are you gonna fly all the way to Brighton…outside?”
Stuck to the bulkhead, Fenrir Greyback, the most feared werewolf in Britain, if not all of Europe; sulked like a petulant child.
For a while.
Seeking an opportunity to escape, Greyback wracked his brain. Ten more minutes passed before he had an idea. He announced; “I need the loo.”
“Tie a knot in it.” Harry shot back, focusing on the three-dimensional chess game he was playing.
“I’m gonna piss all over the bloody floor!”
Now, Harry turned and glared at the werewolf. “You try that, and I’ll summon it into a ball and banish it into your stomach. I assure you, your death will be most…” Harry smiled evilly. “…unpleasant.” With that, he turned his attention back to his game.
“Knight D-3, to kings level three, F-4.”
The hologramme shifted the knight two spaces to the right and one forward, ascending two levels at the same time.
Given the boy’s threat and what he’d done already, Fenrir decided he really didn’t have to go. He’d wait for another opportunity…an opportunity where the odds weren’t so heavily stacked against him.
They reached the coast and floated the invisible Doodlebug down to the cave entrance. Harry gestured and Greyback floated free from the wall, only to hold in mid-air as the boy fastened a long, heavy looking, grey ‘thing’ to his prisoner’s back. Surprisingly, it wasn’t nearly as heavy as it appeared. With a gesture, Harry forced the werewolf to leave the cabin. He stepped off the little shuttle’s tail and into the nearly submerged cave with Fenrir floating along behind him.
The Doodlebug sealed itself up and waited.
Fenrir didn’t recognise this place, but he instinctively knew it was hideously dangerous.
He floated forward through the short passageway, until he came up to a barrier in the wall. This he did recognise.
“It’s a door. If the Dark lord set this up, it won’t open ‘less’n you got the right…key.” He smirked evilly.
“It requires a blood sacrifice.” Harry replied in a bored tone. “We’ll use yours.”
He twitched his finger and a large gash opened on Greyback’s palm. A second twitch forced the rabid beast to flick his hand, and the werewolf’s blood spattered the wall. Harry absently healed the Death Eater’s cut as the door opened. Harry reached behind the psychotic werewolf and pressed a switch. With a nearly inaudible humming noise; more felt than heard, asctually, Fenrir found himself floating a few inches above the ground, but it wasn’t like any levitation charm he’d ever felt, or even heard of! Since the cave was intended to react to any use of magic, Harry used something that wouldn’t be invented for several hundred years. A portable anti-grav.
Harry picked his way around the edge of the underground lake. Greyback just bobbed along behind him.
Giving the rotting boat a derisive glare, Harry rotated Greyback facedown and sat on top of the psychotic Death Eater like a log in a stream, and then floated himself and his prisoner across the underground lake. Below them, Greyback shuddered in terror as he could see hundreds of pale, dead faces glaring up at him. Were he capable of thinking so, and had he considered it, he likely would have found it ironic that he was beset by the same terror his own victims knew in the last moments of their lives.
On the island, he forced Greyback to the stone font there. With a decisive point of his finger, he froze the madman in place, conjured two large concrete blocks around his feet, removed the anti-grav and mask, and unlatched the manacles so Greyback could use his hands. Then he stepped to the other side of the deadly basin and released the immobulous charm.
“That’s a highly psychoactive potion. Drink it…all of it.”
“What?” Now, Fenrir understood the situation he was in. The dark lord must have hidden one of his treasures here. The potion must surely be poisoned for him to have left no other security measures. He refused to drink.
Harry sighed; “Fenrir, I’m giving you one chance to make yourself useful. If you don’t drink, I’m afraid I’m going to have to get…nasty.” He pointed the barrel of his pulse rifle at a large boulder and burned a hole neatly through. Then aimed the weapon at Greyback’s stomach.
“I can always find another way to do this. Don’t worry anout the potion. It…probably…won’t kill you. He designed it to keep you here until he could arrive to kill you in person. He was kinda selfish that way. Now, since he’s dead, you don’t have to worry about that.”
