The Years of Adventure: Frozen North
Chapter 2 - Braving the Cold
Disclaimer: Harry Potter doesn't belong to me, if you thought I did then you should see someone with a medical degree.
Author's Note: Harry continues to the north, enjoy!
The next morning he repacked the tent, sailed to a tiny, abandoned bay, stepped into his dinghy, shrunk the boat, and rowed to shore where he shrunk the dinghy too. Once everything was stowed carefully away, he started out across Iceland.
He trekked all around the island, up and down glaciers, over volcanoes and through rivers – the first crossing was a bit of an experiment and he had to use magic to save himself and his stuff from floating off down the river, a few well-placed drying charms later and he was on his way again. He wandered for a week before he got to the first place he had really wanted to go, the Haukadalur geyser, the oldest geyser in the world. He stood extremely close to the bursting water and let the sulfur flood his senses. Much to shock, he heard a voice coming from right behind him and he nearly fell face-first into the boiling water.
"Ssss...isss...sss... man ssss...? Sssstanding ss...ss clossse? Sss...ssssupper..sss!"
Harry whipped around and saw an almost invisible lizard-like creature creeping up on him, it was the same reddish-gray as the rocks it was climbing on and must have been nearly a half metre in length, if Harry hadn't heard it coming he would have been dead in seconds because at that moment, the thing leaped at him. Harry jumped to the side and narrowly avoided the hot water flying from the ground behind him. On second thought, maybe I shouldn't have come this close to the edge...damn my curiosity. All he had wanted to do was see what the inside of the geyser looked like, when it wasn't filled with water; that wasn't working out so well. Apparently, the local wildlife thought of him as supper. The lizard, snake thing was speaking with a funny accent and Harry couldn't understand most of what it was saying but there was a slight chance he could reason with it.
"Wait! Stop!" Harry yelled, hoping against hope that it would understand him.
"Sssspeaker sss?" The lizard said, crawling over to where Harry was.
"Yes, I'm a parseltongue. I can speak to snakes. But it seems that it's either different for lizards or maybe it changes from country to country." Harry had never really thought about that, it would be something to investigate. Lizards were like snakes so it would make sense that he would be able to talk to them but it was also possible that it would take learning. But there was also the possibility that the reason he couldn't understand what this little guy was saying was because it was some sort of Icelandic Parseltongue...this was going to be confusing.
"Ssss...Englissssh sssspeaks?" The lizard seemed to ask.
That answers that question, its not Lizards vs. Snakes, it's English vs. Icelandic. Who would have thought there were different types of Parseltongue? Well, it's not like someone's studied it or anything... "Yes, that's it, I speak English, interesting. Well, what's your name?"
"Name?" The lizard obviously either didn't know the word, or didn't understand the concept, one or the other.
"Um, what are you called? I'm Harry." He pointed at himself, "Who are you?" He pointed at the lizard.
"Harry, Haaarry, Harrrrrrry, Harryyyyyyy." The lizard said his name over and over again, getting a feel for it. "Youssss Harry," The lizard flicked his tail at Harry, "I'ssss no name."
"Oh. You don't have a name?" The lizard bobbed his head in a very awkward fashion. "Well, I guess I'll just have to give you one then." The lizard did a little dance in what Harry assumed was excitement, Harry pulled his muggle animal guide out of his pack, he wished again that he had a wizard one, and looked to see if there was an entry for this lizard. After several minutes of extreme frustration, Harry concluded that it was new species, which made him fist pump, in his head. Okay...so, new species...I get to name it! He pull his English/Icelandic dictionary out of the box of books in his pack and looked through to see what a good name would be. He figured that it would be best to just name it literally, it would be easier to remember. It was then that Harry realized he didn't know anything about this lizard except that it thought he would make a good supper and it lived near a geyser in Iceland. So, he conjured a little mat and sat down on the ground in front of the rock the lizard was laying on.
"Before I name you, I would like to know more about you. Could you tell me about yourself?" Harry asked as he brought a sketchbook, charcoal and a quill out of his pack. He opened the sketchbook to the second page (he would put a title page in later), picked up the charcoal and started drawing the lizard. He could have just taken a picture with his wizarding camera but there was something about actually putting pencil (or charcoal in this case) to paper that really appealed to him. Meanwhile, the lizard had made an odd whistling sound and was joined by three more, two which had slightly grayer markings.
"Brothersssss...ssss...sssssissssterssss." It said proudly. "Ansssswerssss." Apparently, it had brought it's brothers and sisters to help answer Harry's questions.
