When Harry woke, he was surprised to find himself in the Gryffindor common room at Hogwarts. He was lying on one of the sofas, dressed in the same black outfit as when he had been knocked out. Suddenly, he noticed a weight on his chest and looked down - he was surprised to see the trinket resting on his chest, a leather thong threaded through a loop at its tip and around his neck.
"Ah, you are awake," said a voice behind him. "Good. Then we may begin."
Harry turned towards the voice and was surprised to see a complete stranger, dressed in old-fashioned green-and-silver robes, sitting in one of the chairs by the fire, a sword was propped up against the side of the chair and a long staff rested on his knees. The stranger was an elderly male, by Harry's estimate around the same age as Professor Dumbledore. He appeared to be quite tall, but was lean almost wiry in build and his hair, which was iron-grey at the roots fading into paler grey at the tips, was worn fairly long falling from a centre parting to about half-way down his chest. Harry frowned, something wasn't right about this... something was out of place. Then he realised what it was: his surroundings reminded him of a Pensieve memory or one of his more vivid dreams. "Where am I?" he asked the old man. "This isn't the Gryffindor common room."
"No, it is not." The old man agreed. "It is a mental projection generated by your mind to put your surroundings into a form that you can comprehend. You are in the realm of dreams. You were brought here by the amulet you wear around your neck."
"Who are you? Why are you here?"
"I am here to show you the path."
"The path that will allow you to attain the power to complete your quest."
"Why should I trust you?"
"When I tell you who I am, your first instinct will be to denounce me. But, I trust that even one of Godric's line will have enough sense to listen to his heart."
"Godric's line? You mean I'm related to Godric Gryffindor?"
The old man nodded, but then waved a hand dismissively. "An important tale, but one for another day I fear, for it is the present and the future that concerns us now. However, before we proceed further I should introduce myself... I am Salazar Slytherin, Founder of Hogwarts and former champion of the wizarding world."
"There's no way I'm going to trust you!" Harry spat angrily. "It's your fault this whole thing started in the first place!"
Salazar sighed. "Why is it always the same..? People make assumptions, assumptions become 'fact'... and then all my good intentions go to waste."
"Good intentions! What's good about stamping out Muggles and Muggleborns?!"
"Very little,." Salazar replied dryly.
Salazar chuckled. "Harry, Harry... Surely you are not foolish enough to believe everything you hear? It is true, to an extent... that I felt, and still feel, that magical learning should be in all-magical families, but not for the reasons that many claim were mine. Power should be used, and those who have it should be trained in it's use, I do not deny that. But, I felt that Muggleborns would put the interests of their families ahead of those at our school and that to allow them entry into its halls would expose the rest of us to danger. You must admit that I was right."
Harry nodded. Muggle knowledge of the wizarding world had caused a lot of damage in its time. "So what about the Chamber... the Basilisk? You meant to destroy the Muggles with that!"
"No, I did not," Salazar told him. "The Chamber was intended as a last stand in the event of an attack on the students by Muggles, and the Basilisk was intended as its guard. Your enemy, Riddle, has gone too far, he has perverted my teachings and my guardian to his own ends, losing my intent along the way. He has done a lot of damage to the world in his mad quest to escape his halfblood roots. If he is allowed to continue the entire world is doomed. Therefore it is time, I think, to put an end to him."
"Sounds good to me," declared Harry. "But how?"
Salazar smiled. "By calling on the powers held within the amulet."
Harry paused. "How can I be sure I can trust you?"
"You can not. However, it is within the power of the Amulet, to show how events will likely run, if it is not a factor. Would you like to see? It will not be pleasant."
The scenery around them shifted, and took on the appearance of the back room of the antique shop. Another Harry was lying on the sofa, surrounded by the two Jamesons and some friends of theirs, including a doctor, and a Muggle RAF officer. As Harry and Salazar watched, the other Harry woke and then after getting his bearings handed the Amulet back to Mr Jameson.
At that point, the scene fast-forwarded to another scene, which according to Salazar was about a week later. A small group of Order members - Mr Weasley, Bill, Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt and Remus Lupin - had been cornered in what appeared to be a Muggle neighbourhood by a large group of about twenty Death Eaters. They were fighting hard and managed to take down eight of the Death Eaters, but after a while the Death Eaters were joined by a quartet of creatures that Harry had never seen before. They resembled werewolves, but were much larger and moved on two legs like men.
"Revenants," whispered Salazar. "Terrible and dangerous beasts. Nearly unstoppable by wizards, especially when they run in packs."
