Harry constructs a new personae and strikes at the Death Eaters where they feel safe
Harry Potter and Merlin’s Reaper
Chapter Seven – Travels
Luna Lovegood stirred from the bed. Since her empathy had blossomed into a skill she could use at will, she had used her sexuality at a lie detector on five men and two women, finding two spies in the process.
None of those that had come before had prepared her for this man. Linking with him was like falling into a well, deep, dark, frightening, and endless.
She had discovered his life, all of his memories from the first love of his mother’s eyes looking into his as he suckled at her breast; to the abject horror of watching his friends (including a version of her) die at the hands of the Death Eaters.
Few people understood pain and suffering as this man did. Had she finally found a life mate? She shook that thought from her mind.
The evacuation should have started while she had the man distracted. She knew she had to save this man, for herself if for no other reason.
“Come on Potter, get up.”
“That was… wow.”
“Thank you, get up, get dressed. We’ve got to break camp.”
She watched as he pulled his clothing back on, and then led him out of the tent.
Straight into an ambush.
Six wands were pointed at their faces when Harry stood up upon exiting the tent. He unconsciously moved in front of Luna.
Harry raised his hands to show he held no wands “Harry Potter sir. She’s Hannah Abbot. Come on, we’re just having a little party.”
“From the looks of things there were quite a few people here.”
“Of course there were, everyone comes up here, where else can you get away from your parents? Come on, you guys did the same thing didn’t you? Come on, you’ve gotta let us go, her dad will kill me.”
The wands started to lower and Harry moved. Luna’s eyes widened when he wandlessly cast a wide cutting hex four of the six fell sliced to the bone and bleeding profusely. Before either of the other two could react, he had them by the throats, snapping their necks with his magic. She had seen this ability in his memories, but to actually see him in action was frightening. The last of the Death Eaters fell to the ground before she remembered to draw her wand.
“What do you mean one of the search teams is missing?”
The off going watch supervisor wilted under Lucius’ questioning. “Lord Malfoy, they were two hours over due for check in, I had another team search their path. The trail ended in a clearing, there was nothing there. No sign of anyone ever being there before, no sign of the men.” He hesitated. “They were all class 4 wizards sir; there shouldn’t have been anything out there that could stand up to all six of them. The last time a team disappeared like this, there were found to have raided a Muggle village for women and reported in the next day.”
“I would have thought that the deaths of that capture team would have focused the minds of their fellows. Check the local villages for missing women. I must report to the Dark Lord.”
Thankful for the dismissal, the off going watch supervisor left to inform his on watch counter part of Malfoy’s orders.
The girls head came up immediately from her kneeling position on her pallet, eyes bright.
“I go to the Dark Lord, be prepared for my return. I will have need of your meager talents.”
He thinks he’s so powerful.
He thinks I’m nothing.
I’m not nothing. I feel the power in me.
It sings in me.
Maintaining control hurts so much.
Until I get my hands on a wand.
I will kill him. I will kill his son. I will kill his son’s friends. I will kill his wife.
The power sings what it will do to them. The power will free me.
I will kill them.
When I get a wand.
He thinks I’m nothing
I’m not nothing.
I don’t hide behind my magic
He killed my daddy.
He and his friends hurt my mum over and over until she died.
He hasn’t killed me.
He uses me as if I was nothing.
His son uses me as if I was nothing
Until I get a wand.
Then the power will sing.
They will die.
Before they do, they will know I’m not nothing.
Before they die they will know I’m Hermione.
I’m not nothing.
Chapter Eight – Consolidation
Harry Potter walked around the new camp. Magic use was kept to a minimum so as to not attract the attention of Voldemort’s capture teams. Everywhere he looked he saw broken beaten people, who fought because it was the only thing they knew. It wasn’t right. Something had to be done. Someone had to make changes. He sought out Luna.
Luna was in a conference with her ‘war cabinet’. They all looked up when he arrived.
“If you don’t mind, I’ve got some questions.”
“Why not?” said Luna. “We aren’t making any progress; perhaps the perspectives of a dimensional traveler will offer new ideas.”
“You came from somewhere very like this, with people wearing our faces and using our names lived and died. You must come from another dimension. Back when the Muggles had science, they postulated such things. What were your questions?”
“Well, firstly, why the traveling tent city? Why don’t you use a permanent structure to keep people out of the weather and healthy?”
“You mean a permanent structure that the Death Eaters can locate and destroy? Use your head lad.” McGonagall spat.
“Why don’t you just use the Fidelius charm?”
Flitwick shook his head “That charm was lost when Dumbledore was lost; he had rediscovered it from ancient texts and never shared it with another.”
Luna looked up, shocked. “You know the Fidelius! I saw it in your memories!”
“I guess that means we know it. My Dumbledore evidently shared information more freely. I learned it from you Professor Flitwick. Would it be bad form to teach my teacher?”
Amelia Bones looked sadly at the state of her ancestral home. Portions of the roof had fallen in over the last ten years, the lawns were pastures for neighboring farm animals, but young Potter had performed the charm, and it was her home again. A team of 10 wizards and witches were busily trying to repair what could be repaired, and create anew what could not. With McGonagall as her secret keeper, her home was now a base of operations for the resistance. One of eight that now housed all of their people indoors for the first time in a decade. She was still wanted, every death eater knew her on sight, but at least she had her home back.
Tonight, Susan, her dead brother’s only child, would sleep in a house for the first time since she was seven. Perhaps here Amelia would be able to bring the girl out of the shell she closed around herself when her parents had been killed so long ago. Perhaps here, she would again speak. Amelia had seen the way Susan had been watching young Potter, perhaps with his help… A thought for another time, she cast ‘reparo’ on yet another broken window, and watched as the glass leaped into place to rebuild the pane.
“I have never taught Mr. Potter, why do you call me that?”
“Sorry, where I came from you taught arithmancy.”
“Logical, I suppose. I do hold Mastery in the subject, if the war had not intruded teaching or research are probably where I would have gone. How can I help you?”
