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Harry Potter and all characters, etc. belong to J.K. Rowling, not me.

Harry McGonagall – Chapter 38 – Harry Potter, I Presume?

A/N Italics in dialogue will usually mean that the speaker is using the French language to express the message I’ve written in English. As previously stated, I don’t speak French and have no desire to butcher that language.

--HM—

It was into the tent with semi-light-hearted group celebrating that, despite all the hardships, Harry McGonagall was in first place, that a huge man entered. Everyone gathered around the Boy-Who-Lived-In-Secret recognized him immediately as the former groundskeeper who had left Hogwarts a few years before to work at a dragon reservation.

“Ello, Harry!” he exclaimed happily. “My, ya’ have grown. You, too, ‘Ermione!”

“Hi, Hagrid,” replied the fourth champion of the Triwizard. He had noticed the half-giant before the contest began, which had made him suspect the presence of a dragon. While he thought that fighting a dragon was crazy and the organizers of the event should all be locked up, he wasn’t angry at Hagrid because it wasn’t his fault. “It’s good to see you. How have you been?”

After the others greeted the world’s largest dragon handler, he replied, “I’ve been doin’ real good. My boss says I have a natural talent with dragons. Of course,” he added shyly, “that doesn’t include identifying gender. I should’ve named Norbert Norberta.”

Harry grinned at that admission. Hermione asked, “How is she doing?”

“Just fine. Harry, you did really good in the task. It’s too bad about the creatures that died…” He looked ready to cry. “…but that wasn’t yer fault.”

“I plan on writing a letter of protest over this whole event,” declared Minerva. “That was too dangerous for fully-qualified wizards to attempt – much less children. It’s a wonder all of the contestants weren’t killed! If Harry hadn’t thought to bring that hoverboard, then both he and Hermione would’ve died.”

“Yeah,” agreed Hagrid. “Beth, the horntail, must not ‘ave realized ya couldn’t fly without that broom when she was tryin’ ta slow ya down. I told her not ta hurt anyone. I hope she can be healed up right.” He didn’t notice that every eye in the tent was glaring at him. He was saved from a retort by someone else being brought into the temporary medical structure by one of the Tournament officials.

“Gabrielle!” exclaimed Fleur, who got up to watch her uninjured sister get revived. Harry tuned out the French conversation that was taking place while focusing on the main thing – he’d survived the second task and only had one more to go. Then his life would get back to normal.

--HM--

Later that night, after a celebration with his friends, a young English couple walked the halls of the French magical school hand-in-hand. They knew it would be months before they saw each other again.

“I wish I could come here for Easter break,” commented Hermione, “But my parents want to take a trip to Spain instead.”

“I know,” he replied, “and I’ve got to stay here to keep practicing my spells. Considering how hard the second task was, I don’t even want to think about the third one.”

She paled slightly, but tried to keep a smile on her face. “Yes, you need to keep training as hard as you can, and I know you’ll do great. I think you’ll win this tournament.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I just want this to get over with so I can see you everyday again.

She studied his face closely. “You really mean that?”

“Yes, I do. I’ve already told you that I love you. I hate the separation that this stupid game is causing. I know we talk on the mirrors every day, but it’s not the same. I miss you so much.”

“I’m here now,” she replied seductively as she leaned closer and kissed him.

Some time later, the happy couple showed up at the entrance to the school, so that Hermione could leave with Brianna, who Harry did hug goodbye after enduring a few comments speculating on where he and his girlfriend had been and what they had done.

--HM--

In the weeks following the second task, Harry was even more popular than before. He’d impressed a lot of people with the way he used his hoverboard, although some of them thought he was insane the way he performed a Wronski Feint with it. Many were trying to convince him to start a club on enchanting so that they’d be able to make hoverboards and other things.

“You should get a Wizarding patent on hoverboards,” suggested Sirius through Harry’s mirror.

“Actually, Brianna should since she made the first,” added Remus, who was sitting next to Sirius in America. “I think I’ll suggest that the next time we talk. She’s the one who figured out how to do it.”

Harry grinned at the thought of his little sister making a hoverboard presentation to a racing broom manufacturer. “It’s just a guess, mind you, but I think she’d need an adult representative. Probably Aunt Minnie, since she’s our closest magical relative.”

“And one tough lady,” added Padfoot. “I still can’t get used to you calling her Aunt Minnie. By the way, I got you a replacement for your Lightning Bolt. It was a shame what happened to it.”

Harry sighed. “Yeah, it was. I loved that broom.” He then grinned at his godfather. “What kind of broom did you get me?”

“Oh, no. That’s a surprise,” he replied with a grin. “It’s on its way. I’m sure you’ll like it.”

“Moony,” Harry turned to the other Marauder, “Tell me what Padfoot bought.”

“Oh, no, you don’t, cub. Remember, Sirius is the one who’s here to hex me. You’re not.”

“But…”

“You’ll find out when it arrives, and no sooner.”

