Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything to do with the Franchise
A/N: Hello all please enjoy chapter 34. I apologize for the long delay but real life has to take Priority
Voldemort was not pleased, the Ministry ambush was a huge blow to his support, it was clear he could no longer use his Mark on any new recruits, in fact, he would be removing the Mark all together, instead, he will make them all swear an unbreakable vow to him. and him alone, but that would have to wait, four of his soul anchors had been discovered, he could no longer just assume the others were safe. Draco may be gone, but he had other spies and operatives in the school. His back was turned to several of his followers who were now kneeling silently awaiting their master's orders. Hogwart students would be returning within the next several days. The Dark Lord was considering a large raid on Platform nine and three quarters, but his spies in the Ministry had told him the new Minister had taken precautions. Added to the support he lost, it would be a suicide run, especially now Aurors were allowed to use deadly force.
What's more, Bellatrix's death had spread across Europe. and now his allies who had sworn their support were backing out, it seems they didn't want to trade spells with the wizard who had managed to kill what they considered the most powerful dark witch alive. All his plans were unraveling before his eyes, and he needed to get hold of things fast. Finally, he turned to acknowledge what was left of his inner circle bowing towards him.
"Nott Jnr, your friend Draco failed in his task, and so now that task falls to you. Complete this mission and you will become a full member of my inner circle. Crabb and Goyle will assist you. Everyone but Severus and these three leave the room now!" Voldemort waited until everyone had left the room. Once the door was shut He warded it to prevent anyone from hearing or entering the room. "Now Nott Jnr, you will swear an unbreakable vow to me. Severus will oversee it and be witness to it. Now Listen." Voldemort then informed Nott of his task, and afterward, all three swear an unbreakable vow.
Platform Nine and three-quarters 4th January 1995
Harry and the children of the Potter Alliance flooed onto the platform, after all the attacks, Harry didn't want anyone traveling to the station on their own. They had arrived an hour early to make sure that they could find suitable compartments for their needs. Each compartment had been expanded to maximum capacity. Harry, Hermione, Daphne, and Luna, along with Tracey and Roger. Neville had suggested that he would sit with Susan and Hannah, Pansy, and Blaise, and few other members of the new DA. Harry and the alliance hadn't been idle after the death of Amelia. It had been decided that they would try to discredit Tom as much as possible, by posting a story in the Prophet. With the help of the Goblins, they had been given unrestricted access to all documents that they had on Tom Riddle and his origins. So they were going to tell the world just who Tom Riddle was, hopefully learning that he wasn't a pure-blood would strip the blood purist from his support. The Story would be posted in two days.
Harry had also been contacted by several members of the order, he didn't know what had happened but they wanted to join him and had turned their back on the headmaster. Harry wasn't one for turning down support, however, he questioned their motives, many had followed Dumbledore blindly for years, so for them to turn on the supposed Leader of the Light seemed fishy. The answer though had arrived by a letter delivered by a Ministry Owl, it was from the Minister. It seems the headmaster had confessed his shortcoming to the Order and was now being held in the hospital wing of Hogwarts. Dumbledore had requested that a gathering could be set up between them so that he could tell Harry something of great importance. Harry wondered what was so important and arranged with Kingsley to meet Dumbledore after the return feast tonight.
Now though he had his lap full of his youngest wife to be. Luna had plonked herself on his lap and started to read the latest edition of the Quibbler, her father had recovered and now was printing the paper from Potter Manor. Harry had also agreed on an exclusive contract with the wizard so that only the Quibbler was allowed direct access to him and the business of the alliance. Hermione and Daphne were talking to Tracey about girls' things and Roger was reading a Magazine on Quidditch. Harry meanwhile drowned out the noise in the corridor of the carriage which was now starting to fill up.
The train pulled away dead at ten, it was filled with noises as students exchanged stories and played games. Harry, however, had warded their compartment he didn't want anyone walking in on them while they were planning for the DA, with the attack on the Ministry Harry wasn't going to hang around. He had Hermione already contact the members and a meeting had been scheduled for tomorrow night in the Room of Requirements. Then there was his own training with Professor Flitwick to consider too, the Charms professor had already contacted him with their schedule for the remaining year. Harry had requested if it was possible to meet twice a week, he wanted to learn all he could, and one lesson a week just wasn't going to cut it. The Charms professor had made the various changes and now they would be meeting twice a week.
