Disclaimer: See Chapter One. Please note, this story is continuity up until Book 4 and AU from Book 5 on.
Harry Potter and the Spirits Within
by Maven Cree
Chapter Eight: Familial Findings
It was, without embellishment, embroidery or exaggeration, the absolute best Christmas Harry Potter had ever had.
Molly Weasley was in full form, only too happy to have another mouth to fill with holiday sweets and pies. She was determined that Harry's first Christmas with a real family would be special.
Harry, the Weasley boys and Ginny were given a lie in on the first day. The second they were marched up early and set to work decorating the burrow in Holiday Cheer.
The twins excitedly introduced Harry to one of their non-Order inventions. Marauding Mistletoe. George lamented that unfortunately, they weren't finished with the testing in time to market it for that season, but next year, from their shop, they had hopes that it would be a best seller.
They'd attempted to use unsuspecting Ginny as an example, but were disappointed when nothing happened.
"It worked fine with Angelina," Fred puzzled. "Harry, you fancy Ginny don't you?"
"Huh?" Harry exclaimed, a puzzled look on his face. Sure he cared for Ginny, but like with Hermione, it was more of a sibling type of love. Fred continued before Harry could comment further.
"And Ginny, I thought you were all sweet on our Harry here."
Ginny turned beet red, but it seemed more of indignation than of embarrassment.
"Not that it's any of your business, but I haven't liked Harry in that way for almost three years! No offence Harry," she said. Harry waved it off and Ginny turned back to her brothers. "I like someone else right now, if you must know," she added with a sniff.
"Oi! Who!" Fred, George and Ron all asked without the slightest hint of humour. They stocked their youngest sibling around the house for ten minutes before Ginny suddenly pulled out her wand and threatened them all with the mother of all bat-boggie hexes.
"Too bad Hermione's not here," George said, focussing back on their invention. This time it was Ron who pulled out his wand.
"Guess we'll have to wait 'till dad comes home."
When Arthur Weasley returned home over-laid with files and folders, all of his attending brood, plus Harry, helped him to bring them in the house. He wouldn't say what they were for, and he didn't have much of a chance to at any rate. Almost as soon as all the files were stored in a small corner of the living room, Bill, at the twin's request, hovered a sprig of Marauding Mistletoe over their father's head. The green leaves began to sparkle. Arthur had only just looked up to see what was hanging there, when the sprig flew off and into the kitchen. A moment later, a loud, energetic voice began yelling.
"IN HERE ARTHUR! SHE'S IN HERE! COME AND KISS HER! MOLLY'S WAITING! HOW 'BOUT A KISS THEN?…"
Arthur stared narrowly at his identical boys as the voice continued. They shrugged sheepishly.
"It won't stop 'till you kiss her dad."
Arthur rolled his eyes silently and stocked off to the kitchen, followed by the grinning group. Harry could barely contain his laughter at Molly Weasley using a broomstick to try and swipe the small plant out of the air. It jumped at dodged every one of her swings.
Her husband placed one hand on her shoulder, and caught the broomstick in the other. He leaned the cleaning instrument against the table, then turned to the still flustering Molly, dipped her slightly and gave her a very passionate kiss.
The Mistletoe exploded in a shower of green and red confetti, showering down on the happy couple. Those in observance applauded.
Molly seemed to be a little dazed when Arthur first released her. Then she realized that they'd had an audience. She began hastily straightening her robes.
"Really, Arthur! The children…"
"Well, isn't that how we all got started," Charlie asked.
"OUT! All of you! Except you two!" She said, pointing at the twins. They had been trying to make a quiet exit amongst all of the laughter.
Christmas morning found Harry feeling somewhat out of his skin. He sat quietly on the sofa between Ron and George as the pile of coloured (and often animated) paper grew steadily higher. There were three puffy packages on Harry's lap and a few more of assorted sizes at his feet, but he had yet to open a single one. He was simply watching.
This was a family.
