'Thoughts' Human thoughts.

'Thoughts' Symbiote thoughts.

"Speech" English, human voice.

"Speech" English, symbiote voice.

:Speech: Parseltongue, human and snake voice, bold for symbiote speech.

~Speech~ Spoken Ancient, bold for symbiote speech.

~Words~ Written Ancient

Words Written English

Chapter 17

Rise of the Dark Lord

It was official. Wizards are idiots, idiots of the highest order. Seshat would not budge from this point of view all November and into December.

'But why?'

Michael frowned at the mental sigh from Seshat.

'Well, excluding everything that has happened the past four years, these wizards have once again proven themselves not to be the greatest of thinkers. Dragons, Michael! Dragons! They had seventeen-year-old children facing dragons,' she took a mental breath, 'I always thought dragons were a myth. Since coming to this world, I've been proven wrong. The mythological creatures are, in fact, real. The dangerous, FIRE BREATHING creatures and they had CHILDREN facing them.'

Michael was at a loss for words as Seshat mentally stared him down.

'Harry could just as well have been forced to face them if this…..Ministry of Magic…..had gotten its way.'

The scorn in her voice was palpable.

'There are so many things wrong with that situation that pointing them all out could take a while and if you cannot see where I am coming from with this, then there is no point in me wasting my breath.'

Michael sighed, mentally hugging her, which she returned. He understood. Of course, he did. She was, indeed correct.

'Are you feeling better now?'

Seshat nodded in response. She had been keeping that rant in since the first task of the Triwizard Tournament a few weeks ago, and it was only now that she had a chance to let it out.

'So are we going to attend the dance lessons this afternoon?'

Professor McGonagall had organised dance lessons for the students of Hogwarts, so they wouldn't embarrass themselves and the school by being incapable of dancing.

'You think I need dance lessons?'

Michael winced at the accusation and the tone of disbelief.

'You are the one that wants to attend this Yuletide Ball. I just thought it would be a good opportunity to find a dance partner.'

Seshat seemed to fall into deep thought for a moment or two before she answered.

'Fair point. I was considering not going. I know how uncomfortable the attention from the girls is becoming for you, and this would be an open opportunity for them to try and get in your good graces.'

Sehsat sighed. A few girls of Hogwarts and Beauxbatons had been trying to get Michael's attention, much to his annoyance. Seshat had initially teased him, but now it was starting to grate on her nerves too. It was clear there were ulterior motives behind it all, Seshat's suspicious nature leading here to creating a comprehensive list of what those motives would be.

'I would rather not attend at all Seshat. You know I don't care about 'being polite', or whatever excuse others would use.'

'I know.'

'I am going to put my name on the list for going home Seshat. I don't want to stay here for the Yule this year. Please don't try to coerce me into staying.'

Seshat sighed.

'Okay. I won't. We'll go home.'

Yule came and went. Michael did not attend the ball as planned. He had not stayed in Hogwarts over Christmas, even. The time was spent the same way Michael and Seshat usually spend their free time, meaning study, working on their projects or replying to the few pieces of correspondence they receive. It was a quiet time for them both, and they returned to Hogwarts for the new term, ready to deal with a headache the nonsense surrounding the Triwizard Tournament was.

The second task arrived swiftly, the champions having sussed out what the clue was. Or rather, they were supposed to have figured it out, Michael mused, as Fleur Delacour looked distracted and distraught. He would admit to being curious as to what this task entailed as he stood with the rest of the school at the edge of the lake, a scarf and thick jacket keeping the cold out. He knew it was something to do with the lake.

He gasped when the champions dove into the water, the ice-cold water. Wizards are bloody mental!

Within an hour, a boring hour which had the whole school standing around while twiddling their thumbs, the three champions returned to the surface. They each had, to Seshat's shock, someone with them. What had happened here? It wasn't until later that evening that both wizard and symbiote entirely discovered what had transpired and the resulting political fallout in wizarding Europe.

Wizards weren't as daft as they'd thought. Essentially kidnapping unsuspecting minors for a task in a Tournament was a contentious issue. Seshat tended to agree.

External politics aside, like at Hogwarts returned to semi-normalcy for all. Class, homework, Quidditch, pranks. A typical school experience.

