Harry Potter and The Heir
Chapter Ten: Confrontations
Hey guys! I'm sorry for how long it has taken to get this chapter up. I've been so bloody busy, but here it is...shorter than I would like, but Enjoy :D
"As soon as possible," Harry grumbled angrily as he ducked into a broom closet as a flash of brilliant red hair caught his eye. He didn't know for certain if it was Ginny, but at that moment, he found he could care less. It had been a week since his mind connected with Voldemort's, a week since they had decided on Draco and his mission to deal with the Vampires, and in that one week, Ginny had attached herself to his side like a magnet. Taking out the Marauders Map, he whispered the password; Ginny had indeed passed by his small dusty sanctuary.
He burst from the room, and turned down the opposite way, his stomach telling him it was close to dinner. Perhaps, grabbing dinner in the kitchen would be a good idea. Even as the thought crossed his mind, a hand came down heavily on his shoulder. Harry jumped, his wand coming to his hand but not rising as Ron's smiling face came into view.
"Harry, mate! Where have you been? You're covered in dust. Come on, dinner is about to start, and I'm starving."
"Ron you're always starving," Harry pointed out, shrugging out of the taller boys arms, and slipping his wand back into the hidden holster.
"I'm a growing boy!" Came his defense, as he walked into the Great Hall, and sat down next to an irritated Hermione.
She's been irritated a lot lately, Harry noticed, feeling guilty because he knew that, this time the blame laid solidly on his chest. I should have never told her the truth.
You have that right Tenderfoot, you shouldn't have.
Shut up Prongs, you too Blaise, he finished as he felt Blaise's thoughts join theirs. I realize it was a stupid move, but really she is taking this way, way too hard.
"Harry, you have that zoned out look again, mate. Whatcha thinking about?" Ron asked his mouth half full.
"Nothing too important." Hermione glared at him and he quickly added, "Just the Potion's essay Snape is having us write, it's killing me."
Hermione's eyes narrowed further, "Well, since you're so buddy- buddy with those types of people, why not ask him for help?"
Ron snorted into his food, choking heavily before saying in a raspy voice, "Oh ya, Harry's real buddy-buddy with those types, I'm sure they just love getting together and discussing his great victory over their old master. Real buddy-buddy."
Pushing his food around his plate his gave a weak chuckle, "Yeah, real buddy-buddy."
"You'd be surprised about our little Savior, Ronald. Things aren't always black and white, are they Harry?"
The back of his neck burned and he felt the fork soften and bend as his grip tightened and heated, eyes blazing they caught Hermione's and his lips pulled up and over his teeth in snarl, "What the bloody hell is your problem? I haven't changed. I'm still me, Hermione. The only person in this entire fucking hall, who's changed, is you."
"I'm not the one who's changed Harry!" Hermione stood her eyes darkening with rage, "I'm not the one who's betrayed everything! You are."
Harry's mouth was set into a furious thin line, his scalp began to itch fiercely as his body began to heat, "You have though," Harry finally murmured, aware that Hermione's heated speech had drawn the eyes of the entire student body.
"What-WHO have I betrayed," Hermione growled out still standing her palms spread against the table top, leaning angrily forward.
Harry stood, his food lay untouched on his plate, the fork beside in a warped melted pile, sighing he ran a shaky hand through his hair, "You've betrayed me, Hermione. You've betrayed our friendship," and he walked away, leaving the Great Hall in a tense silence.
'Accio Firebolt,' Harry silently whispered, standing outside the closed doors of the Great Hall, it was a moment before Harry heard the quick buzzing of a broom, and with practice ease, Harry deftly caught his broom.
"What is going on between you two Hermione?" Ron asked, as he dragged her into his room, and locked and silenced the room.
"Nothing Ronald," Hermione started tsk'ing at the messiness of the boy's room. "Harry and I just had an unpleasant discussion."
"Well, you two have been having them a lot lately. I'm supposed to be your guy's best friend. As your guys' best friend, I am demanding to know what is going on. You've been treating Harry like he is some Death Eater scum for the last week and a bit, and I want to know why."
