Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Desert Warrior

Never Uneventful

by ShadeDancer 1 review

Chapters 9 and 10

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Crossover - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2005-12-11 - Updated: 2005-12-11 - 6805 words

Disclaimer: If I owned Harry Potter do you think there ever would have been a chance of Harry and Ginny?

This story is set back in the timeline of The Mummy Returns so here's a basic rundown of the Harry Potter timeline in relation.
1922: Harry Potter is born to Lily and James Potter.
1923: Harry is a year old and his parents are murdered by Voldemort.
1927: Harry is five and goes to Egypt with his relatives.
1933: Harry turns eleven and starts Hogwarts.

Fourteen year old Kedar Potter stood proud and strong upon platform 9 ¾, his tanned skin gleaming in the weak English sun as he said farewell to his father. It would be his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and he couldn't help but wonder what was in store for him. His first three years had been anything but uneventful and he doubted this year would be an exception.

In his first year Kedar not only had to deal with questions from the teachers about where he had been for the last six years, becoming the youngest Seeker in a century, and also rescuing the Sorcerer's Stone from his possessed defense teacher. Together with his friends Ron and Hermione he had gotten through the guardians the teachers had set up to protect the Stone, but in the end he had faced professor Quirrell on his own. He had triumphed and drove Voldemort from the professor's body while protecting the Stone; according to Dumbledore, Quirrell had died when Voldemort abandoned him, but Kedar figured the sword he slammed through the Professor's gut would have had the same effect. The body-crumbling-to-ash effect had been Voldemort's abandonment though, and had saved him from any awkward questioning. Dumbledore had also made no attempt to hide the fact that he wanted Kedar to go back to live with his relatives, but Kedar also made it quite clear that if he was sent back to those child abusers than the wizarding world would never see him again; it was a threat he could easily live up to.

Second year had started out appearing as if nothing was going to happen, but the quiet had been as deceptive as the sudden calm before a sandstorm. The sixteen-year-old memory of Tom Riddle, or Voldemort had possessed Ron's little sister and set loose a Basilisk upon the school. Had Kedar not been used to strange things happening around him, he would have thought he was losing his mind when he heard voices coming from within the walls of the school. Things had started to come together during the first lesson of the dueling club when he had been paired up against Draco Malfoy. Malfoy had set a snake upon him and Kedar hadn't panicked like the rest of the student, but had instead started talking to the snake and even went as far as to caress the cobra's scales. It had brought back a fond memory of when he was six or seven and Ardeth had found him sitting in the sand surrounded by cobras and asps; Ardeth had panicked trying to figure out how to get him away from the deadly snakes before realizing that the snakes weren't harming him, but actually playing with him as he hissed at them in their own language. It was a shame that he had to kill the Basilisk in the end, ramming the sword of Godric Gryffindor up through the roof of the serpents mouth, but evil had clouded the serpent's mind and Kedar had not known how to banish it. He was currently trying to discover if desert law forbade the hatching and raising of a basilisk.

Third year, well, third year had been another story. He hadn't actually been in any danger contrary to what everyone thought. Sirius Black had actually been after Peter Pettigrew in order to clear his name. Kedar was just glad he hadn't killed Pettigrew as he originally had intended. He had almost killed Sirius as well and would have had the grim animagus not used Ron's wand to transform Scabbers into Pettigrew. It was Remus who had stopped him from killing Pettigrew, they needed him to clear Sirius, but Kedar had gotten some satisfaction out of incapacitating the rat by severing his hamstrings when he had tried to transform and run. Then, they had all been extremely luck that Sirius had transformed and managed to drive Remus away when there werewolf had taken over. As much as he liked Remus, Kedar would have fallen into the 'it's him of me' category of defense. Kedar himself had spent the summer working on becoming an illegal animagus after seeing the benefits of it.

