Author's Notes: The story is in HARRY'S POV!!!! Sorry about the pairing thing, I'm really not sure who Harry will end up with. I first thought Ginny, but I want her to end up with Neville. So it'll be either Snape, or Malfoy. But with the way Rowling left the fifth book off, it will be hard to string either of them with Harry.
Harry Potter and the Rise of Chaos
Chapter 1 - A Test of Skill
By Allizarin Phyre
But to me, the world was all but pleasant. Death and destruction plagued the Wizarding World. The Dark Lord unleashed chaos into the once-peaceful realm. Havoc reigned free to plunder the world into a fiery darkness. The earth was all but fair. Wrapped in dazzling and appealing velvety material, the Wizarding World drew the uninitiated into its folds and trapped them in a world full of violence, a world of torture, a world of hate.
My eyes snapped open instantly with a glint of terror; my back arched in pain. Cold sweat that had formed during the night soaked my dirty clothes.
I sat up with haste, trying to rid my mind of the nightmare, the nightmare that continued to plague me. Carefully I untangled the blanket that wrapped me in a cocoon of comfort.
Comfort I didn't deserve.
With trembling hands I wiped the sweat that lingered on my forehead, my eyes closing momentarily. Weariness filled every crack of my body as nightmares prevented the ever-low pool of energy that gave me strength to recover.
Strength I had no right to have.
I looked around my room, with squinting eyes. A vague gloom of mist filled the area, washing away the colors, painting it instead in a gray and dismal sight. I looked at the clock beside my bed, and after fumbling with my glasses to get them on; I saw that it was nearly seven.
An hour till my aunt and uncle would wake up.
I wondered what Sirius would be doing now.
I froze, cursing myself for making that mistake. I had forgotten that incident. My mind was bogged down once again with the nightmare. Tears from my eyes wound its way down my cheek and dripped from my chin to my already soaked clothes.
My emotions threatened to overwhelm me; a soft bundle of memories that was in danger of releasing itself in a swirl of dark memories, memories filled with angst. I was falling into depression I knew. A fog of darkness clouded my mind. Days passed by like a hazy blur, soon becoming impossible to tell one day from the next.
I didn't show it, well, not really. Before my fifth year at Hogwarts ended, I acted normally, well, normal for me, that is. I ate breakfast, hung out with Ron and Hermione, and did everything "right." But it wasn't me! I was like a robot, programmed to go through the day without any incidents, like mindless being whose thoughts were trapped within his soul.
I got up from my bed slowly, my thoughts still not having slowed at all. I looked into my mirror, and there I could see the aftereffects of my depression. I had large dark eye bags that reflected the fact that I had little to no sleep. I was much thinner - thinner than I used to be. My clothes were hanging loose; my back was slouched as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders.
Under the long-sleeve shirts I now always wore, the true signs of my suicidal state were covered from sight. About an inch and a half long, shallow cuts from my wrist to my elbow covered my arm. Each slit parallel to where I had previously cut myself.
But I hid it well.
No one's noticed the changes in me. I've learned so much about the world during my fifth year. I've learned to hate, really hate. Hate for the bitch Bellatrix. I've learned of mistrust, of deceit, of manipulation. I've learned to lie with ease - like that of breathing. No, I never lied outright, but half-truths rolled off the tip of my tongue. My face was a mask to hide my emotions; my eyes were cold and distant. Yes, I have learned a lot.
My friends pity me; they pity me because they feel they have a right to. But they don't! They know nothing of the pain I'm suffering, nothing of the pain of loosing someone they loved.
They knew nothing!
I didn't feel anymore, my emotions clashing. Some were all but distant memories that faded everyday. Happiness? Joy? It seemed like a long time since I've felt those emotions. No, it was a long time ago, a time that will never come again.
Because of Voldemort.
My blood boiled with anger. My heart racing, a rush of adrenaline that filled my body. Voldemort. Tom Marvolo Riddle. The Dark Lord. The Bastard Who Made My Life A Living Hell.
These days, it was like a black void was in me, growing bigger everyday. The void ate me up, inside out, like a sickness. I felt dead, knowing nothing, feeling nothing.
I did feel something; something that led me to this state. An emotion so powerful that it never really left me. It was deeply rooted in my body, mind, and soul. Its strong arms enveloped me in a powerful grip.
Yes, guilt; guilt because of what happened that day; guilt because I was the one that caused it with my 'saving people thing' as Hermione put it; guilt, because I had the power to prevent the tragedy that changed my life forever.