SG-1 stood facing the stargate in the gate room with General Hammond as the iris retracted to reveal the standing water effect that was an active wormhole. Sam smiled as a familiar figure stepped from the gate, her father and Tok'ra host Jacob Carter.

"George," Jacob greeted his old friend as he stepped down from the ramp, the gate deactivating behind him. He offered George his hand.

"Jacob," Hammond responded as he shook Jacob's hand.

"Colonel O'Neill, Teal'c, Daniel," Jacob greeted SG-1 in turn as he turned to face them. A smile played at his lips. "Sam," he greeted his daughter, pulling her in for a hug. "How're you doing kid?"

"Okay, Dad," Sam replied softly.

Jacob shot his daughter a wide smile before turning his attention to them all.

"So, you guys are the talk of the Tok'ra water-cooler," he remarked idly.

O'Neill cocked his head a little, a smirk playing at his lips.

"For what?" he questioned.

Jacob huffed a chuckle.

"Kicking some major Hathor behind," he hummed.

"Well, we try not to brag but…." Jack replied with obvious sarcasm, "We do take pride in good work," the Colonel's eyes narrowed slightly, "But that's not why you are here."

Jacob shook his head, part in response, part in exasperation. O'Neill was known to be observant despite his act to the contrary.

"No. We need your help," the Tok'ra replied.

SG-1 and Hammond's interest was peaked. What could help could the Tok'ra possibly need?

"With what?" Sam questioned.

Jacob's grin was sly.

"Well, let's call it a little Goa'uld hunt."

SG-1 had sat through a fantastic briefing, which explained Jacob's mission. They were to help hunt down the Goa'uld known as Setesh, who remained on Earth. Daniel, showing off his creativity, managed to track Seth's movements on Earth in ancient times. Soon, SG-1 plus Jacob had set off to track down Seth, the goa'uld hiding out in Washington State.

The mission turned out to be an extraordinary success, resulting in the death of Seth and the freeing of several cult members, teens and young adults who had gone missing from all corners of the country. It was when SG-1 and Jacob had returned to Stargate Command that Jacob dropped a surprise.

"I thought we completed our mission, Jacob? We nailed what's his face, Seth. He is the only goa'uld here, right?"

Jacob sighed as he stood, the hologram of the goa'uld system lord family tree active again.

"Yes Jack," the exasperated Tok'ra responded, "As far as we know anyway."

"As far as you know?"



The two men stared at it each, one daring the other to say anything more.

"Look, Jack," Jacob sighed, "Seth was the mission. This…this is more of a pet project than anything else. We're looking for someone specific."

Sam frowned slightly. "A pet project?" she questioned, "And who are you looking for?"

She watched as her father ducked his head, indicating that his symbiote was taking over.

"It is I who wishes for help with this project," Selamk spoke, "It is one that is personal to me."

Selmak glanced at each member of SG-1 in turn.

"What do you know of Seshat?" she asked Teal'c and Daniel specifically.

The day of the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament dawned bright and humid. A thick fog had blanketed the fog that morning, the fog giving way to bright skies and high temperatures. The sweltering heat did not stop the students from enjoying the day, exam free as the Professors had set the exams for earlier than normal. The whole school was hyped up for the finale of the Tournament. Expectations were high.

It was still somewhat warm out by dinner time, the sky clear. Everyone ate early, the students of all three schools now awaiting to be lead to the stands. Soon, as sunset approached, the students populated the stands, the sea of faces all eagerly and in some cases impatiently waiting for the task to begin. Cheers rang up the moment the champions appeared and corralled towards the open area before the entrance to the third task.

A maze of hedges. Seshat was intrigued as she and Michael observed the proceedings from high up in the stands, their friends nearby. They had agreed to sit further away as Harry wanted to avoid the vulture that was Rita Skeeter. The woman was present to take pictures and get an interview for the Prophet once the task was over. She seemed to make it her mission to get an interview from Harry, despite having no permission to do so. They ended up sitting just behind the majority of the Professors, McGonagall's infamous 'stare of imminent detention' kept Skeeter at bay.

