Harry & Daphne
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Kassien - Runic Animagi
Chapter 23 - Caves & House Elves
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter!
Rated M = Mature, sex, language, drugs, ...
Chapter 23: Caves and House Elves
"Ah Harry, right on time," greeted Albus Dumbledore the moment I came through his office door for our usual Friday morning lesson making me smile at his bright twinkling eyes so filled with amusement at the five minutes I spent trying to guess his password and giving him plenty of options for later passwords in the process.
"Blood pops Albus?" I returned with a good natured chuckle as I sat in my usual seat before him.
"I do believe Hagrid still has one more lesson on Vampires, then alas ...I'll have to come up with another new password," replied the twinkling eyed Headmaster happily, seeming to really enjoying these lessons as much as I am, although the slight residual morning buzz gives me a lot more patience for Albus' eccentricities. "You look very appropriately dressed if I may say."
"Thank you Albus, and I love your pajamas ...I have the same pair," I replied as straight faces as I could manage seeing as I had a full basilisk wardrobe on with cloak and sword while the Headmaster was wearing a lime green long dress robe with purple stars and a matching wizards hat.
"These are no mere pajamas Harry," answered the smirking and very amused older wizard. "Is Dobby joining us again?"
"He said to call him when we got there," I answered having already discussed it and gotten the Headmaster's and Dobby's permission.
We ended up flooing to the Three Broomsticks directly from his office and after a brief greeting to Rosmerta, I followed Albus' signature a disapparated right behind him and reappeared near a desolate cliff overlooking a rough ocean. It was wicked windy and the break of the waves against the cliff walls added to the noise and slight eeriness the whole area reeked of, it certainly seemed like the type of place only an Orphanage would vacation at and felt just plain wrong or evil even. Albus pointed to the small outcropping of rocks on the cliff's face that marked the entrance to the cave, and asked if I wanted to swim ...is he fucking crazy, it's the beginning of February for Christ's sake.
"Dobby," I called shaking my head for several reasons as I waited an instant until he appeared with a crack between Albus and I wearing a matching but much smaller outfit of basilisk armor to my own, and he looked sharp.
"Eh ...there are infiery here Master Harry Potter sir," he spoke after arriving and almost instantly reacting with a flinch at the negative and evil energy that surrounds this place ...wait, did he say infiery?
"Well, at least we have the right place," I responded lightly and with a bit of hope since infiery is definitely a calling card of Voldemort, and this place just felt like someplace Tom would love. "Dobby, can you pop us over to that cave entrance over there?"
"Dobby can do anything for Master Harry Potter sir," responded my best mate and current mini me, and doing just that by grabbing our hands followed by a loud crack.
It didn't take too long to then find the blood oath doorway into the inner cave and the fucking enormous infiery filled underground lake and rickety boat to get to the only above water area of the cavernous lake. Surprisingly it was Dobby who recognized the potion contained within the lone cauldron containing the necklace horcrux, as something the bad elf Kreature had once consumed and described in detail during a rare moment of lucidity a few months ago when Dobby was doing routine property checks and inspections. Dobby said it's base was a mixture of vampire blood and basilisk venom that slowly killed you while destroying your brain very slowly and irreparably ...that described Kreature pretty well, but who would make a house elf drink that?
"Albus, I know you're going to want to fight me on this, but hear me out," I spoke into the silence following Dobby's explanation. "I have another animagus form that could help us out here, not to mention my tolerance for basilisk venom. I can actually become a basilisk that wont be affected at all by the potion, and has a third eyelid so you wont die or become petrified."
"You have been busy," responded the Headmaster lightly while closely studying me with twinkling but very alert and cautious blue eyes. "Very well Harry, I'll let Dobby help you and I'll prepare to deal with the infiery."
While Dumbledore was turned away, I charged the runic tattoo instead of having to draw it and saving my energy to get the hell out of this place afterwards. While I was nowhere near the size of Salazar's ancient basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets, at four meters long and weighing three times my normal body weight, I was a decent sized snake and tasted the potion first to make sure I'd be okay before submerging my reptilian jaw under the surface and drinking deeply. It definitely wasn't going to kill me, but gave me a nauseous sick to my stomach feeling and by the time I finished the potion I wanted to wretch painfully.
Unfortunately, it was also that time when the infiery awoke and there were literally hundreds of them. Albus was quite capable at keeping them all back away from us, but they seemed to be growing in numbers still and not being hurt but only blocked from us. Dobby levitated the locket out of the now empty cauldron as I changed back to my naked self under my cloak and instantly rolled to the side to vomit something fierce before I could collect myself and inspect it ...it was a fucking fake, all that crap for a fucking fake. Then why have all the infiery here? This didn't make sense, and was really starting to piss me off something fierce.
