Harry Wyllt and the Path to the Crown
"Let me look at you, Harry."
The old Dark Lord's voice was filled with glee, as his hands gently settled on Harry's shoulders. The man's icy blue eyes peered through his own, and cackled laugher soon escaped Gellert's lips.
"Good, very good," Gellert stood up again, turning to gaze at the school of Hogwarts. "I did not expect you to last alone so long," the old wizard whispered, his arms now crossed over his chest. "There is hope then, nothing is lost."
"I…What happened? Albus said you were—" Harry whispered, slowly walking to stand by the man's side. Yes, the man had probably killed Hagrid or hid him somewhere, and he had also lied about Fluffy's state…but if Harry had to choose, Gellert Grindelwald was probably one of the few people he could come to stand up for.
In some sort of twisted reason, the man had his respect —the Stockholm syndrome type of respect probably, but still a form of respect.
"Oh? Did he claim me dead? Killed by his hand, I suppose…" the voice trailed off as the candid white head shook slightly, before Gellert's right hand went to ruffle Harry's hair.
"It's been a while since I talked to another person," Gellert's voice was a whisper. "Only the dead, the corpses and the monsters have been my companions for so long…and yet all brought me back to the beginning. It seems the entrance to the Clock-Tower is far more hidden than I thought, far more guarded."
"You knew of it?" Harry asked, his eyes widening.
"No, I did not," Gellert answered. "Only bits and pieces…but then I came here, passed through and ended up being toyed with by one of the most diabolical set of snares and traps that made the Wards at Nurmengard look like kid's work." He took a small breath, "I suppose you know what happened with the Cerberus?"
Harry just grimaced.
He slowly averted his gaze and nodded.
"You are not angry?"
"I…" Harry closed his mouth, was he angry to begin with?
What did he have to be angry about? He actually could understand the reasoning. The man had seen an unused resource and had turned it for his own benefit. Protecting the cornerstone of the fortress was important, and so he understood that. Still something else caught his mind then, and he hurried to gaze outside of the pendulum's room.
The castle's windows were lit as normal, as he peered around for any sign of something strange or different.
"I don't understand. Why?"
"What, why I shackled the Cerberus or why I hid it from you?"
"No, not that," he replied. "This…I was pushed through the veil, by Salazar Slytherin."
He turned to look at the old Dark Lord, and widened his eyes as he realized that the man had been out of commission for a long time. He didn't know the recent events, and as such had no idea of the things that were happening around him.
"I mean, the body was that of Cornelius, but the voice and the way of speaking…it was Salazar, I'm sure of it."
Gellert's face displayed a thoughtful expression for a moment, before it returned carefully blank as he probably schooled his features.
"I see: that is an interesting piece of news as is your survival through the veil, or your reappearance here. Did something happen I wonder?"
Gellert did not doubt his words. There was no need for the man to read in his mind —nor did he detect him try.
"I killed my past self before he could free the Dementors," Harry whispered. "The head of the Wild Hunt is the Chief of the Dementors. He's King Arthur, and if he's freed, somehow Peeves manages to get his hands on my body and—"
"Calm down Harry! I'm not following you any longer," Gellert raised his right hand, silencing him before continuing.
"For now, I suggest you keep an open mind. I will make my way out of here and contact one of my associates in England. You should return to the castle and act as if nothing happened. Whatever you might find, walking through the doors of Hogwarts…know that as long as you are its rightful ruler, the castle will guard you from all evils."
"That's…not reassuring," Harry muttered. He winced as Gellert took a step forward. What did he have to be afraid of the man now? He had practically battled against death and its veil!
"Let us leave this place," Grindelwald spoke softly as he took careful steps out of the tower. "Appearances may deceive," the pendulum was now lazily swinging across the room as normal, "but this place answers to magic —no matter whom or how equipped— to send the fools throughout time and space into the world where all that is lost is found."
"Now I'm the one not following you," Harry muttered under his breath, his green eyes travelling to gaze at the gaunt looking face of the dark lord. "Then again I suppose I will need a few more days to catch my breath and try and understand just what happened."
"When you have, feel free to contact me," and with those words, both separated upon the Hogwarts' grounds.
The thought reached him as he walked closer to the castle's doors.
Professor Graham is an older Hermione.
