Chapter 1: A Desecrated Eve
Lily was hoping that you’d come by for Hallowe’en and carve pumpkins with us. She wanted to do it the Muggle way with Harry and I know you’d want to be here for it. Wormtail already has plans, but maybe you can grab Moony on your way and we can make it a most-of-the-family night?
Make sure she’s prepared to teach a first-year class on pumpkin carving, because me and Moony are in!
It was October 31st which meant it was chilly, but driving an enchanted motorcycle high above the houses made the drive considerably colder. Sirius had made sure to wear a couple of his fraying sweatshirts he had stolen from James years ago with the warm pants Lily had given him when the season had just started to change. The matching knit hat, scarf, and gloves in Gryffindor colors he wore had been a gift from Arthur Weasley. Molly had knit them for him when Arthur told her about one time he had nearly gotten frostbitten on a mission for the Order.
The motorcycle touched down just outside the village near the Potter house and drove there with little noise. The few people who lived in Godric’s Hollow were always nice and welcoming that Sirius hated to be too noisy when coming or going during the quiet hours. Sirius turned the motorcycle off and began heading towards the house, eager to get inside to a warm fire. Sirius took quick steps to get into the house, but as soon as he entered the front door he realized something was wrong.
His heart pounded mercilessly in his chest and as he stood in the entryway he could feel his head was being turned by instinct to find his cousin and best friend. Turning his head to the stairs his heart stuttered and clenched in a vice when he saw unmoving legs hanging down from the top of the stairs. Without thought he ran up the stairs to find his dearest friend, James Potter, unmoving. Sirius grabbed his friends neck in vain hope that he’d find some sign that his first impression was wrong, but found none. He whimpered in his throat as he looked into the blank eyes of his friend before his heart could no longer bear the thought of a lifeless James. With a whine that threatened to break into a howl of despair Sirius reached forward and lowered James’ eyelids to stop the haunting gaze. The emotions within Sirius that began to bubble up were quickly forgotten when he realized he could hear Harry crying in his room down the hall. Oh! Harry!
Sirius left his friend on the floor, heart aching and broken but knowing there was nothing that could be done, and ran down the hallway to Harry’s nursery. He pulled his wand out of his jacket as he rounded the corner, ready to fight whomever had attacked his family. What he found surprised and angered him. Snivilius, he growled internally. Snape was sitting on the floor of the nursery clutching Lily’s body while crying softly. Snape was muttering words that Sirius didn’t care to listen to. Sirius’ first instinct was to curse the vile snake but as he lifted his lips to snarl the spell he noticed the incredibly opulent dress robes near the crib. Someone else had been here.
Sirius reeled at the implications. Severus was there uninvited, he knew for a fact. If he was here, that meant anyone could have found Lily, James and Harry. As much as Sirius hated to even consider it, evidence pointed to Peter having betrayed the Potters to Voldemort.
Harry made a soft howling sound, clearly an effort to get Sirius’ attention, Harry had begun doing that after he began playing with Padfoot and watched by Remus. Sirius completely ignored the blubbering snake, there was nothing to be done for Lily and he’d rather leave the slimy git than have a confrontation when Harry needed him. Shaking his head to clear his thoughts he went to Harry’s crib. Sirius picked up the little boy with tears running down his face and looked him over. Harry had a large, thin wound on his forehead that looked like a lightning bolt spreading out towards his hairline. It wasn’t bleeding nor did it appear to be causing him pain which meant it was caused by magic. But whatever kind of magic could have caused such a strange wound was beyond him.
Sirius recognized that he was standing at a crossroad. He knew he could stay and face the Aurors and Order members that were surely on their way. Everyone believed that he was the secret keeper and would assume that he had betrayed the Potters to Voldemort. A total of five people knew about the last minute change to make Peter the secret keeper and it would invariably come down to his word against Peter’s and as they say, perception is reality.
Sirius chose option two. He was leaving with Harry.
Without a second thought he put Harry into his jacket and zipped it up to protect him from the cold. He walked back out the room, leaving Severus to his disturbing display with Lily’s body. He tried very hard not to allow his turbulent emotions to overcome him as he stepped around the body of his best friend. Now was no the time to break down as there would be time to mourn later. Now had to be about Harry.
Sirius ran out the front door, intending to jump on his motorcycle and leave in a hurry, but he only managed to dash straight into the stunned form of Remus as he tried to come in through the front door.
“Sirius! What’s wrong with you?” Remus yelled out in pain as he clutched his shoulder. He looked Sirius over, noticing his deep breathes and little Harry, crying out in confusion at the jarring impact, tucked into his jacket. “Sirius. What’s going on here? Why do you have Harry?”
“James and Lily are dead, Moony. Peter must have told Voldemort or someone else. I don’t know!” Sirius took a deep breath, getting himself back under what little control he could manage. “I’m getting out of here,” He spoke evenly, “Everyone is going to think it was me and I’m not leaving Harry behind”
Remus stared at Sirius for a long moment. “Ok,” He breathed out as he collected himself, “Ok. Get to your bike and get ready to leave. I’m going to grab a few things from the house”
Sirius chuckled somewhere between hysterical and surprised. “You think you can just invite yourself along, Moony?”
“You’ll certainly have succumbed to the Black family madness if you think I’m going to let you go alone,” was the dry attempt at humor on this unhallowed eve. Remus walked into house without another word.
Sirius went to his motorcycle and got it started up. Harry whined when the engine started, but Sirius was able to calm him back down with little effort. They didn’t have to wait long for Remus to return and take a seat in the sidecar. He stuffed his tattered messenger bag and the blue bag with brown trim that Lily called a ‘Nappy Bag’ onto the floor of the sidecar. Nappies. Of course, Sirius mentally sighed. Maybe he did need Remus. Sirius eyed Remus beside him and it was obvious that the werewolf had seen the bodies for himself. Without a word Sirius set off from the village and took off once he got enough speed. Once the village was beyond sight and it was clear that no one was following them, Remus spoke up.
“Where are we going to go, Sirius?”
Sirius sighed, but the sound was carried away by the wind. “Not sure,” the sound just barely made it to Remus over the rumble of the engine and the howling wind that sounded like that of a mother ripped from her child. Sirius shook his head to clear his vision and pull himself back into the moment. Getting Harry to safety was his only priority.
“Head to Barleycove. It’s at the southern tip of Ireland” came Moony’s response after a moment of internal deliberation.
Sirius waited for Remus to elaborate, but none came. “Why?”
“It’s a port town with a…” Remus searched for a word but gave up his hunt quickly, “…less than savory reputation. We can catch a ride out of the country from there with relative ease”
Once he processed the words, Sirius smirked at his fellow Marauder. “My my, Moony! Dealing with criminals now? Didn’t know you had it in you” came Sirius’s attempt at some humor.
Remus rolled his eyes in both exasperation and embarrassment. “I’m a werewolf, Padfoot. I’ve also been prowling around with you hooligans for too long, it must coloring my better judgment.” He punctuated his friend’s nickname in a clipped tone. “Can’t always find honest work” He added too quiet for his friend to hear in the screaming wind.
Sirius chuckled as he changed course to head towards Ireland. The ride was long yet thankfully uneventful. Remus did lean over a few times to check on Harry, but the boy had fallen asleep snuggled up against his Godfather. The ride to Ireland was both too long and too short as the two Marauders spent most of it lost in their own heads. When they began to get close Remus directed them to land outside the small port and to drive straight through to the docks on the other side.
The town itself was comprised of many small buildings and homes that were in various states of disrepair. A couple of the buildings were near what could be considered ‘downtown’ had completely collapsed some time ago and been abandoned. Despite the streets being empty of all forms of life, Sirius couldn’t quite shake the feeling of being watched. If the reputation of this place was even remotely true, then they were very likely being assessed.
“That building there,” Remus pointed to a building that looked to be barely standing, but it was very likely it only appeared that way to hide it’s illegal activities. “Park outside the door. I’ll go inside and make the arraignments. You and Harry stay with the bike.” Sirius did as he was told and parked next to the door. Remus got out of the side car with his tattered bag while leaving the Nappy Bag behind. “If there’s any sort of trouble, leave immediately.” Remus’ eyes flashed with authority that even Sirius wouldn’t countermand. Remus would not lose more family if things turned for the worst. “These types aren’t to be taken lightly”
Sirius slipped a hand into the pocket of his jacket that held his wand and nodded his agreement and understanding. Remus walked inside the door and took what little security Sirius felt with him. The only sounds to be heard were the sounds of the wind and sea, while the feeling of being watched never left. Thankfully it didn’t take long for Remus to come back out and hop back into the sidecar. He pointed Sirius to continue on through the city and towards the docks.
“Good news. There’s one free room on a ship leaving tonight. It’s leaving within the hour”
Sirius sighed in relief. “What luck”
“What luck indeed,” Remus chuckled darkly, thinking about the luck that had brought them here this evening. “I told the woman we were a family of werewolves, so she gave us a reduced rate”
“Your wolfyness got us a reduced rate?” Sirius smirked as he lifted one amused eyebrow and swerved around building debris in the road.
Remus glared at his friend, “No. Harry got us a reduced rate”
It wasn’t long before they reached the docks. Sirius was hesitant taking the motorcycle onto the dock that was missing several planks and sounded like it was seconds away from collapsing. There was a haggard old woman sitting in a rickety looking chair at the end of the dock. She seemed to not notice them as they pulled up.
“Lovely night, innit?” The woman mutter in a thick Irish accent
“I always have a wrench,” Remus replied watching for Sirius’ bemusement.
Sirius looked to Remus in disbelief, but quickly understood when the woman motioned with a wand an invisible door opened. A grizzled man with several claw marks across his face and tattered clothes appeared.
“Move quickly,” He spoke gruffly that could have been a bark. “Leave the bike for the elves.” Sirius turned off the bike and grabbed the Nappy Bag while Remus handed a piece of paper to the man. The man looked from Remus to Sirius and then back to the slip of paper. “This says three.” Sirius pulled his jackets open to show Harry’s head, conveniently Harry howled again upon seeing his Uncle Moony peer down at him. The man nodded as he motioned them into the doorway. The man seemed please, not that either Marauder could really tell. “Weed will show you to your room”
The man stepped to the side and revealed a strange little house-elf whom was wearing a floral dress that was obviously well taken care of. She motioned them to follow her into the darkness behind the man. Weed beckoned them to follow her down the dark stairs and then down one of several long hallways lit almost too dimly to see. Every door they passed along the hallway was closed and a few had faint sounds of conversations or music coming through. Weed stopped next to the only open door.
“This is your room,” She spoke with a clipped tone. “There’s no leaving or wandering unless it’s an emergency. Food trolly will be around once we get to open water.”
Weed then left without another word. Remus went into the room first, checking all corners for dangers. He motioned for Sirius when he found nothing. The room was almost as bare as it could be, having only one small bed. Remus took the Nappy Bag back while Sirius secured the door. By the time Sirius had turned back around, Remus had pulled Harry’s crib out of the Nappy Bag and had put it against the opposite wall from the bed with just enough space in between to maneuver between. Remus grabbed the howling Harry out of Sirius’ coat as he struggled to take a couple of them off.
Sirius watched as Remus gently nuzzled Harry as he took off his coats and laid them at the end of the bed. Remus nibbled at Harry’s neck, making Harry giggle. The sound caused everything to lurch inside Sirius. All the emotions that he had pushed back for the journey had broken free and taken him over. Sirius sat down on the terribly squeaky bed, trying to take his breath back from his now raging emotions.
James. Lily. Peter. He’d lost so much family this night. Now he sat on a ship heading for who-knows-where, meaning he had also lost any home he had ever known. He ran from his childhood home to live with the Potter’s as a teenager and now he was running from something he didn’t completely understand. Why wouldn’t life just leave him alone and let him be happy?
Arms wrapping around him shocked him back to reality. Remus had put Harry in his crib at some point and had sat down next to him. Sirius tried to choke down his emotions in an effort to be strong for his friend, but he just couldn’t manage it. Remus pulled him into a fierce hug, clutching at him just like a wolf would with it’s prey. Sirius could only bury his face into Remus’ neck and grab at him as he broke apart. He had no way of knowing how long he set there crying into his only remaining friend when the tears finally stopped. Sirius sat back from Remus, but kept his grip on his shirt. His chest felt empty, bereft of all his emotions and was now feeling utterly lost. Sirius looked up to his friend, only now seeing the tear trails on Remus’ face.
“What’s happening Remus?” Sirius’ asked with a hallow voice. “What are we doing?”
Remus pulled out a handkerchief from his pocket and gently wiped the tears off his cheeks before wiping his own face. “I don’t really know, Sirius,” Remus sighed, letting his hands fall into Sirius’ lap. “Everything has gone all wrong”
The two friends sat in silence for another moment before they were startled by a knock at the door. Remus opened the door to reveal a beat up trolly with an incredibly old house-elf sitting on top of it and being pushed by two young house-elves.
“Want anything? Got sandwiches, crisps, and pudding,” The old house-elf on top grunted
Remus turned his head towards Sirius. “I spent all my money on the fare”
“I got you,” Sirius chuckled as he grabbed his coin bag from one of his inner jacket pockets and tossed it to Remus.
“Two sandwiches and some crisps, please”
Remus handed the money to the old house-elf and was handed some bagged food. “Thank you much, sir,” the old house-elf muttered as the other two began pushing the trolly away. Remus secured the door once more and sat back down next to Sirius. Sirius tore into one of the sandwiches, realizing only then how hungry he had become. The emptiness within his chest remained, but the food helped a little. Remus chuckled fondly at his friend and ate his own sandwich, though far slower than Sirius. The two ate quickly while watching Harry toss and turn in an effort to get comfortable enough to sleep.
“I can only hypothesize about the coarse of events that transpired this evening,” Remus spoke up after Harry settled down
“I already know how smart you are, Moony,” Sirius grinned at the soft blush that appeared on Remus’ cheeks. “Bring it down to my level, will ya?”
Remus cleared his throat before continuing. “I can only guess at what happened to James and Lily”
Sirius laid down with his head on the pillow. “Hit me with it then”
With a firm eye roll, Remus grabbed Sirius’ feet and removed his shoes with practiced skill. “You may transform into a dog, but you still require manners.” The comment made Sirius chuckle again. “Peter must have told Lord Voldemort their location. That’s the only way the Fidelius Charm could have been broken,”
“Yes, but why?” Sirius gestured wildly while staring at the ceiling. “Peter’s our friend!”
“Not even Dumbledore knew about the last minute Secret Keeper switch. No one outside the group would know it wasn’t you. That means that Peter had to have willingly betrayed them to Lord Voldemort.“
Sirius chewed on the information only to find no other way around it. “What about Snivellus then?”
Remus snorted at Severus Snape’s Marauder coined nickname. “Don’t remember Lily talking about him? They were friends once, but things turned sour just before he went full Death Eater. James always thought he wanted more than just friendship with her”
“Certainly would explain why he was there and so utterly distraught”
Remus sighed heavily. “The only thing I know of for sure right now is that we’re both idiots for doing this,” He motioned to the sleeping Harry. “We’ve basically stolen him and are running away. Less than legal, that”
“I’m his Godfather!” Sirius exclaimed, clearly affronted
“I am aware,” Remus soothed his friend. “But there are steps that must be taken, Sirius. You have to allow the governing body to officially pass custodianship unto you. We have several good reasons, but the Ministry won’t see it that way”
Sirius looked to his friend and could see the weight of their actions weighing him down. “Let’s stop talking about this now. We’ll have plenty of time for it later. We should rest, so get up here,” He attempted to demand, but it really just sounded puerile. Remus snickered as he scrawled up the bed and laid down next to Sirius with what little room the small bed could afford. “Now, now, Moony,” Remus could hear the smile in his voice. “No need for modesty between friends.” All Remus could really do was roll his eyes as Sirius slipped his arms around him and pulled him into cuddling against his side. He rested his head in Sirius’ chest, allowing the steady heartbeat to relax his body. “See?” Sirius rested his head on top of Remus’. “Isn’t that better?” Sirius rumbled happily
“I hate you,” Remus grumbled without an ounce of hostility
“Yeah, yeah. I know”
The ship they were on had made several stops, the first being Iceland with only a few people getting off there. There were two stops at Greenland, one on either coast, and most of the remaining travelers got off at one of them. Apparently there were several magical communities well hidden out in the far reaches of these islands. Remus had briefly considered Greenland for them but ultimately decided against it, too much ice for a small child. They needed somewhere that they could retreat from with ease should the need arise and an island just didn't fit that need. Remus’ lips tilted up at the corners in amused resignation, Lily had told him he’d eventually be able to settle down and wouldn’t be forced to be on the move like a vagrant, now he was criminal on the run with a kidnapped child.
There were still a few remaining refugees left on the boat when it stopped at it's last port in a small unimpressive port along the coast of French Canada. Remus held Harry in his arms as he wiggled and twisted to look at the snow and ice. Both boys watched as many of the people disembarking their boat just to walk across the dock and climb the gangplank of another boat immediately. Sirius wrapped another blanket around his godson and tucked it under Remus’ arms as he eyed the other passengers around him. Both men waited for the house-elves to finish unloading their cargo.
The gruff ticket man with scars came down the gangplank and stopped behind them. “You’s needing to get to one of them small islands?” he asked. “You can use our ticket as a transfer.”
Sirius looked to Remus, silently asking him to lead them. Which, he supposed, happened more often than not in school and now as he briefly entertained that line of thinking. “No, I don’t think so. Thank you, though,” Remus nodded to the man instead of offering his hand. Harry babbled something and pulled himself up closer to Remus’ chest before he cooed that sounded like a small howl of agreement.
The man seemed pleased, despite himself, and nodded back before disappearing into the shanty town that surrounded the docks. Sirius waited until the man was well out of ear shot before speaking busying himself with running a hand through Harry’s ever unmanageable hair.
“Where are we going, Moony?” Sirius whispered in fear of being overheard. The fact they were on the run and wanted criminals finally setting in his mind as a real thing. “This is a lot further than I was planning on going…”
“I was always making the half baked plans that you and James came up with work out after I filled in all the holes,” Remus murmured just loud enough to get a dirty look thrown by Sirius. He began with another heavy breath as he removed his arms from the blanket and tucked it around Harry, “In all honesty we should head south. Stay ahead of anyone that might come sniffing around here.”
Sirius nodded and walked away only long enough to grab his motorcycle from the house-elves that had brought it off the boat. He gave a quickly mumbled a thank you before returning to Remus and helping him get settled into the sidecar. Harry was going to be awake for this leg of the trip, so Remus had tucked him under one of the larger jackets he borrowed from Sirius leaving Harry’s little head sticking out. Remus then pulled out a pair of goggles, muttered a spell to shrink them to size, and placed them on Harry protecting his eyes from wind and debris. Remus pointed the way out of the shanty town and, with a look at his remaining family, Sirius headed off into the unknown.
“We’ll need to come up with some aliases,” Remus spoke up after some time spent traveling through what seemed like the same bunch of trees and tundra repeated several times.
“Something wrong with our names?” Sirius groused over uncomfortable chill in his arms and fingers. “Could you be convinced to hit me with one of those warming charms?”
“You don’t know the first thing about being on the run,” Remus sighed as he flicked his wand in Sirius’ direction. “Aurors will be looking for ‘Sirius Black’ and ‘Harry Potter’. First thing to throw them off your scent is change your name. Not to mention that no muggles would have names like ours. Black can maybe pass for muggle here but it’s too high profile to keep using since you’re likely wanted now.”
“Ok...you got some ideas?” Sirius conceded thankful to feel his fingers again in the cold wind.
“Let’s start with the last name,” Remus hummed to himself as he thought. “How about Holmes?”
“Holmes?” Sirius lifted his eyebrow in his highborn way he’d never completely shaken from his character.
“Yeah! It’s that famous muggle detec...nevermind,” an excited Remus cut himself off after noticing how confused Sirius looked and pursed his lips. The two traveled in silence while thinking about a name to give their new family. It was difficult to come up with a band new name when so much of your identity was tied with a name you had been given.
“Let’s stick with the letter H,” Sirius began. “What of Hutch?”
Remus thought for a moment growling as Harry pulled on his unshaved beard. “I don’t think so. Hooper?” He smiled at the joke Sirius wasn’t going to get as he waved Harry’s hands from his facial hair.
