Beyond the pale
Chapter 1: Prologue
Ministry of magic, London UK
He had been so close so close to eliminating the brat who had cause his thirteen-year absence from power. The same brat had the audacity to defy him two other times, and just as it seemed he would triumph he was stopped by the meddling old fool. 'Potter and Dumbledore' he thought to himself
Dumbledore had encased him in a globe of water. 'The man has not lost anything from his game, to be sure' the self styled dark lord thought 'Let's see how he deals with this' and he vanished, causing Dumbledore to become cautious.
Harry had been watching the duel with more avid interest 'This is dueling on a level I will likely never be able to attain.' Harry thought to himself. Then Voldemort vanished. Harry was relieved as the man who wanted him dead was gone. Not hearing a word Dumbledore said he stepped out of his hiding spot and pain shot through his body him worse the cruciatus. Harry felt like he was stuck in a corner of his own mind watching events unfold around him. He heard Voldemort taunt the headmaster. It was then he wanted to die.
The pain he was inflicting on the boy was most exquisite. He even taunted Dumbledore, not that he believed the man would harm his precious golden boy. He could see that indeed the great Albus Dumbledore was a weak minded fool who loved the boy. It was so fitting to taunt the old fool thus.
Albus looked on helplessly as Voldemort possessed his student and all he could think was 'I have failed you utterly' it was then he heard steps behind him and he glanced back to see the other five students all looking worse for wear the girls all looked horrified by what they were seeing the boys however stepped forward as if to help Harry, but only to find themselves immobilized by a wandless spell from Dumbledore.
Everything was going well he could feel Potter begin to give in "Yes Potter, very soon you will die"
Harry felt Voldemort's glee and knew he would soon be dead "Soon I will be with Sirius, Mum, and Dad." and the thoughts of love he associated with those three people began to bubble and pulsate through the very core in his being.
Pain hit the dark lord like a hammer to the head and he felt himself being torn from the boys' body. As he passed from the body back to the physical realm he saw a shimmering shield form around potter. 'Apparently I did not get around the protections as much as suppress them, this will bear some watching." he thought to himself as he grabbed Bellatrix and port keyed away.
In the silence that signaled the aftermath pf what some could honestly consider the duel of the century Albus Dumbledore held a very exhausted and unconscious Harry potter very gently as if the boy would break from a sudden movement and spoke barely above whisper "Legillimens" the old man suddenly felt older as he watched this last year from the boys' perspective. He watched as Delores Umbridge tortured him 'We will be dealing with her shortly.' He commented to himself. He saw Harry's confusion from being ignored but what unsettled him the most was his occlumency training 'I told you to train him Severus not brutally rape and belittle him' he thought scornfully.' I will discuss this with him at great length very soon.'
In short order the DMLE had secured both scene and the prisoners, and aurors looked as if they were going to question the student when Tonks, Shacklebolt, and Moody intervened.
"Dawlish" Moody barked. "What in merlin's name do you think you're doing?"
"I am going to question them." Dawlish said as he grinned viciously "They are all material witness and perpetrators of a crime as is our little golden boy and the old man. Standard procedure is to take them all in."
"Cor, Dale and I used to think you were smart." Tonks said scathingly " I can see now that I was wrong."
"It doesn't matter what you think auror Tonks what matters is that you follow orders." Dawlish spat out. "Now either hand in your shield rookie or assist me with their apprehension and interrogation."
Shacklebolt who up until that time had remained quiet spoke "Stand down Dawlish you may be a senior auror but you are not the senior auror on the scene." He said quietly spotting Madam Bones coming out of one of the many fireplaces in the hall.
"Oh yes Shacklebolt but I out rank you. One word to fudge." was all the auror got out.
"And what auror Dawlish." A decidedly feminine voice a voice that made the auror cringe.
"Nothing ma'am I spoke out of turn." Was all the senior auror said.
Moody jumped in "Amelia this auror." Pointing at Dawlish. " Wants to hold these kids as both material witness and perpetrator to an alleged crime."
Amelia Bones had been an auror for over 50 years at one-point Alastor Moody was her mentor and later her partner "What crime would that be.?"
"Breaking and Entering Ma'am the lot of the broke into the department of mysteries and as a result there has been a lot of damage done to the hall of prophecies and several other rooms'. the auror looked pleased with himself "I have it on good authority that they were lead by Harry Potter"
"That's an awful big accusation Dale " Amelia said quietly looking at Alastor she silently incanted legillimens Moody's eyes never even blinked as he let Madam bones sift through the last 35 minutes noting that auror Dawlish had come out of the floo only moments before her. "what proof do you have to back up this accusation? I know for a fact you arrived only moments before me and have had no time to question anyone else. So, tell me auror; how do you know what these kids have or have not done "
Shacklebolt and Tonks both looked surprised, Moody however was not as the auror went for his wand "ava" was all Dawlish got out before Moody banished him into the remains of the centaur statue.
