Harry Potter and the Perversion of Purity
Year 2: The Advancing of Shadows
Chapter 17: The Slaughtering of Lambs
Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction based on the Harry Potter universe. All recognizable characters, plots and settings are the exclusive property of J.K Rowling. I make no claim to ownership.
Acknowledgements: Thank you to my editors Fezzik and Athena, as well as my other betas 3CP, Luq707, Raven, Regress, and Yoshi89 for their incredible work on this story.
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April 24, 1896
Gellert aimlessly cast yet another Warming Charm as he glanced back down at the sheet of parchment he held. He was seated in his years’ barracks, located in one of the castle’s many towers. The tower itself was made from rough grey stone, but the wind had weathered the walls over time, smoothing over the harsh, jutting edges. It seemed as though the rock had thinned, for the biting cold managed to seep through cracks and permeate the air inside. There had been a period of time during his first year when Gellert had spent hours each day huddled under the thin and ragged blanket the school provided, but those days had past the second the Warming Charm had become nearly as instinctual to him as breathing.
There were no windows in the barracks, but he could hear the wind whistling outside and picture the snow blowing in pale drifts across the expansive grounds. Sometimes, the wind kicked up so much of it that it appeared like a shimmering white fog.
He glanced back down at the parchments and read once more. He was nearly through his third year at Durmstrang and things were about to change.
Congratulations on completing your first three years at Durmstrang Institute. Fourth-year students enter into an altered, more specialized curriculum with branching classes for each of the major subjects. You may take as many classes as you would like. Attendance at every class is not mandatory, but please note that it is the responsibility of the student to keep their in-class performance at an acceptable standard. It is not the obligation of the professor to ensure students keep up to date in their classes.
Please send in your choices by the end of this school year.
Gellert’s eyes gleamed as they scanned over some of his potential options. He was already taking a few of them, having tested ahead in several of his classes, but he had been limited in which branches the school would allow him to take before the end of his third year.
Now though… now he was free. Not only could he choose his standard electives, but he would be able to test out of less challenging classes more freely and pursue the exact kinds of magic he was most interested in.
Now was when the true beginning of his education would arrive and when he would start taking real strides for the first time.
All the cold that had filled him to the brim was gone now. It had been purged from his body by the warm glow of excitement and anticipation. It had consumed the cold as though it was little more than a well-prepared pyre laid bare before an open flame.
This was what being a wizard was really about. It was all of this that made all those years in the muggle world worth it. It was all of this that made the hell they had put him through worth it. It was all of this that might one day allow him to set everything right.
Harry barely even flinched anymore after being exposed to another of Grindelwald’s memories. Ever since he had witnessed his arrival at Durmstrang, the memories had drastically increased in regularity. He had lived through much of Grindelwald’s first three years at Durmstrang. Not through every class, but he saw the significant events. He had seen him jump a year ahead in his Dark Arts class from the onset and now that his electives had opened up, Harry was sure Grindelwald would skip yet another year. The boy was nearly as talented in Transfiguration as he was in the Dark Arts. Watching his work made Harry realize he needed to put more time into the branch of magic himself. He had grown this year by leaps and bounds in his combat ability, but he needed to make sure he progressed at the same rate in other classes.
In a strange way, the memories were helping with that. He may not have been sitting through the classes with Grindelwald, but he did see him work from time to time. There had been some transfigurations Harry had never seen before that he now at least knew the incantation, wand movement, and necessary process for. Whether he could perform them or not remained to be seen, but he had the necessary pieces.
And curses… he had picked up a startling number of curses.
Grindelwald had made few friends at Durmstrang so far, but he was revered by some of the students in his Dark Arts class. They may have been a year older, but it was clear who the top student was. Many of them flocked to Grindelwald and the boy had taken full advantage of it. He and his friends had worked with some older students to arrange for a sort of duelling circuit at the school outside of classes. It took place out on the grounds in the dead of night and was brutal. Durmstrang in general was lax in terms of enforcing its rules, but these duels… the only rule, as far as Harry could tell, was to avoid killing each other if at all possible.
