Arc Two: Part One (First Year) — IV
With two days before the end of the holiday, Lucifer wants to make the most of having the castle mostly free of irritating infants. So he goes to Gabriel and asks him about the protected chamber beneath the school.
His brother raises his eyebrows. "You don't know about that?"
Lucifer huffs, irritated. "I am stuffed at the back of the mind of a child, in case you've forgotten."
"You can leave any time you want, Mr My-Dad-Made-Me-Take-A-Puny-Human-Vessel," Harry says, and Lucifer can very clearly see the conveyed raised-eyebrow emotion Harry is projecting.
"Right," Gabriel says, looking completely thrilled about this. "Well, brother-mine, Dumbledore is protecting the Philosopher's Stone."
Lucifer stares. "You're joking."
"Nope," Gabriel says, popping the p. "One of the main reasons why I came here as a teacher and not a student. I'm in on all their dirty little secrets. Like did you know that Professor Flitwick had a thing with—"
"I think you should stop before Harry's soul burns out of his body from sheer mortification," Lucifer comments idly, paying closer attention to the curious feelings of mingled horror coming from the wizard.
Gabriel smirks wickedly. "Young ears. Forgot about that."
Lucifer rolls his eyes. "Can we please focus on the fact that there is a Philosopher's Stone in the school?"
"Sure, bro, but there's not really a lot to talk about," Gabriel says, leaning against his desk. "It's here because someone thought it was gonna be stolen from Gringotts. A few teachers have set up their own protections — I'm disappointed I didn't get a chance to, what with me filling in for the last guy and everything."
"The dog, weeds, the chess set, the keys, and the fire, right?"
"Dumbledore set up some magic mirror too. I dunno what use it is; I kind of tuned out," Gabriel shrugs.
Lucifer tries not to let his unease show, especially given that when he had looked into the mirror he had believed Gabriel to be dead. Now they're slowly but surely repairing their relationship.
"Lucifer, what's a Philosopher's Stone?" Harry asks.
"A glorified magic rock that halts ageing and can turn any metal into pure gold. It's a trick one of the Grigori thought up a few millennia ago, and humans — being the vile, greedy leeches that they are — endeavoured to create their own. Only one is known to exist today."
"So, it basically grants immortality?"
"There's no such thing as immortality," Lucifer says blandly, and he ignores the confusion radiating from Harry.
"Sh." To Gabriel, he says, "We need to destroy it."
"I'm curious to see if anyone will actually try to steal it from the school. To break into Gringotts you've gotta be pretty damn desperate," Gabriel points out.
"True. But it's not something we want lying around."
Gabriel gives him a look. "Not something we want lying around mere humans, you mean?"
Lucifer smirks and shrugs unrepentantly.
Gabriel rolls his eyes. "Well, if you're gonna get rid of the Stone at least let me tag along."
He grins. "I thought you'd never ask."
Harry isn't sure what it is about the identical grins shared by Gabriel and Lucifer, but it really, really doesn't sit well with him.
Not for the first time, and probably not for the last time, Harry wonders just how his life became this messed up.
Death's cloak makes moving around the castle at night much easier, no matter what Lucifer says. Harry thinks it's useful, and if it was his dad's then it can't very well be bad, can it?
"Keep telling yourself that. Just know that an object from the Ultimate Neutral Party can't be anything good either," Lucifer points out.
Harry silently slips into the third floor corridor, keeping an eye out for Mrs Norris. There's something about cats — they know things they shouldn't. Even Lucifer and Gabriel agree with him on that.
Entering the room at the end of the corridor, Harry stares at the Cerberus and lets out a long breath. "That really is a big dog."
"Cerberuses are the ancestors of hellhounds. Of course it's a big dog," Lucifer remarks.
There's the fluttering of wings, and then Gabriel is next to them. "Heya, folks. We doing this?"
"Let me talk to him," Lucifer says.
Harry sighs, but recedes.
"Gabriel, you check the other chambers. I'll go the last one and make sure no one's tampered with the Stone," he says.
Gabriel gives Lucifer a side look. "Wasn't aware you cared all that much about humans tampering with the Stone, Luci."
Lucifer glares. "The last thing I want is a human with delusions of immortality."
Gabriel rolls his eyes, but nonetheless flies away.
"Why did you send him away?!" Harry demands as they fly to the mirror room.
"I don't want him to look at he mirror. Not before I destroy it, anyway," Lucifer says softly, letting Harry take control again.
It just suddenly hits Harry that, despite everything, Gabriel is Lucifer's little brother. Of course he doesn't want the youngest archangel looking at the sodding mirror. Harry approaches the cursed object confidently, but keeps his eyes everywhere else.
