"Look at yourself. Mercy? Sympathy for the enemy? Weakness." Dar-Zod spat at his reflection, standing inside the Room of Requirement on the last day of school. "You were clumsy. Why did you not pay attention to your surrounding? Sirius died because of your negligence, it's your fault. Why did you hinder yourself by sparing those monsters? They deserved to die, it would be justice that they die, and you spared them. Fool. Compassion is a weakness of the human race, you are
better than that, better than them! You are Dar-Zod, son of Dru-Zod, and you reacted like a foolish human BOY!" Angrily he punched his reflection and shattered the mirror, the term 'boy' acting as a catalyst for his rage bringing years of remembered submission. "Never again, NEVER!"
Dar stormed out of the room with his emerald eyes still brimming with unshed tears, a painful mix shame and loathing. The only thing stronger than his shame was his desire for revenge.
He had gotten so caught in playing the part of a human boy that he had forgotten what and who he truly was.
He had informed Dumbledore of only a few of his powers such as his speed, strength, and heat vision though he had neglected to reveal that he also knew the origins of the abilities. He did not completely trust Dumbledore anymore, not after the Prophecy that had been revealed, not after the man's good intentions had cost Dar his godfather over something so vital and yet so simple. Did Dumbledore think it would just go away, that Voldemort would miraculously forget his initial reasoning for trying to kill him?
Between the therapeutic trips to the Room of Requirement, Dar spent his time in the library absorbing every bit of knowledge that he could. Many of the spells may have been beyond his ability to cast, but their knowledge was still invaluable to him and explained many of Voldemort's spells. He needed to know of his enemy's weapons and become intimately familiar with them. This was no longer a game to him; it was war and thus required a more active role.
How could he, Dar-Zod, have been bested by that mutated primitive? Humiliation burned at him, even as he sped through book after book, absorbing all the knowledge through photographic memory. His father would almost rather him to be dead for the incompetence he had displayed, for such weakness. Dru-Zod would have been tempted to strip his son of his House's name in disappointment and that realization only fed Dar's determination. He had played by these humans' rules long enough, now it was time to force them to play by his. The Death Eaters were only strong because they hid behind masks and gathered in large numbers against the weak, typical cowards. They expected to only fight when dressed up in their little Halloween costumes with like minded friends, making others play on Death Eater terms. He needed to take that away from them, take away their anonymity and prove their mortality.
A plan was forming in his mind as Dar read through a book on warding, a branch of magic that he took a closer look at, remembering how Voldemort had arrogantly informed him of this method of protection and his use of a simple repelling ward. If the Death Eaters were only strong while hiding in the shadows then he would simply have to drag them into the light of day...well at least their bodies. He knew the names of several important Death Eaters. Now, he just had to track them down. If they were wise then they would tell him what they knew, if they were foolish...well, the end result would remain the same in either case. It would just be slower.
Mercy was no longer an option; the battle at the Ministry had taught him that. The Death Eaters survive on the mercy the Ministry and while the Order is happy in handing the murderers into Ministry hands, foolishly believing the Ministry would judge them justly. They are much like insects; refuse to squash one and they multiply by the hundreds. The only way to get rid of them was to eradicate them completely, to turn the terror they used back upon them. Let them be the ones dreading to come home, fearing they would find a sign burned into their front door knowing the dead bodies of their companions in arms lay inside.
Dar placed the book on warding back into an open slot before turning and striding from the library, having read his fill for time being. He hadn't yet finished the entire library, in fact he had only read around an eighth of it, but the rest could wait...should he return to school that is. There were many things he needed to do. His own powers in magic and Kryptonian abilities did not seem to be enough. If he was to achieve his ambition then he needed to harness the full potential of his race. He required something as alien to the Wizarding World as he himself was: technology, Kryptonian technology.
He hadn't thought that he would need it so soon, as at first glance it would seem like Kryptonian technology being used against Voldemort would be like using an Atom Bomb against one man. It would be overkill in one view but effective in another. Voldemort was not an enemy to take lightly. To limit himself would only cause more deaths in the end. There was a part of him that wanted to see the primitive deal with the might of Kryptonian knowledge and watch how the dark wizard would react with fear and confusion.
He would require funding to recreate the technology he desired. Fortunately, he had already converted his gold into dollars and transferred his fortune to the Smallville town bank in America. It was definitely the last place anyone would think to look. Perhaps it was time to take a leaf out of the Weasley Twins' book and go corporate. Dar could conceivably reverse engineer/recreate some ancient technology used on Krypton to make his fortune, but it would have to be very, very old tech. As far as he knew, the use and storing of solar energy was an untapped market full of potential on Earth. If there was one thing the people of Krypton had been efficient at then it was harnessing the power of Rao to fuel their needs, but he still had no idea if he could recreate Kryptonian technology into a primitive enough form to match current Earth tech. The main problem was that it has been tens of thousands of years since his people used anything remotely resembling Earth current tech.
"Hey, Potter!" A voice called out, causing Harry to pause and turn to face the speaker. It was Draco Malfoy with a sneer on his face and, as per usual, he was flanked by his two cronies Crabbe and Goyle. To Dar's amusement, the spoiled little brat had his wand out as if to attack the Kryptonian. "My father can't speak right because of you. All he can do is mumble until they can fix his jaw. I'm going to take that cost out of your skin."
"Draco Malfoy." Dar-Zod stated indifferently, gazing down at Draco like an adult who just heard a child say something very stupid. "You should be grateful that a broken jaw keeps your father from being forced to kiss the hem of his master's robes. Really though, defending a cowardly murder that has to hide behind a mask? Now you worship your father who in turn worships my enemy. That makes us enemies, doesn't it?"
"How could you mistake us for anything but enemies, did the Killing Curse scramble your brain, Scarhead." Malfoy smirked at his own joke, as he slowly moved forward in a manner that could have been threatening if the boy was not such a coward. His two thugs had eager looks in their dull, beady eyes.
"Really now? Hm, I've always considered you to be more of a childhood pest." Dar drawled boredly, walking towards Malfoy with his hands resting at ease by his sides. The three were not a threat to him but he had recently learned a hard lesson: any mercy or hesitance led to weakness. He could not afford to be weak if he was to rule. Crabbe and Goyle moved past Malfoy to intercept Dar which earned them each a backhand to the face that sent them slamming into opposite sides of the hallway. Malfoy's grey eyes took on a slight dawning of fear as he leveled his wand with his hands shaking nervously.
Malfoy's spell was on the tip of his tongue when Dar grabbed the boy's hand to force it out to the side as he slowly squeezed it, the inbred pureblood was brought to his knees. Dar looked at Malfy's pained face with a slight smirk. He observed his would be rival coldly, "I see that you've finally learned to kneel before your betters, Malfoy. Good."
Dar grabbed Malfoy's hair to bring the fool in closer as he squeezed the wand hand tighter, listening with great pleasure to the sudden series of snaps and cracks of the bones that shattered. High pitched screaming echoed from Draco as tears of pain began to fall down his pointed, pale face. Dar hissed in a low voice, "After all the insults to me, my friends, and my family...you have the nerve to support my enemy in front of me! Did you really think there wouldn't be consequences for your choices? The pain you feel is just a taste of what I will bring to your family, friends, and your Master's lapdogs. You tell them that."
"Potter, unhand Mr. Malfoy this instant!" Severus Snape roared as he stormed down the steps, his black eyes glinting with rage. Dar calmly looked up from Draco to meet Snape's gaze before releasing the boy's hand causing him to collapse into a heap. He remained looking at Snape impassively as the man walked toward him swiftly, black robes billowing behind him. For a moment it seemed as if Snape was going to strike him, but then the man moved over to Malfoy and began casting status charms. After a moment, the Potions Master turned to glare murderously at Dar and when he spoke next his voice was a deadly whisper. "Go to the Headmistress' office immediately. We will settle this once I have taken Messers Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle to the Hospital Wing."
Harry shrugged uncaringly before walking off to towards McGongall's office, taking his time since he was hardly going to rush for Snape. He said the password to the gargoyle who leaped aside before he took the rotating staircase up. He knocked on the door and waited until he was given permission to enter before doing so. Dar sat himself down in one of the cushy chairs and waited for the former Transfiguration Professor to look up from her paperwork.
"Mr. Potter, why am I not surprised to see you here?" Minerva sighed, taking her reading glasses off to rub the bridge of her nose. She looked at him irritably, the stress she was under obvious to all but the densest of minds. "Well, what is it this time?"
"Perhaps we should wait for Professor Snape's arrival." Dar-Zod stated, giving a polite smile to the stern but still respectable woman to him. She was one of the few who stood up to Umbridge without hesitation or fear of the toad. McGonagoll spoke her mind and you knew where she stood on matters, for good or ill.
"I can already see a headache brewing over this matter Mr. Potter." McGonagall responded with a stern glare before putting her spectacles back on her nose and continuing her paperwork. There silence in the office, only the scratching of quill on parchment was audible and the occasional snort from one of the sleeping paintings of the previous Headmasters and Headmistresses.
It wasn't long before a fierce knocking came from the heavy English Oak door and McGonagall waved her wand a bit irritably at it causing the door to open smoothly. Snape stood in the doorway, ominously still not unlike the quiet before the storm. His thick eyebrows were drawn together in a scowl more intimidating than the one he usually wore and his thin mouth was drawn into a dour frown. The black eyes glared at Harry, glittering dangerously as the Potions Master swooped inside the office with his black robes flowing about him in the typical bat-like manner Dar had come to expect from him. If it weren't for the man's attitude he could almost admire how Snape could dramatically manipulate his robes. No matter how he detested Severus Snape, he had to admit the man knew how capture and hold an audience's attention.