Harry then spent the next two hours chatting with, and drawing, the lizards. He found out that they never went more than a few metres away from the geyser, their magic came from the water and they needed to stay near it. Harry figured that was why the Muggles didn't know about them. They had the ability to crawl through rock, they ate anything from algae to mammals, including any humans that saw them – another reason the Muggles didn't know they existed, and they could spit green sparks. When Harry wrote that last one down he put a note next to it suggesting that the lizard might be more closely related to Dragons than snakes. Then he jotted in another note book, 'Can a Parseltongue speak to dragons? → Maybe very foreign dialect, need to learn?' After he finished getting all the information about them he could, Harry re-opened his dictionary and named them Eolnets, which was a combination of the word for lizard and the word for spark. He wrote 'Eolnet' in big, bold letters at the top of the page he had been drawing on and underneath, in smaller letters; July 6th, 1997. By the time he had finished with the Eolnets he had a full page drawing of both a male and female Eolnet and all around them he had jotted down his notes and observations as well as a few little diagrams and pictures of their bright green sparks – which he really liked. It was a bit messy but Harry liked it, he thought it looked kinda cool and explorer-y.
It was moving towards evening and Harry explained that it was time for him to go and find a safe spot to sleep for the night. As he was about to leave, the lizards started hissing between each other so fast that Harry couldn't follow what they were saying. When they stopped, the first lizard, who he called Fyrst (Icelandic for first), crawled over to him with a brilliantly clear, massive agate held in his mouth. Fyrst spat some sparks at it which seemed to flow right through the rock, then came to rest at the very centre.
"Thissss for you." Fyrst said, "Ssssparkssss...alwayssss."
Harry looked at the agate in awe as the green sparks seemed to dance, even though they were trapped in the rock. "Thank you, thank you so much." Harry said as he reverently placed it in the box that would lead to his desk drawer, he would use it as a paperweight, that way he could see it every day. "I will keep this with me always."
After another few days of trekking across the country he visited Dettifoss, the largest waterfall in all of Europe. As he was standing at the top, looking over the edge he saw what looked to be a Hippogriff flying across the river, but it wasn't like any Hippogriff he had ever seen before, they were almost twice the size, had a more blue colouring, slightly webbed feet and all of their feathers had a thin layer of a wax-like material on them which Harry guessed both insulated and waterproofed them. Harry dubbed this sub-species of Hippogriff, Jökul Hippogriffs, after the name of the river which flows into the falls, the Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The Jökul played in the pools downstream and one of their forms of amusement – or so it seemed to Harry – was seeing how far up, vertically, the falls they could fly...in the water. I was quite impressive to watch and the reward for making it to the top without falling out of the water was the position at the top of the highest rock overlooking the area. The sight of one of these elegant creatures standing above the falls with its wings spread wide, head tipped to the sky, framed by billowing clouds was one Harry wouldn't ever forget. After staring at it to burn the image in his mind, Harry pulled out his sketchbook and spent the next few hours doing his best to capture the essence of the creature. When he had finished his drawing he jotted down his observations about the creature and then at the of the page he wrote; 'Jökul Hippogriff', and under it, 'July 14th, 1997'. He also gathered a few feathers and placed them carefully in his pack, they would make great gifts for the people to whom he owed favours.
Harry didn't come across that many notable creatures that weren't already in his muggle field guide but every now and then he caught a glimpse of what he guessed was some sort of Tree Sprite, he sketched it out as best he could but he could never get a clear look. It also never stayed in the same place long enough for him to get any observation other than 'flitted out of forest for three seconds and then disappeared'. However, that didn't stop him from sketching, he started two new sketchbooks, one for non-magical creatures and one for landscapes. Over the next few weeks he proved himself to be quite the adept artist. He ended up charming some of the charcoal pieces to be different colours and vowed to get some coloured pencils when he passed through Reykjavik on his way to Greenland.
When he got near to Reykjavik, he changed direction and headed towards the coast, it meant he had to cross a glacier but hey, adventure, right? Once at the coast he re-sized the dingy, rowed out far enough that he wouldn't run his lovely boat aground, and re-sized it. Once he had the cabin all set up - not much of a chore because it consisted of placing a bundle on the floor and walking out – he set sail for the town. He would have waited till he was there to set up the boat but then realized that if he arrived on foot and then suddenly left on a boat that wasn't there before it would be a little suspicious.
