Book One of the Heritage Series:

Harry Potter and the Return of Heritage

Chapter Forty-Two

Dire Circumstance

The remainder of the school year went well for Harry, with the OWLs over, his free time had increased so all lessons has been somewhat fun showcasing a number of applications of magic that would be taught for NEWTs. Hermione had also been allowed to leave the Hospital wing but Madam Pomfrey made her check in with her three times a day to be sure she was healing.

Remus taught them protective enchantments and how to detect them; Sprout showed them rather tricky and dangerous plant life; Snape had lectured the on the possibilities of potions. McGonagall showcased human transfiguration and advanced applications; Flitwick had given them many fun hours learning tricky and amusing charms.

Runes had fascinated Harry from the moment he saw their application. They had applied the Rune for light and a basic form of runic configuration. It was Harry's first true Runes lesson with a full class, and it was different, but it was a topic he enjoyed. He had succeeded in scribing his moonstone with the runes on his first attempt and after three lessons, it now shone with white light when he held it. Hermione had also succeeded in the same time, but her rune configuration had errors and the glow would pulse erratically, she had been very annoyed at the fact and had tried to rectify the mistake but the stone exploded and she was burnt. After only two days out of the hospital wing she had to go back.

Even Care of Magical Creatures had been good; Hagrid had surprised them with a lesson on a magical creature that was incredibly rare: A Phoenix. He had managed to convince Fawkes to be studied, and as Hagrid was knowledgeable about them, he discovered that Phoenixes were not entirely eternal and they could be killed.

Dumbledore's health was deteriorating fast, and the rumours began to circulate the British community that he was ill. The headmaster was only seen at the evening meal but he looked unhealthy and gaunt, although that did not stop him smiling and making jokes. He had not attempted to make one on one contact with Harry again, and the gargoyle would not let him up to his office. Sirius had also been rather mysterious about what he was doing and had not made any attempt to suggest what it was. Remus too was in a sombre mood and was rather on edge, but Harry knew that was because of a news article that had been published in the Prophet.

Highmoon Institute trials a new initiative

Today the Institute has come forward to all members of the community who are afflicted with the condition of lycanthrope, they will be offering Wolfsbane potion to all who wish to use it. Wolfsbane potion was created as a cure for lycanthropy, however whilst it was unsuccessful it had the effect of keeping the dominance of the human mind over the animal instincts.

Under the influence of the potion a werewolf is tame, its bite can still transmute the infection, but the afflicted has the ability to stop all bites. The Institute has been operating for a number of years to begin the mass production of the Wolfsbane potion, and has had some success and is beginning to trial distribution over the coming months.

This month Professor Remus Lupin, Defensive Applications Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a registered member of the British Werewolf community, has agreed to be patient zero in this initiative and the first to take the potion provided by the initiative.

If this trial is successful next month further members will be welcome to trial the potion. The Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour was unavailable for comment, but Madam Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement made this address "I personally applaud Mr Lupin for his commitment to the improvement of Werewolf Welfare. Mr Lupin is publically declaring himself as a werewolf, but also a brave man, who is looking to a brighter future. He has made great strides at Hogwarts School to improve the level of education in his chosen area and the DMLE looks forward to receiving new well taught intake into our staff."

Harry couldn't help but respect Remus for the decision, he was entering the trial to try and encourage other to come forward and get help without fear of being made a to feel like a second rate citizen and it helped the new Werewolf legislation.

"Harry!" Ron shouted breaking Harry out of his thoughts and back to the game of chess they were playing by the lake.

"Sorry what did you say?" Harry asked startled.

"Checkmate" Ron said with an annoyed smile.

Looking down Harry realised that he had indeed lost the game and he couldn't actually remember playing it at all, he topped his king in defeat.

"You're not really in the mood for this are you?"

"No, not particularly" he replied honestly, looking over the lake and up at the castle.

"There was once a time when I thought that I could roughly guess what was going on in your head, but now I have no idea" Ron said studying him closely.

Harry shook his head smirking, "I don't even know what is happening in here" he told him tapping his head, I doubt anyone could make sense of my head at the moment."

Harry was considering so many things as he sat there, mostly he was thinking about the school and Dumbledore's approaching death and how it would affect the running of the school the following year, would it even remain open without Dumbledore as a deterrent.

