Title: See What?
Author: Lil Nezumi
Characters: Harry/Draco, Remus/Severus, Sirius/Gred/Forge (later), possible OC's
Disclaimer: Harry Potter-verse and characters belong to J.K. Rowling & WB. Sigh, I'm just borrowing them for a short time. I make no money from this. Bloody plot bunnies, I can get no rest from them and now they have multiplied in a nasty amount.
Warning: HP/DM Slash, male/male love, wizard bonds (maybe), sap story (maybe not) and Happily Ever After (maybe). If you don't like it, lump it and don't even bother to read it.
Origins: Harry Potter novels, with a smidge of the "Daredevil" thrown in (only the sonar aspect without the pain).
Author's Note: I have read so many HPDM stories that there may be a slight chance that this story will look like some of the others out there.
I have not yet read ToOP, HBP, or DH (I know how it ends though) and I will not be using what parts of it I have gleaned from many of the other HP FanFiction stories that I have read. Yes, I know about Sirius and the prophecy. Sirius and the veil will be fuel for this story
Author's Note II: I went with the premise that boarding schools have more intensive studies and testing. Also, personally I have found that the timetables for boarding schools differ. Therefore this story is based on the Hogwarts Leaving Feast, being June 15, no matter what.
(…Words spoken in another language…)
'I should have known not to trust them completely. They've betrayed me before, but I thought I could trust them this time. I thought that she would have been happy for me that I had finally buckled down and brought all of my grades up. I thought that he would've, at least understood why I needed to get these kinds of grades, especially with Voldemort after my tail every year. I needed the skills. I still do. I should have trusted my instincts to not drink it. That it was the wrong colour and that it did smell a bit off.
I just can't go throughout my life without trusting anyone and yet here I am paying the price for that trust. Maybe she didn't know, but how could the "Cleverest Witch in our year" not know that the potion had gone bad or was the wrong one... Early birthday present my arse!
Bloody vindictive bitch! Jealous fucking bastard! I remember those looks now, those narrowed eyes when my marks shot up during the year to become one of the top students of the class... Even his anger showed for a moment, but I disregarded it. What an idiot I am!
I can't let anyone know about this, all those bloody sodding hopes resting on my shoulders. I should have died from drinking that garbage and not ended up wherever the hell I am now. I don't even know if I've actually left the Dursley's house... for all I know I could still be locked in that room, on the floor unconscious.'
(...Sss, what have we here, ss?...) A sultry voice said with a hissing undertone.
(...A human, brother, ss!...) A second voice, replied with the same hissing slur.
(...And what shall we do with him?...) Questioned the first, the hissing was followed by distinctive sound, like that of a baby's rattle somewhere near his feet.
(...We watch ss!...) The second voice said. (...He will either rise or fall again. It's his choice, but we watch sss...)
'Two, maybe more are watching me. Is this a test? Another bloody test of my character, a test of my worthiness to dig that blasted Wizarding World out of the manure that they allowed themselves to fall into and wallow in until someone, obliviously and merrily, comes along to save their bloody arses! Well thanks, but no thanks!'
He turned his head up to the sky. He didn't care if it was blindingly bright or not. It felt hot and dry out here. There was no breeze, no water seemed to be nearby and there were next to no sounds around him. From where he stood, he felt the sweat pouring down from his forehead and face. He knew that he would soon be in danger of dehydration. Moving his bare feet on the ground a bit, he realized that he was standing in very hot sand, but it was definitely sand none the less.
He still wasn't allowed to wear shoes in the summer time. "Too good for the likes of you… Boy. It's not like you're going to be going anywhere til 'they' come for you, you Freak!" That was his relatives' reasoning, although why he had to go back at the end of his sixth year was beyond him.
He was turning seventeen that summer and he was still stuck at the Dursleys.
"It's for your protection young Harry." That's what Dumbledore said, again!
'How stupid do they think I am...? Well, I'm apparently stupid enough that after two weeks of boredom, I drink the potion without researching or analyzing it first.'
He patted himself down to see what he had on him. He was only wearing knee length shorts from worn out sweats, tied to his waist by rope and the large oversized gray T-shirt with torn sleeves that he had put on that morning, in order to work his aunt's garden.
He came in for water and a small bite of lunch. It was mostly to get out from the heat of that day. He had gotten in the habit of doing his homework in the middle of the afternoon, while everyone was resting.
It was after receiving nada, nothing and zilch from his 'best friends' in response to the letters that he had sent to them this summer, that he pulled out that potion vial to examine it. As soon as he touched it he felt a compulsive need to drink the potion. Thinking and digging deeper in his mind, he wondered 'why' he would drink that potion without knowing more about it. He came to the realization that he did feel an inexplicable compulsion to drink it. It wasn't like imperious, but... but... what was he missing?
He was frowning hard now. His eyebrows were drawn down and his mouth had thinned into a straight line. He took a deep meditative breath and spread his legs into a basic fighter's stance, bent at the knees, one leg slightly forward to provide proper balance. He took another deep meditative breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth. On the next breath he turned his thoughts inward and concentrated on his memory, with the aid of his inherent magic he was finally able to clear up a few odd issues that just felt wrong during this past year especially toward the end of the year.
He heard a buzzing sound. Actually it sounded more like droning kind of hum. Looking over a few of the memories that contained that particular noise, a couple of times seemed to have occurred on some of his "dates" with Cho. A few of the times it occurred when he was with Ron and Hermione, and at least once or twice when he was alone with Ginny. Going further back a few years, the rest of the time occurred when he was in the presence of Dumbledore.
'What was he up to then? How did they learn that ability? Is he testing me? This will not last you meddling old fool!'
Putting all of his stubborn will and closing his eyes within those memories, he upped his concentration on the noise. Then he heard it, heard the words, "Subliminus" and "Finite Incantatem". His eyes flew wide open. 'Those bloody bastards!'
That spell was the spell of suggestion and it worked against him in such a way that it caused him act naturally. He did not feel the need to question any actions on his part or the part of his friends and Cho, including even those of the Headmaster. He never would have questioned those gray areas of his memory, if this hadn't happened.
He closed his eyes again, concentrating hard and he was finally able to see the events occur clearly in his memory for the first time in a long while. Last year was fine. It's just that there were just a few personal private moments that were fuzzy and were not all that clear. He first brushed them off as having partied too much with his friends back then.
That was his first mistake, the alcohol that they were serving him was laced with a tasteless, odourless potion and that when combined with the charm "Subliminus" they were able to make him do what he was most inclined to do at the time.
Following his memories and thoughts he knew that he had wanted to break it off with Cho, but she manipulated him into her bed with that trick. She tricked him into remaining with her, when that wasn't what he wanted.
Then he saw the same thing happening with Ginny. She was finally able to get the Boy-Who-Lived into her bed, too! They had intensified his active teenage hormones with their actions and combined with alcohol. Once he was stimulated enough the suggestion charm was said in order for them to get what they wanted without him denying them.
These memories shocked Harry to his very core. He never thought that Cho or Ginny would to do such a thing. He was panting in rage at the betrayal he felt by such actions, manipulating his memory to suit their misguided carnal needs. It could even be construed as rape since he was not an aware or willing partner. He never wanted either of them that way. Knowing about it now jaded his opinion of the act and it cheapened his memories of the girls.
Hermione used the charm to try and make him fail, but due to his new study habits, which meant avoiding her and her study charts, he was able to overcome it. Ron wanted him to fail at Quidditch and schoolwork, so that he was not left behind or never left alone stuck studying with Hermione, but he wasn't powerful enough to make the spell work that well.
The last time that this spell was used was on the train-ride home, which he had thought it went by rather fast, but never questioned it at the time. He thought that they were having an excellent conversation together and that he just didn't see the time go by, but now he saw... uh... heard the true ride home. He knew that he had fallen asleep at one point and then he heard the muttered spell.
'They compelled me to drink that bloody potion!' The words were clear now. The conversation had flowed around his sleeping form, but his mind had absorbed the words.
"What are you afraid of Ron?" Hermoine asked. "Don't you trust me? We just tell him that it's a simple potion to correct his sight. You know that HE would never allow us to kill him!"
"I know, but what if something goes wrong?" Ron questioned. "I mean this is Harry Potter, he's bound to get around it somehow. That 'prat' is uncommonly lucky, I just know something will happen and it will come back to bite us right in the arse later on."
