Harry's second impression (the first being at Platform Nine and Three Quarters) of Molly Weasley was that he never, ever wanted to be on the receiving end of her anger for as long as he lived. Harry watched with wide eyes as Ron and the Twins seemed to shrink in on themselves as their mother tore them a new one.
"You could have been killed!" She shrieked at them angrily, seemingly either not realizing or caring that she'd already said about three different variations of the same thing. Finally she turned to Harry, who took a step back as the attention was suddenly on him.
"I'm very pleased to see you, Harry dear," she said kindly. "Come in and have some breakfast."
The sudden shift from raging to easy smiles honestly concerned Harry for a moment as he fought not to gape at the redheaded woman's back. He turned to look at Ron for instruction and his equally redheaded friend just shrugged and grinned at him.
Harry wondered at the sanity of his friend's family as he moved to enter the Burrow for the first time, the shimmering light around it seeming to dance in welcome. Not that he wasn't grateful for the rescue, because he really was, but who in their right minds would knowingly do something that would make this woman angry? No one in their right minds, that who.
The inside of the Burrow was probably more beautiful that the outside. The walls glowed around them and each object seemed to radiate a different glow inside the rather crapped room that was obviously the kitchen. Harry could barely keep himself from asking about all the different items and just stared at them all instead. The whole house seemed to be welcoming him at once and Harry felt the insane urge to greet it.
Which was odd because how did you greet a house?
Mrs. Weasley was moving around the kitchen like a pro, cooking breakfast while as continuing to scold her children. Fred and George were both shifting uncomfortably in their seats while Ron looked more than a tad embarrassed at the continuation of his mother's ire. Harry rather doubted that he'd ever been in this much trouble with the stern woman before.
"I don't blame you dear," she assured him as she began piling food on his plate. The smell of the sausages and eggs made his mouth water and Harry was forced to fight down shock as Mrs. Weasley began buttering his toast for him.
Fred and George were pleading their case but the twelve year old could already tell their mother didn't believe their claims of starvation and cloud cover. Harry wasn't sure whether or not he was grateful for this; on one hand he didn't have to explain his relative's treatment of him yet on the other hand, Harry would be forced to go back next summer as well…
His thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of a small redheaded girl who promptly entered the kitchen, squealed, and disappeared. Harry stared at the spot she'd been in with shock.
"Ginny," Ron explained. "She's been talking about you all summer. Reckon she wants your autograph."
Harry looked at him blankly as he registered the information. Ron's little sister had a crush on him?
That thought was also interrupted by the entrance of another Weasley. As Mrs. Weasley began lecturing Mr. Weasley, Harry had to fight to keep from laughing as the patriarch of the family seemed to become more and more flustered by the second.
It was the best breakfast that Harry had ever had.
The days spent at the Burrow were quickly becoming Harry's best memories to date. The Weasley family was beyond welcoming to him and Harry couldn't have been more grateful to the hospitality that they were showing. Ron had even cleared him a space in his room, much to Harry's delight. The Twins seemed to have made it their personal mission to teach him the art of mischief making (Ron included, of course) and many of their antics had Harry laughing hours later.
Ginny was still too shy to talk to him but Harry still managed to get in a few words to the girl before she became flustered enough to flee the room. It was a slow progress but the approving looks from all of her siblings made it worth it, not to mention the few times that Harry managed to hide his presence from her, Ginny proved to have a wicked tongue when upset with her older brothers.
Percy had also finally managed to come out of his room a few days into Harry's stay. It didn't take long to understand that Percy and the Twins were the exact opposite of each other and decidedly did not get along because of it and something in Harry protested vehemently at the fighting the three did until two week before school started, Harry snapped.
In hindsight, it also probably would have been better if he hadn't used watered down flour on them, seeing as the Twins took the opportunity to hug the laughing observers and spread the mess. However the look on their faces at the Thing One and Thing Two signs that Harry had glued to their backs had been worth it. Percy had gotten his own sign that read: Super Genius Prefect, cross at your own peril.
It was obvious to everyone who had done it. Ron had never even tried pranking his brothers before and Ginny was too busy hiding from Harry most of the time to become fed up with the arguing. Mr. Weasley spent a good two days laughing every time one of the twins found flour in a new place on themselves while Mrs. Weasley tried her best to be stern but was caught giggling when she thought no one was listening.