--HM--

Sitting on the floor of his little room in the stables at Beauxbatons where he did most of his homework, Harry had his eyes closed. He was breathing in through his nose and out of his mouth while his hands and feet began growing black fur before changing shape. Soon, fur began to sprout almost everywhere on his body, with the exception of his head. His arms and legs were reshaping, too. He could even feel a tail forming.

The night before in their normal mirror call, Hermione had excitedly reported that she’d managed her Animagus form – a domestic long-haired cat with brown fur – and he was trying to do the same. He’d grinned and congratulated her for that achievement, and he was genuinely happy and proud of her, but a small part of him was jealous. He’d wanted to manage it first. Without him saying anything about that, she’d pointed out that he’d been under a lot more stress than her this year, and had spent a great deal of time training for the tournament, so it was natural that he’d take a bit longer than her. He agreed she was right about that, at least mentally, but still wanted to prove himself capable of that complex bit of magic. Consequently, he was working on it now.

He could feel his body begin to reshape itself into a feline form, but no matter how hard he tried, his head wouldn’t change at all. His aunt told him that his body wouldn’t resize to the animal’s proper size – whether bigger or smaller – until after it had completely changed. He wasn’t sure what type of cat he was, but was hoping for a large panther. Giving it up as a bad job, he finished for the night and allowed himself to revert to his normal human form. This wasn’t the first time he’d been stopped by this same problem, so he’d already asked his aunt about it. She simply replied, “You’ve got to trust your inner animal enough to even give it control of your head.”

--HM--

So, have they told you anything about the third task yet?” asked Jean-Luc LaSalle, one of Harry’s first French friends. Even though he’d made a lot of friends at this school, he still tended to eat breakfast with the small group he’d met his first day there. They’d finished eating and were simply waiting for it to be time for their first class of the day.

He replied in perfect French, “Not a word. I figure, based off the last event, that we’ll be dodging killing curses, and the winner will be the one who takes the longest to hit.

Jean-Luc’s girlfriend, Brigit, replied with a frown, “That’s not funny! How can you even joke about that?

Harry shrugged his shoulders. “It’s either laugh about it or worry myself into a heart-attack before the task starts. Anyway, it should be a bit safer this time. There were a lot of complaints that the task was too dangerous.” He grinned. “I’m sure my aunt sent the loudest howler of them all.

That was ridiculous,” agreed Pierre. “It’s as though they wanted at least one of you to die.

Who knows?” replied Harry. “That could really be the plan. They still haven’t found out who entered me in this game, nor why.

Now there’s a happy thought,” said Henrietta.

I guess we could change the subject,” replied Pierre, realizing his girlfriend didn’t want to talk about possible murders. “How do I make one of those hoverboards?

Before Harry could answer that question, two owls entered the room, carrying one long thin package together toward him. Harry McGonagall’s face lit up as he realized what it must be.

That’s my new broom!” he exclaimed as he reached for the package, not noticing his aunt approaching with a camera as he ripped the parcel open.

What kind is it?” asked Jean-Luc, who was watching with the others.

As Harry examined it, his face moved from confusion to disbelief and finally to pure joy. “It’s a Firebolt!” he proclaimed while Aunt Minnie photographed his face. He blinked a few times from the flash before looking at her in confusion.

“He wanted to see the look on your face,” she said simply before returning to the staff table.

Harry then voiced the one problem he saw with receiving this wonderful gift. “How in the world am I going to make it through all our classes today before trying this out?

--HM--

That was indeed a difficult challenge for the Boy-Who-Lived-In-Secret as he sat through his classes, barely paying attention as he daydreamed about his new broom.

You’re lucky you didn’t get detention with how you messed up in Charms class,” commented Pierre with a grin as they approached the Quidditch pitch after dinner.

I know. I’ll admit it,” he replied, “but who wouldn’t be distracted by receiving a Firebolt?

Me,” answered Brigit, but Harry wasn’t listening. He hardly knew that his best French friends were with him as he marched toward his destination, broom in hand.

It’s the only broom I know that’s truly superior to the Lightning Bolt.” He went on describing the world class racing broom’s stats until they reached the pitch. He stopped and mounted it.

He whooped in joy as he flew faster than ever before on a broom that seemed to respond to his thoughts rather than movement. He missed this. It had been over a month since his first broom had been broken. While he loved his hoverboard, it wasn’t quite the same. He could move much faster and had more control than he’d ever be able to achieve with his board. Not that there weren’t situations where a board would be better – most Quidditch positions, for example – but this would always be what a Seeker needed to follow a Snitch wherever it went. He made a mental note to thank Sirius profusely that night.

--HM--

Harry spent most of his spare time either ‘testing’ his Firebolt, training for the Tournament, or working on his Animagus transformation, even through Spring Break. As far as changing into an animal, it seemed Harry was at a standstill. He was, as the saying goes, ‘so close but so far away’ from achieving his goal. His aunt suggested that he take a break from it and try it again after the Tournament. She figured he was too nervous about that, especially since he didn’t even know what task awaited him. She was still upset that he’d been forced to participate.

