PoP 60

Perversion of Purity

Year 3: The Looming of Shadows

Chapter 18: Of Meekness and Mysteries

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, Luq707, Regress, and Thanos for their incredible work on this story.

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December 18, 1993
The Dungeons
9:53 PM

Harry’s heart thundered in his ears as the world blurred around him. The torches looked like blotchy streaks of colour as the world was veiled by the rushing of time. It was a disconcerting process. Harry had been sick more than once near the beginning of the school year and had resorted to closing his eyes, but he’d become accustomed to it since.

The blur subsided and Harry reached for his cloak, throwing it over himself. A wordless Homenum Revelio yielded nothing, but he knew that meant little. Black beat that spell once, there’s no reason he can’t do it again.

Harry looked up at the nearest clock; he had almost exactly an hour. I wonder if it has anything to do with him being an Animagus. I’ll have to ask Grindelwald.

He took a deep breath and cleared his thoughts, glancing down the corridor. Black had come from that direction. It looks like he came from the passage near the common room. Harry considered ambushing him there but decided against it. If I’m wrong, I’d miss him completely. He’ll be here anyway; this will work, it has to work.

A shiver ran up his spine. I probably shouldn’t be so excited about murder. Harry steeled his resolve and remembered what Grindelwald had told him.

“You take something from a person by betraying them. You leave behind a cold void that can never be replaced. What you wish for is the payment of a long-owed debt.”

It’s not murder, it’s revenge.

Harry fell into one of his meditative exercises and waited. It felt like time sped by while sitting in the void and letting its darkness swallow any thoughts or distractions.

He let go of his trance when he felt something up ahead and glanced up at the nearest clock. Finally.

A black shape patted across the stones, one paw still missing. I guess that sort of thing can’t be healed… Merlin, what spell did Snape use?

Black slunk into a pool of shadow, camouflaged and waiting. Clever. Harry cursed himself. He was right there; how did I not notice that?

Harry crept forward, hidden by his cloak and a dozen concealment charms. There should be no way he can see, hear, or smell me. He’s dead. His bloodlust sang and his body trembled with excitement.

Each step was like moving through quicksand or as if in a dream. The wait will be worth it.

Harry stopped just feet from Black, levelling his wand. He swallowed hard, ignoring the sick feeling in the back of his throat caused by just how hard his heart was pounding.

It’s not murder, it’s revenge.

“Ignis Potentia.”

The corridor remained quiet and free of smoke or fire. Not so much as a spark rose from Harry’s wand. What the hell? The dog’s ears pricked up. I’m silenced, that’s impossible.

“Ignis Potentia!” he whispered more fiercely, striking before Black bolted.

Nothing happened.

His heart beat faster. How’s that even possible? “Ossio Exploso! Ossio Fracto! Lacero! Diffindo! Stupefy! Petrificus Totalus!”

Spell after spell left Harry’s lips, but none of them yielded so much as a spark of magic.

Blind panic seized him. His breath would not come and his hand began shaking. The corridor spun around him, torches blurring past his eyes again. I can’t lose magic! I’d be no better than a muggle! I’d be helpless again! Bile rose in the back of his throat and a grey curtain crept across his vision. No! This is your chance! Get a grip!

Harry grasped desperately for Occlumency. The grey retreated, his heart slowed, and the panic dimmed. I haven’t lost magic, that’s not possible.


The Homenum Revelio Charm had yielded nothing and Black had heard him.

Those should be impossible too. What’s happening?

Black darted past Harry and out into the corridor, transforming behind his future self. Harry cursed and tried to aim from beneath his cloak. Magic flew back and forth between Black and his other self, but none left his wand.

What the hell? Can two of me not cast magic at the same time? Harry considered that, then realized it was madness. I’ve done that dozens of times. Had he broken the time turner? Had something gone wrong?

The time turner…

Harry pulled it from beneath his collar, spinning it a full rotation back. Black won’t get away, maybe this will fix it.

The corridor remained still but for Black’s fleeing form and the fire that surged from his past self’s wand. Shit! I forgot about the fire!

Harry sprinted after Black, fleeing the flames with tears in his eyes. Why do I keep failing?

