Based on a challenge I by Tendrarinstat, the rating will go up later. This will be highly AU, especially with the advent of HBP, but Harry will not be doing a cross over. Dumbledore is evil, Voldem...
Chapter 5: One Way, My Way, Or Not.
12th October 2005
Albus was brought out of his reverie by a kettle sitting on his desk. He tapped it with his wand, muttering absently about silly sounds and people. His eyebrows, snowy white, shot up so fast one would have thought they'd be set on fire. He frowned at the picture the smoke showed, wondering where he'd gone wrong cultivating the Weasleys' unwavering trust.
The smoke shifted, and pulsed, revealing the answer to Dumbledore's queries. He sighed, tapped the silver instrument again, and realized exactly where he'd gone wrong. Ginny Weasley had not been in the best state of mind to begin with, further tainted by her interactions with the diary and her emotional bond with Harry. He'd not been able to put his mark into effect on her, quickly forgotten about it, and consequentially not finished the full family bond that would subtly edge them to think on his side.
He frowned more and summoned another silver instrument to him, tapping it and muttering quietly. Seeing the picture, he cursed inventively in Latin and began brainstorming ideas for taking the Weasleys out of the picture. It was made further difficult when he realized that while they were poor, the Weasley family was always on the right side of the law. That was changed, however, when he saw the headline on the Daily Prophet.
POTTER REVEALS SECRETS, CALLS FOR REFORMATION OF MINISTRY
In a surprise interview this morning, Harry Potter the Boy-Who-Lived, revealed surprising secrets that he seems to have known for the longest time. (For more information, page 2) These secrets cover the trail he underwent just a year ago, among other things, and implicate the Ministry of Magic in so many ways, this reporter believes it would lead to the downfall of the Ministry altogether.
The Lord-Baron Potter-Black, further reveals that he made a speech to most of the Wizengamot, and that a replacement for minister would soon come to pass. This reporter, at least, wonders if he is finally taking his life seriously.
Albus chuckled, seeing exactly where things were going. He knew there was really just one person who would run for Minister with the turmoil now, and his plans for fame and power began coming together quickly. Crystallizing his ideas, wrote out a missive to his Wizengamot secretary.
He looked up while writing, 'Hmmm, Harry also has his friends, and they are a great asset. I shall have to remove their usefulness to him as soon as possible. Perhaps Sybil will be useful in this?' He flicked his wand at a certain hidden mirror, which soon filled with the visage of Sybil Trelawny, "Yes sir?" She was far from her usual mysterious mask.
Ron Weasley woke slowly, absently mumbling about food before opening his eyes to find a wand pointed at him. He froze, wondering what had happened when a soft voice reached his ears, "I'm not here to harm you. I'm here to tell you a few things, then I must leave. Don't worry."
Ron searched his memory, a face soon floating to the surface of his sleep fogged mind, "Pettigrew." The animagus nodded, "Yes. I'm a walking bomb, so don't touch me. I'm here paying my debt to Harry. First, he wrote a few things in a letter and sealed it. He said it's for Ginny. Secondly, he told me you're probably not unsealed, and that you'll be needing help. That's what I'm here for." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter, placing it on the floor at his feet.
His eyes searched the room quickly before returning to Ron. He sighed and sat on the floor cross-legged, "There are several ways we can do the unsealing, Ron. First is the long way, which involves meditation. Harry could use this because he is now very well versed in Occlumency. Second we can use dark rituals, which will empower you further, but taint you forever. Last are the light rituals, which are long and have to be used in sessions. They too, will taint you. The rituals I can't help you in though." He paused and withdrew what looked like a rock, "Choose quickly."
Ron's strategic mind knew what to do, "I'll go with the light rituals please." His voice betrayed that his mind was still getting round the fact that Pettigrew was in the room with him. The animagus smiled sadly, "I should have done that when I was your age. In fact, Harry also said you'd do that, and enchanted this stone. It's still a stone, but of such a material that you'll soon digest it, breaking the seals totally. What you need to do on your part, is first to swallow the stone, and second to 'practice your table usual' as Harry put it. I believe he meant you're to eat a lot."
