Harry Potter and the Twelve Caesars


Rating: PG13
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery
Relationships: Harry & Hermione
Book: Harry & Hermione, Books 1 - 6
Published: 02/02/2014
Last Updated: 05/02/2014
Status: In Progress

Voldemort was but a distraction. Years after the Dark Lord's defeat Harry and his friends are enjoying a life of peace and prosperity. However, a threat both old and new begins to rise from the shadows, intent on reforming the very world itself as they see fit.

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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!

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Okay so to address a few things; I'm trying a different page break this time around so hopefully it will actually show up rather than giving no space between paragraphs when there is a shift in place/time. Also just assume that everything takes place in the present day; I'm sorry but I'm just too lazy to adjust everything to the proper years, so for this story's purposes Harry and friends just graduated Hogwarts in 2012 and we'll call it eh summer 2014 that we are in now. And for the purists yeah I know I already screwed up because the FA Cup doesn't start until much later in the season but oh well that angle of the story won't really see a whole lot of focus as it is anyway; plus I already made it unrealistic as it is with Andy Carrol actually being fit enough to feature in a match and Stuart Downing successfully completing a cross from a corner! Furthermore I hope the Quidditch League Cup points system makes sense to those of you who don't follow any kind of European table sports setup. Anyway think that covers everything but I may have left something out. Hope you enjoy Chapter Two!


“You're not at Hogwarts anymore.”

Harry didn't think the comment was intended as an insult, but it shook him a bit nonetheless. He'd just taken a nasty spill after getting blindsided with a soft bludger in his first professional practice; he couldn't imagine what the pain might be like if he'd been hit with an official match ball.

“You're quick Potter, and you've got some of the best natural ability on a broom I've ever seen,” His coach continued, arms folded across his chest as the team doctor dressed the wound on Harry's arm. “But you seem to have a case of tunnel vision; you lose sight of the match around you when the snitch comes in sight. You can get away with that at elementary levels in high-level academic schools like Hogwarts but when you get out here into the real world you're playing against boys who've been focusing on Quidditch since they learned how to fly. The beaters are at an entirely different level in the professional game.”

“So I've noticed,” Harry responded, biting back a grimace as the tall Irish team doctor applied some herbology concoction he'd never heard of before to Harry's wounds, which healed them almost instantaneously. Madame Pomfrey would have been impressed. “I'll make sure I keep an eye out for my surroundings next time gaffer.”

“I have no doubt,” He chuckled, nodding to the physio as he finished up, packed his kit and left the room. “Don't be down about this Potter; Lackland is one of the better beaters in the league and I told the lads to be sure they cut you no slack in your first practice. Now give that wound a few minutes and get back on your broom, we've still got an hour of training left.”

“Yes sir.”

Harry laid back against the rough trainer's table and let out a sigh while staring up at the plain white ceiling, arm still aching from the blow. He couldn't help but feel embarrassed; twenty minutes into his first professional training session and he already found himself in with the physio. He knew the Quidditch would be at an entirely different level here but he'd never seen anything move so fast.

At Hogwarts Harry always had the most talent and usually rode on the best broom; it made the game move much slower than in the pros. Now everyone rode the latest Nimbus series broom, and everyone had talent by the bucket load. He thought his Gryffindor Quidditch championship teams in his third and seventh years at Hogwarts were good, but none of them would even get a look in at this squad. Oliver Wood was the most successful Quidditch player of any recent Hogwarts graduate and he only just managed to take over first team keeper duties full time last season at Puddlemore, and they weren't even in the top tier.

Well, no one said it would be easy.

Harry pushed himself to his feet and grabbed his club-issued Nimbus 6000 from where it lay propped up in the corner and made his way back out to the training pitch. Shaking out the last bits of pain from his arm he straddled the broom and kicked off into the warm summer sky.

“Hey Potter, how's the arm mate?” Lackland shouted at him as he flew by, the dark red cloak of London QC whipping about in the air behind him.

“I've taken more than one cruciatus curse from Voldemort himself mate; I think I'll survive a training bludger.”

“Don't get cocky Potter!”

