Disclaimer: Harry Potter, Supernatural and their respective characters are not mine.
Chapter One: Korekté A (The Spell)
June 18, 1996
The Gargoyle statue ground into place behind him and, numb as he was, Harry was unaware of the stone eyes watching him as he walked away from the Headmaster's office. He was having a hard time wrapping his head around everything Dumbledore had told him. From hearing that blasted prophesy, and acknowledging his part in Sirius' death, Harry was finding it difficult to focus. Although, consistently in his thoughts was the fact that not only had Dumbledore knew about his treatment at the hands of the Dursley's, Dumbledore had expected it.
To Harry, that was unforgivable.
Blood protections or not, they were not worth what he had been made to suffer. He may have been safe from unscrupulous wizards but he was, most definitely, not safe from the Dursley's. The beatings, the starvation, the isolation, there had been times last summer that Harry was tempted to turn himself over to Voldemort just so that he'd be killed quickly. This year, he was not looking forward to what his family had in store for him when he got back to Privet Drive.
His wandering brought him to the top of the Astronomy tower, the pink hue on the horizon heralding the approaching dawn. He felt his heart ache, realizing that less than twelve hours ago Sirius was still alive and safe inside Grimmauld Place. Tearing his eyes from the rising sun he looked down at the ground far below. He stepped up to the crenellated parapet. It would be so easy to step up onto the crenel between the merlons; so easy to step into the air and let gravity take him away from everything. But he wasn't a Gryffindor for nothing; he was no coward.
That didn't mean he wasn't above thinking about it.
He was lost in thought when a shadow of black suddenly swooped into his line of sight, startling the boy into jumping back. A sharp 'caw' drew his attention to the large raven sitting atop the stone archway above the door to the tower. Its deep black eyes bore into him and when it shifted from its perch and toward him again he saw the scroll in its claws.
"Is that for me?" He held out his arm, fisting his hand when the carrion bird made to land on the limb. As soon as the scroll was removed from the bird's leg he had anticipated it flying away. He was not prepared for the sharp beak that snapped at his hand when he reached for the parchment and drew several drops of blood from the nipped finger.
"Bloody hell," hissed Harry as he tried to dislodge the raven from his arm. The claws dug in to his flesh and halted Harry's protests with an indignant caw. "Ruddy bird," he muttered as he carefully reached with bloody fingers for the scroll again.
Harry took the roll of parchment in hand and, with one last ear splitting screech, the Raven lifted into the air and flew toward the Forbidden Forest. Harry watched it for a moment before turning his attention to what he held. He turned the roll slowly, inspecting the thick parchment with a curious eye. He was turning it to look at the seal when his fingers brushed against the hard wax. There was a spark of magic and he felt the pull on his core and he realized it had been charmed so none but he could open it. Or, at the least, his blood was needed to open it.
He turned the scroll and the bottom dropped out of his stomach as he recognized the seal for the Ancient and Nobel house of Black. Still, Harry slid his fingers beneath the wax seal and broke it before rolling the parchment out as he slumped to the floor with his back against the parapet.
My Dear Harry,
I can only imagine what has happened that has brought this letter to you. Regardless of the circumstances, I can only say how truly sorry I am to have left you and to beg your forgiveness. Not for dying, but for what I am about to tell you.
Harry, I have kept a secret from you since the day you were born. This secret, while not mine to tell, was entrusted to me by James and Lily before you were born. I had sworn to take it to my grave and, while I may have been a fugitive and unable to care for you as I would have wanted, I fully intended to keep that vow. Recently, however, things have been brought to light that have made me question several things I had once thought truth.
First, and foremost, Dumbledore is not to be trusted. I began to realize this when I overheard him adding 'protective wards' to my family home. The spells he imposed on Grimmauld's ward stone were not designed to keep intruders out, but to keep someone inside – specifically to imprison me inside my own home. I was too late to stop him, and when I confronted him about them he only told me it was for my own good. In the heat of the argument things were said on both parts and he made it clear that, in regards to you, my influence was no longer relevant or welcomed. He assured me that I would not be seeing you over the summer and he would make sure that all communications between us stopped. He even went as far as trying to obliviate me, but being the Head of House and in the Black home I was protected. He left, believing his spell worked.