They were sitting in the drawing room of Professor McGonagall’s home outside Dundee. “What do you know of the ‘mosmordre’ charm?”
“A variation of an ancient protean charm. It projects the dark mark over targets of the Dark Lord’s wrath.”
“Could you help me develop a variant?”
“Why would you want a dark mark Mr. Potter?”
“Not a dark mark, a signal in the sky, a sign of hope. One that will scare the hell out of death eaters once they know about it.” He dug into his pocket and dug out a drawing. “This is what I want to show, I wouldn’t think that it would be harder to do than the skull and snake that Riddle uses.”
“I will look into it. It will be good to get back to my favorite subject after so long.” The older woman looked at him shyly. “So I taught? Was I good at it?”
“I never took you classes.” Harry admitted, a bit ashamed. “I wasn’t smart enough. But the smartest witch I’ve ever known raved about your classes said that they were fantastic.”
“So that’s what a normal life would have been like.” She said wistfully.
“Oh you did more than just arithmancy. You offered what the 6th and 7th years called ‘private tutoring in probability research’, it was quite popular.”
“I’m not sure what you mean.”
“Every Friday night you ran a private lessons on a Muggle card game called ‘poker’ in your class room. Staff and older students were always there. The most important lesson you taught was to never try and bluff Professor Vector…”
“Harry my boy!” Flitwick stood oh his chair to greet him. “Rumor has it you’ve been making the rounds making request of we ancients. I was wondering when you would get around to me.”
Harry laughed. “Saving the best for last Professor.”
“I haven’t been a professor since you were in diapers Harry, call me Filius.”
“I’ll try sir, but to me…”
“I’m glad I made such an impression. Now tell me, what did you and your fellow students think of me?”
“Respect for your abilities, and trust in your willingness to allow us to make mistakes. If Professor McGonagall was our strict mother figure, who loved us and made us toe the line, you were the crazy uncle, who always had the best stories and the best toys.”
“Thank you for that, it wasn’t what I tried for, but as results go, it’s not bad.” The small man grinned, “What is the task you have for me?”
“I checked among the members of the resistance, there are no wand makers. I recall a story by your counter part where he told of at one time thought of becoming a wand maker. Did you as well?”
“I did indeed. I thought that you were exclusively wandless.”
“Only because what ever brought me here did so completely naked, and as a consequence, wandless. It isn’t a wand I want however. I need a staff.”
“A staff? Well, from what I’ve seen, you have the requisite level of magic. If I can get the right materials, a staff attuned to you would be a powerful tool indeed.”
“Tell me what you need Professor, I’ll find it. This is what I want it to look like.”
“Are you serious Mr. Potter?”
“Do you need the blade to be real? It would be child’s play to use runes to project the illusion of a blade, but of course the illusion wouldn’t cut anything.”
“Perfect, I was worried about doing myself damage with it, but I need it for the effect. An illusion would be perfect”
“I’ll have a list of the materials I need tomorrow. If everything goes as planned, you’ll have your new staff in about 6 weeks.”
“Perfect. Just in time for the sorting feast.”
“A staff Filius? Does he have that kind of power?”
“You’ve seen him work Minerva. When he put your home under the Fidelius charm, he was winded but after resting for 5 minutes was running about repairing things left and right. He’s in Dumbledore’s league, at least.”
“I think you’re right about his power level Filius.” Amelia interjected. ‘I’ve seen him do multiple apparitions, just flickering from place to place with no visible strain. Has he told anyone what his plan is?”
Luna Lovegood set her mug on the table in front of her. “He intends to do to them, what they did to us when Voldemort and his Death Eaters were a terrorist group. He’s going to instruct them in fear.” She took on a reflective, thoughtful look. “He admits that he has relatively little training for combat, mostly he did school based formal duels other than a few times he went up against his version of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. He doesn’t intend to participate in duels or set battles. He intends to strike at soft targets, wreck havoc, and get out.”
“Is this what he tells you Miss. Lovegood, or did you gather your information in other ways?”
“Minerva if you want to know if I am sleeping with him, the answer is occasionally. He’s in a lot of psychological pain. He saw the woman he loved die because she pushed him out of the way of a killing curse. If she exists in this reality, he will go to her in a heartbeat, even knowing that she isn’t the woman he loved. Mostly he allows me into his bed because I help him with his nightmares.”
“Yes Filius, that bad. I’ve seen his nightmares. Horrible things, like nothing I’ve ever seen or imagined.”
Harry sat at the table in the kitchen sipping a mug of tea. It had been a rough night. He had watched as Hermione died over and over again. Then she started speaking to him, asking why he let her die. He would wake screaming. Somehow he would get back to sleep just to have it happen again.
Susan Bones entered the kitchen carrying a tray.
“Good morning Susan.” She usually ignored him when he spoke to her. She put the tray into the sink, then sat down across from Harry and looked into his eyes.
The pretty blonde took his left hand in hers and lifted it to her face, rubbing the back of his hand against her cheek.
He smiled; she returned the smile and released his hand. “What happened to you Susan? What took your voice?”
She had no response; she just kept gazing at him.
Harry finished his tea, and went to the sink to clean the mug, as he was rinsing it clean he felt her come up behind him and pull him into a hug. He waited until she broke from the hug and turned to face her. She looked so vulnerable; he leaned forward and lightly kissed her forehead. Susan took his hand and lead him through the door and outside to the grounds. Hand in hand, she led him to a quiet brook then upstream to a huge walnut tree. She sat on the grass, leaned against the tree and pulled him down to join her.
They sat in silence in the shade of that old tree for more than an hour before he broke the silence to tell her about his life. He started with his first memories of Dudley hitting him and carried on through to the horrible day when Hermione died and he brought her home to her parents. The girl was already crying silently, he saw no point in telling her what a monster he became as he tracked down and killed the remaining Death eaters.
When her tears subsided, he told her of his plan. He told her what he intended to do so that no one needed to hide anymore. She cried again. He hugged her and somehow she ended up sitting on his lap. Susan wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.
