Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! Well, now that Voldemort's followers are known to be back, though certain people may try to deny it, what is Harry's next move? An Artificer can create great wonders, but can also make fearsome, powerful things as well. Things that may be far more than most anyone can handle!
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Chapter 35 – Production, Returning to Hogwarts
"How goes the production, Drasurd?" Harry asked the Dwarf King as they overlooked the large forges that the Dwarves had made in the iron mine once they'd removed all useable ores from the current layer. They were digging deeper and further now and still extracting ore. The forges had been a natural next step to produce Magical Iron on-site. Harry saw the skill of the dwarves once more as the burly, bearded males worked the bellows and hammered hot metal.
"With the news of the Mark being seen at the World Cup, we started focusing more of our smiths on Arms." Drasurd replied as he watched over his people. "Just like any Dark Lord, they see any Non-Human Race as no more than animals. We'll be prepared though, just let him try and make a move against the Erdunn Dwarves and our sworn Brother." The King nodded to Harry with a fierce look in his dark eyes.
"I appreciate it, Drasurd." Harry nodded to the Dwarf King. It was nice having a small army on one's side when a Dark Lord had crawled his way back from death, or something close to it. The two watched as Dwarven Armor, Shields, Axes, Hammers, Swords, and Spears were forged by over half of the smiths in the work area.
"Your enemy is our enemy, Brother Potter." Drasurd spoke firmly. "You and Lord Black have given us our pride and dignity back. Lord Black even let us name this mine ourselves in our native tongue. We can't ask for more than that."
"Narag Fenuln is a good name." Harry chuckled with Drasurd as they continued to watch the smiths work. From what little of the Dwarven Language that Harry had picked up, the name translated into English as 'Black Mine'. It had been named after Sirius' Family since his godfather was the one that had bought the land for them.
A short time later, after seeing a few of the finished weapons and armors, Harry left the Erdunn Dwarves to return to Wood End Cottage. He had his own work to do after all. Sirius, Tonks, Penny, Fleur, and Remus had all been concerned when Harry had dived into work almost as soon as they'd returned to Wood End Cottage. The teen Artificer wasn't to be deterred though. Harry had two projects now ongoing after completing the first version of his Regalia. Those two projects were creating more Sorcerer's Path mantles for his loved ones and starting on another set of Sgàilean Rìgh Nathair armor. He already had Tonks' measurements and this set would be for her.
During his downtime from his forging, tailoring, and crafting, Harry delved into books about the last time Voldemort had risen up. Sirius and Remus were both available to ask questions and hear firsthand accounts too. What Harry was worried about was the fact that for a Dark Lord that despised Non-Purebloods, Voldemort sure made a great deal of use from the many Dark Creatures of the British Isles. Feral Werewolves, Dementors, and Trolls were just some of the Creatures that had been in the Dark Lord's service back in the Seventies. Harry was thankful to Remus for teaching him the Patronus Charm last year. It was the only way to deal with Dementors directly.
What had surprised Harry the most was the division in the Ministry over the Death Eaters that had appeared at the World Cup. The DMLE was prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the Law. However, none of the six men could speak when certain questions were asked of them. A powerful curse was upon them all and seemed bound to their very beings. Even Veritaserum, the most powerful Truth Potion there was, couldn't circumvent whatever curse was upon the men. The division came in the fact that several of the higher-ups in the Ministry wanted to sweep this under the rug. As if Death Eaters coming back after more than a decade was something trivial or misunderstood. There had even been a platitude-filled article from Minister Fudge in the Daily Prophet assuring everyone that Death Eaters hadn't returned! The man was either lying to protect the Death Eaters that got away or refusing to see reality. Harry wasn't sure which would yield worse results.
"Maybe it's time to delve further?" Harry murmured quietly to himself as he looked at the opened tome at the edge of his worktable. The page it was on showed the complex design of a very specific Runic Array. This array was so complex that it even had to be etched in a specific pattern onto the medium that you wished to impart its effects on. The teen Artificer's eyes then glanced over at another book, this one much older and worn. But the pages it was opened to displayed a complex transmutation circle; far more complex than the one to make Zeclatite. It would be a large step and failure was almost guaranteed for both avenues. But if Voldemort was back, if he had regained enough of his power to practically announce his return, then Harry was going to be ready!