Kedar turned to smile slightly at Sirius and Remus. Sirius had been cleared of all charges at the beginning of the summer, but Kedar had needed to disappoint the man when he said that he would not come live with him. His home was in the desert with Ardeth after all. Thankfully Sirius, after some very long talks with Remus, had come to accept this as long as Kedar promised to visit them often. It was a promise he had managed to keep with the help of Bill Weasley. He had gotten to know Bill almost as well as he knew Ron and had spent some time with all the Weasley males that summer when they went to see the Quidditch cup. Bill was currently on an excavation job in Egypt for Gringotts and Ardeth had agreed to work with Bill since the tomb being excavated wasn't one the Medjai had much interest in. It was a minor tomb the Medjai didn't hold as important and was not considered a threat to the world, so they didn't mind the Goblins going through it.

"Have fun this year Kedar" Evy said coming up behind him and hugging him "and do watch out for Alex for me."

Kedar smiled at Evy, it had been a surprise for all of them when Alex had received his letter that summer. Evy had become like an older sister to him over the past few years. She worried about him when she was away at school and was constantly sending him things such as books to read or sweets. Kedar shook Rick's hand as he came to stand beside his wife. Rick had become a brother to him as well, though his ideas of gifts were more along the lines of weapons he could use. Rick had even sent him some sticks of dynamite on occasion and Kedar had stopped opening any packages with Rick's handwriting on it at the table. He didn't feel like having his playthings confiscated.

"Don't worry" Kedar reached out to ruffle Alex's hair as Rick so often did; he had learned to adopt a more carefree nature in England so as not to unnerve people so much with his intense focus "I'll keep him out of too much trouble. There's no doubt that he'll be in Gryffindor, unless he lets his Ravenclaw nature take over. Then I won't dare be seen with him as he'll be buried away in the library everyday."

"Hey" Alex playfully knocked his hand away "I'll be a Gryffindor, you just wait."

"I have no doubt of it" Kedar grinned, thinking of the many adventures he had gotten into with the O'Connells over the years "but we have to get on the train before it leaves without us."

A last round of hugs and handshakes were exchanged as Kedar felt himself being pulled into his father's strong arms "be well Kedar, Allah protect you."

Kedar hugged his father back just as firmly "I can't wait until break so that we won't be so far apart. Allah smile upon you, father."

The train whistle sounded, causing Kedar and Alex to break free from their families and race towards the compartment they had staked out earlier.

"Hey mate" Ron greeted Kedar as he entered, Hermione giving a bright "hello."

"Hey" Kedar grinned at his friends "this is Alex. He's starting first year and I've been charged to be his minder."

"I don't need a minder" Alex huffed "I can take care of myself in a fight."

Kedar smiled "I know you can fight, but you don't know all that much about magic as of yet. In a magical duel you wouldn't last. This isn't home, things are different here."

"Whatever" Alex plopped down in a seat, mumbling something that sounded like "can't be any harder than dealing with Imhotep."

Kedar smirked and grabbed his rucksack, pulling out a book to toss to Alex and keeping one for himself.

"That's your potions book" Kedar informed Alex "I suggest you have the whole thing read before your first class with Snape. Either that or you can read later and play chess with Ron now; he'll give you a challenge."

With that, Kedar settled with his book, leaving Ron and Alex to engage in a chess match that gradually became more heated as neither boy could seem to gain the upper hand. Finally though, Ron managed a triumphant checkmate and Alex promptly challenged him to a rematch. Kedar felt amused at that and returned his attention to his book, he and Hermione both taking advantage of their redheaded friend's distraction to get in some much coveted reading time. When it came down to it, Kedar did prefer action to sitting around with a book, but he also realized the value of knowledge. It was a friendly competition between Hermione and himself to be the top of their class each year. So far Kedar had held the lead because while they were equals when it came to knowledge, Kedar had more power and found spell casting easier than Hermione. He also had the advantage of being trained in the way of Sight, something that required great discipline of both the mind and body.

