In Light of Silver Memories
I'm writing this very short fic in order to enter it into the Fanfiction Writers' Guild: Summer Horcrux Challenge. More details in my profile. It will be split into four sections—the prologue and three chapter parts. I hope you will enjoy it.
As for the Disclaimer: I own nothing written in this fiction. All of this is copyrighted and owned by J.K. Rowling.
Please remember that this story has Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince spoilers, so if you have not read the official fifth and sixth Harry Potter books, I recommend you go read them first! Also, be forewarned that there is some mild cursing within the story. Furthermore, there will be quite graphic description in this story. You have been warned. If you are offended by swear words, vivid descriptions of violent events, or just plain anything... please leave now!
If you have any question or comments, please post it in a review, or you may email me. It's always a joy to read about what my readers think! Reviews will always be welcome!
Finally, I owe a massive thanks to my wonderful beta-reader, Jamc91. Without your help, I would never have gotten this far. Thank you!
Dumbledore's portrait wakes up at last to have one final chat with Harry--a chat which may have unforeseen consequences in the Second War.
Prologue: The Pensieve
It was a dark and stormy night.
Harry was finally ready.
He sat, silent and still, before the portrait of the man who had been known as the greatest wizard within the twentieth century, and nodded at last.
"I'm ready, sir."
Albus Dumbledore stared down at Harry intently, and Harry met his striking blue eyes with confidence. He had thought, and pondered, and weighed the concerns—and decided. He would do it.
"You must be utterly willing, Harry. If even a spark of uncertainty were to remain—"
"I understand, Professor," said Harry, his voice filled with determination. "You know I've thought long and hard about this. I—well, I have to do this. It's the only way, like you've said. I've made my choice. I'm going to do it."
Again there was a moment of silence, before finally Dumbledore nodded. "Very well, then, Harry. You know what to do."
"I do, sir."
"Then may Merlin keep you safe, my boy. Good luck."
Harry rose. "Thank you, Professor." He drew out his wand as he moved over to one of the many cabinets surrounding the Headmaster's — Headmistress's — office, and muttered a spell under his breath. One of the cabinets swung open on silent hinges.
Inside laid a Pensieve. Dumbledore's Pensieve.
He drew in a shaky breath as he stepped closer towards it with a thousand thoughts spiralling within his mind: doubts, fears, and wariness. What the hell was he doing? But below the surface storm of emotions lay a rock-hard, strong-as-steel determination. He would succeed. He would.
"Harry?" called out Dumbledore from behind him. Harry turned and looked at the man inquisitively. His green eyes met the Headmaster's, and he was surprised to find a tear leaking out from the corner of the portrait-Dumbledore's eyes. Sad blue eyes, void of their usual twinkle, stared down at him. "I'm so sorry, Harry. I am so sorry you have to do this."
Harry forced himself to give a slight smile for the man's sake, though he didn't think he fooled his mentor. "Don't worry about it, Professor. I'm used to this sort of thing." That didn't seem to convince the Headmaster, who only bowed his head with sadness. "Sir," tried Harry again, "it's going to be all right. This ritual will work—and I am willing. Really, I am."
Dumbledore nodded slowly. "Go, Harry, do what you must. Go with this old man's blessing, my boy. You have been like a grandchild to me, Harry, and I care most deeply about you. Be safe."
Harry didn't know what to say to that. "I—I, thank you, Professor. I… I don't know what to say—"
Dumbledore only smiled. "Then don't say anything, Harry, and remember me kindly. You know this portrait will be gone when you wake. Remember me, Harry; please remember me not in a harsh light, but as one who loved you dearly. I am sorry for what I've done to you. But now, the time has past and been long gone, far too late for apologies. Go now, Harry. And remember."
Harry nodded solemnly. Yes, the professor had placed Harry in a horrible environment, he had tried to exclude Harry so many times in the past, had kept many secrets—but could he fault the man for doing it out of his love for Harry? No. The road to hell was paved with good intentions, but good intentions they were nevertheless. So he just nodded, and turned around to face the Pensieve once more. But this time there was a distinct lack of panic; gone was the maelstrom of emotions clouding his rationality. There was only determination, mulish stubbornness, and the will to succeed.
Here we go, thought Harry, and he drew in a deep breath. I'm ready.
He pointed his wand at the Pensieve and levitated it towards the floor. Then he jerkily, and with inexpert movements, cast Privacy wards around the already formidable wards surrounding the office, and drew in another deep breath. His heart was racing from anticipation—so much so that he had to force himself to breathe more calmly and relax.
Another deep breath, a split second of preparation, then Harry dived deeper into his mind than he usually ever went. Occlumency, what rudimentary skills he possessed, he used as best he could. He cleared his mind and attempted to enter the trance necessary to complete this task of utmost importance. He would succeed.
Then he was ready at last.
Although all conscious thought disappeared from Harry's mind, there was on a subconscious level still some control left, and tendrils of his will drew forth the words of the spell he needed to cast—a very powerful spell—and yet still keep his trance in place; without ever his conscious self needing to waken. He would succeed.
Then the words came together and floated and washed along the emptiness of his mind. Five words of power whispered from the corners of the void of his thoughts, and on the deepest level of consciousness untouched by the trance, Harry knew he was ready.
These five words would change Harry's life forever. The change they would bring would be forever irreversible, he knew.
