Lucifer wasn't sure where he was or why he was a snake, well, fine being snake was natural but he usually was able to know why he was in his snake form. He opened his eyes and looked around, the last thing he remembered was that blasted cage and finally being free. Damn Winchesters must have done something, again. Why can't they just leave his plans alone? Crowley, he wondered what the man did this time.
He turned to the voice that spoke to him. He saw a small boy in clothes way too big, covered in dirt and grim, sitting under the tree, trying to stay somewhat dry. ~You can see me?~ No one who didn't know about magic should have been able to see him.
~Yes. I warned the other snakes that they shouldn't come here. You should really leave too, or my nasty relatives will kill you.~
~Nasty are they?~ He didn't sense any snakes in the area, actually, there were very few small animals in the area. So the relatives must have killed them. They might be interesting if they were the right kind of humans.
~Yes. Nasty as you can imagine.~
Lucifer wasn't sure about that, he could imagine a lot of things. ~Well, they would have to see me in order for them to kill me. I am surprised you can.~ Lucifer looked at the boy. ~Ah, wizard.~
~You, you're a wizard, it explains why you can speak to snakes and can see me. Where am I?~ He wasn't sure how he got here. He wondered how Sam and Dean messed up his plans this time.
~Little Whinging, Surrey, the most boring, unoriginal place in England. So that explains the weird books and stuff in the attic.~
~Yes, talking about charms, potions, things I only read about in the library when I was reading about Merlin.~
~Merlin was real. These relatives they aren't treating you well, I take it?~ He could see the bruises on the boy. He recognized they weren't normal, oops, I fell down ones.
~Let's say if you were poisonous I would open the door and allow you to have a field day with them.~
Lucifer gave the snake qualitative of a smirk. ~Let's go and meet your relatives. What is your name?~
~Harry, what is yours?~
Harry smirked. ~My relatives are going to love meeting you.~
~I am sure it will be mutual. How about we go and see them? I am a bit hungry.~
Harry stood up and waited as Lucifer slithered his way up against Harry, and settled on his head on Harry's shoulder, wrapping himself around Harry's body. ~So full out kill or just maim?~
~Maim, for now, we do need a place to live.~ Harry answered. ~Unless you have a better idea?~
~I believe terrorizing them for a while will work. I have a lot of places we can live at later, but I want to teach you about magic first.~
A year later:
"What is that racket?" Minerva asked as she and Severus were heading to Dumbledore's office.
"I have no idea."
They were meet by a frantic Dumbledore coming down his stairs. "We need to hurry. The wards, they crashed."
"What? Hogwarts wards have crashed?" Severus wasn't sure why they weren't given a warning before they crashed. Was that what the racket was?
"No, at the Dursleys."
"Harry." Minerva cried out.
"Exactly, we must hurry."
They apparated to an alley behind Ms. Figgs house and quickly made their way to Privat Dr. Dumbledore gasped seeing the house in flames. The neighbors were outside spraying their own houses and yards with water as the fire department was trying to control the blaze at #4.
"Albus, Albus." Mrs. Figg made her way to him. "They said no one got out. The firemen only found bodies, no one was alive."
Lucifer grinned as Death appeared in his study. "How are you, Death?"
"I was better until some of my reapers informed me that a fake Mr. Potter was killed, along with his family earlier today." Death didn't mind that Harry was here with Lucifer, the boy was actually healthy for a change.
"Well, Harry had this great idea, and it was getting very boring living there." Lucifer was surprised at how crafty Harry was, and magically gifted, once he removed the blocks and charms that Dumbledore had put on the boy.
"He is mine." Death warned.
"Yours? He isn't a reaper, and isn't marked as a future one." He had made sure of that. No one liked anyone messing with those they claimed.
"No, but he is mine. Tom Marvolo Riddle did some very serious things to elude me, and it interfered with Harry and his families destiny." He wasn't about to admit that Harry was slated to be his future master, the boy already possessed two of the three hollows, he just didn't know it yet. He had reviewed the memory of Riddle believing he had the Resurrection Stone numerous times. It always made him smile.
"You mean that idiot who thought he was all evil and powerful? The one who turned my Harry into a Horcrux? That Tom Marvolo Riddle?" Lucifer had removed the Horcrux and made sure it was returned to the owner.
"Yes, him. He actually started out on a good path until Dumbledore got his hands on the boy, he is also very interested in Harry." Death couldn't do anything in regards to the lives that Dumbledore had ruined and would continue to ruin, but Harry was his and no one was going to hurt the boy if he could help it.
"Why?" Lucifer knew there was more to this then Death was willing to admit.
"Some fake prophecy concerning Tom. He has this whole plot going. Nothing that would appeal to you, he just wants to rule. Power hungry fool."
"Albus Dumbledore?" Lucifer wondered if it was the same Dumbledore he had seen numerous deals with his lower level demons from. He knew Crowley had made a few deals with him. Wait, one of those was a deal to have him defeat a Dark Lord, and another was one about- "Harry."
"Yes, Albus Dumbledore and yes, he made a deal with your Crowley to defeat the Dark Lord Grindelwald and then again when he wanted to attain the Chief Warlock position. Dumbledore is the reason for the prophecy and why Harry's parents died, and why Harry lived, after being hit by the Killing Curse."
"How did that happen anyway?" Lucifer wondered about that.
"Simple really. Dumbledore didn't plan on Harry living but you see, Severus Snape loved Harry's mother, like a sister, and went to Riddle, asked him to keep Lily Potter safe, it was a reward for giving him the prophecy. Originally, Severus didn't know that the prophecy was about the Potters, and he never took the reward, as he wanted to use it for protection later. So he went to Riddle, Riddle promised not to kill her. Now because it was pure, Magic and Destiny's words not mine, the promise was taken as a Vow, Magic accepted it and Destiny agreed. Here is where it gets interesting. I was there personally for this, so it's no rumor. Riddle entered the house, killed James before the man could even defend himself, after telling Lily to run. Riddle wanted to keep the promise he made and asked Lily to move aside. She, however, voided the promise by transferring it to Harry when she asked him to take her instead of her son."
"Magic recognized the transfer?" Lucifer asked.
"Yes, she did. You know how she is." Death stated. "I swear Destiny, Fate, and Magic are three of the most confusing women."
"Now, when she transferred the promise to her son, Riddle did ask three times for her to move aside. Three is one of the magical powerful numbers and because Lily was standing in front of Harry, none of them noticed the magical transfer of that promise. Riddle killed Lily, and when he went to kill Harry, Magic got pissy and sent him back his Killing Curse."
"That enabled Dumbledore to take control as the Chief Warlock, fulfilling Crowley's end of the deal, because he was able to claim himself as Harry's magical guardian. Dumbledore had to put him with those relatives for his for a reason." Lucifer was getting a bigger, clearer picture of what was going on and didn't like it.
"Exactly. Now if the prophecy didn't happen, he might have become Chief Warlock a number of ways, as Potter and his friend Black didn't want to sit in on Wizenagamot sessions and would have trust Dumbledore to handle everything."
"So, you want me to do what? I know you aren't here because of a fake Harry Potter's death."
"Correct. I am sick of Dumbledore and Riddle. I will make you a deal. You take Harry as your son, take control over his vaults, everything, teach him before he gets to Hogwarts, aid him in cleaning up the magical world. Stop Dumbledore and I will help keep the Winchesters busy."
"Nothing like Pompeii or Atlantis, I will accept reasonable deaths, but nothing like the Chicago Fire or anything on the mass murder scale."
"So keep it under 1,000 a day?"
"Fine, 6." Lucifer agreed.
"If you need to speak to me, you know how to. Also, teach Harry all the branches of magic, you might be surprised." Death popped out before Lucifer could ask any questions.
"Ah, Severus, I need you to go and visit a Muggle-born student."
Severus ignored the twinkling eyes. "Why?" He hated visiting students and the old man knew it. He also knew Minerva, Filius, and Pomona were better at it.
"It's your turn. We have taken every single one for the last few years. I'm going on holiday for a few days, Filius is heading to another competition, and Pomona has new plants that she must plant."
"I have potions brewing, ingredients to gather. Do it another day." Severus went to leave.
"Severus, you only need to do this one. However, you can always fetch Mr. Potter when it's his turn."
Severus growled. "I'd rather attend a Death Eater meeting." Severus muttered under his breath. "Fine. Who is it?"
"Hendrick Morningstar." Dumbledore held out the envelope.
Severus paled, did the man not know the last name? That wasn't a Muggle-born name, that as a name that was up there with some of the darkest families, like the Addams Family, Dracul, DeVille, and Kane. It was a family you didn't mess with. He hoped Dumbledore wasn't planning on playing any games with a Morningstar. "Morningstar?"
"Yes. Is there a problem?" Dumbledore had the book of names opened. "We will only have Harry's letter left, which will go out on his birthday. Everyone else is finished. We did them a bit earlier this year since Minerva and her sisters are going on holiday."
Should I tell them? What if I'm wrong? What if I'm correct? Potter was going to be here too. I know Dumbledore has plans for the Potter boy, but maybe. Severus took the letter. "Fine. I will head there today."
"Are you sure?" Harry looked into the cauldron. "I thought it said it was to be light blue with hints of yellow."
"It's close enough." Lucifer stirred the cauldron. "Besides, I want to see what happens."
Harry arched his brows. "You do realize Death won't be happy if you kill someone else?"
"This wasn't covered under our deal. I keep telling you that."
"Yes, I am aware of the loopholes. However, the last time you created a volcano eruption Death took it as part of the deal. Three Reapers gave me two-hour lectures. I don't want that repeated." Harry peered down the mountain they were on. "Besides, how are you going to cover a mountain turning into a volcano?"
Lucifer stopped stirring. "We haven't covered that yet?"
"No, my darling Father, we haven't. Unless you know some type of magic to create a cover, we can't do this. Besides, I have a better idea."
"Oh, do tell." Lucifer banished everything back to their potion lab.
"I should be getting a certain letter soon. How about we play with Dumbledore?"
Lucifer smirked. "Yes, it is that time. Crowley was so helpful."
"He was. I think he likes being the King of Hell." They had made a deal with Crowley, along the same lines as the deal with Death. Crowley would rule Hell, as long as no more deals with Dumbledore, copies of all the deals made with Dumbledore, and if Dumbledore summoned any demon, they would know about it. Crowley at first was a bit skeptical but with Death keeping the Winchesters busy, he agreed.
"I was a bit sick of the smell of sulfur." Lucifer looked at the green grass and trees. "You don't want to leave here without a bit of something behind?"
"I already have left a few things behind." Harry pointed down the mountain to their left. "They really should have stayed home this weekend."
"No, rabid moose."
"Interesting." Lucifer pulled Harry to him and they flamed home.
Severus arrived at the Castle. There was a moat and as he crossed over on the bridge, he looked down. The moat was steaming. The Castle was three times the size of Hogwarts, and Severus could see cannons on the ramparts. The walls were solid white stone, with ivy clinging to it.
"Mr. Snape, my masters are waiting for you."
A house elf, dressed in a uniform of black and silver was standing in front of him. "I have a letter-"
"They know. Come, come." The house elf turned and started to walk. "You want me to pop you to them instead? Most don't like that."
"I think I would rather walk." Severus wasn't about to admit he didn't want to know where the house elf would pop him to. He preferred to see where he was going.
"Ah, Tilly, you found him. Tea would be welcomed, as I bet he is rather parched." Harry stood up. "Mr. Snape, so glad you could join us. My father will be here shortly."
"Mr. Morningstar, I am just here to give you your Hogwarts' letter, explain about the magical world, and answer any questions you might have." Severus took the seat indicated.
"Why? I believed I was going to attain my letter via owl. However, I do enjoy the company."
"Harry, have you seen my silver dagger? I swore I left it on my desk." Lucifer knew he put the knife on his desk. He looked at Harry, he bet he had the knife on him. "You-"
"Father, we have a guest. Mr. Snape from Hogwarts, with my letter."
"Yes, I see, please excuse my lack of manners." Lucifer held out his hand. "So Dumbledore sent you."
"Yes, he is under the impression that your son is a Muggle-born." Severus wasn't sure why he admitted that. "I was sent to inform him of our world."
"A Muggle-born, oh how sweet. I think you shocked Father." A tea tray appeared in front of Harry, who started to pour. "Cream? Sugar?"
Lucifer wondered what Dumbledore was playing at. The name Morningstar was one of the oldest, he stopped and looked at Severus. He could smell the dark magic on the man, he bore the Dark Mark of Voldemort. He saw his son smirking at him. Harry recognized it too. "Mr. Snape, perhaps I am misunderstanding, but you did say he thought my son was a Muggle-born?"
"Yes. Included in your letter is directions to the Leaky Cauldron and a map of Diagon Alley."
"Mr. Snape, we mean you no harm." Harry brushed the hair out of his eyes.
Severus' eyes went huge, he saw the scar on Harry's forehead. "You're Harry Potter!"
Lucifer and Harry were a bit taken aback. They had thought the blood adoption covered his looks. "The scar. We forgot about the scar. We will need a way to cover it up if we don't want that old fool to find out."
"Parsel glamour?" Harry suggested, ignoring a stunned Severus.
"He might be able to see through it. Those glasses of his are a dark artifact and he can see through glamours with them." Lucifer began muttering in Latin.
"How? Albus said you were spoiled, being raised by your aunt. He said that he received monthly reports on how well you were doing in your studies." Severus wasn't sure what was going on, but he knew Dumbledore had been lying for years.
"Really? How interesting. Father, I do believe we can have fun with that."
"Yes, very intriguing." Lucifer would have to send Death a thank-you note. The man had to cover-up what happened. "I believe a certain uncle assisted."
"I do believe so. Mr. Snape, you're Dark Mark tells me you are a follower of the former Dark Lord, yet you also support Dumbledore." Harry was very interested in the Dark Mark.
"He's Slytherin, Harry. He is waiting to declare his true ties until he knows who will win." Lucifer smirked. They could work with this one. "He also has a connection to you."
"I see. A Vow, based on dear old mom." Harry leaned back in his chair. "Mr. Snape, please inform us all about Hogwarts."
Severus glanced at the two of them. The Ruler of Hell and his adopted son. This was going to change the course of the wizarding world, and in a direction neither Dumbledore or Voldemort would expect. He thought about his opinions. He could feel the power in the room. Hendrick Morningstar, aka Harry Potter, was powerful. More powerful than Dumbledore would believe. The boy had kept his power hidden until a few minutes ago. He hid his power and learned at a young age how to read magic. "What exactly is in this for me?"
"I do like him, Father. A true snake."
"Yes, a true snake." Lucifer grinned. "Mr. Snape, I believe you will like what we can offer."
Lucifer was wrapped around Harry's shoulders. They had spent the last month reviewing all the books and finding them lacking. They had debated about how to handle Hogwarts and finally settled on Harry attending with a pet snake. Severus worked on creating a potion to cover the scar permanently. He also explained how after the fire they determined that Harry Potter didn't die in it.
"I thought the golem would have worked." Lucifer was a bit surprised it didn't. Harry had finally let him kill the muggles after the Uncle hit Harry across the face while Lucifer was outside.
"Normally, it would have, but Dumbledore demanded a full investigation, so the Unspeakables were called in. After a week under a preservation charm the golem dissolved when the spell was removed." Severus knew the old fool was not going to give up looking for Harry Potter.
"I didn't think of that. I thought they would have buried the body fast." Lucifer had actually expected the corpse to be buried within days, or have some funeral director fix the corpse.
"It only was placed under the spell because they were looking into why the corpse was found under the stairs, the neighbors' interviews weren't giving a good picture, which Dumbledore had to explain before the Wizengamot. The Wills were read. They found out that Sirius Black wasn't the secret keeper, Dumbledore tried to get him released from Azkaban, but he did kill 12 muggles and Peter Pettigrew, the true traitor."
"Interesting, those same neighbors ignored all my beatings, being kicked out with barely any clothes on in the rain and snow." Harry had no remorse for what happened to his relatives. "Why would he want Black released?"
"So it was true, the abuse. As for Black, Black and James Potter had titles. They were one of the few in Dumbledore's Order that did. The titles are still not cleared up, and I believe Dumbledore wanted to gain control over them." Severus was a bit surprised. He knew Petunia but he didn't think she would have done that to a child. He knew she was a bitter, jealous woman, but that didn't necessarily mean being abusive.
"His relatives have a special place in Hell." Lucifer made sure of that. Crowley assigned them to the special attention area in Hell. "For the seats, they are taken care of." They were under his name, and he would be making sure they remained out of Dumbledore's hands. They were assigned to the dark faction, keeping the man out of power.
"So he really didn't recognize my last name?" Harry changed the subject. It had been bothering him. Was the old man a fool? Was he pretending to not know? Did he expect Harry to follow him? He knew Lucifer never took his seats in Wizengamot because he spent his time with Harry and their experiments.
"No, but I'm not sure how much of that is an act. I know in the muggle world there have been others who have taken the last name. He does believe you're a muggle-born. He has been studying the muggles religions and knows about cults, and how members have changed names and how the names have carried down the line because of it. Addams is another one, granted there are a few variations on some of the names."
"What do you think he will do when no letter for Harry Potter prints up?" Lucifer knew the book didn't have Harry Potter listed. They had checked with the goblins and had a little assistance in making sure it wouldn't appear.
Severus had been thinking of the question. He had wondered what the man would do when no Harry Potter showed up at Hogwarts. "I'm not sure. He has already arranged for us to protect something. He won't tell us what."
"First time?" Harry wondered what Dumbledore was planning.
"Yes, which makes me believe he is setting up some type of testing. Also, he changed the Muggle Studies professor to the DADA position, at Quirrell's request."
"That is interesting, why would a passive studies professor change his field to a field that is based on using magic?" Lucifer gave them a smirk. "I do believe we know where the former Dark Lord is."
"It would explain his demeanor. He now stutters, and scares easily." Severus would be keeping a careful eye on the man.
"He is going to be teaching DADA? Great, a scared mouse." Harry really wondered why people sent their children to Hogwarts. He voiced the question enough to know the answer would be traditions. "Traditions bite."
~You have my silver dagger?~
~Yes, now hush, remember what Severus said about us speaking.~ Harry walked through the barrier and headed for the train. Severus explained that the Slytherins sat in the back of the train and Harry headed there. He found an empty compartment. He opened his satchel and pulled out a book. He levitated his trunk onto the luggage rack. He put his light cloak on the seat and sat down, Lucifer curled up next to him on the cloak.
~Thanks, it's a bit chilly.~
~I know. I added a warming charm.~
Harry read as other students went past his compartment. He ignored them all. Eventually, the door was opened. "I'm looking for Harry Potter."
"Interesting, why?" Harry was a bit surprised by the red-haired boy, with a rat tucked into his pocket.
"You don't know about Harry Potter?" The shock was clear in his voice.
"I've heard of him, but I'm wondering why you are looking for him."
"He's going to be his best friend. Bragged about it all over the train." A bored voice said behind the red-haired boy. "Let's see red-hair, dirty, hand me down clothes, no manners, you must be a Weasley."
"What is a Weasley?" Harry was going to enjoy this. He could tell the blond boy was going to be much more fun to play with.
"I'm Ron Weasley." Ron sat down opposite Harry. "This is Scabbers, he is in the same family as him." He pointed to the blond boy.
"A rat is better company than a weasel of your quality." The blond boy held out his hand. "Draco Malfoy, heir to the Noble House of Malfoy."
Ron snorted. "He is forgetting to add Death Eater to his titles."
"Hendrick Morningstar, heir to the Ancient and Noble House of Morningstar, heir to a few others." He wasn't about to say Potter or Black out loud.
Draco's eyes went a bit round. Morningstar was a well-known dark house. "Pleasure."
Lucifer started hissing. ~I smell a human in the form of a rat.~
Harry glanced at the rat and the boy across from him, both were frozen at seeing Lucifer. "Please excuse Lucifer, he smells your rat." Ron flew out of the compartment. "That worked out well. Please take a seat, Malfoy."
"Thank you, Morningstar. What house do you think you will be in?"
Harry gave him a look. "Really?"
Draco laughed. "Slytherin for me too. My friends will join us, and I will introduce you."
Draco, Theo, Blaise, Harry shared a boat. Harry grinned as he watched a scared Weasley sitting in his boat. He waved his hand and Weasley landed in the water. "I do hope he knows how to swim."
Hagrid got Weasley out of the water, warning the boy to sit still in the boat or he would be back in the water again. Harry saw Draco give him a curious look, he gave him a slight smile. Draco covered his laughter.
"A hat?" Harry was a bit surprised by that. He had already listened to one girl gush about the ceiling. He thought the ceiling was a creative use of magic, but what did the girl expect it was a magical school.
