tlhIngan maH! (We Are Klingons)
Harry knows that he will meet Voldemort, and decides to give himself an 'edge'
A Crossunder between the worlds of Harry Potter and Start Treck fandom.
Some nasty curses are going to be used - moderately graphic death scenes.
This is NOT a Star Trek / HP crossover! – it's a HP/Trekkie crossunder. The Klingon stuff is based (loosely) on Star Trek (Next Generation) material.
In speech, text enclosed in square brackets [ ] is the Klingon/English translation
All fiction is derivative and fan fiction doubly so. I make no claim to own any part of any of the following, all I have done is an attempt to put together the elements in a novel fashion, using words and ideas like Lego ™ bricks.
Star Trek, Klingon and everything pertaining are copyright items and the property of Paramount Studios and the Estate of Gene Roddenberry. No infringement on those rights is intended.
There is no money involved – all I do is to share what I do for my own amusement.
tlhIngan maH! (We Are Klingons) - Part 2: Skirmishes
The Hogwarts Express deposited the students in London, and the five had agreed to stay at the Leaky Cauldron for a couple of nights so that they could do their specialist shopping. Six more wands were purchased from Tobias Agonistes Septus, along with boots and gloves. The three also received multi-compartment trunks. Three more brooms and flying robes from QQS, and Quuirr's sold more hiking equipment, which had the tracers and spy charms removed as soon as they were back in their rooms.
"Why do they put them on their stuff, anyway?"
"Simple, Neville, they think the information may be useful to someone. They probably claim that if someone goes missing, then they can be found by the tracers on their equipment. Anyone who takes the tracers off is obviously too dangerous to bother."
Neville chuckled. "We're dangerous all right."
"So, what names did you use?"
"Torrs Gowron and Katjana Mogh. Luna used Minka Stanislav."
The blonde girl grinned. "I've always wanted to be a character from a book."
"I don't know how any of us is going to pay you back, Harry …"
"Neville, I thought we had sorted this out. This is the same as a private army. This stuff is your basic field kit. If you are properly equipped, then I stand a better chance of dealing with Moldivort. …"
There was the sound of a series of loud cracks in the Alley, and then the sound of fighting.
"Looks like game on, guys?"
The five quickly gathered themselves together and left to join the fray.
Five figures in dark green cloaks, each in basilisk-skin boots and gloves and carrying two wands strode along Diagon Alley. The Death Eaters were throwing lethal curses and unforgivables at all and sundry. The five simply worked their way along, deflecting and dodging curses while simultaneously firing off their own spells. They passed comments and information in a language alien to the Death Eaters, a language designed for battle.
The Death Eaters were shaken by the unknown wizards simply ignoring the red bolts of stunners, allowing themselves to be hit as though the pain of a stunner were nothing.
Lucius Malfoy was startled to see that his cruciatus curse, born of his hatred for all humankind, was simply absorbed without so much as a blink.
Lucius's hand was blown to dust by the backlash of the curse being thrown off by the unrecognisable Harry.
Bellatrix Lestrange was there and cast her own Cruciatus curse, hitting Neville.
He smiled at her and, holding her gaze simply said, " nuqneH Bellatrix." [Hello Bellatrix]
A dark expression crossed his face and he cast a bodybind on the woman. In Klingon.
"ghobe' SIH porgh" [petrificus totalis]
Bella's eyes widened as Neville unclipped a pain-stick from his belt.
As he extended the glowing, red crystal from the shield, he gently said, "Bellatrix, you are are your master's acknowledged Mistress of Pain are you not? Allow me to introduce you to my 'oy'naQ, my tlhIngan pain stick. You may find it … enlightening …"
He pressed it against his own chest and grunted.
Smiling, he extended it toward Bellatrix' sternum.
"Goodbye, Bellatrix Lestrange. May you never reach sto'vo'kor."
He pressed the crystal against her and, even though petrified, her muscles clenched hard enough to cause permanent damage. A moment later she was dead, a trickle of blood leaving her ears, nose and tear-ducts.
