Title: Harveste Addams and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Crossover: Harry Potter and the Addams Family
Summary: A madman has escaped from prison? Are you sure you aren't talking about Uncle Fester?
Warning: Addams Family Sadism and Cross-dressing
Writing so soon after finishing up the Chamber of Secrets…ah, what have I gotten myself into, Harveste Addams? I'm not even waiting for my reviews… and since I don't any to inspire me, I dedicate the whole Family portion to my dear brother, who probably won't ever read this…oh well.
Edit: I slept at twelve last night and woke up at four with a charley-horse. When I lay back down, I just suddenly knew that I'd been dreaming of Slytherins, and I couldn't go back to sleep. So I started writing. What have I gotten myself into?
I know I haven't defined Blaise enough for the past three stories. Mahogany-red hair and light brown eyes please.
Harry looked up at the ceiling. Or more accurately from this position, he looked down at the ceiling.
Wednesday hadn't caught him in over five years. School had slowed him down horribly. At that moment, Harry decided he was going to train like the bollocks during his third year. Getting caught was embarrassing.
"You know I'm going to kill you when I get out of here," he said conversationally, fingers already working on the locks. The potion under his head burped, releasing a gas bubble that turned the tips of his hair orange. "Correction. I'm going to dismember you first and gouge out your eyes. Then I'll kill you."
"If you get out of there, brother. I've been working on it all year." His evil darling of a sister smiled at him, all crisp in her pinafore and just begging for the attentions of the Iron Maiden.
"I'm in a good mood. I'll give you until the count of three. Or maybe two."
Blaise looked into his luggage and tapped his fingers against his lips. Then he added another vial of antidote, just in case.
His mother was floating around the house in a state of ecstasy. He could see the corner of her dress slide past his doorway every five minutes as she tried to pack everything she thought she would need. She had been in her own little world ever since her son had told her that Harry's summer invitation extended to her as well.
"I can't believe I'm going to meet the Addams family! I just can't believe it!"
"Hooray," he muttered darkly as he tried to cram three large bottles of boil cure next to the crossbow. "Another week of fun and games."
"I'll meet Morticia Addams! They tell me she's divine!"
"Ha!" Where was that industrial-strength bug spray? "I'm sure you'll have a lot in common, Mother."
Her face appeared like the moon from behind a cloud, her dark eyes wide with hope. "Do you think so? I'd be so ashamed if I couldn't keep up conversation over tea."
"Trust me, Mother." Bandages, bandages… "Just a few minutes and no one will ever find my fathers again."
Hermione snuffled into her handkerchief. She had been crying ever since the fourth chapter.
The story was dark and heart-wrenching. It spoke of pain experienced too young, and abandonment and betrayal. There were scars of all sorts, physical, mental and emotional. There were vivid accounts of rape and murder, with gruesome deaths every other page. As Harry read, he could feel the words rake their poisoned claws over his soul, reaching into his mind to plant tears of sadness, madness, shame, lust, fury. It was a story that could reduce any killer to mindless sobbing in the rain, to sit in the electric chair and throw his own switch, to drag broken glass against his veins and just end it all.
Hermione blew her nose again.
He closed the book with finality and smiled at his baby brother. Pubert cooed and grabbed his finger.
Draco's mouth hung open. "I can't believe you read him that! He's just a baby!"
"Oh, he likes it. It's your favorite book, isn't it, my darling little graverobber?"
Pubert gurgled again and burped. Harry ducked out of the way just in time to avoid the flaming arrow.
Harry whisked his plate off the table and slid under it. The explosion would have ripped the wooden table apart if it hadn't had been able to withstand years upon years of Addams abuse already. It was nearly indestructible. It was like granite, bulletproof glass and sheets of metal all rolled into one.
He rose back up, dusted his shirt off and took a bite of his breakfast. "Well done, Wednesday. Glad you made it out of the tar pit in time."
His sister squelched down beside him, spitefully flicking her fingers over his food. Black specks flew over the glooping mystery mass, and a tentacle snapped around a particularly large blob, dragging it back into the depths of his meal. He winked cheekily at her and took another bite.
A bird fell in front of them, courtesy of Pugsley and a very sharp spoon. Harry untied the message and threw the carcass, feathers, claws, spoon and all, into the waiting cauldron at the far end of the kitchen. There was a rewarding splash.
"Wednesday Friday Addams," He read out loud.
A hand whisked it away from him and his sister squealed. "Mother! It's my wizarding school letter! Finally!"
"Beauxbatons, I assume?"
"Tish, I love it when you speak French!"
Pugsley met Harry's eyes over their sister's dark head and grinned. France was fucked.
Harry walked into the nursery to find his mother standing over Pubert's crib. He was four years old now, but he crammed into tiny spaces like a champion octopus. In his chubby grasp, he held a Satan puppet that Wednesday had sewn up for him when she had thought she could bury him alive.
"Darling viper, up so early?"
"Seize the day," He said with a little smile. The bomb ticked on in his hand, ignored for now.