The Order were caught by surprise and didn't last long against the Revenants' ferocious attacks: Mr Weasley died within the first minute and Tonks fell a few seconds later, while Bill managed to take down three more Death Eaters and injure one of the Revenants before he too was killed. As Bill fell, Lupin and Shacklebolt redoubled their efforts and managed to get themselves enough time to Apparate away.
As the two wizards departed, the scene faded out into another. This time the venue was the kitchen of number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Salazar mentioned that it was now a few weeks later. Mrs Weasley was present, as were Remus Lupin and several other members of the Order, none of which Harry could identify by name.
Suddenly, the walls of the basement glowed, and then as quickly as it had appeared the glow faded. Seconds later, there was a rumbling sound and masonry started to fall from the ceiling. Two Order members, one in Auror cream and gold, the other in the lime-green robes of a St Mungo's Healer were caught in the fall, but Mrs Weasley and Professor Lupin managed to escape out through the Floo. Seconds after they disappeared a dozen Death Eaters and thirty Revenants swept through the rubble and slaughtered the remaining wizards.
"Without the aid that you can provide, the Order and your Ministry will be helpless against even Tom's wizard army, never mind the Dementors, Revenants, vampires, trolls and giants that will flock to his banner."
"I can see that," Harry replied.
At that moment the scene shifted again. This time they were in the headmaster's office at Hogwarts. There were only half-a-dozen people there: Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flitwick, Lupin, and another person Harry didn't recognise. They appeared to be looking over a list of casualties. Harry wandered over to Dumbledore and scanned the list over his shoulder. His heart sank as he realised it was over three feet long. Not all the names meant anything to him, but his heart sank with each one he did: Arthur Weasley, Bill Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks, Colin Creevey, Dennis Creevey, Nicholas Creevey, Francis Creevey, Seamus Finnigan, Patrick Finnigan, Amelia Bones, Susan Bones, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, Peter Granger, Anne Granger, Diane Granger, Kathleen Granger, Laura Longbottom, Lawrence Lovegood, Severus Snape.
Harry could bear it any longer. "Show me how it will end."
"I cannot show you that, Harry," Salazar told him. "But I can show you how this will probably end, if that is your wish?"
Harry nodded. Salazar waved his staff and the scene changed again. It was winter, and the castle was under attack. By the looks of it, Voldemort's force had attacked during the night and caught everyone off guard as most of those fighting them appeared to be wearing nightclothes and they were losing. A few dead Death Eaters and a couple of dead trolls could be seen lying on the field, but most of the dead - which by Harry's count was nearly fifty - were students and staff: Professors Flitwick, Grubbly-Plank and Vector were dead and scanning the piles of bodies, Harry picked out more familiar faces: Neville, Dean, Kirke and Sloper, Zacharias Smith, Ernie MacMillian, Justin Finch Fletchley, Terry Boot... even to Harry's surprise some of the Slytherins: Malfoy, Blaise Zabini, Daphne Greengrass and Malcolm Baddock were all dead, and a handful of others were injured.
Casting his eyes around, he saw McGonagall locked in a four-way battle with three cloaked Death Eaters, he wasn't sure but from their builds he guessed they were Crabbe, Goyle and MacNair, she doing okay against them, but then a sword-welding vampire snuck up behind her and cut her down. Harry scanned the battlefield for other people he recognised, but for several minutes all he saw were bodies. After a minute or two he did find a small cluster of people though: Dumbledore, Lupin, Hagrid, and the strange wizard were fighting side by side; and had been joined by Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Harry himself. They were fighting hard but the enemy was slowly drawing in around them. Hermione was the next to go down, she was hit by a Cruciatus Curse, Ron fired a Stunner back at the Death Eater and it caught her in the midsection. The curl of black hair that poked out from under the mask identified her as Bellatrix Lestrange, and Harry felt a fresh surge of anger against the woman. Ron lost it after that, and attacked the Death Eaters left and right, cutting down two and wounding four, but he was eventually caught in between three different Cruciatus Curses and slumped to the ground.
Harry fought to keep watching, as their last hope dwindled and died: Dumbledore and Lupin fell in a hail of Killing Curses, and his older self fought on for a few minutes against them before they retreated, and Voldemort himself approached. He shot a Disarming Charm at the other Harry, who blocked it with a Shield Charm, but Harry could tell that he was tiring, and not only that but something was different...
"Voldemort is not using his own wand," Salazar informed Harry. "He is using another's... Lucius Malfoy's, I believe."
"Then, the bond between the wands..."
"Will not save your older self," confirmed Salazar.