Bellatrix took a moment to realise that she was, in fact, dead … a moment filled with the sum of all of the cruciatus curses she had delivered in her life concentrated into a mere half second. An agonised eternity as her brain finally shut down, a whisp of smoke rising from the point at which Neville had discharged his pain stick into her untrained torso.
He smiled grimly as he returned to the battle, his debt of honour settled with his parents' attacker.
By the time the aurors arrived, there was little to do but to pick up the remains of death eaters and to arrest the unconscious ones. A small number of wizards and witches had been killed or injured by the Death Eaters, but they had lost twenty of their number. Lucius Malfoy was found bleeding out his life, his left arm pinned to a door with a knife; he was missing the sleeve that normally hid the Dark Mark on his arm.
He died before he reached St Mungo's.
The Dark Lord was incandescent with fury. He had intended the attack to be a nice little gift to his minions, a chance to spread a little terror for Christmas. Instead, he was hearing reports that a group of vigilantes had simply waded through his people and killed or captured most of them.
He was even more upset when the report in The Prophet simply stated that the five members of House Koorg claimed to have done their civic duty in defending the less powerful when the Death Eaters attacked. The spokesman for House Koorg seemed to think the Death Eaters were rather overrated as opponents.
There was much speculation about who these wizards were who had simply wiped out a death eater attack without seeming to make any effort. Voldemort, a student of wizarding genealogy, knew nothing of any Koorg family, so presumably they were Eastern European, which jibed with the tongue they spoke.
The five were almost helpless with laughter when they read the report. True, they had taken a few injuries, but as Hermione mentioned, even sectum sempera seemed to be little worse than a paper cut with the amount of magical power they were channelling.
She never mentioned that Dolohov had escaped after firing off his Dark Fire curse at her. Again. She had simply deflected it into the ground. She knew that Harry would go after him for it if she did.
They compared their spoils of war, a collection of Death Eaters' wands. They were tried for magical match, and each took the best as hold-outs, filling the various spare holsters about their persons.
"You do realise that we're carrying a ridiculous number of wands each, don't you?"
"Well, as that guy in the movies said, you can never have too much backup. Besides, these are disposable."
Harry looked at Neville, and one of the wands he was holding.
The boy looked up, a vicious grin on his lips. "Yes, Harry, it's Bellatrix Lestrange's wand. I used my painstick on her. We are both avenged against her for our losses. Sonchi! " [she is dead]
Hermione winced at that. "How long?"
Neville grimaced. "Less than a second, I'm afraid. I had hoped she was made of sterner stuff, but she was pujwI'. Disappointing, really." [a weakling, soft]
Hermione resolved to make a very special painstick for when she next met Dolohov. She decided that she could hold a grudge after all.
From London Harry and Hermione apparated to the Grangers' home, arriving behind the shed in the garden.
As they emerged, they were surprised to find Hermione's parents practising martial arts on the lawn.
"Hi Mum, Dad!"
"Hello dear. Welcome home. We'll just warm down and we'll be right with you."
They talked over a cup of tea.
"So, how come the martial arts stuff?"
"Well, we saw what you were doing over the summer and when Harry left behind some of his books, we decided to give it a try."
"Okay, Mum, but why?"
"You haven't heard all the news from our world have you? There have been loads of terrorist attacks around the country. From what you said, we don't think it's muggle terrorists."
The Grangers nodded.
"That makes sense. You need to take a look at this …"
Harry handed Emma Granger the copy of The Prophet that the five had been laughing over.
"Five members of House Koorg? You mean …?"
Hermione nodded. "Yes Mum, that was us. Even some of the nastier curses that they were using barely stung."
"But there were dead Death Eaters …"
Harry nodded. "The only way to keep a Death Eater from hurting someone is to deal with them hard. What no one is actually saying is that this is actually war. The five of us intend to end this war as quickly and as cleanly as possible.
"Unfortunately, I'm under a geas, a prophesy that says that I am the only one who can ultimately defeat old Moldivort, but to do that I need people who I can trust to not get killed getting me into position. That is what House Koorg is about: winning a secret war."
"So who are these people named as Death Eaters? Three Lestranges, a Malfoy … those are names I've heard."
