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 nine: The Duelling Club
Harry was disappointed about the level of the spells used in DA, as they were in habit of calling themselves. He had been able to cast most of the spells they were using when he had been eight years old.
That in itself wasn't alarming, as a clever use of low to mid-level spells was usually the deciding factor in magical combat. More powerful spells were good and all, but they usually required too many wand movements and concentration, and they drained one to fast if used repeatedly.
The thing that was alarming was the fact that most of them were so damned slow (both on their feet and wand) and showed hardly any creativity with their spellcasting. In magical battles, just like in muggle warfare, speed usually overcame force and raw power nearly always lost to cunning.
Great curses won't help if you cannot hit your enemy and lots of magic cannot help you if you don't see your enemies coming. That is not to say that massive spells and magical reserves to outlast your opponents couldn't be useful, because they were. But as a general rule, raw power was useful only when your enemies gave you an opportunity to utilise it or when you force your enemies into such position that you can simply crush them by superior force. Speed and mobility were the key to success, both in duels and wars. Even Voldemort knew it. Most Death Eater raids were lightning fast. They got in, they killed and Disapparated before Aurors would appear and splatter them on the walls.
Of course, not all Dark Lord's attacks were made with the principles of speed in mind. Sometimes, they went out to simply torture, rape and kill muggles for the sheer 'fun' of it. But in these cases Death Eater were careful to do it outside zones with magic detectors. As such, Ministry personnel usually arrived only in time to clean the mess.
Voldemort had managed to recreate the atmosphere of fear. It was his strongest weapon. The Dark Lord had only few hundred Death Eaters, and so he couldn't go into direct battle with the Ministry. The Auror Corps alone would be more than enough to decimate his followers.
But what Voldemort had was an extensive network of spies, informants and monetary supporter acquired by multitude of different ways. Bribery, blackmail, fear of death, promises of influence, wealth and magical power. Many joined because of the pureblood propaganda.
Harry snorted. Voldemort himself hardly classified as a pureblood or even as a believer in the purity of blood. He was merely using pureblood dogma to his own ends. And Harry had to admit, it was working. The Dark Lord had acquired a strong base of semi-supporters, perhaps even as much as ten percents of the population.
Harry shook his head ruefully, and refocused on the current duel, only to realise it was already over.
Ginevra Weasley was standing next to her beaten opponent. The older boy was writhing on the floor bound by conjured robes. It appeared to be a standard Incarcerous.
From the little attention he had been paying to the match, Ginny had been one of the few exceptions of otherwise dreadful standard. He had been positively surprised by her duelling skills. Unlike most of the others she was fast and nimble on her feet and showed not small amount of cunning and ingenuity, and her small frame made her hard target. Not that she could last more than ten seconds against an Auror or experienced Death Eater. But she had the potential to be great.
When Harry got bored of their overflowing congratulations, which happened very quickly, he offered his own little less polite, but far more accurate assessment. "You dodge nearly always to the right, you aim too high and it worsens dramatically when you increase your casting speed and you don't use nonverbal magic."
"What! Nonverbal magic is sixth year stuff!" Ginny yelled, looking at him sharply.
"And you get angry too easily," Harry added, tilting his head slightly. "Do you think that Death Eaters care if it hasn't been a part of your curriculum?"
"Well, no, but-"
"But what?" Harry asked with an annoyingly smug smile.
That did it. She looked at him challengingly. "If you think you are so good, then fight me!"
Perfect! "Very well then," he said. "But choose two others to help you, so that we can get even match." From what he had seen, he was sure he could beat three even when handicapped.
She was really losing her calm now. That awful Weasley temper. Not that he was any better, really. His temper got quite often better of him, even with his Occlumency. "There is no way you can win against three," she stated.
"So sure, are you?" Harry asked. "Then you don't mind if we add stakes to make it more exciting?"
"Name your bet, Potter!"
Gotcha! She was ridiculously easy to manipulate. And that if something, made Harry feel bad about himself. Not bad enough to stop, however. He had job to do. "If I win, you will go with me next Hogsmeade weekend."
"What!" Yelled both Ginny and Ron.
Harry gave a patronising smile to her direction. "You are not chickening out, are you?"
"Of course not," she snapped. "If I win teach me the spell you used on Malfoy and his goons." He could hear people starting to whisper excitedly around them. It wasn't anything new. Since he had arrived into Hogwarts people had been whispering behind his back. It was annoying, but he could live with that.
"Agreed," Harry said with a nod.
"Good," she said. "Ron and Hermione, you will help me."