"Yes." Draco was standing next to him. Blaise was in front, with Theo standing next to him, and the matching bookends were behind Draco.
Harry was going to have fun. He snorted as the hat barely landed on Draco's head. Well, he was going to have to do better. He glanced at Severus who looked bored, but if you knew the man, you could see he was assessing each child. He knew Dumbledore had tried to read his aura, and smirked. He was glad Lucifer showed him how to hid his true aura. ~Harry, behave.~ Was quietly hissed into his ear.
"Morningstar, Hendrick." Harry walked towards the hat, hearing people whisper about his name, and turning to staring at him.
He hated that he was going to have to change scaring the Hat, but let the hat be placed on his head. "Mr. Morningstar, I haven't had one of you in a long time."
"Interesting, anything I should know?"
"Yes, just please leave the school intact." The hat commented. "Slytherin."
"I will try." Harry handed the hat back and made his way to the Slytherin table.
"I was expecting a bit of a show." Draco commented.
"I want to at least make it through the weekend before they start to find a way to get rid of me."
"I do try. Besides, it might be fun to see if I can give the old idiot a heart attack."
"Third floor, here I come." Harry started humming to himself as the stairs moved around. Harry already learned their tricks, honestly, trick steps, and moving staircases, he was wondering who the old fool was trying to impress. ~No wards.~
~I agree, how is that aim at keeping people away?~ Lucifer slithered a bit off of Harry's shoulder. ~Do you smell it?~
~Yes. Shall we play fetch?~ Harry didn't wait for an answer but opened the door and stepped in. ~It's only a puppy.~ Sounding a bit disappointed.
Hearing the snake language the massive three-headed dog stopped barking. The heads were focused on the snake now slithering down to the floor. After several seconds had passed, Lucifer shook himself with laughter. ~He's to guard that door. He's been here a few days and not very happy, he's not used to be chained.~
~Shall we set him free?~
~Yes. Undo the chain.~
Death appeared in front of them. "He is not going to kill anyone."
"No, but he can play, can't he? Uncle Death, please, he is so bored. Besides, think of all the white hairs it will give Dumbledore, he might even have that heart attack, finally."
Death looked at the two of them. He did find Dumbledore annoying. "Fine, but no causing any deaths to any child in Hogwarts. If they die because of something someone else does, I will accept it."
"Take away all of our fun, but deal." Harry held out his hand.
Death looked closely at Harry and to Lucifer. "You too, Lucy."
Lucifer starting hissing at the nickname, while Harry laughed. "He is going to make you pay for that."
"I'll do something to the Winchesters to make it up, but we have a deal." Death faded away.
~You know what to do.~
Harry started hissing in parsel, over the trapdoor. When he was done, he unchained the dog. "Have fun, puppy." Harry bent down, picked up Lucifer. "I hope no one ends our fun too soon."
Harry stood in the shadows, with Lucifer, by the main staircase as staff and students panicked at seeing the massive, three-headed dog, running around chasing three imaginary balls. So while the dog appeared to be snapping at people, it was really trying to catch the balls. ~Where did the balls come from?~ They ignored the loud crash as the standing knights crashed.
~Death, I think.~ Death had a very weird sense of humor. While he didn't mind deaths and did what he could to prevent people from dying before their time, he had no problem with scaring them to death, no literally.
Students were screaming, running around trying to escape, while some of the staff were trying to stun the dog. Dumbledore, with magic, shouted "students to their common rooms. Filch, get Hagrid." The students didn't really listen, they were running to anyplace they could get away from a frolicking three-headed dog. Some hiding in the nearest alcove, some ran for the Great Hall, some even ran to the dungeon area.
Harry didn't move. He watched Severus appear from the dungeon area. The man was the only one smart enough to actually try and kill the Hellhound. However, magic wasn't very effective against Hellhounds. The spells did little to distract the Hellhound from his playing. Hagrid finally arrived. "Don't be scaring Fluffy, he won't hurt a fly."
~Fluffy?~ Harry and Lucifer were never going to live down a Hellhound being called Fluffy.
Hagrid was trying to chase the playing dog, and soon it turned into a game of Fluffy playing with Hagrid, as Hagrid tried to catch the Hellhound. Fluffy would jump out of the way as soon as the man got close. The knights in the halls were destroyed, some pillars were crumbling, some of the walls had some dents, as well as the ceiling. The Great Hall doors were destroyed when Fluff's tails sent Hagrid threw them, causing ear pitching screams from the students.
Severus finally noticed Harry, with Lucifer, watching the chaos. "Can you stop it?"
"Could, but Fluffy is having fun after being chained on the third-floor over a trap door. The room he was in, had no wards."
Severus understood what Harry was saying. "Indeed." He looked around for Quirrell.
"He never appeared." Harry tilted his head. "Perhaps a treat?"
"The item he was guarding?"
Severus summoned up some fresh beef and threw it out onto the middle of the floor. Fluffy smelling it, stopped chasing Hagrid and began to eat his treat. "Don't get caught."
~Caught? Us? We aren't amateurs.~
Harry softly chuckled as he watched Hagrid finally manage to collar Fluffy, and with the aid of Severus and Dumbledore got the Hellhound out of Hogwarts.
The first day of classes was interesting. Most of them were about what to expect, what they expected, grading, and a jump into theories. It was after the introductions that things got interesting. Harry and Draco were mastering the spells fast and much to the annoyance of a Gryffindor girl. She had spent most of the day correcting Weasley's spells and bossing everyone around. She even tried to correct Harry at one point.
"That isn't how you wave your wand."
Harry's face clearly showed he was puzzled. "The spell worked. I must have done it correctly."
"You were holding your want to tightly, and instead of a short flick, it's a long one." The girl smugly informed him.
"Do you know wands? Are you a wandmaker?" Harry posed the question.
"No, but the book says that is how you do it." She showed him her book, and read it out loud. She ignored the glare of Professor McGonagall, who had already award Harry points for his needle.
"I see, and it's just in that one book?"
"Yes, it's the course book." She showed him the book again.
Harry pulled out three books from his bag. He found the spell. "See, here it says grip firmly, short flick." He pointed to one of the books. "Here it says comfortably, and just says flick." He pointed it out. "Here it says, just flick. Now, clearly, the flick matters as well as how you pronounce the spell, but all of these books make one thing clear. Magic is about intentions. You have to see what you want, see the end result, see how to get to it, feel your magic, and with your intention wield your magic. Perhaps if you weren't so busy judging others, stopped relying on one book, you might have learned that as Professor McGonagall clearly stated those points."
"Very well put, Mr. Morningstar, ten points to Slytherin for a well thought out response, support of your answer, and clearly paying attention during the lesson."
Harry and Draco noticed the glare that Weasley sent them, as well as the I'm going to show you up attitude that appeared on the girl's face. "Miss Granger, perhaps you would do well to pay attention to your own lesson."
Draco knew the Granger girl was going to love his godfather's class.
Severus looked up as he heard a knock on his office door. "Enter." He watched the Harry enter with Lucifer on his shoulders.
"I just got an interesting note." Harry handed the note to Severus.
"Mr. Morningstar, please be aware that snakes are not one of the official Hogwarts' acceptable pets. You will need to find a new home for your pet."
Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
"When did you get this?" Severus should have been informed and questioned before Dumbledore got involved.
"After my free period. However, the interesting part of my free period is that Weasley and Granger were rather late, and had a note signed by a senile old man."
"I will deal with it. I will pull out the familiar rules, and demand the removal of the unofficial pets."
"Well, Weasley's pet rat is really human. Lucifer smelled him."
Severus was a bit surprised, but as he thought about it, he remembered seeing that rat with Percy, when he started and hearing how Percy had found it years ago. "I will deal with it. If he doesn't allow you to take Lucifer to class, he will have free access to the dungeons anyway. I would say the castle but I don't want someone to cast a spell and wonder why it won't work."
~True. It would give me away.~
~I am aware. No one in Slytherin will be an issue. So you will be safe.~ Harry knew he was already respected in Slytherin, based on his name, and his friendship with Draco and Severus. "He will remain in the dungeons if needed."
"I will go and speak to the Headmaster." He knew the man only objected because Lucifer was a snake. If the man knew who that snake was, Dumbledore would be running for the hills.
Snape slammed the door as he strode towards the front of the classroom. His teaching robes waving behind him as he walked. He sharply turned, eyed the Gryffindors. "There will be no foolish wand waving or silly incantations in this class. As such, I don't expect many of you to enjoy the subtle science and exact art that is potion making. However, for those select few-" He glanced at Harry and Draco "who possess the predisposition, I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory and even put a stopper in death." He could see he has Draco and Harry's full attention. He noticed a Gryffindor girl writing. "Then again, maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough to not...pay...attention." He slammed his hands down in front of the girl. The inkwell tipped over, covering the parchment.
"You think you are so confident that you don't need to pay attention in my class?" Severus knew who this girl was. The staff meeting this morning had brought her hand waving, know-it-all attitude had been brought up.
"Sir, I've read the books, the whole series, numerous times. I'm sure I will do an excellent job in your class."
The girl, Granger was her name, gave him a smile. "Really, so what uses the Alihotsy plant?"
Granger looked confused for a moment. "I don't know."
"What uses Mistletoe Berries and Unicorn Horns?"
"I don't know."
"What potion regrows bones? Come they are simple potions and mentioned in those books."
"I don't know, Sir." Granger's teeth were clenched. "Those aren't in the first-year book. You didn't ask fair questions."
"I do believe you read the whole series? Ten points for lack of respect." Severus didn't give her time to retort. "Mr. Morningstar, what is Alihotsy plant used in?
"Alihotsy Draught, Sir, it causes hysteria."
"Correct, five points to Slytherin. Mr. Malfoy, what uses Mistletoe Berries and Unicorn Horns?
"Sir, it's a generic antidote to common poisons. It's a potion that reverses the effects of common poisons. Contains a Bezoar, Mistletoe Berries, and Unicorn Horns."
"Correct, five points to Slytherin. Miss Parkinson, what potion regrows bones?"
"Skele-Gro, Sir. You can't take it with any potion that contains any type of pain reliever as the Pixie Dust in the Skele-Gro reacts badly with the Fairy Wing in any pain reliever."
"Correct, five points to Slytherin."
"I bet he warned them ahead of time, the git." Weasley told Dean Thomas.
"Perhaps if you read the books as Miss Granger stated, you would have found the answers were in the first ten chapters." Severus glared. "Five points from Gryffindor for lack of respect."
Harry was going to love this class after he watched Longbottom destroy his cauldron. Granger's turned out the wrong color because of something Weasley did if you believed her. While Seamus and Dean had their cauldron spitting things into the air. "To think I didn't have to do anything, either." He commented to Severus as he was leaving.
"Please don't." Harry gave him a slight grin. "You promised Death."
"I always keep my promises, he just forgets about the loopholes, at times."
~It's empty.~ Harry had done the whole course for an empty room.
~Yes, but there are wards for a hiding spot by this door I found. So I don't believe he has the stone in place yet.~ Harry looked at where Lucifer was hissing near.
~Interesting, not very powerful ones. If I was an average first year I certainly wouldn't have seen them. So he must plan on setting the trap for Quirrell. I wonder who he is expecting will confront Quirrell with the Dark Lord leech?~
~Severus might know. Dumbledore must have a replacement for Harry Potter.~
Harry looked at his watch. ~We better go, I have a class in thirty minutes.~
~Drop me off in Severus' class. I like to scar those lions.~
Harry picked up Lucifer and headed back to the dungeons, resetting the course as they left.
"That is getting old." Harry was watching and listening to Granger give another lesson to the lions on their spell pronunciation and wand waving.
"Glad she isn't in our house." Draco knew the rest of the Slytherin members of the class agreed with him.
"Well, Ronald, maybe if you actually listened, we would be beyond feathers." Granger's nose went up in the air as her face reflected her rage.
"Did it ever occur to you, Granger, that as a pure-blood I might know how to say it?"
"What an idiot." Harry muttered under his breath.
"Then do it." Granger challenged.
Harry's eyes lite up. He watched Weasley start the spell, as it finished, Harry sent a quick Reducto to the feather, causing to explode everywhere.
~I smell a troll.~ They had been looking for the secrets of Hogwarts since neither of them would be able to prank the whole school.
~Playtime.~ Harry felt excitement course through his veins. He was very bored with Hogwart. Granger was really the only fun thing to play with, especially when it involved Weasley.
They were passing the Great Hall when they heard Quirrell announce "troll in the dungeon, thought you ought to know."
~So he wants to play too. Do we want to get rid of him? Play? Torment?~ Lucifer began to think of all the fun things they could do.
~Let's see if he passes this test, we play, if he doesn't, well no great loss.~
~True, and Death can't blame us.~
~Very true, Dad, and we aren't using a loophole either.~ Harry and Lucifer headed off to find where the troll really was and found him by the first-floor girls' bathroom when they heard Granger scream. ~Two for one.~
Lucifer started laughing as Harry opened the door to see Granger go flying through the air. "Seven Gates of Hell, we missed it."
The troll turned to look at them but stopped as Harry allowed a bit of his dark power out. Since he certainly didn't want any of the ghosts or portraits reporting him escorting the troll, Harry transported them to the third floor. Quirrell was by the door.
Harry stepped into the shadows as the troll started crashing its way towards Quirrell. Quirrell panicked and peed himself before they heard ~idiot. I have to do everything myself. I can't believe you used a troll.~ Aiming at the eyes, the Dark Lord sent the Killing Curse to the troll. The troll crashed to the ground, as Dumbledore and McGonagall arrived, followed by Severus, sirens started blaring.
"Albus, can you stop the Dark Art Alarm?" McGonagall was yelling to be heard over the alarm. She looked at the dead troll. "It's -" The alarm was now turned off. "dead."
"Indeed." Severus knew Harry had to have something to do with this.
"I will speak to the Ministry about the alarm. Severus, Quirinus, wrap the body for the Ministry. Quirinus, I will need your report for the Ministry. Perhaps, Quirinus, you might want to go and freshen-"
"Headmaster, Professor McGonagall, and Madam Pomfrey to the first-floor ladies' room." Professor Flitwick's voice filled the air.
Harry was thankful he had masked his magic. Dumbledore would have wondered why he was with the troll. He waited until he was sure Dumbledore was away. He stepped out of the alcove. "That was fun." He was bouncing a bit on his heels. "What do we do next?"
Severus gave a soft huff. "What are you doing here?"
"Returning the troll to its owner." Harry looked down at the body. "Quirrell was trying to find a certain thing."
"I believe it would be best if we discuss this later. Now, let's get you out of here, Mr. Morningstar."
"Sure, sure take away all my fun." Harry grumbled.
"Mr. Morningstar, my office." Severus wasn't a happy person. Not that anyone could tell the difference when he was at Hogwarts. He didn't wait for a response before he was heading out the door.
Harry picked up Lucifer and followed Severus. Once the wards were up, Severus glared. "Did you send the troll after Miss Granger."
"Nope, all her own fault. I got there as she was already airborne. I took the troll and dumped it on the person who released it, the Dark Lord."
Severus let go of the death grip on his anger. He had hoped Harry didn't hurt a student. "So you didn't know she was there."
"No, I was in the library when Dad smelled the troll. We figured it was Quirrell's rather pathic attempt to distract Dumbledore while he and the Dark Lord tried to find out if the stone is there. It's not."
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. He felt like he was the father of these two and now understood Death's issuing his warnings. "I see. Please do not maim, hurt, or kill any student, in any way shape or form."
"Oh, a challenge." Harry clapped excitedly. "A bit tighter than Death on his deals, but what do we get out of it? What is the limit on the number of students if we find ways around these restrictions?"
"Harry, no students, no staff, no animals."
"I would never hurt an animal, well if you discount the rabid moose." Harry commented. "However, I didn't kill the rabid moose, neither did Dad."
~Very restricting but there are still loopholes.~
~Yes, lots of them, my dear Father and we will use each one.~
~You make me so proud.~ Lucifer laid his head on the top of Harry's so his eyes and mouth were at Harry's hairline.
Severus looked the two of them and felt it was the best he was going to get out of Harry. "Miss Granger is going to be out of classes for a month to recover. I'm not sure the Dark Lord will respond to the troll attacking him."
Harry smirked. "I'm sure we can find out."
"I don't want to know. Now, go to breakfast, will be making potions for Miss Granger this afternoon if you want to join me." As Harry's eyes showed the pleasure in that, he wasn't sure if it was a good idea or bad. Good, as it would keep him from thinking of ways of getting around the loopholes, but bad in that it was potions.
"See you after lunch. Lucifer will be with you?"
"Yes, he can remain with me." If only to keep him out of trouble.
Harry was hiding in the small space outside of the DADA classroom. Lucifer was wrapped around his neck. ~He does a lot of mindless chattering.~
~I agree, Dad. Sounds like he is only playing with the jokers in his deck of cards.~ Harry could hear the Dark Lord mumbling about the Stone, and different ideas. Each was being rejected. The man was an idiot if he honestly thought Dumbledore didn't know he was here.
~Agreed. You know he is neither staff nor student.~ Lucifer slithered a bit up the wall, trying to find a hole to see into the classroom.
~Yes, I'm aware, why do you think we are spying on him?~
~That's my boy, look for all those weaknesses.~
~Dad, how about we go old school?~
~Old school works.~
Harry looked out of his little hole, before stepping into the hall. The hole was only big enough to hold a small student, and unless you knew it was there, you would miss it.
"What are you two up to?" Severus entered one of his potion labs to see Harry cutting up ingredients while Lucifer was counting out some seeds using his tail.
"Potion for Quirrell." Harry glanced up.
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose. "I said no staff, students, or animals."
"Technically, he isn't staff. He is the Dark Lord possessing a person. So unless Dumbledore hired the Dark Lord, he doesn't count." Harry dumped a few snake fangs into the cauldron.
Severus wanted to groan, trust the ultimate Slytherin to find a loophole in something like that. "What are you planning on doing?"
Harry's grin widened. "Let me show you." Harry tugged the ancient potion manual closer.
"I don't know what is wrong with him, Albus. Nothing is showing up on any scan, nothing in his blood work, nothing was found by the healer." Poppy handed all the work to Severus.
"What exactly is wrong with Quirinus that you needed to bring in a healer?" Dumbledore was sure what was going on, but his DADA professor was now in a medically induced coma. "Severus?"
"I am not aware of any modern potions that display these issues. There are some that have one or two of the effects but not the throwing up, heading spinning, weird language, are linked to a few different ones, but not together. The interactions if those potions were used haven't been displayed. The shock that comes when we tried to use magic on him was a bit of a surprise, but as I said, I am not aware of any modern potion that does it." Severus was still trying to figure out how Harry and Lucifer did that.
"How long?" Dumbledore sighed. He was thankful it was almost time for the Yule Holiday.
"The healers all believe he will be fine after the holiday. Each day his symptoms decrease and based on their math, he will be back to normal by the first of January." Poppy showed the math to Dumbledore. "See, as the days pass the decrease in symptoms occur, while an increase in his magic reserve rises."
"Very good. Severus, can you keep researching for a solution or cause?"
"Certainly." Severus was still working translating the books Harry and Lucifer let him borrow. Lucifer was actually very talented with potions, if you ignored his policy of "so it kills someone".
"How about Hermione?" Dumbledore hoped the girl would have made better strides in her recovery. He didn't want her parents to remove her from Hogwarts. He needed her to help Ron Weasley and hopefully, Harry Potter. Ron wouldn't make it very far without her assistants, as his current grade reflected the boy's skill level without Hermione's aid. He needed her for Harry Potter, to have him be seen as friends with a muggle-born, a smart muggle-born.
"Stable. She still has nightmares about the incident. However, her muscles are gaining strength, her head injury is fully healed. The healers believe she will be recovered in time to take the train home." Poppy had been making sure the girl didn't over do it with her school work, but it was hard.
"I will inform her parents." Dumbledore rose from the chair. He hated sitting in Poppy's office. He knew the portrait of Helga didn't care for him and it always seemed chilly in the room if he stayed too long.
Harry was watching Ron, while Draco was, again, fighting with the red-head. He could see two professors were heading down the hall towards them. Draco was about to pull out his wand when Harry latched onto his arms staying the motion, however, Ron already pulled his out.
"Slugulus Eructo." Ron shouted, causing the two professors to increase their pace.
Draco started spitting out slugs. Harry made a face as Professor Flitwick stepped out of his classroom as Professor McGonagall and Sprout arrived. "What is going on here?"
"Weasley was telling us about how evil Slytherins are. How when Harry Potter shows up, we will be put into our correct place, and learn that all snakes need to be put in Azkaban. He proceeded to tell Draco his father needed to be given the Kiss." Harry turned an innocent eye look to the three professors. "Why is being kissed bad? Is it because of girls? Why would Lord Malfoy object to being kissed? I thought all married people kissed?"
