Sirius did, eventually, get over what happened in the First Task. Mostly after he realized that Harry was completely unrepentant for everything that had happened. Remus was just resigned to it all in the end.
Harry really didn’t understand the big deal. Both men knew he was an Archangel, and even not at full power, the venom of a Basilisk had failed to kill him (even if the only reason he’d survived was due to his Grace burning the venom out of his system). A dislocated shoulder and pulled back was not the worst thing he’d ever received during one of the more dangerous events in his time at Hogwarts.
He didn’t tell any of them that, though. They knew, intellectually, what he had dealt with during the last three years but Harry also knew that they hadn’t really connected to what that had meant. With the reveal of his nature as an Archangel distracting him, Sirius had been removed from the events of his previous years. Harry almost doubted that Remus even knew what had happened in the years before he’d taken the Defense position. And neither of them really considered the implications that Harry hadn’t actually found his Grace until well into the school year of his first year, meaning that a lot of those events had happened before he was an Archangel again (sort of, at least).
′Best not to bring that up at all,′ Gabriel concurred in their mind. ‘They would likely take it horribly.’
“Potter!” Harry jumped, startled out of his inner thoughts. Turning to the voice that had addressed him, he was surprised to see Madeye Moody towering over him. A quick glance around told him that he was indeed still in the library so Harry focused back on the professor, confused.
“Sir?” He asked hesitantly. Harry really wanted the man as far away from him as possible; already the hair on the back of his neck was standing on end from just being in Madeye’s presence.
“That was some nice flying in the task,” Moody informed him and his rolling magical eye locked onto Harry’s form. The teen felt uncomfortable under the blank stare.
“Thank you, sir.” Never let it be said he wasn’t polite. “However the First Task was a while ago. Is there something you needed?”
Moody just gave him a toothy grin. “Have you figured out the clue yet, boy?”
′Why does he want to know?′ Gabriel growled and Harry echoed the sentiment silently. To the professor, he flashed his best innocent grin. “Of course I have professor. Thank you for asking.” It was a bald faced lie, of course. Harry hadn’t looked at the golden egg since he’d gotten it, too caught up in exploring and fixing up the Chamber with Luna. ‘Eh, I’m sure we’ll figure it out soon enough. Well, if we ever actually get around to opening it that is.’
Harry ignored the Archangel, eyes locked on those of his professor. Harry kept the discomfort of the unseeing eye to himself, making sure to keep the bright smile on his face. Moody studied him for a moment, frowning. Then he threw his head back and laughed, long and loud. He heard Madame Pince grumble from behind one of the shelves nearby. Harry almost wished she’d come over and confront the ex-Auror for it. Sadly, such an occurrence didn’t happen.
Moody’s laughter trailed off and he smile unnervingly at Harry. “You’ll do, boy. I suspect the answer will come to you soon.”
Then he walked off, as if he hadn’t just alternated every instinct Harry had that there was something off with the man. ‘Keep an eye on that one,’ Gabriel muttered. ‘There’s something not right about him.’
Harry didn’t argue, eyes narrowed at the shrinking figure of Madeye Moody as the man left the library altogether, not a book in hand. If Harry had been a normal student, he might have wrote the odd conversation off as another of the man’s odd mannerisms that came from working as an Auror. However, Harry wasn’t a normal student and the darkness of his soul wasn’t the only thing off about the Auror. As a retired Auror, Harry hadn’t expected his soul to be untainted or pure white. Life didn’t work that way and neither did police, which was essentially what an Auror was.
The dark and twisted soul screamed at Harry that this man wasn’t just tainted by the gray that came with working so close to crime but at an enjoyment of human suffering and pain that couldn’t be explained by his old career.
“I think I should have Remus and Sirius look into our newest professor,” Harry muttered under his breath. Friend of Dumbledore or not, Moody had brought himself into Harry’s line of sight and had showed an interest in Harry’s participation that couldn’t be explained away under his current position of Defense Professor.
Moody wasn’t the only strange thing that now occupied Harry’s mind.
He’d been about to crash in bed, shoes tossed off and robe thrown on the floor when he found something odd waiting for him on his mattress. There, in the center on the bed, folded neatly and looking brand new, were his glasses.
