"Don't be caught up in the identity that your blood gave you but live in the one that your heart and soul made for you" – T.D.D. 2-16-10
Yah! Personal quote! I had nothing to really say here just thought the lesson I learned above fit the story pretty well.
Chapter two: Waking Up From the Ashes
He dreamed of fire, he dreamed of flames. He saw himself as a sickly snake lying in the heart of a bright and beautiful fire. The fire cradled him like he was its child, nurturing him and kissing him with its heat. The fire helped him grow and gifted him with wings and feathers. It showed him his path, leading him to wear the fires ended and the ashes began, where the cold world stood waiting for him. He dreamed he spread his new wings and slithered through the sky like a king. He gave a mighty roar as he soared out of the flames and went to meet his challenges.
Harry woke up with a start and instantly winced from the sun's light. After blinking a few times to adjust to the new light entering his eyes he peered around the room. Cushy yet still bed with others lined up across and alongside him, white sheets, smoother stone walls than the rest of the castle, potions lined up in a large cabinet on the far side, light blue pajamas he was sure he wasn't wearing before, only one place this could be.
"Great, the hospital wing." He mumbled before swinging his feet out from the sheets and touched them to the floor below. But before he could even stand up fully Madam Promfrey came busting out of her office on the far side of the room and pushed him back into the bed.
"Oh no you don't. You just sit right back down Mr. Potter."
"But I feel fine" he whined but noticed just saying he was 'fine' was an understatement. He felt great! He felt strong; he felt alert, hell he felt like he could go another two rounds with that snake. Wait… snake? What happened again?
He remembered going to down to the chamber, getting blocked off from his only known exit. He remembered Tom Riddle and how he was killing Ginny with his diary and his giant snake that he sent to kill him.
Harry started to rub his shoulder and chest remembering that's where he got bit. He was surprised that he didn't feel any pain or a slight bump from the new scars he would have gotten. But there was none of that. Not even stiffness in his arm. Looking down into his shirt Harry was surprised that there wasn't even a red mark. 'Madam Promfrey does great work!' Harry mussed as the woman started to perform some charms and spells he didn't recognize on him.
"I'll be the judge of that young man, now hold still." She said pointing the tip of her wand towards his chest, allowing a healthy green light to glow at the tip and pressed it forward. The light of the wand started to spread over Harry giving him a weird tingling sensation as it seemed to trace over him. Eventually the light started to recede back into her wand and she carefully brought the wand over to her desk, treating it like it was spoon filled with hot soup and she didn't want it to stain the floor.
As she got to her desk she cleared an area of everything but a single piece of parchment where she pressed the tip of her wand at the top and words started to spill down like water. Harry actually managed to get up from his bed and stumble over to her, wondering what happened to his balance every step of the way, to look over her shoulder as the words and letters started to make coherent sentences.
At first it wasn't anything just the words name, age, weight, height, temperature, gender and so on. Some of the things on the list he didn't understand like why would they want to know the length of his pointer finger, how much his bones weighted or if he had any extra organs? Anyway, when his name and part of his age started to show up the resident healer shooed Harry away saying that he may be the patient but that didn't mean he got to look at it.
Grumbling in acceptance Harry moved on to ask how everyone else was, Ginny, Hermione and all the other kids that got victimized by the basilisk. "They're fine. Ms. Weasley will probably have some pretty awful nightmares for a while but that's not something we can't fix with a dreamless sleep potion. Ms. Granger and the others have been successfully reawakened for a good two days now."
"That's good... wait, two days? Exactly how long was I knocked out?"
"Again Two days." The healer said taking her eyes off the forming words showing her amusement to the boy. "And you had many attempted visitors in that time." Harry made a disgruntled face "Not to worry all but the Weasleys and Ms. Granger were turned away. Though they left many gifts, just like last year."
Harry turned and groaned at a bed not too far from his own filled with candies, cards, letters and a few flower arraignments. He'd probably just pocket a few candies and ask Madam Promfrey to get rid of the rest. He did the same last year and just said thanks to everyone who thought he got their gifts. He hated his fame, it's not that he didn't like being recognized, and he just didn't like being recognized for something he didn't do. As far as he was concerned it was his mother and father work that got rid of the original Voldemort, not him and some form of accidental magic. At least now he did something he actually earned to be famous for, killing a humongous snake that was petrifying everyone. Being famous for that he wouldn't mind at all.