"Well, Potter, I must say I'm impressed."
Harry turns, surprised he didn't hear someone coming. He's even more surprised when he sees that it's Quirrel, of all people. Except, something is different... The man isn't quivering in his robes, and he actually managed a sentence without stuttering.
How did Gabriel miss him? Has he been here for long? How did he even get in the castle?
"Harry. Get way from him."
Lucifer's caution unsettles him even more than Quirrel's drastic change in demeanour.
"Can't you deal with him?"
"I'm aware of your intelligence, however these challenges were designed to test even the most skilled wizards."
"There's something wrong with him. I'd have to smite him."
Harry takes a step back as Quirrel moves forwards.
"Move away from the mirror, Potter."
Gladly, Harry does so. The thought of looking into it makes him feel slightly ill. Quirrel glares at his reflection.
"I know what I want... But how do I get it?"
"Use the boy!" a sibilant voice hisses.
Harry frowns, trying to determine where it came from.
"Harry, I really think you should let me—"
"He's just a teacher. He can't hurt me."
He can feel Lucifer's frustration, but he ignores it.
"Potter!" Quirrel roars, turning to him with an expression of dark, terrible fury. "Come here and tell me what you see!"
Harry pales, and he can sense Lucifer draw back too. Quirrel makes to grab him, and that was probably his biggest mistake.
"You can hate me for it later."
Harry is shoved back as the archangel surges forward.
That damned mirror is getting smashed, for starters. Lucifer hates the thing more than he's hated anything for a long, long time.
As he shoves Quirrel out of the way, he catches a glimpse of his reflection again.
Michael — Gabriel — Raphael — Father—
Lucifer sends his first through the glass, gritting his teeth in anger. He hates it.
He rounds on Quirrel, who is enraged at the destruction of the mirror.
"You fool! What have you done?!"
Lucifer doesn't dignify that with a response. He simply grabs Quirrel by his robes and slams him into the floor. The stone beneath the wizard cracks.
"Are you after the Stone?" he asks calmly.
"Get up, you pathetic creature!" hisses that voice again.
Lucifer narrows his eyes, looking past the surface and at that disfigured, writhing mess again. It's pulsing dangerously, almost like it's... angry.
"Tell me what you're after and this will be easier."
"Y—Yes. The— The Stone."
"Silence!" the voice hisses, furious.
Lucifer scowls down at the thing beneath him. Right. Time to clean up.
"No!" Harry screams in protest, but Lucifer couldn't care less.
He plunges his hand inside, deeper, deeper grasps the twisted consciousness, and pulls. Quirrel screams, the sounds echoing off the stone walls. With a final tug, the blackened mess is in his blood covered hand, caged by his fingers. So maybe could have been nicer about it, but he really doesn't give a damn about the human in his grasp.
He regards the little wisp of black smoke thoughtfully, ignoring the feeble moans of the quickly dying man beneath.
"Lucifer, please— Heal him!"
"Now," he murmurs, once more ignoring Harry. "What are you?"
He looks closer and frowns. It's conscious, more than any magical form of possession should be, yet it's too small for a demon—
Lucifer recoils as the Mark scorches his Grace and he realises that this abomination is a torn, mangled human soul.
The thing uses whatever intelligence it has, taking advantage of Lucifer's repulsion, and flees.
And Lucifer — the Morningstar, His Second, the First Fallen — can only stare as he connects the dots.
Harry fights tooth and nail against the archangel, but it's no good. He can't fight his way forwards, because whenever he tries the blizzard that is Lucifer's Grace pushes him back with seemingly no effort.
Harry watches as Quirrel dies.
Harry watches from the corner of eyes that are no longer his as Gabriel stands, silhouetted by the flames, looking at his brother as though he is a stranger.
Harry watches as Lucifer moves away from the wispy little thing he'd been holding as though it's burnt him.
And then Lucifer raises the barrier, but not before the knowledge passes over their mental connection, telling Harry everything Lucifer has just realised about the black smoke that isn't black smoke it's a soul and Harry has one of those in him and—
Harry doesn't think he could bring himself to move if his body was his right now.
"You just couldn't leave it alone, could you."
Lucifer stares blankly at Gabriel, feeling ever so slightly numbed by Harry's anguish.
Gabriel isn't glaring at him. He has an odd look on his face; brow creased, mouth slightly open. There's nothing particularly aggressive about his posture either.
Lucifer doesn't follow what his brother is trying to say.
Gabriel shakes his head. "You just couldn't let the human live if you had an excuse to kill him, could you? You're all about loopholes. You always were."
"What… What?" Lucifer asks, frowning. He's still reeling over what he just discovered.