"By the throat," She answered automatically. She didn't look like herself. Her eyes were wistful with a tinge of woe, lacking the usual demonic light that was so endearing.
"What's wrong, Mother?"
"It's nothing, my dear." Her long fingers ghosted over the baby's forehead. On a normal person, they would have left infested scratches, but Pubert had been born with exceptional skin. "It's just that you've all grown up, my little vultures, leaving the nest to wreak havoc and chaos somewhere else. And it seems like just yesterday…I remember the first time Pugsley held you down and Wednesday tried to cut off your head."
"We've gotten better, Mother. They've nearly succeeded once or twice."
"Pubert is the only one left now, and soon the house will be emptier than an Addams grave. No more screams, no more taunts, no more wailing at the moon…"
"Don't torture yourself, Mother." He kissed her ceramic white skin lovingly. "We're your children. We reserve that right."
Two weeks later and Wednesday's enthusiasm still hadn't abated. She had nearly packed everything in her room, including the stuffed stag head and her piranhas, Tristan and Isolde. Mother had started to tell her that fish didn't normally live out of water, but then stopped. They were Addams fish after all. They'd survived worse.
Uncle Fester, fueled by his desire to see where Harry and his friends studied, had gone off to tour the English countryside. He was due back today, and he would have presents.
"A set of heads! You shouldn't have, Fester."
"They're for the display cabinet." Their Uncle grinned, yellowed teeth bright against his pallid complexion. "I know how much you like red hair, Morticia."
"The Weasleys have red hair, and Blaise too, though the Weasleys have a…more lively shade." Harry said thoughtfully. His fan flared for a moment, catching the throwing star in its folds. "Nice try, Pugsley."
"Just let me cut you once. Just once is all I'm asking."
"Why ever would I make it easy for you?" He blinked as Fester's bald, stocky figure turned to him, his tombstone of a grin growing wider. "Yes, Uncle?"
"I've got something for you too, my boy. It was just begging to be given to you."
It was a ring, bulky silver engraved with strange serpentine designs, topped by an uncut stone. It was absolutely gaudy, and it sent an itchy tingle up his skin when he slipped it on. For a moment, his arm was wreathed with wisps of black. It was the familiar feel of Dark magic.
"I love it. I shall wear it to school." He smiled at his Uncle, then stepped to the left. Another throwing star whistled by his ear, lifting a few strands of his hair off his neck.
His father had gotten a Daily Prophet subscription. It was, he said with relish, fascinating to read up on all the mayhem British wizards could get up to without drawing blood.
"Look at this! A murderer has escaped from a wizarding prison!"
"That would be me," Their Uncle said, scratching a scab in embarrassment. "You know me, have to spread a little pandemonium, otherwise it wouldn't be a real vacation."
"Nonsense, old man! This wizard's only managed to kill thirteen people!" Gomez snorted, thick smoke curling out of his nostrils. "Who gets arrested for just thirteen people, I ask you? The English."
Morticia smiled indulgently. "You mustn't compare them to our family, mon amour. We are special, after all."
Her husband grabbed her arm and started to nuzzle it, his voice muffled by lace and skin. "So true, cara mia. And our Wednesday will make her mark this year, eh?"
"I wouldn't say that, Father." Harry said with a sigh. He stared morosely into his bowl. It stared back. "Studies really get in the way of tradition."
"Don't try and put me off, Harry. I'm looking forward to Beauxbatons." Wednesday had an edge to her smile. She had managed to pack an extra bed of nails.
"My darling viper, you'll find your fangs." Morticia's cold hand passed over his arm, setting the ring off again. If he didn't know any better, he would say it was more cursed than usual. How like Uncle Fester to give him a cursed ring for a test. "This year is your year, I just know it."
Harry was depressed, and he dressed appropriately. His body-hugging skirt was modeled after his mother's hobble dress, long tendrils caressing the floor of the train carriage even when his legs were crossed.
"What's the matter, Harry?" Hermione's hand caressed his arm and the ring flared again. He resisted the urge to bite into the silver and just suck it dry of magic. It had been a gift, and he didn't usually receive gifts that didn't explode upon first contact.
"I just feel a little bored, that's all. Hogwarts is getting a bit dull for me. Perhaps I should move to Durmstrang. They say they have dragons there."
Blaise's Chocolate Frog nearly dropped out of his mouth. "You can't be serious."
"He damn well shouldn't be." Draco muttered, a dark look in his normally slate-grey eyes. "I've stayed in your house long enough to learn a few things."
"Sorry, darling. Kiss me and make it better?"
Hermione snorted indelicately at the look that suddenly took over Draco's face. It was like a tomato had mated with the Giant Squid and the resulting offspring had suctioned on to his cheeks.
Even Blaise was smiling. "Don't tease him, Harveste."
"But it's so much fun."
"Let's talk about something else." Hermione said, finally getting a hold of herself. Draco's face was still painfully red though. "What are you taking this year?"
