Harry Potter and the Shadowed Light
Headmaster tossed out of court
You heard it here first, our esteemed headmaster Albus Dumbledore was seen being escorted out of the first Wizengamot session of the season by armed aurors after attacking new member of the court Lord Marvolo Gaunt. The elderly wizard, who in recent years has been the subject to numerous scandals has once again proven, at least to me, that he is clearly unfit for his current roles and responsibilities.
Dear readers, Mr. Dumbledore was claiming the new lord was none other than the fear and terrible You-Know-Who. Upon hearing these outrageous claims, The new lord Gaunt stoically remained calm and collected and had this to say, 'clearly the man is troubled, his advanced age has obviously caught up with him'. More on page 3.
(End of article)
Harry read the front page with poorly hid glee, it was starting and he couldn't wait. Looking up he saw that everybody in the hall was reading the article, whispering about the still absent Head teacher.
Albus paced up and down his office, ignoring the mournful song Fawkes was letting out, as he tried to figure out how he had missed Toms return. The bird had become even more melancholy recently and he was fed up of it, if it wasn't for the fact he needed the hopeless thing to maintain his image he would simply get rid of it. However Albus Dumbledore was famous for having a phoenix as a familiar, therefore the damned bird had to stay.
"How?" he repeated, muttering the word over and over again under his breath, he simply couldn't understand it. Severus hadn't said anything, his actions recently hadn't changed nor his attitude. Albus refused to believe his spy had turned traitor, so that left the question of just how was Tom back and how had he hidden it. Albus was not prepared for Toms return yet, his control over Harry wasn't firm nor were his plans going according to schedule.
Sitting, he drafted letters to his order members, they would have to move quickly if they wanted to stop the Dark Lord.
Severus fought to maintain his blank facade as he watched the clearly insane man before him pace around the room. Albus didn't seem to realise that he was muttering to himself, twitchy blue eyes darting around the room as he went. The old man had hardly acknowledged his presence, seemingly lost in his own mind and ramblings. Clearing his throat once again, Severus watched as the old man spun to face him rather nimbly for somebody of his advanced age.
"Aah, Severus, my boy."
Fighting the grimace the words involuntarily caused, Severus nodded his head in greeting, "Headmaster."
"Severus. Dark times are upon us..," Dumbledore started, face grave but eyes shining madly, "I must know, your mark, have you felt anything from it?"
Severus knew this was coming, had know of his Lords plan to rejoin society so he was prepared, "no, I would have told you immediately."
Albus narrowed his eyes, he didn't want to doubt Severus but how could he not.
"Your mark... Let me see it."
With a sneer Severus unbuttoned his shirt sleeve and rolled it up, allowing pale skin to show, a faded dark mark marring the white flesh. His Lord had tweaked his mark in preparation for this very moment.
Albus slumped when he saw the mark was the same as it had been the last time he saw it.
"What about your contacts? You're close with Lucius, he must have told you something!?"
Severus allowed an eyebrow to rise at the man's near hysteria, "Lucius has said nothing to me, which isn't shocking... Many do not trust me. I don't doubt that if and when the Dark Lord does call for us I will be treated with suspicion as most, if not all of, my old colleges view me a traitor."
Albus snarled, "You must find out everything you can from them my dear boy. You must. It will be dangerous yes, but I trust in your ability to regain Toms favour. I must know how he has returned."
Severus fought to maintain his stoic facade, as it was Albus didn't know that Voldemort was now sane, so demanding his return to the dark side was beyond belief... well not really, Severus knew Albus cared for nothing beyond himself and his own power. Still, if his Lord had returned in his previous mindset, then Albus would be sending him to his death; that is if he was lucky and Voldemort feeling generous. Traitors very rarely got quick and painless deaths.
"As you wish," the dark-haired man replied, hiding his disgust.
Harry looked around the Ravenclaw common room with a sense of satisfaction. The first part of this year had gone by quickly, after Dumbledore's disgrace at the first Wizengamot meeting, the old man had been targeted by all members of the press, not just Rita. This sudden plummet in his popularity had caused the old man's focus to seemingly shift and he had for the most part left Harry alone.
