Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters etc...
Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus (Working Title)
Chapter One – Solaris
“I’d like first to thank our humble guest for granting CWN, with this highly exclusive chat. As most in our business know, and I reckon most in the audience know, over the last three decades, he has granted so small a number of interview requests; so minimal I may be able to count them on my hands alone. No one has been more sought after, and no one has remained so esteemed in the public consciousness. Of course, he is plagued by rumor, innuendo, theories, almost all wildly unbelievable, and yet if there is a more renown or infamous citizen of Britain, or the world; then I have yet to meet him.
“Please, join me in welcoming; the one and only, head of the Office of Aurors for the British Ministry of Magic… Harry James Potter.”
“Thank you, Miles. That was the most eloquent introduction I’ve received yet.”
“Heh, excellent Mr. Potter.”
“Harry, excellent. Alright, I must say, you are a hard man to get a hold of. “
“Well you’re quite persistent Miles. I must say, we’re all very sorry about the unfortunate incident at the Ministry. That broomstick wasn’t supposed to be morphing into a Giant Squid anymore.”
“Yes, yes… an honest mistake, eh Harry?”
“Well, you have of course kindly divulged most details of your history with He Who Must Not Be Named so I would if you don’t mind, like to concentrate on events or rumored on-goings of this current decade, and also to learn a bit more about Harry Potter, the man.”
“You’re 43 now, married, three ripening children, followed by the Wizaratti nearly everywhere you step, and an avid Quidditch fan.”
“Four out of four, Miles.”
“How do you still manage anonymity in your life and job?”
“I wouldn’t want to divulge all of our Auror secrets that I’ve employed, but I will share a few things with you. For one, let me say, that I rarely work without a disguise for one.”
“I suppose that must be quite a necessary step?”
“Indeed Miles. Also, and the Wizaratti already know this, I have a couple body hologram’s, graciously supplied by my brother in law at Wheezes, that wander London on a regular basis. It’s actually quite comical.”
“Interesting. That would be your brother in-law George Weasley, correct?”
“Yes, the very same.”
“Now is it true he recently got in a scuffle that resulted in the loss of his second ear?”
“Err, I’ll leave that story for George to tell.”
“Sorry for the tangent, back to the holograms.”
“Right, well there have been a couple interesting occasions when they catch the real me. I’m still very sorry to the photographer who ended up stunned when I thought he was hexing me. Turns out he was merely taking a picture.”
“And the invisibility cloak?”
“Retired, though thankfully, death and all of his friends still are yet to find me… Knock on wood.”
“The disguises have helped me actually quite recently capture fugitive Marlow Brand if you remember the headlines.”
“Yes. I must say, it was quite like old times having another escapee from Azkaban.”
“Don’t remind me Miles.”
“But you caught up with him eventually, eh?”
“Hiding out in Syria.”
“Yes, he was helping prop up the Muggle insurgency that had overtaken their country. They granted him asylum, but it became a bit noticeable after the clear Inferi riot he instigated in Damascus. I pow-wowed with the International Confederation of Wizards, and was given the go-ahead for a covert operation into Syria to remove him.”
“Yes, rumor at the time I believe, was that he put up quite a fight.”
“He sure did. Took one of my people down, but he soon found himself dueling a hologram, and well, let’s just say he was a bit shocked in the end to realize he was dueling two of me, one of which was impervious to enemy fire.”
“Heh heh, well played Harry. Well played, indeed. Unfortunately though, I’m afraid that’s it for part one of our Harry Potter exclusive. Please, check in tomorrow for part two, where I talk more with Harry, including a most unusual fanatic stalker he has recently acquired. Cheers for now folks.”
* * *
Harry set down the empty tea cup amongst a clutter of scrolls and parchment, remnants of ignored paperwork as he peered up at the 3-D hologram emanating from his wand-stand. It was called an IRA, the Wizarding and magic equivalent of a television, computer, and internet all put into one. It had been patented and marketed by his brother in-law, subsequently taking the Wizarding world by storm. Lately, Harry had become a bit addicted since his wife had forced one on him at his last birthday.
Most likely though, it was when he had captured Marlow a few months back that he truly was lured in by the device. He had for twenty years or so, ignored the press and news unless it was pressed to the front of his face by his wife, a colleague, or the Minister. However, with it floating in front of his face, radiating from his own wand, he had silently and secretly become obsessed with how the whirlwind story had been covered beginning to end in this new media technology.
That obsession had included granting his first interview since his children had started their tenure at Hogwarts. It had been a tough decision, debated hotly with his wife over a month. They had decided to remain as far out of the spotlight as possible, hoping to give the Potter children the best chance possible to be normal. Gawking and rumor had nearly run Harry off a mental and emotional cliff as a child, and strong though his children were, teenagers could often be cruel.
Apart from the occasional big name bust by his office, he had remained largely out of the spotlight. He had given little cause for new rumors, which of course only caused them to become more outrageous, though thankfully, easier to shout down. With James graduating in a couple months time, and all three kids seemingly plenty sane, Ron had mentioned that perhaps it was time to appease the public again, to which Harry agreed.
“Things are boring,” Ron had asserted when the topic had come up, “which means life is good. What better time to jump back into the thick of things and create some media chaos?”
So Harry, who had been doing little but studying the situation in Syria, did just that.
* * *
“Did you watch part one?” asked James, his head bobbing around in the floo anxiously.
“No,” Harry lied coyly. “How’d I do?”
“You would’ve sworn England was playing Ireland. Whole damn common room put it on the engorger,” James espoused.
“James!” Ginny yelled from behind him while making breakfast on the other side of the kitchen as Harry bent over the fireplace.
“…Anyway, you’re a hit; as usual,” he smirked at his father who returned it in kind. “And Longbottom said you sounded just like Dumbledore with all of your answers.”
“Professor Longbottom,” Ginny scolded again.
“Jeez Mom,” James complained quietly.
“Well, I may have picked up a couple speaking habits from Dumbledore, but…” Harry paused, thinking over what he had, and hadn’t divulged to his son about his former mentor. “Let’s just say I’ m a little more forthcoming to the press in that interview than he would have been.”
“Well, they might as well hang your portrait in the entrance to the Great Hall. Even the Slytherins wouldn’t stop talking about it,” James continued. “I reckon Alby’s never been this popular.”
“Well, tell him to use his newfound popularity wisely,” Harry smirked with a wink. “And you better get back to your NEWTS now, because even my name won’t help you get past those.”
“Yeah, alright dad,” James admitted. “I’ll see you at Auror training.”
A slight puff of green smoke, and James’ head disappeared from the flames, replaced with remnants of blackened wood and ash.
Harry pulled his head out of the fire and retreated to his half eaten toast, ignoring the glare Ginny gave him from her perch by the stove. Her blazing eyes lingered, waiting for him to look up but he did not.
“You don’t think it was a good idea?” he asked suddenly, catching her unaware that he could sense her discontent.
“You brought up Syria,” she stated simply.
“Yes,” he said, looking up now and meeting her gaze. “I did.”
“You don’t think that might have been unwise given the circumstances?” She inquired tersely, folding her arms and leaning back against the counter. “Don’t pretend you didn’t have every answer worked out before you went out there. I thought we might have talked it over at least.”
Harry contemplated her for a moment, removing his glasses as he thought. “I know you’re used to a certain amount of transparency regarding my work. Perhaps I ought to have mentioned it.”
“Perhaps?” She exclaimed with a hint of disgust in her voice.
“It was only a passing mention,” Harry replied calmly.
“I thought you might’ve cared a bit more after thirty years about my family than to casually throw around hints of national security when it’s safety is in jeopardy.”
Harry studied her words carefully. He did not wish to get a rise out of his wife, as had happened too often in the past months. There were reasons he had been wary of divulging any information at all about his current investigation. Ron hadn’t jumped to any conclusions, why should Ginny?
“Your brother had no objections,” he said calmly again.
“Hmph; how the dumbest person in our family is second in command of our highest security force is beyond me,” she pouted to herself and absconded from the room as if struck by a sudden necessity to be as far away from him as possible.
Harry sighed and put his glasses back on, turning back to the intelligence briefing at the table. ‘He would deal with her later,’ he mused, certain that her mood was one of irrational thoughts and theories. ‘Either that or she’s pregnant again.’
The briefing detailed troop movements of the Syrian National Guard over the previous 48 hours, and Harry had foolishly set it aside the night before to indulge in his interview. Now he was due in the Ministers office promptly with little inclination of what the Syrian government could possibly be thinking or planning. Hopefully Hermione had kept Ron focused on his work last night so that he might be able to spearhead a couple of theories on the latest development. Whatever Ginny really thought about her brother, he had a certain way of thinking outside the box, that along with Hermione’s inside the box mindset, was certainly an asset.
