CoP 45

Conjoining of Paragons

Chapter 45:

By ACI100

Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots, and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to my editor Athena Hope, as well as my betas 3CP, Luq707, Regress, and Thanos for their work on this story.

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November 13, 1943
The Library
9:13 PM

A book hit the floor not far from his corner, accompanied by the sounds of someone loudly cursing. Harry was unsure whether to snicker or grimace. The librarian’s gonna have that poor sod’s hide.

He refocused on the transfiguration tome and on a particularly interesting page detailing elemental transfiguration. I never knew it was possible to change one element to another. I don’t even know how you’d fight against it. The book said it was extremely advanced and that few wizards had ever mastered it.

He looked up when a book smacked against the desk. “You’re serious about this wards thing, aren’t you?”

“You should be as well,” said Emily, taking the seat across from him.

Harry sighed. No use in arguing. I thought the same thing when my dorm got broken into. “You’re probably right. I’d still prefer to catch whoever’s behind it first, though.”

“I still think involvement from anyone in our group is highly unlikely.”

This again. They had been over it countless times. Harry still suspected Dolohov’s involvement and was suspicious of both Lestrange and Mulciber. They backed him up even knowing how livid Emily would be. That can’t mean nothing.

She was of a different mind, confident they were too wary of her to act that way. Harry was unconvinced. Maybe Mulciber, he’s always been tightly controlled, but Dolohov? Loose cannon was a kind description of Dolohov; Harry doubted even threat of death would stop him from doing exactly what he wanted

“We’ll see,” he said, unwilling to open that can of worms again. “I’m guessing you think this book is a good place to start?” he asked, glancing down at the book she had brought. “That’s been my biggest problem. I know the basics, but anything beyond them seems like such a jump.”

Emily smiled. “I’m not sure if this book would be considered a good place to start, but I’ll be here to help fill in the gaps.”

Harry’s pulse quickened and he wondered why. She doesn’t make me nervous anymore and I feel happy. Why’s my chest doing that? “Weekly meetings again?”

Her smile widened. “That was what I had in mind, yes.”

Soon after…

“Your visits are less frequent,” Cerastes hissed, circling Harry, who stood with his eyes closed.

“I know. Things have been chaotic.”

“Since the death of your friend’s kin?”

That had been the last time he visited, soon after the death of Henri Potter. “Yes, but it’s gotten worse.”


“There’s been another attack since the one in the library I told you about. Attackers snuck into my dorm, but my wards alerted me and I overheard them before the fight broke out. They mentioned how they were only to immobilize me.”

“Just like the first attack.”

“Yeah. It’s a weird coincidence.”

“There is no such thing as coincidence.”

He laughed, or as close as he could get in Parseltongue. “I actually agree this time.” He hesitated, heart racing inside his chest. This is it. “Can you keep a secret? If Emily asks, can you tell her no? Can I trust you to do this even after the end of last year?”

“You can trust no one completely,” Cerastes hissed. “I hope last year taught you that.”

“Yes, but this is something Emily can’t know. It’s something that no one can know.”

“Except for me?”

“You don’t count, you’re a snake.”

“Don’t be childish.” There was amusement despite Cerastes’s reprimand. “I will not pass along anything of this you tell me to the Heiress. I swear it.”

Harry weighed the basilisk’s words. This was life or death. But I need another opinion. I’m going to go mad if it’s just mine. “I shouldn’t be here.”


Fuck it, here we go. “There are devices called time turners that allow the user to travel back in time. They’re not supposed to work for longer than a handful of hours, but I had an accident involving one the summer before I met you.”

There was a long silence. “I understand now why you demand secrecy.”

“Yes.” It was all he could say, his breath was choked and his legs were shaking. It was among the most nervous moments in his life.

“How far did you travel back in time? What futures have you seen?”

