Harry Potter has been trained by a certain Dark wizard since he turned five. What happens when now fifteen years old Harry arrives his first time to Hogwarts to get his OWLs?
Chapter eight: Signed by Blood
A lone, dark figure was moving through darkened hallways of Riddle Manor. The figure entered in a main hall which the Dark Lord used as a throne room. The room was filled with dozens of other black robed, white masked Death Eaters, all whom went silent as he entered.
"Master, Harry Potter is at Hogwarts!"
Dark Lord's eyes turned at Pettigrew, causing him to shiver. "Are sure of that, Worm?"
"Yes, master. He walked into the Great Hall during the Starting Feast. Said that he wanted to start the school. Dumbledore, of course, agreed. He was sorted into Gryffindor."
"I see," Voldemort hissed, drumming his fingers on armrests of his silver throne. "Summon Slayer. I have job for him."
The Potter boy shall vanish as quickly as he resurfaced. The Dark Lord's laughter echoed in the dark hallways.
Harry was eating his first breakfast at Hogwarts. The Great Hall was almost empty as most students were still sleeping. After casting the standard poison and magic detecting charms, he had begun eating with great gusto. He was finally back on work after wallowing in his mentors death for few weeks. Hopefully I will manage to finish my mission before those idiots at the Ministry will link me to the murders...
It was highly probable that they won't ever guess it was him. Tonks had promised to take them off the track. Allies in the magical law enforcement department were highly useful. Now if he could just trust her...
"Good morning, Harry!" said the red headed girl, whom he had met yesterday, as she sat opposite him. If he remembered right, her name was Ginny Weasley. Harry idly wondered how many Weasleys there is? He had seen four other Weasleys here... and at least one of her brothers worked in the Ministry. Not to mention the one he had met in Egypt. Good dueller that one.
"Morning, Ginny," Harry said, flashing a smile at her. She had information he needed, and easiest way to gain it was to gain her friendship. It was a pity he couldn't just ask her about the Chamber. Well, actually he could, but she wouldn't answer, at least not honestly. And nothing will get you killed faster than false intel.
"Do you always rise this early?" she asked, yawning.
Harry refocused his attention back at the redhead. "Yes. Though it seems that it's not necessary here."
She looked at him confused. "Don't you have your timetable yet?"
"No, I don't."
"Oh. That explains it," she said as she buttered her toast. "What optional classes are you taking?"
"Runes and muggle studies, I guess."
Before Ginny could say anything they were interrupted by a black haired Ravenclaw prefect, who had just walked to them. "Mr. Potter," she said. "Headmaster wishes to speak with you. Please, follow me."
Harry stood up. "Well, that's my call. See ya," Harry said to Ginny as he stood up and followed the Ravenclaw prefect outside the Great Hall.
They travelled few minutes in silence along empty hallways before they arrived to a statue of a gargoyle. Harry glared the statue suspiciously. Knowing Dumbledore it wouldn't be a statue of gargoyle at all, but a real gargoyle.
Gargoyles were very dangerous creatures. They had stony skin, which was very resistant to both magical and physical damage. To make things worse, gargoyles possessed talons strong and sharp enough to cut through goblin vault-doors. And like that wasn't enough, they were surprisingly fast and fully capable of flying.
The black haired prefect stopped and whispered, "Jelly Slugs."
Suddenly the wall behind the statue, or whatever it was, moved backwards revealing stairs spiralling upwards. Second later the gargoyle hopped away from the opening.
"Well. Headmaster awaits," she said, pointing at the opening. Then she turned her back on him and walked away.
Harry stood there for a moment, before walking towards the stair, never letting his eyes of the statue, or what ever it was. After the walking the stair up he arrived to an old wooden door with a brass knocker in the shape of a griffon. He knocked thrice.
"Come in," came the jovial voice of the professor Dumbledore behind the door.
Harry opened the door and stepped inside. It was large and beautiful circular room, full of weird little noises. A number of silver, magic detecting equipment stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke. The walls were covered with portraits of former headmasters and headmistresses, all whom were snoozing gently in their frames. There was also an enormous, claw-footed, desk, and sitting on the shelf behind it, a shabby tattered wizard's hat - the Sorting Hat.