It took me weeks to undo his spell-work without alerting him to it, and in those days I spent much time looking through my memories and beginning to question more and more about the Great and Powerful Albus Dumbledore. Now, make no mistake Harry, Dumbledore is a good man. He is strong in his defence of the Light and there is no question in my mind that he is firm against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. However, he is not above sacrificing the one to save the many. So long as he is not the one.
When I gained my freedom, I paid a visit to the Goblins of Gringots who were more than willing to help me in my investigation. We have learned that he was responsible for sealing the Last Will and Testaments of James and Lily. He was a signatory as Witness and knew that I was not the secret keeper. He allowed me to be imprisoned in Azkaban so I could not claim guardianship over you and, in sealing the documents, he ignored the fact that the Noble House of Longbottom was designated as caregivers in the event I was unable to take guardianship. Frank and Alice were aware of this fact, as Alice was another Witness named on the Wills, and it makes me question exactly what Dumbledore may have allowed happened to them if he was willing to leave an innocent man to the Dementors.
The goblins have discovered that Dumbledore appointed himself your magical guardian. He used this position to gain illegal access to your family vaults and I am heartbroken to hear that he removed several valuable family heirlooms from them. I don't know what he's done with them, but the Goblins have promised they will continue the investigation until the items have been recovered or due recourse has been taken. There had also been nearly a quarter million galleons taken from the family vault over the years leading up to your enrolment in Hogwarts. Some of this money was given to the Dursley's, though it is unclear if this was meant to have been used for your care or if Dumbledore was paying them to keep you under heel. I loathe admitting it, but after learning of your life there, before and during your time at Hogwarts, I am convinced it is the latter. As despicable as they are, I cannot fathom Petunia allowing her sister's child – or any child for that matter – to be treated as you have been.
I had intended to meet you at Kings Cross and take you away this summer before Dumbledore could see you back at the Dursley's. Before I came back for the Tri-Wizard Tournament I was well hidden, even from Dumbledore. I could have kept you away from him and told you everything that I have learned. However, the Goblins made me realize that should anything happen to me between now and then this truth would have died with me and you would never have known the lengths to which Albus Dumbledore has gone, and will go, to keep you under his control. This is why I have written this letter and it has been spelled to be delivered to you in the event of my death should it occur before I meet you at Kings Cross. You needed to know what has been done to your life.
Unfortunately, legally there is nothing to be done. You are and will continue to be under Dumbledore's guardianship until you come of age at seventeen. I don't know why he has taken such an obsession with your life, Harry, but with Arthur Weasley's near fatal attack in the Department of Mysteries I am beginning to suspect. If it's true, you must get away from Dumbledore and England.
This brings me to the secret I mentioned. This is something that has only been known to three people in this world: James, Lily and myself. It is a way for you to get out, and I pray that you take it.
Seventeen years ago, shortly after your parents were married, there was an attack. James and I were a part of it as members of the Order of the Phoenix. James was badly wounded and nearly died. Lily was serving as the Order's healer at the time and was the one to treat James. Once he was healed, she discovered that he would no longer be able to father a child. Lily didn't care, grateful that James had lived, but James saw it as an end to his House. True, they could adopt but the child would not have been a true heir and the bloodline would end with James. Inconsolable, he intended to scour the family genealogy to find someone acceptable and who could continue the family line. He didn't have to look far.
He learned, and the Goblin's confirmed it, that he had an older brother. After decades of trying to conceive, Charlus and Dorea Potter gave birth to a son. Complications during the pregnancy saw Dorea developing a rare prenatal condition that fed off the baby's magic and her own. Mediwizards were able to stabilize her, but when the baby was born he was without a magical core. Even a squib possesses a core, though the magic within is negligible. Charlus and Dorea felt it cruel to keep a Muggle – for that was what he was – in the magical world. They gave the boy up for adoption. James was born exactly two years later.
It took time, but they found him in America where he and his new family had moved shortly after the adoption. James and Lily, under the guise of the Honeymoon they never took, departed and went searching for him. Muggle blood tests proved to him that he and James were related, and they told him everything; of magic, of the war, of James' injury and the reason for their search for him. They asked him to father Lily's child; an heir who would be, by blood, a Potter. He agreed to be obliviated afterward, to protect both him and them.
Through a Muggle medical process, when Lily returned to England she was pregnant.
With you, Harry.
