Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/1/Harry-Crow

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100. Centurion

Knowing that they had months of hard work ahead of them, the four friends were even more determined to enjoy Barchoke's party that night. The guest of honour was also thrilled to be spending his special day with his children and their extended family. The present that seemed to capture his heart though was by no means the most expensive.

Little Danielle Dugan had raced ahead of her parents to hug Barchoke, and wish him a happy birthday. He almost didn't need to open the present she'd gotten him, since Danielle began describing it in great detail before her mother even handed the gift over for unwrapping.

"I did a drawing of me and you, mummy got me a frame and we put the drawing in it. Mummy did help me, a little…"

Barchoke could see the lovely ornate picture frame was really his gift, what it contained though was way more precious to the goblin. Here was a child's drawing, like the ones drawn by children all over the world since time immemorial. This one though featured the little girl who'd produced the drawing holding hands with her friend, Barchoke. it was never going to win any prizes in an art competition, but to the goblin portrayed in the picture it was priceless.

"Mummy helped me with the writing, I did the kisses though…"

It was indeed clear she'd been helped with the writing, the sentiment however was pure Danielle.

To my friend, Barchoke. Happy Birthday. Love, Danielle. xxx

"This is wonderful, Danielle, thank you so much. I shall hang it in my office so everyone can see it, and know that we are friends." That just made both their evenings.

All three of the trio involved in today's tasks had thanked their parents profusely for frightening off the government man so they didn't have to speak to him. Harry was beginning to think he might have made a mistake though by putting on such a show. The trio dedicated their efforts to Barchoke, but those same efforts were in danger of overshadowing his birthday.

Luna and Colin had a tiff over it, apparently he wasn't too happy his girlfriend had known they were animagi and didn't tell him. Luna had replied that it wasn't her secret to tell, and she was now waiting to see how long her boyfriend was going to sulk for.

Euan, Denis and Orla were in total awe of the trio, Euan asking if Neville could do that too was a question that had to be quickly dealt with.

"If Neville could do that, he would be breaking the law - since he's not registered." Harry didn't need to say any more, these three were quick enough to work the rest out for themselves.

The friends then found themselves being joined by a rather grumpy Sapphire. "It's bad enough some of the younger ones are looking at you four in awe, my own bloody family though are doing the same thing to me. You'd think they didn't know who I was, first one of them to ask for my autograph is getting a smack around the head."

This resulted in laughter, along with Draco and Pansy joining the group. "I was surprised you gave that secret away today, that's bound to make its way back to Voldemort."

Draco's comments just saw Harry shrug his shoulders. "Of our forms, Sabre is probably the most dangerous. Actually, Neville can make a quite compelling case for Padma being the most dangerous of us in her human form too - but that's another matter. If you were getting attacked by a hawk, what would you do?"

This had Draco thinking. "Well, that would depend on how much damage I wanted to do. Something like a flame curse would be pretty effective though."

"When you think about it a little more, you'll see you're spoilt for choice. Our forms are handy for surveillance and travel. In any magical fight, they quickly become liabilities. Yes I'm certainly mobile as Swift, but I can't shield and activating my armour reduces my speed to a point where I would be easily picked off. Voldemort though will soon be factoring that ability into his plans, an ability I have no intention of using when we face each other."

Pansy was certainly enough of a Slytherin to appreciate those tactics. "He'll be prepared for you to use that, and probably surprised when you don't."

This saw Harry nodding. "He'll also be preparing a defence against the shotgun, something else we won't be using. Even if this only buys us a couple of seconds where it sees him hesitate, those seconds could be priceless."

A droll voice came from behind Harry. "A very astute analysis, Centurion, one I'm sure you don't want overheard."

"I trust everyone in this room, Potions Master Snape, otherwise they wouldn't be here. I know you were quite a bit away from the stadium today but I was wondering what you made of Dumbledore's outburst?"

"Albus always thinks he knows more than everyone else. Can I assume, since Amelia so effectively destroyed his argument, that incident was planned?"

A nod was Harry's only answer but Hermione elaborated further. "We have some very clever people helping us, Professor, you are certainly included in that group. I hate to think the mess we would make of it if we tried this alone."

"Never gonna happen..." This was practically growled out by Neville, earning him a kiss from Padma. It had been hard for him to sit there today, waiting to see what would unfold. Without the threat of Voldemort gatecrashing, Neville would have been sitting back and laughing with the rest of their friends who were in on the animagi secret.

