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.



101. It's Time

Quidditch fever had once more gripped Hogwarts. The last two round robin matches had been contested over the previous weekends, resulting in this Saturday's final being between Slytherin and Durmstang. With Viktor and Draco being part of the large group of friends enjoying lunch that Monday, the conversation was never going to stay away from quidditch for long.

"So Harry, vill you be coming to vatch the final on Saturday? I am looking forward to playing against Draco, surely you could miss training for just one day to vatch your friends compete?"

"We will be missing training this weekend, Viktor, but won't be spending that time watching quidditch. Tonks thinks we have been overdoing the training this term, and has ordered us to have a weekend of rest before I have the final task next week. To us, the best place to rest is on my island - we'll be leaving for there right after our potions class on Friday. Since Tonks is still on protection detail, she and Remus are coming too."

This drew a quip from Padma, wanting to divert attention away for the real reason behind their trip. "We're not sure whether Tonks is just saying we need a rest so she and Remus can have a holiday too. As Neville and I are included as well, we really don't care. There's no way we would refuse a weekend in the Maldives. Sorry Viktor, no quidditch match can live up to that."

Pansy was quick to confirm she agreed with Pama's assessment. "Too true. Even with Draco playing, I'd still rather be on Harry's Island."

Her comments even found agreement from her seeker boyfriend. "Pansy in her bikini or Viktor in his quidditch robes is no contest for me either. If there are any spare invitations going, you could count Pansy and me in too!"

This was something they wanted to nip in the bud, Hermione got in first. "Sorry Draco, the idea is for us to get away and forget about everything for the weekend."

Viktor could hardly believe his ears. "This must be some island, Harry." The Bulgarian was quickly assured it was by anyone sitting there who had visited it.

Also wanting to divert attention away from this weekend, Hermione made an on the spot decision. "We held a birthday party for these two there last year. I think we should do the same again this summer - and everyone sitting here is invited. You'll then be able to make your own mind up, Viktor."

While this delighted everyone, it also opened an unexpected can of worms. it was Morag who set the ball rolling. "Have you made holiday plans for this summer yet?"

Looking around their friends told the four this was something that had been getting discussed. Susan, Hannah and Luna were all now staring at their plates in embarrassment, something Harry was never going to stand for.

"I'm really sorry, everyone. All four of us have gotten so wrapped-up in our training that we haven't made any plans for summer. Whatever our plans are though, you know we'll want to spend some of that summer with our friends and family. I think we should organise a family meeting for the following weekend, we can all sit down and plan our summer from there."

Looking on as Luna, Susan and Hannah all broke into smiles was actually painful to watch, Harry could only hope they forgave him for not including them in the loop. Parvati, Pansy and Draco's expressions were rather strained, all three just hoping the entire family were available to sit down that weekend to plan their summer.

Trying to keep the good mood going, Hermione made a point of letting Fleur and Viktor know they were certainly classed as friends, and they would be planning to see them at some point over the summer. With a joint birthday party on a tropical island to look forward to, and the distinct possibility some of them would also be included in further holiday plans, talk of quidditch actually took a back seat for the rest of the day.

Blaise had noticed his betrothed flinch during the holiday conversations but waited until it was just the two of them to talk with Parvati about it. "Do you want to tell me what's going on? There was all that talk of holidays yet you appeared as if that was nothing but bad news, you love those holidays."

"I know, and I'm really looking forward to them this year. I can't tell you any more, Blaise, it's not my secret to tell. I promise you this though, you will know everything before that family meeting - and also be included in it."

After watching the arse Colin had made of himself with Luna regarding the animagi incident, Blaise was certain this was the same scenario here. He was also certain the same players would once more be centre stage and had no intention of forcing Parvati's hand on this one. "Can you at least tell me that these concerns are to do with your sister, and have nothing to do with our betrothal?"

A passionate kiss later and Blaise's last question had been answered. He was also smart enough to figure out what was going on. Between all the training those four put in, and the event that that was scheduled to take place between these two weekends, his as yet unanswered question just became a lot clearer.

"I'll be right beside you during the third task."

"Thanks for understanding, Blaise, and I have this terrible feeling I'll really need you to be right beside me on that day."

With Crow's Marauders taking place that evening, the couple spent a quiet few hours alone together contemplating just what the future might hold.