In the far corner was a golden perch, on which stood a beautiful - red and gold - bird. A real phoenix. It was watching him suspiciously. He flashed a charming smile at the bird. It didn't work.
"Good morning, Harry," Dumbledore said his eyes twinkling, "I have awaited you." The headmaster was sitting behind his large oaken desk. Directly behind him were four portraits, whom he recognized as the Founders.
Harry rewove his Occlumency barriers before meeting headmaster's eyes. Somehow he had an inkling that they would be needed. Headmaster was after all a very accomplished Legilimens. Maybe I should learn Legilimency as well?
"I arrived as soon as I could, sir."
"Don't worry, you are not late," the ancient headmaster said soothingly. "Sherbet lemon?"
If gazes (other than basilisks') could kill, Harry would have just set the offered bowl of sweets in fire. He was sure Dumbledore wouldn't poison him, but the sweets could have easily been laced with truth-potion. In all probability he was just being paranoid, but it was stupid to take unnecessary risks. The headmaster had been a Slytherin after all. "Thanks, but no thanks, sir."
"I wonder why no one ever accepts my offer," Professor Dumbledore said as he took one of the sweets an popped it into his mouth. "Your owl was in my office when I returned from the feast. The letter you wrote was, however, very short and didn't contain all necessary information."
"Like what, Headmaster?" Harry asked.
The Headmaster studied him over his half-moon glasses. "Like, what kind of prior training have you received?"
"I have been an apprentice to a mediwizard since I turned five."
"Apprenticed, you say?" As Harry nodded, he continued, "who is this mediwizard?"
"Jonathan Evermoore," Harry said quietly. "He died recently and this is why I'm here." It wasn't the complete truth, but is wasn't a lie either, so it wouldn't set off possible lie detectors.
Harry put wand hand reached inside his robes and took out an expensive looking scroll case. It was made of ebony and black leather with gold and silver decoration. He looked it for a second before handing it to the Headmaster.
Professor Dumbledore flipped the scroll case open and took out an old parchment. He carefully unrolled it, read it, and then re-rolled it and putt it back to the case, before handling it back to Harry. It was perfectly legal. It had all proper signatures in blood and the ministry stamp. "Was this document filed with Ministry?"
"Of course," he said with a smirk. "The reason that you or everybody else knew nothing about is was a fact that the Ministry officials are extremely bribe-able." Yet another half-truth.
Dumbledore sighed. "So, What optional classes are you taking?"
"Ancient runes and Muggle studies."
"Interesting combination, don't you say?" As Harry said nothing, he continued, "very well. Now as the final school related issue we should talk about school fees."
Harry glanced the Headmaster sharply. "I was informed that you have my vault-key. You can take the money from there. I can sign the warrant now, if you want."
Dumbledore took a piece of parchment from under his desk and gave it to Harry. Harry scanned the warrant briefly as Dumbledore conjured quill and inkwell. He didn't think that Dumbledore would try to trick him into signing something... else. But you could never be too careful.
Harry took the offered quill. Then he tapped it with his wand, transfiguring it into ballpoint pen. He smirked at the headmaster before signing the warrant. He couldn't understand why the wizarding world still used quills. They were tad unpractical.
After a small pause Dumbledore spoke again, "Harry, were did you get that ring?"
"Which one," Harry asked. He was wearing two rings. The golden ring in his right middle finger was charmed so that it would change into a sword at his mental command. The silver ring on his left index finger wasn't really a ring at all. It was a transfigured goblet. The Hufflepuff's goblet, to be exact. It was also one of the Dark lord's Horcruxes. For years the Cabal had tracked them, before finally finding one. The cup had been hidden in the Carrow family vault. He was sure that Headmaster meant the Horcrux, but feinting ignorance fit well in his plans.
"That silver one," Dumbledore confirmed.
"What about it?"
"It radiates Dark magic," the old man said. "It would be best if you gave it to me."
Harry shrugged his shoulders and handled the ring to him. Mission accomplished! Dumbledore is perfectly capable of destroying the Horcrux. And now none of the cabal would have to risk themselves in destroying it. Also, he would gain Dumbledore's trust as no Death Eater or their sympathiser would give Voldemort's Horcrux to him. Two Death Eaters with the same curse!
