Up 'till now, me and my muses have worked together to do our best to keep the story (relatively) clear to you readers. Sorry, but we're giving up. Or, no, that's not quite right. We're still working hard on pointing out clues and whatnots in the section before the chapter begins (though it's not as if there's some big realization that we're working up towards) and we're trying to keep this story in relative order. We've just decided to start having more fun while we're doing it (translate muse speech: we're still trying to keep this reasonable in characterization and realistic-ness but at the same time, we're going to do whatever the hell we want to…which is still pretty much what we usually do; excuse the harsher language).
To all those hanging in there and being pleasantly puzzled (and polite about it): thank you very much, I hope this fic continues to amuse you and the puzzles will clear up in time. Feel free to continue to ask questions…But that doesn't mean that I'll answer all of them, though I will try and address them.
Is Harry/Salazar all these people? How can he be in two places at once?
In a manner of speaking. There are several ways to be in the same place at one, including a time-turner (which, incidentally isn't it). This is a different piece of magic, which the Potter Hunters (the people who believe Harry and are now trying to locate him, I have yet to come up with a good name for them) will have to discover for themselves within the next few chapters. A clue: there is only one real Harry. The others are, for lack of better term, fakes, although they are all working in cooperation with the original. That is all I can say as of now.
And a continuation of the last question: "Damon" can Slide but "Harry" is supposed to be Salazar. And then there's Cobra. What the hell?
One or two clues for everyone. Only 'Harry', who is Salazar's reincarnation, can Slide unaided. When alone with the other 'characters' or 'Harrys' he is always referred to as Harry at some point in the scene, while the others are Damon/Cobra, Sali, Harold, and so on. And Damon is Cobra. Or, rather 'Cobra' is 'Damon's' alternate identity or whatnot. 'Damon' is now 'dead' and Cobra will show up only rarely, if that helps at all.
What is that kid? He wouldn't be another one of Harry's 'characters', would he? Or is he a real person? And what is his age, really?
Devin is…unintended on my part. He wasn't supposed to turn out like that but…Let's just play along and see how it works. He is…I don't know what to call him. He would probably be considered human. I will not reveal anything about Harry's 'characters'. His age is discussed briefly in this chapter but I did not give him an official age because, quite frankly, I have had very little experience with children and I wasn't sure what would be an appropriate age for him.
What does he mean he will be reborn as the seventh month dies?
Well, when Damon/Cobra says it, he refers to the prophesy that was made and that Dumbledore freely shared with the Order in hopes of getting their spirits up (and of which Damon was part of, for a short while). The wizards are outraged because this 'dark' wizard was taking away their reclaimed savior while only the Order knew about the true meaning behind these words. Harry was born (and so, technically, reborn) on his birthday, at the end of the seventh month (July 31) which is also the day of his trial.
As another note, I had Harry's birthday down as both the day he got his memories back and the day of the trial. Sorry but this was a mistake, as less then two months passed between these times, rather than a whole year. Harry obtained Salazar's memories on Sal's birthday (and the eighteenth time in Harry's life, making him almost nineteen…that is a bit older than I meant to place it but there's no changing it now), May 14th (the date was mostly random, so please don't ask).
Does Sal ever let the other founders apologize or not?
Now where would be the point in telling you that at this point in the game?
When Damon left, did he not change into Cobra? And if he did, then wouldn't Dumbledore and the Order perhaps realize that the two are the same person, which would mean that they would no longer trust Cobra (not that they really did before) since they believe Damon is a Death Eater? I mean before, Cobra was just this person in between who was on no one's side so now wouldn't the Order think he was on Voldemort's side? Or am I totally wrong and have basically no sense to you?
Cobra wanted everyone to see that he was both the one actively fighting against Voldemort and the person that was known as a traitor to Dumbledore. Basically, Cobra and Damon's double role was to play as if they were on each side but not really be on either, if that makes any sense. He is showing, best he can, that he is on nobody's side. He does not care if the Order trusts Cobra or not because he has never had or needed any support from them in the first place.
So how many Harry's are really out there?
Finally a question that I can reasonably answer. There are currently four different 'people' taking on roles, and, as of now, eight different roles, some of which the readers have yet to meet. There might be one or two more but no more than ten. Because that is definitely excessive enough, thank-you-very-much. The ones that are known as roles to the readers are: Harry (of course), Sali, Cobra, Damon, and Harold. One or two more are revealed in this chapter.