“I…I…I need a cup.” Even at the hands of his enemy, Greyback was seeking an escape. If the boy came close enough, he could seize him, or even hit him with whatever cup he provided.
Harry smirked. “Use your hands.”
Greyback hesitated until Harry fired at the werewolf’s arm. He howled in agony as the needle thin beam flashed between tehm, burning a long score along Fenrir’s outer forearm. Charred blood lined the edges of the gouge.
Cradling the burnt arm, the rabid killer glared death and dismemberment at the boy.
“Aw, quit your whinging, you bloody wanker; you’re not hurt! That was it’s low setting! Remember, you have legs you won’t need for this. I can take them off an inch at a time, and still leave you able to drink. It’s your choice, but I’d suggest you make it before I lose my patience.” He lifted the rifle again, aiming at Greyback’s left ankle.
And so, Fenrir Greyback, most feared werewolf in British history, reluctantly turned to the font, cupped his hands and began to slurp.
It was awful. It was agonizing, but the pain in his belly wasn’t half as bad as the memories he suffered, as his crimes came back to haunt him. And yet the compulsion Harry had put on him, wouldn’t allow him to stop until the basin was empty. He wept. He shuddered in agony. He screamed in terror. He begged for mercy. It did him no good. Harry watched him as a lion watches a fight between a warthog and a hyena; his eyes held absolutely no emotion whatsoever.
Either way he would eat.
At long last, Greyback fell screaming in the throes of an unending nightmare.
Harry picked up the locket and gently hung it around Greyback’s neck. “A gift from the dark lord.” He removed the concrete blocks and levitated the psychotic werewolf to the edge of the island. Greyback immediately scooped his hands into the water to gulp the cleansing liquid, not knowing he was sealing his own coffin. To his horror, a face appeared followed by two hands and then within seconds, hundreds more. The inferi grasped him and pulled him screaming and struggling into the water. Others shambled onto the island, where Harry waited. He fired pulse after pulse of energy into the water, flashing it to steam. The inferi he caught exploded into flames, or flew backwards into the middle of the hidden lake. Levitating himself to the outside edge of the water, he spread his hands and transmuted the surface into pure alcohol. A quick shot and a furious conflagration erupted, spreading from the point of ignition on the other side of the lake, and racing in curving arms around the edges of the water-cum-alcohol toward him. The unfortunate infiri were caught in a maelstrom of hellish flames. Banishing charms at the top of the cave ensured there would be no smoke to alert the people in the vicinity. He stepped through the door before the fire reached him, and slammed it shut behind him.
Outside the cave, he used his own blood to cast permanent sealing runes, and then transfigured the door into solid rock, joining it invisibly to the stone around it.
Nobody would ever find their way in here again.
At the cave mouth, he cast another ward…a permanent keep-away ward…then filled the cave mouth with rubble and melted it into a solid mass. Some careful sculpting and one couldn’t tell the difference between the former cave and the rock surrounding it.
Not too bad for a day’s work. He stepped into the little shuttle and lifted away.
PART 30: Taking Care of Business
The time had come to capture the last two pieces of Riddle’s misbegotten soul, so on the thirtieth January, Harry spoke to Graswold.
“It’s time. We’ve got the cup, ring, locket, tiara and diary. It’s time we go after Riddle, and then, I can get this damned thing out of my head.”
“As we expected, all of my warriors have volunteered. I have selected one hundred for the task. They have been training for this, since you first approached us.”
“Bring them all. Better to have too many than not enough.”
“I agree. This is far too important to trust to chance.”
And so, plans were made and finalized. Harry would have a platoon of goblins, one hundred warriors for security and fifty Ritual Masters to perform the actual capture.
“Now, I have to warn you…” Harry addressed the goblin capture team. “This particular soul piece is not confined to an object like the others were. It’s free-floating and quite dangerous. He can possess those around him. In fact, I believe it was only because I was holding the Philosopher’s Stone in my hand at the time, that kept that from happening to me.”