Finally, on May 22nd at 9 p.m., the four champions were asked to meet with the head of the French games and sports department. Harry walked out onto the grounds near the Quidditch pitch where he saw a structure that reminded him of a magical amusement park. It was a seven-sided polygon shape and was covered in bright colors that appeared to have been spray-painted all over the place by several different graffiti artists working independently.

This, lady and gentlemen, is the final task,” the man proudly proclaimed. “While this structure is already large, it has been expanded inside to be even larger, though I won’t say how much larger. Inside, you will find a maze full of magical creatures. The one who makes it to the center first will find the Triwizard Cup and win the tournament. I should mention that neither brooms, nor hoverboards, are allowed inside. All you’ll bring are your wand and your wits. Mr. McGonagall is in the lead, so he will enter first, followed by the rest of you in the order of your scores. Have a good evening.” He then walked off before they could ask any questions.

--HM--

The next day, Harry was inside an empty classroom that Beauxbatons had provided for him to train in. (They’d provided similar rooms for each champion so they could train in privacy whenever they had time). He was currently working on his speed and accuracy in spell-casting and had twenty small targets placed all over the room, shooting them each with stinging hexes and seeing how fast he could shoot each one in the bull’s-eye using only one wand. So far, the best scores he’d gotten were either ten seconds while hitting the area just outside the bull’s-eye or twenty seconds hitting the exact target. He had no idea how good he would have to be to win the contest, so he kept practicing, hoping to improve.

He stopped firing spells when there was a knock on his door. He grabbed a hand towel and wiped the sweat off his forehead before saying, “Come in.

The door opened, revealing the Transfiguration teacher, Professor Ladue, dressed in his standard teaching robes. He smiled. “Practicing your Spellwork, I see. Very good.

Yes, sir.

I thought I’d come by to see your progress and give you a bit of advise. While this method of training is very good, it could be improved. For example, you could animate the targets so that they’re moving, as no doubt whatever you’ll be facing during the third task will be.

Harry considered that for a moment before saying, “Good idea. Thanks.

You’re quite welcome. Also, if you had something attacking you, it would be more realistic. I’d suggest having one or more of your friends firing simple hexes at you while you’re trying to hit all your targets.

That’s not a bad idea,” he agreed. “I hope you’re sharing these tips with all the champions.

But of course,” Professor Ladue replied easily. “Anyway, I must leave now. Good luck.

Thanks, Professor.

You’re welcome. Good day.

As the teacher closed the door behind him, Harry began casting spells on his targets.

--HM--

Harry McGonagall was in the best shape he’d ever been in on the day of the third task. He’d been exercising since the previous summer, but he’d managed to bring it to a new level as he prepared for this challenge. He’d gotten his four best friends to help him train in exactly the way Professor Ladue had suggested, and had gotten to the point where he could hit all twenty moving targets in the bull’s-eye, while dodging spells, in fifteen seconds. Of course, he’d only done it that fast once, and usually it took closer to eighteen, but that was his top score and he was sticking with it.

At long last, the final day of the Triwizard Tournament dawned and the Boy-Who-Lived-In-Secret woke up nervous and excited. He wasn’t as excited about the task as he was about the fact that his girlfriend would be visiting again. He climbed out of bed early and showered, putting on his best cologne in anticipation of that meeting.

Despite his getting up early, his love had arrived in the Dining Hall before him and was waiting at the entrance. She was dressed in a lovely sundress that was a light shade of blue, with her hair arranged in a simple, yet attractive, style. “Hermione!” he exclaimed as he ran toward her.

“Harry,” she managed before he captured her mouth with his as they put their arms around each other, neither wanting to let go.

After about a minute of snogging, they heard someone clearing her throat, so they broke apart to turn their attention to Brianna McGonagall. “If you two are through giving each other mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, I’d like a hug from my brother. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him, too.”

Harry complied, confirming that he did miss her. “Every time I shoot at a target during practice, I picture your face,” he joked.

“That means so much to me,” she replied melodramatically.

“Well,” said Harry with a grin, “shall we sit down to breakfast?”

--HM--

Harry and his family (including Hermione) had enjoyed the day as they sat and walked together, talking about anything but the challenge awaiting him a few hours after lunch. When the second meal of the day had been enjoyed, he and his girlfriend walked off for some alone time before the task at hand.

“How are you feeling?” asked Hermione.

He sighed, “A bit nervous.” He grinned. “Why don’t you show me your cat form?”

Smiling, she replied, “Alright,” and with that, she began to change quickly, turning into the brown long-haired cat.

“You’re beautiful as an animal as well as a human,” he told her as he squatted down to pet her. She purred as he gently stroked her back. “I’m really proud of you.” He then asked, “How does Crookshanks like your form?”

She backed away and reverted back to human form. “He ran to the other side of the room the first time I changed in front of him, but then slowly approached me. I’d hoped I could communicate with him, but he hasn’t said a word I recognized.”