What's the black light thingy? Some sort of shadow time turner?
Oh, someone finally commented on that. It's not a timeturner, but good guess. There is another clue in this chapter and I will reveal what it is in the next.
Information about the many 'Harrys' and new characters (trying different formats, see what works): (OC original characters, HC a revealed Harry character)
HC1 Harry Potter: Original. Salazar Slytherin's reincarnation. Has messy black hair with bright green eyes. Was originally 'Cobra'. Was seen with 'Cobra' after returning from 'work'. If Harry Potter were a character, he could be considered 'dead', as nobody is 'playing' him any more. Location: unknown.
HC2 Sali Azar Slythurn: Has bright blue eyes and slightly long black hair. Works as part of the werewolf pack with Terra Lyall and Conall Silvia. Ends up at Harry's trial while researching werewolf rights for the pack. Was, at one point, 'playing' Harry's new character at 'work'. Location: usually at the werewolf packs.
HC3 Cobra: Has silver eyes, the rest is unknown. Is actually 'Damon Faunus'. Is setting up a 'full-time' 'job' now that 'Damon Faunus' is 'dead'.
HC4 Damon Gwynfor Faunus: Has brown hair and hazel eyes. Is pretending to be a spy Death Eater for the Order though, in reality, he does not truly belong to either. Slid into Harry's trial and Slid away with Harry after giving the wizarding world a good piece of his mind. Is now a 'dead' character. Location: unknown.
HC5 Harold: Looks a lot like Harry; has the same eye-color and his hair is a similar length to that of the 'Harry' in the cell and pulls it back so it doesn't get in his face (but it's long enough to braid). 'Plays' Harry in Azkaban but is replaced by Harry himself so that he can leave for some type of class. Receives a glowing black stone from Harry before Sliding away.
OC1 Terra Lyall: Member of the werewolf pack (HC2) Sali lives with.
OC2 Conall Silvia: Leader of the werewolf pack (HC2) Sali lives with.
OC3 Bran Fiachra: Worker for the ministry and the official 'Scribe (read: scapegoat). 'Scribed for Harry Potter's trial.
OC4 Devin: Has long, scruffy-looking black hair and bright silver eyes. A mysterious (and somewhat creepy or odd) kid who arrived at Hogwarts with no memories of his past…or so he says. At one point had Poppy Pomfrey under some type of control and, on the day of Harry's trial, somehow knocked out Remus Lupin, his watcher, and left, apparently to go somewhere that he 'had to be'. Is being taken care of mostly by Severus Snape and his apprentice, Draco Malfoy (Godric Gryffindor's reincarnation).
And don't forget: roles can be played by two people, though then stories won't match up quite right and personalities may differ. Mostly it would be most convenient for them to each keep one or two roles and have all the more complex roles played by only one person.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Chapter Six: Of Falls and Coincidences
"We'd better head back to the castle," Severus Snape told his apprentice, standing from his seat. When his apprentice said nothing, he glanced at the still-seated wizard who was staring at the ground, "Draco…"
"I don't know what to do, Severus," his apprentice said softly, still not looking up, "I wanted to tell him I was sorry, but I couldn't even do that."
"Sorry for what?" Snape snapped, "You weren't one of Potters so-called 'betrayers'. You barely even knew the brat beyond insults."
"But what I did was worse."
Snape had had practice dealing with situations most found uncomfortable. He had spoken calmly and reassuringly to countless depressed Slytherins, had even let a child with a painful past into his living quarters and taken care of him when the responsibility was cast on him, and a young child at that (which led to the question, what age was Devin, really? Draco's guess had been a malnourished nine while Snape himself believed the child to be closer to seven), yet his own apprentice was confusing him with vague impossibles and confusing contradictions. What was this horrible thing that he had allegedly done to Potter when he had not even been close to the Gryffindor? When he had not declared publicly how much he hated the 'traitor' and all the horrible things that he hoped would happen to the Gryffindor?
"We are going back to Hogwarts now," Snape stated calmly, placing a deliberate emphasis on the word 'now', "And, upon arrival, you will get some sleep until you can say something that will at least make sense." And for some reason, Draco smiled at him and stood up. Well, whatever it was that had amused his apprentice seemed to have worked, at least.
As they left towards the exit, the large crowd of wizards around them pushing and shoving as they headed in what seemed to be random directions, someone stumbled into Snape from behind, nearly sending them both crashing to the floor. Snape staggered a few steps before straightening, turning around with a glare, scathing words already beginning to spill from his mouth. And then he froze, for looking back at him, surprised, were two very familiar-looking eyes.
