Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Year 3: The Looming of Shadows
Chapter 1: Dangerous Secrets
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, as well as my other betas 3CP, Luq707, Raven, Regress, and Thanos for their incredible work on this story.
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Welcome to Perversion of Purity Book 3! I have improved immensely since Book 2. You should notice a more refined style of prose going forward.
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Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Book 3: The Looming of Shadows
Chapter 1: Dangerous Secrets
July 8, 1899
Godric’s Hollow was a quaint little place that reminded Gellert of Kirchdorf. A squat town square made up the village’s centre, surrounded by dense thickets of trees. Muggles dwelled here just like back home. Gellert’s lip curled. Their taint is everywhere.
Britain was just as bad as Germany. Gellert had arrived here just last night and asked his aunt whether or not Godric’s Hollow was made up only of witches and wizards. She had laughed and told him that the nearest purely wizarding settlement was miles away in a place called Hogsmeade. Disgusting.
This was the first time Gellert had been so close to muggles in years. How he craved to draw his wand and dole out justice. He could use one of them. The experiment that had him thrown from Durmstrang need not have been wasted. It would be merciful — better that than to live without magic.
Gellert turned off the cobblestone walkway and up to the front door of a small home surrounded by a high fence whose wood was peeling. It looked a sorry sight, but he could feel the magic saturating every inch. These people have sense keeping the muggles away. Aunt Bathilda keeps decent company.
Gellert knocked thrice upon the door, then waited. No sound came but it soon opened, revealing a thin boy who brushed auburn hair away from piercing blue eyes. There’s a sharpness in his stare.
“Good afternoon. You are Albus Dumbledore?”
“I am, yes. Who might you be?”
“My name is Gellert Grindelwald. I believe you know my Aunt Bathilda?”
“I do. She’s been a good friend of the family. Has she sent you?”
“She offers your family invitations to join us tonight.” Keeping his voice level became difficult. “She believes the two of us will get on well.”
The first thing his aunt said upon his arrival was how much he reminded her of this Albus Dumbledore. No one had ever been like Gellert. Why his aunt thought differently now, he knew not.
Dumbledore’s face twitched. He looked bitter, but only for a heartbeat.
“Is something the matter?”
“There are just things that might make attending more difficult than it ought to be.”
This boy’s not like me at all. Nothing would stop me from doing as I wanted. The longer he watched, the more he thought he was missing something. Dumbledore looked wary. Does he know of me? Has my reputation spread, or is my aunt a blabbermouth?
Gellert looked up and met those eyes again. A small girl wept beneath a canopy of bright green leaves. The leaves began changing — green, then orange, then brown — and tumbled from the trees, dead by the time they reached the ground.
Sharp pain stabbed behind his eyes. He caught it and twisted, reaching out for another strand of memory. His psychic fingers were brushed aside. An occlumens.
Those blue eyes widened, but then Dumbledore’s expression smoothed. “Tell your aunt that I, at least, will attend. My sister is sick and I’m unsure whether she or my brother will make it.”
Gellert bowed his head. He is more than I expected. “Good day to you, Dumbledore.”
“Grindelwald,” Gellert tilted his head to the side. “I expect you won’t treat my family so invasively if and when you meet them.”
A thin smile crested his lips. “I would never dream of it.”
“I’m surprised you waited as long as you did to start showing me memories again,” said Harry, peering around the tower cell.
“I am generous to those who deserve my courtesy.”
“So you knew Dumbledore before the duel?”
“I knew him better than anyone alive except perhaps his own brother.”
“What was he like?”
“No, Aberforth. He taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts last year.”
Grindelwald tilted his head. “And you were not fond of him?”
“I don’t know.”
“How is this?”
“It’s a long story. He just picked a rough way to go about things.”
Grindelwald’s lips twitched. “That sounds characteristic.”
“I never knew he had a sister.”
“I am unsurprised. Albus always liked his secrets. That one was guarded closely.” Grindelwald peered out from between the bars covering his window, then looked back at him. “Do you have any more questions?”
Harry chewed his words, trying to choose the right ones. “When you walked up to the door, I could feel magic; it was all over the house.”
“It pleases me that you noticed. What did it feel like?”
It suddenly struck Harry how mad this all was. The way they talked, it was like nothing had ever been wrong. Get over it; if he wanted to kill you, you’d be dead. Think how much you’ll learn. “It felt… thick, maybe heavy. I don’t know how to explain it.”