It didn't help that Harry was on edge. Every year without fail, something wrong always happens, which involved him and Voldemort. All Michael and their group of friends could do is offer Harry a distraction and the hope that nothing wrong would happen this year. Seshat sincerely hoped that Fate would lay off this year.

The moment the sunset, the task got underway. The champions were lined up and ready to go. Ludo Bagman made his usual boisterous announcements earning a barrage of cheers from the crowd. Michael, along with many others, jumped as a cannon fired to signal the beginning of the task. The crowd watched as, one after the other, each champion disappeared into the maze. Now all they had to do was wait.

Seconds turned into minutes as boredom levels began to spike all across the crowd. Some people started to talk about wandering off when the first firework came shooting up out of the maze. Gasps rang out as people squinted, trying to determine who it was that had fallen first. Michael hummed to himself as Fleur Delacour was extracted from the maze, looking harried and a tad hysterical. He had no idea what she had faced, but he had a feeling it had been wrong.

As her schoolmates surrounded the part Veela for support, the seconds began to tick by again. It was probably a solid twenty minutes later when the second firework shot out of the maze.

To Michael's surprise, it was Victor Krum who emerged from the confines of the hedges. That left the Hogwarts Champion as the sole person remaining within the task. It did not mean Diggory won though. No. Not yet. He had to get to the trophy at the centre of the maze. Time seemed to fly by while also freezing at the same time. The whole crowd seemed to hold their breath in anticipation. The crowd gasped when a sudden flash of light flared in the centre of the maze, but to their shock, Diggory did not appear on the winners' podium. No. Nothing seemed to happen.

That was until an object came hurtling through the air from the maze, the blurred object impossible to see, and before anyone could react, the unknown object slammed into someone in the crowd. To Michael's alarm and horror, the object had come right at him and his friends. As everyone had ducked to avoid the object, he didn't know it had impacted anyone at first. That was until he heard a familiar voice swear.

"Gah. Oh, fuck…"

Hermione let out a cry of alarm as Harry suddenly disappeared in a flash of multicoloured light. A portkey. Pandemonium erupted in the stands as students panicked, one of their number having been kidnapped right in front of them. Micahel stared in shock at where Harry had been. Hows and whys echoed in his mind. He mutely followed the crowd as the Professors tired to usher them all from the stands, but many refused, too panicked to move or to demand answers.

Michael glanced up when he felt someone grab his arm and lead him towards the steps down. "Hermione. What are you doing?" he questioned, snapping out of his stupour when the familiar bushy hair brushed past him.

"Go get him," the Gryffindor whispered as she stepped into the open space beneath the stands to avoid the Professors and other students. "Michael," she ground out, "Seshat, please. I know you can do it. Find him. Get him back."

Ethereal blue eyes stared into brown for a long moment, the emotions within unreadable.

"We will try," came the whispered reply from Seshat.

Before Hermione could react, Seshat was already sneaking off to do as the young teen had requested.

"...the Dark Lord…shall rise…...again!"

Seshat, wholly clad in her armour and cloaked, surveyed the scene from a reasonable distance. It had been surprisingly easy for her to find Harry with the Magellan's sensors. She scanned one of his jumpers for biomatter, finding Harry's biosignature. After gearing up, she beamed down near his location. She had not been expecting to appear in a decrepit graveyard, nor did she expect to see Harry and Diggory each tied up to a headstone. Both boys were watching in horror the events transpiring before them.

Seshat scanned for the object that had brought them both to here. She figured it was the discarded trophy the lay strewn in the grass. She and Michael dared not to use magic lest they are detected for she was sure wards were surrounding this area. She observed the ritual taking place between her and the two boys, her disgust rising as she watched a shadowed man tip a substance into the large cauldron. Acrid smoke began to billow from the cauldron, a figure rising within the smoke. She approached closer to gain a better vantage point. She readied several shock grenades, a plan forming in her mind. She had one goal only to rescue both boys.

She froze as a pale white, and a very naked skeletal figure stepped from the smoke.

"My wand," a whispery voice spoke, bony fingers held out for the wand that was produced by the cloaked minion. A billowing cloak surrounded the very naked figure, much to Seshat's relief. A pale moon was not what she wanted to see, no sir.