"Harry, you need to rest." Tonks had sat her boyfriend down and was giving him no other choice but to listen to her. "You've been working too hard and too much." The Metamorph had a point. Harry was clearly tired, bags beginning to form under the teen's eyes, a slouched posture, and he was almost constantly yawning or shaking himself awake.
"I can't just rest on my laurels with Voldemort back, Tonks." Harry sighed as he rubbed his temples. The green-eyed young man was fighting off a headache forming at the moment.
"Harry, you've already made Sorcerer's Path mantles for all of us and showed us how to use them. You just finished another set of Basilisk Scale Mail armor for me, and while I'm truly grateful, you've run yourself ragged." Tonks laid out just how busy Harry had been in the last several days. "Come here." She patted the spot next to her on the couch in Wood End Cottage's living room. Harry got up from the nearby chair and sat next to her. The Metamorph pulled him into her side and wrapped her arm around his shoulders. "Now rest. Everything will be okay. Sleep is important for working."
"Mmm…" Harry made a non-committal noise as he laid his head on her shoulder. It had just become infinitely harder to fight his eyelids. "Did you like the armor?"
"It's amazing, Harry, thank you." Tonks smiled brightly, even though Harry couldn't see it. The Metamorph moved and lay back on the couch lengthwise, pulling Harry down on top of her. The teen rested his head on her bosom, which she'd made larger and soft for him to use as a pillow. "Now sleep, Mister."
"I could still work." Harry mumbled around a yawn.
"Unless you can make my armor a bit more colorful then you're staying right here." Tonks lightly teased as she ran her fingers through his hair.
"Sorry, the armor doesn't take spell effects at all." Harry shook his head, inadvertently nuzzling his face into her large breasts. "It's black with a hint of green, just like the scales it's made from."
"Then it is fine, Harry." Tonks whispered as she felt his breathing even out as the Artificer nodded off. "You silly nerd." She fondly mumbled as she kissed the top of his head. Harry hadn't been the only one working hard ever since the World Cup. Tonks and Moody had torn up the training room to an even greater degree and more often ever since that night. Moody had postponed his retirement in the wake of the event. Tonks was hard at work making a more powerful version of her 'Cube' Spell as well. She was going to make a version that could prevent the use of Apparation and Portkeys for those inside of it.
Penny had been entrenching herself in books and working out a new spell of her own too. No one was sure exactly what the blonde was going for, but she assured them it would be useful for dealing with even large amounts of enemies. Fleur, now in her final year at Beauxbatons, was also working with her Wandless Magic to master her current arsenal and create new spells with her greater control over her mana. The Veela was not one to let her loved ones worry or be harmed if she could do anything about it.
Sirius and Remus had both been contacted by Dumbledore after the World Cup. Whatever they talked about was kept secret, but Sirius did tell the foursome that Dumbledore was getting the 'old group' together. The four of them assumed this 'old group' was made up of people that had resisted and fought against Voldemort the last time he was in power. Harry thought it was good to gather people that weren't happy to go along with the Minister's fantasy of everything being fine. A prepared group was much better than people that were happier to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing was wrong after all.
Tonks held Harry for the rest of the day on the couch. They skipped dinner, but even Tayla hadn't said anything about it as Harry continued to sleep. A little Magic and Harry had been washed and changed into his pajamas. Tonks had laid him in his bed and then showered herself before slipping into pajamas and crawling into Harry's bed that night. She pulled him close, gently kissed his forehead, and then held him close as she drifted off.
The morning of September first dawned with a well-rested Harry Potter waking up in his girlfriend's arms. He'd kissed Tonks awake in thanks and the two had smiled lovingly at each other. The make-out session that started afterwards wasn't planned but neither of them was complaining. Sirius laughing his head off as he beat on the bedroom door while telling Harry that they were going to be late if he didn't hurry up had really spoiled the mood though. So it was that Harry, Sirius, and Tonks made it to Platform Nine and Three Quarters with only half an hour before departure. Harry had enjoyed Tayla's breakfast and the House Elf had been adamant he not leave without eating. She was truly mothering like that.
