Days later, Harry still didn’t know what to think about the letter and he also didn’t know how to explain his somewhat severe reaction to Luna, who had been concerned when she had noticed his ‘other self’ disappearing. He didn’t even know what to think of the fact Luna had noticed Gabriel’s brief absence. It seemed his didn’t know a lot.
Gabriel was also silent, there but not speaking no matter what Harry tried. He was starting to get concerned about it and didn’t stop mentally pestering the other, hoping to get at least some response. Even if it was only to tell him to leave him alone. He was starting to miss the weird relationship that he had with his other half. He pointedly ignored the implications of that.
“Is everything alright, Harry?” Luna asked, concerned. She was dressed in a flowing blue dress that sparkled in the candlelight. Harry had sent the dress to her as a present so she’d have something to wear at the ball. The opal amulet sat heavily in his pocket and on his mind.
He gave her a strained smile. “I will be,” he told her, not sure if he was lying or not in his response. “Are you ready?”
Luna didn’t look convinced but she nodded. He offered her his arm, which she giggling took and they started making their way to the Great Hall. He and Cedric had agreed to meet up before the Ball and talk about the task. Cedric had figured out the Second Task and they wanted to discuss it without the other Champions around.
Harry had gotten the note to meet him yesterday. Having been so distracted by everything that had been going on in the last few weeks, he’d completely forgotten about the task and the golden egg that was sitting on top of his trunk in his room. Harry grimaced at the thought. He hadn’t even gotten around to opening the thing yet, that was how distracted he’d been in the past few days.
“There are a lot of Nargles tonight,” Luna commented airily. Harry glanced around, seeing nothing just like he had expected. Sometimes he wasn’t sure what Luna was talking about. Thankfully for him, Gabriel was just as confused as he was most of the time so he probably wasn’t missing invisible creatures around them.
“Thanks for agreeing to come with me, Luna.” Harry smiled at her, letting the strain and frustration of the last few days dissipate. He was going to have a good time tonight if it killed him. One night of nothing but fun wasn’t too much to ask for, he grumbled to himself.
‘One night,’ Gabriel agreed. Harry jumped, surprised by the sudden comment and a grin spread across his face.
‘It’s about time,’ he thought back only a little annoyed. Really.
‘I had some things that I needed to think over,’ Gabriel murmured. ‘You’re right, though. One night probably won’t kill us to relax. Probably.’
‘You’re so optimistic.’ Harry replied sarcastically.
‘Shut up and pay attention to Luna. She’s saying something.’
Harry blinked and glanced at Luna, who was indeed saying something. “Your voice is back,” she repeated when he grinned sheepishly at her.
‘One day I will figure out how she does that,’ Gabriel vowed. Harry rather doubted they’d ever know.
“Yeah. I still don’t know what was wrong with him.” Harry admitted.
“Perhaps something in that book you read upset him?” Luna offered, her voice still airy despite the legitimate suggestion.
Harry nodded in agreement, that was the logical conclusion. Harry just didn’t know which part of the note had set the other off and Gabriel wasn’t telling. He wasn’t going to ask and risk the other shutting him out again either. It had felt like he was walking in a gray haze for the last few days and Harry wasn’t eager to go through that again.
“Harry!” Cedric waved at him from the meeting spot. Next to him was Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw chaser. Harry waved at them as they got closer to the duo. Cho looked surprised to see Luna with him and grimaced politely.
‘Isn’t she one of the girls she pranked?’ Gabriel asked. Harry squinted and hummed in agreement. She looked a lot different in her dress and make-up yet there was no doubt she was one of the girls Harry had targeted for bullying Luna. He, smartly, kept quiet about that little fact as Luna gave Cho an airy greeting.
“Hello, Cedric.” Harry grinned at him. “This is my friend Luna Lovegood.”
Cedric raised his eyebrows, obviously questioning why he hadn’t introduced her as his date. Luna answered for him. “Harry asked me so I could attend the ball,” Luna added, making sure to look around with wide eyes.
