Harry & Daphne
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Kassien - Runic Animagi
Chapter 29 - Duel & Interview
AN: I do not own Harry Potter
Rated M: Mature (which should be pretty obvious if you've read this far!)
Chapter 29: Duel & Interview
Albus spent almost the entire Friday March 28th morning lesson trying to talk me out of my duel challenge to Alexander Stevens, saying that violence never solved anything and we should be able to work out our differences peacefully. I was never as optimistic as the Headmaster, and felt the three previous instances of the seventh year Slytherin trying to force himself on Daphne could not be forgiven or forgotten about. The fact that Dobby found fertility and the imperious potions carefully marked in his trunk last night didn't help my attitude towards the asshole and what his plans were for my Daphne.
"Look sir," I interrupted another long and meaningless diatribe about giving second chances, "he crossed a line …and has every intention of still trying to go after my Daphne …and I won't take that chance, period."
"Very well," sighed a defeated Headmaster who knew me well enough to know I wouldn't be backing down anytime soon, "just please be careful Harry."
"Don't worry, I will be," I answered with a lopsided grin, "but it would probably be better to limit the viewing crowd …some of the younger students don't need to see this."
Albus' reply was cut off as his office fireplace turned green before the face of now Head Auror Kingsley Shaklebolt appeared. He quickly asked about the supposed duel to make sure it wasn't a hoax, and then announced that he would be among the group of aurors coming to officiate and judge the duel to ensure the public's safety and make sure protocol was followed. He would also be bringing the duel contract papers, as was the DMLE's job whenever an official dueling announcement was properly posted, ensuring we were within the bounds of a legal duel and could not be arrested for the outcome. One could still be arrested if they falsified anything, cheated, or ignored the officiating guidelines set up by the agreed upon dueling contract, which was the beauty of honor duels …any rules agreed upon beforehand were all that governed the duel and I would make sure the rules were simple.
"Well then, I should probably go and get ready," I announced with a nod to the floating face of Kingsley and the weary face of Albus, "see you gentlemen on the Quidditch pitch in one hour."
I quickly hightailed it back to my suite where Winky had a small pizza for me to eat and build up my energy before I got dressed in my full basilisk set up of boots, pants, vest, and cloak as always carrying Godric's sword across my back comfortingly. This was not about showing off more magic or wanting to torture someone, it was simply about safety for Daphne and by extension me, and I was not planning on taking it lightly or wasting any time. I did a few limbering exercises and stretches to make sure my body was ready and along with Dobby, walked through the halls of Hogwarts and out it's front doors just as the morning classes were letting out for lunch as the older students came out to the Quidditch pitch to watch for many of them the meaningless and unusual duel.
Thankfully, there were only about fifty students present including most of the advanced DA, and all the upper year Slytherins being forced to sit with their Head of House in the Slytherin stands. I blew Daphne a kiss and waived as I made my way onto the field were Professor Dumbledore was standing speaking with a contingent of twelve aurors being led by the very distinctive Kingsley Shaklebolt. I recognized several of the aurors from the fight at Azkaban, and received a few encouraging nods and awed looks from the men and women in blue that came to officiate.
"Greengrass will be mine when I kill you Potter," snarled Stevens as he approached the main group standing in the middle of the Quidditch pitch for all to see, and leveled me with a murderous glare I was more than happy to return causing him to look away quickly.
"Even if you managed to kill me, your imperious potion and fertility tonics won't work on her you sick fuck," I snapped back before turning to Shaklebolt to get this started.
"Do you Alexander Stevens, accept the honor duel to the death as it is written?" spoke Kingsley to the seventh year Slytherin who quickly read the only rule I provided …no outside interference.
"I do," he accepted and signed his name pompously, not knowing he just signed his life away since there was no way I would let him win.
"Very well, Lord Potter-Black, your duel challenge has been accepted please sign the contract," Kingsley continued to which I easily complied as the remaining eleven aurors spread out around the circumference of the stadium's grounds to ensure no outside interference. "Duelers take your positions, you will begin on my count."
