A/N: Hey all
A/N: Hey all! Sorry this took so long! I had some really important swim meets and then I was in Hawaii for vacation. I really hope you enjoy this chapter. I think that it is a good one, and it really starts to fill some of the holes in my story! Also, thank you so much for all the reviews and all the people that are reading my story! I am extremely honored by all the wonderful comments I am receiving regarding this story. I didn't realize how popular this would be! Thanks again, and Please Remember To Read and Review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or anything pertaining to the franchise.
Chapter 06: Christmas Wonders
Harry lay on his bed, alone in his empty dorm room. It was the first night of Christmas break, and while he was enjoying the serenity of not having to deal with everyone eyeing him like he would begin murdering students any second, he couldn't help but miss the company of Hermione. He knew he wanted her as a friend, but he couldn't help but push her away. It was second nature to him. He just didn't know how to have friends. Maybe, he thought, I should just tell her that. Perhaps I should just explain that I don't know how to have a friend. The only friend I have is Ginny, and she is just different than anyone I have ever met before, so she doesn't count… And with that final thought, Harry drifted off into sleep.
"Ah, Harry. It's so good to see you back tonight." Merlin said, an excited glint sparkling in his eyes.
"I'm here every night, Merlin." Harry said, having grown accustomed to and comfortable with the founders in his dreams.
"Alas, that is true." Merlin said looking thoughtful. "But, tonight is different than all the other nights!"
"Because tonight,' Merlin said, "We finish your phoenix transformation!"
Harry began jumping in excitement. They had been working on this for months. It had taken a lot of hard work and focus, but Harry was ready. He wanted to be able to fly so much. He wanted to be able to escape the castle walls finally, and have a little freedom for himself. Something he has never had in his life thus far.
"Now, you remember what you have to do—"
"I have to clear my mind, find my center, and see myself within my creature."
"Excellent. Now, once you find yourself within the creature, imagine your being harmonizing and unifying with the creature, and make sure your feel the magic of yourself synchronizing with the creature."
Harry nodded his head in understanding.
"I will use a spell I developed for teaching long ago to help guide your magic the first time. It will make your first transformation quicker, and subsequent transformations much easier. Now, clear your mind and find your center."
Harry did as he was told. As he found his center, he saw a beautiful, bright green phoenix appear before him. It had black eyes, a ruffled crown, and a white patch shaped like a lightning bolt on its tail feathers. Harry focused on seeing himself in the phoenix, and melding with it. Unifying his soul with its.
As he did this, he felt the magic flow through him, he could feel his body changing, he was becoming lighter, and he could tell that his senses were becoming sharper, especially his eyesight. Then he felt the sense of change ebb away.
"Bravo!" Merlin shouted. "Bravo, Harry! You changed by yourself. You didn't even need my help!"
Harry looked up, and he could see the twinkle in Merlin's eyes, much like that of Dumbledore's when he was proud of Victoria. In fact, all the founders seemed to have a heavy twinkle in their eye.
"Your phoenix is Beautiful, Dear!" Rowena said softly. Godric and Salazar nodded.
Harry bobbed his head, flapped his wings and flew a few circles around the room. He then focused on human form and changed back with a large grin plastered on his face. He had broken at least one bar of his hideous cage…
Harry woke up early that morning; the excitement from his new achievement was making him jumpy. He was so enthralled with the idea of flying on his own that he practically transformed into his phoenix as he hopped out of bed. It didn't matter that he really had no idea how to fly; once he entered his phoenix form, flight became natural. He quickly flapped his wings, and flew around the room a few times (which didn't take long, considering how large he was). He soon flew towards the closed window, where he then transformed back into his human form in order to open the window. He was dying to know what it would be like to fly freely outside in the clouds and blue sky.
As he exited the dormitory, he flapped his wings and gained velocity as he soared through the open sky. As he flew in large circles above the rooftops of the castle, he soon ran into a rather unique acquaintance.
"Good morning my young fledgling." The voice spoke.
"Fawkes?" Harry asked.
"What are you doing out here? Did Professor Dumbledore send you?"
"I am here on my own accord, and out of the brotherhood of the Phoenix. Dumbledore knows nothing of this meeting, nor will he ever learn anything of this meeting. I am here as Phoenix to help a new fledgling learn his way in the world." Fawkes saidin their mental communiqué.
"Well, thanks!" Harry said, relieved to have heard that Dumbledore didn't know, and that he would be able to learn more about his Phoenix powers.
