Making Things Right
When Harry opened his eyes, he noticed two things: one, his leg hurt. Badly. The other thing he noticed was the distinctive smell of grass filling his nostrils. What's going on? With a small grunt, Harry pushed himself into a kneeling position… and nearly fell back to the ground in shock – well, and pain. He'd forgotten how bad his leg had been mangled. They'd done it. Severus and Minerva had done the one thing they'd all- Severus, Minerva, Remus and Harry- talked through and decided would be a bad idea to do. They'd sent him back in time!
Screams pulled his attention back to the present and Harry realized he had a grip of Cedric's arm. A glint of silver appeared in the corner of his eye; the Triwizard Cup. More like Quadwizard. His scar was burning dully, but that was an improvement on how his scar had been the past year or so whenever he forgot to take his potions.
"Harry," came a familiar voice, and Harry bit his tongue sharply as Albus Dumbledore knelt down in front of him.
"He's back, Professor," Harry blurted out, willing himself to look into those bright, twinkling blue eyes he hadn't seen for so long. For too long. Things would never have gotten as bad if we'd had Dumbledore around. "Voldemort," Harry added as an afterthought, though Dumbledore probably understood anyway. People were still screaming, gasping, whispering. He could hear both his own name and Cedric's being passed around everyones tongues', could hear the whisper of death in the air. His nightmare had just happened a second time round, though thankfully he hadn't had to live through the graveyard scene again… that would not have been good.
"He'll need to go to the Hospital Wing," came another long-dead voice. "He's injured, Albus. And Diggory – his parents are in the crowd."
"Harry, stay here," Dumbledore ordered, but Harry said nothing in reply. He knew he'd be taken away in only a moment, though he didn't plan on letting Crouch get the upper-hand this time.
Sure enough, 'Professor Moody' appeared barely a minute after Dumbledore left with Fudge, and Harry felt himself being lifted into a standing position.
"I can walk," Harry said coolly to the man, using his wand to wrap a bandage tightly around his leg… a spell that the real Alastor Moody had taught him. The pressure on his arm instantly let up, and Harry followed Crouch silently to his office.
The same cup of Pepper-Up potion was pushed into Harry's hands, though he didn't drink it this time. He hadn't paid attention first time around, but he wasn't convinced now that it wasn't drugged.
"What happened, Harry?" fake-Moody asked after Harry pretended to drink the potion- in reality he used a small flick of his wand and a non-verbal spell to banish the stuff. There was another clue that this Moody was fake; the real Alastor never used a students first name until they were of age. The teachers, at least, should have picked up on that.
"Voldemort's back," said Harry, fighting the urge to smile as Crouch winced. What, too afraid to hear your own master's name?
"He's back, Harry? You're sure? How did he do it?"
"An old ritual," Harry said vaguely. "Needed his father's bones, Wormtail's hand and my blood."
"And the Death Eaters? They returned?"
"Some of them. Of course, some couldn't… the ones in Azkaban, Snape, and you, of course. Wouldn't do much for your disguise if you suddenly Apparated away for a visit with Voldemort."
"What are you on about, boy?" Crouch asked, his voice coming out in a dangerously low voice. Nearly a growl, actually.
"I'm surprised you fooled Dumbledore so long, actually," Harry said, standing up and glaring at Crouch. "You could be an actor, if you were a Muggle. Killing your father was probably taking it a little far, though. Shouldn't have given you my map, should I?"
"Who told you this?" Crouch asked, and a moment later Harry had a wand pointing at him. "The Dark Lord?"
"As if," Harry snorted. A second later, he had his own wand pointing at Crouch. "I'll admit, though. If you ever escape Azkaban you'll be rewarded greatly. Voldemort thinks rather highly of you."
"And he'll reward me even more when he finds I killed the thorn in his side, once and for all. Time's up, Potter. Avada Kedavra!"