"It's a different kind of kiss. I'm sure Professor Snape will be able to explain." Filius cast the counter curse.
"The three of you have detention. Ten points for fighting each."
"I didn't do anything. Draco defended his father, he is the one who started it." Harry wasn't about to serve any detentions especially for something he didn't do.
"Minerva, a minute please." Filius put up a silencing charm. "Mr. Morningstar is correct. Mr. Weasley started the fight. Mr. Morningstar didn't even say a word, Mr. Malfoy ignored Mr. Weasley until the part about his father being given the Kiss. Also, Mr. Weasley is the only one with a wand out."
McGonagall turned her head and looked at the three boys. "Are you sure? Molly and Arthur would have never allowed their child to say things like that."
Flitwick gave her a look. "Minerva, I have heard Molly Weasley say those very words. Mr. Weasley has been picking on a number of students, and it has gotten worse since he was originally just picking on Miss Granger, but since she is still in the infirmary, he needs new targets."
McGonagall's shoulders slumped. She had spoken to Dumbledore about this situation but he assured her that Ron Weasley was just reacting to the Slytherins' who actually started fights. "Thank you for the information, Filius, I will speak to his parents." Flitwick removed the charm. "Misters Morningstar and Malfoy, twenty points for not engaging in a fight, your detentions are removed. Mr. Weasley, my office now."
"I need to go and brush my teeth." Draco headed for the dungeons. The staff and students were breaking up, now that the show was over.
Harry watched Ron Weasley follow McGonagall down the hall. There was something about Weasley that made him wonder if the boy was one of Dumbledore's plants. Ron Weasley mentioned Harry Potter to often, mentioned being best friends with him. How could he be best friends with someone he didn't know? Perhaps it was time to figure out what Dumbledore planned on doing. Harry knew Dumbledore wasn't going to allow the disappearance of Harry Potter to remain a mystery.
"Severus, Dad wants to know if you want to join us for the holiday." Harry was reading one of Severus potion books. It was Saturday, and it had become a habit for him to join Severus in his lab to make potions for the infirmary or for fun.
Severus finished counting the stirs he was doing on the current potion he was making for Poppy. Quirrell was now awake, but very weak, while Miss Granger had been finally been released from the Infirmary for the last week of school before the Yule holiday. "I appreciate the offer but I usually have Yule dinner with the Malfoy family."
"We will be attending, the Yule Ball too. We have plenty of room. Dad also has some texts that he knows you would like but would set off any ward Dumbledore has." Lucifer nodded his agreement.
"You two aren't planning on doing anything to Hogwarts while we are away?"
"Who us?" Harry gave Severus his best I'm innocent look.
"Cut the act. What are you planning on doing?" Severus watched Lucifer give the snake equivalent of laughing at Harry. Lucifer had no problem laughing at his son when he got caught. It was part of their game.
"That would be telling and it would so spoil all the fun." Harry saw the stern look appear on Severus' face. "Fine, I was thinking since Dumbledore likes to celebrate Christmas instead of Yule, he will be visited by three ghosts."
"Scrooged? You plan on scrooging him?" Severus wanted to laugh. Many people didn't realize A Christmas Carol was actually based off of a prank that wife had done to teach her husband to appreciate what he had.
"Yes." Harry looked up at him. "I even have the ghosts lined up, and it doesn't break any of your guidelines."
Severus thought for a few minutes. The prank didn't and maybe it might teach Dumbledore something. "Explain it to me, and I believe I might be able to assist."
Harry summoned his notebook, opened it up and explained what he and Lucifer planned on doing. Crowley and a few others had provided some very interesting information on the Headmaster.
Harry, with Death and Lucifer, pulled Severus into the dream that they were sending to Dumbledore. "It was the night before Christmas and all through the castle-"
"Harry, we know the story." Lucifer stood next to his son. "We don't need the narrator."
"I thought it would be funny." Harry escorted them so they all stood around Dumbledore's bed. "He sleeps with a teddy bear?" Harry stored that information away to use later.
"Dresses as badly as he does." Lucifer shuddered. He did, however, file the fact away for Crowley to use against the man later. A giant teddy bear tormenting Dumbledore in the bowels of Hell was a good image.
Death thought a giant teddy bear as a reaper when it was Dumbledore's time would really make the man wonder about the next great adventure.
"Now remember he can't see or hear us. The ghosts are ones that Death is letting me borrow." Harry set up a rune circle on the floor.
"Crowley also lent a few." Crowley was actually willing to lend more. Death realized that Crowley wanted a bit of revenge on Dumbledore.
"I've never seen that rune sequence before." Severus watched as Harry laid a series of runes around Dumbledore's bed.
"You wouldn't have, they are ones that we use in Hell. It allows us to create a punished soul's world. Dumbledore will believe he will be in whatever world we create as he is being Scrooged." Lucifer put some sage around the runes. "It will help bind the runes, so we don't have to worry about stepping on them, but as soon as the sage is lifted we will be able to wipe the runes away."
Death smirked. "My turn." Death summoned two skeletons and everyone watched as Death reversed the decay on the skeletons. When they were finished. Death reminded them what needed to be done.
"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore." The unzombified couple shouted in unison.
Dumbledore sat up in bed. He looked around. "Father? Mother?" He had his arms wrapped around the teddy bear thas being crushed against his chest.
"Yes, you moron, it's us." His father snapped at him. Percival Dumbledore was still dressed in his ratty Azkaban prison jumper while Kendra, his wife, was dressed in a common everyday housewives' robe with an apron over it. Their hair was nothing but rats' nest. They even had some skin hanging off in places.
"What? Why? How?" Dumbledore looked around the room, trying to figure out what was going.
"You are going to be visited by three sets of ghosts, we are the first."
"Aren't we just so lucky." Percival inserted as his wife continued.
"We are going to show you the truth of your past, not that rose-tinted glasses view you like. Honestly, Albus." Kendra would have done a great eye roll if her eyes would cooperate with her.
"We had a great childhood. We all loved each other."
"You certainly can dish it. If I didn't know better, I would say you were delusional, but you have certainly convinced yourself otherwise. You do remember your own brother hasn't spoken a polite word to you in almost a hundred years?" Percival looked at his wife. "His eyes should have been brown."
"Honestly, Albus. Well, let's get this started."
The room went black. When it finally cleared they were sitting on a stone wall. There was a very small cottage and some chickens out in the front of the cottage.
"Where are we?" Albus looked around the area.
"Well, it's not the elegant Manor you believed we lived in. It's our one bedroom cottage in Mould-on-the-Wold, you know the place we lived until your sister was attacked for doing magic." Percival waved his arm around the small plot of land. The garden was full of vegetables, the lawn needed to be cut. The cottage needed a long list of repairs from the bottom to top.
"The very sister that you were to be watching. Instead, you were off trying to make friends with the Potter and Black family, but they didn't want anything to do with you. What did Charles Potter call you?"
"The Potters were wonderful people. We know the Black family was never a good family. All that evil dark magic." Dumbledore looked around the plot of land he was standing on. "This isn't real."
"Dark isn't evil. You are using it as an excuse to create things your way. I taught you dark magic, or did you forget?"
"This isn't real." Dumbledore repeated himself as he touched the stone wall. "No, it can't be."
"Oh, it's real, boy, very real. Ask us something only we would know." Percival smacked Albus on the back of the head. "We can tell you about the time you dressed up as your mother and tried to sell your brother to the neighbors."
Harry snorted, they looked at him. "Come on, that was funny."
"Fine, I believe you." Dumbledore looked around again. "Why are we here?"
"It's time for you to learn the truth." Kendra held out her hand. Dumbledore took it, and she guided him to the edge of the property, where the grove of trees was swaying in the breeze. "Watch."
Dumbledore saw his sister Arina. "Al, you said you would play with me."
"I know, Ari, but Charles and Phineas are visiting their great uncle, and I want to go and see them. We are at Hogwarts together. So you stay here, and if you need me, I won't be too far away." Percival and Kendra glared at their eldest as they watched the younger version disappear down the village dirt road.
Ariana started playing with some sticks, but she clearly wanted someone to play with as some of the sticks started dancing. "Accidental magic." Dumbledore muttered, and he tried to leave but Percival forced Dumbledore to watch the three muggle boys start demanding her to show how she was making the sticks move. They tried to make his sister do it again, Ariana started crying, screaming for her brother, she even tried to leave. Each group watched as the three muggle boys started hitting Ariana, calling her a freak, calling her witch, telling her witches needed to be killed. They broke off the fight when the younger Percival arrived to find out why his daughter was screaming. The man clearly wanted to after the boys but took his daughter into their house.
Dumbledore was in tears. "I'm sure it was a slight misunderstanding. They didn't mean to hurt her."
Soon the younger Pervical was back outside. They knew Pervical hunted down the boys.
"She was six, those boys were your age. Are you going to tell me you and any of your friends believed it was fine to beat up a six-year-old child?" Kendra's voice was calm but those who were looking closely could tell she was angry at her oldest child's words. "How many children paid the price for you ignoring bullying? Tom? Severus? Harry? What about Erika? Michael? How many children, Albus, how many does it take for you to realize what you are doing to them is wrong?"
"I died in Azkaban not because I was defending my daughter, but because of muggle loving fools like you, who believe that the muggles are harmless. I died in Azkaban because I wanted revenge, yes, but also because they hurt my only daughter. They would have killed her, and like you, everyone let them get away with it. Do you know who those three boys turned out to be? The youngest of them was John Haigh who was branded the "acid bath vampire." He drank the blood of six children before he dropped them into an acid bath to dispose of them. The middle one was John Christie. As a landlord, he gassed eight people, the last one was Michael Millson, he shot and killed a family for six dollars."
"Not all muggles are like that, they would welcome us now. So much as changed. It's not like that any longer."
The room faded to black. Dumbledore stumbled a bit when the room turned into a dank, dark, dungeon. "Salem, Massachusettes." Percival pointed to one of the cells. "She died because the one who turned her in wants her husband." Percival pointed to the next cell. "She died because her husband wants a younger wife. He died because his former apprentice wanted no competition."
"It's just one period in history." Dumbledore reasoned.
((((((A/N here is the link for history...I'm not writing it all https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_trials_in_the_early_modern_period ))))))
Dumbledore looked a bit shaken when they returned to the present. "I'm sure with all the ways muggles are accepting everyone, it will be different."
Kendra sighed. "Show him."
The room changed, this time they were in a field. "No, no, please." A young Dumbledore was sitting on a blanket, in a field with Grindelwald, they were clearly kissing.
"Yuck." Harry made a face.
"Gel, since you arrived, I knew we were meant to be together, but in order to achieve our goals to rule over the new world, I agree that we need to dominate the muggles, for the greater good. I don't our goals can be achieved here in Godric's Hollow, we need to leave."
"What about your sister and brother? Your brother last night sure made his views clear on you not spending any time with them." Everyone ignored Harry making gagging noises, as Grindelwald fed the younger Dumbledore some grapes.
"I'm aware, but I'm sure Ariana would love to come with us, while Aberforth stays at Hogwarts. It won't take us long to establish a new base of operation." The younger Dumbledore leaned up and kissed his lover.
"True. I do have some land in Germany." Grindelwald ran a hand down Albus' hair. "I love your hair long."
"Excellent. They just ended that muggle war, so everyone will want to keep the peace." (A/N WWI just ended.)
"I don't want to be around when you tell your brother."
The room swirled, and there were now in a huge field, it looked like someone had just cut it to use as hay. Everyone saw the young Albus send a spell at Grindelwald, who dodged, as he fired his own spell. As the young Albus dodged, he never saw his own spell hit his sister, killing her. "You killed your own sister. Instead of fixing your error, you have compounded it."
"I'm doing it for the greater good." Dumbledore fell onto his bed, as the room returned to normal.
"You have an hour before your next visit." Percival warned. "I hope they are able to get through your thick skull."
"Albus, you know what you are doing it wrong, don't make things worse." Kendra gave a slight smile. "Crowley has a special place just for you, so you need to change your ways."
Death pulled the couple out of the prank, returning them to their graves.
Harry grinned at Dumbledore as the man was woken by Lily Potter screaming his name. "DUMBLEDORE, YOU IDIOT, WAKE UP!" She smashed a frying pan over his head. "How do you like that?"
Dumbledore shot out of bed, his wand drawn, the teddy bear at his feet. Death grinned. "She really hates him."
"I'm never going to forget that." Harry was almost bouncing in joy. "I think that was Aunt Petunia's favorite pan."
"Lily?" Dumbledore looked around his bedroom.
"Yes, you senile old man. You should have seen the line of those who wanted to have a go at you. I only managed to beat them out because of demented plans for when you find my son, after you left him to be abused, for a fake prophecy. When I get my hands on Trelawney, she is going to wish she never heard your name."
"It's for the greater good." Dumbledore put his wand away and picked up his teddy bear, holding it under his left arm. "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."
"This isn't Star Trek, you old fool. It's all for your greater good, which is a crock. You know they have a nice spot all picked out for you when you go on your next great adventure. However, I get to show you what my son endured because of YOU!!!!!" Lily walked up and smacked Dumbledore across the face, sending him flying across the room. "How many did you get killed because of your stupid delusions?" Lily yanked Dumbledore up by his arm, as he tried to back away from her. "Come on, you old fool, I want to show you what you did to my child."
"You know where Harry is? I need to find him." Dumbledore dropped his bear as he yanked away from Lily. "He is needed."
"Hell will freeze over before I give you that information." Lily looked sickened by Dumbledore. "He's not a Horcrux, by the way. He never will be either." Lucifer and Death had already removed the Horcrux in Harry.
"What? Yes, he is. He has to be. It's the only thing that could explain Voldemort's survival and your son living."
"Oh, you are wrong on same many different levels. I can't wait to watch this blow up in your face because I know this isn't to work. You're to far gone in your schemes to listen to anyone who might want to stop you from ruining the magical world." Lily smacked Dumbledore. "Blood wards, honestly the bull you can dish. You should have brown eyes because you are so full of it."
"I'm not going anywhere with you. You're just bitter." Dumbledore sat down on his bed.
"You haven't seen bitter. Methrop Gaunt Riddle, you know Tom Riddle's mother, wanted to come, talk about bitter. She wanted to fry you alive for what you did to her son. There is a line forming for that torture too. Actually, you have a very long line of people wanting to torture you, some have booked centuries to torture you. Honestly turning a child into a Dark Lord. How smart was that? What's the matter didn't want to get your hands dirty? That is right you don't." Lily smacked Dumbledore again. "You gave him a book on Soul Magic, with instructions on how to make a Horcrux, what seven kinds of an idiot are you?"
"I see we can't have a rational discussion about this." Dumbledore smoothed his beard down. "Perhaps if you wish, we can discuss how to locate your son?"
"Death, are you sure you can't take him now?" Harry looked at Death. "He really needs to go."
"Sadly, I can't. Crowley's deal gave him a longer life. We have been looking for a loop-" Death looked at Lucifer and Harry. "I'll get you a copy of the contracts."
"I don't think I have ever seen Lily that mad." Severus was a bit afraid of her. He had never seen Lily so much as raise her voice, nevermind hitting someone with a frying pan.
"You don't have a choice, old man." Suddenly the room was dark. You could hear a Christmas program in the background, you could smell ham and other wonderful smelling foods. Clearly, the telly was on, while they also could hear people eating.
"Oh look, Vernon, our baby is eating his first piece of fruitcake." The sickeningly sweet voice of Petunia floated over to them. "He is getting to be such a big boy."
"Harry's first Christmas with my sister and her family." Lily glared as a bit of light appeared and they could see a thin form of a child, shivering on a small mattress. "This is what you left him to endure."
The screen changed to nothing, they looked at Harry. "You know the story, no need to view it."
"He is still seeing it?" Severus glanced at Lucifer. He would be speaking to him and see what else Harry had endured at his relatives' hands. Lucifer and Harry rarely talked about Harry's time with his relatives. Severus knew some of what happened from the reports when they first thought Harry had died. He didn't know what wasn't released.
"Oh, yes, he is seeing every Christmas, until Dad arrived." Harry had a hard glint in his eyes. "Every single one."
Dumbledore and Lily appeared and they were now in a small room. It was dark, but clearly by choice. "How your brother spends his Christmas because of you."
They could see Aberforth had a small fire going, with a few empty bottles of scotch on the table next to him. He was drooling in his passed out stupor. In his hand was a photograph of Ariana, with their parents. "Remember all the excuses you gave him to avoid seeing him at Christmas so that you could go and play Merlin? Always making sure to visit your little pawns to make them feel important and graced by your presence. You had to keep making sure their reverence of you was the uttermost thought they had. Always making sure they saw you at least weekly. I wonder how Arthur, Kingsley, Minerva, and Mad-Eye would feel about you if they knew the truth?"
"My brother prefers to be alone. I'm sure they would accept it, as soon as I explained why."
"You need help." Lily gave a sad look. "Your so pathic, having to look to others to bolster that lacking self-esteem. Albus Dumbledore needs to be the man all turn to, even if he is wrong and can't admit it. How do you manage to sleep is beyond me."
"I'm sure that is your view. I'm done nothing but aid witches and wizards everywhere."
"Yeah, by killing innocents for a war that didn't need to happen and one you want to create." Lily pushed him onto his bed. "Your next visit is in an hour. If I had my way you would be sleeping on a bed of spikes, and not waking up in the morning."
"I'm not sure why you are so bitter. It's not like you, Lily. Maybe you aren't really Lily Potter, this isn't happening. It's clearly a sign of me not having some lemon drops before bed."
"Oh, trust me, I'm Lily. I know what you did when you put those blood wards in Harry's room. You prevented us from leaving. You prevented me from saving all of us. We tried to apparate out, but you added those wards so that when He attacked, we couldn't leave. You wanted your symbols for war. I can't wait for you to pay."
"You, you can't be." Dumbledore fell onto his bed. "No, it's not possible."
"It is." Lily disappeared.
"He is going to pay dearly." Lucifer was going to make sure of it.
"I'm going to make him suffer before that." Severus began to think of creative potions to make the man miserable before he finally killed him.
"Oh, I have a much better plan." Harry tilted his head as Dumbledore looked around his bedroom. "We take his good name before he dies."
Death, Lucifer, and Severus wondered what Harry was going to do next.
"Who is going to visit next?" Dumbledore muttered. "No, it's a bad dream. I ate something that is causing this to happen. Everything is for the greater good."
They watched as Dumbledore kept telling himself that everything was for the greater good. How banning classes and even allowing children to be abused was to improve their world. "He is certifiable." Severus couldn't believe this was the man that was leading the light. "He is really no better than the Dark Lord."
"The Dark Lord, when he was sane, had a lot of great ideas, and wanted to protect the magical children, not kill muggle-born like Dumbledore promotes." Death conked Dumbledore over the head with his sickle. "Tired of listening to him."
"He is annoying. The question I want to know, is this Dark Lord worthy of being fixed?"
The three adults looked at Harry. "I don't have him slated for death for a while. Even though he has annoyed with creating Horcruxes, I can hold off if you have a use for him."
"I might." Lucifer grinned. "Dumbledore likes to use him as a symbol of evil, I say we switch the roles around."
"Saint Tom Marvolo Riddle." Death looked over at Dumbledore. "It would get around the contracts he has with Crowley, and ruin his name at the same time. Severus?"
"If anyone can do it, I believe we can. It's time to change the game plan again on Albus Dumbledore." Severus was still going to use some very creative potions on the old fool. He wasn't a Death Eater without learning a thing or two.
Crowley appeared next to Death. "Aren't we a cheerful bunch?"
"You got Crowley to do the Ghost of Christmas Future?" Death was impressed.
"Yes, he thought it would be fun." Harry and Crowley had a weird relationship. It was like they were siblings but without the rivalry, but seemed to be able to balance each other out when doing things, like a couple who lived or worked together for a long time.
"It's not often I get an offer to do this type of work." Crowley also wanted to torment Dumbledore a bit.
"You get to have so much fun with him." Harry grinned. "How are the Winchesters?"
"Same, causing destruction and mayhem wherever they go. They just destroyed the British Men of Letters. So our torture department had a bit of a line for a while." Crowley walked over to Dumbledore. "I thought she was joking."
"I saw Lily Potter before I came here. She was talking to Merope Riddle about his teddy bear." Crowley watched Harry smirk. Harry pulled out his wand and the bear was now black, sporting vicious teeth, and looked rabid. The bear bit Dumbledore on the nose. "Wakey, wakey."
"Merlin! Help, get it off." Dumbledore started to swat at his stuffed bear that was latched to his nose.
They watched as they were laughing as Dumbledore tried to beat the bear off of him. Dumbledore banged his head against the bedpost twice, before falling to the floor, wrestling to get the rabid bear off of him. "Take your time, I have all night to wait for you to stop playing with your bear."
