Disclaimer: Don't own Harry Potter. It belongs to Rowling.
Author's Note: I give my most grateful thanks to those kind enough to take the time out of their day to review my most humble work.
Once again, sorry for the long delay, the muses were on strike.
Continuing Note: A general timeline shift is in effect. All dates are a decade later than canon. Therefore the current date in story is Sunday October 31, 2004 as opposed to the canon Monday October 31, 1994.
Chapter I: Geis
Harry muttered a few choice curses in Japanese as he slipped his wands into their holsters of black dragon leather, which hung from his belt, just below the small of his back. His eyes continued to flicker everywhere, though they kept being dragged back to the enchanted object that had dragged him across an ocean, and probably bound him to compete in one of the two most violent past times that the European Wizarding World had.
One was the Dueling Circuit, and the other was the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
Patting down his pockets, obviously looking for something, he turned to the Headmaster and said, rather belligerently, "Alright Dumbledore, you'd better have a damn good answer as to why I just got my arse dragged across the bleeding Atlantic Ocean, or so help me, you'll be slapped with so many lawsuits you won't know up from down!"
The Headmaster blinked several times before he gently said, "Harry, my boy..."
Harry let out a soft 'ah-ha' before, turning to Dumbledore and interrupting the venerable wizard, "Take your grandfatherly condensation, turn it sideways, and stuff it up your arse old man," he said as he pulled a length of fine chain from a pocket, and it looped through a pair of simple looking rings. One was of a blood red gold the other of some black metal, though both were imbedded with different Celtic designs. He idly slipped the rings off the chain and onto the first two fingers of his right hand.
The old man's voice hardened as he spoke, "There is no need for impertinence, Harry."
"Of course there is old man. I haven't given you permission to be familiar with me, and as I said, I was just yanked over three thousand miles away from my home," he held up the hand he had just put the rings on, palm inward and only the first two fingers extended into the two-fingered salute, and the rings gave off soft sparks. "I can only assume you have yet to go senile and know just how much hell I can raise by being able to wear two Primary Heir rings from Ancient Houses, and you still haven't answered my question!"
It was likely that it was only though more than a century of controlling his emotions that Dumbledore did not start yelling at Harry Potter then and there.
Continuing in his grandfatherly and patronizing tone, Dumbledore said, "Your name came out of the Goblet of Fire."
There was a half minute of silence, the Great Hall having been shocked into it by both the sudden arrival of the Boy-Who-Lived and his behavior, as Harry held out for Dumbledore to elucidate on his nine word explanation.
He finally got tired of waiting.
"That's it? 'My name came out of the Goblet of Fire'," he mocked, "You've been held unaccountable by too many people for far too long if you think that is suitable explanation Dumbledore. Now if the Goblet, which every party involved in the Tournament has always held is a means of creating and enforcing a Magical Contract, was actually that, I wouldn't be standing here! Now, I am going to be exercising my rights as an Heir to an Ancient House and am going to examine the magical object which as assaulted me and quite possibly bound me against my will."
All eyes in the room had been going back and forth between the teen and the old man, like watching some kind of demented tennis match, and all eyes turned back to the Headmaster, "Now Harry I don't think..."
Harry interrupted again, "I still haven't given you permission to be familiar with me. And I will be examining the Goblet of Fire, or your name will be added to the charges of assault and binding."
Dumbledore was finally brought to a cold stop by that. He could easily get away with any charge of assault, he was too secure in the government in too many places to be brought low by something so trivial, but binding an Heir to one House, let alone two, against his will was something not ever he could walk away from unscathed. It was something that could be closely linked with Line Theft, and century long feuds that exterminated families tended to follow the leveling of that particular charge.
"Of course, if you would just go through that door and wait with the other Champions..."
"I am not complying with anything having to do with the Tournament until after I have examined the Goblet. I could only be in the initial stages of whatever it is that will hold me to compete, and any compliance would be seen as accepting whatever binding it is. You should know this, Headmaster, or maybe you are starting to go senile in your old age. I assume any of your professors, besides Snape that is, can see me to a place where I can work and put me into contact with an elf that can get me supplies, as I obviously wasn't expecting to travel."
