Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! As the various factions continue to work on their own plans, who will be the first to complete them? Harry has a few projects still on his plate. Penny's project is slowly expanding. Tonks is out with Moody, Shacklebolt, and the other Aurors trying to capture Death Eaters. Fudge isn't making that easier though, given how he refuses to believe that Lucius would harbor the Dark Lord. Fleur has a new lead to share with her family about Voldemort's survival though.
If you'd like to become a patron and get access to these chapters earlier, just head on over to Pat re on and add a /Kairomaru after the com.
Make sure to thank the patrons that make these stories possible by checking out the Patron Plaque on my profile!
Chapters 62 and 63 are Already Available for Patrons!
So, without further delay, please enjoy.
Chapter 61 – The Eve of Reckoning
"Shield Cloaks and Ward Breakers, as promised." Harry placed the items onto the long table in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place.
The Order of the Phoenix was meeting again as the time of the Autumn Equinox was fast approaching. There was a chance that nothing would happen on that particular day, but from the information they were getting from Snape it seemed like Voldemort was finalizing his preparations to work his Great Magic on that day, perhaps. It would be best to be prepared in advance, just in case.
"Thank you very much, Harry." Dumbledore smiled at the Artificer as he and Moody looked over the items for a moment.
"There's a Shield Cloak for every member, make sure you wear it any time you believe you may be at risk of having a spell or curse thrown your way." Harry looked over the gathered Witches and Wizards. "They'll block almost anything, but significantly powerful spells can still injure you if they overwhelm the cloak. The amount of power they'll protect you from will probably save your life, even if they're overpowered and ruined in the process."
"Huh…they look almost like ordinary cloaks." Emmeline Vance noted as she was handed her Shield Cloak, indicated by a scrap of paper with her name on it attached to the front.
"Well, they wouldn't be very practical to wear day-to-day during all of this if they were flashier, right?" Hestia Jones, an Auror just like Tonks, smiled at the other woman while holding her own Shield Cloak.
"I doubt I'll take it off outside of my own home until all this Death Eater business is settled." Sturgis Podmore declared, already slipping the cloak on over his robes.
"Probably for the best." Dedalus Diggle agreed, standing up to put his own Shield Cloak on, along with Elphias Doge.
While the Order Members were accepting their new cloaks, some putting them on right away while others didn't, Harry was telling Moody and Dumbledore more about the Ward Breakers. Specifically, how many it might take to break the old wards around Malfoy Manor. Given how long the Malfoy Family had owned the lands, the wards would most likely be incredibly strong.
"So, you're thinking a dozen or more?" Moody asked for confirmation, his prosthetic eye swiveling in the socket.
"Most likely." Harry nodded to the Senior Auror. "Space them out around the perimeter like the marks on a clockface and then activate them simultaneously, even old wards like that should overload and shatter. The Ward Breakers will take the backlash and no one should be harmed."
"That means we have a way in." Moody gave Harry a nod before shooting a look at Dumbledore.
"I agree." Dumbledore nodded, a small smile appearing on his face as he looked at Harry. "Thank you for your assistance in our endeavor, Artificer Potter. Hopefully we'll be able to end this madness before it escalates like it did during Voldemort's first rise to power."
"Not until we figure out how he crawled his way back to the physical world." Harry shook his head, annoyed by the fact that Voldemort had returned at all. "Until that time, all we can do is try to mitigate his effect on the world by taking out his powerbase."
"He's not wrong, Albus." Moody's gruff voice matched his scarred visage. "We need to find out how to put Voldemort down for good."
"I'm still working on that, I'm afraid." Dumbledore sighed heavily. Horace had provided the confirmation of what Voldemort had done…the horrid Magic of Horcruxes of all things…but with what the young Tom Riddle had said, there were as many as six Horcruxes made. 'Well, I suppose five now, after the destruction of the Diary.' The old Headmaster looked to the small silver lining of at least one of the abominations already being destroyed. "Voldemort has not made defeating him a simple matter. And I believe there are many clues and avenues of inquiry that I'll have to go through to uncover the full method of how he's prevented himself from passing on."
"We're not exactly long on time, Albus, we need to at least try to keep the Dark Lord on the backfoot as much as possible." Moody was in favor of striking hard and fast against Voldemort. The less Death Eaters that Voldemort had to work with, the better off they'd be.