Harry spent most of the hours-long ride to Hogwarts working on his own original spell. Putting it together slowly but surely, the Artificer was making steady progress. Once it was complete, Harry was sure it would be one of the greatest spells created in the last century. With the amount of notes, Arithmancy calculations, and various Charms he was trying to derive the proper effects from, it was no wonder that his original spell now took up sixty-four pages of the notebook that was specifically for Spellcraft.
That wasn't to say he was alone in his compartment. No, Luna had opted to sit with him during the ride. The spacey Third Year happily read her Quibbler Magazine, upside down, while Harry jotted down notes or wrote out Arithmancy calculations. Occasionally they chatted when Harry took a break to rest his mind. While Artifice was something he could claim to be a prodigy in, Spellcraft was not. Even he needed to rest his brain from the intricate details and calculations of the spell creation process from time to time.
When the Hogwarts Express pulled into Hogsmeade Station it was to a veritable downpour. The sky was thick with black clouds and Harry didn't fancy getting soaked. He held Luna back for a bit as the students began to disembark from the train. Once the bulk of the other students were gone, Harry led Luna off the train and, just before stepping out into the rain, he cast a wandless Protego Charm over his head. The magical shield could block both spells and physical objects, but was better at blocking magic. Rain wasn't strong enough to break Harry's Protego and he easily expanded it to cover a large area over head.
"Thank you, Harry!" Luna beamed at him as she stepped off the train and under the safety of Harry's spell.
"Don't mention it, Luna." Harry chuckled as the duo walked towards the carriages.
"Room for a few more?" Hermione called out from the train as she, Padma, and Megan stood just inside the train to avoid getting soaked.
"I've got plenty." Harry smiled at his study buddies. The three Fourth Year Girls quickly dashed under the safety of the Protego Charm and Harry walked them all to one of the carriages. The five of them rode up to the school while dry and comfortable.
As they entered the castle, once again under Harry's wandless Protego as a magical umbrella, the five students noticed the absolutely soaked state of the Entrance Hall. Harry was amused to see that several more students, including upper years, had seen what he was doing and had cast their own Protego spells to act as umbrellas. About half the students were soaked from having run through the downpour, while the other half was slightly wet from huddling under a Protego, or completely dry from having copied what Harry was doing before they left their carriages.
"That doesn't seem safe." Harry mentioned of the soaking stone floor of the Entrance Hall. With a wandless, and overpowered, Drought Charm, the water quickly evaporated, leaving the stone floor dry and safe to walk on.
"Harry!" Luna called out and Harry stopped a red balloon, filled with what he hoped was water, from hitting him by grabbing it with levitation.
"Aww, why'd you warn him Loony Lovegood?" Peeves the poltergeist cackled as he held more red water balloons. "I was about to soak Harry Potty!"
"Peeves…" Harry vanished the water balloon under the effects of his wandless levitation. "You've got until the count of three to leave. One, two…"
"Or what?" Peeves simpered at the Fourth Year. "Is Potty going to be mad at ol' Peeves?"
"Three." Harry finished and with a sharp crack a bolt of lightning left Harry's fingertips and struck the poltergeist!
"Eeeyoooowww!" Peeves cried out as his form became totally incorporeal and the water balloons dropped to the floor, bursting away from the students. The poltergeist's faded form rocketed up the main staircase and disappeared onto the second floor.
"Bloody pest." Harry groused at the annoying poltergeist.
"Harry, language please." Hermione, ever a stickler for the rules, gave him a look.
"Excellent work, Mr. Potter, take fifteen points." Professor McGonagall called out as she made herself known. The Deputy Headmistress was standing in the doorway to the Great Hall and motioning the students forward. "Now, come along, all of you inside. The First Years will be here soon and we need you all seated."
"One second, Professor, if you don't mind." Harry spoke up, seeing half the students from the carriages still soaked from the rain. Harry raised both of his hands, palms facing towards the wet students, before casting the overpowered Drought Charm again. Many students yelped as the weight of their clothes changed suddenly. This was followed by almost all of them sighing in relief at being dry again. Harry didn't discriminate anyone, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and his fellow Ravenclaws, all of them had their clothes dried with his spell. Several calls of thanks came from the gathered students and McGonagall smiled at Harry.
