Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! The second rise to power begins! No one will be able to deny that the old undead, half-dead, lich-like Voldemort has returned after this! Unfortunately, Harry has a rather persistent thorn in his side at the Ministry that'll still try to make things difficult for him and his family. But you know what they say…karma is a bitch.
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Chapter 55 – Attacks, Experimental Work, Accusation
In the dark and chill of the evening on the hidden island in the North Sea, two Aurors were waiting on the dock for their replacements. They'd done their two-week stint as Azkaban guards and were looking forward to getting off the cold, dreary, and desolate hunk of rock. The further away from the Dementors they got, the better. It would be a pleasure to get back to civilization and some good strong liquor to help forget the last weeks.
"Finally." The slightly older Auror mumbled as the boat started to appear from the thick fog.
"We've been running short staffed since that investigation started a week ago, Yaxley says they need more people at the Ministry." The other Auror groused as he watched the boat slowly draw closer. "I can't figure out why he doesn't realize we still need people here to keep the damn Dementors on their leash."
"That was the problem that started this whole investigation." The older Auror agreed with a scoff. "That man has gotten too comfortable in his office, if you ask me."
The boat slowly pulled up to the dock, and it only took a second for the two Aurors to realize that no one on the boat was wearing the standard red robes of the Aurors. The gloom had made it impossible to spot at first, but now both men went for their wands. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.
"Avada Kedavra!" A smooth voice called out and a bright flash of green light illuminated the dock for a second. Two thumps followed as the bodies hit the wood of the dock. The boat stopped beside the dock and Voldemort stepped out onto the island of Azkaban. He was followed by a few of the dumb muscle that had been gathered to his cause. "Goyle, Crabbe, do not drop those potions, or you will see my displeasure first hand." He glared at the two men leading the rest of the fools.
"Yes, my Lord." Goyle nodded along with Crabbe.
Both men were carrying separate small crates filled with the potions that Severus had brewed. They would enable his followers to be up and about shortly after taking them. The ones in the second crate would help alleviate some of the damage the Dementors had undoubtedly done over the years as well. It would be a while before his truly loyal were back to their former strength, but that was inconsequential as long as he had his inner circle back at his side.
"Come, we should visit the Warden first." Voldemort had a mocking grin on his lips as the group moved towards the horrid prison. "He has something that I want." The Dark Lord's red eyes sharpened at the fact that he was about to take hold of the geas that bound the Dementors to the Ministry's service. 'Let's see you fight off all one-hundred of them at once, Harry Potter!' He hissed in the privacy of his own mind.
Thus began the destruction of Azkaban and the beginning of Voldemort's second rise.
-Wood End Cottage ~ Harry's Smithy-
The rhythmic sound of hammer on metal echoed through the afternoon air. Harry was striking a bar of Adamantite that was glowing yellow from heat to shape the strong Magical Metal. He'd been at it for most of yesterday and since he'd gotten up this morning. After getting advice from Drasurd, the Dwarf King's centuries of experience proving to be an immense boon, the Artificer felt like he had enough of an idea to make his next Artifact work.
'Worst case scenario is that I have to scrap it and try again.' Harry thought as he continued to hammer the Adamantite to shape while infusing his own mana into the metal with each strike. He was sweating from not only the exertion of his work, but from the sheer heat within the smithy. Even with the door and windows open, the heat from the forge was intense. Adamantite required no less heat to be molded by the hammer though.
"Hey, Harry…bloody hell." Sirius grimaced as he took a single step into the smithy and walked straight into the wall of stingingly hot air. "It's hotter in here than outside and it's the middle of summer!"
"What's up, Sirius?" Harry looked up from his work after another hit with his Basilisk Steel and Rune Enhanced hammer.
"How do you stand this heat?" Sirius took a step back and fanned himself with his left hand.
"You get used to it." Harry shrugged with a slight smirk.
"I'm sure," Sirius playfully jibed back at his godson. "Anyway, I'm going to be at the Order meeting for a bit, but I should be back before you head to bed."