-Wood End Cottage ~ Night-
"Thanks to Madam Aveline, I believe I have a lead on how Voldemort has returned." Fleur spoke to Harry, Penny, Tonks, and Sirius. The Veela's face was absolutely serious and her blue eyes were sharp.
"What did she say?" Penny gently placed her hand over top of Fleur's, worried that her 'sister' in all but blood was acting oddly.
"Madam Aveline spoke with me about Herpo the Foul, an Ancient Greek Wizard and a pioneer in the Dark Arts." Fleur began and went through what she and Madam Aveline had discussed. "In short, Voldemort is close to the fabled Lich of the old tales, using a Horcrux or Phylactery to chain his soul to the mortal world even if his physical body is destroyed."
"Well…shite." Tonks exhaled heavily. "So, we have to find this Horcrux thing and destroy it before we can really put the Dark Wanker down for good?"
"That's the best lead I've been able to find." Fleur nodded to Tonks, watching as the Metamorphmagus's hair cycled through a few different colors.
"That poses a problem aside from the obvious." Sirius thought quietly for a long moment. "If this Horcrux thing exists and Fleur is correct, then either Voldemort keeps it somewhere close and under his watch at all times. Or it could be hidden in a location that only he knows and may not even be within the British Isles."
"Shite." Penny cursed, uncharacteristic of the scholar, but it was an apt summary of the situation.
"I wonder…" Harry thought back to his second year at Hogwarts and the Chamber of Secrets. "I fought a memory of Voldemort in the Chamber…but he was young then, still in school." He noticed that the rest of his family was looking at him now. "If what he said was true, that he was a memory left in the diary, would that mean that it was Voldemort's Horcrux?"
"But he came back after you destroyed it, didn't he?" Tonks pointed out the flaw in Harry's pondering.
"Unless he made more than one…" Penny spoke up a second later, her eyes alight with theories given the relevant information. "But you said that you have to commit murder and fracture the soul…can you do that more than once?" She looked at Fleur curiously.
"I'm not sure…" Fleur shook her head, as she and Madam Aveline hadn't gone over any such thing. There was a limit to her former teacher's knowledge about such a Dark subject.
"If anyone was deranged enough to try repeatedly shattering off parts of their own soul, it would definitely be Voldemort." Sirius fully believed that, especially after what he'd witnessed in the Seventies.
"That still puts us back at square one though." Tonks grimaced as a second Horcrux that they didn't know the location of didn't help them end Voldemort. "Hell, we might be at square zero…who's to say the bastard didn't make more than two? Three is a powerful Magical Number, sure…but seven in the most powerful, right?"
"Oh fuck…" Harry groaned and put his head in his hands. "A megalomaniac obsessed with being 'the greatest wizard that ever lived' like Voldemort would probably do that too."
The silence that followed that revelation was resounding in its completeness.
"So…" Sirius spoke again after the silence had grown uncomfortable. "Harry has already taken one out, probably. That would leave the Voldemort that's walking around and five other pieces, if we go with the 'seven-split' theory."
"If we could destroy his physical body again…that might buy us some time to find the rest." Tonks offered, her training under Mad-Eye was showing through.
"We'd have to work with Dumbledore to try and figure out where the others were hidden though." Harry mentioned after a moment of thought. "The Headmaster has known Voldemort the longest, hasn't he? Surely, he knows something about what was going on with Tom Riddle back in Hogwarts, right?"
"At the very least, he might know something about what items Voldemort would use…or perhaps a location that was important to Tom Riddle before he became Voldemort?" Penny offered her thoughts.
"Is there any way we could remove the threat he poses?" Fleur brought up a question of her own. "Would it be possible to trap or contain Voldemort somewhere until such time that we had destroyed his Horcruxes?"
"My Anti-Magic Area might work to an extent, but it's not very big yet, nor can it be set up and deployed during a confrontation." Penny hummed in thought about her creation.
"Worse comes to worst," Harry looked towards the direction of his smithy. "I could always use that."
"Don't you even think about it!" Tonks snapped at him, worry and indignation on her face as both her hair and eyes turned orange.
"Stay far away from that cursed thing, Harry!" Fleur stared into his eyes sharply, while she grabbed his hand as if to keep him in place.
"Harry, that thing will kill you." Penny looked at him worriedly. "Please, just leave it sealed away, we'll figure this out together."
