Known Power

Harry struggled against the cords that bound him to the headstone, eyes flicking between Wormtail and the giant cauldron.

Wormtail dropped the ugly abomination of a toddler in the massive cauldron. Harry hoped it would drown.

Wormtail spoke, wand raised. "Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son."

The surface of the grave at Harry's feet cracked. Horrified, Harry watched as a fine trickle of dust rose into the air and fell into the cauldron. The diamond surface of the water broke and hissed; it sent sparks in all directions and turned a vivid, poisonous blue.

Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled a long, thin, shining dagger from his cloak. His voice broke into petrified sobs.

"Flesh — of the servant — w-willingly given — you will revive — your master."

He stretched his right hand out in front of him—the hand with the missing finger. He gripped the dagger very tightly in his left hand and swung it upward.

Harry realized what Wormtail was about to do a second before it happened.

Harry couldn't stand to look as Wormtail, sobbing, dropped his own hand in the cauldron, but the bright red light of the potion changing shone through his eyelids, and he forced them open so he could see what was happening.

Wormtail, bleeding, approaching him at a stagger, dagger raised. Harry strained even wilder against the cords, heedless of how they dug into his skin, mind searching desperately for any way out.

Wormtail came within dagger's reach and choked out, "B-blood of the enemy-"

"Dobby!" shouted Harry.

With a pop, the house-elf appeared next to him, Wormtail halting, wide-eyed.

"Attack!" yelled Harry.

Wormtail, one hand missing, the other holding a dagger rather than a wand, could do nothing as Dobby snapped his fingers.

Wormtail flew twenty feet through the air and hit a tombstone hard.

"Now the cauldron!" shouted Harry.

Another snap of Dobby's fingers upended it, the bright red fluid rushing out, flowing downhill, but some striking the fire that had been beneath the cauldron, and the spilled potion lit up like an oil slick, filling the grass before Harry with high, acrid flames, the monster of a toddler shrieking within.

Dobby undid the cords without Harry's asking, and Harry scrambled away from the fire, then dashed toward his wand, which the burning potion was flowing closer too.

Harry reached it first.

"Dobby, thank you!"
"Dobby is always happy to assist the great Harry Potter."

Even as Dobby replied, Harry's eyes were focusing on Wormtail, who was attempting to roll to his feet.

Harry said, "Stupefy! Expelliarmus!"

Struck by both spells, Wormtail slumped, and his wand flew from his robes. Harry caught it and ran for Wormtail, calling for Dobby as he did.

He grabbed Wormtail, Dobby appeared next to him with another pop, and Harry said, "Can you take us back to Hogwarts?"

"Dobby would be happy to," said Dobby. His little hand settled on Harry's shoulder, and with a pop and a squeezing sensation, Harry was in the Tri-Wizard stadium, Dobby and the Stunned and bleeding Wormtail at his side.

As the crowd murmured and Professors ran toward them, Harry hoped that next year wouldn't be so interesting at the end.

#

#

The Headmaster's office held three beings. A Phoenix, a boy, and the gray-bearded Headmaster. On the shelf, the woman in the silver pensieve was finishing her prophesy."...he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies."

Dumbledore said, "Harry, I believe the power he knows not is your boundless capacity for love."

Harry Potter, sixth-year Prefect and reluctant Quidditch captain, said, "It's house-elves."

Dumbledore frowned magnanimously and beseechingly. A useful talent. "Harry, house-elves are marvelous creatures, but it's love that is the most powerful force in the universe, the sort of transcendent love the fills you to the brim."

Harry said, "Nah. Ask anyone who knows me. I'm not very loving. I'm not mean, but I don't normally help people outside of circumstances of life and death, and not leaving people to die doesn't make you loving, it makes you 'not trash.' House-elves though...

"Second-year, with the Diary. Dobby wasn't a 100 percent positive force, but it might not've worked out without him. Fourth year is obvious. And this summer, we got that scary Voldemort locket you wouldn't tell me about precisely because Voldemort underestimates house-elves and I befriended Kreacher. And it's no coincidence that, voluntarily or not, I'm the Vice-President and Senior Public Relations Officer of the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. It's house-elves, sir."

"Harry, my boy, he knows about house-elves."

"He 'knows about' love too. Your point is that he doesn't really know it, understand it or appreciate it. The same goes for house-elves. I'm sure he doesn't know any on a personal level."

Dumbledore said, "I really don't think-"

"It's house-elves."

#

#

It was house-elves.

:::

I'm currently in Bleach land, a surprisingly sad and lonely place without a lot of high quality writing. If there's any popular story in deep need of fanfiction, it's Bleach. As such, I have 20k words each of three different Bleach fics on my computer. IchiRuki forever! Maybe.

I'm trying to think of a single time when, outside of a romance, a ship I cared about came true in canon, and I can't.

I anticipate that I'll return to Harry Potter land in the not too distant future, and my HP fics will resume updating. Perhaps this fic is the start. Given that this idea is both fun and very fast, I thought I'd publish it.