Fred was sitting on the floor wearing a crown of colourful wrapping ribbons that Ginny had placed there over a quarter of an hour earlier. He knew it was there as he kept pushing one of the ends out of his eye, but did not seem to have any motivation to fully remove the silly thing. Bill was likewise seated on the floor, but he had slumped sideways, his back against a different sofa, his head was resting partially on his mother's lap. They were both admiring the pocket watch he'd gotten from his girlfriend, Fleur. Charlie and Mr. Weasley were speaking by the hearth, the former wearing a new fire-resistant cloak that was black with a silver trim that seemed to flow across it almost like water. Ginny was laying on the floor cooing over the small black kitten Bill had given her as he, Tickles, attempted to make war on Georges' toes.
Everyone was at various stages of parcel opening. They were all talking in different groups of conversation.
It was perfectly normal. Perfectly alien. It was just what Harry thought a family should be. It was at the same time, extremely pleasant and extremely painful for him, and he found himself unable to watch anymore.
Harry's eyes had only been closed a few moments when he felt himself being whacked quite soundly on the back.
"Aversion to presents, Harry?" George asked. "They won't bite-- well-- maybe this one…" he said, gingerly moving a playing-card sized gift away from Harry's knee.
Harry grinned and forced himself to put away whatever conflict he was feeling for another time. He tore into the presents adding his paper to the growing sea on the living room floor.
Each of the Weasley's had gotten Harry some form of gift, for which he found himself eternally grateful that he'd followed his impulse and done the same for them. He'd been worried that they would see the gifts as 'too much', but he couldn't find a way to tell them more what their kindness had meant to him over the years. The words didn't seem to be enough anymore.
"One more Harry," Mr. Weasley said sometime later. The Weasley patriarch handed Harry a thin rectangular box. He accepted it and looked up to find all the Weasleys watching him expectantly.
"From all of us dear," Mrs. Weasley said. Harry looked around the room once, then pulled the purple ribbon from the box. He lifted the lid.
He didn't understand what he was seeing straight away.
A golden arrow, he thought. With… oh, that's my name written there... Why would they give me an-- oh-- Oh!
Harry looked up again, green eyes impossibly wide. It was a hand for the Weasley Family Grandfather Clock.
"This-- you didn't-- I--"
"Good grasp of the language, there Har. Ow!" Tickles had jumped up onto Fred's shoulder and was now clawing at his ribbon-hat.
"I--I can't accept this," Harry said in disbelief. "I mean, I'm grateful-- you don't know how much-- but, I'm not… I'm not really…"
"You're as good as," Bill said.
Harry looked down at the object that he held in both hands. It felt unnaturally heavy at that moment.
"Come Harry," Mr. Weasley said after a moment. "Let's put that where it belongs."
"About TIME," Charlie piped up and was promptly struck by four large throw pillows.
Harry watched as Mr. Weasley did the honours . For something so significant, it was a rather simple process. he removed the centred knob and fitted in Harry's 'arrow'. The knob was re-set and Mr. Weasley gave it a tap with his wand. The new hand shuttered then rose to join eight others pointing towards the word: "HOME".
He felt Mrs. Weasley's warm embrace from behind him and thought that it might be his undoing. But his eyes travelled to the clock-face again, and somehow, for that moment, everything was alright.
The tenth hand on the Weasley clock moved from "TRAVELLING" to "HOME", several hours later. There was some awkwardness at first when the third Weasley son came to the door. Percy had knocked first which caused Mrs. Weasley to wring her hands as her husband greeted their son. Then Molly had all out fussing over him. He didn't write enough. He was too thin. He was too pale.
Well, Harry quietly had to agree with the lat two. Percy decidedly did not look well. In addition to his size and shade, there were sleepless circles beneath his eyes and the eyes themselves were tinted pink behind his glasses. And if he wasn't mistaken, there was a fading bruise on the right side of his chin.
"Mum, it's winter and we're red-heads. Of course he's a little off," Charlie said.
"More than a little," Harry muttered to Ron. "He looks dead on his feet."
"S'not that bad," he commented quietly.
Harry gave his friend an incredulous look, which Ron missed as he was watching sidle up behind the newest addition to their Christmas celebration. As they were each reaching out to put… something… onto their brother, Percy suddenly, without any previous indication that he'd known they were there, pointed his wand over his shoulder and calmly said, "Rictusempra Dysendi."
Gred and Forge both hit the floor in heaps of literally uncontrollable laughter. The rest of the Weasley siblings joined in of their own accord. Mr. Weasley rolled his eyes and cancelled the spell. At first it seemed as though it hadn't worked, but then they realized that the twins were also laughing on their own. They could always be counted on to take a prank as well as they gave.
