Harry Potter and the Blood Prophecies
By Lethe a.k.a. Garner

Warnings and Disclaimers: Harry Potter and all characters and places included in the Harry Potter books belong to J.K. Rowling and her affiliates. Unfortunately, I am not J.K. Rowling. This story will most likely contain slash by the end. Constructive criticism is of course welcome and encouraged.

Author's Notes: Well Blood Prophecies is back from its long hiatus. A huge thank you to everyone that kept encouraging me to continue. More to come soon.

P.S. – I'm looking for a good beta, who would be willing to go through the previous chapters, and help me iron out some things. Let me know if you're interested. Thanks in advance.

(Italics indicate parseltongue, telepathic speech or visions)

Chapter Eight : Memories and Vows

Harry sat at his desk in front of a folded piece of parchment. As the blood-red wax dribbled slowly down onto the parchment where it puddled not unlike coagulating blood, he thought back on his rather eventful day. After their lunch in the waterfall's clearing, they had ridden the rest of the way back to the castle. Tullius had pointed out the road to the small village in the center of the island, and promised to take him there sometime soon. During the ride, Harry had expressed his concern that his friends and the order would be worried about his whereabouts. Harry had inquired about the possibility of sending the headmaster a message. Tullius had agreed that it was probably for the best to inform them of his safety, and told him that he would help him send one before dinner.

At the stables Owen had shown Harry how to groom Emilia while Tullius tended to Mercutio. Then they had both returned to their rooms to clean up themselves and rest a bit. Tullius had told Harry that he would come by his quarters before dinner.

Lethe had made her escape to her makeshift pillow-den on Harry's bed as soon as possible, while Harry had bathed, dressed and written his letter. He glanced at the clock and figured that he had a few minutes until Tullius came for him. He crossed to the bed and gingerly lifted the corner of the snake's pillow, "Lethe, are you coming to dinner? I think Tullius will make an announcement tonight, so it may prove interesting."

The drowsy snake hissed in irritation, "that is the last time I willingly go near a horse, just so we're clear on that. I'll come to dinner. I'm curious to see the reactions that all of the others have tonight. We need to know if you have any potential enemies among this group."

"Agreed," Harry hissed as he allowed the snake to slither into place around his neck.

At that moment a knock sounded at the entrance to his quarters. He opened the right door in the set to reveal Tullius dressed in black silk and leather. Harry was wearing something similar, though he had chosen wool cotton twill instead of leather. He didn't think he was ready for leather trousers yet. "Good evening, Tullius."

"Good evening, Harry. Feeling refreshed?"

"Yes. I smell much less… horsey."

The man chuckled, "You mentioned that you wanted to send a letter. Is it ready?"

"Oh! Yes, of course. It's in the study." The two made their way to the desk, and Harry retrieved the letter. "Do you have owls?"

"We do, but perhaps we should utilize a slightly faster method of transport. It could take an owl several days to find your headmaster. I could send it instantly, however, if you were to help me pinpoint this Dumbledore. It was remiss of me not to have addressed the issue earlier, but to be honest, I wanted you to have a chance to learn a bit about us before you contacted them."

"Um, sure, I guess. How do I do that?"

Tullius took the letter from the teen's outstretched hand, and then placed the fingers of his other hand on Harry's temple. "Concentrate on your headmaster. Picture him in your mind; not just his physical appearance, but also the man as a whole."

Harry closed his eyes, and rifled through memory after memory, slowly piecing the wizened man together in his head…

flash

Harry unwrapped his Chocolate Frog and picked up the card. It showed a man's face. He wore half-moon glasses, had a long crooked nose, and flowing silver hair, beard and mustache. Underneath the picture was the name Albus Dumbledore. "So this is Dumbledore!" said Harry.

Albus Dumbledore had gotten to his feet. He was beaming at the students, his arms wide, as if nothing could have pleased him more than to see them all there. "Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"

"Strange how nearsighted being invisible can make you," said Dumbledore, and Harry was relieved to see that he was smiling.

"The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."

"What do you see when you look in the mirror?" "I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks." Harry stared. "One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People insist on getting me books." It was only when he was back in bed that it struck Harry that Dumbledore might not have been quite truthful.

"After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure. You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."

"Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."

"The truth." Dumbledore sighed. "It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. However, I shall answer your questions unless I have a very good reason not to, in which case I beg you'll forgive me. I shall not, of course, lie."