If he hadn't already been anticipating the next attack he may have been sent right back to the infirmary, but thankfully Harry saw the bludger just in time to corkscrew his way harmlessly off to the side, before spinning around and squinting across the grounds for any sign of the snitch.

The training session continued without incident for another hour before Coach Guthrie dismissed them for the day, their first match would be this coming weekend against European championship favorites Sofia QC. Harry knew he'd be starting Seeker for the match even though he'd joined the team late in the preseason after the team's ten-year stalwart Captain and first choice Seeker had abruptly retired in the offseason.

Harry took the Floo from the training ground to a connecting hub in Eastern London a short subway ride from the flat he shared with Dean in one of the upper-end East London gated communities. Even being his first season as a regular first teamer Dean made upwards of fifteen thousand pounds a week and was easily capable of paying all the bills as Harry's wealth was stored in Gringotts, and the banks of Greater London in the muggle world would certainly offer him a few odd looks if he tried to spend any of that money amongst them.

Harry loved living in the muggle world; he rode the subways as anonymously as all the rest sat on benches and leaned against poles around him. When he shuffled out of the station he was amongst gaggles of muggles who didn't know him from Adam. No adoring fans, no women throwing themselves at his feet, no autograph requests; just a normal life, which was all he ever wanted.

That didn't mean, however, that he lived without wizarding amenities.

“Alohamora,” He whispered as he put his “keys” into the lock to his and Dean's flat. In actuality the “keys” were nothing more than his wand transfigured to fit in with the muggle world. They were transfigured in such a way however that they actually did open and unlock the door. The alohamora spell was an extra security safeguard that ensured no muggle burglars could hope to break in to their flat.

As Harry opened the door he noted the knob was warm to the touch; Dean's universal signal that he had muggle company. Harry continued on into the flat anyways as he wasn't wearing or carrying anything currently that a muggle shouldn't be privy to.

“Harry mate, how's it going?” Dean shouted at him from the living room, where Harry could hear Dean and whoever else was with him playing FIFA '14 on their flatscreen.

“It's been up and down,” He responded, walking into the living room, tossing his `keys' onto the coffee table and collapsing into the armchair just to the left of the couch where Dean, Ginny, and one of their muggle friends sat staring at the screen, the boys fumbling with Playstation controllers while Ginny thumbed through some magazine. “You done with training for the day?”

“Nah gaffer gave us the day off after the match yesterday,” Dean replied without breaking eye contact from his game. “You remember Andy, yeah?”

“Sure, how's it going mate?” Harry said, nodding at the freakishly tall, ponytailed West Ham striker currently glued to the telly just as intently as Dean himself.

“Terrific,” the muggle mumbled back at him, eyes never leaving the screen. “Your flatmate needs some practice. He's the only bloke I know that's actually better at real football than he is at FIFA.”

“Bugger off!” Dean shot back, while Ginny rolled her eyes and laughed alongside Andy. “You're practically committing blasphemy here mate; at least I'm using the team I actually play for instead of picking Liverpool every time and using all their level ninety and higher players!”

“Hey I played for Liverpool once, so it counts…oh wait for it, Suarez…oh there it is,” Andy commented as one of the players in their match scored, and Harry couldn't help but laugh when the lopsided score popped up on the screen after.

Dean went off on an expletive-laden rant towards the lumbering muggle while Ginny and Harry excused themselves to the kitchen, casting a silencing charm as they did so, careful of course to ensure Andy took no notice.

“So, how was your training?” She asked him, while rumbling through their freezer for some ice cream, as she always did when she visited.

Harry tossed her a spoon as he sat at the kitchen table. “Well enough. Nearly broke my arm twenty minutes into training but after Doc patched me up I didn't have any more problems.”

“Ouch,” Ginny laughed, brushing her hair back behind an ear as she readied to dig in to the ice cream. “You hear from Neville today? Sounds like they caught another Death Eater.”

“Seriously?” Harry shook his head as he sat back in the chair, wondering when all of it would end. “Voldemort has been gone almost two years now…you'd think these guys would give it up.”

