*Thank you again for your lovely reviews! Beware, this chapter has some surprises in it. It surprised ME when I wrote it! Enjoy.*
Chapter 7: Messages from Friends and Former Foes
Kai (Harry) smiled when he heard a soft pecking at one of his windows. He was sitting in one of Slytherin's large studies, reading some old Parseltongue scrolls about the Dark Arts, and how the young Ashitar could use those spells against the new evil arising. It was always a good thing to be prepared and educated. With all of the resources Slytherin had left behind in his castle, Kai could spend hours studying things that would have made the Restricted Section in Hogwarts seem tame.
Now, as he looked up from one long scroll, he spotted Hedwig on the window seal, letters in her beak and attached to her leg. The poor bird looked laden down with a few parcels too. Having been able to finally get Hedwig adjusted to the wards surrounding the castle, Kai could now get owl post whenever he wanted.
And poor Hedwig wouldn't have to be cooped up in the small owlry in one of the high towers of the castle. Kai opened the latch of one of the windows and let the owl in. Hedwig flapped her wings a bit as she unloaded all of the junk she was carrying onto Kai's desk. Kai gave her a small treat and stroked her crest a bit before saying, "Thanks, Hedwig."
The owl pecked at his fingers a bit before flapping her wings and leaving to go hunt. It was a nice evening to go hunt, the stars shining brightly in the black, velvet sky above the castle. Kai sighed softly and flipped through the post, finding a few letters from Ron, Hermione, and even the Headmaster. He snorted at the Hogwarts letter that probably spoke of his seventh year classes and things he would need.
Dumbledore was nothing if efficient. But though Kai understood why Dumbledore still treated him like a child, it irritated the young man to no end. It seemed that the Headmaster still believed that Kai was under his thumb. Well, this new year at Hogwarts would show differently. Kai slowly smiled impishly. It would be amusing to see how much things would change.
Kai was no longer the bloody-boy-who-lived-to-serve-the-masses. Instead, he was Prince Kai. He was himself. Kai opened the Headmaster's letter and read the contents.
Harry, my boy, with your earlier request to be resorted with the new creature refugees attending school, I have decided with reluctance that it will be so. You are not the only one who has come into their creature inheritance due to the new dark forces arising. However, I must suggest to tread carefully. Some students and teachers may not understand why you wish to be resorted. I will do my best to dissolve the tension this will undoubtedly cause, but I cannot be there all the time.
Kai rolled his eyes. The Headmaster dare threaten him? Whatever for? That was totally unnecessary! Besides, he could very well take care of himself. He didn't need the meddling old fool for protection anymore. As if Dumbledore had protected him much with the Dursleys. Oh, Dumbledore protected him a few times, but that was to protect his investment… not Kai as a person.
He sighed softly and continued to read.
As for your request to build the DA into a dueling club of sorts that would be open to all students, creature blood or not, I think that would be a splendid idea, providing that you have at least two teachers supervising it. The other three schools might have some students who would like to join up as well.
Kai snorted. He didn't need to have supervision, but he guessed that Dumbledore wouldn't have it any other way. Besides, it would give him a chance to have two teachers of his choosing. Perhaps Severus would be one… but who would be the other? Severus had said that he was going to be teaching Potions this year instead of Defense Against the Dark Arts because of the lack of any 'notable person for his replacement'. That was a load of crap, in Kai's opinion, but Dumbledore was Dumbledore.
So who would be the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher? It probably would not be Lupin, though Kai wouldn't mind seeing him teaching again. Leaving those pondering thoughts for later, Kai read the rest of Dumbledore's letter.
As for the tournament, you do not have to join this one, Harry. I wouldn't have you worry about it. Though you are of age now, I gather that you have more than enough things on your plate than to worry about this. If you do wish to go for the tryouts, then I suggest good luck. You will need it.
Kai sighed and fought to control his rapidly thinning patience. When was the old fool going to realize that Kai was an adult now, not some child? He had defeated Voldemort single-handedly! And yet Dumbledore still thought him an innocent boy with no thought of his future. It was utterly maddening.
Kai rubbed the bridge of his nose, trying to stave off a headache. He briefly wondered if Dumbledore treated Severus like this. Sighing softly, he put the letter aside and looked through the rest of his mail. The letters from Ron and Hermione were pretty much the same, stating that things were fine, and they thankfully didn't press on the subject of his inheritance. However, Hermione had studied up on the Inheritance Tournament and was anxious to talk about it, but not by post.
