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Drabble Vomit Thread;

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Jormungandr, Jun 22, 2012.

  1. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Fuck yeah I want me those reviews! Let me know when they're up.

    Heh. Well, if I can't mock myself who can I mock? I am intending to get back on the consistent update pony, however. I'm cheating and writing a bunch of updates ahead of time, then posting them once a fortnight, perhaps. Eh, we'll see. That's the plan.
     
  2. Lindsey

    Lindsey Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    As no one has posted in here for almost a year, I shall do the honors. I wrote a scene of my story I am quite proud of. Here we go!

    ------

    Voldemort summoned Harry to the courtyard on the night of the full moon. It marked the first time of their weekly meetings to be held at night, and the first outside. The moon half retreated behind the moving clouds, its pale light failing to fully illuminate the shadows.

    The Dark Lord stood in a ray of moonlight. A shallow silver bowl rested in front of him, reflecting the night sky. Beside it, laid a small silver blade.

    Harry waited between the entrance and Voldemort, watching as Voldemort leaned over and touched the liquid in an urn with his wand.

    "Come, Harry."

    Harry stepped over the line of what looked to be ash, and into the diagram. The whole courtyard was covered in strange lines, made of blackened earth and slivers of both burnt and unburnt wood. The stone was cold under his bare feet.

    "It is time to see the results of your learning," said Voldemort.

    Harry neared. He could now see two small sticks about the same size of a wand but thicker. They were made of different kinds of wood. The moonlight reflected the runes carved within them.

    "What is this?" questioned Harry. He knew it was a ritual of some kind.

    "A way to find an item that belongs to us."

    "Us?" He knew not of an object that belonged to them.

    Voldemort turned away from the swirling silver liquid. His twisted features prominent in the moonlight.

    "Have you ever wondered why I tried to kill you that night?"

    Harry's stomach lurched. The Dark Lord's eyes gleamed.

    "Why?" Harry all but breathed.

    "Many years ago there was a prophecy... A prophecy that told of a boy soon to be born with the ability to vanish me... "

    The very air seemed to still. The voice of Sibyll Trelawney's echoed in his memories; the harsh and hoarse tones predicting the servant rejoining the master.

    "I was foolish. Short-sighted. I set out to fulfill the prophecy... determined to make sure it did not come to pass. In my haste, I lost everything."

    He felt as though something was closing in upon him. The desire building in his chest made it difficult to breathe. He couldn't let this opportunity slip by him again, not like the many times with Dumbledore.

    "Tell me," Harry demanded.

    Voldemort's lips curled like he was amused with Harry's demands. Nonetheless, he complied.

    "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies..."

    It felt, for a moment, as if the entire world had ended. The silence in the courtyard was absolute. Nothing could muffle the sound of his heart beating furiously in his chest.

    "It means... me?" The words felt heavy in his throat.

    "At the time, perhaps not," said Voldemort. "Now, it is most certainly you."

    "Why?" whispered Harry, his world still spinning. "How do you know?"

    Voldemort surprised him by smiling, something broad and faintly patronizing, but amused all the same.

    "Did you not vanquish me for a time?"

    "It's what you are after, isn't it?" Harry’s voice faltered and he cleared his throat. "It's what you've been searching for. What the Order has been talking about keeping safe? The reason you send your snake to the Ministry? It was for the prophecy?"

    "Yes." Voldemort smiled approvingly.

    "But... why?" Harry felt as if he was missing something. Why would Voldemort want a prophecy he already knew?

    "What I have is... incomplete."

    "Incomplete?"

    "My loyal servant heard only part of the prophecy before being detected by Dumbledore."

    Harry froze. Dumbledore had known from the very beginning... He looked towards the ground, feeling a weird sort of calm come over him. Of course, Dumbledore had known... he always knew.

    Voldemort must have caught a glimpse of the emotions building on his face.

    "He did not tell you." It was not a question. "Dumbledore always liked to keep his secrets... keep his control."

    He did not want to think about Dumbledore, and the betrayal growing within.

    "There is more?"

    "Yes." There was determination in his voice. "We should know it, own it. It is ours."

    Harry stared. "How can we get it? Where is it?"

    Voldemort reached out towards Harry’s face, and despite himself, Harry flinched, not sure what to expect. Voldemort’s smile broadened, his fingers pausing before sliding down a strand of Harry’s hair.

    Leaning into Harry, Voldemort said, “If you want to know more, you must help me to retrieve it.”

    Harry frowned, wanting to ask more questions, but Voldemort was clearly finished with the conversation. He turned away.

    For a moment Harry lingered, knowing full well he should not help the Dark Lord.

    Yet, he stepped forward, swallowing hard against the tightness in his throat. He pushed down any feeling of betrayal. This prophecy was the reason his parents were dead, the reason for everything in his life. He wanted to know. Needed to know.

    Voldemort took one look at Harry's face, a lazy smile spreading across his face like a cat presented with a bowl of cream.

    "Kneel," commanded Voldemort, himself kneeling in front of the empty silver bowl.

    After Harry knelt, Voldemort removed the urn’s lid and with perfect control tipped out its contents into the shallow silver dish. The thick and shiny silver liquid pooled, slowly spreading across the whole of the dish. The musty scent of Mugwort with a hint of Jasmine filled the air.

    As Voldemort stirred the liquid with his wand, he began to talk.

    "The Department of Mysteries is a secret and terrible place. It is filled with magic both more wonderful and terrible than you could imagine. The Unspeakables dedicate their entire life to studying, researching and understanding what magic is, and what it can be. The Room of Prophecies lays within the Department of Mysteries. Every Prophecy in England, heard or otherwise, sits within this room, and only those who the prophecies belong to can touch them."

    The moon parted from the clouds.

    "Before us is an old Greek Divination ritual I have mortified to bypass the protections of the Room of Prophecies. Before us, in the bowl is blessed pure water gathered at a spring mixed with liquid silver and various sight-awakening herbs."

    He picked up the two rune lined sticks and handed the lighter colored one to Harry. It matched his wand.

    "This is our demand. The desire to see into the unknown... into what belongs to us."

    The runes were unfamiliar to Harry. He rotated the stick slowly. It felt comfortable as if it had once been apart of him. In the back of his mind, he remembered what these were. Celtic Oghams.

    Voldemort gestured to the knife. "Blood is our proof of who we are. That we are the rightful owners. There are no others."

    His movements were calm and sure, as he sliced his hand, squeezing droplets of blood onto his own Yew Ogham. The blood on the knife vanished, as Voldemort passed him the blade.

    For a second, Harry stared at the silver blade in his hand. This was his last chance to back out.

    Quickly, he knicked his hand, allowing the blood to siphon onto the Holly Ogham. It is the runes that fill with his blood.

    "Now place your Ogham into the bowl."

    Harry mimicked Voldemort, lightly placing his Ogham into the swirling liquid.

    The blood was leached from the Ogham, swirling together with the silver, never mixing. Something was building, a sense of something old. Voldemort grinned.

    "Together, with our brother wands, we can do the impossible."

    They hold out their wands. Inexpressibly Harry knows what was next.

    "Incendio."

    The flames leapt out of their wands, setting the Oghams ablaze. The flames spread across the liquid, growing hotter, hotter... There was a roaring in his ears. He swayed slightly under the flood of energy. It was not from his wand, or from the flames in front of him, but deep within himself and all around him. Voldemort roared with laughter.

    Harry's blood hummed as it burns.

    Awareness came to him, flowing into him through the vine-like magic, teaching him to sense things as never before. Where before he had felt and seen and heard, he now felt and tasted and smelled.

    He could smell the scent of decay and dust and heard footsteps in the distance.

    In the flames, they began to see.

    They were soaring through the clouds, through the ground, stone and dirt... hurling along the corridor towards what he knew was the Department of Mysteries. They past the blank stone walls, past the torches-- the plain black door before them was growing ever larger. They were moving so fast, he was sure they would crash... soon they were a few feet from it, and they could see the faint blue light again --

    They past through the door with ease. Harry felt a rush that was not his own: through... through at last. Inside a black-walled, black-floored circular room lit with blue flamed candles. There were more doors around them... They moved forward straight across the stone floor and through the second door where patches of dancing lights flickered in his vision. They glimpsed rooms filled with mysterious things, but did not stop...

    They vanished through another door and Harry knew this was the place.

    They were in a cathedral-sized room full of shelves and glass spheres. Harry heart raced. When they reached isle ninety-seven, they turned left and slid along the aisle between two rows.

    They stopped.

    Before them was a small glass sphere, glowing with a dull inner light. Their names were fixed to a yellowish label beneath the dusty ball. Harry felt winded, weak, as if he had not eaten in days, but he reached for the sphere. He needed to.

    The world exploded in a clap of thunder and light.

    He slammed back into his body, flat on the stones, gasping and coughing for air.

    The bowl was no longer whole but shattered into countless pieces, the fire extinguished. All that was left of the Oghams were ash and dust.

    Voldemort rose, his expression unreadable. With a sweep of his wand, he vanished the objects.

    "Far older magic rests in that room. It will only be physical touch that will allow us the access we desire."

    Voldemort speared the spot with a hard glance, the moon sliding out from behind a cloud, falling across his face in cold, hard light. He seemed older, more weary.

    "Go to bed, Harry. We will discuss this another time." He clapped his hands. Mykola appearing with a pop.

    He strolled from the courtyard, leaving an exhausted Harry and the house-elf behind.
     
  3. Shodan

    Shodan First Year

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    So I had this idea for a MCU crossover, and after watching Endgame I wrote 1500 words for it (This doesn't spoiler Endgame). Basically, the three Hallows are one of the Infinity Stones, forged into three artifacts. Harry talks to Hermione when he gets a visit from Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian.

    It's not polished or anything, pretty much just pasted what I wrote.



    “Harry, are you listening to me?”

    Harry blinked, focusing his gaze on Hermione. She was sitting across from him at the kitchen table at Grimmauld Place, watching him with a frown.

    “I’m sorry,” he said, and he really was. “I’m trying, but it’s getting really hard.”

    “But that doesn’t make any sense! We’ve looked into everything, spoke to experts all around the world, tried spells, potions and enchantments. This shouldn't be happening.”

    Her voice was laced with the same frustration that he felt himself. It was hard to think about anything else. He had spent so much time trying to find answers, had given up everything- his position in the Auror Department, his relationship to Ginny, even the weekly games of Quidditsch he used to play with Ron and some friends from Hogwarts-, and yet, he was still where he had started. The Hallows-

    There it was again.

    At first, it had been small things, not really noticeable: His plan to leave the three Deathly Hallows behind had been forgotten a few days after their victory against Voldemort, and he had gone back into the Forbidden Forest to pick up the Resurrection Stone. He had told himself that it was just simple curiosity, that he wanted to study the fabled artifacts he had assembled, but looking back now, he realized that this was the first sign that something was wrong. He had never had any interest or skill in studying enchanted objects, and the bloody history of the Elder wand had made it clear that the Hallows attracted trouble and violence, something of which he’d had enough for the rest of his life.

    From there, it had slowly grown. After he had joined the Auror office and went on his first few missions, he had started to take the Elder wand with him on the more dangerous ones. It would be a shame not to use this powerful tool at his disposal, he had tried to rationalize, and it would be a great boon in their pursuit of the last remaining Death Eaters.

    And it had been a boon. Wielding the Elder wand, he felt invincible. Some spells had always come easy to him, but with others, he had struggled, going through the motions and incantations for hours until he could produce a barely satisfactory result.

    But the Hallow took all these troubles away. Suddenly, his only limit was his imagination, a single flick of his wrist enough to perform feats he’d never thought possible before. His opponents had been like children- clumsy and limited-, and the public had loved him even more.

    Harry Potter, Defeater of Voldemort and Terror of Death Eaters, the newspapers had said, and he had to admit that he’d enjoyed the admiration. It was for his own actions, after all, not for some incident he had no memory of.

    Only when Ron, Hermione and Ginny had confronted him about the changes he had undergone had he realized that something was wrong.