Ron and Hermione did not know the extent of Dumbledore's malady and Harry had not wanted to tell them, they believed that he was only injured and was slowly recuperating, even the Order has not been told the full truth, or at least not all of them were.

"I am worried about Voldemort and his next moves, the Ministry has fully publicised his return and the attacks, Dumbledore is really ill and they will use this time to strike at the weakened heart."

"You've said this before Harry" Ron said quietly "no matter how much you worry you can't predict what He will do."

"Perhaps not" Harry said and he looked at the chess board and frowned "If you were Voldemort what would you do?"

"How can you expect me to know that?" Ron exclaimed in shock "I can't think like him!"

"You're a strategist" Harry said gesturing to the board "If you wanted to control Britain what would you have to do? What would the first target be?"

Ron didn't say anything for a long moment but sat and fingered the chess pieces and eventually said "The Ministry, for total control he will need to control the ministry."

"Why" Harry probed.

"The Ministry has monitors all over the country, they can trace all different types of magic and regulate others, for them to truly control the country they will need to have their own people in control of the ministry to control the people" Ron explained "And the first steps will be to remove the DMLE and Minister and replace them with his own people"

"I doubt he will become minister himself" Harry said thinking that through "What other things would he need to do to get control?"

"I can't tell you" Ron said shrugging "With the entire DMLE and Minister under his control I think the building would be his, I cannot predict more as I just do not have the knowledge to predict it."

Harry nodded he had confirmed exactly what he had believed, but Harry had further ideas of how it could be done and it frightened him that with magic it may be easier that he would like. He decided to change the subject and looked at his nails pretending to be disinterested.

"So Ginny told me that you've had a constant visitor while you were in hospital?"

"What!" Ron said quickly, "I did not!"

Harry's lips tugged into a small smile at his fast denial. "I see"

"What do you mean 'you see'?" Ron questioned narrowing his eyes at him suspiciously but his ears were red.

"Nothing" Harry said smiling at his friend's discomfort.

Ron glared at him but changed the subject again which only made Harry smirk more and he turned away to stop himself from laughing as Ron blushed knowing that he was busted.

"Do you want to stay at the Burrow this summer?" he asked, "I know that you'll want to stay with Sirius but you can stay with us later?"

"Ah" he had forgotten that he had not told anyone the plans for the summer "I forgot to tell you, Sirius is taking me out of the country for most of the summer."

"Since when?" Ron asked shocked" You never said! Where are you going?"

"The other day, Sirius is taking me to Bulgaria" he replied getting off the grass and brushing his robes down.

"I don't know when I will be back in England, Aunt Dromeda has also arranged a trip to France or Italy."

"Oh right" Ron said downhearted.

"Don't worry I will be back before school starts again so we can meet up when I am back" Harry said with a weak smile trying to brighten his friends mood, "Sirius only told me about Bulgaria after a conversation but I did tell you about the Black Family Holiday. What about Hermione, is she not staying at the Burrow?"

"She is going away too, her parents are taking her to Germany for a week for their annual holiday and then she says that she will come to the Burrow but you never know she might have changed her mind." Ron said gloomily not happy that his friends were going to leave him.

Harry looked at his watch and was shocked to see how late it was "Come on Ron, the Feast is about to start we better get up to the castle."

"Good point" Ron said and it improved his mood slightly and he quickly packed away his chess set and handed Harry his pieces back. "Do you think Hermione will be joining us or will she stay in the library?"

"I think so" Harry said running a hand through his hair "She may have locked herself away in the library for the last few days, but she won't miss the feast."

"What has she even been researching?" Ron exclaimed as they walked up the lawns "we don't have any homework!"

"If I know her even a little," Harry said with a wry smile "I'd guess she is looking up magic that will make sure she is better prepared for another fight."

"No offence mate" Ron said shaking his head with mock disapproval "but you've corrupted her"

Harry couldn't help but laugh at the thought, when he thought back to the rule abiding first year they had met she was almost unrecognisable "No, I would blame us both."

"No! I merely opened her eyes to the possibilities of rule breaking and lying to teachers after someone saves you from a troll" Ron laughed "You on the other hand have helped her break every rule in the school and have shown her how to be a warrior and you have made her study more to beat your scores this year!"

