Partially Kissed Hero

Summer before third year Harry has a life changing experience, and a close encounter with a dementor ends with him absorbing the horcrux within him. Features Harry with a backbone.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/4240771/1/Partially-Kissed-Hero

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70. Chapter Seventy

I I I

Headlines around the world that day read "THE FAE ARE BACK!!!"

Magical England was in a diplomatic crisis not seen since the Founding, with other Ministries of magic having learned of a massive breach in their secrecy from, of all sources, their own muggle newspapers.

Dozens of film crews along with hundreds of cameras and thousands of eye witnesses had seen a fairy princess causing chaos in the middle of London - and every minute of that got shown on international TV, most of it live.

Nothing short of Divine Intervention could save the Statute of Secrecy now (and that did not seem to be forthcoming).

The Obliviators didn't even know where to start. This was too massive. They didn't have the numbers to even begin on such a massive, worldwide cleanup operation, to say nothing of all of the recordings.

The man who claimed he was just a bird watcher had had the fairy princess under surveillance from just moments after she'd arrived, and between his collection of long range cameras and microphones, had gotten pretty good recordings of her entire visit, including earlier periods nobody else had.

He was now negotiating to sell the rights for thirty percent stock in Playboy.

Muggle police were still trying to catch the furry blue soda bear machine that was repeatedly being spotted by small children in that area. Scientists had already cordoned off the area around the pink bubblegum tree.

Various snack companies were already bidding on the rights to it.

Sprinkler Worms had been caught and captured and were under study in every major university and government think tank in Britain. They did not have a scientific name or classification yet, but it was only a matter of time.

And film of the fairy princess telling the story of "Harry Potter and the Dark Lord Dumbledore" was not only being rebroadcast on several channels (with Hollywood already hiring scriptwriters and making sets), but was being actively and intensely studied by some of the brightest, most serious chrome-domes in the world, picked apart for every nuance of meaning.

Dark government laboratories that never saw the light of day were now watching, and intently dissecting every detail of, a stock of film that looked to have been taken from a children's show.

And greatest of all the treasures of this visit, the fairy princess had left her books about The Fantastic Adventures of Harry Potter behind, and the lady chaperone to the original six children had taken them and scanned them and put their contents up on the internet.

Whereupon they'd been downloaded by practically everyone who had a computer. So the entire world was reading how the boy prince who lived in an impenetrable magical castle with his relatives who loved him defeated a dragon at the age of three.

I I I

After all their planning the actual creation of the former-ghost dryads was almost a non-issue.

Almost.

The summoning was no problem. Harry had conducted a small experiment a week ago where he'd been eying Myrtle floating around, surreptitiously palmed Slytherin's Ring and spun the Stone three times.

"Myrtle?"

As suddenly as that the ghost was across the room from where she'd been floating before, having popped from place to place as though apparated. Shaking off the strange sensation, she'd then gone on with her lesson.

But the point had been proved.

Luna was the wrinkle (and how often was that the case?). Snape was not the only person who kept a catalog of hairs of people who had gone to Hogwarts. Luna had suspected the Headbastard had also, and she was right. He had so many things they'd taken they really ought to catalog them sometime, even though that effort would doubtless take years. But she had gone right to the magical specimens chest that included hairs of just about every teacher or student Hogwarts had, almost since Dumbledore's first days as a teacher.

Plucking out a hair from Myrtle from before she'd died, she'd charged some polyjuice with it and given that to Harry to administer to one of the dementor kissed bodies.

So when they'd then summoned the spirit with three turns of Harry's ring, her new body even looked like home. Even if that had no other benefit, the expression of joy in Myrtle's eyes was well worth the effort.

While her subsequent creation as a dryad was in no way a letdown, it did not compare to the first light of her eyes over the delight of that initial moment, seeing her own body (or so she supposed) laying there - alive!

And, since no one else was using that body at the moment, it became hers in short order. Harry cast the spells causing her to possess it, and they dosed her with the cordial to make that permanent. After which she'd immediately glomped the boy and proclaimed her everlasting gratitude with tears in her eyes. It was a wonder that she ever let him go, but her transformation then kicked in, and despite how hard she'd tried to hold onto him during every second of it, that was simply impossible as she got recreated.

Luna suspected they almost didn't need the Unctuous Unction she'd made Harry slip in there after the Polyjuice but before summoning the ghost. But precautions (and that's all this was) worked best when generally applied.

Feelings were fickle things, and eternal gratitude wasn't. She might be mind-bogglingly grateful now, but after a few hundreds years, that would have had a chance to mellow out a trifle.

Best not to doubt her then by being incautious now.

Having carefully gone over the Diadem of Ravenclaw, Luna found one of the hairs of the last living owner, and charged a dose of polyjuice for Helena Ravenclaw, The Gray Lady, Ghost of Ravenclaw House, the same way.

