AN: The last part of what I call Part One. For this is the end of Harry's summer. Unless you people want me to put more of it in. I can do that. Just tell me. After this chapter he goes back to Hoggy Worty Hogworts. And has fun. Because he's a cat and cats always have fun. A huge thank you to my cousin Emily who edited this thing and put in all the commas I forgot. Yay Emily!
Inu-Yasha must have heard Harry's movement because he stuck his head out of the kitchen. Seeing Harry awake, he grinned and disappeared back into the kitchen. Several minutes later, which Harry had used to get his brain back together, Inu-Yasha and Kagome appeared from the kitchen. Kagome was holding a large tray full of food and Inu-Yasha's arms were full of packages.
"Happy Sixteenth Birthday Harry!" Kagome smiled as she set the tray down on the coffee table.
Harry was shocked. He belatedly remembered that today was indeed his birthday. Today, he was sixteen. The excitement of discovering his demon heritage had driven any thought of the day out of his mind. Looking up into Kagome's smiling face and the smirk on Inu-Yasha's, he felt a warm buzz in his chest.
"I..I.. thank you." Harry managed to get out, his brain several steps behind his mouth. "I don't know what to say…"
"Then say nothing." Inu-Yasha suggested as he set down his load next to the tray of food. "We know you won't get anything from those relative's of yours and we can't take you out until that tattoo finishes setting so we arranged a birthday celebration here." He pointed to the food and the presents.
"Are all those from you?" Harry asked in amazement. He knew Inu-Yasha and Kagome were friends but to buy so many gifts….
"Nah." Inu-Yasha shook his head. "Most of these are from those owls that seemed intent on visiting you last night. I thought you needed the rest so I took the liberty of relieving the birds of their packages. Some of them were not happy with me let me tell you. Especially that white one. She seemed quite intent on taking my eye out."
"Hedwig?" Harry asked. A sudden lurch in his stomach came from the realization that he hadn't seen his feathered friend for several days. He had completely forgotten that his friends would be sending presents to him. He only hoped that none of them were worried when the birds returned with no message.
"Is that her name? Well, I had to bring her back here in order to get the package from her. Kagome was able to calm her down but I don't think she likes me much. She flew off in a huff when we were finished."
"I hope she's alright." Harry muttered, worry for his friend clouding his eyes.
Kagome placed a hand on his shoulder. "She's fine. She just had to fly off to sooth her ruffled feathers. She'll be back probably this evening. So how about we start this celebration?" A bright smile lit Kagome's face. A smile like hers was infectious and Harry shrugged off his worry.
Laughter and talk filled the house as Inu-Yasha and Kagome filled Harry in on some of the more entertaining incidents of their quest to find the Jewel of Four Souls. Harry in turn told them about his life at Hogworts, at least the happy parts. The food was quickly gone. Once again Kagome had cooked a traditional Japanese meal and Harry loved all of it, especially the fish.
Putting aside the empty plates, Inu-Yasha picked up one of the presents and handed it to Harry with a mock bow. Harry grinned and nodded his head back as he received the gift.
"This first one is from Kagome. I have no idea what it is so…" Inu-Yasha shrugged his shoulders as if to apologize and had to duck a blow from Kagome's pillow.
Harry grinned as he tore off the paper-these claws are good for something. Inside was a book. But not just any book it was an author's edition of Search for Four Souls by one Kagome Higarashi. Opening the front cover carefully, Harry read the inscription, To Harry: A reminder that no matter how shity things are looking, you can always make money off them. Good luck to you in all that you do, your friend, Kagome Higarashi. Harry looked up at Kagome with wide eyes. She smiled back at him softly and gave him a hug.
"It's straight off the press, one of the first printed in England. And it's unedited. Nothing is changed. That's exactly as it happened. None of the other books are as complete."
Harry just stared at Kagome. And stared and stared. She shifted in her seat starting to get uncomfortable with Harry's unblinking look. He finally managed to pull himself together and shook his head.
"This is…well this is…wow…" he managed to get out.
"What's the matter, kitty? Cat got your tongue?" Inu-Yasha quipped.
Harry jerked his head around and shot the dog a piercing glare. Inu-Yasha just shrugged it off with at grin and handed Harry the next package.
Going through the pile of presents took longer then Harry expected. Besides his friends and the Weasley's, some of the DA members had sent him things. He ended up with several books, several nick-knacks and some other stuff. Books from Hermione and Remus, candy from Ron, a pendent from Ginny, food from Mrs. Weasley. The normal gifts. When he was all finished, Inu-Yasha smiled slightly.
