The Second War is about to begin, with Voldemort gaining power, and the Ministry denying his return. Ron&Hermione are looked as the ones to destroy HIM, but no one saw the return of the Savior they...
Chapter 10: The beast's true nature
The term was over now, and Harry was sitting in a room in Headquarters, thinking about everything he had done since he was here.
The results of the fight in the Department of Mysteries were not very positive for him, as almost everyone was afraid of someone who could take out the most feared Death Eaters by himself.
However, Harry was now faced by a heavy challenge. The Order had put heavy pressure on him and Dumbledore, wanting to know exactly what had happened in the Ministry, and they eventually agreed to tell them everything.
'That will also make things easier for Hermione's turning.' Harry was doubtful about his first fledgling. Not only that, but this time, he would be on the top of the pyramid.
"Harry, you can come down now, the meeting is about to start." Sirius knocked on his door. Harry was glad that Sirius, at least didn't treat him differently.
He sighed, and left the room. He and Sirius slowly walked down to the kitchen to find everyone in the Order already present. As Harry sat down, most gave him a wide girth, but some looked at him differently. Moody nodded in approval as he sat down, and Snape looked at him with respect and carefully hidden fear.
"Well, now that everyone is here, we can begin. Kingsley, if you would be so kind..." Dumbledore began.
"Yes. Now, as you all know, a few weeks ago, Sirius informed us that Harry had gone to the Department of Mysteries. We gathered everyone at Headquarters at the time, preparing to go into a heavy battle against a squad of Death Eaters. However, by the time we reached the Ministry, not only was the battle already over, but someone had also triggered the alarms, drawing a lot of the other employees there. Upon our arrival, we witnessed Harry battling You-Know-Who, who left the moment he saw us. We also saw the body of Bellatrix Lestrange, her head several feet away from it." Here the large man paused.
"I did not personally go down to the Department of Mysteries, but I am told that three men requested memory charms and six others lost their dinner. Eleven bodies were discovered throughout the floor, most of them slashed or stabbed by what experts believe to be a knife, and several others had their heads blown off by a point-blank Reductor, however, there are three that are special. Vincent Crabbe Sr. was impaled by his torn off arm," Here, several people looked green, and looked at Harry who was sitting calmly.
"Rodolphus Lestrange' head was pulled with such force that was nearly torn off, and Lucius Malfoy, well, from what the experts say, he was torn apart to tiny chunks, by something that has almost human like claws and is ten times stronger then a werewolf." Kingsley finished his report.
"Now, what I want to know is, how the bloody hell did Harry do all this?" Another Auror, a woman called Tonks asked. Harry had talked to her a few times, and was surprised at her gift to change appearance, even though it was cruder than his and required a lot more effort.
"Well, I guess there's no use hiding anymore. What do you think, Professor?" Harry turned to Dumbledore.
"I would say that as well. Well, when you're ready Harry." Dumbledore smiled.
"Alright everyone, look closely, I won't show you again." Harry opened his mouth widely, and fully elongated his fangs, making him look like a cobra poised to strike. More than one man recoiled at that.
"I won't tell you the whole story, but I'll tell you some details. And Snape, if a word of this gets to him, you will regret it." This was spoken so coldly that many thought they could see their breaths mist. Snape shivered, and nodded lightly.
"Alright. Now, this all starts..." Harry gave them a short version of his life.
"Wow. I mean, I never expected to hear something like that." Sirius smiled weakly.
"I wonder, Mr. Potter, did you consider fighting the Dark Lord from within his ranks?" Snape asked carefully.
"I had considered it, yes. It was the logical choice to take him out quickly, however, on a long term; it was not the best choice. I am trained to remain unnoticed, and underestimated until I make a move, which was why I ended in Gryffindor, and acted as the general public expected me to. I am in no way your stereotypical 'good guy'." Harry smirked.
"Well, kid, you certainly know what you're doing, and I for one, won't stop you." Moody smiled at him, and a lot of others joined him.
"Oh, Harry, let me see you change. I want so see how different it is from me." Tonks almost begged him.
Harry just smirked, and his body seemed to blur for a moment, before a second Tonks stood where he was, downright to her clothes.
"Wow, that's amazing. How did you change your clothes? Wandlessly?" She asked.
Harry changed back and replied "Actually, I am not wearing any clothes. What you see as clothes is actually skin changed to appear as clothes." Everyone stared wide-eyed at him. Eventually, Sirius broke the silence with a laugh.
