Chapter 9: Second Ritual
“What is this second ritual?” Harry asked.
“Like Sirius said he wanted to keep it a surprise-- said it would be a good gift for your 14th birthday that approaches. Anyways he found a way to remove the dangerous basilisk poison in your vein and to even make it your own.”
“I still do not understand,” Harry said, unable to clearly wrap his head around all this.
“You will when the ritual is completed.” Mrs. Tonks replied. Then suddenly calling out, “Kreacher,” the ancient house-elf appeared in the ritual chamber.
“Kreacher,” Mrs. Tonks repeated, “Take Sirius to his bedroom then find my daughter and Lupin proper living rearrangements.”
Motioning with his head towards the house elf so that he could reinforce the older witch’s order while also uttering to it. “Do as she tells you, Kreacher, no question asked.”
“Yes, Master Harry Potter,” the old house elf rasped and with that he first disappeared with Sirius who was long dozed off then came for Tonks and Lupin to see them safely off to bed.
Turning her gaze towards the young wizard, the mediwitch inquired, “How did you get Kreacher to follow you so well? I thought that I would have to argue back and forth with him.”
“It is a long story,” Harry answered with a sigh, “Maybe I will tell you another time.”
Nodding her head in acknowledgment, the mediwitch went over to her potion station and came back with an ointment in hand. “Head on upstairs then go get showered and have a change of clothes, after that use this to clean your wounds and during that time I shall prepare the second ritual.”
“Wounds! What wounds?” Harry asked in confusion as he touched his arms, chest, then his face which was slick with blood. “Oh,” Harry simply uttered, he must have done that to himself during the ritual thanks to all the pain he was suffering.
“Okay, I will be back real soon, Aunt Dromeda, don’t overtask yourself.”
“That is very kind of you dear,” Mrs. Tonks replied as she rubbed his head playfully, “But do not worry yourself over little old me.”
“Come on, Aunt Dromeda don’t belittle yourself,” Harry voiced in a stern manner. “You are important to me, Sirius, and a whole lot of other people and we won’t want to see you bedraggled.”
“Fine, I will take it easy dear,” the older witch replied as a warm smile played on her lips. “Now hurry up, so that we shall begin.”
Once again sitting in the middle of the ritual chamber with a magic circle surrounding him from all sides, Harry tried to ignore the itching sensation on his face. Now that he came to realize that his face was scored raw by himself, the pain came to sharp, clear focus. He felt like scratching it some more to ease the pain, but that would only worsen the abrasion.
Taking in deep, calm breaths Harry tried to focus on something else to shun the pain.
“Now listen up dear,” Mrs. Tonks called out as she came to him with a tome opened to a select page. “This ritual is all on you, there will be none of our guiding hands to show you the way, and all the magic will be drawn from you alone.”
“Well those are some comforting words,” Harry grumbled, this was only his second time participating in a ritual and he only heard about the particular branch of magic this summer. Thus he could honestly say this was out of his league.
“It is going to be alright,” Mrs. Tonks tried to comfort him. “You have a very large magic reserve so you will not be tapered out halfway, and if you follow all the steps properly-- you can make through it safely and succeed.”
“Alright,” Harry said, not being blind to taking risks. “What do I have to do?”
“You shall read this incantation then the ritual will begin and magic will slowly be drawn from you. It might be a painful process, but from what I can see from it, it will be well worth it.”
“Are all rituals painful,” Harry complained, one single round of that pure torture he went through was more than enough for a lifetime, there is no way he wanted to go back running in.
“There is no power to be gained without any suffering dear, that is the simple truth of the world,” Mrs. Tonks simply stated. “Avoiding it will only confine you in mediocrity.”
“Alright,” Harry said, seeing no point in delaying the inevitable as he took the book from out of the older witch’s hands then glanced at the passage. Nodding his head, Harry took the incantation to memory and handed the book back, “Let’s get started and hope it succeeds!”
Stepping out of the magic circle only Harry was left inside, making himself comfortable Harry organized his mind and began.
“Unam animam meam facti sunt in me et bestia
Da mihi illum
Me virtus mea, ut non
Meis et omnes tremunt!”
Slowly lighting up and glowing in blood-red brilliance the blaze overtook the area and all was enveloped within it. Deciding it would be best to fall into that deep meditation state once again, Harry closed his eyes, slowed his breathing down, and cleared all thoughts away from his mind-- leaving it blank and empty.
Before long Harry felt something ignite within him followed by ice creeping down to his spine. It was like the blazing yang and the icy yin were lighting up in his body. However, Harry was somewhere else at that moment as he was back into that vivid and strange vision of his.
Before him stood a Basilisk dripping acidic poison onto the ground and the sheer size of it made that fire fiendfyre he saw before look like a tiny worm right next to the beast as it looked ready to swallow the whole moon in one gulp. Right next to the serpent was a Phoenix that nearly eclipsed the sun and it burned as hot and bright as it as well.
Both creatures were gazing down at Harry as if to judge him and see his worth.
Harry did not let the fear get to him as he returned the stare pound for pound.