I instantly got right into Alexander's ugly face and was pleased to note that I looked slightly down at him and leveled him with my hardest glare that he couldn't keep. He mumbled something about me being ready to die, but I merely smirked at his slowly growing nervous face as the aurors erected the protection shield around the grounds so no spectators would be injured or allowed to interfere. Kingsley asked us to turn our backs on one another and walk out the necessary ten paces before turning back around to face our adversary and giving fake polite bows.
"On three you may begin," started the tall auror somewhat nervously, "one …two …THREE!"
I wasted no time at all, and the moment Kingsley shouted three began to charge straight at Stevens as fast as I could while he hesitated slightly with wide eyes about to cast his first spell at my quickly approaching form. I was ready when more than halfway towards him he shouted out his first and only spell of the duel not even making me slow down or bat an eyelid. The sickly green light of the Avada Kedavra killing curse was right in front of me before I spun as quick as lightening out of it's destructive path and to the right. In the same motion of spinning as I also closed the rest of the distance between us, I fluidly drew the sword from my back and continuing with my momentum brought a perfect high arched swing of said sword directly through his neck and making him a perfect candidate for the headless hunt Sir Nicholas so desired to be a part of.
His head went flying off in the direction of my sword's swing, while his now headless corpse swayed unsteadily on its feet for a brief moment before collapsing in a heap at my feet. The duel lasted all of three seconds before screams filled the air at the brutality and swiftness of Alexander Stevens' death at my hands. The aurors didn't look much better as their wide eyes and frozen faces told me even they weren't expecting that, but I could only shrug and re-sheath my sword after using a small cloth in my pocket to wipe off Stevens' blood.
The aurors' protection shield then collapsed, and an older couple came running down from the teacher's box and directly to the dead body of their headless only son. The other teachers and a few students also came down from the stands, but I ignored them to hug and kiss Daphne passionately glad the ordeal was now over. The growing cries of Alexander's mother, and angry muttering of his father, eventually made me stop kissing Daphne and turn to the Wizengamot Lord with a challenging glare that he too couldn't keep, but didn't stop him from mouthing off.
"You killed my son …you barbarian," he finally shouted and made to draw his wand on me, but I was quicker and had my unsheathed sword dangerously at his neck before he could utter a single syllable.
"In a legal duel he accepted," I spoke harshly, and not making any attempt to remove my sword from his neck, "go home sir …tend to your wife and son …I don't think she's strong enough to be a widow today."
"This isn't over Potter," the older man finally acquiesced as he lowered and put back up his wand, and I then removed the steel blade from his throat slowly.
"No, I don't think it is," I answered harshly, "but when you're ready to join your son in hell, let me know …I'll make sure you get there."
"Do you know who I am Potter?" he yelled like that would mean something to me or intimidate me while Dobby calmly approached me and handed over a large file on one Lord Augustus Stevens.
"Let's see …Augustus Johann Stevens, born August 28th, 1952 to Aurelius and Esther Stevens in Glasgow, attended Hogwarts as a Slytherin from 63-70 when your father arranged your marriage to Amber Jensen, sister of Death Eater Zackary Jensen in May the following year and in 1978, birthed your only child Alexander. You assumed control of the Head of the Stevens family nine years ago after poisoning and killing your mother and father, and have since worked to swindle money from good people while self-promoting yourself as a true humanitarian …how am I doing so far?" I also have bank records here of your many illegal transgressions that I'm sure these lovely aurors would want to see?" I finished with a smug smirk at the paling and scared shitless face of Augustus Stevens as the nearby aurors slowly closed in around him and he seemed to be getting desperate.
"Incendio," he creaming pulling out his wand and aiming for the folder of incriminating evidence I had in my hand.
Almost instantly six aurors hit him with either a stunning or binding spell immediately incapacitating the older wizard as I simply blocked the fire spell with my body knowing regular flames don't bother me anymore. I easily dispelled the flames, and gave the staring aurors the folder of evidence my elves collected on the Wizengamot Lord with a wide smirk knowing it was only a copy, but immediately pleased at today's outcome of events. Kingsley broke up the awe struck aurors by thanking me and shaking my hand causing several of his fellows to do the same before they took the stunned and bound Augustus, the hysterically crying Amber, and both pieces of the beheaded Alexander back with them to the Ministry.
