PoP 53

Perversion of Purity

Year 3: The Looming of Shadows

Chapter 11:

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, as well as my other betas 3CP, Fezzik, Luq707, Raven, Regress, Thanos, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.

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September 2, 1899
Cairo, Egypt
8:33 PM

Gellert appeared surrounded by sprawling sands and blood-red skies. The air was thick and humid, but the burning heat was retreating with the slowly setting sun. Long shadows lounged in the sand as the sun neared the horizon, making the few buildings Gellert could see far off in the distance look like shadowed peaks rising up to hide the glowing star.

Gellert glared up at the sky. Anything resembling blood would set him off. Blood was what he should have shed two weeks ago. It will be worse now. 

Gellert fled England following his duel with Albus and slunk around the German countryside whilst deciding where next to go. That part of his plan remained unchanged. I must be prepared, both for Albus and for conquest. I cannot fail, the greater good dies with me.

It would be better once that final battle came. It will be kinder. Albus will no longer wonder and the world will be rebuilt. All I must do is win.

Gellert recalled the duel for what must have been the thousandth time. His findings were the same. Albus was more skillful. Gellert had been more seasoned and a better traditional duellist, but Albus’s control over elaborate magic was something Gellert had never seen. And there is Drochuisic. How did he come to know it?

It mattered not. They would fight again and experience would no longer be on his side. Age would even out that field. I must win in other ways; learn magics beyond imagination and come armed with the ultimate weapon.

That journey started here, amidst what remained of a once-great empire. No stone will remain unturned. I must win, everything depends on that victory.

“Did you really believe you’d win?” Harry asked once the familiar cell came into focus.

Grindelwald’s expression remained smooth and unreadable. “Why do you ask this? You experienced my thoughts as clearly as I once did. You know the answer.”

“It just seems weird. You admitted to yourself that Dumbledore was more skilled and even that your only real advantage wouldn’t matter by the time you fought.”

“One does not chase the things I sought without confidence. My doubts about beating Albus came mostly in those early days. I grew surer of the outcome as the years aged. You will understand this in time.”

“But you were never positive. They say you never dared attack Britain so long as Dumbledore lived.”

“I never feared Albus. I was wary of him, just as he was of me. You forget that he never pursued me in all the years I reigned. Not until inaction would have shamed him.”

Harry frowned. “So both of you felt the same?”

“We knew better than any what each other was capable of. I knew Albus had affinities I would never have and he knew the same. I knew that he had once been more skillful, whilst he had heard rumours that I possessed the very weapon we once sought as children.”

“The Elder Wand?” Harry asked, suddenly breathless. “You actually found it?”

“It was my life’s work,” Grindelwald said as though it was the simplest thing in the world. 

“Where is it?” Harry asked, eyes wide. 

This was what he needed! If the myth was true, then this would be an unbeatable wand! Harry could take revenge against Black, establish himself in the wizarding world, and even match the likes of Voldemort.

“I am unsure what became of it.”

Harry’s stomach dropped. “Unsure?” 

“It is difficult tracing an artifact most believe to be mythology whilst trapped in a cell.”

“But Dumbledore would know, wouldn’t he?” 

Grindelwald’s expression was unreadable. “Albus would never have claimed the wand.”

“But you two—”

“Those discussions were the fantasies of children and Albus was always more interested in the stone. The wand would have repulsed him by the time we fought. I am sure he discarded it.”

Harry’s hands twitched. That would be stupid. “But wouldn’t that be dangerous? That wand is supposed to be unbeatable.”

“Yet Albus defeated me.”

Harry frowned; his mind had skipped that detail. “How?”

“The wand does not make one invincible. Its long and bloody history speaks volumes of just how vulnerable one wielding it becomes.”

“But you still wanted it.”

“I was naïve. If I could do it all again, I would leave the wand untouched. I beg you not to make my old mistakes.”

Harry nodded, but said nothing. I never swore I would. Whether Grindelwald had lost or not, the wand still sounded like just the thing he needed.

