Spinner's End: My Chapter Two
by Valerie Vancollie
valeriev84 (at) hotmail (dot) com
Note: This story was written in response to the fourth fan fiction challenge held by this site. Though it never made it into the challenge due to some confusion about the closing date, the premise of the challenge is important. It was written BEFORE the sixth book came out, and the challenge was to write either chapter two, six, or fourteen from Half-Blood Price as those chapter titles were known. The staff also provided a list of questions that Rowling had promised would be addressed that the writers could use as a framework on which to build the chapter if they wanted. I also want to note that at the start of the challenge, the title for the second chapter was listed as "Spinner's End" instead of "Spinners End," a distinction that is of crucial importance to my story.
The questions listed were the following (the ones I answered are in italics):
Why is Harry's stay at Privet Drive so short?
Who is Harry's new love interest? J.K. hinted there might be a little kissing for our hero.
Who is the new Minister of Magic?
What will we learn about Lily?
How will Narcissa become more important?
What will disappoint half of the Harry Potter fans and make half of them very very happy?
How will Harry, or will Harry, tell his friends about the Prophecy?
What will Harry and Dumbledore do as far as potions are concerned?
Who is the Half Blood Prince?
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore or any other of the "Harry Potter" characters, items or situations. I only lay claim to the original aspects of the fic.
When Hogwarts finally came into view, Harry was very nearly ready to cry in relief. Every single muscle in his body was sore from the hours of broom flying. He was sure that Moody had at least doubled the trip time with all of his backtrackings and security measures to ensure that no one was following them. Why, he wasn't sure, as Hogwarts wasn't supposed to be a hidden location like Number 12 Grimmauld Place was, but he wasn't about to ask. And if it hadn't been for the complaints from Tonks, Shacklebolt, and Lupin, he was sure they still wouldn't be here.
As he landed before the entrance to the castle, Harry winced as his cramped legs were forced to take his weight. If he had thought the trip last year was bad, it was nothing compared to this one. He couldn't decide if he wanted to leave Privet Drive early again next year if it entailed such a torturous trip. It would probably depend on how long ahead of time they came to collect him. If it would allow him to celebrate his birthday away from the Dursleys like this year, he would probably bear it. Though a little bit of warning would be nice.
"Well, that's it for me," Tonks stated as she dismounted her broom. "From here you'll be safe."
"Nowhere is completely safe," Moody disagreed. "Not at a time like this."
"This is Hogwarts," Remus stated as he placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. "Home to the man He fears most."
"Hmrph," Moody grunted, his good eye fixed on the teenager while his magical eye rolled around in its socket, scanning every direction before he seemed to relax a little. "We'd best be heading inside."
"Bye," Harry said as he watched Tonks walk towards the edge of the anti-apparation wards, though she was limping more than anything else.
"Come, Harry, we don't want to keep the Headmaster waiting," Remus said with a smile as he headed inside, Shacklebolt following him.
Harry ran to catch up before falling in stride alongside the werewolf and Auror, Moody walking silently behind him. "What's been happening since the end of the school year? Has Voldemort been active?"
"Unfortunately," Remus said, wincing at Harry's use of the Dark Lord's name. "However, with the new Minister, better measures to protect people and to fight Him have been taken."
"Yes," Kingsley answered. "After it leaked out that Fudge had received serious warnings that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was back and did nothing, there was a vote of no confidence in his leadership and he was replaced by Amelia Bones. She's been doing as good of a job as can be expected considering the complete lack of preparation for this war."
Harry clenched his free fist in frustration even as he tried to suppress some of his anger. He was determined to do his best to control his anger this year as he'd promised himself.
"Bounty," Lupin said as they reached the gargoyle, causing it to jump aside. "Give me your brooms," he continued as they stepped onto the revolving staircase. At the top he placed all four of them against the wall next to the door before he knocked and opened it, motioning Harry in.
Reluctantly Harry stepped forward, cautiously peering about as he did so. He half expected to find the room as he had left it at the end of last term, a mess of shattered instruments and smashed furniture. Instead it stood as neatly as it had before, new instruments standing on repaired tables. It was as Dumbledore had said, he had too many possessions. His mood instantly plummeted even further as his gaze finally moved to the Headmaster's desk and landed on his potions professor seated in a chair before it. Anger began to boil up inside of him.
