Rumours of my demise have been greatly exagerated.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. JK Rowling owns all. Don't we all wish we were her?
Summary: The summer after 'Order of the Phoenix', Harry is depressed and angry. And he starts thinking. Is death really irreversible?
Spoilers for: Books 1 to 5. (HBP never happened. Really.)
Thirtheen months after disappearing, and two months after being proclaimed dead, Harry Potter walked through Diagon Alley. He hadn't changed much, but those who knew him would be able to see the small differences. His black, hooded cloak hid his green eyes, eyes that were accented by his pale face. The youthful innocence had faded and left those green eyes with a newly acquired darkness. His old glasses had been disposed of, and the thin silver frames fitted his face much better. His hair hadn't changed much, but was now kept firmly out of his face with two small, round silver pins. A close observer would realise those pins where shaped like tiny skulls.
He had become thinner, and his steps held nothing of the unsure, naive boy he had once been. This wasn't a boy. This was a man, one who knew his strenghts and who wasn't going to let someone else tell him what to do.
The cloak made him fairly unrecognizable. It did not matter much if someone did realise who he was, though. He would reveal himself soon, when he had fulfilled his goal.
And he was so close in succeeding. He only needed one little thing, and then...
With a faint smile, Harry Potter entered Knockturn Alley.
Charles was an Unspeakable who specialized in the Chamber of Death and the Chamber of Time. One of his duties was to make sure nobody tresspassed into one of these chambers. The 'small problem' a year ago, when the Potter boy and his friends (not to mention all those Death Eaters) had got inside these chambers, had been a huge blow to Charles' ego. He, together with his colleagues, had thought their protections to be infallible. Apparantly not.
So they had worked extra hard this past year to improve their defensive charms, until they were all assured that only another Unspeakable could enter.
Imagine Charles' surprise when he entered the Chamber of Death, and found a cloaked stranger in front of the Veil.
The stranger was standing with his arms raised. In one of his pale hands he held a wand, and the long fingers of his other hand were wrapped around a dagger. The gleaming metal sliced through the air. A thin thread of humming magic from his wand connected to the veil. The stranger was chanting, every sibilant word making the thread thicker and stronger.
Charles reacted the way he was trained to: he activated the alarm, and pointed his wand at the stranger. "Step away from the Veil, now!"
The chanting did not stop. The man ignored him. The Veil fluttered in a non-existent breeze.
Charles was not going to let this happen. "Stupefy!" The red light of the Stunning Spell was intercepted by an ugly yellow shield before it could reach the stranger.
The other Unspeakables had arrived. They too shot amyriad of spells to the stranger, some borderline legal, but it was to no avail. The yellow shield absorbed them all.
The Veil was fluttering madly now, its curtain being held open by the beam of magic from the stranger's wand. Utter darkness lay where the thread touched the Veil, darkness in which something seemed to move...
"Stand aside," Albus Dumbledore said. Charles couldn't bring himself to be surprised at the Headmaster's appearance. With all the interest You-Know-Who had been taking in the Department of Mysteries, it was fairly obvious Dumbledore would want to be notified when the alarm sounded.
Charles moved aside, and watched how the Headmaster of Hogwarts shot a sparkling blue spell at the shield. It quivered a moment, but stayed strong.
Charles began to worry. The only one who matched Dumbledore in power was You-Know-Who... Perhaps it was time to call for reinforcements.
He was still thinking about this when suddenly people burst into the room, quickly grouping behind Dumbledore. Charles thought he recognized some Aurors. Were they the Order members? Possibly. If this was really You-Know-Who performing dark magic on the Veil, some members of the Order of the Phoenix could come in handy.
They attacked the shield again, assisted by Dumbledore, but the shield only trembled a bit.
The figure inside the Veil had come a lot closer now. The stranger had cut his wand hand with the dagger, blood mingling with the beam of magic.
Suddenly the being inside the fluttering cloth was gone.
A naked, shivering Sirius Black lay in front of the Veil.
The stranger stopped chanting, and put away his wand and knife. He took off his cloak and draped it over the man who, until a moment ago, had been dead.
The yellow shield faded away. The stranger turned his head, a stranger no more.
Dumbledore's eyes widened. "Harry."
"Professor." The Boy-Who-Lived inclined his head."It's been a long time."
