Harry Potter and Future's Past

Starts out the day after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione meet the Goddess of Love, and she offers to let them go back in time. Strictly Harry and Hermione. Minor - well maybe major Ginny, Ron and Dumbledore Bashing. Soul Bond - Time Travel

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5664828/1/Harry-Potter-and-Future-s-Past

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14. Chapter 14

Hermione had repositioned herself back between Neville and Luna with her feet barely touching each of their feet. As Harry mentally said the word, she hit both of their feet and they both lowered decoy detonators to the floor with the attached strings. The small objects scurried away in opposite directions. Fifteen seconds later they detonated almost simultaneously on either side of the hall.

"WHAT?" Lucius yelled as the Death Eaters wands were all pointing away from the teens trying to discern the new threat.

"NOW!" Harry yelled and each of the teens threw handfuls of Instant Darkness Powder in the area that had separated them from the Death Eaters. Even before the darkness had fully taken hold Harry and his friends had their wands in their hands and were sending 'Reducto' hexes at the nearest shelves.

"Now RUN!" Harry yelled.

Hermione pulled her jar with the brain in it out of her cloak and lobbed it into the darkness before she turned and bolted behind the others.

Behind them they could still hear shelves toppling and globes bursting as the Death Eaters world dissolved into utter mayhem. The Death Eaters were cursing and crying out in pain as they continued to stumble around. Bellatrix's voice cut through the noise as she yelled, 'STUPIFY!'. A crash and more curses followed.

Then another voice, one that Harry didn't recognize cried out in panic. "AAAHHH..What the hell..somethings got.." The voice became muffled but the panic remained. Several voices were now crying out "LUMOS!" in vain.

"STOP!" Lucius' voice could be heard yelling. "We've got to get out of this stuff."

Realizing the Death Eaters were still confused and not in pursuit, Harry stopped and turned. He aimed his wand at the black cloud and yelled, "REDUCTO!" A satisfied smirk crossed his face when he heard a Death Eater cry out in pain and curses. He turned and continued the retreat. As they passed random rows between shelves, they'd throw Darkness powder down them, knowing the Death Eaters would have to investigate each one to insure the teens weren't hiding behind one of the clouds, slowing them down greatly. Finally they reached the door they had come in and slipped back into the Time room.

"You know," Hermione said breathlessly. "If they accidentally pick up a prophecy as they are stumbling over stuff in there, it is supposed to make them crazy."

"Well it couldn't make Bellatrix any worse could it?" Harry asked as they passed the Bell Jar. "I just wished we'd thought to get the Hand of Glory. We could have taken the lot of them right there."

"Better our way," Hermione replied. Then she nodded at the Time Turner case. "Want to take care of that?"

Harry nodded and sent a blasting hex at the case. They all watch in amazement as the case exploded into pieces. As the parts of the case just touched the floor, they reversed and rebuilt itself only to reverse again and explode once more.

"That's cool," Neville said as he watched the demolition and rebuild.

Hermione sent several blasting hexes at several spots on the wall and after a moment's hesitation another hex destroyed the bell jar as well. "We can't let them know we were only aiming at the Time Turner cabinet," She explained.

Harry nodded before he started for the door "We need to go."

They dispersed when they got back to the circular room. Each taking a different room they started spreading as much Darkness Powder as they could in thirty seconds. Finally they rejoined in the Veil Room.

"Here!" Harry said holding out the prophecy to Hermione.

Hermione took it and laid it carefully on the ground. Aiming her wand at it she said. "Geminio!" and a duplicate appeared next to it. Twice more she cast the spell until there were four blue orbs on the ground.

"You take the real one Hermione," Harry said as he grabbed the other three and handed one each to Neville and to Luna while pocketing the last one.

"No..." Hermione started.

"Yes!" Harry insisted. "If they're able to tell them apart somehow, you...you're going to have the real one."

Hermione huffed but then nodded. She knew she wouldn't win the argument and time was too critical right now to even try. She picked up the real prophecy and put it in her robes.

"Remember, if you get into trouble, make sure the Death Eater can see the orb," Harry said and they all nodded they understood. "It won't take them long so let's get into position."

"Do you think that brain got one of them?" Hermione asked.

"I think so," Harry replied. "That one guy who screamed."

"Well I won't complain if we have one less to fight," Hermione said. "If he shows up though, we need to be careful and not touch the brain that's on him."

"Yeah I remember what it did to Ron."

Hermione started giggling.

"What's so funny?" Harry asked.

"Oh...for some reason when you mentioned Ron, I remembered him summoning it the last time."