As if feeling the heated gaze, Snape looked up and straight into his eyes. Predictably, the man sneered before his dark eyes travelled beyond him to his companions and his mouth twisted even more as it grazed Lupin and Shacklebolt before coming to rest on Moody.
"Ah, just on time," Dumbledore greeted cheerfully from behind his desk, completely ignoring the sudden tension in the room. "Severus and I were just done discussion the details of Prince Shanar's arrival. Alastor, Kingsley, if you have some time it would be best if you began planning the necessary security with Severus."
"I still don't see why we need the Slytherin," Moody rasped distrustfully as he glared at the spy. "The less he knows of the prince's arrival, the better."
"Because in areas such as this, Severus is our foremost expert on what to anticipate and how best to avoid unwanted attention."
"From years of personal experience," Moody declared.
"That is enough," Dumbledore declared sternly, the trademark twinkle in his eyes gone, even as Snape stiffed and his eyes narrowed to slits. "Either you set aside your personal opinions and work with Severus or leave the planning to Kingsley and Severus."
Harry's eyes widened at the edge he heard in the elderly wizard's voice. Gone were all traces of the good natured and slightly eccentric Headmaster he was used to and in its stead, once more, was the powerful wizard that Voldemort himself feared. He would have thought that he'd start getting used to this facet of Dumbledore, having seen it on a few occasions, but the transformation still surprised him every time.
Not to mention his decision to include Severus in the planning over Moody. The situation must be worse than he thought if the Headmaster was being so short with his long-time friend. Either that or it was a sore point between the two of them. From what he'd seen in the pensieve in his fourth year, it seemed the latter was the case.
Moody's magical eye peered at Snape, scanning him for a moment before he gave a nearly imperceptible nod of his head. Obviously not expecting anymore, Snape got to his feet and swept from the room, leaving the two Aurors to hurry after him.
"Sorry about that, Harry, Remus," Dumbledore apologized as he tore his eyes from the door to his guests, once again cheerful. "Come, have a seat. You must be tired after your trip here."
Hesitantly, Harry moved to sit in one of the chairs before the Headmaster's desk, Remus quietly taking the seat Snape had just vacated.
"Sherbert lemon?" Dumbledore offered.
"Thanks," Harry said, taking two of the candies, putting one in his mouth and playing with the other so that he didn't need to look at the old wizard.
"No, thank you," Lupin declined.
"That I'll have."
"What about you, Harry?"
"Sure," Harry replied, quickly glancing at the Headmaster as he poured out three cups.
He didn't appear to be upset about what had happened the last time they had talked. And yet he'd had Harry fetched from home not even a full month after he'd left school. Something was up, he only hoped that it wasn't more bad news. He didn't know how much more he could take. Not after so soon after Sirius' death...
"Now, I'm sure you're curious as to why you're here," Dumbledore started as he handed both their cup.
"Yes, Sir," Harry responded, placing the candy he still held onto the saucer of his cup.
"After the tragic events of last term, I've done some thinking and discussed things with Minerva and Remus, and we've come to the conclusion that it is time that you were told more about your past and what it means for your future."
It was all Harry could do not to spill his tea at the mention of the Department of Mysteries debacle. Instead he chose to focus completely on the other part of what Dumbledore had said. Was he finally to get some straight answers instead of being kept in the dark until it was too late?
"About my past?"
"Yes, Harry," Dumbledore said softly, seemingly steeling himself. "You know about your mother's sacrifice on the night of Voldemort's attack all those years ago. What you don't know is how she managed to protect you the way she did."
"You told me it was her love that did it," Harry protested. "That it provided me with a protection He hadn't anticipated."
"It was," Remus agreed. "But it was also something more. Otherwise you would not be the only one of His victims to have survived the Killing Curse. Many of the people He attacked had loved ones who would and did give their lives to protect them and yet none of them managed to survive as you did."
"What did Mum do?"
