Harry and Ron return to the only sanctuary of the Order- Azkaban, with their spy, who runs into trouble amongst Azkaban's defences.
Phillip followed Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley as they left the fog-ridden docks, shivering violently. It was very dark and the billowing dark grey clouds blocked out the moon and stars, leaving the small ball of fire resting in Harry Potter's hands as the only light source. Phillips teeth chattered and he gave a start of surprise as his feet left wooden planks and emerged on stone, glancing around him apprehensively and trying to pierce the shroud of fog that had been swept over the island. The further Phillip walked, the thicker the fog became, until it there was nothing else but fog.
"W-Why are we here?" Phillip asked nervously, stuttering slightly. Ronald Weasley scowled but Harry Potter smiled thinly, his green eyes glinting in dark amusement.
"This is the most secure base we have," He said casually, never breaking a step, as Peter had to jog to keep up with his fast stride. "Where did you think we were going?"
"M-Maybe out of the country?" Phillip tried hesitantly.
"Most Wizarding countries have extradition treaties with Voldemort," Harry replied grimly. "If you were caught by their law enforcement, you would just be sent back to Britain."
"Voldemort invaded this place four times, once to back in 1995, again seven years later just after the Fall of the Ministry, and twice afterwards as he tried to get rid of the remnants of the Order of Phoenix. He succeeded only once, when he freed his prisoners in '95. This island is very well protected and you'll be safe here, safer than anywhere else in the world," Ron tried to reassure Phillip.
"S-Safe?" Phillip asked hollowly. "I though there were Death Eater's still on the island?"
Ron gave a snort of amusement, his eyes cold. "When the Ministry fell, the Order of Phoenix took refuge in the old Auror barracks in the Fortress of Azkaban. We interrogated all of the prisoners and released the ones who we felt were safe, thieves and that. The Death Eaters were summarily executed and the murderers and rapists and that lot were fed to the Dementors."
"Dementors?" Phillip exclaimed, horror flooding into his features. The fog pushed in on him and he shivered, drawing his ratty cloak around himself. "I won't go near Dementors!"
"The Dementors are gone now." Harry said curtly, peering through the fog as if he could see past it. "It's just us."
"Where did they go?" Phillip asked apprehensively though with some relief though.
"America," He answered honestly. "We had confined them to the inner recesses of the Fortress and one day, and inspection team discovered that they were gone. For a few days we thought that they had somehow escaped into the muggle cities, but there was no trace of them anywhere in Britain. We found that they had joined their kin in the United States. They probably thought they weren't going to get fed anymore."
"How could they disappear?" Phillip asked in confusion. "I thought this place was impenetrable."
"It is," Harry said firmly and coldly, and gave a piercing frown at Phillip, who shivered again, which had nothing to do with the fog and cold. He suddenly peered straight ahead and stopped. "We're here."
Phillip frowned, trying to see past the murky fog, before he gave a start as the ball of silver flickering flames disappeared from Harry's hands as the darkness swallowed his vision. He gulped nervously, his mouth strangely dry in the damp air as he waited. He could hear the rustle of robes next to him as Ron shifted on his feet, before a twinkling light emerged from the fog in front of him.
"What's that?" Phillip asked, but he received no reply from either of the other men. He frowned as the light continued twinkling and blinking, before there was a sudden rush of cold biting wind. Phillip huddled his shoulders in together, fear pounding through his veins as the wind continued to roar around him. For a moment, his panic-stricken mind conjured fantasies of giant dragons or dark beasts that hid in the fog, waiting to devour any human foolish enough to come close. He wandered briefly if he should have stayed with the Auror's, before he let out a loud gasp. Curtains of fog flowed away form the group, the biting icy winds blowing the billowy murkiness away, revealing the Fortress of Azkaban. Large stone-block walls jutted from the ground, thick and high. They were dull grey and loomed ominously above Phillip, who shrunk back as the fog parted and revealed more walls. Two spiked towers loomed above the walls, and he could see faint light from them. In front of him lay a large gate, iron studs running down the sides. They were completely black, sinister and threatening, and suited the walls very well.
