I should have listened to N4-D2.
His back leaned against a black carob tree, his muscles tensed. His senses sharpened and he tried to ease his breathing, but it resulted impossible. His heart beat a mile per hour.
He could hear muffled steps a few meters away from the tree, and he decided the course of action in an instant. He jumped from his hideout and ran towards another tree, knowing that five stronger and faster creatures were right behind him.
When he reached it he kept running up the tree, to the creature's surprise. He jumped backwards from the trunk and landed with extended arms, looking for balance.
A horrible, hairy and giant arachnid stood facing the tree Harry had just jumped from. It didn't take long for the creature to smash against the tree, a strange and invisible force hurling it with no compassion.
Harry turned around and faced the rest of the spiders. Their fangs made strange metallic noises as they chewed on air. They looked furious.
One of them pounced on him, and Harry felt his body react on its own. The spider tried to bite his neck, but Harry had already ducked. From crouching position, his feet impulsed him up and backwards, performing a back-flip. As he flew through the air he stretched his legs, kicking the spider on the head and making it shriek. Harry landed on his feet. The creature had fled.
The rest of the spiders seemed to have disappeared. Of course, if they attacked at the same time, Harry doubted his defense would be as effective. But spiders knew nothing of strategy. He was sure of that from his time in the cupboard.
Sneaking through the trees, Harry analyzed the place he was in. The black oak forest was a wooden hell. Some of the baleful trees seemed to move, as if they wanted to grab him and rip him apart. Others whispered to him, promising power and knowledge beyond this time. Harry doubted that would come for free.
Why was he here again?
Ah, yes. The holocron.
Two years had passed since that day at the Leaky Cauldron. Of course, the first days all he did was playing over and over the message, fearing it a ruse. Later, came the insecurities. Where to begin? Was there someone else on the planet with his abilities? Was he ready to take such a responsibility?
Then, the adventure. He still remembered the second holocron he had acquired. It was funny, because he had to infiltrate a dragon's cave and steal it from under its nose. Okay, maybe it wasn't funny at all, but still. In the end, it was worthy. He had learned how to enhance his body with the Force from that holocron, so the burn he still carried on his left arm was a cheap price to pay.
He quickly turned around. He had felt something moving in the dark…
They were back. Spiders.
He continued walking, expecting an attack any moment now. And of course, it came.
Harry's body seemed to dance with grace as he avoided the poisonous fangs. The creatures had decided to attack all at once, enraged by the death of their sister. He punched, kicked, jumped, and kicked again, but the spider's hide seemed too thick to damage without the direct use of the Force.
A heavy, dark branch came flying to his hands as he front flipped, escaping the circle the arachnids were forming around him. He wielded the club like a caveman, finesse forgotten. It was proven effective as he blew off one of the spider's legs with a strong blow, black blood smearing his face.
The arachnids were slowly getting dismembered by the club. He had gotten one of them on the head, and five of its eight eyes were ripped off from its face. The screech had been horrible to hear. Two others were sporting wounds on their hides, blood pouring out of them. The last one was a few meters away, turned into a bloody pulp.
A throbbing pain on his shoulder was all the warning he got. He had been bitten.
Harry saw red. He was angry at himself for not being able to defeat the spiders, he was angry at the spiders for biting him, he was angry at the destiny for giving him such responsibility, he was angry at magic for making him a squib.
By the time he finally stopped swinging his weapon, the last creature was turned into an unrecognizable mess. He was distantly conscious that he had been cackling as he destroyed the spider's already dead body, but Harry had more pressing matters to attend to.
For example, he was bleeding, and the poison was surely on his bloodstream already.
He made for the clearing he had seen when he had gotten to the forest. His body felt more and more weak each step he took, but he fed more of the Force to his limbs, allowing him to stay on track.
His head rambled to his time with the Dursleys and a soft, mad laugh escaped his lips. Was this the way he would die? Murdered by his very first and only friends, the spiders?
He reached what he had thought was a clearing, and spotted an enormous and majestic castle. Then, Harry Potter blacked out.
"Albus! Albus! Is it true?"
An old witch with a pointy hat was running to reach the School's Headmaster.
"What is it you are asking, dear Minerva?" He smiled at her.
"Don't play dumb with me, Headmaster! I heard some Hufflepuffs talking just a moment ago." The stern professor said "One of them said that he had found a boy on the borders of the Forest. Is it true?"
"I'm afraid yes, it's true. His condition is stable; Madam Pomfrey has done wonders on the boy's body. Though you will be happy to know it is not one of the School's students. We are investigating how he even got here." Dumbledore calmly answered.
"Albus… I heard another thing, too. I heard this boy has a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, just like Harry did. Could it be him? Has he finally returned to us?"
The Supreme Mugwump gave her a sad look.
"Yes, Minerva. I think he is Harry Potter. Come, accompany me to my office. There is much I need to tell you."
His eyes were open. Harry swallowed and looked around him. He realized he must be in some kind of hospital place. He was lying in a bed with white linen sheets, and next to him was a table piled with his clothes.
What had happened?
Oh. He remembered now. The spiders.
He escaped the sheets and grabbed his dark clothes, noticing the blood stains on them. He shook his head. The smell would never leave.
As he sneaked for the great wooden doors, he tried to concentrate and feel the place he was in. He was thrown to his knees as the light invaded his mind and the world started vibrating. He quickly cut out the connection.