"Most of them are just ordinary thugs and bullies. Some are prominent figures in wizarding society – or particularly infamous Death Eaters. Three Lestranges means that that family is extinct now. I wonder who gets to inherit the cup?"
"One of Tom Riddle's horcruxes. Really nasty, dark magic of the worst kind. They keep him immortal. For the time being, anyway."
The conversation circled round for a while, finally being interrupted by a tapping at the window.
Hermione retrieved the parchment from the large, tawny owl.
"It's for you, Harry. I think the owl is waiting for a reply."
While Harry read the letter, Hermione found the owl a few owl treats.
"It's from Griphook. It seems that after the fines and confiscations, the residuum of the Lestrange estate comes to me. We need to go to see Griphook as soon as possible."
Harry looked at the clock and did some arithmetic.
"Today seems reasonable."
He took out a quill and wrote a note to Griphook saying that he would be arriving at Gringotts' at about four that same afternoon. He gave the note to the owl and sent it on its way.
"Right, we'll be going as soon as possible. I want to be there before two."
"But you said …"
"Mrs Granger, I lied. I want to be at Gringotts' before the owl arrives. Owls can be intercepted, apparators can't, especially when they arrive before the message arrives. We'll eat at Diagon Alley."
"We're coming too."
Harry looked at Hermione's parents. "Are you sure? Side-along apparation is pretty nasty for the passenger."
Emma nodded. "Yes, we're sure. Besides, this is our war as much as yours now."
Another owl arrived, one that Harry recognised as one of the school's
"It's from the Headmistress, checking to see that we arrived home alright."
Hermione wrote a message back to Professor McGonagall, telling her that they had seen The Prophet, but were home in one piece. She also wrote a series of arithmantic equations.
"What are those?"
"They're page references, line and word, to be precise. It's a kind of secret code, but you have to know which book I'm referring to. It just says we will floo later."
Harry laughed. "I love magic, and I think I love cloak and dagger too."
"Well, you are both wearing the cloaks, and I guess those really are daggers in your boots, aren't they?"
Harry and Hermione blushed.
"We're so used to being armed all the time …"
While the Grangers showered, Harry transfigured them wizarding robes and two of the pain-sticks to resemble wands.
"I don't want you to stand out as Muggles, so please wear these. The wands are two of our pain-sticks. They're only partially charged, but will deliver quite a nasty surprise to anyone you touch with the tip of the wand, they are, of course, not wands at all. The holsters for these are in the front of the robes. Are you both okay with this?"
The Grangers both nodded, accepting that this was the voice of an experienced wizard. A teen-aged, battle-experienced wizard.
Harry and Hermione apparated the Grangers side-along to the apparation room of the Leaky Cauldron.
They greeted Tom from the depths of their hooded cloaks and went into Diagon Alley.
The normally thronged thoroughfare was almost deserted. Several shops were very much closed. They made their way to Gringotts and entered.
Harry went to one of the tellers and said, "Q'rzan Koorg to see Si'ah Griphook."
The goblin looked at Harry in amazement, not realising that any wizard would care, or perhaps to dare to use Griphook's correct title. He bustled off to find his superior.
"Griphook is technically Warmaster to the Goblin Nation, so he is Si'ah."
A few moments later Griphook appeared. "Si'ah Q'rzan! You received my message?"
"Si'ah Griphook, yes. My reply was misleading. I trust that you will understand."
"Your reply? Our owl was instructed that no reply was required."
"So, presumably your owl was intercepted. Unfortunate, but of no immediate import, until four, at least."
Griphook grinned. "Come, you have an entourage?"
Harry smiled. "My consort's family. What is mine is theirs."
Griphook bowed to the three.
"Si'ada Lenkja, it is a pleasure. And your parents, I recognise. This way please."
The back office was a gothic phantasmagoria of gilt and curlicued ornamentation. Harry noticed Griphook's expression.
"Your reception room is not to your taste, I take it, Griphook?"
The Goblin laughed. "It is to impress the usual wizarding clients. Please, this way."
He led them through a further doorway into a pleasant, functional office with what looked like muggle furnishings. There were perfectly ordinary filing cabinets along one wall.
Harry laughed politely. "Much more business-like. You shop at a muggle office fitters' I take it?"
