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Chapter Seventeen
Dark Plans

“ Say that again.”

“ Minh's father was called Ethelred Gryffindor, the great great grandson of Godric Gryffindor.”

“ Are you sure?”

“ It says so right here, Ron.  Do I have to show you the page?”

“ No, I believe you, it's just…”

“ A lot to take in?”

“ Yeah.”

“ How do you think I feel?  All I ever wanted was to be a normal teenager, and it seems like I'm always finding out new ways in which I'm special.  I hate it.  I don't deserve it…”

“ Harry, don't talk like that,” Ginny interjected, “ You have a destiny to fulfill.  Not everyone can say that about themselves.  The things that are special about you are simply the tools you will need to win, and fulfill your purpose.”

“ I know, Ginny.  It's just that I don't like having a destiny.  It makes me feel like I don't have any control over my life.  Like I was simply a weapon created for the side of Light.”

“ But you're so much more than that…” Hermione said.

“ No, I'm not `Mione.  Everything that has happened to us in the last two and a half years has been leading up to me defeating Voldemort.  This `heir of Gryffindor' thing is the last straw.  I can't take much more of this!  I hate being special, I hate being the saviour of the wizarding world, I hate being the bloody Boy-Who-Lived!”

“ Harry, calm down, mate.  You don't have a choice.”

“ I know!  That's the problem.  Ever since my first year I've been maneuvered into this position where I can take on the Dark Lord.  Dumbledore manipulated me into being the perfect Gryffindor, even before I tried the Sorting Hat on.  Ever since, he's been pushing me into more and more dangerous situations in preparation for what he knew I would have to do one day.”

“ Harry!  Don't talk about Professor Dumbledore like that!” Hermione said indignantly, “ He's the only adult we can trust…”

“ Open your eyes, Hermione!  He's using us!  I've been thinking about this a lot lately, and the more I think about everything that's happened, the more I can see how he's been manipulating everything in his favour.  Who in their right mind lets three eleven year olds face a Dark Lord single handed?  A Dark Lord so notorious, people fear to speak his name fourteen years after he supposedly died?  Dumbledore knows everything that happens in this school, so you can't tell me he didn't know what we were up to.  He did give me the invisibility cloak after all.  And since we came back in time, he uses us as much as possible.  We are usually the first line of defence in battle, even though we are only students.”

“ Harry, you don't get it, do you,” Ginny whispered, “ We are the first line of defence because we're good.  We know more than anyone here, and we have skills that can be used against the Death Eaters.  It's not some big plot to use you; it's a compliment if anything.”

“ Ginny, you know as well as I do that Dumbledore doesn't trust me…”

“ What do you mean?!” Ginny asked in shock.

“ He hates all things Dark.  Ever since Percy's death, he's mistrusted me to some extent.  He knows the type of magic I use, and he doesn't agree with it at all.  If he wasn't using me for his own ends, do you really think someone as Light as Dumbledore would allow powerful Dark Magic to be practiced in his school?  I mean, I've even been teaching Sev some Dark curses, despite my better judgment, because I know in his position he will need all the help he can get.”

“ But don't you see,” Hermione pleaded, “ Dumbledore only trusts Severus because you do.  He was cautious about a Death Eater from the start, especially considering Satanus Snape and the damage he's done.  He trusted you when you said Severus was on the side of Light, so you can't say he doesn't trust you.”

“ `Mione, I said he didn't trust me.  He may trust my judgment, as he knows enough about me to see that I want the Dark Lord killed, and Sev will be essential in that.  It's me he doesn't trust, not my judgment.  He knows at the moment I'm firmly on the side of Light, and would do anything so see my parents' murderer annihilated.”

“ What are you getting at, mate?” Ron asked his friend.

“ What I mean is that he knows I'm a Dark Wizard, and as such practice the Dark Arts.  He doesn't like it, but he tolerates it because he is hoping to use my skills against Voldemort, and he knows in that respect we have the same goals.  What he is afraid of is me becoming the next Dark Lord.  Dumbledore knows I know more Dark Magic than Voldie, and he's scared I will become corrupted, and turn into a worse threat that the one at the moment.  That's why he doesn't trust me.”

“ I see your point, Harry, but where did this suddenly come from?  I mean, what has this got to do with you being the heir of Gryffindor?”

“ Ginny, it has everything to do with it.  I have just been proven to be more powerful than most, by a combination of ancestors.  This will cause problems with our esteemed headmaster.  If he knows I am the one in the prophecy, he will want to maneuver me into the role I am destined to play.  This is what happened in the future, before we came on this jaunt.  He was starting me on the road he thought I should be following in my first year.  It will also back up what I said about him not trusting me.  Tom Riddle was the heir of Slytherin, and as such was powerful enough to be a Dark Lord.  You think Dumbledore will trust me more or less if he knows I am the heir of two founders?”

