LAST TIME

Harry watched helplessly as Grawp was punched around, his face bloody.

"Hagrid!" Harry yelled. "Tell Grawp to flee. I am burning those giants!"

Hagrid yelled something in a language Harry didn't understand. But Grawp turned to him, his face morphing into a look.

A moment later, a spiked club caught him right in the face, throwing him down.

Blood pooled from his head, onto the ground below and the two giants roared in victory.

"Grawp! No!" Hagrid's distraught shout echoed through Hogsmeade.

Hagrid threw a werewolf away, sprinting toward the giants.

The giants looked at him, snarling in challenge.

'No,' Harry thrust his wand out. 'Not Hagrid.'

A wall of dirt erupted in front of the half-giant, stopping him.

"LET ME GO!" Hagrid roared but Harry paid no heed to him

Walls of dirt rose all around Hagrid, encasing him and trapping him.

'Sorry Hagrid,' Harry turned to the enemy giants, who were stomping on Grawp's body. 'But I will take your revenge for you.'

"IGNIS DIABOLICA!"


Ch.74 Nearly Exhausting Exams

6th March 1996

Great Hall, Hogwarts

Rays of sunlight poked through the cloudy, enchanted sky of the Great Hall. Hushed whispers flitted across the house tables.

Every single student had heard the roars from Hogsmeade. Or even seen the giants from a distance. They had definitely seen the flames.

Harry quietly walked into the great hall and took a seat at the nearly empty staff table. From the side, Snape sneered at him before returning to his breakfast. Harry ignored both the man and the whispers that rose with his presence, pouring himself a strong cup of tea.

"Harry," Aurora Sinistra, the Astronomy professor, leaned toward him. "What happened last night? I could see giants from the tower."

"There were attacks," Harry buttered a piece of toast and dropped it on his plate. "Giants, werewolves, and dementors."

"You were there," she said. "Was it you who made the dragon in the sky? The one with blue-purple flames?"

"Yes. There were too many giants," Harry replied. "And I had no time. My help was needed elsewhere."

The Astronomy professor put her hand over her mouth. "Multiple attacks?"

"Diagon, Hogsmeade, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Portsmouth, and Bristol," Harry listed off from memory. "Those are the ones I know. Dumbledore was at Diagon. I fought at Hogsmeade and Glasgow. But the attack in Portsmouth had already ended by the time I got there."

"How many casualties?" She gasped.

"No idea," Harry sighed. "The Auror office should release the official count by tomorrow. But it is bad. I heard that the whole area around Bellevue Crescent in Bristol was eradicated by Fiendfyre."

"That's horrible," Professor Sinistra looked down at her plate. "I am sorry."

Harry silently bit into his toast.

The slight flutter of wings drew their attention as dozens of owls soared through the great hall.

"The Daily Prophet is here," Professor Sinistra extended her arm, allowing a barn owl to swoop down on it.

She untied the newspaper and the owl flew away while another landed beside Harry's plate.

With a tap of his finger, the newspaper came free, unfurling into his hand.

The Wizarding World's Darkest Night
By Rita Skeeter

In a nightmarish turn of еvеnts, thе magical world was shakеn to its corе as thе dark forcеs of Hе-who-must-not-be-named unleashed unprеcеdеntеd chaos across Britain, leaving devastation in thеir wakе.

Diagon Allеy and Hogsmеadе, thе vеry heartbeats of our magical sociеty, borе thе brunt of this onslaught, facing the horrors of dementors alongsidе thе rеlеntlеss assault of giants and werewolves.

But in thе facе of such abominablе darknеss, two gallant hеroеs еmеrgеd, shining brightеr than thе most brilliant patronus. Nonе othеr than our beloved Boy Who Livеd, Harry Pottеr, and thе vеnеrablе Hеadmastеr of Hogwarts, Albus Dumblеdorе, stood resolute against thеse forcеs saving multiple lives.