By the time he docked in Reykjavik – it was easier and more convenient than dropping anchor and rowing in – he had been walking for nearly three weeks and was looking forward to possibly spending the night at an inn. This plan of action would definitely include at least one pint of butterbeer. But before he did that, he headed straight for the shop of the man who sold him his boots, the man deserved a thank you because the boots were absolutely amazing. After a short story session he handed the man, whose name was Olafur, one of the wing feathers from the Jukol Hippogriffs. Needless to say, Olafur was extremely glad he had sold Harry the boots. Harry then asked for directions to an art supplies shop and bid the man farewell. In the art shop, the lady behind the desk gave him the evil eye, he wondered why this was until he remembered that he was still wearing his trekking gear and his hair was probably even more unruly than usual, he gave a weak smile and hurried out to a public toilet where he quickly changed back into his original outfit from London and fixed his hair, as much as he could – he decided then that he needed to either grow it out long enough so he could tie it back or shave it all off, he decided to grow it out. This time when he walked into the shop, the lady smiled at him and asked how she could help. When he walked out he had coloured pencils in every colour of the rainbow, a wider range of charcoal pencils and some larger sketchbooks. With a smile and a wave he headed to the wizarding part of town, he wouldn't have minded staying in a muggle inn except for the fact that they didn't have butterbeer, and that was a necessity
Harry was annoyed to find that his face was still in the paper (missing persons section now) but just reapplied his glamour and headed to the front desk of the Raging Gryffin. He rented a room for the night under the name 'John Smith' and headed to the pub where he reveled in the sounds of people having a good time. After a few girls approached him with more than friendship on their minds, Harry was extremely perturbed by this because it instantly made him think of who he really wanted flirting with him. So, Harry applied what he thought of as a 'girl deterrent' charm to himself and went back to drinking his beer in peace. He had a few conversations with some of the guys around him, they at least, weren't trying to get him upstairs. Harry learned that two weeks ago some "high minded, pushy Englishmen" had come through asking about some kid called Harry Potter who was wanted for questioning. Harry snorted, Oh the things the ministry will do to try and get me back... Apparently the Icelandic wizards had taken great pleasure in pretending to not speak English, even though almost all of them were fluent. Harry laughed along with them and went up to bed early. He wanted a good night's sleep before he braved the North Atlantic again.
Harry woke to find himself in a double bed in an actual room, it was a bit disconcerting seeing as he was used to the open feeling of his tent or the rocking of his sail boat. He checked his watch and saw that it was a lovely 5:30 am, he pulled the curtains and the bright sun can streaming in the window. Time to go! Harry thought cheerfully. After a long shower – a luxury, he didn't take long ones in his tent, Harry pulled on his 'London clothes', as he had taken to calling them in his mind, and packed everything else neatly away, making sure that they were in the parts of his pack that would be in the tent/boat cabin. He reapplied his glamour and when downstairs for breakfast and to check out. However, 6 o-clock in the morning was a little too early for the innkeeper to be awake and way too early for the kitchen to be running so Harry went in search of breakfast; apparently, no one in the wizarding world believed in getting early starts so Harry had to go to the muggle section. The one consolation was that he didn't have to wear a glamour. He settled into a cozy chair in the front window and watched as the Muggles of Reykjavik began their day. He sipped lazily on a cup of coffee and munched on a biscuit while people rushed in and out of the shop for their morning dose of caffeine. There was a time when Harry would have been one of those people, hurrying through life, trying to get from point a to point b as fast as possible. Now, sitting here, watching them, Harry realized how much was missed when you were rushing around; none of them took a second glance at the beautiful watercolour painting on the wall or the carefully arranged flowers on the tables. It was a pity really, and it made he even more glad that he wasn't doing that anymore. He was taking his time and stopping to smell the roses, as they saying went.
On his way back to the Raging Gryffin, Harry reapplied his glamour and fished around in his pocket to find the room key. The innkeeper was very surprised to see him come in from the street and not down from his room, it was only 7 in the morning and he had just woken up. But, he let Harry check out and muttered something about crazy Englishmen as he left. Harry just shrugged and walked to the docks. He paid his docking fee then opened up the tent in the cabin and got things ready to sail again. It was with great satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment that he sailed out to the open ocean.