He found himself returning the kiss. Her mouth opened for him and he…What the hell are you doing you selfish bastard? He took her face in his hands and lightly pulled her away.
“I’m sorry Susan. I’m not a very nice person. You deserve… You shouldn’t be with someone like me. You deserve better than me.”
He lifted her from his lap, and placed her on to the grass. Rising to his feet, he said “I’ve got to get back Susan. There are some chores I promised to get done today.”
Again, she didn’t respond. He started back to the house, he was about 50 feet away he turned back and saw that she was crying once more. Well done Potter, you made her cry yet again. You worthless idiot.
Chapter Nine – Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me
Amelia found Harry sitting alone in the sitting room of her home, well after 2 am, staring at the fire in the hearth. She quietly observed the young man for several minutes before she broke the silence.
“What’s wrong Harry?”
He looked up at her with dead eyes. Gods, the boy was in such pain.
“I’m thinking I need to leave Madam Bones. I need to go before I hurt someone.”
“What do you mean Harry? Who are you likely to hurt?”
“Susan. She took me out to that big walnut tree by the brook, and listened to me feel sorry for my self for a while, then we were kissing, and it was all I could do to…”
“Susan took you somewhere?”
“Yes, to the big walnut tree by the brook.”
“How did she take you?”
“She took my hand after she hugged me.”
“Susan initiated the contact?”
Harry was confused, why did she keep going on about this? “Yes.”
“And she led you by the hand?”
“This is wonderful Harry. She hasn’t initiated any physical contact with anyone since she saw her parents killed. You’ve got to stay; it sounds like you are our best chance for reaching her.”
“But I don’t want to take advantage of her…”
Amelia sat next to him on the sofa. “Harry, merely the fact that you are worried that you might tells me that you won’t. Please, stay and spend what time you can outside your missions with Susan. Bring my niece back to me, please?”
Why is life never easy? Why is Susan reacting to me?
“Here it is Harry!”
“Thank you Professor.” He took the staff from the small man. It was 4 foot long the base was capped in silver; the top had crystal that started pulsing with power as soon as Harry took it in his hand. “This is amazing.”
“Well, try it.”
Harry raised the staff and concentrated on the oak tree 100 feet away. He sub vocalize ‘reducto!’ and a huge red beam jumped from the staff to the tree, a thunderous explosion, and the oak slowly toppled over. “Sweet Merlin.” He whispered.
“Did you intend to do that?”
“No. I meant to mark the tree. I didn’t put anymore into that reducto than I would with my wand. How powerful is this thing?”
“It is attuned to you Harry. I put a lot of time into that. What you can do is amazing!” The small man paused, thinking. “How do you feel? Are you drained at all?”
“No, no more than a normal reducto.”
“We need to test this some more.” He waved over some of the spectators that had gathered at the sound of the explosion. A short discussion that Harry could not hear, then the group surrounded him.
“Harry we’re going to start casting on the count of three. Nothing too rough at first. See if you can shield against all of us.”
Harry nodded his agreement and waited for the signal to begin. At the signal he raised the staff over his head and sub vocalized ‘protego totalum’. A bluish dome of magic bloomed from the crystal at the head of the staff. Just as the first of the attacking spells arrived. Stunners, body binds, and an assortment of other curses, hexes and combat charms hit his shield and stopped. They didn’t bounce off, they weren’t redirected, they stopped at the shield and the various colors of the spells were absorbed into the blue of the shield, and the shield brightened.
“Keep holding it Harry!” Flitwick called. “Everyone, step it up! Combat spells! Now!”
The surface of the shield became a maelstrom of magical energy. Still the energy was captured and used to strengthen the shield, rather than reflected away in the usual manner. As it took in more and more magic the shield brightened into an intense sky blue. The attack went on for more than 10 minutes when attackers started to reach the ends of their reserves and started to drop out.
“Crucio!” came from behind Flitwick’s position. He stopped his own casting to see who was using it.
Luna Lovegood held the cruciatus on the shield. It did not seem to be penetrating, or if it was there was no indication of it. The shield shifted color to silver, and still it took the curse, absorbing it and strengthening its self. One by one, the casters dropped out due to depletion of their reserves, but Luna kept going.
After 10 minutes, Flitwick stepped up to her “Let it go girl, you’ll do your self damage.”
“No.” she grunted through gritted teeth. “He has to know what he can do.” She continued to push her magic down the conduit to his shield trying to force the spell through.
After another 10 minutes, Luna collapsed to the ground panting as if she had run for miles. The shield dome looked like a huge drop of quicksilver, perfectly reflective, with glowing swirls of something scudding about its visible surface.
The attackers then found themselves bound in conjured ropes, an incarcerous attack! They fell to the ground attempting to undo the ropes, when an incendio erupted from the shield and set the fallen oak afire. The shield still held.
Harry dropped the shield and released his victims. Extending his hand to Flitwick he assisted them man to his feet, then did the same with Luna.
“That was amazing Professor. It was obvious after a while that you couldn’t see though the shield, but I could see you just fine” Harry looked as excited as a child with a new toy. “After a while I realized the shield was self sustaining. I wasn’t doing anything for most of the test.”
“You and that staff were amazing my boy.” Flitwick was bouncing on the balls of his feet in his excitement. “We have to find out what else you can do.”
Bill Weasley was a happy man. Today he had pulled down the wards protecting another coven of terrorists. The six witches and three wizards were captured shortly after he did so. No doubt the inquisitors had gleaned the information the coven was hiding and had them executed by now. Hopefully the nine children the coven had been holding had been placed into good homes. He was the Directorates premier ward breaker; he had been assured that rewards were coming his way.
Bill had entered Hogwarts the year that the Dark Lord has ascended to rule Britain. As a consequence he had missed the disappearance of his parents and the disbursement of his siblings to various relatives. He had been sorted into Ravenclaw. He recalled a small quiet disappointment that the restructuring of Hogwarts had done away with the house his that most of his relatives had attended, but if your family was not reliable enough to be sorted Slytherin, Ravenclaw was a good (if distant) second choice. Over his time at Hogwarts he had striven to prove his reliability.