Without any in the compartment truly realizing it, the day around them darkened. Then the announcement came for students to don their robes and prepare to disembark from the train. Casually Kedar stood and shrugged on the robe he had draped over his seat while Ron and Alex scrambled through their trunks for theirs, Hermione already had hers on and started to help Kedar scoop up the sweets they had purchased earlier.

"You should have had your robes out earlier" Hermione lightly chastised Ron and Alex "Alex, you'll have to head to the school with the other first years instead of with us. We'll show you to Hagrid."

Alex looked up from fidgeting with his tie and stiff clothes, trying to get them to sit comfortably underneath his robes "alright."

"Stop fidgeting" Kedar smiled at Alex as Hermione and Ron left the compartment "there's nothing to be nervous about."

"I'm not nervous" Alex denied, glancing at the non-uniform attire Kedar wore beneath his still open robe "this uniform just isn't comfortable. I don't mind the robe, but the rest is annoying. Why don't you have to wear the uniform under your robe?"

Kedar smirked at Alex's complaining "they gave up trying to make me partway through first year, allowing me permission since I grew up within a different culture. They wanted to-how did they put it-'make me feel comfortable' here away from home. Too bad I couldn't wear different robes, but they don't know about the tribe and I want to keep it that way. As it is they merely think I've grown up in a town near Cairo; they know nothing of the Medjai or our dealings with 'things' and we're to keep it that way."

"I know, I know" Alex acted affronted at having been reminded "mum and dad told me only about a hundred times today and every other day since I got my letter."

Kedar smirked again "Hagrid's over there, but give me the gun first. I know your dad slipped you one behind your mum's back. I'll give it back tonight in the dorms, but the path is slippery and we don't want it to accidentally go off-remember that time in Budapest. I doubt we're supposed to have guns, but what they don't know-"

Alex sighed, but didn't protest as he handed over the gun and headed towards Hagrid who was leading the other first years to the boats. Kedar turned and headed in the opposite directions towards the thestral drawn carriages that were waiting to take the older years to the sanctity of the Great Hall.

~~ ~~ ~*~

It wasn't too long after the older years settled themselves down in their seats in the Great Hall, chattering about their vacations and the Quidditch Cup, before the new first years were paraded in behind professor McGonagall. Silence didn't fall in the hall though until the Sorting Hat was brought out to say its piece. Kedar paid close attention to the Hat as he did every year. He didn't know if the other students realized it, but hidden within the Hat's message was usually some type of words of wisdom. After that he tuned out the Sorting until:

"O'Connell, Alexander"

The hat sat upon Alex's head for a good minute though Kedar did not allow that to worry him any, that hat had been on his own head for a few minutes after all when they had been discussing his qualities. Then the hat was yelling out "Gryffindor" and Alex was joining them at the table, taking the seat Kedar had left open next to him for just this occasion.

"Told you I'd be a Gryffindor" Alex announced as the rest of the Sorting finished up.

"As if there was any doubt" Kedar remarked drolly as he began to fill his plate with food, turning to the task of eating as various conversations picked up around him; he was trying to ignore Hermione's harping on the injustice of house-elf slavery.

At the end of the feast though there was more that Dumbledore had to say than just the usual announcements of Filch's list of banned items and the fact that the Forbidden Forest was off limits.

"It is my painful duty to inform you that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup will not take place this year" Dumbledore began, disappointing Kedar since he had been anticipating the first match eagerly, but Dumbledore continued on "this is due to an event that will be starting in October, and continuing throughout the school year, taking up much of the teacher's time and energy-but I am sure you will all enjoy it immensely. I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts-"

But at that moment, there was a deafening tumble of thunder and the doors of the Great Hall banged open. A man stood in the doorway, leaning upon a long staff, shrouded in a black traveling cloak. Every head in the Great Hall swiveled toward the stranger, suddenly brightly illuminated by a fork of lightning that flashed across the ceiling. He lowered his hood, shook out a long man of grizzled, dark gray hair, then began to walk up toward the teachers' table. A dull clunk echoed through the Hall on his every other step. He reached the end of the top table, turned right, and limped heavily toward Dumbledore. Another flash of lightening crossed the ceiling and Hermione gasped.