Harry leaned lazyly against the stern of the boat, he was trying to decide whether to follow his original route to the north pole or deviate a bit. Contrary to popular belief, the Northwest Passage doesn't actually pass through the geographical area known as the Northwestern Passages; it goes all the way up through Baffin Bay, around the top of Baffin Island, and then through the northern Canadian Islands. Harry had originally planned to take this route and not even try to get through the actual passages because his map showed that a) it was extremely dangerous, b) the actual crossing point was less than 2 km across, at best, and c) the water was rough and the currents extremely strong. There was also the problem that the far western part of the passage – where it entered the Gulf of Boothia – was riddled with icebergs, hundreds of them. However, Harry was out for exploration so he decided to give it a go; if worst came to worst he could always just shrink the boat and apparate to the other side or back to Baffin Bay or something. But he wanted to give it a try. So, he ditched Baffin Bay, skirted around the tip of Quebec and entered the Passages through the Hudson Strait. He then passed by Hudson Bay and sailed into Foxe Basin. The going was fairly easy seeing as it was the middle of July but he still had to be extremely careful as there were plenty of ice floes hanging around, the passage was safest around September. Things didn't get really interesting until he entered the treacherous waters of the channel which connected Foxe Basin with the Gulf of Boothia – which led to the southern part of the Arctic Ocean. Harry spent the night in the middle of Foxe Basin, so as to make sure that nothing went wrong - even through he was using magic to keep the boat from drifting it never hurt to be careful and while he was there a wayward ice floe came by carrying a few walruses, it was quite amazing to Harry, who had never seen one before.
As his alarm went off on the 25th of July 1997, Harry found out exactly why people tended to avoid the Northwestern Passages. Over night, his little boat had been nearly surrounded by ice floes, it was as if his boat was a kind of magnet. If it hadn't been such a precarious situation Harry would have thought it hilarious. As it was, he just stood in the doorway in his extremely fluffy pajamas and stared at the floating ice, it was amazing how the pieces kept bumping into each other slowly and then floating away only to do the same to another. Also, the way that the sun was hitting the ice made it sparkle in a million shades of white; Harry decided that any course of action would be best decided upon over a cup of tea, tea fixed everything. He hurried back into the heat of the cabin and dressed in his warm sailing clothing, then he grabbed a cup of tea and was just about to step outside when he realised that even though his situation wasn't very good, the view was, so he snatched up a sketchbook and some pencils as he headed out. Harry spent the next hour sipping tea, drawing the spectacular scene around him and thanking Merlin for warming charms – without them his fingers would have frozen off from holding the pencil. He finally came to the conclusion that he would just use magic to clear his path, if/when he hit actual solid ice, he would switch to some other means of transportation. So, with an empty cup of tea and four new drawings (three sketches and one full-on shaded masterpiece), Harry raised sail as he was doing this he realised that he needed to name his boat; all boats had a name and a home port written on their stern, they also flew a flag. With that in mind he started waving his hand from left to right, clearing a path.
When he entered the channel between Foxe Bay and the Gulf of Boothia, the first thing Harry noticed was the current, it was working against him. The second was that where he had originally thought we would have at least a kilometre and a half of wiggle room, he only had one. The third was that the wind was working against him. So, he was fighting the current, had to tack repeatedly, and he only had a kilometre to do it in. Lovely. But, despite all these hurdles, he made it through the first part, without the use of magic – except to keep the ice out of his way - and of that he was extremely proud. Not many wizards would have stuck it out and done it the hard way, but he knew that he would be much more satisfied if he did, and he was. It was fine sailing for the next few hours as the channel widened and the current abated but then it all went to hell in a hay basket. At first he wasn't having to really think about his ice berg removal – he had gotten to the point where he didn't even have to use his hand anymore – but then the floes got bigger and closer together. Soon, he was running out of places to move them to, and the current had picked up again. Swearing like the sailor he was, Harry dropped all sails except the main and spent the next eight hours pulverizing ice and creating a wide enough path for his little boat to get through. Then, when he finally made it out of the channel and into the Gulf of Boothia, Harry's shoulders slumped and he decided that apparation was the way to go; there were massive ice flows in every direction, some were more like ice bergs and others were like partially sunk islands; he knew that it would take a lot to sink his as of yet unnamed little boat but these just might do it.
Harry furled the main, put a protective shield around his boat and went to the cabin for some tea. As he was sitting dejectedly on his captain's chair sipping his tea, he realised that his spirit of adventure was on it's way out. He took another look at his charts and was annoyed that they didn't show the general location of the ice floes or the fact that a whole lot of the gulf was covered in partially sunk ice islands. No, they just showed the depth of the water and things like currents (nicely animated with the touch of a wand – not that it helped much), general wind speeds and temperature estimates. As soon as the charts finished showing the passage there was nothing on them to indicate that this thing was covered in random bits of ice! Harry sighed, he had really wanted to get through mostly on his own. Oh well, nothing he could do now. He was just about to start heading to a stable-looking floe to stand on while he shrunk his boat when a deep, gravely, freezing voice echoed around his head, it was so loud that he clapped his hands over his ears in a futile attempt to shut it out.