Doge however had been a nightmare, not only was the man useless but he followed Harry around like a lost puppy. It was only because Harry had promised to try and avoid confrontation with Dumbledore after the compulsion attempt that he even attended the man's lessons and didn't once again stage a boycott. Therefore returning home for Yule was a blessing, not only was he getting away from his new shadow but he would get too see Tom again. Their separation was harder on him than he realised, he missed his bond mate like crazy and even writing near daily letters didn't lessen his misery.
"Have you any clue how Dumbledore almost trapped me?" was the first thing Harry said after getting their greetings out of the way.
Marvolo scowled, he had missed his little raven and the reminder of the danger he was constantly in wasn't something he enjoyed.
"No," he admitted, "there are too many options and unknown variables."
Harry hummed, "Have you asked Phineas if he saw anything?"
Harry paused and turned to look at a suddenly sheepish looking Sirius, "you forgot that Phineas has a portrait in the headmasters office didn't you?"
Marvolo took a breath and forced himself not to curse Black. How could the man fail to mention such a monumentally important thing? He could understand Harry, his little raven had to be vague in his letters recently, with Dumbledore's growing paranoia he had limited his correspondence.
Sirius fidgeted as he was glared at by not just Harry but the Dark Lord... "In my defence the portraits were silenced a few months ago..." he trailed off as the glares intensified.
"Bloody fool of a man!" Harry heard the portrait before he saw it.
"...Been shouting for you for weeks! Weeks I tell you! And do you hear me? No. Because surely you know best!"
Harry and Marvolo turned the corner and saw Sirius standing, or rather, slumping before the portrait of the former Black headmaster. Harry could feel Marvolo's magic hum with amusement and sent him a quelling look.
"Headmaster," he said sending the portrait a small smile, "do forgive him, he is at heart, a Gryffindor."
Sirius sent Harry a betrayed look hearing the words.
Phineas however huffed, "it's good to see that the headmasters charm failed. Nasty works that, dark shamanic blood ritual."
Harry felt Marvolo physically freeze while his magic wiped out, striking around like a rabid viper. Thinking for a moment Harry allowed his mind to wander, however he drew up a blank on that particular variation of blood magic.
"I see," Harry murmured, "has he prepared anything else since his first attempt failed?"
Phineas looked at the young heir with speculation; unlike Sirius this boy had true potential.
"He's been focusing his efforts into rebuilding his order and gathering information on how Marvolo here returned."
Harry nodded; he had seen previous members of the order around the castle, going to and from Dumbledore's office, so the news didn't shock him. Still he could help but wonder who would be in this new order. Sirius and Remus were obviously out, he doubted Kingsley would join, the man had clearly seen through the headmaster's facade during the term teaching. Harry also doubted that Tonks would be making an appearance; the young metamorphmagus had only just graduated and was scarcely starting her auror training from what Harry knew. Yet they were the only members he doubted; the other members, that he knew of, he was almost certain would rejoin the order one Dumbledore's claims.
Unlike the previous year, this year Harry's Yule was being spent at Malfoy manor, something he was quite looking forward to. He, Sirius, Remus and even Severus would be joining the blonde family from the morning of the 21st right through to the Malfoy's Yule ball on the 24th and then into the new year before his return to school; Severus only managing to get away from the castle by manipulating Dumbledore and playing on the old fools fears that the Dark Lord had returned. The potions master had promised to use the time away to try and weasel information of from his darker contacts, something the headmaster had wholeheartedly agreed with.
Stepping from the floo Harry's eyes automatically sought out Marvolo, just seeing his mate caused a knot he hadn't know was there to loosen within him. After forcing himself to look away Harry greeted his hosts, pleased to see Draco looked relaxed even with Marvolo in the room. However the longer he looked at his mate the more he saw; Marvolo, whose magic and strength had continued to grow since his return, looked tired. It wasn't obvious, he doubted anybody else would even notice, but Harry considered himself an expert on his mate and he would see past the front Marvolo was exuding. After getting the traditional greeting out of the way, Harry quickly made his way over to the older man in order to assess him more thoroughly.
"You look drained. What have you been up to?" he asked, allowing himself to slip into parseltongue so that the others wouldn't be privy to their conversation. Although the questions were direct Harry allowed his genuine concern to bleed through their bond.
Instead of the indignation that he knew he would have felt had anybody else questioned him; Marvolo allowed himself a moment of enjoyment, at seeing and feeling his mate's genuine concern.