"Merlin!" Phillip exclaimed softly, his eyes wide. He suddenly gave a squeak of fright as the doors creaked loudly, before they parted. Fog whooshed past them as they opened and hid whatever lay beyond in a black disturbing shroud of darkness.
"Let's go, and stay on the path." Harry ordered quietly and Phillip hesitated as both Harry and Ron began to walk forward. He squirmed as he stood beneath the vast walls of Azkaban, before hurrying forward to catch up.
Past the ominous gates lay a single pathway made of cobbled and cracked grey stone. The fog lingered around as the gates began closing, screeching away in the dead of the night, but blazing torches burnt on the fractured walls on either side of the path. As Phillip's eyes adjusted to the gloom, he frowned as he saw stones poking up from the dead earth that surrounded the cobble path. Rusted iron pikes stood around them and grass struggled to poke through the dusty and rocky solid, leaving only a few dying clumps every now and then. Phillip continued walking down the path, trailing after Harry and Ron, his shoes clapping loudly on the path, until his curiosity got the better of him. Phillip knew that he recognised the stones from somewhere and he stepped off the path, squinting as he approached one of them. As he got closer, moving through the slight shroud of fog, Phillip finally recognised what the upright stones signified and shuddered in terror. They were gravestones, uniform rows of them. There were no inscriptions, no flowers, no sign that anybody ever visited the dirt covered aging tombs and he hastily stepped backwards, before he bumped into something behind him something that moved. He spun around and screamed loudly, piercing the eerie silence of the graveyard.
A corpse stood in front of him, an Inferius. It wore dirt-covered robes, ripped and bloodied beyond recognition, revealing cold grey dead flesh underneath. Its eyes were blank white, the pupils and iris missing and its mouth was open, baring splintered teeth, jagged and crusted over with sickly green filth. One of its arms was hanging on by a patch of skin and it flayed uselessly as the Inferius raised its good arm, broken fingernails bared as it curved its hand as it approached Phillip, who stood rooted to the spot.
/"Accio!" /Somebody yelled, and Phillip felt a magic surround his body, foreign to his own. For a second his magic thrashed out at the unwelcome magic, instinctively fighting off the invading coils of invisible magic that tugged at him. It was the single reason why summoning people was a hard thing to do as if it was unwelcome, the users own magic slashed open he spell, but at the moment, Phillip took one last look at the Inferius and forcefully lowered his guard, allowing himself to be pulled away from the animated corpse. He soared through the air through fog and mist, the biting wind slicing into his ears and face. He was numb in the face after two seconds as he roughly landed on the stone path, grimacing as he thumped down unceremoniously.
"I distinctly remember telling you to stay on the path," Harry said coldly, his green gaze boring into Phillips eyes while Ron tucked his wand away, glancing at Phillip with a slightly sympathetic gaze.
"Inferius?" He asked gruffly.
Phillip nodded hastily, his head bobbing up and down as he staggered to his feet, his nostrils flaring as he breathed in hard. His heart was still pumping furiously and adrenaline itched in his veins. He wanted to run away, be anywhere else but this place, but one look at Harry Potter's hard face and he resisted the temptation, instead drawing closer to Ron.
"I think you've upset them," Harry said, sweeping the tombstones with his eyes. Dark human-shaped figures stirred beneath the rolling waves of fog, moving slowly towards the path in lurching steps. They shuffled along the dirt, oblivious to anything else except Phillip. Harry raised his wand and aimed it at the side of the path. A small splatter of flames burst from it, splashing along the grooves in the path that separated the dirt from the stone, and suddenly heat seared through the air as a wall of yellow and orange flames burst from the ground. Harry repeated the procedure on the other side of the path and another wall of flames burst from the ground, zooming up and down the path until the graveyard was invisible, blocked by fiery hedges. Strangely, the heat died down after a few seconds, leaving only a warm haze that pushed away the fog and lit the stone path with a gentle glow.
"Why do you have Inferius here?" Phillip had to ask, the question was itching to come out.
