With a flick of his wand, the dummy was levitated to the center of the class for the students to see the prominent cracks on the torso and its aflame chest.
"You can see what my spell did to the dummy, class. It is extremely dangerous to use and should only be used in real danger or controlled situations. This is not a spell you use in a schoolyard fight. If I see anyone firing exploding jinxes around, I guarantee that your punishment won't be kind." Harry warned, making his eyes glow.
"Now, the wand movement for the spell is on the board. You all will be firing the spell at the dummy. Carefully. The wand movement is on the board." Harry said, as the dummy repaired and duplicated itself. "Now, put your books and parchment away. It is time for some practice."
Ch.69 The War Knocks
18th January 1996
The Great Hall, Hogwarts
The flutter of wings filled the Great Hall as hundreds of owls of all shapes and sizes streamed into the room and circled overhead, searching for their owners. A few moments later, as Harry spooned scrambled eggs into his mouth, a tawny owl landed directly in front of him, nearly knocking over his goblet of juice.
"Thank you," Harry told the owl, as he freed the Daily prophet tied to its leg with a tap of his finger before unfurling the paper.
DEATH EATERS ATTACK MOSCOW! RUSSIAN MINISTER'S RESIDENCE BURNED TO THE GROUND!
In a shocking turn of events yesterday, the Russian Minister of Magic, Aleksandar Oblansk's place of residence was attacked by a party of wizards and witches clad in black robes and silver masks, much akin to the regalia of the followers of He-who-must-not-be-named. The attack took place at midnight, as per Russian authorities.
Thankfully, Minister Oblansk was not at his home at the time of the attack, but his family was. His nine-year-old daughter, and twelve-year-old son, alongside his mother and wife, perished in the attack, alongside a party of Russian Aurors guarding the mansion. We offer our sincerest condolences to him. May the deceased rest in peace.
The Russian authorities have maintained silence on the greater details of this event, as they carry out their investigations, but according to sources, a symbol was left floating over the mansion. A triangular sign, with a line passing through its center, with a skull symbol in the middle, with a snake prodding from its mouth. Analysts at the Daily Prophet reported that the symbol seen is a mix of the symbols of Grindelwald and the dark mark of He-who-must-not-be-named.
Harry stopped reading as he saw the photo of the green symbol in the sky above an aflame mansion. The Daily Prophet was indeed correct. The two dark lords had combined their symbols. The symbol of the Deathly Hallows and the dark mark merged into one… with the dark mark replacing the resurrection stone in the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.
'Scare Tactics. And so it begins.'
He sent a glance at the head table, only to see that Dumbledore was not present at the table, his seat glaringly empty. Besides the seat, McGonagall was reading some sort of letter, a cup of steaming tea in her hands.
"Harry," Hermione called. "Moscow was attacked."
"I read," Harry replied gravely. "This is only the beginning. Scare tactics to convince the world leaders into submission or… to delay their actions against the Dark Lords."
"Auntie is permanently moving in with Sirius," Susan's voice sounded, making Harry turn back to face her. Susan stood behind him, wearing school robes, a letter clutched in her hand.
"That's good," Harry agreed. "I don't know why Amelia was being adamant about periodically visiting the Bones Manor. Sirius and Amelia are practically married."
"Well, at least you didn't walk in on them," Susan murmured, making Harry snort.
"Poor you," He said dryly, making Susan give him the bird. "But seriously, it's good that she is moving in permanently."
"Yes," Susan agreed as she sat between him and Neville. "Anything interesting in the paper?"
'A lot more than interesting.'
"Here," Neville said, offering her the paper.
"The death eaters are being unusually quiet, though," Ron said thoughtfully. "This is the first move they made in three weeks since the duel at the ministry. And it was… small."
"How can you be so insensitive, Ronald?" Hermione growled. "Almost a dozen people died!"
"No, I mean, come on! The last war wasn't this quiet. There were attacks every day. Kidnappings, deaths, muggle hunts, and whatnot. And now? They're uncannily silent. Especially You-know-who. This should be Grindelwald's doing. He was the one with ties to Russia. You-know-who is completely silent."
'He has a point. Voldemort might be planning something big. Or just regathering his forces after the loss at the Ministry.'
"What is your take on this attack, Harry?" Susan asked.