The Twins, however, weren't about to let the prank go (and were thrilled that someone had actually pranked them) and enlisted a surprised Percy for revenge. Harry could tell that Percy fully knew what Harry had done but never said a word as a prank war ensued.
By the time the prank war had trickled down until it was only left over pranks that had yet to be set off claiming victims. When the Hogwarts letter arrived, the children of the Burrow weren't sure who was more pleased; them for returning to Hogwarts or Mr. and Mrs. Weasley for the break that the new school year would provide.
It was lucky, Harry thought as he looked around Diagon Ally, that Ron had remembered in time that Harry had never used the Floo System before. Instead of having him learn by experience and probably end up lost somewhere along the way, Mrs. Weasley had sent all her children along and had stepped in with him into the fireplace so he could learn by example instead.
Considering the many different ways it could have gone had Ron not pointed out the dangers (bless his redheaded friend) Harry found that being spit out into the Leaky Cauldron, covered in soot and hitting the wall of the pub was the least of what could have happened.
Looking up at eight concerned faces of seven redheads and one barkeeper, Harry knew that it probably wasn't a normal occurrence to have people being spit out like that. The fact that Mrs. Weasley, who had been with him, was completely soot free and fine Harry decided that the Floo System just hated him and also reached the conclusion that it was a mutual feeling.
"Alright, lad?" Tom asked as he helped the downed second year up. The rest of the bar was looking over at them in surprise as well. "Never seen the Floo do that to someone before," the barkeeper commented in amusement. "Best stick to Apparition and portkeys, I'd say. The Floo ain't something you want to mess with if it's already spitting you out like that."
"Thanks," Harry said as he accepted the hand up. The painful throb of his back and legs was ignored in favor of his aching head. The twelve year old brought one hand up to his temple, wincing as it throbbed one more time.
Tom gave him a sympathetic look and motioned for him to follow as the barkeeper turned back towards that bar. "A headache potion won't be amiss, ay lad?"
Harry gave a grateful nod as he was sat down at the bar and handed an open potion vial. Closing his eyes and bracing himself, Harry downed the rather nasty concoction in one gulp. His headache immediately began to fade and he gave a sigh of relief. "Thank Tom," he thanked the man.
"No problem," the barkeep assured him. "I keep those on hand for occasions just like this. You'd be surprised how many drunken wizards come crashing from the Floo after they slur out the wrong name." Tom winked at him as one of the current costumers let out an embarrassed grunt at the comment not too far from them.
They made their way to Gringotts from there. The white stone building was just like Harry remembered it except for the nearly blinding white aura that surrounded the place. Harry blinked as he walked up to the building and the aura flickered out towards him in welcome, similar to how the Burrow had responded to him when he had first arrived. The goblin that was standing guard glanced at him in shock, seemingly also able to see the aura around the bank.
Harry was about to ask the goblin about the strange occurrence but Mrs. Weasley had already begun pushing him forward inside the large building that was looming over them.
"Come along, dear," Mrs. Weasley said as he was pushed into the waiting building. "It's best that we get as much done as quickly as we can."
Yet it wasn't to be. As soon as Harry came up to the desk after the Weasley's had moved to the cart to wait for him, the teller goblin gave him and the key an incredulous stare before clearing his voice. "It would be to the benefit of Gringotts to have you meet with the Potter Family Account Manager," the teller said croakily. Harry stared at the goblin (was it as he or a she?) in shock.
"What about the Weasley's?" he asked, worrying his bottom lip. "I can't just disappear without them knowing!"
The goblin gave him a considering look before it nodded as it reached a decision. "Stonefist will inform the Weasley family of your whereabouts, Mr. Potter. It would be in all of our best interests for you and the Potter Account Manager to meet now instead of later." It looked grudgingly unhappy to admit that but motioned for Harry to follow all the same.
Harry honestly wouldn't have been able to find the Account Manager's office on his own, even if he had been given a map and was only a few feet away from the office door. The entire interior of the bank was just as bright and headache inducing as the outside and his glances gave off a strange glare as he attempted to make out any distinguishing features that would allow him to figure out where he was.
"Mr. Potter is here to see you, Account Manager Griphook," the teller goblin said to a door. Before Harry could wonder about that, said door swung open and he was nearly shoved inside before the teller turned and made his way back down to the main lobby.