He also discovered the joys of being a Pure Blood. First year he had heard stories of ‘mudbloods’ who had polluted the school before his arrival, but the Dark Lord’s ascension had stopped that. 4th year he had taken an attractive half blood Hufflepuff to his bed and showed her why she shouldn’t tease her betters. She had actually complained to the Head Girl, who had Bill and several of his friends take her to an unused classroom to teach her not to complain about being shown her place.
Upon finishing at Hogwarts, Bill had reclaimed his family’s ancestral home at Ottery St. Catch pole, the Burrow. Finding employment at the Directorate as a Ward Breaker he also drew his siblings back home from the relative to which they had been sent. Charlie, Percy and the Twins were all in Hogwarts, leaving only Ron and Ginny at home. With his first bonus, Bill purchased a pair of House Elves to care for the children and set to work making a name for himself.
He had. Wards that everyone said would take days to bring down, Bill managed in hours. The fortunes of the Weasley family grew. Charlie became a quidditch player upon finishing school, and traveled the world. Percy had joined the Central Directorate and risen within the bureaucracy to where he actually met with members of the Dark Lords inner circle. Ron was Head Boy this year AND Slytherin Quidditch captain, with a near harem of young half bloods following him everywhere he went. (Bill smiled to himself when recalling Ron’s personal philosophy: “Marry Pureblood, Fuck Halfblood, Rape Muggle, its all good.”), and Ginny. The Weasley brothers let it be known that Ginny Weasley was reserved only for the Royalty of Magic, The children of the inner circle and the Dark Lord help any mere boy, pureblood or not who dared touch her.
The twins on the other hand were the family disappointments. They worked in Diagon Alley as shop assistants. They left two years before having only finished their O.W.L.s after they met his most recent ‘bonus’. Their weakness disgusted him.
He entered his bedchamber and found his aforementioned bonus glaring at him. After bringing down some particularly nasty wards around a French school for witches, he had been awarded with one of that school’s culls. It was routine for a newly liberated facility to be culled of its undesirables. Usually they were killed outright, but this one, this one was special. A bastard cross between a pureblood and a half Veela, this quarter Veela could pass for a normal witch, but had the Veela charm. Offered the beautiful woman as a prize he readily accepted. She was manacled with charmed chains to keep her from using her Veela charms to enthrall him. After a few months he developed a charm that when evoked turned her Veela charm into herself, making her ravenous for him. When the charm wasn’t in use she glowered at him and swore in French. He really didn’t care.
“Get up, make yourself presentable. We are going to a party tonight. If you know what’s good for you you’ll make the right impressions on the right people.”
Fleur Delacour nodded her understanding and rose from her pallet. The chain that joined her manacled hands to her collar of submission tinkled with her movement.
Votre concentration hésitera, ce jour où vous mourrez
Vous fils orphelin d'une chienne.
Je jure la vengeance pour Gabrielle
Vous trouverez pourquoi Veela sont ainsi craint.
A/N the last: Ok, I can’t leave it like that. I learned in “The Power He Has Not” that nothing pisses a readership off faster than putting untranslated French into a fic unless it’s killing Harry Potter. So without further delay, below are the thoughts of Fleur Delacour in Anglais… uh, English.
Your concentration will falter, that day you will die
You fatherless son of a bitch.
I swear revenge for Gabrielle
You will find why Veela are so feared.
Chapter Ten – Nex Messor
Hermione Granger lay on the bed curled into the fetal position wishing for oblivion. The Young Master had used her again, used her with his two friends. They hadn’t brought one of the friends slaves this time. It had been the three of them and her. So much pain she had blacked out, only to be revived and the pain came again. And again. And again. She hadn’t been hurt this badly since they had branded their initials on her inner thigh. M. Z. W.
She started when cool gentle hands touched her face; she opened her eyes to look into the giant eyes of Dobby the House Elf. “Is Miss alright?”
“No Dobby, it hurts so much.” Her tears flowing. “So very much.”
“Dobby help Miss” The elf levitated her to the bath, and with gentle hands cleaned her. House elves had some healing skills, and Dobby was especially skilled. He needed to be. She again lost consciousness; her last thought was noticing the copper taste in her mouth. After some amount of time she awoke to Dobby’s gentle touch. “Dobby always be your friend Miss. Dobby sad to think what Young Master do to Miss.”
The Elf was crying. She drew him into a hug.
“Thank you Dobby, I’m feeling better now. You always help me.”
“The incantation is ‘Nex Messor’. I have not been able to do a full-scale test of course; it would draw too much attention. The result should be exactly what you are looking for.”
“Thank you Professor.” He practiced running through the incantation of the entire spell in his mind. There was going to be a very unhappy dark lord.
“You’ve got your mark, you staff, those robes you and I transfigured, and the pendant that changes your voice. What is your plan Mr. Potter?” asked McGonagall.
"Death Eaters are a superstitious and cowardly lot", Harry quoted wondering if this reality had ever had that particular art form, "I don’t inspire fear, so I need a disguise capable of striking terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..."
“You plan to attack Death Eaters by your self?” McGonagall asked, frowning. “We have been fighting them for almost 20 years. You don’t need to do this alone.”
“I know you have Professor. What I’m going to be doing is quite, well, stupid. I’m planning to go into the figurative belly of the beast. I intend to kill Death Eaters, all I can find. I’m going to strike at their safe places. Where they feel at home, I am going to kill them. I will have one rule. If it wears the dark mark, it dies. I don’t think that I would want to have anyone there I would be responsible for.”
Flitwick was oddly jovial. “So those anti-apparition wards you had me erect, I saw you breaking through them. That must mean a high profile target to start. Surely you don’t mean…”
“No, my first outing isn’t going to be Voldemort. I’m not ready for him yet. I’ve put a lot of thought in where I could strike for maximum effectiveness, where I could scare enough Death Eaters where they live.”