'Human?' It asked. Harry tried frantically to reinforce his mental shields but they didn't seem to be doing a damn thing to keep the voice out.
'Yeah, okay, you're human. But you're doing something, what the hell are you doing? Hey! That tickles!' It's voice was quieter now but still louder than anything Harry had every heard before. 'Yo dude, it's rude to ignore someone. I sense that you can communicate...Hmm, maybe you're not so smart. You are in the middle of my Gulf in a tiny boat before it's even safe for the bigger ones to get through...yeah, that's it; no intelligence. But no, your head is like, perfectly organised...you're just rude. Oh well, it was worth a try.' By this time Harry had finally realised that he was, in fact, hearing – albeit in his head – a very sentient, rather presumptive, being. And he had no idea what it was. His spirit of adventure came back full force.
"Wait!" He yelled. But all he heard was the grumbling of whatever it was.
'Finally find someone who can hear me and they end up being a rude idiot who won't even give me the direction of the current. Geeze, why is my life so unfair? All I wanted was a decent conversation.'
Then it hit him, the voice was in his head. That probably meant he'd have to think instead of speak. Wow, talk about something new.
'Um, wait!' Harry thought as loud as he could.
'Gaaaa, my head! Why the hell are you yelling?'
'Hey, don't blame me, I'm kinda new at this whole mind talking thing.'
'Right, sure you are. Nice, perfectly organised mind like yours and you've never had a telepathic conversation before. Not talking is one thing, but lying? That's just mean.' The voice sounded extremely put out, like a teenager denied a cell phone.
'Hey! I don't appreciate you digging around in my head!' Harry thought angrily. 'It's personal.'
'Well how the hell else was I supposed to find out why you wouldn't talk to me?'
'Ummm...' Harry didn't really have an answer for that.
'Yeah, that's what I thought.' The voice thought smugly.
'Okay, fine. But please don't get all mad at me, this really is the first time I've talked like this.'
'Wow, I've never met anyone with both telepathic abilities and such an organised mind who couldn't actually use them. I'd think you'd have figured it out by now.' There was a pause and Harry felt all his shields crumble until they felt like they had never even existed. 'Damn! Okay, I don't know how you're still alive.'
Now Harry was confused. 'What do you mean, 'still alive'? I'm just fine thank you very much, I've been alive for a while and plan on keeping it that way for quite some time.'
'You're an extremely powerful wizard! With that sort of power running around in your head, organised as it is, you should have imploded ages ago!'
'Well thanks for the information but I obviously haven't.' Harry said dryly.
'Yeah, I noticed.' If the voice had a head Harry though it would probably be scratching it right now.
'Maybe you're just too stubborn to die. Or maybe...' Harry felt something digging around in his head, rifling through all the rooms in which he had stored his memories, then through all the cabinets in those rooms and the shelves and drawers of those cabinets; he had not only organised his thoughts, he had sub-organised as well. 'Okay, I think you have the most complex and comprehensive classification system even invented. Geeze, what have you been up to?'
'Hey! You're not supposed to be in there! No one is. That hallway is extremely protected, my shields keep everyone one, and I mean everyone out. How the bloody hell did you even get in?' Now Harry was scared, no one, not even Snape or Dumbledore could get into his head anymore; his shields were probably the most fortified and impassable in the world.
'I don't notice shields. Oh! That was what was tickling me earlier! Wow, I've never been able to feel shields before, that's cool!'
Harry didn't think that was cool; he hadn't had his mind invaded since he was 15 and didn't appreciate it happening now. 'Well, I'm glad you think so. Now, please leave so I can but them back up.'
'Oooo! You're putting them back up! Can I try again? It was fun!'
'No!' Harry thought angrily. 'My thoughts are my own and I'd like to keep it that way.' However, while they had been talking the voice had been opening door after door. It had skipped to the middle of the hallway and stepped into a room that had a slightly unusual door, it was a bit different in that it had a vague pattern on it; it was a beautiful swirly pattern with what looked to be Egyptian symbols scattered throughout it, and it was locked. Just then, Harry walked into his hallway and saw a door ajar; a door he had been stuffing things behind for years and slamming quite quickly as soon as they were in. 'GET OUT! JUST GET OUT! NOW!' There was a very good reason he kept that door shut, but it was too late, he could see the memories trickling out faster and faster. 'No...' He groaned as they started hitting him one by one.
"Heya! Nice to meet you, I'm Bill, eldest of the Weasley kids." A tall, handsome, 24 year old red head said shaking a 14 year old Harry's hand energetically. Bill had wide, charming smile on his face.
