The Seers' Truth: Beyond the Darkness

By Lady Lestrange

Chapter 45

Parting Words

(A/N: Anyway, I know I've been forever getting the last chapter ready for you, although in my own defense, I only just got the 15 reviews. So here's a bonus…a new chapter without your need to review to get it. Please be generous in your reviews. Sorry for the delay, but I had to do major changes. I promised I wouldn't quit on you. I hope you won't quit on me. The changes are done now, and updates should be more regular. All answers to reviews will now be through ff's new option. If you have questions I haven't answered due to ff's ban of answering reviews, please ask again now that I can answer.--LL)

Disclaimer: That said, the real Severus Snape, who is not a pureblood, and all the Harry Potter characters and previous situations belong to JK Rowlings. No infringement is meant or implied. No money is made from this Fanfic. Thanks JK. --Lady Lestrange

Special thanks to my beta, ennui deMorte, who always does such a good job being my extra muse as well as proofreading, moral support and just plain fun. Be sure and visit the yahoo group, TheSeersTruth for more interesting discussion questions. Go to my author profile and click on homepage and it will take you to the Yahoo! group. ennui deMorte created and maintains the site with great insights into the story. Invite your friends. Come and discuss.

15 reviews: I really hate blackmailing you into reviewing, but hey, I'm a Slytherin. It's in my nature, so when there are 15 reviews for this chapter, the next one will magically appear. Love my readers and reviewers. Answers to the reviews follow the story.

(A/N: Thanks for your patience and I apologize for the delay, but you still haven's given my 15 reviews. I'll chalk it up to HBP stunned brains.)

(A/N: I've been reading a number of fanfics in installments like this one myself, and find it is sometimes hard to remember exactly what has happened before-In a fic as complex as this one is, I thought having a reminder may be helpful for you. If you want to skip it, just page down. 5 turns should do it!)

Up to this Point: Alternate 5th year book. Voldemort was uncertain which was the prophecy child, Samara or Ginny so he kidnapped them both. Beatrice made a mad dash after them in her animagus form. She has been since crucioed and rescued and returned to Hogwarts still in her bunny animagus form.

Harry, Ron and Hermione struggle to figure out how the prophecy might aid them. The trio travels to Hermione's house, Samara's house, the Riddle house and eventually the Snow Castle in search of the girls.

Ginny, who has a Dark Mark, is torn between the visions of Tom in her head and what to do to stay safe from Voldemort at the Snow Castle. Snape is an unexpected help to her.

Voldemort meanwhile has some unpleasant Christmas surprises in store for Harry and Neville. Neville's grandmother ends up in the hospital and the Dursley's are dead, leaving Snape as Harry's guardian.

Back at Hogwarts, the trio tries to ascertain how they will save the girls. They enlist Draco and Lauren's help.

Voldemort has some trouble within the ranks and sends Ethan to learn with Narcissa and Gloria. Meanwhile, the trio works out some differences with Draco, and miss a chance to save the girls. Now, Snape gives some timely advice and Harry invites Neville to their little planning gatherings, which ends in an altercation between Neville and Draco.

Voldemort sets his plans in motion by giving Samara the Dark Mark, but she is far from defeated by this. Ginny on the other hand is ready to give in to save her family. The plot continues as Volemort sets family members upon family members in a quest to destroy all who might thwart him.

Meanwhile, Harry considers the meaning of curcio and tries to puzzle out what Voldemort is doing by reading his scar pangs.

Ethan and Edward prove their worth to Voldemort and Beatrice is finally released from the bunny animagus.

Ginny, under polyjuice potion, is impersonating Madam Amelia Bones. She is following direct orders from Voldemort who is speaking to her in parseltongue from the small snake animagus she is carrying. She saves her father and her brother, but doesn't seem to be able to save herself.

However, Harry Potter and his trusty Gryffindor rescue squad is on the way. Unfortunately, they get waylaid. Ginny is unconscious and the girls are currently looking for the boys and wind up in Voldemort's dungeon with a slew of vampires and a three headed dragon. The boys, Harry, Ron and Draco are going to rescue the others from the veelas, but Valeriana and Narcissa get in the way-or not- Luckily the twins are armed with puppy puffs and a sense of humor. Now, the intrepid trio have some difficulty determining a course of action. It's no wonder!

Perhaps, they should put it to a vote there are so many people involved in the decision. Well, as Dumbledore says, "it is the decisions we make, that make us the witches and wizards we are!" Such is never more true than in the case of Ginny Weasley. Will her decisions save her or damn her?

Ginny appears to have placed her trust in Tom. Is if for good or ill? At first glance it seems as if Tom is helping them, but he is also mercurial in nature and one can never be sure. At last they escape the Snow Castle for the safety of Hogwarts, but is anywhere really safe?

Ginny reevaluates her relationship with Tom and Harry reevaluates Ginny. The reporters make it difficult for Harry and company to get through the Great Hall. The group contemplates what to tell the reporters, and it culminates with an encounter with Snape where Harry learns things he'd rather not know. Which brings us to the real question, Who's side is Snape on? Really? That's my Snape, not JK's Snape. Comparisons on Snape at The Yahoo group are welcomed, just be sure to mark a spoiler section at the top of the post.

We learn a little more about Snape's relationship with the Mauraders and Lily Evans-Potter in the last chapter and Although Harry has just returned from the Snow Castle, he realizes that the time to face Voldemort is coming soon. He doesn't do well with advance planning. After all, he is a Gryffindor.

The group has just returned from the Snow Castle, and they left Lauren to Voldemort's tender mercies. We saw her get her Dark Mark.