That too seemed to have taken that instant to settle in his brain. As he took careful steps in the entrance hall, the statue of the architect loomed in its usual corner, nothing unsettling reaching him except for the usual chatter coming from the dining hall. Albeit 'unsettling' and 'usual' were such strange terms to be used in the same thought, he couldn't help but be wary as he stepped inside.
The dining hall fell into silence as he walked in. Quietly, his eyes settled on the familiar brown haired figure of Hermione Granger, happily chatting away. The ghosts' normal floating around the room was not the only thing that puzzled him —even Binns was there, in place of Professor Graham. He took his seat, nodding numbly to the girl…girlfriend?
She was holding a thin pendant around her neck, some sort of bauble probably bought at Hogsmeade. He could feel a sort of familiar sensation filling him as he made a wry smile in her direction.
He had gifted her that pendant during their Hogsmeade visit, hadn't he?
He frowned then: when had he found the time?
Then his gaze went to the rest of the staff table and he visibly stiffened.
It wasn't his father's gaze on him —suspicious, not so strangely— or his mother's one —curious and yet at the same time frightful— it was the Headmaster's, whose beard appeared singed and the robes slightly covered in soot.
His cold icy eyes seemed able to murder, as he narrowed them upon him.
Harry had no idea why the man was seemingly angry at him to the point of nearly cracking his mask of perfect grandfather figure, but whatever it was…it had to have been quite a good thing for him or Gellert.
"Harry!" Hermione whispered excitedly next to him. "Dumbledore's leaving!"
Something in her tone was…different. He couldn't place what it was, but there was something strange. It could have been anything from a slight cold to a lack thereof of one, but he just felt…he just knew this Hermione was different. Different from his own, different from what he had grown accustomed to. One side of him knew her as familiar, as on the way to become something else, but another side saw her as a foreigner wearing his best friend's skin.
He raised an eyebrow, before making a light smile. "Really?"
He didn't know why she felt wrong, or what vibes came out wrong. It took him a moment to realize it. The girl wasn't pressing herself against his side. She wasn't grabbing his hand and clenching it. She wasn't looking at everything he did or at every move he made. Sure, she was still giving him glances…but not many. It was more like…like she was trying to refrain from looking at him but couldn't help herself.
Was there something in the pendant?
"Duke Wyllt declared himself sole heir of Hogwarts yesterday, don't you remember?" Hermione murmured. "Dumbledore was fighting his wards all day to get back in his office," here the girl grinned slightly, "and he failed miserably at that."
"That the reason for the robes?" Harry actually was surprised. He had half expected the man to be dust, but apparently the wards at Hogwarts had been losing power, hadn't they?
"Yes," the brown haired girl replied. "He won't name his successor, but he doesn't have a choice. The students are actually all wondering what's going to happen."
He blinked at that bit of information, before moving his gaze to where Lillian was seated. His eyebrows furrowed. She was standing right next to Ron, gazing at him hesitantly and laughing every now and then as the boy spoke. Justin was watching the two with the same troubled look as Ginny, and both turned to stare at him before giving him a nod —as if asking permission to break them apart.
He shook his head and moved to watch Draco, who was actually staring back at him with subtle glances. The pale-blond boy nodded to him quietly, and he returned the small nod. Tracey Davis, standing next to him, showed him a thumb-up.
Hannah Abbott and Susan Bones seemed no worse for wear, but they gave him both warm smiles. He frowned. Had he saved them too in here? How could he have done that, if there hadn't been another him? It was then that he noticed the gaze Professor Snape was sending him. The man appeared to be thrumming his fingers on the surface of the table, his dark eyes locked on his figure. He'd see the potions' master tomorrow.
At the moment, he just wanted to understand what had changed and what hadn't.
Hermione didn't talk to him again. She didn't insist on things or asked him what they were going to do. She seemed…content in simply being in his presence. He couldn't help but feel slightly torn between this strange Hermione and the past one. Maybe he was just conflicted about the lack of attentions, but he could live without them…as long as Hermione was alive, and loyal.
Was loyalty even that big of an issue?
Yes, it was.
As the dinner came to an end, he stood up and walked out in the uncomfortable silence that had meanwhile sprouted from his own nervousness in the eerily bizarre situation. He didn't need the Marauder's map to know he was being followed, as steps came clearly heard behind him. His right hand gently touched the wall of Hogwarts to his side and as he closed his eyes…he felt.
