Harry Potter and the Turning of the Sun
Disclaimer: All JKR's, not mine.
Summary: AU After OOTP- After Harry is thrust back in time, he has to contend with surviving the rest of his years in Hogwarts and living his new life around people that he knows will one day become Death Eaters. Can he find the balance between giving people a chance and doing what he knows is right or will he crumble under the pressure that comes with knowing the future?
A/N: Thanks for the reviews everybody. Oh, and review again!
S/N: I'm sorry about the delay, but I had to cut out a lot of subplots to this story because I realized I just had way too much story to actually tell. Hopefully, this will allow me to tighten up the writing and release the chapters at a much quicker pace.
S/N 2: This chapter is just a set up for the next chapter, which will forever change the nature of the story. After the next chapter, the story is going to move forward at breakneck speed, so be prepared for that.
Chapter 30: Two People, One Being
Weeks passed and eventually Valentine's Day came and went, with both Harry and Bellatrix enjoying their day inside the castle. Their relationship had developed to the point that Harry was nearing the confidence to talk about their future, whether or not she would choose him or choose another destiny, knowing full well that if she did choose him, she would not be able to go down the Death Eater path—the path that led to the craving of power and destruction. That was something he could not, would not do, joining with her in her pursuit of her darker ideals in an effort to propagate her blood supremacy misunderstandings. But still, he knew they weren't quite there yet, in a few weeks perhaps, but not now, as she still was unready to make the decision on her own without him going to her and asking.
"Sorry I'm late," Harry whispered one day in late February as he and Bellatrix met in the Room of Requirement to study. Bellatrix looked at him with a blank expression, arching an eyebrow for him to go on and explain himself. "I got caught up with Bertram and a bunch of Ravenclaws."
"Yeah, yeah," Bellatrix replied quietly, turning her attention back to the tome opened on the seat next to her. They quietly read their books for nearly ten minutes, before Bellatrix looked up at Harry with a small smile, a mischievous air about her. "Can I try something on you?" Bellatrix asked, hoping he'd be amenable to helping her out with something.
"Sure, what?" Harry nodded as he turned the page of the book that was nestled in his lap. He was reading about wizards of the Norman Invasion, hoping to find a lead on where he could learn more about the Peverell brothers, and by proxy the Deathly Hallows, having recently learned that the Peverell name may have come over with William the Conqueror. It had become his goal to find out who the Peverells were, knowing that they would be the key to finding out more about the Deathly Hallows and therefore further understanding the plan that Dumbledore outlaid for him to undertake in destroying Voldemort in his own time.
"Look at me straight in the eyes," Bellatrix ordered, bringing her legs up onto the couch and sitting cross-legged as she looked over to Harry. Harry turned his body towards her, and raised an eyebrow as he stared directly into her eyes, willingly allowing her to do as she pleased. "Don't move," Bellatrix whispered, entrancing herself in his green and blue eyes, trying to delve deeper and further into them than she had ever done before.
"Okay," Harry replied easily, having a sinking feeling about what she was doing. He felt a prick in his head, and images began to flood into his mind, memories of Bellatrix and Harry working on occlumency together, of them celebrating Christmas, of them watching the quidditch match. Immediately and instinctively, Harry thought about the memory of Hermione lecturing him and forced Bellatrix from his mind, throwing her out with a powerful push, protecting his thoughts and memories from the intrusion. "What did you do that for?"
"I was bored," Bellatrix shrugged, though Harry could tell she was lying. He could see that she was trying to hone her skills for the sole reason to get better, a trait that both attracted and frightened Harry a bit. "Can I do it again?"
"When did you learn to do this?" Harry said, still staring at Bellatrix, allowing her to intrude upon his mind wandlessly and nonverbally once more, knowing that it was good practice for him, as well. While he didn't want her to know all of his memories, he was okay in her seeing most them, knowing that she wouldn't use them against him; plus, he reasoned, since she knew more about him than anyone else in the world, she probably already knew the stories behind the memories, making knowledge of them relatively worthless.
"I've been trying it on you for a while," Bellatrix grinned, as images of Harry's memories of her came flooding into her mind, as if she was reading a book, seeing the world through his eyes. As she delved deeper and deeper into his mind, a new memory suddenly came into her vision: she was in a place, a shabby, dirty room, with posters of the Chudley Cannons hanging on the wall. Then, as quickly as they came, the memories stopped, and she was back in her own mind once again.
"You're too obvious," Harry muttered, looking back down at the book in his lap, returning to his work. "I can feel you enter my mind right away." He explained softly, hoping that she would be able to use that to better her technique.