Dumbledore seemed at a loss for words. "What happened?Where were you? I-"
"Harry James Potter, you are under arrest for trespassing in the Department of Mysteries and the use of Dark Magic." The other Aurors on duty had also arrived, their wands trained on the Boy-Who-Lived. "We will now escort you to a Ministry holding cell, in wait for your trial."
Harry Potter smiled, not intimidated at all. "No."
The Head Auror narrowed his eyes. "Excuse me?"
"I refuse to be escorted to a holding cell." Harry pointedly looked at Dumbledore. "Professor, it is time to take Sirius and me back to Headquarters. I will answer your questions there."
Dumbledore reigned in his bewilderment, and turned to the Head Auror. "Mr. Scrimgeour, I fear you aren't legally allowed to hold Mr. Potter. At least, not until the paperwork is finished to proclaim him back alive. Since he was thought to be dead, he lost the citizenship of Magical Britain. Until this grave error is out of the way, he doesn't fall under your jurisdiction and you can't legally hold him." Dumbledore smiled faintly. "The same goes for Sirius Black. I will take them both to a secure location, until your paperwork is finished. Have a good day, Mr. Scrimgeour."
Of course the Head Auror protested and a small battle of words ensued, but it was nothing Dumbledore couldn't handle. He managed to take Harry to the Portkey Room, followed by some of the Order members he had called as reinforcements. Mundungus Fletched and Nymphadora Tonks were carrying Sirius' unconscious body. They were all amazed, worried and perhaps a tad scared. Harry's green eyes lingered on them for a moment, checking each and every Order member as if he was doubting their trustworthyness. The little skulls in his hair gleamed in the light. The few Order members old enough to know what those skulls meant were more than a little worried.
A Portkey brought them directly to the front door of number twelve Grimmauld Place. Harry didn't hesitate and walked through the front door. Dumbledore frowned, and opened the door before stepping inside.
Molly Weasley just entered the room. "Is everyone safe? What was that alarm about? Arthur -" She stopped in the middle of her sentence, her eyes growing wide. "Harry!"
A second later she has hugging the young man tightly, tears streaming from her face. "Oh, Harry, you poor boy, we've missed you so much!"
Her cry had alerted the whole house, and almost the entire Weasley clan stormed into the room, accompanied by Hermione en some other Order members. Remus was one of them. The werewolf's eyes went as wide as Molly's, flashing between Sirius' unconscious form and Harry's new appearance.
Remus' nose twitched. While Ron, Ginny and Hermione hurried towards Harry, Remus walked to Sirius, and tenderly touched his forehead. "You're back, my friend." He turned his eyes back to Harry. The Boy-Who-Lived was standing in the middle of the room, surrounded by hugging friends, and looked extremely uncomfortable. Remus breathed in deeply. Something was off with the smells in the room. In the air hung a very faint odour of decay. But it wasn't Sirius.
Remus took a step closer to Harry. The smell became stronger. It remained extremely faint, but there was no doubti it came from Harry.
Remus opened his mouth to say something, but Molly forestalled him. She inspected Harry critically. "You haven't been eating enough, have you? You're much too thin and pale. Where have you been?"
"Yeah, mate. Two months ago the Ministry proclaimed you dead, and now you're here. Where wereyou?" Ron asked.
Hermione nodded, reluctantly letting go of Harry. "You missed an entire school year. How are you going to make up for all those classes?"
Harry smiled, but was kept from replying because suddenly the portrait of Sirius' mother started screaming. Apparently she too had been awakened by Molly's scream.
"Filthy Mudbloods, befouling the noble house of my ancestors, halfbreeds and monsters-"
Harry's eyes darkened, and his smile became colder."Just a moment," he told his friends, and he took his wand from his belt. In two steps he was standing right in front of the portrait. The woman eyed him, suddenly falling silent. She looked at the silver skuls in Harry's hair and recognized them for what they were.
"No. You can't do this! No!"
"I believe I can." Harry pointed his wand at her. The portrait froze, something pale and wispy coming from the canvas, and disappearing. The painting faded into nothingness, now only a blank canvas in aframe.
Harry turned around, smiling at his surprised audience. "Now that is dealt with, I suggest you put Sirius on a couch and let Madame Pomphrey take a look at him. He should be okay now, but it's better not to take risks. He'll probably wake up in a few hours."
Dumbledore cleared his throat, more than a little worried about the magic he just saw being performed. "Harry... Harry, my dear boy, do you know what your hairpins mean?" he asked, obviously still hoping Harry had just picked them up somewhere, and they didn't mean what he thought they meant.