December 19, 1993
The Hogwarts Express
11:00 AM

His second duel with Sirius Black had not remained a secret for long. Snape had discovered the scorched corridor and questioned him. A part of Harry had been cross that Snape just assumed it had been him, but it was difficult to be too vexed when his guess was right.

Rumours swept through the school like wildfire. The tales varied. Some said Professor Dumbledore had arrived on the scene and driven Black off himself, whilst others claimed Harry had beaten him handily. He had even heard a first year asking her friends if it was true that Black’s curse had rebounded the same way Voldemort’s had all those years ago.

None of it improved his mood.

At least my friends aren’t treating me like glass this time. That was a small mercy; the train ride home would have been unbearable if they had been.

Still, they were quiet and talked mostly among themselves, leaving him to his musings about magic, mysteries, and missed opportunities.

The previous night…

“You come to me of your own volition,” Grindelwald said once Harry appeared in the familiar tower room.

“I need answers.”

Grindelwald drummed his fingers against his knee. “This is reminiscent of the time we prepared you to face a basilisk.”

“I tried killing Black.”


Harry slammed his fist against the cell’s stone wall and winced as hot tendrils of pain stabbed at his knuckles and snaked up his arm. “He got away again.”

“You were not yet ready.”

“It wasn’t about that.”


“It wasn’t!” Deafening silence rang through the cell like the tolling of death bells.

I just shouted down one of the most feared men in history. “Sorry,” Harry muttered, “I—”

“Did well.”

Harry looked up. “What?”

“You are learning. I have told you time and time again that meekness will get you nowhere. The only place for it is in the face of Voldemort, and only for a time. You must act decisively; it is the most commanding you have been in my presence and is a valuable step forward. Continue.”

Harry shoved a hundred useless thoughts aside. Stay on topic. “It wasn’t about me not being ready. Black attacked me and I fought him off with the fire spell from Dumbledore. I don’t think he was injured, but he ran.

“I used the time turner,” Harry went on. “I wanted to ambush him under my cloak and curse him before he even saw me.”

“An admirable plan.”

“Something went wrong. When I travelled back, none of my spells worked. None of the curses I used did anything; I couldn’t even feel the magic flowing.”

Something dire flashed across Grindelwald’s face. Glad to know I’m not the only one who realizes how awful that would be. “You are unable to cast magic?”

Harry shook his head. “I tried again when I got back to the dorm and it worked fine. Something just went wrong down in the corridor, but I don’t get what. I even used Occlumency to make sure my intent was right. I just don’t get it. I thought maybe it was the time turner. I tried travelling back again when none of my spells worked, but nothing happened when I turned it.”

Grindelwald’s fingers continued their drumming. “Fascinating.”

“What’s fascinating?” Harry snapped. “I don’t think it’s fascinating at all; that was my chance.”

“Did you remove the cloak before casting magic in your dormitory?”

Harry frowned. What the hell does that have to do with anything? “Well… yeah, I guess I did.”

“And when you travelled back in time to attack Sirius Black — did you turn the device before or after donning the cloak?”

What difference does that make? Harry thought for a moment. “Before. I think I put on the cloak once I travelled back an hour.”

“You have never before cast magic whilst beneath that cloak, have you?” He has an idea. Harry could hear it in his voice. It sounds like he’s excited. Figures, more focused on magic than anything.

“I can’t remember. I’ve never really thought about it before.”

“Tell me, is there anything unusual about your cloak?”

“It’s old,” he admitted. “Dumbledore sent it to me at Yule in first year. He said it was my father’s but that he’d borrowed it before my parents died. I didn’t really think anything of it, but apparently cloaks don’t last that long.”

“I have never heard of a cloak lasting longer than thirteen years. Your father attended Hogwarts more than fifteen years ago.” Harry nodded. “Summon the cloak.”

“What do you mean ‘summon it’?”

“Envision it clearly. Imagine every detail, imagine its fabric running through your fingers. It will come; not the real thing, but an imitation suitable for my purposes.”

Harry closed his eyes and thought, feeling the cloak appear in his hands a moment later.

“May I?” Grindelwald asked, unmasked hunger in his eyes. Something’s really weird here. He hesitated, then passed it over. It’s not the real thing. It’s not like he can use it.

Grindelwald fingered the silk, bent low over the cloak’s back. “How improbable,” he whispered, his nose just an inch away from a faded symbol. A sphere of magical light appeared and hovered above the cloak. “Do you recognize it?” Grindelwald asked, running his fingers over the marking.