"I agree with them, Harry." Sirius had a firm look on his face. "Best to leave that sword where it can't hurt anyone, especially you."
"I'd rather not touch it, myself." Harry admitted, he did still vividly remember his hand being frozen over by his creation. "But Dourfrost has a specific ability that might make it one of the easiest ways to deal with Voldemort."
"At the cost of your life isn't acceptable, Harry." Tonks pulled him into a tight hug.
"Absolutely not." Fleur hugged him as well.
"We don't ever want to lose you, Harry." Penny joined the hug as well.
"Listen to them, Harry, there's no reason to endanger yourself. You have all of us to help you out. We'll take the bastard down together, no matter how long it takes." Sirius stated with surety as he stood up and ruffled Harry's hair, the only spot he could reach on his godson that was currently being smothered by the three girls.
"I get it." Harry chuckled from within the pile. "We'll figure it out." In his mind, he did still keep unsealing Dourfrost as the option of absolute last resort though. 'I should be finished with the scabbard soon too.'
"Move everything of value quickly." Voldemort ordered with a light hiss. He watched as his hundreds of new followers moved about the large home to gather everything he wanted to keep and move it.
"My Lord, are we really going to abandon my manor?" Lucius asked, kneeling next to the man. It burned him fiercely that the land and home of his ancestors was being so casually left behind.
"Severus has brought information that Dumbledore's Order has gained a way to break through the wards." Voldemort turned his red eyes upon Lucius. "I will not have everything be lost if they attempt to raid us before the Great Magic is ready."
"I understand, my Lord, but surely we could…" Lucius was cut off as he was forced to the floor by Voldemort's Magic.
"I will not hear your drivel, Lucius." Voldemort kept up the pressure as he spoke. "Your manor and lands can always be reacquired if necessary. At present, they serve a purpose, but if that changes then I will abandon them; just as I expect you to!"
"Y-yes…my…Lord…" Lucius wheezed out from under the pressure.
"If you understand, then make sure everything is taken to our next location properly." Voldemort released Lucius and walked away, leaving the Head of the Malfoy Family to pick himself up off the floor.
"Damn…" Lucius grumbled to himself as he stood up. To think that his family's manor would be trod upon by halfbloods and mudbloods…he hated it. But he still moved to follow the Dark Lord's orders. 'I can only hope the Great Magic is complete before any raid takes place. At least then I won't have to abandon my ancestral home.'
-Hogwarts ~ Library-
"They still haven't posted the first Hogsmeade weekend." Luna pouted at not being able to send Harry a letter so they could meet up for the day out for the students.
"They'll do it soon enough, Luna, I'm sure." Padma smiled at her fellow Ravenclaw as the group of friends sat around one of the tables together.
"Things have been quiet for a little bit in the Prophet, huh?" Mandy mentioned as she flipped a page in her book, hoping to find more information for her current essay.
"That's probably a good thing." Hermione mused, nibbling her lip slightly. "No news is good news, as the old saying goes."
"I'd really like to read that You-Know-Who is dead in the Prophet." Mandy mumbled quietly so that only they could hear.
"Maybe Malfoy would stop being as much of a prat then." Padma rolled her eyes at the fact that Draco had been strutting around like he was important ever since the first day of school.
"I doubt it." Luna shook her head, the fact that she stated it as a simple fact made the other girls giggle.
"It would be nice though." Hermione rolled her eyes just remembering how pompously Draco was acting around the school.
"He seems to think he'll be accomplishing some great task soon with what little I've been able to hear from my sister and her love of gossip." Padma twirled her finger in the air with an uncaring expression.
"Doing his own laundry would probably be a great accomplishment for Malfoy." Mandy tittered and the other girls giggled as well.
"I suppose it could be…if he was bad at laundry." Luna considered with a cute thinking pose.
"Ah, Luna, never change." Mandy pulled the girl into a one-armed side hug.
"Okay." Luna smiled. It was great having friends.
-Hogwarts ~ Headmaster's Office ~ September 22nd-
"I'll be taking my son home for the weekend." Lucius stated as he finished his meeting with Dumbledore. "He'll return to school before classes on Monday morning." Draco was already by his side, looking almost smug which he'd have to scold the boy for.
"I cannot stop you, as you are his father." Dumbledore didn't like this; Draco was still a child and was being taken home on the very day the Order had been planning their raid. "We hope to see young Draco fresh and ready to learn on Monday morning." He spoke, sending a smile towards the boy, only to get a half-hidden sneer in return.
