DISCLAIMER THE FIRST: It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the grace of coffee that thoughts acquire speed, the back acquires strains, the strains become a warning. The warning is that I make no money from this. It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion.
PITHY STATEMENT RELATING TO THIS CHAPTER: "Traitors who prevail are patriots; usurpers who succeed are divine emperors." – Gore Vidal – American writer (1925-2012)
LAST UPDATED: 03-01-2020
Story Notes: I apologize that a significant portion of this chapter is cribbed from other fics of mine. That is the danger when you come up with a concept in your first fic, but the reveal doesn't happen till long after you've already used it in other fics. Also, for those who complain I jam about a day's worth of stuff in a couple of chapters…well here we go again.
I can also say it goes to show how tired I was when I decided to split chapter 32 given in my notes in that chapter I apologized for it being a cliff hanger…when I literally had Luna tossed off a cliff as the last part of the chapter. I didn't catch that unintended pun till a reviewer pointed it out to me. Sheesh!
CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE – THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE
BLUFF OVERLOOKING TOR BAY, MARCH 21st, 1996 – AFTERNOON
A small sliver of Luna's mind was marveling how she could be at once gripped with bowel-clenching fear while simultaneously working how to stay alive as the rocks below seemed to rise up to meet her. She knew the chance of her bouncing away without injury like a Longbottom toddler was less than zero.
When her emergency portkey failed to activate, the bowel-clenching fear begun to win out. This forced her intellectual side to panic and push all her magic into a concentrated burst. It wasn't a conscious command; more of a prayer for something, anything to happen to save her.
And amazingly, something did!
As her magic burst through her, Luna's back erupted into a spasm of pain. Even as she was seconds from being dashed on the sharp rocks overlooking the beach, she suddenly and instinctively angled her wings and veered away from an almost certain death. With powerful beats of her wings, Luna flew over the water, working to bleed off the speed she'd acquired from her almost death fall. In short order, she was hovering over the surf, looking back at the winged being who had almost killed her.
As the being watched her with its arms crossed, a smirk on its lips, it began to dawn on Luna that her vision was different, her forehead felt strange. And she was flying. With wings that somehow had erupted out of her back. She needed answers and the being had said he'd spare her life if she could answer one question: could she fly.
Luna had to smirk to herself. Apparently, she could!
Regardless, Harry needed her so she had to chance it. Luna flew back towards the cliff (idly hoping the large area Notice-Me-Not field Voldemort had put on the cliff long ago and strengthened ever since was still in effect. She also hoped she hadn't flown out past that field. The last thing they needed was the Ministry Obliviators to come sniffing around because some Muggle fisherman had seen a winged girl flying around.
As she landed, Luna marveled at how her body seemed to know what to do. She had picked a spot she wanted to land on and her body just made it happen. Hopefully, this turn of luck would help her get her Harry back.
"It appears the answer to your question is yes; I can fly," Luna told the being.
The being's smirk morphed into a genuine smile, "As I knew you could. I do apologize for the manner I needed to use to prove it to you. But where are my manners? I am Samael of the Lilin. I greet you, daughter of the Fae.
Luna's heart almost skipped a beat. Both at the mention of the Lilin, beings whispered at in legends going back to before Atlantis sank. Indeed many rumors had the Lilin being the reason for the disaster. But more importantly, how could she be a daughter of the Fae?
Samael laughed, "Now there is a face! You have questions and I have little time to answer them. However, this might help." With a gesture, a full-length mirror appeared in front of Luna.
Luna blinked in surprise at her reflection. Her cerulean blue eyes were…off. They seemed to glitter and their shape looked almost Asian. She had two antennae sprouting from her forehead and her ears curved back into points. And her wings! Huge wings like that of a butterfly slowly moved as if in a gentle breeze. More startling was she realized that her clothes hung on her as if she had shrunk. Luna wiggled her feet and found them swimming with room in her shoes.
She tore her eyes away from her reflection. "How?" Luna asked.
Samael waved again and the mirror disappeared. He moved forward and lightly touched his index finger between her new antennae, "The answer, little Fae, has always been in here."
Luna felt a surge of magic from Samuel into her head. At first nothing happened. Then suddenly an avalanche of memories cascaded in front of her mind's eye. For minutes she simply swayed in place as memories hidden from her made themselves manifest.
"My mother…" Luna finally gasped out.
"Just as with so many things in your Magical world; things aren't always what they seem. The hero and the villain are often the bystander or a victim in a larger play," Samuel said. "But come, as I said; my time here grows short. I had said you were a terrible influence on Harry. That was just a lie to put you into the right frame of mind to actualize your true form. For while I cannot see the future…well when you have existed as long as I have, you see patterns. Your Fae heritage is important in the coming confrontation. However, you must do everything in your power to hide it, even from your coven mates."
Luna blinked away the images of her mother, her real mother it seemed, "Wait! Who are you! Just saying you're a Lilin tells me almost nothing! Why are you helping me? And what have you done to Harry?"
Samuel chuckled, "To Harry? Nothing." He tapped his forehead, "Indeed, I'm having a good chat with him as we speak. Giving him many of the answer that you seek. But again, dear Luna, my appearance is merely a step in a larger play. Do not let it distract you. The shatterpoint approaches and I have a vested interest in which way the future proceeds. Yet there is little I can do to affect it. For all my power, only the breach in Harry's soul caused by Voldemort has let me out of a cage I willingly entered to survive."
Samael spread out his wings and spread out his arms as well before facing the wind. He took in a deep breath, obviously savoring the moment. He then sighed and dropped his arms and his wings folded around him almost like a blanket. "A cage I must return to presently. But I can say that you must prepare for what is coming by never taking anything for granted. Nothing is as it seems and there are plots withing plots. Be on your guard, little Fae. So much is riding on the days ahead."
"Wait! Who do I need to watch! You must give me more!" Luna almost pleaded.
Samuel shook his head as his features began to blur, "As I said before; you have all you need to know already in your head. Listen to your instincts. As you prey upon your enemies know that the hunter can be the hunted. Be vigilant and trust your feelings. If it feels wrong; it is wrong."
And with those words, the being's form slowly transformed back to Harry who promptly fell to the ground.
Luna rushed to her fallen love. She was relieved to see him panting as if he'd just come from a run. His eyes were unfocused but he returned the squeeze Luna gave him as she took his hand. "I am here, my love."
"Give…just give…oh boy. Need a little time here," Harry said as he continued to wheeze. He closed his eyes and just laid there for a moment. Then he groaned and rubbed his head. "Remind me never to tempt fate like that again."
Luna scowled, 'I doubt we could survive it if you did."
Harry was in a forest. Tall trees surrounded him. But he'd never seen a forest like this before. Where was he?
"So many questions to ask and answer. Yet we have little time, Harry."
Harry spun to find a man watching him from atop a large felled tree. Or at least it was in the shape of a man. It looked like a cross between a snake or lizard and a man. Yet the merging wasn't grotesque like Voldemort's form had been. No; whoever and what ever this person was, they were not an abomination of magic.