"Alright then," Harry understood that Dumbledore's Order of the Phoenix had reconvened in the wake of Voldemort's reappearance. As a member, Sirius met with the group in a hidden location every couple of days to find out what he could about the situation. "Still not sure why he trusts who he trusts though."
"Tell me about it." Sirius sighed in annoyance. Dumbledore had asked to speak with Harry soon, but the Artificer was busy working on his new Artifact. Sirius wouldn't pull his godson away from his work, which seemed important from what Harry had told him about it, so Dumbledore would have to wait.
"Snape as a spy just sounds like a bad idea." Harry shook his head at the thought.
"Snivellus supposedly has his uses and he has Dumbledore's 'complete trust' as you know." Sirius even made the air quotes when he said complete trust.
"Well, once I finish this new Artifact, then I'll be willing to meet with Dumbledore and the Order to talk about what is most likely to happen in the coming conflict." Harry restated his decision to hold off on meeting the Order until his newest project was complete.
"I'll be back tonight, don't hurt yourself, Marlie is working late at St. Mungo's, so she won't be here to patch you up if you smash your hand or lose a finger or something." Sirius warned with a light chuckle.
"When have I ever hurt myself that badly?" Harry stared flatly at his godfather. He was always careful with his Artifice! The time he created Aethereum withstanding of course, he had gone all in on that and had come out worse for it.
"Don't work too hard, Harry." Sirius chuckled and waved before leaving the smithy. A distinct crack from Apparation later and Harry knew that his godfather had left.
"Now, while this is still hot, I need to get the edge done." Harry picked up the still glowing hot blade.
Adamantite had several particular challenges to working with it. When it was fully formed after a successful transmutation, it became practically immutable to blunt force and completely immutable by Magic. Only extreme heat would make it shapeable with a hammer. But this incredible durability came as a detriment in the actual forging process. The edge would normally be ground down to a fine sharpness as one of the final steps of blade making. For Adamantite that wasn't possible, the edge had to be added while the Magical Metal was still hot enough to be worked with.
"I'll just pass along the intent to 'be sharp' and 'cut cleanly' while I'm adding my mana to it. That should help form the edge more readily, thanks to my tools." Harry smiled at his hand-forged tools, the best set he had that could carry his mana and intent to his creations with the most ease and force. "After the edge is formed, I should have just enough heat left in the blade to etch in the Consume Array." He hoped at the very least. He'd practiced etching his modified version of the array over and over again on wood and then iron to get a feel for it. It was an experimental array at best, but Harry didn't feel like he had a lot of time to slowly test things out right now. "If it comes down to it, I'll seal this Artifact away until I can create something to hold it back."
Harry set to work on the edge, using the smallest hammer at first to further narrow the single edge he was putting on this Artifact Sword. Each strike was filled with his mana and intent to make an incredibly sharp and clean cutting edge. To his eyes, he could practically see the Adamantite responding to his strikes. To his Magic, he could feel the material changing as it followed his will and molded to his desire. Taking the edge to the whetstone, the Artificer set about refining the edge even further, constantly passing his mana through his creation, even amid the intense heat within the smithy.
"Quickly, carefully…" Harry set the hot blade on a prepared surface so that the heat wouldn't be lost or transferred to the table below it. Magic made things like this much easier. The etching tools, made from Adamantite themselves, easily made the lines and symbols of the runes as Harry worked to etch the modified Consume Array along the length of the blade near the spine. "Woo…" He exhaled heavily as he finished with some time to spare. The Adamantite was still hot enough to have a dull glow as he picked it up with his tongs and brought it over to the quench tank. He dunked the blade into the oil making flames flare for a few seconds. 'Come on…come on…' Harry pushed his mana into the blade to stabilize it and smiled as he didn't feel or hear any cracks or pings from the quenched metal. "Now while you finish cooling, I'll work on your handle." He chuckled as he removed the blade from the oil and used Magic to suspend it in the air so that it wouldn't touch anything. Another nice fact about Adamantite was that it let off heat far faster than one would expect of such a strong metal. That had been another reason why it was such a race against time to etch the Consume Array and do the quench before it cooled down too much. Only Magic had made it possible for Harry to succeed in such an endeavor.
