Grazhir :: Harry Potter :: Triquetra :: 03

03

INCOMPLETE CHAPTER

Harry was feeling a bit out of sorts. He had not intended to reveal so much, and certainly not to Bill, whom his senses could not guide him much on. His instincts—he didn’t really want to call it that, but could think of no better term—urged him to trust the twins. But Bill? He was a wild card. But now all three of them knew of his awakening, and who he had been most prominently in the past.

They seemed to be taking it well. Then again, all sorts of bizarre and peculiar things happened to him on a semi-regular basis, so perhaps they were becoming inured to these little shocks. On the other hand, if they accepted these things, even if not as gospel, they might begin to treat him as an adult in his own right, one with a great deal of knowledge and experience.

Well, all right. He had to admit that he had only just begun to access all that he knew in the past. It would take more than a few hours or days to regain all that was waiting for him. Still, knowing it was there, and that he could eventually become much more than he was, not only in knowledge but experience, was a comforting thing.

He was startled out of his thoughts by Bill speaking, a rather amused expression on his face. “I never knew the sorting hat had a name. You certainly managed to pick an odd one, Val.”

They had agreed to simply call him Val, Valmar, or Wile. There was no sense in trying to have it both ways, and the more time they spent using his alias, the better, and the less chance one of them would unthinkingly call him Harry in a bad situation.

Harry nodded and shrugged lightly, then produced a crooked smile. Bill had already confirmed that there were no Order members policing his normal home, or the surrounding area, so he was not particularly worried about getting back at any particular time. After grabbing the twins’ hands he thought, ‘I’m going to have to learn how to speak again. This is too time consuming, having to relay, and conspicuous. I know that Metlock noticed, though he was kind enough not to say anything. Besides, it will be far too suspicious if this new arrival on the scene has the exact same problem as our dear Harry Potter.’

“Well, since no one but us knows you can talk again, they wouldn’t have tried to help you there. We should be able to find some potions, or perhaps a spell, than can ease your throat. You might even be able to help things along just by morphing. And change the sound of your voice.”

Harry pondered. ‘I need some time to get more access to my past. However, maybe we can all talk about a suitable look for me. I’m pretty sure it would be a bad idea to use the guise I did earlier at the bank. It would raise too many questions, and I obviously can’t look like my original self. We also need to discuss exactly how I’m to disappear, and figure out how to secure my identity against investigation.’

That was considered for some time, with occasional suggestions tossed out just to be heard. Most of them were discarded immediately, but it did help in an obscure way. The more dross tossed out quickly, the better. The most tenable situation seemed to be a staged kidnapping of sorts, preferably pointing to dark wizards or witches as the culprits.

Of course, Voldemort would know he had not sent his own people on such a raid, and that meant it was very likely that Snape would be able to reveal that to Dumbledore, but it was not outside reason that there were other people who hated Harry enough to wish him harm. Umbridge alone was proof of that. She had nearly managed to subject him to permanent brain damage in her zeal.

It would absolutely not do for it to appear that Harry had run away. Granted, either case meant the Order would be running about like chickens with their heads cuts off trying to locate him, but running away would imply that Harry was far more skilled than he ought to be if he remained unfound. It was better for people to think he was being held against his will for some nefarious purpose or other.

He didn’t care so much that the public might think he was running away from his perceived responsibilities. They changed their opinions with the slightest breeze. It would be pointless to worry overmuch about them. To that effect, they eventually settled on a fairly simple scheme.

Vernon had had people over before for dinner, so there should be no great alarm raised if he did again. Mrs Figg might notice, but it would hardly be an odd occurrence. As Bill knew the most about the warding around his house, and was the eldest of them, he would play the part of a business man of sorts, ostensibly interested in speaking with Vernon about his work.

In that role he would slyly make hints as to Harry, and work his way around to arranging for Vernon to be paid a hefty bribe in exchange for taking Harry off his hands. Bill could come fetch him in the middle of the night, presumably when Harry was vulnerable in sleep, and spirit him away. All he would need is a disguise and money given him by Harry to enact the plan.

“For the time being,” said Bill, “we can easily make it so that you cannot be located, Val. One of us will have to bring Hedwig here under cover, though. Or to wherever you decide to set up. You’ll want to talk to Metlock again in any case, and if we can’t figure out how to alter your identity, he might have some ideas.”

