After that, Remus took to joining them during their routine. The werewolf was absolutely fascinated with Harry's ability of flight and the way it looked like he was standing in midair to observers. Remus was also able to contribute his own opinions on how Harry could possibly improve on his fighting stance, when it was becoming apparent that only half of what Sirius had suggested worked for Harry.
As the weeks passed, it had become obvious to Harry and Sirius that for some unknown reason, Harry was always off balance in his stances. The black haired teen had tried adjusting his stance numerous ways yet when it came down to the more complicated moves, he always ended up on the ground. It was bizarre and frankly, it was starting to piss Harry off. Gabriel was just as baffled as he was, having never encountered this problem before. Even when getting used to a human vessel, the archangel had apparently never ended up flat on his face when practicing. Harry didn't know if it was because of their situation or the face that they didn't have any access to their Grace, but something was definitely off.
It the end, it was Remus who suggested something that none of them had considered. Gabriel and Harry, because it had never proved a problem before and Sirius because he couldn't actually see them, so why would he consider it?
"Are you making sure to take your wings in account when you take your stance?" he asked, frowning as he watched them end up on the ground again.
Harry froze from his place in the dirt, eye twitching. He cursed, loudly. Why had he never considered that? It hadn't ever crossed his mind, that his wings could affect the balance of his physical body.
'Our wings exist on the metaphysical plane. Or at least, they should.' Gabriel mumbled, loud enough for Harry to hear. 'When Luna was able to touch them, we wondered how she was able to. You can't touch light, not when it exists on a different plane than you do. But what if…'
'What if…?' Harry prompted, already drawing his own conclusions and putting the pieces together. If he was right and that was what Gabriel was saying, then the rules were even more different than they had suspected.
'What if she wasn't touching something in the metaphysical plane? What if our wings, on some level, now exist on the physical plane as well as the metaphysical plane?' Gabriel finished, sounding mystified and somewhat stunned. It wasn't something they had ever considered before. How could they, when it should have been impossible?
'Looks like 'impossible' can officially be ignored when we're concerned.' Gabriel quipped, though his voice didn't sound any less stunned than it had before. Harry had no doubt that this was going against some rules that only Gabriel was currently aware. He wasn't sure if he wanted to know what those rules were.
"Harry?" Remus asked, uncertain about the black haired teen's sudden silence. "Is everything alright?"
Harry pulled himself back into the world around him and grinned, making sure not to give any sign that Remus' suggestion had troubled him. "Just kicking myself for not thinking of that sooner," Harry waved his concern off. "We feel a bit stupid for having forgotten to do that."
Remus and Sirius laughed, though Remus looked like he only half bought that excuse. Harry kept his features schooled, sticking his tong out at his godfather and pretending nothing world-shattering had just been discussed. Eventually, the werewolf seemed to buy it and changed the subject.
And if Remus noticed their contemplative look as Harry glanced as his wings, the man was nice enough not to say anything about it.
Harry spent the next three days holed up in the barn after they finished their routine. He'd made an excuse to various members of the Weasley family the afternoon of the first day where he claimed a summer cold. To Remus and Sirius, Harry explained that he wanted to experiment with something and it would probably be for the best if they kept away from the barn during that time. Remus seemed happy enough to let Harry have his alone time with no fuss.
Sirius, however, had been far to accepting and Harry should have been suspicious as soon as he realized the lack of protest coming from his godfather. Yet he had been so grateful that the man was willing to let it go that Harry hadn't paid it much mind. Really he should have known better.
Ever since Harry and Gabriel discussed the possibility that their wings might have a more physical presence, the two had began trying to figure out how much of a presence they had and if it could be consciously controlled. Luna wasn't always able to touch their wings, so it led them to the conclusion that they had to do something specific in order to make them more tangible.
Neither Harry or Gabriel could think of anything they had been doing that had been so different from what they usually did, though. So, after a long talk, Harry finally suggested that they try meditation first while focusing on their connection with their wings.
It had worked, surprisingly enough. After a few hours of meditation, Harry was able to actually use his wings to interact with objects in the barn and they didn't faze through solid objects like they usually did. In fact, Harry had to be careful when he spread them so that they didn't hit the walls of the barn. It hurt more than it should have when that happened, Harry found out rather quickly.
