Disclaimers: The characters present in this story are not mine but are the creation of J.K. Rowling. If they were mine then the following might have been the story of Harry Potter. This story is just the tweaking of the plots of the Harry Potter books written by J.K. This contains spoilers of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Chapter 10: History and the Future
'Words' as thoughts
"Words" as spoken
'Words' as memory
Words as spells
Words as Parseltongue
Both Harry and Ginny looked towards the source of the voice and found the statue of Salazar Slytherin moving towards them.
The basilisk lowered its head, as if bowing to the statue, when it saw the statue of Slytherin moving. Seeing the bow, the statue smiled and said, "You haven't forgotten tradition, my friend, even after such a long time." The statue then bowed back to the basilisk. Both the snake and the statue then looked at Harry.
There were so many questions, arising in both Harry's and Ginny's mind. "How, could I possibly be the master of Hogwarts castle?" Harry asked after analysing which question to be asked at first. Ginny stayed silent, knowing that her questions might not be answered and she hoped to gain some knowledge about her new life, which was going to be starting soon.
"Among the many questions you could have asked, you ask about the validity of my statement. It shows that you have a thirst to know about the history of your ancestors. I'll talk about that in a few moments, but let me ask you a question, what do you know about the Potters'?"
Harry never moved his eyes from the statue even when he was thinking about the statue's question. He thought about asking why he should answer it, but since it might only lengthen the process, chose not to do so. After some debating he decided to tell fractions of what he knew. "I know that the Potters are one of the richest families and I'm the heir to the house of Potter."
The basilisk was at that point watching Ginny figuring how to tell her about the actions performed during the process of bonding. The statue looked a little resigned about telling the past of the Potters to a twelve year old. If he hadn't seen the control of the Potter heir over the Fiendfyre spell, he would not have moved until the next heir.
"Although, you haven't asked about my identity, I'll introduce myself. My name is Salazar Slytherin, the previous guardian of Hogwarts as appointed by Lord Henry Arthur Potter and the basilisk is Selene. Now, before I venture into the wonderful history of the Potters, I'd like to know whether you know about the Tale of The Three Brothers." Salazar Slytherin asked.
Both Harry and Ginny had already guessed about the identity of the statue. But they were shocked when he mentioned that he was the previous guardian. Harry shook his head, but Ginny said, "Aren't these the same brothers whom Death himself had given three unique magical items as asked by them?"
"You are correct, Miss…" Salazar said.
"Weasley, Ginny Weasley. My mother used to read the story when I was younger. It is one of the popular magical stories. But didn't the story happen many years after the castle was built?" Ginny said answering the unasked question which she guessed that might pop up.
"Since, you're going to be the next guardian you'll be included in the secrets of the Potter family. You won't be able to divulge these secrets, whether willingly or unwillingly, until the current head of the house gives permission. Please bear with us, while I tell young Potter about the Tale of The Three Brothers. The actual tale was years before the founding of Hogwarts." Salazar replied.
Before anybody could speak, Harry asked Salazar, "Since I'm the current head of the house of Potter, couldn't I keep her from listening?"
"No Mr. Potter, you couldn't. Since the guardian was appointed, these secrets have been passed to both the Head and the Guardian. The only requirement is that previous guardian chooses the next one and that I bestow the secrets to the next Head of House that fulfils the condition." Salazar replied.
"How did I fulfil the condition?" Harry asked
At the same time, Ginny asked, "Why was I chosen as the next guardian, of Hogwarts?"
"You, Mr. Potter fulfilled the condition when you showed masterful control over a dangerous spell at such a young age. If you'd just destroyed the diary with a stroke of luck, then I wouldn't have chosen you to share your family secrets. Also Selene wouldn't have addressed any Potter as her Master if she wasn't sure that they wouldn't be able to fulfil their duty as Master of the Castle. She's an excellent judge of personality, and I trust her judgement completely. As for you Miss Weasley, you were chosen by Selene herself. For her reasoning, we must ask her." Salazar replied.
The three of them looked at the basilisk and then Ginny said, "Why did you choose me as the next guardian, Selene?"
"I watched you, even when you were controlled by another one. You always seemed to fight it. To fight possession at such a young age is not a simple feat. Then just nearly an hour before, when you were totally controlled and Tom Riddle had appeared in the spirit form, you broke from his possession completely. He was stopped from regaining his body as he had hoped and you were trying to give up your life to stop him. You knew the consequences and were prepared to die for others. You showed a lot of power resisting the possession and finally stopping it. Because you are powerful and care about others, I chose you as the next guardian. Lord Slytherin had said that to be a Hogwarts guardian, one must care for others and they should have the power to protect Hogwarts and her Master. You fulfil both the qualities."
