The Power Known Not
"Well His Royal Majesty of lemon drops would like me to honor him with my presence for the remainder of the school year." Claudia said, rolling her eyes.
Jason picked the letter up off of the scrabble board and skimmed it.
I find that I must apologize for my behavior earlier this week. Having reviewed my actions it seems that you were right. I would be most grateful if you would find it in you to return to Hogwarts to resume your teaching duties as the Professor for Defense of the Dark Arts. In these times, learning to defend themselves is a skill that the students will desperately need.
When you return, you will be subject to the rules and regulations that the other professors find themselves subject to. You will only be required to be in the school for your classes, office hours, mealtimes and patrols. The students are asking after you. I have seen fit to inform them that you were called away on family business and they eagerly await your return.
Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
"He sounds a little sure of himself." Jason said.
"Of course he does. He's the great Albus Dumbledore, defeater of Grindewald, Order of Merlin first class, Supreme Mugwump, and Headmaster of Hogwarts to boot. I'm surprised he only used one of his precious titles in the letter." Claudia said.
"Well, what do you want to do?" Harry asked. "I do miss Hogwarts a little, but I can live without it. I don't have to hide what I am here."
Padfoot nosed the door from Harry's room open. "The same goes for me. I'm fine either way. Having the support of Ron and Hermione is probably a good thing for Harry though."
"Yeah, well Ron can be pretty close-minded, and I think that Hermione will figure out what I am at some point. So it can go either way." Harry said, looking down at the scrabble tiles and absently spelling out words.
"Dumbles does have a good point though. The kids do need a competent teacher. They're going to need to be able to defend themselves, especially the muggleborns that go home for the holidays." Padfoot pointed out. "It was horrible in the last war. Harry, your mum was afraid to even go home to say good-bye to her sister before she went into hiding. She was terrified that someone would follow her and attack them."
"Not like they were even worth attacking." Jason muttered, and then shuddered, remembering all the cholesterol he'd had to skim off from that man's blood.
"Still though, it was a legitimate fear." Padfoot said. "Claudia, where were you when the first war was happening?"
"South America?" Claudia said. "That was from the mid-seventies and then ended in1981, when the Potters were attacked, right?"
"Then South America mostly and Japan for about the last six months. I don't think that I was in England for any of it. And most of the vampires at the house don't get involved with wizards as a general rule." Claudia said.
"I can see why." Harry said. "I think that I'd like to go back to Hogwarts. Dumbledore can try all he likes to get me to fight for him, but I think that I've found my own way of going about it."
"Really now?" Claudia asked. "Do tell."
"Well because I'm a vampire now I have more power over blood magics, so I was thinking that I could do a blood rite and summon the blood that he took from me when he resurrected himself, and it should kill him."
"That might work." Claudia said. "How far have you gotten into it?"
"Not very." Harry said. "I just had the idea earlier today."
"The idea has merit, it's whether or not it's doable is the million galleon question." Claudia said, settling back into the squashy armchair. "Before you go back to Hogwarts, I'd recommend that you spend some time in the library. There's a lot more on blood magics here than there is at Hogwarts. Well, it's more accessible here."
"I suppose so." Harry said. "I don't think that Madam Pince would just let me check out anything that dealt with blood magic."
"Probably not. The old harridan thinks that anything that deals with blood is inherently evil. I just wish that they would wrap their minds around the fact that it's the intent that makes something good or bad."
"Yeah." Harry said.
"Although you'd have to wait until the council has finished with the Horcruxes before you'd be able to act." Claudia said. "They believe that they've found most of them, and now they just have to find ways to destroy the pieces of soul in them."
"They found them all?" Harry asked. "But why were they looking for them in the first place?"
"It's a long story." Claudia said.
"No time like the present." Jason said grinning. "I've been wondering about that. Dumbledore seems like he doesn't know that they even exist."
"Voldemort made a mistake where he hid one of them. He forgot that the best hiding place is in plain sight." Claudia began. "We're not sure how he found the place, but it was in a cave on the shore. It's one of the old safe spots."
"Safe spots?" Harry asked.
"Before the house was built, the vampires would occasionally need a place to lay low for a while. There's old spots like that all over the world. Muggles have found some of them, but there are ones that are still untouched.
