Hello there, so this is my attempt to return to fanfiction after a long hiatus. I've posted some well-received stories on this site before, though I have had a bad rep for not finishing what I've started. I have no idea how popular or oft-browsed this site is these days so who knows if this will even generate any hits.
As far as the story goes, I never read book 7 of the series so my version of how Voldemort met his end will differ significantly from the canon but everything through book six should stay accurate as long as my memory holds; but don't go expecting anything like horucruxes and the like. I've had this brainchild a while so this is me scratching the itch. I'll probably try to keep it relatively short so I don't go off the reservation and do in fact finish the story. Hope you all enjoy it!
P.S. This was originally written in MS Word2010 which apparently is not accepted on this site so there may be a few strange-looking errors from time to time, but hopefully nothing too game-breaking.
"The day of reckoning shall soon be upon us."
The words were spoken quietly and assuredly, in such manner so that none in this congregation of established men would dare doubt their sincerity. It was a gift, one he'd boasted since the earliest days of childhood; an ability to captivate an audience with nothing but the octaves of his voice, commanding respect and announcing authority with no more than a rasp, or even a whisper. World history was rife with men who'd conquered and ruled over millions for decades at a time sometimes due to nothing more than the power of their voice. That instinctive leadership; that absolute confidence; the inherent ability to inspire and elicit emotions of every extreme through something so simple as an all-empowering voice was a trait every great leader the world had ever known at one time called his own.
He would be no different.
No; he was different. His reckoning, his revolution…no, his revival of this broken, twisted, perverted world would be spoken of by all men from now until the end of time. Nearly his entire life had been dedicated entirely towards the events that would soon transpire all across this broken globe. Some would call him mad, others might brand him evil; but they were misguided, and they would ultimately be forgiven, should they survive to see the fulfillment of his vision.
Eleven men stood in firm commitment to him; wizards he'd discovered through the decades of his life; their importance could not be underestimated, he truly could not accomplish his goals without them. They were not his equals; such a person did not exist in this world, but they were his paragons, his most trusted lieutenants, the future leaders of this world, united under him as the planet's one true all-seeing omniscient being.
"For decades, we have plotted," He informed them, his voice a radiating marriage of confidence and menace. "For years, we have prepared. The final moments are upon us. We are inevitable."
He let the words seep deep into their consciousness, long after the winds kicking through this deep, abandoned and forgotten labyrinth of tunnels had carried them away. A true master of oration, he could grasp the attention of the world's greatest leaders while speaking of even the most mundane of subjects. This moment, however, was anything but mundane. Future generations of mankind would speak of this night as the beginning of their salvation; from a plague which would have claimed them all before they'd even become aware of its existence.
He surveyed the men standing rigid in their robes in a half-circle around him. There were no masks, no anonymity amongst them; they were brothers in this endeavor, each of them had dedicated their lives to this conquest. Their faces betrayed no hint of remorse, regret; nothing of the kind. They believed in his vision, his ideals; there would be no salvation for this world if it did not come from this group of men. They ranged in ages from the elderly to young adult; all of them boasting career achievements that would make even the most senior of the globe's leadership elite blush. Some of them were part of that leadership; but this group was their priority. Leading a double life within the confines of this wretched and decaying society was a painful necessity to ultimately push their efforts to full fruition.
"Bask in this moment; revel in your glory!" His voice, while hardly above a whisper, boomed with the authority of a thousand exploding suns. "You are the caretakers; the harbingers; saviors of the realm; of all life on this green earth! History will remember us as the men who carved a new society out of the cancer which has infected today's population! No man before us; nor any who shall follow in our wake, can compare to our righteous and benevolent actions! We are the eliminators of the old; dawnbringers of the new; soon to be the rulers of this broken world."
There was no applause, no booming acknowledgement of his words; none were needed. They'd reached an evolutionary plane beyond the petty relevancies of pride and self-fulfillment. Their mission was one of selflessness, of benevolence. History would tremble at the mention of their names.
"We are…the Caesars."
The excitement was undeniable; adults and children bounced on their feet, jubilation and anxiety wrestled for control of their faces, eyes darting back and forth across the bright green grass of the pitch, all immersed in the spectacle unfolding in front of them. Twenty-two men fought tooth and nail for every inch they could muster against one another, eleven of them in blue and the other half in red; genuine dislike swirled about with professional respect made the contest as enticing as any in recent memory. The sound was deafening, incoherent; one could scarcely understand the words coming from the mouth of whoever stood right beside them. But such was the beauty of the game.