"It is a message, as I said. A warning to every world leader. Stand in their way and… there will be consequences. Minister Oblansk did make a speech a few days ago against Grindelwald and permitted his Aurors the use of lethal force against Death Eaters."
"He did?" Neville asked.
"Yes, it was in the papers," Hermione responded easily as she flipped through the pages. "What— Can you believe it!? Mundungus was convicted yesterday for attempted theft by posing as an infernus of all things in Knockturn Alley."
"Mundungus Fletcher?" Ron asked in a low voice. "The guy in the Order that mom hates?"
"The very same. He is a crook. I guess Dumbledore will wiggle his freedom after a few weeks."
"Why would he do—"
"Mundungus is a low life," Harry replied, as he wandlessly erected a privacy charm around the group. "He keeps his ears in all the dark corners of Wizarding Britain. And no one gives him a second glance."
"Still. He's a crook."
"And Snape's a Death Eater," Harry replied, looking at the potion's master, who was busy eating his breakfast.
"True. Slimy git. Do you reckon he is truly on our side?"
"Dumbledore seems to trust him. Harry doesn't." Hermione replied. "But Harry and Snape have had it out for each other since the first potions class."
"Don't blame me for the fact that Snape's a petty man-child," Harry groused. "And a greasy bug with an over-inflated self-worth."
Susan and Ron snorted while Hermione rolled her eyes and went back to reading her paper. Neville smiled before continuing to eat his breakfast.
"Oh, yesterday the Brazilian Quidditch player, Edson —"
"Edson Nascimento?" Ron asked, perking up.
"—yes. He passed away from Dragon Flu. He had a severe case, it seems."
"What? Noo! He was one of the best keepers in the history of Quidditch!" Ron moaned. "A legend! He has the unbeaten record of the highest goals saved in a Quidditch match!"
"He… does," Hermione confirmed as she read the article. "A hundred and seventy-nine goals. Against Bulgaria."
"1927," Ron supplied. "That is when he made the record. In the Moses Stadium, South Africa."
"If you studied that much for OWLS, you would probably beat Harry's record," Hermione teased.
"If the paper's on Quidditch History, I am losing hands down to Ron. Probably everyone is." Harry laughed.
"Hey! That's a great idea! Is there a paper on Quidditch?" Ron asked.
"No," Susan snickered. "But if you lose to Hufflepuff, I will tell auntie to make it an OWL's subject."
"Don't even think about it, Ron," Harry warned. "Or I will give you to Alicia and Katie to deal with."
"I won't even think of it!" Ron shuddered, throwing his hands up.
"And you, Missy, are being a naughty girl."
"Oooh, what are you gonna do? Spa—" Susan stopped short as no noise came from her mouth. A moment later, she glared at Harry.
"Not me," Harry said.
"It was me," Hermione said. "And you better control your mouth when in public. You and Harry can be as kinky as you want behind closed doors."
Susan flipped her off, making Hermione respond in kind.
"Girls," Harry said. "Play nice. We need to go to class now. I have a fourth-year Gryffindor Slytherin class."
"What are you teaching them today?" Hermione asked inquisitively.
"I have decided to start with the use of transfiguration for Defense. Basic conju— ow!" Harry yelped as Susan pinched him hard on the thigh, glaring at him.
She gestured to her mouth and moved her lips soundlessly.
"You can cast it yourself, you know," Harry said, wandlessly casting a finite on her.
"And you, mister, should be a responsible boyfriend," Susan growled in response before getting off the table and storming back to the Hufflepuff table.
"What the hell?"
"Must be her time of the month," Ron said with a mouthful of food.
"Ronald!" Hermione admonished, "You are an insensitive prick."
Hermione huffed. "Boys."
Ron, Harry, and Neville just shared a confused look as Hermione, too, got up and shifted to sit beside Parvati and Lavender.
24th January 1996
Gellert Grindelwald walked through the small town of Myshkin, of the Myshkinsky District in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia. The town had a small population of around a thousand people, mostly consisting of muggles. A handful, barely half a dozen magical families, resided here, and only one of them was of prominence.
The Fedorovs. Oblansk's greatest supporters.
They were close to the point that a young fellow from the same family was Oblank's Undersecretary at the Ministry.