Hermione looked away and walked to the boy's window, that overlooked the Quidditch field and forbidden forest. Harry would be out there, when everything got too much for him that was where he went. She remembered his wistful smile as he explained what flying did to him; a soft smile broke through her stony expression.
Turning to Ron, she released a large breath, "I don't know anymore, Ron. I found something out, that made me think he's changed…"glancing out the window, she watched the distant figure mount his broom and take to the skies, "…but he really hasn't."
Ron shook his head, not bothering attempting to figure out what just occurred, "What did you find out?"
"That," Hermione said, turning from the window, "is something you have to ask Harry."
"So," Ron ventured slowly, "you're not made at him anymore?"
"Oh, no. I'm furious at him, but not the way I was before."
"Oh," Ron said, grinning happily down at her, "Thank Merlin. You have no idea how difficult the last week has been."
Ron found Harry several hours later soaring above the Quidditch field. When Ron grabbed his own broom and soared to meet his friend, he found him laying on his broom, face up, watching the stars and the clouds. "Harry, you shouldn't be laying like that, it's dangerous," Ron shook his head. Harry on a broom was like Merlin with magic…it was beautiful and terrifying all in one. Harry could do things on a broom, like balancing on his back that many would find impossible.
Harry deftly swung up and sat looking at Ron, his normally vibrant eyes dull and glazed, "What do you want Ron?"
"Hermione and I talked. She won't tell me what is going on between the two of you. She said she found some things out that she didn't like, but won't go much further than that."
Harry laughed, it was a bitter laugh that had Ron breaking out in a cold sweat,"You wouldn't like it either Ron, I'm sure your reaction would be hers: times forty."
"That bad huh?"
Ron grabbed Harry's broom handle, and directed them to the ground. When their feet touched the ground, Harry began walking towards the castle. "Harry! You have to tell me what is going on!"
"You can. You're my best mate; nothing you will say will change that. We've been through way too much for that to change. I admit in the past I haven't been the most supporting mate, but I've grew up a bit over the summer, I can handle whatever it is."
Harry who had reached the shelter of an ancient looking tree, one Ron faintly remembered hearing about in History of Magic, laid his hand against the bark, before securing his foot and pulling himself up, up, up, high into the trees embrace. Ron followed, not as nimbly as Harry, but with almost an extra foot on him, and probably thirty pounds, he proudly balanced precariously on a branch next to Harry's. "Tell me."
Emerald clashed with brown, and Harry let out of weak chocked laugh, "It started with the Maze. But looking at it now, it started…" he cleared his throat, "it started with the Dreams."
"You know of astral projecting your spirit?" Ron nodded for Harry to continue, "Well, it is rare, but not unheard of, for one travel into the past. I had been, for several months prior, having weird day dreams; mostly I would go where I felt most comfortable. Then I found myself in Dumbledore's office. Five time's it happened…each time, he was with Trelawney. She's not a fraud you know? She's done…" shaking his head he cleared his throat once more, "Each time she told a prophecy. A prophecy that involved Voldemort and I. She's the reason my parents are dead."
"Hermione's angry about this?" Ron asked, beginning to feel anger towards their bushy haired companion.
"The changes she hates started with the Maze. It started when Cedric Diggory's body lay crumpled at my feet," Ron chocked; he was not expecting that, quickly laying a large hand on Harry's trembling shoulder.
"Harry…that is bound to change someone-"
"I'm not done, Ron. It began with a proposition. It ends with a choice."
"What? I'm not following."
"What would you do, Ron, if your life is about to end, and the holder of your life turns to you, and offers to spare you. Not just you, but twenty of your closest loved ones…would you accept it?"
Ron hesitated, his mind racing forward, and finding no answers, "I don't know. I think I would. My life and twenty others…it seems like a good deal."
"I thought so too…I still think so."
He felt like he was missing something…missing something important and wished he had Hermione's brain so he could just connect all the pieces, Harry's eyes searched Ron's face expectantly. "What- err proposition?"
Ron winced when his voice came with a quiver, the pained smile Harry gave made his heart break, and clearing his throat he tried again, "What proposition?"