He had found himself wishing more than once he had gone to Durmstrang. Hogwarts was his first home and any time he really thought about it, he decided he wouldn’t trade the ancient castle for anything, but by Merlin did Durmstrang have its merits.
The curriculum was demanding, but the way they encouraged excellence and allowed students to test ahead… it was something he thought would have been a boon to him. It would almost certainly have sped him along in the wanded subjects even more so than he already was. He wished Hogwarts taught like Durmstrang every time he watched the memories. He had seen through the dreams that many students failed to keep up with the classes and ended up dropping out of the school altogether, but Harry wouldn’t have cared. If students couldn’t keep up, that was their own problem. It wasn’t something he would ever have to worry about, so he wouldn’t have been troubled by such things.
He ran a hand through his hair as he sat up in bed. He wondered for what must have been the thousandth time why Grindelwald was showing him all of this. He suspected there was a motive, yet nothing seemed fabricated. Everything Harry had been shown seemed authentic, and he wondered what the former dark lord was playing at. Perhaps to turn him against muggles and sway Harry towards his cause?
If that was his goal… was it working?
Harry shook his head — it was best not to think about such things. He could instinctually tell that the time at which he normally rose was drawing near, so he stood from his bed and reached for his clothes. Better to get an early start on the day than to wallow in thoughts that worried him more than any others.
December 11, 1992
The Out of Order Girls’ Bathroom on the Second Floor
Ron wrinkled his nose the second Hermione led him across the bathroom’s threshold. It had been out of order for a great deal of time and did not suffer from the kind of stench one might expect. Instead, moisture floated thickly in the air. It was like it had polluted the place.
The lower portions of the walls looked weathered and as though they had bore the brunt of a hundred great storms. The room smelled of mold and algae; Ron had no doubt he would find it growing in the cracks on the walls if he cared to look. A thin sheet of water blanketed the floor. It was as undisturbed as the smooth surface of a lake on a warm summer’s day until the two second-year Gryffindors stepped into the room and sent ripples cascading through the shallow layer of water.
“Bloody hell,” cursed Ron. “Hermione, why in Merlin’s name would you take me here? We have the Knight’s Room, and… this is a girl’s bathroom.” The Knight’s Room was what their little practice group had taken to calling the room hidden behind the suit of armour that they all used to practice and meet up. “This place is a ruin.”
“Which is exactly why no one will think to check it.” Hermione wrinkled her nose. “Well… that, and Moaning Myrtle.”
“She’s a horrible ghost. She spends most of her time shrieking like she’s died again — I’ve never seen anyone so miserable. She haunts this bathroom, but she sometimes floats down into some of the others. It’s an awful scare any time Myrtle just floats in and starts wailing.”
“Right,” said Ron. “Remind me why we’re here again? Nobody’s ever found us in the Knight’s Room.”
Hermione sighed. “Well, you told me that you thought Malfoy might be behind the petrifications, remember?”
Ron’s expression darkened. “Yeah, I do. The git’s been trying to blame me all year and he was the first to go shouting off about it when Mrs. Norris showed up petrified. Same thing when Colin was attacked.”
“Exactly,” said Hermione. “I don’t disagree with you, like I said, but the problem is proving it. Nobody is just going to expel the son of Lucius Malfoy without proof.”
“I get it, but what does this place have to do with proving Malfoy’s going around petrifying people?”
“You remember earlier today when I asked you to make a distraction in Potions so I could grab a few things?” Ron nodded. “Well, I was doing that because I found out a way for us to work out if Malfoy’s up to something.” She bit her bottom lip and seemed all of a sudden reluctant to meet Ron’s eyes. “It’s… risky and against the rules. If we get caught, we’ll be in horrible trouble—”
“Oh, get to the point.”
