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The Most Unusual Teacher (Star Wars X Harry Potter)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Naron, Nov 28, 2020.

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  1. Threadmarks: Summary
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Harry's second year at Hogwarts changes dramatically when Gilderoy Lockhart is not chosen as Defense Against The Dark Arts professor. Fates thrown in disarray seek to right themselves, for a man most unusual takes up the post. "Who better to teach them to fight monsters than such a monster?" Truly, the Force works in mysterious ways.
     
  2. Threadmarks: 1. A New Teacher
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Albus Dumbledore was confused. A circumstance which, on its own, already gave cause to worry.

    Or so Minerva McGonagal thought as she divided her attention between the headmaster and the man they were interviewing. Anakin Skywalker, his rather empty resume read. A man neither of them had ever heard about.

    Giving her old friend a moment to gather his thoughts, the deputy headmistress asked for confirmation about what they just heard: "You say that you want to take a teaching position because you felt like it?" She could not entirely keep the displeasure out of her tone, one which would have sent many others into hurried apologies and make many more sit straight.

    Few wizards or witches still alive had gone through Hogwarts before she took up the position as professor for Transfiguration; to her, three generations were now current and former students.

    For the first time in a long while, someone younger than herself did not shrink under her disapproval. Skywalker instead shook his head gently, the short pause he left giving her enough time to note his already white hair again. At barely fifty, decades younger than herself, while Minerva's hair still held a dark, vibrant brown colour.

    "Yes and no, ma'am. I have a good sense for the threads of fate and decided to follow them. They led me here." She did not believe him and her narrowed eyes said so.

    This was when Albus raised his hand slightly, making her stop with the inquiry she had been thinking of. He took a long look at the man in front of them while folding his hands once more. The very picture of a sage, his beard neatly trimmed and magenta robes wrapped around his person. "Truth be told, Mr. Skywalker, I have a hard time believing in such. As far as I know, you did not exist until a few years ago."

    That was news to Minerva; she had thought Skywalker to be from the US with how he spoke, but if Albus' sources could not pin him, there might be more to it.

    Surprisingly, the accusation did not lead to tension, but rather a tired smile. The younger man sighed deeply while covering his face. "You are as well-informed as I feared. I hoped I wouldn't have to reveal more about myself considering my... 'competition', but that was a fool's hope."

    Minerva could not help but scowl, though this time not due to the man in front of them. It was quite true that neither she nor Albus thought much of Gilderoy Lockhart despite his impressive resume. His holier than thou type of behaviour grated on Minerva's nerves, to name only one of the many reasons she thought she would welcome any other applicant with open arms. Then Anakin Skywalker happened.

    Albus, however, chuckled and offered another lemon drop, which was accepted once more. "Ah, yes, I can see what you mean. Mr Lockhart is certainly impressive, but... pardon?" He beheld the younger man, who had snorted so snidely that Minerva could feel his displeasure.

    "I can assure you that this man is in no way what his books make him out to be. Looking at him, I see little more than a weak-willed fop who lives on his fame, not a seasoned and clever warrior."

    The headmaster's silence spoke more than any agreement ever would, seeing how he was usually a man who defended others' qualities. Minerva's eyes narrowed as she reevaluated the man in front of her; he had an eye for detail, though she could not figure out how he came to the same conclusion she had without having taught Lockhart for five years. Not that either her or Albus had proof. "And what brings you to that understanding?"

    Another snort and Skywalker made a dismissive motion. "No scars, no hard lines, all handsome. Politicians look like that, not those who go into battle. As for his will...." he suddenly began to grin. "How about you call him in and I demonstrate?"

    Minerva cast a glance at Albus, likely just as intrigued as he was. A minute nod was given and she rose to step to the door. Opening it, she nodded at the immaculately dressed man waiting outside. "Mr. Lockhart, if you would enter."

    The fop snapped his golden pocketwatch shut and smiled a pearly smile that only made Minerva wish for the gargoyle guarding the entrance to fall back over. "Naturally, it was about time!" And so he entered, giving the same smile to his fellow applicant and the headmaster. "It was quite obvious you would choose myself over an unknown such as-" "-you do not wish to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts."

    Minerva saw it, saw the older man's hand move in a soft gesture, felt a weak sting against her mind, and felt it slide off like a gentle flow of water going over her head. She saw Gilderoy Lockhart's eyes gloss over for a moment; the blond blinked a few times and looked around, then he chuckled gently. "Although, now that I consider the matter again, perhaps I was a little overeager, applying at such a prestigious school. I would like to withdraw my application, Professor Dumbledore."

    The dumbfounded man nodded and Lockhart beamed his annoying solar flare. "Fantastic. I will take my leave then!" And off he was, shutting the door behind himself.

    Minerva stared at Anakin Skywalker, who had just cast an Imperius Curse wandlessly. Her own wand was out in an instant, but then it left her fingers and floated over to the younger man's hand. He only had a single finger extended. "Now, we do not need to escalate this. If you'll allow me to explain?"

    She did not really have a choice without her wand; Minerva only carried spares when she went out on business or knew battle was imminent. A mistake she would correct posthaste. Albus, despite still holding his wand, nodded. A moment later, her own floated back toward Minerva and was received cautiously.

    "As I was meaning to say, this little trick only works on the weak-willed, and only conveys nudges. It is good for getting out of a difficult position, but little more. To demonstrate." Skywalker took a few steps back until they could both see him properly and repeated this soft wave of his hand. "Gilderoy Lockhart is the man you want for the position."

    Again Minerva felt something wash over her mind, and again it slid off like water. She did not feel any different, unaffected. She definitely did not believe that Lockhart was particularly useful, so she took this as proof. "Very well, Mr. Skywalker. Your talent for wandless magic is quite astounding."

    She motioned for the abandoned chairs and all of them returned to their seats. Fawkes, the headmaster's phoenix, trilled a song that made their remaining applicant grimace. "A bit of honesty then: no wandless magic, no magic at all, at least not in your definition. I draw upon the Force."

    "The Force, Mr. Skywalker?" Albus leaned forward with open curiousity, a glint reflected off his glasses. "I have to admit I never heard of a power by that name. Would you care to elaborate?"

    Anakin leaned back in his chair a little as he thought, although Minerva felt that she saw a hint of a grin creep onto his expression when he finally spoke: "The Force is any and all, it surrounds us and suffuses us. The Force is life and death, beginning and end, journey and goal. From the Force your magic draws in creative ways, and from the Force I draw powers far different. All are one in the Force, and the Force is all of us."

    He left it at that; once it became clear he would not speak further of the matter, Minerva could not stop herself from twitching, a cheshire grin barely suppressed. Albus had an admirable pokerface, but he, too, did not miss the irony of being the victim of a wise man's philosophical non-answer.

    As if to add insult to injury, Skywalker then offered a friendly smile and folded his hands in his lap. "And as I said in the beginning, the Force is what led me here to play my role."

    She could not help but ask: "What kind of role would that be?" Unfortunately, his response was a shrug.

    "I don't know what awaits at the end of my path, I merely know that it leads here, now. The Force works in mysterious ways."

    "Hm." Albus leaned back as well and Minerva knew that he was convinced to give this man a chance. "This is certainly-" But then he broke off, eyes widening; Minerva became alert and divided her attention between the two, finding Anakin displaying wariness for the first time. He did not break the headmaster's gaze.

    "You should not have done that," he told the older man gently. "My mind is not a place you wish to be. I know full well what I am, that I fell to darkness like few others have and ever will. But I was given a second chance to the light; who better to teach how to defend against the darkness than a master of it? Who better to teach them to fight monsters than such a monster?"

    Albus blinked and fell back into his chair while Minerva took in what just happened. The headmaster had used his legilimency to look into Anakin Skywalker's mind, finding something that shocked him to the core, if Albus' shaking hands were any indication. The man before them called himself a monster, one who wished to take a second chance he was given in some way.

    Minerva had lived much of recent history and she knew Albus. This man would receive the position, though under observation from at least one of them. Misconduct would be punished.

    In the second she needed to reach that conclusion, her old friend caught himself and put on a somewhat shaky smile. "That was indeed more than I expected. Rest assured that your secret is safe with me, Mr. Skywalker. Or Anakin, if I may?" A nod was given and Albus clapped his hands. "Marvelous. To the students though, you will be Professor Skywalker."

    Hands were shaken, and that was that. Minerva knew that preparations had to be made. It was but a month until the new term would begin.
     
    darthdavid, Beburos, Cyrus2 and 40 others like this.
  3. krahe

    krahe Not too sore, are you?

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    Huh, post Star Wars Vader given second chance? That actually sound pretty neat, good premise, too. Bit shame that he hadn't kept most of his scars, tho. I understand why his hands, legs and organs were given back, but battle scars, man

    Edit: He's not that far from the Mad Eye if go just by scars, tbh
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
  4. Drucchi

    Drucchi Making the rounds.

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    A very interesting premise, I am very much looking forward to more. Are we perhaps going to see some Vaderesque antics when evil is afoot?
     
    Rune_Cre likes this.
  5. ShivErs

    ShivErs Your first time is always over so quickly, isn't it?

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    A interesting start. Your summary didn’t say, but are you basing your Anakin on Pre-Disney Canon, Post, or a specific book or fanfiction origin? If this is to be explained further in-story then I await further chapters with an excited gleam.
     
  6. Diver

    Diver Versed in the lewd.

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    Oh god, self aware Anakin is terrifying and awesome. Will he find a kindred soul in Snape or crush Dumbledore’s pet monster for the good of all? Anakin/Vader would probably be horrified at a teacher not actually teaching or deliberately sabotaging the students education. If he’s trying to make the most of this second chance then the care of you going’s and padowans will be foremost in his mind.
     
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  7. Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Admittedly, the main reason I left it unexplained is that I was not even aware I need to distinguish.

    Then again, I am also not all that well-versed in the EU and definitely not in whatever Disney might have done. I watched the first six movies, played Empire At War and KotOR (1 and 2), and read one really good Quest on SV. The latter gave me some additional knowledge via osmosis, but this is basically all my Star Wars knowledge and what this Anakin is based on.
     
  8. OrigamiGuyII

    OrigamiGuyII Getting out there.

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    Haha i like your premise, and i must admit, it's refreshing for Dumbledore not to be the wisest in the room lol
     
    UnfortunateWatcher likes this.
  9. Threadmarks: 2. Paradigm Shift
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Harry did not know what kind of person he expected the new Defense teacher to be, but he would not complain about what he got. After the disaster with Quirrel and the latter's death the previous year, he had known he would not ask for much.

    Professor Skywalker, Hogwarts soon learned, was an odd one. But odd in a way Harry liked.

    For one, the man did not treat Harry as some kind of hero like far too many people did. He did not have to answer any more questions in class than anyone else, there was no calling for him when their teacher spoke of Voldemort in their first Defense lesson of the year, nothing.

    Likewise, there were also no actual demonstrations in Professor Skywalker's classes.

    He watched as the man stalked around the rows of students, all of which were talking quietly in pairs or trios. Hermione and Ron kept bickering over how to use the specific spell for this lesson, the cutting hex. They all had their books open and were going through the theory. Later, Harry knew, those who felt confident in their spellcasting would earn points by demonstrating them.

    It had been that way for several weeks by now, a period of study with Professor Skywalker asking questions, then practical demonstrations and further help by whoever managed to pull it off. Thanks to their bookish friend, Harry and Ron were both in that group of successful students more often than not.

    He still did not like studying much, but actually being successful and doing well did much toward his rising opinion on the subject. Ron, for all his dislike of the same, also found something enjoyable in this class.

    "Professor, why are we learning the cutting hex here and not in Charms?"

    For once the practice part was over, Professor Skywalker did something they did not see any other teacher do before. He discussed with them.

    "From what I gathered, it can be taught in either class. You are likely to cover it in Charms as well, actually. What you have to understand is that while this hex is useful in everyday life, it can also be quite the dangerous tool." The professor made a sharp cutting motion with his hand for emphasis. "It cuts not just cloth, but also wood, steel, flesh, and bone." A few students flinched as they understood the implication, Hermione among them. "You should be aware of as many potential uses a spell's has as possible, not just the intended use."

    There was some muttering and calls of someone not having thought of that, but Ron had his hand raised again, taking to the subject matter with a surprising amount of curiousity. "How do we make sure we don't use spells badly, then?"

    There were some groans from the Slytherins in the room, but nobody paid them any mind. Nobody, except for the professor who sharply eyed the bunch. "Ms. Parkinson sounds like she is well-versed in the subject. Please enlighten us to why you see no need to think deeply of it."

    Silence.

    A few seconds passed and Professor Skywalker nodded. "One point from Slytherin for interrupting your schoolmate. I understand that the lions and snakes have a traditional rivalry, but you will treat each other with respect." Then he turned back to Ron, who snickered. "And one point from Gryffindor for laughing about another's chastisement. You are better than that, Mr. Weasley." Ron quickly shut himself up and the point was made.

    "Now, to answer your question, what you need is to understand and to think. Instead of merely learning these spells, you need to consider what you can do with them, even on accident, so you can choose not to use them that way. Or, if your life is in danger, to do so anyway."

    The old teacher left his words hanging for a moment while the majority of their class thought about them. Hermione wrote it all down as quickly as she could to remember for later. Many of the Ravenclaws did the same.

    Professor Skywalker had defied convention with this as well, teaching classes for each year once and with every house, instead of twice with two houses each. Harry did not know whether to like that yet with how big the group became, especially because it also meant each lesson was twice as long.