With the summer now well and truly upon them, Emma and Dan were enjoying the Highland sunshine by taking Jamie down to the playground. This was one of the parts Harry had insisted be left after the fayre and, although the carousels, puppet shows and all the other forms of entertainment were now gone, it was still a well used facility. Both had gotten used to meeting the other parents as they too used the playground for their children, and Jamie certainly enjoyed sitting on a blanket with a couple of his goblin friends who were also too young for the swings and such.

Harry would be delighted to know his Kingussie estate was becoming a real community, it wasn't too difficult to imagine Astrid Black sitting on that blanket along with Jamie and their little goblin friends, while the parents all sat having a chat in the sunshine.

Even thinking about her other children nearly had the tears flowing for Emma. She and Dan both knew Hermione would do absolutely anything to fight by Harry's side and help keep him safe. They also recognised that, although Harry probably didn't want Hermione anywhere near this fight, they would certainly be safer together.

Neither she nor Dan were too bothered about this weekend their children had planned. Both knew what would be happening during that weekend but how could you complain when Harry was whisking her off to a beautiful tropical island, it was only a few months before Hermione could do so legally, and this time next summer they would all be embroiled in planning their wedding.

What had reduced Emma to sobs was Barchoke informing them Harry and Hermione had made their wills, there was certainly no comfort from knowing Jamie would be the main beneficiary. The very thought of them needing to write their last will and testaments was far more terrifying than any hangups over them losing their virginities to each other, something that was always going to happen anyway.

The mother in Emma was struggling with the decision that would put both Harry and Hermione in deadly danger, no amount of logical explanations would change that. She could only pray the five of them came through this unscathed, Emma simply couldn't contemplate any other scenarios.


Another family were also enjoying the Scottish sunshine, though there were certainly no goblins within sight of the Flannan Isles. This was a very special day for the family, Marvolo Rookwood was now one year old. Augustus had risked a late night raid on a muggle store to make this day special for his son, they even had cake and a few toys as presents. Their master wasn't one for sitting out in the sun, so it was left to just the three of them to enjoy Marvolo's special day.

Since delivering the portkey to Umbridge, their only task left to accomplish was to kill the boy on the twenty-fourth, now only nine days away. Augustus would have to say that his time spent here, this last year especially, was the happiest of his life. He had always thought his chances of having a loving wife and family were at best a pipe dream. Now he, Augustus Rookwood, had a stunningly beautiful wife and the most wonderful son imaginable.

While he now thought their chances of pulling this off next week were good, Augustus certainly drew comfort from knowing that their son would be found if anything happened to Bella and him. Watching as Marvolo took his first teetering steps in this world, Augusta thought their boy deserved a better life than hiding out on this remote island.

One thing Augustus was sure of, by next weekend Marvolo would begin that journey to a better life. He could only hope it was Bella and him who led their son to this promise of a better life.


Harry was leading them off the castle grounds when they came across Parvati and Pansy waiting on them, Hugs were exchanged before the six left the Hogwarts grounds and portkeyed away.

"I suppose I should be jealous, knowing how they are going to be spending this weekend. Then I remember what they're facing on Thursday, and any jealousy gets its arse well and truly kicked. When Blaise and I have our first time together, I don't want it to be because we might both be dead by the following weekend."

Seeing the tears running down Parvati's cheeks, Pansy soon had her arm around her friend. "Draco and I are in the same position. Sometimes I wish we didn't know what was happening…"

"Oh no, that's much worse. I've tried that and your imagination can paint all different pictures of what's really going on, It's much better to know the truth."

While offering comfort to Parvati, Pansy couldn't really agree with that analogy. Perhaps it was because she couldn't think of anything worse than to willingly face the people who had tortured her father to death.

The six found themselves facing three chalets with the lights on, and the path from the beach lit so they could make their way safely to their accommodation. Going from the long summer day at Hogwarts to night in the Maldives took a moment to acclimatise their eyes to.

Sensing their nervousness, Tonks broke the awkward silence. "Well, I don't know about anyone else but I thought that was a bloody long week. I plan on spending a nice quiet evening with Wolfie here, I'm sure you four will be able to keep yourselves entertained. We'll take the middle chalet, that lets me do my job of keeping you lot safe better." With that, she dragged Remus away.