Here, Harry insisted, "She must have Dumbledore's body. That one's got the strongest magical core by far, and she's not only Ravenclaw's daughter, she's got a thousand years of watching this school, helping Ravenclaws study all that while. There is no one on Earth I'd trust to have more knowledge of magic than Dumbledore, except her. And we need that knowledge backed by the biggest core we can arrange, so it can be put to the most use for us."

And, really, what could be said in opposition to that? They generally agreed, and he dosed the Headmaster's soulless body with the ancient Ravenclaw's polyjuice, granting that ghost almost an identical experience of hysterical joy as the first to be brought back that way.

"You wouldn't happen to have defied Dumbledore three times, would you?" Susan asked, when the ghost arrived and after the initial weepy joy had run out (probably due to the fact that she was wrapped around Harry and no one had tried to disturb her from this post of supreme comfort).

"Why do you ask?" The embodied specter was puzzled, and asked over his shoulder, mind still afire over having the sensation of TOUCH again!

"Well," Susan smiled. "He is a dark lord, and you are marked his equal in a very real and magical sense. I mean, you have identical magical cores!"

"That prophecy was made up," Sybil the dryad told them.

"Yes," Susan agreed. "But that doesn't mean they don't sometimes take on a life of their own. And she is about to be 'born' a dryad." She held up the as-yet-untaken dose of cordial to demonstrate.

"Well, in that case it would be us who'd need to have defied him," Harry told her out of the fortress of Helena's arms with a contemplative look on his face. "Because she is, in a way, being 'born to' those who have thrice defied him."

"No, I think we've already defied him more than that." Susan shook her head.

"Immaterial. If someone has defied you thrice, he's also defied you twice, and first had to defy you once. So if we've three or more acts of defiance down, we're covered." Harry smiled. "And I think we've got plenty."

"So, if that matters, we're set." Susan nodded firmly. "What about 'as the seventh month dies' part?"

Harry shrugged. "Seventh from what? Seventh from the date the prophecy was given? Seventh in order? Seventh by name? Those are different, you know. September means 'seventh month' even though it comes ninth on the calender. Or for that matter what calendar are we talking about? Or are we even talking about one? It could be the seventh month during which a phoenix dies, assuming only seven have truly died since their creation. Or it could be counting from just about any starting point imaginable. The meaning could be totally arbitrary because it comes without context. I could just as easily stand here and declare that seven months ago today something special must have happened - because today that prophecy is coming true."

He shook his head. "No, if you want to talk predictions, give me an honest 'Troy will not fall unless...' type or leave me alone. The predictive riddles are so much garbage they may as well not be given."

"Finally! Oh, at long last!" Helena accepted the dryad cordial, but her eyes were not on it. She pointed with the vial to the newly arrived Hermione and insisted, "Now you must be my mother. You promised!"

Hermione didn't remember saying any such thing, but meekly said, "Ok."

Her parents blinked, still in shock over that whole park thing.

With that Helena Ravenclaw quaffed the cordial, getting transformed into a stately apple, which amused Harry because if one was to pick one tree in all the world to have, apple would have been his choice, as they simply had no end of uses! More recipes used it than any other fruit. It seemed like half the baked goods in the world could be made of apple. It was, to his mind, the King of Fruits (or queen, as the case may be) and the wood wasn't bad either.

Although the hair of their newest dryad was very familiar, and Harry had to check to make sure. Yup! The same as Hermione, which was the same as her mother. So somehow the Fairy Queen decided that agreement was binding.

How or why could wait for later.

Queen Alice of Wonderland chose that moment to pop out of the mirror still leaned up against Sybil's tree. "Hurry! Hurry, hurry!" the apparent seven year old proclaimed, bouncing around in a great deal of excitement. She put a briefcase in Sybil's hands and began to shove her towards the lake. "The muggle world is about to end. It was always going to, but sooner now than later because their web of lies cannot take the truth. So you must hurry!"

"What's going on?" Harry stood up from where Helena had knocked him down to cuddle him.

Alice had no time or patience for questions, but answered anyway as she shoved at Sybil. "They are about to discover what you haven't done yet, so you must be on your way to do it, or else all things will fall out of order. It's too late to do it now, and won't be acceptable unless it's done back then, so go do it."

Hermione had an odd look on her face as she proclaimed, "God help me, but I think I understood that."

"Sounded perfectly rational to me," Luna calmly accepted.

"That's the problem," Hermione worried. The eyes of her parents crossed.

Harry was pretty sure he'd understood it too. "Alright, if she's going back now, then..." He looked around, striding over towards her tree, he pulled a magical knapsack out of hiding behind the mirror leaning up against it. "I will prepare this in a little while with all of the notes of things I could remember, then come back and hide it here."

