Disclaimer: See Chapter One.
Harry Potter and the Spirits Within
by Maven Cree
Chapter Two: Vultur Non Capit Muscam
Ron threw on his school robes and quickly did up the
clasps. He was a little bit irked that
Harry had gone down to breakfast without him.
He hadn’t even bothered to wake him up.
But considering how little he’d eaten at dinner, Ron figured Harry must
have wanted to get an early start to satisfy his stomach.
The boy-who-lived had already settled into bed when Ron
returned from the feast the night before.
He was half asleep, his curtains drawn, but when Ron stuck his head
through them, Harry was lucid enough to tell him that Sirius was staying in the
castle and that’s where he had been for the rest of the meal. Ron was glad and looked forward to seeing
his friend’s godfather again.
Ron left his dorm and trudged down the stairs to the
common room. Hermione was waiting for
him in a large chair, book in hand. She
was sitting in the morning sunlight by a window, and Ron felt a little
something shudder within his chest. He
dismissed it and walked over to his friend.
Hermione smiled up at him and the shudder returned for an
“Already gone,” he replied.
“Didn’t even wake me, the git.”
“But he was there last night, right?”
“Yeah,” he said, then leaned in close. “Snuffles is
here. He’s staying in the castle. That’s where Harry was.”
“Snuffles?!” Hermione’s face lit up. She shoved her book
into her book-bag and stood up. “Well,
let’s go then. I want to hear how he’s
Ron reached out his hand and headed for the exit,
stopping after only one step. He turned
realizing what he’d done. Wide-eyed,
Ron looked down at his left hand. It
was clasping Hermione’s right. Something
he’d done in previous years to hurry her along, but for this time it felt
different… it felt right… and that felt wrong.
He released her hand quickly and turned again to the exit, not
particularly wanting to see whatever expression was on her face at the moment.
“Come on then,” he said, noting that his throat felt
unusually tight. He heard her following
and held the portrait open for her when he reached it. She passed him into the corridor and there
was an odd silence as the fat lady closed up again.
He nodded, not trusting his voice just then. He motioned that they should continue and
they did so without comment.
Rounding the first bend, the pair almost ran into the
head of their house. Professor
McGonagall’s face was more stern than usual and there was deep agitation behind
“Mr. Weasley. Miss Granger. A word please,” she said shortly. The two Gryffindors regarded at each other hesitantly before
They really wanted to find Harry, but the Deputy Headmistress and
head of their house led them into an empty classroom.
“Now, I understand how important trust is among friends,”
she began straight on. “And I know the
ability to hold a confidence is fundamental in that trust. But really. I would have expected
better judgement from two Gryffindors. Especially
the two of you.”
Ron and Hermione looked at each other in
bewilderment. What was she on about?
“Potter’s condition is not something that should have
been kept secret from us.”
condition?” Ron asked.
“Has something happened to Harry, Professor?” Hermione
asked with worried eyes.
McGonagall looked at two of them in puzzlement. She then closed her eyes and sighed heavily.
“Bewitch me. You
didn’t know,” she muttered.
“Know what?” Ron asked in a pressing voice. Had it been anyone else but McGonagall (or
possibly Dumbledore) Hermione knew he would be yelling by now.
McGonagall opened her eyes again, the agitation replaced
with a slow sadness.
“My apologies,” she said. “I thought he would have told the two of you, at least.”
She took a breath.
“Mr. Potter is once again in the Hospital Wing.”
“What’s wrong with him?!”
McGonagall held up her hands.
“Professor Snape caught him breaking into his office last
night. He was attempting to steal a jar
of Loverra Oil.”
“Yes, Miss Granger.
Mr. Potter’s injuries are evidence of a severe beating. Several in fact,” she added in a sour voice,
“as Madame Pomfrey has found wounds many weeks old. We suspect his uncle, but Harry has yet to confirm that. It took a great deal of effort for him to
show us this much.
“How--I mean… is it--bad?” Hermione asked.
“I’m afraid it is.”
“But--But he was fine!”
Ron insisted. “He wasn’t hurt!”
“I’ve seen him with my own eyes, Mr. Weasley.”
“But… that-- that doesn’t-- He wasn’t---”
“R--Ron… remember on the train--- he was sitting so… stiffly
on the edge of his seat. And he
wouldn’t let me hug him.”
“Because of Sebastian!”
“No! I’m his best
friend! He would’ve told me!”
“He looked fine!”
“He used a masking spell on his face.”
Ron felt deflated.
“Is he going to be all right?”
“It will take some time, but yes. He should make a full recovery.”
“Can we see him?”
“He’s asleep, Mr. Weasley.”
“Can we see him?”
She knew there was no use in arguing with these two on this point. If they wanted to see Potter, they would
find a way, permission or no.
“I’m sure I could persuade Madame Pomfrey to allow a few
minutes. But he needs his rest.”
The pair nodded swiftly and followed the professor out of
Remus Lupin rubbed his eyes wearily.
He’d been sitting clear and awake since Professor
Dumbledore had knocked on his door in the dark hours of the night. He’d been horrified to hear about
Harry. Anger coursed through his
unusual veins. How dare the
Dursley’s do that to such a sweet boy?
He’d been through so much already.
More than most full-grown adults had ever experienced. The weight of the world was on his shoulders
and now this… How dare they?!
His own anger needed to be stayed for the moment,
however. The anger of another would
prove to be far more volatile. And
even before it was said, Remus knew that Dumbledore was going to mention it.
He was livid.
When Remus and Dumbledore arrived at Sirius’s quarters,
Minerva had her wand raised and was threatening the man with a full body
bind. With the look that was in Sirius’s
eyes, Remus wasn’t sure that a normal body bind would have been strong enough.
The Headmaster first and foremost forbad Sirius to leave the
grounds until the Dursleys were in custody.
After all their work trying to find a way to prove Sirius’s innocence,
they didn’t need three actual murders on his hands.
They managed to calm the former convict enough to get him
into a chair.
“How bad is it, Albus?
Really?” he asked.
Dumbledore sat opposite him. “Quite, I’m afraid. He
will heal, but it will be difficult. He
had three broken ribs, which Poppy has repaired as well as a fracture in his
cheekbone and in his left femur. The
bruising will have to heal on its own.”
“His leg was broken?!” McGonagall exclaimed.
“A minor hairline fracture. He was still able to walk as we have all seen, but I imagine it
wasn’t too comfortable for him.”
“Minerva said something about his back,” Sirius prodded.
“That,” Albus began, straightening up, “is where the
difficulty comes in.”
“What do you mean?”
“The injuries to Harry’s back are more than surface. Indeed there has been some bruising of his
internal organs. The problem… is that
these injuries were inflicted with severe malice.”
“His uncle truly hates him that much?” Minerva asked, to
no one in particular. Everyone present
knew what the power of severe malice could do.
“The Noceo Protractus charm will have to be performed.”
“As if the boy hasn’t been through enough,” Remus
“He will go through a great deal more if the charm is not
performed, Remus. You know that.”
“It doesn’t mean we have to like it,” he responded, more
curtly than he’d intended to. It was
obvious Dumbledore took no offence, but Lupin softened his voice when he
“When will it be done?” he asked.
“As soon as Mr. Potter wakes up,” Dumbledore said. “Poppy assures me that won’t be until the
And so this was how Remus found himself seated next to
Harry’s bed, a large black dog lying miserably at his feet.
Harry slept quietly on his stomach, a cool muslin shirt
replacing a normal pyjama top. For the
most part he slept soundly, with only the occasional twitch or slight spasm
interrupting his peaceful repose.