"I've come up with a solution to our Dumbledore problem."
Harry wasn't surprised that Marvolo had managed to create a solution, more he was amazed that he had managed to do so in such a short amount of time, then again Marvolo had always been an overachiever... "Still… you're okay?"
"The ritual took more from me than expected, but I will be fine after some rest."
Nodding, Harry allowed himself to relax slightly, "then let us rest for a few hours."
Marvolo was again taken back by Harrison's attitude; he knew the boy loved his family, which he knew now included Severus and the Malfoy's. Yet here he was, willing to leave them and spend time with him simply because Marvolo was slightly magically drained. Never had he had somebody willing to do anything for him and expect nothing in return, and every time Harry did it caused a swell of emotion to build within him.
Harry seeing the shock in Marvolo's eyes, or rather feeling it, allowed his magic out to caress Marvolo's. He had missed his family yes, but seeing his mate and spending time with him would always be one of his main priorities, especially after such a long separation. Turing he noted that the rest of his family was now relaxed and simply enjoying each other's company. Remus and Draco had pulled out a chess board and were engrossed in trying to bet one another. Lucius and Narcissa were sitting together in front of fire, enjoying what looked like a tender moment and Sirius and Severus, well Harry didn't want to read too much into their interaction, but the look in Sirius's eye said more than enough. Harry didn't know if he should be shocked by the development of their relationship or not, as it was well known that the line between love and hate was very thin. Seeing that they wouldn't be missed Harry simply took Marvolo's hand and lead him from the room, pausing only to ask where the man's rooms were.
Harry felt truly content as he lay across Marvolo, his head resting in the older wizards lap as he ran an idle hand through his hair. They had been sitting like this for around an hour, Marvolo resting with his eyes closed, awake enough to run his hand through Harry's hair but only just, while Harry read a book on household charms. Not the most interesting subject but Harry had realised he needed to expand his spell repertoire beyond combat and obscure magics.
Feeling the rhythm of the hand in his hair shift, Harry idly flicked his wrist and sent the book towards the table.
"Feeling better?" he asked.
Marvolo hummed and opened his eyes, smiling at the sight that greeted him. His mate was truly wondrous; such power hidden behind such a delicate facade was truly breathtaking. He had felt Harry's magic surround him and adding to his as soon as they had settled in his rooms, his own magic surging and replenishing faster once surrounded by his mates.
"So what was the solution you found?" Harry asked, reluctantly sitting up and instead turning to face Marvolo on the couch.
Holding his hand up Marvolo summoned a small black box, "I was going to wait and give you this as your Yule gift but I would rather you have it now as you never know when the man will try something again."
Taking the box once offered Harry opened it and saw a small delicate ring with a small black gem, looking closely he could see minuscule marking engraved into the metal surrounding the gem, it was beyond beautiful. Yet the truly breathtaking thing was not the ring itself but the power it extruded, the ring practically sang with Marvolo's magic. Picking the ring up Harry hesitated momentarily as to what finger to place it on.
Seeing the hesitation Marvolo eased the ring from Harrison and gently lifted his left hand, "I know I can not openly court you yet, but think of this ring as a promise. Not only will it protect you from harm but it will also show others that you're mine."
Harry looked at the ring and felt himself break into a tender smile, the reaction almost subconscious. For all he knew that Marvolo still struggled with expressing his emotions, the man was certainly getting better at causing Harry's to run wild. He didn't need to ask about the specific charms infused in the ring, he trusted Marvolo knew what he has doing, and judging by the magical aura it gave off, there were a great many enhancements made to the piece of jewellery now resting on his ring finger.
"Thank you," he said, the words infused with gratitude and love.
Marvolo allowed a small smile to show, "think nothing of it, I would do anything for you, my little raven."
Dumbledore looked around his office and couldn't help but disappointed with the turnout; he needed stronger followers, people with power and prestige. Still he was determined not to let Tom win. He knew that as soon as people saw the Dark Lord had returned they would come flocking to him, their saviour.
The Weasley family were here, the oldest son looking confused and slightly belligerent. Young William had a good job; he was in his final year of his curse breaking apprentice at Gringottes. Yes William was somebody Albus could utilize; his connections with the goblins were sorely needed especially now he had been cut off from the brat's vaults. Arthur was useless, his position at the ministry a joke, and molly, while loyal to a fault brought nothing to the table in the way of influence.
