Chapter Ten – The Wolf and the Pelican
Harry's friends were starting to get worried. It had been three days since he had woken up and heard what he had become, and he hadn't spoken to anyone since. He refused to come out of the hospital wing, despite the fact that Madame Pomfrey had cleared him to go back to school. Hermione, Ron and Ginny had been to see him at least three times a day, and Sev, Minh and Eustace had made a few visits, but he just ignored them when they did come. Even the Marauders had been allowed to go to Corvus Corax for a while to see how their friend was doing, but the whole time they were there he simply stared at the ceiling.
Everyone was concerned for Harry's mental state. He had not taken the news of his change very well, and seemed to be shutting out the world in the hope that it would all go away. But there was nothing to be done. What was done was done, but Harry just wouldn't accept it. He had convinced himself he was a monster, and there was no changing his mind. As he lay there in bed, he sank further and further into depression.
" Ginny! Wait!"
The youngest Weasley span around when she heard Remus' voice behind her. The pair had become good friends over the months she had been there, spending time together in the library and helping each other with homework. They were very close, although Remus had never told her his biggest secret. However, he thought now would be a good time to bring it up.
" Ginny, can I talk to you for a minute?"
Nodding, Ginny turned and continued her slow walk around the lake. She had come out for some fresh air in the hope that it would clear her head, but it didn't seem to help. Her head was filled with thoughts of how to help Harry, but none of them seemed plausible. Seeing Remus looking so anxious, she turned her full attention to him.
" What is it, Remus."
The werewolf sat down on the bank of the lake and gestured for Ginny to do the same. Once she was seated, he started to explain.
" Ginny, I wanted to talk to you about a few things. Especially about me, and Harry."
" Go on."
" I was wondering how Harry was. When we saw him the other day, he seemed to be in shock or something. I must admit, I was surprised when I heard what happened, but he seems to be taking it really badly."
" Remus, what I'm going to tell you can't go any further. Alright?" Ginny said, coming to a decision. She needed someone objective to confide it, and she couldn't get that with Ron and Hermione.
" Of course. You can tell me anything."
" The thing is…Harry's taking this really badly because all he's ever wanted in his life was to be loved, and to be normal. Since he started school, he's been hounded by the press and students alike because where we're from, he's really famous. He always feels as if people think he's special, and so he just wants to be normal. Now, I think he's under the impression that he can never be normal again. Any chance he ever had of it has been taken away."
" What is he famous for?"
" Remus, I'm going to tell you a story. You might not believe me, but it's true. Just listen, and don't interrupt me. And whatever you do, don't tell anyone."
" I promise."
And so, she told him. Told him about Harry being the Boy-Who-Lived, the Philosopher's Stone, the Chamber of Secrets, and the Triwizard Tournament. She spoke of the amulet and their time with the founders, and fighting Grindelwald. She described their captivity in greater detail, and spoke of all they had suffered. She left out details such as their real names, and anything Remus could use to connect his friends to Harry's parents. She left out too many details of the future that could easily be altered. The boy listened in awe as she told her story, and Harry's story. By the end, he didn't know what to say.
" Ginny…that's amazing."
" I know. I thought you would be the best one to talk to about this. James and Sirius would make a joke out of it. Peter…well, I don't think I could talk to Peter. And Sev's more Harry's friend than anybody else's. You're the sensible one, and I knew you would understand."
" Ginny, all I can say is that you need to get Harry out of this hole he has fallen into. From when I saw him, I recognised signs of depression setting in, as I've been there myself."
" But what can we do? He's suffered so much, and I think this may have pushed him over the edge…"
" It's not too late. I was like that when…"
" When what?" Ginny asked the fidgeting boy.
" When I...found out I…when I was bitten by a werewolf," Remus said, cringing back, waiting for her rejection. Ginny simply smiled and put her arm around his shoulders in a friendly hug.
" Remus, it's alright. I'm not scared. You're only a werewolf one night a month. And with Harry being half human now, I can't criticise."
" You don't hate me?" Remus asked in amazement.
" Of course not. You're my friend, and nothing will change that. I think you should talk to Harry, though."
" Me? Why me? What difference can I make."
" Every difference. You said it yourself. You've been through the same thing, and you've learned to live with it. You know Harry's history now, and you may just be able to get him to come around."
Remus looked at Ginny and saw the hope in her eyes. With a sigh, he nodded his head. Ginny beamed at him, and threw her arms around his neck and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Remus, blushing, changed the subject.
" So, did you meet me in the future?"
" Oh, yes. You were the best Defence Against the Dark Arts professor we ever had."
" Me?! A teacher?!"
" Yup, and you were marvelous. It was a shame you left after only one year."
" A teacher. Unbelievable."
The pair fell into a fit of giggling as Ginny told him stories of the future and the past, and all of the adventures she had shared.
