Pharaoh's Magi

Ch 2

Harry's return to consciousness was slow. He felt heavy, as if sleep would reclaim him at any second. He was also hot, stifling so. It made him uncomfortable, but Harry was still too tired to move.

Harry sleepily opened his eyes, but it was too dark to see anything.

Night time, still. Harry thought. Or again.

As he lay there, to lethargic to move, a faint light appeared outlining a door. The door opened to reveal an Egyptian woman carrying an old fashioned lamp.

"You're awake." She smiled, her voice soft. "How are feeling? Pain?"

Harry opened his mouth to respond, but a huge yawn overtook it and Harry sunk into sleep.

When Harry awoke for the second time, somehow it had gotten even hotter than before. He wiggled, then tensed waiting for pain, but no pain came. Harry relaxed and wiggled some more. It was far too hot.

The door opened again. A man stood in the door, large and intimidating. Harry whimpered and tried to back away, but the bed he had been sleeping on was against the wall and there was nowhere to run to.

"Easy, little one. I won't hurt you." The man soothed in a thick Egyptian accent, but Harry continued to tremble.

With a sigh the man left the room, and a few moments later a dog padded in. Padfoot Harry remembered and relaxed some.

Hey Pup Padfoot greeted while nudging Harry with his nose. Shadi said he frightened you, and wishes for me to tell you he apologizes.

Harry shivered at the memory of a large, looming man, but it was fading quickly now. I'm ok. He just startled me is all.

The larger black dog hopped up on the bed and curled around the little pup. His presence quickly calmed Harry, who fell back to sleep moments later.

This time when Harry awoke, he found everything as it was when he fell asleep.

Feeling better sleepy head? Padfoot asked from behind.

Harry stretched and nodded. Yes, much.

Padfoot stretched as well before asking Do you feel up to meeting our host now?

Harry shivered, but replied I think I must.

If you're sure Padfoot replied before hopping off the bed.

Harry followed and the pair padded into the adjoining room. It was a larger community space with a number of doors leading elsewhere. The floor, walls and ceiling were made of the same stone and there were no windows. A table was pushed up against one wall and the two humans were sitting at it playing some sort of card game. When they noticed the dogs, the put the cards down and greeted them.

"Is good... to see you up... little one." the girl spoke in halting, heavily accented English.

"Yes, I am glad you are doing well" the man agreed.

They act as if they can understand us Harry said to Padfoot.

In a way they can Padfoot huffed. The man has a tool that he can use to speak to us in our own minds.

"You hungry?" the girl asked partly over Padfoot's reply.

At the mention of food Harry's stomach rumbled and he realized he hadn't eaten in quite a while. Padfoot yipped in excitement and wagged his tail expectantly.

Chuckling, the man stated "I'll take that as a yes. Why don't you get them something, Ishizu?"

Nodding the girl got up and picked up and walked through one of the many doorways. On the other side lay another room similar to the one they were in now, but with a counter running across one wall. Delicious smells reached Harry's nose making him want to follow her into the kitchen.

"Now, little one why don't we talk?" The man asked calling Harry's attention back to him. "My name is Shadi; I am one of the guardians of the Tomb of the Nameless Pharaoh. The girl is Ishizu Ishtar, one of my associates and a seer. Two nights ago she had a vision about two dogs-who-are-not-dogs and asked me to retrieve the little one as he was not doing well and would need her healing abilities. It was very lucky of me to find you two when I did, because I do not believe you would have survived much longer."

After saying this Shadi took a deep breath and Padfoot whined in the back of his throat.

"I have already talked to Padfoot here," Shadi continued, "and I would like to speak to you too. Would you permit me inside your mind to speak?"

What does he mean? Harry asked Padfoot.

See the necklace? Padfoot motioned towards the ankh hanging from Shadi's neck. He places the one end to your head and then both of you are inside. Once there you can talk together.

You won't be there! Harry panicked

It's ok, Padfoot soothed. He won't hurt you. I promise.

...Promise. Harry agreed and took a few cautious steps toward the Egyptian. Without further ado Shadi placed the key upon Harry's forehead and reality shifted.

He was standing in Gryffindor's Common Room, but the place was trashed. Hangings were torn to shreds, furniture overturned and broken and the place looked like it had never been cleaned. In the corner where the stairs to the rest of the tower could once be found, a door stood, black, with a gash like Harry's scar carved into it. The door gave of an aura of Bad Things to Harry and he slowly backed away from it.

"Oh, little one." a soft voice came from behind.

Harry spun. The Portrait was open and Shadi stood in the doorway, looking around in dismay. Before Shadi could do anything else, Harry ducked behind an overturned chair and peaked around it at the Egyptian.

"It's ok, little one. There is no need to fear me."

"How can I be sure?" Harry asked. "I don't know you. How can I trust you?"