At the sound of approaching footsteps, both Remus and
Sirius lifted their heads and looked towards the door. Professor McGonagall entered followed by a
very tense looking Ron and Hermione. He
stood to greet them.
“I believe you both remember Professor Lupin,” Professor
The two nodded in confirmation.
“It’s good to see you again, Professor,” Hermione said.
“And the two of you,” he replied, attempting a small
“And this… er…” McGonagall continued, looking at the dog.
“Hi, Snuffles,” Hermione said.
The dog gave a small bark. McGonagall looked from Snuffles to the children.
“You’ve met,” she said, as more of a statement than a
“Yes, we’re old friends.”
McGonagall rolled her eyes. “Is there nothing the three of you don’t get into?”
No one responded as Ron moved past them all to Harry’s
bedside. Harry’s face was on its side
and he Ron could clearly see the dark bruising which covered his cheek and
chin. The eye that was healing from
being swollen shut…
“Ah, Miss Granger, Mr. Weasley. I see you have been appraised of the situation.”
Remus turned to see that Professors Dumbledore and Snape
had silently entered the room. Severus
held a pewter goblet in his hands.
“They didn’t know anything about Potter’s condition,
Albus. I filled them in.”
The Headmaster nodded.
At that moment, Madame Pomfrey emerged from her office. As Professor Snape made his way over to her,
Remus did not miss the sharp look that the young Weasley threw Professor
Dumbledore, without the man’s notice.
“What’s this?” Poppy asked, accepting the offered goblet.
“A strengthening solution. The boy will need it. It
won’t interfere with the charm.”
“Thank you, Severus,” she responded, not bothering to
hide the surprise in her voice. A
strengthening solution was not required to perform the Noceo Protractus charm,
but it did help the victim to endure it.
“Yes, that was very—”
Albus’s praise was cut off by a weak sounding moan. Every eye in the room travelled to the bed
where Harry lay. He was still for only
a moment, then another moan escaped him and he began to move.
It’s time,” Madame Pomfrey said.
“Poppy, can’t it wait some?” Remus asked.
“No,” she said emphatically. “The Noceo Protractus spell must be completed between the first
rays of dawn and noon time. The time it
takes varies and if we go over, we will have to start again tomorrow. I’m sure no one wants that.”
There was silent agreement in the room, but Ron and
Hermione just looked at each other in confusion. They had never heard of Noceo Protractus, but got the distinct
feeling that this was not the time to ask..
“Easy, Mr. Potter.
I should imagine you are feeling quite tender right now.”
Harry lifted his head slightly and the blurry mediwitch
came into view. He found himself
wondering what she was doing in his dorm room.
He looked past her and saw other familiar blurry figures, all apparently
focussed on him.
Why is everyone…?
A growing ache in his back seemed to put things back in
focus. He was in the Hospital
Wing. They’d… they’d found out about…
Harry groaned and buried his face back into the
pillow. Best not to think about the
“Time for that later, Mr. Potter. We must get some unpleasantness out of the
He looked up at her again and sighed.
“Glasses…?” he said weakly.
“No. It’s best
you don’t wear them just yet. They
His brow knitted in question, but she continued.
“Harry, I need to perform a spell on you. You were… injured… with severe malice. This means you will not heal unless the
malice is first removed. It isn’t
important that you understand this right now, but it is important that you
trust us and that it be done right away.”
Harry stared blankly for a moment before nodding
weakly. At that moment, he didn’t really
care what she did to him. Whatever let
him get back to the blissfully dreamless sleep he’d been in would be welcome.
She presented him with the goblet.
“Drink this, it will help.”
what? The pain? He managed to lift himself up enough to
drink the potion she handed him, and was somewhat pleased to note that it
tasted of berries. But the energy to
drink left him and after handing her back the cup, he immediately dropped back
down into his pillow.
“Harry, I’m not going to lie to you. The Noceo Protractus charm is very painful,
and I’m afraid there’s nothing I can do to prevent that. But you must remain still or we will have to
start all over again. As such, I will
ask Professors Dumbledore and Snape to help you. Do you understand?
going to help me? I must really
be bad off.
Harry nodded. He
didn’t care; just let it be over with.
“I’ll have to ask the rest of you to leave,” he heard her
say. Harry heard no sound of
movement. “Now!” she stressed.
“Poppy,” he heard Dumbledore say, “if I recall correctly,
having people around who care for the patient can help with the speed of the
spell. It might be beneficial to Harry
to let everyone stay.”
“Fine. I don’t
have time for this, just everyone stay out of the way!”
He heard slight movement and guessed that his friends
were moving back some.
“Now Albus, Severus, I’ll need you to be prepared to hold
“….hold him down…. …hold him down… …hold him…”
“Wouldn’t a binding spell work better?”
“No, sir. It
would interfere with the charm. If it
gets too difficult for him to hold still on his own, I’ll need you to hold
Harry down at his arms. Severus, you
would take his legs. Make certain he
moves as little as possib--H--Harry?”
Harry was making a deep gasping noise from his
pillow. Madame Pomfrey turned his face
to her. He continued to gasp for
you need to calm down, you’re beginning to hyperventilate.”
“…hold him… …hold him down… …hold him…”
With the breathing charm, Harry immediately began to
relax and breathe normally.
“Harry, you must trust us if this is to work,”
Harry squeezed his eyes shut and nodded. They didn’t understand. It wasn’t them.
“This isn’t a show,” Pomfrey muttered, and he could hear
the sound of screens being drawn. A
moment later, the soft shirt he was wearing was magicked away and he tensed
reflexively at the sudden exposure.
There was a pause and then he heard Madame Pomfrey begin
to murmur quietly. Through his tightly
closed eyes, he started to see a red glow.
A cold dark feeling crept its way into his stomach, and a chilling
realization into his mind:
This was going to bad.
From the moment the screens slid shut around the bed
area, a nervous tension filled the five people waiting nearby. Minerva McGonagall anxiously rang her hands together while slowly turning from
side to side as though uncertain as to where to go. Remus had retaken his chair and was studying the floor. Snuffles was staring steadily at the
screen. Ron was a statue tightly
clenching his teeth and Hermione, who was distraught enough that she didn’t
know what was going to happen, wore a steady track on the floor.
All gave a simultaneous jump once the screaming began.
Harry was yelling as though someone were trying to skin
him alive, stopping only to take several shaky, pain-filled gasps, before
yelling again. Snuffles must have
thought that was exactly what they were doing to him, for he darted towards the
closed screen… only to be yanked back as someone wrapped two strong arms around
his neck. Remus was on the floor
holding back his long-time friend. No
easy task as the big dog was slowly dragging the both of them across the
hospital wing floor.
Hermione meanwhile had begun sobbing. Ron pulled her into a tight embrace,
crushing her into his chest. He buried
his face in her hair and tried to force his ears to block out the sound. As it continued, it was only his care of
Hermione that prevented him from taking up Sirius’s quest.
Professor McGonagall stood frozen, eyes closed, a hand
covering her mouth.
“Stop—this!” Remus growled through his teeth. “Si—”
Remus removed one of his arms and pulled out his wand.
The great dog’s legs stiffened and he fell over onto his
side. His haunting eyes travelled from
the screen to Remus, who was kneeling over him. Remus put a hand on his head.
The look in his friend’s eye told him in no uncertain terms that had he
not been frozen at the moment, the hand would no longer be attached to his
“I’m sorry, Sirius,” he said.
Over a half hour had passed. Harry was no longer screaming.
The rawness of his throat had reduced him to retched heart filled sobs
into his pillow.
