Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse @ghostandmiracle42
Act III, Chapter 1

Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse

Act III: The Council of Fire

The Gemini Curse has been lifted! But Harry and Ginny remain trapped inside the City with terrible foes of their own making. When they finally escape, they return to a world very different to the one they left. But while Harry and his friends embark on their World Tour for the Triwizard Tournament, dark forces are stirring in Britain. Who put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire? What is Draco Malfoy hiding? Who is William O'Neill? What will the Second and Third Tasks entail? And what is the Council of Fire?

Updated Disclaimer:

Note: So, there's been some confusion on our end as to when we were supposed to be coming back. Crystal said in the Post Credit that it was the 17th, but Ghost and I kept telling people in the comments and reviews that we came back on the 14th. So, we've compromised, and are bringing it out now instead.

Ghost and Miracle rushed into the gallery weighed down by heavy steel and leather plate armour. Emblazoned across both their chests was the image of a wolf with snarling jaws. Miracle's hair, usually hanging loose and full of volume, was caked in dirt and tied back with a piece of leather cord. Hanging from both their belts were simple and rather dull looking metal swords. Ghost also had an axe strapped to his back and a helmet under his arm.

"Excuse me, sorry, pardon me, coming through," they whispered as they noisily moved through the row of chairs, ignoring the huffs and grumbles from the people seated within. When they finally reached their seats towards the left-hand side of the third row, they sunk down into the leather armchairs with relieved sighs.

"Your late," Oracle said with a raised eyebrow from the seat next to them. She was a short girl, about fifteen, with braided blood red hair hanging off her shoulder. She wore a pair of faded blue geans and a green tank top with a picture of Orlando Bloom as Legolas and the words "He's my Elf on the Shelf," on the front.

"Well excuse us. You're just lucky we got here at all. Only got the message about five minutes ago," Miracle grumbled, crossing her arms and pouting.

"Where have you guy's even been anyway?" Brawn – a heavy set dark-skinned man in his late thirties wearing simple surf-brand clothes – asked from the row in front of them.

"Westeros Duty," Ghost said, whipping the sweat from his brow with a gauntlet covered hand.

"Owch," a tall blonde called Cygnet said, wincing in sympathy, "I had Westeros Duty two years ago. I died twice before the bosses pulled me out."

"Only twice?" Oracle asked, a mischievous sparkle in her eye. Cygnet punched her in the shoulder.

"What? You shat yourself when Lazuli and Spectre tricked us into visiting the 'Shining'. At least I didn't squeal like a girl when I got decapitated," Oracle pointed out, clearly savouring her friends fury.

"At least I survived the 'Shining,'" Cygnet grumbled.

"Didn't survive Game of Thrones though," Oracle said cheerfully.

"It's not my fault I didn't know not to trust Queen Cersei. I've never seen Game of Thrones!"

"Um, for those of us who are new here, what's Westeros Duty?" Garnet asked, leaning over from behind them as he brushed his dark brown fringe behind pointed ears.

"We keep an eye on Westeros, both show and book continuum, to make sure no one gets any ideas and goes changing the official story after it's finished. Yoda and Annabeth set it up after the whole Harry Potter debacle," Miracle supplied as the rest of the group shuddered. The Potter issue was not something anyone enjoyed having brought up.

"Shut up you lot, it's starting!" Lazuli hissed from the front row. Everyone quickly obliged, staring down into the large chamber below them.

The chamber itself was circular in design, with a mosaic mural depicting thousands of heroic characters tracing the entire wall. Directly across from them was an image of the Avengers battling the mad Titan Thanos, with depictions of Luke Skywalker holding a lightsabre aloft and George Washington crossing the Delaware on the left, and Frodo throwing the One Ring into Mount Doom on the right. Eight statues stood at intervals around the room: a majestic dragon caught mid-flight; a woman wreathed in flames that depicted a phoenix; a pack of large wolves surrounding a flowering tree; a panther prowling across a field; a floating eye; a hammer trapped in stone; a bolt of lightning falling from the sky; a man and woman, swords in one hand, wands in the other, standing back to back on a rocky field; and a shield with a single star emblazoned across the front. On the floor of the room were several seats of similar designs, all looking inwards towards a slightly raised circular platform in the rooms centre. The great hall was illuminated by dozens of tiny balls of light, that despite their brightness were not uncomfortable to look at in the slightest. The roof was a transparent window that looked out onto the night sky, a full moon shining it's rays down on them from above.

Only a quarter of the seats were actually occupied today. The rest were filled by holograms, people reporting in from across the Orrery of Worlds who couldn't make it to the Realm of the Travellers in time for the summit. Miracle could see Master Yoda and the Doctor having a whispered discussion with Magneto and Marco Polo, while Tyrion Lannister chatted amicably with Nick Fury and Tom Clansy.

Once the room was silent, a man who was too far away from them to see clearly, stood up and stepped onto the raised platform in the centre.

"Welcome ladies and gentlemen, I'm your host for the 631'st Summit of the Travellers Council, Stephen Colbert." Dozens of people broke out into applause, Ghost and Miracle included.

"I love it when Colbert hosts. The guy is hilarious," Oracle whispered.

"I don't like him," Brawn said, though whether it was to disagree with Oracle or because he actually disliked the comedian was up for debate.

"The Travellers own none of the recognisable franchises seen in their works, but the Alcheringan Characters are our own creations."

"Wow, a lot of stuff happened since our last gathering a few months ago, so we certainly have a lot to talk about. But let's not beat around the bush. We're all really here for one reason, and it's not to hear me speak. We're here to determine what side the Travellers are going to take in the Trial of Clara Hunter."

Stay tuned to the Disclaimer for more on the Trial of Clara Hunter.

Game of Thrones Season 8 premieres tonight on HBO.

Act III, Chapter 1: All's Fair in Love and War

The Rocks, Sydney – May 31st, 1993

Two simultaneous 'CRACKS!' rent the air on the sidewalk of George Street in the dead of night.

