Child of the Phoenix
Disclaimer: As Before
Plot: Response to my A Sirius Secret Challenge: Just when Harry thinks he's all ready to go back to Hogwarts, Sirius drops a bombshell that changes EVERYTHING! Now, in the knowledge that he's more than your average wizard, can Harry adjust to a new life, a new destiny and, above all else, a new FAMILY?
Dedication: I wish to dedicate this story to everyone that continues to provide positive reviews for my stories and the feedback that I enjoy; the recommended reads for this story are: Ruby Tinted Glasses by StormyFireDragon and Tinkerbell and Claws by mrsKnitewolf.
T4: Enjoy the last chapter nonetheless;
StormyFireDragon: I told you, Storm, the redemption is genuine; I won't be bashing Dumbledore from now on with this story;
"Get ready time-traveller," Harry exclaimed, charging his claws with energy as he faced Bishop, "You're about to find out why I'm not so easy to kill."
With that, he charged straight at Bishop…
Chapter 16: A Hidden Enemy Revealed
Harry, charged by his vibranium claws and his own magi-kinetic energy, moved to attack Bishop, knowing full well that an energy attack would do no good as the mutant from the future seemed to have the power to absorb it and return it ten-fold. Therefore, Harry would have to rely on some old-fashioned tricks to get through this enemy and, as he slashed his claws at Bishop, Harry also knew that he would need to be careful: Bishop had said that he was here to stop Harry. For what reason, the Magus Maxima could only guess, but, in the meantime, he wasn't about to let this stranger endanger a place he had called home for so long.
As Bishop released another blast of his absorbed energy, Harry drew on the vibration-energy-absorbing power of his vibranium claws, meeting the energy head-on and strengthening not only his resolve, but his claws as well, which now shone with a bright silvery gleam to them.
"Why do you think I need to be taken down?" asked Harry, tapping into the power of the Mystic Arts to send Bishop flying away, the energy from the power being absorbed, but the damage was physical.
"To stop the disaster of my time from coming around," Bishop explained, his voice filled with fatigue and determination as he held up his glowing hands, "You may seem like the hero now, but that doesn't last: you should know; you've seen it."
"That doesn't mean that it will happen," Harry reasoned, distracting Bishop with a blast of his own from the tips of his claws, "Time is always in motion: it can be changed; it can be different and I plan on making it different."
"But none of that matters," Bishop explained, returning fire and filling the Quidditch arena with smoke from their collisions of energy, "You said and did all this in the time I've come from: but none of it mattered. You turn evil; you destroy lives, families and futures the likes of which you could never understand."
"Liar!" Harry growled, unsheathing Excalibur before he pointed it to the sky, summoning what sounded like a rather large thunderstorm; charging his sword with the energy, Harry moved to attack Bishop once more, "If you want to find a destroyer, just look at that snake-faced monster that I helped bring back to life! Every damn day I regret that action and what happened and, since that day, I've done everything to become stronger while making sure that I stay the same boy that my friends and family have known and loved."
Meeting the slash of Excalibur's blade against his silver armour, Bishop's eyes shone brightly as he absorbed the energy from the electrified blade, his voice firm as he told Harry, "You may think you're helping people, but if you just took a moment to look around, you'd see that things are already in motion: you know the future…yet you continue to drive yourself towards the same level of power that the future-you held when he killed and slaughtered thousands, some of whom were normal humans."
"THAT'S NOT ME!" Roared Harry, slicing Excalibur's blade downwards, the energy not only ricocheting off of Bishop, but spreading through the arena, where, as it moved around, Harry shook his head, his body trembling as he explained, "That…that thing was not me: it was a future that will not happen: I won't let it: and as for slaughtering thousands: I don't even kill…period. I fight; I defend and I survive: all for the sake of making things better for my friends and myself. Whatever future you've come from, Bishop, it won't be the future that you go back to."
"Listen to him," Hermione cut in, her voice coming from Harry's side as she'd moved down with the others to help enforce her boyfriend's words, "Harry's not the villain that you may think he is, Bishop: he's done more in less than four months than most people have done in their entire lives."
Bishop, however, seemed fixed on Hermione all of a sudden: taking a step back, the time traveller picked up his weapon and, charging it, he aimed it not at Harry, but Hermione, his eyes wide with horror as he exclaimed, "You!"