Gabriel kept mostly quiet during this time, seemingly letting Harry come to conclusions on his own instead of explaining his own theories like he usually had. Now that Harry had more memories of his beginning life as Gabriel, it was easier to put thing together without the help of his memories interjecting. He still didn't know enough about humanity and the rules of angels concerning the physical plane but he was knew enough to be able to experiment.
He was quite a bit farther in his memories than he had thought he would be by this time. He had just finished the war with Amara and there was talk of forming the universe going on. Harry couldn't help but marvel every time a brand new ball of light (which would be latter named 'stars') was added into what was nothing but a black void at the edges of Heaven and Purgatory. There wasn't even any speculation on planets or suns, or new life forms other than angels yet. Whenever he realized that, Harry had to sit down as he thought about just how long ago that had actually been. Those were times when it really sank in how old Gabriel, and therefore Harry, really was.
He kept those times to himself, not willing to let Sirius or even Remus know how out of his depth he felt sometimes. He didn't think either of them would be any help as even Gabriel wasn't much of a help when he got into one of those moods. Thankfully, they were rare and the only major one had occurred after he finished with the memories of Amara. Harry hoped, rather fruitlessly, that there weren't any other huge devastating wars that he would have to live through for a second time.
It was fruitless endeavor because Harry knew enough about religion to know that Heaven would, one day, enter a civil war with Lucifer. He wasn't completely sure who Lucifer was, not yet, but he suspected and the thought was already breaking his heart.
Gabriel never commented, remaining eerily silent whenever Harry let his mind wander down such paths. Harry chose not to comment on this, after the fact. He didn't want to know, not before he had to.
So Harry kept focusing on his wings and seeing just what he could do with them. By the third day, Harry was ninety percent sure that he had gone through everything that he could do with them on the physical plane and was getting ready to see if it was safe to do any of this within the vicinity of humans.
It turns out, he needn't have bothered worrying.
A loud clatter just outside one of the barn door windows had him sighing in resignation and annoyance. Harry let his wings slide back into their normal state before making his way over to the window and leaning out of it. Sure enough, Sirius was lying on his back and rubbing his head. Boxes were toppled over all around him, making it rather obvious that the man had been using them to look through the window which was a good fix inches taller than him. Harry had to prop himself on one of the wooden feed bucket to reach it from the inside.
Sirius grinned up at him sheepishly while Harry rolled his eyes. "You just couldn't wait a few days, could you?" Harry sighed at him.
"Well…." Sirius shrugged. "No. Not really."
It turned out that whenever Harry brought his wings into the physical plane, it made them partially visible to those around him. They weren't solid, according to what Remus and Sirius told him, but they definitely weren't hidden anymore.
It wasn't something Harry thought that he was going to get used to anytime soon. Having the usually invisible and intangible appendages suddenly visible was disconcerting and somewhat annoying. He had gotten so used to not having to worry about them that having them knock into everything when he wasn't paying attention was getting on his last nerves.
Gabriel seemed to be just as thrown by the newest development. It was one thing to have them interacting with objects in a barn, having people suddenly able to see them was a totally different thing. The Archangel didn't say so yet Harry knew that he was disturbed every time Remus or Sirius commented on their wings. Harry found that he couldn't really blame him as Harry was a bit disturbed by it himself.
Add that to the fact that Harry was still trying to accept everything he had learned from his memories.
Even though it had been a while since he'd finished his memories of the war with Amara, they were still at the back of his mind. He hadn't understood why Gabriel had been so frightened of the Other at first. Sure he knew that the Other was dangerous and could kill them, especially since they needed to be at full power to defend themselves but now that he knew exactly what Amara was… It put an entirely new perspective onto the Other than he'd previously had. And that terrified him.
Amara, to put it bluntly, was God's sister and just as powerful as their Father was. And with that knowledge, Harry could understand that the Other, though they hadn't been created by Amara on purpose, was basically the Darkness's version of Archangels. Just as powerful and dangerous, yet in a totally different way. Harry was could only be glad that the Other hadn't been created on purpose and therefore didn't have the same advantages that the Archangels had.
They couldn't take Vessel's, for one, and because of that, they couldn't enter the Physical Plane. Harry could only shudder whenever he considered what the beings could do if they had full access to both planes. It was bad enough that they had access to the metaphysical plane, in Harry and Gabriel's opinion.
That wasn't what was truly bothering him, however. It was the fact that so many of them were here, on this world. According to Gabriel, they (being Gabriel and the other Archangel's) had always assumed that most of the Other had been destroyed and that only one or two even existed anymore. There had definitely been more than one or two of them around Black Manor and Harry suspected that wasn't the other place that they were in this world. Harry had more than a few suspicions that everything that was happening in this world, everything that was so wrong, was because of their presence.