"Can I try again?" Bellatrix questioned excitedly, wanting to better herself even more. Now that she knew what to work on, what she needed to learn, she was anxious to start working on it as soon as possible.
"Can you try intruding into my privacy again?" Harry asked rhetorically, looking up from his book as a pensive expression took form on his face, as if he was pondering some great question that plagued the world. "No, I think I'm good for tonight. And every night hereafter, while we're at it."
"You're no fun," Bellatrix cursed, grabbing her book and getting back to her Transfiguration work. They each silently read for another twenty minutes or so before leaving for dinner, both a bit hungry from the long day of schoolwork.
Another week passed, and as it neared March, Easter exams loomed only a few weeks away. As such, Harry found himself in the library, finishing up a Charms assignment that had been given to him during his last class. He managed to complete the assignment, three pieces of parchment detailing a seventh year charm that Harry wished to use as his final practical test, a spell that he would have to perform in front of Professor Flitwick and other wizards and witches sent from the Ministry, after only two hours, allowing him the use of the rest of his time to go over the final touches of it. Soon later, with a contented sigh, happy to be done, Harry reached over to another book that was on the desk that he was positioned at, knowing that he had another assignment to work on, this one of a more personal nature.
"You spend so much time in the library, how come your grades aren't better?" A voice said from above Harry, as he stared down at a book that was opened in front of him.
Harry let out a laugh, looking up at the black-haired girl that loomed above him. "I'm not really studying when I'm in the library. Not always, I mean." Harry said, gesturing to his new book, which was about Beedle the Bard's stories, hoping it would shed light on the Peverell brothers. "At least not for school, that is."
"Well, you should be studying for school. You're terrible in theory; you're like the opposite of Milton Curd." Bellatrix Black lectured, taking a seat across from him without even asking if it was taken. They were at a table behind a bookshelf, allowing them some privacy from prying eyes—though since it was late at night, there weren't many people in the library as it was. "Milton Curd is intelligent in the classroom, knows a lot about spells and magical history, but he is absolutely useless with a wand, no wonder you two are friends. For Merlin's sake, Otto Bagman won the Hufflepuff dueling tournament last year." Bellatrix scoffed, almost disgusted by the idea of Otto Bagman being good at anything, let alone magic. "Otto Bagman." She finished, stressing each word slowly, hoping to convey what she meant to Harry.
Harry raised an eyebrow, smiling at the mention of his relatively magically untalented friend. "I'm better with a wand than you are, so if my grades are terrible, what does that say about you?" Harry questioned playfully, wondering how she would respond.
"I could beat you in a duel," Bellatrix said in a matter of fact tone, as if it was preposterous to suggest otherwise. "And I think a Slytherin is going to win the dueling tournament this year." She said, referencing the tournament that was to take place in a few short weeks.
"You think you can?" Harry asked suggestively, a bit amused by her confidence. While she was a good witch, the best in the class, he firmly believed that he would win in a duel should they ever fight for real, no matter the magic that she had at her disposal.
"Yes," Bellatrix nodded affirmatively, not thinking twice about it. "You may have learned to keep quiet for most spells, but I know for a fact that I can get into your mind, and without keeping me out of your mind, using nonverbal spells is all but useless. If you don't keep your mouth shut and your mind closed, you have no chance of beating someone like me in a duel."
"Aren't you the confident one," Harry murmured with a grin, allowing Bellatrix to believe what she wanted to believe—he knew if it came down to it, he'd probably let her win, but that wasn't the point.
"All I'm saying is that you're not very Ravenclaw-ish." Bellatrix joked with a smile, having grown to agree with the Sorting Hat's original assessment of Harry belonging in the Gryffindor house. It was the reason why he annoyed her so much, that Gryffindor quality that he had about him, one which went against her Slytherin nature.
"Don't be jealous that you're not in the best house. Well, I was a Gryffindor too, so I guess it comes down to either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor being the best." Harry whispered, furrowing his brows in thought, trying to decide which one he liked more. "It's a tough choice; while I love Gryffindor, I do substantially enjoy being a Ravenclaw."
"Oh, please, Slytherin is better in every single way." Bellatrix alleged with a smirk, understanding the true character of Slytherin and how the house created very skilled wizards and witches. "It's the best, actually. Very easily, too, might I add."
"Well, not many famous wizards come from Slytherin," Harry replied, then, adding, "Famous for doing good things, I mean." Harry corrected himself, realizing his mistake—Voldemort was a member of the Slytherin house and he was very famous, just famous for all the wrong reasons. "So clearly it's not the best."
