Chapter 5: A new home
It was twenty minutes later when Salazar finally drove up to his house in London. Salazar quickly parked the car, unbuckled his seatbelt, and got out of the car before going around to the passenger side to get Harry who was fast asleep. Salazar didn’t want to wake him up so he carefully unbuckled the child’s seatbelt before he carefully picked him up, Harry protested slightly with incoherent mumbles at being moved before wrapping his arms around Salazar’s neck and snuggling into the side of his neck. Salazar quietly locked the car making sure not to jostle Harry too much before entering the house with Harry in his arms. Once inside the entrance hall James came towards them looking like he hadn’t slept at all.
“Is everything alright, Sir?” James asked with a low voice.
“Yes,” Salazar replied with a small smile while looking at Harry “He’s only tired. He was chased out of the house by a vicious dog and up a tree where he was about to sleep before I came.” Salazar explained with a frown while he carefully walked up the stairs in order not wake Harry.
Reaching the first floor, he went to the bedroom on the right opposite of his own, opened the door, and carefully laid down the boy onto the bed. After that he took out his wand, vanished the clothes the Harry wore (except the underwear), cleaned him up as good as possible, and then put some pyjamas on him. Pleased with the result and that Harry hadn’t woken up in the process he put a blanket on him. Lastly, he cast a small charm on the bed that was supposed to alert him when the boy woke up so that he could look after him, because Harry didn’t know where he was and was therefore likely to be confused when he woke up.
With one last smile, he left Harry’s new bedroom and silently closed the door behind him. Outside in the corridor James was waiting for him.
“He sleeps. I suggest we let him sleep until he wakes up by himself but no longer than noon so that his sleep-wake cycle doesn’t get messed. I also put up a monitoring charm that will alarm me when he wakes up.”
“Okay. I assume you want to be the one to wake him then?”
“Yes it would be better since he knows me” with that Salazar started to yawn widely. “I’ll go to bed to. It has been a long day.”
“Then I’ll retreat too, Sir. Good night.”
After another yawn Salazar went into his own bedroom got changed and was fast asleep once his head hit the pillow.
Salazar felt like he had slept only for five minutes when he was awoken by a scream and the buzzing of the monitoring charm. With a quick glance at the clock on his bedside table, he saw that it was shortly after nine in the morning. He quickly got up and left his bedroom to go to Harry. Outside in the corridor he met an alarmed James, He nodded to him before knocking on Harry’s door and entering.
The bed was empty so Salazar looked around the room before he finally spotted the boy cowering in a corner behind an armchair, knees pulled up to his chin and curled up in the blanket Salazar had put on him the night before. Salazar went up to Harry knelt down opposite him but Harry only seemed to tense up even more at this action.
“Harry it’s alright, everything’s okay,” he said in a calm voice. “Try to remember what happened last night.”
Harry peered up at him cautiously doing as the man suggested, when the memories finally hit him. He remembered talking to that man, Salazar, and that he had gone with him because he had promised him a better life. The memory visibly calmed him down before he started to panic again when he saw the sun shining through the curtains.
`What time is it? I have to hurry up and make breakfast and clean up the house or he’ll get mad…´ Harry thought before jumping up and running around the room like a headless chicken.
“Harry,” Salazar called out him but the boy didn’t stop panicking. He sighed while getting up from his knees. This would prove tiresome, the Dursleys had really done a number on the boy.
“Harry!” he called out again this time a bit louder before he caught him by the shoulders.
“Please, you have to calm down. Everything’s alright. I know you’re scared because you woke up in a strange bed in an unfamiliar room but panicking doesn’t help you any,” he looked into the boy’s eyes.
“But I have to make breakfast, and….”Harry started to ramble before he was interrupted by Salazar.
“No, you don’t have to do anything like that anymore. I have servants to do those duties and you are definitely not one of them. The only thing I would like you to do right now is to take a long hot bath to calm down, okay? Take your time I’ll wait right here for you and when you’re done I’ll show you the house and we’ll get some breakfast,” he said with a smile. “How does that sound to you, hmmm,” Salazar asked still smiling at the boy
“Okay,” Harry who had calmed down a bit by now but didn’t really look convinced, nodded his head in acceptance of the terms before Salazar opened the door to the bathroom and let the Harry in to take a bath.