“Ew,” Sirius showed off his lack of maturity. “Hearth…Hood…Hillgrove…”
“Harrison?” Remus mused now play fighting with Harry.
“What about Hunt?” Sirius presented enthusiastically as he scanned the countryside they traveled.
“Reason?” was Remus’ reply as he grabbed a can of peaches from the nappy bag at his feet.
“Well… we’re in a hunt of sorts. Also you’re a werewolf and I can change into a dog. Seemed like a good fit,” Sirius shrugged slightly.
Remus mulled the name and reason over before announcing “I like it. Good one Padfoot.” Sirius smiled brightly at Remus’ praise.
“Can I have James as a first name?” Sirius requested timidly.
Remus nodded as his eyes swelled with unshed tears. His acceptance made Sirius smile even brighter as he sniffed and shook the tears down his face. “I’ll be Evan. For Lily,” Remus announced with his voice breaking. He didn’t have to elaborate until he caught Sirius’ silent question. “I’m going to miss them too.” He finished lamely though Sirius understood.
“Ok, so we’re James and Evan Hunt. Now onto Harry,” Sirius pressed through the solemn moment. He was mulling over names silently while Remus waited. “Ooh! What about Michael?” He announced happily, the moment having moved his heart beyond the grief.
“Absolutely not!” Remus cut as the name passed through his brilliant mind, far more firmly than Sirius was expecting.
“What? Why? What’s wrong with Michael?” Came Sirius’ hurt reply.
“There’s nothing wrong with Michael on it’s own, Sirius. It is when you pair it with the last name Hunt that there is a lot wrong with it,” Remus explained in a way that made him sound like a teacher at Hogwarts.
“I don’t understand,” Sirius questioned bewildered
“Try it with the shortened version,” Remus prompted.
“Mike Hunt,” Remus’ face didn’t change. The unspoken words told Sirius to try again. “ Mike Hunt?” Sirius didn’t see what was wrong. “Mike Hunt.” Remus only looked at him expectantly with his eyebrow raised and a smirk. “What is wrong with calling him Mike Hunt....Oh bloody hell!” Sirius exclaimed before ducking his head in embarrassment.
“Now you see. As for your question, hopefully there's nothing wrong with yours," Remus laughed, "but as a name? No," Remus continued chuckled. “How about Lawrence? Or Lod? That’d be a good name for him”
Sirius made a face. “No! Mangy git,” Sirius mumbled as Remus only laughed into the cold wind. “Never did like those names. Much too old and proper for such a tiny Marauder,” the two lapsed back into silence before Sirius spoke up again. “Always liked Logan though.”
“Logan, huh?” Remus took his time thinking it over which only made Sirius nervous. Especially after his suggestion of ‘Michael’. Remus looked inside his coat at Harry chewing on the peaches he was being fed. “Good name,” Remus nodded to himself. “So, it’s settled then. We’ve got our aliases. Next is to find somewhere to stay.”
“How long are we going to stay? I’m really at a loss as to what to do and what to look for and what to do next and what…” Sirius felt so lost in that moment and it showed in his rambling fears.
“One thing at a time, Padfoot. We get a roof over our heads first. Then we secure food. Everything else should be secondary until then,” Remus pierced through the uncertainly and fear that was swirling around Sirius. They rode in companionable silence and sporadic conversation for several hours. Thankfully Remus had thought to grab some food from the Potters house, but even with rationing it wouldn't last more than a few days. The sun was more than halfway to the horizon when Sirius spoke up again.
“It’s going to get dark soon, Moony. What are we going to do then?”
“Shh,” Remus made an urgent noise as he pulled his wand free and put a sleeping Harry tightly wrapped in a blanket onto the floorboards at his feet. Sirius immediately went into high alert. He wanted to search for threats with Remus as he continued to drive them down the dirt road that wove through the tall trees, but couldn’t do both. He held his breath as he waited for Remus to find the possible threats that may be hiding in the trees whizzing by. They both saw a small ball of light shoot out of the trees and land on the road in front of them. The ground suddenly shot up, creating a wall of dirt that Sirius had to brake hard to avoid running into. Sirius began to turn to motorcycle to go around, but was stopped by a man standing in the shadow of a large tree. His heart began to pound as he saw others come out from behind other trees all around them. The wall of dirt fell with a thud that reverberated through the whole motorcycle. There was yet another person standing in the road now. Sirius watched Remus put his wand in line with that treat while Remus’ eyes danced around them watching and Sirius wanted to do the same, but decided he should keep his hands on the handle bars in case they could make a quick get away.
“Put the wand down, Rey-mos, and pick up Harry off the floorboard,” the voice of an old woman with an unusual French accent cut through the tension. Remus slowly put his wand back into his jacket and picked Harry off the floorboard. Harry was unmoved by the situation, awakened by the abrupt stop but happily cooing at Remus. Sirius leaned back in his seat as the old woman walked towards them, giving the appearance of ease, all the while he was preparing spells and curses in his mind.
“That will not work See-rus,” The old woman spoke again as she slowly walked towards them. She came at them at an angle so she crossed through the headlight, showing them a dark skinned old woman wearing a neutral colored outfit that looked like the people from the muggle history books about America that Lily had showed them growing up.
“We’re just passing through. We meant no disrespect and don’t want any trouble,” Remus was always so good at being diplomatic for a raging werewolf.
“No you are not,” The old woman informed them as she walked towards Remus and Harry. Remus subtly pulled Harry closer into his chest as she came to a stop in front of him. “You three are staying here with us. At least for awhile”
“Give us one bloody good reason why we should do a damn thing you tell us,” Sirius demanded with a growl as his hand inched to his wand.
The woman reached out towards Harry and he, in turn, grab onto several of her fingers happily oddly settling both men for an easier conversation. “Do you really think the dark one who broke your family is no longer a threat?” She prodded softly. Sirius’ chest tightened painfully as the fresh emotions tried to break free once more. Even Remus swallowed a little harder.
“Has that mans exploits reached this far?” Remus shuddered
“No. At least not here,” The old woman slipped her fingers from Harry’s grip. “Follow me,” She stated firmly. “I’ll show you to where you will be staying.”
The woman walked off the road and into the darkening trees. The people around them had dispersed at some point, seeming sure that Sirius nor Remus would not attack the old woman. Sirius walked the idling bike after the woman, who still hadn’t presented her name, weaving through the trees as the sky darkened even further. They came up to an incredibly small house that looked much like the log cabins that decorated some of the muggle Christmas decorations that Lily had showed them.
“This will be yours,” She gestured towards the house. “You’ll find it already set up for you.”
“Going to explain yourself now?” Sirius demanded as he dismounted the bike.
“Sirius. Don’t be stupid,” Remus implored Sirius not to do anything rash.
“Calm yourselves,” She commanded once more as she sat on the small bench in front of the house. “You may call me Hausis. I do not know what your people call it, but I can see events that have not yet happened.”
“A seer then?” Remus questioned as he handed Harry to Sirius regulating his friend to babysitting and taking the fore in this obviously diplomatic situation.
“Perhaps,” Hausis shrugged gently. “I have had several dreams of you three, but mostly that little one. The dreams have been clear. You need us to begin his magical training.”
Remus held up a quick hand at Sirius, silencing his attitude before it could come. “Should we refuse?” He questioned. “Politely continue on our way?”
“Harry will face the dark one once more. If you do not start his training now, you may as well take him to the river and drown him. Save everyone the trouble and heartache that false hope would bring,” she explained in a cool voice that held an edge of condescension. Those words shut Sirius up right away. Harry and Remus were all he had left in this unfair world. His mother hated and abused him, his father disowned him for not supporting Lord Voldemort. The old fool, ‘Blacks do not bow’ was his mantra for years and yet his family knelt to some upstart tosser who demanded much and offered little. The thought of losing the only good things he’d ever had to the same man that had already taken so much from him was just too much for him to think about, so he chose not to instead he continued to stew in his hatred for his noble pureblood family of mad fools.
“Harry will fight Lord Voldemort?” Remus probed uncertainly. Divination was spotty at the best of times. “He’s still alive?”
“Yes and no. His body has died, but his soul lives on through tainted magic. He will make a new body. He will rise again and Harry will need to defeat him,” Hausis rose from her seat. “That’s enough for tonight. Get some rest. You’ll be meeting the rest of the tribe in the morning.” Hausis threw the comment over her shoulder as she walked into the darkness. Remus walked into the house before Sirius, no doubt checking it for dangers before Sirius brought Harry in. The inside of the house was a typical magical dwelling, in the sense that it had been enchanted with an Extension Charm. The charm allowed for the outside to be barely bigger than a standard garden shed while the inside was enlarged to a rather nicely spaced cottage. The door opened into the living room that had a small couch and coffee table. It was directly connected to the kitchen with a wood stove and a small table and chairs. Remus checked the bedroom, finding a queen sized bed that commanded most of the room with enough room left over for Harry’s crib.
“What do you think Moony?” Sirius asked as he set Harry down in his crib having fished it out of the nappy bag. He elaborated on his question after a shaky breath, “About this whole situation.”
Remus sighed heavily as he plopped down on the bed, head hanging low. “I honestly have no idea, Padfoot,” Remus snarled as he tore off his jacket and threw it angrily into the corner of the room. “Shockingly enough I don’t have all the answers!” Remus’ waning control and comfort slipping as he became aware of the less and less control he had over this situation. His barking and outburst caused Harry to jump slightly in his crib and whimper before settling down again.
Sirius stood still and waited for his temper to subside, much like he used to do when his mother would fly into a rage during his childhood. Once it seemed Remus had settled enough, he padded softly towards him and wrapped his arms around his friend’s shoulder and chest. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be so useless. I just wanted to know your thoughts. About Hausis and…everything else,” He finished lamely, afraid of saying the wrong thing again.
Remus sighed again, though far less angry this time. “It’s not your fault. The full moon is coming and I’m overwhelmed.” Remus grabbed onto Sirius’ arms and untangled his arms before his fell onto the bed. Sirius didn’t mind. He just took the opportunity to stretch his back and laid down next to his friend and enjoy the security his friend’s presence offered. Sirius reached out and grabbed his hand in a small gesture of affection and support, though if it was for Remus or himself he wasn’t sure.
“So…we’re staying then?” Sirius pushed once again.
“At least until tomorrow. See what what else they can tell us before deciding on more,” Remus exhaled deeply again. Sirius could feel the last of the tension leave his body. “We’ll need to do something about the moon.”
“Tomorrow,” Sirius stated, clearly ending the discussion for the night.
Sirius, Remus, and Harry joined Hausis the next morning by following the small dirt paths that lead to each of the dwellings they passed. They found her sitting in a grassy clearing with other dark skinned women that looked like they were making something with fabric.
“Ah! I see you are still here!” Hausis called out as they approached. She motioned them to sit between her and another woman, who smiled at them warmly. “Come. Sit. I was just telling the other mothers about you.” Sirius and Remus sat down as they were instructed. Harry toddled away and began to bother a few of the women while trying to amuse himself and explore. “Did you sleep well?” She asked them more to measure their current mood than to inquire about their health.
Before either man could answer her, the voice of a man called out from behind them. They saw an older man was pointing at Remus while speaking sternly in a language neither understood. Hausis spoke up and the two shared a brief conversation, but it was enough to earn Remus a few looks from the women around them the two Marauders glanced at each other and the comfort they were feeling began to wane.
“Is something wrong?” Sirius spoke up for Remus.
“Nothing is wrong,” Hausis stated calmly. “He is just upset Rey-mos is here,” She motioned to Remus.
Remus grimaced at the implications while Sirius wrapped a comforting arm around his shoulders when he noticed how pale Remus had become. “Is this going to cause a problem?” Remus asked through his teeth as he closed his stinging eyes.
“A problem?” Hausis seemed quite confused by Remus’ response. “No, no. He’s just upset that he was not informed of a new member to our Wolf Tribe.”
“Wolf tribe? Does this have something to do with him being a werewolf?” Sirius asked now understanding that this may be a problem. Other people always treat werewolves differently, he reminded himself.
“A…where…wolf?” Hausis seemed even more confused. “I do not know that word. The Wolf Tribe is for those that have been given wolf spirits by our ancestors,” She explained.
“Remus isn’t a part of their tribe, though? We’re foreigners,” Sirius noted dumbly unused to the ease at which all of these people seemed to accept Remus’ furry little problem.
“One doesn’t need to be of the blood, only of the spirit,” She remarked sagely. “All those with wolf spirits go with the Wolf Tribe during the new moon. It is natural and will only benefit Rey-mos, so he must go.”
Remus looked to Sirius. “Should I? Go with them, I mean?” He asked with a slight tremor in his voice as his throat dried and added a coarseness to his words.
“The moon is going to happen no matter what we do. If they’ve got Werewolves here, they’ve got to have a way of dealing with their transformations, at least it’ll be an easy way to deal with this month and you won’t have to worry about hurting Harry on accident.” Sirius glanced at the older man that was now standing behind them. He didn’t seem menacing in any way, but Sirius was well aware of how deceiving looks could be. Sirius nodded, “You should go with them.”
“What about you and Harry?” Remus’ voiced was more steady now.
Hausis chuckled. “Do not worry about these two. The other mothers and I will take care of them.” She turned her head and spoke something to the other women around them, whom all nodded their heads enthusiastically. One woman had Harry in her lap while another seemed to be playing with a cloth, putting over Harry’s head and then pulling it off after she cooed at him. The woman holding Harry laughed and tickled him as he giggled and squealed in her lap.
“Alright…” Remus nodded mostly to himself seeing that Harry was accepted and he wasn’t being ran out of the village. Other mothers, he wondered, he saw no other children.
Remus left with the man soon after and Sirius knew that it would be a several days before he would be back. The women spent the time trying to teach Sirius how to weave a basket as Hausis suggested it would be an easy project. Sirius came to the conclusion that he had zero ability in basket weaving and he was a lost cause. He smiled and waving his wand conjured a woven basket. The sisters that had taken a shine to Harry looked over at his conjured basket and laughed. Sirius not understanding their mirth looked at it and sighed, it was abyssmal. He was certainly not going to be impressing any ladies with his survival skills. Remus came back a week later during one of these weaving sessions and, outwardly, seemed fine and unhurt.
“Remus! How are you!” Sirius shot up from the ground and began looking his friend over touching his shoulders, face, arms and lifting his shirt turning Remus’ limbs and face to inspect all of his friend for injuries.
“I’m fine, Padfoot,” Remus mumbled through his squished lips as Sirius held his cheeks and turned his face side to side, up and down. Remus rolled his eyes and grabbed his friend’s hands and forced them from his face gesturing for Sirius to sit back down to talk.
Remus explained what had happened after he left with the Wolf Tribe. The chief, which happened to be the old man from before that asked to be called Qaletaqa, gave Remus a potion that acted exactly like a Wolfsbane Potion. The potion used more common ingredients that they would be able to grow themselves and he would only need to drink it once on the night of the transformation. Remus also noted that the potion was much easier to drink. According the Qaletaqa, if Remus worked at maintaining a good relationship with his ‘wolf spirit’ that one day he could stop taking the potion entirely.
“It was helpful, was it not?” Hausis stated as she brought Harry, who immediately climbed into Remus’ lap.
Remus stared at Harry for a silent moment, making Sirius wonder what was going on in his head. “When can you start training him?” Remus asked quietly.
Hausis smiled broadly at him. “We’ve already started.”
Our intent is to introduce the Six Nations into our story. We are attempting to be as respectful as possible to a people and culture that we know very little about. Any slight towards the people or culture is unintentional.
Chapter 3: Ambience and Aggravation
The italics at the beginning of the chapter is meant to signify a language being spoken that is not English.
The sun rays from the noonday filtered through the leaves of the tall trees that made up the forest. There was a small clearing in the forest trees that allowed for the grass and moss to grow thickly and was typically used as a classroom for one magical branch of the Six Nations. There were a dozen children of varying ages lounging about with several animals that had decided to join that days lesson drawn to the calming nexus that natural magic makes. Some rabbits were curled up in the laps of the older children while some of the smaller children had squirrels in theirs. An Elk doe had taken a spot up against a tree that also had a smaller child and a raccoon laying up against her side. A great brown bear had even joined today's lesson, though she was really just an over-sized bed for the three children laying on her back. A large number of small brown and gray birds had perched in various places around the children and animals.
“Can you feel the magic around you? It is in the trees that stretch above you and sleeping in the ground beneath your feet. It flows with the water in the streams and sings in the wind around you,” the lone adult woman spoke with a neutral tone as she walked around the group of children and animals.
Harry had taken his place just a little off to the side of the group next to white tailed stag that had five small birds sitting on different points of his antlers. All the children had their eyes closed as they followed the instruction of today’s teacher. The animals were taking advantage of the quiet moment and the warm sun for a quick nap.
“When you can feel it, you can move it. Use the magic within you to move the magic around you. Help the wind to shake the trees. Help the young flowers and saplings grow,” The woman instructed next.
Most of the children changed their positions when the instruction changed. Two of the children on the bear remained fast asleep and were left alone for the time being. The teacher handed pieces of pine cones to the children to use. Harry did as the other children did, laying on their stomach with the seeds on the ground in front of them.
Harry pushed the seed into the dirt and put his hands around it. He did as he was told, feeling the magic within himself and channeling it outward to the seed. Mooey always said that this type of magic was incredibly difficult and hard to control without a special stick. No one in the tribe other than Hausis had a special stick to aid their magic and even then hers looked much different than either of his parents. Harry’s mothers told him that his fathers were simply taught differently but not incorrectly, unlike some of the teachers that whispered when they thought Harry couldn’t hear.
After some deep concentration, Harry was finally able to push his magic to the seed. Laying on his belly he reached out with as much feeling as he could, feeling the deep thrum of magic in the earth and the fluttering whisper of magic in the air. A small bit of green slithered up out of the dirt and a few tiny leaves popped out from it. He was overjoyed by his success as some of the older children had not yet been able to channel their magic well enough to help the plants grow. He could feel the small bud of magic twinkling from the sprout, the thankful whisper carried on the wind.
“Very good Taini! So young and yet already able to channel your magic. Keep it up and you’ll be great one day,” The woman teaching them spoke happily to him as she patted his messy hair. A few of the older children seemed upset, enough to do furrow their small brows to try that much harder.
The teacher announced that the lesson was over not long after for Harry and the few others children that had guided the natural magics. The children that had not been successful stayed behind for some extra instruction in this first essential lesson for the children of the Six Nations. Harry happily ran through the woods back towards the village laughing with the other children. At the movement some of the gathered animals woke and carried on about their day. The stag stood and majestically strode toward the doe that was rising to her height. Both animals looked towards the village that a young black haired youth had retreated down. The children tagged and chased and laughed as they weaved between various adults that were milling around, he wanted to get home as fast as his little legs could take him. Mooey should be back from the Wolf Tribe by now and he just couldn’t wait to see him.
Harry hit the door while opening hard enough to send it flying open, sitting now on his backside in the dirt at the threshold. Mooey was sitting at the kitchen table reading some papers, but set them down as soon as the door exploded open.
“Mooey!” Harry scrambled to his feet and ran towards Remus leaping at his missed father.
Remus was able to grab Harry just before he made impact, lessening the blow only slightly but turning his sour look into one of happiness. “Hello, Harry. Have you been good for your mothers and Sirius the past few days?” Remus asked in a gently parental tone. Harry wrapped his arms tightly around Remus’ neck and nodded enthusiastically into Remus’ shoulder vibrating with excitement. Remus smiled fondly as he kissed Harry’s forehead. “Good boy, pup. That’s what I like to hear.”
Harry nestled into Remus’ chest while firing questions that Remus only could understand a few of as he laughed and tried to calm his little boy. Remus went back to his reading with a smile as Harry began to quiet as Remus ran his fingers through Harry’s untamed hair. Harry had started to fall asleep to Remus’s heartbeat when the front door closed after Sirius walked in.
“Mooney!” Sirius exclaimed as he quickly walked from the door into the room and towards his friend. His greeting startled Harry awake.
“Hello Padfoot,” Remus greeted his friend, clearly amused.
Sirius tossed down his bag and some papers onto the table haphazardly. He quickly moved over to Remus and began checking over his face and pushing his shirt aside to check further.
“You look good,” Sirius spoke, seemingly pleased with the state Remus was in. It was always like this, more so now that the Marauders had lost James and Lily, and considered Peter ‘lost’ to Voldemort as well.