"Now don't tell anyone. This is a bit unorthodox. But you are in a lot of danger and you need all the help you can get."
Harry looked up from Hermione's book excited.
Inu-Yasha pulled a long, thin package from where it was hidden behind the chair.
"Inu-Yasha! You didn't!" Kagome sounded faintly scolding but at the same time resigned to whatever her mate had done.
Inu-Yasha shrugged. "Just don't tell Sesshoumaru. He'll kill me."
Harry took the present carefully. It was obviously important if Inu-Yasha gave a warning with it. The rice paper wrappings were easily shredded and Harry gave the item an odd look.
"Actually a wakazashi. It's shorter then a katana and will be easier for you to hide."
"Why does it feel like you?"
Inu-Yasha looked away a mumbled something. Kagome gave him a warm look.
"It feels like him because it's from one of his teeth."
"You mean like Tetsuaiga?"
"Exactly." Kagome smiled at the two demons.
Inu-Yasha continued to shuffle uncomfortable. "I don't want you to make too much of this." He finally burst out. "It's just you are always in danger and you need something that you can use in case you can't release your demon form."
Harry shook his head at the generosity of his new friends. He gave Inu-Yasha a huge smile and a heartfelt thank you but didn't press it too hard. He could tell the dog-demon was really uncomfortable.
Instead, he turned back to the books and chatted about school with Kagome until Inu-Yasha got himself back under control. Harry was flipping through Kagome's book as the priestess looked through the defense book Remus had sent him, when he heard a car turn into the driveway. He put the book aside as the car stopped. He hadn't known Kagome and Inu-Yasha were expecting company. A slight pull on the demonic part of his mind was starting to bother him all of a sudden. There was something off about this car.
The hair on the back of Harry's neck stood straight up as the car door slammed. All his newly awakened demon instincts were screaming at him to run. Run far and fast. Run, keep running and don't ever look back. If he started running now, went quietly out the back door and started running immediately, he just might have a chance. He didn't even realize he was on his feet and inching slowly towards the kitchen, until Kagome gave him a sharp look.
"Harry! What's wrong?"
Too loud, her voice was too loud. It was going to alert him that someone was here. Harry needed to get out and he needed to get out fast. No! Bad! Kagome was walking over towards him with a concerned look on her face. He didn't need concern, he needed to leave, to get away from the monster that was coming up the walkway.
"Harry," she continued in a calming voice. "Please calm down. Here, have a seat. I'll go get you some milk and you just relax…"
For a moment the mention of milk diverted Harry's focused attention. But the overwhelming presence of an ancient and powerful demon soon reflooded his mind with panic.
It was getting closer. There was no running now, there was no time left. All Harry could hope for was a chance to run when the demon was occupied with Inu-Yasha and Kagome. Maybe a spell would slow him down. Harry's mind raced as he went through all the spells he could think of. His right hand groped for a wand that was not there as his mind descended into a fight or flight mode.
The door bell rang. Too late.
Inu-Yasha moved out of the kitchen and gave Harry's crouched form an odd look but went to open the door.
'No!' Harry's mind screamed. 'Don't do that! Don't open the door! You'll let him in!'
The handle turned. The door started to open. The smell of the demon swept into the house. The door opened wider. Inu-Yasha was saying something, WELCOMING the demon into the house!
Kagome shot Harry a worried look as he let out a wordless snarl as the demon stepped into the house.
Inu-Yasha was on the floor laughing. It had been over twenty minutes. Kagome had finally noticed something was really wrong when she noticed Harry was crouched, ready to attack the newcomer. She had looked from Harry-who's face was determined but who's eyes were scared shitless- to the guest-who was watching the new cat demon with a cold arrogant look on his face. Inu-Yasha was standing behind the other man gazing around the living room confusedly.
A light seemed to go on above her head. She opened and closed her mouth several times before she managed to organize her thoughts into a coherent statement.
"Harry, you can calm down. He is not going to attack you. This is Sesshoumaru. Remember we told you about him? He's Inu-Yasha's older brother. He won't hurt you, we won't let him." As Kagome squatted down next to Harry and attempted to calm the high strung cat, she waved behind her at Inu-Yasha. He seemed to get the message and disappeared into the kitchen. The milk he returned with, combined with Kagome's low soft voice and reassuring aura, slowly brought Harry's human mind back into control.
When he realized what he had been doing, he blushed a bright neon red. Taking his glass of milk and curling up in one of the chairs, he made no attempt to explain himself. He just kept his eyes firmly glued to Sesshoumaru's powerful form.
