The Second War is on, Harry Potter is involved, but so is someone known as the Heir of Gryffindor. (YEAR 6 AU)
ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: All fanfic ideas, spells, characters, and plot devices mentioned in this story I came up with on my own unless otherwise mentioned, in which case, they have been borrowed by the authors and their own stories, who will also be mentioned, cited and credited properly, since they have so generously let me refer to them and use them.
NOTES: This is what I call the "Definitive Version" of this fic "The Heir of Gryffindor," following what I call the "First Version" and "Revised Version." (For a more satisfactory explanation and history on the evolution of this fic, just skip down to the bottom after the end of this chapter.) Also, for my long-time readers who have read either or both of the previous Versions of this fic: I would advise reading this again, considering how much of it has changed to the point it may not be the same story you read some time ago.
CONTENT WARNINGS: I would rate this "PG-13" (or "T" depending on which system you use), for some violence and fighting, the occasional strong language, and the occasional hormonal teenager; however, this might change. I'm trying to keep this in the style of the canon Harry Potter books themselves, so I'd consider it to have the same rating as them. Also, since I am not British but American, I am trying to make sure I get the British lingo down correctly. However, at the same time, I may not try to imitate the accents of certain characters simply because I do not know how (such as Hagrid's Devon accent, Mundungus Fletcher's Cockney accent, Fleur's French accent, etc.), so the readers may have to use their own imaginations there if it comes to that.
SPOILER WARNINGS: As this is AU to Harry's sixth year in Book 6, there are spoilers for Books 1 through 5. However, even though I was not all that amazed or impressed by Book 6 as I was with its prequels, I will use a few things from that as I see fit, such as the pasts of Voldemort and Snape (and even then, I will not use everything concerning their pasts, such as the Horcruxes), and a few characters who were introduced in Book 6 will also appear with varying degrees of importance, such as Horace Slughorn, Rufus Scrimgeour and Fenrir Greyback (particularly the last one, given how he has to do with Lupin). In other words, I am using some of the history which was revealed in Book 6 but took place well before Book 1 took place, and even then, I am not going to use everything.
/The Heir of Gryffindor/
This fanfic is dedicated to everyone and anyone who has ever helped me one way or another with this fic, as well as to everyone and anyone who has ever read and enjoyed this fic or either of its predecessors in any form.
There are a quite a few people whom I should name, but I will name them as I go along, and will name them all again in the end.
"Only a true Gryffindor could have pulled that out of the hat." -Albus Dumbledore, /Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets/, by J.K. Rowling
CHAPTER 1: MAY IT CHOOSE THE MOST WORTHY
APPROXIMATELY ONE THOUSAND YEARS AGO...
Godric Gryffindor was a busy wizard.
He was also a frustrated wizard at the moment.
After a major row, his long-time friend Salazar Slytherin had left Hogwarts over an argument of whether or not to admit students from Muggle families. Gryffindor could concede on the point about how these were dangerous times when wizards and witches were being persecuted all over the place, but he also suspected that somewhere along the way, Salazar's simple wariness and caution of students from Muggle families had somehow mutated into an outright hatred for them. Gryffindor honestly hadn't meant for Slytherin to leave and never come back, but he supposed that his friend had gotten upset to the point where he just decided to do so.
Currently, Gryffindor was trying to teach Slytherin's students along with his own while Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw were looking for a suitable replacement. In his spare time, Gryffindor also mourned the loss of his friend. Probably the only thing worse than him leaving like this and never being heard from again would have been if Slytherin had died. These days, it seemed like every waking moment was split between tutoring the students and thinking to himself.
Even in his sleep, he hardly found any peace either. Lately, Gryffindor had been dreaming about something... dangerous.
These dreams took place in a time not his own, where Muggles had invented things the likes of which Gryffindor himself had never seen before, and could probably rival the magical world. These dreams seemed to center around a young man with black hair and green eyes - or was it two of these young men? In one of these dreams, this youth who could not have been much older than seventeen years of age somehow mutated into a tall monster of a man with chalk-white skin, a snake-like face and ugly red eyes. He also had a snake as a familiar, with which he could communicate. He was a Parselmouth! But the only Parselmouths, or at least those which Gryffindor knew of, were in Slytherin's family...
Then there was this other boy, with messier black hair and more vivid green eyes. He wore these strange lenses in front of his eyes - perhaps to correct or enhance his vision? - but most unusually of all, he had a scar on his forehead, in the shape of a lightning bolt. Somehow, he was connected to the first wizard, the Dark One. They appeared to have many things in common, but they were also rivals, and fought each other to the death.
But it was in the last of these dreams that Gryffindor saw the second youth bearing a familiar sword with rubies engraved in its hilt. After Gryffindor had this last dream, he spent much time contemplating it.
