The light streamed through a pair of curtains that had been mostly closed. It lit upon Harry's face and as it grew in brightness, his face became distorted from its peaceful sleeping visage. Soon he's brows furrowed and he put an arm over his arms, trying to stop the eventual awakening. It wasn't to be as he jerked upwards, his brain quickly filtering and sorting the past twenty four hours. He jerked his head up to stare at the clock.
It was ten in the morning. His stomach rumbled and he clutched it looking around the room. There wasn't any food in immediate reach, so he shuffled to the edge and tried to stand. After a few wobbly attempts, he was on his feet and slowly padding around the room, trying to stretch away any pins and needles still left in his legs. After a quick stop in the bathroom, he grabbed his bag and headed towards the door.
"Harry, you can't leave," Turiel said, a sharp edge in his tone. Harry's hand stopped on the knob and he slowly turned to the being.
"At least, not until I've explained some things, as I promised," he amended. His tone softened as he saw the quizzical and somewhat angry look on Harry's face.
"Where are we?" Harry asked.
"America," Turiel replied quickly.
"America? What the bloody blazes are we doing in America?" Harry's confusion warred with a desire for answers. Turiel gestured at the empty seat across from where he had appeared. Harry sat down warily. He gazed across the table at Turiel who smiled and hummed for a moment.
"This is going to take several conversations, so for now the basics will suffice yes?" Harry nodded.
"Good, that means less talking," Turiel said with a satisfied nod. He looked at Harry.
"What do you know of Angels and Demons?" Harry shook his head.
"Right, so the very basics then," Turiel murmured as he slowly stroked his chin, a perfect picture of pensiveness.
"Angels are real. I am an Angel," Turiel started, but caught himself, "Was an Angel. I was originally tasked to defend this plane from any threats from the Outside. I had a unit, I was a captain. I am not anymore." Harry's head spun within a few short seconds. He stared at the figure across from him.
"I was then, re-tasked to help souls cross the river into Purgatory. I was," he paused slightly, "bad, at the job." Harry's eyebrow rose in question.
"I fell." He supplied in response. Seeing Harry's confusion, Turiel's face grew dark.
"For an Angel to fall, it means they were cast down from Heaven by God himself. I was lucky, I only managed to end up in Purgatory, where I could work away my sins, and maybe one day rejoin my Father in the Heavenly Host. There are some though, that Fall a lot further," he added.
"The Fallen Angels of the Denarius, a cunning plan by the Morningstar himself, but not the only one to use that trick. It turns out, silver coins are especially handy in trapping and binding Angels.
Lucifer was not the first to think of it even." Turiel mused, almost too himself rather than Harry.
"Who are the Fallen Angels of the Denarius?" Harry asked. His mind was spinning with information, but he pressed on.
"They, are both my siblings, and my enemies. Thirty Angels, cast down into the fires of hell and twisted until they became demons in their own right. Even one of them is powerful enough to take you on right now with my limited help. Don't worry, we'll be fixing that," Turiel's tone lowered in sadness.
"Wait, are they Angels or Demons?" Harry asked.
"They are demons, through and through," Turiel assured him. Harry sat back, trying to digest everything.
"Wait, then what are you?" he added. Turiel's bright eyes darkened. He looked away for a moment before turning to Harry. The small P on his cheek wept a single drop of blood.
"I was an Angel of the Hosts, a Captain of a cohort and one of the first defenders of humanity," Turiel's eyes glimmered.
"Now, I'm just a Fallen trying to go home." Harry watched as the droplet fell and no more came from the small brand.
"And how do I fit in?" Turiel's gaze caught Harry and he held him in scrutiny for what seemed like an age.
"I know what I must do to re-enter the Hosts of Heaven. But I cannot interact with this physical world, except through a host of my own," He paused and looked up, "the irony was never lost on me," he said as if speaking to the ceiling. Harry was slowly starting to understand some of it.
"So, you need me to help you. But if you can't interact with the physical world, how can you help me?" Turiel's gaze snapped back to Harry.
"Knowledge, power, history. I can provide you with a wealth of everything you need to defeat the one known as Voldemort, without ever leaving you." Turiel's gaze softened, "And in the end, you will be stronger and happier for it." The P on his cheek wept another dot of blood.
"Then what happens? You stay inside of me forever?" Harry's brow darkened in anger.
"No, then you assist me in my tasks and after that, I will be free." A light shone in Turiel's eyes as he talked of his return.
"What happens to me after that?" Harry asked. Turiel's response was a shadowed look followed by a twitch of his lips.
"I honestly don't know," he said slowly. Harry could feel anger rising.
