Interesting wasn't the way to describe the disaster that was Care of Magical Creatures the next day. Harry could honestly say that it would have probably gone smoothly, with barely any kinks, if not for one important, annoying factor: Draco Malfoy.
In Harry's (and Gabriel's) defense, they really couldn't have predicted that the blond Slytherin would react that way nor could they have predicted how Sol and his sisters would react to most of the Slytherin's taking that class in general (which wasn't all that surprising considering only Crabbe, Goyle, and Malfoy were taking the class). Crabbe and Goyle were currently proving how stupid they actually were as they attempted to actually attack the playing unicorn.
All of this because Sol currently had Malfoy's bag in his mouth and had stolen Goyle's apple from him. Harry didn't know whether to marvel at how little it took to cause this chaos or go beat his head against the nearest tree. The unicorn foal didn't seem to understand the annoyance of his 'playmates' and was happily keeping out of their reach.
'All this over a freaking apple,' Gabriel groaned silently. 'Sol's a unicorn foal. Those assholes are only proving that they're immature and unnecessarily violent to the entire class.'
'The sad part is I don't think that they even care,' Harry sighed internally as Malfoy made a failed dive at the prancing Sol. 'I'll have Hope chat with him later.'
By 'chat' he meant scold beyond belief and let her youngest foal know just how much trouble he was really in. It was bad enough that Celestica and Mystica were hiding in the forest, refusing to even show themselves to the class of students. He really wouldn't have pegged them for the shy ones out of the three of them but it seemed that while Sol was perfectly content to prance around the students as he pleased, Celestica and Mystica were perfectly content to remain hidden from sight, most likely still by their mother. Harry doubted that Hope would allow her children to go anywhere without her, especially since they were going to be around a class of children (Harry and Hagrid being the only two...err, humanoids, there that she trusted).
Even though Sol was prancing around the clearing happily allowing certain members of the class to pet him, it was beyond obvious that he preferred Harry's company to that of anyone else's. Harry was sure that Hermione and Ron had at least realized that there was something more to it than Harry just being a pure soul (Gabriel snorted. 'Pure soul my ass. I think it's more the whole 'angel' thing than anything else.') and he knew that they would be bombarding him with questions as soon as they were out of hearing range of anyone else. Seeing as they all had a free hour next hour, Harry knew that they were free to lag being as long as they wished to without having to come up with an excuse for why they were late.
Sure enough, as soon as Hagrid dismissed class and the students all began to hurry to their next classes (some having Arithmancy, other's having regular classes, and others wanting to go hang out in their dorms before their next class), Ron and Hermione were both still standing in the clearing, watching Sol cuddle up into Harry's side (having released Malfoy's backpack to the fuming blond when he had caught Harry's disapproving look).
"He sure seems to like you," Hermione let the unsaid question stand, looking at him with a clear question in her eyes. Harry sighed. This was his own fault for not telling them in first year or all of last year. They were bound to find out at some point.
"Do you remember Hagrid's detention?" he asked, and after receiving two incredulous nods since it had been two years ago since then, he began his story, leaving out Gabriel and his tree as he was sure that they weren't ready to hear that yet. Harry himself had barely been ready and he had been living with a voice in his head for a year.
"You've known them since birth?!" Ron asked, his eyes wide. As the redhead had grown up in the magical world, he was probably aware of the impact that kind of trust, given from a unicorn of all creatures, could have on the magical world if it was widely known. Harry had only found out what the possible ramifications could be when he had received some of his older memories of living in the magical world. It was one of the reasons he began consciously putting off telling them. It wasn't that he didn't trust them but he'd no idea how they would take it. Hagrid was one thing; he didn't seem to realize that it was rare for unicorns to bring their foals to meet you. Ron? Well, the redhead was reacting just like Harry thought he would: awe.
Hermione didn't seem to get it, bless her soul, and she just looked at Harry with consideration. "All those times you disappear...you're coming here, aren't you?"
'Well, here and exploring the Forbidden Forest,' Gabriel said grumpily 'Somehow I don't think she'd like the second part too much.' It seems, even though Harry trusted the two other thirteen year olds, Gabriel was far less trusting and didn't agree with telling them anything about their out of school activities, whether or not it was just telling them about his friendship with Hope and her children. 'You need to be more trusting,' Harry sighed as he nodded in answer to Hermione's question.
