Harry sat alone on a wooden bench, the cold hard ground of the mahagony shelf making his butt almost swell from the constant humidity.
"Oh what a sadness," he lamented "Me! the chosen one, abandoned." Harry said in mock-soliloquy, at this point self-pity was routine. So he lied amid the dusty books on the highest shelf. Making a little dust-angel shaped bell.
Bustling crowds used to be heard from time from time below him, long miles away, but no more. It had been years since he had heard any other person's voice.
So Harry turned upside down and laid his head on his resilient lap, his painted smile expressing all that was wrong with him.
There wasn't much to do in the Minsitry's public records and library. Sometimes though he could watch the birds, flying heavy with parcels and mesages.
The tiny animals gathered together on the shelves, usually the empty ones. But sometimes they throwed away certain books where no one would notice. Then they perched on the bookshelves' edge and waited.
Waiting, they were waiting, Harry noticed after some time from careful watching, for the bookworms.
Tiny little animals, neglected from most grimoires and magical encyclopedias. Magical bookwomrs were tiny little creatures no bigger than a pinky, with a voracious interest on knowledge.
Some theoreticians even said that the owls' wisdom came not from themselves, but from the bookworms that they ate.
Harry peered with his tiny bubble-eyes at them, hiding behind his wooden cover with trepidation.
The owls were watching, with a great degree of attention, barely twitching a muscle.
A hundred feet away a page from an atlas rustled.
And it was on.
One bird zoomed through the aisles, passing between empty magazines and famous diraries, Harry switched sides as the owl went under him, and the owl zipped to the other side.
Harry saw it circle once, twice, thrice, and go back, passing through holes under his shelf.
"Damn it," Harry said. He was missing the action, they were all swirling way to fast, he couldn't turn his body around that quickly.
Soon it was over.
Just a little creature writhed, almost split on a bird's beak, and, died.
From this height Harry could barely distinguish which owl was the one that had got the prize. The even tinier bookworms were harder to see.
"Psst, Hey, hey, buddy, are they gone?" a mysterious voice queried Harry.
"Yes, they are gone," replied Harry to no one.
"Oh, Thank God!" The books said in unison. "We though they would never go away," they said in unison, again.
"Well that's another day free of trouble!" said one of the books. "Tell you what buddy, you can browse me, I won't scream and sic the minsitry on you this time. I will let you even get to the 'darky' parts to celebreate!"
"For a book you sure like to make up words," replied Harry to the book.
"C'mon," exhorted the book.
"Tomorrow, Moste Evil, tomorrow."
The truth was that Harry had just let the scream-free hours offered by the books accumulate. A long time, it had been a long time ago, that Harry just gave up on the subject.
The first months after his transformation were different, he desperately searched for anyone that might help him undo the Dark Lord's curse, anyone that might have done anything.
And one day he came upon this library.
A reject, an outcast from the Dark Lord's world, the muggles had long ago either moved shop or died.
So he had thought that although he would probably never have a human ally again, well maybe the books could help him.
"Hey, Moste Potente Potions."
"You think, you think it's going to rain?"
"Er, no Harry, don't think so." Books, Harry thought, should be good at telling when it was going to rain.
"Okay, that's good then."
But though the books did not hate him, they weren't precisely sympathetic. Every time he tried to open one of the "forbiden" they clammed, harder that you would think. And shouted.
Harry tried to threaten the books, he even tore pages in rage.
"Why?" he had demanded. "Why don't any of you care?"
"I thought someone would."
With those memories tumbling on his head another day was gone.
Thud, thud, thud.
Thud, thud thud.
Great he thought, a visitor.
"Harry," said one of the bookworms.
"What?" he asked.
"Could you throw me and the guys," the representative worm asked, "throw us to one of the the crowded, book-filled shelves? Like you usually do?"
"Alright." Harry accepted.
It was laborious to help the worms to say the least. Harry had to go down, grab the little waiting bookworms, go back up, throw them where they wanted to go, and repeat. They usually had colonies of fifty or so.
If lucky, which wasn't something Harry could count on being, he could get a sunny day, one visible with the eternal always burning orb he liked so much. One where he could remember Hogwarts.
A day in which the books wouldn't annoy him with his old, broken drea—
"What's wrong?" Harry asked a quivering bookworm that refused to move.
"Er, he, nothing Mr. Potter." The worm stammered. "It's just, just…"
"Yes?" asked Harry.
"It's my first day."
"Oh, so you just hatched?" Harry asked.
The tiny worm nodded its jelly-like head.
"Yes, Mister Otter. Oh! Sorry, Mister Potter, I just did." This little bugger reminds me of Dobby, thought Harry.
"Well, you are one of my lasts for the day …" Harry replied.
"Tiftly." The worm said.
"Tiftly, so you can tell me what's wr—"
A nearby torn book creaked open "Li.."
Poor book Harry thought, "You can tell me what's wrong Tif—"
Well that book was feeling talkative.
"As I said, you can tell me what bother—"
"Mister Book, could you please hold on a minute—"
"It's alright Mister Potter!" The worm said.