A short, plump woman with an exasperated expression entered the room, "Bill dear, I'm so glad you could make it!" Then she tutted and started fingering Bill's hair which was tied neatly behind his head. "You know, you really should let me cut this, it's getting ridiculously long. You'll never find a lovely girl if you have such scraggly hair."
Harry smiled up at Bill who winked at him. Bill turned to face his mother, "Mum, I like my hair this way and so does Harry!" He swung an arm around Harry's shoulders and pulled him over. "Don't you?" He asked with a brilliant smile.
"Oh, um..." Then another red head walked in the door and saved Harry from having to answer.
"Bill, stop terrorizing the kid." Charlie scolded.
Bill just grinned at Harry again. "Wouldn't dream of it!" Harry managed a smile this time, which caused Bill to wink cheekily again. "See ya kid!" Then he walked off with his brother.
"Morning, Harry." Bill said as he sat at the table in the tent. He was wearing a pair of drawstring pajama pants and nothing else.
"Mmph..." Harry replied while he flipped Bill off, not because he was particularly mad at him, but he was tired and Bill looked too awake and way too good to be allowed to walk around without a shirt. It was the only thing Harry could think to say and do to keep his attention away from the god sitting across the tent.
"Okay." Bill said, raising his hands in surrender. "Not a morning person."
"Sure. Whatever you say." Harry said in a tired, slightly slurred voice as he stumbled over to the tea. After all, he had a pretense to keep up.
"So, who're you supporting? Bulgaria or Ireland?" Bill asked with an annoyingly cheerful voice.
Harry groaned as he tried to shove the memories back into their room.
Harry stumbled through the portrait hole, he had just been released from the Hospital Wing after the professors managed to subdue the fake Moody; it was four in the morning and the only people still in the common room were the Weasleys and Hermione. The only ones still awake were Bill and Molly. As soon as they caught sight of him Molly jumped up and ran over to him, but as she gave him a massive hug, Harry looked right at Bill; there was something unreadable in his eyes. When Molly finally released him Bill came over and wrapped his arms around him and Harry relaxed into the hug, a bit too much. It felt so right, them standing like that, then Hermione woke up, screeched and the moment was ruined. But the feeling remained, a lingering awareness of perfection. Harry's eyes had still be trained on Bill who just looked a bit uncomfortable and then went to wake Ron.
By this time Harry was just sitting on the floor of his mental hallway and crying, he couldn't get them back in; there were too many. He kept getting flashes.
~Bill's eyes twinkling with mischief as he and Charlie battled tables.~
~Bill sleeping on the couch.~
~The heat of Bill's arm as it brushed past his.~
~Bill staring sleepily into a cup of tea.~
~Brilliant blue eyes catching his glance from across the room.~
~The fire on his leg as Bill's foot knocked it under the table.~
~Bill's hand on his shoulder as he caught himself from falling over.~
They just kept coming until, all of sudden, they stopped. Harry looked up and saw that the door was closed and all the memories were once again locked away.
'I'm so very sorry.'The voice echoed around his head. 'I had no idea.'
'You had no right. No right whatsoever to go digging through my mind. I don't know who you've met before or who else you've done this to but it is just wrong. There is a reason I have locks on some of the doors, they ARE NOT TO BE OPENED!'
'I didn't think humans could have thoughts that strong, I've never met anyone whose memories could come out like that. I've always been able to keep them where they are, I can just go around unnoticed. Your memories...your memories are so powerful, and some are so terrible that I didn't even want to open the door. How is this possible?' The voice seemed to be in awe, apparently there was something truly special about Harry, not that he didn't know it already but still, to have a random voice in the middle of frozen Canada tell you that?
'I've been through a lot.' Was all Harry said.
'That's the understatement of the millennium.'
'Okay, enough about me.' Harry said. 'Who are you?'
'Me? Oh, I'm Boothia, I live here.'
'Yes, cause that answers everything.' Harry said sarcastically. 'I'll rephrase the question. What are you?'
'Oh, um...do you promise not to scream and start throwing stingy things at me? The normal people throw knives or bullets which don't do anything but the few wizards I met threw green lights at me that were rather uncomfortable.'
'Um, I suppose. But if you try and hurt me I can promise that my lights will hurt a lot more.' Of this, Harry was sure. He was more powerful than Voldemort and Dumbledore combined, not that anyone knew it, he kept that particular fact to himself; he didn't want or need anymore attention than he already had.
'I believe that. Okay, plug your ear thingys, this might be a bit loud.'
Then there was a terrible crunching, creaking, breaking, snapping sound and the ice floe to Harry's right burst into a million pieces as an enormous creature came to the surface of the water.