"So you could finish this, and you get to go home and I just get left behind for dead or dying?" Harry snarled, making to stand.
"You misunderstood me," Turiel said, "When I am free and can return to the Hosts, I don't know what God or anyone else has planned for you." That quieted Harry.
"I can't believe God's real," Harry finally said with a whisper.
"Oh, he's very real. And he has temper tantrums sometimes," Turiel said, adding a joke to try and lighten the atmosphere.
"So, why me? Why help me?" Harry asked.
"You were there, you picked up the coin, you had a purpose I could help with and could bargain for," Turiel said plainly. Harry jerked back.
"And what would you have done if I was normal?"
"I assure you, the very fact that you found my coin, or rather my Coin found you means you were far from normal," Turiel said, a smile alighted on his face for the first time. Harry scowled.
"All I've ever wanted was to be normal," he said quietly. Turiel looked at him, confusion sliding over the smile. He cocked his head sideways as he looked at Harry.
"We're more alike than you think, Harry," was all he added. The pair mulled over the information in silence.
"So, what now?" Harry asked, breaking the gulf of quiet that yawned between them.
"He left." Sirius jerked awake. Remus stared down at him from the side of the bed. Worry and fear marred the werewolf's face. Sirius scowled and jumped out of the bed. He quickly pulled on some clothes and turned to Moony. His eyes narrowed as he spied a rucksack on the man's shoulders. He turned around waved his wand. A whirl of clothes and objects dumped themselves into the bag.
"What happened?" the convict asked as he turned back to his friend. The pair ignored the chaos around them as Sirius moved to his desk to snatch up seemingly random parchments.
"He came running down the house and out the front, with a bag on his bag. He smelled terrified Padfoot, like something was happening. But we checked and there were no magical traces in the area, not even a squib. Snape shot a stunner at him, trying to subdue him, but he moved to fast. Dumbledore's in a tizzy and the rest are all on the verge of a manhunt.
"He made it out without using magic," Sirius murmured, "that's my boy." Remus nodded in agreement as the chaotic whirl of magic came to an end, with the bag snapping and strapping itself shut. Sirius grabbed it off the floor and the friends quietly unlocked the door and stole onto the landing. Sirius leapt forward, hands splayed and with a slight pop, the Grim bounded down the landing towards the front, Remus close behind, running on charmed feet.
The pair made it down the stairs, narrowly skirting the Twins, Ginny, Ron and Hermione who started and stood up. The Twins slipped a fleshy string behind their backs, but the two men ignored the group, making their way out quickly. The door quietly closed behind them.
"Too nosy for their own good," Remus commented to the canine who snuffed in response, an agreement. The pair quickly walked down the street and around the corner. They ducked into an alley and Remus grabbed a hold of a tuft of Sirius's fur. With a crack the pair vanished, reappearing with a simultaneous crack in the Apparition point off Diagon Alley.
"He has to have come here at some point, he's smart. He'd know he'd need money, he would have stopped at Gringott's." Padfoot shuffled forward, nose in the air. He sniffed left and right, before trotting towards the Goblin run bank, Remus close behind. Padfoot would stop every few minutes to sniff the air, each time his tail sunk a little lower. Soon, they stood upon the marble steps, Padfoot whined and sat on his hind legs, looking at Remus with forlorn eyes. Remus frowned.
"I don't understand, he can't have much on him, he'd know he would need money," the werewolf looked down the Alley pensively, gazing at the various shops. He saw the Leaky Cauldron sign, and sighed.
"Well, let's go to the Cauldron and get some food while we figure out the next step, I know I'm hungry," He said to the Grim. The dog nodded slightly and they made their way back down the Alley. Remus reached the entryway and quickly tapped out the sequence before stepping back. The pair walked across the threshold and Padfoot froze. He sniffed the wall and then the ground before turning to Remus and barking once, his tail was wagging hard.
'Lead the way," Remus said, gesturing to the pub. With that, they quickly slipped in and the dog Animagus was nose to the floor. Remus quickly ordered two lunches to go and then, as Padfoot impatiently waited by the door to the Muggle world, Remus packed the bags away and they stepped through, careful to avoid startling any Muggles that might have been walking by with their sudden appearance.
Remus fell into step behind Padfoot as the dog sniffed around, following a trail the werewolf could barely smell. They quickly made their way down the street and around the corner, Padfoot's nose to the ground, as they made their way towards the Thames. Soon, the pair found themselves at an isolated bench, staring out at the River. Remus made to sit and Padfoot hopped up on the bench next to him.
Remus reached into his rucksack and pulled out a quartet of small stones, he tapped each one, briefly lighting them with a dull blue-white light, and then dropped them in a small rectangle around the bench. The moment the last one was in place, Sirius sat on the bench, digging out the food they had acquired.