"I remember holding Cedric's body in my arms…I remember starting to beg him to come back, when it hit me he was…that he was gone. I ran, I hid. My back was pressed against a tombstone, and I was staring at my hands, and I kept seeing a dead body in them…Everyone I care for…just flashing by, staring up at me with the same lifeless expression…I don't think any of you realize what you mean to me…I don't know…I know I wouldn't have made it without you. If…if I lost you…there wouldn't be any meaning."
Ron watched Harry glance down at his marked arm, and gently caress it, his eyes glazing for a split second. "Harry, don't think like that. Hermione and I are always going to be here. No matter what."
"How can I not? Look what happened with Hermione when she found out!" Harry's eyes blazed to life, and Ron felt his heart stop when a powerful force slammed into him, knocking the breath out of him and for a second Ron felt like he was about to fall, Harry's hand gripped his arm. "You haven't figured it out- have you?"
Ron shook his head, and then something Harry said 'It began with a proposition. Holder of your life turns to you, and offers to spare you. Not just you, but twenty of your closest loved ones.' He remembered his reply. He remembered Harry's 'I thought so too…I still think so.'
"I see you connected the dots," Harry murmured removing his arm and dragging his legs up to his chest, arms wrapped tightly around them.
"You've joined Him?" Ron asked his voice quite and strained.
"No!" Harry nearly shouted, Ron stared into his friends eyes and knew, knew that Harry was telling the truth. No one could fake the kind of emotion shinning through.
"Then what is going on?"
"I'm remaining neutral Ron. There's no Light side, no Dark side…Just me. That was the deal. I stay Neutral and he not only spares, but guarantees twenty of my loved ones safety."
That…that wasn't as bad as he thought, letting out a strained awkward laugh, "Jeeze Harry, I thought you were going to tell me you joined the Dark Side and you know became his Heir or some bullshit like that."
Ron cut his laugh off when Harry glanced away guiltily, "There's more. You're not done telling me everything, are you?"
"Well spit it out. Stop making me wait."
"There is another part of the deal. He offered me power."
"Offered you power? How? You're not joining his side. Your remaining Neutral- you said that!"
"Yes, I'm not joining either side. He offered me power through Knowledge. Knowledge is power."
Frowning Ron watched the way Harry played with his wand, watched the silver streaks of magic fall from his wand, remembered the powerful force that nearly knocked him to the ground, remembered how the air would begin to vibrate and heat up when he got emotional, "How?"
"I was adopted by the Malfoy's, and I spent the entire summer being trained by him, druids, priests, Snape, other Death Eaters. All under the name of Hadrian Malfoy."
Ron felt his heart stop…Hadrian Malfoy, the faint memory of a regal voice saying 'You may address me as Lord Malfoy', Ron felt the small branch under his arm snap, "Are you fucking with me?"
"I wish," Harry mumbled, his eyes closed, "Ron, I won't lie to you. This summer, this summer has been the best one I've ever had. Sure, I spent most of it studying, dueling, and pretending to be someone I'm not, but I've never had a family before, and that's what the Malfoy's gave me. A family."
"You're a part of my family!" Ron growled anger beginning to surface, "How can you say you've never had a family. My family has accepted you with open arms and, and this is what we get?"
He knew he was being irrational. A small part of him wondered why the thought of Harry remaining neutral and not saving the world from evil didn't bother him so much as Harry getting another family. Harry shook his head, and griped Ron's arm desperately, "It's not like that Ron," Harry said.
"Than what's it like, Harry, cuz I'm dying to know!"
"I don't know. I honestly don't. Your family gave me something else entirely. The Malfoy's gave me a place where I can honestly call my home. Your family," Harry's breathing hitched and Ron noticed his eye's begin to water, "Your family showed me what love is."
Something warm burst in Ron's chest and it took all his might not to grin at Harry stupidly, "Yeah, the Malfoy's wouldn't have been able to show you that."
"Ron, they're good people," Ron's objections where cut off quickly, "They might have different views, but they aren't evil, like we used to think. Draco is"
"Is what Hadrian?"
Ron jumped a foot in the air, before glaring down at the blonde aristocrat who leaned confidently against the school wall, "A ferret," Ron found himself snarling down, before dropping out from the large tree, Harry following closely.
"Real clever, Weasel," Draco replied dryly, his eyes leaving Ron's before stopping at Harry's withdrawn slouched form, "Stand up straight Hadrian."