“What do you suggest?” Graswold asked. Technically, as leader of his nation, he shouldn’t have been there, but the goblins were a daring folk with a long tradition of warfare. If he’d remained behind whilst his people went into battle, his head would surely be hoist ‘pon a halberd before they returned, and another…perhaps another not so disposed to listen to young human wizards…would rule in his stead. To explain his presence, however, he’d merely said he felt his life had been lacking in excitement of late, and decided to lead the war-party.
“I’m going to play ‘bait’.” Harry returned. Immediately the small contingent of goblins began to protest. They’d begun to actually ‘like’ this daring and resourceful mup in the past months, and would be less than happy were he to be killed in this, admittedly hazardous, endeavour.
Harry grinned back at them. “Voldemort is a bigot.” He explained. “He’d be more likely to try to possess a young but powerful human wizard, than a goblin of any sort; simply because he thinks of you lot as clever, dangerous animals. He’s like that, y’know.”
“Yes…” Graswold growled, with a look of utter disgust on his face. “We’ve noticed.” Snarls of loathing from those nearby signalled their agreement.
“Anyway…” Harry went on, hoping to diffuse the rancorous mood he felt from the goblins around him. “As soon as he approaches me, you lot set up the containment field, I can hold him off for a bit, but you have to capture him and stuff him into the statuette.”
“You believe it will be that simple?” This came from one of the Ritual Master’s.
“Not hardly. He’s gotta get real close, before you can spring the trap.”
“Close enough to touch me. Oh, by the way, in the event he does manage to enter my body, you stun me straight away. Don’t give him time to possess me. When I’m down, stun me again…five or six times. Get me to the ritual chamber and get both pieces out of me as fast as you can. I really don’t like to boast, but if he gets control of my magic, the world is gonna be in a…well, in a world of shite!”
“What do you mean?” the head of the Goblin Hordes asked. He knew, but he wanted his warriors to know as well. In this, he and Harry were of a mind. Too much secrecy is what allowed Voldemot to rise…and Grindelwald before him…and Rasputin before them!
Harry’s answer was short and frightening. “Imagine what a malevolent spirit with no conscience can do with my raw power. Even now, even in a five year old body, I’m more powerful, magically speaking, than Albus Dumbledore.”
Graswold did, and paled as much as his heritage would allow, at the thought. A wizard with Harry’s raw power and a bent for terror could easily destroy or enslave Britain on his own. If Voldemort were to somehow discover the little starship Harry claimed as his, that destruction could well be worldwide.
His warriors were equally distressed. They each made it their life’s task to ensure that didn’t happen!
In the long run, proper planning prevents disaster. Each of the goblins chosen for this most critical of tasks, knew precisely what he or she was to do, and all had practiced each and every possible contingency until it was second nature to them. They were ready.
They gathered in the ritual chamber where the ritual masters had set up a here-there gate…a portal to the Albanian forest southeast of Berat. Harry’s future knowledge stood them in good stead, as he’d learned exactly where Voldemort had been hiding for the thirteen years he’d been gone from Britain. After the first half-dozen people had gone missing, to be found dead weeks or months later, the locals had declared the place to be cursed by the devil, and avoided it altogether.
That suited Harry’s group right down to the ground. With no wandering villagers, so to speak, they’d have an easier time of capturing ‘Voldy, the ugly vapour’.
They stepped through the portal and found themselves in a once-beautiful forest that now reeked of decay and death. The dark magic there was immediately palpable. Many of the goblins shuddered, some even going so far as to make horns.
At Graswold’s command, they set up their camp, posting sentries and then, waiting.
It wouldn’t take long. Harry began to ‘broadcast’ for want of a better word.
The disembodied spirit of Tom Marvolo Riddle sensed a surge of raw magic. With his usual arrogance, he headed directly for the nexus, intending to seize that power for himself!
When he arrived, he discovered the goblins in a military looking camp.