"It is but an honor to help a Phoenix as unique as yourself learn the traditions of our ways." Fawkes said in a polite tone. "This training, while teaching you the magic power and traditions of the Phoenix culture, will also help you master your magical powers of your other magical forms with much less training."
"But how did you know I had multiple forms."
Fawkes seemed to be smirking, even though Harry knew Phoenixes could not make facial expressions. "It is but one of the many advantages of being a Phoenix. Fear not young fledgling; I will teach you the way of aural sight. However, first let us begin with our affinity and control of fire."
Harry trilled in excitement, as he perched next to Fawkes atop one of the numerous chimneys of the magnificent Castles.
"Flaming is much like that of apparating. You simply must picture your destination, and you will yourself to that location. However, when you will yourself, you must call upon your fire element. It is that fire magic that transport you there"
"Cool!" Harry responded in excitement.
"There are no wards that can stop you from reaching your destination; however, apparition wards and portkey wards will cause you to use more magic, and in turn drain you of more energy than unhindered travel." Fawkes informed. "So let us fly to the Forbidden Forest in order to practice our flame travel unimpeded." And with that they quickly flew off toward the treetops of the Forbidden Forest.
"Now fledgling, imagine your destination to be some way point atop this forest, and call upon your fire magic to take you there."
Harry knew he could do this. After all, he could teleport already, so this shouldn't be much harder. Harry imagined his location to be a little ways to the left of him, and as he imagined arriving there, he searched for the fire burning in his heart to take him there.
Suddenly there was a flash of fire, and a second flash of fire appeared to the left of the original, with Harry hovering in its wake. "I did it, Fawkes!" Harry exclaimed.
Fawkes trilled in excitement. "Wonderful job! I was not expecting you to learn so fast. Now, our time is near done, so quickly fly back to your nest, and you will receive notice from me when to meet again."
And so the training session ended, and Harry returned to prison. However, he at least had a smile on his face for the first time in a long time
It was Christmas morning at the Potters, and the sun hadn't even risen at Potter Manor; however, the early morning did not seem to hinder Victoria's excitement for Christmas, and more importantly, for her presents to have arrived. While Victoria is normally a late riser, Christmas was one of the few days that she had absolutely no qualms about getting up before the sun even rose.
Victoria jumped out of bed; she was unable to sleep because of her excitement, and quickly threw her door open. She ran out into the hall in her pajamas screaming, "IT'S CHRISTMAS! EVERYBODY WAKE UP, IT'S TIME FOR ME TO OPEN MY PRESENTS!"
Three nearby doors slowly creaked open, and four people groggily walked into the hall after being disrupted from their slumber by the ruckus of Victoria.
"Hurry up!" Victoria shouted at the four of them. "I want my presents!" she whined as she ran down the stairs, towards the Christmas tree.
By the time the four other adults had made it down to the Christmas tree with their steaming tea in hand, Victoria had already stacked her forty or so presents neatly in front of her, while leaving the other presents precariously strewn across the floor behind her.
"Finally! You guys took forever!" Victoria exclaimed angrily. "Can I open my presents already?"
Lily and James laughed quietly. "Of course you can, princess." Lily said in a sweet voice, while James continued laughing quietly.
As Victoria savagely tore through her presents, the four adults made their attempt to open their gifts, searching for their presents through the large mess created by Victoria only moments ago.
Victoria had received presents ranging from the most expensive and fashionable clothes and perfumes to Dark Art detectors, spell books, even a little kitten because her owl was too boring since all he did was bring letters to people. Even as she opened the presents, her face only showed the emotion of expectancy, not excitement nor gratitude. To say she was spoiled was to put it lightly.
After they all opened their presents, Lily began serving their breakfast, and began talking amicably over the delicious meal that had been prepared. And once they were finished, Victoria turned to ask a question of one the members of the table.
"Uncle Remus," Victoria asked with a puppy dog face, "Will you take me to Diagon Alley today? I need to get more clothes!"
Remus emitted a chuckle. "Of course, dear. I just hope your favorite stores are open!"
"They better be!" She exclaimed.
"Well, you better go get ready, because I am almost finished here, and you want to go right away don't you?"
"I sure do!" She yelled as she got up from her chair and bolted to her room (grabbing some of her new clothes on the way up).
There were only three occupants left in the Potter household. Remus had taken Victoria with him to go buy more clothes for already bursting closet.
"So, I have been hearing some interesting rumors."
James, who was cleaning dishes with Lily, quickly turned around. "What have you been hearing, Sirius?" James asked, picking up on the solemn tone in Sirius' voice.
"I hear that Harry is attending Hogwarts."