Bill paused and looked at Harry very carefully, then said, “Your signature has already changed as it is. I think your awakening has scrambled things quite a bit on that score.”

Harry quirked a brow.

“I can see auras, Val. It’s been very useful as a curse breaker. You have definitely changed from what I recall seeing previously.”

Harry fetched out his wand and waggled it.

Bill shook his head. “I suggest you put that in whatever vault you end up with. You’ll have to get a new one, even if it is obtained by less than legal means.”

Harry shot him a look of exaggerated shock.

Bill chuckled lightly. “Yes, I know. It’s been me going on about legalities and laws I won’t break. Actually, depending on what you dredge up, you might be able to make your own. And. . . . Val, is the basilisk still there?”

Harry blinked, trying to remember if he had shut the entrance. No, he knew he had. The only people who should be able to gain access were himself and Voldemort, and he couldn’t really see that man making the attempt. He thought about things for a few minutes. Assuming he wasn’t completely mad, Esmé should be able to shield him from the prying eyes of portraits and ghosts if he were to investigate, and even someone he brought with him. Bill’s ability to see magical auras might be handy at his side, especially to see if Dumbledore had done anything special to Myrtle’s bathroom.

Bill agreed with that once it had been passed on. “We should go soon. If you are confident that Esmé can hide us, so be it.”

‘Why not tonight?’ he asked.

*

They crept in through one of the lesser used side doors, but not before Harry had laid a hand on the rough exterior wall and communicated with Esmé about his needs. She readily agreed, something that translated to a delightful sensation wending along his spine. Apparently, she was thrilled that he had come back to her aware once again. Harry had to fight to keep a silly grin off his face during their stealthy trip. Despite her efforts, they still needed to be on guard for Mrs Norris, and to that end Harry had his map handy just in case.

The door to the bathroom was clean, so they entered, and Harry stood quietly out of the way as Bill checked the room over thoroughly. Then he nodded. Harry stepped forward and hissed, a language that was far easier to use in his current condition, and watched as the entrance revealed itself to their eyes. Bill immediately cast several charms and wards, even though it was likely they would be unnecessary.

Harry indicated the pipe, then jumped in. He was shortly joined at the bottom and together they made their way to the Chamber itself. The remains were still there, and Harry readily agreed that they should collect the skin as well, since it could be used for clothing and other accessories. Everything that could possibly be salvaged from the basilisk was, and then Harry spent almost an hour simply sitting on the floor and soaking up the atmosphere, trying to let his mind sift out anything else of interest they might find there.

What came to mind was an extensive warren of rooms here underground, and an outside entrance. And while he did not know if Voldemort had ever discovered much about this area, he could and would place it back under his protection. With his awakening, Hogwarts was truly the safest place he could be, whether or not he was here as a student. All he need do is completely disable the entrance from Myrtle’s bathroom, then drastically beef up the external entrance.

He, Bill, and the twins would be able to apparate; Esmé would see to it. In fact, she already had for them. Though, something else had surfaced in his memory. Harry whipped out a notepad and pencil and started writing.

Bill, I will have to return here later to begin the conversion process. For the time being, I think we should leave these things here. They’re safe enough for the moment. Right now we ought to close up the internal entrance and head back to the flat. There’s something I would like to offer you and your brothers. I’m not sure if you’ll be agreeable, but it could be very useful, though I’d rather wait until we’re all sitting together to broach it.

Bill pondered, then nodded. “If you think so. Let’s get going, then.”

*

‘It’s very simple,’ Harry communicated. ‘There’s a very important detail about Salazar Slytherin that is not common knowledge.’ He paused, chuckled soundlessly, and shook his head. ‘Many things, I suppose, but anyway. I am able, if I can find the right candidates, to give anyone I choose the ability to understand and speak Parseltongue. Write it, too, though that takes actual training.’

He waited for their surprise to settle before continuing. ‘I know it sounds impossible. It’s a secret of my family. If you’re interested then I’ll need to track down the right helpers for this.’

“Helpers?”

‘Yes. Snakes that have been mortally wounded or are close to death anyway, such as from old age. I cannot force their compliance, so don’t even think this would be at the expense of someone else. I can ask, and they can say yes or no.’