"Ronald Weasley," she began. "Watch your language. This potion will kill Harry bloody Potter, HE made it and you know what that prophecy says it's one or the other. So, because HE brewed the potion, Harry drinks it, he dies. Simple!"
Ron shifted in his seat, as he loved Hermione and followed her everywhere now that they were finally together he looked at her lovingly and agreed. "All right, I still have a bad feeling about this, but all right. Just do it. I want to be able to get rid of this prat once and for all too. What's Dumbledore going to say when his Golden Boy dies? What if he finds out it was because he was the one who provided us with that charm?"
Hermione just grinned evilly, "Subliminus... (humming) We don't even need to tell him. Our Master will be truly pleased with us. Don't worry. We will please our Master. Do not worry. I love you." She turned to Harry who was listening and said, "This is an early birthday gift Harry, early birthday gift. A potion and you must drink it, just drink it, drink your birthday gift. It will make you see, for your sight, correct your sight. Drink your gift, early birthday gift. For your sight, drink... the... potion... (humming) Finite Incantatem..."
'So they thought I would be that easy to get rid of. You guys have another thing coming to you! ' His rage rolled off of him in waves and the butterfly effect had just begun. The Wizarding World will be feeling this change in the winds soon.
'I will no longer allow myself to be manipulated any further by those... those... betrayers!'
Harry took another deep breath, now to find out where he was and whether there was a chance to go back. He hissed in parseltongue, (...Pardon me, friends. My name is Harry Potter and I was wondering if you could tell me whether I am in a desert or dreaming?...)
(...He speaks our language brother...) The first voice hissed, surprised. The rattling sound coming closer to Harry's left ankle.
(...Indeed, this was not foreseen...) Hissed the second voice in shock and it was coming closer to his right ankle.
(...What do we do now brother? It has been so long...)
(...I know, to be understood is our dream...) Replied the second. (...Even if it is for this short interval of time...)
(...Should we assist him?...)
There seemed to be a long pause and then, (...Yes, I believe we shall...)
Harry didn't know what they meant by assisting him, but he stood very still and waited for them to decide. He chose to not move away and was ready for them to either climb onto him or to bite him. They did bite him. It was on his the top of his feet at the juncture of his ankles emptying almost all of their venom into each of foot.
He refused to cry out at the pain. That seemed to be a part of their test and he knew that he needed to refrain from making any sound. He was finally following his instincts on strange magical issues. He instinctively knew that he had made the right choice.
(...We have gifted you human, Harry Potter...) The first snake voice told him, (...We hope that you do live, but now we must leave you...)
(...You are in a dream induced coma with only a slight fever...) The second voice of a snake told him and then it explained, (...You are also physically in the desert Outback of Australia...)
(...I am known as the American Diamondback Rattler. I was brought here by ship to help the settlers, way back in the day, with a few rodent problems. Call me ADR. I was also a known totem for the Native American Indians of that land before other settlers like you came...) ADR explained. He was the second snake that he heard.
(...I am the Rainbow Snake of these lands…) The first snake said. (…Not many humans can have Rainbow Snake Dreams, but you are the only one who's unique, in that I can actually speak with you and be understood. I am one of the old gods of this land. The land is very old land, but quite young too, relatively speaking. I was lonely here with no others of my kind to speak to, so I allowed ADR to remain here and claimed him as my brother. You may call me Rain…)
(…We have gifted you to never fall prey to any poisons, natural, magical or any created by your non-magic people...) ADR continued (...We have gifted you the languages of all the creatures. It is a communicative understanding only, the spoken languages of your people, humans I mean, a few magical beings as well and it includes even sign language, a language of speaking with hands. Your main creature affinity will always be with us. I hope you are not disappointed with our gifts?...)
(...Merlin, no!...) Harry replied, truly shocked at the question. (...Why would I be disappointed? You two are very generous with your gifts. I am just going to have to assume that if I want to live now, I have to fight to wake up, continue fighting to live and survive until I can get back home safely...)
Rain answered in agreement, (...Once you do, you will find that any blocks on your magic will have been removed. You will come into your magical heritage somewhat earlier than your comrades. However it will help you to adjust to your new situation and be a blessing in disguise. It truly helps that you are in this desert location due to the strength of magical power that I sense in you. Your hidden heritage also includes a future mate. These gifts that we have given to you can be shared with him from the moment that you two fully bond with one another...)
(...Yes…) ADR said with a pleasant hiss. (…Your magic will be increased further and at this current location you will be able to vent your feelings without harming anyone. We have felt your anger, your pain at the deception and know the reasons behind it. You have to every right to be angry. Unfortunately we cannot fix what they have broken. Then again I truly believe that you will be able to see more than you have ever seen before...)
Rain hissed his parting reply. (...We will be watching you, Harry Potter, even if you never hear from us again...)
(...We won't leave you empty handed and without a teacher...) ADR said. (...Turn left and continue in that direction, until you reach Ayers Rock. It is a worn down mountain in the desert, unique to this land...)
(...Climb to the top of the rock, walk on it, reflect and meditate. Someone will show up and be there to assist you...) Rain explained.
(...Do this in your dream and your actions will follow you in real life...) ADR continued. (...Fare you well magical creature, Harry Potter...)
(...We will keep an eye on...) Rain said. (…Feel free to speak to us, even if we do not respond, we will here and that is a blessing for us…)
Harry felt them leave and no longer felt their presence coiled at his feet. He felt their venom working up into his body. There were four pinpoints that changed into red-brown runes in ancient Parseltongue and American pictographs, denoting the gifts of language, immunity, protection and health. They were at the junctures where it the ankle connects to his feet in the front. They were burning and itching.
He reached down to feel the wounds and he knew that he was bleeding a bit. He felt the raised runes and the pictographs with a smile. He tore two strips from the bottom of his shirt and wrapped them around the balls of his feet, his heels and his ankles. They were wrapped tightly to help stop the flow of the blood, but not tight enough to prevent him from moving his feet properly.
He then immediately turned to the left and began to walk in that direction. Taking a deep breath he opened his senses and felt that there were scrub brushes nearby. He didn't have wand, but he tried to Accio a tree branch or something similar, without it. He hoped and only waited for a moment when he actually felt a sturdy length of tree branch come to his hand. It was long and whippy, stripping away the excess smaller twigs, branches and some of the bark from where he needed to hold it. He now had something that helped him walk forward without stumbling too much.
Harry walked cautiously and tried to walk as normally as he could. He didn't want to get into any bad habits, like limping. He knew that he was going to have to rest very soon because of the venom and the remaining dregs of that bloody potion coursing in his veins. They were still working their way through his body and he desperately needed to find a place with some water nearby.
He remembered that in the Australian Outback it was not going to easy to navigate, especially now. Still he was going to survive this. He felt it and it was not something that he could explain, how he knew…he just knew. He was going to show them all that he will not be putting up with their Boy-Who-Lived shit any more.
The displace wizard felt the sun beating down on his face, so he ripped a couple of other strips from the oversize shirt that he had been forced to wear. He wrapped them around his head, hoping to conserve some of his body's water and protect his head from heat stroke. His senses flared and somehow he just knew that he was traveling west.
He walked on and suddenly he felt a smidge cooler. He was not sure what caused it, so he walked forward a bit until he was in the full heat again. He walked backwards and felt the cool area. Knowing that he was in the shade of something he sidestepped to the left, keeping his face in the direction he had to go. He stepped back into the heat and then he changed his direction by side stepping to the right going into the cooler area. It wasn't long until the brushing swish of his branch hit something. He reached out slowly his hand brushed against the bark of a large tree.
Harry laid his branch with the thin end in the direction that he was going to travel and then sat with his back against the tree. He lifted his head smelling the fragrant greenery on the tree and knew that there was water in the area, but he just didn't know how to access it, yet.
He closed his eyes and concentrated on the throbbing in his feet and legs. There was some pain in his mind too. It was only Voldemort, who apparently knew that something was up. He knew that Harry did drink the potion, but just couldn't fathom that the blasted Boy-Who-Lived was just too far away to reach for him to track.
Harry would even lay down some money that Voldemort was being affected by some of his residual pain due to the potion that he had ingested. He grinned manically and then began to laugh out loud which relieved some of his anxiety. Then he started to rant and rave aloud for a few moments letting his angry emotions overwhelm him, when suddenly he felt an explosive blast of his magic surge outward from him.