Harry had already taken the proper measurements of the tang of his blade. So, it was a simple matter to begin shaving down some wood, acquired from the Forbidden Forest before the end of last school year, to become the handle of his sword. The old oak he'd taken it from was suffused with Magic and had made for excellent material. The night had set in by the time that Harry was done with the carving and shaping of the oak handle. He took the cooled Adamantite blade and carefully attached the handle to it. Taking strips of dragon hide from the stock of Hungarian Horntail he still had from the Triwizard Tournament, Harry wrapped the oak handle with care. The guard was simple, not overly ornate or anything, just some shaped Adamantite, slightly reminiscent of a Japanese tsuba, rather than a more traditional cross guard. The last thing that Harry added was to the pommel, a metal inset for the Frost Azuryte that would let it act as a catalyst for the power that Harry hoped to imbue in the sword to truly complete it.
"If it happened once, I'm sure it'll happen again." Harry mused as he finished securing the Frost Azuryte in place, using both blacksmithing and Magic to secure and protect the precious Magical Gem. He wiped his brow of the sweat that remained and could feel the great drop in his mana reserves from his Artificing. Tonks would probably complain that he was trying to stay ahead of her in Mana Level by crafting another Artifact, knowing that the process was a strain on his reserves that forced them to grow a significant amount.
Deciding to get a shower and worry about making a sheath for the sword later, Harry took the sword inside with him. He was wary to leave the Frost Azuryte in the smithy in the very slim chance that something happened. As it was part of the sword right now, he had to bring in the whole item. Placing the sword on his bed, Harry gathered a change of clothes and tossed his sweaty work clothes into the hamper. They'd be gone soon enough, thanks to Tayla. The House Elf was always eager to keep things clean around the cottage.
'I've imbued a lot of my mana into the new sword, that should strengthen it as a vessel for the power and Magic that I want it to consume.' Harry thought as he showered. The trick with the Consume Array was that the vessel (Harry's sword in this case) had to be made strong enough to handle whatever ability it consumed. All of the mana that Harry had poured into it so far didn't give the sword itself any innate Magical power like when he'd made Aethereum or Sgàilean Rìgh Nathair. All he'd done so far was make as strong of a vessel as he possibly could.
Harry was just finishing up a late dinner, courtesy of Tayla, when he noticed it. The air was cooling down unnaturally fast. He was quick to move from the table to the window near the backdoor and peek outside. Once more he was witness to the sight of Dementors…but this time it was far more than two. He couldn't get an accurate count with the wraith-like beings floating around, but it was definitely more than fifty. The window quickly frosted over as the cloud of Dementors moved closer to Wood End Cottage.
"Shite!" Harry bolted up the stairs and into his bedroom, he grabbed the Communication Mirror and then his new sword. "Sirius Black!" He nearly shouted at the mirror and a few seconds later Sirius' face showed up to replace Harry's reflection.
"Harry? Harry, what's wrong?!" Sirius instantly noticed the look on his godson's face.
"Dementors! Tons of them!" Harry explained as he raced back downstairs while wandlessly throwing Colloportus Charms at every window and the front door.
"WHAT?!" Sirius bellowed, clearly moving quickly on his side. "I'll be right there Harry!"
Harry could hear the exclamations and commotion of at least a dozen different voices through the mirror as he held his sword at the ready in his right hand. The backdoor was already frosted over from the Dementors approaching and even his breath was coming out as a white fog. The mirror call was ended as Sirius put his away and Harry was sure that his godfather was going to apparate from wherever the Order of the Phoenix held their meetings.
