Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Tower of Pime


by Quillian 6 reviews

Where Harry and Pim come together...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-03-01 - Updated: 2007-08-23 - 12351 words

DISCLAIMER: See the Prologue.

SPECIAL DISCLAIMER: Snowdonia National Park does exist, and Coulsdon Eagle suggested it to me as an ideal place for the Tower of Pime. I'm sure the people in charge of it won't mind me plunking my fictitious tower in their locale.

This chapter is analogous to Book 1 (/Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone/), Chapter Two, "The Vanishing Glass."


Harry slowly rose out of sleep.

What? he thought groggily. Where am I?

He felt himself lying in a comfortable bed, on a comfortable mattress and under a comfortable blanket.

Somehow, I don't think I'm back in my room at Privet Drive...

"So, what do you think of the bed?" a disembodied voice asked him. "Personally, I like the Egyptian cotton myself."

Harry's eyes snapped wide open at that, and sat bolt upright in bed.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were still tired. Please, don't let me bother you..."

Then it all came back to Harry. He remembered everything from last night... the Dursleys... Aunt Marge... Ripper... this place, whatever it was...

Harry flinched involuntarily as he remembered all that, and subconsciously reached for his left arm...

...Only to find that his wounds were now gone, and it felt as though he had never been hurt in the first place.

"What...?" Harry began to ask, trying to articulate a question. "How...?"

"Would you believe magic?" the voice asked with an invisible grin.

"I don't believe it," Harry murmured, amazed.

"Is it really so hard to believe?" the voice asked, beginning to sound humored. "Your wounds are healed, you're all cleaned up... in fact, I even took the liberty of fixing up your clothes."

Harry looked down to see that his clothes looked completely brand-new... and not only that, but they actually fit him, and were in his size.

"So..." Harry said. "Who are you?"

"My name is Pim," the disembodied voice answered him.

"Er, if you don't mind me asking," Harry said slowly, but then just blurted out, "What are you?"

The voice lightly chuckled. "Well, I am human... or at least I was. I'm now part of this tower. Long story."

Harry raised an eyebrow at that. He then hopped out of the bed, and went over to the nearest window. He nearly did a double take after first looking out of it.

He was in a mountainous area. He thought he could see a few buildings in the distance, but he couldn't be sure.

"Here, if it helps, I can show you what I look like... or at least as I did in the past..."

And suddenly, a vision of a young man appeared behind Harry. The young boy turned around to take a look.

The man had the skin tone of someone from Egypt or somewhere else in Northern Africa, and dark, wavy black hair which went down to his neck. He also wore tan-colored robes, and plain sandals.

"I was born thousands of years ago," he told Harry, his voice sounding more normal. "I would say... oh, at least seven thousand years ago!"

Harry looked shocked. "You're that old?"

"In a manner of speaking," Pim said with a shrug. "I was killed, oh, say..." he briefly consulted the tower's inner clock. "One thousand, four hundred and ninety years ago."

Harry nearly fell over from shock. "Killed?" he whispered. After a beat, he then asked quietly, "Are you a ghost?"

"No, or at least not in the sense which you're undoubtedly thinking of," Pim said casually - or at least as casually as one could say it under these unique circumstances.

"May I ask what happened?" Harry said timidly.

"Eh... let's just say I got into a fight with an old girlfriend," Pim said with a shrug. Harry somehow got the feeling that he was joking, and didn't press the topic.

Actually, that's more-or-less the truth, Pim mused privately.

"If it's not a problem, Harry... may I look into your memories? Since I've been dormant for nearly fifteen hundred years since my death, I'd like to see what's gone on in the world since then."

"Go... into my memories?" Harry repeated uncertainly.

"Oh, it won't hurt... I'll just be looking through that which has already happened, as you have witnessed things. Tell me, Harry, would you consider yourself to be a decent student?"

"Sure," Harry said, shrugging. "I work hard and read a lot at school..." (However, Harry wasn't entirely sure about his real grades, as he had never seen them to know for himself.)

"Very well, then, Harry," Pim said. "Just a moment..."

The next moment, silver-white mist came up out of the floor and began to circle around Harry in a sort of helix. Soon enough, he was surrounded by this strange mist every which way he looked.

And then the next moment, the memories began.

At first, Pim began sorting through Harry's memories of him learning lessons in his classes or reading information from library books.

The first thing which Pim did was commit to memory the calendar used in this new world. Doing some quick calculations, Pim estimated that his magic was first revealed and accidental immortality first achieved approximately 5500 B.C., the Hebrews escaped from Egypt approximately 1250 B.C., Alexander (or "Alexander the Great," as he was now called) died in 306 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., the Roman Empire finally collapsed in 476 A.D., and Pim himself had been killed by Amu in 500 A.D.

But then Pim delved into this knowledge of everything which had happened since then, and he saw some things which had truly amazed and yet horrified him.

Europe had fallen into what was known as the "Middle Ages" or "Dark Ages"... somewhere in Asia Minor (now known as the Middle East or Near East), a new religion known as "Islam" began to develop, which had ties to Judaism and Christianity... then Europe rose again and flourished in a period known as the Renaissance, when brilliant thinkers began to rediscover knowledge which had not been used since ancient Greece or Rome... the continents later known as North America and South America (named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci), which would be explored and later be conquered, piece by piece over the centuries, by European explorers and colonists... the Age of Enlightenment... new countries and nations rising in the Americas, the first true democracies since Greece and Rome... the Industrial Revolution...

And then came the twentieth century, perhaps the most turbulent century of all in human history so far... humans achieving the power of flight, which was improved upon over time... the two brutal and devastating "world wars" during the first half of the century, which included such horrors as the Holocaust and the use of the atomic bomb... the races to get into space and reach the moon first... actually landing on the moon... civil rights movements... developments in machines called "television" and "computers"...

Pim was snapped out of his amazed reverie by Harry's pleas for him to stop. He withdrew from the young boy's mind, and Harry stood there, looking and feeling a little dizzy.

"I'm very sorry about that, Harry," he said apologetically. "I suppose I got kind of carried away there..."

"I'll say," Harry said dizzily, closing his eyes to help straighten himself out.

"We can discuss the past fifteen centuries' worth of history another time," Pim said, changing topics now. "Why don't I show you the rest of the tower?"

"Sure thing," Harry said, getting over the rest of his dizziness.

Harry followed Pim out of this room, with its wooden floor, stone walls and beautiful furniture. They were now in a small, circular hallway which had doorways in it to five other rooms just like Harry's. In the center was the central column which helped support the entire tower, around which there was a not-so-narrow but somewhat-steep spiral staircase.

The next level down was where the baths and toiletries were located ("Very convenient, seeing as they're on the floor just underneath the bedrooms," Pim told Harry).

However, Pim then directed Harry to what looked like a small circular room within the room itself. There appeared to be a doorway within that. "Wave your hand over the small red gem on the surface on the side, Harry," Pim told him. Harry did so, and the doors opened up. Just like an elevator, Harry thought to himself.

On the opposite "wall" of the circular "elevator" was a diagram of the tower itself, with soft glowing lights for all of the levels, from the ground level to the level they were on with all the baths.

