Chapter 1

Harry's mind was a jumble of questions as he and Cedric tumbled through time and space. He had felt the tug at his navel and knew they'd been taken somewhere via port key. Was this part of the tournament? Was it planned? If it was then he'd be with his friends soon. If not ... that's when he hit the ground and rolled.

As soon as he opened his eyes he knew that this was not what was expected to happen. From where he'd landed on his belly he could see creepy looking gravestones. He stood up carefully and looked around in more detail. When Cedric asked if he was ok, Harry said yes but he wasn't really sure that was the right answer.

Then Cedric began to wander wanting to know where they'd landed which led to Harry stepping up to a nearby statue because it looked familiar. "I think I've been here before in a dream..." He trailed off as a strange figure emerged from a nearby crypt. "Get to the cup, Cedric!"

Cedric appeared to brace himself as he aimed his wand at the figure. "Who are you? What do you want?"

"Stun the spare." A creepy voice commanded.

A red burst of light hit Cedric in his chest and he went down like a rock. Harry started to groan as he tried to pull his classmate behind a gravestone but it turned into a wince and he barely had time to catch the Hufflepuff's head before the urge to press his hand against his scar hit Harry hard. He put his back flush against the stone behind him and tried to catch his breath when he heard it.

"Harry Potter." The creepy voice called to him. "Your friend is unharmed and I have no current plans to harm you. I have arranged this private meeting for a very important reason, Harry. Do come out."

Harry's eyes closed for a moment as he drew from an unknown well of determination and took a step out from behind the stone to face Wormtail and Voldemort with his wand in hand.

"Do you think I care about your reasons, Tom?" Harry glared at the older man who didn't resemble his younger self in the slightest. What he did resemble was a strange combination of snake and man.

Voldemort sneered silently at the sound of his birth name.

Harry internally awarded himself a point and went for a second one. "Oh, I'm sorry. Should I have used your self appointed title? Very well, Lord Moldyshorts."

Voldemort gritted his teeth as he watched Harry perform a mocking bow. "Now, Harry, it's hardly good manners for you to insult someone who only wishes to warn you of the danger you're in."

Was he joking? Harry wondered to himself. "Are you mad? You're the danger to me!"

"I'm not, actually." Voldemort's lips twisted into a sort of smirk. "Harry, I am going to tell you a few things and then I will send you and young Mr. Diggory back to Hogwarts. If you are as smart as you think you are, you'll consider my words and find a way to contact me. Now, listen carefully. There's only so much time before you'll be missed."

Reluctantly, Harry nodded lowering his wand to point at the floor. "I suppose it won't hurt to listen."

"How is Dumbledore these days? Mmm?" Voldemort asked. "Is he the same as ever? Colorful? Jolly?"

Harry never thought about Dumbledore in those terms. "I suppose... though not very jolly this year. He seems fairly troubled, actually."

"Dumbledore is very secretive lately...is he not? From what I've heard he wasn't always like that." Voldemort spoke softly, nodding. "Not that he was an open book, mind you, but he became incredibly guarded during the whole Grindlewald affair."

Harry rolled the words over in his mind. He'd heard from many people that Dumbledore had been a very amiable person in his youth. He'd been friendly and outgoing - charming and sociable but he was still all of those things so what exactly was this nutter saying?

"Contrary to the usual way of things, he has reportedly become more and more secretive over the years." If Voldemort had eyebrows one would've been raised in a questioning manner. "I heard several interesting rumors circulating about him soon after Grindlewald was taken to Nurmengard. I won't say what they were because you'd instantly disbelieve me. I am simply suggesting that you look into it. For your own peace of mind."

"Why should I take this 'warning' seriously?" Harry wondered, his eyes narrowed glittering with suspicion. "Why shouldn't I go back and tell Dumbledore what you've said? You killed my parents. Why should I believe anything you say?"

"Your parents didn't believe me when I tried to convince them that Dumbledore was the real danger. Then the prophecy came up and I was convinced it was not only about us but that you would kill me." Voldemort looked sad. "I decided to try once more to get your parents on my side. I figured that if they were my followers you would never be put in a position to have to kill me...but they refused to see reason and raised their wands against me. I am truly sorry that they are dead." Voldemort paused, pursing his lips for a moment. "As for believing my words - well, I'm told you're the type to poke your nose where others think it doesn't belong. Follow the clues, Harry. Disbelieve me for now, if you must, but I do hope that you look into the matter. Wormtail, the cup, if you please."