"Come on you Hammers!" Shrilled a voice from the stands; one instantly recognizable in certain corners of the world, but dwarfed in anonymity in this one. It emanated from within a slender, dirty-blonde haired girl with eyes as dark as chocolate and a smile which could melt the pastry even on a cold winter's night.
Next to her, with one hand wrapped around her shoulders and the other clutching a warm cup of the local lager, stood the single most recognizable face in all the wizarding world. But just like his exceptionally animated friend, he carried no such fame in these stands; he was just another face in the crowd.
Harry Potter and Hermione Granger were rarities in the wizarding world, in that both actually followed football as children and through their adulthood; at least when they were not being chased around the world by evils which made the most brave of men quiver at the thought. The same could not be said of the red-headed siblings stood on either side of them; the beautiful Ginny Weasley and her older brother with a heart of gold Ron. Whilst the game unfolding before them was one which still baffled the siblings in its simplicity, all four of them in attendance had one very good reason to enjoy this particular match.
"Carrol plays the ball off the Millwall defender; West Ham will get one final shot at Cup glory before the replay will take them to The Den. Who will be the hero!?"
The PA announcer could scarcely be heard over the roar of the crowd; none of them paid him any mind as it was. All attention remained focused on the pitch, at the South end of the ground where surely the final play of the scoreless Cup tie would take place, deep into injury time.
A lanky midfielder with the name `Downing' scribed across the top of the backside of his kit took a few steps towards the ball placed invitingly on the corner flag and swung his left leg at it. It seemed an eternity that the ball stayed in the air, curling well over the first defender and past the outstretched hands of the over-committed goalkeeper. A tall, dark-skinned man wearing the claret and blue of the homeside slowly rose meet the ball ahead of all the rest…surely he couldn't miss…
East London exploded. If the roar of the crowd had been anything less than deafening before, than words should fail to describe the barometer of ecstasy now shaking the very foundations of Upton Park. And amongst all the jubilation there were four anonymous faces in the crowd who celebrated the match winning goal with an aplomb far beyond that of any other as they watched the hero of the day spin away from the goal, arms spread wide, head pointed towards the heavens in a primal roar before he slid on his knees just past the corner flag and gesticulated towards the adoring crowd in a moment of unadulterated bliss none of them would ever forget.
"Astounding! Inconceivable!" Screeched the announcer over the PA. "It's derby day delight for West Ham! And what a moment for the man of the day: Dean Thomas scores his first senior goal for the Hammers with a last ditch header to propel them past bitter rivals Millwall, and into the fifth round of the FA Cup!"
The four friends from another world celebrated in unison with the adoring crowd around them, for once in their lives they were not being bandied to as celebrities but rather they were four voices amongst thousands screaming tribute to the hero of the day; a young man who was far more of a true hero than any in the stand aside from his four friends would ever know.
"That's my boyfriend!" Ginny screamed, tears of pride dripping from her face as she embraced Hermione beside her, while Harry and Ron shared a more masculine embrace of their own. "I love you baby!"
"Yes Dean!" Harry and Ron shouted simultaneously, each caught up in the moment, stuck between jubilation and disbelief; all while knowing their friend, currently being mobbed by his teammates on the pitch as the center official blew the whistle for full time, had just experienced one of the most undoubtedly greatest moments of his life.
If only the crowd serenading him with a moment of unconditional love knew just what he and his friends had done for them barely more than a year prior; they'd not even be alive to celebrate and applaud their team if not for the actions of the young man on the pitch, his four friends in the crowd, and a few more scattered about the most secretive and hidden locales in London.
And if only they knew what dangers would soon await them; all while they lived in a bubble of blissful ignorance. But like the bubbles being blown from the stands and into the sky, all such securities eventually diminish and fade away.
"There he is!"
A raucous cheer boomed throughout the dimly lit backroom of an out-of-the-way bar tucked unceremoniously in the back corner of an unpopulated street in Eastern London. Its patrons were of the magical variety, although it catered to muggles as well. A few of them sat in the front of the bar even now, oblivious to the party going on behind the magically sealed walls at the back of the pub.
