Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter. I don't claim to own Harry Potter. I don't have any money. Please don't sue me.
Author's note: Well, here's the sequel to The Basement. If you haven't read The Basement, this first chapter will be filled with confusion and spoilers. I suggest you go back to my profile page and read it first. Many people liked it. They liked it so much they sent me harassing emails. "Where is the sequel?" "You promised you'd write a sequel!" "I know where you live and I will get you if you don't start posting that sequel!" and so forth. So here it is, the sequel. Hopefully it will turn out at least half as good as the Basement. A.U. 4th year, with spoilers for book 4. Don't forget to review.
Chapter 1: What?
I woke up with mashed potatoes in my nose.
Just so you know that's not normal, even for me.
"Harry! Oh dear! Harry! Harry, wake up!"
I was being shaken by several people while someone scrubbed at my face with a handkerchief.
"Harry, are you alright? Answer me, dear!"
"Ah-" I managed to say before I inhaled some potato and started strangling.
So then of course I was being shaken, scrubbed, and pounded on the back. It really isn't any wonder that it took me so long to figure out where I was.
The Weasley's, at the picnic table in the backyard, the night before the Quidditch World Cup, right, that was it. The night after the full moon.
I tried to tell the concerned collection of Weasleys that I was fine, but all that came out was a wheezing sound and a few more potatoes. The next time I pass out I am going to have to remember to fall backwards. Scratch that. Next time I won't stay up for a picnic dinner the night after the full moon. Of course that would look suspicious. Not that I wasn't already looking fairly suspicious.
Mr. Weasley, Ron, Fred and George had picked me up from the Dursley's that afternoon. I'd packed three days before, the moment I got the invitation to their house, so that wasn't a problem. The problem was I had barely stumbled back from Mrs. Figg's house by the time they arrived. After I'd stumbled out of her basement, I'd apparently slept through most of the day on her couch, under a pile of cats. She didn't even know I was still there until a cat dug its claws into my leg and I groaned, rolled off the couch, and landed on her knitting basket. I hadn't even had time to take a shower, so I smelled like cat and wet dog. At least the cat smell would throw off Fred and George. They knew something was going on that Ron and I hadn't told them, and really, what kind of self-respecting werewolf would go about smelling like cat?
I tried to act like everything was normal, but I couldn't get through even one sentence with out yawning or worse, trailing off because I forgot what I was talking about. Ron tried to cover for me, by telling them I was getting over the flu. All I'd been able to do was echo the word "flu" like some annoying parrot, like some annoying were-parrot.
"Harry, dear, I think perhaps we should take you to St. Mungo's," Mrs. Weasley said with inconvenient concern. "This is more serious then the flu."
"NO-hrk!" I managed to object as I cleared more potato from my airways.
The magic hospital was the last place I could go. Right on the sign-in form there was a box to check if you were lycanthropic. Failure to check the box was a mandatory year in Azkaban.
"Fine!" I declared between potato expulsions. "Really…hrk…fine!"
"He's fine, mum!" said Ron, who had apparently taken on the roll of annoying parrot.
"Yeah mum, he's fine," said Charlie Weasley.
I turned toward this unexpected source of help. Charlie was one of Ron's older brothers. He was an expert in magical creatures, and though he worked mainly with dragons, I was suddenly worried he'd recognized the hallmarks of another creature.
"He just needs some sleep," Charlie said, getting up from his seat.
He helped/dragged me off the bench.
"I'll make sure he gets up to bed alright," Charlie assured his mother.
"I don't know," Mrs. Weasley started to say.
"He'll be fine," Hermione said from behind George, at the other end of the long table. "He had the same thing last year during school. He'll be over it by tomorrow morning."
Charlie didn't give his mother time for more objections. He helped me into the house and up the narrow winding steps to the room I was sharing with Ron. I stumbled to the bed and pulled off the food-spattered jumper I was wearing. I was dropping toward the pillows when Charlie caught my arm, my left arm. He stood staring at the scars for several minutes. They didn't look much like a bite mark. The werewolf had been trying to rip my arm off at the time, so the flesh had just sort of shredded. I was planning to tell people it was a farming accident. Most wizards couldn't figure out which end was up with Muggle farming tools, so if I said I had a farming accident during my Muggle upbringing, who was going to argue with me?
But before I could tell him I'd stuck my arm in a grain thresher, Charlie asked "When were you bitten?"
"Last year," I said. "It was an accident."
Charlie frowned. "Does Dumbledore know?"
"But you're not registered," Charlie said. It wasn't a question.
I shook my head.
"We're going to have to talk about this," Charlie said. "But I won't bug you again until after the Cup. Do you need anything?"
"Just wanna' sleep," I said.
He nodded and closed the door after himself as he left.
I closed my eyes, and had a terrible dream.
Some nights I dream of running. I think it's the wolf in me that dreams that, crossing through fields and forests, running towards the cold smell of snow, running North, running so fast it feels like flying. It didn't take me long to realize this wasn't one of those dreams.
I dreamed I was going somewhere, going so fast that everything around me was a blur, but I didn't want to go. I wanted to dig in my feet and claw at the ground, anything to stop, to go the other way. Things began to slow down. I saw trees, statues, headstones. Suddenly I wasn't moving any more. The air smelled wrong, too dry, too sharp. This wasn't the air of England.
There was a mausoleum in front of me. It was cracked and ivy covered. The marble steps leading up to the door of the small square building were covered with snakes. Most were still. They had frozen to death, waiting on the thing inside. The door was open, but I made no move to enter. There was a faint orange glow coming from within, and the faint clank and swish of a cauldron being stirred.
Voices echoed out to me, familiar voices.
"-the ground. They won't know unless they dig up the grave and see it missing."
"You've done well," said a soft hissing voice.
"Thank you, Master," said Peter Pettigrew. "I live only to serve."
My hair stood up and I clenched my teeth over a growl.
"Yes," hissed the rat's Master. "That is why I let you live."
"The others are waiting," said a woman's voice. "When Malfoy pulls his little prank, we'll have the little brat. We'll have him begging and screaming. We'll cut out his tongue and gouge out his insolent eyes. We'll-"
"Don't get ahead of yourself, my dear," the hissing thing said. "I need him whole for the spell. Don't cut off anything that won't grow back."
"Of course, my Lord."
"And what of Black?" it hissed.
"N-nothing. Nothing yet my Lord. We will find him soon, though. I am certain."
"I will not tolerate failure, even from you, my dear," it hissed.
"Please, Master! Please, we will have him soon, too. Please-"
"Crucio!" it hissed.
My head felt as if it was exploding.
My scar burned.
My shoe hit me in the face.
"Wake up Harry!" Ron was shouting, as he picked up my other shoe and took aim. "We're going to miss our portkey!"
"Uhhhhhhhhhhhh….." I managed to say as I rolled over.
My head hurt. I rubbed at my forehead. The pain was fading, though. As I pulled on my clothes and got my head together, the dream was fading, as well. I'd probably just worked the pain in my head into my dream, like when you dream the phone is ringing and then wake up because it really is. As I stumbled down the steps I decided I'd just blame Ron. Being hit with a shoe was a perfectly innocuous reason for a headache after all. It wasn't anything to do with Voldemort, really. It was just a dream about a dead guy. Dreams can't really hurt you.