    He was pulled out of his deliberations when the professor clapped his hands and threw the class a predator's grin. "Now, everyone, you know the drill. Put the tables aside and get changed."

    And there it was, the final and greatest cause for complaint among most of the students. A class none of the wizarding children were prepared for and which even the muggleborn students did not enjoy.

    In difference to the first week that cost them a good amount of points, even the Slytherins made to help in lifting and carrying the tables off to the walls; Professor Skywalker expected everyone to do their part here, no exceptions. Harry carefully lifted his own table together with his friends and three grumbling Ravenclaws.

    They could all see the professor taking off his robe as they worked, revealing shorts and a light shirt underneath. His skin began to show wrinkles and he had various scars all over his body that they could now see, but there was also muscle.

    It was time for every student's bane, magical or not: gym class.

    Some students had taken to imitate their teacher and wearing their workout clothes underneath the robes instead of carrying them in, and Harry belonged to that group. His friends trooped off to the adjacent changing rooms, boys and girls separated but without separation by house. He could tell few people were eager to be in close proximity of the other houses as they changed, but the professor made his stance on that clear the first week.

    Though, Harry had to admit, he still laughed about the face Draco Malfoy made when his complaints were rejected. The old professor gave them a demonstration to prove his point, even. A simple jet curious insight: if the other side can not hit you, you win.

    Professor Skywalker let Draco throw every hex and jinx he knew, easily evading every single one of them. He made his way through the entire classroom and tapped the boy's head without being hit once, gliding around with a fluidity that would put men thirty years younger to shame.

    Needless to say, after that, quite a few students were willing to try gym class. Few actually liked it, but they understood just what they were aiming at.

    It might help that their teacher did every exercise with them and was benign when giving advice and correcting them. Wizarding families did not pay much mind to physical fitness, so even many of these children gave it an honest try.

    Then again, Harry also heard Draco mutter about telling his father after all. He complained a lot and nothing had come of it so far, but this was still Draco Malfoy. Harry just ignored him for now and started warming up.

    . .
    . .

    "Why do we call dark magic dark?"

    The whole room was silent and Ginny, like many others, threw curious glances toward the girl that asked. A smiling blonde Ravenclaw, first year like all of them. There was some whispering around the room and groans from the girl's housemates while Professor Skywalker kept his eyes on her almost unblinkingly.

    The teacher stayed silent for a few seconds, the pause quite noticeable to all of them; whatever whispers it were Ginny could only hear bits of, they fell quiet in that time.

    When he spoke, it was a slow response: "I will have to give this some more thought. Five points for Ravenclaw, a good question, Ms. Lovegood. Would you have an answer of your own?"

    When Lovegood lowered her head to think, another Ravenclaw raised his hand smugly and Ginny felt her curiousity spike; she never thought about that and now she wondered about it herself. When the boy was called, she missed his name, he explained the matter: "Obviously because dark magic is used to hurt others, so it is a tool of darkness."

    They almost missed it because all attention was on their classmate. Ginny was among the few who saw how their teacher called a piece of parchment to his hand with no more than a flick of his wrist. Without a wand. Her eyes widened at the sight and some others had similar reactions. The professor made some notes while the blonde from earlier turned to her housemate.

    "We learned last week that most spells can be used to hurt people. Doesn't that mean we're learning dark magic?" That, too, sounded right. They had learned that every spell needed to be treated with care.

    Ginny pondered it for a moment and, when the teacher made no move to stop them from discussing, she spoke up herself: "Maybe it should be spells that are only or almost only about hurting people?"

    That earned her a few owlish looks and careful consideration from the Ravenclaws; however, Luna tilted her head almost at a right angle and put a finger to her lip. "But what if you need those to protect people, like the Aurors do?" The girl nibbled on her fingertip for a moment, then turned back to their teacher, who was eyeing the whole thing with patience.

    Some others chimed in from there and for the next ten minutes, Ginny found herself heatedly arguing the matter with almost everyone. Even the Slytherins joined in after a minute or two.

    In the end, their spirited discussion had no real answer, at least none that satisfied everyone. It did earn each house between ten and thirty points, though. Ginny herself got seven for her contributions. She could not help but smile.

    Her fingers strayed to the diary she had in her bag when everyone put their notes away; today was the first day she dared bring it out of her dorm, considering to note down her experiences as the day went on instead of in the evening. It always answered her after all. Ginny could not be happier about the day.

    When she looked back up, Professor Skywalker's gaze was on her, his expression unreadable. Those old eyes made her shudder in a way none of the other teachers ever had; for just a moment, Ginny felt as if she stood before Death himself.

    She blinked, and the moment was over and their teacher's gaze strayed.

    "Ah, right. Ms. Lovegood, see me after class."

    Surely it was just her imagination.

    . .
    . .

    When Luna found herself alone with the teacher in a hastily restored classroom, she worried momentarily. At least half the class had felt it earlier and she still saw the wisps of power flowing around Professor Skywalker. Then again, she wondered once more if what she did could be counted as seeing. She did not see, she felt. Her family's little secret.

    Something dark and horrifying surrounded the kindly man, always had, but only today did it begin to roil in a way she never saw before. He calmed just as fast and Luna found herself at ease. She would be fine. How she knew that, she did not know; but she knew that this feeling of hers had never led her astray before.

    They looked at each other quietly, the teacher attempting to gauge her and she waiting until he was satisfied. Something reached out for her from across the room, touched her softly all around. Question, wonder, curiousity, worry. That and more flooded through her being and Luna's airy smile fell in surprise; she reached out and tried to answer, but nothing happened.

    "As I thought," her teacher mused and wandered closer. "You are untrained, but definitely strong. Tell me, what do you know of the Force?"

    The Force. Luna blinked and tried to answer the various feelings around herself again while she looked for a good answer. It prompted a laugh and the other presence withdrew. "Do not push too far, Ms. Lovegood. Such matters take practice." And she relaxed. Professor Skywalker crossed his arms and waited for her answer.

    "I didn't even know its name until just now. My daddy figured out some exercises and he teaches me, but he never found anyone else like us." Luna hesitated at that point, but decided to be honest and added in a quiet voice: "People think we're loonies for seeing what they don't."

    "Understandable." The professor stepped closer and placed a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently while Luna peered up at him. Yet the darkness within him kept roiling. "You're surprisingly calm around me despite knowing what I am."

    This time, Luna smiled. "The Force whispers to me, sir. It tells me I will be fine. I know I will be, so I'm not afraid." Her words drew another surge of curiousity and a smile. Then Anakin Skywalker stepped back and sat on one of the tables; Luna did the same once he motioned for her to follow his example. She had to hop up to do so.

    "So your strength seems to lie more in prediction than direct manipulation. Your senses are sharp, yet untrained." He paused and considered, then threw a glance her way. "Do not speak of the book Ms. Weasley carries. I could feel it too, but we need to observe for now; once whatever this is knows we know, it will try to hide itself. Can you do that?"

    "Yes, professor."

    "Good. Now, would you like to learn about the Force?"

    "Yes, professor!"

    . .
    . .

    Walking next to Anakin Skywalker was an odd feeling. Lucius rarely felt at ease outside of his own home, but this man gave him goosebumps merely by existing. The way he held himself, the calm mannerisms; as if he were dissecting him with but his gaze.

    For a man such as Lucius Malfoy, the feeling was rare. He could only remember two others that gave him such premonitions of dread, and of those two he did not know which he should compare Skywalker with. The Dark Lord, or Albus Dumbledore.

    "It was brought to my attention that your... unorthodox teaching methods displease the students." He might have been more caustic, but the part of him that was once Death Eater screamed to not anger the older man. "As a member of the Ministry's board of education, I felt it my duty to investigate." Smooth as silk, though the look he was given made it clear his words were understood.

    "I believe there is no need for sugarcoating, Mr. Malfoy. Your son threatened to tattle on me more than once. The boy needs more discipline if he wants to succeed you one day." Lucius stopped his lips from twitching, unsure whether it would have been a smile or a frown. Skywalker continued to muse as they wandered the corridors. "All things considered, no student likes to work. I adjusted the curriculum to my specifications because, honestly, I could. Defense Against the Dark Arts is badly hampered by this constant changing of teachers, so these children need every advantage they can get. A healthy body is one such thing."

    Lucius could not follow that reasoning. His eyes narrowed, a stray gust of wind making his masterfully tended, blond hair float. Perfect posture and appearance were far more important than a bit of muscle, not to mention a fast hand to draw his wand and a sharp mind to select spells with. "Could you elaborate?"

    As if on cue, Skywalker quickly stepped aside to dodge a stinging hex from behind. Lucius whirled around to find a trio of fourth years staring back at him; the girl was muttering to herself, wand still drawn.

    "I promised fifty points to the first student who can land a hit on me," Skywalker provided conversationally, drawing Lucius' attention from the breaking of school rules. "And gave my explicit permission to cast minor hexes on me at all times. The term has been going for a while, but no one got those points so far. The students are getting creative, so it keeps them on their toes."

    Lucius wondered; this was a near-perfect surprise attack and from the professor's blind spot no less. Between the student shouting the spell and Skywalker dodging... he could tell his own reflexes would not have allowed to dodge. The students ran off while he mused and Skywalker huffed in quiet amusement.

    After meeting the man and seeing this display, Lucius decided to withhold judgement for now and see how it all turned out. He only had one other matter to discuss. "Very well. I also heard of certain... rumours, Professor Skywalker. You seem to be paying great attention to one of the first years." Draco had added it to his letter more as an afterthought, but this was what worried Lucius the most. A teacher preying on the students had to be dealt with immediately.

    However, his explanation seemed to confuse the other man. Some of his wrinkles became more pronounced as he thought, then nodded. "I wonder why that would be an issue. Ms. Lovegood has a quick wit and excels in my class, so she receives additional tutoring. I believe wandless magic is a rare talent?"

    Lucius felt at a loss for words for a moment; then he had to suppress the urge to massage his temples. So many surprises today.

    "It is indeed. If you and the young lady could demonstrate it to me for my peace of mind, I will get out of your hair, professor."
    "Of course, just a moment."

    Lucius nodded and followed when the professor made a turn and he wondered in the privacy of his own mind just where Dumbledore had found this man. Few of his contacts ever heard of him and those who did only knew that he immigrated from the United States two years ago. The trail grew cold at that point, even with his international contacts in the picture.

    Silent minutes stretched between the two as they moved into the castle proper. The evening sun still illuminated them but was soon replaced by magical sconces and torches. "She should be at dinner right now, and I was meaning to dispel some rumours anyway," Skywalker added curtly as they neared the Great Hall. Lucius could not help but feel odd, entering this place now as an adult, where he took his meals every day for the better part of seven years. A wave of noise soon rolled over them, bringing back fond memories of simpler times.

    Some took notice of the two entering and fingers were pointed; Lucius exchanged a single glance with his son, who appeared mighty pleased about something. Perhaps the professor was right about him needing more discipline.

    The noise did not really fade with their presence, though Lucius did notice the head table falling silent to observe them.

    Then Anakin Skywalker made a slow upward motion with his hand, palm pointed up, and the entirety of Ravenclaw House's table took to the air. Lucius could almost feel his eyes widen and knew he was not alone. Every section of the table and their contents, every bench, every student on the benches, smoothly rose into the air, shifted several centimetres to the left when the professor moved his hand, and sunk back down. Not a single goblet spilled its contents.

    One could have heard a pin drop in the sudden silence, the surprised and terrified Ravenclaws having fallen silent as well.

    Professor Skywalker stroked his chin and measured the rearranged table. "I believe the four tables are now actually equidistant," he told the room with a faint smile. "Except for the bench in the middle." Ravenclaws immediately vacated it in fear of another ride, leaving only a blonde slip of a girl behind who eyed them with an airy smile. "Ms. Lovegood, if you would?"

    "Of course, Professor."

    Lucius still had trouble keeping his jaw from hitting the floor, a task which he actually succeeded in where many students and some teachers failed. Teachers such as Filius Flitwick and Severus Snape.

    When the girl now stood back and levitated an empty bench to adjust it by several centimetres just like her teacher had, she already held the entire room's attention. She frowned a few times and readjusted, the bench squeaked once, but nothing went wrong. Skywalker nodded and turned back to him conversationally, as if nothing groundbreaking had just happened. "Now that we are done, would you like to join us for dinner, Mr. Malfoy?"

    He had half a mind to excuse himself and head home, but the familiar if admittedly simple smells of Hogwarts' kitchen made him reconsider. It had been many years, he could indulge for once. "If you would have me."

    Slowly, the chatter around them started up again; he could tell most of it was focussed on the spectacular feat of magic they all just witnessed, and felt humbled. As Lucius followed the professor to the head table, he reflected that everything seemed to have gone well enough. Although he would need to have words with Draco.

    He already knew the Weasley girl took the bait. Christmas was soon and the next year would certainly be full of work if everything went as intended.
     
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  10. OrigamiGuyII

    OrigamiGuyII Getting out there.

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    Best flex i've ever seen a professor do over their students LOL
     
  11. dxdragon

    dxdragon Versed in the lewd.

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    ok, this has got to be one of the best "easy flex" moments in the Harry potter fandom.

    I wonder what the students and teachers will say about Luna now. No chance of bullying the Second Coming of Morgan Le Fay after all.
    This is gonna be good.