"Oh yeah, who is the most famous wizard or witch from Ravenclaw? Other than Ravenclaw herself, that is," Bellatrix questioned with a blank look on her face, waiting for Harry to realize that no one came from Ravenclaw.
"Ah, the woman who invented Floo Powder, I think?" Harry answered, not really knowing anyone of great import—after all, he had only been in the house for two years, and he was a little preoccupied during that time, what with traveling back in time and all. "Oh, oh, I know, Ollivander, Garrick Ollivander, yeah, he was in Ravenclaw, too."
Bellatrix laughed at Harry's names, amused by his inability to actually name someone famous. "Well, Merlin was in Slytherin," Bellatrix said once she finished laughing, expecting Harry to be surprised by that revelation just as so many others were.
"You're lying," Harry retorted, disbelieving of Merlin ever attending Hogwarts, let alone actually being in Slytherin. He had never heard of that before, which made its veracity dubious to him.
"Whatever you want to believe," Bellatrix laughed, not expounding on it any further, instead allowing Harry to think what he wanted. "You'll be made the fool, though."
"I really don't believe you," Harry whispered, though his resolve wasn't as strong as it was before. Then, grabbing his bag, throwing his book into it and rising to his feet, he gestured for her to follow him, having to find another book to further his studies. They walked into the back of the shelves, even more hidden from view than they were before, and Harry pulled out his invisibility cloak, intending on using it to go into the restricted section. "Want to come?" He asked with a smile, as he threw the cloak over the both of them, preventing them from being seen. Being a little too tall for it, they both had to scrunch down in order to be completely covered, but like always, it provided lasting protection from view.
"So I've always wanted to know, but where did you get your invisibility cloak from, the headmaster?" Bellatrix inquired in a whisper, just as Harry popped out his wand, said a spell and opened the gate to the restricted section. They quickly rushed into the section, before closing the gate behind them, as if they had never entered in the first place. "They're really rare and awfully expensive. I've never seen one myself before you started using yours to sneak out and steal food, except in texts."
Harry shifted his eyes over the various shelves, searching for anything that would help him with his Peverell quest. "No, it was actually my father's cloak, he used it in Hogwarts and I got it when I first came to Hogwarts when I was 11. I brought it back with me when I came back in time." He replied quietly, moving onto the next shelf, having not seen anything of note.
"Your father used it in Hogwarts? You mean, when he went to Hogwarts, like right now?" Bellatrix asked, raising an eyebrow, trying to figure out the timeline. If Harry had brought it back from his own time in the 1990s, and his father used it during the 1970s, then that would mean the cloak was at least twenty years old, if not older than that. "And it's still good?"
"Yeah, why?" Harry questioned confusedly, wondering why she would ask such a question. He had kept it in relatively good condition, always treating it with care, so to him it really wasn't any great wonder that it was still as good as the day he received it.
"Because I've heard that invisibility cloaks lose their effectiveness after a while so I'm surprised it still works." Bellatrix answered with a shrug, furrowing her brows in thought as she tried to recall what happened to a cloak as it aged. "You know, the cloak loses its bedazzlement or disillusionment if it's made from a normal cloak or the demiguise hair becomes opaque if the cloak is woven from a demiguise pelt or it becomes torn and ripped and naturally wears."
"It does?" Harry asked, gripping a piece of his cloak and giving it a look. It felt as soft and smooth as silk in his hands, as if it was straight from the maker, seemingly having not aged a day.
"This is nearly perfect," Bellatrix said, grabbing the cloak from his hand and staring at it interestedly. Her eyes gazed about the cloak as it hovered over her, and immediately she noticed how there were no rips, holes, or tears, and just as Harry had noticed seconds before, it still felt like silk to the touch, a rarity in a cloak as old as Harry said his was.
"That's right, I remember Moody mentioning one of his cloaks being better than the other, implying that some cloaks do wear," Harry muttered, as another thought crept into his mind, an experience that harkened back to the beginning of the year, the night that he and Bellatrix first kissed. "Are invisibility cloaks un-summonable? I mean, does the summoning charm usually work on a cloak?"
"I don't know, probably. Most likely, yes." Bellatrix replied with another shrug, not really seeing why it wouldn't. "An anti-summoning charm is very, very, very difficult to perform because technically it's a ward, not a charm, and wards are the hardest thing to do in the field of charms. Plus, with the amorphous nature of the cloak, I'd imagine many wouldn't waste their time because of its difficulty."
"My cloak wasn't able to be summoned," Harry whispered more to himself than to Bellatrix, as he remembered Sirius unable to summon it all those months ago at the start of term. He had hidden behind a suit of armor in order to evade his father and his friends seeing him, and he was almost caught by Sirius performing the Summoning Charm on the cloak, but fortunately enough, his cloak had been unable to be summoned for some reason unbeknownst to Harry.