"A little bit of everything. I find it strange that there isn't a class for Hexes though. That was Mother's major when she was at school. What do you do when you want to torture someone?"
"You're not supposed to." Blaise said patiently. "People get sent to Azkaban for that sort of thing."
"Yet another reason why Hogwarts is dull." Harry sighed, rubbing his forehead. He really was feeling strange. Maybe the ring was just a mite too strong for him at the moment. The dark of the moon had been two weeks ago. "Speaking of Azkaban…"
The train shuddered to a halt, and he looked up. Outside, the weather was horribly beautiful, true September weather, rain lashing angrily at the windows with a vengeance. There were dark shapes drifting around outside, nearly obscured by the torrent. His spirits lifted.
Then all the lights were switched off, and they were ensconced in darkness. "That's a bit more like it."
"Only you, Harveste, only you." The two boys sighed together.
"What on earth?"
Harry took a candle out of his pocket and caressed the wick like his mother had taught them long ago. It sputtered, then flared.
The door slid open.
A figure stood there, tall and forbidding, its true form hidden by a cloak. The temperature suddenly fell by a hundred degrees, and when he breathed out, it fogged thickly. He was vaguely aware of his companions shivering, but then there was a rattling sound, low and ominous, like the creature was trying to suck something out of the air. It extended its arm. He'd seen worse during dinner, when Grandmama was pressed for time and the raccoons were nowhere to be found.
He cocked his head questioningly. "What is it?"
The creature floated forward, and it touched him.
Then it jerked back like a puppet on a string. He would swear it looked puzzled.
Then it slid towards Blaise.
A few minutes later and the rest of the lights came back on. He handed his friends a tissue box and cheerfully helped Blaise get the worst of the slime off his uniform.
"So, that thing. What was it?"
"Sometimes I forget you're not from here." Hermione said as they climbed into the carriage that would take them the rest of the way into Hogwarts. "Those were Dementors, guardians of Azkaban, you know, the wizarding prison. They shouldn't be here. I don't know what the Headmaster is thinking, bringing such dangerous creatures into the school."
"He's a mad old coot, that's why." Draco said around his Chocolate Frog. He and Blaise had been eating them non-stop ever since the creature was… forcibly discorporated. Harry smiled at the memory. "Father says he's completely barmy, letting Fudge set those soul-sucking psychopaths loose where children are running around."
"I've been here since first year and I haven't heard you complain yet."
"Not out loud."
"I shall just have to try harder then." Harry smiled at the blond. "Ah, speaking of sucking…"
Draco reached out and began to bang on Blaise's back with his fist.
"Don't say things like that, Harry." Hermione sniffed, looking down her nose at the choking Slytherin. "Boys are so sensitive."
Harry chuckled behind his fan. "Are they now? Then I suppose they won't want me having a little bit of blood now and then."
"You know, just to keep the edge off."
"This is not the sort of thing you talk about nonchalantly!"
Harry kept smiling behind the silk of his fan, looking beyond the sputtering boys to his only girl friend. His only Gryffindor friend, actually. Ah, Gryffindor. That was an untapped casket, wasn't it? Hermione was silent, her eyes a little shadowed. Of all people, she should understand his need. She had seen him with Lockhart after all.
"Don't have a fit. It's less fun in an enclosed area. I can get blood elsewhere. But I must have some this year, so I hope you don't mind that I disappear at strange hours of the night. Ah, but I do that anyway…"
"You're some sort of damn vampire, aren't you?"
"Shut it, Draco." Hermione said suddenly. She looked at him with appraising eyes, sharp and calculating. How like Mother. "What do you need blood for?"
"I've been remiss in training recently. My parents have been understanding, but now both my sister and brother are in wizarding schools. Pugsley has had a head start, but it's a matter of pride that I not let my sister beat me."
"Beat you in what?"
His smile had Draco eating another Chocolate Frog.
Harry walked at a sedate pace behind his friends. He had stayed behind to pet the skeletally thin, horse-like Thestral. It was the same one that had drawn the carriage last year and it had given him an affectionate bite. He licked the wound thoughtfully.
Up ahead, the voices were getting more and more irritated. One voice, anyway.
"I can't believe you're going to let him bite you!" Blaise was saying, throwing his hands up in the air.
"What's wrong with that?"
Harry smiled. She was true Addams material.
"What's wrong with that? What's wrong with that?"
"It's not like he's going to take it for nothing. He promised me a dress. Have you seen his needlework? Better than Madam Malkin's, I'd say."
"You're mad. Draco, tell her she's mad."
"I don't know…"
"What? You can't be serious."
"Well, he is our friend."
"I am the only sane person left in this entire school."
People were splitting up into two groups as they entered the castle. Some were heading into the Great Hall. The rest, shaking and white from meeting the rest of the Dementors, were going up the steps to where he assumed the infirmary was. He'd never seen it. There had never been a need for him to go, though he had been a considerable cause for some people.
"Good evening, Pansy. How were your holidays?"