Twenty minutes later now and Harry was coming out of the adrenaline daze. Setting the empty glass aside, glaring at Inu-Yasha who thought the whole thing was absolutely hilarious, Harry turned to Sesshoumaru.
"I'm sorry about that. I don't believe we've met. I'm Harry Potter."
Sesshoumaru raised one perfect silver eyebrow-Harry was reminded of Lucius Malfoy.
"Indeed." His voice was low and unemotionless.
Kagome rolled her eyes. "It wouldn't kill you to be more polite Sesshoumaru. The poor boy has never felt another demon besides Inu-Yasha and Totosai. Neither of them exactly ooze power like you do."
Inu-Yasha looked up insulted. "Hey!"
"Especially when you are attempting to impress someone." She continued over the top of her mate.
"You did not tell me the new demon was one of the cat aristocracy." His Royal Iciness graced Kagome with a cold look.
Harry had gotten over his shock of being in the presence of such a powerful demon and the same reckless abandon that came over him when ever he faced off against Voldemort rose up within him. "The new demon has a name and would appreciate it if you used it." He said, copying, the best he could, the older demon's icy tone.
Sesshoumaru turned his glare onto Harry next. The full impact of his power hit Harry full on. But he had stood up against one of the most powerful wizards of the world and not backed down. Now that his human mind was in control, Harry glared right back. A small part of his brain, the part Harry now labeled as 'Random Bits of Inherited Demon Knowledge,' noted that Sesshoumaru could not kill him while in the house of his brother. Harry took strength from this but blocked out the idea of what would happen if he ever met Sesshoumaru outside Inu-Yasha's home.
"Alright, stop it you two." Kagome's voice broke the tension. The eternal peacemaker, Kagome was not afraid of using her priestess powers to break up fights between demons. "Sesshoumaru, we didn't know Harry was part of that family until Totosai mentioned it today. We just found out he was a cat demon last night. We've been more focused on getting him his concealment tattoo and celebrating his birthday then investigating his lineage."
"I also note that you did not tell me that he is a wizard." Sesshoumaru went on as if Kagome had not spoken.
"I figured that it was his secret to tell. He just told us this afternoon. We haven't really had a chance to call you and he just woke up from getting the tattoo a little while ago." Kagome's voice was flat and deceptively calm. She hated when the Demon of the Western Lands treated her like she was just a human woman. She was the Priestess of the Shikon no Tama and he would treat her as such.
Sesshoumaru, luckily for him, was well skilled in the art of reading voice and body language. He recognized that he had angered the powerful priestess. Without apologizing, he nodded and backed his aura down.
Harry stared from one to the other. Inu-Yasha had surreptitiously moved to stand behind his mate. As a human, Harry had felt Kagome's power. Now as a demon, he realized exactly what that power was. To a demon, Kagome was worse then a poison. She could purify them out of hand. Even a powerful demon like Sesshoumaru would be injured if he went up against her.
"Well what can you tell me about this new demon,"
Another eyebrow raise.
"My name is Harry."
Kagome interrupted before another staring match could ensue. "He's a cat demon. Totosai said he came from the line of cat demons that we dealt with before. His great times ten grandfather was the youngest of the siblings. The one that kept to himself. He fell in love with a human, came to me, had his powers sealed away, and moved to England. The power comes from his mother's side of the family. His aunt has the taint of demon power but no sustenance. His cousin has even less. The power appeared to be passed in a compact bundle from one generation to the next. Therefore, the power is mostly intact. Harry is in essence a full demon."
Harry listened to the explanation of how he got his powers with interest. Knowing where they came from would help in learning how to deal with them. He really didn't want to go into a panic attack every time he met with a powerful demon. He hoped meeting humans with great power would not elicit the same reaction.
"Indeed." Sesshoumaru was looking at Harry in an entirely new light. "Boy, Harry. You understand what all that means?"
Harry nodded, not trusting his voice to give a polite reply. This demon was sounding too much like Snape for his comfort.
"And you understand that you can tell no non-demon, bar the one you mate to, what you are or that there are others like you?"
Harry nodded gravely. He had done some thinking last night. He realized that Dumbledore would use his demon blood to attempt to gather allies for the war. He also realized that the wizarding world, as prejudiced as they were, would never accept him. If they hated werewolves who had no control over their change, how would they react to him, who had animal characteristics all the time?
"Wait, I can't tell anyone?" What about Ron? What about Hermione? Ginny? Remus?