"Yeah and why was that funny? As much I wouldn't mind it now, then it was pretty serious."

"I know, it's just...well the Wizard of Oz and the Scarecrow popped into my mind," She replied. "You remember; he lacked a brain and always wanted one?"

"Are you suggesting Ron lacks a brain?" Harry asked his wife.

"Are you suggesting he has one?" She responded with a raised eyebrow.

"Touché," Harry agreed with a smirk. "But let's get moving," He gave Hermione a quick kiss and scrambled down the path. His post was directly behind the Veil. If any doors were breached besides the main one, he would coordinate the response. He would also replenish Darkness Powder if any started deteriorating around the other doors.

"You two ready?" Hermione asked Neville and Luna, both of whom nodded. "Then let's do it."

Neville turned to head down the path as well. His position was a small opening between two boulders near the front of the Dais. Just as he took the first step Luna grabbed his arm. As he turned back to her, he found her lips on his cheek very close to his lips.

"For luck," She said as she reached up and adjusted his hat on his head. "Be careful Neville."

"You too Luna," Neville replied. His eyes lingered on hers for a second before he turned and ran down the path. When he got to the bottom, he reached up and opened the door a few inches and then took his place in the boulders. From where he was, he could see the door, but no one coming down the path could see him. If he got into trouble, he could step backward a step or two and disappear into the darkness. A small yell and Harry would be there to help.

"Ready?" Hermione asked Luna after seeing their men off.

Luna nodded as her normal dreamy gaze seemed to harden.

They took positions behind boulders on either side of the main door. As with Neville, their position opened behind them so they could step back into the darkness and away from danger. Their role was rear guard. To help them in case of overwhelming danger, they each had two of the brain jars beside their feet, ready to be picked up and lobbed into any threatening danger.

Just as they got into position, they heard a splash and curses as some of the Death Eaters had won free to the circular room and had ran directly into the swamp.

"Shut up," Lucius snarled. "They obviously didn't come as unprepared as we thought," He continued. "In pairs start searching rooms. Get that prophecy and kill the brats."

Two seconds later the door opened. Hermione glanced from behind her hiding spot to see who it was. "Dolohov and Rabastan," She said to Harry.

"Hope this works," Harry replied. "Be careful."

"You too."

Neville had the opening move. When he heard the door open he sent a banishing charm at the door in front of the Veil causing it to slam shut.

"GOT THEM!" Dolohov yelled over his shoulder to Rabastan. "They just ran through that door," The two men raced down the path until the got to the door in front of the Veil. They yanked it open and ran through it. Their yells of triumph disappeared almost immediately.

"Two down," Hermione said. She was surprised at the sense of satisfaction that surged through her at the knowledge the man who'd cursed and almost killed her last time met his end. She then remembered that she could have killed him in the cafe when they had found them after Bill and Fleur's wedding. "We should have done it then Harry. Even then it was our fault he got a chance to kill again."

"We're older now...well sort of," Harry replied. "We hadn't really seen what they do with our own eyes then."

"Hermione watch out!" Luna yelled suddenly.

Hermione had accidentally kicked one of the brain jars and it had collided with a boulder. The glass had cracked enough to allow the brain to win free. As Hermione glanced down at where Luna indicated she could see one of the brain's tentacles stretching out toward her foot. Luna did not hesitate as her wand was up and a blasting hex hit the small creature splattering bits of white matter over Hermione's foot and leg.

Hermione whirled around and saw what had happened. She looked over at Luna. "Thanks."

Luna smiled. "That's what friends do right?"

"Exactly," Hermione replied. "I'm glad you're with me."

The door burst open as obviously Luna's screams had drawn the attention of more Death Eaters. Fortunately the Death Eaters were startled enough by the strange scene in front of them that Luna and Hermione were able to fade into the darkness just in time.

"It's Bellatrix and Rookwood," Hermione said to Harry. She'd just caught their profiles before hiding. Harry and Hermione both clenched their wands tighter while at the same time Hermione reached down for her last jar containing a brain.

SLAM! The door in front of the Veil closed with a noise as Neville once again did his job.

Bellatrix jumped around as she heard the door close. "Ah the babies went that away," She said to Rookwood as she started running. She was halfway down the path when Rookwood yelled. "Bellatrix WAIT! This is wrong."

They had been worried about Rookwood. He worked in the Department of Mysteries for years and would know there was no room like this one. Luna didn't waste time. She threw one of her brain jars directly at the man who had his back still to her. Her aim was true as the jar smashed into the back of Rookwood's head.