"Hello. You have me at a disadvantage, sir," Harry finally said. He surreptitiously was trying to figure out where he was, what he might do and what he had to do it with. The answers were troubling given he was wearing a simple tunic, belted at the waist and sandals. He didn't have a wand and he realized he was seeing perfectly without any glasses.
The being rose up and his form shimmered. It morphed into a human form. One who looked vaguely familiar. Like a cousin to Sirius but with a fuller beard, "There! How is this? I figure this form is less alarming than my original form."
Harry blinked at this, "Original form? Are you a shape-shifter?"
The faux Sirius laughed and waved the question away, "Let us not be bogged down with twenty questions but get right to it. No, I'm not a shape-shifter or at least not as you would perceive it. I am Samael and I am, in a way, a fallen god. A god who resides in you."
Harry frowned, causing Samael to laugh, "That did sound rather melodramatic, didn't it? But in a way, it is the truth. I am a being so old that it is hard to describe in your terms. Once I was but a man; a man like I just was. My people were an old race, a powerful race. We had tamed our universe with technology your human fiction writers could barely imagine. The energy you call magic was ours to command. In time, we grew so that our mortal forms were simply not enough to contain us. So, like a snake shedding it's skin, we ascended to godhood."
"Godhood doesn't sound all that exciting if you're stuck in me," Harry said after a moment of reflection. "Although where we are stuck together in, I'm not sure."
Samuel let out a booming laugh, "Yes, paradoxically so. Yet that is mostly a recent thing. As for where we are, we are what you might call my home. My prison cell. It exists in your soul, Harry. A state of being where energy and matter meet."
Harry looked around. Everything felt real. He could feel the wind on his face, the ground beneath his feet.
"Trust me, Harry. You are a rare mortal who, for in this brief moment, to exists as physical being at once with being in their own soul. This, of course, is only possible due to my power. For millennia, my fellow ascended existed in a state close to what most would expect of a god. We could perform miracles; we were shepherds to the younger, mortal races. We delved deeper into the underlying mysteries of the universe. And yet, for all our immortality, we were arrogant and did not realize a basic truth until it was almost too late."
"And that truth was?" Harry asked.
Samuel ruefully chuckled, "That our immortality existed in the framework of our reality. A reality that ebbed and flowed. And our reality was ebbing. You see, Harry, even your scientists have postulated a beginning and an end to your universe. Just as they've postulated there are multiple universes existing in a larger hyper-universe. My people existed in a universe that was old and dying. For all our power, not even we could survive the death throes of our reality."
"You came here to escape death. Like Voldemort, you flew from death," Harry said. It seemed the obvious thing to do.
Samael snorted and began to pace, "Hardly. Voldemort was an idiot. While there are ways of using your soul, attuning it, one must protect and cherish it. Doing anything to break it is always and unequivocally a very bad thing to do. But yes, we did fly from death. Unfortunately, breaking the barriers between realities is not an easy task, not even for ones such as we. For you see, the Veil of Worlds is but a shadow of the barriers that exist between realities. When your ancestors looked into other realms like that of the Fae or the Ǣsir, they were merely seeing smaller realms tied to yours as moons are tied to their primary. However, only when this lesser barrier thinned could we hope to come through. But even then, we had to be invited."
Harry blinked in alarm, "Like vampires? You're a vampire?"
Samuel rolled his eyes, "Not at all but yes, vampires are marginally involved later. As our universe began to fade into the entropy of heat death, we looked for others to flee to. We found yours. Yet we could not come through completely and we could not initiate the transfer. So we either tricked or bribed the earliest wizards with promises of power to summon us over. To them we were demons or genies and while we did our 'masters' bidding, all the while we searched for a way to cross over permanently."
Harry nodded at this. For all Binns' penchant to focus on goblins, they had learned about the mighty wizards of old. Atlantean wizards had been renown for summoning beings of fantastic powers.
Samuel continued to pace back and forth as if with nervous energy, "In time we discovered a ritual which would allow hundreds of our people to cross over. Even if this was temporary, we felt the increased numbers would allow us a better chance to find a way to stay permanently. As luck would have it, the Veil of Worlds cycled back to being more of a barrier than a gossamer veil shortly after our ritual. To this day, I cannot tell you if this was the result of our actions or the normal cycle of the Veil. Regardless of the why, suddenly my brothers and sisters and I were trapped and our life force was running out quickly," Samael explained.
"What did you do?" Harry asked. His DADA classes and textbooks had barely even mentioned the Veil of Worlds. Of course, as Samuel had mentioned, it was mostly closed and had been for centuries going back to just after Atlantis sank.
Samael gave a rueful chuckle, "We did little at first as we searched for ways to stay alive. It was a very evil wizard who gave us the first avenue of hope. One of our number, Tyrus by name found an Atlantean lord trying to do a ritual to bind a demon to him with the help of six other witches and wizards. Tyrus gathered six others and allowed himself to be called and then disrupted the ritual. He had thought to possess the human while his companions would possess the other six. It worked, but at a cost. Tyrus and his companions became the first true vampires and thus for centuries later tied night." Samuel smiled. "As I said before, vampires are marginally involved."
Harry stiffened in alarm. "You don't look like a vampire," he said cautiously.
Samuel laughed again as he stopped pacing and sat back down on the fallen tree, "No I am not. Sadly the ritual Tyrus disrupted made use of a singular magical artifact so the rest of us could not replicate the event. Even today, there are only seven true vampires. All others are corrupted versions created by the Seven to help bank their power since one human body, altered or not, is not enough to contain our essence."
"So there actually is a secret group of vampire elders who are the power behind the vampire covens?" Harry asked. "Hermione felt the myths were more in line with something you'd read in the Quibbler even if Professor Lupin was the one to bring it up in class."
Samuel nodded, "Yes. The Seven stay hidden, but their reach is long. However, the important fact was while the rest of us could not duplicate how they merged with humans, it gave the rest of us hope and soon new ways were discovered for us to go into the flesh. This process, however, changed their human hosts and from this many of the magical races came into being. The French champion, the Veela, is an example. All of her kind are female because they are all descended from my sister Lilith. The Naga are another race due to our merging but with their snake likeness being closer to what we once were."
"And you are?" Harry asked.
"You've heard the term Lilin, yes? I know you have because everything you have experienced, I have as well. The name was given to us by the Seven. Even I have trouble remembering what it originally meant as the name as been carried throughout the ages of my people to long before we ascended. Of course, as you well know, the term is barely more than another word for demon. Yet to the Seven, they use to collectively label those of our number who went into the flesh without memory.
"You seem to remember things well enough," Harry pointed out.
"That's because we're in your soul, Harry. Here, I am myself. Yet beyond this tiny reality, I am barely a whisper. A ghost of a voice from a barely remembered dream," Samael's face broke into an evil smirk. "That is not to say there aren't ways my people and I have used to influence the outside world."
Samuel ran a hand through his beard in a way which reminded Harry strongly of Dumbledore. "Due to my strength, I had been able to delay my entry into the flesh. After seeing what the others had done, I decided to do things differently. I didn't want to be inside a being that looked so different from normal humans. Like most species, humans do not deal well with those different from themselves. Even the such a thing as skin color is enough to incite distrust and hatred. Thus, when I and the remaining Lilin who hadn't been rushed into the flesh, merged our energy into humanity, it had a very interesting effect."