    Also, I'm surprised Anakin hasn't mentioned doing anything about the soul fragment in Harry's scar, or how it feels similar to the Diary.

    I love finding a good "Professor --- from another series" fanfic. Any good recommendations?
     
  12. Threadmarks: 3. Deviation
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Two weeks into the new year, a small group found itself in the hospital wing. Filius Flitwick was looking over his bandaged students with worry and a hint of wonder, Luna Lovegood had her gaze lowered to the ground and fidgeted from time to time, unable to so much as look at the two sleeping forms. Anakin Skywalker, lastly, calmly touched his student's cheeks and forced her to look up.

    "It's the darndest thing, truly." Professor Flitwick did not know which way to look, alternating his gaze between the older and younger students. "Two of my third years and without your wand, Ms. Lovegood. If it weren't for the fact you put them here, I would feel proud like never before."

    Luna made to avert her gaze again, but her tutor forced her to keep it on the girls she hurt. She hated herself right now, both for having fallen to the taunts and because she lost control like she did. "I'm sorry," she could not help but whisper. Of course she knew just words were not enough.

    "If you would explain this... exercise already, Anakin?" Luna glanced to the side where Madam Pomfrey was glaring daggers at the Defense teacher; he had insisted they hold this meeting here despite the medi-witch's objections. She was not happy with them and it did not take the Force to know. Yet to her who could feel it, the waves of displeasure from Pomfrey and the lingering pain from her housemates only made it worse.

    Luna tried to avert her gaze again, but was once more forced to look. Professor Skywalker sighed softly and nodded his head toward the occupied beds. "Actions have consequences, success and failure alike. I can tell Ms. Lovegood is not happy about what she did, but I won't let her close her eyes before her failures." Then, to her and with an even softer note, he continued: "You did this, Luna. Burn the sight into your mind and vow to yourself to never slip again."

    She relaxed under the nudge and opened her eyes wider, doing her best to follow her tutor's words. The other two adults watched the whole procedure with a mixture of open curiousity, mainly Flitwick, and annoyance as well as reluctant acceptance, this mostly Pomfrey.

    A few seconds passed before Professor Flitwick broke the silence: "Normally I would say that her own regrets are punishment enough, but the damage was quite extensive. What made you do this, Ms. Lovegood?"

    Luna was still busy burning the sight into her mind, quiet horror and self-loathing slowly turning into determination. She answered absently, slowly, unsure: "They call me names, sometimes. Not often and I ignore it, or when they hide my things. But they said something bad about my mummy and I, I just...." She did not even want to think of the words spoken, or the sudden surge of anger she felt at the time. It made her shudder.

    The hand on her face let go and wandered to her shoulder to squeeze it. She could feel a wave of displeasure from her head of house, radiating in a way that surprised Luna. He was not angry at her. "Is that so? How long has this been going on?"

    "The start of term... professor." Another spike of annoyance while Madam Pomfrey seemed to calm down. Luna could not help but ask: "What happens now?"

    Professor Flitwick muttered something under his breath and cupped his chin in thought. Luna stole a glance at him, but then returned to the sight of her badly hurt housemates. She did this, she never wanted to do this again.

    "Well, first of all, twenty points from Ravenclaw for your disproportionate retaliation. Fifty points from Ravenclaw for what your house made you go through, Ms. Lovegood. That aside-" "Filius?"

    She almost shied away from the growing anger in her teacher when Professor Skywalker interrupted him. "If you allow, I would prefer to take over Ms. Lovegood's punishment. Which will be detention," he clarified with a sideway glance at her. "Two hours, every day after dinner, for the next two weeks. We will work on her self-control."

    There was a momentary pause while the other professor thought it over, then nodded. "Very well, it sounds appropriate. Would you have any input, Ms. Lovegood?"

    "Can we make it three weeks? I don't want this to happen again."

    "I, uh, very well. This is a first, a student asking for more detention...."

    "Wonderful," Madam Pomfrey's sharp tone almost made her miss Professor Flitwick's whispered comment. "Now that this is sorted out, would you all kindly leave my patients alone?"

    "Yes, ma'am."

    All three of them left quickly and they separated from Professor Flitwick after a few turns. Soon after, Luna found herself in Professor Skywalker's office and with a cup of tea in front of her. Worry sparked from her favourite teacher as he looked her over, so she brought herself to smile, though he was not fooled.

    "Perhaps it's a little early, but with this fresh in your mind we might as well start. Today I will teach you about the Jedi and the Sith. Sit." A blackboard floated closer while Luna took her seat and two pieces of chalk began to write at the same time, one on the left and one on the right. Luna kept her eyes on the professor. "There are many different Force sects throughout the known galaxy and covering all of them takes a scholar a lifetime. I studied some but none in-depth. The Jedi and Sith stand out as the most well-known, the most prominent.

    "Of today's events, the Sith would tell you to nurture the anger you felt and crush all that oppose you with it on your path to your goal. To soar ever higher on your own power. The Jedi would chastise you for losing control and for the attachment to your mother that led to said loss of control in the first place."

    Luna frowned; neither did she like being angry, nor did she want to forget her mother. "Why is it bad to love her?"

    What she received were a gentle smile, a spark of sympathy, and an image of an older woman dressed in ragged clothes. The last vanished after a moment, perhaps having come involuntarily. "The Jedi and the Sith, or Light and Dark sides of the Force as they call themselves, are more or less diametrically opposed. The Sith build themselves on desire, strong emotions to break all resistance between them and what they want. Anger features strongly among them and most all Sith are vicious, ultimately being consumed by their own desires and causing incredible harm." The Force flickered around her teacher as he spoke, bringing memories of cities burning, screams, but they were shut away just as fast. Luna blinked.

    "I never found out how the cycle actually started, but the Jedi in turn refuse desire. They refuse bonds such as that between mother and child, for the fear for your loved ones or the pain of their death can once more lead to anger, and thus to the Dark side."

    She could not help but ask, fascinated but wondering if she really understood: "Is wanting to be free of desire not also a desire?"

    The silence she received lasted an uncomfortably long time, but Luna knew it was not a stupid question; her tutor was still but his presence in the Force exuded surprise. Then mirth, as he chuckled. "Well said. I didn't consider it from that perspective, but you are right. I'm sure the Jedi either discussed it greatly or never spoke of it. I wonder what Master Yoda would have said." He shook his head and got back to the subject at hand. "Either way, the Jedi refuse themselves to be people, and thus they cease to truly be people."

    More small memories had sparked from one to the other as they spoke, the lesson consisting of more than just words but also feelings. Luna could tell that Professor Skywalker had been both. "Which will I be?"

    "You will be Jedi or Sith, or both, or neither. It is your choice to make in the end. Under my tutelage, you will learn control and measure. I will teach you to surpass your fear instead of rejecting it, to temper your anger into purpose, to rise above who you are whenever necessary without ceasing to be."

    Luna could not help but smile at that and nodded. Right now, she felt she would be neither. Maybe that would change over time.

    When her presence came to rest once more, the professor nodded and pulled the board forward. "On the left is the code of the Jedi, the old version that I only learned through the study of old holcrons, er, texts. On the right is the code of the Sith, which closely resembles the Jedi order's current code in structure. Memorise them both, for both hold great truth."

    First Luna read the left code.

    Emotion, yet peace.
    Ignorance, yet knowledge.
    Passion, yet serenity.
    Chaos, yet harmony.
    Death, yet the Force.


    Few words they were, but they spoke to her after her teacher's explanation. Tranquility as she always preferred. She would commit them to memory, no matter how long it took. Then she read the right code.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall set me free.


    This, too, spoke to her on a deep level. Luna could not tell what exactly she felt now, but she remembered how powerful she felt when solid stone shattered under her will. She did not mean to do it for longer than a moment, but to know there was such power at her command at any time still energised her.

    Expelling all thoughts with her breath, Luna thought for a moment and found she had a question.

    "Will we do anything about Ginny yet?"

    "Ms. Weasley? No, not yet. Observe and wait for a chance to strike; if you see a true opening, take it. Otherwise, wait for my order before you act."

    "Yes, Professor"

    She read the left code again and found herself wondering. "Death, yet the Force. What does that mean?"

    "The Force is in all of us and all around us," the professor supplied calmly. "We come from the Force, and will one day join it once more."

    "...even my mum?"

    There was a moment of silence and another spark of sympathy, then a calloused hand squeezed her shoulder. "Yes, All of us. Calm your feelings and meditate on the codes for now. I will tell you when it's time for dinner.".

    So she did.

    . .
    . .

    Harry was still wondering how to proceed at the end of January; it had been more than a month since they used polyjuice potion to sneak into Slytherin's common room, finding out that Draco Malfoy was not the heir of Slytherin that kept petrifying students around the school. He did not know who or what or why and there were no more leads for him to follow.

    Ron, by his side, had about as many ideas. Malfoy was the only one they could think of and neither of the two boys liked the idea of camping in the library to read old accounts from fifty years ago, when the Chamber of Secrets had last been opened by an heir of Slytherin. Someone related to one of the founders of Hogwarts.

    He did know it was not himself even though most other students suspected him after finding out he could speak to snakes; a rare talent, as he learned earlier.

    While the two boys wandered through the corridors, a girl soon crossed their path and went the same way. One of the first years whose name he heard a week before Christmas but forgot since. She hummed and offered the two of them a smile before skipping along. Ron frowned for a moment, then blinked. "You're that girl Professor Skywalker teaches, right?"

    "Hm?" She turned back to them and her skips became less coordinated, though she did not stop. "Oh, yes. And you're Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter." Her gaze went between them for a few moments, strayed to Harry's scar, before turning back to the corridor. "Are you on a stroll, too?"

    Harry shrugged at her. "Not really, just on the way to our common room." Then, thinking back to how most students treated him these days, especially the first years, he could not help but ask: "Aren't you afraid I'm going to petrify you or something?"

    The younger girl made a quiet "hmmm" and stopped skipping, walking normally next to them as she looked Harry over again. "Let me answer that with a question: aren't you afraid I'll send you to the hospital wing?" Harry blinked, then remembered hearing how the little blonde apparently did that with two of her housemates. She did not look like she would, so he slowly shook his head; it prompted another airy smile. "See? I don't have anymore need to be afraid than you do. Probably less, seeing that you can't petrify people to begin with."

    Harry nodded slowly, unsure whether he understood what she meant. Ron just threw her an owlish look. "So you don't think Harry is the heir?"

    "Of course not, that would be silly." She never stopped smiling as she spoke, but whatever was supposed to follow stopped when her eyes snapped open and she turned her head. A moment later, Harry heard the gurgling of water himself.

    A quick dash and examination later, they found the closed girls' loo, the same they used for a month to brew polyjuice potion, submerged. Harry quickly found out that the resident ghost, Moaning Myrtle, had done the deed after someone tried to flush something down 'her' toilet. Before he could pick the old notebook up however, the first year stepped over and put her foot on it. The smile was gone and he thought she paled at the sight.

    "What is it?"

    Widened eyes turned to Harry, with Ron and Myrtle basically flanking him. The Ravenclaw opened her mouth to speak, stopped herself, thought, and then slumped her shoulders. "I don't know what, but I know it's bad. Really bad. Professor Skywalker needs to see it." She bowed down to take it, but stopped with her fingers a few centimetres from the worn, black leather. Straightening, she loosened her robe and quickly flipped the journal into it before bunching it into a ball.

    "Weird," Myrtle mused as she floated over, looking at the strange girl standing in an airy shirt and shorts. "I didn't notice anything when it went through me. How can you tell?" The translucent girl stood a head taller than the corporeal one, having been a fourth or fifth year when she died.

    The only answer she received, though, was a shrug. "I don't know how to explain it. It's...." She trailed off and scrunched her brow, blonde strands falling in front of her eyes as her head moved slightly. "Dark. Dark is what it feels like."

    Considering she did not even want to touch it directly, he was inclined to believe her even if she was weird. Harry nodded while Ron muttered something about looniness that he did not catch.

    The girl made to run off at that moment, but paused after a few steps and slid two more. "Oh, right. Harry?" He turned to her immediately, wondering what she wanted. "Would you mind giving me a few pointers about riding a broom sometime? Professor Skywalker told me I should try for the Quidditch team next year, so I'd like to practice some more."

    "Oh, uh, sure?"

    "Thank you."

    "Hold on!"

    She stopped again when Harry called out, still wearing that smile his agreement prompted. He wrung his hands for a moment, feeling kind of awkward to ask now of all times but knowing it would be more weird later. "Um, I kinda forgot your name." Ron snorted and Myrtle sunk into her toilet with a giggling fit, but the first year just smiled.

    "Oh, that makes sense. I only remembered you two because I share classes with Ginny and you are, well, you. I'm Luna."

    And with that, she was off. Weird girl. But nice.

    . .
    . .

    Looking down at the worn notebook on his desk, Albus felt his age. He had already confirmed the darkest of magics placed on it, his old suspicions thus confirmed at last.

    The Dark Lord Voldemort did not truly die the day he went to kill the Potters. Albus had known this much since the previous year, when his specter took possession of the last Defense teacher and attempted to get at the Philosopher's Stone he held under guard in the castle. Now he knew for certain as to why.

    "Horcruxes," he explained softly to the man in front of him, "are a horrible practice that few still know of and fewer still know how to utilise." He did not touch the book, feeling cold and trying to keep his thoughts from going in circles. "A horcrux is a vessel for a piece of your soul, a container to store it away and thus escape death once you were to die. In killing, your soul tears; this fragment can be stripped out and put into a horcrux afterward."