'Oblansk is causing me problems. But not for long. I shall have my due soon. I shall have Russia back.'
Grindelwald pulled his cloak tighter as he strode ahead, his eyes darting around, taking in the sights of the small town. The huge church that stood in the center of the town square made him pause in his tracks.
Flashes of long-gone screams echoed in his ears as he closed his eyes.
13th April 1889
Russian Empire (Old Day Russia)
Feminine Screams filled the air as a girl, barely older than ten, was dragged through the mud by villagers wielding pitchforks and sticks. Torches burned eerily in the night as she was dragged to the center of the town square before being violently kicked to the ground at the feet of the priest.
"Ved'ma!" The priest snarled, and the villagers repeated it as a chant.
Shouts of the villagers echoed eerily in the night before stopping at once as the priest held up his hand, his black eyes glinting evilly in the torchlight.
"You have been judged before God and found guilty. You are a witch. A sorceress. Lucifer's mistress herself." The priest said in a low, menacing whisper, his gravelly voice echoing through the night. "For your sins, you will burn this night and suffer the flames of eternal hellfire."
The priest banged his cane as the girl tried to scramble away while the villagers chanted slurs.
"I am INNOCENT!" She shrieked as she scuttled back before she was kicked by a villager, forcing her onto the ground.
Suddenly, a wave of magic escaped her, throwing the priest back.
Silence reigned for a moment before the priest stood up again, his eyes mad beyond belief.
"The devil has sent such a devil spawn," He sneered. "You are an abomination in the Devil's grip. BURN HER!"
The villager hauled the girl up, and she began kicking and screaming before she was pushed onto a wooden stake, and restrained.
"NO! I AM INNOCENT!" She screamed as she struggled in the grips. Drops of blood ran down her face as tears leaked from her heterochromatic eyes.
"Shut up, witch!" A lady snarled, backhanding her across her face. "Devil spawn."
"Suffer in hellfire!"
The shouting faded in the girl's ears as she caught a movement from the corner of her eyes. A little boy, no older than six, had come out from behind a hut, his eyes scared. Her gaze caught his identical Heterochromatic ones as he moved forward toward her.
The girl shook her head with a pleading look, making him freeze in his tracks.
'Go,' She mouthed at the boy, making him back, fear and worry in his eyes.
She turned to the villagers with a defiant snarl on her face as she spat a mouthful of blood, no longer struggling in her restraints. "YOU MAY BURN ME TONIGHT. BUT YOU WON'T BURN MY SPIRIT. YOU CALL ME THE DEVIL SPAWN BUT YOU ALL ARE THE TRUE DEVILS! I WILL BE AVENGED! YOU VILE FILTH SHAN'T LIVE FOR LONG!"
"The Devil ne'er has sent his spawn. You shall return to him. I shall send you back," The priest growled. "BURN HER!"
The girl was drenched by the villagers in a bluish liquid, but she just shook her head, snarling at them, as she tried to free herself once more.
A villager stepped forth, with a burning torch in his hands, and handed it to the priest who took it before throwing it at the girl.
Her screams echoed through the night as she was cruelly set aflame. The vile smell of burning flesh burned through the sky.
Six-year-old Gellert Grindelwald watched from his hiding spot, his eyes blurry with tears, as his elder sister, Galina Grindelwald was burned at stake by muggles, her screams and last image seared in his mind, as he stood there watching helplessly.
Gellert Grindelwald opened his eyes again to the present, standing in front of the blue-domed, marble-walled church.
Hate burned in his eyes as his magic itched for release.
'For Galina. For Wizardkind. For Freedom. For the Greater Good.'
His wand, the one he wielded in his youth and recently re-acquired, slipped into his palm, thrumming with magic.
And with the whisper, Myshkin burned faster than its muggle inhabitants could scream.
27th January 1996
Number 12 Grimmauld Place, London
Eerie silence rang through Grimmauld Place as Harry sat sipping his cup of tea, awaiting the last of the Order Members to arrive. Several newspapers were scattered across the table, reporting the first attacks of the two Dark Lords.
Russia was in a state of peril, barely holding on to the reign of its free administrative powers. It was the first to feel the combined wrath of Lord Voldemort and Grindelwald. Starting with the burning of Oblansk's house, they followed on to burn a whole town in the country to ashes.