"Mr. Potter," a goblin that Harry remembered was Griphook, the goblin that had taken him down to his vault the year before. "I was not expecting you to..." Griphook trailed off and began looking all that more closely at him.
Harry blinked as the goblin's face twisted into a parody of a sneer and a wince. "This is unexpected," the goblin muttered to himself as he looked Harry over. "Yet I do not see enough of a presence that I should. Tell me, Mr. Potter, have you experienced anything strange lately."
Harry looked at the goblin, about to shake his head 'no', when he paused. Strange? Well, he had been feeling off since he had awoken in that clearing with Hope. That voice that sometimes commented had also appeared around that time...why couldn't he remember going to that clearing?
"I will assume from the way you are hesitating that the answer to my question is 'yes'." Griphook sneered at him. "Yet you display no signs of possession or physical changes. So the question remains as to what, exactly, has changed in you."
"Changed?" Harry finally asked, his head throbbing painfully as the voice made itself known once more. ('Regained,' it whispered. 'We've regained.') 'Regained what?' Harry wondered but there was no answer to his question to be found. "I don't know," he admitted to the waiting goblin.
"Situations like this are uncommon but not unheard of," Griphook sneered at him as he spoke. Harry was beginning to think that sneering was the default expression of goblins considering how many of them did it. "In the interests of keeping the integrity of our bank, we have devised ritual which will detect any malicious changes in a client or bring out any secondary parties that may be...'hitching a ride' as it were." The goblin focused completely on him. "Whether or not you take this ritual will decided on any and all access to accounts held under your name. Choose wisely."
Harry thought it over. The Dursley's ('bastards,' the voice said) wouldn't lift a finger to help pay for his school stuff but Harry wasn't shallow enough to think that money was worth potentially dangerous rituals (How do I know their dangerous? He didn't say they were...). No, Harry was far more curious to find out why he could see things that he couldn't before and what the goblins saw when looking at him that made him so different from the year before. "Okay," he consented.
The goblin snarled a smirk at him (which was weird) and ran a claw over the desk to retrieve a vial of something. "Drink," Griphook ordered after throwing the vial at him. "Then I will begin."
Harry drank and Griphook began chanting. The words were gnarled and had sounds that Harry had never heard before yet as he listened, it was almost like their meanings came to him. It wasn't that the words translated into English or that he heard English as the goblin spoke but like he knew the language enough to just know what was being said, no need for translations.
The walls around them pulsed with power and seemed to suddenly engulf him. It was searing hot and Harry nearly screamed as something within him answered the pulsing call.
The world burned around them and Harry saw only white.
Gabriel looked at the skinny boy before him. He'd been sitting here in the white landscape that he was aloud, catching the occasional glimpse outside, when his Grace has pulsed and the boy had appeared here.
"So you're what we look like now?" He asked aloud, taking in all the features that their main consciousness held. He, himself, did not have a form in the area where Grace met Soul. He was only their memories, after all, and until recently he had not had reason for distinguishing himself from their main conscious. It was odd enough to be aware that he was not what memory dictated him to be. Or even a 'him' really.
"Who are you?" their voice was strained and decidedly young in origin. Prepuberty, if Gabriel was taking a guess. Whatever had caused the pulse of their Grace had wanted them to meet.
"I'm you," he said easily. "And you are me."
"That doesn't make any sense!" the boy told him in irritation before surprise took over his features. "I didn't mean to say that..."
"The mind is not voice," Gabriel told him. "It's thought. What you think and what I think are what we here because while thoughts can be quiet in the outside, they are loud in the mind."
Harry, for that was what his current human name was, looked lost at the explanation and Gabriel didn't blame him for it. It was hard for a human mind to know all of its secrets and while they were slowly becoming one being again, Harry was still separated from him.
"What are you doing here?" they tried asking again. Gabriel frowned at their counterpart. Shouldn't he already know?
"I am you," he said again but this time, elaborated. "We were killed t and had separated from each other when reborn as a human. I am your memories and what you once were and will soon become again. We seem to be slowly reuniting and as we absorb one another, and as we do so our abilities will return to us."
Harry looked intrigued. "You're the voice," they said in shock. "The one that comments on things in my head."
"Our head," he corrected.
