Authors Notes :
Please remember this is a piece of fan fiction, which means off canon, so some characters will be out of character from the published work.
Reviews (good and bad) and constructive suggestions are welcome, but flames are not.
I thank all the readers for their words of encouragement on my recovery. Yes I am back again, and no I did not and have not plans to abandon the story. Unfortunately as I mentioned in the last chapter I was going through physical therapy and had some regression in my mobility for a while. Once I was able to get back to work in even a limited capacity, I had to try to get my life back in some semblance of order, not as easy as it sound. By the time things go sorted there was too much to do to get back to the story right away. By the time I wanted to right I had to read everything again, as well as a couple of the stories I read that had prompted me to write in the first place to get back in the right frame of mind. Then I rewrote this chapter a couple times, to the point I was finally satisfied I had things set back up. The next chapter will hopefully be up next weekend as the weekend is the only real time I have to work on the story. I had wanted this chapter to be longer, but realized that if I continued past the point I end on, I would really have to post everything I am still trying to write, and I had promised several reads that had sent me PM's that I would try to post this weekend.
So here it the next instalment to tie everyone over for a week or so.
Just as a reminder Helena is the name Rosa and Harry decided to use when Rosa is in her phoenix form.
[Hogwarts, Great Hall, 5:35PM Wednesday]
As Harrys' head bent down from being hit by Helena's wing he finally noticed his appearance. He looked up to the ceiling of the Great Hall and called out, "What the bloody hell happened to my clothes!"
A low hum sound was heard throughout the hall and then Harry looked back up to the ceiling and called out with a slight bit of humor in his voice, "No I do not look better this way!".
'Well actually' Helena sent back, only to be interrupted by Harry's reply, 'Don't you start, I need to get this done and me being dress this way is only going to prompt more questions'
Another low hum sound was heard throughout the hall and then Harry called out with the same slight bit of humor in his voice, "Fine, I look better to you, now can I have my clothes back, please."
In a shimmer of light Harry was covered first in a soft gray almost white tunic like shirt , then covered in a similar colored set of duelist robes. Harry thought he had heard several moans of disappointment from around the hall, which was quickly confirmed by an almost snicker like trill from Helena on his shoulder. Harry then looked up at the Hogwarts staff when he saw Dumbledore start to more down the stairs and toward him with his wand out and he looked upset.
"I don't know who you are or how you pulled that bit of magic off, but I find your taking the late Mr. Potter's appearance, even if it is not quite right as an offense to his memory" Dumbledore said with conviction.
Harry looked amused and replied, "Really Headmaster, after two years and our personal history, you doubt what you see with your own eyes. Furthermore, as Headmaster of the school you would have been notified if I had forced my way through the wards, which from your surprised expression your were not. If you are still not convinced, the fact that I have a phoenix on my shoulder should at least convince you I am not a threat."
'I can't deny the phoenix's presence being a sign of being on the side of light without tarnishing my own image, and putting into why Fawkes has not been around.' Dumbledore thought to himself quickly, and then answered in his grandfatherly tone, "Yes, I am quite aware that a phoenix is a symbol of a light sided wizard, but that does not excuse the use of Mr. Potter's image. It seem you are unaware that Mr. Potter passed away several days ago and his death was witnessed by then entire school. Now to whom am I addressing?" Dumbledore said trying to look into the intruders eyes to create a connection so he could find his own answer, his eyes started to twinkle..
Noticing the twinkle, and know from Helena's memories that this was the sign that Dumbledore was trying to look into his mind, Harry avoided looking directly into Dumbledore's eyes to avoid the result his mental probe would cause. He then replied, "Headmaster, I am Harry Potter, ask me something only the two of us would know." this statement snapped several of the students out of their shock and murmurs were heard throughout the hall as students got up to see if it was Harry.
"Students stay seated." Dumbledore commanded and the students returned to their seats, but the murmurs continued. Eyes still twinkling and trying to make the connection, Dumbledore looked slightly taken back that this intruder claimed to be Harry Potter, before replying, "If you are Mr Potter, what did I say I saw when I looked into the mirror you were caught looking at in your first year?"
Harry smiled and answered "You mean the Mirror of Erised. You said "You saw yourself holding a pair of thick, woolen socks." and continued when I question you, "One can never have enough socks. And that another Christmas had come and gone and you still didn't get a pair and that people insisted on giving you books."