Dumbledore cast few spells into the Horcrux, and his frown deepened.
"So, what is it," Harry asked, trying to sound curious.
"It is one of the darkest magical items imaginable," Dumbledore said quietly. "You should tell me where you got it."
"It belonged to my teacher. He got it last summer." Harry smirked inwardly. He could practically see Headmaster's thoughts running wildly, before arriving into planned conclusion.
Everything was back on the track again.
Few uneventful days later Harry had come into realisation that his basic knowledge was severely lacking in many areas. Transfiguration was the only subject he excelled here, though he had used to polymorph things into sharp, pointy things or into dangerous animals with sharp teeth and bad temperament. Transfiguration was taught by Professor Minerva McGonagall. She was a very strict woman, but that didn't really bother him. He was used to have strict teachers, like his swordmaster Damien Sprout.
Harry wondered whether that damned bloodsucker was related to his new Herbology Professor Pomena Sprout. He had used to think that he knew lot of herbs and plants, but now he realised that most of his knowledge in Herbology was concentrated on plants usable in healing.
In Potions he suffered from similar impairment. But it was not as severe as he knew the potion theory. The rest was just following orders to the letter. Nothing difficult in that, except that it was taught by Severus Snape. At the banquet, Harry had got the idea that he disliked him. Needles to say, Professor Snape proved him wrong - he absolutely despised him.
In charms Kheiron had simple skipped over things he had considered useless for him. Harry knew hardly any household charms, or any other charms you couldn't use in combat. He could kill people in hundred different ways, but couldn't cast a cheering charm to save his life, not that cheering charms were usually needed to save a life...
Of course, in many ways he was far ahead his peers. He had been trained since he was five and thus his knowledge of magic was vastly greater. Not that it helped much here as they weren't studying the things he had studied.
Still he was a fast learner, and with bit work he managed above average. Maybe he could have fared better, but he was too lazy to focus on non-important matters. Perhaps he could get professor Flitwick to teach him in duelling. He had won many duelling tournaments when he had been young, and his experience could be extremely valuable.
Easily the most boring lesson was History of Magic, which was only class taught by a ghost. Professor Binns managed to get even the bloody goblin rebellions of fourteenth century sound absolutely boring. Harry instantly decided that he hated History. For what do one need History anyway? he rationalized. It's always the same, really. Some idiot starts a war or two, there's lots of blood, gore and death. And after killing each other for a while, they make a treaty... which is then most likely broken before the ink dries. Human history, both muggle and magical, is an endless tale of bloodshed. There is absolutely no reason for studying all the reasons for people to have killed other people.
The class room was already crowed when he stepped in and walked to one of the few remaining empty seats. He sat down next to a blonde Gryffindor. Neville Longbottom, if he remembered right.
Remus Lupin walked in and started the lesson with a long speech about importance of Defence Against Dark Arts in current situation. Harry rolled his eyes. Like anybody didn't already know about the Dark Lord and his merry band of masked killers.
The Professor turned his eyes on Harry, who was sitting on the back seat, twirling his wand lazily in his right hand. "Mr. Potter, what can you tell me about the Dark Arts?"
Harry took a deep breath before answering. "The original classification for Dark Arts was spells that either needed negative emotions to fuel them, like the Unforgivables or strengthened those feelings in the caster, like, well... the Heart Stopping curse. These spells also invoke hefty feeling of power and control, which may lead to addiction. These effects combined have caused many wizards to go on insane killing sprees. Therefore it is no wonder that these spells are banned in the whole wizarding world."
The Professor looked like he wanted to say something, Harry, however, wasn't finished yet. "For some reason our Ministry has later decided to classify near every spell that can be used only to harm another being as Dark Arts. They have also dumped every spell dangerous to the society as whole into this category. This has cased the Dark Arts to be very diverse collection of spells, with no unifying characteristics, except of course, that that they are all illegal."
Harry cleared his throat. "Therefore fighting Dark Arts is very hard, making those spells invaluable to any dueller."
"A very good answer, Mr. Potter," Lupin said. "Except for that last part. You don't need Dark Arts to become a good dueller."