"Come along, Draco." Lucius guided them over to the Floo. A moment later and a flash of green fire whisked them away to Malfoy Manor.
"I'll need to get in contact with Alastor." Dumbledore mumbled to himself, quickly standing up from his desk. He didn't want a child caught up in their raid, so the plan would need to be altered to try and avoid that. "Just when we finally had everyone ready as well." Dumbledore sighed heavily. Things had been strangely quiet at Malfoy Manor from what Severus had spoken of. The majority of goods and useful items had already been moved to the next location that Voldemort had chosen. That location had only been shared with the Inner Circle who had been sent ahead to make it ready for Voldemort's arrival. The rest of the newly recruited forces, numbering just over three-hundred, were still at Malfoy Manor to protect the area. "Did they suspect that we would try something at this time? Perhaps this is an important time and Tom is trying to stay my hand by placing a child in danger?" It wouldn't be out of the question for the monster that the once bright young man had become.
-Wood End Cottage ~ Harry's Workshop-
"There we are." Harry smiled at the completed scabbard Artifact. Wrapped in Dragonhide, powdered Dragon Fangs used as conduit for the runic circuits that linked the various sequences into an array, and he'd even gone the extra mile to stain the wood with Dragon Blood to add another layer of synergy. There was no doubt in his mind that this scabbard could contain Dourfrost indefinitely. "Now, we just have to unseal Dourfrost and place it into the new scabbard." Harry grinned at finally getting another project completed. He'd save the unsealing for later though; Sirius and Tonks were about to head out with the Order of the Phoenix to strike at Voldemort.
"You be careful!" Marlie kissed Sirius right as Harry walked into the living room.
"I will, love." Sirius promised her once their lips separated. "I've got my Shield Cloak, my Basilisk Vest, and my Sorcerer's Path. I shouldn't get a scratch." He smiled warmly at her and pulled her into a hug.
"You stay safe too, Nym." Harry hugged her close and Tonks returned it.
"I'm decked out in everything, Harry." Tonks promised him with a loving smile. "Basilisk Vest, Basilisk Scale Mail over that, Shield Cloak over that, and Sorcerer's Path over that." She listed off all the protection she had thanks to Harry. "I'm pretty sure that I'll be the most protected person there." Tonks kissed him, long and slow, pouring all of her love and affection into it.
"If anything goes wrong, please just come back here." Penny hugged Tonks closely after she and Harry separated.
"No worries, Penny." Tonks hugged the other woman back. "If things go arse up, we'll be pulling back to reassess. Dumbledore and Moody both agree that something is afoot from what Snape had told us. So, they're prioritizing lives over results tonight."
"Bon." Fleur pulled Tonks into her arms next and kissed her cheeks. "Your life is more important than the Dark Lord's. Come home to us above all else."
"Of course." Tonks smiled and squeezed the Veela tightly. "We'll make it back just fine. Hopefully, with whatever Voldemort is planning, completely ruined."
"You come back too, Sirius." Harry hugged his godfather. "You still have a wedding to attend."
"You're tying the knot before your Majority, Harry?" Sirius asked in faux shock. "I don't think that's legal."
"Hush, before Marlie changes her mind about you." Harry laughed along with Sirius.
"We're off to screw over the Dark Tosser! Be back later!" Sirius joked and waved to Marlie, Harry, Fleur, and Penny comically. He vanished in a flash of green flames as the Floo activated.
"I'll drag him back if he does something silly." Tonks promised, shooting Marlie a smile before she stepped into the green flames and was whisked away as well.
"Are you sure that we shouldn't have gone?" Fleur looked at Harry in concern.
"They're only going to disrupt whatever Voldemort is planning, not to try and bring him down. So, they should be fine. They're old hats at this." Harry offered the best reassurance he could, given that he'd also wanted to go.
"Sirius and Tonks were adamant that we not go and get involved with the Order any more than necessary." Penny reminded them both, even as she was clearly worrying herself. "I'm not exactly thrilled about the idea of joining a secret illegal militia, but I hate the waiting too."
"We'll be ready to help if they call." Harry held up his Communication Mirror, reminding the three women that they had instant communication if Tonks and Sirius needed help.