The other three all let out long suffering sighs.  They could see what Harry was getting at, but they still thought he was wrong.  It disturbed them that the Boy-Who-Lived had seemingly lost faith in his mentor.  If he distrusted Dumbledore, it could cause factions in the Order of the Phoenix, causing innumerable problems.  However, they all had a niggling feeling in the back of their minds that Harry had a point.  When they thought it through, as their friend had done, the headmaster did seem to have manipulated a lot of situations in his favour.  They didn't trust his motives any less, but it gave them something to think about.  Before Hermione could start arguing her point further, the bell rang for their next lesson.  As they headed out of the door, Harry and Ron to Charms and Ginny and Hermione to Herbology, the four time travellers were all deep in thought, considering the prophecy and the ramifications it would have on the future.


That night, during Sev's lesson with Harry, his Dark Mark suddenly started to burn.  With a hiss, he dropped his sword on the floor and grasped his left forearm in a vain attempt at lessening the pain.  Harry could instantly see what was going on and gently prised Sev's right hand off his arm.  Pushing his friend's sleeve up, he looked intently at the angry black tattoo before holding his other hand over the blemish and starting to chant in the elven language.  Seconds later, he released the arm and looked into the younger Slytherin's eyes.

“ You'd better go.”

“ What did you do to my arm?  It doesn't hurt any more.”

“ Elven healing spell.  You'd better get ready.”

Sev nodded, before rushing out of the door.  Several minutes later, Harry was roused from his book writing by a frantic knocking on his door.  When he opened it, he was met with a very flustered looking Sev, dressed in Death Eater robes and holding the familiar white mask in his hand.

“ What's wrong, Sev.”

“ Harry, what do I do?  I don't know how to apparate!” he said, breathing heavily.

“ Calm down, you'll start to hyperventilate.  What do you mean, you can't apparate?  I would have thought that would have been a requirement for a Death Eater.  How else are you supposed to get to the meetings?  How did you get there for your initiation?”

“ My father apparated me there.  He said he expected me to learn how to do it myself before the next meeting.  I didn't know it would be this soon, and it completely slipped my mind.  What am I going to do?”

“ Don't worry, come in and I'll get you there.”

As Sev stepped into the room and closed the door behind him, Harry was frantically trying to think of a way of getting his friend to the meeting.  He knew that if he failed to show up, or was very late, he would be punished.  While the Cruciatus wouldn't work on him, Harry knew that it wasn't the only torture spell the Dark Lord knew.  As he was formulating a plan, he kept one eye on his young apprentice.  He could see that Sev was scared out of his wits.  He hadn't attended a meeting since his initiation, and despite Harry's training of him, Voldemort was still someone to be feared.  Suddenly, it came to Harry what to do.  Thinking about Sev's training had reminded him of his own link to Voldemort, and a smirk broke out on his face.  At this, Sev gave him a nervous look, making the smirk into a genuine smile.

“ I have an idea, Sev.  But for future meetings, I'm going to have to teach you to apparate.”

“ You'll teach me?”

“ Of course!  Can't have our only spy getting in trouble now, can we?  Anyway, I was going to teach you eventually, so it may as well be sooner rather than later.”

“ Thanks, Harry.  So how am I getting there?”

“ I'll take you.”

“ WHAT!  Harry, you can't go to a Death Eater meeting?”

“ Why not?  If I turn myself invisible, no-one will even know I was there, and I'll be able to keep an eye on you.  Moral support, in a way.  Not that I doubt your abilities; after all, you have been doing well with your training.  If I'm there, though, I can get you out if anything goes wrong.”

“ Are you sure you'll be safe?”

“ I'll be fine.  And I might pick up on things you may miss.  After all, you will have to avoid getting killed, so you can't afford the luxury of snooping around.”

“ True.  We'll have to go soon, though.  After all, we can't apparate off of Hogwarts grounds.”

“ I know.  We'll floo to Corvus Corax.  We can apparate from the portkey room there.”

Without further ado, Harry created the door into his room and the pair flooed to Domus Corvus Corax.  When they came out of the fire place, they saw a few curious Order members milling around.  Harry called the nearest one over and asked her to contact Dumbledore to call a council meeting.  He told her where the pair was going, so the headmaster wouldn't worry when he didn't turn up at the meeting right away.  After that, they headed to the apparition point where Harry turned himself invisible before grabbing Sev's arm and disappearing with a fait *pop*.

When the two appeared at the meeting, they saw they were in a clearing in a forbidding looking forest.  Harry briefly wondered why the meeting wasn't being held in Voldemort's throne room like it usually was.  His thoughts were interrupted, though, by numerous *pop*s on all sides of him.  Sev had started to shake slightly as the rest of the Death Eaters appeared and arranged themselves in a circle.  Harry thought he had best do something to reassure his friend.

~You'll do great, Sev.  Just remember, keep your face blank of all emotion, and look as if you love the evil bastard.  If you get too scared, picture him in his underwear~

Sev started at the last remark and scowled in Harry's general direction.

