Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Ten Plagues


by Jeram 0 reviews

Harry begins his search for the secret of Horcruxes, but stumbles into a secret war that is struggling for control of reality and magic itself.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!!!] [?] - Published: 2017-06-12 - 8567 words

Disclaimer: All non-original Harry Potter characters belong to JK Rowling and her affiliated companies. I'm just taking them out for some overdue cleaning.



"This isn't far enough, Bill!"

"I think it's plenty far, if you get your head out of your arse!"

"Both of you just stop your bloody shouting whilst I finish this damned schema!"

"Eh, eef I may, perhaps eef you might consider an adjustment..."

"Darling, I love you, but please shut up for a minute."

"You do not tell me to shut up, Bill!"

Harry rubbed his temples as the arguing grew more heated. He might've considered stepping in if this wasn't precisely how they were most effective. If Harry had any idea what they were doing, he also would have attempted to help, but this was unlikely. Somehow, despite having been the one traveling the most to the various subrealities, he was still the least knowledgeable about them, at least in his current surroundings.

"Fred, will you please inform the lovely couple I think these limiters need another look over? I've gone deaf from their volume and can't think straight."

"Well, can you read my lips as I mouth something?"

"Hey, guys!" Harry shouted. "How much longer do you think you'll be?"

The arguments ceased and the others looked at each other.

"Two hours?" Bill asked.

"About right," agreed Fred. "George?"

"Give or take a few, but I agree."

Fleur nodded and said, "Oui, I also agree."

"And you don't need my help for anything, right?"

"Well, if you're looking for something to do," Bill said.

"You don't, right?" Harry repeated a bit more forcefully.

Fred chuckled. "Message received, most filthy one. Take your oversized weapons and go kill something for two hours."

"Thanks," said Harry in relief and apparated out of the basement. He reappeared in Diagon Alley, which was fairly empty, despite just being late afternoon. Harry supposed fears about Voldemort were still causing problems, although the fear of Riddle seemed very distant at the moment.

He walked through the streets for a little while, just taking the opportunity to appreciate the fresh air and without having to worry about swinging a literal sword at anything. Eventually, he found his way to Ollivander's, which was still closed up. There was no sign of the wand, but perhaps that had been a trick the entire time. There was a sound, or a change in the air, and Harry tensed; somebody was behind him.

He turned slowly, his wand already out, and he saw two familiar faces. Neither of whom Harry was particularly interested in talking to at the moment.

"Mister Potter, I don't know where you've been," said Beatrice Zabini, a scowl marred her pretty face. "But you need to tell us where the Horcrux fragments are immediately."

"How are you Cho?" Harry asked, ignoring the older woman. "Anything you want to tell me?"

Cho's face reddened and she looked surprised at her reaction to the question. "Harry, there's... I mean, I don't know all the details. They just told me to -"

"Enough!" Beatrice interrupted her with a wave of her hand. "There'll be time for your whinging and flirting later. Harry, time is running out. Our spells have indicated that your or someone has brought all the Horcrux fragments to the primary reality. We need to stabilize the baseline reality while we still can!"

"Oh, is that right?" Harry scratched his chin. "Hmm, how do you intend to manage that?"

Beatrice's hand twitched, but she didn't pull out her own wand. "Harry, you need to understand that there are some things we know about that you just don't."

"So explain it then," said Harry. "I mean, if you trust me, right?'

"We do!" Cho said hurriedly. She glared at Miss Zabini. "Right, Beatrice?"

"Don't be disrespectful," the dark skinned woman replied with a glare. "I'll tell him what he needs to know."

"Of course you will," Harry said, not believing it for a second.

Beatrice took a deep breath to calm herself. "Before he died, Dumbledore helped us learn much about the nature of Horcruxes. You still trust him, don't you?" She raised an eyebrow at Harry. "So in order to restore the balance of reality, we require the Horcruxes so we can apply the Anti-Horcrux enchantment."

Something about that tickled at Harry's memory. "Which enchantment was that again?"

"The Anti-Horcrux enchantment." Beatrice gave him a smug look. "Frightfully complicated, of course. I assume you get my meaning."

And then the words came rushing back all at once.

The Anti-Horcrux does not exist.

Dumbledore's note! Suddenly Harry felt alarmed and tried to use the Anubis Charm to escape; nothing happened. Beatrice gave him an odd look, and Harry worried he had given himself away. But how could he escape? He didn't even know where to go.

And then...

Trust only those who are trustworthy by my word alone.

Harry realized only one fit this description and he grinned at Dumbledore's tricky words. "Fawkes!" At the call, Harry felt something land on his shoulder. Then everything disappeared in a burst of fire and light, and Harry found himself in Dumbledore's office. The phoenix lifted off Harry's shoulder and then vanished in another burst of fire. After a few seconds, the bird returned carrying a rolled up parchment in his talons. He floated over to the desk and dropped it gently, then Fawkes let off a happy trill and floated over to his perch.

The parchment was rolled tightly, held in place by an ring that looked oddly familiar. Harry pulled off the ring and opened the parchment slowly, his heart beating a thud against his chest. The handwriting was jarringly, heart achingly familiar. For a moment, Harry couldn't bear to read the words, to see this last message from his mentor. But he could soon no longer keep his eyes off the paper.