"What happened?" Harry asked.
Samael laughed again, "Something you know little of till recently, I'm afraid. The Headmaster and all those around him have kept you from learning about family magicks. I do know you've been taught that such magicks are confined mostly to Europe. That is because the magic isn't the accumulation of individual magicks over time, but simply me and my fellow Lilin. We promised what would become the Great Houses of Europe like the Blacks, the Bones and the Gaunts power and we delivered when we were accepted into the flesh willingly."
"Is that why you chose the form you have? You look like a Black," Harry asked.
"Yes, I have been the power behind House Black for thousands of years," Samael said. He paused and a fleetingly angry looked crossed his face, "Although I must admit how disappointed I am that a House that was once the pinnacle of power in Europe fell into a cesspit of bigotry and insanity. All the Houses associated with the Lilin are becoming so. I fear that in trying to spare your ancestor more scorn that our merging was not as stable as I first thought."
He then sighed, "Of course this should not be surprising to me. Our merging had an issue from the first which manifested in the need for wands."
"Wands?" Harry asked. "What do wands have anything to do with you?"
"It is as Ollivander said, Harry, 'Wands choose the wizard' and we Lilin are the reason for it," Samael said. "Did you ever wonder why there so many places around the world which do not use wands? That areas that do are all in places where Europeans have settled or have a large presence there? While we Lilin brought power to your ancestors, we are not of this reality. Therefore we needed a focus, a bridge to tune our power so it meshed with the magic native to this dimension."
"So the different woods and cores, they all act like a TV aerial? Only the right one can get the signal?" Harry asked slowly.
Samael nodded, "Not the best analogy, but yes, it works well enough. Just as your aura's harmonics meshed with Padma's poorly, a matching wand creates a harmonious bond between the Lilin magic and your own."
"So I get that Lilin are in a symbiotic relationship with wizards; you give us power. But what I want to know is what do you and the rest of your people get out of all this?" Harry asked.
"What we get is time. For centuries, our energy has been shared by those of the various houses. As a wizard died, our energy is transferred to a new host. At times, my personal energy had been shared by over more than twenty wizards of House Black. All this time, we are the whisper in the back of the mind, urging our hosts one way or the other. Always protecting them. For someday the Veil of Worlds will weaken again and we can return to our universe. While our reality was dying, such deaths take a very long time. Unless we remain in this dimension for many more millennia, we have time to return. After we do, we shall be able to return and…" Samael paused, "Ah but I digress. The fate of my people is probably centuries away and we do not have time to talk of maybes or what may yet fail to come."
"Why are you in my body? You said you are associated with House Black. I'm a Potter!" Harry asked.
Samael chuckled softly, "That is another long story. Suffice to say House Potter is a bit of an experiment of mine. Your family was powerful in the original weak magic you humans have access to. I've been influencing the various Houses to marry into House Potter for centuries. You have the imprint of many of the Lilin in you."
"And then what? If you are able to go home, if only briefly before returning. What then? Will you conquer us? Make us your servants?" Harry asked bitterly.
Samael shook his head, "No, but I can see why you would easily think that. You must understand, Harry, that you and your people are like mewling infants, barely out of the womb. I was not engaging in hyperbole by saying we were as gods. We did our conquering; we did our empire building. Then our people chose to either ascend or fade away into senescence. Yet even after years beyond counting, there were those of us who refused to fade as our reality decays into nothing before a new beginning would shatter everything into something new."
Samael got back up and again began to pace. This time with an urgency as it he feared he wouldn't be able to get out what he had to say. "Those of us who refused to let go simply want to live again. To once again just be. It is difficult for those so young to understand this. I would say it would be like you trying to understand why an aged relative would welcome death after a long life. It is outside your experience. For my part, I believe I would stay on this world for a time. Being part of you for so long, I doubt I wouldn't want to stay to see how you all turn out, especially since your race is facing a critical time which many races fail to deal with properly and thus go extinct. But I believe your people will transcend these problems. One of the reasons is because of the Magical races. The children of Earth have more options than most"
"Okay…well that's good. Nice to hear we have a chance. But what does this all have to do with me? Why are you contacting me now? What has changed?" Harry asked. He hated coincidences and this looked like a huge one.
"The how and why are related. As I told you, while your soul is unbroken, the curse scar acts as a doorway. However, until you drew all that was Voldemort away from your soul, I could not act. And I am acting. I'm having a conversation in the physical world with Luna even now. And I will tell you what I am telling her. The shatterpoint is approaching. Obviously, it is in my interests for you to survive. But beyond that, I also believe you are key to a much greater plan than defeating Voldemort and Dumbledore. I cannot tell the future, but you cannot exist as long as I have without seeing patterns. History, as it is said, repeats itself. Yet we are coming up to a point where what gets repeated will be chosen. You and your coven are pivotal to that."
Harry scoffed at this, "No pressure. Just the fate of the world added to all the other crap I've got to deal with."
Samael stopped pacing and looked at Harry with a scowl. One that turned into a smile, "Just so. Those that influence the world the most are also the ones scarred by it the greatest. You were fated for greatness, Harry. I would not have ended up here if that were not the case. Power, artifacts, coven bonds, and now even the ancient power of the Lilin are coming together in your hands. You must be vigilant. There are plots within plots and players playing the board you do not realize are there."
Harry snorted at this, "Story of my life." Both Harry and Samael looked up as there was a burst of cold wind and for a moment, it seemed the color was washed out of reality. "That doesn't look good," Harry said.
Samael shook his head, "No; it just means we are out of time."
"So…any words of wisdom?" Harry asked.
Samael held out his hand and Harry shook it, "Again, I will tell you what I'm telling Luna. Be wary and mindful. Constant vigilance is not a paranoid mantra because there are those out to get you. Some you cannot see. Sadly, I cannot tell you more than that for the more I try to actively influence the future, the more I would warp it. All I can do is warn you that the predator often becomes the prey. Trust your instincts for while I cannot directly help you, I can be that feeling in your gut; the prickle on your neck that warns of danger. Be mindful and I am confident that you will persevere and help bring about a new time for you, your people and mine."
Abruptly the colors faded out and the light began to dim. Even as he held Samael's hand, Harry felt as if he was receding away from him as blackness crowded his vision.
"Be well, Harold! Be the hero you must be, no matter what the price!" Samael's voice called to him as if from a deep well before blackness took him.
Harry opened his eyes. Blinked and then shut them tightly. He then opened his eyes, blinked hard again.
Luna made a face as she handed him his glasses, "There is nothing wrong with your eyes, Harry. I am as you see me."
"How long have I been out? Did you end up in a cocoon while I was out?" Harry asked as he struggled to get up. He realized that his body felt tight in the same way it had after his first animagus transformation. That and he was naked.
"It has only been a few minutes. Why? Did you spend a long time talking with Samael?" Luna asked as she helped him to his feet.
Harry began to dress, "I don't believe so. More than a few minutes though. I guess time flows differently where we were. So…obviously something major went down while I was having my world view blown up once again."