The healer smiled as the boy glared at the pile of gifts like he wanted to set it on fire, probably a good thing she hasn't given him his wand back yet otherwise he probably would. Chuckling to herself she turned back to the paper and started to read the visible results. This was one of the most advanced scanning spells that Europe had to offer. It told you near everything about the patient, the only down side being that the patient was awake so there was no magical backlash from the spell.
The spell was good but what she was seeing worried her. Under skin tone there was 'pinkish white scales' and there also wasn't hair color but his feather color, The scan also said that he did have a few extra organs, this was usually only used for people that had a mix heritage like being part goblin or veela but it showed Harry had poison sacks and what seemed like a thin layer of something over his magical core, whatever it was it moved and swirled like fire.
It was all too confusing; she needed a second opinion on this because all signs pointed to Harry not being human, not a full one at least. She could call St. Mungos but there was near always someone looking to boost their reputation and using the Boy-who-Lived wasn't below any of them. Maybe she could get one of her old friends who she went through her apprenticeship with to help her but most of them were out of country for one reason or another and it would take a while to reach any of them.
Maybe the Headmaster could help. He may not be a healer but he is very knowledgeable and could probably come up with a theory of what has happened. But she would need permission from Harry or his guardians to tell another person about his medical condition besides "he'll be fine" or other lesser things. This was defiantly not one of the lesser things but she needed help.
Turning her attention to the boy who was separating everything edible from the mix of gifts "Harry," the boy's head nearly snapped towards her "I'm a bit confused on some of these results, may I have your permission to show this to the Headmaster to get a clue as to what is going on."
Harry gave a slightly nervous look "Is something wrong with me?"
"There shouldn't be," she said trying to reassure him and feeling that she was failing "I'm just not familiar as to what some of these results mean and would like a second opinion."
Harry hesitated for a moment before giving a nod and his permission. Promfrey gave him a reassuring smile that most medical people are trained to give when they think something is wrong but don't want to worry the patient, everyone knows the one, the one where it looks forced and there is something in their eyes that makes you worry. Kind of a failed teaching but they tried.
After she left he laid on the bed he'd been sleeping on for the last two days, ripped open a box of chocolate frogs and near swallowed the thing whole as he was stuck in his thoughts. An unsure doctor, healer or whatever couldn't be a good sign. It probably meant that something was wrong with him, very wrong if it got the Hogwarts Healer nervous.
He reached his hand up to adjust his glasses, he knew he didn't need to but it usually helped to calm him. But this time his fingers just met skin. He reached again to adjust them, thinking he was disorientated from too much sleep but again nothing. He then placed his full palm against the front of his face, feeling around and still felt nothing. His glasses weren't on his face but he could see just fine.
"Wow, she's good. If I known she could have done that before I would have asked her as soon as I got here." He waved his hand in front of his eyes a few times "Cool" This was a dream come true. He had always hated those glasses, same pair for three years. They were crooked, scratched, they only stayed together because of duct tape and he was pretty sure they were the wrong prescription even when he originally got them.
As he marveled at his new vision he didn't notice a burst of flame from above him but he did notice the soft thrill that came with it. Looking up he saw a familiar red and gold bird circling around the air before taking a perch on the back of a chair near Harry. The bird tilted its head to either side for a moment and the let out a soft cooing sound. Harry guessed that was a question if he's all right to which he replied by placing his hand on top of its outstretched head and stroked its feathers as he would with Hedwig.
"Hey Fawkes how you doing." A small thrill answered him "Yeah, me too. Feeling great actually. A little weird since I just got the crap beaten out of me by a book and a snake." The bird gave an equivalent to a shrug before staring at him almost inquisitively "What something on my face?" Harry said joking but the bird just kept on staring at him before letting out a sad sound, like it was regretting something.
Harry looked confused but shrugged it off. He spoke snake not bird and it would take forever to guess so it was better to just leave it at that. Opening a box of Every Flavor Jellybeans and dumped a little in his hand. Taking a random brown one he offered it to the bird, who looked at it before pecking it out of his hand. Fawkes then let out screech and the bean fell out of its mouth
"Didn't like it huh?" Harry said with a cheeky grin and offered the bird another one "Want to try again?" the bird glared at him for a moment before letting out a thrill that nearly sounded like a laugh, making him do the same. Harry spat out three of the five beans he tried, blood, grass and boogey, before giving up on the whole box and laying back down waiting for Madam Promfrey to return, listening as Fawkes made some soft thrilling sounds.