The shock was clear of Dumbledore's face as that was exactly what he had said. The thought that this might be Harry quickly caused him to review what he was seeing. If Harry would have been his full height and weight, and not weakened by the curse scar and his muggle relatives, this might be how he looked. He could see James and Lily Potter in the person appearance in front of him. The lines of the prophecy came to him,
and he thought it through 'since Harry's death was not caused directly by Voldemort, maybe just maybe this was Harry and his plans were not completely destroyed'. Recovering from his shock Dumbledore lowered his wand but did not put it away and asked with a smile on his face, "If you are Mr. Potter, would you be able to explain what has happened and how you arrived in such an awe inspiring way?"
Looking around at the student body and the fact that he has arrived during the exiting feast, Harry replied, "Headmaster, I would be more than willing to answer your questions, preferably in a slightly less public venue, but would it be possible to have something to eat first? As you said it has been several days and the Chamber does not have anything that would even remotely pass for food." Harry then looked at the food on the tables and his friends that were still staring in shock.
Seeing Harry eyeing the tables plus figuring this would give him time to formulate what he was going to ask, Dumbledore replied. "Yes, one would imagine you are quite hungry, but as the answers to your questions are paramount to proving your identify, I suggest we retire to the staff chambers off the back of the hall and I will have the elves bring you some food and drink."
"That would be fine, however due to my entrance I would think saying something to the rest of the students would probably be in order first, otherwise our exit may be delayed." Harry answered back while indicating the staring students with his hands.
Realizing they were the absolute center of attention and the truth of Harry's statement Dumbledore addressed the students with open arms "A most momentous occurrence, it would appear that Mr. Potter has been returned to us." Dumbledore paused at the sounds of confusion being made by the student and faculty about his declaration. Seeing several students, mostly Harrys' friends start to get up Dumbledore continued, "Alas, I must insist you to be patient in welcoming him back until we can confirm this is indeed Mr. Potter and how this has occurred. I ask all students to please stay seated. Prefects please watch the students and make sure no one leaves the Great Hall. " looking back to the staff table, "Minerva, Filius, Madam Sprout and Poppy please follow us to the staff chamber" Dumbledore concluded indicating the door to the rear of the great hall.
Harry looked over toward the Griffyndor table, seeing Hermione, Ron and Ginny as well as Neville and the twins staring at him, he gave them a slight wave and called out "Hi guys, I explain everything once I am done with Dumbledore." which had the effect of causing Ginny, Hermione and Ron to zone out in shock once again.
Harry looked slightly amused and turn and heading in the direction the Headmaster had indicated. As he entered though the doorway he could just hear the Great Hall explode into noise and conversation as the door closed.
[DMLE General Holding Cells, Wednesday 5:30PM]
The general cells were packed with recently medically discharged "Infected". Unlike the private cell which were on a separate floor, the general cells held between 2 to 4 accused and had prison style double cots on both sides of the walls. Several voices could be heard above the general noise of complaints.
"This is outrageous, I demand to see the Minister at once, do you know who I am?" Lucius Malfoy call out.
"What is the meaning of this, I am a Lord of a Most Noble house, even if you have the right to hold me which you don't, I demand to be housed separately and have my solicitor present." another Lord called out.
"I am a Lord of a Pureblood line, I claim family protection until I can speak with my family solictor." another called out.
The door to the general cell area opened and Madam Bones entered with two Aurors, immediately she raised her wand and cast silencio and everything went quiet, even though the prisoners continued to rant for a moment until they realized no one, including themselves could hear anything they were saying.
"Much better, now I would like to explain what is a happening and what is going to be happening for the rest of tonight and into tomorrow. Let me start by conveying an interesting bit of news I received this afternoon that pertains to all of you ...
[FLASHBACK, Wednesday Madam Bones Office, 1:30PM]
Amelia was reviewing paperwork about Lord Blacks arrest and the answers he had given during his interview. Just then a knock at her door was heard she called out "Enter" and her assistant entered holding a large eagle owl on her arm bearing the Gringotts crest carrying a parcel.
"He would not let anyone remove that parcel and it seems it is enchanted only to be delivered to you?" her assistant explained.
Amelia stood to move toward the owl and could swear it looked right in to her before moving from the assistants arm and landing on Amelia's desk and waited for the package to be removed. Looking at the package to see if anything seem off about it, Amelia raised her wand and did a quick security scan. Finding nothing but a strong goblin mail direct ward she removed the package. Immediately the owl took flight and exited the still open door. Reaching for the parcel the packaged expanded to the size of a large tome.