Luna nodded causing her antennae to bob. It felt weird to have that weight on her head. "That is putting it mildly at best."
Harry paused in putting on his shirt, "Got to say, I like the pointy ears. And your lips are a lot fuller. Really look like they're made for kissing. Of course with those wings, Marilyn is likely to want to stick a pin into you."
"I am not some weird insect hybrid, Harry. I am Fae," Luna said in a tight voice. It was hard not to want to freak out and panic given she literally was an entirely different being than she had thought herself to be mere ten minutes before. Unlike Harry, she had only had the one previous blow to her world view. So she was less blasé about it than he apparently was.
Harry finished putting on his shirt, "And I'm betting that's a very interesting story. Can you change back? The modern world is filled with iron. For that matter, between the doors and torch holders, Hogwarts is filled with it as well."
Luna thought for a moment. She thought back to the new memories of her mother and realized that Harry was right. Her human form had to be just that; a protection while out of the Fairy Realm against the iron which had always been fatal to the Fae. She thought about what she knew of the animagus transformation and stilled her mind and willed herself to be just Luna Lovegood again.
Harry stopped lacing up his boots with a scowl, "Bloody first attempt and you nail it perfectly. Could you at least look like it took some serious act of will to do it?"
Luna laughed nervously as she patted her body down. Her clothes fit again and she had regained her height. She turned her back to Harry, "Be a dear, my love, and fix up my clothes."
Harry took up his wand, "Exsercio! You better look into some way to charm your clothes to change as you change. I wonder if Tonks could help with that?"
Luna shook her head, "Even if she can, Samael warned me to keep my heritage a secret from everyone."
Harry frowned as he began to put the Armor of Might back on. "Does that include me as well?"
Luna smiled, "I would never keep anything from you, my love. No, I believe Samael meant mostly the coven."
Harry's frown deepened, "Which implies that we may have a potential threat to us from one or more of our coven mates. He did say that things weren't as they seem. Given how the coven bonds work, we should be safe from treachery from them…but constant vigilance and all."
Luna pursed her lips, "Or it may be the simple fact that that 17 people knowing a secret is 16 people too many. The abilities of our coven vary as do the ability to guard what they say or protect their thoughts. Yes, we must be vigilant. Yet we must not also become paranoid to the point of looking for enemies where none are only to miss the ones which truly are our foes."
Harry nodded at this, "So…Fae huh? How'd that happen?"
Luna sighed, "A long story we do not have time to fully explore. I'm still trying to process my newly discovered memories."
Harry snorted, "Come on, Luna. Give me the down and dirty version. I'm betting that the night your mum died didn't go like you told me it had."
Luna nodded at this, "You are correct. The short story is that even with the Veil of Worlds being as it is, you can get to the realm of the Fae with the right tools and power. It seems the opposite is true. The Ollivander family appears to have been calling and trapping Fae for generations. These Fae are used to help the Ollivander clan make wands."
Harry blinked at this, "Make wands or maybe become components in them? Or does the Ollivanders breed with them? It might explain some of the inherent creepiness of Ollivander."
Luna shook her head, "I believe so but all I can tell from what my mum said the night of what I thought was her death is just that she had escaped from Ollivander. After that, she managed to invert, in a way, the animagus magic. Instead of turning into an animal, she turned into a human.
"Okay, but how did she end up in Hogwarts? Narcissa told me she knew your mum back then. I've heard how my name has been on the roles of Hogwarts since I was born. How do you fake something like that?"
Luna frowned, "I do not understand how the magic used to determine how a Muggleborn like Hermione manifests. Why some get to go to Hogwarts and others must go to one of the Saint Schools. I do know that my mum's story was she was a runaway. It must have been believable enough given she was adopted into the Wildsmith family. Before she went to Hogwarts, it was believed that she was a squib from a major family like the Malfoys. After she was accepted at Hogwarts, there were always rumors she was simply a Muggleborn who had run away from her abusive Muggle parents. Because of the latter, it was a bit of a scandal that my mum married into the Lovegood family given how long we had been undisputed Purebloods."
Harry harrumphed at that, "Given how strong your mother was at school, I'm betting most people leaned more towards the runaway from a major house rather than admit your mum was a powerful witch like my mum was. Of course now with my mum's links to the Pryce and Black family, I'm sure my mum's power will be explained away by that instead of admitting how powerful Muggleborns like Hermione can be."
Luna nodded, "The human looks she ended up with gave rise to many rumors she was a Malfoy. Some of the visiting Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students asked if I was related to Draco back during the Tournament."
"So did she end up with your father out of love or was he targeted. Given all the goodies and the size of your family library, I figure he was probably targeted," Harry said as he cast some diagnostic spells on both his and Luna's emergency portkey. "Well these seem to be working. I'm thinking that Samael must have interfered with yours working given the anti-portkey ward I managed to sneak by Voldemort shouldn't have worked on ours."
Luna sighed in relief, "Good. Having your portkey fail as you are falling to your death is an experience I do not want to repeat. And yes, you are correct. Daddy was targeted by my mum.
She pursued Daddy because she needed some of his artifacts as well as access to our library as you said."
"I guess the big question was after the marriage, did she give birth to further the cover or were you a happy accident?" Harry asked.
Luna thought about this for a moment, "Yes, she did say something like that. You are right, Harry. My mum had not thought her human form would allow for any children. But magic finds a way, I guess. The marriage to my father was less of a cover and more to stay close to the knowledge and the artifacts collected over the generations by the Lovegoods. I wonder though, did she truly love me? I certainly felt that she loved me but maybe I was just another part of her cover."
Harry put his robes over his armor after he repaired the slash from Voldemort's dagger. He was careful to spell it clean to ensure not a trace of basilisk venom remained. After giving Luna more time to go through her new memories, he finally asked, "So you said your father found your mum in bed with the wife of the DMLE. Did that actually happen?"
Luna didn't answer immediately. Finally she nodded, "Yes. My mum had seduced her as she had seduced so many before her. Many Fae are known to revel in sexual escapades. But I am betting she was looking for contacts and knowledge to help her. Narcissa is a good example given her link to House Black. As it turns out, Adrienne Peasegood was sort of like Marilyn in that she was very good with certain obscure arithmatic processes. She unknowingly helped complete the ritual that mum needed to break through to the Fairy Realm.
"So did your mum actually die or did she make it back? I'm thinking your father showing up could have easily disrupted the ritual and I know enough about those now to know that usually ends up catastrophically badly."
Luna shook her head, "My mum did in fact return. My memories are clear on that. They are also clear that my mum did not in fact love Daddy and his actions towards the end had not been good. Adrienne, on the other hand, was rather magnanimous in the face of the manipulation my mum had done. She was the one who modified my memories and those of Daddy."
Harry frowned as he put Voldemort's dagger back into its sheath and stuck it into his boot. He began to carefully check Voldemort's body for anything of use, "Was she trained as such? I have to wonder if the reason your father acted so badly might be due to the memory modification."
Luna sighed, "I do not believe so. My mum did curse my father rather badly before she returned to the Fae. I am afraid for whatever faults Daddy had, he suffered for the sins of the Ollivanders." Luna locked eyes with Harry, "You recently have had to step back from punishing those whose only crime was simply in reminding you of the crimes of others."