Dumbledore let out a barely perceptible sigh and said, "Of course, Mr. Potter, of course. Professor McGonagall if you would kindly show Mr. Potter to a place where he may examine the item in question. I shall inform the other Champions of this... irregularity and that they may be required to wait for a while..."
The Deputy Headmistress got up from the Head Table and gestured for Harry to follow her out of the Hall. He snatched the Goblet up and exited after her.
As soon as they were clear of the Hall and out of earshot of anyone within, she asked crisply, "Did you really so impertinent?"
"Yes. I will never trust Dumbledore. I am not wasting politeness on him either. He attempted to place me with a man and woman who hated my mother for being a witch, and he attempted to steal my sister from my family. I will refuse to play his games by his rules at every turn. Now, I'll need a surface to work on, any size will do so long as the room will easily accommodate something three feet wide and eight feet long."
She nodded, and had led Harry off to a room with a table larger than what he needed. He gestured leisurely with left hand and the table shrunk to the dimensions he had mentioned earlier. While he was doing this, Minerva called out, "Slipsy!"
A female House-Elf appeared with a crack, gave McGonagall a curtsy, and asked, "Yes, Deputy Headmistress?"
"Mr. Potter has need of somethings, if you would please..."
The elf turned her eyes to Harry and waited.
"Thank you. I need a least a cup of ink, by volume. A ceramic basin or bowl capable of holding thrice that much, if not more. I need something copper that I can take filings from, nickle too if possible. I'll also need a fountain pen and an ink well, along with at least three dozen sheets of parchment, probably more."
The elf disappeared after giving another quick curtsy, and McGonagall decided to strike up some conversation. Harry had removed his cloak and hung it over one of the chairs in the room.
"So, Luna told me that you, her father, Remus, and her went Jackalope hunting during June," she said with a soft smile.
Harry started chuckling as the elf popped back in to deposit a common fountain pen and simple clear glass inkwell on the table, "Jackalopes are quite well known in American Magical Society... though apparently the same cannot be said for Britain... It was nice to go out camping and not have it turn into a survival exercise."
Still chuckling he picked up the inkwell with his right hand as he drew a wand with his left. Spinning the wand around the object, watching carefully as he magically carved runes for a symbolically cast spacial expansion charm on its interior and runes for half of a transference spell on the exterior. Nodding, he gripped the inkwell more tightly in his hands and the runes flared to life on the inside before the glass became hazy and opaque.
While he was doing this Slipsy had popped in and out a few times, depositing a few very large jars of ink, a plain looking white ceramic wash basin, and an old copper potion knife. Idly tapping the fountain pen and he quickly transfigured it into the likeness of another fountain pen he was intimately familiar with, including the runes for the second half of the transference spell.
He then picked up the knife as Professor McGonagall spoke again, "Nobody ever spoke about specific instructors you learned from. Your Transfiguration is easily at N.E.W.T.s level, who taught you?"
"Swetaketu Suresh," Harry replied simply as he repeatedly tapped the copper knife, grains of some powder dropping off as he slowly removed impurities from the metal. Nodding to himself he tapped the knife one more time as this time he held it over the basin, and a portion of it dissolved into a fine dust that dropped into the container.
Minerva McGonagall simply watched Harry work for a few minutes as she contemplated someone younger than forty, who did not hold at least not grade N.E.W.T.s, studying under one of the most potent wielders of Transfiguration in the world.
As he was directing ink into the basin, she found her voice again and asked, "Just how did he teach you to make you so effective at it after... how long did you study under the Grand Master?"
"Close to seven years of four hour sessions five days a week. And he taught by example, and exemplification of visualization, will, and practice. There were never any of the crutches that normal students of Transfiguration are taught with. No complex sets of wand motions nor intensive strings of Dog Latin, in order supplement less than adequate visualization or transference of will into magic. Just visualizing the change, or for conjuration, creation, of what you want, magically enforcing your will to make it so, and then properly directing the will infused magic. It was hard, but on my International O-Level for Transfiguration, my practical was borderline M."
She was one again struck dumb, and went back to watching Harry work, though he was now holding his wand against his wrist and was apparently bracing himself for something. That something became clear when he pulled the wand away and a large glob of blood came with it.