The cracking of the kitchen windows and the backdoor made Harry grimace. The chill was so intense now that Harry felt like he was standing in a freezer. The backdoor was forced open, a cracking sound from the frozen wood indicating that it had been broken somewhere. The first Dementor ducked down to float into the cottage, only to be knocked backwards by Harry's Eastern Dragon Patronus. The Dementor let out a deathly rattle of breath as it was pushed back. Several other Dementors also fled backwards from the spectral guardian.
"What in the hell…?" Harry blinked as the Dementors didn't flee from his Patronus entirely. The floating beings retreated from the spell, but they didn't leave the property. Sure, he was low on mana, but that was still a fully formed corporeal Patronus! The Dementors should be leaving in mass just from being close to it.
Eventually the Charm faded into a silvery mist and then disappeared completely. The Dementors quickly swarmed back towards the cottage like a wave of blackness and frost. Harry could only hope that Sirius, and maybe some people from the Order, would get here to provide assistance soon. He ran his fingers over the Consume Array, activating it and making the runes glow with a faint blue light.
The first Dementor that forced itself into the cottage this time was met with a stab to the chest from the sword. For a split second, nothing seemed to happen, but then with a sickening crunching sound along with the sound of displaced air, the Dementor was drawn into and absorbed by the Artifact Sword.
'I thought it would just consume their Magic and effect…' Harry briefly thought, in shock at what he'd just witnessed. He had no more time to think after that as the back window shattered letting two more Dementors force their way into the cottage. Another Dementor also glided into the broken backdoor and reached for Harry. A swing of the sword, followed by the horrible crunching sound as the Dementor was consumed, and the one from the backdoor was taken care of. The two from the window reached out with their rotten, bony hands to try to grab Harry. Remembering his lessons in swordsmanship, Harry put the edge of the blade between him and the grasping hands. The disgusting sound of the Dementors emaciated and rotten bodies being consumed followed as soon as they grabbed the blade.
On the edge of Wood End Cottage, multiple cracks of Apparation were heard as Sirius, Remus, Dumbledore, Moody, Tonks, Shacklebolt, and Arthur Weasley appeared. Seeing the absolute swarm of Dementors, as well as being hit by the intense chill that so many in such a small area produced, the group was stunned for a short second. It was quickly brushed off by Tonks and Sirius as both cast their Patronus Charms at the Dementors. A bright silvery dog and an equally silvery raccoon ran into the horde, scattering some of the Dementors.
"Something isn't right." Moody stabbed his wand forward a silvery bloodhound charging into the mass of wraith-like beings. "Look at them, barely moving away! Dementors should be fleeing from this many Patronus Charms!"
"Something is very much not right." Dumbledore agreed and a circle of his wand later his Phoenix Patronus, much larger than the others, flew into the Dementors, sending them flying backwards with rattling shrieks.
"Why are they acting against their nature?" Shacklebolt's lynx had joined the fray along with Arthur's weasel and Remus' wolf.
"Who cares?!" Tonks snapped back as she poured more of her mana into her Raccoon Patronus, making the spectral guardian grow and push back more Dementors.
"They're still attacking the cottage!" Sirius bit out, his Patronus rushing towards the cottage to try and get to Harry. The presence of so many Dementors was slowly weakening all of their Charms just from sheer numbers.
"Are they trying to force their way inside even against all of us?" Arthur had worked for the Ministry for his entire adult life, he knew enough about Dementors to know that this behavior was completely abnormal. "It's almost like they've been ordered to get to Harry at all costs…" He trailed off as the other Order members' eyes widened at the implication.
"Harry!" Tonks and Sirius both empowered their Patronus even further, making the guardians bigger and sending the Dementors into a frenzy of strange wailing as they continued to retreat closer to the cottage rather than away from the multiple Patronus Charms.
