Harry Potter and the Remnants of the Soul
Summary: Post-HBP, Harry/Susan, The final battle arrived more quickly than anyone expected. Voldemort's miscalculation granted Harry a victory, but one deeply tainted by loss. Piecing together his shattered Soul, Harry steps into a society where he wields incredible power, wealth, and responsibility.
A Little More: Set immediately after Dumbledore's funeral at the end of Half Blood Prince, the Trio set out on their Horcrux adventure, only to be surprised as Voldemort makes an unexpected bid to derail their efforts. In the early chapters, there's a significant amount of character death as the war wages on. However, after a battle, the story shifts to focus on a world where Harry has been stripped of his support structure and must make a new life for himself. Eventually, the story will focus on Harry's growing relationship with Susan Bones, and his struggle to find himself in a society that expects much from the Vanquisher of Voldemort.
In this story, Harry is a powerful wizard, but not a superpowered mage. I have endeavored to paint a rich portrait of Wizarding society, history, theory, and business. I am an accountant and a political science enthusiast. As such, my story plays to my strengths. There are lots of discussions about bloodlines, hereditary power, money, government, civil rights, family roles, and wizarding history. I hope you like it!
The language employed has been rated Teen or PG-13 depending on which rating system you favor, and the story does not contain slash (homosexual) relationships. This story is not suitable for those under the age of 13.
I'll conclude by asking for reviews, not only on this story, but on all stories you read. A well written story probably takes at least twenty times as much time and effort to write than it does to read. A review is a nice way of repaying the author for their time and dedication.
Chapter One: Prelude to Hell
A gleaming scarlet passenger train coasted into King's Cross Station in London, its brakes squealing as the engine relinquished one last belch of steam. Down the length of the train, doors slid open and students streamed onto Platform Nine and Three Quarters, greeting relieved parents and solemnly bidding goodbye to their classmates. Albus Dumbledore had been laid to rest only days before.
Harry Potter and his friends were the last students to disembark, and several haggard members of the Order of the Phoenix, wands at the ready, anxiously awaited the teens. Upon seeing Ron and Ginny, Molly Weasley rushed forward to embrace her children in a suffocating embrace. As she moved on to hug Harry, Arthur Weasley quietly loaded the teens' trunks onto a luggage cart.
Ducking down and augmenting it with a half-twist, Harry awkwardly slipped from Mrs. Weasley's crushing hug and scowled at Nymphadora Tonks who was giggling at his predicament. "It's not funny," he muttered beneath his breath, a red tinge to his cheeks.
Tonks winked at Harry before scanning the platform alertly and motioning for Remus Lupin to lead the group through the brick wall and into the Muggle portion of King's Cross Station.
"Pigwidgeon returned to the Burrow this morning," Arthur addressed Hermione. "Your parents couldn't make it back on such short notice. They're in Dublin at the moment."
"What are they doing in Dublin?" Ron asked, trying to imitate Seamus Finnegan's thick Irish brogue.
Harry and Hermione just rolled their eyes and ignored Ron's distinctly un-Irish accent. "I forgot it was this week," Hermione muttered. "They're at the annual dental convention."
"No worries," Arthur replied. "You're welcome at the Burrow – can stay as long as you wish."
"Thank you, Mr. Weasley," Hermione answered.
"It's nothing, Hermione," Arthur replied, "You're practically family anyway." Turning to Harry, he asked "Did you write your uncle?"
"Er, I didn't think to."
"You'll just stay with us!" Molly interjected, squeezing Harry's shoulder in the process.
"Er…" Harry motioned to Remus. "Moony, can I talk to you for a minute?"
Remus unobtrusively shifted his arm so that Harry could see the wand concealed in Remus' sleeve. "Can it wait 'til we get to the Burrow?"
Harry glanced around, but didn't see anything suspicious. "Please, Remus," he asked, consciously allowing a hint of a pleading into his voice.
Reluctantly, Remus signaled to Tonks before ducking behind a nearby support column and motioning for Harry to follow.
Harry nervously picked at a callus on his palm. "I just broke up with Ginny yesterday … and we haven't told anyone yet. Can I please not go to the Burrow?"
"I didn't even know you were dating," Remus stammered. "How long?"
"A coupla weeks."
"That was awfully quick!" Remus said before he caught himself. "Erm, sorry, Harry."
"I was thinking Grimmauld Place. It's mine, you know."