Panting slightly, Harry said in a hitched voice, "I'm glad I was able to get the copper, or else I would have needed three times the blood to give the ink the proper potency... Though I wish I had could have gotten the nickel, I would have only needed half as much blood... My normal inks don't have anywhere near as much blood as this, a tithe of the amount at most."
He dropped the blood into the ink mixture and gestured at it with his free hand, so that it began stirring itself. Slipsy had at some point delivered the asked for parchment, which Harry made a number of quick motions with his wand, spreading the sheets onto the table and then binding them into one massive swath of paper.
She continued to watch for forty-five minutes as Harry then inked out a massively complicated array completely by hand and eye. Even the Castle's resident Runes Mistress used guides of some kind, and Bathsheda Babbling was one of the premier names in the craft in Britain that was outside of those in Gringotts's employ.
When he finished inking the array, Harry dropped into a chair and rested for a few moments.
The Transfiguration Mistress of Hogwarts had never seen Runes worked with this level of complexity, and so asked, "Mr. Potter, would you mind if I got one of my colleagues to look this over... I'm really curious as to what she would make of this."
Harry nodded distractedly, "Sure, I need a few minutes to rest anyway. I don't like empowering arrays when my thinking is fuzzy. Do you think you could get an elf to get me something from the Kitchens, ma'am?"
"Of course, Mr. Potter. Slispy?" The elf from before appeared and after a few hushed words, popped away as the Professor left the room.
Five minutes later Professors McGonagall and Babbling walked back into the room, to see Harry just finishing up a stew from a bowl that was on a tray floating in front of him. Seeing the two adults walk in, he grinned and stood, grabbing the tray and setting it on the chair he had just vacated. Babbling rushed over to the Array and practically cooed over.
The Runes Mistress of Hogwarts appeared to be in her mid to later thirties, had wavy long brown hair and rounded joyful features with bright gray eyes. As she circled the table, she called out, "This Ackley's A-Level Array for Divining the Features of Enchanted Objects?"
"My own modification of Allheart's S-Level derivation, but yes, that is the base of the array."
"I've never seen the original or any of the alterations in their complete forms, but I know that the original only used Norse, Celtic, and Gaelic characters. Allheart's added Sumerian and... Hittite I think it was..."
"Ahh, yes, I've never been as familiar with the two as I wished I could be. I assume the Egyptian and Aztec characters are your own addition?"
"Yes, I found an object that overloaded all the other derivations, so I had to build on the one that could take the heaviest load."
"If my first glance is right, this array would probably receive a U-Level ranking, if not an outright X. Are you sure someone of your age should be playing with Rune Arrays of these levels?"
"I assume you keep abreast of the International Masters Roll?"
"You know the name that isn't really a name on it? That's me."
"You're the Unnamed Master?"
Sighing, Professor McGonagall interrupted, "Bathsheda, if you would please?"
"Ah, yes, sorry Minerva, I've just never really worked with or seen complete arrays of this level of intricacy. It is one of the most complex rune workings I have ever seen. But that isn't really saying much, my Mastery is a British teaching Mastery, and that doesn't really stand up to those who go and get theirs for original research and composition at an International level..."
"Ladies, if you are ready, I'd like to fire up the array now. I want to know what in Hades this Goblet has bound me with..."
He placed the Goblet, which had long since gone out, in the center of the array and then laid his fingers as various points along one of the edges. Taking a deep breath, he started slowly pushing magic into the rune construct. There were first a few glimmers, soft lights that could almost be ignored as tricks played by the torchlight of the castle. Then the array started to glow with a gentle blue light. The light intensified over the course of the next ninety seconds until they could barely stand to look at it. Then arcs of electricity started rising into the air from the array. Three minutes after activating the array, the light show died down and Harry slumped against the table.
He weakly muttered, "I both hate and love this monster of an array. Oh so useful, and such an energy hog..."
He pushed himself up and walked over to a corner of the sheet of parchment where a piece of it the size and shape of standard letter size paper was filled with something written in English. He idly detached the section from the reset with a wandless spell, before Vanishing the array with a simple gesture.