Harry had also made several trips to Gringotts however Diagon Alley was no longer the bustling, street it once was. Posters littered the walls, with a warning of Death Eaters attacks, and several shops had their window boarded up. No one wanted to be outside unless they had too. Gringotts now was like a fortress, battalions of Goblins roamed the entrance halls, and you could no longer just walk into the bank, everyone was checked the moment you stepped foot through the doors. A few steps in and you already found two armored Goblins blocking your retreat, should you be a follower of the Dark Lord. Harry had been looking at adding a few facilities to the estate, and there was no one better than Goblin at planning and building. He wanted a large pool house built. Of course, the work hadn't been cheap, but finally, they had come to an arrangement and construction would begin at the start of the summer holidays. He had also made a will, in preparation that should he die in is the confrontation with Voldemort, that way should the unthinkable happen then the girls and their families would be taken care of. It was a morbid thought, but there was always the chance that he would fail in ending Voldemort's reign, it was important to be prepared after all.
Further down the train Nott, and his new bookends Crabb and Goyle were planning their moves. Their Lord not only wanted them to kill the headmaster but retrieve an important artifact from the school. Nott was also planning personal revenge on Potter, for what he had done. Potter had killed his father and taken the one girl that Nott wanted the most. Nott had always been in Draco's shadow, after all, Lucius was the leader of the inner circle and the junior members also had a similar hierarchy. Draco was top, now though his spot was empty. The only ones who knew of the Dark Lords' plans were Professor Snape. and the three people inside this compartment.
"So we agree, were use Poly Juice Potion, as it was effective with Draco, you two will run interference, I will use two of my hairs that way there will be three Notts. This will avoid suspicion, also will keep Potter busy."
Crabb and Goyle just grunted, causing Nott to growl in annoyance, of all the support, their Lord could offer, these two dim wits were the best he could provide.
Hogwarts Great Hall
Minerva looked over the four tables, this would normally be the headmaster duty, however with Dumbledore literally on his death bed, then it fell to her to make sure the school runs smoothly. Minerva herself had contacted Harry like the rest of the Order, and she was pleased to see that the boy was happy to hear them all out. A meeting had been arranged for the weekend during the Hogsmeade Visit. If Minerva was being honest she wouldn't have believed anything the headmaster had done unless she had seen the proof for herself, he was always so kind, caring, and gentle. Her eyes trailed over to the Slytherin table where Harry was chatting with his betrothed. Harry had drawn the attention of the whole school again while walking Miss Lovegood to her table then kissing her. Minerva shivered as she was informed of what had happened to the poor girl and her father. But Harry had been there to save the day.
Minerva left her seat and approached the pedestal, as she did the gold wings on the plinth extended outwards. "Good Evening everyone and welcome back to Hogwarts, before the feast begins I have an announcement. Hogwarts will be playing host to the Ministry Auror Core, due to circumstances I can't discuss, however they will not interfere with your daily routines unless of course, they see a crime being committed. Now please enjoy the feast."
The tables all filled with food and soon all the students were digging into the various plates on the tables, noise rose in the Great Hall as everyone started to catch up. Harry, of course, was the center of attention however once he had finished his meal, he excused himself and made his way out of the Great Hall, it was time for a final confrontation with Dumbledore.
Albus was sitting up in bed looking outside the castle window as Fawkes was perched on the end of the bed singing a soothing melody to help ease his worries. Kingsley had sent word that Harry would be coming to see him tonight so that he could finally reveal the secret to his power and to give the boy an edge of beating Tom once and for all. Severus had given his final report it seems Nott Jnr was now going to try to kill him, and it was also revealed that Tom knew someone was targeting his soul anchors, as he had ordered Nott to retrieve the lost Diadem from the room of lost things. The old man looked towards the door as it opened and Harry stepped into the room escorted by Alastor and Tonks.
"Alastor please ward the door, I don't want us to be disturbed."
The old Auror turned and raised his staff casting a powerful ward over the door preventing anyone from entering or listening in. "That will be my last favor to you Dumbledore, now time for you to tell Lord Potter-Black-Slytherin why you have summoned him here."
Albus sighed he had lost all respect. he couldn't blame his old friend after everything he had confessed. "Harry my boy it is good to see you are looking well, thank you for coming to see me. I know I would be the last person you want to see after what I have done."
Harry was standing with his arm crossed looking at down at his feet. He was about to rebuke the headmaster for addressing him so casually however he decided to let it slide. "I don't have all night old man, so tell me why you have asked to see me."