Dean grinned wide and proud as he accepted the congratulations from each of his friends in turn, some of whom had attended his historical match day and others who'd been forced to miss it.
"The one match I miss all season mate," Seamus Finnigan scolded him, his face crooked with the same wry smile he'd been famous for amongst his friends since their first year at Hogwarts. "And you choose today to put in your first bloody goal. Unbelievable mate!"
"Perhaps you shouldn't attend any more of Dean's matches, Seamus," Sang Luna Lovegood, in that enchanting, one-of-a-kind voice that always seemed to be halfway between a melody and a whisper. "The Quibbler just printed an article last month on the fallacies of what many wizards and witches perceive as luck. I think you should read it."
"Yeah, I'll get right on that luv,"
Seamus shook his head and laughed along with the rest; despite her quirkiness Luna was just as much a part of the gang as the rest of them. She'd seen and done just as much as anyone when the world had been in turmoil under Voldemort's thrust for power in the not-so-distant past.
"I'm sorry I missed it," Neville Longbottom interjected, before taking a long swig of his butterbeer. "I'm not one for muggle sports but wish I could have been there to support you."
"No worries Nev," Dean assured him as he sat between Harry and Ron at their back-corner table, pouring himself a cup from the pint of beer. "I know not everyone can make the matches. It's not like I'm clambering to come watch you arrest the remnants of Voldemort's cult every weekend."
They all shared a laugh; leading one of the Ministry's top special units of Aurors didn't allow Neville for much free time, in fact it proved a minor miracle he'd even managed an appearance at the pub tonight.
"Well I know for sure I'd rather be penning a column about your exploits today than another thousand bleeding words about this no-mark Seeker who seems to think he can waltz right into the best Quidditch team in the land this season."
"Ooohh," Ron instigated, brushing long crimson hair back away from his eyes. "Them's fightin' words!"
Harry grinned, taking a long chug from his beer before formulating a response. "It's too bad everyone will pass right over your column after I give a real journalist like Rita Skeeter an exclusive interview to write about."
Dean and Ron threw their heads back in laughter while Seamus nearly choked on his butterbeer. "Now that was just uncalled for Potter!"
"Silly boys," Hermione teased, leaning across the table and winking at the two of them, a braided lock of hair falling adorably just over her left eye. "Let's not be confrontational or Luna and I will regale you with our tales of reverse chromosome engineering and ethereal manipulation protocols and how they relate to the genesis of magic within the human body."
"Drink!" The boys all said in chorus, raising their glasses to their lips and taking a gulp as was customary every time Hermione or Luna mentioned something one their night's out that none of them even came close to comprehending.
Ginny giggled at the nuance of it all while Hermione rolled her eyes and Luna stared dreamily off into space, and so the night rolled on like any other. Harry, Ron, Dean, and Seamus spent the night repeatedly walking step-by-step through Dean's magical moment at Upton Park earlier in the day; Ginny and Hermione chortled about Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes where Ginny and Ron both worked with their brothers; Luna and Neville spoke quietly amongst themselves about their mutual hobby of herbology and its practicalities in each of their fields.
These nights came far too few and far-between for their liking, so they enjoyed them while they could. Over a year had passed since the eight of them squared off against Voldemort and lived to see peace on the other side, and now all of them had moved beyond those dark days and into an ever-brightening future.
Neville, once a portly and clumsy young wizard was now amongst the most respected and powerful Aurors in all the world. Seamus, the boy who never stopped talking had learned to put his words on paper for all the Quidditch fans in England to read. Dean, the muggleborn who'd now left mush of the magical world behind to focus entirely on his professional footballing career. Ron and Ginny had moved beyond the immaturity of their youth and now ran one of the most successful businesses in all of Diagon Alley with their older twin brothers. Luna and Hermione, the geniuses of their classes at Hogwarts had gone on to become the two most outstanding minds in the most secretive and exciting scientific branch of the Ministry of Magic. And Harry Potter, the-boy-who-lived became The Savior who struck down Voldemort himself, and now chased his dream of playing professional Quidditch, one of the things he enjoyed in life above all others.
They had all come of age during a time whence the very world they lived in was in doubt; and all had persevered and lived to see success as young adults. But none of them knew that the most perilous times of their lives had yet to even begin.
Well there's one down! Let me know what you think; if I've still got it or if I should just give up now. See ya around!Document created with wvWare/wvWare version 1.2.7