Snape and Dumbledore had indeed needed to be called on in
the beginning. They held him down as he
struggled to get away from the pain. At
this point he was either too weak from the struggle or too numb to require
restraint. He lay flaccid as the old
nurse continued her ministrations.
Dumbledore gently stroked Harry’s unruly mop of hair, now damp from
perspiration, offering what comfort he could.
Madame Pomfrey stood at the bedside, her wand raised and
her eyes closed. She muttered the words
of the charm quietly, her concentration refusing to let her acknowledge the
suffering she was being forced to administer.
‘Concentrate on the task, and worry about the effects at a later time.’ It was a lesson that had been drilled into
her by the witch she’d apprenticed with in her youth. She had to distance herself from her patient. She had to focus on the illness… This is
what a true mediwitch must do in order to heal…
But she was still human… and this was trying every nerve
and sense in her body.
A red ball of light hovered over Harry’s body. It swam with evil. Even Snape shuttered in its presence. Small, thread-sized strands of red light, from around one to
three inches long, were seeping out of Harry’s skin like festering worms. Each one joined the red ball, slowly adding
to its size. In the beginning, there
had been hundreds of them at a time.
Now, they had dwindled to five or six every few seconds.
Snape’s hands were enveloped in his robes. He continually clenched and unclenched his
fists, trying to ignore the crawling feeling in his skin.
He wondered silently how this would affect Potter. The boy would need to be strong in the
coming months - physically, mentally, and
spiritually. If he weren’t, the
Order’s plans would be significantly set back.
Which meant Voldemort’s time would be lengthened.
Which meant he would still be summoned.
He would rather not think about what that meant.
Another red thread emerged from Harry’s back. Another.
And then nothing. And more
Madame Pomfrey gasped and her eyes rolled back in her
head. Both Snape and Dumbledore acted
quickly. The Headmaster caught the mediwitch before she hit the floor,
showing surprising speed and agility for a man of his advanced age. Professor Snape brought out his wand and
aimed it at the glowing ball of evil.
“Expecto Livor,” he said. The glowing ball changed from swarming red, to a deep blue. It began to spin and changed to a brilliant
gold. It erupted into a white flash before
Madame Pomfrey was back on her feet with Professor
Dumbledore’s help, her hand to her head.
“Thank you Albus. Severus.”
“Are you alright?” Dumbledore asked.
“Just tired. I’m
Poppy waved her wand over Harry, twice, muttering another
spell. She checked the medical band on
“The malice is gone.
He can heal now,” she said.
Another flick of the wand and the muslin shirt was back on her
patient. She poured a goblet full of
sleeping draught and moved to give it to Harry.
“I don’t think that will be necessary, Poppy,” Albus
said, gesturing towards the injured boy.
Harry was already asleep.
It was an odd sight.
Not Hermione Granger fiercely concentrating on the large
book in front of her. The oddness came from her companion, Ronald Weasley. Not
that his accompanying her to the library was all that uncommon… it was the fact
that instead of passing the time looking Quidditch magazines, Ron was studying
from a thick textbook. Quill in hand,
he took steady notes from the copy of Special Delivery: Charms and Curses by
Post. The Dursleys would be the
recipients of several unpleasant owls in the coming days, if Ron had anything
to say about it. He’d gotten the idea
from Hermione actually. The previous
year, due to an inflammatory article by Rita Skeeter, his friend had been
pummelled with post carrying boils inducing potions and other nasty articles. For the Dursleys, Ron was looking for
something much worse.
Hermione on the other hand was busying herself with the
Noceo Protractus charm. Ron had tried,
but his anger over the whole situation made it impossible for him to
concentrate enough to understand the advanced charms texts at the moment. It was decided that his fury could be best
used elsewhere. He was pleasantly
surprised that Hermione had not objected to his mutterings about the post.
“I think I understand it,” Hermione said quietly.
Ron looked up from his parchment. “You figured it out?”
Hermione nodded and turned in her seat to face him. “Apparently there are two types of inflicted
injuries: accidental and
intentional. If someone injures you by
accident, the injury will heal or not heal of its own accord. If it was an intentional injury, it breaks
down three categories: purposeful,
malice and severe malice.”
“How can an intentional injury be purposeful?” Ron questioned.
“Like… an operation.
Cutting someone open is intentionally injuring them, but it has a
“…Or like what Madame Pomfrey was doing to Harry…” Ron
“Exactly,” she said.
“Harming someone with Malice, on the other hand, slows down the healing
process. So… if you fell off your broom and broke your arm, it would heal
faster than if someone pushed you off the broom and wanted to
“—the arm wouldn’t heal as fast. I get it,” He shrugged. “Makes sense I
“Now, the Noceo Protractus is a charm to physically pull
the effects of severe malice from a victim. Severe malice completely inhibits healing and in some cases can
cause the victim’s condition to worsen.
People can die from it.”
“So…” Ron scrunched up his face. “Malice is a curse then?”
“In a way. It’s
a… well… projection of anger and hate.
So, it is like a curse I guess. It is the basis of the Cruciatus curse
apparently. Focussed malice and rage…
Someone harnessed it.”
“And multiplied by a million,” Ron mumbled. He shook his head. “That doesn’t make sense though.
The Dursleys are Muggles. They
can’t do curses. They can’t do magic.”
“I know. That
part’s confusing to me too. I have to
do some more research. But it says here
that…” Hermione ran her finger down the page of the text and began to read from
“The ability to project malice is a fully human trait and
not limited to magical folk. The
transfer of malice energies is connected to human core energy, which does not
“And that means exactly…?”
“That I have more research to do.”
Ron nodded. He
turned to his own book. “How about a…
Hermione looked over his shoulder. “You’d have to handle three live spiders for
“Next!” he said quickly and turned the page. Hermione smiled at him. Despite the
situation, it was nice to know some things could always be counted on.
Remus knocked on the open classroom door.
The Potions professor cast a quick glance in the
werewolf’s direction, before putting his attention back to his work. “What can I do for you, Lupin?”
“Well, first of all, you can call me Remus.”
“Secondly… I just came down here to thank you.”
“Thank me?” Snape asked absently. He was pouring a vial of green liquid into a
smaller container, with measured accuracy.
“For what you did for Harry.”
“I’m afraid, I don’t know what you mean.”
Remus raised an eyebrow.
“Bringing him to the Hospital wing, helping with the charm, any of this
ring a bell?”
“And what exactly,” Snape said bitterly, “had you
expected me to do upon finding a student in such a state? Remove points and send him to clean the
Great Hall? Perhaps you believed that I
would have added to his injuries for my own enjoyment?”
“I didn’t mean anything like that.”
“Of course you did.”
Severus put the vial and container down and turned to face him. “That’s exactly what anyone would
expect from a ‘greasy bastard’ like myself.
Sorry to disappoint you. I take
no pleasure in the abuse of children, no matter who they are.”
Lupin’s eyes darkened.
He neither liked the implication nor having words put into his
mouth. He retaliated with an
implication of his own: “I’m certain
Mr. Longbottom would take issue with that.”
“Mr. Longbottom is a danger to himself and others.”
“And the other houses; Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw…
anyone who isn’t a Slytherin. I’m
certain they all have tales of abuse to report against you.”
“So you are comparing my verbal actions to what was done
“Of course not!
I’m merely saying that--”
“This is an institute of learning, is it not?”
“Yes, but that doesn’t mean--”
Carefully. Remus.” Snape
placed his fists on his desk and leaned forcefully towards the man standing on
the other side.