“As I said I’ll wait in your bedroom. You don’t have to hurry, take all the time you need.”
Harry entered the bathroom with Salazar and took a look around. The room was huge, nothing in comparison to the room he woke up in, but huge nonetheless. The whole living room of Private Drive No. 4 would fit in here. On his right side was a large mirror covering the whole wall with a large placement area beneath it also going over the whole length of the wall. In the middle of the wall a sink was inserted and in one of the edges lay a stack of clean white towels in different sizes. On the other side of the room was the toilet behind the door and a bathtub next to it lowered into the floor and in a size Harry had never seen before. A bit larger and Harry could comfortably swim in it.
Salazar quietly and patiently explained how to turn the keys on the tub to Harry so he could adjust the water temperature on his own, before setting the water to a base temperature of warm for Harry.
“I get to take a Hot Shower?” Harry asked in wonder “I only ever got to take a cold one at the Dursley’s as Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon didn’t want me infecting them with my ‘freakishness’ and it was usually only three minutes. I couldn’t even use shampoo or conditioner, apparently it was too good for a freak like me when I finished I had to scrub the entire bathroom. Even then a shower was only once every two weeks, I usually had to use the hose outside when I was working in the garden and make sure the Dursley’s didn’t see me using it when I was getting too dirty.”
Salazar mentally growled at this and swore those monsters would pay. This was just another item to add to their list of crimes. “Yes Harry, you get to take a hot shower, that’s why I showed you how to work the keys, so you could make it as hot or as cold as you like. I expect you to wash yourself well and use shampoo and conditioner.”
“As I said before I’ll wait for you to finish in your bedroom. You don’t have to hurry, take all the time you need or want.”
After Harry nodded again, Salazar left the bathroom and closed the door behind him.
Salazar sighed once again before he went to one of the armchairs and sat down.
“Nice to know that you only see me as a servant,” James chuckled leaning against the doorframe.
“You know that this isn’t true,” he growled. “Those monsters hardly ever let him shower, and when they did it had to be cold and three minutes or less and they made him scrub the ENTIRE bathroom afterwards,” He growled out before massaging his temples with his fingertips.
Salazar had slept for only about four hours and the night before and this was after a 23-hour day of observation, talking with Harry and later driving back to London, well to put it simple he wasn’t in the mood for jokes at the moment. James saw that to.
“But it seems that the Dursleys really did a number on Harry if anything I just saw and heard from him was an indication.”
“My thoughts exactly. Only time will show the boy that living with us will be nothing like being with…them. Hopefully he’ll learn this soon,” he said as he unsuccessfully tried to stifle a yawn.
“I think I’d better get you a potion against fatigue before you collapse where you are,” James said amused.
“Alright,” he said with another yawn “And I really should get changed…” Salazar answered remembering that he was only wearing his pyjama pants so he went to his bedroom to change only to return to Harry’s room shortly after.
Harry took a closer look around the bathroom after Salazar had left and noticed that the wall behind the tub was covered with a picture of a beach with palms and clear blue water, but wait did that picture just move? Small waves rolled onto the beach and the palms seemed to seesaw in the wind. He stopped staring at the picture and shook his head, not wanting to think about that at the moment. Salazar had said he should take a bath and he didn’t want to disappoint him, so, he undressed and got into the swimming pool sized tub.
Upon touching the water he started to relax, Salazar had set it for him at the perfect temperature. For a few minutes he just sat there not wanting to think about anything. Not about the Dursleys and his life with them, not about what happened the night before and most definitely not about the possibility of all this being a dream he would wake from eventually, upon which he would be back in his dark small cupboard. No, he emptied his mind entirely and just floated on the water eyes closed.
He didn’t know how long he was just floating there when someone knocked on the door. That startled him quite a bit so he ended up flailing a bit and getting water in his lungs so he started to cough. Meanwhile Salazar who had heard Harry coughing entered the bathroom.
“Is everything alright?” he asked worriedly.
