Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! Harry and his loves are heading out to stop Voldemort and his demon! The death and destruction is already far too high and the Statute of Secrecy has been destroyed beyond recognition. But can they stop the monster that Voldemort has summoned forth?
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Chapter 63 – Battle Against True Dark
Four figures flew through the air in the early morning light. The Wind Walker items attached to their legs making brooms unneeded for them. A loud explosion rocked the air, a sickly purple light seen a fair distance ahead of them.
"Damn him…" Harry cursed under his breath. The goat-headed demon that Voldemort had summoned was massive, easily sixty-meters tall, and Harry almost didn't want to test its mana amount. Regardless of what he wanted, all four of them came to a stop as Harry put just a little bit of mana into his glasses to activate the Scouter function.
"Fuck…" Harry summed up the number in a single word.
"That bad, huh?" Tonks grimaced, seeing the monster apparently slowed down by whatever was around it.
"How bad is it?" Penny questioned Harry, wanting to know just what their chances were.
"Well…it's weaker than Flamel…" Harry offered with a subdued tone.
"That's not very reassuring, Harry." Fleur looked at her lover with an understanding gaze.
"It's just over one million." Harry gave them the answer and saw all three of them flinch slightly. None of them were even a tenth of that. Hell, all of them together only came out to just over ninety-thousand.
"Well…shite." Tonks gave her opinion on the situation.
"Indeed." Fleur grimaced at the monster in the distance.
"What do we need to do to take it down?" Penny was already trying to think of some method to stop all of this.
"Right." Tonks nodded firmly. "It's just big. The bloody thing probably doesn't have much of a will of its own, so it'll be relying on orders from the Dark Tosser. We can exploit that."
"We need a way to get beyond that barrier around it." Fleur pointed out the first obstacle to stopping the monstrosity.
"If it's Magic, then I can do that." Harry patted Aethereum, sheathed on his hip. "The only problem is keeping Voldemort's attention divided. He knows at least a bit of what my sword can do already." He didn't even speak about the sword currently strapped to his back in the brand new Artifact Scabbard. That would only be used when the time was right.
"Distraction shouldn't be too hard." Fleur spoke, her blue eyes clearly calculating as she looked on at the demon from afar. "We can hit the barrier hard, shift the terrain beneath its feet, obscure their vision; we have options."
"Just don't get hit by it in any way, shape, or form." Tonks warned, even if it was unnecessary. "Even with the Basilisk Scale Mail…there wouldn't be anything left of you."
"ROOOOOAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!" The demon bellowed out an ear-splitting roar after decimating something on the ground before it. The four of them could only hope it wasn't more people.
"Disillusionment to get close and then we all attack from different points at the same time." Penny looked at her little family with belief and love.
"Agreed." Fleur smiled beautifully at all of them.
"Let's take this bastard down." Tonks grinned confidently, projecting strength to help raise their spirits.
"After we deal with this thing, maybe we can drag Voldemort in while we're at it?" Harry joked with a smile. Ideally, they would like to do that. But eliminating this demon came first and foremost.
Tonks, Penny, and Fleur all vanished under their Disillusionment Charms, though it wasn't the standard version. They were all wearing far too many Magic-blocking items for that to work. Instead they'd gone for a variant that hid a certain area around the caster. More costly mana-wise, but the only way to make it work right now. Harry simply pulled up the hood of his Invisibility Cloak that he was wearing over his Regalia. He vanished from sight entirely and the four flew off to make their attack.
"Madam Bones! Amelia!" Rufus Scrimgeour called out to the woman with a yell. All of their ears were still ringing, but that was the least of their concerns.
"I can hear you, Scrimgeour!" Amelia called back, looking at the devastation a single blast had resulted in. Their wide field of pits, trenches, and swamps had indeed slowed the massive demon's progression, but that only seemed to piss it off. The monster had unleashed a blast of baleful purple light down upon them, leaving an immense crater behind. "What're our losses?!"
"At least a dozen, ma'am!" Scrimgeour called back. "We need to retreat and come up with a different plan!"
"If we retreat, then who is going to stop this thing?!" Amelia demanded, glaring into her subordinate's eyes fiercely. "How many have already died because of it?!"
"We're barely even slowing it down, Amelia!" Scrimgeour dropped titles and formality as he answered. "We're all going to die if we stay here, and then NO ONE will be left to try again!"
"Rufus…we are the only ones in Magical Britain that have any chance, you know that." Amelia stated flatly. No one else would fight for themselves, as had been clearly demonstrated during Voldemort's last uprising.
As if to refute Amelia's claims, the earth beneath their feet began to rumble and shake. A truly massive upheaval of soil and rock erupted below the towering demon's cloven hooves, sending it staggering back a few steps.
"ROOOOOAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH?!" The bellowing roar had changed tone noticeably as the demon struggled to regain its footing.
"What?!" Voldemort hissed out in rage at the blatant, and semi-successful, attack on his monster. "Who dares?!"