Harry snorted. "That's technically true, but every exceptional dueller has studied Dark Arts, even if they don't actively use them. You must know these spells to counter them, because you can be sure that your opponent will be using them, even if you won't. Professor Dumbledore himself is very knowledgeable in the Dark Arts, even though he hasn't used his skills for decades."
The Professor looked at him sharply. "What makes you say that the Headmaster is skilled in Dark Arts?"
"How do you think he killed Grindelwald?" Harry asked, before adding mockingly, "by a tickling charm?"
"You don't need Dark magic to kill people."
"Of course not," Harry agreed. "You can kill with a stones and sticks. But when you are in a duel to death, you are going to want every advantage you can get. And Dark Arts simply excel in destruction."
"Very well, I get your point, Mr. Potter," said Prof. Lupin. "But I must stress the damage that Dark Arts does to its caster. It corrupts its users, chances them in a bad way. And as Mr. Potter said, they are all illegal, and if you are caught using them, you will most likely face Azkaban."
Harry shrugged. "True enough, but better alive in prison than dead and free."
There was not much to be said to that.
Perhaps it hadn't been a brilliant plan to talk about Dark Arts in such a positive tone. He had already heard at least dozen different rumours about him being a Death Eater or a Dark wizard. All more stupid than the last.
While he technically was a Dark wizard as he actively used Dark Arts, Harry didn't think himself as such. He merely considered that he possessed a certain moral flexibility when it came to use of magic. It was needed to win the war, after all. He couldn't afford any weakness.
Anyway, those rumour would undoubtedly hinder him in his mission, and therefore he would have to do something about them.
As a first step, he should stay shut up about Dark Arts. Secondly, he should do something good without any apparent ulterior motive. Thirdly, he should socialize more.
Now he would just have to wait for a good opportunity...
Suddenly there was high pitched scream followed by a terrible racket as someone rolled down the stairs next to him. The unfortunate boy landed next to Harry's feet. The boy broke into small sobs and cradled his arm which had bent into weird angle.
Harry blinked. He hadn't expected the opportunity to come this soon.
He kneeled next to the boy and asked, "are you all right." The boy was either second or first year. On his robe he wore Slytherin emblem.
"My arm. I think it's broken," the kid whispered in a pained way.
"Let me see it." Harry said and gently rolled the boy's sleeve up. His arm was indeed broken, but luckily it didn't look like a compound fracture or complicated fracture. The skin remained unbroken and arteries were undamaged. Hopefully the bone shards hadn't cut any nerves.
"It's clearly broken," some older female student said. "He should be taken to hospital wing."
"No need," Harry said and jerked the boy's arm, guiding the bones into their right places. They probably weren't exactly in their right places, but magic would take care of that. It was a real wonder how muggle doctors managed to heal their patients without magic... The boy screamed and people around them gasped.
Then he tapped the boy's hand with his wand. A simple bone mending charm repaired the broken bone. The second tap vanished the ugly bruise.
"Now. Better?" Around him he could hear people whispering.
"Yes, thank you," the boy said. "Wait, you are the Harry Potter?"
"Well, yes. So?"
"Oh... forgive my manners. My name is Damien Zabini. Nice to meet you," the Slytherin boy said as he offered his hand.
Harry shook it. "It was nice to meet you too." His smile turned into grin. "My medical skills were starting to get rusty..."
The boy blushed faintly and mumbled, "Those fake steps should be removed."
"Slytherins should be removed," someone in the audience said loudly. There were few faint giggles and snickers.
Harry looked at them evilly. He didn't like bigots. "Shouldn't you be in classes?"
The group begun to disperse as they realised that they were almost late already. The boy too, left quickly.
"Nice spellwork, Harry," said someone from behind him.
Harry turned to see the Weasley girl. "Thanks, Ginny."
"Where did you learn that," the redhead asked.
Harry looked at her for a moment. "If you absolutely must know, I was apprenticed to a Healer." Now, that should kill few rumours.
There was a few seconds' pause before she spoke almost shyly. "Harry, I have been wondering whether you would like to join our little Defence group. Your healing spells might prove themselves handy."
"Why not," Harry said, shrugging. "When is it held?"
She smiled at him. "The next meeting is today at seven o'clock."