George Street was a very well-to-do street in the town of Sydney, Australia. It ran right through the centre of the historical district of the city, The Rocks, which lay in the shadow of the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, directly opposite the Opera House. The community was quite famous for its old pubs and rather expensive restaurants and hotels. It also roped in a large number of Tourists, thanks to the open-air markets held there most weekends, so odd visitors were not entirely uncommon. And a good thing too, as the residents of the Rocks will tell you, because it was not uncommon to see very odd-looking people among the old Victorian style buildings.

Keeping to the shadows of the old colonial brick buildings, two cloaked figures stepped into a small cobblestone alley off the side of the usually busy thoroughfare. Ignoring the entrance to the outdoor pedestrian shopping mall, the duo followed the lane to a sheer rock-cliff face. At the top of the cliff, numerous cars could be heard as they drove onto and off the Harbour Bridge. The dead-end alley was rather noticeable, as the cliff face was covered in greenery. Moss clung from the greyish red stone, and potted plants lined the sidewalk. The only light in the small alleyway came from two tall black lamp posts positioned at the end of the road, right in front of the cliff.

The duo walked down the cobblestone street and stepped between the two lamp posts.

And then, as if by magic, a stone archway formed within the cliff face, the rock within the arch seemingly replaced by what could only be described as a shimmering transparent barrier. The archway itself was etched with odd writing. The first set of writing was in a series of symbols so worn by time none could tell what they said. The second set was clearly Latin, though anyone who attempted to translate the writing would find that it matched the third inscription, which read in English, "Beware of Stonefish. They hurt like a bitch."

The two figures, paying no head to the inscription, stepped through the arch, and into a giant underground cavern that seemed far larger on the inside than on the outside. The road the pair found themselves on was not dissimilar to the alleyway outside. It was lined with shops, though these shops had odd names like Eldritch Wand-Makers or Adeneurs Wizardwear Superstore. The buildings all seemed to be old fashioned, though in some cases they, like the cavern itself, looked to be larger on the inside than the outside. This road as well was seemingly deserted, due to the late time of night.

At the end of the street, however, the similarities ended. In the middle of a large circle, where Hallows Street crossed with another, larger road, was a great bonfire that cast flickering shadows through the entire cavern. Above it, floating unassisted was a large rotating banner flashing headlines that made absolutely no sense. "Basilisk Slain at Hogwarts by twelve-year-old Harry Potter after Dumbledore removed from school!" "ICW Launching Inquiry into Statute of Secrecy breach in Brazil!" and "Dwarven Miners hit motherlode in Grampians," being just some of the strange messages.

The pair walked down the cobbled street, their boots making no sound on the stone as they approached a sprawling three-story wooden building with a sign out the front that depicted a blue insect with wings on its head. Beneath it was scrawled the words, 'The Floating Billywig.'

They stepped inside and pulled down their hoods. The taller of the two was a boy of about sixteen-seventeen years of age with black spiky hair, brown eyes and a scar that looked quite fresh cutting across his face. The other was a girl, perhaps a year younger than her companion, with long golden hair accented by red highlights.

Despite their ages, they walked towards a table near the back of the bar, where a man wearing blue robes and a red cloak was sitting, nursing a tankard of Dwarven Ale.

The duo sat down, and the man snapped his fingers. A small pop ran through the relatively quiet pub, and a little creature with wide eyes and long floppy ears appeared before them.

"Welcome to the Floating Billywig Bar and Inn. How can Mirty be of service to yous?"

"Can we get two tankards of Butterbeer please?" the girl asked. The House Elf nodded and vanished. Two pops later, and two tankards of golden liquid were now sitting on the table in front of them.

The man put down his ale and stared at the new-comers.

"Mr O'Neill, Miss Mayfair. To what do I owe the pleasure of this meeting?" Doctor Strange asked, dismissing with the pleasantries.

"You already know the topic," Miss Mayfair said, sipping at her drink, "Harry Potter."

"Ah yes. I heard from Albus this morning. The Gemini Rune, perfectly formed, upon both Potter and the girl he saved. Albus was completely stumped as to how it came to be. He fears some retribution of Voldemort's."

"Bull shit," Mr O'Neill muttered, rolling his eyes, "Voldemort's dead, killed by his own backfiring curse years ago. Everyone knows that. We might not've been overly affected down here, but any excuse to celebrate you know."

Doctor Strange sighed, "I'm afraid that's not entirely true."

The couple exchanged a worried glance.

"How? How could he survive the Killing Curse?" Miss Mayfair asked, "the same way Potter did?"

The Doctor shook his head, "No. Albus has been investigating it since the day he was defeated but could not turn up any leads. Until today." He reached into his pocket and withdrew a green covered muggle-book with a large hole in the centre as if it had been burnt, or eaten away by acid. He dropped it on the table and slid it across to the teens. O'Neill ran a hand over the book, and a golden aura manifested itself around his hand, then the book began glowing a filthy black colour, and he jerked his hand back. The auras died away, leaving only a simple book, and the looks of disgust and fear on Mr O'Neill and Miss Mayfair's faces.

"That has to be the darkest object I have ever seen," O'Neill whispered, grabbing Mayfair's hand beneath the table, "Where did you find it?"

"I didn't. Albus did. In the possession of the very girl whose life Harry Potter saved. It was she who was opening the Chamber of Secrets, under the influence of this Diary, which seemingly contained the memory of a sixteen-year-old Voldemort."

Miss Mayfair gulped, "That poor girl."

"Albus did an examination, and although the damage from the Basilisk Fang leaves considerable doubt as to whether we are actually correct in our evaluations, he believes, and I agree, that the Diary was most likely a Horcrux."

The teens' faces went white, and Miss Mayfair bit her lip, while Mr O'Neill ran a hand over the tattoo of a black dragon breathing a red phoenix wreathed in flame on his arm.

"Well, that's just wonderful."