"She used magic most people have forgotten even exists," Dumbledore explained, before he peered at the teenager over the top of his glasses. "Harry, do you remember what Voldemort told you when you confronted him in your first year? About how he didn't want to kill your mother?"
"Yes, I never understood that. She was Muggleborn, wasn't she exactly the type of person he wanted to get rid of?"
"Yes, she was Muggleborn, but she was also something else, something which overshadowed everything else. You see, your mother was a Spinner."
"A Spinner," Remus repeated. "It's a special type of witch that possesses the ability to see and manipulate certain types of magic on a level far beyond that of any normal witch or wizard. Spinners can control this magic to suit their own purposes, they can weave, or spin, it together with incredible ease. A Spinner's power lies primarily in defence as they are able to weave intricate shields, but different Spinners have also excelled in other areas of magic as well as defence."
"I take it Spinners are rare?"
"Extremely," Dumbledore confirmed as he settled back in his chair. "Normally there is only one born every couple of centuries, although occasionally there will be a number of them born in rapid succession. Many astronomers and arithmancers have long tried to find an explanation for these clusters, but they have yet to find anything."
"Because of this rarity, and the power they possess, Spinner's are highly coveted and sought after," Remus added. "When discovered early, many have become nothing more than pets or prized possessions to Dark Wizards who moulded them from when they were children."
"That's awful!" Harry exclaimed, horrified.
"Indeed it is," Dumbledore agreed, popping another sherbert lemon into his mouth. "But those who were carefully hidden and trained properly have quite often been very powerful witches. Rowena Ravenclaw is probably the best known Spinner of all time. And the most powerful. She single-handedly erected the wards that defend Hogwarts even to this day."
"Wow," Harry whispered, vaguely remembering Hermione mentioning something along those lines but he'd been too busy thinking about Quidditch to truly pay attention. "No wonder Voldemort wanted Mum," he paused as a new thought occurred to him. "If she could create such powerful shields, how is it that He got into Godric's Hollow at all? I mean I know she probably wasn't as powerful as Rowena, but from what you've said it sounds like she would have been able to keep Voldemort out."
"Yes, normally she would have," Dumbledore conceded sadly. "However, as I mentioned earlier, Spinners are often born in clusters and your mother wasn't the only witch of her generation with such powers. And, unfortunately, the other Spinner was born into a Dark family who managed to hide her abilities until it was too late."
"You mean she works for Voldemort."
"Yes," Remus confirmed. "And she is about as powerful as Lily was."
"Is? She's still alive?"
"Yes," Remus confirmed. "Narcissa Black-Malfoy."
"WHAT?" Harry exclaimed, startled. "Draco's mother!"
"Exactly. And she's the reason why the Malfoys managed to come out of the last war unscratched. Narcissa is particularly skilled at weaving illusions into her wards, allowing her husband to hide a lot of Dark Arts artefacts from discovery."
"But wouldn't she have been able to defend his mind from the Imperius Curse?"
"So why did the Ministry believe his claim that he was under its influence?"
"Because they don't know that Narcissa is a Spinner."
"The Blacks and the Malfoys have kept as tight a lid on this fact as they can. Only the Death Eaters are supposed to know. We did the same with Lily as we didn't want it to become public knowledge."
"But why didn't you tell them?" Harry questioned.
"We had no proof," Remus spoke up. "The Malfoys and Blacks would simply have denied it. There is no way to prove that someone is a Spinner, or the Ministry would have started scanning infants for it long ago."
"So what are the signs that someone is a Spinner?"
"It varies a little from witch to witch, but generally, if their powers aren't harnessed or hidden, a Spinner will glow with a faint aura while or shortly after they have used their abilities," Dumbledore explained, before he looked to his former student with a smile. "Luckily for us, in the case of your mother, this occurred shortly after a defence class when only Remus was around."
"Recognising the aura for what it was, I instantly brought Lily to the Headmaster," Remus continued as Harry turned to look at him in surprise. "Having done everything to hide my condition and allow me to get a regular education, I knew Albus could be trusted not to abuse her power and to ensure that she got the proper training."