~That's not the sort of mental image I welcome, thank you~

~Sorry, I just though it might calm you down.  You look too tense, try and act more natural~

~It's all well and good for you, Harry, you get to be invisible~

~Well, if you were invisible, do you really think it would get Shirley to trust you?~

Sev let out a slight snort at the name, causing some nearby Death Eaters to look at him in disapproval.  Sev simply scowled back, giving as good as he took.

~What do I do if he starts questioning me?  How do I know what to tell him and what not to tell him?~

~I'll let you know~

~That's very comforting, thank you~

~No need for sarcasm~

At that moment, their mental conversation was interrupted by the entrance of the Dark Lord.  He looked just the same as he did when Harry saw him at the battle.  His red eyes looked critically over the assembled Death Eaters.  Some of them started to shuffle uncomfortably, but luckily Sev wasn't one of them.  While the Dark Lord was perusing his troops, Harry started sending a mental message to his familiars.

~Simbi, Nirah, can you have a look around?~



~Watch you don't get stood on, and beware of Nagini~

~Who's Nagini?~ Simbi asked.

~Nagini was Voldemort's snake in my time.  I don't know if she's around in this time, but just in case, watch out for a big snake, and if you see one make sure to avoid her~

~Of course we will~

The two coral snakes slipped to the ground and made their way through the Death Eater ranks, just as Voldemort decided it was time to address his followers.  Harry quickly cast a silencing charm on himself and Sev as Voldemort called forward the first Death Eater.

“ Luciussss!  I want your report.”

Lucius Malfoy stepped out of the crowd, shaking more than he normally would have done.  After bowing to his master and removing his mask, he looked fearfully at the Dark Lord.  Voldemort was giving him a bewildered look as the young boy stood silently, his mouth moving constantly and a pained look on his face.  Eventually, Voldemort started to lose patience and lifted his wand.

“ Finite Incantatem.”

“ This is the song that never ends,
  It just goes on and on my friends,
  Some people started singing it not knowing what it was
  And they'll continue singing it forever just because,
  This is the song that never ends,
  It just goes on and on my friends,
  Some people started singing it not knowing what it was
  And they'll continue singing it forever just because,
  This is the song that never ends….”

It was just as well Harry had cast the silencing charms, because he and Sev couldn't help their hysterical laughter at Voldemort's shocked face.  Caligula Malfoy, who was stood next to his master, had a look of equal shock and anger, while Satanus smirked evilly.  Lucius simply carried on singing.

“ This is the song that never ends,
  It just goes on and on my friends,
  Some people started singing it not knowing what it was
  And they'll continue singing it forever just because,
  This is the song that never ends….”

Voldemort recovered from his shock suddenly and pointed his wand at the singing boy.

“ Crucio!”

Lucius stopped singing and started to scream loudly.  When the curse was lifted, the seventh year lay on the floor in silence, catching his breath.  Harry took the opportunity to remove the silencing charms and speak to Sev.

~I told you a shock of powerful Dark magic was the only think that would break the curse~

~You planned this!~

~But of course!~

~How Slytherin of you~

~Thank you~

By this time Lucius had dragged himself to his knees and was starting his report.

“ I apologise, my Lord.  A boy at school cursed me to sing, and even Dumbledore couldn't remove it.  I am awed by your power, Master.”

“ Stop sniveling and get on with it.”

“ Sorry, my Lord.  I have little to report.  The Anguifer boy is still causing trouble.  He is close to Dumbledore, possibly a member of the Order of the Phoenix, and he is magically powerful.  I have also seen him using the Dark Arts, though, something which the Muggle loving old fool does not condone.  He would make a great Death Eater, my Lord.”

“ Then you will try to recruit him, Luciussss.  If he is loyal to Dumbledore, and can be turned, we may have an excellent spy.  If he won't join us, I'm sure he can have a Quidditch accident or something…”

“ Yes my Lord.”

“ Oh, and Luciussss?”

“ Yes, my Lord?”

“ Crucio!”

Once the screaming stopped and Lucius had dragged himself back into the Death Eater ranks, Voldemort paced in front of his followers for a few minutes before turning to them.

“ I have called you all here for a purpose.  I have completed the translation of the Prophecy of the Four.  Having interpreted its words, I have surmised that at the end of this millennium the Heir of Gryffindor will stand against me and win.  Personally, I don't like the idea of that.  I have decided, therefore, to eliminate the problem before it arises.  If I kill the heir now, before he is powerful enough to oppose me, the prophecy will never come to pass.  I will get to the root of the problem long before the flower grows.  I therefore have a task for you all.  I want each and every one of you to hunt for the family I must destroy.  It is unlikely their name will still be Gryffindor, so you will have to look into family records.  Once you have found the Gryffindor descendants, I will destroy the Line of the Lion once and for all.”

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