Remembering that the snakes had mentioned that no one in the area would be harmed, the young still couldn't let his rage control the form that his magic took. Besides he needed water to survive so he modified the wave to be cool like a dense moist breeze coming from the sea blowing through the desert.
He wandlessly conjured a WaterPak. It was similar to the ones he had seen in special stores that mainly carried hiking gear and outdoor sports products. He opened the top and allowed the water to accumulate within the pack through condensation. He knew that he would need it very soon. He took several sips of the cool water and relaxed against the tree.
Harry's magic came back to him like sonar vibrating against his body. It showed him the layout of the land and marked the areas that he should avoid, if possible. Luckily it also marked the direction he needed to continue traveling in.
Smirking he thought that ADR was right. He could definitely see better now than he ever could. At least now he no longer needed to worry about breaking his butt ugly glasses. He no longer needed them at all, especially now that he had been blinded by a potion that was meant to... well that is still up for debate and it was something that he would investigate later.
Harry soaked the strips of the shirt that he had wrapped around his head with water and then re-wrapped his head with the wet cloth. He took another sip of water and ensured that the WaterPak was full before closing correctly. He reigned in his magic and then collapsed against the tree. He kept the water tube in his mouth for some instinctive reason, it wasn't a conscious thought, but he only knew that he needed to do it.
Unknown to him, all these actions that he had taken, in his fever induced dream, were exactly what he was supposed to do. Doing all in the dream it became so in reality. That was what he had needed to do in order to be able survive. He needed all of these actions in order to fight the true fever from the ravages of the gifted potion and to help his body's ability to survive the true Outback.
Harry had finally collapsed from exhaustion, the snakes' venom and the potion. He fell into a deep near dreamless, but pain filled sleep. Luckily it was near dreamless because his magical inheritance caught up to him. It induced more growing pains in him, than he had ever expected or thought possible. It was almost as bad as receiving repeated castings of the hex, Crucio.
His muscles clenched and cramped. His body grew longer, taller and more defined. His height was now 6'1 and a half, broad shouldered, with longer arms and swimmers' legs. His skin darkened to a golden tan, all over. It was something of a mixed blessing as he was guaranteed to darken further, if he was going to train in the desert.
His hair finally broke past the stigma of "just like his father" and grew down past his shoulders in waves to his mid-back. There were now lots of very dark streaked red highlights. A gift from his mother, no doubt, and it was one that suited him very, very well. His fingers grew a bit longer in proportion to his hands, all with fingernails growing slightly longer, curving a bit like claws or talons.
Harry's eyes which had been rendered blank, to a milky foggy gray-green by the potion, were not so anymore. Not that many would have noticed these differences, but now they were back to the deep verdant green, like the darkest emeralds, they were brilliant, sombre and unfocused. The pupils were slightly larger than normal, creating the darker appearance in the colour, but they were also somewhat slit like a cat's eye or perhaps snake eyes would be a better description.
He did not know this, although he soon would, once someone told him about it, of course. He also developed elongated canines upper and lower. They were not too noticeable since he wasn't of vampire or werewolf decent, but that of Draekon. A Draekon creature is lost race of magical being whose wizarding-culture, for the time being will remain undefined.
Most astonishing change or addition to his magical growth, were his bat like wings. Wingtip to wingtip they were twice his height and were the softest leather. They were strong and yet he was able to hide them at will, but at the moment he didn't know that they were there just yet. They retracted with his will and seemed to know that he wanted to remain looking normal for the time being. Their colour matched his hair. They were ebony black with highlights of a dark blood red within their folds, a colour visible in the strong light of the day or from either a very colourful sunset or sunrise.
All of the above denoted a more predatory type of nature.
A short time later, a force they could not fight drew the ghosts of the land to Harry. They found him and imparted to him, during this period of change, any magical gift or knowledge that they had wanted to pass on.
It did not matter if the gifts or the knowledge was intended for good or bad. It was knowledge… power… and Harry just swallowed it all. He soaked in the experiences that these shades gave him and sealed the exchange with a magical soul promise to them. He promised to write their stories should he ever be free to do so in this lifetime, if not his promise will be carried forward onto his next life.
Ghosts and shades from the closest countries came to him also. There were a quite few from Japan, China, Russia, the Irish prisoners shipped to this Australian British Prison Colony back when, included their British guards, a couple were aristocrats and the rest were mostly runaways. Ghostly priests, monks and shamans from these lands, also visited him and imparted their spiritual and hidden magical knowledge.
He learned ancient martial arts, the ways of the samurai, the various spiritual rituals of Japan & China. The herbal lore from the Australian Outback shamans, handed down for generations, so much primal knowledge which had been forgotten in time.
The art of fighting war came from the British guards and the Russians, including the use of swords and the early muskets, not that those would work well in the Wizarding World. He learned about love, hate and every possible emotion that existed from the heart of every man, woman and child spirit that sought him out during this time.
So many lives and so many lost stories… His soul-vow allowed many of them to move on in peace secure in the knowledge that he was an honourable man. He will honour their wishes the best way that he can by short stories, essays, fables and tales. The choice of medium was there after all.
The very pride and the love of the earth herself flowed through him and acknowledged this small lone child. She cradled him in peace for this one tiny moment in time, a time required for him to come into his own substantial power. He was temporarily at peace, even though he was in extreme pain.
He knew that he had to survive this, to fight, if only to take down that arsehole Tom Riddle the self proclaimed Dark Lord Voldemort. He counted an added bonus of taking down Peter Pettigrew, Lucius Malfoy, including one Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley, his own personal traitors.
Peter had betrayed his parents, Sirius and Remus, so therefore he really needed to be taken out and he needed to pay for the pain he caused.
Lucius Malfoy… well he just wanted to go after him for spite because he was such a dick, raising his son to Darkness when it was clear that the younger one was conflicted.
Ah, as for Hermione and Ron he felt the need to have revenge on them for their lies. He had allowed their final betrayal to him and they long since sullied his friendship. He would, of course, take revenge on a few others, but for now knowing that he was really going to learn something new… something that he needed to know, it was almost a form of revenge too.
A shade of one of the ghostly aboriginal shamans stayed by his side and waited to guide him to the Rock. Snakes of various breeds and sizes circled around him, slithered all over him, curled on and around his body. They protected his rest.
One of the few remaining tribes of the Outback wanderers arrived in this area a short time later. They were surprised when they saw this strange painful phenomenon. They were astounded at the sight, but there were also a couple of actual human wizards among them. These wizards explained that the pain that the youth was being subjected to was their own form of an adult rite of passage and it usually occurred when they came of age inheriting their full magics. These wizards watched and waited with the tribe.
They saw that the young man had a strange affinity for the snakes in the area. The elder shaman prevented his tribe and the wizards from hunting these snakes. They were there in such a vast numbers, many of them were coral snakes, king snakes, rattlers, red-bellied black snakes and many magical others, all of which were totally poisonous to the humans. It was strange that the nicks and bites that the young man received from them did not seem to affect him in any way that they could see.
On their fourth day of watching, they heard a groan coming from the youth. They stopped all of their activities, talking and otherwise. They watched and waited to see what he would do, especially with all of those snakes around him.
Harry had moved his hand slightly, but the muscles were cramped from lack of use, which caused him to moan softly. Slowly he pinched the water tube with his lips and drank two swallows of water. He shifted his body, twitching and slowly twisting both his arms, legs and shifting his back to stretch and to loosen the new, unused muscles.
He listened for the sounds around him and he heard the hissing of snakes nearby. He felt the heavy weight of them resting on his body. Some of the snakes had not been able to get water so they rested on him lapping up the sweat from his fevered dream exchange.
He understood them and rewarded their actions by pouring some of the water he had into his hand, as soon as he sat up against the tree. He evaporated it into a small cloud that he manipulated to rain mistily on all of the bodies of the snakes as he ran his hand over their bodies ensuring that they were not badly dehydrated. It was a thank you to them for their protection.
Once each snake felt the water hit every part of their body the more mobile ones began to leave the area and let the rest receive the refreshing drink. The last one to go hissed something to the young man and the wizards that watched these proceedings gasped as they heard the youth hiss a reply back to the snake.
His shaggy head turned in the direction of the gasps and he spoke to them, asking, "Who's there?"
Receiving no answer he sighed and waited for a bit. He wondered if anyone realized that he was no longer at No. 4 Privet Drive in Surrey or even in the United Kingdom.