"You mean you've been running starkers all this time? Harry, this has to be the biggest prank in history." Almost everyone joined him at this.
"Well, I believe we can call it a night, everyone." Dumbledore said, and everyone stood up to leave.
"Actually, I have something I need to ask. Can anyone help me set a soundproof room and build a strengthened holding table?" Harry asked.
"I believe I can be of service, and Sirius is pretty good with a wand too. I have to ask why, though?" Dumbledore asked.
"Not for torture, don't worry. It's something a bit more private, and I don't want to discuss details in public. And one more thing. I am interested in becoming an Animagus." Sirius grinned at this, and spoke.
"Don't worry; I can help you with that. Now, let's see about this room of yours..." The three quickly found an empty room Harry liked, and they quickly began making the necessary changes.
"Now Harry, why do you need such strong restraints?" Dumbledore asked.
"For Hermione. She has made a very unusual request. Despite my personal feelings, she has given me reasons I cannot ignore." Harry replied.
"She asked to be turned?" Dumbledore was shocked at this.
"Yes. Don't ask me why. That is not my secret to tell. All I ask is your help. She will be pretty dependant on me for a while. She will, in short, become a completely new person. Without a guide, she will quickly fall prey to our most primal urges. I hope that by the time school starts, I'll manage to teach her enough for her not to stick out, but she will need her own room." Dumbledore nodded, and promptly excused himself.
"So, when is she coming here, and how long will this take?" Sirius asked.
"She'll be here tomorrow, and it will take around two full days to turn her." Harry replied, and he too left, nervously waiting for tomorrow.
The next morning, Hermione arrived early, followed by her parents, who had a great mixture of emotions on their faces.
Sirius greeted them, and led them to the room they had prepared.
"Greetings. I trust you explained yourself to your parents?" Harry welcomed them.
She nodded lightly, too nervous to speak.
"I have some questions for you boy, if you don't mind." Her father turned to him.
"Of course. And please, despite my youthful appearance, please bear in mind I am many times older then you." Harry grinned.
"Well, Hermione said this was irreversible. Is this true?"
"That's right. Many attempts have been made to develop a method to reverse the turning, but every one ended the same. Complete cellular necrosis." Harry replied.
"How will she change?" Her mother asked.
"That is difficult to say. Her body will change completely; she will no longer be even close to human. I cannot say how she will change mentally. That comes slowly, after the turning." Harry answered.
"You were turned too, right? How was it for you?" Mr. Granger asked again.
"Yes, I was twelve at the time. All I remember is pain. That is what most turned remember, actually. It will take about two days, so I suggest we start. Hermione lay down, please." Harry gestured to the table.
"Are all these really necessary?" Mrs. Granger asked nervously watching Harry strap her daughter in the numerous restraints.
"Absolutely. She will do a lot of trashing around; maybe even try to claw herself to stop the pain, sometimes the convulsions can get so strong she might even break her spine, as well." Harry informed the already terrified pair.
"Don't worry; she'll be alright in the end. Better then alright, actually."
Harry took a small injector, and put it against his arm, filling it with blood.
"Last chance to back out." When she didn't say anything, he put the injector on her neck, and pushed the blood into her.
It took about fifteen minutes for her to start squirming.
"It burns. Oh, god, it feels like my bones are on fire." She started speaking.
"It started. We should leave her alone. This is not something you should witness." Harry gently pushed the worried pair outside.
During the next two days, everyone waited nervously, and several times, Harry had to use force to stop Hermione's parents from seeing her.
Now, they were sitting in the kitchen, when Harry looked up suddenly, and stood up.
"Is something wrong?" Mr. Granger asked.
"No, nothing's wrong. She's starting to wake up. It won't be long now." Harry replied.
"Can we see her now?" Mrs. Granger asked hopefully.
"Not just yet. Right now, she'll need some blood and rest. Give her a couple of hours to recover." Harry told them, and left the room. After he stopped to get a feeder, he went to see his new fledgling.
She was still out, but Harry felt that she was almost awake. When he started to un-strap her, she began stirring, and Harry gently pulled her up, and pressed the feeder to her lips, allowing her to drink. She started to drink greedily, not yet fully awake, but acting on instinct.
However, by the time she was finished, she was awake, and looked at Harry in shock.
"It's done. You're now like me. Rest now, you need to recover." Harry told her gently. She simply nodded, and fell back on the table. Harry completely un-strapped her, and went back down.
"How is she?" Mrs. Granger asked the moment he walked in.
