Disclaimer- I don't own Harry Potter. That's what my lawyers advise me to say, anyway. (Okay, I don't have any lawyers. This is just what I'd assume mine would say. Unless it was Wolfram and Hart. Then they would tell me to say it, then sue the living hell out of J.K. But I don't do business with evil lawyers. Or lawyers in general.)
Chapter 14 Home at Last
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry couldn't believe this.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ It was insane.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Completely and utter nonsense.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Mrs. Weasley hadn't thought of a name for her grandchild!
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Apparently, Charlie, Bill, and the twins were also in shock. They would have figured their mother would have named their great grandchildren!
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Which of course, Fred (or maybe George) vocalized. "Mum? You don't have a name?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Mrs. Weasley blushed, rivaling Ginny for a moment, before regaining her composure. "Well, with all the stressfulness that's been going on…" Mrs. Weasley said, trailing off as she got lost on her grandchild again.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Charlie and Bill tried to hold in their laughter, but the twins were too far gone. They broke out into a fit of laughter, roaring and slapping their knees.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry, despite himself, chuckled. It was pretty funny.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Still, no one had a name. Hermione looked visibly shocked that she had forgotten in the scramble after Harry's escape and innocence, the election of her father-in-law to Minister of Magic, and the constant attempts to repair the broken bond between her, as well as the other Weasleys, one in particular, and Harry Potter.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I can't believe I forgot!" Hermione cried out, looking horrified.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Well, you have been under a lot of stress lately Hermione, and you have been busy…" Ron said, trying to placate his wife.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ It seemed to work, but then she exploded out into the standard Hermione in deep thought mode.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ She kept saying different names rapidly, shaking her head, nodding, and looking pensive after every name. "Why so choosy?" Harry asked Ginny softly.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The redhead had a mischievous look in her brown eyes, and replied just as softly, "With a name like Hermione, I'd be choosy about my child's name too."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry chuckled. "True. Just don't tell her that."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ A week later, Harry Potter sat nervously in his favorite chair in the Marauder's Castle, waiting anxiously for his guests. After they had named the baby, which had taken another good hour, Harry was dragged off by the Weasleys to the Burrow, where they 'asked' (Namely, Mrs. Weasley and Ginny looked pleadingly at him, which he couldn't fight. Damn manipulative redheads.) Harry to stay.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Of course, Harry had to stay. But, as Bill yelled as they pushed him up to Percy's room (with no small tears from Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, and some whitened knuckles from the Weasley men) and forced him to sleep there. It had been converted to a guest room, but Harry could still 'feel' Percy's presence.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ A side effect, Harry supposed, of how he inherited his powers. Or rather, gained them.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ And now it was time to explain all, and clear the air.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry had been at the Burrow twice more, both to see his new godchild, and the last one to inform the Weasleys to use the Portkey he left them to come to his home.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ When asked why he didn't visit more than those two times, he replied he was making preparations.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Actually, he was cleaning up, despite Dobby's protests. Harry always felt simpler, his mind clearer, when working his hands in manual labor.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ He reviewed what he would do, how he would do this, explain his forgiveness, give it to them.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry had also steeled himself to invite two more people. Remus, because the werewolf really had no one in the world and probably desperately needed to hear Harry's forgiveness, and… Albus Dumbledore. As much as Harry still resented him, even a little bit left over from sixth year, Harry didn't want a rift too wide between himself and the still prominent Headmaster.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ If the Dark ones, and there would be more, caught wind of it, they might perceive a weakness and attack. Harry wouldn't allow this fragile piece to be destroyed so soon.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ And so, he, despite how much he didn't want to, invited Dumbledore over to the Marauder's Castle. Actually, he sent Dobby over to the Headmaster's office.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry visited Remus though, and he was unprepared for the shape the werewolf was in.