"Albus, watch my back," I spoke while drawing the rune on my still naked body and then changed into something that could definitely turn up the heat on this fire, and silently chuckling at Albus' astonished and wide eyes.
I didn't feel bad at all breathing dragon fire down upon the hundreds of undead infiery, and in actuality rather enjoyed it since it also got rid of the acid burn feeling in my stomach and throat, and rid the planet of an army of the undead. I could see the calculating and questioning eyes of Albus on me as I finished the last of the wretched creatures off and landed back on the small island with an earth shaking rumble. I changed back into myself panting from all the excursion behind a wonderfully placed screen by Dobby to maintain what modesty I had kept, and quickly threw back on all my clothes and basilisk hide armor, cloak, and sword before I handed Albus the fake locket and getting back into the boat for the return trip home.
"I think you've been holding back quite a few talents Harry," spoke Albus on the return boat trip as he studied me before turning his attention to the locket.
"It makes it all the easier for people to underestimate me sir," I responded with my trademark lopsided grin as I looked over his shoulder and read the small handwritten note inside the fake locket horcrux. "So, Regulus brought Kreature here?"
"Yes, Regulus Arcturus Black ...now we know why he was killed for backing out of the Death Eaters," muttered a thinking Headmaster.
"And why Kreature is crazy and dying according to Dobby," I added softly as I thought about the facts of the members of the once great Black Family, of which I am now the Head.
"Kreature doesn't want to be shamed and die of illness," continued Dobby into the silence that had settled. "He wants master Harry Potter sir to put his head on a plaque of honor and grant him his freedom and glory in a noble death."
"Well Albus, want to do that in lieu of lessons next week ...we can search the house for the real locket too with Dobby's help," I offered as the boat finally came to a rest near the narrow strip of rock we entered on, and we carefully disembarked and made our way out of the cave that no longer had the lingering feeling of death and evil now that the infiery were gone for good.
"Sounds like a wonderful plan for next week's lesson," he replied after a moments thought, and knew we wanted to be there and could afford waiting one more week for the next piece of Riddle's soul puzzle.
"Good, now let's get back to school ...I'm starving," I responded to which Dobby grabbed both our hands and popped us directly to the gates of Hogwarts and where we were back in the snow and slowly trudging our way back up to the school.
Albus insisted that Madam Pompfrey check me over even after Dobby confirmed that I was fine based on the bond we shared, but I agreed if only to see the nurse I hadn't had to see much of all this year except for sending Snape and Malfoy here a few weeks ago. It was already passed lunch time in the Great Hall anyway so I made a short trip to the infirmary, and after a clean bill of health said goodbye to Albus and the nurse before returning to my suite to find Daphne anxiously waiting on how the horcrux hunt went today, while Sophia, Blaise, and Tracey happily watched a movie relaxing after their long week of classes ...must be nice.
Maybe I shouldn't complain so much since Daphne quickly told her friends we'd be back to go to dinner and then took me to the bedroom to burn off all the remaining energy I had while I described to her the whole trip in detail. Daphne ended up having to practically drag me to dinner while Tracey joked good-naturedly about my lack of stamina on the way through the halls. I ended up eating an enormous amount of food to help me build back up my energy and strength before Daphne put me through a light workout of dueling and sword fighting before skipping ahead to my favorite part much earlier than normal, to which we used the extra time very well.
Saturday night our core groups of friends came over for movie night and to receive their completed runic animagi bracelets or watches. After quickly setting them to everyone and a run through on how to charge them, I gave them ample time to change into their new forms for a bit and test them out. Ron's Egyptian Black Dragon had a slight reddish tint to it and small tuft of red hair for a beard as he took over the expanded balcony for the allotted half hour. Hermione was sitting perched on the highest bookshelf in the room, looking every bit the clone of her idol Professor McGonagall without the glasses markings around her eyes.
Blaise and Sophia were by nature wolves in their true animagus forms, but wanted something different and had settled on a stag and doe who were both cuddling quietly on the floor much like Daphne and I had the first night. My favorite though had to be Tracey, who ended up choosing the female grim and was every bit the rambunctious dog that Sirius was, and enjoyed playing with and riling up the others. Daphne and I watched happily as our friends connected with the new parts of themselves until it was time to turn back and with the help of blinds to the balcony and strategically placed screens everyone was able to maintain their dignity.
The subsequent week of classes passed by in it's usual flurry of activity and before I knew it, I was again returning to the Headmaster's office for our Friday morning lesson and today's trip to Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. The house was still as dirty and dreary as ever, and maybe even more so than usual since Sirius died and Remus returned to teach and stay at Hogwarts leaving only random Order members ever staying, and primarily only using the kitchen for meetings. The Headmaster and I found Dobby and Kreature both talking to the portrait of Walburga Black, Sirius' and Regulus' lovely mother in the houses' entryway and joined them to find out how we are doing this.
