Bartemius Crouch Junior vibrated in excitement, as he strode through the gates of Hogwarts. Cloaked but not overly decked out, he didn't want to rouse suspicion after all. Although, he did keep himself hidden from view of most people. He had been tasked with one thing, and one thing only since his Lord had found him through Peter Pettigrew – the woman who had unwittingly helped was inconsequential really – to get Albus Dumbledore out from under Hogwarts wards. He would not fail in his task.
Everyone was entirely focused on the task at hand, and a momentary curiosity, had him venturing forward towards the crowd. Watching the task from the large mirrors in mid-air. He blinked at the sight, either he was getting really old…of the seventeen-year-olds were shrinking. He thought, watching in fascination as he flew with wide eyes. He only knew of two people who could fly without the aid of a broom.
His Lord, and the traitor Snape, everyone who had claimed bewitchment instead of doing to Azkaban were traitors to him. Soon though, soon, they would be called towards their Lord and suitably punished for their transgressions. His eyes lit up with demented glee as he thought about the sights he'd soon see. Oh, they would be punished severely, abandoning their Lord after swearing eternal loyalty. They hadn't even attempted to find their Lord.
He had told the wizarding world that the Dark Lord would be back. That he wouldn't be easily defeated by a baby. He'd been proven correct, and not only that but the Dark Lord himself had rescued him from his father.
It was going to be a glorious revolution.
Crouch's eyes narrowed in on Dumbledore, who was unmistakable, even in a crowd this large. It looked like half of the British magical world was here to see the task. It made him wary, he couldn't be caught. Not only would it let his Master down…but he would never go back to Azkaban. The short time he'd been there had been hell, even worse than being under the Imperius curse by his father for years. At least he'd gotten three meals a day, and some company even if only in the form of his House-elf Winky.
He wondered if his father had killed it after realizing he was gone, and before he'd been put under the Imperius curse himself. See how he liked it, soon he would have his revenge on his father, his Master had promised him after all. That once Dumbledore was taken care of…that he could do as he pleased.
Oh, he had so many ideas, it was just too bad he couldn't enact them all. He would however, make sure his father suffered before he finally killed him. Suffered like nobody had ever suffered, more so than the traitors themselves.
Wincing at the loud cheering, he glanced up at the mirror finding he'd been lost in thought far too long. His Master disliked when he did that, he could get lost in his thoughts for hours at a time. Now would be the time to get Dumbledore, he realized, everyone was busy celebrating…but then he'd barely taken a step when everything quietened down.
He glanced perturbed, what was going on? Sneaking a glance at the monitor, he noticed the champion and a tall black-haired man making their way through the crowd with a pissed off look on their faces. Shit, this wasn't part of the plan…what if he didn't get a chance to grab him?
He listened and watched on the monitor as Dumbledore was torn into, it looked like the old fool had been up to something and got caught. It would have been amusing if it wasn't interfering with his plans. He dared not return to the Dark Lord without the old fool…he would be furious…perhaps enough to kill. Not just perhaps, he had been warned what would happen if he didn't succeed.
Desperation began to exude from him as Dumbledore was escorted away by Flitwick and a man he'd never seen before. Shit, shit, shit, shit, this wasn't going well at all, he was meant to disappear from the crowd.
Cursing vehemently, Barty, swiftly began to move, keeping up with the trio. With a little luck dumbledore will be left alone so he could just disappear with him. Keeping to the shadows as much as possible, so not to catch any attention.
He was panting outrageously by the time Dumbledore was deposited into a cell in the tower. Merlin, it was a surprise that they couldn't hear him, this might well be his only chance. The Aurors could be coming any second…he had no idea what Dumbledore had done to be escorted here in a citizen's arrest. To contain him until the Aurors could be called.
Barty walked out of the shadow's wand raised, and Flitwick recognized him immediately. "It can't be…you're gone…" shocked to see his former student standing before him. He had grieved for the choices the youngster had made in his youthful folly. Then before long, news reached them all of his demise in Azkaban so young.