“I have something else to ask of you before I field more questions.” 

Something to ask of me? He hardly ever asks things of me. Harry’s palms grew sweaty. “What is it?”

“Do not ask Albus about the wand. It would pain him. Let the matter lie.” 

Harry reluctantly nodded. It’s not like he would answer anyway. “Can I ask other questions now?” 

Grindelwald smiled thinly. “Of course.”

“A friend of mine at school is named Theodore Nott. He said one of his ancestors worked with you.”

“A Cantankerus Nott worked under me for a time.”

Harry recognized the name. Theodore’s great grandfather; the one who wrote the Sacred Twenty-Eight. “Theodore mentioned a spell a few days ago that you used to get rid of important people. He called it the Suicide Curse.”

“Many did. The name was apt. I will show you my discovery of the spell soon. You may ask questions once I have.”

Annoyance rose, but he forced it down and remained still. Arguing would not get him what he wanted. Grindelwald’s set in his ways, he won’t change his plans for anything.

“There was something else I wanted to ask you.” Harry reached beneath the collar of his robes and brought out the time turner.

Grindelwald stared, leaning slowly forward. “So they have done it, then.”

“You know what it is?” Snape made it sound like a new invention.

“I am educated enough to guess. Inquiries into the traversing of time are not a modern concept. None had succeeded by the time I was imprisoned. I presume that has changed.”

“Yeah, this is called a time turner. It lets me travel a couple hours back in time.”

Grindelwald’s eyes had not left the time turner. “How did you acquire this?”

Harry nearly sneered — the whole thing was still ridiculous. “The Ministry of Magic gave two to Hogwarts students to test them for education. We’re not supposed to use them for anything other than extra classes and homework, but I don’t think they have a way of monitoring us, really.”

“And I presume that you will walk the logical path and take the fullest advantages afforded to you by your government’s incompetence?”

“Once I figure out how.” Harry ran a hand through his hair. “It’s draining. It’s like you’re in two places at once any time you travel back in time. Your mind’s working twice as hard and it catches up to you quickly.”

Grindelwald drummed his fingers against his knee. “And you wish to ask if I have ideas on how this drain might be circumvented?”

“I’ve already been given a couple of ideas, but I need to learn Occlumency subskills that I know almost nothing about.”

Grindelwald smiled. “Ah, yes. We shall begin immediately.” 

September 24, 1993
The Great Hall
8:46 AM

Harry noticed the tension hanging thickly in the air when he entered the Great Hall that morning. Whispers wafted from all four tables and hundreds of heads bent low. His own friends were tense when he approached. Pansy isn’t even looking at me. She usually can’t stop staring.

“Something’s happened, hasn’t it?”

“Black’s been sighted here in the highlands,” Theodore admitted. The others shifted in their chairs — Pansy even glared at Theodore like she wished he would never opened his mouth.

They expect me to explode. He reached for the paper, his expression blank.


By Rita Skeeter

Sirius Black is perhaps the most notorious prisoner Azkaban prison has ever housed. His dozen murders more than a decade ago were well-documented, as was his status as the lieutenant of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. 

We all know who Sirius Black is and what he has done, but many of us allowed ourselves to forget about him until this summer, when his dark legacy was furthered by an impossible escape from Azkaban. In doing so, Black became the first prisoner ever to escape and started a nationwide manhunt that has thus far yielded no results.

Many witches and wizards all throughout the country have claimed sightings these past two months, but now, it seems that the Ministry of Magic have their first official lead.

Some in the community have suspected for some time that Sirius Black may target Hogwarts. It’s only natural given his loyalty to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and the fact that his vanquisher dwells within the castle’s walls. Some have gone as far as to say that Black’s top priority is taking vengeance against Harry Potter for the events of October 31st, 1981, but others have been more skeptical.

Those skeptics are slowly losing ground after reports emerged claiming that Black has been cited in a remote Scottish district and that a team of aurors was deployed to the area.

