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slytherpuffrules: Thank you. I like to think that chapter was where Harry showed his true colors.

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Guest (Chapter 16): Well, here you go, then!

January 13th, 1994.

I returned to Durmstrang two days ago, and I was quite pleased with my work during the holidays. I had read more books with family magic in them, and had strengthened most of the manors wards to the point where it would take a Mage to break them. I even grew my power by three-percent, and had plans to grow it much further. When I offered to improve the warding on the manor I never thought it would be so beneficial, but when I discovered how demanding it was in terms of power, I decided to improve the warding of anything I could. Which brought me to now, I was waiting outside Highmaster Karkaroffs office, I had offered to improve Durmstrang's wards, by putting thirty-percent of my power into them every three days, and he naturally wanted to meet in person to discuss it.

"Potter," His assistant said, getting my attention. "The Highmaster will see you now." I nodded, and rose to enter his office.

"Welcome, Mr. Potter." Karkaroff greeted me, in jovial manner.

"Thank you, Highmaster." I replied respectfully.

"I've been encouraged by my two Dark Arts Professors to allow you to improve the power of the schools wards, and I take it they advised you to offer. I have no problem with this, they cited your defeat of them and Professor Megalos as evidence of your power and skill. I will grant you unrestricted access to the schools ward stone, but I want something in return..." Karkaroff said.

"And what is it you want in return?" I asked, suspiciously.

"I'm currently fighting against an age restriction for the Triwizard Tournament and trying to get a dueling tournament for the other students or even champions from the main tournament to participate in." Karkaroff said, getting my undivided attention and interest. "I would like you to represent us as our Champion, ideally in both, or at the least, one of them. I am doing all I can to get my two best students as potential champions. With your abilities, you could guarantee Durmstrang a victory and humiliate Hogwarts; getting revenge against your former school by doing so." He added, with a cruel smile.

"I accept your terms, Highmaster, and wish you luck on your goals. Out of curiosity, who is involved in the negotiations?"

"The Headmasters of the three schools and Heads of their Departments of International Magical Cooperation." He replied.

"Ah. Sadly, I only have leverage over Dumbledore, though I heard Olympe Maxime is a half-giant. I'll write Dumbledore a letter, and see if I can get anything incriminating on Crouch." Karkaroff looked thrilled by this turn of events, and with the information I gave him.

"Thank you, Mr. Potter. I see that I chose wisely. I'll let you go write your letter," Karkaroff said, being polite, but making his dismissal clear.

"I'll do that, Highmaster, and thank you." I said, before exiting his office.

I began my walk back to my room, I had work to do.

February 15th, 1994.

One month gone, and my plans hadn't all went well. I tried blackmailing Dumbledore, and Dumbledore told my parents. I got a letter from them telling me to stop, and I obeyed because I was a good son. I just exposed some of Dumbledore's dirty secrets, specifically the Grindelwald related ones and he quickly lost his position as Supreme Mugwump. For some strange reason he didn't even bother denying the truth, and just took the loss.

I had managed to continue my incredible progress in my classes, and had taken the position as the best student. I had begun putting more power into the wards and had removed redundant and wasteful wards and added a few more wards while still leaving myself a way into Durmstrang. I could tell this project would be incredibly advantageous for me, I had grown my power by nearly seven-percent. I eventually decided that even at fifty-percent power I was more than a match for any student or teacher here, so I put fifty-percent of my power into the wards every four days. The benefits greatly outweighed the risks, and I was already reaping the benefits.

I was calmly channeling my magic into the wardstone, when I heard foot steps behind me.

"Hello, Mr. Potter," I heard Highmaster Karkaroffs voice say. I turned my head to face him.

"Hello, Highmaster," I said, respectfully. I decided to stop channeling power into wards, it wasn't safe to do while distracted

"How is your project going?" He asked, conversationally.

"Very well!" I said enthusiastically. "I removed redundant and wasteful wards, to free up more power to be used wisely. I reinforced the wards against apparition and attack first, both would require a Mage to break. Over the next term I hope to get them all of similar power or better; I'm working hard to get them so powerful it would take an Archmage or even a Magus to break, and Durmstrang's ward stone is much larger than that of Hogwarts, so it can easily handle it. I've also added wards that can defend against muggle weaponry too."

"What do you mean by redundant and wasteful?" Karkaroff asked, somewhat angrily.

"Two wards against Apparition, for example; only one has an effect, but the second drained power for no real reason. I found over ten of them, and removed nine of them." I explained, and he calmed down.

"Ah. I thought you might have endangered Durmstrang's security." That wasn't an apology, but, oh well.