Harry sighed. While the Gryffindors he told off did deserve it, it was true they mostly were just stand-ins for those Harry had truly wanted to take to task. "That is true. Okay, so you're a Fae and I have a Lilin in me. Though in retrospect, as surprising as this revelation is, it does answer a lot of questions.
Luna began to cast certain spells to figure out if Voldemort's robes hid anything useful. Surprisingly, beyond a heavily charmed set of robes, Voldemort's corpse had no other charmed items other than the broken portkey. "And which questions would they be?"
Harry began to tick points off on his fingers, "Given Petunia never loved me, why wasn't I drained into being a squib by the Blood Wards? Family magicks aren't some sort of super magical battery so it's obvious now that they were powered by Samael. I was beaten, starved, mentally abused for years. Yet I survived and while not the most adjusted, you have to admit I was pretty damn normal when I got to Hogwarts for someone who lived through that crap. Dumbledore is a great wizard, but I doubt even he could spell me enough to correct the abuse I grew up with. Again, Samael was there helping me out."
Luna nodded, "It also explains something I could never accept. How did you survive long enough for Fawkes to cry into your wound? The amount of venom a full bite would inject would kill a dragon. You should have been dead in seconds."
Harry blinked at this, "Exactly! Also, makes me wonder if my surviving Voldemort's attack on me as a kid was less my mother's spellwork and more having an ancient being living within me? That and being able to drive away over a hundred dementors when I was thirteen."
Luna thought on it some more, "It does call into question so much about you. How much of you is you and how much is Samael bleeding through? With what Lilith said about us witches being drawn to power, your soul passenger would be another beacon drawing us towards you."
Harry shrugged, "Well I'll tell you more after we get back to Hogwarts. I learned a lot even in the short time I was talking with him. Things that would turn wand crafting on its head as well as why some cultures don't use them or why even when they do, so many are still weakly powered. However, now that I think on it, I'm wondering if he was obliquely trying to point something out to me. Saying it without being obvious about it."
"How Slytherin; what did he not say?" Luna asked.
Harry shrugged, "It's just a feeling. He commented about how while the shatterpoint is approaching for us, our planet is reaching one as well. He said a lot of people never get past it but he said Earth had a better chance than most due to the Magical races. So far, taking out Voldemort was easy because I have access to some brilliant witches who gamed it all out. Hopefully we will be able to do the same with Dumbledore. But what then? The Purebloods in the Great Houses need to be dealt with, there is still so much distrust between Magical nations. And the planet is having problems with having six billion people on it. Maybe so much of the things which have been coming together aren't for our shatterpoint, but the planets? Samael did say I had a larger destiny."
Luna nodded, "He also said there were plots and plans which in turn were part of even larger plots and plans with other players we are barely aware of. Yes…I do believe you are onto something Harry. It is too convenient that we have collected the Deathly Hallows, to include those lost to time as we have. To convenient that we just happened to have so many witches tied to the power structure willing to form a coven. To convenient that as we work to fight our system, our world is in more danger than ever before of being discovered by the Muggles."
Harry rubbed his scar which was a bit sore for a change. "It's something we need to really think about. Once again, I think Katie is right. You and I have been mostly focused on righting certain wrongs and taking out Voldemort and Dumbledore. Well nature abhors a vacuum and all that and we're about to make a big one. I think we need to look a bit past just putting Dumbledore and the Order down."
Luna looked over at a stand of trees away from where the duel had raged. Harry had told her that it hid the entrance to Voldemort's secret base, "Remember, my love, we have not completed the full plan to deal with the Dark. Let us finish this before jumping to fighting the Light and then what may lie beyond that. Do you feel that our plan is still workable?"
Harry pulled out Voldemort's wand, "Now that I have this? You bet I do. Funny, I wonder what Voldemort would think if I could tell him that the parsel speech he is so proud of was originally the tongue of a race of god-like beings from another dimension? Although it shows Dumbledore was wrong about why I am a Parselmouth; my curse scar had nothing to do with it. It was all Samael."
"I look forward to hearing what you two discussed. Beyond him forcing me to realize I am Fae, we did not get much time to talk," Luna said sadly.
"Well given what I know now about him and his people, the coven's plan for me to get a lot of witches pregnant is a bit suspect. It might be an inspired idea but I can't shake the feeling it is less our plan and more his working through me for his own ends. Not that that is a bad thing. But yes, I need to go put my Lord Voldemort hat on," Harry said as he stretched his neck a bit before willing himself to return to his Tom Riddle form.
Luna kissed him, "Have fun dear. Not that I expect you to get much of that from the Death Eaters. At least that incidence with Ginevra gives you an insight into what to expect from Bellatrix."
Harry rolled his eyes as his face fell into a look of disgust, "Don't remind me. Sure Bellatrix is as easy on the eyes as Tonks is even after all those years in Azkaban. But bat-shit crazy is not something I find remotely attractive."
Luna kissed Harry again and whispered into his ear, "Just lie there and think of England, my love."
VOLDEMORT'S LAIR, TOR BAY, MARCH 21st, 1996 – LATE AFTERNOON
Harry checked the mirror he had conjured one last time. He was reasonably sure his robes matched what Voldemort had been wearing. But when one had as many magical upgrades on clothing as Voldemort had on his robes, being stabbed with an artifact like the Sword of Truth caused a cascade failure of the magics. It wasn't worth trying to repair.
Before dispelling the mirror, Harry had to marvel once again about how the Armor of Might fit so well under the robes. Armor conjured up images of clunky suits of metal as seen in so many corridors in Hogwarts. Harry wondered if the true secret of the Armor was Antioch had figured a way to bend and stretch the dragon and basilisk scales to keep the Armor sleek without compromising the tensile strength and inherent magic resistance. That and keeping others from detecting such a powerful magical artifact. Given Voldemort's power, Harry had to wonder if Ignotus had helped Antioch with ways to keep the Armor's power hidden. Certainly the lately departed Lord Voldemort hadn't twigged to the armor which set him up to shuffle off life's mortal coil at last.
Harry smirked to himself; Voldemort was a late evil wizard who had run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible. He was (dare he think it?) an ex-Dark Lord.
All jokes aside, Harry mentally ran through his memories from Voldemort as he held the yew wand tightly. While incapable of possessing him, the newly christened Serpent's Wand gave Harry a better feeling of what had been Tom Riddle. Su Li had felt it would and Hermione, Marilyn and Daphne's arithmatic work had predicted it. So, as he had said to Luna, he felt the plan created over the dark days of February had a better chance of working.
Harry took a deep breath and then began to continue down the stairs to an antechamber Harry would face the first challenge to his carefully crafted masquerade. Sure enough, after a wave of his wand, the door opened to find himself facing Isaac Avery, Voldemort's majordomo.
"My lord? Did everything go well?" Avery asked in a tone one half suspicious and another curious. It probably didn't help that Harry had Voldemort's hood drawn such that his face was concealed.
"Unexpected is how it went, Avery. And now I find myself in new waters," Harry said quietly. Even with Harry being used to the cadence of Voldemort's speech, he couldn't hide that now he was using Tom's original body and not the magically created abomination that Luna had carried away for further study.