Gryffindor himself did not know what to think about Divination and the "arts" of looking into the future, but it still bothered him. Over the course of the next several days, he tried to think about other things, but his dreams kept coming back to him. Was it how the future might look if he did not do something, or how it should look if he did do something?
As someone who had battled many Dark wizards, and valued things like bravery and nobility in his students, Gryffindor knew that evil always existed in some form or another, and even if an evil person or threat were to be nullified somehow, something or someone else would merely take its place. There would always be some sort of threat in the world. But what was this threat which he kept dreaming about, which could take place centuries into the future, long after he himself was dead and gone?
Finally, one hot day in the middle of the summer, he finally did something that helped put his mind at ease. While Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw were elsewhere with the students, hoping to find some relief from the heat, he was inside his quarters, which remained cool within the stone walls of the castle.
Gryffindor had been researching a spell which dated all the way back to the time of the ancient Roman Republic, one which made sure that a sword or any other kind of weapon could only be used properly by the bearer as the spell's caster saw fit.
The spell required that the caster leave a sort of imprint of himself or herself onto the weapon being spelled. Oh, it was a far cry from being something truly evil like a Horcrux, but it still worried Gryffindor a little, as he had never done this before, and did not know what to expect.
First, he cast his spell on the Hat, which he had stopped using as an article of clothing years before and had turned into the Sorting Hat with the help of his fellow Founders. The Hat moved around a little as though it was dizzy, but he was sure that it would be fine.
Holding the sword in one hand and his wand in the other, Gryffindor cast several spells on it as minor safeguards. Once those were done, he made sure that he knew the Latin incantation as it would have been spoken and pronounced in the old days of the Roman Republic before actually casting the spell which he felt mattered the most.
Taking a deep breath, he finally said aloud: "Hic gladius dignissimus eligat."
May this sword choose the most worthy.
Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was in a rather somber mood.
It was a beautiful summer day in mid-July at Hogwarts. All the teachers except one were away from the castle (it was almost like an unwritten rule decreed by Dumbledore himself to "get out of this place at least once a year"). They had gone on their own brief holidays, were doing business for the Order of the Phoenix, or working with the Ministry of Magic, regarding Lord Voldemort's return.
Perhaps the only faculty member still inside the castle was Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. He was going over reports from Order members, such as Severus Snape, who was infiltrating Voldemort's circle of Death Eaters. A couple of the devices on his desk were functioning like they should, while others remained inactive.
His pet phoenix, Fawkes, was standing on his perch, whistling a tune by the Weird Sisters. By now, the handsome phoenix had already recovered from taking that Killing Curse at the battle in the Ministry of Magic.
The Sorting Hat stood on a stool next to the red and gold immortal bird, bobbing around to the music, humming along to the beat and grinning a little. The hat had a taste for music, since it was his annual job to think up a new Sorting Song for the beginning of each school year, so maybe he was listening to the swan-sized bird to get some new ideas. The portraits hanging around the wall of the former headmasters and headmistresses were chatting with their neighbors, although there was the occasional sad note in the conversations.
Dumbledore sighed. Looking off to one side, he could see that the portrait of Phineas Nigellus was empty, showing only the Slytherin banner he normally posed in front of. Ever since Sirius Black died, he hadn't showed up much. Maybe he should have gotten to known his last remaining descendant better.
At the moment, the elderly Headmaster was wondering where things had gone so wrong the past year. He honestly did not want things to go so wrong like how they did, but somehow it happened that way. Dumbledore could not help but think of everything which had happened.
There were those few times where he was unsure of his own philosophies, even those which he had taken to heart. Dumbledore knew even he could not be correct all the time, but he began to wonder if his philosophies were not as noble and helpful as he once hoped.
For example, consider his philosophy about second chances. Part of being a rational human being was able to learn from mistakes of all kinds. Dumbledore had hoped that by seeing the mistakes which they had made, they would be motivated to avoid repeating those mistakes in the future.
In Dumbledore's mind, some examples came forth... Severus Snape, being made a professor at Hogwarts after Dumbledore vouched for him, after it was revealed he had been a Death Eater. Petunia Dursley, being allowed to raise Harry Potter, even though she hated her own sister who was Harry's mother. The Ministry of Magic, being given another chance to help rebuild the world nearly destroyed entirely after the First War against Voldemort.
Dumbledore could have easily taken control of all these different people and organizations one way or another, but instead he gave them second chances. And what did he get?
He got a bitter Potions professor who terrified most of the students and could not let go of old grudges against those who had wronged them, let alone their innocent offspring. He got a bitter woman who just barely cared for her ward, who was her own flesh and blood. He got a bunch of corrupt fools who cared more about themselves and their own interests than the people they were supposed to serve.