Suddenly chirping in acknowledgment the blazing hot Phoenix spread its wings and seemed to flow into Harry. All at once, his body exploded in a fiery conflagration as every limp, muscle, bone, blood, and organ were set ablaze. It was like somebody stuffed a minute sun in his body and he was BURNING!
Slitting its eyes towards him, the Basilisk tasted the air with its tongue and slithered closer to him.
“What are you looking at, huh?” Harry shouted to the overgrown serpent. He had no idea what his rational mind was thinking angering a planetary size Basilisk but it was like he was slowly losing himself and becoming the flame and just like the flame he was wrathful.
Hissing at him in warning, Harry ignored it and carried on in proud swagger, “You got something to say, you little bitch? I killed you once with a pointy stick all when I was wet behind the ears! What makes you think I can’t do it again, huh?”
Hissing louder at him, the giant poisonous snake seemed to weight its options as it seemed both ready to strike at him and pay him back double fold of the insults leveled at it, plus also very wary of him as it remembered well how the young wizard killed it thanks to its own arrogance.
“What!” Harry shouted as he pounded at his chest in a challenge, “Come at me, I will reteach you if you need it!”
Seeing that the basilisk didn’t come any closer to him, a great amount of pride that he never knew he had in such amounts overtook and he pushed the serpent over the edge. “That is what I thought,” Harry called out in a mocking tone, “Somebody is too chicken-hearted!”
Not even taking a threatening stance any more the great, big Basilisk lunged at his hissing and spitting in rage. However as it came barreling in, something came in answer, the Phoenix.
Letting loose a shrill cry from out of his own mouth that sounded very much like a Phoenix cry, the Basilisk was wrapped in fiery tendrils which inched the creature closer to him. Slowly it too was decomposed into motes of green light just like the Phoenix before it and a icy sensation exploded within his body.
However this time, the cold ice was countered by a burning hot warmth until everything was balanced out in his body and he slowly came back into himself.
The first thing that happened was he came out of the Magic Sight ability and back into the ritual room.
Taking deep breaths to calm his nerves, a hoarse voice called out, “Master Harry Potter, are you okay, sir? Your hair is on fire!”
Turning to face the speaker he knew quite well, Harry was about to answer the house-elf question with an affirmative but he caught his second sentence. Feeling for his head, Harry quickly took notice that he wasn’t getting the sensations associated with touching regular hair, no it was clearly the warmth of a fire.
Then the question he should be asking is why wasn’t he burnt, oh, and why is his hair now made up of FIRE!
“Kreacher,” Harry uttered in a worried and concerned tone, “Why is your arm slowly turning into stone?”
“Step back, Kreacher,” another recognizable voice called out, stepping into the light was Mrs. Tonks who quickly commanded Harry, “Close your eyes dear, I think you have the Petrifying Gaze from the Basilisk.”
Doing as he was told, Harry closed his eyes shut tight and finally realized what this whole ritual was about. He was stealing the Basilisk and Phoenix magical abilities!
“Kreacher, go get Harry a blindfold and prepare a Mandrake for me so that I can cure your hand.”
Listening to the nearly silent pop, Harry took notice that the house-elf was gone to do as he was told.
“So,” Harry uttered, looking nowhere in particular though pointedly addressing the mediwitch. “I get that I gained Petrifying Gaze from the Basilisk, but what is this stuff about my hair being literally made up of fire?”
“Well, it seems like you gained the Fire Physiology from the Phoenix-- that would explain all that.”
“So what, I am slowly going to transform into a misshapen humanoid fire form?” Harry asked as the worry was evident in his tone.
“No, dear,” Mrs. Tonks encouraged, “It will take time for you to adjust and a bit of training to get a handle on all your new abilities but I am positive that you will soon make it all your own.”
Letting out a puff of smoke from his nose, Harry tried to calm himself, Mrs. Tonks was right it will all be okay. Though it was quite difficult when your body was slowly changing into something else.
“Oh, you are back,” Mrs. Tonks pronounce as she heard the slight popping noise of Kreacher’s return.
“Now, Harry,” Mrs. Tonks called out to him, “We will get started priming you up to date with all your new abilities but for now rest. You have been through a lot today.”
Harry couldn’t agree any more with that statement, the things he experienced today, he sure as hell will be remembering it for ages to come.
Yawning thanks in part to the older witch pointing out how tired he looked, Harry spoke to the house elf he had no idea where it was, “Kreacher could you apparite me to my bedroom.”
“Of course Master Harry Potter,” the old house-elf rasped as he touched Harry’s shoulder and side along apparited him.
“Well if it isn’t the birthday boy!” Sirius called out as Harry entered the kitchen. Today seemed like an Italian cuisine as a large Italian Brunch Torte sat in the middle of the table, a small dish of Cloud Eggs, a nice helping of Frittata Florentine, and Tiramisu Crepes for a side order-- plus of course an assorted mix of beverages and drinks.
“Come on where is that smile?” Sirius asked as he pointed his fork at Harry. “You do know that you only turn-”
“-14 once in your whole lifetime,” Harry finished for him as he sat down at the table. “That saying is starting to get old.”
Pausing as he stared at Harry, Sirius demanded, “Alright come on tell me what is wrong?”