"If everyone could please come to the Great Hall, I'd like to make a small announcement," spoke Albus loudly to the still gathered crowd of students and teachers excitedly talking about what they just witnessed, and more than a few giving me scared looks at the ease with which I fought and killed a fellow student …mainly Slytherins who spoke against me last night in their Common Room, now hopefully rethinking their stances against me or Daphne.
Dumbledore's small announcement covered the results of the honor duel, and asked for a moment of silence at the loss of someone so young that had made such bad decisions. He also announced that afternoon classes were to be cancelled, and that tomorrow the students would be allowed to visit Hogsmeade. Daphne and I went back to my suite after the lunchtime announcements and simply cuddled on the sofa as I dealt with yet another life I had taken. I wasn't ashamed or anything, just sad I guess that it had come to that …but I was not going to let those type of people get away with whatever they wanted, and especially if the thing they wanted was my Daphne.
The remainder of the weekend Daphne and I stayed in my suite, and skipped the bonus Hogsmeade visit just to relax and be together in private. We worked a little on our runic project for class, and discovered the perfect stone for a temporary runic seal in muggle slate. We asked Dobby to get us a whole lot more, as well as some leather straps and string to make them into workable bracelets, and could feel the completion of the project was close at hand. I also spent some time studying ward stones and runic based wards, while telling Daphne in detail everything about Hogwarts' Ward Stone I learned from Godric's memories and touching said stone last week.
On Sunday Dobby asked me if Evan Jameson could interview Harry Potter for a front-page article of the Daily Prophet to clear up some of the backlash from my recent expeditions of killing Dementors and ruining the Stevens family. I reluctantly agreed with Daphne's wonderful persuasion techniques, and the three of us spent almost two hours putting the article together and talking about the newspaper in general. Apparently subscription rates kept climbing and Dobby recommended expanding some to better accommodate the growing volume which didn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon as the Wizarding World had really seemed to take to the new and improved Daily Prophet, even if they didn't know how they got their stories or who wrote what except for the few pieces attributed to editor Evan Jameson.
It was Monday morning on March 31st in the Great Hall as I sat with Daphne and her friends at the Slytherin table somewhat dreading what I knew was coming. Dobby assured me the article was exactly as it was when we finished it the night before, but I was more worried about reactions. Not so much the reactions to what I spoke about, although I knew those will be huge too, but more the reaction to me actually doing the interview and purposefully putting myself out there on a much bigger level than the one in last year's Quibbler. I guess I couldn't just ignore my celebrity status any longer, but rather had to try to use it to my advantage as much as I could for the war to come. The appearance of hundreds of owls that morning carrying my new cash cow of a newspaper started a flurry of excited exclamations and interested looks directed towards me as they spread them out for them and their friends to read all around the Great Hall.
Prophet Interviews Potter
In a rare treat for our readers, our own editor Evan Jameson received permission to interview Lord Harry Potter-Black, the boy-who-lived on current events in the Wizarding World and in response to many questions that have arisen in regards to the young wizard and his past. We recorded the conversation word for word and provided it in its entirety, and warn our readers that many topics may be unpleasant for younger ones or the weak willed.
Jameson: Thank you for meeting with me Mr. Potter, and you Miss Greengrass.
Potter: Your welcome, and please just Harry and Daphne are fine.
Jameson: Okay Harry, Daphne …can we start with how you two met and got engaged?
Harry: I asked her out a few weeks into the school year after we were named partners in Ancient Runes class …eventually she said yes.
Daphne: Only because he promised to teach me to draw runic seals.
Jameson: Draw runic seals?
Harry: It was something my mum was working on before she died, whereby combining runes into a cohesive string and then charging said runic seal to function …whether to lock something, protect someone, or what she used it for …the animagi transformation.
Jameson: I'll just take you word on that for now, so when where you engaged?
Daphne: He proposed New Years Eve, just the two of us at his place …it was perfect.
Jameson: That's quite the ring, congratulations.
Harry & Daphne: Thank you.
Jameson: What are your thoughts on the current house rivalries between your two houses at Hogwarts?