It is morning, and Eloise Midgin has just awakened Ginny/Tom and told her that a Slytherin is waiting to speak with her. Eloise, of course had no idea that currently Tom is in control of Ginny's body, but he did promise to give it back after breakfast. Will he keep his promise? Yet another prophecy from Parvati, or was that Helga? Lots more action. Stay tuned…

For further discussion, visit: YAHOO GROUPS, TheSeersTruth (underscore between words if it deletes them) also, for more great stories, visit voldemortsreadinglist and Please Please Please add your own Slytherin fiction after you read and review.

Your review is my only payment. Please be generous. This was a long arduous chapter especially after reading HBP. Your reviews are appreciated.

And now, on to the chapter…

Parting Words

Tom had watched the Gryffindor dynamics play out at the breakfast table with something like amusement. It was obvious to him that Ron thought the bushy-haired Mudblood was hot.

"Hermione," Ginny interrupted his thoughts, "And you don't need any special talent to see that, Tom. Everyone knows how jealous my brother is of Hermione."

Tom reached for another sausage, and Ginny protested. "How many sausages did you eat now? I'm not going to fit in the new robes I bought."

"Hardly," he thought with a roll of his eyes that had to look suspicious to anyone watching him.

"Anyway, it's after breakfast," Ginny pointed out. I want my body back. You've eaten enough. I have to climb up to the Divination Tower so I'd better get going."

"Right then," he agreed as he scoffed down the previous sausage. "Time for exercise, you can have the body back."

"You're impossible."

"I do try."

0 0

The Great Hall had stared to clear out, and most of the teachers had stood to leave when the crash of an overturned chair caught Harry's attention and he looked up to see a tearful Susan Bones pointing her wand at Ginny. Ginny had also pulled her wand and although Harry would have laid odds on Ginny had Susan been alone, Hannah Abbot and Justin Fitch-Fentley rushed forward to protect their housemate, effectively surrounding Ginny. Visha was hissing madly, but Ginny's left hand on her neck prevented the basilisk from biting anyone. Ron jumped to the defense of his sister, shoving Hannah Abbot aside, and Dean Thomas pulled his wand, growling menacingly at Ron.

"Stop!" Hermione urged as she caught Ron's shoulder.

"How could you?" cried Susan, her wand unerringly on Ginny. "You knew she was my grandmother. You knew! Did you cut the hair for the polyjuice from her dead body? Were you there when they killed her? Maybe you cast the killing curse yourself!" Susan's voice rose in a horrified shriek. "How can you even consider yourself a Gryffindor with that thing around your neck?"

By now the remainder of the stragglers in the Great Hall had gathered around the two girls. It didn't help that several Slytherins had pulled wands and were pointing them at Susan. Harry realized the situation could escalate in seconds if someone actually cast a curse, or if Visha bit someone, so he stepped between them, his back to Ginny.

"Susan," he said calmly. "You don't want to do this." He felt the prickling of Ginny's eyes on his back and for just a moment wondered again if Tom was in control of her body. Was he out of his mind? Tom could hex him silly or even kill him--with his back turned--but he didn't think Ginny would allow that to happen. "Susan," Harry said again. "Put the wand away."


Susan stood stubbornly resolute and her housemates all stood loyally with her. Even Beatrice, the new Hufflepuff had come up to see what was going on, but she didn't pull her wand. She was the only one who didn't. "I saw you talking to those slimy Slytherins," Susan hissed.

Harry tried another tack. He glanced back at Ginny. "Ginny," he said catching something like amusement in her eyes. "Please. Put your wand away."

She hesitated a moment searching Harry's eyes as if for confirmation that if Susan hexed her, he would block or take the curse. "Fine," Ginny spat, shoving the wand into her pocket. Harry could tell by the way her fingers were splayed that Ginny wasn't defenseless even with her wand put away which made him wonder if this was truly Ginny in front of him, or if it was Tom. Harry turned back to Susan, appealing to her sense of honor and fair play. "Now, Susan, put your wand away. You don't want to curse an unarmed witch. If you do, then what makes you better than the Death Eaters? You don't want to stoop to their level. Susan. Please."

"I need to know if her body was burned," she whispered. "I need to know that they can't…won't…"

Harry sucked in his breath. He did not need to be told what horrible things Voldemort could do with dead bodies. He vividly remembered the bones of Tom Riddle, Voldemort's father dropping into the caldron in Little Hengleton graveyard.

"Please," Susan said. She continued to hold the wand, but her grip faltered, and she started to cry. Harry took the wand gently from her hand and gave it to Beatrice for safe-keeping, just as Professor Sprout bustled up to the little crowd, and shooed the onlookers away.

"My parents," Susan whispered. "Death Eaters buried them--and the whole house--they couldn't recover the bodies, and now my grandmother. Please, Ginny, tell me you saw her burned…"

Professor Sprout listened as if she as well as Susan wanted to hear Ginny's answer.

"I can't tell you that," said Ginny.

Susan threw herself at Ginny, who in her own defense, cast a wandless impedimenta.

Susan found herself on the floor at Ginny's feet and didn't pick herself up. She lay there screaming at Ginny. "Death Eater! You're using Dark Magic even now! I will never rest until you are in Azkaban. I'll see you Kissed. I promise you…I will never forgive you! Never give up! Death Eater!"

"Let's get you back to Hufflepuff," Professor Sprout urged her, as Susan's screams escalated.

Ginny stood staring at her, feeling the angry glares of the other Hufflepuffs. She had never felt more like a Death Eater at the Snow Castle. All the color had drained from her face as she realized that Susan was her enemy and she wasn't the only one. The accusing glares from the other students cut her to her soul. Even Harry didn't trust her; she could see it in his eyes

"Oh Tom what have I done?"

