DISCLAIMER: I'd like to remind you that my name, unfortunately is not J. K. Rowling and thus I do not own Harry Potter, just the plot twists and the original characters that will eventually crop up =)
"blah" - normal speech;
"Blah" - overheard conversations;
'blah' - thoughts;
[blah] - letters, diary entries, book passages, etc.
$blah$ - Parseltongue;
"blah!" - spells;
%^blah^% - ghost speaking to each other without living people hearing;
Previously on 'Harry Potter: The Black Lord'
"Do know what this creature is?" – asked Harry, staring at the strange name.
"No." – Severus shook his head – "Never heard of it. However I'm pretty sure you'll be able to find what information you need. There is a very good bookshop in Knockturn alley, it's called 'Liam's…'"
"Liam's Treasure. I know. I've been there." – admitted the boy. He folded the parchment and put it into his back pocket – "Thank you for your help, professor Snape."
"Think nothing of it, Harry. Now get back to your relatives before anyone notices you're missing."
On with the story.
CHAPTER TWENTY NINE.
When Harry arrived at Privet Drive, it was already dark outside, not because of the dark clouds that covered the sky as it was when Harry left Severus' house, but really dark. A glance at his watch told him that it was around 11 PM. Harry winced slightly and thanked Merlin that he had separate access to the house. He certainly didn't want to have a talk with his aunt about why the hell he was out so late at night. Quietly he climbed the ladder into the attic and sprawled tiredly on the bed. He was too tired to notice the letters on the bed, or the dog in the garden. He cuddled his pillow and fell asleep.
Morning came rather abruptly. Harry woke up around 10 AM to the sounds of loud barking and his aunt's shrieking.
'What the hell are they doing?' – the boy wondered as he got out of bed and looked out of the window. The sight that greeted him was rather amusing: a severely underfed huge black dog was running around the garden with no consideration for the flowers and it was chased by aunt Petunia who was swinging the frying pan at the animal in fruitless efforts to chase it away. Harry snorted.
'Well, that's interesting.' – he thought as he put on some black pants and a green silk shirt – 'Still … I need to do research. Ryu-youkai… what the hell are those? At the very least it doesn't sound English… actually it doesn't sound like anything I've heard before…'
The boy bent down to put on his shoes and it was then that he noticed the letter on his bed.
'Well, I guess I know what was scratching my back…' – he chuckled and picked up the green envelope.
I am writing to you on the request from a friend of mine, Aubrey White. She is the Weasley family healer. There have been complications after Ginny's time in the Chamber. Aubrey would like to meet you at the soonest possible moment. I've read over Ginny's files and can guarantee you that it is imperative that you meet with the woman. ]
Harry frowned. He had no idea what Pomfrey meant by 'complications', but considering his own situation, he figured he had no right to judge. As far as he himself was concerned, he had better things to do, however Ginevra was the twins' sister. The girl he risked his life to save.
'Darn it, I need to get rid of this saving people thing… or it just might be the death of me…' – whined Harry, as he glanced back at the letter.
[… if you're agreeable, than there is a coin in the envelope. It's a portkey. You need to touch it with your wand and say 'Infirmary'. It will bring you to my summer house. From there we can call Aubrey and arrange a visit immediately.
Harry threw a glance at his aunt, who was still chasing the dog and sighed.
'I guess I'll do this first. It's like they're going to stop anytime soon…'
Harry landed in a heap and cursed. Portkeys were so not his favorite kind of transport.
"Ah, Harry!" – came the voice of the medi-witch – "You really should learn to land better… and there is no need for such bad language…"
"Well, if someone would bother to tell me just how do I keep myself from falling on my face when I use magical means of travel…" – grumbled the boy.
"Oh you poor baby…" – chuckled the witch and went to the floo to tell her friend that Harry Potter arrived. While the woman was away, Harry studied the room he was in. It was very cozy, with light brown wooden walls and soft rugs on the floor. The furniture was darker brown. There were several bookcases that soon drew Harry's attention and he was so engrossed in reading the titles, looking for something to catch his interest that he missed the return of Madam Pomfrey who was accompanied by another woman, no doubt the already mentioned Healer White.
While Harry was getting acquainted with Aubrey, Sirius was most certainly not having fun. At first when he woke up because of the frying pan that just narrowly missed him, Black thought it would be easy to evade the woman, but Petunia Dursley was very persistent. She spent two hours chasing him and swinging the damned thing. To his horror Sirius briefly wondered if it would be okay to Crucio the horse-like woman.