Pettigrew got a frightened look in his eye and glanced around before shoving a book into Ron's hands, "I want you to have this. I know it doesn't make up things between us, but I believe you'll find it most useful. I must run, give Ginny her letter. I have another I must give her personally." Ron nodded dumbly as he read the book title. 'The Beast Within, Uncensored'
"Ginny Weasley. You don't know me, but I know you. I have run out of time so I'll make this quick. You've been sealed. This letter details your options. Depending on which you choose, refer to the appropriate paragraph in Harry's letter." A soft 'poof', and Scabbers scampered away.
Ginny, on the other hand, had just woken from a nightmare, and pinched herself just to be certain. Frowning, she sorted through what she knew, noting the 'poof' as opposed to the 'pop' of apparition. Her room door burst open softly, and her wand was in her hand in instantly, glaring at whoever had invaded her room. She sighed and lowered her wand when she saw Ron, "What is it?"
Ron didn't say a thing, pushing a letter into her hand, casting an identification charm at the letter the stranger had left on her bedside table. Ginny turned on a light with a mutter and quickly read through the letters, muttering about weirdos out there and Harry being secretive again, "well Ron, it appears we're going to be in the same boat."
"Right then, your elementalism is not learned. That version is a watered down form of the blood gift. In fact, many gifts, like mage sight, have crude forms that are now spells. The difference is that deep in your mind you have the knowledge to manipulate both water and earth with barely a thought. That's what blood gifts involve, meditation, occlumency, and other such activities. I'll start you off on Occlumency then we can see how that goes.
Hermione sat straighter as Harry began speaking about the techniques and forms that Occlumency took. Part way through, he grinned at her, "It's actually kind of a cheap method I have, because my Potter blood gift involves wardings of all kinds. Blood wards come easily to me, and Occlumency is a warding of a kind too, so if you don't get it quite as quickly as I did, don't worry."
Harry smoothed out his robes over his protection suit, Voldemort's first wand in his hand, "I can feel it happening, Hermione. We must get moving, Ginny, Ron, Neville, and Luna. We must get them away as soon as possible." Harry didn't say anymore, and Hermione was incredibly curious, but there really wasn't much she could do about it. When Harry got into his moods nowadays, breaking him out was almost impossible without endangering one's life.
"Grab on, it's a portkey." In a flash they disappeared, only to reappear near Hermione's home. She wouldn't be denied now, "What's happening Harry?" He sighed, "I intercepted an anonymous communication detailing your address. Among other things, it also detailed a ward falling date, which happened to be yesterday. Remember when I disappeared for a while? I was putting up a detection ward, which tripped, meaning that danger is near."
Further communication was stopped when the road started buckling under the force of quite a few bludgeoning curses. Harry swore inventively and initiated his mage sight, spotting the disillusioned individuals. Quickly, he relayed this information to Hermione, whom he instructed to attack using her Earth Element. While she hadn't quite mastered the element, she had come a long way with her innate knowledge. Nodding, she placed her hands on the ground, concentrating, willing chunks of earth to attack the masked magicals.
Harry joined in too, using his parsel magic and black flame to great effect. The serpent magic imbued the flames with startling degeneration effects, while the flames gave the parsel spells greater force. Harry frowned and switched wands, using both the Brother Wands together, spelling doom for the now identified Death Eaters. The joint counter-attack was shorted out, however, when a sudden explosion echoed from the house being defended. A tall individual strutted out and banished two slightly burned, but definitely dead bodies towards them before apparating away.
Hermione dropped her offense while Harry secured their captures before trying to calm his best friend, who was crying buckets. Harry himself bit back tears, and quietly portkeying them to a secure area.
It was a long time before Hermione would stop crying, and she spent many a night with Harry, crying herself to sleep while Harry kept her worst nightmares away. But today was a different matter, and at the time Hermione just wasn't ready, so Harry pulled himself together and dressed in his protective and battle robes. A secondary use of the black flame, as he found, was that it was like phoenix flame.
