Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Soul of the Wizard
Chapter five: The Relations
After both had calmed down a bit, Harry and Ape had sat down on the boy's bed and let silence settle over the room, as they both pondered what their next move should be.
Harry knew that if the Order found out about his little excursion he would be in deep trouble. At least a part of him accepted that he deserved it too, but that didn't mean though that he was keen on receiving his punishment and he wondered what they would do with him.
It was the older man who finally ended their moment of brooding. Pulling the boy up along with him, he gave him an encouraging look, saying, "Come on. We should contact Albus." At Harry's slightly fearful look, he added, "Don't worry we will tell only him. Nobody else, alright? If they already found out that you are missing, they would have made me get information out of the deatheaters on where you are, so the others don't need to be told anything." Obviously interpreting his slightly hopeful look quite correctly, he continued, "And no I cannot just bring you back to your muggle relatives. This may prove to be far more important to Albus than you think."
Although Harry fixed his questioning gaze on him, the old man didn't elaborate, what he meant by that.
When they reached the main room from which the corpses had disappeared, Ape surprised the younger wizard by pulling the boy's hood down to cover his face, repeating the same action with his own cloak and Ape didn't move towards the big fireplace that was designed for flootravel, but simply hurried the boy out of the Hog's Head.
It was by now dark outside, but it was a clear night and there was not a whisp of the thick fog, that formed shortly before the deatheaters arrived, left. Ape took Harry's arm in a gentle grip, leading him through many narrow and dirty back streets, until they arrived at a place Harry knew all too well. In front of him was a small run-down house, that, although it was officially the most haunted house in Europe, had only been the hideout of a young werewolf and his friends twenty years ago. "...and is now a secret passage to the castle.." Harry thought finally understanding.
Looking around cautiously Ape, began moving again and soon Harry's assumptions were proven correct as the other wizard and he used the underground passage that could be accessed from the house, soon reaching the other end where Ape tapped the knot which froze the Whomping Willow in a casual movement. The animagus got the feeling that the old man did this on a regular basis.
Feeling more at ease on this familiar territory, Harry asked, "Will Dumbledore even be here during the holidays? Why don't we go to Grimmauldplace?"
Ape grunted amusedly, "Of course he won't be here when we arrive. We will ask that bird of his to come and get him for us." Harry noted that the man didn't answer his second question and he remembered that Moody seemed to have a slightly low opinion of Ape and had only seen him once.
They didn't head to the gates, which the boy found strange, but he kept any comment to himself, even though they stood in front of the castle's massive stone wall in the end.
Watched with curious eyes the innkeeper stuck his wand into a crack in the wall and to Harry's great surprise it widened to an opening that was just big enough to allow a person Ape's size entry, when he bowed his head slightly.
Following him, Harry made sure to remember this secret passage, as he was sure it wasn't on the Marauder's Map.
He found himself in a dark corridor, but Ape finally ignited the tip of his wand with a soft, "Lumos." He received a raised eyebrow, as the man looked over his shoulder and Harry took this as a hint to follow his example using the light-producing spell to be able the obstacles that littered the ground.
After a long walk through the roughly hewn passage and a flight of stairs they found themselves once more in front of a wall of what seemed to be wood, but the teenager knew better than to assume they had truely come to a deadend, since Ape didn't seem surprised in the least.
The man opened a clap, the boy hadn't noticed was there and seemingly satisfied with what he saw beyond, opened a door in the wood, that Harry was sure hadn't been there.
On the other side was the familiar round office of Dumbledore and looking back the boy was surprised to see that there was nothing in the direction they came from, but a bookshelf.
Harry let himself sink into a chair in front desk letting the familiar athmosphere of his home take his fear facing the consequences of his actions away.
Ape guffawed slightly. "You little rascal are quite at home here, eh?"
The boy didn't even bother to grace that with a reply as the other sat down in the chair next to him. Harry made a move to pull down his cloak and Ape just nodded, silently telling it was alright to do so, as he too pulled back the hood of his cloak.
Suddenly Fawkes gave an angry squawk, eyeing the man with impatience and dislike that seemed to be mutual, as he turned his attention to the magical creature.
Speaking very slowly, like the Phoenix was some kind of retarded human, Ape ordered him, "We need Albus, bird. Get 'im!"
Taking flight Fawkes soared towards the man giving him a nasty peck in his hand, which he had thrown in front of his face instinctively. The bird only remained a moment to seemingly listen to Ape's foul language, then he burst into flames.
For quite some time nothing happened appart from the old man's nursing his finger and cursing the Phoenix, but finally the fireplace burst into flame, turned a green colour and Albus Dumbledore stepped out of it.