    The Hallows wanted to be used. They were a constant pull on his consciousness, a whisper in the back of his head. When he didn’t have them with him, they were always on his mind and he became restless and uneasy, worrying that someone might try to steal them from him.

    “You’re doing it again, Harry,” Hermione interrupted his thoughts, her voice soft. She leaned forwards over the table, grasping his hands in her own. “We’re worried about you. We all are, even Ginny. It can’t go on like this.”

    Her eyes were glittering with tears, and Harry felt a pang of guilt. It wasn’t right, that he caused them so grief.

    “I know,” he said and sighed. “But I don’t know what to do, Hermione. I’m at my wits end. I feel like I should just carry them around with me all the time, but you know how much trouble that has caused in the past. I tried to hide them, to give them away, to destroy them, but nothing worked. I don’t know what to do.”

    He leaned back in his chair, pulling his hands from Hermione’s and closing his eyes. He felt the dull pain of a growing headache, like it always was when he spent too much time trying to figure this out.

    The Hallows were a puzzle that didn’t want to be solved, he thought. It was a scary thought. Was spells could give three objects this much power, even centuries after they’d been created?

    Even the monks of Hainan, known to be the greatest enchanter on Earth, hadn’t recognized any of the spells.

    “I will go to Alexandria again,” Hermione said and Harry suppressed a sigh. “They possess some of the oldest magical records known to wizards. If we can find something on their creation, maybe-”

    She was interrupted by a loud pop, and Kreacher appeared next to them, a silver tray with two cups of tea floating next to him. His head was bowed and his skin full of deep wrinkles, and it would probably be a matter of months until he wouldn’t be able to perform his tasks in the house any more, Harry thought sadly. Over the past years, he had grown very fond of the old House elf. After they had helped him fulfill Regulus last order, Kreacher had warmed up to him considerably, and even though he had never completely overcome his prejudice against Muggleborns, they had formed some sort of genial relationship.

    But even after he passed away, he would be only three turns of the Resurrection Stone away…

    “Thank you, Kreacher,” Harry said, giving him a small smile and forcing these thoughts to an end. The house elf mumbled something unintelligible, placing the two cups on the table, before disappearing again with another pop.

    When he turned back to Hermione, she was watching him silently.

    “I don’t know, Hermione. You’ve done so much, and I really appreciate that, but nothing’s worked so far. Maybe it’s just time to… accept it. I don’t want to draw you into this even more. You deserve some peace and quiet.”

    “What, and you think that we will just watch and do nothing while you’re having all this trouble? Do you know us that little? Even Ron has picked up a few books, trying to do something, and you know how often that happens.”

    Harry snorted, and Hermione gave him a watery smile.

    “We will find something, Harry. You won’t have to live your entire life in fear, always watching your back. These Hallows have been created somehow, and for every charm, there is a counter. We will-”

    Harry held up his hand, silencing her. Something was making him uneasy, a prickling in the back of his head.

    “What’s going-”

    Before Hermione could finish her question, the kitchen wall exploded. Harry was thrown out of his chair, the air forcefully pressed from his lungs, before he crashed on the ground near the fireplace. Stones and glass were falling down on him, but he didn’t care.

    This was what he was used to.

    In an instant, the Elder wand was in his hand and he jumped to his feet, a Banishing charm clearing the air from all the dust and rubble. Hermione was lying not far from him, groaning weakly, and Harry let out a sigh of relief when she pushed herself to her feet.

    When he took in the kitchen, however, his mouth tightened with a grim frown. The entire room was destroyed, the furniture torn to shreds, the paintings and photos ripped apart. A giant hole gaped in the wall, revealing the street that was strangely devoid of any afternoon traffic.

    No, it wasn’t empty, Harry corrected himself. A woman was laying on the sidewalk, not moving. He could smell smoke from nearby.

    Someone had attacked him in his own home.

    Hot, boiling anger surged up within him as he stepped through the wall and onto the street, his robes blowing behind him. Very few people had dared to attacked him in the open like this, ever since he had made a point of showing no mercy to those that tried.

    But this… It was unacceptable.

    “I must admit that it came as a surprise, to find the the Keeper of the fabled Soul Stone on a backwater world like this one.”

    The voice was cool and snooty, and when Harry turned to face the speaker, wand raised, he had to keep the surprise from his face. Two being where standing not far from him, and it was clear that they were not human, or of any other magical race he had ever seen before.

    One of them seemed more like a beast, with strong limbs and broad shoulders, his skin like dark leather. His face had nothing human to it, its features twisted and brutish. He wore strange, alien armor and lifted something that looked like a larger angkor like it was a weapon.

    The other one seemed more familiar. He was tall and slender, and he had pale skin and a flat nose that reminded Harry briefly of Voldemort. But that was nonsense, of course. The man wore a tidy dark uniform that was adorned with golden rings around the collar.

    “I don’t know who you are,” Harry said, “But this was a mistake.” The Elder wand vibrated with excitement as he prepared to cast his first spell, only barely keeping its power contained in the wood. “You should not have come here.”

    His wand slashed down, and a flash of white lightning split the air.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  4. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Didn't read anything after that. Spoiler this shit.
     
  5. Shodan

    Shodan First Year

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    ...This isn't a spoiler for Endgame. It uses a scene from Infinity War. There's absolutely nothing about Endgame in this.
     
  6. Arthellion

    Arthellion Lord of the Banned ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    Ah good to know. Just trying to avoid being spoiled.
     
  7. Deplore

    Deplore Seventh Year

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    Was bored, came up with One Punch Man crossover with HP......except, Harry Potter is King. If you guys know anything about King, it's something similar. Will contain spoiler about manga and webcomic.

    Sorta parody, sorta serious?

    ----------------
    Harry looked up in annoyance at the stall door as the bathroom door banged and rattled ominously. “Com’on, what does it take for a bloke to pee in peace here?!” Shaking off droplets, he rose and buttoned up his pants. As he was exiting the stall, the bathroom door lost the battle and was thrown clean across the bathroom. A massive grey hand gripped the edge of the door frame, then a monstrous creature poked its head in. Crouching forward, the creature entered the bathroom, using the door frame as support. Once in, the creature rose to its full 12’ height, revealing itself to be a troll.

    “Well, bugger me. That’s new.” Harry blinked, then wrinkled his nose. “Dude, do you ever wash yourself? You smell worse than this bathroom.” The troll apparently did not take kindly to the comments, as it roared in (apparent) anger and raised the absolutely massive bludgeon that Harry only just now noticed over its head. “Crud.”

    Jumping backwards, Harry missed being pancaked by the bludgeon, but he did not miss being showered by broken flying marbles and rock shards. The flying shrapnel cut up his face and arms, and he staggered backward in alarm. The troll had apparently overextended itself in the overhead slam, and fell forward, its free arm outstretched toward Harry’s face. Luckily, it was not able to grab Harry, however it was close enough to rake Harry’s face with three fingers, causing three deep gash to open on his left side.

    Crabbing backwards, Harry shakily picked up his fallen glasses and pulled out his wand. All of his wizard training left him as he floundered on what spell to use. “What the hell am I supposed to use on this thing? I’m just a first year!” The troll slammed its free arm onto the ground, using it as leverage to raise its body. As it regained its footing, Harry became more panicked. He looked for a way out, but could not see a way out save the sole door way past the troll. The troll raised its bludgeon once more, and Harry cast the first spell that came to his mind, “Wingardium Leviosa!”

    The spell hit the raised bludgeon, levitating it as the troll tried to swing it. Unbalanced yet again, the troll fell forward with a great crash, crushing several stalls under its weight. The loud noise and the shaking ground broke Harry’s concentration and the bludgeon fell harmlessly on the ground, rolling between Harry and the troll. Now truly angered, the troll roared and it slammed both of its arm on the ground, causing a minor quake. Rising to its full height once more, it took a step closer. Panicking once more, Harry recast the levitation charm on the bludgeon.

    Unfortunately, as he only was a first year, he was not able to fully raise the bludgeon. The bludgeon’s handle rose up, with the heavier head still on the ground. In fact, the way Harry did it made it easier for the troll to pick up the bludgeon, which it attempted to do so. Coming forward, it stepped on a broken pipe. The metal pipe rolled backward, unbalancing the troll once more and it fell forward with a scream….directly on the raised bludgeon, impaling it through its mouth and out back. Blood and ichor sprayed toward Harry, covering him and his wounds.

    As Harry shakily stepped toward the wall, intend on giving the troll a wide berth, Professor McGonagall and Professor Quirrell ran into the bathroom. As Professor McGonagall would later relay to a captivated audience in the teacher’s conference room, “When I ran in, the bathroom was absolutely demolished. I mean it, there was hardly a toilet or sink standing. And dear Harry…oh poor boy, he was absolutely drenched in that awful troll’s blood. And that awful wound! Poppy tells me that three scratches over his left eye will now be permanent scars because of the troll’s blood! Oh no, you mustn’t worry Pomona, his eye is unhurt. But poor boy, to have experienced so much… There was such an awful racket coming from there, that troll was still alive…we all could hear its heartbeat, it was so loud…”


    ----------------


    “What happened Quirinus?”

    “Ah, master….well. The brat somehow survived.”

    “A first year? Against a fully grown jungle troll? I distinctly remember you assuring me that not even the seventh years could stall it, let alone defeat it. And yet….”

    “….”

    “….he manages to kill it. With one spell.”

    “….Mast—”

    “I grow weary, Quirinus. Your delays, setbacks and excuses are becoming tiresome. You have one last chance. Fail in that…well, I suppose you’ll find out what I can truly do, even in this odious form.”

    “Understood master, you are most generous.”


    ----------------


    “Hello my little scarred friend.”

    “Hello indeed, scarface.”

    “Scarface is a bit tacky, isn’t it Georgy?”

    “Why yes, yes it is, Freddy. Why, do you have a better suggestion?”

    “Indeedio I do, Georgio. I propose…. ‘The Scarred Hero!’

    “Fredilio, you disappoint me. Such plebian name is undeserving of such grand character as our dearest---”

    “What do two idiots want with me?” Harry finally looked up in annoyance, his concentration finally shattered. He was in the library, in a booth surrounded with books. As the midterms were finally coming up, and with Snape having taken to a new heights of indiscriminate point docking and petty comments about his newly acquired scars, he needed all the help. And these twined idiots were not helping.

    The left twin, Fredilio, raised his hand over his heart in mock outrage. “And here I was thinking out dear old Harry wanted that greasy git’s old tests…” The right twin took over, “But alas, it seems that we’ve been mistaken.”

    Narrowing his eyes, Harry lowered his book, “And you two will offer the bat’s old tests out of goodness of your hearts?”

    “Alas, he has made us!”

    “Indeedio my less handsome brother! It is as you surmised, my tiny scarred friend. It is but one simple task…”

    “How did I let myself be talked into this? This is pure suicide.” Harry muttered angrily to himself as he sneak-stalked toward the third floor. “‘Oh nothing much,’” He mimicked in a falsetto high pitched voice, “‘We only want a sample. A teeny tinesy sample. From a dog. Oh, and it has three heads. Good luck!’”

    “Unfortunately for my stupid little ass, the test sample they provided was genuine. And I’m supposed to sneak up to a Cerberus, a puppy mind you, snatch a few hair, and sneak out without being mauled to death? What a crock of bull. And why am I the moron who’s actually going to do it?! Oh right, the cloak. And my potion grade. That’s why. Ugh. At least it’s a puppy?”

    Finding the appropriate door, he donned The Cloak and very slowly pushed the door in. Taking the utmost care not to make a single iota of noise, he very slowly stepped in, taking agonizing minutes to take a single step as not to allow the silky fabric of the Cloak to rustle over itself and thus alert the dog. After closing the door without making a single sound, he turned around and almost shouted in fear. Instead a very quiet squeak escaped his mouth.