His mate had no idea just how sexy she looked, standing on the edge of the astronomy tower before fearlessly diving off. Her transformation into Sabre had the stadium going crazy, and Neville's chest swelling with pride. He had noticed some of the older wizards practically drooling over Padma but Neville wasn't worried in the slightest. Padma herself would kick their arses if any dared make a move or suggestion she considered inappropriate, his mate was one scary witch when she wanted to be.

Hermione finally got a chance to dance with their father. "How has your birthday been?"

"Since this is the very first birthday that I've ever gotten the chance to dance with my daughter at, I would have to say it's my best ever. Thank you so much for helping arrange this."

"Oh I can't accept any thanks, since this was a purely selfish act on my part. I wanted to be with you on your special day, I know it's something Harry really wanted too."

They looked over to where Harry was sitting beside his godfather, both had a baby on their knee. "Those two are more alike than would seem possible…"

This drew a smile from Barchoke. "Perhaps it's because both want the same things from life, things they perhaps thought they would never have. It was a very fortunate day for my son when he met you on that train. Because of you, all his dreams are coming true…"

"Harry features heavily in my dreams too, Father. That's why I could never lose him, and will be at his side in this fight." The Nation would know when she and Harry completed their bond, Hermione's status would change within Gringotts. She was trying to lay the groundworks here so their father wouldn't be shocked when it happened. The wise, now sixty year old goblin, managed to surprise his daughter.

"I couldn't imagine you allowing him to fight alone, even though that's probably what he was hoping for. Part of him knows he needs you, Padma, Neville and Tonks with him, another part however hates the very thought that he's putting you four in danger. I assumed, it would appear correctly, that you will complete your bond before the final task. Dan and Emma have made the same assumption. Accepting you were old enough to face Voldemort was a lot harder than something we all knew was going to be in your future anyway. You won't get any grief from there either over this."

This news had tears welling in the corners of Hermione's eyes. "It's your birthday, you're not supposed to be the one handing out presents today. That is such a precious gift, we really don't want to deceive anyone with this. We will be going to the island the weekend before the final task, Remus and Tonks will be there too - along with Padma and Neville."

Barchoke could feel his daughter trembling as she said that, it was time to put her mind to rest. These four certainly had enough to worry about without adding something else to their burden. "Again, not something unexpected. All the parents involved seem to be of the opinion that this is justifiable, considering what else you are facing. Providing you don't then expect to be living as married couples after that, I think all concerned will be happy to pretend it didn't happen. Personally, as long as you two come back to me after the fight, you can live your lives whatever way you want. Just come back to us, that is all that matters."

Hermione had stopped dancing and was now just standing there hugging the wonderful person that she was proud to call father. Barchoke thought that was simply the best birthday present he could ever have.

-oOoOo-

The Hogsmeade weekend was only two weeks later, people were already noticing the subtile changes though even in those two weeks. The four friends were already a pretty driven bunch but that intensity had gone up a few notches. As their training had intensified, and gotten more specialised, they were forced to exclude Viktor and Fleur from these lessons. Both champions still trained with them every morning, having clearly felt the benefits during the second task, but now only participated on a Sunday with Roger, Cedric and the Weasley twins.

The Hogsmeade weekend again saw Harry and Tonks taking charge of security for the students' visit, Neville, Padma and Hermione were once more riding shotgun on Crow's Marauders. Since Valentine's Day fell on the Sunday, Harry and Tonks were worried that some couples might try to slip away for some alone time. There had been no death eater activity but neither wanted to offer up any easy targets.

Luna and Colin stuck with the group. Both were very proud of now being marauder trainers, with that position though came certain responsibilities. They got to spend the day together, walking around Hogsmeade in the company of friends while holding hands. The young couple were happy with that.

Hermione didn't get to see Harry until their now customary walk back to the castle, the head count telling them everyone would soon be safely back inside Hogwarts. The four friends were going to have a quiet dinner together in the room tonight, Barchoke's revelations to Hermione if anything had brought the two couples even closer.

Harry was making his way downstairs to meet Hermione and Padma in the Ravenclaw common room when he found himself faced with a nervous Roger, who'd clearly been waiting on him.

"Harry, I don't know what's the matter but clearly something is wrong. If we've done something..."

"Aw shit. Sorry Roger, no one has done anything, it's just something we're dealing with at the moment. Our new training is brutal and it would seem we've let some of that intensity spill over. We should get used to it in a few more weeks."

"If you're sure that's all it is? A few of us were just worried about you four."

"We're fine, Roger, but there is something you can help us with."

"Anything, Harry."