"What about Hermione?" asked Harry, his words cut off when Bishop fired a blast from his weapon; thinking quickly, Harry made to intercept the blast with Excalibur, but, like before, he was sent flying by a returned energy blast from Bishop himself. As he crashed into the stands, Harry gasped as he saw an explosion and felt a sense of shock and almost…blackness fill his side of the bond, "No: HERMIONE!"
"Why?" Logan snarled, now making his own appearance as he unsheathed his adamantium claws.
"As dangerous as he is," Bishop explained, indicating Harry, who was now moving with a slower pace towards the spot where smoke had billowed up, "She was going to be the one that changed everything: his dominion over the world, his beliefs that mutants were homo supremia; it all began with her."
"So you kill her?" asked Blaise, horrified at the move made by Bishop.
However, all shock and horror was stopped when a soft voice answered Blaise's question, "No…he…he didn't…"
As Harry watched, staring in shock at the sound of the voice from the smoke, the smoke cleared from around the spot where Hermione had been and, when the field was clear once more, Hermione was standing there, her hands cupped around the energy blast from Bishop's weapon. She was unharmed; a little shocked, but otherwise unharmed, though Harry did notice that her hands and her body were almost vibrating with a sense of energised adrenaline and, as the vibrations increased, so too did the energy in her hands decrease.
"How?" asked Logan, looking to Hermione before he looked to Harry, "Did you…"
"No," a new voice replied, the X-Men's and the X-Teens attention being directed to the form of Charles Xavier that had appeared amidst the confusion, accompanied by Remus, Sirius, Ororo and Nightcrawler, the latter being how he had managed to get to them. "Harry didn't do this: it would seem that Hermione has finally found her last, and most interesting of powers."
"That energy," Stephen whispered, gliding to the ground of the pitch before he approached a stunned Harry and a confused Hermione, "I've seen that power before."
"Yes," Charles explained, "In our old adversary, Sebastian Shaw: energy manipulation on a level beyond Harry's control and Bishop's powers: like Bishop, Hermione can absorb the energy from an attack or threatening danger, such as a bomb or grenade, and turn it into a concentrated counter-blast. However, unlike him, she can also use it to heighten her strength and speed, heal wounds, retain her youth and reduce the amount of damage sustained in battle."
"The wave," Harry whispered, looking to his honorary uncle, "Stephen said that it had awakened her last power: this is it?"
"This is it," Charles answered, before he directed his words to Bishop, "And you can stop with this crusade and vendetta, Bishop: you have always trusted my words in the past; now, please, trust me if you cannot trust anyone else when I tell you that Harry is not the monster your future makes him out to be."
"No buts," Sirius interrupted him, moving to stand with his godson while Remus joined the X-Teens and a stunned Hermione, "Harry isn't a monster; never has been, never will be, no matter what you might say, Bishop. So, instead of trying to change that by thinking you need to kill my godson, and good luck with trying to do that, but instead of doing that, why don't you help us by helping us stop whoever is trying to turn him into that monster?"
Bishop looked from Harry, who was standing close to Hermione, his arms around her as he checked her over, to his friends and finally to the X-Men, his eyes wide with wonder as he finally saw what they meant. Harry was a leader, yes; he was a warrior, yes, but he wasn't the monster that Bishop had come back to stop: clearly, he'd also just come into his powers as the Magus Maxima while the ruler that Bishop knew was a Master of the Magic.
"Trust us to make things right," Charles explained to Bishop, rolling his chair up next to the time-traveller, "And, if you can, help us to make things right: Harry needs guidance and a strong hand. While Stephen, his friends and mentors give him that, he needs someone to help keep him on the right path."
"I…I didn't think," Bishop whispered, watching as the other X-Teens approached Hermione, who seemed content to demonstrate her new power by releasing that which she'd absorbed to heal some of Harry's bruised wounds. "They…they stand together: I thought she was his end, but, instead…"
"She's his beginning," Charles agreed, "Harry and Hermione are two of the bravest young mutants I have ever had the pleasure to call members of my family, especially since Harry has so much power and came from such dark backgrounds: their hearts and souls are one and Harry's heart alone provides the purity that keeps them going."
"He doesn't have an evil bone in his body," Bishop whispered, earning a shake of the head from Charles as they watched the X-Teens regroup, Harry introducing his young friends to Sirius and Remus.
"Never has," Charles added, "Never will."
"The Chamber of Secrets: I know this place well."