Albus raised his hand where a dark wand was now clutched "Tell me Harry are you aware of the Hallows, three legendary items that were bestowed upon three brothers by the entity Death himself.
Harry was shaking his head. so Dumbledore began to tell the story.
This story is recognized as a children's story in our world Harry, but only a few actually know this story is based on actual events. One day three brothers were walking along a path when they came to a bridge that had collapsed. The Current of the water was so fast that it was impossible to swim across. Death was waiting in the shadows to claim three new souls when one of the brothers had used a wand to repair the bridge. Death was furious as he felt cheated and appeared to the three brothers. He pretended to be impressed with their magic and told them who he was. As a reward, he would grant them each one wish.
The first brother asked for a new wand, but not just any wand he wanted this wand to be unmatched by any other. Death granted the wish and carved a wand from a nearby elder tree and placed a piece of his own essence as its core. The second brother wanted an item that would allow him to see his lost love who had died recently. Death picked up a small onyx stone and infused it with his magic so that the second brother could contact the dead. The third brother however sensed Death was only pretending to be impressed and was actually planning to take revenge. So he asked for an item that would hide his very existence from Death. So Death tore his own cloak and used the piece to craft a cloak of invisibility and handed it over to the third brother who immediately threw it over himself.
As time went by the wand the first brother had received became the target of numerous attempts to be taken from him, one day the brother was killed in his sleep and his wand was stolen. Death then dragged the first brother soul to the underworld. The second brother was driven mad by being able to talk to his loved one but never actually being able to touch them. The brother committed suicide and Death claimed another soul. The last Brother however continued to allude Death until finally one day the third brother removed his cloak and surrendered himself to death."
Harry just groaned. "It is a nice story Dumbledore but what does that have to do with beating Voldemort."
Albus smiled. "Harry this wand is that legendary wand, it is known as the elder wand and the stone of the second brother was embedded in the cursed ring which responsible for taking my life now. The cloak is already in your possession my boy, your father's cloak, the one he left in my possession before he died, is the third Hallow. So you see my boy, you will soon possess all three Hallow, meaning you will be master of death. This is the trump card that you will use against Tom, however, I cannot just give you this wand, it must be taken from me by force or by losing it allegiance in a duel, now Harry prepare yourself.
Albus fired a silent stunner at Harry who acted instantly with a disarming spell forcing Dumbledore to lose his wand and for the allegiance of the said wand to switch. "very well done my boy, very well done, this wand now recognizes you as it's master. This wand is the source of my power Harry and now that Power belongs to you." Albus held out the wand allowing Harry to take it. As harry grabbed the wand he felt the power rush into him."
"Now that I have performed my final task I can die knowing that you will end Toms reign and lead this world into a new dawn. But remember Harry do not use that wand until you face Tom, should you lose the wand's allegiance then you will be vulnerable, only if you have all three Hallows will you be the master of Death. I have given instructions to Headmistress McGonagall who will give you the stone after this meeting. Tom knows that his soul anchors are in danger Harry, you must find the last one if you hope to deal the final blow. I have summerise that it must be something he keeps on him all the time, something that his close to him, do you have any thoughts, Harry?"
Harry did have an idea, he thought back to last Christmas when Voldemort had entered the Ministry using his familiar and attacked Arthur Weasley, Harry knew Horcruxes could be living things after all he himself had been an accidental one.
"I believe it is his familiar, the one he used to attack Mr. Weasley at the Ministry, that would be my guess."
Albus' eyes widened how could he be so blind, of course, "You must find that snake Harry, and kill it if your thoughts are right and believe they are then only once that beast has been slain will Tom be mortal. Alas, I am not sure how you will get close enough though."
Harry frowned. "I'll find a way old man, if that is all you need me for then I will take my leave. This is the last time you will see Headmaster, I don't intend to return." Harry turned on his heels and used the Elder wand to bring down Alastor wards surprising the old hit wizard, he then opened the doors and closed them behind himself.
Harry nodded in understanding and slipped the wand into his holster. He turned his back on the old man and went to leave however he suddenly stopped. "I forgive you old man, you did what you felt you needed to, I don't hold my parent's death against you." Harry then walked out of the ward after Alastor had dropped the ward.
The old man closed his eyes and a sense of relief left his body, the boy forgave him, there was hope for their world after all.