“Think about it Minerva. What is todays date?” Flitwick was positively bouncing up and down.
“August 31st. Why what does that…” Realization dawned in her eyes and she raised her hand to her mouth.
“Exactly Professor. I’m going to Hogwarts.”
After a judicial use of the household potions (specifically denied her, but Dobby promised that they would be replaced before anyone noticed) Hermione was healed and mostly no longer in pain.
“Young Master is spending the night at Master Zabini’s home. Master and Mistress are away for the night at a party Miss. No one will see you if you read.” The elf popped away.
Hermione made her way back to her pallet in the Master’s study. From its hiding place under a loose floorboard, she removed the previous year’s text from the Young Master’s Dark Arts class. He had not missed it since he had returned from school, and probably never would. Whenever she got the chance, she studied the book and memorized the wand movements for casting the various spells. When she got a wand, people would die.
Bill Weasley was having a grand time, circulating at the party, greeting people who could help his career, ignoring those who could not.
“William!” Bill turned to face Lucius Malfoy. He bowed
“Good Evening Lord Malfoy, Lady Malfoy. I hope your family is well.”
“Just excellent William. Draco leaves tomorrow for his final year at Hogwarts. He was telling me he looks forward to seeing your sister again.”
Narcissa seemed oddly interested in forming an alliance with as minor a house as the Weasleys, but she may end up disappointed. “He may need to join the queue; she has been keeping company with Lord Nott’s son Theodore this summer, and has had many young nobles calling for her.”
“Ah the curse of being young, beautiful and powerful. It was much the same for Narcissa at Hogwarts.”
“Lucius, you’re embarrassing me.”
“The truth cannot be embarrassing Narcissa. So is this Veela I’ve heard so much about?”
“Indeed Lord Malfoy.” He pulled Fleur forward by the chain attached to her collar of submission, her gaze focused at her shoes. Bill had crafted the charms on the restraints so that her magic shown though with enough power to make her the most beautiful and desirable woman in the room, but not enough to enthrall. The sight of her took Malfoy’s breath away. Narcissa found suddenly noticed someone she wanted to speak to across the room, and left without a word. Bill was impressed, either the man had his wife under unspoken control or she did not want to know.
“Would you like to sample her charms?”
Malfoy’s eyes widened and he licked his lips. “A man would never decline such a generous offer William. You must come by my office some time to discuss what can be done to aid in your career. When might we arrange some time with the Veela?”
“Why not now Lord Malfoy?” Lucius nodded. “there are many rooms available in this manor, I’m sure you will find her to your liking.”
Not again, not again, not again. Ran through Fleur’s mind. This would be the 5th man this monster had given her to this night.
Bill tapped his wand on her collar, starting the process to cause her Veela charm to cascade back into her and whispered in her ear “Return to me when he finishes with you.”
Losing control to her magic, Fleur melted into Lucius Malfoy’s arms as he led her away.
Bill turned and made his way to the buffet line. Yes, this is turning out to be quite the party.
Harry was sitting in the kitchen again. He surprised himself by actually falling asleep around 11pm and not waking until 4am. Five whole hours. Almost a record for him. He was surprised when Susan came in to the kitchen.
“Good Morning Susan.”
She turned in surprise to see him. He gestured to the pot of tea on the table with him. “Cup of tea?”
She stared at him. Then sat down and turned the mug upright looking at him expectantly. He tipped the teapot to fill her cup.
“I’m sorry about the other day by the tree. I was an ass. What was happening surprised me, the deaths of my friends is just too… too fresh. I’d like to be your friend Susan. I don’t know if I can be what you want, but I can be your friend if you like.”
She cocked her head to the side. She then lifted the mug to her lips, her eyes maintaining contact with his over the rim of the mug. Lowering the mug back to the table, she reached out and took his hand into hers. When they finished the tea, she stood still holding his hand and led him into the sitting room. She stoked the fire, levitated several lumps of coal into the flames and pulled him to the sofa facing it. When they sat she snuggled into him and pulled the hand she was holding so that it lay across her shoulders, and sighed.
Amelia Bones had been coming down the stairs when she had seen Susan leading Harry from the kitchen. Susan was actually doing the leading. It seemed that Harry had not been exaggerating this was wonderful.
They spent the day together. She pulled him out to the grounds to see the sunrise. After a while, he quit speaking as well, and they spent the day in silence. She showed him the grounds, parts of the house he had never seen. They had a quiet lunch together in the kitchen, and then she guided him to her room. It was still relatively bare; they spent the day transfiguring things to decorate the room. He had an idea, and excused himself for a moment. He apparated away.
He recalled a stuffed toy of some type that he had found while cleaning up the old manor house when they had taken it back. He searched the trash pile until he found it. A purple mangled something.
“Reparo!” the toy reassembled its self back into the small purple dragon with blue wings, clean and pristine as the day it was made. He added a few charms and enchantments, tucked the little dragon under his arm and returned to Susan.
When he appeared in front of her, she looked up at him and smiled. He handed the toy dragon to her. Her eyes widened and she clutched the stuffed toy to her chest. The toy yawned and sneezed a small cloud of smoke. She pulled it away from herself and looked at it in shock. It wiggled free of her grasp and climbed up her arm to rest on her shoulder and nuzzle into her neck while thrumming happily.
Susan looked from the dragon to Harry and back to the dragon. She then launched her self into his arms.
Leaving the dragon to patrol her bed, they left to walk around the grounds, hand in hand through the day. Amelia approached them in the early evening.
“Harry, it’s almost 7. Did you want to eat before you leave?”
Harry looked to Susan, “No. Best keep the possibility of nerves to a minimum. I can eat when I get back.”
“Assuming they haven’t changed the schedule the students should be getting into the Great Hall about now. The sorting is at seven. When will you be making your entrance?”
“I figure to do it at 7:15. No one will be expecting anything, it should be in, do what I need to do, and then back out. 20 minutes at most.”
He turned to Susan. “I’ve got to go. Can I come see you when I finish my mission?”
