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?
Epilogue: Choices and Plans
Harry sat silently on his chair as headmaster surveyed him intently. After bolstering his mental defences, Harry met Dumbledore's twinkling eyes with some reluctance. Unexpectedly he felt no mental probe. He relaxed a bit.
"What do you want to know, sir?"
"Everything, Harry," the Headmaster said tiredly. "One of our students is dead and one more is at St. Mungos."
"What," Harry gasped. "He killed someone? I thought he was after me."
"He met two Ravenclaw first years during his search for you," Professor Dumbledore said, tears in his eyes. "He killed Miss Smythe, and severely damaged Miss MacFusty. Hopefully she will make a full recovery."
Harry grimaced. "I didn't know..."
The ancient Headmaster shook his head slightly. "It wasn't your fault, Harry. Now, tell me everything about your confrontation with him."
"Well. He said he was my uncle and that his name was Daniel Evans, but that he is more commonly known as Slayer."
The Professor's eyes widened slightly but that was only indicator that he was surprised. He then nodded and said, "Go on."
"He ambushed me, but I was fast enough to conjure a shield before his first salvo would have ripped me apart. Then we continued by having a nice swordfight. Eventually I managed to blast him through a window. I thought I had won, but then I saw that he had left me a present; A nice muggle explosive. I a cast shield again and I was blasted through the same window. Then we continued our swordfight. I managed to hurt him, but then he used a portkey and vanished.
There was a short pause before Harry voiced the conclusion. "Unless I'm mistaken and all portkeys work in Hogwarts, you have a traitor in your faculty."
The headmaster closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "It seems so..."
"Headmaster, may I ask you a question?"
A weak smile appeared to Dumbledore's lips. "You already did, but feel free to ask another."
"How did he get in? Isn't this place supposed to be heavily warded?"
The headmaster peered him over his half-moon glasses before answering. "Well, if he is muggle as you claim, most wards won't affect him in the slightest. Also, I suspect that he may have come in through some secret passage ways, bypassing yet another layer of protection. The muggle repellent charms can be overcame by strong will or application of Occlumency."
"Ah, I see," he said. In reality he didn't 'see' at all. If this was the extent of the greatest wards in Britain... then they were screwed.
Dumbledore sighed. "And -of course- the offensive wards are usually kept dormant."
Harry raised his eyebrows. "Why? There is a Dark Lord at loose!"
"Because they are far too dangerous. They were shut down semi-permanently after the tenth dead student in the ninth century."
Dumbledore swiftly glanced at his wizarding wristwatch before waving his hand. "You are free to go, Mr Potter."
Harry nodded and swiftly left the room, not displeased of the abrupt dismissal.
Once he was out of the room, the Headmaster turned towards an empty corner. "Mr Potter is bit overconfident about his Occlumency. He creates massive walls, but seems unable to master the finer points of the Art. Admittedly I couldn't really enter his mind, but with more sophisticated method, namely Merlin's Tertiary Probe, I was able to glean some information. Not much, but some."
"Like what," asked Alastor Moody, taking of his invisibility cloak and dropping it on Headmaster's desk.
"He is the Dark Knight, as we feared. "Alas, but perhaps it is for the best."
The retired Auror eyed the ancient Headmaster with curiosity. "What do you mean by that, Albus?"
"He is a trained combatant. As the one prophesied to vanquish Voldemort, he's going to need all weapons he can muster."
"But we can be never sure about his loyalty," Alastor pointed out, his both eyes locked on the leader of the Order of Phoenix. "And he uses Dark Arts. You can never trust someone who actively uses Dark Arts. They corrupt the caster."
"I know, I know," The Headmaster said. "But perhaps we could bring him to Light."
"Perhaps," Mad-Eye said, clearly unconvinced, "but what about the Death Eater in your faculty? That's the most pressing concern."
Dumbledore thought it for a second. "I think it they are trying to mislead us. We don't necessary have a traitor in our midst. It could have easily been an old portkey, created years if not decades ago."
"You are right, but I would still keep an eye on them," Mad-Eye said, his magical eye spinning wildly.
"That I shall, Alastor. That I shall."
"You have failed," Lord Voldemort hissed, obviously enraged.
"I'm sorry, my lord," Slayer said, trembling slightly. He was still weak after healing and the thoughts of impending torture didn't help any. "He was stronger than I anticipated. He's the Dark Knight." He was proud that his voice didn't quiver.
The Dark Lord appeared mildly interested, his anger vanishing. "Is that so?"
"Yes, my lord."
"I see, Daniel," Voldemort said. "But that doesn't excuse your failure. Crucio."
Slayer swiftly swayed to his left side, and the nearly invisible bolt of magic zoomed past him. A second later an invisible force lifted him off the floor, binding his arms to his sides and crushing him with nearly bone-cracking strength. He was unable to move... Or breathe.
"Daniel, Daniel, Daniel," Voldemort said casually. "I admit that you have good reflexes, but you cannot really think that you could avoid a punishment from Lord Voldemort. No-one can."
Slayer could only choke out something incomprehensible. The Dark Lord paid no heed to him, and turned towards the other Death Eaters in the room. "Amycus, are you ready to proceed with the plan?"
"Yes, my lord," the slippery Carrow answered.
"Very well then, you have my permission to begin the next phase," Voldemort said in his customary hiss. "The lost of one Horcrux is irrelevant."
"Lucius, what about you?"
The elder Malfoy bowed. "I'm ready, my lord."