Hermione huffed. “Fine. The point is that I found a recipe for a potion that might help. It’s called Polyjuice Potion.”
Ron’s eyes went so wide one might think they were fit to burst from their sockets. “Polyjuice Potion?” he asked. “You’re sure?” She nodded. “Blimey, that’s supposed to be super complicated. Rare, too, and… well, really expensive.” A wave of raw reality slammed into Ron with the force of a cyclone. “Hold on, Hermione, where the hell did you find a recipe for Polyjuice Potion? It’s really illegal, Percy’s said as such; I doubt anyone would just leave it lying around.”
Her cheeks flushed so red that Ron thought they were beginning to resemble his Quidditch jersey. She was looking anywhere but at him and he was all at once certain she was hiding something. “I don’t know,” she finally answered. “I just… did.”
She wasn’t going to provide him with any more clarity on the matter; Ron was certain of that much, at least. “Fine,” he said. “Next question, how do you plan to make Polyjuice? The ingredients are supposed to be really rare and—”
Hermione reached into her pockets and withdrew a number of vials, cutting Ron short. “We’re at Hogwarts, Ron,” she reminded him. “I doubt there’s a larger store of potion ingredients anywhere in Britain other than some of the top apothecaries. I wasn’t sure Professor Snape would have all of the ingredients, but he did. This might be the only place in the country where I could find all of them.”
Something in the back of Ron’s mind was nudging him. It was whispering things to him, singing of exactly how convenient this all was. It really did seem too easy and it bordered on unnatural, but Ron decided to let it go. After the nightmares that had befallen them last year and the horrors of this one so far, he supposed the world had just finally decided it owed the both of them a break.
December 12, 1992
Aberforth Dumbledore’s Office
Harry stared blankly at the lamb lying before him. He would have grown bored long ago had waves of frustration not been crashing inside of him since the moment he’d stepped foot in the room. It happened every time he had one of these detentions. Frustration, anger, bitterness, loathing — it all boiled up inside of him and threatened to spew forth in one vicious bout every time he felt his restraint begin to waver.
This detention had been like many others, but worse. Just like all that had come before it, Harry had entered the room, curtly greeted Aberforth, turned towards the lamb, and refused to do anything whilst the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor marked essays or did whatever the hell the old codger was doing whilst Harry stared dully at a lamb.
What had made this night more agonizing was the fact that all of the negative feelings were so much stronger. He had been in a piss-poor mood ever since Daphne had tried to poison him. He had made it back to the dormitory that morning before he’d realized he was still holding the poisoned glass of pumpkin juice. He had poured it into potion vials and hid them in his trunk. He still wasn’t entirely sure he wouldn’t take them to Professor Snape for examination, but he did not trust the man in the slightest. Had that fact been untrue, he might well have marched to the man’s office that very morning.
He had hidden under the cloak for most of the time since and spent a vast majority of it in the library. The Restricted Section, in particular, had been where he had dwelled most often whilst he wallowed in this most recent betrayal.
He was really getting sick of people doing that. First it had been his own family. They were supposed to care for him, yet they had abused and neglected Harry ever since he was a child. All of his teachers growing up were no better. If he were to count them, he would be sitting in this old goat’s office all night. He’d thought he had finally made friends when his first year at Hogwarts had commenced, but he had been proven mostly wrong once again. Draco had betrayed him not once, but twice. Theodore still occasionally snuck into the library to catch up with Harry, but he was the only one in his old group of friends who did. He had caught Pansy stealing sad glances towards him on more days than not, but they meant nothing without action.
Daphne had been the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel of darkness and despair he’d trudged through after his relationship with Draco had fallen apart. She had helped him in Potions, been someone he was genuinely fond of, welcomed him into an enjoyable group of friends, protected him from the upper years via her name alone, and even led him to realize what at least one of the Malfoys had likely been doing all along. She had even taken revenge on Darren Travers for him. It had been nothing but a long string of positive experiences with Daphne… until Tracey had gone missing.