“Too bad. It would’ve been nice.” His face then developed an evil grin. “He doesn’t fancy you, does he? Because if he does, I’ll have to…”

Hermione interrupted him by laughing, “Don’t worry. He’s not your rival.”

“Good,” he laughed. “I’d hate to lose you to a kneazle.”

“You’re in no danger of that,” she replied before kissing him soundly.

--HM--

Welcome, everyone to the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament!” The huge crowd began cheering and clapping as the four champions gathered just outside the door to the maze. As band music played, Harry surveyed the crowd, first finding Hermione sitting with Brianna and his Beauxbatons friends. He loved seeing his girlfriend cheer for him. His eyes then found his Aunt Minnie sitting with the judges. Then he spotted someone he hadn’t expected to find, wearing colorful Wizarding robes and sporting a long white beard – Albus Dumbledore. Harry then thought he was stupid not to think the retired headmaster might wish to see this event. He noticed that the elderly man was clapping rather slowly before realizing that his right hand appeared to be black – as though cursed. Harry had no time to think about this because at that moment, the announcements resumed.

The points stand thus. In fourth place, with fifty-five points, is the Beauxbatons champion, Fleur Delacour!” The largest section of the crowd cheered loudly, which made sense to Harry because he was in France at the very school she was representing. “In third place, from Hogwarts, with seventy-two points, is Cedric Diggory!” He received a decent amount of applause. Harry grinned as Amos Diggory lifted his son’s arm in the air. “In second place, with eighty-three points, is Viktor Krum of Durmstrang!” The internationally famous Quidditch star received the loudest applause yet. When that had quieted down, the announcer continued. “And in the lead, with eighty-four points, is Harry McGonagall of Hogwarts!” Harry waved to the crowd as they cheered, doing his best not to let it go to his head.

These brave champions will enter the maze in order of their points. Four will begin, but will four finish?” The door to the maze structure was opened, and for the first time, Harry could look inside. Not that it helped, since all he saw was a wall. “As with the other two tasks, you will be able to monitor each champion’s progress on the screens. Mr. McGonagall, please step in front of the door with your wand at the ready.” He complied. “Let the task begin!

Mustering all the courage he could, Harry stepped into the maze. He was surprised at how quickly the sound of the cheering crowd disappeared as he made his decision to turn left. The walls seemed to be glowing an eerie yellow, which was the only light in this maze. He soon came upon an opportunity to either go straight or turn left, which would bring him closer to the center. He turned left and took a step, only to attacked by a huge swarm of Cornish pixies.

He started pushing them away from his face while running before stupefying the electric-blue creatures that were blocking his view. Once he’d hit all fifteen of them, he looked around to see he was in a dead end so he had to backtrack. Running, he made his way back to where he’d made a wrong turn and continued his journey.

He soon found another opportunity to turn left, which he did. After taking about ten steps, he started feeling unnaturally cold. He performed a warming charm on himself, which didn’t help him a bit, as he continued following the corridor as it turned a corner. He began hearing his birth-mother’s screams, begging Voldemort not to kill her baby, and knew what he was facing. Gritting his teeth and bringing his Occlumency shields up to full strength, Harry looked up and saw a black-robed figure floating toward him. Forcing the memory of kissing Hermione that morning to the front of his thoughts, Harry shouted, “Expecto Patronum!” releasing a silver tabby cat to run toward the Dementor, chasing it out of his path.

He ran, yet again, hoping to be long gone before the evil beast returned. Soon, he had a choice to go either right or left. He could not go forward. He performed the point me spell to make his decision to go left. He knew he’d made the correct decision when he saw the next dangerous beast. This one had a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a dragon’s tail.

--HM--

“Bloody hell!” shouted Hermione from the stands. “First a Dementor and now a chimera! What the hell do they think they’re doing?” Hermione kept alternating between covering her eyes and watching Harry’s screen while swearing, which showed how worried she was about her boyfriend.

“Language, Hermione!” said Brianna with a slight smirk from next to her. She, too, was worried about her brother, who was sending the strongest Reducto he could at the beast.

--HM--

ROAR!!!!

“I guess I made it mad,” mumbled Harry as he watched the monster growl at him. That was the bad news. The good news was that he was now facing a one-eyed chimera. He pointed his wand at the creature and shouted, “Reducto!” this time hitting the monster’s mouth. It rolled backwards into the wall and fell over. Harry did not wait around to see if it was dead, unconscious or simply knocked over. He ran as fast as his legs could go, around the nearest corner until he fell…

…into a pond. It took him a moment to regain his bearings and decide he’d better swim back up to the surface before he drowned. When he got to the water’s surface, he saw the top of a horse that seemed to be looking at him, expecting him to climb aboard. However, he trusted nothing in this maze, and immediately realized that it was a…

--HM--

“Kelpie!” explained Hermione. “That’s what it’s got to be. If Harry mounts it, he’s as good as dead. I hope he remembers to…”

--HM--

Harry concentrated on what he needed to transfigure a piece of cloth he’d ripped off his shirt into and performed his spell. At this moment, he didn’t regret one second he’d spent studying magical creatures. He formed the cloth into the shape of a bridle and levitated it onto the water beast, rendering it docile and unthreatening. He then swam about the length of an Olympic sized pool until he got to the surface he could climb out of before performing a drying spell on himself. However, his socks still felt wet inside his shoes, but he had no time to waste. A point-me spell helped him get his bearings and he continued, eventually making a turn that put him face-to-face with a creature that had the head of a man, body of a lion, and the tail of a scorpion.