'Bad thoughts, Padfoot, bad thoughts!' – he chastised himself – 'You're not Bella, torturing muggles does NOT turn you on!'
Finally having enough, Sirius made a mad dash for the street and ran as far away as he could, while Harry's aunt huffed and went into the house, congratulating herself on the victory.
"Why would you need that memory?"- asked Harry defensively. He of course wanted to help Ginny, but giving the healer the memory in question could turn out to be a really bad thing.
Aubrey sighed. She could not tell the boy about the situation, since it was against her vow, but she saw that he was not eager to share the memory with her… it was like Potter was hiding something…
'Well even if he is, it's not his actions that interest me… but I will witness them none the less… and that is not something he's willing to allow…' – thought the old witch – 'Now how do I..? Oh!'
She gave the boy a smile, as a solution became obvious:
"Mr. Potter it is imperative that I view the memory. You say yourself you can't explain properly what happened, thus I need to view the memory to see what I can find. Of course I am willing to give you my oath as a healer that any information you reveal will stay confidential."
Harry hesitated. He knew logically that if he wanted to save the girl (and he did, she was after all Fred & George's younger sister) he had to let the woman view the memory… and thus with a heavy sigh he agreed quickly before the courage left him.
Aubrey White was an experienced healer. She had her fair share of strange cases. The woman knew the Ginny Weasley would top all of those, but only after she viewed the memory, did she realize just how extraordinary the whole thing actually was. The boy in front of her bonded with the basilisk of Salazar Slytherin himself… and she couldn't discuss it with anyone except Poppy. Still, now she had a much better understanding of what happened and how Ginny, who hasn't even had her first period yet, was pregnant. Of course she was aware of the fact that these things were possible and there were several cases of very early pregnancy. But the case was more complicated than that. What she witnessed in the memory explained everything and much more. The woman shook herself and gave the boy a smile:
"Thank you, Mr. Potter. You memory made everything clear. It will be difficult, but I know now what to do."
"Of course, Healer White. It was nice meeting you. I hope Ginny gets better soon."
With that Harry used the floo to go to Diagon Alley for some shopping.
Much to his disappointment, he only found several books that mentioned the Ruy-youkai and only in passing. Still, he found out that the 'dragon demons' were mainly a Japanese species. Or at least it began that way. Over time some of them went to other countries and settled there.
'Darn it, the most informative book I found was a muggle collection of legends… how weird is that?' – Harry complained to himself – 'Of course it is at least a good thing that they're not extinct or something… that would have certainly been something usual for my luck… still, I really need to find something that will tell me more about what being a dragon demon will mean for me… and about how coming into the said inheritance early would influence the development of my creature side…'
With a heavy sigh he shook his head and blinked in surprise. He picked up a lock of hair and brought it up to his eyes. It turned out light was not playing tricks on him – he had some bark blue strands, how many was a question the boy decided to answer as soon as he got his hands on a mirror. This was a curious change and Harry wondered if it was due to the glamour weakening, or if maybe it was part of the inheritance.
Sirius Black was nursing a huge bruise on his side when he saw his godson return to the house. He gave a sigh of relief. He had no idea what the trip with Snivellus was about, but he was very glad Harry seemed unhurt. The prison escapee wanted to introduce himself, but he didn't know what to say to the boy, how to persuade the child that he was not the one who sold out Lily and James to Voldemort.
'DARN IT! WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?' – the animagus wailed mentally, as he stared longingly at Harry's window.
The night was a long one, since all Padfoot did was stare at the window like a total loon. This single-mindedness of his was a rather new development and if one were to trust Bellatrix' opinion, it was an endearing quality. Endearing or not, tenacity was the thing he needed if he wanted to prove his innocence, Sirius decided. For the nth time since his escape, Sirius toyed with the idea of seeking out Dumbledore's help, but whether he liked it or not, his talk with the Lestranges was practically burnt into his mind. With all the new things he found out, Albus Dumbledore did not seem like a good choice of a person to help him. With a sigh the black thin dog closed his eyes and fell into a restless sleep.