I have little idea or notion of what you may have been through since you read my first note. I have endeavored greatly and for a long time to set matters in line once I die, but I always knew there could be no certainties. By this point, you will hopefully have wrested the Charm of Anubis from the grasp of the Sustainers faction and escaped their clutches. I have instructed Fawkes to ensure you are pulled safely away when the time was right.

Assuming everything went according to plan, you have also managed to gather the Horcruxes safely. I gave the Sustainers false research about the Anti-Horcrux concept, as you may have suspected. The spells I left are falsified and irrelevant to destroying Horcruxes. Anything of significant destructive force, such as the venom of a basilisk (which you already have used, of course) or Fiendfyre can destroy a Horcrux. I knew the Sustainers would not be able to resist going through the research I 'hid' from them.

There is something else you should know, something I have kept secret from everyone else.

"So was anything interesting in there?"

Harry turned with a start at the sudden sound, his heart jumping into his throat. Dumbledore's portrait smiled at him and then waved a bit.

"Good to see you, Harry my boy!"

"Um." Harry scratched his head and slowly calmed down. "Sir, I didn't realize you... well, I'm not sure really quite what to say." He put the parchment down, deciding to finish it after he spoke with the enchanted portrait.

"Well, I can start us off then," said the portrait. "First of all, I do not have all the memories the real version of myself had, but I enchanted just enough to help you out. The letter was written after this picture was created, so I do not know precisely what it says, although I have a fairly good notion on it."

"Right," said Harry in an almost drawl. "Well, okay then. How much did you really plan?"

"A great deal," said the image of Dumbledore. "But of course I could not control everything, especially when I knew I would soon be no longer in the realms of the living."

"How could you possibly have known that?" Harry demanded, a feeling of anger and confusion rising up within him. "Did you know that Snape was going to kill you?"

Dumbledore's portrait gave Harry a sad look. "In point of fact, I commanded him to do that very heinous deed. I was dying already, you see, poisoned by Tom Riddle's Horcrux and quickly running out of time to prepare you for the task ahead. So I used the opportunity to have Severus ensure that he would be trusted by Riddle. He fought hard against it, I can assure you, but I can be very persuasive when it is necessary."

"That's very hard to believe," said Harry. "On the other hand, I guess it's also kind of easy to believe. It just seemed so easy to blame Snape."

"Severus is far from perfect," said the portrait. "But you can trust him; he wants Riddle gone as much as you do, and he is not affiliated with any of the various conspiracy factions."

Harry nodded and leaned against the desk, thinking this over for a few moments. It seemed possible, if unlikely, that Snape was indeed just a pawn in Dumbledore's game. It did leave an important question to answer. "Does he know the truth about the subrealities?"

"No," the portrait shook his head. "It was far too risky to expose Severus to that business. Still, that does not mean he cannot be a good ally for you in times ahead."

"I hope you're right," said Harry with a sigh. "Who else is trustworthy? Fleur? The Weasleys? I mean, especially after Ginny."

"Ginevra is a special, tragic case, I'm afraid." The portrait of Dumbledore tilted his glasses and looked over at Harry. "From the way you talk about it, I gather she did something awful due to her connection to the bifurcated Horcrux fragment?"

"I'm actually not sure exactly what happened," admitted Harry. "But I know it was bad. At least that's what Fleur and Bill said, so... can I trust them?"

"The Weasleys are trustworthy, I can guarantee you of that. Like most, they have no idea about these various secret groups. Miss Delacour is also most likely trustworthy, as I recall her parents seemed to be by my measure. Her father's father was a part of the group I started during the war, and I kept a bit in touch with everyone in the years since. I never knew Fleur personally, but I suspect she wants the best for you."

"That's good to hear," said Harry, feeling a weight come off he hadn't realized he had been feeling. "Is there anything else I need to know?"

"You have all the Horcruxes, correct?"

Harry nodded and said, "They're all with Bill, Fleur, and the twins. They're gonna blow them up in some way, I'm not clear on the details."

"Ah!" Dumbledore's portrait smiled. "That combination of individuals ought to be able to take care of it, I would wager. So if they are planning on destroying the Horcruxes, first you must ensure to include the ring as well."

"The..." Harry rolled his eyes. "Oh, it's right here, isn't it?"

"Indeed," the portrait said with a nod. "I was able to merge it with the subjunct fragment and thus it should be equally capable of being destroyed entirely. The primary element is destroyed, of course, but that is naturally just part of the problem. Once they are all removed from reality, you must prepare yourself for the next part."

"The next part?"

The portrait frowned. "I must admit I did not imbue all of the precise information into this portrait, but I do know that the Horcruxes must be destroyed. Something will happen when the subrealities are reset, most assuredly something to do with the the nature of the Horcruxes Tom constructed. If I was fully myself, I could venture an educated guess, but from the limited perspective of this portrait, I do not have information to elucidate properly."

"Right," said Harry and he sighed. "Well, whatever happens, I guess I'll deal with it as it happens. I do have a question you may know about."

The portrait nodded.

"Professor Slughorn gave me the diary of Grindelwald, or at least what he claimed was the diary," said Harry. "It seemed legitimate to me, but in it he said that you two had some secret plan, but it didn't say what it was. Do you know what I'm talking about?"

"Ah!" The portrait of Dumbledore smiled. "I can indeed answer this query. My memory was intentionally incomplete about this subject, but I do know the letter contains what you are looking for. Have you finished it?"

