Chapter 29 Fallout from the Dual
A/N - This is my first fan fiction it is A/U. I hope most of the characters are believable. The exception of course will be Harry. He will be smarter and stronger then in the first set of books.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Summary: What is 'The power he knows not' and how did Harry get it? How did Harry survive the killing curse and what does Sirius Black have to do with it? Who is the voice Harry is hearing in his head?
Chapter 29 Fallout from the Duel
The next morning came all too soon for most of the students and faculty at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The Daily Prophet's headlines screamed of the duel and resulting injuries.
In the editorial section of the paper, Lucius Malfoy was demanding that Harry Potter be arrested and tried for the attempted murder of his heir.
In the same section, Madam Bones explained the rules of the duel, how Draco violated those rules and how Harry had shown great restraint in not causing more damage than he did when Severus and he appeared to be attacking Harry.
Of course, Harry, Sirius and company knew that this was not the last they would be hearing from Lucius, or some of his more 'colorful' associates and had some good attorneys on retainer – just in case.
Professor Dumbledore an announcement during breakfast that the potions classes were postponed until another potion master could be secured to teach the class.
After breakfast, Harry informed the Headmaster that he had secured the services of Horace Slughorn, who agreed to teach Harry as a favor to his late mother. He was sure that with the right 'incentives', Professor Slughorn might be willing to take back the role of potion master and head of Slytherin house.
The incentive Harry offered Professor Slughorn to tutor him alone was that he would receive the same fee he would have when he taught at Hogwarts – Adjusted for inflation of course. In addition, Harry promised the retired Professor a sample of some of the more rare items from a one thousand year old Basilisk, but Professor Dumbledore didn't need to know that.
Professor Dumbledore offered Professor Slughorn an inflated 'Head-of-house' Hogwarts salary and a certain amount of autonomy that would allow him to restart his 'Slug Club' while on school property. The addition of Harry's stipend would mean he could enjoy some of the 'finer things' in life while still being able to teach children in one of the safest location in all of Great Britain.
After Professor Dumbledore approached the retired professor with his proposal, he readily accepted.
The next morning, Professor Dumbledore announced that potion classes would start at the beginning the first of next week.
Later, Harry started to follow up on some of the other tasks he had set for himself before the winter break.
He met with the members of the Slytherin quidditch team to see how things were going in that particular house and with Draco Malfoy in particular. What types of problems would he run into when he reveled himself to be the true heir of Slytherin?
Marcus Flint, captain of the quidditch team was their main representative. He told Harry how he had talked to his father, grandfather, and others over the holiday. They told him of 'The old days' when there was planning and skill involved in controlling things from the background. How 'before the Dark Lord' appeared, being Slytherin wasn't a bad thing – per-say. It just meant that you more ambitious then most of the other students or co-workers.
Flint said it was harder for some of his elders to talk about the downfall of the Dark Lord and the end of the first war. One old granduncle or something who was a lawyer in arcane law told the family that according to the olde laws, a person who was defeated in single combat lost all that he had to the conqueror. His lands, titles, possessions, money, everything. The old granduncle laughed to himself as he told Marcus "... By ancient law, that whip of a boy Potter should be Lord Slytherin. What do you think of that? A half-blood! Lord of Slytherin? Never!" It was easy for Marcus to look shocked since his granduncle had just confirmed everything that Harry had said before the break.
He also told Harry how the other members of his family still thought it odd that 'their lord' could fall to a half-blood infant child. How that after the rise of the Dark Lord, those who were in Slytherin's house were no longer encouraged to be as 'subtle' as before. How they were expected to be more vocal on issues such as blood-purity and the rights of the ancient overlords – that 'might makes right', and that it was their duty to rule over those of lesser status.
He ended his report to Harry by saying that it had not been lost on him as how, on the one hand, the 'old' generation wanted the rights of the overlords and 'old families' established, while at the same time ignoring him (Harry) as the true Lord of Slytherin. It was as if they wanted to have things both ways. Power and prestige for them – ridicule and scorn for Harry. Marcus said he felt sick to see how far these of the House of Slytherin had fallen from where the Founder expected.
In the end, Marcus had no trouble making a personal pledge to Harry, recognizing him at the true Lord of Slytherin, and pledging to do everything in his power to bring his house back to the true course.
Harry was pleased with Marcus' report, but told him that, for now, he was just to share this knowledge with the other members of the quidditch team, and to be careful that his identity didn't get out to the other 'dark lord' supporters.
Before letting Marcus go back to the snake pit Harry asked him, "What about Malfoy? What's he been up to lately?
Marcus smiled a cruel smile. "That little piece of dragon dung has been doing nothing but whimpering and making some not-so-veiled threats against you. He's been trying to recruit some of the older students to ambush you to get revenge for what you did to him. Right now only Crabbe, Goyle, and Pansy are even listening to him. It seems like he starts every other sentence with '…When my father…' something or other. Just about everyone in Slytherin has just tuned him out. He has no followers and no real 'pull' in the house."