'What the blazes could Gringotts be sending me a tome for and what warranted the use of a high security own.' Amelia thought to herself before excusing her assistant "You can return to your desk, make sure I am not disturbed unless it is an emergency." She then opened the tome to find a loose single piece of parchment.
We at Gringotts have been instructed to present the following list of houses that have had a recent change of Lordship.
While our client wishes to remain unknown at this time, they will be presenting themselves at the next Wizengamot meeting to be recognized.
The remaining families are being notified of the recent change at this time, our client thought you might be able to deliver the notifications to the previous Lords and Ladies yourself. Our client even went as far as assuming you might enjoy delivering this news, as you are currently arranging to have them moved to DMLE holding cells.
Finally we have be instructed to explain that all of the former Heads have been banished from their prior families as the new Head of House found them and their behavior unforgivable and in direct conflict of the houses new views. Furthermore access to family funds, solicitors, items, homes, etc have been cutoff in accordance to their banishment.
As such we would suggest using general cells as the former heads will not have access to funds to cover private cells.
We hope this information is useful and look forward to the dawn of a new era in the Wizengamot.
Diagon Alley, England.'
Quickly realizing that this was not a prank and also realizing that he job was about to get much easier now that she did not have to worry about some Lord or Lady calling about protections of Ancient Houses or fighting high paid solicitors a almost evil grin found its way on to Amelias' face.
"... So you see, you are no longer Heads of anything, nor are you a Lord or Lady of a house to claim protection, access to solicitors and have no funds to demand private housing, so I recommend you sit down and be quiet. We will be starting to process your interviews shortly..." Amelia finished.
Waiting as the facts were processed on their faces she cancelled the silence spell and was only slightly surprised at the fact that no one said anything. She turned to leave, but stopped and turned around to deliver one more blow to the defeated.
"Oh I almost forgot, based on your banishment from your former houses and in conjunction with all of your medical files, you have all been reclassified as either squibs or muggles. Due to this fact you will all be afforded the rights provided by the regulations you helped passed in the Wizengamot on the handling of squibs and muggles in magical court. I look forward to the interviews." Amelia explained and walked out of the room with a slight smirk on her face, just as the noise exploded once again.
[Hogwarts, Staff Chamber off of the Great Hall, 5:40PM]
Dumbledore sealed the room with a privacy spell and then took the seat at the head of the table. Harry was seated at the opposite end and had just bit into one of the sandwiches the house elf had set-up for him.
"No Mr. Potter, since we are all here would you please explain what just happened?" Dumbledore started.
Harry looked at the people in attendance all looking eager to hear the explanation of what happened and asked, "Headmaster, while I would normally be happy to exclude him, since the other Heads of House are present, shouldn't Professor Snape be here, I would rather not be accused of hiding this information from him."
Looking a bit uncomfortable explaining Severus's condition Dumbledore responded, "Professor Snape is not able to attend at this time as he has recently fallen ill. We will pass the information on to him once he returns, and I will make sure to explain you inquired about his attendance so he know you were no hiding anything. Now please explained what has happened, we all saw the memory from the sorting hat of what transpired in the Chamber of Secrets so can you pick up from where you seemed to have passed on?"
Thinking about it Harry started, "Well in that case, that speeds the story up a bit, so the best place to start would be once I died .."
"Don't you mean almost died ?" Dumbledore interrupted.
"No, I mean died, and please let me get this all out, as I have been trying to think how to explain this for the last day as I was trying to get out of the Chamber. I will take questions afterwards, just let me try to get this all out." Harry answered back.
"Of course, please do continue." Dumbledore replied, not happy at being corrected by a student, but hid it well.
"Right, as I was saying I had just died, and I was awaiting the white light I had heard about when I was growing up, or seeing my parents or anything but all I got was the sense of being trapped... no not trapped... stuck, yes stuck is a better term. I felt I was stuck in my body and I could not move on. I knew I was not longer breathing and I felt no pain, but I felt stuck. I felt I was stuck behind something and could not move on until it had, when all the sudden whatever was blocking me finally cleared out of the way and I started to feel I was finally moving on. Then there was a flash of intense light and heat, for a second I thought I had done something wrong and been judged wanting and was on my way down as they say.." Harry paused at the look of worry on several of the professors faces.