"Headmistress McGonagall." Snape greeted deferentially with short bow of his head, his voice silky as he folded his hands together. "Not ten minutes ago I came across a very alarming and, indeed, violent scene. Mr. Potter here was attacking young Malfoy in a vicious and cruel manner. Misters Crabbe and Goyle were unconscious on the floor also in need of medical attention, I assume that was Mr. Potter's doing as well. Potter slowly crushed an unarmed students hand, shattered the bones in a barbarous manner and he pointedly ignored the begging and screaming coming from Mr. Malfoy. He even had the nerve to mock Mr. Malfoy as he was...torturing him. I request his immediate expulsion from Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...for the safety of the students. Potter's actions were nothing short of outright sadism."
"Those are heavy accusations to make against any student, Severus. To say nothing of Mr. Potter who has served the school loyally since his arrival, risking his life time and again for the safety of it's students." The Headmistress stated, her voice hinting at the sudden rise in Harry's popularity and political power since Voldemort was revealed. It was a silent warning for the Potions Master. "I should hope your reasons for these accusations are noble, Professor Snape. Mr. Potter, do you deny this?"
"I do not, Headmistress, but I do ask for a chance to explain myself." Harry requested, bowing his head in apparent shame though there was no regret in his voice. McGonagoll nodded in acquiesce and he stood up from his chair to better speak. "I do not need to explain my relationship with Draco Malfoy since our distaste for one another is well known. To say it is antagonistic is a gross understatement. I likewise do not have to state Draco's political ideals or their similarity to the man who murdered my parents and many others in cold blood. I probably do not have to mention how many times he has spoken up in defense of Lord Voldemort and proclaimed his loyalty to the man's ideals and his support of the Death Eaters' methods. I will say that since his arrival, Draco Malfoy has consistently displayed psychopathic behavior and cheered whenever a muggleborn student was in danger, often calling for their deaths."
"Professor, I must protest." Snape interjected smoothly, his sour face impassive. "Mr. Malfoy's behavior is not relevant in this case. No student, no matter how...deplorable their behavior may be, deserves to be tortured or physically attacked in the manner which Potter did. Political ideals are not reason enough to warrant a violent attack, no matter how extreme they may be."
"Your point is made, Professor Snape." McGonagoll replied sharply, her mouth thinning until her lips almost disappeared at the interruption. "Continue, Mr. Potter."
"Despite his gross misconduct in the history of his time here, Malfoy was never anything more than an irritant. An annoyance to be sure, but hardly a dangerous one. His extremist ideals could do no damage and posed no threat during peace time." Harry continued his voice reasonable and calm not unlike when he had been snapping the bones in Malfoy's hands. "However, we are now at war and his ideals jeopardize the safety of this school and it's students. How long before he writes a list consisting of the names of muggleborn students and gives them to his father? Or his uncle Rodolphus Lestrange? A once annoyance has become a deadly liability. When he found me, he voiced his desire for vengeance against me for his own father's actions and displayed intent to harm my person along with his two friends Crabbe and Goyle.
"He knew of my godfather's death and insulted his memory." Harry lied, knowing no one would believe Draco if he argued that point since it would be believable for the pureblood to do that. "He declared his support of Voldemort. After the highly stressful year, the battle at the Ministry, and the loss of my dearest godfather I lost my temper. I freely admit that. I was caught in a moment of weakness and he capitalized on that. Maybe that was what he was going for, Headmistress. It is very possible, if not plausible, that he would try to have me expelled knowing that his master wants me away from the protection of Hogwarts."
"Headmistress, Draco may be petty on occasion but a mastermind he is not." Snape disagreed, defending his own godson. "He is too ruled by emotion and pride to think up a plan such as the one Potter has laid out. While he is an intelligent boy, he is not overly so. Let us review the facts, shall we? Mr. Potter attacked three members of my house, though he may have been provoked it does not give him the right to attack a fellow student however understandable the circumstances may be. Madame Promphry informed me that every bone in Draco's hand has not only been shattered, but crushed into powder while Mr. Crabbe suffers from brain damage and Mr. Goyle's skull has been severely fractured. There is no excuse for that level of damage. We are not talking about a hallway duel or schoolyard pranks, but about a vicious attack with intent to maim if not kill."
His voice turned snide as he delivered the insult he had restraining himself from making. "Too much time spent with his dogfather, I suspect. I'm sure you remember a similar case concerning a murderous attack some twenty years ago..."
"Professor Snape, you are out of line!" McGonagoll barked angrily, she stood up swiftly and her back was straight as an arrow. Sure indications of her Scottish temper flaring. "You may have enjoyed a certain amount of lenience during Albus' reign at this school, but I will not tolerate you insulting a boy's recently lost loved one to his face! Another comment like that and I will have you removed as Head of Slytherin House and as Potions Master of this school. It is apparent to me that Albus allowed you to go too far in your bias and favoritism. Consider yourself on probation for the coming school year. Every point you remove and every detention you assign will require a detailed explanation. Should I discover you have mistreated any student, you will be removed from this school. Forcibly if necessary. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, Headmistress." Snape managed to say through his gritted teeth, his pasty face splotchy and red with rage as well as humiliation. "However the case of Mr. Potter has not yet been resolved. As it is the end of the school year, no points can be deducted nor can any detentions be served which leaves only one fitting punishment left for his horrific attack on Mr. Malfoy: expulsion." A victorious smirk crossed Snape's mouth. "The school charter is quite clear on this matter."
Minerva McGonagoll's nostrils flared angrily, but her mouth remained tight and nearly nonexistent. Her eyes flickered back and forth, clearly thinking. It was obvious to Harry that she was trying and failing to find a way to prevent his own expulsion. His heart hurt at the thought of being expelled from Hogwarts. It was his home, the only one he had ever known and the thought of leaving it forever, especially in disgrace, caused a sensation in his chest very near to physical pain. It was like a knife being stabbed up through his guts into his chest then twisted. He hated how his own voice shook as he said, "L-leave Hogwarts? Professor, please, this is my home. Surely there's something you can do? Can't I take my case before the Board of Govenors?"
"I wish there was a way, Mr. Potter, but if there is one then I can not see it." She sighed, her voice compassionate yet helpless. The formidable woman turned to the portraits that were no longer pretending to sleep. Headmaster Black was especially attentive. "Do any of you know of a way around this? An alternate form of punishment, perhaps?"
"I'll even take corporate punishment over expulsion, honorable Headmasters and Headmistresses." Dar asked them, a note of pleading in his voice. He felt like he couldn't breathe, almost as if a large boa constrictor was slowly squeezing the life out of him. The portraits averted their eyes from his desperate face, looking anywhere but at him. "...Please?"
"I'm afraid not, Potter." Phineas Black said, shaking his head. His painted hands were clenching the arms of his chair tightly. "I created that rule and wrote it in the Charter myself. I never anticipated it would be used in this way. Well, I had, but I thought it would be me performing the expulsion on Magnus Potter. I designed it to be absolute and without loopholes." He sighed, body sagging. "Now you know one of the reasons why I wasn't very popular in my day."
"Accio wand." Snape incantated, a smug smirk on his face as he summoned Harry's holly and phoenix feather wand to his hand. The Potions Master slowly held up the wand before snapping it in two with a satisfied smile. Harry glared at Snape with raw hatred before moving toward him angrily, but he was stopped by Snape pointing his own wand directly at Harry's face. "Careful, Potter. Remember, you aren't a student now. Attack me and I will press charges. I'm sure you would get off with a slap on the wrist, only say...two, three months in Azkaban Prison for aggravated assault and we all know much the Dementors love you."
"This isn't over, Snape." Dar-Zod promised, still glaring impotently at the Head of Slytherin House. His hands clenched repeatedly as if imagining Snape's throat was in them. "You won't be able to hide in Hogwarts forever."
"Believe me, Potter, it is over. I win." Severus Snape gloated maliciously, his black eyes showing that he knew just how much he had hurt Harry. The crooked grin on Snape's face displayed his yellowed teeth. "Tomorrow, you will stand in the Great Hall in front of all the students and they will be informed of your expulsion as well as the reason, then you will walk out of Hogwarts forever."
**The Next Day**
Harry stood before the Head Table, listening the whispers of his once fellow students made in the aftermath of the announcement. Disbelief seemed to be the most common reaction, followed by outrage from the DA and celebration from most of Slytherin House. He could see Draco Malfoy smirking at him smugly and the rage rose inside of him again. It wasn't fair. He should be given a medal for showing the pompous blond his place, but instead he received expulsion thanks to Snape's machinations. He may have lost this battle, but he would be damned before he showed any shame at all.
Dar-Zod turned around and faced the massive doors of the Entrance Hall with his head held high, shoulders back, and his spine straight with pride. Slowly, he began his walk of what should be shame with all the dignity he could muster. He would never let them see how much it hurt, how painful it was for him to leave his home and friends. Every happy memory in his possession had taken place in Hogwarts. It had been the light in his life, the last bit of innocence he possessed and Snape had taken that away from him. Snape and Malfoy, they were two of a kind. A shuffling noise caught his attention and he turned his head toward Gryffindor table to see Neville standing up. The plump boy was soon followed by Hermione, and then Luna stood at the Ravenclaw table. Slowly, every member of the DA stood up from their tables.
The Kryptonian stopped walking in surprise. Neville walked around the tables and made his way to the front of Harry, followed by the DA who congregated behind the Longbottom scion. The entire school watched the scene with confusion and baited breath, all were quiet as they waited to see what would happen next. Slowly, Neville knelt down before Dar-Zod with his right forearm crossed in front of him and his left fist clenched behind his back. It was the Kandorian military salute Dar had taught the DA. Every member of the DA soon knelt before Dar in the salute, respect in their faces and eyes. He felt touched by the show of loyalty, even overwhelmed by it, but he did not let it show on his face.