"Who are you to tell him what to do!" Ron growled taking a step till he was standing protectively in front of Harry, his nerves fraying and his mind whirling madly; unstably.
Harry found himself drawing his shoulders back and raising his chin at Draco's command, and laid a hand on Ron's tense shoulder, "its okay Ron, he's right."
"What do you want Draco?"
I wanted to know that you're O.K?
"I'm fine, you don't need to worry."
Draco's eyes narrowed and he frowned. Yes because the last time you told one of your precious little friends your secret it ended so bloody well, you collapsed to the fucking ground Hadrian! You've been wallowing in self-pity since then! How I am not supposed to worry, is beyond me! I can feel the emotions building up and you're going to lose it! You-
"Oi! What are you doing out here Malfoy, planning on glaring a hole into Harry's forehead." Ron growled, Harry tightened his hand on his shoulder.
"The last time, Draco, was different. It was unexpected, and Hermione took it the wrong way, Ron has taken it well," he said with a glance at his red haired friend who let out a snort.
I see that, but why? Out of all your friends I would have thought Ron would take it the hardest?
Wondering the same, Harry stared at Ron, "Ron, why are you taking this so well?"
Harry watched Ron consider his next words carefully, "You're my best mate."
"Yes, because in the past you've taken things so well when it comes to Harry," Draco sneered, his arms folding aggressively against his chest.
"Things are different now. Things changed."
"What changed? How are we supposed to know you're not going to pull a stunt like what happened during the Tri-Wizard Tournament? You left him than because you didn't like that he was the center of attention- and you weren't," Draco stated, dropping his arms down to his side and straightening his shoulders to his full height, and still not reaching Ron's towering form.
"I was young and stupid than. Everything changed when he came back from the maze."
Confused, Harry touched Ron's arm to draw the attention to him, "What changed?"
"You don't know what it was like to watch you go through each challenge. It was maddening. The maze was the worst, especially after you disappeared and the stadium, the professors, everyone went mad. Mass panic…and all I could think was that you've gone and left me behind. That there was no one but Diggory to watch your back…"
Harry watched the emotions fly across Ron's face, and knew that he was telling the truth; Ron was truly shaken by the events of the tournament. "When you came back, I remember thinking 'Thank Merlin that it was Diggory and not you.' I hate that that was the first thing that came to mind. It makes me feel dirty. But I realized then that, you're a brother to me and nothing will come between us. Not beliefs, not magic, nothing. Families don't give up on one another. We support them."
Harry turned his head to hide the tears gathering in his eyes, "Thanks Ron."
"I mean it, mate," than Ron hesitated, and Harry's heart stopped beating, "Just…you promise you haven't gone and joined," here he sneered at Draco, "them."
"I am no Death Eater Weasley," Draco grounded out teeth clenched angrily.
Knowing that the one thing Draco detested more than idiots was to be accused of bowing before one, had Harry, once again, laying his hand on Ron's shoulder, "Ron, Draco's telling the truth. He will not bow before anyone; he's too much of a snob."
Snorting Ron jerked his arm, "Damn straight he is."
The three stood in an awkward silence, the wind rustling the massive trees branches, Harry looked across the expanse of Hogwarts grounds, and yearned to transform and run, abruptly he turned to Ron, "Oi, Ron, what do you think about becoming an Animagus?"
Ron's face lit up and he grinned, "I think it would be bloody awesome, mate," Harry watched as Ron's face fell before he added on, "but the ministry keeps tabs on them, and plus there's no books in the school library about becoming one, so we wouldn't have anything to help us."
Shifting uncomfortably, Harry gave a small grin, "I don't think we will need any books from Hogwarts."
Gathering his magic around himself, Harry let Tenderfoot out. The feeling of fur growing and his bones shifting didn't bother as it used to and a contented rumble left his chest as Ron dropped to his knees, eyes wide with excitement. "Bloody Hell! Look at you!"
"We call him Tenderfoot," Draco murmured a look of disgust cross his face when he realized that he and Ron were having a polite conversation.
"Harry? Tenderfoot? What are you Malfoy? A ferret?"