"Wingardium leviosa." Peter Petigrew's voice cast the spell and sent the cup to float just out of Harry's reach.

"Tell them I'm back if you wish. Tell them I'm crazy and gathering my followers." Voldemort smirked at the fourteen year old. "Most of them won't believe it but Dumbledore may give you an interesting reaction so that alone may be worth it to cause mass panic."

Harry grabbed hold of Cedric and caught the cup as it fell, once again tugging them through time and space only to fall into the staging area of the last tournament task. The fanfare was deafening until people began to notice that Cedric wasn't moving. Then the screams began.

"He's alright! Its ok!" Harry stood up and motioned to Dumbledore who came over quickly.

"What's happened, my boy?" He asked intently.

"He's back." Harry said loudly. "Voldemort's back! He stunned Cedric and we sparred a bit before I could get back to the cup which brought us back here."

Dumbledore cast Enervate on Cedric and the older boy welcomed his father's help to rise to his feet.

Harry was taken aside as Minister Fudge came forward and asked Cedric about the tournament to find out who won. As he was led out of the arena Harry passed by a small group of third year girls. Among them were Ginny and several girls he'd only known as her friends. Most of them seemed to be ditzy giggly children but one blonde stood out from the crowd.

She stepped up close to him and though Dumbledore tried to dislodge her from him, Harry heard her whisper. "Dragons are powerful allies and wise teachers. It's time to heal old wounds, misunderstandings, and fear, for the dragons are coming once again to teach the children of Earth. Open your heart to the wisdom and love of the dragons."

Just as suddenly as she came, she was gone.

Harry pulled away from Dumbledore's grip and looked around but there was no trace of the blonde third year. He shook his head to clear it and started to follow the headmaster again but then Ron and Hermione were beside him wanting to know what was going on. He told the same story again only slower and with more confusion as to why Voldemort might've taken him from the tournament just to spar with him.

He took note of the worry in Dumbledore's eyes as he spoke and knew there was a kernel of truth in his enemy's words. After hearing the story a third time, Dumbledore excused himself to retrieve something from his office and soon returned with two familiar faces.

Remus and Padfoot hurried in to greet the newly returned Gryffindor champion. They and the others were treated to a fourth recitation of the events that took place in the graveyard with Voldemort before Madam Pomphrey came to break things up for the night. After a short discussion, Remus and Padfoot were allowed to stay as long as Harry got some sleep.

Ron and Hermione went reluctantly to their dorms while Harry settled into his infirmary bed. It didn't take long before his exhaustion overtook him and he dropped off to sleep.

/*/*/*/*/*/*/*/*

Draco Malfoy paced the floor outside the doors to the hospital wing. Could he really do this? Could he convince Potter not to report on his father? Would that be betraying his family or saving it? He took a deep breath and pushed the door open.

Inside were several rows of beds - one of which was obscured by curtains. Madam Pomphrey was likely to be sleeping at this hour which was why he'd waited so long to come see the tournament winner. He didn't want to be overheard.

Draco took a few more steps toward Potter's bed only to hear strange whispers. Suddenly, he was confronted with a familiar face in addition to a decidedly aggressive canine form. He nodded slightly to the large black dog. "Hello cousin, Professor Lupin. I wish to speak with Potter. That's all." Draco held up his empty hands in a gesture of surrender.

Remus Lupin lowered his wand and glanced at the large black dog. "I reckon we can hear him out. Don't you?"

The dog growled ominously before changing into the form of a well known mass murderer. "I guess we have enough time to listen."

Suddenly the group heard a mattress squeak.

They all turned to face the noise and upon seeing Harry awake, Draco walked at a deliberately slow pace to the other side of the bed. "Potter, I've come to talk."

Seeing that, Harry sighed. "This couldn't have waited for morning?"

Draco bit his lip and shook his head. "If I waited, I might have had to go home before getting to speak with you..."

Harry and Sirius shared a look before glancing at Remus who asked the question burning on all their tongues. "Why don't you want to go home?"