-Malfoy Manor ~ Night-
"What's that fog?" Sirius questioned as the Order met well outside the ward line of the Malfoy estate.
"Some kind of spell." Moody's gruff voice replied. "My eye can't see through it."
"We've confirmed movement in the fog…a lot of things are standing in it, kind of listlessly." Shacklebolt reported as the Order had spread out to check around the edge of the estate already. "I worry that the suspected three-hundred or so Wizards and Witches that are supposedly following Voldemort are lying in wait for us."
"Are they planning to stay out here all night?" Elphias Doge questioned curiously.
"We're definitely outnumbered…but if we can slip past them…" Sturgis Podmore offered, but sounded like he would rather not go sneaking about in the Magical fog.
"We can't even get close to the wards to use the Ward Breakers if we don't pass through the fog though." Tonks mentioned, eyeing the figures in the fog with the use of a Sight Charm that Aurors were taught to let them see further away clearly, like a pair of binoculars in spell form.
"Voldemort has also taken the young Malfoy scion into the manor as well." Dumbledore reminded the Order. "Using a child as a shield, as it were."
"Of course, he did." Emmeline Vance grimaced at the disgusting tactic.
"Do we have a way to clear the fog and deal with up to three-hundred Wizards long enough to break the wards and then destroy this ritual site?" Remus looked at Dumbledore for any idea or potential plan. It was a tall order to fulfill even with someone of Dumbledore's power and skill.
"I'd rather not just kill them all wholesale." Dumbledore had seen what solving all of one's problems with violence and death had caused before. It was a path that he'd feared that he could slide down if he wasn't careful. "I can clear the fog and deal with a good number of enemies, but that will surely draw Voldemort's attention. We'd need someone to sneak through the chaos and destroy the ritual site."
"Disillusionment Charms…and maybe my Animagus form?" Sirius put forth his best idea. "In the dark, I'd go unnoticed, especially if everyone is rushing to the scene of a battle."
"Aye, that could work." Moody nodded after a long moment to think about it. "Albus and I could hit them hard from here, the rest of the Order spreads out a bit to spread their forces away. Voldemort will be forced to come and deal with us personally."
The plan was accepted and Sirius was given the Ward Breakers to take to the ward line and set up. The Marauder wished everyone well and then disillusioned himself. The padding of a dog's feet on grass was heard as Sirius bolted away to fulfill his task.
"Let us begin." Dumbledore nodded to the Order members as he and Moody moved forward under their own Disillusionment Charms. The rest of the members quickly did the same, spreading out within sight of each other as they prepared to attack. "Purgare Aerem." Dumbledore lifted his knotted wand and made multiple loops, three swishes, and finally a large circle. The thick fog vanished and several cries of shock were heard from the gathered Wizards and Witches.
"Lata Stupefy Tria Maxima!" Moody cast the modified Stunner and three wide arcs of the familiar red light flew towards the confused Death Eaters. "Lata Amissa Tactu!" The Senior Auror utilized his second Focus, his walking stick, to cast another widened spell, this time the Unfeeling Hex that robbed a person of their sense of touch. Small purple lights rained down over a section of the Death Eaters and sent them into confusion. Using Dual Foci was something that only Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody was proficient in within all of the Auror Corps.
Spells flew back and forth as the two sides fought. Flashes of light, arcs of various colors of lightning, the occasional crack of Apparation. Spells exploded against the ground, throwing up dirt into the air. Flames were conjured and thrown around. It didn't seem that long, but yet felt like an eternity before a loud sound caught everyone's attention.
It was like the screech of metal being violently warped and torn apart, mixed with the shattering of glass. The wards became visible within the air before dispersing in a burst of light. The air popped from the sudden change and all fighting stopped for a brief moment.
That moment was shattered when Sirius Black Apparated close to Dumbledore. Sirius had returned to his human form and was clearly shaken from the hastily performed Apparation, but forced himself to his feet and drew his wand fluidly. Dumbledore was quick to notice the Shield Cloak showed signs of being burnt, a few faint wisps of smoke still rising from parts of it.
"Dumbledore!" Sirius called out upon seeing the old man. "He's here! Voldemort is personally guarding the ritual site! He threw Fiendfyre at me as soon as I tried to get close!"
"Does he not intend to get involved?" Dumbledore knew that Tom would often come to try and kill him in the past. His old student saw Dumbledore as one of the few obstacles blocking his path.