"I guess one of the reasons he's so mad is because Snape was his Godfather and now he's gone, Draco has lost his protection he had from Snape, and now has no one to hide behind. Now, HE has to put up, or shut up, and he does a very poor job of putting up."
"As far as his injury goes, he's completely healed. I think he's milking the sympathy vote from Pansy as long as he can."
For the next two and a half months things slowly got back to normal. Harry tried to get into a regular routine at school: Wake up, workout, eat, attend classes, eat, workout, quidditch, eat, workout, rest and repeat. As much as possible he worked with the others, but now that Ron and his brothers had been shown Gryffindor's room, he spent most of his time there, though he did take time to practice with the others in chamber 8 occasionally.
Harry found there was a great deal to learn from the Founders. Classes in History, Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Runes, Arithmancy, and other areas of magic than he never knew existed.
All this training and learning wasn't really as boring as you might think, quite on the contrary. Harry found it quite enjoyable and looked forward to teach Neville, Susan, Hermione, and Ron, when he showed up, what he had learned from the Founders and others in the astral plane.
Of course, Hermione was always after him to show them where he had read about this spell, or that curse. Most of the time he could point her to one of the books that would be generally available to the students in general, but for the most part, she was just pleased to be learning as much as she was.
Susan had decided to wait until spring before having Ty start on her greenhouse and Founder room. In addition, since she was the Hufflepuff heir, she did not feel the need to 'ask' the Headmaster for permission. The greenhouse would be hidden from the rest of the school, as it had been originally. Lady Hogwarts would insure that only those invited by the heir of Hufflepuff would be able to find it.
One of the things that came out during Harry's preparation for the duel is that Lady Hogwarts, or any of the other personages in the astral plane could contact Harry or 'Ma' as long as they were within the wards of Hogwarts. Harry did not have to go to the 'Room of Knowledge' to project himself there. He did have to be careful not to 'space out' when he did, but now he could know everything that was going on at Hogwarts... Just like the Headmaster. The only difference? Lady Hogwarts liked him better than Dumbledore.
On one of his visits to Hogwarts in the astral plane, Lady Hogwarts brought him a problem.
"We have much to discuss my champion." Lady Hogwarts stated seriously. "I am afraid that during the winter break, Grounds Keeper Hagrid has reported that several Unicorns have been found killed in the Founders forest, their blood completely drained from them, and other body parts taken that can only be used in the darkest of rituals."
"I didn't know there were vampires in the area." Harry stated looking confused.
"This wouldn't be the work of vampires Harry." 'Ma' joined into the conversation. "They have far too much respect for the Unicorn's to even try to come close to them."
"It is said that the hide of a Unicorn would rival the hide of a Basilisk's as far as spell resistance. The horn, heart, liver, and spleen are some of the rarest elements in the potion world, and of course, you know that the hair from the tail or mane can be used in making powerful wands.
"The blood of a Unicorn is said to be as close to the elixir of life in that it can keep a person alive, regardless of how close they may be to death. There is however, one major drawback – if taken by force, or violently, anyone consuming the blood would have a cursed existence and a half life.
Lady Hogwarts took over the conversation. "The only thing that will overcome the curse of the Unicorn's blood is the elixir of life from a true Philosophers Stone. It just so happens that the Headmaster is currently storing the only known Philosophers Stone in a chamber that can normally only accessed from a room on the third floor."
"He and several of the professors have set different traps and tests to prevent a person from entering this chamber but that would not be any problem for you my champion as you have the animagus form of the ancient Bennu – as well as knowing how to slide like a house-elf or use the transportation ward of Hogwarts its self."
"What do you want me to do then?" Harry asked.
"When the time is right, you will need to retrieve the stone before the essences of Tom Riddle can use it to restore his body. As you know, he currently possesses the body of your Professor Quirrell, but he is currently of no danger to the Stone. He is, however, a danger to the staff and students.
"My champion, Professor Quirrell has just left the castle, heading in the direction of the Founders forest. I fear another Unicorn is in danger tonight, and ask you to follow him and protect these noble creatures from this dark lord."
Harry swallowed hard. He was not sure he was ready for his first real taste of 'battle' or conflict. Nevertheless, he knew within himself that he could do everything in his power to help Lady Hogwarts. With a lump in his throat, and a rock in his stomach, he stood tall and answered her call. "It shall be done, My Lady."
Harry had decided that the 'Protector of Hogwarts' would be a medieval wizard. His appearance would be altered so he would appear to be about 6 feet tall, well built, and in period robes and hat. His face and voice would be changed so that he could not be identified that way.
He tried to add a little of each of the Founder's personality into his character: The bravery and strength of Gryffindor; the knowledge and wisdom of Ravenclaw; the compassion and loyalty of Hufflepuff; and the ruthlessness and ambition of Slytherin.