"That would be true." James spat. Lily quickly grabbed James' hand. Needless to say, they had been expecting this. It was only a matter of time before Sirius found out. They had been afraid to tell Sirius, because he was Harry's godfather, and when they had told him that they had to give him to Petunia, he was furious. He hadn't even gotten to say goodbye. And while their friendship had recovered, Sirius had never completely gotten over it. Harry was, in all practicalities, dead to Sirius.
"Aside from the fact that you didn't even bother to tell me" Sirius raged, "why isn't he here? He should be celebrating Christmas with his family! He isn't a squib like you said, yet you still won't let him back in!"
It was Lily who answered this time. "Sirius, I know this is painful. It's painful for me to, but we can't bring Harry here—"
"Of course you can!" Sirius seethed. "He is your son! And I doubt that wretched sister of yours even wants him at her house!"
Lily looked down at the floor, clearly finding something at her feet very interesting. "Sirius, there is something we didn't tell you about Harry."
"What—What are you talking about, James?"
"Harry was never a squib—"
Sirius' face showed only confusion. "Why did you send him to the Dursley's then?"
"I found him talking to a snake one day in the garden…" And James continued to tell the story of how Dumbledore put the magic inhibiting spell on Harry, and how he must have used some form of dark magic to break the spell, and all their theories pertaining to the dangers of their son being and uprising Dark Lord.
"You can't be serious!" Sirius exclaimed in disbelief.
"Don't you see Sirius!" James yelled back. "He is evil!"
"He is your son James! He is family! How can you do that your son! He was only eight years old!"
"And he is a parselmouth!"
"So? Did he ever try to hurt any of you? No!" Sirius looked down in shame at his last comment. "James, I should have never listened to you all those years ago, but I was blinded my loyalty to you."
"What are you talking about Sirius?" Lily asked.
"I should have been a better godfather. I should have been there for Harry, even after you told me I couldn't give Harry any attention because Victoria was the one that deserved it." Sirius looked at Lily, then James. "All he wanted was love from his family!"
"And look at what he is now! A little monster!" James yelled.
"I'm sorry James, but I don't think that I can associate myself with you anymore. I'm sorry, but you guys won't be seeing me anymore." Sirius said sadly.
"Sirius, wait—" Lily screeched, but he was already gone.
Lily turned to James, "Did we really do the right thing? What if Sirius is right?" She asked, with tears in her eyes.
"Dumbledore is right. He has been through this before. He knows exactly what he is doing, Lils." James said confidently as he reached out and pulled her towards him in comfort.
Ginny had woken up to the smell of a wonderful breakfast feast that her mother was preparing. Christmas morning was always one of Ginny's favorite meals her mother made every year. Ginny happily slid out of bed, brushed her hair lightly, and walked downstairs in her pajamas for some delicious breakfast. When she arrived, everyone was at the table already eating. Go figure, all the boys had gotten up early because of the feast that was being offered to them. Ginny quickly found a seat and began serving herself a healthy serving of breakfast. They all sat and talked excitedly about anything and everything. Fred and George discussed new prank ideas for the spring term. Percy was lecturing Charlie on how his hard work and determination was getting him very far in school, while Charlie sat there with a pained expression on his face and nodding every once in a while to make Percy think that he was still listening. Bill was talking to Arthur about business at Gringotts. Ron was simply shoveling massive amounts of food into his mouth (he is a growing boy after all), and choking on food every now and then, which elicited a speech from Mrs. Weasley about how he needs to chew his food. Ginny sat there savoring her meal, and her family.
After the wonderful meal, the entire Weasley clan made it out to the tree, and opened their gifts. They each received their customary Weasley sweater (which they all immediately wore our of respect for their mother), and their box of candies. Ginny even received a third present, a new t-shirt, which she was overjoyed to receive. They may not receive much for Christmas, but there was so much love between the entire family that it really didn't matter. They new Christmas wasn't about the gifts, but about the family time spent together and the love between everyone. Ginny quickly thanked everyone for her presents, and headed upstairs to her room to try on her new shirt, a smile covering her face that nearly reached her ears.
As she entered her room, she found Hedwig sitting on her windowsill, and a rectangular package and a note tied to its leg. She quickly ran over to the beautiful snowy owl.
"Hey girl!" Ginny exclaimed, and grabbed the package tied to her leg. She handed Hedwig some owl treats that her mum had gotten her since Hedwig had become a regular. Ginny then quickly opened the note:
I got this little gift for you for Christmas. I really hope you like. I don't really know what to get a girl for Christmas, so hopefully I guessed right. Anyways, Christmas break is going quite well for me. I've been doing a lot of reading so far and getting ahead in my classes. I try to have fun when I can, and I will play in the snow every now and then. I hope everything is going well, and I hope you are having a wonderful Christmas!