Even without seeing the mans face, Kedar had known this man was dangerous and had resisted the natural impulse to reach for a dagger, the man's distorted features only proved his feelings correct. The lightning had thrown the man's face into sharp relief, it was a face unlike any even Kedar had ever seen and he had seen some strange ones in his lifetime-decomposing mummies weren't a pretty site after all. This man was still alive though and his face appeared to have been carved out of weathered wood by someone who had only the vaguest idea of what human faces are supposed to look like, and was none too skilled with a chisel. Every inch of skin seemed to be scarred. The mouth looked like a diagonal gash, and a large chunk of the nose was missing. But it was the man's eyes that set Kedar on edge.

One of them was small, dark, and beady. The other was large, round as a coin, and a vivid, burning blue. The blue eye was moving ceaselessly, without blinking, and was rolling up, down, and from side to side, quite independently of the normal eye-and then it rolled right over, pointing into the back of the man's head, so that all they could see was whiteness. The eye was quite obviously infused with magic and Kedar had a suspicion that it could see right through things.

The stranger reached Dumbledore. He stretched out a hand that was as badly scarred as his face; and Dumbledore shook it, muttering words Kedar couldn't hear. He seemed to be asking the stranger something, for the stranger shook his head unsmilingly and replied in an undertone. Dumbledore nodded and gesture the man to the empty seat on his right-hand side. The stranger sat in the proffered chair, shook his man of dark gray hair out of his face, pulled a plate of sausages toward him, raised it to what was left of his nose and sniffed it-a classic sign of paranoia, Kedar thought-before taking a small knife from his pocket and spearing a sausage to eat. All the while the blue eye was still darting restlessly around in its socket, taking in the Hall and the students.

"May I introduce our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher" said Dumbledore brightly into the silence "Professor Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody."

Normally applause would have greeted a new teacher, but none of the staff or students clapped except Dumbledore and Hagrid. Everyone else was too transfixed by Moody's bizarre appearance to do more than stare at him. Kedar used this time to appraise the man and decided that it would be best to be wary around this man, he also wondered what kind of a teacher Moody would be. Kedar had a reasonable distrust for anyone taking up the position of the DADA teacher, after all in his first year the teacher had been possessed by Voldemort and in second the teacher had been a narcissistic fraud. Remus had been awesome on the other hand, as long as you could ignore the fact that he turned into a werewolf every full moon-something Kedar had no problem with

"What happened to him" Hermione whispered in something akin to horror "what happened to his face?"

"Dunno" Ron whispered back, watching Moody with fascination.

Moody seemed totally indifferent to his less-than-warm welcome. Ignoring the jug of pumpkin juice in front of him, he reached again into his traveling cloak, pulled out a hip flask, and took a long draught of it. As he lifted his arm to drink, his cloak pulled a few inches from the ground, and Kedar saw, below the table, several inches of carved wooden leg, ending in a clawed foot. The clearing of Dumbledore's throat called attention back to him.

"As I was saying" he said, smiling at the sea of students before him, all who kept shooting glances at Mad-Eye Moody "we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held for over a century. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."

"You're JOKING" said Fred Weasley loudly, causing the tension in the Great Hall to break as everyone laughed.

"I am not joking, Mr. Weasley" Dumbledore said with a twinkle "though now that you mention it, I did hear an excellent one over the summer about a troll, a hag, and a leprechaun who all go into a bar..."

Dumbledore was stopped by McGonagall clearing her throat loudly "Er-but maybe this is not the was I? Ah yes, the Triwizard Tournament...well, some of you will not know what this tournament involves, so I hope those who do know will forgive me for giving a short explanation and allow their attention to wander freely."

