After having his fill of fruit Harry walked to the stream and washed his hands of the mess he had made. Once his hands were clean once again Harry reached into his purse and retrieved the empty vial that had once held blood replenishing potion. Making sure to thoroughly rinse the vial he proceeded to fill it to the brim and drink fresh water until he was no longer thirsty. Filling the vial one last time Harry then conjured a cork to close of the lid and he replaced the glass full of water back into his purse.
Finished with tending to his needs Harry stood still for a moment to decide what his next course of action should be. If he stayed near the stream he could probably build a small shelter and learn more about wildlife around him thereby increasing his chances of survival. On the other hand if he continued to journey further he might discover where exactly he was, and why those blue animalistic creatures were being attacked and murdered.
Tense with indecision and warring emotions Harry looked into the stream at his reflection. He didn't look a day over eighteen, he looked the same as the day he defeated Voldemort. Still skinny with knobby knees and sharp elbows, his untamed hair just as wild as ever, even his eyes held the same haunted look as they did back then. He had done so much and seen so many things, but nothing seemed to effect his body at all. The only things he had accumulated over the years on his body were scars.
They were mild injuries with scars that should have faded with time, but not for him. It was like his body kept scars as a reminder that it should still function and keep him alive. Harry wondered sometimes about that, would his body stop working if his scars vanished?
Seeing the curiosity in his reflection Harry felt incensed anger fill his heart at the expression. What right did he have to treat death like it was unimportant? Like it wasn't a tragedy? By thinking like that he was making the deaths of those murdered children unimportant!
Breathing sharply in anger and frustration Harry came to a impulsive and resolute decision. He would make their deaths matter. Whoever killed them or had them killed was going to pay.
How? He didn't know yet. Why? Because there is no reason for murdering children and those who do should receive justice. Could he avenge them by himself?
Harry paused at this thought. Muggles were very advanced in this era with strange technology and destructive weapons. They were more ruthless than Harry could hope to be, and Harry had never killed before.
Harry sagged in defeat at this thought his passionate anger sizzling away in the face of cold logic. Harry was a defensive expert only, almost all of his battle spells were based on defensive maneuvers with a few offensive spells for small openings in battle.
In every battle Harry had been in his enemy had either accidentally killed themselves or been killed by someone else. The only time Harry had ever killed was in his second year of Hogwarts and that was a giant Basilisk intent on eating him.
Tears of frustration welled in his eyes as he realized his inability to do anything. Swinging his fists wildly at the air Harry accidentally jostled Arnold as he threw a frantic tantrum trying to hold in his sobs and tears.
Gasping for air as he tired himself out Harry's right arm fell limply to his side while his left gently picked up Arnold from where he was hanging and settled him back on his shoulder. Feeling Arnold whimper lightly in grief for him Harry gazed wearily at the small pygmy as the small being tried to make him feel better. As Arnold nuzzled his neck in comfort Harry stroked the pygmy's back gently.
Sighing in grief Harry gazed at the trees above him mourning silently for all the children he had seen dead before their time.
Rising from his musings Harry started to search the edges of the clearing for suitable dwellings, after all wondering aimlessly was useless. After searching for half an hour Harry found a rather large hollowed space under the roots of a giant tree. Only a ten minute walk from the stream were Harry knew food and water could be found, the only thing it needed was some coverage from the local wildlife and a barrier for the more violent of that wildlife.
Deciding that he could go ahead and place up a barrier Harry pulled his photo album out of his purse and placed it on a raised piece of earth. Focusing on the feeling of security and safety Harry let his magic flow as it wanted. Having never learned how to ward properly the best way Harry knew to do it was to let his magic figure it out for him through intent. Feeling his magic turn like a key to a lock Harry felt his magic start to ease down from where it had risen done with its task.
Stepping back and squinting his eyes lightly behind his glasses Harry saw a tiny ripple where his new barrier lay. Smiling slightly in pride Harry pondered on what he could use as a door. Setting Arnold down and resetting his leash to a piece of root Harry stroked him lightly before heading outside while continuing to think of his choices.
'Maybe a giant leaf? Bark?'
Laying his right index finger across his lips and holding his right elbow in his left hand Harry held himself in a thinking pose. Humming lightly in thought Harry's eyes gazed around his surroundings lazily. When his gaze landed on a large boulder Harry grinned in mirth at the thought of using a big rock as a door like a cave man. If he could grow facial hair he might just have grown a wild mane and used the rock for laughs.
Still grinning with mild humor Harry continued his survey of his surroundings. Just as he was about to come full circle Harry noticed something to the immediate left of his soon to be home.
It looked like a giant rose. It was big and red on a thick yet short vine, with huge and lethal looking thorns. With his recent experiences surrounding local wildlife Harry was very tempted to turn around and pretend he had never noticed the amazing sight. There was just one problem, the rose had a perfect petal to use for his door. One of the rose's petals had two straight tears almost evenly spaced apart, perfect for going in and out of his new den.
"I must be insane.", he whispered to himself.
Taking the Elder wand from its holster Harry grasped it tightly in his right hand as he cautiously stepped toward the flower. With each step he took toward the plant Harry felt more and more nervous, but like the foolish gryffindor he was he continued forward. As he reached the front of the rose he brazenly started to poke it with his left index finger, assuming that if it was going to attack him that annoying it now instead of when he was climbing it would be a better idea.
When the rose seemed completely indifferent to his childish movements Harry sighed in relief. Glad that the rose was seemingly peaceful Harry paused before his climbing could begin. Thinking for a moment Harry decided to ask before taking, after all he wouldn't like some creature climbing on him without asking and pulling out one of his fingernails.