"Understandable, but I wouldn't do that. If the wards fell, it would damage my reputation." I said, causing him to smirk.

"I came here because I have good news. I finally managed to convince the other heads to agree with having the Dueling Tournament, without that idiotic age restriction. I'm also working on removing it on the actual Triwizard Tournament so you can enter and win it for Durmstrang, but it's not looking like I will be successful." Karkaroff said, with a pleased smile.

"Great! Maybe I can still enter the tournament and beat Hogwarts twice, but, even I don't, I can still do it once. Thank you, Highmaster."

"You're welcome. All I ask in return is that you win."

"I will do everything I can, Highmaster. I won't need to resort to cheating considering the power and skill disparity between the Hogwarts students and I. Victory should still be a certainty."

"I agree. I will continue my efforts to make you our sole champion."

"What about Viktor Krum?" I asked, knowing that he greatly favored the idiot, well I call him an idiot, he's a slightly above average student who had trouble with Potions.

"You have a much greater chance of victory, and much greater skill. You're the best student to ever attend Durmstrang, Mr. Potter, and once you are ready you can make your accomplishments public. Now, I'll leave you to your work." He said, before exiting the ward room.

March 30th, 1994.

I had continued my work on Durmstrang's wards, and had experienced a power growth of seven-percent. I just wished that my power was easier to grow. I missed being able to get fifteen or twenty percent growth in a month, and had asked Calypso if she had anymore friends to send my way. She said she didn't. I eventually just sucked it up, and tolerated my slower progress. I knew it would get harder, but I now dreaded how slow it would be as I continued getting stronger.

I had even taken to channeling sixty-percent of my power into the wards, it was almost a mistake. My body had become accustom to recovering fifty-percent of my magic faster, but not sixty, so I began training my body to recover faster. The rituals that enabled that were far too dark for my tastes and caused some degenerative effects on the body and psyche, so I began the training process. The strengthening my own capabilities so they could support a faster recovery. The training would take years to complete, but the benefits were worthwhile and would manifest in as little as a month. I had already begun noticing slight improvements to my recovery rate, though they were tiny and barely perceptable, and I only noticed it because I was looking for it. I was pleased to find that I already had a great natural recovery rate, no doubt from the intense training I put myself through.

It was time for me to visit my grandparents, though, so I should pay closer attention. I would hate to trip and fall and humiliate myself.

I knocked on their office door.

"Come in!" Dorea called out.

I obeyed, and entered their shared office.

"Hello, Harry," Dorea said, pulling me into a hug. My family had gotten fairly close during the holidays and spent hours just talking and bonding together, though the hug still felt kinda forced, but I wasn't going to say anything and hurt her feelings.

"Hey, grandma." I said, returning the hug.

"How are you, Harry?" Charlus asked, with a smile.

"I'm doing great, and you two?"

"We're fine. What brings you here?"

"I was wondering if either of you could cast the Spirit bonding spell, so I could check for new animal spirits. I'm hoping for one that would allow me to fly with Zeus."

"I will." Dorea said, in reply.

"Great! Thanks!" I said, before sitting down and casting several temporary wards. They looked amused, I just hoped they were amused by my eagerness. I didn't want to embarrass myself.

Dorea quickly cast the spell, and told me to begin meditating. I obeyed and quickly closed my eyes, emptying my mind of all thought and emotion.

I'm not sure how long it took, but I eventually appeared in a field and saw one form. I focused on it, and saw a massive gleaming dragon: a Ukrainian Ironbelly. After observing it for a moment, I had only one thought: either that was my new Animagus form, or it ate it. I approached it calmly, suppressing my fear and even maintaining eye contact.

When I got halfway there, I stopped and began the waiting period; staring at the Dragon spirit, while still suppressing my fear.

I had no idea how long I had waited, but eventually the dragon approached me. It stared at me one last time, before merging with me. I knew that I would never understand this event. I was glad to have a dragon Animagus, but I expected to be tested by it or have difficulty integrating it into my being. I exited the meditation.

When I opened my eyes, I saw my grandparents reading. I dispelled the wards and rose from my seat.

"How did it go, Harry?" Charlus asked.

"I got a form that could fly. I'm pretty sure the power requirements would put me near magical exhaustion, though." I said, piquing their interest. "My form is a Ukrainian Ironbelly. It will require a lot of power to transform into. Most likely thirty percent of my full strength. I'll have to be incredibly careful and will need to continue building my power. I may even wait until the end of term."

"That would be a good idea," Dorea said, referring to me waiting. Charlus nodded in agreement.

"Then I'll wait..." I said, though I wished I could attempt the transformation immediately.

April 30th, 1994.