"Mister Addams, Miss Granger! To me, please!"
Professor McGonagall, a tall witch with an even taller hat, stood at the end of one corridor. He nodded to the terrified girl who was cowering behind Marcus Flint and Daphne Greengrass, and took Hermione's hand.
"Not you, Misters Malfoy and Zabini. Get along to the Great Hall."
Hazel eyes and grey looked at Harry for a moment, before disappearing through the big double doors. The teacher ushered them into her office and locked the door.
"Is there a problem, Professor?" Hermione asked for both of them, since Harry was much more interested in the contents of the room. There were plenty of Light objects here, and one or two Dark ones. He wondered if she knew.
"It has come to my attention that you two are…very enthusiastic about your studies. You are the only students who have signed up for everything."
Harry turned his gaze to Hermione, who blushed. "It's isn't a crime to be intelligent." She whispered down to her hands.
"Did I say anything?"
"In any case," the Professor continued. "The Headmaster has given his approval. Since the classes are held three to a time slot, he says that you might find these useful." She reached into a drawer and took out two thin golden chains, each with a small and tasteful rendition of an hourglass which could be spun backwards and forwards. "They are called Time-Turners. One turn of the hourglass backwards and you will have gone back in time one hour, so on and so forth. Please remember that your other selves are not permitted to see each other, nor are you allowed to tell anyone else about this."
Hermione took one, her eyes glowing with pride and excitement.
Harry refused the other with a respectful bow.
"Mister Addams, you cannot continue to take all the classes if you do not accept-"
He smiled and her words froze in her mouth. "Please do not be concerned on my behalf. I shall attend all my classes."
She rallied enough to say, "But-"
She was a tough one, Professor McGonagall. He would have to keep an eye on her.
"I am an Addams, Professor. We find our own ways."
"Divination, North Tower. What joy."
Harry smiled benevolently as his two friends stood up from the breakfast table. He swung his bag off the ground and waved to Hermione, who was across the room. She hadn't stopped asking him just how he was going to get to all his classes without the Time-Turner, and even now, she was glaring at him, her timetable clenched in her fist. He had the same one.
Divination, nine o'clock. Muggle Studies, nine o'clock. Arithmancy, nine o'clock.
He swallowed a chuckle and followed Draco and Blaise as they muttered their way down the corridors and up the moving staircases. They did not move when Harry was on them. They always took him exactly where he wanted to go.
Except today. Perhaps they could feel the slight irritation he was nursing towards the two boys before him. They had steadfastly continued to avoid his eyes ever since the carriage. It was adorable, in a way, but quite vexing. It was probably because they hadn't spent as much time at the House as last summer. Their immunity was wearing off.
Deidre, his lovely Black Mamba from last year, nosed at his neck, trying to comfort him. He patted her head.
"Where the hell are we?" Draco growled as they turned another corner only to find the same painting they had passed five minutes ago. "We're going to be late!"
"Aha, villains!" A short stubby knight clanked into view, his eyes gleaming from under his visor. He looked very out of place in the painting. "Trespassers on my land! Draw your weapons, you dogs, you scoundrels!"
A senbon vibrated to a stop just beside him.
"My patience is short today." He said by way of explanation. "Sir Cadogan, I trust that you remember me?"
"Harveste Addams!" The man looked positively thrilled at the thought of near-certain death. He bowed deeply, nearly falling over at the weight of all the plumes.
"Lead us to the North Tower, if you please, and none of your lip, or I shall rip up your painting and feed it to the Giant Squid."
Draco and Blaise blinked. They had never seen Harveste so…emotionless. He wasn't even smiling. It was even creepier that way. They followed in silence, each lost in the same line of thought. Last night had been more abnormal than usual. They had gotten used to talking to the Addams boy before falling asleep, but they had refrained from it last night. Now, like moths to a flame, there were shadows, sliding across the walls from under every single surface, condensing thickly in the air and following Harveste like a puppy.
They were led to a small landing. Harry bowed his farewell to the tiny knight, who fell backwards and into another painting.
"Harveste?" Draco said softly, reaching out for his friend's shoulder. The Black Mamba raised its head and hissed at him.
An ice-cold hand feathered over his just for a moment, then it was gone. From the shiver beside him, Harry had touched Blaise too.
"Darlings." Harry smiled back at him and the shadows slithered away. They both started to breathe easier for some reason.
"Do we always have to have dumb teachers?" Blaise muttered to no one in particular. His words were nearly lost in the sickly-sweet aroma that pervaded the entire classroom.
A window exploded outwards, the air outside suddenly peppered with shining glass shards.
"So sorry. I don't know what came over me."
Harry rubbed his forehead again, and reached for something he never thought he'd be using again. He thought he'd gotten over the cloying addiction, but apparently not. He was getting the shakes again. He blamed his father and his cigars.
"Harveste, you're smoking." Blaise looked down at the ground, where thick tendrils of grey smoke were curling out from under his friend's cloak. "You're on fire."
"How I wish."