Kai briefly wondered if he could make a fire call to the two. But doing that could be dangerous as well. He sighed, deciding the best thing to do was to wait until the train ride to Hogwarts. Only then would it be safe enough to discuss things. For right now, he would just have to bide his time and strengthen his new found skills.
Ron had been pretty upset about the whole idea of another Tournament, especially since that meant that there would be no Quidditch playing this year. Kai didn't mind that. He loved Quidditch, the feeling of the air rushing in his face as he flew on a broom was something he enjoyed. But, he now had wings. Four of them.
And he had yet to test them out. He'd been concentrating on physical workouts, but not aerial. Perhaps he should speak with one of the wyvern servants. What was his name? Oh yes… Crimblitze. But first, he needed to read the rest of his mail.
As he scanned through his Hogwarts letter, he spotted two other letters that were blank. Arching an eyebrow, he briefly cast a few charms to reveal any malignant spells. Finding no spells whatsoever on each letter, he opened the first, which smelled a bit like the cologne Draco Malfoy used. He coughed slightly as it tickled his nose, but then read the letter.
It was strange getting a letter from the git. True, Draco and Malfoy Sr. had been found out spies in the last battle, but it was still something hard to swallow. Their relationship at best was described as uncomfortable.
Just thought you would want to know that I, too, have had a creature inheritance. Don't ask how I found out about your inheritance, I just did. My father… and I would like to know if you knew about an Order meeting scheduled for tomorrow at six. If you haven't, it's not surprising due to how Dumbledore has been very secretive about things. When has he not?
I don't really care if you care about the meeting or anything to do with the Order. What I wanted you to know is that this meeting, is to discuss another prophecy, and yes, it deals with you.
Have I got your attention yet? Figured that would interest you. If you are as curious as my father and I are about this prophecy, meet us at Malfoy Manor at eight tomorrow night. Please come glamoured, that way it will not draw suspicion. Give the house elf the pass code 'Dark at Heart' and he will give you anything you ask for in refreshments.
Well that was odd. Still, it sounded like there was some truth in it. But Kai was no fool, and by experience alone dealing with Draco, or any of the Malfoys, gave him warnings to tread carefully. Kai knew this was probably a trap or some ploy to get him into more of an alliance with the Malfoys. He wasn't stupid by any means.
The Malfoys were a family that craved power. And if they knew of his inheritance, then the Malfoys would deem it necessary to ally themselves with a greater power than themselves. In this case… it'd be him. But should he let himself be ensnared?
It really didn't surprise him in the least that the Order was on the move. But a new prophecy?
Draco was right. He was intrigued.
But Kai was tired of dealing with prophecies and fate that tried to mold him into it's schemes. He was now a changed person, a person who owned himself and could take care of himself. Make his own decisions. But still… there was that evil lurking out there somewhere. Would this prophecy enlighten him onto what exactly it was?
As he pondered on Draco's letter, he glanced at the other blank letter… one that he had a sneaky suspicion was from Malfoy Sr. himself.
Finally letting his brain rest, Kai opened the letter, finding that indeed… it was from Lucius Malfoy.
I assume that you have received Draco and my letters about the same time. Whether or not you have read Draco's first is irrelevant. What I am about to divulge is to be kept at your discretion. It's a very delicate subject. That is why only you can read this letter. It is spelled to become blank if fallen into the wrong hands.
About a month ago, I received a letter from your late mother.
Kai's eyes widened slightly at that. Totally interested now, the young man read the letter carefully, not wanting to miss any information.
Apparently, I have a son I did not know about.
You must think it incredible, that me… someone who has tried to kill you several times in the past is indeed, your father. Yes, Harry… or Kaiden… I am what makes Grindewald part of your inheritance. I was adopted at a very young age by the Malfoys, a pure blood Wizarding family that was dead set in the old ways. As a child, my identity was spelled to come out only once I reached inheritance… much like yours was. Otherwise the Malfoys probably wouldn't have taken me in, finding my tainted blood too ill to think about.
