A/N- I remind one and all I do not own any of the characters. I did create Enemar, Aradha and Reet. The basis of the plot belongs to the great JK Rowling. The title to this chapter belongs to O. Henry. Chapter 24:- The Gift of the Magi When the immortals invoked the power of the torch in him the pain was unbearable. This was worse. He felt as if someone was trying to tear his head away from his body. He screamed out in agony wishing he would pass out in pain. “Feel my pain Harry.” screamed Neville as Aradha detached himself from Neville’s body and continued to engulf Harry. “Feel the pain I have suffered for fifteen years. But do not think you will die so easily. I will hear you scream first. Then I will kill each and every one of your friends. Then you will beg me to kill you.” “Over your dead body” said Harry. He focused all attention towards Aradha and concentrated hard on the core of the black object that surrounded him. This time it was Aradha’s turn to scream. He quickly took his specter shape again and rushed back towards Neville. “Harry are you alright?” Enemar spoke in his head. “You need to use your powers to open the castle doors.” Harry once again closed his eyes and tried to use to flame that burnt within him. It was there within him since he was at the chamber. He had realized that it did his bidding. He in the very short time had also understood how to use it. But what troubled him the most that ever since the ancients left him every time he tried to use his power he felt all his energy getting drained away. Still Harry knew he could not deal with the situation alone. He concentrated hard focusing all attention at the great castle door. Then the ground began to rumble. Harry again screamed in pain as he fell down exhausted. “Tired already Harry? Well let me help you.” said Neville as Aradha handed him the Scepter of Kaal. But before Neville could even raise the scepter he was raised of his feet and thrown across the hall. Harry tiredly looked up to see the face of Enemar. Power seemed to radiate from him. Next to him stood Remus Lupin, Umor Quirell, Snape and a bunch of Aurors. “Kill him.” said Enemar. “Kill Longbottom. Or else everyone will die.” “No!” screamed Harry, “This is that ghost’s fault. He has corrupted him. Do not kill Neville.” Neville looked at Harry with a strange expression as he rose to his feet. Then his face broke in to a smile. But it was not the smile of the Neville he knew. “Bad mistake Potter. I guess now both uncle and nephew owe you a favor. We will finish this soon Harry. That much I guarantee.” saying that Neville Longbottom disappeared from Godric’s Hollow in a blast of lightning. ============================================================================================================================== “Have you been able to wake the students up?” asked Sirius. “Yes. That spell Neville used is actually quite simple to counter using our form of magic. How is Dumbledore?” replied Enemar. “Oh he woke up on our way back to Hogwarts. He was worried about the students and Harry. Harry is also doing well. The torch is helping him recover from Aradha’s attacks.” “Harry is learning very quickly how to use the Torch. But its presence within Harry still worries me. Too much power corrupts on easily.” said Enemar. “Do we still know what all Harry is capable of?” asked Reet. “No!” said Enemar. “If we are lucky we will never know.” “Oh well I am just glad that the night is over without any casualties and I can finally be myself.” said Sirius. “Mr. Black you seem to forget quite a few things.” said Reet. “What now?” asked Sirius exasperatedly. “Harry met you in Voialla as you. He still has not seen you in this realm. Also, you are an escaped fugitive and until Dumbledore clears you there is no chance we can let you go out in public.” Sirius hung down his head. Will his misery never end? “It will end soon Sirius.” said Enemar. “STOP LOOKING IN MY HEAD.” screamed Sirius. “Sorry about that. But it’s not our fault. It is the connection we made to keep your identity a secret.” said Reet. “But Enemar is right as always. You will have to wait until tonight. You will call Harry for his training. We will arrange for Dumbledore to be there.” “He is one person we are really worried about. When he learns all the things we did behind his back he is likely to boil us alive.” “Wait a minute.” said Sirius. “When I agreed to this nutty idea of yours you asked me time till December. How come you yourself are hurrying now?” “Its nothing to be alarmed Sirius.” said Reet. “Harry saw you and Enemar at Voialla. He will ask us questions and if we can’t answer them he will use his powers on us. That is not going to be a good thing.” “But we will not make it easy for Harry. We will make him earn it by completing his training tonight. When he is successful about which I have no doubt he will receive the Gift of The Magi.” said Enemar. ============================================================================================================================== “TZU THIS IS EXTREMELY UNFAIR.” screamed Atana. “Why on earth do you say that woman?” “We should not have deserted Harry like that. We have waited so long to finally enter into the world of the living. Now you want us to wait for more time?” “Silence woman. As long as I am the leader of the ancients I will not be spoken to in that tone. Remember we did our task that was to invoke the power of the Torch within Harry. Like you I also wanted to end this tonight. I do not know how Enemar did it but he did manage to force Harry into going against our wishes. We had no option but to leave Harry.” “Do you not remember this is exactly what happened with Merlin? He too refused to listen to us. But we managed to convince him. Without us Harry can never reach the goals we have set for him.” “Merlin did not have Enemar.” screamed Tzu. “You give too much credit to that puny mortal. Our powers far exceed him.” “You underestimate Enemar. He is far from an ordinary mortal. He