Dar stepped forward and touched Neville's shoulder causing the boy to look up. He gave a small smile of thanks to his friend and said, "Out of everyone that I taught, none made as much progress or showed as much determination as you did. You are in charge of the DA now, Neville. Hermione can research the spells for you and Luna can advise you. She may seem a bit off, but I doubt there is a wiser person in this school. Neville, you will be the courage. Hermione, you'll be the knowledge. Luna, will be the wisdom to show you guys how to use both effectively. Stick together. I'll meet up with you all this summer."
Dar then walked through the gathered ranks as the DA stepped to the side to allow him passage, but as he neared the doors he stopped. Glaring at it, his green eyes became an orangish red as he activated his Heat Vision and burned the sign of Zod into the doors much to the gasps and whispers of the students in the hall. He turned back around after he was finished and smirked at Snape before using superspeed to move faster than the eye can see, seemingly disappearing from Hogwarts as he left the grounds leaving only the decorative black 'Z' smoking ominously in his wake.
For some reason unknown to even her, Professor McGonagoll couldn't help but remember the story of the dark wizard Grindelwald's expulsion from Durmstrang and how he had also left a mark on his school that could never be removed. An unexplainable chill suddenly ran up her spine.
**Thirty Minutes Later**
Dar-Zod stormed into the Kawatche Caves, moving with purpose toward the cave wall with the black crystal clutched tightly in his hand. A mental command caused the 'Z' on the wall to glow red as the rock began shift and twist until there was a doorway where stone once was. He marched into it until he reached the stone alter carved with the runes of his people. He stared at the hole in the center for a long moment before stabbing the black crystal into its center. White light exploded from the alter, almost blinding in it's intensity as the black crystal shifted to blood red and began to glow. His hand shot out and grasped the now red crystal of its own accord as the white light grew in intensity until he could see nothing but white.
Just as suddenly as it began, the glow faded and Dar could see once more. All around him was white, reaching as far as the eye can see. A quick look up at the night sky confirmed that he was no longer in America as the constellations were placed differently. Judging by their positions he was in Antarctica, not far from the South Pole. An odd feeling came over him. It felt welcoming, like he had come home yet there was another feeling that curiously felt like home sickness. He gazed around unable to keep a smile off his face at the devastating beauty, the raw untouched purity of the continent surrounding him.
The red crystal glowed intensely in his hand and suddenly Dar-Zod knew what he had to do. Pulling his arm back, he threw the red crystal into the distance. He watched as it twisted and turned for miles until finally landing in the icy snow. Somehow, he could clearly see it land despite it being more than twenty miles away. It sat on the snow before the snow beneath it melted, causing the red crystal to go into the ice. For what seemed like an eternity but what was only a few seconds there was nothing but silence then the ground began to shake. Massive black crystal spires shot out of the ice to pierce the air with more and more following. Dar watched with a slack jawed expression and amazed green eyes as a massive fortress made entirely out of black crystal formed in the distance standing as defiantly as the Collosus of Rhodes.
He quickly flew up to the fortress and slowly entered it, more levitating than flying as he gazed at the archetecture of the fortress with absolute delight and an impressed look on his normally haughty face. There was nothing else like it that he had ever seen. The very structure of it defied explanation or logic, or perhaps it was very logical and mankind had not yet reached the same level of reason that Krypton had. One thing that he was sure of and that was that there was nothing else like it in the world. No man made structure could possibly compare to the imposing fortress, it's alien elegance and the sheer unmatched grace of every black spire far outstripped even the pyramids of Egypt. As he reached the inside proper, he noticed a control consol made of white crystals awaiting him.
Drawn by something he did not understand, Dar stepped up to the consol and inspected it. One crystal drew his eyes to it, though there was no difference between it and the hundreds of other similar crystals. He grabbed it and lifted it up with reverence, inspecting it closely. It looked like any other crystal that could be found on Earth, only larger and more clearly cut. The hand holding the crystal moved of its own accord and sheathed itself into another crystal that appeared be designed to accept others. A low humming filled the fortress causing Dar to step back somewhat nervously since he knew without a shadow of a doubt that the defenses of the fortress would more than enough to kill even him.
Slowly the image of an aristocratic man with a neatly trimmed beard and slicked back black hair appeared before him. He recognized the man immediately, having met him once before when he was educated in the basics of Kryptonian society and military tactics. It was General Zod, his father and teacher. He knew the face well, having seen one similar to it every day in the mirror. They looked very much alike with a few exceptions such as Dar's jaw being stronger and his lips a little more well formed but they shared the same aristocratic nose, the same thoughtful brow, and the same lean face.
"My son. If I have not come for you by now, then my worst fears have been realized and our great planet has been destroyed. My arguments and pleadings to the Ruling Council will have failed and my attempt to overthrow them in order to save our home will have been met with defeat. I am sorry you will never be able to see it's splendor or know your mother Mara Non-Zod." The image of General Zod bowed his head in regret, though his face remained cold and impassive. "Your mother died many years ago during the fall of Kandor, but I'm certain that she would have been very proud of you. I have managed to preserve the last bit of our great people in the crystals before you, all of our history, our way of life, and all of our military power is embedded in the crystals you see. Sadly, I was not able complete an AI of myself to guide you on your way to greatness, but I did have the Brain Interactive Construct or BRAINIAC design a program to aide you. This will be the last you will see of me, so listen to me carefully, my son: always remember that in you is the greatness of our people. Be strong and rule the humans well."
"Father.." Dar whispered, a deep sense of loss coming over him. He had suspected that something bad had happened, but to learn his entire race was essentially destroyed was mind numbing. It was sensation of building desperation, as if he was lost out to sea without a boat in sight. There was nothing left, except for him. No hope of further generations, no chance to repopulate the Kryptonians or rebuild Kandor, just him and a world filled with a people so primitive they would rather fight among themselves than rise up and become great, build great societies, do unbelievable wonders, heal the sick. They had the potential, the same potential his race had once possessed hundreds of thousands of years ago, before they unlocked it and harnessed the powers of science, but they squandered it, these humans. Like his father had said, they required a firm hand to guide them into a shining new future. Through him mankind would know happiness and peace unimaginable, by his hand they would one day unlock the power of the stars themselves...if only they would submit to him.
"Hello, Dar-Zod. I'm the Brain Interactive Contruct, Temporary Aide Program or just Brainiac if you would be so kind." The figure of a man appeared, average in height and thin in build. He looked to be in his early thirties with sharp cheekbones and had an air of arrogance to him, possessing curly brown hair that was combed backward. Brainiac looked around at the fortress in bemusement though with a hint of approval in his blue eyes at the lethal looking crystal spires. "Not quite the real deal, but I'll do well enough for now. My job is to teach you how to fight a war, secure your territory, and, of course, my personal favorite Science and it's applications to this mudball. Also, I'll be able to run this Impenetrable Fortress you have here, including the automated defenses and communications systems."
"Where do we start?" Dar asked eagerly, ready to begin his training immediately. The knowledge was not only wanted, but necessary to defeat Voldemort in his opinion. The prophecy mentioned power the Dark Lord knew not, well nobody knew the sort of power his people wielded. Power enough to explore the twenty eight known galaxies and catalogue their life forms.
"An attentive student? Maybe this won't be so bad, after all." Brainiac commented in a surprised, but pleased tone. "Well, the beginning is always prudent. You possess powers under the light of a yellow sun. You know them and undoubtedly have some grasp of them, but no real training in their multitude of uses. You can fly; I'll show you how to fly well and with grace. You know how to brawl, I'll teach you to truly battle with expertise. You know how to unleash a beam of heat so intense it evaporates water and pierces the Earth, I'll instruct you how to control it so precisely you'll be able to cook an egg in seconds. First, however, is the development of abilities you have yet to discover such as your hearing. For the next week, you will wear a blind fold to simulate blindness causing your other senses to improve.
During this time, I will test your adaptive abilities as well as expand your instruction in tactics beyond your previous tutoring. I shall explain to you a battle situation during this time and grade you depending on competent response, the speed of your response, and the effectiveness of your strategy as well as the quality of cunning used. In the beginning of our simulated battles, you will be expected to consider yourself powerless for the duration of the battle. This is to prevent you from becoming too reliant upon your powers. If there is one thing I desire to teach you, it is this: no matter how great your abilities or how strong you are, your mind should always be your greatest weapon."
"What about magic?" Dar questioned, feeling a need to bring it up. There was no doubt in his mind that the issue of magic and his vulnerability to it was a problem needing solving. "How does it fit in with your strategies?"
"Magic. An unexplainable phenomenon of quantum energy or technolgy far superior and beyond the grasp of primitive civilizations." Brainiac recited the Kryptonian definition, puzzlement in his voice. "I require further explanation and elaboration. Magic covers quite a bit of ground."
"It's some sort of energy that manipulates, changes, and reconfigures mass. No technology, not even my shield amulet works when around it." Harry tried to explain, but found his own explanation lacking. "I can use it because my human incubator could. She passed that trait on to me so perhaps it's genetic. Either way, I'm vulnerable to it. As vulnerable as a human would be."
"Puzzling." Brainiac frowned, troubled by the information. "And you can use this energy? I will require further research before any conclusions can be drawn. Can you perform some of this ...magic for me so that I can begin my analysis?"
"Uh, no. Not at this moment. Most require a focus of some sort to perform magic, an amplifier such as a wand, stone, or staff made of magical materials. My focus was destroyed." Dar informed him, shaking his head in the negative. "After my training here, I intend to procure another focus then we can run tests."
"Until I have more information, I can not predict any magical form of combat or calculate the variables enough to run a simulation." Brainic stated, looking a bit disappointed himself. "My archives are far from complete. More like a personal library than a proper one. I'm simply a substitute for the Brain Interactive Construct. I don't possess his raw processing power or the massive databanks that he has."
"Where is the real Brainiac?" Dar questioned, wanting the real thing since it seemed so much more powerful than the holographic program before him.