"Bloody hell!" Harry swung his sword again, the horrid sound following as another Dementor was consumed. He raised his left hand and blasted a condensed Patronus mist into the encroaching horde as he retreated further into the cottage. The kitchen was overrun now and he'd retreated into the short hallway now. This did give him the benefit of limiting the Dementors to coming at him one at a time. A quick stab of his sword and the Dementor was consumed. Unfortunately, the sheer number had frozen over the kitchen and that chill had already spread throughout the cottage making ice form. Harry was shivering fiercely as the chill bit into him.
"Haaaa…" A Dementor's rattling breath sounded incredibly loud as it forced its way into the short hallway.
"Fuck!" Harry thrust his sword forward again and the Dementor made an odd noise before it was crushed and consumed by the blade. He had no idea how many that was now, thirty or forty at least, maybe more? He had briefly seen what he thought was a Patronus through the back window before he'd been forced to retreat into the short hallway. At least that meant that Sirius was probably here trying to save him. "Why're you bastards so focused on me?!" He bit out, launching another concentrated blast of Patronus mist at the Dementors he could see. It was getting harder to form the Charm with so many of the monsters swarming him.
The sound of the front door giving way made Harry quickly scramble up the stairs to the second floor. A Dementor from the living room tried to grab him only to grab the blade of Harry's sword instead and get sucked into it with another disgusting cracking and crushing sound. He was able to retreat up the stairs about halfway before he had to turn and stab another Dementor that was gliding up the stairs behind him.
"Damn it…if only I could get to my cloak." Harry bit out, knowing his Storage Cloak was hung up inside the smithy. He had completely forgotten to grab it when he'd come in for his shower, too focused on keeping the Frost Azuryte in his new sword safe. Aethereum was still stored within the space-manipulating cloak and its power would be immensely useful right now.
"Raaaaa…" Three Dementors floated up the stairs all at once and reached out for Harry with their bony hands.
"Fuck off!" Harry roared and swung the new sword since he had space now. The first Dementor was still being consumed when he hit the second one. The second and third were able to grab Harry, making painful red marks on his flesh from the cold. The instant the first Dementor was fully consumed, the blade touched the second and was quick to devour it too. The third Dementor had been leaning close to Harry's face, letting him see its eyeless visage, before the sword touched it and consumed it entirely. "So…one at a time then…" Harry panted, his breaths coming out in frosty wisps.
Another wave of Dementors rushing up the stairs at him made Harry grimace as he was forced back. Another stab, followed by a swing, then stab, then swing, and Harry was getting close to his bedroom door. He racked his brain trying to recall if he had anything inside that could help him. He was grabbed by the shoulder and a quick stab over his shoulder saw the Dementor consumed. His shoulder, even under his shirt, had a bright red mark from the touch of the Dementor.
"Protego!" Harry cast the Shield Charm to cover the hallway. It could block both spells and physical objects up to a point…but that would only buy him some time. His real aim was to force the Dementors to touch his new sword. He'd purposefully left the blade on the opposite side of the Charm, while the hilt remained in his hand. His consuming sword was essentially stabbed through the Protego as the Dementors poured up the stairs to try and get at him.
"Haaa…" The Dementors' rattling breaths made Harry grimace as they seemed to suck all the heat out of the air. Already Wood End Cottage was covered in frost and ice like a giant freezer. One after another, the Dementors clawed at the Protego, which Harry had to constantly reinforce with his mana. But on the same note, more and more of the soul-sucking monsters were touching the blade of his sword and being crushed, twisted, and consumed by it.
"Damn things…" Harry ground his teeth as it got harder and harder to maintain the Protego. He was already running low on mana after his work today. If he didn't know better, he'd say that this attack was planned for when he'd be alone and weakened!
"Harry!" Tonks and Sirius could be heard in unison from downstairs.
"Upstairs!" Harry yelled out as his back hit his bedroom door. He was tired…his mana was still dropping, but the Dementors numbers were lowering too. Only a few remained as they clawed at the weakening Protego. Another two were consumed as Harry heard heavy foot falls on the frozen stairs.
"Get away from him!" Tonks roared as her Patronus Raccoon slammed into the back of two of the Dementors.
