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Author Notes:

Thanks for the response on the first chapter.   I hope you enjoy the second installment just as much.   I figured I'd update early and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US.

The Next Lord of Kobol

Disclaimer – Do we really still have to put these things?  I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s fanfiction and not mine.

Chapter 2 – Paying Delores a Visit

(Safe house of the Order of the Phoenix Early May 1996.  Approximately ten and one half years before the fall of the Twelve Colonies)


“Seems like you just managed to get back on your feet and now, you’re flat on your back again.  Maybe we’re pushing you too hard?  How about you take a nice break and take up knitting or something?”

Struggling against the ropes he wrapped around him, Harry grunted, “Very funny, Sirius.  Now let me up and we can go again.  You’re just cranky that you haven’t seen Hestia in a month.”

They’d left Hogsmeade for a chalet in Norway.  Supposedly, it belonged to Luna Lovegood’s father for when he went here to hunt wifflediffers or other odd fantastical creatures.  The weather was nice this time of year and the few instances Harry had been to the nearest city he was impressed by certain aspects of the scenery.  Just because he didn’t have room in his life for a girlfriend didn’t stop him from window shopping, so to speak.  He blamed it on bad influences from Sirius.

For the moment, the only scenery he could appreciate was the wooden beams that comprised the ceiling.

“Harry.  Harry.  Harry.  You’re supposed to taunt your opponent sometime before he incapacitates you.  Isn’t anything I’m teaching you sinking in?”

As Sirius continued walking around and mocking him, Harry wiggled his arms more.  There was enough room for him to get a weak cutting curse on a section of the rope that freed the tip of his wand.  Squeezing it out, Harry lined up his shot.  He rolled over and cast a quick body bind.  Sirius froze with his arms thrust up in the air.  Unfortunately, Harry’s momentum caused the wand to slip from his grasp and roll away, coming to rest under the couch.  This left Sirius frozen in mid-taunt and Harry still bound and no longer holding his wand.

“In my mind that went so much better,” Harry said and exhaled upwards from his lower lip blowing the bangs on his forehead away.

Unfortunately, Harry had indeed become more powerful.  It would be two hours before his spell on the older wizard wore off.


“Gentleman,” Dumbledore began.  “I believe that I have created the solution to our most dire problem.”

He gestured to a pair of Rune covered bowls filled with a dark red ichor. Harry leaned closer and smelled the metallic odor of blood. If it were anyone else other than Albus Dumbledore, he would be genuinely concerned about a person dabbling in blood magic.

Harry’s relationship with the man had changed.  Before, it had been more like that of a kindly grandfather, who had always made himself available to give advice.  More often than not, Dumbledore was away on missions or sequestered in his laboratory, but the times he had worked with Harry were now the most intense private lessons he’d ever experienced.  After the first time, Harry hadn’t wanted to cast another spell for a full day.

“These,” the elder wizard proudly said, “are horcrux location devices.  We simply take the diary and the locket that we have now and place them in the suspension of blood and the traces of the dark magic that once corrupted them will move this needle in the direction of the nearest soul fragment. I do not like to brag, but this most assuredly is my finest work in at least two decades. Eventually, I will have to announce to the world that I have discovered yet another use for Dragon's blood.”

“So it functions much like a Muggle compass?”  Harry asked.

“Indeed it does.  Instead of finding magnetic north it will locate the pieces of Tom Riddle’s soul.  In addition to the Dragon's blood, I also used Phoenix tears and blood freely given from a unicorn and a centaur along with blood that came from a certain wizard who just happens to be standing in this room.”

The former headmaster of Hogwarts placed the two items into their respective bowls and both immediately spun in a clockwise circle three times before coming to rest with the magically affixed needles pointing in the same direction.

“It’s brilliant, but why did you create two?”  Sirius asked.

Harry already knew the reason from his primary school science education.  “Muggles use a process called triangulation to locate the source of the signal.”

“Precisely,” Dumbledore said.  “Under the circumstances I would give you house points, but I am afraid that there is little point in doing so.”

“Do you think it will work even if the object is hidden behind a fidelius charm?”

“We should know if we keep passing by the same area and can’t locate it.”

Sirius Black scratched his beard and looked pensive before saying, “It might lead us straight to Riddle if he is closest.”