After a few minutes of contemplating if he should go back to sleep Madam Promfrey came back in with Professor Dumbledore trailing behind her, both looking a cross of awkward and worried. Their expressions really didn't make Harry feel better.
Dumbledore walked over to Harry no twinkle in his eye and he seemed to stroke his waist length beard a little too much. "Hello Harry, how are you feeling?"
"Pretty good. Madam Promfrey does a god job, she even fixed my eyes." The two members of the Hogwarts staff stared at each other for a moment before glancing back at Harry. "What?"
"Nothing my boy," Dumbledore said slowly "Can you tell us what happened in the Chamber, it might tell us what the abnormalities in the scans were."
"Um, okay, I'll try." As Harry went on with his tale Dumbledore skimmed his mind helping Harry tell the events better and give him a better idea of what happened. As Harry got to the end of tale he had a good idea of what happened. Such searing pain form the venom in his veins and that small amount of bliss he got from the tears flowing through him at the same time, he was surprised it didn't send the boy mad. Then there was the basilisk blood he laid on and the bleeding phoenix on top of him. He was sure that in his pain that Harry didn't notice it but as he scanned the memory he noticed both bloods entering his body and flowing through him like the tears and venom. Some sort of accidental blood magic ritual must have occurred and did whatever it is it did to Harry.
"And then I woke up here… sir" Dumbledore nodded his head and held a contemplating look on his face. "Is there a problem, sir?"
Dumbledore didn't say anything as he thought over what he learned, what it could mean and how he could tell his student. He's done similar task in the past informing friends, student and so on about an unpleasant fate of being cursed to become something they weren't. But this wasn't like most situations; they had no clue as to what he now was or what he could do much less help him through it. "Harry…"
Harry listened as his Headmaster told him theory, his idea that somehow he went through an accidental blood ritual, a ritual that changed him, a type of magic that could have taken away something precious to him, more precious than he realized. It took his HUMANITY! They made him into what his aunt and uncle always called him, always mocked him with. They made him a FREAK! H-how dare anyone-anything even dare do this to him!
No, this is a lie. Dumbledore is just messing with him. He's probably pulling an incredibly cruel prank or something, playing some sort of mind games. This can't be true, it's a lie. It has to be a lie. "You're joking right, professor? You're just saying a big lie to mess with me, right?" The boy's voice seemed hysterical and he looked to be on the edge of tears. The look on his face nearly broke the two hardened professors' heart.
The resident phoenix started a small song like thrill that seemed to ease the boy down, slowly but it eventually got him to a state where he could be reasoned with. Fawkes gave a soft cooing sound to Harry's thanks and burst into flames before appearing next to Harry ready in case he needed its voice again.
"Harry, we will try to help you the best we can during these transitions. We will try and set something up for the summer if you decide you would need our services" Madam Promfrey nodded her head from behind her employer showing she was willing to help "Until then I recommend you do not tell anyone you do not trust absolutely. As you are probably aware the magical world is not that forgiving towards those that are different."
Harry knew that was true, especially considering how they treated muggleborns and Parseltongue, both hated for different reasons but they were shunned all the same. Thinking of that he wondered how they would treat him, hell he didn't know how he'd treat him. He didn't even know what to call himself, which brings up a good question. "I think you're right sir, but what exactly am I?"
"A good question," Dumbledore said with a slight frown "a good question indeed. For now how about just Harry" He gave the boy a reassuring smile, which gave a small one in thanks.
"Now it would seem you are in need of new robes from your growth spurt" he said trying to add cheer to his voice and lighten the boy's mood "Luckily we have spare robes from students who donated them at the end of their term here and didn't see the need of keeping them." With a swish of his wand a pair of old robes appeared on the bed he was just sitting on "I believe you find that these will fit very nicely."
"Thank you, sir." Harry said as he took the robes from the bed and stared at them for a bit. "D-do I look different?"
Promfrey answered this one "Besides the lack of glasses, being a bit taller and not looking like a twig anymore, not really."
That was good news, he didn't look like a freak, he was just one on the inside. It made him feel a little better, deep down, somewhere. He only looked up from the new to him robes when Dumbledore placed his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Try and see your friends. You needn't tell them anything but I find just being around the ones you care about helps immensely. Now hurry and dress, it is almost lunch time and I'm sure you would like to see if Ms. Weasley and Ms. Granger are alright."
