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Old July 18th, 2011, 1:55 pm
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The Godfather
 
Join Date: 02nd August 2007
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Age: 50
Posts: 1,127
Re: A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era PART II

Hello everyone!!! Let me start by saying real life can be a real pain in the butt. I haven't posted since November of last year and believe me when I say, I'd rather have been writing than going through the last seven months. I'm sorry if I've left you hanging.

But now, I'm back in the saddle. I've got a direction I want to take this. I took my kids to see the last movie of the series and I've been greatly inspired. I want to bring this back to where we were when I started the original History of Magic. So, I hope you like what you're going to read.

So where are we? It's 30 years beyond the Battle of Hogwarts and our heroes are going through all sorts of change. Harry and the gang face a new Ministry, new family drama and above, a new menace, one very much like the times of the Dark Lord. Is Lord Voldemort back? Harry is going to find out. He's on his way to Azkeban to find out what is the truth...

With no further ado...



Chapter 5 – Cavere Spectare (Beware of What You See)

The tolling of the ship’s bell rousted Harry from a fitful sleep. He rose from the narrow bunk in his stateroom, and shuffled with an unsteady gait to the nearby sink and mirror. His body swayed with the motion of the ship, as he tried to get his legs to remember what it was like to be at sea. Harry chuckled as he could only imagine what the voyage was doing to Ron’s equilibrium. He quickly splashed cold water on his face and dressed. He snapped his wand into place and packed his battered satchel with the belongings he’d brought out for the night. He reached into his bag, where his hand stopped atop a soft, velvet bag lodged in one of the side pockets. He pulled the bag out and laid it on top of the nearby table in his cabin.

He sat in an ancient wooden chair and gently untied the silver cord that that secured the top of the bag. He reached his fingers into the bag and drew out a small, triangular piece of mirror that was inside. He stared intently into the glass, and for a moment, all he could see was the brilliant emerald sheen of his own eyes. The image shimmered softly, and then coalesced into a warmer, more familiar set of eyes. They were light brown, intense and smiling at the same time. He felt a familiar thrill course through his chest and suddenly remembered that he’d forgotten to breathe.

“Hey you.”

He snapped back into reality and laughed. “Hey you.”

He watched as Ginny stepped back so that he could get a clearer view of her face. She seemed to know what kind of effect she had on him and her face colored slightly in delight. She smiled.

“I thought you’d forgotten that you promised to keep in touch.” She grinned openly, now and he couldn’t help but follow suit.

“Perish the thought, Gin.” He reached out a hand, absently, feeling as if he could touch her, despite the distance. “Everything all right there?”

She nodded. “Everything is fine. Lily owled and told me she was upset that my father was riding back home with her over the Christmas holiday.” The Potter’s youngest child, Lily, was in her seventh year at Hogwarts. She was as wild as her mother had been, and as accomplished an athlete as well. Ginny’s father, Arthur Weasley, had recently retired as the Minister of Magic, and had taken a post at the wizarding school, as the muggle studies professor. Lily, of course, only saw Arthur’s offer of riding back as an intrusion, although knowing his daughter’s propensity for trouble, Harry was secretly relieved that his father-in-law would be sharing a cabin with her on the way home. He turned back to his wife.

“Lily will be fine, Ginny.” Harry smiled. “It might do her some good to not have to serve detention in her last year at the school.”

Ginny nodded and paused for a moment. “We got a letter from Albus.” He noticed the added emphasis she’d placed on the word “letter”. The middle Potter child had stunned everyone with his decision to live among muggles upon graduation. He’d accepted entry to Columbia University in New York City. Harry was certain that Albus hadn’t turned his back on magic, yet his son was having difficulty finding his way. Harry remembered the conversation he’d had with Albus, one night.

“Dad, there has to be more to the world than magic.” Albus shook his head. “What I mean is, there has to be more than what the magical world has to offer.” Harry nodded. His son had always been the quiet one, the shy one. Albus continued. “I mean, besides the Ministry like you and Aunt Hermione, or teaching, like grandfather, the only thing left is being a shopkeeper, and I just don’t want to do that.”