“Yes, you just startled me,” Harry replied before an anxious look appeared on his face. He didn’t want to get out of the tub it felt so nice and warm and it smelled of wood and forest. He wanted to stay there forever not facing the world ever again. The world, which took so much and never gave anything in return.
“Are you sure everything is ok?” seeing Harry drifting away from him to the other side of the tub didn’t calm him down.
“I…I…” Harry didn’t know what to say because he had never been allowed to speak up or express his feelings and when he did, he was beaten. But upon seeing the questioning look on Salazar’s face he gathered all his courage and spoke a single sentence.
“I don’t want to get out of here…” the last word was just a whisper; Harry replied while ducking down into the tub so only his eyes and nose were above the water
“Oh, is that what frightens you? That I would force you to get out?” Harry nodded but Salazar smiled softly. “I told you to take your time and while I’d prefer that you’d come out some time soon I would never force you to do something you don’t want. The tub is enchanted so that the water won’t cool down so it’s perfectly fine with me if you stay in there. The only downside would be that downstairs in the kitchen a nice warm breakfast is waiting for you, but you probably don’t want to eat if you want to stay in here forever…” Salazar said the last line in a teasing tone while smirking at Harry.
Upon hearing that there was breakfast waiting for him Harry’s stomach started to growl loudly which made him look down in shame, a bright blush on his cheeks, but Salazar only smiled. So, he picked up one of the large towels from the stack and placed it next to the tub.
“I’ll go and get you some clothes so that you can get dressed.”
With that he left the bathroom, went to the chest of drawers in the room and took out a pair of boxers and socks. After that he went to the wardrobe and took out a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and a sweater. All brand-new things James bought a few days earlier. He brought all the clothing he had gathered for Harry into the bathroom and placed it on the toilet lid.
“I’ll wait outside,” he said throwing a smile to harry before exiting
Salazar sat in the armchair that gave him the best opportunity for him to watch the bathroom door. Several minutes later Harry came out hair still dripping slightly wearing the clothes Salazar had brought him. The sweater and the t-shirt were the right size, along with the socks, however the jeans were a bit too large, but that was no problem. Salazar stood up and went over to Harry while taking out his wand. Harry eyed him warily while he taped the jeans with his wand, which caused them to instantly shrink to the right size.
“That’s better, isn’t it?” Harry nodded. “Good, next to your bed are a pair of slippers for you.”
Harry hurried to get them and now stood next to Salazar eagerly waiting. They both left the room and on the way to the kitchen, Salazar explained which room was which.
“Right opposite of your room is mine,” he pointed on the door on the other side. “To the left and right of the stairs are two other smaller bedrooms which are currently unused. We are at the moment at the first floor. The second floor contains the library; well in fact, the whole second floor is the library. If you like, we can go there later and I’ll show you everything.” Salazar told him after seeing the gleam in Harry’s eyes. “But I would ask that you not to try to enter the separated part of the library. Beside it being nearly impossible to enter, it contains books which are dangerous.”
“You mean they contain dangerous information?” Harry raised an eyebrow.
“No. I mean the books themselves are dangerous. Some are enchanted to attack anyone who doesn’t know how to handle them, or others if read too long might drive the reader crazy. That’s why they are in a secluded and heavily warded area so that no one can get to them. As to the dangerous information, I’m of the firm opinion that information and knowledge itself is neither dangerous, nor dark or bad. It is what you do with it that makes it dark or light. This also includes power,” he explained.
Harry warily eyed the stairs to the second floor but Salazar smiled.
“As long as you don’t try to get in there, which should be impossible for you anyway, you will be fine. Every other book in the library is harmless, only perhaps too advanced for you to read or written in a language you don’t understand.”
After giving the stairs to the second floor one last longing glance, Harry followed Salazar downstairs. Yes, he could see himself spending a long time in the library if he was allowed, but up until now it didn’t sound to him that he wouldn’t be allowed to do so if he pleased. Only the secluded area seemed to be forbidden to him, but after hearing what kind of books were in there he didn’t know whether he even wanted to go near it.
Upon reaching the ground floor, Harry looked around. He stood in a nearly round room, the stairs in the middle, and opposite him was a hallway leading to a pair of rich ornate double doors with a semi-circular window above, so he assumed it was the entrance door. The walls were covered with dark red-brown wood panels in the lower half and a light beige silk-like wallpaper on the upper half, the same as it on the first floor. A few pictures hung on the wall with either moving people, or landscapes with moving animals.