I was weak. I knew that. I was too weak to save Sirius, my godfather. I wasn't even powerful enough to punish Bellatrix Lestrange. No, even worse. I cowered behind a stupid statue while Dumbledore faced off with Voldemort.
Because I was weak.
I could have prevented it, I know that, but like a coward, I did nothing.
Now, Sirius was dead, his killer still breathing, the killer's master still in power, and me tucked away in Private Drive, Surrey.
After the first few days of the incident, I could do nothing, nothing but get stuck in my dark memories. I had lost everything that was dear to me. But it was then that it hit me, that I had an obligation to the Wizarding World; that I had one more duty to complete before I died. It was that realization that snapped me out of my depression.
I hated myself, because I knew I had the power to stop it - I was the Boy Who Lived! I was the one prophesied to kill the Dark Lord. I was the one who had the power, and yet I didn't develop that power. Sure, I was the head of the DA, Dumbledore's Army or the Defense Association, but I hadn't grown my power - the power that would have to kill the Dark Lord. Yes, it's true, I had no idea that I was the one to kill Voldemort, but I should have guessed. All those times fate brought Voldemort and me together. It wasn't just coincidence - once or twice maybe, but four times? I should have known, but in my ignorance, I failed, and the result was the death of Sirius. My godfather.
I knew then that I could not rely upon sheer luck next time. No, no, I would be ready. I would be a force to reckon with. I would become the weapon that would slay the Dark Lord. I would become the thing that tipped the balance between Light and Dark. I would be the one to destroy him.
I vowed that night, the night I accepted fully the responsibility that was given to me. I couldn't sleep and dwelled on that one fact. I vowed - I did - I vowed to end it all. I slipped under my invisibility cloak, crept to the library. I took some books that I thought would be useful. I even went to the Restricted Section and took a dozen books. I shrunk them, and concealed them carefully.
Knowledge is power.
I knew that some contained the Dark Arts, but why not? I had already used the Crutiatus Curse, not perfectly, but I used it non-the-less.
Fight fire with fire, know your enemy.
So I took them with me, when I came to the Dursleys. I studied them openly, even the Dark Arts books, because I knew that the Dursleys had no way of knowing the difference. I was allowed to do magic, everyone as allowed, because of Voldemort.
I studied with a hunger that I've never experienced, I soaked up the information with comprehension I've never known. I practiced so much, that magic became second nature to me - I had always felt a little uneasy with it before. My wand was alive in my hands, my skill in spell casting improving, and most importantly my focus deadly.
My aim was perfect, I rarely missed a target. I scared the hell out of Dudley, and my aunt and uncle as well I suppose. I was able to transfigure a pebble into dog with little trouble. I could have my wand in my hand so fast it was impossible to see. I had a book called The Discipline of an Auror on Auror training, a book that taught techniques of an Auror.
It was my favorite.
I looked away from the mirror, and stared at the table, the table was a mess of books and parchments that made it a jungle. My thoughts turned inwards once more. Even with all my studying, I couldn't elude the grip of my nightmares. I practiced Occlumency, because I had no wish to repeat being possessed by Voldemort. I couldn't afford that to happen. But even without the scar-induced nightmares/visions, my mind still wreaked havoc upon me, allowing me no sleep.
My mind was jolted back to reality, when I heard a loud rumble from my Uncle Vernon's room. I looked at the clock. 7:30.
I cursed myself for getting lost in my thoughts. I quickly reset the wards that surrounded my room with sercurity that was a standard thing for Aurors to have set in their private areas. I made that sure my wand was in my pocket and made my way to the bathroom, preforming my morning ritual of shaving, brushing my teeth, trying to tame my hair, then I proceeded down the kitchen.
I quickly got my wand, and with a few choice words, and a few flicks, I conjured a breakfast for the Dursleys, then after another few words to encourage the food to stay hot, I went outside for my jog. The Discipline of an Auror had recommended that 'you must know yourself if you wish to be more powerful. To know yourself means that you know your physical abilities; your limits, your flexibility, your resistance, etc....' It had listed various ways to do that, and jogging was one of such.
I stretched first; making sure that every muscle was alert and ready. I looked around casually, so as to not tip off the Order member that was watching me, following me like a guard dog. I acted like I didn't see him in the shadow behind the tree. After another second to gather my strength, I took off for my thirty-minute jog around Private Drive and beyond.
When I finally returned to the Dursleys, I quickly went to my room and got my spare clothes. I took a nice long bath, then went back into the kitchen, where the Dursleys had finished and left their breakfast - they had gone out for the zoo today, it was Dudley's birthday. I didn't mind being left alone, a year ago I wouldn't have even dreamed of it. Wand in hand I layered two spells together, and with a last flick of my wand the layered spells cleaned the mess on the dining table, and also banished them into their places.