Harry shrugged it was almost entirely true, "Don't blame the DA on me, that wasn't my idea!"

"The DA was good Harry" Ron said sobering slightly "But the fights in the DOM showed us that we are not prepared for the real war."

"We are fifteen, and they are grown adults who have been using magic longer than we have been alive." Harry pointed out remembering what Sirius had told him "we shouldn't be able to match them toe for toe, it is now down to us as individuals to push ourselves. I am sure I have said that before."

"And that is why Hermione is locked in the library probably driving Madam Prince mad" Ron said rolling his eyes "I think she is trying to read that entire library, but our last year I wouldn't put it past her to have done it!"

Harry didn't get to reply as Hermione and Ginny were walking down the staircase into the Entrance Hall as they walked through the outer doors and they were both giggling which was very unlike them both.

When they saw each other they walked over and entered the Great Hall as a group.

"There you two are" Hermione said "I wondered where you were when I went up to the common room."

"We were out in the grounds" Ron said "Thought you were in the library?"

"She was" Ginny whispered loudly in mocking voice "I had to force her to leave."

"You liar you met me as I was leaving!" Hermione said smacking her arm smiling "I wouldn't miss the feast."

Harry smiled he had been right but as he smiled his eyes fell on Dumbledore who was dressed in his usual flamboyant and eye watering manner but he looked feeble and it made Harry's stomach twist with regret and he no longer felt hungry.

"Actually, I need to go up to the Dorm, I will see you three later."

"What, why?" Hermione asked concerned spinning around to look at him "come on Harry it's the leaving feast."

"I just remembered that my trunk isn't packed and I have a number of – things that I need to do." Harry said quickly.

"We'll come with you." Ron said immediately forgetting his own hunger.

Harry couldn't help but feel touched that Ron was putting him before the feast that was about to be served.

"No, I'll be fine" He said faking a smile "I will join you as soon as I can."

"Are you sure Harry?" Ginny asked him.

"Yeah I won't be long, save me some treacle tart" He told them before making a hasting retreat to the Entrance Hall.

He didn't like lying to his friends and he knew that they probably knew that he had lied but he just couldn't sit and eat whilst Dumbledore sat in his chair dying because his actions, but there was some truth to his words, he did still need to pack a few things and in his bag he still had six library books that needed to be returned.

He decided to take the long winding path up to the common room, as it wouldn't take him long to run get everything done and he wanted to drag it out. The castle was empty of students, even the ghosts were absent, and the only occupants of the castle were Harry and he guessed the many subjects of the Portraits that were on the walls.

When he arrived on the Seventh floor he was surprised when he saw a student at the end of the hall, it was only as he got closer that he realised that it was Luna Lovegood walking barefoot, with a satchel over her shoulder. She turned and saw him and smiled with the unique dreamy aura that was so very Luna.

"Hello Harrison Black-Potter" she said happily.

"Hey Luna" he said and saw that she was holding a list in her hand, and there was a matching list pinned to the wall.

"Why are you not at the feast Harry?" she asked before he could ask her the same thing.

Harry was about to tell her what he told his other friends but the words died on his tongue, he didn't need to lie to Luna and it felt difficult to lie to her, "I wasn't in the mood, what is the list for?"

"Many of my belongings have gone missing" she said as they began to walk down the corridor where she would stop occasionally and pin up another list "I suspect it's the nargles , but I would like them back before the night is over and I will need some help."

"I could summon them for you?" Harry offered flicking out his wand, he didn't know if nargles were real and wondered if it was students bullying her again.

"There's no need" She said brightly "they will be back in my dormitory by the time we leave."

"Are you sure?" he asked uncertain.

"Oh yes, I think I will go down to the feast" she said and placed her lists back into her bag, "you should come too Harrison, it does not do to dwell on that which cannot be changed."

And with that she began to hum and skip down the seventh floor corridor leaving him behind looking at her in wonder, she was rather strange but over the year she had become a trusted friend and she had fought bravely n the DOM after only knowing him a year.