Lady Ravenclaw came to Harry and instructed him further. "Go down to the 'Room of Knowledge' and call forth my staff. It will work better than your wand. Also by using it, Quirrell won't be able to identify you by your wand or sword, if you have to use either of them."
They thought it best that he not show his sword, only the staff of Ravenclaw, though his wand would be in a safe holster where it could not be summoned on his leg.
Harry quickly changed, and slid to where he could feel the stain of evil entering the Forbidden Forest.
Using the tracking technique the Founders had taught him, Harry was able to follow Quirrell / Voldemort without them knowing. He saw how they were tracking a young, pure unicorn, whose coat had just changed from the dark coal of infant, to the shining white of a mature female.
Harry carefully positioned himself between the young colt and Quirrell, waiting to see what would happen. He didn't have to wait long. As soon as Quirrell 'knew' the colt was alone, he cast his favorite curse. "Avada Kedavra!"
Upon hearing the killing curse being cast so close to him, and knowing that he was the only person who could save the young unicorn colt, adrenaline coursed through Harry's body as he cast the strongest shield he had developed over the many years of practice. "Alere Roboris!" (Feed Core Shield)
The shield appeared in front of the startled young unicorn just in time to intercept the unstoppable curse. This time, however, something was different. The shield appeared as a solid wall!
As the curse hit it, all present in the clearing could see the different components of the curse begin to unravel, and breakdown until only pure magic remained. Harry was temporarily shocked at what had happened with the spell. He was surprised that: a) his shield had stopped the curse, and b) just how long it took to breakdown the killing curse.
He was so taken by the effectiveness of his shield, that when the raw magic from the curse 'fed' into his core, he was unprepared to take in the vast quantity and darkness of the magic he felt. He immediately noticed another section of 'Tom Riddle's' core present from the spell being cast. It was drawn to the old part of Riddle's core that Harry had been carrying around for the better part of ten years.
The effect was immediate. The shields Harry and Durendal had placed around the old core were torn to shreds in an instance.
In his head, Harry could hear the voices of 'Ma' and Durendal both yelling 'Discharge! Discharge! Discharge! Don't try to hold on to this magic! Get rid of it as quickly as you can! Use Roe's Staff Harry! Quickly before he can take control of you again like he did at Privet Drive!'
At the same time he could feel the lust for power, the hunger, thirst, and hatred 'Riddle' had for all lesser being than himself – and everyone was a lesser being, much like he did three years ago.
Concentrating on the power and feeling he was getting from that part of his core that belonged to 'Riddle', Harry thrust the staff of Ravenclaw into the ground and released as much of the dark magic as he could.
For a hundred meters around him, anything connected to the ground died. Trees, grasses, shrubs, worms, or other creatures in the earth felt the effects of two killing curses.
Above the ground, the release of magic knocked both Harry and Professor Quirrell to the ground. The unicorn colt bolted from the area as quickly she sensed MAN in the area. Especially a man with the feeling of evil and death all around him.
Harry and Durendal quickly shielded the now mostly 'dead' part of his core that had once belonged to 'Tom Riddle'. There was still enough 'something' there that it could not be left unguarded.
The tracking illusion around Harry dropped, but his disguise held as he looked up and saw the shadow of Quirrell / Voldemort slowly recovering from the discharge of the killing curse into the ground.
"Who are you wizard? Do you know what you have done? Do you dare stand before the Dark Lord Voldemort and heir of Slytherin?" Quirrell / Voldemort hissed in parseltongue.
Harry, taking on his new persona answered in English.
"I am the Protector of Hogwarts. She hast called me forth to prevent and defend her young ones and the innocent from thee and those who would prey upon them. My calling is to prevent thee, and others like thee from inflecting harm any more. I stand against thee and thy kind because it is the right thing to do. I will continue to do so when for as long as I am called upon. As for thy claim of heir? It is forfeited. The essence of Salazar Slytherin that resides in Hogwarts has rejected thee. Thou art no more that the bastard son of the last line of a once proud and noble house. When thy life is forfeit, that line will end. The mantel of the heir of Slytherin has already been passed to another. Thou art cast out, cut off from that noble house."
"NO! What do you know old wizard! I AM THE HEIR OF SLYTHERIN! I AM IMMORTAL! I HAVE GONE FURTHER THAN ANY OTHER WIZARD TO OVERCOME DEATH! It is my right to rule over the weak and lesser persons than myself!" Quirrell / Voldemort quickly shot another killing curse right at Harry. Harry simply slid two feet to the left and watched the curse go harmlessly past.
Quirrell / Voldemort cast the killing curse repeatedly with the occasional cruciatus and reducto thrown in for good measure, but each time Harry would slide out of the way or conjure something solid like stone that would stop the curse from ever reaching him.
With each missed curse, Quirrell / Voldemort got madder and madder, and more and more upset. Harry saw his opening and took it. "Petrificus Totalus!" The staff glowed brightly and Quirrell / Voldemort found himself paralyzed, lying in the middle of the clearing.