Layering spells together was tough business, not really in magical sense; you didn't have to be powerful to able to do it. However, you needed to be capable of focusing, intense focus. I had learned about the Layering Charm in The Discipline of an Auror. Weaving two or more spells together was extremely useful when wanting dispatch more than one opponent. For example, if you had half a dozen opponents in front of you, and you wanted to stun them all, it would be impossible to do when just stunning them one at a time. However, if you layered the Stunning Spell with the Wall-of-Air Charm (a wall of air that would advance upon the chosen direction, impenetrable, resistant to magic), it would release a mist of a sort that would move forward towards the enemy and stun them when they touch the mist. Incredibly useful. You could layer many different spells, for example a Summoning Charm with a Disarming Curse would disarm the opponent and summon the wand to you. Of course, you could just cast spell after spell. But the Layering Charm allows you to layer more than two spells at a time, how about layering six spells? A Disarming Curse, a Summoning Charm, a Stunning Spell, a Wall-of-Air Charm, a Shrinking Charm, a Levitating Charm all layered together would disarm, summon their wands, stun, shrink them, then levitate them all at the same time.
Layering spells took the same amount of concentration each time, whether you layered two spells, or a hundred, it was all the same, that was why the Layering Charm was a great and valuable tool.
Satisfied with the spells, I ran up the stairs two at a time, then launched myself into my bedroom to dive into my studies. I knew that I didn't eat, again, but I never really felt like eating. I was thin, dangerously so, but not weak. With all my working out that The Discipline of an Auror recommended, I was far from weak, or out of shape. I was just thin.
I had already finished all my homework, and had finished most of the books I had taken from the Library at Hogwarts. I had only one book left to read and memorize before I would need to get more books.
A good thing really, in a week it would be my birthday, and the Order of the Phoenix would come and get me. Then it would give me a chance to go to Diagon Alley. I was in need of many things: quills, ink, parchment, potion ingredients, money, but mostly clothes. My growth spurt had left all my clothes and robes short. They were wide enough, since Dudley had stretched them out, however they were just too short for my height. I reckoned I was about two or three inches shorter than Ron, who was the tallest boy in my House, Gryffindor.
I quickly wrote the customary "I'm fine, Harry" note to whoever was at Grimmauld Place, and gave the note to Hedwig. I gave her an Owl Treat, then after petting her with affection, I asked her to send the letter. She allowed me to tie the note to her leg, then after a soft hoot, she flew away.
I stared at the sky where she flew off, dreaming of meeting my friends again. I felt a little anxious about returning to Sirius' home, but I knew that with my friends there, I would be fine. Ah, my friends. Ron and Hermione, they would probably be spending all their time trying to clean the house like house-elves. When my thoughts turned towards Kreacher my blood got cold.
"I'll get you," I whispered before turning back to the book, "I'll get you all."
It was the eve of my birthday; I had set wards to alert me if anyone came inside the house. I knew that the Order would come get me today. With practiced precision I used the same spell Tonks had used last year to get everything inside my trunk, neatly.
I made sure my wand was in place, then waited for them to come get me. I looked at the clock. 11:46. I still had a lot of time. I had memorized The Discipline of an Auror; I was obsessed with the book. It taught me everything about survival. So many things that would be useful, quotes from so many famous Aurors, even from Alastor Mad-Eye Moody ('CONSTANT VIGILANCE'). Also from another Auror back in the time of Grindelwald quoted, "Don't allow yourself to panic. Be able to recognize your symptoms before you panic and take control. Never panic!" There were many quotes, sayings, and recommendations, even theories. "Your emotions feed your power, take control of that power, use your emotions as an advantage, not an obstacle!" "Know your enemies, know your self", and in the time of the founders Salazar Slytherin himself quoted, "There are no Dark and Light Arts, it's all about intent."
The quote by Slytherin struck me. I was in total agreement. There really was no difference between the two, Dumbledore had killed Grindelwald with 'Avada Kedavra' but that was considered a Dark Spell. It was really all about intent. By using Light Spells you could kill just as easily! Levitate someone high enough then drop him or her; they will die just as the Killing Curse would. There was no difference. Just intent.
I looked at the clock again. 11:56.
It was a wonder, how everything always seemed to happen exactly at twelve. Hagrid arrived exactly at that moment, owls seemed to come at that time to deliver my birthday present, and last year the Order came at that time as well. Amusing.