"I figured you would," Harry mused as he led Bishop into the ancient chamber, the other members of their party following while Charles had gone with Scott and Jean to have a word with Dumbledore. "It's where we operate from down here, but it's also where, if you can help me, Bishop, I guess I can accept you as a part of our team."
Bishop just nodded while Harry turned and addressed two particular members of the X-Teens, "Dawnstar, Iceman; would you two mind following me for a moment?"
With confused looks to one another, Bobby and Susan followed Harry to a private corner of the Chamber's main annexe, the Magus Maxima accompanied – mentally – by Hermione who seemed to ask him what he was planning. Returning the conversation, Harry explained, 'When I released Susan's power, I sensed something: a blank spot in her memory that drew me in; if I'm right…this may be the answer.'
As Hermione fell silent, Harry faced the two elemental-based mutants and, clearing his throat, he asked, "Do you two ever suffer from a blank spot when you try to think of early childhood?"
"You read my mind, Harry," Susan explained, though she did nod in response to his question, "You know I do: I've never been able to explain it and even Aunt Amelia said that she couldn't quite understand it."
"What about you, Bobby?"
"Now that you mention it," Bobby answered, narrowing his eyes while he held his hand to his head, "Whenever I try to think about my earliest lifetimes, it always comes out…dark; I can't remember some of the things that other kids would recall about being a toddler; why…why do you ask, Harry?"
"When I read Susan's mind and released her power," explained Harry, "I found the blank spot and, unlike most telepaths or mental-trained witches and wizards, I found myself able to pierce the darkness and see what was beyond. Now, if I'm right, the way to release it is simple: can you two put your powers over your hands?"
As they were asked, Bobby covered his hands with ice while Susan ignited her fire, though because she was untrained, she wound up covering her body in red flames that illuminated the chamber.
Seeing the powers at work, Harry took a deep breath before he explained, "All right, now this may sound crazy, but I want you two to know that if anything goes wrong, I'll fix it."
"Fix…what?" asked Susan, slightly awed at her Human-Torch-like appearance.
"Just…hold Bobby's hand," Harry explained, indicating Iceman's frosty gauntlet-like appendage, "It's okay; just trust me: I…I think that this may be right."
"Well…" Bobby muttered, but he was cut off as Susan did as she was asked and took his hand; as soon as the two held each other's element in their hand, however, both X-Teens felt their minds implode with new information, a strange tingling passing over Bobby while Susan felt like a door had been opened inside her mind.
Memories that she couldn't quite recall had become clear and, in the midst of them, she whispered out one word, "R…Robbie?"
"Suzy?" asked Bobby in response, both of them glancing to one another before they shared a look of confusion in Harry's direction.
"What happened?" they chorused, Harry just smiling as he indicated them both.
"How do you two know those names?" he asked, a note of pride in his voice: he'd been right.
"When…when I was a little girl," Susan explained, dousing her flames and looking to Bobby, who drew in his own ice coverings as he looked back to her, "My…my parents, whom I barely think of nowadays, they were there…with…with another: a boy…my…my…"
"Twin brother," Harry finished, indicating Bobby as he asked, "And I imagine that the same is said for you with your family, the Drakes, right?"
"I remember," Bobby whispered, "I…I was taken there when…when our parents were killed: I'd…I'd protected my…" he looked up to Susan as he continued, "My…sister…I'd protected her with my power and, out of fear that we'd be hunted, I was taken…by Professor Xavier; he was the one that gave us the blank spots."
"I think he did it to protect you," Harry mused, though he felt a sense of surprise from Hermione as he added, "He felt that you could reunite one day, but until that happened, you were safer apart."
"Because," Harry explained, indicating the two in front of him, "Magically speaking, twins are pretty powerful and gifted in their own ways, but throw in a mutant ability and the potential to become what you two have become…well, I daresay that you'd give a pair of red-heads I know a run for their money."
"What…what do we do now?" asked Susan, glancing once more to Bobby before she looked back to Harry.
"I think the best thing to do is speak with Uncle Charles," Harry explained, though he didn't feel any sorrow for providing a family reunion with a difference, "Then, Susan, you may want to get in touch with your Aunt: see if she remembers Bobby; if not, I can release those memories, but, for now, just be happy: you've found that side of you that was long-forgotten."
The two Bones siblings just nodded in agreement while Harry, finished with his work, left them to gather their thoughts and consider the future…
'Twins? When did you figure that out?'
