The rest of the Ealbhari force arrived the next morning and their house-elves quickly erected several large tents in the castle's courtyard. These tents were rather like larger versions of the 'wizard tent' that Harry had encountered at the Quidditch World Cup, and though on the outside it seemed only big enough for perhaps six or seven it could actually accommodate a full hundred people inside. At the same time, they also set up open-air workshops for the mages, tailors and smiths attached to each company. At Dumbledore's suggestion, Jenna, the two senior mages, and Lord Barra were found rooms inside the castle, as were the two company captains. Davis of course moved into the DADA professor's quarters.
At breakfast, two days before term started, Harry received news that Richards and Daniels had finished the assignment he had sent them on and had joined the Order at their new headquarters in Sussex - which, like Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, had belonged to the Black family and had been, like the rest of the Black estate, passed to Harry in his godfather's will. "Professor Dumbledore?"
"I need to go to Diagon Alley this morning and pick up some supplies. If that's okay with you?"
"No, Harry, that should be fine. But if you could take your other form, I believe that that would be safer."
They had discovered after a little experimentation that although Harry and Haimric shared the same knowledge base and raw power, most of the Amulet's unique powers only applied to Haimric.
"Certainly Professor," agreed Harry. "Jenna, TK, would you like to come with me?"
"I would love to," Jenna said. "I've never been to Diagon Alley before."
"I would happy to, Harry," Davis replied. "I have some business in Knockturn Alley today anyway."
"Why are you going there?" asked Professor Smith, the Muggle Studies Professor. "Isn't that where they sell Dark items?"
"Yes Professor, it is," confirmed Davis. "However, I left an item which I need to retrieve, in a shop down there for repairs."
"May I ask what?" asked McGonagall.
"A Fulguris Staff," admitted Davis . "It is the favoured weapon of an old Egyptian Dark group called the Sons of Ra. Until the first John Jameson freed me from the High Priest's mind control in the late nineteen forties, I was part of that group. I still retain a fondness for the weapon."
"Those are illegal, Davis," Snape interjected accusingly.
"Actually, Professor Snape. They are perfectly legal..." Davis corrected him. "Providing one has the correct papers, which I do."
"That's settled it then," said Dumbledore politely. "I will be in my office all day if anyone needs me."
"Could you write me an authorisation for the checkpoint at the Leaky Cauldron?" Harry asked. "I can get through, but Haimric might open up situations that I'd rather keep quiet for now, and Jenna's a Muggle."
"Certainly Harry. I will attend to it immediately."
Lord Barra appeared to consider something for a moment then he spoke up. "I would like you to take some rangers with you, just in case you run into any trouble."
"Okay," Harry agreed with a shrug. "Could you have 6th Platoon meet me in the Entrance Hall in half an hour?"
"Eagle Company?" queried the bearded Bladelord. Harry nodded. "They will be waiting."
Harry grinned inwardly. While he would have preferred no escort at all, Leagsaigdh Garadar, the platoon sergeant of Eagle Company's 6th Platoon, had enough discretion that the experience wouldn't too bad.
"Is everyone ready?" asked Harry, glancing round the small group assembled in the Entrance Hall. Davis, Jenna and Sergeant Garadar nodded, but the ten, cloaked rangers behind Garadar did nothing.
"Okay, time for a quick change then we're off," declared Harry. "Amicitia!"
The usual gush of wind blew through the Entrance Hall as Harry tapped into the powers of the Amulet and became his other self. Once the winds around Haimric had disappeared, Davis reached over and put one hand on his shoulder, and Jenna looped one of her arms in his.
At a nod from their sergeant, the Rangers shimmered away. Haimric waited a few seconds, then the three of them faded into a ball of light, which then flew off a high speed.
They reappeared in an alley a few houses down from the Leaky Cauldron. With this in mind all of them had donned Muggle clothing before leaving: the Rangers and Davis wore Muggle combat trousers, fatigue shirts, jackets and drill caps; Jenna was wearing a pair of casual trousers, a sleeveless top and a light overcoat, and Haimric was wearing black jeans, knee length lace-up boots and a sleeveless T-shirt which clearly showed the differences between Harry's scrawny build and his own taller, more athletic frame, and over it all he was wearing a knee-length black overcoat.