"Fine. She turned flawlessly, and she should be at full strength within the hour." Harry told the worried parents.
Another hour passed, and Harry felt Hermione wake up.
'Hermione, please come down to the kitchen.' Harry told her mentally. He felt her surprise at this, but knew she'd do as he said, even if she couldn't reply yet.
Moments later, they heard a loud crash come from upstairs, but Harry raised his hand to stop anyone from moving. A short time after that, the kitchen door was pulled out of its hinges, and they noticed Hermione, standing there embarrassed. She looked different though, older and more elegant, her hair was a lot smoother now, and her face had gained a trace of nobility.
"Sorry, I completely forgot about that. Come here." Harry stood up, and once she did, he took off his bracelet, put it on her arm, and after he poked a bit on it, he let her arm go.
"There, that should take care of that little problem." Harry smiled.
"What about you?" Hermione asked. Even her voice sounded smoother.
"Well, I was thinking about this issue last night, and I suddenly remembered I still had an assassin's restrainer from my last mission. I just had to reactivate it." Harry replied.
"How could you forget you were wearing something?" Sirius asked.
"Well, considering where it is, it's easy. It's supposed to be undetectable, so it is a thin strip that appears just as a bone. It is currently attached on my spine." Harry told them.
"That must have hurt." Mr. Granger winced.
"You should try it without shape shifting. Most operatives choose a permanent implant. It's connected to your brain, so you can control it." Harry told them.
"So, this bracelet will keep to human strength?" Hermione asked.
"Yes. I will ask you not to take it off without my permission." Harry told her.
"So, what will you do now?" Mr. Granger asked.
"I'll start teaching her all that she needs to know. It would be best if she stayed here for the summer. She'll be able to visit, but not for a month. She'll need that time to adapt to sunlight. Right now, even the smallest exposure will cause extreme burns." Harry told them.
"Alright. Do you mind if we stay a few days?" Mrs. Granger asked.
"Not at all. You can talk to Hermione for a while; me and Sirius have something else to take care of." Harry told them, and he and Sirius left to continue their animagus training.
"Now Harry, you got the basics right, so now we can get to the next step. You must enter your mind and seek out your inner animal. Once you know your form, we can start the actual transformation." Sirius briefly explained the techniques, and Harry started meditating, seeking inwardly for his inner beast.
After an hour, Harry opened his eyes. "Well, how did it go?" Sirius asked.
"I managed to find my inner animal, but, I was quite surprised at what it was. I didn't quite imagine myself as that." Harry shook his head a little.
"Well, what is it?" Sirius asked nervously.
"A Dementor." Harry sighed, and Sirius stared wide-eyed at that.
"You're joking, right?"
"I wish I was. Ah well, it could prove useful, depending on how I react to a Patronus. It might be a good idea if someone else trained me, you don't have a very pleasant experience with Dementors." Harry replied, and Sirius nodded in understanding.
"Well, I can tell you how it goes, and you can practice on your own." Sirius told him, and began explaining. Harry found it to be quite similar to what he was doing when he shape-shifted, but there was also magic involved this time.
Sirius left him and headed to the kitchen, where Hermione was still talking to her parents.
"So, Sirius, when are the others supposed to get here?" Hermione asked.
"This weekend. We think the Burrow is not as safe as this place, so everyone's getting here." Sirius told them, but looked surprised when Hermione stared wide-eyed at him and backed away. Both Sirius and her parents looked in questioningly at her.
"Sirius, there's a Dementor behind you." She squeaked.
True enough, when Sirius turned around, he was met with the floating, rotting form of a Dementor. However, once he saw him, he smiled.
"That was fast. And you can control it already?" The Dementor let out croaky laugh, and then changed into Harry.
"It was basically shape shifting. I'm already good at that." Harry smiled again.
"Harry, do you mind explaining?" Hermione asked.
"That was just my animagus form." Harry said as that explained everything. He picked up a glass of pumpkin juice, and everyone jumped in shock when the glass frosted over.
"You're using a Dementor's aura to chill your drink?" Hermione spoke in outrage.
"Well, would you prefer it if I used it like they use it?" Harry smirked. She remained speechless at that.
'Good. Now, we have a lot to go trough.' Harry sent.
"How do you do that?" She demanded.
'That, is the first thing you'll learn.' Harry smirked, and sent her some memories that explained the process. She flinched at the influx of knowledge, but quickly processed it.
'So, will the rest of our lessons be like this?' She sent.