Their teacher sidled up to them, a scrawny figure of a woman wrapped with so many shawls she looked like the more tasteless kind of mummy. Her bangles clashed in a cacophony of silver and enamel as she pushed her huge glasses up her pinprick of a nose. They magnified her eyes a thousand times and Harry's hand was suddenly itching for a spoon. They would look good as buttons after a cursory dip in the nitrogen.
"She looks madder than Granny Frump," Draco whispered. "I didn't think that was possible."
"My name," she quavered, going for a mystical tone and completely missing the mark. "Is Professor Trelawney."
"Vapid old bat." Blaise moved closer to the broken window. The fresh air was a relief against the smell of too much mugwort and not enough common sense.
"-hustle and bustle clouds my Inner Eye. I must warn you, if you do not have the Sight, then there is very little I can teach you."
"What bloody use is she then?"
"Silence there!" She snapped, sounding normal for a moment before clearing her throat and going for the Mystical yet again. "You, Addams, is your mother well?"
"On the verge of death, Professor." Harry said with a little smile.
"Ah, I knew it. I am sorry."
"Why? She loves it."
Draco was dabbing sullenly at a large brown stain on his uniform. They had drunk the ghastly bitter tea to read the dregs, just as Professor Trelawney had instructed, but every time they even saw the soggy leaves, the teacups kept mysteriously filling back up until they had drunk their weight in tea and the class was over. And, just as they were about to leave, all the teacups had spontaneously combusted. Thank the gods for thick robes.
Harry was still smiling inscrutably as they made their way to their Care of Magical Creatures class. He was glad his friend was back to his old sadistic self, but really…
"Great lesson comin' up!" Hagrid boomed cheerfully. "Everyone gather 'round the fence here. Now, open yer books…"
The half-giant's voice gradually dwindled away. All around him, people were handling their books like they were on the verge of explosion. A few rattled even though they were taped or belted shut with extreme prejudice. Harry took out his own Monster Book of Monsters and looked around curiously.
Draco's book had been coiled with so much rope it was barely visible. "Harveste, why isn't your book moving?"
"Should it be?"
Once Hagrid had showed them how to open their textbooks, he led forward a few Hippogriffs. Harry had never seen one unquartered and actually moving before and he stepped closer, green eyes alight with interest.
"This entire place has gone to hell in a handbasket. I can't believe this great oaf is actually a teacher."
"Shut up, Draco." Hermione said, stepping in line beside them. "Hi, Harry, Blaise."
"Now," Hagrid was saying happily. "firs' thing you gotta know is that these beauties are proud n' easily offended. Don't never insult one."
"How was your Muggles Studies class, Harry?"
"Haven't been yet." He answered absently, his eyes on the glossy feathers and smooth-looking hides. If he recalled correctly, Father had a rug made out of the last Hippogriff he ever caught. It was probably moth-eaten by now. Perhaps he would like another one.
"Would yeh like to try, Zabini?"
"Not on your life."
"Addams, how 'bout you?"
"Certainly, Professor." He slid between the slats of the fence with ease and approached the hybrid. "What should I do?"
"Jus' bow, n' keep your eyes on him. If he dun bow, then get away sharpish. Got it?"
He nodded, then he turned to face the nearest Hippogriff.
A few minutes later, they were dismissed early.
"I can't believe they flew away!" Blaise exclaimed, passing a window. Through it, they could see Hagrid still chasing after his pets, trying to entice them out of the sky with a freshly slaughtered carcass. It wasn't working.
"It's genetic, I suppose. Neither birds or horses are very fond of snakes."
He smiled at them, his neck bare of the Black Mamba.
The cat looked like it had been sat on. Repeatedly. Blaise raised an eyebrow as it turned its baleful gaze on him.
They were in their common room, Hermione sitting to them as always, but this time she had brought her new pet. It stared like a champion, like it was born without eyelids.
Harry was surrounded by a nebula of books and papers, his unbound hair creating a dark curtain around his face as he pored over his notes. Hermione kept trying to look over and copy some of them.
"Darling, I thought you attended your Arithmancy class?"
"I didn't see you there! Not for the whole hour!" She glared uncharacteristically, the look pinching her nose and nearly drowning her eyes in the folds of her cheeks. "You're cheating off someone, aren't you?"
"Now does that seem like an Addams thing to do?"
It was time for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry tuned out Draco and Blaise's fervent pleas for Lockhart's swift and painful demise. He saw no reason to enlighten them. It was amusing, the scenes they were coming out with, each suggestion growing more and more depraved. He smiled, feeling a little proud.
His head turned so fast, the bones cracked.
"Good afternoon. Would you please all put your books-"
The smell of the moon rising above the forest…a warm breeze over sweaty skin and matted fur…deep earth and moldy leaves…the smell of the hunt, but tamed in a way he never knew it could be…
"If you'd follow me-"
Running, following, never giving in…strong, strong denial…pain and blood... Mugwort, Mint, lake water, silver, Wolfsbane…
"Loony Lupin, loony, loony Lupin-"
"Waddiwasi." Harry said, keeping his voice calm. A wad of gum rocketed out of a keyhole and so deep into the taunting poltergeist's throat, it would be stuck there permanently. It was too bad he wouldn't choke, but Harry could always take care of that later.