The castle hummed. It thrummed. Its stones cracked and splintered as they rearranged themselves. The stones morphed into pivots for the stairs, the stairs burst apart and reformed unseen. The portraits moved and talked, as strings of magic tied them to something far stronger —something with a beat.
The Cornerstones were the hearts of the magical wards, yet until that single moment…
How blind had he been, to not see such a power?
Like the day he had wielded Excalibur. Like the day he had held Merlin's staff. This magic, this power…
It flowed. It moved. It answered and it queried.
He let the magic go, flow back to where it came, and then he shuddered as he took a deep breath.
Hogwarts was a magical castle.
Five words could not define the amount of power, of magic, of will and intent. Five words could not easily show the true might of such a place, the true strength the very air thrummed with. A rock was a piece of stone. Hogwarts' rocks were the foundation of something more.
And tied to it with chains invisible to the naked eye was the power of the castle —a power that was bleeding, that was wounded, a power that was rebelling.
It had been corrupted, added to, morphed. The stone had cracked, it had broken.
As walls rose behind him from the very stones, his pursuers speeding up, but too late to catch up with him as he went. He began to descend with his steps taking him down, through the narrow corridors and hallways of the dungeons. He went past the paintings that now seemed filled to the brim with pictured people watching him go by.
Merlin's staff felt smugly within his hands, as he slowed down in his stride for the last meters. He descended the circular stairway, the door of stone with the basin barring him entrance.
The words he had read long ago now were keenly part of him, as his right hand slowly touched the surface.
It felt warm. It felt right. It felt familiar.
"Death in magic, and magic in death," he whispered to the door. "The blood of the founders, huh?" he remarked. "Would you answer my questions, I wonder?"
He shook his head. Here he was, talking alone before probably doing something he felt was right, but had no idea how he believed it to be.
His staff brought up spikes and thorns from its tip, and carefully his left hand moved to it. He gritted his teeth as blood dripped down from his wounded hand, falling into the basin as the magic worked its wonders. The stone door slid aside as the blood disappeared —probably absorbed by the basin.
Harry's gaze travelled through the room's features. Stairs like those of an amphitheatre led downwards to where the stone seemed chained, its cracked surface still visible.
Peeves was floating gently in the air, his face a mixture of a scowl and a relaxed expression. The room's walls were covered in a slight coating of grime, rivulets of humidity descended downwards, into small streams that formed a circle of water surrounding the cornerstone.
"So we meet, Harry," Peeves smiled. "Have you come for the Crown?" the poltergeist asked, his gaze settling on the silver circlet that stood atop the stone's surface. "Have you come to become the King of Hogwarts?"
"No," Harry breathed out. His emerald eyes took in the state of the chains —some rusty and others with their links broken— while his feet brought him closer still. "I can't say it's a pleasant thing, to see you here again…still roaming around, still alive."
"I don't understand," Peeves' voice cracked up an octave. "I'm dead."
"Can souls die now?" Harry retorted. "You know, you were right: no normal ghost can touch things."
He kind of wondered where his wand was, or where Excalibur had ended up going. He would have liked using the sword to finish this, but lacking the weapon that could cut shackles…of course. He could finish this because he didn't have the weapon. If he had, the loop would restart. He didn't know how he knew that, but then again…he had killed his past self, and that by all logic would have meant…
Had he simply jumped across the Time-Line? Had time adjusted to him to close up the festering wound the Clock-Tower had opened?
"Are you going to stab me then? Use my sword to kill me?"
"If I did that," Harry's voice took on a thoughtful voice. "I would be cutting your life, or cutting your shackles? I think we both know what you would want me to do now, wouldn't you?"
"It's not a matter of what you want to do, Harry," Peeves snarled. "It's a matter of what you have to."
The ghostly chuckled bounced through the room, as the poltergeist quietly grew in height. "For a certain time, I was in your very same position, you know? The moment you destroy a circle, you obtain a spiral that degenerates until it reaches a new equilibrium, a new stability. That is the price of those who play with Time. To lose all they tried to keep, and to end up in a new hellish world of their own creation."
"Strange, because I am currently going to win…you sure about your theory?" Harry remarked off-handed as Merlin's staff began to sprout long vines of thorns and thick green leaves.
"Yes, Wyllt, I am sure. You didn't play with Time long enough to understand…but I did," Peeves chuckled. "Oh how long did I play! From the very beginning I tried and tried…do you know what made me go mad? For so long I was mad, for so long I sought out a reason for my madness, never to find it…" his voice lowered to barely a whisper, by the end of his sentence.