“Dumbledore is a magnificent man, but at times he is very
blind. Before my… abuse,
children would grow up and leave these halls with far too thin a skin on
them. Unprepared for what and whom
they may meet in the outside world. In my
class they learn that not everyone is nice. Not everyone in a position of power or respect is to be
trusted. They learn that the monsters
don’t always live in their closets and under their beds or in shrieking
shacks. They learn fear. And fear is what will make them think twice
when it is needed.”
“…You’re talking about Death Eaters…”
Severus narrowed his eyes. “If they can’t survive me… what chance do they have out
there?” he growled. “We are in a war - the same war that went on almost two decades ago. It never ended. It was quiet for a while, but I knew it was not over.”
He straightened to his full height. “These children need to be prepared for what
lies beyond these walls. You do it your
way. I’ll do it mine.”
Snape turned back to the mixtures in the cabinet behind
his desk. Professor Lupin remained
where he stood.
Was that what happened to you? Remus questioned
silently. No one prepared you for what
was out there? Is that why you became--
“Are you still here?”
Remus shook himself out of his thoughts. He looked at the potion in Severus’s hands.
“What is that?”
Remus raised two surprised eyebrows. Severus shrugged.
“Somewhat childish and immature, I know, but effective
none the less. Leaves no trace behind.”
“What… I mean, who…?”
“The Dursleys will be taken into custody tomorrow. I thought I might pay them a visit tonight.”
“But--but, usually, only a half a drop in someone’s drink
is good for an entire day. How much
Severus held up the container. It had to hold two metric cups worth.
“That much,” Remus muttered. “That—that’s just cruel, Severus,” he stated.
Snape raised an eyebrow. Remus continued.
“I want in.”
It was too bright.
His eyes were still closed, but he knew it was too
The second thing he noticed was that he was on his
back. He brought his hand up to his
face and became very much aware of how stiff his body was.
He started at the voice to his right. It wasn’t threatening, he just wasn’t
expecting anyone. He moved his hand and
opened his eyes in little slits.
“Whuh—what are you doing here?”
“Are you serious?”
Harry was too tired to attempt the pathetic pun.
“I meant… Madame Pomfrey…”
“Oh, her. She
knows about me. Dumbledore thought it
would be best to tell her since there was no way I was going to leave your
side, and she wasn’t about to let a dog sit in her infirmary all day.”
“Oh. Thanks,” he
said as his godfather handed him his glasses.
“How do you feel?”
“Stiff. A little
sore, but not too bad.”
“A few more days and you should be good as new. You’re awake now so you can take the healing
potions. They work faster than the
“A few more days?”
Harry wrinkled her brow. “How
long have I been here? What day is it?”
“It’s Wednesday afternoon, Harry. You’ve been asleep for three days.”
Harry groaned and closed his eyes. “Great.
I’ll never catch up.”
“Don’t worry about your classes, Harry. You’ll have help getting up to speed. You just worry about getting better right
Harry nodded ruefully.
“Harry…” Sirius finally said. “Please tell me what
Harry closed his eyes.
“Harry, please. You can’t keep this inside you. If you won’t talk to me, talk to Remus or
Dumbledore or Ron…. anyone. Will you do
Harry drew a shaky breath. He opened his eyes but didn’t look at his godfather. He opened his mouth to speak, but nothing
came out. He shut it a moment later,
resignation on his face.
“Harry, you’ve got nothing to be afraid of. No one’s going to--”
“I--I’m tired Sirius,” he said closing his eyes again.
Sirius sighed and conceded for the moment. He pulled the sheets up to Harry’s neck.
“Then sleep, Harry.”
The boy nodded and settled down.
“…I’m… I’m glad you’re here.”
Sirius smiled kindly.
He leaned forward and planted a gentle kiss on Harry’s forehead.
“So am I, Harry.
So am I.”
Harry awoke again to a slight weight on his chest. Not very heavy, but noticeable when your
breathing wasn’t up to snuff. He slowly
opened his eyes to find himself looking into the grey and black face of
Sebastian. It was night. Sirius was gone.
“I told you.”
“I told you, you needed to sssee a veterinarian.”
Harry smiled weakly and rolled his eyes.
“Physician, Sebastian. Humans see physicians.
Animals, reptiles and birds see veterinarians.”
“You’re an animal.”
“Animals other than humans.”
“I ssstill told you.
I knew you were sssick.”
“You know, saying: “I told you so,” isn’t very polite.”
“Neither is lying to your friendsss and making them worry
“…Some things… it’s better that they don’t know… People
have more important things to worry about than me.”
“I’ve been here all afternoon. They ssseeem to think you’re pretty important.”
“You ssshould appologizzzze.”
“Should I now?” Harry asked indignantly.
“It’sss only polite.”
Harry was released from the Hospital Wing on Friday after
lunch, with strict instructions from Madame Pomfrey not to over exert himself
and to report to her the following morning for a once over. He’d agreed, knowing full well that if it
were up to her, Harry wouldn’t be leaving for another week. He’d assured her that he felt fine. He admitted to being a little stiff but
reminded her that lying in bed all day would do little to cure that.
Professor Dumbledore had not come to the Hospital Wing
since the morning of the Noceo Protractus charm. At his request via Madame Pomfrey, Harry was on his way to the
elderly wizard’s office. He wasn’t
looking forward to the meeting. If the
looks he was getting in the hallways were any indication, this wasn’t going to
It was quite obvious that the students knew that something
had happened. Most of the bruises had
healed and faded thanks to magical methods.
His back was still the worst, but would be concealed. His face had mostly healed as well, save for
a slight darkening where the fracture in his left cheek bone had been. His tired and weary appearance would only go
away with time… hopefully
Harry gave the password at the stone gargoyle
(‘Bloodpops’) and knocked on the door at the top of the stairs.
“Come in, Harry,” the professor said.
Harry was grateful that no one, save the professor and
Fawkes were present.
“Tea?” the professor offered, motioning towards a
chair. Harry shook his head no, and sat
down as the professor poured himself a cup.
He sat down in his in his own large chair after adding two lumps of
sugar to his drink.
“Well, Harry. I
hope that you are feeling a little better.”
“I am, sir. Much
“Do you have any questions?”
“About the charm that was performed on you.”
“Uh, not really, sir,” Harry said, and at Dumbledore’s
surprised look, he explained. “Hermione
and Ron came to see me yesterday. She’s
been doing research on it.”
“Ah, yes. Miss
Granger’s talent for tenacious study is reaching near legendary proportions.”
“I’m sure she’d be glad to hear that, Professor,” Harry nodded.
Indeed he did have questions about the Noceo
Protractus. Hermione still had not
found how Vernon, a Muggle, was able to
affect him with malice. He was certain
the professor would know, but Harry was in no mood to be given a riddle or a
vague answer. Hermione would find out
and tell him straight. He could stay
his curiosity till then.
“Will you be able to attend the first meeting of the Order tomorrow?”
A slight twinkle re-appeared in the headmaster’s
eye. It was the first Harry had seen
since they had met in that very office the previous Sunday. It faded quickly though, and the
uncomfortable seriousness of this man returned.
“Harry… How long has this been happening?”
“I… It… Not long sir.
It only started up again this summer.”
“Dudley never really stopped. But Uncle Vernon, he… he stopped when I was around eight. He couldn’t keep up with me anymore when I’d
run. He’d still kinda push me around a
bit… but nothing too bad. He stopped
all together when I got my Hogwarts letter.”
“When did it first start?”
“…I… I don’t remember.
I was too young.”
Dumbledore pressed his lips tightly together.
“And this summer?”
“I…” Harry shook his head. “I was too slow. I knew
that I was supposed to be quick about things.
