The fall of the corps, The Birth of a Villain, Harry has a visitor bearing gifts, Harry sees a new side of Hermione
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the DC Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
A/N2: This is an extremely AU fic starting with 4thyear. This is canon Harry right up to the summer before 4th year. Harry had been back at the Dursleys for three weeks when our story opens. Harry has been suffering through the normal Dursley Assholery, and the occasional dream linking him to Voldemort. Then the world as Harry (and we) knew it changed for all time. Needless to say Hogwarts and the British Wizarding Society may not know what hit it.
Harry Potter and The Darkest Night
Prolog 2 - Before the Fall
Once there were 3600 of them. Warriors who wore the various shapes of life bonded together as a corps with a common value. Justice. They roamed the universe and evil trembled at their passing. They were allowed to wield a weapon powered by the life force of the immortal judges of Oa. They served life.
Then things, as any immortal will tell you they inevitably will, changed.
A single entity suffered losses that no being should have had to withstand. This entity was arguably the greatest among the 3600. The others looked to him for leadership. Even those of Oa respected him. The losses he suffered took him to the brink of madness. After an attack left most of his home community slain, his city destroyed, he attempted to use the power of Oa to recreate life.
This was forbidden, of course.
The anguish of this final refusal from those he had served so long drove the entity over the brink upon which he had been perched. He became one with the madness. If the Guardians of Oa would not grant him the power to bring back those he cared for from death he would go to Oa and take the power, and those of Oa could go to hell.
The Guardians, of course, could not allow one of their corps to go rogue, so they set the rest of the corps to stop this single entity on his journey from his home world (a minor backwater world known as 'Earth' or possibly 'Dirt' translations vary.) There in lay the problem. The entity from Earth was known and respected among the corps. Few of the individual entities that made up the corps believed themselves to be superior to the Terran. The weapons of Oa worked based upon the wielder's will power and belief in himself. The corps believed themselves individually inferior to the Terran, so, of course, they were. In his madness, the entity from Earth actually believed he could defeat the entire corps. So he did. He cut a swath through them, killing many, injuring most, stripping them of their Oan weapons, adding those weapons to his own.
When he arrived on Oa the Guardians released his greatest foe against him, the Rogue Corpsman Sinestro. They gave Sinestro full access to the energy that resided in the Central Power Battery. It wasn't enough. The Terran killed Sinestro in a matter of seconds. The Guardians themselves then rose to face him. Their belief in their power proved to be inferior to his belief in his ability to wield said power, and for the first time since the beginning of time, the Guardians of Oa fell. All save one.
The Entity from Earth merged with the Central Power Battery, took its power for himself, and all of the remaining of the corps immediately lost all of their power. In a single day, the Corps of Oa, which had existed in one form or another for almost the entire existence of the Universe, died. Upon exiting the ruins of the Central Power Battery, the entity from Earth abandoned his humanity, his mortality, and even the quest that had brought him to Oa. He left Oa to find his own destiny.
The single surviving Guardian of Oa was different from his brothers. He was something of a rogue himself who had on occasion been ejected from the Brotherhood; his fellows felt he had developed an unhealthy fixation on that minor backwater planet Earth. Ganthet had placed his fellows in to a proper repose. They were immortals, they could not die, but it would be centuries before their energies regenerated to the point where they would again awake. He would care for them until that time, after all, what were centuries to an immortal? But before he could begin his maintenance of the Oan life force, he had a chore.
In the depths of his immortal soul he believed in the mission he and his brothers had begun so long before. Justice was a rare thing in a chaotic universe. He would begin the corps anew. In truth he was completely aware that he was fixated on the Earth, he found its people to be fascinating. An amazing number of them had an inner nobility and willingness to sacrifice that was relatively rare in the universe. Earth had produced a series of highly effective Corpsmen. He would begin the rebuilding of the Corps there. From the remains of the Oan Weapons the Entity from Earth had brought to Oa, he created a new weapon, with the faults and limitations of the old weapons eliminated from the design. From the ruins of the Central Power Battery he created a reservoir to hold a self regenerating fraction of his own power to be used to charge the weapon as needed. Then with a thought he caused time and space to ripple and he stepped from Oa to Earth.