"How'd you think the kid feels about you ramming your hand through his ex-teacher's chest? Or didn't you stop to think about that?" Gabriel asks, and his tone is biting, unforgiving.
Lucifer looks at the shattered remains of the mirror. He sees a glint of red. He stoops down and picks up the Philosopher's Stone. Lucifer chills it. Colder, colder, until frost forms on the surface, and then he squeezes. The Stone shatters. It crumbles to dust as it falls to the floor.
"Are you even listening to me?"
Lucifer looks at Gabriel.
His brother's shoulders fall, and he shakes his head. "Right. Of course you're not. Just like old times."
And then Gabriel is gone.
Lucifer flies back to Harry's dorms.
When Harry regains control of his body, he is silent. Not simply because he's angry at Lucifer (furious, actually). He's silent because of that hideous, disgusting piece of soul that Lucifer tore from Quirrel.
He puts the barrier in place and makes his way over to the boys' bathroom. He removes his bloodied jumper with numb, mechanical movements and begins rinsing the blood off his palm before it dries.
Lucifer knows something more, but the barrier is raised and Harry doesn't want to bring it down yet. The archangel recognised something about the blackened soul, and that makes Harry nervous.
"What on earth are you— Merlin, Potter!"
Harry turns to stare blankly at Malfoy, who in turn watches him in horror. They stand like that, in silence, for over a minute until Harry turns back to the task at hand and rubs at the red stains on his left arm. He peers up at his reflection and dimly realises that the splattered blood on his face and paler-than-usual pallor is probably the reason why Malfoy is still standing at the doorway, staring.
"What happened to you?" Malfoy chokes out.
Harry shrugs, not wanting to lie. "Was out. Got in a fight."
From the corner of his eye, he sees Malfoy lean against the doorframe. "That's not your blood."
Harry doesn't answer. He feels Lucifer begin to pry the barrier down. He picks the dried blood from under his nails.
"Who was the fight with?"
Once again, Harry doesn't answer. Lucifer drags the barrier down all the way. Harry takes this as his queue to diffuse the situation.
"Go back to bed, Malfoy. Everything's fine."
Harry slips past the boy and back into the bedroom, going straight to his bed and sliding the curtains shut behind him.
Lucifer doesn't bother him.
The next day, Harry doesn't eat.
There's still blood under his nails.
Gabriel is avoiding him, Lucifer notices. Every time the Defence classroom empties and Lucifer and Harry are the last ones there, his brother simply flies away without so much as looking at him.
Lucifer isn't sure why.
A week. It's been a week since Harry spoke to him. The mental block hasn't been raised since he pulled it down, but Harry hasn't made any kind of conversation with him, nor has he responded to anything Lucifer has said.
He doubts it's just Harry's anger that keeps him silent.
Lucifer could just read Harry's thoughts and find out what is bothering the boy so much, but it doesn't seem quite right. Lucifer can wait. He's nothing if not patient.
Harry has taken to meeting Ron and Hermione in the Library after lessons.
Ron wasn't thrilled about it, but the boy certainly doesn't mind that he doesn't have Snape breathing down his neck to finish scrolls anymore, now that Hermione and Harry have caught him up.
Hermione is overjoyed at the arrangement.
Harry is happy he has friends other than the Devil in his head.
"Hermione, can you do me a favour?" Harry asks, trying to figure it how exactly he's going to do this without the archangel who sees, hears and feels everything he does, knowing.
"Of course," the Gryffindor says, looking up from her book.
Harry makes sure the barrier is secure and that Lucifer isn't trying to pry it down. He pulls parchment and his ink and quill from his bag.
He closes his eyes, inks the tip, then writes:
Don't ask why, or why I'm writing it like this, just trust me and try to do it if you can.
I'll give you my invisibility cloak, but I need you to go into the Restricted Section anything you can on souls and soul magic.
Please make copies of whatever you find, and hand them to me without saying anything once you have them.
I need you to do this, please.
He slides the parchment over to Hermione, knowing that his already poor handwriting will be barely legible, but trusting his friend to understand. Wordlessly, he pulls out his cloak and hands it to her, looking her straight in the eye and avoiding the note. She looks concerned, but takes the cloak and gives a tiny little nod of her head.
Harry breathes a sigh of relief.
Now he just has to try and keep the barrier up for as long as possible.
Lucifer watches in amusement as Harry tries to be secretive. Really? They share a body, for Dad's sakes! Even if he couldn't tell what Harry was writing just by the movements if his hand — which, by the way, is easy — he could just cast his awareness outwards and read the note, or steal the message from the little girl's mind, or just tear down the barrier (he only lets Harry keep it up for the boy's own peace of mind) and find out from Harry himself.
