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Discoveries and Consequences
Whirling around, tears streaming down his face, he came face to face with the last person he had ever expected to see again.
Long time no see.
Harry shifted uncomfortably. Seeing her again was making him nervous, and the shock of the situation didn't seem to be wearing off. Shuffling his feet and trying to think of something to say, he took in her appearance. She was floating a couple of inches from the floor, her transparent body waving slightly from side to side. She looked older than when he had last seen her, but not by much. The ghost smiled sadly at him, and picked up the conversation.
I suppose you're wondering why I'm here?
Articulate as always, I see, she said with a grin. She was answered with a watery smile.
Where to start how about with how I'm here. As you know, you left me at the start of my sixth year at Hogwarts, unmarried and with a child. The pressure got to me eventually, almost sending me over the edge. I missed you so much, it hurt to breathe. I could feel the life growing inside of me, and I knew I still had a part of you, but it wasn't enough. I knew I wanted to see you again. I knew I would never live long enough, so the only way was in death. About two months after you left, I came down here and revealed the message on the stone. I knew that eventually you would uncover it in the future, so I bound my soul to this spot. When I died, only six years after you left, my spirit remained here, waiting for you to come. And you have, Harry. You've released me and I can look upon you once again.
Harry let out a sob and reached for his lost love, his hands passing through her insubstantial form. Weeping harder, he fell to the floor, burying his face in his hands and letting out the grief he felt for his lost friend. The ghost floated absently over to him, murmuring comforting words as he cried. Eventually, his sobs subsided until he was merely whimpering softly. Looking up into Gallatea's beautiful eyes, he asked her the question that had been plaguing him for weeks.
What happened to our child?
Gallatea smiled at the change of subject, pleased Harry wanted to know about his son.
We had a beautiful boy. Lolide delivered him at the end of April in my sixth year. I named him Glenadade Harold Potter, after you. I moved back to Ravenclaw castle shortly after to raise him, as I knew it would be a nice place for him to grow up. He was such an energetic young boy, with your messy black hair and my eyes. He loved playing on his broom as a child, and was on the House team during his school years. It was the only time I got to see him, during quidditch. I died from influenza when he was only five, and as my soul was bound here, I couldn't see him very often. Even then he couldn't see me, as I was locked away in the stone until you released me. But I could see him, and I watched him grow into a fine young man. He married a Housemate of his called Lucille, and they had four wonderful children, a son and three daughters. From what I know, he lived a long and happy life. I still keep watch over his descendants, such as young Eustace, as I am sure I will watch over you too when the time comes.
My son, our son was happy?
Who raised him after you died. I feel so awful for leaving him alone.
It wasn't your fault, Harry. I wasn't even going to tell you, as I knew you would want to stay. I lived a happy life, I fell in love, and I had a wonderful baby son, who also led a happy and loving life. We were all well off, you should let your own burdens go, Harry, and move on. Do not dwell on what could have been, and forget to live.
Harry just smiled back at his love and thought over all she had told him. He knew she was right; he had to get on with his life and let the past go. Sure, he would still come down to the quidditch pitch and talk to his friend, but he would not let what had happened ruin his life. Smiling slightly at Gallatea, he bid her goodnight, before heading back to the castle to talk to his friends.
Making his way through a door he created in the Entrance Hall, Harry found his three friends still sitting by the fire in his room. They all looked up when he entered, worry quickly turning into relief. Once he had sat down, they simply stared at him. After a few minutes he started to get a little annoyed.
We were worried, Harry. I know it must have been upsetting to hear, but we didn't know where you had gone. Anything could have happened. There is a Dark Lord running around, you know.
I know that, and for a change he's not hunting me. What makes you think anything would have happened?
Things happen when people are upset
What are you suggesting?
Nothing! We know it must be hard for you, not knowing what happened to your son
His name was Glenadade Harold Potter. He played quidditch on his House team. He grew up and married a Housemate of his called Lucille, and they had four children. A boy and three girls. He lived a long and happy life with his family, and died at an old age. He was happy, and that's all that matters. I've had some sense talked into me, and I think I'm starting to accept the situation.
The other three were looking at Harry confused. Ginny spoke up tentatively.
How do you know all that? You only learned his name just before you left.
`Tea told me.
WHAT! all three shouted at the same time. It would be rather amusing, Harry reflected, if the situation wasn't so serious.
`Tea told me. She was the one that talked some sense into me. She always knew how to make me feel better
Hermione, being the first to recover, thought it would be best to get a straight answer out of her friend, as it was clear he was not making sense.
Harry, what do you mean you spoke to `Tea? `Tea's dead!
So's Peeves, and that doesn't stop us playing pranks.
Are you telling me `Tea's a ghost?
You don't seem upset by that. I'm a bit worried about that fact.
Hermione, if you knew the person you loved was dead, and didn't think you could ever see them again, wouldn't you be happy to have them to talk to, despite them being non-corporeal?