"Take another fifteen points, Mr. Potter, for your kindness towards your peers." McGonagall rewarded Harry twice before the Welcoming Feast had even started. Harry wondered if thirty points before the feast was a record for earning points.
The group of dry students quickly marched into the Great Hall and headed for their House tables. When the students were seated, chatter naturally began. Harry talked with Luna, Padma, and Megan for a bit while they all waited for the First Years. Harry saw Remus -or Professor Lupin as he'd have to call him while at school- chatting with Hagrid at the staff table. Harry thought it was great that Remus had stayed on as the Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. He'd most certainly been far better than both Quirrel and Lockhart. Maybe now the students could have steady instruction in the Core Course.
When the First Years had entered the Great Hall, led by McGonagall, the Transfiguration Professor gave him a slight nod. Harry noticed that all of the First Years were dry, despite having crossed the Lake in the heavy rain. He guessed that McGonagall had given him the nod for reminding her to dry the students off before they got to the Great Hall. At the very least the First Years would be a lot more comfortable now than if they'd been forced to stand in the Great Hall soaking wet while waiting to be sorted.
Harry listened to the Sorting Hat's song and applauded politely like most of the Great Hall. The Sorting moved along as it always did. Some students were sorted near instantly, while others took a few moments. All in all, the sorting only took about ten minutes this year. Once the Hat and stool had been taken away by McGonagall, the feast started as it always did, with food appearing on every serving platter on every table. Harry helped himself to some steak, potatoes, and greens first, with a nice bit of gravy for the potatoes. Once dessert came around Harry had a bit of treacle tart and once finished waited for the plates to become spotless again. When the last of the food disappeared Dumbledore stood up. The chatter filling the Great Hall died down quickly, leaving only the howling wind and pounding rain of the storm outside to be heard.
"So!" Dumbledore smiled at all of the students of Hogwarts. "Now that we are all fed and watered, I must once more ask for your attention, while I give out a few notices."
Harry listened, sort of, as Dumbledore went over what new items Filch had banned this year. Then the Headmaster gave the standard announcements that the forest was forbidden and that Hogsmeade was only for third years and up. It was only after these, standard, start of the year announcements, that Harry realized Dumbledore had more to say.
"It is also my painful duty to inform you that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup will not take place this year." Harry heard a lot of muttering and whispering at that announcement. Dumbledore continued on before the mutters could grow too loud. "This is due to an event that will be starting in October, and continuing throughout the school year, taking up much of the Professors' time and energy. But I am certain that you will all enjoy it immensely. I have great pleasure in announcing that this year at Hogwarts we are to have the honor of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event which has not been held for over a century. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."
"You're joking!" The Weasley Twins exclaimed loudly. Both looked like they were a hairs breadth from leaping to their feet in excitement.
'That might explain why Dress Robes were on the Items List this year.' Harry had been curious about the inclusion of the formal wear since he'd gotten his School List.
"I assure you that I'm not." Dumbledore chuckled at the loud exclamations. "Ah yes, the Triwizard Tournament... Well, some of you will not know what this Tournament involves, so I hope those who do know will forgive me for giving a short explanation, and allow their attention to wander freely." Dumbledore chuckled even though McGonagall looked distinctly unamused by the Headmaster giving the students permission to daydream. "The Triwizard Tournament was first established around seven hundred years ago, as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of Magic. Those three being Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and the three champions competed in three magical tasks. The schools took it in turns to host the Tournament once every five years, and it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities. Well, until, that is, the death toll mounted so high that the Tournament was discontinued." The Headmaster looked a trite sheepish at that admission.
"Death toll?" Harry mumbled as he cocked an eyebrow that a school event had led to deaths.
"There have been several attempts over the centuries to reinstate the Tournament," Dumbledore continued with his explanation. "None of which have been very successful. However, our own Departments of International Magical Cooperation and Magical Games and Sports have decided the time is ripe for another attempt. We have worked hard over the summer to ensure that, this time, no champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger."