He went into the empty common room and finished packing his trunk and sealed it. He realised that he had more books from the library than he believed and was surprised the librarian had not tracked him down yet, he took them down to the second floor and was happy to see that she was absent which meant she was probably at the feast or he thought shuddering with Mr Filch. He put the books on the returns trolley and made his way out of the library before he could be caught.

Hermione had told him it was never a good idea to have books overdue at the end of the year, the librarian would summon any overdue books back that night and she would blacklist those students and would restrict their book allowance the following year.

His last errand was up in the Owlery so set off and as he stepped through the door he gave a small shrill whistle and a moment later Hedwig swooped down from a high perch and landed on his arm.

"It is time for you to fly home" he said stroking her wing "go directly to Grimmauld Place." She hooted but gracefully took flight, he realised as he watched her fly away that this year was the end of life as he knew it.

They were on the eve of war and he could feel it weighing down on the ancient castle. He could feel Voldemort reaching into the school even now, and with Dumbledore incapacitated and unable to use magic it would not take much for the school to be conquered. Harry wasn't sure that the community was even ready for what was to come.

Checking the time he saw that the Feast had barely begun so he decided to visit the Room of Requirement for a last session of meditation and contemplation before he left.

He was determined to maintain his control of his mind, while he was no longer having lessons it would not do to lose what level of skill he had managed to gain. The room formed the quiet and calm area he had used before, he sat and used his techniques to empty his mind of current affairs and let go of his feelings and let them fall away.

He spent a while trying to think of what Sirius might have planned for Bulgaria but he realised he had no idea and it was only distracting him from the inner peace that he wanted to obtain and he let that too drift away like a leaf in stream, and he sat doing that for two hours.

His meditation and thoughts had fallen deeper and deeper until the entered areas of the subconscious and he entered a state that his books called the Rigma. It was a state where your mind was at peace and you were free of Earthly ties and where you could visualise your own magic, it was a place for contemplation and Harry had only reached the Rigma twice over the year.

In this state Harry was not entirely in control of what he saw in his mind, the visualisation of a location was taken from his subconscious where he was able to work through issues on a deeper level which was how the mind arts worked by greater understanding of one's self.

Harry was sitting on a tree stump in his mind, it was mildly dark but Harry was not worried it reminded him of the Forbidden Forrest and it was peaceful and alive all around him, he was startled when there was a brown flash and suddenly there was a man standing in front of him.

He was wearing black robes, but that was all Harry could make out, brown light poured from the man's eyes and radiating from his skin the man's outline suddenly shimmered and he transformed into a majestic stag.

"Dad" Harry whispered to himself and he tried to cross the space between them, but as he did fog rose up and swallowed up Prongs and permeated the Forrest floor and air and it became less peaceful.

It then swallowed Harry, he couldn't see anything through the fog but he realised that something was in the fog. He didn't move, but waited patiently.

He wasn't sure how long it had been but he became aware that whatever was in the fog was moving closer behind him but he still did not move. He felt the sensation of hot breath on the back of his neck, which made him stiffen, he heard the deep menacing rumble that was directly behind his head but he refused to be intimidated by his own mind. It moved past him slowly and Harry could see its bulky black outline moving, it was large, very large, it reached just above his elbow if he was standing. It moved quickly but he could hear sounds of its feet touching the ground.

It bounded around him wary and cautious and its large head turned and Harry again saw its eyes.

Green framed in crimson red.

As he watched the creature it was watching him in return, both analysing the other.

Harry was entranced by the eyes and he reached out, but at that movement the creature growled aggressively and lunged at him and he saw its entire form.

Its large head and pointed ears, a deep black coat of thick messy hair, four padded feet and strong muscular legs, silver claws and large white teeth. Sharp long teeth that lunged for his outstretched arm dripping with saliva and as they made contact there was a sharp pain over his entire body and fell backwards and awakened from the Rigma soaking wet from landing in the water in the Room of Requirement.

As he opened his eyes shocked by how cold the water under him was he felt incredibly disorientated, the colours in the room had changed to a dark grey where only red, yellow and blue colours stood out but it was blurry. He sat back up and moved to another pool of water that was calm and looked at his relection and almost cried out as he saw the creature looking back out at him from the reflection.