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Three days ago, Harry Potter had made his way over to Lupin's home, the werewolf living at the house his parent's left him. Harry had to remember this from before, and from a few stories his parents and Sirius told him. Lupin had been adamant he never spend too long in Grimmauld place, lest he be overwhelmed by his own grief. Harry had never actually been there himself, but the Weasleys had, and they steered him in the right direction.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Ron had looked like he wanted to come, but his bruised ribs (courtesy of his sister and wife) reminded him that Harry probably wanted to meet with the last Marauder alone.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ And so there he was, knocking on Remus' door, shuffling his feet nervously, contemplating exactly what he wanted to say that didn't involve violence or ranting.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Which slightly limited his options, just a tiny bit.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ But then the door opened, and Harry, despite everything he had seen, endured, and felt, was unprepared.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus Lupin looked like he was almost at deaths door, holding onto a single firewhiskey bottle tightly, his gray silver eyes completely bloodshot, his light brown hair almost completely swallowed up by a mass of gray, his skin deathly pale. His face was unshaven, his robes filthy. His head was slightly drooping, so he couldn't see Harry. Heck, he could barely stand.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry surmised this with one short, horrified phrase. "You look like hell."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus' head shot up like a bullet, despite his ailing, atrocious, and just God-awful state, almost dropping the firewhiskey in his hand. "Harry?" Remus rasped, his voice cracked from disuse and his eyes open in wonderment, causing Harry to wince at just how red they were.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Hey." Harry whispered softly. He couldn't believe how much the man in front of him was suffering. Was this how badly he truly felt?
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Woul-Would you like to come in?" Remus rasped softly, trying to clear his throat.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Er…" Harry said ineloquently, noticing the bottles and the trash everywhere. This wasn't like Remus. Remus was tidy. "Sure."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus, despite his terrible state, seemed to lose five years and half of his weariness from the word. Almost tripping over himself, he ushered the Boy-Who-Lived inside.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Sorry it's so messy, I'm…" Remus started, his cracked voice beginning to settle back down, but Harry cut him off.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Wallowing in depression? Remus..." Harry cut in, looking the man in the eyes, unable to speak. What could he say? Finally, he put off what he would say and decided it was better if he talked to a more coherent Remus.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Muttering a powerful healing spell he had picked off of one mediwitch, followed up by a sobering charm (given to him by his father and Padfoot, despite his mother's outraged protests), and then a refreshing charm, he glanced at Remus once he was done.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The man in front of him looked better, if one discounted the poor robes he was wearing. Remus looked amused for a moment. "A Sobering Charm? That's something that the Marauders perfected…" Remus started, lost in a memory for a moment.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I know." Harry said softly.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry… I'm-" Remus began, looking desperate now, as if Harry was an apparition that would fade away at a moment's notice, "I'm sorry, so sorry. Please…I know I don't deserve your forgiveness, much less your parents, but…"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Remus." Harry cut in, his voice strong yet soft. "Forgiveness is something that is given, even if it isn't earned."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Now Remus looked utterly flabbergasted. "How did you… James used to say that a lot, especially after that incident with Snape…" Remus whispered, closing his eyes, remembering better days.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I know."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Now Remus was even more dumbstruck. "But… who…"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry's face turned a slightly mischievous look, reminding Remus with a pang that that was how James looked when he had a secret he wanted, yet waited to tell. It hurt, but what hurt worse was the knowledge that he had failed James and Sirius and Lily. "My secret, for now at least."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So… not that I didn't want to see you, but-" Remus began, but Harry cut him off.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I came… well, I came to invite you over to my place, along with the Weasleys and Dumbledore, in three days. To… clear the air, so to speak."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus smiled, his teeth showing to their fullest extent, but he still looked on in disbelief. "You… want…:"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Yeah. I do want to bring you all back into my life. I… suppose you've all suffered long enough without me." Harry said, his look turning mischievous again, and a smirk wormed its way across his features. Remus couldn't help but smile back. "You have, it seems." Now Harry looked almost concerned and disappointed.