    From deep within the room, three massive pairs of ears twisted toward his direction. The Cerberus continued to snore loudly, all three heads resting over its equally massive paws. But the ears were perked toward him. ‘That’s…..not a puppy.’ Harry finally managed to think after his terror finally subsided just enough to retain rational thoughts. Indeed the Cerberus was not a puppy as the Twins indicated. Each of the paws were as wide as he was tall, and the jaws were so massive that they could easily devour him whole in a single bite. ‘Or that’s a puppy in Cerberus terms. Why is it here in a school?’

    He deliberated his options and finally decided that it wasn’t worth being dismembered or dying for a letter on a piece of paper. Turning around, he gripped the door handle and pulled. Nothing happened. Panicking, he exerted more force – and still the door didn’t budge. His breath came out in short gasps as he fruitlessly pulled on the door….before a low rumbling noise made him freeze. Slowly turning his head, he realized that all three heads were now staring straight at him.

    In his panic, he hadn’t noticed that the cloak had fallen around his shoulder, exposing his face. That, along with his frantic attempt to open the door had served to wake the Cerberus. And it did not look happy if the low growls were anything to go by. Giving a weak smile, he uttered, “Ummm….good doggy?”

    The growls grew to a crescendo. He frantically pulled the cloak over his head and jumped to his right…and not a moment too soon, as one of the head darted forward and bit the empty place where he used to be. The other two heads started look around, sniffing loudly. The Cerberus body shook itself awake, and with a deep thud it rose to its full height. Each footstep it took shook the room. Harry was practically glued to the wall as he scooted along, taking great care not to make audible panting noise or allow any part of his body to escape the confinement of the cloak.

    The Cerberus showed its displeasure of having its prey escaping it by attacking the empty space around the door with its paws, its claws making a horrific screeching noise as it scraped the stone. Harry flinched, but determinedly scooted along, toward the rear of the room….toward another door. Reaching it, he waited until the Cerberus made a large swipe at the right wall, and opened the door during the resultant screech and slammed it close behind him, plunging him into deep darkness.


    ----------------


    Minerva once again was in the center of attention, regaling her tale to an enthralled audience in the teacher’s conference room. Even the ditty Sybill Trelawney was there with her ever present bottle of cheap dwarven brandy – if only to know why there was such a racket going on the floor beneath her. She swayed in her chair, but her attention was solely focused on Minerva.

    “My oh my, I knew this whole Stone business was just terrible. You remember, Filius, of course you do, of how I entreated Albus not to bring that dreadful Stone here. I just knew something was going to happen! And poor Harry had to be involved in this whole terrible business. Severus, be quiet.

    “Now, where was I? Ah yes. I thought that the whole troll business getting loose and then killed by Harry was bad, but no, this is worse. That Cerberus….excuse me, Fluffy, was…..ah, how do I put it? It was….coating the room. No, that wasn’t a hyperbole – Rubeus dear, I’m sorry you had to see that, you have my deepest condolences. I…I….don’t know how Quirinus managed to do it, but he lured Harry into the trap. Albus thinks that he may have been a relic, a sleeper agent from the Blood War. He may have been awakened through a trigger. Regardless, somehow, someway, he lured Harry into that dreadful room, and indeed when I saw the condition of the room, I feared the worst.

    “But Albus insisted that Harry was still alive, apparently the Wards were able to tell him that much, at least. So we went into the second room. Pomona, your Devil’s Snare…I’ve never seen anything like it. Just pile of ashes, everywhere. Didn’t you say that your Snare was a crossbreed? Something to do with fire immunity? Oh, indeed? Whatever it was, it certainly didn’t stop Harry. Well, I’m just saying what I saw there. Blackened walls, ash everywhere. If it wasn’t fire, then what?

    “Ah, you want to know how he bypassed your room, Filius? No, he didn’t pick up the cursed brooms, or chase after the keys or anything like that. He didn’t even touch it, your room was the most intact one. All he did was to remove the door hinges and pull the door out. Yes, he thought like a muggle…but tell me Severus, would you have been able to get out of that room without using a shred of magic? Be honest.

    “As I was saying….well. My own room. I don’t know what that boy is studying during his free time, but all of my chess pieces were smashed to pieces. He also didn’t trigger the hidden trap, I have no clue how he saw through that.

    “And well, Quirinus room….let’s just say I found a dead colony and leave it at that. Yes Severus? Actually, yes. You’re correct, he didn’t solve your puzzle. He didn’t need to—I wasn’t finished Severus. He cast the flame freezing charm on the table, flipped it over, slid it over the firewall, and walked over the table. No? You’re more than welcome to look, that table was still there when we got there.

    “And the final room…my goodness, so much blood everywhere. I honestly thought the absolute worst when I saw him. He had lost so much blood, he was so pale. But ah….it may have been my imagination, but I could’ve sworn that I heard a loud heart beating noise when I finally saw Harry in that room. Yes Filius? Ah that traitorous Quirinus was dead too, good riddance. No, I don’t know what happened to the Stone, my only priority was young Harry. I’m happy to report that Poppy reports his condition to be stable and he should be making a full recovery by tomorrow.”




    ----------------
    Time skip, undetermined time into future
    ----------------



    Harry trundled along in the deep tunnel, quivering in anger. “Six! There are six of us! Six people split into groups of two, which would mean three people on each group. That’s basic logic….!” He raised his fists up to the darkened ceiling, “So why am I all by myself?!”

    “Right, just because I’m ‘King’….what a crock of bullshit. I’m the biggest fraud there ever was, I’m worse than useless. I do hope I don’t meet anyone here….” Due to his strange brand of luck, ever since from his first encounter with the troll way back in first year, people have thought Harry to be capable of impossible tasks. With his reputation cemented after Voldemort’s demise which was, of course, attributed to him despite being on the other side of the country and having nothing to do with it, his services as a mercenary was very highly sought after.

    Now entire corporations, governments and military organizations (both legitimate and illegitimate) were in endless fight among each other to secure his services. Harry had set a truly insane price to deter them from hiring him, but it had the opposite effect. Competition was actually getting fiercer as agents upon agents would assassinate rival faction agents, sometimes right in front of him, burn their contracts, and present their own. And Harry, owing to his special brand of luck, would somehow blunder his way out through an active warzone (multiple times!) and in the aftermath, would somehow be credited for some of the most impossible and bizarre actions ever.

    ‘Like the one time I duked it out with four Ancients (vampires) at the same time, defeated all of them, managed to sneak into the Fortress of Solitude and rescue the Hennessey Heiress. Yeah right. The Ancients fought among themselves and they all managed to fatally injure each other at the same time. And the sneaking? I just walked through the front door, asked for directions to her cell, unlocked the cell, and walked out. No idea how I wasn’t stopped. Not like I was trying to hide either.’

    Harry sighed loudly. “Now we’re supposed to rescue this VIP hostage. I really hope I don’t get to meet anyone. Shame my cloak is gone, I would love to fade away….I’m an invisible cloud, floating away….” He shook his head, “No no, that’s too lofty, it’ll distract me. Ah yes. Ahem….I’m an invisible wind, flittering by, noticed by no one….oooohmmm….”

    “Is that you King?”

    Harry practically jumped out of his skin, sweat immediately beading on his forehead. Slowly turning around, he saw the VIP hostage standing a ways behind him. She was a cute little girl, and she was alone. ‘WHY ME?!’ Harry internally despaired.

    “Omigawd King, I’m so happy to find you! I’ve been so scared, these men are so creepy! Please take me to my mommy!” She gushed in happiness as she ran toward Harry. Harry’s rising panic at her approachment made his heartbeat audible, it became so loud that it turned into a roar.

    BADATHUM, BADATHUM, BADATHUM.

    The VIP kid skidded to a halt just before Harry, frightened. “It’s me! I’m just a kid! Please don’t kill me!”

    Gathering his courage, Harry engaged his well-practiced bluff. With the King’s engine roaring in background, he loomed menacingly over the girl. His face was shrouded in darkness despite the bright tunnel, with only a silver showing his scarred left eye and glinting glasses. “YOU HAVE COME TO THE WRONG PERSON,” he menacingly growled, “YOU SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM ME AND FIND ANOTHER PERSON, THAT WOULD BE THE SMART THING TO DO. NO MATTER HOW CUTE YOU ARE, YOU WON’T FIND MERCY WITH ME…

    The VIP kid trembled in fright. ‘How did he see through me with one glance? My transformation was perfect!’ Despite being a fair distance away from Harry, she looked up to see him looming menacingly over her. ‘Crap, so close too! So terrifying! I need to run away….’ But her feet was frozen, her world overtaken by the King’s presence and the Engine of Destruction ringing in her ears. She felt something change in her teeth. ‘I cant stop grinding my teeth….my cyanide tooth is breaking…ugh!’ Foaming at the mouth as the fast acting cyanide took action, the spy dropped dead on the ground.

    Harry blinked as the VIP girl’s feature morphed out into something else before eventually settling into an unrecognizable shape as she continued to foam out of her nose and mouth. “….eh, what’s this stuff?!”



    ----------------
    Time skip
    ----------------




    “Ah, Mister Potter, how gracious is it to see you on this fine day…or would you rather be called ‘King’?” Dumbledore called out to Harry, McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout and Snape behind him. Harry winced internally before smoothing out his face into a neutral look and turning to meet the group. They were in a busy hallway in the ICW HQ in Switzerland, and Dumbledore was in his full Supreme Mugwump regalia. A few curious passerby slowed down to eavesdrop. Professor McGonagall shooed them away with a glare.

    “Good afternoon Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Professor Sprout, Professor Flitwick, Gi--Snape. No Professor, I prefer my own name, as King is too pretentious for my taste.”

    McGonagall rolled her eyes at Snape’s name cover up while Snape muttered unpleasantly under his breath. Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled as he beheld his former pupil, now grown and even more famous than before. His exploits as ‘King’ had reached far and wide indeed, and he was curious.

    “I wonder, Mr. Potter, if you would be so gracious to honor a request I may have.” At this Minerva squinted suspiciously at Dumbledore, but said nothing. Harry too was suspicious, but didn’t let it show on his scarred face. “Maybe, what is it that you wanted?”

    “There is a little dueling circuit not too far away from here. I would like to see how I fare against the famous King, if you would satisfy an old man’s curiosity.” Sprout choked on a drink, Fitwick looked up from his research paper in surprise, Minerva closed her eyes in irritation and Severus gaped at Dumbledore.

    Sweat beading on his forehead, Harry frantically tried to think of any excuse. “Erm, I’m very flattered Professor, but I don’t think –”

    “Oh not to worry Harry, the dueling ring is very well warded. There is a spectacularly nifty runic array that shunts all excess magic into the leylines.” Dumbledore’s damnable eyes twinkled.

    “That may be Professor – but still, I do not recommend a duel today –” At Dumbledore’s questioning look, Harry frantically looked around, his neck becoming damp with sweat. The Engine started to pick up, responding to his internal panic. “Did you forget that today is a Thursday, Professor?”

    Dumbledore blinked in genuine confusion. Harry pointed to Flitwick, “Ah, even Professor Flitwick has instinctively felt it.” All eyes felt on Flitwick, he blinked in astonishment. “So that’s how it is. Professor, I would recommend another day for a duel.” Turning around, he tried to walk away.

    “What are you talking about, Potter?!” Snape snapped, “If this is another one of your idiotic—”

    Harry let the Engine run wild, silencing Snape as he turned to face the group once more. His face was shrouded in darkness, only the glint of the glasses and outline of his scars could be seen. “The composition of the atmosphere is eight parts nitrogen, two parts oxygen…there is also carbon dioxide, methane, helium, etcetera. But what many don’t know is that there is a little bit of Engawatson in there too. It reacts with the Bonilezane found in radiation, it causes an organic Jose Cascading phenomenon.”

    He raised his glasses up his nose, his glasses glinting brightly. “Last Thursday was a full moon, which means that the decay half life of Engawatson would’ve happened at noon today.” He nodded at Flitwick, who was looking dumbfounded. “There’s someone who already picked up on it, they are the rare sensitive among us. Tell me Professor Dumbledore, you’ve at least heard of the Dolzenaebring reaction, right?”