She had been quiet and withdrawn after that, but Harry had thought it was natural. Daphne was the most intelligent person he had ever met and he had assumed she was quietly calculating exactly who was behind everything, or else how best to strike back at them, or maybe even both. He had expected anything along those lines and maybe even something different.
What he had not expected was for her to slip him a goblet full of poison. Exactly what was in the pumpkin juice, he still had no idea. A part of him didn’t want to find out. She had betrayed him and irrevocably shattered the trust they’d once had. It didn’t matter how badly she had betrayed him; it was the principle of the matter that had been relevant.
He had isolated himself alongside his sorrow and misery ever since and it had not helped his mood. He could feel that tonight, his patience was thinner than the frail sheet of ice that was beginning to creep its way across the surface of the great Black Lake.
He heard the rustling of parchment from behind him. It sounded like a long cloak brushing against fallen autumn leaves. He turned; usually, Aberforth did not so much as look up from his work until the hour had grown late and curfew had long-since passed.
The professor was looking at him. Perhaps Harry should have averted his eyes, but he met the old man’s stare with steadfast spite. “Sir?”
Aberforth snorted. “Don’t sir me, boy.” He glanced about the room before letting his stare find Harry once more. “We’ve been at this long enough. The both of us know you’re capable of killing the stupid lamb. Get it over with, will you? I’m tired of this; it’s lasted long enough.”
Harry felt as though he had just fallen and smacked his head against the floor. The words of his professor reached him, but it was as though they were distorted and came from far away. He was having a difficult time processing exactly what the words meant.
“Sir, I don’t—”
“Don’t tell me you don’t understand or any such nonsense.” Aberforth’s expression was as hard and unyielding as unforged iron. “What’s the matter, boy? You’ll petrify a cat but you won’t attack a lamb?” Pain seemed to flare into being inside Harry’s chest. It was like someone had stabbed him in the heart with a dagger and then lit it ablaze and let the flames spread outwards, burning through muscle and flesh with no regard as they went.
The fire appeared to have risen to his eyes — that same, reddish haze that had been present after Daphne had tried to poison him was tinging the corners of his vision.
“Sir,” Harry said, using his limited Occlumency the best he could to keep all emotions in check, “I never petrified Mrs. Norris.”
“Oh, of course not. The same way you definitely didn’t attack the boy who was harassing you hours before he went missing.”
Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “So what then, Professor?” His voice dripped with venom as he hurled Aberforth’s title at him as if it was a poisoned arrow and Harry hoped it would pierce his heart or his throat. “Do you think I attacked one of my best friends right after?”
The professor’s answer was a shrug. “Good way to throw everyone off your trail.” He leant forward and seemed to watch Harry closely. “I also don’t see you hanging about with Greengrass and her posse anymore, either. Might be that they think the same as me.”
Harry almost staggered. The blow was more impactful than any physical spell ever could have been.
Was that why Daphne had tried to poison him? Did she think he had attacked Tracey? How the hell could she ever believe he had attacked Tracey? And this man? Albus Dumbledore’s brother — the man who had been tormenting Harry with these sick, twisted detentions for months? He was so sick of them, so sick of it, so sick of everything.
He had just enough restraint left to spin on his heel before the curse formed fully on his tongue and his wand took aim at Aberforth. The old prick would have made for a more satisfying target, but it also would have caused many more problems.
A jagged jet of purple light careened from the tip of Harry’s wand. It was a dark curse according to many people and Harry had never cast it before. He had seen Grindelwald use it in duels at Durmstrang to great effect after learning it in a book in the school’s library. Harry had tracked down the same book in English in the Hogwarts library and studied the spell for himself. He had never imagined he would be using it so soon after learning it.
The lamb had not been looking at Harry, but it must have sensed the reaper’s fingers stretching out towards it, for it looked up at the last possible second with wide and innocent eyes. They were a deep brown colour that practically cried of kindness and love. Harry wondered if Aberforth had made sure the creature was as innocent-looking as he possibly could. It seemed exactly the sort of sadistic trick the man would play.