"Do you...er, we, have a name?" the boy wondered.
"We are Gabriel." Gabriel told him. "But we are also Harry, Ivan, Yvonne, Lu, Choa Xi, and many more." They had been born in so many different places, times, and genders that they had many names to choose from now, other than Loki, that is. "We have been reborn many times." Gabriel explained when he sensed the on-coming question.
"Oh," Harry blinked. "Why can't I see you?"
"I am you," Gabriel repeated again, getting frustrated at his own lack of understanding. Existing apart from himself was beginning to grate on his nerves. "I don't need a form because your form would also be mine and we are in our mind."
Harry gave a large sigh. "This is weird," they said in annoyance.
"Tell me about," Gabriel said, letting his earlier patience go in favor of actual conversation. "I wasn't even a separate being before and suddenly I have conscious thought because you aren't yet completely us."
"When will I be completely us again?" Harry felt the need to ask as he could feel excitment stirring from around him and inside him. Being in his head was strange.
"I don't know," Gabriel admitted. "But I would estimate based on the rate that we're going, we'll be one being again by the time you reach twenty, maybe sooner if something excelerates the rate."
Harry nodded and began fading away. "Will I be able to talk to you...us?" he paused. "Us again?"
"Whenever you want," Gabriel assured him. "I'm you, remember? I already speak to you, all you need to do in listen."
Harry was completely gone now and Gabriel was back to a pure white surrounding. The difference from before, however, was that he was more aware of both himself and his human mind than he was before.
'I wonder,' Gabriel thought as he received memories of how they had gotten here. 'If this means we're insane. Talking to yourself is supposed to be the first sign of it...'
Griphook was standing over him, looking as concerned as he'd ever seen a goblin look. "You are awake?" That was also nicer than he expected but from the uncertainty flickering accross the goblins face, Harry thought that it had something to do with what the goblins were seeing when looking at him.
"That was weird," he told the goblin, his usual thought to mouth filter seeming to have disappeared.
Griphook looked at him expectantly.
"I met myself," he told the goblin and gained the most incredulous look he'd ever seen. "He said that we'd been separated after we died before we were reborn. I think he, er, I am confused as to why we're still separate but we think it's a good thing?" Harry cocked his head to the side as he searched for Gabriel in his head and got a confirmation. "It's a good thing because if it went the normal way, we might have died."
"This is...unexpected." Griphook informed him as he moved back to behind his desk. "The aura that surrounds you is pure white and radiates power; much different form a human aura and why we were forced to make sure that you were still yourself before we allowed access to your accounts. Does your split fragment have a name?"
Harry considered the goblin and felt Gabriel doing the same in the back of their mind. Now that he knew Gabriel was there, he could easily feel the disjointed fragment of himself there. It was like he'd been searching for a needle in a haystack and suddenly knew exactly where to find it; basically it made his head hurt trying to think about it. 'Tell him,' Gabriel whispered in their head. 'He should know who he crosses if he betrays our secret.'
"Gabriel," Harry spoke the name aloud for the first time and felt the rightness that the name gave him. "Our name is Gabriel."
So Harry meets Gabriel, who is Harry but isn't Harry. Let me tell you, even my head hurt after writing this because really, talking to yourself was never meant to be quite so literal. Gabriel is also a little...nicer in the beginning of his and Harry's interactions but that's more because he isn't really Gabriel but Gabriel's memories. Harry is the one that's Gabriel and he'll begin acting redeveloping that personality that we all love soon enough, expect since he's spent so long as a human, he'll probably be less Trickster than he was when he was pretending to be Loki. Tamer but not too much.
For those who'll probably be like 'He told the Goblins? What?': Of course he did! The whole point of that was for the Goblins to find out if Harry was a risk to the Potter wealth, and therefore the integrity of Gringotts. They could see that he wasn't human but they've no idea what he is. It isn't like he shout I'm an Archangel a the top of his lungs, especially since Harry doesn't even really know what he is yet. He was a bit distracted by the whole voice in his head that's not actually a voice but his memories given consciousness after being split apart from him when he was killed. 'Gabriel' also starts acting more like canon at the end as this is the first time since he's been given conscioussness that he's had to interact with Harry. He'll be more in character in their conversations from now on.
Comments, questions, and just plain reviews welcome! I really want to know what you all think of this story!