Again I looked at the clock, and with a jolt I realized that it was 11:59, and 50 seconds, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59... 12:00.
I was sixteen.
I wanted to yell aloud with excitement. After all, my aunts and uncle were out with Dudley, visiting Aunt Marge, no one would be there to stop my parading. I looked out the window, I wanted to share my joy with someone. I was sixteen. But then, once again my heart sank with a feeling of dismay. Sirius had died without seeing me turn sixteen. Sirius, someone I looked up to, had died, and would never again celebrate anything with me.
Then the wards alerted me, someone had tripped them. Stealthily, I took out my Firebolt broomstick, shrunk my trunk, set a Weightless Charm on it, placed it in my pocket before covering myself in my invisibility cloak. Constant vigilance, Moody had said. Even though I was pretty sure it was the Order, I had no way of knowing, it might be Death Eaters. I knew for certain that it wasn't Voldemort himself, my scar would have warned me.
I crept downstairs, wand and broom in hand, avoiding the areas that creaked when stepped on. Whoever they were, they were currently in the kitchen. I crept to the corner, then with a deep breath I looked around the corner, my wand raised, I was already layering spells, mumbling under my breath, saying the incantations.
Before I read The Discipline of an Auror, I had thought that the power of the spell was greater the louder I chanted, however the book had told different, and after a few times of practice, I was able to get away with mumbling and muttering under my breath.
I stepped into the kitchen, my steps light and soundless, the spells layered and ready to fire if released. There were five figures, too dark to see whom, standing in the middle of the kitchen.
"Nice to see you too, Potter," growled Moody. The others whipped around, looking about in confusion. One of them hissed with annoyance and I heard him say, "Lumos!"
Light filled the room, a steady glowing lamp that hurt my unadjusted eyes. I saw Remus and Tonks standing in the far corner; Moody was up front, his eye whizzing about, giving a frightening look to it. Two others, I didn't know who, raised their wands, searching for me.
Quickly taking off the cloak, I saw them all - except Moody - look startled at my abrupt entrance. With a flick I dispelled the layered spells and lowered my wand.
"Good job, Potter. Constant Vigilance. If we were Death Eaters you would have had us," he continued, his eyes stopped for a moment, both of them staring at him. Although he had just complimented me, I hardly felt it. His piercing eyes seemed to see through me like Dumbledore's.
Remus smiled, and came over to hug me. I grinned at him, "Hi! I've missed you!"
He tapped my back with affection, his movements like that of an old man. His clothes looked slept in, his hair a mess, slowly turning gray, a few white threads that made him seem older than he was. His eyes looked bleary and weary, wrinkles in the corner of those eyes. The usual cheerful spirit gone, only bits still there, like the warm embers of what used to be a fire.
Then Tonks came up to hug me, her eyes filled with pity, pity that I hated. But I swallowed my Gryffindor pride, and allowed her to hug me like a sister. She too looked tired, not as tired as Remus, but tired non-the-less.
I then realized, as I looked at them together, that they all had a tired look to them. I wondered what was happening out there. I had stopped my subscription to the Daily Prophet. The newspaper didn't give much information with all their "...lone soul standing up to the scrutiny of the Wizarding World," "Holding his own in the face of ridicule..." and etc. They went on about the politics in the Ministry, how different factions reacted to the Declaration - that was what it was called now, the Declaration of Voldemort's Rebirth - but the Prophet told nothing of what was happening with Voldemort. After a week of getting the pathetic excuse of a paper, I wrote them a Howler, and quit the subscription.
But they weren't the only ones that I wrote a Howler to. Many Boy-Who-Lived fans wrote to me, filling my room with owls and they're... um... wastes. I was immediately angry, and burned all the letters that were sent. But when more and more came, I replied with Howlers. After sending a few dozen of them, the news got out that I didn't enjoy all the mail, and as if by a mutual agreement, the owl posts stopped coming immediately.
"Got your stuff ready?" asked Moody, his eyes once again flying in dizzy circles.
"Yup, right here."
I showed them my shrunken trunk. Moody nodded, "Good, well then let's get going."
We got outside by the backdoor in the kitchen to the small garden Aunt Petunia kept. Moody, looked around, before allowing me to come out.
"All right, this time we're going to do this different. I'm going to lead, that's the same. I want you two," he pointed to the two unknown Order people that had come, "To be on each side of me but a little back, like a triangle. Then I want you," his gnarled finger pointed in my direction, "to be behind them, like a diamond. Then I want Tonks and Remus to take the back. Got it? Okay, let's go!"