~So!~ He thought. ~The animals are preparing another uprising. We shall see about that! When I have regained my power, I shall see to it they are all wiped out!~
Within moments, he found the lone human child wandering in the snow, a short distance from the goblin encampment. That should have set bells to ringing, as humans and goblins weren’t the closest of friends under the best of circumstances; but then, Riddle never did like to heed sound advise from any source but himself. Instead, he approached the boy gauging his potential.
He was appalled! The boy was a prodigy! As powerful even then, as that old muggle-loving fool Dumbledore at the peak of his power!
He quickly possessed the body of a small but deadly snake…one of which he’d not already burnt out, and prepared to bite the child in order to render him incapable of defending himself from possession. To his utter shock, the boy greeted him!
§Hello, little friend.§
§Hello, young human. Why are you here?§
§I seek something. A talisman of great power.§
§There is no such thing here.§
§I can feel it. With this item, I can rule the entire world!§
§What does this thing look like?§
§I don’t know, but I’ll know it when I see it.§
§Than perhaps I should accompany you. There is a place not far from here where odd things have happened. Perhaps that is what you seek.§
§Why would you take me there? What’s in it for you?§
§The life of a snake is a tedious one. I eat, I hunt, I mate and I sleep in the sun. I seek the new. Perhaps I will find what I seek there as well.§
§You just might. Very well, let’s be off.§
§You have no nest mates here? No protectors?§
§Protectors?§ Harry feigned ignorance. Really! Voldemort was about as subtle as an air raid!
§Those who hatched you?§
§Oh! Parents! No. My parents died when I was a babe. They were killed by some idiot who wanted to rule the world.§
§Is not that what you wish to do?§
§True, but I’ll do it properly. I have knowledge that he did not, that will make my job easier and more effective.§
Suddenly the little snake writhed in torment as Voldemort abandoned it to die. Harry sighed in regret at the unnecessary death.
That would have to wait, though, for just then, the evil wizard had appeared looking much like he did seven years from then, or nine hundred eighty nine years in his past.
“Foolish boy!” The vaporous apparition hissed. “You sought power for yourself, but now you will live to serve me, for there is none greater than Lord Voldemort!”
The oily black smoke surged forward to seize control of this stupid boy-wizard’s body when it felt itself rebound upon something…a magical shield of some sort, yet it was a sort of magic he was unfamiliar with. Seeking around himself, he found the answer.
The boy! The boy was holding him off somehow!
“Sorry, Tom.” The impudent whelp growled. “Not this time.”
Worse, voices from behind and around him told him that he’d been rash.
He spun in place to see goblins! Dozens of them! They were all standing in a circle around him; muttering in their guttural, brutish language. Behind them were a hundred more! He attempted to escape, but once again, he rebounded from an invisible shield. The filthy animals had entrapped him in some kind of magickle globe. The disgusting creatures dared to cage him…him! Lord Voldemort! The greatest wizard in the world! He seethed as he felt himself being thrown around the magical shell.
Snarling in fury, he fought the containment…to no avail. It was far too powerful for even him to break. He knew he could only struggle so much before he’d begin to lose cohesion, so he stopped fighting and hoarded his dwindling strength. He was their prisoner, but he would not remain so! No trap is perfect! He would find a way to escape, and then at a time of his own choosing, he would avenge himself on the despicable vermin!
He didn’t have much time for thoughts of revenge, though, as the group of older goblins moved closer, forcing the restraining field to shrink and began to chant something in their primitive, animalistic tongue.
It was a shame Tom Riddle held the goblins in utter contempt, or he might have tried to learn their language and had he succeeded, he would perhaps have recognized what was being chanted.
As it was, he felt his amorphous essence being forced into something…something familiar. His last view of the thing, as it came close enough to touch, was that it looked like that misbegotten fool, that lover of muggles and mudbloods…Albus Dumbledore!
“Well!” Harry snarked, as he wiped his brow. “That was fun.”