"Only what you had to, Ginny Love. Only what you had to."

"Ginny," said Ron decisively, putting his wand away, and pulling her into a hug. "It's alright." And she buried her face in the shoulder of her brother's robe so she wouldn't have to see their accusing eyes.

"You don't need a shoulder to cry on." Tom groused. "You handled that little scene admirably. Why do you let them coddle you, Ginny? Why?"

"Because I like it, Tom. It feels good. Someday I'll get you to understand family."

"We're late for class," Hermione reminded them.

oo oo ooo

Harry distanced himself from Ron and Hermione feeling that they needed the space. He knew that they had drawn closer together and he felt increasingly like floo powder on a broomstick. Beatrice had befriended him, and he was aware that she wanted to be more than friends, but he just couldn't focus on a relationship now. She said she understood, but continued to be close by whenever he needed her. Neville and Melisande, like Ron and Hermione were often absent. Samara had openly joined Draco at the Slytherin table and not surprisingly, about half the time, she took Ginny with her.

Harry felt horribly alone. He felt as if he was floating like a ghost separate from everyone at Hogwarts. It was such an occasion, while drinking tea with McGonagall and trying to sort out his feelings of inadequacy, that McGonagall told Harry that Dumbledore had left a letter behind for him. Harry frowned, "He knew he was going to die?"

McGonagall shook her head and handed him the rolled parchment. "He knew that it could happen at any time, as it could for any of us.

"But --" Harry shook his head dejectedly. "Please--at least tell me you saw the Headmaster's body," he said.

"No, I haven't," she answered. "But I believe Professor Snape has the situation under control."


"Professor Snape, Harry," said McGonagall.

Harry snorted. "I don't care. I don't trust him. I never will--He killed--"

"At least remember that the Headmaster trusted him. Grant his last wish."

"But--" began Harry.

"These are dangerous times," McGonagall continued. "I think you should read it here," she said. "I will give you a bit of privacy."

She smiled a tight smile and after a moment she left Harry alone in her office and he broke the seal on the parchment and began to read.

Dear Harry,

I have instructed Minerva to give this to you at my death. I would tell you not to grieve, but grief, like death is a normal part of life, and above all, I charge you to live. Don't just survive to kill Voldemort, but live and love and celebrate life.

Even before you were born I knew you would be powerful, but when I first held you in my arms I knew that Voldemort would seek you. The power fairly oozed from you. I met with the Order of the Phoenix even before your birth to devise a plan to protect you, and keep you for the Light. There was only one other child that I knew who even came close to your innate magical power: Tom Riddle. I couldn't risk your falling to the Dark. None of the Wizarding world could. It was better that you were protected from all magic until you could truly choose for yourself the direction you would go. We all knew that you were powerful, and your choice to be the Savior of the Wizarding world could free us from Voldemort's tyranny, but to keep you safe we, who considered ourselves light, did a very dark act. We separated a mother from her child. At the time I supposed the end justified the means, but lately, I am questioning all those decisions of long ago. I wonder if a such a dark act as separating your family and later placing you with such a family as the Dursleys could yield good results, and yet I see the young man you are becoming. You are your parent's child, but you are also becoming your own man. I know your mother died protecting you, but I recently wonder if there had been a different way. The Prophecies that have ruled my life told of such sacrifices in detail, and as a young man I did not question the morality of such a decision. I now question and although time cannot be altered, I ask for your forgiveness. I know it is time to step into the next great adventure, and I wish to leave no animosity behind.

I have lived my life in the shadow of one prophecy or another. It is the only way I know to go on. Now, there are no more prophecies to lead me. I find the choices offered me uncertain, since no path is laid out. I know that you have hated the Prophecy for ruling your life, but in some respects Harry, I see that we are the lucky ones. We know our path. We know what our lives should mean and what our purpose should be. Severus tells me that the hell of not knowing whether any decision is really right or good is its own kind of torture. He sees it's effects over and over again among his Slytherins. I have never understood--

Harry paused, looking up from his reading. He understood. His time among the Slytherins had given him the insight that Dumbledore lacked. He knew they did not view life like Gryffindors did with a clear code of right and wrong. They measured right by power, but by concrete means. That would have confounded Harry just a short week ago--even just a day ago--before the Snow Castle. He wondered what this knowledge meant. He could no longer look at a Slytherin and see evil. He had worked along side of Lauren and Draco, and he wasn't satisfied that they were the only ones in that house he could save.

Harry turned back to the letter.

I know that you felt abandoned at the Dursley's, Harry. That was never my intention, but the protection of blood, can only be equaled or surpassed by the protection of love. How could I choose who would love you, Harry? I couldn't, but I could measure the power of your mother's blood. I have always dealt in black and white--good and evil--light and dark until this very moment. For the first time in my life, I am not certain I am doing the right thing: the thing preordained for me to do. The uncertainty is strange.

I have never known that feeling until this moment. For the first time, I am making a choice that was not preordained. It is exhilarating and terrifying. I hope it is the right one. Severus is sure that it is, and I trust him. I know as surely as if it were prophesied, I am no longer the only Wizard the Voldemort has ever feared, and in knowing that, I must step aside and allow your power to wax as mine wanes. Harry Potter, I pass the torch of the Light into your very capable hands. I know you will do what is right.