The vagarities of time/space travel being what they are, in at least one universe Ganthet arrived in July and not March of 1994 as the entities of Earth calculate time. He set the weapon to finding its new wielder. First it looked for the inner nobility that would allow the wielder to use the weapon to defend the weak rather than enriching himself, among the millions that fit that requirement, it then looked for the ability to work past fear. All living things know fear; the ability to be afraid and still do what is right is a rare one indeed. There was a school teacher in the Ukraine. A refugee in Afghanistan. A Graphic Artist in Los Angeles, and a student in England. The four were weighed. A decision was made by the sentience in the weapon. Ganthet again folded time and space to go to his new Corps of One.
Chapter One - Gifts from Strangers
"Come on you bastard" Harry Potter said pulling on a particularly nasty weed he had been working on for more than ten minutes. Ignoring the thorns cutting into his palm, he pulled with all his strength. The weed resisted until it suddenly let go of the soil. Harry fell backwards and hit his head on the spade he had been using to turn the soil around the rosebushes. Hitting his head, he saw stars and tasted copper. He lay on the ground for a few moments with his eyes closed holding his head in pain.
"Damn, damn, damn." He sat up still holding his head. He opened his eyes and found himself staring into the eyes of a small blue man.
A small blue man.
He closed his eyes and counted to ten. He opened his eyes and the small blue man was still standing there watching him. He was about the size of a Banking Guild Goblin (as opposed to a Security Guild Goblin, which was an entirely different Goblin) He had a head that was out of proportion with his body. What hair he had was white and ringed his head like the worst case of male pattern baldness Harry had ever seen.
"Uh, Hello." Harry said hesitantly.
"Greetings, Harry Potter of Earth. I am Ganthet of Oa. You have been chosen." The small blue man handed Harry something. Harry looked into his hand, a green ring? "You are the last. You are the only. You are the Guardian of Earth."
"I'm what?" but the blue man seemed to evaporate. Did that actually happen? His scar wasn't hurting him; it was the back of his head where it had hit the spade that hurt. There was definitely a green ring in his hand. There was a green something by his foot. It looked like a caricature of a camping lantern.
What the hell is going on? Harry wanted to call Hermione. She would know what to do, but... He looked at the ring again. He put the ring on the ring finger of his right hand, and was immediately rewarded by a voice in his head.
"Greetings, Ring Bearer."
That was different, though Harry was relatively used to thing speaking to him by now, he didn't recall any chatty jewelry before. Ok, try to talk back. Who are you?
"I am the Ring. I am your badge of office, your weapon, your tool."
Badge of Office? What office?
"You are the last Ring Bearer. The last wielder of the Green Energy of Oa."
What does that mean?
"You command the Green Energy. If you can envision something happening, it will happen."
That seemed simple enough. Harry concentrated on the flowerbeds being weeded and the lawn mown. He watched in amazement as a waterfall of green... something flowed from the ring to the ground where it spread like water, filling the flowerbed and overflowing to the lawn. The green spread silently to the edges of the property line, then flowed back into the ring, the weeds were gone, the lawn a uniform 1 inch in length with the clippings gone, the borders edged with surgical precision.
Harry stared open mouthed at the ring. Well, the only thing left to do was wait for the owl from the Improper Use of Magic Office. Madam Hopkirk was nothing if not prompt with her owls.
Fifteen minutes passed and no owls. Whatever it was that this ring did, it apparently was either not magic or not detectable by the ministry. Still, he couldn't forget the warning Molly Weasley had given her daughter about not trusting things that spoke to you if you couldn't see where it kept its brain. But that was for magical things. Whatever this ring was, it wasn't magical... Was it?
Hermione would know. He needed to get to Hermione. He stood up. His clothing shimmered for a moment and he was suddenly clad in a form fitting body suit. Black and Green with white gloves. There was something on his face. Reaching up (it was as if the gloves were not even there, they interfered not at all with his sense of touch) he found a domino mask around his eyes. He willed a mirror into existence, and he stared open mouthed at his green tinged reflection. He had seen this before. One of those Yank loonies who felt the need to parade around in skin tight outfits maybe? Green... something. On the chest of the uniform was a caricature of a lantern. Green Lantern. That was it. Uncle Vernon went on about them at length, how they were freaks equal to wizards in his estimation.