"Correct. If you have trouble lying to your friends, I suggest you start to practice. If you insist on telling people, you will be terminated. The demon world has only survived as long as it has by remaining in complete secrecy. Anyone who threatens our safety is removed." Sesshoumaru's voice was matter-of-fact. There was no room for compromise on this point. The demon world came first.
Inu-Yasha gave a grave nod. "Humans both wizard and Muggle alike would only use our power. They would use us as weapons, holding our families hostage as insurance of our good behaivor. We would be experimented on, sold, bound into slavery and then killed. It is best to keep our existence secret. If you find a mate, then you are permitted to tell him or her…"
"Him or her?" Harry repeated, making sure he had heard correctly.
Inu-Yasha nodded. "Well yeah, your demon side will recognize those people with power and present them as possible mates. As a wizard and a demon, reproducing isn't high on your list of things to do. Besides if you do wish to have children there are ways around that. Just don't be surprised if you are suddenly attracted to men."
Harry had the sudden urge to go hide in a closet somewhere and never come out. The list of screw ups in his life was getting longer and longer. It was no longer safe to walk around outside. The next time he showed his face, someone would be telling him he was next in line for the throne of England.
"Boy," Sesshoumaru's voice pulled Harry back to the present. "You are the next in line for a very old family of demons."
'Too late,' Harry thought dispiritedly.
"They are not as old as the Inu-youkai but are close. All the direct lines of heirs have died off, you are the only one left. Do not be surprised if cat demons start coming to challenge you. Let it be known that you are under the protection of the Inu-Taishou family. If anyone wishes to contest your claim, they will have to deal with me."
After giving this rather ground-breaking announcement, Sesshoumaru departed, leaving a nearly broken Harry, a surprised Kagome and a wondering-what-the-hell-his-brother-was-on Inu-Yasha.
"Well, that was different." Kagome stated.
"Different!" Harry nearly yelled his voice breaking with stress. "Not only do I find out that I'm a demon but also that I'm the last heir to a powerful family and I should expect demons to come and attack me out of the blue? How the fuck was that different? Fucking insane is what I'd call it! Fucking absurd! Off his fucking rocker that one is!"
Harry continued to rant like this for some time while Inu-Yasha and Kagome just listened. Finally he ran out of steam and sat fuming, occasionally mumbling a word or two to himself.
"Harry?" Harry turned a death glare at Inu-Yasha. "I really wouldn't worry about that too much. You're much too young to take over a family and if you don't want it you don't have to take it. The demons taking care of the family have done so for years. And I really don't think that there will be challengers for some time. They are going to watch and see how you react to all this before they move. They may not even see you as a threat because you were once human."
What Inu-Yasha failed to mention was that the neko-youkai might see Harry as an even greater threat because of his humanity and wizard blood. He didn't want to set the new demon off again however, and suggested that the two of them start training Harry's new senses. Harry, ready for a distraction, happily complied.
For the next month, Harry spent all of his waking hours with Inu-Yasha and Kagome. They were both extremely reluctant to allow Harry out into the wide world without a rock solid understanding of both what it was to be a demon and demon etiquette. Sesshoumaru's visit and the mention of being the last straight-line heir to a long forgotten demon family motivated Inu-Yasha to call up Myouga to tutor Harry in the intricacies of demon politics and history.
"So let me get this straight. Fighting within a family is permitted, but fighting with members of another family is strictly forbidden, even if they start it."
"Correct." Myouga's small voice sounded so pleased with his pupil.
"And if I insult a demon or their family, even inadvertently, then they can call me out for a duel. And this is permitted?"
"Exactly. You are really understanding this."
"My brain hurts."
Inu-Yasha focused on helping Harry come to grips with his demon senses, smell alone took him a week to master. The idea that you could tell someone's mood by their scent was mind boggling, but being able to tell whether they lied or spoke the truth was a talent Harry was glad to have.
"So what am I feeling now?"
"I didn't ask how you were feeling, I said me."
"Are you just guessing?"
Inu-Yasha also taught Harry how to use his claws and make use of his increased strength and agility. As a cat demon, Harry was faster and more agile then Inu-Yasha although he could not beat him for brute strength.
"Ha! Take that old man!"
"Just because you avoided one attack, don't think that you've avoided all the attacks."
"Says the demon who still can't beat his brother."
As Harry became more and more comfortable with his new abilities he found himself acting in a manner that could only be called cat-like. He was starting to fall asleep in random places and at random times; he would curl up in the sun and doze for hours. Fish had a whole new meaning. Writing a meaningless letter to his friends, Harry also realized that he was holding secrets much closer to his heart. No bad thing when your Headmaster is an artful manipulator and is looking for any and all allies to end the growing war.