"Help-" Dumbledore's mouth was filled with a furry foot.
"I think the bear is doing a fine job." Dumbledore started thrashing around on the floor. "You owe me, and I do have another appointment later." Crowley kicked the bear as Harry stunned it.
"Thank you." Dumbledore held out his hand, expecting Crowley to help him up.
"You might want to stay down there, as this is going to be a bumpy ride." Crowley touched Dumbledore's hand and the room changed to look like Hogwarts.
The halls were empty. Crowley led him to where Binns taught. Binns was there like normal, no students were as it was the winter holiday.
"We don't speak of him, any longer, however, when he was alive and Headmaster of Hogwarts, he was considered great." Binns monotone voice continued the lesson as if the students were present. "He defeated Grindlewald but then he doomed our world by believing he knew what was best for our world. On page 42 it talks about what his ideals of the greater good led to-"
Suddenly Dumbledore's ghost floated into the classroom. "You can't keep teaching that."
"It's the truth, Albus." A Severus Snape and Harry Potter ghost were right behind Dumbledore's ghost.
"Yeah, you got me killed and I never knew why." The Harry Potter ghost screamed at the Dumbledore ghost. "Look at what you have done to magic. Everyone here speaks French."
"You ruined magic for anyone who is British." Severus gave Dumbledore the Snape glare. "Honestly, I would even be nice to the Mutt if it had meant you would have given up on that whole prophecy business."
"You better hide, Tom and Peeves are looking for you."
The Dumbledore ghost took off. Binns looked up from his position. "He is never going to accept that he doomed our magical world."
"No, him and that great good crap."
The scene changed and Aberforth was hobbling down a snow-covered path. He was using a cane and carrying a plant in his other hand. Crowley and Dumbledore were standing next to two old men in Le Cafe (formerly the Leaky Cauldron). "Shame." The man looked like an older version of Dean Thomas.
"Indeed, his brother ruined a good name and our culture." The voice sounded a lot like Neville Longbottom.
"Heard they wanted to exhume the body and burn it. They were afraid some light idiot might try to bring him back or try to turn him into a martyr like that whacked out Muggleborn, Ganger." A younger voice joined them.
"Granger, and she, with the two former Weasleys were at it again about how Albus Dumbledore was doing everything for the greater good. She was on a rant at the Ministry about it. It reminded me of her rants about Harry Potter." The old Dean Thomas shook his head at the memory.
"You would have thought the loss of most of their magic they would have revamped their opinion. They were lucky to even keep their magic once it was discovered the used potions and compulsions on Harry and others." Neville Longbottom sighed. "Shame they got so many killed for his greater good."
"We made a deal that my name would be remembered forever." Dumbledore whirled around to face Crowley.
"It is remembered. It's remembered very well." Crowly waved his hand round Diagon Alley. All the stores had French signs on them, the crowds were speaking in French.
"Why are they speaking French?" Panic filled Dumbledore's voice.
"You almost destroyed the British magical world. The ICW sent in the French to fix it. We know what the ICW and French discovered, don't we, you really should have been working for me. You destroyed your world better than when I made the deal to destroy Pompeii, Crete, Constantinople, and Atlantis. People are alive today who remember you for destroying their world and have made sure no one will ever forget." Crowley didn't give Dumbledore time to comment as the scene changed again.
Two old witches were sitting in a hovel of a house, while an old man was carrying a tea tray. "Ron, don't forget the milk."
"We don't have any milk. We couldn't afford it, Gin, I told you that." The other witch stopped Ginny from lighting a small candle as Ron put the tea tray down. "This is our last candle until I get my funds from my parents' trust."
"Oh, I forgot." Ginny muttered.
"It's alright Ginny, we will get you that potion to fix your memory." Ron patted her shoulder. "Mione, we have to do something."
"I'm aware Ron, but our pension checks won't be in for two more weeks."
"I'll see if Fred or George can loan me some money." Ron glanced at his sister. "I'll see if they can get her the potions she needs."
"Fred and George are rather famous and rich. You know that joke shop you and Molly like to run them down on, well, it made them richer than Malfoy." Crowley nudged Dumbledore. "A lot of people who didn't listen to you are quite well off."
Next, they are in Malfoy Manor. They knew because the Malfoy Crest was above the fireplace. A group of about five little girls and six little boys were playing. "Children, almost time for bed." A young woman with red hair entered the room.
"Yes, Mother. Are Grandfather Fred and Grandmother Katie coming in the morning with Grandfather Draco and Grandfather George?"
"Of course, you know they wouldn't miss Yule with their favorite grandchildren." A Malfoy male entered the room. "Let's see, I'm here for my terrors, as I believe my dear sister is here for hers?"
"Scorpion, they aren't terrors, they're our monsters." Together the two siblings started to chase the kids around the room.
"Ah, I see they beat me to it." A young red-hair man arrived as the children were running from their parents.
"You can't save them, cousin. The tickle monster has appeared." Scorpion wiggled his fingers.
"I get dips on my kids."
"Now, see you didn't meddle in their lives. Look at the difference." Crowley snapped his fingers and dropped Dumbledore on the floor.
"That is only one possible future?"
"Could be, but it is your future if you don't change. We have a line forming for those wanting to torture you. Lily Potter has some temper. I'm looking forward to what she and Merope will do. They actually turned down moving onto the next great adventure just to have a shot at you."
The rabid teddy bear bit Dumbledore's ankle, and as he lifted his leg up, Crowley pushed him onto the bed.
"Harry, I feel I do need to speak to you about rabid animals. First a moose and now a teddy bear?" Lucifer gave his son a concerned look.
"It's not like it can give him rabies. Though that might not be a bad idea."
"No help from the peanut gallery." Crowley looked over his shoulder at them. He turned back to Dumbledore who was now back to wrestling with his rabid teddy bear. "Though it is a good idea."
Severus and Death had a feeling that Dumbledore was going to wake up with rabies. "Just keep the students from being injured." Severus and Death warned.
"Oh, they will be safe. Dumbledore is going to be in for a rough few days." Harry glared at Dumbledore as Crowley emerged from the runic circle.
"Toodles kiddos. I have a meeting." Crowley disappeared.
"He's all about the fun, he just never wants to do the cleanup." Harry looked at Death. "Knock out Dumbledore so we can erase the evidence."
Death walked over to Dumbledore, hit him on his head with the sickle, as the bear bit Dumbledore's nose again. The bear fell asleep with Dumbledore's nose in its mouth. No one spoke as they cleaned.
"You think he will change his plans?" Severus asked Death as Lucifer and Harry were erasing the last runic mark.
"No. The man is so sure he is on the right path. He might not be as extreme but he feels his way is the only way." Death watched Harry. "Harry is the game changer. He will try to convert Harry using whatever methods, watch over him."
Severus knew Death was speaking the truth. He also knew he was going to have to keep Harry and Lucifer from killing Dumbledore eventually.
Severus made his way to the Infirmary. Poppy had firecalled him, waking him up. He was exhausted from last night. He had been at Malfoy Manor and her call had woken up the whole house except for Harry and Lucifer. Severus figured they most likely put up parseltongue wards.
He entered the ward to find Poppy and Minerva staring at Dumbledore strapped down on the bed. "What's wrong?"
"He's got rabies. The Healer from St. Mungos has gone to get the cure. She said he is going to need this potion for the next week." Poppy handed Severus the prescription.
Severus knew Harry was going to give the man rabies. "I can't give him this until it's been 24 hours since he has been given the cure. Why did you call me here?"
"I wasn't sure if you had the cure or not. I called St. Mungos and they said they wouldn't be able to get anyone here until late this afternoon, due to the holidays. However, one of their Healers was able to clear up some cases and became free. I tried to call you before you left, but you already left." Poppy waved her wand over Dumbledore. "He wasn't into the madness yet, so he will be up and about tonight."
"I will send over the potions he requires. Is that all?" Severus really wanted the man to enjoy having rabies but knew Poppy and Minerva wouldn't understand.
"Yes. Thank you, Severus. I do apologize for summoning you here for nothing." Poppy smiled at him. "I hope you have a wonderful Yule holiday."
"Indeed." Severus arched at brow at Minerva.
"He woke me up screaming in pain. I had no idea where he picked up rabies. However, I will have the house elves thoroughly clean his quarters and office." Minerva held up the teddy bear. "He was eating this."
"Indeed." Severus noticed that the bear looked as if Dumbledore had taken a few bites out of it. "Will he be ready for when the students return?"
"Yes, he will just need a few days in bed, but otherwise will be fine once the Healer returns with the cure."
"I will send the potions with an elf. Good day." Severus turned on his heels and left, trying not to give into his laughter of Dumbledore eating the bear and getting rabies.
Lucifer slithered into Quirrell's quarters, watching the idiot. *Idiot*
*Who said that?* The Dark Lord was now in control.
*Me. He's an idiot.* Lucifer lifted his head. *Honestly, he's a moron.*
*What are you doing in here?* The Dark Lord looked around the room, making sure it was just the snake and not a Dumbledore trick.
*The fashion mistake doesn't know. Now, I came to get you, so follow me.* Lucifer headed for the door.
*Why would I follow you?* The Dark Lord wasn't going to take orders from a snake.
*Up to you, however, if you wish to keep on living, you will. Personally, I don't care. You just happen to fit into our plans, but we can do them without you. Death would like to speak to you if you refuse.* Lucifer knew Death would like to reap the Dark Lord sooner, but if the Dark Lord was willing to aid in their endeavors he would remain alive for a bit longer.
*Like you could do anything to me. I'm am the Slytherin Heir, you must obey me.*
Lucifer started laughing. *Oh, that attitude is going to get you killed.* Lucifer gave a light guff when Nagini came out of hiding and almost attacked him. She froze when she got close to him. *Smart snake.*
*Master, go with him. What he says is true.* Nagini slithered back to Quirrell. *He's not just any snake.*
*Very true, now come.* Lucifer, again, headed for the door. This time Quirrell and Nagini were following him. *Do not worry no one will see us.* They had been back for almost a month. Severus and Lucifer had worked out the pattern of patrolling the others and knew which nights the Gryffindor Prefects didn't patrol.
Lucifer headed to the ROR room. *Open the door behind the tapestry.* Lucifer followed the Dark Lord into the room. The room was set up as a cozy little sitting room. The furniture was all plush and comfortable if a bit boring. There was a table between the couch and several wingback chairs. *Take a seat.*
"Severus, you better have a very good reason for this." The Dark Lord wasn't impressed.
"Sit down and listen to us before you go all crazy." Harry rolled his eyes at Death. Lucifer transformed, joining Death and Severus. "As you can see we know who you are. Personally, I and my father could care less if you live or die. Death prefers to collect you and your little fragments."
"I do." Death looked like the typical version of Death with his reaper. "Let me introduce everyone, just so we are clear. Hendrick Morningstar, his father, Lucifer Morningstar, Severus Snape, and Death. Now, more information isn't needed I'm sure."
The Dark Lord looked at Severus, who tilted his head, while Nagini hissed. *He speaks the truth, Master. That one is Death, I can smell it. Lucifer is the fallen one.*
"Our deal is simple. We get you to be the good guy in this little drama Dumbledore wants to create, while we ruin Dumbledore's name. You will be getting most of your soul back. I'm sure you already felt one piece return." Lucifer displayed the Horcruxes they collected. "Now, you can keep one, the smallest one, the rest go back to you. Refuse and Death is here to collect."
The Dark Lord tried not to panic seeing his Horcruxes on the table. He had never felt so much fear. "What do you mean to be the good guy, while destroying Dumbledore?"
"A simple little game of reversal of roles. The dark side starts winning, the light side not so much. However, a few key things, no killing muggle-borns. They aren't stealing magic, they aren't dirty blood. They are actually the spawns of two different squib lines intermarrying. We can deal with that later." Harry arched a brow. "You game?"
"What do I get out of it?"
"Besides keeping your life? You get to see Dumbledore destroyed, the rituals and classes returned. You will need to disappear, while Quirrell remains here. We will get you a new name and identity and you return here as the DADA professor next year." Lucifer snapped his fingers. "Fresh off of the printing presses, your new identity."
"Lucifer, he wasn't to die for at least another week. Do you know the paperwork I will have to fill out?" Death huffed. "Honestly, I can't leave you two alone for one minute."
Harry shrugged. "He fit."
"What did you two do?" Severus glared at them. Death had his hands on his hips.
"Us? Nothing." Harry smiled.
"Crowley?" Death glared.
"He might have collected on a contract." Lucifer looked at the Dark Lord. "So deal?"
"I want to see the contract." The Dark Lord didn't seem phased when a thick contract appeared in front of him. He started to read. About halfway through he looked up to see Death playing chess with Lucifer while Severus and Harry were working on a potion. "Who wrote this?"
"My dad and I." Harry looked up. "Why?"
"It's tighter than a goblin's contract." The Dark Lord ignored Death's strange look. "I might need contracts in the future."
"See page 564, it's under paragraph 4." Lucifer answered. "Check."
"What? You cheated again." Death moved the Knight back to its original place. "Why I play you, I will never know."
The Dark Lord kept reading. He took a break and watched the group of four. It was an interesting group. Hendrick Morningstar wasn't someone he was expecting, neither was his father. Death, he had hoped to avoid meeting him. Severus, now that was a surprise. Severus clearly wasn't for Dumbledore, but yet was still in a key place for spying. Working at Hogwarts, that had always been his secret dream. Ruining Dumbledore that was his ambition. He finished reading the contract. "I'll agree, except for one thing. My Death Eaters, I want them to remain intact."
"Nope, too many crazy ones. The sane ones, fine, but ones like Bellatrix, have to go." Death figured he had enough to deal with in regards Harry and Lucifer.
"I was thinking about Lucius Malfoy, Augustus Rookwood, and other key players." The Dark Lord watched Lucifer and Harry nod their agreement.
"We agree. Now, sign. I should warn you, it's going to be painful when I return those fragments."
"It wasn't a picnic when I created them." The Dark Lord watched as the room had a bed appear. A nice, big soft king sized four poster bed.
"Time will stand still outside of this room, while I piece your soul back together. So get as comfortable as you can. It's going to take a bit of time."
"Well, we're off. We don't need to stay here for this." Lucifer transformed back into his snake form.
"Severus, try and get them back to the dorm without them maiming or killing someone." Death watched Harry pick up Lucifer.
"Hey, we made a deal, would we do that?"
"Yes, but I'm also aware of your penchant for finding loopholes." Death warned.
"Come on, you two. I would like to get some sleep." Severus started to escort them out as Death began to work. A sane Dark Lord, who was going to ruin the name of Dumbledore. He was looking forward to this.
Lucifer slithered into the room. *Quirrell is officially missing.* He had been exploring the castle verifying that Dumbledore wasn't changing things. They had helped Quirrell pack up his belongs, while Death removed the Dark Lord from Hogwarts.
Lucifer also explored and found a few things that Dumbledore had warded. He was going to bring Harry to the areas and find out what Dumbledore was hiding. He could have removed the ward, but he wanted Harry to cover the removal so that Dumbledore wouldn't know. It was a two-person job. Severus might be useful too.
*Death said they shipped him to Mexico with a new name. Quirrell wanted to check out some the ruins in the country. The Dark Lord will be applying for the open position under his new name.* Harry had wondered if their Scrooged prank had effected Dumbledore but since they returned to Hogwarts, Dumbledore had been acting exactly the same way. The man was still looking for Harry Potter.
Severus had actually informed them that he seemed more determined to find Harry Potter. Dumbledore had dragged Severus into a few meetings. Lucifer had wanted to join him but they weren't sure how Fawkes would react to him. *Did Severus say how they were going to get the Dark Lord hired?* Lucifer curled up on his favorite pillow.
*Nope, I didn't ask either. Death will get it done.* Harry pulled out his book. *I have an idea for putting a dent in Dumbledore's third-floor plan.* While Fluffy wasn't allowed back in school, Dumbledore hadn't done anything to secure the third floor.
*Oh, what is your idea?* Lucifer had been checking on the area where Dumbledore had put Fluffy originally. The only protection was some weak wards that almost anyone could slip pass. They had determined that Dumbledore was going to go forward with his plans.
Dumbledore stared at the doorway. He had opened and closed the door four times. Each time he opened the door he was faced with nothing but a long tunnel that just led him back to this spot. He had walked the tunnel twice and nothing had changed. He checked for spells, wards, even runes and found nothing. He knew it wasn't Hogwarts as he had checked. He called the head house-elf but the elf appeared as stumped as he was.
He had the house elf deliver a message to Severus and was waiting for him. While he waited he pondered his new hire, Martin Landers. The man was certainly qualified. He had tried to get Remus Lupin hired but the Board rejected him since Martin applied first and was more than qualified. Remus didn't have a Masters like Martin did. He did know the man didn't have the dark mark and was from trained in America. So that meant he wasn't one of Voldemort's followers.
"Albus?" Severus had seen Dumbledore standing in front of the door. He wasn't sure why Dumbledore was standing in front of a closed door, looking confused. Severus found he liked that look on Dumbledore.
Dumbledore had been driving him crazy since they returned from the Yule holiday. The Scrooged prank didn't change Dumbledore in any way. Dumbledore was still focused on finding Harry. Severus was getting annoyed with all the meetings that Dumbledore had been calling. Severus knew that Minerva wasn't thrilled with all the extra work that Dumbledore had been dumping on her due to Dumbledore determination on finding Harry. Minerva was doing most of Dumbledore's job, plus her own.
"Severus, I've got a bit of a problem." Dumbledore opened the door and Severus stepped up and looked in. "The room is gone and this tunnel just leads me back to here. The entrance and exit are the same door." Dumbledore closed and opened the door once Severus moved away from the door.
Severus looked down the darkened tunnel. "How long is it?" He was going to have to speak to Harry. He knew Lucifer and Harry had to have done this. He was only looking down the tunnel to cover his desire to laugh at Dumbledore's confusion. He did like this idea. It certainly was confusing Dumbledore.
"I'm not sure. I walked it twice. There is no door or windows." Dumbledore had his wand out and was rerunning his magical scans. "There is no magical signature, no runes, no wards, nothing." Dumbledore was very confused. Who was doing this to his castle?
Severus stepped into the tunnel. He could feel the magic. He wondered why Dumbledore didn't. He couldn't see very far down the tunnel, so he took a step and noticed the light stayed the same. He wondered how Harry managed to keep Lucifer from adding demons and other things from Hell into the tunnel. He wasn't sure if this was covered by their agreement with Death. "I am not sure what to tell you. I can research it but I have never seen nor heard of this before." Severus was willing to bet it was magic that only Lucifer, Harry, or Death could use.
"That would be helpful. I will see if I can get down to the course another way." Dumbledore needed to able to get to the stone, so he could have it set up for when he found Harry, especially now that he knew the boy was alive.
Harry was watching Weasley bully a first-year Gryffindor. No one was doing anything. The older students ignored it, as they walked by. Harry decided to that Weasley needed a lesson. *Dad, how about we give Weasley a lesson?*
Lucifer poked his head out of Harry's cloak. *We can't kill or torture him. Death and Severus wouldn't care for that. I want to, but I did promise. What do you have in mind?*
*Potion? We can't cause permanent damage, but how about a pink tutu? Maybe something like a sign? Making up a sign for him to wear?*
Lucifer watched as two more students walked by. He knew why Harry wasn't getting involved. The first time that Harry had tried to aid a student, the student and Weasley turned on him. Calling him a traitor and snake. *Change his gender.*
*Yes, that will work. This not doing any damage is going to kill us.* Harry headed back to his dorm room. He was going to have to talk to Severus about some lab time.
Severus listened to Harry explain what Weasley was doing, what they wanted to do, and why. Severus hated being bullied as a child, but he also hated pranks that he had personally experienced. "I have something better in mind. It won't be something the Marauders would have done. It will also make Dumbledore wonder."
"I will need some things that don't exist any longer. So Lucifer and Death might need to get them."
Lucifer lifted his head up. *What thing?*
"Dad wants to know what things?"
"Let me get the book."
"It might be Animagi transformation." Minerva looked at the huge snake now in a glass fish tank. She had been called up to the Gryffindor dorm as the first-year boys were screaming. She found a large snake in Ron Weasley's bed.
"He's too young for that unless it's accidental magic." Dumbledore looked at Poppy.
"I don't think so. He has no magical residue and we have tried everything we normally use. There is a trace of dark magic attached to his core. He was playing with dark magic." Poppy handed the results to Dumbledore.
Ron Weasley just started hissing up a storm. Lucifer was laying in a small crack listening to Weasley hissing about not being a snake and making whoever did this pay.