I lifted off easily, rising steadily, keeping pace with the others. I had learned from the year before and wore heavy clothing and gloves, but even with the clothes I shivered as the cold night breeze swept across my face, caressing my hair. I smiled brightly as we flew higher and farther from Private Drive. It had been a while since I had been on a broom; flying was a favorite hobby of mine. But with all the muggles in the neighborhood, I knew I couldn't risk exposure.
Hours flew by, Moody occasionally changing directions, my body warm from the clothing - I had soon placed warming charms when the clothe itself couldn't hold onto heat after an hour in the cold night air. We were a few hundred feet into the sky, the stars and moon visible from the cloudless night. My eyes were getting heavy, as the nights without sleep slowly tried to overwhelm me with exhaustion. I looked dreamily at the homes below, at the people in their beds, resting without nightmares to plague them. I tried to occupy my mind, by exercising Occlumency, and other focusing techniques taught in The Discipline of an Auror.
That's when I saw it, when the results from the exercises increased my senses. Up ahead, where I could barely see even from my enhanced senses, was a dot. It was the tiniest dot, that even for a moment I doubted myself. But a nagging presence in my mind made me reacted. I summoned my omniculars, and enlarged them to their original size. I raised the omniculars to my eyes, and what I saw made the adrenaline rush through my veins. There were a dozen or so Death Eaters on Nimbus 2001s heading this way. I looked around and saw similar group coming in from beside and behind us. They were not looking in our direction, but in ten or so minutes we would be recognizable. I looked under, and saw that there was another group flying low, directly below, and if they looked up, they would see us.
I felt panic start to get a hold of me; my mind immediately recognized the symptoms. I took five seconds to do the exercises listed in The Discipline of an Auror, and calmed myself. I shouted as loud as I dared to get Moody's attention, and when he turned to look at me with an annoyed looked, I frantically pointed in the direction of the Death Eaters and with my wand, I banished the omniculars to Moody's hands. He took a quick look, and raised his hand to stop us. He turned his broom and motioned us to get closer.
All of this had taken barely half a minute, so the dots, no longer visible by me due to the fact that I released my enhanced senses, were not visible either by the rest of the group.
They looked confused, as we got close enough to speak without raising our voices. Moody looked at us with a grim expression on his face, and explained the whole thing in one sentence, "Thirty Death Eaters at north, west, south, east, and below."
They all - minus Moody and I - looked startled, then frightened; after all, there were thirty Death Eaters out there looking for us.
The others were asking silly question like, 'What do we do?' or 'Have they seen us?' But I took the time to review the situation. We were outnumbered more than six to one - not very good odds. The Discipline of an Auror had quoted, "When outnumbered, surprise is your next best ally" How could we surprise them? By moving first. We needed to attack. Tactics from the Auror book rushed through my mind. We were in open sky, easily seen with no obstacles to hide behind. The book said, "Never allow your opponent to see you clearly." That meant that we needed to take cover. But since it was open sky with no clouds, which would mean that we needed to bring clouds. But I knew that it was highly advanced magic, to bring enough clouds to cover us. What now? Fog. I knew a few Weather Charms. There were some mentioned in the book, and others in the other books I had stolen from Hogwarts. Yes, I would need to bring summon fog. But to get it high enough, and dense enough to cover us would mean several minutes worth of intense concentration. And even in the fog we would need to fight sooner or later, that meant we needed reinforcements.
I knew I was rattling; I looked up and saw that only several moments had passed. Moody looked like he was about to hex them all. We needed to take action.
I grabbed Tonks by the shoulder and said to her, "Apparate to headquarters bring help!" She looked hesitant for a moment until Moody nodded his assent to her. She vanished with a crack! I had picked Tonks because, although she was an Auror, she was very clumsy, and a mistake here could cause trouble. Remus was powerfully magical, and Moody had enough experience with these situations, the others looked just as powerful and swift as Remus, and I didn't know how to Apparate. Tonks was the most expendable.
I looked at the others and said, "We need to attack, I'll raise a fog to cover us, dive and shoot stunners at the Death Eaters."
Moody looked thoughtful for a moment before grunting, "Well? What are you waiting for?! Get going! Dive!"
We all turned our broom into a nosedive; it would take several minutes until we were in spell distance from the Death Eaters, and another several minutes before we hit the ground. I was already working the Weather Charm. A faint mist began to pick up, my will coaxing and pleading the mist to condense, and spread. I fed more and more power, as the fog began to rise. The others beside me attacked, red beams that flew down to the Death Eaters. The fight was on. The Aurors were layering their spells, while poor Remus, who didn't learn how to layer spells, was casting spell after spell after spell. The Death Eaters were casting Unforgivables, and some even layering their spells - there were Aurors among the Death Eaters.