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
Fiery explosions rained down on the barrier surrounding the Gleam Eyes, black ash dancing in the air after the explosions, still burning with orange embers.
From behind the Gleam Eyes, also crashing into the barrier, a wave of ice spread unstoppably across the shield. A large portion of the area behind the demon's head was now a blank spot in Voldemort's vision, as he was unable to see through the thick frost.
"You think your paltry spells can stop Lord Voldemort?!" Voldemort bellowed out to his unseen attackers. His red eyes glaring hatefully at the sheet of ice slowly breaking against his demon's barrier.
Voldemort's head whipped around so quickly that it was amazing his enhanced Homunculus body's neck didn't snap. He saw the barrier split in a straight vertical line, as if it was being erased. With the barrier opened in the one spot, the floating ash and cinder suddenly flooded inside and Voldemort found the area around the Gleam Eyes' head filled with the stuff.
"Exploser." A barely heard voice spoke, followed by the snapping of fingers.
All around the demon's head, which included Voldemort's spot atop the titanic monster, the thick cloud of ash and cinder drastically increased in temperature. The increase was so fast that all of the ash glowed a bright white before the entire cloud exploded into a massive fireball. The shockwave could be felt a significant distance away from the point of explosion.
"UUUUUUOOOOAAAARRRRGGGHHH!" The Gleam Eyes staggered, nearly losing its feet, only catching itself as its snake-headed tail hit the ground and supported the main body, keeping it upright.
When the smoke began to clear, the barrier of purple Magic having already closed up again, the hidden attackers could see the damage that had been done.
The demon's skin and fur around its head had been scorched. Its horns were cracked. Both of its ethereal blue eyes were gone. And even parts of the muscle and bone beneath the skin could be seen in some places. Smoke rose from the injuries, thick and black, like a burning oil fire.
"Ackh…gkh…" Voldemort wasn't any better than the Gleam Eyes. His body was twisted and broken. Burnt flesh, shattered bones, burns covering most of his body. Even the robes he'd enchanted himself hadn't been able to block the full force of the explosion he'd been caught in.
-Gringotts ~ Lestrange Vault-
A seemingly innocuous goblet exploded with force inside the silent vault. The only thing that had been remarkable about it was the badger mark, most closely associated with Helga Hufflepuff, that had been emblazoned on the magical object. But now, all that remained of the once famous relic were shards of twisted, smoldering metal.
"AAAAUUUURRRRGGGGHHHH!" A black fog with a face wailed as it rose up from the remains of the goblet. It was a tortured cry, like someone injured beyond belief but unable to die. The smoke-like apparition faded away and the dark vault was silent again, as it had been for over a decade before.
-Battle Against the Gleam Eyes-
"You hurt it, Fleur." Harry spoke to his Veela girlfriend, both of them still invisible in the air.
"She got Voldemort too." Tonks grinned, even though no one could see it under her spell.
"Impossible…" Fleur didn't have any time to feel good about her accomplishment. The reason for that became clear as everyone on the battlefield watched the Gleam Eyes regenerate rapidly.
The exposed bone and muscle reformed first, then it was covered by new skin, fur regrew in the areas that had previously had it. The demon's curled horns repaired themselves, the cracks and chips missing from them sealing up and reforming. Finally, ethereal blue light shone from the ruined eye sockets, only to reform into the bright eyes of the demon's namesake.
"Of fucking course it can regenerate." Tonks cursed loudly, uncaring of maintaining near silence at this revelation.
"It's not the only one." Harry grimaced, seeing Voldemort's twisted body standing back up, even though it shouldn't be able to, given the damage to it.
The twisted body straightened itself out with a series of sickening cracks. The damaged bones quickly restored themselves, followed by the muscles, the skin, and even the hair atop the Dark Lord's head rapidly regrew. In a mere moment Voldemort looked almost identical to how he did before the explosion. The only real difference being the damage to the man's robes.
"ROOOOOAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!" The Gleam Eyes bellowed and a blast of Magic exploded off of the demon's body, sending everything flying away from it at speed.
"Kill them all!" Voldemort roared out his order to the demon. He'd never felt such pain in his life! He was alive thanks to his previous ritual though. Having connected all of his different Horcruxes to himself had been the right idea. He'd put FAR too much work into this enhanced, ageless Homunculus body to lose it. If he had to sacrifice a Horcrux or two while killing his enemies, then it was a small price to pay.
"Get behind me!" Harry ordered so loudly that everyone still alive heard him. The Disillusionment Charms had fallen and the hood of Harry's cloak had been blown off his head.
He didn't have time to see the extent of the damage, but he knew it was bad. Penny had been at ground level, transfiguring earth to encase the demon's feet, when the blast went off. She was mostly okay, bleeding a bit from small injuries here and there from what he could tell. Tonks was alright, if not in a small amount of shock, as evidenced by her hair being stark white at the moment. Fleur was in much the same state, though she was trying to hold it together. The remaining Aurors were quick to scramble behind Harry, not even fully realizing who he was, just knowing that these four had apparently been the ones to actually strike a blow against the massive demon.