Harry shook his head. "No, I haven't. I guess... if you don't mind?"

Dumbledore's portrait shook his head. "Not at all, my boy. Time is of the essence, so proceed."

Harry looked back down and continued to read.

There is something else you should know, something I have kept secret from everyone else. Something I alone have held for not only your protection, but mine as well. I instructed Slughorn to give you the diary of Grindelwald, which he had been keeping safe, although he did not know why. I hope by this point you have read it, unlocking the hidden spells within. If so, you may have read about Gellert and my plan to beguile and fool the various factions.

The plan was simple. I would "defeat" him in battle, but only seemingly so. We developed a spell to switch bodies, and I had the perfect candidate. Horace Slughorn was a good man I knew, but he had lost his mind in a Dementor attack. It was a dangerous trick, but we were the most brilliant wizards alive back then. Gellert and Slughorn's minds switched, one sent to a magical prison and the other back to Hogwarts.

We each decided to Obliviate certain dangerous memories to keep the ruse going - I only removed certain dark and dangerous knowledge that seemed unnecessary, but Gellert was tired of his struggles and wanted to live a simpler life. So he changed his internal mind entirely, believing he was and always had been Horace Slughorn. I do not know if he has survived in the time after I asked Professor Snape to kill me, but I ask that you do not remind him of his past. It would only serve to confuse him.

Speak to my portrait for further assistance if you need it, although I hope everything is as it is needed for you to succeed. And one more thing, although doubtless you had an idea: I am quite proud of you Harry, you have become such a wonderful young man. I know you will win the day and do what must be done.


Harry swallowed and looked back at the portrait. "Well, sir, it's complicated."

"I'd imagine so," said the portrait. "But whatever it might say, let me just add this: I am quite proud of you, Harry. I know you will win the day and do what must be done."

Harry laughed. "That's what your letter said too."

The portrait chuckled. "Ah, well, that is what happens from too much memory compartmentalization. Good luck, Harry!"


Moses and Aaron had performed all these miracles before Pharaoh, but the Lord strengthened Pharaoh's heart, and he did not let the children of Israel out of his land.

"I think we're done," said Bill. "The limiters should pull back on the excess energy and ground the remaining outflows. Our wards should absorb anything else."

"Do you need to double check to be sure?" Harry asked.

Fred laughed. "He's already quintuple checked, the worrywart."

"It's a sign of a lack of confidence," added George. "And a less informed mind."

"He's only got the one, after all," said Fred.

"Too true," said George with a nod and a grin.

"If we stay behind ze wards, we should be safe," said Fleur slowly. "I haff checked zem already. But I zuppose nuzzin' eez for certain."

"Well, I trust you guys," said Harry. He shrugged and stretched his arms with a loud yawn. "I'm too tired to worry about the specifics anyway."

Bill looked worried but he nodded. "Nothing like this has been done before. It's kind of exciting, but it's a huge risk. Maybe you should go someplace else until we finish, Harry."

Harry scowled. "I don't think so. I'm not letting you guys risk your lives while I'm off having an ice cream."

"Oh, can't you do both?" Fred asked.

"Ice cream after," said George. "We'll have really deserved it."

"That's fair," said Fred and he grinned at his twin.

The chest of detonation lay in a circle of green fire with another circle of orange fire around that. Glyphs on the walls glowed and made noises too soft to hear but just on the edge of awareness. And the Horcruxes whispered to Harry, trying to get escape.

It was an overwhelming cacophony on the senses, but Harry tried to just deal with it. Each of the three Weasleys stood in a triangle around the outer circle, while Fleur stood near Harry behind a summoned pane of enchanted and hardened glass.

"Ready?" Bill asked with his wand raised.

"Ready!" The twins shouted in unison. Then they looked at each other and laughed.

"Copycat!" Fred shouted.

"Git!" George yelled back.

"Enough!" Bill snarled. "Let's do this! On my mark. Three. Two. One!" Simultaneously, all three said the inaudible trigger word and then the chest began to glow. A deep maroon at first, then a brighter orange and then a shocking near neon red. Then a whistling sound began and soon a low rumbling could be heard.

"The limiters are holding," Bill shouted over the din. "But I don't know for how much longer."

"Outer wards seem fine," said George and then the light grew suddenly and terribly intense. Even through the glass, Harry couldn't make out what was happening.

"What eez 'appening?" Fleur yelled, but Harry could barely even hear it, despite being right next to her. He doubted Bill could pick up on it.

Another shout came from the room, but Harry couldn't make out the words. Fleur gripped his arm and she had a terrified look on her face.

And then the building exploded.


And there will be a great cry throughout the entire land of Egypt, such as there never has been and such as there shall never be again.

Harry pulled himself out of the wreckage of the store and he unsteadily got to his feet. Shouts and screams could be heard somewhere nearby, but Harry didn't care about that.

He looked around at the ruins of Weasley's Wheezes and sighed. "Well, bloody hell." Harry rubbed his forehead and sighed. "I wasn't expecting all this to happen. A bit of a concussion, maybe, but not this full on wreck. And where the hell were the rest of the limiters? On holiday?"

Harry slowly walked around to where the chest had been; he had to see if the banishing had worked. There was a small fire where the chest had been, but nothing more. An overwhelming feeling of relief swept over him, and despite himself, Harry began to laugh.