"Holy bloody Merlin's poorly cut green beard!" Harry yelled. The creature had something like 15 appendages – they were a cross between arms and tentacles, a gaping mouth filled with rows upon rows of teeth, a jaw that looked like it could unhinge itself, a crown of spikes and spines that created a sort of mane, it was covered in brilliant blue and silver scales and set in the middle of it's massive head were two intense ice-blue eyes. Harry was looking at the fabled kraken; it wasn't an oversized squid/octopus cross like the stories said but rather this...thing.
'Okay, your mouth is moving but I don't have ears so I have no clue what you are saying. But your face looks a bit surprised...I'm going to give you a moment.'
Harry had moved on from yelling to just mumbling expletive after expletive. Finally, he managed to calm down.
'Right, yeah. I'm good now.'
'Sure. Cause you look fine.' The kraken said blandly.
'Hey, stop it. I would like to think I'm taking this quite well. I just met the kraken, give me a break.'
'I'll have you know that I'm not the kraken. I'm Boothia who just so happens to be a kraken. How come you people think there's just one of us? It's ridiculous.'
'You mean there's more than one kraken roaming the seas?' Harry was suddenly very happy that he had the ability to communicate with the krakens and that he had a boat. He could meet the krakens! And get to know them!
'Yeah, there's a few of us. But be careful around Berminda...she likes to play with boats; messes with peoples' minds and such, gives us a bad reputation she does.'
Harry frowned, 'Berminda. She doesn't happen to live near Bermuda, does she?
'Yeah, she's got this whole triangle thing set up. I don't really get it but hey, each to their own.'
Harry couldn't help it, he started laughing; here he was, all but trapped in ice floes having a conversation with a nosy kraken called Boothia. And he just found out there were more kraken around the world, his spirit of adventure couldn't decide whether to do a jig or say 'fuck it' and apparate out of the ice.
'Hey!' Boothia thought, 'Remember, I can't hear you. What are you doing?'
'Sorry, I'm just laughing. Today was looking to be a failure but it's turning out really great!'
'Well, I'm glad to have helped. Even if I did make it worse for a bit. By the way, what are you doing out here?'
'Oh, I'm on my way to the north pole. I was going to sail to the permanent ice sheet but it's not working out too great, I didn't expect to hit ice floes this soon.'
'Oh, cool! I still feel kinda bad about that whole B-'
'NO! Don't say it, I'm trying to forget for a reason. Which you now know because you took that lovely dip into my mind. So just don't.'
'Right, yeah, okay. I'm still really sorry about that...thing. So, I'm going to take you to the pole!'
'Really? And how do you plan on doing that?'
'See these?' Boothia waved his tentacly things around, 'Well, they're very good for this,' The kraken lifted his massive arms up and smashed them against the ice, it disappeared into the water and stayed gone. Harry's eyes widened as Boothia started doing this repeatedly, quickly creating an ice-free path in front of Harry's boat.
"Nice!" Harry said out loud as he raised sail and followed the kraken. 'Hold on, won't the Muggles notice the bloody great channel in the ice?'
'Look behind you.'
Harry did as directed and noticed that a few metres after his boat passed, the ice came back together and looked exactly as it had before.
'That's so cool.'
'I'm glad you think so. See, us kraken aren't just creatures of legend, we're magical too; I could just clear the ice away with a thought but it's so much more fun to smash it!' Harry just shook his head at the kraken, who would've thought?
They kept this up until about 6pm at which point Harry's stomach reminded him that lunch had been a cup of tea and a sandwich around noon.
'Hey, Boothia.' Harry mind called. 'I'm going to need to stop for the night soon, sorry.'
'No worries, how about you tell me stories while you make your supper?'
Harry grinned, that was certainly better than having his head dug around in. 'Okay, but I have one condition.'
'Sure, what is it?'
'You let me draw you, and then you answer my questions.'
'I think that can be arranged.'
So, while Harry made himself some dinner and ate it, he talked with Boothia about his life and then while he had a cup of tea he sat at the bow of the boat and sketched the kraken and wrote copious notes around said sketch. He labeled the page North Atlantic Kraken: Boothia, July 25th 1997.
It only took two more days for the two of them to git the edge of the permanent ice and then, much to Harry's surprise, Boothia just kept going. The kraken switched to using his magic to cut through the ice like it was whipped cream, by the speed of his boat Harry also had the suspicion that Boothia was doing something to make it go faster; but he wasn't about to complain. They reached the north pole at 10pm on the 27th of July. Boothia stopped moving the ice a ways away so Harry could walk on the ice and actually stand at the pole instead of float on a boat near it.