"Sure," Ron said, watching Harry murderously. Bit overprotective, eh? The brunette Gryffindor witch just sighed in a subjugated manner. Clearly she didn't approve... something. Of what, Harry had no idea. Ginny herself looked pretty excited. What Harry didn't know was that she considered this as a win-win-situation. If she won, then Harry would be forced to eat his words, and even if she lost, she would get a date with him.
In less than a minute the duelling circle was emptied and all four duellers had assumed proper duelling positions. Harry flashed a dashing smile to his opponents.
Susan Bones, the fifth-year Hufflepuff who had been chosen to be the referee for the match yelled, "Start!" and the four-way duel begun. Ginny, Ron and Hermione instantly begun casting hexes and jinxes.
Harry sidestepped their initial barrage of curses. With a flick of his wand he send a brilliant red rope towards his adversaries. The rope would coil around them and render them completely immobile.
He was slightly amazed when Hermione yelled the counter-curse causing his conjured rope to vanish midair. It was quite easy counter-spell, but it was very rare and so he hadn't expected anyone to know it. Apparently she really was a real bookworm. Harry swayed right to avoid Ron's stunner and nonverbally cast his own spell. Revenefego. An opaque, electric blue, two foot wide shield appeared in front of his wand.
He put his Revenefego shield in front of Ginny's Bat Bogey hex. The shield instantly captured the yellow bolt of light within itself.
Hermione, Ron and Ginny continued to pour spells, which Harry either dodged or blocked with his shield, which were now glowing with all colours of a rainbow because of the multitude of captured hexes, jinxes and charms within.
Sidestepping yet another stunner from Ron Weasley, he released his shield charm, and swung his wand vertically. All captured spells were shot back to their casters in a brilliant lightshow. Harry smirked evilly.
His opponents wasted no time in casting their shield charms to protect them from the sudden onslaught of charms and curses.
Now Harry could finally go offensive as all his opponents were busy shielding themselves. With a single flick of his wand the floor under his adversaries liquefied. Ron stumbled and fell down, splattering drops of liquid stone everywhere. Hermione managed to keep her balance as her feet sunk into floor. Ginny was the only one fast enough to jump away to a solid floor.
A second later the floor re-solidified, capturing Hermione's feet and most of Ron's body, only his left arm and head were over surface of the floor.
Harry smiled and went for the 'kill'. "Accio wands." Ginny managed to cast a shield charm, but Hermione wasn't so fast and her wand flew to Harry, who snatched it with his free left hand.
"Stupefy." Two identical bolts of red light left his wands and travelled through the air towards Ginny. The two curses hit her shield and were rebounded into random directions, one them missing Harry by inches.
"Impedimenta. Everbero! Petrificus Totalus," Harry kept chanting incantations. Normally he wouldn't say the incantations aloud with so simple spells, but now he was using two wands simultaneously, and he needed to say them for the spells to function properly. "Stupefy." It was only matter of time until Ginny's shield would collapse under the strain, for it was already rippling unsteadily.
Ginny apparently didn't submit to her fate. She dodged Harry's next two curses, simultaneously releasing her shield and cast a curse of her own. "Penetrum Stupen!" she yelled and a hair thin streak of brilliant red light travelled through the arena blindingly fast.
Before the curse had left her wand Harry was already twirling his wands. And soon as he had finished the downward sweeps, he uttered, "Contego." Two translucent, purple shields appeared front of him and he fully expected them to block that unknown spell.
Needless to say, he wasn't amused when they didn't. The spell went straight through his shield charms, though it dimmed noticeably in the process. The spell hit him to his chest with such force that his feet were lifted off the floor and he was hurled backwards. His black robe had now smouldering hole. But as he was apparently unharmed, his dragonhide armour seemed to have managed to absorb most remainders of the spell. It had taken only a minor glamour to pass his armour as standard school outfit.
Still, smothering waves of magic flowed through his mind, but he shrugged it off. It was apparently some kind of stunner. It was pity that dragonhide didn't offer the same protection the dragon had. It lacked most of the inherent magic that had suffused it.
He hit the floor painfully, but he was instantly on his feet, wands pointing towards the redhead witch. The spell was obviously designed to penetrate magical shields. Still he couldn't deny the fact that the witch front of him had large magical reserves. Maybe she had even as much as he had? Though, probably not.
Harry knew that he had more magic than most, even now when he hadn't yet reached his magical maturity. If he ever got old enough, his reserves would rival both Dumbledore and Voldemort's.
Harry grinned. She was indeed worthy. This might even be fun. Anyway, he should try to get her to teach that spell to him. He discarded Hermione's wand and blasted nonverbal paralysing curse at her. She managed to dodge it, barely.