    Dumbledore shared a very quick glance with his group, they were all equally as lost as he was. The Engine running at full blast, Harry shook his head. “Whatever, the point is, if we had that duel today….a untold tragedy could’ve formed, especially at the leylines. Like I said, today is not a good day.”

    Turning around again, Harry walked away. ‘I hope that worked. Please let it work.’ He got in several steps ahead before Dumbledore stopped him. “Harry, wait!” Sweat forming again on his forehead, he turned around.

    “I understand, I won’t insist on it anymore. But I’d like to just one more thing before you go.” Rummaging around his pockets, he let out a small ‘aha’ and pulled out an apple. He handed it to Harry. “Here is an apple.” He rummaged around his sleeves and pulled out a knotted wand. “And here is a wand. I would like to see you cut this apple with that wand, in any way, shape or form you see fit.”

    Harry blinked at the two items in his hands. “I’m….I’m a novice with magic, Professor.”

    Dumbledore and Flitwick let out a bark of laughter. “My dear Harry, allow me to explain. I have an unusual skill…When I see how someone cuts things, I learn how that person practices their magic. It’s very much like palm reading. So please,” Dumbledore nodded at the apple in Harry’s hand. “All I ask is to cut the apple for me.”

    The group entered an empty conference room nearby. Harry set the apple on the table and held Dumbledore’s wand in one hand. The group stayed behind him, observing his movement. Harry held the wand in his hand loosely for several minutes…then suddenly snapped the wand and let loose with a Diffindo. The cutting charm arced toward the apple, went through it and lightly smacked the table. There was no visible cut or damage to the apple or table.

    Silently handling back the wand back to Dumbledore, Harry closed the door to the conference room and once out of sight, sprinted away. While running away, Harry was panting. ‘What was that wand made out of? It took everything I had to just cast that stupid severing charm! And it didn’t even manage to cut it!’

    McGonagall, Sprout and Snape were confused, and they looked at Dumbledore and Flitwick – but they did not expect the expression of total shock and awe on both of their faces. “Albus? Filius?” Minerva exclaimed.

    Dumbledore in turn looked at the Elder Wand in wondrous amazement. Flitwick was inspecting the apple in every way, shape and form. Despite being sliced by a severing charm, it was still in one piece.

    ‘That apple was not cut….no. It was cut. It hasn’t even noticed that it’s been cut. Harry technique was so fine, his control so exquisite that the severing charm cut through the gap between cells. The cut sections rejoined themselves perfectly afterwards….Even I haven’t heard of such skill….and to do it with the Deathstick, which already has a monstrous power requirement to use….and to do it on the first try? Amazing, simply amazing.’

    Dumbledore shook his head, smiling in wonder. Flitwick similarly shook his head in amazement, before laughing out loud. “A novice with magic, indeed! It would seem that we are the novices now!” Ignoring the looks of confusion and exasperation from his coworkers, he laughed once more. “Truly, what a monster.”
     
  8. Inert

    Inert Death Eater

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    Resurrecting this thread as I have nowhere else to post this. Serves as a prologue to a fic I have planned.

    /~/

    Neither can live while the other survives.

    The words had rattled around his brain ever since the projection of Trelawney had dipped back into Dumbledore’s pensieve. Harry wasn’t sure how he’d managed to keep it from Ron and Hermione the past few days. They hovered about him, only letting him out of their sight when preoccupied with packing. And while he appreciated it more than he could ever tell them, it had left him with precious little time to actually think.

    He’d cried by the lake, and for all that he knew he was pathetic for it, it had felt good. What he should do was make his way back to the common room and finish packing. Yet, he stood motionless in the Entrance Hall, torn.

    The itch was back. The driving need to do something was tickling the back of his neck, and he knew from the past summer that no amount of scratching would relieve it.

    Voldemort was operating openly now, which meant he was in more danger than ever. Oddly, the thought wasn’t as terrifying as it should’ve been. His life had been under siege since before he could remember. It felt almost normal that Voldemort was after him. He’d always been and would always be.

    Until you fulfill the prophecy, his mind said. Harry contained a flinch, uncaring that no one was around to see him.

    Was it absurd that he shied away from even thinking about killing Voldemort? He killed your parents. He deserves it, a small part of him whispered. The Dark Lord was a mass murderer, had already killed dozens in his first reign of terror. It shouldn’t be difficult to envision killing him. He should welcome it, even.

    True as it might’ve been, he couldn’t help but grimace at the thought, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. “How would you even do it?” he murmured.

    “You have to mean them, Potter!” Bellatrix’s words echoed in his ears. Fresh off seeing Sirius flung through the veil, he hadn’t even been able to muster up enough strength to hurt the witch who’d done the deed.

    And if he couldn’t kill Voldemort, what would that mean for the rest of the world? For his firneds?

    Suddenly chilled, Harry burst forward into a run. He took the steps two at a time, racing upward. He made it to the third floor in a flash, and paused to catch his breath for a moment before tearing off down the corridor once more.

    He reached the gargoyle in moments, the fading sunlight casting the statue in harsh, forbidding contrast. Harry stared up at it for a few moments before, belatedly, realizing he didn’t know the password.

    “Erm,” he floundered before the gargoyle’s unseeing gaze. “Don’t suppose you can let me in…”

    “He cannot.” Harry whirled around as Dumbledore’s voice sounded from down the corridor. The Headmaster strode easily along the path Harry had just sprinted. His robes were a pale grey that seemed to flicker and glow as he passed through the light afforded by the windows. “Thankfully, however, I can,” Dumbledore said, coming to rest across from Harry. “You wished to speak with me, Harry?”

    Harry met the Headmaster’s eyes and tried his best not to flush. Last he’d seen Dumbledore, he’d trashed his office. He couldn’t claim to be happy with the man, not after this year from hell, but a thread of shame coursed through him nonetheless.

    “Yes, sir,” he managed after a moment. “If you have time, of course.”

    “I daresay I owe you far more than a few minutes of my time. If you will.” He gestured toward the gargoyle and said, “Mars Bars.”

    Harry blinked at the muggle candy as the statue shifted to the side, revealing the spiral staircase.

    “I find myself enjoying sweets of the more mundane variety from time to time,” Dumbledore said in answer to the unasked question. “It’s refreshing not to have to worry about my chocolate running away from me.”

    Remembering his first chocolate frog, which had escaped from the window of the Hogwarts Express, Harry couldn’t help but agree. He followed Dumbledore up the steps wordlessly and entered the circular office. Glancing around, everything was in pristine condition. How much time did he spend repairing it all? Harry wondered. He felt shame creep up his neck even as Fawkes trilled a greeting from his perch.

    The Headmaster swept his way to his desk and sat behind it. “What did you want to talk about, Harry?” he asked, gesturing to one of the chairs in front of the ornate desk. His eyes missed their distinctive twinkle, his mien serious.

    “I, er…I wanted to apologize, professor. For destroying your office,” Harry said haltingly. The thought hadn’t once crossed his mind in his mad dash but, sitting here, he knew he should say something about it.

    Dumbledore smiled lightly, some of the usual twinkle returning. “Apology accepted, my boy. No less than I deserved, I’m afraid, but I appreciate the sentiment all the same. Now, what did you truly wish to discuss?”

    Harry started. Was he that transparent? “It’s about Voldemort, sir. And the prophecy.”

    The twinkle had disappeared once more. “I thought as much. Lemon drop?” Harry shook his head, and Dumbledore popped a single candy into his mouth. “How can I help you, Harry?”

    “Well, that’s just it, sir. I…don’t really know,” Harry said. He ran a hand through his hair. “This – the war that is – it’s all up to me, right? I don’t even know where to start…”

    “If I may interrupt, this conflict is in no way all up to you. The Order has been working for months to prepare and now, with the Ministry soon to be under new leadership, our allies are growing,” the Headmaster stated. “No one is expecting you to coordinate efforts against Lord Voldemort.”

    It was small relief. “But the prophecy, sir. All that’s great, but if I don’t…kill Voldemort…well, it didn’t sound like anyone else would be able to.”

    And either must die at the hand of the other

    “How do I do it?” Harry asked, suddenly desperate. “I’ve can’t – I’ve never…” he trailed off, memories of seared flesh and smoke and screams flashing in front of his eyes because that wasn’t actually true. He shook his head, clearing the images of Quirrel’s last moments. “Do I even have a chance?”

    “Your hesitation does you credit,” Dumbledore soothed, leaning forward. “It shows the strength of your character that you hesitate to kill a man who, in the eyes of most, deserves death. I’d encourage you not to shy away from such feelings.”

    “No offense, sir, but what does character have to do with beating him?” Harry burst out, trying his best not to sound snide. Not like I can character him to death.

    Dumbledore only smiled. “A great deal, I assure you.” The smile disappeared and he held up a hand to forestall Harry’s rebuttal. “Though I expect that is little comfort to you now. What are you asking for, Harry?”

    Help! “I need to do something, professor. I…” he trailed off once more. He thought of Ron and Hermione, of Ginny and Neville and Luna sprinting through the Department of Mysteries, running for their lives. “He’s in the open now, which means he won’t worry about being discovered by attacking us anymore. I need to protect my friends, sir. They’re targets just like me.”

    Dumbledore was silent, content to stare at Harry over his half-moon spectacles. “By all accounts, you’ve already done so admirably this year. Members of your D.A. achieved some of the highest marks in Defense. They would not have been so capable without your guidance.”

    Harry shook his head. “I taught them how to pass their exams. Shield charms and stunning spells.” And more than one patronus, his mind supplied, remembering Ron’s terrier, Hermione’s otter, and Cho’s swan. He felt a flush of pride at the memories that was abruptly quashed by the realization he’d had days earlier. “Professor, we would’ve died in the Ministry if the Death Eaters hadn’t been there for the prophecy.”

    “You and your friends are not soldiers, Harry,” Dumbledore implored. He opened his mouth, then closed it, eyes shuttering slightly as they shifted away from Harry’s. Harry wasn’t sure he’d ever seen the Headmaster at a loss for words. “Though I suspect it may be a moot point now…”

    Dumbledore was silent once more until, “You may have wondered, in these past days, why I did not single you out early in your tenure here. Why, knowing the prophecy, did I not choose to take a more active hand in your education in the hopes of better preparing you for Lord Voldemort’s return.” Dumbledore sighed, and in that moment, Harry had never seen him look older. “I have already explained some of this to you, of course, but a larger answer is that I didn’t see what good it would do. You are not, nor should you ever be considered, a weapon of war, my boy. This conflict is not your responsibility –”

    “But it is, sir,” Harry interrupted. Trelawney’s words had made it so. By Dumbledore’s expression, he could see the Headmaster knew what he was getting at.

    “Indeed, you are correct. It should not be your responsibility, however, the task will still fall on your shoulders. The truth, Harry, beyond hoping to preserve the innocence of a child for as long as I possibly could, is that anything more would do little else than increase the already unfair scrutiny that you are under,” Dumbledore said. “No amount of personal tutelage from me or anyone else could prepare you to battle Voldemort. The chasm is too great.”

    The Headmaster leaned back and steepled his fingers below his chin. “I do not mean to malign your own considerable talents. Given enough time, I have no doubt you will grow into a mighty wizard. But Tom Riddle is perhaps the most exceptional student to walk these halls. And, considering the decades he spent abroad, honing his abilities, pitting you against him in a duel would be folly.”

    It was nothing Harry hadn’t already thought of. His duel, if it could even be called that, with Voldemort at the Ministry had thrown the limits of his abilities into the light. He was good for a student, maybe even the best at Defense, but to Voldemort he might as well have been an insect.

    And yet, “There has to be something I can do, professor,” he implored. “Surely there’s something you can teach me that will help.” Something that can help my friends.

    “You will be glad to hear, then, that I had planned to do just that beginning next year,” the Headmaster told him, and Harry felt his heart leap.