    Anakin's expression was devoid of emotion as he listened; Albus stayed light on the details and purposefully held himself back from skimming through the younger man's surface thoughts. He had taken a look when hiring the man, and he never wanted to be in his head again. So many roaring emotions, so much death.

    Yet he could not help but give Anakin a chance; just like his memories were full of darkness, there was light. A son who had pulled him from the abyss with unwavering faith. Albus had always been one for second chances.

    "When Harry Potter survived the killing curse that fateful night, the wizarding world believed Voldemort destroyed. Now we know that his machinations continue; he will likely return before long." As much as Albus hated to admit it, he was getting old; that, and his former student was even more talented in the art of magic than he himself.

    Anakin, however, nodded and frowned at the book between them. "I can look into it. Your magic won't ever come easy to me at my age, but the Force gives me a few advantages of my own. This is quite distinct." Then he glanced at Albus. "This is likely the perpetrator of the Chamber of Secrets opening. What do we tell the students if no actual suspect is ever found?"

    He mused for a moment and sighed then. "I will spread word that a student was ensnared by a dark artifact which has since been secured and destroyed." After that, he could not help but throw his newest teacher an impish smile. "And perhaps award some points to Ravenclaw for one of theirs bringing said artifact to my attention. Gryffindor got the House Cup last year for their effort in protecting the school, it seems the ravens will receive a good shot at it this year."

    A huff was all Anakin had to say to that. "Very well. Do you want me to take care of Slytherin's monster?"

    Now it was for Albus to shake his head. "Leave it be. I don't doubt you could, but... hm." The headmaster fell silent and frowned in thought. He could not present a suspect, but if he could present the Chamber, that might be enough to appease the board. Lucius Malfoy had already been on his case. "On second thought, please do. The creature is likely to be a basilisk. Fawkes will assist you." The phoenix trilled in agreement and flapped his red and gold wings. "Do you think a hundred and fifty is appropriate for Ms. Lovegood's diligence and calm head?"

    "I think house points and a House Cup are a silly tradition," Anakin told him as he left. Albus could still see his smile. "But yes, that sounds appropriate for preventing deaths and further months or years of fear. Just make sure no one can guess it was her, people might catch on to some things. How about you throw in some money to buy her a proper broom for Quidditch next year?"

    "I will consider it. Why exactly?"

    "The Force allows us glimpses into the future, knowing what will happen in a second or two. It is how I dodge so easily. Quidditch will help Luna hone that talent, one which I feel she can get even better at than I am."

    It was explanations like these that reminded Albus just how different their powers truly were. This Force Anakin spoke of at times allowed a far more fundamental grasp on the world, but lacked many of the greater achievements of Albus' own magic.

    With his piece said, Anakin left.

    But a few hours later, during dinner, Hogwarts shook. Albus could save his own drink from spilling, but many of the students were not so lucky. There were screams, curses, a few of the decorations falling from the walls, and only a handful of students remained calm. One was Luna Lovegood, whose gaze was directed downward with a slight frown.

    Albus observed her, noting how the frown faded a moment before the earthquake ended. She smiled and he knew it was done.

    . .
    . .

    Lucius had not expected to be back at Hogwarts so quickly. When Dumbledore claimed the situation had been resolved, he wondered if the old man had gone senile; this thought had been reinforced when the board's group of four investigators was led into a girl's loo and down a giant pipe priorly hidden by a ring of washbasins. "Professor Skywalker had no time for finesse and thus broke through the obstacles in his way," was what the old man had told them.

    The walk through decrepit sewage channels had not improved anyone's opinion, neither had the second smashed gate.

    Now that they stood in the Chamber of Secrets however, the giant stone face in the back annihilated from the nose down, only two of the dozens of stone snakes to the left and right still in place, and a mutilated snake at least fifty metres long draped into the center, Lucius revised his opinion. When he realised it was a Basilisk, he decided that he would never oppose Anakin Skywalker in any way which could be traced back to him.

    The man stood quietly at the side, answering the occasional question while Dumbledore remained in the focus. For some reason, Lucius thought the older man's eyes were on him. He made sure to school his features and calm himself

    With a little luck, the Dark Lord would never find out that Lucius placed this old diary here. With a little more luck, the Dark Lord would never return in the first place.

    . .
    . .

    Luna was the only one who knew that it was her who won the House Cup for Ravenclaw. The ravens stood seventy-seven points above Gryffindor in the end, after a few months of peace after the Chamber of Secrets had been closed for the last time.

    She made great progress in her studies and the Force, learned to fly properly from Harry, found herself liking to fly freely, and even made friends despite the catastrophic start of her first year at Hogwarts.

    Now, with the students feasting, she could not help but smile even while she ate. This Summer would not be lonely anymore. She would write Harry and Ginny and Ron and Hermione and Cho, too. Cho was an older girl who had not cared much about her at first, but took Luna under her wing with worry after Professor Flitwick had some stern words with Ravenclaw house in January. Worry for Luna.

    All in all, she could not be happier.
     
  13. NakedFury

    NakedFury Not too sore, are you?

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    Interesting seeing the story not focusing on Harry or a fixit OC or something. Yes Anakin did end the problem but from the start he was always just watching not actively moving towards the problem.
     
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  14. Darman Skirata

    Darman Skirata Getting some practice in, huh?

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    He was waiting for a good moment. Strike too soon, Lucy doesn't learn anything, and possibly people get hurt.

    He acted when he would ensure the best effects down the road, and to be honest, h being patient like that shows how different he is from tje hot headed youth he ounce was, and the mucurial sith lord not that far in the past.
     
  15. Threadmarks: 4. Compassion
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Minerva shuddered as one of the gruesome creatures floated by too close for comfort. Dementors, guards for the prison of Azkaban and rarely seen outside of its bounds.

    Now they were here, at Hogwarts and in the hundreds. For the first time in history, a man had escaped from the most secure prison in the world. All of wizarding Britain was out hunting for Sirius Black; the man who betrayed James and Lily Potter to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, who murdered another man and a dozen Muggles in cold blood soon after.

    A man who had once been her student, bright and kind if mischievous. Minerva had wondered just how she never noticed so much darkness in this young man as he went through Hogwarts, her House even. The only Black in recent history to not be sorted into Slytherin and who came to Gryffindor instead.

    Deep down, her heart clenched and she frowned while watching the Dementors take their places. She loathed to have these creatures close to her students.

    Anakin shuddered visibly as another passed by, standing at the battlements in front of her as he, too, observed them float through the sky. Minerva wondered whether this might not be more worrisome than just the creatures' presence; this man had taken on and defeated an ancient basilisk with but his weird metal wand and a phoenix to aid him. And, of course, the Force.

    She was already wishing for the day the Dementors left, but at the same time her curiousity about her fellow professor burned brightly. For the first time in many years, a Defense teacher had returned for a second year. The curse placed on the position apparently dissipated. Or rather, in her own opinion, it took one look at Anakin Skywalker and made itself scarce. She would not be surprised.

    "What bothers you about them? Has the day come where the inassailable Anakin Skywalker finds fear?" She received a flat stare when Anakin turned his head, her gentle tease apparently either not appreciated or inappropriate. Talking helped to distract Minerva from the monsters surrounding them, though.

    "I know fear very well, Minerva. I have seen many things, good and bad, small and vast." Anakin squinted at another of the cloaked figures, eyes trailing after the black cloth. "But these things are different from all of it." He took a deep breath as if to calm himself, then turned fully and motioned for the Dementors. "Has Albus spoken to you about the Force?" She slowly shook her head and received a sigh. "Of course not. The Force is life, Minerva. It is everywhere, in everyone and everything, tying us all together. These things? They are holes, wounds, in the Force. Every one of them."

    Minerva frowned over the renewed philosophical explanation, unsure how to understand his words. She directed her gaze to follow another of the emaciated figures as it floated around. "Yet they are very much alive."

    "A paradox, in a sense." Anakin shuddered again. "Something where the Force is not, but which still is. I need to give Luna a few lessons about guarding her mind from them. These creatures are drawn to anything which is strong in the Force in a desire to devour. Wizards and Witches are strong in the Force, stronger than Muggles, in their own way."

    She nodded her agreement; if the Lovegood girl might be in trouble, she wholeheartedly agreed with aiding her. Remembering the previous schoolyear, Minerva really did not want another disaster happening, though another matter drew her interest. "If that is so, why aren't they crowding around you?"

    Anakin did not speak at first; rather he turned back to a Dementor that had floated closer and it flinched, making off immediately. When he looked at her again, for but an instant, Minerva felt the weight of his presence, the murderous gaze of a chained beast, and before her eyes she saw not Anakin Skywalker but a man clad in black, a long cape rustling behind a suit of black steel and a mask just as dark, towering over her like an omen of death.

    Her breath hitched and she was looking at Anakin again. The younger teacher grinned at her mirthlessly. "These Dementors aren't mindless, Minerva. They, too, know fear. As much as they upset me, they know I'm a monster as well. They won't dare come close for fear of being destroyed." Then he sighed and put a hand on his face. "But I will have to teach Luna about the Dark Side sooner than I like."

    When Minerva gave him a raised eyebrow and motioned to elaborate, he chuckled. "Ah, yes. The Dark Side of the Force is focussed on emotion and desire, which can often consume its user. This emotion is best at keeping the Dementors at bay, where the Light side, about tranquility and discipline, is easily disrupted by them. I taught her mostly about Light-side or unaffiliated matters last year. This year will be dipping into the Dark side then. Don't give me that look, I don't like it either, but needs must and her will is strong. She will thrive."

    The last part was spoken with so much conviction that Minerva almost believed it herself. She did not like to hear that something which people called dark was taught to a student, especially one so young, but there was no helping it. Anakin had not yet led them astray, so she would trust him.

    As a means to change the subject, she returned to another matter related to Luna Lovegood. "Why do you want her to join the Quidditch team?"

    Anakin shrugged and turned back to watch the overcast sky, Minerva joining him at the battlements when he started to speak: "There is little here in the way of actual combat training, aside from dueling. Riding a broom for a game is not exactly the same, but it makes good practice to sharpen her reflexes. Even if she's more of a Consular, she needs to be able to defend herself and others."

    "A Consular? What do you mean with that exactly?"

    Anakin huffed. "The Jedi order, which wielded the Light side of the force and which I was a part of, separated the members into three castes of sorts. Guardians like myself, whose focus lies in combat and diplomacy, to protect the innocent and serve as intermediaries between groups. Consulars, in which I feel Luna is leaning, were also called seers. They possess great talent and skill at wielding the Force, striving to discern its mysteries. The Consulars study the Force and rarely take to battle. Last there were Sentinels, who lived in a balance between Guardians and Consulars, having neither the strengths nor weaknesses of either."

    Minerva took all of this in with curiousity and a bit of understanding. She could see why he suspected his favourite student to become a seer of sorts. "I understand. She did not strike me as a warrior."

    "Quite. Perhaps she will seek battle later in life, but I doubt she will ever do it with a passion." Anakin turned to Minerva with a faint smile. "I am not going to push her in any of those three roles anyway, but they do well in describing the three main paths a Force-user can take."

    The older witch nodded and huffed at her fellow teacher. "This was quite enlightening, Anakin. Thank you." They left it at that, though. She had to think and get away from the Dementors.

    . .
    . .

    "Good job, Luna!"

    The younger girl could not help but beam while Cho ruffled her hair. The two of them left the Quidditch pitch amidst many of the other contenders for one of the seven spots on the team. It had been a few weeks since the term started. "Thank you. I'm glad I made it."

    Cho just laughed bright and bumped her hip. "Come now, no need to be modest! You could have chased me into being reserve Seeker if you wanted to!" She grinned, but could not help but wonder after she said it. The thought lingered and drew curiousity. "Actually, why didn't you try to go for Seeker?"

    Luna fell quiet and became thoughtful as she did. Then the wind hid her face behind Cho's long, ebony hair and the older girl quickly took hold of it with a sigh; she should have kept the braid she put it in for the tryouts. Her grumbling aside however, she realised that Luna would make a good Seeker. She was petite and thus aerodynamic, swift, and had keen eyes to spot the small Golden Snitch around the entire pitch. Catching it ended the game and awarded a hefty amount of points after all.

    The crowd dissolved around the two girls as everyone walked at their own pace, though a few Gryffindors soon strolled with the two of them. One of them Harry Potter, Cho noted with a surge of embarassment; walking so close to the Boy-Who-Lived was certainly a new experience. Thankfully however, they all congratulated Luna for making the team instead of focussing on her disheveled person.

    After she thanked them, the little blonde turned back to answer the question she was asked before: "I think you're already a good Seeker, Cho. Maybe I'd be a little better, but not much if at all. I'm no good at hitting Bludgers, so Beater was out anyway. Keeper might have been good, but I think I can do more as a Chaser, so that's what I went for."

    Her words led to a few surprised expressions and Ronald Weasley nodded at her: "Good idea. Nothing against you guys, but your Chasers sucked last year."

    Cho just rolled her eyes and snapped back in good humour: "Not everyone can have Gryffindor's line-up, you know? Our Chasers scored enough points." She noted that Luna had begun chatting quietly with the Weasley girl and felt the corners of her lips rise. It was a spur of the moment decision to look after the younger girl when she could, but seeing her find friends made Cho happy as well.