"Well, you know the four of us are getting married next summer. Being the organised people that they are, Hermione and Padma have already chosen their bridesmaids. With the way things are progressing between Parvati and Blaise, it's looking like he'll be part of the wedding party too. That leaves Neville and I having to find one each, would you be my best man, Roger?"

It was a stunned Roger who could do no more than state the blindingly obvious. "You want me to be your best man?"

"I don't think you'll mind too much if I told you Neville would have been my first choice. Since he'll now be a groom that day too, yours was the next name I thought of. You've been a friend to us since we first sat at the Ravenclaw table, we hope to continue that friendship for many years to come. So, will you do it?"

"Harry, I'd be honoured…"

A firm handshake of thanks later and Harry was on his way, leaving behind a Roger who'd gone from being nervous to utterly bewildered. This bewildered version finally caught up with his girlfriend at the entrance to the great hall.

"Are you feeling poorly, Roger? You seem, 'ow do you say, distracted. Did you talk with 'Arry, is zat what is wrong?"

A quick kiss of greeting settled Fleur down and allowed Roger to lead her over to the Ravenclaw table. "There is nothing wrong, with me or Harry, love. It's just their new training that has them acting a bit different. Harry just asked me something that totally blew me away, he wants me to be best man at his wedding…"

A happy squeal from Fleur alerted everyone that something was going on, she didn't care though. She knew how much her boyfriend valued Harry's friendship, to see that Harry valued his just as much would easily account for Roger's current dazed expression. Fleur had also since learned it had been Harry's suggestion that Roger should ask her out, something they were both pretty happy about. Roger's good news was soon spreading throughout the hall, along with his explanation on why the four friends had seemed so distant lately. They all reached the same conclusion, there couldn't be too much wrong if they were planning for their weddings.

Harry was currently telling the other three what had happened, leaving Neville shrugging his shoulders. "I was originally thinking Colin might be a good choice, seeing how he reacted after the second task has left me thinking I'd be better waiting a while. If he and Luna weren't still together next year it could get really awkward, and that's the last thing we need. If not Colin, I was thinking of Cedric or Draco."

All agreed with his thinking although Padma had another concern. "How did our friends pick up on this so quickly? I wasn't even aware we were acting differently."

"It's the bloody training. We've spent the last three and a half years learning to fight, now they won't let us. I know Amelia means well but I think we stand a better chance of pulling this off if we stick to what we're good at. Shielding and dodging until they pull those wards down might sound right to them, it just doesn't feel right to us."

A kiss from Harry soon had Hermione feeling a lot better, that and his reminder that this was a date - so no more talk of unpleasant things.

They would be surprised to discover they had an unlikely champion of their cause.

-oOoOo-

Amelia had been badgered until she had to come and see for herself. She was standing watching this and simply couldn't see anything wrong. The three sworn-to-secrecy aurors were firing curses at their opponents, and hitting nothing but the occasional shield. "Mad-eye, I just don't see what the problem is here. The plan is working perfectly. They survive until we pull down the wards, and then we'll deal with those bastards."

"Amelia, you know there's is no such beast as the perfect plan. It's goin' well because none of them are hit. When one of them goes down, the whole thin' crumbles. You're the one who told me about the bond between this lot, and how it was their main strength. That strength becomes a weakness when one of them goes down, they would literally do anythin' to help each other."

She could just imagine the rest of them standing over whoever fell, taking whatever curses came their way in an effort to protect the downed friend. "What are you suggesting, Alastor?"

"Let them loose, release the shackles this strategy puts them under and allow them to do what they are simply brilliant at. At least let me show you what I mean?"

Since she was already here, Amelia didn't have a problem with that. A signal to Shack saw him call a five minute break, Mad-eye intended to use those five minutes constructively. He headed straight for the defending group to have a quiet word.

"I can see none of you are really happy with this strategy, personally I agree with you. The best way to survive a fight is to take the other bastard out as quickly as you can, somethin' you lot have been trainin' at since you were wee firsties. How about we show Amelia just what you're capable of?"

That put smiles on their faces as Mad-eye made his way back to Amelia, the five had some planning of their own to do.

As Shack called fight, a blitzkrieg of magic hit the three unsuspecting aurors. One was taken out immediately, the other two were swiftly manoeuvred into positions where they couldn't help each other and soon succumbed. Mad-eye shoved his stopwatch under Amelia's nose, it was stopped at twenty one seconds.

"The aurors weren't prepared, you didn't tell them the rules had changed."