'I didn't,' Harry mentally explained to Hermione, his physical self having left the chamber to make his way towards the dungeons: it was two days removed from his revelation about Susan and Bobby and, on top of his training, Harry knew one thing that he had to do before he could carry on with his life.
He had a promise to keep to a redeemed person. 'I just felt a sort of…connection between Robert and Susan that didn't seem to be…complete: it wasn't like our bond, but it was strong. It wasn't until I unlocked Susan's power and managed to see beyond that dark spot in her mind that I realised what it had to be: repressed memories.'
'So you helped them unlock it? How did you know that their touch would do it?'
'It didn't,' Harry explained, a note of slyness in his voice, 'I used the Mystic Arts and combined it with my telepathic power to help release the memory as soon as their powers met: I don't know what sort of effect this will have, but for now, they're happy and Uncle Charles said he'll talk with them and Amelia about what happens now.'
'I guess that I'll say it then,' Hermione laughed as Harry reached the dungeon, 'Good work, Harry: Charles may think you were intruding, but you wanted to help your friends and that, to me, makes you the same powerful young man with the purest heart that I ever knew and the same man that I fell in love with.'
'Love you too, Mione,' Harry returned, before he closed the bond to Hermione and, knocking on the door to Severus' office, he stepped inside, his voice calm as he explained, "It's time, Severus: I'm here to keep my promise."
"Thank you, Harry," Severus replied, watching as Harry moved around his desk and, as the man rolled up his arm, Harry drew on the full extent of his power, his golden-coloured eyes glowing with raw energy as he placed his hand on Severus' arm. Watching the concentration on Harry's face, Severus asked, "How…how do you know what to do?"
"Dr Strange explained it all," Harry explained to him, "The power inside me comes from the ability to wield magic as I choose to wield it: all I have to do is reach into the magic of the mark and, simply put, sever it: it may hurt, but I intend to keep my promise to you."
"Repaid in full," Harry explained, lifting his head as he added, "Right…about…now!"
As he said the last word, Severus gasped as he felt a sensation like the weight of the world had been lifted from his shoulders, his eyes filled with awe as he looked to Harry, "Thank…thank you…but…how?"
"The debt was owed to James Potter," Harry explained, tracing the outline of the Dark Mark with his fingertips as he continued, "When he died, it would, by right, have passed to his children, but, since I was never a Potter, it passed instead to a party that was involved in the debt; namely Remus Alpha Lupin. I told him all about our conversation and the promise that you made to Lily and when I explained about how you wanted to help me now, I asked Remus to cash in the debt. All that remains now is to remove the Mark and you'll be free, Severus: free to do as you wish; you don't even have to involve yourself with me any longer."
"I don't have to," agreed Severus, thankful for Harry's role in the hand that fate had dealt him, "But I want to, Harry: I want to help you master these new powers of yours and take down this enemy…whoever they are."
"Then let's get started," Harry replied, still tracing the outline of the Dark Mark with his fingertips, his magical probe searching for the source of the darkness within. It took nearly ten minutes for Harry to find it, but, when he did, he grasped Severus' arm and, meeting the eyes of the Potions Master, he warned him, "You may want to clench your teeth."
"Just do it," Severus retorted, though his body did tense up and, a second later, Severus gasped in pain as a feeling like a thousand red-hot needles pushed into his skin, each one pressing around the magic of the Dark Mark and into the link that he shared with Voldemort.
At the same time, Harry used both might and magic to release the mark, though, as the link began to melt away, leaving nothing but clean skin and a cleansed soul within Severus Snape, the Magus Maxima sent a thought of warning across the strings of the bond, 'I'm back, Tom: whatever you think you're going to do to me or my friends, be warned: I'm waiting for you.'
Then, with a final magical tear, Harry ripped the power of the Dark Mark from Severus' arm, tapping into the power of the Magus Maxima to disintegrate the residual energy once and for all, his forehead caked in sweat as such an intense task had left him slightly drained. However, the important thing was that, end of story, it was done.
"There…" he gasped, his voice weakened slightly as he looked to Severus, "You are free…Severus."
"You should rest," Severus explained, but Harry shook his head.
"I…I can't rest: Bishop wants to meet me; he says he has a hint for where we start in making sure the future doesn't come to pass."
"Then I'm coming with you," Severus explained, rising from his seat and, supporting Harry with his own weight, he added, "Can't have you collapsing on the way down to the Chamber, can we?"