She shrugged. “Yeah I dunno, isn't strange how they keep finding more of them? I mean, that final battle at Hogwarts was pretty devastating. I can't imagine too many of them escaped.”

Pausing, Harry looked down and away, suddenly losing his appetite. “You know I don't like talking about that Gin,”

“It's been almost two years Harry,” She responded, reaching out to grasp one of his hands, trying to get him to look her in the eye. “We did what we had to do. We won.”

“Yeah, we did.”

He didn't need to say anything more. Everyone knew what that day had done to him, the measures he'd taken to put the Dark Lord down for good. The day he'd become a murderer; although others would call him a savior.

“One of these days you're gonna have to let it go Harry,” She soothed, patting him on the arm. “It's over, you did what you had to do to make the world a better place. And look at you now; you're still here, you're not broken, you're not…you're just…Harry.”

“I really don't wanna talk about this Gin.”

Ginny sighed, knowing she wasn't going to break through. “Okay Harry; so have you talked to Vicky at all this week?”

Harry laughed, glad to be away from the Voldemort discussion. “No; don't think I will until match day either. Just my luck; I get to go up against Viktor Krum in my first professional start. Not exactly what I was going for.”

“You'll be fiiine,” Ginny assured him, digging deep into the ice cream carton to get the last bits of chocolate out. “No one is expecting you to be the world's greatest seeker from day one, ya know.”

“Oh thanks Gin,” Harry chuckled again, a thought suddenly occurring to him. “Hey, by the way, how much money have Fred and George put down on Krum beating me to the snitch this weekend?”

She winked at him and made a locking motion across her lips. “I am sworn to secrecy on that one, my friend.”


Well, here we go.

Excluding the times in his life when he was unsure if he'd see another sunrise, Harry could scarcely remember a time he'd ever been quite so nervous. Even from within the safe confines of the team locker room he could hear the crowd screaming above him, waiting for the athletes to take the pitch. The gaffer had just wrapped up his pre-match speech and now they were in the tunnel, ready to kick off into the air and start the new season of the European Quidditch League.

Twenty teams from all across Europe made up the top tier of the EQL. Viktor Krum's Sofia QC were two time defending champions largely on the back of Krum's spectacular Seeker play in addition to having one of the best beater tandems in the game. Harry knew London's own chasers could run with Sofia's best, and he felt their Keeper was a class apart from Sofia's own; but their beaters and Krum's ability made taking any points away from this fixture relatively unlikely, even if it was at home.

While the scoring was no different at the professional level, the points system certainly had its changes from Hogwarts. Back in school it was just wins and losses, with head-to-head matchups and total points scored being the tiebreakers should two houses end with the same record at the end of the season. The European League worked on a points system. Every team played every other twice a season, once home and away, and whoever accumulated the most points by the end of it was crowned European Champions. It was simple enough; a points victory with a snitch capture was worth five points, while a victory on points while the opposing teams Seeker caught the snitch was only worth three. In the case that the losing team caught the snitch, they were awarded one point. In the rare occasions of a draw each team won themselves a single point while the team who captured the snitch would gain one extra. Furthermore, at the professional level games were blown dead after sixty minutes, after which if the snitch remained uncaught the team with the most chaser points was awarded the victory and three points; a tie would see each team take home only one. As such, Seekers were far and away the most important players on the pitch in every match. In thirty-eight matches last season, Viktor Krum only failed to capture the snitch on four occasions, tying a league record. Harry knew he was up against it today.

“Alright lads, out on the pitch now; go! go! go!”

Taking a deep breath Harry kicked off out of the tunnel and into the arena, where thousands of witches and wizards from all across England screamed their names. England only had two current top level Quidditch Clubs, one in London and in one Merseyside, after having two relegated to the second division the season before. As such many an English Wizard's hopes and dreams rested squarely on the shoulders of London QC, the face of Quidditch in England.

“And here they are witches and wizards - your very own London Lions; now let's here this Lion's Den roar!”

The Lion's Den, as their home stadium was aptly named, exploded as the players began circling around the pitch in their pre-game warm-up routines. Before long Harry moved into his starting position on the North End of the grounds just behind and above his teammates when the PA announcer spoke up again.