It was a large shock to me when I found out about my inheritance once I turned 17. I am apparently Lucius Octavus Grindewald Malfoy. The Malfoys blood adopted me, so I take their name as well. I am Grindewald's son from a failed marriage to a Rune Druidess. My conception occurred while Grindewald and Dumbledore were separated for a time. Grindewald was encouraged to bear an heir by elders he had encountered during that time. Otherwise, he would have probably stayed as Dumbledore's secret lover.
Kai had to reread the first part of the letter several times, wrapping his head around 'I have a son I did not know about' and 'Dumbledore's secret lover'. It all made sense now. The puzzle pieces had finally clicked. That's why his father hadn't been mentioned at Gringotts. Apparently his mother had hated what his father had become and disowned him completely.
He read further down and was found that his musings were correct.
I was in school when I first met your mother. She was everything I dreamed of, and I married her in secret. No one knew of our marriage except for the Potters, who were sworn to secrecy. In order to protect Savae, I joined up with Dumbledore to be a spy on the dark lord. However, Savae heard a rumor about me killing countless muggles, and we had words…. She did not believe that I was a spy for the light, and couldn't understand why I was now a Deatheater. I understood why she said those things. I had been forced to kill those muggles, and to her… it was unforgivable.
In a fit of rage, she disowned me. And I fear… I deserved it. So… within two weeks of being married, our marriage was annulled and she disappeared.
It was only later, when I had married Narcissa and had Draco, that I found out about your mother's demise. Before her death, she sent a letter to me, spelled that I would only reach it when you have reached of age, saying that it was your choice whether or not to accept me as your father. And if you chose to do so, you could accept my inheritance to you.
As she said, it is your choice. I know things are not great between you, Draco, and I, but I believe that can change, if you are willing. We can talk more about this and the prophecy tomorrow evening if it is convenient to you.
Lucius Octavus Grindewald Malfoy
Kai sat there stunned for several long minutes.
It all seemed too insane to be real. But things added up. He refused to be angry with his mother. She had done what she thought was best, and in so doing, had kept him a secret. However, it was stressing to think that he could have had a better life than being cooped up at the Dursleys. True, the Malfoys were a bunch of prats, but they probably would have treated him a whole lot better than the Dursleys ever did.
Several emotions came at him from all sides of the spectrum, and he had to calm himself down, lest his emotions flared too much. Whenever they did, his servants had the habit of coming by to see what was wrong. True enough, Icarus made his way to his master's study, peering around the corner of a large door, his yellow eyes blinking this way and that.
When he spotted the silver haired master, Icarus cooed softly and flew over to him. In the past week, Icarus' wings had grown enough so he could fly. He could only fly small distances, but it was an amusing change to crawling everywhere. He perched himself on Kai's shoulder and purred questionably.
Kai sighed and stroked the comforting familiar for a few minutes, feeling his emotions swirl, but at a lighter pace. Icarus and Hedwig always seemed to understand his mood swings, and they were there for him whenever he felt the pain of loneliness too much.
His thoughts went back to the discarded letter, which was now spelled blank.
Kai wondered if Lucius really was telling the truth. And if he was… then what was going to happen now? There was now only one course of action. He would have to meet with the Malfoys tomorrow. And he would have to get more of an explanation. He wanted to see his mother's letter if it were possible.
And what about Draco? Did the boy know all this? And if so… how did it feel to know that his former arch nemesis was in fact his half brother?
But something didn't add up right. If Draco was in fact, older than him by a few months… did that mean that Lucius had conceived the boy from Narcissa before or during his marriage with Savae? Kai got up from his seat and went to Slytherin's library, Icarus snuggled at his neck.
Sighing in defeat, Kai collapsed onto the floor of the library, surrounded by books and scrolls. He was so tired. He rubbed his eyes and thought about the information he had found. Apparently, it was possible that he was in fact Draco's half brother. And with no betrayal on any part of the families. The gestation period for an Ashitar female or submissive male was exactly fourteen months.
Merlin have mercy on those poor bearers.
Kai could not even imagine how unbearable pregnancy was drug out like that. He didn't even want to think about pregnancy at all. But, if he calculated correctly, then Lucius had married Narcissa four… to five months after Savae had divorced him. Counting backward, Kai came to the conclusion that his parents had married in May, 1979. Sitting up, the boy wondered if he should order some books by owl post about past marriages in the past twenty years. But that would take too long. He slowly smiled. Why not contact someone who was there at Lucius and Narcissa's wedding? He stretched and left to go find Hedwig. He would have asked Icarus to go see the snarky Potions' master, but decided the little guy needed a rest.
