Chapter (

Past

"To access your life force, you must first know where it resides," Morgan explained to her two students as they sat out in the garden. "And to know that, you must know yourself."

"What do you mean, where it resides?" Bellatrix asked, a little coldly as she was still pissed about the ritual binding her and Potter together. "After-all, there are several areas I could hit someone that would kill."

"True," Morgan conceded. "But I am talking about your essence, your very being. Not your soul, that's something completely different, though your life force is tied to it. How do I explain this?" she mumbled to herself. "The three things necessary for a full life are mind, body, and soul, or in the case of magicals, mind, magic, body, soul. Without one of these things, your standard of life decreases. Lose all of them, and you die. You can survive without magic, without your mind, without a sou even. And, as ghost prove, though they are called dead, you do not need a body even. Your life force, is what connects everything."

She let that sink in for a moment. "Now, as I explained yesterday, blood magic uses your life force to cast powerful magic, without a focus, but at the price of weakening the bonds between everything, shortening your life. Which is why true blood mages steal the life force of others. By using another's life force, you do not weaken your own. And while we won't be learning this today, when you steal someones life force, you can do one of two thing with it, either add it to your own, healing or, if you have enough, rejuvenating your body; or you can set aside, separate from your life force in stockpile to use for your magic. But I'll explain that later."

"For now, all you're going to do is meditate. You must find and feel the connection between your four aspects, for that is your life force. So the two of you will sit out here, quietly and in meditation, every afternoon from after your midday meal to dinner, until you can both find the connections. And you'll start now."

Without another word, Morgan turned and left the garden, leaving her two apprentices alone.

"Now what?" Harry asked.

Bellatrix rolled her eyes. "We meditate you idiotic half-blood," she sneered. Her hand twitched, with the intent to hit the boy, but she curbed the instinct due to Morgan's spell connecting them.

Harry Glared at Bellatrix. "And just how the hell am I supposed to do that?"

"Just like you would build occlumency shields," the witch growled.

"Occlu-what?"

Bellatrix looked at him shocked for a moment. "Occlumency. You know, the art of protecting ones mind from invasion."

"No, I don't."

"You mean to tell me that Dumbledore didn't have you learn occlumency?" she said shocked. "Every noble family teaches it to their children, and the Potter's were as noble as they came."

Harry shook his head, and Bella sighed. "I guess that's something I'm going to need to teach you myself then," Bellatrix grumbled. "But first you need to know how to meditate so we can get this done." Rubbing her forehead for a moment she began instruction. "Find a comfortable sitting position, one you can remain for hours comfortably, or at least without annoyance. Then close your eyes, and take deep, slow breaths. Once your calm, you need to focus on your goal, whether that's calming down, protecting your mind, or in this case finding your life force. You need to focus only on that."

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Morgan smiled as she observed Bellatrix instruct Harry. She purposely hadn't told them how to meditate, knowing that they needed to begin working together now to build the trust she hoped to develop between them.

Turning away from her hidden window, she began to plan out her next moves.

Her spies had informed her that Merlin had taken on an apprentice himself.

Some boy named Slytherin.

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Six Months Later

It had taken Harry and Bellatrix almost the three months to be able to access their own life force. The next month was spent learning to steal others life force. And the two afterward had been spent learning how to use it.

The two learned that spells using one's life force was channeled into one of the elements. And the two had come to favor two very different ones.

Bellatrix preferred to channel water, or more specifically ice. Her simplest attacks involved gathering the moisture in the air, and freezing it into deadly spikes that were than launched at targets. She was currently practicing doing the same at peoples feet, which she had no trouble doing if her test dummy (Harry) stayed still. It was when the aforementioned dummy was moving that she was having the difficulty, not being able to form the ice quick enough.

Needless to say, Harry learned quickly to be on the constant look-out for the practicing Bellatrix.

Harry favored fire, forming fireballs and throwing them at targets. He was currently working on channeling lightning, the purest form of fire, which was hard to control. But it was something he was determined to do, having been inspired by Star Wars (Which he had never watched in it's entirety. But as it was Dudley's favorite film series, he probably actually had seen all of, simply from catching so many glimpses as he went about doing chores over the years).

With their mornings spent with the goblins, enduring the thousand deaths, and their afternoons spent practicing blood magic under Morgan, the only free time left to the two apprentices was after dinner.

And this time had been taken over by Bellatrix, so that she could teach Harry occlumency, and legilimancy.

The result was that, after so much time spent in each others heads, the two came to, if not actually like one another, respect each other. Bellatrix, having seen what Harry had survived and lived like, was impressed by his stubbornness and will. While Harry, who had witnessed the little of Bellatrix''s life she had allowed him to see when he practiced legilimancy, came to realize that she wasn't always the evil witch she had been made out as.

And all the while Morgan Le Fey watched, pleased with their progress. Pleased enough that she felt they were ready for the next thing she had to teach them.

Shape-shifting.

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I know it's short, but I stopped here for a reason. You'll see why in the next, Present, chapter.