|SIYE Time:9:26 on 17th August 2018|
Category: Pre-OotP, Post-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Death, Disturbing Imagery, Extreme Language, Intimate Sexual Situations, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Negative Alcohol Use, Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Summary: Sequel to Darkness Within. This story begins the night before Harry's fifth year at Hogwarts. Canon couples accurate to JKR. The romance between Harry and Ginny will develop slowly due to their ages. Please note rating and warnings.
Hitcount: Story Total: 27343; Chapter Total: 657
Awards: View Trophy Room
Thank you to everyone who has been reading and reviewing! We are veering off increasingly into AU territory. Tremendous thanks to Arnel for her work with this chapter!
Department of Mysteries
Harry watched in horror as a jet of red light hit Ginny in the face. She sank to the floor, unconscious, her fiery hair covering her face. Hermione and Luna had already been struck down, their forms as still as Ginny’s. Ron was battling the tentacles of the brain he had Summoned from a tank. The feelers wrapped around his body, tightening like a constrictor trying to suffocate its prey. Neville was the only one left standing and fighting beside him in the Department of Mysteries.
Harry had been tricked, manipulated by Voldemort, into coming to the Ministry to retrieve the prophecy he had never known existed. As Neville continued to hurl Stunning Spells at the approaching Death Eaters, Harry realized he may have led his closest friends to their deaths. How could he have believed the false vision of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort? How could he have allowed his friends to accompany him on a mission to rescue his godfather who was clearly not even here? He had to somehow lead the Death Eaters away from his friends.
Lifting the prophecy above his head where it would be easily visible, Harry ran out of the room and down a series of steep stone steps. He felt a momentary sense of relief when he realized the five Death Eaters had followed him. Perhaps his friends could still escape, could still make it out of this mess alive.
“You’re all alone now, Potter,” Lucius Malfoy announced with a smirk. “You cannot escape from us. Hand over the prophecy.”
Backing up slowly, Harry stalled. “If you let my friends leave the Ministry, I’ll give you the prophecy.”
“Do you really feel you are in the best position to bargain with us?” Lucius drawled. Gesturing to one of the others, Harry was shocked to see Neville shoved forward down the last of the stone steps. He hit the floor hard with a stifled groan, but rolled over immediately and tried to sit up. “I do believe this is the Longbottom boy.”
“Longbottom? Well, isn’t that an interesting coincidence?” Bellatrix licked her top lip menacingly as she sauntered towards Neville. “I had the very great pleasure of meeting your parents many years ago.” She pouted thoughtfully. “I’m not sure they enjoyed our acquaintance as much as I did.”
“Stay away from him!” Harry ordered.
“Give us the prophecy,” Bellatrix demanded holding out her hand.
Neville wiped blood away from his mouth. “Don’t do it, Harry!”
“Crucio!” Bellatrix spat, pointing her wand and grinning viciously.
Harry flinched as Neville screamed, his body twitching as he fell over onto his side.
“That felt good,” Bellatrix purred. “Always nice to warm up with a small dose. Now, if you don’t hand over the prophecy, we’ll see how well your friend tolerates something a bit stronger.”
Harry held out the prophecy, his attention focused on his friend who still lay shaking on the ground. Malfoy stepped forward to take the sphere just as two jets of red light struck his torso. The combined power of the spells sent him careening into the air before he dropped to the ground, unconscious, several feet away. Peering up in shock, Harry saw Lupin, Moody, Tonks, and Kingsley. Their simultaneous attack with Stunning Spells had taken out two of the five Death Eaters. Only Bellatrix, Rookwood, and Dolohov were still standing.
Slipping the prophecy into his pocket, Harry dodged the spells flying rapidly throughout the room and crawled over to Neville. “Are you okay?”
“Yes,” he muttered thickly, spitting out a mouth-full of blood. “Don’t think I can walk.” One knee was twisted at an odd angle making Harry suspect that it was broken.
Neville grimaced. “Okay, I think. I almost had the brain completely off him when I was grabbed. Ron was still conscious.”
Harry watched the duels taking place around them. The Order members were certainly holding their own, but so were the remaining Death Eaters. It seemed that no one would fall quickly or easily. They were too evenly matched. Lupin and Tonks were fighting together to overcome Bellatrix, who was clearly the strongest duelist of the group.
An errant spell struck the floor a few feet away from them, leaving a deep gouge in the stone. “We need to move!” Harry grabbed Neville around the waist and started to hoist him backwards several feet.
“Look out!” Neville shouted, grabbing Harry and forcing him to the ground.