They’d told me often enough. I
would… sort of get lost in my thoughts
and then they’d catch me. If I stayed
out of their way, it was okay. If I’d
just kept my head about me…”
“Harry… Do not defend them. You were not responsible for this. You did not deserve to be treated like this. No one does.”
“Do you understand that, Harry?”
“Yessir,” he mumbled.
“What about this latest incident Harry? What happened?”
The boy suddenly looked very closed.
“Harry. I need
you to tell me.”
“The Dursleys have been taken into custody.”
The boy looked up.
“All of them,” the professor continued. “Charges have been brought against your aunt
and cousin as well.”
“But… the Ministry… no one knows what happened.”
“No. But the fact
that something happened is enough to hold them. In Wizarding law, whether or not your aunt
and cousin were a party may be irrelevant.
They were there, and you were under your aunt’s guardianship as well as
your uncle’s. She was supposed to
protect you. She didn’t. She’s responsible. You’re cousin was taken in because he’s also suspected to be
involved. That is why I need you to
tell me what happened. The Ministry
needs to sort who did what. Or who did
nothing, as the case may be.”
“You have nothing to fear from the truth, Harry.”
It wasn’t the truth, Harry was afraid of. It was the memory. If he knew the proper memory charm, he would have obliterated it
from his own mind. But they hadn’t
covered those yet, and he didn’t want to end up like Professor Lockhart. Harry’s fondest wish was that Saturday had
never happened. It was bad enough that he
remembered it. To talk about it… the
humiliation… It was almost unbearable.
But Dumbledore was staring at him with those deep azure
eyes… hypnotic in their own way. He
could not refuse what the headmaster was pressing him to say. He dug his nails into his palms so tightly
that it hurt. He took a deep breath
“…Sir… I… I can’t.”
“No, sir. You
don’t understand. I can’t! I literally can’t!” The boy looked extremely
flustered. “I—I know what
happened. I’m trying to tell you… but
every time I do… I forget it. It’s in
my head right now, but if I try to… there!
It’s gone again! What’s
Dumbledore tapped his lip thoughtfully.
“Hm. Have you
told anyone else, Harry?”
The boy shook his head.
“No one’s asked, except Sirius.
I couldn’t remember then either, but I thought it was because I was so
Professor Dumbledore seemed to draw into himself for a
“I’m sure it’s nothing to worry about, my boy. I will consider a way to rectify the situation.”
“Do you know what’s happening?”
“Perhaps. But for
now, it’s best not to dwell on it. You
are still excused from classes until Monday.
You may wish to use the afternoon to get caught up on the lessons that
you’ve missed. I believe Mr. Weasley
and Miss Granger have left you your assignments in your dorm room.”
He’d done it again.
He was hiding something. Harry
had a feeling that Dumbledore knew exactly what was happening to
him. But for his own reasons, was
keeping it to himself.
Harry found it extremely frustrating to trust someone so
much, who yielded so little. But he did
trust him. If for no other reason than
he had to.
It didn’t mean he had to like it.
“It that all sir?”
He stood up to leave.
“Yes, Harry, save for one thing. Would you mind having a conversation with
“S-s-so this is where the big dog was?”
“Don’t worry, Neville.
Fluffy’s gone with Hagrid. It’s
“Well, I wouldn’t say perfectly safe, Hermione,” Ron
said. “Ole greasy’s gonna be there
business has he got in the Order?”
“Fawkes must’ve had a reason.”
“So, Snape’s in but Percy doesn’t get a feather. You guys sure that bird knows what he’s
doing?” George questioned.
The six Gryffindors stopped in the long corridor leading
to the Order’s meeting chamber. It was
Saturday, five minutes until one o’clock in the
They had all been commanded to appear to take their places in
the semi-clandestine group. After an
unusually quiet lunch, the Hogwarts trio, the twins, Ginny and Neville made
their way up to the third floor.
George’s question made them take pause.
Percy Weasley was apparently the only one in his
immediate family not presented with a feather from Fawkes. The Weasley’s had not really spoken of it
until now. It was uncomfortable for
them to believe that Percy, no matter how standoffish he may be, was being left
out of something of such importance.
“I’m sure it’s nothing personal George,” Harry answered. “It’s probably because of his work at the
“Dad works at the Ministry.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t idolize it, like Perc does,” Ron
George was forced to agree with this. Even though his idol Barty Crouch was dead,
Percy was still under the impression that the Ministry could do no wrong. The rest of his family felt otherwise.
The group continued to the metal door at the end of the
corridor. Harry knocked, and after a
moment, the door opened. All attempts
at hiding their nervousness failed them and they stood in the doorway like
penguins waiting for the first one to fall into the icy water.
“Come in children.
This is not the time for shyness,” Dumbledore’s kind voice greeted
them. Harry was the first to step
forward and the others followed close behind.
They filed in and up the left side of the room as
Dumbledore indicated, and moved to stand in front of a large black cauldron
where the stone table had been. The
experience was reminiscent of their approach to the sorting hat.
The room was filled with people, many that Harry
recognized, a few he did not. Sirius and Remus were of course present. Harry saw Neville looking nervously at his
godfather. Dumbledore had asked Harry
to explain Sirius’s situation to the boy, as the Weasley family already
knew. Neville had been stunned, but
trusted Harry and did his best to quell the fear of this man that had been
imbedded in him. Molly, and Arthur
Weasley were there, as were Bill and Charlie. Professors Fletcher and Figg,
Sprout, McGonagall, Flitzwick, and of course, Snape stood in various positions
throughout the room. Harry was
surprised to see Madame Rosmerta, the proprietor of the Three Broomsticks
there. The rest of the witches and
wizards, who numbered around ten, Harry did not know.
“I trust you all remembered to bring your feathers,”
It couldn’t be helped that the majority of eyes in the
room fell on young Longbottom. Unaware,
the boy reached into his robes and pulled out his fiery red feather, looking
proud that he’d remembered it. The
others followed in suit.
“Excellent,” Dumbledore continued. “I would ask that you
each step forward and place your feather into the cauldron.”
Fred stepped forward first and placed his feather into
the cauldron. The black liquid, which
lay within immediately, absorbed the feather.
George was next, followed by Ginny, Neville, and then Hermione. Ron looked at Harry before stepping forward. His feather was absorbed and he turned to
look at his friend.
Harry looked down at the feather in his hand.
“…You always have a choice, Harry…”
The boy-who-lived stepped forward and inserted his
feather. He stepped back as it was
Suddenly, there was a high singing sound and the cauldron
began to emit slivers of light through cracks appearing in the surface of the
liquid. The singing grew louder and the
cauldron flashed a beautiful beam of light.
The singing was now deafening, or at least it would have been if it
weren’t so beautiful and soothing. It filled
the chamber. The light began to strobe
and suddenly, in a flurry of fiery red and gold feathers, Fawkes emerged from
the cauldron, singing all the while. He
made a wide circle of the room before coming to rest on Dumbledore’s shoulder.
“The Order is complete,” Dumbledore said, his eyes
twinkling as they never had before. He
pointed his wand towards the cauldron and it transfigured back into the stone
This seemed to be some sort of signal because all of the
adults in the room moved to take their seats.
The six Gryffindors were left to take the six seats that remained in the
front row to the right of the table.
Professor Dumbledore began the meeting.
He outlined their objectives, all of which really boiled
down to one: the downfall of Voldemort.
Harry discovered that several of the people who he didn’t
recognize were Aurors, who were there without the knowledge or consent of the
Minister of Magic. He wasn’t too
surprised. It was commonly known that
most people would have preferred Albus Dumbledore in the position of Minister, rather than
Fudge. Numerous witches and wizards
would be willing to follow him at a moment’s notice. They would need that faith in the coming days.