Harry: The house system itself is fine, but the petty rivalries mainly perpetuated by Gryffindors and Slytherins are complete bollocks. Not all Slytherins are evil, just as not all Gryffindors are good …nor can eleven year olds be pigeonholed into broad characteristics of only brave, loyal, intelligent, or ambitious. They're kids with mixtures of every house that are then typecast before most of them even know how to hold a wand. The sorting hat wanted me so badly to go into Slytherin house, but instead chose Gryffindor. Daphne was almost a Ravenclaw and she is the bravest person in this school hands down for dating me. The most ambitious and cunning twin pranksters I ever met were both Gryffindors, as was the person who sold out me and my parents to Voldemort …so you see, house means nothing in reality, it's just a place to sleep.
Jameson: How many times have you faced Voldemort?
Harry: More than I would care to …well, October 31, 1981 in Godric's Hollow I guess would be the first. The end of my first year at Hogwarts his spirit was possessing DADA Professor Quirinius Quirrell and attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone, I killed Quirrell simply by touching him and Voldemort's spirit fled. Second year Lucius Malfoy slipped the school diary of Tom Marvolo Riddle into the hands of an unsuspecting first year, which was then possessed by the dark lord through the book to open the Chamber f Secrets and use the basilisk of Salazar Slytherin to attack students. Luckily, Dumbledore's Phoenix Fawkes showed up to take out the basilisk's eyes and give me a weapon to kill the large serpent, and then destroyed the diary freeing the possessed student and eradicating Voldemort's soul again. Third year I got a break from Voldemort, but had to deal with the Dementors and my parents three friends from school. Fourth year was the Triwizard Tournament, and the cup ended up being a portkey to the Little Hangleton graveyard where Peter Pettigrew, my parent betrayer, killed Cedric Diggory and used my blood for a dark arts ritual to restore Voldemort's spirit into a physical body. We dueled …I escaped, but he now carries my blood and his serpentine body. At the end of fifth year last June, he tried to possess me in the Ministry Atrium but failed and was supposedly wounded for the attempt. This past Halloween we met at Azkaban and had a short duel that was interrupted, and he did not come with the Death Eaters that spectacularly failed to attack Hogsmeade in December.
Jameson: And how would you describe Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle?
Harry: Physically he's about 194 cm (6'4") and around 82 kg (180 lbs.), tall and sickly thin with bone white parchment like skin, long spidery fingers, thin slits for his burning red eyes and an almost non-existent nose …he is one ugly bad guy! Magically he is very strong, but mostly because he relies almost solely on the magically unblockable unforgivables, which can in fact be blocked with physical objects. When we fought at Azkaban, I used the three LeStranges as wonderful physical shields to Tom's favorite green curse …those were definitely very rewarding shields.
Jameson: Do I want to know what you mean by that?
Harry: Sure, first and most importantly Tom Riddle ended up killing the three remaining people responsible for torturing the Longbottoms and killing my godfather, but also without any remaining LeStrange family, their vaults and possessions fall to the Head of Bellatrix's family …Lord Black, me!
Jameson: So you are also technically the Head of the LeStrange Family as well.
Harry: I was for about fifteen minutes until I dissolved the family and assimilated into the Black Family holding …then took all their money and bought up all of the Malfoy family debts and called them in as a Christmas present to Lucius, Narcissa, and Draco bankrupting them by the New Year. I also took over control and stated cleaning up all of the LeStrange family businesses over the next few months.
Jameson: What did you think of Draco Malfoy's recent arrest?
Harry: I feel bad for Draco and people like him, who grew up clones of their parents never questioning things for themselves or coming to their own conclusions but clinging to the beliefs of their parents or any figure of authority. They are simply brainwashed and deluded into one way of thinking, Draco was actually the first wizard my age I ever met …and despite me not knowing anything about the world I was entering I knew I preferred my way of figuring it out for myself as opposed to his spewing of his father's racist verbal diarrhea without even questioning or understanding it himself. He felt that he was important simply by his last name, where as I would do almost anything to separate Harry Potter from the boy-who-lived forever.
Jameson: But …you are the boy-who-lived?
Harry: A title that carries with it incredible expectations, given to me to provide hope and answers to the Wizarding World …but I am also a sixteen year old wizard who has not yet taken my NEWT exams called just Harry that few people ever get to know. Harry is not the savior of the Wizarding World, but a member of that society willing to do what is necessary to fight Voldemort, not out of some foolish notion that I am the savior, but for revenge, peace, and justice I seek for my family both past and present. Take you for example …do you want people to listen and follow you because the door to your office says editor, or would you rather be judged on your own merits and accomplishments …for who you are not what you are.