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus realized the state his flat, and his body was in. "I haven't been this bad since…" Remus coughed, choked up for a moment, "Since October 31st, 1981. Even when Sirius died, I at least got him back for a while, and had work…"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry caught on immediately. The day his parents died, and the subsequent tragic events that led to Sirius being imprisoned and Wormtail's escape. "You do look like hell." Harry said lightly.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus looked mock offended, loosening up a tiny bit. "I suppose I do," He mused, rubbing his unshaven chin.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Silence for a few moments, as both sides wondered what to do.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So, what do you say? You never did answer my question." Harry said, smiling slightly.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus smiled back. "Sure."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ So now Harry had everything set up, and all that was left was to sit in his favorite chair and wait. And wait.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ And wait.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "This waiting is going to drive me nutters." Harry muttered to himself.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Finally, a knock. Harry gulped. He had never, not in his nineteen whole years of life, ever received guest in his home. Not that he ever really had a home, besides Hogwarts and maybe the Burrow. And those weren't really his, as in ownership. This was.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Maybe he could have waited a little longer.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Steeling himself, he strode to the door and pulled on it. Despite himself, he smiled. They were all here. The Weasleys, Remus, and Dumbledore.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ He greeted them, though it took a little effort to greet Dumbledore civilly, then he turned to the one, the youngest, whom he had not yet greeted.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ His godson.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Hi there, Hugh."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ His godson's naming was a tricky business. No one knew exactly what to call him, what to name him, what name he should have been given.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Percy had been shot down immediately, it brought back too much, it might make his godson try to be like Percy. And as much as all of them missed him, they didn't really want another one, or want the child to obsess over trying to replace someone.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ It had to fit. The child, though but a few hours old, already captured everyone's hearts. His eyes were bright, and somehow, despite being new to the world, seemed kind. How they could tell, no one knew. They knew that this child would be a kind person with a good heart, somehow.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry had suggested it was the parents, and Ron shot back maybe it was the godfather's influence on him. Although ludicrous and impossible, Ginny commented that somehow, looking into the child's sapphire eyes was like seeing Harry's emerald eyes. The two of them had hearts that were shining through their eyes, until Harry had been forced to hide it. But their eyes were similar, Mrs. Weasley had noted, with that same innocence.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Hermione wanted something that sounded sophisticated, but less of a hassle than Hermione. Simple, but it should fit the child.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Even Mrs. Weasley didn't really have a name that fit the child as well. Finally, Ron turned to Harry and asked, "What do you think we should name him?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry sputtered in shock. "Me? I-I've never even been this close to a baby! How would I know? Besides, you're the parents. You should choose." Harry said quickly.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "No Harry, we think you should. We don't have anything. Maybe you do." Hermione said, struggling up.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Fred commented quietly, "It can't be worse than either of the kid's parents' names."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Five minutes later, Fred was still holding his ribs in pain as his twin shook his head in amusement. "Wrong move, Gred."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Throughout the minutes where Ron had assaulted Fred, Harry looked pensive. He had a huge knowledge of spells, potions, ancient texts and languages, but baby names? That just wasn't his-
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ He backtracked for a moment, trying to remember something. He looked into the kid's eyes, trying to find something. He smiled though, when he looked into the sapphire eyes of his godson.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ It's as if his heart is right behind those eyes, Harry mused, looking into the cobalt depths of his godson's eyes, attempting to discover exactly what fit the child.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Heart. That's it! Harry knew that a name relating to the heart would fit the child.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Something to do with the heart." Harry said softly, and most of the people in the room turned to him, looking right at him. "It should have something to do with the heart."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry stepped closer to his godson, looking him in the eye. The child, turning to its godfather, smiled toothlessly and reached up with its arms, as if trying to hug him.