Harry just stared at the objects for a moment, mouth slightly opened in surprise. Reaching out a hand, he gently ran a finger over them and pulled back when they didn’t disappear as he expected them too. “What in the name of Merlin?” Harry wondered aloud.
“What is it, mate?” Ron asked. Harry jumped at the sound causing the redhead to push past him to see what it was that had caught Harry’s attention. “Are those your glasses? I thought you’d lost them?”
“So did I,” Harry informed him. He’d lost them in the Chamber and had figured he’d never see them again when he hadn’t come across them during the cleanup of that area. So how had they disappeared from the Chamber to end up on his bed in the middle of their dorm room, nowhere near the second floor girls bathroom?
“Strange,” Ron commented before yawning. “See you in the morning, mate.”
Harry made a vague humming sound, far too focused on the glasses than he was on his friend. He didn’t notice the redhead shake his head as he entered his own bed, ready to sleep for the night.
Gabriel grumbled in their head. ‘For once, I’d like a couple months were all we had to worry about was something trying to kill us. What is with this school? Every year gets more and more complicated. Isn’t this place supposed to be the safest place in the Wizarding World?’
Harry ignored, picking up the glasses and placing them in the drawer of his nightstand. He was tired, something was really off about Moody, he had a clue in the form of an egg to decipher, and now he had yet another mystery on his hands. How could someone have entered the Chamber to retrieve his glasses? Why return them too him? Had they taken anything else out of the Chamber and he just hadn’t noticed?
“It’s too late for this kind of anxiety,” Harry mumbled to himself and fell backwards onto his bed.
He wasn’t surprised when he didn’t get all that much sleep that night.
“Are you sure, Harry?” Sirius asked, concerned. “Madeye has always been a bit strange but I wouldn’t peg him as someone that would enter a minor in a dangerous tournament that’s killed people in the past. Especially not when that person was the Boy-Who-Lived. Moody is single-handedly responsible for the capture and arrest of more than a fair few of Death Eaters.”
Harry suppressed the snort that threatened to escape him at the name Death Eaters. Really, what were they thinking calling themselves that? “He’s far too interested in me. I had a feeling he was stalking me before and the encounter in the library makes me think I was right. Moody had no reason to be there, eccentric ex-Auror or not. He was there to talk to me and no one I asked had been approached by him in order to find where I was. He knew I was in that library.”
He’d gone to everyone that he had mentioned stopping in the library too. They all had confirmed that Moody had not approached any of them. It could have been a coincidence that Moody had found him there but Harry was suspicious of coincidences. Especially when it came to someone with a soul twisted like Moody’s was.
Sirius frowned in thought. “That is rather strange. And you’re sure that he wasn’t already in the library before you left?”
Harry rolled his eyes. “He wasn’t there, I know that for a fact. Fred and George saw him go in right after me.”
The Twins hadn’t thought anything of it until Harry had told them about the odd encounter over lunch that morning. Both redheads had come to the same conclusion as him: Moody had followed him there on purpose. So the real question was why?
Harry had a sneaking suspicion that their original theory on Crouch wasn’t as solid as they had thought. Moody was starting to look like a very likely candidate as the culprit responsible for entering him in the Triwizard Tournament. The only real problem was the motivation behind entering him in it. What did Madeye Moody gain from entering Harry into a dangerous and deadly Tournament?
They didn’t have an answer for that and it bothered Harry more than he liked to admit. This whole thing was bothering him more than he liked to admit, even to himself. Especially to himself.
“Look, pup,” Sirius sighed. “I’ll see what I can find but you need to focus on getting through the tasks without giving yourself away. There’s only so much you can explain away as dumb luck before people get suspicious. Work on the clue, alright? And keep your head down. Archangel or not, we need to play this safe and that means keeping whoever this is in the dark about you.”
Harry mentally rolled his eyes, making sure not to do so physically; Sirius meant well after all. “I know Sirius, I’ve been doing fairly well at keeping myself alive up till now.”
′Was that before or after the numerous near death experiences we’ve had each year we’ve been here?′ Gabriel wondered, dry humor echoing in Harry’s head.
‘Hush,’ Harry told him. ‘We’re trying to comfort him not make him even more worried.’