Harry nodded. James, the oldest, was a hard charging achiever, a grand mix of the wildness of the Weasleys and the derring do of his Potter grandfather. There was no doubt that James would pursue a career along the lines of his father, while Lily, a firebrand and top notch Quidditch keeper, would more than likely follow her mother’s footsteps to a professional club. Albus, however, couldn’t seem to find his niche. He was a solid student, brilliant even, but no subject seemed to hold him, except for muggle studies. Albus was particularly fascinated by muggle literature. That was what he was studying in college. Harry turned back to Ginny and smiled.

“He’s not coming home for the holidays, is he?” Harry asked. Ginny’s lips pursed together tightly, the eyebrows furrowed together in anxiety. She hadn’t taken Albus’ decision as well as Harry.

“You’re right. He’s decided to go on a cross country trip with his muggle friends.” The disappointment in her voice was palpable. Her expression grew sterner. “Just you make sure you and James get home safe for the holidays, Harry.”

“Ginny, come on, you worry too much.” The look on her face told him that she, more than anyone, knew that she was right to worry. “Okay, I promise, we’ll be fine.”

They looked at each other without speaking, volumes being shared in a glance. He nodded his head slightly.

“I love you, Ginny. I don’t say it enough, but I do.”


Her gaze was piercing. Ginny Potter knew Harry better than any other person. There was something bothering her husband and she wasn’t someone to let things lie.

“Okay, Harry, spill it. What’s troubling you? Out with it, you.” Harry pictured her standing there with her hands on her hips, her eyes burning with determination.

“I don’t know, Ginny. Something doesn’t feel right with all this. I’ve had this continuing sense of dread since I heard Lucius Malfoy’s voice at the wharf.” He sighed. “It’s all way too familiar.”

“I’m scared too, Harry.” She replied. “But I know.” She paused and stared at him intently. “I KNOW that you can handle what comes.”

He felt a surge of warmth course through his heart. She continued.

“After all, you were seventeen and clueless when you defeated Voldemort before.” Her expression slowly turned into a wry grin. “Now that you’re over forty and wily, you should have no problem defeating him again. I’d take age and treachery over youth and exuberance any day.”

This time Harry laughed out loud. “Thanks, Ginny. You’re right. Look, I’ve got to go. We’ll talk tonight?”

“We’d better, Harry. Give James my love. Oh yes, and Harry?” His eyes locked with hers. She continued. “I love you, too.”

She blew him a kiss, and he tucked the mirror away. He rose from the table and pulled on his heavy jacket. He opened the door and filed into the passageway. At the end of the hall, a flight of stairs carried him up to the main deck of the ship and into the biting wind of the North Sea.

***

The sun beat down on the on the hillside in the remote Peruvian village. The tall man shielded his eyes and exhaled heavily as the perspiration soaked his shirt. He was young, with fair skin and bright blue eyes and golden hair, cropped short, into a flat top. He struggled to keep up with the rest of his group, the straps of his back pack digging mercilessly at his shoulders. He stopped for a moment and wiped his brow.

“Are you all right, Senor Molinero?” The tour guide had the same doubting smile on his face that he’d had when he’d given his passport in the name of Juan Molinero, resident of Argentina. The doubts were somewhat alleviated given that Molinero spoke flawless Spanish with a decided local Argentinean lilt. Molinero waved the guide on.

“I’m fine. How soon until we’re there?”

The guide turned and pointed up the rocky path. “It’s just around the bend. We should make lunch at the Machu Picchu marketplace.”

Molinero took a deep breath and stood straight and nodded. The guide turned and led the rest of the group up the trail. Around the next bend, the ruins of Machu Picchu rested atop a craggy hilltop, its shops adorned in rich, bright colors as the vendors plied their wares. Molinero trailed the remainder of the group of tourists and as quietly as he could, he kept walking through the market and up the next tier of the mountain into the Incan ruins.

Off to the side, there was a semi-circular building of smoothly hewn granite standing on its own. The signs in many languages indicated that the building was the Temple of the Sun. Molinero glanced about, seeing anyone was watching him, then quickly stepped over the velvet ropes keeping wayward tourists from physically entering the Temple.

The temple was an open room, with one trapezoidal window on the northern and eastern wall. Molinero barely gave them notice, his attention riveted to the smooth, stone altar in the center of the room. He moved to the altar and stood before, etchings of the sun covering its surface. He drew a black wand from his pocket and placed its tip against one of the sun hieroglyphs. This one had a dark face on it. The face had the features of a snake, the eyes with vertical pupils, the nose simply slits and a long forked tongue coming from the mouth. Molinero closed his eyes and mumbled a quick, abrupt word.