"Very clever, Weasel. I am a stag," Draco sneered going back to leaning against the school wall, Harry butted Ron's shoulder and let out a happy bark.
"I suppose you're called Bambi?"
"I've inheritated Harry's father's animagus name; Prongs," Harry rolled his eyes at Draco's haughty expression, and yanked on Ron's sleeve when he stopped rubbing his ears, he knew he should be embarrassed, but Ron's finger's were digging deeply into his scalp and it just felt so good.
"It's supposed to take years to learn the transformation! You two did it in a summer!"
"A little over three weeks actually," Draco informed him smugly, a cocky grin erupting on his pale face, "But I'm sure Harry had it down much sooner, with his help you might be able to complete the transformation quicker than regular."
Harry puffed up his chest proudly and gave a yip of agreement, Ron snorted "You say it as if Harry's a bloody genius, and no offense mate," Ron gave Harry's ear a hard scratch, "you're not."
"You'd be surprised Weasley," Harry let out a deep whine when he saw Draco's lip curl up in a sneer, "Hadrian is one of the most talented Wizards I have met, and believe me when I say I have met many talented powerful men."
"Don't call him that." Ron said, ignoring everything, "His name is Harry, not Hadrian."
Shaking off the transformation Harry, rose from his crouched position shaking out hair from his eyes, "Ron, Hadrian is me."
"No, you're Harry. You're not Hadrian, Hadrian doesn't exist." Ron's face took on a stubborn set, and Harry felt his joy of being accepted plummet.
"Ron," Harry began his voice cracking slightly,
"Look here Weasley," Draco cut in, his voice cold and deadly, "You have two choices. The first choice is to accept Harry as he is, and that now includes Hadrian, the second is that you remain adamant that he is who he was two years ago, and you ostracize your best friend without meaning too, and if that is your choice, than you might as well kiss your savior goodbye, because you and that mudblood of yours is the only thing keeping him on the lights side."
Time seemed to pause around the three and the constriction in his chest grew and grew, and grew till he staggered back, turning until his hands clutched at Leon's strong limbs, and ignoring Draco's hands on his shoulders and whispered instructions to breath, and Ron's frantic mumbles, he took a deep breath, anchoring his emotions, his erratic magic to Leon's unmovable form.
The world exploded, and suddenly he was aware of everything. His mind raced across the Forest's scope, delving into each and every life form, plant and animal, that he passed by, before returning forcefully to his own, which left him gasping and vibrating with magic.
"Merlin's balls! What the bloody hell was that?"
Harry winced; Ron's voice was loud and scratchy to his sensitive ears, "Ron, it's just my magic reacting negatively, nothing to be worried about."
"Enough! Hadrian, you will listen to me, you will seek help."
"I am, Prongs, we are leaving Hogwarts in three days," he paused, not knowing how he knew that particular information, but a deep gut feeling told him that he was right, and that he would be receiving a summoning sooner than later.
"LEAVING? Where!" Ron bellowed, his face becoming a bright angry red.
"I have an appointment with a Healer," Harry murmured, his face becoming void of any form of emotion, his chest constricted once more, but the same force that swept him out of his body and through the Forbidden Forest's domain kept the crippling effects at bay, as Ron's face took on a hurt expression, "Lucius is concerned, he's pulling me out to get checked over, Draco will be coming as well."
Brown met emerald, and Harry felt Ron searching for any deceptions, Harry did his best to hide each and every one, "Dumbledore knows and respects that, truthfully I'm quite surprised that he hasn't forced me in the infirmary himself."
Harry ignored Draco's snort, his head cocking to the side when a howl filled the Forest grounds, sending electrical jolts through his body in anticipation, Go, I'll keep Weasley occupied.
"Ron…I have to go," Harry said reluctantly, "any questions you have, Draco will have the answer to."
"Harry…what? Where are you going now? Harry! I want to know what bloody hell just happened" Ron called as Harry tossed Draco his cloak and with a blink of the eye was bounding across the grounds as a large wolf.
That includes me as well Tenderfoot, what just happened here was beyond odd, you should tell Voldemort about it.
Briar met him with a joyous growl and a nip to the ear, with a slap of paws she bounded through the Forbidden forest, trusting Harry to follow her obediently, tongue hanging out of his mouth in a slobbery grin, Harry followed.
