Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Warnings:Violence , Gore and Lemons(Much Later)
Harry pulled the cloak fast across his chest, his hands digging farther into his pockets in an attempt to stave off the extremely cold environment that Ollivander's Portkey had deposited them at. He could've used a warming charm on himself, as he was free to use magic outside Hogwarts courtesy of Perenelle, but he felt that the cold kept him mind focused and prevented him from thinking about other things. He was still bothered by the alternate persona that he sometimes saw when he practiced his Occlumency, and he had finally decided that this was something that Perenelle needed to know about. And while he was at it, he had also made the decision to inform her about his wandless abilities, meagre as they were; as well. Hopefully after coming clean to her, she would stop pushing him and the others for answers by deliberately antagonising them during the practice duels, though he didn't harbour much hope in that regard.
But, he had still refrained from telling her his deepest secret. The one thing, which had unnerved him to such a degree, that he had decided to take the drastic action to stop studying as he had. He wasn't about to forget the confrontation that had occurred in the depths of Hogwarts during his First year. The story that he had told Dumbledore, and by extension his friends left out the parts that he felt were something that he would take to his grave.
It shamed him to admit, even in his own mind; but he had been tempted, so very tempted to take Voldemort up on his offer. And maybe, maybe if he proved to be useful enough for him, he would bring back his parents. He had been young then, and everything that he read that first year when he was introduced to magic, made it seem like there was nothing that Magic couldn't do. Voldemort was the most powerful and knowledgeable Dark Lord that Britain had ever seen, so he had thought that maybe his parents could be brought back. But then, Voldemort had overextended his offer, he had complimented him.
'You remind me of myself, young Potter.'
That more than anything scared him the most. And then, he had been branded a murderer in his own conscience. A murderer at the age of 11. Harry stifled a snort at that thought and then concentrated on the here and now. He had brooded enough about this. He had promised himself that he wouldn't do so again.
Ollivander hadn't informed him of what exactly it was that he was supposed to help Ollivander retrieve, receiving a serious contemplative expression as the only response. To be perfectly honest, he was starting to get a little annoyed by his attitude, and the weather wasn't helping either.
Just as another cold wind drafted across his face and he prepared himself to ask Ollivander what it was that they were supposed to do here, Ollivander stopped.
"Lord Potter, what do you know of Murlocs?" Ollivander asked as he closed his eyes and twitched his fingers slightly, unaware of the annoyed look that Harry shot him for using his formal title while addressing him.
"I don't know much about them." Harry admitted "But, I do know that they live in extremely cold environments, usually in a group."
"True. But the most important fact that you need to know about them is that they are like hoarders. They like their treasures, and the bigger the 'family' that they call themselves part of, the more valuable their treasures."
Harry nodded mutely, not seeing where Ollivander was going with his explanation.
"And the treasure most coveted by Murlocs is what we are here for today." Ollivander elaborated.
"I assume that the treasure that you speak of is Organic in nature? Because as far as I know, only organic materials can be used in the making of a wand." Harry contemplated out loud, his curiosity rattling.
"Correct you are Lord Potter. That's very perceptive of you, I must say." Ollivander chuckled.
"And why did you bring me along? I doubt I could help you in raiding the Murlocs, if that is what you intend to do." Harry asked.
"Ahh. Yes. That requires a much longer explanation. You see, Magic is present everywhere. It remembers things. And one of the things it remembers quite well is battle and victory. Forgive me for my curiosity, but I intend to find out if the same can be said about Wand Cores. You were the one who slayed the Basilisk, and I am curious to see if this fact would have anything to do with Wand Crafting. It could be subtle, but it would be there." Ollivander explained pleasantly.
Harry's eyes widened at Ollivander's implications. He was speaking as if Magic was a living, sentient being. So far he hadn't encountered anything that supported Ollivander's theory, but Ollivander was ancient, odd, but wise nevertheless. It was at that point that he came to horrifying thought.
"You mean to say that I am supposed to retrieve whatever it is that you are after? That's impossible!" Harry exclaimed.
"I'll help of course!" Ollivander said, with far too much cheerfulness in Harry's opinion. He sighed.
"So? Will you tell me what we are after?" Harry asked, in a tone that suggested that he had already resigned himself to his fate but was willing to give it a try.
Ollivander opened his eyes and looked at Harry seriously, "The Heart of a Phoenix."
