Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Triquetra :: 01

01

Harry sighed and glanced at the clock, then rolled his eyes. It seemed to be taking simply forever for midnight to arrive, and with it, his ascension to adulthood. He rather felt like every minute was really ten or that someone had purposely fiddled with his clock to make it run backward or pause every time he looked away.

He really wondered if they would come for him, the Order, or if he would be left there until near the beginning of the school year. Harry shook his head and glanced at the clock again. He supposed it didn’t matter. Then he wondered what the effect would be if he decided to simply leave the house the next morning and go to Diagon Alley. He had his book list, after all.

If there really was an Order member lurking about, though, they would probably try to stop him. He wasn’t actually sure if there was. The one year Dumbledore had been going on about a weapon, which he still believed was himself given what had happened, but after that. . . .

Granted, he didn’t go out much, but it wasn’t as though he had heard any sounds of apparation, or detected anyone following him during those outings. He hadn’t seen anyone odd wandering about, either. He gave another shrug and had another glance at the clock. One more minute and he would be an adult. Harry decided that was near enough and rolled over, closing his eyes.

A minute later he was arching off the bed in extreme agony, too much in pain to even express it with what little vocal control he had left. Several seconds after that he felt, or perhaps heard, a sharp snap, and the pain was suddenly gone. Harry opened his eyes in surprise, then blinked rapidly on realizing he was staring at himself.

Stretched out under him was himself, still writhing in seeming agony, his mouth open in a soundless scream. After long moments of shocked staring, Harry realized that there were glowing cords stretching out from his body. One originated from his scar, a sickly green colour that quite nearly made him feel ill just to look at.

Another emerged from his chest, that one silver, and stretched straight up toward him. After a moment of thought, Harry realized that it connected his two selves, physical and . . . mental? Then he vaguely recalled something Trelawney had said in class once and nodded. Astral.

Yet another cord emerged from his forehead, that one centered, shifting between various shades of green. He had no idea what to make of it, though he supposed the first one must signify his connection to Voldemort. The last one, however. . . .

In point of fact, it was two. Cords emerged from each of his hands and came together to twist about each other in a spiral. Harry sighed soundlessly, totally unsure of what to do. His body looked to be in great pain, and he found himself feeling somewhat grateful for the fact that his astral form wasn’t sharing it. Fortunately or not, he could not remember how one was supposed to return to oneself.

He tentatively reached out a ghostly hand to touch himself, but that did nothing except make him jerk back in surprise as he felt a slight shock, almost as though he had been shuffling across a carpet and then touched metal. He scratched his head, figuratively speaking, and contemplated what to do for several minutes.

When nothing untoward had happened in that amount of time, Harry decided to be somewhat reckless. After all, what little he remembered about astral forms told him that he would, eventually, end up back to normal. So he reached out to grasp the spiral of cords that emerged from his hands, then reeled, so to speak, as his world went completely blurry and he experienced the distinct sensation of a Gringotts cart ride at one hundred times or more the normal speed.

A moment later he blinked; soft snores filled the room, one he had never seen before, and before him was that same spiraled cord. Except, now it split and led, not to his physical hands, but to two separate people. Fred and George Weasley, to be specific.

Why he was connected to them was totally beyond his ken. They must be important, though, right? He had been floating there for a while, trying to think of anything that might explain things, when he noticed several things about them. The cord connected to Fred did so to his right hand, while the one to George did so to the left. And there was another cord present, though that one stretched between the two of them directly. Perhaps it was a twin thing?

Harry gave another soundless sigh and shrugged. Perhaps it would make more sense later on. He turned away from them and reached out to hold the spiral again, hoping it would return him to his bedroom. And it did. His body was still writhing around, making Harry wonder if he would have gone mad had he been entirely himself.