His eyes twinkled merrily, while he regarded his two guests, as though he knew very well, who the two cloaked men were and Harry had a feeling that he did.
Sitting down behind his desk, Dumbledore took out a bowl of lemon drops, but Ape didn't even give him the chance to voice his offer, before he all but snarled, "We don't want them."
Unconcerned with his brother's rude behaviour Dumbledore popped one into his own mouth and steepled his fingers in front of him. "So what is it you want to talk to me about Aberforth?"
"Have you heard anything from Harry Potter lately?" Ape asked gaurdedly.
The headmaster smiled enigmatically. "Why yes, of course."
Both Harry and Aberforth blinked at that and the boy couldn't help but make a very small perplexed sound.
"He has decided that he finally needed some 'days off' of as some of my students would say and I thought he quite deserved it." He now fixed Harry with a look over his half-moon spectacles. "He found a nice little hotel in Hogsmeade, I heard."
The young wizard gaped. "You- you knew!"
"Why yes, of course. Shouldn't I?"
Seeing an excuse when he was offered one Harry remained silent.
The old wizard was kind enough to explain the true reasoning behind his actions anyway though, "Journeys can teach you many new things Harry and I know that this one taught you well indeed. You know now, what is going on and you know what we are up against. But there are also some other abilities you have practised.
Harry raised an eyebrow questioningly.
Dumbledore explained amusedly, "Well, I'm of course talking about your knowledge on how to duck into the masses. You have done a remarkably good job in taking on a different persona and I think Aberforth already has some plans ragarding a slight lengthening of your 'vacation'. Am I not right, old fellow?" Dumbledore eyes turned cheerfully to his brother, who was returning it with a shocked and angry stare.
"Keep your head out of mine, you old coot!" he snarled. "I hate it when you sneek past my walls and you know it!" The Headmaster gave him a look that fained innocence.
Blinking Harry could only conclude that brotherly rivalry didn't completely fade with age, before his curiousity got the better of him and he asked, "What is he talking about, Ape?"
Ape fixed his gaze intently on nothing in particular on the opposite side of the room, giving of an uncomfortable air. Finally it was once more the Headmaster who continued, "Well, it seems like Aberforth, decided to suppley a background story for you so the ministry wouldn't be allerted by someone, who just wants to help."
Harry raised an eyebrow at his Headmaster's brother. Sure the man had given him shelter, but that was his job and although he even liked the gruff old man to degree after a while, he wouldn't have expected that the man helped him in any way. He had always seemed quite suspicious of Harry actually.
The man huffed. "It's my job to get to know new deatheaters and try to subtly change their choice, alright!" he half yelled. Harry blinked. "He thought I was a mannabe deatheater?"
Dumbledore gave Aberforth a piercing look, that made him visibly shudder. "So you told Rosmerta the girl she had heard was living in the Hog's Head was 'Thestral White' of all things for no reason at all?"
Not understanding what was so special about that name, Harry wanted to know, "Why shouldn't he use that name, sir?"
Dumbledore gave him a wink that told him to wait for Aberforth's explanation.
It took a few minutes and a long imploring look from Harry's greenish, blue eyes, but the man finally confessed, "'White' is my great grandson's name."
"You passed me off as your great grandson?" Harry asked in disbelief.
Ape shook his head, a little less uncomfortable as his lips twitched supiciously, "No, of course not." A forceful look made continue, finally getting to the heart of the matter, "I passed you off as my great, great granddaughter."
Harry stiffled a groan. His yes meetting those of a very pleased-looking Headmaster, he got a very bad feeling. The old genius was planning something.
"Yes," Dumbledore stressed, giving both of them a highly disconcerting look, "and I find it quite remarkable that nobody questioned this information. Thestral White wasn't even the topic of conversation among inhabitants of Hogsmeade for one day, because everyone had other things to worry about."
Harry remained silent. Although he was glad that the people finally realised that Voldemort was glad, it concerned him that they were still too frightened to act when there were possible deatheaters about.
His gaze turning very soft, the head of the Order said, "You also seem to be in a far better condition than you were when I last saw you."
Bitter memories resurfacing, Harry dimly registered the strange notion that told him this statement was not directed solely towards him.
Leaning in conspiratorially Dumbledore whispered as though he was telling them to commit a crime, "If I told you, you should play the role of 'Thestral' a little while longer, what would you say?"
AN.: Erm... Don't kill me for making you guys wait so long...please..?
I cannot even promise that it will take less time from now on, because I kinda lost interest in this story and only started writing again, because a good friend asked me to.