The Headmaster paused to gather his thoughts before beginning "the Triwizard tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the tree largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities-until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the tournament was discontinued."

"Death toll" Hermione whispered while Kedar looked on in a suddenly more marked interest-the tournament had just gotten a bit more exciting than some mere competition used to create international ties.

"There have been several attempts over the centuries to reinstate the tournament" Dumbledore continued "none of which has been successful. However, our own departments of International Magical Cooperation and Magical Games and Sports have decided the time is ripe for another attempt. We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger. The heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving with their short-listed contenders in October, and the selection of the three champions will take place at Halloween. An impartial judge will decide which students are most worthy to compete for the Triwizard Cup, the glory of their school, and a thousand Galleons personal prize money."

"I'm going for it" Fred Weasley hissed down the table, his face lit with enthusiasm at the prospect of such glory and riches-and he wasn't the only one, it seemed most of the school felt the same way.

"Eager though I know all of you will be to bring the Triwizard Cup to Hogwarts" Dumbledore interrupted the sudden whispers "the heads of the participating schools, along with the Ministry of Magic, have agreed to impose an age restriction on contenders this year. Only students who are of age-that is to say, seventeen years or older-will be allowed to put forward their names for consideration. This is a measure we feel is necessary, given that the tournament tasks will still be difficult and dangerous, whatever precautions we take, and it is highly unlikely that students below sixth and seventh year will be able to cope with them. I will personally be ensuring that no underage student hoodwinks our impartial judge into making them Hogwarts champion. I therefore beg you not to waste your time submitting yourself if you are under seventeen."

The Hall had been in an uproar ever since Dumbledore had announced the age limit, many students seeing their dreams of grandeur dying a sudden death.

But Dumbledore wasn't finished speaking yet "the delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving in October and remaining with us for the greater part of this year. I know that you will all extend every courtesy to our foreign guests while they are with us, and will give your whole-hearted support to the Hogwarts champion when he or she is selected. And now, it is late, and I know how important it is to you all to be alert and rested as you enter your lessons tomorrow morning. Bedtime! Chop chop!"

With that Dumbledore sat back down again as the students swarmed out of the hall, many grumbling about the unfairness of the restrictions placed upon the tournament. Kedar remained silent though, he could have sworn he felt the new professor's eye following him as he left the Hall.

The week passed quickly, Kedar balancing his time outside of class between his friends and helping Alex in getting used to life at Hogwarts, and before anyone knew it Thursday was upon them. As usual Kedar rose early to work out so that he didn't lose the edge his years in the desert had given him before heading back up to the dorms to get his roommates and Alex up for breakfast. Yet for all the routine, Kedar was feeling slightly unsettled. Today he would have his first class with Professor Moody and the young Medjai felt wary around the professor for some unknown reason, all his instincts screaming not to trust the man. It wasn't Moody's unsettling appearance either, he had seen worse in the desert and had encountered men with far more dangerous and deadly miens, but still Moody unnerved him. It wasn't a feeling that sat well with Kedar, not at all. This opinion had only been reinforced by Moody turning Draco Malfoy into a ferret and bouncing him up and down for a while. Even though Kedar didn't hold any particular fondness for the Slytherin who had tried to hex him when his back was turned, indeed he was getting fed up with the Slytherin to the point of ignoring his resolve not to let the Malfoy heir bait him into doing something rash, Draco hadn't deserved Moody's idea of punishment; such embarrassment could turn one into a dangerous enemy and Draco could not help his upbringing anymore than Kedar could his own.

So it was that after lunch Kedar found himself queuing up with his classmates outside of the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, a vague mood of disquiet hanging over him in the silence. The bell finally rang and shattered the stillness as Kedar began to file into the room behind Hermione and Ron. As they took their seats and pulled out their texts, Kedar for once wished that they didn't always sit in the front for all their classes as he wanted to put some space between him and Professor Moody. Yet there was nothing Kedar could do about this and already Moody's wooden leg could be heard clumping down the corridor. Taking a deep breath Kedar prepared himself for anything the Professor might throw at them as the grizzled man entered the classroom exuding an aura of danger.