At another nod from Garadar, Corporal Clachair ducked out the alley and quickly confirmed that the coast was clear. The group moved out of the shadows, Clachair and four elves leading the way, Haimric, Jenna and Davis in the middle, and Garadar and the other five elves bringing up the rear.
They passed through the checkpoint without incident, but the Hit Wizards were a little nonplussed at the large number of apparently Muggle people passing through.
First stop was Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and Haimric decided to check out the vault owned by the Procella. When they reached vault seven hundred and two, Haimric saw the largest vault he had ever seen. He wasn't sure but he guessed there was probably several hundred times more money in this vault than in his trust vault on level six.
After rendezvousing with the rangers in the main hall, they headed out into Diagon Alley. The next stop was Madam Malkin's Robes For All Occasions. After a brief discussion outside they split up: Haimric and Jenna headed inside the shop followed by Corporal Clachair and three elves, and Garadar and two of the elves, stationed themselves outside. Finally, Uilleam Bactar, the second corporal, and the last three elves, headed down towards to the other end of the street with Davis.
When Haimric, Jenna and their guards left Madam Malkin's an hour later, both humans carried several bulging bags: Haimric had bought two ordinary black work robes and a silver-edged black cloak in his size, and two uniforms and a set of Quidditch robes in Gryffindor colours in Harry's size. Jenna had fewer bags, as she had only purchased a couple of workrobes - one brown and one dark green - and a warm cloak.
A quick visit to the Apothecary yielded a wide stock of potions ingredients, and Haimric also bought two collapsible pewter cauldrons and a larger pure silver cauldron, which he intended to use for a little side project he'd come up with about a week before.
Heading down the street they picked up a large stack of reference books from Flourish and Blotts and a good supply of ink and parchment from the stationers, then they stopped in front of a new shop opposite the wand shop. The garishly painted sign declared:
Weasleys Wizard Wheezes
Purveyors of Aids to Magical Mischief-Makers
Haimric paused at the door, then entered.Jenna and Garadar frowned but followed him leaving the others outside. The shop was thronging with customers, and Lee Jordan was running to and fro trying to man the till and help customers as neither of the twins were present. After considering it for a moment, Haimric decided that it wasn't worth revealing himself to Lee, so after having a brief look around, the three of them exited the shop, much to the relief of his companions.
They linked up with the rest of the party outside Gringotts and headed back towards the Leaky Cauldron. They had almost reached it when Haimric sensed a slight disturbance in the air. "Stay alert," he warned the others, pulling his baseball cap more firmly over his head. "Something's not right." Jenna and several of the elves nodded in agreement to show they agreed.
Sure enough, less than a second later, a series of pops was heard and about two dozen black-robed, skull-masked wizards appeared in the middle of the Alley. The crowds panicked as they noticed the Death Eaters, who immediately began firing curses into the crowd.
"Orders, my lord?" asked Garadar.
"Take them. Alive or dead," Haimric replied. "I would prefer dead."
Garadar nodded, clearly expecting this answer. She nodded and signalled for her team to remove their backpacks. They did so and seconds later they were fully armed: Garadar and four others carried twin short swords, while the remainder - including Clachair and Bactar - carried short bows and had quivers of arrows slung across their backs. Jenna had slipped two Muggle telescopic batons out of her coat and held them ready, and Davis sent their packages back Hogwarts with a flick of his wand, and then unwrapped his Staff.
"TK, archers, lay down covering fire, try and drive them away from the civilians," ordered Haimric. "Jenna, Garadar, Airean, Casgar, Cocaire and Eige, follow me."
The archers sent a volley of arrows towards the Death Eaters. Three went down instantly and the others immediately turned their attention away from the fleeing civilians and towards the threat. Two Death Eaters fired Killing Curses towards them; Haimric pulled Jenna out of the way of one just in time, and the second hit the stonework just to the left of one of the archers.
"Attack!" ordered Haimric and charged forward. "Mysticus Fulguris Elidere!"