Shadi sighed "It must be on your faith alone. I cannot prove it to you save for time."

"Good answer" Harry half smiled, but did not move from his position behind the furniture.

The Egyptian smirked back and looked around. He had been in many soul rooms in his time, but this was one of the worst. The room had been destroyed, and not all the damage was recent. What disturbed Shadi most about the room was the lack of toys. Every room had toys no matter the person's age or personality, but the only toy in the room was a single chess piece, a black knight sitting on top of a large book on the fireplace mantle. Both the book and the knight were clean and tidy, contrasting from the rest of the room.

Shadi made his way over to take a closer look at them, but before he could touch either they were snatched away. The objects were now clutched tightly to Harry's chest and for the first time Shadi got a good look at the boy. He was as skinny as the beggar boys that would steal your purse if you were not careful, and he had the same look about him, as if he had been caught with something he was not supposed to have and expected retribution at any moment.

"Hello, little one." Shadi greeted the child.

Harry hesitated before returning the greeting "Hi."

"What is it you have there?" The Egyptian coaxed, but Harry stayed silent pulling the objects closer to his chest. "It's ok. You don't have to tell me. Can you tell me your name? I've already given you mine."

"I... I can't tell you." The boy stammered out.

"Ah, I see." Shadi acknowledged, and he did understand. It was a protection mechanism to not speak one's name for some. "Then what shall I call you?"

"Umm... I like 'little one'." Harry responded shyly.

"Alright." Shadi smiled at the boy. "Little one."

Harry smiled back tightly before carefully replacing the book and Knight on the fireplace mantle. He warily watched the Egyptian to make sure he didn't try and touch the objects again, but Shadi had learned his lesson and focused on the rest of the room instead. That is when he noticed the door.

"Where did this come from?" He asked, but did not approach.

Harry glanced at the door frightened and stammered out "I...I dunno, but it's been there a long time. It, I think it's connected to my scar."

Shadi looked back at the boy to see him touching his forehead, where a scare the same shape as the gash on the door could be seen. Shadi didn't like that one bit. Doors meant other minds and he had never seen a door inside another's room before. As Shadi went to investigate the door further Harry pulled him back, and the Egyptian could feel him trembling.

"Why don't we leave now, this trip has been very informative, but I think you need to eat."

And then Harry could smell food, and he realized how hungry he was. Padfoot was already eating beside him and another plate was placed down on the floor by Ishizu once Harry and Shadi broke apart. Harry didn't know what the food was, although there looked to be strips of meat in it, and it smelled really good. Harry carefully took a bite, the food was delicious and he quickly dug in. Once his plate was empty, Harry yawned and realized it was time for a nap. The floor didn't look to comfy but he remembered the bed in the other room and wobbled his way back to the cot to sleep.

While Harry had been eating, Shadi, Ishizu, and Padfoot had a silent conversation in the way that adults do when they don't wish to say something in front of a child. Ishizu glared, while Shadi looked sad and Padfoot guilty over what happened to Harry. When Harry stumbled out of the room sleepily, the silent conversation became a whispered one. Shadi recounted what he had seen and Padfoot whined. When Shadi recounted the door in Harry's head Padfoot's whine became a snarl and the two humans were startled and quickly focused on the Dog.

"You know what it is?" Shadi asked.

And then the dog transformed. A pale, ragged man with stringy black hair crouched before them.

"Yes. I know what it is" He answered with a voice hoarse from lack of use. "More importantly, another man I know, who should have been protecting Harry, would definitely have noticed it and should have removed it then. I should never have let them take Harry from my care."

Padfoot! A yip came from behind him. Spinning around, Sirius saw the puppy cowering in the doorway, searching the room for the older dog while trying to not take his eyes off of the new man.

"Shhh, shhh it's ok, Harry" Sirius tried to calm the panicked puppy.

How do you know my name? Please go away. Padfoot! Harry continued to cry.

"Harry, please calm down!" Sirius begged than in a last ditch effort turned back into his shaggy grim form.

Harry stilled. Padfoot, you...

are a wizard? The Larger dog completed.

Harry whimpered.

It's Ok. I'm not going to hurt you. Padfoot soothed. Before he would have cuddled his pup to calm him down, but he knew better than to approach the puppy now.

Harry didn't know what to think, he knew that Padfoot had helped him, that he was gentle and warm and didn't want to hurt him, but at the same time Padfoot had lied to him. And what was to stop him from lying again. Both dogs made whining sounds in the back of their throats and continued to look sorrowfully at one another until Shadi cleared his throat and called attention back to him.

"I believe that Padfoot here has a tale to tell you, one that he has already told me." Shadi began, looking over at the shaggy dog for conformation. When Padfoot nodded, the Egyptian continued, "I also know that you have some trust issues to work out little one, and I can actually do something for them here."