Daphne huffed as she tried keeping up the solid block of dense steel levitated. It was tiring, it left her absolutely exhausted, but knowing that she had improved over yesterday made it all worth it. Shifting uncomfortably in the unfamiliar Muggle clothing, she sighed as she cut off her spell.
She had a lot going on in her mind, and the training that she did everyday was the only thing that was keeping her sane. Merlin knows what would have happened if Hermione and her parents hadn't been so accommodating of her presence. The scholarship provided by Hogwarts would keep her from worrying about attending until she completed her O.W.L's, but after that she would have to fend for herself.
But, even that wasn't her biggest concern. Her parents. They had tried something, she was sure of it. Pot . . . Harry, she quickly corrected herself, was quite a good liar, but she had grown up in a world where lies spewed forth like fire out of a dragon's mouth. The disturbance that night at Hermione's house and the reaction thereafter had simply been too much for it to have been a simple alley cat.
And on top of that were the mystery behind the changes that Harry and more importantly Hermione had gone through. Hermione had told her that she would tell her when she had felt ready. That was two weeks ago. She was willing, but she had a limit dammit!
"Hey Hermione?" she said, getting her attention "Do you know where Harry might have gone off to? And when he might be back?"
"No." Hermione huffed. " He just left a note that he was going on a trip with Ollivander and would be back within 2 days at the most. He could've waited until we woke up at the very least!". The block Hermione was levitating, fumbled slightly in response to Hermione's agitated state.
It was only after Harry's absence that she realized that she was feeling a lot more tense and nervous. Without his overwhelming aura surrounding the area, she felt doubts about her position. His mere presence calmed her down, and it was this thought that scared her more than anything. Things were happening too fast, changing too fast. She was depending on Harry, and even if it was subconsciously, it was unacceptable. She had decided that she would be independent in her decisions, and while she knew that in the future, if she were to get romantically involved with someone it would only be after she was sure that he was the right person for her, and that meant that she would not be a trophy wife at all.
Her breath almost caught in her throat as she saw Perenelle approaching the duo. Merlin! She was one powerful witch. But her pronounced reaction to her presence cemented the fact that she hadn't reacted thusly before only due to Harry's presence. And while it said a lot about Harry's power, it didn't help her at all in the corundum that was her new life.
"That will be all for today. It's Harry's Maturity next week and thus I'll be giving you the following days before the Ritual off. Make sure that you are well rested. Both of you have promise and I would hate to see it wasted away." Perenelle stated and walked off. She appreciated the fact that Perenelle liked to keep things professional. Daphne was sure that she couldn't handle anyone else worming her way into her 'friends' list. She was already having trouble thinking of Pott. . . Harry as one.
Hermione knocked politely on the door to her room that Daphne was temporarily occupying. She spied Daphne scouring through the books that she had brought back from the Department.
"Hey. What are you reading?" Hermione asked a smile on her face, but Daphne noted the underlying nervousness that she was trying to hide.
She smiled nevertheless, "Just researching for new spells to improve my duelling."
Hermione 'hmmed' in response, but didn't say anything.
"What?" Daphne asked irritated, as she couldn't stand the silence any longer. Hermione's progressively grinning face suggested that this wasn't the first time that she had attempted to do this.
"I'm thinking of asking Harry to help me with my duelling. . . you know, ask him for ideas and such. He's clearly better at duelling than us." Hermione said.
"Yes." Daphne admitted be-grudgingly. "I honestly didn't expect him to be this good. I had imagined that I was better than him. Though, admittedly he has had more chances to practice and such, what with all the problems you get into together with him."
"Yes, but I think that . . ." Hermione trailed off, not knowing whether to voice her doubts about the secret friendship he had with that Auror, Tonks. Harry had never given any indication that he knew her before.
"Yes?" Daphne prompted at Hermione's continued silence.
"It's nothing." Hermione answered. She continued even as she saw Daphne opening her mouth, no doubt intent on finding out what Hermione was thinking about. "You know, I told you that I would explain what happened to me this summer. You were very forthcoming in telling me about your situation, and I feel that you deserve to know what happened."
Daphne shut her mouth abruptly, realizing that Hermione was blatantly changing the subject, but that topic that she had chosen was much more interesting that finding out what Hermione was referring to earlier.
"It all started . . ." Hermione began.
"Excuse me?" Harry asked Ollivander, sure that he had misheard what the Wand Crater had said.