She nodded and he apparated to his room to change.
Amelia put an arm around her niece, and heard the girl whisper “Come back.”
Chapter Eleven – Back to School
The sorting was finished, and the students were happily digging into their first feast of the year. They sat at three long tables laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. At the far end of the Great Hall was a cage. Within the cage were three Muggle teenagers, suffering the casual curses sent their way by laughing students. It was the latest of the Memorable first days since the ascension of the Dark Lord. Also the last.
Suddenly without warning Hogwarts rung like a struck bell. A dark cloud formed in the Great Hall and lightning started striking repeatedly in the center of the open space between the students’ tables and the Head Table, blinding everyone. When the lightning stopped, dazzled eyes could make out a kneeling figure at the point where the lightning had been striking, the stone floor where he knelt blackened by the lightning strikes.
The figure stood, cloaked from head to toe in black, hooded in the same material, the figure wielded a scythe. A skeletal clawed hand raised the scythe above the figures head and slammed the butt of the tool to the ground, a thunderous clap rang out, the stone floor of the Great Hall rippled like water, and the doors slammed shut and locked.
“Hello Hogwarts.” A deep raspy voice rang out. “Death is visiting you again.” From the staff table curses flew to the cloaked figure, and splashed against a shield. Again, he raised the scythe and all 28 seated at the staff table found themselves paralyzed and levitated to the mysterious stranger. Their bodies formed a circle around him and the left sleeves of their robes suddenly shredded. “All of you bear the mark of the lunatic half blood Riddle? How very sad for you.”
The Stranger left the circle to stand before the cowering students. “I am the Reaper. I am Death. I have come for the fools who call themselves Death Eaters, the fools bound to Riddle. I have a single simple rule, listen well, and learn. If you bear the Dark Mark, you die.” He turned back to the teachers. “Burn!”
There were screams from the students as the staff burst into flames. “Tell your parents, if they are marked, I am coming for them.”
“The Dark Lord will kill you.”
The hooded stranger turned to the speaker at the Slytherin table. “Come here Draco Malfoy.” The blond panicked and attempted to run, before finding himself in a body bind and levitated to the imposing man. His left arm extended and the sleeve of his robe shredded exposing naked flesh.
“No Mark Malfoy? Are you too intelligent to be branded like a farm beast, or too cowardly to take his mark?”
Through clenched teeth, knowing that his words would make it back to the Dark Lord, Draco said, “The Marking Ceremony for 7th years is tomorrow night.”
“It WAS tomorrow night. Tell your father I am coming for him. Tell your Dark Lord that Death is coming for him. Tell that half blood coward that the Reaper will shred his soul far worse than anything he has done himself in the making of his horocruxes. Tell him I know about everything, and that Tom Riddle will not be hiding much longer. Your Dark Lord is nothing.”
“I am the Reaper. If any of you take the mark, you die.” He raised the scythe and banished the entire enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall. He then cast ‘Nex Messor’. Above the castle an apparition of the Reaper with his scythe appeared. “Tell your Dark Lord I’m coming for him.” He levitated the caged teenagers to him, the cage decaying to nothing at his touch. “Sleep young ones.” The young Muggles slumped into slumber, their bodies glowing as their injuries healed. “I also come for unmarked cowards who torture Muggles. Come here Ginevra Weasley.” The pretty redhead floated to the cloaked man, bound and wide eyed in terror. Her left arm extended, the sleeve shredded to expose bare flesh. “You have no mark. You have it in you to be so much more than the cowardly bully you have become, trading your body for favors. Continue on this path and I will snuff out your live as easily as I do the cowardly half blood Riddle.” He waited until the echoes of his voice ended. “Prefects, take charge of your Houses.”
The lightning struck again, the cloaked figure and the former captives disappeared.
Harry stopped outside the village that the teens had come from, that information gleaned from their minds. He laid their sleeping forms in the town square, their injuries healed, and their bodies at rest. With any luck, they would attribute their experiences to particularly vivid nightmares. Probably not, but he could hope.
The Ministry Aurors responded to the slaughter at Hogwarts within an hour. They found the charred corpses of the staff still suspended in the air. It took another two hours for the levitation charm to be broken so that the bodies could be removed.
“One man? One man did this?” the Auror asked incredulously.
“I think it was a man” the Head Boy, Ron Weasley told him. “He was tall, his exposed hand looked like a skeleton’s, but that could all be glamour. The voice was deep and raspy, like something from the grave, but I suppose it could have been a woman heavily disguised.”
“What did he look like?”
Blaise Zambini pointed to the spectral Reaper hovering over the castle. “Like that.”
“He said horrible things about the Dark Lord, and spoke of someone called “Tom Riddle” as if we should know who he was. He called them both ‘half bloods’. Can you imagine anyone insulting the Dark Lord like that?” added Lavender Brown.
“He killed the staff and none of you did anything?”
“The Headmaster and the teachers all tried to curse him, some even used ‘Crucio’, and they all splashed against his shield and did nothing. I was terrified. He said he was Death. He knew our names! How could he know all of our names?” asked Ginny Weasley.
Parents started to arrive, gathering their children to them. The aurors stood straighter when they recognized Wizarding Royalty among the new arrivals. This did not bode well for Auror Shacklebolt. Sometimes being in charge of a high profile investigation could ruin your whole day.
20 minutes after the Aurors arrived on scene, Voldemort the first entered the Great Hall, striding in like the living god his followers believed him to be. Upon his entrance, everyone threw themselves to the ground in supplication.
Ignoring his subjects, he surveyed the scene. The source of the flux he had been feeling for weeks had been here. He examined the magical signature on the floating corpses that had been his hand picked teaching staff here at Hogwarts, then the spectral Reaper above the castle. Banishing the entire ceiling of the Great Hall was formidable magic.
Who ever did this was a challenge to his rule. Who ever did this might actually be powerful enough to challenge HIM. Where had this ‘Reaper’ come from? For more than a decade anyone world wide found to be a class 6 wizard was eliminated. Tested at first manifestation of his powers and retested annually there after until their magic stabilized at their adult level every magical child was monitored. Some how, someone had slipped through his net.