And then someone laughed behind him, a horrid, scratched, terrifying screech of a laugh.

Harry turned to face a specter from his past. Cedric Diggory stood before him, looking very dead, except for the fact he was moving closer. With a yelp, Harry blew a wave of fire at the zombie, knocking it off its feet.

But then it got up, looking none for the worse for wear.

"Oh, you must be joking!" Harry looked around. "Bill? Fred? George? Fleur? Guys?" He heard a groaned and spotted movement near him. Harry ducked around the zombie Cedric and pulled Fleur up from the wreckage. She didn't look that great, but she managed to stay on her feet.

"What 'appened?" Fleur asked in a mumble and rubbed . She turned and shrieked when she saw Cedric. "It is ze deadman fragment! 'Arry, get back!"

Harry wasn't sure what was going on, but hopefully Fleur had some idea of what to do.

"Fuge ab intro, animae mentis scissum!" Fleur spat out the words and before Harry could ask her to repeat it, the shade of Cedric had vanished.

"What was that?"

Fleur groaned and held her head. "Aftereffect of ze Horcrux destruction. It is theoretical I thought, but clearly no. It ees a kind of exorcism spell I used, relying on a connection to the deceased. I knew Cedric through ze Tournament, so I could banish his echo. You or Krum could do ze same thing."

"I see," said Harry, not understanding at all.

"I am confused," said Fleur.

"So am I," said Harry with a grumble.

"I did not zink Cedric was used to create a Horcrux, no?"

"Oh." Harry blinked and shook his head. "No, Riddle didn't even kill him, that was Pettigrew. Although he did order the death."

Fleur nodded. "Interesting. We must find Bill and the twins. I hope zey are not 'urt."

A chilling laugh came from nearby, and two shadows rose from the ground.

"Ah, merde!" Fleur spat on the ground. "'arry, who are zey? I do not know zese two!"

Harry wasn't sure he did either until they grew closer. Moaning Myrtle, somehow, giggled and shrieked as she walked over the ground, the shadows lengthening around her. A man stood near him, but Harry didn't recognize him. At first.


The man snarled, and Harry realized it wasn't Sirius at all, but instead a dead man that looked a lot like him. But the only other Black male Harry had even heard off was... the brother. Sirius' brother that Kreacher the elf had preferred from what Sirius had mentioned.

"You know 'zem?"

Harry nodded. "Yeah, one of them anyway."

"Repeat zis incantation from me, zen," said Fleur. "Fuge ab intro, animae mentis scissum."

Harry pointed at Myrtle and tried once, stumbled on the words, then managed it. Nothing happened.

"Concentrate on how you know 'er," Fleur said quickly. "Try again! Ze shadows grow swiftly!"

Harry thought back on his memories of Myrtle and how they had known each other. How Riddle had killed her through his basilisk. "Fuge ab intro, animae mentis scissum!" And the shade of Myrtle was gone.

He tried again on Regulus, but nothing happened.

"I don't really know him," said Harry in frustration.

"Who zen?" Fleur cried out, looking increasingly worried. "We must banish ze shades before zey destabilize!"

That didn't sound that good. "Sirius would, if he were still alive," said Harry with a glum feeling. "But who else could..." And then it came to him and he grinned. "Kreacher! Come here!"

A pop sounded, and the ugly house elf appeared, a hideous look on his face. "Traitor Master summons Kreacher. What does..." The elf trailed off when he spotted Regulus. "Master Regulus?"

Regulus began to laugh, and his form shifted and turned darker, the shadows lengthening around him.

Kreacher shrank back. "Master is not Master!" He turned back to Harry. "Traitor Master must do something!"

"You can help me," said Harry quickly. "You can help me help Master Regulus and destroy this thing that's taking his shape. You can't let this monster get away with it, can you?"

"No!" Kreacher scowled. "Kreacher will help Traitor Master Harry."

"Kreattur!" Fleur said loudly. "Bolster 'Arry's magic with your own feelings for your old master!"

Kreacher nodded. "Kreacher will do this, half-breed monster."

Harry rolled his eyes but ignored the insults. The elf probably couldn't help himself. "Ready, Kreacher?" The elf nodded and suddenly Harry felt a wave of emotion flood over him, and a feeling of familiarity. "Fuge ab intro, animae mentis scissum!"

"He's gone," said Fleur.

Kreacher walked over to where the zombie Regulus had stood. "Master is free now." He turned to look at Harry. "Does Master Harry still need Kreacher?"

"I don't think so," said Harry, shaking his head.

The house elf nodded and vanished.

"I will go look for ze others," said Fleur, and said something under her breath. "Ah ha! I found zem!" She ran over to a section of collapsed wall. She waved her wand and levitated some wreckage out of the way to reveal Bill laying on the ground. Fleur knelt down and said something, causing her wand to glow. "He eez unconscious, but alive!" She called back to Harry. "Ze twins are around 'ere somewhere."

Harry looked around, stepping carefully between broken wood and shattered bricks. Then he heard Fleur shout again.

"Zey are okay," she said, sounding utterly relieved. "But it eez not safe for me to revive zem yet. We will need a Healer, I zsink."

Harry breathed out in relief. "That's good," he said. "I don't know what I'd do if..." He stopped talking as a new, different figure stepped out of the darkness. It was a woman, with dark red hair and bright green eyes. She was familiar in terrible, aching, painful way. Harry had seen her once before this clearly, but only once, and he was in his first year at the time.