has as much courage and power as any one of us.” “Do you say so because of your past encounter with him?” “I will remind you Princess Atana who you are speaking to. But yes, you are correct. Might I remind you that in our previous meeting Enemar single handedly humiliated all the ancients? What was he then? A young man barely twenty years old. We, the ancients have always underestimated the power of the mind.” “We still do not know anything about his intentions. How do you expect the ancients to sit back when he can corrupt Harry and actually let Voldemort win?” Lightning struck right next to Atana forcing her to take a step back. “Tom will NEVER win? We will guide Harry to his goal. But we the ancients must not subjugate us to him. We will guide Harry on our own terms which you very well know. As far as Enemar is concerned, when the time comes we will eliminate him totally.” ============================================================================================================================== [A/n Violent death coming up. Readers with sensitive heart beware.] “You failed me AGAIN Longbottom.” screamed Voldemort. “Master I had no chance. Even the two of us together could not take down Harry.” “Excuses excuses I do not want to hear anything. You promised. Yet you failed.” “Master I will not fail you. Potter will die. But it was not to be today. I would have succeeded. But the Death Eaters were held back by the Aurors at the door. We even manage to take down Dumbledore but Harry broke open the castle door. We could not risk taking on Harry Potter, Itra and Reet together master, which would be suicide. But master please do not be angry let me heal my parents. With their blessings I will renew my vigor to extract revenge on Harry.” “Very well. I have already prepared the potion. Give this to them.” “Thank you kind master.” Neville took the goblet of green liquid and went over the bedside of his unconscious parents he slowly poured the liquid in their mouth. He waited with baited breath for something to happen. He waited for his dream to come true, the dream for which he had waited fifteen years. Then he heard the laughter. Voldemort was sitting on his throne laughing like a maniac. The laughter rang through the chamber. The death eater’s assembled and even Aradha seemed to be surprised at Dark Lord’s sudden cause for humor. “Pardon me master.” said Neville worriedly. “But why do you laugh?” Voldemort instantly stopped laughing. His face contorted to the most evil grin one could imagine. Then he spoke, “Turn around.” Neville instantly turned around to see to his ultimate horror the bodies of both his parents gradually decaying away soon leaving nothing but a pile of bone and blood. “NOOOOO!” he screamed and then he fainted. ============================================================================================================================== “Good evening minister.” said Enemar. “I see you have recovered well.” “Yes I feel much better now Mr. Itra. I can not thank you enough for helping out Harry first and then healing my students.” “Glad to be of service sir.” “Mr. Reet told me about your unusual request. You want to be at Harry’s training but not want to be seen. Why?” “Well sir I want to supervise his training tonight. I think with the Power of the Torch invoked prematurely in Harry it won’t be long before he bites of more than he can chew.” “I will make necessary arrangements but also just for caution I too will be supervising Harry’s training and so will his guardian Remus Lupin.” “The old man is walking right into it.” said Reet telepathically to Enemar. “I just hope he does not walk all over me when he realizes what we have done.” ============================================================================================================================== “I do not understand why we have to do this tonight?” said Harry in an annoyed tone. “I do not either.” said Hermione. “But I guess Dumbledore after last night wants you to be prepared. I still can not believe Neville attacked us.” “Neither can I.” said Ron. “But what is worse is the headmaster telling us not to talk to anyone about it. I think he does not want anyone to know he got taken out by a school boy.” “Ron you can be so daft at time.” said Ginny. “It was not Neville it was that ghost Aradha who attacked Dumbledore from behind.” “Hey, wait a minute!” said Ron. “How come she knows? She was not even there. Harry I do not think Dumbledore’s order did not apply to your girlfriend.” “Harry did not tell me.” said Ginny blushing. “I do not know how. But I saw and felt everything Harry felt last night.” “That is the Power of the Heart Ginny.” said Harry pulling her next to him. “I hate to be a watchdog but you have to go.” said Hermione. As Harry headed for Quirell’s chamber his head swam with various thought. As soon as he had woken up the events of last night flashed before him. But his day was immediately spoiled when Enemar telepathically spoke to him. He said he knew Harry had a lot of questions about their visit to Voialla but he would not be able to answer them. Then he almost but threatened Harry not to speak to anyone about it. Harry thought it would be wise to listen to Enemar for the time being. He after all has saved his skin more time than once. ============================================================================================================================== “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!” screamed Harry. “This is too hard.” “You are not concentrating hard enough Harry.” said Quirell. “Focus. You are almost there.” Harry was getting extremely annoyed. He knew he was particularly close to completing his animagus transformation. The flame burning within him all but kept telling him that. But something was blocking him. His teacher did not help. He egged on Harry but that was all he did. Somehow Harry felt that something was distracting Umor Quirrell today. Then he again heard Enemar’s voice in his