Through the event, Percy had managed a small smile, but little else.
How could Ron think…? But his musings fell short as he looked at Percy again.
The scholarly young man now looked fine. The thinness, the markings… gone.
Harry narrowed his eyes. he was certain he hadn't imagined it.. Likewise, the light in the room was rather constant; it hadn't been a trick of the shadows.
Percy made his way over to them and wished them a Happy Christmas. Harry extended his hand to return the greeting. When Percy shook his hand, he felt it-- a spell he was rather familiar with on an unfortunate level. Glamour. Percy was hiding his appearance from his family.
The two wizards had stopped shaking but were still holding each other's hands. Harry looked intently at Percy's face. He could almost make out-- yes-- there. He could see the circles beneath Percy's eyes. Those bespectacled eyes looking back at him narrowed. Percy withdrew his hand.
Must not want them to worry, Harry thought. After all, Mrs. Weasley was fretting over him enough as it was. He was certain that she wasn't seeing past the glamour, but for Mrs. Weasley, whenever her children (or Harry himself, he was happy to find) were away from her for an extended length of time, they were always too thin and too pale for her liking.
"What was that about?" Ron asked him.
Harry shrugged and sat down to their halted chess game.
Glamours and motherly concern aside, a couple of days later, Mr. Weasley, while experimenting with a Muggle chandelier, commented to Harry, Ron and Bill (who were holding the bright fixture up without magic) that he was becoming even more concerned with Percy than he had normally been since the young man had moved out.
Percy had been unusually quiet for the rest of is visit. He was extremely reserved and not in his formerly haughty manner. He observed them all, spoke only when necessary and then seemed to say as little as possible. The details of his work and private time had been relegated to a series of 'fine's and 'alright's. The most he'd said at one time was when Mrs. Weasley had asked about Penelope Clearwater. He'd gone rather red, then told them that they'd broken up and that he was admit that he did not wish to discuss it.
He'd left, not long after dinner, leaving something of a damper on the their festivities.
…Until George threw a handful of their Fulminating Festive Fireworks (patent pending) into the hearth.
Amongst a gaggle of colourful mini explosions, eight different Christmas carols began loudly singing, which definitely altered the mood in the burrow.
Still, Mr. Weasley was worried and felt it best to pay his son a visit.
Harry felt this was an opportunity he could use and asked Mr. Weasley to tag along with him to Diagon Alley, owing that he needed to pay a visit to Gringotts. When both Weasley parents suggested Arthur go for him, he told them that he wasn't in need of money, but that Sirius had suggested that some of his family "things" might be contained in there, and with it being the holidays and all…
It wasn't a complete lie, and the Weasleys seemed to understand his "need for familial connection" at that time of year. Still, they had their concerns with regards to his safety. With a smile, Harry reminded them that they were after all talking about Gringotts. That seemed to appease them and the next day around noon, Harry found himself speeding in a railed car, miles beneath the streets of London.
They arrived at Vault 687 and the Goblin who opened it reminded Harry that he would be back for him in precisely thirty minutes. The Gringotts Goblins did not like Wizards hanging around in their bank, regardless of the fact that it was the Wizard's on vault and whatever fortune. he closed (and to Harry's brief horror) locked the door in Harry's face. He momentarily wondered how much oxygen was in that vault and how much of that the flickering wall torches used up.
Harry turned and faced his inheritance. He could still scarce believe that these many mounds of gold, silver and bronze all belonged to him. And he was only looking at the first few rows of dunes. he couldn't even see the back of the vault, though that may have had something more to do with the lighting than the depth.
It was another reason that he was glad he'd left Ron back at the burrow. His friend had of course wanted to come with him to help look, but Harry hadn't wanted Ron to see just how wealthy he actually was. He'd only caught a brief glimpse of it before their second year, but if Ron were to step inside… well-- Harry didn't want to spend the rest of the holiday trying to coax his friend out of a self-pitying slump. he could have told Mr. and Mrs. Weasley that he just wanted some time to examine the vault, but he knew that by mentioning his family, they would insist on Ron's staying home, as a matter of privacy. Family inheritance and succession, Harry had learned, was of ultimate importance and ultimate privacy in the Wizarding World.