"Thank you Alastor" Madam Bones said " Aurors Tonks and Shacklebolt could you please take Dale Dawlish into custody watch him for an hour to make sure he is not Polyjuice but check him for signs of the dark mark. Alastor please escort Mr. Potters friends back to Hogwarts and I wish to see you bright and early tomorrow morning."
She watched as Dawlish was checked for the dark mark and was disappointed to find a glamour covering the dark mark, she shuddered to think what would have happened to any of the kids... 'No they are not kids anymore.' She thought to herself. she then squared her shoulder and said, "Today is going to be a long day."
Riddle Manor, Little Hangleton UK
They appeared in the main foyer of Riddle Manor in Little Hangleton. "Wormtail, Attend me!" Voldemort intoned.
Wormtail could tell by the tone in his masters' voice that things had not gone as planned "Mmm Master" he stuttered "How can I be of service?"
Voldemort sneered "See to Bella then fetch me a calming drought, and pain reducer, then we will talk more" With that the dark lord Turned and strode into his personal chambers.
Wormtail sighed and thought back to better days, but with that thought came the thought of the betrayal "So Bellatrix, I take it all did not go well?"
"What was your first clue rat!" Bellatrix snapped "Was it the fact that the master and I returned alone, or was it the fact that the master asked for a calming drought?"
"A bit of both." Wormtail smiled impudently "Tell me what happened?"
"Lucius' stupidity happened! And it lead to half hour running battle with six 15 year old brats!" she spat out
"Surely twelve of you could have subdued them in short order?" He asked already knowing the answer." No of course not. Lucius for all his subtlety is no match for the son of James Potter, and neither were you by the looks of it."
"How would you know rat!" Bellatrix hissed.
"You just confirmed it Bella." Wormtail grinned viciously "Now let's get to setting you to rights dearest Bella."
If she was unconformable with the treatment she was about to receive she did not show it openly.
In his inner sanctum Lord Voldemort sat in quiet contemplation as the potions did their work on his body. As much as he wanted to reach into the whelps Mind he dared not for fear of a recurrence of what happened at the ministry. As he went over the fight in ministry atrium he noted that Dumbledore had tired early in the fight. 'How much was age, and how much protecting the boy.' he mused to himself. Then he examined Potters behavior 'He certainly has a spine; more so than any of my death eaters. Too bad he won't join me.'
He sat in quiet contemplation for what seemed like hours when he heard the doors to his chambers open. "Ah Wormtail, I have a job for you."
"Yes master I live to serve." The rat sniveled.
"Yes, yes you do." Voldemort stated and then he smiled "I am giving you two weeks to break the enchantments that protect Potter."
Peter looked at his master with abject shock.
"It won't be so bad Peter I will make sure you can get through the wards of his house." Lord Voldemort went on as the rat continued to look surprised.
Finally it seemed Wormtail seemed to snap out of it "Master you know where he lives?"
"Of course!" the dark lord sneered "The boys mind is an open book to me."
Wormtail forgot himself "Then why not just strike at his home my lord."
Voldemort's eyes flashed at the disrespect shown by Wormtail and his wand flashed "You forget yourself Wormtail. Crucio"
He watched with disdain as the rat cried out and thrashed in pain. He lifted the curse after 30 seconds but he was sure that Wormtail thought it was an eternity. "Give me your arm Wormtail." he commanded.
Wormtail struggled to his feet and presented his arm staring blankly at the wall to the right when he heard the dark lord hiss and then heard his dark mark hiss in return as the two conversed the more pain flowed through Wormtail's arm and the more hushed the hissing became with a final flare the pain passed.
Wormtail looked at his arm and noticed for the first time in almost 15 years his arm was free of the dark mark.
"Wormtail, I am putting an immense amount of trust in you to complete this mission.
For now I want you to start by writing letter to Mr. Vernon Dursley. Then I want you to layer compulsion charms on it."
"What do you want me to compel Dursley to do or act like?" Wormtail asked.
"I want hatred and violence toward his young nephew. Oh yes! If I cannot breech his mother's blood protection, then the fat muggle will do it for me and perhaps if we are lucky the man will kill his nephew." Voldemort said coldly. "Wormtail?"