"This isn't...AHHHH" Rookwood argument was cut off in a cry of pain as the jar crashed into his head and then shrieks of terror emerged from him as the brain unfurled around his neck. It took a couple of seconds for him to realize what it was, but when he did, he dropped his wand immediately so he could use both hands to try to dislodge the creature that now had two tentacles encircling his neck and another across his face.

Bellatrix turned at the commotion and as she saw Rookwood fighting with a tentacled creature, she retraced her steps cautiously with her wand waving back and forth. "So some of the children want to play rough do they? Come out, come out where ever you are," She sung in a child's voice. "I want to play too."

Neville's blood boiled at the sound of Bellatrix's voice. She was the one who had tortured his parents and now she threatened someone else Neville cared about. He was not about to let the deranged witch hurt Luna. He launched himself out from his hiding spot and aimed his wand at Bellatrix's back. "Reducto!"

Bellatrix whirled around at the sound and blocked the spell effortlessly. "Well well who do we have here? Could it be little Longbottom?" A wicked smile cross her face; one that showed the cruelty that existed in her soul. Slowly, as if she was a feline stalking her prey she moved slowly back down the path.

"You bitch," Neville declared as he stood there, drawing Bellatrix away from Luna and Hermione. "You tortured my parents."

"Oh yes," Bellatrix giggled insanely as she stopped. "Your mother's screams were most...delectable."

"REDUCTO!" Neville shouted again and again Bellatrix stopped it without effort.

"Tell me where the prophesy is and I'll see if my Master will let me keep you as a pet," Bellatrix offered.

"NEVER!" Neville snarled and again tried to hex the insane witch.

As she blocked Neville's hex, Bellatrix's wand continued on a path and ended up directly at Neville. "Stupefy!"

The jet of red light barely missed Neville as he dove behind a boulder.

"Did I frighten the little baby?" Bellatrix asked. "Give me the prophecy or your mother's screams will seem mild compared to what I'll do to you," Her cackling laughter echoed throughout the chamber.

Anger tore through Neville's mind as he looked around for something to do. He knew he couldn't actually beat the witch, but knew he had to do something to protect Luna. He just wished there was a way to get Bellatrix through the door.

"The door!" Neville thought and a plan came to mind. He pulled the fake prophecy orb from his pocket and then stepped back out onto the path. "This?" He asked the crazed witch as he held the orb out in front of himself. Behind Bellatrix he could see Hermione and Luna had emerged from their hiding spots and was attempting to sneak up on the witch. Catching their eyes, he gave only the slightest shake of his head, hoping they understood.

"Give it to me," Bellatrix demanded.

Neville backed away from Lestrange slowly. As he neared the door that hid the veil, he gave her a smile. "You'll have to catch me," He said as he turned and pulled it open. With a final look back to make sure Bellatrix was following, he stepped through the door into the blackness beyond.

"NEVILLE!" Luna shouted as she started running down the path. "Stupify! Reducto!" She yelled at the back of Bellatrix.

Bellatrix turned and sent a stunner at the young blonde girl and smiled in satisfaction as the spell hit her squarely. As the girl stumbled, Bellatrix ignored her and the other girl as she hurried after Longbottom and the prophecy. Her entire focus was obtaining the orb her Master desired. The blackness that hid what was behind the door didn't bother her as she and the other Death Eaters had already realized the stuff was only a nuisance and not a threat. As she passed the threshold of the door, she could already hear the praise her master would give her as she handed him the orb he wanted so badly. It was her last thought as her cackling ended abruptly a second later.

The shield hat had performed exactly as promised, and the stunner that had hit Luna only caused her to stumble, but she quickly regained her balance and raced toward the door screaming Neville's name. Just as she got to within a yard of the wide opened door, Neville stepped back out of the blackness.

The impact of Luna racing into Neville's arms almost knocked both of them back through the door.

"I...I thought you...you..." She said as tears came to her eyes.

"I had to do something," He explained as he wrapped his arms around the blonde girl. "She might have found you if she kept coming back up and I couldn't..." He paused as he continued to hold Luna. "I knew if I could get her to follow me...well I knew to step sideways after I got through the door," He said. It was then that he fully realized what he'd done. He had just caused the death of the one person most responsible for his parents' condition. He promised himself that he'd visit them soon and tell them that she was dead.

"Bellatrix is gone," Hermione said to Harry. "Rookwood is fighting with a brain," As she said that she summoned Rookwood's wand and snapped it in two.

"Can he see you?"