"Push a light, and you'll be transported to that level," Pim instructed Harry. "Take us to the ground floor."

Harry did so, and after a moment (during which Harry thought he felt a small, tingling sensation), the doors opened up... to reveal a completely different room.

This room had big main doors, nearly as tall as the ceiling itself (which was ten feet high). There were chairs, tables, and other pieces of furniture scattered all around, plus what appeared to be a coat rack here or there. Also placed throughout were relics from bygone eras, notably those from Egypt, Greece and Rome. There were wall-paintings and bas-reliefs, pots and plates, busts and sculptures, murals and mosaics...

However, Harry then noticed something else. Just before, when he was on the upper level of the tower with its rooms, he was facing north. Now, however, judging by the sun's position, he was facing south.

"That... thing we were just in," Harry addressed Pim. "That's not a normal elevator, is it?"

Pim took a moment to figure out what Harry was talking before he realized as he remembered his foray into the boy's memories. "No, not in the sense you're thinking of," Pim explained. "Unlike non-magical elevators, this does not go in a straight line up and down a shaft. This actually teleports its occupants from one level of the tower to another, regardless of where the terminal is on any given level. I call it a /Transcamera/."

"Ah, that's rather neat."

Pim smiled and nodded. "Indeed."

Pim allowed Harry to look around for a few moments at all the different wonders which would make museum curators, archeologists, and all kinds of history buffs drool with anticipation and excitement.

Harry stopped at a mural which was several feet long, which depicted two armies in battle.

"Hey, I think I've seen this somewhere before! Or at least something like it..." Harry took a few moments, but finally remembered what it was. "One time, when I was browsing through books in my school's library, I saw a reproduction of a mosaic just like this... and it's known as the Alexander mosaic! It shows the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C."

"Really?" Pim asked, intrigued at this boy's knowledge. "May I ask what it was?"

"Oh, they found this mosaic in Pompeii, except a few small chunks of it were missing. It's now in a museum in Naples, in Italy. But this," Harry gestured to it, "this is amazing... not to mention complete!"

Harry continued to look around at the various relics, which included sets of jewelry, weapons and armor, pots and other vessels...

"Come," said Pim. "Let us see the rest of the tower."

Knowing he would have time to look at the rest later, Harry followed Pim up the stairs to the other levels of the house, starting with the first floor above the ground.

The first floor was the library. It was filled, not so much with books, but very old scrolls, and even tablets. Written in different dialects of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Latin, as well as some documents in older forms of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Arabic, they filled every conceivable nook and cranny of the room. In the center was a table with a lamp, which actually had more space than it looked from where Harry was standing, towards the edge of the room.

The second floor was one of the laboratories, where new spells and potions could be invented or developed. There were also protective barriers at various places in the room, made with stone or wood, but also reinforced by magic itself. According to Pim, the area could also be used for dueling practice, and there were even some automatons which could help with that purpose.

The third floor was an upper level to the library, and so the two levels were also connected by their own special staircase.

The fourth floor was another one of the laboratories, but this one was for various animals, both magical and non-magical. However, all the cages were empty, but that was no surprise, since there had been no creatures to raise and look after for the better part of the last fifteen hundred years.

The fifth floor was a laboratory nearly identical to that of the one below it, except this one was meant for plants and fungi. Again, with nothing to keep or tend to for the past fifteen hundred years, it was currently empty.

The sixth floor was a massive storage room filled with potions, weapons, furniture, and some other devices the likes of which Harry had never seen or ever could have imagined before. And unless his eyes were deceiving him, there was also treasure in a few chests, with things like gold and jewels.

However, the seventh floor was completely empty.

So was the eighth floor.

And the ninth floor.

And the tenth floor.

However, the eleventh floor was the floor on which Harry and Pim got into the transcamera, with the baths and other recreational purposes, which was where they started the tour before entering the Transcamera.

"And, as you recall, the floor above us - the twelfth floor - is the area with the bedrooms where you woke up," Pim concluded. "However, just in case you were wondering, the Transcamera does not go up there simply because there was no room left, and it is just as well, because it might disturb a person's privacy if the Transcamera went up there. So, this floor is the highest it can go up to with the Transcamera, but not the stairs."

"If you don't mind me asking, Pim," Harry said, "Why are some of the floors in this tower empty?"

"Well, I wanted to plan ahead and make sure I had some extra room, just in case," Pim explained. "However... I got killed before I could really do anything with them. But on the plus side, at least now I have some spare room."

Pim led Harry back up to the room which the young boy had woken up in, and asked him to sit down.

"Now, Harry," Pim said, "I want to talk you about something."

Harry nodded to show that he was listening and paying attention.

"I built this tower because I wanted to provide a place of refuge for young wizards who were not only worthy of being here, but also those who needed to come here, in that they needed to escape from somewhere and take refuge here. You have the potential to be a great wizard, Harry. If you accept my invitation, you can stay here as a ward, and this will become your new home. But first of all... can you think of anywhere else you can go to? Any relatives, perhaps?"

Harry shook his head. "No... I don't know anything about any other relatives I might have. Whenever I asked... Aunt Petunia told me not to ask questions."

Pim nodded gravely, inwardly cursing that foolish woman and her equally foolish family. He had seen enough abuse from some families in the past... even though, in different times in places, there were different definitions of what constituted discipline and what constituted abuse.

"Also," Harry added quietly, "I'm sorry, Pim, but I think you might be mistaken. I don't think I can be such a great wizard."

"May I ask why you feel that way?" Pim asked politely.

"The Dursleys... well... how come I wasn't just able to use magic?" Harry asked.

"Magic, like any other talent, is something which someone is born with," Pim explained, both factually and philosophically. "However, like any other talent, one is not born with the knowledge of how to use it. But sometimes, people accidentally discover their talents..."

Something about Pim's words triggered memories deep within Harry. There was the time he accidentally found himself on the roof of the school... the time he accidentally turned his teacher's hair blue... the time he re-grew his hair after Aunt Petunia gave him that horrible "hair cut," if it could be called that...

"So, things involving accidental magic have happened before?" Pim asked, judging the look on Harry's face.

"Yes, I suppose they have," Harry said slowly. "But I don't know about having 'the potential to be a great wizard,' as you put it."

"You may not be all that powerful at the moment, but like your physical body, your magic will also grow in time," Pim reassured him.

Something else then occurred to Harry. The Dursleys insistence that he not ask questions... how they reacted to whenever he accidentally did any magic... how they seemed to hate the idea of anything not acting as it should...

"I just realized something," Harry said, shocked. "The Dursleys... or at least my aunt and uncle... they knew about magic. Oh my God... that's why they... they..."

"Were mean to you?" Pim supplied.

Harry looked a little ill and sat down on the ground, shocked. "Because of me... they acted that way because of /me/..."

Hugging his knees to his chest, he muttered to himself, "I don't think I like magic very much..."

"Harry!" came a sharp rebuke. The boy immediately flinched, and after Pim realized his mistake, he quickly corrected his approach. "Harry," he said more softly. "Please, look at me."