Remus was bewildered. "You want to go there?"
Harry stopped picking at his calloused palm, and looked Remus directly in the eye. "Sirius left it to me, and I'll need some place to live when I turn seventeen. I'm gonna live there in two months. I don't see the harm in going there now."
"But you can stay at the Burrow," Remus replied. "Arthur and Molly would love to have you."
Harry sighed in frustration. "I'd rather not. Ginny. Remember?"
"Yeah, that'd be awkward," Remus conceded. "Alright, Tonks and I will take you, but if it isn't safe, we'll have to bring you back to the Burrow. Got it?"
Remus studied Harry for a moment longer before motioning for Tonks to come over. "Uh, change of plans, Tonks. We're going to the Doghouse instead."
"Really?" Her hair involuntarily shortened several centimeters. "Why?"
"It's hairy; I'll explain later," Remus replied with a disarming smile.
Tonks was confused for a second before grinning, spinning around, and calling out, "Molly!"
Harry stomped on her foot, hissing, "No! They're not coming."
Recovering more quickly than Harry expected, Tonks walked over to the assembled Weasleys and gave them the news.
Molly started to object but was hushed by Tonks with a stage whispered, "Not here!"
As the adults huddled to discuss the new security arrangements, the teens began speaking amongst themselves.
"Harry, come on, you should come to the Burrow with us," Ron urged.
"Trust me on this, Ron."
"We told you, we're with you," Hermione insisted.
"Don't worry. I just need to stop at Grimmauld before heading back to Surrey."
"What!" Ron yelled, loudly enough to attract the attention of both the adults and several passing Muggles.
After a few moments of silence, Harry hissed at Ron, "I promised Dumbledore I'd return to Surrey to renew the you-know-whats."
"Well don't bother with the Muggles. Dumbledore's not here," Ron objected, stomping his foot. "It's a stupid idea."
"Ron," Hermione lectured, "if Dumbledore wanted Harry to go back, he probably had a good reason. I don't like it either, but we should do what he wanted."
Harry nodded at Hermione before continuing, "Besides, I… I mean we… We have a lot of research to do first." Harry ignored Ginny's befuddled frown. "I want to see what kinds of books might be in the Black Library. Other than Borgin and Burkes, it's as good of a place as I know to look."
"Harry, can we please search the library with you?" Hermione pleaded.
"Uh, maybe tomorrow… sorry Ginny," Harry said when she looked at him hopefully as well. "I had to give Remus an excuse why I couldn't go to the Burrow. It's like I said yesterday…" He trailed off as Ginny stomped over to her mother. It was Ron and Hermione's turn to look puzzled, and Harry simply said, "I'll tell you later."
Remus and Tonks approached the trio. "Ron. Hermione. Arthur and Molly are leaving now; you'd better go with them."
Harry waved goodbye to his friends. "See you in a bit."
Soon, Harry, Remus, and Tonks were piling into a Muggle taxi outside King's Cross Station. No one heard the distinctive crack of a wizard apparating as Remus asked the driver to take them to Grimmauld Place.
As the cab turned off the thoroughfare onto the residential Grimmauld Place, Harry immediately noticed something amiss. "Remus, can you, um, see the house?"
"Without thinking about the secret?"
Remus sat up straighter in the seat. "We're going to need to call the Ministry."
"We can't!" Harry pleaded frantically. "I don't trust them!"
"I can handle the Muggles," Tonks replied cheerfully. "But, we may need a little help concealing it again."
When the driver stopped in front of number twelve, Harry retrieved his trunk while Tonks handed over a fistful of pounds. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw an elderly woman approaching, and he could feel Remus and Tonks stiffen next to him. Harry tentatively fingered his wand behind his back. "Hello?"
She smiled at him revealing a cracked set of dentures. "Do you live here, young man?" the woman asked, gesturing to Sirius Black's old home.
"It's my godfather's."
The woman fixed him with a suspicious glare. "I've lived in number seven for eighty-four years, and there was never a number twelve until four days ago."
Harry did his best to keep a straight face. "You must be mistaken ma'am. I've spent a few school holidays here." Out of the corner of his eye, Harry watched Remus slip away from the group and approach the house. When he reached the door, Remus signaled for Harry to come over.
"Erm, would you excuse me?" Harry said. "I think my uncle forgot his key." Harry edged away, but did not turn his back on the woman until he heard Tonks mutter a memory charm.