Dumbledore could have easily manipulated, coerced, threatened, or one way or another controlled any of these people, but he did not. As he himself told Harry Potter at the end of his second year, it is the choices people make that define who they are, and not their abilities. People had to do things for themselves, and not always have someone wiser or more powerful do it for them. Yes, he was the Headmaster of that famous school known as Hogwarts, but sometimes people still had to learn things for themselves, didn't they?
The Headmaster's depression returned again once he thought about young Mister Potter. He had developed a kind of bond with Harry Potter (/Probably because he was the one in the prophecy,/ he thought). Dumbledore failed the young man so spectacularly last year that he was only mildly surprised that Harry didn't try to attack him outright.
He would have been well within his rights if he had done that, he thought sadly.
Dumbledore knew that no one was perfect, and that mistakes were sometimes made, even by himself, but he still felt terrible over just how enormous his own mistake had been. He could humbly say that he had done some great things in the past (such as those listed in his Chocolate Frog card), but deep down, he felt as though he never truly did enough good.
But as they say, everyone is their own worst enemy... and often their own worst critic as well.
He then made a promise to himself: He would talk to Harry as soon as possible, like he should have after the disastrous Triwizard Tournament, and to make sure that things did not spiral out of control.
Dumbledore did not lie to Harry in the young wizard's first year when he said that "to the well-organized mind, death is the next great adventure." He would have happily gone to his death, knowing that Harry Potter had finally vanquished Voldemort... although at the same time, he did not want to be too hasty in that regard.
The Headmaster then returned to his desk and sat down, collecting his thoughts. He was about ready to get back to reading Snape's report when something odd, even by Hogwarts standards, happened.
The sword of Godric Gryffindor, which Harry Potter had used in his second year, started vibrating to the point where the glass case which encased it shook. It glowed a vibrant, fiery red, such a deep hue that the silver it was made out of looked like it was going to melt, the rubies inlaid into the hilt looked like they contained fire, and the founder's named engraved onto it appeared to be standing out.
At this point, all happenings in the Headmaster's office stopped, except for the couple of contraptions still working. The former Heads stopped babbling immediately, Fawkes and the Hat stopped their little song and dance routine, and Dumbledore glanced up to see what had just happened.
"What's this?" he asked to no one in particular. He got up and went around his desk to examine the fine sword closer. The instruments on his desk were the only sources of sound in the entire office, and one would think it was the gears turning in his eccentric yet genius mind.
The sword continued to do its glowing and humming. It would glow for five seconds, and then stop. It did this about twelve times before it gave off a flash, and then finally stopped glowing for good.
With caution, the crooked-nosed wizard opened the glass case, and gently removed the sword and held it up to observe it. It felt slightly warm.
At which point, the Hat said, "Hm..."
Dumbledore turned around and asked, "What is it?"
The Hat responded, "Well, sir, you remember how Harry Potter found the sword that was hidden inside me while he was facing the Basilisk?"
Dumbledore said, "Yes, please continue."
"Well, to be honest, sir, I remember it was vibrating like that until it dropped out of me. And now I also remember that I could feel it vibrating while I was trying to sort Mr. Potter at the beginning of his first year."
Dumbledore's eyes widened. "Why didn't you tell me this?"
"You see, sir, I thought that, well, once is an occurrence, twice is a coincidence, and the third time, there must be a certain logic to it. Why?"
"When I succeeded Armando Dippet as Headmaster, he told me about this myth of the Heir of Gryffindor." Dumbledore turned to Dippet's portrait but found that it was empty, because Dippet was away somewhere at the moment. Turning back to the Hat, Dumbledore asked, "Can you please tell me anything you might know on the subject?"
The Hat cleared its throat (in a manner of speaking) and said, "For whatever reason, Gryffindor suddenly came to me one day and magically concealed his sword within me, waiting for the right time. I remember every student I've ever Sorted, as well as a few memories of Gryffindor and the other Founders themselves. I remember one day, some time after Slytherin left the school, Gryffindor put a spell on me, and then put a few spells on his sword. He did this knowing that, one way or another, Slytherin's descendants would terrorize both Hogwarts school and the entire Wizarding community beyond."
"Voldemort," Dumbledore muttered.
The Hat said, "Indeed. This vow of his was his best defense against Slytherin's silent threat."
Dumbledore nodded. "The science of war: For every weapon, there has to be a counter-weapon."
The Hat continued, "Something else you might find helpful: I was a little dizzy after he cast the spell on me, so I missed most of what he said after that. However, I do vaguely remember the last thing he said... my memory is still a little hazy, and my Latin is a little rusty, but I believe he cast a spell on the sword and said something to the effect of 'May it choose the most worthy.'"