Harry squinted. “Not really. My eyesight isn’t great and it’s so faded.”

“We will attend to your eyes another time.” Grindelwald looked up, unmasked glee swimming in eyes rippling with tears. Numb shock gripped him, driving everything else away. Grindelwald is crying… Gellert Grindelwald is crying. “Many will tell you this mark is mine, but they are foolish and know nothing. This is the Peverells’ mark — a mark synonymous with three items so powerful, they fill the pages of legends.”

Breathlessness seized him. Harry felt numb; it took him several tries to speak. “You’re not saying—”

“This is Ignotus Peverell’s cloak. I have underestimated its power.” He smiled, a smile free from years of prison and trauma. “How foolish I was. Albus and I never sought the cloak; we could both become invisible already. How little we knew — how different things could have been.”

Back in the present…

A Deathly Hallow. I only ever thought about the wand. It was odd, really, seeing as he had a cloak. And not just any cloak…

“I suspect it deafens magic,” Grindelwald had said. “I have little to guess by, but it is logical. If it is to hide you completely, it should protect even from external magic. I do not believe any spell could find or harm you whilst under that cloak.”

“But that doesn’t explain why I couldn’t cast magic.”

“Magic is about balance. It does not endlessly give without taking in return. I believe you could walk through Fiendfyre whilst beneath that cloak, but in return for such power, you cannot harm those you walk so silently by. Any magic dies when it touches that cloak; whether from outside or within.”

That thought made him shiver. I think I’ll pass on testing it with Fiendfyre, but there are other ways.

The pale clouds darkened and snow began falling about halfway back to London. The trolley came soon after, but Harry stayed seated.


He jolted upright. I didn’t even realize anyone else had stayed. “What?”

Pansy was standing between him and the door, her hands on her hips as she frowned down at him. “You’ve been quiet all day. What’s wrong?”

Harry grasped for an explanation. Not Black, she’d start treating me like glass again. “It’s just… weird to be going somewhere for the holidays.” He screwed up his face. “I never thought I’d be able to; I always thought it would be Hogwarts or the muggles.”

Pansy’s own face twisted with emotion. “Oh, Harry,” she leant down and wrapped her arms around him.

Harry leant closer. This actually feels nice. He tried to look overwhelmed and buried his face in her hair. The sweet smell of cinnamon surrounded him. And her hair smells nice.

“We can do this more often, you know,” Pansy whispered. “All we have to do is—” A throat cleared behind them and Pansy squeaked and stumbled back. It was cold without her there. “Don’t do that!” she cursed, rounding on Draco and Theodore, who had re-entered the compartment.

Draco sneered. “Sorry. I hadn’t realized I was interrupting anything. I’ll be more careful in the future, not to—”

“Drop it, Draco.”

Draco closed his mouth and took a seat. What the… It took Harry a moment to realize it was him who had spoken. The words had just come.

I’m sick of the jealousy, but I never thought he would actually listen.

“Sorry,” Draco muttered. Theodore raised an eyebrow and Pansy beamed at him while Harry considered what just happened.

“I have told you time and time again that meekness will get you nowhere. The only place for it is in the face of Voldemort, and only for a time. You must act decisively.”

Grindelwald was right.

Meanwhile, in another compartment…

“Get away from him!” Crookshanks hissed, skidding across the compartment before crouching at Hermione’s feet, glaring at Scabbers, who trembled in Ron’s lap. “I said get away!”

“Ron! Don’t be mean to him!”

“Then keep him the hell away from Scabbers!”

“He’s a cat, Ron, he—”

“I don’t care!” Hermione quieted. “I’ve told you over and over again to keep him away from Scabbers! Why don’t you just listen?”

Hermione’s cheeks flushed. “Listen? Me? You’re accusing me of not listening? You—”

“Hey,” said Cedric, stepping between them. “Relax, you two.”

“Relax?” Hermione shouted up at him. “Ron is abusing my pet!”

Ron bristled. “I’m not—”

“Hermione,” said Cedric, “how would you feel if Ron had a dog who kept trying to eat Crookshanks?”

Her blush deepened. “Upset.”

Cedric nodded patiently. “And what would you do if that dog tried eating Crookshanks?”