"Your arm, Barty," the person spoke. Seshat was having trouble trying to identify the person, though, by Harry's horrified look, she had a feeling he knew. The minion known as Barty held out his exposed left arm, and it clicked for Sesaht as she got a great view of the dark mark. This being must be, without a shadow of a doubt, the Dark Lord Voldemort. How had he managed to rise again? Seshat dared not to think about it, not now. She had a mission to do.

As figures dressed in all black began to arrive with faint pops of Apparition, Seshat readied the shock grenades. She did not want to throw or roll them, for that would tip her hand. So instead, she tagged each grenade to be beamed to a specific position to cover the area and then set them to go off within half a second. She quickly had the grenades beamed away only to reappear in their places. She brought up the correct filter in the hud of her helmet, the one that would filter out the effect of the shock grenades.

"It feels like only…." Voldemort began to speak when a sudden bright light and a loud noise filled Seshat's vision. She watched as the assembled group of what had to be Death Eaters all collapsed to the ground unconscious, Voldemort among them. She would apologise to Harry later for the pain experienced from those grenades. Her ghostly figure quickly darted into the ritual area and began untying Harry and Diggory. She hauled both boys up and dragged them over towards the portkey. A quick Rennervate spell had them jolting awake.

"Harry. Grab the cup and Diggory. Quickly!" Michael babbled to his friend.

Thankfully, Harry didn't seem up for questions and obeyed. Both boys grabbed each other before both grabbed the cup. Seshat dodged to the side just in time for a deadly spell to brush against her shield.

"An invisible foe," Voldemort stated, his wand held in a deceptively loose grip. His red serpentine eyes had tracked the spell as it bounced off a shield of some sort. Seshat silently cursed. She should have known the man…..thing, would have recovered quickly. She had no time to consider how Voldemort could have achieved such a feat as to recovering from those shock grenades so quickly. She had to escape and fast. She dodged behind a tombstone just as Voldemort began to send out a barrage of spells in her general direction, a blatant attempt to figure out where his invisible foe stood.

"Why do you hide?" the man questioned, "Do you fear me?"

Seshat snorted silently. As if she were afraid of him. She had enough of listening to his taunting, his whispery voice driving her nuts. She quickly had the spent grenades beamed out, it being for the best to not tip her hand by leaving evidence behind. She then beamed herself out, and the flash of light was bright enough to attract Voldemort's attention, which pulverised the tombstone as he tossed a spell in that direction.

The Dark Lord spun to face his minions, some of whom were still unconscious. A very effective area-of-effect stunner that he could not identify. He was rational enough to be impressed and somewhat jealous. The invisibility spell must have been a strong one, for it failed to break even while the unknown had cast an effective shield against his bludgeoning curse. Then there was that bright light as the being teleported away using unknown means. Voldemort had much to consider after this encounter. This unknown was clearly on the side of the light, what with the way they assisted the Potter boy and his school chum to escape.

"Barty," he hissed, "Return to your cover at Hogwarts. Report anything unusual."

"Yes, milord," Barty replied before apparating away.

Michael snuck back into the crowd at the converted Quidditch pitch several minutes after Harry and Diggory had returned. It was utter pandemonium, which coincidently made it easier for Michael to blend back into the crowd. He searched out his friends, heading for where people and the Professors surrounded Harry. He could hear Diggory babbling out everything while Harry seemed very pale and on the verge of passing out.

"Michael!" a voice called, and Terry practically jumped at him. The boy looked worse for wear. "They won't let us up to see Harry."

Michael frowned as he strode his way through the crowd with Terry. He could see Hermione arguing with one of the Professors up ahead. Michael strode with confidence right past the line of Professors and right up to Harry.

"Harry! Are you okay? What happened?" he asked his face etched with worry, more so since he knew what had happened.

He shivered at the distant look on Harry's face. The boy looked so dull and withdrawn.

"Come," Michael murmured, taking Harry's arm, "Let's get you out of here."

Hermione joined Michael as he half dragged Harry down away from the podium. She helped shield Harry from the others as the trio made their way through the crowd.