“Yes,” Dumbledore replied.  “That is a fair assumption. However, I am still in contact with Severus Snape and will have a reasonable idea of where Tom is at the time.  Given the nature of his traps, we must still exercise due caution whenever we attempt to approach one.  After a good night’s rest, I propose we return to Hogsmeade in the morning and start our search there.  We know that Tom chose to hide his foul creations in places that meant something to him or give them to loyal followers such as Lucius Malfoy. Therefore, I suspect there will be one hidden in my school.”

“Albus, do you mind if I head there tonight and scout out the town?”  Sirius asked with a broad grin.

It was obvious to all in the room that his reconnaissance would be limited to a thorough investigation of Hestia's dwelling with a special focus on where she slept.

“Very well,” Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye.  “Do give my regards to Ms. Jones and thank her for providing a safe haven once more.”


To no one’s surprise, their testing led them directly from Hestia's home in Hogsmeade back to the castle.  Sirius made a point to remind the Headmaster how ridiculously easy sneaking into Hogwarts was.

“It appears Delores has let things slide considerably,” the ancient wizard answered.

“True,” Black replied.  “However she wasn't here two years ago.”

“When you frame your comment in that context, I am afraid I have to concede the point.”

“It takes far less time to say, Sirius, you are correct.”

“Ah, but words are a gift of life, Mr. Black.  As one reaches my advanced age, you might find that the pleasure you once enjoyed so are beyond your physical ability to tolerate.  Fortunately, I love sweets and language.  At my healer's advice, I limit my candy consumption, and I freely admit to verbally overcompensating.”

His godfather nudged Harry in the ribs with his elbow and said, “I'll translate the last minute for you.  He likes to talk.”

“Aren't we supposed to be sneaking around?”  Harry asked, catching Dumbledore waving to a portrait as they passed.

“Harry,” Dumbledore said.  “They can remove Albus Dumbledore from the grounds of this institution, but only Hogwarts can truly remove the Headmaster.  The elves, the ghosts, the paintings, and even the wards are mine to command.”

“So, if you wanted, you could have the elves move Umbridge and her bed, while she's asleep, out onto a raft floating in the middle of the lake?”

Running his hand through his beard, Dumbledore considered Black's question.  “I suppose something like that would be considered an abuse of my authority, but with the papers labeling me a secret dark lord, perhaps I should be allowed to indulge myself.”

“She'll punish the elves,” Harry cautioned.  “She's the kind that takes it out on those that can't fight back.”

Strangely, Harry found himself in the role that his friend Hermione often filled...the voice of restraint.  Too often in his previous adventures, it was Harry and Ron ignoring the consequences of rushing headlong into danger.  Dumbledore and Sirius had no concerns for their personal safety, convinced they could fight their way out of everything short of Voldemort, but their overconfidence made Harry uneasy.

“Yes, I suppose you are correct, Harry.  It seems we are supposed to go up now,” Dumbledore said.

“He's got that school services award in the trophy case,” Harry commented.

“No, I have already examined it at length and it is devoid of any magic.”

“What about the Room of Requirement?  Could he have found it?” Harry asked climbing the all too familiar central staircase and consulting the Marauder’s Map.

“It is a distinct possibility.  Tom was able to discern the location of the Chamber of Secrets.”

Arriving at the seventh floor, the group encountered their first major problem.  The door to the Room was already visible.  A sign on it proclaimed Hogwart's Headmistress' Office. 

Dumbledore arched an eyebrow and said, “Should we knock?”

“This complicates things,” Sirius said.

“You think?” Harry replied.

Dumbledore interjected, “We'll need to ensure that everyone believes we came here for her.  The true nature of our visit must be hidden in our deeds.”

Pausing, as if lost in thought, the Headmaster scowled, before grinning at whatever idea he’d come up with. 

“Allow me to handle this,” he said and knocked forcefully on the door three times.  A minute later, he repeated the knocks. 

Some grumbling could be heard and moments later the door opened up and the woman said, “Do you know what time it is?  This had better be...oh my!”

They greeted her with three wands pointed at her flabby jowls.

“Good evening Delores.  Did we come at a bad time?  We've heard that there is a rather sizeable reward for information about our whereabouts.  As you can plainly see, we are right here.  If you'd like, I can give you our vault numbers and you can have the funds transferred there.”

“What do you want?” she said trying to sound forceful, but her quavering voice betrayed her.

Dumbledore froze her without any wand motions, incantation, or any sign that he'd cast a spell on Umbridge at all.