"Thank you, Mister…Addams."
Harry looked into tired, amber eyes and saw the recognition hidden there. He inclined his head as they filed into the empty classroom.
"What's up with you?" Blaise whispered. Then he saw his friend's face. "Harveste, your eyes…"
Harry blinked, and the connection was cut.
The shabby teacher – a werewolf – stood in front of the class next to a locked cupboard. It rattled ominously. Harry looked calculatingly at him as he began to outline their lesson for the day, which was about something called a Boggart. Exhaustion was coming off his thin frame in waves, and his mouth was a little pinched though he was smiling. Denying inherent Dark Magic could do that to a person, and so much more. He shuddered to think about it. It was only through sheer strength of will that he hadn't – wasn't ending up the same way.
The silver ring twinged.
"Now, Greengrass, if you'll just step up and tell me what you're most afraid of?"
"Zombies, Professor." His classmate said promptly.
"Good, now think of a way to make it look amusing. Keep it in your mind. You've got it? Now, get ready…"
Lupin stood to one side and waved his wand. The cupboard creaked open and a slavering, flesh-rotted zombie stomped out. Its wild, blank eyes had no pupils, yet they focused unerringly on Daphne Greengrass. The grey hands, fingers worn away to the bone, stretched out towards her neck.
It was ruined, Harry decided, by the suddenly appearance of a fluffy pink tutu and a tiara, but then some people didn't have any taste.
There was a pop, and the zombie disappeared, replaced by a gloriously pale Dracula. The cape was blacker than tar, the obscene red of its lips and tongue putting people in mind of all the words for blood. Its fangs shone like newly-polished senbon in the light.
"Riddukulus!" Vaisey cried out.
The real vampire turned into a fake movie vampire, with a ridiculous widow's peak and horrendously bushy eyebrows. It wiggled them audaciously and said "How you doin'?"
Harry made a face.
On it went, perfectly good monsters being turned into some sort of joke so that everyone could have a laugh. It was a waste of monstrosity in his mind, but it was a class, so perhaps there would be something useful in all this. He was half-hoping to see what kind of beast it would turn into for his friends, but Draco and Blaise wisely took a step back.
Then it rolled to a stop before him.
He stepped forward, curious to see what it would change into. What was an Addams afraid of, after all?
The Boggart flickered, and disappeared into a pool of sunshine. Peppy music seemed to bloom through the air on the wings of a pine-scented breeze, lightening the shadows, inducing a spate of foot-tapping with its catchy riffs. There was a yellow, sunflower-patterned boot. It had three wriggly kittens, one green eyed, one blue and one silver. They mewled ingratiatingly and one tumbled out in a furry little heap.
There was a pot of flowers in full bloom.
Harry took a step back with speed. "Loki's womb…" He breathed with horrified despair. "It's awful."
Draco and Blaise watched Harry stumble into the common room, closely followed by an anxious Hermione.
"What on earth happened?" She asked them, her eyes on their friend. He was in the closet, throwing out skirt after skirt, blouse after blouse. "He's shaking."
"Boggart." They both said together.
"Oh no. What did it turn into? Some huge, slavering, scaly, blood-soaked beast?"
"Don't tease me so, darling." Harry moaned, desperately burying his hands into black lace and chiffon to try and forget. "It was the most horribly disgusting thing I've ever seen. The fresh air…the music…the flowers…"
It took a bottle and a half of strongest vodka before Harry could control himself, but he twitched every time someone even mentioned cats.
"Professor, you asked for me?"
Harry hadn't been in this office for at least a year and half, but he remembered where it was. The thought of a password was laughable.
As was the shock on Dumbeldore's face when he turned around, clearly not expecting him.
Harry smoothed away a smile and sat down, his hands neatly folded on his lap. After a while, the Headmaster sat down as well, an Old Grandfather look in his eyes, as if he was determined to jolly his way along the forthcoming conversation.
"Mister Po – Adda – Harry," Dumbledore tried, clearing his throat at the genial look on his student's face. "Harry, I would like to talk to you about the trips to Hogsmeade this year. It wouldn't be sa - er, wise to go just yet. I'm sure you've heard that there is a remorseless murderer on the loose."
"Certainly sir, but we're in school at the moment."
"I was talking about Sirius Black. He isn't very well known, but he's done some very bad things. He was arrested without a trial and sentenced to life in Azkaban."
"Sirius Black, brother of Regulus Black," Harry said in a bored tone. "Son of Orion and Walburga Black, related to the Lestranges, the Malfoys, the Bulstrodes, the MacMillans, the Yaxleys, the Rosiers, the Gamps, the Longbottoms, the Prewetts – all influential people, all of substantial heritage. I am surprised he is not related to me in a distant way."