“Well, I guess I’d try and stop it, but—”

“There you go!” Ron shouted, pounding a fist against his knee.

“Just because you’re right doesn’t mean you have to be a twat about it,” said Susan.

“Oi! Watch who you’re calling a twat.”

Susan just crossed her arms. “I won’t have any reason to call you a twat if you’re not being one.”

Ron grasped for words but found none. He looked around the room for aid, but none came. Hermione’s lips twitched upwards despite their argument and Ron could not help but smile too.

About two hours later…

“Any idea why the train’s stopped?” asked Pansy. No one answered, but everyone looked at Harry. When did that happen? I’m usually the one asking questions.

Harry glanced out the window. Dusk had fallen and the snow had stopped. Wait… that doesn’t make sense. It’s too early for dusk. Cold seeped in through the window, cutting to the bone and leaving behind an aching chill. Oh, Merlin…


Someone screamed from out in the corridor.

“Crabbe!” Draco leapt from his seat, but Harry was already out the door.

People were caught out in the corridor, cowering against the walls or staggering back to their compartments as the dementor glided towards a large boy curled up on the floor.

He’s not the only one. Students were strewn about the corridor, frozen and too weak to move.


Harry stepped over Crabbe, standing between him and the dementor with his wand drawn.

The hooded head loomed above him, but Harry stared up with a level gaze, ignoring all the things that could go wrong even as his bones ached with cold.

This is stupid! What if this dementor’s different? What if it doesn’t just go away? It’s only happened twice, it’s not like the pattern is for sure.

The dementor’s hood dipped. Harry gawked as it turned, gliding back down the corridor and towards the train’s exit. Did it just… bow?

“I have told you time and time again that meekness will get you nowhere. The only place for it is in the face of Voldemort, and only for a time. You must act decisively.”

It’s more than that — something’s definitely going on. He glanced back at his friends, all of whom were pale. I can think about it later.

“Get him up,” Harry told Draco, Theodore, and Goyle, “we’re going back to our compartment.”

The three of them hoisted Crabbe and dragged him back down the corridor. Harry walked at their head, dazed. Things really are changing.

That evening…

Hermione’s fork clinked against her plate, mishandled in her shaking hands. The dementor’s cold lingered even now.

I can hardly imagine how bad it is for Ron. She suppressed a grimace. Thinking of Ron made her think about the argument, which felt even worse with Crookshanks curled and purring at her feet.

Her mother set down her fork. “What’s wrong?”

Oh no… “Nothing.”

Her father snorted. “Dear, you’re not exactly subtle. What is it?”

Hermione chewed her lip. “It’s… a bunch of things.”

“Like?” her mother coaxed.

Hermione took a deep breath. “My best friend is upset at Crookshanks because he won’t leave his rat alone, the Ministry of Magic let dementors on the grounds and near students, gave two of us time turners, aren’t fair to muggleborns, have a bunch of ridiculously outdated laws, sanction a sport whose rules are stupid, let a ghost teach History of Magic, cover up everything going on at the school up—”

“Dear,” said her father, rubbing at his temples. “You’re using a lot of terms we’re not familiar with and talking very fast. Can you slow down?”

Hermione took a deep breath, face flushed and heart pounding. I hate it! I hate it so much! Why can’t things just make sense? Why does everything need to be awful and why has it not been fixed?

She gathered her thoughts, still hot with rage, and began again more slowly.

Author’s Endnote:

I am especially interested in people’s reactions to my take on the cloak. I have seen it shred through wards countless times in countless different stories, but it always just ends up being broken and cheapening the arcs it is involved in. I think that adding a wrinkle which disadvantages the wearer balances things out nicely while maintaining its power and prestige, but let me know what you all think.

Please read and review.

Thank you as always to my lovely Discord Editors, blood and Idefix, for their corrections/contributions on this chapter.

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

PS: The next chapter will be posted next Saturday, February 18th, 2023. ALL DISCORD MEMBERS CAN READ THE NEXT EIGHT CHAPTERS RIGHT NOW! THE NEXT TWENTY-THREE CHAPTERS CAN BE READ RIGHT NOW BY ANYONE WHO SIGNS UP TO MY PATREON PAGE! That is the entirety of Book 3, plus the first fourteen chapters of Book 4.

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