Dumbledore contemplated this information for a few moments, and then said, "I believe I'll go take a look right now, in both the school library and my own personal library. Leave no stone unturned, so to speak."
The Hat added, "Oh, and two other things. The sword would never hurt any of Gryffindor's own Heir if it was being used against him or her, and that it would always help the Heir defeat evil and survive the conflict which Gryffindor was dreading. And good luck, Albus."
Dumbledore replied, "Thank you," and briskly walked out of his office. Normally, he didn't go hurrying around like that unless he was struck by a sudden suspicion. One could say that it was like he was struck by a bolt of lightning, shaped like a scar on a certain young wizard's forehead.
(End of Chapter 1.)
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Well, it's a start, isn't it? Here we begin again...
The start of the chapter with the view into the Founders' time was completely new, and appears only in this Version.
There is this essay at the HP Lexicon from 2003 (before Book 5 came out) by Phyllis D. Morris entitled "Harry Potter: The Truest Gryffindor of All?" The author of this essay makes a point about, not just Godric Gryffindor, but a St. Godric, and this St. Godric also had the gift of prophecy. Interesting reading.
I'm sure that JKR has squashed the rumor that Harry is Godric Gryffindor's blood descendant, but I can still have my fun...
Latin in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire was pronounced a little differently than it was in the Middle Ages. Also, while there are a few different ways to say the same sentence with more lax rules on word order, often ancient Romans preferred a word order like the following: The subject and its modifiers; the indirect object; the direct object; adverbial words or phrases; and the verb.
The thing about the science of war, where for every weapon there has to be a counter-weapon, is something I heard from somewhere else, and is certainly true.
A BRIEF EXPLANATION ABOUT THIS FANFIC "THE HEIR OF GRYFFINDOR"
Back in December 2003, influenced by Harry Potter fanfiction, I started writing my own fanfic, entitled "The Heir of Gryffindor." This version I call the "First Version," since it was the first version of it I ever wrote.
Lots of people liked it. Yes, there was the occasional troll or bitter person that every author has to deal with, but considering how much positive and overwhelming feedback I got, I must have been doing something right.
However, after some retrospective thinking, I didn't like it as much as I used to. To this very day, there are still some parts I can't read without wincing even a little. Yes, lots of people still liked it and still do like it, but it also could have been much better. On top of that, I was just using all these different plots and themes and just mashing them all together because I liked them and wanted to use them. (A small bit of advice right here: Just because you can or want to use something, doesn't mean that you should or have to use it.) I went about as nuts as the figurative kid in the candy store. One of the things which I didn't have to use was the betrayal theme which lots of people seem to like so much in HP fics these days.
All in all, I basically wrote it as I went along, which I think was perhaps the biggest problem right there.
As for the other big problem... well, let's just say that FanFiction.Net hasn't always had the best track record when it comes to managing all the fics posted on the site. Oh, while in that vein, I'd like to thank Vgamermoon for "testing the waters" so to speak, so that I could make sure that FFN was a suitable place for posting this fic.
So, after some careful thinking, I decided to go back over "The Heir of Gryffindor" and remove the betrayal theme, and instead write a completely new fic with the betrayal theme. My major, multi-chaptered fic is entitled "Reap What You Sow," while its sequel "The Number of Fools" and AU sequel "Harry Potter, Prisoner of Hogwarts" are still currently in-progress.
So then, we have the "Revised Version" of my fic. It was indeed revised as its name implies, but in retrospect, it was badly revised at that. I was just taking out the betrayal stuff and putting other things in its place.
So now, here at last, is what I call the "Definitive Version," in which I went back and edited my fic for the final time, now bearing the experience which I have gained in the few years since I got into fanfiction.
There was supposed to be a sequel to the First Version of HoG entitled "The Ascendant of Gryffindor," but that never happened. There was a sequel in the works to the Revised Version of HoG entitled "The Pride of Gryffindor," which got up to the eleventh chapter, but I have abandoned as I was stuck on it and am now working on this Definitive Version of my Gryffindor Cycle.
I still have copies of both the First and Revised Versions and all other material related to both Versions, because not only do I agree with the philosophy that it's important to sometimes hang onto one's old work, but because lots of people still like and want to read those older versions. For those of you who want to read them and follow the evolution in the making of this fic, ask for them and provide an email address, and I will send them in their own Winzip files. You don't necessarily have to read them first, however.
If you also want to know about other factors which had to do with my revisions of this fic which I did not mention here in order to ensure the brevity of this explanation, then I will also provide those as well.
And now, to make sure that this explanation stays as brief as possible, I say adieu for now. -Quillian