Harry slowly looked up, to see Pim looking concerned, as well as sympathetic.

"Harry... what happened between you and your disgraceful relatives was not your fault/. They were dishonest with you from the start about you and what you were capable of. They hated and feared magic so much that, for whatever reason, they tried to get you to stop doing magic without telling you, which would have let you know that magic existed. You are not to blame, Harry, but they are. They were wrong to try and punish you for having to live with them, using /your magic as justification for their actions. You are not and were not the instigator of all the ills in their life. And the fact that you have magic and they do not is no excuse for them to 'punish' you."

Harry didn't look very convinced. "I still helped kill Aunt Marge's dog... wouldn't that make them right about me using magic to ruin their lives? Okay, so that bulldog was mean, I admit it, but still..."

It was a good thing that Pim had more self-control, otherwise he would have been spluttering in outrage and disbelief at the notion. Calmly, he said, "First of all, the fact that you show remorse, even for that horrible dog, shows that you are not some heartless murderer. Again, your use of magic was /accidental/, not deliberate. And on top of that, you were merely trying to defend yourself, /as your horrible relatives stood by and watched, and actually encouraged that dog to attack you/. What you did was certainly justifiable."

Pim was strongly reminded of that incident in the cave, thousands of years ago, where that beast - he still didn't know what kind of creature it was - had attacked him, even though he was only seeking water for his own survival.

"Even I have had to defend myself against terrible beasts whose only goal was to harm or even kill me," Pim added. "Do not let it bother you, Harry. They had the opportunity to call it off and stop that dog, but they did not. It was entirely their fault, not yours."

Harry felt somewhat better after listening to Pim more-or-less exonerate him of that incident.

"Thank you," he said quietly.

"You are most certainly welcome," Pim said with an encouraging smile. "So... will you accept my offer? I will do my absolute best to raise, protect and train you. I will be your guardian... perhaps not in the legal sense which you might be thinking of, but certainly in the literal sense. I don't have all that many rules, and I can tell that you're not the troublemaking kind of brat who could destroy things. Basically, my most important rule is that you don't just go wandering away from this tower and its grounds, especially not without my permission. This would be for your own safety, and the secrecy of this place."

"That's it?" Harry asked. "You really don't want anything else from me in return?"

Pim suddenly remembered the main reason he merged his soul with his tower in the first place: Just in case Amu ever returned.

"Well, you can stick around and train to help me finish off the disembodied spirit of this evil witch who might still be around after all these centuries... oh, and by the way, did you know she was the one who managed to kill me in the first place?"

Even within Pim's mind, that sounded stupid.

Hopefully, I will be able to tell him about Amu/, he thought to himself. /Just not today. Besides, I don't know for a fact that she's even still around. So do I really need to worry Harry about her?

"No, apart from abiding by my rules and being a diligent student, you need not do anything for me in return," Pim said. "Although if you could help me catch up on what's been happening in the world since I died and such, that would be nice.

"So... will you accept my offer?"

Harry took a few moments to think about it. He wasn't being pressured or bullied into a decision, which was good... he really didn't have anywhere else to go... and this seemed like one of the best opportunities he would ever have.

How could he refuse?

"Deal," Harry said at last. He then moved to shake Pim's hand... except his hand went right through that of the tower's master.

"This is not my physical body, Harry," Pim explained, "although it does still exist, to be sure. In a sense, I am alive, but now merged with this tower, my home... but I will always be here."

"Thank you," Harry said happily. Pim could even see small glimmers of both hope and happiness appear in those emerald green eyes.

"It is settled, then," Pim announced. "I, Pim, will be the guardian to you, Harry Potter."

"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Harry rambled gratefully, and Pim could sense some of that lost childlike wonder and innocence return to him.

"You are most certainly welcome," Pim said with a chuckle. "Now... would you like some breakfast?"

Harry's first thought was to ask where the kitchen was so he could make breakfast, but Pim then added, "Please, let me do it. You've acted like their slave long enough. Indulge yourself for a change."

Harry shrugged as if to say "okay." "In the meantime, Galatea has some clothes which might fit you," Pim told him. "Why don't you go see what she has?"

Harry nodded and bounded off to find Pim's "robot."

I like this boy already, Pim mused to himself. Besides, he's already a lot better than that one brat in Greece who tried to smash an amphora over my head.

"Well, it's not much for now, but hopefully we'll be able to make something better," Pim said as Harry tried out the clothes in his room. Harry was dressed in a Roman toga, and it showed just how skinny and small he really was.

Maybe I'll slip some growth potion into his food... you know, just to have him as big and tall as he should be, Pim thought. But then again, honesty is the best policy, and we have to start somewhere.

"Say, Harry," Pim then said, "I was thinking... you're a little small for your age... but I was just wondering if you would like to change that."

Harry stared at Pim. "You can do that?" he asked, amazed.

"Fortunately, yes," Pim said. "Magic can't do everything and anything you could possibly think of, but fortunately, this is one of them."

The next moment, the silver-white mist returned, rising up around Harry and flying around him like a multitude of spirits...

"I am not going into your memory again," Pim said, "I'm just going to magically observe your body... to try and figure out how tall you should be."

Because the Dursleys neglected you and caused your malnutrition, he mentally added but wisely did not say aloud.

Pim could then see, through his own unique magic, the inner working of Harry's body. He could see the boy's heart beating, his breath moving in and out, the synapses of his brain firing...

Some ancient physicians probably would have killed for an opportunity like this, Pim mused.

And a few moments later, Pim was done. Although he didn't show it, he was horrified by how short and small the boy was. He needed lots of nutrients, such as calcium for his bones, and Vitamin C for his immune system.

"Okay, I think I see what the problem is," Pim said at last. "Please wait here, while I get some food for you."

Pim took a few steps towards the door, and then stopped as though realizing something. "Right, of course," he muttered to himself; the next moment, he simply vanished into thin air.

A few moments later, a modest wooden table appeared in front of Harry so suddenly that he thought it had popped out of the ground. A ceramic plate then appeared on it, as well as a clay cup and a clay jug. After that, the food appeared: An apple, an orange, two eggs, a chunk of cheese and a slice of bread all suddenly materialized on the plate, and the jug filled itself with water.

"Eat and enjoy," Pim said with a smile as he briefly reappeared. "While you're doing that, I will work on a way to help you."

After he disappeared again, Harry looked down at his food. While the logical side of his mind told him that it was a perfectly acceptable amount of food for a human being to eat for the first and most important meal of the day, he was just too used to eating too little to eat this much.

However, after he realized that he might be acting rude towards Pim for not eating it all, not to mention possibly disobeying his orders, Harry started eating.

Harry didn't know where Pim might have gotten the food, but he didn't complain. Actually, once he took the first step and began eating, he thought less about how much he had to eat. Before he knew it, it was all gone, and he was washing it down with a cup of water.

As if on cue, Pim returned, a small vial of some potion magically floating behind him, seeing as he couldn't physically hold objects. "Good breakfast, Harry?" he asked.

"Yes, it was delicious, thank you," Harry said, gratefully and truthfully.