A jet of green light flew over his head as he collided heavily with the stone floor. The sound of glass smashing was quickly replaced by the image of a pearly-white figure a few feet in front of them. Harry tried to focus as he saw the woman’s mouth moving, but with the noise of the duels being fought around them, he only caught a few words of the raspy voice before it vanished.
“Bloody hell, Harry,” Neville groaned. “Did you hear it?”
He shook his head and glanced up just as Sirius and Dumbledore ran into the room and down the steps to join the fray. The relief of seeing his godfather and Headmaster was immediate and overwhelming. They were safe. His friends were going to be alright.
The tide of the battle seemed destined to shift immediately. Dumbledore joined Kingsley in his fight with Dolohov, while Sirius leapt onto the raised stone dais in the center of the floor, immediately capturing the attention of Bellatrix.
“Well, well, cousin,” she murmured. “Come to play?”
Sirius growled as he threw a curse at his cousin. The pair exchanged spell fire so rapidly Harry could not keep track of which spells were flying from each wand.
“Surely, you can do better than that!” his godfather yelled.
Bellatrix snarled as a spell flew from her wand, catching Sirius in the chest and sending him towards the stone archway with the veil. His head struck the thick stone pillar with a sickening crunch. Harry’s eyes widened in horror as he saw blood spatter to the stone floor. His godfather fell heavily to the ground, eyes open and glassy.
The witch cackled with glee before sprinting up the stone steps and out of the room.
“Nooooo!” Harry screamed.
“Sirius!” Tonks cried, running to her cousin and dropping by his side.
A fury Harry had never felt before consumed him. His godfather was dead. Sirius was dead. Bellatrix had killed him. Her own cousin. It was all Harry’s fault.
He ran through the corridors blindly. Anger fueled him, drove him. His godfather was dead because of him, because of her, because of Voldemort, because of hate, because of fear. He had to find her. He had to kill her. He had to make her suffer for what she had done.
Bellatrix was in the Atrium of the Ministry when Harry reached her. He shot a spell blindly in her direction to make her stop, to make her face him. She whipped around and laughed, a high-pitched giggle that only intensified his fury.
“Has little Harry come to play?” she smirked. “Oh, are you upset about poor dear Sirius?”
“Crucio!” he bellowed.
Bellatrix fell to the ground and screamed. His spell had hurt her, but not caused the pain it was meant to. She quickly regained her feet, though she peered at him with more caution.
“You have to really mean it when you cast an Unforgivable Spell, Harry,” she panted. “If you don’t truly mean to cause pain, if you won’t sincerely enjoy the suffering you are causing, it won’t work very well. Perhaps you need some tuition. Crucio!”
Harry dropped to the floor, rolling quickly out of the way before regaining his feet.
“Well, aren’t you the agile one!” Bellatrix smirked. “Of course, you can’t stand against me for long. Give me the prophecy, Harry.”
He laughed. Even to his own ears, he realized it was not a sane laugh. “Really? You’re still asking for the prophecy. You don’t know it’s gone?” He grinned through the pain exploding in his head. “The prophecy smashed! Voldemort’s going to be so angry! What do you think he’ll do?”
Bellatrix’s eyes widened in terror as her master appeared, his tall thin frame advancing slowly. Voldemort’s high cold voice echoed through the Atrium. “So, Harry, did you really smash the prophecy?”
“Master, I didn’t know,” the witch desperately explained, throwing herself to Voldemort’s feet. “I was fighting the Order members. I did not hear it.”
“Silence, Bella,” he ordered. “I will deal with you and the others later. For now, it is long past time to rid myself of a small problem. Avada Kedavra!”
Harry stood quietly waiting for the spell to hit him. He did not attempt to move, did not even raise his wand to resist. It took a moment for Harry to realize that the spell had not hit him, that he was not dead. A statue had suddenly appeared before him, absorbing the spell meant to kill him.
“Dumbledore,” Voldemort murmured as he turned in search of his nemesis.
“Hello, Tom,” the Headmaster spoke quietly. “The Aurors are on their way. It was not wise for you to come here.”
“Not wise!” he yelled, sending a Killing Curse towards the Headmaster. He growled when the spell missed. “You are a tired old man. I will kill you and the boy. We can see how the Aurors handle that.”
The duel that followed astounded Harry. He had never seen silent, deadly spells cast so quickly or so accurately at an opponent. It was both thrilling and terrifying, the blinding speed, the unbridled power, the unparalleled sophistication of this fight. As suddenly as it began, it appeared to be over. Voldemort disappeared, leaving only empty space where he had stood moments before.