The other wizard who had been watching Dumbledore, began to turn, at the sound of alarm in Flitwick's voice and Barty shot a blasting curse out of his wand. His aim wasn't quite what he would have liked it, but the wizard went down hard.
By then Flitwick had his wand out, and Barty hesitated for merest of seconds. Flitwick was one of the people he actually respected. He'd always been kind to him…but he couldn't fail, he had to bring Dumbledore to his Master.
"Stupefy!" it seemed Filius wasn't inclined to hurt him either…the duelling champion using such a basic spell.
"Protego!" "Sopio!" "Perturbo!" the duelling champion fired off three spells in near simultaneous precision.
"Crucio!" Barty snapped out, and the half-goblin had to lurch out of line of fire, and ended up falling over his unconscious friend. "Crucio!" Flitwick rolled over, avoiding the spell, and snapping one of his own creations back, "Attono!" summoning thunder from his wand, hitting the wizard with regret.
Snarling in rage, "AVADA KEDARVA! CRUCIO! CRUCIO! STUPEFY!" he hadn't been one of the best at DADA for no reason, and if the duelling champion wanted to fight fair, then that was on him. He didn't have the pleasure of fighting fair. He was however, just a little, glad when he avoided the killing curse. Filius wasn't on the light side, wasn't one to boast about Dumbledore and Barty genuinely liked him.
He did get hit with the second Cruciatus curse, before the stunning spell hit him.
"Well, well," Barty said with a wicked grin, licking his lips, "Look who I have here? Stuck and defenceless." It became even more wide when he saw apprehension flashing in those blue eyes, as his predicament did indeed sink in quickly. "Don't worry I won't be the one to kill you." he declared.
And with that Dumbledore's world dimmed as consciousness fled him as the spell struck him right in the chest. Worry unlike anything he'd ever felt, consuming him. Never in all his years had he expected something like this to happen. To be taken from Hogwarts of all places…let alone with someone he'd believed to be dead.
How on earth had Bartemius Crouch Junior survived? How had he gotten out of Azkaban prison? How on earth had he gotten here to Hogwarts without anyone noticing?
The next thing Albus Dumbledore knew was that he was upright, and magically bound to a tombstone. The moment he noticed the name of the headstone, his heart sank, blue eyes began to assess his surroundings. The large bubbling cauldron, eyes widening…when he caught sight of the fat squat wizard. One he was familiar with, Peter Pettigrew, an ex-order member.
Inhaling sharply, trying to deduce what the potion was, not that he had to wonder long. As Pettigrew picked up something wrapped in a bundle as Barty grinned and almost pranced around the place, so very happy that he'd succeeded in the task his Master had put to him.
The bundle was placed into the cauldron – that could very easily house two fully grown wizards maybe three at a pinch. The cauldron immediately began to bubble, and spark outrageously, oh, no, Albus thought beginning to sweat.
A Regeneration potion, he realized, the potion was an old piece of Dark Magic. It restores a wizard whose body has been maimed and disfigured to their true and whole bodily form.
It would seem, after twelve years, Lord Voldemort would return.
Barty finally went quiet, barely breathing as Pettigrew began to speak.
"Bone of your father unknowingly given; you will renew your son!"
The earth began to shudder under him, and before long, bone dust particles flew through the air and arched gracefully before falling into the bubbling cauldron that turned deep poisonous blue. The potion was working as intended, he wished with all his might for his wand, but he knew that wouldn't help him. It was currently at Hogwarts; he'd intended to die as the wands last true Master. Yet, that wouldn't be the case at all…and if Voldemort had his way…well, he wouldn't see another day. He had to get free, and as soon as possible.
He hadn't been all that good at wandless magic as he made it out to be. Lighting the candles had been easy – despite impressing the children – with the aid of the school. Then there was naturally, the fact he had his wand hidden in his sleeve.
Barty's eyes light up, watching Pettigrew, wand still aimed at Dumbledore's bound form. He didn't want the old man to get any ideas or worse…get away and prevent his Master's return. He was visibly vibrating with excitement and malicious glee.