The Dark Lord laughed slightly. "Good, good."
He turned back to Slayer. "And you, my old friend, don't make me to regret that I spared you when I killed your parents."
The spell binding Daniel was suddenly lifted and he fell to the stone floor, gasping for breath. "I... I will not fail you again, my lord."
The Dark Lord watched him with his red eyes. "You better not," he said softly. "Now, tell me everything about Potter."
Four Cabal mages wearing duelling robes were standing on the middle of a carnage. Over dozen bodies were scattered around the battle field, some of them were still burning. Less than twenty meters north was a still smoking remains of large house. It had used to belong to the Gaunt family. The last line of direct descendants of Salazar Slytherin. Nowadays the only remaining member of that cursed bloodline was Lord Voldemort.
Duelling robes, battle robes, combat robes, or what ever you wanted to call them differed only slightly from everyday robes. Duelling robe's hem was higher from the ground than in ordinary robes, so that one couldn't trip on it. In addition duelling robe had slit on the backside too, to allow maximum mobility, and the upper part of the robe was more close fitting for the same reason. The most important difference compared to ordinary robes was, however, the fact that combat robes were charmed to repel and absorb magic. The enchantments woven into the fabric probably wouldn't save you from any powerful magic, but in a battle of life and death everything counted.
The house was located in a large clearing. At the edges of the clearing an old remains of over metre high stone wall could be seen. The red stones were now covered with green mush. The few apple trees remaining on grounds were oddly shaped and partially charred.
"Damn it," a young, crimson masked witch said with an obvious annoyance. "These zombies stink even worse when they are dead."
"You know, Gorgon," a wizard next to her said, his golden mask reflecting the rays of setting sun. "They were pretty dead to begin with."
A grey masked old witch standing about ten metres away from them turned around to face them. "Dragon, shut up. You know what she meant."
"Indeed. Just cease your endless bickering. Revolve your sexual tensions in some other way."
The three other people stared incredulously at the balding wizard with electric blue mask who had just spoken. "Nevermind," the wizard said, shrugging. "Kraken, Shall get going? Or are we going to search some more?"
"There is no point lingering here anymore," the old witch answered. "The Horcrux is obviously not here."
Gorgon scratched her head and asked, "But was it never here or did they relocate it?"
"Impossible to say."
Few days later, a Hogsmeade weekend:
Ginny was already waiting him in the Gryffindor common room when he came down from his dorm.
"Hi, Harry," she said, smiling brightly.
Harry smiled at her too. "Good morning, Gin." Inwardly he was wincing. This could easily go straight to the Ninth Hell. Hopefully he could begun gleaning some information about the supposed Horcrux and the Chamber.
"Let's go," she said. "I hear there is a new flavour of butterbeer sold at the Three Broomsticks."
Harry smiled, this time sincerely. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad, after all. At least she wasn't acting all girly.
They were walking towards Hogsmeade when Ginny said something very unanticipated.
"Harry, I want you to train me."
Harry was taken by surprise and it showed. "What?"
"I want you to train me in duelling," she said, more firmly this time. "I have seen your skills and I know you hide more than you show."
A small smile crept to his lips. "I can teach you how to destroy, maim, eviscerate, slice and dice -you name it- your enemies. I can instruct you how to absorb, deflect and capture any spell they use against you. I can train you to dodge, sidestep and elude their attacks. And I can show you how to kill and incapacitate with your bare hands. But all this power comes with a prize."
"What prize?" she asked warily.
He smirked. "A shit load of work!"
She laughed. "Oh, I nearly thought that you would have said 'your soul' or something like that."
"Don't worry, Dark Arts won't claim your soul or anything."
Her smile faded. "Dark Arts?"
Harry looked into her chocolate brown eyes. "Of course. Within the Dark Arts lie the most powerful offensive spells. That is not to say that all I am going to show to you is Dark, most are simply Ministry restricted stuff. Some are even completely legal."
She bit her lower lip. "Very well, then. I'm ...fine... with that." It was clear that she didn't really want to learn Dark Arts, but saw no real alternatives. She wanted to fight. She had decided that she wouldn't live in fear. Good, Harry thought. The general populatio's lack of fighting spirit was seriously starting annoying him. As the proverb goes, the penalty good man pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. If everybody would unite against Voldemort, he wouldn't stand a chance.
But general populace were sheep and too paralysed by terror the Dark Lord was spreading and the Ministry was crippled by corruption. It was clear that the fate of the wizarding kind laid on the hands of vigilantes.
"Not so fast, Gin," Harry said. "We haven't yet talked what I'm getting off this deal." As he felt her gaze, he quickly added, "nothing perverted. I just want information."
"Information?" She sounded and looked puzzled. Harry couldn't but smile at her expression.
"Indeed. I want to know everything about the Chamber incident. Everything."
She took a deep breath before answering. "Mister, you have gotten yourself a deal."
Harry smiled at the soon to be a Dark witch. For some unexplainable reason, he could nearly hear Voldemort's laughter in the background.
Neither Ginny or Harry noticed a big black dog, that had been watching them from shadows. At that moment the dog made an important decision.
Everyone had made their choices and stakes were set. It was time for the game to begin.
The End of The Path Chosen.
Continues in Lords of the Dark Trilogy, book II: Shadows Rising. Coming next summer... probably.
Author's Notes: Done! I have already started the sequel, but will post it only when it's completed.
If you have bothered to read this far, please review. Even negative feedback is welcome (as long as it is constructive).