The majestic scene of innocence was ruined not a second later when the spell found its mark. Harry’s aim was true and the lamb was halfway through a long and curious bleat when the purple light found its target. The sound escaping from its mouth became raspy and choked as Harry’s spell tore through wool, skin, flesh, and bone. The choked, gurgling sound that had become the creature’s final lament was cut short by a dull thud as its severed head thudded to the floor and rolled to lay unmoving at Harry’s feet.
Its eyes were still open, but the warmth and colour was gone. They were like glass now and Harry could not help but think of how the creature was now broken. He thought it a mockery; nothing so broken should have eyes so smooth and whole, even if they were lifeless. He thought it would have been more apt if they had resembled a shattered sheet of glass, but the sight did not hold his attention long.
His gaze fell upon the lamb’s body and his heart nearly skipped a beat. Something about it was sickly familiar. It made bile rise in the back of his throat, but he knew it would not come up. He felt like Grindelwald had felt in his dream all those years ago while the smoke rose up in great plumes all around him. Every muscle in his throat seemed to have contracted. The last thing it appeared to desire was air. Perhaps karma truly was real, Harry thought. Maybe this was the world starving him of oxygen for killing something so pure and defenceless.
Blood was running from the gaping chasm where the creature’s head had once rested. Blood was flowing fast in all directions. It was stretching out this way and that like a crimson web of woven silk or cracked rock spreading outwards as more and more of its surface gave way to the impact that had ravaged it. Much of the blood was flowing onto the stone floor. The grey rock was darkening rapidly. It was as though the blood was a dark red dye meant to add some flavour to the dull grey stone.
None of that held Harry’s attention.
What held him captive was the blood that flowed in the other direction.
It ran swiftly over the creature’s woollen coat. The red was so vivid against the pale wool that Harry could see every droplet as it flowed across its surface. The imagery was terrifyingly familiar. He had seen something similar once through the eyes of another. The day Wylla Nurmen had been put to death… the way her blood had stained the pale white snow like red wine might a fine linen cloth. It was the same here. It was too much the same… it made Harry want to gag and vomit but his throat would not allow it.
“Got there in the end, didn’t we?” Harry whirled to face the professor. He was no longer seeing red. He felt nothing at all as he turned, which was dangerous. If the anger returned to him, he wasn’t sure he would have the restraint necessary to not curse this monster of a man. Yet he somehow knew anger would not rise — not yet. That would come soon but for now, there was nothing. “Three bloody months we spent at this,” the man grumbled. “If I knew all it would take was some goading, I’d have done it ages ago.”
Harry had been wrong — the anger was there. It was rising again and he was shaking. This man had accused him of attacking one of his best friends and made him question everything just to goad him into firing that damned curse?
Harry spun and made for the door, but the professor’s voice called after him. “Not yet, Potter; I haven’t told you to leave. Walk out now and you’ll be in this room every Saturday until the day I die.” Harry took a deep breath and exerted every bit of his Occlumency to keep himself calm as he turned. Even so, he was still shaking.
“It doesn’t feel nice, does it?” asked Aberforth. “That was a lamb, Potter. Now imagine if that curse had hit a boy.” He left the obvious unsaid. “However awful you feel now, it would be a hundred times worse. There are consequences to your actions and you need to consider them. Next time you want to curse a fellow student, think about how it felt when that spell tore through the lamb’s throat. Maybe that will give you pause.” The man’s face was impassive as he asked his next question. “Where exactly did you learn that spell?”
“In a book.” Aberforth continued to watch him closely for a moment before nodding towards the door. Harry left at once. Perhaps the man thought he was shaking from the horror of what he had just done, but Harry knew it was from anger.