"Thou hast been measured and found wanting spirit of Riddle. Thou hast been judged and found to be a corrupt and a willing offender, body of Quirrell. To answer the demands of justice for thy crimes against Magic and the being blessed with it, thy life is forfeited."
Using all his might and remaining power, Quirrell / Voldemort screamed "NO!" and with a final push broke the hold of Harry's spell and immediately apparated away.
Harry was shocked that his Petrificus Totalus did not hold Quirrell, but at the same time, was somewhat thankful that he did not have to carry out the sentence he had pronounced.
He knew he would have to shed the blood of the wicked to protect the innocent, but was he ready for it? Durendal, Rowena, Godric, and Salazar had talked to him about it, but even with all the time in chamber 8 or the astral plane, the idea of taking another wizards' life filled him with dread.
Sliding back to the 'Room of Knowledge', Harry immediately transferred to the astral plane to review what had happened with Lady Hogwarts and the others.
"Thank you for saving the unicorn my champion." Lady Hogwarts said with love and pride in her eyes.
"Yes, for a first encounter you equipped yourself fairly well." came Godric's response.
"You know you talk too much." Salazar started. "When you are faced with a life-or-death situation you must ACT FIRST, and then dictate your justifications for it later. Now you have an enemy out there who knows of your existence and will not underestimate your abilities the next time you meet. Now you must train harder, learn to cast quicker, and be more decisive in your actions so that when you DO meet next time, and there will be a next time, you will still provide some surprises for him."
"It would seem that the staff has not yet fully accepted you as it's new master Harry. The Petrificus Totalus should have held Quirrell, regardless of who possesses him. Keep reading in my journal to see if you can learn more of the secrets of the staff." Were Rowena's comments.
Harry was generally grateful for the comments of his friends, but found Salazar's comments a little hard to swallow.
Lady Hogwarts brought another problem to Harry's attention. "In addition to the problem we have with Quirrell, there are several older students in all houses that are bullying some of the younger ones. I need you, my champion, to protect the students – and even some of the staff should the need arise. Stay here and continue to train with the Founders and those who have something to teach. Your 'Ma' and I have many things that we can talk about to aid you in the time to come.
After a while, 'Ma' reminded Harry that his life was really down there in the 'real' world. That there were people who loved and cared for him there, and that he shouldn't use astral plane Hogwarts as an escape from the troubles and difficulties that would face a 'normal' eleven year old boy. So, reluctantly Harry returned to his friends and classmates, and his regular classes.
Both he and 'Harry's crew', as his friends had come to be called, found all the first year courses very easy to accomplish and complete (even Ron) and spent most of time helping other students understand what the teachers were trying to impart to them.
Harry had finally heard back from Mr. Ollivander. His staff was ready! He had been surprised when Hedwig showed up this morning with a letter from the staff maker.
I must confess that your familiar seems to have the most unique ability to know just when someone has something to send to you. I had finished your staff no more than 5 minutes ago when this beautiful creature entered my work area and landed next to your staff. I received the distinct impression that she was here with the express purpose of delivering my letter to you. Most impressive.
I realize that the new moon occurs during the middle of the day on the 4th of March, however, I would like to know if you could be at my shop the previous evening at midnight so we can finish the staff and have it bound to you. This would allow you to pick up your staff, and return to school with minimum interruption.
Harry wrote a quick reply to Mr. Ollivander stating that he would be there at the appointed date and time. He planned to 'flame travel' to the shop since Mr. Ollivander already knew of his form.
As the evening of the 3rd approached, Harry became more and more excited to get his staff. He had been working with Sal and Godric in basic staff technique.
As midnight approached, Harry made sure the curtains to his bed were closed and sealed. With a thought, he changed into a Bennu and fire-traveled to the wand-maker's shop.
Mr. Ollivander was pleased when Harry showed up.
"Fascinating Mr. Potter, simply fascinating. Thank you for coming so quickly." As he spoke, he moved towards his workbench, bringing Harry with him.
"It has been many generations since an Ollivander has had the privilege of creating a staff. You have given me the opportunity to fulfill a life-long dream. Thank you Mr. Potter, thank you."
Harry was stunned with what he saw as the staff lying on the workbench. What had started out as a pale yellowish olive color had turned into a deep, dark brown, almost black finish. The combination of the woods natural oils and lacquer Mr. Ollivander had applied to it gave it an indescribable gloss and shine. The power was almost palpable even from where Harry was standing.
"To finish the staff Mr. Potter, you must first bind yourself to it."
"How to I do that?"
"The same way you called the elements to you the first time you entered my shop all those years ago. Stretch out your magic and call it to you."
Closing his eyes, Harry did as he was instructed and let his magic out. He could feel the staff call to him as he called for it. He knew exactly when the staff left the workbench and rushed into his hand.