Dudley had walked into his cousin's room a few days ago to find that the waste of space, as his parents called him, gone. Somehow the fact that he was gone did not feel right.
His parents had gone on holiday and left him in charge alone with the 'freak', but he was bored today. He was so bored that he went looking for Harry's company. He thought that maybe his cousin could tell him more about the wizards without his parents knowing that their son knew more about the Wizarding World than he should.
Harry's snowy white owl was on the desk shuffling the paper.
"What are you doing?" he asked the bird. He knew that the bird was intelligent, but he didn't think that he was bored enough to begin talking to it.
Hedwig, a snow owl, hooted anxiously from the desk. He looked and saw that she had a letter from those people. She watched him with narrowed eyes and then made a decision. She held out her leg to him. He cautiously took the letter and read it.
"Harry, there's nothing to report on about our resident bad guy. How about you, kid?" Signed: Phoenix O.
"I guess he has to answer, huh," he said to the owl. She lifted a piece of parchment and he saw Harry's standard answer. She then lifted another piece of blank parchment this time, pushed the inkwell and quill in his direction. He didn't have to think hard on this one. He asked in astonishment, "You want me to answer in his place?"
Hedwig immediately hooted excitedly and nodded her head, bopping it up and down.
"I guess I can," he said softly. "I do owe him one after all, but I'll have to practice his writing. Give me a few minutes, all right?" He sat down in his second bedroom and practiced the words and signature until the owl was satisfied. He wrote the note in Harry's place, tied it to the owl like he had learned and opened the window for her.
He watched her fly away into the night, hoping that Harry would be back soon. It was strange enough for the owl to do this and even stranger still that he actually decided to help 'the Freak'. Dudley smiled to himself and thought, 'If I do this often enough maybe he will owe me one. I wonder where he went anyway. '
Dudley shrugged his large shoulders not caring. Leaving the room he paused in the doorway, he looked back into it and then decided to shut it up tight. He locked the door with the six bolts and took the keys with him. Maybe his father will let him take care of 'the Freak' for the rest of this summer. 'I'll have to make it convincing, but I know that Daddy will let me do anything for now.'
Hedwig was winged away to the Order of Phoenix and delivered the false letter, but she knew that even if this family denies the ties of blood, those ties will still help her master with whatever was happening with him now. She knew the direction to fly to in order to get to him, but she also knew that if this deception worked, she would be required to stay here and carry on.
'That fat boy might not be that dumb', she thought after having successfully delivered the letter, without any fuss from the Order. It was Harry's standard answer after all and they weren't expecting anything different. She returned to her master's room to find that the door to the room had been shut and locked. Blinking her exhausted eyes, she tucked her head under her wing and fell asleep.
Harry had waited long enough and still got no answer from the area where he heard the gasp coming from. Therefore he chose to ignore it and the feeling that he was being watched. If they didn't want to come forward and tell him whatever... he wasn't going to waste what time he had left on them. He had somewhere to go and he had to get there soon.
Bending down cautiously, he picked up his stick and began to walk in the direction of Ayers Rock. A voice in accented English said, "Wait a minute young man."
Harry titled his head in the direction of the speaker, waiting. He didn't have to wait long before the question came. "How do you know the snake language?"
Harry chuckled and with a smirk said before moving on. "I've always known how to speak Parseltongue. If that is all, there is a task that I must accomplish before I return to school this year. Enjoy your walkabout!"
One of the wizards tried to follow and get more information, but the tribe's shaman stopped him, pointing out the rather large rattler that settled on the boy's path. The snake was preventing any of them from following the youth. The wizard's eyes widened in shock and he looked toward the rest of aboriginal people that they were there to study their culture. He knew that this was a very big deal. The youth had walked far enough away that he had all but blended with the light of the sun setting in the distance.
The tribe watched him walk farther than the wizards could see and then one of the wizards saw the misty white outline of a ghost in the vicinity. The ghost looked toward him and then at the shaman of the tribe. It turned around and began to follow the youth. The wizard then knew what the ghost was saying because even if it had spoken to him, he would never have understood him, but the ghost clearly said, in this manner that he had been a shaman and would be watching out for the boy.
The shaman of the tribe, chanted and the other members chanted with him in their own language. (…Earth, water, wind and fire watch over your travels young one, may the Rainbow Snake and his brother watch over you too…)
Harry heard their wishes and sent a cool misty breeze that smelled of the ocean, back to them. It misted them like he did the snakes. They heard his voice clearly whisper back in their own language. (…I go where the sun sets, may the Snake Brothers watch over you, your family and tribe…)
They were all wide eyed when that reply came back. They were so much in awe because his reply was formal, proper and in their spoken tongue that many members of the tribe placed a small gift in the indentation where the youth had slept with the snakes.
The gifts were little things, like a pot, a spear, a flat stone and many more such items that one may need when traveling. Even the wizards knew that the tradition of gifting a traveler after he left was supposed to be a blessing for his journey. But they also knew that these desert tribes had not done so for many years.
This youth was obviously different and probably more special than just having an ability to speak to snakes. The two wizards agreed with each other and with the tribe. They too left something as their blessing to the young man.
One wizard left a feather from a hippogriff that he had the rare opportunity of encountering. It had been in the company of a known wizard felon from the U.K., but who had disappeared from the Wizarding World. So the papers say.
The other wizard left a small potion vial filled with pure ocean water obtained from the depths of the magically hidden coral reef. He could always obtain another on his way home later. A bit of ocean was a sign of luck for travelers, especially if they were about to cross a desert.
Three days later, Harry reached the base of Ayers Rock. Time and again he had the company of a snake or three, but he didn't mind them because they were great conversationalists. They told him about the different creatures in Australia and they mentioned that he had a constant companion in the form of a ghost shaman.
Harry already knew that though, as the ghost had passed through him a few times to cool him down and had helped him figure out the time sense of this country. Also he assisted whenever he felt that Harry should take a sip of his water or where and how to locate the nutrient rich water root from the shrubs in the area.
He learned a few things had changed about him, like the fact that he had wings, claws and sharp teeth. He could probably fly without a broom now, but he preferred to walk in the direction that he needed to go for now. His birthday was still a few weeks away, but he needed to get to the Rock and climb it before that happened. It was a feeling inside him the compelled him.
At least this time, he knew it was just his instinct and not some suggestion spell that was compelling him to go on. Now that he had finally reached the base and he checked his meagre belongings to make sure that the WaterPak was tied securely. He made sure that his improvised pouch, one made with the remains of his shirt held had at least three of the water roots for food.
He walked to the base of the Rock, touching it here and there. He tried to determine the best place to start. His decision made, he began the long journey up. Hands moved over head feeling for the next crack or crevice. His feet followed his hands and his wings were out to provide additional balance in case he needed them. However they were not extended, as he might have had the temptation to fly.
Again his inner instinct forced him to go at it the muggle way. He reached a hand over, then a foot took its place and then he reached overhead searching for the next hold. His body bent and crawled up the face of the Rock.
He hoped that he remembered this correctly from his world studies in the muggle public school and the Rock was not as jagged as some of the stone formations around the world. A cold breeze was beside him, his ghostly companion paced him.
He hoped that this was some form of encouragement. Then he felt the shift in the temperature of the Rock. It was getting a little hotter the higher up he went. The edges were rounding and he heard the warm breeze drifting across the top.
'I'm getting closer, I'm sure of it.' He thought.
Finally he pulled himself up once more reaching overhead and found that he was at the end of the climb. It was just a matter of continuing over and soon he would be there.
'Huff... huff... Finally I am up. Huff... Ah, some water and a small rest should do it. Damn I forgot the walking stick.' He thought breathlessly.
"Accio walking stick", he said out loud startling some of the birds that had been perched there. The birds only fluttered a bit and settled back down to their siesta. The stick came right up into his hand and started the ghost of the shaman, who had been silently during the entire journey.
(...I forgot that you were a wizard...) He finally muttered softly in his own ancient language, one vastly different from the blessing that the tribe had sent.
(...That's all right, I sometimes forget that I can do magic...) Harry replied.
(...You understood me?...) The ghostly shaman asked in shock because his language had not been spoken in centuries.
(...Of course, did you not know? I listened to you when you told me the hours of the day and when to take a sip of the water, how to find the water roots...) Harry said, as he tilted his hand in the direction of the ghost. (…I was listening to the stories and tales that you were telling me about your tribe and have memorized them in order to pass them down…)
Sheepishly the old shaman replied honestly, (...I thought that was luck. It did not occur to me that you understood my words as you were often speaking with the snakes...)