    "Either way, the Gryffindor-Ravenclaw match will be interesting this time." Harry grinned at the two girls. "I look forward to it." Cho grinned back and made to tell him he would lose, but Luna was faster.

    "I'm sorry for your loss," she said. When the others turned to her, she wore a rather more impish than serene smile. "It will be quite devastating when Cho catches the Snitch and puts us at four twenty to your sixty."

    The Gryffindors fell silent in confusion while Cho's eyes narrowed. She had her suspicions with how cuckoo Luna acted from time to time. "Are you a seer after all?" The moment she asked, both Weasleys paled and Harry threw confused glances around. Hermione answered from his other side.

    "Seers are basically what Muggle fiction depicts them as. They can see into the future. I read there are a few around the world, but the gift is rare." She, too, eyed Luna thoughtfully.

    The sole blonde in their group merely smiled her usual airy smile. "Perhaps I am, perhaps I am not. You will only know that day." After pausing for a second, she giggled and shook her head. "But no, I am not. I might find the true gift later, but most I get now are glimpses. Such as that Ronald will stumble soon."

    That prompted a laugh from said boy, who waved it off. "Come on, it was a nice joke but you should quit while you're- whoa!" And he stumbled over a bigger stone, making a few quick steps forward and almost falling on his face. Everyone had stopped to watch and his smile was gone when he looked back at them. "You weren't kidding!"

    Luna merely smiled while the others around her started to chatter about the implications. Cho left them to it, though she wondered herself. After a minute or two, Harry raised a finger in thought and pointed at Luna. "Actually, what about your wandless magic. Are you allowed to use that?"

    Ron immediately answered that question before anyone else could even process it: "All players are forbidden from casting spells during the match. I don't think the rules say anything about wandless magic, but that shouldn't be allowed either."

    "Even if it were," Luna chimed in dreamily, "I wouldn't use it. That would be plain unfair beyond getting back onto my broom if I fall." She paused and turned her gaze to a group of three Dementors passing by. Their icy aura covered the students a moment later and Cho shuddered, much like the others. Harry and Ginny had gone deathly pale... and then she realised the Dementors were closing in on them.

    Cho's eyes widened and she quickly looked around to find a teacher, but there were only students. She could not cast a Patronus charm to keep them at bay, that was advanced material!

    Emaciated arms and hands reached out even from under those pitch black robes, frightening even at a distance. Cho considered running, but she could not leave the others alone. Harry went onto his knees and Ginny followed a moment later; Luna had stopped moving and stared at the approaching creatures, her eyes growing wide. She muttered something under her breath.

    Ten metres between them and the Dementors; all the other students were already fleeing, but Cho was rooted in place. Indecision kept clawing at her. Luna's muttering became silent and then, then she snarled. The sweet girl snarled and took a step forward, making the Dementors stop. She took another step and they floated back, then forward again. A surge of anger not her own ran through Cho, pumping through her veins and making her growl at the horrible creatures. Her fear turned to wrath at these things daring to come for them. She stepped in front of Harry and Ginny while Luna made another step.

    Then Cho realised that the anger radiated from Luna of all people, and forced herself back together. The younger girl raised her hand as if in trance and pointed her fingers at the creatures. Nothing happened as they closed, closed further, almost touched her; Cho wanted to shout, but in that moment the feelings not her own grew by another hitch and lightning loosed from her friend's fingertips. It buzzed angrily as the Dementors squealed, retreating and fading into nothing, leaving behind the telltale scent of ozone.

    The cold vanished, the anger vanished, and Luna collapsed to her knees with a shuddering breath. Cho, Hermione, and Ron all stood still to take in what they just saw, but then they started moving. The Gryffindors saw to their downed friend and sister respectively, Cho went to check on Luna. The girl was breathing heavily, sweat rolling down her forehead and probably soaking her all over.

    "Hey." Cho carefully put an arm around the shaken girl, who blinked up at her but did not speak. "What did you just cast on them?"

    Luna blinked a few more times and looked down at her hand. Then back up at Cho. "I don't know. Professor Skywalker says that, that," she trailed off for a moment before finding the words she was looking for, "that Dementors only understand fear. So I need to make myself so scary they don't come close. It's really hard, I don't like it."

    Cho hugged her tight and had to keep herself from crying. Adrenaline pounded through her veins and she only now realised how dangerous this was. "Thank you, Luna. You saved us." The other girl sighed and hugged her back hesitantly. Cho stroked her back. "All that anger, that was yours, right?"

    "Yes."
    "And you were angry because they wanted us?"
    "...yes."
    "Oh, Luna."

    Cho kept hugging her for a while longer. For this sweet girl to make herself angry on purpose to protect them, she had to get her head around this. She might freak out about the lightning later, in her room or someplace private, but right now she pushed it away to make sure Luna was alright.

    After a time, Harry and Ginny both came to where they passed out on the ground. Cho took one look at them and decided to herd the whole group to Professor Skywalker. He would know what to do, and someone had to tell Dumbledore what happened with the Dementors.

    . .
    . .

    December had announced itself with a blizzard, leaving enough snow for the Hogwarts students to wage seven battles in seven days before running out of fresh white to deploy.

    In the near village of Hogsmeade however, the snowfall had done little beyond improving the residents' mood. Large amounts of it had been vanished or melted away, turned into festive sculptures and some of those even animated to wave at passersby. Here, too, the students roamed. Third-years and up were allowed to go, provided their guardians had agreed.

    None of this was of much concern to the large, black dog currently raiding the Hog's Head inn's trashcans. He carefully sniffed on food remnants, sausage and ham and bacon, eating around any obviously spoilt parts as best as he could. His emaciated frame made clear that he had done so for a while and without much success. But he found food, which was better than nothing. He had found shelter in the Shrieking Shack, a derelict building some ways off from the village, where he could get away from the cold of winter.

    The crunch of boots on snow made the hound pause and turn his head. It may be nothing, but he always had to worry about predators.

    What he saw was not a predator, not directly. An older man in comfortable brown robes had stopped to look into the hound's alleyway, meeting the canine's gaze with momentary surprise. "Now, what do we have here?"

    He turned fully and made a step into the alley, which prompted the hound to hop off the trashcan and let out a threatening growl. He could not tell if this was just curiousity or a predator. The man stopped and looked him over, took in the clear signs of starvation. Then he turned back around. "Wait here."

    And he strode away, leaving behind a confused hound. A hound which faintly wondered whether this man had ever interacted with canines before. He looked back to the trashcan in consideration and almost made to go back before realisation struck. There was another reason this man would talk to him like a person.

    Before he could turn tail and flee however, the stranger had returned with a large piece of ham in hand. Its scent alone had the hound drool uncontrollably, a proper meal. A meal which was set down in front of him. "There you go, boy." The hound stared at the man for a moment longer, making sure he meant it, then he viciously tore into the meat and began to devour it. He did not care about the indulgent smile given to him in these moments. He whined in content when a calloused hand began to scratch behind his ear.

    "I seem to stumble over strays left and right these days," the man told him with a sigh. "My apprentice is taking up more time now, so much talent and a strong will. I hope she is not forced to dive even deeper than she already has, or I may lose her to the darkness." The hound listened with curiousity, his initial hunger sated after half of the ham was gone. "It's sad she had to push herself so far to scare off Dementors, too young, you know? If she has to do this too often, she might lose herself in the euphoria. Power does corrupt, after all. It explains the state of Wizarding Britain, too."

    The hound received another scratch and wagged his tail, listening to what was apparently a new teacher venting his sorrows. "At least she made it onto the Quidditch team like I hoped. Actively using her talents should give her a better outlet, and a good one instead of battle. Her father's self-taught exercises helped, too. A curious thing, the Force." The old man smiled down at the hound, who tilted his head curiously. "It seems to appear most clearly among what they call seers here, but springs forth from other sources of unusual powers too. Not that the bumbling purebloods would understand why; the Force is not strictly hereditary and so their magic isn't, either. That is what leads to Squibs in far-reaching lines, children who did not inherit the gift. Many do receive this sensitivity from the previous generation, like my son and daughter did."

    The hound listened with greater focus now, learning something new. His sudden benefactor offered a sly grin. "But the Force is not bound by blood, merely guided. It favours lines of those it favoured before, but will always touch others as well. I doubt there was anyone sensitive to the Force in my line before me."

    He fell quiet and gave the hound a pat on the head. "A secret for a secret. If you behave, I can take you along into the castle." The tail stopped wagging as its owner froze. "Not to worry, I want to figure you out before deciding on whether to capture you. The Force is in all living things, and there is so much regret, so much anger, so much pain in you. Come, we should speak elsewhere."

    The hound just stared up at this impossibility and the man chuckled. "If you wonder why I'm not afraid, know that I have nothing to fear." He turned around and began to walk slowly.

    After a moment of hesitation, the hound followed.
     
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  16. Vallan.Mandrake

    Vallan.Mandrake Know what you're doing yet?

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    that's true. And on one hand so totally not Sith, but on the other hand, the natural progression of power/siths...

    Nice work!
     
  17. Akuma-Heika

    Akuma-Heika The Devil Exists Within

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    I would have assumed that it would have functioned like the animagus transformation, making the user invisible to them, at least if the user can maintain their tranquility.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: 5. Traya's Legacy
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    At first, Sirius Black could not believe his luck. Despite all of wizarding Britain having condemned him long ago, here there was a man who listened and believed him. He spoke at length and explained what happened on that horrible, horrible night. Even though his mind went into a circle from time to time, he forgot what he said and had to be brought back on topic, this man listened. He was patient.

    What was more, he took time out of his busy schedule to speak with Sirius at length, not just about what happened but also about himself. There was no denying that he needed counseling after twelve years in Azkaban, and the kindness freely given made him break into tears several times. He was hidden in the Defense teacher's rooms and provided proper meals. He could even sit in on his lessons while in the form of a hound. He got to see Harry, so much the image of his father.

    But even then, he had a mission.

    "How long are you going to wait?"

    Anakin leaned back with a thoughtful hum once Sirius asked the question. "When do you think I will act, Luna?"

    The young blonde opened her eyes and tilted her head ever so slightly as she pondered her master's question. "Next week, once most students have gone home for the holidays." Sirius' eyes narrowed even when Anakin offered a single clap. "You want to do this swift and without potential casualties around. So we wait for a time to strike."

    That was not what Sirius would like to hear, but he had been patient. He could wait a little longer. Yet he wondered, thought. "What of witnesses?"

    "The only witness we will need is Albus." He had a point there. "That aside, Luna, did you confirm Peter Pettigrew's identity?"

    "Yes, Professor." Sirius knew she was just a second-year, but he had seen the Force at work by now. Often enough to know it truly was a power different from the magic he himself wielded. Luna Lovegood stood out as an apprentice and he could see the sharp mind below her airy behaviour. "As best as I could without asking, at least. I could tell something was special about Ronald's pet rat since last year, but, well." Those big eyes turned to him and Sirius felt strangely naked before her gaze. "I never met another animagus before, so I thought he was just a magical rat."

    The girl shuddered and averted her gaze, which made Sirius worry. "You okay?"

    Luna gave a soft nod and closed her eyes to return to her meditations. "Yes, but it's hard to look you in the eyes. You're a dangerous man."

    "Instinct hounds her," Anakin added with a glance at his apprentice. "Men like you and I, who walked through hell of one kind or another to come back out unbroken, we are the most dangerous beings in existence. The Force is in flux and your feelings radiate, Sirius. She can tell."

    Sirius himself sighed and looked at his empty plate. "I'm just glad you believe me at all, but I'm getting impatient. Twelve years, Anakin. The traitor was free for twelve years." And he had been in Azkaban, innocent of the crimes he was accused of. Betraying James and Lily, murdering Peter and those Muggles. He could not help but snarl and Luna flinched; her posture did not change where she sat on the pillow at the wall, but Sirius still felt bad when he saw her reaction. "Sorry, kid. I'd try to rein myself in but I've never been one to sit around and meditate."

    "We are aware," Anakin added drily. "And it seems you are going to get your will."

    He made a motion with his hand when Sirius turned back, only for the door to snap open and two young men to fall into the room. A bunch of paper slid out of the first one's hand and Sirius needed a moment to recognise them. It would have taken longer, if not for the fact these two were identical twins.

    Fred and George Weasley, fifth years and well-known as the best pranksters in Hogwarts. The two quickly got to their feet while Sirius' eyes traveled to the parchment they lost; then his eyes widened, becoming similar to the twins' expression but for a different reason. "The Marauders' Map?"

    He bend over and reached for it while Anakin threw the twins a stern look. "If you would not throw that, Mr. Weasley. We really don't need everything full of glitter right now. Sit."

    Sirius faintly realised that the boys had just found him, an Azkaban escapee, chatting with their Defense professor. That might explain why they were so shocked. A moment passed and nothing happened, allowing him to pick up the Marauders' Map. The door slid shut on its own and Luna spoke up pleasantly: "Please sit, you two. Mr. Black is innocent."

    Instead of actually contributing, Sirius was busy pushing back tears. His gaze remained on the Marauders' Map, the perfect tool to evade patrolling teachers and prefects. A map which always showed the current position of every person on the school grounds. A map he had helped create, in better times. Just seeing it brought back pieces of memories, a few precious ones the Dementors had not taken from him over the years.

    Sirius took a shaky breath and brought out his wand to place on the parchment. "Mischief managed," he whispered and the ink faded away. It was the same map, with the same password to hide its true purpose.