Padma was glad it was dark so no one could see how much she was blushing, she grabbed her mate's hand and started dragging Neville off to the chalet on the extreme left of the row.

Harry offered Hermione his arm as they headed right, he soon changed that to his arm being around her waist as he could feel his mate tremble. They entered the chalet and Hermione could see Harry had thought of everything. There was soft music playing in the background and there was a candlelit table set for a romantic dinner for two. Hermione hadn't come here to eat though.

"Harry, this is beautiful and so thoughtful. If you don't take me into the bedroom right away though, I'm going to rip that shirt right off you and we'll end up on the floor…"

"Aw Hermione, I like this shirt…" Harry then found himself lost for words as he could see the lust reflected in Hermione's eyes. Wanting to let her know he felt exactly the same way, he ripped his own shirt right off and threw it away. Harry obviously got it right because Hermione launched herself at him, her hands wandering everywhere while their lips were locked.

Without breaking their kiss, Harry lovingly scooped her up into his arms and headed for the bedroom. Their relationship had slowly progressed to the point where there would be no embarrassment tonight, just natural concern that they could each make the experience as pleasurable as possible for the other. It was understandable then that both had their attention on other things, neither noticing the golden glow radiating out the room at the exact moment their bond completed.


Henrica found Sirius standing beside their daughter's cot, his gaze never shifted from Astrid and tears were slowly running down his cheeks. She wrapped her arms around her husband, not even needing to ask the question. Sirius though wanted to say what was on his mind.

"I feel oh so blessed, love. Having you and our wonderful daughter in my life are more than I ever though possible, probably more than I deserve. That same life has taught me though things are always in balance, there will be a price to pay for this happiness. I just can't shake this horrible feeling that the price is going to be paid on Thursday, by some of our family. I love every single one of those teens, and Tonks is not only family but married to my best friend. Not being able to do anything is killing me, I don't know how their patents are coping with this. I just look at our little Astrid and I'm the blubbing wreck you found standing here."

Gently kissing her emotional husband, Henrica understood at once what the problem was here. Sirius was worried he was failing his godson, his family, and by extension their daughter. Both Astrid's godparents would be right in the middle of this.

"Using your own balance system, did it never occur to you those scales of life were overdue to swing in a positive direction for my wonderful husband? I know you've had a shitty life, love, and are struggling to accept you should be this happy. You are a loving husband, wonderful father, and Harry thinks you're the best godfather on the planet - after him and Neville of course. We've done everything we can, now all that's left to do is support the members of our family as best we can. Between now and Thursday, during that entire day and after too, we'll all need each other."

Sirius' arms snaked around his beautiful wife. "I'll need you way past Thursday, I need you every day for the rest of my life."

"Well it's a good job you married me then, because I'm not going anywhere. Mum and dad are arriving tomorrow too, supposedly to watch the quidditch but they'll be staying in Scotland until after the third task. What do you say about having an early night and trying to make them grandparents twice over?"

"I would say that's a wonderful idea..." Sirius' thoughts wandered for a moment before he told his wife where they had gone. "You know, I don't think any of the family would mind if those girls came back from that island pregnant. As long as they come back from this fight on Thursday, they will be forgiven for just about anything."

"I agree, but there's no chance of that happening. Tonks made sure the entire situation was taken care of, for all three of them."

This puzzled Sirius. "I thought Tonks wanted a family?"

"Oh she does, stop and think for a moment though. If she found herself pregnant, there isn't a chance in hell either Remus or Harry would let her anywhere near this fight. When this is finally over, you might not see Remus for quite a while. Tonks has a fair bit of leave stacked up from the last two years, and I can't see Amelia turning down her request to use it. Tonks intends to be pregnant before the new term starts in September."

This actually coaxed a smile from Sirius. "Remus is indeed going to be busy, I seem to remember you mentioning it was time we got busy ourselves. Let's go and see if we can come up with a little sister or brother for our Astrid."

They left their sleeping daughter's room, Henrica thinking her mission was accomplished. Sirius was certainly in a better frame of mind than when she first entered.


Due to the unprecedented circumstances, his friends didn't want Barchoke to be celebrating the completion of his son and daughter's bond alone. Since this would usually occur the same evening as the couple's bonding, the parents would normally still be at the celebrations.