Griphook smiled pleasantly. "Our more discerning customers appreciate the irony."
"Actually, I appreciate that it is functional and doesn't disturb the eye."
"Are you certain that you're not of Goblin Blood, Mr Potter?"
"Fairly certain, but I would count it a blessing if I were. Now, to business?"
Griphook cocked an eyebrow at Harry's comment about goblin blood.
They all sat. Griphook explained that due to the intricacies of wizarding inheritance law, and the thoroughness of Goblin record keeping, that Harry was the sole inheritor of the Lestrange estate, such as it remained.
"Most of the gold and property was seized by the Ministry in payment of fines against the last survivors of House Lestrange. The inheritor would normally have been a family member of House Black, but since your godfather named you inheritor of House Black, the legacy comes to yourself.
"The final accounting is as follows, cash totalling about one hundred and twenty three thousand galleons; Six hundred and thirty pounds sterling; both wizarding and muggle investments totalling an estimated sixty thousand galleons and one hundred thousand US dollars respectively.
"There are two small properties overseas plus an island off the West Coast of Scotland, and a number of artefacts and family treasures in the vault."
"We would like to inspect the vault, but for all other matters here, I am willing to leave them in your hands. Are there any disputed items in the vault?"
"There are a small number of Goblin-made items in the vault, only two are in dispute. Neither is of any major worth. There is a jewelled dagger and a ceremonial axe, they are, of course, prized for historical value rather than as items of great aesthetic quality."
"Then those two items are to be withdrawn from the vault and returned to their rightful owners. Whilst I have no doubt that you underestimate the beauty of the pieces, I do not feel that the keeping of family heirlooms as spoils of war honours the keeper. Please convey my heartfelt thanks and apologies to the families for the inexcusably long time those items have been on loan to House Lestrange.
"Would it be appropriate to consolidate our holdings under a single account?"
Griphook looked at this young human appraisingly. On loan, indeed … a very nice way of saying return of stolen goods without annoying anyone.
"Consolidation is only appropriate up to a point. There are several accounts that, while you may draw upon them, they are independent of other parts of your core accounts. I would advise that consolidation of your portfolios would be … advantageous."
"Then let us make it so. I will also need to give My Lady access to my accounts."
"In which case, I assume that congratulations are due to you Mrs Potter."
"Not quite yet, Si'ah Griphook. Harry has asked for my hand, but the union is not yet formalised."
"Ah, I understand. My apologies."
"Griphook, my friend, apologies are not necessary. Surely, you understand that business comes before the consolidation of any alliance if possible."
Griphook looked at Harry. He had never been addressed as friend by a wizard, at least, not in a manner that didn't betoken in insult. And for a human to realise that the business had to be concluded before a union … unheard of.
"You have settled upon a bride-price?"
"I was hoping that you would have knowledge of the guidelines? Would you be willing to negotiate on my behalf. No less than the guideline, though."
Griphook smiled. "Of course. I will consult the tables while you visit the Lestrange vault."
Griphook pressed a button and a younger goblin entered. "Longtooth, please escort Mr Potter to vault number four hundred and twenty, he will return here when he has concluded his business there. His consort's parents would be advised to remain as my guests as we have some … negotiations to complete."
Harry and Hermione rode the rollercoaster that was the Gringotts' underground transit system. A drop of blood opened the vault. As the door opened, Harry and Hermione saw an array of what might have been junk or possibly just merely rubbish. On a table stood a golden cup.
"That's it, I think, Harry."
Harry produced his wand and cast a few diagnostic spells that Bill Weasley had taught him. There were no protections against removal of the cup, but several simple spells to confound any attempt at theft. Harry picked up the cup and winced as he was hit by a small shock spell. He placed the cup in one of the pockets in his belt.
Several books were sat on a chest. Harry checked them and disarmed several basic traps. The books were on dark magic, they were shrunk and placed in another pocket.
Harry saw the axe and dagger, and pointed them out to Hermione.
"Longtooth, are these the disputed artefacts?"
The gobin looked carefully. "I believe so Si'ah Potter."
"Then I would appreciate if you would bring them to Si'ah Griphook when we return."