Another tentative touch to his physical body resulted in another shock, causing Harry to frown. While he didn’t want to actually experience the pain he must be feeling, neither did he want to float around for heaven knew how long. He had no idea how long he could be separated for before adverse effects manifested, if indeed ever. He was beginning to think he should have paid more attention in class.

That thought had him rolling his eyes. A glance at the clock had him suffering further surprise; it was only quarter past the hour. Harry eyed the cords again, wondering if he should push his luck and test the one that shifted colours. There was no way in hell he was going to check out the one he assumed led to Voldemort.

If nothing else, it was turning out to be a right interesting birthday.

Harry reached out and grabbed the variegated cord, mentally bracing himself for another wild ride. He frowned almost immediately; why on earth was he in Dumbledore’s office, and why was the cord linked to, of all things, the sorting hat?

An odd thing occurred to him then. The sorting hat could hear thoughts, right? Was it possible that it could read his even in this form? However, it wasn’t as though he could wear the silly thing. After thinking about that for a minute, Harry decided to try the obvious. He floated right up to the shelf it was resting on, pausing for long enough to see what would happen if he tried to touch the shelf itself (his hand passed right through), then arranged himself so that his head shared the same space as the hat.

A second later everything went black as he felt his mind want to explode. And the only thing he was able to comprehend before he lost consciousness was the greeting, “Hello, Salazar. Nice to see you’re finally awake again.”

*

When he awoke he felt quite normal, though a bit muzzy. Perhaps it had simply been an extremely peculiar dream? After all, why on earth would anyone mistake him for Salazar Slytherin? He supposed it was possible that the sorting hat slept after a fashion, and might have been disturbed in the middle of a dream about the Founders. Then again, if it had been Harry himself dreaming, that made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Harry let out a sigh and shook his head. It wasn’t like there was any point worrying over it, and he was feeling rather hungry, not to mention in need of a wash. So he got up and stretched, feeling only mildly peculiar, and headed toward his bedroom door, only to stagger back in shock on catching sight of himself in the mirror attached to his wardrobe and collapse into his chair.

Had he been inclined to think about it, he might have been grateful that the chair was facing the right way at the time, else he would have ended up on the floor in a sprawl. As it was, Harry was much too busy staring at his reflection. He had seen a portrait of Salazar once, and the fact that his current appearance matched it quite handily was a surprising occurrence, to be sure.

He gaped a bit, and shook his head, then blinked rapidly several times, none of which changed what he was currently seeing. And for that matter, how was it that he didn’t seem to need his glasses? He was startled out of whatever wits he had left when his door was banged on loudly three times, then the voice of his aunt came through. “Aren’t you up yet, boy!?”

As Harry was scrambling for ideas on what to do—it wasn’t like he could answer her, after all, and surely his aunt would scream the house down on seeing a complete stranger in his room—he heard a muffled, “Freak,” and the sound of footsteps moving away.

It was then that he felt some small measure of gratitude toward his aunt. She might think he was a freak of nature, but it did serve to remind Harry that he could actually do magic, and he was an adult. After taking a deep breath, he gazed at his reflection again, absently noting that he wasn’t such a bad looking fellow like this, then nodded, stood, and fetched his wand.

He tried casting a glamour-canceling spell, that being the most logical thing he could think of at that point, to no effect. He sincerely doubted polyjuice was involved. Aside from the fact that it would have required a living twin in looks of Salazar to manage, he didn’t think it was likely that anyone had slipped into his room and force fed him a potion.

And, oddly enough, a glance at Hedwig showed that she was awake, and not particularly concerned about his current appearance. Harry snorted. She hooted at him reassuringly in response. Right, not an intruder, then. He also discounted the possibility that his original appearance was a glamour. He didn’t think they could last for that many years, for one, and for two, Moody had never seemed to notice anything odd about him.

That left only one thing, however unlikely it might seem, so Harry gazed into the mirror again and concentrated fiercely. Though, even before he had the thought barely in mind, his scar appeared on his forehead as though it had never been missing.