But Harry, Ron spoke up, How come we've never seen her around before? I mean, Peeves turned up the day after we arrived. We've been here nearly a month and I've never seen her before.
You wouldn't have. Nobody has, not even her son. And I reckon Peeves doesn't know she's here either. After we left she bound her soul to the stone I set in the quidditch pitch. I uncovered it tonight and released her spirit. You can go and see her if you want.
The other three nodded in agreement before something suddenly occurred to Ron. Sitting up straight, he waved his hand at his throat, casting a quick sonorous charm.
WOULD SAMUEL PEEVES PLEASE COME TO HARRY'S ROOM, IT'S URGENT, he called in Anglo-Saxon, loud enough to reach throughout the castle. Hermione gave him a disapproving look.
Ronald Weasley! You'll have woken up the whole school with that noise! It was uncalled for. We could have spoken to him tomorrow.
Oh, `Mione, lighten up. I'd rather not hear everything twice. Anyway, no-one will know what I said, and as they don't know this room is here they won't know where the call was coming from.
That doesn't make it right! You should
The girl was interrupted by a hyperactive poltergeist pelting into the room. After a few laps of the ceiling, Peeves settled himself down next to his friends.
You called, Master, he said to Ron.
We were wondering if you knew that Gallatea was a ghost here, Ginny asked him. By the look on his face at that pronouncement, they assumed not. After giving a brief summary of what he had missed, the poltergeist brought up something that the other four hadn't thought of.
You do realise that your ongoing argument has been settled.
The argument between you and Hermione, he told the Boy-Who-Lived.
Which argument would that be?
Peeves shook his head in exasperation.
And to think you were in Ravenclaw Amazing. I'm talking about the one about changing time. It's obvious, people, that Harry was indeed correct. You were meant to go back in time, so whatever you do has no consequences, as you have done it already to create the world you are from.
I don't understand what you're getting at, the bushy haired girl piped up.
What I mean, `Mione, is that the information about Harry's son is the proof you needed to tell you that you were supposed to be here. Think about it. Harry and Gallatea had a child, the first of the Potter line. Gallatea has watched her descendants pass through the school, all the way to young Eustace. If Eustace is in fact Harry's grandfather, then you have your proof. For some twisted reason, Harry is his own ancestor. Therefore, if you were not meant to go back in time, Harry wouldn't have existed, as he would not have been there to get Gallatea pregnant. From what I can see, it's all tied in with this Dark Lord of yours. Slytherin's heir. If you had not been in the founders' time, Slytherin would have killed Gryffindor and taken over. That was prevented, and may have been prevented in a different way if you had not interfered. As it was, you did. You must also consider his heir. You told me James and Lily Potter died, but Harry lived, destroying the Dark Lord in the process. If Harry hadn't gone back in time, he wouldn't have been born. If he hadn't been born, then Voldemort would have taken over, just like Slytherin failed to do.
He's right, Ginny said, Harry, you have a destiny, and it's entangled in time far more deeply than we could ever have imagined. When you think about it logically, then we were meant to come here.
But why us, her brother pointed out, I mean, Harry has a destiny. Fine, we can accept that. But why do we need to be here?
We each have our own qualities that might be needed to help Harry reach his goals.
He was fine last year with Slytherin. I mean, only he could send his snakes to spy on him. What use were we?
We don't know what use we are yet. I may have a vision that is vital, you never know. But from what I've seen, and from what Peeves had said, I know this was meant to be. I think we have been brought to this time for a reason, just like we were in the age of the founders to help defeat Slytherin. I don't think the amulet picks places at random. In fact, I know it doesn't. I can just feel it.
You're right, Harry agreed, And we don't know what is coming. But I can guarantee that whatever comes, we will be prepared for it. We learned a lot in the founders' time, but I think it's time we started learning things from this time. Sure, we can use ancient magic, and are immune to the Unforgivables, but that's not going to be enough. We can defend against old magic, but recent advancements we can't block. I suggest we start studying hard. Not that we give up fun altogether, I mean I'm still going to play pranks and try out for the quidditch team. But we can't play our whole lives. I know we are still children, but we grew up in a time that demanded we matured fast, and while I don't want Voldemort to have completely ruined my childhood, I have to face the fact that I'm expected to defeat him. It was my blood that brought him back, and I will take responsibility.
I've had a thought, Hermione spoke up.
Shut up, Ron.
Anyway, you know the necklaces we have?
The other three nodded in acknowledgement.
We put them on ourselves, and only we can take them off. I suggest we take them off and get Peeves to put them back on.
Why? Ginny asked her.
Think about it logically. What if we get captured by Death Eaters or something? They could force us to take them off ourselves, and then kill us. But if the person who put them on is non-corporeal and floating around the safest place in the world
They will never get them off! `Mione, you're brilliant!