The goblin looked amazed and proud beyond belief.
Seeing nothing more of immediate interest in the small vault, they left and returned to Griphook's office. On the way, Harry asked Longtooth if he knew the story of the axe and dagger.
"They were taken in the wars of 1292 when Longbeam and Broadhand were betrayed by Sardolfus Lestrange during peace negotiations. His act prolonged the war by another twenty years."
"I take it these items are of cultural significance beyond that betrayal?"
The goblin swallowed hard. "Yes. The axe was the Warmaster's symbol of office for many hundreds of years. The dagger was a gift of the goblin overlord Longnail to his wife. It has a number of charms upon it now lost to our magic."
"How much kudos will you get from being the one to return them into the hands of your Warmaster?"
The goblin grinned. "Not much – unless you count being able to dine out on it for life as the muggles say?"
Harry laughed. "I assume there is also a bounty on them?"
The goblin nodded.
Longtooth goggled and thanked the young couple effusively.
"Harry, Mr Griphook here is trying to tell us that you have to pay about two hundred thousand pounds for our daughter."
"That's correct. Since we are negotiating under Goblin Law, I have to buy back your investment in your daughter. Griphook has a pretty shrewd idea of how much it has cost to feed, house, clothe and educate her over the past eighteen years.
"Of course, what he has omitted to tell you is that as soon as you accept the offered bride price, you will be a part of House Potter, and will enjoy whatever legal protections and privileges are available as members of a leading wizarding family. Apart from anything else, it means that you can come and go unhindered in the wizarding world. It also means that you can carry those, ahem, wands legally. And the various charmed items you will need to carry.
"I urge you to agree. Please?"
"Mum, Dad, I have seen Harry's trust vault, and the money that Griphook is talking about is barely a dent in petty cash. I have no idea what his family vault looks like, but I'd guess that vault thirty two is pretty large and pretty full?"
Griphook nodded. "The old vaults belonging to the ancient lineages are indeed spacious. Thirty two is one of the largest, occupying one of the bigger expansions in The Rift."
"The vaults are in the walls of a crack in the rocks several miles below London. It's known as The Rift, and is maintained largely by Goblin magical engineering. There are precious few goblins who actually understand the whole of the magical technology that went into the opening of The Rift, and happily, no wizards at all.
"I can't help but feel that if more wizards could appreciate the scale of the engineering involved, then they may treat the Goblin Nation with a little more respect. That kind of magical power in the hands of you-know-who could literally tear the planet in half."
"Harry, are you kidding?"
"No, Mr Granger. I am, however, grateful that Goblin People share my own ambition, to be allowed to live their lives quietly and peacefully in their own way. Just getting on with normal daily business."
The three other humans shook their heads in wonder. Griphook suddenly felt very close to this young man who understood Goblin society so well.
"In which case, in order to keep the peace, I will agree to Griphook's proposed bride price, and insist that it be placed in trust for my daughter's future children."
Griphook grinned. "Ah, you have hit upon the traditional destination of all bride-prices in Goblin society."
"Now, Griphook, I believe that Longtooth has something for you."
Griphook looked confused. Longtooth bowed and spoke a few words of gobbledegook, presenting the now cloth-wrapped axe and dagger.
"Longtooth told us the story. I believe that you are the Warmaster of the Goblin Nation in Britain?"
Griphook nodded. "I thank you, Si'ah Potter. You will understand why I gave as little detail as I did."
"Oh, entirely. It does not do to dwell upon the historical value of major cultural artefacts when you are negotiating their return."
Harry grinned, and once again, Griphook wondered where this wizard was leading.
Once all of their business was complete Griphook escorted them back to the banking hall. As they arrived, there seemed to be a disturbance in progress.
Griphook was about to hustle them back into the body of the bank when Harry said.
"Si'ah Griphook, perhaps the time to draw swords together has come?"
Griphook goggled slightly as Harry and Hermione drew mek'leths, the small, sword-like weapons they had trained with. Griphook snapped his fingers and his own goblin-blade was in his hand.
"Si'ah Q'rzan, the time has come."