Closing his hand around it, he had an overwhelming feeling of completeness. It was like getting a part of his soul back he didn't realize had been missing. Both Harry and the staff began to glow until the entire shop was filled with a rich, golden aura. Slowly he drew the magic back into himself and opened his eyes. Looking at Mr. Ollivander, he saw his mouth hanging open in amazement.
"I feel complete now." Harry said quietly.
"Now I know, even more so than before that we will see great things from you Mr. Potter, yes, truly great things."
"Now Mr. Potter, I know you can't just carry a staff around with you without causing some questions to come up. Since you, your blood and your animagus are all apart of the staff, I want you to concentrate to see if you can truly becoming one with it."
Harry looked questioningly at Mr. Ollivander. What did he mean 'becoming one' with his staff? Thinking on this he heard his 'Ma' say, 'Think of having the staff where no one can get to it, like you do Durendal. If you can merge it to you, you will never be defenseless.'
Harry thought a bit more on what was being asked, took the staff in his hand, and as had happened with Durendal, the staff disappeared. Harry felt a rush as the staff merged with him.
With a thought, the staff was back in his hand. With another thought, it was gone again. Next Harry brought Durendal into his right hand and the staff in his left. It was a bit awkward, he knew he would have to practice with the two weapons changing back and forth between which was in the dominant hand.
Coming back to himself, Harry looked up to find Mr. Ollivander watching him carefully.
"I see you have had some training in the use of the sword and staff. Professor Dumbledore perhaps?"
"No, the Professor and I still aren't on the best of terms just yet."
"If not him, then Professor Flitwick?"
"I'm sorry, no. I am not at liberty to say whom at this point in time. Besides, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
Mr. Ollivander laughed softly and said, "Mr. Potter, you could tell me that you were being trained by the Founders and I think I'd believe you."
Harry looked down so as not to meet his eyes but said nothing. Mr. Ollivander's mouth dropped open and he felt the need to sit down very quickly. A soft side chair appeared behind him just in time to keep him from falling to the floor.
"You've found them?" he asked.
Harry nodded his head oh so slightly.
"And Hogwarts... Have you found the true Hogwarts?"
Again, he nodded his head.
"I have read in my ancestors journals that the essences of the Founders can be found at Hogwarts. That the castle has become self aware, but they never told anyone how it was done. Will you tell me Mr. Potter? Please?"
The pleading almost broke Harry's heart. He could hear the sincere desire behind the request, but he also remembered Lady Hogwarts charge that each person had to make it to the astral plane on their own.
"I'm sorry Mr. Ollivander, I'm grateful for everything you've done for me, but I am under a strict charge not to reveal that secret to anyone. I hope you understand."
Looking dejected, Mr. Ollivander nodded his head as well. "That is what they said as well. I guess I should take solace in the fact that there is someone in this world that has found a way to receive teaching from the Founders and can say what they really intended their houses to stand for."
"Thank you for understanding. Is there anything else you wanted from me before I return to Hogwarts?"
"Just promise me that you will come and visit me over the summer. I would like to hear what the Founders have to say about the way things are in the wizarding world today."
"In a nutshell they are not very happy, but that is a discussion for another day. If you'll excuse me, I have to get back to school. Thank you again for all you've done for me. Goodnight."
Turing into the Bennu, Harry flamed out of Mr. Ollivander workshop and back to his dorm room at Hogwarts. Upon arrival, he just sat there thinking about all that had happened that night. Closing his eyes, he entered a deep meditative state where he could visit 'Ma' and Durendal, and later, the astral plane and Hogwarts.
He was pleased to find his staff waiting for him when he went to visit 'Ma'. After showing it to 'Ma' and Durendal, he went on to the astral plane.
Godric was beside himself when he saw Harry appear with a staff AND a sword.
"Finally! Someone to play with that will give me a challenge!" he barked.
Salazar and the other founders just gave him a dirty look.
"Harry, do you still have my staff?" Rowena asked while still looking at Gryffindor. "Could you please summon it for me?"
Harry hadn't merged with the staff of Ravenclaw as he had Durendal and his new staff. He had left it in the 'Room of Knowledge' along with her journal. Having faith in Rowena's faith in him, he thought about her staff and called it to him.
He was mildly surprised when it appeared in his left hand.
She smiled lightly to Harry and asked, "May I borrow that for a few minutes while I let some hot air out of this windbag."
He smiled as he handed it to her and a dueling stage appeared behind them.
Godric, on the other hand, had gone white as a sheet.
"Now Row, I didn't mean anything by that you know. Let's just give that back to Harry so we can get on with his training now why don't we?"
"Oh but Godric, just think how informative it will be to young Harry to actually see a duel with staves before you, with all your VAST knowledge start to instruct him."
In the background, Salazar was starting to make the sound of a chicken, implying that Godric was afraid to face his wife in a staff duel.
Upon hearing the chicken sounds, Godric blushed again, called his staff to him and entered the dueling platform.
"Watch Rowena Harry," Salazar whispered to Harry. "She could always take care of herself with that staff. Godric could never best her, and I don't expect him to do so now."