"'Arry!" The voice of Fleur seemed distant and Harry could barely hear her. Whatever she was saying seemed unimportant compared to what he could see with his eyes.

Lily's eyes seemed to glow, and a comforting darkness seemed to grow closer and closer still. She reached out an arm and she said something, something inaudible. But Harry could imagine she was saying "Harry".

He stepped forward.

And then he was shoved to the ground by someone throwing themselves on him. Harry got up angrily, although he was beginning to feel a bit less muddled.

"I am sorry," said Fleur. "Are you in your right mind yet?"

"Yes, I think so," Harry said. "But seeing... her like that. It messed with me." He tried not to look back at where the figure of his dead mother had been.

"She eez gone now," Fleur told him. "You are safe."

"What?" Harry looked up in surprise, but she was telling the truth; Lily was gone. And then Harry saw another surprise: Remus Lupin stood in front of him, a deeply sad expression on his face.

"Fleur told me what to say," he said. "I am so sorry you had to see that, Harry."

"Professor, are you... are you a part of this?"

The part veela shook her head. "No, 'Arry. Just, how you say...?"

"A coincidence?" Remus offered.

Fleur nodded.

"I came because of the commotion," said Lupin. "I couldn't miss such destruction in the middle of Hogsmeade, could I?"

Harry sighed. "I suppose so." And then his eyes widened. "Wait a minute? Does this mean... are the Horcruxes finally gone?"

Remus nearly dropped his wand in surprise. "What did you just say?"

"Oh, right," Harry said and groaned. "You don't know anything about this, do you? Alright, I'm going to talk fast, so don't ask questions. Wait until I finish. Muffliato."

Lupin almost said something, but he stopped and nodded.

"Great," said Harry. "Okay, here goes nothing." He took a deep breath.

"There's a mass conspiracy about the secret nature of reality, which is really made up of a bunch of mini-realities called 'subjuncts'. A bunch of secret cults and groups have been fighting about it for a thousand years or more. But recently, Dumbledore and Grindelwald discovered it themselves and started their own secret societies until they were kicked out."

"'Arry, that is not quite accurate."

"Fleur, the no speaking also applies to you," Harry said with a glare. "Correct me after I finish. That's the background here. Someone in one of the secret groups gave Riddle the idea to create multiple Horcruxes because it would destabilize reality if he did that. Fleur will explain why anyone could possibly want that, don't ask yet.

"So our old buddy Tom created five Horcruxes in a few objects, and a sixth after he was resurrected. This caused everyone to get involved, but Dumbledore, as you may have expected, had plans of his own. Including getting killed by Snape intentionally, so he could get Riddle's trust. Oh, and Ginny did something bad, I don't know the specifics, but Fleur does."

Fleur snorted.

"No talking includes no noises," said Harry. "Anyway, so apparently because of my connection to Riddle, only I could gather the Horcruxes from the various subjuncts, so I did that. With the help of Fleur and some of the Weasleys, we planned to destroy them. But something went wrong and the building blew up. And now all of the Horcruxes are gone."

He looked down at the Anubis bracelet which was now glowing red in the primary reality. And Harry realized the truth. "Well, almost all of them," he said. "That's basically it, but now I need to care of the last one."

Fleur's eyes widened. "Wait, 'Arry. What do you mean by zat?"

"I need to take care of it," he repeated. He focused on thinking about Voldemort's location and shifted away.


It came to pass at midnight, and the Lord smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who is in the dungeon, and every firstborn animal.

Harry found himself in a very expensive looking room. It was some sort of fancy drawing room, with luxurious coaches and many beautiful pieces of art. But on a second look, everything seemed a bit... worn. But Voldemort seemed nowhere to be found. Harry continued to glance around the room, searching for a sign of Riddle, when he sensed something out of the corner of his eye.

A spell shot at him, and Harry raised the Mace of lightning speed in a split second to deflect the curse. Without thinking about it, Harry shot several shards of pointed ice in all directions. Most thudded against the walls and several pieces of furniture broke instantly.

And Lucius Malfoy looked down in surprise to see an icy dagger thrust in his chest. He opened his mouth to say something, but only blood came out. The man coughed horribly, spitting blood onto his expensive carpets. His skin paled in seconds, become near white and then he slumped to the floor.

Harry walked over carefully, but the older Malfoy's eyes were now vacant. "Stupefy," Harry said quietly, just to be safe. He felt quite odd; it was one thing to slaughter dozens of mindless beasts in a far off dimension unlike his own, but this was a man, certainly an evil one, but one he had met and talked to multiple times.

Then something hard smacked into his face, and Harry fell back, whirled around. A man, looking very familiar, looking at him. Harry felt a bit muddled, wondering what he had been hit with and hoping it wasn't too bad.

"Who are you?" He asked, and he was alarmed to hear a slur in his voice.

The man laughed. "You don't recognize me, Potter? After all the fun we had in the Department of Mysteries?" His expression darkened. "Although we never had the chance to face off, but then again, it would have been a rout had it come to that. You think you've got a better chance this time?"

Normally Harry would've thought he held an advantage, but he was finding it very difficult to concentrate after the man's spell. "Not at all," he got out. "I suppose you're not so memorable."

The man frowned and he began to look angry. "You fool! I am Augustus Rookwood, and you have ruined everything! The Horcruxes were never meant to be destroyed."