While James may not have been your true father, he loved you in every sense of the word, never doubt that he saw you as his own. However, he and Lily were pragmatic if nothing else and they knew the times they lived in were precarious. When Dumbledore came to them and convinced them to go in to hiding, they confided in me the truth of your parentage. They also told me that, should the need ever arise, there was a way to return your true father's memories to him.
Lily, wonderful and terrifyingly brilliant, developed the curse she and James used to seal away the memories of them from your biological father's mind. She also designed the counter-curse to remove the barrier, allowing him to recall not only them but you as well. Lily had linked the counter-curse to your blood and magic. Only you would be capable of performing the spell. She and James always planned to tell you the truth of your conception when you came of age and give you the choice of knowing your true father in your own way.
Allow three drops of blood to fall onto the tip of your wand. With each drop speak a stanza of the counter-curse. The barriers will collapse in his mind and he will remember them, you, and the promise he made to them as family. He is your way out, Harry. Out of the Dursley's', out from under Dumbledore's thumb, and out of England. If you chose not to do the counter-curse, do not go back to the Dursley's. If you do, I have no doubt that you will be imprisoned there as much as I was in Grimmauld Place. Get to the goblins. They have been given instructions on what to do to get you out of England and to hide you away from Dumbledore, the Ministry, and Voldemort. Trust them to keep you safe since I no longer can.
I love you, Harry, more than you will ever know. I am so very sorry to have told you all of this in such a manner but, since you are reading this, I cannot protect you from Dumbledore and his machinations. I don't know his endgame, but I want more for you than a life as a pawn to that man. Get out, please. One way or another, I beg you to get out.
All my love in this life and the next,
Breathing hard with the rush of emotions, Harry read the letter again to prove to himself that it wasn't some sick joke. He wished to any god listening that it had been, but after reading it a third time he was realizing it wasn't changing or going away. He wanted to disbelieve it, but he knew the magic of the Black Family Seal wouldn't allow any falsehood to be documented within it.
His hand fisted around the parchment, crushing it in his palm. This was really real. He had a father. Someone who had allowed himself to have his memories removed and knew nothing about the son he had fathered. Although, to be fair to the unknown man, he couldn't have possibly known what Harry's life would have become.
Relaxing his fist, he gazed at the letter and the words written out beneath Sirius' name. It wasn't Latin, he didn't recognize the language at all, but he knew what it was: the counter curse to release his biological father's memories.
He could do it. He could cast the spell and the man would remember he had a child. Except, would his father want him? Would he want a child who was a part of a world that he could never be? Would he want the responsibility of a teenager who had the habit of getting people around him hurt or killed?
Soft footsteps on the tower stairs alerted him to someone's approach. Harry climbed to his feet, folded the letter carefully and tucked it into his back pocket next to his wand. It was hidden away a moment before Professor McGonagall stepped out into the early morning air.
"I have been looking for you, Mr. Potter," she spoke quietly as she neared. "I expected you in the infirmary with your friends."
"How are they?" he asked guiltily, the feeling worsening when his professor hesitated before speaking.
"Miss Lovegood and Miss Weasley were both easily treated and will be fine. Mr. Longbottom has been healed as well but will require a longer stay with Madame Pomfrey. His grandmother has just arrived and is sitting with him."
"And Ron and Hermione?" he prompted when she faltered, a cold dread clenching at his heart.
"Mr. Weasley has been transferred to St. Mungo's." McGonagall stated plainly, though her expression was grieved. "Madame Pomfrey is not equipped to deal with the type of injuries Mr. Weasley sustained from the Elder Brains - the necromantic remains of the now extinct Illithid, or Mind Flayer, race."
"Is that what they were," he muttered. "But Ron will be all right, won't he?"
McGonagall sighed wearily. "Ronald, I'm afraid, is in for an extended stay at St. Mungo's. The damage to his brain was quite extensive."
"His brain?" Harry gaped.
"Yes. Elder Brains secrete a toxin through their victim's skin that travels the nervous system. When it reaches the brain it attacks the person's higher brain functions. Without treatment, the individual will remain in a vegetative state. It is doubtful that, even if Mr. Weasley recovers enough to be released from the long term care ward, he will ever surpass the mentality of a child."
"Oh god..." The bile burned at the back of his throat and he reached out for the stone parapet to steady himself. He squeezed his eyes shut and hesitantly asked. "Hermione?"
When there was no answer, he opened his eyes and froze at the tears cascading down his professor's face.