Albus Dumbledore

Harry felt the tears rolling down his cheeks and off of his chin. Love--Professor Dumbledore had signed the letter, Love, as if he were family. Harry's throat was closed with emotion and he felt as if a hippogriff was sitting on his chest. He was really dead, then. Professor McGonagall thought he was dead. The enormity of Albus' death struck him once again with more force than before. How could he continue? How could he lead the Light? Who would follow him? He was not ready for this. The void left by Albus was a gaping wound in his soul. He looked around McGonagall's office, as he dashed away the tears, thinking never again would he run up the moving stairs to Dumbledore's office to lay his problems at the great wizard's feet. There were so many times that he criticized Dumbledore but now he needed him. He needed him! He wasn't ready to do this alone. He wasn't ready to do it at all. Harry wept until his soul was wrung dry and then with the letter in hand, he silently left McGonagall's office, locking it behind him. He wandered the halls seeking peace. The gray stone seemed to call to him, and pulse with a new life. Hours later, Harry found himself in front of Dumbledore's office. The Gargoyles leaped aside, but he didn't go up the stairs. He waited for interminable moments as if Dumbledore would magically appear. When he didn't, Harry slowly sat down at the bottom of the stairs.

He could check Dumbledore's pensieve and try to make sense of all the theatrics that followed his parents' death. After all, he had heard the story from Snape and from Tom Riddle, neither of which were exactly reliable. Harry still didn't understand exactly how the potion worked the night of his parent's death, but it seemed that Dumbledore was really dead and not somehow preserved by the potion and spell as he had hoped. He must be dead. After all, McGonagall gave him the letter. Harry sniffed. He was sure that seeing Dumbledore one more time before the encounter with Voldemort, would strengthen him somehow. Even seeing him in the pensieve would calm his frazzled nerves. There would surely be some explanation for the potion. If not, at least Harry could revisit some of the moments when Dumbledore's calming presence had strengthened him, and Harry thought suddenly, there would be a portrait on the Headmaster's wall…the only other portrait he knew of Dumbledore was the one where he was defeating Grindalwald.


"Parvati," said Harry happy that at last the young seer was out of St. Mungos, but in the next instant he realized it wasn't Parvati he was talking to. "It was Padma."

"Harry!" She said, her voice filled with relief. "Parvati sent me. She said I would find you here." She lowered her head, and said softly. "I think she's dying, Harry."

Harry said nothing. He couldn't cope with any more death right now.

Padma touched his shoulder and then pulled back abruptly as Shesha poked her head out of Harry's sleeve. After a moment she composed herself, and spoke.

"Parvati wanted me to tell you some things. It's the way the seeing works," Padma said folding her hands in her lap and sitting beside Harry on the steps. "In every generation of Patils, if the child is a seer there is always a twin in Ravenclaw. The seer may go to another house--usually Gryffindor or Slytherin, but the other twin is in Ravenclaw, so that they can interpret their twin's sight. I'm sorry it took me so long to understand. I--I'm not very smart as Ravenclaws go--"

"Yes, it took you too long," snapped Harry, "Dumbledore is dead."

Padma looked up startled, a flash of fear on her face, but then she recovered. "Death," said Padma softly. "Aldwin would say it is just another journey, another adventure to be experienced. It will all unfold as it should."

"It's not just some sodding adventure!" yelled Harry jumping to his feet. "Snape fuckin killed him!"

Padma overcame her fear of Shesha and laid her hand on Harry's shoulder as he gave into the grief, covering his face and taking great gulping breaths of air. Shesha hissed what comfort she could offer.

"I will tell you what Parvati wanted me to tell you." Said Padma.

"Save your breath," said Harry. "It's too late."

0 0

"I will tell you what Parvati wanted me to tell you." Said Padma. She paused and then moving away again she recited, as if she had memorized the exact wording:

Saved from unjust torture she brings the crest of war

Bound she breaks the fealties his family swore

In Death the Truth revealed through love and friend

Released where blood and magic's illusions end

"You're not making any sense," Harry interrupted angrily, "It sounds like you started in the middle. Who is supposed to be speaking?"

"Helga," answered Padma. "Wait. I think it was a continuation of another prophecy." Padma cleared her throat and began reciting.

There will come, when fifty plus a millennium pass,

An empath of our blood combined, a lass—

First natural magic in ten generations of none.

Rejoice, the rift is healed, the battle is won.

She will be called a child of the prophecy.

Brave, powerful raven. Both dove and hawk is she—

"I remember," said Harry.

Saved from unjust torture she brings the crest of war

Bound she breaks the fealties his family swore

In Death the Truth revealed through love and friend

Released where blood and magic's illusions end

Dark Magic wreaks such a terrible cost

But Creation magic says all is not lost.

"But all is lost," Harry said. "I can't do this alone." He turned back to the Gargoyles. "I just can't believe he's dead."

"I know," said Padma.

Silence reigned between them. "I just don't know what I'm supposed to do," he said.

"Seal the Rift," said Padma.

"Oh, it's not enough now for me to kill Voldemort, I have to seal Rift in the Magical World that no one's even been able to find for a thousand years!"


Harry didn't look back at Padma as he entered Dumbledore's office.

It happened so fast! Harry was surprised to see Fawkes, who screeched and rose up from her perch. Why was he here? Dumbledore was dead.

Shesha hissed her displeasure, and at lightening speed, slithered up Harry's sleeve to his neck.

He felt Shesha's fear. It was unmistakable, and he hissed to her. "(It's alright, Shesha. I won't let Fawkes--)"

There was a flash of phoenix fire in front of his face and he never got to finish the sentence. The movement of the phoenix was so fast, so miraculous, that he didn't have time to gather magic to his hands or his wand. The fire glowed like a blinding halo around his head and the flame flickered and bubbled with Fawkes movement, an abrupt strike knocked both him and Shesha to the floor: Once. Twice and then there was a humming so beautiful it pierced his head with white fire and he could see nothing but the bright pain, and hear Fawkes screeching, or was it his own screeches?