"He smells funny Moony, like himself, but there's another scent, I can't place it," he said around a mouthful of chicken. Remus crinkled his nose slightly, but nodded and looked around. There was a few Muggles, walking down the river side, minding their own business. None of them even stopped to look towards the pair, thanks to the small ward Remus had placed.
"Why here though?" He murmured. Sirius looked up, staring at Remus like he was an idiot.
"This is where his trail ends," Sirius said simply. He pointed to a small spot next to the bench. There was nothing there, save a small patch of dead grass and nothing else. Remus sighed in exasperation.
"There's funny smell there, but it's where Harry's trail ends," Sirius said quietly. Remus gazed at the spot, willing the mystery to unravel itself, but it remained locked. The pair of men stared at the last known location of Harry, pensive and dark. They had no clue where to go next.
"Well Remus, it looks like we're finally going to go on that world trip you always talked about," Sirius said with a small smile.
"No, Pads, it was you that kept harping on about that. Something about tasting the flavors of the world's women," Remus quickly shot back. Sirius smiled wider and finished his food. Remus shook his head and sighed before making short work of his own meal. Sirius transformed once more as Remus finished and stood up. He stepped out of the ward, causing it shiver and collapse in a short cascade of sparks.
"Well, I suppose the easiest thing to do is try and track him down with a spell. Is there anything around he might have dropped? I don't think he has any possession back at Grimmauld that would be personal enough for a spell, do you?" The dog shook his head and sniffed around a bit. After a moment's search he stopped, nose pointed. Remus knelt down and saw what looked to be a strand of black hair.
"That'll work Pads, definitely." Remus carefully picked it up and searched around for a small stone. A quick sticking charm and some string and it hung on a pendulum. He tapped the stone with his wand, murmuring a short incantation. He knotted the loose end of the string around his finger, like a yo-yo and then let it hang loose. It shuddered once and then began to slowly swing back and forth. He carefully watched the small contraption swing this way and that, when suddenly it stopped, pointing straight as an arrow, west. It held the string taut, vibrating slightly even.
"He's a long ways away Pads, let's hope he's ok," Remus said as the pair began to make their way through the city, following the stone. It pointed unerringly, in the same direction. They could only hope that where ever he was, he was safe.
The convenience store was rundown, the bathroom was locked shut and the coffee pot had black rings on it. But he ignored all that in favor of looking at the cashier who was currently counting out his change. Luckily a handful of loose pounds in his knapsack had contributed to a few 20 American dollar bills. He looked at the small selection of snacks he'd picked with the intention of holding himself over until he could find the Magical side of where ever the hell was here. There he'd be able to get his Galleon's exchanged.
'He seems nervous,' Turiel murmured in Harry's ear. Harry didn't jerk up this time, but instead looked at the cashier. He looked around the store, noticing no one else inside. He took the food and the change and turned to exit the store. In front of him stood a large man, maybe only a foot or two shorter and a stone lighter than Hagrid. His face was turned down in a perpetual frown and he had a wispy goatee.
"Excuse me sir," he mumbled quietly as he tried to walk around the man. A hand shot out and clapped him on the shoulder. He stopped, but that was all. His knees creaked slightly, but his back stayed straight.
"You smell of Denarians and blood, little wizard. You also, tracked through my queen's kingdom without appeal or request. I have been tasked to retrieve you so my queen may know your name and why you trespassed without consent," the man's voice was deep, rumbling out like thunder. Harry took a step back.
'Run.' Harry responded a moment later, ducking down to loosen the hand and then he jerked his body forward, fleeing for the door. He heard pounding steps behind him, but he didn't look back.
'Left.' He spun and ran, heading for the car they had stolen. He dodged the few late night passerby and jumped into the vehicle. It was still on so he floored the pedal, gunning his way out of the lot. He looked in the rear view to see the big man's image shimmer for a moment.
Then the world flipped on it's head. He looked forward to see a petite old man holding his hand out. Everything was upside down.
'We cannot escape him, Harry," Turiel whispered. Harry looked at the old man, with his hand out, holding a freaking car in the air like it was nothing.
"Sure, so what now" Harry asked out loud.
'Let us see what the Queen of Summer wants of us,' Turiel said. It was a simple statement, but Harry could feel apprehension behind it. He held his hands up from the steering wheel. The tiny man lowered his hand, the car flipped over and followed suit. He didn't even get a chance to step out before the larger man dragged him out of the car by his scruff.
"Be gentle, Brother, we would not want to damage him before our Lady can talk to him," the tiny man said, his voice was made of steel, despite his tiny and frail appearance.