--HM--

“A bloody manticore! A bloody manticore! One sting from that tail will kill him! What is wrong with those idiots who designed this tournament? Are they really trying to kill all the champions?” This was said by Brianna, who was now terrified that she was about to watch her brother’s death. Hermione wholeheartedly agreed.

--HM--

Wingardium Leviosa!” Harry shouted, while pointing his wand at the manticore. He wanted to make sure there was no way that tail could get anywhere near him. He breathed a sigh of relief when it rose up out of his way. He ran, while keeping his wand pointed at the beast, hoping to get as much distance between them as possible while he planned his lawsuit against the tournament. ‘What’s next,’ he wondered, ‘a nundu?

Right after he released the manticore to fall, he turned the corner to find a troll. ‘I should’ve recognized the stench,’ he thought. Remembering, with a grin, how he and his friends had subdued one during first year, he thought up a strategy. The last time, they’d summoned its club between them, causing it to hit the troll’s head. This time, since he was alone, he decided to modify that method. He pointed his wand at the monster’s club and said, “Wingardium Leviosa.” The club pulled out of the troll’s hand and floated several feet above it. The rather stupid beast looked up at its recently-stolen toy until it fell back down, straight into its head. The troll fell to the floor, unconscious.

After regaining his bearings, Harry advanced more, until he saw something he’d never have believed happening. Cedric Diggory shot a stupefy at Fleur Delacour. The Boy-Who-Lived-In-Secret pointed his wand at his fellow Hogwarts student, noting that his eyes looked glazed over, indicating the Imperius curse, and fired a stunning spell, the red beam connecting with Cedric’s torso. He figured that the whole audience had seen what had happened and would send help, but didn’t have time to stick around. He wondered who it was that had done that to Diggory, pondering whether it was Viktor Krum or not.

He had no time to think about that when he encountered a fifteen-feet-high monster covered in purest white hair. “I guess you’re a Yeti,” he mumbled at the monster long thought to be related to the troll. “I’m glad I know what scares you.” He then performed a fire spell that sent the creature backing up away from him, clearing the path to the next and final creature Harry would encounter, a sphinx.

“I offer a riddle, human,” the creature with a human-head and lion-body said in perfect English, as though it knew which contestant was which, while Harry wondered about the part-lion theme of this task. “If you answer it correctly, you may pass. If you do not answer it, you may leave unmolested. However, if you answer incorrectly, I’ll kill you.”

“What’s the riddle?” he replied, seeing no harm in hearing the question.

“The answer is one word made of three answers. The first part is to make an attempt. The next is to not be foolish. The last is not easy.”

Harry thought about it for a few minutes, going over the clues in his mind; finally grinning when he realized the answer. “Try-wise-hard is Triwizard.”

“Correct,” the sphinx replied, moving out of the way. “You have earned the cup.”

“Harry!” shouted a voice behind him. He turned to see Viktor Krum running.

Not knowing whether or not the Bulgarian champion had cursed Cedric, nor whether Krum himself was bewitched, Harry ran forward, finally seeing the cup. As a result of his exercises, he was able to run much faster than the man who spent more time sitting on a broom rather than running. As he reached the prize, a grin formed on his face. Not only had he survived this tournament he’d been forced to participate in, but he’d won. He grabbed the cup in victory – before feeling a familiar pull behind his navel. He’d picked up a portkey.

--HM--

Harry landed in the middle of what appeared to be an old cemetery, but before he could look around much, he took a stunner to the face, knocking him unconscious, causing him to drop the trophy.

He awoke to find himself tied to a large gravestone. The location where his lighting scar had once been was aching and he felt a semi-large cut on his left palm that was still bleeding. He would not be able to catch his spare wand with that hand. He opened his eyes to see Peter Pettigrew staring in anticipation at a large cauldron. Before he could even hazard a guess at what was happening, black smoke began rising out of the cauldron, soon taking the shape of a man, or what once was a man. Harry shivered in fear as he realized that he had just witnessed the rebirth of Voldemort.

“Robe me, Wormtail,” the naked, undead dark lord commanded. It was at this moment that Harry realized Peter was missing his right hand and was still bleeding from the injury. He gasped in horror at the thought that the rat had done it to himself as part of this dark ritual. After Peter had helped him into a black robe, Riddle told him to, “Give me my wand.”

