Chapter 3. A Family of Lost Souls
Friday, August 4th, 2017. Location 1313 Cemetery Lane, Misty Point, California, The United States of America. (Home of the Addams Family)
Wednesday slips upstairs careful to keep her bloodied form from dripping. Harry is in the kitchen busying himself with dinner. Knowing him there's likely to be a desert well. Since her parents, tragic deaths Lurch has taken over most of the cooking. She is as good at cooking as Harry is at potions. Which is to say only passable after years of trial, error and constant study. While Harry does enjoy surprising the family with food that's not why he is cooking tonight. Thing and Lurch are on vacation and therefore can't help with the upkeep of the mansion. Harry won a two-person cruise to the Bermuda Triangle in a raffle at the local potion’s shop Love Potion #9. Since he couldn't go due to work he figured it would make the perfect surprise gift for the overworked members of the family.
Harry’s many house elf friends, who have repeatedly yet politely refused to be included as a part of the family, have taken it upon themselves to help her with the upkeep of the large Addams family mansion. Harry simply raised their pay and followed suit becoming her, however temporary, personal chef. He cooks when trying to forget about his troubles. And something is clearly haunting him in the non-magical since. The last thing he needs is to wonder where she slips off to during the night. Not that he’d mind her nightly activities. Harry is not only her favorite cousin he is her best friend and very much like an older brother to her. From what she understands the feeling is mutual. Older siblings, even her, always worry about the younger ones. Harry is simply already bothered enough by someone or something else. She's determined that tonight she will get to the root of the problem.
Once in her bedroom, she absently locks the door out of habit before carefully undressing. She does not allow a single drop of the blood coating her dress to hit the pristine oak flooring. Instead, she places her dirty clothing in the laundry hamper. After a gentle wandless scourgify, tergo, and banishment charm, her blood-stained clothes look brand new and can stand up the test of UV light. She still prefers them washed the mundane way so they’re left in the now clean laundry hamper. She decides to slip into the shower rather than the tub as to save time. She hates seeing others do all the work when she can help. Still yet, by the time she’s back downstairs Harry’s already prepared tea and cookies to eat on while they wait for dinner to finish. ‘ He is truly too kind for his own good. ’ she muses before taking one of the plates, a cup, and a saucer out of the air and leading him into the main living room.
She’s placed her mother’s chair and most of her parent's furniture and collections safely in one of the furniture vaults to preserve them until someone wants to use them again. It was just too much seeing them every day, it made the house feel empty in their absence. In their place are two sets of wing chairs sitting at two round tables on each side of the room, a small sectional sofa and a chaise lounge all done in pristine and white velvet upholstery and solid black oak wood. She gracefully sits down in one of the wing chairs facing the oak table. Wednesday then places the plate of cookies and saucer holding the teacup down on the black lace covered table.
‘ It's time we sit down and talk about what brought Harry to us originally. It’s clearly bothering him and I only understood half of what Mother and Father were talking about at the will reading. Now is as good as a time as any to clear things up. ’
(Warning the following are deadly poisonous to everyone! The only reason the characters are able to ingest them safely is that they are FICTIONAL! I have listed the following poisons and symptoms in the hopes that if you have such symptoms you will take the necessary preventive measures to get yourself seen by a medical professional. )
Early symptoms of cyanide poisoning include headache, dizziness, fast heart rate, shortness of breath, and vomiting. This may then be followed by seizures, slow heart rate, low blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and cardiac arrest.
Hemlock poisoning occurs after ingesting any part of the plant, such as the seeds, flowers, leaves, or fruits. All parts of this plant contain toxic alkaloids that can be fatal even in small amounts. The alkaloids can affect nerve impulse transmission to your muscles, eventually killing you through respiratory failure. Even touching this plant may cause a skin reaction in some people. Symptoms of hemlock poisoning can appear anywhere between 30 minutes to hours after ingesting the plant. The general symptoms of hemlock poisoning are effects on the nervous system (stimulation followed by paralysis of motor nerve endings and CNS stimulation and later depression), vomiting, trembling, problems in movement, slow and weak later rapid pulse, rapid respiration, salivation, urination, nausea, convulsions, coma, and death.
Deadly Nightshade also knew as Atropa Belladonna
The foliage and berries are extremely toxic when ingested, containing tropane alkaloids. These toxins include atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine, which cause delirium and hallucinations and are also used as pharmaceutical anticholinergics. (It paralyzes your nervous system.) Overall Atropa Belladonna has unpredictable effects.
Thallium poisoning may include fever, gastrointestinal problems, delirium, convulsions, and coma.
Arsenic poisoning is a medical condition that occurs due to elevated levels of arsenic in the body. If arsenic poisoning occurs over a brief period of time symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, encephalopathy, and watery diarrhea that contains blood.
Wednesday puts down her empty teacup and reaches for the teapot in shock. Harry has just finished a detailed summary of his first year at Hogwarts. It’s obvious it’s painful for him to relive however he clearly wants to talk about it to let her know what happened to him. He’s now waiting for some sort of response. To be honest she's not sure where to start. A rare problem for her as she’s usually holding back her responses.