His heart cold, Harry turned back to the battle, and continued to watch. A Reductor Curse from Voldemort shattered his older self's Shield Charm and before he had a chance to retaliate three Cruciatus Curses in quick succession hit him. The other Harry fell to his knees and then seconds later Voldemort raised his wand and delivered the final fatal blow, the deadly Avada Kedavra.
This time there were no protections to stop it, and Harry watched as his older self crumpled to the ground.
With all their leaders dead, the rest of Hogwarts fell easily to the Dark Lord's forces. Most of the students and other defenders died, but a few - mainly girls - were captured and imprisoned. And once the battlefield was clear the Death Eaters swept on and took over the castle. Within two hours of his older self's fall, Hogwarts was a smoking ruin and Voldemort and his followers had moved on.
"Without leadership, the resistance against the Death Eaters would have no chance of survival," Salazar mused. "I would say victory would be Tom's within weeks, months at the most. I can show you more...?"
"No!" Harry exclaimed. "I've seen enough... too much."
Salazar nodded and the battlefield dissolved back into the more comfortable setting of the Gryffindor common room. "Will you take what I offer, then?"
"It doesn't seem like I have much of an option," Harry mused. "Voldemort cannot be allowed to win."
"We are in agreement."
"So, what is the Amulet exactly? Where did it come from?"
"We don't really know how the Amulet first entered our world, indeed we have little idea of the why or when either. But what we do know is that it was a long time ago, as there have been over eight hundred of us since it first appeared. Some were more powerful than others, but all were great people. I say people because many of us were neither wizards nor witches. Much as I hate to admit it, there have in fact been dozens of Muggle wearers of the Amulet - including your immediate predecessor. The Amazons had it for a few generations, as did the Medjai... and I believe that a centaur got his hands on it around the sixth century, and there may have been others before him."
The powers of the Amulet are diverse. Wearing it will increase your physical and magical potential to way beyond what it possible for our kind, and it will also grant you power over the mind and the very elements around you. When your power is unleashed, you will be able to command the water and the air, to brew storms and blizzards, and strike at your foes with the power of lightning. You will also be much more resistant to magical and physical injury than any normal wizard, but the limits of that can vary, so be careful."
"I will be."
"Seek out the elves, they will aid you," Salazar promised. "The centaurs will be harder to convince, but ask of them nothing more than is in their own interests to do and they will stand with you also."
"That is what I am here for, Harry," Salazar reminded him. "One last thing, the Jamesons know all of what I have just told you, it was Johannes, the current Jack Jameson's paternal grandfather and namesake, who preceded you as Lord of Storms, and the young lady, Jenna, has trained all her young life for the chance to aid the new Lord, give her a chance and she will be a valuable addition to your companions."
Now it is time for you to go. But before you do there is one last thing. This returned here when Johannes died, now it is yours." He reached down and picked up the sword at his side, then handed it to Harry. Immediately, the sabre changed to a different weapon, more suited to Harry's future fighting style. "Now go, we will speak again soon."
"Good bye, sir." The common room began to blur around him until eventually it went black.
When Harry returned to consciousness, he was confronted by the same tableau as he had seen in the Realm of Dreams: he was lying on one of the backroom's sofas and the Jamesons were positioned near him. Also in the room were the RAF officer, a bald, slightly odd-looking black man with the broad chest and thick arms of a body-builder, a lean, tousle-haired man in his mid-thirties, and the female doctor, who hurried over the moment she saw he had regained consciousness.
After checking him over briefly she gave him a small vial and indicated he should take it. Harry was a little surprised to find that it wasn't Muggle medicine, instead it was one of the painkilling potions that Madam Pomfrey had given him on several occasions.
"Well Harry, what did you decide?" asked Jameson. "You can trust everyone here."
"Thank you, Jack," Harry replied. "I have decided that we are back."
Doctor Roth pronounced Harry fully healed from the injuries he received from the amulet. And after sending a quick note to Dumbledore through Mrs Figg, Harry left Little Whinging with Jenna and his new associates to locate the elves.
Acting on information imparted to him by the amulet they narrowed down the location of Righlionn - the home of the Elves - to a small forest in the Pennines. After a brief phone call, Group Captain Richards was able to persuade an RAF helicopter pilot to take them from London to the Pennines. They borrowed some clothes and equipment from the RAF base nearest their target and then proceeded on foot. Neither Harry or the tousle-haired Dr Daniels were in terribly good shape for climbing as Harry hadn't really figured out how to access his powers yet, so it took them a few hours to find the pass into Righlionn.