Hermione's parents fainted.

Harry continued as though nothing odd had happened. "And since what I think Alice might be talking about has something to do with whatever we were going to hire the muggles to do to hide our race, we'll go to the banks and convert drug cartels' savings into a hundred tons of gold for Sybil to take back with her. That will be in here too."

He went and decisively fastened the pack to the oracle's shoulders.

"Include your house-sized variant of the bubble-head charm as well." The Queen's sleepy voice mumbled.

"I'm not complaining, but could you help me to understand why?" he asked while he fought to soothe the dryad so he could adjust the straps.

There came a long, drawn out non-sigh. "Many times I have lost dryads to volcanic eruptions, and not always to the fires they spawn. Some are scorched to death by the invisible clouds of acidic, poisonous gas, others buried under tons of deposited ash. I would like to avoid those, if I could."

"Right. " Harry nodded. "So I'll include that too. Goodbye."

Sybil Trelawney vanished in a cloud of sparkles as the Fairy Queen whisked her through time, then fell asleep from the effort. They could all feel her presence vanish from the glade.

Harry turned back to the bodies on the ground. "Well, nothing for it but to continue on with what we were doing."

"Luna," Hermione asked as she struggled to get her parents settled on the lawn more comfortably. "Why was it necessary to bring my parents?"

The blonde cocked her head as though it was obvious. "Why, so Harry can turn them into a witch and wizard, of course. They could never survive the upcoming wars otherwise."

Hermione felt a chill go up and down her spine.

Harry had already allocated two of the spiritually dead, magically alive bodies to that purpose. Voldemort's various resurrection rituals covered things he might use to adapt to that purpose. But that could easily involve destroying and then recreating their bodies, and he didn't want to make any mistakes.

If Luna said it was needful, he didn't even question that anymore.

But it was going to take some doing. Rolling up his sleeves about to get to work, he decided to delegate some of his other tasks. "Right. That means we've got two more bodies to be used for ghosts. Any suggestions?" His gaze speared the two former specters, as they'd been in that community and were most likely to know.

Helena answered without hesitation. "Two spirits Dumbledore summoned on occasion, sending other ghosts to fetch so he could consult (they never appeared without coaxing, being exceptionally shy specters) were Merope Gaunt and Ariana Dumbledore - the sister that he killed. If you are fighting him, those are two good allies to have."

"Right." Glancing first to Susan and Hannah (whom he judged in an instant as not up to that level yet), then Hermione (whom he felt had a right to be involved in the transformation of her parents), he handed the appropriate book on possession spells to Luna, gave her two vials, and pointed her at the remaining bodies. "Not all powers in this world are physical, or even magical. Merope Gaunt is Voldemort's mother, while his murdered sister may be Albus Dumbledore's only emotional weak point. Having them on our side may not be a bad idea. Bring them back to life for us, will you?"

Luna got right on it.

Harry turned back to face Hermione's prone parents with a grim expression on his face, prompting the girl to ask, "What is it?"

Still focused, he replied, "Hermione, if it were easy to steal magical cores then no pureblood would ever be suffered to go on as a squib. Heck, if it were POSSIBLE to steal magic then no muggleborn would ever be permitted to go to school so long as they had 'more worthy' hosts to transfer their power to! This is among the most daring and dangerous new fields..."

Queen Alice hopped by, grabbing both prone parents and the bodies they lay by, dragging them all into her mirror after her, tossing them back out a moment later along with a cry of, "Done!"

Harry tried to wipe the gobsmacked expression from off his face. Hermione rushed to go wake up her parents. While she did so he turned to command his other dryads, "Aurora, go get Madam Rosemerta. She's well placed to spy on the school and all that goes on there, which makes me suspect she's already one of Dumbledore's agents. So go offer her a chance to switch sides and become a dryad. Minerva, go collect those Order members you recommended to me: Emmaline Vance and Hestia Jones, right?"

He paused to collect his thoughts for a moment. "Okay. Our 'original twenty' dryads will all be tasked with finding four more suitable girls each. Since Merope Gaunt and Ariana Dumbledore are shy ghosts, I don't know that they know anyone - and if they did they'd be dead anyway, and we've just run out of fresh bodies with magical cores. Since they won't give us useful recruits we just won't count those as among our original twenty, even if Luna learns those spells faster than I think she will and they get done earlier than some others. That leaves us three more to pick. Any suggestions?"

"Don't forget Bathilda Bagshot, she has information we need," Hermione reminded him.

"Right. Two left." His eyes scanned the remaining crowd.

Minerva spoke, "Miranda Goshawk, charms mistress and author of Standard Books of Spells. Also Griselda Marchbanks, elder on the Wizengamot, and Head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority." The young redheaded Scot gave a small quirk of her lips. "She gave Albus his OWL tests."