They waded into the fight leaving the Grangers in the care of one of the goblin tellers.
After, they were sat on the floor with the goblins taking a well-earned drink with their allies.
"You fight well, young humans. Your weapons are strange but you use them to good effect. You have a reason to fight alongside us?"
Hermione giggled. "Thank you. Of course we do. The death eaters are a minority, working toward the downfall of all that is reasonable and good. It has taken centuries for the magical world to come to the point where the various races can coexist.
"Why would we not stand together against a few Johnny-come-lately madmen who think that they are the universe's chosen? Besides, they were after Harry and myself, I'd guess."
Harry chipped in. "That aside, it was a good fight. A bit ill matched, in my opinion. They needed at least fifty to have even expected to keep us occupied for a couple of hours. A good appetiser."
The goblin guards laughed, agreeing that the Death Eaters were seriously outclassed.
"Will you be taking your trophies, young humans?"
Harry shook his head. "I don't think so. Death Eaters are just too ugly to hang on the wall. You keep them for us. We will keep their wands though."
The goblin guards nodded. "It would be our honour. To point and say, we fought alongside Si'ah'h Q'rzan and Lenkja when these were taken. Yes stories to pass down to our young. We have few stories of our own in peacetime."
Dan Granger was still wondering how he came to have a goblin sword in his hand, and he was wondering if he had really killed the masked madman who had attacked his wife. He was also vaguely wondering how a three-feet tall goblin could be so deft with a sword his own height.
With half an ear, Emma Granger was listening to her daughter discussing the similarities between goblin-steel and titanium alloy. The goblins seemed most appreciative of the quality of the blades she and Harry carried. She wondered, vaguely, if she was going to wake up before she found out how this dream ended.
Eventually, by some form of communication undetectable by the normal senses, the guards, Harry and Hermione decided that it was time to get on with something other than relaxing after a fight.
They bade farewell to Griphook, Dan returning the blade he had used to his care. They pulled their hoods up to obscure their faces. The usual reporters from The Prophet were there. Harry replied to their questions gruffly in Klingon and broken English, saying only that House Koorg would always be honoured to fight alongside their goblin friends.
Luna was there and, naturally, understood Harry's words. The Quibbler would have another exclusive that week.
After returning Hermione's parents to their home, Harry apparated to Grimmauld Place. He quietly entered the old house and entered the library. He found Kreacher there.
"Kreacher, would you like to work for your former mistress Narcissa?"
The old elf's eyes lit up.
"Her husband died yesterday in Diagon Alley. He was a Death Eater, but you probably already knew that. Narcissa was always the more gentle soul. Go to her and tell her that as from New Year's day, she will own this house. You should bring her back yourself. I am going to reinforce the wards before I leave today, and I want you to ensure that no one tampers with them. Especially Draco."
Kreacher nodded. "Yes, Master. Draco Malfoy was ever … wilful."
"An honest observation. I am charging you with one more duty that I will bind you to once you have left my service. You are to guard Narcissa Malfoy nee Black with your very life. If she is in trouble, you may call on me to help if I can. Do you understand?"
The elf was now standing almost straight. "Yes master. Kreacher understands."
"Right, do I have to give you clothes to seal the pact?"
"No, Master. You have given Kreacher an order. Kreacher will obey."
"Good. You have been a faithful servant, Kreacher. Now, go and do the same for many more years."
The elf popped off and Harry started clearing the books from the library. He retrieved Slytherin's locket from where Kreacher had hidden it, placing in its stead the locket owned by Regulus Black. He tried summoning any other books from the rest of the house, but only retrieved Sirius' school journal and an old copy of Playwizard, presumably belonging to Ron.
After reinforcing the wards, a quick scout-round confirmed that there was nothing more that he wanted from the house, so he departed Sirius's childhood home for the last time.
Once back at the Grangers' he gave the books to Hermione.
"I'm giving the house to Narcissa. It's what Sirius would have wanted. It's not secure for us, but she will be safe enough there. And I have told Kreacher to serve her too. He is too set in his ways to accept freedom. I'd say that he is happy, at least.
"This is everything you expressed an interest in, though. Did I miss anything?"
Hermione glanced through the books. "No, this is everything."