Ragnok, Sharpshard, Pitslay and the proud father all shared tankards of grog as Hermione officially became Barchoke's daughter, a citizen of The Nation and the new Lady Potter. As with all events like this, reminiscing was at the forefront of their minds.

""It doesn't seem that long ago he was just a little bundle being deposited on my desk, now he's married his mate.""

""I called him Crow and he used cunning that bird would be proud of to turn that back on me. Had I known then what we know now, I would probably have called him Emir..."" The Director was halted from saying any more by Barchoke's loud laughter.

It took him a moment to recover before the Ambassador could answer his three friends. ""I'm sorry but you would find that as funny as I did if you knew more about the muggles, their Queen has a grandson called Prince Harry.""

This did indeed set the other three off laughing, the quantities of grog being consumed might have had something to do with that though. Pitslay offered his opinion. ""Your son truly is a prince, Barchoke. He also chooses his friends as wisely as he picked his mate. They are such a force for positive change that Gringotts has already progressed beyond where I had even dared to dream was possible."

Sharpshard's sentiment was of a completely different kind. ""He was well-named Crow, the name for a group of them is a murder. That's what it will be on Thursday, we'll murder these honour-less child-killing cowards where they stand before they can hurt anyone else - and then I intend to be drunk for a week!""

""I don't think The Nation has such a grog reserve old friend..."" Barchoke still raised his glass though and toasted with the rest of them to that, that wonderful outcome might see Barchoke drunk for a week too.


It wasn't the first time Harry had woken with Hermione in his arms, it was the first time though doing so while both of them were naked. Just thinking of last night saw his arms tighten even more around his mate, causing Hermione to make a noise similar to that of a contented Moonlight. He kissed the top of her head as Hermione snuggled in even more, if that was possible.

"Mmmm, I could get used to waking up like this for the rest of my life."

"Only one more summer to go, Hermione, then that's exactly what will happen. I hate to say this love, but I think we need to get up..."

"Harry, you mention us both needing a shower, I swear you'll be sleeping in the other room tonight."

"Aw, I was looking forward to washing your hair too. Unless you intend to spend the entire weekend in this chalet, we should get up and ready for our run."

There was a moment of silence while Hermione considered her options. "Staying in this chalet is a very attractive option..."

Looking at his naked mate, Harry certainly agreed with that.

"...but we still have to face people. A run and then breakfast with everyone sounds good, how about an afternoon siesta though?"

"I knew you were the brains here, that sounds wonderful."

"So does getting my hair washed in the shower, let's go..."

Meeting Padma and Neville could have been awkward but both girls grabbed each other by the hand and then raced ahead, leaving Harry and Neville no choice but to follow on.

There was no awkwardness between the boys either. They may have ran in silence but the shit-eating grin Neville was wearing told everyone he was very happy with his life at the moment. The occasional bout of giggles coming from the girls meant they were being discussed but again Neville just smiled at Padma as if she was an angel who'd fallen to earth just for him.

They must a have run over a mile before Neville broke the comfortable silence. "Harry, we are the two luckiest blokes on the planet."

There was no argument coming from Harry on that subject yet he recognised that his brother in all but blood had more to say.

"I'm not scared anymore, Harry. Oh sure, I'm still frightened of what could happen when we face these bastards but I'm not scared anymore. Padma did that, she made a man of me in more ways than just the obvious. My journey started when we first met, you offered me your hand in friendship and introduced me to the most wonderful witch in the world. I'm trying to say thanks, Harry, for everything."

"Nev, are we lucky - hell yes! Do you need to thank me for anything, absolutely not. Friendship and family is a two-way thing, you've more than held up your end of the bargain."

His smile might not be able to widen any further but Neville nodded in acknowledgement and thanks.

"Hermione thought this weekend would show us what our future held, and make us all fight harder to make that future come true. As usual my beautiful mate was right. Next summer those two become our wives, and I will do absolutely anything to ensure that happens. I don't give a shit whether it's a magical spell, goblin steel or a muggle bullet that puts Voldemort down, just as long as the bastard goes down. Hermione taught me that, we really are lucky..."

The two witches must have finished their conversation as, with a jump that didn't even break their stride, Hover and Saber took to the air. Buff and Swift were right behind them as they flew around the island in formation.