    He opened his mouth, but was cut off as Dumbledore continued, “But perhaps an adjustment is in order,” he said quietly. The Headmaster’s eyes narrowed over the top of his glasses, surveying Harry with an intensity he hadn’t felt since his name came out of the Goblet of Fire. “It was my hope to shield you from this for as long as possible, however, your excursion to the Department of Mysteries has changed things. You are right, Harry, in believing your friends to be targets. They have defied Voldemort, and that is something he cannot stand for.”

    “How is your Occulmency?” Dumbledore asked, changing the subject. “We spoke before of your…contentious relationship with Professor Snape, but I wasn’t made aware of your proficiency before the lessons ended.”

    Harry grimaced. “I turned the Legilimency back on him once,” he said, remembering his father. “But I never got the hang of clearing my mind.”

    The Headmaster nodded. “I suspected as much. I will procure a teacher for you early this summer. Even with Voldemort likely unwilling to dive into your mind after the Ministry, I fear it may still be too dangerous for me to assist you directly. Please understand, Harry, that learning Occulmency is of paramount importance for the conflict ahead.”

    Nodding, Harry read between the lines. Dumbledore was still hesitant to involve him directly and, if he wanted to be taken seriously, he had to hold up his end.

    “I understand, sir.”

    “Good. I suspect your stay at Privet Drive will be shorter than usual this year. In the meantime, Harry, please review your spell-work. The places we will go in this conflict will require you to be at your best. It will, no doubt, help you in teaching your friends next year as well.”

    Sensing the conversation coming to a close, Harry rose and nodded once more. “Thank you, professor. I won’t let you down.”

    Dumbledore favored him with a kindly smile. “I have no doubt, my boy. You never have.”

    /~/
     
  9. Wyatt Axford

    Wyatt Axford Second Year

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    Not a WBA thread but I want to say this in case you do start writing this fully.

    Slughorn is the one who refers to Harry as "My boy" in canon. I can't recall Dumbledore ever doing it.

    Not only that but-

    Having Dumbledore say

    "I have no doubt, Harry. You never have."

    is more personable and addressing him by name feels more impactful.


    Edit: Here's a thread for "My boy" data
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2020
  10. Inert

    Inert Death Eater

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    “There are three components to most spells: wand motion, incantation, and intent. Of those, incantation is the least important, which is why most spells can be cast non-verbally.”

    “So some can’t?” Harry cut in.

    Grindelwald shot him a look. Interruption wasn’t appreciated.

    “Should you master wand motion and intent, you would likely be considered an above average wizard,” he said, voice conveying just how little he thought of such wizards. “Deeper magics, however, they require more,” he continued, not bothering to answer the question. “If banal spells have three components, truly powerful magic can have three more: emotion, imagination, and will.”

    Blue eyes were alight with passion as he spoke, and Harry couldn’t help but be drawn in.

    “Albus tells me you have some experience with this.”

    Blinking, Harry asked, “Just how much has he mentioned me?” It wasn’t the first time Grindelwald had said something similar.

    “More than once over the years. Answer the question.”

    “The Patronus Charm. When I was thirteen.”

    Grindelwald stared at him, eyes expectant. “Details, if you please, Herr Potter. I must understand what I am working with.”

    You’re just supposed to be teaching me Occulmency… “My godfather,” he began, forcing himself not to stumble. “He was about to be kissed.” Harry cast his mind back. “There must’ve been over a hundred Dementors. I didn’t even know I could cast it, not really. But I’d seen myself do it before…” he trailed off, not sure if he wanted to get into the weeds of his and Hermione’s time travel.

    “One hundred Dementors,” Grindelwald muttered. His thin brows rose a touch. “The Patronus Charm is a combination of emotion and will. It can be cast without the latter, but you will find it weak and insubstantial.”

    Nodding, Harry thought back to the previous summer. He hadn’t been able to cast more than a mist when he and Dudley had been first attacked. It was his resolve that had called Prongs. “Why not teach this? To incoming students, I mean,” Harry asked. “It makes sense.”

    Grindelwald barked a laugh that seemed more a cough. “You ask why children are not taught something they will never be able to use? Greatness is not simply a matter of practice, Herr Potter. You cannot teach emotion. You cannot teach imagination. You certainly cannot teach will.”

    “But I taught my friends how to do the Patronus,” Harry argued. “And a few even had corporeal ones.” Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Cho had all managed it.

    “An impressive feat for schoolchildren,” Grindelwald allowed. “Were they under siege from Dementors as you were?”

    “Well…no.”

    “And is it not more difficult to cast when the very air you breathe is frozen in your lungs? When you no longer know the meaning of the word joy?”

    “I get your point,” Harry said sourly.

    “Truly? At every turn, you make excuses for your own abilities while elevating those around you. Humility may seem an attractive trait to many; it rings false on you.”

    This again, Harry thought, fed up with Grindelwald’s attempts to convince him he was something he wasn’t. He leaned away from the aged wizard and cast his eyes about the cell, searching for something else to talk about.

    Mind settling onto something that had been bugging him for a day now, he asked, “Is that why Dark Magic is so, well, bad? It uses emotion?”

    “No magic is inherently bad,” Grindelwald said immediately. “There is only magic, and those unwilling or unable to use it.”

    Harry felt his lip curl, an action not unnoticed by his host.

    “You disagree?”

    “Reminded me of something Voldemort once told me: ‘There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it,’” Harry repeated.

    A single of Grindelwald’s eyebrows rose. “Perhaps he was not always beyond hope,” he murmured. “He was not entirely wrong when he told you this. Magic cannot be good or evil, only those who wield it.”

    “Not even the Killing Curse?” Harry asked skeptically.

    “Can death not be a mercy?” Grindelwald tossed back immediately.

    “The Cruciatus Curse, then.”

    The former Dark Lord paused, sneering at the mention of the Unforgiveable. “Perhaps,” he allowed. Harry inwardly cheered. “Dennoch, most magic cannot be so easily categorized. To view certain spells as inherently bad is a limited point of view. You do yourself no favors thinking that way.”

    “So what? Is it a matter of intent?” Harry questioned, not sold.

    “It is a matter of outcome, Herr Potter. It is not our reasons that make monsters of us; it is our actions. A man begging for death may regard the end of his life as mercy. What if he could be saved?” Grindelwald asked. “Your intent may be to relieve pain, yet–”

    “A man is still dead.”

    “Indeed he is. Intent matters little when lives hang in the balance.” The older man got a faraway look in his eyes and Harry wondered which, of his many crimes, he was thinking of. “About Dark Magic,” Grindelwald continued at length. “It is considered such because of the emotion that is attached, in part. True Dark Magic requires negative emotion: pain, hatred, anger. It is insidious, I grant you, for it becomes difficult to stop when one has started.”

    “It’s addictive?”

    Grindelwald cocked his head to the side. “In some ways, I suppose. Rather because negative emotion begets negative emotion. When you attach positive outcome to negative feeling, it becomes difficult to do anything but. Only those with the strongest will can cast Dark Magic and not lose themselves eventually.”

    Harry nodded, considering. “Is that what happened to you?” he asked hesitantly. The former Dark Lord was nothing if not forthcoming, but still.

    “If only,” Grindelwald laughed, all bitterness. “Perhaps, then, my crimes could be excused. I was never a victim; my will is far too strong. No, Herr Potter. My mistake was one many great men have made. I convinced myself my ends justified my means, and I was lost.”
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
  11. Inert

    Inert Death Eater

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    Me again.
    /~/

    What a night.

    Exhaustion the likes he’d never felt was beating a drum in his head. With Dumbledore safely ensconced in the Hospital Wing, Harry was adrift, no longer knowing what to do. His footsteps echoed in the empty corridor as he meandered his way through it.

    “A modified Withering Curse.”

    What am I going to do? he wondered. Snape’s words from the Hospital Wing rang heavily in his ears. Two weeks ago, they would’ve meant nothing to him, but his stay in Nurmengard had opened his eyes to much.

    The Withering Curse was fatal, Gindelwald’s tomes had made that abundantly clear. Without the counter-curse being applied within moments, death was certain. Harry had gotten them from Little Hangleton to Hogwarts in record time, but it had been minutes, not moments.

    Harry stumbled, reality crashing into him with the force of a freight train.

    Dumbledore was going to die.

    Bracing himself against the stone wall, Harry slid down until he was seated on the ground. The cold seeped through his jeans and he ran a hand through his hair, trying to hold back raw panic.

    Even given their confrontation in his office last year, Dumbledore was larger than life. As much as Harry knew the Headmaster eventually would die, he was in no way prepared for him to actually die. Not now, not yet, not when he still had so much to learn to defeat Voldemort. We’ve barely even started! his mind screamed.

    Breathing heavily, Harry grasped two fistfuls of his hair and yanked, needing to feel something, anything other than creeping despair to no avail.

    What would happen to the war effort without Dumbledore to lead it?

    What would happen to the Ministry without Dumbledore to keep Voldemort at bay?

    What did it mean for the Order?

    What did it mean for him?

    What did it mean for his friends?

    Unbidden, a voice that sounded suspiciously like Grindelwald piped up. Focus! You are better than this. You have to be better than this!

    Shaking himself, Harry closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. He held the air in his chest for a moment, diving into the memories of the first flight on his Firebolt. He felt the wind in his face, the adrenaline coursing through his veins, the utter rightness of being exactly where he belonged.

    Exhaling, he held onto the calm for a moment and felt his mind begin to settle. The fatalistic thoughts were still there, but they were like clouds in the sky: he could watch them pass. He opened his eyes a moment later and banished all thought from his mind. Back against the wall, Harry reveled in the stillness for a full minute, allowing himself to think only of his breathing.

    “Gellert’d be ashamed,” he muttered eventually. His lips quirked up at the thought that had escaped his lips almost subconsciously. Indeed, Grindelwald would be appalled at his lack of control. Anything less than total emptiness of his mind in seconds was a failure as far as the old man was concerned.

    Shaking his head, Harry peeled his jacket off. Sometime during his panic, he’d started sweating. Running a hand through his hair once more, he sighed. I need information. He had enough to make a conclusion that sounded right but, if nothing else, the Department of Mysteries had taught him the folly of acting on assumptions.

    Harry groaned, realizing just what his options were. He could get answers from two people, and Dumbledore was unconscious. Reluctantly, he pushed himself up and strode off toward the Defense classroom.

    It was perfectly likely Snape had kept his quarters in the dungeons, but, given how long the man had coveted the Defense position, Harry suspected he’d packed up and moved the moment Dumbledore had caved.

    There was no telling how forthcoming Snape would be, if at all, but Harry had to try. He grimaced, the last time they’d talked had been when Harry had tried to convince him that Sirius was in danger. Considering their last interaction before that had been when Harry had accidentally broken into Snape’s mind, it had been a minor miracle the Order had been alerted at all.

    He entered the Defense classroom quietly and, to his slight disappointment, heard rustling coming from the office at its rear. Striding quickly so as to not lose his nerve, Harry found himself at Snape’s door far faster than he’d wanted, hand raised.

    Get it over with.

    He knocked twice. The rustling stopped a moment before the door was flung open and he was greeted with Snape’s unpleasant visage contorted in surprise. The surprise morphed into familiar disdain a moment later.

    What do you want, Potter?”

    Play nice, Harry. If you can get along with a former Dark Lord you can bloody well talk to Snape. “I had a question, sir.”

    Snape sneered. “And here I thought I would be spared your incompetence for another two months–”

    “How long does he have?” Harry cut across, uncaring for the impoliteness.

    The sneer dropped from Snape’s face instantly, his expression becoming inscrutable. Harry nearly smirked at the evidence of the older man clearing his mind. “What do you speak of?” Snape’s voice was dismissive, but not outright hostile like it’d been a moment before.

    “Dumbledore. You said he was under the effects of a modified Withering Curse, which means he should already be dead. How long does he have to live?”