"Harry. Harry. You need to wake up. You've been sleeping for seven hours. I have fish…"
"Well, that woke him up."
"Ha. Ha. Now get him off my arm."
Hearing Sesshoumaru warn of the dangers of being discovered by the wizarding world, Harry hoped that Sirius' death would be enough of an excuse for his friends about his odd behavior. Because it was going to be odd. Keeping his mouth closed about any mention of the demon world was going to prove difficult. So many little things had crept into his life and so many little quirks were now becoming habits.
"That's not good enough. Any fool could read your emotions all over your face. Try again and this time keep your feelings hidden."
"Yes, master." The sarcasm was lost on the Ice Prince of Dog Demons. Or maybe he just ignored it.
"Remember that lying is an art. You have to keep the fiction close enough to the truth that you don't confuse yourself and get the lies mixed up. You must also learn to believe what ever you are saying. If you look uncomfortable, then you will give yourself away. Only you can remember what you look like when you are telling the truth. But be consistent. If you used to always look down, don't suddenly start looking people in the eyes. If you fidgeted, then you must continue to fidget."
"How do you keep this all straight?"
"If you wish to keep your life, then I would recommend learning what I am teaching you."
One of the most notable advantages was his memory. When Kagome had mentioned off hand that a demon's memory is nothing like a human's, Harry hadn't known what to think. Now he was amazed. Rereading a text from first year, two weeks later Harry could still remember the entire contents. However, that was on a subject he enjoyed. While Inu-Yasha drilled Harry physically, Kagome pounded his mind into shape. Having seen Harry's O.W.L. results and the guarantee by McGonagall to get him into N.E.W.T. potions, Kagome took it as her personal mission to see that Harry knew every herb, animal part, and mineral ever used in brewing. Not only did she insist on him learning them in English, she drilled him on the Japanese names and traditional uses as well. Not to mention how they reacted with specific demons and what herbs were best against what demonic poisons. For a priestess that was late in learning the art of healing, Kagome was now a fanatic. She would teach anyone who would listen and bore those who could care less. Having a captive audience (Harry could see the logic in the practice, not only was he earning his place in the Advanced Potions class, he was also gaining a way to piss Snape off beyond all others) caused her to go a bit over the top.
"Now what does wormwood mixed with absinthe do?"
"Besides getting you drunk?"
"Right. Wormwood and absinthe… It'll blow up."
"Exactly! Like a molotov cocktail!"
"You are entirely too happy with that."
Before Harry knew it, the end of August was rolling up. He had asked Remus to pick up his supplies in Diagon Ally- he had not wanted to lose a day of training or face the wizarding world again so soon. His trunk was packed, his clothes clean, and Harry was spending the last night with Kagome and Inu-Yasha. Uncle Vernon had completely ignored Harry's absence from the house after Inu-Yasha asked for Harry to attend dinner, and Harry didn't want to push his luck by asking for a ride to the station. Luckily, Kagome had to go meet with her editor and they were more then happy to give Harry a lift.
Harry was sitting in the guest room when Hedwig flew in from her nightly hunt. Harry's first friend and faithful companion didn't at first know how to react to Harry's new self. All her instincts screamed at her to fly away from this large powerful cat. All of her brain screamed just as loudly that Harry was her friend, cat like smell or not. Her solution to this mental fight was to sulk for several days before deciding that cat or not, Harry hadn't eaten her yet. Any sudden movement on his part still sent her into a fluster of ruffled feathers and mantled wings, but she was getting more and more comfortable in his presence. Something in his smell must have reassured her that evening, for once she deposited her nightly hunt in her cage, she glided over and took up residence on his shoulder.
Harry careful not to disturb her with a fast motion, slowly raised a hand and started stroking her breast feathers. She, in turn, took it upon herself to preen his eternally messy hair.
"Well, Hedwig. Another summer gone. I just hope this year doesn't hold so many surprises. I'm getting sick of new plots every year. You would think the fates would be willing to give me a break."
Alas, poor Harry. The God of Mischief had taken great pleasure in tangling the fate lines of one Harry Potter. And although the first snags were past there was still a mangled mess of screwed up life to get through before he had any sort of peace and quiet.
AN: And now he goes back to school. Just a few things to look forward to in the coming school year: cat-nip, staring contests, Harry's reactions to potions ingredients, freaking out the Slytherins and much much more!