"Which was a challenge," Dumbledore commented, a faraway look in his eye. "It's not like there's a textbook explaining how a Spinner's magic works. Some Spinners, however, have actually taken the time to write down their experiences, unfortunately many of these journals have been lost or destroyed over time. Luckily for your mother and the Order, I had the good fortune to have known another Spinner when I was a boy."
"Another one?" Harry demanded. "I thought they were rare."
"They are, but, as I mentioned, they are often born in clusters."
"Clusters? You said you knew another one when you were young."
"In the greater scheme of events, a mere hundred and forty years is nothing. Hence your mother, Narcissa, and Juliana, the Spinner I knew, are considered to have been born close together enough to be seen as a single cluster," Dumbledore stated, a distinctive twinkle in his eyes. "Beyond defence, Juliana's abilities also extended to divination and she left her journal with me, telling me that one day I would have need of it. Because of this, I had some notion of what to expect and how to go about training Lily when Remus discovered her. However, since spinning is a distinctly female trait, I thought it best to pull Professor McGonagall into the training sessions as well, thinking she might be able to provide some insights that I couldn't. Together we managed to get your mother trained."
"Unfortunately, this inadvertently revealed her abilities to He-W-, to Voldemort," Remus continued, taking another candy when the Headmaster offered.
"How?" Harry inquired.
"A Spinner's magic is powerful but not discrete. When their magic is used, other Spinner's are able to sense it. The weaving of magic, apparently, causes it to glow much as the witch herself does. Hence when Lily started utilizing her powers, Narcissa became aware of it, just as Lily became aware of the fact that there was another Spinner when Narcissa used her powers. Which is why your mother couldn't utilize her abilities to ward Godric's Hollow, it would have led Narcissa straight to you regardless of the Fidelius Charm."
"Thus it was decided to forego using Lily's gift when it came to protecting the three of you," Dumbledore explained, suddenly looking as old as he was. "We had hoped this would allow all of you to be safe."
"Wha... I mean..." Harry began haltingly. "If Voldemort already had a Spinner, and Mum and Mrs. Malfoy are about the same strength, why did he want Mum?"
"Because neither your mother nor Narcissa is as powerful was Rowena was," Remus explained. "Together, however..."
"He wanted to bring down the wards," Harry realized.
"Yes," Dumbledore confirmed gravely. "Which is why he hunted your mother even before your birth."
"Born to those who have thrice defied him," Harry whispered, repeating part of the prophecy.
"Exactly. With her powers, Lily was able to confront Voldemort and survive, though he wasn't aiming to kill her. Unfortunately, her abilities did not extend into offensive magic."
"If Voldemort wanted Mum to help him bring down the wards, why did he kill father and attempt to kill me?" Harry asked. "That would only have made her more determined not to do as he wanted."
"He wouldn't have needed her cooperation," Remus replied. "Spinners are able to tap into each other's powers and use them to enhance their own. Narcissa would only have needed your mother's physical presence and the aid of a Dark potion in order to use her abilities. And, combined with her own, that would have been just enough to bring down the wards."
"A Dark potion?"
"To make her pliable, it would have lowered her defences and allowed Narcissa in," Dumbledore explained. "It is actually because of the need of this potion that we knew about this at all."
"Snape," Harry guessed.
"Professor Snape," Remus corrected automatically. "And yes, he would have been required to make it thus he was warned in advance as it is a notoriously difficult potion to make. Even masters have been known to mess it up, with tragic consequences."
"So Mum used this ability to weave magic to create a shield around me? Why didn't she use it around Dad and herself as well?"
"Because the shield alone wouldn't have been enough," Dumbledore explained. "The Killing Curse is very powerful magic and even a Spinner's shield can't stop it. Which is why Voldemort wasn't expecting the curse to rebound on him. You see, what ultimately saved you was a combination of a Spinner's shield and your mother's love and sacrifice. The combination of such ancient magicks with the protection left by such love was great enough to reflect the power of the curse."
"I see," Harry whispered, looking at the floor.
"It is important that you remember this Harry, and let it be a lesson," the Headmaster continued gravely. "A Spinner's powers are not to be underestimated. Especially if they are in danger of dying, for in the moment of death, all that magic must go somewhere, and it is extremely powerful and volatile at that moment. Should you ever confront Narcissa, beware of her powers and respect them for what they are."