Not even a single living being or standing structure was found in the town once Grindelwald was done with it. All that remained were ashes. Within minutes, a whole town had been wiped out by Gellert Grindelwald, who had just stayed long enough for the Russian Aurors to catch a glimpse of him as the eldritch flames had subsided.
Dumbledore had identified that as Grindelwald's most dangerous work. His spell, Ignis Diabolica, to be precise. Worse than even Fiendfyre in ways more than one. Tiring to cast and maintain even for someone of their caliber.
After the burning of the town, what followed were a few scattered attacks all over Russia, especially on the houses of prominent Russian Parliament members who supported the Minister.
Harry felt a hand cover his own and squeeze it reassuringly. He moved his head slightly and smiled at Fleur before entwining his hand with hers.
Fleur, Gabrielle, and their mother moved to live in Grimmauld Place. Sebastian had felt that it was unsafe for his family to be in France any longer. Both France and Beauxbatons had fallen to Grindelwald in the past. So had Durmstrang and Russia. In Sebastian's words, Hogwarts was the safest with Harry and Dumbledore in the school.
Gabrielle would be enrolling into Hogwarts next year. Fleur would give her NEWTS with Harry and continue her mastery if she so desired, under Flitwick. It was all decided by the Delacour Patriarch.
"What are you thinking about?" Fleur asked softly.
"Russia," Harry sighed deeply. "It won't be long before it falls to Grindelwald and Voldemort."
"If you think about it, Russia was always doomed to fall," Fleur sniffed. "Too many Grindelwald supporters and muggle haters in the country, thanks to Durmstrang. I just shudder to think what shall happen when the war spills into France."
"You're worried about your father," Harry stated plainly. "Do not worry. He has the emergency beacon. If he is in danger, it will take seconds for him to notify Dumbledore and me."
"You might not be fast enough to reach him in time, 'Arry." She said, looking away, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. "You have to travel to France. I know that if it is at the Delacour Chateau, you will save him quite easily. The wards are state-of-art, and my father is a fantastic duelist. Together, they will hold even Grindelwald or Voldemort at bay for a few minutes. Enough for you to get into the manor. You are keyed into our wards, and you know the secret passageway. But if it is at the ministry, you will have to tear down one of the best wards in France to get to my father."
"Not really. To enter, they will have to tear through the wards before erecting their own. I will have to tear those down to get in… which might be for better as temporary wards are weak."
"But they would've been erected by two of the most powerful wizards on Earth. I don't know if I should be more worried or less." She said, making Harry shrug before his eyes drifted to Dumbledore, who had gotten to his feet.
"Good Morning, Order members. You might be wondering why I insisted on meeting in the morning today, taking you away from your busy schedules. Some were unable to join us as they couldn't get off work. But they will be updated on the proceedings of the meeting." Dumbledore declared. "What I have called you here for, are the recent attacks all over Russia."
"We cannot interfere in Russian affairs, Professor," Amelia spoke up in a tight voice. "It is outside our jurisdiction."
"I am not saying that we should be interfering." Dumbledore said, in a tone that suggested that it was temporary. It won't matter in a few months, once the whole world was at war. Dumbledore was seen as a savior around the world and so was Harry himself.
"I am more worried about there being no action across Britain. Voldemort has been quiet. From my sources, it was Grindelwald and his knights who attacked the Russian provinces. It was Grindelwald himself who burned the town of Myshkin to ashes."
"It could be because of the losses he recently bore in his ranks. We did a number on his Death Eaters in the Department of Mysteries." Sirius said thoughtfully.
"To be frank, if we really count the number we captured or killed there, the number of the known Death Eaters and Imperius excuse ones from the last war was sixteen. British citizens amongst the identified, captured or dead did amount to a good twenty-nine, but most of them were teenagers or barely adults when the first war ended." Kingsley said. "You could say that there were around twenty to twenty-five war veterans amongst the ones at the Department of Mysteries. The rest were junior Death Eaters or foreigners."
'That's new. The DMLE was still collaborating with the witnesses last I heard. Now they have tallied the final numbers after a whole month, it seems.' Harry mused as he looked around. Amelia, the Aurors, and the hit wizards looked entirely unsurprised by the information, and so did Dumbledore.