It was now Harry's turn to be sheepish, (...I thought that you did not want to speak to me. Of course now I know that you did not think that I would have understood. I am sorry for the misunderstanding...)
(...It is all right. I will be able to guide you better now, even though we are quite near the end of the journey...) He looked at Harry for a long time and just had to ask (... How come you are not better prepared for your travels?...)
Harry looked sad, but answered honestly, (...I drank a potion under a spell suggesting that I should. It was given to me with the understanding this gift would have corrected my eyesight. The true giver wanted to kill me, but now that I think about it, I don't believe that that's what was supposed to happen either...)
He took a deep breath and explained, (...I have someone who has been trying to kill me for years. There's something of a prophecy that basically says that I will kill this person or he will kill me. He gave the potion to two of his followers with order that they make me drink it somehow. This evil leader told them that it would kill me, but I think that he did not trust them or just did not tell them the truth. The potion was definitely supposed to incapacitate me with pain and, I believe, somehow bring me to him in order to be killed. Obviously something went wrong magically. That is how I ended up here speaking to the Brothers in a dream...)
The ghost listened to Harry's story fascinated by the truth that Harry could not hide. (...Now what do you have to do? Do you know?...)
(...No, I do not know...) Harry said. (...First I must train here like the Brothers have instructed and then I will see how things have turned out back home. Maybe I can go back, maybe I can't...I'll have to wait and see...)
(...Thank you for the truth of your story. I will watch you as you rest for now, may the Brothers guide your dreams...)
(...Thank you...) Harry replied lying down, curling into a ball and falling into a deep sleep. He was secure in the knowledge that the ghost would watch over him, just he had during the journey from the tree.
It was a sleep where he dreamed of events that might have happened or may happen or will happen. There was no way for him to know the truth, just yet. However he knew that he affected things while he was dreaming, but didn't know the how or the why.
Harry felt that he was watching everything from a ghostly-detached point of view. Strangely he could see this very clearly. It was as though his sight had returned to him for this bit of time.
He watched Dudley sitting at his desk, writing on a piece of parchment, while Hedwig waited. She turned her head in his direction, hooted softly and winked one eye. He moved closer to see what his cousin was doing. Looking at the note he read, "I am treated well. No visions, yet. H"
His cousin rolled this up and attached it to Hedwig's leg. She hopped to the window and looked at her master. Harry smiled, nodding. He was OK with this. He watched his cousin walk out of the room and lock the door behind him.
He then moved from there to Grimmauld place in the blink of an eye. He watched Dumbledore pacing up and down wandering what to do. The letters came, like planned, and Harry had replied like he normally would, but there was something off about the way the letters were written. There was, also, no mention of visions from Voldemort which caused the Headmaster some worries.
Harry moved from there to the room that Remus was in and watched the saddened eyes of his, one time, professor and now self-proclaimed honorary Godfather. The man was read some of the old school journals that used to belong to his dear departed friends.
Harry moved closer to see what was written. There was a journal from their Marauder days. Harry smiled and passed on the amusement he was feeling to his man.
Remus lifted his head and looked around sharply searching out for the youth he sensed.
Harry was jerked away suddenly and now found himself in a room with Buckbeak, the hippogriff that helped Sirius escape. The creature looked up and when Harry bowed, the creature stood and bowed back.
(...There is a reason why I am here like this, Buckbeak...) Harry squawked in a creature language that he knew the animal would understand. (...I just don't know if it is to release you now or later, also I can no longer look you directly in the eye in real life, please take no offence, it's just that I've been blinded...)
The hawk head bobbed back in surprise and the creature replied, (...I do understand, but if you release me, I could find you...)
Harry shook his head, (...No there is something that I must do, first. Could you please wait?...) Harry then said a combination of spells to release the chains anchoring the hippogriff. There was still the collar with one link tinkling around the neck of the creature, but Harry knew that you had to be able to touch it in order for it to be removed.
He muttered a few other spells into the collar for now, hoping that his instincts were not wrong. (...These spells are to help someone else. I just do not yet know who...)
Buckbeak knew that the time for Harry's visit would be ending soon so he said, (...I will wait here, until you send a message to me, by your white owl or like this once more before I leave. I still owe you one...)
(...Thank you...) Harry managed to say before he was whisked away again.
This time he was sent to the Burrow, but there was not much to see, except Ron and Hermione who were naked on Ron's bed in the throes of passion. Knowing that they were finally together was something that would have made him happy, but their happiness now just turned his stomach because of their betrayal. He saw their exposed left arms, shocked. They both had been Marked by Voldemort.
Harry was then quickly sent to a few of the homes belonging to some of the Slytherin students and he saw that what they go through was similar to him in the summer times. Their training was just a painful as an empty stomach, but he saw among some of them sparks of defiance. Knowing that their choices would soon be made he vowed to help as many as he could.
He was shocked however when he reached Malfoy's Manor. He saw the elaborate dining areas, the grand rooms, studies, portraits and the library, 'Whoa, what a library? Where's Malfoy?' This thought propelled him to a tower room that had bars on the windows, with one window missing. There was only a filthy mattress in the middle of the room with a thin crusty sheet and nothing else.
There he watched as Draco received his daily Crucio from his father. Harry was pissed that something like this could happen. His anger blasted Lucius into the wall where the man then crumpled to the ground in pain. Shocked Lucius picked himself up and left the room without scanning it for a foreign presence.
"Whoever you are don't do that. He'll think it's me." Draco said to the empty air.
Harry knelt near the tortured youth. He let his breath fall onto the pale cheek of his school time rival. "I feel that you are here, just don't do that, please. He'll think that I've come into my powers early..."
Harry then saw a house-elf enter the room. He didn't want that creature to see who he was, so he shielded himself with his wings. The house-elf squeaked in terror, only seeing the wings it stuttered the word, "D..Dra...Draekon! A Draekon!" and passed out.
"Thank you for that," Draco said and he moved as quickly as he could.
Harry watched as the blond went to a corner of the room and whispered a few release spells. He observed that Draco drank down a couple of potions to heal his injuries. Then he whispered the sealing spells after he returned several empty vials into an invisible area of the room.
Harry knew that Draco was going to eventually need his help. His time was almost up. So he quickly ran to Draco and wrapped his arms and wings around him. He whispered into the soft ear, not caring if Draco could understand him or not in this form, "I will find a way to help you. Don't give up and don't believe a word they say."
Draco was startled to feel the comfortable appendages wrapping around him and it soothed him to hear those words of encouragement. He smiled a little and then remembered that he was supposed to be recovering from the curses. He dived for the filthy mattress in the center of his room and crawled under the thin dirty sheet.
Harry was pulled back to his body just as suddenly as when he left it. He heaved a sigh and then fell into a dreamless sleep, smiling at the thought of Lucius Malfoy slamming into a wall.
Draco Malfoy was currently locked in his rooms for refusing to take the Dark Mark. His father had been livid. His 'father' was supposed to have been locked up in Azkaban, but the bloody bastard escaped somehow. His 'father' had hidden out for a bit and then came back to hide at the Manor.
His mother had been recovering from the loss of her husband, but now she was dead. She had wanted to send Draco away at the very beginning of the summer, but something always prevented her plans' success.
His father's most loyal house-elves were used an altered Subliminus spell on her. She was always almost to the door with his luggage, ready to send him off, when one of them showed up with a supposed letter from his father who prevented it. It was always the same one, his mother never opened it, but the letter was the trigger that reinforced the message in her mind to keep him home.
Draco knew that his summer was going to go from bad to worse very soon, so he honestly tried to finish his all of schoolwork. He tried to have emergency rations and items ready for whenever the shit chose to hit the fan. He really tried, but those sodding house-elves, the ones that belonged to his father had somehow always found his emergency stash.
He tormented them for it, actually harmed some of them, as they were not to have been in his rooms, 'ever'. He had always taken care of his own rooms before and never allowed one of his father's elves to ever assist cleaning it up. However, one of 'them' always came in anyway and always managed to find and take away the things he needed.
They were actually now emptying his rooms of everything, his furniture, his bed, everything mobile, except for his school trunk, which was hidden and concealed in a corner of the room. His father's house-elves believed that they had taken his school trunk and stored it away at the beginning of the summer hols. Thank Merlin was not the case.