Harry looked around and sighed. Where to begin? He glanced at his watch. He'd already wasted three minutes just standing there.
Harry stepped forward. He'd only ever taken coins from the first row of many mounds and then left. But there was a narrow path of sorts between the fourth dune of knuts and the fifth dune, which was made up of sickles. For what seemed like several long minutes Harry carefully mad his way along the winding path of coins. He was very careful going. Some of the mounds seemed to be about three times his height and he feared what would happen if ever one of these dunes were to crumble.
"Boy-Who-Lived Smothered By Gold," he mumbled humourlessly. "Ron would have just loved that."
A bit further on, the path seemed to widen and then it opened completely. Harry could now see the back of his vault. And in the several meters of open space before it, dozens of books and drawers and boxes and containers and trinkets and spindly things and bobs.
Harry felt a warm feeling come over him. He had a sudden flashback of the Mirror of Erised and all of the faces looking back at him. These "things" belonged to his family. They belonged to them-- to those faces, or relatives of those faces. Aside from his father's cloak, he'd never owned anything that was just of his family's. The photo album Hagrid had given him was made up of pictures that other people had owned. The Marauder's Map had been a joint effort between his father and James's friends. But this…
Harry set to work.
Among the boxes and papers and photos, one thing became abundantly clear to Harry: he would have to come back again. There was so much there. He wanted to revel in it. But a slight tingle from his forehead (that had been there since the night before) kept him focussed on the task at hand.
Hermione had given him suggestion as to what to look for… Amulets, Talismans (which did not really help as Amulets and Talismans could be made of practically anything), parchments of spells, books, anything that looked especially odd. She'd told him to trust his feelings. If his bloodline was the key…
He found three photo albums dated within the last thirty years and decided to take them with him, just because he wanted them.. As well as a small box of rings and amulets, some of which felt as though they had some very strong magic weaved into them. With these, he started a small pile of things he would take with him on this visit.
There was a flat chest which, though it didn't appear to have a lock, it would not open. He pulled out his wand, intending to try an unlocking spell, the second his wand touched the doors slid open.
At over a hundred strong, he was sure.
All with little tags that had little names written on them.
There seemed to be a chronology to them so Harry followed along. At the end he saw them: Five wands. Two with the tag: L. Potter (one of which was about 10 inches and appeared to be made of willow) and three with the name: J. Potter (one being about 11 inches. Pliable. Excellent for transfiguration if he remembered correctly.) He picked up his parents' first wands with nervous attention. He had hopped that there would be something there-- some kind of spark or feeling as he had had when first holding his own instrument. But these felt no different than if he were holding Ron or Hermione wands. Except of course for the knowledge that his mum and dad had once held these very items in their own hands. He picked up his father's second one; even gave it a wave. But again, there was nothing. With the last two, Harry hesitated. Both wands, though light coloured in wood, were scorched from the handles up, as though the hands which had held them, had expended a massive amount of heat or energy. He was certain that those were the wands they'd been holding when they died.
Tentatively, very tentatively, he reached out to touch one. A sudden pressure grew up behind Harry's scar. Not unbearable, but enough for Harry to pull his hand away. The pressure faded immediately. Harry rubbed his scar and closed his eyes. When he opened them, he found he was looking at the other end of the chronology at an extremely old looking wand. The scrip on the tag was likewise very old:
Harry's eyes widened. Surely, if anything in here…
With two hands he carefully brought the wand down from it's surprisingly unremarkable place of distinction. All fingers and toes crossed, Harry gave it a wave.
He waved it again.
The same result.
"Accio," he said, pointing the wand a small silver-handled Athame that was lying on a desk. It didn't even wobble. Harry looked at the piece of wood. Was this even a wand? He couldn't feel any magic coming from it. It just felt like a piece of carved wood.
Harry looked at the other wands. No other G. Gryffindors immediately caught his eye. He looked at his watch. He only had ten minutes left and a portion of that would need to be spent travelling back to the vault door. There wasn't time for him to go randomly swishing wands and he wasn't feeling particularly drawn to any others anyway. He replaced G. Gryffindor's "wand" and closed the chest.