Dodge was here looking red faced and eager. His dear old friend was a faithfully follower, always willing to let Albus steer him towards the right goal, willing to offer up his money and family's vote in the Wizengamot for Albus and the light.
Mad-eye stood stiffly, artificial eye wildly spinning as he checked out the other occupants of the room. The old auror had taken a lot of convincing, but eventually relented to come and listen, refusing to offer his support just yet. Alastor was sceptical of Albus, but by being here Albus was sure he could steer his old friend back on the right path.
Hestia Jones was here alongside her brother, neither had needed much persuading, which Albus was grateful for. Both member of the Jones family were handy with a wand, Hestia a dueller and Michael an auror, which would come in handy in the coming war Albus was sure.
Mundungus Fletcher had also appeared, the thief scuttling in and situating himself as far away from Alastor as he could get. His twitchy form and eyes not settling, Albus could hardly contain his sneer, as he took note of the man, robes more like rags and no remarkable qualities beyond his merger knowledge of the comings and goings in Knockturn alley... no Albus was not impressed with the turnout.
"As we all know, I've call you here today as our world is once more in grave danger. Lord Voldemort has yet again risen and will soon resume his reign of terror."
Albus enjoyed the way the room silenced t his words, how the majority of people paled and looked frightened. It proved that he still had power and that they listened to him.
"Where is your proof Albus?" came a rough voice as Alastor stepped forward. His face marred by scars twisted even more by his scowl.
"I've seen him."
"Lord Gaunt, right? I saw what you did during the Wizengamot session."
Albus sneered at the mention of the session and the subsequent newspaper articles that followed. Clearly Skeeter was a dark witch who supported Tom, as she had been continuous in her smear campaign against him, none of his threats or warnings had deterred her or even put a dent in her incessant reports.
"I know what the papers have been saying but I assure you, Lord Gaunt is Voldemort."
The announcement met silence before chaos ensued; shouted whispers and arguments broke out, however Albus focused on Moody. The old auror wasn't arguing but rather observing the commotion, artificial eye spinning.
Not long after the meeting broke down, the members all promising to go out and attempt to find out more about Tom's return, leaving Albus alone.
"You need to take care, old friend."
The gruff voice made Albus spin, wand trained on the space.
Moody eyed the wand before seemingly dismissing it and inelegantly slumping into one of the ornate chairs in front of the headmaster's desk.
"I thought you had left with the others."
"I will leave soon, but first I think you need to listen to me... Albus I think you need to take a step back."
Albus felt his eyes narrow, how dare he? He was Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard alive, he didn't need to step back, he needed his pawns to come back to the board and do what he wanted, he needed them to listen to him.
"I never expected you to be wilfully blind, old friend," Albus spat back, making sure to use the same words but coating them with disappointment, hoping to guilt the man.
Moody stiffened, "I witness horrors every day, from work and in my dreams, I am not blind. I see what is happening, what I don't see is how or why you believe You-Know-Who is back."
"You where there, you saw him!"
"I saw a young lord, who thanks to you is more popular and powerful than ever, whose ideas and goals seem to line up with the purebloods and traditionals. If you suspected him of foul play, you should have gone about trying to expose him in a better way. You're a laughing stock Albus!"
Albus had to fight the urge to curse the man, how dare he? He was Albus Dumbledore, the most powerful wizard since Merlin himself, the defeater of Grindelwald, champion of the light. He was not a laughing stock!
"I know Voldemort better than anybody; I know Lord Gaunt is just a mask."
"Where is your proof, anything Albus, just a single piece of evidence?"
"I never thought you would doubt me."
"I don't want to Albus, but you're not making believing you an easy task. These last few years, well, they haven't been your best."
Albus internally snarled, fighting the urge to lash out as his magic whipped up in response to his inner frenzy. This was all the brats fault, his reputation was in tatters thanks to him. If he had just done what he was supposed to and fought the dark lord then nothing like this would be happening. Still he couldn't show Moody how his words angered him and instead settled for looking pained and disappointed yet again.
"Bad press is fleeting; I had hoped that my past actions would speak for themselves. I have always fought for the light and for the betterment of our world."