The next day Remus, as promised, went to see Harry. He found the boy in the same state as the last time he saw him, and tentatively took a seat on the edge of his bed. Looking at his friend more closely, he noticed a deadness to his dull green eyes that had never been there before, and it frightened him.
" Hello, Harry."
" I have something I need to talk to you about. Do you think you could pay attention?"
" I need to talk to you about what you have become. Will you please look at me?"
A slow blinking of Harry's eyes.
" Ok, you need to snap out of it mate. I can't talk to you like this."
" You're not even listening are you?"
Not even the slightest movement.
" Ginny's pregnant with Lucius' child."
That got a response. Harry sat up so quickly that Remus nearly fell onto the floor. He could see his friend's eyes whipping around the room as he became more and more agitated. Finally, he spoke.
" That's not true. Remus, tell me that's not true."
The werewolf smiled at his friend, relieved that he was finally talking.
" Of course it's not true, Harry."
" Then why did you say it?"
" Because it was the first thing that came to mind that would snap you out of that fog of depression you'd buried yourself in."
" If I want to wallow, I'll wallow. Go away. Please."
" Harry, please just listen to me first. Give me ten minutes of your attention, and if you still want me to leave, I will do."
The green eyed boy looked at the werewolf cautiously for a few seconds, before hesitantly nodding his head.
" What do you want to talk about?"
Remus sighed in relief. If he could only get Harry talking, he believed he could talk some sense into him.
" Please, tell me why you're so upset. So you're part vampire. So what? I'm a werewolf, and I live a perfectly normal life. You can beat this, Harry. It's not the end of the world; you just have to learn to adjust."
" But they were right, Remus. I'm a monster. I was bad enough before, but now it's official. I don't deserve to live…"
" That's nonsense. If you weren't here, who would stop the Dark Lord when you get back to your own time?"
Harry's head whipped around and he stared at the younger boy in shock.
" How did you…"
" Ginny told me. Last night. She wanted me to talk some sense into you, and figured I'd get on better if I knew some of what you've been through. And she was right. Harry, you have people to save, and if you give up now, their deaths will be on your head. Do you really want that?"
" Well then. Your life has to go on. You're sinking into depression, and if you're not careful it will only get worse. People need you, Harry. They need an icon to look up to and give them hope. They need a warrior brave enough to stand up for what is right. If they see their saviour moping around, it's not exactly going to fill them with confidence. You have to look on the bright side. Ginny says that since you came to our time, you've been different. More confident, and even cocky in some ways. But I don't see it like that. That's what you needed to be to survive. You've been through a lot, and you have more to face. If you are to defeat the Dark, you need all the confidence you can get. Without confidence in yourself and your abilities you wouldn't be able to lead the Light into battle. You wouldn't be able to fight and beat the Dark Lord. See your being turned into a part vampire as a blessing rather than a curse."
" How do you figure?"
" Tell me what you need to beat You-Know-Who."
" Power. And strong spells."
" And what do you need to survive until you meet him again, one on one?"
" Strength and superiority over the enemy."
" Exactly. From what happened at the battle, you have gained strength, speed, endurance and sharper senses. You couple that with the skills you already had and your magical strength, and you have a weapon of mass destruction. You have been given what is perhaps that little extra advantage you need to be ultimately victorious. You need to stop wallowing in self pity. You are not a monster. You are a warrior, and you do what has to be done."
" No 'buts', Harry. I've thought this through, and I know what I'm talking about. The world needs you, so snap out of it."
Harry sat and stared at Remus in stunned silence for what seemed like an age. What the young werewolf had said contradicted everything Harry had been mulling over in his mind for the last few days. When he thought about it, though, the younger boy was right. Harry had become stronger, despite the slight disadvantages, and it might be what he needed to finally defeat Voldemort. As he was thinking this over, Remus quietly slipped out of the room, a small smile on his face.
" Did it work?" Ginny asked as Remus flooed into the room. The Marauders, Lily and Sev had been allowed into Harry's room when they wanted to visit their friends in hospital. After Dumbledore told them where the four had disappeared to after Hallow'een, they wanted to visit them. After a brief Order meeting, it was agreed that the six of them would be allowed to visit Corvus Corax via Harry's room, as long as someone was aware they were going. This worked well, especially after Ron, Ginny and Hermione went back to school. When Remus left to speak to Harry, Ginny had waited in Harry's room for him to come back, eager for news.
" I think it worked. He heard me out, at least."
" Well, that's got to be progress. Did he speak?"
" Surprisingly, yes. It took me a while to snap him out of his stupor, though, and get him to listen."
" How did you do it?"
" I told him you were pregnant with Lucius Malfoy's child."
" You WHAT!?"
" It was the first thing I could think of that would grab his attention. It worked like a charm."
" Well, I hope you told him it wasn't true!"
" Of course I did! I just needed something to shock him enough that he responded."
" So what happened after that?"
" I told him to stop being pathetic, and that the world needed him. Stuff like that. I had a whole speech planned. I think he listened, although we won't know until we next see him."