When Harry reached the door, Remus said, "I can't open it. I think you need to claim the house before it will open."
"How do I do that?"
"An Alohomora would probably work, but it might also get you an underage citation. If you could do it wandlessly, it wouldn't be detectable."
Exasperated, Harry absentmindedly ran a hand through his hair. "Remus, you know I can't do wandless magic."
"Try it," the werewolf said with a mischievous grin.
Harry tried. He thought about the sensation of his wand in his hand and attempted to cast the unlocking charm, but the door didn't budge. After staring at the serpent shaped knocker on the large black door for a moment, Harry hissed at the door in parseltongue, "This is my house, Open."
The chains inside began to uncoil and Remus broke into a wide toothy smile. "That's a little frightening, you know?"
Tentatively, Harry placed his hand on the rough black door and gently pushed it ajar. The entryway was dark. The only rays of light spilled through the open door, and Harry felt a lump rise in his throat as he entered Sirius' old home. Setting aside his apprehension and sudden desire to skip this particular adventure, he noisily dragged his trunk through the doorway and across the entry hall.
"Keep it down," Remus warned. "We don't want to wake up the portrait."
Soon, Remus had started a fire in the sitting room hearth and tossed a pinch of Floo powder onto the flames. Moments later, Minerva McGonagall stepped out of the Floo.
"Good evening, Mr. Potter," she greeted Harry briskly. "I see you've decided to take up residence in your godfather's home."
"It's just for a bit, Professor. I'll be returning to Surrey soon. I forgot to tell my uncle, and he wouldn't take too kindly to me just showing up."
"No," McGonagall's frigid expression warmed with a sad smile, "I don't suspect Vernon Dursley would. I had the occasion to meet the man once."
Harry grinned at his professor. "You did? When?"
"You were quite young at the time," she said as her lips tightened.
"Oh," Harry deflated. "He hasn't changed a bit."
McGonagall nodded in understanding. "Now, Mr. Potter, what can I do for you today?"
"Erm… Remus thought… well, I want to cast the Fidelius Charm again. We thought Professor Dumbledore might have told you how it works." Harry motioned out the front door to the crowd of neighbors who were interrogating Tonks. "Memory Charms won't do much if they can still see the house."
McGonagall hesitated before replying, "I've never cast that particular charm. Albus explained it to me once, but I could use the assistance of a charms expert. Do you mind if I send for Professor Flitwick?"
"As long as you trust him completely."
"Absolutely," she replied without hesitation.
"That'll be great then." Harry breathed with relief.
An hour later, Filius Flitwick approached Harry. Climbing on top of a nearby chair, the diminutive professor spoke a secret into Harry's ear: "Harry Potter's house is located at Twelve Grimmauld Place." Flitwick clambered down from the chair and went to stand in the entryway. "By the looks on your neighbors' faces, I'd say it works like a charm," he deadpanned.
Harry could not help but laugh at the professor's quirky sense of humor. "I'm the secret keeper then?"
"Minerva and I know the secret because we cast the charm. But you'll need to tell anyone else. They won't be able to find the house otherwise." After a brief pause, Flitwick added, "I'd be willing to be obliviated if you wish."
Harry was shocked at his professor's offer, but he was even more surprised when McGonagall interrupted sternly, "Perhaps a magically binding oath. That would decrease the possibility of brain damage, Filius."
"You don't have to do either!" Harry nearly shouted in his haste to head off the conversation. "I trust you both."
"I will take an oath, Harry." Flitwick's normally high-pitched voice deepened. "It's better that way."
"I will bind you then," McGonagall agreed. After a moment, she added, "And then Filius, you may bind me."
"But… I don't understand," Harry objected plaintively.
McGonagall's expression thawed. Dropping her usual reserve, she explained, "It will be alright, Harry. The oath is a magical pledge that we will not betray you or the location of your house. There is no reciprocating commitment on your behalf." She waited until understanding dawned on Harry's face. "Now, kneel down beside Filius."
Harry did as he was instructed, and they grasped each other's forearm.
"Do you, Filius Flitwick, swear never to betray the location of Harry Potter's house?"
"I do." A thin tongue of magic flowed from McGonagall's wand and surrounded their clasped arms.
"And do you also swear never to betray Harry Potter to the forces that seek to defeat him?"
"I do." A second flame-like tongue interwove itself with the first.