"My lord?" Avery repeated as he fingered his wand.
Harry held up a hand, "Don't. All shall be explained. I need you to call the Inner Circle; I don't want to repeat myself. Additionally, you all need to know first before the rest can be told. It would be too easy for the rabble to misinterpret the gift Fate has bestowed upon us."
Avery didn't move and Harry could feel the other wizard's aura crawling on his.
With a quick flip, Harry brought up his wand, "Avery; do I have to curse you into doing your sworn duty? I told you, I would explain. Bad enough how Bellatrix will act, but I'd rather not have to punish you as well." Harry pushed as much menace into his aura as he could.
Avery blinked and stammered, "I don't understand…how?"
Harry gave out the sibilant laugh that had taken many hours of practice to get right, "The how is not as important as the why, my trusted companion. Summon the Inner Circle; for as unexpected as today has been, you will learn we are closer to victory than even I could ever imagine."
Avery still hesitated before shaking his head and turning to gather the Inner Circle. Harry followed him out and went to the chamber that served as Voldemort's throne room for a wont of a better term. Harry smiled to himself as he once again felt Voldemort's wards and other spellwork respond to him as if he was the Dark Lord.
Which is what Luna had said he would become. Harry wondered if Luna had realized how accurate her previous predictions would be?
Harry sat on Voldemort's gilded thrown until the Inner Circle arrived. Luckily all of them were available given they all were either Azkaban escapees or those who had to pretend to leave the country to avoid exposure on the Wizengamot or various Ministry positions. None of them wore their masks, but all knelt when the final wizard (Lucius) arrived.
Harry let them kneel in silence for a full minute, 'Rise and be seated, my most loyal of Death Eaters. We have much to discuss for Fate has favored us.
While most of the Death Eaters immediately complied, Bellatrix shot to her feet, "Deceiver!" she cried and her wand shot out of her wand holster…
…only to have the Cruciatus curse strike her breasts.
Harry kept the curse up for a few seconds before lifting it. Given what he knew now, Harry had no trouble finding the hate to drive the spell. Even if much of it wasn't directed at Bellatrix specifically. "Bella, my sweet Bellatrix. Must I always have to punish you? Must you always fight me even as you profess the deepness of your loyalty? I am your Dark Lord and my Mark is burned into your very soul. I am your Master! And you will sit down. And you will keep silent! Or by the Mark, I shall scribe pain unto your soul the likes of which you cannot imagine! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" Harry roared as he stood and pushed as much magic as he could into his aura.
Harry was gratified that not only did Bellatrix throw herself onto the floor in prostration, the other Death Eaters did as well.
"Let us start out with what should be obvious to witches and wizards of your caliber. I've undergone some changes." Harry threw back the cowl of his cloak before tossing it completely onto the arm of his throne. The room was filled with gasps. Some more shocked than others given a few of the Death Eaters present, like Rookwood, had gone to school with Riddle.
Harry waved for 'his' followers to return to their chairs. He then began to slowly pace up and down the semi-circle of chairs, making eye contact with them one by one. "All of you present know about my horcruxes. Or at least you know they were items precious to me; items not to be squandered like Lucius did."
Harry glared at the wizard who looked like he'd just woken up from a week's bender. Lucius hunched in on himself till Harry smiled at him. "Yet, even in the face of that fiasco, Fate once again shows why I, Lord Voldemort, will prevail. I told you all that I had a feeling that I knew who the writer of letter requesting a meeting might be. And I was right…just not exactly in the form I was expecting. For I doubt any of you would expect that the person who wrote me turn out to be Harry Potter."
He was shocked that unlike a typical Wizengamot session, none of the Death Eaters jumped up and started yelling. Perhaps the Chief Warlock should use the Cruciatus more to keep order, Harry couldn't help but think.
With a theatrical wave of his hand, Harry continued, "Yes, my nemesis that Fate herself had set against me. Or so we all thought. The truth is far more delicious. For you see, I believe the prophecy Severus brought me was a mere ruse by the Headmaster. That whatever Trelawney did predict pushed Dumbledore to lay a trap for me. But it seems Fate does not like having Her insights abused in such a way. So, Harry Potter showed me tonight that even the fake prophecy that Dumbledore leaked to Severus, the one he told his most loyal followers to give them hope. That prophecy was fulfilled back in 1981. For you see, that night, I killed Harry Potter."
It wasn't the laughter that took some work, but Voldemort's smug smile. Harry hoped he nailed it now. "Yes. My body was lost, trapping me into a life of shadow and vapor. However, my Dark Mark fueled me and I returned, but that is only one half of the story," Harry said with the smugness he remembered Riddle having in the Chamber of Secrets. For all Voldemort's power, he really had acted like a campy telly show villain.
He was happy to see most of the Death Eaters were hanging on his words like children listening to a before-bed story. Only a few like Rookwood, the former Unspeakable, had a calculating look on their faces. Still, Harry could tell they were willing to listen. "I hit the little brat with the Killing Curse and it did it's job. I cast down the Ancient and Most Noble House of Potter. With one spell, Harry Potter joined his parents that night in Death's embrace. But I have gone farther than any wizard to avoid such a fate. This and the fact I had intended to use Potter's death to complete my immortality plan meant that a small part of my soul broke off as I was disembodied. Small but still Lord Voldemort who refuses to bow down to Death!"
Harry made another grandiose gesture that would have made Lockhart proud before beginning to pace again, "No, this piece of me and my power entered into the now soulless body of Harry Potter and merged with it. Merged with it on a level so basic and low as to be almost non-existent. This proved to be fortuitous given that the family magicks of House Potter were fooled into thinking the last scion of the House still lived."
Voldemort looked over to see Rookwood looking at him with disbelief on his face, "How, my dear Rookwood? Who can say? Was it my innate drive to conquer? Was it my link to Potter given I am descended from Antioch Peverell just as he was descended from Ignotus Peverell? For all my strength and skill in the ways of magic, I know there are powers above mine. Perhaps they did not wish to see the Ancient and Most Noble House of Potter to be lost like so many other noble lines. For whatever reason, the soul shard survived. Thus Potter was crowned the Boy-Who-Lived. However, the truth he was the Boy-Who-Forgot."
"Ah! Oh, yes! I see, my lord!" Rookwood said in a voice tight with excitement. The other Death Eaters, however, were still confused."
Harry laughed again. Voldemort like to gloat and this seemed to be a good gloating moment, 'Yes, while the sliver of myself survived, it had lost it sense of who it really was. I'm sure it didn't help that a piece of my soul was now in a 15-month-old toddler. No matter. The boy was taken by Dumbledore and cast into the Muggle world. There he was raised and subsequently abused by his Muggle relatives who hated magic. Safe behind the Blood Wards the Headmaster adapted from whatever damnable ritual destroyed my body."
"I'm sure everyone acting like he was Harry Potter helped," Avery said slowly as he rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
"Yes. As any politician knows; tell a lie long enough and it almost becomes the truth," Harry said.
"But Master, obviously something changed? Why did it take so long," Lucius asked in a voice that showed he was surprised that he had spoken up.