"Black!" Snape hissed in shock but the crowd had swirled between the two with astonishing speed, seeing how they were not far from each other, Snape hadn't moved, and the other had yet to get up from where he had fallen. Snarling a curse, Snape tried to get around the witches and wizards that had swarmed between him and the other man but it was no use. When he finally managed to break through to where the other man had been, he was gone. No doubt he had been carried away by the crowd or had merely taken the opportunity to run away.
"Severus?" Draco asked from his side and he almost jumped, having temporarily forgotten about his apprentice. It was a miracle that they hadn't been separated, with Draco in the state that he was in and Snape distracted by the sight of a person long dead.
He shook his head at these distracting thoughts and once again took charge of the situation,
"Let's go." It was only once again they made it through the crowd to the doors, a narrow (and completely packed) corridor and out into the wide atrium that they emerged from the crowd and managed to stop for a bit off to the side, absentmindedly smoothing rumbled robes. The roar of the crowd had been reduced to a less-painful loud but somehow muted talking, the spells that made up the atrium not being completely useless after all, if not frivolous; once the sound level reached a certain point, the atrium stopped echoing and actually absorbed excess sound. It was, in fact, relatively peaceful until someone, apparently trying to escape the crowd's beeline for the door, walked right into Draco.
"Ow…" the man muttered, a hand instinctively going up to where he had banged his forehead into the back of Draco's head. "Oh!" startled emerald eyes looked up from under the hand, "I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to bump into you like that; I was just trying to get out. Crazy crowd, that is, and I…" He trailed off as he noticed the way the other two were looking at him, "What?"
"Sal?" Draco asked looking surprised, anxious, and disbelieving all at once.
"Er…What?" The wizard that bore such a startling resemblance to Potter looked confused. Was he really Potter? Wasn't this all a bit too convenient and hadn't Potter apparated away? Or been apparated away, at least? Snape surveyed the other wizard carefully. The green eyes were definitely Potter's, he had never seen eyes quite so green on anyone, save Potter's mother, there was no lightning-bolt scar, no glasses, and his hair (also black) was pulled back casually in a way that no Potter had ever managed before, as it did not look like it was ready to spring free any minute and attack someone, at least. His careful eyes also noticed small differences in the facial structure and so on but if this was not Potter, he looked way too much like him to be a coincidence. Severus Snape did not believe in coincidences.
"Sal, I'm sorry," And now Draco was nearly crying, something that Snape had missed while examining the other wizard, "I should have…"
The other wizard looked extremely uncomfortable,
"Hey, look. I don't know who this 'Sal' person is but I'm not him. I don't think I've ever seen you before in my life. Hell, I've only been in England four months and, no offense, but you lot aren't the most rational of thinkers. Maybe I just look like this 'Sal' person?"
"If you are not Potter, than who are you?" Severus asked calmly and the other wizard looked annoyed.
"Potter as in Harry Potter? You think that I'm Harry Potter? As in that Harry Potter?" He made a wild gesture towards the doors to the courtroom and the people flooding out, "the one who just apparated away from his own trial with his pal, Potter? I know that I look like him, I noticed when they dragged him in and I've certainly been accused of being him enough times but I've only been here in England for four months, didn't you hear me? Potter's spent the last three years in some jail for something that I, quite frankly, don't think he did. Now whenever I see someone, it's 'Oh look, it's Harry Potter, escaped from Azkaban!' 'Go call the aurors, I'll hold him off!' or just 'Let's go try and use our nastiest spells on the squib just because he looks like someone you English wizards all seem to hate!"
"You're a squib?" Draco interrupted somewhat tactlessly.
"Yes!" the emerald-eyed wizard said frostily, "I have been since I was born. Now if you don't mind, if I don't leave soon, I'll be late for my classes."
"You never answered my question," Snape pointed out calmly.
"My name is Harold," the other wizard said, no longer angry but with an icy calm that showed that he hadn't forgiven the other wizards for their faux pas, "And yes, I have been called Harry by some of my friends but I am not Harry Potter." And with that he turned and left, the two Slytherin wizards watching him go unsure what to make of it all.