Harry however shook his head, looking amused. "I wouldn't wear them if I didn't deserve them, Professor. I earned them fair and square"
Remus' eyes nearly fell out of his head. "Now Iremember! I once saw a picture of those - and your smell - you're a..."
"Yes Remus," Harry agreed, "I'm a Necromancer."
Not surprisingly, it was Alastor Moody who reacted first. He pointed his wand at Harry, both his eyes boring into the green ones."Drop your wand now, boy. Necromancy is the darkest of magics. I'm not letting you harm anyone. Drop your wand."
Many other Order members kept their wands pointed to Harry, but Remus wasn't one of them. Understanding dawned in his eyes. "You did this for Sirius," he whispered.
Harry smiled softly. "Yes, I did it for him. And Idon't regret it at all." He gestured to Sirius. "Pomphrey really needs to look at him and I would like to sit down, now. I'm rather tired." He rolled his eyes at Moody. "I'm not going to harm anyone. Seriously, you're much too tense."
He looked at Dumbledore. "And you, telling me last year that no magic could bring back the dead. Honestly."
"Harry... What have you done?" Dumbledore asked sadly."You were such a beacon of Light, and now..."
Harry shook his head. "It's partly your fault, you know. If you had just told me the truth, that you have to be born aNecromancer, I wouldn't have gone and tried it myself. Of course, I would still have started searching for one, but since there are no others I would have stopped after a while, and I would never have discovered my potential." Another smile. "If you want to blame anyone, blame yourself. Not that I'm complaining."He shrugged. "I was born for this."
Dumbledore coughed. "Lower your wands, please. Let us take this discussion to the living room."
Moody complied, but only after giving Harry a dirty look. Harry settled into one of the couches and yawned. "Bloody tiring, let me tell you that. I really should have left the portrait for tomorrow." He noticed Remus' nose twitching when the werewolf took the couch next to him. Harry sighed. "Yeah, I know, I smell lousy. That's because of the Death Magic. It'll be gone in about half an hour, though, I assure you."
"Must be difficult getting a girlfriend, then," Remus commented lightly.
Harry grinned. He appreciated the effort. "As if Iactually had time for things like that."
Dumbledore cleared his throat again. "I believe you have quite a story to tell us, Harry. I will call for a full Order meeting. If you excuse me, I have some people to Floo." Dumbledore left the room.
Ron tapped his fingers on the edge of his couch."So..." he started, trying to make conversation, "Have you seen the Quidditch Scores?"
Harry looked at him oddly. Of all things to ask..."No, not really. Who won?"
"The Bigonville Bombers. With sixhundred fifty points, against the Monstrose Magpies. It was a brutal game."
"The Bombers? From Luxemburg? You're kidding."
"No, really! They're a strong team -"
"Guys!" Hermione stopped the discussion before it could go any further. "No more talk of Quidditch. Honestly, Ron! There are much more important things to discuss." She turned her stern look to Harry. "Things like: where have you been? Couldn't you have sent a letter? We all thought you were dead!"
Harry shrugged. "I was, in a way. Besides, I was much too busy to write anything to anyone, really."
Moody snorted. "Busy learning the Dark Arts."
A horrible burnt smell came from the kitchen door. Molly, who had been staring at Harry, gasped. "The spinache!" She hurried out of the room.
In the doorway she collided with Madame Pomphrey, who frowned when she saw Sirius. "Isn't he supposed to be dead? And - Harry Potter!"
"That's me." Harry's eyes twinkled. "Nice to see you again, Madame Pomphrey."
The nurse lifted an eyebrow. "I'm glad the news of your demise was greatly exaggerated. However, you are looking awfully thin. Have you been eating enough?"
"Why does everyone keep asking me that? I'm not that skinny."
"I've seen skeletons with more flesh on their bones than you, Mr. Potter. I'll give you a nutritient potion in a moment, but first I'm going to look at Mr. Black here."
While she was examinating Sirius, Molly Weasley came back. "Dinner is ready! Oh, Poppy! Will you join us for dinner? I'll set another plate -"
"No thank you, Molly. I already had dinner," Poppy refused. Her wand kept tracing diagnostic spells above Sirius' body.
"There's nothing wrong with him, is there?" asked Harry, a small frown darkening his eyes.
Pomphrey waved his concerns away. "No, but it's always better to check properly. Now, go have dinner. You certainly need it."
Harry grinned at her, and left for the kitchen.