Draco had had Professor Snape assist him in placing a concealment and misdirection charm on it. He altered the spells to purposefully work against any revealing charms, spells and pesky house-elves. He was never happier than when he found out that Dobby, his father's former house-elf, had been given his freedom by Harry Potter. Little Dobby had willingly helped to place and test the spells against house-elves for him.
The blond Slytherin had a more than a few of his prized possessions in it and all of his current school supplies. Once he finished his homework all he had to do was whisper a spell and the homework would be filed away properly within his school trunk. He finally had to use that spell on some the emergency rations. He hid his much less formal clothing and every galleon that his mother had been giving him as an allowance. He added lots of emergency medical supplies.
Since the house-elves could not see the trunk they never took it away. They placed his mattress on the floor and emptied the bathroom of all it supplies. Many solid bars rose up on the outsides of his windows and there was not enough space between then for him to squeeze through in order to escape. One of the windows had been removed to allow for air to circulate in the room and would not be replaced if there were any summer storms.
His mother had disconnected his personal fireplace from the floo network before she died. Even the emergency floo powder that allowed any fire travel to a secure and safety spelled location had been removed from the manor by the house-elves.
"My dear son, this is all to teach you a lesson in humility. The Dark Lord is preoccupied for the moment, but you will learn the error of your choice before you return to school this year or you will never carry the Malfoy name… Ever again…" Lucius Malfoy finished it off by sending a curse at his son. "Crucio..."
Pain hit Draco like a thousand needles were being ripped though his body, his muscles twisted and it felt like every bone in his body had been broken, bit by bit. The 'Unforgiveable' curse was held on him until he passed out from the pain. His father left him there with a house-elf assigned to watch him for the remainder of summer.
When the Slytherin woke up from the pain of that curse, he saw the creature and knew that he would not be able to access his things anytime soon. He rolled over and groaned, turning his thoughts to Potter and the end of their sixth year.
'Why am I thinking about Potty-head?' He thought with wry amusement. 'Heh, I don't know. There was something different about him last year, his grades were matched to mine and I think that he actually set out to try and beat Granger.'
He had nothing else to think about anyway. He realized that his own so-called friends had been distancing themselves from him before the start of this summer. It was like they knew that something waited for him at the manor. They knew that the time would soon come for them to make their own decisions. They could follow their families or follow Dumbledore or risk certain death by following the Dark Lord's insanity.
'Great choices I that have there, live or die! Hm, that's just plain life and fate for you, but am I stuck with this for now. I wonder how the Golden Boy is doing. If I had the choice to live in a world without Voldemort or live in a world without Harry Potter, gah! Why am I even thinking about this or him?'
The truth was that Draco had not gone out of his way during the sixth year to get on Harry's bad side. He seemed to have been the only one to notice that Harry had changed or was changing. Certainly there had been just a few altercations in the beginning, but they had left him reeling from the magical and sometime physical force used.
'I guess losing your Godfather will do that to you. I'm glad that mine explained it that to me near the beginning of the year, or else I might have seriously been injured. I would react just the same if I had lost Severus.
Now what am I going to do? I can't write to anyone and I certainly don't trust anyone to help me out, not now. If I were to leave, my father would probably look for me, hunt me down, torture and kill me. Hm, maybe he'd just torture me and give me over to his Dark Lord. Either way I don't have any place to go at the moment. Maybe if I stick it out for a bit, then maybe I will be able to escape… just like the bloody bastard did.'
Draco's magical inheritance was due to occur near the end of August, but to what end. Will his father allow him to go through with it, without having to pledge his loyalty and life to the resident loony? Will he be able to live through it or will his 'father' interfere?
Luckily for Draco his 'father' had trained him to work his body and mind at various tasks. He vowed that he'd live to spite his 'father'. He'd live to defy him. He knew that he would gladly give up the name Malfoy in a heart beat, if being given the choice to live meant living without it.
He took a good look around his room and noticed that there was definitely more room now. He sneered at his house-elf guard and then he moved his mattress into the direct center of the room. He paced around in at circle, measuring his steps and counting them. From there he occupied his time by walking and then running around his room. He modified his pace to sprint from the door to the window and jogged backwards to strengthen his legs.
Draco planned his summer days, by living one day at a time and doing the following; pushups, sit-ups on the floor, pull ups using the bars on his windows and when it rained he did them hanging from the door frame to his bathroom.
The only vanity-type accessory left to him was the mirror in the bathroom, but he suspected that he was being observed from it. They did make the best scrying devices, but it did not matter in this case because if worse comes to worse he had just been left with a permanent way out.
However being who he was he could contemplate suicide, as a last resort only. He planned to use broken pieces of the mirror and would break it only if he had to. But he had another plan. If someone could help him leave…then he could live and have another way to exact revenge on his father.
A few weeks passed like that, a mix of curses, hexes and torture. Draco was slowly losing hope. His father had decided that a daily dose of Crucio or other hexes were just what the doctor ordered in order to assist his son's decision-making skills.
It was during one of these sessions that he saw his father get slammed up against one of his bedroom walls. His father was just as shocked as he was. He watched as the man picked himself up from the floor and limped out of the room. He knew that there was no chance for him to get some much needed potions from his trunk before that bloody house-elf came back to watch him, so he sighed.
He felt something watching and knew that someone or something was there. Draco whispered to the empty air. "Whoever you are don't do that. He'll think it's me."
He sensed that a being was there and felt a warm breath fall onto his cheek. Hope was returning, but he had to get it through this person...? "I can feel that you here, just don't do that anymore, please. I can take what he dishes out, besides he'll think that I've come into my powers early..."
The door to his room had opened, shut and was locked by house-elf magic. Draco knew that the creature designated to watch him, had returned. But then he heard it clearly as it squeaked in terror, "D… Dra... Draekon! A Draekon!"
The house-elf passed out after saying that.
Now, Draco had been raised in the Wizarding World, but there were still many mysterious creatures in it, so he didn't know what a Draekon was. He was sure that his father would soon hear about from the house-elf, once it woke up. Still the unknown entity did save him, so he said, "Thank you for that."
Then he moved as quickly as he could to get the healing and nutrient potions from his trunk. He drank down most of what he needed to heal his injuries. He still felt the eyes of the mysterious creature watching him and he hoped that whatever it was, it would not betray him by mentioning the trunk. He whispered the spell that returned the empty vials back into his trunk.
Suddenly, he was wrapped in comforting double warmth of arms and something else, he felt a breath near his sensitive ear, and he shivered a bit from it. He could hear the softly whispered words. "I will find a way to help you. Don't give up and don't believe a word they say."
He smiled a little when he felt the presence leave and quickly he returned to his mattress. He pulled up the sheet over his head he knew that someone knows about him and that his father was loose.
Harry awoke on the Rock completely refreshed. His ghostly shaman guide showed him the path to take to his teacher and then left him to move on to his final journey. The teen waved good-bye in the general direction of vanishing form.
Harry then walked on a path and noticed many different smells. Some he recognized as potion ingredients and others he thought he remembered as the plants he learned about from Herbology class. The path was winding, but he was not worried. There was something about it that seemed to know that he couldn't see; still he hoped that he would reach his destination soon.
He had just paused to meditate when he heard an old wizened voice talking to him, "Well it's about time you showed up. I can't live forever, just waiting for you to get here."
Harry cocked his head in the direction of the voice, hoping that it wasn't his headmaster. "Professor Dumbledore?"
"Don't insult me kid. Can't you see that I look nothing like him?" The voice said in a kind yet growly tone.
"See what?" Harry asked, but he wasn't about to explain his loss of sight to this stranger. "Who are you then?"
"You've… you've been blinded?" The old man's voice was astounded. He didn't think that there was anything left in the world that could startle or shock him. "How did you manage to get here from the drop off point? How did you ever manage the desert with your blindness?"
Harry only gave the stranger a funny little look, "I'm not sure that I should explain any of this to you. First of all I don't know who you are and secondly I have no idea what you mean by 'drop off point'? Do you honestly think that I 'planned' this trip?"
Harry heard someone approaching; carefully he changed his stance and waited. (...He changed his stance elder...) A young sounding and amused voice said. The human still waited patiently and did not acknowledge the other voice that he heard.
"You are cautious... that will serve you well. Tell me what or who advised you to come to the Rock and seek me out?" The old man asked him.
Harry gave a small enigmatic smile and said, "A cunning pair of Brothers with very sharp teeth!"