Harry nodded and almost numbly put the clothes on over the hospital pajamas he was given. He knew that they always, somehow made it back here so it was all right to go with them still on. As he made his way to the door Promfrey stopped him "Mr. Potter, I want you in here every Friday for the last three weeks. Mostly to monitor how you are but if ever feel you need help don't hesitate to come here, understood?"
Harry nodded, said his thanks and left the hospital wing leaving the two teachers with similar expressions they had on when they entered the room. "Do you think the poor boy will be alright Albus?"
"Only time will tell my dear Poppy. But for now I think we should follow his lead and get some food."
The boy in question was currently taking one of the longer ways to the Great Hall, he wanted some time to think, a lot was put on him in about ten minutes. When he lived back in Surrey he was different and that set him apart from everyone there, at Hogwarts he was still different but he could now fit in with other people who were different but now, he was different, different from everybody. He wasn't even like a werewolf or a vampire according to Dumbledore; he was the first of his kind. It's cool in a way but scary in others.
He cursed as he tripped for what was probably the third time over his feet. He didn't get why he kept on doing that. He licked his lips in irritation and cocked his head back as he tasted or smelt, maybe both the whole hallway. Musty and gritty, he never noticed the smell before or maybe just never so clearly. He could smell the few wavering scents of student who passed during the day, all the perfume from the girls, the sweat from the kids getting back from the pitch, a few owl feathers from those coming back from the owlery. Too much, it made him dizzy.
Shaking his head he kept walking forward and licked his lips again. And again the numerous scents hit him like a wave in the face. He shook his head and made it down the final staircase to the first floor, only stumbling over two steps as he made his way down. Harry decided that it was a bad idea to lick his lips the third time when the smell of all the foods and students hit him. He should tell Madam Promfrey about that, he hoped to all hell that his tongue didn't do that when he was eating.
Surveying the room he noticed few people meaning he was either early or late for lunch. He was guessing early from the people still walking through the door behind him. Walking over to the Gryffindor table he saw his friend Hermione poking through her food with Ron putting mouthful after mouthful down his gullet. Taking a seat in front of the two Harry said his helloes and put his food on to his plate. He was hungry, like he had never eaten before, so he decided to ask Hermione how she was after he ate something; the candy from earlier really didn't fill him up.
While he was taking the first few bites of some chicken he put on his plate he heard Hermione call his name in a questioning manner, not like when she had a question for him more like someone calling the name of a person they hadn't seen in while.
"Bloody hell mate" Ron said after barely swallowing his food "We barely recognized you. What happened?"
"Um, growth spurt and good potions?" he said hoping they bought it because he wasn't ready to talk about it much less in the middle of the great hall. Ron just nodded his head accepting his words at face value, Hermione nodded her head but it was obvious she wasn't done with him yet "Anyway," Harry said trying to get off topic "How are you feeling Hermione?"
The girl gave him a look before answering him "A little stiff but otherwise fine. It was kind of like sleeping but it was uncomfortable." She rolled her shoulders as she said this as if she was trying to get rid of a knot from her shoulder. Harry smiled at the news and said "good" before taking another bit of his chicken and nearly swallowed the large bite whole.
"Harry manners, we don't need another Ron." Both said boys gave a "hey!" at the comment, causing all three to laugh. Harry slowed his pace a little but not much, he was hungry.
As the meal went on Harry asked if Hermione was ready for the exams as a joke but it triggered a whole rant about how it wasn't fair to the students and whatnot, he usually tuned her out just enough to hear what she was saying during these things. He liked the girl, probably the closest thing he'll ever have to a sister, but she needed to get her priorities in check or at least tone down the study habits a bit.
Even though he was with his friends and was enjoying himself he felt somewhat empty. His mind drifted into thoughts a boy his age shouldn't have. Will he be able to grow up like his friends would, go through puberty, get acne, fall into hormones and find a girl? Would he even find a girl? And if he did, would he be able to have a child? If people found out he wasn't human what would they do? Would they scorn him, hunt him, hurt him? What would his friends do?
As Harry's mood sank Hermione noticed, Ron might have too but there was pie.
"Harry, are you alright?"