Well. This has the potential to become a relatively interesting week.
He humours Harry and lets him think he knows nothing about Hermione going off to research soul magic.
A week after the note exchange in the library, Harry is in Potions sitting beside Hermione. He sees her lean over, as though reaching into her bag, but when she comes back up she nudges him and nods downwards. His eyes flicker down, and sees a corner of his cloak hanging out of his own bag. Tucking it in, he smiles gratefully at Hermione.
The rest of the school day passes without a hitch.
Harry heads straight to the dungeons after lessons, eager to look through the information Hermione has collected. He knows Lucifer will be able to see it too, but he has hopes that the archangel won't be all that interested if he makes it look like he's doing homework.
It's at that second, at that precise thought, that Lucifer promptly rips the barrier down and takes control, redirecting Harry's path until he's in one of the boys toilets.
"Let me go."
Lucifer strolls over to a mirror. Harry can see his own eyes, full of a cold amusement that isn't his, staring right back at him. Lucifer — because there's no doubting that the person in the mirror isn't him — smirks back at him.
"What's the matter, Harry? Am I delaying you from doing some all important soul-searching?"
Dread seizes him, and Lucifer laughs — an awful, cruel cackle that sounds wrong coming from Harry's mouth.
"Harry, did you really think I wouldn't find out?"
"I hoped I'd get a chance to find out myself what the books say, since you won't give me an answer."
Lucifer sighs, nodding. "You want answers? Alright. I'm just going to say it: a piece of Voldemort's soul is latched onto yours and your magical core. I could rip it out like I did with Quirrel-" Harry tries to swallow his fear, but feels like he'd throw up if he was in control of his body. "-but it would hurt — a lot — and it would probably damage your actual soul and quite possibly take away your ability to perform magic for a while, if not forever. Plus," and Lucifer's eyes practically gleam, "I'm curious to see what will happen."
For the first time in years, Harry thinks he could actually cry.
Harry doesn't read through the information Hermione collected. The next day, he feigns being sick and stays out of lessons. Snape, sounding incredibly disapproving as only Snape can, glared but accepted his lie and advised he visit the hospital wing if his 'condition worsened'.
What Harry really did was lie in bed, staring at the top of the canopy.
"Cheer up, Harry."
He raises the barrier. He doesn't want to hear anything Lucifer has to say right now.
Lucifer watches Harry's soul. The light, usually brighter than most humans' souls, is considerably dimmer than normal. Meaning the boy is sad. No, given how much the light has dimmed, Lucifer would say it goes deeper than simple sadness. Depression, maybe. Anger, definitely. Perhaps even hopelessness.
He told Harry the truth because the boy needed to hear it. Lucifer will get around to removing the piece of Voldemort's soul, but... True, he is curious about what will happen, but he also didn't exaggerate when he said it would be incredibly painful. And... Lucifer doesn't want to do that to Harry.
He's grown attached, and he knows it. It's dangerous for an archangel to grow attached. Just look at how he and his siblings' relationships ended up! And the relationship between he and his Father — well, that's a mess he isn't even going to think about.
Humans are fragile. Pathetically so. He knows it's in Harry's nature to be so... so... like this, but Lucifer can't help how he was made either, and he isn't sure the boy knows that.
Harry doesn't trust him, and Lucifer doesn't expect him to. But archangels don't ever, ever do this kind of thing with their vessels. Why? Because they're expendable. The presence of the soul isn't necessary to the vessel's function, and so they are often burnt out the second the angel enters. Doing this, forming a friendship — it's unheard of.
So, no, he doesn't want to hurt Harry. Which is why, looking at the dimmed glow of the boy's soul, Lucifer finds himself conflicted. He could tell Harry why he doesn't want to remove the soul, about his reluctance to hurt the human, but... would Harry even believe him?
Sometimes, he thinks, it's just better to be the bad guy.
Harry knows Hermione and Ron are concerned. His smiles feel forced even at the best of times, and he knows he's quieter than usual, too.
So maybe his surprise is misplaced when he suddenly finds himself cornered by the two Gryffindors.
Ron shifts uncomfortably while Hermione crosses her arms sternly, telling Harry just whose idea this had been.
"Harry, what's wrong with you lately?" Hermione demands.
He raises his eyebrows. "Nothing, why?"
"Liar," Lucifer sighs, sounding disappointed.
Harry brings the barrier up almost on reflex.
"Something is wrong, Harry. You've barely said two words to us all day, you never eat anything at meals anymore, you practically run back to the dungeons whenever you get the chance — we're worried."
Ron shifts on his feet, seemingly gaining confidence. "You're even worrying some of the teachers, mate."