"They are psychological weapons," Harry answered softly, glancing up and down the wall of flames until he was satisfied. He turned his gaze to Phillip, and a twisted smile appeared on his face. "If Death Eaters and Auror's ever invade this island, they'll have to come down this path. The inferius include some Death Eaters that we found when we captured Azkaban and others that I killed beforehand. Some of them were quite famous back then and are still famous today. Rodolphous Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, Theodore Nott and Daphne Greengrass...these people are considered heroes who died under the 'evil wand of the traitor, Harry Potter'. There mere sight of their corpses would be a terrible emotional counterattack for any invaders, and I doubt that anybody would want to turn a wand upon them."
"That's horrible," Phillip whispered nauseously.
"You're right," Ron spoke up. "But if it gives our families and friends five more minutes to evacuate and escape, then I don't particularly care, and neither does Harry."
Phillip nodded slowly, and turned his head as Harry gestured towards the end of the path to a smaller set of doors, where the flames ended.
"This way," He said and strode briskly away, his cloak flapping behind him in an unseen wind.
When Phillip entered the door, he stepped into a moderately large rectangular foyer. Immediately he was assaulted with a wave of warmth and sighed blissfully as the heat throbbed into him, warming his numbed body. He rubbed his hands, breathing in deeply, before he took a look at the room. The walls were made from the same grey stone that Phillip had seen on the island and it was cracked and rough. Thick stone columns held up the roof, aged but sturdy, and flickering torches rested on them, casting a warm glow over the room. There were six columns on either side of the room an in between them rested giant statues of brass men, twice the size of a normal man. They were all armoured and each held two swords behind their backs. There was a single door at the end of the room, where two men with grim faces stood motionless, their wands out and their eyes alert and ready. Several other men and women lounged about in chairs around the door, cards and chips scattered around the table, but they jumped to their feets when Harry, Ron and Phillip entered the room, their wands flying into their hands in movements far to quick to be seen. Foe detectors and sneakoscopes and various other dark detectors littered the shelves around the table.
"Who goes there?" One man called out roughly. His was dressed in scruffy and worn battle robes, battered dragonhide gleaming dully in the torchlight but he held the air of a professional soldier.
"Ronald Weasley, Harry Potter and Phillip Trentworthy." Ron called out loudly, his voice echoing throughout the suddenly silent room.
The wizard nodded, clearly expecting them, and motioned them forward while his colleagues took up positions around the door, their wands levelled at the small party.
"Come on," Ron muttered to Phillip.
The three-man group moved forward, their footsteps echoing loudly in the quiet room, as they approached the guards. Phillip suddenly felt apprehensive at the sight of the stern guards and looked around at one of the nearby statues.
"They're nice," He said plainly as he gestured to one of the statues.
"They're part of our defence system," Harry remarked as he walked. "I got the idea from my fifth year at Hogwarts, when I saw an animated bronze statue get struck by a Killing Curse with little damage. If the enemy ever breaches this hall, they will activate and deal with them."
"Have you ever used them?" Phillip asked while he was glancing at the massive statues.
Harry smiled darkly. "Only once," He replied and said no more as the group approached the guard, stopping a few metres away.
"Remove your wands and place them on the table by your side," The man barked loudly. Phillip flinched but Ron and Harry calmly removed their wands and set them on the table smoothly, a well-practised motion. Phillip fumbled for his and hurriedly dropped it next to the others.
"Davidson, Edgar," The man called, and two of his colleagues approached from the circle of wizards and witches that surrounded them. He turned to Harry and let off a smart salute. "Sir, you have to participate in three different tasks if you want to pass."
"I'm well ware of that, since I did design these procedures myself." Harry said, a note of amusement creeping into his voice. The man looked abashed but Harry chuckled slightly and motioned him forward.
"Um...procedures?" Phillip asked in confusion, eyeing the approaching man cautiously.
"You'll be subjected to a truth serum so that you can prove who your truly are, as well as a Legilimency scan," Ron answered.
"What are the normal procedures?" Phillip asked.
"Truth Serum and Legilimency, random questions that only my true self would know and a shield test," Ron replied, his eyes locked onto the man in front of him as his mind was carefully examined, gently probing his true identity.