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "He wants to hug you." Ginny said, giggling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Hug…" Hermione said, looking pensive. "Hugh!" She cried out, that familiar light when she realizes something important back within her eyes, "That's it! Hugh in Germanic meant heart or spirit. I read it in a baby name booklet."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Hugh Weasley huh?" Charlie said, moving over to his nephew. "Kind of has a ring to it."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I like it." Ron said, smiling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry nodded, feeling it was appropriate.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Thus, the youngest Weasley had a name.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry led the others inside, holding his godson carefully, lovingly. He had such a peaceful look on his face, and everyone could see it and draw warmth from it.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "If he's that happy now, wait till you give him his own kid." Ron muttered, elbowing Ginny, who blushed hotly, before kicking her brother in the shin. Juvenile yes. Satisfying, yes.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The other Weasleys and non-Weasleys present had a few titters as well, the Headmaster chuckling and his eyes twinkling, a sight few had seen in a while.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry remained oblivious, meeting eyes with his godson. Finally, he broke eye contact and smiled at everyone, albeit a little shakily.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Hi everyone," He said softly, but everyone could hear him, "Thanks for coming."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I can't believe you actually found this place Harry. Where did you get it?" Hermione said in amazement, looking around.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus smiled and cleared his throat. "Lily and James left you the Marauders Castle. I imagine you've had quite a time here." Remus said, smiling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The twins looked in awe at the Marauders home base. "Wicked…" One of them whispered.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Oh Merlin Harry, please tell me you got rid of all the pranking items." Ron pleaded.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry chuckled. "Nope. But we'll get to those later. Right now, I think its time we talked." Harry said, turning his eyes over the crowd to rest on the second most powerful wizard alive (due to the fact that Voldemort was a pile of ash).
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I think so too Harry." Dumbledore said, head bowed, in respect, in acknowledgement, and meekness in the face of a forgiveness he did not deserve, yet would receive anyway.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So…" Harry began, taking a deep breath, and the silence was deafening without his voice. The Weasleys looked in a mixture of eagerness and fearfulness, which was echoed by Dumbledore and Remus. "I have no clue where to start." Harry said, shrugging his shoulders, grinning sheepishly, and looking more like the nineteen year old he was than the much older and stronger man he was seen as and acted as.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ After the laughter had subsided, Harry was still grinning sheepishly. "I really don't."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Then perhaps we should start, Harry." Dumbledore said, asking permission with his piercing blue eyes.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry nodded, crossing his arms, an unreadable look on his face.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry, I have wronged you more than anyone else here. My decisions have hurt you, and were not my decisions to make. I should not have tried shielding you from the truth, and should never have doubted you." Dumbledore said quietly, the twinkle gone.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "No, you shouldn't have," was all Harry supplied for the Headmaster. He looked more and more like the cold young man that had set foot in his office months ago, demanding his wand and his things back. The traces of what the Weasley had helped him recover was gone, replaced by a stone mask. But this was what Dumbledore knew he needed to face.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I… am truly sorry, Harry. That is all I can say." Dumbledore said, bowing his head in sorrow, shame, and defeat. His tone was beaten, his shoulders slumped, and he looked like the ancient man he truly was. "I can never do enough to recompense for what I have done. I am grateful you gave me this chance to say that, face to face."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I see." Harry said, holding his mask of pensiveness up while struggling internally. As with the Weasleys and Remus, Dumbledore's betrayal had cut both ways now, and it hurt the Headmaster enough to break the old man's seemingly boundless youthful spirit, however trapped in an aging body.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The silence was like thunder.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "And I forgive you."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Albus Dumbledore, despite having lost much emotional control, was not expected to react as he did. The aging Headmaster's head jerked up in shock, and a small, silvery tear trickled down his face. "Wh-What?" Dumbledore asked, allowing shock to come into his voice for the first time in decades.