“To the right in the front of you is my study, while on the left is the drawing room. To your left in the back is the dining room but it’s usually only used when I have guests. Otherwise I normally eat in the kitchen which is also to the back left,” Salazar continued his explanations while rounding the stairs and heading for the kitchen.
Harry looked around astonished when his view fell on the wood panel surrounding the backside of the stairs. He felt magic radiating from it. Well the whole house radiated magic but that was something else.
Salazar stopped when he noticed that Harry wasn’t following him anymore and looked at the boy.
“Oh, I should have known. You can feel the magic radiating from that area, can’t you?” Salazar asked slightly bemused, after Harry nodded he continued. “This is the entrance to the cellar. It is the only other area in this house I ask you not to try and enter. It isn’t that it’s dangerous down there, but I’ve established a place for certain special magic down there, which can be easily disturbed. Someday I might show it to you but for now please refrain from trying to go down there.”
Harry nodded again before he followed Salazar into the kitchen thinking about what he had learned so far. Special areas for certain magic, books attacking people, moving pictures…it was a lot and now his head had started buzzing again but he let it go for now and sat at the large table in the kitchen opposite of Salazar when a small figure entered the room. It looked strange, perhaps about three feet high, a bald head, big pointy ears and huge round eyes, it’s body was slim and quite skinny, it also wore some kind of green dress which went to its knees.
“This is Blinky, he’s a house-elf. House-elves are magically bound to a person, family or magical building, and have to obey every order given to by their respective owner,” Salazar started to explain.
“So they’re slaves?” Harry was shocked about that.
“Technically yes, and sadly most wizards treat them as such,” Salazar said with a sad look on his face. “But there’s a reason for the bond. Once they were a proud and independent magical race, but one day, it must have been about 700 years ago now, a disease spread within their community. Originally, they drew their power from the earth itself and they needed it in order to live, but the disease blocked that way of drawing magic. In their desperation they searched for other sources of magic, and they hadn’t been successful until one elf accidentally bonded with a wizard. The other elves saw this as a method of survival so they too started to bond with wizards and witches and their magical cores in order to draw on their magic to survive.”
“So, you’re telling me Blinky here is living because he’s drawing on your magic? Isn’t that weakening you?” Harry asked curiously.
“No not really. A house-elf only draws a very small amount to survive and for keeping up their magic. It’s only a small piece compared to the amount an ordinary witch or wizard contains. It’s quite likely for wealthy witches and wizards to obtain more than one elf.”
“But hasn’t the disease been healed? I mean it’s been a very long time since the outbreak…”
“Sure, after about two hundred years the disease was extinct and had die out but until now there was another problem. The elves had grown so dependent on the magic from wizards that they didn’t remember how to draw energy from the earth anymore, and so ever since then it’s been like that, the elves bonded to a witch or wizard dependent on their magic to survive. The problem is that most wizards abuse their dependency towards them and treat them like slaves. I’ve never been fond of that so I’ve always treated my elves like I would want to be treated, and I would ask that you do the same, they are living sentient beings after all. But there is one rule about house-elves you always have to remember. Never, under any circumstances, give them clothes. The way you set an elf free is to directly give them an article of clothing, which means they are no longer bonded to you. While you can’t free the elf of another person that way, you should still remember it in case you have an elf of your own one day,” Salazar explained.
“How come Blinky wears some kind of dress then?”
Salazar smiled about that. “Well, we found a nice workaround to that rule. I never gave him the dress directly, I only allow him to wear it. Technically, the dress is still in my possession, and Blinky and Trixy, my other house-elf, don’t have to wear something crude like pillowcases or rags as many others have to without being freed.”
Harry watched the elf bustle around the kitchen preparing breakfast while humming lowly. He (or is it a she? Harry didn’t know) seemed to be happy, nothing like what he expected a slave to be, and definitely not how he felt when his relatives treated him like one. But it showed him that Salazar treated them well, even if everyone else didn’t…and he didn’t seem to think less of them simply because they were his servants. At that moment it didn’t seem like anything special to Harry, but later on when he would think back to that point he would have to admit that this scene, Salazar’s outright refusal to treat the elves like slaves, but as the living sentient beings they were, was the one point that convinced him to fully trust him.