He had been disturbed for a moment. When the image had been so reminiscent of Wylla Nurmen’s death… it had disturbed him. But when anger had taken over, that image meant something different — something terrifying.
He had not felt horror at killing the lamb. Until he had imagined Wylla’s blood, it hadn’t even bothered him. And once he had and put thought into it, he realized her blood did not make him regret speaking the incantation and moving his wand. It simply made him furious that no one had done the same thing to every single person who had thrown a stone that winter’s day all those long years ago.
Harry’s legs were still shaking by the time the wall parted and admitted him back into the Slytherin common room. After all that had just happened, he almost expected there to be another attack. It would be so typical for everything to happen all at once. Naturally, he would somehow be blamed again, which at this point, might lead him to become homicidal.
As looking at Daphne might have done, so he avoided doing that. It had become a habit since the attempted poisoning, but he looked at nobody as he crossed the common room, his eyes staring unblinkingly at the dark tunnel leading to the dormitories on the room’s other side. The air was no more tense than usual, so Harry took comfort in the fact that the stress of the night was at its end. Except for dreams, he supposed… that might well prove to be another matter altogether.
“Harry! Watch out!”
He reacted instinctively. He heard Pansy’s voice and didn’t think twice. He threw himself forward and to the floor. With his head down, he didn’t see the spell miss him, but he could hear it crackling through the air. He rolled and avoided another spell as he took to his feet. His eyes widened when he saw the third. It was the same spell that he had just used on the lamb… and it was aimed at his chest.
He hardly realized he was moving as he sidestepped the curse and slid his wand into his hand. He was too lost to the haze of red that had not entirely receded by the time he had entered the common room. There was a small part of him that realized he could suppress the pent up wave of fury, stress, frustration, and whatever the hell else he was dealing with. Or, keep it at bay, at the very least, but he made yet another decision that he would later look back upon with a great deal of uncertainty.
He chose to let it rule him. It flowed through every part of him and filled him like the warmth one experiences after a deep gulp of wine.
The spell sailed past him and Harry countered with a Stunner and a Cutting Curse. His opponent dodged the first and shielded the second and only when he was forced to shield and pause momentarily beneath one of the magical spheres of light did Harry recognize him. His blond hair gleamed like ghostly fire in the magical light and his eyes seemed paler than usual.
It was Cadmus Yaxley, Cassie’s younger brother.
If Harry was thinking more cognitively, several things might have sprung to mind. The way the boy had seemed to wish him harm the last time they had been this close to each other, the fact that he probably shouldn’t do too much harm to Cassie’s younger brother, or even the fact that the Yaxleys were all renowned duellists and despite being a first year, Cadmus may be more trouble than Harry was anticipating.
He thought none of these things.
He thought almost nothing at all as he dodged, shielded, countered, and advanced. Yaxley’s eyes had gleamed with a malevolent sort of cruelty when the duel had begun, but they were dimming fast and growing wider and wider as spell after spell accosted him. They were coming with the frequency of rain drops caught up in a ruthless wind and hurled against the nearest set of walls. The boy was stumbling back under Harry’s assault, clearly unprepared for the task before him. Harry felt a small amount of pleasure and amusement as the boy backed up. It was muted and trapped beneath everything else he was feeling, but he could only guess that the boy had suspected he would be easy prey for a Yaxley.
He was a good duellist, Harry had to admit. Cadmus was miles better than any first year had any right to be. He would have beaten Harry a year ago, he was sure, but time had passed and Harry had not been idle. Cadmus would likely have beaten any other second year, but Harry was not just a talented second year. If McGonagall and Flitwick were to be believed, he was much more than that and Cadmus was learning it first hand whilst Harry enjoyed every second of it.
Duelling with Theodore, Draco, and the others had been fun in a way, but those exchanges had always been so light. Duelling with Cassie was riveting, but frustrating. This… this was different. There was no holding back, no honour code, and Harry wasn’t duelling someone years older than him or whom he liked. He could take satisfaction at every inch of worry upon the boy’s face without guilt as he rained spell after spell down upon him.