" That's true. Did you tell him about your lycanthropy?"
" I mentioned it, but he didn't say much about it. Not that he said much about anything…"
" While we're on the topic, when's the next full moon?"
" Two days time. Why?"
" Do you want me to come with you?"
" I'd kill you!"
" No you wouldn't. I can go in my animagus form. You won't hurt me like that."
" You're an animagus?"
In response, Ginny turned into a beautiful pelican, and flew around the room a couple of times before landing next to the gaping fifth year.
" Wow, that was amazing. James, Sirius and Peter have been trying to become animagi for years, but they didn't get very far. You know the whole meditating thing you have to do to find out your form? They never got the hang of that. They're about ready to give up…"
" Don't worry. Over the Christmas holidays, I'll organise a meeting for us all. I'm sure between me, Ron, Hermione and possibly Harry we can get them on the right track. After all, it was the four of us who taught Minerva McGonagall the transformation."
" You taught our Transfiguration professor how to become an animagus? Wow!"
" Yeah, it was fun, too. I think we can come to some arrangement. So, do you want me to accompany you on the full moon?"
" I'd like that."
The pair stayed in Harry's room long into the night, discussing Ginny's past, Remus' way of coping with his 'condition', and a variety of inane subject discussed only between close friends.
Breakfast was disrupted the following morning when the doors to the Great Hall burst open with a resounding bang. Much to everyone's surprise, the unmistakable form of Harry Potter could be seen standing in the doorway, arms crossed and a smirk on his face.
" Hello everyone. Miss me?"
The Marauders, the time travellers and Sev all leapt to their feet and made their way over to their friend, taking it in turn to welcome him back. After a few minutes, 'Tea came floating over, a gentle smile on her face.
" It's nice to see you again, Harry. Are you feeling better?"
" Much better, thanks. Better than I've felt in a long time."
" That's good to hear."
After a few words with each of his friends, Harry made his way to the Slytherin table with Sev at his side. On the way, he looked up at the staff table and was surprised to see relieved looks on the faces of most of the professors. Dumbledore especially looked pleased, and Harry could see his eyes twinkling madly. Once the pair was seated, Harry turned to Sev and asked him something he had been meaning to mention before the battle.
" Sev, do you feel ready to try the animagus viewing spell?"
" I do. When can I try it?"
" Tonight. If you find out your form now, you might be ready to try the transformation after the Christmas holidays."
" I hope so. I can't wait. I'm glad you're back, Harry."
" I'm glad, too. I'm sorry I worried you, Sev."
" It's alright."
" Well, well, well, if it isn't Harry Anguifer back from the dead."
Harry span around in his seat and came face to face with a smirking Lucius. His eyes roved over Harry and a malicious glint appeared in his eyes.
" You look a little pale. Maybe that'll teach you for defying the Dark Lord."
" Don't mess with me, Lucius. You know it never ends well. For you, at least," Harry sneered back.
" I doubt you could do anything, Anguifer. After nearly six weeks in hospital, I can't see you being able to take me."
" I wouldn't bet on that," Harry said, a low growl emitting from his throat.
" Surely you've seen what opposing the Dark Lord does to you. Maybe you'll be more open to the idea of joining him now."
" You should know never to ask that. If you mention it again, you won't live to tell the tale."
" Idle threats, Anguifer. You can't hurt me anymore."
In response, Harry leapt from the table and grabbed the other Slytherin by the throat, his eyes glowing a little and his fangs exposed. Lucius paled considerably and started to squirm in the iron tight grasp.
" Leave, now, before I crush your windpipe. I have had a very bad week, and I am not in the mood for dealing with you."
Dropping him to the ground, Harry sat back down as Lucius scrambled backwards across the floor and retreated out of the Great Hall. The rest of the students and staff stared at the sixth year in fear and amazement, but one glare sent them straight back to their breakfasts. Harry turned to the petrified looking Sev and gave him a smile.
" Now, where were we?"
That night, Harry heard a timid knock on his door. Opening it, he found a nervous looking Sev standing in the doorway. Harry gave a sigh and waved his apprentice in.
" Sev, you don't have to be scared. I thought we covered this. I'm not going to hurt you. Now, sit on the floor, and start your meditation. When you feel you're ready, say the incantation I taught you, and an image of your potential form will appear."
The younger boy did as asked, sitting cross legged on the floor and meditating quietly. After a few minutes, Harry heard Sev start to mutter.
" Video Animagus."
Sev opened his eyes when he heard Harry gasp in surprise. He stared at the creature in shock for a moment before asking the obvious.
" What is that?"
But Harry wasn't listening. He was too busy gaping at the large reptile stalking the floor in front of him. Sev, listening carefully, made out a few words of what the older boy was muttering.
" Can't be…extinct…didn't know…possible…weird…fits him, though…amazing."
" Harry, what is it?" Sev repeated. Harry came out of his trance and looked in surprise at his friend.
" That, Sev, is a velociraptor."