“I feel good,” Remus answered calmly batting away his friend’s hands as he huffed the touchy animagus’ and nodded to a chair next to him at the table. “I didn’t take the potion this moon,” was his continued reveal after Sirius had sat down.
Sirius’ mouth fell open as he collapsed into the back of the chair. “Really?! Remus, that’s fantastic!” Sirius pulled Remus into a tight hug, squeezing Harry between them. Harry squirmed at the compression but giggled as Remus shifted and his mop of hair popped up between his two dads. “No issues? No problems? Nothing?” Sirius asked rapidly looking into Remus’ eyes for confirmation. Remus nodded again, making Sirius smile.
Remus’ smile tightened into a thin line as his jaw became tense and he picked up one of the papers from the table and held it up. “What this?” He demanded in a firm tone.
Sirius smile dropped in an instant as he sat back in his chair thinking for a moment and looking at the script on the parchment. “We talked about this,” Sirius answered in a small voice.
“Hypothetically!” Remus slammed the paper onto the table, Harry jumped in his lap and looked at the simmering anger in Remus features. “We don’t know who we can trust back home!”
“We can trust Andy!” Sirius implored loudly with a whine as he stood to walk out of the room and avoid the rest of the conversation.
Remus pointed to the free chair, a silent command that Sirius was slow to follow. Harry popped up off Remus’ lap and puffed his chest out like he had seen the adults do when they wanted to appear intimidating pointing, just like the werewolf father he loved, at the chair. Sirius looked between the two of them before sitting down in the chair both defeated and amused.
“What have you said to Andromeda?” Remus’ tone had turned even harder.
“Nothing specific,” Sirius raised his hands in surrender, the mirth driven from the moment. “Just a few vague explanations and a request for information.”
Remus didn’t answer as he opened the most recent letter carefully. “Has she asked for more details?”
“Of course she has, she’s a Slytherin at her core, but she understands my resistance and she doesn’t push too hard,” Sirius returned as he opened his arms to Harry who lost his stern look at jumped into his arms.
Remus nodded slightly as he opened the envelope and pulled the contents out. Harry was confident that he had helped end the blossoming fight with his dads and crawled into a comfortable position Sirius’ lap to look at the table and the papers like his fathers were doing. Sirius ruffled up his dark hair roughly which Harry knew was his way of telling him that there were no hard feelings.
“Wow,” Remus whistled, “How’d she get the final write up of the investigation?” He questioned quietly
“She told me that she knew someone whom was close to someone in the Ministry. No names given.”
“And you didn’t think that was suspicious?” Remus questioned his mild accusation
“Considering how little I’ve told her? Not at all but,” Sirius shrugged as he leaned his chair back on two legs as he continued, “I didn’t even confirm my name for the first three letters. She’s in an interesting, albeit dangerous, position but she’s still helping us, or me.”
Remus nodded at Sirius’ comment, seemingly assured that Sirius had made the right decision despite being the only one involved as he started reading the note aloud.
26 May 1983
The findings during the investigation of the deaths of Lord James Fleamont Potter and Lady Lily Juniper Potter (née Evans) have verified the account provided by Peter Pettigrew. The evidence supports his claim that one Sirus Orion Black used his position as the secret-keeper of the Fidelius Charm that was hiding the Potters, to betray them to his master, Lord Voldemort. Black murdered Lord Potter at the top of the stairs using the Killing Curse while Lord Voldemort died during a duel with Lady Potter in the nursery where Harry James Potter was. Black abducted Heir Potter before the Aurors were able to intercept him. Remus John Lupin was considered a person of interest when he was unable to be located, but that was rescinded with Pettigrew’s testimony. At this point Harry James Potter is still listed as missing with no information on his or Black’s whereabouts.
“That dirty rat!” Sirius roared startling Harry out of his lap and back into Remus’.
“Sirius…” Remus sighed as he rubbed Harry’s back as tears streamed his face at the outburst from his father.
“I should have killed him!” He stood up abruptly and began to pace through the living room. “He thinks he can just lie like that?!”
“Nothing to do about it now, and taking Harry was more important anyway,” Remus waited for Sirius’ pacing to slow down before he continued. “Good job, though. Your instincts were spot on.”
That comment halted Sirius’ angry pacing, “What?” he growled.
“Your instinct’s that night were spot on,” Remus continued calmly. “Everyone is blaming you since we kept the secret-keeper switch a secret. Leaving seems to have been the best course of action, all things considered,” He finished with a smile.
The anger that had been consuming Sirius seemed to dissipate with his friends gentle words and kind smile. He walked back into the kitchen and plopped down hard into the chair. He held out of hands and motioned for Harry to return to his lap, which he gladly did so. Harry snuggled into his chest much like a puppy, making Sirius smile. Sirius wiped the tears away from Harry’s cheeks and kissed the boy’s hair.
“Sorry pup, I got angry at some bad people,” he whispered. “Thank you, Remus. Good to know not all my ideas are terrible,” Sirius chuckled as he turned his attention back to his friend.
“If you trust Andromeda, I trust her as well. It was a huge risk getting that write up,” He shook the envelope slightly at Sirius and Harry.
“We blood traitors need to stick together after all,” was Sirius’ coy response.
“Have you said anything about me or Harry?” Remus asked quietly as the thought occurred to him as he reread the investigation report.
“Nothing. She hasn’t asked about either of you yet, either,” Sirius ran his fingers through Harry’s hair as he began to snore softly. “But she’s not simple, she’ll probably ask before long.”
“I’ll leave the correspondence with her to you then. It’s seems you have a good handle in things,” Remus smiled as he slipped the papers back into the envelope and tossed it in front of Sirius. Remus got up from the table and walked into the kitchen while Sirius fiddled with the envelope in silence. He brought back a couple tea cups and placed a hot tea pot on a knit hot pad in the middle of the table.
“How did this moon go for you?” Sirius probed kindly as his grin spread and mischief lit his eyes. “You got me off topic.”
“It went well. Qaletaqa suggested I not take their potion this time so they could see if their teachings had been having any effect. And it appears that it did,” Remus explained as he poured tea in the two mugs.
“That’s fantastic, Moony,” Sirius sighed in relief. “Who knew that the solution to your furry little problem was hiding in Canada,” He joked.
Remus rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes. Hilarious.” Remus sipped on his tea before continuing. “I’m still going to grow the ingredients, however. So I can still brew it while we’re on the road.”
“We’re going to be leaving again?” Sirius questioned delicately.
“I have no plans, but Hausis has been making some cryptic remarks lately, so it’s something we need to plan for now” was the werewolf’s reply.
Sirius nodded as he sipped his tea in companionable silence with Remus and a snoring Harry against his chest. Their life was being dictated by that old woman for over a year now, he wasn’t surprised to hear that she had some plan in the works.
The weather was pleasant, if a bit warm, that always made learning so much easier in the mornings. When Hausis had come to get Harry for a lesson, he thought nothing of it other than getting to spend time with his friends. Today’s lesson was out in the forest, as most of them were, but Harry was alone with Hausis today.
“There is one final lesson I must teach you before destiny turns once more,” Hausis had said as she led Harry out into the forest at his questioning glace around for the other children.
Harry was used to Hausis and her cryptic words, but this was different. It was less cryptic and more foreboding. There wasn’t much to be done about it right now. One would have better luck asking the forest to move into the ocean than to get any information out of Hausis before she was ready to give it.
Hausis led them to a small stream not too far from the village and sat down on a cut log near the edge of the water.
“Now, Taini. Step into the water,” Hausis commanded in her grandmotherly sweet tone.
Harry slipped off his soft-soled makasin shoes and walked into the water enough for the water to be just under his shorts. The water was very cold, but it felt good with the late July morning bearing down on him.
“You feel the water? How it moves?” She asked in her usual philosophical way.
“Yes,” Harry responded as he closed his eyes and touched the flowing water with his fingertips.
“You see how the water moves around you? How it can be manipulated and directed without changing itself?” She continued
“Yes, I do,” He was trying to figure out what Hausis was getting at, but was coming up short. He could feel what she meant but wasn’t sure what the lesson was.
“Magic is no different than the water you’re feeling. Only it is everywhere and is everything,” she concluded. Harry wiggled his legs and toes against the water current, trying to feel something more than cold water. Hausis raised her hand and an orb of water came up with it before him. The orb shifted and Harry could see three smaller balls of water orbiting each other inside. The orbs fell back into the water with a splash that hit his pants.
“I already know how to manipulate raw magic,” Harry had begun to say before Hausis spoke up again.
“Your teachers have spoken highly of your ability. You are ahead of all but your oldest peers. But that is only pushing or pulling the magic. I want you to grab onto it and surround yourself with it,” Hausis smiled at her little one before she made a vague motion with her hand. “I think Rey-Mos called it a ‘Shield.’”
A shield. He had heard his fathers talking about using the skill in vague terms during their youth. It was something called a charm that was supposed to protect the caster from most forms of magic. Hausis had described the spell as adequate, but admitted that there were much better ways of blocking magical attacks. Her suggestion of ducking was met with a bitter glare from Dadfoot.
Harry tried grabbing the water by using his magic, but it was difficult. Mooey had always praised Harry’s abilities at the magic he called ‘wandless”, yet Harry couldn’t help but desire more. Something within him drove him for better control. For stronger manipulation. It took the better part of an hour until Harry finally managed to grab onto the water and move it to surround him using only the magic around him. He laughed joyfully as he let the magic go and the water fell back onto his face and shoulders.
“Very good Taini!” Hausis announced proudly as she clapped softly. She spoke as she rose to her feet and waved him back to her side, “As always, you have excelled with little effort.”
Hausis waited for him to put his makasins back on before heading back towards his house. Normally Harry would just charge though the village after his lessons but today Hausis was leading him. History had taught him that Hausis only led you when she had a good reason. Best wait and see what she had in store for him. They walked to his house and entered it together, which was quite unusual since Hausis rarely entered anyone’s home but her own. Mooey was the first to greet them since he was sitting at the table reading a book when they entered.
“Harry!” He announced happily. “Hausis,” He greeted far more subdued but with respect due to the elder.
“Adsila and Talise will be here soon,” She spoke serenely before leaving the house with a melancholy smile.
Remus made a funny face in Hausis’ direction then gently his eyebrows raised in understanding. He turned back to Harry to question him about his morning lesson with the old seer, “What did you learn today?”
“I learned how to create a shield!” Harry exclaimed happily gearing up to explain all of the ways he worked the magic before he was able to form the water around his body.
Remus chuckled lowly before the little boy could bury him under theory, or what theory a seven year old could explain, “I’m going to assume it’s not the Protego Charm, so how about you try to explain what you did,” he spoke with a bit of mirth in his voice as he motioned to the seat next to him.
Harry sat himself down in the chair and proceeded to try to explain the shield magic he learned today. He had learned young that his fathers had a vastly different education, which made it difficult to explain his own. They had settled on using more abstract terms for how he used magic.
“I moved water!” Harry explained excitedly. “I was in a bubble!”
Remus nodded. “So, you figure out how to create a bubble around you? Was it a spell?”
“Spell?” Harry frowned as he recalled his success this morning, “No. It was made of magic.”
“Are you talking about that ‘flow of magic’ that Hausis always talks about?” Remus even supplied the quotes with his hands.
“Magic is everywhere,” Harry made a wide motion and then scowled at his father. The learning was different that didn’t mean Hausis and his mothers were wrong because they did things different. “I used that magic to make a bubble!” Harry crossed his arms over his chest as he continued.
Remus was quiet for a moment. “So,” He started slowly, possible still trying to think through it. “You took the latent magic from the environment and moved it to protect you?”
“Yes!” Harry replied immediately. His arms uncrossed and his scowl lifted. Mooey always tried to understand the different magic. That’s what had made him overcome his curse after all, new thinking.
Remus rubbed his eyes wearily. “First wandless magic. Now manipulation of raw magic,” Remus sighed heavily. “All this incredibility advanced magical techniques and you’re only 7 bloody years old.” Remus stopped rubbing his eyes and smiled down at Harry. “That’s great Harry. Truly amazing. Keep this up and you’ll be the most advanced wizard in British history, at least”, Remus affectionately ruffled up his always messy hair
Harry preened at the pride in his father’s words. His fathers were always proud of his progress in magic and were never quiet about it, but Harry liked hearing it all the same.
“Is Harry home?” Sirius called from the kitchen around the corner.
“Yes!” Harry called out as he turned to the voice and searched for his other father.
“Perfect timing!” Sirius walked out from around the corner holding a lopsided three tiered cake that was decorated white with strange symbols drawn onto the sides and presented it to Harry with a large smile. It was a strange custom that no one else in the tribe performed, but Harry had long ago learned that his dads had many unusual customs and it was easier to simply go along with it.
“It looks so good!” Harry announced, making his dad even happier.
“Been taking baking lessons from your mothers, Adsila and Talise. Mostly we make bread but the skills are transferable. I’d like to think it’s working,” He motioned to the cake. “I decorated it with Quidditch designs!”
“Kwid-itch?” Harry asked in a soft voice sounding out the unfamiliar word.
“It’s a sport from where we’re from. Don’t worry about it,” Remus waved off Harry’s question.
Sirius looked at Remus in betrayal before shaking off the comment and cut several pieces off the cake so they each got one. The cake was far too sweet to Harry’s tastes, Harry loved the honey and jams that his mother’s made to the sweet cake that his father had made, but he chose to keep his opinion to himself. Sirius was happy and had worked hard Harry knew. Sirius brought him a cup in which he conjured warm water into in an effort to cut the sweetness. His fathers conjured hot water in the tealeaves which Harry was never able to develop a taste for.
Harry was nearly finished with his piece when there was a knock at the front door. He jumped up out of his chair before either of his dads could react and opened the door to reveal his mothers. He latched onto one of each of their legs as a hug, making them both giggle.
“Mothers!” Harry greeted loudly.
“Hello Taini,” Talise greeted serenely like Hausis always did.
“Taini! How is our favorite boy?” Adsila returned Harry’s mood. She was always far less like Hausis which was why his fathers tended to prefer her company to her sister. The two women walked into the house while Harry dutifully closed the door behind them.
“Hello ladies. Here for Harry’s birthday? I made cake,” Sirius offered hopefully.
“No thank you, See-rus,” Talise responded. “Hausis doesn’t want us to stay for too long.”
Hausis didn’t want them to stay for too long? According to his fathers, this day was a special day for him. Hausis had been giving him long lectures about how his destiny involved many events in far away lands. While he pretended that meant he would travel far once he was grown, deep down he knew otherwise.
“We brought you a gift,” Talise spoke as she reached behind her while Adsila walked towards his fathers.
His more stoic mother pulled out a deep red colored bag from her own earth colored bag and handed it to Harry to inspect. The shape of the bag resembled the general shape of a flower that had yet to blossom. The beaded draw string along the top that held the petal sides closed doubled as strap to go across the body. The sides were covered in beaded and stitched designs that included birds, vines, geometric designs, single white flower on one side, and single red flower of a different kind on the opposite side. The stem of the flower was a beaded string that looped around the small bottom of the bag to hang down as what seemed like a purely decorative touch. Harry realized that when the bag was opened, the petal sides unfurled and the bag was able to be laid out flat. What he saw inside left him confused.
Talise noticed Harry’s gaze. “We used our magic to weave enchantments into this but we wove the fibers and beaded the outside by hand. This bag is all your own and we hope that it will always remind you of us,” Talise kissed the top of his head softly.
There were tears stinging his eyes, but he refused to let them fall. He had to be strong for his mothers, his fathers, and his tribe. If it was his destiny to leave his people, then he would. Hausis knew best for the tribe’s sons and daughters and he would do as he was told.
Adsila’s voice brought him out from his mind. She had Sirius against the wall with his hands in the air in surrender with one hand on her hip and her index finger pressed against his chest, repeatedly. Remus was still sitting at the table, watching Adsila threaten Sirius with the ghost of a smirk on his lips. Talise pulled Harry to his feet and guided him out of the house silently. Hausis was sitting silently on the bench in front of the house.
“Tiani,” Hausis announced once the front door closed. “I have taken the time to collect all our knowledge on our mixtures, your fathers call them ‘Potions’, and nature magic into the books already in your house. I’ve spent years collecting the seeds of every plant I could find. Now listen to me very carefully,” Hausis commanded Harry’s attention. “You must never stop learning and expanding your magic. Do whatever you must to do so. Understand?”
“Yes,” Harry mustered all his courage into that one word. He knew what was coming next and his small frame quivered at the implications. His eyes burned and his hands tightened on the bag in his hands.
“Good,” Hausis nodded once. “Now. Go say your goodbye’s”
Harry did as he was told, going to each of the tribe’s people and giving his friends goodbyes that cut him to his young heart. Several people informed him that he would always be welcomed to come back once he was finished with his business. He had never worried about coming back, but it was nice knowing he had a place in the tribe. Adsila had come out of the house at some point and pulled him to a quiet spot.
“Here,” Adsila pulled out a headband with an intricate beaded design and an eagle feather tied to it with a leather strap. “You’re a little young to be given your feather, but I don’t care. You’re one of us,” Adsila put the headband on his head before giving him a quick kiss and a tight hug. His normally happy and enthusiastic mother smiled with tears in her eyes and sent him back to his fathers. Her heart broke as she turned and went home as she was instructed.
Remus was forced to insistently pull Harry away from the tribe since he was understandably reluctant to leave. Sirius was waiting for them nearby having already packed up their things into the small motorcycle trailer he had bought some time ago. Remus took a seat in the sidecar and pulled Harry in his lap. Without much else, they set off away from everything Harry had ever known. Only once the tribe was gone from sight did Harry begin to cry in earnest but heartbreaking sobs that shattered the small control Remus and Sirius had reaming for their little one. Remus rubbed his back in soothing circles, yet it did little to help him.
“I know it’s hard, pup,” Remus spoke over the wind. “You’ll find it gets easier.” It wasn’t hard to see the pained smile or the tears that had escaped down his cheeks as he held Harry in his lap.
“Was it hard to leave your home?” Harry hiccuped as he tried to speak through the tears and sobs. His mother’s smiling faces foremost in his mind. He missed them already.
Remus was quiet for long enough that Harry thought he might know the answer. He also didn’t miss the glances Sirius was throwing their way between batting at his own cheeks with his left hand. “It was always very hard, pup. You made it bearable,” The pain in his werewolf father’s smile left briefly as he looked down at Harry. Sirius nodded in agreement unable to speak for fear of losing the last of his own composure.
The three rode in silence for some time before Harry finally got bored of watching trees wiz by. He pulled up the red bag his mothers had gifted him to get a look at what they had put inside with their magic.
“The bag your mothers gave you?” Remus asked.
“Talise said her and Adisla put something inside,” Harry explained as he figured out how to open to bag. Once he got it opened, he peered inside, but was confused. He showed the inside to Remus while Sirius snuck curious glances in their direction as much as the road would allow him.
“Ah,” Remus said once he looked inside. “An Undetectable Extension Charm paired with a permanently conjured house. Very interesting,” He muttered to himself.
“Is that good?” Harry asked while wiping away his tears.
“Very good pup. Also very difficult.” Remus turned to Sirius. “Am I the only one here questioning our Hogwarts education?”
Sirius chuckled deeply. “Extension charms and permanent conjuration? Not at all. Those are some damn crafty Indians.”
His fathers laughed with one another over another joke Harry didn’t understand. Remus opened the bag almost as wide as it would go and presented it to Harry. “Why don’t you go in and check it out. We’ll be on the road for some yet.”
Harry nodded so Remus flipped the bag over his head and used his knee to pop Harry completely into the bag. Harry landed on a wooden floor, flat on his back with a harsh thud. He sat up and saw Remus’ face inside a large ring border with strange symbols all around it on the wooden wall in front of him.
“What’s this?” Harry asked, forgetting his previous sadness as he looked around in wonder.
“It’s the opening to your bag. No doubt looks different in there. We’re going to be on the road for some time, so take your time looking around. I’ll call for you when we stop for dinner,” Remus said before his picture changed into a wooden wall with only the border remaining.
Harry looked around him and saw that he was in a house that looked almost identical to the houses in the tribe. There wasn’t much in the house from what he could see. A plain couch with a coffee table in front of it in what he could assume was the living room. A small table with three chairs was sitting outside the kitchen. The kitchen had all the essentials; a sink, a wood stove/oven for cooking, a cupboard with dishware, another cupboard for seasonings for cooking, and several more that were empty.