Professor Babbling pouted and said, "I was hoping to study it..."
Rolling his eyes as he read the sheet of parchment, Harry replied, "Tough, one of the primary active ingredients in any runic ink worth its name is the blood of the one who is going to power it. And it takes a fool to leave that kind of sympathetic component laying around..."
He paled as he finished reading, cursed, and read it again, while reaching out for one of the extra jars of ink and sheets of parchment. Cursing again, he copied the page onto three other sheets of parchment before Vanishing it too.
He quickly grabbed up the fountain pen before quickly pulling his wand and Transfiguring it again, the new pen being similar in structure, but was almost bone white in color. He signed his name at the bottom left corner of one of the sheets, the newly Transfigured pen writing out his full name in blood, before casting two dozen various protection and preservation spells on it. He then folded it into the shape of an envelope and then transfigured the parchment itself into a seal, and then casting a few more spells on it. He threw his cloak back on and slipped the envelope into a pocket in it, while idly flicking his wand out and vanishing the unused ink.
"I think it is time for me to join the Champions, Professor. There is going to be no getting out of this for me."
As Harry and Professor McGonagall walked into the room off of the now empty Great Hall, they found three irate champions, two angry school heads, two Ministry fools, a serene looking old man, and a snarky, greasy haired git.
Harry came to a stop and bluntly said, while gesturing at the man, "Just what is he doing here? The trim on the Hogwarts student's robes indicates he is a Hufflepuff, not a Slytherin, so unless some position has been created between Head of House and Deputy Head, Professor Sprout has more of a place here than him!"
"Potter, you are arrogant..."
"Just like my father?" Harry asked blandly, before twisting his wrist and flaring out the fingers of his empty left hand. A bolt of semi-translucent energy suddenly leapt from the palm of Harry's hand, catching everyone in the room, including Snape who it struck, by surprise. The man it hit was affected by a combination Inversion Hex, Sticking Charm, and Silencing Spell, and so he now found himself laying on his back, stuck to the ceiling, soundlessly yelling at the fourteen year old who dared show him such disrespect. Harry stared at Snape rather emotionlessly, and gently said, "If you cannot say anything constructive, don't say anything at all. After all, I know exactly why Sirius and Remus are still friends after what my father had to do to save your life.
"Sorry about that," Harry said as he turned to the rest of the rooms occupants, "now I most want to apologize to you three," he gestured towards the three other Champions with his right hand, which held the Goblet of Fire, "for stealing your proverbial thunder. I don't want to be here or compete in this cursed Tournament."
The Champions seemed to have to resist the urge to step out of the way when he pointed the magical object at them.
Harry pushed onward, "But I don't really have a choice because this," he held up the Goblet and shook it back and forth, "is, according to my preliminary findings, a Class X cursed object," there were appropriate gasps of shock from two of the school Heads, Professor McGonagall, and surprisingly from the Durmstrang student, who Harry recognized as one of the youngest International Quidditch Players in the world, Viktor Krum. He was a tall young man, with a thin build, and sallow skin. He had a large curved nose with dark hair and eyes. One of the Ministry clowns looked confused while the other remained passive.
The young woman from Beauxbatons, who seemed to be a part Veela or some similar kind of nymph descendant, having the typical ethereal beauty and blonde hair of the kind, asked, in a thick French accent, "And just what is a Class X cursed object."
Krum grunted and ground out in heavily accented and broken English, "It is a killer. Used, whether improperly or correctly, it will make people dead. Just what makes young teen think that the object is a Class X?"
"Because, all four of us are now bound by a Geis," this time everyone in the room paled at the mention of just what magic was used, "What the Geis is exactly, I don't rightly know, as I was looking for the broad information on the Goblet, rather than the fine details. I do know that all the Geis needs to take hold is either the person's own signature, or a full name written out by someone else, and that failure to fulfill the Geis is punishable by death. Which is why my recommendation to place the Goblet of Fire on the ICW's Board for Magical Artifacts List of Dangerous Objects is going out as soon as humanly possible."