Salazar hearing her said, "You speak truly, Selene. It was the same reason I chose you as the next guardian after me. I've watched you Miss Weasley and I must applaud you for the strength and willpower that you've shown. I believe that you'll be able to fulfil the role of the guardian of Hogwarts."
"Now, let us delve into the origin of the Potters. First let Miss Weasley explain what she knows about the Tale of The Three Brothers. Then I'll correct her if there is anything amiss. So Miss Weasley, if you will." Salazar said looking at Ginny.
Ginny looked around after Salazar finished and noticed that everyone inside the chamber was looking at her. She hesitated and slowly spoke, "I… actually don't know a lot about the starting and the ending of the story. But I'll tell about what I know. I think it all started when the three brothers made a magical bridge to cross a violent river. When they were in the middle of the bridge, Death visited them. He granted each of them a wish as a reward for cheating death. The eldest brother asked for an unbeatable duelling wand. The second brother asked for something which could resurrect the dead and the third one asked for something that would allow him to be invisible to Death himself. So, the eldest brother was given The Elder Wand, the second brother The Resurrection Stone and the youngest was given The Cloak of Invisibility. The eldest brother was killed in his sleep and The Elder Wand stolen from him. The middle brother committed suicide to join his lover while the youngest brother used The Cloak to hide himself from Death and died many years later."
Finishing her tale, she looked around. Harry was examining the cloak in his hand and wondering whether it might be the same cloak. Salazar looked at her and said, "The story which you just said is true, Miss Weasley. It is the end, which is interesting. I'll start with the beginning and then proceed to the end of the story."
Salazar looked towards Harry and said, "And yes Mr. Potter the cloak which you are holding in your hand is the same Invisibility Cloak, gifted by Death himself."
"Nobody knows how the Peverell line started. But, in our time it was the general belief that the line had started since the beginning of the Age of Ancients. It is said that the Age of Ancients ended with the Battle between Merlin and Morgana. The age after that is said to be the Modern Wizarding Era. People believed that the Peverell line died after the death of the youngest brother. There were no written records. I was told about what happened to the youngest brother after I became the guardian of the Potter inheritance. The youngest brother feared that he might face the same fate as his brothers. So he hid from the general population and then reappeared nearly after a decade, shedding his name Ignotus Peverell and with a new identity Ioalaus Potter, thus establishing The Potter line during the Age of Ancients. The Peverells were said to be quite rich and because both the eldest and the middle brother had died without any heir or wife, he acquired the entire family fortune. I was told that Ioalaus Potter spent nearly three quarters of his fortune while building Hogwarts. He wanted a safe place for his descendants, and so built Hogwarts with all the wards and secrets passages. Hogwarts, at that time was surrounded by the Forbidden Forest from all sides, which hid the castle. At that time, so many layers of wards were placed that no one magical or muggle knew about the castle. The warders and builders were killed in order to keep Hogwarts a secret. Only some were trusted with its location. From the moment Hogwarts was built it has been known as the safest place on Earth. Lord Henry Arthur Potter told me that this castle was used by Merlin as a safe haven for his supporters, during his battle with Morgana Le Fay."
"For a long time the Potters lived in Hogwarts. They added their own wards and protected it from others. That all changed nearly a thousand years ago. The Slytherins were in contact with the Potters, even before I was born. I was a friend of Joseph Potter, the son of Lord Henry Potter and made godfather to Joseph's son, Jonathan. In my day, magical knowledge was passed from parents to their offspring. Those who weren't satisfied travelled and learned. So I travelled far, gaining knowledge and I met fellow travellers like me. They were also travelling to gain knowledge from different types of magic taught at different places. They were Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff. All of us were different from each other, yet we became friends and travelled together. During our journey, Helga thought about opening a school in which children would be taught from different people in different forms of magic. She didn't like the journey that one had to take in order to be proficient in using magic. All of us discussed and agreed to open the school but the main problem was where to teach the students."
