E-Mail: draeconin at gmail dot com
Warnings: m/m, slash, language, fantasy, OOC
Disclaimer: If you don't recognize it, it's mine. Everything else belongs to the copyright holders.
Summary: Demons walk among us!
Harry Potter was dressed in cotton pyjama bottoms that were so old and worn you could almost see through them, and an overlarge undershirt with a few rips from which the neck had torn away. His hair was dishevelled, and the worn, ripped half-blanket he was allowed on his otherwise bare mattress was twined around his legs.
Although asleep, Harry wasn't having a peaceful night. He tossed and turned in his sleep, then started whimpering, as discomfort turned to pain. But even as his pain grew, he didn't awaken. An observer familiar with the visions Harry was cursed with, due to his link with Voldemort, might have been forgiven for thinking the young man was again caught in one of those ghoulish, nightmare-like occurrences.
But Harry wasn't dreaming, and he wasn't having a vision. His face screwed up as his almost instinctive resistance to allowing pain to have vocal outlet kicked in. Sweat beaded his forehead. The pain grew, and then became too much for his unconscious body to resist. Harry started screaming, rousing Vernon Dursley, Harry's uncle, and bringing him out of his bedroom swearing, as he donned his dressing robe. He was followed shortly by his rail thin, horse-faced wife, Petunia.
In seconds they were at the young wizard's padlocked bedroom door; padlocked to keep Harry in, not anyone out. The florid, obese man started pounding on the door, yelling at Harry, whom he called 'the freak', to stop making all that noise! Harry might disturb the neighbours and he, Petunia, and Dudley, their fat, blond, spoiled son (who chose that moment to join his parents, complaining loudly about 'the noise Potter's making') were trying to sleep - not to mention the other 'decent' folk in the neighbourhood, who were also abed.
None of this made the slightest difference to the sweat-soaked young man who was now screaming out his anguish and pain. Unconscious, he couldn't hear them anyway. Harry's body started to rise from his bed. The half-blanket slipped from around his legs, and the worn cloth of his night clothes gave 'way, almost disintegrating, and fell away from him.
Finally Harry's uncle started fumbling with a key in the padlock, intent on beating the boy into submission, and silence. But what greeted the Dursleys' eyes when the door was finally open had them staring, speechless, and then fleeing down the stairway and out the door. A few seconds later, still dressed only in their night clothes and dressing robes, the family fled the neighbourhood in the family car, squealing tires doing more to wake the neighbours than any amount of screaming from the tortured boy hovering almost a metre above his bed with large, Aurora-coloured flames encasing his writhing body, albeit at a distance of a few centimetres.
"Wotcher, Harry!" a very cheerful voice said, as Harry woke.
With his eyes opened only enough to let in a slit of light to allow them to adjust, he started groping for his glasses. That anyone would speak to him here, in the Dursleys' home, was surprising enough. That it was Nymphadora Tonks, his Auror friend and a metamorphmagus, was astounding. The Dursleys hated magic, and hated magic users even more; which was unfortunate, since Harry was a wizard. "Tonks?" he questioned.
"'He's awake, Albus!" she shouted out the door, not bothering to go to it first.
"Here ya are, luv," that same cheerful voice said, handing him the self-same items he'd been looking for. "And happy birthday!"
Harry slipped his glasses on and sat up, his half-blanket slipping down to his waist, and opened his eyes to look at Tonks. (She hated her first name, since people had the unfortunate habit of shortening it to 'Nymph', or 'Nympho', or tease her by calling her 'Nymphomaniac'.) But Harry found that, if anything, his sight was worse. "Hello, Tonks," he said, as he took his spectacles off to clean them. "What are you doing here? And Dumbledore is here, too? Did something happen last night?" Since the house was rather peaceful, and Tonks was sounding cheerful and relaxed, there wasn't likely anything happening now, so he wasn't worried.