'Why don't I believe that?' Harry snarked to himself while the rest of the students listened on. The Magical World did have a bit of a track record for not learning from their mistakes.
"The Heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving with their short list of contenders in October, and the selection of the three champions will take place on Halloween. An impartial judge will decide which three students are the most worthy to compete for the Triwizard Cup, the glory of their school, and a thousand Galleons of prize money."
"Not interested." Harry sighed quietly. Voldemort was apparently out there, active again. He didn't have time to be playing around with this tournament. Looking down the Ravenclaw table, Harry saw a great many of his House mates chatting excitedly. It wasn't just the Ravenclaws though. At every House table, Harry could see people either focusing intently on Dumbledore and what the Headmaster was saying, or else they were whispering fervently to their neighbors. Dumbledore raised his hands for attention before he spoke again, and the Hall quietened once more.
"Eager though I know all of you will be to bring the Triwizard Cup to Hogwarts," The Headmaster began, "The Heads of the participating schools, along with the Ministry of Magic, have all agreed to impose an age restriction on contenders this year. Only students who are of age, which means seventeen years or older, will be allowed to put forward their names for consideration. This…" Dumbledore had to raise his voice slightly, as several people had made noises of outrage at the restriction already. "Is a measure we feel is necessary, given that the Tournament tasks will still be difficult and dangerous, whatever precautions we take, and it is highly unlikely that students below Sixth and Seventh Year will be able to cope with the trials. I will personally be ensuring that no underage student hoodwinks our impartial judge into making them Hogwarts' Champion." His light-blue eyes twinkled as he glanced over at the Weasley Twins. "I therefore beg you not to waste your time submitting yourself if you are under seventeen."
'So he admits that the tasks will still be dangerous?' Harry ran over the Headmaster's words in his head. 'What about earlier when he said that the Champions wouldn't find themselves in mortal danger?'
"The delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving in October, and remaining with us for the greater part of this year. I know that you will all extend every courtesy to our foreign guests while they are with us, and will give your whole-hearted support to the Hogwarts Champion when he or she is selected. And now, it is late, and I know how important it is to you all to be alert and rested as you enter your lessons tomorrow morning. So now I bid you all a good night." Dumbledore sat down again and turned to talk to Remus. There was a lot of scraping and banging as all the students got to their feet. The four Houses all headed towards the double doors and into the Entrance Hall.
As Harry headed up the stairs to Ravenclaw Tower, he pondered on the announcement of the Triwizard Tournament. It would be interesting to see what the other two premiere Magical Schools in Europe taught their students. Durmstrang was a complete mystery to him, but Fleur had told him a good amount about Beauxbatons.
"Wait a minute…" Harry perked up as he made the connection. "Fleur is in her last year at Beauxbatons and one of their top students. I bet she'll be coming to try and become Champion." A bright smile formed on Harry's face at the thought of having a school year with Fleur. He'd be busy working throughout the year, but having Fleur here would ensure he didn't go overboard as he had in the last part of August. His lovely silvery-blonde girlfriend could be rather forceful when she wanted to be after all. This also gave him the chance to show her his hidden workshop! He was sure she'd love a place where they could go to be alone.
He certainly would.
Spending time with Fleur was enjoyable both intellectually and physically. The beautiful teen loved to learn, but also liked to indulge in their relationship. Harry was sure they could make time for both whenever they snuck away to his workshop.
Harry is pushing himself to be ready for Voldemort. He made another Basilisk Scale Mail for Tonks in the span of just over a week. He also tailored a Sorcerer's Path mantle for each of his loved ones and taught them the basics of using it. He's also looking at advancing both his Runecraft and Alchemy, possibly too fast for his own good! Not to mention trying to get his original spell up and running on top of all that!
His helping the Erdunn Dwarves has proven to be very beneficial as well! There's nothing like having your own Artifacts and Magic, plus a small army of Dwarves on your side when facing down a Dark Lord, right?
Fleur is coming to Hogwarts! Yay! What kinds of things can they get up to together?
What will happen next?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 8,436
Tonks – 9,478
Penelope – 7,962
Fleur – 8,354
Until I get your reviews, later!