"It's just, I was scared, but no more, let's just head up, so you can throw me. He he."
Gee, really scaredy worm, more like Ron than Dobby, Harry thought.
Well never mind.
So Harry extended his head and the little worm crawled atop him.
But as he got higher and higher, the bookworm got louder and louder, or considering its size more and more excited.
"Wow, never seen this, so high."
"And the books, so dangerous."
"Yes," said Harry with his sad smile.
"Indeed," said the worm in amazement, moving from shoulder to shoulder, quickly creeping from left to right.
"It's got everything."
"Not everything," corrected a bitter Harry.
"'The Atlas of the seven corners of the World!'," said the worm. "'Voldemort, the man.' 'High Dark Arts for the uninitiated.'"
Tiftly continued to babble and Harry couldn't avoid but to truly smile, on the inside. He now thought of Hermione.
"I had only read three books in my entire life Mister Potter! I wouldn't know what to do with all this information."
"Yeah," said Harry after releasing his teeth from the wood.
"I know, I want to read them all!"
"Yeah," he said again while the worm swerved all over his head.
"Just stop moving so much, you are—"
But it was too late, the little worm was already falling.
"Dammit," Harry said. He moved in practised motion, biting and letting go, biting and letting go, descending with his teeth towards the fallen thing.
"In one place," he said rattled, looked down and paused. "Right?"
"Yes, Mr Potter," replied one of the books, "but the owls can't either."
"What do you me—"
The birds had come, from all over them Ministry. They rushed through the wide windows, pouring into the shelves, emerging from halls, appearing all at once…
Harry looked down at Tiftly, so he hurried as fast as he could.
He didn't take too long to make it to the ground. The little worm was waiting.
And up they climbed again.
"We really have to hurry up." Harry said three-quarters from the ground, quite an amazing speed.
"Ye—" But they had seen them.
Swooping down the birds of wisdom and prey came. Harry dived and covered himself under one of the biggest books.
"Let's just stay here," said Tiftly.
"Shush! We can't Tiftly," he whispered. "The owls are going to smell us, okay?"
And they did.
A barn owl flew towards them, claws extended, beak torn apart.
The book they used as cover was flung by the impact. Harry jumped, the worm had hid inside his mouth, and Harry chomped into the nearest shelf.
"We must hide," said the worm inside of him.
"No!" Harry said, quickly hopping from shelf to shelf, like a amputee practicing parkour; the bird swiflty went behind them.
The avinas could hear them crystal clear, like enchanted arrows they swerved towards them.
Harry could only hope and went higher. With no where else to hide, he crawled with the worm on his chest among the tucked books and missing volumes, coming closer to—
An owl seized onto one of his feet. He felt the lurch in his stomach as he was pulled in. Up, and up—
"No!" Harry shouted.
He bit on the mahogany shelf, and pulled with all his might. Then he rolled and pirouetted, coming to the other shelf's side.
The climb was again on.
"One quarter to go!" He said.
But the bird that had grabbed them went after them, and seized onto his leg, just as harry had taken hold onto the upper, upper edge.
Aloft and aloft they were raised, midway to the mountain-tall ceiling. Harry couldn't even tell were the bookshelves began to cover the marble ground. So indistinguishable from this height they were.
They bird preaped itself to dine.
And Harry again dreamed.
Of the brown forest of written dreams,
One of them books to lie your head in.
He thought, and he heard a voice.
"I am scared," said a worm inside.
"Okay," Harry said, "get ready."
Harry swung and rolled.
He threw himself with all his power and ended on top of the avian, all the other birds carefully watching them.
"Ready?" He asked the worm.
The bird dived, from the East of the library's nave. Other birds flew with them. Other birds flew towards them.
They aproached the center of the building, the fountain at the base.
"I am so—" said the worm.
"I know," Harry said, not truly sad, maybe even happy.
An alliance, the book said. That little clever traitor worm, thought Harry. Selling me for books.
Harry spat the worm, flinging him to safety. The bird he was mounting soared again. And he flew opening his arms like the time he friended the hippogriph.
Will I be normal? Harry worried.
At this moment he and the owl were in the highest point of this nave. The other birds were centered all around him.
The man and his owl were nervous, one from an uncertain afterlife, the other from the present one.
They swept up separating, like the one crow on the swarm that sees the rabbit.
All the mass of birds could only see Harry and the barn owl's back, taking off as they reached towards the very peak of a corbel-like cave.
And on it a falcon slept, seldom seen, the most powerful of them all.
Harry was on a weak joy, but upon seeing the mighty avian of the library he felt elated.
The falcon of the golden eyes then came to them, and on one hundred yards above the ground all of the birds and hawk torn the prey.
Apart they cracked Harry first. And up they grabbed his heart, the one Lord Voldemort gave him.
So on his last moments Harry wondered. He wondered where torn and demented souls lie.
'Cause, I am a Horcrux, he said to himself. A horcrux, an unwilling one.
Will, he thought .Will I, or any of my broken brethren ever see you?