"That was my idea," Harry said, his own eyes locked on the person in front of him. "We are all taught some very simple shields, six in total. They are worthless in battle and are only capable of deflecting specific spells that I have designed, variations of the Stunning Spell. You will be told what spell will be used against you and you have to conjure the appropriate counter-shield. The shield will only deflect its opposite variant; if you conjure the wrong shield then you are stunned and taken to a cell until we have determined whether you accidentally chose the wrong spell or you are trying to infiltrate Azkaban."
"That's...brilliant," Phillip conceded.
"Jefferson, after Phillip has passed his tests, escort him to an empty room. Make sure he sees Luna for a medical scan." Harry ordered and the man in front of him snapped a salute. He grimaced as a small vial of clear liquid was bought forward. "Make sure you stick to the questions," He ordered and opened his mouth. He felt numbness spread from his tongue and through his body, relaxing the taut muscles and casting a dreamy sensation over his brain.
"What is your name?" .../What is your name? What is your name? What is your name?/
Harry shivered as the question boomed in his skull, hounding into his ears and writing the very question onto his brain. "Harry Potter," He replied blankly and sighed in relief as the increasing pressure in his head dropped away.
"Are you affiliated with Voldemort, or the Dark Lord, or the Ministry, or the Death Eaters and any organization that opposes the Order of Phoenix?"
"No," Harry replied quickly, his tongue moving involuntarily.
Harry stood there, his eyes not seeing anything, before his head was tipped back and three drops of something cool slid down his throat. The building pressure in his skull subsided and he shook his head groggily, shaking away the effects of Veritaserum.
"Sir, I am about to perform the fifth variation jinx," The man said, talking a few steps backwards and levelled his wand at Harry.
Harry nodded and from his robes came his wand, which floated into his hand. He noticed Phillip being led off through the door as the man swished his wand.
/"Quentistupefy!" /The man muttered and a flash of purple light rocketed from the tip of his wand, shooting towards Harry.
/"Quatraprotego!" /Harry called loudly and firmly. A flimsy looking purple dome of magic surrounded him, shimmering weakly, and the purple jinx burst into a shower of harmless sparks as impacted onto it. Both the shield and the jinx faded away as Harry pocketed his wand calmly.
"Sir, I just have to ask you a couple of questions and then you're free to go." The man said. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see the other Auror send a streak of glowing yellow magic at Ron, who responded with a flimsy shield of his own, the same colour as the jinx.
"What are they?" Harry asked.
"What's your ID number sir?" The man questioned, looking on a small notebook he held in his hands.
"I don't have an ID number," Harry answered, a small smile appearing on his face at the sheer simplicity of the question.
"What's the fastest thing you rode on during your third year at Hogwarts?" The man questioned again.
"Buckbeak," Harry answered easily.
"What's your least favourite sport?"
"Hunting," Harry said, or more specifically, Harry Hunting.
"Sir, you're free to enter." The man said, lowering his wand and signalling to his companions to lower theirs. He snapped off a crisp salute and finally broke the emotionless mask he had been wearing. "How was Malfoy Manor sir?"
"It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be," Harry admitted, and the man gave a chuckle. He turned to Ron and gave a slight wave as he stepped through the door. "I'll see you tomorrow Ron."
"Later Harry," Ron called, before turning back to the guard in front of me, who had produced a notebook from his robes.
Harry stepped into a large office and closed the door. Rubbing the bridge of his nose, he walked forward and dropped into a very cushy armchair, sighing as he sank into the various cushioning charms. A fireplace flickered softly in the wall while candles hovered in the air with an infinite supply of wax and wick. His desk made of sturdy oak had several scrolls of parchment on it. When Harry caught sight of them, he groaned out loud and flicked his hand. The scrolls zoomed from his desk and flew into his lap. Harry unrolled one and studied them carefully.
"What are they?" A dark-haired woman with brown eyes and emerald green robes asked. Her name was Christina. She was only twenty years old and had been a Muggleborn that Harry had rescued over a decade ago. She had completed the Azkaban Magical Courses and had applied to be Harry's assistant. Harry was all too happy to take her on board as it lightened his workload considerably. She was one of the few people that Harry trusted implicitly because she had signed several powerful magical contracts and taken very powerful magical oaths to ensure her loyalty.