Dumbledore had not taken his bright blue eyes off Lucius Malfoy's cold gray ones. "However," said Dumbledore, speaking very slowly and clearly so that none of them could miss a word, "you will find that I will only truly have left this school when none here are loyal to me. You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it."

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

"There is nothing worse that death, Dumbledore!" snarled Voldemort. "You are quite wrong," said Dumbledore, still closing in upon Voldemort and speaking lightly as if they were discussing the matter over drinks. Harry felt scared to see him walking along, undefended, sheildless. He wanted to cry out a warning, but his headless guard kept shunting him backward towards the wall, blocking he every attempt to get out from behind it. "Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness-"

"If you don't – if you keep me in here – if you don't let me-" "By all means continue destroying my possessions," said Dumbledore serenely. "I daresay I have too many." He walked around his desk and sat down behind it, watching Harry. "Let me out," Harry said yet again, in a voice that was cold and almost as calm as Dumbledore's. "Not until I have had my say," said Dumbledore. "Do you – do you think I want to – do you think I give a – I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO SAY!" Harry roared. "I don't want to hear anything you've got to say!" "You will," said Dumbledore sadly. "Because you are not nearly as angry with me as you ought to be. If you are to attack me, as I know you are close to doing, I would like to have thoroughly earned it."

'"I feel I owe you another explanation, Harry," said Dumbledore hesitantly. "You may, perhaps, have wondered why I never chose you as a prefect? I must confess… That I rather thought… you had enough responsibility to be going on with." Harry looked up at him and saw a tear trickling down Dumbledore's face into his long silver beard.

flash

Harry staggered as he came back to himself. A pang of something, perhaps sorrow or guilt, stabbed at his conscience. It would bear closer examination at a later time.

"Shall we head down to dinner, Harry?"

Harry blinked. The letter was gone. "Wicked. Oh, yes… lets."

Interlude

At that moment, in a dingy kitchen, in a dingy unplottable house in London, the Order of the Phoenix was in the midst a dinner meeting. Albus Dumbledore actually appeared quite flummoxed as to why a letter had just appeared in his mashed potatoes.

Conversation stumbled to a halt as the headmaster used a finger to wipe the lumpy glob of Ms. Weasley's cooking from his long pointed nose. "Albus, how…" Kingsley trailed off as the headmaster held up a hand.

He broke the seal and perused its contents. By the time he looked up his features were schooled into a mask of amused concern. "It appears to be a missive from our Mr. Potter. He says that he is fine, and not a prisoner. It seems that he will be returning to us for the fall semester."

The room burst into excited clamor. "Albus! You can't possibly think to trust such a letter! He could be under some type of coercion!" Molly Weasley exclaimed.

"On the contrary my dear, we shall of course continue our search."

Remus spoke up, "Headmaster, how did that letter pass through the wards?"

"I'm not entirely certain. The residual signatures on the paper may as yet yield some clue. I shall investigate it further. If no one has anything further to discuss I believe we should adjourn for the evening. Severus a word, if I may, before you depart."

As the room slowly cleared a very haggard looking Severus Snape made his way stiffly to the seat next to the headmaster. The elder man passed him the parchment. Tell me what you think of this my boy. Severus studied the parchment. "It's definitely Potter's barely legible chicken scratch."

Dear Professor Dumbledore,

I am sorry that I was unable to contact you any sooner. I am fine, and although I was taken without my consent, I am not being held prisoner. I will be returning to Hogwarts in September, I wish that I could explain matters more fully, but as you know, some things are best discussed in person. Please tell Remus, Hermione and the Weasleys that I am safe.

I am sorry sir, but I believe I may have comprised Professor Snape's cover. Please consider carefully before you send him to the next meeting. Voldemort knows that I witnessed the last meeting, and that I saw Professor Snape there. I'm sure you understand the implications. Soon Voldemort will know for sure that he is a spy. I fear that even now the only thing preventing any retaliation against him is the fact that Voldemort believes us to be out of contact. When I return to Hogwarts, and no action is taken against professor Snape for being in attendance at a Death Eater meeting, Voldemort will certainly figure out his duplicity.

Once again, I am sorry. However, I may have a plan that will allow us to continue to spy on Voldemort. I will explain when I see you in September. I know that there is nothing I can say here that will give convincing proof that I am currently under no coercion. You will just have to trust me.

-Harry Potter

The sallow mans complexion had faded to white. "Damn."