Dumbledore's eyes widened by a fraction at the mention of that course of action. He could not allow such a powerful magical object be destroyed because some were afraid of its power. For all his sway in the international community, he still hadn't been able to derail the ICW mandate on the destruction of all Class X objects. "Now, Harry, my boy..."
Harry's eyes flashed as he rounded on the Headmaster, "Now just what is it I have said several times this evening about familiarity, Dumbledore?"
Blinking, and finally caught off guard by Harry's repeatedly ignoring is grandfatherly persona and vehemence, Dumbledore simply said, "To not to."
"And I seriously doubt that the vast majority of the people in this room are going to let you get away with keeping the dangerous and deadly magical object from being destroyed. Now can we get on with whatever introduction to these dangerous and bloody games."
One of the Ministry stooges came forth, he looked like a powerfully built man gone to seed, 'Sirius had me memorize the names of just who the Department Heads in the Ministry were, and some of their notable features, this must be Ludo Bagman, Head of Magical Games, so the other is most likely Bartemius Crouch Senior, Head of International Cooperation, and the man who sent Paddy to Azkaban without a trial,' and jovially said, "Well, as I said this is quite amazing, four Tri-Wizard champions! And the missing Boy-Who-Lived no less! Now, my associate, Mr. Crouch will explain just what is going to happen for the First Task."
"Yes, yes," Crouch said a few heartbeats later as he stepped into the light. The man was looking quite old, and there was a barely perceptible slur to his words. His eyes also had a barely glazed look to them. Harry blinked and was instantly on edge. Master Hop had drilled into him the telltale signs of a person under any number of Control Curses, including the British favorite, the Imperius. The signs for the Unforgivable were so slight as to be barely noticed, but they were there. With his paranoia going full blast, Harry just had to know whether the man was being controlled or just drunk on the job.
Harry took what he knew as Crouch's almost legendary talent for tongues, and spoke out in precise rapid fire French, "Just what is the First Task, Mr. Crouch?"
The man was brought up short for half a moment, before he pushed on, "We cannot tell you exactly what the First Task is, as it will be a test of your daring and ability to think under fire."
As Crouch took a breath, Harry spoke up again, asking in fluent Spanish, "Just when and where will the First Task be?"
There was a now noticeable pause as before Crouch said, a slur now recognizable in his voice, "The first task will take place on the Twenty-four of November in the Quidditch stadium here at Hogwarts."
"And just how will the Tasks be judged?" Harry asked in Cantonese as he continued to push the man.
There was a now a noticeable stutter after a few moments of silence, "Th-there is going to be a panel of five judges, the three Heads of each School, and two representatives from the British Ministry, each capable of awarding up to ten points."
Now in English, Harry said, "We need the DMLE here now. Mr. Crouch is under some dark curse that is controlling him. Likely the Imperius British dark wizards are so fond of..."
The room was shocked into silence, and only watched as Crouch quickly drew his wand before casting a sickly looking purple curse at Harry, who dodged to one side before whipping out his left leg in an arching kick, releasing a ribbon of red electric energy from the tip of his foot which Crouch attempted, and failed, to shield.
The man dropped like a puppet that had its strings cut. "Now, can someone please go get the Aurors? The Neural Disruption Stunner shuts down most Control Curses, but its never been tested against the Imperius."
It took ten minutes for the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement herself to get to the school, with a contingent of six Aurors. The statements were taken from the witnesses (otherwise known as the foreigners) and then were allowed to leave, Bagman was also questioned and then allowed to leave. When Harry was asked to let Snape down from the ceiling after they failed to remove his spells, he had said, "That man is the chief reason for the decline in Auror recruitment and Healer applications. If you want him down, you can do it yourself, or get Dumbledore to bring him down. I'm happy with him right where he is."
The seven people from the DMLE couldn't find themselves motivated to pry him off the ceiling, though they added a spell to keep sound from getting to him in addition to the one that enforced his silence.
Harry was questioned much more closely than any of the others, with Dawlish attempting to threaten him with Veritaserum. Harry had bluntly countered with the threat of Houses Potter and Black pulling what money they still had in Gringotts out all at once rather than the slow trickle that they had been removing for the past thirteen years, and causing a collapse of the British Magical Economy. That promptly shut Fudge's pet Auror up.