"I don't think that's the issue…" Moody's prosthetic eye was whirling around and he nearly spat before calling out a warning. "Incoming Fiendfyre! Retreat!"
The Magical Eye wasn't wrong either, as in a blaze of heat and light, a massive serpent of Fiendfyre rose over Malfoy Manor. The cursed flames shot down towards the area of fighting with a shrieking roar.
"He's going to kill his own men!" Sirius cursed the Dark Lord in his mind.
"Get back!" Dumbledore waved his wand and snagged all of the Order Members with a spell. Everyone was thrown dozens of meters backwards before they'd realized that they were moving, the spell grabbing them by their feet, the only area not directly covered by the Shield Cloaks. With everyone out of the way, Dumbledore stabbed his wand forward and the Fiendfyre serpent slammed into an invisible wall, the cursed fires spreading along the force of Dumbledore's will.
"Back to the Manor!"
The Death Eaters yelled out to each other as they quickly retreated from the clash of Magic.
The Fiendfyre reformed, still fueled by Voldemort's Magic and intent. The serpent of cursed flames lashed out at Dumbledore over and over again, trying to break through his barrier.
"Hmmmnnn…" Dumbledore grimaced as he blocked the flames and slowly pushed his will and intent into them, trying to wrest control of the cursed fire from Voldemort. It took a great amount of focus and willpower to control Fiendfyre normally. To do it from such a distance was unheard of. Dumbledore could only force his intent against the fire and snuff it out by using the distance against Voldemort.
"He's doing it." Elphias Doge cheered as the Fiendfyre serpent lost form and became a swirling ball of flames.
"Once he's snuffed out the flames, we move in and head towards that ritual site." Moody called out to the Order members. "We don't want to miss this chance!"
"Haaa…" Dumbledore crushed the intent remaining in the Fiendfyre, stealing control of the spell and then snuffing it out. The heat dropped noticeably once the cursed fires were gone.
That wasn't the end of the Order's troubles though. A wave of spellfire came from the manor all at once. Among the many spells, there were a few glowing green lights that everyone recognized. Instead of relying on Shield Charms, the Order all pointed their wands at the ground and transfigured the earth into a large wall. The chorus of spells exploding against the earthen wall was loud, parts of it even being blown apart under the barrage.
"Always trying to interfere…Dumbledore." The sibilant hiss of Voldemort rang out in the sudden silence. "But you'll have to leave. I'm about to start a monumental undertaking of Great Magic that most Witches and Wizards couldn't comprehend, and I can't have you ruining it."
"I cannot do that, Tom." Dumbledore lowered the section of earthen wall in front of him to meet Voldemort face-to-face.
"My NAME is Lord Voldemort!" Voldemort snapped out, his tone like a whip cracking through the air.
"This must end, Tom." Dumbledore paid no heed to the false name that his former student had given himself. His wand was at the ready, the first opening he saw would begin their battle.
"Always you must meddle." Voldemort sneered out, his tone patronizing. "But I have little time for you, old man. So, I'll have you leave."
"I will not move from here until you are stopped!" Dumbledore's tone hardened, the fierce man he could become on the battlefield showing his face for the first time in many years.
"That's not your choice." Voldemort had a mocking grin on his face. "You see, I've delved into Magics the likes of which you could never imagine. The next time we meet, I will be as unto a God!"
"Your mind has become twisted from the Dark Magics you've subjected yourself to, Tom." Dumbledore narrowed his eyes at the man.
"Goodbye, Albus Dumbledore." Voldemort raised a wand before him, as if about to give a proper pre-Duel salute. "Immolare et Dispergere!" Voldemort's voice warped noticeably and the wand in his hand was tossed forward. Dumbledore raised a powerful Protego Totalum to block, only for the thrown wand to explode into fragments and a thick black smoke to blast forward and cover the area.
When the black smoke cleared away unnaturally fast, it revealed the entire Order of the Phoenix had vanished. The odd wavering of the air and a strange hissing sound were all that was left in the darkness of the New Moon night.
"Begin preparations!" Voldemort raised his voice as he stalked back towards the ritual site. "We will begin the Great Magic immediately!" Ideally, he'd have liked to wait until tomorrow night, but night on the day of the equinox was the most important factor. So long as the sun hadn't started rising and the date was right, the ritual should still impart its full power after all the meticulous placing of the various granite slabs that he'd done. The incredibly perfect alignment would make up for the slightly less optimal timing. "Tempus." Voldemort cast the simple Charm with his true wand, and not the well-matched secondary wand he'd used for his previous spell. The wispy smoke formed the time and made Voldemort smile mirthlessly.