"The treasure most sought after by Murlocs is the Heart of a Phoenix, Lord Potter. No one has been able to find out how exactly it is that they obtain this treasure, but it is undoubtedly recorded that the 'family' of Murlocs that obtain it are considered to be the most prestigious amongst the Murlocs. And as such, I was able to find out if any such Murloc 'family' existed. If I am not thoroughly mistaken, this particular family obtained the Heart shortly before you were born." Ollivander explained to a very surprised Harry.
Truthfully, Harry wasn't as sure of his chances as he was before Ollivander had told him that Murlocs kept the Heart of a Phoenix as a treasure. Phoenixes were immortal beings, and anything that was capable of harvesting its Heart commanded a presence to be sufficiently wary of. He still wasn't completely comfortable with the idea of the Heart used to make a tool for him. Though, he had spent sufficient time in the magical world to know that a person's wand was considered to be a part of them, not a piece of wood to cast magic with and Harry was somewhat of the same opinion. But, he would make sure that Hedwig was okay with what Ollivander was proposing, before he gave his all clear to him.
"Why go after it now? If you had known about it all along, why wait until now to get it?" Harry asked, his tone suggesting that nothing but the truth would satisfy him. Harry had enough kept from him, and given his recent thoughts about not hiding himself for the sake of finding acceptance; he was determined to know everything that was to do with him.
Ollivander observed the young Vampire with an appraising eye. After meeting his impassive but slightly threatening gaze for a few moments longer, he inclined his acceptance.
"I simply had no reason to. I live my life making wands for the young ones, and until now I never felt the need to retrieve this particular core. And I have a feeling that this would make a fine focus for your wand." Ollivander explained meeting Harry's gaze steadily, willing to see his truthfulness.
"Thank you for telling me." Harry nodded. "Shall we get going?"
"Are you absolutely certain we are doing this?" Harry asked as he glanced again at the small outcropping infested with the Murloc 'family' nervously. They were on the shore of a huge frozen lake, with the small hill jutting out from the ground. Ollivander had cautioned him that while the hill might appear to be small, there were more than a hundred Murlocs present here. Harry figured that they might have a tunnel system inside the hill.
"There's no reason to worry, Lord Potter. Murlocs while fearsome warriors with their knives and various weapons are not altogether blessed with intelligence. Watch." Ollivander commented and waved his wand in a fairly complicated pattern. Harry intently watched the general area that Ollivander was pointing at, looking for any signs of the spell that Ollivander had cast.
8 chests, beautifully adorned with gems and made of gold were on the ground in front of them. Harry was suitably impressed with Ollivander's conjuration. While a mere imitation and a construct of magic, Harry knew for a fact that if sold in the muggle world it would be worth a fortune. He had a better respect for Mr. Weasley's job now. Making sure that no such occurrences took place in Britain was a mean feat. He observed as Ollivander brought out a leather pouch from inside his robes, he proceeded to fill the chests with treasure and with that done, sprinkled a liberal amount of potion on the treasure and the chests as well.
"What potion is that?" Harry asked curiously.
Ollivander laughed heartily, "It's a secret recipe of mine. Nick helped me with its development. Without going into specifics, it will cause the Murlocs here to fall asleep."
Harry was impressed. Even with his passable ability in potions he recognized the strength of such a concoction. Sleeping draughts were known to fail against individuals with fierce willpower and magical strength, and magical creatures in general were highly resistant to magic.
Ollivander levitated the chests into place at various random locations around the hill. Harry felt a little wary of Ollivander's actions. No matter how stupid these Murlocs were supposed to be, it would end badly for them if they overtly underestimated these creatures. Harry knew how it was to be underestimated, and knew of the freedom and power it offered the underestimated party. Though, there would be no problem in underestimating someone who didn't have the smarts to take advantage of that position.
"Look carefully, Lord Potter. The Murlocs have begun moving." Ollivander whispered clearly.
Harry was looking, but didn't know how it was that Ollivander knew that the Murlocs had begun moving. He couldn't see anything. Remembering the way he had felt the presence of the various members at Hermione's house on the night of the fiasco, Harry concentrated on feeling the presences again. Much like before, something clicked into place and suddenly Harry was assaulted with an overwhelming presence of . . . frogs, fishes, he didn't know what he was feeling. But one thing was sure, whatever they were, they were moving and fast. It seemed like Ollivander's prediction of the size of the family was a bit off. Whatever was living inside the hill was numerous.