“More than fifty years, and too many to explain. It’s not just time, though. I still don’t really understand, but things here aren’t like where I came from. Emily was a man named Tom who grew up to murder my parents and become one of the worst dark lords in history.”

The snake’s slithering ceased. “So this is why you mistrusted her.”


“She will not become that monster. Not now.”

“What do you mean not now?”

Silence stretched between them. “You are not the only one who has demanded secrecy.”

“Fine. It’s not important. I don’t think she’s going to become that person either, but yes, it’s why I didn’t trust her.”

“Why are you telling me this now? What point do you wish to make?”

“Grindelwald was defeated by Albus Dumbledore in 1945, about a year and a half from now. I don’t know if that will happen here. Dumbledore doesn’t want to fight him, but everyone agrees he’s the only one who can.”

“You have spoken about this Grindelwald before. You and the Heiress both.”

“I think he’s after me. My real name isn’t Hadrian Pavonis, it’s Harry Potter.”

“The same surname as the man he murdered. Does he know?”

“No one knows but the two of us.”

“Then why do you think he seeks you?”

This was the biggest hole in his theory. It still doesn’t really make sense. “I don’t know. All I know is that I look a lot like the Potters and Henri was interrogated before he died. I don’t see what Grindelwald would want with my friend, Charlus, and it all seems too convenient.”

Cerastes hissed in agreement. “There is no such thing as a coincidence.”

“You don’t think I’m crazy, then? You think my idea might be true?”

“I see no logic against it.”

That was the closest thing to confirmation Cerastes would give — Harry knew that much by now. “What do I do?” he asked. “Do I try and arrange things so that him and Dumbledore fight before he can get to me?”

“No. There is too much risk in a plan like that.”

Harry bit down a dozen retorts. Now he cares about risks? After murdering a student, now he cares? “What would you do, then?”

“I would not rely on the whims of other men. Prepare yourself for what is to come.”

November 14, 1943
The Slytherin Common Room
11:41 PM

Silence filled the room but for the sound of crackling fire. Harry flipped a page and kept reading, aware that the room’s only other occupant had begun walking towards their dormitory.

This is probably happening too often. The sounds of a deserted common room had become familiar to him ever since Henri Potter’s death. There had just been so much going on. How am I supposed to sleep while so occupied with things?

Those dreams returned in the dark silence, haunting dreams of the world dying everywhere he turned and his friends looking up at him through dying eyes, cursing him with rasping, final breaths. I need something to go right. Why can’t something just go right?

The common room’s entrance slid open. Harry was so surprised, he looked up from his book and pulled free of his thoughts.

“Dorea? I didn’t even realize you were out again.” She blushed and he smiled. I guess I’m being a bit too harsh — her and Charlus spending so much time together has been nice. I need another nice thing to happen. “Out with Charlus again?”

“Laugh it up,” she said, taking the nearest chair to his and folding her arms across her chest.

He frowned. “It’s not the easiest thing to laugh at, all things told. How is he doing?”

“You act like you don’t talk to him anymore; you know as well as I do.”

“Maybe, but maybe not. A lot of our time is spent actively. It’s easier to forget things then.” He marked his place and closed the book. “So, how’s he doing?”

Dorea sighed. “Better, but I still don’t think I could call it well.” She hesitated. “The longer we talk, the better he gets. Beginnings are hard, he’s always tense.”

Harry dismissed a dozen crude jokes — now was not the time. “Thank you for that. I think you’ve helped him more than I have.”

Dorea bit her lip. “I don’t think so. He’s talked about you… I don’t think you realize how much you mean to him.”

Harry swallowed a lump in his throat. “I’m happy he’s starting to do a little better. It’ll probably be a while until everything’s sorted in his head.”

“How long did it take you?” The question was asked quietly, her voice no louder than a twig snapping in the fire.

Right, my fake backstory. “Long enough,” he answered. There was nothing to say, he could not remember his parents dying but for a dementor-induced nightmare whose accuracy was dubious at best.