"I asked all of them to return with me to Scotland, to Slytherin Manor. One day, during my visit to Hogwarts, I presented the topic of our discussion to Lord Henry. He took to the idea quite well and asked me to visit again after a week. One week later, Lord Henry gave me a complete tour of Hogwarts, with all the passages and secret tunnels. He told me that he would like Hogwarts to be the castle where future generations of wizards and witches would be taught. I was stunned. I recovered from my state of amazement and asked him about the Potters next dwelling. He told me that Potter Manor was already constructed and would be fully functional within a year. So he told me to wait for a year to open the school."
"He asked me not to divulge information about the true owner of Hogwarts. In a way, that day I was made a part guardian. I didn't know that such a noble thing would cause a massive rift inside the Potter family. "
"Elated with the news, I returned to Slytherin Manor. I told them that a friend of mine would provide a place for the school in about a year's time. So we started making plans for the school. The three of them asked a lot of questions in order to gain knowledge about the identity of my friend. But I always dodged their questions. It was a skill taught to the children of the Slytherin line since they could talk."
"Later on, I found out that Joseph had a disagreement with Lord Henry about shifting from Hogwarts. Being only the heir not the head of house of Potter, he couldn't change the decision. He started becoming distant from rest of his family members. Nobody knew what he did during the time period of one year."
"Lord Henry meanwhile gave orders to clear one side of the Forbidden Forest, so that a path could be made to Hogwarts. He also lowered the some of the dangerous wards, which allowed other people to enter inside the area of Hogwarts."
"We four friends started asking parents of young children, who showed potential in magic, about sending their children to our school from the next year. Many of them were sceptical, and some even laughed in our faces, but some showed interest. Nearly ten families gave their word to send their children to Hogwarts. Even though it was quite low, we were elated."
"Then a few months before the start of school, tragedy struck the Potters. Lord Henry had requested a meeting with me concerning Joseph. We were talking with about what to do regarding the situation when a house-elf appeared beside Lord Henry and said that Joseph had requested a meeting with him. The Joseph that I saw that day was wild, a madman. I was near the door when he entered and in his haste I don't think he saw me."
"A flurry of spells rained from his wand as soon as he entered. And by the sound of it, all of them were dark in nature. Both Lord Henry and I were astonished, and reacted slowly. Lord Henry wasn't able to dodge all of them and was soon under the Cruciatus curse. As soon as he was under the curse I came out of my stupor and started casting. Joseph turned and started duelling with me. I tried to tell him to stop the madness but he didn't listen. He was lost to the Dark Arts. Because his concentration was now solely upon me, Lord Henry was freed from the curse and started duelling Joseph. Both of us were not looking to kill Joseph, but he had no such reservations. Unfortunately, a simple banishing charm from my wand found Joseph which he was unable to dodge. He was banished right from the window. We were at the top of the North Faced Tower, and Joseph fell into the ground never to wake again."
"Joseph was buried that same night, and the Potters vacated Hogwarts the next day. Before leaving Hogwarts, Lord Henry appointed me as a guardian of Hogwarts, to look after the castle and to protect innocents inside it from harm."
"The idea of sending children to school for learning magic flourished after some years. The four of us decided that eleven would be an ideal age to start for the children. It was concluded with great debate when Rowena pointed out that the magic of children below eleven was much wilder and more uncontrollable."
"I didn't want to face the Potters after the death of Joseph. So I never knew where they lived. I focussed my time making the school more secure. Hogwarts was built with many hidden passages and rooms which required passwords to enter. Because of my past with Hogwarts, I was able to find most of the secret passages. During the tenth year of the school, I finally discovered a large area under Hogwarts hidden by wards."
"I remodelled the area and called it the Chamber of Secrets. I created it to hide students in case of an attack against the school. We Slytherins were always known for our serpent tongue. So I hid the chamber by constructing the girl's lavatory above it and using Parseltongue to seal it."
Both Harry and Ginny were listening in rapt attention. The History of Hogwarts which they had heard and read was being ripped apart by Salazar Slytherin's tale. At first they weren't sure about the tale, but after sometime they believed it. Harry was astonished that his forefathers had constructed Hogwarts in order to make the family safe.
When it looked like Salazar had finished his tale, Ginny asked, "What about Selene? How did she become a guardian?"
"I met Selene during one of my night-time wanderings inside the forest surrounding the castle. I heard a faint hissing sound, like someone was in pain. Because of the hissing sound, I knew it was some kind of snake. When I followed the sound, I found an injured small snake. At that time, I didn't know the snake was a basilisk. I healed her and named her Selene. Later, when some animals died because of her gaze during her hunt, I figured her to be a basilisk. So I hid her inside the Chamber.