"Mr Wyndham!" a voice called out, and Michael glanced over his shoulder to see Professor McGonagall striding up to the group of five, all surrounding Harry.

"Professor," he greeted as the strict woman observed them with narrowed eyes.

"Good," she spoke, "Bring Potter to his dorm if you please. The vultures around this place. The password is..."

"Wormwood," Hermione chimed in.

"Yes. Wormwood," McGonagall's lips quirked into a slight smile, "Off with you all then. The non-lions among you are welcome in Gryffindor tower, given the circumstances."

"Yes, Professor. Thank you," Michael replied with a nod before the group started up to the castle.

"...and then we beamed out," Michael finished retelling the events that had happened in the graveyard to his pale-faced audience, his face expressionless and his posture rigid. He had been pacing around the fourth year Gryffindor boy's dorm as he told the tale he had not wanted to retell. His eyes darted between each of his audience members in turn.

"And now you know. Are you happy you asked?"

He didn't mean for his tone to be as harsh as it had been and he let out a sigh as some of them flinched violently.

"Sorry," he whispered, rubbing at his eyes. He and Seshat were feeling the strain of today's events. A good night's sleep sounded like a marvellous idea.

"No no, I'm the one who…."

Michael raised a hand to cut Hermione off.

"It matters not, Hermione. It was for the best that you all know the truth. Though you could have waited for a better time and ask more tactfully, hmmm?"

Hermione rolled her eyes at the cheeky tone at the ending. She still felt terrible for being pushy about wanting answers. The group, including Michael and Hermione, included Neville, Terry, Padma and Luna. Harry was already asleep in his bed, exhausted from his ordeal.

"I don't think Harry should be alone tonight," Neville spoke up, everyone nodding in agreement.

"I vote you Neville," Luna spoke up airily.

The Gryffindor rolled his eyes when everyone jumped to second Luna's suggestion.

"Fine. I mean, it is my dorm."

Michael chuckled lightly, entwining his fingers together, the gold of a hand device standing out a little on his left hand.

"Right," he spoke up after a moment of companionable silence, "We're going to bed. Goodnight you lot."

Michael left the dorm to a series of goodnight wishes. He promptly left the Gryffindor common room, heading for Ravenclaw Tower.

Michael was almost at Ravenclaw tower when he felt his hackles raise; the feeling of being watched came over him. The Ravenclaw slowed his steps as the feeling became stronger the closer he came to his common room entrance. That was when he heard the clack of a cane.

"Professor," he greeted into the gloom.

"Mr Wyndham," came the gruff response from Moody as the man emerged from the shadows, his electric blue eye spinning rapidly in his head.

Michael was on guard. He knew this man wasn't who he appeared to be. He cursed his luck once he realised he was in a blind spot within the castle, none of the portraits having a view of this section. His posture became rigid when not-Moody spoke.

"That's an interesting bracelet you got there. Can I have a look?"

Micahel moved just in time to dodge the stunner that narrowly missed his shoulder, the personal shield blocking the follow-up spells.

"Wandless magic? You are more than you seem, Wyndham," Moody grinned, his tongue flicking out in a facial tick.

Michael narrowed his eyes at not-Moody and replied with a question of his own.

"Who are you? You are not Madeye Moody the Auror."

Another spell impacted the shield, which had Moody's eye-widening slightly. Michael's lips quirked into a smirk.

"You did want to have a look, no?" he questioned as he raised his arm, the kara kesh activating much to not-Moody's alarm. A telekinetic blast slammed not Moody into the opposite wall. Michael sent a stunner followed by an Incarcerous, binding the man in ropes. He followed these up with an obliviate to remove any memory relating to the kara kesh.

"You know," Michael spoke to the unconscious not-Moody, "I think I'll leave you here to be discovered, whoever you are."

Michael made sure to bind the ropes extra tight before turning to leave. He spared the man's drinking flask a glance, the object rolling to a stop by the man's foot. It must have fallen from not-Moody's robes during the brief encounter. He was tired and not up to trying to figure out Moody's identity.

Michael and Seshat settled down that night, completely unaware as to the craziness that was going to take hold in the school over the last few days before the students return home.

Author's Note

I finally got this chapter out. The muse just wasn't with me these past few months.