He heard two gasps at the mention of the Brothers and the chuckling voice of the, 'Elder'? "Well it seems that you are the one that I've been waiting for. I have much to teach you. I will also show you how to get around your disability with the magic that you possess. I will also teach you other forms of magic without a wand. This should enable you to return home sometime during this season. It will probably be by the same method that you arrived, but truthfully I do not know myself. It should take us about a month for everything, this time around. What do you say young one?"
"I say that you still have not told me your name," Harry said to the elder. "Please forgive me, I am not trying to be impertinent and everything you say has merit, but if I am to learn from someone I believe that I should very much like to know their name or at least their preferred name. You can usually tell a lot by a person's name, even if it's only one that they choose for themselves."
The elder chuckled heartily, "Young one I like you. What you say has merit, you may call me Uluru or just Elder will do. It is just one of my many names and I am rather fond of it. I have two attendants with me; their names are Kei and Kina."
"I'm Harry... just Harry."
"Very well then Just Harry," Uluru said. 'Interesting, he chose to tell me one of his true given names'.
The elder considered Harry's method of arrival. His personal attendants were there to assist him and sometimes they could see further than he could. The attendants had been clearly describing to him all of Harry's actions in the desert. The time he traveled, who he spoke to and how he chose to climb the Rock, instead of using his wings. Nothing would have happened if he did use them, but maybe young Harry was under the impression that the Brothers were still testing him.
"You are free to leave and come back at any time to visit after this summer. It's not like I'm going anywhere," he said chuckling. "You have much to learn and this can only be done over time. What you do learn this summer should help you to cope and perhaps hide your affliction, if that is your wish. You do need to gather your forces and learn who you can and cannot trust." He paused for a moment and then continued, "I think that it is time for you to get acquainted with your new surroundings. Now you need to control how much magic you send out."
"I don't understand... magic that I send out?" Harry asked eager to learn, but was confused at the elder's words.
"You sent out a wave of magic a several days ago and then pulled it back into yourself. It was most likely generated by your extreme emotions. I felt it hit like misty rain, but it had no true purpose. It is important that you become able to send it out and pull it in without detection, but you also need to learn to send it out with a purpose. For now try to send it out only a few feet in front of you and then pull it back to you. Try to get a sense of the area around us."
Harry thought about how he had sent and called this wave the first time. He concentrated on just sending it out a few feet. He decided that maybe this time instead of sending it out in an entire circumference he would just send it out in a one quarter of the direction. There's was no need for him to send it behind him, as that was the directions that he came from. Instead he chose to send it out twelve feet to the front. He barely managed to control it and pulled it back in with some difficulty.
The magic came back to him and he was able to sort of 'see' the elder where he sat on a rocking chair located on a small porch with two dog-like creatures crouched at his feet on either side of the rocker. They were known as dingoes, but the images that Harry received were only outlines with some kind of aura or magical signature around them. He never noticed any other people nearby and therefore he had the distinct feeling that the elder's assistants were these two creatures. He was surprised to 'sense' the magical and non-magical shrubbery nearby. More than that he was able to note the layout of the building because the magic was no limited by structure unless there were wards, which was the case for a couple of the rooms that he sensed within.
"Whoa... that was so cool," he said. He couldn't help himself; he did it again and again, in various degrees and directions, number of feet, the shape of it around him and circling him.
Magic was something that had always fascinated him when Harry was younger. Despite all those times when his uncle was trying to beat it out of him, he was too interested by the slight-of-hand tricks that the street buskers did when the performed at small fairs. He had amused himself by learning a couple of them because he was never given toys, but his hands were his own toys and finger walking was one of the first things that he had learnt long before seeing the street performers.
"That is enough young Harry," Uluru told him, as he called him back to his regular senses. "Now that you have figured out the layout of the house, why don't you come in? We'll find you something nourishing to eat perhaps and someplace comfortable to sleep, what do you think?"
"Thank you for your kindness. I do appreciate the fact that you want to teach me and I will try to answer your questions, but the truth is that I'm not really sure how I ended up in Australia." He said, as he came forward one of the elder's attendants spoke to him.
(...Don't you dare do anything to hurt the elder...) Kei said with a warning growl.
(...You'd better pay attention to his teachings, pup...) Kina said.
(...Please don't address me as "Pup". I have many memories tied to it and for now the name fills me with sorrow...) Harry said to them in their own language. They walked into the house following the elder.
The elder was astounded, as were his four legged companions, but he never faltered a step. Harry knew that Uluru heard him and for now just chose not to say a word about it. However he wouldn't be surprised when the questioning began.
Harry smiled, knowing that his summer would be far more interesting then it had ever been before.
Since Dudley helped him out with the letters that needed to be sent to the Order and a few other things, Harry therefore sent a special early birthday present to his cousin. It was special not only because it was the only present that he had ever given his cousin, but special in that it was a unique spice-type of potion for his food. Harry made it specifically just for Dudley and had it delivered with very specific instructions that his cousin had to follow.
If his cousin used it correctly, he'd find himself losing a lot of unwanted poundage at a very rapid rate. There were, of course, consequences to everything and Harry outlined all the possible side effects. He even went so far as to say that when he returned he would help his cousin 'fix' his appearance so that his rapid weight loss would not be noticeable by the extra loose folds of skin.
So it was that when Harry's own birthday rolled around, and it must be clear that he hadn't been expecting anything from Dudley, when he received several gifts. His new school list was shipped along with the package and it included a prefect's badge. Consequently he replied his acceptance to return to the school, but declined the badge. He explained that he had too much to learn and was not about to be bogged down with responsibilities that others had actually wanted to have and were much better suited to do.
His replies were forwarded to his house for Dudley to copy. It seemed that Hedwig, being the very smart bird that she was knew that the strange looking birds, that appeared periodically, were holding various letters from Harry. She knew that these needed to be forwarded, but that Dudley needed to forge them first so that the change in Harry's current hand writing would not show.
He sent thank you notes to Remus, Snape, Moody and a few others from the Order for the birthday gifts that they gave him. He even sent a note to Ron and Hermione, as they had sent him something too, but he never opened it. He felt uneasy about the odd magic that surrounded it. The note to them had a two-fold effect; one, it let them know that Harry had not yet drunk the potion for his eyes and two, it allowed them to tell their Master that Harry was still alive.
The gifts he received were things that the Order members thought would be of use to him. There was a wand holster for his arm from Moody with a security feature that allowed him to retain his wand no matter what spell is said in order for him to lose it. There was a book on animagus transformations from his head of House, Professor McGonagall.
He even received a couple books on Occlumency from Snape with a note saying that the 'Remedial Studies' will continue. There was a bunch of other knick-knacks and toys that served no other purpose except for having fun and to have something that helped to pass the time.
Harry received another note from Dumbledore stating that he should continue to remain at his relative's house in order to remain safe. He replied to his Headmaster that he understood and would be patiently waiting for the end of summer. He has asked for a few more books to study from, which in the course of a few days, owls dropped off several packages to Harry's Privet address.
He had been surprised to receive a present from his cousin with a note thanking him for the spice. The present was several catalogues for clothes. Dudley said in the accompanying letter, that if Harry's spice worked very well, then he would need new clothes to fit him.
His cousin's note explained that he understood that Harry might be going through a similar kind of change as well. The letter also stated that Dudley was willing to get him a few things for him for when he came back. His cousin also said that the catalogues contained the different styles that youths were wearing and that he would be glad to take his cousin along shopping in London for those things before school started.
Harry was stunned about the offer, but sent a reply back saying that he agreed to it and would even buy something for his cousin, within reason, as a thank you for his continued help this summer.
It was a clear indication to Dudley that Harry was going to ask him to do something. He already had a feeling that it would be something big.
By this time Harry had been in Australia for nearly three weeks and was now able to read Braille, convert books to it with a whispered spell. He was able write letters and to finish some of his schoolwork with the assistance of a spell on his little finger that guided it in a straight line across a piece of paper. This enabled the rest of his writing hand to follow in a relatively straight line. Of course now he had to be careful of the angle that he set the pages and parchment he needed to write on or else he'd find that he was writing diagonally across the page instead.
Harry even found an obscure little spell that allowed him to learn how to cut potion ingredients with such ease and without affecting the properties of the ingredients. Strangely it was a spell that blind chefs used in order to be able to cut ingredients and make astounding presentations for their mass cooking skills.