"Someone was using it to stay in during the day, and he recognized it for what it really was. He brought it back to the House with him, and turned it over to the council. Eventually they learned who had created it, and that it wasn't half a soul. The council quietly began searching for the others and they've located all of the pieces of soul.
"There's a couple that they've located, but been unable to retrieve until now. One was in your scar Harry."
"What?" Harry asked, hand flying to his scar as if to make sure that Voldemort wasn't going to pop out of his forehead.
"Was, Harry. Was." Claudia iterated.
"Was? How is it gone now? Wouldn't I remember it going away or something?"
"Yes, you would. However, there's only so much soul that vampire's body can hold. When a person is turned to a vampire, there are parts of them that don't always survive the change. You know that Harry." Claudia said.
"Yeah, but I thought that you were talking memories that would fade with time and old injuries and physical problems, like my eyes." Harry said. "What about my soul?"
"Mostly gone. The essence of it, what makes you you is still there. Vampires are dead. We don't show up as easily in mirrors and photographs. There's a reason for that, and it's not the sensitive skin. It's caused by the soul being overpowered by the vampiric viruses, and fading. It doesn't fade entirely, but it's nowhere near as strong a presence as it was before."
"However the change completely obliterated the piece of Voldemort that you had in you. Since you changed, your only connection with him is through your blood, and even that one's not as strong anymore." Claudia explained. "It's not something that you're going to have to worry about."
"But why did my soul survive when his didn't?" Harry asked.
"I don't know Harry." Claudia sighed. "It could be anything. All I know for sure is that the only soul in you is yours."
"Why does a vampire have less soul?" Padfoot asked.
"Because when the change happens the vampiric virus is fighting to overpower the soul and take over the body completely. If it takes over totally, the body simply doesn't survive. There have been rare occurrences when someone will totally fight off the virus. When the soul accepts the change and makes it part of itself, the power from the soul powers the rest of the change." Claudia finished.
"That's... interesting." Padfoot said after a pause. "But this doesn't effect how Ha- a vampire lives out the rest of their life?"
"Technically vampires aren't alive, Padfoot." Harry said, looking over at his godfather. "C'est la vie."
Claudia snorted. "Good to see you putting your languages to use."
Harry just grinned and laid out a word on the scrabble board.
Professor Snape grasped the jobberknoll feather by the calumus with the forceps and gently stirred it into the potion. The calumus, being the part of the feather that was connected to the bird, was best put in last, as it provided just the right oomph for the potion to go through the final metamorphosis. Almost smiling at his results, he divided it into vials and tucked one into his pocket. The others went into a padded box that he spelled shut with a protective charm.
As Severus emerged from the lab an owl swooped down and dropped a letter onto his head. He cursed and snarled at the owl to wait for a reply
I hope this missive finds you and Miss Granger well. I shall expect to hear word of Miss Granger's condition, and when we may expect her return to Hogwarts. Have a lovely day.
Granger requires the forty-third variation of Humphrey's Elixer. Expect her to be recovered by tomorrow evening and back to torturing Madam Pince by curfew.
Severus strode into the infirmary at the house, his dragonhide boots clicking against the floor. He made a mental note to renew the silencing charms before returning to Hogwarts. Wouldn't want the little cretins to have a chance to hear him coming.
"Is this Miss Hermione's antidote?" Vanessa asked from the wingchair she sat in.
"No, it's world peace in a vial." Severus replied.
"Well, I shall be sure to put it in a safe place." Vanessa said. She stood and took the vial from Severus.
"This is just the first dose." Severus said. "The others are in this case and Hermione will require one every three hours and twenty-five minutes until all the symptoms are gone. You are familiar with the forty-third variation of Humphrey's Elixer, I hope?"
"Do you know how often one of our mad theoreticians implements his theory and I end up having to fix it?" Vanessa laughed. "We'll do just fine here, and I will have your Miss Granger right as rain and back to you in no time."
"She's not my Granger, wench. Now go take care of your patient before you are inundated with mad theoreticians."
"Thank you, Severus." Vanessa called after Severus' retreating figure.
"Claudia, what about this one?" Harry asked, sliding the dusty tome across the coffee table.
Claudia skimmed the page, "No, too flashy."
"What's wrong with flashy?" Sirius asked. "I always think that flashy gives it an extra little kick."