Sali picked himself back up from where he had fallen, brushed off his robes, and, pushing and shoving his way through the crowd like the rest of them, he finally came to a deserted room, probably used for fancy, impressive meetings. He glanced at the clock. If he timed it right…They were all in a race, him and the rest of the characters, to get their alibis set up while not dropping the few they were juggling between them. Praying that Dumbledore had been sidetracked by either the minister or some Order members and that Harold had managed to distract Malfoy and Snape long enough, he grabbed a glowing black stone out of his robe-pocket and Slid away.
Remus was asleep when Sali found him at Hogwarts, slumped over on his desk.
"Wake up, Remus," Sali said in a sing-song voice, shaking his 'friend' awake. Remus blearily opened his eyes. Tired brown eyes met bright blue.
"Who…? Siri…" And that was when Sali struck. Forcing himself past the werewolf's defenses he brutally invaded the other's mind. His scent marking him as a sort of 'friend', he easily bypassed the werewolf's basic shields and ripped through the rest. He had no mercy for those who betrayed him and if something had forced the werewolf to betray him, he would need to find out. And if Remus had truly betrayed him, without even a doubt in his heart…Well, he would become nothing but Sali's puppet for the time being. A wolf betraying on of its pack's cubs was, of course, a serious crime among wolves and werewolves.
Memories of happiness, trust, hurt, and betrayal flew past him and he sneered inwardly. The betrayer feeling betrayed. How…pitifully ironic. At last he found the center of the swirling memories and sunk down into it. The spell that Sali was planning to use was extremely difficult, not to mention illegal, as all mindmagics were. It used both minds to spin out realistic scenarios and interactions between the two of them which, under the directions of the caster, were eventually turned into memories. And the memories would shift according to the caster's will until the caster broke the connection or released the spell. It could even be used to provide a lifetime's worth of alibis for someone who does not exist.
Arranging a few basic meetings and a few letters to each other, he withdrew from the werewolves' mind. It wouldn't do to stay in there too long, especially not in the core; it could cause serious mental damage to Remus. Once finished with this task, he surveyed Remus's mind carefully and frowned. There was indeed something wrong with Remus's mind. For one thing, Sali had not once heard the wolf part of it protest even though he was tearing through all sorts of memories and invading every inch of the werewolf's mind. For another it was…bound in a strange way to various things.
Searching every inch of the werewolf's mind, he finally found the wolf, chained, muzzled, weakened, and, apparently, beaten too. But it was still conscious and growled when Sali approached. Sali paused and weighed his chances.
:O great man-bound wolf: he started formally::I have come to take judgment on your bound-man. In your absence he has betrayed one of your pups and done great harm. I will release you and the spells that were placed on him. If he earns the forgiveness of the pup then I, too, will forgive him. If he fails, then we will claim damage to him. Is that acceptable:
The wolf growled his acceptance and Sali released him from his bindings, as well as disengaging the various compulsions on Remus's mind. How had it gotten to such a state? Sure, the wolfsbane potion would have weakened the wolf a little and could have possibly built up in his system, but that did not explain the chains. Someone had cast a spell on the man, somehow, but the question was: who was it and when? But once the wolf had been weakened and bound, it was no wonder that he had turned on Harry so easily, with all the compulsions that Dumbledore (and, perhaps, others) had placed on the werewolf. Werewolves were thought to have unnaturally strong Occlumency shields but the truth was that their shields were just different, being maintained mostly by the wolf inside of them. Without the wolf, their natural Occlumency skills were practically non-existent, the werewolves never having the necessity to build them up themselves.
Remus and the wolf were now freed but what really mattered was what they did with the opportunity.
"Ouch!" Bran Fiachra fell out of the lift, stumbled, and then landed on the pile of papers that he was supposed to deliver to the Auror Headquarters from the Broom Regulatory Control. Somehow he had ended up on level nine, in front of the Department of Mysteries. He knew he should have just taken the stairs; the lifts seemed to hate him, or maybe one of the wizards that blamed him for the Potter Trial Disaster had charmed them to do so.
He had already lost his job as 'scribe after that disaster of a trial and there was talk of moving him to Hogwarts. The official unofficial excuse was to keep an eye on Dumbledore but everyone knew that it was just to get him out of the ministry and, hopefully, annoy Dumbledore while he was at it. Not that he minded, he liked the old castle a lot better than the ministry; shiny, 'efficient', and full of a fake cheer that nauseated him. Though the aurors were interesting and some of them were even nice, if not pitying, like Tonks and Shackelbolt.
An Unspeakable came out of the Department of Mysteries, apparently on some sort of errand or break, but paused when he saw Bran.