"Maybe, but he's struggling for his life since the brain is wrapped around his neck and head," Hermione replied as she sent a silencing hex toward Rookwood who was still grunting as he struggled to get the brain to release him.

"Leg lock him, but make sure you get his wand," Harry said. "Keep an eye on him though," Rookwood was someone who they wanted alive. He might know other people in the ministry who were loyal to Voldemort. "Don't take chances, if he gets free, either stun him or kill him."

"Already snapped his wand and he won't escape," His wife assured him. She sent the leg locking curse at Rookwood who immediately fell to the ground and continued to silently struggle. Hermione realized he was too close to the entrance. They didn't want people staying close to the doors, but to run down the path. She quickly levitated Rookwood down the path closer to the veil.

Luna and Neville were still standing in front of the door looking at each other. Their hands interlocked as they were saying all that needed to be said with their eyes. Hermione smiled to herself when she saw the look between them, but she knew it would have to wait. "OK you two, we need to be ready. More will show up soon."

Neville walked Luna back to the spot where he needed to hide, and as she started continue to her spot, he grabbed her arm this time. When she turned to him, he leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. "For luck," He said gently as he blushed.

Luna smiled as her eyes met his. "Luck is always something good to have," She replied before turning and skipping happily back up the path.

A few minutes later the door opened slowly again and three Death Eaters came into the room. All of them were complaining while one was shaking mud off of one of his shoes.

"Macnair, Avery and Crabbe," Hermione said to Harry. She could see one of Macnair's arms had been secured beside him. "I think you hit Macnair. His arm seems to be broken."

"Too bad I missed his head," Harry replied remembering the executioner who was going to kill Buckbeak.

"Look," Avery yelled as he pointed down the path toward Rookwood. All three of them moved quickly down the path. As soon as the neared Rookwood, Neville slammed the door in front of the Veil.

"That way!" Crabbe yelled and started to move past Rookwood but was stopped by Avery.

"You stay here and help Augustus," Avery growled.

"Why can't Macnair do it?"

"Because he can't use both hands, now can he?" Avery replied. "Now help him while we go after those kids."

Crabbe grumbled but then slid his wand into his robes and knelt beside Rookwood. With a look of disgust he started pulling at one of the tentacles.

Avery and Macnair moved down the path slowly and cautiously. As they got to the door, they moved to either side and nudged it open.

"More of tha bloody black stuff," Macnair snarled. "When I get my hands…"

"Stop whining and move it before they get too far ahead of us," Avery said to Macnair as he gave the executioner a shove.

Macnair put a hand into the blackness and it came in contact with the stone archway. "There's something here, feels like stone or something with some kind of curtain. I...I think I hear voices."

"It's them. Stop fooling around and go get them," Avery said and gave Macnair a harder shove through the door only to feel him disappear. He started forward feeling as he went until he ceased to exist a second later.

Crabbe didn't notice his two companions had disappeared. He'd managed to free one tentacle but then cried out in panic as the free tentacle had started to wrap itself around his wrist. As he scrambled to free himself, he didn't notice the witch moving up behind him. He slumped onto Rookwood when the stunner caught him in the back.

Neville and Luna both stunned the Death Eater as well to insure he stayed out, while Hermione mangled his legs with a blasting hex.

"Crabbe's down. Tripled stunned and I hexed his legs. He won't be going anywhere," She said as she knelt and searched the Death Eater. She quickly found his wand and snapped it into two pieces. For good measure, she put the pieces back in his pocket.

"Great work, now get back..." Harry started but then a firework went off to his left. "Damn...someone broke in."

Luna and Neville knew the plan. They ducked down and held their positions. They would only respond if Harry needed help.

Harry threw on his invisibility cloak and ducked out of the black cloud into the area where the firework had gone off. He heard two men cursing as they found themselves in another black cloud that nothing penetrated.

"I'm going to kill those kids," One voice said.

"Only after I get to torture them Jugson," The other voice said. "I want to feed them their own entrails and when I find out who threw that...that thing..."

"What was that thing?"

"Rookwood said it was a living brain, whatever the hell that is."

They broke through the blackness and looked around. "What is this room Lestrange?"

"I don't..." Rodolphus' words stopped as a jar smashed at his feet. Both Death Eaters looked down and saw the brain that had been inside start to unfurl its tentacles.

"STAY AWAY FROM ME!" Jugson yelled in frightened panic as he remembered the tentacles wrapping themselves around Mulciber. His wand moved faster than his mind as he yelled "AVADA KEDAVRA," Green light shot out of his wand and hit the tentacled creature. Unfortunately for his companion, the brain had been right at his feet and the same green light had hit Lestrange in his lower legs and feet. The shocked look on Rodolphus' face was fixed in place as he slumped to the ground dead.