Disappointment began to set in. As far as a "weapon" was concerned, this trip had apparently been a waste. He looked down at his small pile of "take-always". A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth as his eyes fell on two books. They were entitled "Marauders' Mischievous Misdoing, Volume 4 and 6." Harry couldn't wait to show those to Sirius. Aside from the titles on the two books, there were apparently random letters scattered about the covers. He picked up and flipped open the cover of Volume 4. An ear piercing Claxton rang out surprising Harry so badly that he stumbled into short mound of galleons, dislodging the pile. Harry shut the book, but the din continued. The letters and title on the cover were flashing brightly.
"Er…" Harry pulled out his wand and tapped the cover." I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!" he yelled.
The wail continued.
He looked at the flashing letters.
Harry prodded the cover with his wand again, this time with more precession and in a specific order.
There was an echoing silence. The front cover flipped open on its own and he was met with a scrawling handwriting.
Harry rolled his eyes, flipped the cover closed and dropped it on his "take-away" pile. He was moving to push himself back up when his hand bumped against something much larger than the galleons surrounding it.
A large book.
The cover was made of some sort of extremely soft leather in the deepest red, with thousands of tiny gold slivers all over it. Harry picked it up and required two hands to do so.
"No title," he observed and turned the book over. There was nothing written on the spine or on the back either. He turned it back to the front, intending to figure out how to get inside without a repeat of the Marauders' Mischievous Misdoing incident, but instead he gave a yell, dropped the book and jumped away from it.
The golden slivers had moved. Rather than the random scatter that had been, they now formed a face… a face, which was looking up at him with cautioned curiosity. The face looked familiar. It was a man with a long hair, striking solid features.
Harry moved closer. The face raised an eyebrow. Then in a blink it vanished. The slivers were moving flowingly. This time they began to form words.
ARE YOU A REGULUS?
"Regulus?" Harry wondered out loud. The letters changed.
Yes. Are you of the Regulus line? Of my line?
Harry's mouth dropped open. "Wait… Can you hear me?"
A BIT TICKLE-BRAINED ARE YOU?
YES, I CAN HEAR YOU BOY.
I WOULD LIKE AN ANSWER, IF YOU PLEASE.
"Er… well, my name is Harry Potter. I think… I think some of my ancestors were named "Regulus"," he answered, wishing he'd paid closer attention to the names on his family tree. "Wait, did you say your line?"
The face re-appeared and nodded.
"Oh, Merlin…" Harry finally recognized the face. "You're Godric Gryffindor!"
The face smiled proudly and nodded.
Harry flopped down and pulled the tome onto his lap.
"I--I am related-- er-- of your line, but as I've said, my name is Potter, and this line's been Potter for the last four generations at least, I think. How long have you been down here?"
The words appeared again.
HERE IN DARKNESS, I DO NOT KNOW. THE LAST OF
OUR LINE WITH WHOM I COMMUNICATED WAS LETO
REGULUS. HE WAS 173 YEARS ON THIS EARTH WHEN
HE DIED. I BELIEVE THAT WAS THE YEAR OF OUR
"Wow. You've been in here over 250 years!"
The face re-appeared looking surprised.
I HAD NOT REALIZED SUCH TIME HAD PASSED.
TIME MEANS VERY LITTLE FOR ONE SUCH AS I.
"Er…" Harry began. "What are you, exactly? A journal?" he asked, memories of his second year flooding back.
I WOULD HVE YOUR BLOOD FIRST, IF YOU PLEASE.
WHATEVER KNOWLEDGE OR LACK THEREOF
CONTAINED WITHIN ME BELONGS TO MY LINE AND MY
LINE ALONE. THOUGH YOU SEEM A STOUT HEARTED
LAD, I MUST BE CERTAIN.
A SINGLE DROP WILL DO.
Harry looked cautiously at the face.
"Blood can be used as a powerful weapon," Harry said.
The face gave him a knowing look before dissipating.
SO CAN I
IN THE PROPER SET OF HANDS.
Harry thought for a minute.
'Play or be played.' 'Use your blood.' Was this what they had meant?
Mr. Weasley had said never to trust anything that could think for itself if you couldn't see where it kept its brain. Did the image of Godric's face count?
Hermione had told him to trust himself. To trust his feelings…
He looked around. The Athame was still sitting on the desk. He brought the book over to it and set it down. Harry picked up the Athame, then looked Godric's patiently waiting image. This felt right. He pricked a small hole in his finger, then placed the finger, with its small bubble of blood, on the corner of the cover, where Godric's shoulder began.