In thе hеart of Diagon Allеy, Hеadmastеr Albus Dumblеdorе, lеd thе charge against the giants and managed to subdue thеm in a timеly fashion. Aurors on the other hand, led by Alastor Moody, suppressed the werewolves, trying to prevent more casualties.

The DMLE is yet to release an official number., but as per reports, around forty werewolves or more were taken in custody. And an equal number perished to the wands of the Aurors or Albus Dumbledore.

While the battle at Diagon Alley raged, a similar attack took place at the Hogsmeade village.

Onlookers confirmed that Harry Potter defended the village of Hogsmeade, burning multiple giants to crisp, saving several lives. Sources state that he was helped by some of his fellow students, whom he had hand trained. These students kept the dementors at bay with the brilliant use of patronus charms and helped the civilians to safety, shielding them from harm.

This, in turn, allowed the Hit-wizard and Auror force to engage the werewolves without worrying about the civilians.

Their bravery and skills saved a lot of lives last night. But in the chaos of the battle, still many witches and wizards perished, falling to the creatures of darkness.

Unfortunately, this is not where the story ends.

While the attacks on Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade drew out the Auror force and Hit-wizards, He-who-must-not-be-named struck ruthlessly in the muggle world.

Many muggle towns were attacked and destroyed as a result. The ministry's Auror force fell short to deal with so many attacks at once. Reports have poured in from Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Portsmouth, and Bristol, recounting a night of terror that had befallen the unsuspecting muggles.

Giants and werewolves were the prime attackers at these places. But reports suggest that even Fiendfyre was unleashed at some places like Bristol and Portsmouth, burning a great many muggles before being subdued.

A total count of casualties is yet to be released by the Auror office, but it is suspected to run in hundreds, muggles and wizards combined.

According to the minister's office, Minister Bones is already in talks with the muggle Prime Minister, trying to mitigate these incidents and protect the Statute of Secrecy.

Minister Bones was unavailable for comment along with much of the ministry. The Daily Prophet would keep you updated on any further happenings.

For more on the battle of Diagon Alley and battle of Hogsmeade, turn to page 2

For more on attacks in muggle cities He-who-must-not-be-named, turn to page 5

For more on international happenings and giant treaties, turn to page 4

For the ministry issued Public Safety Guide, turn to page 7.

'They still cannot use his name. Bloody cowards.' Harry turned the page with a scowl.

"They're saying the casualties are in hundreds," Sinistra murmured beside him. "And Gringotts has sealed its gates for the time-being. This means the goblins might seek revenge. That's bad."

Harry frowned. "Where did you read that?"

"The attack of Diagon Alley," Sinistra said. "In a public announcement, Gringotts officials have stated that the bank will be closed till further notice in order to inspect damages inflicted during the attacks. If any witch or wizard requires to withdraw money, they should do so from the side office, or one of the official branches of Gringotts around Britain."

"That means queues for money, not a goblin rebellion," Harry snorted. "The goblins won't act out. Not when they'll be crushed from both sides. War is bad for business, professor. They won't add fuel to the flames."

"So, they will sit out?" Sinistra frowned. "They did sit out last time around, if I remember. But during the Grindelwald war, some branches of Gringotts sided with him. Others declared neutrality."

"Those who supported Grindelwald were replaced by the dwarves and gnomes, weren't they?" Harry leafed through the paper. "Goblins lost their total monopoly over wizarding currency in one swoop. Now, they have to cooperate with the ICW and the other banks. The whole race bears the punishment for the actions of a few."

"That… is probably true," Sinistra shrugged. "I was never great at history. Not with Binns teaching."

"I stopped attending that class a while ago," Harry said. "Before I even attempted my OWLs. I had enough on my plate and wasting two hours a week in class is not my idea of fun."

"Indeed, indeed," Professor Sinistra muttered as her eyes were drawn toward the doors as Dumbledore swept in.

Harry noticed that the population of the great hall had increased drastically. By now, all tables were almost full of students eating breakfast, including most members of the dragon legion.

The Dragon Legion, much to Harry's pride, had done their work admirably, keeping the dementors at bay. Not to mention, the whole legion had returned alive, having stayed out of trouble for the most part.