"She protected the students when some of them had ventured inside the forest at night during the full moon. I had requested her to be inside the forest at night so she could hunt. So, when a clan of werewolves tried to attack the students she killed them and came to me. The students were returned safely inside the castle. She could have killed the students as a meal, but she didn't. So, I knew whom I could trust to be the guardian of Hogwarts after my death."
"How did you become a guardian of the Potter inheritance?" Harry said.
Salazar said, "Nearly, twenty years had passed, since the day Hogwarts was transformed into a school. One morning, Lord Henry came to the castle. We both talked and I gave him a tour of the Chamber of Secrets, and told him my reasons for building it. I also told him about Selene. He accepted my decision and then told me the history about the Potters. He then told me that the wards of the castle could be strengthened by the Potter head of house. He presented his idea about guarding the Potter inheritance and then departed, leaving me thinking."
"The guardianship was then transferred to this statue with blood magic and soul binding magic. As long as Hogwarts and the Potter line stands, I'll protect the heritage of the Potters. Up to this point only Jonathan Potter, son of Joseph Potter, has known about the actual story behind Hogwarts and the Potters. What are yours and your father's name?"
"I'm Harry James Potter, son of James and Lily Potter".
"Harry James Potter, son of James Potter is hereby declared the Master of Hogwarts by Salazar Slytherin, the guardian of the Potter inheritance."
As soon as these words were said, both Harry and Salazar glowed. It was just for a brief period but the white glow was unmistakable. Just as Harry was about to ask a question, Salazar said, "There is a book inside the chamber which can only be seen by the Master of Hogwarts. Read it Harry Potter. I was told that it contained the rules for being a Master."
"Is it inside the place from where Selene came?" Harry asked.
"Yes follow the pipes and at the end of it you'll see a big room, which is Selene's resting place. You'll find an old bookcase with the Potter Crest on it. It just contains one book and is protected with more wards than the entire Hogwarts Castle. Only you'll be able to see and read its contents. Hogwarts has already accepted you as her Master. Now it's your duty to fit the role of her Master. Also, there is a second bookcase with the symbol of Hogwarts engraved in it containing some very old books, some of which even I cannot open or read. It is warded so that only a Master or a Guardian can approach it. Maybe they'll be useful for both of you."
"I'll do it." Harry said with a confident voice.
"How will the bond form between Selene and me?" Ginny asked.
Salazar looked at Selene and nodded, as if telling her to speak about it herself. Selene then looked at Ginny and said, "This is not the usual familiar bond between the animal and its master. So for the formation of this bond, you and I have to exchange a part of our soul, blood and magic. You have to drink my blood and I will also bite you and push my magic and soul into you. The dying part of your soul will be taken by me during that."
Ginny nodded, conveying that she understood the process. She was scared and just wanted to forget the whole ordeal concerning the diary.
"Harry Potter, you have to make sure that you're trained well. She is also to be trained well, to defend herself and Hogwarts from others. Until she reaches her age of maturity, she is under your protection." Salazar said.
"What about me? Shouldn't I be protected till I reach the age of maturity?" Harry asked.
"You'd have always been protected inside Hogwarts even if you hadn't become the Master of the Castle. Miss Weasley will also protect you. The same applies to her until you both state otherwise. We hadn't expected any one to be the Master of the Castle before reaching the age of seventeen, so I don't know much. Perhaps it might be in the book that I've mentioned."
Harry and Ginny both looked a little thoughtful. The magic of the Castle had recognized him as the Master and Ginny as the Guardian. Both their thoughts were about each other and about Hogwarts.
"Now, since the castle has recognized its Master, it must recognize the Guardian. We must commence with the bonding." Selene said.
"You're correct Selene. We must proceed with it. Now Miss Weasley, please stand near Selene and don't worry. You'll know more about the benefits of the bonding as you grow older." Salazar replied.
Ginny was frightened and took little steps towards Selene. It was one thing to talk about bonding with a basilisk and another to let it bite you. If she wasn't in a life and death situation, she might have run away a long time ago. The only thing that was holding her back was that she would live and would see her family again.
Upon seeing that Ginny was nearly standing near Selene, Salazar turned towards Harry and said, "Harry Potter would you be able to conjure a sharp weapon and a bowl, in order to collect Selene's blood?"
Harry conjured a long sharp knife and a rice bowl and gave them to Ginny. "This knife will only be able to cut Selene since she is willing and will open the soft side of her body. If she wasn't, then it would break upon making contact with her scales."