"What are you doing here, boy?" He asked suspiciously.
"I got lost," Bran said miserably.
"Well, go on then," said the Unspeakable in a tone that clearly said 'get lost'.
Bran got up, grabbed the papers (some of which, he noticed glumly, were badly wrinkled), and headed away from the lift, to where he knew the stairs were located.
"Where are you going, boy?" the Unspeakable asked sharply.
"The stairs…?" Bran asked hopefully.
"I don't think so. Go down in the lift, boy."
Bran half-heartedly complied. While he didn't trust the lift not to spit him out in some other bizarre location, walking down the hall towards the stairs and, at the same time, the entrance to the Department of Mysteries, left him with a horrible feeling of déjà vu and guilt.
It was, of course, where Harry Potter lost his godfather.
And, about that…He wanted some time to study the veil through which Sirius had fallen. Bran didn't trust some random 'experts' to say that whoever fell through wouldn't be coming back. There was the strange fact that the dog animagus' body did not fall out the other end, which suggested that it was…somewhere else. Of course, it had been years…He would have to speak to the others. It would require a joint effort and cooperation if they were to actually break in to the Department of Mysteries again.
Remus was all but thrown into a dingy little house. He winced as he fell down yet again. The other werewolves were rarely very hospitable to wolves not from their own pack and ones that reeked of humans were treated lower than dirt. He had tried to explain this to Dumbledore, of course, but the old wizard had looked so very tired and had insisted so very softly that they needed the support of the werewolves for their war. And what was he supposed to say to that?
There was a muffled giggling and a shushing sound.
"Isra! Lyra! You two are going to give me away!" A third person hissed, annoyed. This annoyed person apparently forgot that the listener was a werewolf and could hear everything they were saying.
Remus looked up. A pair of bright blue eyes and two of a lighter shade peered down at him. A young man was perched up in the uneven wood of the ceiling, two young girls with him, one of his hands over the mouth of one, his other hand holding the other girl to keep her from falling.
"Now you've done it, Sali," the girl with a hand over her mouth said in a slightly muffled voice.
"Yeah, Sali," the other girl taunted, "You just gave away our best hiding spot!"
"Oh shush, you two. Do you know who this is?"
"Papa didn't say anything about a visitor."
"But that's not until
"Yes he did, there's a member of the north pack that wants to talk to him."
"But that's not untilThursday!"
"Girls, no arguing. If you get any louder, your father might find us and I'll be kicked out. Again."
The two girls (twins?) giggled, apparently amused by the situation,
"Papa practically gave use to you to watch over."
"I think he gave up on removing you permanently. You just never go away."
"Like a cockroach!" The two chorused.
"Girls, I'm hurt. Where did you learn that particular phrase from, anyways?"
was talking about you, you know."
"Mama was talking about you, you know."
"She thought that you weren't good for the pack."
"She said you were dangerous."
"But she's never met you, you know."
"Papa even defended you."
"Well, sort of."
"So an unexpected guest?" Sali wondered, apparently used to the two acting like this.
"I'm Remus Lupin," Remus offered.
"He's a wolf!" One of the girls crowed.
"But he stinks like human!"
"Girls!" Sali reprimanded them, "You could have told me he could hear what we were saying, let alone see us."
"But can't you tell, Sali?" the first girl asked, all innocence and sweetness.
Sali was not amused,
"Shush," he swatted the two of them on the head lightly. They beamed up at him.
"I'm Isra," the first girl introduced herself.
"And I'm Lyra," the other girl told Remus.
"And he's Sali!" They said together, pointing at the young man.
"Only don't call him Sally, 'cause then he gets really mad," Isra told him conspiratorially.
There was a distant noise and all four of them turned to look at the door.
"Uh-oh, Papa's coming," Lyra said guiltily.
"If Papa finds us here with the strange human-wolf, he'll be mad," Isra pointed out.
"Sorry," Sali said apologetically to Remus, "I suppose we have to go. See you some other time, then, Remus." And they disappeared through a small gap between the rotting wall and ceiling-boards.
"Has anyone seen Remus?" Hermione Granger asked the other members of the staff over breakfast. All she got was negative replies. "That's strange…I was sure that he promised to meet with me this morning…"
"Is that idiot wolf still missing?" Snape questioned, not really caring about the answer.
"Don't call him that!" Hermione was quick to defend her friend and, nowadays, mentor.