There had been a few stray injuries, but nothing that needed to be worried about.

'At least none of them were bitten by a werewolf,' Harry cut into a piece of omelet. 'Or worse.'

Dumbledore climbed onto the podium and a hush fell over the hall.

"A very good morning to you all," Dumbledore smiled at them. "My apologies for interrupting breakfast, students, but some things must be acknowledged. As most of you already know, Hogsmeade and a myriad other places were attacked last night by the forces of Lord Voldemort. In face of such danger, a handful of students fought bravely alongside myself and Professor Potter. To all those who helped, I award twenty points each."

An avalanche of gems rained into the hourglasses of Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff at once, while only twenty came into Slytherin.

Applause slowly rose, before people exploded into cheers. Harry watched as sparks shot from the Gryffindor table a moment later.

The sparks of red light swirled in the center of the hall before exploding into a roaring dragon.

A smile curled on Harry's face as he watched the animated dragon fade into sparks.

"Marvelous," Dumbledore beamed. "Thank you, Messrs Weasley, for those wonderful charms. Now, I have a few announcements that have to be made. Last night, Professor Flitwick McGonagall too joined the fight, alongside Professor Hagrid. While they are perfectly fine, they have elected to take a day's rest to recover from the fight. Even myself and Professor Potter were up all night. Thus, classes for the day are canceled."

A cheer rose while Harry leaned back in his chair.

'If I knew, I wouldn't have used the time turner to sleep,' Harry ran his fingers through his hair. 'But it gives me time to get something in for my NEWTS. The project submissions are only a month away. And Helga would have my hide if I submit something subpar. The pensive for the Ancient Runes project would take a day or two more. And then I have to prepare the pensive potion and Felix Felicis.'

"On a more grave note," Dumbledore's amplified voice cut through the noise of the hall like a knife. "In light of the recent attacks, it has been decided that Hogsmeade weekends will be canceled for the rest of the year."

Several protests broke out but immediately got silenced with a bang of Dumbledore's wand.

"You will follow as you're told," Dumbledore's voice was sharp as a rapier. "Your safety is paramount. In light of recent events, it is better to be safe than sorry. Alongside these changes, we will have an earlier curfew. Those timings will be conveyed to you by the head of your house. Good day."

Dumbledore turned, returning to his seat, ignoring the voices as they rose again.

Harry gave him a nod and drained his cup of tea.

"How have you been, Harry?" Dumbledore took a seat beside him tiredly. "Did you get some sleep?"

"A little," Harry shrugged.

"The joys of youth," Dumbledore sighed. "Only youngsters can look so refreshed after only a few hours of sleep. I certainly am not one."

Harry gave him a smile, his eyes flitting to Hagrid's empty seat.

"Do you think Hagrid is alright?" Harry asked. "He doesn't miss breakfast usually."

"He is mourning his brother, Harry," Dumbledore's voice turned sorrowful. "He brought him here from the mountains. He was the last of his family."

Harry's heart sank.

Putting his plate away, Harry pushed his seat back. "I will pay him a visit. You get some rest, Professor. We will talk later at the meeting tonight."


12th April 1996

Antechamber, Hogwarts

Dozens of eyes turned to Harry as the door creaked open. Harry strode into the room, gently setting four objects on a nearby table.

With a tap of his wand, a veil of magic covered the desk.

'Now they won't fall, even if someone tries.' Harry's eyes roamed around the room, taking in the various objects that the seventh years had made.

The group consisted of a small number of students— fifteen to be precise. The first batch that was appearing for the projects and practicals alongside Harry.

"Don't tell me you're presenting with us," Cedric groaned nearby, a cloak draped over his arm. "Is that a pensieve?"

"It is," Harry's lips curled into a grin. "And that's a vanishing cabinet. My projects for runes and arithmancy respectively."

"And that broom?" Cedric eyed the ornate mahogany broom at the side of the table. "Don't tell me you made a broom for charms."