Moody's lips thinned, "I know you have Albus. I just think that perhaps you should take a step back and revaluate things, maybe take a break."
The words cut like daggers... a break? The world would fall into chaos if he want there to guide it. Still he didn't want to cause the old auror a reason to fully abandon the cause; he needed people like Moody, so he bit his lip and instead smiled wanly. He would slowly draw Moody back in, make him realise what a mistake doubting him was...
"Perhaps you're right."
After that, the old auror made his exit, seemingly reassured. Albus however wasn't reassured as he needed his followers to trust him; his words as law, their gospel. He needed to take back control, starting with Potter. He hadn't made any moves against the boy since his failed attempt with the blood talisman; he only had a drop of his blood left, extracted when the boy was a baby, he doubted obtaining more would be plausible. He had focused on, and needed to find out more about Toms return, the brat had fallen into the background, but now he realised he needed the brat more than ever, he was the key player in Albus's plans. With this in mind, he sat and allowed himself to plot, he would win this game. Molly had been brewing for him over the summer, he just needed to perfect a plan in order to get the boy under control, and he already had the perfect minion in mind to help him.
Harry watched as the candles started to dim, the Yule log had been burning for 24 hours and the final ritual was soon to be done in order to renew their magic. He could feel in the air everybody's magic brimming, preparing for the rite and he couldn't wait. Last year had been amazing but he knew it wouldn't be able to compare to this year; this year he had Marvolo with him, completing him. Lucius stood, as the head of the family and lord of the manor; he was performing the final act, burning a drop of blood from all those present. As the blood burnt, Harry felt his magic build in a crescendo before it broke free of him, leaving him feeling rejuvenated and alive. Unlike last year Harry knew what to expect, still the whole process left speechless. Looking around the room he could see that he wasn't alone in his awe, even Lucius had allowed his masks to drop.
Once the magic had dispersed Harry made his way over to Marvolo, enjoying the peaceful look on his face.
"How was your first Yule?" he asked.
"Does this count as my first Yule?"
"It's your first Yule since your return, so yes."
Marvolo hummed quietly, "I can't remember the last time my magic felt so peaceful..." he said softly, so that only Harry could hear him.
Harry smiled at the words, Marvolo's progress and recovery where astonishing to him, the man's strength and power mind-blowing.
Waking up to dog slobber was something Harry was sadly familiar with, waking up to prank spells and even tackle hugs were also common occurrences he has grown used to. What he had sadly, or rather happily, grown unaccustomed to was waking up to hushed whispers and curses. Therefore waking up to Sirius and Lucius arguing outside his bedroom room wasn't something Harry hadn't expected. Sitting up he decided to find out what was happened, so he made his way toward the door, their voices becoming clearer as he approached.
"He deserves to know!"
"Our lord will tell him when the time is right" Lucius replied.
"Your Lord, not mine!" Sirius hissed, "...and I don't care, he's my son and he should know what that crazy son of a bit-"
Having heard enough Harry opened the door, cutting Sirius off.
"Yes?" he asked, having his sleep interrupted leaving him less then pleased.
"Harrison, I apologise if we woke y-
"-shut up! Harry I have something to say," Sirius interrupted.
Rolling his eyes Harry waved his hand silencing the two men.
"This is about Marvolo?" he asked.
The men nodded, Lucius with clear hesitation and reluctance.
"Then I'll go and ask him myself," he decided, ignoring the look of satisfaction in Sirius's eyes and panic in Lucius's.
Harry wondered what Marvolo had done to cause such a stir. Since his return he had been working on getting accepted into society and gaining a solid persona. He hadn't mentioned anything to Harry about plans, therefore he was intrigued. Finding Marvolo wasn't hard, his magic almost acting as a guide.
Entering after knocking he couldn't help the smile that formed seeing his mate looking healthy, Marvolo's improvement since Yule had been remarkable.
"Harrison, I'm surprised to see you so early."
"I was woken up by Sirius and Lucius, they seemed to think you'd finalised some plans?"
Marvolo's face didn't give away the slight annoyance he felt, but Harry could feel it swirling in his magic.
"I've been reviewing things my spies have brought me and making plans."
Harry hummed, "what are your thoughts?"
"I want to remove my most faithful from Azkaban."