For Harry, at the Dursleys', his birthday was just one more day, only different in that he saw it as something special. It was a marker commemorating the fact that it was one less year before he'd be able to escape this place. Only one more year to go. Then he'd be seventeen, and free. There'd been one howler of a storm just before he'd gone to bed, so while he'd been disappointed, he wasn't entirely surprised when no owls had shown up with birthday wishes and gifts. So Tonks' birthday greeting, while welcome, was somewhat anticlimactic - the reason for his overlooking it.
"You could say that, yes," the Auror replied. "Your wards went off screamin', but when we got here, all we could find was you, sleepin' the sleep of the dead. Any idea where that idiot Muggle family of yours might be?"
During this short speech, Harry had made an amazing discovery. Everything within view was in sharp detail. He slipped his glasses back on. Fuzzy as two weeks' worth of laundry lint. He took them off. His sight was as sharp and as clear as glass.
Harry shook his head absent-mindedly in answer to the metamorphmagus' question, and peered at his glasses. He rather thought he should be worried about the family who housed him, especially since Petunia was supposedly his mother's sister, but he couldn't bring himself to be arsed. They had long ago voided any right to his affections, or his caring.
"Something wrong with your glasses, Harry?" Tonks asked, watching him with a rather strange, teasing smile on her face.
"I dunno," the young man replied, still distracted, then returned to the previous question. "I didn't notice anything last night. Slept like a top. Mustn't have moved, much. I'm quite stiff."
Tonks started snorting in laughter.
Harry blushed violently. "Not in that way, Tonks!" he protested.
"You're sure, Harry?" she teased, that rather strange expression still on her face.
"Yes!" Harry asserted. "So what have you found out?" he asked, in an attempt to steer the conversation onto less embarrassing pathways. He meant, of course, that he would like to know what she and, he assumed from her use of the word 'we', the others had discovered since their arrival, but the young Auror decided to misinterpret the words.
She started snickering again.
"Tonks!" Harry exclaimed, mortified. "Mind in the gutter," he muttered quietly, as he placed his glasses on the bed table. He had no idea why his sight had corrected itself overnight, but strange things always seemed to be happening to him, and he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
"Harry?" Professor Dumbledore inquired from the doorway, "How are you feeling?"
"Just a bit put-upon at the moment, Professor," Harry said, with a mock glare at the young woman sitting close by. She grinned back unrepentantly. He turned his attention back to the old man. "So what happened to get you all here? Tonks said the wards sounded an alarum, but nothing was found out of place - except for my unlamentedly miss-"
He was interrupted by a stentorian yell. "What the bloody hell are all you freaks doing in my home?"
"Well, it looks as though they're not missing any longer," Harry remarked darkly.
"I want all you dress wearing freaks out of my house!"
Harry flinched. Although he didn't particularly care if his uncle were hexed for the rest of his life, he could imagine the reaction the man was getting to that last pronouncement. 'Dress wearing freaks'? Oh, my. Harry grinned, hoping Vernon Dursley would be set right, the hard way.
"If you'll excuse me, Harry, Miss Tonks, perhaps these folk have an idea of what happened last night," the headmaster of Hogwarts stated, and headed off.
"Look, if the boy's a pile of ashes, it wasn't any of my doing. He was burning when we-" The words, which, although less in volume than previously, had still been clearly audible, were suddenly cut off. A silencing spell to prevent anyone unauthorised - ie: Muggles - from overhearing the man, Harry guessed. But it was the last words he'd overheard that captured his attention.
Harry groaned to himself. He'd been on fire? So why wasn't he burned? As surreptitiously as possible, Harry started to look himself over, just to make sure he hadn't been burned, although he wasn't in that kind of pain. He didn't find any burns, but he noticed right away his state of dress. He was nude, and only partially covered with his blanket. With a yelp, he grabbed the only covering he had, and dove under it, his face blazing.
"Damn it, Tonks," Harry yelled, mortified, "why didn't you tell me I was starkers? And how in Niffleheim did I get that way?"
The Auror was having a great deal of difficulty not bursting into loud, pealing laughter, but she couldn't hide her ear-to-ear grin. "Found ya that way, Harry," she giggled. "Must say, you've grown up well!"