Harry glanced off to the side in thought, then up, then off to the left, and down. So perhaps it had not been an especially bizarre dream, though that opened up a damn sight more questions than he had had already. After giving a careless shrug, Harry looked at himself again and concentrated on willing his appearance to match that of the known Harry Potter, and once he was satisfied gave another shrug and took himself off to the bathroom to wash up, then downstairs long enough to procure himself a meal, to be eaten in his room.

He considered, an hour or so later, popping out to the shops in order to see if he could find a book on Astral forms, but as he wasn’t sure if there were any Order members lurking about shadowing him, and as he wasn’t sure he wanted to mention these odd happenings to anyone just yet, he wasn’t so sure he wanted to take the risk of clueing anyone in prematurely to his thoughts.

Then he realized he was being unnaturally calm about everything and wondered if he ought to be experiencing a bit more in the way of anxiety at that point. Hedwig hooted, catching his attention, flew over to his school trunk and landed on top, then tapped it a few times with her beak before flying back to her usual perch. Harry gave her a suspicious look, to which she merely ruffled her wings.

‘I wonder if Aunt Petunia has enough brains to notice I wasn’t wearing my glasses,’ he thought. ‘Perhaps I ought to do something about that, then.’ A quick trip to the kitchen produced some cling film, at which point Harry did a bit of work to slip the lenses from his glasses and shove them off to one side, then transfigured half each of the film to something vaguely resembling real glass (or perhaps plastic) and popped those into place.

Hedwig hooted again, this time in a somewhat frustrated manner, and eyed his trunk. Harry gave her another suspicious look, then went over and opened it, slowly checking over everything inside and trying to figure out what was on her mind. When he happened upon his long ignored divination text, he paused for a moment, then pulled it out and closed the trunk.

Some time later he thought he could understand why she had been insistent, though that did not explain how she would know. Granted, post owls were very smart creatures, but he had not realized they were quite that intelligent. Or was she just an exception?

After returning the book to his trunk he laid back down on his bed to consider. Though the book itself hadn’t been very illuminating, it had had the effect of making him aware of rather more than he ought to be. He knew exactly how to separate himself astrally. On that note, and being very curious to see if those cords really did exist, Harry closed his eyes and concentrated. After a short time he felt (or heard) another snap of dislocation, and opened his eyes to see his own body, complete with those peculiar cords stretching off into the distance.

‘So be it,’ he thought. ‘Not that it explains much of anything, but given that my little trip to the sorting hat produced such odd things, perhaps I should visit again. It is summer, so I doubt Dumbledore would be there to notice anything out of the ordinary, and that’s assuming he could anyway. I must admit I haven’t the foggiest idea of what he’s actually capable of.’

So he latched onto the cord and blurred into the headmaster’s office, not far away from the hat, and overlapped it in much the same manner he had earlier that day.

‘Hello again, Salazar.’

‘Salazar,’ he responded.

‘Yes, of course. Not that I expect you remember at this point. It always did take you a while to figure things out each time. Though, I must say you’ve returned to me fairly quickly this time around.’

Harry considered that for a moment, then thought, ‘Is this any explanation for why you thought I’d do so well in Slytherin?’

‘You might put it that way, if you were of a mind to do so. However, while Slytherin House has certainly maintained certain ideals you once held, it is not entirely the same thing you originally envisioned, either. At any rate, you do still typify the qualities you specified, which made it a natural choice.’

Harry shook his head carefully. ‘All right. Then why Gryffindor?’

‘Because you also typify those qualities. No doubt, this incarnation is a great deal more well rounded.’

Harry scratched his forehead, only vaguely able to sense the hat itself as he did so. ‘Just how many, then?’

‘A half dozen, give or take. It is far more amusing to see your reaction each time rather than counting how often it happens, after all. It gives me something to look forward to aside from the time I spend on thinking up new sorting songs.’