“What,” Harry said through a mouthful of food, “There is nothing wrong. Everything is peachy!”
“You know that is not true, and so do I.”
“Sirius,” Harry tried to assure, “There is absolutely nothing wrong at all. You are just imagining it. In truth, I am so excited that I might look hesitant.”
“It’s them right?” Sirius simply asked as he nodded his head to himself.
“You know who, pup, those miserable animals. I knew that they would get in our way of fun today.”
“It is not them.” Harry shouted and in his vexation he bit into the fork and accidentally swallowed it down.
Sitting there Harry processed what just happened, he finally uttered out loud, “Sirius, I think I swallowed part of my fork,” as he presented his munched upon fork.
“Do you feel any indigestion?” Sirius asked as he got up from his chair, “I can call Dromeda right now!”
“Strangely I don’t,” Harry said as he felt at his stomach. He knew that his stomach should be protesting but it unexpectedly felt okay.
“Mhm, I think we just found out another one of your abilites,” Sirius stated as he sat back down, “Matter Ingestion. You must have gained that from the basilisk.”
“Wonderful,” Harry said with a sigh as he set the fork aside and picked up another one. Over the past couple days, it has been one surprise to another as he kept on finding out about new and interesting abilities he gained from the ritual.
He already knew about the Fire Physiology and Petrifying Gaze from the get go and was able to get a hold of it. Later he found out that he had Rapid Regeneration as his scratch wounds all over his face healed up the next morning, then it was Toxic Cloud after he burped out loud, plus there was Danger Intuition which he gained when he seemingly out of nowhere knew he was in danger then quickly side-stepped a falling ax. He also now has a whole host of different visions from infrared, aura to dark vision.
Oh, and he can’t sing in the shower any longer since he gained Phoenix Lament and Death Song. Also he gained Veil of Shadows when nobody couldn’t find him in the library where ever they looked. Now that Harry thought about it, it did explain how that Basilisk gets around unnoticed, even if it had the pipes there is no way you can’t notice a several ton creature slithering around.
Plus there are a thousand other minor stuff that changed about him from Enhanced senses, reflects, strength, intelligence, durability, and a new feeling that overwhelmed him at times like wrath, pride, cunning, cold-heartedness.
Furthermore, Harry didn’t even want to get started on all the other stuff that Mrs. Tonks was theorizing he might have like Poison Immunity, Extreme Longevity, Self-Sustenance, Self-Resurrection.
“Look,” Harry said, getting back on track, “It’s just nerves. This is my first actual birthday that is even though I do not count the one with Hagrid which was only smooshed.”
“Alright pup,” Sirius said, trusting Harry on this one. “Anyways, did Hagrid really do that?” Sirius asked as he leaned over and whispered like some gossip mongrel.
“Yep, he came with a flattened cake on my 11th birthday, but the surprise was well worth it when he told me I was a wizard. Best birthday gift ever! Plus giving Dudley a pigtail did help matters as well.”
Guffawing out loud, Sirius remarked, “Wow, I never knew the half-giant had it in him.”
“Yea,” Harry said with a nod, “it really would be nice if we could invite him.”
Sighing when he heard Harry’s little side comment, the older wizard uttered, “You know we can’t do that pup. Only the five of us can be here, letting anyone else come might alert that meddling old fool.”
“I know, I know,” Harry said, “I just would have liked it if my friends could have come.”
“I am sorry...” Sirius tried to say but Harry cut him off with a wave.
“Do not blame yourself for a single second, Sirius, you did all you could,” Harry uttered with firm conviction. “I know perfectly well the two men who are ruining my life.”
Nodding in agreement and a bit of sadness for seeing his godson have to grow up so fast, Sirius tried to change the subject around. “You know our schedule today?”
“Yep, it is shopping all morning while you all prepare, then we head back and it is the surprise party.”
“Hey,” Sirius shouted, “You aren’t supposed to know about that.”
“Come on, I am not four years old,” Harry stated, “I can see you all sneaking in the party supplies.”
“Well, couldn’t you at least pretend?” Sirius asked, “Dromeda and all of us put in a lot of time and effort to throw this party.”
“Sure,” Harry said with a shrug as he get back to his breakfast. “How is this for a surprise face?”
“Mhm, needs a little work,” Sirius stated, “Work on it on the way back. Regardless,” Sirius added, “You really need a lot more clothes, mine and regulus old clothes are getting too small on you and they are a bit faded too.”
“Oh, and you can finally get out of this stuffy house, huh?” Harry asked with a grin.
“Yep, that does help as well,” Sirius replied with his own grin. “In any event, we can get all your school supplies right now and get that done and out of the way. Plus you can buy yourself more gifts if you want.” Then as an afterthought, Sirius added, “Do not worry about the money, I have the whole Black fortune to myself. It can last us several lifetimes and then some more. Oh, and now that I think about it we will need to go to Gringotts to make sure that inheritance is all in order.”
“So we will basically be going everywhere.” Harry stated with a shake of his head.
“It seems so.” Sirius replied with a nod.
“Well then,” Harry pronounced as he pushed his plate away and wiped at his mouth, “Let’s be on our way then.”