Jugson watched in horror as his companion collapsed at his feet, eyes open in a shocked look. Still fighting the terror he felt from the brain he never heard the slight footsteps closing in.

"STUPEFY!" Harry yelled from two feet behind Jugson. The red light hit the Death Eater and he crumpled to the floor. A bone breaking hex at the Death Eater's arms made sure he wasn't going to be fighting again that day. Harry also picked up his wand and snapped it.

"Both are down. Jugson killed Rodolphus," He said. "Anyone else there yet?"

"No," Hermione replied.

"Then I want to give Jugson a chance to apologize to his friend," Harry smirked.

"What?"

"Just let me know if someone comes in," Harry answered as he levitated the Death Eater's limp body. He slipped into the darkness where he knew there was an opening onto the path. He dumped Jugson onto the path very near the Dais. "Neville, can you open the door fully?" He whispered to his friend who ran out from his hiding place and did what was requested.

"Thanks," Harry said as he tossed the two pieces of Jugson's wand next to the Death Eater's head. When he was ready, he revived the Death Eater and waited.

Jugson stirred and as he became conscious the first thing he felt was the pain in his arms that were mangled. He then looked up and found the green eyes of the Boy-Who-Lived staring at him.

"Jugson right?" Harry asked.

Jugson didn't answer as his eyes swept the area in search of help or a way out. As they did, they came to rest on remains of his wand. A feeling of hatred washed over him. "When my Master..." He started.

"Voldyshorts?" Harry asked. "The half-blooded piece of shit that can't even beat a fourteen year old kid?" He drew a little closer as he kept his wand pointed at the Death Eater. "I think you were planning on killing us weren't you?" He asked menacingly. "So I should kill you first."

Jugson paled as the wand came closer to him.

"Call out to me," Harry instructed his wife.

"Wha..." Hermione started but then yelled. "HARRY, DON'T!"

Harry whirled as if startled by the yell. When he did, Jugson did exactly what Harry had hoped he'd do. He rolled to his feet grunting with the pain of his arms and dashed toward the open doorway and his freedom. Harry watched him go, watched another Death Eater disappear into the Veil that had taken his Godfather's life.

"Almost too easy," Harry said as the Death Eater disappeared.

"Not feeling guilty are you Harry?" Neville asked as he came out of his hiding spot.

"No," Harry admitted. "I heard them, they wanted to kill us and would have," He took a deep breath and said. "I want..." He stopped as he felt his mirror heat up. It was the signal from Sirius. "Order's coming," he said. "And there are still three unaccounted for and one of those is Malfoy," He turned and started up the path. "I'm going looking for them. Neville, you take my spot. Luna you take Neville's," He said and the two teens moved immediately.

"Be careful," Hermione said as her husband came near her.

"Aren't I always?" Harry asked innocently.

Hermione rolled her eyes and leaned to kiss him. "We already got most of them so we don't need to take any chances."

"I want Malfoy," Harry replied.

Hermione nodded as she watched Harry throw on his invisibility cloak.

Harry slipped out the door and as it closed, the room started to spin. When it stopped, Harry was happy to see the marks were still on the door. He quickly slipped through the Time room door, planning on retracing the original path. As the door closed behind him he knew the Death Eaters were down to only two. Mulciber was lying next to the shattered Bell Jar. The brain Hermione had thrown at him had its tentacles wrapped tightly around his neck. Harry felt no emotions as he looked at the bulging lifeless eyes staring back at him. "Mulciber is dead," He said to Hermione. "That leaves only Malfoy and Nott."

"How?"

"Not sure, but he's got the brain on him," Harry replied hoping his wife didn't feel guilty. "More than likely one of his friends stunned him or maybe even killed him like Jugson did LeStrange."

"Don't worry Harry. I'm fine," Hermione replied as she realized what he wasn't saying. "Go find the other two."

Harry left the Time room and started going from room to room. Finally in the Brain room he found the last two Death Eaters. As soon as he opened the door they both turned and pointed their wands at it.

"It's Potter," Malfoy snarled. "He's got some kind of invisibility cloak."

Harry just moved out of the way in time as two stunners streaked through the door.

"Wouldn't want me to drop the prophecy would you Malfoy," Harry yelled and then bolted for the door marked with the P. As he entered the room he scrambled into the spot next to Hermione and they waited.