The center of the altar cracked open and revealed a small, golden idol, formed in the shape of an asp, coiled to strike. He reached his hand out, hesitating before his finger tips touched it. He took a deep breath and muttered a curse to himself then he reached out and touched the idol. In the back of his mind, as he began to flash into smoke, he thought how much simpler it would have been to put the port key somewhere closer to his home in Buenos Aires. Then, he was gone.


***

Harry reached the raised quarterdeck of the brig Discooperire and braced himself against the hard rush of icy cold air as the ship plowed through the heavy surf of the brutal North Sea. The helmsman held a hard grip on the wheel and made minute adjustments to keep the bow of the ship moving into the waves. Out and about, on the deck, the crew was going through their normal rituals, trimming sails, repairing ropes and generally keeping up the maintenance of the ship. Harry’s Aurors were spread about the deck, performing maintenance of their own, working on their skills.

There’d been a good amount of turnover among the Office of Aurors. In part, some of the resignations and retirements were to be expected, a general outflow based on the arduous demands the job placed on its people. But Harry expected a good amount of the turnover was due to Minister Scuttleburn’s changes at the Ministry of Magic. As he looked out across the deck, Harry reflected at the changes. Despite the losses, he’d managed to add some very good young Aurors to his ranks. Even more, he’d added people he could trust. At the bow, Mortimer was standing next to James, working through defensive spells from a book. James was headstrong, but all in all, a very quick learner. His pairing with Mortimer would help Harry’s eldest son learn to control some of his more hair brained impulses, at least Harry hoped so.

On the main deck, Eric Williamson was running Richard, Graciela and Teddy through some combat practice. Harry couldn’t help but laugh as he watched the three friends work. He remembered the day, three years ago, when they’d come through the admission board.

They’d stood proudly in front of a long table, allowing Teddy to talk for the three of them. They’d put on their best dress robes and were answering a battery of questions from the senior Aurors seated at the table. Finally, Harry asked the ultimate question.

“Why do you want to be an Auror?”

Teddy composed himself, his normally purplish pink hair muting itself to jet black. “My parents were Aurors and gave their lives in the service of their world. We,” Teddy waved a hand, encompassing his two friends, “started the Marauders to fight the good fight. We know what it takes to sacrifice for what we believe in. We know that we have to do this. We belong here. Besides…”

Teddy paused and finally, his hair showed the barest hint of pink strands and he smiled.

“You can’t spell Marauder with Auror.”

Ron leaned over and whispered into Harry’s ear. “There’s no ‘o’ in ‘Marauder’.” Harry stifled a laugh.

“Be nice, he’s on a roll.”

The choice had not been a hard one. Day after day, the three young Aurors continued to improve and demonstrate that Harry’s decision to admit them had been a good one. Footsteps behind Harry stopped and he heard a heavy sigh.

“It’s bloody cold out here.” Harry turned and saw Ron standing beside him, bedecked in a heavy cloak with a wildly colored, home knitted scarf around his neck. Harry’s eyebrow raised an inch.

“You’re mum still knitting you scarves?” Ron’s chin jutted out defiantly.

“No, Hermione made this. She says it helps work her mind.” Ron’s wife, Harry’s best friend, Hermione, had been a victim of Scuttleburn’s purge of the Ministry. Harry could only imagine how much she hated to be left out of the action.

“Hermione’s mad at you, Harry. “ Ron pulled the scarf tighter against the wind. “She says that she should be along with us in this. She says she doesn’t know how you expect to get along without her.”

Obviously Ron had done what Harry had done and talked to his wife before coming on deck. Harry nodded. “I imagine she’s right. We’re going to need her before this is all done.”

“Signor Harry!” A dulcet, sultry voice echoed behind them. Harry and Ron turned and were greeted by the sight of Captain Adelina Baretto, mistress of the Discooperire. The years barely seemed to touch the voluptuous captain. She sauntered towards them, wrapped in a long, ermine coat with a bright white sable collar, her dark skin contrasting nicely against the fur. Her lips were full, and bright red, locked in a perpetual smile. Harry knew immediately that Graciela, Adelina’s niece, got her fiery disposition from her aunt.