All the while I was raising the fog. It was nearly thirty feet above the ground now, and rising steadily. Death Eaters from above rained spells down upon us. The battle was becoming dangerous. While I was trying to avoid being hit, controlling the broom, focusing on the fog, nearly twenty Death Eaters were trying to kill me. It was tough handling everything, but I finally was able to raise the fog up to an astonishing fifty feet above the ground. The fog had nearly a quarter-mile radius, with was like a three dimensional box. The walls of the fog abnormally smooth and flat - truly magical.
Sweat streamed from my forehead, my breathing harsh and loud. My hand was shaking from the effort. I flicked my hand to tie the spell to the ground, and hold it. With a last wave, I linked the spell to myself, so that it was next to impossible to release the fog without my consent. Only powerful beings like Voldemort or Dumbledore could break the link.
I took a few seconds to breath, I was nearly upon the fog, one of us had already plunged into the fog. I layered a few spells together, and released it over my shoulder, before the fog enveloped me in its cold embrace.
I kept flying myself lower. The fog muted the sounds of the battle like a door closing you off from the rest of the house. I felt a beating along the link, the link that connected me to the fog. The Death Eaters were trying to break it, and dispel the fog - unlikely to happen. I knew that others were trying to create a wind to blow away the fog, but that was why I tied the fog to the very ground, to hold it in place no matter how strong the wind.
When I estimated I nearly reached the ground I slowed. I could barely see three feet in front of me. Sounds were gone now, my ears hurting from the stillness. My irregular breathing sounded like a church bell tolling on Sunday morning, to be heard by all. I finally reached the ground, however I didn't actually get off the broom. I knew that the only way to track an opponent in this dense of a fog was by sound - and I wasn't about to let them track me so easily.
I sighed quietly; I would be safe here until Tonks returned with help. It was a quarter of an hour past now, more than enough time for Tonks to have reached Grimmauld Place. I didn't know how wide the wards extended to, but with a broom, she should have easily reached the headquarters by now. Getting and raising help would take another quarter, then coming here another quarter of an hour. So, I estimated I needed to wait here at least thirty minutes. Great.
I then had three options. Option One: Stay here, get risk getting caught, and wait for the Order to come get me. Option Two: Look for the others; get risk getting caught, then as a group, wait until the Order got here. Option Three: Just get the hell out of there.
I knew I couldn't take option one, to be a sitting duck. I couldn't do that. Option three was a definite no-no! I was a Gryffindor. So that left option two.
I proceeded slowly, making my way to wherever I heard the faintest of sounds. I didn't dare to cast the Lumos Spell; it would be a signal fire for both the Order and the Death Eaters. But I did cast an invisible protection charm on myself to protect me from minor curses, hexes, jinxes, and offensive spells. Another security charm layered with a tracking charm was placed around me. If a spell came within five feet from me, I would immediately know and also know the direction from which the spell came from. It was all in The Discipline of an Auror, customary Auror procedure when entering a hostile area. I sniggered, amused. I was memorizing and quoting books like Hermione.
Then the charms alerted me. My sniggering had caught someone's attention and they had sent a Killing Curse my way, I smoothly curved away, my broom controlled in one hand, the other holding my wand. I was already layering three spells - the Disarming Spell, the Summoning Charm, and the Petrificus Totalus Spell - and released the layered spells. In a multicolored rainbow like beam, the spells shot out from the wand in the direction from which the original spells had come from. I heard someone grunt, then a body hitting the grass. A wand came into few, flying in my direction. With my seeker skills I easily caught the wand and pocketed it.
I advanced slowly with my broom, gliding in the air. I saw a dark form up ahead, and with my wand steadily pointed at the body, I moved in on it. I got off from my broom, careful not to make too much noise. I turned the body to see the face. Instead I was met with the red mask of a Death Eater. I took off the mask to see a petrified Malfoy. Lucius Malfoy. The father of Draco Malfoy who made my life hell from the first day I met him.
It was still a wonder to me. How could anyone be so cruel? Lucius Malfoy had a son my age, and yet how could he be so heartless? Trying to kill someone my age? I remember seeing him at the graveyard at the end of my fourth year. He was standing there laughing - laughing! - while I was being tortured by Voldemort. He laughed as a child - his son's age - dueled with the most powerful Dark Lord in recent history, even more powerful than Grindelwald - his master.