    A calculating gleam entered Snape’s eyes that Harry had never seen before. “Does the Headmaster know you’re dabbling in the Dark Arts, Potter?”

    Considering he dropped me off with his murderous ex? Feeling his hackles rise, Harry deliberately bit his tongue. “He’s aware.”

    The gleam disappeared, replaced by something that looked almost amused. It was somehow just as ugly as every other expression Snape wore. “I cannot help but wonder what your father would think, hearing that.”

    “I doubt he and my mother are thinking anything at all, considering they’re dead,” Harry bit out. He was rapidly regretting his decision to try for answers before Dumbledore woke up. It didn’t matter whatever Snape had done to earn the Headmaster’s trust, he was still the reason Voldemort went after his parents.

    Surprisingly, instead of making another disparaging remark, an indecipherable emotion crossed Snape’s face before his expression dropped once more. He swept back into his office and, after a moment, Harry followed, forcing his mind free of thoughts with effort.

    The office was as tidy as Harry expected of the dour professor, though the glass of amber colored liquid on the desk was unexpected. Snape had never struck him as the drinking type.

    “What, exactly, do you think you know of the Withering Curse, Potter?” Snape asked, coming to rest behind his desk. He folded his arms across his chest and glowered.

    Refraining from rolling his eyes – because of course Snape would quiz him – Harry thought back to Nurmengard. “It twists the body’s natural ageing process and speeds it up to the point of killing the affected person within hours. The curse is fatal if the counter-curse isn’t applied in moments. The effects include heavy wrinkling and blackening of the skin–”

    “That will do,” Snape interrupted. He favored Harry with a considering look, narrowing his already beady eyes. Apparently coming to a decision, Snape said, “The Headmaster is dealing with an ingenious combination of a Withering Curse and a Consumption Curse.” Harry’s eyes widened. “My efforts to save his life were successful…to a point.”

    “How long does he have?” Harry asked again.

    “Between one and two years.”

    A swooping sensation turned his stomach over. Spying a chair, Harry sat down gingerly, ignoring Snape’s pointedly raised eyebrow. It was far longer than he’d expected for a curse that killed in hours. Mind working, he put together what he remembered of the Consumption Curse from his reading.

    “It depends on how much magic he casts?”

    Snape’s second eyebrow rose. “I applaud whoever it was that finally taught you how to think. I’m sure it was no easy task.” Harry glared impotently up at him. “Should the Headmaster never touch his wand for the rest of his life, he will live approximately two years. Any estimation taking into account using magic is, of course, nigh impossible.”

    Harry shook his head. While it was better than he hoped, Dumbledore’s death loomed all the same. Defeating Voldemort in so short a time was difficult to imagine. “I should’ve done more…”

    “Do spare me your angst. You are not nearly formidable enough a wizard to have been able to counter a curse that took Albus Dumbledore by surprise.”

    That could almost pass for comforting, from him, Harry mused darkly. “What did you do exactly?” he asked at length. He’d been hustled out of Snape’s way by Madam Pomphrey but had heard chanting and seen Snape carving something into Dumbledore’s blackening arm.

    “A process that is far beyond your ken.”

    Harry ignored the predictable avoidance. “Can you teach me?”

    “Potter, what did I just–”

    His patience evaporated. “I get it!” Harry snapped, rising. He saw Snape’s wand appear in his hand, but paid it no mind as he slammed his hands on the desk. “You think I’m some spoiled little shit skating by on fame. You don’t like me and it’s bloody well mutual. I don’t care anymore!”

    His chest heaved as he struggled to get ahold of himself. Snape’s narrowed eyes surveyed him across the desk. Taking a deep breath, Harry banished his antipathy. “You know enough of the prophecy to know what my role is. It’s my job to kill Voldemort.” He took a perverse pleasure in Snape flinching, and pushed on, “It doesn’t matter if the Dark Arts are ‘beyond my ken.’ I need to know how to fight them. If I don’t, he wins. Full stop.”

    Harry stood to his full height, calmer now that he’d gotten that off his chest. “Dumbledore’s already planning to give me lessons this year. I’ve got no idea what he’s planning to teach me, but the more I know, the better chance I have. Dumbledore trusts you, which means you’re on our side, which means you want Voldemort dead.” Harry shook his head and spread his arms plaintively. “I need all the help I can get.”

    He let his arms fall to his sides, doing his best not to fidget under Snape’s baleful stare. The silence stretched uncomfortably but Harry said nothing.

    “In a duel of words, silence is your best friend, Herr Potter.”

    After nearly thirty seconds, Snape cut his gaze away. “I will consider it.” Harry very nearly sagged in relief, and Snape snapped his eyes back to him, sneering. “Make no mistake, Potter. Should I volunteer my time with this, this will not be a repeat of last year. Nothing less than your maximum effort will be tolerated. If there is even a hint of your typical laziness, you will never learn that which you seek.”

    “I understand, sir,” Harry said quickly.

    “Pray that you do. Now get out.”

    Far from opposed, Harry turned and strode for the exit. He paused at the door, at war with himself, and turned back. “Thank you, professor.”

    “I said leave, Potter!”

    /~/
     
  12. Inert

    Inert Death Eater

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    This thread is devolving into my personal posting ground. Whateves.

    /~/

    Harry ran a hand through his hair, sighing heavily. “Well…that happened.”

    Dumbledore chuckled good-naturedly. “So it did. Chin up, Harry. I do not believe Rufus will be trotting you out in front of the cameras so soon.”

    “You think I did the right thing?” Harry asked, doing his best to keep annoyance from his voice. The Headmaster had been no help with the Minister, content to observe silently.

    “I do. Regardless of your personal feelings about the Ministry, all of them well founded, they remain our allies against Lord Voldemort.” The Headmaster smiled down at him. “While you may find it distasteful, working with them may indeed save lives. It is good that you see that.”

    Least I got something out of it, Harry reflected, thinking of the Trace which would soon be removed from him. “He’s very…brusque,” he said, thinking of Scrimgeour.

    Dumbledore hummed. “A fitting descriptor. Try not to think too harshly of him. Rufus is in an unenviable situation.”

    “Can’t say I’d want to be Minister these days.”

    “I expect not. It is less the position itself, for Rufus, rather how he came into it, I’m afraid.” At Harry’s questioning look, he continued, “He was head Auror, which is not a direct path to becoming Minister. Amelia Bones was the natural pick. You’ll remember her from your hearing last summer.”

    Harry nodded, thinking of a severe looking but fair minded middle aged witch. “Voldemort killed her.” It had been all over the Prophet at the beginning of the summer.

    “Personally, it would appear,” Dumbledore said, real sadness in his voice. “A highly intelligent move on his part. Amelia was the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, having assumed the role after Barty Crouch’s fall from grace. Thirteen years at the helm made her a shrewd politician in addition to being a formidable witch.”

    Harry felt dread stir in his stomach, reminded that not only was Voldemort unspeakably powerful with a wand, but also extremely smart. “You think he did it to cripple the Ministry?”

    “I am certain of it. Even wartime Ministers require political acumen. Rufus, for all his skill with a wand, is more akin to a bull in a china shop. He will find navigating the finer points of governance difficult, a terrible failing in such a time.”

    “Surely you could help him?”

    A sardonic smile crossed the Headmaster’s face. “Surely I could, Harry, were it desired. Rufus is well aware that he was no one’s first choice for Minister. Unfortunately, his determination to prove people wrong manifests as intransigence. All my efforts to make myself available have been summarily rebuffed with enough vehemence that I believe it to be a lost cause.” He turned twinkling eyes to Harry. “Though perhaps you will have more luck.”

    Harry blanched.
     
  13. Inert

    Inert Death Eater

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    Dumbledore sagged against him and Harry cursed. “C’mon, professor, we’re almost done,” he soothed over the Headmaster’s incoherent whimpers.

    Water,” Dumbledore said suddenly.

    Can’t hurt. Maneuvering his wand around Dumbledore’s shoulders, Harry pointed at the discarded goblet. Auguamenti, he thought. A thin stream of cold water poured out of his wand and into the goblet, where it promptly vanished.

    “Oh, you must be joking.” Harry banished the immediate panic and scowled. Of course Voldemort wouldn’t make it easy. A fluid twirl of his wand conjured a simple cup atop the basin. Auguamenti, he tried again.

    The water stayed put this time, and he smiled triumphantly. “Here you go, sir. Drink up.” He gently tilted Dumbledore’s head back and tipped the fresh water into his mouth. The Headmaster swallowed it greedily, more life in him than in the past three minutes since he’d started taking the potion.

    Harry’s swell of pride disappeared as Dumbledore suddenly began to thrash violently in his grasp. His mouth opened in a silent scream as he bucked out of Harry’s grip, and he fell to the ground with a thump.

    “Shit! Stupefy!” The Headmaster stopped his thrashing immediately, and Harry wracked his brain.

    He hadn’t recognized the potion or its effects and, regardless of his work over the year, there was quite a bit he was still unfamiliar with. Snape had certainly alluded to brews that could have effects the likes of which Dumbledore suffered from, but the lessons had never delved beyond the mention.

    “Right. Back to Hogwarts,” he told himself. He cleared his mind and dropped a stasis spell on Dumbledore. He was still suffering the mal-effects of the potion even while unconscious; slowing his metabolic processes would hopefully make Snape and Pomfrey’s job easier. Mobilicorpus.

    The sound of water being displaced rang loud and clear in the otherwise silent cave, and Harry froze as he made for the boat. He turned and his eyes widened.

    The inferi had awoken. Half a dozen bodies had shambled out of the depths behind him and were stumbling toward them. A moment of unadulterated panic seized him and his wand snapped up. The Battering Ram of Rome leapt from the tip a brilliant white and barreled into the first inferius. The bludgeoning spell tore through the corpse’s chest and sent it hurtling into the water two dozen feet away.

    Fire, you idiot! Harry screamed at himself as two inferi replaced the one he’d obliterated. Incendios grata! he incanted silently.

    A blast of rippling, red flame exploded outward. It caught the first inferius full-on and kept plowing forward. It stymied one, two, three corpses until it suddenly flickered into nothingness. A wave of bone-chilling cold swept through Harry and he staggered back a step.

    “No no no no no,” he muttered.

    It must’ve been an enchantment, like on the goblet. For the first time, beyond his fear, Harry truly understood Dumbledore’s consistent respect for Voldemort’s ingenuity.

    A panicked glance showed more inferi were rising from the depth and making for their location. Thinking quickly, Harry banished Dumbledore into the boat that had carried them to the island. The Headmaster landed safely and Harry wracked his brain for a solution as he cast a wide banishing spell that succeeded in beating back the corpses for an extra second.

    The incantation for fiendfyre flashed through Harry’s mind as he backed up toward the boat, but he hesitated. There was too much for him to focus on to have any confidence in controlling the cursed flame.

    Inspiration striking him, Harry hastily cleared his mind and centered himself. He inhaled deeply, held it, and focused. His mind centered on the familiar sound of Fawkes’ song, the strength it always gave him, the warmth it sparked in his chest without fail.

    Ignis aeternum!” he roared after a moment of stillness. A great gout of golden flame erupted from his wand and fanned outward. Searing heat beat back the cold in an instant as the phoenix fire consumed the remaining inferi Harry could see.

    He whipped his wand in a circle about his head and shoulders, and his fire moved with his will. It swirled in a wide arc around the island, incinerating each inferius the moment it crawled its way out of the depths.

    Harry backed up, directing the golden firestorm with precise waves of his wand. His foot met the wood of the boat and he stepped in gratefully. Hunkering down, Harry laid a hand on Dumbledore to keep him steady as his will maneuvered the phoenix fire in a massive circle around the island. It encircled the boat and, with a burst of insight, Harry sharply brought his wand down and pushed.

    The fire dropped and the cave was illuminated in brilliant red and gold as the flames flowed out in a massive wave. “Depulso!” Harry said, wand pointed at the island, and the boat lurched forward in a rapid skip across the water.