At the edge of the kitchen was a small nook that held supplies for potion making. It held another smaller stove with a sizable cooking pot sitting on it and many kinds of mixing tools. The shelves in the nook already held numerous dried herbs in jars and more hanging from the ceiling, still drying. There was a curiously small cupboard next to the nook that held quite a few already prepared potions, the labels written by Hausis.
Connected to the living room was a library lit by half a dozen enchanted flames in old canning jars. There were empty shelves for books that covered all the walls of the library except for the far corner where the shelves made room for a large writing desk. There were already a few books on one of the lower shelves by the desk. Hausis did say she had already put books from the tribe in his house. Harry pulled one of the unlabeled books and leafed through it, finding potion recipes of various difficulties.
Putting the book back with the others, Harry wondered through the other rooms of the house. There was a bedroom with a very large bed and two small tables, both having another enchanted flame for light. The bedroom had a closet already had Harry’s clothes, as well new clothes in bigger sizes and different styles.
The second to last door in was a mostly empty room with large shelves on the walls and several freestanding cupboards. One of the cupboards had the bleached skull of a crow and a small note in Adsila’s handwriting.
Write us often on your journey, Taini. Call for the soul of the crow whose skull you now have and give your letter to it. The crow will find us, no matter how far apart we are
The note made Harry smile as his tears came back. His mother still wanted to hear from him. Already he wanted to write his mothers, but they only just left. He decided to wait until something noteworthy happened before sending a letter. No use telling them about looking around the house they made him.
Outside the last door was an area that could be considered ‘outside’ but wasn’t. Just outside the door to the house was a field of overturned dirt that was perfect for farming. An artificial light above him that looked and felt exactly like the sun.
Harry had seen most of everything there was to see, though knowing his mothers there were still plenty of things hidden in the nooks and crannies of the house. Today had been draining and he just didn’t have the desire to go searching. Instead, he went back to the library and began reading through the potion books Hausis had written for him.
“Harry!” Remus’ voice echoing through the house roused Harry from his books. He’d been reading all yesterday and most of today. Harry put his books back on the shelves before sprinting back to the portal. The portal was open, showing only a cloudless deep blue sky. “Feet first, pup,” his father ordered
Harry sat down on the floor and pushed his feet out. He felt his feet touch something solid before being pulled through with a quick movement. He found himself standing next to the motorcycle trailer with his father.
“We stopped already?” Harry asked
Remus chuckled fondly. “Harry. We’ve been on the road for nearly 14 hours. It’s nearly dark.” Harry looked around, finding the sun already low in the sky. “Aren’t you hungry?”
Harry’s stomach growled loudly, as if on cue. “Yes, Dad.”
“Good,” Remus smiled sweetly. “We’ve stopped at a diner for dinner before we figure out what to do for the night. Remember, since we’re out on the road Sirius is James, I am Evan and you are Logan. We can’t use our real names right now.”
Sirius walked around the trailer while stretching out his arms. “Boy am I happy for a break. Ready for food?”
“Hey yer damn glitter tits!” A strange voice with a strange accent called out from across the black lot. There was a man stumbling towards them while waving a bottle about in their general direction. The man was wearing dirty, ratty clothes that probably had never been properly taken care of. Harry could tell from the man’s hair that it had been weeks since he last washed it.
“Glitter tits?” Remus asked confusedly as he stepped in front of Harry. He looked sidelong at Sirius before speaking again, “What the hell kind of insult is that?”
“Is it because we’re magical?” Sirius was just as confused. “How can he tell, drunk as he is?”
“Get o’er here, freaks!” The strange man stumbled closer to them. “I got sometin’ for yah!”
The man reached into his pants pocket and pulled out something Harry didn’t recognize. There was a strange feeling coming from the man that Harry couldn’t place. His fathers reached into their own pockets, reaching for their wands, but didn’t yet pull them out.
“Sir. We can talk this over calmly,” Remus called out to him. “There’s no need for violence”
The man pointed the object towards them. “You’ses pay for et!”
The object pulsed violently just before shooting out four violet colored arrows of magic in rapid succession towards them. The arrows shot out towards them, but due to the man’s unsteady arm, they were sent out in unpredictable paths. The first two arrows hit the trailer between Harry and Remus and left a large burn holes in the side. Remus looked towards Harry and cast a quick shield in front of him to protect him, but didn’t see the third arrow coming right at him. Sirius quickly cast the same shield charm that manged to catch the second arrow before it hit Remus. Neither of his fathers had quick enough reflexes to stop the last arrow from striking Sirius. It hit his left shoulder and he immediately fell to the ground clutching it in pain. Remus roared as he leapt forward and grasped the man’s wrist wrenching hard and dropping the object from his grip and shattering his wrist. Remus’ right hook came fast and snarling he wordlessly banished the foolish drunk flying back into the trunk of a thick tree. He didn’t move to get up.
Harry scampered over to Sirius who was laying on the ground grasping his bleeding shoulder. “Daddy! Daddy! Are you alright?” Harry asked franticly.
“Oww, I’m alright pup,” Sirius ground out. “I’ll be fine. Stings like my mother's cruciatus, though,” He pushed himself up into a sitting position.
Harry quickly reached into his bag and pulled out one of the premade potions. “Here. This one will fix it.”
Sirius took the potion from Harry and drank it in one go without question. Remus knelt down next to them to examine the wound in Sirius’ shoulder. The bleeding had stopped and the wound was already stitching itself closed.
“You’re lucky, mate. Not far from your heart,” Remus spoke with clear emotion as he measured the distance in his mind.
Sirius was just about to speak when a woman’s voice shrieked. “Oh my god! Are you alright?!”
A younger woman wearing a pink waitressing uniform was rushing towards them from the front door of the diner. Harry saw Remus’ hand twitched towards his wand as the woman neared.
“I’ll live,” Sirius gave the woman his usual charming smile
“Thank god,” The woman sighed with a her hand on her chest. She was a rather buxom woman if Sirius’ smirk was any indication. “I never thought old Wallace would actually try and hurt someone.”
“What was that man’s problem?!” Remus snarled angrily, though not directed at the woman.
“He’s a bitter, old Wizard-born No-Maj. Hates magical folks with a violent passion,” The woman helped Sirius to his feet against his weak protests as he leaned against her more than necessary. “Come inside. Let’s get you folks some food inside.”
The woman pulled Sirius into the diner as Harry and Remus followed closely behind. She sat Sirius down at a table with a padded bench for a seat instead of standard chairs. She darted off but quickly came back with plastic covered papers.
“Thank you, Love,” Sirius spoke to her with a smirk.
“Don’t mention it. My name is Camilla, Cami to you, and I’ll be taking good care of you. Don’t worry about the cost. It’ll be on the house,” Cami smiled as she scampered through a door at the back of the diner.
“Way to go, pup. That was quick thinking with that potion,” Sirius praised Harry. “Where’d you get it from, anyway?”
“My mothers put some in the bag,” Harry responded without looking up from the menu. What’s a corn dog?
“Well, you’ll have to give them my thanks for their forethought,” Sirius continued as he winced as the wound continued to stitch itself together.
Cami came back after just a couple minutes to get their drink and food orders. She took it to the kitchen and came back with a pot of hot water for tea. Harry was quick to notice Cami’s glances towards Remus.
“You leave your dog outside? You can bring it in. The owner won’t mind so long as it’s well behaved,” She offered while pouring hot water into three cups.
Remus laughed heartily for a few seconds before looking at Sirius and then laughing harder. “I don’t have a dog Cami,” Remus responded after he had wiped the tears and mirth from his eyes. Sirius’ whole body jerked from being kicked by Remus under the table before he could make a comment. “Why do you ask?”
“You’re a werewolf. Figured you had a Moonhound,” Cami shrugged as she placed the sugar packets on the table.
“Never heard of Moonhounds,” Remus replied a bit dazed at the womans casualness with his nature.
“And you know we’re magical how?” Sirius added after rubbing his shin.
“Both of you look the type and we have lots of magical persons around here. It’s a dirty secret the whole town knows thought that’s why you stopped here,” Cami sat on a chair next to Harry and smiled sweetly at him as he thanked her for the water. She continued after she looked back to Remus, “ Moonhound is a magical dog breed that werewolves ‘round here have to help them during the moon. My brother told me that it’s a Mawbree crossed with a Silken Windhound. Make some damned loyal dogs.”
Cami brought their food out not too long later, leaving her chair when the order was up as there were no other patrons in the diner. While they were eating, a police officer came into the diner and Cami smiled and waved him over to their table.
“Evening gentlemen. Got a call about old Wallace causing you some trouble with an illegal magical gun. Did anyone get hurt?” The officer asked with a slow drawl as he took a cup of coffee from Cami and nodded his thanks.
“I got hit in the shoulder. It’s all healed up now thanks to my son’s quick thinking,” Sirius showed the officer the dried blood around hole in his shirt.
“That’s good to hear,” The officer spoke with an sneer that he whisked into a smile. “I’d hate for good magical folk being hurt by one bitter old squib. Don’t worry yourselves now. I’ll make sure he learns his lesson,” The officer tipped his head before leaving.
“Why does it sound like he’s going to be taken out behind the wood shed?” Sirius joked, but was met with a stern glare from Remus.
The three ate their meal and were getting ready to leave when Cami stopped them. “You boys got a place to stay for the night?” Sirius eyes widened and he smiled. America, land of the free, indeed.
“No, we don’t. We’re honestly just passing through,” Remus shrugged.
“I’m getting off now, so how about you come to my house? I got an extra bed for you two and a couch for your boy,” Cami offered unaware of the tinkling mirth in Sirius’ eyes.
“A bed to sleep in would be nice,” Sirius suggested quietly to Remus with a raised eyebrow and smile tugging at his lips. Remus nodded and pushed Sirius out the door.
“One more snarky flirting attempt or comment about her offer and I will hex you,” Remus hissed into Sirius’ ear as he followed Harry to the motorcycle.
The three piled into the motorcycle and followed the woman to her rather nondescript brick house that was hidden from the road by the trees. There was a large brown dog sitting in front of the house when they pulled up the driveway. As soon as Sirius turned the bike off the dog began walking towards them. Harry was unafraid of the large animal so he ran towards it to greet it as he was taught. The dog was so tall that it could look Harry in the eyes while having enough muscle mass to look like it could fight a bear with little issue.
Harry was able to find the dog’s name from it’s mind. “Hello Emily,” he greeted.
Emily the dog bowed her head to Harry to return his greeting.
“Ah! You met Emily! She’s a Moonhound, like I was telling you. My brother has her brother, Chesty,” Cami explained as she rubbed Emily’s head. Remus and Sirius stood in shock at the animal. These were bred for werewolves? What purpose did you need a dog that big for? Hunting? Remus and Sirius shared a glance that summed up much of there feelings, what else was England missing in its limited magical community?
Cami showed the three into the house and where they would be sleeping. Remus mumbling a comment about sharing a bed with Sirius to keep the virtue of their host safe, but it only made Sirius smile. Harry pulled out a blanket from his bag as he prepared for sleep.
“You got a pretty nifty bag there,” Cami spoke from the hallway. She was already in her pajamas.
“Yes. My mothers gave it to me before we set off,” Harry explained as he tucked the bag under the pillow Cami let him borrow.
“You need school books?” She asked suddenly as she had been gently chewing on her lower lip moments before.
Hausis’ words about collecting as many books as he could to study came to mind. “I can always use more books Miss Cami,” Harry replied.
“My parents kept all my brother’s Ilvermorny books. Upwards of thirty, I think. I’m never going to use them and I have no idea where to take them to get rid of them or who to give them to.”
“I’d love to have them, but I have no money ma’am,” Harry admitted to his host.
“I didn’t say buy,” She replied with a grin and a wink. “I’ll bring them out in the morning for you. Goodness knows you’ll make better use of them than I can.”
US Marine Corps
New Orleans, Louisiana. That’s where they had ended up this time on their journey. All Harry truly knew is he hated it. It was overly hot and the thick air made it so much worse. He was wet, all the time, and he didn’t like that. Why did they have to be here during the hottest time of the year? There were too many non-magical people around so Remus had forbidden him from using his magic to cool himself. At least he had company in his misery, Sirius was also forbidden from using any magic, ‘couldn’t be trusted’ said Mooney. However, it was difficult to determine what his black haired father was more upset about; no magic or not being here for Mardi Gras.
Sirius had parked their motorcycle on Bourbon Street, outside a small cafe that was chosen mainly for the working air conditioning. His fathers were discussing the various interesting food combinations on the menu, but Harry couldn’t care less. There was barely anything on the menu he recognized and he wasn’t in the mood for experimentation. It’d been nearly two months since they left the tribe and it seemed like a lifetime ago. All the days blended together as he spent most of his time in the house his mothers gave him reading, tending his garden and sulking. He knew his fathers were concerned about him by the way their eyes lingered on him whenever he was out of his bag.
“Are you hungry, Logan?” Remus asked. Remus was being overly gently with his questions, as he usually was when Harry when upset or just plain moody. Both of his fathers had been tiptoeing around him since they had left the tribe and Harry was quite sick of their behavior.
“Not really, Evan. I’d like to go for a walk. See some of the shops,” was Harry’s halfhearted reply. Really, he just wanted to be away from that concern in his fathers eyes, both of them.
“Are you sure, pup? We could go together,” Sirius suggested.
“No. I’d like to go alone. No talking to people who look shady and yell if something happens right? Enjoy your date,” Harry faked a smile as he slipped out of the cafe and waved his hand over his shoulder. Thankfully his mothers had taught him a few tricks to avoid the attention of other people and a few more for getting out of trouble. He smiled through his prickling eyes, he had made lots of trouble for his mothers. Shaking that thought away he continued his determined march down the road. He didn’t have to have his fathers around all the time, they never really cried so he didn’t want to disappoint them crying over his mothers and friends. No one would bother him, and even if they did, he could easily get away.
Remus heaved out a sigh and deftly flicked his wand under the table, “Tracking charm,” he mumbled to Sirius as they watched Harry walk down the street.
“’Enjoy your date’ he said. Little guy is as full of sass as cousin Cissy,” mumbled Sirius into his water.
Outside the cafe was sweltering, but the chance to explore a bit far outweighed the weather. Harry glanced into the many small shops along the street. There were several shops geared towards tourists that he was not interested in them in the slightest. He was hit with the pleasant cool breeze from the small grocers he passed tempting him in, but he pressed on. He was just becoming discouraged over not finding anything interesting when he felt a faint tendril of magic. Harry turned back to find the magic again and follow it. The magic tendril was coming from a small alleyway between the shops. His fathers would no doubt be upset that he was following strange tendrils of magic down alleyways alone, but Harry was far from incapable. His mothers made sure of that.
The tendril guided him to a shop unlike the ones geared towards the tourists on the main road. This one had a type of Rune-writing that Harry hadn’t seen in any of his books. Deciding it was worth the risk, Harry walked inside.
The store was dark, but Harry could still make out the shelves of decorated candles and other knick knacks that were popular with tourists. Harry found himself incredibly disappointed that this was just another boring store when a person almost as short as him walked out from the back. It was a very dark-skinned woman with a curved back wearing strange clothes that reminded him faintly of home.
“Wha-? Who there?!” The woman called out angrily. She must have been very old, judging by her voice.
“Hello,” Harry replied softly, “Forgive me. I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Do I know you, boy?” The woman hobbled closer to him until she stopped in front of him and he was able to see that her eyes were clouded over, meaning she was blind. “What’s your name?” She asked in a low voice.
“My name is Logan Hunt ma'am,” He was thankful that Mooey had instructed him about his new name while they were on the road. “We’ve never been here before,” Dadfoot had said as much when they had entered the state and discovered the awful weather. “Me and my family are just passing through ma’am.”
“No…No no no! I know you boy!” The woman cackled as she grabbed Harry’s face and turned it side to side roughly and she hummed as he turned his face in her hands.
“I don’t want to tell you you’re wrong,” Harry struggled to speak with the womans vice-like grip on his face. “But you’re wrong about this.”
“More than one way to know someone, Harry Potter,” The woman muttered displeased as she let go of his face. Harry was shocked that she really did know him. “Thought them Indians would have taught you that,” she cackled as settled her blank eyes on his.
Harry perked up when she said ‘Indians’. “You know them?” He inquired eagerly.
“I know of 'em, but I do not know 'em personally. More than one way being a seer.” The woman began walking away. “Come,” She motioned for Harry to follow her, which he did dutifully. Mooey would have things to say to him later he was sure. The woman walked back to the door that she came out when Harry arrived. He could feel the magic she used to unlock it, but didn’t see any special movements or hear any incantations to do so. Every corner on the other side of the door was practically with dripping magic and hit Harry with such force that he stopped for a moment to fight through the sensation of magic washing over him.
There were candles nearly everywhere that were illuminating every corner of the room. The walls were covered even more shelves than the front, but these ones were full of actual magical artifacts. Even the things he didn’t know the function of he knew were magic just from the feel of them. The woman dropped a stool near him, startling him out of his revere.
“Open you that pretty bag and set it here,” She commanded much like Hausis and Harry obeyed out of habit.
The woman walked over to the closest shelf to her and, with little hesitation, began grabbing all manner of objects off the shelves and was throwing them over her shoulders towards his bag. The various items did not go into the bag right away, instead they just hung out in the air above the bag soon the air around them looked like it was in the middle of a small hurricane. As the woman turned to go to another shelf, she noticed the items hanging in the air as she felt a book brush against he shoulder.
She clicked her tongue before turning to Harry. “May I please give you items you will need on your journey?” She asked sarcastically as she stressed the 'please'.
“Yes ma’am,” Harry responded remembering that this was an elder woman and she was due his respect like his mothers and grandmother had taught him. So he pulled his irritation at her behavior away and nodded his assent as well. He was never going to say no to free things.
The items flew into his bag suddenly, startling Harry. “Ridiculous fucking manner spells,” The woman groused angrily as she moved between the shelves.
Harry could only catch a glimpse of some of the items she threw into his bag. He saw some books fly past as well as some plants that may have been potion ingredients and many other objects he couldn’t make out. The woman tossed objects from nearly every shelf in the back room before she finally hobbled back to Harry.
“There you go, Harry. That’s all the help I can provide,” She grabbed the bag and closed it before handing it back to him
“I have no money to give you for everything,” Harry spoke in a small voice. He wanted the items, but he didn’t know if she wanted compensation or what it would cost him.
“I have plenty of money, boy. I don’t need more,” The woman scoffed. “While others may help you because of your ‘destiny’,” She practically hissed the words through her teeth and even added a sarcastic wave of her hand into the dark corner of the ceiling, “But I’m not that way. I will be effected by an evil I cannot fight if I don’t help you.” The woman leaned in close to his face, “So consider this an advance for your services,” She said in a low voice that could easily be taken as threatening.
“Yeah…er, yes ma’am,” Harry really had no idea what to say to the woman’s vitriol statements.
“Good, last bit of advice. Write down all of your dreams and any visions that you get. Information will be what makes your win a sure thing.” The woman gave Harry a pleasant smile. “Now get out,” The old woman growled after she patted his cheek. The woman flicked her wrist and Harry was magically thrust backwards until he came to a stop just outside the store front. He stood there in a daze while clutching his bag hard to his chest.
“Logan! Where are you?” Sirius was using his magic to call out to him. “Come on back. It’s time to get going.”
Harry threw the bag strap across his body and ran back to the cafe. Sirius was already on the motorcycle, ready to go, while Remus was standing next to it.
“Did you have fun exploring, Logan?” Remus asked as Harry came to a skidding stop in front of him.
“Yeah. I just wish I had more time,” Harry whined as his mind was still reeling from the encounter with the blind seer.
“Yes, yes. I know,” Remus ruffled his hair. “You’ll have plenty of time to explore once we’re out of the States and into Mexico, at least.”
“What’s in Mexico?” Harry asked sweetly.
“No Aurors, hopefully,” Sirius interjected, causing Remus to roll his eyes.
“You want to ride up front or would you prefer to be in the back?” Remus asked mostly to drown Sirius out.
“Can I be in the back?” Harry held up his bag, “I got some new books I want to read.”
“Did you buy them?” Remus’ demeanor changed to more serious
“Does it matter?” Sirius added flippantly
“James!” Remus yelled. “We are not encouraging illegal activities.”