"Stop perving on me!" Harry ordered. If he could have without exposing other parts of his body, Harry would have been hiding completely beneath the blanket, but it wasn't big enough for that. He waited for her sense of decency to kick in so she'd leave and he could get dressed. But it didn't happen. "Could I get up, please?" Harry hinted, broadly.
"Any time, Harry," she answered, cheerfully. Harry could see a mischievous light in her eyes. "Been wondering why you were lying abed so long. Thought maybe you were feeling poorly."
"Do you need to be in the room?" Harry asked, pointedly.
"Ol' long-beard's orders," she affirmed, grinning.
"Well, at least turn around!" he said, desperately.
Giving Harry a broad wink, she got up, turned her chair around, and sat back down. "Better?" she asked, laughter in her voice.
"It would be better if you'd leave, so I could get dressed!" Harry answered, somewhat petulantly. "But if you won't, then yes - that's better."
Watching Tonks' back warily, Harry satisfied his curiosity. In that brief glimpse he'd had before he realised he was less than decently clad, he'd seen some intriguing changes to his body. No one else would likely have known the difference, since few ever saw his body, but he noticed. His slightly scrawny, but wiry body had now filled out quite nicely with muscle. And not just any muscle; quite hard - in fact almost rock hard muscle, although it wasn't sharply defined. Blushing, he wondered where his night clothes had gone off to. Then he noticed his fingernails. He'd been in the bad habit of chewing them when he was hard at thought, but now they looked perfectly manicured, if a bit long, and with an opalescent sheen to them.
Something tickled him. It had done so several times as he'd moved about, but he'd been too caught up in other things to pay it much mind, and had dismissed it as a minor irritant whilst he explored what he could of his body without causing himself undue embarrassment, even with Tonks' back turned. She was seated just a metre or so away, and her hearing was quite sharp. But now he became annoyed enough with it to grab it and try to bring it around to see what it was. It hurt. He yelped, and took a closer look. It was hair. His hair, evidently, since it had hurt his scalp when he grabbed it. But it was long! His uncle had never let him have his hair long. When it got too long for the fat bastard's liking, it got hacked off. But now it came to just below his shoulders. And instead of the dark brown-black it had been, it was now a true black that almost shone. No... It did shine! But shining black?
"Bit of a puzzler, that; isn't it, Harry?" Tonks remarked, watching Harry 'playing' with his suddenly long hair.
Harry just nodded, a bit dazed. "What's causing it to shine like that?" he asked.
"Just good, healthy hair, I'd guess," she said, "although it moving about like that is enough to give one the golly-wobbles."
She couldn't see the black light coming off of it, Harry realised. "Hey!" He exclaimed, looking up. Tonks had grown an eye in the back of her head, and had been watching him. "Stop that!" he ordered, curling up under his only cover.
"Stop what, Harry?" Tonks asked in mock innocence. "I've my back to you, just as you asked."
"Stop perving on me!"
"Haven't a clue what you're talking about, Harry," she replied. He could hear the smirk in her voice.
"Fine!" Harry grumped, and just to illustrate his irritation, he did a little laying-down jump, and let himself slam back into his bed - which promptly collapsed. It had been in fairly poor condition to begin with, due to the abuse it had taken as Dudley's bed before the obese boy had been given a new one, but Harry hadn't thought it to be that badly gone.
Tonks started laughing just as footsteps were heard pounding quickly up the stairs. Professor Snape burst in, wand at the ready, and with a personal shield already in place. When he saw no danger, he relaxed, released the magical shield, and lowered his wand, glaring at Harry sitting propped up on the mattress of the broken bed.
"What in the nine hells have you done now, boy?" the potions master asked, each word evenly spaced, to emphasise them.
"I rather thought that should be obvious, Professor," Harry grated out. "My bed broke."
"And what did you-" He stopped mid-sentence and reconsidered his words. "No. I don't wish to know." The man turned to go back downstairs.
"Professor," Harry said urgently, "would you mind relieving Tonks while I dress?"