"But he is, my boy!" Harry raised an eyebrow and the Old Grandfather look faltered. Nevertheless, Albus Dumbledore soldiered on. "He was the best friend of James Potter while they were in Hogwarts."
His tone was frigid. "Really."
The damnable man didn't notice. That or he was just too used to all the killer intent. They said that he had defeated Grindelwald and was now looking for another homerun with Voldemort. Silly wizard.
"They were closer than two peas in a pod, pranksters, good Gryffindors." He was saying. "But I suppose the lure of the Dark was too strong to ignore, some people are susceptible, and I'm sorry to say that I might have turned a blind eye-"
Harry said nothing.
"- it was a ghastly turn of events, we never expected it, never thought he could betray - "
Harry found his thoughts turning to the next dark moon. The werewolf rose unbidden in his mind. Very interesting, another Dark creature roaming around the place, not counting the Dementors. Presumably he was here under Dumbledore's supervision, but it was hard to get werewolves in the company of people. It was like putting someone on a diet for a year then letting them loose in a bakery. It must be unbearably hellish.
He felt a pang of jealousy.
"- and so your parents were killed, and a few days later he blew up a whole street of Muggles. The Aurors who arrested him said he had gone mad, laughing in the midst of a wreckage and covered in blood."
"Fascinating. He sounds like my Father. When do I get to meet him?"
"My dear boy, you're not supposed to! This is why I forbid you to go to Hogsmeade this year, at least until this madman is captured. We cannot risk you! You are too important!"
"Is that so?" Harry blinked, and his old life flashed before his eyes.
Being beaten for breathing too loudly… no food for days… being locked in a cramped cupboard… teasing, taunting, cruel voices…
Then, a knife, beautifully sharp…and screams that were like music and slid over him like silk…begging, pleading, ignored like they had ignored him... satisfaction burning like an oil slick in his soul… rage, sweet, sweet rage opening his eyes…
His beautiful Mother…his laughing Father… his murderous brother… his sadistic sister…his mad Uncle… his darling baby brother, already reaching for blood and fire…
"I think not, Professor." Harry opened his eyes, which had slid shut at the unexpected onslaught of sensations. They gleamed at the Headmaster. "You left me with people who didn't think I was important at all. You didn't give me a choice. You didn't give me a chance. But my family did, and I chose them. I still choose them, over any war, over any Lord, over any idea you may have of me, and you'll do well to remember that."
His ring flared.
He stood up. Blackness pooled around his cloak, and the air turned cold enough to frost over windowpanes. His eyes were green flames in the darkness, and they bored into Dumbledore's soul. "Do not look down on me, do not be condescending, do not forbid. I am an Addams, sir, and I'll have none of that, thank you."
For all the ways that Harry could have taken blood, this was so not the way she thought he would go.
He handled needles very well. And rubber tubing too.
"So," Hermione said, trying to stamp out her fascination at the sight of a meticulous Harry swabbing at her arm with a piece of alcohol-soaked gauze. Beside him, laid out with neat precision, were a few lengths of aforesaid rubber tubing, a syringe without the plunger, and an empty IV bag. "Er, what do you think happened to Dumbledore?"
The needle was huge. It was as fat as a pencil and the point didn't even look remotely sharp. She turned away.
"He's – er, he's disappeared. Gone all of a sudden. Professor McGonagall's acting as Deputy Headmistress now, and all the teachers are very mum about it." It was irritating enough to make her forget what was happening to her arm and her blood. "I can't get a single one to talk about it."
"Have you tried torture?"
Draco was in Quidditch practice, had been ever since this morning. Marcus Flint was a real demon about Quidditch, he'd heard, almost as bad as Oliver Wood from Gryffindor, but not as manic as Hufflepuff's Cedric Diggory. The unassuming, genteel boy had his teammates laden with weights and jogging at the crack of dawn before classes. Harry had seen them panting and exhausted every time he went back into the castle from his own nightly runs in the Forest. He had had to stop thinking of them as some sort of mobile buffet.
"Relax, darling, or the blood won't flow."
Blaise was somewhere in the library, lost in a maze of books. He loved putting off homework, and it loved hunting him down and pouncing on his brain during the weekends.
And Hermione was here, lying on a couch in the Slytherin common room, one hand over her eyes, with a line of dark red blood flowing from her into a sluggishly filling plastic bag. They were in their normal bubble of silence, everyone else in the room giving them a particularly wide berth when Harry had cheerfully explained about the procedure and asked for more volunteers.
There always had to be at least one idiot.
"Anthony, Gregory, Vincent, Daphne, Millicent." Harry said, nodding at each of them genially. "What can I do for you?"
"Get rid of the Mu-" Anthony Montague, aspiring Quidditch player, had enough brain cells to remember what happened to the last person who had said the word Mudblood. She still wasn't allowed near forks. "Granger, and then we'll talk."
"I am quite busy at the moment. Perhaps later."