As soon as Harry saw his very first Murloc, he immediately understood the presence that he had felt. Murlocs were a cross between fishes and frogs . . . somewhat. Wielding short swords, shields and various other weapons, they marched out in droves and after inspecting the chests, did a weird dance, their voice grating against Harry's eardrums.
"They sure move fast." Harry commented as he watched them carry their treasure back inside.
"They are very serious about their treasures after all. If we didn't have this potion, it would take a couple dozen able wizards to successfully raid a Murloc Cave. Many communities simply find it easier to leave them be, and only confront them when they attack." Ollivander informed him. Harry had a very weird thought that maybe Ollivander would make an excellent Care of Magical Creatures Professor. Harry almost snorted before he could finish his thought. What they were about to do could hardly be classified as 'caring' for Magical creatures.
"Well, we have many hours to kill. So Lord Potter, tell me . . ."
Perenelle was contemplating the recent conversation that she had with Harry. It had left her confused and concerned, which was needless to say, not something that she felt often. This alternate self, had alarmed her at first, but after conducting various scans, that revealed that he was free of any part of Voldemort's soul, not under any mind or personality altering spells, and had explained to a relieved looking Harry (though he had tried his best to hide this fact from her, she thought amusedly) that he wasn't turning into a psychopath, nor going insane. She did however advise him to stop going through the memories about the last war that he had borrowed from her, and offered him the choice to only practice Occlumency when she was present. He had declined the last one.
Another thing that had intrigued her was that Harry could apparently use his magic to summon, banish, and levitate objects at will, but couldn't perform any other spell. And the way Harry had described it, he wasn't simply thinking out the incantations in his mind of the specific spell at all. The best comparison was Telekinesis, but it being a fictional concept, even in the Magical world, didn't provide any basis for comparison. She had assured that she would help him in coming up with suitable ideas to train his power, and Harry had left, satisfied.
But, she was pleased that Harry had come forth about it to her on his own accord. She knew that Harry had trust issues, and it showed that she had made some progress with him in that regard. It would go a long way if cultivated right. It was the first time that Harry had chosen to ask her help, not out of compulsion, but out of trust, meagre as it might be. Despite the short while that she had 'known' him, she was surprised at herself that he had grown to be so close to her. There was just something about him that stirred her long-ignored compassion. Or maybe she just wanted to sleep with him, maybe both, she wasn't sure. She knew that she was attracted to power, and Nick had no problems with her warming another man's bed (though it had been decades since she had last done that) but she knew Harry would be freaked out if she even suggested the thought of sleeping with her, and despite the potential amusement that situation might create, Perenelle refrained from entertaining such thoughts any further. Maybe after Voldemort was defeated and Harry had a chance to grow, a celebratory shag, yeah. . . that sounded nice.
Putting such thoughts out of her mind for the time being, she took another sip of the whiskey that she was enjoying. The reason for her drinking in the middle of the day; not that she ever needed one, was the ever increasing desire of the Elves that she was harbouring, to meet Harry. She now regretted ever telling them about Harry. But, she felt that it would help out Harry a lot in the long run.
She and her husband had run across this particular community of elves on one of their travels. The married duo had been amazed at their find. High Elves. Elves as they were thought of to have been before the whole race had been enslaved nearly 2 centuries before her birth, but this community had weathered the curse magnificently. They had attributed their survival to their Priestess Arya, who had exhausted her magic and thus, her life to protect her fellow elves from the more harmful aspects of the curse. She had managed to save 13 of her people. 4 Males and 9 Females. But there had been a terrible price, they had lost their knowledge, their own brand of Magic replaced by the powers that the curse had 'rewarded' them with.
Elves were very vain creatures, and thus their beauty was precious to them. They were much like Vampires in that regard. But, apart from that there was one crucial aspect of the curse that Arya had managed to save her people from. They had to bound to a magical being, Arya couldn't change that aspect but she had managed to alter the curse enough that her people would be able to choose who their Masters were. They would retain their own personalities, their minds wouldn't be totally devoted to their Masters, but their loyalty was unquestionable.