Several of the goblins gazed upon the human mup with something akin to awe, while others, all older, thought to themselves; ~This mup needs to reassess his idea of ‘fun’!~
Seeming to know exactly what the goblins were thinking, Harry smirked, and then turned to Graswold and said; “Perhaps we should adjourn to Gringotts and take the last piece out of me?”
“An excellent suggestion, Lord Gryffindor.”
The trip back was made in seconds. Half the warriors and all the Ritual Masters returned to Gringotts while the rest were tasked twith striking the camp and removing any evidence of their presence. Restoration of the decayed forest would take place in the near future.
Graswold hustled Harry into the ritual room where the masters took his clothing and laid him in the center of the sacred ring. With an apology, they caused hundreds of slender vines to emerge from the ground and bind him him tightly to the floor of the cavern, before removing themselves from the circle. All fifty arrayed themselves precisely, and began their chant.
Harry screamed in agony as the Ritual Masters worked their magicks. He’d held out for as long as he could before he gave vent to his torment, but he’d rarely been in such pain. Not even the Cruciatus was as horrible. The soul fragment anchored to his magic fought. It fought bitterly; clinging desperately to the boy’s core in an attempt to stave off what it knew would be its own destruction.
Still, the Ritual Masters were called that for very good reason. They were masters of their craft, and had dealt with such possessions before. They intensified their attack, and slowly, strand by strand, the malevolent being was forcibly untwined from the nourishing source of magic it had been so fully dependant upon.
Harry delved into his own mind, garbed himself as a character in an ancient, to him, movie, ignited a blade of emerald light and began to search out and cut away any traces of the malignancy.
There were plenty, but without the main part to sustain them, they fell one after another to his cleansing blade. Repairing the damage as he went, Harry cleaned up his mindscape; and then, it was done.
With a reedy wail of frustration, fear and hatred, the same sort of oily black vapour that they’d seen in the Albanian forest, surged forth in a long strand, as the magic plucked it from Harry’s scar like a tweezers pulling a thread from a bit of cloth; and forced it into another little statuette.
Ensuring every part of the invasive spirit was gone, Harry returned to the world around him.
Opening his eyes, he rasped; “And, that’s the end of them.” He grinned and passed out.
A/N: I know Barnabus Cuffe is the editor of The Daily Prophet. I don’t care.
Greyback: Harry really had no choice but to wait. Even with all the technology available to him, he couldn’t know where Greyback was, and only learned when the psycho revealed himself.
House points for anyone who can guess the name of the movie. Cat, you’re not allowed to guess. You know far too much as it is.
Conjuring: In book sux, though the cave was supposed to react to the use of magic within, presumably that meant only on or near the water, as Dumbledore conjured a crystal goblet to drink from. (Showoff!) I can only presume the inferi were ‘programmed’ as it were, to attack only when the water was breached. Harry’s using as-yet-undeveloped technology would allow him to bypass the magical restriction.
On that same line, Dumbledore put a foreign object (the goblet) into the potion. How could that have happened if he couldn’t get close to it"? (H.B.P. (U.S.) Pg. 568) My theory is that one had to intend to drink to access the liquid. Magic is all about intent. It wouldn’t matter how one got the liquid as long as he or she intended to drink it.
A third point here would be that since Harry used his parseltongue to open the locket shouldn’t he have been able to use it to cancle any magic barrier around the font? (Just a thought.)
The blood based sealing runes are stolen from ‘The Curse That Killed Thousands’ by; Gal1661
Philosopher’s Stone: It makes sense to me. Why else would Voldy-the-ugly-vapour NOT possess Harry when he passed through him? (Both in canon and in the movie.) I’ll grant his mother’s protection might have had something to do with it, but shouldn’t that have prevented Voldy from even passing through him? I believe there had to be some other protection, and what better protection than the ‘miraculous’ stone he was holding at the time?
I think I stole and adapted the ‘here-there gate’ from something Kinsfire wrote…but I’m not certain.
‘Making horns’ is an ancient gesture to ward against evil. Picture Spiderman throwing his webs but holding the index and small fingers closer together.