"That's unusual," Bellatrix muttered nonchalantly, wrapping her arm around Harry's to get in tighter to him. Just then, they heard the gate at the front of the restricted section swing open, and their eyes jetted over to the spot, where they both saw the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Regula Moonshine, enter the section. Their breaths hitched in their throat, surprised by her appearance as it was late at night, and they went silent for a moment, wondering if she was there to catch them. Without incident, Moonshine began walking up and down the shelves, seemingly searching for a tome in the section labeled dark curses and jinxes, before finding what she sought on the bottom of the third row and walking back out.
"We should hurry," Harry murmured, as he began to move his eyes over the books more and more quickly. Up and down the aisles they walked, as briskly and quietly as they could, all the while looking for a specific tome that Harry had seen mentioned in the previous book that he had been reading. It was a book about heirlooms of the middle ages and was said to tell the story of various familiar totems that had been used to show lineage from many ancient and powerful families, with all of them seemingly very valuable. The reason for it being in the restricted section was due to it incorporating many dark objects that had been used by several dark families, each possessing dangerous and uncharted magic. As such, the overprotective headmaster that was in office when the book first came out immediately put it in the restricted area, not wanting any of his students to go headlong into searching for them and endangering themselves as a result. It was needless protection, Harry knew, since there were even more dangerous books in the unrestricted sections, some that even quoted the book that was in the restricted section itself—it simply had yet to be taken off the restricted list by any headmaster since.
As they neared the center of the rows, Harry noticed a slew of dusty books that needed to be wiped off in order to see their titles. Quickly, he reached out and swiped his hand against the bindings, allowing him to see just a sliver of their titles, which would hopefully be enough to decipher what they were. Seeing the one that interested him, he grabbed it and placed it underneath his cloak, hiding it from view before taking Bellatrix's hand and walking out of the section. Once they were out, he threw the cloak off of both of them and slowly ran his wand over the book, intending to take off whatever charms may have been placed on it that would alert that it's been carried out of the library. Then, having finished, he placed his cloak and the book back into his backpack, and turned and looked at Bellatrix with a curious expression.
"Whatever happened to that book that I asked you to get for me a few weeks ago?" Harry asked, wondering whatever happened to that. "You remember the book with the Peverells in it, the one that you said you would get for me?"
"Oh," Bellatrix whispered, arching an eyebrow, thinking back to when she checked on the book. "When I went back, it was gone. It was checked out when I went to get it, and then I just forgot about it."
Harry nodded next to her, and then questioned, "Checked out by whom?"
"I didn't look, I'm sorry," Bellatrix replied, biting her lip, hoping he wouldn't be too disappointed. It had been a while ago after all, and since she had forgotten about it, she presumed he had, as well.
"Its fine, we'll do it right now." Harry smiled, giving her hand a gentle squeeze. It wasn't the end of the world that she didn't check, and he didn't want her to think that he was the least bit mad about it. "Do you remember the title?"
"Ah," Bellatrix stopped, looking towards the floor in an effort to remember. What was it, she thought to herself, Dark Treasures or something like that. "Give me a second here."
"Ugh," Harry laughed, playfully rolling his eyes at her. "What good are you?" He mocked in faux disappointment, liking the fact that he was able to tease her for once.
Bellatrix slapped his arm, as she continued to try and remember what the book's name was. "Oh, oh, I know," Bellatrix exclaimed, her eyes moving up to Harry with a victorious smile on her pretty face. "It was 'Wizards of the Middle Ages and their Dark Treasures' by Edsel Prince."
"What were you reading that for?" Harry asked, as he headed towards the desk at the front of the library, intending on finding out who had it. Is Prince the only person who writes about these sorts of things? Harry questioned to himself, recognizing that name from the numerous books that were in his trunk, having been collected from Dumbledore and the library in number 12 Grimmauld Place. Wait, Harry paused in an effort to correct himself, that was Athelstan Prince, not Edsel. Is there a connection there, perhaps father and son? Or perhaps something different?
"I wanted to read about charmed objects," Bellatrix shrugged innocently, having perused the book in order to learn about the dark treasures portion of it, presuming that it would have powerful, priceless objects that she would one day be able to procure.
"Hi," Harry said politely, coming up to the librarian, Irma Pince. She was different than how she would act in post in the future, much nicer and less possessive of the books in the library, but even still, he had never interacted with her very much due to his past experiences with her. "Do you happen to know who checked out 'Wizards of the Middles Ages and their Dark Treasures' by Edsel Prince?"