He floo’d at once to the Ministry Atrium, a place guilty of a never-ending orgy of Wizarding pride on display. The last few years had seen a new cathedral-esque ceiling installed which expanded the epic scope of the entrance way. He didn’t stop at his office, but instead went straight to the Minister’s office, bypassing the blonde-haired secretary with a quick nod, before flinging open the door and joining the chief of staff, the minister, and Ron who were waiting inside.
“Sorry I’m late,” he announced. “Wife was in a tizzy,” he explained, plopping himself on the elegant sofa with Ron, who rolled his eyes at the comment. “Miss anything?”
“Say nothing of it,” the Minister said breezily. “Why just last night Florida would not let me get a word in after I asserted that we would have to shut down the Witches Shopping Network after years of fraud and embezzlement.”
“Thank God for that,” Ron chimed in cheerily. “Hermione’s nearly put us under since we got the IRA.”
“Oh you mean stark poverty isn’t considered under yet?” goaded the Chief of Staff.
“Still a bit jealous you weren’t the one to market it first?” Ron responded.
“My families got you beat there.”
“Well I shipped it for you, didn’t I?” he retorted. “Japan would’ve killed your product off it wasn’t for me. We’d all be wizzing on YiYi’s instead of IRA’s if it wasn’t for my company.”
“Settle you two,” the Minister interjected.
“You took team of rivals literally, didn’t you Minister?” Harry spouted off with a grin.
“A little too literally I’m afraid,” he sighed. “Now what of these Syrian guard movements that Ron was debriefing me on when you burst in here? Have we any idea if they imply outward action, or are they merely consolidating a recluse area of refugee deserted land?”
“Sir, as I was saying before Harry got here…” Ron started, leaning forward with an air of self-assurance Harry would not have recognized years earlier. “…Taken individually, it implies nothing new, drastic, or altogether alarming to the situation. However, if you add this, along with Marlow, the Inferi, the high conduit of magical and dark arts activity, and the disappearance of two American operatives inside the country, I think we need to consider how these movements might contribute to the entire picture, or plan.”
“More conspiracy Weasley?” the Chief of Staff blurted out. “We are talking about Hamas here. There’s nothing conspiratorial about their actions. They’re a petty dictatorial and terrorist regime, ensuring their recent gains. Where’s the magical aspect. If they’ve hired a few dark arts potion-makers and such, it’s hardly our concern on an International level, Minister.”
Harry sat back in his seat, pondering the Minister’s thoughts. He didn’t often convey his idea’s outwardly until all arguments were on the table, and Harry wondered in which direction he was leaning. The Minister peered up at Harry, raising his eyebrows a bit and lowering his spectacles, before bearing back down on the report.
“I think we need more Wizard intelligence inside,” Ron explained, countering the differing argument. The two there now can barely make any headway on their own; not since the fall. We need to send another two Aurors.”
“I suppose one of them will be you, will it?” The Chief of Staff retorted again, pacing the opposite side of the room.
“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” the Minister interrupted, sure he needed to prevent yet another throw-down between two of his most trusted, but most volatile men. “I’d like to hear what Harry has to say on the subject,” he said, looking yet again at Harry with gentle almost fatherly eyes.
“What say you Potter?” The Chief of Staff motioned, as he ran his hand through his slick, but ruffled hair.
Harry drew his glasses, a habit he had formed which he found calmed the air before he spoke. “You’re both right,” he said which drew scowls from both men. “…And wrong.”
“As usual, eh Potter?”
“We’ve all studied this closely. We’ve all seen the ground situation. We all took part in the Marlow situation. We all have different theories as to who the ringleader down there is; if there’s a Wizard running the show, it’s important to know. However, I don’t think we should be looking for a mystery to solve. If there’s evidence of a conspiracy, we will try and find it, but if we did too deep, we may connect dots that don’t exist.” He paused, standing and moving to the magic window, faux-admiring the bluebird that perched on the windowsill. “Minister, I’ll send another Auror to Damascus. And I’m asking you to assign one of the Unspeakables to accompany him for anonymity and intelligences sake.”
“I will not send Ron,” he added to another scowl from his friend.
“Very well,” the Minister smiled. “Noted and approved… I believe that will do for now gentlemen. Harry,” he said nodding goodbye before turning to the others. “Ron… Draco…”
The trio let the office silently, out the door lettered in Gold, past the scaly reptilian Patronus standing guard, past the blonde secretary, down the executive hallway, chronicling the hundreds of Ministers of Magic long gone, and into the lift. It was only once the doors shut and they were alone inside that they spoke.
“Reckon another agent will find anything Potter,” Draco asked, legitimately interested.
“I doubt it,” Harry stated matter-of-factly. “However, we’re missing a Gringotts employee and an intelligence officer. We at least owe it to them to investigate their disappearance.”
“Is this a family thing Potter?” he replied. “Are you sure you’re detached enough?”
“I’m fine in that department Draco,” he stated, before adding with resignation. “My wife can tell you all about that.”
“Can we stop talking so officially?” Ron interjected.
“How so?” Harry asked as he and Draco eyed Ron with curiosity.
“Let’s cut the shop-talk and call it like it is,” he stressed. “It’s not a Gringotts employee. It’s my brother. I’m not jumping to conclusions like Ginny, but the longer he’s M.I.A. without any word to us, the more I’m going to yell conspiracy.”
The door opened and Ron tore off the elevator, heading for his office without another word.
“That famous Gryffindor temper on display; eh Potter?” Draco sneered lightly. “If they had him, they’d let us know. He’d be quite a catch for a band of Hamas Snatchers; magic or not.”
Draco raised an eyebrow before the lift once again closed, leaving Harry to the monotone drone of the Auror’s floor and a difficult situation at hand.
Authors Note: I refrained from calling this fanfic “The Gryffindor Massacre.”
I must say though, that this was quite fun to write. I see how Gator is almost to chapter 300. I have an about 10 chapter story to tell. Plenty of death and mayhem is sure to ensue. Kudos to GinnyIsGenius for collaboration.
There are some interesting little tidbits I've included. Both shout-outs to Gator-canon and some characters that will be influenced by some non canon people you might know.
Last edited by Casey; March 11th, 2009 at 3:56 pm.
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
Chapter 2 – Familiar Faces
Occasionally new shipments of Weasley Wizard Wheezes products would arrive at the Ministry flanked by its Millionaire co-founder. His company had in all rights become a household name throughout Britain and thanks to the IRA; much of the world now owned at least one Wheezes device or product. On these rare visits, Harry would often take the mundane task of checking and stocking the new inventory. As of late, these visits would usually mean a new product or invention was accompanying George Weasley; items usually sure to impress or at least get a rise out of Harry.
Lately, the press were comparing him to a bit of a mad scientist. George had loved the visual, and had taken to playing the part as best as possible. His visual appearance had gotten to the point that Harry might’ve confused him for Willy Wonka at first glance. The flamboyant miniature red and purple trumpets protruding from the logical places his ears should’ve been made him appear a bit like a queer alien, and the flowing yellow trench coat over orange robes matching his wild hair did little to deter that misconception. Harry noted mentally the limp he was trying his best to hide and the new heaviness in his breathing.
“Give it to me straight doc,” George quipped upon noticing Harry inspecting him. “How long have I got to live?”
“Thirty to forty years tops,” Harry assessed, prolonging the joke.
“Thank Merlin; I’ve grown tired of endless amounts of money and fame.”
“And that limp I reckon,” Harry added, pointing out perhaps the only thing George was seemingly self conscious of.
“I’ll have Hadgrid’s head before I’m done,” he ranted, flinging aside the clipboard and pulling open the nearest box. “You know I once pretended to have a limp. Walked around for an entire month hobbling. It’s not nearly as much fun as I remember. The look on Mum’s face when she realized…” he drifted off in memory as Harry chuckled at the mental image.
“So just how illegal was this ‘accident’,” Harry probed. “I can only imagine the type of mad experimenting and dark creatures that resulted in your beautification and Hadgrid’s sudden baldness. You’ll both end up before the Wizengamont if they ever took the time to investigate.”
“Which is precisely why you’ll never know!” George exclaimed as he threw aside the box, having removed a small wooden box with an eloquent shield embossed on top of it.
“New hologram?” Harry asked, his interest piqued. George’s eyes had lit up while a devilishly fierce grin overtook his aging face. It was the look of a boy Harry had once given a sack of Galleons to.
“Let’s call this, the Potter Wizaratti Evaporatti Deluxe Beta Version 2.0,” George rambled. “This one will literally take a small fragment of memory out of your own mind, and then re-enacts the entire sequence. No more walking aimlessly down back-alleys. Hopefully, this one won’t wander into any more brothels’…” He paused, eyeing Harry suspiciously. “That is unless you’re leaving the hologram at the office and sneaking out for a wee rub and—
“George,” Harry interrupted with amused annoyance.
“Hey now, I’m not here to judge,” George said as he limped around the pile of boxes and retrieved his clipboard that was floating casually near the door.
“Darn thing keeps floating away… Every man has his vices. I for instance, enjoy dipping Ron’s shaver in the toilet when I visit the niece and nephew. Lord help me, but I do find such things irresistible.” He faux-sniffled and wiped a non-existent tear from his eye as Harry made a mental note never to borrow anything from his friend’s loo.