The baleful purple light appeared as the Gleam Eyes' throat bulged grotesquely. The monster opened its jaws and the blast of sickly purple Magic was unleashed upon them, the demon uncaring of any damage it might do to itself from the almost point-blank shot to the ground in front of it.
"Circa Viam Protega!" Harry incanted, throwing his hands forward. A glowing white dome covered everyone on the ground, a mere instant before the sickly purple magic impacted.
The odd sound was not an explosion, though it was certainly loud enough to be one.
The purple light flooded the white dome, changing it to the same color. Bright lines of the baleful light lanced off from the edge of the, now purple, dome over and over again. Each of the lines tore apart the ground as they traveled along it, but the shield still remained, slowly losing the purple light and becoming white once more.
"NO!" Voldemort howled in rage at seeing the shield still intact, even after a direct blast from the Gleam Eyes. Such a thing shouldn't be possible!
"So, this is the spell that you've been working on for so long, eh, Harry?" Tonks actually let out a small chuckle at seeing it for the first time.
"I don't have a knack for Spell Crafting…so it took a long time." Harry replied, still working to maintain the shield just in case another blast came their way.
"No Shield Charm should be able to hold up to that thing…" Scrimgeour spoke up from behind them. "The power difference alone should've destroyed us." The man's eyes were wide, clearly not comprehending how he wasn't dead right now.
It was true though. No Shield Charm should've been capable of blocking a Magical blast of that magnitude. But that was the difference that Harry had focused on while slowly developing this spell over time. There were some spells that couldn't be blocked, like the Unforgivable Curses, or ones that were made to counter Shield Charms by breaking them specifically. So, Harry had looked at the spell a different way. The seemingly white dome around them wasn't white at all…if one looked very closely, they'd see that what appeared to be solid Magic, was, in fact, tens of thousands of lines of Magic! All of them in a specific pattern of branching lines over and over again. What the prodigious Artificer had done was approach Spell Design from his own strong point. Instead of projecting his Magic outward with the intent to stop spells from getting to him, he'd quite literally written circuit lines into the very air with his Magic. Any incoming Magic that hit his spell would be sent through these circuits, being separated again and again until the amount of Magic was paltry and unstable, incapable of being called a spell. Then the Magic would reach the end of the path of circuits and fly off along the ground. In most cases, this would just see small wisps of Magic coming off the bottom of the shield. But because of the Gleam Eyes' ridiculous Magical power, the diverted Magic was still strong enough to tear up the ground around the shield.
"Let's hit it again." Harry looked at his girlfriends with rock-solid belief in them all. "I think I have an idea of how to stop this thing…maybe."
"Not exactly inspiring confidence, Harry." Tonks laughed a little.
"What do you need us to do, Harry?" Penny questioned, wanting to do whatever it took to stop this mindless slaughter.
"We are ready." Fleur nodded resolutely to him.
"Tonks, Penny, trap its legs as much as possible, if it can't move, then we have a chance to strike a real blow." Harry spoke, going through his idea in his head again. "Fleur, you're with me in the air. I'll get Voldemort's attention, since he's so damn obsessed with me, and you'll attack from behind."
"What about the barrier?" Tonks questioned, knowing that they'd only been able to breach it when Harry had sliced through the Magic with Aethereum.
"The ground under its feet isn't protected, I was able to trap its feet briefly earlier." Penny informed the Metamorph with a quick smile.
"I'll cut gaps into the barrier as I fly around the monster." Harry nodded to the three of them. "The barrier reforms fairly quickly, but that was only a single area last time. I'm betting if I cut more holes into it, this thing will have to expend more mana to repair it."
"Incoming!" Amelia Bones cried out, making everyone look up.
Bearing down on the white shield was a massive conflagration of blue fire. Harry quickly reinforced his spell and the blaze washed over the area. The tens of thousands of circuit lines lit up with blue light as they absorbed the magical flames, split their power over and over again, and then dispersed them as small puffs of flame from the bottom of the shield.
"Crush them!" Voldemort hissed out in fury. If magic wasn't working, then brute force would have to do!
The white shield vanished, momentarily stalling the Gleam Eyes' attack. But the hesitation would cost it. The earth below its feet rumbled and then surged upwards. The almost liquid-like soil and rock swirled around the demon's legs and then solidified, encasing its cloven hooves and legs all the way up to its knees.
A blur, half visible and half invisible flew around the demon at dizzying speeds. One line after another continued to open up in the barrier as the blur moved around and around the protective Magic. The glint of a blade could occasionally be seen in the morning sunlight.
"Manteau de Cendre." Fleur incanted, casting her own original spell. Flames cloaked her form for a moment before two black-feathered wings of ash and embers formed behind her. Her entire body was now cloaked in the cinder of her spell, flames occasionally leaping from her form as the heat around her skyrocketed. With a flap of her burning, black wings she shot into the air, aiming for one of the opened holes in the purple barrier.