P.S. If you like it, you can wear it all the time. It will never scratch, or damage, or anything. I hope you like it!
Ginny quickly refolded the letter, and opened her new present. She gasped; it was a beautiful silver bracelet with a little heart shaped charm. As she looked closer, she could see "Ginny" was engraved on one side, and "Merry Christmas From Your Harry" was etched on the other. She couldn't even take it out of the box. It looked like it was too precious. She closed the box, and turned back to Hedwig.
"I can't accept this Hedwig. It's too nice. You're going to have to take it back to Harry." She said sadly, handing the bracelet to Hedwig.
Hedwig merely ruffled her feathers, and hooted, as if to say: Nope, it's all yours.
Ginny harrumphed. "Fine." And she quickly pulled out her own gift for Harry. She added a little bit to note, and then sealed it. She told Hedwig to take it to Harry as quickly as possible.
After Hedwig had left with her Christmas gift, she put on her new bracelet, and she couldn't help but think that it fit her wrist perfectly.
Harry sincerely hoped that Ginny liked her gift. He hadn't known what to get her for Christmas, so he had Rowena one evening. She had told him that women like jewelry, so Merlin and Rowena had shown a few old and ancient spells for jewelry making. He learned how to summon steel and small amounts silver. He then formed the steel into the links and the heart, and then coated it all in silver. That and the engraving spells had mostly been Rowena's work. Merlin had taught him protection spells that he could add to the bracelet. Harry had only been too excited to add them. It meant that Ginny would be that much safer, and he knew he couldn't bare to ever see her hurt.
Harry had not received any presents that morning, but he hadn't been expecting to. He really didn't care since he had never received presents before really, all he cared about was if Ginny liked her present. However, later that afternoon, Hedwig had returned, and it appeared that she was carrying a note. Hedwig soared over to Harry, and handed him the note from Ginny.
Merry Christmas! I know this isn't much, but I hope you like it all the same. I included a picture of me so you can have a piece of me there with you at Hogwarts. It's nothing really special, but it was the best I could come up with, so I hope it's alright. I hope your Christmas break is going well, I know mine is! I have mostly been with my family, and it has been great.
P.S. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING SENDING ME THAT BRACELET FOR CHRISTMAS! That must have cost you a fortune! I don't deserve a gift like that! It's much too beautiful for someone like me! But Hedwig wouldn't let me send it back so you could return it, so I will just have to wear it and show it off. I really do love it though; I just wish you hadn't spent so much and made my present look so bad.
Harry laughed to himself a bit. He looked at the picture, and thought that his gift was nothing compared to hers. He loved the picture, and it was the best Christmas gift he had ever received. He was also extremely relieved to read that she loved the bracelet (and that Hedwig wouldn't take the bracelet back). Harry quickly put Ginny's picture in a safe place in his trunk, and then laid down on his bed thinking how this had been the best Christmas of his entire life…
Sirius had returned to his house and sat on his couch, staring into the fire. Finally, he realized that he had to do something about this terrible situation with Harry. He quickly began writing a letter to someone who he knew could help Harry out, and he hoped that he, Sirius, could perhaps do something himself to help Harry and make up for all the mistakes he made when those many years ago…
A/N: The usual short answer to reviews:
Anyone who asked about Sirius and Remus, here is your answer. I focused more on Sirius, and I will get back to Remus in the next chapter. Hagrid and Snape will come into play much more in the spring term.
Nyeshet: Harry drops his wand off at dinner and picks it back up at breakfast. Snape will be back, and I just haven't decided what I am going to do with Neville. Harry is definitely using his magic abilities to hide information from Dumbledore. Thanks for the great review again!
Inajuma Kanji: Harry has strong knowledge base because of Merlin and the founders, but he is really only powerful in occlumency right now. He is more powerful than most first years, but compared to an adult wizard, he still doesn't stand much of a chance because he still has so much growing to do.
Murray: Thank you so much for the grammatical critique. I always mess up on those awkward phrasings, however I usually catch them on the proof-read, but as I mentioned earlier, I just don't have time to do that (and my beta bailed on me).
Worldmaker: I know that it is not likely that parents would act like this (and I am not a parent, so im very inexperienced), but I'm going with the fame causing this. As for Dumbledore being out of character, he is taking his "greater good" ideal to the extreme in this story right now, but it will mellow out later.
I hope you all enjoy, and remember to review!