Harry arrived late, and the wards had already fallen. Two figures were fighting, and Harry identified them both easily, firing powerful curses at the invaders. Nearly all 18 turned to him, circling and trying to take him down. Harry didn't bother with subtlety, instead metaphorically going for the jugulars using old and ancient dark curses, throwing his opponents momentarily.
Harry quickly felt like he was going to throw up. He might have known exactly what he was trying to do when he used all three wands, but he still wasn't entirely comfortable with the effects of some of the ancient curses. The forefathers definitely had some cruel streaks in them. He was heartened, though, when he noticed Neville taking down his opponents with a powerful hex. His mind was quickly brought back though, when his shoulder suffered an Everebo bludgeoning hex, underpowered though it was.
He whipped round at the offender, "Fragmen Os Parvulus!" It was an ancient curse, and a very advanced version of the modern bone crusher. Where the modern version broke the bones in the impact area, which in this case was his right torso, the Fragmen broke the bones in the whole body, regardless of the impact area. Harry winced at the effect and the scream, instead opting to go back to blasting his 5 remaining opponents with slashing, blasting, and bludgeoning curses.
Short, but vicious. That was the foremost thought in Neville Longbottom's mind. He used the various secret passageways in Longbottom manor, popping up behind his adversary, letting loose with every curse and hex he knew, including a nasty variety of druidic curses that were a blood gift of his line. Very short, very vicious, and necessary. He ran back to the battlefield, falling to his knees and cradling his Grandmother's cold, lifeless form.
Harry, he now knew it was Harry, but it didn't matter. His only source of warmth and family, gone forever. He cried, knew Harry was doing something, but didn't care, strangely knowing already that Harry wouldn't mind. After all, who'd understand better than someone who wished he'd known his parents?
It was a long week later that two people were slinking through passages and corridors in an old house. A scream echoed through the residence, and set Hermione running hard, Neville right at her heels. They reached a door just as a roar, male this time, echoed from it. Hermione vaguely thought the voices familiar, but didn't bother as she broke down the door with a well placed redactor curse.
Four pairs of eyes stared back and forth, all four frozen in horror. The oldest sighed, "Was there something you wanted, Hermione? Neville?" His companion laughed musically and cuddled up to his chest, "Perhaps they were looking for tips?" Neville developed a nosebleed and promptly fainted. Hermione sighed, realizing she was really on her own for this, "Harry asked us to contact you, Remus. He warned me that Tonks was also welcome, but I didn't realize how close he was when he said that."
Remus's expression became serious, "What does Harry need?" She took a while in answering, but quickly looked up with a bright expression on her face, "He would like you and Tonks to have a holiday with him, me, and Neville. He intends to ask Ron and Ginny, but he says he hasn't gotten round to it yet." Remus blinked, "Really now, Hermione, you should know better than to switch scenes on a marauder? I can't tell you how many times Sirius did that, often with explosive results. Now what is really up?"
Hermione growled and covered her face with her hands, mumbling about Harry being right again. She magicked a chair over and sat facing them, her face flaming, "He suspects Dumbledore of quite a few dark intentions. He says he has plans to put into action, but that he needs time, and that people close to him could get killed in the meantime. He realizes that most, if not all, those people won't be kept out of the matter, so he wants them closer to him so they can learn and grow with him. He didn't think either Neville or I would be alright on our own, so he sent both of us. I think he suspected, at least, what we'd walk in on and so didn't come."
Remus laughed, "Now that's more like it. Now James would have been impressed with Harry's cover story. It was one he used on Lily when they went into hiding, transfiguring a magical trunk into a house, and then trying to trick her into entering it. It must run in the family though, your mother was much too clever for that though, so they used the fidelius. I'm happy to go through with it though, where is he anyway?" Tonks chuckled, "You're forgetting something dear: how do we know Harry is actually inviting us?"