Pain erupted in his eyes! He was blind! Knocking his glasses to the floor, he pushed his fists against his eyes in horror as the pain seemed to shatter every nerve in his head. The pain of Voldemort's touch had never been so intense. He dropped to his knees the scream caught in his throat prohibited him from casting, but somehow, he raised a shield, he felt the magic exuding from his very skin.. The fire in his eyes continued, but the he heard the singing. So perfect was the sound that it could have been the angels singing. He recognized it. Phoenix song. It grew, crescendoing into a shriek and only then did he realize that beneath the singing was a shrill keening: Shesha! His neck was wet with basilisk blood, and he couldn't see. The pain was unbearable. He clutched his eyes as if he wanted to gouge them out, but he forced himself to take his hands from his own eyes, and his vision returned, blurry and indistinct, but his sight was intact. He just needed his glasses. It was Shesha's pain he was feeling not his own.

"(Shesha!)" he croaked in a rough parseltongue. "That soddin bird pecked out her eyes! She's blind!" Harry howled, closing his burning eyes and feeling in the dark for the basilisk. The pain was so intense that he could barely open his own eyes and he didn't know where his glasses had fallen to. It didn't seem important. "(Shesha! Come to me.)"

Unerringly, the basilisk came to him, and shaking he laid his hands on her bloodied face as he felt the heat of Fawkes approach as the phoenix come around for another pass at the basilisk. Harry didn't wait for her attack. The magic billowed in his hands, rolled down his arms and off of his fingertips as he bellowed. "Avada Kadavra!"

Even with his temporarily impaired vision, the spell found it's mark and Harry heard the squawk and dull thud as the large bird hit the floor and burst into flames. A moment later the baby phoenix was born. Harry heard it's low chirp. Sobbing, Harry cuddled the wounded Shesha close. After a moment he opened his eyes and searched for his glasses. Rubbing his eyes, he put them on. His vision was still blurry with tears but he could see again and the pain was subsiding. He touched Shesha's bloody face with horror. He realized she was now keeping her pain from him, sparing him her suffering. He heard the chirp of the baby phoenix and was filled with loathing.

"Harry!" Padma was at his side, pushing through the wreckage that was Dumbledore's office. "What happened? Are you hurt? Should I call Madam Pomfrey?" She reached out to touch him, but drew back abruptly. "Harry! You're hot!"

"How could Falkes have attacked like that there was no provocation?" He mourned.

"Instinct," said Padma, tucking her hands into the sleeves of her robe. "They are natural enemies."

"Enemies are never natural," said Harry as he at last pried open his eyes and looked at the flailing bird. The sulpher smell of the Avada curse hung in the air.

'(The phoenix is not sheis now,)" Shesha reminded him, and Harry could feel her need to sink her fangs into her attacker. He could relish the taste of Fawkes magic. ("Sissshausss! Make him part of our power!")

What could they do with phoenix power? Harry wondered momentarily, and then he paused. "No," said Harry. With a sniff, he rubbed his sore eyes again. "No." He had to get control of himself. Try to heal Shesha. She was still quivering with pain. "(Let me help you,)" Harry told her, but she had curled into a tight miserable ball, nursing her bleeding eyes. In her pain, she had withdrawn from him. "(Let me help you,)" Harry insisted.

"Fawkes has rendered the basilisk harmless," said Padma.

"Shut up and get out," snarled Harry and Padma scurried from the residual magic that flowed from him as he spoke. "Shesha was harmless before Fawkes tore out her eyes. She would have never killed. Never! She obeyed me. She would have kept her eyes closed." Harry was rubbing his hands over Shesha's cool scales in an attempt to comfort her. He felt the wetness on his face and realized it was tears, not blood. He was hyperventilating, thinking of the times Shesha had protected him in the Snow Castle, when she helped him save Beatrice, when she saved him from the veelas, and he had failed her. Failed. Why could he never protect what was important to him? Why hadn't he either killed Voldemort or died by now. Why was everything he loved hurt or killed or ruined? How could he have gotten safely from the Snow Castle only to be betrayed by Dumbledore's own phoenix--the phoenix of his wand.

"But if she kept her eyes closed," said Padma, "Then all Fawkes did was add a little insurance."

"Get out!" Harry shrieked, dragging air from the Elementals in a wild wind and stirring up the dust and debris of Dumbledore's office.. "Get out before I curse you!"

"You won't do that, Harry," Padma said softly. "There is more that Parvati wanted to tell you. She knew what Fawkes would do--"

Harry looked at the girl with absolute loathing. "You knew and you did nothing to stop me? You could have warned me!"

"It's a basilisk!" snapped Padma, and Harry pulled his wand.

"Say what you have to say about this prophecy and get out," Harry said in a low controlled voice. Even in his near blindness he kept his wand poised on her. Holding the wand seemed to calm him somehow. He could sense her magic in some way that was becoming familiar to him. He couldn't help but think that he wasn't acting like a Gryffindor. His death grip on his wand was a souvenir of the time at the Snow Castle--time with the Slytherins. His hair was blowing. He felt the Air Elemental, and if felt good, better than good, swift and sure, like flying he thought and somewhere came the reminder that if he wasn't going to use this magic, he should release it, but he didn't want to. He found he understood the Slytherins better right now than he understood Padma's laisse fair attitude for the pain of a living creature--his basilisk--his Shesha. He pushed the memories of the basilisk he himself had killed in second year to the far reaches of his mind. He pushed away the thought of the attempted Avada he had inflicted upon Shesha when he had first met her, and the stray thought appeared, that the Avada had worked on Fawkes. Perhaps he wasn't too hopeless to kill Voldemort after all. He held the wand on Padma a moment longer asking himself why he was threatening her, and furthermore, why he was bothering with the wand at all when he could feel the power coursing through his soul. He sank to the floor, cuddling Shesha, and clinging to her like a lifeline. He didn't know how to heal her..