The sounds of a forest can be like magic. The soft sighs of the wind in the trees, the sun rising just to the point of coloring the air crimson, illuminating everything it touches, the ringing silence only broken by the soft sounds of animals beginning their day. Each sense came slowly back to Harry, as soft, almost noticeable flakes of snow drifted down and melted on him and the sleeping figure curled tightly into his side.
Reaching slowly for his element, he let it expand from his chest through his body, he knew Briar needed no help; her Lycan blood allowing for any climate adaption. Harry carded his hands through thick copper tresses, smiling down at her as large bright eyes blinked sleepily up at him. With a yawn she stretched, each muscle constricting and Harry felt goose bumps travel the course of his body. Rising up on her elbows she glanced down at him with heavy thoughtful eyes.
"You know, you're not half bad looking," Briar murmured, her lips curling up with a small smile.
Harry grinned, his hand still fisted in her curls, dragging her head down, her chest pressed tightly against his own, Harry whispered, "You, Briar, are simply breathtaking."
Noses bumping and sliding against one another, Harry watched as Briar's pupils dilated slightly, and wondered if his had done the same. Without a second thought, Harry covered Briar's mouth with his own. Harry let out a soft moan as Briar deepened the kiss her hands running through his hair, and down his neck, and repeated the same soft touches. It was over quickly, but still Harry could feel his pulse pounding in his ears, and his lips spread into, what he knew was the largest smile he had ever done.
HEY! Okay I'm so sorry for how long this took to be uploaded. I work in retail and Christmas was killer busy, I think in one week alone I worked 46 hours. I barely had time to see any friends, so I'm so sorry. Here it is...and below is something I just HAD to write, but doesn't really fit into the story at all...but goes somewhat along the lines of the last bit in this chapter. Remember REview :D
Harry's fingers skimmed the ivory piano keys, a soft smile on his face, as he remember the only time Aunt Petunia had ever taught him something. He had been six, peering around the corner hesitantly as she played a soft lullaby in the living room. When she had left to prepare Dudley's second lunch, Harry scurried over to the piano, placing his small bony fingers on the keys. With surprising ease, Harry duplicated Aunt Petunia's lullaby with a deeper tone. Over come with a sense of happiness, Harry began to start trying to produce common songs he knew. Petunia had walked quietly back into the room, standing behind him until he noticed her presence. Silently she sat next to him, placing his hands on the far right, while she took the left. Slowly she began to teach him keys, and simple songs.
Glancing around the empty Hogwarts classroom, Harry took a seat on the bench in front of the dark grand piano. His fingers felt clumsy, he found he hit the keys harder due to the thick calluses on his hands blocking some feeling. Slowly the soft melody he first learnt erupted in a slow stream, smiling he felt his heart ache for the first time at the thought of the Dursley's. Still with the soft melody playing an image of Briar sprang to his mind, opening his mouth he began to hum, than softly lyrics began to fall from his lips. All the emotions and feelings he felt for her, and not Ginny Weasley, his girlfriend, fell from his lips.
Everyone's around, no words are coming out.
And I can't find my breathe, can we just say the rest with no sound.
And I know this isn't enough, I still don't measure up.
And I'm not prepared, sorry is never there when you need it.
And I do want you to know I hold you up above everyone.
And I do want you know I think you'd be good to me
And I'd be so good to you.
(Mariana's Trench, Good to You)
He played this verse over and over again, his mind falling back to the day, the first snow fall if he remembered correctly. Waking up shivering and covered in a blanket of snow was not something you forgot easily. But Briar had been there, curled up to his side, the snow melting around her, her arms slick with water. She felt no cold, Harry felt a tad jealous as he reached for his wand, casting a semi-permanent heating spell. She didn't need one, her body heat was much higher than regular humans, and she was able to last in any climate. He watched her eyes flutter open, watched awareness slowly make its way to her. He remembered her soft smile as she leaned over him, her fingers trailing softly down his face and neck. Remembered how he slowly leant forward, how her eyes sparkled against the white sky, and how her lips felt as if they were made of silk. Harry's hands slammed angrily down on the piano keys as Ginny's hurt face flickered through his mind.