He took off his glasses to splash water on his face only to realise that without his glasses on he could see better than he had with them on, the blur from before had gone entirely. He looked back down at his reflection and saw that his own face was reflected except his eyes had changed.

On a closer and more detailed examination of his eyes, he saw that they were green around his pupil but it gradually changed to crimson red around the edge of the iris, he closed his eyes and counted to fifty wondering if what he had seen was a figment of his imagination, but when he opened his eyes they were still bright and different coloured.

He checked his watch and realised that the Feast had just finished so he rushed out of the Room of Requirement as fast as he could, as he ran he realised that his eyes were sharper and more focused, he could see further and every movement of the passing students clothes, the blinking eyelid. He felt his heart race as his mind processed what his eyes were seeing and he began to run as fast as he could, he realised that he was attracting attention and he was certain that a number of students saw his eyes.

He cast a disillusionment spell on himself to stop the stares, he saw Ron and Hermione walking up the corridor laughing with Neville and Ginny.

He didn't pay them any attention as he barrelled through a tapestry concealing a passage to get out of the crowd of Gryffindor students, he didn't stop running until he reached the third floor corridor.

As he turned down the corridor to the Defence Application classroom he saw Remus walking down the corridor ahead of him, as Harry approached Remus he saw him stiffen, and Harry found himself at wand point.

Remus was sniffing the air carefully, and his gaze guarded. "Who is there?" he growled.

Harry cancelled the charm carefully, "Remus it's me" He said, but he noticed that his voice seemed different.

Remus took one look at him and gave a small chuckle. "Well well, I had wondered if you would attempt it." he said.

"What!" Harry asked his mind racing.

Remus shook his head and lead him to his classroom and up into his office before turning back to him. "Was this intentional?" he asked, looking carefully into his eyes, Harry saw that Remus' own eyes were brown but they were flecked with a golden reddish colour.

"I don't even know what this is!" Harry snapped "it just happened."

"Easy" Remus said and he moved away and began to make a cup of tea, but Harry could see him smirking which only annoyed him more. "I have seen this before, a long time ago."

"Well what is it?" Harry asked quickly "Is it bad?"

"It is the start of a process that you will have to master" Remus said and looked at him carefully "and I think I already now know what the end result will be."

"Remus" Harry exclaimed "why the hell has my eyes changed! Am I a Metamorphmagus!"

"No" Remus smiled handing him a cup "But I would expect you have just found your inner animal and begun your transition into being an Animagus."

Harry paused, shocked. He remembered the animal that he saw, but what Remus was telling him was impossible. "I cannot be an Animagus! I have never learnt how to become one or studied the transformation, this is just my magic affecting my body!"

"You have been practicing your occlumency techniques and the accompanying mediations to control and clam your mind?" Remus asked and Harry nodded "Well the Animagus transformation starts by identifying your inner animal, and a way to do that is through self-contemplation and deep meditation."

"I wasn't looking for the animal!"

"What happened just before you realised your eyes changed?" he asked with interest

"I was in a deep meditation just like you said, and an animal came out of this fog and attacked me." Harry replied taking a calming sip of the tea, but his hand was shaking slightly, he noticed that his nails had grown a little nearly making him drop the cup in surprise.

"Well for some that is the hardest part, finding the animal that you will transform into, next you will need to learn how to transform your body parts into the form and back into human." Remus said and he sniffed again, "and both James and Sirius would be disappointed with your animal."

"What, why?" Harry asked surprised.

"Well you're neither a stag nor dog." Remus stated with certainly.

"But how do you know?" Harry asked surprised wondering if any other parts of him had transformed "my eyes tell you that on their own?"

"No not just your eyes, your hair has grown slightly," Remus indicated and he was right his hair had grown an inch in length "but you have a scent now that I can identify as easily as chocolate."

Remus leant forward and smirked and whispered "There is something of the wolf about you."

Harry sat stunned, Remus deductions were accurate, the animal he saw was a wolf, a large black wolf.

"I have never seen a wolf like it" Harry said eventually.

"What did it look like?" Remus asked with interest.

"It's large "Harry said "I would guess that its back would reach between my elbow and shoulder. And it had a huge head and teeth the length of a knife."

"Hmm" Remus said getting up and looking at his bookshelf "what other characteristics did you see, anything specific?"