That's news to him. "What? Who?"
Hermione frowns disapprovingly. "Maybe you'd notice these things if you weren't always too busy staring at nothing."
"I'm fine, guys," he insists.
"Harry, why did you want information on soul magic?"
He glances at Ron, but the equally perturbed expression on his face tells Harry that Ron already knows.
"Just some research. I was interested."
"Some of the books on that kind of thing — they were dangerous, Harry. This is incredibly close to being the Dark Arts."
Harry's jaw drops. "No! I'm not interested in the Dark Arts at all! That isn't what it was for!"
"Then what, Harry? Because the way things look, you might be going that way without even knowing it."
Harry stares at them, conflicted. In a spur of the moment decision, Harry tugs the barrier down.
"They need to know."
"They don't. And when did you decide to suddenly talk to me again?"
"Not now, Lucifer. They're my friends!"
"And? They won't be once you tell them you have Satan in your head. You'll be sent to the nearest psych ward."
"If that's the case, I'll know they're not my friends, won't I?" he reasons, though the idea of Ron and Hermione turning against him… Harry doesn't want to think about it.
"How do I prove it?"
"You mean without making it seem like you have a split personality? Take them up to the seventh floor room. The one that changes."
Harry steels himself with a breath, then gestures for the Gryffindors to follow him, praying they'll still be his friends after this.
This is a bad idea. Lucifer knows it, but he also knows that Harry's childlike need to cling to friendship will ensure the humans get told anyway. This is still a very bad idea. One that will most likely end with him having to modify the memories of every human in the room, Harry included.
"Harry, what is this place?" the boy breathes in fascination, staring around at the odd room.
It is a curious place, he'll admit. He didn't think wizards were capable of magic in this scale.
"The Room of Requirement," the girl says, sounding delighted. "It's said to change depending on the users' needs."
"Oh. That explains why it's been different every time I've been in here," Harry says absent-mindedly, only half interested in the current conversation.
"Why did you bring us here, of all places?" the witch asks, confused.
Lucifer takes in his surroundings, impressed by what he finds. The room is vast enough to allow him to stretch all six wings out fully — which is no small feat. The walls are layered in ward after ward to the point where it could possibly withstand the might of his Grace for maybe a minute. No furniture, just a bare chamber that is ready for what Lucifer has in mind.
"Harry, you explain. But you know—"
"I know you'll have to take over if they don't believe me." The boy sounds resigned, and Lucifer can feel the dread emanating from Harry's soul.
But the acceptance, the acknowledgement that Lucifer will take over whether Harry gives his permission or not — Lucifer is pleased. Obviously, Lucifer doesn't exactly make a habit of forcing control over Harry, nor does Harry often deny him free reign within reason, but this is different. It shows that the boy is learning; learning how to cope with living with an archangel.
So Harry explains. Lucifer watches through his vessel's eyes as the two humans go from concerned, to incredulous, to slightly scared.
"...I'm basically living with the Devil. He's annoying as hell and a complete arse, but—" Harry stops with a sigh, scratching the back of his head. "You don't believe me. You think I'm crazy and now you're scared."
The two humans don't answer, and Lucifer thinks it's because they might be too frightened to.
"My turn, Harry."
Harry swallows, but he doesn't attempt to put up the barrier (as if it would stop him). Lucifer pushes forward, rolling his neck as he takes control.
"I'm Lucifer, archangel, Satan, whatever. I'm just proving that Harry isn't insane, then you can have him back," he says.
He sees the redhead not-so-subtly grasp the girl's arm and slowly edge towards the door.
Lucifer locks it with a flick of his wrist, the click echoing in the room. The children freeze, terrified. Lucifer grins.
"Impolite," he says, raising an eyebrow. "Close your eyes."
They remain staring at him fearfully.
"Close your eyes," he says more forcefully, adding a smidgen of power to the words.
The humans flinch back, but squeeze their eyes shut nevertheless.
Lucifer rolls his shoulders, then pulls his wings through the dimensions.
Lesser, younger angels have trouble doing this. They don't yet have enough control over their Grace to do it without burning up everything in the immediate vicinity. But Lucifer is old — eldest save for one — and can do this without batting an eye. He pulls his wings through into the material world, the only sign if his power being the brief surge of Grace that he quickly restrains.
In a second, six wings fill the room, curling around to keep them from touching the walls. Lucifer grits his teeth as one of the tender, charred ends brushes the floor.
"You can look."
They do. The girl lets out a small squeak, and the boy simply stands with his mouth hanging open.
"I think they believe us, Harry."
"I'd be more concerned if they didn't, after that."
"Y—You're really...?" the girl gasps out, still staring at his wings.