“A nice old lady gave them to me,” Harry added quickly before his fathers’ argument drew attention to them.
“See?” Sirius said with a grin.
“Get in back, Logan. We need to get moving,” Remus sighed, clearly defeated. As Remus moved to the side car he grumbled words that Harry only heard few of: ‘Never hear the end’, ‘Lily’, ‘castrate me’, ‘raised a felon’, ‘James and Sirius’, and ‘anxiety attack’ being what he could make out.
Harry shrugged and walked around to the hatch on the small trailer and scampered inside. Remus closed the hatch for him, giving him the privacy to go into his bag. Once inside, he was able to finally see the things that the old woman had given in for ‘an advance for services’. There were a few new boxes of potion ingredients in the kitchen, tucked away with the other boxes. The library had a lot of new books on the shelves. Many of them were related to Voodoo and Hoodoo, but there were some more potions, spells, and magical creatures. There was a blank notebook that was also magical, though at first glance, Harry couldn’t figure out what was special about it. On his study desk in the corner of the library there was a human skull that had designs carved all over it.
“Hey!” The skull shouted at him, startling him. “Whatchu looking at?!”
“A talking skull, apparently,” Harry stuttered as he revised his thought that it was only a skull.
“What?! You ain’t never seen a talking skull before?!” He the skull demanded.
“Uh…no. No I haven’t. Sir?” Harry pondered the correct way to address a skull.
“Oh! Well now you have,” The skull stated plainly.
“How long have you been a talking skull?” Harry inquired hesitantly.
“Huh…that’s a good question,” The skull seemed thoughtful, though it was hard to tell with no eyes or flesh. “I can’t rightly recall when I was born or when I died. Don’t really matter at the end of the day, does it?”
“You have a name?”
The skull was quiet again. “No idea”
“Ok. We’ll talk more later. I want to keep looking around.”
“Go on. Not like I’m going nowheres,” The skull muttered as Harry walked out of the library.
His bedroom held nothing new, same as the living room. He went outside to see if there was anything new out there. There was some broken glass in the tilled dirt of his garden and a metal canning lid that wasn’t there before. Harry looked around, but didn’t see anything that could have been in the jar. A buzzing sound near his right ear got his attention and he found a queen Honeybee flying near his head.
“Hello there,” Harry held out his right hand and the bee landed on his palm. “Were you in a jar?” He pointed to the broken glass. The queen buzzed twice before she twisted her body back and forth twice and settled again. Harry took that to be a affirmation. “Bees like beehives. Would you like a beehive?” The queen buzzed twice again.
With his left hand, he made a movement and conjured a basic wooden beehive next to the tilled dirt. The queen took flight and went towards the conjured hive. Harry watched as she inspected the outside of the hive before disappearing inside. He leaned in close and could hear the queen buzzing happily throughout the empty honeycombs. She came back out, still buzzing happily, and flew towards Harry. He held his hand out for her to land on it again. She turned around in his palm several times before there was a sharp pain that made Harry yelp. He was just about to flick her off when he realized that she was licking up the bit of his blood that was welling up from the wound. Harry watched as all the yellow strips on her elongated slowly turned red.
“Ah, you’re a magical Honeybee,” She buzzed again and seemed to dance back and forth in his palm before flying back to the hive. “Could have told me before biting me,” Harry groused as he healed the small wound on his palm.
The queen landed on the top of the hive and buzzed a few times to get Harry’s attention. Once he looked at her, she made a popping sound and grew from a normal sized bee to a bee that now was the size of a cat. Harry could only stare as she buzzed her long wings at, as if showing off for him.
“Yikes…” Harry’s eyes widened and he looked at the entrance to his bag. Dad would have lots of questions. He tried to think of a response to his new friend, but yikes was pretty much all he could say when faced with a bee of unusual size. A BoUS? BUS? Harry shrugged.
The queen popped again, returning to her original non-threatening sized and disappeared into the hive. Harry was stunned for a bit, but got over it quickly enough. The queen obviously liked him as she hadn’t tried to kill him yet. Looking around the area, Harry realized that there were very few plants already planted and only a couple of them were anywhere near flowering. Honeybees eat pollen and honey, so Harry used his magic and summoned flowers to grow in the area around the tilled dirt and his house. He then decided to conjure a small fountain full of fresh water for the Queen and the brood he knew was coming. Sirius wouldn't let him hear the end of it if he thought Harry was the father.
The weather in Peru was lovely this time of year, according to the locals. Sunny without being blistering, warm without being cooked, and a lovely breeze that never quite stopped blowing. Remus had suggested they stop in a little town called Aguas Calientes on their way through Peru and Sirius was able to find a quiet little restaurant that was tucked away from the crowds of tourists, magic most likely. His fathers were pleased, but Harry just couldn’t find it in himself to care. Sure, he paid lip service as to keep his fathers worry about him low, but it was clear they still suspected something was wrong with him. Even his interest in his books and learning had begun to wane.
“A penny for your thoughts?” Sirius asked as he poured some sort of warm drink into his cup.
“Sorry, father. Just lost in thought. Going to be ten soon and wondering what might have happened if we stayed at home. Or in Britain where we’re from,” Harry sighed as he sipped the drink, finding it a bit warm for the weather but good nonetheless.
Remus sat down across from Sirius and set down some strange pastries while waving an envelope between them. “A new letter from Andromeda?” Sirius was clearly surprised, and nearly choked out on his drink seeing the letter. Harry looked up and watched his fathers talk shop, he hadn’t heard much about Andromeda lately.
“Yes, it seems so,” Remus sipped on his own drink while Sirius reopened the letter to read himself. “She asks how we are, but spends most of the letter talking about Narcissa,” continued Remus as he grabbed for a pastry.
“Narcissa?” Sirius scrunched up his nose in thought and read through the letter quickly. “Cissy is having problems in her marriage? Can’t say I’m surprised,” Sirius handed the letter back to Remus.
“Why do you say that?” He asked while taking another of the pastries to eat and seeing the look on Harry’s face smiled and tore it in half giving one piece to the boy.
“Despite what they like to tell you, Pureblood marriages are almost never happy ones. They’re all miserable, so they take solace in their social elite status to feel better,” Sirius shrugged. Harry tilted his head to listen better as they talked, ‘Pureblood’ was new to him.
“It must be especially bad if she’s back in contact with Andromeda. She’s a Blood Traitor, like you,” replied Remus with a thoughtful look into his drink.
“Narcissa was always close to her sisters. She’s very family driven,” Sirius exhaled. “It’s possible that Lucius has done something truly despicable and she’s reaching out to the only family that won’t turn against her. Still, it must have been a big gamble, Andy was really hurt once her sisters stopped talking to her.”
“Everyone else is dead, disowned, or in Azkaban. Poor dear,” Remus pulled the letter from Sirius to read. “Her boy…Draco,” Remus made a sour face, making Sirius chuckle, “is only a month and a half older than Logan here. I wonder how he’s related to you?” Remus mostly asked himself.
“Related far enough away that I don’t care?” Sirius replied, mostly in jest.
“Well, Narcissa is a first cousin on your mothers’ side, third on your fathers’. That would mean Draco is that, once removed,” Remus stated smugly, making Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Wait,” Harry spoke up, “You’re related to Narcissa on both sides?” He asked somewhat disturbed. He heard the jokes about kissing cousins in the United States while they traveled there but this was very real.
“Yes,” Sirius sighed heavily, “Blood purity is an ideology that remains very strong in Great Britain, so there tends to be a lot of intermarriage within the Pureblood families. So much so that all Purebloods are related to one another several times over.”
“Pureblood?” Harry was now thoroughly confused as he voiced his thoughts from earlier. That word had never come up in his books but he had two well informed dads to help. “What’s that word mean?”
“The term ‘Pureblood’ refers to a person born with magical purity. A lot of people where we’re from believe in keeping magical bloodlines free of those believed to be ‘unworthy’,” Remus explained
“Who is considered unworthy?” Harry asked slowly as he followed the explanation.
“According to Purebloods, many people. You got your Muggleborns, those born from two nonmagical parents. Blood traitors, Purebloods that were disowned for going against tradition. Halfbreeds, people who are part human and part something else. Goblins, Veela, or Giants, for example,” Remus continued.
“Werewolves,” sighed a resigned Sirius.
Remus nodded sadly as he took a sip before continuing, “Halfbloods, or people with at least one magical person in their bloodline, are kind of a grey area in the Pureblood ideology. Not outright shunned, but not really embraced either,” Remus made a hand motion that really didn’t translate, “They’re judged on a case by case basis.”
“I’m glad you took that,” Sirius smiled handsomely at Remus. “I had no idea how to explain it.”
“Should have studied more then,” murmured Remus into his drink as Sirius barked out a laugh.
“Let me see if I got this straight,” Harry started, trying to get his head around the barrage of information. “People from home see a problem with marrying someone with no magic in their bloodline, but are fine with inbreeding?”
“Yeah, basically,” Sirius stated while nodding.
“Yikes…” Harry muttered, causing his fathers to laugh. His fathers continued to talk about the letter, but Harry zoned out of the conversation again. He was tired already and he had only interacted with his fathers a little bit. He needed to get away for a little bit.
“Mooey? Dadfoot? Can I go explore?” Harry asked sweetly.
“Are you sure you want to go alone, pup?” Remus inquired, clearly concerned.
“Yeah. The weather is nice and I want to see if I can scare some old ladies,” Harry joked, getting a laugh from Sirius, but a disapproving look from Remus
“Ah, why not? We’ve been on the road a lot the last couple weeks,” Sirius waved Harry off
“Just, please stay safe, alright?” Remus added, still concerned as he tagged the boy with a tracking charm just in case.
“I will!” Harry tossed over his shoulder as he got up from the table and scampered off down the road.
The roads through the town were relatively open with only a few groups of tourists visiting the shops. Harry had been told by some old female mages in Bolivia that Machu Picchu was a place that the Incan people had once used for magical ceremonies and suggested he go there. There may be something there for him, so that’s where he was now heading. The main road of Aguas Calientes lead out of the town and slowly wound it’s way up the mountain towards Machu Picchu.
Groups of tourists began passing him, warning him that a storm was heading their way and that it was already beginning to rain on the old city. Harry assured them that he was just grabbing something before heading back to the main town. He had no intention of going back just yet, but he needed to get the well-meaning strangers to leave him alone. As he continued on, he began feeling the first raindrops of the storm, so he cast a spell to prevent the water from making him wet and another one to keep him warm.
Harry walked around the ruins, happily unburdened by any other people. The old buildings were just that, old, but they did have a steady thrum of magic coming from them. He began getting bored after walking around for some time without finding anything.
“Stupid stupid stupid,” a strange voice groused.
Harry stopped walking, suddenly concerned. Looking around found him alone, but that couldn’t be right. The voice wasn’t human, that was sure from the long s sounds and strange hissing undercurrent.
“Why must they come in droves? Why is it only the rain drives them away? Can’t fly in the rain,” The voice continued to hiss it’s displeasure. Harry followed the voice as well as he could as it continued complaining about people that visited the ruins. He came up to a large building that looked like a semi-circle and had the Incan snake symbol over the large door. Harry felt the wards around him as he crossed on his way to the building.
“Should just eat them, but no…can’t…can’t…can’t…” He seemed so upset.
Against his better judgment, Harry called out to the voice that contemplating murder and cannibalism, “Hello?”
The voice completely cut out and was replaced by a strange sound that kind of sounded like a bag of some sort being drug against the stone floor. The magic thrum from the building grew louder as did the dragging sound.
“You should leave before I eat you…” The voice was nearly booming now.
“Would you really eat me?” Harry asked quietly, already preparing several defensive spells in his hands. The energy from this magically potent place emboldening his magic.
“You…you can understand me?” The voice sounded just as confused as Harry was. Out from the darkened emerged a the head of a snake that was bigger than most cars he had seen. It’s scales were a emerald green that shifted to royal blue as it emerged from the door. There were multicolored feathers that came out of it’s head and partially hid long blue horns.
“Yeah? Is that unusual?” Harry did his best to keep his voice neutral as his heart began to hammer in his chest. What was this thing that inhabited the summit of the mountain.
“It is,” Harry was able to see the snake’s terrifyingly long teeth as it spoke in a low tone that kind of sounded like it was growling. “I haven’t spoken to one of your kind since Pachacuti.”
“Pachacuti? Who’s that?” Harry relaxed only a fraction. This creature was still quite large but not as hostile as it was moments ago.
“He was the Incan Emperor that built this estate,” The snake rested it’s head on the ground. Harry released his primed defensive spells since they were no longer needed but kept his muscles poised to run. “Everyone left as the Spanish pushed closer. I’ve remained here ever since,” The snake seemed wistful.
“And you haven’t spoken to anyone since then?” Harry asked politely.
“It is true that I have been lonely, but I don’t mind my own company,” It spoke slowly. How tragic, Harry thought, for such a creature to be so alone. “There are so few people who have to the gift to speak to serpents. Such a pleasant surprise for one to find me,” The snake did sound quite pleased.
“I didn’t know I had that ability,” Harry’s voice wavered as he knew he’d have to talk to his dads about this and what he could do to learn about it.
“I’m not surprised,” The snake chuckled. “It’ll only come up if you speak to a snake or someone else whom has it.” The snake pulled back into the doorway, “I know you have spells protecting you from the rain, but it’s still rude to leave someone out in the rain while speaking. Come in and sit.”
Harry walked into the doorway that was now clear of giant snake and found several stone chairs a little further inside. The snake continued to pull back, clearing the room for Harry. He took a seat in one of the stone chairs while the snake arched it’s neck so it was now looking down on him from the ceiling.
“My name is Logan Hunt. What’s your name?” Mooey would be terribly displeased if he forgot to introduce himself.
The snake chuckled again. “I am far too powerful to be fooled by simple words. My name is Amaru, Harry Potter.” Harry remained quiet, unsure of what to admit to. “You hold your tongue instead of saying too much. The wolf and the dog have taught you well,” it continued to speak in a pleased manner.
“My fathers would be happy to hear that,” He spoke neutrally. He scanned the inside of the building. It seemed to be much larger on the inside and unlike the other ruins and places he’d seen the last few years the painted walls and metal that shimmered with all the colors of the rainbow! It was a beautiful place.
“Harry,” Amaru sighed, “I am a Quetzalcoatl, last of the Quetzalcoatls of the Morning Star, and the most powerful seer in the Incan Empire. Put that preteen angst away while you speak to me!” His bellow bounced off the walls, startling the boy with the change in demeanor.
“I…I…I’m sorry!” He stammered.
“Don’t be sorry, boy. Change yourself. Feeling sorry for oneself isn’t becoming of the Chosen One,” hissed the ancient seer.
“Chosen one? What are you talking about?”
“I just said I was a seer, child. I know you know what that means. You’ve met your share of them on your journey so far,” Amaru growled.
“Forgive me, Amaru. I haven’t felt right since I left my tribe,” Harry sighed, trying not to let any tears fall.
The feathers on Amaru’s neck shook violently before settling as the agitation gave way to sympathy. “I understand little one. I felt much the same way when the Incans fled the Spanish. You must get past it in order to achieve the greatness you’ve been fated for.”
“What is that, exactly? Everyone keeps talking about this grand destiny of mine, but won’t explain exactly what it is,” Harry flailed his arms angrily while speaking now indignant of the cryptic nature of seers.
“I have not been able to see the evil myself, but I have felt the presence. Even now I feel the faint pulses of malevolence. While I do not know what it is, I know you will be the one to face it. Only you can,” Amaru seemed lost in thought for a moment. “This evil killed your true parents and it will kill your tribe and fathers if you do not destroy it first.”
“Truly? It killed my mother and father?” Harry hung his head. “My fathers are reluctant to tell me why we must move so much.”
“So you can learn,” Amaru answered without a moment’s hesitation.
“Learn what? Magic? Can’t I learn that in one place? I learned from the mages all down the continent about blood magic and rituals. I’ve learned from the books they give me and from the study I do from the school books! Why can’t I just be normal?”
“Quit whining, child!” hissed the ancient snake. “I did not tell fate what to weave for you, nor can I ask her to change it. The evil could have chosen another, yet it did not. It chose you and left it’s mark on your forehead,” Amaru chastened. He remembered the times he had young priests that he’d once taught and tempered the venom in his words. This was a boy.
Harry reached up in horror and touched the jagged scar on his head. “It gave me this?”
“And more,” Amaru sighed again. “There is so much more to say, but you are young. Too young, I think. But I can do something for you, though it isn’t much.”
Amaru turned his head around and turned back with several of his smaller feathers in his mouth. He leaned down so harry could take them from him. In comparison to Harry’s hands the feathers were as big as an eagles.
“You’re giving me some of your feathers? Thank you! They’re beautiful Amaru,” Harry said in wonder.
“They are also magical. The Incan once used the feathers that fell off in their ceremonies. Now you may carry on that tradition as the first person to become a Quetzalcoatl of the Morning Star in over five hundred years,” Amaru leaned down so his grand head was at level with Harry’s. “Do not despair, Harry. Life may seem unlivable right now, but you mustn’t give in to that feeling. Promise me you will rise above it so you can save us all” Amaru practically begged him for himself and for the myriad of people who he could see but would never know of this hero.
“Yes,” What else could Harry say when such a great creature was begging him to be better? “I will do better. For you, for my mothers, and everyone else in the world.” Harry smiled at Amaru and actually felt happy for the first time since leaving his tribe.
Amaru bowed his head to Harry. “I thank you, Harry. Remember to comport yourself as a priest of the Morning Star, you represent much more than who you are. May the wind always lift you higher,” Amaru intoned as he then nudged Harry to the door.
Harry walked as he quietly contemplated his interaction with the great serpent. A priest he had said. Harry knew NOTHING about that. He supposed he’s have to look into what that could mean from his books. Likely his parents wouldn’t know anything helpful. Harry stopped dead in his tracks as his thoughts happened upon his grandmother. Hausis was very much like a priestess, Harry’s scowl deepened as he thought further, not exactly since she never claimed to be, but she was certainly responsible for the group and looked after their spiritual and physical well being. Maybe he needed to act well in his capacity of fate, Harry snorted as he came back to the shop that his father’s were at as they loaded up the motorcycle, he’d have to act more like Remus and less like Sirius. Harry watched as Remus rolled his eyes at something Sirius was saying and cuffed the dog upside the head. Maybe, Harry smiled to himself, there was lots of room in being a Priest of the Morning Star.
The family had found themselves in Northern Australia during the hottest month of the year, which Sirius had complained about for a solid six days as they drove through long stretches of desert and Kangaroos. Harry didn’t mind the weather as much, though Remus knew it was because he was able to wandlessly and silently cast his spells, which it it far easier for him to cool himself. Thankfully the muggle bookshop Remus had found himself in had air conditioning, saving him from having to find a way to quietly cast a cooling spell on himself.
The bookshop had a wide range of books, though they were still mostly romance novels and style magazines, which didn’t interest him at all. He may have found an interesting magazine that was mostly recipes that he was unfamiliar with, so he glanced over the pages to see if it was worth buying. Movement to his left caught his attention and he found one of Harry’s magical honeybees that was currently the size of his hand had landed on the book ends. The bee buzzed twice at Remus with what he assumed was a greeting and took off flying again, now pulling one of the books it had landed on out and left the store with it. Remus could only sigh to himself as he pulled out a small notebook from his pocket and took down the price of the book as well as the name of the store. Harry had quite the list of stores he’d stolen from going and he cursed Hausis every time he had to add another item to the list.
After buying the recipe magazine, Remus walked back to the motorcycle to see if Sirius had come back from seeing a contact about getting another boat off the island continent. Sirius had voiced his concern about being on an island, not matter how large, when they weren’t sure if the Australian Aurors were looking for Sirius. Much more likely to remain hidden in plain sight in the Asian countries rather than in an extension of the British Empire.
Sirius was sitting on the motorcycle drinking from a water bottle Remus hoped had been paid for. Harry was sitting in the sidecar, looking through the book his bee had stolen earlier.
“You know you’re paying for that, right pup?” Remus informed Harry in his best dad tone.
“I’m sure you already wrote everything down for me,” Harry replied without even looking up.
Sirius chuckled at Harry’s sass, but stopped as soon as he caught sight of Remus’ glare. “Did you have luck finding a way off the island?”