    They followed the light of his fire as it crashed onward, immolating any rising hands that popped up to halt them. Harry let his focus slip as they neared the shore, and the flame winked out of existence. The bite of the cold wasn’t quite as deep as he levitated Dumbledore from the boat and hurried to the exit.

    He stepped through the mouth of the cave with relief and tasted the salt from the sea air. “Thank Merlin,” he breathed. Dumbledore’s body rose with his wand, and Harry grabbed onto the Headmaster’s arm. He envisioned Hogwarts’ gates, open and welcoming, and twisted, disappearing without a sound.
     
  14. Paradise

    Paradise Paraplegic Dice DLP Supporter

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    “I can’t believe we got in, mate!” Ron said in disbelief next to him, his own letter laying on top of the scattered wrappers on the red leather seats of the Hogwarts Express.

    Harry rolled his eyes, “So you’ve said since we’ve left Hogsmeade.” Harry still clutched the letter in his hands. He read it again just to be sure.

    Dear Mr. Potter,

    You’ve been selected as one of the few to compete in this summer's Wessex Under Eighteen Dueling League...

    “Hey Malfoy’ll be in Winchester too right?” Ron asked eyeballing Harry’s letter for the first time.

    “Probably, Wiltshire is in Wessex after all.”

    “Be sure to turn him into a goose for me.”

    “Why would I turn him into a goose, Ron?” Harry asked incredulously.

    Ron was back to reading his own letter over and over, “Mate don’t think I haven’t noticed, you’ve turned at least three blokes into geese this year.”

    Harry chuckled at the memories, “Fair enough, but you gotta admit it's funny.”

    “What was really funny was when Goose Travers lunged for your head.”

    “I seem to remember a duel, between you and little Mary MacDougal.”

    The tips of Ron’s ears turned red, and Harry grinned, “Don’t go there Potter.”

    “Ron, do you think so little of me? I wouldn’t remind you of the time you screamed like a little girl in front of two hundred and fifty dueling club members. All because of a measly spider.”

    “Measly spider?” He yelped, “By the time she finished hitting it with the engorgio it was the size of a hound!”

    Harry was disinterestedly picking at his nails, “What I am more confused about was how you never questioned how she knew what to conjure to get you to shoot off the stage like a bat out of hell.”

    Ron whipped his head over, “Potter!” He roared.

    “You had convinced most of the first years Dumbledore had been teaching me secret magic from birth, what was I supposed to do?” Harry said with a grin.

    “I will get you back for this,” Ron said resolutely.

    Harry laughed, “Alright mate, I look forward to it.”

    Ron stood up, “Now if you’ll excuse me student, I have duties to attend to,” he said imperiously before tapping his golden P badge.

    “Of course Prefect Malfoy.” Harry responded, snapping off a mock salute.

    They two shared a chuckle before Ron left and Harry was left with nothing but the rolling countryside out the window of the Hogwarts Express.

    -

    A few hours later Harry walked up the sedated streets of Godric's Hollow unaccompanied but for the trunk precariously balanced on his shoulder.

    The pastel orange walls and white bordered windows didn’t quite fit the rest of the West Country village but it’d been home to him and Albus for his whole life, and he wouldn’t trade it for a thing.

    He spotted a red faced man, hunched over a garden at the next house over, a similarly designed pastel.

    “Hullo, Mister Abbott!” He called, waving one hand over his head.

    “Wotcher, Harry, didya get your letter?”

    Harry held it up.

    “Congratulations! I look forward to seeing you in action. Too many years since the titles went to a good Hollow boy, those gits in Wiltshire get it every year. Show ‘em hell!”

    “You best believe it Mister Abbott,” Harry said, before opening the door.

    The Potter House was a modest home, unlike the sprawling manors, mansions, and castles of the other pureblood families. It boasted two solars, five bedrooms, a drawing room, a living room, and a large dining room, with attached kitchens and servants quarters.

    “Jeepies, I’m home.”

    A demure house elf in black popped into place beside him, a towel folded over one arm.

    “Your luggage, Master Potter,” she said in that strange drawling tone. He tossed the near weightless trunk into her waiting arms, which then popped off somewhere into the house.

    “Towel, sir?” She said.

    “I’m quite alright thank you. Has Albus arrived yet?”

    “I’m afraid not sir, he has sent word ahead that he’ll be delayed a few weeks. Business at the school.”

    “Of course he is,” Harry said rolling his eyes fondly.

    “Would you mind fixing lunch? I’ll be in the back garden, I’ve been talking over some strategies with Ron I’d like to put into practice.”

    “Of course sir, you should know that Bertram Bagshot has invited you over for dinner. An informal dinner for everyone returning from Hogwarts” Jeepies said as they made their way through the house.

    Harry snorted, “What are the chances I make it through the dinner without a new betrothal?” Jeepies raised a nonexistent eyebrow at that.

    Harry rolled his eyes, “Who am I to refuse a Lord of the Wizengamot, send word I’ll be in attendance.”

    “Of course sir, I will attend to lunch now.”

    -

    Gathered around the table at the Bagshot house sat the local wizarding families, there were Abbotts, Bagshots, Bagmans, and the lone Potter.

    Harry watched the proceedings from halfway down the table, hiding a smile behind a glass of wine. Maybe once this table would’ve been filled with double speak and hobnobbing, but now it was just a bunch of old men making thinly veiled lewd jokes while their wives looked in exasperated fondness and adult children suppressed their smiles.

    As his eyes roamed the table he accidentally caught the eye of the youngest Bagshot, Beatrice, they both immediately flushed and looked away.

    When they were children she had decided she had a crush on Harry and rather publicly confronted him about it.

    A fact her father never forgot. In Wessex, Potter blood was worth its weight in gold.

    Said father noticed the awkward exchange and lit up, besides the implications of such a match, he’d always rather liked Harry and had a soft spot for his youngest daughter.

    “So Harry, I hear you’ve been accepted to compete in Winchester this year?” Bertram said from his spot at the head of the table. Conversation at the table more or less stopped, and all eyes swiveled to him.

    “I have, I’m looking forward to meeting my competitors.” He replied graciously, with a smile on his face.

    “And after that?” He said with a smile.

    “I hadn’t given much thought to my future, Lord Bagshot. I spend most days thinking of dueling.”

    “Quite right!” Crowed Ernie Abbott, “We haven’t had a minor champion in far too long, blasted Judicators, those burks in Wiltshire have never shut up about it in years.”

    A murmur of agreement rose up in the room, other than one confused, “But I thought the Burkes lived in Galloway?”

    “Too true, Harry if you ever need any help with planning your future my door is always open.” Bertram said graciously.

    Harry nodded, but before he could respond Beatrice Bagshot cut him off, “Sweet Merlin father you aren’t half as subtle as you think you are, I have no interest or intention of marrying Harry any time soon, I want to be a Cursebreaker not some field sow!”

    Harry lowered his hand and began to earnestly eat his dinner for the first time that night, as father and daughter provided the evening's entertainment and the weeks gossip . Hoping to Merlin no one would ask his opinion. He didn’t think he’d be able to stop himself if they did.

    -

    Unbeknownst to the muggle passerbys the downtrodden old house on the end of a dead end street at the edge of town, was not in fact abandoned.

    It was a wizarding colosseum, built by roman wizards in the late third century, it featured dozens of tunnels, and underground amenities, including shops, stalls, and inns. Wizarding Colosseums being separate from regular colosseums in the fact that the seats started on ground level, wards kept the pesky lions, tridents, nets, chariots, and horses from killing the spectators. They could truly be right next to the blood sport

    Above sat the sandy arena with seating that could fit up to three thousand, it was truly a marvel in ancient times, and even now, not for a moment had its glory faded even the slightest. Even as Rome fell again and again, the dozens of spells and wards on the grand old thing kept her intact and clean for centuries.

    Harry stood in the sand staring down his opponent, Willard Rosier was the third son of a drunk second son, he stood to inherit nothing, and his entire future more or less depended on his ability to duel.

    Harry grinned as he took in his opponents stance, and adjusted his own accordingly. Rosier furrowed his brow but didn’t move.

    The referee's wand went off with a bang, and Rosier opened with a gout of flame flowing endless out of his wand, as the inferno cascaded towards him, Harry replied with a firehose of water erupting from his own wand.

    The steam that formed from the two colliding elements rose to the ceiling of the wards before stopping.

    Rosier who had just let up his flamethrower stopped his march to Harry, before switching tactics and began spitting out as many disarming charms as he could, Harry dodged, and reflected them, before charming the sand beneath Rosier into quicksand.

    Rosier took note of his sinking feet, before ignoring it in favor of transfiguring dogs out of the sand.

    Harry snapped off a finite incantatem at the pair, and then jabbed his wand in the air, as Rosier began to work his way out of the sand.

    The mist that coalesced in the air above them was rapidly spinning and rumbling about as Harry turned what was before just a light steam into a stormcloud.

    Rosier fresh out of the sand looked up as he heard a rumbling, and to Harry’s surprise, snapped a shield facing up immediately, as a bolt of lightning split the air and smashed into the boy's shield. As his shield was smashed, the stadium was filled with the sound of breaking glass. He was launched backwards while the smell of ozone filled Harry's nose.

    “Winner, Potter!” Came the voice of the judge.

    -

    “Come on, how’d you do it?” Martin Abbott said from beside him. The two of them sat in the stadium after it had emptied out for the night. They’d been friends since childhood, despite the four year age gap between them. There weren’t many children in Godric’s Hollow then, and they’d been the only boys.

    Harry rolled his eyes, “Trade secrets. Can’t go blabbing the secrets to non-duelists.”

    “Like that’s ever stopped you before, I know you want to tell me.” Martin replied. “I’ve been watching you enough over the years to tell when you have someone on the back foot.”

    Harry grinned, “Alright fine, his stance gave him away immediately.”

    “Oh yeah?”

    “Yeah, notice how he basically looked like he was midstep when we started? Its cause he was, he was doing a classic Albertan opening.”

    “Albertan?”

    “It’s like the scholar’s mate of dueling, a cheap way to force the match over as soon as possible, the duelists opens with a barrage of something. Water, fire, sand, wind, spells. They force their opponent onto the backstep, because they immediately respond with a shield. And more importantly, you block their line of sight, using that you rapidly approach the opponent and when you are within five feet, drop the fire, they drop their shield to reply, but are hit with a stunner immediately.”

    “Sounds exhausting.”

    “It is, and he was clearly extensively trained in the subject, so much so that as soon as it didn’t work he was lost”

    “Alright but how’d you know he was going to open with fire?” Martin asked.

    At this Harry rubbed his neck, “I didn’t. If he also opened with anything but fire, well that would’ve been embarrassing.”

    Martin laughed, and said. “Another match soon right?”

    “Yup, after that, a duel with the other finalist for championship.”

    “What about the reigning champ?”

    “Donald Avery, bastard aged out before I could slap down his modified Gauntite strategy.”

    Martin chuckled at that, and the two sat in comfortable silence, in the solemn twilight.

    -

    Harry had just made it to the dueling circle in Exeter, a large standing stone circle sat on the outside of town, unseen by muggle eyes in centuries. Compared to the more commonly known standing stones, this one was a bit odd. The bigger stones were situated on the rim, and progressively got smaller and smaller until you got to the inner circle with the stones not coming up to ankle height, creating a circle of about fifteen meters, with a small wooden platform raised in the center.

    Compared to the glorious splendor of a roman colosseum this was decidedly more wizardly. With every manner of wizard sat on stones, brooms, and crowded together to see the stage.

    Unable to spot the Weasley hoard despite their easily spottable feature, Harry clambered up onto one of the emptier rocks, and settled in. The only other occupant was a rather pretty brunette.

    “Harry Potter,” he said offering a hand.

    “Daphne,” she offered before turning back to the stadium, without even shaking his hand.

    Harry just grinned. “Pretty name for a pretty witch, buy you a drink?”

    She just nodded, and he waved his wand and muttered, “Expecto Patronum.” An elegant ghastly stag burst from his wand.