Who ever this ‘Reaper’ might be he had issued a direct challenge to Voldemort himself. Who ever he might be, he knew things that no living person should know. This ‘Reaper’ knew his birth name, knew about his horocruxes. This was alarming. Steps needed to be taken.
This challenger had to be found and destroyed.
Susan was waiting at the apparition point for Harry when he returned. She approached him and pushed the hood of his cloak back, and hugged him. She led him to the dining room where Luna, McGonagall, Amelia, and the others were waiting.
“It’s our habit to dissect a mission after the fact to see what can be learned.” Luna gestured for him to sit. “You’re back, that’s always a good sign. Did you get into Hogwarts?”
“Yes. Professor Flitwick, I have to compliment you. This staff is a work of genius. It punched a hole in the wards like a hot knife through butter, and made the most spectacular light show doing so. The Teachers were all marked. Riddle is going to have to hire new people to train his Death Nibblers.”
“So your rein of terror had a successful start?”
“I believe so Madam Bones. I know I made Draco Malfoy soil himself. After the staff died, I could not sense any other Dark Marks close to the school. I threatened everyone, called Riddle a half blood and told him or her I was going to kill everyone that was marked. Grabbed some Muggle kids they were torturing and got out. Maybe 15 minutes on site.”
Luna gave him an appraising look. “At the rate you’re going you’re going to have more kills than the rest of us combined. Will you be able to live with it?”
“I think so. As long as I don’t enjoy it, I guess I’ll be alright. This is all just practice. Its Riddle I have to take out, after him, the rest will be easy.”
“You’re a powerful Wizard Harry” McGonagall interjected. “Remember the cautions against abusing power.”
“In my original world there was a Muggle who said it best: ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ I believe I know my responsibilities here. This isn’t for me. This is so that people don’t have to live like you have since he came to power. People should be able to live and not be afraid. I’ll never go dark Professor. I’m fairly gray, but not dark.”
The meeting went on for another 20 minutes, discussing minutia of his mission, then broke up, with another scheduled the in two days to plan the next attack.
Following the debriefing, Harry followed Susan to the kitchen. She had set his dinner aside for him, and she sat with him while he ate. When he finished, they cleaned the last of the evening’s dishes together, then walked up the stairs to their rooms. She pulled him into her room.
“Susan, I don’t know if I can be what you want me to be.”
She looked up at him, rose on her tiptoes, and kissed him lightly on the lips. In a quiet voice, raspy from long lack of use she said: “When I was six, they came and killed my mum and daddy. They were going to kill me, but they hurt me first. There were three of them, and they hurt me a lot. I didn’t understand what they were doing then, but I knew it hurt.” Tears were running down her face. “Auntie came before they could kill me. She saved me but it was months before I could close my eyes without seeing them. I felt so guilty about being alive when mum and daddy were not. It was easier to be quiet so that everyone left me alone. Then you came here. You aren’t like the others. You aren’t frightened all the time. You aren’t angry all the time. You are a good man Harry Potter. You took the time to talk to the silly mute girl that everyone else ignores. You knew a happier me, and treated me like her.”
Susan crossed the room to her bed, scooping up the toy dragon that was patrolling. “You made me this, when you didn’t need to. You didn’t expect anything in return. You’re a good man Harry Potter. I want you to spend the night with me. I want to spend the night with a good man. I don’t mean sex, though I’ll let you if you want. I just want you here with me so that I can feel safe for just one night. I know I’m not the woman you want, but I’m tired of being so frightened all the time.”
Oh hell. What can I say to that? “If you want me to stay, I’ll stay Susan.” She smiles at him, and left for the bathroom to prepare for bed.
Harry made it to his own room to undress and prepare for bed. A clean pair of boxers and t-shirt under a dressing gown, he made his way back to Susan’s room.
“Good evening Harry.”
“Thank you for getting Susan to speak.” She said. “Susan told me of her plans for tonight. She’s been though hell Harry. I’m sure I don’t need to say this, but I will: Hurt her and I’ll kill you.”
“Go on, she’s likely waiting.”
“Good night Madam Bones”
Amelia stared after the door closed. All that power and frightened by a mother hen. Amazing. Minerva was worried about nothing, there was no way this boy would go dark.
Susan was waiting for him when he entered the room. She pulled back the quilt and sheet on the bed and he joined her, extinguishing the lights. They cuddled in silence for most of an hour.
“Harry?” came her raspy whisper. “Do you want me?”
“Oh Merlin, yes. But not tonight. Maybe later when we know each other. We don’t know each other, and we should before we go any further.”
Susan just snuggled closer to him, listening to his heartbeat. Auntie was right, he is a good man.
A/N: It has occurred to me that a timeline of how this reality got so very screwed up would be useful. Here is what I am working from.
Chapter Twelve – Answers and Timelines
October 31, 1981. – Possible Point of divergence of the Realities.
James and Lilly Potter, as well as their son, 15 month old Harry are killed by Voldemort at their home in Godric’s Hollow.
He was over the threshold as James came sprinting into the hall. It was easy, too easy, Potter hadn’t even picked up his wand...
"Lily, take Harry and go! It's him! Go! Run! I'll hold him off!"
Hold him off, without a wand in his hand! ...
"Avada Kedavra!” The green light filled the cramped hallway, James Potter fell like a marionette whose strings were cut ... He could hear Lilly Potter screaming from the upper floor, trapped, but as long as she was sensible, she, at least, had nothing to fear ...
Voldemort climbed the steps, listening with faint amusement to her attempts to barricade herself in...
He forced the door open, cast aside the chair and boxes hastily piled against it with one lazy wave of his wand ... and there she stood, the child in her arms. At the sight of him, she dropped her son into the crib behind her and threw her arms wide, as if this would help, as if in shielding him from sight she hoped to be chosen instead...
"Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"
"Stand aside, you silly girl... stand aside, now."
"Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead --"
"This is my last warning --"
"Not Harry! Please ... have mercy ... have mercy ... Not Harry! Not Harry! Please -- I'll do anything ..."
"Stand aside. Stand aside, girl!"
He could have forced her away from the crib, but it seemed more prudent to finish them all ... The green light flashed around the room and she dropped like her husband. The child had not cried all this time. He could stand, clutching the bars of his crib, and he looked up into the intruder's face with a kind of bright interest.
The boy joined his parents.
March 5, 1982 – The ministry falls to Voldemort
The Minister of Magic remained seated at the desk of his office as his protective detail died. Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange burst into the office as the last of the Aurors fell. They aimed their wands at him as Voldemort swept into the room.
“I believe you are in my chair.”
“Dumbledore will stop you!”
“You put far too much faith in an old man. Avada Kedavra!”
The minister slumped from his chair. Voldemort turned to his lieutenants, Sweep the building, no survivors!”
May 2, 1983 – The fall of Hogwarts
The death of Albus Dumbledore – Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick join the resistance.
Minerva’s scream echoed though out the castle. That bastard Riddle had pulled Albus’ heart from his chest with some horrible black curse. She gathered her self, and rose from where she had fallen when the cutting curse had hit her in the face. Maybe she was going to die, but the bastards would find out why the name McGonagall was feared to this day in the Highlands. She turned to face the two Death Eaters running toward her, and watched as they fell before she could even raise her wand.
She felt a hand take her right wrist.
“Minerva, it is time to go.”
“They killed Albus Filius.”
“I know that Minerva, we can’t do anything about that. If we stay, we die. If we leave we can kill them at our leisure.”
December 5, 1983 – The Fall of the Muggle Government of the UK
Prime Minister, under Imperius Curse, commits suicide during National Televised Announcement
The Queen swears Fealty to Voldemort, abdicated to allow his succession to the Throne as Voldemort the First. Dies w/ family 2 days later.
Muggle Government and Military heads under imperius curse.
Prince William (18 months) secreted away from Balmoral to the highlands of Scotland, by rogue SAS squad and his nanny when his mother and father and murdered. A charred body of a toddler left behind.
“Where did you find the baby Sergeant?”
“This is Jimmy, me son Major. The bastard hit housing, me entire family was…” the man shuddered “We need the decoy, We’ve got to protect the Prince.”
“The King.” Major Llewellyn corrected. “Good thinking” He turned to the woman with the toddler in her arms. “Are you ready to go Ms. Lawrence?”
“We are Major. We must protect the crown.”
“Indeed.” He turned to his troops “Move out men. We’re going to ground!”
February 28, 1984 – Night of the Knives
The Governments of France, Germany, Italy, Austria, USSR, PRC, US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil all fall to mixture of imperius controlled politicians and military leaders and polyjuiced imposters.
December 25, 1986 – Bones family attacked, Susan’s parents killed, Susan raped. Rescued by Amelia Bones and her resistance cell.
The last of the three stood up from the sobbing little girl. He extended his wand to snuff out her life when “Crucio” rang out in the small house.
The three Death Eaters fell to the ground screaming in pain.
“Fry the bastards” spat Amelia Bones as she scooped her niece from the bed. “It will be ok Susy, they won’t hurt you any more.” She saw her brother and his wife lifeless on the floor. “These bastards won’t hurt anyone any more.”
She turned to her team “Keep it up until they don’t feel it anymore. I’ll see you at camp.” And she apparated away.
June 10, 1987 – Consolidation of all governments to Voldemorts rule.
Massive culls of population. Total elimination of all Muggle educational facilities, medical facilities,
In the three years between the Night of Knives and the consolidation of governments, world population has gone from 6 billion to 800 million.
April 1, 1991 – Lovegood family captured and tortured. Xenophilius and Selene killed, Luna taken as sex slave
November 22, 1993 – Luna kills her rapist, escapes to the resistance.
“Welcome home Master” 12 year old Luna welcomed the man in her life back to his home. “I made you dinner.”
“Thank you Pet.” He waved his wand over the plate of food she placed in front of him. No toxins, no poisons. “It never hurts to check Pet.” He ran his hand over her ass, she wiggled into him as he began to eat “After dinner tonight, something special for you to do for me.”
“Ooh Master, you tease me”
He laughed and drank from his wine glass. He immediately began to choke.
“Oh don’t you like it Master? I made it just for you. A special binary poison. Part in the gravy, part in the wine. Individually harmless so your scan would show nothing. You really shouldn’t have left your potions books lying around ‘Master’, they gave me so many ideas.”
She picked up his wand and put it behind her ear. Then she got a claw hammer from the kitchen. “The Poison won’t kill you ‘Master’ It paralyzes you. I’m going to kill you. One bone at a time.”
She started on the toes of his left foot. The poison prevented him from screaming, but Severus Snape died in agony.
January 4, 1994 – Accidental discharge of Magic during food foraging gives Hermione Granger and her family away.
June 3, 1997 – Harry James Potter translates into this reality.
Harry apparated just outside the village of Godric’s Hollow. The town its self was empty, the population lost to the cullings, the only people in miles lived on the farms that still provided food for the cities.
Flitwick suggested to him that he might be able to find his parents home despite the Fidelius still being in effect because he had lived there when it was cast. He had second hand accounts of how his analog had been found in his crib, but the house was untouched, unlike the devastation that his reflecting the curse back on Voldemort had caused.
He followed the directions given him by Minerva, and there it was. The Path to the door was over grown, unlike the well traveled path that ran along the fence line. He approached the door, and it opened to his touch. The house was over run with magical pests, much like his memories of #12 Grimmauld place. This was going to take a lot of work, and it wasn’t the kind of work he was any good at. Cleaning a normal house, no problem, cleaning a magic house, he had no idea. If only he had….
Dobby! He could go and try to free Dobby. While he was there he could deal with Lucius at the same time.
He gathered his staff and cloak from his bag. Pulled the cloak on, and apparated to Malfoy Manor.