'Yes. Teaching you is simple. Training you to use that knowledge properly, however...' Harry replied.
The time until the weekend passed in a blur, and Hermione really started to hate Harry. He was a heartless taskmaster, demanding only perfection. During the four days of training, Hermione had suffered from five broken limbs, fifteen cracked or broken ribs, and dozens of large bruises.
When Harry promised she wouldn't suffer any permanent damage, she was expecting a hard training, not the brutal torture she was enduring now. She was almost afraid to ask what was considered permanent damage.
"That was pathetic. Your balance was all wrong, your feet moved out of synch, and your posture was abysmal. Now, stand up and do it again." Harry growled as she coughed up blood thanks to a few savage blows to her chest and stomach.
"You wanted to be strong? You'll never be with that attitude." Harry sneered.
"Shut up, you evil bastard." She shouted, and moving quickly, punched him straight in the jaw.
He stumbled a little, and with several loud crunching sounds, reset his broken jaw. After a few moments, he spoke.
"That's more like it. You're starting to learn. Now, let's see you hit me again." He grinned evilly.
That night, the Weasley family and a few Order guards arrived, and were shocked when they entered the kitchen, and saw Harry comfortably reading a book, while his feet were propped on the back of a young woman who was doing push-ups. The woman looked completely exhausted.
"Alright, just three more. One... two... three." The woman collapsed at the last, and gave him a tired glare.
"There, I told you could do it. We'll do another thousand tomorrow." The woman groaned at that, and slowly oozed to the table, where she grabbed a metal vial of sort, and began drinking greedily. It seemed to do wonders for her, and she looked reborn moments later.
They were shocked, however, when she turned to face the crowd.
"Wha- Hermione? Is that you? You look so..." Ron stuttered.
"Why is it so dark in here? Open a few windows." Before Harry could react, Mrs. Weasley opened a window, and bright sunshine fell in the room.
Hermione quickly jumped back with inhuman speed, and stared at the open window with pure terror.
"Mrs. Weasley, please close the window. Hermione, come out of there, I told you, only direct exposure will actually harm you." Once everyone complied, they sat at the table in eager anticipation.
"Well, I suppose a few explanations are in order..." Harry told them the truth about himself, and what happened to Hermione.
"So, Hermione, how does it feel to be a bloodsucking fiend?" Fred joked.
"Well, thanks to this evil bastard here, it's not as good as I thought." Hermione glared at Harry.
"Hey, I give you plenty of time to rest. And I also have you read books, you know." Harry replied.
"Four hours a day is not rest, and I read only the books you give me." Hermione glared.
"Harry, you really should go a bit easier on her." Sirius joined in.
"Sorry Sirius, I can't, even if I wanted to. All fledglings must pass basic training, no exceptions." Harry told them. "And I plan on having her finish it this summer. So you'll just have to bite the bullet, Hermione." She nodded lightly, and the talk eventually turned to the Ministry battle and Voldemort.
"Well, me and Sirius are working on something, and we hope to be done in a month or so." Harry, however, didn't say more.
Two weeks later, Hermione had made amazing progress, and actually could spar with Harry; however, she only knew human martial arts. At her insistence, he fought her with Shadow Strike, and beat her in seconds. She was amazed how superior this style was, and was determined to learn it one day.
On the next Order meeting, Harry and Sirius unveiled their pet project. It was a large map of the world, but Harry said that they still needed one more thing to finish it.
"Professor Snape, I'd like to do some tests on your Mark, if you don't mind." The man simply nodded, guessing what they planned to do.
Harry sat next to the man, and began casting spells at the ugly tattoo, and occasionally wrote down odd symbols on a piece of parchment, sometimes looking like he was calculating something. After thirty minutes, he said he was finished.
"What took you so long? And what in the world did you write here?" Sirius looked at the strange writing.
"Sorry, when I get going, my mind just works in Lantrisian. I'll translate it later. And it took me this long because I was looking for a way to remove it." Snape quickly turned to him at that.
"And? Did you manage to find a way?" He sounded hopeful, and no one could blame him.
"It's too early to say, I'm afraid. I did a lot of tests on it, and me and the Headmaster will spend some time going trough the results. If there's a way, we'll find it. But now, let's finish this map." Harry spent a few moments casting spells on the large map they had pinned on the wall, and slowly, black dots started popping up on it. At first, there were only a few, but that number increased, until there were hundreds all over the world.
"This will be harder then I thought." Harry sighed.