"Amelia, there are no rules in a fight. Voldemort is only expectin' Crow so he's in for a surprise too. I thought that was a fair test, one those five just passed with flyin' colours."

"It's hardly a fair test, comparing three aurors to what they're really up against."

"I'll give you that one, Amelia. What about me, you and Shack? Do you think that would be a fairer comparison, and we would know what to expect from these five."

This was too important, she simply had to get this right - even if it meant facing the five of them in combat. Amelia nodded her agreement before getting ready to fight. Mad-eye handed his stopwatch to one of the aurors who would now be sitting in the shielded area before deliberately picking a fight with their five opponents.

"Now children, let's see how you fair against some real opposition. Remember, I still owe you lot an arse-kickin' from way back." He was deliberately winding them up so they would come at them with everything they had. "Oh, and Crow, you won't learn anythin' lettin' this room do your fightin' for you."

"You have to admit one thing though, taking Dumbledore down like that - it was funny!"

As Mad-eye laughed at that, his own lack of constant vigilance then came back to haunt him. A starburst charm sent a wave of pain directly to his brain as his artificial eye couldn't adjust quickly enough to cut out the blindingly bright flash of light.

His wand was in his hand and he had his strongest shield up, it was all to no avail. A golden Harry had raced over and physically swept the legs from under him before a stunner put Master Auror Moody out of the fight.

Amelia felt as if she was fighting for her life. Tonks, Harry and Hermione were barely giving her time to breathe, far less do much else than try to survive the onslaught. She thought the odds had been evened slightly when one of her curses got through Hermione's magical shields, only for her goblin one to deflect that curse away. That the girl had the presence of mind to not only do this in the middle of a fight, but also deliberately deflect that curse at Shack was really frightening. That Amelia's own curse distracted Shack enough for Neville to then take him down meant the fight was as good as over, their far superior numbers meaning Amelia soon joined her two colleagues on the floor.

After being revived and helped to a seat, Amelia once more found a certain stopwatch filling her vision, Mad-eye was not happy.

"Twenty eight seconds, they fuckin' took the three of us down in twenty eight seconds! If I didn't know how quickly they got me, I would think these three were takin' the piss to try and make themselves look good."

The three aurors Mad-eye was indicating toward didn't take any offence at his remarks, they were still too shocked at how quickly that had been over. Mad-eye was right though, this lent some credibility to what they had previously considered an abysmal showing. The three most powerful aurors at the ministry had only lasted seven seconds longer.

Mad-eye pushed home his advantage. "Yes we will keep practicin' their evadin', we would do that anyway, but we need to allow them the freedom of bein' able to slip the leash and attack too. Another few weeks of this and I'm willin' to bet the centurion here would have taken that decision out of our hands."

Not surprised the scarred old auror had figured that out, Harry thought he might as well confirm his suspicions. "Amelia, we really appreciate everything you're doing to keep us safe but we will be the ones in there. These four will be my responsibility - I have to make the decisions that will hopefully see us all safely home. We need to use the time we have to get Tonks fully integrated into our group, so she knows instinctively exactly what we're going to do in any given situation."

Having just had her arse effectively handed to her, Amelia couldn't fault their logic or arguments. She also knew, in any real fight with this group, goblin steel would also be used. "Harry, you have any help The Ministry are able to give. I know that, on the day, you will all do your best to look out for each other. That's really the most important thing here."

"Amelia, on the night they attacked your home, none of these three really saw how we fight. We have spent the last few years developing this method of fighting, and made damned sure no one outside those we trust have ever seen it. This will be our surprise for Voldemort. We'd rather pin our hopes on this than try to evade while you pull the wards down."

Amelia could see the other four agreed with this, as did Mad-eye and Shack. Harry though had more to say.

"The area we have to fight in will be determined by whatever they ward. Without a building or structure to tie those wards to, increasing the area weakens the wards. We think this fight might take place in an area not much bigger than the pit. Remember, those three are only expecting me - and certainly won't want to give me anything to take shelter behind. We need to use everything we have to gain any advantage, this is what we have."

All six of the aurors who had faced them that morning couldn't really argue against any of that. Amelia though had one last card to play, she handed Neville and Padma black dragon skin wallets. Both opened them to find freshly minted special auror badges inside.

"This is to provide you both with a degree of protection. As Head of the D.M.L.E. you are hereby authorised to do whatever is necessary to survive this battle. There certainly won't be receiving any censure from the ministry, this just makes it official and stops anyone else interfering."