"I'll call him what I like, Granger. That sorry excuse of a teacher was supposed to be watching Devin yesterday while we were gone. When we came back, he was missing, his rooms were locked up, and it took all afternoon to locate the child, who had wondered off and cried himself to sleep in some obscure tower."
"Ah-ha! You care about the kid," Hermione smiled as if coming to some remarkable conclusion.
"I may not be one of the most-liked teachers, Granger, but I am not so horrible as to let a child get lost and scare himself to tears in a large castle such as this."
"Sev!" That childish squeal could only belong to one person, as anyone else that dared call Snape 'Sev' would have been dead in an instant. The young, silver-eyed child that they were talking about ran into the Great Hall and over to where Snape was sitting, an amused Draco following at a more sedate pace, "Lookit what I drew!" He proudly held up a picture of something blue and brown.
"That's lovely," Hermione said politely before Snape even got a chance to say anything, "What is it a picture of?"
The child scowled at her,
"It's the Ravenclaw Common Room."
"Oh really?" Snape asked with a raised eyebrow, "And when did you get into there?"
"Professor Flitwick showed me!" And suddenly the child was all sunshine and rainbows again. "But I bet Raven could do even better. I wish he was here…"
And suddenly the whole table was paying attention. After all, none of them had been able to find out anything about Devin's life before he had arrived at Hogwarts.
"Who's Raven?" Snape asked casually. Or, at least, as casually as you could when you're Snape.
"He's a really, really good drawer!" Devin babbled, "He drew this really great picture of a thestral for me, only I lost it when I came here." A thestral? Had this Raven person seen death or just drawn what he called a thestral? But if he had lived through the war, it wasn't that unusual to have seen someone die…
"…And the Great Hall is this way…" A voice came floating through the still-open door, the one that Devin and Draco had entered through.
"Oh dear. It looks like we're interrupting something. I hope I didn't come at a bad time."
The first voice laughed,
"Oh, no, that's just breakfast. Happens everyday."
"But this is so…grand," the second voice said in awe, "Nothing like the packs."
"It's Hogwarts," the first voice said proudly.
Snape looked up to see Remus Lupin walk into the Great Hall, followed by the person that had bumped into him the day before. Black? But no, now that there was time to look at him, he didn't look quite like the Gryffindor after all. Sure the eyes were very similar, and his black hair fell around his face in a scraggly way that vaguely recalled Black's unkempt hair after Azkaban but that was about it.
Then he remembered another person he had been examining like this the day before. A Black look-a-like and a Potter look-a-like, both within twenty-four hours? And both had stumbled into him (or Draco) within ten minutes of each other at Harry Potter's trial. Not to mention that the thing that made both doppelgangers look like the originals was the eyes…Coincidence? Highly unlikely.
"Ah, Remus," Dumbledore spoke up from his seat in the middle of the staff table, "Who's your friend?"
"Sali Azar Slythurn," the Black look-a-like introduced himself with a flourishing bow, "And it's Sali, not Sally. I've recently been called," he made a face, "Sal by a certain pair of troublesome twins but never Sally, got that?" There was a silence. The Weasley girl dropped her goblet, some unidentifiable orange juice staining the tablecloth. "Uh…Did I say something wrong?"
"Salazar Slytherin was the founder of Slytherin house," Remus explained, "You never did tell me your middle name, Sali."
"Oh well, just another thing to 'thank' mother about if I ever see her again. Probably decided to have a bit of fun at my expense, seeing how the last names are so similar," He raised his voice again, "Oh, well then never mind people, it's just Sali, then. Call me anything else and I may have to hex you, seeing how my last name seems to carry some sort of negative influence in this school. Even though it's Slythurn, not Slytherin. Or something."
"Welcome, then, Mr. Slythurn," Dumbledore said grandly, "Or Sali, if that's how you'd prefer to be called."
"It is, thank you…" He hesitated. Dumbledore started to say something but Sali interrupted, "Give me a minute, I know this one…It was, um…Dum…Dumb…Dumbumble?" He questioned. Or had it been Dumblebee? Dumberee? Something like that. Someone snickered.
"Ah, no, it's Dumbledore," the Headmaster corrected.
"Uh…Right. I knew that," Sali blushed a little, "Thank you, Headmaster Dumbledore."
"Enough with the formalities, why don't you join us for breakfast," Dumbledore offered.
"I think I will, thank you."
Sali and Remus approached the table and found seats near Dumbledore.