“Ah,” said Voldemort as he walked toward him. “I see you’re awake now, Harry. I’ve been interested in you ever since our encounter in Hogwarts four years ago. I couldn’t understand why your touch destroyed Quirrel, until I developed a theory that you are not who you claim to be. I’ve found out everything about you that I could, including your dueling skill, which is why Wormtail was ordered to stun you on sight. A pathetic wizard such as he couldn’t hope to win against you, had you begun fighting. I couldn’t risk anything ruining this ritual.

“Your name and age, along with the apparent absence of the legendary Boy-Who-Lived got me wondering about whether or not that could be you – no doubt hidden as part of one of Dumbledore’s schemes.” As Tom Riddle came closer and closer, his captive’s headache became worse. Finally, Voldemort placed his finger on Harry’s forehead, causing the pain to double as the scar fought its way through the plastic surgery that had hidden it for so many years. It appeared fresh, raw and bleeding down the boy’s face while his nemesis calmly said, “Harry Potter, I presume?”

“What of it?” Harry barked, unwilling to cringe in fear of this demon anymore.

“This ritual required that I obtain the blood of an enemy. Anyone foolish enough to oppose me would do, which means this would’ve worked even if I were wrong about your identity, but I had wanted the blood of Harry Potter, and I accomplished my goal. It was I who arranged for your name to come out of the goblet, Harry. I knew you’d win, although I arranged a bit of help to make sure, but anyone who could possibly be any threat to me must more talented than the average wizard.” He sighed happily. “Let’s see what you’re made of, shall we? Crucio!” Harry felt that his whole body was on fire as he writhed against his ropes and the granite tombstone. Riddle laughed.

“But, enough of this. I must invite other guests to see the entertainment.” He walked back to the still-bleeding Pettigrew. “Wormtail, hold out your arm.”

“Thank you, master,” replied the pale-looking traitor as he held out his right.

“The other arm.” Peter frowned but complied revealing the dark mark, which Voldemort pressed his wand to, summoning the Death Eaters, who appeared moments later.

They all looked surprised as they surveyed the setting, but Harry didn’t pay much attention to what was said. Voldemort was talking about being disappointed in them for not coming after him while Harry tried something desperate. He’d easily realized that he was the planned entertainment for the Death Eater party and decided he didn’t want to be, so he attempted his Animagus transformation, with visions of becoming a panther and killing all the gathered criminals with his teeth and claws.

His body changed as Harry concentrated, finally desperate enough to even let his head transform. Then he started shrinking. He was quite disappointed when he realized he wasn’t a big cat, but a small one. In fact, he was a black tabby cat. However, Harry quite easily got out of his ropes and transformed back into a boy, not noticing that his hair was now its natural black. He grabbed his wand off the ground.

“I returned,” claimed Wormtail, who was barely standing up.

Voldemort walked toward him until Lucius Malfoy proclaimed, “That boy is escaping!” Riddle Apparated immediately in front of Harry, leaving Pettigrew to pass out from his loss of blood.

“Going somewhere, Potter?” he asked with a grin.

Harry pointed his wand at the Triwizard Cup and said, “Accio Portkey!” just as Voldemort violently grabbed him. The cup hit the both of them at the same time, and both of them disappeared.

--HM--

In the meantime, Hermione, Brianna and Minerva were in a complete state of panic. They, along with everyone in the crowd, had seen Harry grab the cup in victory. However, while they were cheering, the winner disappeared. It had been over fifteen minutes and now Harry’s family and girlfriend were standing on the ground waiting for some clue to follow. The other champions had left the maze as well, and were being spoken to by aurors. Dumbledore, with his withered right hand, was also standing with them. He’d been evasive as usual when asked about his injury, but did seem very concerned about Harry.

Suddenly, a flash of light interrupted them as, in front of the entire crowd, the Triwizard Cup, the now raven-haired champion with a bleeding scar, and the newly-revived dark lord appeared. Riddle managed to stay on his feet, but the Boy-Who-Lived fell to the ground.

The crowd gasped as several of the older spectators recognized the description of the evil wizard who’d nearly taken over England, using a French phrase as his name. Paying no mind to the crowd, Voldemort pointed his wand at Harry, shouting, “Crucio! No one defies me!”

Harry writhed in pain for about five seconds until a flash of gold light nearly hit Tom in the face. As he dodged, his spell on Harry ended. Voldemort frowned when he saw who’d just attacked him. “Dumbledore. I must admit I’m a bit surprised to see you.”

Albus, who’d pulled out his wand and stepped forward once he’d gotten over the shock of seeing Riddle in a new body, replied, “I, too, am a bit taken aback by your sudden appearance, Tom.” He sent a silent spell that surrounded the dark lord in a small tornado.