'You need to be less trusting,' Gabriel gripped back but returned to silence. Harry would be interrogating his other self on the matter when they were alone. It was more than probable that there was a reason that Gabriel was less trusting than Harry and Harry wanted to know what it was. Sure, he'd find out eventually when he regained all his memories yet something told him that this was information that he would most likely want to know sooner rather than later.
"Why didn't you tell us?" Hermione asked, sounding hurt that he hadn't told them sooner.
Why hadn't he told them? Sure, his current reason was because he'd found out how most people would react to finding out that he was basically a part of a unicorn's herd but when he'd first met her, before all of that? Harry couldn't remember. It had just been...his. Not their thing, not all of their friend, like Hagrid was, but his. Hope was his friend. "I...don't know." Harry told her truthfully. "I just never thought to."
She frowned thoughtfully at him but let the matter drop, Ron giving him an unreadable look as they said their goodbyes to Hagrid and began the trek up to the castle for lunch.
Harry didn't know whether to be thankful that the class hadn't gone as he had expected it to (namely with Sol causing as much chaos as possible in the hour long class period and Celestica and Mystica openly rejecting people, something that most took really badly). In fact, once he had returned to the dorm room and realized how badly things could go, Harry had actually regretted helping Hagrid to convince Hope to allow her children to appear in the class. Instead, most had been allowed to pet the one unicorn foal that had appeared in front of them before they were treated to a rather amusing game of chase the unicorn after Malfoy had his bag stolen.
'It could have been worse?' Gabriel offered as Harry remembered how much chaos just one unicorn had caused.
'I dislike you,' Harry informed his seriously, his eye twitching. Couldn't the archangel pick one emotion and stick with it? Five seconds ago he'd been sulking loudly and now he was back to being comforting? Ugh.
'Self-hatred isn't healthy,' Gabriel informed him. Dammit, Harry could practically hear the smirk.
'Oh shut up.'
It seemed that Sol's appearance was the turning point for Hagrid's class, most of his students becoming more and more excited to see what he would show them all next. The upper years also heard of the unicorn demonstration and could been seen groaning in envy as they complete their own Care of Magical Creature's homework in preparation of taking their OWLs or NEWTs. Harry didn't know how Professor Grubbly-Plank taught their classes (Hagrid having only taken over the younger years classes while the other professor finished the upper year classes before she would retire next year) but Harry was sure it didn't have nearly as many demonstrations that Hagrid had and the other professor seemed to believe in written work, something Hagrid didn't.
Hermione and Ron were still upset with him but after a week or so, the two seemed to accept that Harry honestly had no idea why he (initially, at least) never told them. Hermione seemed to be of the opinion that he had just been unused to sharing such information at the time and even as they grew closer over the last year, he had been too stressed from the petrifications to say anything. The last part wasn't true but Harry didn't feel like telling her that it was because he was secretly an Archangel that had regained his Grace along with the memories of countless lives that he had lived. He didn't think that either of them would really understand that.
Hell, he was living it and he didn't really understand it.
It was Ron who was the least hurt of them both. "I don't tell you every single thing I do," the redhead had shrugged when he had asked. "You should have at least told us before class," he'd added, almost like an afterthought.
Harry couldn't argue that. Really, it was his own stupidity at work against him for not telling them both before they had come to Care of Magical Creatures that day. 'It didn't turn out too badly, considering,' Gabriel said in contemplation as he considered the redhead's advice. 'For all we know, she could have started screaming as soon as she realized something was off.'
Harry grimaced. Hermione didn't like yelling. She actually abhorred people who yelled to get their point across, as it was far too hot-headed in her opinion. So when she began yelling at you, you probably deserved it. 'No probably about it,' Gabriel cooed gleefully. It was his counterparts (alternate identity? Archangel self? Ugh, this was still hurting his head) opinion that watching the sometimes shy and rather 'goody-two-shoes' girl start in on someone was one of the better forms of entertainment that they had come across since entering the magical world again at eleven.