"Let's see here," The librarian whispered to herself, flicking her wand to a box on the desk. A stiff piece of parchment levitated out of the box and darted to her hands, which had a list of names written down on it. "Ah, yes, right here, it says 'Lovegood, Xenophilius'."
"Xeno took it out?" Harry whispered, flicking his gaze over to Bellatrix, who looked blankly back at him. He furrowed his brow in thought, inwardly wondering why Xenophilius would take out such a book as it did not seem the kind of thing that would interest him.
"It seems so," The librarian replied, before placing the card back in the box and moving onto the next student that had just come up behind Harry.
"Thank you," Harry said, taking a few steps away, getting ready to leave the library. "I'll have to talk to him about it sometime."
"He's had it out for quite a while," Bellatrix whispered in response, hoping that would help Harry in some way.
Filing that information away, Harry and Bellatrix departed for the night, and the next day found Harry walking into Dumbledore's office, intent on learning as much as he could from the older wizard. Over the course of their discussions, he had learned about magic, about Voldemort, and about himself, as well as ancillary things that he would have never known if it wasn't for the headmaster. He enjoyed his time with the headmaster, not only because he was learning from Dumbledore, but because he was learning about Dumbledore, too, which was something that was very special in his mind. He was grateful for it since he knew that it wasn't everyday that the greatest wizard of the age took time out of his schedule to converse with a teenaged wizard.
"Professor, I have a question, but I'm not sure you'll know the answer. Maybe you will, I have no idea." Harry said slowly, truly not knowing whether Dumbledore knew how to answer it or not—after all, it wasn't commonly known, as far as he understood.
"What is it?" Dumbledore asked, intrigued by the prospect of a difficult question. Very rarely was there a question about magic that he could not answer, having spent countless of days and nights pouring over tomes of great magic and being particularly skillful in a wide assortment of aspects of magic.
"Was Merlin really in Slytherin?" Harry asked curiously, still a bit hung-up by the revelation that Bellatrix had told him just a day prior.
Dumbledore furrowed his brows, having not expected that kind of question. He expected something about Voldemort, time travel, maybe even Harry's parents, but not a question as trivial as a student's house in Hogwarts. Sure, Merlin was one of the greatest wizards to ever live, in a manner of speaking at least, but still, the question was about his house, not his deeds as a wizard. "Well," Dumbledore started, looking over to Harry, figuring out the easiest way to answer it—it wasn't a simple question to answer. "Yes and no."
"What?" Harry replied loudly, surprised at the revelation, having truly not expected it. I'm never going to hear the end of this from Bellatrix, Harry thought to himself, shaking his head in dissatisfaction.
"The Merlin that was in Slytherin is not the same one from muggle myth, of whom I'm sure you are conjuring images in your mind. The Merlin from myth was known as Myrddin and he was a druidic seer, potion maker, magizoologist and soothsayer to the people, while the one in Hogwarts was the Prince of the Enchanters, who just happened to be named Merlin—Merlin Ambrose, to be exact, who was named after the man of legend and worked with charms, creating dozens of charm spells that we still use to this day. So yes, Merlin was in Slytherin, but not that Merlin, as he had died nearly a half of a millennium prior to the founding of Hogwarts. However, over time, the two entirely distinct people have been amalgamated and conflated into one individual, and there you go. Individually, they were both very powerful wizards, great in their own right and two of the most powerful wizards ever, but together they have created a wizard whose shadow looms above everyone else, no matter how incredible an individual's feats are."
"Interesting," Harry whispered, as a rueful smile took its place on his face. The Merlin he had pictured in his mind, the wild man that helped King Arthur, had never attended Hogwarts, but instead the wizard who did attend Hogwarts was the one that had done most of the magical deeds attributed to the name Merlin. "So we were both right…in a way, at least."
Dumbledore flicked his eyes over to the window, before turning his attention back to Harry, a pensive expression on his face all the while. "Why do you ask?" He questioned, wondering what had brought the inquiry.
"A friend told me that Merlin was in Slytherin and I didn't believe her," Harry answered with a shrug, bemused to find out that he was incorrect and Bellatrix really was telling the truth.
"I see, I see," Dumbledore nodded understandingly, not at all surprised that someone wouldn't believe that Merlin was actually in Slytherin, given the recent history of the house. Sure, he was disappointed that Harry didn't see the positive aspects of the Slytherin house and how Merlin could be part of those positives, but he wasn't surprised by it. "Merlin, the Hogwarts one, certainly did live an interesting life, that's for sure."