"You bastards!" Sirius' voice was the incarnation of paternal fury at seeing his godson pressed back against the wall, struggling to hold off the last few Dementors. His Dog Patronus leapt upon another Dementor and bit at it over and over again.
The horrible sound of a Dementor being consumed by the sword startled Tonks and Sirius. The actual sight of a Dementor being crushed, broken, and sucked into the blade nearly made them drop their Patronus Charms. The last three Dementors, the ones under attack by their spectral guardians, were quickly stabbed and absorbed by the sword as Harry dropped the fading Protego to finish them off.
"Hah…hah…hah…" Harry's breathing was heavy as he shook with chills. He looked over at Tonks and Sirius with a small smile, the best he could manage at the moment. "Thanks…for the…help."
"Harry, your lips are blue…" Sirius was at his godson's side almost instantly. "You're cold to the touch!" He cast a Warming Charm on Harry to try and combat the extreme chill his godson had been suffering under.
"Here, a blanket." Tonks conjured a thick cloth out of thin air, cast a Warming Charm on it, and then wrapped it around Harry.
"Harry, Sirius, Tonks, are you alright?" Remus had run up the stairs while Tonks was conjuring the blanket. Seeing the look on his surrogate nephew's face, he pulled a small bar of chocolate from one of his pockets. "Harry, eat this, even if your Occlumency is great, Dementors still have horrible effects on people."
"Thank you…" Harry took a bite of the chocolate, only realizing as the warmth slowly returned to his body that his sense of emotion had been dulled after so much concentrated exposure to Dementors.
"What is this sword?" Tonks eyed the weapon that she'd seen literally absorb the Dementors.
"Don't touch it!" Harry replied with such severity that Sirius, Tonks, and Remus all took a half step away from the sword. "It's dangerous…right now." He shivered slightly and let them lead him downstairs, making sure to keep the blade well away from anyone.
"Harry, thank goodness." Dumbledore looked like the weight of a decade had just fallen off his shoulders when he saw Harry safe. "All of the Dementors seem to be gone now. But we don't know when or if they'll return."
"They won't be coming back." Harry shook his head, his chills finally starting to subside thanks to the Warming Charms.
"How do you know that, Potter?" Moody had both eyes, real and prosthetic, focused on the Artificer.
"Because they're gone…all of them are in here." Harry carefully held up the sword in his right hand.
"What?" Kingsley looked beyond confused at Harry's words.
"We saw it," Tonks nodded to Dumbledore. "Harry's sword…it…well, it absorbed the Dementors."
"One of the weirdest and most disturbing things I've ever seen." Sirius nodded to back up his surrogate niece.
"Harry, could you shed some light on this?" Dumbledore asked politely, eyeing the sword that had supposedly absorbed the Dementors.
"This sword…is my newest Artifact." Harry replied as he made sure the blade was nowhere near anyone. "I used an especially rare and difficult bit of Runecraft called the Consume Array to make it. Similar to what is on the Sword of Erdunn that allows it to take in anything that would make it stronger. My Array was a modified, and honestly experimental, version of that Consume Array. I thought it would take in the Dementors' Magic and their abilities, but it consumed them in their entirety instead."
"You thought you would be attacked again?" Arthur looked worriedly at Harry; the Artificer was only his son Ron's age after all.
"I figured if it happened once, then it could happen again." Harry shrugged under the blanket around his shoulders. "I made this in hopes that if Dementors were used against me and Sirius again, then I could at least take their Magic and render them no threat to anyone."
"I'm just glad you're safe, Harry." Tonks leaned against him slightly.
"We'll worry about what kind of research you're doing after this situation is handled." Sirius agreed, his hand resting on Harry's shoulder in support.
"While I do still have questions, perhaps they're best saved for later." Dumbledore nodded before looking around the frozen cottage. "I think it best if we inform the Aurors of what has happened, there is something wrong at Azkaban."