While his dogfather was trying to get some sleep (not that Harry was aware of the man's existence), Harry Potter looked over the list he wrote out. No matter how he looked at it, there were just too many holes he couldn't fill on his own, which meant that he needed help with research. The twins, though probably the choice he would have preferred, were still living in one house with Molly Weasley as far as he knew and that woman was nowhere near being on his trust list. Thus Harry considered his other friends. All of them were purebloods like him and unlike him lived with their families. Thus, Harry figured, they would have access to more books that wouldn't normally be sold in Diagon Alley. He only needed to decide who to trust with his secret. First his thoughts turned to Pansy, but the girl could be such a gossip that Harry didn't want to risk telling her. Neville, the Potter heir thought, was definitely trustworthy, but his Gran sounded too domineering and he doubted Neville would be able to keep this a secret from her and since he knew close to nothing about the woman, he decided against telling Neville, at least not yet. That left him with Draco and the new girl he met, Luna. She did seem like a nice person, if a bit of an airhead, but he knew was in no way close to her and so couldn't bring himself to trust her.
'Well, I guess that leaves Draco…' – mused the boy – 'I guess I'll tell him first. Of course Snape and Pomfrey are an option as well, but still, I want at least one of my friends to be the first person to find out.'
To stay that Draco Malfoy was surprised to receive a letter from Harry was like saying that the sun shone as bright as the moon. Of course that surprise was nothing compared to the shock he received when he read the letter.
"NO FREAKING WAY!" – exclaimed the blond boy and reread the missive… just to be sure he understood correctly.
I hope your summer is going nicely. I myself am rather busy this summer because of something that was triggered by the events at the end of school year. As it is rather difficult to explain properly, I'll begin with the Weasley situation. You already know about Ron, but I recently found out that he was not the only victim. I know for sure that something is very wrong with Ginny as well, though I haven't gotten in touch with the twins yet, so I don't know about the rest the rest of them. I'll get back to you about that later as well.
Okay, you've probably already realized that I'm stalling. And indeed I am. I have no idea how to say this properly, so I'll be blunt. While in the chamber of Secrets, I've acquired a new familiar, though I won't say what creature it is just yet. Our bonding created a magical wave that triggered my creature inheritance to come early. And this is where I need your help. You see, I have become a 'Ryu-youkai'. If that means anything to you then you're in a better position than I am. I've managed to acquire several books that mention them, but only in comparison to other creatures. And then there was a muggle book that had a section about Ryu-youkai related legends, Obviously that is nowhere near enough information, but I've exhausted my resources. I have no idea where to look next. This is something that only Pomfrey and Snape are aware of and I'm not ready for others to know just yet, so I hope you'll keep this knowledge to yourself at least until September.
That being said I really hope you can help me with info gathering. Write soon,
H. J. P.]
'He really doesn't do anything half-way, does he?' – chuckled Draco nervously as he burnt the letter so it wouldn't fall into his father's hands. The boy didn't want to hide this from his father, but Harry was his friend and the blond did not want to betray Harry's trust – 'Well, at least finding info won't be too difficult, especially since he said Uncle Sev already knows. I can just ask him to owl Harry the books he has.'
He asked a house elf about his father's whereabouts and was rather pleased to hear that Lord Malfoy already left for the Ministry.
'Well, that makes things easier than I expected. I suppose I'll just fire-call uncle Sev now and be done with it.' – decided the boy and went to have a chat with his godfather.
Ever since he made the Potion for Potter, Severus knew the boy would try to find out more about his creature. He supposed the decent thing to do would be volunteering the information, but he was a Slytherin for a reason and it wasn't like he actually liked the Potter spawn. During the school year Severus was forced to admit that the brat was rather intelligent no matter how much he looked like a clone of James (though if he was honest with himself the glasses had been a large part of the likeness and once the boy stopped wearing them Severus noticed various small differences from his school-time enemy).
So he was not overly surprised when he received a letter from Draco. Of course it was much earlier than he anticipated, but, he reckoned, Potter only got lucky because he thought to contact Draco first. Now that he was actually asked for information, Snape found himself to be rather hesitant. Of course he swore to protect Lily's child and this information was important for any dragon demon to have.