"You're going to have to operate on the possibility that Sirius didn't notice when Snape's head hit the underside of the Whopping Willow back in third year then." Remus jumped up and rushed to Harry to embrace him, but Harry shot a stunner and disillusioning charm at him. It was a few moments before he'd say anything else, "OH MY GOD REMUS! That's WAY into TMI territory." Tonks blinked at him, "TMI?" "Too Much Information." was the swift response as Remus was reillusioned and clothed before being revived.
He jumped to his feet, "What was that for?" Harry scowled at him, "Please take into consideration that I'd rather not see you naked unless absolutely necessary. Now, Sirius didn't bother when the roots of the Whopper didn't move for Snape. Enough? No matter. I've been studying Tom's memories, and I've found something about you Order members. Dumbledore has marked you. Ol' Tom found this on Snape when the snake confessed to his master, and found a way of removing it much like removing the Dark Mark."
Harry pulled out the brother wands and waved them in an intricate pattern, muttering under his breath, before jabbing them at Tonks and Remus. The backs of their necks began to ache slightly, but nothing more as ghostly streamers of purple flowed out of them. Harry sighed and rubbed his temples, "That took quite a bit. Now then, I'm sure Dumbledore will realize something's wrong, so I want you to get yourselves set, pack your things, and get ready to get out."
Their trunks were tied together, and Harry pulled a hairpin out of Hermione's hair. Said girl screeched at him and smacked him. Amusingly, Neville also thwacked Harry playfully. Harry chuckled at them and stuck the hairpin in the trunk bindings before intoning softly, "Inanimus Portus." The hairpin glowed softly for a moment, and Harry swished his wand, "Go." The trunks disappeared.
He turned to the stunned faces, the exception being Hermione, "It would take too long to explain." He blasted a wall with a blasting hex and picked out a chunk, "Portus. Now grab on everyone, and be ready to come out fighting." They were on a whirlwind in seconds."
They came up again in sight of a very familiar, crooked house. It was very different from its usual warm, welcoming air though, burn marks and spell scorch marks covered much of the burrow, and the Weasleys could clearly be seen fighting hard. Absently, Harry was highly impressed, never before imagining that either of the Weasley parents had the skill level they were now displaying.
None dwelt on it too long though, Harry and those with him rushed into the fray, firing curses and hexes, some especially picked out from Voldemort's memories. Hermione saw red, literally, what with her earth element tearing into the attackers. Remus and Tonks were a given, natural duelers with excellent reflexes and even some questionable spells. Neville, not quite over his orphaning, displayed a power and skill even beyond what Harry had come to expect from the DA.
The attackers were many, but seeing their comrades dropping like flies with the new onslaught, their hearts quailed. Black fire suddenly flared all around them, killing and burning some to ashes, and fear had them in a vice. Screams echoed all round as they portkeyed and apparated away. Harry caught sight of a whisp of silver from a particularly tall one, and a flash of fancy red robe before it disappeared altogether.
He was suddenly distracted by his other best friend, Ron, "Harry, mate! C'mon, if they're after us they're probably after Luna too. Let's go!" Harry's eyes flared, realizing the situation, he grabbed Ron and Hermione's arms, and in a black flash they were gone. Where they'd left, the rest of the Weasley clan was just coming out of their hiding places, Molly frantically searching for her youngest son. Remus quickly took control, setting them to packing their things.
Contrary to what most thought about her, Luna didn't really space out constantly. In fact, she had a much greater awareness about her surroundings than most other people. It was for this reason that when the front door of her home exploded, she had already packed her father into his cupboard, set several nasty traps for the intruders, and barricaded herself in the living room, firing curses.
Still, she was fighting a losing battle at 7 to 1 caught in the entrance hall, till the trio appeared in a flash outside. Her blank face momentarily lit up with a smile before it blanked again and she went back to firing curse after curse.