Perenelle herself was bonded to 4 of the Elves as their Mistress, 2 male elves and 2 females. 6 of the others had chosen not to stay at one spot and were intent on travelling the world to find their Masters. That left her and the other Elves to take care of the 3 that were left. The youngest Elves of the community that were only children at the time of her find. They were content with living their lives alongside the Flamel's but for the past couple of decades, had been feeling the need to go search for their own Master but were not too eager to leave their current lives behind. Having grown up in a sheltered life, they knew enough about the world to take care of themselves, but were not too eager to leave the safety of companions.
When news had reached them that Perenelle had taken on and Apprentice and on knowing that he was a Vampire, they had immediately expressed an interest in meeting him and gauging him to find out if he was a worthy Master for them.
Perenelle had no doubt that they would choose to bond to Harry. They were attracted to power, and power was one thing that Harry had in spades. The elves were a little too simple minded in that respect.
Harry listened intently as Ollivander taught him a few spells that he told Harry were effective against Murlocs. The first was the first secondary elemental spell that Harry had never encountered or even heard about. He had been confused when just prior to telling Harry about the spell, he had started chuckling, a sound Harry swore was something that rather fitted the various mad-scientist scenarios that were popular in the Muggle world.
He had scowled when he had learned why it was that he was giggling. The spell that Ollivander was talking about produced a lightning-bolt. A fairly difficult, magic heavy spell it might be, but against Murlocs a single hit with that spell would ensure that the creature would be knocked out for a long time. When Harry had asked if the spell also worked against wizards, Ollivander had gave him a curious look and nodded silently. And then he had proceeded to tell him that while it didn't knock out humans, the effects weren't, in Ollivander's words, 'pleasant'.
"Though I would appreciate it if you wouldn't mention that I taught you any spells, Lord Potter. Penny doesn't like others interfering in her plans." Ollivander told Harry a tad bit nervous. Harry had looked at him quizzically, but nodded none the less.
Harry had spent a couple of hours trying to get the spell to work, and after successfully casting a thin bolt of bright blue lightning, had proceeded practicing it to get a feel for the spell and mastering the wand movements. Ollivander had appraised Harry's dedication to learning the spell and jokingly asked who he was planning to 'fry'. Needless to say Harry wasn't amused at his crass humour, and quipped that he was planning to use it on Ollivander if his 'secret' potion didn't do the job. Ollivander had shut up after that.
As Harry continued to practice, taking note that he didn't exhaust himself unnecessarily, Ollivander watched him practice. He was unlike any of the more common wizards in this day and age. Generally, when a wizard fails to get a spell to work for them, they quickly give up on it. There were many alternatives to get the work done, and it led them to find another spell that might work. It was the same at Hogwarts, a majority of the students only did the spell work during the hour assigned. Truly dedicated students found a way around the rule of not casting any spells outside of class. Ollivander understood the need to maintain discipline, a bunch of students casting spells left, right and centre would be a nightmare. Their narrow mindedness boggled him, but when pointed out, they would quote rules, inferiority, and anything else under the sun to avoid being labelled as incompetent. Some students were able to identify this, and would try to help; others used them to their own advantage.
He was impressed by his progress with the spell. It was humbling, while Harry didn't have the same skill with the spell as him, he knew that if given time, perhaps a year of liberal practice, he would surpass Ollivander owing to his huge reserves and determination. Ollivander prayed to the heavens that in the future, Harry didn't develop the same sadistic streak as Penny. She was vicious while duelling her opponents, often leaving them begging for death.
A few hours later, Ollivander informed Harry that the potion should have had enough time to seep throughout the underhill caves. Taking a few breaths to calm himself down, Harry followed beside Ollivander.
Harry winced as he tried to put less strain on his left leg, and kept his arm rigid to lessen the throbbing pain that was shooting up his forearm. Ollivander's potion had worked, but not all of the Murlocs were put to sleep, and as a result Harry got a lot of practice casting his recently learned spell to keep himself from being skewered. His frustration was further compounded by the fact that Ollivander was as unharmed as before they had entered the caves. The old geezer had no trouble keeping the Murlocs surrounding him at bay, while Harry was struggling. But, for a third year graduate, he supposed he had done well enough. Better that he would have done a few months ago. He took what comfort he could in that fact.
He cast his gaze at the item that he had been dragged off to retrieve. It was surprisingly small, but that might be because he was comparing it to human hearts, he had no idea what size hearts Phoenixes possessed. He hoped that this Phoenix didn't have its heart harvested after it had gone through a burning day, that would be too cruel. He knew that he was obsessed over protecting Hedwig while she was small and couldn't fly.