A strange sound (like a muffled explosion) went off in an alleyway, had anyone actually been around to hear it.
Sirius crashed down hard on something and nearly blacked out. It took him a few moments to reorient himself, the putrid smell invading his nose a sure help of getting his wits back. Blinking his eyes, he tried to see, but only a faint light from somewhere off to the side gave him anything to see by. His body felt weird, like he'd just gone through a bad side-along Apparation. His stomach was certainly rolling and the stench wasn't helping that.
"Bloody…hell…" Sirius gagged as he forced himself up. Whatever he was lying on shifted beneath him, but Sirius was able to grab the edge of the box. It was metal, cold to the touch, and he pulled himself upward with a groan of pain. "Oh, you've got to be fucking with me." He cursed, now realizing he was in a Muggle dumpster. "Where the hell am I?" He had no idea what that weird spell he'd heard Voldemort cast was…but it had apparently been able to either bypass his Shield Cloak and Basilisk Vest, or it operated on a different method than a standard spell. "Damn it…" He climbed out of the dumpster, his body still feeling completely off in a way that was hard to describe. Sirius rummaged in his pocket until he pulled out his Communication Mirror, he needed to tell Harry that something had gone wrong and that they hadn't been able to stop Voldemort's plan. "Harry Potter."
-Malfoy Manor ~ Ritual Site-
"Hurry up!" Voldemort ordered as he sent the peons to their proper spots among the slabs of granite that he'd prepared. Every one of them had a designated space and he was making sure that they were all in position. "We don't have all night!"
"My Lord, where did you want us?" Lucius questioned, having only been told that the three Malfoys needed to be here for the Great Magic to work, being as this was their land and the land of their ancestors for centuries now.
"Lucius, your family will be at the center." Voldemort guided Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco into the center of the standing stones. "It is imperative that the ones with the deepest ties to this land be here to give the Magic the space to work with."
"Of course, my Lord." Lucius bowed his head, still rather happy that they'd repelled Dumbledore and his Order without having to abandon Malfoy Manor.
"Lucius, kneel before this stone." Voldemort instructed, pointing at a stone with a strange glyph on it. "Narcissa, you will kneel before that stone." He informed the woman, another standing slab of granite bearing another unknown glyph. "Finally, young Draco, you will kneel before this stone." Voldemort guided the boy to face the proper stone monolith, this one bearing a glyph that was unique as well.
"It is an honor to help you work a Great Magic, my Lord." Draco spoke after kneeling before the marked stone. The teen was trying to sound proper and imitate his father's way of speaking, but it fell flat as he had none of the decades of experience.
"See that you remain where you are, I will be most displeased if you cause this to fail." Voldemort's obvious threat made all three Malfoys tense in fear until he left the center part of the ritual site.
"With this, we will return to the Dark Lord's good graces." Lucius spoke just loud enough for Narcissa and Draco to hear him. "We must ensure this succeeds."
"Yes, father." Draco's reply was instant.
"Of course." Narcissa's simple reply still possessed the bearing of a Daughter of the House of Black, even as she kneeled in the grass and dirt before a stone slab.
Voldemort went around the entire site once more, checking that everyone was in their place and that every stone was in perfect condition. Only once he was satisfied did he walk over to a different stone, this one made of a black mineral instead of granite. Briefly he stared up at the New Moon, hard to see in the night sky, but not impossible. With a dark grin, he poured his Magic into the black stone beneath his feet. "Coniuro te, da desiderium meum, appare coram me et servias domino tuo."
Every glyph on each of the standing slabs of granite began to glow with a deep blue light.
"What will you offer?" A voice seeped into his head like oil. It was not a human tongue, but understanding was forced upon him regardless.
"Everything within the land of the three within the center, all of which are my property, and the land itself. Only I shall be spared as your master." Voldemort spoke aloud, but to anyone that could've seen him, it looked as if he was in a trance, staring into the empty air.
"The power I offer is equal to what you sacrifice. Is everything within these lands yours to offer?" The voice questioned darkly, a feeling of sheer wrongness now filling the air around Voldemort.