The attackers, on the other hand, were caught between a rock and a hard place. Hermione and Ron were still casting, but they were tiring quickly. Harry more than made up though, quickly taking apart several. Luna was the anvil, unyielding, unmoving, and just seemed to keep taking down her numerous opponents. Harry was the hammer, relentlessly blasting his enemies to bits and pieces.
The result was quick and bloody, though most of the blood came from Harry's end. They returned to the Burrow just as trunks were set on the ground. Harry endured hugs and scoldings with a smile, finally sweeping Ginny off her feet in a hug which she enthusiastically returned and her brothers gave an evil eye too. He quickly had a portkey made of a rope out, and whisked them away. He himself knew how important the Burrow was to all of them, so he stepped outside.
Apparating made finding the boundaries easy, and he carved runes into each, finally intoning softly, "Fidellio Arcania." An advanced form of the Fidellius charm, the Arcania further protected the secret from any way of being found. He finally touched his wand to his forhead, "Hide." And made himself the secret keeper.
A few days later, the Daily Prophet gave Harry its most disturbing news yet. The campaigns for Minister of Magic for Britain weren't exactly campaigns altogether. At first, people had gone out of their way to make public speeches and such, but when Albus Dumbledore stepped into the mix, they all backed down quickly. Presently, the only opposition that Albus had was Percy Weasley, and he really didn't count.
When the voting came together, Albus came out tops, with only 2 voting for Percy. Harry sighed, wondering how much longer they really had. An owl flew in through a window, dropping a letter on the dining table. Harry was the only one up, nearly everyone else was in bed, and Ginny had fallen asleep on her toast. He slit the letter open, his expression darkening in anger as he read through it.
It was from Amelia Bones, whom Harry had once met in the summer before his fifth year. At the time, she'd ruled him be cleared of charges of underaged magic, but this time she had suspicions that Harry quickly took note of. Apparently Albus had been slowly removing powers from the various facets of the ministry. True, he'd tried to swell the auror ranks, but ultimately he was becoming a dictator. In fact, if it wasn't for her natural curiosity and ability to find patterns, she wouldn't even have those suspicions.
Harry frowned, if Dumbledore was becoming such, then he had even less a chance. Dumbledore now had his own army, and with the kind of position he'd played in nearly all Britain's magically lives, he wouldn't need much to convince them. He knew, though, that Dumbledore would soon come after him. Where could he go? The Fidellius charm was a short term thing. They'd still need supplies of food and such, so he needed to escape somewhere.
The answer didn't come immediately, but Ron stumbled into the dining room, tripping over his feet in his excitement. Just yesterday, Ron had fully unsealed himself using light rituals, and Harry estimated him to be at perhaps 105 of what he should have been. What caught his attention, though, was the bird on Ron's shoulder. It was red and gold, like a peacock in some ways. Harry stared in awe as Ron grinned at him, "Fawks? Is that you?" the phoenix trilled and flew over to give him an affectionate peck on the chin.
Harry turned to Ron, "Wow, Ron, I'm impressed. In fact, I'm real happy for you, mate. Wait till your parents see this." Ron laughed, "Yea, they won't know what hit them. Nobody else in the family has ever had a phoenix come to him." He grinned at Fawks and scratched his head. Ginny woke slowly, "Ron? What's the time? And what's a parrot doing on your shoulder?" Harry chuckled, "It's time you got yourself some new toast, the old toast is probably soft by now. And it's not a parrot, Fawks is a phoenix." "oh."
Fawks flew onto Harry's shoulder, dropping a tear into his ear. Normally, Harry wold have tried to get any moisture out of his ear quickly, but he didn't move as memories started flooding his mind. Fortunately he was used to it after assimilating Voldemort's memories, and quickly deciphered what was going on. He frowned as he carefully thought, before turning to Fawks, who was now eating bits of toast off the large pile on the redhead's plate, "Isle of Eternia?"
......... . .........
A/N: If you think "Isle of Eternia" is going a bit far, another name please? I'm thinking of somewhere they can actually train. A place of balanced magic, as it were, besides having great stored power.