"How so?" Harry asked interestedly, curious as to what the older wizard meant by that. Obviously, the Merlin story was well known, even in the muggle stories, but he had not previously known about the dual personage of Merlin, which left the question of who did what intriguing to Harry.
"Well, he played a part in both the break up of the Hogwarts four and the invasion of England," Dumbledore replied, looking over to Harry, his blue eyes twinkling as the story rushed into the front of his mind.
"Go on," Harry prodded, even more curious now by the potential story. Very rarely did he ever hear about the Hogwarts four, let alone the events that led up to their break with Slytherin, a topic of conversation that greatly interested him.
"Honestly, I don't know all of the details because they're shrouded in mystery, but Merlin attended Hogwarts before Slytherin left, and Slytherin had taken to personally teaching him magic during his years at the school," Dumbledore started, furrowing his brows in thought, hoping to remember the various anecdotes that the headmaster portraits had told him over the years. "After graduating from Hogwarts, Merlin went on to help muggles with his magic, hence the Order of Merlin—this was a time before the statute of secrecy, of course. Well, one muggle that he helped happened to have been attacked by a warlord, who then waged a war against wizards and witches alike in outrage of Merlin's intrusion, slaughtering entire families of magical people."
"It was much worse than that," A voice from above said, speaking up for the first time in nearly a century. Every portrait looked up above them, as Dumbledore and Harry brought their gazes upwards to see who it was that was talking, noticing that the portrait was just a few feet from the ceiling. "That warlord killed a few of Slytherin's own students."
Harry and Dumbledore watched as the wizard in the portrait rose from his seat and slowly walked through every portrait below him, before entering Phineas Nigellus Black's empty portrait, which was situated nearly right next to Dumbledore's desk, to be closer to the conversation. "I am Canute Kneen, the seventh Hogwarts headmaster, successor to Beowa Viridios and predecessor toAylmar Bagshot." The portrait stated, introducing himself to Harry, gently bowing his head in hello, which was returned politely by the younger wizard.
"This is certainly a surprise," Dumbledore said, looking between Harry and the old headmaster, a strange expression on his face, as if he was thrilled to be speaking to the ancient wizard. "We've never truly spoken before."
"No," The portrait shook his head in the negative, agreeing with what Dumbledore had said. "After a hundred or so years of being up on the wall, you tend to not know anything that people are talking about so you stay quiet. My immediate predecessor hasn't spoken since the dragon pox outbreak of 1764. Most of my contemporaries or close successors have all disappeared from their own portraits, which is never a good sign."
"And now you have something to say?" Harry asked quizzically, barely understanding how immensely old the man in the portrait was. By his memory, the oldest person or portrait he had ever spoken to was Sir Cadogan, who had died in the early twelfth century, while the Gryffindor ghost, Nearly Headless Nick, was just younger, having died a century or so after Cadogan.
"Oh yes," He nodded affirmatively, having perked up when he heard the mention of Merlin. "The original me, since I am but a copy of Canute Kneen, a two dimensional representation of him, was a student, a tender first year, when it happened, the schism between the founders that is. I barely remember, but from what I can recall, word reached Hogwarts of Merlin's deeds and the warlord's actions, both the greatness of Merlin and the foulness of the warlord. Upon hearing about it, Slytherin was enraged beyond measure; to this day I have not seen someone as angry as Slytherin was that day. He decreed that Hogwarts would not accept anymore muggleborns, because muggles were so treacherous and destructive that even the magical progeny of them had blood muddied with deceit and violence, with their parents' unworthiness, coining a new insult that the Slytherin house then used afterwards as a show of solidarity: mudblood.
"The other founders, of course, would not have that, and seeing that there was no speaking him down, Gryffindor pulled his wand out and stood against him, joined by the other two founders behind him. This forever damaged the relationship between the two best friends, and afterwards, Slytherin left and was never seen by the founders again, his anger and hatred for them and their ideals unfortunately overpowering his deep respect for their abilities. The three others then started teaching muggle studies at Hogwarts, which allowed witches and wizards to understand muggles better in the hopes that it would stymie any growing discontent from pureblood magic folk. Five years later, the founders were further torn apart after Madam Ravenclaw herself died due to a broken heart, which as legend has it, was from her daughter's actions, though I know of no such action from Helena that would cause that."
"That word stems from the fallout between Gryffindor and Slytherin?" Harry asked in astonishment, unable and unwilling to say mudblood out loud. He thought the term mudblood was relatively recent; he had never fathomed that its bloody history went back nearly a thousand years.