"Yeah. I'm going to put these away, so close your eyes again."
After a moments hesitation, they both do. Lucifer is quick to pull them back, curling them close to him as he rides out the pain.
"What?" he grits out loud, not able to concentrate enough to speak mentally as he slowly gets past the pain in his wings.
"Have a rest."
He would glare and scoff we're it anyone else, but Harry can feel his exhaustion.
"Right. Have fun dealing with them."
Lucifer draws back into Harry's mind, sitting back to watch Harry attempt to console his quite frankly terrified friends while he tries to let the cold of his Grace soothe his aching wings.
"I need to talk to Gabriel," Lucifer says, having finally had enough of his brother's childish behaviour.
"I don't think he wants to talk to you," Harry says.
"He doesn't have a choice anymore."
With no small amount of reluctance, Harry recedes. Lucifer raises the barrier, not wanting to hear whatever Harry will think about the following conversation.
Lucifer waits until the end of the lesson, and before Gabriel can fly away again, he says, "What's the hurry?"
Gabriel stops, but doesn't turn to him. "I've got things to do."
"Yeah. Assholes to trick. Just desserts to serve."
"Trickster stuff, then. Pagan stuff," Lucifer says, curling his lip in distaste.
"Yeah. Pagan stuff. Get over it."
"Honestly, Gabriel, I thought you were done with that—"
"What, like I made the mistake of thinking you'd changed, even a little?" Gabriel challenges, rounding on him.
Lucifer glares. "If this is about Quirrel—"
"Of course it's about Quirrel! The first moment you could — the very instant you had an excuse — you killed him. Yeah, you can call me a hypocrite, but you know what? Quirrel himself didn't deserve to have your arm rammed through his chest — and he certainly didn't deserve not being put out of his misery as soon as you ripped that piece of soul out of him!"
Lucifer is silent for a while. Then he says, "It was Voldemort."
Gabriel looks enraged, but then confused. "What? Riddle?"
"You know him?"
"I've been gone for a while, Lucifer," Gabriel says blandly. "I know who Tom Riddle is, and who he became."
"The soul was his. There's another piece of it on Harry's soul," he says. He definitely doesn't want to know what Harry is thinking at the moment. The boy might have come to terms with his… condition, but he certainly won't be happy about Lucifer telling Gabriel so easily.
Gabriel looks disturbed, as though their previous line of conversation never happened. "On his soul?"
Lucifer grimaces, taking a quick look at the disgusting, black piece of soul nestled between Harry's soul and his magical core. "Yeah. On it."
His brother frowns. "How is that possible?"
Lucifer shakes his head. "I have no idea."
"You must have some idea—"
Lucifer glares. "I've cut, sliced, diced, stretched, mangled and maimed a human soul, Gabriel, but I never — never — broke one. It shouldn't be possible."
Gabriel folds his arms. "Then what are we dealing with?"
Lucifer doesn't answer, because he can't.
Harry lies in bed, silent. The curtains around him are drawn shut, so it's just him and the Devil. He doesn't want to sleep. If he sleeps, he'll see Lucifer, wearing Sam, in the meadow and that isn't a place Harry wants to be right now.
"Sleeping might help you cope," Lucifer suggests.
"I'll be fine," Harry replies.
"You're angry I told Gabriel."
"I'm not angry."
"Liar," Lucifer sighs, sounding incredibly disappointed which is not fair at all.
"It's not anger, Lucifer," Harry insists, sighing quietly and rolling onto his side.
"Then what? Help me out here, Harry, because it feels a lot like anger."
"I'm just… I… Look, how do you think it feels, finding out you have a piece of the soul of the man who murdered your parents attached to your own soul and there's nothing that can be done to get it out? It isn't a great feeling, Lucifer," Harry says shortly.
"So then it's… hurt. You're hurt. But you're angry that your hurt?"
"Sort of. I'm angry that this happened to me, which is stupid because there was probably nothing that could have been done about it in the first place. But I can't help think that this — all of this — comes from him killing my parents that night. It's… I don't even know, Lucifer. I'm just frustrated that everything — the Dursleys, my parents' deaths, this thing on my soul — all stems down to Voldemort, who wasn't even as dead as everyone thought he was."
Harry is surprised when he feels annoyance and something akin to guilt radiating from Lucifer.
"I let him go. I let the bastard get away."
"It was the shock. You didn't mean to," Harry sighs, rolling onto his back again and staring at the canopy above him.
"I'm an archangel. Hell, Gabriel was there too. Riddle shouldn't have escaped."
"Will it happen again, do you think? Him possessing someone like Quirrel?" Harry asks, thinking for the fist time about his former Defence professor. He hasn't let himself dwell on the wizard for too long in the past weeks.