"Yes master" Peter said
"This is only a temporary pass if you have not returned within 24 hours of completion of this task your mark will kill you. Now go!"
#4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey UK
Peter looked back on the last week; he had worked like a madman to enchant one piece of parchment to make it look like it was ministry issue. He had even gone as far to transfigure his clothes into that of a smart looking royal postman with a few hairs from a postal worker, he became someone totally different. 'Even if the order has watchers there they will never know its me.'
He was still nervous, he had watched the postal worker for three days learning the man's routine. Finally, on the fourth day he stunned the man at the beginning of his route and took the man's place on the last 10 minutes of his route to the Dursley's however he was surprised when he knocked on the door only to be met by the son of his long dead friends. He hesitated as he looked at Harry. He could see that Harry had not eaten in days nor was he sleeping "Hello, young man is Vernon Dursley available please I have a special parcel for him and he must sign for it."
Harry didn't even stop to think about it "Uncle Vernon, the Postman wants you to sign for a special package"
Wormtail heard a bellow "Get it for me Boy!"
"I can't. He says you have to sign for it." Harry said with some asperity.
"Fine go to your room boy, and no funny stuff or you can forget about dinner tonight." Vernon said with a tone of menace in his voice.
Harry turned and began his trek upstairs, and Wormtail saw bruises on the back of his neck.
A memory came unbidden to him of a simpler time just after Harry's birth. He could see the marauders, Lily, and Harry at Christmas time he had swore to be there for Harry; just like Sirius and Remus. None of them kept the promise but of the three; Wormtail knew he was the worst of the three. He was the betrayer. With that thought another memory came to mind the night in the shrieking shack when Harry spared his life. Then it hit Wormtail like a ton of bricks. 'I owe Harry a life debt. The dark lord knows, and is testing me.'
He looked down at the letter in his hand then at the form of Vernon Dursley approaching the door.
'Peter the choice is yours to be as great as you want.' he heard in the vaults of his mind. It was Lily's voice. She had been his queen, and he had tried with Severus to get her spared to no avail. 'They were my friends, and I sold them out because it was easier than standing tall and dying for them; as they would for me. And now I am doing the same to their son.'
He came out of his reverie as Vernon opened the screen door. "You had a package for me."
"Yes Mr. Dursley if you will just sign for it here." He pointed to a line on a clipboard "Thank you Sir, have a lovely day."
Before he turned away he saw Petunia just as he remembered her from the wedding it made him feel sad at the choices he had made. It was in that moment he decided and he gathered what bit of wandless magic he had and cast a silent Finite on the letter having no idea if it worked or not but praying it did. 'I have just signed my death warrant' he said to himself.
He then turned and left Privet drive, only to drive 6 miles and then obliviated the poor postman, and then apparate away. He would be found 3 days later dead in a room in The Three Broomsticks; never knowing that his act of compassion forestalled the disaster that loomed at privet drive. However, Harry Potter would fall deeper into his depression not noticing the madness that took his uncle.
Vernon read the letter stating that Harry Potter had been involved with spell battle at the ministry and would be subject to punishment by the ministry. 'Serves the boy right, Breaking the law and all that.' As he read the more Vernon liked what he was reading. It suggested that Vernon confiscate the boys' wand for his family's safety. 'That's a good idea if I have ever heard one.'
Throughout the week Vernon held on to the letter and read it often, and as time went on he got more and more angry at Harry. The little miscreant never came out of his room, constantly woke him up at night wailing about Sirius or Cedric. After the third day there was the first incident. Harry had been returning from the loo to his room as he passed His aunt and uncles room he felt a beefy hand close around his neck and heard and smelt his uncle breath.
"Boy, I know about your law breaking at your ministry." Harry froze, Vernon felt the boy tense up "I know your godfather was killed getting you out of whatever trouble you landed yourself in!"
"I..." was all Harry got out before he felt a punch land in his back.
"You what Potter!" Vernon spat out. "Listen here boy we may not be able to make you do chores. You will respect us by keep your wailing to a minimum, and you will write your letters every three days with one being due tomorrow. If you do not there will be consequences." He accentuated his statement with another punch to the kidney and then he threw Harry down the hall toward his room.
Petunia watched her husband with a glimmer of worry. Vernon had been short with her when expressing how to deal with her nephew. Now she was a little frightened Vernon had never been a truly violent man but ever since the end of the school year he was more edgy. She looked in on her nephew as he lay nursing his lower back wondering just what had happened to make him so despondent.
Outside the watchers had no clue the disaster that was impending.