They were each given parchment with certain codes and
signals, which they would have to memorize quickly. The parchment would burn up in four hours, and they were not
permitted to write them down anywhere else.
Neville looked rather nervous at this, which was understandable as he
often had difficulty memorizing the quick changing passwords of Gryffindor
The members of the group received their initial
assignments on folded pieces of temporary parchment.
Harry and his fellow students sat quietly throughout the
meeting, taking in what they could and mentally listing questions for
later. The meeting was drawing to a
close, when the headmaster finally turned his attention to them.
“Some of us will meet here in one month’s time, to
discuss our progress. Others, we shall
only see in the field. To them I wish
you good luck.
“As for our students, they will be matched with certain
members for specific training.”
Dumbledore was now looking poignantly at the six
“First of all, Miss Granger…” Hermione sat more
erect. “To begin with, you will be working
with Professor Flitwick.” Hermione
nodded to the charms professor in acknowledgement.
“Neville, you will work with Professor Sprout.”
Neville smiled in the direction of the plump herbologist.
“Fred and George…”
The twins sat up and grinned.
“You will be working with Mr. Black.”
The grins disappeared.
The boys looked somewhat awkwardly towards the former convict who was
whispering something to Professor Lupin.
They knew that he was innocent, but it was still nerve wracking to know
you would be working with the only wizard ever to escape Azkaban.
“Miss Weasley, you will be working with Professor
Harry did not miss the mild scowl that passed over Arthur
Weasley’s face. He had been witness to
a few of Mr. Weasley’s rants about Mundungus’s attempted schemes and his
unpredictable behaviour. He could not
be pleased that his daughter would be working with him, but knew that there had
to be a purpose behind it.
Dumbledore continued, a slight smile on his face. “Ron, to start with, I’m afraid you will
have to put up with working with me.”
Ron’s eyes were saucers.
His mouth worked silently for a moment, and he dipped his head as a deep
blush crept across his face.
Harry smiled at him until Dumbledore called his own name.
“Harry, you will be working with Professor Snape.”
Five pairs of eyes to Harry’s immediate left shot in his
direction, each as wide as Ron’s had been.
Harry looked from them to Sirius, who was sitting with a set scowl on
his face, before finally looking towards the Potions Master. Snape cast a quick glance in Harry’s
direction before turning back to Dumbledore.
“These assignments,” the headmaster continued, “will
likely change later on. Right now you have
been matched with people who will help you with your strongest individual
Talents?! Harry’s mind screamed. His talents weren’t in potions! As much as he hated to the responsibility of
it, his greatest talent lay within defence against the dark arts. He should be working with Professor Lupin,
or at the very least, Professor Figg.
What was Dumbledore thinking?!
“I suggest that the students meet with their trainers
after the meeting, to work out a schedule.
And unless there are any other statements or questions…” He waited and
looked around at the group. No one
seemed to have anything to say… or they felt that this wasn’t the time to say
it. “I declare this first meeting of
The Order of the Phoenix, concluded.
May Merlin watch over us all.”
The entrance door to the chamber opened and many of the
people that Harry didn’t recognize left.
Everyone else rose and seemed to migrate into small groups to chat. Neville made his way over to the beckoning
Professor Sprout. Ginny walked over to Mundungus
and soon found her father at her side as well.
Professor Dumbledore came over to the remaining students.
“Professor, sir, are you sure you didn’t make a
mistake?” Ron asked him. “I don’t know what you could possibly be
training me in. Not to say you couldn’t
train me in anything, but I don’t really see that there’s anything that I’m
especially good at…” Ron finished, his last words trailing off quietly. The red had returned to his face.
Professor Dumbledore beamed at him. “Is that so, Mr. Weasley. Seems to me I remember a certain chess game
played by a first year. Spectacular
game really. Few wizards in the world
could have done what this wizard did.
And here he’s had four years to improve.”
Ron’s blush deepened and he scratched his head in
“I don’t see how playing chess will be of much help to
the Order, sir,” he said quietly.
“Of course it will, Ron!” Hermione said. “Strategy.
Chess is all about strategy.
That’s your strength.”
“Perceptive as always, Miss Granger,” Dumbledore said
with a smile. “Yes, Ron. We will be working on your strategy
skills. You have a gift. We are going to put it to use.”
“Th—thank you, sir.”
“I’m afraid, despite what I’ve said, I won’t be able to
discuss a work schedule with you right now.
I have other matters to attend to at the moment. Will you be available to come to my office
later this evening. Shall we say, eight-thirty?”
“Of course, sir.
I’ll be there.”
“Then I must bid good afternoon to you all,” he said with
a smile, then turned and swept out of the room.
Professor Flitwick came over to claim Hermione as the
twins each beat Ron on the back in congratulations. Their little brother, in their opinion, had hit the jackpot in
trainers. Harry, on the other hand, had
apparently hit the bottom of the barrel.
“Mr. Potter,” came a sharp voice from behind the
boys. They turned to come face to face
with the school’s Potions master.
“You will meet me in my office at nine o’clock tonight. We
have things to discuss.”
“Yessir,” Harry replied flatly.
Snape left without another word, his black robes
billowing behind him.
“What was Dumbledore thinking?” Ron asked, when he was sure the Potions
master had completely gone.
“I don’t know, Ron...”
“As if you haven’t been through enough this week!”
Ron’s eyes widened.
“Harry,” he apologized. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to… I
“It’s okay, Ron.
It has been a bad week. It’s almost over.”
“Hey, chaps!” Sirius’s cheerful voice interrupted. Harry turned to see his godfather and Remus
Lupin smiling at them.
“Hey, Sirius. Professor.”
“I’m sorry about Snape, Harry,” Sirius began. “But there is a reason for it. I can’t discuss it with you, but there is a
“I understand,” Harry replied, now more curious than
“Fred and George Weasley. A pleasure to finally meet you.”
“I-it is?” Fred
“I’ve heard much about you. About your exploits.”
The twins shot Ron and Harry a wicked look, which seemed
to go unnoticed by Sirius.
“…It’s does our hearts good,” he continued, motioning to
Remus and himself, “to see the Marauders’ spirit alive and well at Hogwarts.”
The twins looked stunned.
“You--You know about the Marauders?”
Twin grins of mischief crept up on the faces of Black and Lupin.
“Harry… you mean you never told them?” Professor Lupin
“Didn’t think it was my place to.”
“Well, would you be so kind as to make the
introductions?” he asked.
“Of course,” Harry responded. “Fred. Geor--”
exclaimed. He ran behind the two men
and stood between them, his arms resting on their shoulders. “I want a good seat for this one. Bugger!
I should have brought a camera!”
George began to question the strange behaviour of his
younger brother. “What are you on
“Ssssshhh! Go on,
Harry,” Ron prompted.
Harry snorted and turned back to the twins.
“Fred and George Weasley, it is my proud privilage to introduce
you to Messers Moony and Padfoot… two of the founding members of Hogwarts’ own
Harry decided that Ron had been right. They should have brought a camera. It wouldn’t have even mattered if it were a
Muggle camera. The twins had turned
into identical statues. It was as
though they had been petrified by a Basilisk.
Their mouths hung open.
Their eyes were saucers fixed on the faces of the men who stood before
them. Ron was grinning like an idiot.
Harry waved a hand in front of their eyes to no
effect. He snapped a couple of time:
“Er… Fred… George…”
Fred found his voice (at least some of it) first.
“…Are… Are you… Are you really…”
“At your disservice,” Sirius smirked as both he and
Professor Lupin gave synchronically dramatic bows.