“Yes, actually,” Sirius finished his water and tossed it in a high arc towards the recycle can nearby, making it in. “There’s a man at the Charles Darwin University that we need to talk to.”
“Is this man even remotely trustworthy?” Remus asked, already incredulous of this man.
“Has anyone we’ve gotten illegal rides from been truly trustworthy?” Sirius retorted as he started up the motorcycle. “Come on!”
Remus rolled his eyes as he slid into the sidecar next to Harry. Harry barely stopped reading his book to make room for Remus. Sirius got into traffic and began driving recklessly enough that Remus elected not to watch the road.
“What are you reading, pup?” He asked.
“It’s a book about some game played by the nonmagical people around here.” Harry turned the over so Remus could see the front cover. The words ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ were on the cover with a rather inaccurate picture of a dragon attacking a knight with a wildly overpowered fire breath attack. “It seems really fun, but you need other people to play with,” Harry added with a frown.
“Maybe you’ll get lucky and find some people that play in our travels. Or, perhaps, you could teach people?” Remus suggested.
“Yeah, maybe,” Harry sighed sadly. “I’ll have to get more books though. This is only a player’s guidebook with characters and spells,” He opened the front cover and showed the list of other books to Remus. “See?”
“You plan on buying these books, right pup?” Remus asked pointedly.
“With what money?” Harry scoffed. The remark irritated Remus in a lot of ways, but it was true enough to silence him.
“Eventually?” Remus asked pulling out the notebook with Harry’s thievery annotated by price, location, and date and waved it under Harry’s nose.
“Yes dad,” responded a chastised Harry.
Sirius got to the University in no time without violating any laws, much to Remus’ relief. Sirius parked the bike and ushered them into one of the many buildings on the campus.
“The man said he had an office in this building. He had a lecture, so asked us to wait for him until he was done,” Sirius explained while navigating the hallways like he belonged there.
“Do I need to come with?” Harry asked.
“Yes, you do,” Remus stated.
“It would actually be a good idea if he didn’t,” Sirius spoke in a low tone.
“What, why?” Remus demanded.
“We don’t know this man. I think it would be better if Logan wandered off for a bit while we discuss business,” Sirius replied as he strode off with his best swagger. Remus truly hated it when Sirius made valid points. It was much easier to be the voice of reason when the other voice was an ill-mannered dog.
“Just be careful, ok Logan? There are a lot of people here and it’d be much harder to hide your magic,” Remus sighed as he tagged his son with a tracking charm.
Harry nodded as he scampered off down one of the many hallways.
“You worry too much, Moony. He’s more than capable of taking care of himself,” Sirius spoke as he draped one arm around his friend’s shoulders.
“I just can’t help but feel like we’re doing this all wrong,” Remus said.
“We’re raising our boy while also being on the run. I’m surprised he’s doing as well as he is!” Sirius added with a smile. Remus glared at his friend, but it only made Sirius laugh.
Harry walked down the hallways of the building while looking into the numerous rooms. Some of the doors were closed, so he glanced in through the windows. Most of the rooms were empty with strange looking desks lined up in rows. A couple had people inside, listening to someone at the front of the room or writing in their notebooks. As Harry continued on his path, he felt a tendril of magic. It was so faint he had to concentrate to feel the direction enough to follow it.
He finally found the tendril led to another classroom full of people. Most of the people were sitting alone, reading quietly, with a few small of groups in quiet discussion. The door was open, but he didn’t dare go in. He didn’t belong here and he had to be very careful not to draw attention to him or his fathers.
“Are you lost?” A man inside the room called out to him. Harry was just about to bolt, but the concern on the mans face put him at a slight ease.
“No. I got bored waiting for my father’s meeting to finish and wanted to see what people do here,” Harry found putting a seed of truth in a lie made it sound more believable.
“Ah, poor boy. You must be bored stiff,” A woman sitting near the man spoke up. “You can come in and sit, if you’d like. We’re just going over some research papers. Kind of boring, actually,” The woman laughed. The original man nodded with a smile.
“What kind of research?” Harry asked as he sat down next to the woman
“The effects of inbreeding in humans,” The woman rolled her eyes. “A thrilling read,” she added sarcastically.
There was a man Harry could see over the first mans shoulder. He was staring intently at Harry and it was beginning to bother him. Harry was just about to excuse himself from the room when the other man got up from where he was sitting and moved to sit next to the first man at their table.
“I know what you are. You can’t hide it,” The second man whispered.
The first man looked to Harry while the woman next to Harry looked down at her book, pointedly removing herself from the conversation.
“I don’t know what you’re suggesting sir,” Harry answered evenly.
The second man leaned in close. “You have magic,” He spoke in a low voice.
His words surprised Harry. “You can tell? Does that mean you have it as well?” Harry whispered excitedly in return.
The first man got up and attached a sign to the classroom door as he closed it. Some of the other students looked up from their papers and books curiously.
“My parents are magical, but I don’t have enough to attend a magical school. I can do some very basic spells and that’s it.” The second man pulled out a stick much like the ones his fathers used and muttered a word he didn’t understand. The tip of his stick lit up brightly, blinding him slightly, before going out. “That’s about all I can do, but I’m working on it.” He put his stick back into his pocket. “I’m Mike, by the way,” He put out his hand for a handshake.
Harry took his hand and shook it. “I’m Logan Hunt”
“Please to meet you Logan,” Mike replied. “This is Matt,” He motioned to the first man, “And Jessica,” The woman smiled at Harry
“Our professor has a cousin that’s magic,” Jessica whispered to Harry like a secret. “Some magical family is paying him and his cousin to do research into magical genetics. He’s enlisted some of his students to help for credit.”
“It’s slow going, though.” Mike spoke up. “The professor’s cousin has been able to get quite of few old Grimoires to go through, but there’s so much crap in them.” Mike spat angrily.
“He’s not joking,” A woman from another table said. “You’ll have a hundred pages covering what someone from another family said at a party fifty years prior, but little description about their father succumbing to madness or withering away from illness”
“It’s almost like humans have always been terrible at record keeping,” Another man in the room joked, causing others to laugh at what must have been an inside joke.
“What have you learned so far?” Harry inquired respectfully.
Matt looked at him. “You’re interested in this kind of stuff?” He asked intrigued.
“My father, James, is from a family that practiced inbreeding. I’ve always been curious how that affects him,” was the response that Harry noticed stopped many in their tracks and more eyes focused on him and his meeting with the group he was sitting with.
“Ooh!” Jessica cooed at Harry. “Practical application!” She rushed out as she scrambled to find some paper and a pencil, “What’s been said about his family?”
“My other father, Evans, has referenced the family madness a few times,” Replied Harry as he tried to pull up more conversation and information that might be useful.
“Mental instability is a standard symptom,” Mike injected. “How inbred are we talking? Do you know?”
“They were talking about a relative, Cissy, that has a son my age. He’s related to them through both parents”
“Even moderate inbreeding can have dire effects if it happens every generation,” Matt muttered as he wrote down some notes. “Chuck? Do you have that list of deleterious effects?”
One of the other men in the classroom walked some papers over to Matt, whom handed them to Harry to look at.
Deleterious effects of Inbreeding in humans:
Reduced fertility both in litter size and sperm viability
Increased genetic disorders
Fluctuating facial asymmetry
Lower birth rate
Higher infant mortality and child mortality
Smaller adult size
Loss of immune system function
Increased cardiovascular risks
“These all seem quite serious,” Harry said once he read over the small list.
“And these are just the general terms,” Jessica spoke excitedly. “In reality it’s much worse.” She spoke with more happiness than was necessary for the subject matter.
“We have been able to get some information about the magical abilities of inbred persons, but it’s a nightmare trying to get through some of those Grimoires. A few of them are tens of thousands of pages long and cover several generations,” Mike added.
“From what we can tell,” Mike started, “Inbred Magical persons tend to take lifestyles with a less of a magical obligation. The only time that isn’t the case is people who delve into the Dark Arts. At least that’s all the data we’ve been able to pull, so far.”
“Dark Arts?” Harry perked up, finally able to fully latch onto something they were talking about. “I’ve heard my fathers talk about the dangers of Dark magic.”
“My grandfather always cautioned me against the Dark Arts,” Mike started, “Said it was a slippery slope to madness…or worse.”
“My fathers said much the same,” Harry added. Though he never understood how only some magic was considered evil, but figured it was less about the magic itself and more how the magic was used. That was an ongoing debate he was becoming more interested in between his fathers and himself.
“What about the wizardborn? We’re involved too!” Someone from the other side of the room called out.
“Wizardborn?” Harry asked Mike in confusion.
“Non magical persons born from magical persons,” He explained patiently.
“Oh! My fathers used some other word for them,” Harry thought hard, trying to recall the word. “Squid?” He threw out, knowing it was wrong.
“Oh! Squib?” Another woman suggested.
“Yeah! That one!”
“That’s a term used in Europe a lot,” She explained. “We’re looking into how non magical persons born from magical persons breeding with non magical persons born from non magical persons brings about first generation magical persons,”
Harry got lost about halfway through her sentence. “Yikes?”
“That’s a bit much for him, Stephanie,” Jessica chided gently.
“Basically? They’re looking into the genetics of magic,” Matt shrugged.
“That’s what I said!” Stephanie yelled.
“No it’s not!” Mike yelled back.
The classroom soon broke out into laughter. Harry laughed a little bit, but they had thrown a lot of information at him and he was more than a little lost.
“How are you doing there, sport? Keeping up?” Matt asked with a smile.
“Not really,” Harry replied airily.
This cause some more laughter. “I think we can get you a copy of some of these notes,” Jessica suggested. “We have a copy machine next door. Would you like that?”
“Copy Machine?” Harry asked.
“Ah, one of those magical types, huh?” Mike chuckled. “We got a machine that makes copies of papers for us. Takes some time though.”
Harry looked down at the numerous papers. If it took time to makes copies then he wouldn’t get very many and he desperately wanted to read what they were finding. If for no other reason than to learn more about the traditions from the home of his fathers. Then he was struck with a brilliant idea.
“No! Wait,” Harry announced, stopping Mike from gathering up the papers. “I have an idea”
Harry took the papers from Mike’s hands along with the rest of the loose papers and sat them in a neat stack on the table. A few of the other students had gotten up from their seats and watched him with interest. Harry grabbed the magic around the papers, wove it back around them a few times, and shocked it. Jessica jumped back in surprise as the papers in the stack began splitting into two piles; the originals and the copies. Once the papers finished moving Matt picked up the top papers and examined them closely.
“You…you just…copied the entire stack of papers?!” Matt exclaimed. “Just like that?!”
“That would have been nice back in Chem lab,” Jessica sighed as she examined one of the copied papers.
“Yo man, can your family do that?” A dark skinned man asked Mike.
“If they can, I’ve never seen it!” Mike replied.
“Hey! Can you do a book?” Stephanie brought a Grimoire bound with a purple cover over and set it in front of Harry.
Harry performed the same action, weaving the magic around the book and shocking it into place. A second purple Grimoire popped up from the first and landed on the table with a thud
“Imagine how much money we could have saved on books,” A woman behind Harry groused.
“Get some more books!” Someone said excitedly.
“Want me to put the copies in your bag here?” Mike asked Harry, having already picked up the copies from the originals. Harry nodded and opened the bag for him. Harry was happy to provide some copies of other school notes for them as well. Since these students were providing him with tons of research material.
The students brought book after book for Harry to copy; both happy to give him books and research to read, but also amazed to see real magic in action. After copying all of the books and papers they had, Harry performed some other spells for the students while he waited for his fathers to get down meeting with whomever to get a ride off the island.
“Logan,” Harry heard Mooey call for him magically. “We’re done. We have have a boat to catch.”
“Ok!” He called out to his father. “I’ve got to get going. My fathers are done,” Harry said as he closed his bag and put it on.
“It was a pleasure to meet you, Logan,” Mike shook his hand and gave him one of the professor’s business cards that contained both a phone number as well as an address. “Thanks for showing us some of your spells! It was great” He added with a smile.
The other students all agreed and begged him to come back someday. Harry said he’d try as he ran out of the room. Harry met his fathers near where they separated.
“What’d you get up to this time, pup?” Remus asked firmly, clearly expecting trouble.
“I wondered into a classroom and they told me all about their research,” Harry explained happily.
“Researching what, exactly?” Remus asked as they walked back to the motorcycle.
“Inbreeding in humans and how it applies to…” Harry lowered his voice, “Magic”
“Really?” Sirius perked up. “How do you always manage to find these types?” He wondered out loud.
“Magic?” Harry suggested. “One of the people was also magical, but their magical core wasn’t very strong. Got a bunch of papers and books to read!” Harry really couldn’t wait to read what the students were trying to explain to him.
“As long as you didn’t steal it,” Remus muttered.
“Actually I think I kinda paid for it. I made some copies of other things for them and help them organize others. Also gave them some information to help with the research,” Harry knew better than to admit he gave information about Sirius’ family but he knew they’d be fine.
Sirius took them to a boat just outside of town that took them to a much larger boat hiding behind a small island that had some very tall stone towers. There would be a few stops through Indonesia and the Philippines before the final stop in China.
The pack of pseudo wolves had found themselves in a small Chinese village named Bain Goin. The plan had been to travel through the large country without stopping since they would have a much harder time hiding in a country made up of people they could all see over, even Harry. But being nomadic westerners they found they had made the mistake of trying to go through the village during the Chinese New Year and quickly found all the roads had been closed to vehicle traffic for the celebrations. They could have walked the bike through, but the crowded streets would have made things overly difficult, so they opted to stay for the celebration.
Remus was hungry, so they searched around until they found a small cafe that had some free outdoor seating for the three of them. Remus left to do the ordering while Sirius and Harry held down the table. Sirius was busy leering at some of the young ladies nearby, so Harry took out the journal he recorded his dreams in and began to write in it. He was in the middle of writing about his latest dream when they got caught in the celebrations this morning and he felt he needed to make sure that his dreams were written out. So with a huff at his panting dadfoot he opened his book back up and then closed his eyes trying to remember the details of this dream.
A female with bright red hair.
A snake that could talk.
His forehead feeling like it was on fire.
None of what he dreamt made total sense to him. Then again, most of his dreams never made much sense beyond being a series of unconnected pictures and concepts. He scribbled out everything he could remember and put the notebook away, turning his attention to some commotion in the market square near them. There were young men that looked like some kind of monk that seemed to be setting up for some sort of a display.
Someone nearby them said that this was the annual tournament being put on by the local Monk Monastery. They began jumping and twisting in ways Harry had never seen before. The magic they radiated flooded the entire square, blinding him to any other magic in the area. He wanted to know more about them, but knew that was not likely to happen. This was China and he didn’t speak a word of Chinese, the translation charms were really so that the three travelers could hear what was happening, so he would have to be content with watching the show.
“I have no idea what I’ve ordered, but it’ll be ready soon,” Remus announced as soon as he sat down at the table. “I swear, if I had known we were going to get hung up in this country, I would have grabbed one of those pocket translator books.”
“A pocket translator book? Have you asked Harry? He may picked one up somewhere.” Sirius suggested with a smirk as he kept feasting his eyes on the ladies.
“I did ask, you numpty.” Remus retorted with little venom. “He had one for Spanish, Porteugues, Maori, and Russian.”
Sirius continued to smirk at Remus as an older woman walked up to their table and set down several bowls of rice, noodles, chicken, and pork, as well as several cups of sauces. It all smelled delicious.
“Think you ordered enough food there, Remus?” Sirius snarked as he began putting food in an empty bowl for himself.
“Like I said. I had no idea what I ordered.” Remus shrugged as he did the same.
Harry snatched up some noodles and chicken pieces with some of the sauce before turning back to the display. They continued to watch for some time while they ate. Harry noticed a much older man dressed in a similar fashion to the monks making his way through the crowds slowly, flanked by two middle aged monks. He walked slow and greeted everyone in his way, and everyone greeted him back.
Must be the monks teacher, Harry thought as he turned back to his food. He still kept an eye on the trio as they made their way through the crowds. They were outsiders here and it would be difficult to try to slip away without magic and so many people milling about.
The old man had made is way right to them. “Hello!” He greeted them happily in english with only a slight accent. “It’s not often we get travelers this far inland. I welcome you,” The old man bowed his head to them.
“It’s a pleasure, truly.” Sirius spoke cordially, but Remus and Harry remained on guard, their eyes making contact before Harry’s lip twitched up at the corner of his mouth. ‘Two books’ he mouthed to his dad who shook his head and scowled.. Sirius continued his comment without noticing his son and fellow dad, “This festival has been incredibly enjoyable. We look forward to experiencing more of your culture.”
Harry often forgot that Sirius could actually be civilized when he wanted. It was clear he rarely wanted to. Stifling a laugh he tucked back into his bowl of chicken and rice before he drew attention to himself.
“Very good!’ The old man spoke happily, though Harry didn’t miss how his eyes lingered on him. “How long do you plan on staying in the country?” He asked carefully. Harry knew the tone well from his fathers. The man was keeping polite conversation going while he gathered more information. Harry was immediately concerned about what this man wanted but was thinking his bet of two books becoming more and more solid as he followed the conversation..
“Just for the celebrations.” Sirius responded politely, though Harry could see his own defenses rising. This man was more interested in them than the other people he greeted. Par-for-the-damn-course on this trip. “Then we’ll be on our way again.”
“We have business to attend to before you leave.” The man smiled warmly, though the trio didn’t feel the warmth. “Come to the monastery. We can speak in private there.” The man motioned to one of the middle aged men standing behind him. “Jun will guide you when you are ready.” The old man walked away with a smile.
Sirius and Remus shared a serious look while the middle aged man settled into a relaxed seat near their table. Harry tried to think of a way to get away from their new shadow, but between the amount of people around them and the magic coming off the monk, there were very few options available to him. Well, peaceful options. Flicking his eyes to the tournament and the demonstrations still going on, maybe he would just play along.
“Don’t do whatever it is you’re thinking about, pup.” Remus spoke up as he sipped his tea, “we cannot do anything here without creating an even bigger problem.”
“As much as it pains me, Mooey here is right.” Sirius replied with his mouth full of food, losing his previous civility faster than Harry could blink. “Let’s hear him out, at least. Who knows. He might have some more trinkets for you.” Sirius shrugged with a smile thrown at Remus.
Harry was unconvinced by Sirius’ words, but history so far had proven that each time they’d been stopped Harry got more information, and he had practically won the bet that Remus would try to back out of. Regardless of his apprehension with the situation he did agree with Remus. There was little they could do right now. At least at the Monastery they could fight it out without worrying about non-magical people getting injured.
They took their time to finish eating, since there was no rush, and returned their dishes to a very grateful old woman. Jun motioned them to follow him through the crowds, which they did so begrudgingly. Sirius split off from the group right away to get his bike and met up with them again just outside the village.
Jun led them down an ancient stone road that wound its way between the trees and large moss rocks that jutted out of the ground. Harry could admit to himself that this pace was the most beautiful place he’d ever been to, even when compared to the lands of his mothers. He then secretly hoped that Hausis wouldn’t find out about this treacherous thought.
A large, ancient stone building that must have been the monastery came into view. Jun waited at the front door while Harry helped Sirius secure the bike not far from the door. Remus stood near Jun while Harry and Sirius were distracted by the bike, never letting his guard drop even has Jun led them into the building. The stone walls and floor inside were left exposed except for a few decorations and mats. They could hear people training and talking in other rooms down the various hallways, but they saw no one else in the hallways. Jun stopped in front of a plain looking door, opened it, and motioned them inside.
The old man from before was sitting on the floor behind a short wooden desk that seemed to have some kind of design carved onto the surface, but Harry couldn’t tell what kind from this distance. Three of the walls were covered by tall bookshelves full of enough books and scrolls to make Harry immensely jealous. Jun shut the door quietly behind them without entering.
“Good to see you three again,” The old man greeted them warmly once more. “Please. Have a seat.” He motioned to the other side of the desk.
Harry sat down right away with crossed legs, followed by Sirius once he gave a worried look to Remus, and then finally Remus sat however slowly tightly coiled and ready for anything. The old man didn’t seem bothered by their reluctance as he waited patiently.
“You are quite kind to invite us into your Monastery. We are incredibly grateful,” Sirius bowed his head to the old man with his unusual grace that Harry had seen once today, a very rare occurrence to have Sirius play ‘Snooty Rules’ nice twice in one day.