“Yeah, that.” There was a pause. “So what was that all about?”
Grindelwald interlaced his fingers. “There was a collection of wards. I had mastered the ability to sense magic — you experienced that in the memory.”
“Sense magic?” Harry remembered feeling waves of something rolling off the Mirror of Erised. Was I doing it then without realizing? Like how I made things happen before Hogwarts?
“The craft is invaluable but immensely complex. You will master it in time.”
Harry perked up. “Will I?”
Grindelwald smirked. “I intend to help you master many things now that we are on such open terms.”
July 11, 1993
Ron nearly slammed his head against the kitchen table, his mother’s scream echoing inside his skull. He grimaced, shutting his eyes against the noise. One of these days, she’ll break a window.
Something did break. Percy flinched, slamming his hand against a cup and sending it tumbling to the floor. Ron’s elder brother flushed. He would be able to fix things like that with magic in just over a month, but not quite yet.
“Arthur!” Molly shouted. His father was moving towards the door to leave for work. “Arthur, come back! We won!”
Ron heard his father’s footsteps halt. “Won?”
“Yes, Arthur! Won! The galleon draw! We won!”
Ron suddenly realized that his mother was crying. He exchanged uncomfortable looks with the twins as the sound of their father’s footsteps returned. Galleon draw?
“Did we really?” he asked once back, moving behind his wife’s chair and reading that morning’s Daily Prophet over her shoulder. “Merlin, we really won.”
Ron watched as his mother leapt up and hugged his father, sobbing into his chest.
This is nice and all, but do they have to do it here? A grin spread across his face regardless.
Smiling felt odd. That expression had been so scarce since leaving the Chamber of Secrets that Ron had almost forgotten what it felt like.
The only times he had smiled were when Cedric was over, much like last summer. If only he knew what really happened.
Thinking about that just made him remember blonde hair pooled around an innocent face, crimson fingers reaching from her chest, spreading across the dark stone floor.
His nightmares made those memories worse. Ron wasn’t alone in his suffering, though regret tugged so hard at him that he felt it in his stomach. Luna had been one of Ginny’s oldest friends. Never had they been thick as thieves, but he still heard her sobbing from her bedroom the first few nights and knew how it felt to lose a friend. He ought to have gone to her, but what would he say? I can’t even figure myself out; it’s not like I could help her.
Idiot! Snap out of it! First good thing that happens all summer and you’re ruining it. “What are we going to do with it?” his mother was asking.
“We need to save,” his father said, scratching his balding head. “Merlin knows we can’t let ourselves get so low on gold again.”
His mother tutted. “Yes, but it’s seven hundred galleons! We can save half and still do something special.”
“Let’s think about it; there’s no need to do anything rash.” His father looked out the kitchen window while he straightened his robes. “I really must be off.”
“Yes, yes, get to the ministry.”
Something special? Weird. Mum’s always nervous about spending money. Then he looked across the table and saw the shadows beneath Ginny’s eyes. The pain in his stomach returned, tenfold now. It’s because of everything that’s happened… Merlin, why is everything my fault?
July 17, 1993
Harry was fond of the dining hall at Black Manor. Probably because it was the opposite of the one he’d grown up with on Privet Drive. Vernon and Petunia’s was bright, flanked by white walls. The one at Black Manor was set before towering windows made from black stained glass dimming any light that entered.
Harry sat waiting at the table, lit by a handful of floating candles. The loud crack accompanying Kreacher’s appearance no longer startled him. “Can Kreacher be making Master Harry breakfast?”
Harry smiled, still bemused. Merlin, he thought, we’ve come a long way in a month.
The train slowed, King’s Cross Station looming up ahead. No kidnappings this time; I’ll take that as a win. The entire journey felt like a dream. Tension still remained between Harry and Draco, but being able to talk with Pansy and Theodore made up for that. I can’t believe how natural it feels after so much time.
The platform was full to bursting. They all filed behind Crabbe and Goyle, who forced a path through the crowd of bodies.
Draco went to his father the moment they found him, but Theodore placed a hand on Harry’s arm. “I might not see you for a while.”
Harry raised an eyebrow. “Why not? Are you and your father travelling again?”
Theodore’s face was unreadable. “No, I don’t think so. Father just wants my help with some things.”
Images flashed behind his eyes. Tiberius Nott sitting at a long table, curtains drawn across the window behind him. The world bathed in billowing steam, blissful air tickling chalk-white skin.