When Crouch was brought back to consciousness, a few charms found that he was not currently under the Imperius, but had been at some point within the last hour. He then started spilling his guts without even being dosed with Truth Potion.
He talked about how he had helped his son escape from Azkaban because of his late wife's insistence, and how he had kept Bartemius Crouch Junior under Imperious for almost thirteen years. He then talked about how Voldemort, with the aid of the now dirt poor and disgraced Lucius Malfoy, had found out about it from breaking a Memory Charm on Bertha Jorkins, and had come and freed his son while imprisoning him. He did not know what the Dark Lord's plans were, but that it involved replacing Alastor Moody with his son at Hogwarts.
After he finished singing like a canary as Harry put it (they had tried to get rid of him, but after he showed off his Heir rings and explained just how he viewed himself wronged, no one was willing to put the career on the line), the stunned and bound the man, before taking a page from Harry's book and sticking the man to the ceiling.
Harry idly thought about going with them, but trusted the Aurors to do their job, and so asked the Deputy Headmistress if the elves knew if there were any spare large mirrors in the castle.
Half an hour later as Harry had just finished carving a mass of runes around the outside two inches of the mirror, the Aurors and their boss came back in, levitating a stunned and bound Bartemius Crouch Junior, who shortly joined his father and Snape on the ceiling.
As the real Mad-Eye Moody limped into the room, looking extremely twitchy, Harry laid his palms against the glass of the mirror and muttered, 'Sanctuary'. The reflection in the mirror rippled for a moment before it dissolved and reformed into an image of a hallway with a few pictures hanging on the wall.
He then yelled, "Someone answer the bloody mirror! I've only got five minutes before the array ruins both the looking glass I am using and the one at home!"
A thirteen year old with dark hazel eyes, bordering on brown, and fiery red hair appeared moments later. She started talking immediately, "Harry, where in Merlin's staff are you? Everyone was starting to get worried."
"Get me an adult quick. If none are there, get Sirius. Do it, now Ginevra."
Her eyes widened slightly at her brother's use of her actual name, something he only did when he was very serious. The last time he had used it, he had been extremely hacked off from having just crumpled the front third of a high end sedan when she had fallen off her bicycle and into street. He'd almost destroyed the car that had nearly hit her and then been forced to modify the driver's memory.
Everyone in the room watched with some degree of awe as Harry made a trans-Atlantic Mirror Call, magic that had fallen out of use due to its seeming incapability of crossing large bodies of water. The all winced slightly as the girl on the other side of the mirror yelled out, "Moony! Harry's on the mirror!"
A moment later a man with brown hair and amber eyes appeared in the mirror, saying, "Cub you are in such big trouble..."
"It wasn't my fault Uncle Remus. The Goblet of Fire snatched me up and dragged my finely accoutred arse to Hogwarts to compete in the Tri-Wizard Cup."
The werewolf simply stared at Harry. The Potter Heir simply rolled his eyes and held up his right hand, palm out and fingers all together. "I, Harry Potter, do solemnly swear that what I just spoke is truth." His hand was briefly surrounded by a nimbus of soft green light as the minor oath took effect.
Remus Lupin's left eyebrow twitched and his eyes darkened. "I'll have the elves start packing up all of your things, and well be in merry old England before the sun sets there tomorrow. Do you know how you've been bound?"
A few additional muscle twitches showed Harry just how angry Moony was.
"Anything you want to add cub?"
"Yeah, make sure Dobby is one of the elves packing up my stuff, he knows all my hiding places and how to securely take down my Doors. And don't bother packing up this mirror, I'm going to have to make a new one. I used the overload functions to force a connection so if we end the call in the next thirty seconds, it should avoid melting it down to slag. It will still be unusable afterward."
Shaking his head, Remus replied, "Take care cub, see you in a day or two."
Turning around and seeing everyone staring at him, he shook his head softly, and said, "Okay, for those that need to know where I am, I'm going to set up a little camping site on the grounds, as a trust whatever wards I can raise there far more than any I can get up in the castle. I'm off to go get settled in, and then sleep like the dead for half a day or so."