"Flesh of the Servant, willing sacrificed, you will revive your Master!" Pettigrew stalled for a few seconds, before he viciously used the knife to slice through his wrist. The knife made it as easy as slicing through butter and the pain didn't register until with almighty plop, Peter Pettigrew's hand was immersed in the cauldron beside the bundle that was Lord Voldemort. The cauldron immediately went, bright, bright red.
Another stage complete, and completed correctly, the potion thus far was perfect, much to Dumbledore's consternation. Focusing inwardly, he urged his magic on, to undo the bindings tying him to the tombstone. He would not die here.
Whimpering in agony, Pettigrew gripped his bleeding stump, before wrapping bandages around it. Which automatically became saturated completely the red fluid. Despite his obvious agony, he continued on, more accustomed to pain than any wizard here realized, as they were impressed, however reluctantly on Dumbledore's part at Pettigrew's pain tolerance.
Only then did Dumbledore recall the last item requested for the potion to work. Blood of the enemy…by then, Pettigrew had sliced into Dumbledore's face, almost slicing his cheek off. Then very carefully, he held the knife on its side until he reached the cauldron, and let the blood drop down with a final dramatic plop. "Blood of the Enemy forcefully taken…you'll resurrect your foe!
Then blinding white exploded behind all their eyelids, steam bellowing angrily out of it. Then slowly, ever so slowly, a shadow began to emerge from the steaming cauldron. No, not just a shadow, a figure.
A figure that was promptly dressed in a black robe, hands and feet flexing.
Lord Voldemort had once again risen.
"You stand on the bones of my late father…Albus Dumbledore…see how useful he has proven himself in death…" his voice had a hissing qualify to it, no matter, he thought staring at his hands…thirteen long years without a body.
"Tom," Albus said, as if he wasn't tied to a tombstone, and was instead engaging in a pleasant conversation with an old friend.
Those ruby eyes darkened, as his wand was placed in his hand by a trembling Pettigrew who spoke, "Master…you promised…you did promise…" giving a doleful look at his arm that was now minus a hand.
"You have done well," Voldemort agreed imperiously, "Both of you, and don't say that Lord Voldemort does not reward his most faithful…even if they return out of fear of old friends." He said magnanimously, "Give me your arm Wormtail."
"Thank you master…thank you…" Peter held aloft his injured arm only to be cruelly laughed at, the wizard flinched. Nothing good came out of their Master's laughing, and there were only three people here…he didn't like his odds.
"Your other arm, Wormtail," Voldemort demanded, bright ruby eyes watching his servant, who had not only bled for him but lost a limb feeling nothing but superior.
Anxiety shot up Dumbledore's spine as he watched Tom press his wand against Pettigrew's mark. It went from barely discernible…to bright black in seconds.
"It is back," he said softly. "They will all have noticed it…and now, we shall see…now we shall know…"
He pressed his long, white forefinger to the brad on Wormtail's arm. Wormtail howled in fresh pain.
Dumbledore knew now that he was screwed, he couldn't fight Tom's inner circle and the wizard himself alone and wandless.
"How many will be brave enough to return when they feel it?" he whispered his gleaming red eyes fixed on the stars "And how many will be foolish enough to stay away?"
He could only pray that Severus took pity and remembered the promises he made. Without him the wizarding world was surely doomed. Harry Potter had died, his part in the prophecy fulfilled, the magical society needed him. He could not give up. Severus had to help him…he just had to.
He would understand the steps he was taking to wipe out the Gaunt/Riddle line. It had to happen; the boy would grow up to be just like his father. He could have arranged an accident or gotten someone to kill him, instead he'd only cast a sterilisation hex to prevent any more insanity being born and unleashed onto the world.
He had to come. There was no other option.
"Master…Master" said every Death Eater as they fell to their knees at Voldemort's feet. Kissing the hem of his robes, bowing to their Master in reverence.
Nobody so much as looked at Dumbledore.
"Welcome Death Eaters," said Voldemort "Thirteen years…thirteen years since last we met. Yet you answer my call as thought it was yesterday…we are still united under the Dark Mark, then, or are we?"
Everyone froze, well aware of their Masters' precarious moods.
"I smell guilt" he said sniffing the air "There is a stench of guilt upon the air."