“Before we kick this season off; we have a special surprise for everyone here tonight;” Harry was puzzled at this; nothing had been mentioned to him about a pre-match ceremony of any kind. “Now please, Harry Potter and Viktor Krum would you kindly make your way to the center circle.”

Confused and unsettled somewhat, Harry exchanged a quizzical look with Viktor as they made their way to the center, realizing that he too, had no idea what was going on. As they arrived they noticed a young witch with platinum blonde hair racing to the center to meet them.


Harry was beginning to understand in part what was happening as Bill Weasley's beautiful bride flew up to situate herself between Viktor and himself. It's been almost five years and I forgot today would have been his birthday…

“Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for Fleur Weasley, Viktor Krum, and Harry Potter, who five years ago competed in one of the most incredible and tragic Tri-Wizard tournaments the world has ever seen!”

The crowd applauded them, many probably having already realized what this was all about, as Harry just had. He couldn't help but be upset that no one mentioned this to him in the pre-match build up, it was certainly messing with his preparation. He instantly scolded himself for even thinking of that in a moment such as this, however.

“On a more somber note,” The announcer spoke in a deep, baritone voice laced with remorse. “As you are all aware there was a fourth member of this tournament, one who was taken from this world far too early. As today would have been his twenty-second birthday, please bow your heads in a short moment's silence for the bold, brilliant, and courageous Cedric Diggory.”

“Harry. Take my body back, will you? Take my body back to my father.” Harry could still remember the last words Cedric Diggory ever spoke to him, as an enormous image of Cedric clad in Hufflepuff yellow was projected high into the sky for all to see. Harry had done just as Cedric asked, but the dark night was another that Harry preferred to forget.

Harry felt a shiver tingle down his spine as the moment of silence was impeccably observed, as if someone was watching him; but not just watching him as an athlete, but rather for something else. Something particular.

The whistle blew and the moment was over; the shiver in Harry's spine evaporated amongst the cheers of the crowd, and he bid Fleur adieu with a kiss to the cheek as she wished each of them good luck in her deep French accent before he and Krum made their way back to their starting positions.

After one more deep breath the whistle to start the match finally blew, and all of Harry's anxiety washed away with the immediacy of the match. Krum and Harry each flew to roughly the same position on the pitch at nearly the highest altitude allowed with the sun directly to their back, which would be the best position to catch any glint of the snitch.

The first thing Harry saw was a bludger.

“Crap!” Harry spun away and dove down to avoid the strike and found himself almost decapitated by a second bludger.

“Oh and that was a close one for rookie Harry Potter!” Shouted Lee Jordan; an old schoolmate of his who'd been a Quidditch announcer at Hogwarts and had continued that career into the professional game for London QC. “Sofia's lumbering beaters immediately take control of both bludgers and nearly knock the boy who lived from his broom in the first minute of the match!”

Harry cursed his luck and spun back around to find Krum just as the Bulgarian looped into a breakneck dive. Cursing again Harry followed him, trying to catch any sign of the snitch while keeping a further eye out for another beater attack.

“Oh certainly Krum has not spotted the snitch this quickly has he? Potter is hot on his tail, and oh - no Krum pulls up and Potter has some evading to do because Berbich has shot another bludger his way!”

Harry banked to his left, shot down and then rotated on his broom just in time for the bludger to whistle by his ear as he buzzed the green grass of the pitch only a meter from the ground. Krum had led him into a dive for one of the beaters to bludgeon him; a typical tactic for a team with world-class beaters and a Seeker to match. He wouldn't fall for that one again.

“And Simmons ducks under a challenge, passes off to Johnson; she's in the clear - yes! Ten points to the Lions!” The crowd roared at the first points conversion of the season, but Harry couldn't focus on that at the moment, he was too busy tracking Krum's movements while watching out for Berbich and Belov; who seemed much more interested in beating bludgers towards him than trying to disrupt any of the Lion's chaser movements. It made sense; he was a rookie Seeker against the best in the world and they felt any points the Lions racked up on the chase would be negligible as long as they unbalanced Harry and Krum caught the snitch quickly enough to ensure five points.