A shiver ran up Harry’s spine. What was that last one? “Hopefully he doesn’t keep you busy all summer,” said Harry, feigning a smile.
“I’m sure I’ll slip away for your birthday.” Theodore held out his hand and Harry took it, shaking firmly. “Take care, Harry.”
“You too, Theodore, have a nice summer.”
Not until Theodore and the Malfoys left did Harry remove a raven-shaped pendant from his pocket. “Toujours Pur.”
Something tugged behind his naval. His heart raced, breath caught in his chest as the world blurred around him. Get a grip! This one was planned; you’re not being kidnapped!
Harry’s feet slammed against a well-polished floor. This must be the entrance hall. Obsidian pillars flanked towering windows obscured by dark curtains. A mosaic sprawled across the floor; a field of blooming roses beneath a star-filled sky. Plinths were interspersed around the hall’s edge, each topped with a raven carved from stone.
The oldest elf he’d ever seen appeared. Wispy white hair sprouted from its ears, its teeth past rotting and its grey skin hung in places.
“Kreacher’s new master is here, and what a master he is, tainted by muggle filth. They say he lived with them. What would my mistress say?”
“Something foul if she was sensible.” The elf looked up, wide-eyed. Harry almost laughed. “Did you expect me to defend them?”
Kreacher’s ears perked. “Master doesn’t seem tainted to Kreacher.”
Harry scowled. “You can’t live with muggles and not be tainted.”
Kreacher frowned. “Kreacher is confused by his new master.”
Back in the present…
“Yes, please. I’ll take some eggs with bacon and toast.”
Kreacher bowed so low his nose scraped against the floor, then he was gone with another loud CRACK.
“I don’t know how you’ve won him over so quickly,” said Regulus, sipping at his tea.
Harry shrugged. “It wasn’t that hard. I just acted like a pureblood and let him know I hated muggles.”
“That does go a long way in this family, yes.”
“Your mother’s portrait probably didn’t hurt.”
“No, I imagine not.” Regulus chuckled. “My dear old mother would die another death if she realized she was teaching a halfblood.”
Regulus said his mother had gone insane, but her portrait here was done long before that happened. Harry could see the seeds of madness, but she was relatively sane. There had only been a few outbursts whilst she taught him the finer points of wizarding etiquette, and none about him. The moment Regulus introduced him as a pureblood heir and the best friend of Narcissa Black’s son, all had gone smoothly.
Regulus had still been concerned, warning him before that first meeting. “So long as you don’t bring up muggles, muggleborns, Grindelwald, the Dark Lord, or my brother, you should be fine.”
“Is that all?”
“Probably not, but those are the important ones. Best not mention that you’re a halfblood, but we’ve covered that already.”
“What are you reading?” Harry asked as he took the chair nearest Regulus, who held something too thick to be that morning’s paper.
“I ordered you a copy — here.” The Black Lord withdrew his wand and gave it a flick, summoning a rectangular box. Harry frowned and opened it.
His breath caught. An auburn-haired teenager stared out at him from the cover with familiar blue eyes, arm in arm with a blond-haired youth who could only be Grindelwald.
Harry removed the book, turning it to read the back cover.
Stripping away the serene facade of silver-haired wisdom, Rita Skeeter reveals all. A disturbed childhood and lawless youth, lifelong feuds forming from a suspicious demise, guilty secrets leading to the death of millions — all of this and more is uncovered in the riveting Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.
July 18, 1993
The Headmaster’s Office
A strong summer wind blew outside, rattling panes of glass. Fawkes lifted his head and peered at Severus, then out the large window. The sky was a deep shade of purple and the light was fading fast.
A clock chimed and Dumbledore looked up from a heaping stack of papers. “I apologize for my tardiness. Thank you for coming, Severus.”
Severus inclined his head. “I am here to serve, Headmaster.”
“A fact for which I will always be grateful.” His smile is too strained. His news is dire.
Severus curled his lip. “I presume you have not brought me here to offer the position I have long thirsted for?”
Dumbledore smiled a sad smile. “I’m afraid not. You are much too valuable; I would not leave you to the mercy of Lord Voldemort’s curse.”
Severus suppressed a shudder at the Dark Lord’s name. He says it with no regard for those around him. “What of your brother? He is safe and whole; I see no obvious signs of a curse.”
Dumbledore opened a desk drawer and removed a thick book, his own face smiling up from the front cover. “Have you paid Miss Skeeter’s work much mind?”
“I have read some. My faith in her writing is low.”