"I see you all, whole and healthy, with your powers intact - such prompt appearances! - and I ask myself…why did this band of wizards never come to the aid of their master, to whom they swore eternal loyalty?"
Nobody dared move, nobody dared speak, barely breathing as they stared at the floor listening to their Master speak, unable to believe he had returned to them after thirteen years absence.
"And I answer myself" whispered Voldemort "They must have believed me broken, they thought I was gone. They slipped back among my enemies, and they pleaded innocence, and ignorance, and bewitchment…and then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power, in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?"
"And I answer myself, perhaps they believed a still-greater power existed, one that could vanquish even Lord Voldemort…perhaps they now pay allegiances to another…perhaps that champion of commoners, of Mudbloods and Muggles, Albus Dumbledore?" spitting the name out at the wizard bound to the tombstone.
Everyone there began shaking their heads and denying the possibility vehemently. No, they would never, never align themselves with the likes of Dumbledore.
"It is a disappointment to me…I confess myself disappointed" muttered Voldemort.
"Master," someone suddenly shrieked falling out of the circle and right in front of Voldemort's feet. "Master forgive me! Forgive us all!"
Voldemort laughed before, "Crucio" snarled Voldemort, a few minutes later he stopped it "Get up Avery, I do not forgive, I do not forget! Thirteen years of repayment then I shall think of forgiving you."
Then the Dark Lord began to go around his followers, letting them know that he had kept track of them and found out information.
"Macnair…destroying dangerous beasts for the Ministry of Magic now? You shall have better victims than that soon, Macnair Lord Voldemort will provide…" hissed the snake voice.
"Thank you Master, thank you" murmured Macnair.
"And here" he said "We have Crabbe and you, Goyle? You shall do better this time, will you not?"
"Yes Master…" said Crabbe dutifully.
"We will, master…" grunted Goyle.
"And here we have six missing Death Eaters…four dead in my service. One, too cowardly to return…he will pay" hissed Voldemort thinking of Karkaroff. "One who I believe has left me forever…spying for this commoner Dumbledore…Snape will be killed. And one, who remains my most faithful servant, and who has already re- entered my service, Barty,"
Barty positively glowed over the words, as if he had just been given the most honorific achievement possible. He leaned forward slightly, just waiting for his Lord to punish those who had failed to go to his aid when he needed it most.
Voldemort glanced at Dumbledore, red eyes glittering malevolently, Dumbledore wouldn't survive this naturally. He didn't want it to be known that he was back. "I hear you've been continuing my work, Albus?" he hissed in amusement, "You just never learn from your mistakes, do you? how many children have you sent back to abusive families? All the while playing the hero? I admit if the boy had survived I would have had to kill him…but he would have been the last one to be foisted upon Muggles…when I take over…and I will take over…I will remake the magical world into an image to be proud…not the weak pathetic image you've created over the past thirteen years! Our traditions will once more take prominence and wizards will rise above!"
The Death eaters roared in approval, wholly agreeing with the Dark Lord and the future they envisioned.
Anything was better than what Dumbledore could offer them.
"You killed your last best chance of defeating me Dumbledore…and I shall reward you for that." Voldemort said, stalking around Dumbledore, eyeing the eyesore he had on and what he would die in. "Your death will be less violent than I wish it. You will die more quickly; this is the mercy I will show you…it's a pity you didn't show mercy on those who begged you for aid. While you willingly left them to be abused…killed…slaughtered…"
"Tom…" Dumbledore began worry squirming in his gut, why the hell was Severus not here? Was the reason Voldemort was threatening death because he took his son?
"Crucio!" Voldemort spat out immediately, "What have I told you about using that name?" fury consuming him.
Dumbledore writhed against the headstone, his head smashing against the back of it, and the bindings tightened further. Restricting him to near impossible lengths, leaving him unable to breathe, as the twitching caused the bindings to continue restricting his movements.
Voldemort watched Dumbledore, almost face to face as he watched him suffer. He'd never managed to get this close to the old fool. Too many people willing to defend him, this was…a rarity, him without a wand, defenceless…tonight he'd breathe his last.