"So, about two-thirds of the attacking force," Harry concluded. "Fine, we got about thirty of Voldemort's Death Eaters down. So—"
"Actually, we got only about twenty-three," Kingsley interrupted. "Rookwood, Bellatrix, Rabastan, Dolohov, and the Selwyns got away. Not sure about the last one, as it was a statement from Mundungus, who claimed to have fought them. Only the youngest Selwyn's presence was confirmed. The rest went unconfirmed."
The crook's name was spoken with an ugly sneer on Kingsley's lips, making Harry grimace. Mundungus was… difficult, to say the least. His recent actions had led many to question the thief's already questionable inclusion in the order. No one, not even Dumbledore, was in a hurry to get him out of the DMLE custody anytime soon.
Dumbledore cleared his throat. "All that aside, we have a worrying matter at hand. Severus, if you would."
Snape leaned forward from the shadows, a baleful expression on his face. "The dark lord plans to start muggle hunting soon. In his words, though, the Death Eaters are woefully inept or out of practice after their stint at the ministry. To whip them up in shape, raids will be organized, starting from glorious muggle hunting. Also, it will be used to re-instill confidence in the more willing. Lord Grindelwald, on the other hand, has gone international. He is recruiting overseas and plans to take back Russia. Durmstrang is next on his list, followed by the weaker Scandinavian countries."
"He wants Durmstrang as his fortress as he had in the original war," Amelia said, her jaw twitching.
"Correction, he had many fortresses, of which Durmstrang was just one," Dumbledore corrected with a grimace. "He even built a few castles, some of which remain hidden to date, if conspiracy theorists are to be believed. His most notable one was the Nurmengard castle. One of his greatest works amongst many."
Harry felt a pang in his heart as he began to realize that there was a hint of respect in Dumbledore's words.
A respect that he was beginning to mirror, as he researched deeper into Grindelwald as and when he got the time.
To put it simply, the man was a genius of nearly unmatched caliber. While Voldemort was a plain terrorist and a madman with high-magical powers and prowess, Grindelwald was much more like Dumbledore, and dare he say himself.
A Titan of magic with knowledge and work to mirror it.
He had created his first magical artifact at fourteen. A smoking pipe that, when smoked, would project the smoker's memories like a Pensieve, or more appropriately, a muggle projector. And, not to mention, his school records were staggering as well, and so was his reason for expulsion.
The actual reason that Grindelwald himself had given to Dumbledore.
In a nine-on-one duel, he had gravely injured a bunch of snooty pureblood students whose fathers were all Lords in the Russian Parliament. The Grindelwald family, on the other hand, had no such influence or power.
So, the Lords had come down on him, asking for Grindelwald's immediate arrest and execution for harming their heirs. They had been accompanied by a bunch of Russian Aurors to do so.
And then, Grindelwald, a sixteen-year-old, had proceeded to fight his way through the horde of Aurors, Lords, Teachers, and students, before grievously injuring the High master of Durmstrang to enable his escape that day.
And then, to escape Russia, he had come to Britain to live with his aunt, Bathilda Bagshot. That was where he met Dumbledore, fresh out of Hogwarts, and fell in love.
Yes, Grindelwald was a cruel murderer and a terrorist as well. A more appropriate word, as Grindelwald himself had put it, would be a revolutionist. But he was accomplished in magic in a way Voldemort never was or could be.
"So, he is going to use castles to house his forces. That doesn't bode well. Castles are notoriously hard to launch an offensive on as they are built to withstand assaults, both physically and magically." Bill said.
"But that is not our concern," Dumbledore said gravely. "For now, I am more worried about attacks across Britain which will start soon. And, we, alongside the Auror force, have to protect innocents as we did in the last war."
"How about we start hunting instead of defending, professor?" Tonks asked, leaning forward from the shadows.
The girl looked terrible and yet… dangerous. Her violet-black eyes glinted in the torchlight, and the shadows on her sunken, albino-pale face made her look menacing. Her hair was a shade of silvery blonde, almost indecipherable with white.
Harry grimaced. 'Even Fleur's silvery hair is blonder than Tonks' at this point. She is still mourning.'
"And where are you going to attack, Miss Tonks?" Dumbledore asked calmly. "As far as I know, we aren't aware of any major Death Eater hideouts."