Dorea was biting her lip again. “What is it?” he asked. She pulled a face and his lips twitched. “Just because you can read me doesn’t mean you don’t have your own tells.”

She sighed again. “I wanted to ask you something, but it sounds stupid and childish.”

“What is it?” She said nothing. “Dorea,” he asked, “what is it?”

“Was it right, what I did? I really like Charlus, but I wonder how much of what we’re doing is because of his father. I wonder if I shouldn’t have gone that night, I wonder —”

“Don’t.” She fell silent. He took a deep breath. How the hell am I supposed to answer this? “I met up with him the next morning and he asked if I had sent you. He was grateful — even said it was what he needed.”

“But the timing, I just… I don’t know.”

Harry’s voice fought him and he swallowed hard again. “I saw you two at Slughorn’s party. I think things would have happened even if Henri never died. And trust me, Charlus doesn’t regret it. I think… I think it’s the one good thing that’s come out of all of this for him.”

“You’re sure?” Dorea asked, her eyes wide and desperate.

Harry made himself smile. “I’m sure.”

November 20, 1943
12:56 PM

The din of a muttering crowd rose behind them, drifting up into the cloud-filled sky. A crow cawed atop a nearby roof and took wing, flying towards the commotion. What the hell is all that noise?

Harry did his best to ignore it. He, Charlus, Dorea, and Elena stepped inside the Three Broomsticks. The noise dimmed once the door had shut, but still it remained on the edge of hearing.

“What the hell are people doing?” Charlus asked, arm in arm with Dorea.

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” she said, rubbing his arm. “I’m sure it’s nothing important.”

The four of them grabbed butterbeers and claimed a booth near the window. Dozens of people streamed by outside the glass. Weird.

“How are you feeling about end-of-term exams?” Dorea asked Charlus. “They’re coming up soon. I bet they’re brutal in seventh year.”

Charlus looked away from the window. “They’re all right. The thing about NEWTs is that you only take the ones you’re interested in. It makes finishing the work a hell of a lot easier. I found OWL year to be worse.”

“That’s a relief,” said Elena with a shudder. “I can’t imagine it getting much worse than it is now.”

“What do you lot think of the Defence professor this year?”

Elena pulled a face. “Holmes is brutal.”

“I’m not his biggest fan,” said Harry. “He knows his stuff, but I don’t think most of what he teaches is all that useful and he’s one of the driest professors I’ve ever had.”

Charlus grinned. “Another friend of mine called him worse than Binns, but he’s a loon who likes History.”

Harry scowled. “I wouldn’t go that far. I can’t wait to be rid of Binns next year.”

The noise was rising outside. Harry could have swore he heard screaming. I must be imagining it.

Charlus glanced back out the window. “What classes are you taking?” Harry asked, trying to distract the both of them. “I don’t think I’ve ever actually asked.”

“Alchemy, Charms, Defence, Transfiguration, and Runes.”

“So you have the nut job for Alchemy,” Dorea said with a grin.

Charlus nodded. “Gress is a weird bloke, maybe the weirdest I’ve ever met. Brilliant though, and a good teacher, but yeah, he’s odd.”

“Emily says pretty much the same thing,” said Harry. “I try and avoid him mostly.”

Elena grinned. “He really doesn’t like your name.”

Harry pulled a face. “I can’t say I’m super fond of Hadrian, either. It’s…” he trailed off. That had definitely been a scream.

The door banged open and three women stumbled inside, pale and wide-eyed. “Grindelwald!” one of them screamed. “It’s him! He’s here!”

Harry’s mind blanked. The words made no sense. Grindelwald in Hogsmeade? So close to Hogwarts and Dumbledore?

Charlus slid wordlessly from the booth with his wand in hand. Oh, fuck! Harry considered calling after him, but he knew it was useless. Dorea was already doing it, but Charlus’s eyes remained forward. Sod it. Harry conjured up all his courage and followed Charlus, drawing his own wand. Charlus merely glanced at him. A silent understanding passed between them.