Then, then he could begin his plans, but first he had to gather all possible troops before he amasses an attack in simultaneous places without anyone the wiser.
"I'm going to enjoy this, Albus Dumbledore," Voldemort hissed out, "And I believe my Death Eaters are a tad bit rusty…shall we see?"
Dumbledore shuddered, still recovering and reeling from the Cruciatus curse. "There are other ways, T…there are other ways." He said weakly, not up to saying his name quite so soon, not if he hoped to talk his way out of his.
It was clear that Severus was not coming…and he wouldn't find help here.
"No, I don't think there is," Voldemort said, stepping away, red eyes gleaming merrily, "Now shall we see if you remember your training?"
The Death Eaters gleefully all agreed, salivating over the prospect of actually getting to hurt the Great Albus Dumbledore. Getting to repay the wizard who had been a thorn in their sides for so very long…and they knew without Dumbledore around their plans were as good as accomplished.
"Nothing that will kill him, his death belongs to me!" Voldemort said dramatically, flaring his robes around him. "Now, now children, no need to push and shove, one at a time," he said laughing darkly, watching them all scramble as if for scraps.
Dumbledore screamed as every single bone in his body literally shook and cracked.
"Very good Macnair!" Voldemort praised his follow who promptly bowed and kissed the Dark Lord's feet in thanks for his mercy and praise.
"torqueo!" Crabbe cast, and Dumbledore's arms and legs immediately twisted, the shattering of bones was loud and made even the most hardened Death Eater cringe at the loudness, which was almost drowned out by the absolute agonising sounds leaving Dumbledore's mouth. As pain beyond pain drowned the elder wizard.
"Very nice," the Dark Lord nodded his approval, gleefully eyeing Dumbledore, oh, this was what dreams were made of. The sounds, the sight, it's what he had wanted to see for decades now, and he would allow Dumbledore's body to be found so that the world would know he had suffered horrendously.
"urgeo!" Goyle came next, the spell pushing on the torture he'd just experienced, pushed on his bones, grinding them further as he leaned against the bonds holding him, unable to keep himself upright, as his body was twisted and broken beyond repair.
"Very well done," Voldemort praised Goyle.
One by one the rest of the Death Eaters came forward and gleefully caused their own harm to Dumbledore. Each of them leery of causing too much damage and Dumbledore dying under their wands.
"Exintero! Effido! Exinanio! Corda!"
Each time Voldemort praised his Death Eaters, watching Dumbledore's body twist and contort in unnatural angles. The wizard was no longer screaming in pain, in fact, he was barely making any sounds at all, as his chest feebly moved up and down.
He did not have long left on this earth, and Lord Voldemort had promised a merciful end.
"You have been a worthy adversary, but as always everyone falls before Lord Voldemort's might powers." Lord Voldemort declared, "Avada Kedavra!" and with that, Albus Dumbledore's body breathed it's last.
The so called 'Great Adventure' he spouted, well, it was a journey he was now taking.
After that things wrapped up quickly, Dumbledore was removed from his bindings. And flung further afield away from the tombstone. The magic was scrubbed, and Voldemort commanded Pettigrew to clean up, before everyone else Apparated away leaving the wizard to it. Nobody wanted to be caught at the scene of the crime after all.
Pettigrew squeaked, clutching his stump, which had still not been fixed as his Master promised, jumping a foot in the air when he heard a sound. Not thinking of the consequences, he apparated away to safety, completely forgetting to scrub the crime scene.
Which would have dire consequences all on its own for Peter Pettigrew.
It was barely three minutes later that four teens stumbled upon the curious sight, and the body of an old man.
Naturally it didn't take long at all for the Muggle police to be put on the scene.
"Amelia, it was him then?" Cornelius said, his face turning grim, at the look on Amelia's face.
"It was," Amelia confessed, "He was found surrounded by a resurrection ritual set up, a very old and dark potion. The Unspeakables say that the ritual was a success, someone out there who had lost their body…has returned."