"Indeed. It would perhaps be wise for your spying duties to come to an end. I would not risk you unnecessarily."

"Forgive me Headmaster, but we cannot afford to be without information from the Dark Lord's inner circle. I'm certain the boy is exaggerating."

Albus suspected the man was trying to convince himself. "I am not so certain, my boy, however until Mr. Potter is found I suppose we should glean what we can from the meetings. Please be cautious Severus."

"I am always cautious headmaster."

End Interlude

"Harry, after dinner I will make the announcement that you have decided to join us. There is a ritual that takes place. I just don't want you to be alarmed."

Harry glanced at Tullius as they headed down the stairs. "I understand. Is there anything I have to do?"

"All you have to do is accept those who choose to stand up for you."

Harry nodded, "I think I can handle that."

The dining hall was just starting to fill with people when they arrived. As they entered Tullius was hailed by a stuffy looking gentlemen with slicked back hair.

"Augustus. I see you have returned to us. I trust you bring good tidings?"

The man grimaced, "As well as can be expected, I suppose. The situating is escalating faster than I would hope. I will give you a full report this evening. But who is this?" He indicated Harry with a gesture, though Harry suspected he already knew from the look in his eye.

"Augustus may I introduce Harry Potter. Harry, this is Augustus Ciprio. Augustus is our ambassador to the other clans. He has just returned from a summit of all of the clan ambassadors."

Augustus twitched almost imperceptibly at the mention of Harry's name. "Indeed. A pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Potter. Let us hope your coming bodes well for our clan." The look on his face said that he wasn't so sure about that last.

"That will be enough shop talk, gentlemen," an amused voice interjected, "It's time to eat. Mr. Potter, it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Ratia Indago."

Tullius looked amused at the interruption. "Ratia is out resident scientist," he said, and in a loud undertone, "and a bit of a mother hen." Harry fought to suppress a grin at the outraged look on the woman's face.

The tall woman glared playfully, "Someone has to watch out for you, you irritating sod."

"Ah Ratia, my darling, you know you would pine for me if I was gone." Tullius affected a grand bow.

Ratia sniffed disdainfully, "You wish." But there was a glint of amused affection in her gaze. "Come Harry. You can sit by me and tell me more about yourself. You're much too thin dear." Harry gave Tullius a helpless look as he was led to a seat.

Dinner progressed in that manner. He chatted amicably with Ratia and Brutus, who sat on his other side. Eventually the meal ended as the one the night before had.

All eyes swung towards Tullius, who stood, and motioned for Harry to join him at the head of the table. This is it, he thought a trifle nervously.

"Good evening. I, Tullius Maecenas, am happy to announce that Harry Potter has consented to join our clan as my blood child. Please join us in three days time as we embrace him as one of our own.

"Blood of my Blood

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Life, Light, and Magic

Seven Elements Seven Souls

The Vanguard of the Newborn

"I, Tullius Maecenas will guide Harry Potter. Life is most sacred. Who will stand with me?" With is words Harry sensed a hum of energy.

There was silence, and then Marcellus stood, also, "I, Marcellus Fortis, will stand will guide Harry Potter. Earth is the stabilizing foundation." There was a slight increase in the hum as Marcellus' energy was added.

"I, Brutus Iubeo, will guide Harry Potter. Fire is the passion and strength with which we fight."

"I, Ratia Indago, will guide Harry Potter. Water is the emotion through which we heal and love."

"I, Carmen Avis, will guide Harry Potter. Air is the mind through which we speak."

"I, Magi Verto, will guide Harry Potter. Light in which we walk."

"I, Cicero Ennius, will guide Harry Potter. Magic is that which binds us all."

With each successive vow the pressure of the spell increased until the very air seemed to vibrate. There was a sense of anticipation as Tullius spoke the final phrase.

"Blood of my Blood

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Life, Light, and Magic

Seven Elements Seven Souls

The Vanguard of the Newborn

Birth, Death and Rebirth

Blood of my Blood

Life of my Life

Knowledge and Peace

One Family in Unity"

The energy, almost tangible, crested and poured into Harry as if through a funnel. The words came almost dreamlike to his lips, "I, Harry Potter, accept you all as my guides. Thank you." He gazed about the room and met the eyes of his sponsors solemnly. Each nodded to him in turn.

Tullius gave him a wink, and turned to face the others, "Thank you all. The ceremony will begin at 11:00pm in three days. Harry felt a slight jolt as reality slid back into place. That was... interesting.