AN: I'm sorry for the long wait and the short chapter. I have started on the next chapter but have no idea how soon it might be finished. I do intend to finish this and my other wip's. A big thank you to Evan for his beta work.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Harry spent the rest of his vacation with a smile on his face. He had lessons at the Bank and flying at the arcade. He followed Sandy around asking questions about her cleaning charms recording them in his Grimoire, and practicing under her supervision.
When the time came to return to school George had to get him a second bag for all his new belongings. Harry and Sandy had baked more Christmas cookies and brownies the day before and she insisted Harry take them to school with him because she would get fat if she ate them.
His time at school flew by and he looked forward to seeing Mr. Pike every Saturday. The potions had kicked in and Harry found that he could do his PT more easily and run for a longer time.
The first Sunday of each month was open house at the Academy. Parents could come and visit or check up on their children on that day. That first Sunday in February Harry had just settled in with one of his disguised magic books when his barracks Captain shouted that he had visitors and to hustle over to the Visitor's Center at HQ building.
Harry was elated that George and Sandy had come to visit and showed them all around the campus. Pointing out the various sites and introducing his friends.
The middle of February brought a care package of cookies from Sandy through the mail, the first mail he had ever received. Harry was very popular that day when he shared with his barrack mates.
Easter was a four day weekend and Harry spent it at George's house. He had two mind magic lessons with Grandma and the three of them spent Saturday at a professional Quidditch match.
Harry thrived with the attention of both his guardians and understanding teachers.
Soon it was May and time for summer vacation.
Harry spent the first two weeks of summer in morning lessons with Mr. Pike. He said Harry had completed the beginning charms level so they started work on beginning transfiguration. At the end of those lessons Mr. Pike gave him two books to read over the remainder of the summer; intermediate Charms theory and beginning Transfiguration theory.
He also had three hours after lunch each day with Grandma practicing mind magic. His late afternoons were spent either at the arcade on his broom or with Sandy. In the evenings the three of them played games, watched tv or movies, or went to a small park nearby.
Then George and Sandy surprised him with a trip to Mexico. The first day was spent on the beach and the second they went to an Aztec temple.
The temple complex was much larger than it first appeared and Harry realized that a good deal of it was magical and went unnoticed by the mundane tourists. Harry was admiring a set of feathered serpent statues when they were approached by a tall, old man wearing khaki shorts and necklace with a feathered serpent pendant. He shook hands with George and Sandy and spoke quietly with them for a few minutes before turning to Harry.
"They tell me that you are a serpent speaker," he said.
Harry looked up at him and asked, "A serpent speaker, sir?"
"That you can speak to serpents, to snakes, in their own tongue," said the man with a smile.
"Oh, I don't know. I haven't ever talked to a snake before. The lady that tested me for talents said I could though." He glanced up at George who had a funny look on his face.
The man laughed a bit and said, "He looks that way because we are speaking the serpents tongue now."
"I don't understand, sir," said Harry shocked.
"Come this way, we shall sit down and have some refreshment while I explain." Then he led the way across the terrace to a shaded alcove.
Once seated he spoke so that George and Sandy could understand him as well. "I spoke the serpents' speech or parseltongue as it is called in English to you to test you. You understood and responded unaware that there was a difference; this indicates that you have a strong gift. It is a rare but wonderful gift among my people. In ancient times serpent speakers were dedicated to the gods and served as warrior protectors of the lands. They were our strongest weapon against the European invaders. Perhaps that is why those lands consider the gift evil or dark. Only once in my time as Senior Protector has another from outside our peoples approached us for training. He would have used our knowledge for evil so we turned him away." The old man took Harry's hands in his and looked deep into his eyes. "You, young speaker, I will teach."
Harry spent the next two days learning to control his parseltongue so he knew when he was hearing or speaking it and to speak it without needing to see a snake or hear it spoken first. Harry had made friends with the two boys he'd been practicing with. They were both apprenticed to the Senior Serpent Shaman and were learning to be Serpent Warriors. The boys were very serious about their lessons even though Harry had found out Suli was only five and Sami seven.
On the third day Anuhazi, the Senior Serpent Shaman had begun to explain that spells cast in the serpent tongue would be stronger than those cast in human speech and would be harder to dispel. He was just getting started when the lesson was interrupted by a runner from a nearby village and Harry and the two boys were sent into the yard to play.
Sami and Suli were teaching Harry a ball game when their older cousin came into the yard. "What are you doing?" The older boy demanded, "You should know better than to allow an outsider in to the compound."