The next reaction from the twins was surprising, but no
Fred and George looked at each other for an instant,
before simultaneously dropping to their knees and folding their hands…
prostrating themselves in front of the Marauders.
“We are your humble servants…”
“We’ll do anything you ask…”
“Share your wisdom…”
“We only want to learn…”
“We’re not worthy…”
By now, other people in the room were observing the odd
display. Ron had stumbled into a chair
and was laughing so hard that no sound was coming out. Tears streaked his
face. Harry had an arm wrapped around
his own stomach and another hand covered his eyes as he laughed silently at the
spectacle. Sirius and Remus didn’t know
what to do when the boys had dropped to their knees. It was most unexpected.
They knew the twins were fans, but this was borderline worship.
Stunned, Remus was able to pull out of his amused shock first as it
appeared that Fred was about to lean forward to kiss the hem of his robes.
“Now, now, boys… that’s quite enough, thanks you,” he
said. “I think you’d better stand up
“We’re not worthy to stand in the presence of such
mischiefull masterfulness.” George said his head still bowed.
Ron had rolled off of his chair and was now curled up on
the floor holding his stomach in wonderful agony.
BREATHE, Ron!” Harry prompted, smacking his cachinnating friend on the
Ron drew in a deep shaky breath.
“Oh… Oh, this is too much! This is Christmas and Birthday all rolled into one!” he croaked.
“Ronald Aaron Weasley!
Get off the floor this instant!
You too, Fred and George. Honestly!
The sight of you! And in front of your professors!”
Molly Weasley had made her way over with her two eldest
sons trailing close behind her. She
looked furious at her three youngest boys.
Behind her, Bill and Charlie were trying desperately to mask their own
“It’s not their fault, Molly,” Remus explained. “Sirius was just cracking a few jokes. Got the boys hair up a bit. No harm done.”
“Just trying to lighten the mood some,” Sirius
added. “Sorry if it went to far.”
Mrs. Weasley looked as though she were going to say something
in retort, but Sirius flipped the lock of hair that was falling into his eye
and flashed her an knee melting smile.
She sputtered slightly trying to remember what it was she was going to
“W-well… alright then.
Just… boys, please try to remember this is an important Order. Try to conduct yourselves a little better.”
“Yes’m,” all three answered in unison still smiling. Charlie’s resolve broke, but he covered his
laugh with a fake cough, which Bill was forced to imitate only moments
later. Molly wasn’t fooled.
lot of you!” She said walking away,
shaking her head. “Would you were all
“She always says that,” Charlie said. “As if that would make things better. Ginny’s worse that all of us when she gets
“Speaking o’ which,” Bill cut it. “It looks like dad is getting ready to pop
Mundungus one. We’d better get over
Both he and Charlie made their way towards their father
(whose fists were tightly balled at his sides) and sister (who was covering her
face and wearily shaking her head).
“So you’re really Moony and Padfoot?” Fred asked, quickly
turning his attention back to his idols.
“If we say yes, do you promise to stay off the floor?”
“Can’t promise, but we’ll try.”
Sirius sighed. “Then
yes. We are.”
George shook his head.
“So where are Prongs and Wormtail?”
Everyone other than George grimaced at Fred’s question.
“Uh… Prongs… Prongs was my dad,” Harry explained.
“Really! Oh! Sorry, Harry.”
“And Wormtail lived in our house for twelve years,” Ron
said bitterly. “He was Scabbers.”
“I thought you said Peter Petigrew was Scabbers.”
“He was. One in
“A Marauder went over to You-Know-Who?” George
“Kinda took us by surprise too,” Sirius said in a sour
“Can we talk about something else?” Harry asked. “Sirius, why are Gred and Forge working with
“Gred and Forge, is it?”
“Our nicknames,” George explained.
“Good show. Well,”
Sirius rubbed his hands together. “What
we’re going to be doing is putting some of your… er… imaginative skills
to work. Security and weapons. You’re going to help me think up things that
will make the Death Eaters lives, shall we say… a little less pleasant…”
Fred and George’s identical mouths began to slowly
stretch into a darker version of their trademark mischievous grins.
And somewhere inside Harry, (a very, very, very small
part) began to feel just a little bit (a tinsy, tiny, iddle, widdle bit) sorry
for the Death Eaters.
At promptly nine o’clock, Harry knocked on the door of Professor Snape’s
“Come in,” the teacher’s voice came sharply.
Harry opened the door and closed it behind him. Snape was sitting at his desk writing on a
long piece of parchment. He neither
looked up nor acknowledged Harry.
Harry stood patiently and silently on the other side of
the desk. Snape continued his writing.
After nearly a minute of silence, Harry rolled his eyes
and removed a small pouch from his robes.
He plopped it on Snape’s desk and the slight jingle caused the professor
to finally halt his ministrations. He
raised an eyebrow at his student.
“For the Loverra Oil,” Harry explained.
Snape shook his head and went back to his writing. “Do your eyes work at all, Mr. Potter? The Oil has been replaced.”
Harry looked to the stores cabinet, which was open. There indeed sat a new jar of the healing
“Then this should pay for it,” Harry continued.
Professor Snape pushes the pouch back towards Harry with
the back of his hand. “The school has a budget, Mr. Potter. Keep your money.”
Harry stored the pouch back into the pocket of his robes.
Snape motioned with the quill in his hand. “Sit.”
Harry took the offered seat and waited. The Potions Master wrote for several seconds
more before returning the quill to its cache.
He held the parchment out to Harry.
Take them to heart and understand them.”
Harry looked down at the parchment:
It is because every one under Heaven recognizes beauty
that the idea of ugliness exists.
And equally if every one recognized virtue as virtue,
merely create fresh conceptions of
For truly ‘Being and Not-being grow out of one
Difficult and easy complete one another.
Long and short test one another;
High and low determine one another.
Pitch and mode give harmony one another.
Front and back give sequence to one another’.
Therefore the Sage relies on actionless activity,
Carries on wordless teaching,
But the myriad creatures are worked upon by him; he
He rears them, but does not lay claim to them,
Controls them, but does not lean upon them,
Achieves his aim, but does not call attention to what
And for the very reason that he does not call attention
to what he
He is not ejected from fruition of what he has done.
Perfect activity leaves no track behind it;
Perfect speech is like a jade-worker whose tool leaves
The perfect reckoner needs no counting-slips;
The perfect door has neither bolt nor bar,
Yet cannot be opened.
The perfect knot needs neither rope nor twine,
Yet cannot be untied.
Therefore the Sage
Is all the time in the most perfect way helping me,
He certainly does not turn his back on men,
Is all the time in the most perfect way of helping
He certainly does not turn his back on creatures.
This is called restoring to the Light.
Truly, ‘the perfect man is the teacher of the imperfect;
But the imperfect is the stock-in-trade of the perfect
He who does not respect his teacher,
He who does not take care of his stock-in-trade,
Much learning though he may possess, is far astray.
This is the essential secret.
“Two passages from Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tzu.” Snape handed him a small leather bound
book. It had both English and Chinese
characters embossed on the front in silver lettering. “I suggest you read the entire thing. It won’t take very long.
But those two passages I’ve written out for you I insist that you
“I-I’ve heard of this. Isn’t
this a Muggle book?”
“And your point?”
He shrugged. “No
point. Just wondering.”
“You will find, Mr. Potter, that working with me will go
much more smoothly if your wonderings were a little more constructive.”
“No, offence sir, but why am I working with
you? I mean. I get okay marks in potions, but it’s not my best subject—”
“I will not be training you in potions, Mr.
“…What then?” he dared.