"No," he moaned, his legs giving out beneath him.
McGonagall was beside him in an instant, her arms wrapping around him as the last of his control crumbled. "It was an insidious curse," she whispered through her own tears. "There was no outward injury and Pomfrey's initial scan showed Hermione was in no immediate danger. But it was a two stage curse. The medical scan activated the secondary curse which caused her to bleed internally. She bled out faster than Madame Pomfrey could heal the ruptures. Hermione never woke, Harry; she never felt a thing."
Harry sobbed against his head of house's shoulder and, with her words, the guilt overwhelmed him. With a violent shove, he pushed McGonagall away and bolted to his feet. He blindly ran down the stairs, ignoring the cries of his teacher. He ran through the halls, his feet desperately taking him down to the entrance and out the main doors.
He had killed them.
Sirius, Hermione - he may as well include Ron because his best friend would never be the same.
How could he ever face the Weasley's again? The Grangers? Or any of his friends' families? He did this...
When his legs finally gave out on him, he was within the Forbidden Forrest. So deep that the rising sun was unable to penetrate the canopy of leaves overhead. He dug his hands into the dirt, his sobs stealing the last of his resolve.
The mournful wail tore through the dawn and his magic reacted to his grief and guilt. The magical winds whipped around him, tearing at the leaves and plants, uprooting several of the smaller trees surrounding him. The surge of wild magic swept through the forest, stunning many of the animals, chasing the Acromatulas back into their webs, riling up the Centaurs into a frenzy. It crested over the castle, the walls shaking and waking the inhabitants.
Unaware of all that, Harry reached behind him and pulled his wand from his back pocket. The piece of parchment, hidden beside it, fell out and onto the ground, obscured by the dirt and dust churned up by the cascades of magic. Eyes clenched shut against the world, Harry jabbed the tip of his wand into the centre of his palm. Without true conscious through, he turned his palm so the blood pooling at the injury began to flow from his hand. Before the first drop slid off his skin, he position his wand.
When the blood drop landed on the tip, it sparked.
"San nan manman m', reveye kè a."1
A near deafening crack of thunder rent the air around him and the second drop fell to the wand with a brighter burst of sparks.
"San fanmi papa m', lage tèt ou la."2
The gusts of magical wind snapped nearly a dozen thick, aged trees in half in a circle around the unaware youth. The third drop of blood fell.
"San nan pwòp mwen, mwen rele ou isit la."3
Harry's magic pulsed to the beat of his heart, the wave of power near visible to any that may have seen it. But there was no one else here, and a moment later there was a blinding flash of blue light that lit up the forest and surrounding area. The light burned bright for several seconds before it drew back and pulled the wild magic back into Harry's body like a vacuum. On the ground beside him, the fading blue light burned the parchment to ash, forever erasing the spell from existence.
Harry collapsed unconscious onto the forest floor where no animal, predator or prey, dared approach. He was found several hours later by a search party of frantic teachers.
Harry would not wake for seven days.
June 26, 1996
The compartment was, by far, the emptiest on the train. Only he and Luna occupied it and conversation between the two had been nonexistent. Neville and Ginny had been removed by their families from the school the day following their sojourn into London. Only he and Luna remained and the rest of the students had given them a wide berth the last days of term.
Harry couldn't blame them. After all, it's not every day that your classmates are responsible for the death and institutionalization of their best friends.
It had been a week since that fateful night at the Ministry of Magic, since Voldemort had tricked Harry with a false vision and he had given chase with his closest friends following his lead. One week after they had seen battle that left Ron committed for the rest of his days to the Janus Thickey Ward of St. Mungo's. One week since Sirius had fallen through the veil and Hermione had been killed by a dark curse.
One week since he had cast his mother's counter-curse and nothing had happened other than Harry sleeping off the magical exhaustion in the infirmary.
Luna shifted from where she lay sleeping on the seat across from him. Her injuries had been healed by Madam Pomfrey easily enough, but the stigma of being at the Ministry of Magic that night had ostracized her more than her unusual demeanor ever had. He felt bad about that, but when they had left that night there was no way he could have predicted what was to have followed.
With a sigh, he turned to look out the window at the passing scenery as they drew closer to London.