"Hey, Tom!" Harry stopped in front of the demon's head and threw the Invisibility Cloak back, revealing his body with Aethereum in hand. "What stupid idea was this?!"
"Harry Potter!" Voldemort hissed out in rage, his red eyes burning into the emerald gaze of his hated foe. "My name is Lord Voldemort!"
"Your name is Thomas Marvolo Riddle, you bloody twat!" Harry shouted back, further enraging the Dark Lord. "What's this abomination you have here?"
"I'm a master of True Dark Magic!" Voldemort hissed at the Artificer. "I'm a conjurer of demons!"
"Yeah, I can see that." Harry made sure to add some snark to his tone, just to keep Voldemort focused on him. The Dark Lord had a ridiculously bad temper and it was one of the few things that Harry knew he could exploit. "Fat lot of good it's doing you, eh?"
"I've brought forth an ancient evil. I control its every breath and action! My power is greater than anyone's!" Voldemort spat at Harry. "You will die before me, Harry Potter, just as you were always meant to!"
"RRRRRAAAAGGGGHHHH!" The Gleam Eyes growled, trying to move its trapped legs, the solidified earth shaking as it strained against the demon's strength.
"SSSSHHHHRRRAAAHHH!" The snake-headed tail hissed at Fleur as she flew upwards. It lashed out at her, only to be struck with a squall of burning ash feathers. The massive serpent hissed in aggravation, shaking its head, revealing no real damage done to its deep-navy scales.
"Annoying, aren't you?" Fleur glared at the serpent tail.
"SSSHHHAAAHHH!" Azure blue flames burst from the snake's mouth, looking to incinerate Fleur in the torrent of magical fire.
"Tourbillon de plumes." Fleur's ash wings flapped and a wave of the burning ash feathers flew forward. The derivative spell swirled before Fleur protectively, blocking the blue flames from reaching their intended target. "You seem to enjoy spewing flames. Have some of mine, then!" Fleur conjured forth her Veela fire and made it form into a massive sphere. With a thought and a push of her magic, the immense fireball was launched at the serpent tail.
Just as predicted, the snake moved to defend the main body. Lashing out at the fireball, its jaws filled with blue flames again. The two fires met, swirled around each other, and then exploded as Fleur triggered her magic.
"What?!" Voldemort snarled as he tried to see what was going on behind his demon without taking his eyes off of Harry. "What have you done to the barrier?!" The Dark Lord hissed at the Artificer.
"Cut holes in it." Harry answered truthfully, knowing that it would anger the Dark Lord further.
"Kill him!" Voldemort raged and the Gleam Eyes opened its jaws, blasting forth a beam of the twisted purple light.
Harry certainly wasn't going to try and clash with that. He dropped out of the air, dodging the colossal beam of magic, and then kicked off of nothing as he reactivated his Wind Walker. He shot towards the demon's chest and poured his mana into Aethereum. A swing of the sword was followed by a transparent blur not only slicing through the reforming barrier, but also into the monster's chest.
"The hell?" Harry blinked as the cut area didn't bleed. Instead the fur, skin, and flesh lost its consistency and fell away as dirt. Not bothering to wonder about that for now, Harry focused as much of his mana into his left hand as possible. He grabbed the hilt of Dourfrost and unsheathed it. Instantly, the biting chill filled the air as the cursed Artifact was freed from its scabbard. The insipid cold needled at the mana surrounding Harry's hand, but the Artificer only needed to be able to hold it off for a few seconds. "Freeze!" He swung the sword upwards and a massive wave of ice encased the head and shoulders of the demon, catching Voldemort in the sudden mini-glacier as well. With no chance of being witnessed, Harry thrust Dourfrost into the regenerating wound on the titanic monster's chest and left it there while he flew away.
-Hogwarts ~ Room of Requirement-
Among towering piles of lost and forgotten items, the bust of a rather ugly Wizard sat. On its head, however, was an immaculate diadem inlaid with both diamonds and large sapphires. If one knew their history and the tales of the Four Founders, they would probably be able to piece together that this was the fabled Diadem of Ravenclaw, said to impart wisdom and insight upon those that wore it. It was an item said to have been made by Rowen Ravenclaw's own hands, but it had been stolen by her daughter, Helena, and hidden away, becoming lost over the centuries.
A charming young man, with a silver tongue, had managed to ferret the secret location out of the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw, also known as the Ravenclaw House Ghost 'The Grey Lady'. Thus, her mother's treasure was found, stolen, and defiled with some of the foulest Magic to have ever been invented.
The diadem sitting atop the bust exploded into pieces, the shrapnel scattering over the area, some of it even getting lodged in other pieces of forgotten things. A thick black smoke rose up from the fragments, wailing in agony and despair. It was a soul-shaking cry, but in this hidden room that only the House Elves ever visited, it went unheard as the black specter faded away into nothing.