The door opened slowly and it was a full two seconds later that Malfoy and Nott slipped into the room with their wands at the ready. Their attention was quickly drawn to the struggling man down the path lying next to Crabbe with his mangled legs.

"What? It's Rookwood and Crabbe," Nott said in alarm as he started toward the other two Death Eaters.

"Wait!" Malfoy commanded as he reached out for Nott's arm. "Something's not right," Lucius said as he looked around. "I got a tour of this place last year from Fudge and I don't remember this room."

"We've got to help Rookwood," Nott said pulling free of Malfoy's grasp. "He's about to die," He indicated the red-faced man struggling with both hands and just barely keeping the tentacled creature from choking him.

"No," Malfoy replied coldly as he continued to glance around. Finally he put a hand on a boulder and then pulled it away. "Finite Incantatum," The spell cancellation caused the boulder to shrink back to his the small rock it was. He shrunk two more boulders and as the benches that they hid appeared he drew back in surprise.

"It's the room they call the Death Chamber," He said to Nott. "I think this might be a..." He never finished as a wheezy firework exploded to their right and then another quickly followed it. Both Death Eaters whirled in that direction.

The distraction almost worked, but Malfoy spun back around in time to catch the wand coming out of thin air and was able to block the spell.

"Potter! What is this?" He exclaimed.

Harry lifted his fake prophecy in front of himself as he shrugged off his cloak. His wand stayed at the ready, aimed directly at the two Death Eaters. "Just trying to even the odds some Malfoy," He replied evenly. "We found that thing down there and figured out it was some kind of portal or something... and we helped a few of your friends find their way through it. Where ever they ended up, I hope it's a long way from here."

"Portal? Stone archway with a curtain?" Malfoy asked as his eyes widened.

"Yeah, that's it?" Harry responded. "Why?"

Lucius' face paled noticeably in the flickering light. "Incarceratous," he yelled as his wand came up pointed at Harry.

"Protego," Harry countered and the magical ropes dissolved on his shield charm.

"You idiot boy," Lucius exclaimed. "Do you know what you've done?"

"Yep," Harry said to his wife.

"Be careful," She replied. "He's dangerous."

"No, tell me, what have I done?" Harry replied to Lucius.

"That's no portal," Lucius said. "This room is called the Death Room for a reason."

"Death Room?" Harry asked trying to sound curious. "Why?"

"That archway is... it kills people."

The doors burst open at the top of the path. Harry didn't even bother to glance back. The look on Nott's face told him the Order had arrived.

"Harry, get out of the way," Lupin said. "You're safe now."

"Who in the bloody hell put a swamp out there," Yelled Tonks.

Lucius Malfoy, taking advantage of the distraction, yelled. "Accio Prophecy," the blue globe soared out of Harry's hand. As he caught it, Malfoy dove through the opening he had created by reducing the boulders that were there and disappeared into the blackness. Nott threw down his wand and raised his hands as several wands were now aimed at him.

After giving Sirius a quick glance that hid a small smile, Harry sped off after Malfoy hoping he would make it back to the Atrium. As another firework went off signally a door had been opened, He heard Sirius yell out "I've got him. The rest of you spread out and see who else is around."

Harry dashed out the door Jugson had broken through earlier and ran toward the circular room. As he opened the door, he saw another one close and he noticed it was the one with the X on it. He could already hear one of the lifts clanging shut and a second later the sound of the lift starting upward could be heard.

Harry had to wait for the room to stop spinning, but as soon as it did, he raced toward the exit door and followed Malfoy. When Harry's lift reached the Atrium level he could see Malfoy a few steps ahead. Harry sent a stunner through the gates to slow him down. Malfoy had to turn to block it and then he noticed who was following him.

Malfoy stopped and a sneer appeared on his face. "Potter, you shouldn't have followed me."

"Why not?" Harry shrugged. "It was my day to make sure the trash was carried out. Now give me back what's mine."

"I don't think so," Malfoy continued his sneer. "My Master wants this and he'll want you as well."

"He's going to be very disappointed."

"STUP.." Lucius started but had to dodge a bludgeoning hex Harry had sent after him.

"Are you sure you have the right prophecy Lucius?" Harry asked as he advanced on Malfoy. "Your Master will be most displeased to discover you've been tricked."

"Of course I do," Lucius said. "I took it from you."

"Excellent Lucius," The high pitched voice Harry had been waiting to hear appeared. "Give it to me."

"Hermione, get Tonks or Shacklebolt up here now," Harry said as he heard the crack of Dobby apparating away.