She then turned her attention to Hermione. "There is certainly a badge available for you too, we just weren't sure what the protocol is for offering one to the mate of a centurion."

Harry really appreciated the gesture but was quick to point out it wasn't really necessary in Hermione's case. "As my mate, Hermione is classed as a citizen of The Nation, there will be no need for a badge - unless she wants one?"

The lady in question took a moment to think the offer over. "In goblin society, females can't be warriors. This would actually legitimise my right to fight by Harry's side in that community's minds, I'm also pretty sure there has never been a goblin auror before."

A smile from Harry encouraged Amelia to remove a third wallet, Hermione Granger was now a special operative within the auror department too.

The entire great hall couldn't miss that it was a far happier group of four who sat down to lunch that Thursday. Harry answered Roger before he could even ask his question. "I told you we would get it sorted."

-oOoOo-

Dolores was desperate, bluffing with the crazy bitch, Lestrange, wasn't her idea of fun or excitement. While Rookwood was reading the Prophet's report of the second task, his girlfriend wanted to know how Dolores was going to accomplish hers.

"I still have some friends in the ministry. They have no idea what I'm involved in but know and share my views on Crow and the beasts..."

"...he's an animagi? It says here his form is a bird."

"Crow is actually a swift, a name he lived up to. As a bird, he's lightning fast and far more manoeuvrable than any broom. There's a book on those birds sitting in the kitchen, I thought our master would want all the information he could get. Anything to see Crow dead."

Both death eaters could see how much Dolores wanted that to happen, they had just given her the means to do so. "Place that on the cup, a sticking charm should do. You activate the portkey using the phrase written on the parchment. It will only work for Crow, touching the cup will bring him to us."

Bella had grabbed the newspaper out of her mate's hands the minute he mentioned Crow was an animagus. "We were also going to get you to hamper the other two champions, it would appear that won't be necessary. Despite you marking him down, everyone recognises he's won both tasks so far. The third task is always to retrieve the cup from wherever they place it, and through whatever obstacles are in the way. Touching that cup will be the last thing he ever does, his moment of triumph will soon see him die. We'll send his body back to his little mudblood mate, the press are sure to print pictures of her crying over it. That is an issue of The Prophet we certainly want you to get a copy of for us."

Imagining that tearful scene was enough to make Dolores smile, she would certainly be buying a few copies of that issue.

Behind the bedroom curtain, a certain beetle was imagining a completely different headline, one she would take great pleasure in writing. Rita Skeeter would get to tell the entire story of Voldemort's downfall, and the part Dumbledore and Umbridge played in it. Rita now knew enough about goblin culture to understand that, should anything happen to any of the four teens fighting Voldemort, neither Dolores nor Dumbledore would see Azkaban.

Director Ragnok would demand they were both fed to the Gringotts dragons, and there wouldn't be a voice raised in magical Britain against that being allowed to happen. Minister Fudge would probably personally hand them over to Gringotts.

-oOoOo-

Things at Hogwarts soon settled back into a routine for the four friends, a routine that saw some of their family 'visit' the Blacks either Saturday or Sunday of every weekend. The family were determined to support their children in the lead-up to the final task, either the Longbottoms, Grangers, Patils or Barchoke were inside Hogwarts once a week to see the four as they took their usual lesson with Sirius. It was a very proud Neville who showed his mum and dad their new auror badges.

The final task had been unofficially set for the twenty fourth of June, meaning they would be leaving for the island after potions on Friday, the eighteenth. Thanks to Hermione's plan, this was the date that was at the forefront of the four teenagers' minds.

The only day they allocated themselves off training was the second of May, Padma and Parvati's birthday. Smita and Ramrao were the 'visitors' that Sunday, and had brought some news that would take the four's minds off what they would be facing for a while.

"Parvati, I've been contacted by the Zabini family concerning a betrothal between you and their son. I have the forms here, only needing my signature, and I understand Blaise was hoping you would be wearing his family's ring to your birthday party tonight. The choice though is yours to make."

Smita now had her arm around Parvati's shoulder, offering support and confirming what her husband had just said. "The decision is yours to make. If you don't want this, or even think you need more time to make your mind up, we'll support you."

"Mum, dad, I want this. Blaise has been fantastic with me, standing by me while I eventually grew up. He's sweet, kind and handsome - what more could I want?"

"I notice you didn't mention love in there, was that deliberate?"