"Very well, then. I have just what you need." The floating vial of whatever it was bobbed up and down. "Catch," Pim said, and the next moment, it sailed in an arc towards Harry, who quickly and instinctively caught it.

"Drink it up."

Harry uncorked it, but a second later, when he caught a whiff of it, he immediately held it at arm's length, and pinched his nose with the other hand. "What is this?" he asked, with his voice slightly distorted from holding his nose.

"The potion which will make you as tall as you should be, and bring you up to speed with your growth."

Harry sighed. "Thanks." He then muttered to himself, "I swear, there must be some sort of inverse relationship between how good something tastes and how healthy it is for you..."

Pim chuckled softly as Harry held his nose and drank it down. It left a bad taste in his mouth, and an even worse aftertaste. It was all he could do not to vomit after he had completely swallowed all of it.

After Harry waited for a few moments, trying to think about anything other than the unpleasant aftertaste of that potion, he felt something within him...

It felt like it was getting warmer inside his body... but then it got hotter... it almost felt as though he was on fire!

He gripped the table, trying to focus on anything other than this pain... he yelled out, "ARGH! WHAT'S GOING ON!?"

Finally, after a moment which felt more like an hour, the pain stopped and the sensations subsided. Harry breathed in and out, trying to calm himself. "What was that?" he gasped.

"Sorry about that," Pim apologized. "I think perhaps I should have warned you..."

Harry bit back a sarcastic retort, instead opting to say nothing.

Looking up, he then noticed something.

Just minutes before, as Harry was eating his breakfast, he could just barely see over the edge of the table; now, however, he could see over a it a little bit more.

"Did it work?" he asked Pim.

After looking at Harry closely, he said, "Yes, you appear to have grown a few inches... maybe more."

Harry smiled, starting to forget the painful effects of the potion. "Thanks!"

He got out of his chair, but then he looked down to see that the hem of the toga, which went down to about his ankles, was now somewhere between his ankles and his knees.

"I think now would be a good time to get you some new clothes, Harry," Pim observed. "Excuse me for a moment."

With that, Pim vanished from sight again. The next moment, however, clothes began to appear. Long-sleeved shirts, short-sleeved shirts, pants, shorts, socks, and underwear seemed to rain down in small piles out of the ceiling.

Well, I think I got the design, material and size correct, Pim thought to himself. Oh, and before I forget...

A pair of trainers, a pair of sandals, a belt, a scarf, and a cloak appeared in their own separate little pile.

"Well, I think that should be enough for now," Pim said as his image reappeared.

"Thank you," Harry said, amazed, as he inspected the clothing. It felt perfectly brand-new, with no indicator that it had even been used before. "Thank you very much."

"It was really no problem, Harry. Let's put these clothes away."

After that was done, Pim told Harry, "What do you say we go outside? It's a lovely spring day."

Harry nodded. "I would like that a lot."

"There is magic keeping this tower hidden, invisible, and this extends for some area around the tower itself, so you are not suddenly visible the moment you step out the door."

Harry then realized something else. "But if there are other people around... they might suddenly notice me pop out of nowhere, and wonder where I am came from..."

"Precisely, Harry. That is why I will help you stay invisible, even outside of the tower and its grounds."

Galatea then walked in, bearing in her arms what looked like a silvery bundle of cloth. With a smile and a nod, she proffered it to Harry.

Harry observed it as he accepted it from Galatea with a "thank you." It was hard to describe... it almost felt like water woven into thread.

"Try it on," Pim said to him. "It is a cloak."

Harry put the cloak, like so. However, he looked down the next moment... and saw himself gone.

"Whoa!" he exclaimed, nearly jumping up into the air. "Where'd I go?"

"Oh, you're still where you are physically," Pim smiled. "But that's what happens when you put on an Invisibility Cloak."

"An Invisibility Cloak?" Harry repeated incredulously. "Wow..."

"Now, come with me, and we can go outside together."

Harry followed Pim down the stairs to the next floor, and then took the Transcamera to the ground floor. He also had to take great care not to accidentally trip over himself as he moved about, clad in the Invisibility Cloak.

As the front doors opened on Pim's silent command, Harry asked, "By the way... does this place have a name?"

"Why yes, as a matter of fact, it does," Pim said happily. "The Tower of Pime!"

Underneath the invisibility cloak, Harry repeated dubiously, "The Tower of Pime?"

"Eh," Pim shrugged, "In the years after the collapse of the Roman Empire, people knew me as 'Pime,' rather than 'Pim.' There was this one family in particular which did not live far from here... they were a strange and eccentric bunch, and tried to convince everyone else around about a 'Tower of Pime' which existed around here. But no one else was really interested in it, and so from what I can tell, 'The Tower of Pime' remained so obscure that it didn't even go down through history as myth or legend!"

"Wow," Harry commented. "Good for you and the secrecy of your tower."


"Still... ever consider renaming it?"

"No... I figure, what's the point? No one else is supposed to know about its existence anyway, so as long as the name of this tower isn't something stupid or ridiculous, what does it matter? I believe it was your Bard who said in his 'rewrite' of Pyramus and Thisbe who said that 'a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet.' Granted, we're not talking about flowers and fragrances here, but still..."

"Don't worry, Pim, I see your point," Harry reassured him.

"Thank you. Now, let us go outside..."

Harry stepped out into the bright sunlight, which came down from a cornflower blue sky with fluffy white clouds, into the valley with its lush green slopes.

"This is a beautiful place," Harry breathed. "You certainly chose this place well, Pim."

"Why, thank you," Pim said, standing next to him, although not in the literal sense. "I actually started building this place about two thousand years ago, but back then, it was something like a Roman villa. I simply decided to renovate."

"To say the least," Harry said distractedly as he looked up the tower, beginning to comprehend just how big and tall it was.

After a moment, he looked back at Pim and asked, "How do you stop other people from finding out about this place?"

"Well, for the most part, Muggles - that is to say, non-magical folk - do not notice magical structures or beings. I have used the same anti-Muggle spells to keep them away... but as for witches and wizards who would naturally see the tower, I've used special magic of my own so that the tower will not reveal itself to anyone it does not recognize. I have already made it so that it accepts you, Harry."

"Right. Also, would they be able to hear us from inside the grounds?"

"No. We are also inaudible, as well as invisible. But once you cross beyond the barrier, it will no longer be the case, so you might stay quiet from underneath the Invisibility Cloak."

"Thanks. How will I know this barrier when I see it?"

"You can feel it as you cross through it. Don't worry, it's only a light tingling sensation. Here... I will make it visible to you."

A faint golden barrier of light appeared in a giant dome around the tower. Harry turned around to look at the top of the tower again, and as he walked backwards, he could see that the top of the golden barrier was connected to the very tip at the top of the tower, or at least very close to it.

"Now," Pim said, walking across the ground towards him, "If you wish to go out and explore briefly, then by all means do so. But do not take too long."

Harry nodded, and Pim could see him do so, even under the Invisibility Cloak.

