Disclaimer: I own nothing related to the Harry Potter universe. Nothing. Nope, zip, nada. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this however, so maybe it's good I don't. Anyway, it all belongs to J.K. Rowling.
Chapter Two (Part Three): Serpents and Family Memories
(A/N: Ok, quick recap: last chapter, we saw Harry visit the vaults of Merlin and Gryffindor/Pendragon and take possession of Erwydd and Excalibur. This chapter will cover Harry's visit to the Slytherin and Potter vaults. Parts of this chapter will be a little emotional, though not as much as I intended; not good at that. By the way, for those of you out there who are fans of Dark Dragen's work, I have also been beta-ing his betrayal story in addition to writing this. I urge you to go read it; it is much better now. Also, in response to a couple of questions I have received, Harry will NOT become King of England. I'm trying to stop this turning into a Gary Stu like my other story (which I only uploaded because I was bored anyway), so I feel that his being descended from Merlin and King Arthur is enough. Making him king would be just a little OTT.)
They soon arrived outside the Slytherin vault. As Harry climbed out, he looked around to see the tall doors in front of him. The Slytherin crest and a huge emerald bridging the gap between the vault's double doors were the first things to catch Harry's eye. Without prompting from Rocksnag he strode forwards and placed his hand against the emerald, which glowed, flashed and split down the middle. Once more, Harry's attention was caught by a table at the centre of the vault, laid with an emerald green cloth with a chest sitting in the centre of the table. Harry quickly opened it, removed the Slytherin ring and slid it onto his finger. It tightened momentarily, but then stilled. Then the small serpent that made up the band writhed slightly, raised its head and bit Harry's knuckle. "OW!" he shouted, shaking his hand vigorously.
After a second however, the tiny snake pulled out its fangs and looked up at Harry, "I accept you asssss the Heir of Ssssssslytherin, ssssssspeaker…" then it squirmed back to its original position and became still once more. Harry simply stared at the ring for a moment, then shook his head and walked back to Rocksnag and Tom at the vault doors.
After Rocksnag had sealed the vault, Tom took Harry's hand and inspected the bleeding puncture wounds, "What happened?" Harry scowled, wincing as Tom pulled out his wand and healed the marks, "The snake in the Slytherin ring bit me."
Tom frowned, but Rocksnag nodded and explained to the pair why it had happened, "I imagine the ring needed to verify that you, Lord Gryffindor, were its true master. That commonly happens with inheritances by conquest." Harry nodded as they climbed back into the cart, where he sat for a moment to think. What had the ring meant when it called him "speaker"? He resolved to ask Tom when he had a chance, but then forgot about it as the cart started moving and climbing upwards to their last stop of the afternoon.
The cart drew to a stop outside the Potter vault and Harry looked around at it with a feeling of faint trepidation. What would he find inside, provided there actually was anything inside the vault? Rocksnag walked up to the vault door, and held out a hand to Harry, whom handed over the key. Rocksnag inserted it into the vault door and turned it. The vault doors sung slowly open, and when Harry saw what was inside his jaw dropped. Mounds of gold, silver and bronze towered around them, dotted with various objects. Harry glimpsed an ornate chest sitting on a table amongst the piles and made his way towards it through the piles, accompanied by Rocksnag and Tom.
There were other things on the table besides the chest. A leather object sat near the chest. Tom explained it was a wand-holster, which Harry used to hold Erwydd once he figured out how to make Erwydd shrink to wand-size. The other things sitting on the table were rather interesting. A tightly furled scroll of parchment which Harry unrolled to discover it to be his parents' will. After quickly scanning it, he rolled it back up and set it down, turning to the last two objects. A letter leaned against some kind of stone basin engraved with runes and full of some kind of silvery liquid like clouds. Tom gasped when he saw it, and explained that it was a Pensieve; a container for thoughts and memories to be stored in. Harry then opened the letter.
If you are reading this, then your father and I are dead. I'm sorry I could never be there to see you grow up, my son; I am truly sorry. Know that we both love you with all our hearts, and we want you to have a good life even though we could never be there for you. There should be a gift with this letter; the stone basin. Harry, it is called a Pensieve. Your father and I used a special spell to place versions of ourselves inside. The memories of the James and Lily in the Pensieve should have also been copied up to the 30th of October, the last time we used the spell and updated the Pensieve. I hope you come into the Pensieve and see us soon.
Tears filled Harry's eyes and a lump swelled in his throat as he finished reading the letter. Almost reverently, he picked up the Pensieve and slipped it into a pouch that Rocksnag had quickly provided. He'd have to check it out later, but for now he had to get the Potter family ring. He quickly opened the chest and lifted out the Potter ring. After a pause, he slipped it onto his finger.
He felt it almost immediately. It was as if massively strong shields had been slammed up around his mind. Not only that, but he felt a surge of raw power flood through his entire body until it converged on the scar on his forehead. Harry suddenly dropped to his knees and clamped his hands over his scar; it felt as though a white-hot poker was being traced over the mark. Suddenly Harry felt as though something had snapped inside his mind and Tom and Rocksnag watched in shock as some kind of black cloud oozed from the scar and spiralled up to the ceiling high above. Harry instantly lapsed into unconsciousness, hitting the floor with a thud.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Albus Dumbledore was sitting in his chair pondering idle matters when one of the small silver instruments dotted around his office suddenly rang like a bell, vibrated ferociously for a few seconds and finally exploded with such violence that the little table it sat alone on was instantly destroyed. Dumbledore ducked as a whirling piece of shrapnel took off the top six inches of his hat and embedded itself an inch deep into the solid stone wall behind him. He blinked, amazed, at the smoking remains of the table and instrument on the floor. That instrument had been tied to Harry Potter's magical reserves. The fact it had literally self-destructed meant that Harry had experienced an incredibly powerful magical surge.
Dumbledore frowned; this had only been the latest in a mysterious chain of events during the past few weeks. First Harry's magical reserves had surged. A few hours later, the wards around Privet Drive had folded completely. A couple of days later, Harry's magical reserves had surged again, this time much more violently. What was odd was that the tracking charms on the boy were not working. They couldn't seem to pick him up at all. After the second surge, there had been nothing for about a week until today. There had been one moderately powerful spike in Harry's magic, then two other lesser ones. Then there was this last one; the most violent yet. Dumbledore stood up and moved towards some of the last surviving instruments. As if on cue, they all melted, leaving pools of molten metal on the tables they had sat on. Dumbledore scowled slightly; he'd just lost the last links to Harry Potter he had. Now he definitely had a problem. He'd just have to retrace the boy's steps, starting at Privet Drive. Picking up his wand, he strode to the office door and left.
(A/N: OK guys, I just want to say that the reason I'm updating this story but appear not to be is because I have received a few reviews explaining that I apparently need to start a new paragraph when the dialogue switches between characters or it starts getting confusing. It's also handy because it gives me an excuse to say something I forgot to say when I originally posted this chapter: I borrowed the "people-in-a-Pensieve" idea from Radaslab's The Harem War (on FF.net). It is an excellent tale; I urge you to go and read it if you haven't already. I hold no claim to the "people-in-a-Pensieve" idea; it's all Radaslab's. By the way Radaslab, if you read this, I love your story, and if you don't like that I snitched your idea, feel free to tell me and I will take down the chapter and rewrite it. I sincerely hope you don't mind though because otherwise I'm kinda screwed; I've got a bit coming up which kinda depends on that, I'm ashamed to say. Thank you all for reading and as always, keep exercising your keyboards, GOOD NIGHT!)