Tonks was delighted she won her bet. "Told you Wolfie, not only are they exercising as usual but will be over here for breakfast. Puts that supposed werewolf stamina of yours to shame, you didn't get out of bed for two days..."

Remus kissed the teasing witch. "I didn't get out of bed because a certain auror wouldn't let me, and I thought my legendary stamina more than proved itself over those two days."

"That it did, lover, that it did. Now, I need you to lock your marauder side away - you will not tease any of these four today."

"Aw, you're spoiling all my fun..."

"Be a good little Wolfie and I promise to make it up to you later. You can tease me as much as you want."

A kiss later and their bargain was sealed.


The quidditch matches at Hogwarts were proving to be incredibly popular. With today being the final, and Viktor Krum playing for Durmstang against Slytherin, Dolores chose this time to make her move. Since she was effectively breaking into her old department, the Department of Magical Games and Sports, Dolores couldn't think of a better opportunity to carry out her task.

Armed with the dark lord's portkey, and her cover story, she was pleasantly surprised to discover the department was totally deserted. She had a small chuckle to herself at the irony of the situation. The department was empty because they were all away watching the quidditch, a match that wouldn't be taking place at all if it wasn't for Crow's interference. Dolores savoured the delicious thought that Crow was playing a part in his own downfall, and that now there was no chance of her being linked to the kidnapping. Her revenge was going to be oh so sweet.

She placed the plate with the names of the past winners carefully on the base of the cup, a sticking charm making it appear as if it had always been there. Activating the portkey caused the entire cup to glow for a second, after that Dolores' scans couldn't read any magical signature from the trophy.

Having ridden her luck, Dolores got out of there as quickly as she could. Dolores was quite proud of herself, for accomplishing what was another difficult task. Now all that she had left to do was look forward to Thursday and practice a concerned expression for when the goblin lover was whisked away from the stadium. Not as easy as it sounded, since Dolores would really be wanting to stand up and cheer.


Even those not close to the four could easily see the difference when they walked back into Hogwarts on Sunday evening. They appeared happy, refreshed and now didn't look as if they had the weight of the world on their shoulders. Their friends would have to wait though as the quartet had bolted to greet their Swedish visitors, having not seen Moa or Lukas since Christmas. The two visitors were delighted to see the four looking so well, and would be able to pass on that news when they left Hogwarts for Kingussie after dinner. They would of course be returning to the castle with the rest of the family on Thursday.

Taking their seats at the Ravenclaw table gave their friends time to catch up, Fleur summed up the feelings of all those not in the know.

"Mon Dieu, you look fantastique! 'Arry, you could make a fortune renting out ziz island if a weekend can do zat."

It was with a cheeky grin Hermione answered her. "Fleur, we consider that Island one of our homes, it's for family and friends only. Oh, and Harry already has a fortune."

"I think my lady is forgetting that is our fortune..."

A blushing Hermione was still smiling as she kissed her husband, the Potter ring having magically appeared on her finger after they completed their bond. Thankfully, like Harry's head of house ring, only people who knew about it would be able to see that magic now considered her Lady Potter. The couple were now considered married in two of the societies they inhabited, their wedding next summer would complete the trilogy.

While catching up, it didn't take long to discover that Victor had won the quidditch tournament for Durmstrang. All of their Hogwarts friends, with the possible exception of Roger, were now hoping Harry would get his hands on the Tri-wizard Cup. None picked up on the involuntary shudder that passed through the four every time lifting that particular trophy was mentioned.


Albus took particular care with dressing this morning. Today was the day he would return to his rightful place in magical society, and it was important he looked his best. That bastard Crow slicing his beard off had called for an entire change of image. Instead of his flowing silver locks and beard, both were now neatly trimmed to make him look more like a warrior for the light - rather than the elder statesman his previous image projected.

He had also avoided choosing some of his more outlandish and eccentric sets of robes, though deep purple with gold trimming couldn't really be classed as demure. Like Dolores, he had also been practicing projecting a demure and heartbroken demeanour - Albus was sure he could even manage to shed a few tears over Crow's dead body.

Knowing all eyes would be on him later, Albus checked his image one more time in the full-length mirror and was satisfied with what he saw reflected there. It was time to head to the stadium, Albus wanted a good seat. One way or another, this would end today.