Harry weighted his options. Dark magic was out for obvious reasons. Hand-to-hand combat was also out. That might connect him to Gringotts' robbery or the prison incident. Medical spells would be alright, except that they caused either no damage or too much damage. Most of the standard combat curses and charms were not spells used in friendly spar. Now, this sucks. His spells were severely restricted. Chances were that she knew most of the spells he could use.
He swayed left to avoid a stunner and then ducked down, watching bundle of green ropes to fly over him. The only thing really forking for him was his experience. It was not like she could really beat him, but he disliked to battle on equal terms.
He hadn't been trained to fight honourably; he had been trained to fight Death Eaters, people whose idea of mercy was to simply kill you, instead of torturing you and then killing you. He had been taught to win, and that half-measures were a mistake. And that every mistake might lead to your death, so you better not make those mistakes.
However, now he wasn't fighting Death Eaters, but a redhead, whom he was trying to trick into liking him.
Another thin red streak of light left her wand. This time Harry knew better and dodged it instead of trying to block it. He cast a quick paralysing curse, which Ginny sidestepped. The second paralysing curse forced her to cast a shield charm.
Ginny focused more magic to her shield as the third curse impacted it. Then Harry was already right front of her and snatched her wand from her fingers. She saw Harry flashing her a dashing smile. A red flash and she felt no more.
Harry caught her body before it hit the stone floor. Then he lowered her gently on the floor. Looking up at his stunned audience, he grinned. Too easy, he thought.
He turned and looked at his other 'opponents'. "Need any help there, Granger, Weasley?"
Needless to say, the reply he got wasn't a very polite.
A cloaked figure stepped into a dark room. He carefully closed the door behind him and took few steps forward, his steps echoing loudly in the silence.
The walls were covered with bookshelves, the only break in them were on the east wall where there was a very large fireplace made from black marble. Within the fireplace, crackling green flames were dancing, illuminating the entire room with its abnormal colour. The only other light source in the room was a great, black chandelier where dozens candles were burning. Beneath the chandelier, at the centre of the room, was a large wooden table surrounded by a score of chairs, all which were now vacated. The wooden floor was old and tarnished, but it still reflected the green flames surprisingly well. The shimmering reflection was strangely mesmerising, nearly hypnotic. Lord Voldemort was sitting in a large armchair by the fire, a large snake coiling at his feet.
"Lord Voldemort," a cloaked figure said, bowing low. "I come as summoned. What does your lordship require of me?"
"You are late," Voldemort hissed in reply.
The cloaked man met the Dark Lord's gaze without any apparent fear. "My other duties had to finished before I was free to answer your call, my lord."
"So, you think that my errands are secondary?" Voldemort said as he lifted his wand. The air was thick with threat of violence.
"No, my lord. I merely had an unexpected chance to finalize one of the jobs you had entrusted with me," the man explained. "I couldn't leave it half-done. The whole project would have taken a massive setback."
The Dark Lord lowered his hand back to the handle of his throne and said, "Very well, Slayer. I have a new job for you..."
Harry's eyes snapped open and he sat up on his bed. He was sweating profoundly. He had had an another vision. At least this time He wasn't torturing or killing anyone... or having sex with someone. That had been mentally scarring. Especially because he had been ten years old then.
The whole situation was unexpected. He hadn't had any visions since he mastered Occlumency, and even before that, all visions had been about Voldemort experiencing extreme emotions. This time there had been a conversation, with no Crucios. Perhaps it had been a dream. Still, he couldn't shake off a terrible feeling of foreboding.
Suddenly something tapped the window next to him. It was an owl. Harry looked around the dorm. Everybody else around him seemed to be soundly asleep. Ron was snoring loudly and Neville was hugging his pillow like his life depended on it.
He reluctantly stepped out of his warm bed and walked to the window. The floor felt very cold under his bare feet. He opened the window and the yellowish brown owl accompanied by a freezing gust of wind, flew to his shoulder and offered her leg, and a letter tied to it.
"Hello, Melpomene," Harry whispered and stroked her gently. He didn't know why Ama had given such a weird name to her owl. She had named her after the muse of tragedy. The grey owl hooted softly. Perhaps in agreement?
Harry took the letter, and the owl flew out of the window, disappearing in the darkness. Harry closed the window before turning his attention to the letter. He opened it and read it in the moonlight. The letter contained a single line.
Top of the Astronomy Tower. Tuesday. 8 pm. -AS.
Harry smirked. If anyone ever read this letter they would get a spectacularly wrong picture.