"It's just as well, this is the whole library … unless you want Ron's old copy of Playwizard?"
Harry ducked, laughing.
Christmas morning arrived, and the Grangers came downstairs to find Harry cooking breakfast.
"You didn't need to do this, you know."
"I was up early because there were things I needed to do, so I thought I might as well cook breakfast."
After they had eaten, they trooped into the living room to open their presents. There were a number of gifts under the tree that hadn't been there the night before.
Harry had been making presents. Two wooden boxes with automatic shrinking charms on them were there. Each contained a set of the Klingon weapons that Harry had made from titanium. In addition, there were two goblin-style swords of the same metal. The grips on all the items were dragon hide. Harry had also invested in basilisk hide boots and gloves for them.
"They're beautiful. Made from Titanium, you say?"
Harry nodded. "It's much lighter than steel, it's rust-proof and easier to work with magic than steel, too. There are other things that I've bought for you, but I thought these would be better as Christmas presents."
Hermione opened her present and found an incredible, sapphire necklace. Harry put it on her.
"It's beautiful. You shouldn't have …"
"Yes I should. Money is for spending, not for hoarding. Besides, in the Wizarding world, it's the place of the husband's family to provide the dowry.
"On top of which, you did say that you liked the jewellery work of Fabergé."
"This is a Fabergé piece?"
Harry nodded, knowing full well that there were only three pieces by the artist outside of the various national collections.
"Harry, not wishing to pry, but …?"
Harry smiled at Mrs Granger. "Obscenely rich. There's no other word for it. Even if I never worked in my life, and lived as a muggle, I would probably die richer than I am now."
Hermione spluttered. "I-I-I never knew!"
"Nor did I until last summer."
Once the ritual of the presents was done, Harry told the grangers to take a look in the cupboard under the stairs.
Emma, expecting to find some wrapped gift under there was startled to see a flight of stairs leading downward into a basement room.
Harry chuckled. "I love magic. It's actually the same magical technology as is used for our bottomless trunks and the wizarding tents. Basically, there's a large trunk in there that's only a quarter of an inch deep with a detachable lid that contains a complete fitness suite. There's no electrical stuff there, but it means that you have a gymnasium for all the practice you could want … including a tatami mat for martial arts practice."
They trooped down and, sure enough, there was a multi-room fitness suite including a swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium and fitness machines.
"Harry, the pool alone is the size of the house and garden … ?"
Harry laughed. "I wasn't sure how big it needed to be, so I just got them to make it the same size as the pool in Little Whinging."
"Hi Bill, what brings you over?"
"You were discussing Horcruces, Harry. I'm afraid Fleur overheard your conversation. Why do you need to know about them? They're pretty dark magic."
"Dumbledore thinks we're going to need to destroy some, and having seen what the curses on one did to his arm …"
"That was a horcrux? I'd have thought he of all people would have … alright, I assume that You-Know-Who made one."
"Pardon? Eh! No wonder he looks more like a snake than a person … fine, I'll tell you what you need to know. The biggest warning is that a horcrux will try to possess anyone in its proximity for too much of the time."
Bill Weasley blanched. "That really was a horcrux then? Damn, Harry, my family owes you more blood debts than we have lives to give. I knew that Ginny almost died, but that she was being used to … it doesn't bear thinking about."
"It gets worse. We're not sure what the other ones are, or where they are. We have two of the possible three unknowns, but other than a feeling, we have no proof."
"Do you want to deal with them now?"
Harry and Hermione nodded. "The sooner the better."
"Let's go somewhere safe …"
They reappeared on Dartmoor, a remote tor on the northern side of the moor in an area used for military manoeuvres.
"You have the blade you promised?"
Harry brought out what looked like a Goblin war axe. The entire weapon was made from a single piece of titanium alloy.
"What the … in Merlin's name, what is that?"
"It's a titanium alloy axe. It took a lot of coaxing to transfigure from a bar of metal. It is supposed to be the strongest alloy in existence. Certainly, it's hard enough to chop stone without blunting. It's also magically reinforced, and I got the local priest to bless it for good measure."
Bill said simply, "that will do nicely."