He stifled a groan as his hunger assaulted him again. Suddenly he was very aware of the warm blooded person standing in front of him. He quashed it with difficulty. He needed to get out of here, fast. He had some freely flowing wounds that were covered up by his robes. Immediately, Hermione's face flashed thorough his mind. He groaned again.
"Erm, Lord Potter, would you prefer a Portkey or Apparition to go back to my shop?" Ollivander asked wincing slightly at the glare he got as an answer. It was a few moments before he answered curtly.
They had been sitting in silence, for how long she didn't know, the rapidity of the thoughts flying through her head made it difficult for her to gauge an accurate reading on the time passed. Daphne was still trying to wrap her head around the news that Hermione had given her.
Hermione's very existence broke every known rule she was aware of. She was a Vampire, no doubt about that. But, there was no doubt that she could use magic. In hindsight, Daphne mused, there were many indications about this fact. Her increased beauty, her stamina. She was sure that if it came to it, she would witness her increased strength as well. But the thought that she had been a Vampire hadn't crossed her mind. She had been thinking along the lines of some obscure Ritual that she had performed. Hermione was quite adept at research after all.
She stole another glance at her friend. She had never known Hermione to sit quietly for such a long time and not have a book in her hand. She was thankful that she didn't make eye contact. She wasn't sure what she felt about this revelation. She wondered if she had been better off not knowing. She shook her head, she was rambling. There were a few questions she had to ask.
"Are you happy? With Harry turning you, I mean." Daphne cursed in her mind. She hadn't had trouble forming sentences in her mind. Speaking them aloud was a whole different matter.
Hermione was quick to reply. "I'd have preferred it if we weren't attacked of course, but, considering the circumstances, I'm glad that I have Harry to rely on, and he has me."
Daphne considered her response for a moment. It was clear to see that Hermione was interested in dating Harry. She could only assume that Hermione was just waiting for his Maturity. It was a logical thing, if they started dating and Harry had a different girl that his magic decided was better suited for him, it wouldn't last. She moved on to her next question.
"You're I-Immortal?" Daphne cursed herself again.
"Well, yes. But, to be honest I haven't given that a lot of thought." Hermione elaborated on seeing Daphne's incredulous expression. "We're training to fight Voldemort Daphne, there can't be any guarantees. Right now, I'm just taking every day as it comes."
Daphne nodded solemnly. She could understand that. Merlin knew she could never hope to understand anything about being a Vampire. Not without asking jarring intrusive questions.
"Do you . . . you know, drink blood?"
Hermione gave her a long stare.
( Break )
It was past midnight when Harry was done helping Ollivander craft his wand. The excitement of owning a wand that Ollivander assured him was better suited for him than the one he had procured when he was 11 was enough of a distraction to curb his hunger. HE just hoped that Hermione wasn't done with her Occlumency exercises just yet.
Using his long honed skills to move about silently, his thoughts went down a path that was not often taken. He didn't like thinking about growing up with the Dursleys, he held anger towards them for their treatment, of that there was no doubt. But, something Perenelle had spoken to him about kept coming back to him. Harry knew that he was a hot tempered person, but it was difficult for him not to get angry. Perenelle had noticed this, and had addressed some pointers that she said would eventually help him control his anger.
'Never let hate fester in your mind Harry. Holding a grudge for too long has much more dire consequences than taking care of it in a timely and appropriate manner. You have led a difficult life than most growing up, but always remember, there will be someone out there that has faced worse. I say that not to invalidate your experience, but to teach you that thinking long about it can serve no purpose. I will not give you examples as without experiencing them yourself, one cannot claim to understand.'
Predictably, Harry had stormed out after her 'insight'. Thinking about it calmly, he admitted that he could have handled the situation better. He had apologised to her, and she had waved it off, telling him that she had expected it and had done so to make a point. He had stormed off again after that, but at the very least it was after they had been done for the day. He wished she wouldn't rile him up on purpose so often.
Yes, the Dursleys had been horrible to him, but they hadn't turned him away. He guessed he owed him at least that much. Reaching the front door to Hermione's house, he silently dispersed the Disillusionment Charm on himself and entered. Spying the light under Hermione's door, he was thankful that Hermione was so religious in her schedule. It made it easier for him to find her when he needed her for anything, whether at Hogwarts of here.
"Hermione, its Harry. Open up." Harry said as he knocked softly on the door.
