Title: Harry Potter and the Ancient God King
By Nopporn Wongrassamee
Summary: The new DADA teacher is something else. Harry and the gang want to know what.
Disclaimer: All properties belong to their respective owners who I am too lazy to look up and list.
Part 17 – First Offer
At the sound of his name, Harry suddenly sat up in bed. It had been a busy day after the defeat of the Beholder. Everyone wanted something from him. Or more precisely, they wanted to make their feelings known to him. His every step had been hassled by people wanting to congratulate, wanting to express their worry, or in Professor Snape's case, his disgust at Harry's "theatrics". It was practically a relief to crawl into bed.
And the fans just kept coming…
"Lumos!" Harry snarled as he whipped out his wand. Couldn't he get some rest? "Look, it's late. I'm tired. If you want an autograph or something, come back… in…" Harry trailed off as he recognized the young, red haired woman sitting in the chair beside his bed.
"Hello, Harry," the woman said, smiling beatifically.
"Mom?" Harry whispered.
"Yes, Harry," the woman replied. "I am your mother. It's good to be here."
"You can't be my mother," Harry said, his head spinning. "My mom's dead."
"Well, the second part's true," the woman said, amused. In demonstration, she waved her hand through the arm of her chair. It passed through immaterially.
"But, you look solid," Harry said. "Not wispy like Nick."
"I'm not like Nick or the others Harry," his mother replied. "I'm not an echo of a once living person. I am your mother."
"But, why are you here?" Harry asked. "Why now?"
"The conditions weren't right before," his mother told him. "I can't really explain. It's something the living can't really understand. I'm here to help you, Harry."
"I'm bringing you an offering of power, Harry," his mother explained. "A far greater power than you can possibly imagine. Power enough that you can easily defeat Voldemort and his followers. Wouldn't that be something?"
"But," Harry began, struggling with the concept. Much as he was happy to see his mother, something about the situation just seemed wrong to him. "Didn't you already give me something to help defend me from Voldemort? The power of love?"
"Where did you get that idea?" his mother asked.
"Dumbledore? What does that old man know?" his mother said disdainfully. "Harry, I'm offering you something greater than mere love. I'm offering you power, more power than you'll ever see in this life." She extended her hand. "Please, Harry, take my hand. Everything will become clear then."
"But…" Harry began doubtfully.
"Take my hand, Harry," his mother said more forcefully.
"What's the catch?" Harry said suddenly.
"Catch?" his mother said in surprise. "No catch, Harry. Oh, I suppose I'll ask youfor a few teensy favors…"
"Who are you?" Harry demanded, recoiling away from the creature that looked like his mother.
"Harry?" the creature said, confused. "I'm your mother."
"You are not my mother," Harry snarled, pointing his lit wand at the creature. "My mother loved me. She wouldn't put strings attached to any gifts. She wouldn't discount Dumbledore. And she sure as hell wouldn't demean her own gift of love to me!"
"How would you know, Harry?" the creature asked coldly. "I died when you were a baby. What would you know anything about me?"
"You are NOT my mother!" Harry insisted.
"Aren't I?" She smiled at Harry, an utterly malevolent expression so at odds with that beautiful face. "But mother or not, the offer is very real. Won't you take my hand?"
"No," Harry replied stubbornly.
"Harry, be reasonable. Take my hand."
"Take my hand!"
"Harry?" At the sound of Ron's voice, Harry couldn't help himself. His eyes flickered to the side, toward the bed where his best friend slept. "What are you going on about?"
"Ron, watch out. There's…" Harry trailed off as his eyes swung back onto an empty chair. Looking around, there was no sign of the creature that had impersonated his mother. "Nothing," he whispered. "There's nothing here."
"That's great, Harry," Ron groused sleepily. "I always like to be woken in the middle of the night for nothing."
"Go to sleep, Harry."
He walked down an ancient tunnel. The tree roots penetrating from the ceiling were so thick that they nearly obscured that dirt walls. The tunnel opened up to a chamber ahead where a rickety old wooden bridge could be seen.
But an invisible, magical barrier barred further progress. In frustration, he beat at the shield with his pale, slender hand. There was little effect. To think that a Wizard of his stature and capability would be stalled by something so basic! Sooner or later he would get in.
Still, he could see inside, catch a glimpse of the prize. Beyond the barrier was vertical shaft, a pit so deep that the bottom could not be seen. And lining the walls were ancient stone sarcophagi, each one a repository of limitless power.
All he had to do was get in.