Canute nodded in agreement slowly, silently answering Harry's question. "Incidentally, that same warlord also led to the founding of Hogsmeade as he forced Hengist out from his home in Woodcroft years after the man had graduated from Hogwarts." Canute added with a sigh, recalling the destruction that the warlord levied onto the magical community. It was devastating at the time, a far cry from the peace that many wanted between muggles and magical folk.
"So you knew Merlin then?" Harry questioned, still amazed that he was speaking to a contemporary of the great wizard. How much history did this man know? How many dark lords, goblin uprisings, powerful wizards and witches did this guy witness or hear about throughout his many years as a portrait? How many stories about the most powerful of wizards and witches could this man tell?
"No, I never met him, but I knew of his deeds more than many," Canute said, shifting his gaze back over to Dumbledore. "On a list of the ten most brilliant students Hogwarts has ever seen, the Merlin about whom you speak would surely be near the top, if not at the very top, along with those Peverell brothers, Selia Crouch, Tom Riddle, and you, of course, Albus."
Harry's ears perked at the mention of the Peverell name, but just as Harry was about to question the ancient headmaster about the Peverell brothers, he was interrupted by a shriek of displeasure. "What are you doing here!?" A voice suddenly erupted, one which Harry immediately recognized as Phineas Nigellus Black's, the forefather of the current Black line. "Get out, get out, I say!" The ex-headmaster screamed, coming into his portrait and finding the older headmaster occupying it.
"He was telling a story, Phineas," Another headmaster portrait said, scolding Black for yelling and not showing the much older headmaster the respect that he deserved. Harry traced his eyes to the voice, and saw that it was a headmaster he knew as Dexter Fortescue, the same one that had criticized Phineas' refusal to warn Sirius that Harry was going to Grimmauld Place after the attack on Mr. Weasley during his fifth year. "Let him be."
"Get out!" Phineas said once more, this time even louder than before. It was plain to see how outraged he was by the intrusion into his personal space, as if he felt the very nature of the idea that a lesser wizard was in his portrait repulsing.
"You can come into my portrait," Armando Dippet said nicely, allowing access to his portrait to continue the story. He himself was fairly interested in hearing the rest of what the old headmaster had to say, having never once spoken to the headmaster during his own time in office.
"Its okay, Armando, I was finished anyway." Canute said, almost dejectedly, as he walked back up to his own portrait, while all of the other headmasters hissed at Phineas in disapproval. They all knew that the portraits' job was to help the current headmaster, not arrogantly sneer at the rest of the portraits as Phineas had been known to do.
"What about Merlin, whatever happened to him?" Harry said, keeping his eyes on Phineas, who was threateningly watching Kneen enter his own portrait before sitting back in his chair and closing his eyes, not allowing the hisses coming his way to affect him.
"We shall pick up there next time," Dumbledore whispered as he glanced down at his pocket watch, knowing that he had business to attend to in a short few minutes. There was an Order meeting, one that he hoped would go over some new information about the Death Eaters' plans in an effort to prevent their plans from coming to fruition.
"Okay," Harry agreed, realizing that he had spent nearly an hour in the headmaster's office. "I'll see you next week, professor."
"Bye Harry," Dumbledore waved, rising from his seat and preparing himself for the Order meeting that was to take place at the turn of the hour, which was a few short minutes away. Quickly, he silently summoned a few pieces of parchment with a wave of his hand and then called for Fawkes, who teleported them both out of the office in a flash of bright orange flames.
A few days later, Harry made his way to the library once again, where he was supposed to be meeting Bellatrix. He arrived about five minutes before the time they had agreed, and took a seat on one of the tables hidden in the back, blocked from view by the bookshelves, near the gate that served as the entrance into the restricted section. He took out the book he had procured from the section just a week prior, and began perusing its contents, having been too busy before then to give it a read. Silently, he flipped through the pages, searching for any mention of the Deathly Hallows or the Peverell brothers, wanting to learn how the brothers created the powerful objects.
Before long, the minutes passed, and after waiting a half an hour or so after the time they were supposed to meet, Harry started wondering where Bellatrix was. His gaze moved to the entrance to the alcove that the table was in, and he stared at it for a few minutes, as if to will Bellatrix to appear. Sure enough, she came into view, her black hair long and straight, and her backpack slung over her shoulder. "Sorry I'm late," She said, finally arriving as she threw her bag down onto the table and took the seat across from Harry.
"It's fine," Harry replied, looking up from his book and giving her a nod, trying to appear as if he wasn't curious as to where she was. He raised an eyebrow up at her, but she did not elaborate any further, seemingly keeping what held her a secret for the time being. Furrowing his brows, Harry turned his attention back to his books, all the while wondering what she was hiding from him.