'Merlin, why did this happen again?' – he sighed – 'Why couldn't he have been something more common, like a vela, or even a vampire? Oh, well… no use complaining now. I guess I'll just send the brats some of the books and have a talk with him at some point… he can't be left on his own or it could cause trouble, especially considering the Weasley mess… Speaking of which, I really should catch up with Minerva and see if any of the kids she was watching had been harmed…'
Arthur Weasley was currently very far from being the happiest person on the globe. Actually he was pretty far from just being happy. He had to really force himself to believe everything he has been told. That only the three that were not biologically his had been harmed was weird. Of course Arthur knew that if his children inherited his creature they would be impossible to rape, but that left another question – how did his wife find out about the creature? Obviously it was not a 100% certainty that she did, however, all things considered, Arthur was glad he stopped taking the inhibition potion.
Having sent his sons to spend some time with their grandfather, Arthur poured himself a shot of fire-whiskey and settled in front of the fireplace to wait for Molly who had been visiting her parents' grave that day. Finally the flames turned green and the plump red-haired harpy that was his wife stepped through.
"Hello, Molly." – said the man staring at her coldly. This was very different from the always mild tempered wizard Molly was used to. Of course she could recall him having a similar disposition before, when they were in Hogwarts, but he never showed this side of him since the wedding. So seeing him like that made alert bells jingle in Molly's mind, not that she paid them any attention, she was too confident in her plan.
"Arthur, dear, you waited for me." – she exclaimed and went to hug her husband, not noticing how rigid he became when she did so – "That's so sweet of you!"
And then it happened. Arthur roughly pushed her away and snarled, his eyes glaring holes through her:
"There is nothing sweet about this, or the conversation that is long overdue." – the voice was so cold and stoic that Mrs. Weasley flinched.
"W-what conversation?" – she stuttered – "Arthur, what's going on with you?"
The man chuckled bitterly and narrowed his blue eyes:
"Really we have lots to discuss as you very well know… where do I begin? How about this one: when were you going to confess that you've been cheating on me? Or maybe you'd like to discuss the fact that not all of our children are mine by blood? No? Not that one either? Oh, maybe you'd like to talk about how Dumbledore raped your son and you got money from Harry Potter's vault? So? Which problem are we going to discuss first?"
By the end of the speech Molly was as white as a ghost, while Arthur was dangerously calm. The only thing that betrayed his fury were his eyes – they turned purple and were practically glowing with power. Now scared out of her mind, Moly turned on her heels and made a dash for the fireplace.
'Must get to Dumbledore.' – was the only thing on her mind. Unfortunately for the plump woman, her husband was much stronger and faster. Of course he was nowhere near his real strength and speed, not after taking an inhibiting potion for a decade, still it was more than enough to restrain his wife. He grabbed her around the wrist and practically threw her in the opposite direction, not caring if he hurt her. That was not really true, but at that moment his creature was out and it wanted revenge.
While Arthur was having it out with his wife, Harry received one of the biggest shocks of his life (not counting the inheritance of course). His letter to Draco bore fruits much sooner than expected and answers came from a very unexpected source – Severus Snape. Potter pinched himself and went over the letter again. No matter how many times he read it though, it still remained the same.
[Dear Mr. Potter,
I am sending you these books on behalf on my godson, Draco Malfoy. In his letter to me he asked me for information since you told him I was already aware. As it happens I am in possession of a few volumes that will interest you greatly. They have been passed to me through my maternal grandmother, who like you was a Ryu-youkai. I have never needed them myself, since I did not inherit the creature, but I'm sure you will find the information in them useful.
Should you have any questions feel free to owl me.
Prof. S. Snape.]
'Straight forward and to the point… very Snape-ish.' – Harry chuckled mentally and took out the books. There were four of them and all were very useful – 'I guess I'll forgive him for not making this easy for me, he is a Slytherin after all. Now let's see…'
The first book was rather thick. It had a black leather cover and the title was engraved in cursive purple letters 'Dragon Demons: Origins and basics'. Harry made a face – history was certainly not his strong point, but he would definitely read this later. The next book was both larger and thinner. It was called 'Of habits and mating'. Harry put this one on the bedside table, it would certainly be the first one to read. Another book had info about Dragon magic and coming into the dragon demon inheritance. Harry held the books close to him and smiled – the day was certainly a good one… at least for him.
Author's Note: And here is the next chapter. I apologise for the long wait, I had to move out of the dorm for two weeks and then I was busy moving back to Russia =) Anyway, I hope you liked it. If so, let me know =)
P.S.: Also thanks a lot to the people who informed me about that 5 year old that got pregnant, I didn't know about that one. And like always, thanks a lot to the people who leave reviews, I really enjoy reading them.