    He closed his eyes, unknowing how much time had actually passed while he was reminiscing. A cautious voice drove him from the momentary respite: "You know the map?"

    His eyes opened again and he offered the twins a weak smile: "I helped make it. Me and James, and Remus, and...." He trailed off, snarling at the memory. Peter. Their fourth and last friend. The traitor.

    "Either way," Anakin interrupted the surprised questions from the Weasleys calmly, "we can use this. Luna, you take the map and capture the rat. Misters Weasley, you will accompany Sirius and me to the headmaster's office. It is time to end this tragedy."

    Neither of the twins argued, apparently having been at least made to consider the situation. Sirius was tired now, but determination made him rise nonetheless. Twelve years and at last, he would get Peter. "To access the map, touch it with your wand and say 'I solemnly swear I am up to no good'." Luna nodded and Sirius grinned, a feral smile that immediately made the Gryffindors a few steps back.

    . .
    . .

    Sometimes, Anakin wondered just why things suddenly went off without a hitch. Perhaps it was because the stakes were much lower here, on Earth. Just a single planet, a handful of races, no space travel. No knowledge of the Force, the true one at least.

    Luna quickly tracked down and captured Peter Pettigrew in his form of a rat, then brought him to the headmaster's office where Albus himself undid the animagus transformation and the true culprit behind the crimes Sirius was sent to Azkaban for was captured. Sirius Black was exhonerated within the hour and Anakin had taken his leave. He left his apprentice to share the good news with her friends, for Sirius was also Harry Potter's godfather.

    Now that the important issue of the time was resolved, he had a moment to catch his breath... and do what he had wanted to do for a few weeks now. He had studied the Jedi and the Sith extensively in his free time, of which there was a lot to a man of his standing. The Emperor did not send him on missions at all times after all.

    Right now, he was wandering up to the astronomy tower for a conversation that was long overdue. In his hands was the Marauders' Map, revealing to him a few interesting details. One he had already suspected. The other... not so much.

    What he had not expected was for his own name to flicker on the map. Most of the time it read Anakin Skywalker, as it should, but whenever he wrapped himself with the Dark Side, it inverted its coloration from black on white to white on black and changed to Darth Vader. He would have to check whether this was the same for Luna and dearly hoped it was not. Though he could understand that for himself, seeing that he lived as Darth Vader for about as long as he was called Anakin.

    No one disturbed the lone man, his presence in the Force growing thicker and flowing ahead of him. It called out to another, not to destroy or to pledge allegiance, but to parlay. He transmitted his intentions ahead, from Sith Lord to Sith Lord.

    It had been years since he studied the holocrons of old, but many of the matters he learned would hardly ever be forgotten. Especially not this one. An entire world stripped clean of life, the Force itself crying as it was violated.

    He climbed the last few stairs and felt anxiety for the first time in an age. "Mischief managed," he muttered and put the map in his pocket, then stepped forward.

    In the middle of the tower's flat roof, a Dementor floated. And above it, three hundred more had gathered. The entire force sent to guard Hogwarts; they would leave before the day was out, making this his only chance. Now that they were close together, he could feel the strangled bands in the Force between them.

    The creature spoke in an ethereal whisper half word half thought half feeling, a tongue no mere being could understand. Being sensitive to the Force allowed Anakin to grasp the intent, though; to speak after he called for conversation, and that his own strength was the only reason the spectre did not give in to its hunger.

    "So it is true," he returned calmly, his will forcing back the aura of darkness surrounding the Dementors. "The Sith Triumvirate was destroyed by Jedi, not by infighting." The Dementor nodded and he offered a shallow bow. "It is a most unexpected honour to meet you, Darth Nihilus. History speaks of you quite often, but I didn't expect to find you here of all places, and fractured like this."

    The map had shown the Sith Lord's name when enough Dementors gathered in one place. Anakin had truly not expected it. A man who devoured the Force in unending hunger, who depopulated an entire planet on his own, splintered into many pieces that retained his essence.

    The swarm's speaker let out a hissing laugh while the pressure on Anakin's mental shield's increased. He frowned and pushed back, drawing another laugh. Then the creature spoke once more in eldritch tongues; it forgot how long it lived in this realm, remembered little beyond what it was and to search noursihment. It wondered just who Anakin was to join him in this endless realm beyond death.

    "I am Anakin Skywalker, though my master named me Darth Vader when I joined the Sith. I have walked the paths of light and darkness. In death, I became free. And even beyond, the Force has need for me." Anakin would not be that open to people of this world, but there was little reason to withhold information from the shade of a long-dead Sith. Darth Nihilus was still powerful, but his might had been fractured and scattered. "You cling to life out of the most basic desire, the want to live. Yet you keep growing weaker."

    The Dementor hissed at him, a sound which strangely relayed nonchalance; that the ultimate end did not matter before the hunger. They both knew this being would one day spread too far and fade away entirely. In a way, Anakin figured, it might be the Force punishing them for how much they hurt it. But he knew no Sith Lord desired pity. "Very well. You seem oddly content to be a slave."

    Another laugh shook the air and the two pushed against each other once more while unintelligable words were spoken and intent became clear; that it was but a question of perspective, of the fools believing to have enslaved him not realising how the broken Sith Lord could break away at any time, that he was preparing for such.

    Folly.

    Anakin did not comment and calmed his feelings; he could tell that the remnant of Darth Nihilus lacked the focus to pull this off without major coincidences; such as enough of his fragments being in close proximity to regain concious thought instead of acting on instinctive hunger. It was a futile endeavor, existential dread and despair averted by denial and will.

    "I see. Then I wish you luck, Darth Nihilus. You will soon receive order to leave this place."

    The Dementors began to break off in response, one by one leaving the crowd up above. The speaker chuckled in an almost human way this time, but its words remained beyond comprehension. He already had received the order and soon would partake in a soul perhaps not powerful but delicious nonetheless. Then a notion of farewell.

    The crowd erupted in motion on this notion and the Dementors flew away, soon little more than a shadow on the horizon. Anakin watched them leave and took a deep breath as he relaxed.

    Interesting, but also worrying. He would have to meditate on all of this. And hope Obi-Wan's force ghost did not find a way here to tease him after all.

    . .
    . .

    The school year's second half went by peacefully, much to Harry's delight. No murderous professors, no more dangerous beasts, no madmen after his life. And not just that, he also got to meet his godfather; Sirius even promised to let Harry stay with him after his fourth year. No more Dursleys at that point, never again.

    He would have to go back one more time because Sirius needed treatment for the aftereffects of Dementor exposure and would stay at St. Mungos for at least the rest of the year. But they kept writing each other, Gryffindor won the House Cup and even the Quidditch Cup after an incredibly close victory against Ravenclaw. Luna scored many goals through the precognition she privately explained to them, being able to dodge Bludgers and attacking Chasers like a dancer. Her passes never missed, either. But she was just one Chaser while Gryffindor had three exceptional ladies and Harry caught the Snitch.

    He was quite happy with the way his life turned out now. Perhaps next year would even be completely calm for him.
     
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  19. krahe

    krahe Not too sore, are you?

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    Huh, will admit, it's a really neat take on dementors
     
  20. Threadmarks: 6. Apprentice
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    "I don't get it."

    Harry was not alone, Ginny could tell; neither Ron nor her had understood Luna's explanation, either. They finally got her to open up about what her gift actually was, but the answer they received explained nothing.

    Ron frowned and looked over the Weasley's living room as if to search for something. "If it's all around us and inside us, how do we not notice it?" It was not exactly how Ginny would have phrased the question, but she had trouble with this as well.

    In turn, Luna remained smiling and made a soft, sweeping motion. "Few are receptive to the Force, Ronald. It is as fleeting and basic as the very air surrounding us. You don't notice it, do you?" The boys shook their heads slowly and Luna made a pushing motion; immediately, an unseen force pushed her audience of three a few centimetres in their chairs. "Yet if someone else does something, you notice the change in the air. Trying to put the Force into simple terms is impossible without losing what it is. The more I learn, the less I have words to describe it."

    Ginny sighed and decided not to push further. Her old friend had already learned about this for a good two years, trying to understand it all in an hour was impossible. Sometimes she wished she had stayed closer to Luna as they grew older and this time she decided to visit her more often. Not the same old playdates from when they were small children and the only girls in the area. For now though, she was curious how much time her training in the Force took. "Do you have to do stuff over the break?"

    "Hm?" Luna turned to her with a soft sound, then nodded. "Ah, yes. Professor Skywalker does come by to talk with my daddy at least once a week, and he gives me all kinds of tasks beside my usual meditations. Solving puzzles using nothing but the Force and the like. Yesterday, we, um...." The other girl fell silent and Ginny felt something crawl over her skin for a moment. Luna looked around warily. "There is no one else in the house, yes?"

    Now she was intrigued. Harry and Ron apparently thought the same thing and quickly nodded; Luna frowned for a moment, but then she gently pulled out a metal cylinder from her skirt's pocket. "I'm not supposed to let anyone see, so please don't tell anyone else." She presented the gizmo and Ginny noticed a few protrusions and buttons, and that one end was open.

    Then Luna stood and flipped a switch, igniting a blade of yellow light over a metre long. Ron gasped and Ginny's eyes widened while Harry just looked on in awe; the weapon buzzed softly and Luna swung it once before extinguishing it. "He said I'd normally have to wait longer until I make my first lightsaber, but with all the dangerous things happening, he wanted me to be prepared just in case. I built it myself with his help."

    "How does it work?"

    Luna's response was a shrug; she made doubly sure the weapon was properly put away as she explained: "I just built it to his specifications. He said it uses a lot of Muggle, er, 'electronics', I think. I'm going to learn how all that works starting next year." Ginny blinked and tried to comprehend that something like this was built by Muggle means. How did they do that?

    Her brother appeared to have similar thoughts: "Muggles have stuff like that?"

    "Not really." Harry took over with a shrug when the other three looked to him. Right, Ginny remembered he grew up around Muggles. "I'm pretty sure that thing would be right out of a Sci-Fi show. Uh, that's, give me a second." He frowned and thought while the others waited for him. Ginny's gaze flicked to his scar and back, then she averted her gaze; that puppy crush she had on him was gone, but she probably still liked him a little.

    "Okay, so, Muggles don't have magic, they got science. It's got a ton of different fields, but they keep finding new things. Science Fiction is people basically imagining the things science could make possible in a few hundred years or so, like space ships. You know, traveling to the other planets and such. The electronics Luna talked about are part of science, too."

    Muggles were weird. Super weird. Then again, if they could build things like Luna's lightsaber eventually, maybe she should read up on a few things. It would explain why her own father liked their stuff so much.

    "Oh, the crystal in the center is magical." And all attention was back on Luna, who smiled at them. "It's a purified one that Professor Skywalker worked over so it actually channels the Force instead of magic, but it's special. It makes sure magic can't affect the things inside too, so I can use it anywhere. No, Ginny, I won't use it for chores." She blinked again, mouth not yet open but having meant to say exactly that. Luna gave her a stern look, the grimness completely at odds with her usual airy expressions. "This is a weapon and dangerous. Come, I'll show you."

    Five minutes and three dead lawn gnomes later, they all agreed Luna had the right of it. Something that could cut flesh and bone without even slowing down should not be used for chores. Ginny would not bring it up again, though now she wanted to have one of her own; why was it only Luna who turned out to be Force-sensitive?

    . .
    . .

    Fourth year for Harry was a pleasant surprise. Nothing bad happened, at least not to him. More importantly, Hogwarts hosted the Triwizard Tournament, an ancient contest between it and two other european schools. A champion of each school was chosen and to compete with the others.

    Three tasks were watched, a ball not attended because he found no date, and Harry even got to meet Sirius a few times after Christmas; his godfather made big steps to recovery and looked much better.

    He was glad not to have been one of the champions, though. Having to steal a golden egg from a nesting dragon, diving into the lake to rescue a hostage taken, and going against various dangerous creatures in the large labyrinth they grew on the Quidditch pitch; it was a spectacle that he could observe from the sidelines for once.

    Now that his life was not in danger all the time, he actually found some fun in school and studying. Still having Professor Skywalker around helped with that a great deal, though Quidditch being cancelled for the year probably did as well. Without matches to prepare for, the team captain only held training once every other week instead of three or four times each week.

    All in all, it was a nice school year. Beauxbaton's Fleur Delacour won the Triwizard Tournament in a neck-and-neck race with their own champion, Cedric Diggory. Hogwarts did not win, but Harry went home cheerful anyway; this year, he could finally go and live with his godfather. Life seemed to look up for him.
     
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  21. krahe

    krahe Not too sore, are you?

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    Hey, wait, that's not how that work
     
  22. Lord_0f_Winter

    Lord_0f_Winter Hippity hoppity, your arsehole is my property

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    I believe this is the part where life walks in and kicks him in the balls
     
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  23. Voidlord

    Voidlord Getting sticky.

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    That’s a pretty big butterfly. Without Peter, no one found Voldemort’s shade and nursed his body creature thing long enough so they can perform the ritual. And Barry Crouch Jr never finds them to help.
     
  24. Vanbers

    Vanbers I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Yeah. Pettigrew is basically the lynchpin of later Voldy plans. He's basically the only 100% 'loyal' Death Eater left, that's willing to spend 100% of time ressurrecting him, and all the rest are too busy pretending they totally aren't and never were Death Eaters by choice no sirree.