"Unknown. If Brainiac survived then he should have arrived on Earth already, but due to his absence he was either destroyed on Krypton or is currently en route, possibly having been delayed by unforeseeable circumstances." It answered, shrugging in an oddly human gesture. "Plainly spoken, I have no idea."
"If Brainiac does arrive, alert me the moment he does so." Dar ordered, before he was surrounded by the geometrical glyphs of his people as his training in Brainiac's simulations began.
**Three Weeks Later**
Harry cautiously made his way down Kncokturn Alley, dressed in a dirty threadbare grey cloak he had picked up in a second hand store. He was lucky that he had left a thousand galleons in his Gringotts vault, instead of simply converting all of his fortune to muggle currency like he had originally planned. That bit of foresight was due to Dumbledore's advice and would serve Harry well in acquiring what he needed. When he was expelled from Hogwarts, his wand was broken in two so he required a replacement wand if his plans were to progress. Ollivander's shop was out of the question, it was illegal for him to provide a wand to an expelled wizard or witch. To go there and ask him would only draw attention Dar didn't need or want from the Ministry.
So Knockturn Alley was the best place to start looking for a wand, a place that didn't ask too many questions and where one could get anything provided they had the contacts and the gold to pay for it. It was not without its risks, however. Should he give any sign that he didn't belong among them word would spread among the inhabitants like fire with it eventually getting back to the Ministry or Dumbledore's group, neither of which were desirable. It would be ridiculously easy to track it back to a newcomer and such a person would likely be a recently expelled student, in other words: him.
Such reasons had led to Dar having Fred (or George) glamour his hands to appear calloused with thick yellowed nails that seemed diseased and that curved slightly. They appeared quite dirty, so much so that he was constantly fighting off the urge to wash or rub the filth from them. The game was up if anyone actually felt of his hands, so he would need to avoid skin contact. Not very difficult with hands like the ones he had chosen. His lower face was covered by a simple faded red scarf and wasn't very visible with the hood up, so his eyes were nearly invisible. Most people who searched for glamour looked to the face immediately, so he had avoided using any illusions on it. Hopefully, the mix of illusions and old robes would work long enough to buy a wand.
As he pointedly skulked down the alley in a hunched manner, sticking to the walls he observed the people surrounding him. He was keeping an eye out for a familiar face or a flash of the Dark Mark, but everyone in the alley were covered up in rags, old cloaks, hooded capes, and the ones who showed their faces were both unfamiliar and unfriendly looking. Some were deformed in odd ways, no doubt due to being mixed breeds and the purebloods he could see appeared far more inbred than even the Malfoys. Inbred to the point of deformity. He felt a vague sadness for those poor souls, beginning life with the chips stacked against you. Not even a chance to enjoy the good health most humans took for granted. However sad he felt for them, he knew better than to pity them or show them weakness. Even a deformed animal would attack a kind person if it meant food for them.
The evil he saw here wasn't the prejudiced and sadistic evil of the pureblood aristocrats, but evil out of desperation, a much more difficult thing to combat and understand. If he hadn't suffered similar hungry desperation at the Dursleys, then he wouldn't have understood at all. As it was, he only understood the barest bit of their world. Humans were a people in need that much was clearer to him in the alley than at any other time in his life. Without guidance or strong leadership, this sort of evil would only breed and grow more plentiful eventually culminating in a society of degenerates. The people he saw, the young werewolf girl whoring herself out for a few sickles, the starving hag selling her own fingers, the deformed girl trying to sell what few trinketts her family left her for a cold meal of gruel, these were the ones who needed him most and the sight of them only inspired his determination to become their leader and help them.
It wasn't long before he saw the faded sign for Borgin and Burkes' shop at number 13-B and he slipped inside the door, the door bell tinkling as he entered the place. As it had been the last time he had seen it, the shop was covered in dust and grime, littered with macabre treasures that promised knowledge, power, and death, though not necessarily in that order. The only signs that told the truth were the ones that informed the customer an item was cursed and deadly. He stood in the doorway, watching the slimy owner Borgin watch him. Dar ran his yellowed claw-like nails over the wooden shelves almost longingly as he approached, unnerving Borgin who watched with hidden attention.
"Mr. Borgin." Dar greeted, keeping his voice low and gritty. Thanks to the precise muscle control exercises in the Impenetrable Fortress his voice sounded nothing like his usual tone. It sounded growlier, more primal like he imagined a rogue werewolf's would. Werewolves rarely completed their education if they even got one at all making them a perfect disguise for him. He lightly scratched the wooden countertop with his nails causing a slight sound that caused a muscle to leap in Borgin's jaw. "I'm interested in a particular item that I know you have in your possession. Something rather wooden and common. I dare say it even has a bit magic running down it's core.."
"I may have something of that sort." Borgin said hesitantly, eying the hooded cloak with distaste and wariness. Dar could easily see the greed in the old man's eyes, but also the paranoia in those faded grey orbs that had kept the man alive in such a business for so long. "Assuming that you can pay for it, of course."
"I wouldn't have come here if I didn't have enough." Harry snapped impatiently, injecting a bit of annoyance in the gritty voice. The claws began to scratch idly. "Just get on with it, Mr. Borgin. I have things to do."
"Of course, my good, uh, sir." Borgin managed a slimy smile, despite the distaste in his eyes at sight of the yellowed nails. He reached under the counter and Dar flexed his hands irritably, silently encouraging Borgin to move quicker. Harry had no idea if this was how business was performed, but he knew enough to know the faster any illegal deal was done, the better. Borgin brought out several thin, oily boxes along with a wet stone with runes carved upon it crudely. He knew at once that the stone, whatever it's reason, was useless from the contradicting runes used on the surface as they cancelled one another out. He mentally thanked Hermione for forcing him to help with her Runes essays. "Now, I can provide you with several objects of excellent quality, but this stone here it will nullify the signature of any magic done. You can.."
"Don't try to cheat me, old man!" Dar growled out, grabbing Borgin by his shirt and yanking him halfway over the counter. "And don't lie..to..me! I know my trade, Borgin, and I know damned well that rock isn't worth a Knut." He shoved the man back forcefully. "Now, are we going to do business or do I have to pay you another visit closer to the full moon?"
"No, no, we can do business. Forgive my deceptions, but it's very rare for someone of your..., ah, gift to be so educated in such things." Borgin apologized quickly while sneakily leading the conversation toward Harry's education. He opened the three boxes, showing off three grimy and well used wands perhaps a few generatins old. The fact that there was a finger bone on the side of one of the boxes was something he tried to ignore. The wands had likely been buried with their original owners, a common practice in the wizarding world. "These are all fine wands, tried and true. No better ones to be found around here that much I can tell you!"
"Quiet." Harry demanded coldly, runnnng his fingers over the wands lightly. One seemed to move away from his touch, another simply felt wrong, but the last one felt normal. It was a black wand, short and sturdy, likely made out of ebony. There was the slightest bit of silvery uniorn hair sticking out of the tip and light cracks at the base. It wasn't very responsive and as he lifted it out of the box he got the sense of struggle, but it was the best of the wands for him and beggers couldn't be choosers. If he tried for a better wand, even if Borgin had them it would make him quite unusual and more likely to be discussed. Desperation, however, was an everyday thing in Knockturn Alley. "I'll take this one."
"A grand wand, that one! It's said to come from a very old, noble wizard who was a master dueler. That will be eleven galleons." Borgin announced smarmily, only to pale when he recieved an angry glare in return for his price. "Um, I meant s-even galleons for you, kind sir."
Harry said nothing, just grunted and reluctantly tossed the required amount on the counter before leaving quickly. Once outside he breathed a quiet sigh of relief. He had hoped his rogue werewolf impression would be able to pass as acceptable and it appeared he was correct. It had been remarkably difficult to remain in character consistently, but all in all it wasn't bad for his first bit of acting. He managed to remember to remain hunched as he left the alley, but didn't hug the walls as he did before and due to this he bumped into another wizard walking with his friend. Unlike most, this wizard's clothing was decent and that alone made him suspicious.
"Watch where you're walking, filth!" The wizard spat hatefully, shoving Dar down into the gutter. The Kryptonian boy had barely remembered to react as he was meant to, instead of staying in his place. However, his green eyes noticed the wizard's sleeve had been bunched up by the shove and spotted a few inches of a very familiar tattoo. The Dark Mark, Harry would recognize even a bit of it anywhere. He kept his head bowed as the wizard walked off, laughing with his two friends as he did so.
As much as Harry wanted to just get out of the alley, take a nice bath, and slip into some decent clothes the opportunity was simply too great to pass up. He began following the wizard with ash blond hair and his friends from a distance, using his eyesight to follow at distances that normal humans could not. They entered a tavern called the Hanged Witch and Harry waited outside of it for twenty minutes before entering. It was dimly lit, filled with the usual sort one could expect to find in Knockturn Alley, and roughly carved furniture was everywhere. He walked up to the bar, ordering firewhiskey before finding a nice, shadowy corner to search for the Death Eater. It wasn't hard to see him, the man was loud and drinking heavily with his friends. Harry got comfortable and waited patiently for his chance.
Three mind numbingly boring hours later, Harry heard his mark saying his goodbyes sloppily as he staggered out of the Hanged Witch and quickly followed. He followed him for a few minutes until he was certain that no one was looking and used his superspeed to run up to the man, knock him out, and run out of Knockturn Alley to Diagon Alley where he cut through Tom's place to the muggle world. Once there, he found an isolated alley and began flying to the Fortress with his unconscious quarry under his arm. As he flew, Harry considered the Death Eater. The blond wizard was too young to be a veteran, so he was new recruit and not likely to be trusted with any important information, at least no information that Voldemort was consider important.