This is stupid, Harry thought. This is incredibly stupid. But so was going through that trapdoor after Voldemort, or plunging down into the Chamber of Secrets, or travelling back through time to try and save Sirius. My friends always stuck with me; I owe him the same.

They picked their way down the main street, through tightly packed crowds and a small alley that took them to the edge of a town square surrounded by a churning mass of bodies.

A mob outlined the square. Some tried pressing forward but were driven back by a circle of men wearing the same robes Harry remembered from Diagon Alley. Others ran and were let free, but most just stood there, transfixed and staring.

A flaming triangle enclosed a straight line of fire and a burning circle, in the middle of which stood the man who must be Grindelwald.

“Out of my way!” Charlus shouted, plunging into the crowd. The girls were closing in behind them. Dorea reached for Charlus’s robes, but the two were separated by a wall of bodies. She cast a pleading glance at Harry, who followed in Charlus’s footsteps. His heart ached. I’m sorry, Dorea, I made a promise.


Harry’s heart dropped into the pit of his stomach when wine-red flames surged from Charlus’s wand. Bodies around them crumbled, naught but ashes left behind.

“No! I didn’t mean for —”

Charlus’s scream was swallowed by a hundred others as the flames tore through the crowd. He has no idea what he’s just done. The men around Grindelwald broke ranks, scattering before the flames.

A wand appeared in Grindelwald’s hand and the fire shot skyward, pulled into a flaming twister that landed some ways behind him, still burning but immobilized.

Grindelwald gestured and his followers parted, leaving nothing but scorched earth between the two boys and himself. He spread his arms wide.

“Mister Potter. You have my sincerest condolences for the death of your father.”

“You can tell him yourself!” A storm of curses rolled towards Grindelwald, melting against a silver shield. “Let’s take him!” hissed Charlus, sprinting to his left.

Idiot! Why can’t we do this in a way that might actually work? Left with no choice, Harry ran right, conjuring arrows from the air and banishing them at Grindelwald’s back whilst he was focused on Charlus.

A single flaming tendril leapt from the spinning Fiendfyre, melting the arrows in mid-air. Charlus screamed from the square’s far side, but Harry could see nothing. No!


Silver flashed above Grindelwald’s head. I did it, Harry thought numbly, hardly daring to believe, it’s over, I…

A silver dome of magic surrounded a still-standing Grindelwald when the light faded. Silvery blue eyes watched Harry now, who raised his wand again. The ground split around Grindelwald’s feet. Jutting mounds of stone thrust upwards, primed to impale him. They melted just inches from the earth.

I’m dead.

No spells came from Grindelwald’s wand. “It is you.” His voice was low — he was shocked he heard it over the sounds of Grindelwald’s followers fighting the now-raging crowd.

“Yes.” There was nothing else to say. Just keep him talking. It’s me he wants; just keep him talking until aurors or Dumbledore show up.

 “Ah.” Grindelwald sounded tired. “So Henri Potter need never have died. A cruel miscalculation.”

“The boy I knew would not kill for the sake of killing.”

Harry’s blood boiled. “No one ever needs to die.”

“Do not be disingenuous, Mister Pavonis, it is a poor first impression.”

You lecture me about —”

“Abraxas Malfoy.” Harry froze. “I lecture you about transparency. I have done regrettable things for the greater good, but I do not deny them. Cowards hide behind false facades. There is nothing more despicable than a man who judges another for their mutual crimes.”

Harry bit his lip. The urge struck him to scream, to say that it was not him who had killed Abraxas Malfoy.

Curses flew at Grindelwald’s back before he could. They sparked out halfway there and Grindelwald sent a white blast towards a very pale Charlus. Did he hear anything? Does he know what it means? Panic gripped him.