George lumbered back over to Harry, handing him the clipboard for inventory inspection. Briefly surveying it for errors, he found none, and signed it.
“Send the bill to Bobbie at Treasury per usual, and…” Harry paused, digging into his robe pocket and retrieving five Galleons. “For the Potter-gram.”
“No sir,” George said refusing the gold. “Do you know how much money you made me after dropping that little tidbit in your IRA debut? I’m having an indoor swimming pool filled with unicorn bones added to my mansion to congratulate myself on all your hard work.”
Harry smirked and nodded with resignation. Wordlessly he waved his wand, causing all twelve boxes to vanish. “Any word from the wife?” Harry added as they both moved toward the exit.
“Happily enjoying Puerto Rico with her Brazilian lover,” George quipped, not missing a beat.
“Still want her back?”
“You never get over your first love Harry,” George said with somewhat displaced pride. “In this case she’s my only love, and I’ll welcome her back if she ever returns.”
“And what of Mr. Lockley? You haven’t mailed him a hexed top hat yet?”
“No; could’ve been worse,” George relented as they reached Harry’s office, his Patronus galloping in circles outside the door. “She could’ve left me for someone ugly. Boy would that have been embarrassing.”
* * *
Harry locked himself back in his office prepared to dive headlong into the paperwork on the various on-going investigations within the office that he’d allowed to stack up over the last week. Though he may have revolutionized the Auror’s way and style of investigation and combat, he was want for a legitimate solution to downsizing the bureaucratic nature of the Ministry. Worse yet, the current Minister, now two years into his term, had developed a frantic work ethic that resulted in a 292 chapter review of Harry’s Aurors and their work within the past 10 years.
Topmost on his desk sat the files of two Ministry employees. Earlier that day Harry had briefed the Unspeakable, codenamed WILSON, from the Department of Mysteries whom Draco had identified in consultation with the Department head. He was something of an ideal candidate, being both of Middle Eastern decent, and fluent in Arabic and Farsi. Though Harry had no idea what his current role might be deep within the maze of the D.O.M., upon interviewing him he had come away quite satisfied of his competence and skills.
The second file belonged to someone Harry knew quite well, having worked often with him over the years. He was a man of sheer brute force, but that was only his most obvious quality. Dennis Creevey had led the most competent and reliable Ministry strike and police force for nearly two decades. His importance and intelligence had never been forgotten by Harry, and when Dennis had come to him with the news that he was retiring to find a new line of work, Harry had jumped at the opportunity to recruit him to the Auror office. Besides a substantial raise, Dennis was happy to take more of an investigative and covert role, something that allowed him to exercise his more affable qualities.
“Couldn’t we send Malfoy on this mission?” Ron had begged when they had discussed who to send.
“He’s not an Auror, Ron.”
“That’s never stopped him from getting in our business in the past? Why he ever gave up gallivanting around with garishly dressed pirates I’ll never know,” Ron lamented, forcing an audible grin from Harry.
Draco had secured safe passage for Dennis and WILSON by way of one of his old seafaring vessels, and they’d set out straight away. The ship, magically enhanced to cover three times the distance of a muggle vessel of similar style, would take a day and a half, upon which they would be met by the delegation of Auror Carter Sigismund and Dean Thomas, whom had been sent by Gringott’s to secure their holdings in the absence of Bill.
Next, Harry read over the latest Syrian briefing for what seemed the umpteenth time. Harry was leaning toward Ron’s opinion on the Syrian situation. He had seen far too often that small chance occurrences and disappearances were often part of an overarching conspiracy. It was one of the first things Dumbledore had illustrated to him back in his fourth year at Hogwarts. It was what had driven his office to prevent tragedies of epic proportions in the last three decades. He had of course over thought things on a couple occasions and would up feeling a bit embarrassed at the results, but in the last few years his mind had evolved to a new level of maturity. He had gained the detached sensibility necessary to piece together small notions that he had so admired in his former mentor.
His magic had also evolved to a unique and eloquent style, and his duel with Marlow had been far from tasking for Harry. He had relished the prospect of facing a dark wizard who could escape Azkaban. However, just as it had with Sirius, and even without the Dementors, the prison had still drained him of large amounts of his power. Harry had even played the dangerous game of baiting and essentially trying to impress his opponent into a prolonged submission. This was something he never would have done previously, but Harry had been out of practice with one on one opponent’s who could hold their own against him. He had subconsciously wanted so badly for Marlow to meet that mark. He was taken aback a bit at his own frame of mind afterward, and vowed to not let it happen again.
He placed aside the report, leaning back in his chair as his thoughts began to drift away from work. Ginny would likely be at lunch about now. Either that or following up on her threatening promise to root out the broom tampering charges being leveled against the Cannons, the latest in a series of exponential cheating the club had employed. Harry thought hard of the idea of Ginny winning yet another Bagshot Award, and waved his wand.
“Expecto Patronum,” he said and his Patronus came galloping back in from the hallway, upon which Harry ordered it to Ginny with a message. “Happy investigating three time Bagshot winner. Here’s to a fourth. Love, Harry.”
The Patronus zipped out of the office, blowing the door open and nearly knocking over Ron as he stood next to a cubicle out in the bull-pen.
“Thanks Harry,” he hollered and waved his wand effectively slamming Harry’s office door shut.
Chuckling, he returned to the stack of reports, noting the slight flutter of his jacket hanging on the door-hook. The next report was a summary of a unsolved homicide in Leeds, written by Dennis, but it could wait. Harry set his wand deliberately out of reach at the end of his desk and leaned back, closing his eyes as settling in for a brief cat-nap. ‘Any second now,’ he thought to himself.
Letting his mind settle, he began to feel the magical vibrations within his vicinity. ‘Occlumency,’ he thought. ‘Haven’t I taught him better?’ The vibrations in his mind reached a fever pitch quite suddenly. Harry opened his eyes and made a downward slashing movement with his hand. At the exact same moment, a disembodied voice cried out.
A red light burst forth but instead of striking Harry, it exploded in the center of his office, blowing papers and debris in every direction except the one Harry was in.
When the papers settled back down to the floor, Harry stood up laughing as he noticed two feet amongst the clutter. Waving his hand again the feet came sliding out revealing an entire body, as if hiding within some invisible bag. Most shocking was the velvety blue hair tied back in a ponytail that slid out last.
“Enverate,” Harry said pointing his hand at the passed out body. The person began to stir a bit as Harry walked around his desk and began to lecture.
“Occlumency! Occlumency! And have I told you nothing about nonverbal spells? Learn how to close your mind and shut your mouth! You’ll never get me until you can do both.”
“Uhh, my head,” Teddy complained exasperatedly, propping himself up on his forearms as he lay on the ground. “Couldn’t have just shielded yourself Harry?”
“Where’s the learning experience in that Teddy?” Harry grinned down at his godson. “Though I must say, that’s some return greeting you tried to give me.”
“Would you have it any other way?” Teddy asked as he hobbled to his feet.
“Nope; welcome home,” Harry said, pulling Teddy into a giant hug, the love and admiration flowing out of both men.
I always joked that people would write fanfics that took place in Gator-Canon. I just never thought I would be the one to do it. Gator, I hope you don’t mind me using some of your characters. I’m mostly just going to reference them, instead of involving them in any big plot points.
I’m not sure I’ll be any good at writing the action sequences, but the storyline calls for a few big ones.
Last edited by Casey; March 13th, 2009 at 11:07 pm.
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
Chapter 3 – Losing Contact
“It was amazing Harry. I wish you could’ve seen some of the places… The Tibetan Wizard-Monks, and the American Werewolf Conservatory…”
Harry listened to his godson’s play-by-play for near an hour. A few years earlier, Teddy and some of his former schoolmates, or Marauders, as they called themselves, had decided it was high-time to reinstate the traditional Wizarding voyage of the world upon graduation from school. Teddy had taken this idea to heart and had been traveling on and off for years now in between odd jobs he would take back in England.
“So what brought you back Teddy?” Harry asked, already probing Teddy’s mind for the real reasons.
“The usual… out of money.”
Harry raised an eyebrow and gave a knowing stare at his godson. “Okay, and Victore.”
“Heh, she’ll never quite let you go for good, will she?” Harry surmised, bringing out a flush rosy color in Teddy’s cheeks.
Victore and Teddy had an on-again off-again romance that had seemingly lasted since they were born. It was often off-again because Teddy, having quarreled with Victore, would abscond alone or with a friend on trips to various places. They both seemed to relish the idea of these trips as they usually gave Teddy enough time to come to his senses, and Victore enough time to cool off from her tirades. They were quite the strong willed combustible couple. They had even spent one horrendous week living together. This ended after Victore had tried forcing Teddy to elope one evening, upon which Teddy had jumped straight out of the bedroom window on his broom not stopping until he reached France.