Padma settled her hands in her lap and while looking at the business end of Harry's wand, She did not draw her own wand. She continued to tell him what Parvati had begged her to say. "She truly thinks she is Helga," Padma whispered. "They can do nothing for her at St. Mungos. They say she will either live or die as the prophecy dictates. They are just--keeping her comfortable."

Harry waited, finding grief within himself for the girl that he had once taken to the Yule Ball. It seemed a lifetime ago. "Is she in pain?" Harry whispered, considering the pain coursing over Shesha.

Padma shook her head. "I don't know. She just mutters constantly. She doesn't sleep."

She says, "Do not be afraid of blindness, for in your blindness you will see."

Harry scoffed, but Padma continued undaunted. "Dark falls. Suns die. There is deception in the Light as well as the Dark and truth in the Dark as well as the Light. Bright is the fire, which you call Dark and Dark is the Earth that you call Light. Earth and Fire, Water and Air all together where there is no light or dark, only Spirit, but in blessed Darkness exists the peace which is Forever-- like my chamber." She calls to someone. I think it is Salazar Slytherin."

Harry shivered.

"Come to me at last my love. I long for you. One cannot live without the other. One cannot live with the other, for they are the same essence--Basilisk and Phoenix--Earth and Water--Fire and Air." Padma took a deep breath. "She knew, Harry. Parvati saw. She saw what happened to--Fawkes!"

"She knew? And you didn't tell me?" Harry's voice rose incredulously.

"You didn't listen."

"Tell me now," Harry demanded. "How do you know she knew that Fawkes would attack Shesha?"

"I didn't know that. I just knew--" She shook her head. "That wasn't what I meant. The prophecy mentioned your basilisk--"

Samara and Ginny burst into the room all of their basilisks hissing frantically. "What's happened?" snapped Ginny brandishing her wand.

"Who attacked him?" asked Samara. Her robe was loosened and the basilisks that clung to her dropped from her to go to Harry and Shesha.

"Fawkes," said Padma, but he didn't kill the basilisk. He just blinded it--and--and--"

"Just blinded it!" howled Samara.

For just a moment, Harry was quite sure that Ginny was going to curse Padma, but she seemed to gain control over herself. "Shut up," snapped Ginny, brandishing her wand as she reached out to Harry. "We were on our way to dinner when we heard Shesha scream."

Others piled into the room now: Draco with Samara, Ron and Hermione, Neville, Melisande and even Lauren.

"You have a time turner, don't you?" said Hermione, addressing Padma.

"No!" she snapped backing away. "It will not be put to such a use." Her hand went under her robe collar, clutching the tiny necklace, and no one spoke to her again. "Accio!" said Ginny and the magical chain snapped as the timeturner flew to Ginny's outstretched hand.

"No," said Harry gently closing his hand over Ginny's. He wondered briefly it this was Ginny or still Tom Riddle, but the thought didn't stay as he tried to hear the basilisks frenzied hissing. They were arguing among themselves--trying to decide what should be done with Fawkes who was chirping in fear and hiding under a smashed sneakoscope.

The others pulled close to Harry, as Cush looked hungrily at the phoenix and hissed. ("It is not sheis now. It's hissusss.")

("The right is Shesha's,") corrected Salacia. ("It should become part of her power, not ours. We will only share as she is our sister.")

("Yes, sisshausss,") agreed Visha, but Harry shook his head. ("No,") he said softly. ("It must stop somewhere.")

("You betray your bitemate,") Celicia said haughtily. ("It should die.")

("The choice is not yours,)" admonished Samara.

"What are they saying?" Draco asked Samara in frustration. "Are they going to kill it?"

Samara shook her head. "Harry doesn't want them to."

Draco snorted. "Gryffindor. You should tell them to kill it, Samara, before it hurts one of the others."

Samara shook her head again. "Wait--"

With a soft cheep, baby Fawkes came out from under the sneakoscope and hopped closer to Harry and Shesha. After a moment, the bird hopped onto Harry's hand. He thrust it away, but it returned. Harry resisted the urge to crush the thing with his bare hands for the pain it had caused, but he also remembered her singing in the Chamber of Secrets and bringing the Sorting Hat, saving him….and hurting him. Shesha stirred weakly, turning toward the bird. It was within striking distance, but Shesha did not move. A moment later, Harry felt the wetness of tears on his hand as the silvery liquid dripped from the bird's tiny eyes. It turned its head so that the drops fell onto the basilisk, and Harry panicked thinking this could not be a good thing for a basilisk. Its tears might be toxic to Shesha. He wrapped his other hand around the bird, planning to fling it away, when a warm healing began to flow through him, and he looked at Shesha. She was in less pain. Another drop fell, and her eyes began to heal over, new eyes growing where the ruined eyeballs had been. Shesha turned and blinked at him, the new eyelids already formed over vividly green eyes.

He stared at them thinking, he was the first person in history to see a basilisk's eyes. They were green--emerald green--like his own--like the basilisks in the Chamber of Secrets--how had Salazar Slytherin known to make them green?

"(I see you, Master,)" Shesha said wonderingly, and the bitemates hissed in appreciation of this new talent, which they shared in some manner through their telepathy.