With that said Shadi produced a set of gold scales. It was an old fashion set that looked more decorative than practical with a design of an Egyptian eye like the one on Shadi's key decorating it. Shadi placed the Scales on the ground between Padfoot and Harry then took a white feather from his pocket and laid it on one of the scales.

"This," Shadi explained "is the Millennium Scale of truth. The judged, in this case the dog Padfoot's words are weighed against the feather. Truth is equal to the feather's weight while lies will cause the scale to dip. In this way you will know the full truth of Padfoot's tale. And now we will let you speak together."

With these final words Shadi and Ishizu made their way out of the common room. Once they were gone Harry refocused his attention on the animagus across from him. Padfoot was looking between the scales and the pup trying to gather his thoughts before speaking.

Hm, I guess I should start at the beginning. Padfoot began. My name is Sirius Black, but I go by Padfoot too.

Harry glanced at the scales, as if expecting them to tilt just from that statement, but no movement could be detected. Sirius had told the truth.

Harry focused back on the other dog as he continued. You know I'm a wizard, well as with every wizard of eleven years I went to Hogwarts. By that time I had already proven to be the white sheep in the Black family and being sorted into Gryffindor didn't help. But getting a friend in James Potter did.

Harry started, giving Sirius his whole attention now enthralled with the tale.

Padfoot gave the pup a lazy dog smile. Yeah, I knew your father. Lily too, but your father was my best friend. The two of us and Remus Lupin, who we called Moony, and another boy who turned out to be no friend after all, but we will speak of him later. For now all you need to know is his name is Peter.

So the four of us were inseparable friends. The Marauders, we called ourselves, and our pranks were legendary. James was the leader and Moony was the brains. I chipped in of course and… well Peter was along for the ride.

Padfoot sighed and became dreamy eyed, obviously remembering a time long gone. Harry waited quietly for Padfoot's reminiscing to cease. When the other wizard came back to himself he looked apologetically at Harry who was still patiently waiting for the story to continue.

Clearing his throat Padfoot started back up. Anyway we were friends, and when James married Lily I was his best man. Then you were born and James asked me to be your godfather. It was quite a surprise to me, but I accepted. Then came the prophecy and Lily and James went into hiding with you. They used the Fidelius charm, wanted me to be secret keeper, but I convinced them that I was too obvious and they should use Peter as their secret keeper. The swap was last minute and only the four of us knew.

Then we found out Peter was a traitor. He went to Voldemort, as secret keeper he was the only person who knew where they were-you were. The only person. And it's entirely my fault.

At this, the scale creaked. Both dogs froze then turned to stare at the scale only to find it unbalanced. The empty tray had dipped.

It is my fault! Sirius barked at the scale, causing it to dip again. Sirius was so focused on the scale, he never saw Harry move until he felt the tiny wet nose nudging against him. The tiny puppy snuggled up against Padfoot, trying to comfort him as he had comforted Harry.

It's not my fault. Sirius whispered, more for himself than Harry, but Harry heard, and the scale began to tip back to level.

Taking a shaky breath, Sirius continued his story. When I found out I went after Peter. I found him too, but when I confronted him he blew up the street. Killed thirteen muggles then cut off his finger and disappeared into the sewer as a rat, his animagus form. Sirius gave a self depreciating laugh. He played me like a fool, and I fell for it. The Aurors showed up shortly thereafter and took me into custody as the betrayer of The Potters and mass murderer. I didn't even get a trial before they tossed me in Azkaban.

Harry didn't know what Azkaban was, but by the way Sirius shivered when he spoke of it, the pup could tell whatever it was couldn't be good. But Sirius' tale wasn't done yet and so Harry continued to listen.

I spent ten long years in Azkaban. Ten years with the dementors trying to take all the happiness from me. It nearly drove me mad, maybe it succeeded. Dunno. But then I saw him, Peter. He was in the paper. Oh not in human form, he'd never be stupid enough to get caught like that, but there was the rat all the same. Sitting on the youngest boy's shoulder like he was a regular pet, and none of them had a clue.

Harry flinched, catching the attention of Sirius. What's the matter pup?

That family, in the paper, they weren't all redheads were they? The boy asked.

Yes, they were.

Harry panicked. Ron had introduced him to Scabbers on the train that first year. A pet rat with a missing toe. Peter Pettigrew could turn into a rat. Peter cut off his own finger. Scabbers was Pettigrew. Pettigrew was Ron's Pet. The Weasley's were in danger!

Somehow through Harry's convoluted babbling, Sirius managed to decipher what Harry was trying to say. The older dog comforted the puppy as best he could, promising to protect Harry's friend and swearing vengeance on Peter until the boy calmed.

Padfoot Harry hesitantly sounded.

Yes pup Padfoot responded.

When you go after Peter, I'm coming too. Harry's voice was strong and left no room for argument.