“Delores and I are going to visit some friends.  Harry, Sirius please get the items from my office that we'd forgotten.  Send a patronus when you're ready to leave.”

Fawkes flashed in at an unspoken summons.  The fiery phoenix disappeared and took both away.  It left a void where they had been.

“Have to admit he does have a flare for the dramatic,” Sirius commented.  “Since I've never seen this place before, I'll let you go in first and take control of the room.”

Harry concentrated and thought about a room where he and Sirius could find he hidden horcrux.

Umbridge's office and garish pink bedroom disappeared and was replaced with a something between a warehouse and a city dump.  Mounds of items ranging from broken furniture to what appeared to be a giant's skeleton littered the floor.

“Wow!  We have to search all of this,” Harry groaned.  “Even when we narrow it down to the right pile, it's going to take all night.”

He reached into his bottomless pouch and retrieved his Firebolt, along with a Nimbus 2000 that belonged to Sirius.  Black opened up the box containing their two detectors.  Slytherin's locket wasn't terribly useful - at least in their quest.  It gave the wearer the ability to speak and understand any language, including Parseltongue.  It was the kind of object that a politician would find indispensable. 

Other than Dumbledore and Amelia Bones, Harry hadn't found too many people in that particular field who deserved to be called a leader.

“I'll circle clockwise and you go the opposite way and we'll meet wherever the 'crux detectors lead us,” Sirius said, taking his broom from Harry's hand.

Flying alongside the heaps of rubbish, the young wizard followed the quick shifts of the locket floating in the rune covered bowl.  He considered what his distant friends would think of this version of the Room of Requirement.  Ron would likely be interested in anything valuable that could be found in here.  Hermione would be fascinated and hoping to find old books full of lost knowledge.

As for Harry, he just saw a means to an end.  His vile aunt had drilled into Harry's mind a distaste for places that weren't clean.  Making a slow turn around a veritable hill, he wondered how long it would take all the castle elves to clean up this room. Dobby had once told him that this was where all the elves bring everything left behind by the staff and students at the end of every year.

After ten minutes of weaving in and out amongst the piles, Harry and his godfather found themselves going around the same general area.  He landed and dismounted, leaving his Firebolt hovering in the event that there was a trap.  More pacing and several quick calls to Sirius led him to a table.

“Look!”  Sirius said.  “That thing under the wig there.  I think it's our baby.”

Harry held his bowl closer to it and the locket was vibrating so badly that the liquid started sloshing out.

“What do you think it is?”

“Never snuck into Ravenclaw there did you?” Sirius taunted.

“It was pretty far down on my list of things to do,” Harry fired back.  “Staying alive and holding out hope for competent instruction took precedence.”

“Well a least you have me now,” Sirius offered.

“Yeah,” Harry conceded.  “But I'm still waiting for the competent part.”

“Oi!  That was quite snapish of you.”

“Sorry.  Just being around one of these things reminds me about my scar.  It's funny, I thought my first kiss with Cho’s blubbering was bad enough, but my second one was with an effin' Dementor!  How screwed up is that?”

“Harry.  Don't say effin'.  That's just a stupid word people made up to avoid saying fuck.  As for the reprehensible state of your love life, I have failed you.  Say the word and Uncle Padfoot will show you the true meaning of the word debauchery.  There are places in this world, Harry.  Places!  They make you sign binding contracts on your life and your magic that you can't discuss what happens there.”


“Yes.  When we put all this behind us, we'll go there and find out.  Deal?”

Harry mulled it over and smiled before saying, “Deal.  So, mind telling me what the fuck this thing is?”

The fugitive of Azkaban guffawed and said, “That's Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem.  There's probably still a bust of her in their tower with it on, but I was after more impressive busts in that place during my visits.”


“What happened to Umbridge?” Harry asked as they watched the dementor circle around the diadem like an animal.

“We went to visit the centaurs,” Dumbledore answered.  “She has certain opinions of magical creatures and I thought she would benefit from spending an evening with them.”

“What did you do?” Sirius inquired.  Harry knew from Dumbledore’s unusually short answer that something was afoot.

“She may have signed a magical contract while she was out there.”

This clearly pleased Black.  “What were the conditions?”

“The contract stated that I would protect her for the evening, her name was Delores Umbridge, and she agrees to these terms for the next two years.”

“I don’t get it,” Harry said.

“I may have obliviated the memory of the terms and only given her the page stating that she signed in blood and magic to my terms.”