After twenty minutes of play Harry still remained in one piece and the Lions clung to a forty to thirty lead. That advantage had been reversed to a sixty to fifty deficit by thirty minutes, and it was all evens at sixty around thirty-five minutes in. Krum had attempted to lure Harry into another couple of traps but he'd remained strong, while the Lion's beaters had gained more of a foothold on the proceedings and were keeping the Bulgarian beaters off his back.

And then he saw the snitch.

Harry guessed he'd spotted it a split second earlier than Krum, who was late in tracking behind him, but was closing fast. The wind roared by as he dove towards the small glint of gold ever growing in front of him as the crowd rose to their feet and began going wild.

He felt a bump on his left as Krum had closed in and was jostling for position now that the snitch flew only meters in front of them. It dove down and Harry followed, banked left and they stayed right on its tail, closing in bit by bit until they were nearly in range to grasp it. Krum flipped over from Harry's left to challenge him on the right, bumping shoulders all the time as they circled the arena to screams from the crowd.

“Oh it's a proper battle for the snitch between Potter and Krum! The rookie is giving the veteran Krum all he can handle and then some; this will all be over in a matter of seconds folks! Who wants it more? Who has more in the tank?”

It was less than a meter away when Krum suddenly lurched upwards and Harry was crushed in the ribcage by an unsighted bludger. He barrel-rolled over in a pained attempt to get back on target but before he could completely regain his bearings Krum had the snitch clutched victoriously in one outstretched hand and the match was over.

“Oh no - tough luck for Potter after avoiding all of the Sofians traps all match long! Viktor Krum, the veteran, unsights Potter during a snitch dive and Belov crushes the young Seeker with a bludger he never saw coming until Krum allowed it to pass just under him. An unlucky start for the rookie but I think he won over some fans today with his intelligent evasions and going neck-and-neck with the best in the world on that final dive. Still that is zero points for the Lions today at home despite a last minute chaser goal winning the match for London in the chase. Sofia QC look just as strong as their European Championship winning team last year and take a commanding five point victory back to Bulgaria from the Lion's Den.”

Harry grimaced with one hand holding his ribcage as he shook hands with the Bulgarian team after the match, with both Krum and Belov showing good sportsmanship and ensuring he was alright after the match. The Doc told him he'd broken two ribs but it was nothing a little magic couldn't fix after the match.

Before leaving the pitch Harry took a long look at the director's box, where some twenty-odd high ranking men watched on, and he once again got the feeling that one of them was watching him specifically. The tingle dissipated after just a moment's reoccurrence, and Harry shrugged as he flew dejectedly back to the locker room to get fixed up, not at all happy with how his first professional match had ended.


“And how did Potter react to our little show?”

It was only two of them, this dark night in the quiet tunnels below a once-great feat of human architecture; one built entirely by muggles, no less. Today had been their first foray into testing the world's paragon, its hero, the man they would expect to `save them' even if the reality could not be further from the truth.

“As expected, my Lord Augustus,” His comrade replied, voice even and unassuming. “He certainly felt my presence on his mind, both before the match and after it; although I do not believe he understood the ceremony to be anything more than the honoring of a long-dead classmate of his.”

“And you are sure, you were not identified? And furthermore, that you are not at all emotionally compromised in this task?”

“I have dedicated my life to you cause, Augustus. I believe in what we have set out to accomplish. And no, he could not have known anything more than that someone was watching him. The magic is beyond him; he's unaware even of its existence.”

“Very well, Vespasion,” Augustus referred to the other men of their legion only by their given Caesararion names, and never by those they each wore in their day-to-day lives. “Still, the boy was able to throw Tom Riddle from his mind while still in school. His mental capacities are never to be underestimated.”

“I agree, my Lord.”

“Carry on then, and do tread lightly, my brother. The next phase is upon us, and I would not have you give in to your emotions.”

“I will be clean of mind and pure of soul.”

“See to it that you are. I do not wish to repeat the mistake I made with our original brother Nero, even if his replacement has proven capable.”

“His emotions clouded his judgment Augustus, mine will not do so.”

“Very well. See that it is so.”

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