"Funny you should be the one to ask that, Malfoy. It was your foolish action with the my diary which inadvertently started the process off. Again, my soul refused to die when its vessel was destroyed. Of course in the case of the Chamber, it helped that Harry Potter was there to give it a home. Then later, two more critical events happened. The first was that I was traveling when Dumbledore, that bumbling fool, destroyed one of my horcruxes. Thus Harry Potter was closer than I. Again, my soul refused to move on but it took up a body again. Then, I moved to possess Harry during the fight at the Ministry. Now I know the reason why it ended so badly for me for I was trying to defeat myself."
Harry stopped pacing and went back up and sat down on Voldemort's throne. "The exposure to my mind lit a fire in all that is Voldemort in Harry Potter. Before today, I had worried that Potter's new power, poise and polish was due to him inadvertently getting a copy of many of my memories. The truth is, Harry Potter already had those memories for he is me. And recently he finally realized that his life was a lie and he was part of something greater.
Harry looked over to Bellatrix. She was always the one the coven warned to watch. If he could convince the likes of Rookwood with a good story and get Bellatrix to accept why her lord felt like his enemy, then they had won. So far, Bellatrix look at him adoringly, her bosom heaving with excitement. Of course Narcissa had said that Bellatrix had coveted the Dark Lord sexually and Harry knew that after his rebirth, Voldemort had not had any desire (or ability) to grant her dark desires. Seeing Voldemort, even as an 18-year-old, was certainly giving her enough hopes to finally service her Dark Lord. Harry felt her could pull it off if she kept focus on this and not brooding and trying to pick holes in his story.
"Hear me, my loyal Death Eaters, for much has changed. I met with "my brother" and we have come to an agreement. Let us call him Tom for old time's sake. Tom knew the story he told was hard to believe. He gave up his wand and invited me into his mind. I scoured it from top to bottom and found that it was true. We traded plans and future movements against the enemies of Voldemort. However, due to constraints upon Harry's magic, Tom needed to strengthen the link between us. A gesture of good faith as well as a needed boost to keep the Headmaster from suspecting."
Harry gestured to his face, "It took the sacrifice of my beloved Nagini to forge this bond. But Tom got the power he needed. Yet it did have the unintended effect of altering my form back to when I was young again. But do not doubt that while my face and form is of who I was back in 1945, I am still the dread Lord Voldemort. Cheater of Death and keeper of dark secrets. My power remains unstoppable. Does any of you dare challenge me? Or does the whiff of Harry Potter's magics make you think I am not your Master?"
Once again, the Death Eaters leapt up and prostrated themselves before him. Harry had to say, it was a bit of a kick to see it. He could see how Dark Wizards got big egos and went off the rails if their minions never talked back.
"Rise! All of you! Avery, come here!" Harry gestured to the wizard's left arm. Voldemort's majordomo quickly bared it to reveal the Dark Mark. Harry pressed the Serpent Wand into the Mark and with a whisper in Parseltongue, called the rest of the Death Eaters to him.
"Know this, my faithful. While the plans have changed, my so-called brother Tom has already set in motion plans that I had not thought of. He has created a coven of 16 right under the Headmaster's crooked nose! Just as I created two of my horcruxes while he suspected nothing! Tom and I have plans that are a departure from my previous plots. Yet I would be a fool to deny the opportunity that Fate itself has so graciously bestowed upon me. I expect obedience from you. I expect you to enforce my will. The time for pandering to old superstitions is over. The world hangs in the balance and I will not let any old dogma and traditions get in my way of total domination of all. Is that clear?"
"Yes my lord!" All the Inner Circle all but shouted out.
"I must say, my lord, I am surprised that went as well as it did," Avery said cautiously as he and a few others of the Inner Circle watched the rest of the Death Eaters begin to go back to wherever they had been summoned from..
Harry laughed. Now that Voldemort's Inner Circle knew the so-called truth, Harry felt it was okay to just be a bit more like himself. The idea that in stabilizing "Tom" meant that part of what was supposedly Harry Potter had transferred to Voldemort seemed to be accepted by the Death Eaters.
"I have cheated Death in ways no other wizard has accomplished before. Now the enemy who has been raised up to defeat me turns out to be another aspect of my power. The rabble know the winning side when they see it."
"Even so, my lord. It is one thing to shout approval to your face. It is another thing to give up Muggle killing or accepting your disdain of the Pureblood tradition," Avery pointed out.
Harry shrugged, "My Mark is on their souls. I don't care if they curse my name from dawn to dusk. My pathetic father was a Muggle. My mother's line leeched down into being barely above a squib. And what am I? The most powerful wizard since Merlin! And the people need to realize what I've known since I was a child; the Muggles outnumber us. The Muggles continue to advance and I believe faster than the ICW can adjust for. One mistake during the Cold War and London and our government, Diagon Alley and many of our great Houses would have disappeared into radioactive ash on the wind. No; it is high time they realized that the world has been changing around them. I will force them to do so, if necessary."
Harry watched as the last of the Death Eaters left, leaving only a few of the Inner Circle. Harry motioned for Lucius to come over. The head of House Malfoy seemed to have recovered a bit from earlier, but even so still looked a far cry from his old, polished self.
"Lucius, my slippery friend; it seems fortuitous that I did not give into my wrath and make you an inferi. Your blunder has turned idiocy into greatness. And your recent failures were the result of an aspect of myself. It would be wrong to take you to task to being bested by your better, by your master.
Lucius knelt and kissed the hem of Harry's robes, "Thank you Master!"
Harry still couldn't restrain himself from slightly kicking Malfoy, "Get up! You are a member of the Inner Circle! I do not need toadies and sycophants! Now to business. Obviously, you will not move against Harry Potter. In the fullness of time, I shall merge with my brother and we shall bring about and end to the curse between your houses. And get yourself a wife! Narcissa is now Potter's and will remain so after we merge. You are no use to me without an heir!"
Rookwood cleared his throat, "My lord, will it be possible to get access to the work Potter's coven has done? I am intrigued by it. I know my understanding of Muggle biological science is not where I'd like it to be, but the implications are intriguing."
Harry waved dismissively at Rookwood, "You Ravenclaws; always sniffing at data! Yes, I will send a message to my brother for it. But again, you need to get a wife as well. There are over 6 billion Muggles out there and we need every magical body we can get."
Avery made a face, "It is your due, my lord, but jus primae noctis?"
Harry laughed, "With all the whoring and mistresses, do you honestly think this will be a problem? Did you see any refusals when I told my followers that any of their girls older than 15 are called to my bed? Of course not! The honor of carrying the lineage of my line and power trumps any traditions that they might cling to."
Avery looked unsure before shrugging, "It is as you say, my lord. I just worry that with the whole plan for us to go out to the Muggle world and go to this Isis Foundation that Potter is creating. Well, it is a lot to take in."
Before Harry could respond, he was surprised the dour Thorfinn Rowle spoke up, "Forgive me, my lord, but there has been…tension in the ranks. Avery is right to worry." Rowle turned to Avery, "But your wrong to worry. I was watching. Our Lord reborn into the face of his youth. His enemy who has seemingly been defeating him again and again turns out to be just another aspect of our Lord's power. How the Light and Grey are binding themselves to Harry Potter, thinking him to be their savior. No. They may mutter and scowl but they are reborn in the knowledge that our lord's victory is assured."