“I am known as Grandmaster Yi, as you are not my students you may just call me Yi.” Grandmaster Yi set out several small tea cups with delicate designs on the sides and poured tea from a lovely matching teapot he produced from seemingly nowhere.
“Thank you for the tea and hospitality, Mr. Yi.” Harry greeted as he sipped the hot tea. It was high quality Jasmine tea, steeped to perfection, he hummed as he sipped.
“This is an unusual situation, I admit,” Yi sighed as he sipped his own tea. “The other training monks might not be happy about it at first, but they will warm up to it eventually.” Yi smiled warmly at Harry.
“I don’t understand.” Harry replied. Both dread and vindication swirled in his gut. Bet won.
“Our day starts at dawn with morning meditation. It’s easy to learn, but hard to master.”
“Excuse me, sir.” Sirius spoke up softly. “What are you talking about?”
“The teachers will make sure you get caught up and are only paired with fighters of your level.” Yi nodded to himself as he sipped his tea. “You will enjoy it for the time you are here.”
“Excuse me, Mr. Yi.” Remus spoke a bit too loudly for the quiet conversation. “Please explain what this is all about.” Remus may have sounded calm, but Harry could see his hackles rising. He lost a bet but obviously he was more concerned with what was happening.
“We will all be affected by an evil we cannot fight if we don’t help you.” Yi spoke softly as looked upon Harry with an intense gaze as if he was seeing more than the boy that sat before him.
Harry felt a sense of deja vu as the Grandmaster spoke until he remembered the words suddenly. He remembered the unpleasant Voodoo Priestess in Louisiana said something very similar. Not her exact words, but it the intent was close enough. Amaru had spoken of the evil that had taken his parents and scarred him. Evil that apparently would soon take a fight to the whole world without Harry. The magic this Seer knew must have been terribly important to his destiny if he chose to echo the words of other seers.
“I’ll train with you” Harry said, surprising his fathers but making the Grandmaster smile.
“What? Why? You can’t just make that decision!” Sirius sputtered while Remus looked at him, stunned.
“I’ve heard those words before. From another Seer. If he says I need to train here, then I need to train. Besides, didn’t Grandma Hausis stop you a little more spectacularly?”
“But pup...we have to move on…” Remus added worriedly. Neither Remus or Sirius were comfortable sticking out like a wand splinter.
“We’re remote enough that few outsiders come here. There are enough magical defenses around the village that no one will know you’re here unless we let them know.” Yi smiled warmly into his tea.
“Absolutely not.” Remus muttered threateningly at Yi. This was his pup and his pack, he would fight before he let them come to harm.
“Why do you have so much defense for such a small village?” Sirius pondered aloud, earning him a sharp glare from Remus.
“This monastery was nearly wiped out by European Wizards almost a thousand years ago. We aim to make sure that doesn’t happen again.” Yi set his empty cup of tea with a frown. “I cannot say why your boy must stay and train here, for Fate hasn’t felt it necessary. All I know, is he must stay...for now.”
Remus gave Sirius a pleading look, but they both knew that there was little to be done. It wasn’t like this was the first time this had happened. They had spent six years with an aboriginal tribe in Canada all because the leader had demanded it. Was it truly surprising that they had come across yet another person whom insisted they stay so Harry could receive special training in little known magics.
“Alright.” Remus deflated and sighed unhappily. He hadn’t really planned on them staying in China, but it was clear they were now. “We’ll stay, so long as you swear nothing bad will happen to him.” Remus threatened Yi politely.
“With my life.” Yi replied firmly. “Jun.” Yi called out and the man that led them here opened and stuck his head back into the door. “Will you please get one of the vacant homes ready for this family? They will be staying here for a while.”
“Of course, Grandmaster.” Jun replied before closing the door again.
“If you will excuse me for a moment. I need to make sure preparations are underway before it gets too late.” Yi spoke kindly before getting up and leaving the room.
“Are you sure about this pup? Staying here with these strangers?” Remus asked Harry once he was sure Yi had walked away from the door.
“As opposed to getting rides across the ocean with SHADY strangers?” Harry replied with no small amount of sarcasm. “I don’t trust them, but we should at least see what they can teach me. Who knows! It could turn out to be really helpful!”
“Define helpful.” Sirius asked sarcastically, earning him another glare from Remus.
“Oh, like you’re one to talk.” Harry replied just as sarcastically, earning him his only glare from Remus.
“No books, that was a bad bet,” Remus said after he narrowed his eyes at his boy.
Yi returned not too long later and collected the family. They followed Yi back down the hallway they came in to find a waiting Jun.
“Jun will take you two to the house that you will be staying in while you are here.” Yi motioned to Remus and Sirius. “We have rooms for the other training monks behind the monastery to protect them.”
Sirius walked to the bike as soon as they passed through the door, however Remus lingered by Harry. Harry could feel his worry, even without his magic.
“You are really sure about this, pup?” Remus asked pointedly. He always took his role as a parental figure far too seriously with Harry, but Harry always appreciated it.
Harry knew Remus would worry himself sick over this whole situation, so he stepped in close to him to speak. “How about this?” Harry whispered. “I go with them and if I even think I smell anything funny, I come straight back, by any means necessary, and we hoof it out of the country?”
Remus looked physically relieved by Harry’s suggestion. “Of course, pup. Sounds perfect. Tracking spell?” He asked his son with a small sad smile on his face. Harry snorted and shook his head before he reached for his father. Remus gave him a tight hug before heading to the motorcycle and a very smug looking Sirius. Harry gave his fathers a wave as they followed Jun away from the monastery. Remus gave Harry a few worried looks over his shoulder, but they left his sight quickly enough, giving Harry the chance to breathe. Grandmaster Yi chuckled slightly.
“It’s plain to see they care very much for you. That is good.” Grandmaster Yi spoke sagely next to Harry. “They won’t use you to further their own interests”
Harry turned to looked at Grandmaster Yi. “Now that they are gone, will you be honest with me about this situation?” Harry asked pointedly.
Grandmaster Yi chuckled warmly as he turned and began to walk back into the monastery. Harry followed him dutifully through the stone hallways as he waited for him to answer. Grandmaster Yi led Harry out the back of the Monastery through a courtyard beautifully sculpted with tall, twisty trees and various flowering bushes. There were a few people wearing similar clothes to the monks in the town square doing strange exercises amongst the plants.
“We teach spirit magic here.” Grandmaster Yi finally spoke as he continued to walk. “It’s difficult to learn to manipulate one’s soul, so we also teach several different types of martial arts to help hone one’s mental and physical control. It makes things easier.” Grandmaster motioned to a couple of older monks standing near an old looking wooden building. They quickly left with only a nod. “With time and diligent work, I have faith you can master this skill.”
Grandmaster Yi led him to a sparsely decorated room with a bedroll directly on the floor. “That doesn’t really answer my question.” Harry asked as he turned to face Grandmaster Yi. He didn’t like how Yi was dancing around his question.
“I know it doesn’t.” Yi smiled at him. “You’re clearly a sharp-witted boy and you hold the fate of many in your hands.” he paused for a moment before his jovial look melted away and left Harry looking at a very serious looking man. “I can sense more than one soul within you.”
“More than one?” Harry repeated shocked to hear such a thing. He stammered out a question as he mind floundered with the new information. “How is that possible?”
“Magic has many uses. Good and evil. You have been touched by both young one. You require our help to get to find the cause of this parasite and how to remove it.”
“Touched by evil magic?” Harry asked himself in a soft voice. He pushed his bangs up with his hand to reveal the jagged scar on his forehead. “Is this made by that vile magic?”
Grandmaster Yi took a step closer to Harry and leaned in close to see. “Yes, I can sense a soul with evil intent behind the scar.” He quieted and reached inside himself to gently brush magic across his senses. “But also another soul, nearly suffocating it. How strange.” Grandmaster Yi muttered as he straightened up. “We will need to speak with the Dragon Elder about this. But later. Get settled in for tonight. You’re teachings will start at dawn tomorrow.”
Grandmaster Yi smiled and Harry before nodding at the young man and turning to walk away back towards the monastery. Harry looked back to the room he was given to use and sighed. He wasn’t going to be getting anymore answers today so there wasn’t much else to do now but try and get comfortable in his new surroundings. Thankfully he carried all of his belongings in his bag, so he could at least make himself comfortable.
Two extra souls. An evil intent smothered by another. How was this possible?
Kung Fu Panda
Harry slapped the hand that had darted to his face with his palm open and flung his left fist towards his opponent. He had been dancing with this monk for the better part of twenty minutes and neither boy had been able to land a solid strike on the other. Harry felt his hand drive off course by a shift and swing of the other boy’s body. Both boys stepped back and took a breath. Each eyes the other with a calculated gaze before they shifted stances and came together again.
Harry batted at the incoming strikes with hard swipes of his hands. Tiger paws he thought. Apt for the style of fighting he was employing currently. He’d been flowing from one form to another, trying to bend his magic through his body and accent his moves. It felt slow and sluggish, like his magic was caught or tugging on something, not flowing like the masters and Grandmaster Yi said it should feel like. Harry growled at the lack of response from his magic and stepped and shifted a kick to his opponent. Seeing a break in the concentration Harry quickly followed with a leap and a twirl bringing his other foot around to bear into the boy’s body, and smiled when he felt his leg contact the boys arms, both of them. Harry gathered his magic down his arm and pooled it in his left hand and molded his intent, stinging hex, not a lethal kind of fight. Harry nearly roared in triumph as he took the distraction and slammed his hand into the monk’s chest.
But like every time before Harry’s magic didn’t flow right, it snagged and only part of his will found it’s target. A quick slap found his hand held tight to the Monk’s chest and a leg coming at his head. He cursed himself and lifted his arm to cover his neck and face twisting his hips to add momentum to his block. He was in trouble and he knew it.
As the leg contacted his arm he saw a flicker of movement and the other monk’s hand flashed out, a small blue glimmer accompanying the current of magic in the air. Harry’s chest flared in pain as the same stinging sensation blew across his mind and with a quick retraction of his hands the other Monk landed both his palms in Harry’s chest with a banishing will. Harry was flung six feet back onto the training mat on his back and the voice of one of the master’s came signaling the fight was ended. Harry snarled as he fought for breath and shifted the robes to the side to look at his chest. A perfect hand brint marred his right pectoral with raised red flesh, definitely a stinging hex.
Harry sighed and cocked his head to the side to see the other monk. The boy gave an indulgent smile and pulled the robe over to show his chest, half a hand on his own. Two fingers and a thumb barely, no palm mark. Not a full strike. Harry cursed himself once again.
The young man leaned down and offered a hand up to Harry as he was still lying on the ground. As upset as he was, Harry wasn’t going to take it out on another monk. He got up off the ground, bowed to the other monk and made a quick exit from the training area. His body may not have been hurt too badly, but his pride was irreversibly damaged. It took nearly everything in him not to slam the door to his room when he arrived.
“Ah,” came a drawling voice, “Is the poor little baby upset?” The talking skull cackled rudely from where it was hanging from the staff propped up in the corner of the room. His magical queen bee, that he had lovingly named Queen Elizabee when he was seven, was perched on top of the talking skull. She had been silently watching her drones come and go from his bag that was sitting open on the small writing table he was given by the monastery. She buzzed her wings at him in her form of a greeting.
“Shut up Clyde. I’m not in the mood.” Harry commanded the skull as he started removing his training gear and throwing it against the wall near his bed. His frustration bubbling over into his actions.
“Temper. Temper.” The skull admonished with a grin, if a skull could grin, but said nothing further.
Harry wanted to scream. He wanted to unleash his anger and break every piece of furniture in this damnable monastery. It wouldn’t fix the problems he was having with his spirit magic, but it would make him feel a little more in control of things. Queenie flew off the skull to land on Harry’s shoulder and vibrated her wings against his neck. She disliked it when Harry got angry, so she was always quick to calm him down, which he appreciated more than he ever put into words.
Harry walked over to the writing desk and flipped through the journal the old Voodoo woman in Louisiana had given him. He could barely remember her appearance anymore, yet he never forgot her instructions. He had written down his numerous strange dreams even though he had no idea what most of the scenes and pictures even meant. He flipped to his last two entries about dreams that both involved red headed women. At first he had thought he was dreaming about the same female, but now that had time to think on it, he wasn’t so sure.
Queenie suddenly buzzed off his shoulder and flew back into his open bag. The few drones that were still in the room all left through the open window. Harry then heard Grandmaster Yi’s footsteps in the hall just before he knocked on his door. Harry hated how well the floors in this place could muffle footsteps.
“Good morning, Harry.” Grandmaster Yi greeted him in his usual jovial way. “How did your training go today?”
Harry ground his teeth to stop the outburst that wanted to come out. Grandmaster Yi wasn’t to blame for his inability to master the spirit magic. “Still needs work,” He managed to keep his tone even.
Grandmaster Yi chuckled to himself. “That is not how Bai describes it.” The Grandmaster’s smile came again but looked almost sad. “But my visit to you today isn’t about your training.”
“Then what is it you need?” came Harry’s exasperated question.
“I need you to follow me.” Grandmaster Yi motioned for Harry to follow him down the hallway with a wave of his hand.
Harry sighed as he followed Grandmaster Yi out of his room. He really didn’t want to deal with whatever it was he was being led to, but he followed dutifully anyway. He thought Grandmaster Yi was going to take him out to the courtyard or just outside the monastery walls for his standard ‘inspiring monologues’ that were heartfelt but annoyingly cryptic at the best of times, but he kept going out past his usual spots and out into the mountains. Harry was immediately curious as to where they were going, but kept his curiosity reigned even as they reached a type of grass covered plateau in the mountains. Grandmaster Yi continued to lead him across this grassy plain until they reached a small opening in the rock wall that bordered the area.
“This is as far as I can go.” Grandmaster Yi motioned to the cave. “I will go back to the Monastery, but you must go inside.”
With that said, Grandmaster Yi started walking back the way they came. Harry lingered for a moment at the mouth of the cave before finally deciding to go in. If Grandmaster Yi was hoping to harm him, he would have done it long ago. Shaking his head at his paranoid thoughts Harry shrugged his shoulders and stepped forward..
The cave was little more than a winding hallway that was just large enough to allow an adult to walk through nearly upright, lit by magical means. The further he walked into the mountain, the stronger the sense of magic became until it was nearly pressing down upon his body and mind. The hallway led Harry to a room that was about the same size of his room back at the Monastery and appeared to be the source of the intense magic he was sensing. The walls were covered in bundles of drying plants and there were numerous tables stacked high with parchment papers. The floor seemed to be covered with blankets or rugs of various colors.
“You’re finally here,” The ethereal sounding voice startled Harry into a defensive position. A pile of blankets moved to reveal the face of an incredibly old looking man but the smile on his face and the relief in his eyes was his paramount expression. “I’ve been waiting for you to be ready.” The old man chuckled as he began removing the blankets from his body.
“Ready? What are you talking about? Who are you?” Harry tried to remain calm, but he knew to be careful with so much raw magic in the air.
“Who I am is a complicated tale that always comes across as a bit far fetched.” The old man chuckled and Harry snorted inside. That was Harry’s whole M.O. “Most of the monks here like to call me the Old Monk or the Ancient One, but I don’t really care much for those titles.” The old man grabbed a wooden walking stick and pulled himself up to his feet slowly. Harry walked over to him and pulled him to his feet, noting that he wore clothes much like the other monks. “Ah, thank you child.” The old man hobbled over to one of the tables and began knocking the thick papers onto the floor as he searched for something.
“Um. Excuse me?” Harry spoke up as the old man continued searching for whatever it was he was searching for. “Will you please tell me why Grandmaster Yi brought me here?”
“Calm down child.” The old man waved his hand dismissively. “I’ve got a parchment here with most of the story. I just...need to..find it…” The old man continued knocking papers onto the floor. “Ah ha!” The old man turned back to Harry, holding a long parchment paper with one hand as he hobbled back to Harry mirth sparkling as he handed ito to Harry. “Here my child, read this.”
Harry took the parchment from the old man. “What’s this about?” Harry asked, now dubious of this weird old cave hermit. Stories of curses being laid upon victims by being tricked into reading the incantations swirled in his thoughts as he held the parchment at arms length.
“History,” was the reply and the man’s eyes glazed for a moment as if he were seeing more than just the cave he was in. “Read it quickly. We have someone waiting for us.”
The old man then settled against his staff and waited quietly for Harry to read the parchment, so Harry could only heave a sigh behind his mask of obedience and did as he was told. The text told some story about an ancient breed of incredibly intelligent dragon that lived up in the mountains of China. Some humans joined them and together they created an order of magical monks that both lived with and protected them. At some point, European mages had learned of the existence of the dragons and launched a surprise attack on the monastery they shared with the monks. By the time the European mages were finally defeated, the numbers of the dragons and monks had been decimated. An interesting story, but Harry had no idea what the meaning behind it was.
“A tragic tale master,” He tagged the honorific onto the end, Grandmaster Yi held this old one in deference so should he. “What does it mean?.” Harry asked the old man.
“Not a story. History child. It is the past,” and with a sigh that amounted to relief he continued, “but it won’t matter to me for much longer.” The old man shakily pulled on a brown robe before grabbing onto Harry’s arm. “Now help me outside child. We have company.” He gave Harry a toothless smile. Harry was relaxing, mostly the man felt like Hausis did, like a grandparent.
Harry hurriedly stuffed the paper into his pocket as he helped the old man back to the cave entrance. When they had emerged from the mouth of the cave, Harry saw that the entire area he had just come though was now covered in a thick fog. Harry couldn’t see anything more than five feet in front of them. This was no normal fog. And the magic, as oppressive as it was before now it felt like he was drowned in an ocean, rolling eddies and currents of magic swirled through the fog unseen but firmly making themselves known.
“Stand up straight child. There’s someone here to meet you.” The old man said firmly as he gazed into the fog sightless as they were.
Harry did has he was told, even though he had no idea why. Wasn’t that the story of his life so far? He knew better than to question weird old seers and sages at this point. A dark figure moving within the fog caught Harry’s attention and drew him from his musings. He stayed still as the dark figure became bigger and more defined. Then a strange looking creature stepped out of the fog like it was stepping through a veil.
It was...huge. Like one of those big working horses they saw occasionally pulling big heavy loads in the rural areas they had traveled through. But unlike a horse, this creature looked like the type of dragon that was seen in various depictions around the monastery. To Harry, it looked like a dragon that was shaped like a big draft horse. It’s body was covered in scales that looked to be made of pure gold, framed by a deep red colored mane that snaked its way down it’s neck and down it’s belly and legs. It leaned its head down to Harry’s level and looked at him with an intense, snake eyed stare.
“Uh, hello. Lovely to make your acquaintance.” Harry greeted the creature awkward and tense as it was, completely unsure what to say to a creature he couldn’t even name.
The old man chuckled next to him. “No need to be so formal. The Qilin is an incredibly understanding creature.”
The Qilin brought its head up so it’s mouth was at Harry’s eye level. There was a white object in its mouth, being held in by some very large, very sharp looking teeth. The Qilin appeared to be trying to hand the object to Harry, but he was not about to stick his hands anywhere near a creature he wasn’t familiar that also had such large teeth.
“Hands out child.” The old man ordered as he warmly laughed at Harry.
Harry sighed internally and brought his hands up like a bowl. The Qilin opened its mouth and dropped what looked to be a giant, shiny pearl into his hands. It was much bigger in his hands than it looked in the Qilin’s mouth, taking both hands to hold it securely.
“Erm...thank you, kind one.” Harry said, unsure what else to say.
“Careful with that egg child,” The old man replied as he watched Harry take the most precious thing. The Qilin moved its head look each eye into Harry’s two before lowering his head to point the single, foot long horn on its head at Harry. “Ah! A gift!” The old monk nearly swayed from his feet as his frame trembled with excitement. “Take the horn with you also child.”
Harry looked to the old man. He could not be serious, but he just looked at Harry and seemed to drink in the moment of this young man and the Qilin. With another internal shrug, Harry shifted the pearl...egg?...so he could hold it against his chest with one hand and grabbed onto the horn with the other. Then the Qilin pulled it’s head up, leaving Harry with the surprisingly light horn in his hand. The Qilin turned and walked back into the fog. A last swish of it’s blazing coloration and it was lost again to the mists.
“Yikes...” Harry said, unsure what to think. He stood with an egg cradled against his chest and an antler or horn or something, in his hand.