"And do you swear to support Harry Potter in his opposition to evil?"
"I do." A third tongue intertwined itself with the others, and Harry could feel the magical bond as it formed.
A minute later, Flitwick and McGonagall had exchanged positions, and Flitwick bound McGonagall to the same three promises.
"Thank you," Harry said refusing to meet either of their gazes. "I can't believe you just did that."
"Harry," McGonagall replied, "Albus told us both the beginning of the prophecy. It is the least we can do. You will need our help."
Harry briefly glanced up at McGonagall and saw a look of pure compassion on her weathered face. It reminded him, with a pang, of similar looks he had seen on the face of Albus Dumbledore. Throat constricting and eyes watering, Harry excused himself. "I better go and tell Tonks and Remus where we are."
Harry quickly walked out the front door and saw that the crowd, which had formed to interrogate Tonks and Remus, was slowly dissipating. As a precaution, both still clutched their wands behind their backs. When the final neighbor left a few minutes later, Harry approached Tonks and whispered in her ear. "Harry Potter's house is located at Twelve Grimmauld Place."
Tonks looked over Harry's shoulder and concentrated for a moment before a grin spread across her face. "Excellent."
After Harry repeated the process with Remus, he turned to go back in the house when Remus put a hand on his shoulder. "Harry, would you mind telling Alastor as well?"
"Mad-Eye? Sure. I'll tell him when I see him."
"Boo!" Harry jumped at the voice that sounded in his ear. "Constant vigilance, Potter!"
"Cripes, Mad-Eye, don't do that."
"You gonna tell me a secret?"
"I can't even see you. I don't know where you are."
"I can hear you."
"And I'm not telling secrets to anyone that I can't see."
"Good. Come behind this bush."
"Which one?" Harry demanded.
"Try the burning bush."
Harry spun around as Mad-Eye's voice was suddenly behind him. He nearly fell over with surprise when he saw flames licking at a bush. But, oddly enough, it was not actually burning.
Harry walked over behind the shrub and was startled to see Alastor Moody's spinning magical eye and disembodied head poking out from the silvery folds of an invisibility cloak. "Hello, Mad-Eye. How did you know where we were?"
"I've been following you since the train. You should buy a portable foe glass, Potter."
"That's not funny; I've seen myself in your foe glass before."
"Then that is why you need your own. Now, are you going to tell me the secret so we can get out of the open?"
"You're the one burning my shrubbery. Don't blame me for attracting attention."
Moody continued to glare at Harry with both of his eyes.
Relenting, Harry asked, "What did you show me last year that made me angry?"
"Very good, Potter. You're learning. I showed you a picture of the original Order of the Phoenix. I told you about Edgar Bones, Gideon and Fabian Prewett…"
"Fine," Harry said with a frown before leaning in and whispering his secret in the old Auror's ear.
The next morning, Harry awoke with the sun and began to explore the house. Despite spending two holidays at the 'Doghouse' (as he was beginning to think of Grimmauld Place), Harry had never entered a few of the rooms, which had yet to be cleaned. On the second floor, Harry opened a set of double doors and found a sizable library full of mildewing and moldy books. The stench in the room was enough to make Harry immediately close the doors and move on to another room.
Around nine, Remus emerged from his room and complained that he was hungry.
"We could invite Ron and Hermione to come over. Mrs. Weasley might bring some food."
Remus paused mid-step and looked admiringly at Harry. "Grand idea you have there," he commented with a toothy grin before continuing into the bathroom.
In five jumps, Harry leapt down two flights of stairs. He bound into the sitting room and grabbed a handful of Floo powder. Tossing it onto the smoldering ashes; green magical flames sprang to life. Putting his head in the flames, Harry spoke, "The Burrow."
When his head appeared in the Burrow's kitchen fire, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were sitting at the table eating breakfast. "Hey guys, want to come over? I was hoping you could help me with a touch of magical cleaning."
Ron looked disinterested for a second before Hermione elbowed him in the ribs and gave him a meaningful look. "Sure, Harry, we'd love to help you out."
Ginny looked down at her plate and quietly said, "I'll skip." Suddenly, she stood and ran up the stairs, saying something about doing her homework.
After a moment of curiously looking after her retreating daughter, Molly asked, "Harry dear, have you had any breakfast yet?"
"Er, no. There's no food in the house. I had some sweets from my trunk though," Harry lied.