“It’s not that I don’t love her Harry,” Teddy lamented, struggling for a explanation suitable for his status with his estranged girlfriend. “It’s just that she makes it so hard to do so.”
Harry noticed a difference when he got home. An old and weathered owl sat perched on the back in his home office, its talons digging sharply into Harry’s leather chair. It was a dark owl, streaks of white on its wings, and he did not recognize it in the slightest.
“What’ve you got there fellow?” The owl stuck out its leg and the tiniest scroll unfurled itself into his hand. The handwriting was bunched tightly to squeeze as many words into it as possible. Someone had clearly wanted to give the impression that this messenger was without a package.
H.P. ~ Acted on your tip. Money was being funneled and filtered through a Hamas backed agency. Deposited throughout three banks; different alias at each. (Truzk, Abbas, and Sanja) Trace back to single source. No hard lead available. Under surveillance; discreet contact only. ~ B.W.
Harry’s heart leapt a bit as he noticed the initials at the end. He read and reread the message several times over, looking for any hidden code or double meanings Bill would likely have employed. He focused in tightly on the three names Bill had listed. They were not altogether odd, but especially the first gnawed at him.
Harry had played this quite tightly to the chest. Even Ron was not aware of the tips Harry had covertly been acting on. For many years now, Harry had kept his eye trained abroad, always looking for the next threat to the greater Wizarding community. In the last few years, as louder unlawful activity had subsided, he had taken excursions abroad, meeting with foreign intelligence communities, building contacts, and developing a network of reliable sources for him to cast as wide of a net as possible. After all, England had been dealt more than their fair share of magical international incidents. In the future he might need more than the heroics of Stanley Greenberg or Victor Krum. As for Syria, when he had captured Marlow, he had left a small part of him there.
Hamas, once a staunch Palestinian based terrorist organization, had evolved and mutated, expanding their reach into Syria in the last decade. They had fully taken control of the country three years ago, continuing their string of causing problems for the West. On a magical level, it held no immediate threat or consequences, but what Harry worried about was that dark magic lay at the heart of the takeover. Marlow had been granted asylum and free reign it seemed as long as he turned his powers to holding the Hamas power intact.
“He’s under surveillance?” Ron questioned pointedly the following morning as they discussed the various measures to be taken. “That has to point toward the assurance that magical methods are being employed here.”
“Yes but it does not necessarily mean an abundance of dark magic here,” Draco argued. “International money laundering is a different thing Weasley. Anyway, we have no actual name here to bring to the ICW. Three aliases whom Potter says turn into dead-ends.”
Ron and Draco had fallen into their usual debate another morning intelligence meeting. Harry had prepared and written an updated report on the situation, including options for further investigation or a pull back of operations. Both Ron and his wife were short with him when they realized it had taken over seven hours for Harry to alert them that their brother had finally made contact.
“You’re sure you can’t find any leads with the names Harry?” the Minister questioned.
Harry thought briefly of the initial reaction he’d had at first glance to the Truzk name, but discarded as quickly as he had the night before. “No Minister.”
“What I want to know though,” Draco began turning his acidic glare to Harry. “Is what this tip is that he was acting on? Why exactly do we have Gringott’s employee’s performing covert ops that haven’t been approved?”
Draco sat back and smirked at his own cleverness. This was indeed a tiny tidbit Harry had failed to mention anywhere in the reading. Potent as Draco was at Occlumency though, Harry had expected this question and prepared to defend himself.
“Tracing financial transactions is hardly covert ops, especially for someone working at a bank. Good Merlin, Malfoy; let’s think outside the box for once. My last trip to the Middle East developed plenty of reliable contacts: the Colonel from Egypt, the twins in the Israeli intelligence department, and the Minister of Defense in Jordan. I have my ways.” His defense would be perfectly adequate he assumed, glancing at his boss and sensing the air of approval without need to glance at his mind.
“Well,” the Minister began, smiling up at all three men in the room with a kind face. “We know Dennis and WILSON are trying to make contact as we speak. They just set down in Syria, so let’s give them a few days to see what they can find.”
The meeting broke, and as often happened, the Minister asked Harry to stay behind, and engaging him in yet another in a series of topics ranging from Exploding Snap to the latest spell Harry had designed. The Minister it seemed was determined to learn as much from and about Harry while he had him at his own disposal. Harry did not much mind. This latest boss was easy-going and level headed; the perfect chief executive for prosperous and peaceful times.
“So Harry, have you ever ballroom danced before? The wife is making me take lessons, and I’m afraid I have two left feet.”
“I have on a few occasions Minister,” Harry answered. “My family used to help hold an annual Christmas ball, and there was an embarrassing occasion while I was at Hogwarts…”
They recounted tales of times gone by for a short while. Harry appreciated the lack of presumption the Minister held about him. Far too often in his life people had taken him at first glance or on hearsay. After a while, Harry bid the Minister farewell. He went back to the Auror’s division and visited his office, picking up a briefing and preparing to head out on a routine follow-up investigation of a homicide in Wales. He left and made his way down the lift and back out to the Atrium. His face buried in his report, he was rudely surprised when he bumped straight ahead into the backs of two people right inside the entrance to the main Atrium.
“What the…?” Harry said looking up.
The Atrium was at a standstill. People had packed in as though a sudden force had stopped everyone in their tracks. Harry looked for the source and noticing that everyone’s gaze was focused up at the wall ahead of him, he forced his way through the crowd. When he reached a small gap, he followed the gazes upward. Projected luminously in front of the main wall was a giant IRA video. Slight murmurs echoed through the awestruck crowd. On the IRA was the image of a mob of cloaked Syrian men. The men yelled at the screen and pumped their fists excitedly in the air, foreign subtitles gracing the foreground of the screen.
Gasps reverberated through the crowd as the body of a white man was forced into the front of the mob by the lead rioters. Holding machetes soaked in what appeared to be blood, they pointed angrily at the body, again shouting wildly. The body was tall and lanky, streaks of blood emanating down the body from where it was missing its head. Harry’s heart sunk as he grasped the inference of this video being shown inside the Ministry. An announcer’s voice came over the loudspeaker, commentating from the channel.
“Clearly the images speak for themselves… If you’re just joining us, we’ve just received this video from the Muggle group known as Hamas operating in the Middle East nation of Syria and Palestine. They claim that it is the body of an undercover British operative, captured, interrogated, and executed within their country. We have not yet gotten a statement from either the Ministry or the International Confederation of Wizards…”
Fear suddenly tore at Harry’s heart. Bill; it couldn’t be Bill. Bill had made contact with him after all. It was only last night that his owl had arrived. As long as they didn’t confirm the name, there was still a chance. Yet it couldn’t be Carter or Dean. Neither of them had the pale body that a Weasley would ultimately have. Harry tore back through the crowd, even waving his wand and blasting aside a larger man near the lift. He flung himself into it, waving his wand again to close the door.
“Elevaradio!” he yelled with his wand this time, propelling the lift instantly to the Auror floor.
Once there he waved his wand, sounding the Auror emergency alarm. From the large Auror shield decorating the hallway of deceased veterans sprang a luminous phoenix. This Patronus like form would alert every Auror in the country for immediate return. However, as Harry neared his office he found that one of them was already there waiting for him.
Ron stood hunched over with his head hung up against the wall near his office. Harry slowed his approach and watched his friend with caution.
Ron pulled his head back, glancing at Harry. His eyes were streaked with tears. “It’s him Harry.” He recoiled and punched the wall with both hands. “It’s Bill.”
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
CHAPTER FOUR - Reactions
Harry was going to Syria. Of that much he was sure. That no one must know about it was key to his plan. The lynching of Bill Weasley was an international incident, not a routine Auror investigation. Draco Malfoy had been dispatched immediately to brief the English ambassador to the International Confederation of Wizards, and also to propose levying sanctions against Syria as well as deploying a task force to investigate the murder.
When Marlow had broken out of Azkaban and taken refuge in Syria, it had been easy to get Harry appointed as head of the task force to retrieve him. After all, he was a world renowned dark wizard catcher, and in that incident he had no emotional attachment. This time however, the occasion involved his brother in-law. There was as much a chance of Alicia Spinnet gaining her psychiatric license back after having much publicized affairs with multiple patients, than Harry taking the lead in the Damascus investigation.
The news had broken over ten hours ago, but Harry was yet to leave the Ministry. He’d been online with Draco, Dennis and Carter, Stanley Greenberg, Dean Thomas, Gringotts, and various different agencies. In the immediate aftermath Gringotts had distanced themselves from their employee, claiming him as a liability that had presumably stopped actually working for them months ago. Syrian Hamas had released a defiant statement claiming Bill was an undercover agent for the U.K. Muggle Government. Of course the Ministry of Magic had pounced on it as well as they could, but the story was already worldwide news, and no matter what they did, it would remain so.