Lightning crackled around his right hand and with a flick of his wrist he sent it flying towards the closest Death Eater. The dark wizard was caught completely by surprise and took the bolt right in the chest. He went down.
Haimric flicked a pair of Japanese shuriken from his gauntlets with a quick wrist movement then sent them spinning towards a second Death Eater who likewise went down instantly. The next two Death Eaters attacked as a pair, sending twin Cruciatus Curses at him. Haimric shrugged them off and then leapt forward, bringing them down with a quick succession of kicks and strikes.
Landing softly on two feet after taking down his sixth Death Eater with a hard roundhouse kick, Haimric glanced around to check how the others were doing and then grinned - although outnumbered by the Death Eaters, they were doing pretty well: one of the swordsmen was down nursing a bleeding arm and an archer was limping, but the Death Eater ranks had been reduced to only five in just as many minutes.
Just then, Harry saw a flash of blue and silver out of the corner of his eye, and then a loud shout rang out. "Stop in the name of the Ministry!"
Haimric spun around to face the speaker. He was a burly wizard wearing the robes and insignia of a sergeant in the Hit Wizard Division of the Magical Law Enforcement Patrol. Uh-oh, time to leave, he decided. "Sadeari chea!"
Immediately, the eleven elves Shimmered away, and Haimric followed them, after stopping briefly to collect Davis and Jenna.
"I'm worried about the students tomorrow," Haimric admitted at a meeting with senior staff a few hours later. "If they can attack Diagon Alley in force, then the Express could be attacked too."
"I agree," Dumbledore said. "What do you suggest?"
Snape snorted in derision. Haimric and McGonagall both glared at him. Haimric pondered the question for a moment before replying. "I want to be on the train, Albus. I'd like to take Jenna with me, and Minerva, Severus, TK and Filius if they agree."
Snape only gave his agreement after a long pause. McGonagall, Flitwick and Davis, however, agreed immediately.
"Barra, I'd like a minimum of five platoons, and at least six mages, ready to move at a moments notice and three platoons patrolling the station and the Hogsmeade road at all times until the handoff at the Entrance Hall."
"Albus, can you spare anyone from the Order?"
"Yes, Harry. I have already contacted Remus, Alastor, Kingsley, and Nymphadora. They will all be on the train, as will six Aurors Amelia has kindly put at my disposal. Arthur, Molly, and Messrs William, Fred and George Weasley, as well as Miss Delacour will be escorting Ronald, Ginevra, Miss Granger and Mr Longbottom to the station and will remain there until the train leaves."
"That should be adequate," Haimric said. "However, I think I will have a talk with Jack Jameson and Lady Shelgeyra about supplying back-up surveillance just to be sure."
With nothing more to discuss, the meeting broke up a few minutes later. On his way out, Haimric linked up with Lord Barra and followed him down to the Ealbhari compound to find the young Beastmage Guildmistress.
The next morning Harry rose early and dressed in his new Hogwarts robes for the first time since he bought them. He slipped his wand into a wrist holster - his birthday present from Tonks - and headed down to breakfast.
After breakfast, the group going to London gathered in the Entrance Hall. When McGonagall arrived Harry scowled slightly; he'd forgotten that she was still recovering from the injuries she got from Umbridge's minions during his Astronomy practical in June.
"Will you be okay, Professor?"
"Yes Harry, I will," she assured him, unconsciously leaning slightly less heavily on her walking stick. "I may not be fully healed, but I will be fine."
Harry nodded, and then removed a large handkerchief from his pocket. "Professor Dumbledore says this should activate in about a minute, so grab hold."
Everyone did, and the Portkey pulled them away a few seconds later.
As it was still early when they arrived at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, it still fairly empty, but Kingsley, Tonks and their colleagues were already on station. Harry transformed into Haimric and then approached them. Shacklebolt and Tonks had been informed of his changes. "Kingsley, Tonks, good morning."
"Wotcher Harry!" exclaimed Tonks.
"Good morning," Kingsley said. "Can I introduce my associates?"