"Shut up," said Harry, finding it a bit easier to speak, although his limbs still twitched and shook. "You're probably one of those idiots brainwashed by those secret cults for some stupid reason. The Horcruxes were destabilizing reality, Death Eater moron!"

Rookwood shook his head and he raised his wand.

Harry jerked his hand toward the Axe and pulled quickly. A wall of dirt and stone slammed up from the floor and knocked Harry off his feet. But it also gave him a bit of time to recover, so it seemed a fair deal.

"A neat trick," said Rookwood. "I don't recognize those weapons either. The Anubis Charm, of course. It's a well known artifact of the simpleminded Sustainers. You speak of brainwashing, boy, but they undoubtedly filled your head with lies. The Circle had the plan, of course, but we stole the idea back from them." He laughed in a rough, raspy way.

"The Sustainers are as bad as any other group, but at least they make a bit of sense," Harry yelled back.

"The Circle has lofty goals," said the Death Eater spy, and his voice seemed to be moving. The wall of dirt shook as some spell impacted with it. "Well built construction, Potter. I am impressed, I must admit. I did not recognize the magic you used, which is saying something, trust me."

"If you're not the Circle," Harry said, trying to plan his next move but having difficulty holding his weapons. "Which one are you? Grindelwald's? The Order?"

"You know a lot," Rockwood said. "But I suppose that's to be expected. The Order had similar goals as the Circle, but then again, their goals are confusing. We used to be the same, Wo men shi Wu-Tuo-Bang, but they abandoned us for nonsensical ideas." The wall shook again. "Still, we are likely more to work together against others than with anyone else. Riddle was easy to manipulate, although that was my father, not me."

He shouted something and an enormous chunk of the wall collapsed. "Ha! A weakness!"

Harry grabbed the Claw and summoned a burst of fire to fill the gap, but it only lasted a moment.

"You have ruined our plans of five hundred years," said Rookwood, now sounding furious. "I know why you have come here, but Riddle will never get a chance to hear your lies. Reducto Eripere!" A cloud of dirt and dust fell onto Harry, and he began to cough. The dust filled the room, but Harry could see that the wall was gone.

He held closely the Claw with his right hand, knowing he had only one chance before he lost the opportunity to strike first. With his left hand, he held the sword of Gryffindor and propelled himself forward toward the cloaked figure in front of him. The blades of the Claw slashed the shoulder of the man, but Harry knew it would be enough.

He used the Sword to blow a soft wind to clear the dust away, but a confusing sight showed itself. Rookwood lay on the floor dead, but there was someone else next to him. Severus Snape held his shoulder and hissed in pain.

"Damn it all, Potter," Snape said with a furious look in his eyes. "This is the thanks I get for saving your wretched life."

"Oh, bloody hell," said Harry. "Listen, Snape, you don't have much time."

"I don't..." Snape trailed off and he coughed violently, falling to the floor. "What... what did you strike me with?"

"The claw is poisonous," said Harry quickly, and the Slytherin man's eyes widened in horror. "But there's a simple cure. You just need to put this on." He took a deep breath and hoped that Dumbledore wasn't steering him wrong.

Snape tried to put the Claw, but he was already too weak to hold it.

Harry grumbled, but helped Snape slide the weapon onto his hand. Within seconds, color returned to the older man's cheeks and he stopped coughing. Snape looked down at the Claw with something akin to awe.

"What is this horrid thing?" He said in a near whisper.

"Something I gained through great struggle," Harry replied. "And I should like it back."

Snape grimaced and quickly took it off his hand. "I don't want the cursed thing." He looked over at Rookwood. "I was invisibly listening to your conversation, but I did not understand what either of you were talking about. Explain."

Harry sighed. "I will, Snape, okay? But I need to talk to your Death Eater boss first."

Snape sat up in surprise, then winced at the wound that was clearly still healing. "Do not be foolish, Potter. You had the element of surprise, but where did it leave you? The Dark Lord will kill you."

"I'm not sure," said Harry. "I think he'll want to hear what I have to say. And if not." He shrugged. "Well, I'll deal with it then."

"Potter, I don't know what Dumbledore told you, but-"

Harry held up a hand. "Sir, trust me. I've been through a lot these past few days. More than you could imagine. If I die, then I die. But I don't think I will." Without another word, Harry stepped past him into the hallway Rookwood had come from. Harry walked down the hall past several rooms until he reached a closed door, but he could sense something familiar behind it.

He opened the door and stepped through. Only one person was in the room.

Riddle looked up from his chair at Harry. He seemed less monstrous than Harry remembered.

"I was wondering when you'd arrive," he said. "That was quite a commotion you made. I was almost tempted to interfere. So then, which of us will go first?"

Harry smiled despite everything. "Why don't you let me?"


And Pharaoh arose at night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great outcry in Egypt, for there was no house in which no one was dead.

Riddle sat silently for a few moments after Harry had finished his abbreviated version of his story. Naturally, he hadn't included everything, like anything about Snape, but Harry hoped it would be enough to convince the man of the truth of things.

"Slughorn said some things to me," said Riddle. "They were confusing at the time, but I have since had time to perform my own research. As it turns out, I was able to figure out a great deal, despite what knowledge has been apparently intentionally hidden over the millennia."