"Yes, its claws were silver." Harry said thinking back to his first time seeing it.

"Silver?" Remus said turning around "you are certain it was silver."

"Yes" Harry said

"Well I think I might know what the wolf is." Remus said going back to the bookcase and scanning the bindings, after the longest moment for Harry he pulled out a worn brown bound book named 'Lupus' and he began to flick through the worn pages before finding a large aggressive wolf. "Is this it?" he asked sliding the book over to Harry.

The wolf was large, and it was standing under a full moon howling, but at its feet was another wolf and digging into its bleeding hackles were silver claws. The eyes of the wolf were silver, with red edges.

"It's nearly identical!" Harry said he tried to read the page but it was in a language he couldn't read "the eye colour, and coat was different."

"Well that is to be expected, each Animagus animal is different to the true creature." Remus said studying the page "I would guess that coat would change because of your hair, the eye colour too. Padfoot has Sirius's eyes; Prongs had James's eyes, but also the shape of his glasses in his coat."

"So what type of wolf is it?" Harry asked.

"It is a Canis dirus or Dire wolf." Remus said "it is near extinct; they were hunted by witches and wizards in Europe."

"Why were they hunted?" Harry felt driven to ask.

Remus looked conflicted for a moment but he answered "there is an old legend, from Ancient Greece, which tells a story of how the first lycanthropes were infected by the venom of Dire Wolf and they turned the next full moon. Also the claws of the direwolf were said to be capable of causing great pain to a turned werewolf. It is from the myth of the effectiveness of silver bullets comes from."

Harrys eyebrows shot up at the absurdity of the story. "And what do you believe?"

Remus smiled at him knowingly "A legend has basis in fact, I have studied the subject extensively. I am not of the opinion that Direwolves created the first lycanthrope. I believe that their venom may possibly have been exploited by a witch or wizard who experimented with it and then used to create the condition I have."

"You believe that it wasn't a mutation?" Harry asked he had never thought about the source of the lycanthropes mutation.

Remus frowned and considered the question "No I do not, I believe that werewolves where creates by wizards who were experimenting with magic that had consequences that created my kind, and that is probably the same for Vampires and other beings too. Wizards like to experiment and understand magic but they can also create creatures such as an Acromantula and a Basilisk through experimentation and magic.

"So what else do you know about the Dire Wolf has that compares to the legend?"

"Well there any many eyewitness accounts that state that the Dire Wolf does have the silver claws, whether they are actual metal is unclear," Remus said looking at the picture, "but the records of the bite of the wolf is more interesting, I read an ancient diary of an adventurer in my fathers library when I was younger, the wizard was bitten by the wolf and was overcome by hallucinations for an entire night. Others state they were driven insane by the bite."

Harry gulped slightly, he was not sure that he liked the sound of his animagus form.

"I think the Wolf suits you Harry." Remus said kindly "A wolf longs to be part of a pack, but they can also operate on their own. They are powerful predators, and protective of their pack. They are highly instinctual and rely on their senses to operate."

"You would know what a wolf represents better than anyone" Harry said with a smile "can you change my eyes back?"

"You should be able to do it yourself"

"No, I don't know how they changed in the first place!"

"Well try" Remus said and he flicked his wand and a mirror appeared "while I cannot become an animagus due to my condition, I know the techniques. You need to think of your eyes as they were before. How it was to look through human eyes."

Harry concentrated on what Remus was telling him for half an hour, and whilst he didn't understand everything he said, the concepts were very foreign, he was eventually able to transform it back to normal.

Once it was done Harry felt famished and he was surprised to find a plate with sandwiches next to him.

"You missed dinner." Remus said in way of explanation, "I remember when James and Sirius were learning they were always hungry."

"How did you know I wasn't at dinner?"

"I keep an eye on you when I can spare them, and I looked for you at Dinner and saw only your friends sitting worrying about you." Remus told him with a stern look "Now you should get back to your Dormitory, your friends will be worried."

"Do you know when we are leaving for Bulgaria?" Harry asked finishing off the sandwich.

"I believe that you will be leaving directly for the lodge straight from the station." Remus said putting the book away "but you would do well to get some sleep, I don't know what Sirius has planned but being well rested won't hurt."


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