The entire book shimmered gold, the slivers spinning in circles.
Godric's face reappeared once again, with its proud smile.
HARRY POTTER OF THE LINE AND HOUSE OF GRYFFINDOR.
I AM GODRIC'S GRIMORUM.
--though you may never truly understand my choice (I already know you disapprove) I hope that you will someday be able to--
Percy looked up from his writing.
Marcus Schwepper stood next to his desk. He held out a small scroll of parchment.
"Is this what I think it is?" Percy asked, pushing his glasses up his nose.
Schwepper gave a curt nod.
"Tell him yes," Percy told the man.
Another nod. Schwepper looked down at the parchment. Percy followed his eyes.
"Family business," he said firmly.
"Really," Schwepper doled suspiciously. "Your father paid you a visit here a few days back didn't he?
"Is there a point in there somewhere? You know perfectly well, my family is the only reason I'm doing this. You can drop the pathetic attempt at intimidation. You're nothing to me."
"The bookworm has teeth," Schwepper said. He smirked, turned on his heel and walked away from the ginger-haired man.
Percy watched him go, before picking up his quill again to continue with what he'd been writing.
The holidays were over both too fast and too slowly for Harry's liking.
He had never had a more wonderful Christmas break. Ron and he poured over the pictures of his family from the album. He was thrilled to see his face and likeness in others that had come before him. Dumbledore had allowed Sirius to leave the castle for a short time on New Years day to visit. Remus came with him and they, and the Weasley children spent the entire visit reliving the pranks and adventures listed in Volumes 4 and 6 of the Marauders' Mischievous Misdoings. Remus said that Volumes 2 and 5 were in his family vault and Volumes 1, 3, and 7 were in the Black family vault. Peter was not around enough at the end of their seventh year to be given one.
Harry had showed them the box of rings, amulets, books and parchment for inspection. They'd gone over everything Harry had showed them, but nothing seemed of significant use.
Hermione, once they'd gotten back to Hogwarts, was likewise disappointed, but suggested that they keep studying them.
Harry agreed, if only to appease his own mind.
He never told his closest friends and godfather what else he had found in the vault.
…There was someone he wanted to speak to first.
Snape placed his quill on his desk and stood to observe the class. The students would be at a precarious moment in their brewing and he needed to keep an eye on them, especially as it was their first class back since the winter break.
While the other students, even Crabbe and Goyle were studiously concentrating on this serious part of their potion, Potter's eyes kept flicking between Severus and Malfoy. Snape narrowed his eyes curiously, then widened as the boy caught his eye and held it. He picked up a handful of Hyacinth leaves and held them purposefully over his cauldron. Any more than two leaves would cause a volatile reaction. Potter looked to Malfoy again - to him - to the leaves, then back to Severus. Then as he mouthed the word "Oops", and before Severus could stop him, Harry let the leaves fall.
The result was instantaneous. The blue coloured potion turned bright pink, bubbled to the top of the cauldron and then shot in a straight column to the ceiling. It crawled along above the class until the entire ceiling was covered in lumpy pink foam.
Snape clenched his fists and spoke through gritted teeth. "Potter! Detention!"
He aimed his wand at the lumpy concoction and cast an "Imobulous" charm on it. Unless Potter had a very good reason for doing what he did, the boy would be on a ladder cleaning it without magic until dawn.
"The rest of you should be nearly finished. I expect there will be no further interruptions!"
And there were not. Even the Slytherins knew when not to press him.
Fifteen minutes later the fifth years filed out of the room, all except Potter. Once the hallway was clear, Snape magically closed and warded the door.
"I assume there was a reason for this," he said, flicking his eyes towards the ceiling.
"Yes, sir," he replied. "I wanted to show you something, but I didn't think it could wait until Saturday."
Snape sat down behind his desk and indicated that Harry should continue. Harry picked up his schoolbag and brought it to the desk. He opened it and pulled out a large red tome with gold coloured sprinkles all over the cover.
"I found this in my family vault over the holidays," he said, placing it before Snape.
Snape looked to the spine; there was no title there, nor was there any on the cover.
"And this is…?"
"Grimorum?" Snape said sitting straighter.