Yaxley lunged to the side and snarled as he fired a white spell towards Harry that he recognized at once, though only from seeing it in one of Grindelwald’s memories. It was a spell that would leave the victim completely blind until the counter curse was cast, yet even that was not its true evil. It was said that the burning behind the eyes was so intense that those afflicted were known to rip their own eyes from their skulls.
And just like that, the duel was no longer fun. It was no longer a duel at all, but a fight, and Harry was going to use everything at his disposal — secrets and consequences be damned. He was not thinking about what would happen if he resorted to the idea that had taken shape in his mind. He was not thinking about what it would mean or of what would stem from it. He would think later and perhaps regret, but for now, he saw only red and desired only victory.
As a jet of red light that Harry recognized as a Stunner flew near, he sidestepped and lashed out with his wand. His projected tendril of magic caught the stunner just as it came in range and sent it spinning back towards Yaxley. Spell deflection was something Harry had only pulled off a couple of times in practice with Cassie. It had been a risk to try it, but he knew it would lead to his victory, which was all that mattered.
Cadmus tried to dive out of the way of the spell, but Harry’s Knockback Jinx caught him in mid-flight and sent him sailing through the air like a lost child’s kite. His head slammed into the back of one of the couches near the fire and sent it toppling over on top of Yaxley, who struggled dazedly to get to his feet.
Harry’s eyes were not fixed on the boy, but on the images etched so vividly into the sofa’s leather. He squinted his eyes and tilted his head from side to side and suddenly, it was like every last depiction was moving.
The couch came alive in a violent blur of motion as a sudden, unified hiss tore through what had been silence a moment before, yet it was drowned out by other noises that had replaced the quiet at the same time.
Screams… all kinds of screams.
There were mutters, too, and jaws dropped so far they looked to be in danger of dislocating, but Harry paid no mind to any of them, though he heard and saw them all.
He advanced on Cadmus with his wand in hand. His expression was as blank as the common room’s stone walls and it did not waver when several of the animated serpents coiled around the boy as others sank teeth into his arms, back, and shoulders.
It was only because of months of conditioning and listening to that voice that Harry turned to face Cassie. Her cry alone had managed to reach him, though the haze had not yet cleared. Worry flickered at the corner of the haze for a moment. Had he gone too far? Had he ruined one of the only friendship’s he had left. The word freak seemed to hiss inside his head as he remembered the way Dudley told him he would never have a friend, but all those thoughts died when he met Cassie’s eyes.
She did not look angry, just steadfast. “That’s enough,” she repeated. “He’s had enough… you’ve made your point. Let it end.”
Harry glanced from Cadmus, to Cassie, and back again. “I’m doing this for her,” he said in a voice just loud enough for the boy to hear. “Rest.” The snakes seemed to melt back into the couch all at once and become nothing more than depictions. Harry had crossed the room by the time the transformation had been made.
The room behind him was so quiet as he left it that every one of his footsteps echoed ominously against the floor as he went. No one moved to touch him, nor to check on his fallen victim. Harry found this odd for a moment before he realized why. As far as they all were concerned, no one dared attack the Heir of Slytherin.
He knew that thought should bother him, though perhaps not as much as the fact the whole house knew he was a Parselmouth.
But it didn’t… nothing bothered him now. The haze had receded, yet it had not been replaced. For the second time that night, Harry was left feeling nothing.
I’ve been building towards those last two scenes for a while, so I hope they came out the way I wanted them to. I did say last chapter that things would pick up 🙂
Also, Hermione acquiring the knowledge of Polyjuice Potion will make sense soon. She did not get a pass to the Restricted Section like in canon. It happened in a different way and that will be shown next chapter.
Please read and review.
PS: The next password will be released next Tuesday. If you don’t want to wait, anyone who signs up to my Patreon page will gain access to the next EIGHT CHAPTERS!.
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