Then a strong force slammed into Harry's stomach, sending him to crash against the stone stairs of the room, taking his breath away.
"Until I realized that my soul was torn and split! I was made the perfect source of magic for the castle of Hogwarts, Harry! I was butchered from infancy, torn apart so that a piece of me would forever reside within the Founders, and a piece of them…why, a piece of them would forever be within me." The ghost laughed —his voice maniacal and bloodthirsty as the loud clanks of metallic armours reached Harry's ears.
"You're calling help?" Harry's chuckle escaped the boy's lips together with a spat of crimson blood. "So you are afraid of me," he added as he wobbled back on his feet. "You know? I understand why, really."
The next slamming sensation was blocked, as Harry's hands clenched on the staff. "After all I am going to undo what centuries upon centuries of magic brought together. I am going through all of this without warning, without thought, and without even giving you a chance to parlay."
"Would you really destroy everything, Wyllt?" Arthur spoke as Peeves' form morphed into that of a tall, broad-shouldered man. His face was stern and his eyes narrow, the colour of the iris a pale black. "I control the castle. Bind your soul to the stone, like centuries ago the Founders did, and the magic will be yours, ripe to take and claim!"
"No," he shook his head. "You tried this once, what makes you think it will work again?"
"Wh…you!" Arthur's face turned into a representation of hatred pure and unbridled at those words. "You came back! You—"
"You played with time, Arthur," Harry snarled as he took another step. "I learned the lesson now: Time is not something to be trifled with. Time is not something you can change, not something you wish to guide or drive. Time must be left free to go!"
"You could claim the Crown of Hogwarts!"
"You're lying through your teeth Arthur! That's no crown! It's nothing more than a Horcrux, slammed into the Room of Requirements by Voldemort himself! I found that out soon enough! My mind was too strong for you to conquer alone, you needed help!" another step and the stone grew closer.
"Ignorant fool!" Arthur snarled. "There will be no Room of Requirements any longer, if you destroy the Cornerstone!"
"Don't lie to me again, Arthur!" Harry retorted. "Destroying the stone would just free you! The magic is in the blood and the soul, not in a stone taken from a quarry!"
"Stop! Stop it! I command you to stop!" Arthur screamed as he slammed his hands against Merlin's staff, both beginning to fizzle and sizzle as the wood grew warmer by the second. "I will not be bound again! I have earned my freedom! Too long! Haven't I suffered enough to be shackled again!?"
"I would have taken pity, once more, long ago," Harry pointed out. "Now? Now no longer," his grip on the staff strengthened, as he pushed his entire body forward, tackling and slamming the lower tip of the staff into Peeves' knee, before swinging it like a club against the poltergeist's stomach. The hit connected, as the scattered and split soul of Arthur Pendragon was thrown against the Cornerstone.
Vines and thorns began to sprout from the point of contact, growing and festering upon the stone.
"You don't know what you're doing! Power always asks for a sacrifice! I did what had to be done! You don't understand, you cannot understand! There wasn't another way! Is it wrong to be free?" Arthur's voice was now cracking, as more and more green tendrils sprouted, chaining and shackling his ethereal form to the stone like a sacrificial lamb. "You can't understand an eternity of prison! An eternity of pointy shackles that harm and torture you every day and every hour! You cannot understand pain and suffering!"
Harry stilled, for merely a moment.
"I cannot understand?" he whispered then, his voice thick and filled with rage. "I cannot understand!?" he roared taking another step forward as he slammed the point of Merlin's staff against Peeves' chest. Arthur screamed, as the staff broke through the transparent chest while a silvery substance began to emerge from the cracks and the wounds the thorns had brought forth on the ghost's skin.
"One does not become a King because he wishes to! One does not become a revolutionary because he screams that near a statue! One does not earn a crown by right of blood or magic! It is by working hard, by fighting with all you have! It is by screaming against the reaper's scythe, by clawing every inch towards victory, that a true King is born! One who leads and does not command! One who is first in battle, and last to leave! That is a true King! One who protects, one who is there for his people and his friends, not one who rules blinded by power!"