“We’ve thought for some time now that Black may be in Scotland,” said the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge. “We’ve been prepared for this for some time. There’s nothing to worry about.”

When asked about the validity of this newest lead, Amelia Bones — Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement — admitted that this lead is one they are “taking special care to investigate thoroughly.”

The article continued with Skeeter speculating exactly how and when Black planned to strike. Nothing but useless gossip.

A fire burned inside him. His stomach ached from its heat. Its smoke coated his throat, choking him. Calm down, this isn’t the place. He slowly brought his mind to heel. Black will get his when I’m ready, I swear it. 

“Nothing surprising, really,” Harry said, impressed by how calm he sounded. I doubt my friends buy it, but I’ve probably disappointed a bunch of eavesdroppers. 

Theodore took back the paper. “The ministry was expecting this. They wouldn’t have stuck a bunch of dementors here if they weren’t.”

“Here’s hoping.” Harry imagined a swarm of hooded figures descending on Black, imagined the laughter fading from his eyes, replaced by concern, then horror. I can dream.

Pansy cleared her throat. “If you boys are done dragging the mood down, I have gossip.”

Draco’s lip curled while both Crabbe and Goyle sighed. Theodore just rolled his eyes. Harry played along but secretly appreciated Pansy. She’s always been good at reading me and moving things along when they get tense or uncomfortable. He liked that about her; he had never considered how important it was until now.

“What is it this time?” Harry asked, exaggerating a sigh. “Has another couple gotten into the prefect’s bathroom?”

“Nothing like that,” she said with an evil-looking smile. Pansy dropped her voice to a whisper. “It’s about Daphne’s sister.”

Harry’s interest leapt. He had meant to keep tabs on Astoria but had lacked the time. He had thought about the idea more. She’s afraid that I’ll approach Astoria. Between the boggart and the way she’d stared at him during her sister’s sorting, it was the only logical answer. She should have been less obvious.

“Anything interesting?” 

“She’s having trouble in classes, but not in the normal way.”

Theodore scowled. “Not in the normal way? What is this, a riddle? What are you on about?”

Pansy smirked. “Last week, the first years were learning the Lumos Charm and something went wrong.”

“Wrong?” Draco asked. “What could possibly go wrong with a Lumos Charm?”

“She got the spell working, but it was apparently like lightning. The flash was so bright that a few firsties were sent to the hospital wing for headache cures and the person sitting across from her had to have their eyes looked over.”

That was odd. I guess her having trouble isn’t that weird. Daphne’s brilliance had never carried over to actually casting spells. Nothing like that ever happened, though. I don’t even know how that’s possible. Harry looked down the table and thought he saw her, but it was hard to tell; she was small and surrounded by larger students.

“That’s not all,” said Pansy, leaning forward in her chair. “Flitwick worked with her all of their next lesson and they couldn’t get anything different to happen. It just flashed super bright every time.”

That makes even less sense. A one-off outburst was one thing, but this was something different. I’ll have to ask Grindelwald about it. He considered what Grindelwald might have done in his place. He wouldn’t sit back and wait for answers — he would go after them.

“Pansy,” he whispered when Theodore and Draco began conversing about Quidditch, “since I probably won’t see her until tonight, can you get a note to Cassie for me?”

That night, in the Slytherin dorms…

Harry sagged into his four poster bed. Fridays were always long and tiring. There was Double Potions, midnight Astronomy, and lessons with Dumbledore, not to mention the use of his time turner. 

Harry sighed and laid his head back against his pillows, only for something bright to catch his eye. There was a bluish glow coming from his trunk. The journal.

Harry climbed from bed and pulled a sleek, black journal from his bag. It still reminds me of Riddle’s diary. Voldemort had sworn the only enchantments on it were ones to let them communicate discreetly. I have to take his word for it; if he wanted to hurt me, he could have done it three times this summer.

Harry flipped open the first page with trembling hands.

It’s been almost a month.

He frowned, but scribbled his reply. I’m not the best at communicating. 