There was a split moment, a split instant wherein Harry could have still pulled away from the trance and cancelled whatever he had been about to do safely and without retribution—
But that split second passed without even a moment of consideration on Harry's part. He was ready. He would succeed. He was determined.
He mentally spoke the five words, adding will and magic to his mental voice—
—and they thundered across his mind, reverberating within the vast emptiness of his thoughts.
Memoria exsisto colligo fieri una.
The words bounced and thundered: MEMORIA EXSISTO COLLIGO FIERI UNA.
And a third time they rolled back onto Harry: MEMORIA EXSISTO COLLIGO FIERI UNA.
Then Harry's trance shattered and his eyes snapped open just in time to see the Pensieve on the floor just before him explode, and the silvery memory broil and churn as it fountained up in a shower of sheer madness—
Harry jerked as the silver liquid of the Pensieve swung around in a continuous stream that spun and spun around Harry, in a web of silver light that still broiled and churned even as it spun with elegance and in beautiful streams.
Then the web constricted, and drew together ever more, and split into increasingly slender threads. It was an intricate, organised mess. Harry watched with wide eyes as the threads drew nearer and nearer, and when they were a hair's breadth away from touching him, the silvery web froze. Harry shook from fear, from the unknown, but narrowed his eyes and gritted his teeth. He would succeed. He was ready.
"Memoria exsisto colligo fieri una," whispered Harry, and closed his eyes.
He was willing.
The silver constricted, and Harry could feel the cool substance touching his skin—then he felt the substance enter right through his skin. He couldn't help but gasp when he felt his mind being invaded, and clenched his fists to prevent himself from automatically rejecting the foreigner in his mind.
He was willing.
Memories began to pile on memories. Thoughts that were not his own merged with his consciousness. Silver and silver poured continuously and seemingly unendingly into his mind, and Harry groaned from the effort to keep himself opened to the flow.
He was willing.
Harry began to lose track of time, of the environment around him. He wasn't aware of his breathing, or his tightly clenched fists, or his erratic heartbeat. He didn't notice the gleam of sweat glistening as it rolled down his forehead. He was completely unaware of the fact that his eyes were open and staring blankly up at the ceiling. He didn't realise his mouth was hanging open and that moans escaped from it every now and then.
Reality swirled and disappeared around him as alien memory after memory merged into his own. He was completely swamped as he relived his life, and as he relived Albus Dumbledore's life. He was crying, tears falling from his eyes, yet he was unaware of them.
He was Harry Potter, eight years old, being chased around by Dudley and his friends. He was Albus Dumbledore, buying his first wand, and grinning with goofy happiness. He was Harry Potter, looking in sadly as the Dursleys enjoyed Christmas morning opening gifts—he was Albus Dumbledore, breezing through his NEWTs with little to no trouble. He was—
—he was unaware of the portrait of Dumbledore staring down at him with concern. He didn't realise that Dumbledore was preparing himself, preparing to sacrifice his last presence in the living world. He had no clue that Dumbledore was about to release his last grip on the world as a portrait—entitled to him as a former Headmaster of Hogwarts—
—and he was oblivious to the last words of Albus Dumbledore: "You will do well, Harry. I believe in you. Memoria exsisto colligo fieri una."
With that, the portrait image of Dumbledore began to fade as the essence captured within the portrait released itself, and flowed to join the silver stream entering Harry's mind.
And Harry continued to be oblivious, to be unaware and within a nearly comatose state. He assimilated memory after memory. His mind trembled at times from the strain, shuddered as it fought to remain open, yet below the chaos and the toil of the merging lay a determination for success that was the core foundation, unparalleled by the struggles above.
For perhaps hours, or even days, Harry was within this state. Lost in the realms of memories, lost to the reality around him. He did not know how long this lasted, nor did he particularly care. But there were no breaks, no pauses in the stream of memories, no rest to recover.
On the fourth day, Harry's mind finally collapsed, and gave way sleep and oblivion. On the fourth day, an instant before his mind lost consciousness, the spell ended. On the fourth day, Harry Potter finally gained the wisdom, knowledge, and experience necessary to match the Dark Lord Voldemort.
He would be ready. He would be determined. And he would succeed.
To be continued….
Part One: Wisdom, Knowledge, and Experience will be updated very soon, but reviews help really encourage me to write! So take the hint, spend a minute, and review! A simple, "Wonderful!" or a "Love it!" will do! Even simple messages like that inspire authors to write more!
As I said above, I'm only writing this to enter it into a contest. It'll be extremely short—about 20,000 words. I have to finish it by September the second, this year. Afterwards, I'll continue Young Again: The Rewrite.
Yeah, I'm not giving up on it—not at all. Rather, I'd like to win the cash award, and so I'm reluctantly holding off on writing the next chapter for YAR until after this contest. But I do have about 6,000 words written, and it's posted on my LJ for those interested. And I am just as excited about writing for YAR as I was in the beginning. I can't wait to get started on it again.
If you want more information on this contest, visit my profile, which explains it in a bit more detail that these notes. I'll post the next part as soon as my beta is done with it.
I plan to have twelve to thirteen scenes. The next part will feature the next three. I hope you enjoy them all. Tell me, honestly, what you think of it! Thanks!
Read the "To be continued…." section for the date of the next upload. Happy reviewing!
Comments always welcome.
! Updated 8.26.06 !