"They wouldn't listen!" Arthur screamed back. "Merlin ensnared me with pretty promises! Morgana broke my heart! I was the only one who could do something! I was the only one who could act! The only one who could find the Graal! The only one who could wield Excalibur! The only one who could rule England! I was meant to be the only one! And then I discovered I wasn't! All that was asked of me could have been done by another! And that other would take the benefits!? I refused! I didn't want to! This is my castle! This is my power, this is my magic! You will not take it!"
"I don't want it," Harry whispered, his eyes soft as he twisted the staff's tip into the wound of Arthur. "I do not need it," he added calmly. "All that I wished for was a normal life," he chuckled grimly. The longing eyes hidden behind Arthur's pain told the boy all he had to know. "Like you did too, long ago…but you couldn't have it, could you? That is why we are the same, you and I. Meddling old wizards, troubling heart problems and a destiny greater than us that calls for our actions. One can never ignore the prophecies, you know?"
"What are you blabbering about now?" Arthur snarled, trying to fight off his shackles, only for them to tighten even further.
"What I'm saying, Arthur," he calmly whispered. "Is that everything must come to an end. You have done well, Arthur, you have fought well, you have united Great Britain and ruled it fairly…but your time has come. Let it go."
And then the thorns grew and emerged from the very essence of Arthur's soul, splintering apart behind him, towards the stone.
"How?" Arthur whispered, in his last moments.
"Close your eyes," Harry replied, "and exhale."
"You don't understand…and probably, you never will," Arthur chuckled before erupting into a maddening laughter. "Go on then! KILL ME, WYLLT! Kill what holds everything aloft! Kill what prevents the destruction of your world! But be warned, be warned!" he snarled. "Beyond this point, whatever happens…will be your fault and yours alone…not mine," he exhaled then, his laughter dying out.
"I suppose…" he murmured. "Eventually…this time…among the others…was meant to be," a grim chuckle once more escaped his ghostly lips. "It doesn't even hurt… the death of a soul…but remember my words, Harry, remember them! They will come! And they will tear you apart! Not because you freed or killed me, but because you have taken away what was theirs! I was no more than a guardian, Harry…no more than a pawn. Look beyond the Kings and the Queens Harry…and once you do that, remember that the hands…the hands are not on the chess table!"
The next moment, Harry Wyllt dropped the staff of Merlin as it burned fiercely, scorching his very palms. The staff cracked and split —splinters of wood becoming veritable thick troves of bushes and thorns, while vines flailed around the room as the entire floor seemed to pulse a thrumming rhythm.
Harry held his chest wincing, his heart beating slowly as he suddenly felt as if a dagger had been plunged into his heart. There was no blood, but he could understand. Piece after piece the Cornerstone began to crumble, the silent cries of a broken soul echoing in despair throughout the room. The links that tied the chains together broke and snapped, the noise echoing into a cacophony as thick wooden trunks seemed to grow out of the once small staff.
His left hand still bleeding, both his palms paining from the burns, Harry took a step back, and then another.
The thorns turned black with their thickness and their length increasing, while their tips began to drip crimson droplets of blood. A heavy atmosphere settled in the room, as a rotten taste filled Harry's tongue and palate. He began to climb the stairs backwards, as he could hear the clanking of the armours grow in strength.
Seconds later, the door of the room burst open as the entirety of the armoury plunged through to enter the fray, their two handed swords slamming down against the ever growing grove and greenery. They seemed to be ignoring Harry, and that suited him just fine as he made his way towards the exit.
The thorns punctured through the armours, the vines now grown to resemble the Devil's Snares ones as they slammed down upon the small complement of empty suits —completely breaking them apart as it kept on growing.
A pulse of magic departed as a loud crack echoed within the room.
His breathing hitched as he stumbled out of the room and through the circular stairway into the corridors, as the floor and walls of the dungeons seemed to expand and enlarge, growing together with the rest of the castle as the magic that had held the wards came loose.
He hadn't killed Peeves.
He hadn't destroyed the Cornerstone.
He had bound everything with Merlin's staff together, and then had let the staff feed upon the magic of the stone, for that was the purpose of the staff: to bind, to absorb, and to grow.
Centuries of corrupted magic, centuries of horrible rituals that made a soul mad through pain, and delivered that pain as energy for the wards came loose within mere minutes, crumbling the alterations to the normal castle's form as empty classrooms appeared and halls enlarged all around him.