"Snape would," Tonks all but growled.
"Most Death Eaters, those whom I am aware of, stay in a family property of their own. Meetings are held at either the Malfoy Manor or the Lestrange Manor, both of which are under intense wards laid by Lord Grindelwald and the Dark Lord. As for the two Dark Lords themselves, I am unaware of where they stay, but I do know that Rookwood usually goes with either of them, wherever they go. The Dark Lord is keeping Rookwood, Bellatrix, Dolohov, and Rabastan close. They are now the most elite amongst the Death Eater ranks."
"They always were," Harry scowled.
He didn't like relying on Snape for information. But, unfortunately, Lucius was gone. Harry half wished that he had broken the man out of custody himself or done something to prevent him from execution. But Fudge had taken them all down, giving the DMLE all of his knowledge about every single crime he knew about and had ignored. In the end, the evidence was too much for any man to escape scott-free.
And if he had broken Malfoy out, Harry knew that Voldemort wouldn't take him in without rampaging through his mind first to know how he had escaped. And Voldemort was too skilled in the mind arts to not detect a planted memory. He would even free obliviated memories through extreme pain if it served his purpose, regardless of Lucius's fate.
His spy would've been outed in minutes and killed. It simply wasn't worth freeing Lucius.
And now, he had to rely on Snape.
"So," Tonks drawled. "We wait and watch?"
"Be on guard for the attacks. They'll happen soon. We will be setting up a rotation of order members to be at prominent magical locations across Britain. Diagon Alley, Ministry of Magic, Hogsmeade, St. Mungo's, Clawhill market, New Avalon, and such." Dumbledore corrected. "As soon as they attack, we counter them with all we have, minus the unforgivable curses. They are still illegal, and we can't have you being sent to prison."
Harry found himself nodding. These were the biggest settlements or gatherings of wizards and witches across Britain on any given day. Diagon Alley, even on an off day, had a footfall of more than a hundred witches and wizards. Clawhill market was smaller but much like Hogsmeade. On a good day, it was packed.
A Death Eater attack was bound to happen sooner or later. And when it would happen, they would be ready.
"We can keep a single person for Clawhill and New Avalon," Bill suggested. "They are right next to each other."
"My Aurors are constantly patrolling these regions as well. Especially Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. If there is any attack, we will respond within minutes."
"That might be a few minutes too long, Amelia," Dumbledore replied gravely. "The Order of the Phoenix had always been the first response unit through the last war as well. We protected and defended civilians against Death Eaters. We saved and healed people. At times, things were all wrapped up by us even before the Auror force arrived."
Amelia winced before shaking her head resolutely. "Then we will try to make our responses faster. Moody's on it already. But how will you determine where an attack is happening?"
"We do have an inside source amongst the Death Eater Ranks. It shouldn't be too hard for us to know where the attacks are going to take place." Dumbledore replied before his lips quivered. "Also, similar to the Ministry, we have a special device that detects the use of magic across Britain, centered in muggle areas. A device that would only detect curses and hexes instead of normal magic."
Harry felt his eyebrows rise.
'Dumbledore basically hacked into the magical grid across Britain that was set up with the Ritual to establish the Statute of Secrecy.'
"You have duplicated the trace," Tonks said. "A trace to every wand in Britain."
"No. I have duplicated and enhanced the device the obliviation squad and Auror forces use to maintain the statute of secrecy. And that was something I made back in 1939. It is in my office and will soon be moved to Grimmauld Place. A watch will be set up to monitor the map all day. I will teach you, new members, how to use it to detect and scry what is happening."
"Wait," Amelia interrupted. "Scrying is an illegal activity in Britain, Dumbledore. You—"
"Cannot do anything about it because of two reasons. One, I am the Supreme Mugwump of the ICW. Actions done or sanctioned by me fall outside the British government's jurisdiction. Second, the artifact and its exclusive use by the Headmaster of Hogwarts was sanctioned by the orders of the Chief Warlock back in 1974." Dumbledore replied as if he was commenting on the weather.
But, his voice held an edge of authority to it. An authority that he wouldn't be questioned.