‘The family would surely be gathered at his in-laws,’ Harry assumed. Ron had disappeared quietly after they briefed the Minister, and his son James had floo’d once while he was out of his office. He knew it was where he ought to be as well, but he would only be a distraction at the moment. Harry knew that he had to stay focused on the next step. ‘Stay detached,’ he told himself. Emotion and passion weren’t going to catch Bill’s killers. He was sure now of what this meant. It seemed inevitable that he would once again find himself on the streets of Damascus. Marlow was just the beginning, and as Ron had unwittingly figured, a conspiracy was at hand.
His plans had been made. He would leave tomorrow and the Minister would be none the wiser. His passage had been booked through an old friend, and Lachlan would be helping with the impression that Harry was still there. Harry tidied up his office, preparing for departure. He deposited a large clump of hair inside the Potter-gram box, and taped a note on top of it that said, ‘For Lachlan.’ His knapsack lay overflowing with items including his broom, a spare hologram, and a sack of Syrian gold, among other things.
Finally he felt satisfied that everything was in order and that he had all the trinkets he might need. Not feeling the need to walk all the way to the Atrium, he gathered himself in zen-like pose, summoning all his inner concentration and whipped his wand in a vertical motion over his head. Following the motion, a spontaneous spark of pale purple fire overtook and engulfed his entire body. As soon as the flames had appeared, they were gone and the office was left empty.
* * *
It was as though an invisible dark mark had been cast over house. As Harry appeared in a blaze of purple fire, he could already feel the sullen mood within. Harry waltzed slowly past the broom shed within which he had once had a conversation with Dumbledore, and past the garden still overflowing with gnomes. Once inside the backdoor and into the Kitchen he was greeted swiftly by a suffocating hug from his youngest child.
“Lily,” he said, embracing her before looking over her head and noticing most of the other children of the family sporadically seated, with Teddy and Victore noticeably absent. James and Albus were engaged in quiet conversation on the stairs. Their cousins, Hermione and Ron’s kids sat at the table absentmindedly flicking a extendable ear back and forth.
“Where’s everyone else?” he asked, directing his question at James as Lily relented her grasp.
“Grandpa, mom, and everyone are in the living room. Teddy and Vic are upstairs. Charlie’s not here, and no one has seen George yet,” James said, nodding his head in the direction towards the door.
“Are you guys doing alright?” he asked the room at large, grasping his daughter’s hand.
“More or less,” Albus answered. “Grandma’s hasn’t stopped crying yet though.”
Harry dismissed himself from the children and moved towards the den, fearful for the scene he might encounter. As he opened the door, it was to find many more people than he expected. Former Prime Minister Dawlish was talking with Hermione and Kingsley right inside the door. McGonagal, Petunia Dursely, and Isabella Thomas were all on the couch consoling Mrs. Weasley and Fluer. Ron was barely visible over in the far corner, fiddling habitually with his wand. Ginny was talking to Seamus and Oliver Wood. Last of all Mr. Weasley merely sat in his rocking chair, looking at a photograph that Harry couldn’t quite see.
As he broached the breadth of the doorway, heads began to rise at the new entry and the little noise that could be heard soon dissipated. Harry soon found himself the awkward center of attention in the most unwelcome of situations. Just as he thought he should perhaps turn around and leave Mr. Weasley finally looked up from his photo and smiled at Harry.
“Harry,” he said quietly with some sort of silent resolve. “Come, have a seat.” He said again motioning the empty chair at his right.
Harry entered fully into the room, stopping briefly to hug and kiss his wife on the cheek, before joining Mr. Weasley. He noticed now that a low hymn played softly over the radio, and it reminded him painfully of the song he’d once heard at Battle of Hogwarts Memorial.
“Tell me Harry. Have you recovered his body yet?”
There was no bitterness in Arthur’s face. Even in the face of immense tragedy, he maintained the elderly and respected statesman allure that Harry had long accounted him. Harry gazed admiringly at him before gathering his wits to talk.
“They delivered it to the steps of the local Gringott’s chapter. Dean will be returning it promptly. As of an hour ago he was set to depart this evening.”
“Thank you Harry.”
“Please don’t thank me Arthur,” Harry said resignedly. “It’s quite possible it’s my fau—
Arthur held up his hand and stopped Harry before he could continue. “Bill was his own man Harry. He loved adventure, much to his mother’s dismay… No Harry,” he paused wrenching up his face and trying to express his words with every ounce of emotion he could. “There is no fault to be divided among those whose only goal is the safety and well being of others. Bill and I have both stood at your side and you at ours in the times of our greatest peril and danger. To second guess the outcome now would be a grand disservice to my son.”
Harry sat back in his seat with great appreciation for his father in-law. This was a man who truly understood his children. Suddenly though, a loud noise came from the kitchen, and once again heads rose to gauge the arrival. Another loud bang and the door barreled open to reveal a bald 8 foot giant carrying what looked like a wet dog in its arms.
“Found ‘im passed out in the Hog’s Head,” Hagrid growled as he tossed George’s limp body onto the only empty seat in the room. His flamboyant clothes were saturated in something that both smelled and looked like goat dung, and his top hat was smashed and stuck to his rear.
“Oh George,” howled Mrs. Weasley swiftly, throwing herself on the lifeless form of her son as her tears quickly worked their way back up.
Harry took this opportunity to motion to Hermione to follow him to the far corner of the room, and she obliged. ‘Muffalito’ thought Harry with a wave of his hand.
“I felt that Harry,” Hermione said straight away, her stern look enough to turn him to stone in his place. “What do you need to discuss.”
“How’s Ron?” he asked first.
“As to be expected. Sulking alone and snapping at anyone that tries to talk to him.” She sighed with evident frustration. “He’s changed so much since he was a kid, and yet, some things never change do they?”
“I’m going to Syria,” he interrupted, catching her off-guard as the incredulous look on her face gave away. “It’s no use giving me the International Operations Statute again Hermione. I know you’re not actually going to tell anyone, which is why I’m telling you. And…” He paused, glancing back over at Ron, where a tiny ball of fire emanated from the tip of his wand. “Ron’s not in a right state of mind to know yet, or to come with me. I’m pretty sure Draco will figure it out though in a few days.”
“Harry, I’m not in government anymore. Besides keeping Ron from taking a nose dive into an empty cement pool, what else can I do for you?”
“When Draco gets back from the ICW, he’ll figure it out. I want you to go give him the means to get in contact with me. Lachlan will be doubling me at the Ministry.”
If Hermione looked shocked, she hid it well, but nonetheless she pressed him further. “Why?”
“It’s a covert mission. I want him to protect the Minister from it, and because he’s the most well-equipped one to do it, and to help me.” Harry explained earnestly.
“Are you so sure he’ll help you?”
“Some of us are over primary school grudges,” Harry responded dryly. “I’m stopping at Azkaban tomorrow morning, and then I’ll be on a ship to Israel straight away. You still have the mirror?”
“Yes Harry, of course I do, but…” Hermione stopped, her own eyes starting to well up a bit.
“What Hermione?” Harry asked softly.
“Be careful,” she whispered. “We already lost Bill there.”
“I know,” Harry responded with a hint of discomfort. “That’s why I have to go.”
Authors note: Small transitive filler chapter. Lots of excitement in the next two chapters though.
The graphic violence will be kept to a minimum I promise.
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
Chapter 5 – Ron vs. Harry
The group remained mostly in silence for the remainder of the day and the next morning seemed to pick up right where the former had left off. Harry had spent the time chatting with Dawlish and Kingsley, espousing on possible motives behind Hamas’ actions, and trying to comfort Ginny, though she mostly brushed him off in favor of comforting her mother. Fleur had the most interesting reaction as she neither cried nor resigned herself to silence. She seemed the most resolute, affirming her belief that her husband had been a brave warrior for justice, and that he would be redeemed in the long run. Teddy had emerged once or twice to talk with Harry. Victore had refused to leave her room, and Teddy was alternating between being needed for comfort, and scorned for not understanding her plight.
“She doesn’t understand that I know exactly what it feels like to have a dead parent,” Teddy complained as they sat at the kitchen table.
“It’s a little different for us Teddy,” Harry explained. “We spent our entire lives as orphans. It’s an entirely different level when you’ve spent years with that person in your life. When I think about Sirius dying, and my parents dying, I have completely different mindsets.”
“I suppose,” he resigned.
“But that doesn’t mean you should let her push you away,” Harry continued.
“She’ll need you now more than ever Ted; whether she admits it or not.”
Harry had also explained briefly to Ginny his plan the previous evening. Though she had pried for more information Harry had resisted.
“The less I tell you the better Ginny,” he had tried to explain to his wife’s back as she stared out the window of her old bedroom, refusing to meet Harry’s eyes. “The less anyone knows about this, the easier I’ll be able to investigate.”
“Ron will never forgive you for going without him Harry,” She said. “You know how it feels to be left out of something so important.”
“Ron can join me when it’s time,” he answered affirmatively.