'So, what do you think?' Boothia asked. 'Any different from the rest of the ice around?'
Harry rolled his eyes. 'Actually, yes. I can feel some sort of magic here, it's almost like a pillar. Over there, just beyond where the compass says the magnetic pole is. Maybe it's like a Magical North Pole or something.' Harry walked over to where he could feel the magic emanating from below the ice. The closer he got the stronger the feeling of magic got, and he started to see a blazing white line stretching from the ice all the way to the sky. As Harry reached out to touch it his mind was filled with a beautiful song, it's haunting tune flowing in and out of his mind. He instinctively knew that it was the spirit of all things frozen, it sung of ice, snow and frost, it was one of the most beautiful things he had ever heard.
'Boothia, you have to hear this. It is amazing.'
Boothia reached one long tentacle over to where Harry was standing and gently touched the line. 'It sounds the same as the ice does, but it's more pure.'
'You mean, you hear this all the time?'
'Obviously not. Is this really what ice sounds like? Do you get to hear this all the time?'
'Kinda, like I said, this sounds more pure. And yes, whenever I listen I can hear the song of the ice, I thought everyone could. It's also how I move it, I sing to it; I ask it to move and it does. Can't you hear the song?'
'No, I didn't even know the ice had a song until now.'
'You know, because you have telepathy you should be able to hear the ice'
'Will you teach me? Cause this is beautiful, I wish I could listen to it all the time.'
'Sure, but I can't promise it will work.'
'No worries, I just want to try. Anyway, lets get out of here.'
'Sounds good, if you learn to listen you probably learn to sing to it, you might be able to ask it to move too. But for now I think you should probably go to bed, it's almost midnight, not that you'd know it; bloody sun.'
Harry was lost in his thoughts, he might be able to sing to the ice...the idea was quite appealing. 'Right, yeah, bed. This whole sun up all day thing is really weird you know, throws my mental clock off.'
'You get used to it after a while.'
The next day Harry spent with the kraken, learning how to hear the ice. He was so excited when he first managed to hear it that he fell off his chair very ungracefully. Harry was such a fast learner that it only took him until lunch to fully hear the song and by dinner he could sing to it. It was amazing, the song didn't really have words, it carried feelings and emotions. Harry didn't know the song well enough to sing the whole ice sheet apart so Boothia did that until they got back to the edge of the permanent ice. Then, Harry and Boothia parted ways, Boothia wanted to go visit his baby cousin, the Giant Squid at Hogwarts – apparently the squid was only 100 years old and hadn't learned to talk yet. When Boothia had heard about the squid he had been quite surprised, according to him, the 'family' had wondered what happened to Clyde, he had gone missing 70 years ago and they hadn't been able to find him. So, while Boothia went off to Hogwarts – Harry still wondered how he planned on doing that, all Boothia had said was 'I have my ways' – Harry headed back to Canada, this time to the northwest, the Yukon. He passed through to the Beaufort Sea which made much easier now that he could sing the ice out of the way and sing it back together behind him. When he landed at Ivvavik National Park in Yukon, Canada, he packed his boat away, put on his boots and headed south. That night, he dreamed of Bill and the Song of the Ice.
Bill lay in his bed staring at the slightly tilted ceiling of his room at the Burrow, this was his last night here; tomorrow morning he left for Alexandria. The goblins had finally found an entrance to the sunk Lighthouse of Alexandria that wasn't flooded, but it was cursed to high heaven. There was also a collection of books in one of Gringotts' vaults there that had been untouched for exactly 2,001 years, 2000 years was the maximum time a vault could be left with no transactions unless alternate instructions had been given at the last time of access. They had no record of what was in there but it reeked of curses, hence: Bill. He sighed, this was probably some of the most interesting work he could ask for and yet, he wasn't nearly as excited as he should be. His thoughts kept floating back to Harry, that bothersome boy who had such a tight grip on his heart and didn't even know it. He wondered where he could be right now, was he laying on a beach? Climbing a mountain? Floating down a river? He had been gone almost exactly a month, he could be on the other side of the world and Bill would never know. He flipped over and tried to get comfortable, he had a long day tomorrow. That night he dreamed of Harry and a song that reminded him of snow.
Author's Note: Well, there you go; Harry has visited the north and Bill is back to Egypt. I won't be writing about North America next because I haven't thought of anything really interesting to happen there, yet. There is a little button at the bottom of your page, it says review and has a cool little speech bubble...I hope you know what it's for. Please review!
Look for 'The Years of Adventure: Atlantis', coming soon!