"Huh, uh, yeah. I'm fine" The girl gave him a look "No, really, I'm fine." She was still giving him the same look. Looking away Harry let out a sigh and knew Hermione wouldn't let it go "I'll tell you when I'm ready okay?" She seemed to accept that, for now at least. He really didn't need her digging into things at the moment; he'd be able to handle it late, much later, but not then.
Harry's mood stayed neutral throughout the week, or at least that's how it appeared on the outside. Inside he was constantly feeling conflicted and confused. He went to the library a few times much to Hermione's delight and Ron's disgust. But unfortunately for the local bookworm he wasn't going there to study, well he was in a sense but not in the way she wanted. He studied vampires, werewolves and rituals that changed people.
All of said information was useless to him. There were no cases even remotely like him in the rituals and the books on werewolves and vampires just called them dark creatures and how to "deal" with them. Not very pleasant. Not one bit.
He didn't notice any changes so far besides the obvious. Like how he now looked in the mirror. He looked the same but not. He was a bit taller than before and he didn't seem as scrawny any more. Skinny, yes but now you could see a bit of tone and muscle working its way in his build. His hair seemed a bit puffier, according to some girls in his House it had more volume, they really wanted to know how he got it that way. Other than that and he had some problems tripping over his feet from the new height and over reaching a few times he was pretty much the same.
Or at least he thought. During one of his showers he noticed a flake of skin sticking out. He tried to pluck it out but it just pulled a larger section of skin off. At first he was afraid to pull anymore off, fearing if he pulled anymore it would start to bleed but there was an insufferable itch coming from underneath it. He started to scratch at it and it slowly started to peel until a very large section of skin fell to the ground, what made it worse was that the itch was still there. He scratched and scratched at it, not realizing that he was ripping off skin as he did until he reached to his other arms fingertips from itching.
By the time he noticed a good chunk of skin laid on the shower floor. Harry wanted to scream in shock but he muffled it down his throat and just stared at it. He picked the skin up tenderly and it looked exactly like his arm but see threw from the light. He dropped the skin on the ground and looked at his shoulder seeing the near obvious skin level difference. Again he stifled a scream and tried to compose himself. He picked the skin off the ground and bundled it up as he threw his cloths over his wet body and made a run to the hospital wing.
He ignored everyone he passed as he made his way to see Madam Promfrey, including one very insistent Hermione who followed him halfway through a hallway. Once he made it to his destination he panicked a little when he saw that the healer was with another student at the moment. Luckily she seemed like she was almost finished, so maybe if he interrupted her it wouldn't be that big of a deal, no that would be rude he shouldn't. Harry started to bounce on his feet anxiously waiting and debating on what he should do.
During Harry's little argument in his head the Healer finished with the student and sent her on her way before looking up to see a very anxious Boy-Who-Lived dripping wet and holding something in his arms. She wasn't expecting him till tomorrow but from his appearance it must be urgent. "Everything alright, Mr. Potter?"
The healer raised an eyebrow until she saw him unbundled what he brought with him. "It's falling off" He then revealed part of his shoulder showing that his skin was peeling off like paint off the side of an old barn.
Promfrey stayed as calm as she could and fired one diagnostic spell at him, which revealed that he was fine besides and elevated heart rate. After letting out a sigh of relief she then cast another charm hoping it would help. The charm was manly used to tell how bad a burn was, you'd be surprised what could go wrong when you use a second-degree burn healing spell on a first-degree burn, not pretty. Anyway, what was happening to his skin was similar to an old sunburn that covered his body. His skin was shedding; it was just a lot thicker in Harry's case.
""You seem to be fine Mr. Potter. You just need to peel off the skin, like a bad sun burn." After giving the boy permission to use one of her curtained areas she called for a house elf. "Please pick up the sheddings Mr. Potter leaves behind and tell the rest of the house elves to expect more shavings in the future." She added the last part as an afterthought but it seemed likely that this would happen again.
And it did near exactly a week later it happened again and Harry got the surprise of a house elf popping out of nowhere and taking the sheddings away. During his next check up Dumbledore was there to explain that he believed it was a side effect of the basilisk in making him into whatever he was. Harry wished he knew all the affects now and just have it over with but no, he had to be the first of his kind so no information for him.
He just hoped things would get better from here
Sorry this took so long but my mid terms are starting and so are a bunch of papers, I dare you to be a Criminal Justice Major and not get hit hard at least once.