Harry had noticed the change in Dumbledore since the events of the Ministry a month ago. His voice held authority in addition to the respect he commanded with his mere presence. His presence was much like the war-veteran General he was instead of an eccentric old headmaster, even if the demeanor was still ever-present.
It somehow was something that made Dumbledore who he was.
But he was showing the side of him that the world trembled against. A Titan of magic with equal prowess in the political arena.
Salazar had once told Harry that Dumbledore would have ruled magical Britain, if not the whole magical world, without resorting to a single iota of violence had he wanted to. Such was the man's reputation and political skills.
Amelia sputtered. "That means you were sanctioning your own actions! That— that—"
"Is genius," Harry commented idly, ignoring Amelia. "Technically an abuse of power, but still, a great political move. If someone questions his actions, they will have to take it up in front of the Wizengamot. And most would lose that particular battle, thanks to all the loopholes."
Dumbledore smiled. "Indeed. Now, is there anything left to discuss?"
"Yes. How will we alert the members of the order as to where the attack is happening? Will we use our pendants or the Patronus charm?"
"Whatever is needed. Patroni take little time to travel long distances. The phoenix pendant is even faster but not always the best option in case of multiple attacks." Sirius replied. "We did the same during the last war."
"Indeed. Tell me, Sirius, do you still remember how to use the Map?" Dumbledore asked.
"I… do. Remus would know better, though." Sirius said, making Remus nod.
"Excellent. Then, both of you, come to my office this evening to retrieve the map. If that's all, we will be leaving. Nymphadora, Sirius, and Remus, please do the job I have entrusted you to do by today evening. I will send Fawkes to bring the copy of the schedule you have made by dinnertime. Have a good day, everyone."
3rd February 1996
Room of Requirements, Hogwarts
Loud gongs reverberated through the classroom as Hermione and Neville furiously clashed against Alicia, Katie, Colin, and Justin. Despite it being two on four, Hermione and Neville were holding their own quite comfortably against their opponents, even overpowering them.
Hermione's and Neville's styles complimented each other quite well. Neville used his spells, especially curses, against his opponents like a blunt sledgehammer. Hermione, on the other hand, used more intricate magic like transfiguration and charms to attack and defend as needed. Her movements were smooth and crisp, as she moved fluidly from deflecting a bone-breaker curse to sending a flock of birds at the party of four.
At the same time, four fireballs shot from Neville's wand, curving toward all of his opponents at once.
Justin and Alicia quickly shielded while Katie rolled out of the way, dodging the onslaught before burning the birds that turned toward her.
Colin, on the other hand, dove to the ground, allowing the fireball to soar harmlessly above him as deafening gongs rang out. But Hermione's birds dove toward the boy, making him scream shrilly as they pecked at him.
Alicia turned to vanish the birds to save her companion but regretted it a moment later as Neville's blasting curse shattered her already weakened shield and hit her, throwing Alicia across the central platform. Thankfully, Harry had made sure to cast a protection armor shield over each of the duelers, saving Alicia from breaking several bones.
"ALICIA OUT!" Harry declared loudly, stopping the girl from getting back up again.
The tide quickly turned in Hermione's and Neville's favor as their most powerful opponent was downed. Colin followed moments later, leaving them to deal with Katie and Justin, who went on the defensive, preferring to shield.
"Katie, you shield, I will attack," Justin said over the reverberating gongs against their shields. A moment later, Justin's shield shattered as Hermione's shield-breaker hit it, allowing Justin to take the offensive.
A blasting curse followed by a bone breaker and a piercing curse leaped from his wand, racing toward Hermione and Neville.
Hermione slashed her wand upward, ripping tiles out of the floor to intercept each curse before jabbing it.
The broken and cracked tiles shot toward Justin and Katie, enlarging as they neared.
"Protego Scutum!" Justin cried loudly, erecting a full-body shield.
Harry winced even before the tile pieces, all as large as a football, hit the shield, throwing Justin off his feet, onto the ground.
The Protego Scutum didn't protect against momentum. And Hermione had enlarged the debris, increasing both their size and weight. That was bound to happen.
Before Justin could get up, an Expelliarmus hit him, ripping his wand out of his hand.
"JUSTIN OUT!" Harry declared just moments before Katie shrieked and aborted as snakes flew at her from Hermione's wand.