"We're not afraid of you." grunted Vincent Crabbe. Harry vaguely remembered sitting next to him during his first year. He was the one who ate like Uncle Fester. "Our families are Dark too."
Hermione's eyes were darting between Harry's smile and the five hate-hardened faces that towered over them.
"We all serve the Da-"
"Shut up, Crabbe." Daphne said. She stepped forward and nailed Harry with a venomous look. "We're not going to stand for this anymore, Addams. The fact is you're just a student like the rest of us, and our families are here, not across the pond. You aren't the Dark Lord, you don't have any power over us, and you're….you're just creepy. We're not going to let you walk all over us this year, or let in some halfbloods like you've been doing. This is Slytherin and we stand for pureblood superiority, so either get in line or get out."
"You guys are as stupid as Lockhart." Hermione blinked as they all turned their stares on her, then realized that she had been the one who'd spoken.
Harry was still smiling. He wasn't in their faces or at their throats. Instead, he was slipping the needle from her vein, covering up the wound with a cotton swab, unwrapping a Fizzing Whizbee and putting it in her shocked mouth. The medical paraphernalia disappeared, and then he stood up. The five stepped back. They weren't that stupid.
"Come along, Hermione. We'll check up on Blaise, hmm? I've got my Astronomy homework to do."
They walked out. Hermione waited until they were halfway to the Great Hall before rounding on her friend.
"Harry, how could you let them talk to you like that? They were so…so…they practically said they were - " She lowered her voice to a hiss. Students were passing them, chattering gaily. "They very nearly said they were followers of You-Know-Who!"
Harry had taken out a large thermos. As they walked, he tipped in the blood then two vials of violently purple potion. There was a little puff of smoke, and she would swear it was in the shape of a skull and crossbones. He took a sip.
"Ye of little faith." He opened his eyes to look at her, and something gleamed from the depths of green. "They've just made Hogwarts that much more interesting."
The lizard entrails made a vivid streak of pink and orange against the dark color of the potion. He added a touch more and then began to stir with the claw. Smoke poured over the cauldron lid, roiling down the sides and over the floor. There was a smell of incontinent poodles.
The ring was slowly getting hotter day by day. He had felt worse, but there was something about it that was nagging at him. The black stone glowed in an oily way whenever he tapped into his Power, and when he closed his eyes, it seemed like another voice whispered in his mind. Add to it a growing, unnatural feeling in his chest and the urge to…to…
"Mother, I think I'm dying."
"That's wonderful, darling. How soon?"
"I stand corrected. I think I'm living."
Morticia looked more mortified than usual. "Don't say that, darling, or it'll come true!"
"I can't help it, Mother. I don't know what's happening to me. I feel all perky and bubbly and-"
"Stop! Stop!" she gasped. He hadn't seen her so shocked since Pubert had been possessed by an angelic, dimpled normal toddler. "Gomez! Maman!"
"Querida?" His father's wide, mad eyes stared at him from the cauldron. They were a comfort.
"Your son, he…oh, it's too dreadful…"
"Father, I found a freckle."
The potion shimmered then cleared, revealing the faces of his siblings. "Wednesday, Pugsley."
"Happy Halloween." Wednesday blinked at the look on her brother's face. "Harry, has someone been torturing you? Who is it? Are they better than me?"
"No one is better, my Valkyrie. Your art is safe." He sighed and tried to shake free of the funk that hounded him. "How is Beauxbatons? Anyone on your to do list yet?"
"They're all blonde over here, full of hope, happy dreams, gay smiles and all that." She smiled wickedly. "I've put a stop to the dreams at least."
"I got into the juvenile delinquents program, finally." His brother's voice was proud. "I'm too good at hiding bodies, I think… Maybe I need to practice a bit more over the summer. Is the post office still on strike?"
Harry smiled and let his family's chatter wash over him.
"Harry, someone tried to break into Gryffindor last night!"
"Oh?" Harry looked up from his perusal of a freshly cooked cheese omelet. It sat on his plate, golden and glistening, a little steam rising over it. He was missing Grandmama's cooking terribly. "Was anyone hurt?"
Hermione slid next to him. "No, thank goodness."
"That's not all." She leaned closer conspiratorially. Draco and Blaise looked over her head, eyebrows raised. "I think it was Sirius Black."
Down the table, Gregory Goyle cracked his knuckles meaningfully. His goblet exploded.
"Go on, Hermione."
"It couldn't be anyone else. No one else in the whole world ever has managed to slip past the Dementors. Somehow, he managed to get into the castle. He ripped up the Gryffindor Room portrait and tore apart the third year boys' room. Like, he tore it apart." She said, stressing the word. "We think they were all under a Sleeping Spell, because when they woke up, all their trunks were smashed and the curtains on the beds were slashed and all the books and ink was everywhere-"
Anthony Montague cleared his throat pointedly and loudly in their direction. Then his eyes crossed and all his clothes vanished.
Harry stood up, smiling around his thermos. "Come along, darlings. Double Potions today."
End of Part 1