Mrs. Weasley looked as if he'd just said a dirty word. "Sweets for breakfast? I'm coming over this instant, and I'm bringing a proper breakfast with me. Don't you dare argue with me, Harry Potter!"
"You don't have to," Harry protested for good form.
"Nonsense." Mrs. Weasley had already gathered a dozen eggs, three loaves of bread, some sliced meat, a head of cabbage, some assorted vegetables, and probably anything else within a ten meter range. "Sweets for breakfast, indeed!" she huffed.
Twenty minutes later, Harry had eaten a "proper" breakfast and was supervising Ron and Hermione as they cast cleaning charms in the library. Tonks had left for her shift at the Ministry of Magic, and Molly was taking the opportunity to give Remus relationship advice in the kitchen. So, Harry figured, the teens were assured that they would be uninterrupted until well after lunch.
Harry had assumed a few scouring charms would do the trick in the library, but Hermione insisted that there were quite a number of specific charms that should be applied in meticulous order and at some arcane interval that depended on the temperature and humidity of the room.
"Er, Hermione –" Harry cut off her lecture. "I don't need the details. I'll just stay out of the way."
"But it's your library, Harry."
"Right." Hermione turned to Ron, whose eyes were a little too shifty, and she clearly thought better of it. "Alright, I'll do it, but promise me you'll never use Scourgify on a book."
"Promise." Harry answered with a smile.
"Me, too!" Ron chimed in triumphantly.
"Good," Hermione answered with a wicked smile. "But there's nothing wrong with using Scourgify for sofas… rugs… windows…" her grin lit up the room as Ron's panic mounted. "Baseboards… floors… moldings…drapes…"
"Alright already!" Ron surrendered as he cast an angry Scourgify upon the nearest sofa.
Hermione began charming each book individually as Harry trailed behind her reading the titles of books, occasionally selecting one to page through.
"Last night, I was thinking about the note in the fake locket," Harry mentioned after a while. "We should find out what Sirius' brother's middle name was."
"R.A.B." Hermione murmured.
"Regulus A. Black?" Ron mused. "That would fit. Sirius said he changed his mind and tried to leave the Death Eaters. I wonder if Professor Lupin would know."
Hermione quickly walked across the room and brought over a thick tome, which was one of the first she had cleaned. "I don't think we even need to ask."
"What's that?" Harry inquired.
"It's the Black family Grimoire," Hermione replied.
Ron stopped trying to eradicate a particularly stubborn cobweb. "They're history books. Most of the old families have one. They keep family histories, among other things."
"Among other things?" Harry asked.
"Well, yeah," Ron continued, oblivious to Harry's confusion. "Sometimes people will use them as journals. We had a great-great-uncle who fancied himself a poet. Our Grimoire has hundreds of poems about Butterbeer."
"Spells too," interjected Hermione, cutting Ron off. It appeared that he was on the verge of telling them, in great detail, about the contents of the Weasley family Grimoire.
"It's a better place to put them than your potions book," Ron replied.
"Yes, but we're not looking for spells." Hermione flipped through the pages near the end and found an entry written in halting block letters:
February 22, 1961 – We welcome Regulus Arcturus Black to the Noble and most Ancient House of Black this day. Born to Orion and Walburga Black, Regulus is a delight and has my hazel eyes and crooked smile. Walburga and Orion honored my brother and I by giving the child his departed uncle's name and my own. I suspect the boy will be glad he was born as such. Walburga wished to name him Cassiopeia Dorea Black if he had been born a girl.
Hermione smiled smugly, picked up an ugly brown towel covered with cobwebs, and left the room. She returned three minutes later with a locket that faintly resembled the fake Horcrux Harry continued to carry. When Harry saw the large 'S' emblazoned on the locket he gasped, "Slytherin's locket!"
"When we were cleaning last year, we found this in the parlor. We couldn't get it open, so we set it aside. We're further along than we thought, now, all we need to do is destroy it, Harry!" Hermione proclaimed with a triumphant gleam in her eyes.
"And just how are we going to do that, Hermione? I don't exactly have a basilisk fang handy."
Hermione's face fell as she considered Harry's question. "I don't know. Maybe we'll find a clue in one of these books." She set the locket down and resumed cleaning with a renewed vigor.
"Ugh, Hermione, the answers aren't always in books," Ron whined. "Let's try some spells first. It might be something really simple. Let's just give it a go."