The unexpected pain was overwhelming. A burning fire had entered Harry’s body and taken over his mind. The throbbing, aching agony swept over every part of him, until only the stinging torment remained. He didn’t realize he was screaming until his voice subsided into a rasping howl. The torture of Voldemort entering his mind, possessing him entirely, and then leaving him was intolerable. Harry shuddered violently as he realized he was still alive and that Voldemort had fled.
The sound of several voices speaking at once reached Harry’s ears as Dumbledore lifted him to a standing position. The Atrium was filling with people, some were asking questions, others simply glanced around at the destruction.
Harry felt numb, completely detached, blissfully unaware and uncaring. He swayed to the side, unable to maintain his balance, indifferent to his surroundings. A strong arm tightened around him, holding him upright. Harry stared blankly, seeing nothing but his godfather falling, the blood on the stone. Sirius is dead. You killed him. It’s all your fault. An object was thrust into his hands. He stared down at it unblinkingly. It was a piece of a statue.
“Take this Portkey. I’ll see you soon.”
Harry nodded vaguely before disappearing in a swirl of colored light and empty sound.
The Headmaster’s office looked the same as it had the last time he had been here, many months ago, before Dumbledore fled Hogwarts. Harry paced the room angrily, raking his fingers through his hair in frustration. Sirius was dead because of him; his friends were injured because of him. Gritting his teeth, he realized he didn’t even know for sure who had survived the fight. Were the girls okay? The last he had seen, Ginny, Hermione, and Luna were all unconscious. Were they all alive?
Harry tried to ignore the portraits of the previous Heads of Hogwarts as they woke and attempted to engage him in conversation. He didn’t want to talk, didn’t want to think about what had happened, and about how it had all been his fault.
When Dumbledore finally appeared, many of the portraits called out in welcome.
“Thank you,” he said softly. Turning to Harry, the Headmaster paused for a moment, as though organizing his thoughts, before speaking. “First, I must tell you that your classmates are all in the hospital wing under the care of Madam Pomfrey. I spoke to her briefly, and she has assured me that none of the injuries are life-threatening. Sirius is, of course, at St. Mungo’s as his injuries are rather more severe.”
Harry’s head snapped up in disbelief. “Sirius is alive?”
Dumbledore sat in the chair behind his desk. “You may have noticed Nymphadora Tonks intervening quite quickly on her cousin’s behalf. Just in the past decade Aurors have been required to learn emergency healing techniques for use in the field. They are rather effective, particularly when implemented as rapidly as Miss Tonks managed it this evening.”
“He’s alive,” Harry breathed.
“Yes,” the Headmaster assured him. “I will not pretend that the injuries Sirius suffered are not extremely grave. What I can tell you is that he is currently receiving the best care available while being guarded by Remus, Tonks, and Moody.”
He laughed, a pained, tortured sound as tears streamed down his cheeks. “I thought he was dead.”
Dumbledore sighed. “I’m so sorry that you had to go through this tonight. I know it does not make up for my mistakes, but I must confess the knowledge I have kept from you.”
“The prophecy,” Harry murmured.
“Yes, the prophecy,” the Headmaster nodded. “It was made shortly before your birth by Professor Trelawney and stored in the Department of Mysteries all this time. Voldemort knew of the prophecy. A Death Eater overheard a small portion of it the night it was made and repeated the words to him. Voldemort has been quite desperate to hear the prophecy in its entirety since he regained his body at the cemetery last year, though he has been unwilling to go to the Ministry himself. I should have warned you that he might try to lead you to the Department of Mysteries.”
“How did he do it, sir?” Harry asked, finally sinking into a chair. “The vision I had of Sirius being tortured. It was so real.”
Professor Dumbledore shrugged. “Please understand, Harry, I don’t have all the answers you seek.” He rubbed his forehead. “Professor Snape has been rather pleased by your progress in learning Occlumency these last few months. However, he informed me a while ago that the connection you share with Voldemort is not exactly Legilimency, and therefore, Occlumency may not be enough to completely protect you from his influence. Again, I should have informed you of the possibility of false images being forced into your mind.”
Harry nodded. Professor Snape had even admitted to him that the connection between Voldemort’s mind and his own did not follow the normal rules of Legilimency. Eye contact and proximity were clearly not required. “I did try to verify Sirius’s whereabouts. I spoke with Kreacher using the Floo in Umbridge’s office, and he told me Sirius was gone.”
“Kreacher lied. Since you are not his master, he was able to lie to you quite easily. I have no doubt Sirius will be having a very important conversation with his house-elf once he is released from St. Mungo’s. Hopefully, Remus will be present to keep things from…well, from becoming too volatile,” the Headmaster murmured.