"So how do we fix this? Potions and our normal methods haven't worked." Poppy had already spoken to Severus. Severus had confirmed her own findings.
"We will have to research for a solution or hope he will change back by himself." Dumbledore wasn't looking forward to telling Molly. "Perhaps Hermione can assist with the researching."
"I will speak to her after her class." Minerva sighed deeply. "Molly isn't going to be happy. I will also speak to the twins and see if they have any idea of what their brother might have done."
Lucifer slithered away, making sure Ron Weasley heard him laugh.
The end of the year exams were in a week. Weasley was still a snake, a very pissed off snake. Lucifer spent most of his downtime teasing Weasley. Lucifer enjoyed teasing Weasley about being kept snake. How he was an embarrassment to snakes everywhere. Lucifer, late at night, would bring other snakes in to laugh at Weasley.
The Dark Lord was having fun teaching the students under Dumbledore's nose. He added extra spells to the Slytherins classes but watched what he taught the Gryffindors. He had endured Granger asking her repetitive questions and annoying essays and used the girl's excessive writing to remove points from her work. He followed Severus' lead when it came to handling Dumbledore's pets.
Harry was sitting in DADA taking notes when Granger's hand shot into the air again. The girl looked like she was going to fall out of her seat. Granger had been driving everyone crazy since Weasley was turned into a snake. Harry didn't realize how much of a distraction Weasley had provided for the girl. He had thought her research would keep her busy, but alas, the girl was even more annoying.
"Someone needs to glue that girl's hands and arms to her sides." Draco wasn't subtle but he had his uses. The Slytherins around them snickered.
"Yes, Granger?" The Dark Lord wanted to curse the girl. If he was his former self, she would have been dead a long time ago.
"Is this going to be on the exams?"
"No, I'm telling you this information because I like listening to myself speak, while I expect the rest of the class to take notes." The Dark Lord watched as the class laughed.
Granger sank down in her chair. The rest of the Gryffindors groaned when the Dark Lord removed another 5 points because of Granger.
Dumbledore was still trying to figure out how to get rid of the tunnel. He had to get to the stone, but nothing was working. His plan was backfiring. How was he going to find Harry Potter? Where was Voldemort? How was he going to get the stone to return it?
Dumbledore also had another headache by the name of Molly Weasley. Her son was still a snake and he wasn't sure how to fix it. He had researched spells, potions, rituals, even the Dark Arts. The only thing he found was very dark and he hadn't been able to find the counter to it.
The only good news was that if he did find Harry Potter, Harry would have Ginny and Ronald as his year mates. It wasn't his original plan but two Weasleys were better than having no one he could connect to Harry. He needed a headache potion.
Why was everything going so wrong? His pets weren't liked, which was creating another problem. He had spent hours coaching Ronald on what needed to be done. He had spent a lot of time with Hermione, guiding her on how to handle Ronald and Harry.
He did another chant, hoping this one would work. After several useless chants, he sighed. He crossed that chant off of the parchment. He had tried walking the tunnel, chanting, he had tried numerous rituals, nothing. He had spent hours working on this, including letting his mind wander as he thought over his numerous problems.
Dumbledore missed Lucifer watching him.
Severus, the Dark Lord, Harry, and Lucifer were down in the Chamber of Secret. "No!" Severus looked at Lucifer and Harry. "You're not using her to play with the students."
"She wasn't going to play." Harry began patting Helda. "Think of what we can do to Dumbledore."
"Harry, he knows about her. She killed a student by accident when I attended." The Dark Lord took them down to the Chamber to show them the library.
"Oh, do tell." Lucifer felt Helda rub her head against him. Harry climbed on top of Helda. Lucifer looked at Harry. "I believe we have an idea on how to make use of our sweet Helda next year."
"We do, Daddy Dearest, we do." Harry's had a huge smile on his face which scared Severus and the Dark Lord.
"Should we worry?" The Dark Lord asked Severus.
"Yes, but they do know not to break the rules." Severus wasn't sure why the two of them obeyed the rules, but they did. Granted, he figured, they did it to see how they could get around whatever rules Death and Severus placed on them. They certainly proved they could get around them enough times.
"Based on their contract skills, they are good with loopholes?" The Dark Lord had been impressed with what Harry had done already, he didn't get to interact with Lucifer as much. He knew that Nagini and Lucifer watched Dumbledore most of the time. Harry was very observant, for a child.
"Very good." Death appeared next to them, causing Severus and the Dark Lord to jump. Harry snickered. "Dumbledore tried to summon Crowley tonight."
"What did he want?" Lucifer wondered what Dumbledore was trying now. Helda bummed Lucifer, she was loving the attention. They really hadn't spoken much to Crowley. They figured he was having fun with the Winchesters.
Crowley appeared. "That deranged clown needs to stop bothering me. He is almost as annoying as the Winchesters. He has been summoning me daily for a week."
"Guess he didn't take the no showing up as rejection." Harry shrugged. "We could-"
"No! You aren't turning him into demon chow." Severus and Death stopped that train of thought.
"Take all my fun away." Harry gave them sad eyes.
Lucifer laughed. "They have your number. What did he want now?" Lucifer summoned some chairs and a table. There were some tea and biscuits on the table. "I have a feeling Dumbledore asked about Harry Potter."
"I have no idea, I didn't answer any of the summonses. It's a matter of time before someone does, just to stop the summoning." Crowley passed a biscuit to Helda. "He might even try a crossroad demon. He seemed desperate in the last few summonings."
"True. He won't give up." Severus wasn't sure what Dumbledore was hoping to accomplish. "He doesn't like to take no for an answer. He is very determined to push Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, our Savior." Harry and others made faces at the titles. "I do know he has been at that endless tunnel and worried about retrieving the stone. He keeps mentioning how you have to return."
"He is the one who came up with You-Know-Who. He seems to have a thing for giving out titles." The Dark Lord just went with the name after that, he felt that it provide more fear of him. "He pushed the fear of me, I just used it."
"I would have too." Lucifer had Helda's head by his feet. Harry was still sitting on her.
"I have an idea to answer the summons." Harry had a manic grin on his face. "One that might prevent him from ever summoning again."
"What idea?" Death had a touch of fear in his voice.
"Well, Azazel, Ramiel, Dagon, and Asmodeus are looking to do something. I'm sure my brothers would love to show Dumbledore some of their ideas."
"No!" Death looked panicked.
"No!" Crowley held up his hand. "Hell, no!"
"Who?" Severus wasn't sure who they were objecting to.
"They might have some fun." Lucifer thought of his first four creations. "They would certainly scare Dumbledore.
"NO!" Death and Crowley veto Harry's idea.
"Abaddon?" Harry suggested.
"NO!" Death and Crowley voiced their objections.
"We aren't bringing any of the Knights of Hell out to play." Death rolled his eyes. "I blame you." He pointed to Lucifer.
"It wasn't a compliment." Death looked at Severus. "You see what I have had to put up with?"
"Ok, so how about maybe Meg or Ruby?" Harry wiggled his eyebrows. "They won't hurt humans, and we can have fun."
"I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what is your idea?" Death wondered what Harry planned now.
"You liked my Scrooged idea, so why not continue it in another way? Ruby or Meg answer the summons. Dumbledore makes another deal, we just use the loopholes."
"More details." Severus was thankful Harry was on their side.
"Either of them speaks to Dumbledore. We know he is going to want to find me. We have the other one play me. However, instead of being the good little Gryffindor he is hoping for, Meg or Ruby play dumber than dirt and magical unable to do even get a wand. They also make sure to inform everyone rather loudly about how they were treated at the Dursleys."
"Ruby would be better, with Meg as the backup. We get a few minor demons to help the image." Lucifer looked at Crowley. "Get some of the minions to make sure no wand would work, spread the rumors, work the papers."
"I have a few that can do that." Crowley began to run down his list.
"I can also have Lucius work the Ministry."
"I can get a few reapers to have Harry sightings. Also, they can keep the magic and darkness down so that Dumbledore won't be able to detect it." Death liked this idea.
"How about the stone?" Severus wondered if Dumbledore was trying to keep the stone for himself. "He might want to keep the stone. He would tell the Flamels it was destroyed."
"I can get the stone or Nagini. She is watching the tunnel right now." Lucifer glanced at the Dark Lord. "She did have an idea on how to end the year."
"She mentioned it. She thought if we did nothing, it would drive Dumbledore nuts."
"It would. He has been planning on this big end of year event, so nothing happening would bother him. It would also get him wondering where you are. He had believed Quirrell was possessed, but since he left, he has been trying to figure out how you would return." Severus listened to the idiot enough to know when to make his sounds of agreement.
"We could do both. A fake Harry and a fake Dark Lord. He wants them to fight, so we should plan on that happening." Crowley knew Dumbledore wanted power and he didn't care how he got it.
"He does. I will get the stone and replace it with a fake. Harry, you will need to remove that tunnel after the exams. Severus, Harry will drop the spell when you perform the miracle of removing it with a bogus potion you're going to invent. Death, Crowley, talk to your people. We have all summer for Harry sightings." Lucifer smiled at them.
Lucifer and Crowley were sitting down in the Chamber of Secrets waiting for the Dark Lord, Severus, and Harry. Meg and Ruby were exploring the different chambers, getting a guided tour by Helda. Death was watching the tunnel that Dumbledore was again trying to remove from the third-floor door.
"We remove the tunnel tonight?" Crowley asked Lucifer.
"Yes, we want to have him believe he has the real stone. Nagini and the Dark Lord removed and replaced the real one already. I had Death return the real one to the Flamels. He did give them a warning about delaying their deaths. He really hates when people try to elude him." Lucifer grinned. "The stone is going to be placed into a vault in Gringotts. The Flamels are going to arrive this summer to speak to Dumbledore about his protection of their stone."
"That will be an interesting conversation." Crowley lay the list of demons what would be assisting them in creating the Harry Potter sightings. "Think if we stick to the London area, it would be a bit more believable." He pulled out a map of London out of his pocket.
"Severus and Lucius went to London last weekend; Death took them so that Dumbledore wouldn't realize that Severus was missing. They can show us where we want the sightings. Which area we should start with, and how the members of the Order would start their search." Lucifer and Harry had kept Dumbledore busy with the tunnel but they were letting the man think he was making progress.
"Weasley?" Crowley knew that Nagini and Lucifer, in his snake form, had been teasing the boy. Nagini had even chased a few rats around the fish tank. Weasley could start hissing up a storm about killing the rats. Weasley believed they were his pet Scabbers each time.
"Poppy and Severus will find the cure before the students are due to leave on the train. We thought it would be better if Severus and Poppy discovered the solution together after Severus' potion removed the tunnel. Now, since Weasley missed most of the year, he will be joining Harry Potter as a first year. Dumbledore, I'm sure has a ton of plans for the upcoming year, and I know he will love discovering Harry Potter. Death already arranged for Harry's real vaults to be protected. We have a few fake ones set up with items and funds that will come from the Men of Letter's bank accounts." Lucifer picked up the list. "I thought the Winchesters killed Harold and Maxim."
"They killed the host but Julius was able to collect them before they were deceased. So no one will be looking for them." Crowley started the system after Abaddon was killed.
They heard Harry, Severus, and the Dark Lord greet Helda, Meg, and Ruby. Severus arrived before the rest of the group. "Tell me we can remove the tunnel and fix Weasley. Dumbledore is driving me crazy." Severus had spent the morning listening to Dumbledore's latest ideas on how to clear the tunnel. Dumbledore had headed to the third-floor after breakfast, and Severus knew that Death was watching Dumbledore. It wasn't to prevent Dumbledore from removing the tunnel but to keep Dumbledore from causing any damage to himself or Hogwarts.
"Yes, Harry can release it tonight, while you pour the solution over a runic line. You and Poppy can cure Weasley after that." Lucifer handed over the fake potion and cure, along with the runic line that Severus would need to write. "Dumbledore won't recognize this potion but he will recognize the runic line. It is all disgusting light."
"I had a few fake ones that I created, but we can use them as a backup for other things." Severus picked up the potion. He smelled it. "You added lemon drops. He is going to think lemon drops are the miracle cures all." Severus added the potion to his potion pouch. "I also found a spell and mild potion for Ruby and Meg to use to keep the Harry Potter form that Dumbledore has pushed. It will hold longer and they can disable it if needed. It won't show up as glamour, so Dumbledore and Mad-Eye won't see through the form."
"Do you have any idea of who we need to model this Harry Potter after?" Meg feed Helda some of the treats they give the Hell Hounds.
"Severus, you knew James and Lily better, anything that we should avoid or stress?" Lucifer asked.
"Dumbledore is going to expect the perfect Gryffindor. He will want Potter to be viewed as being brave, good, acting without thinking, pranks, someone that he can control. I believe Dumbledore will use Granger, also. She will tutor Potter and Weasley to pass classes. Dumbledore will expect the youngest Weasleys to lead Potter around on adventures. He will want Potter to be friends with a pureblood light family like the Weasley while being friends with a smart muggle-born. It will enable him to say "see everyone can be friends." I also bought all the Harry Potter books, fiction, and the biographies, so that we can read them. Most of the information comes from Dumbledore, which will enable us to select a better profile to use."
"The books are mostly about what they think happened to Potter. They include fake adventures but I believe Meg and Ruby can make them real." Lucifer saw Harry smirk. They had read the books and had a lot of laughs about what was written about Harry Potter, about what happened that night, and the stories about his parents.
"We can add our own versions to them." Meg glanced at her fellow demon. "I'm sure we can create a very interesting Harry Potter."
"How long does he believe Potter has been missing?" The Dark Lord asked. "The more doubt we can create about what has happened to Potter, the more we can create our own version of events."
"He isn't exactly sure how long Potter has been missing. We weren't able to determine how old the golem was. So I would suggest that Meg and Ruby pretend that Harry ran away before school officially started. It would enable them to pretend not to be able to read but at the same time have an attitude." Severus sat down, nodded his thanks at Lucifer as tea was placed in front of him. "When the glamours fell on the golem, the DoM had already done a lot of spellcasting on the golem, not realizing it was a golem. Since no one knows about demon magic they thought it was the real Harry Potter. All the spell casting dissolved the golem after the glamours fell. It turned into a liquid within a day."
"Since we don't technically have magic according to your Ministry, they wouldn't have recognized it." Lucifer explained. "It why I thought the golem would work. I believed they would bury the golem in a timely fashion." He hadn't expected Dumbledore to delay the burial. He had believed the man would want to cover up what happened to Harry Potter.
"We won't be able to find a wand that would match us." Meg grinned. "I checked out the wand shop, it's all light based wands."
"We will need to create one, one that we can use to at least pass as a squib." Ruby glanced at Helda. "Perhaps we can add a bit of something snake-like to it." Helda started to nod her own agreement, as she hissed it.
"We won't register as having magic if they test us. Will he keep us from attending, if we register as a squib?" Ruby was actually looking forward to doing this assignment. It would be more fun than the Winchesters.
"Actually, I believe we are going to have you show up as slightly above a squib." Lucifer knew Death would make sure they passed. "However, go with the really dumb route. I'm sure Dumbledore will influence the Sorting Hat for Gryffindor."
"He will. He will also try and get Molly Weasley involved. If Dumbledore finds him before September, I expect that Dumbledore will want guardianship but have Potter live with the Weasley family." Severus knew Dumbledore wanted to control everything Potter. "Dumbledore will want to have complete control over Harry Potter but allow him to be viewed as a kind mentor."
"What about Black? If we got Black released, Potter could live with him, allowing Meg and Ruby more freedom." Crowley suggested. "I checked into Black, he is innocent but also a bit insane. He stays in grim form when the Dementors visit. Pettigrew is alive and living as a rat at the Weasley residence, living rather well, I might add."
Harry and Lucifer exchanged a look. "I believe it would be best to save that for next summer if we need to. If we do too much now, Dumbledore might wonder." Severus saw the look. "You two can torment the rat when he returns with Weasley." Severus also didn't want to deal with Black. He knew that if Black was released, Dumbledore would also bring Lupin to Hogwarts as a way for them to bond with the fake Potter. He had never really forgiven Dumbledore for allowing Black to escape without punishment for almost killing him.
"It's true, while Dumbledore has made numerous deals, he isn't stupid. He has to know that rat is Pettigrew." Crowley felt Helda nudge him. "We will visit." Helda nodded her head, curling up around the group of people.
Death popped into the Chamber. "He is headed back to his office. Flitwick stopped by the door and informed Dumbledore was wanted at the Ministry. Flitwick did mention that McGonagall wasn't happy, so he warned Dumbledore to avoid her."
"He is late in submitting the annual reports. I bet Fudge wanted them for tomorrow's session." Severus had heard Minerva complaining to Dumbledore about delaying the closing of the budget because Dumbledore hadn't done his job. "The fiscal reports and budgets need to be submitted before the end of the month. Dumbledore hasn't even started on them. I heard Minerva warning him last week, she was upset that he hadn't even started on them while she warned that she couldn't start them without the accounting books." Dumbledore never had anything done on time, when it came to the running of Hogwarts. Dumbledore always expected the staff to wait to get paid over the summer.
"Let's get the details finalized. Dumbledore will expect us for dinner." Harry looked at Lucifer. "Weasley needs to be prevented from speaking about seeing you and Nagini."
"Already handled, all he saw different snakes, we made sure that if Dumbledore viewed the memories he would see different types of harmless snakes." Lucifer didn't think Dumbledore would review the memories but he didn't want to take a chance. "Death is going to handle the memories of when we go to change him back." Death magic wasn't something that Dumbledore was familiar with and certainly wouldn't look for.
Severus had been summoned to Dumbledore's office early this morning. Dumbledore was getting frantic about the stone. Severus could see a stack of books on Dumbledore's desk. He knew from the titles they were for the tunnel and Weasley's transformation.
Once Severus had explained he found a solution to the tunnel, Dumbledore wasted no time in heading to the third floor. Dumbledore ran some more scans on the door, Severus wasn't sure why, but he let the man do it. "Severus, we are running out of options. I do hope this works. Do you think the potion will work?"
"Yes, Albus, it should work. The runic line needs to be laid down across the threshold. Once the line is set, I will use the potion." Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "I also have a solution that Poppy and I have been working that for Mr. Weasley. It just needs to cool off."
"Excellent news as his mother has been very concerned about the situation." Dumbledore opened the door that led to the tunnel, cast more scans on the tunnel. "I will review the scans later. I want to make sure this can't happen again. Now, I need to get down below to secure the item the maze is protecting."
Severus carved the runes into the threshold. He stood up, he opened his potion pouch, removed the fake potion. The bottle was a plain glass bottle; it looked a bit like an old fashion glass coke bottle.
"Is that safe?"
After all the spells Dumbledore had cast, he was asking if it was safe. "Yes, Albus, it is." Severus resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He had lost a great deal of respect for Dumbledore over the past year. Severus opened the potion and held it out for Dumbledore to smell.
Dumbledore smelled the potion. "Lemon?" Dumbledore loved the smell, taste, even the color of lemons.
"Yes." Severus knew Dumbledore passed potions when he was in school, but the man wasn't a potion master. The lemon smell was very powerful. He added a lot of lemon extract to the potion for that very reason. He held out his hand to get the potion back. Harry was hiding in an alcove down the hall, waiting for Severus to speak the keywords. Dumbledore threw the potion into the tunnel. "Albus, it needed to go on the runes." He wondered if Dumbledore was going senile. You don't throw potion unless you wanted them to explode.
"Oh. I'm sorry, I thought it was an old potion that I remembered from when I attended Hogwarts. It smelled like lemons."
Severus almost growled. "That potion you remember was for polishing wood. The muggles call it Pledge, Scott Johnson marketed for muggles." Severus knew Harry was laughing about this. "You are lucky I created another one." He always kept an original potion in his case. Severus got out the potion. He bent down and slowly poured the potion over the runes as he used the made-up spell that Ruby, Meg, and Crowley created. As he quietly spoke, "geike, meotan, reba" Harry released the spell as Severus ran his fingers over the last rune.
Dumbledore was almost bouncing in place as the tunnel disappeared. "Very good, my boy, a truly wonderful job, simply amazing. Your skills never cease to surprise me. What language was that?"
"It was Ancient Russian." Severus stood up. "Now, I have to go finish the potion I'm working on for Weasley. I need to add a few things, let it cool, and bottle it. I will meet with Poppy later. We are close to fixing Mr. Weasley if you don't ruin the potion."
"I do apologize, I believed I was helping." Dumbledore looked into the room. "Do you believe Ronald will be able to go home with the rest of the students?"
"Yes, I believe so." Severus saw Lucifer was already in the room, waiting to follow Dumbledore through the maze. He wondered how Lucifer got into the room when he saw Death wave at him from behind a pillar in the far left corner. Severus thought Death was enjoying the plotting and planning as much as Lucifer, Harry, and the Dark Lord.