Even with a torn up leg, Harry easily dodged the spell. Just because he had a younger, inexperienced body didn't mean he'd forgotten everything he'd worked on. The second spell was harder to dodge as his injured leg was curled underneath him, but he somehow leapt aside and cast a stunner at Crouch. It missed, but gave Harry the time he needed to leap back to his feet and continue his assault. He dodged the chair thrown in his direction, but was too slow to avoid the smaller pieces of wood as the chair shattered against the wall. He winced slightly as he felt some of them cut into his back, but did his best to ignore it. An injured back is better than a dead person. Determined to give back as good as he got- barring Dark magic, of course- Harry flicked his wand and sent one of the many small, wooden tables cluttering the room flying at Crouch. The Death Eater conjured some sort of solid shield Harry was unfamiliar with to block it, and it landed on the floor in pieces. Being nearer the door than Crouch, Harry could hear hurried footsteps down the corridor. He couldn't stop fighting just because Dumbledore was coming, though, so he carried on throwing curses- both verbal and nonverbal- at Crouch. Not wanting to seem overly-knowledgeable, should his voice be heard, Harry forced himself to stick to simple stunners… and, miraculously, hit Crouch with one right before the door behind him blasted open.
"Explain yourself, Potter," Snape said curtly before either Dumbledore or McGonagall- it felt strange not to be able to refer to them by their first names anymore- had a chance to open their mouths. And it feels even stranger to be on bad terms with Sev-Snape again.
"He's a Death Eater," Harry told him tonelessly. He used his wand to point at the large trunk in the corner of the room. "The real Moody's in there." Dumbledore quickly confirmed this as he unlocked each of the seven compartments in the trunk.
"Severus, kindly fetch me the stronger truth potion you have," said Dumbledore as he turned to regard them all with a sombre expression. "Minerva, there is a large black dog sitting on Hagrid's pumpkin patch. Please take him up to my office, tell him I will be with him shortly, then come back here."
"Professor," Harry started as soon as the other two professors had left. "Could I wait with Sirius?"
"Harry, I think you should stay. It is your right to know why this has all happened and-"
"I know why it happened, Professor. I know everything he knows," he said, pointing at Crouch. "I… there's something I need to tell you. You and Sirius and… well, there's a lot of people who ought to know. People I trust… if Voldemort were to know, it'd ruin everything."
"Harry, you aren't making any sense," Dumbledore interrupted gently. "Did you hurt your head? Were you hit with any Confundus Charms?"
"No," Harry shook his head slowly. Not a Confundus Charm, a time-travel spell. "Sir, I'll explain everything in your office. I'd rather tell you and Sirius- and possibly Moon-Remus- before I tell anyone else, and just because he's stunned doesn't mean he can't hear us," Harry pointed once again at Crouch. "Voldemort could easily extract the information from him… and then it'd all be for nothing."
"He killed his father. They used Polyjuice to swap him with his mother, to get him out of Azkaban years ago. Wormtail and Voldemort used the Imperius to prevent his father from telling anyone anything was wrong- this was during the Summer, by the way- before finding Al-Moody, sticking him in his own trunk and having Crouch take his place. Er- remember that time his father came out the forest, and Viktor was attacked? That's when he killed his father. He's buried somewhere near Hagrid's cabin… Crouch- junior, that is- transfigured him into bones and wrapped him in an Invisibility Cloak before burying him. I'm telling you, Professor, I don't need to listen to him a second time round. Please can I wait with Sirius?"
"Very well," said Dumbledore, a somewhat disturbed look on his face. "I will expect a very thorough explanation on how you know everything when I arrive."
"Of course, sir," Harry nodded and stood up. "Er- does Professor McGonagall know how to cast a Patronus Charm?"
"I believe so, yes. Might I ask why?"
"After you interrogate him… well, Fudge is going to bring Dementors in. They'll kiss Crouch if they aren't stopped. I promise I'll explain everything when you're done, Professor," said Harry, and he left the room so as to avoid seeing Dumbledore's face. It was rather… unnerving… to see his Headmaster with a troubled look on his face, to say the least.
The corridors were eerily quiet as Harry made his way to Dumbledore's office. Still, even unusually quiet corridors were better than the Hogwarts from the future, which had been destroyed roughly five years after Dumbledore's death- around a month after Harry's twenty-first birthday. As hurt as he had been, Harry had forced himself to look at the bright side of things; the castle had been empty when the Death Eater's had destroyed it, thus had taken no lives.