Strange placed the book back in his pocket, "we don't know how many there are out there. Albus is already planning to visit Horace Slughorn, Riddle's old teacher, to see if he knows anything as to what the objects could be or how many there are. Until they're destroyed, Voldemort's spirit will remain intact. We've had some debate as to whether Voldemort needs to be in an actual body before he's killed, but more research needs to be done before any plans are made. My spies say he remains deep in the forests of Albania."

"But this is not the reason for your calling me here, what do you need?"

O'Neill took a deep breath, temporarily banishing the thought of Horcruxes from his mind, and began his tale.

"I was summoned to the Library of Worlds this afternoon. There's been a new bestowal."

Strange's mouth fell open slightly. "Two in as many years! Incredible! Who is it?"

"Harry Potter," Miss Mayfair said. If it was possible, Strange's jaw dropped even further.

"Albus didn't say anything…"

O'Neill shrugged, "and Potter didn't show up to the Library from the summoning portkey that the Council sent. So, either he hasn't received it…"

"Or Dumbledore has kept it from him somehow," Mayfair finished. Strange regained his composure and ran a hand through his beard.

"If he's hidden the letter from him, and not divulged anything to me, he plans to keep it secret for a good long while," he said at length.

"It won't work. The Rune responds to threats, no matter what Albus does. Plus, it boosts the bearer beyond peak human condition. His strength, reaction time and magical power will all noticeably increase. He obviously won't be anywhere near us, he doesn't hold the Dragon Force after all, but it will still be noticeable."

"I'll ask Albus what he intends to do. I still disagree with his decision not to tell the boy the Prophecy, but I promised to respect his wishes on the matter. But this…" Strange trailed off.

"We'll keep an eye out for anything that might help you with your Horcrux hunt," O'Neill said, standing up, "and let us know what Dumbledore intends to do about the Council of Fire. If he doesn't tell him, I will."

The couple made to leave, then Miss Mayfair stopped suddenly, her hand reaching for her neck, where the faint refraction of light showed a Glamour Charm, "He's not telling them about the Gemini Rune, is he?"

The Doctor smiled, "No. I made sure to tell him not to interfere. They must discover its true-purpose themselves."

"Good." The two teens left the bar, and two simultaneous 'CRACKS!' echoed from outside. Doctor Strange leaned back on the bench and took another sip of his Ale. A smirk crossed his face when he realised, they had left him to pay for the drinks.

"Teenagers," he grumbled, before reaching into his pocket for the pen-turned-portkey that would take him back to the United States. Then he felt it. A faint vibration coming from the Eye-of Agamotto hidden beneath his shirt. He took a deep breath and slipped his wand from within his robes.

"I know you are there. You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide." The very air seemed to give a depressed sigh, and a woman with red hair, dressed in white and gold robes, materialised leaning on the table in front of him.

"Nothing much gets past the Sorcerer Supreme does it?" the woman whispered, twirling a silver wand in her hand.

"You would know, Clara Hunter."

The woman gave a tired smile, "that I would."

"Why the Potter boy? I may not know the Ascended Rule Book as well as some, but I know enough. You broke the Accords to bestow that power upon him. No interference. Those are the rules."

"Shhh! Do you want the others to hear you?" She snapped, looking around wildly, despite the pub being empty. Then she sighed.

"I know, Strange. Trust me I know. I'm only allowed to bestow the Firebrand upon one worthy soul every hundred years. The Multiversity is going to be on my ass when they find out. But screw them… I couldn't just let Harry Potter die."

Strange frowned, "How bad is it out there?"

"The Story-Machine was damaged badly this time. The Conflict Force is leaking out into the Orrery, and residue from the Dark Multiverse has been scattered across the cosmos. I'm not sure we can fix it. I fear what the next catastrophe will bring." Then she stood up and brushed off her robes.

"You will not see me again, Stephen." Strange bowed to her, and the deity vanished as if she were never there.

Trigger Warning! ️ Extremely Mild Nudity Ahead! Skip ahead to the next line break if offended!

Harry woke up in an unfamiliar bed. However, this was not a particularly bad thing, as a very familiar body was lying curled up against him, breathing softly into his chest. Harry would have been perfectly happy to stay like this for a good long while. Unfortunately, there were three problems with this. One, there was a rather annoying alarm ringing out from somewhere beyond Harry's closed eyes. Two, he really needed to pee. Three, he was, most assuredly, naked.

Cracking his eyes slightly, he realised he did actually know where he was. The walls were a cool green colour, and a large window looked out over a series of sprawling silver towers.

Smiling down at the gorgeous redhead still nestled against his side, Harry threw back the covers and slipped out of the sheets. Ginny pouted in her sleep at the loss of contact and pulled the blankets back up over her equally naked form. Harry tried not to look. He really did. But she was lying right in front of him, and he could quite clearly see her budding breasts.

Gulping hard, he turned around so he couldn't see her, and took a deep breath. He grabbed his wand, which was somehow on the bedside table, and cast a silencing charm to shut off that annoying alarm. Then he looked around and took inventory of the room. It was the same yet different to the last time he was in here. The bedroom was a great deal larger, and the bed, which before had been a small single with a single pillow that looked slightly worse for wear, was now easily queen sized with a mahogany headboard depicting a man with short messy hair and a girl with long hair chasing a Snitch on a broomstick. It was not exactly hard to figure out who they were. The walls were the same green, but there were fewer posters. Instead, several photo frames hung on the walls. Some with pictures of Harry and Ginny together, others on their own, some with their friends and family, and even a photo of his parents. Harry's Firebolt was leaning against a chest of drawers that looked suspiciously like the one opposite his bed in Gryffindor Tower.

Dismissing this for now, he crossed the room to a silver door that opened into a large, immaculate bathroom as he approached. Relieving himself, he stepped back into the bedroom and crossed to the dresser, where he quickly pulled some muggle clothes on. Then, thinking that he really should do something about that alarm, he moved over to the bed and knelt next to Ginny's sleeping form.

"Gin," Harry whispered.