He was very glad that it did the same thing for potion ingredients and that those ingredients would not lose any of their magical properties. This occurred because the spell didn't cut the ingredient. It only enabled the person to have the proper ability to cut, slice, dice, chop etc... with the ease of someone who'd been doing it for years.
This whispered spell once cast at his hands would let hands take directions, literally. If he told them to cut at a 32 degree angle facing the direction of the sun at the zenith of 1400 hrs, they would do it. This same little spell helped with the stirring of the ingredients in the cauldron. He could tell his hands what speed he needed to stir, the angles, direction and timing of it.
'I wish that Snape could have taught us this spell during our lower years,' he thought. 'But I guess having such exact measured outcomes won't allow for the necessary margin of error that could help with the creation of new potions. Still this spell could have helped the more mediocre students to pass. I hope that I can tell him about it, wonder what he'd say.'
It was interesting the things that Harry learned about blind wizards. How his inherent magic adjusted to compensate for most normal everyday activities. He only needed to practice their use and soon it became instinctual, like flying his broom,
He constantly read and trained himself more than the elder could possibly know. Uluru and his two assistants constantly pushed him to learn new things. They pushed him even more to use the gifts that the shades had given him. Most of all they were delighted that he could speak to the assistants in their language, as Uluru loved to listen to them.
The old man even liked the hissing of the parseltongue. The young man would often translate the tidbits and gossip from the snakes that came to visit him.
Harry was still connected to Voldemort, but he could feel it beginning to strain. He had fewer and fewer visions linked to the insane madman. Most importantly and happily he no longer felt the residual effects from Tom's anger when the Crucio curse was being thrown at his followers.
The elder explained to him exactly what a Draekon creature was and what it meant to him now. He made Harry study the creature's magical laws, customs and traditions, including all of the Ministry of Magic's own version of laws in relation to the Draekon species.
It was important that Harry understand who takes precedence for decisions based on specifics from allowed actions of defense and offence. He needed to understand everything from the claiming his mate and having the 'marriage' status recognized by the wizarding world, should his mate turn out to be a witch or wizard. He needed to know about his life expectancy, how long he can live, and the type of spells that he'd find an affinity for, including his Astral Walks.
He had been able to return in his ghost or astral form several times in order to 'see' his friends, family, various members of the Order and curiously his schoolboy rival, Draco. He didn't quite understand that one. It usually happened when he meditated after a long hard day's work.
It seemed that when Harry traveled in the ghostly form he was able to influence a few situations. The few discussions he had with Uluru and his attendants confirmed his growing suspicion that Draco was his future mate. He had been able to influence more people like speaking with his cousin via notes and letters or when he speaking with Buckbeak and Hedwig they understood him. He had been having premonitory feeling that everything he was doing had to do with the Slytherin Prince.
Draco hadn't been doing too well ever since the last time his unseen visitor came. The daily dose of Crucio had increased with time and his...
'Forget it, that man will no longer be referred to as my father', the Slytherin thought vehemently.
Lucius had added physical abuse to the lot. Draco was often lost in strange dreams from time to time and he became slightly worried that the Crucios were beginning to affect his mental health from the direction that his thoughts often travelled.
Lucius Malfoy had decided to increase the number of Crucios that Draco was to have in a day. This was due partly because his own personal research showed him that the only way for any outside influence to have affected him, with specific references to a Draekon, was for his son to be the mate of one.
He constantly asked his son for the name of the creature. When did it come to visit him and how to get into contact with the creature? It seemed that the Draekon could become a powerful ally or enemy and the blond knew that his father wanted the creature for his master.
The Dark Lord, himself, was getting very frustrated. The task his Death Eaters had been given had worked, but not in the way he thought it would. His Death Eaters bore the brunt of that failure. They had further audacity to claim that Harry Potter never drank the potion. Voldemort knew when the potion was ingested and therefore he knew that the Death Eaters had preformed their end of the bargain, but Potter still had not shown up. It was a fact that pissed him off so much that all of his Death Eaters had been subjected to a multitude of curses and hexes. The raids that he planned against the various Muggles did cheer him up some, but still Potter was not there and there was no sign of him showing up anytime soon.
The Death Eaters' only proof was a piddly little letter that thanked them for the birthday gift that they had sent. The gift was another portkey trap, which they had mentioned to their Dark Lord. However, Harry had yet to open the bloody thing. Their Master was really pissed off with everything and everyone, especially that up-start Harry the Boy-Who-Fricken-Lived-And-Refuses-To-Lay-Down-And-Die Potter.
Lucius, in trying to save his own skin one day, had changed his master's focus to his own son by mentioning in passing that one of his house-elves had seen a Draekon. Voldemort could barely contain his glee and allowed Lucius access to his personal libraries for research purposes into the creature, its habits and its abilities.
Until there was proof positive that Draco was the mate of such a creature, the curse and additional physical torture would be kept up. Draco had been taken to the dungeons of Lucius' Manor and subjected to a very meticulous torture schedule, several times before Harry's birthday.
Lucius kept a journal of the things that he did to his son, but it soon became clear that his son was useless. Therefore he decided to quit everything for the time being.
'I think that I'll give him a week to recover'... he thought and said as much to the house-elf that was used to being assigned to watch his son.
"That Draekon creature needs to be able to get to him, so I don't want any of you to enter Draco's rooms for nine days or the price will be your deaths." He knew that the Draekon would eventually have to come and claim his mate therefore Draco needed to be somewhat cured or healed. He needed his son to have a false sense of security or a small measure of freedom for that to happen, hence the new orders. Therefore after the last torture session in the evening of July 30th, Draco was placed back in his room without a house-elf to watch over him and one book was left with him as well.
"Might as well know what your in for son," Lucius said, leaving behind a book that explained Draekons somewhat in general, with a very few real facts or true facts.
The poor blond youth was cut and bruised in many places. There may have been a few broken bones, but nothing that he couldn't set for himself the muggle way, which was the hard way and that was provided he knew about those methods. However he had his potions and he hoped that it was enough.
Harry had been there that day and just after midnight on the turning of the day to July 31st, Draco came into his magical inheritance. Strange that it occurred on Harry Potter's seventeenth birthday and since it came while the youth was asleep, Harry was able to 'see' the transformation occur. He even felt the rise in magical power and gauged his former rival's power levels, for lack of a better term, to be a close match to his own.
Harry's own personal power was still beyond what the norm was for natural wizards. Still Draco's inherent magic healed over all the physical wounds that his father had inflicted upon him and he would soon be able to resume his personal training to build up some of his lost strength.
Unfortunately for Draco, his magical inheritance came too early and proof was being written all over his features that he was clearly a Draekon's mate. His eyes were still sparkling silver, but his pupils matched that of his mate's, large and slit like a cat's... uh...snake's… uh...whatever. The same with his teeth and fingernails, they matched the same elongation that his mate had.
He grew a bit taller, but still remained slightly smaller then his mate and his muscles were cleverly masked by a single extra layer fat under the soft pale skin, to give the impression that he was the softer one. His did not gain wings, but his hair grew longer reaching to his mid-back, the most astonishing part of it was the hair at his temples had changed into two solid bands of ebony black with streaks of deep red within the darkness.
Harry had been around that day and found out that Lucius would not be closely monitoring his son for a while. This was the chance he needed in order to rescue Draco. He had a plan, but Draco needed to be told and needed to understand what he had to say in order to escape.
He went up to the sleeping form and lay down next to him, holding him gently in his arms. Draco's body curled into his as he whispered what he had learned and hoping that his mate heard him. "I heard your father talking to the elves. They will be feeding you once a day and your father has decided to stop questioning you for now. He will be waiting for me to show up. I have a plan for you to follow in order for you to leave this place. Remember your lessons from third year Care of Magical Creatures. Five days, I promise to try and get you away from here within five days."
Harry was pulled away just after that, as long as there was that margin of time for Draco to recover his strength a bit, he knew that his plan to help his mate just might work.
Author's Note: A certain crazed individual may begin to panic at the strain of his connection with our lovable hero. Like an elastic band the strain of his connection will either spring back completely stretched out of shape and useless or simply snap forcing the unnamed to believe in the demise of our hero. No prizes for guessing which it will be. Please enjoy the story.
Special Thanks: To Katlyn for providing Uluru's name. I was at a small loss to find a name for the man on the mountain; oddly enough this one seems the most appropriate. What do you think Katlyn? LOL
Thanks: To everyone else for reviewing.