"No. The soul was too weak for that."
"Right. Okay," he says, not really sure where to go now.
"Next time I'll burn him out of existence," Lucifer promises.
Harry isn't particularly comforted. "I don't particularly want there to be a next time."
"We may not have a say in that, Harry."
"So, why'd you think you've been called to the Headmaster's office?"
"How should I know? The only thing we've done wrong is that whole Quirrel thing and there's no way he could know about that, right?"
"It's almost the end of the year. It does seem unlikely that he'd approach you about it now."
"Right, yeah. But, seriously, what else could it be?"
"I don't know. You'll have to ask."
He raises his eyebrows slightly as Professor Snape says the password lemon drop, but collects himself quickly when Snape all but shoves him onto the rotating staircase. Once at the top, he knocks onto Professor Dumbledore's door and waits.
"Come in," the aged voice calls.
Harry swallows nervously and pushes the large oak door inwards, shutting it behind him.
Dumbledore is behind his desk, and he brightens when he sees him. "Ah, Harry! Good, Professor Snape brought you."
Harry nods, wordlessly coming to sit across the desk from the Headmaster.
"Well, I called you here because I'd like to discuss a matter of great confusion to me," Dumbledore begins.
Harry doesn't move, waiting for the shoe to drop.
"At the very beginning of the year, you'll recall I warned everyone away from the third floor, correct?"
"Yes, sir," Harry says, while to Lucifer he says, "He knows."
"This was because there was an item of great power and importance being stored there, under many wards and spells of protection. However, given that the year is coming to an end I decided to investigate the wards."
"This is bad, Lucifer."
"The wards I had put in place identify magical cores, you see. I discovered four very troubling, very confusing things. The wards — that should have alerted me the very second someone unauthorised entered the chambers and failed to do so — had identified Professor Quirrel's core, your core, a weakened core of Lord Voldemort, and a very old, very powerful trace of energy, the likes of which I have never seen before."
"This is really bad."
"However, the wards also told me that only two beings walked through the magical fire. Only, the potions that would allow one to safely pass through it showed that only enough for one person had been consumed."
"I blame you for that, Lucifer."
"Just because I wouldn't die from a little magic fire?!"
"All of this implies something very disturbing to me, however there is very little evidence to prove it. My theory is that Professor Quirrel was possessed by Lord Voldemort's spirit, and that you, Harry, were possessed by something much older and stronger. I am giving you the chance now to tell me the truth. What, other than yourself, occupies your body, Harry?"
"Don't tell him."
"Because you've got fucking Satan in your head and I don't think that's likely to go down well, do you?"
"He already knows!"
"Not who I am!"
"Lucifer, come on!"
"You've already told your two humans; no one else needs to know!"
Harry reluctantly holds his tongue, but he knows it won't do any good. Dumbledore already knows enough.
Dumbledore holds out a bowl of sweets and says, "Sherbet lemon?"
"Um, thanks," Harry says numbly, taking one and popping it in his mouth. If not for Lucifer's willpower, his face would have twisted and he would have shuddered.
"That was disgusting and don't you ever, ever try one again."
Harry agrees wholeheartedly.
"I have read about angels."
Harry's heart sinks.
"Ancient beings of great power serving under God."
"Not a word," Harry tells Lucifer when he feels the archangel's irritation rising.
"However, not all of them do, do they, Harry?" Dumbledore goes on, looking at him from under his raised, bushy eyebrows.
Harry frowns slightly. "How does he know all this?"
"Wizard," Lucifer sighs.
"I've heard you telling Professor Loki about the angels. More specifically, the names of the archangels."
"Gabriel is dead when I next see him."
"Samael is a name that only appears in the oldest of scriptures, Harry," Dumbledore says, watching him solemnly.
"Harry, you need to let me handle this."
"Let me take care of it for once, okay? You've already been in control far too much for my liking."
To his surprise, Lucifer actually backs off.
Harry meets Dumbledore's piercing gaze with determination. "Professor, I know who I let in my head. He's my friend, and in the six years I've known him he hasn't done anything to hurt me." Not on purpose, anyway.
Dumbledore frowns slightly. "You're sure you can trust him? Harry, if this angel is who I think—"
"Then there's nothing you can do. I'm sorry, Professor, but this comes from authority much higher up than you, and you'll only be putting your life at risk if you try to do anything about it."
Dumbledore sits back in his chair, suddenly looking less like a powerful wizard and more like a tired old man. "Very well then, Harry. I trust your judgement."
"Don't be. Having the ultimate wordsmith in my head wouldn't be much good if I hadn't learnt a thing or two, would it?"