Harry straightened and turned to the older boy who looked about fourteen. Sami stammered, "Grandfather is teaching him, Andi."
"You expect me to believe Grandfather would teach an outsider. I am the senior apprentice and I would know of something like that. You're supposed to be in lessons, anyway; both of you get into the house while I throw this outsider out," snarled the teen.
"Andi, you can't-" started Sami but the boy cut him off with a slap and pushed him to the ground.
"Hey, leave him alone," hissed Harry in the serpent speech the other boys had been using.
Andi glared at him, "You dare to speak to me, outsider? I am the senior apprentice. I will one day be the Serpent Shaman."
"I don't care who you are, you have no right to hit and push those smaller than you," argued Harry.
The older boy laughed, "I have every right to discipline those beneath me. As you will see." He pulled his wand then and said, "Serpent I summon you," and a foot long snake with diamond markings slithered from his wand. "Bite him," the boy commanded.
Harry back up from the snake as Suli called to him, "Summon your own, Harry, to defend you." Andi sneered at the younger boy, "Just wait traitor, when I've finished with the outsider you'll be sorry."
Harry wasn't sure about the spell, he'd called to the snake not to bite him but it had only replied that it must do as its master commanded. Finally Harry repeated the movement and incantation the older boy had done and from his wand came a five foot winged serpent with feathers, hovering in front of him. Sami and Suli gasped, Andi flushed and gaped at the serpent and the rattlesnake vanished.
"HOLD!" Came the voice of the Senior Serpent Shaman, who was striding toward them staff in hand, and then he bowed before Harry's flying snake. "Welcome Great One.
"Why have I been summoned?" demanded the quetzalcoatl.
"I did it," said Harry softly, "I'm sorry."
The serpent turned to face Harry and examined him, "You carry my feather in your wand young speaker, you are worthy of my protection. You may summon me again in time of need." said the serpent as it landed on Harry's shoulder and wound around him for a few moments, tasted his cheek and then shimmered slightly and vanished. Harry looked up anxiously at the Shaman as Andi came to himself and proclaimed, "Grandfather this outsider challenged me!"
The Shaman drew himself up and stared down at the boy, "You dare to lie to me? I was watching from the door, Apprentice. You have been warned before about your temper. Violence to your fellows will not be tolerated. If you cannot control yourself you will never become a serpent warrior let alone a shaman. I will bind your abilities myself! Go to your quarters, remain there until I summon you."
"But-" protested the boy.
"Go, now, before you dishonor me as well as yourself with argument," Then he pulled the boy's wand from his hand and pointed toward the house. The boy went, red faced and glowering.
The Shaman turned to the two smaller boys. "Please go to the kitchens and ask your mother to send a snack to my study for Harry and I." They nodded and ran off. The Shaman then turned to Harry, "Come there is much to discuss."
Once seated in the study Harry looked up and said, "I didn't mean to."
"You did nothing wrong, young speaker, but tell me how did you know the summoning?"
"I just copied what that boy did, Suli said I should. It didn't seem to be a difficult spell," said Harry.
The Shaman laughed, "Ah, you must have in mind the type of serpent you wish to summon when you cast. Most serpents will then obey the one who summoned them. If you had no specific serpent in mind then I can see where you might have been able to call the great one whose feather resides in your wand. If you are lucky it may decide to seek you out without you summoning it. Do not fear, quetzalcoatls have an innate magic that prevents humans from seeing them if they don't wish to be seen."
"Isn't it one of your gods?" asked Harry in a whisper.
The Shaman smiled, "Quetzalcoatl was worshiped as a god yes, but he was a wizard who could take the form of the feathered serpent and took the name as well. Now let us discuss spell casting and the serpent speech."
Anuhazi the Senior Serpent Shaman gazed down fondly at the boy before him.
"Our time together grows short, young speaker, I hope that we shall meet again. My house will always be open to you. If you have need of food, shelter or counsel you may come to me.
"Thank you sir, for everything," said Harry.
"You are most welcome young speaker, you are worthy of my attention and tutelage. If I could, I would demand to keep you here as an apprentice," he said.
Harry frowned slightly, "I could be a Serpent Warrior?"
Anuhazi laid his hand on Harry's shoulder and said seriously, "Yes, you have the strength, heart and mind of a Serpent Shaman, Harry Potter. But it cannot be. You must follow your own path." Then he smiled, "But that does not mean that our paths may not cross nor run together for a short time. Be strong, young speaker, your destiny awaits you." Then he drew Harry's attention to George waiting patiently at the base of the temple, then turned and strode away.