The duel that followed was exciting to watch. A textbook example of attack and defense, of shielding and escape. For what seemed like hours the two Founders challenged each other. Well, Godric challenged, Rowena just stood there calmly explaining to Harry the different stances and position of the staff and the spells she was using as Godric just got more and more frustrated in not being able get through her defense. Thinking if he over-powered a battle spell he'd be able to end the duel quickly, Godric made the mistake of being out of position at the end of the casting and fell pray to a perfectly cast 'Petrificus Totalus'.
As his arms and legs slapped together, Godric found himself laying flat on his back looking up.
"And that, Harry, is why might does not always win over skill." Rowena said with a glint in her eyes. "Have we learned our lesson Godric?" she asked as if talking to a five year old.
Since he could not move, or talk to respond, Rowena just left him on the dueling platform while she went down to talk with Harry for a while.
Upon returning to the 'real world', he began to observe the general conditions at Hogwarts and in Slytherin in particular.
Marcus was right. Draco was mad! Mad at Harry, mad at getting his arm cut off and then reattached. Mad at his Godfather being taken away from him. Mad at HIS father for not coming to his aid and defending HIS honor after he'd lost his arm. In short, mad at everyone!
He could not believe Potter hadn't been arrested, or expelled for attacking him. DIDN'T THEY KNOW WHO HE WAS? 'When my father finds out…' he started thinking to himself. Wait, father was there, next to me at the platform. WHY DIDN'T HE COME OUT THERE AND PUT THAT LITTLE POTTER BRAT IN HIS PLACE? Draco felt betrayed by his father.
"If my father isn't going to do anything about this, than it's up to us to see to it that Potter pays."
"But how Draco?" Pansy asked, "I never see him in the hall without at least one of his other 'friends'. He's tops in Charms and Transfiguration, and if we had a decent teacher, probably DADA as well."
"Well if we can't attack him directly, then we attack those around him. After all, it's just 3 blood-traitors and a mudblood."
"Be careful there Draco," Pansy warned, "While Granger and Longbottom may be easier targets, remember Susan's aunt is head of DMLE, and Weasley has 3 other brothers here this year."
"Well then I guess we go after the mudblood then don't we? I've waited a long time to put her where she belongs!"
"Well, she's always going to the library. I bet if we watch her we can find a time when she's alone and have a little fun with her."
Over the next few weeks, Draco had Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle watch to see when Hermione was at the library by herself. This type of work was clearly, below what a Malfoy should be expected to do.
They found out that the best time to catch her alone was early Saturday morning before breakfast. It would appear that Ms. Granger liked to get in an extra hour of studying in the library before breakfast was served on the weekend.
The group of Slytherin planned their ambush for the coming weekend. Draco was upset that he had to get up at 6:00 AM even though his Godfather wasn't here to train him. Taking their position across the hallway in front of the library they waited for their prey to appear. They did not see the picture on the opposing wall of a young girl studying look up, watch them, then, move from her frame.
At the same time, Harry was in the 'Room of Knowledge' reading Lady Ravenclaw's journal when he heard Lady Hogwarts call to him.
'Harry, we have a problem. It would appear that Mr. Malfoy and some of his friends are in the shadows across the hall from the library. I'm told that they are waiting for Ms. Granger to come by unescorted. I think now would be a good time for the 'Guardian of Hogwarts' to make his first 'public' appearance.'
Harry had been afraid of something like this happening to Hermione. 'Yes, my Lady, of course you are correct. Durendal and I have been discussing the best way to handle this type of situation. Could you please let the Headmaster know and see if he could please come down here? He will have to deal with Malfoy and his group.
What Harry and Durendal had decided was that Harry would use the same persona of a medieval wizard as he did with Quirrell.
Harry and Durendal thought it best that he not show his sword – as least not in plan sight, only his new staff, so that Dumbledore and those that had seen the sword would not be able to tie it back to him.
Getting up from the table, he changed into his disguise and slid in place just outside the hidden hallway to the 'Room of Knowledge'.
Hermione had made it a habit of waking up early so she could get to the library as soon as it opened to check out the latest books Harry had mentioned in their training the night before. She knew he had all of these books in his own personal library, but that she could not take them out of his trunk. The only way she had of having a copy of her own to read was to get it from the Hogwarts library. That is why she could be found most morning at 6:00 AM in front of the library doors, waiting for Madam Pince to come and open it for the students.
This morning, Madam Pince seemed to be running a little late. That is how Draco and his group found her as they readied their attack.
'I'll show that mudblood who has real power here at Hogwarts', Draco thought as his prey came into view.
"Sectumsempra!" Draco whispered, pointing his wand at Hermione. This had been a special curse his Godfather had taught him, and had instructed him in exactly what the spell would do. At the same time, the others fired off their respective curses: "Stupify!" "Expelluramus!" "Petrificus Totalus!"