Cornelius choked and paled drastically, shaking his head, denial setting in almost immediately. "Don't tell me you think…"
"Peter Pettigrew's blood was found at the scene…fresh," Amelia explained tiredly, bags under her eyes, she hadn't gone home last night at all. Waiting on the results…praying that it was some sort of prank but it wasn't meant to be. "Shall we send someone to Azkaban to find out if there is any difference in the Dark Mark?"
Cornelius inhaled shakily, pleading with Bones to tell him it was a joke. Yet her face remained set in her normal stern line, admittedly not as strong as she'd normally have it. This news had clearly shaken her just as much as him. "It can't be…it just…it can't be…" he said, desperately.
"Cornelius…we cannot bury our heads in the sand, if he's returned…" Bones ignored the raspy choked sound coming out of the Ministers mouth and continued on. "We need to make plans; we need to counter Voldemort's plots if we have any chance of avoiding what happened last time and the price it cost us all…" the deaths had been numerous in their already small community. "We came too close to losing everything…" if not for the miracle thirteen-years ago they would have lost, everything would have been reigning under a tyrannical Dark Lord.
Cornelius flinched at the name, "Don't say his name," he rasped out, terror bleeding into him in droves.
Amelia pursed her lips, a faraway look on her face, "Yes, I believe you might be right…soon we shall have to revert back to using You-Know-Who." She agreed entirely, well aware of what happens should anyone be brave or stupid enough to say his name. especially if the Geis reactivates now that he was once more whole.
"Wh-what do I do?" Cornelius asked, looking wounded and so very lost, what on earth did he do? How did he go about saving the magical world from a maniac?
Cornelius put his hands in his face, as if attempting to blot out the world…without Dumbledore…there was no hope for them. How could they truly hope to defeat the Darkest wizard their world had ever known – including Grindelwald – Merlin help them, for they were screwed.
"Gather the Wizengamot, the council of magic and set up a task force, encourage more Aurors, put the salary for an Auror up, double it, we need numbers if we ever hope to defeat him. He'll do the same thing as he did last time, prevent him from getting the Dementors, the other creatures…strengthen the wards around Hogwarts and the Ministry…don't sit with your head buried in the sand. Don't just do enough to appease the public. Act now."
Cornelius looked up, what did he have to lose really? If he didn't do this…then he would die. There was just no other alternative, and it's not like he was going to pack up and leave the British Shores. However, he would be sending his brother and nephew away, to whom he was very close.
Straightening his spine, he stared at Amelia, both of them terrified of what the future held, but knew they had to do what was right. There was nobody going to come riding in to the rescue, nobody powerful enough to deal with him.
"Set up a meeting for both the Wizengamot and COM as soon as it's possible," Cornelius stated, standing up, looking stronger than he felt. He wouldn't be doing this alone, and hopefully the Wizengamot and Council Of Magic would come up with some really good ideas.
Because right now his brain was on the fritz.
He had just learned that Lord Voldemort was back and that Albus Dumbledore was dead…taking with him some semblance of hope they still harboured now for these dark times ahead.
They were unaware of the fact a young boy they'd held as a symbol of hope, whom they thought had died so very long ago…who could have been their hope…would soon be leaving Britain at the end of the tournament.
Whether he would return though…well, that remained to be seen? Now didn't it?
Could they deal with Voldemort themselves? Or will they need a hero to come to the rescue?
Okay, I'm thinking of making this story split into a Trio of stories, Fixing Past Mistakes, Growing Legacy and a last one it will make this one and the other one smallish stories but it would also save me from trying to trudge through a 'teenage romance' and well...years of Harry's life without boring everyone out of their skulls so there's two choices here...keep growing Legacy and show their 'romance' or start a new story after this ones done and have it a few years in the future back in St. Lucia with them all graduated etc... I suppose I could add some beginning romance to Luna/Harry IF you'd like to see the beginning before I end the story if you'd sort of like to have your cake and eat it too...I'm putting a proper vote for this on my Facebook group page when I can figure out not to make a novel of the explanation LOL if you want to join just put DebsTheSlytherinSnapeFanStories into the search bar and you should find the group! see you there if you'd like to join :) Read and Review please!