"Yes, I would, Mr. Potter," Snape said, tightly. "I am needed downstairs. I should hope that you were capable of dressing yourself!"
Harry's eyes narrowed and his face tightened, as he fought for control. "Yes. I am. But Tonks refuses to leave the room," he countered.
"And your point is?" the greasy-haired man replied, superciliously.
Tonks had turned sidewise in the chair when Harry's bed had broken, and was sitting and grinning at the both of them, enjoying the byplay.
"What would you do in a similar situation, Professor?" Harry asked grimly, glaring at 'the greasy git'.
Snape glared back at him, then without breaking eye contact with the annoying boy, said "Miss Tonks, if you wouldn't mind awaiting us in the hall for the space of a couple of minutes?" He despised doing anything for the son of the man he'd hated, but he couldn't abide laziness, and the boy had a point; it would be the height of bad manners to make the lad suffer immodesty. He, himself, would have hexed the woman out of the room if she had refused to allow him to dress in privacy.
"Be happy to!" the Auror announced, and almost skipped out of the room.
Snape glared after her, then turned his attention back to Harry. "Well? What are you waiting for?"
Harry would have preferred to shower first, as he was feeling distinctly gritty, but circumstances being what they were, he put a brave face on it and quickly had a set of his cousin's discarded old clothes on. They were faded and baggy, as well as being stretched out of shape from his cousin's obesity. A worn and frayed belt was all that kept the trousers up.
Snape, who had seated himself in the emptied chair as he impatiently waited, sneered at the ensemble, but didn't say anything. Still, Harry felt the need to defend himself. "It's all they allow me," he growled.
The professor looked a bit shocked at that statement, but again, didn't comment. At least, not about the clothes. "Seems they're feeding you well enough..."
Harry shot him a look. "I didn't look like this, yesterday. I barely get scraps."
"Don't be telling me tales, Potter," the man sneered.
"Mr. Potter rarely lies, Severus," came Dumbledore's voice from the doorway.
Even Harry cast a dubious look at the headmaster for that one. True, he didn't make a habit of lying, but he wasn't above it, either. He rather wished he had been spinning tales just now. Unfortunately, it was all true. "If you'll excuse me, please?" he said, and quickly made his way to the toilet, his full bladder demanding speed.
"So what tale are you supposed to have fabricated, Mr. Potter?" Dumbledore inquired, upon Harry's return.
Harry was feeling at least a little bit better, having washed his face and hands, and quickly running a wet washcloth over his chest and arms while in the toilet.
"He claims to have gained weight overnight," Snape accused, his voice deriding.
The headmaster turned to Harry, his eyebrows rising in mild surprise. "Oh? Can you estimate how much?"
"At least a stone," Harry replied, hesitantly, "perhaps two?"
Snape had been eyeing Dumbledore, privately amazed that the man was naive enough to listen to this brat. He snorted in disbelief at Harry's statement. Although...
Dumbledore drew near to Harry. "May I feel of your arm, Mr. Potter?"
Harry wasn't comfortable with people touching him, although he usually got along well with them otherwise - if they weren't trying to kill him or deliberately provoke him - but he nodded his head.
Dumbledore did so, feeling of the deltas, the biceps, and the muscles of Harry's forearm, then stepped back, his eyes hooded, the normal twinkle in them dimmed almost to non-existence. After hearing what Vernon Dursley had to say just before he came up to check on the young man, seeing the physical changes, noting Harry's lack of glasses, and now the preternatural denseness of his muscles, he had come to a rather unsettling conclusion. He would have to see if he could provoke the final proof, however. "It seems," he said reluctantly, "that Mr. Potter, here, is much more than we had suspected."
Professor Snape looked at the boy. At five foot nine, the teenager didn't look all that prepossessing. "How?" he asked, flatly.
"Harry, you might want to sit down," the headmaster said.
Harry looked around. Other than the chair Snape was occupying and the broken bed, there was nowhere else to sit. "Where?"
"Ah. Well, it's just one of those things you're supposed to say when you've bad news to deliver," the old man replied.