Harry had never interrogated someone before, though he had a rough idea as to how: cause them pain until they finally confessed everything. Still, he was a newcomer to torture and it wasn't a specialty of his nor was it something he was eager to try. However; Brainiac could scan the Death Eater's entire mind in a matter of days though it would take away precious processing power from the program and extend the amount of time other projects would take to complete. There was no real choice. He needed information on Death Eaters, their identities, their whereabouts, and their safe houses if he was to take the war to their doorstep. One had to start somewhere.
Within a few minutes, he spotted the massive black crystal fortress and descended amongst the jagged spires. The usual feeling of being home met him upon his arrival and he gave small smile of contentment as he tossed the unconscious Death Eater to the ground. Swiftly, he walked up to the command consol and picked up a long, thin clear crystal and inserted it into a crystal tube on his far left. Turning he saw a clear crystal spire rise up out of the ground, stopping when it was ten feet in height. He lifted up the Death Eater and pushed him into the crystal which rippled like water and was as easy to penetrate. Once his new source of information was stored properly, the crystal hardened itself beyond any metal found on Earth. Not even goblin forged weapons were as strong as Kryptonian crystals.
"Unknown energy field detected. Chrysalis stasis activated." Brainiac stated as he came online, his holographic projection appearing before the consol. Once Brainiac saw him, he smiled in greeting. "Dar-Zod, I see you have captured your first prisoner. You will be requiring my scanning capabilities, then?"
"Correct. If you can spare the power to scan his mind then it would appreciated." Dar nodded, studying the consol idly. He hadn't even begun to scratch the surface of all the knowledge in the fortress, despite weeks of training. It would likely be months before he learned it all, maybe even years if his training kept getting interrupted and put on hold due to other duties. "There is more to this prisoner than his knowledge. He is a wizard and likely the source of the energy field on your screen. I suspect that energy field is magic and I know how much you wanted to study a magical specimen, so I figured why not kill two birds with one stone?"
"A magical specimen? Now this is getting exciting." Brainiac grinned eagerly before a thoughtful frown replaced the expression. "You do realize that will make the scanning process take much, much longer? One human week for the energy scan, a few more days for the memory scan. Many of my projects will have to be put on hold."
"Do whatever you need to do, but I want that information." Harry ordered, turning away from Brainiac. "I'll return in two weeks, until then I leave the prisoner in your more than capable hands metaphorically speaking."
He gathered energy around him and flew up out of the Impenetrable Fortress in a burst of power and speed. Dar headed for London, needing to stop at Grimmauld Place for a bath, change of clothing, and to update himself with any relevant information the Order may have. After that he would be quite busy. Any attacks would have to wait, he couldn't take down wards like the ones protecting the Inner Circle so he needed to pick more vulnerable targets until he had gathered enough power to truly begin his war. Start slow and build up, that was what Brainiac had taught him about any conflict.
There was also the matter of the DA and continuing the meetings during the summer. They would need a place with enough space, but also somewhere that wouldn't look too suspicious if two dozen teenagers entered. Not an easy thing to do. Grimmauld Place was out as the Order required it and if many people marched up into a house that doesn't exist then that would be suspicious indeed, even to a muggle. Oh well, he was sure the answer would come to him after he cleaned up and relaxed a bit.
**Two Hours Later**
Harry sighed in pleasure as he dressed himself in clean robes. It was one of his favorite ones with a soft black tunic and crimson over robe with green sash serving a belt, all made from oriental silk imported by Li Shipping. It felt like heaven on his now clean flesh after the dirt and grime of Knockturn Alley. After checking his appearance in the mirror and deeming it acceptable, he made his way downstairs to where the Order was. There were only a few members in the house since there was no meeting tonight, but they would be welcome company after weeks with no one to talk to except Brainiac. He entered the dining room and spotted Remus talking with Tonks at the long wooden table.
"Harry, good to see you're back." Remus greeted with a warm smile, subtly putting a bit more distance between Tonks and his seats. Harry raised an eyebrow at the reaction, but decided to remain quiet as he took the seat at the head of the table, a place normally reserved for Sirius since he had been master of the house. It now belonged to Harry. "Dumbledore has been remaining quiet on where you were."
"Let's just say I was in the safest possible place on the planet and we'll leave it at that." Harry answered, a mischievous grin on his face at his turn of phrase. "Kreacher!" The decrepit elf appeared, grumbling to himsefl and cursing lowly. "You will be quiet, Kreacher. You are lucky I am a merciful master, that I don't give you clothes before beheading you for your treachery to the House of Black. For now, whenever you are not doing errands I give you, you are to remain in this house and on those errands you will do exactly what I say before returning here immediately. Now, a glass of wine if you please."
Kreacher glared mutinously, but was forced to be silent by the order and popped away only to reappear with a crystal glass and a dusty bottle of wine. The elf then left before he could be ordered further by the 'filthy halfblood'. Harry inspected the wine curiously, finding himself surprised by the excellent brand and it's year. "Barco Viejo, 1934. Well, well, it appears I misjudged the good Lady Black. It seems she had good taste, after all." Noticing the odd looks Remus and Tonks were giving him, he explained. "Wine is something of a hobby for me. I began it when I was a boy before I went to Hogwarts. Still, kind of surprsing she had a muggle brand. Kreacher! Two more glasses."
The house elf reluctantly appeared with two two crystal wine glasses and set them before Harry, refusing to serve Remus and Tonks for whom the glasses were meant. Harry slowly filled the glasses, savoring the fruity perfume that hinted at strawberries, vanilla, and blueberries with a tocuh of something spicy. He waved his new wand and sent the glasses over to Remus and Tonks, gritting his teeth in concentration as the wand shook in his hand and the glassses wobbled dangerously. He would have to find a decent wand, but until then he wqas stuck with his current one.
"I see you've picked up a new wand." Remus pointed out calmly, no judgement in his voice despite the fact he knew it was illegal. The werewolf picked up his wine glass and studied it carefully, sniffing occasionally. He'd never had any sort of decent wine, only the rare taste of fairly cheap wine at weddings and such. He much preferred mead. As tasted it, however, he had to admit it was delicious, very smooth with a pleasant aftertaste that had him licking his lips. "I must say that I've never tasted anything quite like this."
"Can I have another glass?" Tonks asked as she smacked her lips loudly, having downed her glass in one gulp. "Some great stuff you have there, Harry. Looks like Aunt Walpurga finally did something good."
"Tonks, this bottle of wine is worth more to me than what you make in a month." Harry stated with annoyance, summoning her glass and refilling it before sending it back. "Sip it slowly, please. It's meant to be savored, not gulped down like a shot of firewhiskey. Becoming drunk off of wine is a pleasant after effect, not the point of drinking it."
"I recognize the name as being Spanish." Remus commented, taking a tiny sip before swallowing it with a slight smile at the exotic taste. "Is this wine from Spain by any chance?"
"No, it's from Chile. Say what you will about the French and Italian wineries, but I much prefer a more fruity flavor as opposed to the European crispness." Dar smiled appreciatively, swirling the wine idly and enjoying the distinct color of the wine as light passed through it. He took a sip, savoring it. It was really a shame that he couldn't become drunk. Oh well, one of the downsides of ultimate power he supposed. "Ahh, and the spicy hint just tops it off."
"I dare say that new wand isn't very compatable." Remus finally said, having watched the magic Harry performed with the eye of a Professor. He stood up and walked around the table, wine glass in hand. "May I inspect it?"
"Certainly, just don't go telling everyone I have a new wand. Azkaban is just too much of an inconvience right now." Harry joked, handing Remus the black wand. The Professor rolled it over in his hands, judging it's weight and texture before his eyes looked up sharply. Dar noticed this and became alert. "What is it? Is there something worng with it?"
"No, it's just that..this wand belonged to Fabian Prewett. Molly Weasley's brother. He and his twin were killed by the Death Eaters many years ago." Remus replied hesitantly, emotion in his voice as he handed the wand back. "They were members of the Order. Good men, both of them. I saw Fabian buried with this wand. I'm certain he would have preferred someone get some use out of it, particularly someone fighting the Death Eaters, but I strongly recommend that you don't use it around Molly. You can imagine how it may upset her."
"Molly would flip out if she saw it." Tonks said bluntly from across the table, taking a generous sip of wine. "Next time you get a wand, I suggest going to Germany and looking up Gregorivitch. He's the go to wand maker for Durmstrang students. You probably got that one from Knockturn Alley, proabably Borgin or Tarks. They've been known to buy from grave robbers."
"Now I feel dirty again." Harry grimaced, resolving to wash the wand at the first opportunity. "I thought there were enchantments to prevent that sort of thing?"
"There are, but Molly couldn't afford them." Remus informed him softly, sadness in his voice for Molly Weasley at not being able to bury her brothers properly. "Such spells would require a professional Enchanter or Warder, both are expensive especially so when prices were high for any job that required them to leave their houses. People were terrified of going outside and it looks like things are going back to that dark place."
"You mentioned Warders?" Harry asked curiously, taking another sip of wine. "I assume they cast wards given the name of their professions. Tell me, Remus, what do you know of wards?"
"It's a powerful branch of magic, even more complicated than Transfiguration. Warding requires years of expertise in Arithmacy, Ancient Runes, and one has to be a master of Charms. It is a very time consuming task and requires a decent bit of power on the Warder's part so that when they tie the wards to their core it doesn't drain them dry." Remus began, easily slipping into the lecturing tone of his previous profession. "Wards require an anchor, you see. Something to power the wards themselves to. At first it is the Warder who is the anchor; later it is the owner of the warded property as well as anyone else he or she trusts to share the burden. For example when the Fidelis is first cast it is the caster who is the anchor and later the Secret Keeper, then whomever else is let in on the secret is drained of the slightest bit of magic when using it so the drain isn't entirely on the Secret Keeper."