Harry gave a sharp nod of his head. "Right. Done. We've got our twenty. I'll leave it to you, Minerva, to approach those two, since you're all in educational circles together, you'll probably have the easiest approach."

The Deputy Headmistress nodded. "I shall. Also, with your permission, I shall take as two of my four Galatea Merrythought, a former professor of DADA, and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank, a former Care of Magical Creatures Professor who still substitutes for us on occasion."

Harry remembered the former. She'd taught up until 1945, and been Riddle's Defense Against The Dark Arts instructor. Oh yeah! She was qualified. "I like it. Everyone else, get who you can, but try not to break up couples. Let's try to have this done by sundown. Bring everyone you can here for their cordials, as not only are the conversions fun to watch, but their initial trees ought to be as secure as possible, especially before we take cuttings."

Accepting their instructions, all of his dryads went on their ways, some to collect colleagues or old classmates, others focusing more on relatives, but most seeking out past and present students - because, as teachers, that's most of who they knew.

Minerva left, concealing a smile. Between the present female Hogwarts staff, plus Galatea Merrythought on DADA and Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank on Care of Magical Creatures, Myrtle teaching History of Magic and Miranda Goshawk on Charms, they only needed Potions to cover all subjects taught at Hogwarts among the dryads themselves. Add a caretaker and a groundskeeper and they'd have an entire staff!

And did not the Fairy Queen send Sybil off to rescue Harry's parents? Lily would be an ideal Professor of Potions, very knowledgeable of her subject, yet kind and personable to the students. One of the better Head Girls the school had ever had, really.

It might not mean anything in the end, but it made Minerva happy thinking of it, and she left the clearing wondering who she could select to serve as the two vacant slots, just in case that should be needed.

It was only natural that people select their choices from the fields that interested them. Over there Narcissa and Bellatrix Black were discussing who to choose among the unmarried purebloods, just as Emmaline and Hestia would doubtless be interested in bringing on fellow Order members.

That would all be to the good, granting them a well rounded spy ring.

Minerva noted, with amusement, that Rolanda was trying to convince Aurora to go in with her on collecting the entire Holyhead Harpies quidditch team! She idly wondered, if they succeeded, should they change the name of the team to the Dorchester Dryads?

No, that would only give things away.

Harry settled down to make his record notes on the last war so he could spin back and hide that for Trelawney, while Hermione woke her parents and got them to agree to make the bank transfers from cash to gold.

And, since it was all going to be muggle banks, places where the fae dared not go for fear of destroying them, having her parents around to do that for them turned out to be A Needful Thing.

Especially as none of their dryads were what she'd call competent in the muggle world. Not for this type of high level transaction, anyway.

Still, Hermione was already thinking ahead as to what books she had to buy to give her parents a magical education. Thinking they'd need it soon.

I I I

With the Queen's permission, Sybil Trelawney smirked as she took the Time Turner Luna let her borrow and spun back one day, disappearing from among her crowd of friends in a shower of sparkles.

She had some errands to perform before she went back thirty years. Things she didn't want to forget. Most of what Harry wanted her to add, Beautifying Elixir and wit-sharpening potions and what not, were available in shops and she could simply buy samples of them.

It would cost her a pretty penny, nor would they be the permanent versions he'd planned to create for himself, but (seeing as Dumbledore never let her leave her tower) she had the gold saved up, and the cordial itself would make them permanent.

No, that was a simple thing to do now, but it would get it off of her agenda, clearing up her attention to focus on more important tasks.

She didn't know why certain people had forgotten the potion she got in the
beginning was a part of the altered mix. Luna gave the original dose to Alice on day one, Alice took it to them on the day they'd just been in, then took one of the altered doses back to the past for Sybil to use in the first place!

That meant Sybil enjoyed all of the changes to that mix: Bride's Delight, the reproductive enhancer, the suite of protective potions, and all.

And she had a hair of Harry's she was going to slip into a certain pink potion while Luna was asleep.

I I I

Author's Notes:

As we have watched the end of one major corporation after another, banks failing and frauds being exposed on every level of government, or any other concern, war being threatened (or declared) in every part of the globe, and every type of crisis growing beyond all previous proportions, for purposes of this story, I choose to interpret that, and the failing of many world currencies (including powerful indications that the dollar may be collapsing for good) as the coming end of the muggle world.

Like Rome, we are falling. And like Rome, it is under the weight of our own corruption.

And once more like Rome, when it goes so much of what we consider ordinary will stop working that many may well interpret it as the end of the world. And indeed, it will be the end of one style of living.

But you add any kind of stress (like the discovery of fairies) to an already torn fabric (or fabric of society, in this case) and it rips faster.

 
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