Of the four women and two men, Harry recognised only the oldest: a grizzled, one-eyed woman called Jamie Jackman, who'd been at Auror HQ on the day of his 'trial'. The others - a slim thirty-year old brunette called Kate Pride; the Asian husband and wife team, Kang and Tani Lau; Samoylina Cratovna, a Russian exile; and a prematurely balding man that Kingsley identified as a Section Chief called Greg Hamlin - were unfamiliar to him.
Once Kingsley had finished, Haimric decided to introduce himself. "Hello everyone, my name is Lord Haimric Seamfor Procella, the newly appointed Head of Security for Hogwarts.
"Your task for today will be to make sure that the students reach Hogsmeade station safely. At no time during the trip are you to leave the train. Others will handle any forward attacks. Understood?"
The group nodded. "A couple of volunteers from the Order of the Phoenix will be assisting us. They should here any moment."
Right on cue, Lupin and Mad-Eye appeared with a pop. "I'm sure you all know Remus Lupin and Alastor Moody?"
The group nodded again. "Minerva and Severus, I'd like you to join the driver at the front of the train; Filius and TK, please take the guard's van; Mad-Eye, Tonks and Kingsley please position yourself at the centre of the train. Jenna, Remus, you're with me. Mr Hamlin, I want you and your people to patrol the platform until just before departure, and then I want you to board and do the same on the train.
"Let's move it people!"
The armed group of witches and wizards moved towards their assigned positions.
Neville Longbottom wasn't sure how he would describe his summer: on the one hand it was nice spend the summer with friends, but on the other hand he'd much rather have spent it somewhere nicer than Order Headquarters. Neither the London townhouse nor the estate in Sussex were pleasant; in fact they were dark, damp and cold. The one bright spot to his summer had been the arrival of his exam results, which had been better than he had hoped: an 'Outstanding' in Herbology, 'Exceeds Expectations' in Charms and DADA, and 'Acceptable' in Transfiguration, Divination, and Potions and Care of Magical Creatures. He had failed History of Magic and Astronomy but he'd expected that; he was sure that only a handful of people had managed more than an 'Acceptable' in Astronomy, Hermione being one of them of course.
"How are we getting to King's Cross today, Dad?" Ron mumbled, in between mouthfuls of bacon and egg.
"We'll be Flooing to the Leaky Cauldron and then Mundungus will be driving us," Mr Weasley replied. "Bill, Fleur and the twins are coming, so we should be safe enough."
Ron went slightly pale at the words 'should be safe enough' and Neville had a feeling that he did too. But he decided that if Mr Weasley said it was safe, it was, so he said nothing.
After breakfast, they dragged their trunks downstairs, and one by one, the four students, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Fleur, and the twins entered the fireplace and Flooed away.
"Remus is in the last car at the back of the train," Mr Weasley reminded them as they were loading their things onboard the Express. "I suggest you stick with him as much as you can."
"We will, Mr Weasley," Hermione assured him.
The four students quickly loaded their trunks onto the train. Ginny paused for a moment, trying to figure out what she'd forgotten. Then she remembered, and opened up her trunk. She paused for a moment to admire the brand new Nimbus 2000 that rested on the top, then burrowed deeper.
"Don't tell me you've lost your badge, Ginny?"
"No Hermione, I haven't," Ginny told her, and thankfully her fist closed around the small badge as she said this. She straightened up and held it out to Hermione. "See?"
Hermione sighed, "You should take better care of it."
"Not all of us care as much about being a Prefect as you, Hermione."
"I'll see if I can find Professor Lupin or Luna," Neville said. "Could you come and sit with me after your meeting?"
"Sure Neville, no problem," Ron assured him.
"I wonder where Harry is," wondered Hermione. "I haven't seen him yet, have you?"
Ron and Neville both shook their heads. "Harry said he'd been on the train, so he'll be here," Ginny insisted loyally. No one argued, but Hermione still looked worried. "Hermione, we've got to go or we'll be late."
"I'm coming, Ginny," Hermione told her, and turned to follow the two Weasleys. "We'll see you later, Neville."
"Bye." Neville replied a little dully. He didn't move for a minute, he was too busy watching the retreating figures of his three friends. It was only after he spotted two human boulders in the green-trimmed robes of Slytherin that he shook himself out his reverie, and headed towards the back of the train.