"STOP! KATIE OUT!" Harry declared, making Hermione and Neville lower their wands. Neville grinned while Hermione wiped the sweat off her brow.
Applause filled the hall as Dragon Legion members clapped hard for the six.
"Good," Harry praised. "Great job, Hermione and Neville. Despite being outnumbered, you held your own well, complimenting each other and working in tandem. Alicia, next time consider the strength of your defense before aiding a teammate. It was a good sentiment, but it cost everyone. In saving one, you sacrificed all four."
Alicia, who had gingerly gotten to her feet, nodded.
"Colin, see what you are up against before you react. Justin, really good job on strategy, even if it didn't work. It might've if you knew your spells. Protego Scutum isn't made to absorb physical momentum. Aegis Scutum would've been a better option, even if it requires more power to keep up. Research more about the spells you frequently use, especially shields. Each shield is different. And Katie, what the hell!?"
"I got scared! I have a major phobia of reptiles, okay?" She said exasperatedly.
Harry sighed loudly, but before he could say anything, a glowing white spectral dog ran into the room through the floor.
It opened its mouth and spoke in Sirius's voice. "Lichfield, Wells, and Little Whinging are under attack! Go to Little Whinging!"
"I will accompany—"
"No," Harry said, as his battle robe appeared over his body. "Stay here, Hermione. I will be back. Continue this class."
And without a sound, he apparated straight to the neighborhood he had spent most of his childhood in.
Whoo… the war begins. Interesting, isn't it? Tell me in the reviews.
Now, to clarify a couple of points.
Grindelwald is taking on the international front while Voldemort is handling Britain for now. They are building a powerbase as you can see. Russia is on the verge of collapse, holding on due to their minister, Oblansk. The rest of the countries are untouched… So far anyway ;)
Now, you might be wondering why I am building a backstory of Grindelwald. The answer is rather simple. Villain development arc.
Now… for some announcements. I don't know if you've already seen it, but I have a NEW FIC!
It is a HP-MCU (Harry Potter – Avengers) crossover named, 'Guardian of the Soul: Infinity Saga'.
Summary of fic: His Benefactor? A super powerful cosmic being. His job? To guard a stone that controls an essential aspect of existence. His name? Harry James Potter. After Harry's demise at the hands of Voldemort, he gets a chance at a new life in a new universe. But there's always a catch. Will Harry save the world, or will he die trying… again?
So, if you read the premise, PLEASE go and try the new fic out. Just go to my profile and scroll to see my stories. You will find it there. The first chap's already up while the 2nd one is ready and will be published next week (on 29th of Jan).
I hope you go and try it. If you do, I promise you will enjoy it very much.
dementia-notAhumanBeing: The new story was updated twice because it is a NEW STORY! But I do not think the update schedule for LoSP or RoLP has been moved at all. I updated it once a month at the very minimum. And I still do. Let us just say, a newborn needs more attention than an older kid. That is what I am doing. Let it grow. Once it is grown enough (5-6 chaps in) then I will update one by one instead of doing alternate week updates for the new fic.
Vaish: Yeah… I know I haven't updated Agent Potter since some time… its muse is in coma, unfortunately. Once the muse wakes up, I will write.
Thank you for your reviews and support!
Also, join my server, House of HP66, to interact with me directly, and see the pictures of the characters there, so you all can get an idea of how they look. I will also post descriptions and stuff for reference.
Link: discord . gg / 4qfP3fxdQ4 [Remove the spaces please]
As of this moment, I have six main stories. They are:
1. The Rise of the Last Potter: My Novel length Harry Potter fic which is already 300k+ words long and it is a work in progress. Updated Regularly.
2. The Legend of the Son of Poseidon: A Novel Length Percy Jackson fic which is already 250k+ words long and it is a work in progress. Updated Regularly
3. Loved Ones Skipping Stones and Ice-cream: A fluffy Haphne one-shot. It is completed obviously.
4. SECRETS: Another romantic one-shot I published recently. Complete as well.
5. Agent Potter: The Wizard of W.A.N.D. - My spy!Harry fanfic which I implore you all to read!
6. Guardian of the Soul: Infinity Saga – My newest fic. An HP–MCU crossover. Novel length, in progress.
Stay Happy! Stay Safe! Keep Smiling! Keep Reading!