"Excellent work, I will check with Poppy later." Dumbledore entered the room and without checking anything Dumbledore opened the trap door and jumped down into the Devil's Snare.
Severus resisted the urge to have Lucifer made the Devil's Snare eat Dumbledore. Severus was still glaring at the hole that Dumbledore jumped down into when Harry walked up next to him. Lucifer was already following Dumbledore down through the trap door.
"How does he remain in charge?" Harry thought the old man needed a visit to the Janus Thackery Unit. He would speak to his father later about leaving a few more surprises for Dumbledore to discover over the summer.
"Fame." Severus answered. Harry looked at Severus, giving him a slight smile. Severus allowed a small smile appear on his face. They were going to enjoy using Dumbledore's love of fame against him. They were also going to enjoy the upcoming developments they planned.
The next night:
Severus had delayed using the potion one more day. He told Poppy and Dumbledore it needed a resting time. Severus and Poppy were currently staring at the fish tank. Weasley was hissing up a storm, slithering back and forth in front of them. Weasley did it every time he saw Severus. Lucifer and the Dark Lord informed him what Weasley was saying, it was the usually the Weasley rant about Slytherins and snakes. Weasley would hiss about promising to bite Severus if Severus stuck his hand into the tank.
"You would think by now he would realize we don't understand him." Poppy raised the lip of the tank by removing the huge rock they had placed on the lip. "Mr. Weasley, you need to soak in this potion. So curl up into the basin." The snake kept hissing.
"Weasley, you can either get into the basin or remain a snake. It's up to you. I'm not going to continue wasting my time in fixing your error if you are not going to cooperate." Severus really didn't want to have to keep dealing with Weasley over his summer holiday. He was finding himself looking forward to what they had planned. "I'm sure Poppy would love to remain behind this summer to feed you. Perhaps your brothers would like to take care of you." The Weasley Twins had already visited numerous times asking if they could have things for potions. Molly had been an almost daily visit, fussing over her son. Poppy had put a stop to Molly visiting every day all day.
Weasley slithered into the basin. Poppy opened the lid and poured the potion over Weasley. "You need to remain in the solution until tomorrow morning. It would be better if you slept, you should wake up back to yourself."
Severus wanted to laugh. The potion Weasley was going to be sleeping in was going to make the boy's body as red as his hair. It wouldn't wear off for at least a month. "I'll be back in the morning. I need to make sure my snakes have started to pack their belongings. The train leaves in two days."
"Thank you, Severus. I will set up a monitoring charm for Mr. Weasley."
Later that night:
Lucifer, the Dark Lord, and Nagini slithered into the Infirmary. Nagini went to guard the door the Poppy would enter if anything set off an alarm. Lucifer and the Dark Lord changed back to their normal forms. Weasley started having a fit in the tank. Death appeared and started casting the memory charm on Weasley, as the Dark Lord cast a sleep charm. "Annoying little…"
"Yes, he is." The Dark Lord looked at the sleeping snake. "As much as I would love to eliminate the little rat, I know Dumbledore would find a way to blame either Severus or Harry."
"He would. He doesn't believe his Gryffindors can do anything wrong. Really wish we could leave him like this." Lucifer wasn't a fan of anyone who supported Dumbledore. He also had listened to Weasley's rants about Harry Potter, Slytherins, and snakes. The boy was a miniature version of his mother.
"I'm sure Harry, Ruby, and Meg will enjoy playing with him." Death knew Harry was going to make the most of any opportunity given to him. Meg, Ruby, Harry, and Lucifer at Hogwarts were going to take a lot of work on his part to keep the death toll down as well as keeping Hogwarts intact. He was going to have to speak to Crowley about making sure that Meg and Ruby didn't make any deals with anyone underage. He did feel a bit bad for Severus and the Dark Lord as they were the ones who were going to have to have to handle the day to day aspects. "Same rules regarding deaths and students will apply."
"We are aware." Lucifer lifted Weasley out of the tank. "Let's get this done." Lucifer and the Dark Lord planned on leaving some presents for Dumbledore and needed to get them set up tonight.
Once Weasley was returned to his human form, they put him back into the fish tank. Lucifer and the Dark Lord exchanged a smirk. "I think he deserves a reward for being such a snake."
"I do agree." The Dark Lord knew Weasley would be red for at least a month. "Dumbledore would have a fit if someone in a light family could hiss like a snake."
"He would. He won't get the gift of actually speaking or understanding it, but we could have the boy hiss for any language besides Latin and English."
Harry and Draco were sitting at the Slytherin table. Breakfast was going to start in a few minutes when the doors to the Great Hall opened and a red Weasley entered. Weasley was a deep dark red. His hair was carrot orange. Weasley was dressed in his school uniform, which was now a bit bigger on the boy. It was clear the boy had lost some weight during his time of being a snake.
Dumbledore was behind Weasley as the students started laughing. The Weasley Twins were denying any involvement in pranking their brother. Dumbledore escorted Weasley to the Gryffindor table. Weasley sat down next to Granger who was sitting by herself.
Dumbledore held up his hands. "Mr. Weasley is back to his former self, with the exception of his coloring, which will right itself out by the end of the week. It wasn't a prank and no one is in trouble." Dumbledore walked up to his throne.
That night at the Leaving Feast:
The staff was furious as they were every year. Dumbledore had somehow managed to give Gryffindor a hundred points between last night and today. None of the staff were exactly sure how it happened, but no one was happy. Filius and Minerva had pulled Severus and Pomona into a meeting with Dumbledore who claimed the points were valid and earned.
Severus and the rest of the staff knew it wasn't fair but there was nothing they could do. The only points that could claim that were fairly earned where the points from the Quidditch games. The House Cup was a joke. It held no meaning any longer. The banners hadn't been changed in decades thanks to Dumbledore and his desire to reward the Marauders. Dumbledore continued rewarding Gryffindor since that time period.
Harry and the rest of the Slytherins were upset that they didn't win the cup, and Severus knew that Dumbledore was going to pay for stealing the House Cup from Slytherin. He wondered how he could help.
Ruby was walking down one of the back alleys in central London. She had heard the sounds of the apparition and didn't want to get caught by Dumbledore or the Order as of yet. It had only been two weeks since Hogwarts let out for the summer holiday. Meg had her turn yesterday; she allowed one of the Order members to see her as Harry before disappearing into the tourist visiting Buckingham Palace.
The Daily Prophet was going crazy with the Harry Potter sightings. Crowley had the demons using the floo network to place all kinds of sightings to the Ministry and the Daily Prophet. Dumbledore had tried to keep the news quiet, but that didn't fit in with their plans.
Harry, with Lucifer and the Dark Lord, were spending a lot of time down in the Chamber of Secret. They used a lot of the hidden passageways that Salazar Slytherin had created to spy on Dumbledore while they exploded the castle. They wanted to a complete map of the castle by the beginning of the September.
Harry created a nightmare web to be placed on Dumbledore's bed. Lucifer and the Dark Lord added some students' pasts to the web for Dumbledore to relive, including a few fake Harry Potter's memories.
Lucius started to work on Ministry, pushing the facts about Dumbledore placing Potter at the muggles, and never checked on him. Lucius was trying to get the Aurors to look for Potter and have Potter placed with anyone but Dumbledore and the Weasley family.
End of July:
Meg laughed as she watched Ruby lead three Order members on a wild goose chase. They kept alternating looking like Harry Potter. She had ducked into the doorway that led to a used bookstore. Meg removed the glamour and when the Order members asked her if they saw Harry Potter, she pointed to the roof of the opposite building where Ruby was looking down. Ruby waved and took over jumping from roof to roof. Meg kept asking questions that prevented the Order members from using magic to follow Ruby.
Harry and Lucifer created numerous passageways for snakes to sneak into Dumbledore's office and hiss at him day and night. The man was getting very jumpy. The snakes made sure never to be seen or heard by anyone else. They followed him once most of the staff went home for the summer.
The Dark Lord and Death, with Crowley, worked on the Harry sightings, reporting them to the newspapers and Ministry. Severus kept them supplied in with potions and reporting anything Dumbledore was doing.
Lucius was pushing harder and harder on preventing Dumbledore and the Weasleys from getting custody of Harry Potter when they finally caught him. Dumbledore was pushing the Death Eater issue, while Lucius was demanding evidence of the Dark Lord's return. Most were getting annoyed as it was now over ten years since the Dark Lord's disappearance.
Lucifer was standing on next to one of the statues in Hyde Park with Harry, watching Ruby leading the Order members on a wild goose chase. Lucifer smirked as suddenly geese started chasing the Order members. "You are going to have to return the geese." Lucifer watched one of the geese bite one of the Order members.
"I only borrowed them from the Royal Gardens. I'm sure the police will be looking for them soon." Harry had been sending all kinds of animals after Order members. Dogs, cats, birds, foxes, even sheep. The Order members running across a field with sheep chasing them was fun to watch.
Lucifer smiled. "My turn." He waited until the Order members stunned the geese. The police were suddenly in the park. The police saw the geese they had been searching for when the Order members picked up the stunned geese. Lucifer released the stunners as the police surrounded the Order members.
"I wonder how they will explain kidnapping the geese." Death appeared next to them. "Time did a bit of an adjustment and the police have been looking for them for a few hours." Time was enjoying the torment of Dumbledore. Fate wasn't objecting either.
The police guided the Order members to their cars. The Order members were all complaining that the geese attacked them. The gamekeepers from the Royal Park were demanding the Order members be arrested for kidnapping the geese. Everyone who knew geese know they were very territorial, and therefore, it confirmed that the Order members must have stolen the geese.
"We really should learn their names. They all seem to fall for all the tricks." Harry told his father. Lucius shrugged his shoulders.
"Ruby and Meg thought it might be a good idea to lay low for a bit, make Dumbledore wonder what is going. The Dark Lord reported that Lucius was able to get the Ministry to think about placing the newly found Harry Potter with another family besides the Weasley family." Lucifer knew the two demons were enjoying tormenting the humans, but they also didn't want to give the game away either.
"They do deserve a bit of a vacation. It would also drive Dumbledore crazy wondering where Potter disappeared too and if they would find him in time to start at Hogwarts." Harry gave Death his sad face. "Can we torment Dumbledore and the Order with some rabid animals? Please?"
Death shook his head. "If the animals don't kill them, yes you can."
"Yes!" Harry was excited. He wondered if the moose was still around.
"As to the not finding Potter until the day before Hogwarts starts, it would give Dumbledore less time to arrange any counter to the wand and squib issue. I can arrange to have reapers covering for me." Death would also speak to Crowley to make sure they would have everything covered.
"If we do it the day before, he won't have time to get around Lucius for guardianship if we have a Ministry employee find Potter instead of an Order member. I believe if an Order member were to discover Potter, no one would know about it until Dumbledore had guardianship or one of his supporters." Lucifer had reviewed Dumbledore's contracts. The man wasn't stupid, but he did have a lot of major flaws, including his belief that he knew what was best for everyone.
Death was watching the police put the Order members into their cars as the gamekeepers took control of the geese. "Pictures?"
"Yes, I'm sure Dumbledore will love the publicity." Lucifer had made sure to have demons following Ruby and Meg when they were Harry to make sure that everything would make the paper.
"I better let the Dark Lord know." Death disappeared.
"Father, is it me or does Death seem to be spending a lot of time with the Dark Lord?"
"No, it's not just you. I do believe Death finally found someone he is interested in, which will keep him busy and allow us more time to go around his rules." Lucifer smiled. "Now we just need to get someone for Crowley and we can have as much fun as we want."
"I think that can be arranged." Harry had a list in mind. "It can't be just anyone."
"No, it can't. It can't be a red-head either. I have no idea what it is with red-headed women in our lives." Lucifer wasn't sure if someone was tormenting him or not with the red-heads. Lily Potter, Molly Weasley, Abaddon, even Crowley's mother Rowena, were all red-heads.
"Perhaps a guy?" Harry wasn't sure if Crowley was gay or not, but it was hard to tell with demons.
"He is straight." Lucifer smirked. "I believe we know the perfect choice for him."
"It better not be an angel." Harry warned.
"As if, he would sic the Winchesters on us if we tried that."
Severus almost groaned as he sat in another staff meeting. The Dark Lord wasn't looking happy either. Classes started in two weeks and this was only the second day they had been back and all everyone had heard about was Harry Potter. The only good thing was that Dumbledore looked like something the cat wouldn't drag in.
The man looked older. He had bags under his eyes and was a bit jumpy. Severus wondered what Harry and Lucifer had done to Dumbledore over the summer. He thought the Dark Lord might know. He would have to ask the man later.
The summer had been busy for all of them. While Severus didn't spend every day with Harry, Lucifer, Lucius, or the Dark Lord, he did see them at least once a week for updates. Dumbledore had tried to recruit many former Order members into looking for Harry Potter but only succeeded in obtaining some retired Aurors including Mad-Eye, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Hester Jones, and some former students. Severus knew most of them did it out of obligation to Dumbledore.
"I need some volunteers to assist in locating Mr. Potter."
Severus returned his focus back to Dumbledore. The Dark Lord's face remained neutral, while Severus raised an eyebrow. "Albus, we have a lot of work to do before the dunderheads return." Severus wasn't going to search for Meg or Ruby. He didn't want to get caught in any of the weird pranks that Lucifer and Harry were doing to the searchers.
"He is right, Albus. We had a late start due to the delaying of the budget for the year." Minerva was the reason they even had a budget for the year. She was the one who did all the work. Dumbledore had spent most of the summer at the Ministry or recruiting people to look for Harry Potter.
Minerva had been the one who had spent a month listening to Molly Weasley complain about her son being red. She had been the one who had listened to the Board demanding the budget. She had been the one that had to get all the lesson plans approved, as well as the book lists for the new school year. She didn't let Dumbledore know but she had added some of the books the man had wanted to be banned. She also approved the new book list that Irma Pince wanted to have included in the library.
"Severus, I need you…"
"No, I have potions I still need to craft for Poppy. I still have to set up the wards in the potion labs, refresh the protection wards for the classroom."
"All of us have work that needs to be finished by the time the students are due to return. The house elves can't do everything." Minerva knew she wasn't the only member of the staff that was getting annoyed with Dumbledore and his ignoring what was happening at Hogwarts in order to find Harry Potter. "While I'm sure all of us understand the desire to find Mr. Potter, we can't do so at the expense of Hogwarts and her students."
"I am in agreement, Albus. I believe Mr. Weasley is behind due to his own problems, he just returned to his normal color two weeks ago." Filius had been one of the professors who had looked at the color aspect of Weasley's problem. "We really can't be sure that the dark magic residue is even removed from Mr. Weasley. I'm sure Poppy can inform you that there is a lingering residue on the boy."
"There is, Albus. We still don't know exactly what the boy did. While being a snake for six months wasn't pleasant I'm sure, if he wasn't a Weasley, he would have been reported to the Ministry and up on charges." Poppy didn't like Dumbledore's policy on accident dark magic. She had seen him turn over students who weren't part of his Order to the Ministry. Thankfully, most of the students were released with a mild warning.
"He still has to explain what he did." Minerva reminded Dumbledore. "He was playing with dark magic."
"I did speak to Ronald, but he has no memory of what happened. He informed me that he went to sleep as normal but woke up as a snake." Dumbledore had looked at the boy's memories. He had seen Weasley playing with magic, but he wasn't going to admit that to anyone. He couldn't have anything dark linked to the Weasley family, not if he wanted to get Harry Potter to live with them. So he removed the memory from Weasley. He told Molly it was a clear case of accidental magic.
The Dark Lord and Severus exchanged a look. They knew that Death had planted memories in Weasley's mind. This was clearly a cover-up by Dumbledore. The Dark Lord and Lucius had been researching various aspects of Dumbledore's life. They knew they couldn't do anything until they could actually able to use the information and get rid of Dumbledore.
They had two weeks before Harry and Lucifer returned to Hogwarts. Meg and Ruby would also be joining them, as Harry Potter. If Dumbledore thought he had problems now, he was going to learn his problems were going to be a lot worse. Severus and the Dark Lord had created a wand for Meg and Ruby to use. It would allow them to cover their demon magic while creating a magic that was acceptable to Dumbledore and the wizarding world. Meg and Ruby had been practicing it before Severus and the Dark Lord left to return to Hogwarts.
They had spent the last two weeks at the Morningstar Castle. Lucifer and Harry had shared their insight into the developing relationship between Death and the Dark Lord. Severus thought it was a bit ironic, but he wasn't going to object as long as the Dark Lord remained sane. Severus found himself looking forward to the chaos that Hendrick Morningstar and his father were creating. He felt the Dark Lord nudge his arm.
"You're starting to smile." The Dark Lord whispered.
"I'm sure you know why." Severus quietly answered with a slight smirk.
The Dark Lord returned the smirk. "Yes, and it's going to be a very interesting year."
Ruby and Meg were doing Rock, Paper, or Scissors to see who would be Harry Potter in downtown London for Lucius to catch. Ruby and Meg were in their fifth round of the game, neither willing to concede to the other. Since they weren't able to torment the Winchesters they wanted to torment someone and Dumbledore was a perfect choice.
Lucius was still slightly amazed at the group of people around him. Death and the Dark Lord were pouring over maps, while Harry Potter, aka Harry Morningstar, was with Severus and Crowley, working on some runes to help craft a wand that would work for either of the demonesses. Lucifer was working on creating some jewelry for the two demonesses. Lucius was trying wondering if someone was pulling a prank or if he woke up in an alternative universe.
Death and the Dark Lord appeared in the Malfoy dining room. The Malfoy family looked surprised but had their wands out and pointed at the duo. Death, in his old man guise, laughed. "Yes, that will work on me." Death watched the faces of the three Malfoy's turn white.
"Lucius, Narcissa, Draco, do relax. We aren't here to hurt anyone. I'm sure Death can confirm we aren't here to kill or torture you." The Dark Lord smacked Death. "Stop scaring them, Lucius and Narcissa are two of my favorite followers."
"I don't get to scare anyone anymore, it was a refreshing change. I spend more time keeping Harry and Lucifer under control." Death felt that was a full-time job right there.
"Harry? As in my dorm mate?" Draco looked at the Dark Lord. "His pet snake, Lucifer, and you were Professor Quirrell." He looked at his parents. "Harry Morningstar."
"Very good, Little Malfoy, now we have some things to discuss." The Dark Lord arched a brow. "May we take a seat?"
"Yes, my Lord, please sit down." Lucius wasn't sure what was going on, but the Dark Lord and Death appearing in his home weren't what he was expecting.
*****************End of Flashback***********************************
Narcissa and Draco entered the room. "The Order will be heading to Glasglow, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork, and Waterford." Narcissa sat down next to Lucius. "Draco made numerous calls directly to the Auror Corps from the Leaky Cauldron. He provided them with the times he saw Harry Potter in Ireland, while I called from some of the smaller towns in Scotland."
"Excellent. Rudy, Meg, have you selected?" Lucifer held up two rings. "We can use parsel magic to help cover up the magic of the rings." The rings were already covered by Death and his magic, but they figured the more protective spells the better. Death covered any dark magic that Lucifer and the Dark Lord used to create the rings. The parsel magic was added to protect against any minor spells or hexes that someone might send their way.
"Yes, Ruby will do this week and I will do next week." Meg looked at the rings. "They look great." The rings were white gold, with rubies and blue sapphires that alternated around the ring. Each gemstone held a small protective spell while also transfiguring any demon magic into a low-level wizard's magic.
"They do." Ruby picked up one of the rings, put it on. It automatically adjusted to her right ring finger. "Lucius, I'm ready to go when you are."
"I was thinking it might be more believable if Narcissa and Draco joined me. Since it's almost lunchtime, I believe a lunch date in London would be passable." Lucius knew that he would need a good reason to be in London, Dumbledore was going to demand answers.
"Sounds good, let's go check out the location so we can give details about what restaurant." Ruby held out her hand for the potion. "I hope you made this taste better."
Harry laughed. "That isn't happening, but Severus was able to extend the duration to 24 hours, with you able to drink it within hours of it wearing out without an issue, so sleeping in the dorms won't be a problem."
"Taste doesn't do anything but weaken the potions. You should be thankful it wasn't Harry and Lucifer creating them." Severus had to keep Lucifer and Harry out of his potion lab when he was creating the potion. The two of them would throw things into potions just to see the reaction. "I won't even mention their testing method."
"It's not our fault the lab blew up." Lucifer ignored Death's scoffing as the Dark Lord snorted. The pair earned glares from Severus and Lucifer. "We learned that the potion doesn't react well to Boom Berries, Frog's Liver, or even vanilla. It was a very educational experience for Harry."
"I still think we need the rabid moose." Harry muttered as he joined Draco on the couch.