“The egg is your responsibility child. Care for it like your own child. Only you can bring them back.” The old man sighed happily as if watching a child caring for his grandchild. “My time spent waiting is finally over. I can finally rest.”
Another dark figure walked out of the fog, however this time it appeared to be almost as tall as the Qilin before it. As the being emerged from the thick fog, Harry could see the new being was completely covered by a long, pristine-looking black cloak. He could only assume it was a person based on the general shape of them. The figure lifted his hand and the mist swirled to form an opening or a pathway before them and the old man nodded.
The old man patted Harry on the shoulder before hobbling towards the cloaked figure. As the old man got closer to the dark figure, the fog thickened around them until they were completely obscured coming from the opening that was made moments before. The strange fog receded suddenly, leaving the area clear once more in just a few seconds. Harry looked around himself and found that he was the only one standing in the large grassy area outside the cave entrance.
“What? No! NO! What’s going on here?! What the hell was all that!” Harry demanded from the open expanse of grass all around him.
He knew he wasn’t going to get an answer, but it felt good to vent a little bit. He could handle weird things happening to him like a champ, but he almost always had a bit more information to go on. All he had right now was a big egg, a weird horn, and a whole bucket full of questions. Oh and a parchment which might actually be useful. Harry knew he wasn’t going to get any answers out here so he started to long trek back to the Monastery. Perhaps Grandmaster Yi would have some answers to his many questions. Grandmaster Yi was easy enough to find since he was rarely anywhere other than his office.
“Ah, Harry. You return!” Grandmaster Yi greeted when Harry entered his office. “I trust everything went well?”
“Yes, Grandmaster Yi.” Harry replied respectfully.
“Good. Now gather your things up. It is time for you to leave.” Grandmaster Yi continued to speak in his usual jovial tone.
“Excuse me?” Harry replied, sure he misheard the Grandmaster Yi.
“You require nothing else from us and so you are no longer welcome here.”
“But I have questions! I can’t leave yet!”
“And I have no answers for you.” Grandmaster Yi’s face fell into one more somber. “The Ancient One was the only one here that had those answers.”
“So that’s it?” Harry was actually a little bit angry about this whole situation. He was given some magical artifacts with no explanation and now he was expected to leave? What bullshit!
“It’s for the best if you continue your journey. We’ve kept you here long enough.” Grandmaster Yi smiled at Harry as he waved him out of the room. “Live well, my son.”
Harry left the Grandmaster’s office more confused than when he entered. He had no idea how he was going to explain any of this to his fathers.
“Heyo! Why the long face?” The skull called out once Harry got back to his room.
“We’re leaving Tim, so I’m packing up.” Harry responded while he carefully secured the egg and horn in his bag.
“Finally! This place was boring me back to life!” The skull cackled at his own joke. The clattering of bone harmonizing with the throaty laughter.
“Be nice, Jan. Things are just slower here.” Harry sighed as the last of the magical drones zipped back into his bag after their Queen.
“I hate it! Take me back to Mardi Gras!”
“And it’s comments like that make me wonder why you aren’t better friends with Dadfoot.” Harry shook his head as he put the staff the talking skull was attached to on his back.
“Lobsterback Wanker!” The skull’s shout echoed slightly in the empty stone hall.
“Ah, yes. That’s why.” Harry chuckled as he walked away from his home for the last two years.
It wasn’t that far of a walk from the Monastery to the house his fathers were given to live in while he was training. He could see that they were packing up the motorcycle before he even reached them.
“Pup!” Sirius called out as Harry neared the house.
“We were told to pack up and leave.” Remus added after tossing something into the trailer. “What’s going on?”
“Good question.” Harry pointed both his index fingers at Remus before climbing into the sidecar without another word.
Remus looked to Sirius, asking a silent question, but Sirius only shrugged in response. He walked over and joined Harry on the motorcycle. Remus could only shake his head as he joined Harry in the sidecar.
“Where to?” Sirius asked once they started down the main road out of the small village.
“Just get us out of the country. We’ll figure it out as we go.” Remus replied coolly as he looked over a pocket map of China.
Remus and Sirius were discussing their impromptu departure as they drove the narrow rural roads of the countryside, but Harry wasn’t paying attention. His mind wandered back to the strange egg that the Qilin had given him and the Old Man’s vague instructions. He wanted to be angry with the old man for not giving him more direction, but there was no helping it now. The old man and Qilin were both gone along with any answers with them. Harry wondered if his fathers might have an idea of what to do, but decided against telling them. He highly doubted either of his fathers would know what to do with an egg of a maybe-dragon-but-probably-not, so why bother bringing it up?
“Mooey?” Harry spoke up, interrupting whatever sharp reply he was about to give Sirius. “I’m going to go into my bag for a bit, ok?” Harry kept his tone light so as to appear like he was still upset by their departure.
Remus smiled warmly at him. “Of course, pup.” He spoke softly. “I’ll call for you when we stop for dinner, ok?”
“Yes, dad. Thank you.”
Remus took his bag and opened it up for Harry as he usually did when Harry went into it. Once inside, Harry found the horn and Egg near the entry portal quickly. He decided to store the horn in his library with the other magical artifacts he had acquired over the years.
“More shit to clutter up my room, eh? Figures…” The skull muttered at Harry’s back.
Harry could only rolled his eyes at the skull’s words. He set the skull and the staff back into its usual corner. “I’ll start caring about what you want when you start paying rent Wendy.”
Harry placed the Qilin horn on one of the empty book shelves, since he had literally no idea what else to do with it right now. The egg, though Harry at least a place to start with that. He decided to go out to the garden with his plants and bees for what he needed to do. His garden was coming along nicely and was filled with herbs and flowers from all over the world. Queen Elizabee and her many children certainly enjoyed it. Harry picked a spot by a few bushes of Angel’s Trumpet that his father’s would have more than a few words with him if they knew he was growing it. He sat down in the dirt and got comfortable. Queen Elizabee flew over to his shoulder and tickled him by buzzing against his neck.
“Hello to you too, Queenie. I’m going to call someone, so please ask your children to leave me be for right now, ok?” He asked her tenderly.
He could never be rude to her like he was to the skull, however the skull was just as rude back so it didn’t really count. Queen Elizabee buzzed twice at him and flew back to her hive. Harry made sure the egg was secure in his lap before locking his hands around it and closing his eyes. It always took him a bit to get relaxed enough to open the connect.
“Ah. My Quetzalcoatl calls me.” Amaru’s voice sounded pleased even as it echoed slightly within Harry’s mind. “It has been a while.”
Amaru’s ethereal face came into focus in his mind. He looked as pleased as a giant magical snake could look.
“My apologies. I was busy with some monks in China.” Harry bowed his head to the great snake.
“One must devote oneself fully when unweaving arcane mysteries. I took no offense.” Amaru spoke in his typical regal fashion.
“Maybe you could help me with one more? I was given this artifact by an ancient man and told that only I could bring them back.” Harry shook his head in annoyance. “I have no idea how to do that or even if I want to.”
Their surroundings came into focus, showing them speaking near where Harry was meditating. It unnerved Harry the first couple times Amaru did this, as a spirit seeing his own physical shell. Amaru’s ethereal visage moved towards his physical self to take a closer look. He made a strange rumbling sound that Harry couldn’t place.
“Some ancient man gave you an Atlantean Dragon egg?” Amaru asked without looking away from Harry’s physical form.
“Atlantean Dragon egg?” Harry had read about many different types of dragons in both magical and non-magical books and THAT type of dragon had never come up. “So it is an actual dragon egg?”
“It’s more than just a dragon. The Atlantean Dragons were some of the most powerful magical creatures in the world, but incredibly reclusive. I only had the pleasure of meeting one before they were massacred.” Amaru turned his head towards spirit-Harry, an intense look in his serpent eyes. “You have been entrusted with something incredibly special.”
“Ok,” Harry drawled as his ming flicked across panicking and asking more questions. “But why me? I’m only thirteen and am technically on the run with my fathers.”
Amaru chuckled deeply. “Fate must have some kind of a sense of humor.”
“I’m not laughing.” Harry muttered as he crossed his arms.
“Of course not.” Amaru spoke with a teasing edge to his words. “But this is about what she has written for you and that involves this egg.”
“Fantastic. What new thing am I expected to do because I’m me?” Harry said sarcastically, though he tried to keep it under control. Amaru didn’t like dealing with too much his attitude.
Amaru chuckled again, a hissing sound that to anyone else might have been threatening.. “Your time spent with the monks will help you greatly. You will need to meditate.”
“Meditate? That’s it?” Harry incredulously. Nothing was ever that easy.
“Unlikely. I can only guess as to what else is required. Like I said, I’ve only ever talked to one.”
“Then how do you know meditating will help?”
“The one I spoke to mentioned that only those that are free from evil influence can truly interact with the dragons and their magical artifacts.”
Harry chewed on his words. “It hasn’t done anything since I got it. Does that mean I have evil inside me?” Harry asked quietly, not really wanting the answer, fearing what verdict fate really had in store for him.
“Yes and no. It’s…” Amaru paused to consider his words. “...foreign.”
“What?” Harry didn’t understand what Amaru was saying.
“All I can say for certain is that meditating will help.”
Amaru coiled around Harry’s form and Harry could feel the warmth that Amaru’s presence provided before the great snake stretched his head to face Harry and bowed his head. Everything around them faded away and Harry was back in his physical body. He sighed in mild annoyance. Amaru wasn’t as much help as he had hoped he would be, but it couldn’t be helped if Amaru had only ever seen one of this type of dragon. That itself was a wonderful boon he had not expected. Fate’s will indeed. It was more than the weird old man gave him to work with.
The monks had spent months teaching him the techniques required to attain a proper meditation. He was already in a good position for it, all he had to do now was relax himself fully and clear his mind. It only took a few deep breaths for his mind to go dark.
The forest of his mothers and grandmother came into focus. The monks told him that you went to the place you felt most at home when you stepped into your mind. He looked around him, finding only forest. Harry ran his fingers through his hair in frustration. Another dead end found through incomplete information. Just once he’d like seer’s to give him all the information he needed to do something.
Harry quickly spun around in place upon hearing his name. There was a younger red-headed woman standing before him. For a moment he thought it was the woman he had been dreaming about, but realized it wasn’t based on her clothes.
“Who are you?” He asked calmly. This woman was, familiar but not in his memories. Amaru told him to meditate and for once, with true purpose had he found this place.
The woman smiled at him, but not really. He could see the pain in her eyes. “It doesn’t really matter anymore.” Harry stood his ground as the woman came near him and fixed his perpetually messy hair warmth and peace washed over him at her touches. “Seems like Remus and Sirius have been doing a good job with you.”
“How do you know my fathers?” Harry’s hand reached for hers and his heart ached at her touch under his fingers. Who was she?
The woman smiled sadly at him. “That’s not important. How did you find me?” She asked again as her eyes roamed his face and her fingers brushed his face. The first tear slipped from his eye.
“Find you? I’m in my mind trying to find some evil influence. What are you doing here?” he whispered. He knew this was something special and his normal temper was smothered under the weight of her gaze.
“Evil influence?” Her features hardened. “Why are you looking for him?” Her fingers grasped at his wrists as she pulled him closer to stare in his eyes.
“Him? Where can I find him?”
The woman made a sour face. “There’s nothing for you there. Leave it alone Harry.”
“That’s not your decision. I don’t even know you!” Harry yelled at the woman his anger bursting forth as he was being held back from this evil inside him. It didn’t seem to bother her since all she did was smile, a haunted but loving smile. “I have been entrusted with a task and that task involves cleansing this evil influence.” He reigned in his emotions to speak calmly to her. Her smile melting his anger.
“Alright.” She answered softly after a moment. “Follow me.”
The woman led Harry through the trees for some time before coming upon a clearing. Harry came to stand next to the woman just inside the clearing. There was a pool of black liquid inside that seemed to be moving side to side. The black liquid suddenly burst upward, startling Harry, but he calmed when he saw the woman had not moved. It looked like a figure was trying to crawl out of the viscous tar, but it became clear that as the liquid fell to the ground that the figure was really a black-stained skeleton that was clawing at the ground with it’s boney fingers. It clawed at the ground like it was trying to get out of the pool, but it fell back into and disappeared from view.
“What the hell was that?!” Harry whispered in horror as eyed the pool. “What’s that fucking thing inside me?” He asked himself quietly.
“That’s the evil you seek.” The woman spoke calmly even as the skeleton burst out from the pool again. “I’ve been keeping it here for a very long time.”
The woman smiled down at him. “You were able to find me. And Him. Perhaps that means you are ready.”
“Getting rid of that thing? I’m sure I can do whatever I need to.” Harry snarled and squared his shoulders and raised his chin to the woman.
The woman laughed sweetly. “Oh, you are your fathers’ son.” She ran her fingers through his hair once more. “If you are intent on doing this, I won’t stop you.” She pointed towards the skeleton that was thrashing black liquid everywhere. “You need to push that out.”
“Do you know how I can do that?”
The woman walked behind Harry and put her hands on his shoulders. “Concentrate.” She spoke softly into his ear. “Concentrate on the feeling of the evil before you. Get a hold of it and then push it with your will.”
Harry closed his eyes and tried to do as the woman instructed. The evil before him gave off a strong negative force, so it was easy to get a hold of the feel. He was less sure about this pushing business, but did his best. He could feel the evil influence pushing back against him strongly, but it wasn’t more than he could handle. The feeling got weaker as he pushed so he kept going until he could feel a popping sensation and it was suddenly gone. Harry opened his eyes to find the black pool and skeleton was now gone, leaving the ground dead where it was.
“Very good Harry!” The woman cheered happily. She squeezed his shoulders while sighing. “I’ve been holding Him at bay for so long. I can finally move on.”
Harry turned around to face the woman. “Move on? You still haven’t told me who you are.”
The woman smiled down at him tenderly as she ran her thumb across his cheek. “Be strong Harry. We’ll never be far from you my baby boy.”
“Mother?” was all he could stutter before she kissed his brow and she began to glow a brilliant white.
Harry came back into his body with a hard jolt. His head hurt a little bit with a headache which did not usually happen when with his meditative sessions. A soft trilling sound caught his attention and his head quickly snapped down to his hands. He was shocked to find a weird little snake wrapped around his hands and holding them against the egg, which was now black.
“Did you come out of the egg?” Harry asked the little creature.
The little creature released its grip on his hands with a squeaky noise. Harry picked it up with one hand to get a better look at it. It looked like a cream colored snake with little arms and legs, but it also had little tufts of pinkish hair on the end of its tail and on it’s head like a mane. Moving it in the light made the color of its body shift from cream to the entire rainbow, like some of those fancy stickers Harry saw in some of the restaurants him and his fathers ate at. It kind of looked like a baby version of the dragons they drew all over China.
“My, my. Aren’t you beautiful.” Harry muttered as he continued to move the dragon to see the rainbow on its body.
The little creature scurried up his arm and to his neck, where it rubbed against him lovingly. Harry lifted up the now black egg to get a better look at it. It still had the slightly pearlescent shine to it, though now it had lost any of the white it had before. It seemed like the old monk and Amaru were right. He had to meditate to purge an evil from within his mind to hatch an extinct dragon specie from its egg. That was all well and good, but what about that woman. HIs mother he gaped as he gears began to connect, but why was she in his head as well? The little dragon made a low warbling sound against his chin.
“I guess I should give you a name, huh? Since you’ll be hanging around for a while now.” Harry laughed as the little dragon ran down his other arm only to scurry around his legs and run back up his back. “You’re quite beautiful. What do you think about Oheo?” The little dragon perked up, as if on cue. “It’s from the language of my mothers.” He almost choked on the word. As tears slid down his face he struggled to keep his voice. “It means beautiful.” The little dragon ran up to the top of his head and rolled around in his hair, messing it up terribly. “I’m just going to assume you approve.” Harry chuckled at the antics of the little dragon as he wiped his cheeks. “Not that I mind, but we need to figure out how to hide you. I think my fathers would have a few choice words if I tried to introduce you. Mooey about tore my head off when I suggested getting a cat.”
Oheo scampered into his shirt and Harry could feel it go down into his sleeve. Then it seemingly disappeared. Harry pulled his sleeve to see that the dragon had become a tattoo on his arm.
“Clever girl.” Harry muttered with a smirk.
“Harry!” He heard Remus call out to him from within his house. “We’re stopping for food, so come on out.”
Harry got up from the dirt and ran into his house. He found a secure spot in his library to put the black pearl egg. The talking skull threw some insults at Harry as he ran to the house portal. Sirius had found a little restaurant in some small village to stop at for dinner. They were still in China, so it was going to be a while until they got to a place that had any other type of food.
“You’ve been in your house a while, pup. What were you doing?” Remus probbed gently, like he always did, once they found a small table to sit at in a corner of the outdoor cafe.
“Just trying to process everything and decompress. Things happened so suddenly today.” Harry wasn’t really sure how much to tell his fathers, so he always settled on vague half-truths.
“Not a moment too soon. I was starting to get cabin fever.” Sirius muttered as he sipped his hot tea. Remus glared at him, but it had little effect on Sirius, who only shrugged.
“Could you please be a bit more mature, Padfoot?” Remus sighed tiredly
“Why bother when we already have you Evan?” Sirius smirked at Remus, earning himself another glare.
A crow landed on to rope next to their table, earning little reaction from Sirius and Remus.
“Looks like your mothers sent you a letter, pup.” Remus motioned to the crow that was waiting silently. “Which reminds me. Didn’t Andromeda send you a letter?” He asked Sirius
“Yes, but there wasn’t much in there. Narcissa has been fretting over some things going on with Draco and Hogwarts.” Sirius shrugged. “Oh, Nymphadora graduated from Auror training. I guess everyone was surprised.”
“Do we need to be worried about being turned in by your family?” Remus smiled into his cup of tea.
“Andromeda assured me that she’s already threatened Nymphadora with grievous injury, or strict grounding, should she ever be tempted to turn me in.”
Remus began to laugh, which started Sirius laughing as well. Harry chuckled as he retrieved the letter from the crow’s leg. The crow popped into a cloud of purple smoke, leaving a crystal crow skull behind on the rope, which Harry picked up and put in his pocket.
“What do you mothers have to say?” Sirius asked after Harry had begun reading the letter. “I bet it’s another long winded ‘we miss you’ letter.” Sirius groused.
Remus balled up a napkin and threw it at his head. “Be nice, Sirius. They love him.”
“Yes, but you can only say ‘we miss you’ so many times before it loses its meaning.”
“Someone came to the tribe.” Harry told his fathers as he continued to read.
“Someone came to the tribe? Hardly noteworthy. We did the same thing” Sirius shrugged as he sipped his tea.
“What else do they say?” Remus asked, sipping on his own tea.
“Some strange old man. Same accent as yours. Called himself...Dum-ble-dor- ey?” Harry struggled with this strange word that Hausis had written down.
“Dumbledore?!” Remus dropped his empty tea cup onto the table.
“I take it back. That’s noteworthy.” Sirius set his cup down next to Remus’ overturned one.
“What else did they say?” Remus’ entire body had gone tense, like he was prepared to attack.
“He was asking questions about all of us, but mostly just me.” Harry handed the letter over to Remus. “He left, but the wolf tribe followed him. Reported that he took the same path as we did. Even stopped at the same diner. Cami still works there, apparently. He spoke to her, but she didn’t give him anything.”
“If Dumbledore’s after us…” Sirius spoke in a hushed whisper. Harry had never seen him so concerned.
“Something must have changed to make him come for us after all this time.” Remus rubbed his temple with one hand.
“What do we do? What can we do?” Sirius fell back into his chair
“We keep running.” Remus stated firmly. “We’ve got quite the head start and we went through some areas that would be hard to track us.” He paused to look over the letter once more. “We’ll go through India. If we’re careful, we can erase our path and throw him off completely.” Remus turned to Harry and placed a firm hand on his shoulder. “Sorry, pup. No more long visits anywhere.”
Harry nodded without words. He had never heard of this Dumbledore person before, but if his fathers were this afraid of him then he was a person to be feared. He would need to be careful with his magic and thefts from here on out to be sure there was no trace of their presence. Harry’s arm where Oheo was hiding pulsed slightly. He brought a hand to the little dragon to soothe it. He decided to wait to tell his fathers about the incredibly powerful, extinct dragon he had hatched. They had enough to worry about right now.
The Witcher 3