‘ The Philosopher's stone was obviously not destroyed since the British are working on replicating it as we speak… I thought The Boy Who Lived was a British Fiction… What kind of mad man lays a series of deadly traps in a school full of children who can't defend themselves?... ...Like he said it was obviously a test... ’
“They actually called you The Boy Who Lived? I thought that was just the title of a book series.” is what she finally finds herself asking first.
“Unfortunately, not. You know I’ve never even gotten any royalties from any of the products with my name?” Harry asks before finishing off his cuppa.
“Why not?” Wednesday asks confused while reaching for more cyanide sugar cubes. The tea is a bit bitter, which is odd since she grew and dried the hemlock and nightshade leaves herself.
“I didn’t authorize any of them. Not that they’re true to mind you.” Harry adds while refilling his own cup and reaching for the thallium laced honey and pitcher of creamer before deciding to add some cyanide sugar cubes to his own cup.
Harry’s mentioned finding the hemlock and nightshade blend surprisingly delightful if a bit bitter. I’ll have to offer him a proper cuppa of Hemlock and Nightshade tea some time. Something is definitely off with this blend. Perhaps heating it up will help?’
“I mean, I obviously didn’t grow up in a castle waited on like some kind of King.” Harry continues “Now that I’m in hiding I can’t even sue. I mean, I should have done it years ago but back then I didn’t know any better. I had no idea the books existed until I was well into my life in Germany. After I found out I made it a priority to learn about everything created using my name or under my name. To say the mass amount of products were a shock is an understatement.”
“Everything about that is illegal.” Wednesday comments before taking a sip of her tea and putting it back the cup back on its plate finding it too hot. Luckily her skin grows back within minutes. She’ll just have to wait it out. “But like you said that's not a technicality we can use against them at the moment.” She closes her mouth sucking on the blood as her skin regenerates.
Harry stirs his tea sadly before taking a sip and pouring in scotch from a glass bottle he bought while on holiday in Spain. “Yeah, I mean get I survived several killing curses and worse but the whole ‘The Boy Who Lived’ title has always been ridiculous. Even more so now that they’ve tacked on Dark Lord. I mean The Dark Lord Who Lived sounds even more pretentious than before. I still don’t understand how I was labeled the new Dark Lord! I was the one to train and lead the army that killed of the last Dark Lord and his forces! Then they give Dumbledore the credit?! The man faked his own death at the beginning of the battle to avoid fighting! ”
“For what it’s worth no one outside of Great Britain’s influence cares,” Wednesday says hoping to convey her empathy by absently reaching for a plain Scamander shaped cookie and offering Harry the cookie plate.
“What? Why not?” Harry asks furrowing his brows confused and taking a Brachiosaurus shaped cyanide sugar cookie with white buttercream and thallium frosting.
Wednesday finishes her own cyanide sugar cookie before responding. Harry patiently waits sitting the plate of homemade cookies between them. “Everyone outside of the UK knows that the whole Dark Lord tradition is more of a governmental control tactic than anything else,” Wednesday says at last. “Thankfully the tradition has remained isolated to the northern European county’s. The world hasn’t had a Dark Lord outside of magical Great Britain’s direct influence in over 2,000 years. It was one of the reasons for the revolutionary war.”
“Merlin! I knew I was set up but I didn’t realize it was that bad.” Harry says before taking a deep gulp from his cuppa.
Wednesday sighs and looks her cousin dead in his eyes hoping to convey the seriousness of the situation. “You weren’t just set up Harry. You were conditioned like a pig for slaughter.” She explains before reaching for another cookie. This time its zombie shaped with a bit of red frosting around the edges. “Nearly everyone has fallen for it before you. If it wasn't for you noticing something was off and hiding your true self so early on you wouldn’t be here today. You would be dead or still under their control.”
“I am aware. You know, I still don’t understand how no one noticed my magical core is dark. I’m beyond grateful they didn’t but there were several clues I couldn’t cover up. Some I couldn't even avoid displaying. People could have used those clues to find out the truth and not just about my core. I mean about everything.” Harry says before topping off another cookie.
“People see what they want to see,” Wednesday says with a slight shrug. “From the way things played out, I’d say you put on a pretty good act. Add in the fact that you already had the masses eating out of your hand before you met them and several other people collaborating an entirely fake backstory it’s no wonder you pulled it off. Those things together are difficult to accomplish without at least a small majority of those involved noticing their own participation.”
“It wasn’t as though the order didn’t know what they were doing.” Harry sardonically responds while absently reaching for his tea.
“I’m sorry what order?” Wednesday asks confused clearly shocking Harry who nearly spills his tea.
“The Order of the Phoenix? They were the original defense against Voldemort.” Harry responds seemingly baffled by her lack of knowledge.
“Right. Sorry, it’s been a while since I took a history course and unlike you, I wasn’t unfortunate enough to live through it all.”
“It’s alright. If it's any ones at fault it’s mine. I keep forgetting not everyone lived through the same experiences as me.” Harry says abashed.
“You need to stop putting yourself down, Harry.” Wednesday scolds. “I don’t know who trained that aspect into you but if I ever find them I’ll kill them myself.”