Once there, Harry's newfound knowledge of Ealbhari - the language of the elves - and Dr Daniel's diplomatic skills enabled them to get an audience with the Ealbharigh, Lord RistŽard Seamfor of Rachgin. Once inside, Harry introduced himself and his companions and then outlined his proposal to the king.
"How reliable is your source, Kingsley?" Professor Lupin asked the Auror as they approached the meeting point. "Because this doesn't feel right."
"I think you might be right, Remus," Tonks agreed, pulling out her wand. "This feels like a trap."
"Well, his information's always been right before. So I'm fairly sure we can trust him," Kingsley replied.
Three Killing Curses flew towards them, and Lupin only barely managed to get out of the way.
"On the other hand, I may have been mistaken!" admitted Kingsley, quickly drawing his own wand and peering into the shadows. "Stupefy!"
There was a groan and a black robed figure fell out of the shadows. Seconds later, several more Death Eaters appeared came out of cover and continued to fire. Bill calmly shot one down with a Reductor Curse, while Kingsley and Tonks picked off two more with well-aimed Stunners.
"We should pull back!" yelled Lupin, as he conjured a Shield Charm to block a Defibrillus Hex from one of the Death Eaters. "We're outnumbered! Petrificus Totalus!"
The others nodded and they tried to regroup, but every time they did a Death Eater would throw another spell at them and they would be forced apart. They had been fighting for a while when Lupin's keen ears picked up a growling noise from behind him, he turned around and saw a group of what he would later know as Revenants, emerge from the shadows and charge for his group. He raised his wand and took aim. "Stupefy!"
The Stunning Charm hit one of the Revenants in the chest but it only growled louder and continued on. Lupin shouted a warning to the rest of the group and fired a Body-Bind into the pack, it had no more effect than the Stunner had. Once he was in range, the lead Revenant struck out, catching Mr Weasley on the shoulder and opening up a long cut which began to bleed heavily.
However, before any of the others could attack, there was a whistling sound and a dozen arrows flew through the air, reducing the Revenants to piles of dust. Seconds later, the whistle of flying arrows was heard again and the remaining Death Eaters fell down dead.
Lupin paused, waiting for something else to happen. But after a minute or two nothing more happened. He shrugged and holstered his wand. "That was odd. Was it centaurs, do you think?"
"In Muggle London?" pondered Kingsley. "I doubt it. Maybe Albus will be able to tell us when we report in."
"I hope so," said Bill. "But we need to get Dad to St Mungo's."
"Okay, why don't you and Tonks do that, while Kingsley and I secure things here?" suggest Lupin. "We need to find out who the dead Death Eaters are."
Tonks nodded and then the three of them Disapparated.
A tall, dark-cloaked and hooded man, barely visible against the night sky, stood at the top of a hill in Regent's Park, looking out across the park towards the London Streets beyond. Another man, this time clothed in dark green Shimmered into view to one side of him.
"Was your operation a success, Captain Artair?" asked the first man.
"Only partially, my lord," Artair admitted. "The parents and the grandmother have been secured. However, the principal was not present, I believe she has gone to the headquarters of the Order or to the Weasley residence."
"And the younger daughter?"
"As yet unaccounted for, my lord. She is believed to be out with friends. The Irregulars and Lady Shelgeyra's spies are looking for her."
The other man sighed. "That was far too close for comfort, Captain."
"Yes, my lord."
"We must accelerate the timetable. Tell the others that we move on Hogwarts at midday."
"Yes my lord," replied the second man, and then with a short bow he shimmered away.
Albus Dumbledore was widely regarded as one of the greatest and wisest wizards of the age, and so it was not often that he was taken by surprise, but the sight of a ball of light dropping into in the middle of the Hogwarts staffroom, and then resolving into four cloaked figures (from their sizes and builds, three were male and one female) - had that effect on him. Snape began to rise and reached for his wand, Dumbledore signalled him to return to his seat. Clearly anyone who could penetrate the sanctity of Hogwarts required careful handling. He eyed them intently, trying to figure out what to do next.
The leader of the group was almost certainly the smallest of the three men, as he was standing forward of the other three people. His face was for the moment covered by the shadow from the hood of a long shiny black cloak, but his body was more clearly visible. He stood a little over six feet in height and had the hard, lean physique and posture of a seasoned fighter.
It was difficult to tell much about the other two men as they were both wrapped in heavy travelling cloaks and their faces were concealed by their hoods. However, both were both several inches over six feet in height and fairly broad-shouldered. The woman seemed to be of average height and her silhouette hinted at a fairly slim but athletic figure beneath the cloak.
Just as Dumbledore finished this evaluation, the leader spoke. "That took a bit longer than usual."