As Harry cleared his throat slightly in embarrassment to ask the plant for a favor he couldn't help but feel a little foolish. What were the chances he would meet not one but two sentient beings in just two days?
"E-excuse me..Ms. Rose? Eh, I was just wondering if I might have your ripped petal? Its just that your petal is the perfect size and shape for my new door, and I thought it would be much more suitable than a piece of bark or rock for protection."
As Harry finished his speech he figured that some ego stroking couldn't hurt anything, and if the rose's bright red coloring was any indication then it was probably somewhat vain. Just as Harry was finishing his train of thought he was shocked for the first time that day.
Some of the surrounding vines in the area suddenly became mobile and quickly twisted around him to hold him still as they lifted him toward the rose. As this was happening Harry had been slightly gagged by one of the thicker vines covering his mouth and he was unable to move his wand seeing as he had dropped it in surprise when he had been grabbed.
Struggling as much as he could Harry strained his muscles against his restraints trying to loosen them slightly so that he could get away. When that produced no effect he just relaxed his body and tried to prepare for whatever was going to happen. Just as he finished struggling the vines finished their journey to the top of the rose.
Right in front of Harry was the ripped petal and behind that petal in the center of the flower was a pool of nectar. The vines held him still for several minutes as the rose started to shake violently. It was twisting to and fro like it was dancing really, it was actually a very beautiful sight. As Harry stared in wonder at the sight in front of him the rose suddenly stopped and the ripped petal he had asked it for started to float towards the ground gently. As his eyes widened in shock at the plants actions his body stiffened in surprise when the vines pulled him further toward the rose instead of back to the ground.
As the vines moved him closer towards the pool of nectar Harry expected to be dropped at any moment, much like a fly for a Venus fly trap. Instead just before his feet could meet the pool the vines paused again. One lone vine with a rather large leaf upon it descended before his face and lightly stroked his cheek in an almost affectionate gesture. Feeling almost numb with shock and wonder at this point Harry just let the plant do what it wanted with no fuss
As the leafy vine pulled away from him the thick vine covering his mouth shifted slightly so that his mouth was now uncovered and gapping. Closing his mouth in mortification and embarrassment of his situation Harry continued to stare at the leafy vine as it danced slowly toward the nectar. Dipping gracefully under the liquid the vine pulled back carefully its large leaf full of nectar. As the vine came back towards him Harry had a pretty good idea where this was leading now and clamped his jaws together as tightly as he could, not trusting what the liquid would do to his body.
When the leaf finally reached him it seemed to notice his reluctance. As the vines surrounding Harry seemed to shake with what seemed to be a bit of annoyance and displeasure the leaf bumped lightly against his lips insistently. Still refusing to open his mouth Harry wasn't prepared when one of the smaller vines slipped under his sweater and stroked the middle of his spine. Gasping at the ticklish sensation Harry was unable to stop the nectar from entering his mouth and from spitting it back out when he was gagged once more.
As the nectar laid in his mouth Harry refused to swallow and breathed through his nose, noting at the same time that the nectar was like a syrup thick and sweet. Once more the plant noticed his attempts to refuse the liquid and this time it used another vine to close off his nostrils depriving him of air.
Unable to breath now Harry had no choice but to swallow the nectar and hope for the best. As the pleasantly thick and sweet liquid flowed down his throat Harry waited in fear for something unpleasant to occur. At first nothing seemed to happen, but as the vines covering his nose shifted away once more Harry could feel a burning sensation building up in his lungs and chest. As it spread rapidly up his throat the burning feeling grew worse and Harry opened his mouth in an attempt to scream in pain only to fail with the gag still covering his mouth.
Crying in silent pain Harry felt his throat shift in an unnatural way as it seemed to be adjusting to something. Harry's magic seemed to like the change the liquid was producing and decided to numb his throat for him so that he couldn't feel anymore pain. Relieved but confused as his magic helped Harry pondered on its actions. It had never relieved him of pain before, in fact Harry had thought it couldn't. The only time his magic had worked for itself was to purify alien substances from his body in a speedy fashion. It was strange to Harry that it was doing the seemingly opposite at the moment.
Confused but resigned to whatever was happening Harry sighed in relief as the vines lowered him gently back down to the ground, settling him down beside the ripped petal he had asked for. Standing on shaking legs Harry tried to brush off his strange experience and crouched down to pick his wand up from where he had dropped it. Gripping the Elder wand tightly Harry contemplated setting the rose on fire in retaliation. As he glanced over at it the rose seemed to sense his thoughts as it shook in undisguised warning.
Getting the message Harry turned from the plant deciding he wouldn't have set it on fire anyway because he didn't seem to be dieing, not because he was afraid or something like that. Rubbing his numb throat with his left hand Harry cast a silent levitation charm on the rose petal and slowly made his way back to his den.
Once his new door was secure Harry got to work on the inside of his home. Finding some loose wood around the area Harry started to pile it together while doing the same thing for rocks and leafs he found. Arnold squeaked in unrepressed pleasure at the small leafy bed Harry transfigured for him while spinning in dizzying circles to make it more comfortable.
Peering down at the pygmy's ruffled bed Harry came to the conclusion that maybe his little friend was weird. Seeing Arnold start to do little tumbles he revised his thoughts to include broken and senile. After all the small pygmy was as old as he was, maybe his inbuilt charms where acting up?
Cracking a slight smile as Arnold seemingly forgot about his new bed to snuggle against him on his newly transfigured grass/couch Harry decided that he was grateful. Of all the mass produced pygmys that the Weasley twins had produced Harry had received the one that had the most unique and endearing personality traits. Faulty charms or not Arnold was the only companion Harry wanted anymore, after all charmed toys could not die and leave him.