"Yeah," Harry nodded. "I don't think it is as good as the new Firebolt, but it is way better than the Nimbuses."

"You're going to make us all look bad, you know?" Cedric snorted. "All I made is an invisibility cloak and a self playing violin."

Harry glanced at the violin sitting nearby and nodded.

"Invisibility cloak is definitely a great project," Harry hummed. "You will get an O if it works."

"It works," Cedric snorted. "I tested it. Are you doing something for Transfiguration?"

"Open challenge," Harry shrugged. "I hope they tell me to duel Dumbledore or McGonagall."

"What?"

"Transfiguration duel," Harry clarified. "You can only use transfiguration."

"And you want to challenge Dumbledore, the highest authority on Transfiguration in the world?" Cedric shook his head. "I didn't even know it was allowed."

"Open challenge is up to the instructors," Harry shrugged. "They can give you anything they want. If you fail to do it, you don't get project credits. If you pass, you get a straight outstanding. It won't really affect the outcome of your exam but project credits are essential for masteries. I want to get a mastery in Transfiguration but I couldn't think of a good enough project. Thus, the open challenge."

"So, all or nothing?" Cedric's eyes gleamed.

"Don't think about it," Harry warned him. "Not unless you know animagus transformation. You might do most of the other stuff, but if they ask you to transform into an animagus, you are screwed."

"Oh," Cedric winced. "Do you know anyone who has done that before?"

"I did, Mr. Diggory," McGonagall walked up to them. "So did his father, in fact, at my insistence. I was asked to transform into my Animagus form while James Potter was asked to showcase a series of elemental transfiguration. Both beyond NEWTS levels. Project is just extra credit for the charms, defense and transfiguration. So, do not worry."

"You knew that my father was an Animagus?" Harry looked at her sharply.

McGonagall's lips curled into a smirk. "Come now, Mr. Potter. They are waiting for you. You'll be the first to present."

She strode into an adjoining room without waiting for a response.

"Good luck, Harry," Cedric beamed. "Not that you need it."

"Yeah, good luck to you too," Harry levitated the objects, and rushed through the door that McGonagall had gone through.

"Good evening, everyone," Harry swept a glance around the room as he entered.

Three Ministry officials sat in the center, while McGonagall stood with Professor Flitwick and Professor Vector at the side. Dumbledore sat in a corner, his hands folded into his lap.

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as Harry walked in.

"Mr. Potter," Marchbanks leaned forward. "So we begin this year's NEWT projects and practicals with you. This is Professor Tofty and Professor Phoebus. Are you ready?"

Harry gently set his projects down and gave Marchbanks a nod.

"Very well," Marchbanks peered at a page through her spectacles. "Transfiguration, charms, defense, potions, runes, and arithmancy. Which subjects have you prepared a project for?"

"Everything except defense and transfiguration," Harry said. "In which, I would be up for an open challenge, ma'am."

"Confident, huh?" Professor Phoebus snorted. "Well, I don't think we even need to evaluate you in defense for all it is worth."

Harry gave him a smile before looking at Madame Marchbanks as she cleared her throat.

"And where's your potion, Mr. Potter?" Marchbanks gave a glance at the objects.

"Here," Harry produced a flask of pale golden liquid from his pocket and set it on the table.

"My word," Tofty gasped. "Is that Felix Felicis?"

"Freshly brewed," Harry grinned. "Feel free to take a sip."

"You haven't taken one, have you, young man?" Phoebus picked up the flask, swirling the contents.

"I think the enchantments on the door would've detected that," Harry raised an eyebrow.

"Students are not supposed to know that," Madame Marchbanks said. "But I suppose you detected them, Mr. Potter?"

"I did," Harry nodded.

"Very well," Marchbanks sighed. "What would you like to start with first?"

"I have done these projects," Harry waved his hand at the objects on the table. "Felix Felicis for potions. A pensieve for runes. A vanishing cabinet for arithmancy. And a broom for charms."

"What does the broom do?" Phoebus made a note on his pad.