I transfigured the body into fly, then transfigured the mask into a glass cage. I placed the bug into the cage, then with a flick I undid the petrifying spell. Immediately the bug buzzed around, trying to escape. I laughed silently, trying not to, but the thought of finally catching Malfoy was ecstasy.
I cast an Unbreakable Charm on the glass, then placed the cage in my pocket. I got back on my broom and proceeded to look for more Death Eaters and the others.
I continued flying for nearly ten minutes without a sound, then I heard two people start dueling nearby. I listened, trying to find out who was the Order member and who was the Death Eater. A Death Eater would use Dark Curses and the Unforgivables, and with my knowledge in the Dark Arts, I knew that I could recognize Dark Curses.
It took several minutes of dueling, while I was already layering spells. If the Death Eater had protection spells on him, then I knew the layered spells would have little to no effect. Unless I strengthened them.
I wondered if I could do that. My mind went back to the courtyard at the Ministry, when Dumbledore had cast a simple spell with such power that its excess energy pressed against me, making the hair at the back of my head to stand on its end. Maybe he layered the same spells several times? Would two same spells layered together combine to make a more powerful spell? With this theory in mind, I combined the same spells several times, layering and meshing them together, and listened once more.
Then I heard someone on the right cry a Dark Curse. I immediately released the layered spells, and a beam, a beam unlike any I've ever created; a beam more like that of Dumbledore's erupted from the tip of my wand. The energy from the spell that exploded out from my wand released a backlash - a wave of energy that forced me off my broom and onto the grass. The two duelers also stopped when the power of the spell pressed against them. I felt the spell implode into the Death Eater with such force, the ground seemed to quiver from the spell; in another second it ended. The energy from the spell fading away. I walked forward; I heard someone come forward to me.
It was Remus.
I ran forward and hugged him, I was so relieved to find him alive. He grinned and hugged me back, then looked at me from an arm's distance. I saw wonder and amazement in his eyes.
"What did you do?" he asked hesitantly.
I was about to answer him when I felt a tug on the link. It wasn't the normal beating from the Death Eaters. It was a full pull that made me gasp in shock and stagger to the grown. Whoever it was pulled once more, and I quickly released the link the tied me to the fog. I knew that it was Dumbledore, he was the only one powerful enough to do that. If it were Voldemort my scar would have warned me.
Remus immediately helped me up, and let me lean on him. "What is it?"
I replied with a gasp, "Dumbledore."
Remus nodded, and looked around, as the fog slowly started to dissipate. A breeze tore through the fog, helping it to wisp away to nothing. I felt drained from all the magical draining in the past hour. My knees felt weak from exhaustion and relief at being saved.
When the fog was completely gone, I was met with nearly fifty Order members on brooms, and Dumbledore in front. I saw Tonks flying towards us, a big grin on her face, her eyes bright with tears. I heard someone coming up behind us, and looked to see Moody who was a mess of twigs and dirt, his broom broken in the middle.
"Nice to see you've made it, Potter," said Moody in greeting. I looked at him with a wide grin, and was about to answer when a flash of brown hair crossed my vision seconds before someone crashed into me, hugging me so ferociously that I had the breath knocked out of my lungs before I could react.
"Hermione!" I gasped as her brown bushy hair tickled my nose. I had trouble breathing in her firm grip, as she cried on my shoulder. I looked over and saw the rest of the Weasleys making there way over to us.
Hermione finally let go, her eyes - red with tears - were filled with concern. "Are you okay, Harry? Oh, we were so worried! When Tonks rushed in, we were already awake, we were going to do a suprise party for you, you see? But, oh Harry, you should of seen how worried Dumbledore was!"
I smiled at her reassuringly, "Hey, I'm fine, really! You okay?"
She nodded at me, her watering eyes still looked a little concerned.
"Hey mate!" called Ron, "You okay there?"
I grinned at my best friend. He and I were about the same height, I was still shorter though. His freckles were more visible as his skin looked like it hadn't seen the sun in a while. I supposed he didn't get out much, after all, he was staying at Grimmauld Place.
Hermione however, was still pretty short, her brown eyes bright with tears. Ah, Hermione, I thought fondly, she always was worrying about something or another. I wanted to ask her if the party was still going to happen when we got home, but decided that now was not the time. The Discipline of an Auror had quoted, "Patience is a virtue." Well, it was better to wait sometimes.