"I thought that I felt your presence. Funny I didn't hear you come in though." Hermione smiled at him and moved to give him passage into her room.
"It's something I picked up living with the Dursleys." Harry said as way of explanation. Hermione looked surprised for a moment but covered it up. Form the time she had known Harry, she could recall every instance that Harry had talked to her about his relatives. Such thoughts were put out of her mind as she looked at him closely. He was positively shuffling towards the bed, and seemed to have a slight limp.
"Harry, are you hurt?" Hermione asked as she followed him to examine him.
"A little. You won't believe the day I had today." Harry answered as he sunk down on the bed. He took a deep breath and sighed. He couldn't hold out any longer. He stilled her next question by holding up his hands and gestured her to come closer. He was thankful that Hermione knew him enough that he didn't have to explain what he wanted. That would have been embarrassing.
"Hermione, I might not be able to stop today, so if you feel as if I drink too much I want you to tell me, okay?" Harry said giving her an intent look.
"Hermione nodded silently, a red hue spreading across her cheeks.
As his fangs elongated, and his mouth filled with Hermione's lifeblood, he relaxed. He again tried his best to ignore the noises Hermione made every time he did this, but failed miserably. He again wondered why this was so. He drank more from her than usual, sating his hunger. He stopped of his own accord, but his eyes widened as he looked at Hermione.
Her eyes held a glazed look in them and suddenly Harry was very aware that their faces were entirely too close to each other. He didn't move a muscle, one part panicked, one part excited. He brought up his hands to her shoulders, but kept them there neither pushing nor pulling. He simply waited for Hermione. The distance between their lips shortened excruciatingly slowly, and then he felt Hermione's soft lips on his own. Instinctively, one of his hands dropped to wrap up her waist and the other rose up to gently cup her face. It was everything he could have wanted for his first kiss.
Hermione became aware enough of her senses as she felt Harry's thumb gently stroking her cheek. Then came the overwhelming realization of what she couldn't stop herself from doing anymore. She separated her lips from Harry's, but stayed in place.
"Harry. . ." She whispered, she looked intently into his expressive eyes. She could clearly see some apprehension, but over that was happiness that she knew must be shining in her own eyes. "I-I need to . . ." She tried stepping back, but found that it wasn't possible as Harry still had a firm hold around her waist. She started slightly as she heard Harry made a sound that sent shivers down her spine and suddenly he was kissing her again. She surrendered herself to the sensations and Harry had to support her slightly as her knees became unable to support her weight.
Harry was the one who lifted his face up slightly, he grinned roguishly. "You were saying?"
"Oh sod it!" She smashed their lips together again.
Harry woke up quite early the next morning, and as was quickly become the norm, Hedwig was looking down at him from where she was perched on the headboard of his bed.
"*Good morning, Harry*"
Harry quickly glanced at the window, "So it is." He smiled widely. Hermione and he had talked after their kiss, not much, as they had been pretty tired last night, and Harry had eventually asked her if she would like to go out on a date with him today. She had agreed happily, and they had kissed some more.
Despite yesterday's adventures, he was back to full health today and he thanked Merlin for having a Vampire's constitution. By fortunate circumstances, he was scheduled to meet Sirius and Remus today. The Goblins had informed him that Potter Manor had been fully reconstructed and the Goblins had finished applying the standard wards befitting the ancestral home of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter. Any further improvements on the wards needed to be applied by the resident family, and would need a permit from the Ministry.
While Harry was excited to see the house where his father had lived during his childhood, he had no intention of staying there. His father had his own home in Godric's Hollow, and he intended to buy a place for himself. He had cut a deal with the Goblins at Gringotts, for an increased share of the profits of the House of Potter, they would procure a purely 'Muggle' house for him, 'off the records' so to speak. It might have been a childhood fantasy of his, but he had decided to indulge himself.
He saw that he still had a few hours before he needed to start getting ready to visit Gringotts before meeting Remus at the Leaky Cauldron at 11 o'clock. Deciding that he could use this time to perform his Occlumency exercises that he had neglected to perform last night.
After he was done, and relaxed himself to get out of the meditative state, he felt his stomach drop, and groaned at the familiar sensation.
"Would you stop doing that?" Harry asked his alter, annoyed at the interference.
"Hell no." Alter quipped back.