“Brilliant!” Black declared.  “She doesn’t know what she agreed to!”

“Indeed,” Dumbledore said and nodded.  “I strongly suspect that the students in her care will now receive better treatment and Delores will be walking the straight and narrow for the time being.”

Cast in that light, Harry agreed that it was a smashing idea.  On the other side of the room, outside of the protective circle he was forced to stand in, the skeletal hands picked up the horcrux.  Harry couldn’t be sure, but it looked like the diadem trembled from side-to-side slightly.  He’d like to think that the soul fragment knew what was coming.

“This sure beats being on the receiving end,” Harry said staring at the dementor as it sucked Riddle’s soul fragment out of the headpiece.  The site was unsettling enough without trying to imagine him being on the other end of the dementor’s mouth.

He concluded that it was a good thing he was drunk when the soul piece had been sucked out of his scar.

Sirius, on the other hand, had no compelling reason to drink.  The man just liked the taste of alcohol.

“What does the diadem do?” Harry inquired.

Dumbledore replied, while opening a fresh bag of lemon drops and enjoying his own brand of celebration, “It is rumored to temporarily augments your cognitive processes.”

With a laugh, Sirius interpreted.  “It makes you smarter.  Wear it long enough and you might even be able to follow what he’s saying…then again, maybe not.”

“So, it’ll help me learn quicker,” Harry said with a gleam in his eyes and a scheme of his own developing.


“I really want a picture of you in that,” Sirius Black said, gesturing to object on Harry's head.  “Now if I could get you into a pink dress, you'd make a lovely Harriet Potter.”

Barely looking up from the book he was immersed in, the subject of Black's ridicule replied, “Har, har, Sirius.  Tell me why I'd even want the opinion of a man with the ability to lick his own balls?”

Harry paused and said, “Wow!  This thing even makes my comebacks have more zing.”

“That's just your opinion,” Sirius dismissed the insult.  “Time to take off your crown fair princess.  Dumbledore's orders.”

Muttering an obscenity or three under his breath, Harry removed the object and said, “Yes, I know he thinks that using Ravenclaw's Diadem for more than two hours a day might inhibit my ability to learn things down the line, but being dead because I didn't learn enough when I had the chance, kind of negates that argument.”

His godfather shrugged and said, “I'm actually with him on this one.  It's a way to cut corners and a crutch, just like using a wit sharpening potion.  The effects will wear off and based on what the Grey Lady told Albus, it works best if you use it and then go back over the same material without the diadem.”

“Yes mother,” Harry muttered at the man.

“Give Riddle credit.  It took balls of mithril to hide it in Hogwarts.  Probably not the brightest idea, but he gets points for sheer audacity.”

“Good thing the Headmaster is getting the last laugh,” Harry said.

“Too true, young wizard.  If you're going to thumb your nose at Albus Dumbledore, you should make damn sure you actually are more clever than he is!  I’m going to slip into town later and maybe pick up something nice to give to Hestia next time I see her.  Do you want me to pick up something for your special friend?”

Harry scowled and said, “Dumbledore’s teaching me Legilmency.  Conversing with the dementor is just part of the lesson.”

“Well you two are already kissed,” Sirius joked.  “I’m not going to judge, Harry.  I just want you to be happy, but tell me which of you is wearing the pants in the relationship?  After all, you’re the one wearing jewelry meant for a witch when I came into the room.”

“Are you leaving right now, or do you have time for some practice duels?  I’m guessing that’s your strategy behind trying to rile me up.”  Harry said, wanting to try out some of the things he’d just been reading about.

Sirius laughed and said, “You’re a bit more difficult to goad into a duel than your dad ever was.  We’d already be going at it.  Must be Lily’s sensibilities holding you back.”

“Not for much longer,” Harry threatened.

“Bring it on, oh terror with a tiara!  Loser has to wear lipstick for the rest of the day.”

“Sirius, why do you have lipstick?”

“Every good prankster should carry a tube.  If I ever get a chance to stun good old Lucius, I’m going to leave a lipstick stain on his collar and let him go instead of turning him over to the Ministry.”

“Why?  Is he your type?”

“No.  Because, when Cissy sees it, we won’t ever see Lucius again.  Trust me on that one.”

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Author Notes:

Thanks for reading.   Feel free to review.   If you're feeling really frisky, visit my Amazon page and check out my novels.   If you're just completely out of control and have already read one, leave a review for it!