Years ago, powerful Witches and Wizards began keeping Grimoires-- books detailing their magical discoveries and advances that were sometimes referred to as a Book of Shadows. It was a way of passing down their knowledge and experience… most importantly what not to do. As time moved on, the most powerful descendent would inherit the book and add to it. Grimorums were similar, however, they were only created and added to by the original author… Only the most powerful magics were contained within them. And only the most powerful magics could contain them. There were not many Grimorums left in the world. If the Witch or Wizard who created it were not powerful enough, the magic would consume the book, destroying it completely. Both books always remained within the family and were almost never shown to outsiders… And he doubted if anyone had even seen a Grimorum in the last two centuries… But he was being shown one now.
"Potter… I know that there are certain areas lacking in your knowledge of Wizarding Culture due to your upbringing, but surly Ms. Granger has--"
"Hermione doesn't know about it. Neither does Ron. I wanted to get your opinion before I told anyone about it."
Snape raised an eyebrow. "Have you not even mentioned this find to the Headmaster?"
Harry developed a look on his face that told Snape that the thought hadn't even occurred to the boy. Snape had the sudden urge to throw something very heavy at Albus. He closed his eyes.
"So be it," he muttered.
"Nothing, Potter, Never mind," he said, rubbing his eyes. "First of all, tell me how you know this is a Grimorum?"
Potter rubbed a hand across the back of his neck. "Well… Er… He told me," he said, indicating the book.
Snape looked down at the unremarkable cover.
"I take it something is supposed to happen here?"
Potter turned the book towards himself. "Er… Godric?"
Snape barely managed to maintain his neutral expression as the gold flecks on the cover began to move and form a face. An animated face. The eyes turned from Harry's face, to his own. Then face disappeared as the flakes moved again to form words.
THIS ONE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE OF MY LINE.
"No, he isn't," Harry spoke to the book. "He's my teacher. A teacher here at Hogwarts. Professor Severus Snape. He's the head of Slytherin House."AND YOU TRUST A TEACHER WITH MY KNOWLEDGE?
"Well, he's been training me outside class, too. Special training."A TRUSTED MENTOR, THEN?
Harry looked up at Snape.
"Yeah," he said back to the book. Snape resisted the urge to roll his eyes.
The face reappeared on the cover and watched the two wizards.
"Well, that seems to have answered my question," Snape said wryly. "Do you perhaps know why his words are appearing in modern day English?"
"Something about my blood, he said:" Harry told him, then explained how he had come to discover the book.
"I found a… I don't know what to call it. It's the last project Godric worked on, as far as I can tell." Harry opened the book and flipped through the heavy pages. He stopped somewhere a little over three quarters on. "He continues his notes on other things after this, but this is his last concoction."
Snape looked over the page.COGNATUS. PNEUM. ANIMUS.
"Blood, Breath, Soul," he translated.
"What has been nagging at me is that it reminds me of the spell Voldemort used to come back. He used my blood, Wormtail's flesh, and his father's bone. I know this is not the same thing but… It just sticks with me. But there's no explanation of what it specifically does."
"And 'Godric' has been of no help?"
Gold sparkled flakes appeared at the top of the page.
I ONLY KNOW WHAT IS IN THIS BOOK AND WHAT HAS BEEN
TOLD SPEFICALLY TO ME.
GODRIC DID NOT WISH THIS SPELL TO FALL INTO THE WRONG HANDS.
THEREFORE,HE ONLY LEFT ENOUGH ONLY LEFT ENOUGH INFORMATION
FOR THE RIGHT PERSON TO ATTEMPT.
THIS IS A PROCESS OF GETTING RID OF THE DARKEST WIZARDS…
"So does it work?" Harry asked.
THAT, I DO NOT KNOW.
The pages flipped over to the final page. The Golden letters followed.
AS YOU CAN SEE,THE LAST ENTRY IS THATGODRIC WAS GOING
TO ATTEMPT THE SPELL THE FOLLOWING DAY.
HE NEVER WROTE IN THIS CHRONICLE AGAIN.
THIS TOME HAS BEEN POSSESSED THREE TIMES SINCE HIS DEMISE
NONE OF THOSE DECENDENTS SEEMED TO HAVE ANY INTEREST
IN THE SPELL.
"Perhaps there were no dark wizards of note during their various times," Snape pondered.