"Well, if you want to tip off Voldemort by surrounding him with glowing orange turtle shells, than be my guest. I just thought that might give him a hint that there is something wrong." Claudia replied.
Harry grabbed the next book off of the stack and the sound of turning pages filled the room. "I've got it!" Harry put the book on the table and turned it to face Claudia and Sirius. "This one is a potion, but it looks like it should work."
"It's really the spell the does it." Jason said, looking over their shoulders from behind the couch.
"The spell needs the potion so it knows what its focus is." Claudia said, putting her finger on the relevant text. "See?"
"Well?" Harry asked. "Is there hope?"
Claudia laughed. "None at all for Lord Voldy-Moldy."
"When can we get started?" Sirius asked.
"Not we," Harry said. "I have to do most of the brewing myself. Some ingredients require that they be harvested by someone close to my enemy, and the spell needs to be done on a waning moon."
"The moon is just past the new moon now, so you've got almost three weeks." Jason said. "Do you think that is enough time to brew the potion?"
"Possibly." Claudia swore. "It looks like I shall have to return to Hogwarts after all. Our best bet is to ask Professor Snape to harvest the redbud flowers and the canis root. He should be able to have those within a few days. Does that leave enough time to finish brewing your potion?"
"It should." Padfoot replied. "I hate to bring Snape into this though. He'd probably muck it up with his grease."
"Padfoot! Behave!" Claudia snapped. "I can always put you back where I found you!"
"Never!" Padfoot said. "I'll be good!"
Harry rolled his eyes, and asked, "Are we going to Hogwarts tonight or tomorrow?"
"Tomorrow morning." Claudia replied. "Be ready to go then."
"I will be." Harry replied and gathered the rest of the books to return to the library.
Hermione sat up in the unfamiliar bed and rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
"You're awake!" A perky voice said to her left. "I'm Vanessa, the head mediwitch here at the House. It's lovely to see you sitting up, you're a full," Vanessa squinted at the watch pinned onto her robes, "thirty-four minutes ahead of schedule."
"Where is my wand? How did I get here? Where is here?" Hermione asked, looking around for her wand. She began patting herself down, checking her pockets.
"You wizards, all the same." Vanessa snorted. "Your wand is in the nightstand drawer on your left. The House is in the English countryside. Severus deposited your unconscious body into my care this evening after someone sneezed into a potion."
"Professor Snape?" Hermione asked.
"Professor Severus Snape, Master of Potions at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizadry. That's the one." Vanessa said. She fumbled in the pocket of her apron and pulled out a vial. "Here is the third dose of your potion. Better take it before you pass out again."
"Again?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, again." Vanessa said. "The unfortunate effect of sneezing into brewing Veritaserum is a tendency to pass out with no notice, short-term memory loss, and possibly the inability to lie for an extended period. Fortunatly you have a Potions Master who is capable of determining exactly which variation of Humphrey's antidote you need. Without all that wait and shared quarters that St. Mungoes would require. Drink up Miss Granger!"
Hermione took the vial from Vanessa and examined it briefly before unstoppering it and drinking it down. She frowned at the taste, and asked, "Is it supposed to taste like crème brulee?"
"Lucky you! He flavored it! You must be something special for him to have done that for you."
"All I was doing was assist Professor Snape with some extra-curricular brewing. Really, anyone could have helped him." Hermione protested.
"Ha! Hermione, if he was having you assist him with Veritaserum, not just anyone could have helped with that. There are some potions that require not just a steady hand and keen eye, but a true heart. Severus wouldn't dare let you near a potion like Veritaserum if he didn't trust you." Vanessa said, watching the young woman.
"I didn't know that." Hermione said through a yawn. "Do you have anything to read? I don't think I am going to fall asleep anytime soon."
"Of course! I have just the thing for you." Vanessa said, and walked over to a set of shelves. Pausing to make her selection, she looked over her shoulder to Hermione's bed. Vanessa snorted. The girl was passed out already. Still, she selected a couple books and placed them on the nightstand before returning to her wingchair.
A/N: Really, really sorry it's been four years (and four months [but who is counting?]) since I've updated this. Here it is though, and I'm hoping to get back into the swing of writing things. I'm no longer working two part-time jobs, so I have time for a life now. Speaking of Time, I wonder what she's been up to? Thanks for sticking with me for so long!