Severus Snape sighed comfortably in the familiar surroundings of his Potions Lab. After coming back to Hogwarts the week before, the Potions' Master had the lovely job of cleaning everything and getting back on his potions. Now, he was almost caught up and was content as he looked around the lab.
It had been a trial to keep his wings nicely tucked out of the way on his back while making potions. But he was slowly getting used to the comforting weights. He had yet been able to go stretch his wings and fly in the surroundings of Hogwarts, but he made it a point to do so later on in the week.
September first was fast approaching, and he had to get as many potions that were needed to Poppy for the hospital wing. However, this did not mean that he couldn't take a few hours of relaxation and idle flying. He hadn't flown with these leathery wings in nearly twenty years, due to the inheritance seal. But if he remembered correctly, the experience had been a joy.
And dunderheads wondered why Snape despised brooms. Why have brooms when you had wings? Still, even after twenty years without his true nature revealed, he couldn't stand brooms. Those things were tricky contraptions. Now, he didn't mind watching his Slytherins ride on those things, but if he didn't have to go near one, he didn't do so.
His thoughts turned back to Harry… or Kai, as he was now calling himself. The boy had sent an owl asking about one very peculiar inquiry this morning via Hedwig. And though Severus didn't mind telling Kai about the pure blood marriage, he was confused as to why the boy would want to know something like that.
But then the boy had said something about Draco telling him about an Order Meeting that was to be tonight. That was odd, for Severus had not been told about this meeting at all. It made the shade think that it was not only about Kai, but about himself as well. And if so, why in Merlin's name was Albus keeping this from him?
Sighing softly, Severus put a stasis charm on the cauldrons to keep them level while he answered Kai's letter. He decided to leave Hedwig to rest for a bit, especially if posts were being watched by anything or anyone dangerous. It would be better to send his older horned owl, Asprodel. Kai had managed to make the wards around the Castle of Darkness accept Pig and Asprodel, but any other owls were not allowed admittance.
He walked up the stairs to the owlry, finding Asprodel sitting next to Hedwig, trying to sleep with his eyes open. Spotting Severus, Asprodel flapped his wings slightly and hooted in greeting. Severus allowed a small rare smile for the owl before allowing the bird to perch on his offered arm. Attaching the note to Asprodel's leg, he murmured, "Castle of Darkness." He stroked his owl's crest gently before sending him off. Asprodel had been with him for several years, after his first owl Iblik had been killed in the first war. The owl did not replace Iblik, but Severus still was fond of him. The owl hooted softly before taking flight.
He gave Hedwig a gentle rub on the head before leaving to go back downstairs. He sighed softly and stopped to look at the surrounding grounds of Hogwarts. It was a beautiful, rare sunny day. The Headmaster had told all of the teachers about Severus' inheritance, so he didn't have to really hide his appearance until the students came.
But the Headmaster was trying to find a way around that too.
Apparently there were going to be creature refugees coming to Hogwarts due to the fall of another evil wizard in America. The evil wizard had fallen yes, but had left thousands of orphans that had no homes to go to, or no relatives to help. So, not only would they have the Inheritance Tournament, and with it three other schools being hosted, they would have creature orphans.
Albus had already asked Hogwarts to make a new wing for these orphans so that they could be amongst their own kind. Severus didn't quite know what was going to happen once the students started piling in for the new year.
The only thing he knew as that he… and those with creature blood… would have to be exposed to all of Hogwarts. It seemed so strange that when he first felt his inheritance coming, the old codger Headmaster had wanted him to find a way to glamour his new self. And now… he was wanting Severus and the others to be exposed.
It didn't make any sense.
Oh, it made sense that the Headmaster wanted everyone to be as comfortable as possible, especially the refugees, finding that there were other people and teachers with creature blood in them, but it didn't make sense that the glamours were to go away completely.
He had yet to inform his lover of that small detail, but he figured that Kai would learn of it soon enough. There was only one week until the start of term. And once it came… there would be no looking back.
Feeling a bit uncomfortable and exposed with no glamours on, Severus went back to his potions, figuring that he'd be able to fly under the cover of darkness tonight.
*There ya go, lots of surprises. The next chapter deals with Kai's trip to Hogsmeade, and then later, the visit at Malfoy Manor.*