Dumbledore sighed. “She has done well this time around. I fear how she learned these pages’ secrets, but many are true.”
Severus studied him. “You fear how she learned them?”
“She writes about things only three living people know of. I told her nothing, nor did Aberforth.”
“Who is the third?”
“Bathilda Bagshot. A delightful woman who is well past her age and vulnerable to the whims of youth.”
His lip curled again, bile rising in the back of his throat. “Have you not reported her?”
“Not while Lucius Malfoy holds such a tight grip on much of the ministry. Reports may be seen as flustered defences. That is the last thing I need after the school’s recent fiasco.”
“What does any of this have to do with your brother and the curse?”
Dumbledore put the book down on his desk. “This book taints Aberforth as well as I. He knew it would when it was announced and resigned. Had he stayed, the parents and governors would have forced his hand.”
Severus narrowed his eyes. “Does it not slander you more fiercely?”
“And you intend to remain at Hogwarts?”
Dumbledore‘s eyes twinkled. “I have advantages Aberforth does not and am not so easily replaced, if you will pardon my arrogance.”
The two greatest wizards I have ever known and the difference between each is so stark. “If you wish to blame the curse for Skeeter’s writings, then very well. What is it you summoned me for?”
“I wished to ask if there were any signs pointing to Lord Voldemort’s return?”
Severus crushed a flash of shock and kept his face schooled. “Signs?” Something nagged at him, but it slipped through his fingers each time he reached for it. Strange.
“Yes. I think it is suspicious his evil has touched Hogwarts two years in a row. That is saying nothing about Tiberius Nott’s newest accessory.”
Severus paused. “Newest… accessory?”
“Tiberius wears a glove any time I have seen him in public. It is a queer choice that I consider suspicious.”
Why must the world’s greatest wizard be so utterly mad? “I fail to see a connection between the Dark Lord and a glove.”
Dumbledore’s smile returned, bitter this time. “Do you? Answer me something, Severus. If you were to concoct a ritual that might return Voldemort to his powers, how would you do it?”
Ah… ominous. “There would be blood,” he admitted.
“Sacrifice, yes, one of the few things powerful enough to achieve what he seeks. I suspect many might be surprised if they looked beneath that glove.”
His pulse quickened. Bloody hell. “So you think the Dark Lord has returned?”
“I am unsure. The ritual could simply have returned him to a rudimentary form. When I faced him in that corridor more than a year ago, he was scarcely a shadow.”
Severus cleared his mind; he had bargained for none of this. “I have heard nothing. None of the old guard trust me completely. People like Lucius remain amiable, but many consider me a traitor.”
“Yes,” said Dumbledore, scratching at his beard. “I had hoped for other signs, though I don’t know what they would be.” That nagging returned, but Severus ignored it. My mind is playing tricks, how strange. “Do keep your eyes peeled and watch out for Harry.”
Rage built inside him. How am I to watch a boy who cares nothing for himself? He sneered. “I hope only that Potter has heeded my warnings.”
Dumbledore shoved the book back into the drawer it came from. “Is that what you call them, Severus? I have heard you were most unpleasant this past year.”
“If the boy would read between the lines, he would know that I am advising caution and responsibility. It is all good so long as Lily’s magic protects him, but there are others to consider. I hoped that pairing him with the Crabbe dolt would prompt greater consideration for those around him.”
Dumbledore’s lips curved down. “You have strange ways of making your point. Regardless, watch him for me?”
Severus stood, bowing before he left the room. “Always.”
These chapters will be shorter than the ones in the previous two years. They will contain the same amount of content, but I have grown as a writer and no longer need rambling paragraphs to make my points clear.
I hope you all enjoyed Book 3’s opening chapter — plenty more is on the way.
Please read and review.
A heartfelt thank you is extended to my Primordial-level patron, Lily, my eternal love, for her incredibly generous support on that platform. The same thanks is extended to my Deity-level patron, Cup, for her unwavering support.
PS: The next chapter will be posted next Saturday, October 8th, 2022. OR YOU CAN READ IT AND THE FOUR FOLLOWING CHAPTERS RIGHT NOW BY JOINING MY DISCORD SERVER! THE NEXT TWENTY-SIX CHAPTERS CAN BE READ RIGHT NOW BY ANYONE WHO SIGNS UP TO MY P*T*E*N PAGE! That is the entirety of Book 3! All those links can be found on my profile. If any give you trouble, search my pen name on Google, click on my website, and use the direct links on its homepage.
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