Harry split the earth again but broke the rocks apart before Grindelwald could destroy them. Sharp fragments embedded in the dark lord’s shoulder even as he blasted Charlus back to the grass. Harry ducked a jet of red light and returned a Bone-Breaker that Grindelwald deflected.

Charlus was on his feet again, wand levelled. Grindelwald looked from one to the other. Charlus panted. “You can’t take us both.”

Grindelwald laughed. “You are sorely mistaken, Mister Potter.”

The ground smacked against Harry’s back so hard that white spots flashed before his eyes. What the fuck just happened?

Harry felt his arms snap against his sides, wincing in pain, held by invisible bindings much stronger than him.


A wall of stone thrust up between Grindelwald and the jet of green light, exploding into burning pieces he banished back towards the caster.

The caster… No! For fuck’s sake, Emily, run! You’re supposed to be the smart one!

The bindings vanished and Harry tried standing, but his ribs exploded with pain and he sat down hard, watching as Emily’s torrent of flames swallowed the shrapnel and swelled, surging towards Grindelwald, who vanished the fire.

Someone put a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Gah!”

“Sorry,” Charlus gasped in his ear. “Are you all right? I think he blasted us both back with something.”

“My ribs are fucked and my shoulder doesn’t seem thrilled, but I’m alive.”

“Thank Merlin.” Charlus squeezed his good arm. “I thought for a minute you were gone… it would have been my fault. Sorry, Harry, I don’t know what I was thinking. I never imagined —”

“It’s okay.”

“We’re fucked, we can’t beat him. I don’t even think we can with Riddle’s help.”

“I won’t be much use now, but it doesn’t matter. We don’t need to win, just hold him off.” Harry looked up. Emily and Grindelwald were exchanging curses, but she was falling back, the left side of her robes stained crimson. “We need to help her!”

Harry grabbed Charlus and pulled himself up while waving his wand. Something tugged inside his stomach as a knight of stone took form and charged at Grindelwald, sword raised.

Emily’s shield shattered and she fell back. Grindelwald spun, facing Harry, Charlus, and the stone knight.


The square exploded. The remaining grass sprayed as a hundred beasts crawled from the earth. Two stony constrictors slithered from the earth and snaked around the knight, shattering the enchantments and crushing it to dust.

Harry fired Blasting Curses, but they did little. The beasts would shatter only to take a new shape and continue coming.

There are too many! He and Charlus were surrounded and Emily was faring no better on the opposite side of the square. Grindelwald just smiled at all three of them, the flaming twister still spinning behind him. This is it.

A thousand new monsters joined the fray, clashing with Grindelwald’s. So much stone shattered that the constant cracks echoed off nearby buildings like a thousand rounds of artillery fire. Charlus pulled him to the ground, casting his strongest shield over them both. Harry reinforced the shield as it was pelted with debris.

The sounds stopped, but the square was cloaked in great spires of smoke. Harry breathed in a mouthful and coughed, his eyes and throat burning. Charlus gasped beside him and he looked up through tear-filled eyes.

Grindelwald stood in the same spot, but he faced another man through the thinning clouds of smoke. “It was foolish of you to come here, Gellert.” The smoke left flecks of grey in Dumbledore’s auburn hair and beard, but he ignored them and stared down his old friend with his wand raised and ready.

Harry looked around the square now that the smoke was fading. The crowd was all but gone, probably driven off by Grindelwald’s followers, of whom there were no signs of. Shattered stones littered the field, strewn all throughout the square. Emily was kneeling amidst a circle of stones, panting and sweat-soaked.

Harry dared not move towards her, not when Dumbledore and Grindelwald stood between them.

“I prefer to call it ambitious. The man who takes no risks—”

“Is the man of no esteem.”

Grindelwald smiled. “I am glad to see you remember.”

“The years may leech at a man’s memories, but some persist.”

It was like the students no longer existed, so focused these two were on each other. “And what do you think of those memories now?”

“What I think matters not. You have attacked my students and my home. It is time this ends, Gellert.”