"So, how does someone bring down such wards?" Harry asked, ideas flying through his head at the new information. Remus had explained to him in a minute what an entire book on Warding couldn't explain. The werewolf really had a calling as a teacher, it was regrettable that he hadn't been able to continue as Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. "Like how Voldemort did in the First War when he attacked ancestral mansions and manors warded up to the nines."
"Power is part of it. The harder an intruder attacks, the more magic is drained from the anchor to power the wards. Knowledge is another. If you know nothing about wards then you'll have to expend a godly amount of power, since you don't know the ward's matrix or it's weak points." Remus explained an odd sense of resigned detachment in his voice. "Voldemort had both the power and the knowledge of where and how to strike. In the First War, he ripped through Potter Manor's wards in less than ten minutes. Hundreds of years of custom crafted wards to say nothing of the active defenses. The Potter family were renown for their ingenious wards once, yet Voldemort ripped through layer after layer like tearing through paper. Only Hogwarts' wards were strong enough to keep him out and only when powered by Dumbledore in addition to the students and staff. It's only a matter of time before he tests them again and this time he may bring them down."
"Remus, you know that I'll never be able to match Voldemort in magical knowledge. He was the best student Hogwarts' ever saw by Dumbledore's own admittance." Harry said suddenly, a wry smile on his face. Remus began to speak, but Dar cut him off. "No, it's true and to ignore that will only hinder me, but I have my own talents, strengths he does not possess. In a fight he would and has overwhelmed me, but he is a quick killer, he can't keep it up for long. In stamina, I have him beat. I need to hold him off until then, defend against him. What would you do if I offered you a job, Remus? I'm in dire straits, I need a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and you're the best one we've ever had, Professor Lupin."
"Harry, I would love to teach you...and get paid for it." Remus admitted, with a hint of what may have once been a Marauder's grin. "But I have duties here, responsibilities to tend to. I'll try, Harry, I will, but don't expect a classroom. I'll teach what I can when I have time and you don't have to pay me for it. The lessons will be erratic."
"That works for me, Remus." Harry agreed with a pleased grin, shaking Lupin's hand. "However, I insist on paying you for your time. You are a Professor and this will be tutoring, it's only right that you be paid a fair salary. Say...three galleons for every five lessons?"
"Very well. I have the distinct feeling I won't win if I argue with you over this. Your mother used to be the same way, it was her way or the highway as she used to say. Never quite understood what she meant by that." Remus stated, a fond if slightly wondering smile on his face.
"I've been told she was quite a woman." Harry mentioned leadingly. He may know she was not technically his mother, but she had died for him, had loved him, and that made her a very important person to him. Someone to admire. It was her actions that gave him faith in humanity after the Dursleys took that from him. She may not be his real mother, but she was a mother and once upon a time she had been his mother.
"Oh yes, she was." Remus answered, smiling in remembrance. He sipped his drink, continuing to smile to himself. "Lily was a real force of nature. An exceptionally kind woman, but at the same time not one to ever scorn. If you lost her trust, it was over. There was no chance to get it back. Severus used to be her best friend, but he...scorned her and as I said you didn't scorn Lily. The girl could hold a grudge unlike anyone I'd ever met. She was full of ideas, improvements she called them for the wzarding world. Better laws, fairer ones for all magical folk be they wizard or not. We all believed she would change the world one day and she did, if not in the way we thought and hoped for her. I miss her a great deal. She was like a mother and sister for us all, except James of course."
"Thank you." Harry said quietly in gratitude, happy to have learned more about her. Remus looked up at him, and then nodded slowly.
"No one has ever told you much about them, have they?" Remus asked, a sad sigh escaping him at his own perception. "You've heard about them, but never of them. I am sorry I didn't realize that sooner."
"It's not exactly something that is easy for me to ask." Harry explained uncomfortably, not looking at Remus. It was the absolute truth, not something he could put any other way. He liked Lily and James, admired them even for their strength of convictions in world lacking them, but he still felt a bit dirty about them, about pretending to be their child when he wasn't. They had been camouflage for him, a way to blend in safely among a species and yet he couldn't quite view them as coldly as his father or Brainiac would. They meant something for him, though what they meant he couldn't explain. He didn't understand it himself.
"Well, Harry, I have some really good stories for you and I have plenty of time for the next week. I have a few hilarious ones. There's one of your father, Sirius, and Lily concerning suits of armor, Mrs. Norris, and a jousting tournament interrupted by Peeves that sill gets me laughing to this day..."
**The Next Day**
"Fred, George, I'm glad you guys would agree to meet me since you've become such important business men." Harry greeted with a tease, ushering them into the newly cleaned study that still smelled a bit off but was definitely improving, now revealed to have been furbished with polished dark wood flooring, dark green tapestry, and a matching furniture set made from a rich, dark red wood including a desk and guest chairs. Dar had been working Kreacher's ass off on the study as beneficial revenge for his treachery, having learned from Dumbledore about his squealing to Narcissa Malfoy. Oh yes, there was plenty of work going Kreacher's way and if it worked the vermin to death then so much the better. He could even get away with calling it natural causes to Hermione, surely heart attacks happened with House Elves's too, right?
"It was no problem, Harry. We've actually been a bit bored lately and whenever we see you we don't stay bored very often, so why not visit our largest shareholder?" Fred grinned in greeting, shaking Harry's hand and patting him on the shoulder. "Been a bit of time since we've last seen one another, hasn't it old chum?"
"Splendid to see you, Harry. We heard about your expulsion, congratulations! You breaking Malfoy's arm after laying out Crabbe and Goyle would have been a sight worth staying in Hogwarts for." George exclaimed in a very over the top pompously proper tone throwing his hands out as if further prove his point. "I guess our last firework experiment was just a bit too much for us. Blowing up half the green houses like we did and the fact it was Professor Sprout of all people demanding our expulsion kind of buried it for us. Luckily we got off on a few months suspension; we already did our O.W.L.'s so we figure there's no reason to go back anyway. Mum's still upset with us over that."
"Yeah, I can see how she would be mad. Love the suits by the way." Harry complimented, looking at the twin 1930's American gangster styled suits that were colored green with orange pinstrips and matching fedoras. "It appears Hermione has introduced you two to Noir."
"Who? No, we saw suits like this in that muggle filmy thing the Untouchables. They just looked really cool, we wanted them and we have the money now so we got ourselves a set made for us. We have a whole wardrobe of these things." Fred grinned happily, glancing down at his suit admiringly. It was the gaze of someone who used to have little but now had a great deal of money and appreciated it completely.
"Okay." He gave them an odd look, the sort that he usually only gave Luna but then shrugged it off as he lead them over ot the desk and bid them to sit before joining them. "You see guys, I need a place for the DA to study and practice. It has to be a pretty popular place in a crowded area like say a shopping center. You two are the only ones who came up. You have a large basement and I can hire someone to permanently expand it to three times to what it was previously. What do you say?"
"Sounds good to us." George said after a long silent look with his brother, with Fred nodding in agreement next to him. "Be a boom to the business, too. A bunch of ickle students in need of cash means plenty of test subjects for us."
"Tell the others to come by around closing time, say..nine?" Fred offered, glancing to George to make sure the time was good. George nodded, approving the time.
"Thanks guys. You have no idea what this means to me." Dar-Zod smiled appreciatively, yet there was something in that smile that unsettled the twins almost like Zod knew something they didn't about their agreement. Fred shook off the thought. This was Harry, their benefactor, their teacher, and the guy who had caused nearly as much trouble as they had without trying to. Dar poured three glasses full of brandy and gave them each a glass. He held it up with a smile. "A toast, gentlemen. To hope and the promise of a new world."
**A Few Hours Later**
"The Amplexus Munitio shield is one of the strongest bits of defensive magic I can teach you. It is a powerful shield, one guaranteed to block nearly any spell save for the Unforgivables." Remus lectured, walking around the empty bedroom they had set aside for the Defense lessons. "It is, however, also one of the most draining spells one can ever cast. Each hit siphons magic straight from caster's core, pitting their power against their adversaries. The more powerful the curse, the heavier the drain on your magic. Many great witches and wizards have died while using this shield, drained completely of magic because they used it too often or kept it up too long in a duel.
I highly recommend using this shield only when you have no idea what spell is sent at you and you find yourself unable to use a more practical shield. The Munitio charm is very dangerous as one can't tell how much magic the shield is using. They are, in effect, numbed to their magical core while using the charm. This increases the chance of their deaths by exhaustion. The form of the shield itself varies greatly from one caster to the other, based on preference and symbolism not unlike the Patronus charm. For one wizard it may take the form of a medieval shield, another it may be a golden dome, other's still may be an animal of some sort. The greatest advantage of this shield is that it isn't limited to the castor, if a wizard so wished he could shield someone else while simultaneously fighting another opponent, but this is risky to the point of stupidity as the further away the shield the greater the strain on one's magic. It's incantation is the same as it's name, the wand movement is an upward diagonal jerk followed by a slash to the right. Now, give it a try."
"Alright." Harry nodded, taking a deep breath to center himself before going through the wand movements and stating the incantation. A large white circle appeared in front of his wand and it flickered feebly before fading out. Narrowing his eyes, Harry concentrated harder and tried again this time managing to sustain it for a few seconds. "Okay, this is harder than it looks."
"Practice only ever bares fruit, Harry." Remus advised wisely, a small smile on his face. "You can't expect to learn this spell in one day. Like the Patronus, it requires time, effort, and focus, not to mention plenty of practice. This one shield took me over two months to learn and it still gives me trouble to cast it, even fifteen years after learning it. The only two people who have truly mastered this shield are Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort, but even they use it cautiously."
"If they can do it, then so can I." Harry stated, trying again. The shield was more pronounced this time, taking the form of a white four sided diamond before fading. His new wand felt hot in his hand from the amount of power channeled through it and the end was smoking ominously. With frustration Harry tried once more, only to drop his wand with a yelp as it burned his hand.