After two seconds, the air funnel pushed out in all directions, knocking most people nearby, including Harry who’d just gotten up, off their feet. Dumbledore stood firm while Voldemort spoke. “It was clever to disguise Harry Potter as an American, even changing his appearance, but not clever enough to fool me.” At that moment, several members of the crowd turned their eyes on the fourth Triwizard champion, who’d just gotten back on his feet and was aiming his wand toward his foe. “Give it up, Potter!” Riddle shouted as with a small gesture Harry’s wand was on the ground. Tom then sent a spell toward Dumbledore’s direction, causing the grass around him to grow, rapidly surrounding the aged wizard before moving toward him as though trying to choke him.

With a flick of his legendary wand, Albus trimmed all the grass around him, making the small radius he was standing in look like a golf course. Another flick sent the newly-trimmed grass straight toward Voldemort as Dumbledore calmly said, “I must admit that protecting the Boy-Who-Lived in that fashion was a wonderful idea. He has grown into an exceptional youth.”

“But that stops tonight!” Riddle proclaimed as he turned his wand toward the boy in question (once again holding his wand), who appeared to be trying to decide if he should interrupt the duel between masters or not. “Avada Kedavra!” he shouted.

In surprise at being targeted at that moment, with no time to duck, Harry shouted, “Reducto!” hoping the two spells would hit each other. They did. Suddenly, Harry found himself in a battle of wills with Voldemort as an affect he hadn’t planned on occurred. The beams from their wands were fighting each other. Concentrating so hard he didn’t even notice that the two of them were now inside a cocoon of light by themselves, he pushed his spell all the way into Voldemort’s wand, which suddenly released echoes of its previous spells.

First were echoes of the spells the dark lord had used in combat, followed by ghost-like representatives of the last people he’d killed. When Lily and then James Potter showed up, they told Harry in unison, “We love you so much, and are so proud of you. Tell the family that took you in how grateful we are to them.”

“I will,” promised Harry.

James said, “Release the spell, now!”

Harry pulled his wand away, causing the cocoon of light to fade, revealing that Dumbledore and Hermione had approached it, but on opposite sides. Harry’s girlfriend had ignored the protests that Minerva had made when she ran up to try helping Harry in any way she could.

The echo of Lily Potter, which only had a few moments to linger, looked at the young woman she knew her son loved dearly. “Nothing would make me prouder than for you to become my daughter-in-law.”

Hermione blushed for a moment before Voldemort shouted, “Accio Granger slut!”

Harry’s expression moved from horror to anger as he watched his girlfriend pulled into the waiting arms of his worst enemy, his wand pointed at her throat. “Throw down your wand, Potter, or she dies!”

Dumbledore started to say, “Harry…” but was interrupted by Voldemort shouting, “NOW!”

Harry looked from his girlfriend’s shaking head, who was trying to tell him not to do it, to Voldemort’s determined red eyes that were looking for an excuse to kill yet another innocent muggle-born. While hoping for a chance to get his other wand, Harry tossed his own to the ground.

“Fool!” shouted Voldemort, as he pointed his wand toward Harry without letting Hermione go. “Avada Kedavra!” Hermione struggled against her captor, trying to put herself in front of the green beam of light, but couldn’t. It hit Harry. He fell at the same time the spell bounced back at Voldemort, causing him to fall backwards, releasing his hostage, who immediately ran toward her fallen boyfriend, tears already filling her eyes as the crowd watched silently.

--HM--

Harry opened his eyes to find himself somewhere between life and death, surrounded by white light. When he realized he was naked, he noticed a white robe on the ‘ground.’ He picked it up and put it on just before he noticed a woman with long red hair approaching. Recognizing her as someone he’d just seen, he asked, “Mum?”

“Yes, darling. It’s me.”

“So I’m dead?”

“Not quite. You can and should go back to your life. There is a lovely young woman crying over you right now.”

“Hermione?”

“Yes. She needs you, Harry, just as you need her.”

“Then I’ll go…”

“Time here doesn’t matter. You will return to the moment you fell no matter how long we speak. I thought I should first explain to you that the reason you can live despite that vile curse hitting you. A piece of that monster’s soul had been attached to you when you first received that scar. Plastic surgery couldn’t change that.” Harry grinned at that statement while his birth mother continued. “Now, that abomination is dying.” She turned toward something he hadn’t noticed before – something ugly that was crying nearby. “Now you’ll no longer be immune to that curse, so don’t allow it to hit you again. There are more of those monstrous creations in the world, but Mr. Dumbledore has been destroying them. If he asks you for help with this task, I suggest you give it to him.”

“But Dumbledore…”

“I didn’t say that you should always obey him and trust his judgment, as though he is infallible. His heart is in the right place, but he’s always convinced he’s right, and never seeks the counsel of those that disagree with him. Even Severus himself protested being made a teacher, but Dumbledore was convinced it was the right thing to do and ignored everyone who disagreed, which happened to be nearly everyone in England.”

“Severus. Snape? You knew him?”

“Yes, I knew him. We lived in the same neighborhood as children and were friends for a long time.” She sighed. “I won’t reveal his secrets to you, nor excuse his petty, unprofessional behavior, but I will say that he does want Voldemort defeated. In this matter, you are on the same side.”