"Five more minutes," She moaned, pulling her pillow closer. The sheets fell away slightly, but Harry, with no small degree of effort, forced himself to keep his attention on her face.

"Ginny, It's Harry. You need to wake up…" Ginny cracked an eye.

"Why?" she whispered sleepily.

"Because of this." He flicked his wand, and the alarm began ringing through the room again.

"Alert! Alert! Breach in the Detention Level! Alert! Alert!"

Ginny sighed. "Yeah, that does seem like a reason." She yawned, and Harry had to admit he loved the dimples that creased her cheeks for a few brief moments. "Not a good reason. But still, a reason."

Then she frowned and pulled a hand from beneath the sheets to wipe her eyes.



"Am I naked?"

Harry blushed beet red, "You are yes."

She bit her lip and stared up at him.

"And you woke up next to me?"

Harry was started to panic slightly at this point.

"Yes, I did."

Ginny, in her drowsy state, seemed to ponder this for a moment.

"And you were naked too?"

"That's right." Harry, deciding it might be best to step away, moved over to the dresser and pulled out a shirt and jeans for Ginny. His blush got even worse when he pulled out her bra and knickers. He placed them on the bed, still trying desperately to avoid both her eyes and her breasts, which were still highly visible.

"You do realise if you were anyone else, you'd have Bat-Bogies flying out of your nose by now don't you?" Harry just nodded his head very fast. This was not a very good idea, as it meant his gaze latched onto her… assets… again. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to think of anything but the beautiful witch lying right next to him. Snape in a dress… She wasn't actually helping here, as she had made no move to even cover herself.

"Relax Harry. I don't bite. Well… only if you want me to." Harry's eyes shot open, and his eyebrows went in search of his hairline. Ginny was staring at him with a shit-eating grin.

"You are not helping. At all," He told her pointedly.

"I know," she purred. Then she threw back the covers and Harry's squeezed his eyes shut once more, but not before he got a rather good look at something he shouldn't have that made his blood run even hotter than it already was. A part of his brain wondered why the Gemini Rune didn't seem bothered by this at all, the rest of it was trying not to focus on the rather good image of Ginny's nether regions he had just received to care.

"You can open your eyes now." Harry opened his eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.

"I am going to need a very cold shower."

Ginny just laughed at him.

"Just so you know… you're one great kisser."

Harry dissolved into repeated stuttering, his cheeks reaching a shade of Weasley red that even Ron would be hard-pressed to top.

The duo stepped out of the bedroom, and the wooden door closed behind them. They were standing in a hallway with dark blue walls. The left side was a large transparent window that looked out over the City. It was sunset, and the glow of the last rays of light had turned the ocean a deep pink colour.

"It's beautiful," Ginny whispered.

"Yeah, it is," Harry said, taking her hand. How it had got there, he wasn't sure, but the infinity bracelet was still on her wrist.

"Come on. We need to figure out what's going on." Ginny followed Harry down the hallway, where they emerged inside the large control room. The portal stood on its ramp in the centre of the room, silent and unassuming, but the alarm continued to ring. The pair rushed up the stairs and stepped cautiously into the adjacent room, the one with the machines.

There were three desks. One was a circular table with the same Runes visible on the ring etched onto large transparent triangular shaped buttons surrounding a large blue half-sphere. The second was short and rectangular. It had a keyboard with writing neither of them could understand, and a large synthetic screen that floated unassisted above it. The final desk was long and curved around a slightly elevated platform behind the other two. This one had several dozen buttons and levers of various shapes and sizes, but the thing they did understand was a screen within the desk itself. A screen that displayed a map of the city.

The city itself was shaped like a snowflake, with dozens of roads, parks and towers spread across the six piers, although they weren't laid out in the same way. Some of the buildings, presumably the important ones, had labels next to them, but the writing was in the same dialect as the keyboard, and they had no idea what they said. The language itself seemed to be a collection of characters, each containing a number of lines and boxes. A second map showed the interior of the tower and its 100 levels. It was here they had some luck.

"Hey Gin, take a look at this," Harry said, pointing to the writing along the second map. Next to each level was a series of one or two characters.

"Numbers…" She said, "Look here. They're clearly going in ascending order."

She was right. With every increase in floor going up the tower, an extra box was added to the character opposite. When the character reached nine boxes and no lines, a second was added, and the first went back to one box.

"Well at least we figured that out," Harry said.

The 14th level, near the base of the tower, was flashing red.

"That must be the Detention Level," Ginny reasoned.

"The question is, how do we get down there?" Harry asked dryly.

"Well don't look at me? At least you grew up in a Muggle House."

"Yes, watching Dudley from afar was a great way to learn about… whatever the hell these are," Harry snapped.

Ginny stared at him.


Suddenly, a brilliant blue and bronze phoenix flew into the room, filling the tower with song. They watched as the Phoenix flew to a red metal door behind them and perched on the railing overlooking the portal room below. It gestured with its head towards the door, which slid open as if on command, a series of buttons lit up as the door opened, and another screen with a map of the city glowed on the wall.

Harry stepped forward warily and grinned.

"It's an elevator!" He exclaimed. He ran his hands over the buttons, searching for the number fourteen.

"I've found the Detention Level…" then he paused, "which level is this again?" Ginny turned back the map.

"Ninety-Five." She said, before following him inside. The phoenix burst into flames and vanished, its job done. The door slid closed, and Harry pressed the button. A white light filled the room, before vanishing. The doors slid open again, and a narrow, pitch-black hallway greeted them.

"Ok. Detention Level."

Harry and Ginny pulled out their wands and cast a Lumos charm, filling the corridor with light, and ambled down the hall. The walls were the same blue as at the top of the tower; however, the air was musty, as if it were ancient and stale, and the very space seemed to vibrate with a sense of ominous dread.

"Alert! Alert! Breach in the Detention Level! Alert! Alert!"

"What does it mean by Breach?" Harry whispered. He wasn't entirely sure why he whispered, it just felt right not to disturb the unnatural silence of the dark hall.