Captain Baretto stood next to them. “We are approaching the horizon. We should be able the prison within a few minutes.” Harry nodded and glanced forward.

Ahead was a massive cloud bank, reaching all the way into the sky without end. The ship plowed directly into the fog, shrouding everyone in mist and rain. Harry drew his jacket tighter and shivered from the extreme cold. After a few moments, enough time to compel a sense of claustrophobia from the poor visibility, the ship finally broke through into the open ocean.

At a distance, Harry could make out the shape of Azkeban Prison. Its high rocky sides stood sentry against the black roaring surf. The prison was like a scar on the horizon, an ugly visible testament to the darkness held inside.

“It looks intact.” Ron muttered, almost to himself. All activity on the deck had come to a stop as their destination hove into view.

“It does, doesn’t it?” There was an audible trace of skepticism in his voice. There was something wrong, Harry felt it.

A slight, barely perceptible wisp of warm air touched his face. He turned to Ron. “Did you feel that?”

Ron nodded. Despite the fleeting nature of the warmth, it was like an alarm going off in the subzero temperatures of the North Sea.

“Everyone stand back!” Harry shouted as he moved forward to the bow. The Aurors joined him. James reached a space on the rail next to his father.

“What is it, Dad?” James scanned the distant prison. Harry ignored his son, and drew his wand and extended his arms to the sky. Ron placed a reassuring hand on his nephew’s shoulder.

Ron whispered into James’ ear. “There’s a glamour around the prison. It has to be pretty powerful to hide whatever’s happening at the prison at this distance.”

Harry whispered a quick incantation and soon a brilliant white beam of light extended from his wand stretched across the water in a solid streak. It burst into a violent plume of smoke, as if hitting an invisible barrier. Harry grimaced and pushed his arms towards the barrier, pushing more magic, more energy through his wand. Finally, the wall fell, like a curtain into the sea, revealing what was really happening at the prison.

The air was filled with dozens of dementors, circling the tops of the prison. The walls were smoking and on fire, here and there marked with holes where the stone had been carried away. There were two ships down at the base of the island, circling rapidly and pouring cannon shot and mystical energy at the walls, while black and red hooded figures floated around the area, sending curses towards the defenders of the prison.

“Well, someone’s still holding out.” Ron said, noting the spells and counter spells emanating from the walls of the fortress.

“Not for long, I suspect.” Mortimer had a long, extendable telescope to his eye. “It looks like there’s a breach on the north wall.”

Harry studied the battle in the distance and the called the Aurors together. “Right, Ron and I will take James and Suttles and make for the prison. Eric?” He turned to his old friend. “You take the rest and do what you can with the siege. Captain, can you handle those vessels?”

The brash captain laughed heartily. “Two? Yes.” Then her demeanor grew serious. “Any more and we could have trouble, Signor Harry.”

Harry nodded. “Well then, let’s get to it.” There was a shout from the top of the mainmast. The lookout pointed out across the horizon. Through the protective fog bank, two shapes became visible. Two more ships, identical to the ones besieging Azkeban came into view, with several more wizards flying above them and a large, menacing figure over the wizards.

Ron groaned in protest. “It’s a dragon.”

Mortimer cleared his throat. “Actually, it’s a Hungarian Horntail, nasty buggers, if you must know.”

“I know.” Harry said in a low voice. “Believe me, I know.” Harry sighed and cinched up the top button of his coat. Then he picked up his satchel and pulled his broom from the inside.

“Time to go to work.”

A/N: I know, I know, all this time and no blood and guts...it's coming, believe me, it's coming. We'll have our fill, I just needed to get this going.

So, if you're still reading, please leave me some FEEDBACK. I'm even more self conscious than before.


__________________

Thanks to cybobbie for the awesome sig pic!
Thanks to the best fanclub in the world!

My Fanfics:
A History of Magic: Part II - Beyond the Epilogue
Teddy Lupin and the Legacy of the Marauders ; A History of Magic: The Harry Potter Era (on hiatus); You Are Cordially Invited... (First Attempt)

Last edited by USNAGator91; July 18th, 2011 at 2:02 pm.
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