Harry had known this was coming but still, he could not help the slight look of distaste that passed over his face quickly before he managed to mask it.
"I know you have reservations my raven, but I am their lord. they're in there for refusing to denounce me, I can hardly repay their loyalty by letting them rot in that hell hole."
Harry knew this, but he could not help but picture Sirius as he fell through the veil, could not help but hear Bellatrix as she laughed, could not help but remember Neville's face.
"I know, but you're not the lord they worshiped. You're not that man anymore Marvolo."
Marvolo nodded his head slightly, he couldn't deny his raven that truth, but he still felt oath bound to help those who swore them themselves to him.
"Be that as it may I am still their Lord, they still carry my mark."
"They're all mad," Harry spat out, for once losing his calm as visions of Sirius swam before his eyes
"I do not doubt that those who've withered away in Azkaban all of these years have suffered for it but-
"No buts Marvolo, they were mad before they entered now, they're worse. Vicious dogs without reason."
Harry felt Marvolo's surprise and his annoyance, it had never been aimed at him before, yet he couldn't bring himself to care.
"I need to do this for them."
"No, doing this will just cause more problems. Dumbledore is already suspicious of you, if your followers break out it's just going to adds fuel to his fire!"
"Then what do you suggest? That I just leave them rotting?"
"Yes, you don't need them!"
"Perhaps not but I won't leave them!"
Harry fought the urge to storm out, his emotions swirling madly as he was unable to occlude them while so worked up.
"I don't understand why this is such an issue for you, my raven, I would have thought you would want me to help them… you helped me after all," Marvolo said, looking at Harry with burgundy eyes full of confused emotion.
Harry knew he was being irrational and hypocritical, but he didn't care, "Bellatrix killed Sirius before my very eyes," he said, sending Marvolo a look when it looked like the man was going to interrupt, "I know you killed my parents and countless others and I've forgiven you, but she… I never knew them not really, Sirius, he was my first taste at a family that loved me. When he died, I lost it, and she just laughed, she gloated and took such pleasure in it. She got off on my pain, on all the pain she causes. Unlike you she doesn't need a reason, she doesn't need a goal or purpose she just wants to hurt and destroy."
Marvolo had forgotten that part of his mates past. He could just imagine what such a loss would do to his raven. He would admit he wasn't overly fond of the loud and boisterous Lord Black but he could see how much he meant to his Harrison, how much they loved each other, his loss would without doubt cause his mate harm, something he wouldn't allow. He had enjoyed Bellatrix's madness last time, it had played well with his own, but he knew she wouldn't do well within his newly established ranks. There wasn't a place for such insanity anymore, still he wouldn't, leave her in Azkaban. No, if he must, he would release her even if it was just to put her out of her misery, she was his creation after all.
"I admit those like the Lestranges are not perhaps the best examples, however there are followers inside who I would like out and if I must, I will not hesitate to put an end to any who cause you harm or jeopardise what we're building… but they're still mine, I can't leave them."
"You're jeopardising it yourself. How are you planning on getting them out without Dumbledore finding out about it, about you?"
"I've been consulting with Severus-"
"-So, Severus knows?"
Marvolo sent Harry a sharp look at the harsh interruption, "yes. There are potions that allow the effects of Polyjuice to last for a month, its very hard to brew and the use of it is heavily restricted, but for one as skilled as Severus it wouldn't be too difficult to brew and have ready for me."
"you plan on what? Replacing your followers with people under this potion, surely the guards will notice when Bellatrix goes from raving mad to sobbing?"
"I have a plan for that, charms and compulsions, as well as releasing a deadly strain of wizarding flu. All of the imposters will succumb, and if a few others do as well then its no massive loss. The ministry won't look into it as they will be too busy celebrating the death of such monsters."
Harry took a deep breath and counted to ten slowly in his head, Marvolo had clearly been think about this for a while if he already had everything planned out, a thought which hurt him as he thought they had agreed to tell each other everything.
"You've clearly though about this for a long time."
"I won't stand in your way, but I wont support you in this, not fully. I can't," Harry could see the pain is words caused the older man, but he refused to stay and listen, turning he quickly walked out of the room. Not even noticing how his eyes filled with tears, too focused on the magic of his mate that seemed to cry out with longing as the distance between them grew with each hurried step.