"What are you?" Harry asked and continued in a raised voice as he say him about to reply "You've already told me you're my instincts, but as far as I know, instincts can't take a form as you have. They can't have a consciousness. So tell me, truthfully, What Are You?"
"But what about memories? What of them?" Alter asked smirking widely at the perplexed expression on Harry's face. He threw him another bone. "What if I have my own memories?"
"Stop your nonsense. You only know what I do!" Harry snapped.
"Ah, but that's where you are wrong Harry. So very wrong. I know things that you would, could, never imagine. By the way, I have to say your performance yesterday was pathetic." Alter said condescendingly.
"What!?" Harry asked his tone dangerous. He was angry and had nowhere near the concentration that he would need to meditate. Still he didn't wake up. This was another of the reasons that he hated when he was confronted by 'whatever' this person was. He didn't seem to have any control here.
"How you could let those filthy fish-frog wannabes lay hands upon you? I confess myself disappointed." Alter shook his head in mock disappointment. "Though, you did redeem yourself a bit late yesterday night." He smirked as Harry's eyes glowed brilliantly.
"What Do You Want?" Harry spoke haltingly, supressing his urge to lash out violently against him.
"Me?" Alter asked, pointing at himself putting a gobsmacked expression on his face. "Why that's quite simple. I want Everything."
Harry scowled. "Care to elaborate?"
"Not particularly." Alter waved his hands dismissively. "More importantly, what are going to do about Tonks?"
Harry stiffened. He didn't like where this was going.
"You like her. But you like Hermione too. Daphne's also turning out to be a good friend. She's not quite the submissive type, but that can be so exciting!" Alter had a manic gleam in his eyes.
"You're a foul creature, Alter. I don't want to talk anymore." Harry glared hard at him.
"Fine, ruin my fun." Alter pouted.
"Stop that, it looks disgusting." Harry grimaced, massaging his forehead.
"I'm sure the girls wouldn't think so." Alter grinned mischievously.
"Enough!" Harry said coldly, and held out his hand in his direction. Alter was hurled backwards till he dissipated into the distance.
"Fine, fine. We'll talk later Harry. See you soon, oh! And a piece of advice, wear your cream shirt on your date tonight, I'm sure Hermione will love that."
Harry balled his fists and cursed wonderfully.
Harry's foul mood evaporated as soon as he opened his eyes and was greeted by the sight of Hermione sitting on the bed, Hedwig perched on her knees.
"Good morning Hermione." Harry said as he got up, and only hesitating briefly pecked her cheek. Hermione's smile shone on her face, and Harry was tempted to pick up where they left off last night, but resisted.
"So got any plans for the morning?" Harry asked her.
"Nothing in particular. What'd you have in mind?"
"Well, the Goblins have finished with the restoration of Potter Manor. I'm meeting up with Professor Lupin and Sirius before we go visit."
Hermione heard his silent plea, and replied, "I'd love to come along Harry. It'd be nice to see them again. And I would get to see what the Wizarding world considers a 'proper' Wizarding Manor."
Harry snorted. "I doubt that. From what little Sirius has told me, the Potters have always been considered as rebels, but they had enough power and prestige that the more 'anti-Muggle' of the Purebloods were willing to overlook that 'stain'." He sniffed derisively, in a manner very similar to Malfoy.
Hermione giggled. "So Lord Potter, where are you taking me out tonight?"
Harry shook his head, "You'll have to wait and see. Though I do hope you'll give me due warning if I begin screwing it up."
"I'm sure I'll like whatever you've planned." Hermione smiled at him warmly. "What time do we have to leave?"
"In a few hours. I have to go to Gringotts before I meet up with Professor Lupin."
Hermione chewed her lips in thought, and on catching Harry's inquisitive look asked, "Do you mind if Daphne comes along as well? I think that she's been feeling a little cooped up."
"I don't mind, she knows about Sirius and I don't think you'd remain on good terms with her if she was one of the Slytherins who were in the habit of mocking Professor Lupin. You can ask her to come along." Harry smiled.
A/N :- First of all, I apologize for the long and unplanned hiatus. I was going through a rough phase in my life and it has only been a few weeks since it has stabilized. I won't bore you with the details, but rest assured that I will never abandon this story. The next chapter will be out sometime in January.
I feel that my writing is a bit rusty and I may have botched up a few details, please feel free to point out any inconsistencies. I'll be sure to correct any un-intentional ones.
On another note, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of my readers.
Review your thoughts, ciao!