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I forgive you, as I forgive everyone in this room." Harry said softly, looking at each and every person in the room in the eye, resting on the Headmaster, the last to be forgiven in the room. "I do this, not because you have earned it, or because I will forget what happened, but because I want to forgive you."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Albus Dumbledore felt like he was a hundred years old again, feeling age-old weariness leave him for but a moment. "I… thank you, Harry. You are a better man than I could ever hope to be." He said quietly, and his words sank in to everyone in the room. Albus Dumbledore acknowledged Harry as his superior.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Even Harry seemed thrown. "I… thank you." Harry muttered, now reminding everyone of the shy young boy he once was.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Silence again, to be broken by the loud crack of Dobby the house-elf. "Harry, sir, lunch is ready!" Dobby said squeakily.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Ron looked up, having been staring at his son for the duration of the silence. "Did someone say lunch?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ After a few moments in which everyone looked in shock at Dobby, Bill asked incredulously, "You have a house-elf?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry chuckled. "What, you think I could clean this place on my own?" Harry said, grinning at them.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry, I hope you're paying Dobby, because-" Hermione began, and despite having given up S.P.E.W. to fight Voldemort, she was still an avid supporter of house-elf rights.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Of course I am Hermione." Harry said, cutting in smoothly. "I wouldn't have taken Dobby in any other way."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I can't believe you hired that one," Ron said, shaking his head in amazement.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "He is nutters, but he's good company." Harry shrugged, leading them into the dining room.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Halfway through the feast (meal was too small a word), Harry excused himself to go the bathroom. When he was on his way back, Ginny cornered him.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Uh… Harry…" Ginny started, unsure and insecure, obviously seeking something.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry and Ginny locked eyes for a moment. An unseen message passed through to both of them, both unsure of what to do, regarding them.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "What do we do… about… us?" Ginny asked quietly, looking into Harry's eyes, her brown eyes shining.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I… don't know Ginny." Harry said softly. Ginny sniffed and her head drooped, but Harry pulled her chin back up, cupping it between two of his fingers. "But… I'd like to give us another try."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Ginny broke out into a giant smile. "I'd like that to."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Together, they walked back into the dining room, hand in hand.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ After a hearty feast, Harry's guests and himself sat in their chairs, steaming cups of tea with their own specific blends and type were in front of them. They sat in silence, having mostly chit-chatted throughout the meal. Finally, Harry decided to unveil his last secret. Where he had gotten his power.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I suppose," Harry began, looking up into the eyes of the assembled, "Some of you," Harry looked at Hermione, who blushed, "Want to know exactly how I knew all those spells and where I got the power to do something like that."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ They all nodded, Hermione especially furiously. "You're powerful Harry," Remus commented, "I could testify that the first time I saw your fully corporeal Patronus. But… that… was… beyond the scope of even a hundred wizards combined!"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry smiled inside. A hundred and fifty, actually, Remus, he thought to himself.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry, where did you learn all of that?" Hermione asked, eager for knowledge as always.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Let me tell you a story," Harry said, before taking a sip of his earl gray tea and sighing, then he got up. "About nine hundred years ago, the Gryffindor line was being hunted by a group of Dark Wizards known as the Fang of Slytherin, who were a group of pureblooded wizards who wished to hunt down and kill the Gryffindor line to avenge their fallen master, Salazaar Slytherin."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Hermione, Remus, and Dumbledore nodded. "I am familiar with this." Dumbledore said, sipping his own tea. "The Gryffindor line hid, and was never heard from again."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Indeed." Harry said, pacing now. "However, history forgets to mention the bloody raid that happened just before that. The Fang killed off most of the Gryffindors, sparing the youngest, a squib. They believed he wasn't a threat."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "The squib's name was Alexander Gryffindor." Harry said softly, remembering everything he had learned. Now everyone was spellbound, wondering at the new information on what some considered the greatest Hogwarts founder's family.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "The squib fled for his life, hiding within the muggle world. The Fang had almost been wiped out by the Gryffindor's in that raid, but one important member remained. The last blood relative of Salazaar Slytherin, whose line would produce a boy named Tom Riddle." Harry paused there, feeling a familiar anger and hate at that name, and feeling the anger of all those around him too.