"Are you joking?" Draco stared at his former professor and then turned to focus on Harry. "I do want to go home... just not before speaking to you. I heard what you said after you returned from the maze, Potter. The Dark Lord has returned." Draco blinked at Harry. "My father will have gone back to his side."

"Then why do you want to go home?" Sirius frowned in confusion.

Harry's eyes went wide. He'd never thought the Malfoy heir would be fearful of his sire. He wasn't even fifteen yet and there would be all sorts of trouble if he disappeared. How would they keep him safe from his father? "My best idea is to get Dumbledore here in the morning. We can discuss it more in depth. Take the bed beside mine for now, Malfoy. Moony, Padfoot - can I ask you to take up the beds on my other side?"

"You misunderstand me, Potter. I'm not scared of my father nor his Lord..." Draco trailed off.

"Maybe I'm just tired but you're not making sense, Malfoy. You have been such a git for the last several years and now you need to speak to me urgently, but you're not afraid of your father or Voldemort. " Harry looked incredulous. "What's the bloody emergency that couldn't wait for morning or the train?"

The blond sighed . "Alright, so I'm not always good at explaining things. Look, Father made an awful mistake in our second year. He refuses to go into detail but he's been in contact with the headmaster since September trying to make up for whatever it was. I'm here to tell you there's something off with him. Both of them really, but I don't know what."

Harry's eyes widened. Could it be that Voldemort was involved with whatever this was? Perhaps Lucius Malfoy had something to do with Dumbledore's worry. But hadn't Voldemort said it began a long time ago? He remembered Grindelwald had been mentioned and Lucius wasn't old enough to be involved at that time so that couldn't be right. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "What exactly is it you want from me?"

"Was my father there? Wherever it was you were taken? If he was just please don't mention him in any statements. He's not a bad man, Potter. Please." Draco's eyes held a glimmer of sincerity and Harry could tell he loved his father.

"Your father wasn't there, Malfoy." Harry said gently. "But the last time I saw him he was attempting to kill me so I hope you'll understand if I'm a tad skeptical of him."

"Perhaps that's what he regrets, Potter. Thank you for telling me." Draco's face showed a profound relief. "In return, I offer you a small favor. You may collect at a future time. For now - goodnight."

Harry waited until the blonde boy was out the door before saying anything. "Well that was strange...but not as strange as what really happened in the graveyard."

Sirius looked startled. "You made that up?"

"Not exactly." Harry looked around and sighed. "Is there a spell that will make it difficult to overhear us? I think it best to keep this from Dumbledore...not to mention the general public."

Remus took up his wand and cast several spells in the direction of the door and Madam Pomphrey's office. As soon as Harry was assured that nobody would hear them, he told his godfather the true story.

Remus and Sirius shared a look. "Well, if it's true, those rumors will likely l be brought back up by the end of the summer." Remus began.

Sirius took over. "You see, Harry, Fudge is refusing to believe that Voldemort has returned while Dumbledore is adamant that you're being truthful. Fudge is the Minister and as such he has a lot of power over the press."

"It has happened in the past that people who oppose the Ministry's policies - unofficial though those policies may be - there's usually a smear campaign to discredit them." Remus explained. "The Daily Prophet will see to it."

"Get some more sleep." Sirius ruffled Harry's hair. "I'll ask in the morning if you can stay the summer with us either at Remus' home or maybe some other place."

Harry didn't hold much hope as he closed his eyes and when he woke, he was alone but there was a scrolled note in his hand. Harry nodded absently as he read the confirmation that he was stuck with his relatives again. He sighed and went to look for Madam Pomphrey. He needed to pack so he could go home.

/*/*/*/*/*

On the way to the station Cedric got his attention. He didn't say anything; just handed Harry a small sack. Harry looked inside to find half the prize money from the tournament. By the time he looked up Cedric was gone.

The train ride was uneventful. Ron and Hermione had prefect duties so he was in a compartment with just Neville for most of the trip. There was a short visit from the twins during which they mentioned wanting to go into business and not having money. When Hermione and Ron returned to sit with him they asked for more details about the graveyard and he was definitely not in the mood to continue talking about it so he pretended to fall asleep for the rest of the ride.

At King's Cross it didn't take long to find his uncle and he vowed to stay silent until they reached the house.