Harry was torn from his thoughts when the elf placed a plate with food in front of him and one before Salazar. On his plate were three pieces of bacon, two small sausages, scrambled egg and two slices of buttered toast. He had never had such an opulent breakfast before. With the Dursleys he would be happy enough if he could get a dry slice of toast, and if he was very lucky a sausage. They didn’t outright starve him, but they had always said that food was too good to waste on him and so he only got the bare minimum required for him to survive and function.
He took a bite out of the scrambled egg and was shocked, they were the best he had ever tried. Even he couldn’t make them this delicious, and he had plenty of experience making them and other dishes because he had to cook thrice a day ever since he was old enough to hold a pan. He just had to get the recipe.
They both ate silently, Harry was half through his breakfast (and actually quite full already but the meal was simply so good that he didn’t want to stop eating now and waste the rest of this delicious food) when Salazar spoke up.
“There is something I’d like to discuss with you.”
Harry, who finally couldn’t eat another bite, pushed his plate to the side and nodded.
“Well it’s actually two things but they count as one, I know your relatives didn’t treat you well and that you had to suffer from injuries and other things,” he carefully started. “This is why I would like you to get checked out by a healer.”
“A healer? You mean something like a doctor?” Harry asked, his head was cocked slightly to the side and his emerald eyes were brimming with curiosity
“Hmm…yes kind of a doctor, but a magical one, and a bit more advanced. For example, they don’t need huge machines to look inside you, and their healing methods are faster and mostly painless.”
“Sounds okay to me, and what was the second thing?” Harry replied while thinking about it.
“I mentioned this last night actually, remember that I told you that there might be spells on you in order to track you, correct?” Harry nodded. “The second thing I would like to ask from you is to not only get checked out by the healer but also by a good friend of mine to see whether you have any spells on you or not. While the tracking spells are supressed by the bracelet I gave you there might be other spells which might harm you or do other things we don’t know of yet,” Salazar explained.
Harry’s expression quickly became worried upon hearing that. Spells to track him wherever he was were bad enough as it was, but spells which could hurt him? No, he didn’t like that one bit.
“Can you remove those spells?” he asked
Salazar smiled. “I wouldn’t dare attempt to remove them by myself because it isn’t my field of expertise and something might go wrong, but the friend I mentioned is one of the best in removing spells and such. That is why I would like for him to check you over together with the healer.”
Harry sighed in relief. “As long as I get rid of that stuff I’ll gladly meet your friend and the healer. When will the meeting be?”
“I’ll send Trixy to ask them if it’s possible for them to come in two hours so that you can rest a bit more.”
“I’m more likely want to talk to you a bit because I have some questions…if that’s okay with you…” he asked sheepishly.
“Alright, I only thought that since you hadn’t slept very much last night you would be more inclined to sleep a bit more. So, to the meeting: Trixy!” Salazar called out.
A second elf appeared in front of them smiling and eagerly awaiting orders.
“What can Trixy do for her master?”
“I’d like you to go to Ms. Pye and Mr. Reichard in order to set up a meeting in two hours to get Harry checked out thoroughly here at the house.”
“As you wish, Sir.” With a pop the elf vanished.
“So, that’s that. I have an idea, why don’t we go and sit in the library in order to talk. It seemed to me that you eagerly wanted to see more of that part of the house, and I can show you a few things while we’re at it.”
He saw how Harry’s eyes brightened up on that suggestion, yes, the library was a good idea he mused. So both Harry and Salazar got up and left the kitchen, but before going to the stairs Salazar quickly went into his study to fetch a scroll. After that, they both went up to the second floor. When they reached it Harry stopped and looked around with eyes and mouth both wide open, before rotating on the spot. Yes, Salazar had mentioned that the whole second floor was a library but he only assumed it was a room with a few shelves and a small corner with chairs and a table to sit at but most definitely not this.