Harry glanced around at his friends. No one had died and no one had turned to stone. "(You can see?)" Harry demanded. "(And your gaze no longer kills?)"

Shesha closed her eyes and opened them again. "(I can see,)" she said. "(But the light hurts. Make the hurting stop, Master.)"

"(I'll try,)" promised Harry. "She's hurting," Harry told the others.

"Maybe Hagrid can help her," suggested Ron.

"That oaf?" commented Draco under his breath.

"Harry," Ron reached out and touched his friend's neck. "You're bleeding." Immediately, he yanked his hand back, howling with pain. "OW! Ow! Ow!"

"It's not my blood," said Harry, "It's Shesha's" and Samara clasped Ron's hand in her own, wiping away the basilisk blood and healing the burns that had eaten through the tips of his fingers to the bone. In a few moments the blackened skin was replaced with the new puckered pink of healed skin.

"Harry--the prophecy--" began Padma. "What are you going to do?"

He looked at the group, his eyes resting on Padma. "I can't think about that now," he said softly. "Maybe later." He picked up Shesha and strode from the room, struggling with his impaired sight.. "Hagrid," he said. "Hagrid would know what to do to help the basilisk." Harry looked at Ron's hand. "You should go to the infirmary."

Ron scoffed. "I'm going with you, Harry. My hand's fine." He flexed his bright pink fingers, which still looked a little raw, but not as bad as they looked a moment ago.

"The prophecy said, 'The phoenix must surely rule," Hermione quoted. "and yet, at least here, there seems to be some sort of a truce. Do you think it will effect the outcome of the prophecy?"

"I don't know," said Harry. "I have to take care of Shesha, now."

"I'll get Hagrid," said Ginny. "Go to the Chamber, Harry. There are potions there--and it's safe from--whoever would want to hurt the basilisks."

"But Ginny," protested Ron.

"If you don't want to come, we don't need you," snapped Ginny impatiently.

"I'll come," Ron said. He turned to Harry. "Come on, Mate."

"What about Parvati," said Padma weakly. "What about the prophecy?"

"Fuck the prophecy," snarled Ginny.

"Send me an owl," suggested Harry.

Getting Hagid into the Chamber of Secrets was not as difficult as they expected. All Ginny had to do was convince him that the basilisk needed his skill in healing creatures, and Harry certainly couldn't bring her to his hut when all the reporters were still milling around the castle.

"I don't thin' she's gonna be blind, Harry. I thin' the Phoenix tears healed her eyes. They ain't gonna give her back her magic, but ye gotta admit, it ain't no tragedy that she can't kill people with a glance or turn 'em ta stone. She'll be better off than before. She can open her eyes. She'll be able ta see."

"She's still in such pain, Hagrid." Said Harry. "Why did Fawkes do it?"

"What did you expect from Dumbledore's birdbrain?" snapped Draco. "All snakes are evil--"

"Ya won't speak ill of Dumbledore," said Hagrid tightly.

"He didn't mean it, Hagrid," Samara interrupted Draco's reply.. "We're just all upset about Shesha."

"I understand," Hagrid said sympathetically as Draco muttered, "he did so mean it--"

But Samara leaned her head against Draco's shoulder, and whispered something that made him smile. "Will Shesha be alright?" Samara asked Hagrid.

"It's nothing a little rest won't fix, though. Now. Tell her to sip this a bit, Harry. It will make her sleepy and when she wakes, she'll be right as rain."

"You're sure."

"'O course I'm sure. What ya think I'd do ta her Harry," said Hagrid, offended.

Harry hissed to Shesha, urging her to drink Hagrid's concoction. She didn't seem as repulsed by it as Harry was. Tastes a bit like rat blood," Shesha commented. Harry didn't' think he wanted to know more. After a little while, Shesha curled close and fell asleep.

"Now, ya can put some warming spells on those rocks and when ye come to get her in a few days, she'll be better."

"Days!" cried Harry. "I can't leave her here for days. Dumbledore's funeral.

"I don't think she really wanted ta go to his fun'ral, Harry," said Hagrid with a sniff. "Great man he was"

"No I meant I can't leave her here alone. What if she wakes and needs something?"

"Harry," said Samara, "you're bitemakes. You will know."

"She wouldn't want to wake up alone down here," said Harry. "She didn't like it when Voldemort made her stay here."

Samara nodded. "OK. How about if I leave a few of the basilisks here to keep her company?"

"Vol-- Volde--His?" Suggested Ron.

"Bloody hell, Ron, just say it," snapped Harry. "It's just a name."

"I--I can't, Harry. All my life, I've been taught words are things of power, and His name--" Ron shook his head. "I just can't say it."

Harry sighed. "We can't leave Voldemort's basilisks down here," he told Samara. "If

He comes down here, those ones would readily do his bidding."

"Salacia?" suggested Draco.

"No," said Samara. "I was thinking of leaving Tacita and Sawa. They are both quiet and won't mind the silence, but will still be company."

Harry nodded. "Thanks, Samara."

"We should go," said Ron. "We're going to miss supper."

"Supper!" said Hermione. "Is your stomach the only thing you think of--"

"Not the only thing," he said putting his arm around her shoulder, and she blushed.

"Smooth, Weasley," commented Draco.

"You guys go ahead," said Harry. "I'm not very hungry. I think I'll stay here with Shesha."

"In the Chamber of Secrets?" said Ron. "Are you daft? We're not leaving you here"

"Well, there is a bedroom," said Ginny. "If you want to come back after supper."

"The little ones could use some fresh meat, Harry," said Hagrid. "If 'ya want. I could stay with 'em 'till ya get back."