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "As the Gryffindor line hid, so did the Slytherin line, until the Heir of Slytherin came to Hogwarts and began the work Slytherin had begun." Harry pause again, remembering his own shock at the next few sentences.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So Alexander hid, disguising himself as a muggle. He knew, as all Gryffindor's did, that there would one day be an Heir of Slytherin, and he would follow the way of his grandfather, Godric Gryffindor, who promised to stand against Slytherin always. Alexander remembered Godric's own ancient spell, that weaved an ancient magic into the bloodline."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus looked shocked, as did everyone else. "I don't remember anything about that!" Remus said incredulously.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "It was hidden, unlike the legend of the Heir of Slytherin." Harry said, smiling slightly. "Gryffindor was a bit sneakier than Slytherin in that way. So Godric had weaved a spell into the bloodline that would guide the Heir of Gryffindor into battle against the Heir of Slytherin. Alexander, despite being a squib, had that spell within him. He knew that the Heir of Gryffindor would be the only stand against the Heir of Slytherin, so he changed his name to protect the line." Harry paused again, remembering the shocking statement.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "He changed his surname to Evans."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ The statement was akin to a bomb dropping.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "WHAT!" Remus cried out in shock. He, as Dumbledore, Hermione, and Ginny remembered instantly, Evans was the maiden name of one Lily Potter, mother of Harry Potter.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Soon realization hit the others, like a shockwave.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry, does that mean-" Ginny asked, eyes wide.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Yeah. It does. And so, the Evans line kept marrying into muggle lines, but the spell stayed, until an Evans had her own magical powers awakened. She was powerful, aided by the ancient blood within her. Her name was Lily Evans." Harry smiled. "She married into another powerful bloodline, the Potters. And so, Harry James Potter was born, the future Heir of Gryffindor."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "That's… amazing. Incredible. If it was anyone else other than you Harry, I wouldn't believe it. But… it has a certain fit to it, that a Gryffindor should fight a Slytherin again, repeating the ancient battle." Dumbledore said, chuckling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Right. Now, the spell kicked in on my seventeenth birthday," Harry said, shivering as he remembered how painful and overwhelmingly hot he felt. It felt like he was internally combusting. "And Gryffindor came to me in a dream, or a half-delirious, crazed, insane vision caused by the intense pain I was in at the time."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "You were in Azakaban…" Ginny whispered, her eyes almost tearful, shining and brown.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Indeed. I thought I was dying." Harry said, "But instead I was saved. That spell drove of the insanity the Dementors had driven me to." Here, everyone winced. "But Gryffindor told me it wasn't enough. The Heir of Slytherin was damn near invincible with all the transformations he had undergone."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry paused again, looking around the room, remembering how the next spell changed his life. "So, Gryffindor dipped into an ancient spell, and gave it to me to use. A spell that was dangerous and insane, and the only plan I had." Harry said, smiling. "DiusIustitia Animus."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Divine Justice of the Spirit?" Hermione asked, puzzled.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "A ritual, actually." Harry corrected, seemingly ignoring the question. "But all the same. It took some of my blood, tears, and the use of my scar. My blood because Voldmort now shared it. Tears of a wronged one. A connection to visualize the one who was doing the injustice." Harry paused, running a hand along the scar on his arm from the ritual. "But it was worth it. I called up the Divine Justice of the Spirit, called upon spirits. I in effect, summoned up the spirits of those who died and cried for justice against Voldmort. I called upon them, and I got them."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry paused again, letting what he had told them sink in, before continuing. "Those who died by Voldemort's hand came back to me. Those who died by his servant's hands too. All those who wanted justice." Harry said quietly, his words enchanting all of them. He savored the next words. "My parents."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ For a moment, there was silence, broken by the sound of Remus hitting the floor with his arse in shock. "What?" was the word of the day, apparently.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Not just them. Sirius too." Harry said, his voice gaining momentum in the awed silence. "All sorts of strong souls who screamed for justice. Not all of Voldemort's victims, especially the muggle ones, were capable of being called, but strong souls of good wizards came. The Prewett brothers," Harry said, looking at Mrs. Weasley, formerly Molly Prewett, their sister whom the two were outraged would betray Harry, who looked extremely guilty and saddened, "Cedric, and those of the original Order of the Phoenix who died, as well as others not in the order. Many souls."