Fleur and Viktor were in the changing room, waiting not only on the third task starting but also the third champion showing up. When he eventually arrived, Harry wasn't alone. Hermione, Padma, Neville and Tonks all accompanied him.

Viktor recognised something was wrong right away, it was the expressions they wore. As a professional sportsmen he'd seen that intense concentration before, they had their game faces on and someone was in deep trouble. He was pleased and relieved he managed to concentrate on their faces, since all wore skin tight body armour that emphasised every curve of their bodies.

Viktor thought he was looking at three of the sexiest girls he had ever seen, and that was with a veela in the room too. Since two of them currently had razor sharp swords strapped to their backs and the third was an auror, Viktor's restraint in not ogling them was understandable. Throw in Harry, Neville and these girls were also friends of his and it just couldn't happen, that didn't mean it was easy though.

It was the veela amongst them who broke the stunned silence. "What is going on 'ere, 'Arry? Are all of you competing?"

"Fleur, Viktor, I'm really sorry we couldn't tell you sooner. There is no third task..."

"Vat! Are you making vith the joke?"

"No Viktor, we're not joking, this is certainly not a laughing matter. It was Voldemort who arranged for my name to be put in that goblet, he wants me dead and this is all part of his scheme. Voldemort thinks he's tricking me but we've known every move he's made. I also want to assure you both that you were never in any danger throughout the tournament, well not from Voldemort at any rate. Three of our fathers have been concealed in the stadium roof for every task, armed with guns that were a lot more accurate and powerful than the one I used in the last task. Had any of them appeared, they would have been cut down in seconds."

"Zis does not make sense, 'Arry."

"Both ours and Viktor's Ministers of Magic are currently explaining exactly what has been happening to Madame Maxime, they will be here shortly to confirm everything I've said. She will need to take her seat in the stadium because Voldemort has people helping him, and they're here today. Viktor, one of them is Dumbledore..."

This had the Bulgarian champion sitting down. "Are you sure, Harry?"

"Positive, though even Voldemort doesn't know that part. Umbridge was tasked with getting a sample of my blood, we think Dumbledore told her how to do that. Her personal elf stole my bloody towel after one of our morning practice sessions with our blades. It was a really bloody towel, since these three also bled on it!"

"You knew, and still did zis?"

"Fleur, this has been handled at the highest levels of our governments, it's not just us against Voldemort. We all want this to end, today is our chance. The cup has been transformed into a blood-bound portkey that will take me to Voldemort's trap, he doesn't know we're setting one for him. Again I hope you can forgive me for keeping this from you..."

Fleur flew at Harry and had her arms wrapped protectively around her friend. "You are ready to face Voldemort but worried about what we zzink...you silly man. Do not worry about us, just concentrate on what you 'ave to do."

As Fleur stepped back, Viktor almost pushed her out the way in his haste to shake Harry by the hand. "You have nothing to vorry about vith me. I vant to go too - Durmstang's honour demands that I do."

At that, Amelia entered with both ministers and Ragnok. "Mr Krum, we expect them to be trapped behind wards we will have to pull down. We would welcome wands we could trust to help with that task..." She hardly got finished speaking when Fleur jumped in to add her name to that list too, raising a smile amongst the four. They were sure the rest of their friends would understand too.

All four bowed to Ragnok, the director was actually wearing armour. It would appear that he too was determined to be part of this fight today. Cornelius was shaking all their hands, but this was not the handshake of a politician.

"I swore I would stand beside you when you faced him, Harry. I'm here today to make good on my promise, along with every wand we can muster. Most of them don't really know what's happening yet, and won't until we announce it."

Amelia also wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings, though her instructions were simplicity itself. "When you hear me scream 'down', that's exactly what you do. Hit the ground immediately, because the stuff flying above your head will be lethal."

Borislaw was shaking Viktor's hand. "Ve fight today to avenge our countrymen these bastard's murdered at the Vorld Cup. The British have asked to deal vith Dumbledore and I agreed, ve do not vant him back in our country anyway. Durmstang vill have a new headmaster and deputy in September."

Checking her watch, Amelia signalled to Cornelius. "Minister, it's time." She then hugged the four teens and Tonks before the entire party headed out the dressing room to enter the stadium.