Ginny had always been a strong woman; emotionally and physically. Harry hated to see his wife pulling away from him, especially since he couldn’t fathom why. He was no different than he had been over the course of their relationship. He still paid her and the kid’s ample amounts of attention. He still was a loyal friend and husband. It had been a while since the last disaster had struck their family. Was she blaming Harry for Bill’s death, as Harry had feared people would? Was Ron doing the same?
Still, she escorted him as he prepared to leave. He didn’t say goodbyes to the rest of the family, lest he tip his hand to anyone beyond the essentials.
“Make sure you keep your bracelet on,” he reminded her as he prepared to leave, raising his own wrist to indicate the matching connected jewelry they shared. He slung his knapsack over his back, and with his wife at his side, they left her room.
“Good luck,” she said flatly as they reached the back door.
“I love you,” he said as they reached the back door.
Ginny looked stoically up at him for a moment. “I—
Harry and Ginny both turned and looked across the kitchen. Ron had come barreling in, wand in hand, and aiming it at Harry.
“Ginny move,” Harry said quickly, pushing his wife off to the side and out of the way as he backed out the kitchen door and into the yard, nearly tripping over a gnome as he backpedaled.
Ron’s face was contorted in rage and simultaneous despair. His hair was soaked in sweat and his face drenched with tears. As he walked forward, advancing on Harry, a strange energy seemed to emanate from him, and Harry actually felt a twinge of fear in his gut. He brushed it off, and it was immediately replaced with regret and guilt.
“No Harry, not this time,” Ron howled at him. “This time nobody had to die. Your damn obsession killed Bill. I see you in there. All the time; you’re scheming and plotting, and sending out little covert missions to probe for trouble. You’re off in your own little world. I’m supposed to be your second in command and I don’t even know what you’re up to half the time...”
Ron rambled loudly, and began to circle around Harry out on the lawn, blasting the picnic table out of the way as he stalked. Besides Ginny, other members of the family had started trickling out into the yard at the ruckus Ron was creating. George had thrown open his window and was sticking his hung-over head as far out into the sunlight as possible. Teddy with James and Albus had come walking around from the front of the house.
“All that time we used to claim that trouble just sort of finds you. Well we were wrong. You go looking for trouble!”
“Ron, knock it off!” yelled Arthur as he came out the doorway, his wife not far behind him.
“Its fine Arthur,” Harry motioned, keeping in step with Ron’s pace.
“Gaahh!” Ron yelled in anguish, and went to thrust his wand forward.
Harry laxidiscally flicked his wand and the spell reverberated off his invisible shield. At the sign of violence Mrs. Weasley let out yet another hysterical sob as she dashed in the house.
“Stupefy!” he howled again, and again Harry deflected it, adding to the angered annoyance of Ron.
“Vhy doesn’t anybody stop them?” Fleur asked the small crowd now gathered near kitchen doorway.
Arthur chuckled to himself and looked at Ginny. “Should you explain or should I?” Ginny ignored her father though and he took the honors. “Ron and Harry always have problems with each other that they hold deep down inside them. Every once in a while, those problems boil to the surface. In this instance, Ron has taken the death of his brother to espouse on those issues. And quite frankly, the last person I want to try and stop while in the middle of a duel is Harry.”
“It’s just like they’re back at Hogwarts,” Hadgrig added nostalgically. Fleur seemed satisfied by these explanations and returned her eyes upon the battle, or lack thereof at hand.
Ron sent a series of furious blasting charms at Harry, finally forcing his friend to take an extra measure as he dived aside between shields.
“Fight Harry!” Ron howled.
“No,” Harry said simply.
“Incindio,” Ron said as a stream of flames erupted from his wand, as Harry conjured a flame freezing charm.
Ron grit his teeth angrily, frustration mounting. “Fine, I guess I have to step things up a bit then.”
“Ron, don’t take this too far,” Harry warned.
BANG! Harry had swung his wand down fiercely, rejecting the Unforgivable curse right in Ron’s face, blasting Ron to his back in a minor explosion.
“That’s too far Ron,” Harry said, but Ron just pointed his wand again wordlessly sending another blast, allowing him time to get to his feet.
“Fight me, Harry. Really fight me!” Ron yelled as he sent yet another blast as Harry deflected again. “Fight me you coward!”
Harry stopped moving at all. The words rang in his ears, and he was hurled momentarily back in time to a similar fight he had been on the other side of.
The memory at the forefront of his mind, Harry unexpectedly felt the sudden urge to fight. He gathered his energy inward and jerked his wand straight down, just as earlier, and erupted in a ball of purple flame, disappearing from the lawn. Ron looked around furiously. He knew Harry could sprout up anywhere he wanted, at any time.
A ball of purple flame erupted behind him, and Ron whipped around fiercely. ‘Protego,’ Ron thought as he heard felt the onrushing blasting charm coming his way. The shield went up just in time, though Ron stumbled a bit at the curse’s power.
“Contortio,” Ron said, as twin gold beams shot from his wand at different trajectories. Harry waved his hand and wand simultaneously, as both beams seemingly evaporated into each. However, Harry then pulled his wand into his chest, a ball of gold energy building in size near his chest, until he threw his arms out towards Ron, unleashing the ball in a furious blast that shattered Ron’s shield and propelled him backwards some twenty feet.
Ron propped himself up as fast as he could, ignoring the searing pain in his back. “Incarcerous,” Harry said, but Ron was able to block the ropes.
“Impediamenta,” Ron countered, but Harry had once again disappeared in a flash of purple glory.
Ron this time did not wait for Harry to reappear, but rather began shooting flames in a radius around him, hoping to catch his adversary in the unwanted position of appearing in the middle of his spell.
Instead though, a sudden call came from high above Ron’s head. Harry was suspended in air, as though held by invisible strings. Ron gazed up in wonder and awe, forgetting just how involved he was in this fight.
‘Stupefy,’ Harry thought, and a quick beam of red light protruded and smacked Ron square in the chest. Ron fell back some feet and collapsed in a heap, unconscious and defeated.
Harry flew swiftly and gracefully back down to the ground, and stood over Ron. He savored the immediate feeling of victory, the adrenaline flowing throughout his veins. Ron was hysterical, tired, and outmatched, but the thrill of a duel still felt to Harry as fresh as it always had. He prodded Ron with his wand, checking him over a bit, and satisfied he was fine, called over to the family that it was over and safe to move into the yard. Fleur and Ginny rushed over to Ron immediately in the absence of Hermione, who was at work.
Albus, and James came barreling over to Harry excitedly, with Teddy in tow. “Holy frog-spawn Dad,” Albus exclaimed.
“Dad, have you always been able to do those things?” James asked. “That didn’t look like apparation… and you can fly?”
Harry smiled reluctantly. He didn’t like showing off in front of the family, nor did he like beating up his kid’s uncle. “No, I learned those recently James, Albus. Remember guys, you should always be trying to learn more spells and magic. School doesn’t stop after you leave Hogwarts, right Teddy?”
Teddy grinned at Harry. “I think everyone needed that Harry. Lightened the mood a bit, I reckon. Except for Gram…”
Harry gathered the kids and brought them back in the house as the women transported Ron back into the house and up to his disregarded bed. As James and Albus replayed the bout blow by blow, Harry snuck out back, giving a nod to Arthur who smiled at him knowingly as he went back out the kitchen door. Once out the door he slung his knapsack over his back gathered himself mentally, and with a puff of purple flame, evaporated from the earth.
* * *
Waves drove fiercely into the side of the vessels located sporadically throughout the harbor. An incoming storm had grounded most of the fishing fleets, and the swirling sky had driven anyone lingering around back indoors.
One ship though, with a classic wooden façade was a bundle of activity. Nearly two dozen women could be seen working on this ship, as though it were actually preparing to leave the harbor and venture out into the storm. Equally intriguing was that none of these women appeared to be even the slightest bit wet, even as the rain drove ferociously down to earth.
A ways down from this mystery ship a sharp noise muffled by the clatter of thunder could went unnoticed. If not for the storm and the absence of human activity, the bright purple explosion might have turned more than a few heads, but there was no one about and it went unnoticed. A man had appeared where the explosion had taken place, and he had at once made haste towards to the ghost ship. Once there he was greeted by the most garishly dressed female one had ever seen. It was something akin to an old pirate tale, except that a. this was a ship full of women, and b. this was the 21st century. Certainly there were no pirates docking in Britain these days.
* * *
Harry leapt down onto the deck of the ship, waving his wand over himself as a feeling of warmth spread over his body. He looked around taking in the sight of this new ship he was a complete stranger to. Just then however, a door from the captain’s quarters opened and out came a familiar and friendly face.
“Welcome to the Discooperire the Third,” said Captain Baretto warmly as she embraced Harry.
“Adelina, I’ve just come from Azkaban. Is the ship ready to sail?” Harry asked.
“We’ll be sailing promptly,” She answered proudly. “Azkaban? Then I
suppose we have you to thank for this weather?”