Ruby drank the potion and gagged on the taste. She slowly changed into the version of Harry Potter that Dumbledore was expecting. A miniature of James Potter with Lily Potter's eyes. This Harry was shorter than expected, but living on the streets and starving fit the image they were creating better. The scar slowly formed. There was no need for glasses, and untamed hair was fitting with the image. "Clothes?"
"I was able to get some earlier. Muggle attire that I believe will work." Narcissa produced a bag from a thrift store. "Draco helped me pick out what was needed. We will, of course, need to get the uniform and proper clothing tomorrow while everyone else is on the Hogwarts Express."
"Sounds like we are ready to go." Death clapped his hands together. He had been eager to start this new plan. "I will take Ruby with me, see you in London." Before anyone could reply Death and Ruby disappeared.
Severus was sitting in his quarters, he glanced at the time. He knew Dumbledore was going to floo call him as soon as he heard about Lucius finding Harry Potter. He had been in his quarters for about two hours, researching another potion that Lucifer had suggested when finally Dumbledore appeared in his floo. He had remained at Malfoy Manor with Lucifer and Harry brewing potions until it was dinner time and he had to return to Hogwarts or Dumbledore would wonder where he had been.
"Severus, are you there?" Dumbledore's voice filled his quarters.
"Yes, I'm sitting right here." Severus lowered his research notebook. "What can I assist you with today?"
"I just got a call. They found Harry Potter."
"Oh, joy, my day has been complete." Severus was going to enjoy the torment that Ruby and Meg were going to deliver to the senile old coot. "What does that have to do with me?"
"I need to go to the Ministry and retrieve him, I was hoping you would come with me."
Severus wanted to dance. He was actually going to be able to watch Dumbledore get his world knocked off its axis. "You know how I feel about Potter."
"Yes, but this is important. He might need your skills. Poppy is out on a call."
Severus huffed but rose. "Fine, if I must."
Severus walked next to Dumbledore as they were directed to Madam Bones' office. When they arrived at Madam Bones' office, Lucius was sitting next to Ruby, with Narcissa and Draco on Ruby's other side. Cornelius Fudge was fussing around Madam Bones' desk looking for something. Madam Bones was attempting to return to her desk.
"Minister, if you would allow me, I can find the correct paperwork." Madam Bones almost pushed the Minister out of her way as she retook her seat. She laid out the file she had on her desk. Everyone could see the name Harry Potter on it.
"I do apologize, Amelia but I do want to make sure everything is handled swiftly, we can't have any errors." Minister Fudge sent a smile to Ruby. "After all, Mr. Potter has suffered enough."
"Everything is all set, Minister. We just need to make sure that everything is signed." Madam Bones was raising her hand to sign some parchment when Dumbledore made his presence known, not that they didn't see him standing there.
"Good day, everyone. Lucius, I wasn't expecting you here, and with your lovely family." Dumbledore stepped into Madam Bones' slightly crowded office. "How wonderful. Young Harry, we have been looking for you."
Severus leaned against the door jam. There wasn't any more room in the office. He could see the Malfoy family had their masks in place. Ruby looked a bit dirty, but that wasn't surprising since Ruby was to have been living on the streets for years.
"That's him. That is the man that dumped me at my relatives and left me there to rot." Ruby pointed to Dumbledore. "They had a picture of him from the wedding of my parents. They told him me how he left me on their doorstep without a by your leave. He didn't even inform them my parents had died, they read it in the paper that they died in a car crash while drunk driving. They even told me they sent him letters demanding he come and get me, but they were always returned unopened."
"Are you sure?" Madam Bones asked.
"Yes, they said his name was Dumbledore. They used to brag about how I was so unwanted that he left me on the steps like a bottle of milk." Ruby looked like she hasn't had a bath in days, the clothes were ripped in spots, and the trainers she wore were well worn out, with holes. It was a touch that Severus had added before they had left Malfoy Manor.
"Albus, did you really leave him on the steps?" Lucius wondered if Dumbledore was going to lie or tell the truth, with his usual statements. "It was November, you don't leave a toddler on a doorstep, ever."
"You don't leave anyone on a doorstep, you do realize they are called toddlers for a reason." Narcissa was horrified. "He could have walked off, been eaten by an animal, or run over by an automobile."
"Yes, but it is all a slight misunderstanding. I did leave a note for them. I explained everything to him in it. I informed them that I would return for Harry when it was time for him to attend Hogwarts." Dumbledore gave them his best grandfatherly smile. His eyes were twinking, he ran his hands down the front of his beard. His robes were a bright orange.
"What's Hogwarts?" Ruby looked at Lucius. "Is that more of that wizard stuff you were telling me about?"
"Yes, it's a wizarding school. He is the Headmaster." Lucius explained. "Remember Narcissa told you that Draco went to school?"
"Yes. Oh, that is where you go, Dray?" Ruby was watching Dumbledore out of the corner of her eye. She thought the man was going to have a heart attack. "They bought me lunch, first real meal I've had in years." It was the truth, as demons didn't need to eat.
"I'm sure we work this out. Now, how about I take Harry with me, I have his new guardians aware of his pending arrival." Dumbledore was taking him straight to the Weasley family. He really couldn't have anyone else have guardianship over Harry Potter.
"I'm not going anywhere you suggest. Your last suggestion almost got me killed. If I hadn't run away when I did, I would have been locked under the stairs when the house caught fire."
"Mr. Potter has guardians already, Albus. The Malfoy family has already applied and it was accepted. I was about to sign the list of charges against you." Madam Bones stated. "Kidnapping, child endangerment, misuse of Mr. Potter's assets and seats." The goblins had been very helpful, especially since money was involved.
"I haven't done anything wrong. Everything I have done has been for the greater good. When I placed young Harry with his relatives it was for his protection. Our world was in chaos." Dumbledore wasn't about to let all of his plans backfire now. "His parents trusted me. I had James' permission to use his seats."
"Mr. Potter was never to go to his muggle relatives. My wife and Severus were on the list." Lucius had to admit Death, Lucifer, the Dark Lord, and Severus covered every base. "The goblins provided us with a copy of the Potters' Will which you sealed in a rushed closed session. Also, James was never Lord Potter, his father died after him. I believe the death of his only child caused his decline and eventually death. I do wonder why Harry's grandparents didn't get custody of him. They were the first selection."
"I had grandparents?" Ruby was really enjoying this. "Why did I go to my other relatives? I thought you said my mother's relatives weren't magical but my father's relatives were magical."
"Yes, your grandparents were still alive, they died shortly after the war ended. Your mother relatives weren't magical. Remember, we explained they were muggles." Narcissa patted Ruby's hand. "We found him begging for change on the street corner. We recognized him right away. We couldn't leave him there, it was not a place for a child. We got a bit turned around in London, trying to find the Five Fields, but we went to Ledbury Road by accident. The Ledbury has excellent French food, so we were trying to make our way to Blacklands Terrace, but got a bit turned around."
"So they took me to Peyton and Bryne." Ruby smiled. "I usually hit all the tourist areas, get a lot of change that way."
"As I was saying it was for the greater good. I wasn't aware his muggle relatives weren't nice to him." Dumbledore wasn't liking the direction this was heading. He had hoped to get Harry before anyone was even aware the boy was in the magical world. He wondered why none of his spies made him aware that the Malfoy family had found him.
"Nice? Did he honestly just say nice? They beat me, they starved me, they locked me in a cupboard. I don't want to go to Hogwarts if he thinks abuse is acceptable." Ruby used Harry's life before Lucifer entered into it. No one was happy to learn what the muggles had done to Harry. Lucifer reminded everyone that Crowley had them in some special cells.
"It's not. However, we show no records of anyone visiting you due to the Headmaster's lack of releasing your locations. I'm sure the Wizengamot will look into this matter, along with the other charges." Madam Bones assured them. "Now, Narcissa is the closest magical relative. Your grandmother was a Black, Narcissa was her great-niece. Do you have any objections to residing with them when you aren't attending Hogwarts?"
Ruby was about to answer when Dumbledore jumped in. "I'm afraid that isn't acceptable. Given Lucius former past, he isn't a suitable guardian. I'm sure the Weasley family or even Severus is a better choice."
"I'm fine with the Malfoy family. They feed me, which is more than your choice of guardians did." Ruby rolled her eyes. "Why is a headmaster determining where I go? Isn't he just in charge of a school?"
"Indeed." Lucius was enjoying this. He couldn't wait to see what they did once they go to Hogwarts.
"I'm also Chief Warlock and an esteemed member of the ICW." Dumbledore popped a lemon drop into his mouth.
"Yeah, and what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?" Ruby asked.
"It has nothing to do with the price of tea in China, we buy our tea out of India, they have a magical variety that is quite lovely." Dumbledore smiled at Ruby. "I'm sure you will love the Weasley family. They have six boys and one girl. You would be in the same year as their two youngest."
"Thought so, so nope, not taking you up on any offer you have. I'll stick with the Malfoy family. Why is he so pushy about this Weasel family?"
Severus turned his head to cover his smirk. "Yes, let's get the paperwork finished. I'm sure the Malfoys need to get Harry home and get him ready to join Draco at Hogwarts." Madam Bones knew Dumbledore was going to be very difficult about this, and when he lost the Chief Warlock position, she was going to hear about investigating Lucius.
"I must object. Given the past history of the Malfoy family, it wouldn't be the best option. If I take guardianship, he can stay at the Weasleys house for a few weeks during the summer while I attend to ICW business."
"What part of no isn't he understanding?" Ruby bluntly asked. "He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer is he?"
"Albus, it's already done. We are following the wishes of the Potter family. James and Lily selected Narcissa." Madam Bones nudged the Minister. "The Minister has also signed off as well as Madam Honeycombe after she spoke at length with Harry and the Malfoy family."
Severus was going to cherish the shocked look on Dumbledore's face. The man wasn't getting his way and it was a beautiful thing to see.
Lucius was walking with Ruby up to Hogwarts. The train was due to arrive in about ten minutes. They went to train platform to wait. Hagrid was already standing there. Hagrid ignored Lucius as Lucius ignored Hagrid.
The train finally arrived and Hagrid started yelling for the first years to join him by the boats. When Ron Weasley went to go to the carriages, Hagrid bellowed for Ron to join his sister in the boat. "Come, Harry, join the Weasleys. No more than four to a boat. "
Ruby ignored the command and headed for the carriages. She wasn't about to get into one of those boats, she could see the wards under the bridge that would add tracers to the wands. She joined Draco in his carriage. "Dray."
"Harry Potter meet Hendrick Morningstar, Pansy Parkinson, and Theo Nott. I'll introduce you to my other friends tomorrow."
Lucifer peeked out and hissed a greeting. "Ready to drive Dumbledore nuts?"
"This is Lucifer." Harry ignored his father.
"I'm Ron Weasley." Weasley held out his hand.
"Harry Potter." Ruby wasn't very impressed by Hogwarts. She had seen bigger and better castles. She had made deals with kings and queens.
"So what house do you think you will be in?" A female red-head joined them. "I'm Ginny Weasley."
"House? Isn't this a castle? I didn't see any houses except in town." Ruby was going to love playing stupid.
"My sister means the four houses of Hogwarts. Well, there should only be three, anyone sorted into Slytherin should go directly to Azkaban."
"Mr. Weasley, detention." McGonagall appeared to escort them into the Great Hall after she explained about the different houses, points, and detentions.
"Harry Potter." Ruby walked up to the stool, sat down.
"I see." The Sorting Hat sighed deeply. "Please inform Mr. Morningstar that while he hasn't destroyed Hogwarts, which we appreciate, we would also appreciate no more demons here."
"Well, Meg is going to alternate with me. We aren't here to hurt the students and we won't make any deals while we are in attendance. No one underage."
"Excellent. Now, as to this plan. While sending you to Slytherin would send Dumbledore over the edge, I do agree Gryffindor is an excellent choice. However, I might suggest Hufflepuff. The stupid act won't matter so much, the Weasleys will still try to be your friends, but you can be seen with the real Harry and Draco."
"Hufflepuff, yes, and it would drive Dumbledore batty because he wants Harry Potter to be the Gryffindor Boy Wonder."
"Yes, it would." The Sorting Hat smirked as it announced "Hufflepuff."
Ruby got up and headed to the table belonging to the Hufflepuffs. She didn't miss seeing the surprised look on Dumbledore's face. She knew Severus and Harry were also enjoying the look.
Harry will be Hendrick, Potter will be Ruby or Meg with people speaking about either of them
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The first day of classes:
Harry, Draco, Ruby, with some Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins were all sitting down at the Hufflepuff table talking about their first night at Hogwarts. Harry and Draco making sure to introduce Ruby to everyone. The Gryffindors hadn't arrived yet but breakfast wasn't due to start for another fifteen minutes. The Gryffindors were famous for always being almost late to everything.
Soon the staff started arriving and the students went to their tables. The staff didn't appear to mind students socializing with other houses, but Dumbledore prohibited anyone from sitting with others during meals.
Harry discreetly watched as the two Weasleys and Granger stare at the Hufflepuff table before they finally sat down at the Gryffindor table. The trio managed to sit so that Weasley was back to back with Ruby. Harry wondered how Weasley and Weaslette were going to worm their way into Ruby's social circle.
Draco leaned close to Harry. "Do you want to bet they have the same schedule as Harry?" Draco had been a bit surprised at how many letters Dumbledore had sent to "Harry Potter". The letters appeared to harmless if you ignored the compulsion spells woven into the ink. Dumbledore knew that the letter would be checked before opening, what he wasn't counting on was Death, Lucifer, the Dark Lord, and Lucius being so paranoid.
"That is a fool's bet. I'm willing to bet we are going to have classes with a few Puffs and Lions, and one or two Claws." Harry knew Dumbledore was going to want the Potter name to be linked with the Weasley family while also making sure Harry Potter saw how evil Slytherins were. Weasley was the perfect bigot to show anyone that aspect.
Draco groaned. He knew Harry was right. Based on what he learned over the summer, Dumbledore was going to push Harry Potter as the end all and be all of their world. The muggle version of Jesus as their savior. Draco didn't know everything but what he did know about Dumbledore really didn't surprise him. The Headmaster was just as bigoted as he claimed the dark faction was.
Harry felt Lucifer curl up by his ankles. Lucifer had been out investigating the castle. Lucifer most likely added some wards to certain areas. Harry looked up at the Dark Lord and Severus. He had an idea. He knew his father would love it and it would be easy to do.
Draco elbowed Harry. "You're smirking." Draco looked at Harry. "Oh, you have an idea. Share with me afterward."
Harry nodded his agreement. He ignored the concerned eyes of Severus.
Draco and Harry looked at their schedules. Most of their classes were all Slytherin/Gryffindor combination. They had seen Ruby after breakfast to compare schedules. While they wouldn't be in her classes, they wanted to see when they had free time together. Ruby's schedule was a combination of all four houses, with a heavy influence of Gryffindors.
Harry wished he could be with Ruby just so he could watch the fun that Ruby was going to create. Lucifer decided he was going to join Ruby and torment Weasley at the same time. Harry hoped he could see the memories.
Ruby looked at her schedule. She was going to enjoy this. "So, who has the same classes as me?" She held out her schedule for everyone to look at. Most of the Puffs had her classes and she wasn't surprised to learn the two Weasleys did.
Everyone started comparing their schedules and Ruby let herself be guided to her class. She was going to have so much fun as the two Weasley weaseled their way into the group. Ruby saw Lucifer. She wasn't sure what the old snake was going to do, but she bet it would be interesting.
Their first class was Charms. Weasley and Weaslette sat next to her, pushing on Ravenclaw out of the way in order to do so. The action didn't go unnoticed by staff and students. Professor Flitwick gave his opening, a short lecture, and passed out some feathers.
*Pet snake.* Ruby heard from Lucifer. She didn't react but Weasley jumped a bit. Since no one else but Weasley heard the hissing, she knew Lucifer, Death, and most likely the Dark Lord played with a spell so that no one but Weasley heard the hissing.
"Now, remember just a short flick." Professor Flitwick was back to standing on a stack of books.
Ruby looked at her feather as she loosely flicked her wand. Nothing was happening to her feather as everyone else's feathers were either turn to ashes, burnt, or in one case turned into numerous twigs. she wasn't sure how that happened and from Professor Flitwick's face, he wasn't either.
*Looky at the kept snake. Pretty, pretty pet snake, all pretty on two legs now.* Lucifer was curled up near the wall.
Weasley started looking around the room. "What's wrong with you, Ron?" Weaslette looked around the room.
"Nothing, it's nothing." Weasley reassured his sister. "Just work on your own feather."
Ruby laughed as she blew her feather to the floor.
The Dark Lord wasn't surprised when he saw Ruby enter the room with the two Weasleys and a mix of other houses with a lone Slytherin. He knew Lucifer was under his desk and when he heard *pet snake walking* he knew why Lucifer was here.
When class was over, the Dark Lord let go of the tension he hadn't realized he had. Ruby was perfect. He was going to see if Death could get a reaper to follow Ruby or Meg around so they could see the events each night. He also needed to remember to retrieve a bottle of wine for Saturday night.
"I'm not sure how to write with a quill on parchment. How about you write it out? We talk about the assignments and you can write out what we say. Your handwriting is so much better." Ruby gave Weaslette a sad face, she hoped it was a sad face.
"Yeah, Ginny, we get our assignments done all at once that way." Weasley pushed his parchment toward his sister. "There isn't anything in the rules about having someone else write what you say."
"I don't want to do all the work." Weaslette whined as she leaned toward Ruby. "Harry, you don't want to spend all of our time working on assignments."
Weasley smiled. "Hermione can help us. She is great. She is the brightest witch of our generation and would love to help us. She was always willing to do so for me last year. She is great at all the school stuff."
Ruby resisted the urge to roll her eyes. It didn't take much effort for her to get them to do her work and for them to already pass it onto someone else.
The second day of class
Lucifer slithered into Severus' quarters. He slithered up to the top of the couch and curled up. He let out a yawn.
"Busy night?" Severus was gathering his notes for today's assignments. Lucifer nodded his head and let out another yawn. "Don't burn down my quarters while I'm gone." He made a mental note to check on Harry and see what the two of them had gotten into. He didn't get to check on Harry last night.
Ruby was waiting by the stairs leading to the dungeons. "Harry, Draco, how are you this morning?" Ruby had listened to the Weasleys moan about Death Eaters after dinner last night.
"Great. You?" Harry smirked as he saw the two Weasleys watching them. He could see Weasley's face was getting red in anger as his sister worked on getting him to calm down. "How was your first day?"
"It was interesting. Breakfast? Dray, did you write to Aunt Cissy and Uncle Lucius?"
"Yes, I wrote to them last night. I expect I'll get an answer this morning. You know Mother will be sending us some brownies."
"I know. She promised she would." Ruby smiled.
"I hope I'm included in the brownie sharing?" Harry loved Narcissa's brownies.
"Harry, you don't want to be seen with them." Weasley almost yelled across the hall as the two Weasley approached the group. "They're Death Eaters."
Harry frowned a bit as if thinking. "I don't remember signing up for any club called Death Eaters. Is it a program or group that Hogwarts has to offer? I would think they would promote all the groups offered."
"They should. Weasley was telling me about them last night. I never heard of them before." Ruby looked around the hall. "They follow another guy. They wouldn't give him his name. They call calling him You-Know-Who like I would know."
"So they talked to you about this group and they don't know the guy's name. That is so weird." Harry looked at Draco. "Now we know why we haven't heard about it."
"We told you no one says his name. They are followers." Weasley pointed at Draco and Harry.
"I would think I would know if I belonged to a group with that name. It does stand out."
"I have to agree, Harry. I would also know."
"Your snakes, your Death Eaters, you deserve to be in Azkaban with the rest of them, just like your parents do too." Weasley pulled out his wand and had it aimed at Draco. "Your father is the worst of the worst."
"Mr. Weasley, ten points from Gryffindor for slander, ten points for aiming a wand at a student, and ten points for attempting to start an argument. Detention with Mr. Filch." Severus appeared behind Weasely and his sister.
Weasley went to reply but his sister pulled him away. "Ron, your temper!"
The day passed slowly for Ruby. Weasley wouldn't shut up about the unfair point lose and detention. The other students had all heard the story and many of the older years gladly filled in the first years of Weasley's first year at Hogwarts.
Weasley was very unpopular by the end of the day as his moaning and groaning caused more points removal as he wouldn't shut up. Ruby wished that Lucifer had been around to hiss at Weasley. She wondered if perhaps the Dark Lord or Harry might have a snake she could borrow.
"What are you two up to?" Severus found Lucifer and Harry in his private warded lab. Harry was standing over a cauldron, while Lucifer was dicing some Knotgrass.