Harry was more than willing to let him help now that their rivalry was nothing more than the dust left in their footsteps' wake…
"Ah, you're here; good."
"Sorry I'm late," Harry gasped, accompanied by Severus as they entered the main area of the Chamber, "Had to…to keep a promise; anyway, you said…you said you had a hint?"
"I did," Bishop replied, sitting in the midst of a circle that was comprised of Harry's allies and his teammates; with the time traveller in the centre, Stephen, Charles and Dumbledore were watching him with interest while Severus moved to join the Headmaster, leaving Harry in the company of his girlfriend and his team. "And it's a pretty common one these days; from what I understand, the hint that you're about to get is also a problem for the present and the future."
"But why would I have something to do with this?" asked Harry, his energy being restored by his girlfriend's comforting touch as well as a few dregs of her energy-manipulation power.
"Because," Bishop explained, withdrawing a wrapped parcel and, laying it down, he unfurled it, the familiar sight of the Z symbol from his future making Harry feel unnerved as Bishop continued, "In the future, they become your soldiers and Hunters: warriors trained to bring mutants and humans alike before you for judgment: if they agree to serve you, they get to live…but if not…"
"We get the message," Harry mused, looking to the symbol that accompanied the Z-symbol of the future monster that called itself the Magus Maxima; as they saw the symbol in question, Harry and Hermione both jumped when Logan unsheathed his claws, his growl echoing through the silence of the chamber.
"I was afraid they'd have something to do with it," explained Wolverine, while Harry was confused as he glanced to what looked like a human skull over the tentacles of what seemed to be an octopus, the entire symbol held within a circle.
"Who are they?" asked Harry, glancing to Wolverine, "Do you know them?"
"The entire world knows them," Logan explained, retracting his claws before he linked his hands, resting his head against his hand as he gave his answer;
"They're known…as HYDRA!"
Within the dark confines of Riddle Manor, Tom Riddle, alias Lord Voldemort, opened his eyes and scowled at the feeling of intrusion not only through his now-severed bond with Severus Snape and Harry Potter, but there was also an intruder within his mansion. Sitting upright on his throne, Voldemort drew his black wand and demanded, "Who's there? Show yourself, I command you!"
"And what…" asked an oily voice, the tone of the voice making Tom shudder as he envisioned a rotting corpse from the sound of the voice, "Do you think gives you the right to command one with more power than yourself, Thomas?"
"No," Tom gasped, watching as a man dressed in unusual blue armour and with impossibly pale skin emerged from the shadows, a small group of strange human-like beings standing around him, "I thought…they said you were…"
"Dead?" asked the man, laughing at the insinuation while he revealed two rows of sharp teeth, "I who have lived for nearly one hundred and sixty years am not so easy to kill, Thomas, or do you forget?"
"Don't call me by that name, Nathaniel," Voldemort hissed, drawing a hiss from the man as he added, "Oh that's right; you go by the new name now: Mr Sinister. Well, Sinister; I think you should know that your little deception failed: the boy is not here with us and he is not drawn to darkness. Even worse, it seems that he has…a new player: what do you plan to do about that?"
"Everything is in place," a new voice replied, the owner of the voice emerging from the shadows. "And soon, Tom Riddle, the army shall rise, the Magus shall come to us and you shall all have what you desire: your perfect world…with Harry Summers at the head."
"And who are you to think that?" asked Tom, glancing to a man that was dressed in what appeared to be golden armour, a helmet that looked more like a helm with antlers protruding from it over his pale face and sharp dark eyes that seemed to glow with a hidden blue light, like that of frost.
"The one that put all this together," Sinister explained, smirking to himself as he added, "And the one that will help us bring that boy to his true destiny."
"I am so much more than that," the armoured figure replied, "I am Loki…of Asgard…and I am the one that will change things from now on."
Chapter 16 and THE END of Child of the Phoenix: the enemy reveals himself and…IT'S LOKI! I think we all know who THAT means, don't we? (Told you I'd have a big surprise for the sequel)
But can Harry and his team cheat fate, trick a trickster and overcome their fears for the future or will the Magus Maxima become the ruler of the One Kind?
FIND OUT IN…Marauders Mobilise!
As an author, I hope you understand that the sequel WILL take time, but I'm not leaving it to rot away in the remains of my imagination; so, for now, a BIG thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, favourite, alerted and Community-added this story. It's you lot that kept me going and, from Child of the Phoenix, I bid you a fond farewell.