Harry turned around again, and walked towards the golden barrier, which helped keep this magical place secret from the rest of the world. Pim was right about there being a tingling feeling as he walked through the barrier, but fortunately, it was not painful.

Turning around again, Harry saw that the tower had completely vanished from site. He was now standing alone, in the middle of a valley, and invisible.

Harry took a quick look around; no one else was around. Quickly taking off the cloak, he put one of his hands through were the barrier was; his arm disappeared up to a point just under his elbow, but a faint ring of golden light surrounded it, and Harry could feel that tingling sensation again.

He quickly withdrew his hand and put on the cloak again, becoming invisible once more. With that, he set off.

Harry walked across fresh green grass, barely making a sound as he walked and looked around. These hills and ridges looked so wonderful in themselves, like a natural artwork which no human artist could ever hope to accomplish. On some ridges, he could see the gray stone intermingle with the green grass, with the gray becoming slightly more prevalent over the green as it went higher up a ridge or hill.

As he continued walking, he could hear what sounded like running water.

That would make sense, he thought to himself. This valley had to have been made by a river or something.

Harry swiftly and quietly moved towards the source of the water, making sure he wasn't too loud. As he drew closer, he could also hear voices.

Doubling his efforts to stay quiet and unnoticed, he crept even closer to the source of these voices. He could see a family of three on vacation; the father was taking food out of a picnic basket while the mother was playing with their son, who looked like he couldn't have been anymore than four years old.

Still, something about them looked familiar...

"I am so glad we could get away for a change," the woman was saying. "Did you hear about what happened back at home?"

"What with that Dursley family a few streets over?" her husband said disdainfully. "So I heard."

Harry nearly fell over but quickly steadied himself. Looking at them closer, he was finally able to recognize them: They were the Evans family, who lived only a few blocks away from the Dursleys. He also recognized their son, Mark, since Dudley tried to chase and bully him once or twice.

"I heard from some people on Privet Drive that Mr. Dursley's sister was visiting, and he brought along this nasty old bulldog called 'Ripper' or something. Those horrid people actually let the dog attack their nephew - in front of the entire street!" Mrs. Evans exclaimed.

Mr. Evans tsked as he shook his head. "That poor boy... why would the Dursleys even take him in to begin with? But then again, they didn't want to let him out of their sight, either. They treated him badly, but didn't let him go... I wonder why?"

"I don't even want to think about it, to be honest," Mrs. Evans replied. "But now that they've shown their true colors in front of the entire neighborhood, the police will be watching them. I heard that lots of people will come forward with complaints against them, now that the chink in the armor has been exposed, so to speak."

"I had the misfortune of running into that Vernon Dursley a few times," Mr. Evans said, sounding like he'd rather not remember it. "Believe me, the less said about him, the better. And let's not forget that nosy wife of his..."

"Or their nasty son?" Mrs. Evans added. "I've heard tales about that boy - Dudley, was it? - and how he bullies children, both at and outside of school, and yet he somehow managed to get away with it all. Fortunately, that awful boy has never been able to harass or hurt Mark."

Their young son, listening to their conversation, piped up at the sound of Dudley's name and his own. "Dudley is a fat, dumb, piggy poopy-head!" he giggled.

Harry had to stifle his own laughter; fortunately, what Mrs. Evans said next covered up the sound of his own stifled laughter.

"Mark!" Mark's mother reprimanded him. "That wasn't very nice..."

"But so true," his father commented. "Top marks for brutal honesty?"

Mrs. Evans shot him a look. "Oh, come on, love," Mr. Evans said, "You have to admit it's almost as though they fatten up that kid on purpose... will probably get his first heart attack before he's old enough to drive."

Mrs. Evans sighed. "I know, dear... but I also just hope that that other boy - Harry Potter, I think his name was - is safe, wherever he is. He always seemed so nice and gentle, too. Probably wouldn't have hurt a fly..."

Harry resisted the urge to snort, considering how he contributed to Ripper's demise, however accidentally and unintentionally.

But at the same time, he was also touched by how this family alone at least suspected that something was wrong with the Dursleys and how they treated him. Who knew how many other families in the area also suspected them?

Just then, he felt something cold and slimy at his ankle. It was a frog!

It must not have seen me under this Invisibility Cloak. Better do something, quick.

Harry slowly bent low, and quietly shooed it away.

"Mummy, daddy, look!" Mark suddenly shouted, pointing in Harry's direction. "I see something!"

Harry was very careful not to move or even make a sound. How had he been seen? Was the cloak not on properly? He couldn't even risk moving to make sure that the Invisibility Cloak was on straight without revealing himself. However, they didn't seem to see him either...

Mr. Evans stood up and looked around, but didn't see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. As he was looking around, Harry could see a map in his hand, with words in both Welsh and English:
Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri
Snowdonia/ National Park/

Harry's eyes widened. He was in /Wales/? In /Snowdonia National Park/, of all places?

How ironic, he thought to himself as he resisted the urge to shake his head. The Dursleys never take me on vacation, and here I am in Snowdonia National Park, where they've never been before.

Finally deciding that it was nothing, Mr. Evans sat back down again. "It's nothing," he concluded. "Sorry, Mark, but it looks as though nothing was there after all."

Harry decided it was time to leave. He quietly turned around and began to walk briskly away, but as he was doing so, Mark giggled, "Bye bye!"

Harry gave a little wave under the Invisibility Cloak and continued walking away. By the time he reached the Tower of Pime again, the Evans family and their talk about the Dursleys was the last thing on his mind.

It was a week or so after Harry first became a resident at the Tower of Pime where he had his first incident, which showed just how much living here would be different from living at the Dursleys.

Harry accidentally knocked over a pot of some kind, and he didn't get a good look at it because the next moment, it fell off its stand and to the floor, where it broke into many pieces.

There was a terrible silence as he realized what just happened. Out of force of habit from when he had to live with the Dursleys, he looked around in a panic and prepared himself for the worst.

Suddenly, Pim came into view. He saw a petrified Harry and a broken pot, and immediately figured out what just happened. However, he had to see something first...

"Harry," he said calmly, "please, do not be scared. I just need you to tell me... what happened?"

"It was an accident, sir," Harry said nervously.

"So you did not mean to break that pot," Pim said, just to clarify.

"Yes, sir."

"You don't need to call me 'sir,' Harry," Pim pointed out. "Although I do like it... makes me feel important or something," he added in an airy tone and appearing thoughtful.

Harry gave out a short, nervous laugh, temporarily forgetting about the situation at hand.

"About that pot, Harry... normally, it's not a good thing when you've broken an ancient and priceless artifact as valuable as that. But fortunately, we have magic at our disposal."

And with that, the pot came back together into one whole piece and flew back onto its spot on the pedestal. In fact, seeing the way Pim did his magic, it almost looked as though the millennia-old wizard has simply reversed time to undo the damage which had been accidentally caused.

"I am certain that you have now learned to be more careful around the pottery and all other artifacts. Have you learned that, Harry?"

"Yes, Pim," Harry said, now sounding more relieved. "Yes I have."

"Very good, Harry. I know full well that it was not some malicious act to cause trouble for me."