"Well, I'm about 149 cm." Harry used his stirrer to push some grasshopper under. "I'm not sure how tall dad is. He isn't as tall as a rabid moose, I don't think. Well, he is taller if you stop the height measurement at the withers."
"I'm slightly above average, about 180 cm, give or take. I'm not sure about the moose. He might have been taller with his antlers." Lucifer tossed a fig into the cauldron. "Time that, five minutes."
"Dad, we already did five minutes and it was purple, not blue." Harry rolled his eyes at his father. "Never listens to me when I tell him this stuff."
"Oh, right, perhaps 6 or maybe 7? I think we need more parsley."
Severus was so glad that Lucifer wasn't teaching potions. He looked into the cauldron. "First, it's ten minutes and you want it to be yellow. You added to much mint and not enough Spring Dew, so counter it in three minutes with some bat fangs." Severus turned back to the pair. "Do I need to get Death here?"
"We aren't breaking any rules." Harry smirked at Severus. "Trust us." He turned on all the charm.
Sadly for Harry, Severus was immune to it. "I don't. What are you two doing and to whom?" Severus knew the two of them wouldn't break any rules, it was their love of getting around them that had him worried.
Lucifer and Harry exchanged looks, pointed at each other. "It was his idea."
"It was not, it was his." Again, they pointed at each other.
"Dad!" Harry waved his finger at Lucifer.
"Fine, I thought Weasley might like a pet snake, but one no one would be able to hear or see."
"My idea was to make it invisible to everything, so we found this Invisibility Potion." Harry stuck his tongue out at his father.
"No. You aren't driving the boy crazy." Severus gave him his death glare. Neither wilted under it. "I will tell Death about it, I'm sure it's breaking a rule somehow."
"Actually, there is nothing in our agreement about driving anyone crazy. Not even slightly nuts, bonkers, or delusional." Harry informed Severus. "There isn't even anything about making them hear voices or in this case, a snake."
Severus should have known. "No, but ten points for creating a potion most seventh years can't create."
The third day of classes.
"I'm so happy that it's Friday. No assignments until Sunday." Weasley shoved food into his mouth. He turned around and nudge Harry. "We don't have any class until Potions this afternoon."
"Close your mouth when you chew, Ron. I thought you might have at least learned some manners over the summer." Granger had been talking to with Weaslette and gotten to see the food fly out of Weasley's mouth.
"Gross, Ron. You know better." Weaslette turned to Ruby. "We should review before Potions. Snape is tough."
"She is right. Professor Snape is strict." Granger pulled out some notebooks. "I bought these for to review. They are my notes for September of last year. It will tell you which class on the tabs."
Weasley didn't reach for it, but his sister did. "Thank you."
Ruby was stuck between Weasley and Weaslette again. She really didn't want to be in here. She had already been warned by Harry, the Dark Lord, and Severus that Severus couldn't be viewed as favoring her. Dumbledore had to believe Severus was still his spy for whatever future war that Dumbledore believed was going to happen. He also believed that some of the Death Eaters' children would be reporting back Severus' attitude to their parents. The biggest was that the Dark Lord would kill Severus if anyone believed that he liked Potter.
Severus strode into the classroom. His black robe billowing behind him. He made it to his podium and turned to face the students.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making." Severus spoke in barely more than a whisper. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death—if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
Ruby was more awake now. She liked this side of Severus. The man knew how to control a room.
"Potter!" Severus suddenly spoke. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
"I don't know, sir." Ruby knew she had a part to play and was going to play it to the max.
Severus' lips curled into a sneer. "Tut, tut-fame clearly isn't everything."
"Let's try again. Potter, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"
"I don't know, sir."
"Thought you wouldn't open a bok before coming, eh, Potter?" Severus ignored the raised hands. They were all Ravenclaws, which didn't surprise him. "What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
"I don't know. I think they do." Ruby pointed to the group of Ravenclaws.
"For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite. Well? Why aren't you all copying that down?" Students scrambled to get their books out, not the Ravenclaws, of course.
Over the noise, Severus said, "And a point will be taken from Hufflepuff House for your cheek, Potter." He swept around in his long black cloak, watching them. He watched Ruby leaned back and let Weasley and Weaslette do all the work.
Speech is from Harry Potter, changed to fit.
Meg and Ruby were enjoying playing stupid. They really didn't have to try that hard as Weasley was willing to slack off and pass off their work to either his sister or Granger. Granger kept trying to them studying schedules which Meg or Ruby would promptly lose. Weasley was proving to be a bigger idiot than they thought possible as he always had the schedule in his bag.
Crowley had a list of demons who wanted to come to Hogwarts and play with the wizards. Every time Dumbledore did a summoning a new demon would arrive in Crowley's place. The demons were enjoying playing stupid with Dumbledore.
Death and the Dark Lord were busy working on different things with Lucius. They were creating new laws while working on getting some revoked. Death was usually in the Dark Lord's quarters most nights working when the Dark Lord wasn't on patrol duty.
Severus was working on keeping Harry and Lucifer under control. Harry and Lucifer dragged him to some warded areas of the castle and the three of them were working on trying to figure out what Dumbledore was doing.
The months went by slowly. Severus was dragged into another staff meeting. However, this meeting was interesting. Severus and the Dark Lord were sitting side by side as Dumbledore entered the staff room. Dumbledore still hadn't realized the Dark Lord was the new DADA professor.
Severus wondered if Lucifer was around. Lucifer would explore the castle when classes were in sessions but this early in the morning, Lucifer usual slept curled up on Severus' couch. When he got up, he didn't see Lucifer stretched out on the couch. The couch had been made and the living area was cleaned. He was going to see if he could get Harry and Death to get a room added to his quarters for Lucifer to sleep in.
"Under Minerva's chair." The Dark Lord whispered. "He is using that new invisibility spell." Lucifer and Harry now had the Dark Lord preventing them from doing anything against the rules. The Dark Lord was actually impressed with how creative Harry and Lucifer were.
Severus couldn't see Lucifer but he wasn't a parseltongue. Harry and Lucifer had been testing out a lot of new potions and spells on Dumbledore. This new invisibility spell would prove useful if it passed the test of Dumbledore seeing a snake. Judging by the blatant way Lucifer was sitting out in the open, Dumbledore should have seen Lucifer.
Minerva was sitting at the long narrow wooden table in the middle of the room. She was sitting at the end of the table to the right of Dumbledore. Dumbledore always took the top of the table, Filius would on his left. Severus selected to sit on the couch.
"I called this meeting to discuss some concerns. Harry, Ron, and Ginny are failing all of their classes. I asked Minerva to look into this issue and she discovered that Harry and Ron have been having Ginny do the work if they can't get Hermione to do it." Dumbledore nodded at Minerva.
Dumbledore wasn't sure why none of his plans for the last two years weren't working. He had everything planned and organized. He never expected the problems he was encountering. The problems with Harry Potter was the tip of the iceberg.
Dumbledore was still getting visits from last Yule's nightmare. His parents, Lily, and Crowley were always nagging him in his sleep. He couldn't even nap without a visit. He had been attempting to contact Crowley but getting the stupidest demons that ever existed. He pondered when Magic and Fate turned on him. No, they hadn't turned, he just needed to figure out what he had to do next.
"I was surprised to discover that Mr. Weasley has been the one to guide his sister and Mr. Potter in this idea. Ms. Granger will provide information but she hasn't written or even corrected the essays or assignments the three have submitted. It was actually Ms. Granger's concerns that led me to look into their grades." Minerva had tried for weeks to get Dumbledore to wake up to the problems her three youngest lions were experiencing.
Severus was a bit surprised it had taken almost two months for Dumbledore and Minerva to discover the lack of effort on Ruby and Meg were providing in their work. He knew either had written a word. Severus lost the bet he had with Harry too. Harry told him Dumbledore wouldn't notice until after the fifteen of October. "Mr. Potter's hasn't passed a single test. They are usually turned in blank. His name isn't even on the parchment."
Severus could see the Dark Lord was enjoying this. His face didn't show it but he had felt the man moving his arm to cover his mouth. He was also enjoying this. Dumbledore was looking older and stressed.
"Has anyone received any work from Harry?" Dumbledore looked around the room as everyone answered no. Ms. Pince even stated that she had never seen Ruby or Meg with a book.
Severus was going to have to buy some potion ingredients for Lucifer and Harry for losing the bet. The two of them had been using a lot of older books to make potions. Severus had enjoyed reading and experimenting with the potions for improving medical conditions or even eliminating some. Harry and Lucifer were trying to use the potions to drive Dumbledore and Weasley crazy. When Death got involved, Lucifer and Harry stated that it wouldn't take much to drive Dumbledore or Weasley crazy. Severus didn't want to admit it but the two of were also correct in that aspect.
"I investigated that issue also. I believe Mr. Potter can't read. He disappears when any of the staff has students reading out loud. He hasn't turned in a single piece of written work. I'm not even sure if he grasps the basics. He has yet to perform any magic." Minerva wasn't sure what Dumbledore was going to do with this new information.
"He still hasn't made a feather float. It just lays on the desk." Filius had moved the rest of the class to the next lessons but he wasn't sure what to do about the situation. No one had never failed to make a feather float. "Are we sure he is a wizard?"
"His parents were." Dumbledore wasn't about to admit he had his doubts about Harry Potter.
"Albus, I believe we need to get him tested." Filius knew none of the other staff members, with the exceptions of Severus, would tell Dumbledore things he didn't want to hear. Minerva would try but once Dumbledore would start on his reasons why she would back down.
"I agree. His potions don't turn out well at all. Despite everyone's belief that magic isn't needed for potions it, it is. Magic is part of most of all of the lines except for the cleaning line of products." Severus hated how Dumbledore promoted potion making as being non-magical.
"He has a wand." Dumbledore smiled in reassurance.
"Have you touched the wand? It's like touching a stick. I felt no magic from it when I asked to check out the wand." Filius honestly believed that Harry Potter was a squib.
"Albus, I was going to make the suggestion also. As well as having Mr. Potter take a written exam in front of us." Minerva sighed deeply. "There was never any reports of accidental magic at his relatives or in any of the areas we thought Mr. Potter was residing as we were locating him. We did find numerous muggle police reports regarding Mr. Potter's activities."
Severus was suddenly interested. He wondered what Harry and Lucifer had done now. He glanced at the Dark Lord and knew Death most likely planted the reports. He knew they had to create a backstory for Harry Potter's missing years and living on the streets was a good one. Living on the streets would make you known to the local police.
"He was picked up for petty theft, vagrancy, and even panhandling." Minerva pulled out some paper out of her robes. "Here is a copy of all the police reports. The local police had believed Mr. Potter had passed on since they hadn't seen him. They were actually looking for a body."
"Oh dear. Did you explain what happened?" Pomona was the kindest woman and had a soft spot for everyone.
Severus was wondering why they didn't speak to Pomona. She was Ruby/Meg's head of house. Weasley and his sister were always trying to force Ruby/Meg to sit with them in Gryffindor. Granger had been surprisingly supportive of Ruby/Meg sitting with the Hufflepuffs.
"Yes. The local Sargent informed me he would pass on the good news and wished me to express my congratulations to Mr. Potter."
"Don't you think you should contact Lord Malfoy if you have concerns regarding Mr. Potter?" The Dark Lord finally spoke. The Dark Lord ignored the look Dumbledore sent his way. Dumbledore was still trying to regain control over Harry Potter. "Lord Malfoy, I'm sure, would be very displeased if he learned of the results after the fact."
"I will write him a letter today. This issue needs to be resolved. I will send a request to the Ministry for someone to test Harry's magic levels." Dumbledore was hoping he might be able to regain control over Harry Potter by claiming he needed more magical lessons.
"Albus, it might be better if you allow Lord Malfoy to decide who will be testing Mr. Potter. Mr. Potter is his ward." Minerva's voice held a warning tone in it. She had been trying to get Dumbledore to focus more on Hogwarts and her students instead of just on four students, especially Mr. Potter.
"Albus, Lord Malfoy would not care for your involvement without his knowledge." Filius knew Dumbledore didn't want to lose one of his pets.
Dumbledore knew he lost the battle but he still had a war to win. "I will have Lucius make the arrangements." Dumbledore looked at the time. "Any other issues?"
Severus could think of several but knew it was useless to bring them up in any discussion as Dumbledore would dismiss them as they didn't have anything to do with Harry Potter.
Harry and Lucifer were pouring over books. Severus was a bit worried as the two of them had been quiet for over an hour. Severus picked up the books. "Wand making and trees?"
"Yes, since Dumbledore wants to test the wand that Ruby and Meg are using, we decided we didn't want to end the game too soon. So we are looking to create a magical wand that won't work with demon magic but for wizards. I think we have it, Dad is researching the spell we need to craft it." Harry had some books opened with trees on the pages. The facts were printed under the picture.
"What wood?" Severus was so thankful he was on their side. He almost felt bad for Dumbledore, almost.
"It's called Purpleheart." Harry handed a book to Severus. The book was large with beautiful pictures of trees on the cover. Harry had the page marked with the bookmarker.
Severus opened the book to the page and began to read the paragraph. "Purpleheart trees range from Southeastern Brazil to Costa Rica and even to Trinidad. Most species grow in the Amazon basin. These trees are colloquially known by quite a few names, depending on the language. These include Amaranth, Violetwood, Tananeo, Saka, Koroboreli, Pau Roxo, and Morado." Severus lowered the book. "Ollivanders doesn't use these woods. How are you going to explain that aspect?"
"Death. We have him place a memory of him receiving it from someone as a sample of what the Purpleheart tree can do." Lucifer explained. "He's up with the Dark Lord working on finding out who would be best to be the tester for the magic test. The Dark Lord doesn't want his followers to know of his return as of yet, but Lucius should be able to get whoever the Dark Lord suggests with the aid of Death."
"I wanted a purple wand but it says the wood isn't purple when it's first cut. It's actually more of a dull gray or faded brown color. However, with age and sun exposure, the wood darkens and adopts a more purple-ish hue." Harry wondered if he could transform his wand's color. "I didn't see a way to dye a wand's wood. Perhaps we can find out. I would love a purple wand."
"It's also one of the hardiest and most sturdy of woods. It's dense and watertight, resistant to decay, fungi, termites, and other bugs. We can do a lot with it." Lucifer smirked at Harry. They had some planning to do.
"Dumbledore is going to love it. The Purpleheart enhances creative energy, knowledge, and assists in healing. It also eliminates negative energy in a home, tension too." Harry smirked. "You know he is going to love the healing part and getting rid of any negative energy."
"Yes, he would. The spell?"
"I found one I think will stump Dumbledore. We knew we couldn't use anything Ollivander might use so I researched the spells used in the Amazon basin." Lucifer handed the book to Severus. "It's in Mayan."
"You can speak Mayan?" Severus held up his hand. "Nevermind, stupid question, I've been with students all day."
Harry and Lucifer laughed.
Lucius handed the letter from Dumbledore to Narcissa. She read it, looked at Lucius, then back to the letter. "Is he serious?"
"I believe he expects me to just agree." Lucius had been expecting the letter from Dumbledore since Severus and the Dark Lord had informed him of the events that occurred in the staff meeting.
The Dark Lord and Death had already arranged for Augustus Rookwood to be aware of the Dark Lord's return. Death, with some assistance from Lucifer, was able to provide the required memories for Rookwood to grasps the understanding of what could happen to him if he didn't agree. Death had enjoyed it. It was one of the few times he got to scare people. Lucius wondered if Harry and Lucifer were affecting everyone in some warped way.
Lucius took the letter back from Narcissa. He read it again. Severus had informed him that Dumbledore had been warned to ask him. Lucius wondered if Dumbledore was a bit more Slytherin than the man would care to admit. Dumbledore certainly was daring.
Due to some concerns regarding young Harry Potter, we are investigating some testing options. I do believe the Ministry has someone available to assist in the assessment testing of Harry during the next few days.
Several different tests were mentioned. I have gladly arranged for the dates and times as I believe the sooner we test young Harry, the better we will be able to assist him in his academic needs. I have arranged for a tutor to assist Harry with any special needs.
I'm also a bit concerned about his wand. We will be testing his core. The results of all the testing will be forwarded to you as soon as they are available.
Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
"I will need to visit the Ministry and rearrange the testing dates and times or see if Rookwood is available." Lucius had a feeling that Rookwood would be available no matter what time he arranged.
"That would be best, dear. You know if you wrote back to him, he would try and deny you want to aid Harry Potter." Narcissa took a sip of her tea. "That man is going to be rather bothersome."
"Going to be?" Lucius arched a brow at his wife.
Narcissa gave him a slight smile.
Harry was pouting. He kept looking at his father, who was curled up on Severus' couch. Lucifer was mumbling about finding a way to attend the testing. The two of them were working out how to get into whatever room Dumbledore was going to arrange for the testing.
Severus, the Dark Lord, and Death were reviewing everything with Ruby. Death had visited Rookwood and obtained copies of all the testing materials. Rookwood put the more popular exams on the top but explained the Dumbledore might use some of the rarer ones.
Since it was Ruby's week, she was the one who was going to be tested. Ruby's demon magic was a bit stronger than Meg's so the level showing up on the magic usage was slightly above squib. They tested it a few times to make sure that Ruby didn't add too much of her magic to the wand.
~You know you can't be there.~ The Dark Lord hissed Lucifer and Harry. ~We don't want to give Dumbledore any idea of something being wrong.~
~I know, but it was my idea.~ Harry watched Severus as he was showing Ruby how they would start testing her magic, using the first year basic foundation skills test.
~Harry, I promise Augustus or even Death will provide us with the memory. Severus might be able to attend the testing or part of it too.~ The Dark Lord sat down between where Lucifer was curled up and Harry. "I promise you will get to review the event."
"Can I-" Harry had an idea. The trio wasn't going to be busy during the testing. Perhaps he could arrange for them to be busy.
"No." Everyone replied, including Lucifer who was hissing.
"Fine." Harry got up. "I'll go and see what Draco is up to."
"Harry." Severus' tone had a bit of a warning to it. He knew Harry wasn't going to give up that easily.
"I promise no one will get hurt." Harry smiled a bit too wide and almost ran from the room.
Severus groaned as Lucifer and the others realized Harry was going to see what he could do. Lucifer slithered off of the couch and followed his son before anyone could grab him.
~Oh, fun.~ Lucifer squeezed through a crack in the wall.
The Dark Lord looked at Death. "I think we should worry."
"You think?" Ruby rolled her eyes. "You do realize the only thing that is stopping them from destroying this castle and everyone in it is their word?"
As Severus and the Dark Lord processed her words, Death sighed. "Yes, but they are very good about keeping their word. If they weren't I would never have any time off."
The Dark Lord watched Severus for several minutes as Severus and Death worked with Ruby. He grinned. He needed to speak to Death.
Dumbledore wasn't happy when he saw Augustus Rookwood arrive for the testing. Behind Rookwood was Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Augustus had two lower level DoM people with him. Dumbledore recognized them as former Hufflepuffs.
Lucifer was hiding in a crack in the wall and was excited to see Dumbledore's plans already crumbling. Lucifer and Nagini had spent the last two days working on creating different tunnels to the room they believed that Dumbledore would use. He knew Nagini was already in the big crack in the wall by the staircase, watching.
Lucifer saw Harry and Draco standing in the shadows of the stairwell to the dungeons. Lucifer smirked as the annoying trio of Gryffindors came down the stairs. Granger went straight to Dumbledore. "Sir, I'm sorry but I don't think Harry can read."
"Yeah, he just opened the book and that was it." Weasley added.
"Yes, Sir, that is true. I'm going to need more time to tutor him as there is no way he is ready to take any of these tests." Granger's voice was filled with self-importance.
Lucifer had to admit this idea of Harry's was a great one. He also knew that Dumbledore would check for spells on the trio but since Harry used parselmagic it wouldn't be detected.
"Sir, he couldn't even read how to float a feather. Nothing happened when we showed him how to do the spell." Weaslette added.
"Why was Ms. Granger tutoring my ward?" Lucius looked between Granger and Dumbledore. "I never gave permission for any tutoring nor did I approve of Ms. Granger being involved with my ward's education."
"It's just a slight misunderstanding. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, why don't you go back to your common room."
"Sir, we don't know where Harry went to." Granger felt like she let the Headmaster down. It was her job to get Harry ready for the testing.
"He is waiting for us." Dumbledore reassured Granger.
"Why, Albus? I want to know why you had Ms. Granger tutoring my ward. I want to know why my ward is already in the classroom. He shouldn't have even been made aware he was being tested nor was the information." Lucius wasn't about to allow Dumbledore to wiggle his way out of this new situation.
"I assure you it was a slight misunderstanding. Harry is waiting for us." Dumbledore turned and headed for the stairwell.
Lucius, Narcissa, and Augustus exchanged a look. They were looking forward to the testing.