Harry paused for a moment in front of the stone Gargoyle that guarded the entrance to Dumbledore's office, trying to remember the password Dumbledore had used before.
"Ice mice," he guessed eventually, nearly sighing in relief when it worked. He wasn't much in the mood to stand around all night guessing sweet names. Climbing the spiralling stairs seemed to take forever with his injured leg, but Harry had managed far more with far worse injuries, so he clenched his teeth and told himself to deal with it. It would probably help if this body was more accustomed to pain- and no, the occasional beatings from his Uncle did not count. When he finally reached the top, Harry pushed the heavy oak door open and found himself staring at Sirius. His godfather was wearing dirty robes that Harry didn't recognise, his hair was getting rather long again and his face was white and as gaunt as ever.
"Harry," said Sirius, who had immediately crossed the room. "Are you alright- what happened?"
"Too much," said Harry wearily, and he pulled away from Sirius slightly to limp over to a chair, which he dropped down onto gratefully. "Dumbledore'll be here soon," Harry told Sirius, who had sat in the seat opposite him. "He's questioning Crouch."
"Isn't he missing?" Sirius asked, frowning slightly.
"That one's dead," Harry told his godfather in a toneless voice. "He's questioning Barty Crouch Junior."
"Is alive. He switched places with his mother, using Polyjuice. He's been 'hiding' ever since, which is why they had to pretend his mum had died. Well, she did die, in his place, but still."
"He told you this?"
"In a manner of speaking." Harry didn't bother explaining what he meant.
"What happened out there?" Sirius asked when the silence finally became too much.
"Voldemort's back," Harry said, leaning back in his chair and looking at Sirius. "I'd rather not have to tell the story twice in one night, though. When Dumbledore gets here, I'll tell you about that and…"
"And…?" Sirius prompted.
"There's… something else I have to tell you. Both of you… and Remus. Maybe Tonks, too," Harry said thoughtfully, tearing his gaze away from Sirius' and looking at the floor thoughtfully. "I haven't actually decided who all needs to know."
"You know Tonks?" Sirius asked, looking slightly baffled.
"That doesn't make sense."
"Neither does anything I told Dumbledore earlier." Sirius didn't get a chance to reply as Fawkes swooped down to rest on Harry's knee. "Hey, boy," Harry crooned gently. "I haven't seen you in… ooh, five years?" Fawkes said nothing, but a moment later Harry felt the pain in his leg disappear and smiled at the Phoenix. "Thanks, Fawkes," Harry told the bird sincerely, waving his wand over his leg to get rid of the bandages and fix the rip on his trouser leg. He knew Sirius was looking at him with a very confused expression, but he didn't want to have to explain his stories twice in one night and so avoided looking at his godfather.
After what felt like hours, the sound of a door opening caught Harry's attention and he looked up to see an extremely tired-looking Dumbledore enter the office. The Headmaster's gaze rested for a moment on Harry and Fawkes before he walked swiftly to his desk, sitting down behind it and regarding Harry through his half-moon spectacles.
"You were right," Dumbledore told him softly after a moment, and Harry nodded to acknowledge this.
"Should I start with what happened at the graveyard, sir, or why I knew what Crouch would tell you?"
I wasn't going to post the official first chapter until tomorrow, but hey. Nothing wrong with adding it up early, right?
Does my writing seem okay, or do you think I should find a beta? I love them, but I've had such bad luck with them- in my other fic, I've gone through three betas. Three. I'm wary about getting one now, because I feel if I do he/she will just leave in a few weeks time, lol.
Please don't forget to review. It's one of the few things that motivates me to write. Music is another, and you'll never find me without some form of music playing in the background. Also, let me know if any characters (aside from Harry, who I feel has a right to be after everything he's been through) are out of character, okay?
One last thing. Would you prefer (bearing in mind that updates are going to be very slow on this fic) shorter, more frequent chapters (anything between 1,000-4,000 words), or longer ones (5,000-10,000 words) but less frequently updated? Also, erm, does anyone know how to get a large space between new paragraphs? Nothing I've tried seems to work, and it makes it rather hard to read.