"They'll be alright, Hagrid," Ginny interrupted. "We'll know if Shesha needs anything."

"I don' mind, setting with the lil' darlings, " said Hagrid, already settling his enormous bulk among the basilisks who were to keep Shesha company for the night. "Go on, Harry. Go get something to eat, then you can come back and let me out. I don' really wanna eat in the Great Hall anyway--giant blood an all--makes the reporters nervous."

"Bloody hell," snapped Ron. "You shouldn't have to stay away from supper."

"We're not talkin' 'bout me," said Hagrid. "This is about Shesha, and Harry. Go on, Harry. Don' ye trust me ta take care of 'er?"

"Of course, I do, Hagrid," said Harry. "I'll be back right after supper."

"Samara and I should go up through Slytherin common room," said Draco.

"Don't want to be seen with a bunch of Gryffindors?" questioned. Ron.

"No, Weasley, don't want to be seen with you.


When they climbed out of the Chamber of Secrets, an owl was waiting for Harry. He took a rolled parchment from the bird and opened it as they walked towards the Great Hall. It said:

There will come, when fifty plus a millennium pass,

An empath of our blood combined, a lass—

First natural magic in ten generations of none.

Rejoice, the rift is healed, the battle is won.


She will be called a child of the prophecy.

Brave, powerful raven. Both dove and hawk is she—

Saved from unjust torture she brings the crest of war

Bound she breaks the fealties his family swore


In Death the Truth revealed through love and friend

Released where blood and magic's illusions end

Dark Magic wreaks such a terrible cost

But Creation magic says all is not lost.


One day the serpent will take up his emerald ring

When you Slytherin, dance and paint and sing

To foil the slavery the spell weavers wrought

And conquer the weakness Meridius' sin brought


Circle of darkness anchors my love to earth

Kenaz enlightens. Sowillo challenges Perth

The far outcome Ingwaz; Hagalaz the past

The near rune, distruction, Thurisaz is cast


Both Hufflepuff love and Slytheirn guile

Together in spirit protect Meridius' child.

His Power unknown at last lashes free

At a terrible cost which I cannot see


Green eyes in awe of the basilisk's gaze

Learning the wonder of the phoenix ways

Phoenix tears, Dragon Fire and Basilisk breath

Healing and Purging; Breaking the Walls of Death


Fire, Air Water, Earth encompass Dark and Light

Your essence of Magic, unequalled in might

Opening the path to the Spirit makes five

Breathing life to those dead and death to those 'live


Never alone in the netherworld will she be

As long as she harbours Love's memory.

Bound by a promise to save a captive from birth

Freed she challenges time and alters Perth


I see with faith, but in the past struck blind

What sacrifice will bring life and love there find?

I know only that the Rift must finally close

And a Memory of Love will go where she goes.


For my little assisstance you did not ask

Yet I see love unbound by time or task

Three healing the rift Solwilo at their side

Five houses united: A Headmaster's Pride


I guess Padma took me at my word," said Harry.

"What is it?" asked Hermione, and Harry handed her the parchment just as Ginny said, "Look! It's Fred and George. They're out of the infirmary."

Ginny and Ron hurried to catch up to the twins who were walking carefully into the Great Hall. Their eyes were bandaged and both had large black dogs on short leashes. One of the dogs gave a short bark, and stopped, turning George to meet them.

"Whose's there?" asked Fred, pulling his wand.

"It's a friend," said George, "Can't you tell by his bark?"

"Honestly George, you would think that dog is an animagus. Mine isn't that smart."

"He's smart enough--"

"Sirius?" murmured Harry, bending to pat George's dog.

"No, his name is Snuffles," said George. "Who's all here?"

Harry's eyes widened, but he said nothing. After all they were in a public hallway and not everyone knew about Sirus' innocence or his animagus abilities.

Ron meanwhile, gave the twins the run down. "Me, and Ginny, Harry and Hermione."

"Can you believe it? Snape found the dogs. They're seeing blind dogs. Muggles used them all the time," replied Fred, "But I think George got the better of the deal. His dog is smarter--"

"I doubt that," said George. " Yours is plenty smart. Found his way to the kitchen after we missed breakfast didn't he? Anyway, if we get magical eyes made, it won't matter."

"Madam Pomfey says we have to wait another week before the optic nerve is healed Then we will know if our sight will come back or we have to prepare for the implant." Added Fred.

"Oh--" cried Hermione horrified. "You might not get your sight back?" She looked about ready to cry.

"Hey, it's no big deal," said Fred. "Now that they have stopped hurting-- Madam Pomfrey said she wasn't sure about the strength of the phoenix tears, now that--well the tears strength is tied to the strength of the wizard, and with Professor Dumbledore dead--" Fred let the implications hang.

"Don't worry about it Hermione," said George. "Moody was over to talk to us. He said he used to wish he had two magical eyes. They actually sound really cool. Did you know they can see magic? Tell the temperature of a potion, differentiate between different spells, see through Invisibility cloaks, around corners…"

"It would be awesome to have a magical eye," said Fred.

"And the Ministry will pay for them. Injured in the line of duty and all," added Fred proudly as he gestured towards the Great Hall. "Shall we go into supper? I'm starved."

They had no sooner entered the Great Hall than the food appeared on the house tables. Harry pulled out the chair to seat himself and Ron had already started piling mashed potatoes on his plate when a scream and a crash issued from the Head Table as six house elves dressed in various pieces of Slytherin green livery apparated around the table.

There between them, lying on the Head table, completely dressed as if laid out in state was the body of Albus Dumbledore. The only thing marring the sacred tableau was the hilt of Slytherin's dagger that was protruding from Dumbledore's chest.

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