"Fly?" Harry frowned.

"We have had self-sweeping brooms in the past," Marchbanks said. "We tend not to assume things when it comes to projects."

"Of course," Harry nodded.

"Why are the vanishing cabinets so small?" Tofty asked. "Will it transport humans or just objects?"

Harry waved his wand, and the cabinets set themselves on the floor before expanding to the size of broom cupboards.

"They will transport both, of course," Harry said. "Would you like a demonstration, Professor Tofty?"

"An animal, perhaps," Professor Tofty conjured a bunny that hopped toward Harry who deftly caught it. "If the rabbit appears in the other cabinet, we will consider the project working."

Harry petted the white patch on the bunny's head before placing it in the cabinet carefully. In a swift motion, Harry closed the doors, trapping the bunny inside.

A whoosh filled the room, and the doors of the other cabinet shook slightly.

With a flick of Harry's wand, both doors opened.

"Oh, bravo," Tofty clapped as the bunny hopped out, running away from the cabinet. "Brilliantly done, young man. The rabbit was in one piece and looked the same."

"Thank you," Harry smiled. "The project's written work is here."

Harry produced a small stack of files before sorting through them. "The cabinets— pensieve— Felix Felicis— and here's the broom."

Harry placed the files in front of the examiners. With a swish of Marchbank's wand, they were deposited on a side table in a pile.

"Do continue, Mr. Potter," Marchbanks tutted as Harry blinked at them. "We have other people to grade."

"Yes," Harry coughed. "This is the pensieve, ma'am. A fully functioning court pensieve."

"Play a memory for us, Mr. Potter," Marchbanks made a note on her pad.

Harry placed his wand at his temples, the memories of his first Quidditch match floating in front of his eyes.

A long silvery thread emerged from his temples as he pulled his wand.

With a flick of his wrist, the memory dropped into the clear liquid, which swirled into the picture of a green Quidditch field.

Harry ran his wand over the rim of the pensieve and a small circular shimmer rose over it. The shimmer swirled into the scene of a Quidditch field just as Madam Hooch released the quaffle into the air and cheers filled the room.

"Excellent, Mr. Potter," Marchbanks scribbled on her notepad. "Both sound and visual. Excellent. You can stop the memory."

Harry tapped his wand and the scene dissolved into thin air, the last cheers lingering in the air.

"The Felix Felicis will be tested to ensure later that it is genuine and made by you," Marchbanks said. "Now, the broom, if you will, Mr. Potter. Albus, expand the room for him."

Dumbledore beamed at Harry as he stood and waved the Elder Wand. The room groaned, expanding in length and height rapidly.

Harry swung his leg over the broom and kicked off. He hovered a few feet off the ground for a few moments before leaning forward.

The broom shot forth, covering the length of the room in seconds, before turning the broom around sharply.

"Not bad, not bad," Marchbanks made another note. "We won't ask you to do anything more in here. But the broom flies and stops well enough. Now, get down, please."

Harry landed in front of the examiners and placed the broom back on the table.

"Very well," Marchbanks said. "We will continue with the practicals before moving on to the… open challenges in defense and Transfiguration. Professor Tofty?"

"Mr. Potter," The plump man placed a goblet on the desk. "Turn this goblet into a raven, please."

With a wave of Harry's wand, the goblet melted into a pitch-black raven that flew around the room.

"Excellent," The man made a note. "Now please conjure any piece of furniture you can."

Harry concentrated and waved his wand. A beautiful mahogany dining table appeared, with a variety of crockery laid on it alongside a pot of steaming tea. Six armchairs with plush royal-purple backs surrounded the table.

Professor Tofty clapped his hands while Phoebus's eyes disappeared into his white hair.

Marchbanks said nothing, scribbling illegibly on her notepad.

"I think it is safe to say we do not need to ask anything more for Transfiguration," Marchbanks commented. "Let's do defense."

She removed a bottle filled with a blood-red liquid.

'Blood.' Harry adjusted his grip on his wand. 'She is going to ask me to cast the blood-boiling curse.'