"Yes, Sir," Harry gulped, putting his cup on the desk before he dropped it. "What can I expect from her?"
"Ah, well that is part of the reason why you are here," Remus stated. "Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape and I shall be teaching you about what we know of Narcissa's abilities so that you are prepared to face her as well as Him."
Snape. Harry felt his anger rise at the mention of the Potions Master. He'd have thought that after last year's debacle that Dumbledore would have learned that the two of them couldn't get along and not to place them together any more than necessary.
"And there is one more thing that we need to discuss," Dumbledore declared after taking another sip of his tea. "It is high time that you learned something else as well. Something which the prophecy alluded to and which I also gave you an incomplete answer to when you questioned me on it."
"But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not," Harry quoted.
"Yes," Dumbledore said heavily.
"What is it?" Harry sighed. "If it's not my mother's love."
"In part it is," Remus began. "However, it goes far beyond that. You see, Harry, you have an ability, a power, that no wizard has ever possessed."
"Why me?" Harry groaned as he dropped his head into his hands, mentally cursing that he had yet something else to distinguish himself from others.
"That I cannot answer for you," Dumbledore replied. "When you were still a baby, Lily discovered something that astounded her. You see, Harry, you were glowing."
"The same way your mother did whenever she used her powers."
"What?" Harry uttered, confused. "But I thought Spinners were only female."
"That was what everyone thought," Remus said. "As far as we know, you are the first male Spinner."
"It's not as bad as you think," Dumbledore stated. "In fact, once trained, this ability will greatly aid you the next time you face Voldemort."
"Once trained, that's why I'm really here, isn't it?" Harry demanded. "Why you brought me back so early."
"But won't that alert Narcissa?"
"It'll let her know that there's another Spinner," Remus explained. "And she'll be able to trace the source of the magic to Hogwarts, but they won't know that it's you until they actually see you use it or discover that you're here."
"So that's why you were so secretive in bringing me here!"
"If we can keep your presence here unknown, Voldemort will only know that the Order has a new Spinner, but not who it is until after you've already used it to your advantage."
"If I have this power, how come I haven't accidentally used it?"
"After we discovered that you possessed the ability, we knew we had to prevent you from using it and alerting Narcissa to your location as she was actively looking for your mother," Dumbledore explained. "I knew that it was possible to harness a Spinner's power and block them from using it but I didn't know how. A friend of mine from India, Prince Shanar, however had recently come across another Spinner's journal which explained how to accomplish this. Together, we were able to ensure that you wouldn't accidentally use your powers until the time came to train you."
"Is that why he's coming here?" Harry asked, remembering the conversation when he had just arrived.
"Yes, Prince Shanar has decided to travel here and help the rest of us to ensure that you are as prepared as possible."
"But why must his arrival be so carefully planned?"
"Because Prince Shanar is a half-blood and a very influential leader in achieving integration of Muggleborns into the magical world as well as a known expert on Spinners. Thus either his death or capture would be extremely beneficial to Voldemort."
"Oh," Harry said and caught the look Lupin and Dumbledore exchanged. "What?"
"In addition to your Spinner training you will also need to pick up your Occlumency lessons again," Remus finally stated.
"Which I will primarily teach," Dumbledore quickly added as Harry opened his mouth to protest. "It is vital that you learn to protect your mind. And it will not only be from Voldemort anymore either. As soon as He learns that you are a Spinner, He will once again set his sights on Hogwarts' wards. In the event that you are ever captured, you will need to be able to keep Narcissa out of your mind as well. Not to mention the fact that if Narcissa meets her end while in your presence that she may well lash out with her powers so you will need all the protection you can get."
"So Sn-- Professor Snape won't be involved?" Harry inquired.
"He will be involved as he knows more about what to expect from Voldemort than anyone else as he's successfully evaded his Legilimency for years," Dumbledore explained. "However, he won't be teaching you. He will simply be around to test your shields."
"Okay," Harry grudgingly agreed.
He suddenly realized that even though he was away from the Dursleys that it was going to be a long, hard summer.
Please tell me what you think of the story!