Harry didn't know what he was going to do now. Voldemort was still out there but, according to Sirius' letter, Dumbledore would see Harry essentially imprisoned at Privet Drive. Given that he had gotten two people killed with his stupidity, maybe he should be. But Sirius had been adamant about getting away from Dumbledore as much as Voldemort, and getting away from England. The spell Harry had cast in his grief had done nothing, at least not that he could tell.
Or maybe his father didn't want him...
Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw several fourth year students pause outside their compartment and point while holding a whispered conversation. Seeing Harry glance at them, the hurried along.
According the Luna, the gossip and whispers around Hogwarts was at an all time high, with him factoring in as the insane want-to-be hero that got people killed with his delusions of grandeur. Despite being vindicated in the press for telling the truth about Voldemort, Fudge and Rita had taken great joy from announcing how Harry had gotten his friends killed and maimed. Mrs. Longbottom's quote in the Daily Prophet, calling him a stupid careless child, had been gleefully repeated his last days at Hogwarts.
The split from the Weasleys was complete and public when Molly's howler had screamed at him in the Great Hall only that morning for getting Hermione killed, putting Ron in the permanent ward of St. Mungo's, and letting Ginny be hurt. His only hope of a reprieve from the Dursley's had been if the Weasleys forgave him for the danger he put their youngest children in and allowed him to visit at some point.
For some reason, he doubted it.
Dumbledore had questioned him about what went on in the forest after Harry regained consciousness only the day before. But Harry had yet to say a single word to anyone about anything since waking. And it seemed that crippling grief and guilt were the perfect Occlumency as neither the Headmaster nor his pet Death Eater ventured far into Harry's mind.
Luna had been the only constant and for that Harry would be eternally grateful. She shared in his grief and held him when he would cry, content to leave him to his silence and refusing to pressure him like so many others.
His melancholy was interrupted by the slowing of the train as it pulled into Kings Cross station. He leaned over the space and gently shook Luna's shoulder to wake her. The girl blinked owlishly before sitting up. With a final hug to the petite blonde, they gathered up their things and left the train.
Harry was only vaguely aware of the silence that descended over Platform 9&¾ as he disembarked and carried his things toward the barrier. Hundreds of eyes followed him, but he was too numb to notice.
Vernon was waiting for him on the other side and scowling when he saw the expression on the boy's face. "No one to say goodbye to then, Boy?" the large man jeered with a happy sneer.
"No, Uncle Vernon," he muttered, and kept his head low and thus missing the vicious gleam in Vernon's eyes.
Vernon snorted and started his way out of the station. Harry hefted Hedwig's cage and pulled his trunk along behind the man, not paying attention to anything. He didn't notice while Vernon led them into the lowest level of the parkade until this year's new company vehicle beeped once when Vernon unlocked it. Harry's confusion at their location was evident as the boot opened with a touch of a button but said nothing as he set the empty cage on the cement floor.
He was adjusting his grip on his trunk to lift it into the compartment when Vernon's big, meaty hand gripped the back collar of Harry's shirt and jerked him toward the car. The trunk fell to the ground with an echoing "thud" and he was flung forward, his knees striking the bumper painfully. Before he could react, Vernon had him spun around and bent backward awkwardly with his shoulders and upper body inside the boot. His eyes were wide with shock and fear as Vernon leaned over him, his bulk pinning Harry's legs, and his uncle's massive hands wrapped around his throat!
"We've had enough, boy," the man snarled and began to squeeze.
Harry's fingers flew up to grab at the hands choking him and tried to pry them away. His fingernails scratched futilely into the backs of Vernon's hands and wrists. Blood pounded in Harry's ears as he fought for breath.
"Your freakishness will no longer be tolerated in our home," Vernon grunted with exertion, spittle flying from his lips and onto the strangling boy's face. "You got your freak friends murdered, boy! You'll not do the same to my family!"
The incensed man's words dimmed as the black of approaching death crept into Harry's vision. Vernon's face blurred and Harry could feel his will to fight fleeing. After everything he'd done, everyone he'd hurt and killed...
He deserved this.
His struggles stilled and his hands fell to the side. He was welcoming death when the hands were suddenly wrenched from his throat and a deep voice roared:
"Get the fuck away from my son!"
1 - "San nan manman m', reveye kè a." (Blood of my mother, awaken the heart.)
2 - "San fanmi papa m', lage tèt ou la." (Blood of my father, release the mind.)
3 - "San nan pwòp mwen, mwen rele ou isit la." (Blood of my own, I call you here.)