All the spell flew across the hall heading straight for her. She was so engrossed in one of the books she had previously borrowed, that she did not see the spell heading towards her, or the appearance of an old wizard holding a staff beside her. However, Professor Dumbledore chose that time to come around the corner to see both the spell, and the mysterious wizard appear.
Before he could do anything, the mysterious wizard cast a spell that was unknown to the Headmaster.
"Consisto!" (A/N Stop!)
The staff in the wizards hand flashed and all activity in the hallway stopped. Hermione froze in place reading her book; Draco and his minion froze in place watching in glee as their spells sped towards its target; even the spell froze in flight. Only Professor Dumbledore and the mysterious wizard seemed to be unaffected by the spell.
With his wand raised, Professor Dumbledore addressed the only other wizard in the hall. "While I do appreciate your aid in this matter, I must ask; who are you and just what exactly have you done?"
Harry looked up at Dumbledore, placed the tip of his staff on the stone floor, and addressed the Headmaster. "I have been called to be the Protector of Hogwarts." Harry said sounding like a much older wizard – someone about the same age as the Headmaster. "My Lady hast deemed that for too long her students have been the subject of on bullying and unprovoked attacks such as we see before us now."
"Can ye tell me Headmaster, why these children of Slytherin should be attacking a child of Gryffindor? Do ye not know of the great friendship those two Founders enjoyed most of their life? How is it that one of them can even think to cast such a damaging spell at another person? Art thou aware of the damage it would cause if this young lass were hit with it?"
Harry produced a shield in front of Hermione and placed a dummy in front of it. Taking his staff, he pointed to the frozen spell and said "Resumo" (Resume).
The spells came alive and flew true to the dummy. Professor Dumbledore was somewhat taken back to see the one spell remove one of the arms of the dummy, and leave a large mark against the main body. He, of course, knew what the spell was, and who developed it. It shocked him that Severus would have taught such a dangerous spell to his godson.
"Ye know the limb would have remained severed, as that is one of the main effects of this spell. The young lass may have expired due to the loss of blood based on the size of the wound to her arm and body." Harry continued. With a wave of his staff the shield, dummy and the results of the spell were removed from the hall.
"This is not acceptable Headmaster. Thou art charged with the safety and welfare of EACH and EVERY student here within these walls. Ye cannot give treatment to one over the other due to their social status or heritage. Now listen to the judgment of Lady Hogwarts."
Harry bound each of the Slytherin students and levitated them to the middle of the hall. Waving his staff, all the students became aware of their situation.
For her part, Hermione jumped upon seeing four Slytherin students in the middle of the hall, and an old, unknown wizard beside her.
Draco and the others were shocked that they could not move, and that they had been removed from the safety of their hiding place.
"What is the meaning of this? Do you know who I am? Unbind me at once before I can tell my fath..."
"Silence!" Harry roared as the Protector of Hogwarts.
"Listen to the judgment of Hogwarts young students."
"Master Draco Malfoy. For casting a potentially fatal spell upon a fellow student thou art hereby expelled from Hogwarts. Headmaster Dumbledore is to take thy wand and hold it, and take thee in custody until the Ministry's Aurors can be called and appropriate legal action be taken against thee. Ye will be banned from attending Hogwarts, or entering her properties for life."
"Mistress Pansy Parkinson, Master Gregory Goyle and Master Vincent Crabbe. Thou shalt not be expelled, however, thy roll as accomplices in this attack will be reviewed and ye will have all privileges removed for the balance of the year. I would encourage ye to reflect upon the choices thou hast made in thy young lives that has lead up to this point. This is not the way of a child of the House of Slytherin."
"Mistress Hermione Granger, though thou wast the object of this attack and are innocent of wrong doing in this manner, let this be a lesson to thee. Friendship should be fostered between all houses, especially between the houses of Slytherin and Gryffindor. Do not let the prejudices of the past blind thee and the other Gryffindors to the benefits of being friends with people from all houses."
Professor Dumbledore felt shocked and helpless at the present time. He knew everything this mysterious wizard was saying was painfully true. He felt ashamed that he had allowed this type of behavior to continue in spite of knowing better.
He was taken back that this unknown wizard would come into 'his' school and pronounce these judgments with such authority and finality. He was putting the Headmaster in a very difficult position. What would he say to Lucius and the other parents? What was he going to say to the Aurors? How would he justify these harsh judgments?
He was brought out of his thoughts as the mysterious wizard addressed him.
"Headmaster, thou wilt find a memory of these activities here in this vial." A small, clear vial appeared in Harry's hand. With a thought, he carefully floated it to Dumbledore.
"Ye would be wise to see that these judgments are handed out as specified. Do what ye know is right and Lady Hogwarts will support thee in thine endeavors. Try to circumvent these judgments and ye may find thy days as Headmaster of Hogwarts limited."
"Thou art also to instruct thy Heads of House as to their proper roll and example they are to set for the students in their care. Ye know what needs to be done. Take action now."