Grindelwald closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “If we must.” His eyes opened. “Fulgura.”

Lightning lanced towards Dumbledore, but he disapparated. Grindelwald brought his wand around, scorching the earth and throwing the blast back at him when Dumbledore reappeared. A lightning rod rose behind him and absorbed the blast.

Dumbledore flicked his wand and a tongue of golden fire lashed towards Grindelwald, who conjured a silver shield. The flames snaked around, but he vanished, reappearing behind Dumbledore, who apparated himself.

Curses flew back and forth faster than the eye could track. “Merlin,” breathed Charlus, “we never stood a chance.”

Harry thought the same as they duelled. An army of flaming lions rushed towards Grindelwald but were swallowed by a gaping chasm. More stone monsters crawled from the earth, but Dumbledore let loose a midnight-coloured tidal wave that broke against the beasts and shattered them again.

The debris blazed, pelting Grindelwald’s silver shield. Each impact made a sound like gunfire and cracks rippled across the shield’s pale surface.

Grindelwald apparated again, appearing on a nearby rooftop. Teeth sprang from the building’s walls and the roof yawned open. Grindelwald vanished before the building could swallow him, appearing at its foot and ripping up the road with a slash of his wand, using it as a shield against Dumbledore’s next volley of curses.

Corpses strewn around the square’s edge rose and marched towards Dumbledore. They had been killed in the melee but were now alive again. Harry’s stomach churned. How is that possible?

Dumbledore sliced through the undead with a flaming whip that lashed at Grindelwald but broke apart before it reached him. Grindelwald’s wand kept moving, casting a spell faster than Dumbledore could reposition his wand. Invisible force slammed into him and he hit the ground hard.


Grindelwald appeared back in the square. “You’ve lost, Albus.”

Thunder boomed and fire fell from a flaming sky. Grindelwald’s robes burst alight and he screamed, staggering and aiming his wand at his own robes. It was ripped from his hand and the dark lord fell to his knees.

Dumbledore climbed to his feet, both wands in hand. The flaming rain stopped when Dumbledore limped towards Grindelwald. The square was quiet but for the cackling Fiendfyre still spinning behind them. “It is over, Gellert. I am taking you to the ministry.”

Grindelwald looked up at him from his place now kneeling on the blackened earth. Harry expected hatred, but his expression just looked sad. “I’m sorry, Albus, I cannot allow that.”

There came a whooshing sound from behind Dumbledore, who turned. Wine-red flames washed over him.

“No!” The Fiendfyre remained, swelling with a feral howl until Grindelwald flicked his reacquired wand. Ashes drifted up from the place Dumbledore had stood, drifting away on a hot breeze choked by smoke.

That’s impossible… It was all he could think. The duel mattered not. Dumbledore was not dead, he must have disapparated and left the wand behind. There was no way that Grindelwald had won. It was impossible.

“Thank you, Mister Potter,” the dark lord said. “Your Fiendfyre proved most useful in the end.” No! Dumbledore isn’t dead — he can’t be dead! “We will meet again, Pavonis.”

Grindelwald vanished and left the three students kneeling in the savaged square.

Author’s Endnote:

And just like that, the game has changed 🙂

If the prose felt a bit rough in this chapter, I can only apologize. I am quite sick and this edit was less thorough than my usual process.

Please read and review.

A heartfelt thank you is extended to my Mage-level patron, Cup, for her unwavering support.

PS: The next chapter will be posted in exactly two weeks. It will be released here for readers on Wednesday, March 22ND, 2023. IT IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW FOR ANYONE WHO JOINS MY DISCORD SERVER, AS ARE CHAPTERS 47, 48, 49, 50, AND 51! Chapter 52 will also be made available to Discord members next Wednesday. THOSE WHO SIGN UP TO MY PATREON PAGE WILL GAIN IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO THE NEXT TWELVE CHAPTERS!

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