This didn't bode well for telling her his other huge secret, however. If she taken him hiding his relationship with Hope and her foals so hard, how would she take the fact that he was an archangel and had been hiding it from her for over a year? That wasn't a secret someone could just brush off and use his own childhood as an excuse for. Hell, with all the memories he was regaining, Harry doubted that he was even on the same level as them emotionally anymore.
How did you tell your best friends that within the span of a year, you'd become several different people and had more magical knowledge than school would ever teach?
'That is not going to be a fun conversation,' Gabriel murmured. It had taken a long talk between the both of them before the archangel consciousness was more open to telling them both about himself. Really, all it took was Harry pointing out the amount of time that they spent together and the fact that eventually, like with Hagrid and the unicorn foals, they were going to find out. Likely in the worst possible way.
Gabriel had eventually conceded the point and now Harry was left trying to figure out how to tell them the truth.
How did one go about telling their best friends that they were an archangel? Or hell, how did you tell anyone that you were an archangel?
'Carefully and delicately? Possibly as a burning bush to avoid being hit over the head with a chair?' Gabriel suggested oh so helpfully.
'A chair?' Harry wondered.
'Mary was not the pushover people see to think she was,' Gabriel lamented. 'Although I really didn't appreciate the demon comment. What part of 'Archangel' was so hard to understand?'
'But a chair?' Harry felt the need to ask once more. Because really, who hit someone with a chair? Surely there had been a better weapon laying around somewhere?
'I don't know,' Gabriel said and Harry got the feeling that if he was just as bewildered now as he was then. 'It broke though. We spent a good hour just staring at it, too. That's when she starting throwing things.'
'I'm pretty sure that's not in the bible,' Harry remarked.
Gabriel snorted. 'Because that's something that I wanted everyone to know.'
Harry had no response to that because frankly he wouldn't have wanted everyone to know that either if it was him...which it was. Damn, it was getting easier and harder to remember that Gabriel was him. Somehow, Harry didn't think that this was what most people meant by having an identity crisis. At least, he hoped it wasn't.
Gabriel, gratefully, didn't comment on the matter. Harry doubted that this was any easier for him, seeing as he was just memories given consciousness. What would it feel like to know that you would disappear completely in only a few years time? Harry didn't know if he wanted to find out and at the same time he wondered if he would.
When they became the same person again, who's personality would win? Would Harry close his eyes and become Gabriel completely again or would they combine?
Did he even want to know?
"Harry!" Hermione's voice jerked him out of his thoughts and he turned to the girl with a smile. The brunette wasn't smiling however.
"We need to talk," she told him seriously and Harry felt dread sink into the pit of his stomach. The look on her face did not foretell of good things.
Harry was right, Hermione had nothing good to say.
"What do you mean Ron hates you?" He asked stunned at the sobbing girl. He'd only been gone for an hour! Just what had he missed?!
"Scabbers went missing. Ron thinks that Crookshanks killed him but I know he couldn't have!" Hermione sobbed. Harry wondered how long she had been waiting for him to get back. Just when had Ron gone off on her?
"Why couldn't he have?" Harry asked, frowning as the words struck him as odd. Hermione gasped in a large breath before looking him in the face, searchingly. "He's a cat," Harry said, raising his hands in defense. "Scabbers was a rat!"
Crookshanks wasn't the only cat in Hogwarts, however, and Harry was well aware of that. He knew for a fact that Crookshanks had gone for Scabbers before as that was the whole reason that Hermione had met her cat in the first place. Why wasn't it possible that Crookshanks had eaten Scabbers?
"Cat's bring back prey to their owners," Hermione said, her crying having stopped when it became obvious that Harry wasn't going to blame her. Why was it always Ron who was making her cry, Harry wondered absently. "And there wasn't any blood, Just fur. There would have been blood if Crookshanks had done it."
That made a fair amount of sense actually. Harry nodded. "Let's go talk some sense into Ron. It's likely Crookshanks just made a go for him and Scabbers ran off."
"Thanks, Harry." Hermione said and she hugged him before dragging him towards Gryffindor tower.
Harry couldn't help but feeling like a horrible person for keeping secrets from her the entire way there.