"Detention Level. It could mean some sort of dungeon. Maybe something got out?" She replied, also whispering.

"But this is all in our heads? What could have possibly gotten out?"

Harry stopped dead, answering his own question. There was one thing he had locked up in his head he never wanted to get out.

They had reached the end of the corridor. Confused at why Harry had stopped, Ginny continued, shinning her wand light into the space. The hallway opened onto a large room shrouded in darkness. Directly in front of them was a cell. A cell with a broken door. She edged closer, ignoring the heightening sense of fear and dread emanating from within, and peeked inside. Floating in the centre of the cell was a pitch-black cloud, like the foulest smoke from a Muggle factory.

"Ginny be careful!" Harry called, moving forward as well, though much more hesitantly than Ginny had. The smoke was coming from something in the cell.

"Evanesco," she said. The black smoke vanished, and Harry seemed to breathe a great sigh of relief. Ignoring him for the moment, she continued forward. A large crack was visible in the floor now. That was where the darkness was coming from. Already it was beginning to leak back into the room. But there was no denying what it was. The crack was clearly in the shape of a lightning bolt. Identical to Harry's scar.

"I think I know what this is," Ginny said, crouching down to investigate a white object lying next to the crack on the ground. She pointed her wand closer to get a look and recoiled in shock. Harry was beside her in a second.


"This is your scar. It's your connection to Voldemort. You were keeping it locked up in your head. Deep in the recesses of your mind. But the door was broken, and it was leaking out. That's why the hallway is so dark. It's poisoning your mind, Harry." Harry fell down on his backside with a yelp.

"I wonder how far it goes?" she whispered. She stood up and flicked her wand.

"Lumos Maxima!"

The room lit up in a bright flash of light, and several other cages became visible. Each cell containing one of Harry and Ginny's biggest nightmares. Right next door was the pale figure of Voldemort himself, then one over was the teenage Tom Riddle, fuming and berating himself over something. Another block contained the Basilisk, another Harry's Mum and Dad, blaming him for their murders, and one even had Hermione, Ginny, Sirius, Ron, Luna, Matt, Remus, Jessica, Luke, Danny, Tonks and all of Ginny's family dead on the floor. Fortunately, the memories and fears seemingly couldn't see them.

"I think this is our head, Gin. You're in here too, and I'm pretty sure that one's yours." Harry was pointing to a cell opposite the one broken one. Harry was lying dead on the floor, a sobbing Ginny kneeling beside him.

"Please… I'm not worth it… he's so much better than me… I'm just a stupid girl who trusted someone she shouldn't, please bring him back…"

"This is where we hide our nightmares," she admitted, "and that is undoubtedly my worst one."

Harry stood and pulled her into his arms.

"You know the Diary wasn't your fault Ginny. And you're a better person than I could ever hope to be. Without you, I'd probably be brooding and moping around all the time. If I had a choice, I would have gladly given up my life for yours in the Chamber. Now? I'd do it without a seconds hesitation."

Ginny honestly couldn't come up with a response to that, and flatly ignored the cell containing a scrawny Harry covered in bruises sitting in a cupboard telling himself he was a worthless freak that nobody wanted. It was one of the closest to the scar.

"This is revolting," Harry said finally.

"Not as revolting as this." Ginny broke away and leaned back down into the smoke, which had almost covered the entire cell once more. She grabbed hold of the white object and lifted it out for Harry to see.

It was a skull, with gleaming emerald eyes. A snake was slithering within its mouth.

"You've got me there," Harry said flatly.

"This must be what's attracting the smoke. Look how it's rising up towards it." She was right. Now that she had lifted the skull off the floor, the black smoke was gathering around her legs, trying to creep up to the rather disgusting thing.

"What is it do you think?"

Ginny bit her lip, "I'm not sure. Didn't Dumbledore say he transferred some of his powers to you when he tried to kill you?"

"Yeah. It's why I can speak Parseltongue and can sense when Voldemort's nearby."

"And it causes pain right?"

Harry shrugged. "I guess so. I don't really notice it, except when he's really close by. The last time it hurt badly was when I fought Quirrell for the Philosophers Stone."

"What if… and I'm going out on a limb here… but what if this is a bit of him? And that's why your scar keeps hurting. That's why this scar, why all this blackness, is here."

Harry ran a hand through his hair, thinking it over.

"I don't know. It's the only hypothesis we've got, and it makes sense, I guess. I mean, if I were Voldemort, I'd want those powers back. And if it is causing the scar pain, creating a link between him and me, maybe…" Harry trailed off and grabbed the skull from Ginny's hand. Then he knelt down by the scar. Ginny followed suit and whispered the Vanishing Spell again. The smoke vanished once more, revealing the sickly gash in the floor.

"Maybe we can get rid of it? Forcibly eject it from my mind. Cut the connection at the source." Harry dipped a hand into the scar and yelped, jerking it back rapidly and shaking it wildly in the air.

"Whatever's down there isn't nice." He said, sucking on his fingers as if burned.

"Are you alright?"

"Fine. I'd wager my vault that on the other side of that scar is Voldemort's mind. That's what the smoke is. It's his negative emotions. His black thoughts. And they're fuelling our nightmares." Harry's face broke into a determined grin, and he grabbed the snake, yanking it out of the skull's mouth. The snake hissed but didn't attempt to attack him.

"What are you doing?"

"Voldemort can have his skull back, but I'm keeping Parseltongue. Who knows when that could come in handy again." Then he stood up and dropped the skull straight through the crack in the ground. A blast of green light shot out of the crack, followed by a piercing scream that could only be Voldemort himself. Harry and Ginny covered their ears and watched in awe as the black smoke receded back into the scar tissue. The feeling of dread permeating the room instantly lifted and all the lights flicked on at once, bathing the entire space in warm light. The alarms shut off, and all the nightmares seemed to start wreathing in pain. The cell bars on each cage started glowing with blue light, and many of the occupants leaning against them were shocked, forcing them into the middle of the tiny square.