I didn't wait, and I was lucky that I was away from an occupied area and was a master Occlumens. Controlling a magical form was incredibly difficult, because you had to fight the will of a more intelligent being. I nearly failed, only managing to take control after several minutes of intense mental combat. I hadn't attempted the transformation since then, but had focused my efforts on building my magical power. At least, that had went well.

Another seven-percent power growth, and it had become much more difficult. My regularly pouring sixty-percent of my ever growing power into the wards had quickly gotten them to a level that would take an Archmage to break. My power had only grown by a mere twenty-five-percent. There was a time I could get that in a month! I was being driven mad wondering why I couldn't get even eight-percent growth. My only consolation was that I had other places I could ward and grow my power further. Well, that, and my new Animagus form.

My recovery rate had also continued to improve, but the gains were small. I expected such small gains, it should improve soon and continue quick improvements until I could recover thirty percent faster.

The slow progress in increasing my power led me to research improvements of my Ritual of Sacrifice. I knew it was the easy way and involved murder, but I would only kill people who really deserved it.

As I thought back over the last month, I was on my way to a meeting room. All my hard work and general awesomeness had garnered me the attention of the War Mages: the ICWs Super Elite Combat Operatives and some were even Generals that lead armies against major threats. I had very little interest in becoming one, but decided to give them a chance to persuade me. As such, I agreed to meet their representatives.

I entered the meeting room and observed a man who was roughly middle-aged, but with magic who really knew. He was about six foot tall and with a runners build, he was clean shaven and radiated more power than even Dumbledore. If I had to guess he was a mid-level Grand Sorcerer, and Dumbledore was merely a low-level Grand Sorcerer. The other man was obviously of Indian descent and appeared to be older than Dumbledore. He had white hair and a beard, and was even taller than the other guy and had obsidian eyes glowing with power and I could tell he had it to spare. He was an Archmage, and the strongest in the room, and quite possibly even the world.

"Welcome, Mr. Potter." The middle aged man said, in a deep voice which hinted of his French nationality. "I am Cort Delacour, and this is my colleague Advik Patil. I represent the European War Mages, and Advik represents the Asian War Mages. We will be conducting your interview. Are you ready to begin?"

"Yes, I am."

"Why do you want to join the War Mages?" Delacour asked.

"I don't. Serving an organization that supports the government that oppresses us, the ICW, doesn't appeal to me. I came here willing to be convinced otherwise, though." Delacour frowned, and marked something on a piece of paper.

"What are your goals in life?" Delacour asked.

"To become a Magus, and to master most if not all aspects of magic."

"What are your views on Grindelwald and his revolution?" He asked. He knew I associated with Grindelwald supporters...


"That his cause was justified, but his methods were pure stupidity and impractical for muggle subjugation. He never would have won, he would have merely exposed us and gotten us all killed. He lacked the necessary understanding of muggles to succeed in his goals." I thought I briefly saw some anger on his face, but he quickly wrote something on his paper.

"If you were going to conquer the world, how would you do it?" Delacour asked.

"Answering that would be telling." I replied, with an overly innocent smile and caused Advik Patil to laugh.

"My grand-daughter was right about you, Mr. Potter. You are funny!" Patil said, in a strong voice that hinted of his great power.

"So your grand-daughter is Padma?" I asked politely, he nodded. "I thought so. We used to be quite close, but my lack of interpersonal skills may have destroyed our friendship. I forgot to write and keep in touch. I was fixated on learning and growing my power." He marked something else on his piece of paper. "It's a good thing I didn't want the job, or I would be really concerned about he's writing."

"Why do you not want to join the War Mages?" Patil asked.

"For the reasons previously stated. And so I can spend more time studying, spending time with family and friends, and working towards my own goals and interests. I believe that the ICW is a bandage covering up the problem. We cannot hide forever, and when we are exposed we would be destroyed and earth would probably be destroyed with us. I cannot in good conscience serve an institution that fails to prevent all of this. While I'm not arrogant enough to believe I can oppose or even defeat the ICW and all the muggles, I will not become part of the problem."

"You are not what we are looking for in a War Mage, but you may be re-evaluated in the future." Delacour replied.

"I just might cry over this heartbreaking rejection." I said, sarcastically.

"Then I'll have the record reflect that." Delacour said smugly, tired of my behavior and insults. I summoned the paper to me, and quickly burned it.

"What record?" I asked, in false confusion. Delacour rose to attack and found my wand pointed at him.

"Calm yourself, Cort. The record was just going to be put into storage anyway." Patil said, sternly. "He doesn't want to join, and is entitled to his beliefs. You were going to humiliate him, and he prevented it. Mr. Potter, you are free too go." I nodded, and rose from my seat.