"Good morning Lady Black, Kreature," I greeted warmly and respectfully, knowing Dobby wanted me on my best behavior to help smooth things over for when we took control of the House of the Blacks. "Are we ready to begin?"
"Master Harry Potter sir must first make oath," started Dobby, who had coached me perfectly on this part.
"Okay," I answered honestly and drew the sword of Gryffindor before me to use instead of my wand as a magical focus since I would need it for later in this conversation and spoke the oath Dobby taught me. "I pledge on my magic and ancestors to grant the house elf Kreature the honor of the Black Family he so deserves for the loyal care and service he maintained for my family, and especially the devotion he showed to Master Regulus."
"You know about Master Regulus?" asked the surprisingly lucid but obviously sick and dying elf.
"Yes Kreature I do," I answered simply. "I wanted to ask you about the night you and Master Regulus went to the cave and the infiery lake."
"Master Regulus was very brave and selfless," answered the house elf proudly, "he traded his favorite necklace for an evil gold locket that he made Kreature promise to protect."
"I would like to present to you Kreature, your Master Regulus' favorite locket to adorn your head in the Black Families place of ultimate honor," I spoke honestly and brought out the necklace we found in the cave and handed it over to a now openly crying and shaking house elf.
"Master Harry is good strong wizard," mumbled the shaken and emotional elf who clutched the necklace lovingly in one hand while snapping his fingers and producing Slytherin's locket in his other which he gracefully handed over to me. "Master Harry now guards evil locket for Kreature and Master Regulus."
"Thank you Kreature for a lifetime of devotion and service to the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black," I responded gratefully after the horcrux locket was secured in my pocket and I stood with my sword raised before me in front of a crying and eagerly bowing house elf waiting for his own eternal glory.
With one fell swoop of the ancient magical sword, the tiny old body of Kreature was separated from his head and collapsed in a heap at my feet while his head hovered in the air for a short moment. Master Regulus' locket began to glow suddenly, and in a blinding flash of dark purple the head and locket reappeared on the wall next to the portrait of his Mistress wearing his young Master' necklace. Surprisingly, the portrait of Walburga Black stayed silent throughout the entire process and discussion beforehand, only watching and studying me, my actions and words, and mostly my very recognizable sword.
"Thank you Lord Black ...or should I say Lord Gryffindor," she spoke reverently and with a slight bow of respect that literally shocked me to the core, "you are a true nobleman."
"I thank you for your kind words Lady Black," I responded equally respectfully, hoping to use this new attitude to my advantage now that I was taking real control of the ancient house. "I find I must ask for your blessing to return this house and the Black Family to one of prominence and respect it deserves."
"You have my complete blessings Lord Black," she responded eagerly and with an excited gleam in her portrait's eyes I had not though possible from the old witch.
"Dobby, I want you to get the other elves to do the needed work here, I want you with me and Albus today ...and to stay with Winky until your child is born," I spoke as I looked at all the work needed and knew Dobby would miss not being able to be a part of the cleanup, but knew Winky and I needed him more right now.
"Yes Master Harry Potter sir," answered Dobby with a definite longing look at the filthy house, but with reluctant acceptance none the less. "Dobby will go get elves and get them started, and then meet you and Professor Dumblydore in his office with a small container of the basilisk venom."
"You know me too well mate," I snorted and with a look to the still silent and observing Headmaster, we returned to the kitchen and used the Floo network to get back to Albus' office to wait on Dobby and inspect the Slytherin locket horcrux.
Within an hour after returning to Albus' office, Dobby had come and after running all the necessary tests to confirm that the locket was in fact a horcrux, we destroyed it. Much like Hufflepuff's cup, the basilisk venom dissolved the priceless gold locket and destroyed the green mist representing the piece of Tom Riddle's severed soul without much fanfare or drama. We chatted until lunch time about the two new animal forms Albus witnessed today, and he asked me plenty of questions about the Hogsmead attack now that he knew that I was the Egyptian Black Dragon from that day.
That evening Daphne and I took her Slytherin friends to the Forbidden Forrest, where we all changed into animals and spent hours running and playing with one another to which everyone greatly enjoyed. I did the same with just Ron on Saturday night, and taught him to fly as a dragon which took him a good hour to learn as it did me. We eventually flew up into the mountains north of Hogwarts and spent a great night relaxing as the giant magical beasts before returning to school as dawn broke and both sleeping a good bit of Sunday away.
During the following week, the whole castle was buzzing over Valentine's Day coming up this Friday and the subsequent Hogsmead day on Saturday for the many couples throughout the school planning to celebrate. Daphne and I had made plans to spend the Hogsmead day together now that our relationship was in the open and I didn't want her out of my sight if I could help it. I was glad for the break from the normal routines ...well except the cardio workouts which we continued thankfully. Before we could even get to the weekend however, something we were all waiting for happened during Wednesday nights beginner DA meeting when Dobby appeared in the Room of Requirements startling most of the younger kids.