"Harry, I'm flattered to pay so much attention to me."
"Again, don't be. You're just too irritating to ignore."
"You're making me blush."
Harry leaves the office with a sense of accomplishment and a ridiculous smile on his face, because the archangel in his head may as well be a human teenager for the amount of sense he has.
"Rude," Lucifer grumbles.
"I know, I'm awful."
Packing his trunk, Harry finds himself alone in the room with Malfoy. Lovely.
"I don't understand you, Potter."
Oh, they're making conversation? Okay. "That's a shame. I understand you just fine."
"What do you mean by that?" Malfoy asks indignantly.
"You've been raised to be a clone copy of your muggle-hating, blood-purity obsessed father and you don't know anything else because you were homeschooled until you came to Hogwarts," he says, not looking at the boy while he continues to place items in his trunk.
"Don't you dare talk about my father that way!"
"Why?" Harry asks, turning to face him with raised eyebrows. He shrugs. "Tell me I'm lying if you're so sure."
Malfoy gapes at him but remains silent.
"See? Even now you know I'm right."
"And what about you?" Malfoy demands, scowling at him. "You don't talk to anyone in your own House; you hang around with Gryffindors; you're clearly intelligent enough to be in Ravenclaw and quite frankly I think you're wasted in Slytherin, if only because you don't have a lick of ambition about you; you have a complete disregard for anything to do with inter-house etiquette — you're infuriating!"
Harry blinks, because that was strangely complimentary. Then he collects himself and smirks, shrugging and closing his trunk. "What can I say, Draco? I guess I'm just a mystery."
With that, and with Lucifer cackling at the back of his mind, Harry drags his trunk down to be collected.
Harry looks down at the photo album in his hands, touched beyond words. He waves to Hagrid as the train departs, then goes to sit with Ron and Hermione in a compartment. Tucking the album safely in his bag, he settles for the journey.
Silence fills the compartment.
Ron and Hermione have been avoiding him ever since Lucifer revealed himself to them. Harry can't blame them — really, it's well within their rights to be uncomfortable with the situation — but he can't help but feel… well, sad. They're his only friends.
"I resent that."
"You're in my head twenty-four-seven. You don't count."
"I don't even know why I bother, sometimes."
"Neither do I, to be honest."
Harry ignored Lucifer's indignation in favour of turning to Ron and Hermione. He says, "Are you scared of me now?"
They look at each other, clearly uncomfortable.
"It's— It's not that, Harry," Hermione begins, looking away. "It's just— I—" She stops, shaking her head.
Ron scratches the back of his neck. "It's not every day you find out your mate is possessed by— by—"
"Satan?" Harry states bluntly. He sighs at the amusement mixed with exasperation radiating from Lucifer.
"Yeah," Ron says weakly.
"We're still your friends," Hermione says quickly, her eyes wide. "It's just that— Well, we—"
"We don't really know how to…" Ron trails off, shrugging.
"How to talk to you now that we know you're not…"
Harry looks between them, frowning slightly. "I'm still me, you know."
"We know," Hermione insists earnestly. "But with— with—"
"Lucifer," Harry adds.
Hermione nods uneasily. "You're two. And the other is— Well, he's someone we've been raised to believe is— is—"
"Evil," Harry sighs, getting where they're coming from.
They both nod.
Harry leans forward. "Look, Lucifer's been with me since I was five. Meaning, he was there when we all met at the beginning of the year and when we became friends. He won't hurt you. Really."
They still look skeptical.
"It's just a lot to get used to, you know?" Ron says, shifting in his seat.
Harry huffs out a laugh. "Yeah. I know, trust me."
His friends laugh weakly, and Harry brightens slightly.
"I get it if you don't want to write—"
"What?!" Hermione exclaims. "Of course we'll write!"
Harry blinks. "Oh. Um, great. I just thought you'd maybe want the summer to get used to the idea—"
"Don't be daft," Ron scoffs. "We're not just gonna cut you out, mate."
"How loyal," Lucifer drawls.
But Harry ignores the sardonic tone and grins, his heart lighter than it's been in weeks.
So maybe Ron and Hermione haven't accepted that Lucifer isn't the personification of all evil. They're still giving him a chance.
It's not much, but it's a start.
A/N: So, that's that for First Year. Next we'll have an interlude, and then it's onto Harry's second year. You'll have to bear with me I'm afraid; with the subjects I've chosen for my A Levels I don't have a lot of time to write, so things will definitely be going slower from here on. I'll do my best to keep you all interested, haha. Thank you again for all your lovely reviews — it really means a lot to me. Hope you enjoyed this, and I'll see you all later!