-Battle Against the Gleam Eyes-
"ROOOOOAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!" The Gleam Eyes bellowed, shattering the miniature glacier that its head and shoulders had been trapped in for a long moment. This also freed its master, whom was shaking with the intense and fatal cold that he'd been subjected to. He had felt the blood in his Homunculus veins freeze and all of his organs fail and rupture as they were flash frozen and ice crystals tore into them. But with the sacrifice of a second Horcrux, he was once more completely restored.
"You will die for that, Potter!" Voldemort promised with a vengeful hiss.
"I'll give you this much, Tom, you are hard to put down!" Harry called out from a good distance away.
Unbeknownst to Voldemort, Harry was checking the demon's mana level with the Scouter function of his glasses.
A second or so passed and another reading came in.
Another second came with another new reading.
'It's falling rapidly! Dourfrost must be removing its mana while being stuck inside of it!' Harry was pleased that his idea had worked out. If they could just hold out for a bit longer, then the demon would lose all of its mana!
What Harry didn't know was that Dourfrost wasn't just tearing apart the mana of the summoned demon. The cursed Artifact's most horrible ability was the true cause of the Gleam Eyes' rapid decline in mana.
The ritual that Voldemort had used summoned forth a demon under his control. The power of said demon was tied to how much the sacrifice offered to it provided. In Voldemort's ritual, that had been around three-hundred Witches and Wizards, along with all of the land of Malfoy Manor, and the manor itself. The land had been seeped in Magic for the better part of nine centuries as generations of Malfoys lived there and were buried there. All of the Magic within the Witches and Wizards, along with all of the Magic that had been in the land had totaled up to the one-million-three-hundred-sixty-eight mana that the Gleam Eyes had possessed. The reason the titanic monster could fire off all of the Magic it had been doing without end was because of the nature of its manifestation. Within its constructed body lay the three-hundred souls that had been sacrificed to give it physical form. They circulated through the demon like blood, providing the vast power it wielded. However, now, with Dourfrost inside of it, disrupting the mana, the flow had been interrupted and soul after soul was touching the blade. A bare soul to the blade of Dourfrost was a soul unprotected, allowing the soul-severing function of the cursed Artifact to activate. The souls were being cut from the body, one by one, sending them off to wherever souls went after death. This was what led to the rapid decline of the demon's mana level.
"Crush its legs!" Tonks called out to Penny, getting a nod from her 'sister' as they both focused on the ground that they were manipulating. The earth tightened around the Gleam Eyes' legs until a muffled 'crunch' was heard from within.
"ROOOAAAUUURRRGGHHH!" The Gleam Eyes bellowed in pain, its clawed hands slamming down on the earth crushing its legs. The soil and rock gave way as the demon roared and dragged its slowly regenerating legs out of the trap.
BOOM BOOM BOOM
"Will you fall already?!" Fleur screeched at the serpent tail angrily. The damned thing continued to block her from attacking the main body, and the barrier, while significantly slower, was still repairing itself. She'd lose her chance to damage the demon if this kept up. The only silver lining to her frustration was that the serpent tail had been far too preoccupied with her to attack Penny and Tonks as they trapped the towering demon and stopped its forward advance.
"This isn't possible!" Voldemort roared, looking down at the struggling Gleam Eyes. It was being injured! The power he'd sacrificed so much for was being stopped by Potter and his three whores?! "I won't stand for this!" He formed one of his favored spells, and with a deep exhale, a swirling mass of Fiendfyre sprang forth, twisting into the shape of a massive serpent. With his intent enforcing his control over the cursed fire, the snake construct flew towards Harry, seeking to incinerate him.
"None of that!" Harry tapped into Aethereum's innate mana and swung the sword, sending another transparent wave forward. The Fiendfyre serpent scattered to nothing as it hit the wave. Harry wasn't idle though, continuing to swing Aethereum over and over again to slice into the reformed parts of the barrier. He had to keep the defense from reforming so that the monstrosity could be damaged and held back with spells easier.
"Avada Kedavra!" Voldemort cast the green curse towards Harry.
"Nngh!" Harry took a glancing blow from the Killing Curse, not having been able to dodge entirely while he'd been in mid-swing and his focus partially split between operating his Wind Walker and using Aethereum. Thankfully, the Unforgivable Curse had glanced off his Basilisk Scale Mail, leaving him unharmed. His Regalia would not be so easily overcome.
"Dernier Vol!" Fleur threw everything she had left at the serpent tail. Her black-feathered, ash wings broke apart into a storm of burning plumage. Only this time all of the ash and cinder feathers swirled around each other, closer and closer, as fire and heat built up within the micro-storm. At Fleur's will the burning storm of black feathers exploded in the serpent's direction sending insanely hot bullets of cinder at it. Just as Fleur predicted, the snake's jaws once more opened up, spewing forth the azure flames. But the force and physical fragments within her spell passed through the flames at high speed and shot down the serpent tail's throat!