"Looks like Tom won't be feeding our fears anymore," Harry announced proudly, grabbing Ginny and pulling her close to him, eliciting more butterflies in her stomach – and in other places, thinking back to this morning. The scar on the floor, once large and painful to look at, had sealed, leaving a thin white line in the shape of a lightning bolt carved into the floor.

"One more addition," Ginny whispered. Then she pointed her wand at the cell, and said, "Reparo."

The crack vanished, and the cell door restored itself, the blue lights flashing on to show it was active once more.

Harry spun her in his arms, so his arms were around her waist. She snaked hers around his neck and smiled.

"I love you," he whispered, placing his forehead against hers, "I'm free. Free of him at last. Thanks to you."

"We're free," She said, "never underestimate the power of true love's kiss hey?"

"Oh yeah. Ready to go back and face the music?"

"You bet." Then she pulled his head down to hers, and kissed him, as passionate as he did the night before. Tingles ran through every nerve in Ginny's body, and fireworks lit in her brain. Golden light filled the hall, and the city evaporated before their eyes.

Harry Potter: Married?!

By Rita Skeeter

No, my avid readers. You did not read that headline incorrectly. Harry Potter – the Boy-Who-Lived – has gotten himself hitched before even coming of age!

On the night of Christmas, a grand Yule Ball was held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to celebrate the Triwizard Tournament, and as a send-off to the three delegations, which depart for Alcheringa Academy in the Federation on January 2nd. But in the weeks prior to the Ball itself, this reporter has uncovered a mystery among the student populous. It started when Harry Potter refused to tell anyone who his date to the Ball was. Shrouded in mystery, many of the students attempted to discover who the lucky girl was, to no avail.

Then a series of mysterious packages began arriving for Ginny Weasley. (Previous issues printed her name wrong through no fault of mine. My editor has been fired.) Each package, according to Ginny's friends Susan Bones, Hannah Abbot and Lavender Brown contained, "a present and a song lyric nobody recognised." This sparked another mystery in Hogwarts, who was sending Ginny, a plain looking, and poor girl, such expensive gifts?

The reveal on the night shocked many. Harry and Ginny were attending the Ball together, and it was Harry who was sending the gifts. As many of my loyal readers will recognise, Ginny and Harry are long-time friends and even carry the mark of the Gemini Curse between them. I, of course, speculated that Ginny was perhaps using the curse to bind herself to Harry. Whether this is true remains in doubt, but it is obvious that Harry is clearly smitten with the girl. He even wrote a song and had the Weird Sisters themselves play it at the Ball for her.

It was at the end of this song, called "Enchanted," (The Weird Sisters refused to provide me with the actual lyrics, as they were "not their property.") that the young couple kissed in the middle of the hall. The witnesses I spoke to described, "a bright golden light that made you feel giddy inside just looking at it," enveloped the couple. The light appears to be highly magical in nature, and a power of the Gemini Curse. This light, whatever it was, has bonded the two individuals together in the most divine of ways. A soul-bond! You heard me correctly ladies. A real soul-bond, as seen in the fairy tales we grew up with as children. The Department of Mysteries in the Ministry of Magic, which seemingly has the ability to track the formation of Soul-Bonds, confirmed this the morning after the event occurred in a statement.

"Mr Harry Potter and Mrs Ginny Potter did bond through the powers of a Soul-Bond. This leaves them married and tied together for all eternity. The Department of Mysteries would like to wish the Potters congratulations on the completion of this rare ritual, and, should they wish to have the process studied, we would be more than happy to conduct experimentation."

Whether this was the pair's intention or not, the fact remains, they are married. A friend of both the Potters, Miss Hermione Granger told me that, "Harry and Ginny truly love each other, so you should back off and leave them alone." Other Hogwarts students close to the group confirmed that the couple were exceptionally close long before the magical marriage and were often seen together in various locations across the school.

Sorry ladies. It looks like Harry Potter is off the market for now. I just hope that Harry hasn't been coerced into this. Though the evidence seems to say their love is true, who knows what the reality is.

Harry and Ginny Potter remain in St Mungo's unconscious for unexplainable reasons, most likely due to the Soul Bond. For more on the new Mrs Potter, see page 2. For what little information exists on Soul-Bonds, see page 4.

Kraken almost Destroys Hong Kong – Mass Obliviations in progress – Will O'Neill Missing!

By Davis McAllister

In the early hours of the morning British time, a giant Kraken was sighted off the coast of Hong Kong. The Chinese Muggle Government seemed to have detected the creature using a technology called 'radar' and were sending their mechanical warships to investigate. The Chinese Department of Magic were unaware of the situation and unable to intervene before the disaster struck. The Muggles attacked the Kraken, which then proceeded to destroy the muggle ship. Aggravated and wounded, the Kraken went on the offensive, causing significant damage to districts of the island near the ocean.

Fortunately, Will O'Neill, the legendary Druid responsible for preventing a meteor from crashing into the Mt Kīlauea two years ago, saving millions of Muggle and Magical lives in the Hawaiian Islands in the process, arrived at the scene and battled the Kraken to a standstill, preventing mass damage and breach of the Statute of Secrecy.

The Chinese Department of Magic is working tirelessly to Obliviate any Muggles who witnessed the event, and the ICW is overseeing to prevent another disaster like the Kaiju Incident in Japan in 1952, where several Muggle's were not obliviated, sparking several Muggle Movies about the subject.

As of right now, the location of Will O'Neill is unknown. He has not been seen since his duel with the sea monster. Sorcerer Supreme Stephen Strange is on sight to help in the search. Hopefully, Mr O'Neill's actions have not cost him his life today.

Harry woke up in an unfamiliar bed for the second time. However, this time he was alone. Opening his eyes, he pulled himself upright and grabbed his glasses. He was in a hospital, that much was clear, but it wasn't the Hospital Wing of Hogwarts, of that he was sure. The walls were garish white, and there was a machine hooked up to his wrist, monitoring his heartbeat. There was an empty chair opposite his bed, and an annoying beeping noise.