"This might've been every Dementor in Azkaban." Moody growled as the nagging thought he'd been having this whole time was vocalized by the Headmaster.
"I'll inform Madam Bones immediately." Kingsley nodded as he conjured his Lynx Patronus again, this time speaking to it softly for a short moment before sending it racing away so swiftly that it was out of sight in seconds.
"Well…I'll call Marlie and tell her to Apparate home instead of using the Floo." Sirius shook his head as he pulled out his Communication Mirror. "Marlie Reed." He spoke to the mirror and a few seconds later began to talk with his fiancé.
"Are you going to be okay, Harry?" Tonks whispered to her boyfriend softly.
"Yeah, though I might need a good lie in tomorrow." Harry joked with a light chuckle.
"What are you going to do about your new sword?" Tonks looked at the single edged blade with some trepidation.
"I'll need to deactivate the Array." Harry looked at his Artifact Sword. "It'll never work again, but I think I've got more of a power source than I ever intended." He ran his fingers over the slightly glowing runes of the Consume Array and the blue glow faded away. "There, now it won't absorb anything else."
"That's good at least." Tonks smiled and kissed his cheek.
"Huh?" Harry looked at his sword in confusion as he felt it start to vibrate. It got worse and worse to the point the sword started to blur from the motion. "What the hell?!" Harry tried to stop the sword from shaking by gripping it with both hands.
"What's going on, Harry?" Tonks looked confused and shocked at the sudden actions of the sword.
"I'm not sure…" Harry grit his teeth as the sword began to glow with a dark blue color, a literal aura of Magic surrounding the weapon.
"Harry?!" Sirius had finished his call with Marlie only to see his godson holding a sword that looked to be about to explode. "Throw it away!"
"Mr. Potter!" Dumbledore was rushing towards his recently graduated student with his wand in hand. He didn't know exactly what was going on, but it certainly didn't look good!
"It's settling down…" Harry grunted out as the aura slowly faded and the shaking stopped. "I think…it was just processing its new power source, maybe?" He looked at the sword curiously, noting that nothing appeared to be wrong with it.
"Perhaps it would be best if you set that sword down?" Dumbledore looked at the blade warily. To his experienced senses, something still felt off about the weapon.
"That might be for the best, Harry." Sirius agreed that not touching the Artifact Sword was for the better right now.
"Yeah sure, I don't have a scabbard prepared though." Harry shrugged before his face twisted into a rictus of pain and he cried out suddenly. "Fuck!" The curse tore from Harry's throat as he glared down at where he had a hold of the sword. His hand was being rapidly encased in ice! He tried to cast a Warming Charm but the spell failed against the encroaching frost.
"Harry…forgive me!" Tonks apologized before she placed her hand over Harry's and a strong flame surrounded the ice.
"Shit…" Harry grit his teeth against the pain, but the ice melted and he was able to force his numb fingers to let go of the sword even as they were lightly burned.
The blade of the single edged sword stabbed into the ground, leaving it almost perfectly straight in position. As Sirius, Tonks, and Remus provided first aid for Harry's injured hand, the rest of the Order members eyed the Artifact Sword warily. From where the blade had stabbed into the ground, a creeping frost began to slowly expand. The grass, only partially thawed from the heat of a summer night, instantly refroze as the sword remained stuck in the now frozen dirt.
"What the hell did Potter make?" Moody's Magical eye stared at the sword.
"Something even he cannot touch, it would seem." Dumbledore made a loop and three circles with his wand and a ring of flames surrounded the sword. The creeping frost was stopped by the Magical fire and Dumbledore nodded at containing the initial effect of this Artifact Sword. "For now, it's best that no one touches it until Harry is rested and can examine what is wrong with his creation." As its creator, Harry would be the best at identifying what was happening with his new Artifact.
"We'll have Marlie fix you up good as new, Harry." Sirius smiled at his godson, from where the group of Harry, Tonks, Remus, and himself were sitting. "She'll be home in just another minute or two."