"SSSHHHAAARRRGGKKKSSSHHH!" The snake hacked as its insides were torn up by the high-speed projectiles. While the heat was not a threat to it, the physical shrapnel was. Especially inside of it, which was not protected by the powerful navy-blue scales that had blocked all of Fleur's other spells.
Fleur glided to the ground with the Wind Walker on her feet. Her mana was low now…but she'd done it. The side of the serpent tail had a large hole in it, torn out from the inside by her spell. The tail now hung limp with blood pooling from the injury and from the serpent's mouth. She noticed that the large injury was regenerating, but at a much, much slower pace than before. "Hopefully, it's running out of mana too." She breathed out as her feet touched the ground a good distance away. "I'll be…right there…I just need…a moment to catch my breath." She looked on at the continuing battle, lamenting that it had taken almost everything she had just to deal with the demon's tail.
"HYAH!" Harry channeled his mana into Aethereum, along with using the Artifact's innate mana as well. The Fulmen Curse crackled along the blade as Harry swung it down on the Gleam Eyes. The bolt of lightning blasted the demon head-on, frying it and leaving horrific Lichtenburg scars all over its blue skin. The lightning current traveled through the demon and struck Voldemort as well, sending the Dark Lord into convulsions as he felt his heart stop from the overpowering electricity running through it.
-London ~ Twelve Grimmauld Place-
The loud blast went off right beside a sneering, half-mad House Elf. A locket that its favored master had ordered the Elf to destroy exploded suddenly and without warning. The shrapnel tore into the miserable creature, killing it almost instantly. A fragment of a thought passed through the old, weary Elf's head before it died.
'Master Regulus…it is being done…' Kreacher died with satisfaction that his final order had been completed.
He was gone before the wailing black fog emerged from the remnants of the Horcrux, shrieking so loudly that had anyone still been at Grimmauld Place, they would've thought a person was being tortured.
-Battle Against the Gleam Eyes-
"ROOOAAAUUURRRGGHHH!" The Gleam Eyes knew something was very wrong with it, but its master was still alive and therefore it would continue to carry out its orders. With said order currently being to 'kill', the massive demon unleashed an immense wave of azure flames from its maw at the flying Wizard in front of it.
"Shite…" Harry pushed his Wind Walker item as hard as possible, shooting up into the air, higher and higher, to escape the conflagration below. He eventually reached a height where the flames and intense heat didn't reach him. "Just a bit longer…" He bit out, watching the demon's mana continue to fall.
Voldemort's heart began to beat again as his body was restored from the sacrifice of another Horcrux. He stood up with a snarl, his red eyes burning with hate as they looked at Harry Potter. He would see the boy dead here and now! Without him in the way, the rest of Magical Britain would fall easily!
"Will you just die?!" Tonks had more than enough of this demonic abomination already. With a quick spell weaved into the earth and rock she was manipulating already; she changed her tactic. The stone grew hot, then hotter, in a short time it was glowing hot, then it began to liquify. Molten rock, lava, slammed into the Gleam Eyes' right leg, burning the flesh black and making the demon bellow in pain.
"ROOOAAAUUURRRGGHHH!" The Gleam Eyes howled as it reared backwards from the unexpected damage. Its left leg was still partially trapped by earth and rock though, and it began to fall backwards, no longer having its tail to help keep it upright.
"AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH!" Voldemort raged, flying off the top of his demon's head as it fell backwards. He wouldn't let himself fall! He'd kill Potter himself!
"I didn't know anyone had figured out self-flight!" Harry remarked loudly, pulling a specific item from within a sheath hidden under his cloak.
"AVADA KEDAVRA!" Voldemort lashed his wand forward, the sickly green light of the Killing Curse blasting from the tip at Harry. The Dark Lord didn't halt his rapid approach either as he flew forward. He wanted to watch the life leave Harry's eyes!
"Gnkgh!" Harry grunted as the curse slammed into his Basilisk Scale Mail. It did nothing to the Artifact and therefore nothing to Harry beyond pushing him back a little. But the second or two of Voldemort's red eyes glowing with sick glee at killing Harry was all the time the Artificer needed to enact his own plan. A simple Banishing Charm launched the small weapon he'd pulled out.
"Hak…" Voldemort coughed as something had blurred in his vision before a painful fire erupted in his throat. He felt hot blood running down his neck as his left hand shakily reached up to extract the object lodged in his neck. "Kaugh…ach…" Voldemort glared at the object, seeing a small knife, he almost wanted to laugh at the pathetic attempt to kill him…until the burning pain got so much worse.
"You like it, Tom?" Harry watched the small knife fall from the Dark Lord's hand and summoned it back to himself carefully as blood poured from the neck wound on Voldemort's throat. "Your fucking Diary version allowed me to get my hands on the Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets. This little death dealer is made from one of its fangs." He cleaned the blade with a spell before returning it to its hidden sheath. "I locked it away when I realized how deadly it was, but for you, I think it's almost poetic."