No, this outfit most definitely would not do. There was no way in hell he was going to display himself like that. Harry concentrated and the costume began to change. The boots changed until they appeared to be dragon skin. The legging of the costume changed to more resemble a pair of trousers; the upper part of the costume became a shirt, the white form fitting gloves changed to a pair of forest green gauntlets while losing none of their tactile properties. On top of the clothing the mask morphed into a belted hooded cloak. Harry observed the new look in the mirror. Not bad. Taller. The image shifted from his 5 foot 7 inches to 6 foot. Bigger. His slight form filled out to appear larger. Still not right. He looked like a taller more muscular Harry Potter. He concentrated again, and the front of the hood faded to black, leaving only a pair of eyes aflame with green fire
Wow. Scary. Wait, not a ring. Why would a wizard have a ring? He concentrated and a green staff formed in his hand.
He stood and stared at his image in the mirror. Well, that certainly isn't Harry Potter.
Harry thought for a moment. What would happen if he left? The ring promised that if he could envision something it would happen. He closed his eyes and envisioned himself puttering about the yard. He felt the ring pulse and opened his eyes. He could see himself kneeling in front of the flowerbed.
Perfect. After a few seconds of watching 'Harry' puttering about in the flowerbed, he picked up the lantern and willed himself invisible, smiling as the mirror showed him fade from view. He canceled the mirror, and concentrated on finding Hermione.
Hermione Granger lay back on the lounge next to the pool in her back yard, sunglasses over her eyes, her skin slathered with a suntan lotion that smelled of coconut, and the top of her bikini on the side table next to her ice water. Her mind was lost with Catherine and Heathcliff on the moors of Yorkshire, while the sun baked her body. After ten months in Scotland, the sun was a luxury she planned to enjoy as much as possible.
She was distracted from her book by a startled gasp. She was instantly alert, her wand drawn from under her towel, when she found the towel wrapping around her. A large man clad in green Wizard's garb shimmered in to visibility before her, facing away.
"Who are you?"
"I'm sorry," he said with a deep gravelly voice. "I didn't expect to find you... like that."
"Turn around." the brunette ordered.
"Are you... covered?"
"Yes. Turn around."
He did so; Hermione found herself staring into the green flaming eyes of the man in green.
"Who are you?"
The green man's body language read surprise. "Oh, sorry, I forgot." The green man shimmered for a moment and dissolved into the much smaller Harry Potter.
"Harry? How did you do that? You're going to be expelled!"
"No Hermione, this isn't magic. It's this ring!" He pulled the ring off his hand and gave it to her.
She turned the ring over in her hand. It was familiar somehow. Green like jade, but somehow different. "What about the ring?"
"It's a Green Lantern Ring." Harry told her the story of the blue man appearing before him speaking cryptically, handing him the ring and disappearing.
Hermione slide the ring onto her own finger. "What do I need to do to use it?"
"Isn't it speaking to you? When I put it on, it spoke to me."
Hermione shook her head. "No, nothing. What do I do?"
"Just envision what you want to do, then will it done."
Hermione concentrated on moving the lounge she had been on. Nothing happened.
Harry took the ring back and put it on his finger. He concentrated on lifting Hermione into the air. She rose off the ground and suddenly found her self in a giggle fit.
"It must only work for you. Put me down Harry."
Startled by the thought of a giggling Hermione, he gently lowered his bushy haired friend to the ground.
"You're a Green Lantern Harry. A Super Hero. You'll be able to do so much good!"
"I don't know Hermione. You know what happened in Coast City. Metropolis was all but destroyed as well. I don't think I want anything to do with the high profile stuff those loonies in spandex are always doing.
Hermione was aghast. "But Harry, you can't just turn your back when you have the power to help."
"I don't intend to. Wizarding Britain has enough problems to keep anyone busy. Until Vodemort is dealt with, this has to be my focus."
Hermione blinked. Where had this sensible determination come from? Was her friend growing up? "How can I help?"
"I'm going to need your help learning to use this ring. Who else am I going to go to?"
Hermione suddenly remembered she was standing in front of Harry topless, with only a towel wrapped about her upper body and blushed slightly. "I'm going to get dressed and we can figure out what needs to be done." She had taken half dozen steps toward the back door to her home when she realized that she had forgotten the top of her bathing suit.
"Harry, could you hand me my top please?"
Harry nodded, trying desperately to force the image of her oiled breasts from his mind, and willed the ring to move the wisp of yellow cloth and string to his friend, who stared at him open mouthed.
"What's wrong Hermione?"
"You shouldn't have been able to do that."
"What? I lifted you into the air with no problem, why would a bit of cloth be a problem?"
"Harry its yellow. The green lantern rings don't work on anything yellow."