Jameson: That was well spoken, have you ever thought about a career in politics or the Ministry?
Harry: Having currently three voting seats on the Wizengamot and two on Hogwarts Board of Governors, I'm afraid politics will always be in my future somewhere …but family will always come before any career, I definitely don't need the money.
Jameson: Yes, Gringotts has stated that you are hands down there wealthiest and most respected client.
Harry: But if you ask Lord Ragnok, you will find that I am not their most respected client because of my wealth in gold, but because of the great respect I hold he and his people in.
Jameson: Fair point …can you tell me about your recent experiences with the Dementors of Azkaban?
Harry: I was asked by Professor Dumbledore to accompany him and two other Hogwarts Professors to the Azkaban dock this past Halloween because of my patronus. The best DADA Professor I've ever had, Remus Lupin taught me the spell during my third year and argued for my inclusion on the trip due to it's strength. As was reported, I was one of the first to notice their approach and simply reacted, sending two of my stag patroni rampaging through the Dementors and surprisingly killing the large group of probably near a hundred of them. On Valentine's Day weekend I was approached by who I assumed the leader of the remaining Dementors who asked me to release he and his remaining brethren from their existence. I cast my patronus a final time and the remaining forty or so Dementors silently waited to be killed, and then Professor Dumbledore helped me gather evidence to be taken to the Ministry to prove they were all gone of which they are still investigating.
Jameson: Are all the Dementors really gone?
Harry: I was told all Dementors were gathered in the last, but that doesn't count wraiths, which are similar in certain respects in that they are also affected by the patronus.
Jameson: How is your patronus so magically powerful?
Harry: A lot of reasons actually, first are the quality of my happy memories that fuel my emotions to charge the spell. Second is my desire to see my particular patronus since he is my father in his animagus form, the third is my will and focus on refusing to let the darkness in, the fourth is my particular bad memories of my mother pleading for my life and the emotion it rises in me, and fifth is simply power …expecto patronum!
Jameson: Sweet Merlin …he's so bright!
Harry: Thank you …he is the representation of happiness I associate with my father and family.
Jameson: Wow …can you tell me about the honor duel you challenged one Alexander Stevens, a seventh year Slytherin in and the outcome and fallout since then?
Harry: I came across several of his past actions taken against Daphne as well as plans he had for the future and challenged him to the duel. He fired one killing curse at me which I avoided and beheaded him …his father Lord Stevens went ballistic and asked if I knew who he was. When I produced the folder of gathered evidence and intelligence I had on his entire life, including his murder of his parents and records of illegal financial dealings he fired at me, which I avoided as several aurors apprehended him and took him in for questioning …I haven't heard what's become of it, maybe you could tell me Mr. Jameson?
Jameson: Nice try Harry, but you'll have to wait to find out like the rest of the Wizarding World …since the Wizengamot is currently quite backlogged with business.
Harry: While I admit I am rather biased …I should mention all of my seats will be voting for the inclusion of the Weasley and Greengrass families among the ranks of the Wizengamot, and wish both Arthur and Damien the best of luck.
Jameson: Very nice shameless plug there Harry.
Harry: Hey, you left the Wizengamot question out there just begging to be answered. Anything else your readers want to know?
Jameson: How do you feel the Ministry is doing?
Harry: Infinitely better with Minister Bones and the boosted auror corps, especially since you ousted all the Death Eaters trying to hide among our good citizens spreading their disease of racism and bigotry. It is time we as a society got past the issue of blood and focused on out actions which truly define us.
AN: Sorry for the long interview, but was a way to refresh everyone's memory of what's been going on, and give Harry's perspective, hopefully clearing his name from any bad fallout from his many questionable actions of late …not to mention further distancing himself from speculation that he is Evan Jameson, even though it plain as day that he is. Nobody else needs to know that!
Sorry for the long delay for these chapters. I spent some time in China and had my laptop destroyed losing everything. I've hopefully caught back up and am thankful that fanfiction has the chapters saved off sight so I can still read and remember what I've written in the past. Another reason I'm glad to have written this whole story out on paper first, at least I wasn't totally fucked!