"Ulble…" Voldemort tried to speak, but only blood escaped his mouth. The veins all over his body were horrifically distended as the most potent venom in the world tore its way through the Dark Lord. Without another word he dropped out of the sky.
-Little Hangleton ~ Abandoned Riddle House ~ Backyard Shed-
The half-rotted floorboards of the old shed exploded upwards as a ring, with a strange stone set into it, shattered into tiny pieces. The stone clattered to the wooden floor, ending up in the corner alone. The metal of the ring was scattered from the sudden blast. From the fragments, a wailing apparition of black smoke screamed out a tortured cry that would've sent people running, if anyone in the little village ever dared go near the place to begin with.
As it was though…no one was around, and so another Horcrux vanished from the world without anyone taking notice.
-Battle Against the Gleam Eyes-
"Haugh…" Voldemort vomited out everything as his body was restored once more. A disgusting mix of vomit, bile, blood, and a pitch-black ichor that he knew to be Basilisk Venom. He staggered to his feet after grabbing his nearby wand. His mind was still reeling, but thankfully his fall had happened in the period between his 'death' and his restoration, otherwise he may have lost two Horcruxes. 'Wait…wait…' The Dark Lord tried to settle his mind…Potter had said something…about his Diary. "My Diary…destroyed, and I've had to sacrifice four Horcruxes so far…" A sense of dread filled Thomas Marvolo Riddle as he realized he only had one Horcrux left, plus the part of his soul that was housed in his current body. A creeping, cold feeling crawled up his spine at realizing that he'd gambled everything on his plan to use True Dark Magic…and it was starting to look like he'd lose it all.
"Almost there…" Harry used the Scouter on the Gleam Eyes again to track its falling mana. The demon had fallen to the ground a second ago with a thunderous crash. If they could just restrain it, then hopefully it would run out of time before it could do anymore damage.
"HAH!" Penny cried out, transfiguring a massive amount of earth into a towering spike that punched through the back of the Gleam Eyes' body and straight out of its chest, impaling the demon to the ground.
"ROOOAAAUuurrrggghhh!" The Gleam Eyes roared out in pain, even as it tried to use its clawed hands to break the spire of stone that it impaled it. The dying volume was a noticeable drop and the demon finally seemed like it might be on its last legs.
"Stop that!" Tonks whipped her hand around and formed dozens of orange sparks above her head. With a push from her mana, the bolts rained down on the impaled demon and exploded one after another. The Gleam Eyes' flailing stilled as portions of its flesh were blown off of it.
'I'll return after regrouping with my Inner Circle." Voldemort decided, seeing the Gleam Eyes subdued for the most part. He pivoted to Apparate, only to jerk back violently and slam into the ground. "Argh…" He bit out, suppressing the cry of pain as much as possible. It was like a thousand hooks were inside his body, tethering him to this place.
"Can't leave your summoned demon, huh?" Harry guessed, landing on the ground a dozen meters behind Voldemort's hunched over form.
"Confringo!" Voldemort lashed out with his wand.
"It's over, Tom!" Harry smacked the spell aside with his Spell Ward Gauntlet. The curse exploded against the ground far away from the two of them.
"It will never be over!" Voldemort snarled; his composure completely gone now. "Not until you're dead and I've taken my place as the greatest Wizard to have ever lived!"
Harry didn't answer with words, a Mana Bane chain snaked out from his Regalia and wrapped around Voldemort's left arm.
"Crucio!" Voldemort cast, pointing his wand at Harry with all of his hatred and desire to see him suffer. Only…nothing happened. "Crucio! CRUCIO!" Voldemort tried again and again.
"You can't use Magic while bound by this chain." Harry informed the flailing Dark Lord, tugging on the chain and making Voldemort snarl while trying to pry the Enchanted Item off of his arm to no avail.
Harry glanced over at the Gleam Eyes to check its mana level again, nearly sighing in relief at what he saw.
'Huh, that's the first time I've ever seen a zero before…even the Non-Magical register as a one.' Harry noticed and then saw a spectacle that he would remember forever.
"Auuuuuuuaaaagggggghhhhh…" The Gleam Eyes breathed its last and went still. The demon's body began to change color, its fur turned the color of dirt and fell away from its body. Then its blue skin did the same, becoming soil and falling away to reveal the muscle beneath. The flesh followed soon after, breaking down into nothing but dirt and dust, leaving behind only the skeleton. Then the bones cracked apart as well, falling into dust and soil too, just like the rest of it.
All that was left of the terror that had shattered the Statute of Secrecy was a huge mound of dirt, a devastated landscape, and a massive spire of rock in the middle.
"Huuuaaaahhhh…" Voldemort let out a strangled gasp, making Harry turn back to face him. The Dark Lord suddenly bled from every orifice on his body. His eyes, nose, ears, mouth, even his very pores beaded up with droplets of blood. Before he crumpled to the ground lifelessly.