The part he could see was huge and the whole house of the Dursleys would fit in here. It must cover the entire base area of the house, and he knew that this was a huge house from what he had seen so far. But the library didn’t stop at that. No, at about four metres high was a balcony that was about five metres wide went around the whole room. He could see that on one side of the balcony couches and armchairs were positioned around tables just the right height to work at. The other three sides of the balcony were full of shelves as it was in the lower floor he stood at the moment. Above that was the roof from which a huge crystal chandelier hung in the centre illuminating the entire room.
Harry mentally shook himself out of his shocked stupor and went to take a closer look around. Everywhere stood wooden shelves about three metres tall full with books on both sides. Big ones, small ones, leather, paperback, old ones, new ones, he didn’t know where to look first. The local library of Little Whinging would be really envious if it could see this sight. He strolled around a bit further until he reached a cage like construct in the back-left corner.
`That would be the area Salazar warned me about´ he mused before he jumped back because one of the books in there started to rattle.
“Wow, I’ve never seen an amount of books this huge and all in one place. Not even in the city library where I went once. How do you find the book you need?” he asked curiously.
Salazar who had followed him the entire time laughed before he went to the next shelf and pointed at a tag on the side which read Magical History and the number 38 A on the right, and B on the left.
“The entire library is sorted by topic and further broken down by alphabetical order in each topic. This shelf for example contains books about Magical History. The shelves themselves are also numbered because some topics need more than one shelf. Besides that, there are two books, one at each work area, for an index search. Come with me and I’ll show you.”
With that, Salazar went around some shelves to another area with couches, chairs and tables in front of a fireplace. On a wooden bookstand lay a small book with a leather cover, but which when Salazar opened it Harry saw, was empty.
“You just have to state the keyword you are searching for like a person, an event, or something the like, and the book lists every book in this library that mentions the keyword you asked for, where to find those books, and the page the keyword is found at. The more precise you ask, the more precise results you’ll get. For example: Hogwarts,” he said to the book. A second later half of the book was filled with books that contained the key-word “Hogwarts” together with the category and shelf number they were found on as well as a series of numbers, which seemed to be the page numbers.
“See? Only asking for Hogwarts; which is a magical school by the way, gives you tons of results because it’s way too general. But look what happens now: Hogwarts and its headmasters of the last 100 years.” he stated this time and now there were only seven results together with the same listing as before.
“Oh, and in case you don’t know where one of the shelves is there’s a plan which hangs above the stands. I have books here in this library about the most magical topics you can come up with, as well as a lot of mundane books regarding science and common literature alike, and what you don’t find here you might find in the libraries of one of my other houses. But you said you have questions so let’s sit down and talk,” he said while he went to one of the couches and sat down.
“Blinky!” the elf appeared. “Would you please bring us some tea?” the elf nodded and disappeared. “So then, ask you questions.”
Harry followed him and sat on the chair opposite, thinking about what he had learned since he met Salazar. There were many questions he would like to ask but he settled for the two most urgent ones for now.
“First I’d like to know more about my parents. You told me last night you knew them, and since I never really had the opportunity to get to know them…. The second thing I want to know for now is what you meant when you said that there was a different reason why you wanted to take me with you, and that you would have to show me something because I wouldn’t believe it otherwise.”
“Hmmm, I think it best if I start at the beginning in this case and tell you everything that happened between the first time I caught attention of your parents and the day they died, which should answer both questions. But before I start I have to tell you something. Everything that I will tell you now, and also in the future, is the truth. I will let you know now that the one thing which I absolutely hate, is lies. I might not tell you everything I know all the time but what I tell is always the truth. But I also should warn you because one can twist the words in ways so that what is told isn’t a exactly a lie but covers the truth in a way that you don’t get it when you don’t listen very closely.”
Harry now looked worried. He knew that, hell he has used that trick himself once or twice before in order to cover up a mistake he made, or more likely him performing magic accidentally. Nevertheless, he didn’t think he was up to it now but Salazar smiled.
“You don’t have to worry. For now I’ll just tell you the plain truth, but in the future you’ll have to learn to sort out the truth hidden behind too many words. I think you’ll understand why that will be necessary when I have finished.”
That calmed him down a bit.
“Okay, so, starting from the beginning…” Salazar mused while he thought about how and where to start.