head. “Do it Potter. You are not succeeding as you are afraid to let the animal within you become free. Do not worry you and your non human self are the same individual. Remember Sirius. How he could control his canine form? Try it Harry.” He concentrated hard again this time using his will to egg on something that was within him as soon as his pain began. Then it happened. He screamed. But he heard himself roar. He felt the difference as well. His animal instincts were sharper as well. But he still could not make out his own form. He was covered in fur but his lower body was covered in scales. He had two enormous scaly wings and two horns on his head. He had whiskers in his face, two front lion like paws and a huge tail. “What the h..?” was all Umor could say. “Congratulations Harry.” said Enemar. But this time his voice came from the corner of the room where he Dumbledore and Reet had suddenly appeared. “You just made me a very rich man and made poor Reet flat broke?” Harry suddenly realized he had resumed his human self again. “Just what are you talking about?” he demanded. “Oh Reet and I had a bet and I just won? But we will talk about that later it seems that our defense teacher and leader of Auror shock has gone into shock.” “We have not.” said Quirrell. “But what in the name of Merlin was that? We have never seen an animal like that.” To everyone’s surprise it was Dumbledore, who spoke, “That would be because there are no animals like that. What you just saw was a perfect cross of Griffin and Dragon.” “That is correct Harry. And for achieving this fabulous feat you deserve a gift. I already know what you want and you will find it if all of you look in the Mirror of Magi behind Harry. But just to make it interesting Harry can only see his gift in his animal form.” Harry knew what Enemar meant by gift. He concentrated as hard as he could and within seconds realized that he had taken he massive animagus shape again. He gazed at the mirror to see his own reflection. He could not but awe at both his size as well as his weird appearance. But the he saw him. Behind him was the same dog he had seen three years ago at Magnolia Crescent. Within moments he turned back into his human self. As soon as he did the mirror went pitch black. “Bring him back Enemar. I beg you.” screamed Harry eyes welling up. “Bring who back?” asked Dumbledore and Remus. “SIRIUS.” Harry screamed. “He is alive. Please Enemar bring him back.” “Enemar Itra.” Dumbledore roared. “You lied to me.” “Sorry minister.” said Enemar with a wicked smile on his face, “But I did what I thought was best for my ally.” “What are they talking about?” asked Lupin. “When Harry agreed to ally with me, I had to get him a suitable gift.” said Enemar pointing his finger at Remus. “If you turn around I think you too are really going to enjoy my gift to Harry Potter.” Remus turned around to see Umor Quirrell standing and grinning. But then to his shock and dismay Umor’s appearance started to change and soon standing before him was a man he had believed he would never see again. Standing before him was the lost marauder, Sirius Black. End of Chapter 24. A/N Very much an interim chapter. I will not give many details about the next few chapters but trust me if you thought Quirrell/Sirius bit was surprising I have a few more shocks that will knock you off your seat. Sadly though this will be my last update for the next two weeks as I have semester exams. But I will be inclined to change my mind if I reach 300 reviews by then. Chapter dedicated to Indra and Palu for getting placed. Also a special dedication to everyone who reviewed chapter 23… GolfinWizard [many thanks for the review hope to hear that you like this chapter as well] Rayven [sorry for the cliffhanger. I hate them but they suit the story. Thanks for the review.] AdamJamesPotter [Harry has not yet found the Power of the Immortals. He may not be the one to find it either. Hope you liked his animagus form.] Archelaus [Well actually Dumbledore is my favorite character. I love the dark side as well but we still have not seen Voldemort enough to appreciate his dark nature. That is why I am really psyched about JKR’s new title. If the HBP is who I think it is you and I both will really enjoy it. As I already mentioned I will provide details on Neville soon. I also do not mind you using any part of the plot but I do thank you for asking.] Richard Padfoot Wills [many thanks for the review. I guess I will have to wait for your fic. My sems start this Monday. So it will be all cramming for me.] Sirius_Resurected [Congrats on finishing exams. Hope to celebrate the same way in two weeks time.] Miguel [thanks for the review.] Dishant [I am sorry but the delay that will follow this chapter is inevitable. Hope you continue to enjoy this story and help me make it even better with your useful feedback.] Iwpotter [Sorry for the stalemate. Can’t have the big battle midway through the fic.] Bob Swiger [Its good to be back Bob. Actually I had to ask you did the OOTP say that Harry and Neville are born on the same day or that they are both born on the last week of July. Can you confirm this as I think I can use it in the story.] evanescence2037 [ thanks for the compliment.] Joda [thanks for the feedback. Hope you enjoy this chapter as well.] sume_07 [its fantastic to hear from a new reviewer. Hope you like the rest of the fic as well.] Adrie [Even Great Psychics like Trelawney go wrong ;) Hope you enjoy this chapter.] ChRiS [ that was a very un-ChRiS like review. Hope this quick update brings you back to your cracking self.] Well folks that’s about it. One small request. Those who are Grad students from India, if you have the campus interview papers of different companies of the year 2004 please mail them to me of post them at frechersworld.com. It will be of great help. Thank you all cya in two weeks. Also I would reaaallly realllly like to reach that 300 marks with this chapter.

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