"That wand will need to be replaced, Harry. It's a poor match for you." Remus informed Harry unnecessarily, picking the wand up. "This shield is remarkably difficult with a suited wand, with a wand that doesn't cooperate with you it may very well be impossible."
"I know that, Remus!" Harry snapped, taking the wand back roughly. He took a deep calming breath and exhaled slowly. "Sorry to snap, I'm just frustrated with this bloody wand! If one of my spells works at all, then I have to completely focus and even then it goes wrong somehow. It's like I'm constantly fighting with the damned thing."
"I've never seen a wand actually resist the way Fabian's is doing. Strange, I would think it would be quite well suited to you." Remus frowned, unable to understand it. "Fabian also fought against Voldemort, he was a loyal, peaceful man. He only ever wanted to help others. That wand should recognize those same traits in you, but it isn't."
"I guess we're a bit different once you go past the surface." Harry said quietly, gazing at the wand with a new perspective and a touch of fear. Noticing Remus was watching, Harry tried to play it off. "Or maybe the wand is just too stubborn to work for anyone else. If Fabian was anything like Mrs. Weasley, then his wand is probably more than a bit temperamental."
"Perhaps." Remus nodded slowly, still eying the wand and Harry with confusion. "Well, maybe we should try a few easier shields. Let's try..."
**Three Days Later**
"Thanks for coming out everyone." Harry said clearly, his voice echoing in the basement of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes. The entire Defense Association was gathered in the expanded room in front of him with Neville, Luna, and Hermione standing symbolically behind Harry. "You have all shown me great loyalty, even in the wake of my expulsion and I can't explain to you how proud that made me feel. With Voldemort now operating in public, the skills we learn here will be more valuable than ever. What you once learned in the D.A. just to pass your O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s will now be used to protect your families, friends, and fellow comrades should trouble come calling. Before we begin, are there any questions that you have?"
"Yeah, I have one." Zacherias Smith spoke up, moving to the front as he did so. The Hufflepuff crossed his arms. "With Umbridge gone, why do we even need the D.A. anymore? Won't the Aurors handle any threats?" Noticing the somewhat hostile looks he was getting from those around him, Smith tried expounding his point. "Listen guys, I know they can't be everywhere, but we are just students and this is beginning to look less about defending against the Dark Arts and more about you turning us into your own personal army. You aren't even a student anymore, can't even touch a wand, so why should we attend these late night study sessions?"
"You do bring up some good points and a few valid questions, Smith." Harry stated, trying to hide his surprise, but judging by the bits of laughter from the DA he was failing. The Kryptonian tried valiantly to hide his smile, but he knew it was visible. "I can see how this could appear to be militarization, but I promise you that we aren't trying to be teenaged Aurors. The point of the DA is to learn how to defend yourselves from outside threats, those threats are just a bit more obvious now. We are simply trying to buy you guys some time for your families in the event of an attack, to hold off until the Aurors show up."
"You still haven't answered why we should listen to you anymore." Smith tried to sound tough, but he sensed his argument was failing. "You did good, Potter, no doubts there, but the last time I checked the DA was a student organization and you aren't a student anymore."
"I don't want to sound mean, but Zach does have a point there." Hannah Abbot, a girl who didn't have a cruel bone in her body, admitted, looking nervous as dozens of eyes fell on her. "I trust you, Harry, you have been a great teacher to all of us, but this is a Hogwarts' organization, unless there's been a meeting I didn't attend?"
"I know I'm not a student anymore. I know that I can't even touch a wand. Believe me when I say that I feel that loss every single day, but I will not give up on the DA. Hermione has always been better at wand movements than me and is a much quicker learner than I. If it pleases this organization then she will be the one showing you that while Neville and Luna assist her." Harry allowed his voice reasonable and accommodating. "But I have something they do not have much of and that is experience. I know the Death Eaters, I know their tactics and their methods. What I can teach you is how to survive in a situation when everything is against you."
"Not to mention that Harry's the one funding all of this." Neville spoke up, his confidence faltering when everyone looked at him, but he still went on. "It will be his money if we buy any supplies or books. I think that is reason enough to keep him around, right there, if you want to be cold about it. That's if you forget the fact that he has faced V-voldemort more times than anyone except Dumbledore. So what if he can't use a wand anymore? I've seen him do things without a wand that I only ever heard about in myths. I guess it all boils down to a single question: do you guys want to kick Harry while he is down? He doesn't have to be here, you know? He has enough money to just leave England and not come back, but instead he is down here in this basement with us, trying to help us defend our families. If he goes, then I'm going with him because the kind of people who would do that to a friend aren't the kind of people I want be around."
"Thanks Neville, but I'm sure it won't come to that. I'm certain that the people in this room are able to use their reason and discuss this maturely." Harry thanked Neville while subtly implying the DA wasn't acting mature enough, something that guaranteed teens would shape up. "If you guys think you already know enough to hold off the Death Eaters, right there is the door. Best of luck to you." Nobody moved and after a few seconds he continued. "The DA will, primarily, be a sort of support system. Once we've managed to find a way, the DA will be notified immediately in the event that one of us is being attacked thus allowing the rest of us to contact the Auror office. The Death Eaters are very good at cutting their victims off from any sort of communication, so if we can contact the Aurors for that victim, then we will be able to save lives that would otherwise be lost."
"What sort of alert do we have?" Susan Bones, a pretty girl with straight red hair, asked shrewdly, her eyebrow raised in question. She had heard of nothing like the alert Harry mentioned and, as her Aunt Amelia was the head of the DMLE, she would have.
"We don't actually have it yet." Hermione answered reluctantly, hurrying to explain. "But I've been working on it with Luna. It'll use the Protean charm like our galleons and we've been trying to weave other charms and spells into it. The meshing of so many spells can energize the item causing it to explode, so we have to be very careful and find the correction combination of spells."
"It is being rather difficult at the moment, but I find the challenge very refreshing. Kind of like standing naked beneath a waterfall." Luna commented dreamily, dropping more than one jaw at the image she provided. She ignored the responses, twirling a long lock of wavy light blond hair in her fingers and gazing at it with a vaguely surprised expression. "The tricky part is finding a material that reacts well with the spell matrix and in weaving the spells together seamlessly without exploding as soon as they are activated, though the explosions can be very exciting. Darklets explode, too. Whenever someone sees them they just burst into flames, I think they are just shy and don't want to be seen eating the empty space."
"Her? You're trusting Loony Lovegood to create an alarm system?" Zacharias laughed cruelly, pointing his finger at the apparently oblivious girl. Dar-Zod narrowed his eyes angrily, slowly walking toward Smith. "You must just want her out of the way, hoping that she'll blow herself up like her mother did."
Harry grabbed Zacherias by his shoulders and angrily slammed him against the nearest wall before lifting him several feet above the floor in a move that showed his superhuman strength. He gabbed Smith's hand as it reached for his wand and squeezed the offending hand threateningly, reminding Smith of what he had done to Malfoy. He almost never lost control of himself, but Smith had pushed Dar so far the Kryptonian was just about ready to burn him to a crisp. The green eyes burned with hateful intensity, almost seeming to glow as they reflected the low light of the basement.
"You dare.." Dar hissed, his face inches from Smith's. Zacharias' brown eyes were wide with a mix of fear, pain, and surprise. "You would dare to insult Luna. Does it feel good to put other, better people down? All I've seen from you is belligerence, ignorance, and an ego in dire need of checking! Luna is one of my finest students and a very dear friend to me. SHE has fought Death Eaters, SHE was willing to confront Voldemort if it meant a friend didn't have to do it alone, SHE is humble, kind, and a far more intelligent witch than you will find anywhere else while YOU are a piece of bullying shite!"
Harry dropped Zacherias and turned to face the rest of the DA with a fierce look on his face. "You are all free to speak your minds, but you WILL be respectful to every member here. I will not allow any of you to belittle another member of the Defense Association. As of now, I am forming ranks within the DA based on ability, loyalty, and courage. Neville, Luna, and Hermione are my Lieutenants. They are your leaders and your superiors."
"Harry, you may want to look behind you." Luna announced calmly, pointing at the form of Zacharias Smith standing behind Harry with his wand aimed at the Boy Who Lived. Harry turned but showed no surprise at the sight of a seething Smith with his wand drawn.
"Going to curse me, Smith? In my back? Look me in the face and do it." Harry dared, stepping closer so that the tip of the wand was pressed against his chest. It was a heavy gamble, Dar knew, but one that could pay off in spades if he won. He made eye contact with Smith, noticing the hesitance in them. "Suddenly you aren't so tough, are you?" He smacked the wand from Smith's hand but never lost eye contact. "Salute." Smith remained standing and a fire lit itself in Dar-Zod's eyes. "I said salute, Smith." Zach shook his head 'no'. "Kneel!" Harry grabbed Smith's shoulder with one hand before slamming him down onto his knees. "Good. Luna, come here please."
Luna calmly walked over to Harry, seemingly unaffected by the scene of dominance. Harry gently took her hand in his and slowly led it Smith's face. "Kiss the back of Luna's hand, Zacharias Smith, and beg her for forgiveness. Ask her to forgive every insult you have ever made to her or her family, apologize for any bullying you've done to her. Plead to her for mercy as she will be the one who decides your punishment." Harry squeezed Smith's shoulder harshly, drawing a cry from the boy. "And do it sincerely."
"I'm sorry, please forgive me." Smith gritted out lowly, kissing her hand as quick as possible and receiving another painful squeeze. "I'm s-s-sorry for everything I've done, forgive me!" Harry squeezed to the point of stressing the bones, causing them to crack slightly. Smith gasped in renewed pain, his mud brown eyes beginning to water. "PLEASE, FORGIVE ME! I BEG YOU!"