Selene slowly descended and opened just a fraction of her scales showing her tender flesh hidden beneath the hard scales. "Just cut a small point and collect some blood. Drink it first then I'll do my work. Be warned that both the blood and the bite will be extremely painful." Selene replied.
Ginny was hanging onto every bit of her Gryffindor courage, as she cut the tender flesh. More than a few drops of blood were collected into the bowl. Slowly she put the cup into her mouth and in one gulp tried to drink as much as she could. A million things were playing in her mind. But as soon as the blood touched her mouth, every feeling and thought was replaced by pain of such intensity that it dwarfed the pain of being bitten by the basilisk. As soon as Selene bit her, and the additional poison was injected into her nervous system, her whole body tensed up and she gave a loud shriek due to the pain she was in. But before her body could die, a new feeling came and it was as if something was leaving her body. Later she would recognize it as the part of her soul, but right now she couldn't think beyond pain.
Just as the part of her soul was leaving, a new feeling came towards her from all sides. It was a part of Selene's soul and magic travelling towards her soul. The new part that came towards her was much larger than the part going away from her. This was because of the extra magic that was merged with the part of Selene's soul.
Harry was watching the whole process intently. When Selene said that it would be painful, he had cast a strong silencing spell all over the chamber. 'If a basilisk gives a warning about pain, then it will be quite painful,' thought Harry. Although the walls of the chamber were thick, he didn't want to take any chances. So, when Ginny was screaming in pain, and her soul was splitting and merging with another, Harry saw a white transparent mass travelling. One of which was moving away from her while another was near her torso. Harry watched the whole process in fascination. It would be many years later that he would see the same process happening again.
After a few minutes, Ginny stopped screaming. She hadn't thought that it would be so painful. Her throat was sore with so much screaming. Just as she was about to speak, Harry handed her a glass of water. He didn't know whether the compassion shown was due to the newly formed relationship between them and Hogwarts, or because he cared for her well being. But for the first time in many years, Harry cared for another human.
Ginny drank the water tentatively thinking that it might do more damage to her already sore throat. But, it did ease the pain. It still was painful but she could hold till she went to the infirmary. She gave Harry a small smile, which was also returned.
"Selene just has a few days to live. And the magic sustaining me in this form is also fading. So before the magic collapses, I'll position myself back in my former place. The magic of Hogwarts will recharge me in a few months but this is the last time we'll communicate. Take care of Hogwarts Harry Potter, Master of Hogwarts. Take care of the students of Hogwarts and Harry Potter Miss Weasley, Guardian of Hogwarts."
The statue then moved to the place where it had come from and stopped. Selene looked at both of them and said, "I'd like to end my life in this place. If you want to retrieve the books mentioned, please do it now. This place might not be approachable for a few months after my death due to the stench. And thank you for accepting your roles as the Master and Guardian. As Lord Slytherin said, please look after Hogwarts."
Both of them nodded their heads, showing that they understood and walked towards the pipes to retrieve the books. After few minutes they found the place mentioned. As mentioned earlier, there were two bookcases; one just contained a single book. Harry walked towards it and felt the magic that examined him. After recognizing him as the Master of Hogwarts, Harry was allowed to retrieve the book.
Ginny walked towards the other bookcase. At a glance she saw that there were about twenty books. Just like Harry, she was also examined and then allowed to retrieve the books. Ginny took the first book and examined it. It was readable. Then a thought came to her, 'How will I be able to hide this from my family at the Burrow?' So, she just put that back in its place, thinking about reading it next term.
After a few minutes, they returned to the main part of the chamber. Salazar was in his place and Selene was lying peacefully on the floor. Ginny hugged the part of Selene's body that she could reach and in a small voice thanked her. Then she walked towards Harry and in a small voice thanked him. By now the whole day and her thoughts about possession were catching up with her. What could have happened and how she was saved were in the forefront of her mind. She even didn't know that she was crying. Only the falling tears were indication of the situation.
Harry didn't know what to do for a crying girl. So, he just matched her slow pace to the entrance of the chamber and called for the stairs. Both of them were in their own world, when they exited the chamber. Harry was thinking about what he had learned about the history of his ancestors, while Ginny was thinking about her possession.
"Well, well, well what do we have here?" The unmistakable voice of Gilderoy Lockhart broke them from their reverie.
A/N: Thanks, Mihir for your wonderful skills. Please read and review. I love to read them. They are the source of motivations, to us, the writers. Sorry for the delay. Just caught up in real life.