With that, Harry slid back to the 'Room of Knowledge' and collapsed in to a chair. He has felt so out of place saying and doing what he had just done. Being the Protector of Hogwarts was harder than he thought it would be. The thought of Hermione getting hurt because of Draco's actions and Dumbledore's inaction almost drove him batty. He took several minutes to meditate and get his feelings under control.
In the hallway just outside the 'Room of Knowledge', it appeared that a person had just apparated within Hogwarts leaving six very stunned and confused persons.
"Professor Dumbledore? Isn't it impossible to apparate within Hogwarts?" The always-questioning Ms. Granger asked.
"Normally I would say yes, however, it seem that Hogwarts has started to take things into her own hands since I do not seem to be providing the protection or guidance she feels is necessary for the students in her care."
"You make it sound like the castle is alive Headmaster."
"So it would seem Ms. Granger, so it would seem." The Headmaster replied while in deep thought.
The rest of the day didn't go any better for the Headmaster. He was glad he had called the Aurors before the other parents because when Lucius Malfoy and the others showed up, there was nearly a full-blown riot in the Headmaster's office.
"This is preposterous! I demand to know who this 'Protector of Hogwarts' is and by what right he feels he can dictate to a Malfoy that their scion can not finish his training here! How did he fabricate this so-called evidence against my son and the others? What game are you playing Dumbledore? I warn you, you do not want to make an enemy of the Malfoy family."
"Now Lucius, it is no use trying to avoid the facts in this matter. We have all seen the memories that have been collected and have tested the wands of each of the students. We know what your son was trying to do to Ms. Granger. As for who the Proctor is, I do not know. Is he real or is he spirit? I cannot say, all I can say is that is that the judgments are just. Had I seen your son cast that spell at ANY other student, he would have been expelled immediately and his wand snapped. I am surprised at the lenience shown to the other students. Under normal conditions, they too would be expelled and their wands snapped."
"Just you wait until I bring this matter up before the Board of Directors. Let's see how long you remain Headmaster shall we?" The senior Malfoy sneered.
It was at this point that Madam Bones made herself known. "I think you will find the Board will have little to say about this Mr. Malfoy. I have been informed by Gringotts that heirs of all four Founders have been located and recognized as being true heirs making the roll of the Board of Directors a mute point in this matter."
"WHAT! Why hasn't the ministry been notified of this development? I demand to know who these heirs are immediately! It has long been rumored that the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw lines had all passed, while half the wizarding world claim Gryffindor as an ancestor."
"I am the only department in the ministry that needs to be informed of this development so that the protection of the heirs can be provided for Mr. Malfoy and this information goes no further than this room! Why do you feel you have a right or need to know who the heirs are? I noticed you did not comment on the house of Slytherin. I would think you would be most curious as to whom the goblins recognize as the heir of your old house."
"Do not be absurd Madam Bones. There is no question whom the heir of Slytherin is. It does not need to be reviewed."
"Why Mr. Malfoy, you make it sound as if He-who-must-not-be-named is still alive and walking around. Is there something you wish to tell me?"
Lucius fumed at Madam Bones implied question, but stayed silent.
The rest of the school was a buzz with the rumors that were coming from the Gryffindor and Slytherin tables this morning.
The Gryffindor's were spellbound by the tell Hermione gave of a mysterious wizard and seeing him 'apparate' within Hogwarts. The seriousness of the attack seemed to be totally lost on her.
The Slytherin's were talking about the absence of young Mr. Malfoy. When asked, no one could get an answer out of the other three students who had shown up late to breakfast.
Finally, the Headmaster made his appearance at breakfast, and immediately made an announcement.
"If I may have your attention please. It is my unfortunate duty to announce that Mr. Draco Malfoy has been expelled from Hogwarts and had his wand snapped. The details of the incident will not be made public since Mr. Malfoy is a minor, and the investigation is still on going."
"You should all be made aware that Hogwarts has seen fit to provide a 'Protector' to ensure all students are treated fairly. I would suggest that if any of you are mistreating your fellow students, reconsider your ways now or your fate may be that of Mr. Malfoy. That is all."
The noise in the Great Hall increased dramatically after the Headmaster's announcement. What had Draco done to get himself expelled from school? There was certainly little love lost between the Malfoy heir and most of the rest of the school, but some of those who where used to bullying the younger students around began wondering if they might be next.
The main question was what the Headmaster meant when he said Hogwarts had a 'Protector'. Did they really want to find out?
Over the next few days' students walked around the castle as if some monster was going to jump out at them at any time for the slightest infraction of the rules. By the end of the week, most things were back to normal.
Harry found that he was called upon several times to stop some bullying going on between the upper class and the younger students. It soon became known that the 'Protector' was an old wizard that would appear out of nowhere and stop the bullying and hand out punishment that not even the Headmaster could over turn.
In time, the bullying stopped, and Harry didn't have to worry about Hermione finding out that whenever the 'Protector' was present, he seemed to be missing.