Harry smirked. “More than you know,” he said pointing his wand towards the sky and murmuring for a moment as a large bolt of lightning creased the sky nearby. “We’ll need complete anonymity on this one. No one is to know I was ever here, or that you ever took this trip.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way Signor Harry.”
Authors Note: I always wanted to see a fight between Ron and Harry, plus I needed a warm up for another one I have planned.
This is a cameo by the Discooperire, as I don’t know a thing about boats or pirate-women.
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
Chapter 6 –From Azkaban to Damascus Part 1
Authors Note: I know it's been a while since I updated this. I hope to post a few new chapters in the next couple weeks.
“Prisoner 321?” a voice echoed with monotonous repetition over a supposed p.a. system.
“Yes?” coughed the faceless prisoner, his head hidden beneath a black shawl. The prisoner sat restrained to his chair by large metal chains connected to the floor, and a few charms to boot. The room was a centuries old interrogation cell lined with brick and crumbling stone. The prisoner wore shabby grey robes that appeared to have several holes and were clearly too big for the thin pile of skin and bones beneath.
“Previously known as Brand, Marlow?” The questioner droned on.
“So they tell me,” he growled with a bit of dry wit, though there was little spirit in his voice.
With a loud clanging sound, the door to the cell slammed open. Immediately a vibrant light shone into the otherwise dark room. The light marched into the cell, revealing itself to be a patronus. It stalked around the prisoner three times before parking itself back near the door next to a man who had appeared at the doorway. In dementorless times, Azkaban guards and Aurors now used their Patronus as their own personal protection and helper. A Patronus could alert their owner of trouble, send messages quickly, and act as a second set of eyes in the most dangerous wizarding confinement in the known world. Another clang and the door shut, the room now encompassing two people.
“Hello Marlow,” Harry’s ubiquitous voice echoed from seemingly all corners of the cell.
“Potter?” Marlow asked the darkness. “And here I was thinking I had a real visitor for once. What’s with the tricks and mirrors Potter? Your medieval torture methods may actually work, but I can still sense you. Darkness is my friend.”
Harry waved his wand, the darkness evaporating into it, and the hood over the prisoner whipping off. Marlow was an unpretty sight of short balding black hair, yellow teeth, a crooked arched nose, and sunken cheeks.
“Back with more Veritaserum? Doubt it will work any better third time around.” Marlow continued to goad Harry. He knew the one advantage he held over him was the information and knowledge he still held deep within the caverns of his mind; caverns Harry had been heretofore unable to access.
Harry was impressed with the lasting fortitude of his former adversary. “I suppose there’s no chance you’re ready to cooperate?” Harry asked with no real hope of a positive answer. “Your colleague or benefactor has seemed perfectly willing to leave you here to rot. Certainly, that’s no way to be treated by a friend.”
“Ha,” howled Marlow. It was a miserable laugh that ultimately devolved into a coughing fit, a clear picture of the physical state he was in. “Aye Potter, a friend wouldn’t do that. But I’ve been in here nearly 15 years, apart from my brief vacation, and I’m only 35. Any friend I had, is no friend to me anymore. I’d say the only friend I ever had was my older brother. But he died in that blasted war of yours didn’t he?” Marlow shrank back into his seat, his lingering sentiment showing.
Harry too sat back. He had heard Marlow’s sob stories before and had no inclination to give them an audience. Marlow was an accomplished occlumens, and even given Harry’s advantages, he was to this point unable to break him. These were different circumstances though. Marlow had spent a long stretch undergoing a magical drainage technique that was now employed on all prisoners with multiple life sentences within Azkaban. It had proven quite effective in the few years since it had started being employed by the Ministry. Along with that, Harry never had quite put the emotion into it that he now seemed willing to let loose.
Harry leaned back more, stretching his arms out behind his head. “I’m going to break you Marlow,” he stated simply.
“I’ll die before I do,” Marlow replied, as Harry stood up wand in hand.
* * *
On the whole Lachlan assumed he could pull the job off. He had, after all, spent a good number of years at Harry’s side. He recognized Harry’s quirks, speaking patterns, and relationships with the people around him. Secretly, he always fancied himself a bit of a stage actor, an unfulfilled life-long ambition, and this would truly be a test of his acting mettle.
Harry’s desk was aligned in an orderly enough fashion, and Lachlan was able to quickly update himself with the various on-going investigations. These, however, were the least of his concerns. There was only one true issue that would be on the table, and it would take all his knowhow and prowess to dance around the subject for as long as Harry needed in Damascus.
Lachlan went to Harry’s door and peered through the crack out into the hallway. There sat his secretary, humming busily as she pilfered through documents. The cubical bullpen was a flurry of activity, Aurors running to and fro, as well as other figures from other departments dashing in and out. Bill’s death had been an international nightmare for Britain, and it showed in the increased chaos that was the Ministry.
“Harry!” came a call from down the hallway and Lachlan instinctively dived back into the office, slamming the door shut. He cowered back behind the desk, hoping to Merlin that nobody walked in the door.
After a moment a knock came and a muffled voice called through the shut door. “Harry, are you busy?”
“Go away,” Lachlan replied, trying to think up a quick excuse to not be bothered. “I’m quite naked in here.”
The knob turned anyway, his warning unheeded and Hermione popped her head in the door, and surveyed the office. There Harry/Lachlan sat, his robe and shirt hastily removed, sitting at his desk looking quite askew.
“Lachlan,” she whispered with a wink. “Have you lost weight? You look years younger.”
“Blimey Granger,” Lachlan gasped, grabbing up his robe and pulling his shirt back on. “What do you mean trying to freak me out like this?”
“It’s fine. Harry told me his plan. And, incidentally,” she started, rounding the desk, pulling open a drawer, and handing a hologram box to Lachlan, “I would use this as much as possible.”
* * *
A wave of memories began flooding Harry’s senses. A man alone in an Azkaban cell; A boy alone in his room; a boy enduring taunts by schoolmates; a boy and his older brother flying on brooms; a boy with his brother and mother at a criminal hearing for their father; a teenager reading the Daily Prophet; a teenager receiving the news of his brothers death; a teenager leaving Hogwarts…
There was an intense burning sensation behind his eyes and suddenly Harry was propelled from Marlow’s mind. Harry swore under his breath, trying but failing to his hold back his mounting frustration. He had spent the better part of two hours now trying to poke and pry his way into the private and guarded memories that Marlow held locked within his mind. To this point, Harry was only able to relive childhood memories and the pains of a life in Azkaban.
Harry sat back down and surveyed the damage on Marlow. Marlow’s head hung forward, seemingly limp and unconscious, but in reality, merely accepting the moment of rest to rebuild his defenses. With a sigh Harry’s thoughts drifted to Dumbledore, Snape, and Voldemort; the best minds that he had encountered at the arts of Occlumency and Legilimency. Was he truly a second rate wizard at this type of magic? Surely they would have broken Marlow by now.
‘No time to rest now,’ he affirmed mentally, gathering up all his concentration and energy before launching himself at Marlow once more. “Legilimens!”
This time Harry could feel that his pressure was beginning to work. Little glimpses of a rogue Marlow were beginning to creep out the corners of his mind. The slow grind of mental torture had begun to wear his conscious defenses down to nothing more than brittle and slowly cracking glass.
“Gahhh!” Harry could hear Marlow scream; seemingly far away back in the interrogation cell they were camped in, and suddenly a once cloudy memory became crystal clear. He probed his way to the memory, and navigated into it.
“Ahh! No!” yelled Marlow as he tried to propel the intruder from his mind, but this time his strength had left him. His yells devolved into cries of unyielding pain, his body instinctively thrashing against its restraints.
Harry blocked the sounds from his mind and probed further. Memory after memory was becoming clear. Post-Hogwarts, his first unforgivable curse, the first murder he was sent away for, the escape, Damascus…
With a final last gasp of screeching terror Marlow succumbed to the darkness, his mind exploding open, and conversely, cracking apart, as Harry finally removed himself from his state of Legillimency.
Concentrating hard, Harry took his wand and pressed hard against Marlow’s temple. After a moment, he pulled the wand away dragging with it what seemed like a flood of luminous silver strands. He pulled the memories and held them aloft, conjuring a mason jar with his spare hand, before dropping them in and securing it safely shut. They swirled around in the jar for a moment before settling to forebodingly settling to rest.
Harry avoided looking down at the mess he had left. The prisoner, who had so recently shown such resilient resistance, was slouched over in his seat, held seated only by the chains and magical restraints upon him.
He shuddered as he left, thinking Marlow looked rather like a victim fallen prey to the Dementor’s kiss. Waving his wand, the lights went back out and the door clanged open once again. He’d collected everything he had intended on finding, but as the door slammed shut behind him, Harry couldn’t help but wonder if he had already gone a step too far.
Authors Note: Next Chapter: Harry arrives in Damascus, an update on Teddy and Victore, Draco learns of Harry's secret mission, and we learn the first thing about the hidden dark wizard
Last edited by Casey; August 7th, 2009 at 11:17 pm.