Snape stretched his left hand to the side, his black eyes
never leaving Harry’s. There was a
shifting from one of the bookshelves. Two large bound volumes rose slightly
into the air. The larger book beneath
them dislodged itself and flew to the professor’s hand. The former two gently rested back into
place. He held the book he’d retrieved,
not allowing Harry to see the cover.
“You don’t seem surprised.”
“About my retrieval of this book.”
“Should I be?”
“Were you any other young wizard in this school, yes.”
Harry knitted his brow.
He didn’t understand but knew that he must have missed something.
“Where is my wand, Mr. Potter?”
Harry looked around.
An ebony coloured wand of about twelve inches lay next to a small brass
box on the Professor’s desk. Harry
“There,” he said plainly.
“Did I use it to retrieve this book?”
“And this does not seem unusual to you?”
They were going around in circles.
“No. It doesn’t. Why should it? It’s just a book.”
Snape tapped the small brass box that his wand was next
“Summon this box… without your wand.”
“Forget the words, Potter. Just bring it to you.”
Harry looked from him to the box. He focussed on the box. He imagined it flying through the air. He imagined what it would feel like being
stopped by his hand. And in that next
instant, it happened. He held the box
Snape took the box from him and returned it to its
“How long have you had your wand, Mr. Potter?”
Snape sat back in his chair and steepled his fingers.
“Wizards and Witches are all born with a certain level of
wandless magic,” he started. “The summoning spell is the most common of them
all. There is also protective magic…
things to get you out of difficult situations.
Most of these things are done unconsciously. They arrive out of a momentary need.”
Harry nodded, remembering several instances before he
knew that he was a wizard, like the time he’d wound up on the roof, running
from Dudley and his goons, or the time Jones Dentar had taken his glasses, and
he’d suddenly found them back in his hands again.
“These minor abilities stay with a wizard throughout his
life, but remain for the most part unconscious and under desperate
situations. The exception to this is
the summoning of a wand, which can become second nature.”
Again Harry nodded.
This was boring him nearly as much as Professor Binns class… Okay, he
thought. Maybe not that bad, but close.
“Professor Dumbledore is under the impression that you
may possess wandless talent beyond that level. He mentioned something about an aunt of yours…”
Harry grimaced and slid down a little in his seat. He didn’t like to think of the last time
Aunt Marge had visited. The things
she’d said about his parents. The
things he’d done.
“But that… that was… an accident. I mean, she got me so mad, that I just…
Snape sat forward suddenly. “But you meant to do it, didn’t you? Even in your anger, you meant to use the
Engorgement charm and an Inflatable.”
“It was also reported that there was magic used to break
open a cupboard or closet or some such.”
“My cupboard. My
school trunk was locked in there.”
“And your wand?”
“And my wand.”
“Mr. Potter, those acts go beyond protective
instinct. You were in no immediate
danger. You actively used a charm - three, in fact. By all accounts, you should not have been
able to do that. That combination charm you shouldn’t have been able to do at
all at that age.”
Harry rested his forehead on his hand and sighed. “Not another one…”
“Another what, Mr. Potter?”
Harry waved his free hand absently. “Boy-who-lived, Parselmouth, Voldemort fighting… all that stuff! Now this?!”
“I would have thought you would be happy to add to your magnificent
profile,” Snape said with disdain.
Harry gave him a flat gaze. “Fame isn’t everything.”
“You would do well to remember that in the coming
Harry rolled his eyes.
“The ability to do wandless magic at an advanced level is
extremely rare, but those who have mastered it, find it more powerful than
magic with a wand. To harness
that power takes a great deal of study and training. This, Mr. Potter, is what you will be learning with me.”
“…You have that ability.”
“Then why do you still use your wand?”
Snape leaned his elbow on the arm of his chair.
“Two reasons. The
first: Knowledge is power. Until recently, Professor Dumbledore was the
only person living who knew that I have this ability. Now, because of you, Remus Lupin and Sirius Black also know, and
have been sworn to secrecy by the headmaster.
This ability is my… back up. My
insurance.” He leaned forward again and
stressed his words. “And I would prefer
it to remain that way, Mr. Potter.”
Snape picked up the book he had summoned.
“The second reason, Mr. Potter, you will find in the
first chapter of this book.” He handed
the tome to Harry. “You will return
here in two days. Have the first two
chapters read by then.”
Harry looked at the book in his hands. ‘Virgasine’ was written in small letters
near the bottom right hand corner.
“Wandless,” Harry murmured.
“Do I have to keep this secret?”
“That would be your choice, Mr. Potter. Your knowledge, your power. If you wish to share with your friends…”
he drawled, “That is up to you. May you
not live to regret it. Just make
certain, that my abilities remain secret.
Tell them there was no one else available to teach you, if you
must. I’m sure they are dying to know
why you are being saddled with my presence.”
Harry chewed his lip.
couldn’t I call the box the first time by saying Accio?”
“You could have, had I not been holding it down with my
own abilities. I needed to see if you
could do it, beyond a simple lift.”
“I believe you have some reading to do, Mr. Potter.”
Harry stood up to leave, but was stopped as Snape spoke
“One more thing.
Do try to remember that this is business of the Order. It would be beneficial if the rest of the
school was not aware of our meetings.
After all, you and I have a certain… reputation, with regards to each
other. Am I understood?”
The young Gryffindor left the office and headed back to
his tower. He wondered just how
powerful Professor Snape really was. He
was always so secretive and guarded.
Harry had many questions. Could Professor Dumbledore use wandless magic? If not, did that mean that Snape had more
power than him? What about
Voldemort? The possibilities were
making Harry’s head spin, and he knew, despite Madame Pomfrey’s instructions,
he would be getting little sleep that night.
Professor Snape swept through the empty halls of Hogwarts
on his nightly rounds. Two Ravenclaws
would be polishing trophies for the next week.
Other than that, the school was quiet.
“What do you want, Black?” Snape stopped walking to allow Sirius to catch up.
“You met with Harry tonight.”
“Well what, Black?
Stop wasting my time!”
Sirius stared at him hard.
“Dumbledore wants him to work with you. I can’t prevent that. But the boy’s been through enough this
“I am perfectly aware of what the boy has been through,”
he said shortly.
“…I don’t want him hurt.”
“I can all but guarantee that harm will come to
Mr. Potter. My job is to make
sure that harm is minimal.”
“And I’m sure you’ll put all your heart into that,”
“I may not be a grand Gryffindor, Black,” the Professor
said steadily. “But when I give my word
to do something, I do it.”
“Everyone knows how much you hate Harry. Why would you
care what happens to him?”
“It’s true, I’ve never made a secret of my dislike of Mr.
Potter, but unlike some people,” Snape curled, his voice rising, “just
because I dislike someone, does not mean I wish to see them hurt, maimed or dead.”
Sirius flinched despite himself. He would never admit it, but Snape had a
very good point.
“If there’s nothing further…” Snape turned on his heal
and stormed off.
Vultur Non Capit Muscam - The Eagle Does Not Catch Flies
Noceo – inflict injury, do harm
Protractus - to draw out
Expecto – banish
Livor – malice
*Dabtihs Annog – (pronounced ‘Dab-ti-s An-og’) -a
potion I invented. If you want to know
what it does, turn the letters around like with the Mirror of Erised and loose
the capitals. It’s actually three words. ;) Get it? :)
A/N: Although I do enjoy abusing Harry stories, what
he has gone through in up to this point, the pain and suffering, it does
have significance and will be important later on in the story. My
madness does have some reason to it. (Not a lot, but some…)
What happened to Harry? – Yes, you will find
out. Just not now. :)