Harry bit his lip. ‘Speaking of my reaction, I don’t suppose you could explain just why I’m being so calm about all this? I don’t think I need to point out that most people would be in the midst of a screaming hissy fit by now. And for that matter, why did I black out like that?’

‘You blacked out because of the amount of information that became available, which is also the explanation, in a roundabout sense, for your current placidity. As it is, you are currently processing that information somewhere in the back of your mind. As time goes on, more and more of it will surface in a fashion you can easily understand, access, and make use of.’

‘What, like memories?’

‘Yes, those are included, but not in any immediate sense. It isn’t as though you’ll suddenly become schizophrenic. You’ll simply remember who you used to be at certain points along the way, and remember everything that you’ve learned in those lives. Memories of former lives will be viewed from your current perspective, as though you left them for yourself in a pensieve. In that sense, and I can assure you that you’ve already had this reaction in the past, you will come to find, on occasion, that you believe you were a complete ass at times.’

Harry snickered at that. ‘Somehow I don’t doubt it. So, all right, I was Salazar, and who knows who else, but I’m still Harry.’

‘Yes.’

‘Why is this happening?’

‘I should like to point out that you were rather reticent on that subject. However, it is my opinion that you caused this to happen. I see some oddly striking similarities between what you as Salazar must have done, and what your current descendant has tried in his own way.’

Harry grimaced. ‘Gosh, thanks. I really wanted to be reminded of that salient fact. It’s ever so nice to realize that I, at one point, tried to figure out a way to make myself immortal, and that Voldemort has been trying the same thing.’

‘In a sense, though obviously, it isn’t as though he’s had the same idea. Besides, you have never rampaged around trying to destroy everything you didn’t agree with. At any rate, the term immortal means different things to different people. You did achieve it after a fashion. What he has attempted is a different matter entirely.’

‘I suppose so. I also suppose that means I was never Grindelwald. I’m not going to wake up in St. Mungo’s am I?’

‘If you choose to believe you are currently under the care of mediwizards, far be it from me to attempt to convince you otherwise. We go through this every single time, and you’re just as resistant to the concept each time. You may think you might wake up at some point and realize that all of this is just a dream, but for the moment I suggest you simply accept and carry on.’

‘Am I really such a trial to you, Erugnarnot?’

‘It’s nice to see some of it’s trickling back in. And, if I recall correctly, the last time around you decided that Edgar was a simpler name to call me, rather than continuing on with your rather odd sense of humor.’

Harry scratched his forehead again. ‘Now you mention it, I did, didn’t I.’

‘Unlike you humans, I do not have the luxury of forgetting things.’

‘Then perhaps I should be asking you to tell me what you think I ought to know at this point, rather than asking random questions.’

‘And I think I shall not be playing that particular game. Ask what you will, and I will answer what I may.’

Harry huffed a bit in frustration, then tried again. ‘As you say, Edgar. Should I be concerned about people like Godric popping up unexpectedly?’

‘Not that I’m aware of. They were quite pleased with the more normal interpretation of immortality. They lived on through their children.’

‘All right. Here’s a mind bender, then. Am I a descendant of myself?’

‘Not at all.’

‘Reincarnation, then?’

‘More or less. You had another term for it.’

‘I’m not sure how I feel about that. The phrase, “I am not myself,” comes to mind. If I am not my own descendant, er. . . .’

‘You do still maintain whatever control you possessed as Salazar over this castle. You do still qualify as a member of your own family, though I admit, the connection is obscure in that sense.’

Harry did a slight double take. ‘Control? I shall have to think about that and come back to you if I’m unable to dredge anything up from memory.’

‘That is the preferred method,’ the hat responded dryly.

‘I suppose it’s just as well that I’m mute. I can’t very well go blurting things out without thinking, can I.’

‘You are not mute. Just stubborn.’

‘Say again?’

‘You are not mute. You have not been mute since your awakening. You simply never thought to speak, having no doubt become accustomed to not trying.’