When he finally reached the last compartment, he went in without looking who was inside. So he was rather surprised when he noticed that rather than the two occupants he was expecting: his friend Luna Lovegood - who was usual engrossed in a copy of her father's magazine, The Quibbler; and the prematurely grey-haired Professor Remus Lupin, there were four people in the compartment. The other two were a tall, well-muscled man with black hair tied back by a bandana, and a strangely familiar pair of green eyes, and a sword poking out from under his cloak and a young red-haired woman in black robes.
"Sorry Professor, I didn't know you had company, I'll go somewhere else..."
Before Professor Lupin could respond, the dark-haired man spoke up. "There is no need, Neville Longbottom. We have been waiting for you."
"F-f-for me?" stammered Neville.
The man nodded. "Yes, we have been waiting for you, and for Luna Lovegood - who has already arrived - and for Ronald and Ginevra Weasley and Hermione Granger, who are for the moment otherwise engaged."
"So that you may be reunited with your friend Harry."
"Harry? Is he okay? Where is he?"
"I will say no more for now, other than that he is indeed safe, and that you will see him soon."
"What are you taking this year?" Lupin asked hastily.
Neville frowned slightly, he wasn't a genius like Hermione, but he could tell when someone was being evasive. However, he decided to play along. "Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology - I got an 'O' in that - and Care of Magical Creatures. I got the grades for Divination but I'm not interested in that, and I only managed A's in Potions and Transfiguration so I can't get into either class and I failed History of Magic and Astronomy."
"You did well, Neville." Professor Lupin assured him. "Seven OWLs is nothing to ashamed of."
The next couple of hours passed quietly. After talking with Luna and Professor Lupin for a while, Neville dung out his Herbology book and started reading it. The silence was broken only twice; first by the snack trolley, and then again by the return of Ron, Hermione and Ginny. Like Neville, they paused for a moment at the door, but eventually came in.
Once they were seated, the dark-haired stranger stood up. "Hello everyone, I know you all want to see your friend Harry, but I would like to introduce my Companion and myself first.
"My name is Lord Haimric Seamfor Procella, and I will be acting as the head of Hogwarts security this year. My Companion's name is Jenna Jameson, and like your parents, Hermione, she is a Muggle."
Haimric paused for a moment to let this information sink in a little, and then he smiled. "I think I will leave the rest of the explanations to Harry."
As he finished speaking, the amulet around his neck glowed and they could feel a slight breeze for a few seconds. Then Haimric's appearance began to change: his black cloak, trousers and t-shirt morphed into a scarlet edged black robe; his bandana faded, a pair of round glasses materialised on the bridge of his nose, and then he shrank several inches and a familiar jagged scar appeared on his forehead.
"Harry?!" shrieked Ginny.
Harry smiled. "Yes Ginny, it's me."
Before he could say anymore, Hermione was up out of her seat and hugging him tightly. "I was so worried about you, I know you said you were okay, but you always say that and no one knew where you were..."
"Easy Hermione, easy," Harry said, patting her reassuringly on the back. "I'm fine, or at least I will be if you let me go before I suffocate."
Hermione broke her embrace and stepped back, looking a little chagrined. "Honestly!"
"What's with the different face, Harry?" Ron asked. "Are you a Metamorphmagus after all?"
Harry chuckled. "No Ron, I - or rather we - are much more."
"Haimric and I share a physic bond. His powers are a lot stronger than mine. He can control the weather and he's got some pretty strong mental powers."
"You talk like he's a separate person," said Ginny, not sounding at all pleased by this idea.
"It's not like what you're thinking of, Ginny," Harry assured her. "We are basically one person, but the amulet that he wears gives him a stronger link to our power... the power of the Lords Procella... and that makes him act a little differently."
"I've heard of them," Hermione interjected. "The first Lord co-founded the wizarding world, the Wizards Council answered to him and his two friends."
Harry nodded. "He still has that power, and if necessary he is prepared to use it against Fudge."
"Fudge won't know what hit him," Ron said with a grin.