Albus wasn't listening to the inane banter coming from the commentator, nor was he too bothered that the third task appeared rather easy - he would surely have come up with something more challenging than a maze. No, his entire concentration was focused on the tunnel that would lead the champions from the dressing room into the stadium. This was why he was totally surprised when someone sat next to him.

"Albus, Albus, I told you to return to Bulgaria and forget about Harry. You didn't listen, and now no one can help you..."

Before he could answer, Albus felt cold metal being pressed into the back of his neck as the seat on his right side was suddenly occupied too. This time he could see that Alice Longbottom now had a gun pressed into his side.

"Frank might struggle with his speech but everything else works just fine. You need to believe he's ready and capable of putting a bullet into that fucking manipulative head of yours. My godson, his mate and our children are about to go and face Voldemort, and you helped those evil bastards get to them. You have no idea how much I want to put a bullet in you myself. Give me an excuse, Albus, just give me an excuse!"

Cornelius, Borislaw, Barchoke and Amelia walked into the stadium, Harry's party and the other two champions followed on. An auror handed a microphone to the minister as Lee's routine to warm up the crowd came to an abrupt end.

"As you can see, we have a slight change of plans today. In fact, the third task has just been cancelled." There wasn't a sound from the crowd, the aurors and warriors now streaming into the stadium might have had something to do with that.

Cornelius then proceeded to tell everyone exactly what was going on, the wizarding wireless had been denied the right to broadcast this event live for this very reason.

"Centurion Crow's name was placed in the Goblet of Fire by Dolores Umbridge, acting on the orders of Voldemort..."

That did raise some noise. The three aurors who normally trained with Harry's group had been tasked with arresting Umbridge, they found themselves having to try and defend the witch. There had been a group of Crow's Marauders sitting a couple of rows behind her, Dolores was taken down before the three aurors could get there. Two had to shield while the third levitated the unconscious witch out the stadium. Some very accurate spells though left her barely recognisable as human, far less as a witch called Dolores Umbridge by the time they got her out.

At any other time Cornelius would have enjoyed watching Dolores get taken apart by students, not today though. "Madam Umbridge was not working alone, Albus Dumbledore was advising her on how best to help Voldemort. Have you anything to say, Albus?"

All eyes may now be turned in his direction but this was not how Dumbledore had planned it. He still hoped to talk his way out of this though. "If I am to be publicly accused, I would at least think these good people deserve to hear what proof you have..."

He didn't get to finish his impromptus speech, Alice's grow interrupting him. "Wrong answer, we don't have time for your games today. This is for the greater good, Albus, just not yours."

Dan had removed some of the power from their bullets, not wanting anyone else injured should it pass straight through the old goat's body. There wasn't a loud bang but Dumbledore's scream made up for that as the elbow of his wand arm was just shattered. "Okay, Severus, do your stuff. If he puts up too much of a fight, I can easily put another bullet in him. I've got five left!"

Albus was in a great deal of pain and shock when Severus just added to that, by standing and attacking his mind. Normally he would have been able to repel Severus' attack, but things weren't normal. The pain emanating from his shattered elbow was intense, there were also guns being pressed into the back of his head and now his right knee too. The horrendous agony from his elbow was irrefutable proof the people who held these guns were more than willing to use them.

While Albus and Severus fought their battle of wills, Cornelius explained to the crowd that the trophy had been turned into a portkey to whisk Harry away to where Voldemort had prepared his trap. Telling the crowd that Professor Snape was trying to get whatever information Dumbledore had out of him, since Voldemort would get suspicious if his trap wasn't sprung soon, saw an unprecedented swell of support head in Severus' direction.

It was a now heavily perspiring Severus who once more sat down, he certainly needed a seat. A few deep breaths were also required to centre himself before casting the sonarus charm to give everyone the news.

"The portkey is set to take the centurion to a field overlooked by a statue of a knight on a horse, it's at a place called Bannockburn..."

This caused great celebration amongst the crowd, and when Minerva McGonagall shouted she knew exactly where that was even the family were cheering. Severus though had more to say, he held his hand up for silence before continuing. "Dumbledore here added his own little twist to Voldemort's plan, he built a stunner into the portkey. Should Harry touch that cup, he will arrive in Bannockburn unconscious."

The sound of a gunshot was clearly heard this time...

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