This was obviously a very magical place. Maybe the castle he had seen before blacking out?
It did not matter. He had to leave and had to leave right now. If the wizards found him…Harry had discovered who he was to the Wizarding World a bit late, a very bad experience altogether. He needed to be sneaky, a shadow in the night if he was to get all the holocrons Cor-Na had left scattered through the world, and being a celebrity wouldn't help with that.
That was why he needed the new holocron so much. He thought it may contain the knowledge to acquire the ability to have visions at will, like Master Yoda used to do. If he were to learn that, it'd make his job much, much easier.
To get some clues about holocron's whereabouts, Harry had to resort to buying information at the black market, and a lot of times they were just false leads. Now, with his vault almost emptied, his only hope was to get that knowledge as soon as possible.
He sneaked through the wide corridor, reaching the staircases that were around the corner. Harry noticed the painting of an old witch winking at him.
Where to go now?
He could go on, or could turn right. Following his gut, Harry headed forward and stopped on his tracks as he reached a great saloon with moving stairways and hundreds of Portaits covering the walls.
What the fuck?
A lot of people seemed to come and go, but none payed him attention. There were just too many things to look at.
After ten minutes coming and going, yet not getting anywhere, Harry sighed. There were a hundred and forty-two staircases at the place: wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some with a vanishing step halfway up that you had to remember to jump. Then there were doors that wouldn't open unless you asked politely, or tickled them in exactly the right place, and doors that weren't really doors at all, but solid walls just pretending. It was also very hard to remember where anything was, because it all seemed to move around a lot. The people in the portraits kept going to visit each other, and Harry was sure the coats of armor could walk. He could see two people coming straight at him.
"Ronald, stop eating with your mouth open!" A bushy haired girl around his age snapped.
The guy looked at her, childish grin forming in his face.
"Hermione, I'll stop eating with my mouth open when you stop reading at meals!"
The guy bumped into him, and kept on walking. Hermione stopped and turned to face him.
"I'm sorry. He is just a dunderhead sometimes." She turned again "Come on Ron, accompany me to the library."
"Wait! Do you know how can I get to the forest outside?" Harry impulsively asked.
She gave him a cautious look.
"The Forest? You mean the grounds, right? The Forest is called Forbidden for a reason, you know?"
A Forest called Forbidden?
He was at Hogwarts?!
"Yes, of course, I meant the grounds." Harry said.
She threw him a suspicious look.
"Well, keep going straight until you find the painting of Gulpa the Barmy. He is a goblin wearing a strange hat. There you need to turn left and will see an armchair, you need to tickle it. That will make the staircase you need come to you. Board it and it will take you to the door to the grounds."
"Oh!" Harry said, not understanding half what she had said. "Thank you!" he turned and started walking.
"Wait! What is your name?" She called.
"Dudley. Dudley Dursley." He answered, without turning.
"He is gone! He is simply gone!" A white dressed woman exclaimed.
"Yes, I was afraid this would happen." Dumbledore said, stroking his beard.
"What do you mean you expected it to happen?" The witch asked "It should be impossible; no one should be able to leave the Wing without me noticing! There is a ward in place!"
"Oh, I'm sure the ward works just fine, Poppy" The old warlock said.
He turned and faced the window in his office, spotting a dark figure entering the Forbidden Forest.
"What do you mean, Albus?" She asked.
"I'm afraid, Poppy, that Mr. Potter is a squib. That's the reason the ward didn't spot him."
"¡¿WHAT?! The son of James and Lily?! No, Albus. I can't believe that, I just can't…" Her tone of voice turning down as she spoke. "...poor boy…"
"Yet, his name is in Hogwarts records. A letter was sent to him, and he even replied, asking for more information. It came as a surprise to all of us when he just didn't show up two years ago." The old wizard said "Mr. Potter has lost his magic someway; he has done what we thought impossible once again. "
"It doesn't make sense, Albus. It's just not possible to lose ones magic! And how could a thirteen year old squib kill so many acromantulas anyway?!"
"Ah, the mystery of Mr. Potter deepens, Poppy. I have a theory, but I'm not sure yet. Of what I am sure, is that Mr. Potter has just entered the Forest again, and that he is looking for something in there."
"And what are you waiting to go get him, Headmaster?! He is just a boy, and one without magic!"
"I think Mr. Potter may have many surprises in stock for us, Madam. Let's wait until he decides to reveal them himself."
He was washing his face and drinking from a lake he had found at the forest. The white light of the moon was reflected on the crystalline water.
Harry turned, calling the Force to his muscles, and found himself looking at a creature he had never seen. A centaur.
"The stars have predicted your arrival, Harry Potter. Mars shines brighter than ever." The thing had a bow on his hands, a quiver full of sharp arrows hanging from one shoulder and a leather bag hanging from the other.
"Er, thank you, I guess." He replied.
The centaur grabbed the bag and threw it at the floor before him.
"On your shoulders there is a heavy burden, Harry Potter. The stars have spoken. My name is Bane and this is my herd's gift to you."
Harry made to pick it up, but one of the centaur's hooves stepped on it.
"But heed my warning, Harry Potter. We were watching when the spiders and you had your contest. We understand that sometimes, life has to be taken. But beware, if you let your anger control you, all you hold dear you will destroy."
The centaur lifted his hoof, and Harry snatched the bag. When he looked up, he was alone again.
He took a peek inside, and saw the holocron waiting for him.