INMY TIME IT WAS MORDRAR, THE BASTARD DECENDANT OF MRODRED.
HE WAS A GREAT THREAT, AND I FEARED THAT HE WOULD BE
THE END OF ALL WE KNEW.
THE SPELL WAS CREATED FOR HIM.
HE HAD TAKEN STEPS AND WAS NEAR IMMORTAL WHEN GODRIC HAD
FINISHED THIS PROCESS.
"And here we are experiencing a similar problem," Snape said.
AS FAR AS GODRIC'S DECENDANTS WERE ABLE TO DECERN,
THIS ENTRY WAS MADE NOT LONG BEFORE HE DIED.
PERHAPS SOMETHING WENT WRONG.
Snape nodded thoughtfully.
"Mr. Potter… would you be willing to leave this with me for a couple of days. You must feel perfectly comfortable to refuse me on this."
"No. I mean, yes, you can have it. I think I've done all I can with it on my own," he said.
Snape nodded. "It will be cared for diligently, I assure you."
Harry grinned. "I trust you Professor. I wouldn't be here otherwise." He turned to the book. "Godric, please trust Professor Snape as you would me. He's helping me with all of this."
YOU SEEM VERY CERTAIN.
"I've decided to play my own game now. And I'm choosing the players."
The following Thursday morning, Harry was just piling a second helping of bacon onto his plate when Professor McGonagall strode down the isle towards him.
"Potter," she said crisply, "You will report to my office at the start of first period. Professor Flitwick has been made aware of your delay."
And then she strode off before Harry could even attempt a question.
"What did you do?" Hermione hissed.
"Nothing," Harry said. He honestly hadn't a clue. The only thing he'd done close to being untoward was showing Snape Godric's Grimorum and he didn't think the Professor would have shard that information with anyone, after stating that he wouldn't.
"She seemed kind of mad-- but like she was holding it in or something," Ron said.
"I haven't done anything," Harry stressed.
Hermione still had a suspicious look on her face. Harry rolled his eyes and went back to his breakfast.
A quarter of an hour later he was seating himself across from his Head of House. She stared at him intently for a moment before her lips lost some of their thinness. She sighed.
"Relax, Potter. You're not in any trouble. None that I'm currently aware of anyway," she said, the side of her mouth curling slightly in humour.
Harry's posture eased slightly.
McGonagall cleared her throat.
Some unpleasantness I'm afraid up ahead, Potter-- er-- Harry," she said, her tone turning grim.
"More unpleasant than Voldemort?" Harry replied shrewdly. Things usually went more smoothly if you could get McGonagall to smile.
"I suppose that would depend on how you look at it," she said. Harry raised a curious eyebrow before she continued.
"We've received a notice by owl. The Dursleys' trial will begin on Monday."
Latin translations from the "LatinEnglish Dictionary" online.
cognatus : (adj.) related by blood (noun) a relative, kinsman.
pneum : breath.
animus : courage, vivacity, bravery, will, spirit, soul.
A/N: With regard to Regulus: You would not believe how shocked I was to see that name in Order of the Phoenix! Right from the beginning, I'd had that name down as one of Harry's ancestors. Why, well, Sirius is the brightest start in the, so for part of Harry's family, I chose the name of the brightest star in the constellation Leo. After OotP, I'd only briefly considered changing the name. Then I decided, nah! I can still use it.
Grimorum…. Any Gargoyle fans out there? J Yes, I know that the proper word is Grimoire, but I was/am a huge Gargoyles fan and the name Grimorum just sticks in my head and also seems to fit better with the name Godric. Deal with it.
This Vault scene has been in my head literally since I began writing this story, and I'm glad I've finally done with it.
I really wanted to post this before HBP came out. Actually, I wanted to post Chapter 9 too. Ah well. Workin' on it folks! J It's 11:20pm on July 15th, and I've got to get to the bookstore now. I guess I'll post this tomorrow is I'm taking a break from reading, or after I finish the book. (Sooo nervous. I can take anybody dying except Snape and with "Advanced Potions" on the cover of the Adult Version… Oh, it's making me nervous. I also believe that Snape is the HBP and that the clasped hands on the inside flap are Harry and Snape.)
Off to the party!
Enjoy this happy Potter weekend!