“Well it all started about a few months before you were born. I was stalking Albus Dumbledore because I had learned that he was up to something,” Salazar began telling the tale before he got interrupted by Harry.
“Albus Dumbledore?” Harry asked.
“Ah yes, sorry, wait just a minute, I’ll be right back.” with that Salazar stood up and went to one of the shelves looking at it before taking out a large book out and flicking through it. Once he reached a certain page he gave it to Harry. On the page was the picture of an old man with half-moon glasses on his nose, long white hair, and a long white beard. He looked like a kind grandfather to Harry with the way he smiled at him.
“This is Albus Dumbledore, at the moment he is the current headmaster of Hogwarts.”
Harry took a look at the title of the book: “Hogwarts: A History.”
“As I said, Dumbledore was planning something and I wanted to know what. You have to know it was dark times then. Tom Marvolo Riddle, also the so-called ‘Dark Lord’, or self-styled ‘Lord Voldemort’ had risen to power ten years earlier and now terrorized all of England. Nobody at that time dared to oppose him because he had many followers and everyone who didn’t support him got murdered. Only Hogwarts was considered a safe place because Dumbledore was as powerful as Voldemort, and because of that, he never attempted to go there. But curiously enough Dumbledore also never attempted to stop Voldemort like he did with another Dark Lord before him.”
“Well that night ended up being special, Dumbledore was meeting with a woman called Sybill Trelawney. She called herself a seer, a person who can tell the future, but up until that night she was never any more accurate than you or I could be. But that night it was different. After drinking some tea with Dumbledore she suddenly had a vision, a vision about a boy born at the end of July to a couple who had defied the Dark Lord three times before and who would defeat the Dark Lord.”
Harry shuddered. “But I was born on the 31st of July.”
Salazar sighed. “That is the sad truth as to why everything happened like it did. Let me continue and you’ll understand,”
“Dumbledore knew very well that your mother was pregnant at that time and that the estimated birthdate was around the end of July. It was fortunate for him because it fit perfectly into his plans. I later learned that he faked the whole prophecy for his so called ‘Greater Good’ which is only a foul excuse for him to stay in the background and let someone else do his dirty work.
After that he convinced your parents; who were devoted followers of him, to go into hiding. Before that they had worked as Aurors at the Ministry of Magic, these are a type of magical police who find and arrest people breaking the law. Your mother was a very beautiful woman, long red hair and bright green eyes…. I have an idea;”
He conjured up two pieces of paper, took out his wand, pointed at one of the papers, summoned up a picture of Lily in his mind, and then chanted a charm to invoke the image in his mind on the paper. Then he repeated it with the second piece of paper but with James’ picture instead of Lily’s. After that he gave both pieces of paper to Harry.
Harry looked at the moving pictures before tears started to fill his eyes. This was the first time he had gotten to see his parents.
“She was such a nice person, born to a mundane couple, she was the first witch within that family. Always friendly to everyone, and helped where she could. She also was very hard to get angry, which was a good thing, because at first your dad was kind of a troublemaker. He was a pureblood wizard. At school your father was in a group who called themselves ‘The Marauders’. They always pranked people and were really quite troublesome, but after he married your mother he settled down. He and his friend Sirius Black, who later also became your godfather, worked together as Aurors while your mother stopped working later on when she became pregnant and cared for the household instead. But before going into hiding they had opposed Voldemort three times together.
That is why Dumbledore centred his plans entirely on your parents and you.
At first nothing seemed to happen, I observed your family for a few months before and after you were born. Well, that was until the day I got to meet you for the first time,” Salazar took a short pause from his storytelling in order to drink some of the tea Blinky had brought some time ago before he continued talking.
“Yes, I remember the small black snake. You said it was your ani….something form…” Harry mused.
“Animagus form, yes.”
“Can you show me please? At Privet Drive you said you couldn’t because someone could see it, but we’re alone here,” Harry put on some very effective puppy dog eyes causing Salazar to begin laughing before he shifted into his animagus form.
“Wicked! Can I learn that too?” he asked with awe and curiosity.