    “Hey there, Prongs, mind going and getting the drink cart for us?” The buck bowed and jovially ran off.

    The girl just raised a brow as awed whispers began popping up around them.

    “So you got to Hogwarts Daphne? I admit you look familiar.” Harry asked, as Prongs took the longest possible route to the cart, attracting as many eyes as possible.

    “I’m in the Dueling Club with you Potter,” she replied.

    “Oh Greengrass right?”

    She nodded.

    The drink cart came and went and the two sat with their butterbeers.

    “You know, I have a match in Winchester on the twentieth, and have some exclusive seats, and no one to give them to,” he said leaning back.

    She snorted, and downed the rest of her butterbeer in a go. “So that's it? A cheap line, show off some flashy wand work, and I’m supposed to jump in your pants?”

    Harry laughed. “Yeah, if you’re offering.”

    “I can't, I'm busy that day.”

    “Oh?”

    “After Weasley gets his dumb arse smacked off the stage, I’m going to be dueling Fawcett.”

    “You think he’s going to lose?

    She raised a brow at him. “He’s gone five years with Acceptable grades.”

    Something ugly passed over Harry’s face. “Ron’s not dumb.”

    “Maybe, maybe not, but he definitely doesn’t deserve to be up there.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” he said, outraged.

    “It means that I’ve spent the last nine months actually studying while you and Ron galavanted about the castle doing whatever you damn well pleased. He only got in because there’s only about a dozen wizards who applied from Cornwall this year.”

    “Just because we were enjoying our time there doesn’t mean we weren’t studying,” he said.

    She snorted, face flushed with anger. “We’ll see,” she replied.

    “I guess we will,” he said with more force, as the two competitors approached the stage.

    Ron and Ernie Fawcett bowed to each other before assuming positions at opposite ends of the platform.

    A bang shot off from the referees wand and instantly the two were off.

    Fawcett opened with a quick and dirty fireball which Ron caught on his wand and redirected into the ground.

    Ron grinned, and began to animate the planks to attack, turning them into mice and squirrels. Fawcett was dodging and flinging flame spells out, all the while Ron was freezing the ground beneath his feet.

    Fawcett caught himself from slipping and began to cast Incendios in earnest. At this point the stage was covered with smoke that neither could fully see through.

    Ron’s grin grew wider, and with a few flicks of his wand transfigured all the smoke into daggers, for a brief moment Fawcett was confused and then his eyes bulged at the sight of a dozen floating daggers.

    Ron cast the banishment charm, Fawcett quick on his feet as he was, called up a great ventus which flung the daggers every which way, and as he was dodging the few stray that managed to stay on course, he failed to notice the Expelliarmus coming right for him.

    He was blasted off his feet and his wand sailed into Rons waiting hand.

    “You see, everyone assumes Ron’s an idiot cause he never does great in class, but I want you to know that that was over the moment Fawcett cast that fireball. Ron fights four steps in advance. If you’ll excuse me, I gotta go congratulate my friend.” Harry said.

    “Not gonna try and get in my pants?”

    “Nah, you insulted my friend.”

    “I can imagine Weasley has said far worse about me.”

    “No, he hasn’t,” Yes he probably did, he thought, “You know why, cause he has some class.”

    Harry walked off in a huff, “Wait, Potter,” he turned around, “I’ll try to make it to your match.” He grinned.

    Works every time, he thought to himself.

    “After I thoroughly trounce Weasley’s pale arse off the stand.”

    Harry laughed, and wandered off to the apparition point to head home.

    -


    When Harry awoke, Albus was already home, he saw the tip of a purple hat sticking out of the gazebo through his window.

    By the time he had dressed and made his way downstairs, Albus was half through his first cup of tea, sitting at the table in the golden light of the morning.

    “Ah, Harry! Good morning, did you sleep well?” Said Albus, lowering his letter, with a warm smile on his face.

    Harry rubbed an eye, “Why are we outside?”

    “There are very few beautiful summer days in England, Harry, one must learn to appreciate them all. I am sorry I was unable to attend your match, but I hear congratulations are in order, beating Willard Rosier couldn’t have been an easy feat.”

    He just nodded, and sat at the table across from Albus, Jeepies enamored with her crossword didn’t look up but snapped her fingers and a cup of tea and an English breakfast appeared before him.

    Harry side-eyed the multitude of owls sat on the railings of the gazebo, watching his breakfast keenly.

    “So did you sleep well?” Albus said, face hidden behind one of his numerous letters.

    “Not particularly, Abbott Senior pulled a rather nasty trick with a knockback jinx at practice yesterday and my entire chest is a bruise.”

    Albus laughed cheerfully at that, “I take it you’ll be lightening your training regimen over the next few days then?”

    Harry nodded, “Yeah, I don’t have a full range of motion back yet, don’t want to slip into any bad habits, so it’ll mostly just be strategy, and accuracy practice.”

    “In that case, parse this letter,” Albus said and indicated to one of the parchments splayed about the table.

    Harry picked it up and scanned it between forkfuls of beans.

    “Looks like the Dowager Longbottom wants me to train her grandson, pass.”

    “I’m afraid I have to insist.” Albus said steadily from across the table.

    “Neville’s a good guy, but I’m fairly certain he isn’t even competing this year, and I really need to crunch this summer. I only get to make a first impression once.”

    “Too true, but I still want you to train him. Mister Longbottom is competing in the Canterbury League this summer and I want you to help him.”

    Harry had only ever tutored a few times before this, and even then mostly children. Comparatively Longbottom was his own age, and had rather infamous issues with his magical abilities. But if Albus was insisting, there had to be a good reason “Alright, I’ll do it for you.”

    “Thank you Harry.”

    -

    Longbottom Manor was situated a few miles away from the town of Ramsgate on the south east side of England, the family there had been the Shield of the Saxons for generations. Even back when they had been the Hræfnes, instead of the Longbottoms. They had been the sentinels to guard England from invaders.

    Harry couldn’t help but think that if this was the future of the sentinels then England was doomed.

    Neville Longbottom was pudgy, clearly uncomfortable, and had a hard time meeting his eyes, which was somehow an improvement from when his grandmother was sat beside him, having insisted on taking part of the tutoring, having only been turned away when Harry told her he had to teach Neville secret techniques from Dumbledore.

    Neville spoke up, “So, secret techniques?”

    Harry sighed, “Yeah, no secret techniques, that was mostly to get rid of your grandmother.”

    “Why?”

    “Teaching is hard enough without mitigating factors. So get comfortable.” Harry said, leaning back.

    Neville did nothing.

    Harry restrained from groaning, “Take off the sweater Longbottom, it's about twenty five degrees out today, and you look like you are about to cook.”

    Neville took his sweater off, and attempted to lean back, but still managed to look distinctly uncomfortable.

    “Right then, starting with the basics, your wand, wood and core?” Harry said sitting up and looking Neville in the eyes.

    “That’s a bit personal is it not?” Neville said, looking a bit more red somehow.

    “Bit outside of etiquette yeah, but the wand chooses the wizard, and if I know your wand I can know you. And I can work with you from there.”

    “And what if my wand didn’t choose me?”

    Harry looked at him carefully, heirloom wands weren’t uncommon, “Can you get a new one?”

    “No,” he replied

    “Well then, wood and core?”

    He just handed the wand over, and Harry felt it over.

    “Heirloom wands are fairly common, but the compatibility varies depending on wizards and the wands. Blackthorn, interesting, a bit springy, what do you say? Eleven inches? Twelve?”

    “Twelve and half,” Neville replied with a bit more confidence.

    “Measure it yourself?”

    “Yes, it was my fathers.”

    Harry nodded, before handing it over, “the core?”

    “Dragon’s heartstring, from a Hebridean black.”

    “Now that you can’t find out by measuring it.”

    “My father kept extensive notes in the grimoire.”

    Harry nodded carefully, “Alright, so the wands a bit incompatible with you, Blackthorn is for a fighter, someone with a lot of courage. It hasn’t bonded with you yet, though that's not surprising, you need to earn its loyalty, it probably hasn’t gotten over your father yet.”

    Neville blinked, “It’s just a wand.”

    Harry nodded, “Yeah, wands aren’t sentient like you or I, but there’s something in there, something left over from where it came from, call them ideals if you will. They expect certain things and will only be yours if you fulfill those ideals. For your wand, you need to prove your mettle.”

    Harry carefully said, “So you are going to have to fight something.”

    Neville sat up straighter, his eyes took on a certain glint, and there was a set in his jaw Harry hadn’t seen before, “Like what?”

    “Your father was an Auror right? Fought some Death Eaters back in the day?” Harry asked.

    Neville nodded, “He and my mum beat back He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named three times.”

    “Three times huh? That’ll be tough to beat.” Harry said slowly, “A duel between you and I isn’t going to win this wand over, we’re going to have to go for something a bit more dangerous.”

    “I can handle dangerous.” Neville said.

    Harry grinned, thinking back to a stack of letters earlier this morning, “There’s a rogue mountain troll around Loch Lomond.”

    Nevilles eyes bulged but then grimly nodded, “When do we leave?”

    Harry let out a peal of laughter, “Merlin, Longbottom, you really think I’m going to let you face a mountain troll with no preparations? Your grandmother would turn me into a hat!”

    Neville looked relieved and shakily chuckled. “Okay, so how do I prepare for a mountain troll?”

    -

    AN: Really have no explanation for what the hell this is, just had the vague idea of mixing the Pokemon League with HP and this spewed forth, dunno if there will every be any follow up or if I'll just end it here
     
  15. Knightwing

    Knightwing First Year

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    As she rushed into the room, Hermione spotted a scrap of parchment on the table, along with seven vials of varying sizes and colors.

    Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind, Two of us will help you, whichever you would find, One among us seven will let you move ahead, Another will transport the drinker back instead, Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line. Choose, unless you wish to stay here forevermore, To help you in your choice, we give you these clues four: First, however slyly the poison tries to hide You will always find some on nettle wine’s left side; Second, different are those who stand at either end, But if you would move onward, neither is your friend; Third, as you see clearly, all are different size, Neither dwarf nor giant holds death in their insides; Fourth, the second left and second on the right Are twins once you taste them, thought different at first sight.

    "Brilliant," said Hermione. "This is a puzzle. A lot of the greatest wizards haven’t got an ounce of logic, they’d be stuck in here forever."
    "Uh, Hermione?" said Harry. "What do you mean?"
    Hermione rolled her eyes. "Well, how many wizards go out into the muggle world to buy logic at a street corner? You may know logic by it's more common name carfentanil."
     
  16. Knightwing

    Knightwing First Year

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    This is my first story, just a one-shot that popped in my head.
     
  17. AlbusPHolmes

    AlbusPHolmes The Alchemist

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    Aug 18, 2011
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    This isn't a oneshot, which by most definitions is a short, short story, which in turn has a start, and an end.

    This is a drabble, and an immensely short one at that - the bulk of it is cribbed unchanged from canon, and all you added was two lines of dialogue.

    Not to sound harsh at all, but is there anywhere you want to go with this?
     
  18. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    This is a drabble and I'm moving it to the drabble thread.

    No, there's a not a 'set word limit' to determine the difference in the two but I'm going to go with a lazy 'I know it when I see it' here.
     
  19. H_A_Greene

    H_A_Greene High Inquisitor –§ Prestigious §– DLP Supporter

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    From the old 'you're bleeding on my floor' prompt a while ago.

    I imagined him making it to St Mungos and having Petunia kind of getting shanghaied into accompanying him as his guardian, given such permission was required to go to Hogsmeade in Prisoner of Azkaban I think? With him grievously injured it could be inferred that they would want the proper authorization to heal him, but in the end it was just an excuse to have her see what she missed out on, even if it was tainted by the brewing war.
     
  20. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter

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    That was one of the earlier (new) competition prompts! I started on that one as well, and it's actually one of my favorite ideas. Still plan to write it someday. :)

    Thanks for posting. Good memories.
     
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