Harry smirked, "People love a winner. And I am about to win the grandest prize of all. Now, go. You have your assignments. There is much to do and many who are not Marked that will balk at the future I will create. Thorfinn, stay."
The remaining Inner Circle bowed. Harry watched them depart before turning to Rowle. He had to admit he could see why Tyra and many in her family were afraid of him. Harry really had only seen him from a distance during the whole Buckbeak affair. Up close, the wizard radiated coiled menace.
Thorfinn bowed his head, "My lord?"
Harry leaned back in his throne and clasped his hands together in front of him. "I have a task for you, Rowle. One that is not only dangerous, but many might see as seditious."
Thorfinn raised his head, a confused look on his face, "My lord? I do not understand."
"My brother has played the part of Harry 'the Chosen One' Potter well. The goblins believe he is the focus of an old prophecy. Therefore they conspire with him to change the order of Britain."
Thorfinn's face turned into a mask of murderous rage, "They dare!"
Harry waved off the wizards' anger with a dismissive wave, "Calm yourself, Rowle. Of course the little wretches conspire and plot against their betters. They don't realize that their savior they hope to defeat their foe is just as much of their foe as I am. But we must play the part. I will send you the names of the Death Eaters I want on a team you will head up. At the designated time, you will destroy a critical Battle Tower."
Thorfinn went pale. The Battle Towers were sprinkled throughout the island. All tied into wards which not only kept watch on the goblins but help prevent them from tunneling without detection. They were the main reason there hadn't been a goblin rebellion in over a century. "But my lord! Without the towers, the goblins will revolt!"
Harry leaned forward, an evil smile on his lips, "Yes they will. And that's exactly what we want them to do. Why try to prune the burgeoning army the goblins have been breeding below since the last war in their dens? No! Let them come and let them loose their war cries and brandish their goblin steel. And when they pounce, thirsty for wizard blood, my inferi will be there to meet them. For now that my foe, Harry Potter, is me; well…I hardly need an army of the undead to take the Ministry? I will be able to vote myself in! More so if I am the one that beat back the hated goblins. Instead of an ECMS or ICW intervention, I will be congratulated. But to do this, some of the towers had to come down and it must look like the goblins did it. Can I count on you to make this happen, Rowle?"
While not a Muggle soldier, Thorfinn all but clicked his heels and saluted as he straightened and beat a fist against his heart, "It shall be done, my lord! It will be an honor to bring those little galleon counting beasts to heel."
Harry nodded graciously, "And for your effort, I will ensure you are part of the clean up team. I would not deny a wizard of your caliber the hunt you will have earned."
Thorfinn knelt and bowed his head, "Thank you my lord! I will not fail you!"
"Go now; I will send you the information needed when the time is right. Your task now is to work on how to bring the Tower down and make it look like a goblin attack. If you need help, do not hesitate to ask." Harry laughed, "I can even have my brother's coven work on it. He has bound witches to him that would do it for the fun of a difficult theoretical exercise."
Thorfinn bowed his head again and left.
Harry sat there for a moment. So far, everything had worked out perfectly. The Inner Circle had bought the story of hook, line and sinker. Of course it played into their world view and bias but the "taint" of Harry Potter's aura had been the biggest point that could have sunk the scheme. However, between the face, Voldemort's wand and his obvious control of the Mark was enough to sway them.
Harry smirked. Avery had been right. It had gone smoothly. The larger group of Death Eaters had mostly just lapped up all the good parts and (seemingly) accepted the bad parts. Still, it would be interesting to see how many Death Eaters would be able to convincingly pretend to be Muggles for as long as it took to get to the future Isis Foundation lab that was set to open in April. Magical sperm donations along with eggs and then fertility clinic would begin covertly creating more Magicals with none the wiser.
Then there was his taking a page out of the movies with his initiation of Droit du seigneur. He knew Muggle historians felt the right of kings to be first to bed a woman prior to her husband was a myth. Magical Britain on the other hand? The Death Eaters had lapped it up like starving dogs. As Thorfinn had said, they seemed happy to pimp out their wives, sisters and daughters into his bed. Of course they thought they were helping continue the Gaunt line before he merged with Potter.
Harry frowned. He hoped that the blood in Voldemort's corpse was still viable for a blood test. Given the goblins desire for Harry's help, he hoped he could wheedle a blood inheritance test out of them. Who knew what secrets were on Voldemort's family tree?
Of course this meant that for the foreseeable future, Harry was going to be bedding a lot of witches. Many of which would be older and probably as odious as the late Walpurga Black. Luckily for him, he had some 'micro-doses' of lust potion that Lilith and Daphne had made. Instead of a vial, these came in a substance not dissimilar to the gel used in many Muggle pills. Their small size made it easier for him to use without being seen. Harry was glad for them because while his limited metamorphmagic powers made it easier for him to get it up, he still was subject to desire or turn-offs as anyone. This was even more so now that his aura was almost completely synched due to the calming effects of the coven bonds.
Speaking of which, Harry reached into his cloak and took out one of the doses and swallowed it. He made his way towards Voldemort's chambers. He already knew what he was almost assuredly would find there. With a wave of the Serpent Wand, Harry entered the chamber to find exactly what he expected.
Bellatrix was stretched out on the bed wearing what Harry felt must be considered sexy lingerie by the conservative Magicals. Even so, Harry had to admit she was fetching and he probably didn't need the dose to get hard. But as Ginny had proved, crazy was a turn-off hard to ignore.
"My lord! I've waited so long!' Bellatrix said in a sultry voice.
"And such loyalty deserves a reward," Harry said as he went into the bathroom to change. He hid the Armor of Might in a cupboard before going back to the bed nude. Remembering what Luna had said, he motioned for Bellatrix to move over and he laid down on the bed on his back.
Bellatrix quickly moved on top of him, grinding her sex against his erection. "I am, as always, yours, my lord!" the witch growled out in a husky tone.
"Then please me, faithful Bellatrix. Show me the depths of your devotion to your lord," Harry said from half-open eyes. Her body and especially her breasts were enticing. The fanatical look in her eye was less so.
Bellatrix laughed with happiness as she reached down to guide Harry's cock into her. She began to slowly and lasciviously rock back and forth, "Your will be done, my lord!"
Harry laid back and thought of many thing, England among them, as the witch cackled in delight as she rode him into the night.
Author's Note the First: I tried to get this out yesterday, but I ended up taking a break. Cranking out the equivalent of a third of HP and the Philosopher's Stone is a lot of work.
Author's Notes the Second: As always, I just love getting reviews were people seem to taunt me about not reading my author's notes or how they skim "filler chapters" – Well don't come crying to me when you miss important plot points and the various Chekov guns which are going to be firing off here more and more.
Jus primae noctis / Droit du seigneur: Those of you who have seen the movie Braveheart know what's going on here. For everyone else, supposedly at one time, a king could get first crack at a woman on her wedding night. As mentioned above, this concept has mostly been debunked.