"It's fine…it barely even hurts anymore." Harry assured the three that were worrying over him.
"Don't try and act macho, Harry." Tonks was holding him against her side, laying her head atop his with a sigh.
The multiple cracks of Apparation were heard as almost a dozen red robed Aurors appeared at the edge of Wood End Cottage. The law enforcement agents were quick to rush towards the group through the frozen grass that was only partially melted. Every Auror was looking around in alert, obviously worried about Dementors, and had their wands in hand.
"Moody, Shacklebolt, Tonks, report!" Amelia Bones ordered as she stopped beside Dumbledore. She was most definitely not ready for what she was about to hear.
Marlie would apparate home only a minute or so later, worried but knowing that everyone was okay. She was able to get passed the Auror line with Sirius' say so and was helping heal up Harry's injured hand the instant she saw the injury. Harry thanked her with a smile as he flexed his fingers. Marlie still took him through a full range of motion test and a sensitivity test for good measure. She was very thorough with her work after all.
-Ministry of Magic ~ Dolores Umbridge's Office ~ Next Morning-
"What is this?" Umbridge read over the parchment that had been left in her 'In' box. It came from an Auror that she had blackmail on and was a preliminary report of what had happened at the residence of Lord Black and Artificer Potter the previous night. "Finally!" The vile woman had an ugly smile on her face. "Something I can use against that little brat!" She was out of her office and knocking on Cornelius' door in minutes.
"Come in," Fudge allowed whoever was knocking on his door so insistently. He wasn't expecting to see his Senior Undersecretary barge into his office waving about a piece of parchment. He most assuredly wasn't expecting the first words out of her mouth either.
"Potter has stolen from the Ministry!" Umbridge declared loudly as she crossed the office and nearly slapped the parchment onto the Minister's desk.
"Dolores…what on earth are you talking about?" Fudge looked at the woman like she'd lost her mind.
"This, Minister!" Umbridge tapped the parchment with one of her long pink nails. "Potter did something with an Artifact and stole all of the Dementors of Azkaban!" Sure, that wasn't the full truth, but it was the end result. She finally had something against that little bastard!
"Dementors? Again?!" Fudge felt himself break into a light sweat just hearing about Dementors being at the residence of Lord Black and Artificer Potter again. It had barely been just over a week since the first incident!
"As you know, Cornelius, the Dementors are the property of the Ministry of Magic! Whatever Potter has done to them represents theft of Ministry assets! We must move to have him tried before the Wizengamot for this theft!" Umbridge said quickly and with a barely hidden sickly smile.
"What?" Fudge was looking between his Senior Undersecretary and the parchment to try and piece together what had happened.
"You don't need to worry about a thing, Minister! I'll take care of this situation!" Umbridge declared and was out of his office with the parchment before Fudge could react.
"What…Dolores! Dolores!" Fudge called out as he stood from his chair and rushed to the door of his office. He had just made it out of his office when he was stopped by a paper airplane that nearly hit him in the face. Seeing that the parchment plane had a red mark on it, denoting that it was urgent, he plucked it out of the air and unfolded it with a tap of his wand. "WHAT?!" His cry of shock and panic could be heard through a good portion of the Ministry.
Azkaban had fallen.
Voldemort has destroyed Azkaban, reclaimed his inner circle, and wrested control of the geas that controls the Dementors! He sends all one-hundred of the soul-sucking monsters after Harry!
Harry manages to survive with help from his family and the Order, plus his new Artifact Sword! That modified Consume Array worked out…sort of? Harry can't seem to touch his new sword. That might be bad.
Perhaps in trying to prepare for the next attack, our young Artificer has created something that not even he can control.
Now Umbridge thinks she can charge Harry with stealing from the Ministry?!
What the hell is that vile woman on?
How will this incident play out? How will Magical Britain respond to the news about Azkaban?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 26,884
Tonks – 21,718
Penelope – 16,362
Fleur – 16,926
Until I get your reviews, later!