But the thing he cared about the most, was how clear-headed he felt all of a sudden. It was as if a heavy weight he had forgotten he was carrying had vanished. A pain so commonplace he had merely gotten used to it, finally abating. And it was fantastic. Everything seemed that much clearer, the colours that much more vivid. Even the smell of tea on the air was fresher than he had ever smelt before. Hell, even his body felt easier to move, like he had been walking around with a backpack full of rocks and had finally shrugged it off. He could honestly say he had never felt better. Well… maybe there was one time…

Uncuffing the heart rate monitor, Harry jumped out of bed. Why was he in a hospital? He didn't remember injuring himself. And why was he feeling so magnificent?

What was the last thing he remembered? He was in a dungeon of nightmares with Ginny. No that was in the City. He had been at the Yule Ball, and he had kissed Ginny. He couldn't help smiling at the thought of it. He had been seriously worried he would mess it up, but it'd been brilliant. Like a warm rush was flooding through his entire body. The Gemini Rune had undoubtedly liked it because it had burned hotter than ever before.

Harry frowned. It was warm, but not in a way he was used to. It was like a soft constant hum sitting in the background of his mind. But Ginny was nowhere near him, so why was it like that? He raised his hand and ran it over the rune on his neck. It didn't feel any different. It wasn't hot or cold, just projecting a soft warmth like the glowing embers of a dying fire. Turning towards a mirror hanging on the wall, he tilted his neck to get a better view and gasped. Instead of black like it usually was, the Gemini Rune was a brilliant golden colour. He wondered if Ginny's mark was the same…

Then Harry felt a flare of heat ripple out from his neck. Anger, his mind supplied. But he didn't feel angry. There was no one to be mad with. He clenched his fist and took a deep breath, focussing on the foreign emotion, surging into him from the rune. There was a tingling in his brain, a sensation almost, reacting to something, pulling him in the direction of the wall next to him. Shaking his head, he supposed it must be a new power of the rune because, for some unexplainable reason, he knew that Ginny was in the room next door to his. It was almost like a magnetic force, eliciting a slight pull towards her. Not enough to be overpowering, but enough so that it was always noticeable.

Ignoring the fact that he was in a hospital gown. He followed the feeling and opened the door. The hallway was mostly empty, so Harry assumed it was late at night. Only one person stood in the hall, guarding the door next to his. A tall man with red hair and a fang earring.

"Bill," Harry said, walking over to the eldest Weasley brother. He jumped a mile and grabbed the wall.

"Harry!" he breathed, "You're awake! What are you doing out of bed!"

"I just woke up. I feel fine. Spectacular actually. Is Ginny in there?"

Bill's mouth opened and closed several times. Harry rolled his eyes and walked into the room.

"Harry! I wouldn't go…"

It was exactly the same as his room, only Ginny and her mother were standing in this one. And there was a great deal of screaming going on.






By this point, Harry decided his ears were ringing so badly it didn't matter what he did to stop the screeching. He just needed to end it.

"EVERYBODY SHUT UP!" He yelled. Molly and Ginny spun around to face him, and Ginny's face lit up at the sight of him. The sizzling rage emanating from the rune vanished, replaced by a giddy, dizzying aura – like getting into a bed with freshly washed sheets. He felt a rush of happiness course through his mind, and this time he was sure it came from the rune.

"Let's everyone take some deep breathes. We've been unconscious for who knows how long. We don't know what's going on. Maybe if someone can tell us, we could offer an explanation."

Mrs Weasley looked like she had blown a gasket, and smoke issuing from her ears would not have been entirely surprising.

"Harry, Ginny, you've been unconscious since the Yule Ball two days ago. We're in St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, you were transferred here yesterday morning," Bill said, stepping into the room awkwardly.

"What happened?" Ginny asked.

"No one's really sure. You kissed at the Yule Ball, there was an explosion of bright light, and you two passed out."

Bill reached up and scratched his hair, which was still tied in its customary ponytail.

"Look, guys… there's no easy way to tell you this… but I've been lying to you. Ever since Ginny visited me in Egypt." Harry frowned, confused. Ginny and Molly both seemed similarly bamboozled.

"A day before you arrived, Charlie and I received a visitor. She told us exactly what your situation was, and what the most likely end result would be. She also warned us that under no circumstances could we tell you what it meant. You had to discover it yourselves; otherwise, the process would be corrupted. She knew that I would figure it out, being a curse breaker and everything. I turned you onto the right track, by telling you that Dumbledore lied but… I couldn't say anything else."

Harry clenched his fist behind his back.

"What most likely end result?"

Bill opened his mouth to reply, but it was not him that spoke.

"The Firebrand of the Council of Fire is bestowed upon one individual every century. It is gifted only to a worthy soul with a greater destiny, willing to sacrifice their life for someone else's. But on its own, the Firebrand contains too much-unbridled energy. It would burn the soul to cinders. That's where the Gemini Rune comes in. By sharing the brand between two souls, the power is balanced. All the benefits, none of the side-effects. But the sheer amount of power, of magic, moving between the two souls forces them together. That is the burning sensation you felt upon getting closer. It was the feeling of your two souls trying to come together to create, in the words of my late-uncle-in-law, a Soulbond."

It was a girl with golden hair, accented by red highlights running through it to give the appearance of flickering flames. It was almost the opposite of Ginny's hair if he was honest. She had sparkling green eyes, not unlike his own, and wore faded jeans and a Bon-Jovi t-shirt that hung off one shoulder. If he had to guess, he'd say she was eighteen or so.

He recognised her instantly of course. It was the Alcheringa Seeker, Clarissa… something. He couldn't recall her last name. But she was good. Really good. Easily as good as he was, probably better. He remembered feeling very anxious when he saw her fly. There was no guarantee of a win by Seeker in that match.

"And who are you?" Molly asked, seemingly controlling her rage now that someone else was in the room.