And you think I am? Harry could practically feel the amusement in those words, but he ignored it and wrote his reply.

You’re the one who wanted communication. 

Bold, came the reply. It has been a long time since I’ve spoken with someone so blunt. Harry’s heart froze. Did I go too far? The words continued. It isn’t something I’ve ever encouraged in those who serve me, but it suits you and the relationship I hope we’ll have. 

Harry breathed a sigh of relief. I’ve never been good at holding my tongue, It got me in a fair bit of trouble before Hogwarts.

This next reply came faster.

We both know you would have been punished for existing in the presence of those creatures. You wouldn’t have denied that even when we first spoke.

No, I wouldn’t have. I’ve gotten a bit better at holding my tongue since Hogwarts, though.

The education system is quite proficient at quelling children’s spirits. I have wondered at times whether that’s the reason Binns remains employed. 

Where the hell did that come from? he thought, then wrote his reply. What do you mean?

You will not find another magical institution with a ghost in a position of authority. I could overlook this if Binns was competent, but everyone who’s passed through Hogwarts in the last century knows otherwise. 

Harry’s frown deepened. What does that have to do with muggles?

Everything. Classes in History of Magic are some of the only times the world cannot pretend that muggles have not wronged us. It is the one time during which their evils should be exposed. The problem is that those expositions happen in Binns’s class, where most students are more concerned with sleeping than they are with paying attention.

Harry winced. He had stopped attending Binns’s class last year and showed up only for compulsory tests and the like. 

It seems a bit much to believe, he wrote back after considering. It was an interesting idea, but an insane one. I know you hate Dumbledore, but I can’t imagine him doing that.

Can’t you? Harry could practically see Voldemort’s sneer. Can you think of no time when Dumbledore has held secrets from you? Can you think of no time when Dumbledore has ever bent or altered the truth? Can you think of nothing that Dumbledore has ever hidden?

Angry fires burned, fanned by the Dark Lord’s words. Neville’s own family doesn’t know how he died, he thought. I’ll bet Luna’s doesn’t either, plus there’s the prophecy. I only know what he says it means. Then there were the memories; the friendship with Grindelwald and the death of his sister. Maybe more. Who knows what I might learn from Grindelwald.

No, he wrote back, but that doesn’t mean I believe you. Dumbledore keeps Peeves around even though he’s a menace. Maybe it’s not that easy getting rid of ghosts.

It isn’t, but it is within Dumbledore’s capabilities. For all of his shortcomings, he is still the second greatest sorcerer alive. 

Will I ever be that confident? There was no doubt when Voldemort or Grindelwald spoke. It was like they knew the outcome of everything they talked about. I wish I was powerful enough to be that confident.

I doubt this conversation will go anywhere, Voldemort wrote, so let’s try something else. Have you further investigated the events of last June?

Harry frowned. What do you mean?

This reply came slowly. I expected better from you. 

That stung. Why? Why do I care what Voldemort thinks? Harry scowled and scribbled his next reply. What do you mean?

Two students have their minds altered by a powerful artifact and you’re not curious about the after-effects?

Harry’s eyes narrowed. I never really had much to do with the Carrows, so I honestly didn’t think about them. That was a crazy thought. How had he not considered them? 

An oversight. I would have at least expected you to show some interest in a place so dear to your house’s founder.

Harry read the words again but still missed their meaning. What is he talking about? Then it donned on him and he sat bolt upright, all weariness gone. The Chamber of Secrets — I haven’t even explored the Chamber of Secrets!

Author’s Endnote:

There really haven’t been many good cliffhangers yet this year. This one will have to do for now. Shame 🙁

Please read and review.

PS: The next password will be released in one week. THE NEXT TWENTY-TWO CHAPTERS ARE AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW FOR PATRONS! That’s the rest of Book 3, plus the first six chapters of Book 4. If you would like to read those chapters now, feel free to sign up to my Patreon page — https://patreon.com/ACI100

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