Harry nodded. "Professor Slughorn helped me out at the start of all this. I didn't know he was Grindelwald."

Riddle snorted. "I knew Slughorn as a boy and I had no idea it was not him. But the story you tell, that he gave up his memories for a..." He grimaced. "Simpler life seems unthinkable."

"I guess he had enough of that," reasoned Harry.

"I suppose," said Riddle. "I gave him a merciful death."

Harry's eyes widened. "You killed him? But he wasn't against you!"

"I know!" Riddle spat. "He was already dying, due to some spell by one of these secret cults. Not that I need to explain myself to you, Potter."

"Of course not," said Harry, trying not to roll his eyes but oddly feeling some relief.

"Now Grindelwald and Dumbledore are both truly gone," said Riddle. "Two of the greatest minds in Wizarding history. It is a tragedy in that context."

"Yes, and in other ones too," Harry said. "If you had any empathy."

"Don't insult me," said Riddle with a hint of anger. "I have let you live because we have common foes. That is all."

Harry smiled slightly. "Maybe so, Tom, but we need to decide how to proceed."

"Yes, I suppose we must."

"It's not like you have to decide now," said Harry quickly. "But obviously immortality isn't an option anymore, at least not with Horcruxes. We share this reality, after all."

Riddle grimaced. "Yes, that is true."

"We don't necessarily have to be fighting against each other," said Harry, choosing his words very carefully. "Both of us are victims of manipulation, and neither of us are happy about it. If you really want to try to kill me after this is all over, well, that's something to worry about later."

"Perhaps," said Riddle, sounding pensive but thoughtful. "Which of my followers did you kill?"

"Lucius and Rookwood, although he was a traitor," said Harry.

"I had already figured out his father was such," Riddle replied. "So that much is no surprise."

"I hurt Snape a bit, but he'll survive."

Riddle laughed. "Such kindness, Potter. I am surprised. I did not think you had kind feelings for the man that killed your mentor."

Harry shrugged. "I have more important enemies now."

"You say we have been manipulated," said Riddle slowly. "And that is true. But as I look back on my life, every act that you may call evil or misguided, insane or worse, I do not regret any of them. If I had not been manipulated, and come to the same places in my life, I would have done everything the same way."

Harry slowly put his hand on his wand. "What are you trying to say?"

Riddle sighed. "I suppose that I do have one regret." He looked at Harry. "Your mother."

A cold feeling shot through Harry and he stood shock still. "What?"

"Lily was not attacking me when I came for you," the Dark Lord said. "She was merely defending you. I planned to kill you to prevent you from killing me in the future, it was that simple."

"Naturally," said Harry dryly.

"But Lily had such promise and potential. I offered her the chance to live if she stepped aside but she refused. It was a shame," Riddle said, and he shockingly seemed to mean it. "One regret in my life."

Suddenly pain shot through Harry's forehead, and he screamed out in agony.

Everything went black.


So the Egyptians took hold of the people to hasten to send them out of the land, for they said, "We are all dead."

Harry felt an odd mixture of coldness and warmth and he slowly opened his eyes. He found himself in a familiar but unusual place; it appeared to be King's Cross station where the Hogwarts Express left from, but it wasn't quite right. Everything seemed washed out and the colours muted. The sky was an emptiness of gray and white, and the train tracks extended in a white nothingness.

A crying startled Harry, and he looked over to see a shriveled, monstrous baby sobbing. It seemed to look much like the homunculus Riddle had once been before his resurrection.

"Hello, Harry."

Harry jumped a bit in surprise, then realized he was sitting on a bench next to Dumbledore.

"Sir, where... where are we?"

"Somewhere you've been before," said the Professor. "Although you would never recognize it. We are inside your own mind."

Harry's eyes bulged out slightly. "That's bloody mad, Professor!"

Dumbledore smiled slightly. "I have been accused of such things before. And in all honesty, I did not know if this would work. But as we are here, there we are." He looked around. "A fascinating simulacrum, I must say. And the Horcrux fragment, such an evocative memory." He waved at the baby. "I believe it is nearly time to say farewell."

"What's going on here?" Harry demanded with a hint of anger. "I thought... Well, I'm not sure what I thought. I was hoping Riddle and I could have some temporary peace."

"A wise decision," said Albus. "But you could not have anticipated what would happen. I can scarcely believe it myself. I do not have much time, though, so let me explain what I can quickly."

"Well," said Harry, frowning in annoyance. "Okay."

"I am a memory." The Professor laughed at the expression of horror on Harry's face. "Calm, Harry. You have trusted me this far, have you not?"

Harry winced. "Yeah."

"I implanted this hidden memory in your mind shortly before the end of last year, but it had a secret trigger. It could only be seen if your connection to the Horcrux in your scar was severed, because I knew that only that trauma would also cause this near death capability to interact with a memory that is not your own. Consider it akin to how portraits are enchanted, if that helps, except hidden safely inside your head."

"I get it," said Harry. "But I don't like the idea of you or anyone messing with my head. Especially after what everyone else has been doing!"

Dumbledore sighed. "Quite understandable. After the work of Gellert's old group, the aptly named Shadows, your mind was put into a difficult mixture of confusion and paranoia. Not only that, but your possessed paramour Ginevra similarly used a curse to attract your attention. The Sustainers merely thought that it was one of their adversaries. Arrogance, naturally."