"Professor, Remus and I were discussing last night…Is there a possibility that I'll be able to take over classes when Remus needs too? He has been feeling…unwell…recently and is afraid that he won't be able to cover all of his classes properly."
"I don't see why not. In fact, I can even take you on as a full-time teacher, if that is what you'd prefer!" Dumbledore said exuberantly.
"But aren't all the classes taken?"
"What I mean is that you can, if Remus doesn't mind, teach classes along with him. As more of an assistant than a full-time teacher, of course, if that is what you'd prefer."
"That does sound wonderful," Sali agreed.
The rest of the table was watching this exchange with shock and a bit of annoyance. Dumbledore had only known this strange wizard for a few minutes, and already he was inviting him to join the staff!
"So where is it that you went last night?" Dumbledore asked casually.
"Oh, we were just catching up," Sali answered airily, a voice that he was particularly good at, "While we were talking, the kid disappeared so we went to look for him. Couldn't find him, so once we thought we'd looked everywhere obvious and so we went to Hogsmeade. Looked around the grounds, asked if anyone had seen a child, had a few drinks…Came back, saw…Um…Snarl? No, Snap…"
"Snape," Remus corrected Sali.
"Yeah, him! We saw him with the kid, figured everything was fine, and locked ourselves back in Remus' chambers to catch up some more. I'm researching werewolf rights, you know, so we talked about what I'd been doing, what else I could get done, and how Remus has been treated as a werewolf…that sort of thing."
"Are you really?" Hermione asked, practically glowing with excitement. The others groaned, able to recognize the beginnings of a S.P.E.W. rant, "I'm doing the same thing for house-elves!"
"Really?" Sali asked interestedly, "I've never met a house-elf, of course, but I heard that they're they funniest creatures."
"There's nothing funny about the way they're being treated," Hermione ranted, "There's some ghastly rules set into place for them. Did you know that a house-elf can't mate or use their magic without their master's permission? And some people that have house-elves abuse them and force them to do horrible things!"
"Some of them?" Sali asked, "Do you have any statistics? Any idea of how many is 'some' and how many treat their house-elves well and with respect? A percentage for how many house-elves are dissatisfied with their life?"
"Well…no…" Hermione admitted.
"Did you know that almost seventy-eight percent of full-grown wizards consider werewolves to be little more than animals? That, during some point in their life, thirty percent of all wizards will be involved in some sort of active werewolf hunting? That it is illegal for werewolves to have children and if they're caught, both the parent and children are killed by the ministry? That roughly one hundred werewolves out of one hundred and eighty or so newly-turned werewolves each year kill themselves so that they don't harm anyone else? That most werewolf packs are forced to move at least twenty times each year by the ministry because they live in homes that are big enough to be considered technically and magically 'dwellings'?"
The rest of the table stared at him in shock. There had never been anyone able to make Hermione shut up once she started on S.P.E.W., let alone out-rant her. And he seemed to have some really good points, too.
The school year would, at least, be interesting, if nothing else.
I'm sorry that it took so long to contact you. The person that I arranged to meet at the ministry did not show up, and I am quite certain that it was a prank. I did, however, meet a werewolf that teaches at Hogwarts!
I am quite excited by this discovery and I hope that I'll be able to find other wizards that know him and are not quite afraid of werewolves in general. It might by my chance to prove that werewolves by themselves are as harmless as anyone else and, perhaps, lift some of the atrocious restrictions on werewolf rights.
I have decided to stay at Hogwarts for a while and try and speak to the students. The rest of the staff is also quite supportive of my ideals. I have arranged with the Headmaster that food be sent to the packs (there's so much here you wouldn't believe it!) regularly by the house-elves. I'm also earning money that I'll be able to send to the pack or use on things the pack needs. The Headmaster is also interested in my ideas that might allow us to get the pack's children some education (magical and otherwise).
I hope that the pack will be able to manage well enough in my absence and that everyone else will be able to work peacefully with the humans and wizards that I managed to convince to help our cause. If there is any trouble, notify me immediately.
Hopefully I'll be able to visit regularly.
Say hello to everyone for me and tell the twins to behave!
Sali Azar Slythurn
PS Would you believe that I just found out that I was named after the allegedly most evil wizard of all time? How bizarre is that?
So there you are; you get a few more hints and I get a break from Dark Angel before I decide to dive into it again.
The next Dark Angel will be out soon. Really soon. Like later today, soon.