Re: Harry Potter and the Lord of Damascus
CHAPTER 7 – From Azkaban to Damascus Part 2
I.R.A. – NEWSFLASH
The Minister of Magic as well as the entire Ministry wish to convey their condolences and support in the tragic death of British citizen, Gringott’s employee, and Order of Merlin First Class winner Bill Weasley. Rest assured that the ministry is using all means at their disposal to investigate and hold those responsible accountable, and bring…
The words scrolled through the empty air, hovering over a wand that stood held aloft. The words disappeared after a moment and moving images sprang forth in their place. The first was of Draco Malfoy, flanked on either side by the International British Ambassador and his wife Domina, giving a speech at the International Confederation of Wizards regarding the situation in Syria and the need for an international investigation into the incident and consequences to follow the findings.
Throughout the rest of the room lay Ron slumped over on the sofa and passed out, George, slumped over on the other sofa and passed out, and Teddy, watching the news intently and holding ice to a rather large welt on his cheek. Teddy had been playing the unforgiving role of consoler and punching bag to his volatile and emotional love-interest. Ron and George on the other hand, had spent the previous 24 hours consuming two rather large bottles of brandy, which lay nearly empty in their respective hands.
The tension in the Weasley house, three days after the news had hit, was palpable. Little was heard coming from anyone, as each member of the family took it to grieving in their own personal ways. Fleur had taken immediately to planning an elaborate funeral, though the delay of Bill’s body returning had stalled all plans for a wake. Mrs. Weasley had been alternating between baking and crying uncontrollably. Mr. Weasley, as he often was, was cooped up in the garage with his muggle gadgets and toys.
As for Ginny, in lieu of Kreacher, who had long since passed away, she was busy tearing apart the house and rearranging each and every room. A part of this included the removal of Harry’s home office, which was now turned into storage. Lachlan’s incompetence at being a stand-in Harry Potter had quickly alerted Ginny to his flight, and she’d spared no one in her war path at her once again being kept in the dark. After Lachlan had been righted from the petrifying bat-bogey hex she’d locked him in, he had absconded back to his pub and passed the job along fully to the holograms.
“Teddy!” came a horrific piercing yell from somewhere in the house.
At the sound of his name, Teddy dove instinctively to the ground, covering his head in panic. The welt on his face still stung, and though he had promised himself that he wouldn’t run this time around, the prospect of taking flight on his broom and flying far away sounded better and better by the minute.
“What in Merlin’s dirty brown bottom was that?” growled the crumpled mass on the couch that was Ron.
“Sounded like a banshee and a mandrake fornicated and it’s offspring is living upstairs,” answered the other mass that was George as he stirred to life.
Teddy scowled at the two drunks and sat back up in his seat.
“Life sucks, don’t it kid,” preached Ron as he pulled himself up to a sitting position and belched loudly.
“Doesn’t have to as much as you make it out to be,” answered Teddy, who was in no state to be taking lip. “Constant misery is no way to live.”
Ron frowned and stared down at the bottle he still clutched in his hand.
“Fair point kid,” Ron replied, as he tipped the bottle back and drained the remnants. “Ahh, I can feel the misery fading away already.”
* * *
Draco didn’t know quite what to expect upon his return. His three day trip to Geneva had yielded exactly the results that he, Potter, and the Minister had expected. An investigation would be conducted by an international commission, but no member of the British Ministry, and more specifically, no member of the Weasley clan, was allowed to be a member of the commission. If Potter had expected this, that meant that Potter had created other plans. And if Potter had created other plans, then certainly Draco needed to know what they were and just how illegal they were.
The story of Draco Malfoy had been a classic story of redemption. A family name that had been disgraced and run through the mud countless times, it was Draco’s rise in the private sector and now the public that had brought back prestige to one of its oldest families.
So it was to his utter lack of surprise, that upon his arrival back at the Ministry, he found out that Potter was no longer in England.
“So he’s already in Damascus then?” Draco asked, a bit unsure why Granger had immediately pulled him aside for a debriefing on an unsanctioned and illegal mission.
“Yes,” Granger answered with a hint of resignation in her voice.
“And why are you telling me?”
“Harry asked me to tell you as soon as you returned.”
“Why would he do that?”
Granger merely shrugged at Draco’s continued questioning, before leaving his office in a paranoid hurry. The question remained though. Why would Potter want him to know; of all people? Surely he would have figured it out eventually, but this seemed surprisingly uncharacteristic of him.
* * *
The sun beat down, radiant and intense upon the port town. It was an old place; the small family shops and corner vendor’s generations removed from their origin. The market still held its heralded importance for a community and culture, as they sat a mere mile from the desert. It was a tiny oasis of decent society in an otherwise barren land.
In one store, snuggled between a store heralding discount robes and garments and a standard fruit shop, was a closed down café. The windows were broken, the remaining tables were overturned or shattered into pieces, and the stairs to the upper floor had collapsed, making access to the upstairs level inevitably impossible.
To anyone that was paying close enough attention a loud crack could be heard up at the top of the second level landing. However, no one was, and the man who appeared at the top of the stairs had alerted no one. This short, squat, middle aged Syrian man made his way down the hall and tapped the door at the end with his wand three times.
“Bye Bye Blackbird,” the man said, and the door swung open on its own accord. Inside the room were three men, adorned around a table littered with papers, maps, photographs, a cauldron, vile’s of various potions, and a few half eaten dinners (perhaps more than a few days old). The new entrant noted the men sitting at the table. There was the tall, lanky, black Dean Thomas and employee of Gringotts. There was a short, athletic looking, mid-twenties man of Puerto Rican descent named Johan, a newer Auror who had been on assignment here for a few months already. Finally there was Dennis Creevey, who even next to the rather large Mr. Thomas was still a burgeoning sight of intimidation to behold. All three men stared oddly at the new entrant, and each quickly in turn raised their wands pointing them at him.
Dennis spoke up first. “What did you said to me before you made me an Auror?” he asked calmly but a bit suspicious.
“Cho would be crying if she were here for this,” the stranger answered.
“Blimey Harry,” Dean sighed heavily. “You certainly blend in well.”
“We were hoping you were WILSON as well,” added Johan a bit morbidly.
“When is your polyjuice going to wear off?
Harry came fully into the room and sat himself down at the table with the others. “A few minutes or so. It took me nearly a full hour to find the place. I suppose that’s a good thing though,” Harry added in compliment of the well placed safe-house. “The usual protections in place Dennis?”
“Everything and anything Harry,” Dennis affirmed heartily.
Harry nodded satisfactorily, but pulled out his wand as well. Waving it skyward and mumbling to himself, the others felt a wave of magic pulsate through their bodies as he did so.
“Your own personal touch Harry?” goaded Johan.
“Just double-triple-quadruple checking,” he replied, counting off the spells.
“Now tell me… Where is WILSON?”
Harry’s heart sunk as he glanced at the three men’s faces. His question was met with grimaces and frowns; never a good sign.
“Well Harry…”Johan started. “We lost contact with WILSON two days ago—
“Better start from the beginning Johan,” Dean interrupted.
“Right, well. First of all, we don’t have Bill’s body—
“What do you mean you don’t have Bill’s body?” It was Harry who had interrupted this time.
“It’s like he said Harry. The body we got was a fake. Transfigured and charmed, all out of wack; there’s no telling where his real body is.” Dennis said.
“We had WILSON tail the people who delivered the body. Since then, he’s been M.I.A.; incommunicado.” Johan continued.
“So what do we know?” Harry asked openly to the room. If he was expecting anything better than blank stares he was surely disappointed.
“It’s been hard making Wizard contacts down here Harry,” Johan relented. “Hamas has got a lockdown on this country, wizards and muggles alike. Dean’s essentially paralyzed at the bank now, thanks to Bill. After the two American agents disappeared, it seemed like all of our contacts started to as well. Never any sign of a struggle either. Someone’s watching things closely, we just have no idea who…” Johan hung his head. He was still a young largely unproven Auror, still trying to prove himself, and when the boss came calling for answers, he had none.
“It’s alright Johan,” Harry reassured him. “Very recently, you might say I’ve lucked into some very important new information.” With that statement, Harry threw his knapsack down on the table. He reached seemingly too far into it, and retrieved with both hands a heavy stone basin which he plopped down hard on the table.
“A pensive?” asked Dennis.
“More importantly,” Harry said, pulling from the knapsack the Mason jar full of memories. “The memories of one Marlow Brand.”
“You broke him?” gushed Johan.
Harry dumped the jar out, shaking it until every strand freefell down into the pensive below. “Let’s take our first look at the mysterious Dark Lord of Damascus…
Authors Note: I originally was going to use Carter as the Auror, but due to recent developments in “The Harry Potter Era”, I created a new one to replace him.
I hope this is starting to interest people. Where is Bill’s body? Where is Wilson? Where are all these people disappearing to? Who is the Lord of Damascus? Is Ron an alcoholic?
Last edited by Casey; August 9th, 2009 at 6:48 pm.
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