The rest of the Weasleys arrived, the twins with sly grins on that made me worry for a moment, but that passed as they gave me a hug and patted me on the back and nothing bizzar happened, or so I thought. I had later found that they had pasted on my back a sign that read: "The Boy Who Lost His Mind." The twins were always thinking about one prank or another. Even the Mauraders would have had to work extra just to match their pranks. I briefly wondered who would win if there were a real Pank War, but three of the four members were dead - yes, I considered Wormtail as dead, dead was the person who was once trusted. The Wormtail I knew now was a completely different person. James Potter and Sirius Black - best of friends, inseparable - they too were dead and gone. My face darken momentarily with the thought. James and Sirius, father and godfather, both left me alone to face the troubles of my life - a life no one should have to take.
I sighed wearily, I had no right to blame Sirius for the life I had. I had only one person to blame, and that was Voldemort, the one I had to kill one day. Kill. I sighed once more, life was never easy.
Mrs. Weasley was suddenly there, putting me into her loving grasp, hugging me like a mother to her prodigal son. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine Lily Evans, my mother, hugging me. I smiled at that thought. If I wasn't able to kill Voldemort and instead he managaed to kill me, I would at least be with my parents, and Sirius.
No, I told myself firmly, I would not lose to the bastard. I will win, I will do whatever it takes to defeat the monster once and for all - never to be reborn again. I would train and become the ultimate weapon. I will keep the vow that I made, the vow to avenge Sirius, and complete the prophesy; the vow to kill the Dark Lord.
Mrs Weasley asked me the usual: was I alright? Am I hurt? Do I feel dizzy or weak? I answered the question honestly and calmly, my inner balance was once more restored with the thought of keeping my vow. Yes I was alright; no I wasn't hurt; and no I don't feel weak or dizzy. The last one was due to the fact that I had pushed away the weariness and the dizzy feeling from draining my magic by exercises mentioned in The Discipline of an Auror.
Mr Weasley was the next to see me, his eyes filled with the same concern as Hermione. I grinned appreciatively as he gave me a quick hug. His red hair was turning white; the bald spot in the middle of his head seemed to have grown in size. He shared the same tired look as Remus, his face white and drawn making his freckles much more visible - like a white board filled with black spots.
The Order members were spreading out, making sure that there were no straggler Death Eaters around, who thought to take at least one other enemy out before Disapparating. Dumbledore glided down to our group. His old face looked sad. His once-twinkling blue eyes were dark from worry. My mind flashed back to the time when Dumbledore actually shed a tear. He looked so old and vulnerable then.
He nodded to Moody, who nodded right back. Then his eyes connected with mine. His eyes silently asked if I was fine, and I nodded back to him, telling him that I was as fine as I could be without words.
"Well, if we're done here, I suggest we get back." said Moody, his eyes were still frantically rolling around.
"Yes, we really must get back. The children will catch a cold, Albus. We can't have them riding their brooms, we need to get them home quickly." Mrs. Weasley, I thought to myself with an inner grin, always the mother hen.
Dumbledore seemed to be in deep thought, before he pulled out a glass ball, a little bigger than a quaffle, and muttered a few words before tapping on the ball. I knew that he was making a Portkey. I had heard him make one before at the Ministry, and also did some reading about that subject over the summer.
"This Portkey will be activated in one minute, it will take you to Grimmauld Place," said Dumbledore, his voice ever-calm and filled with authority, "quickly now, gather around."
As we gathered around the Portkey, I tried tell him about Lucius Malfoy, but he silence me with a look that said we would talk later. I nodded, understanding, and held my finger out to touch the Portkey. The others - Ron, Hermione, the Twins, and Ginny - also reached for it.
Instantly I felt the usual tug, the tug in my navel. I felt my feet lift off the ground, as my finger glued to the glass object turned Portkey. The air roared in my ears, as I traveled faster than even my Firebolt's maximum speed could offer. My eyes were shut from the dizzying affect of seeing colors rush through my eyes, whirling around and around like a hurricane. I suddenly felt a resistance, I felt the pressure from the momentum of the Portkey press against the cushion wall, a wall that was not a wall. Confusing.
I felt a groan escape my throat, the wall was bending from the pressure of the Portkey, everyone was pressed against this wall painfully. I opened my eyes with pain and confusion, and what I saw didn't help much. We were in a white void, everything was white, there were no walls, no roofs, no floors. Just a white space that continued forever. We were the only ones there. I couldn't move anything except my eyes; I couldn't even breath. I felt light headed, my lungs screaming for air. We were suspended in midair, the very matter in the space pressed against us, as if we were a hundred feet under water, the water pressure crushing the air from our lungs. My eyes started to water from the pain, I saw several others also looking like they were half dead. I knew that my body was almost at the breaking point, I was grunting from the pain. I saw Ginny start to cry openly. What the bloody hell was happening?
To be continued...
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