"It was nice meeting you both." I said, before quickly exiting.

I decided I would use my new Animagus form to continue my training. I needed more power and to master my new form, and I could do both at the same time.

June 1st, 1994.

Another month gone, and my incredible progress in my classes had continued. I tested into the second year of my mastery studies of Alchemy and Ancient Studies, and the teachers were shocked until my ICW representatives pointed out that I was Harry Potter. I was rather pleased with that, apparently greatness was now common and to be expected of me. I was more than willing to rise the occasion, at least as long as it benefited me.

My power had grown by an amazing ten percent, and I was able to safely transform back and forth once and was working on being able to do it twice. I learned that using my forms ability to breathe fire quickly burned up my magic too. I saved that option as a potential way to supplement the training method with. I still needed another way to build up my magic further, and my current training wouldn't have an effect for very much longer. I knew, I would have to consider ancient or higher forms of magic. I finally finished reading all the books in my treasure room, and hadn't found anything that could be of use to me. I just decided to relocate the books back home, and quite a lot of the actual treasure. I was very thankful for my magically expanded trunks, and Grindelwald having everything ready to be moved at a moments notice.

I was just walking out of my room, my things and my treasure flawlessly concealed, and had the misfortune of seeing my

former friends: Abigail Abegg, Aindrea Aesalon, and Ajax Xanthopoulus.

"Hello, Harry," Abigail said nervously. I began draining the knowledge of why they were here.

"What do the three of you want?" I asked, in annoyance.

"We're sorry, Harry, and we want to go back to being friends again." Abigail said, with believable sadness. A lie! They just want me to be the next Dark Lord, and are willing to enslave me to do it! They believe the Athens Academy actually retaliated, and are afraid! They want me as protection! These idiots even thought a mere Mage would be enough!

"I was going to go home hours early, but I suppose we can talk." I said, before opening the door and gesturing them in. The idiots entered, not even keeping their guard up. I quickly stunned the three of them, and entered my room and closed the door. I quickly began draining their knowledge...members of their surviving families, locations of their homes, and weaknesses. I surprisingly wiped out the Aesalon and Xanthopoulus families, except for the two in front me, and they had been living with the Abegg's. I quickly disintegrated them both, and then cast an overpowered cleaning charm on my room and cleansed the room of traces of my recent curse.

I hit Abigail with a Coma Curse, and went to retrieve their property.

Fifteen minutes later...

I had finally packed all their things, and even had to retrieve hidden objects; most of which were illegal and useless to me and were promptly destroyed. I left my things here, disillusioned Abigail and myself and exited my room. I had to wipe out her family, and could only enter their property in the company of a family member. I began memorizing the location of their property, I wanted to disapparate as quietly as possible.

When I exited Durmstrang's wards, I gathered my power and concentration and disapparated.

I arrived moments later with a bang, and quickly dropped Abigail and put up my own wards to prevent escape. I bound her and waited for her family.

They arrived moments later, and I went on the attack. I used every bit of my skill, and every advantage. I was thankful that Voldemort had sacrificed dozens of humans and took their speed. I had quickly incapacitated her grandparents, her parents, and other family members.

Once I verified they were all in comas, I began casting the Fidelius Charm. It was a nice home after all, and I had some plans and this place would be incredibly useful.

When I finished, I entered the house and spent the next hour killing house-elves, dangerous pets, and looting their library. I also confirmed the ward stone could handle wards around Mage level.

When I finally finished, having placed wards against house-elves, phoenixes, and other forms of travel; I began drawing the improved ritual circle.

When I finished, I placed Abigails grandfather in the center of the ritual circle.

"Potentiam, tuam accipio, ut mihi." I said, emotionlessly. I felt foreign knowledge enter my mind, as a wave of energy was released from my sacrifice and was absorbed into the wards. I felt his knowledge enter my mind, and become mine. I felt my body absorb copies of his skill and experience, and then I passed out.

When I awoke, I noticed that the improved ritual was a complete success. It copied his knowledge, skill, and experience and then sacrificed his life-force and soul to transfer his magical strength to me. It wasn't enough though, he was barely even a Sorcerer anymore.

I spent the next hour repeating it on the entire family, and when I was done, I only had to grow my power another three-fold to become an Archmage. I knew there was a downside to this though, it would be even harder for me to train now, and just might drive me insane.

I spent another hour seizing their other properties, slaying house-elves, and warding the properties to my liking. I even discovered that they had a family castle that could support greater, but still not very impressive, wards.

Having achieved my hastily formed goals, I destroyed the bodies and returned to Durmstrang.