"Hey Sirius?" Harry asked one morning.
Sirius looked up from his breakfast, curious as to what this was about. "Yeah?"
"You said that you grew up in Grimmauld Place," Harry started. Sirius nodded, motioning for him to continue. "If your family was the Head of the Black Family, than why didn't you live in Black Manor?"
Sirius seemed like he was about to answer before he paused. "I don't really know." He admitted, frowning. "No one has truly lived in Black Manor since my great-grandfather. For some reason, my grandfather decided to raise my father in Grimmauld Place instead. He must have told my father his reason, since Reggie and I were raised there as well."
Harry nodded and let the matter drop.
After much discussion on the topic, he and Gabriel had come to the conclusion that the Other was tainting the areas that they resided, as well as whoever else that lived within that area. Neither of them knew how long it had been happening but it had been. The Black's were a good example of this.
Sirius was the first Black of the main line to ever be Light and he was the second generation of Blacks not to be raised in the family manor. Harry had no doubt that this wasn't a coincidence. Something had spooked his godfather's great-grandfather, enough so that he made sure that his son and grandchildren were raised out of the manor. Harry dearly wanted to know what that could have been, though he doubted he'd find out anytime soon.
Harry forced those speculations to the absolute back of his mind, leaving them for Gabriel to dwell on for the most part. Harry had learned quite quickly that he didn't have all the knowledge that he needed to truly study the problem yet. Instead, he focused on the main problem that still would have existed whether or not he'd touched his tree and regained his Grace: Voldemort.
While the year before had been rather nicely free of Voldemort, that didn't mean that the Dark Lord was gone. The near demon wraith was likely still plotting out there and Harry suspected that Pettigrew would have already searched the man out now that it was common knowledge he was alive. It was just a feeling but it was one that Harry wasn't willing to ignore.
After second year and discovering that the Diary was a soul piece, Harry had slowly been building a theory, with some help from Gabriel.
For all intents and purposes, Voldemort should have died when the Killing Curse had rebounded on him October 31st, 1981. With his body destroyed, a Reaper should have picked up his soul and sent him on his way to Hell. That wasn't what had happened, though.
Instead, Voldemort was actually still alive and could possibly regain a body given enough time. Harry and Gabriel had examined their memory of their encounter with him First year and his soul had most definitely still been alive. With that knowledge, they began building their theory. Voldemort had split his soul somehow and tethered those pieces to the objects. Without his complete soul, Reapers couldn't send him off to the afterlife as even though those pieces had been slit off, they were still technically tethered to the main soul piece. That small tether would keep Voldemort alive.
It was disturbing to think of, Harry grimaced. The magic to split a human soul was foul and plain evil in nature. Worst of all, there was no way that someone like Voldemort would just split his soul once, not with what the Diary soul piece had been designed to do. There was no telling how many other time the man had split his soul either, never mind what objects those pieces were now tethered to.
'What a summer,' Gabriel groaned in their mind, breaking Harry out of his thoughts.
'It would be nice to have a relatively boring year for once,' Harry agreed with a sigh. 'We're going to need access to more information than we have. For some reason, Voldemort wants us dead and we can't afford to hope that he waits until we're fully powered for his next attempt.'
'Those soul pieces are the real problem,' Gabriel said thoughtfully. 'As we are now, our magical core is matured enough to begin using the more powerful pieces of magic that we learned in our past lives. That should definitely be enough to defend ourselves and possible take him down but those soul pieces will make it impossible to put him down for good.'
'So what we need to do is to figure out how many there are and what they are.' Harry summarized. 'Destroying them should be relatively easy with our sword.'
'Exactly.' Gabriel agreed. 'First off, we need to know what magic he used to tether them. If we know that, we might be able to find out some useful information that could lead us to figuring out how many he might be able to make or what they could be. I have a feeling that he couldn't just use any old object.'
'Magic doesn't tend to work like that,' Harry nodded thoughtfully. 'They probably have to have so meaning behind them, at least to him. As for finding out what they are, Sirius will probably be of some help. The Black's likely have information on them in at least one of their libraries.'
It wasn't much to start with but it was something that Harry didn't have to wait to take care of. He couldn't do anything about the Other's presence or their affect on this world, not yet, but he could do something about Voldemort.
And do something, he would.