Harry barely managed to contain a snort. He couldn’t imagine Sirius doing anything Kreacher wouldn’t thoroughly deserve. The image of the severed Black house-elf heads being displayed on a wall in Grimmauld Place came to mind. Closing his eyes, he forced himself to focus on the fact that Sirius was alive, that he would be able to see his godfather again.
“Sir,” he said. “The prophecy fell. It shattered, and I didn’t hear it.”
Professor Dumbledore stood and walked over to a cabinet. He removed a shallow stone basin, carved with runes along the edge. “This is a Pensieve. Since I was the one who heard the prophecy from Professor Trelawney so long ago, I can show you the memory.” Using his wand, he slowly pulled a thin, silvery thread from his mind and deposited it into the basin. A ghostly figure soon rose from the misty depths and spoke.
“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…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…”
Harry sat in stunned silence for a moment. “What does it mean, sir?”
“It means that the only person with a chance of defeating Voldemort is a boy born at the end of July sixteen years ago to parents who had defied him three times.”
“And that’s definitely me?”
“Honestly, it could have been you, or Neville Longbottom.” The Headmaster replied. “However, we know with certainty it is you because Voldemort marked you as his equal.” He gestured to the lightning bolt looking scar on Harry’s forehead.
He shook his head. “What’s the power? I don’t have any power. The way you and Voldemort dueled at the Ministry.” He shrugged helplessly. “How can I possibly defeat him?”
“You can, and you will,” Professor Dumbledore replied. “You have a capacity to love, a heart that is so open that Voldemort fled in pain when he tried to possess you this evening. If there is one thing in all of this I am absolutely certain of, it is that you have power he neither knows nor understands. That power will give you the opportunity to defeat him in the end.”
Molly Weasley rushed ahead of her husband into the Hospital Wing of Hogwarts. “Madam Pomfrey!” she called as she pushed open the doors and hurried into the room.
“They’re all going to be fine,” the matron said firmly. “Just give me a moment to finish administering these last few potions.”
Molly nodded, tears gathering in her eyes as she looked from one bed to the other at the teenagers. She wanted to yell at them and hug them at the same time.
Arthur came up behind her and pulled her firmly to him. She sighed and relaxed into his strong arms, allowing him to finally offer the comfort she so desperately needed. Now that she was here, now that she could see her children, she could breathe again.
Madam Pomfrey approached them just as Augusta Longbottom and Xenophilius Lovegood hurried in. “All of the children are healing nicely; however, I just gave them Dreamless Sleep, so you won’t be able to talk to them for a while. Ginny, Luna, and Neville will be released once they have had a good night’s sleep and a decent meal. Ron will be staying here for a few more days. He has some deep welts on his forearms, and I’m determined to minimize the scarring as much as possible. Hermione will also be staying with me for some time. I have started her on a strict regimen of potions to heal the curse Dolohov threw at her.”
Molly hissed involuntarily at the name of the man who had murdered her brothers during the first wizarding war.
“Hermione will recover,” the matron continued, reaching out to pat her arm. “She was quite lucky.”
Molly nodded, pressing her lips together hard as she tried to regain her composure.
“Arthur,” Madam Pomfrey touched his arm briefly. “I wonder if you would take Xenophilius to the kitchens for some tea. The children will not be awake for a while, and I’m sure you gentlemen could use some refreshments while you wait.”
Molly’s glance shifted briefly from the matron to her husband. What was going on?
“Of course,” Arthur agreed readily. “Xeno, let’s go for some tea. We’re just underfoot here anyway until the children wake up. I really enjoyed your article about Harry in The Quibbler.” He put his arm around the other man and steered him towards the doors. Xeno smiled enthusiastically and launched into a story about how he came to publish the article.
“What is it, Poppy?” Molly asked quietly.
Madam Pomfrey turned to her. “I was hoping you would sit with the children, Molly, while I speak with Madam Longbottom in my office.”
“Of course,” Molly agreed, fear gripping her as the matron led Augusta into her office. The door was closed firmly behind the two women.
Molly walked slowly between the row of beds, passing each sleeping child, touching a hand, smoothing a blanket as she went. Harry was not here yet. Undoubtedly, he was still with the Headmaster in his office. Hopefully, he would be joining them shortly. The last bed in the ward was curtained off. Molly realized it must be Anna’s. She had not gone with the others to the Ministry due to a previous injury, though she had alerted Augusta and Remus with a Floo call hours ago. Remus’s quick action had helped mobilize the Order members into sending a team quickly to the Department of Mysteries. Walking around the curtain, she smiled at the sleeping girl and took a step towards her bed to straighten her blanket properly. Adjusting the covers, Molly froze at the sight of the angry, red marks on the girl’s wrists.
Author’s Notes: Disclaimer — Part of this chapter comes from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
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