In his search for an overwhelming power, Voldemort had been presented with two options in the tome of True Dark Magic that he'd used. He could have the power of the demon he summoned for a short time, and then it would naturally fade away once that time was up. Or he could bind his summoned demon to his own life and keep it indefinitely. Naturally, the Dark Lord had chosen the latter. Why would he EVER give up such power? Even in the extremely unlikely event that his demon was ever defeated, he had his Horcruxes to pay the price of breaking the pact for him.
-Voldemort's Safe House-
A wet and disgusting splat was heard in the private chambers of Voldemort. A passing Death Eater, Travers, heard the odd sound and looked back at the door he'd just passed. Knowing that Voldemort allowed no one into his private chambers, the Death Eater went and knocked on the door and waited for an answer. When no answer came, Travers pressed his ear to the door for a moment, trying to hear anything inside.
"My Lord? Have you returned?" Travers called through the door, wondering if the Dark Lord had returned through a Portkey or some other method that was unknown to him.
Again, there was no answer.
"Maybe the others will know?" Travers shook his head, his gray hair moving slightly from the motion. Everyone in the Inner Circle knew that no orders or instructions from their Lord were to be ignored, so he dared not try and open the door to see what had caused the sound.
"AAAAUUUURRRRGGGGHHHH!" The loud, tortured wailing sent Travers stumbling back from the door, falling on his ass. The sound was so loud that it reverberated through the safehouse and the stomping of many feet could be heard rushing towards the location as the Inner Circle Death Eaters all came to find out what was going on.
None of them would see the fading black fog with a screaming face disappear above the exploded remains of Nagini.
"Ugh…" Voldemort blearily opened his red eyes. Everything hurt, and he didn't recall why. Looking around without moving, he noticed two things immediately; one, that he was bound in chains, and two, he was surrounded by Potter, his three whores, and dozens of Aurors. A second later and his memories of what had occurred came back and he closed his eyes to feign sleep. The pact had been broken between himself and the Gleam Eyes. He had no more Horcruxes…he was as mortal as he'd been when he was only a boy. Only his ageless Homunculus body would prevent his death now. 'I have to escape. There is no other way. I'll bide my time until the opportunity presents itself.' The Dark Lord plotted, listening in on whatever bits of conversation that he could hear.
"This is going to be complicated." Harry exhaled heavily, looking up at the multiple news helicopters flying above the area where the demon had fallen. He had at least had time to retrieve Dourfrost and shove the cursed Artifact back into its scabbard before the frost had spread too much. His hand was still a little numb from even the brief exposure though.
"No kidding." Tonks, a Ministry employee, knew they were all fucked in regards to the Statute of Secrecy.
"We have something to show for it at least." Fleur mentioned, holding up the Mana Bane chain in her hand. Each of the four had one wrapped around Voldemort's body and wouldn't hand them over to anyone else.
"This is the absolute worst way that the Non-Magical could experience Magic for the first time." Penny felt like she needed to restate that once more. This incident was going to set the Magical and Non-Magical relationship back to Witch Burnings if it wasn't handled delicately.
"Yeah…" Harry agreed with her, already seeing military helicopters starting to fly in as the news helicopters flew away. This entire area was definitely going to be locked down by the military. "Maybe a good 'olive branch' would be to turn Tom here over to the Non-Magical Authorities, with some precautions in place, of course."
"If we have a little time, we can make an Anti-Magic cell for him." Penny spoke up, clearly already thinking of ways to try and not let this situation devolve into an 'Us vs Them' scenario between the Non-Magical and the Magical.
"The Dark Lord is a Wizard, so he should be tried before the Wizengamot." Amelia spoke up, as was protocol for her position.
"You tell them that." Fleur pointed at a large number of military vehicles rolling into sight.
"They do outnumber us, Boss." Tonks reminded Amelia as the situation continued to become more and more 'real' for all of the Aurors present.
The Statute of Secrecy was broken irreparably. There was no going back to hiding now. The Magical had now been violently thrust into the face of the Non-Magical. Things weren't looking good, and that wasn't even counting how the ICW and the rest of the Magical World was reacting to this news.
"I need a drink." Amelia muttered under her breath.
"We all do, ma'am…" Scrimgeour ran his hands across his face as if he'd just pulled an all-nighter, which, to be fair, he kinda had.
The demon falls!
Teamwork and Artifacts come through!
Just ask any gambler, or for more stories, a Casino Manager, and they'll tell you the same thing: No matter what plans you make, if you bet it all…you can lose it all!
Voldemort sure found that out today! So many plans and contingencies…yet they backfired because Harry's Artifice is 'A power He knows not' as a certain bauble in the Ministry would say.
The Statute of Secrecy is FUCKED! But is there anything that can be done to try and mitigate the backlash of this incident?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 30,010
Tonks – 24,632
Penelope – 18,584
Fleur – 19,116
These levels will definitely change next chapter after such a massive expenditure of mana from all four of our favorite characters!
Until I get your reviews, later!