The tallest of his companions appeared to nod. "I assume that Salazar's 'backdoor' wasn't as good as he thought it was."
"He wouldn't be pleased to hear that."
"No he won't, Lord Haimric."
"Could you explain yourselves?" asked Dumbledore.
The first speaker nodded and stepped forward. "My name is Lord Haimric Seamfor Procella, and my associates and I have come to aid you against Lord Voldemort."
"Why should we trust you?" asked Snape.
"Because, Severus Snape, if I meant you harm, you would already be dead." Haimric replied. "But if you insist."
At this he reached up and pulled down his hood. The face that appeared was unfamiliar in its sharp angular lines, but a familiar pair of green eyes, caught Snape's in their hard glaze. "But don't take my word for it, ask..."
The Amulet glowed, then Haimric shrunk several inches, and his features softened into Harry's more familiar visage. "Me."
Harry nodded. "Now that that's out of the way, perhaps I can introduce my new friends."
"Certainly, Harry. But we need to talk about you being out of touch over the last few weeks."
"Okay Professor," Harry agreed. "I had to do it though. You'll understand."
"I hope so."
Harry nodded. "I think I'll let my other self explain, he understands better. Amicitia!"
The Amulet glowed again and a strong gust of wind spun around Harry, and then died down as he became Haimric once more. Now Dumbledore knew who Haimric was he could see that Haimric's face was merely a harder more angular version of Harry's own. "Albus Dumbledore, what do you know of the Council of Ancients?"
Dumbledore's eyebrows shot up. "The Council of Ancients is believed to have established the wizarding world. I believe current government authority is in their name."
"Silence Severus Snape!" snapped Haimric. "If I require your input, I will ask for it!"
Snape bristled, but Dumbledore's gaze kept him silent.
"Besides, you are wrong," Haimric told him. "Albus Dumbledore, what are the three symbols of the Council of Ancients?"
"The Crown of Ealbhar, the Shroud of Idolon, and the Amulet of Procella," Dumbledore replied. "If memory serves, the Amulet was gifted to the race of men."
"Indeed, though it has passed to others over the millennia," Haimric admitted. "I am the latest recipient," he added, pointing to the Amulet, which as usual hung around his neck. He paused. "Albus Dumbledore, I think it is time for others to know what the Weapon is."
"If you wish, Harry."
"As some you may know, the Weapon is a prophecy, one of the few true ones made since the time of the Oracle. What none of you, save the headmaster, know is the content of that prophecy.
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches... born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies... and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not... and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives... the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies..."
"The Headmaster believes that Harry is the child in the Prophecy and I agree. I am also of the opinion that 'the power the Dark Lord knows not...' is me. I believe this because we merged on Harry's birthday."
"That would make sense," agreed Dumbledore. "Who are your friends?"
The other three glanced at Haimric, he nodded. All three lowered their hoods. "Let me introduce my Companion, Jenna Jameson; anti-terrorist and dark arts expert, Terrence K. Davis, and the Ealbhari Blademaster, Barra Anluafor Dubhaon, champion of the king of the Elves.
"The Ealbharigh and his Council have also approved military aid which have already assisted me in several operations. We would like to move to Hogwarts as things are getting difficult."
"How many people are we talking about?"
"Two hundred members of the elite Rangers of Righ and fifty-one mages, including two Chief Arch-Mages... Lord Barra's man-at-arms, Dˆibhidh Cadhan, and around fifty others. We were hoping to use the courtyard for their tents?"
"That should be fine, Harry."
"When you say they helped you on 'operations' what do you mean, Mr Potter?" asked McGonagall.
"Since the Revenants appeared two to three weeks ago, we've being keeping surveillance on the Order and the DA. It was our Rangers that killed the ambush group in London, and they also stopped the attacks on the Grangers, the Changs, the Patils and on Grimmauld Place."
"Is there anything we can do to help?" asked Flitwick.
"Are you still short a DADA professor, Albus?"
Dumbledore nodded. "Remus and Alastor both refused and no-one else I can trust can spare the time."
"Then I would like you to appoint Terrence."
Dumbledore thought for a moment, then nodded. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Professor Davis."
"Thank you, Professor Dumbledore. I'm glad to be of service."
A/N: I'd like to thank everyone who has reviewed so far. To those reviewers who thought the pace was a little fast in the first chapter, I hope this chapter is more to your liking, if not now that the scene has been set, I can slow things down some more. There will be some more exploration of the Jamesons especially Jenna, but as they are not essential to the central plot it may take a while so please bear with me.