“She’s a third year,” Harry told them, though he was mostly informing Cedric. Cho, no doubt, already knew. “I didn’t really have anyone I wanted to ask so I thought I’d take Luna. Neville’s taking Ginny already so she’s the only one that would have been left behind.”
Cedric nodded in understanding before smiling at Luna. “It’s nice to meet you,” he told her sincerely. Luna beamed at him before going back to her humming in silence. Harry didn’t bother to question why she was pretending to be more eccentric than usual and turned to Cedric. What Luna did wasn’t for him to question.
“You said that you figured out the clue?” Harry asked before grinning. “I kind of forgot about it, if I’m being honest.”
Cedric rolled his eyes while Cho gasped at his admittance. “You probably were distracted by discovering whatever it was that got Moody replaced,” he sighed. Harry didn’t bother denying it, much to the listening Ravenclaw Seeker’s surprise. Luna just shrugged away the information as another of Harry’s oddities.
“To summarize, something is going to be taken from us and stuck in the bottom of the Black Lake We have an hour to track it down and find it.” Cedric rubbed his temples. “These people are really trying to kill us.”
Harry just groaned while Gabriel cursed. As if the school year hadn’t been annoying enough, now they needed to figure out what to use to breath underwater. Somehow, he figured the bubblehead charm would be a bit too obviously out of his skills for him to get away with. He refused to use gillyweed, that was for sure. He absolutely hated that stuff.
Cedric nodded in agreement. “At least there aren’t any more dragons,” the Hufflepuff offered, grimacing.
“Somehow that doesn’t make me feel better,” Harry grumbled. “Why am I doing this again?”
“Because somehow, probably the Fake-Moody, entered your name in order to kill you,” Luna replied dreamily, smiling at something Harry couldn’t see. Cedric and Cho stared at her.
“Thank you, Luna,” Harry smiled. “That’s exactly why I’m doing this. Do I want to know how you figured out Moody was a fake?”
“The nargles told me,” she answered before finding something by the wall fascinating and wandering off.
Cedric groaned from beside him. “Every time I think you can’t get any stranger…”
Cho gaped at them all.
Harry officially hated whoever had decided to create the Yule Ball. He’d fallen on his face during Champion’s dance and he’d stepped on Luna’s feet twice now.
Thank god Luna was a better dancer than he was or else he’d have probably done something even more embarrassing by now. As it was, Hermione and Ron were never going to let him live this down. Not to mention Sirius looked like he’d just discovered one of the most hilarious things ever. Which, I his godfather’s mind, an Archangel falling on his face in front of an entire school probably qualified.
“I hate everything about this,” Harry bemoaned to the table where his face was currently leaning against.
“I know you said you were bad at dancing,” Hermione giggled. “But I thought you were exaggerating.”
Harry picked his head up from the desk just long enough to glare at her angrily. Her date, Victor Krum of all people, looked amused at his misery as well. Harry glared at him too.
“I almost wish cameras could work here,” Hermione added before erupting into full-blown laughter. Ron snickered from beside’ Krum. He’d decided to come without a date, having been too nervous to try asking anyone.
“It is most ’umorous,” Fleur Delacour added. “You ’ave, ’ow do you say, two right feet?”
“Left feet,” Hermione corrected. “And yes, he does.”
“You all suck,” Harry complained. “I feel so betrayed.”
‘This is why I hate dancing.’ Harry didn’t disagree.
They just laughed at him some more. “That’s it,” Harry decided. “I don’t have to put up with this.” He got up and looked questioningly at Luna. The third year looked highly amused and stood up. Harry offered his arm to her, which she took with a smile.
“Have fun,” Hermione grinned at him, having more fun teasing him that he thought she should. Ron didn’t look like he regretted his amusement either.
Harry huffed at them all and with Luna, moved out of the Great Hall. Once they were safely out of the room, Harry turned to Luna questioningly.
The girl shook her head. “There’s a beetle on your shoulder,” she offered, her voice still dreamy.
Harry looked towards his shoulder, surprised to find that there really was a beetle on his shoulder. “Huh,” he frowned at the small bug. It was glowing a bright green, which was odd for a beetle.