Harry paled. "Am I going to die?"
Dumbledore nodded. "Oh, yes, my boy. We all die, eventually. But hopefully that event is far in the future, for you."
Harry was immediately frustrated, and wanted to tell the headmaster to get to the point, but kept a tight rein on his temper. "So if I'm not going to die, what is wrong?"
"No, no, lad. I wouldn't say there was anything wrong, it's just-"
"Will you bloody well spit it out, already?" Harry yelled. At the same time, there was a funny feeling in his back. His shirt grew tight momentarily, and then there was the sound of ripping cloth. But he was too busy fighting down his sudden, almost overwhelming desire to throttle the old man to pay much attention. He even subconsciously shifted his weight to keep his balance.
Snape was staring, eyes wide and lips thinned even more than usual, but Dumbledore only nodded, his theory proven out - the reason for his 'bumbling' speech. "It would seem, Mr. Potter, that you're a demon spawn."
Now it was Harry's turn to gape - at the headmaster. "You must be having me on," he said. "I'm not a demon anything, let alone a...spawn? What's that supposed to be?" Harry knew that spawn was a reference to offspring, but he also knew that in the wizarding world words were often applied to things that had little to nothing to do with their usual usage. And since he knew who his parents were, it must be the latter type of usage to which Dumbledore was applying the word. And again, since he knew who his parents were, he couldn't be whatever it was.
The headmaster didn't reply to Harry's denial. He took out his wand, turned to the blank inner wall of Harry's room, and said a quick incantation. The wall became a large plane of highly polished silver, making a very effective mirror.
Harry gasped. If it weren't for Dudley's ratty cast-offs, he wouldn't, at first, have recognised himself - because the first thing that grabbed your attention was the wings. Large, bat-like wings of the same base colour as his own skin, but shimmering with all the colours of the Aurora borealis; blues, reds, purples, silver, and gold all gently competing in ever-changing waves across the planes of tough skin that comprised them. The purples seemed to be predominant most of the time, but all of the colours made their presence known.
Next to the terrible clothes, his hair and eyes were the next to catch the attention. He mentally censored the black light coming off his gently swaying hair in waves, trying to see what the other people in the room were seeing. His eyes practically leapt off his face, his hair acting as a frame that set his face and eyes off almost perfectly. They were the same colour they'd always been, but seemed to be slightly larger, now. But there was something wrong with the pupils... They weren't round. They were slit - almost, but not quite, like a cat's. He leant in for a closer look.
"I think you will find that you can now see in a wider range of light, Mr. Potter. Of course you will have noticed that you no longer need your glasses. Minor physical disabilities and ailments are reported to disappear - healed or corrected - during the change," Professor Dumbledore lectured. "Your wings, besides being used in flight, are capable of protecting you from most spells. Do you see a wavy blackness around your head?"
Harry nodded warily, and continued to inspect his reflection as the headmaster continued his monologue. His features hadn't changed all that much. They'd become a bit more refined; the long lashes around his eyes had become thicker and darker, but not any longer. His nose was a tad more aquiline, and his lips were more full, and a shade warmer in colour.
"Your hair absorbs energy; sunlight, magic... Every form of energy except heat. At your age, I imagine you were just starting to note the beginnings of a beard?"
Again, Harry nodded. His 'beard' had been just a trace of fuzz, really. He had been proud of this evidence of his manhood, even if the fuzz itself had more or less made his face look like it had smudged dirt on it. His face now, while not lean, had lost some of the 'baby fat'. His round face had been an anomaly, considering the almost gaunt condition the rest of his body had been in. His shoulders were broader, and his chest deeper. That made sense. Wider shoulders for the muscles needed for the wings; deeper chest to allow more air for oxygen...
"You'll never have to worry about removing it, if you're anything like the others. It will never grow, now. Nor will you get any more body hair than you already have."