"Yes. All lives within this land are my property, for they bear my Mark upon their flesh." Voldemort answered the force with utter surety.
The ground beneath the ritual site began to glow the same dark blue color as lines appeared between the standing stones. A massive Magic Circle, the likes of which hadn't been seen in over a thousand years, formed as the Death Eaters remained kneeling in their positions. Many of them made noises of awe at seeing this Magic begin. Knowing they were a part of it gave them a feeling of importance.
"The offering is accepted." The force spoke into Voldemort's head.
A single spark started it all. The blue light darkened into a navy blue with black mixed in. None of the kneeling Death Eaters could move anymore as the ritual began. The first to feel the effects were the Malfoys. If they could've moved at all, screams would have torn from their throats. Their Magic flowed away from them like water, pouring into the glowing circle beneath them. When their Magic ran out, their very blood was torn from their bodies to run in rivulets down their skin and into the ground. The Malfoys seemed to rapidly age as their bodies were reduced to naught but dust which was absorbed into the circle as well.
All around the ritual site, the same horrific process played out as three hundred Magicals were sacrificed to bring forth something beyond the mortal world. When all of the humans had been consumed entirely, the land began to warp as the glow spread across it.
Voldemort watched on, pleased by his success. There had never been any intention of abandoning Malfoy Manor or the ritual site. No, the moving of everything valuable had merely been because everything that sat on the Malfoy ancestral lands was to be offered up as a sacrifice. That included the manor itself and the land owned by the Malfoys as well.
The manor was torn apart, every scrap of it reduced to dust just as the rumbling earth tore itself asunder to flow towards the immense Magic Circle that still glowed brightly from the ritual site. From the Magic Circle the dirt and dust rose up, forming into a titanic skeletal being roughly sixty meters in height. The torso and arms appeared humanoid, but the legs were wrong, as was the skull, and the long tail. The dirt skeleton quickly took on the form of real bones, gleaming white in the darkness of night. The earth continued to flow over the bones, forming flesh and organs over the skeleton, skin formed and then darkened to a deep navy blue. The skull was covered, revealing it to be goat-like in nature, but the extended jaws were filled with sharp fangs.
When the ritual ended and the glow faded away all that was left of the Malfoy ancestral lands was a massive crater. In the center of that crater stood a being of immense size and darkness. It was a demonic monster with muscles as taut as ropes rippling up its towering form. Its skin was deep blue and its eyes snapped open to reveal gleaming blue eyes that glowed with an ethereal light. Its head, resting atop its thick chest, was that of a goat rather than a man and had an elongated snout and thick, twisted horns stretching backward from the sides of its head. The lower half of its body had bestial legs like a goat's and were covered in thick, navy blue fur. The tail that lashed behind it was a serpent, hissing dangerously with equally glowing eyes to the main head.
"ROOOOOAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!" The demon roared loudly, the air shaking as a dark aura swept across the crater and filled both the land and air with death. The ground dried out and everything within the dirt died instantly. The air became stagnant and foul in the same instant. Voldemort floated on the black stone before the great demonic beast with a demented smile on his face.
"Speak your name to your master." Voldemort intoned, since he needed the demon to give him a name with which to bind their pact.
"Gleam Eyes." The demon's words were like the rumble of thunder.
'That didn't translate aloud, but I understood it in my head.' Voldemort realized a split second after it happened. 'Gleam Eyes, how fitting.' He chuckled darkly while looking into the brightly glowing eyes of the demon. "Come, my servant, we have a world to conquer."
The demon briefly lowered its head, allowing Voldemort to stand atop it, between its massive curved horns. With a thundering step of its cloven hooves, the demon walked up the slope of the crater and towards the lands beyond.
In a very short amount of time, Britain (and the entire world) would learn of Magic again. But in the worst way possible.
Just as Voldemort intended.
Shit, shit, shit…that's BAD!
Who left Voldemort with a tome of True Dark Magic for this long?!
This is not the way you want to permanently break the Statute of Secrecy…unless you're Voldemort.
With the Malfoys and around three-hundred other Wizards/Witches sacrificed along with the land, the manor, and everything else, just how strong is the demon that Voldemort has unleashed upon the world?
Can anyone or anything stop it as it moves wherever Voldemort tells it to go?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 29,386
Tonks – 24,418
Penelope – 18,422
Fleur – 18,964
Until I get your reviews, later!