    Without Pettigrew, plans kinda fall apart.
    Curious if the Triwizard thing only happened due to Pettigrew, or if Crouch tried but got caught by Skywalker, though.

    "Come on Murhpy, he's not worth it, just let it go!"

    "DON'T YOU FUKKIN HOLD ME BACK FORCE, YOU FUKKEN HERD THAT LITTLE SHIT I'LL FUKEM UP I SWER ON ME MUM-"

    "Aw man, he's at it again. Why won't these people learn?"
     
  25. Inbetweenaction

    Inbetweenaction Know what you're doing yet?

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    Would partially disagree. Crouch is held under the imperious by an aging and partially Ower worked man, that has already had Atleast one close call (bera Jenkins). He could conceivably get free at any point and go resurrect vmort. Not by year 4, but at any point during or after the 4th year.
     
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  26. Threadmarks: 7. Fate Realigned
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    Albus did not like the calm. It felt far too much like a storm would be unleashed any day now; Voldemort had yet to act after the incident with his diary two years prior and not knowing where he was or what he was doing bothered the old wizard.

    Unfortunately, Anakin did not share his worries. Even though Albus decided to explain them to his long-lasting Defense teacher, his only question stood in the room quite uncomfortably: "Why do you worry about him so much? A spectre of a man with no followers left will not drag the whole country into darkness in a day."

    The older man sighed and slumped in his chair, all dignity forgotten. Confiding in Anakin Skywalker eased his nerves, for he was a man who understood the burden even if he did not agree at times. "You might be right, but I doubt he hasn't acted in the last two years. If I missed him setting up for his return and revival, it might happen without me knowing, too."

    "Why are you so sure he will return at all? Being defeated by a child twice is not a good track record." Anakin shrugged when Albus threw him a tired look. "Just saying."

    In the end, he might as well be honest: "Because there is a prophecy, Anakin. You may not believe in such matters," he added when he saw the other man's grimace, "but they are quite real. Rare indeed, but real. Once spoken, it will come true. The prophecy decreed that-" "Stop." Albus did, if only for the unexpected interruption. Anakin raised a hand.

    "I get what you're saying now," he noted with his eyes boring into Albus out of habit, "but if your prophecies are anything like mine, there is a lot up to interpretation. I honestly don't want to know what it says, nothing good comes from that." Albus nodded softly, understanding his reasoning. If he could unlearn some things he found out over the years, he would be quite glad for it too.

    Anakin closed his eyes and leaned back slightly. "May I share a little story to explain my feelings?" When Albus gave him the go ahead, he glanced at Fawkes who was napping with his head under a flaming red wing. "Back where I am from, I, too, was supposedly part of a prophecy. The Jedi order took me in and trained me because they believed I was supposed to restore balance to the Force. To them, that meant destroying the Sith they kept warring with. That was their interpretation. But having only users of the Light Side and none of the Dark Side is not balance, Albus." The older man shuddered as the words sunk in, even before Anakin spoke what he already understood: "I killed them all, from the younglings to the masters. Then, decades later, I killed my own master as I was dying myself. With me, the Jedi and the Sith ended and balance was restored."

    "So what you are telling me," Albus began into the pause Anakin left, "is that we can't be sure what the prophecy actually says until it happens. And that, should we try to assume what exactly it means, we will invite calamity."

    "Yes."

    Neither of them spoke for a while and Albus mused on what he had been told. It was quite true that prophecies were a fickle thing. Taking anything for granted based on one could not end well. Nonetheless, Voldemort and any number of horcruxes were still out there somewhere.

    In that moment, Albus realised he had missed the obvious answer. "Anakin. You can sense horcruxes, yes?"

    "Yes?"

    A rare, honest smile made its way onto his face at the confirmation. Albus had an idea and a plan began to form. Disregarding the prophecy, there was now something they could do. "Would you lend me that power to find the remaining horcruxes and secure them?"

    After a moment, Anakin smiled as well. A much more sinister smile than Albus' own, but in this moment he did not care.

    . .
    . .

    Luna knew that plans were made and her favourite teacher often left Hogwarts over the weekends. She missed him and his tutoring, even if it was just him being there while she meditated more often than not.

    She treasured every minute spent with her friends; studying with Ginny and Hermione and Cho, listening to them talk about boys, or flying with Ron and Harry, or simply playing chess together. She felt wanted and happy. And yet Professor Skywalker's absences were noticeable nonetheless.

    "Luna, please. You can't sit around doing nothing for hours."

    Such as right now. Luna opened her eyes with a soft sigh and beheld Ronald Weasley; Harry and Ginny stood nearby while Hermione, Luna knew, camped in the library again for some reason. She understood that none of them could truly grasp why Luna needed to meditate, but it would be nice if they actually let her do so anyway.

    "I need calm, Ronald. Especially right now." Luna did not believe that would be enough of an explanation and a flare of anger pulsed even while her abdomen constricted itself further. The Force coiled around her, ready to lash out, but she maintained control and released it harmlessly. "I'm on my period and that is bad."

    Ron grimaced at that but refrained from the comments he would have made at the mere mention last year. "You sure you're alright? We can get you something for the cramps from the hospital wing if you need it." Ginny nodded quietly at the side and Luna felt a surge of sympathy radiating from her fellow fourth year. She could not help but smile despite it all.

    "I'm fine; medicine is for when it gets unbearable. It wouldn't solve the mood swings anyway. I did say that the Force is drawn to emotions, no?"

    "Ah, right." Ron nodded to himself and fidgeted a little before pointing over to the door; they had taken refuge in one of the unused classrooms for the last hour or two. "We'll leave you alone then."

    Luna got up immediately. "No, I'm fine for now. I can meditate later." She might be sounding more frantic than usual and hoped no one would notice; Ginny did. Thankfully, Ginny was also the only person who knew how much Luna hated to be alone. Outside of sleeping, she always preferred to have someone else with her, even during her meditations; the waves of another's feelings nearby were calming.

    "Well," the youngest Weasley noted with a look around. "Looking at it, there's just the four of us today. How about we grab our brooms?" The grins breaking out everywhere told everyone that the idea was appreciated. Luna winced as she got to her feet, but ignored the cramps. No more words were needed as the small group made its way outside; the winter air was crisp and still, perfect to fly for a while.

    As they walked however, Ron sighed: "You know, I'm really glad I'm not a girl. I don't know how you can deal with this stuff every month."

    He got a weak glare from Ginny while Harry distanced himself slightly. Luna merely shrugged even though she felt that it was unfair, too. Then again. "Oh, you have other problems we don't. We can think about sex without being obvious about it, for one."

    The response got her confused looks until she nodded down to Ron's crotch, which led him to avert his gaze with a quiet noise of understanding. Ginny appeared thoughtful at that, making Luna wonder if she had never considered that. Then however, her redhead friend grinned and nudged her brother. "And we're prettier than the boys."

    "Except Draco, he makes for a pretty girl, too," Luna commented without pause; she earned a bark of laughter from Harry, a snort from Ron, and a giggle from Ginny. "But I'm not all that pretty, Ginny. You are." The mirth faded almost instantly and Luna knew she would be disagreed with, but she also knew the facts. She was just an average girl in looks, though the constant practice in Defense and her private training made her fit and upped her appeal in her own opinion. "Don't deny it, please."

    Neither the siblings nor Harry appeared happy about the subject matter, but Luna did not mind. If she were interested in boys or girls and wanted to be seen as pretty by someone, she might start to care more. As it was, being average was fine with her.

    "You're right."

    Both Weasleys immediately turned their eyes to Harry and Luna had to blink as well; she expected all of them to argue the point. Harry just grinned. "But I'll say you've got the better personality. That's important, too."

    "What was that, Potter?" The older boy flinched over Ginny's threatening tone, her temper and normal, abrasive personality coming out to play. Then however, she took a deep breath like Luna taught her too. "You're right you know, but you really shouldn't say it like that." The surge of anger was still there but had been kept back. It dwindled slowly.

    Luna herself giggled and offered Harry a smile. "Thank you." He smiled back and that was that. The remainder of the afternoon was spent high above the grounds, relaxing despite her current predicament.

    . .
    . .

    "One can see the future as it might be, but never as it will be. Remember the distinction."

    Albus watched young Luna nod without so much as opening her eyes. He had begun to sit in on these lessons when Anakin suggested to include his apprentice, for the girl's senses were sharper than his own. They had found a single horcrux in five months of search and research, making Albus agree to the proposal. He felt he held the keys to figuring out at least one more before April, but it was slow going.

    The current lecture, he reflected, was about the subject of precognition. "We peek into the future to foresee our opponent's actions and prepare a reaction before they even happen, which allows us unrivalled opportunities in battle. You have yet to face another Force-user and thus lack the experience of how malleable the future still is. Rise and ready yourself."

    Albus had the feeling that this lecture was for him as well, regarding the prophecy he had so long taken as fact. He still put great amounts of trust into it, but feared that Anakin might have been right in his interpretation being off. After hearing it once more and considering other interpretations for the last few months, Albus realised that this prophecy might as well have been fulfilled already; on the day Voldemort was defeated so many years ago, with Harry being protected by wards woven from his mother's unending love.

    The clacking of wood meeting wood interrupted his train of thought and Albus beheld master and apprentice exchanging blows with practice swords; quick and strong, low and high, sweeping and stabbing. Neither of them took a single hit at first, expertly stepping aside anything they could not parry. Yet young Luna's confusion and surprise were quite visible after the first few seconds. Her strikes became imprecise and her parries more hasty.

    With what he heard, Albus figured that the various possible futures she went through threw her off because Anakin, too, could alter the result from foreseeing her attempted counters. A most curious ability and one he himself could hardly imagine outside of an intellectual understanding.

    There were no feints in either of their styles; the student had been pushed back against the wall in a matter of seconds. Then she was disarmed and defeated, with neither of the two even having broken a sweat despite their rapid movements. Albus clapped while showing his usual, grandfatherly smile and received a mocking bow from Anakin.

    "Before I leave you two to your practice, Ms. Lovegood, I believe it is time we cut to the chase about the matter at hand. If you would sit with me?"

    He did not look forward to having to explain it again, especially to a child. But needs must.

    It would turn out to have been the right decision in the end, for the two Force-users together located and secured a second horcrux before the school year's conclusion. Albus considered awarding a great amount of points to Ravenclaw for Luna's hard work on this, well, extracurricular activity, but ultimately decided against it. In his opinion, her achievements could not be measured in House Points. Instead he made sure the girl would never want for anything in her life.

    Albus had made many mistakes in his life, not the least amongst them being to trust in Harry Potter's remaining relatives to treat him well after his parents died. He promised himself to be more careful about such matters from this point forward, though Luna would be in good hands either way. Not only did she get along well with Anakin, her talent in Quidditch had drawn the interest of a professional team and her grades were high up in the rankings; once this young lady completed her education, she would do well regardless of what she ended up doing with her life.

    Then, at the last day of term, Azkaban was breached and his worries increased. Long since imprisoned Death Eaters escaped their cells and were soon on the run, none of them innocent like Sirius had been.

    Once he heard the news, Albus knew that Voldemort became active again. Perhaps he noticed the fact his horcruxes were destroyed one after the other. Perhaps he simply needed this much time to regain enough strength to act.

    Whatever it was, he knew there was not enough time to finish this conflict in the shadows, far away from the children; with Death Eaters loose, tragedy could follow any day.

    Albus could tell that the next year or two would be difficult, but he was confident; Voldemort had not announced his return in any way and in all honesty, he was no longer as intimidating as he had once been in the old wizard's mind.

    By now, Albus had seen and worked with another man just as dangerous after all.
     
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  27. Voidlord

    Voidlord Getting sticky.

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    It would be funny to see Anakin just bitchslap Voldemort. Voldemort by comparison is a low tier with high on his own power. One of the wannabe Lords.
     
  28. Gindjurra

    Gindjurra I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Oh yeah. Albus thinks he has a handle on how powerful Vader was in the Dark side, but he truly has no clue. Voldemort is powerful by wizard standards, but he’s never going to be able to throw a Force storm at a planet.
     
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  29. Threadmarks: 8. Burden of the Chosen
    Naron

    Naron Getting sticky.

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    The last few years, Harry found to have been bliss. Aside from the catastrophe in his first year, he had not been in any life-threatening situations. Part of that, he suspected to be because of Anakin Skywalker. The elderly professor had not only reclaimed Defense Against The Dark Arts permanently, but also solved several of the major issues since then. Fourth and fifth year had been completely free of anyone trying to attack him or the student body in general.

    As a result, now in sixth year and thus two years from graduation, Harry had actually found time to study. He would never be an honour student like Hermione or Luna, but he managed. He also found he had a knack for Defense in general as many of the spells came to him quite easily.

    Which was also why he wondered what made Professor Skywalker keep him back after class, expression unreadable. Harry waited until everyone filed out of the room before asking: "Is something the matter, professor?"

    The older man kept his silence for a few moments as he took Harry in, brows furrowed in a way that made him feel a little uncomfortable. "You're a chosen one, Mr. Potter."

    "...pardon?"

    "You heard me the first time." The professor heaved a sigh and started to pace in front of the room. "I have been wondering about this for a while now. Why you of all people? It could have been anyone, yet it ended up being you. Lord Voldemort remains out there somewhere even while we move to destroy him for good, yet you are the one who appears chosen to end it. Something about you is different."