"My name is Clarissa Mayfair. Or it was. Before this…" The girl waved her hand over her neck, and the skin shimmered slightly, before a rune of solid gold, two horizontal lines on two curved vertical lines, materialised in the exact same spot Harry and Ginny's were. "Now, my name is Clarissa O'Neill, though no one actually knows that yet, except Claire, and now you."

Ginny gasped, seemingly making some connection that was still beyond Harry.

"Did you do this to us?" Harry asked, his voice low and venomous.

"No. The Herald did," she stated simply as if this was obvious.

"The Herald?"

"Yes. The Herald of the Council of Fire. She who chooses upon who the Firebrand is bestowed."

Clarissa snapped her fingers, and suddenly the Dragon and Phoenix icon became visible on his arm for the first time without any accompanying pain or threatening situation.

"I'm sorry. You should have already known what the Firebrand was. You should have been summoned to the Library as soon as you received it."

"The Library? Herald? Summoned? Who are you?"

"She's Will O'Neill's wife, Harry," Ginny explained, jumping off her bed and ignoring her mother's protests as she moved to stand beside him.

"Wife? But you're still in school. And he's like ten years older than you."

"No he isn't," Ginny said, her eyes sparkling, "He's been altering his appearance. Remember what Hermione said at the beginning of term? About what the Druids can do?"

Harry did remember.

"However, due to their understanding of the natural environment, Druids are far more powerful than the average Witch or Wizard, and their spells more efficient. A simple combustion spell can create an explosion twice as strong as the most powerful Detonator Curse. They can use gravity to fly, reconfigure their atomic structure to appear younger, and their magic does not impact negatively on electrical equipment."

"So, he's what, eighteen?" Harry asked, very confused.

"Nineteen actually. He graduated from the Academy in October of this year. He's been masquerading as a thirty-something-year-old since we got here. None of you lot would have taken him seriously if he didn't. Most of you still don't, like Snape. Guess stopping a volcano from killing millions wasn't enough, hey. Heavens forbid you to know that I actually helped him."

"Enough!" Mrs Weasley shouted, her entire body trembling, "Stop whatever charade is going on right now! Will O'Neill is a legend! You're a school girl! If you have answers as to how my daughter has been turned into a whore, then tell them or…" Harry's wand was on her the second the word slipped from her mouth. A quick reductor blasted her back into the wall, where she ended up sitting rather shocked on the floor.

"Never, call Ginny that word ever again." Then he spun back to Clarissa and Bill, who looked rather impressed by Harry's reaction time.

"What is up with her anyway. She didn't actually tell me what I did during her whole rant," Ginny asked, showing no remorse for her dazed mother.

"The completion of the Soulbond-by-Gemini Rune created a magical marriage between the two of you. And the entire Wizarding World knows. Dad says Mum's been reading those Rita Skeeter articles like they're gospel, and she's been in a right tizzy about it. Although, if this lovely lady hadn't warned me, I'd probably be a bit confused as well," Bill said. Harry turned to Ginny, who was staring at him with an expression of total shock on her face.

Married? They were married!? Harry gulped. No wonder Mrs Weasley was mad.

"Harry… are you… ok with this?" Ginny asked hesitantly. He could feel her distress, her fear that he would panic and hate her. He didn't know how he knew, but he did. The Gemini Rune was ice cold.

He didn't even hesitate, "Of course! Remember what I told you last night, err two nights ago? Of course, I'm ok with it! Sure, it's a bit sooner than I'd like, or I'm sure you'd like, but it's not as if we weren't headed that way anyway."

Ginny's anxious expression faded into one of amazement.

He was really going to ask me to marry him…

Harry's jaw dropped open. She hadn't moved her lips. But he had heard her voice.

Ginny? He tried attempting to push the thought to the same place he could sense her feelings coming from, to the Gemini Rune. The rune blazed with fiery passion, and Ginny's eyes flew wide open, her jaw going slack.

Harry? Can you hear me?


What's happening to us?

"Oh good. You're already experiencing the side effects," Clarissa said happily. Then she turned her wrist and looked at her watch. The watch itself was gorgeous, a Tag Heuer, but that wasn't what Harry's eyes were fixed on. Hidden beneath the watch face, only visible if you knew what to look for, was a black ink marking. An isosceles triangle, with two horizontal arms extending away from two of the triangles points parallel to each other. The bottom arm then bent up towards the upper arm at a 45-degree angle, before bending again and running parallel for another centimetre.

Libra… Ginny's voice said in Harry's mind.

"Telepathy is one of the powers you'll develop, not to mention the whole sharing feelings thing. Good luck with PMS, Harry. Now, I would love to stay and chat away, but Will is still somewhere inside the gullet of a Kraken, and I'm going to have to go and help Stephen fish him out it seems. Also, Dumbledore is ten seconds from the door. See you at the Library, Potters!" Clarissa gave the two baffled teens a dazzling smile, then burst into a cloud of golden dust.

"These Druids are going to kill me…" Harry muttered, as Bill just stood in a state of shock.

Dumbledore, Mr Weasley and Sirius rounded the corner and stared into the room. Arthur's eyes instantly went to Molly, who was seemingly still trying to stand up on the other side of the room. Sirius looked to Harry, concern written all over his face. Harry gave him a nod so as to say, "all okay," and the Animagus breathed a sigh of relief closing his eyes in what might have been a silent prayer. Dumbledore looked like he had aged quite significantly.

"Well, I did want to be here when you woke up to stave off Molly's… well, Mollyness. I did leave Bill to guard the fort," Arthur said apologetically, before crossing the room to his wife.

"Fat lot of good you were," Ginny said, staring at her brother.

"You're the one that got married before you finished puberty, Squirt," Bill said as if it wasn't his problem.

"Well," Dumbledore said brightly, "may I be the first to congratulate you on your recent nuptials, Mr and Mrs Potter."

And it was that moment that Mrs Weasley decided to start shouting again. Harry was going to need a hang-over potion before this was over.

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