"Put those away" the grizzled man growled, the clunk of his wooden leg punctuating every word as he motioned towards their textbooks "you won't need them."

Many of the students were suddenly excited as they returned their books to their bags and Moody took out the class register. As he called out each name, Moody's normal eye moved down the list, but his magical one roved to fix upon each student as they answered. Once he was satisfied that everyone was present, Moody addressed the class.

"I've had a letter from Professor Lupin about this class. Seems you've had a pretty thorough grounding in tackling Dark creatures-you've covered boggarts, Red Caps, hinkypunks, grindylows, Kappas, and werewolves, is that right?"

Moody didn't wait for an answer before he plowed on, his imposing demeanor keeping the class in line "but you're behind-very behind-on dealing with curses. I'm here to bring you up to scratch on what wizards can do to each other. I've got one year to teach you how to deal with Dark-"

"What, aren't you staying" Ron blurted out suddenly, drawing Moody's attention as he interrupted.

"You'll be Arthur Weasley's son, eh?" Moody asked with an unnerving smile "Your father got me out of a very tight corner a few days ago...Yeah, I'm staying just the one year. Special favor to Dumbledore...One year, and then back to my quiet retirement."

Moody's harsh laugh grated on Kedar's nerves and the young Medjai took a few calming nerves to keep himself in check. He didn't understand why this man bothered him so. He didn't think it was the appearance, knew that it wasn't. Perhaps it was the aura of danger surrounding the man, or perhaps it was just the bad track record he'd had with Defence teachers so far. Kedar tuned back into the lesson and mentally relaxed himself in ways similar to the ones he had been taught to use before a battle. It helped immensely and Kedar soon found himself enjoying the slightly disturbing lesson Moody was giving.

"So-straight into it. Curses. They come in many strengths and forms. Now, according to the Ministry of Magic, I'm supposed to teach you countercurses and leave it at that. I'm not supposed to show you what illegal Dark curses look like until you're in the sixth year. You're not supposed to be old enough to deal with it till then. But Professor Dumbledore's got a higher opinion of your nerves, he reckons you can cope, and I say, the sooner you know what you're up against, the better. How are you supposed to defend yourself against something you've never seen? A wizard who's about to put an illegal curse on you isn't going to tell you what he's about to do. He's not going to do it nice and polite to your face. You need to be prepared. You need to be alert and watchful. You need to put that away, Miss Brown, when I'm talking."

Lavender jumped and blushed. She had been showing Parvati her completed horoscope under the desk. Kedar wondered why they bothered with that class. He hadn't signed up for it as Anhar could teach him what he needed to know about divining, Ancient Runes and Arithmancy had appealed to him more, and according to Hermione the Divination teacher was a fraud and quack. It also appeared that Moody's magical eye could see through solid wood, as well as out of the back of his head.

The lesson continued without much disruption after that as Moody started teaching them about the curses most heavily punished by wizarding law. The first curse to be brought up was the Imperious curse, Moody jerking around his demonstration spider as if it was a puppet on strings. Most of the students were laughing over this display, but there were a few who understood what Moody was showing them. The spider had no free will of it's own while under the curse. Moody could command it to do anything and it would be forced to obey. It wasn't a pretty thought and Moody expounded on that before he gave them a slight bit of hope.

"The Imperious Curse can be fought, and I'll be teaching you how, but it takes real strength of character, and not everyone's got it. Better avoid being hit with it if you can. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" he barked, causing everyone to jump.

Surprisingly Neville offered up the next illegal curse, the Cruciatus Curse, in a trembling voice. For a long moment Moody stared at Neville with both eyes before nodding and turning to draw out another spider and enlarging it so they could see the effects of the curse. Ron skidded back in his chair as the spider swelled to enormous proportions, he was deathly afraid of spiders and this lesson didn't seem to be helping with those fears any.