‘Something’s off with that bug,’ Gabriel muttered, suspicious. Harry felt himself agreeing. He’d seen a lot of bugs since he’d gained the ability to see magic and none of them had glowed with magic before. Another thought occurred to him.
“How is it still alive?” Harry wondered. “The cold weather should have killed all the bugs by now.”
The beetle immediately started fluttering and zipped around his head before darting away back into the Great Hall. “That was weird,” Harry decided.
“The nargles say it’s safe,” Luna informed him. Harry didn’t bother questioning it and shrugged. No doubt the beetle was some sort of magical being and that was why Luna didn’t trust it.
“Chamber it is.” Harry agreed.
The entrance to the Chamber was, as always, bland. Without the bones and no portraits, the Chamber looked half-finished and empty. The few things they had saved were still slowly being restored by them both and nothing had been put back up yet.
“What did you want to talk about?” Luna asked, having decided to be direct with her curiosity. She had been giving him questioning glances all night and his wings had been twitching non-stop under the scrutiny.
Harry slipped his hand into the pocket of his robe. Pulling out the opal amulet he offered it to her. “Merry Christmas,” he grinned, handing it over.
Luna stared at the carved stone in surprise. To everyone else, it would look like a fancy carved opal. To them, they could see the glow of the runes that betrayed to power behind it. Harry’s, Gabriel’s, Grace glowed brightly from the runes he’d carved.
Luna took the amulet and slowly studied it in her hands. After a moment, she lifted the enchanted chain it hung from and placed it around her neck, smiling. She was obviously stunned and pleased by the early gift. “Thank you,” she whispered, bringing a hand up to touch the cool stone that hung around her neck.
“The runes act as a protection against anyone trying to invade your mind,” Harry told her.
She cocked her head at him, frowning. The question in her eyes was apparent and Harry grimaced. Now came the hard part.
’Well, she can’t react any worse than Sirius?′ Gabriel’s attempt at comfort would have worked better if he hadn’t ended it in a question.
Harry took in a deep breath. “I’m Harry Potter but that isn’t who I’ve always been. In my first life, my name was Gabriel.”
And he began talking, telling her everything.
Meanwhile, at the Burrow:
This was all Harry’s fault; Remus was sure of it.
There he was, minding his own business and planning on how to send his gifts to both Harry and Sirius at Hogwarts. He hadn’t been able to decide if he was going to send them together or apart and he’d been debating on the pros and cons of both options when Molly Weasley had appeared from the Floo.
He’d then been forcibly grabbed, a few weeks’ worth of thing packed into a trunk along with his presents for the holidays, and forced through the Floo. Bewildered and somewhat unnerved by his sudden kidnapping, Remus had been guided by a sheepish Arthur to Bill’s room, where he had been told he would be staying for the course of the winter holidays.
Remus had protested the sudden displacement but Molly was hearing none of it. Resigned, Remus accepted his current predicament with only a slight bit of annoyance. How Molly had learned that he’d be spending the Holidays alone had baffled him and his first thought had been to blame Sirius.
On further speculation, Sirius wouldn’t be cruel enough to sick Molly on him just to make sure he wasn’t lonely. If he was going to contact anyone in the Weasley family it would be Arthur, who wouldn’t kidnap him at the first indication he was lonely.
Harry, on the other hand, definitely would. The teenage archangel would have no hesitance to sick Molly on him if he thought Remus was going to end up alone on a holiday. Especially as he considered the Weasley’s family. Remus supposed it had only been a matter of time before Harry found a reason to force them to bond with the Weasley’s without the teen around. Harry probably wouldn’t even realize that was what he was doing.
Remus only wished that Sirius was here to experience this with him. He almost felt bad for the dog animagus. Sirius would likely be blindsided completely by the matriarch once Harry found a reason for her to kidnap his godfather.
Molly dragged him out of his thought by piling some more sausage in front of him. Apparently, she agreed with Harry and Sirius that Remus was far too skinny. The hypocrites.
Remus smiled politely and began eating the sausage. At least he got great cooking out of this whole experience.
It almost made everything worth it.