Salazar shifted back. “Yes, sometime in the future you can learn that too, but I don’t know what form you will have. You should know that everyone has a different form. Your father for example was a stag, while Sirius was a big black hound resembling a grim; and before you ask a grim is a magical animal which many perceive to be an omen of death because most people who have seen one die. The animagus form of your mother I actually don’t know.
But we’ve gotten a bit side-tracked. The day we met I learned that not only were you are able to speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes, but something else made me suspicious. Your eyes, they were an even more vivid green then the ones of your mother, and on top of that you gazed at me in a way that inclined you recognised me somehow without even knowing me. That was the day I decided that some research into your ancestry was long overdue, so I left you and your family in hopes that you would still be safe while I did the research. What I found out…well, see for yourself,” Salazar said while he picked up the scroll he had brought with him and gave it to Harry.
Harry opened the tie and unfolded the parchment carefully. He was astonished, his whole ancestry from both his parents was on it, along with the birth and death date neatly written beneath everyone. Okay, not the entire ancestry from his father’s side because that seemed to include more than one entire family tree; but the part from his mother seemed complete, and it was here he stopped. He had to read it again several times. The whole part seemed to consist of only children who married into another family and then got only one child. This was the pattern except for the second to last row, where next to his mother stood his aunt. But what really shocked him was who stood on the very other end of that whole tree and he now knew why Salazar wanted to show him this instead of only telling him because Harry was sure he wouldn’t have believed him. Hell, he STILL couldn’t believe it even now.
It read without any dates at all: Salazar Slytherin. Right next to it a name with the date 940 A.D.-1027 A.D. and a line from both of them going down to another name and the date 1009 A.D-1092 A.D.
Harry slumped backwards deeper into the chair, that couldn’t be real, it was impossible. No one could be over thousand years old. He was definitely dreaming, lying in his cupboard beneath the stairs back at Privet Drive. But then there was the bath, and all the food, which had all felt so real and made him want to believe that this wasn’t a dream. His head was spinning, his thoughts continuously trying to decide what was real and what not. He had the feeling he had gone crazy.
Or that was a perfidious joke someone played on him. Yes, it had to be a prank; but then again who would come up with such a wide scale prank on him of all people, and what about those two moving pictures that were right now lying on the table before him. Nobody could fake such a thing, could they?
Salazar on the other hand saw the struggle within the boy and thought about another way to get him to believe that all this was real. He picked up the book he had used in order to show the boy an image of Dumbledore and once again flicked through it until he found the page he was looking for, again he gave it to Harry who was still in shock.
“Harry, look at that page, it should give you some evidence that the scroll isn’t a fake,” he said softly.
Harry mechanically nodded and did as he was told to. On the page was a picture of an older Salazar Slytherin but it resembled him very well. Beneath it was a short text, which told that there was no known birth or death date of him. It also stated that he was a founder of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 10th century.
“But that’s impossible, you would be over thousand years old by now. Nobody gets that old, and you told me my maternal grandparents were mundane people, but you’re most definitely a wizard!” Harry exclaimed his head spinning more and more.
Salazar chuckled, “Oh I’m much, much, older than that, but that will remain my secret for some time I’m afraid. And to why I’m a wizard while you grandmother was not despite being my descendant, that is a sad story. My grandson Alaric swore a magical oath like the one I swore to you, but he broke it and therefore lost his magic and became a squib, a person born to magical parents while having no magic themselves. Over the centuries I thought that the magic of the line had worn off completely, but it seems it only was dormant until the aftereffect of the broken oath wore off. It started with your mother, which is primarily shown through her green eyes. No one else in that whole lineage had those green eyes after Alaric, and I think you are the first who would be able to access the complete power of your lineage in a very long time.
You are my 33rd generation great grandson.”
Harry didn’t know what to say. He just sat there staring at the man in front of him.
“Shall I continue with what happened after I left or do you want to take a break?” Salazar asked
Harry thought about taking a small break to wrap his head around all the new and impossible information he had learned when suddenly an elf appeared and told them that the expected visitors had arrived. So taking a break and getting his thoughts in order would have to wait.
He had to think about all that information, and the medical examination seemed to be a good opportunity. So, they both got up and went downstairs not expecting what would be revealed soon.