"Yes, Pim... also because I wouldn't be able to get you another pot just like it."

Pim then looked as though something had occurred to him. "But I thought you were a potter."

It took a moment before Harry realized Pim's pun. "Oh, I get it now," he said as he began to laugh a little.

Pim smirked. "Very well. I will leave you to it, then. Carry on."

After his image vanished again (Harry and Pim had begun calling it an "avatar"), Harry went back up to the library to read some more.

As spring made its way into summer, Harry resumed his studies, trying to finish off at least some of what he had begun in school that year, but without his books, homework, and teachers to help him out there, he resigned himself to simply doing whatever he could with what he had.

In the process, Harry actually managed to teach Pim a few things, and then some. Most of what he taught Pim had to do with the last fifteen hundred years' worth of history, and what new discoveries and developments had been made in that time, and even then, that came from what Harry remembered of his studies in history, from both inside the classroom and his independent studying outside of that.

Pim also wanted to teach Harry some mythology from Egypt, Greece and Rome, but it also turned out that the boy knew much about it already, especially the Greco-Roman mythologies. Harry even recited many of the various myths for Pim, and he was impressed by what Harry knew (even if the myths he learned were censored versions meant more for children).

In order to keep Harry's mind sharp, Pim taught him things like ancient history, art and architecture, as well as philosophy. Harry was not a fanatical, I-want-to-know-everything kind of student; he had studied a lot during his life with the Dursleys to keep himself busy and to focus on something other than what they were doing to him. Now that he no longer had that kind of harm looming over him again, he could study more at ease.

Sometimes, Pim even used one of the few empty upper levels of the tower to weave together images of the places and times which he himself had been in, millennia ago. It all seemed so real to Harry that he could almost believe that he was actually in an Egyptian marketplace, Greek temple or Roman forum sometime in the past. Pim had such a wealth of detail that any historian or archeologist would have sold his or her soul just to glean half of this information offered to him.

Under Pim's kind tutelage, Harry grew physically, mentally, and emotionally. Slowly, that shell which he used to protect himself, which was formed from his experiences with the Dursleys, was falling apart, bit by bit. As spring turned more and more into summer, Harry began to enjoy playing outside more and more, under the protective barrier of the tower.

On his birthday, Harry woke up, just considering it to be like any other day, and nothing special. However, he was certainly in for a surprise.

After breakfast, Pim came up to him, smiling, and said, "Happy Birthday, Harry. I have something for you."

Harry blushed and ducked his head. "Oh, please, this isn't necessary, Pim..."

"I beg to differ, Harry. I have been making sure for months now that I would have something special for you. For the past few months, I have been making sure that you were healthy enough to handle it."

"Handle what?"

"Basic magic."

Harry gaped for a moment. Pim chuckled. "I did tell you that I would raise and train you, Harry."

"Right, I remember that."

"And I have the means to do so."

Galatea then walked in, bearing a magical staff.

"I made this a long time ago, along with a few other staffs, just in case," Pim explained as Galatea knelt and offered it to Harry. "I think it was about time one of them was put to good use, and that you finally had the means to exercise your magical power."

Pim had explained to Harry sometime ago that all wizards and witches, except for the occasional and extremely rare one among them, needed something like a staff to help manifest their magic to perform the magic spells which they wanted.

"Thank you," Harry said as he accepted the staff from Galatea. She smiled and nodded as she stepped back.

As Harry observed the staff in his hands, he noticed that it was kind of heavy. He looked up to Pim to ask him something, but Pim spoke first. "It was meant more for full-grown magic-users, but in your case, I can adjust it so it will feel lighter for you but still keep its weight and be able to have the same effect."

"Thanks again," Harry said, looking at it and turning it over in his hands.

"I'll start giving you magic lessons tomorrow," Pim told him, "but for today... I can show you how to fight with a staff, if you wish."

Harry nodded eagerly. "Just let me get cleaned up first."

A few minutes later, Harry held his staff. He waved it up and down, swung it around... he could see how Pim did not make it feather-light, but adjusted its weight accordingly so he would have to manage with the actual weight.

Just then, another staff like Harry's came floating into the room before stopping, where it floated in mid-air. Pim's avatar appeared, with the appearance of him holding the other staff.

"Very well... let us begin."

A few hours later, after Harry was worn out and tired, Pim said, "That is enough for today. Rest now. We will continue with your staff combat lessons next week."

It was the first time Harry could recall getting anything decent for his birthday - after all, his parents had to have had a party or something with him when he turned one year old - and while Harry did not have a huge party with lots of friends, loads of gifts and some special entertainment, it was still the best birthday he ever had.

Summer continued on, with Harry learning more and more under Pim's tutelage. At Pim's suggestion, Harry decided to learn one of the ancient languages from one of the situations which Pim had lived through. Both of them agreed that he should learn Latin, since it was probably one of the easier languages, compared to ancient Greek and such, and because out of all those older civilizations, Rome had been the most recent.

Harry knew some Latin root words, and while Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian and a few other languages were classified as Romance (Latin-descended) languages, so was English, to an extent, because of how at least half the vocabulary in the English language came from Latin words. He also knew about the verbs in those Romance languages having /conjugations/. However, he was quite surprised with how Latin nouns had /declensions/, and so it took a little while for him to get the hang of that. There was also the issue about how word order was somewhat more lax than it was in English, with the same sentence able to be written a few different ways with its words in a different order.

Harry also figured that Latin might not be such a problem, since practically no one spoke Latin to each other anymore and it was mostly a dead language, but then there was Pim's insistence that he also learn how to speak it as though it were still a fully-living language.

Once he had learned enough Latin, Harry was able to make his own phrase to express some of the frustration he was feeling about his Latin lessons. "Si hic continuabit, ulalabo," he said aloud one day in a deadpan voice. ("If this continues, I shall scream.")

Pim merely laughed uproariously at that.

Soon enough, summer turned into autumn, and yet Harry still continued with his exercise outside but within the tower's grounds, now wearing heavier and more appropriate clothing for the season.

Otherwise, life continued as before. Harry did not feel the need to get out of the Tower of Pime and beyond its property, and soon enough, he thought he figured out why: He had been a virtual prisoner and slave at the Dursleys' house, but here, he was a guest and a resident, and the ward of Pim.

Lately, Pim observed how Harry had become happier and better and expressing himself. Pim learned how in more recent times, Muggles had something called "art therapy," where a person created images to help them express themselves and what they were feeling; however, he had no papyrus, paper, ink, charcoal, or such supplies for such a thing. So, the tower-bound wizard created a big sandbox for Harry, in which his young apprentice would simply draw or sketch images in the sand.

Pim had been a little worried at first that Harry was secretly hoping to take revenge on the Dursleys, especially after seeing one doodle of Harry's, in which it depicted Number Four, Privet Drive in a huge pile of rubble with smoke rising up from it.

"Harry," he said late one autumn afternoon, after Harry was coming back into the castle to be back before sunset, "there is something I wish to ask you... except I am not quite sure how I should ask you."

Harry noticed Pim's cautious attitude and went along with it. "You can ask me, Pim," he said respectfully.