Harry released his grip and Smith fell to the ground, holding his shoulder in pain and breathing heavily. Luna was smiling oddly, a glint of satisfaction in her normally warm grey eyes as she looked down at Smith. Dar turned around to face the silent members of the DA. "Any disrespect given to my Lieutenants is a direct insult to me. Remember that. I may seem stern, but I'm also fair and just to those who treat others with the respect they deserve. Unfortunately, sometimes people feel the need to test my patience and if there is one thing I don't tolerate then it is disrespecting my friends. Now, Luna...what punishment do you have in mind for Smith, my dear?"
"Well, I was thinking that since Hermione and I need more work on our project that maybe Zacharias here would like to be our tester." Luna suggested, her eyes averted and wandering about. A sure sign her mind was already elsewhere, working on things Harry knew he'd never understand and probably never believe, though unlike the others he would give her the benefit of the doubt.
"That's works for me." Harry nodded, looking down at Smith as if the boy was excrement on the bottom of his boot. "Be grateful for her kindness. My punishment would have been far more...severe."
"Uh, Harry?" Fred questioned, raising his hand. "Can we begin conjuring chairs for the administrative part of the meeting or do you want to make any more examples out of Smithy over there?"
"Hm? Oh, yes, please do. I suppose I got a bit carried away." Harry said apologetically, shrugging his shoulders as if to say 'what can you do'. Fred and George began conjuring fold out chairs for the members of the DA. "Sorry if I seemed a bit radical there, guys, but I hate bullies and I hate people who make fun of families even more." He cleared his throat. "The rest of this meeting won't be to learn spells, but to decide what we are going to do and how. Some of these matters are small, such as what should be our motto and things like that. Other subjects will be very important: deciding who should be in charge of our financial records, our flag, and setting up a chain of command. We will discuss all these things together so that everyone understands each segment and you will all be able to vote and give your opinion on every matter. Hermione?"
"Well, I think we should begin with the alarm project." Hermione said, nervously stepping up and becoming the center of attention. She took a moment to gather her thoughts. "So far, Luna and I have been able to narrow down the material to bronze. It's a good conductor for magic and very easy to come by, not to mention fairly cheap. We should have a working prototype within the next two weeks if we're lucky."
"Excellent work, ladies." Harry complimented, clapping his hands. There was a low applause from the other members of the DA following his example. "I, for one, am glad to hear that. Is there any other subject you wish to bring up?"
"There is the subject of a symbol for the DA. We're probably the only organization that doesn't have a flag to symbolize our values." Hermione pointed out, shuffling the few papers in her hand.
"She has a point." Neville admitted, leaning forward in his chair. "What about that thing you burned into the doors, Harry?"
"No." Harry denied firmly. "That symbol means something very personal to me. We will use something else." A thought crossed his mind and he stood up, walking over to Hermione. "May I have a piece of paper, Hermione?" She obligingly gave him one and he began to draw the symbol of Kandor. He showed the finished symbol to the room, passing to Susan who looked at it approvingly and passed it to Hannah. "Will that do?"
"There is something about it that catches attention." Hannah hummed in agreement, looking at it carefully and thoughtfully before passing it on. "What does it mean? It looks like a four pointed star or something."
"That is what it is, a star. Stars are suns, as you all well know from Professor Sinestra. Nothing burns as brightly or as fiercely as a sun. It sheds light on even the darkness of space itself." Harry opinioned, having alternate reasons unknown to the group for having it as their symbol. "The four points could refer to the four corners of the world and that, no matter where we come from, we are connected in our cause. We will shine light upon the darkness until it becomes shadow, just like a star does. We can draw our strength from the stars themselves, inspired by their constant shine and unwavering warmth, even when the sun goes down the stars are there to light our path."
"I like that." Neville said slowly, nodding his head. He looked around the room. "All in favor of the four pointed star as our crest?" More than half raised their hands, inspired by Harry's little speech. "All opposed." A few hands, less than half, were raised. "The motion is passed. This will be our symbol."
As the DA began applauding, only Zacharias Smith spotted Harry's triumphant grin.
**Four Days Later**
"I don't trust him and I don't like him running it." Moody growled out, taking a gulp from his flask and pointedly ignoring Molly Weasley's disapproving glare. "Potter was expelled. He shouldn't be running around having secret meetings with his former classmates. Sounds a bit too familiar for my taste."
"He's just starting up the D.A. again, Alastor." Remus spoke up, in defense of Harry. He was once a teacher himself and had enjoyed teaching others during that year, all other things aside. "It's a groups of student, friends, whom he tutors. Most likely it's just things I have taught him recently but Harry is quite the teacher from what I've heard. He won't teach them anything beyond their level or may be dangerous to practice."
"And what sort of things have you been teaching him?" Emmeline Vance questioned sharply from across the table. Her face was expectant, already disapproving.
"Nothing deadly." Remus said defensively, leaning back in his chair. He crossed his arms across his chest and gazed at her steadily, not very pleased at what she was implying. "Harry doesn't have any interest in violent magic or offensive magic of any sort for that matter. He has only been interested in protective spells, shield charms and the like. In his mind, the best way to defeat someone is defend against them and wear them down through superior stamina."
"A more peaceful strategy than I would have expected of him." Dumbledore commented absently, stroking the bottom of his beard which he had laid on the table in front of him. His charred hand was hidden in the long sleeves of his periwinkle blue robes. "Most intriguing, the way that boy's mind works. Since his very first year in Hogwarts, I have always had the feeling as though Harry had some goal clear in his mind, yet no matter what I could do that ambition remained hidden from me. It is not evil, this ambition though I fear it could be twisted into an evil thing. Much like his mother, Harry wants to change the world."
"That's hardly surprising, Harry acts more like Lily than James. Always has." Remus smiled, more pleased by that than he would say. Relieved, too. James had been monstrous as a teenager, a hurricane of laughter, pranks, and detention. The werewolf shot a displeased glare at a certain Potions Master sitting on the far end of the table. "Not that some ever cared enough to know what Harry was like before writing him off as exactly like James at his worst."
"Potter is arrogant and he is up to something." Snape sneered contemptuously, not apologetic in the slightest. "Expelling him was the best course of action. That boy would have recruited more ...impressionable students for his little army, not that he doesn't have plenty as it is. It's a regular group of followers, we should ensure this madness does not continue."
"You expelled him for revenge on James and you bloody well know it!" Remus growled out suddenly, amber eyes flashing threateningly. "You are making Harry out to sound like some rising Dark Wizard. He doesn't even practice Dark Magic, I can promise you that. Unlike a certain greasy haired boy I knew back in school. Don't hide your real motives behind this conversation, Severus."
"That's enough. What's done is done. It is regrettable, yes, but instead of arguing on the past, let us discuss how to best treat the present and the future." Albus interrupted them both, growing tired of the same old argument interfering with more important matters. It was only his own concern for Harry that kept him from changing the topic entirely.
"Let's go back to your lessons with him, Remus." Emmline suggested, her eyes narrowed as she remember one detail. "Tell me, how does he practice the spells if his wand has been snapped?"
Remus froze, but then looked back and forth from Emmeline to Dumbledore, fortunately not seeing Snape's sadisticly interested smirk at the news. "Come on, people. This is Harry Potter we are talking about, of course he would find a way to get another wand and there is no one who can deny that it's a good thing. An attack upon him isn't just a possibility, it's a guarantee. The only question is when and Harry is simply preparing for that. Would any of you prefer he be defenseless?"
"Harry needs to be armed, but I wouldn't call him defenseless without a wand either." Tonks grinned wryly, having enjoyed the sight of a Death Eater being punted by Potter in a pensieve memory from Longbottom. "He's a force of nature with or without one. It's like nothing I've ever seen."
"It is as the prophecy predicted, he has power Voldemort doesn't understand or have. Merlin, even I don't understand it." Kingsley declared, shaking his head in wonder. "Nobody should have that sort of power, especially not a teenage boy. His sheer strength...unbelievable. Something straight out of the Greek tales of gods and goddesses."
"Potter isn't a god, no matter what he says!" Snape leaped up, livid at the very topic. His black eyes were wide, almost pained by the conversation and he clutched at the table like a lifeline. For a moment it seemed as though he might pass out, but he managed to steady himself. The Potions Master would have left if not for the opportunity to make things worse for Potter. "Do you all see what I meant by expelling him? Already members of this very Order are comparing him to Greek gods, what would the students have thought of him if he had stayed?"
"He's just a boy and you all acting as though he's some kind of..some kind...he's just a boy, one that has been through too much already." Molly Weasley said, shaking her head sadly. Harry was a polite, but charming boy whom had always warmed her heart as though he were one of her own children.
"I don't mind the boy, in fact he reminds me of myself." Moody grunted gruffly, taking another swig from his hip flask. "That's why I don't trust him leading the D.A., he has a military mind that one. He sets his objectives and accomplishes them, the hell with the consequences. Let's hope he learns more about tactics after that screw up at the Ministry, though. Whether he knows it yet or not, he will eventually militarize them. Potter feels cornered, on the defense and that's why he is learning more about being defensive from you, Remus. That's also why he will eventually turn the D.A. into an army. When Potter realizes how large the army up against him is then he'll feel forced to counter it with one of his own. That's how I'd feel in his place."
"Thankfully, Harry is Harry and you are you, Mad Eye." Tonks grinned, trying to lighten up the mood a bit. She just couldn't connect Harry to the guy they were making him out to be. In her brief time with him, he seemed like a genuinely nice bloke. Tons of issues, but an alright guy. "Remember, Harry is on our side guys. He's a good kid whose probably just trying to help his friends in the only way he knows how."
"Well, we shall certainly have plenty of time to observe him and discuss his action." Dumbledore stated, drawing the attention back to the formidable wizard. "I've recently invited him to join the Order during our meetings in a sort of advisory manner. Few people understand Tom Riddle like Harry Potter does."
AN: Like it, hate it, review.