"What?" Harry yelped. Half-panicked, Harry checked under his arms, afraid to find that his body might now be bald, only to find that yes, that hair was still there. He had already seen, earlier, when he was checking for burns, and then later, in the toilet, that his groin hair was present. Looking at his forearms, he saw... He saw in the mirror that Tonks had re-entered the room without his noticing, and was quietly laughing at him. Dumbledore was smiling widely, and even Snape didn't look as dour as usual.
"Alright, you hyenas," he said, dryly, "go ahead and laugh. What would you do if you found yourself looking so totally different than usual?"
"I don't believe I would be worrying about my body hair, Potter," Snape said, wryly.
Tonks fell down, laughing wildly, now; and Dumbledore was chuckling heartily.
Harry snorted, then turned back to the mirror. Snape and Dumbledore had obviously forgotten how important it was to a teenager to develop the outward signs of manhood. Well, his was intact, and that's what was important. Well, one of the things that was important, he thought to himself, as he again looked at the whole of him in the mirror. So his hair wasn't really giving off black light; it was absorbing energy.
The wings again caught his attention. They were beautiful, but having them at Hogwarts could become troublesome. "Are the wings permanent?" Harry asked.
"Really, Potter; can you be any more vague? If you mean 'are the wings always out', then the answer is 'no'," Snape answered with a sneer, "but you will always have them."
Harry nodded, letting the attitude slide past him. "How do I, ah...put them away?" Then he frowned. How could he have overlooked such an important question? It should have been the first out of his mouth, and yet... He had felt so comfortable and natural, that it had entirely slipped his attention. He frowned. As had being nude. How could he not have noticed?
"How did I become one of these things, anyway?" Harry asked suddenly, interrupting. "Which one of my parents was one of these 'spawn'?"
There was a short silence, then the headmaster answered. "Neither."
Harry spun about to face the three adults. "What?" he barked out. "But then how...?" He was at a loss for words, and counted on these people to understand the question. They did.
"Demons are energy beings, Mr. Potter," Dumbledore replied, conjuring four chairs, a table, and some refreshments. He gestured for them all to join him as he sat down. "But quite brilliant, for all that. Every few years one will take it into his mind to have a semi-mortal child. We're not quite sure why they do this, as they never seem to stay around to see or interact with the offspring they create."
Harry was quite hungry, but nothing on the table appealed to him. He was drinking tea, with quite a lot of milk and sugar. But with this information he started getting angry. "So you're saying that one of them raped my mother?"
"Oh, really, Potter!" Snape said, in disgust. "Which part of 'energy being' did you not understand?"
"Professor Snape is quite correct, Harry," the headmaster said, gently. "They are incapable of rape, or even consensual intercourse with material beings."
"But what of incubi?" Harry asked.
"Non-consensual, but only technically rape, and that is only one specialized sub-species of demon out of many," Tonks explained. "They, and succubi, are only semi-solid. Most of what a victim experiences is what is suggested to him or her in their semi-somnolent state by the succubi or incubi, aided by the faint physical sensations those demons are capable of giving."
She looked around in the ensuing silence. "What? I'm not allowed to know anything?" she asked defensively, at the looks the others were giving her.
Harry flashed a quick grin at her, then turned back to the headmaster. "Then...how?"
"You would have had to already been in your mother's womb. The demon would have altered you or your magic core then; probably quite early in your mother's pregnancy, possibly before she was aware she was pregnant, and most probably without her knowledge. If not caught beforehand, such children come into their 'inheritance' on, or shortly after, their sixteenth birthday."
"How many have been caught beforehand?" Harry asked.
"Only one," Dumbledore replied, sadness in his eyes.
"Did they cure him? Or was it a girl?"
"It was a girl, Mr. Potter. And in a way, I suppose she was 'cured'. She was killed, just after she was born. You see, someone saw the demon leave her mother's body."
"Who?" Harry asked again, but it was a different question, and he wasn't sure he wanted to know the answer.
"Lucius Malfoy. The girl would have been Draco Malfoy's little sister."
"I heard a strange rumour, once," Tonks said, slowly, "that when that happened, the son had been cursed by the girl's demon father."
ooA 'stone' is approximately equal to fourteen pounds.
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