‘I see. Still, that might come in handy at this point. Which reminds me—what is with these damn cords? I can understand one to you and even one to Voldemort, though now I see that as a two-pronged sort of deal, but I can’t for the life of me figure out why I’m connected to the Weasley twins.’

‘Eh?’

‘Now that was helpful. Thank you ever so much.’

‘I am able to feel surprise, you know. I confess, I have no idea. It’s never come up before.’

‘I guess I’ll have to figure it out on my own. I’ll try to remember to let you know how that turns out.’

‘I would appreciate that, but you must realize that I am not, strictly speaking, a repository of your knowledge. I merely help to further the awakening process.’

‘Well, I suppose it’s possible you’d have exploded by now if you actually knew that much, and certainly about every single person you’ve ever encountered. Hm, I don’t suppose there’s anything you can tell me about what Dumbledore has been up to regarding my dear, er, cousin, can you?’

‘I’m afraid there isn’t much to say on that. Dumbledore is fairly reticent. The times he has mentioned it in this office have been few and far between. Of late, you’ve usually been the reason why, having been present physically.’

‘Oh. I guess that was too much to hope for. Let me ask you your opinion on something, then. Dumbledore believes I am a parselmouth because of my dear cousin’s actions that night. I’m inclined to disagree at this point. I still find it to be improbable that an inborn ability could be transferred in such a manner. The only reasonable explanations are that I’ve always had it, because of who I am or was, or that I can speak Parseltongue because of my link to him, and at that, should he die, logic suggests I would no longer have access to that ability.’

Harry got the distinct impression the sorting hat was shaking its head, even though it had not moved. ‘Hardly the case. Every incarnation of yours has been a parselmouth, just like every incarnation has been a metamorphmagus. You were hardly a stupid man as Salazar. A bit blind, perhaps, and certainly a bit irrational, but not stupid. You made allowances in whatever you did, to be sure.’

‘Ah, well, thank you for that glowing recommendation of my character. Still. . . . Then I suppose that Dumbledore is merely guessing. I wonder how much else that applies to. Perhaps Esmé knows something of interest?’

‘Perhaps she might. You won’t know until you ask. On a related note, I find it rather hilarious that so many choose a label of esteemed for this castle, or profess to love it.’

Harry thought about that for a moment, then laughed soundlessly. ‘Yes, rather. Still, that’s another thing filtered up.’

‘I think you’re coming along quite nicely.’

‘Should I rightly assume that Dumbledore, then, and indeed, no other person who’s run across you, knows anything about my particular circumstances?’

‘That would be correct. The only entity who has any right to that kind of knowledge is you, and then only once you’ve awakened, as per your orders.’

‘All right. That raises another interesting question, though. Why Godric’s sword?’

Harry got the distinct impression that the sorting hat coughed delicately. ‘It did work, did it not? Think about it for long enough and you will realize that your wand would not have given you much of an advantage at the time. Besides, you had a hand in the making of it. I was quite sure you could figure out which end was the pointy one.’

‘Hm. I’m going to take that at face value for the moment, Edgar. I get the feeling I’m edging into territory you would prefer I figure out for myself. So, how droll, I killed my own basilisk, the poor dear. Speaking of which, what about Fawkes?’

Another delicate cough.

‘Right. In that case, I think I’ll just toddle back to my body and have a go at recall. I may drop back in later.’

‘Please do. It’s nice to have someone interesting to talk to for a change.’

Harry moved away, then returned to his own body, this time knowing exactly how to merge himself back in. He stretched, for he did feel a bit stiff, then settled back again to consider things. ‘Well, things like this might explain why some philosophers went mad and killed themselves. Trying to figure out the reality of existence is . . . mind boggling. I wonder if it’s possible to dream within a dream. Of course, one might conjecture that that is why so many cannot be remembered, or even that dreams are actually waking moments. No, perhaps not. Circumstances within dreams can vary so wildly that I doubt that’s the case.’