Peeves proceeded to put their necklaces on for them, ensuring they would be safe from the Unforgivables. They talked over the details for a few more hours, before finally dragging themselves to bed.
Two weeks later Harry was sitting at the Hufflepuff table for breakfast when his new friend Minh-Minh-Lama sat herself down next to him, a large grin on her face. Looking at her cautiously, he waited for her to tell him what she wanted. When she didn't seem about to explain, he had to ask.
What's up, Minh?
The ceiling, duh!
Minh, that was terrible!
I know, but I couldn't resist.
I bet you couldn't, Harry muttered, Did you want something? You look like the cat that got the canary.
Oh, ok. I wanted to tell you I'm going home for a visit this weekend. I can't go home over the holidays, as my family is going to a different elf tribe for a spiritual pilgrimage. I'm going next Saturday instead, for the whole weekend. That's about a month back home.
That's great, Minh.
Well, I wanted to ask if you wanted to come.
Really? You don't mind?
Of course not! You're my friend, and you know my family. Some of the other elves may be a bit strange towards you at first, being a human and all. We haven't had contact with humans in many thousands of our years. But I'm sure you'll soon settle in. You know our customs and language, after all. So, will you come?
Yay! Meet me in the common room at 8 o'clock on Saturday morning.
That said, she skipped off to her first lesson, leaving an inordinately happy Harry sitting at the Hufflepuff table.
Saturday morning found Harry sitting in the common room at 7:45, waiting for Minh-Minh-Lama to come downstairs. While he sat in front of the fire, he thought back to the conversation he had had with his friends the night before. His impending trip had not gone over too well. Hermione had wanted to come, so that she could study elven culture. Ginny and Ron wanted to come too, as they felt Harry got to have all of the fun. Harry had argued that only he had been invited, as the elves had been out of contact with the wizarding world for a long time, and were suspicious of humans. His logic was that his friends could go another time, after he had started to rebuild the bridges between the two races.
He was pulled from his reminiscence by Minh-Minh-Lama, who came pelting down the staircase, falling neatly into a heap at the bottom. Once she was upright, she pulled out her transportation stone and waited for Harry to do the same. A moment later they disappeared in a flash of bright light, reappearing in the elven world. Falaryth hadn't changed much in the time since Harry had last been there, which surprised him a little. Over that amount of time, cultures usually grew and evolved. But the elves seemed to have advanced, while keeping their traditions intact. The only real difference Harry could see was that the city seemed to have spread a little, taking up more trees than it used to.
After a twenty minute hike, the pair finally made it to Minh-Minh-Lama's home. As soon as she got there, the young elf threw the door open and went running around the house, screaming her head off.
Mother! Aunt Lolide! I'm here! And I've brought a visitor!
Harry cautiously went into the entrance hall and closed the door behind him, slowly heading in the direction his friend had gone in. A few minutes later he could hear Minh's voice floating in from another room.
Mother, Aunt Lolide, there you are! I'm home!
We can see that, dear.
Harry was a little startled. He could recognise the voice as Gaerwyn's, but the last time he had heard her she had been so young, even for an elf. Elves lived for an incredibly long time, ageing very slowly. Gaerwyn sounded similar to how she used to, but her voice was so much more mature. Shaking off his shock, he continued listening to the conversation going on in the next room.
Guess what, Mother!
I've brought a friend from school!
MINH-MINH-LAMA! How could you do that? You know our people do not get on with humans anymore. I mean, I never had anything against them, but others don't have the same views.
Well, if anyone can be accepted here, my friend can.
What makes you think that?
Well, come and see for yourself.
Footsteps could be heard approaching the room where Harry was standing. Panicked for a second at the thought of seeing his friends again, Harry quickly ran his hand through his short, spiky hair and smoothed down his cornflower blue robes. Hearing the door rattle, he stood up straight and waited for the reaction. Gaerwyn was still talking to her daughter about him, and he knew she was in for a shock.
Minh, I can't believe you invited someone without asking first
They elves came into the room not noticing the boy in the corner. Harry was surprised when he saw them. Lolide hadn't changed much, just looked about a year older. Gaerwyn, on the other hand, had grown into a beautiful she-elf. She had long flowing hair down to the floor and sparkling eyes. Had she been human, Harry would have said she looked about twenty years old. A grin spreading across his face, and he decided to join the conversation. I wonder what they'll think when they hear elvish when they're expecting some random human, he thought.
If my staying is a problem, Gaer, I can always go back to Hogwarts.
Harry watched highly amused as both adults whirled around in shock, staring at him in pure surprise. Gaerwyn broke the silence, as she hesitantly spoke.
Hello, Gaerwyn, Lolide. Long time, no see.
Before he knew it, Harry was enveloped in a suffocating hug, rather reminiscent of Molly Weasley. Hugging her back, he couldn't help but think; this is going to be a long month