"Already on our way," She replied.

"Hello Riddle," Harry said evenly. To him it had only been three weeks since his last showdown with the person in front of him. Though he was afraid, he knew he would survive whatever happened here.

"You dare call me by that name?" The Dark Lord hissed.

"Yes I dare," Harry replied. "Though do you prefer Tom? Maybe Moldyvort?"

"We're here," Hermione said.

Harry moved to keep Voldemort's attention away from the lift area. This was the riskiest part. Before Dumbledore had sent the statues to get the Minister and Auror support, Harry needed Tonks or Shacklebolt to do it. A quick glance showed Hermione arguing with the Aurors but finally saw them moving silently toward the floos.

"I had to insist it was better for them to go for help," Hermione explained.

Harry didn't bother replying as he continued to focus on Voldemort. "So Tom," He said calmly. "Maybe you should ask Malfoy where the rest of your Death Eaters are. Your best against four teenagers and you lost all but one."

"They will be free soon enough," Riddle said. "No prison can hold them from me."

"Ah…you misunderstood. Most of them are dead," Harry said coldly and felt a bit of relief as he heard the flames of a floo erupt. "Avery, Macnair, Mulciber, Bellatrix, her husband and his brother... Not all dreams are to be believed they told me," Harry gave his own sneer to the Dark Lord. "I knew you didn't have Sirius, so I came prepared. I didn't walk into a trap, THEY DID!"

Voldemort's red eyes widened in surprise but quickly returned to normal. "You have been an irritant Potter," He said finally. "And it's time for that to end. AVADA KEDAVRA!"

"Expelleramus," Harry yelled at the same time and once again the two wands connected. As the cage of golden light once again surrounded them, Harry felt the electric surge that had occurred then as well. The phoenix song once again emerged from the glowing threads of the cage. Harry remembered the hope the song had given him last time.

As he looked on in fear as his Master and Potter duplicated what he'd seen happen the previous year, Malfoy never heard the body bind hex that hit him. As he hit the floor, he could feel hands rolling him over. A face came into view and he found himself looking into the eyes of a girl, a girl with bushy hair. "How's it feel Lucius, to be taken down by a mudblood?" Hermione asked.

Malfoy could only stare back at her with pure hatred.

"Soon the Aurors will be here and you'll have a nice cell in Azkaban, but until they do, let me give you something to think about," Hermione pointed her wand at the blond haired man and muttered a word.

Lucius tried to flinch away from the spell but could not move. When nothing seemed to have happened, his eyes tried to convey the sneer he felt. Then he realized what spell she'd cast as the sensations started. First it was the bottom of his left foot, then his right forearm; he itched. As the itching continued to spread his first thought had been "This is the best she could do?" But as the effects of the spell continued to spread to his whole body, every second started to feel like hours of torture. He couldn't hold the sneer in his eyes as they watered but by then Hermione had turned her attention back to the fight between Harry and Voldemort.

Harry could feel his wand start to vibrate as the lights began to move in the connecting beam. This time he knew what to expect and what to do. He concentrated on the lights, forcing them back along the golden path between the wands. He knew he didn't have to win; in fact he didn't want to win, not right away anyway. He needed to delay, delay until Fudge showed up.

The battle of wills stretched on for seconds that turned into a minute then another minute. Sweat beaded on Harry's brow as he continued to focus on the lights. Suddenly the floos started erupting throughout the hall as people in Auror robes and pajamas alike poured out. Each of them stopped and stared at the golden cage with the Dark Lord and Harry Potter engaged in some kind of battle they had never seen. A couple of them tried to send spells at Voldemort only to have it bounce off the cage.

Harry's eyes lifted up to meet those of Tom Riddle. "You lose," He said as he concentrated even harder. The lights moved further and further toward Voldemort's wand. Right before they got there, the Dark Lord lifted his wand and broke the connection. As the cage around them dropped, he glared at Harry for a split second before he summoned Lucius to him. Holding aloft the blue orb, he said. "Lord Voldemort never loses," and apparated away.

Harry slumped to the ground as the fatigue of the night caught up to him. Soon Hermione was at his side, followed closely by Neville and Luna.

"You did it Harry," Neville said as he put his hand on his friend's shoulder.

Harry looked up at his friend with eyes that were deep in fatigue and smiled. "No. We did it Neville," His eyes then moved to find his wife's looking back at him with concern and love. "Have I mentioned how beautiful you are?"

"Sir," Harry heard a voice of one of the Aurors say as he was climbing back onto his feet. "That...that was him. It was You-Know-Who."