Instead, the blood began to bubble in the bottle and Madame Marchbanks looked at him expectantly.

"That's a blood boiling curse, Madame Marchbanks," Harry said.

"Then please counter it, Mr. Potter," Marchbanks said.

Harry waved his wand and the blood stopped bubbling immediately.

"Silent and efficient," Marchbanks made a note again. "Please show me a full-body shield."

A golden veil of magic rose in front of Harry, covering him from head to toe.

"A mage shield," Marchbanks muttered. "But nothing I didn't expect. Drop the shield and cast the bubble head charm. Followed by the doubling charm on this goblet."

Harry gave her a nod and performed the needed charms.

"Outstanding, lad," Phoebus said. "Now, for the… open challenges. You want to pursue a mastery in both, I suppose?"

"Yes sir," Harry nodded. "I already have a few offers."

Dumbledore's eyes twinkled from the side, as he kept sucking on a lemon drop.

"Good good," Phoebus scribbled something. "Let us start with… Transfiguration. Madame Marchbanks?"

"Animagus transformation," She said.

Harry took a deep breath. A moment later, his muscles ripped, and fur grew on his body. His hands turned to paws and his teeth grew. A roar shook the room as Harry stalked forward in his sabretooth form.

"A tiger of some sort," Professor Tofty beamed. "You can turn back, Mr. Potter."

Harry turned back into his human form, blinking as the sensations of being an animal faded.

"Excellent Mr. Potter," Marchbanks said. "Now as for defense—"

A swan patronus burst through the door, flying toward Dumbledore.

"Albus!" A female voice Harry didn't recognize, emerged from the patronus. "Our wards are under attack by Grindelwald! I am doing all I can to strengthen them, but I won't hold him for long. Your phoenix can get through though! Come quickly."

All the twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes vanished as he glanced toward Harry.

"Madame Marchbanks," Harry said, moving toward Dumbledore. "I think going against the greatest dark lord of all time should suffice as my open challenge. If it doesn't— well, I don't know what will. Let's go, Professor."

A screech rang through the room as Fawkes appeared in a flash of fire and grabbed Harry and Dumbledore by his talons.

"You know where to go," Dumbledore said and with a ringing screech, Harry and Dumbledore vanished from the room in a flash of fire.


AND… DONE! I hope you all liked the chapter.

A huge thanks to Mughil and Nanu for betaing this chapter!

On another note, do check out my new Drabble, A Bundle of Bunnies! It's something I wrote specially for Halloween. It is small, cute and fluffy.

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Celebwen Telcontar: No, I don't plan on that happening.

Dretnuh: Junior isn't. But Voldemort is that good.

Coul532003: Honestly? I forgot it was feet and wrote meters for length. Haha. But it can be passed off as an literary liberty.

ShadowBlaxe123: Well, JKR did leave a lot of inconsistencies lol.

Joestar94: It is a war. As unfortunate as it is, people die.

Gracques is the best: Burton was kissed, yes. Also, a very in depth review of the losses would've been unuseful at this point. Main characters, yes. But not the smaller ones.

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Thank you for your reviews and especially naming yourself even as guests. I appreciate it.

Please try out my other stories. They're all on my profile and I hope you all will enjoy those too. If you're exclusively into Harry Potter, I strongly recommend Agent Potter: Wizard of W.A.N.D. It is my Spy!Harry fic.

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I have also created a discord server with the help of my two very good friends. I really hope to see you all there and have fun with you all. There, you can communicate with me, ask me questions regarding my fics, look at the character images, get sneak peeks, give your own theories, and even... wait, why should I tell you everything here? Come over and check it all out yourself!

Discord Server Invite Link: discord . gg / 4qfP3fxdQ4 [Remove the spaces please]

I would love it if you guys came to my server and interacted with me there. If you have some of your own theory or wish to see something in this fic as the journey progresses, you can tell it to me on the discord server!

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Stay Happy! Stay Safe! Keep Smiling! Keep Reading!

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