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "You… got their power?" Mr. Weasley asked in shock.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "More than that. Their spirits came to me. For two years I got to live with a crowd of people in my head," Harry said, grinning, "I thought I was going insane for a little while. But in reality, those were two of the greatest years I ever had, refining my powers, talking with my parents and Sirius mainly. The other souls were quiet, mostly only letting me use their knowledge, rarely conversing with me. I barely spoke with even Cedric. The only other main soul I talked to a lot was Godric Gryffindor."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ If anyone was only on the verge of being shocked, they had just been brutally kicked off the edge.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "He didn't come with the DiusIustitia Animus ritual, but rather came with the original spell, to pass on his knowledge. The spell simply reinforced his presence." Harry said, looking out at everyone, to see if they thought he was crazy.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Ron began shaking his head, chuckling in the silence. "Only you Harry, would go to Azakaban and eventually become the Heir of Gryffindor and use a spell to gain the power of hundreds of wizards." Ron barked out a laugh, and the others joined him, even Harry, who did think it was kind of strange. "Only you have that strange sense of luck."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "That I do Ron." Harry said, smiling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So, aside from this rather…enlightening secret, is there anything else you'd like to tell us Harry? You're half-merperson? You're secretly a government agent?" Remus teased, laughing.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Nope, I'm afraid I'm just plain old Harry James Potter." Harry said, grinning as the table burst into laughter again.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Plain old Harry Potter? The words were never to be used in the same sentence.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Through the laughter, Dumbledore managed to calm himself down first. "So Harry, what do you plan to do now?" Dumbledore asked, looking at Harry pensively.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry looked thoughtful. "Haven't really thought of that yet. While hanging out here as a layperson has been great and all, learning this castle's secrets, I'm not the type to sit around and do nothing. I suppose I need something else to do, a job."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Mr. Weasley looked up from his cup of tea. "You could come work as an Auror, like Ron." Arthur suggested.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Ron looked delighted by the prospect of his best friend working alongside him. "How about it Harry?" Ron asked.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry thought about it, but shook his head. "I don't need to chase the Dark Wizards, they chase me. I think I've had my fill of fighting for now." Harry replied thoughtfully, his eyes full of conviction.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Well, that makes my job a bit harder." Ron chuckled, and those gathered shared the chuckle.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "So, where can I work that I would want to…" Harry mused, tapping his chin with his finger.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Remus Lupin turned away from the Boy-Who-Lived for a moment, sipping his tea, when he caught the eye of Albus Dumbledore. A message passed between them, a silent, lightning quick conversation. Remus nodded almost imperceptibly, remembering how he would rather be doing something else anyway. Teaching DADA was great and all, but Remus also wanted to work for werewolf rights, and Arthur could always use more hands on that side of the board.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "Harry, I have a proposition for you." Dumbledore said, his twinkle fast approaching star bright.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry looked curious, and nodded. He lifted his teacup, eyeing Dumbledore's twinkle warily.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "How would you like to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts in the coming semester?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry spat out his earl gray tea all over the white tablecloth. Ginny choked on her tea, as did Hermione. Ron dropped his teacup. Remus, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Charlie, and Dumbledore simply smiled in amusement.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ While Hermione was hammering away on Ginny's back to clear her lungs of tea, and Ron magically repaired the teacup, Harry managed to croak out, "What?"
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "What do you say Harry?" Remus asked, smiling.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "But Remus, aren't you teaching that?" Ginny asked.
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ "I'd much rather be helping your father convince all of those anti-werwolf people to repeal the laws. Teaching is fun and all, but in a few years people will start trying to get me fired." Remus said, giving a tired, sad smile. "I'd feel much better if the kids were in your hands, Harry."
ྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭྭ Harry looked around the table, this sea of expectant, smiling faces, and smiled slowly. "Why not?"