"And it might not be so simple, Ron," she snapped back. "No one is going to lose a hand like Dumbledore because we didn't have enough patience! Dumbledore was a lot more powerful than any of us. It could be a whole lot worse than a blackened hand."
"What? We'll get expelled?" Harry asked with a grin, before he and Ron exploded in laughter.
"I WAS TWELVE!" Hermione screamed at the two boys. She stood for a moment with her hands on her hips and a withering scowl marring her pretty face. Gradually, she began to see the humor in the situation, and a smile fought its way onto her reluctant lips. "Who ever thought it would lead to this? I wish we could go back to worrying about getting expelled."
Hermione's comment seemed to have a sobering effect on Harry and Ron. "Let's get back to work. The answer might be in one of these," Harry said, motioning to the remaining books.
For the rest of the morning, Hermione cleaned books while Harry leafed through those that looked promising. While they worked, Ron stretched his lanky body across a dark green sofa and drew circles around a stain with his finger as the trio discussed possible methods of destroying a Horcrux.
After two hours, Remus stuck his head in the library and announced that lunch was ready in the kitchen. Over a late afternoon bowl of chicken soup, Harry and Remus told Hermione and Ron the story of their arrival at Grimmauld Place the previous day. Ron thought the idea of Muggles completely bewildered by a reappearing house to be the funniest thing since 'U-No-Poo.'
Hermione, on the other hand, was much more interested in the process of casting the Fidelius Charm. "So, Professor McGonagall and Flitwick were able to hide the house again?"
"Sure, it took about an hour," Harry replied nonchalantly.
"Did you pay them?" Hermione asked.
"I didn't even think of that," Harry said setting down his fork. "I should have. How much do you think?"
Remus suggested that Harry shouldn't worry about a price, but Harry wouldn't be deterred.
"Maybe fifty galleons for skilled labor like that," Remus finally estimated.
"Do you think they would do my house?" Hermione tentatively asked Remus.
"I'm sure they would if you asked them."
Hermione thought about it for a moment. "Harry, may I borrow Hedwig for the afternoon?"
When the meal was over, Remus told Harry that Arabella Figg had volunteered to drive him back to Surrey. They would be traveling in her old sedan, and Mad-Eye Moody would be riding along in the back underneath his invisibility cloak.
And thus, Harry took Slytherin's locket, the Grimoire, several thick and musty books, and a Muggle photograph he found of Sirius back with him to Surrey. There, he spent his first few days doing housework, reading through the 'dark' books he had retrieved from London, and walking mindlessly to and from the park.
Later that week, under the cover of darkness provided by a new moon, eight owls flew from Scotland to Little Whinging bearing an inheritance for Harry, a charmed trunk. The sturdy oaken box had belonged to Albus Dumbledore for many years before his death, and it was filled with dozens of old books and journals. In these journals, Harry found hope. For the greatest Wizard of his age had taken copious notes on what he had learned of Tom Riddle's history and the process of destroying a Horcrux.
The trips to the play park nearly stopped as Harry spent more and more time poring through the volumes. The gift from Dumbledore had instilled in him a confidence that he could find the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them. Also, among the books, were texts on Occlumency, Legilimency, Alchemy, Blood Magic rituals, and even one on Animagus transformations. Virtually all of these books would have been banned, even from the Restricted Section, in the Hogwarts Library. So, naturally, Harry began devouring the books as if he were possessed by his bushy-haired best friend.
Author's Disclaimer: I don't own the Harry Potter series. It belongs to Jo Rowling. I'm not making any money off this, and I hate reading these. This is the last one for the story.
Author's Note: This chapter is dedicated to the Harry Potter Lexicon. I reference the site any time I need factual help.
Author's Recognition: When I first wrote this chapter, it was really bad, then I edited it after writing chapter five, and it was merely bad. I revisited it again after chapter nine, and made some more improvements, and revisited it again while working on chapter sixteen. It's still a first chapter, and those are generally a little rough, but it's probably fairly representative of my writing at this point.
In writing this chapter, my betas have been invaluable. I would like to thank Lady Alchymia, Ivan, Patti, Susan, Sharni, Myles, Tim Joy (Jeconais), and Lisa who all saw the chapter in its various states and were kind enough to give me some honest feedback. Thanks all.
Originally posted: 4 May 2006
Last edited: 6 March 2010
Word Count: 4,462