"Harry," he said delicately, "have you ever thought about what might happen or what you would do if you ever happened upon your relatives again?"

Harry looked at his guardian, surprised. "What makes you ask that?" he asked, truly surprised.

"I remember the other day, when you started to do some freelance drawing in that sandbox, one of the first things you drew was your former home -" Pim then saw Harry flinch at the word "home" and realized he may have used the wrong word "- I apologize, your relatives' home, reduced to a big pile of debris." After a pause, he asked, "May I ask what prompted you to draw that?"

There was no suspicion in Pim's voice, but Harry could see where he was going with this. "I don't know, Pim. I remembered I had some sort of dream where their house collapsed for some reason, I don't know why. I guess I must have drawn it subconsciously..."

"Well, that explains that. But back to my original question... what would you do, if you just happened to run into them again?"

Harry shrugged. "I don't know... avoid them, I guess. I can't really say I want to see them again, for whatever reason."

"But you would not hurt them? Use your magic to punish them, make them suffer?"

"No!" Harry shouted, starting to sound very irritated. "I'm not like them, okay!?"

"Harry, please, I'm sorry," Pim said. "I was not implying that you were like them. I was merely concerned that... well, that you might be tempted to take advantage of your magical talents, such as for using them for hurting the Dursleys."

Harry looked at Pim, still a little incensed that he should be compared to those awful relatives of his.

"Harry... I do not doubt you are a noble young man, and a far cry from your relatives. But please understand... sometimes, without even meaning to, we as human beings can get carried away with things, and end up causing more damage than we realize. Also, we can sometimes despise other people for who they are or what they have done, but then get to a point where we become no better than they are, making for a vicious cycle. I am looking out for you for your benefit, Harry, as your guardian, and I do not want to see you fall into some pit of anger and vengeance."

Harry's demeanor softened as Pim softly defended himself.

"Long, long ago," Pim continued, "I found a tribe of non-magical people who had been all killed by a vengeful young witch. She had discovered her magical powers quite by accident, and so they all became afraid of her. Angry that she should be treated such a way, like an outcast, she decided to use her magic to make them suffer." He paused, remembering the painful memories of Amu's ingratitude for saving his life, her massacre of their tribe, and her painful revelation to him millennia after that. "Oh, she was long gone by the time I came upon the scene, but I saw what she did to them.

"Please, Harry...I do not mean to show you any disrespect or mistrust in my questions. But I... well..."

"You don't want the same thing happening again," Harry said quietly. "I understand."

"Please accept my apologies, Harry."

"No need, Pim," he said gently. "Oh, and to completely answer your question: No, I would not deliberately seek out the Dursleys and use my magic to make them suffer for what they did to me."

"That's a good boy, Harry," Pim said with a smile.

I have many thousands of years of teaching experience, and I have taught thousands of people, Pim thought, but I am beginning to think that this boy may just be the best student I have ever had...

However, Harry was not always a perfect little student, either. Even he occasionally got into trouble of his own accord.

It was during one of the last days of November, and snow was coming down hard; it had snowed a lot last night, and it now was still snowing, albeit more gently.

"Well, this is /Snow/-donia National Park," he muttered to himself as he looked out the window for a moment before turning back to what he was doing.

For a brief time, before Pim had magically whisked him away from the Dursleys, Harry read through books on the Japanese art of origami, the folding of sheets of paper into shapes resembling animals, flowers and other things. He also managed to take notes on it, and kept them safely hidden.

Now, Harry was trying to make a paper crane out of a sheet of gray paper which Pim had supplied him with.

Just a few more steps, and... done!

A gray paper crane, roughly the size of his own hand, now sat on the table in front of him.

Harry smiled, and then thought of something else.

I wonder if I could use magic to make it fly...?

He crossed his room to get his staff, and when he returned, he tried to use one of the basic levitation spells which Pim had just taught him. But at the same time, he was wondering, what if he could also make it fly?

Harry didn't know exactly what happened next, but he guessed that somehow, his thoughts about making it fly, and not just levitate, somehow interfered with the spell he was casting on his origami crane. Whatever happened, it caused the crane to suddenly come to life and fly around madly, zooming all over Harry's room.

It then whizzed within an inch of his face, and he thought about something else: What if he could get a nasty paper cut from this?

As his accidentally-animated crane came around for another pass, he accidentally stumbled back against the window, knocking it open. Harry quickly moved forward again as cold air began to seep into the room. Sensing an escape, the paper crane zoomed out the window and into the falling snow.

In the distance, Harry could have sworn he saw a flash of gold as it penetrated the barrier. A moment later, he realized something else: What if someone found that paper crane which just appeared out of nowhere?

His eyes widened as he realized the ramifications and consequences if someone found his suddenly-appearing origami paper crane.

Rushing from his spot, he grabbed his cloak, put on his boots, and went down to the floor beneath that. From there, he took the Transcamera down to the ground floor, rushed to the front doors, went outside, shut them behind him, and took off in the direction of where the crane went.

It was late in the day, and he had about an hour or less before sunset. The snow fell slowly and gently, and it was silent except for the occasional whisper of wind. The white plains of snow were framed by the gray sky, and it was very cold.

After Harry walked through the magical barrier which protected the Tower of Pime in more ways than one, he was on his own. He had to find that thing!

Harry didn't have a watch on him, so he didn't know if he walked for minutes or for hours. He just knew he was walking uphill, trying to find his paper crane against the white snow and gray sky.

It was not long before he realized just how cold it was, and he wished that he could magically keep himself warm somehow. Doing his best to ignore it, he continued on, through the cold and freezing snow. Even though the sun was hidden, he could still tell that it was getting dark and it would be night soon.

Harry was nearly at the top of the ridge when he noticed something gray at his feet. Halting in mid-step, he stopped from taking another step forward and looked down.

It was his paper crane!

Bending down, he gently collected the crane and flattened it out before safely storing it inside his cloak.

Turning around, he began to make his way back down the slope when he saw a familiar small white light rushing up towards him...

The next moment, he found himself back inside the ground level of the Tower of Pime. Standing just a meter away was Pim's avatar, arms crossed and not looking pleased.

"So," he said neutrally, "would you care to explain exactly what you were doing out there?"

Harry took a moment to compose himself. He also took a moment to observe how Pim looked; neither happy, nor angry... but /disappointed/.

"Pim, I... well, the origami crane I made... I somehow accidentally animated it, and it accidentally escaped from my room and flew out, beyond the tower's barrier... and I wanted to get it back before someone discovered it. You know, to prevent anyone from finding out about it..."

"Somehow, I doubt that many people would have been out in this weather, and even less would have found a gray paper crane among all the white snow during the twilight on a cloudy winter day," Pim responded firmly. "Besides, did it not occur to you to simply tell me about your escaped project so I could magically retrieve it myself?"

Harry winced, but Pim continued anyway.

"You violated the rule about wandering away from this tower without my permission," he reminded Harry. "If you like being out in the snow so much, then you can shovel the snow out of the small yard behind the tower tomorrow."

Harry knew he was being punished, and he accepted it. "Yes, sir."