“So Dumbledore was right?” asked Harry.

“Only regarding Severus’ side in the war. Not that he should be a teacher. He did far more harm than good in that capacity.”

“I guess I’d better be going,” said Harry.

“Could you permit me one thing before you go?” she asked. “I’d like to hug my son one more time.” She then embraced him as he hugged her back for several seconds.

“Bye, Mum,” he said.

“Your father and I love you. Hug your other family for us, too, especially Minerva. You’ll never know how cruel the life she saved you from when she defied Dumbledore would’ve been.”

“I will.”

--HM--

Harry awoke, finding himself lying on the ground with tears falling on his face like rain. He opened his eyes to see Hermione’s face sadder than ever before. He asked, “What’s wrong? You’re acting like somebody died.” Her eyes widened. She grinned. Then she scowled.

“Don’t you EVER scare me like that again!”

“Look!” shouted Brianna from afar. She was standing next to Minerva while pointing in the direction of the fallen dark lord.

He looked to see Voldemort get up with a furious expression and disappear with a small pop. At the same moment, a dozen French aurors arrived, ready to do battle.

Professor Ladue, who’d been watching the whole battle in fascination, now looked nervous. He was standing with the other professors, near Harry’s family. He’d completely lost track of the time when his watch beeped, indicating another hour had passed. He casually reached into his back pocket to retrieve a flask he’d been drinking from for the entire year. He pulled it out before his hands started trembling, causing him to drop it.

“What’s wrong?” asked one of the professors. “I guess it was stressful to watch…What’s going on?”

Barty Crouch Jr. knew the gig was up. He was beginning to transform back to himself. He shakily pulled out his wand, but was quickly disarmed by a nearby auror who’d noticed the exchange. He changed completely and was arrested and taken to a French holding cell, where he would be thoroughly interrogated, revealing that he’d been the one to enter Harry’s name in the goblet, using the signature he’d put on the English Ministry form Harry had filled out during the summer, evaluating his Hogwarts experience.

It was he who’d turned the Triwizard cup into a portkey and placed the Imperius on Cedric (who would’ve gone after Krum next had Harry not stunned him) to make sure Harry won. He would also reveal that his father had broken him out of Azkaban with his mother’s help, and had been keeping him under house arrest (with the help of the Imperius Curse) ever since.

Harry was taken to the hospital wing to be treated for exposure to the Cruciatus curse, after which he’d been interviewed by the aurors, who asked him for his memory of Voldemort’s resurrection, which he willingly provided accidentally leaving out his escape, wherein he turned into a cat. Dumbledore left soon after that, saying that he needed to get in touch with the old crowd, leaving Harry alone with his family and girlfriend.

“So, why did you change your hair color?” asked Hermione.

“What do you mean?” asked Harry, who hadn’t seen a mirror since before the task began.

“Your hair is black,” she replied as Minerva conjured a mirror and handed it to him.

“That’s your original hair color,” she pointed out.

“I know that,” said Harry, “but I don’t know when it changed. Maybe Voldemort did it while I was unconscious.”

“Harry, did you change into your Animagus form while you were in the graveyard?” she whispered so no one beyond their group would hear.

“Yes,” he whispered back. “I became a small cat. Why?”

“Until someone is quite experienced at the transformation, when they return to their human form, they become their natural form without any changes they’ve made, such as make-up, hair dye, and apparently transfigured hair color.”

“I like the change,” said Brianna.

“What about you?” he asked Hermione.

“Well,” she replied, blushing, “both looks are good for you, but I do think this is a bit…better.”

“Then I might as well keep it,” he sighed. “I wonder if I can get my scar covered again.” The wound had been closed by the healer and now was only a faint line in the shape of a lightning bolt. However, the healer said it would never completely go away. Of course, he knew muggle plastic surgery could do that.

“You probably shouldn’t bother,” replied Hermione, “since now everyone will want to see your famous scar.”

“Great. Just great.”

“Are you going to change your name now?” asked Brianna, looking a bit concerned. “Everyone will want to call you Harry Potter now.”

“I’ve been Harry McGonagall for as long as I can remember, and I don’t want to change that,” he protested.

“Good. I don’t want you to,” replied his sister.

“If someone insists on using my birth name, they can call me Harry Potter-McGonagall.”

--HM--

At the same time in England, a reporter at the Daily Prophet was working on their story to cover the events that had happened in France. There was no denying that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had returned – far too many witnesses. However, this paper would not be treating the newly revealed Boy-Who-Lived as a hero the way other publications would. This person read the last few lines about Harry with a smirk.

He’s been deceiving us for years. He’s quite unstable. Isn’t it quite a coincidence that he revealed himself at the same time as You-Know-Who? He may have been working with him. They did arrive together. He gave You-Know-Who some of his blood.

--HM--

Please review. Thank you to those who have.

This concludes ‘Harry McGonagall.’ I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

Look for the sequel, ‘Harry Potter-McGonagall,’ coming out in about a month.

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