Distractedly, Harry continued with his work for another half an hour, his mind occasionally drifting off to what Bellatrix was keeping from him, until the pair broke for lunch. Bellatrix went her separate ways with her Slytherin friends, while Harry met up with his Ravenclaw group, taking a seat at the far end of the house table. His gaze moved over to Bellatrix across the hall, who was quietly discussing something with Rabastan Lestrange and another boy that Harry couldn't name. Without touching any of the food that was in front of them, the three of them got up from the table and walked out of the hall, followed closely by Evan Rosier, who was rushing to catch up to them.
Shaking his head, he turned his attention away from the door and grabbed himself a half of a sandwich, before pouring himself a glass of pumpkin juice and biting into the sandwich as he enjoyed the conversation around him. Then, taking the seat across from him, Xenophilius arrived, reminding Harry to question the boy about the book. "Xeno, you think we can talk in private later tonight?" Harry questioned, putting his sandwich down on the plate in front of him and taking a sip of his juice.
"Sure," Xenophilius nodded, curiously wondering what Harry had to talk to him about. He watched as Harry began talking with Bertram, which prevented him from questioning the wizard, so instead he made himself a plate of food and began eating.
Just then, owls from above swooped down over the house tables, about a half of a dozen, releasing the envelopes clasped in their claws, before flying upwards once more and exiting the the Great Hall. Harry looked down at the envelope that sat in front of him, wondering what it was. He looked over to the side and saw that Xenophilius and Greta too had received one, along with a Slytherin Harry did not know, a Hufflepuff that he only knew as the kid in his Charms class, and finally, Frank Longbottom. Quickly, he scooped up the envelope and tore it open, too curious about what it was to wait until he left the hall.
After taking out the pieces of parchment, Harry's eyes quickly moved down the page, a small smile creeping onto his face as he read before brimming into a large grin. "His wedding is in a month?" He heard Greta exclaim in surprise, and a muffled response from Xenophilius, as he too read his invitation. It was true: Harry's best friend Edgar Bones was to be married the week after Easter during the first days of April.
In all of the commotion and excitement over Edgar's wedding invitation, Harry did not notice the tall, handsome boy with black hair excuse himself from the Gryffindor table immediately after Bellatrix and the other Slytherins left the hall. Quietly, he followed them through the halls of Hogwarts, making sure not to be seen, hoping to figure out what it was they were doing. He stayed a good distance away from them as they moved up the stairs, seemingly headed for the abandoned wing on the third floor. Just as he rounded a corner they had turned, he bumped into someone he had hoped not to see: Severus Snape.
"Expelliarmus," Snape said quickly, being quicker on the draw than Sirius and knocking the wizard's wand out of his hand. Snape flashed his wand, and before Sirius could grab his wand off the floor to defend against the attack, he found himself hanging upside down with his ankles being held in the air.
I should have used the map, Sirius thought to as he looked down at Snape and then to his wand on the floor, disgusted in himself for falling prey to his most detested rival. While he could have used the map to follow Bellatrix's trail, he instead wanted to see what she was doing with his own eyes, wanting to be able to tell Harry that he saw Bellatrix doing her nefarious schemes in person. He didn't know what it was that she was up to, but he had seen her gallivanting around with a small group of Slytherins for the past few weeks, going off on their own, which served as the impetus for his exploration that day. Unfortunately, however, he forgot that where one Snake was, there tended to be an entire brood of them, as well, which was the reason why he found himself in the predicament he was in.
"What should I do with you now that I have you, Black?" Snape smirked, as he moved closer and closer to the beaten wizard, an evil look in his eyes as he thought of all the ways to torment the wizard. "What should I do with you indeed…?"
A/N: Yes, that Merlin thing was my way to fix the blunder of chronology in the Pottermore stuff. Merlin being alive in the time frame to attend Hogwarts doesn't really make sense to me so I tried to fix it. The Merlin connection will be explored more in the next few chapters. Like I said above in the S/N 2, this was just a set up chapter and the nature of the story changes after the next chapter.
A/N: To the anonymous reviewer who has been reviewing Power of the Past over the last few days, Janus isn't better than Harry. There is a lot more to Janus than just the fact that he's Harry Potter's son, which would be explored in the sequel. Additionally, while Harry has more experience and skill than Janus does, Janus is more talented than Harry was at Janus' age—think of Dumbledore and Grindelwald; Dumbledore was a shade more talented than Grindelwald, but Gellert was still great nonetheless. And finally, it isn't necessarily Janus' wand that the Order needs, it's more along the lines of what he knows, which is what he meant at the end of that chapter.