"Master Harry Potter sir, Winky just went into labor," spoke the newly arrived and panicked looking elf.
"Oh Shit, really?" I asked stunned, but knew it was the truth based on Dobby utter panic. "Sorry everybody, class is over ...I've got to run and check on one of my house elves, see you all next week," I finished quickly, and after getting nods from Justin and Zacharias that they would clean up, I left with Dobby and immediately popped to their bedroom.
"Dobby will go get Mistress Daphne too," spoke the still nervous but obviously looking better Head Elf, knowing his master and friend was here to help and look after his Winky.
He might have felt better about having me there, but I sure as hell didn't know what to do, and settled down next to the bed with a red faced and sweating Winky. I offered assurances that everything would be fine, and let her grab and squeeze my hand when the contractual pains got too great for her. Luckily, I was soon joined by Daphne, Dobby, and Jolzen an elf at Potter Estate who seemed experienced in house elf healing and birthing, and thankfully immediately took control over the situation. Dobby took up my spot comforting Winky, and Daphne and I stood off to the side giving everyone room and just observing the miracle of birth, and happy to be present to something so special for Dobby and Winky ...hell, I was present at conception, could the birth be any worse?
"It's a boy," exclaimed the beaming Jolzen as he successfully delivered the small green screaming baby house elf and held him up proudly for everyone to see before gently whipping him down with a damp cloth and resting him carefully along with a blanket in a tired Winky's arms, who was both beaming and crying in joy much like her bonded partner Dobby.
"Oh Dobby, he's beautiful," spoke an emotional and exhausted Winky looking between her mate and baby, "Little Haphne."
I had to squeeze Daphne's hand when she discovered the baby house elf's name since I wanted it to be a surprise, and then we both congratulated the new parents. We felt a sudden flash of magic from Winky's now empty womb, and I instantly turned to the house elf couple to confirm that was what I thought it was. The house elf protection ward we erected over Godric's Hollow this summer had just finished running it's course and should now be free of the evil it contained from that Halloween night all those years ago and accessible to it's owners. I had to explain to Daphne what was going on, and couldn't believe I had forgotten about the night Dobby and Winky married and magically sealed the corrosive property inside her womb ...or maybe just repressed the memory of them having sex and the diseased house my parents were killed in.
"He is beautiful, congratulations to both of you," I spoke honestly after shaking my head to clear it of the unusual thoughts and smiled happily at the beaming couple and their precious new baby boy.
"We have you to thank Master Harry Potter sir," replied a still very emotional Winky as she hugged her precious child to her with such a look of joy it was truly overwhelming ...that was one very lucky kid.
"You're both very welcome," I responded sincerely, "and want you both to take as much time as you need to be with and get to know your son."
"Master Harry Potter sir, Dobby and Winky know," answered Dobby gratefully and with a slight rolling of his eyes at the very familiar topic, "and we'll give little Haphne at least one day off before putting him to work."
"What?" I asked in confusion and shock, until I saw the shinning eyes of Dobby and realized he was just pulling my leg, "oh, very funny mate."
"Oh Harry, you should have seen your face," laughed Daphne with sparkling and amused violet eyes.
"You think that's funny do you?" I asked and reached out to tickle her, which quickly turned into a chase out of the amused elves' room and throughout the suite and only ending when she finally let me catch her in our bed where we collapsed together in laughter.
I was almost completely out of sorts all day Thursday from the unusual change in my routine, or basically just the lack of Dobby's presence. After waking and performing the runic seals of love and protection over Daphne which was getting easier after avery casting, we had Jolzen return her to her dorm. Jolzen was admirably trying to fill in for Dobby while he was with Winky and his new child, and after bringing Daphne back to her dorm met me out on the balcony. He didn't partake in any of the wake and bake, but talked to me for a bit and I told him of my daily schedule and plans before heading to breakfast and starting my day.
After my only class of the day Transfiguration, I spent a good deal of my afternoon reading about the real animagus transformation, and practicing meditating to try and locate the part of me that was a phoenix trying to emerge. It was quite different from the runic animagi, and with the slight weirdness of my day, I just couldn't concentrate enough to accomplish much so instead I retired out to the balcony ...a man with his bong. Jolzen had to come and wake me after passing out on the charmed warm balcony since I was likely to miss dinner if I slept any more. I was just able to catch a bit of dinner and then lead the advanced DA group in an easier and more fun lesson.
"Okay folks," I started after everyone arrived and the door was closed, "today we are reviewing the Patronus Charm for the first half an hour, then playing paint-ball for the rest of class if your good ...so let's get started."
AN: Sorry if the passing of time seems rushed, but I'm not planning to go over every single day of the school year ...I'm spending too much time on my balcony I guess. Enjoy!