"You may go now." And with that, Pim's avatar disappeared.

Harry trudged sorrowfully back up to his room. Once he returned, he took out the flattened paper crane and put it at the bottom of one of his drawers, not wanting to look at it anymore.

As Harry was doing that, Pim began to realize just how harsh he had been, and how he didn't mean to sound so cold towards his ward.

The next day, as Harry dutifully shoveled all the snow out of the tower's back yard, thinking about some way to try and apologize to Pim to show how sorry he really was, Pim himself contemplated how to try and reconcile with Harry.

It had been sunrise when Harry first got up and went straight down to the back yard without even having breakfast first, and now it was nearly afternoon as he completed his task. He was relieved that he at least got that done, and he walked back to the door, still trying to think of something honest and meaningful to say to Pim about yesterday's events.

To his surprise, Pim's avatar was already waiting for him at the door. Once Harry came back inside and shut the door behind him, Pim spoke up.

"Harry," he began, but then failed to say anything after that. After looking around for a moment, Pim said, "I'm sorry about yesterday."

Harry looked at him incredulously. "What are you apologizing to me for? You didn't do anything wrong, I was the one who broke your rule about leaving the tower..."

"Yes, you did that. However, I probably could have handled that better than I did."

Harry just gaped at him for a moment before he realized what he was doing and straightened himself out.

"Lesson learned, Harry. It's over and done with, but let's not repeat that, either. Now, why don't you come in and warm up, have something hot to eat?"

Harry began to smile again.

Harry and Pim celebrated Christmas together in an unusual way, for either of them; they had a massive snowball fight outside on the grounds, played a bizarre game of hide-and-seek inside the tower (use of the Transcamera and Pim's avatar-abilities prohibited, of course), and they ate whatever delicious foods they could think of and prepare for a wonderful dinner.

Pim also gave Harry something special: At first glance, it looked like a golden coin with a diamond embedded in its center on the front side, with a circle etched around that. On the other side were wavy, sand-like patterns.

"I call this a 'Recaller,'" Pim told Harry. "If you hold it and press your thumb on the diamond in its center, it should 'recall' you back here, to the tower. I'll see if I can put new spells on it, but in the meantime, just try not to lose it."

"Of course, Pim. Thanks again."

As Harry went to sleep that night, he smiled, happy for all these positive changes in his life.

As the snows stopped coming and the remaining snow melted, heralding the coming and arrival of spring, both Harry and Pim found themselves reflecting on this year of change for both of them.

Pim marveled at how Harry was able to learn so much and mature while still keep some of his childlike wonder and innocence; meanwhile, Harry was amazed at how Pim was able to be a tough yet fair authoritarian figure without being so brutal like the Dursleys were.

And so, a year after Harry came to the Tower of Pime, Harry decided about asking Pim something.


"Yes, Harry?"

"I was wondering... I've been here for a year now, and I really haven't gone anywhere else other than this valley, let alone this tower and its grounds. So, I was wondering..."

"I am listening, Harry."

"Is it okay if I go to this zoo I've been to before? I remember one time when I was in school, we went there to learn about the animals... although I spent most of the time trying to learn new ways to avoid Dudley and his gang..."

Here, Pim noticed how some of the light in Harry's eyes seemed to dim a little as he recalled his horrid life with the Dursleys. Even though Harry was now a handsome and healthy ten-year-old boy, and a far cry from the terrified and malnourished nine-year-old boy which first came here, there was still that tiny vestige of painful memories from his old lifestyle.

"Anyway... is it acceptable if I go there? Just for the day."

Pim was thinking it over. Most of the time, Harry just stayed within the boundaries of the tower, even then within the tower itself. But aside from Pim's rule of where or where not to go, it was also because there was truly nowhere else which Harry wanted to go to, and was perfectly happy and content to stay within the Tower of Pime itself.

"Well," Pim said at last, "I was planning to inspect something about the tower today... I suppose you could call it a 'diagnostic.' So, if you truly want to go, you will have to be able to manage for a whole day, until around sunset. I could use my powers to magically transport you there via those small lights which you are so familiar with, but after that, the only way you could return home is with the Recaller."

"I understand," Harry nodded seriously.

"Very well, then. Make sure you have everything you need, including the Recaller, and come back down here."

Harry did as Pim suggested, and soon enough, he was ready to go.

"Stay safe, and have fun," Pim wished Harry by means of farewell as his avatar vanished.

"Thanks, Pim," Harry replied, knowing that Pim could still hear him.

Harry smiled to himself. Unseen, Pim also smiled.

It had been a good year after all.

A/N: Sorry, but it looks as though the Dursleys will finally be dealt with next chapter. I had to split it up between the two chapters because it was becoming too big.

Regarding the chapter title... there was a chapter from Kill Bill entitled "The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei." I guess this chapter title might be a joke on that.

I imagined Pim's robes to look like the kind of sandy robes worn by the Abydonians in the original Stargate movie and subsequent SG-1 series, except maybe a little neater and more stylish.

I did the math... If Pim was about 20-25 years old in 5500 B.C., then he was born circa 5520-5525 B.C., and since the year is currently 1990 A.D. and Pim was killed by Amu in 500 A.D., then he's been out of it for 1490 years.

The "elevator" in the Tower of Pime isn't the kind of normal elevator which moves up and down, but is more like the "elevators" in Stargate: Atlantis which teleport the occupants from one section of the city to another (first seen in the episode "Hide and Seek"). The word which I fabricated, transcamera/... /camera is actually the Latin word for "chamber," while trans means "across, through." A fitting name for a chamber which transports anything within it through levels of a tower?

I know that for the most part in Europe, the first floor is not the ground floor but the floor right above that. I decided to go with that in describing the tower's different levels.

The thing with a few of the floors being empty... I bet the readers didn't expect that, but then again, neither did I. I honestly thought I would have enough uses for them. (I wanted to make use of the number twelve for the tower's levels.)

Everything Harry said about the Alexander Mosaic is true, and it does exist. However, while it's debated whether it shows the Battle of Issus in 333 B.C. or the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 B.C. but more likely to be the former, I'm taking the liberty of making it so in this fic, it's definitely the Battle of Issus.

Pim's reference to the Bard, a.k.a. William Shakespeare, and how "a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet," is of course a reference to /Romeo and Juliet/. However, that famous play about those "star-cross'd lovers" was heavily influenced by an ancient Babylonian myth known as /Pyramus and Thisbe/, which Ovid also wrote about in his /Metamorpheses/.

The thing with Mark Evans and his family just suddenly appearing and discussing the Dursleys... that actually just happened as I wrote it. (Maybe we'll see Mark again, I don't know.)

The word "avatar" has been used as far back as the 1980s to describe representations and images in computer and video games, so I figured it could make sense for Harry and Pim to begin using the word for describing Pim's image of himself. The word "avatar" itself is Sanskrit, and in Hindu philosophy, most commonly refers to the incarnation, or bodily manifestation, of a higher being.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed this! You know what to do... review!

/-Quillian, 3/1/07/
(Last edited: 3/16/07)
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