    Harry understood that; he had asked himself similar questions over the years. There was no real reason for Voldemort to come after him specifically, or at least none he ever learned of. "I don't know, sir." Then he got curious about something else. "Does the Force tell you I'm different?"

    The professor paused his pacing and threw him an appreciative look, even a little smile. "Good thinking, yes. It seems Luna passed on her knowledge without consulting me." When Harry made to protest to cover his friend, he waved it off. "Don't worry, she's not in trouble. I trust her judgement in this." Then he returned to the suject at hand and picked up his pacing again. "But yes, you are... odd, in the Force. Not radiant like Luna herself, but odd. Quite the conundrum, that; I never saw anything like this before."

    A flurry of foreign emotions rolled over Harry for a moment, gone about as fast as they appeared, giving him no time to discern them. His favourite teacher turned to pace again and he almost felt like joining in. "How often do you find things you never saw before, sir?"

    "Oh, it varies. Sometimes I find a dozen in a year, but sometimes only one in several years. There are many wonderful things out there, Mr. Potter." The professor sounded almost absent-minded now, making Harry wonder.

    "So why tell me this now? You must have known for years."

    His question brought a humourless chuckle from the older man, who turned back with a grim expression. "While Luna is coming into her own as a proper seer as the years pass, I rarely find myself having visions. A few days ago however, Mr. Potter, the Force showed me death. Death that is connected to you." Harry grew a little cold at the tone his teacher adopted, but found a bit of reassurance in his next words: "I can't say whether it was your death in particular, but I know someone around you is under threat."

    So this was what the professor meant to tell him. Harry nodded slowly and felt his fists clench; he would not allow anyone to hurt his friends. For some reason, Professor Skywalker barked out a laugh once he thought that. "I can tell you're determined to not let it come to that. Good, Mr. Potter. Very good. In case Luna did not pass on this bit, do know that the future is not set in stone. Foreseeing death does not mean it will come to pass."

    The older man's gaze then dropped to the ground and he sighed, losing his stern tone in favour of tiredness. "Yet somehow, you are being drawn into these matters time and time again. Be careful from now on. We don't know what might happen."

    Harry nodded slowly, understanding and worrying a little himself. At the same time however, his teacher's reassurance about the future made it so he did not worry too much. "Alright, I can do that." He readied his wand the moment the older man turned to pace in the other direction. "Thanks for the warning, professor." Then he silently cast a stinging hex right into the square of his back. It connected.

    Anakin Skywalker flinched almost imperceptively and stopped; Harry could not help but grin about it. "You should be on your guard too, professor," he quipped after a moment of baffled silence and received a huff that could be either amused or exasperated.

    "Fifty points for Gryffindor, Mr. Potter. Good instincts, using a moment where I lower my guard. And congratulations, you are the first one to do it on your own, another ten points for Gryffindor for that." Word was that no one managed to hit the professor the first year he taught, so he offered the same challenge the following year; there, a group of three dozen got him by filling his entire surroundings with hexes so he could not dodge. The year after, it took several such ambushes before he could not weave through the barrages. It became more difficult each year as he adapted to the attempts.

    Harry grinned and said his goodbyes, then grabbed his bookbag and left while whistling a little tune.

    . .
    . .

    "I don't like this place, professor."
    "Me neither. Me neither."

    Anakin shuddered as the three of them came to stand before a normally inconspicuous wall. Albus could almost fathom what the two Force-users were talking about, for even he had this weak feeling of dread impose upon his mind. Likely a ward meant to make people leave the area alone; a cave at the sea, the entrance hidden beneath the waters during high tide. "But it is here, yes?"

    He received a nod from Anakin and a quiet "Yes" from Luna, though the girl hugged herself and looked around. "This place feels horrible. What kind of traps did he put on it to feel that way?" She shuddered again and Albus placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, feeling lithe muscles even through her thick sweater.

    What Anakin told them gave both pause, though: "Those aren't traps, Luna. It reeks of death, feels of death, the Force is crying over so many precious lives lost for hubris' sake. It isn't exactly like the Dark Side, but it comes close. This pressure, the encroaching thoughts of anger and fear and sadness. Focus, it isn't directed at you. Are you sure this is the entrance?" He motioned for the wall and receive affirmatives both from Luna and Albus. "Then break it, apprentice."

    Albus still tried to comprehend what Anakin told them and to put it to whatever happened here. He already had an idea for what they might find inside and quickly reviewed the fire spells he knew; the opponents he expected were afraid of nothing else.

    He let go of Luna and left the girl to her concentration; two hands were raised with their palms pointed at the solid wall they identified as the entrance; every other part was warded far, far more. It likely required some offer to enter at the right time, but as Albus learned over the theft from the Lestrange-vault in Gringotts, Anakin preferred not to play another's game. They had borrowed young Harry's Invisibility Cloak and sent the man on his own... and thankfully, just as they hoped, no one could trace the destruction he wrought back to him with any conclusive proof.

    Pressure built around Luna Lovegood, even Albus could feel it. Her body began to tense, winding up like a spring as that same pressure kept increasing. He took a step back just in case and wondered just where the limits of the Force were; she had sensed the horcrux hidden far away in the countryside, in the childhood home of Voldemort's mother, from Hogwarts.

    A minute passed in silence but at the end, Albus could barely even breathe. He was almost thankful when the pressure released on a physical push of Luna's hands; a surge of raw power raced forward into the wall. It screeched and crumbled, the wards layered over it snapping one by one under Luna's will. But in the end, it held. Cracks ran over the entire structure, a moon-like shape flickered in and out on the surface, and the air began to flicker.

    They watched for some kind of trap triggering on the attempt to break the wards with brute force, but it seemed that Tom's arrogance had been in their favour this time; he never would have expected his power to be found wanting. Yet the way was not free.

    Luna cast a glance to Anakin, who raised an eyebrow at her. Albus hid a smile under his beard at how well they could communicate; the young woman started gathering her power again once it was clear the command still stood.

    After a moment, Albus decided he might as well sate his curiousity to pass the time: "Out of curiousity, could you have done this in one go?"

    Anakin just huffed. "Yes. It's not a lack of strength for her, but rather a lack of control. It has only been four years for her to learn. I am stronger in the Force, but few match me in that. Luna will have far better control than I when she had a few more years." Both men took note of how Luna stood a little straighter over the praise and Anakin began to smile even while he finished his explanation: "If I wanted to, I could crush this entire cave and everything in it, wards or no. Luna likely won't ever be able to do that, but I can see her just reaching through wards like these to pull out whatever she is looking for and never having to enter the place. Somewhere between ten and twenty years, if she keeps up her studies and practice."

    As if to punctuate his judgement, Luna let loose another wave of Force that slammed into the wall with horrible grinding noises. Albus could hear the wards screech and pop before the stone itself crumbled and broke an instant later. The wall was reduced to rubble and launched into the room beyond, where it rained into an internal lake with loud splashes and little waves.

    Then Albus saw just why Voldemort had not thought to have the wards fight against brute force. His worries were confirmed when bodies rose from the water, their forms bloated as the very skin was soaked with the cold liquid. Ashen faces with unseeing eyes directed at them, marching to kill the intruders.

    Inferi. The living dead.

    For perhaps the first time since they began to work together, Albus cast first. Great bands of flame sprang into being while his companions still took in the threat in surprise. The old sorcerer weaved a continuous circle around them for protection, then had great gouts of flame surge ahead and into the cavern; the foremost pair of Inferi shied away from the heat and light.

    "Inferius," Albus lectured calmly, "a corpse brought back to un-life through dark magics. Loyal only to whoever raised it, the creature lacks any kind of higher thought and will continue to fight until destroyed." He took a moment to eye the cavern behind their makeshift entrance. "From the look of it, Tom turned this lake into a perpetual trap. Any intruder caught is dragged beneath and added to their numbers." Though they could not tell just how many were added after the fact. Albus shuddered to imagine such a fate.

    Two lightsabers ignited with a faint buzz as the Force-users moved in front to guard Albus, master and student calmly assessing the situation. Albus himself began to advance into the cavern under their guard, an additional safety measure in case his own ring of flame was not enough. Larger rings were spun all over the cavern, illuminating it as if the sun shone inside. Many more wards would stand between them and the little island in the lake's center, but now that they could see, it would suffice. The fact everything was covered in fire kept their assailants away.

    Albus peered at the island to make out just what exactly would be found there, but then Luna stiffened. "It's not here."

    The lapse of focus her shocked claim brought almost made Albus lose control over his flames. He regained it after a moment and turned to her. "What do you mean?"

    Anakin frowned at the island while the girl turned around, wide-eyed. "I found this place by how wrong it felt in the Force. Horcruxes feel wrong like that, too. But the Inferi and all the wards made it only feel like there is one here. I can tell now, there is no horcrux in there."

    A moment later, the island exploded up and raced toward them. Albus blinked at it owlishly before realising that Anakin had his hand raised. Wards attempted to prevent it but were ignored as an unstoppable force simply hammered at them until they gave. The former island crashed into the shore by their side and Luna then proceeded to tear off the singular stone basin on it in the same way. All three grimaced at the nasty-looking green potion swirling in it.

    Anakin stepped forward and swung his lightsaber to cut the structure's bottom off as well, then he reached inside and pulled out a simple locket. "At least there was something in there," he told the other two over the crackling flames. Albus received the item and pocketed it for the time being, then turned his eyes to the Inferi.

    "Quite true. If you would excuse me for a few minutes, I would like to clean up this mess my student made. Would you be willing to crush this entire place afterward, Anakin?" The men exchanged glances and there was no need for a verbal response; Anakin liked this refuge at the sea even less than Albus himself.

    The next hours he spent tearing the place apart; every single Inferius was methodically burned to ashes and the remains covered with a half-dozen charms to disperse remaining traces of magic. Every ward once layered over the area was either figured out and dispelled or broken by Anakin and Luna, depending on its complexity and how long the dispelling would take. The potion originally guarding the horcrux vanished under Albus' spells to never return. Then he withdrew the tide and his companion collapsed the entire cave, crushing it into fine rubble, never to be used for evil again.

    It was the middle of the night when they finished. All three stood tired after a long day of work, Albus feeling his years and Anakin yawning widely. Luna rubbed her eyes, but did not step away yet; the three of them looked down from further up the coast, beholding their work.

    "The Force is at peace," Luna mumbled at last. Albus could not feel it himself, but he could agree nonetheless; the odd feeling he got from this place before was gone.

    After a few minutes, he gently took her and Anakin's shoulders. "We did all we could. Let us return to Hogwarts and rest now. Tomorrow we will deal with this fake horcrux, and next weekend we will take a break. I have some external meetings to attend."

    He received nods and apparated back to the school with the two of them; Anakin never learned the skill to move instantly between spaces while Luna was too young yet.

    . .
    . .

    Harry still pondered just why Luna looked so tired the whole week; Ginny joked about how she must have found a boyfriend or girlfriend to be busy with, but they could tell that something odd happened to their friend. She looked positively haunted on Sunday, though that quickly regressed over the week.

    More importantly however, she had not told any of them what this was about. Not a single word no matter who asked, the same as whenever else Professor Skywalker took her on one of those excursions.

    Harry was pushed out of his pondering when he heard a yelp from further down the corridor, followed by a flash of red. Instinctively drawing his wand, he started forward to investigate who was throwing spells at others; that specific tone of red meant a stunning spell, most likely.

    Turning the corner, he found Susan Bones crumpled to the ground, but no one else in sight. Harry squinted at the area and made a calm turn around to find where the attackers might have gone, then he saw it. A weak reflection where none should be, contours against the wall. "Stupefy!"

    His stunner hit the disillusioned form dead center and made them drop, but in that moment another hit him in the back and he blacked out.

    Standing over him, the camouflaging spell fading away, was a form of indeterminate gender in black robes; their face remained hidden by a skull mask, hair covered under a black veil attached to it. They silently cast a charm to revitalise their stunned ally, who gasped and got up slowly; meanwhile, the first figure brought an enchanted mirror to the mouthpiece of their mask and a deep, male voice rang out: "We have Potter. Drop the sneaking act and reconvene at the entrance with haste. Go loud at will."

    "Damn," his companion ground out as he picked up his wand and levitated the stunned Harry. "That kid is good, caught me despite being disillusioned."

    The Death Eaters exchanged nods without a further need for words, calling no names. Then they moved off and through the hidden passageways they had never truly forgotten; it was not yet dinnertime on a Saturday, meaning that the castle appeared almost deserted. The living portraits began to scream everywhere, but a response from the teachers had been calculated for; none would be swift enough to figure out which of the dozen teams was the main threat.

    All but one of this number met up in the large entrance hall within minutes, any errant student crossing their way immediately stunned.

    "Where is Bellatrix?" one asked the group as a whole, only for another figure to raise their hand without a word. "Ah, alright. So the last two were probably caught. Let's move out."

    More nods, followed by turning heads as the large gate began to open on its own. Pressure pushed down at the gathered Death Eaters for a moment.

    A metal wand was drawn as tension built, then it ignited to form a blade of ugly red. None of them had met Anakin Skywalker before, but as one they knew this lone figure was him; the man their contact had told them not to underestimate. Harry's unconcious form was placed in a corner and under a shield while the rest drew their wands.
     
  30. Lenderman

    Lenderman Getting sticky.

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    They’re probably not about to be dead since Anakin has returned to the light, but they’ll probably be spending the rest of their days at St.Mungo’s.
     
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