"This one is a requisition form for some wands for the new Muggleborns we rescued a month ago," Harry answered, gesturing for her to enter the room.
"How many do we need?" Christina asked as she sat down in the seat opposite Harry.
"About twenty," Harry said with a grimace. "We may need to raid a Wandmaker's shop to get good matches."
"What about getting them from Australia? They had turned a blind eye when the secondary relocation camps were created in their desert." Christina proposed. Harry frowned but shook his head.
"Technically, Australia is cooperating with the Ministry of Magic. They might not mind a few training and civilian camps in the deserts but they'll be concerned about what would happen to them if Voldemort found out they were aiding us with wands." Harry replied. He scribbled something down on the parchment and then bundled it up into a scroll and handed it to Christina. "Give this to Ron, low priority."
Christina nodded in understanding as she took at the scroll while Harry skimmed over another one. His eyes darkened in anger as he read on.
"Who's that one from?" Christina asked, noticing her boss' angry expression.
"This one is a report sent by one of my spies within the Improper Use of Magic Office," Harry said darkly. Although Phillip may not have known, he was not the only spy that Harry had working inside the Ministry. This spy was an essential source of information when it was in relation to Muggleborns. Anytime accidental magic occurred within Britain that was not within the location of the standard Pureblood estates, Harry knew about it. Whenever a Muggleborn was arrested, Harry knew about it.
"What's it about?"
"It's a warning," Harry answered flatly. "Bellatrix Lestrange is planning to initiate several new Death Eater's and intends to celebrate in Morsmordre." Voldemort had always hated the fact that Azkaban remained out of his control and had built his own prison island temporarily, until he could conquer Azkaban. He named it Morsmordre, intending it to be his new 'mark' to instigate fear into the masses and keep them under control.
"Celebrate?" Christina asked slowly.
"It's a polite way of saying torture," Harry replied. "It will probably be with the imprisoned Muggleborns that the Ministry snatched up before we got to them."
"Merlin! They're just children!" Christina gasped, her hands flying to her mouth in shock.
"When has that ever stopped them?" Harry muttered. "Voldemort must be getting more and more confident in his power. Usually the Ministry just exiles the Muggleborns to keep the other international Wizarding communities happy. People tend to disapprove of genocide and Voldemort's smart enough to know that he doesn't want to start a war before he's ready for it."
"Do you think he's ready now?" Christina asked.
"He'll want to crush Azkaban before he starts any international campaigns." Harry disagreed. "Besides, he has time."
Long ago, Harry had set out on a quest to destroy Voldemort's Horcruxes. He had found two of them and destroyed them; the Cup of Hufflepuff and curiously enough, the Foe Glass of Gryffindor, before he had recruited himself into the Auror Department to stop the waves of attacks against the Ministry. Four years later, the Ministry had fallen and Harry had fled to the last Ministry stronghold and took command of the remnants of the Order of Phoenix.
"What are you going to do?" Christina asked hesitantly.
"Send messages to the Council members," Harry ordered as he threw the report into the fireplace. Harry and only Harry knew of every single spy that the Order employed in the Ministry and he firmly intended to keep it that way. "There will be a meeting tomorrow. That will be all."
Christina nodded and stood. "Goodnight Commander," She said softly, before leaving Harry alone in his office.
Harry stared at the report that blazed in the fireplace before standing up. He strode across the room and opened a door, which led to his bedroom. The bedroom had been painted into a deep scarlet. There was a large four-poster at the end of the room, two flickering fireplaces on one wall; several bookcases full to the brim with magical tomes on the other wall and a small set of wall-units alongside the door. Harry flicked his wand casually and magic pulsed in the room as several layers of proximity and security wards activated. His door slammed shut and shimmered, before morphing into a single solid bar of steel. He sighed and undressed himself; then he ripped open the covers to his bed and crawled in. He placed his wand under his pillow and tried to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be a busy day.