"Because I was already attracted to Ginny?" asked Harry. "That's why it was pointless?"

"Not exactly," said the Professor. "Ginevra clearly wished to entrap you in some manner, but as she is gone, I cannot be certain for what purpose. The Sustainers, firm believers in the ends justifying any means, merely transferred the curse to your other paramour Miss Chang. He smiled. "Although again I doubt she was aware. At first, in any event."

"So they may have told her about it later?"

Dumbledore nodded.

"Typical," Harry grimaced. "I'll deal with that later."

"Very good," said the Headmaster with a smile. "In any event, the only truly critical thing only I can tell you is something simple indeed. When you return to Hogwarts after this is all over, ask Fawkes for my notes. He will bring you all of my careful work on everything involving the subrealities, even my sealed notes. Perhaps you will trust Miss Granger to assist you, or Miss Delacour and the Weasleys."

He inclined his head. "I leave that much to you, although they seem trustworthy to me."

"Right," said Harry and he sighed. "I doubt I'll understand it much myself, so I guess Hermione and the rest will have to do." He looked back at his teacher. "I have just three more questions."


"How did my connection to the Horcrux in my scar get severed?"

"There is but one true way to restore what was lost to a Horcrux, Harry. Honest regret over the terrible murders required to create it in the first place. In this case, Tom inadvertently created the Horcrux in your scar after your mother sacrificed her life for you. His regret for that horrid deed destroyed the Horcrux."

Dumbledore blinked, and Harry saw tears in his eyes.

"I was worried that something more drastic would be required... but ah, no matter. I hope that answers that first question."

"It does," said Harry. "The next question is related to that. What's with that monster baby?"

"That is the disconnected Horcrux fragment," explained the Professor. "When it fully heals, it will disappear and so too will this temporary mindscape."

"Oh. That explains why it looks like Voldemort."

"Indeed. And your final question?"

"I saw this note in Ollivander's," said Harry. "It seems like eight years ago or something, but it was just a few days. It said something like... 'Don't loose this note', except that 'loose' was misspelled."

"That was a key," said Dumbledore. "A protection to loose the protective spells on Gellert's diary. Simple enough, I assumed the unusual nature of the error would cause you to hold onto the note."

Harry laughed. "That's gotta be the craziest part of your plan, and that's saying something. What if someone else had taken the note?"

"Oh, they wouldn't have understood the message," said Dumbledore. "I assure you of that."

"Fine," said Harry and he looked over at the living fragment. It was beginning to disappear, and it seemed to look a lot less monstrous.

"I guess we're almost out of time," Harry said and he felt a sudden jolt of sadness. And then the infant was gone.

Mere moments after the monstrous infant vanished, everything else seemed to shimmer and fade. Harry turned to the memory of Dumbledore.

"Farewell, sir," he said. "Thanks for everything. I wish you hadn't died."

"I lived long enough to see you victorious," said Albus with a sad smile. "For this old man, that is more than enough. Farewell to you. Harry."

And he was gone. In a moment, there was a jolt, and Harry sat up in the room, Riddle across the floor from him. Voldemort seemed to be recovering at the same time, and he held his head with a confused look on his face.

"Tom, I want you to see this," Harry said and held up his Claw. "The ghost of Salazar Slytherin gave this to me."

"What?" Riddle seemed shocked. "How... what kind of nonsense? Are you trying to distract me from just happened?"

Harry sighed. "Come on, Tom, you know what happened just as much as I do."

Riddle scowled. "Do not call me that filthy Muggle name! Would you like it if I called you by the name of your Muggle relatives?"

"No," admitted Harry. "You've got a point there. How about..." He thought for a moment. "Hey, why not 'Marvolo'? It's still your original name, but it's from the wizarding side."

"Hmm, interesting," said Riddle. "Normally I would eschew any connection to my original name, but I suppose that name is a connection to my Slytherin ancestry. I will accept that name, for now." Then his eyes narrowed. "Now, explain what occurred, and then explain about your weapon."

Instead of answering, Harry decided to imitate Dumbledore and asked, "How can a Horcrux be destroyed?"

"Only very powerful magical spells, such as Fiendfyre," said Riddle. "Or the venom of basilisk, although you already know that. That doesn't explain anything. You didn't stab your head with the fang of a basilisk, not that I saw."

"You are right, of course," said Harry. "But there is another way, a way to restore what was lost from a Horcrux. How? You must know, if you studied how to make one."

Riddle scoffed. "Of course I do," he said derisively. "But..." Riddle's face dropped. "The only way is true regret of the murder. Honest regret. But that would mean..."

Harry laughed. "Took you long enough. Dumbledore figured it out ages ago."

Tom rolled his eyes. "Naturally. And I am sure he bragged about it in that way of his that seemed not at all like a boast."

"Sort of," admitted Harry. "But the Claw is something to show you more truth of what I've gone through. Slytherin himself asked me not to kill you, his Heir. He told me a secret about the Chamber, one I may be willing to share if I can be convinced."

"I found no hidden chamber," said Riddle. "But... that does not mean one does not exist." He frowned. "I need time to think on this Potter. You have your truce, temporary though it may be."

"Good," said Harry in relief. "In that case, I'll leave you to it. Until the next time."

Marvolo nodded, face still clearly lost in thought.

Harry grinned triumphantly and disappeared.


Next time…

Harry meets his maker.

Aseret HaMakot

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