He had explained that when a horcrux is destroyed, any curses will be released along with, possibly, the soul-remnant which would attempt to possess any living thing large enough to contain it. He taught them the spell to destroy any remnant that was freed. He also mentioned that fiendfyre would destroy a horcrux, but required an awful lot of control to prevent from spreading.
The locket was examined, and Bill showed the duo how to cast curse detection charms and to interpret them.
"This one has a simple pain curse on it. Let's get set up and defuse the curse and destroy the locket."
They did. The curse took no effort to remove, and Harry hit the locket with his axe, burying the blade in the surface of the granite boulder they had placed the locket on. There was a scream and a small cloud of black emerged from the locket that dissipated rapidly in the morning air.
The cup was another matter. This had some deep enchantments in it, including several slow-death curses. Bill showed them how to remove each layer of curse, carefully defusing each."
"You two are good at this. Maybe you should consider going to work as curse breakers?"
Hermione laughed. "We'll think about it Bill."
At last, the cup was stood, waiting to be destroyed.
"Are you sure about this Harry, I mean, it's Helga Hufflepuff's cup … you don't even know that it's a horcrux, after all …"
"You did the diagnostic yourself, Bill. It's affecting you."
Bill went to grab the cup, but Hermione restrained him.
Harry hit the cup with the axe, cleaving it cleanly into two half-cups. A screeching wail came from the remnants and a green spectre emerged, coalescing into an almost transparent miniature Voldemort.
Hermione's wand was in her hand immediately, at the same instant as Harry's.
The two spells hit the ghostly form before it could reach Bill, and with a screech, it vanished in a cloud of black smoke.
"Damn, that was close. Thanks guys, that was …"
"Voldemort in all his power. He's a master legilimens and an expert with the imperius curse. This is why we've been working on occlumancy so hard this year."
"Moody told me that you had incredible defences against the Imperius, but I've never felt anything like that."
"Well, Bill, remember that most of what you deal with pre-dates the Imperius, after all."
"Now, there is one more that we're pretty sure of, and one that we haven't found yet. The one that we're pretty sure of is right here."
Harry tapped his scar.
Bill Weasley said a rude word. Then he let forth a string of invective. He cast the charm.
"Yes, Harry, I'm afraid it is. There is a way of dealing with it, but it may have been with you too long. The longer the soul fragment is in a host, the deeper it takes root. Do you want to try?"
Harry nodded, and Bill explained what would be required.
He found himself stripped of all weapons and wands and shackled to the granite of the tor. Hermione kissed him for luck and prepared to coax the soul fragment from Harry, who would be fighting to expel it. Bill stood by ready to destroy the fragment once it was free.
Hermione began the rite of exorcism, as described by Bill. At last, Harry managed to say, between clenched teeth. "It's fighting, and losing …"
As he said this, the first tendrils of green emerged from Harry's scar, which was accompanied by a thin wailing and a trickle of blood. This became a scream as Harry let loose a stream of invective in Klingon, and the entire mass of Voldemort's soul was ejected. It was almost solid in appearance as Bill and Hermione both shot their spells through it multiple times.
At last there was silence on the hilltop, with just Harry panting and Hermione sobbing quietly into her boyfriend's neck.
"Thanks Bill, and thank you Hermione. He's gone from my head, I can feel it."
After cleaning Harry up and releasing him from the rock, they sat and rested.
"That was an awful lot of soul-fragment, Harry. It was more than an anchor, I would guess that was possibly the major part of Voldemort's soul you were sharing space with. How you feeling?"
"Bloody awful, but free. By the way, Bill, That's a blood debt I owe you and yours. How does it feel to have defeated Voldemort?"
"Bloody marvellous. Now, let's go and celebrate…"
A quiet drink in The Toad and Cauldron in the village of Ottery St. Mary recharged their batteries.
"How you feeling now, Harry?"
"Better, but I feel like my magic's flat."
Bill cast a couple of medical charms.
"Hmm. Yes, your magic is seriously depleted. Once you get home, you need to rest, and to avoid doing any more magic for a few days if you can. You should be fine by the time the Hogwarts Express sets out for the new term."