"I really like Blaise, mum, more than any boy I've ever met. I think we could be really good together, and I would be satisfied with that. I can see us being happy together for the rest of our lives, whether that's love I don't know - and honestly don't really care. I almost ruined my life with that romantic rubbish, not any longer. Blaise is now my best friend, and becoming so much more. I took my sister's advice, and she was right…"

Tears began running down Parvati's cheeks at that, suddenly she was out her seat and throwing herself at Padma. She was clinging to her twin while trying to talk through her sobs. "You're going to be my bridesmaid, you need to be there - I need you to be there - promise me you'll be there…"

"Pav, I promise I will do everything in my power to be there, and these three will be helping me keep that promise."

She managed to get her crying back under some control, Parvati was in danger of setting a few people off. "I know you will, Padma, you four have your own weddings to look forward to as well. It's just so hard, sitting here and not being able to help."

Sirius practically growled his response to that. "You are not alone in feeling like that, Parvati, we're all sharing that pain."

This confused the four, though Padma as usual was quickest with her answer. "You are helping us, immensely. Just knowing we have everyone's support means so much to us, and seeing some of our parents every weekend was a brilliant idea. Our family keeps growing, I'm gonna have another brother, and we're all happy about that. We may have the strangest family in the world, but it's also the greatest."

Harry's smile at that lit up the room. They all knew who Padma already considered her brother, something a certain centurion was ecstatic about. His sister wasn't quite finished yet though.

"Kissing my betrothed as a fifteen year old is the best feeling in the world, Pav, just wait until you try it."

She was currently sitting next to her twin, with Neville on Padma's other side. This was just too good a chance to pass up though. Parvati effortlessly slid onto Neville's lap and had both arms around his neck. "Well, Padma, if you insist." Parvati leaned in to a clearly panicking Neville, and gave him a sisterly kiss on the cheek.

Once again, Hermione noticed the similarities between her mate and his godfather. It was hard not to, since both were laughing so hard they had slipped off their chairs and onto the floor. Every time they looked in Neville or Padma's direction, their laughter would kick off anew.

Henrica had a giggling Astrid on her knee. "Your daddy is such a silly wizard, isn't he my darling."

This increased her giggling before the entire room heard what came next. "Dada, Dada..."

Sirius had stopped laughing, his smile though was wide and one of wonder. Astrid was scooped into her father's arms as Sirius wanted to hear that sound again. "Did my little princess just say Dada? Let me hear that again?"

A pair of pudgy little hands smacked Sirius on either cheek, as if his daughter was emphasising just who she was talking about. "Dada, Dada..."

The proud father was now dancing about the room with his giggling daughter in his arms. "She's a daddy's girl, my little princess is a daddy's girl!"

His wife was trying for a miffed expression, and failing miserably. "Oh please, have you seen the two men in her life? Her poor mummy never stood a chance..."

She found herself being scooped into her husband's spare arm and receiving a kiss while their daughter had an arm around both their necks.

Harry was back sitting with his arm around Hermione, clearly moved by the scene in front of them. "...and that is why we fight!" He hadn't meant for anyone else other than Hermione to hear, his emotions were all over the place though and Harry's voice was louder than intended. The entire room heard, and everyone currently in that room agreed.

-oOoOo-

Albus thought what he held in his hands was a work of art, in more ways than one. It was specifically designed to be placed on the base of the Triwizard Cup. Its real genius though was the fact it made no attempt at hiding, it actually did the exact opposite. Hiding in plain sight was utter genius, as was just how this impossible feat had been accomplished.

The attachment would fit onto the trophy like a glove, it literally had been made to measure. Its other purpose was to display the names of previous winners of the Tri-wizard Tournament - with even a space left to add this year's winner's name. Instead of trying to hide, it screamed 'look at me'. Albus couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of all three champions admiring the names on the portkey, and hoping their own name would soon join this illustrious company. That was never going to happen though.

Dolores had even been supplied with her cover story to attach the portkey. The cup was currently being held at the ministry, in Dolores' old department. If she was unable to sneak in there and do the deed without anyone knowing, Dolores was to say she had it made especially for the tournament - and then forgot all about the piece after her involvement ended. The portkey itself showed negative to almost every magical scan, needing Harry's touch to activate it.

That last part was the second reason why Albus thought this was a work of art, and also the reason why it had taken him over three weeks to decipher the bloody thing. That task being accomplished though, he had then been able to add a little touch of his own. It may raise Tom's suspicions but Lord Voldemort wanted Harry Potter dead, he needed to kill the boy and wouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

Tom would kill Harry, completing the prophecy, and then Albus would save the country. Save the world even, Albus Dumbledore liked the sound of that!

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