“What exactly would you have to do, though?”

Harry shrugged lightly. ‘If they were to agree, they would merge their soul with yours, that’s all. Aside from giving you command of the language, nothing much else would change. I’d warn you that you might adopt some traits associated with snakes, but quite frankly, that would be redundant in your cases. Maybe not so much with Bill, I’m not sure.’

The twins snickered at that. “Right. Well, before we even bother to ask about possible complications and all that rot, why bother?”

‘I think it would be nice to have people I can speak to more easily, especially as right now I can barely speak a human language, and it’s tiring to relay, write everything down, and so on. This way Bill could also easily understand me and I would not have to keep holding your hands, which is highly suspicious in public. Also, it would affect progeny. That’s part of why the Slytherin line is known for producing parselmouths. Last, it might help at some point further down the road for it to come out, possibly, that a number of undeniably Light wizards have the ability, and have merely been hiding it for fear that they’d be treated as Harry Potter has been.’

“Sly little devil,” commented George.

‘It’s amazing what pops into my head when I feel no constraint to conform to the Gryffindor shell I’ve let people cram me into,’ he replied with a smirk.

“Drawbacks? Complications?”

‘I’ve said that already to a degree. The process does have a minor effect on the way you think and react to situations. I realize that a soul cannot exactly be quantified, but in this instance, a snake’s soul is much smaller than a human’s, so the effect is mild. Also, it’s nearly impossible at first for a person unaware of their ability, or newly given it, to distinguish between Parseltongue and their native language. That takes time.

‘As Harry, I truly did not know I was one until it was pointed out to me. I simply thought I was speaking English, and I needed a snake or a representation of one in order to switch tongues. Don’t try to decide just this moment. It’s very late and we should all probably get some sleep.’

Harry spent quite some time before falling asleep pondering the matter of Bill Weasley. His instincts told him to trust the twins, but Bill was something of a wild card, having more or less barged in to assuage his curiosity over the activities of his brothers. He needed to have a long talk with the man. Surely it wasn’t that Bill had unquestioning trust in Harry that he would fall in so easily.

So he asked the next morning, having pulled Bill off to the side after breakfast, and having armed himself with a pad and pencil.

Bill gave him an appraising look. “I’ll be happy to explain, but not right now. I do actually need to get to work and I’ll be late if I don’t leave soon. If you want my help with the Dursleys, though, you’ll need to wait until this evening.”

And so it was, though Harry was the only person to appear as himself. Bill and the twins were wearing glamours on the off chance that Dumbledore should think to have his family questioned. While Harry and George went upstairs to gather his things, Bill and Fred remained on the ground floor to ensure that the Dursleys would not interfere.

Harry sped up his packing when he heard shouting, and he and George were done quickly after that. In truth, there wasn’t a lot he needed to actually remove from the house. He certainly wasn’t going to worry about the clothing they had provided, or even things like his textbooks. Harry only indicated or took the essentials.

They tripped back downstairs at a decent clip and slipped into the living room to see Vernon red-faced and sweating, obviously having paused his tirade to catch his breath. At a nudge from him, George cleared his throat loudly, causing his brothers to glance back over their shoulders, and as one they turned and left, filing out the front door of the house quietly.

And when they did arrive back at the twins’ flat, Harry turned an inquisitive gaze on Bill and Fred as he flopped onto the sofa.

“That man is vile,” Bill said tersely. “I don’t see any problem with the plan you suggested a while back. Your uncle would jump on it like a starving man on food. If you want I can go back in a few days and begin the process, not to mention making them unaware of whether or not you’re even there.”

Harry smiled and nodded, then aimed another curious look at Bill specifically.

“Ah, right. I don’t trust Dumbledore, Val. I’ve seen too many things, overheard too many odd statements, to have any amount of faith in that man. I think he’s using you, as a figurehead if nothing else, and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he expects you’ll end up dead by the time this is all over.”

Harry frowned and slumped slightly, then leaned to the side when George dropped down beside him and used his friend as support. Fred walked over a few seconds later and took the other side, effectively sandwiching Harry between them, so Harry held their hands.

INCOMPLETE CHAPTER