Moody raised his wand again, pointed it at the spider, and muttered "/Crucio/!"

Immediately the spider began to twitch and convulse, its legs bending in sharply towards its body as if to protect itself and lessen the immense pain it was in. No sound came from it, but Kedar had heard the screams of people under torture and could imagine how horrifying the sound would be if the spider had a voice.

"Stop it" Hermione said shrilly.

Looking over at Hermione, Kedar saw that she had turned away from the sight of the twitching spider to see Neville sitting with clenched hands upon the desk in front of him, eyes wide and horrified. Moody raised his wand, but though the spider relaxed, it continued to twitch.

"Reducio" Moody muttered, and the spider shrank back to its proper size. He put it back in the jar.

"Pain" Moody said softly, this voice almost worse than his growl as Kedar thought he sensed a hint of longing in it "you don't need thumbscrews or knives to torture someone if you can perform the Cruciatus Curse...That one was very popular once too."

Kedar thought he would prefer the thumbscrews and knives, and he had seen them used plenty of times in the desert. He would not lie to himself and say the Medjai were always a peaceful people, they did what had to be done and gave no mercy to their enemies, but to see the Cruciatus curse was an abomination.

"Right...anyone know any others?"

Kedar looked around, he knew the last one, knew the particulars all too well, but he wouldn't be the one to offer it up. Hermione's hand shook slightly as, for the third time, she raised it into the air.

"Yes?" said Moody, looking at her with both eyes.

"Avada Kedavra" Hermione whispered.

Several people looked uneasily around at her, including Ron, before glancing over at him as if to see his reaction. For his part, Kedar remained still and allowed no reaction to show.

"Ah" said Moody, another slight smile twisting his lopsided mouth "yes, the last and worst. /Avada Kedavra/...the Killing Curse."

He put his hand into the jar and the last spider scuttled around frantically, as if knowing what was coming, but of course the spider had no way of evading Moody's twisted fingers. Taking a last bid for freedom, the spider began to scuttle across the wooden surface of Moody's desk, but Moody already had his wand raised and Kedar felt himself tense.

"/Avada Kedavra/!" Moody roared.

There was a flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound, similar to swooping wings as if a vast something was soaring invisibly through the air-instantaneously the spider rolled over onto its back, unmarked, but unmistakably dead. Several of the students stifled cries; Ron had thrown himself backward and almost toppled off his seat as the spider skidded toward him. Kedar continued to hold himself still even as he mused upon this more tangible view of that which had on occasion haunted his dreams, what had filled his head when the dementors had come near him. There seemed to be no pain associated with this unforgivable, no pain, only the desperate fear that came in anticipation of death. He would prefer such a painless death to one filled with torture, or the slow death of blood loss, but then he had already survived the curse once and perhaps his vision of it was skewed. Moody swept the spider off the desk almost disdainfully as if he had just squished it with his hand instead of murdering it with a curse.

"Not nice" he said calmly "not pleasant. And there's no countercurse. There's no blocking it. Only one known person has ever survived it, and he's sitting right in front of me."

Kedar felt as every eye turned to him, as both Moody's eyes locked on him. It was almost as if they expected some reaction from him, but that was something he could not give them, would not give them. How was he to explain that he was glad to know his parents had died by the killing curse rather than know they had been tortured? How was he supposed to feel about witnessing something he had once survived? For all he knew he would be able to survive the curse again and had no reason to worry about it, or perhaps the next time he came face-to-face with that curse it would claim his life. But then there were a lot of things that could claim a person's life, a lot more tangible things: swords, knives, guns, spiders, snakes, scorpions, scarabs, the desert, resurrected mummies seeking destruction, people themselves. It wasn't the green colored light or even the words that killed, it was the person who gave intent to the spell that killed. There was no reason to fear the spell itself, but rather the person fueling the spell.