"Nope, he won't," Harry agreed.
When they pulled into Hogsmeade, Ron, Hermione and Ginny went ahead to supervise the younger students, and Harry and Jenna helped Neville and Luna unload the trunks, Crookshanks and Pigwidgeon from the train. Professor Lupin left to deal with a minor problem at the other end of the platform.
Harry was just about to take the last package from Neville, who was still onboard, when a look of anxiety briefly crossed the other boy's face. Harry could sense several forms behind him. He turned and was confronted by none other than his schoolboy nemesis, Draco Malfoy.
"What do you want, Malfoy?"
"I want you dead, Potter!" Malfoy snarled. "Our family's reputation is ruined because of you. I hope the Dark Lord kills you, but I hope he makes you suffer first!"
"You did it to yourselves, Malfoy!" Harry snapped. "Death Eaters don't deserve respect. After all, the whole thing is a lie. Even Salazar thought so."
"I've had enough of you and your lies, Potter!" said Malfoy, and drew his wand. "Stup-"
He didn't get to finish the spell because in a flash of light, Haimric switched places with Harry and grabbed his wand arm, twisting it behind the smaller boy's back. Once he had disarmed him, he let him go. Crabbe and Goyle stood there blinking stupidly.
"Who are you?!"
"I am Lord Haimric Seamfor Procella. I am here to protect the castle and the students within. I also intend to bring about the end of your father's Master and all who follow him. However, I give you a choice, Draco Malfoy. I only give it once, so think carefully before answering."
"I will destroy all that stand in my way, and my power is more than equal to that task. If you, like your family, choose to stand against me then I will kill you without hesitation. If, on the other hand, you stand with me, or even stand out of my path... Then I will find a place for you in the new order. Change is coming, Draco Malfoy, that much is true... do you want to be on the side that feels the fatal brunt of the coming storm or do you wish to be sheltered from it to prosper after it has passed?"
"Can I think about it?"
"Certainly," Haimric told him. "But be warned, one word or deed that smells of your father's bigotry and you will feel my wrath. And you would not survive that."
Malfoy said nothing more, but merely accepted his wand from Jenna and stalked off, Crabbe, Goyle and Nott trailing behind him.
"Did you really mean what you said to Malfoy?" asked Neville after a moment.
Haimric nodded. "I never speak false, Neville Longbottom. I would do either, if the situation called for it."
"And does it?"
"It may yet," Haimric replied. "It may yet indeed."
The Sorting this year was rather briefer than in previous years. Only twenty-eight new students were added to the school and only five were Gryffindors. Professor Dumbledore introduced Davis as the new DADA professor and introduced Haimric, Lords Barra and Njal, Lady Shelgeyra and the two company captains as the heads of the Ealbhari delegation, which all of the students had by now seen at least some of. He reminded them that the nine o'clock curfew was still in place and ended by adding that the entire sales line of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes had been banned by Filch. This didn't bother Haimric, as his plans for Fred and George's inventions fell outside the caretaker's area of control.
As the feast began to break up, Ginny and the other fifth year prefect took the first year Gryffindors in tow and left the Great Hall with them. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville followed a safe distance and so arrived at the Fat Lady's portrait a few minutes after the first years had gone through.
"Gryphons Aureus," Harry announced. The Fat Lady nodded and opened, letting them climb through into the common room. Haimric suggested that everyone should go to bed. This was unilaterally approved and the two girls headed up one staircase to bed, while Harry, Ron and Neville headed up the other. Once they reached the top floor, Ron and Neville went into the sixth year dorm and Haimric slipped through a secret passage to the Tower's Head Boy rooms. These were currently out of use due to the fact that Roger Davis, a Ravenclaw, was Head Boy. Katie Bell, the sole remaining Chaser on the Gryffindor team, was Head Girl.
Once in the privacy of his quarters, Haimric transformed once more. Harry undressed and then after checking the defences that Haimric had placed around their mind, he went to sleep.
A/N: Sorry this chapter has taken so long; college stuff and a change in betas slowed this one up. We'll try and get the next chapter out a bit quicker. In the meantime, please let me know what you think.