The castle returned to its former decadent glory as rooms deemed unneeded reappeared at the same time as the stairs moved away within the walls, to build themselves where they were meant to be and still there forever —the magic that made them move gone. The pictured figures froze in the positions they had been painted, their gazes vitreous and their appearances now muggle and no longer alive.
The ghosts howled as they departed, the chains shackling them to the castle itself coming away —freedom within their grasp at last.
And as Harry Potter swatted away the sweat from his forehead, his eyes met with those of Henry Slytherin and Helena Ravenclaw, both smiling at him.
"I held little hope this would succeed," Henry remarked. "I must admit however, I was wrong: I am proud to call you my heir, Harry."
"Be careful now, child," Helena added then. "We are free, and we will depart…too long have we delayed," she wistfully admitted. "Too long our souls suffered to create that which grants eternal life, atop the Clock-Tower, fed by the magic, the blood and the soul," her face turned grim. "Those who claimed the produce however, they are still at large...I warn you, Harry…never forget what you have learned."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"There was no choice," Henry answered. "Peeves might have been a psychopathic entity, maddened by the pain that withholding the wards up would produce, but he still held something at bay, something far worse."
"For centuries we debated between our freedom and the safety of the Wizards," Helena murmured. "But time…time in the end grew too heavy for us to hold," she added. "We are sorry, Harry. We helped you, we trained you, we forced the hand of fate to withhold you the bundle of prophecies you are hereby living through…because you will need their help, Harry." The ghost softly floated near him, her right hand stopping inches away from his cheek. "You will need all the help you can get for what is to come."
"Why?" he whispered. "What did you do to me?"
"To us, it wouldn't have mattered," Henry replied calmly. "Whether Peeves or you had come out of that room freed. For us, it would have meant the same: freedom."
Something, within Harry, died with those words. Something he hadn't thought possible would die was gone, disappeared without a trace as his chest constricted even more from a pain that didn't come from his wounds or his bleeding hands.
Again…again he could not.
This wasn't true.
They couldn't be telling the truth.
Liars that they were, that couldn't be the truth!
"We knew you needed to be weakened long enough for Voldemort's shard within you to take over," Henry whispered. "Admittedly, we held hopes that Voldemort would manage, but once the prophecies against the Dark Lord piled up…there was no choice but to discard him in your favour. A saviour of the world would have had far more chances than a Dark Lord now, right?"
"We're sorry," Helena added again. "There just wasn't another way."
"Against what?" he choked out. "What else is there? What hides!? What do I have to fight once more!?"
"Voldemort, for one," Henry remarked. "The sins of the Founders' past then," the ghost of Slytherin added as an afterthought. "And finally, what Atlantis itself hid…for fear."
Their ethereal features turned bright, as their essence decomposed in front of him.
"You haven't answered me!" Harry snarled. "I want answers!" he yelled, bailing his fists. The ground clattered and broke as Harry lifted his right hand. Hatred and fury poured through his mind as he screamed.
The lances scattered as a volley launched by a thousand men, their consistency that of steel. His eyes shone with ferocity and unyielding wrath. The spell passed straight through the ghosts, flying beyond their shining etherealness…
And then the lance landed with a sickening squelch upon two bodies which were standing right behind the ghosts.
Blood began to pool down on the floor, crimson and tainting the ground, as his parents lay there pierced by wounds he had caused them.
He felt his soul being snapped in half, torn asunder and cracked. He didn't know why, but he felt he held the knowledge within himself to place a bit of himself elsewhere, into another object, into his own cloak if he so willed. He could place it on the stone of the floor, he could use a now still painting, he could do anything…
Would you kill your parents for power?
He had, hadn't he?
No, he hadn't.
He could still save them.
Call a nurse, cauterize their wounds. He could save them, but if he did…
How much had they heard?
Had they heard enough? Had they heard all? Had they heard Henry calling him Wyllt?
Why were they there to begin with!?
Had they been worried, about him? Maybe with the chaos they had looked for him. Maybe they had tried following him.
Maybe they had wanted to talk to him.
His mother had suspected he was Wyllt, hadn't she?
How was he going to…
He didn't have the time for that.
He had to choose.
Even the betrayal of the ghosts was lessened in front of this. He had to choose…and he had to do so quickly.
He would have torn his own hair apart…why was it always him!?
Seems people don't like long explanations in the Author's notes.
Well, hope you enjoyed this particular chapter.
Of course…the Hat is always the big-bad evil guy, didn't you know it?