Though, from the look on his godfather’s face, Sirius was just as skeptical of Harry’s claim as Harry himself was. The teen just gave the dog animagus the most innocent look he could in response. The fourth year had found that he was getting rather good at keeping his emotions in check recently. Harry still felt a little bad for lying, even when it was necessary, but he was finding that it was getting easier and easier to do each time, and the guilt was slowly fading over time.
He wasn’t sure if he should be worried about that or not. Sirius just shook his head in answer. After a few more minutes of idle chatter, the man left to begin looking into Moody as well. Harry let his head fall back onto his pillow, letting the mirror drop onto his stomach. No one else was in the dorm room, having already gone down to breakfast and out to Hogsmeade.
Harry, though, wasn’t feeling up to walking around the village at the moment. There was too much going on in his head; someone in this school was trying to get him killed and Harry’s thoughts kept going right back to Voldemort. He knew, intellectually, that Voldemort was still nothing more than a shade and that it was very improbable the man had anything to do with the Tournament.
After all, how could a shade that most people didn’t believe existed have entered him in the Tournament? They’re theory on Bartemius Crouch made more sense than someone willingly doing the bidding of Voldemort in the Ministry.
Still, something about that thought felt off to him. Every instinct Harry had screamed that Voldemort was behind this and Moody was involved. He even had a sneaking suspicion that Crouch was part of this plot as well. And without the Chamber to distract him from the whole thing, Harry’s mind kept dwelling on how this all connected.
“You’re being stupid,” he told himself. “An absolute moron.”
Gabriel didn’t comment, his presences in Harry’s head oddly silent and brooding. Even now, it was an odd feeling to have, though Harry rather thought he’d miss the presence once he and Gabriel were one whole person again. It was nice, he reflected, to always have another person in his head. Even if it was only another part of himself, Harry never felt alone like he had when it was just him inside his head.
′We need a distraction,′ Gabriel finally decided. ‘This is just going to drive us insane if we keep trying to solve it. Something tells me that we’ll have our answer before the Tournament is over. Maybe even before the Second Task.’
Harry frowned. ‘What makes you say that?’
′What makes you so sure that Moody is involved and Voldemort is behind this?′ Gabriel shot back. ‘Instinct. Even if we’re not at full power, our Grace is starting to run through our system again and it’s giving us a level of awareness much stronger than when it was just our memories in this body.’
Harry frowned. ‘So that’s why I’m more certain Voldemort is behind it than I was when we came up with the idea?’
′Probably. We were open to the thought that Voldemort wasn’t involved when Sirius and Remus first brought up the Crouch angle. Now, though, we’re almost certain that Crouch isn’t the main culprit though he may be involved.′ Gabriel pointed out. ‘The only change from then and now is the fact that we have access to a very limited amount of Grace. Nothing else has really changed.’
Harry sighed, annoyed. Even with his memories of being an Archangel, he still wasn’t all that sure of how Grace worked nor was he sure that Gabriel was right in why they were so sure. Instincts made sense but was it really his Grace that was giving them such certainty?
Harry thought that there was more to this than Gabriel was theorizing. Something else, not just their Grace, was making his so sure of this all. Another force at play that they were overlooking.
Harry reached over to his nightstand, opening the drawer to pull out his glasses. He stared at the item with a frown. Somehow, the glasses had gotten on his bed after he had lost them in the Chamber. Light flickered off the lenses, shining on the canopy overhead.
A bit of study showed that they looked almost new. Slight wear and cracks that had once dressed the frames were gone and a smooth surface left behind. If Harry hadn’t been so familiar with the items, he might have thought that they were newer look-a-likes to his old pair. Since he was so familiar, he knew that these were the same pair he’d lost in the Chamber, the same slight glow of his magic around the edges identified them as that.
Harry sighed once more. He wasn’t sure how they fit into the grand scheme of thing yet his gut told him that somehow, they were important in figuring everything out.
The only question was how could a pair of glasses that had been mysteriously repaired and placed on his bed, lead him to the culprit that had placed his name in the Tournament?
Harry had no clue and he had a feeling that he wouldn’t find out right away either.
Gabriel stayed silent in his head, not commenting at all.