"Avada Kedavra's a curse that needs a powerful bit of magic behind it-you could all get your wands out now and point them at me and say the words, and I doubt I'd get so much as a nosebleed" Moody was saying "but that doesn't matter. I'm not here to teach you how to do it."

Kedar felt he could disprove that notion if he had a strong enough reason to want to kill Moody, even the weakest of people could do awesome things if their intent was strong enough.

"Now, if there's no countercurse, why am I showing you? /Because you've got to know/. You've got to appreciate what the worst is. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're acing it. CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" Moody roared the last into the room, making some people jump.

"Now...those three curses-/Avada Kedavra/, Imperius, and Cruciatus-are known as the Unforgivable Curses. The use of any one of them on a fellow human being is enough to earn a life sentence in Azkaban. That's what you're up against. That's what I've got to teach you to fight. You need preparing. You need arming. But most of all, you need to practice constant, /never-ceasing vigilance/. Get out your quills...copy this down..."

They spent the rest of the lesson taking notes on each of the Unforgivable Curses. No one spoke for the rest of the lesson, but as soon as they were dismissed from class almost no one seemed able to keep quiet. No one except for Neville and Kedar that is. Almost everyone else was suddenly taking the class as some sort of entertainment, not truly grasping the effects those curses had on people. To see it performed on spiders in the safety of the classroom was one thing, and most children in the wizarding world of their age group led a pretty sheltered life when it came to realities such as war. Kedar stopped next to Neville, Hermione on his other side; Ron was somewhere behind them talking with Dean and Seamus.

"Neville?" Hermione asked gently, prompting the boy to turn to her and began speaking nonsense in a slightly higher voice than was the norm for the clumsy Gryffindor.

Kedar didn't beat around the bush, it wouldn't help Neville at all "it was the Cruciatus that got to you, wasn't it? Someone you know was tortured under it."

"Yes" Neville's voice was utterly miserable "my-my..."

Kedar understood; Neville had never talked about his parents after all, only his grandmother "your parents."

Neville nodded and opened his mouth as if to say more, but the clunking of Moody's peg leg interrupted them as the man himself walked up behind them. The three of them fell silent, Kedar and Hermione watching as he spoke to Neville in a much lower and gentler growl than they had yet heard; it was almost enough to cause Kedar to ignore the strange distrust he felt around the man.

"It's all right, sonny" he said to Neville. "Why don't you come up to my office? Come on...we can have a cup of tea..."

Neville looked even more frightened at the prospect of tea with Moody. He neither moved nor spoke. Moody turned his magical eye upon Kedar.

"You all right, are you, Potter?"

"Fine, sir" Kedar replied evenly before turning to Neville, he could tell the boy didn't want to go with Moody, but didn't know what to do about it without obviously inviting himself along "I'll see you at dinner, Neville. We can talk then."

Neville nodded before nervously following after Moody, Moody telling him about some books he had that might interest him. Ron caught up with Kedar and Hermione.

"What was that about" Ron asked, watching Neville and Moody turn the corner.

"I don't know" Hermione replied, keeping Neville's secret to herself; if Neville wanted people to know, he would tell them in his own time.

"Some lesson, though, eh?" said Ron to Kedar as they set off for the Great Hall. "Fred and George were right, weren't they? He really knows his stuff, Moody, doesn't he? When he did >i>Avada Kedavra, the way the spider just died, just snuffed it right-"

Kedar gave Ron a look of disbelief and the other boy fell silent. He already knew that Ron had next to no tact at all, but after all they had been through over the years, surely the redhead would have come to understand that stuff like this wasn't for fun and to be entertaining. The rest of the walk to dinner was spent in silence and Kedar could only shake his head as he heard people continuing to praise their lesson with Moody through the meal. Besides himself, Neville, and Hermione, didn't any of them understand?
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