He rolled over onto his side and shoved a hand up under the pillow. ‘I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what pops up.’

*

By the time evening had rolled around he had a much better idea of what measure of control he held over the castle. In fact, he was quite sure he could uncover any number of interesting little secrets with her help. That is, assuming he hadn’t already remembered them. He wondered how hard it would be to roam around the castle during the summer without anyone noticing him.

That made him wonder if he should even bother to return for his seventh year. Would he be better served by staying away? Or was it the case that should he attempt such a thing that the Order would make damn sure he did return. Granted, he was an adult, but he didn’t think Dumbledore would so easily let him go, and would certainly pester him incessantly should he make the attempt.

Perhaps, instead of worrying about that matter at present, he could go investigate those cords again. After all, it might be true that the sorting hat was unique in its ability to read thoughts, but nothing said Harry couldn’t attempt to overlap an actual person to see if communication could be achieved.

There was nothing in his memory to answer the question, so there was nothing to do but try. When he blurred into the room, however, neither of the twins were awake, which Harry thought was a bit odd given the hour; it wasn’t all that late. After a mental shrug, he decided to overlap his right hand man, Fred.

‘Fred? Fred, wake up. C’mon, Fred, wake up!’ After quite a bit of urgent mental prodding, Fred bolted upright in bed and looked around wildly. ‘Fred? It’s not like you can see me. But you can hear me?’

Fred continued to scan the room warily, but nodded nonetheless.

‘Oh good!’ Harry thought cheerfully. ‘You’ve no idea how happy that makes me. I didn’t mean to give you the collywobbles, though.’

Fred slowly relaxed back into a prone position and exhaled heavily. ‘Er, hello.’

‘You don’t know who this is, do you? All right, I’ll give you a hint, then. Hmm. Oh, I know. You might say I’m up to no good, and you helped show me how.’

Fred sat up again. ‘Well, I’d like to believe that whoever you are, you aren’t dead, so . . . Harry?’

‘Yes! Give the man a thousand more galleons! Hi, Fred. How are you?’

‘You’re awfully chipper, considering. I’m fine, by the way, just a bit shocked at the moment. How on earth are you managing this?’

‘Well, I’m not entirely certain, and it’s really rather confusing to explain. Something very strange happened to me last night, but I’m not so sure I want to rush off and explain any of it to the Order, you know? However, there’s some sort of odd connection between me and you two, and I want to find out why.’

‘Harry, where are you? Why can’t I see you?’

‘In my bedroom, actually. Er, well, my body is. The rest of me is currently sharing space with you, which is why I assume we can hear each other’s thoughts right now. No, I’m not dead, don’t be stupid. I can go back anytime I want. You know, I don’t really think I want to stay at the Dursleys any longer. I am of age, after all. I’m not even sure I want to return to Hogwarts.’

‘Uh. . . . You are an adult now, Harry, but I think the Order would go spare if you up and disappeared on them.’ After a pause he thought, ‘This has got to be the weirdest dream I’ve ever had.’

‘Damn it, Fred, you’re not dreaming. Look, do me a favor, all right? Can you and George come and visit me? Please?’

‘Visit you?’

‘Yes, visit me. Both of you. Tomorrow, if possible. There’s something going on I don’t understand. Maybe if you come to see me, we can figure it out.’

‘Your family?’

‘Don’t tell me you two are afraid of them.’

‘No, but I can’t imagine they’d be happy to see us, either.’

‘Ah, sarcasm. Go back to sleep, Fred, but please visit me tomorrow.’ When he didn’t hear anything further after a minute, Harry separated himself from Fred and floated in the center of the room and waited. It was only when Fred’s breathing evened out into that of sleep that Harry overlapped George and tried speaking with him.

George reacted similarly, also bolting upright. After a not dissimilar introductory conversation, Harry tried to get George to make the same promise, then returned to his body.