"There are several Death Eaters downstairs," Tonks said.

"But...but..." A voice Harry recognized as Minister Fudge sputtered.

Harry climbed slowly to his feet and he and his friends walked over to the Minister.

"Potter, what's...who... what in the blazes is going on here?" The Minster asked.

"I'd like to know the same thing," said another voice that reminded Harry of a discussion at King's Cross station. Harry turned and saw a very much alive Albus Dumbledore striding toward them with a very concerned look on his face. Harry ignored the Headmaster and turned back to the Minister.

"I was tricked sir," He started. "Voldemort..." The Minister and many of the people around him flinched as he said the name. "He made me believe he had captured someone I care about and was holding him here."

"That's enough Harry," Dumbledore said. "I think I can explain the circumstances better. You need to go back to the school," Dumbledore walked over to the guard desk and picked up a quill. He pulled out his wand and said 'Portus'. "Here take this and I'll join you as soon as I can," Dumbledore said as he thrust the quill toward Harry.

"Now see here Dumbledore," Fudge said, "you can't just go making illegal portkeys."

"Don't worry Minister," Harry said. "I don't plan on using it. I'll be staying here with my friends," He put his arm around Hermione and looked over at Neville and Luna. He smiled a little when he noticed Neville's arm was around Luna's waist.

"Harry..." Dumbledore started again. "It's obviously been a trying night and..."

"Yes sir it has, but there is still things that need to be done," Harry replied and again turning his back to the Headmaster as he addressed the Minister. "Sir, as I was saying I have been having dreams about a room downstairs in the Department of Mysteries; ones that were proving to be true. I now understand that Voldemort wanted something from there, something only I could give him."

"Harry..." Dumbledore said as he continued to hold out the quill. "You truly need to return to the Castle."

Harry continued to ignore the Headmaster as he held Fudge's gaze.

"So what did these dreams have to do with He-Who-Must-No-Be-Named and what did he want?"

"Harry I must insist..." Dumbledore again tried to assert himself.

"Insist on what Headmaster?" Harry interrupted him as he turned to glare at the Headmaster. "Insist you keep me in the dark about things as you have? Or are you going to deny knowing WHY my parents died for the last fourteen years and not bothered to tell me. A fact I had to learn from a DEATH EATER!" His voice had increased in level where he was almost yelling at the Headmaster. Every Auror and other Ministry employee who was still in the Atrium were now following their every word.

Dumbledore put a hand on Harry's shoulder in an attempt to sooth the young man, but Harry shrugged it off forcefully. As he turned his back to the Headmaster, Harry said to Fudge, "Sir can we take this conversation to your office, maybe with Madam Bones joining us? I'd like a chance to explain what happened."

"Yes...yes of course," Fudge replied. He called an Auror over and asked her to find Madam Bones.

"She's went downstairs to see about the other Death Eaters."

"Then tell her to meet us in my office," Fudge ordered. He motioned for Harry and the others to follow him. When Dumbledore started to follow them Harry stopped.

"Minister," He said. "Do you have a specific need for Dumbledore join us in this conversation?"

"Why?" Minister Fudge asked. "Is there a problem with him joining us? I really must speak with him about what to do with...with him returning."

"If you need to speak to Dumbledore, then I'll be glad to wait and meet with you later," Harry replied. "To answer your question, yes there is a problem. Thanks to my wonderful and extremely intelligent girlfriend," Harry indicated Hermione. "It has become abundantly clear that the Headmaster has been withholding very important information and very possibly lying to me. I do not feel I can trust him anymore."

Dumbledore blue eyes found Harry's and for an instant Harry felt the slight probe of his mind. Harry glared at Dumbledore. "Just in case that greasy bastard didn't tell you, I've been working on my Occlumency without him. If you try to read my thoughts again you will not like it."

Dumbledore had a look of shock on his face. "Harry, we really need to discuss this," He said in his best grandfatherly voice. "I feel for your own good I must..."

"You must what?" Harry snarled at the Headmaster. "You have NO legal authority over me," He turned back to the Minister. "Sir would you like to speak with me or Dumbledore?"

Minister Fudge had been watching the interplay between the Boy-Who-Lived and Albus Dumbledore and he was in a quandary. He had just watched Potter take on the Dark Lord and beat him. It had been witnessed by a large number of Aurors and it would be in the Daily Prophet by the afternoon. He knew he couldn't afford to upset the young man. His eyes shifted from one to the other until a decision was reached. "Come with me Harry," He said. "Albus, I'll be glad to meet with you shortly."

 
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