"A feeling that was only amplified as I literally felt myself burn up and then awaken to the sharp reality of being an infant. I only had a second to realize this as my body was being racked back and forth in pain as over the next several hours my body aged, expanded, stretched, popped and grew into the form you see now." Harry paused again as everyone had seemed to be stuck between a gasp and shock and he though several of the professors might pass out.
After a minute as people started to recover he continued, "I then heard a female voice, almost musical in nature." Harry looked up at Helena sitting on the rim of the high back chair he was sitting in. "The voice explained that her name was Helena and that she was the daughter of Fawkes. The voice explained that Fawkes had realized I was trapped in my body due to the residue of an evil soul that had been housed where my scar used to be. I can only assume some part of Voldemort had tried to latch on to me and it was that piece that was keeping me trapped." Harry explained as he heard several gasps of shock and more worry about any continued Voldemort involvement.
"It seems Fawkes judged my actions worthy of intervention. He forced his way to a burning point by building energy up to the point of combustion, he then fell on top of me capturing my body in his reincarnation field. Helena explained Fawkes sacrificed himself to allow me to be reborn as it were, I don't think it was a fair trade." Harry stated somberly and with some depression, as more gasps were heard, including coming from Dumbledore.
'That is why I fell into exhausting when Fawkes died the energy I had been receiving stopped and it was the backlash that caused my exhaustion. However that also means I am going to need to find some way to replace that energy before I start to age again.' Dumbledore quickly thought to himself but did not interrupt.
"She then said she would be arriving soon and would be keeping an eye on me to make sure her father's sacrifice was not in vain. At this point I believe I passed out and when I awoke sometime later there was a baby phoenix next to me.." Harry indicated toward Helena.
"Unfortunately I could not get out the way I came in as the way was blocked and it seemed Helena here had just gone through a burning of her own so she could not transport us out of the Chamber. Being hungry and not being able to cast anything as my wand was destroyed in the fire, I searched through the Chamber and more importantly the area behind the huge head of Slytherin that the Basilisk came out of. There I found a room of sorts, more like a wardrobe and found these clothes." indicating his clothes, "if nothing else it seems Slytherin had good taste in clothes. When I put them on, they resized to fit me, and I then looked around some more but found nothing that could help. I went back to the main chamber and came across the sword of Gryffindor. It was then I remembered something you said Headmaster." Harry stated.
Realizing the pause, Dumbledore prompted, "And what exactly was that Mr Potter?"
"That Help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it... figuring I had nothing to lose I grasped the sword and hoped someone was listening and asked for help. You can imagine my shock and surprise when a ghost of a young lady appeared in answer to my call.." Harry paused once more, he admitted to himself that if he didn't know better he might believe the load of crap he was describing.
"Which ghost appeared Mr Potter?" was asked by a shocked sounding Minerva.
Turning to face her Harry answered, "She introduced herself as the Lady Hogwarts, which I didn't even know existed, and I am sure if it was widely know Hermione would have mentioned about reading about it in "Hogwarts a History", which I guess I am going to have to read now that I have a second chance." pausing as a few chuckles were heard from the professors that knew of Hermiones love of that book.
"Mr Potter, I hate to interrupt this wonderful tale you have spun, but this bit here lets me know your story is not completely true. There is no Lady Hogwarts ghost, as Headmaster I know off all the ghosts in the castle, so do you want to start again and give us the truth?" Dumbledore interrupted and Harry could see some of the teachers were doubting his story now.
"Well Headmaster, you are right in that there is no Lady Hogwarts ghost." Harry started
"As I just explained, and now the truth please" Dumbledore cut Harry off and leaned toward him to prompt him to tell the truth.
All the sudden the rumble sound that was heard in the Great Hall seemed to come from the very walls of the room. Harry looked up and smiled, and then looked at Dumbledore and said, "She said to turn around."
All those in attendance turned to the wall behind Dumbledore where the Hogwarts crest was mounted on the wall. The center of the crest seemed to start to move and then the crest seemed transform or melt into a set of robes depicting the four houses and the Hogwarts crest. Motion was then seen behind the robes as the metal from the crest seemed to pour out of the frame and into the robes to take a female form approximately 5'5 in height, slender build and dark mid back level straight hair. The metal then seemed to changing into a skin tone and then the head tilted up and the eyelids opened showing nearly glowing crystal blue eyes, those in the room could swear the temperature in the room dropped as they heard what only could be Lady Howarts say curtly, "I may not be a ghost my young Headmaster, but I most certainly exist."