“Don't worry I took care of them long before I took out Voldemort,” Harry says beginning to clean up their snack. “They've been dead for years with no one the wiser. Everyone thinks I sent them to a safe house outside of England or something. Their ashes never left their neighborhood despite everyone seeing them driving away and at customs.”
“I’m surprised no one noticed.” Wednesday comments gathering their plates. “Who were they?”
“The Dursleys,” Harry says absentmindedly walking into the kitchen.
“Who are the Dursleys?” Wednesday asks curiously as she follows him from behind.
“They were the muggle family that Dumbledore paid to keep me as a servant. For the first eleven years I was with them I lived in a shoe cupboard sorry shoe closet under the stairs. Once they were convinced into allowing me to leave for Hogwarts I was moved into Dudley’s second bedroom. During the school breaks I was forced to spend with them I lived in that room except for my weekly ‘chores’. They placed eleven locks on the door and added one for every year I was with them. I was fed cold canned soup in a dog bowl through the cat flap they installed on the door twice a week. Poor Hedwig could hardly hunt as they placed bars on the windows.” Harry explains as he washes the dishes and Wednesday days. “Admittedly that's one of the reasons I rescued Alexis when I met her. All three of us were kept locked up, supposedly for the greater good of the UK’s magical society. I found a way to keep us all alive and a little better off.”
“I see,” Wednesday says tightly carefully drying the last saucer before wandlessly banishing the dry dishes to their cabinets. “Has anyone told you that what those mundanes and that over glorified headmaster did was wrong?” She asks moving out of the way as Harry gets the roast out of the oven.
“No?” Harry responds after some thought while putting everything onto the table. “Not really. I mean, I always suspected as much and the Weasley twins would try to pull me away to talk about it. Neville and Luna... they helped me out as much as they could. For years they did everything in their power to help me. George and Fred helped me now and then too but... no one else ever cared.”
“They didn’t care?” Wednesday repeats in a monotone voice from where she’s frozen by the floo enraged.
“You need understand in England Dumbledore’s word is taken as law. It’s been that way for over 73 years.” Harry explains as he seats himself.
“You know what? I don’t care.” Wednesday says seating herself. “No one deserves to live like that, especially my family. After dinner, we’re starting your defense and attack training.” Wednesday says decisively.
“What about my pureblood training?” Harry asks confused while beginning to carve the roast.
“We’ll work on that afterward,” Wednesday says with authority while serving herself roasted potatoes and carrots. “Knowing how to protect yourself in both the mundane and magical worlds takes priority.”
“I take it what I’ll be learning isn't common knowledge?” Harry asks amused.
“Right. And it shouldn’t be shared with anyone outside of the family. It’s a good thing you live right across the street. Otherwise, you’d be staying the night.”
Saturday October 24th 2017 Location 1300 Cemetery lane, Misty Point California, The United States of America (Home of the Sayre Family)
*BooOO~OOnG* Harry jerks awake in bed looking around alarmed and confused.”What the fuck was that?!” he asks the equally confused and startled Hedwig and Alexis. Hedwig is looking around wildly in distress from the bed’s rafters. Alexis is coiled up around her blanket on the bed in an undignified circle hissing and swaying threateningly. *BooOO~OOnG* The three-story mansion begins to shake again. *BooOO~OOnG* Wizarding pictures rattle on the walls. The people in the frames lean on tables and their walls for support. Harry catches his cup of water before it can fall and hit the floor. *BooOO~OOnG* the sound rings out one last time echoing throughout the house and the occupant's eardrums.
*SquAK!* Hedwig screams incoherently as her feathers ruffle and fan out in a predatory manner. Harry shoots to his feet and summons his clothes and wand holsters onto his person. Meanwhile, Alexis shoots forward slithering her body to wrap around his (Harry’s) person. As soon as she’s secure Alexis’s tongue darts out to taste the air. She and Hedwig spare each other a look and Hedwig nods before flying onto Harry’s shoulder. Harry methodically and silently makes his way out of the master chambers and down the three flights of stairs. Alexis scents the air nodding or shaking her head in response to Hedwig's silent questions as they make their way down. Finally, they reach the bottom floor where Hedwig and Alexis go ramrod straight… or well as straight as a puffed up owl and a snake wrapped around someone’s arm and waist can go.
~ Visitors? ~ Alexis asks confused tongue flicking out to taste the air.
“ That does seem to be the case, ” Hedwig responds also confused and slowly flattening her feathers while giving them a quick preen. “ But why did they make that noise? It was awfully rude! ”
‘Oh, someone's at the door.’ Harry thinks to himself quickly running a hand through his hair as if that would make himself more presentable. He’s wearing his black star wars pajama pants with white fighter jets and his Irish green Quidditch fan tank top. ‘Who the fuck set the doorbell as a gong?’ Despite spending the past few months researching and looking into the family trees he has to be rather discreet about it. In other words, he has not learned all that much. Still, finding out who set the doorbell as a Gong is now on the list.
“Maybe he's not home.”
That sounds suspiciously like Nev. But it can't be Neville. He died at the final battle… didn't he? The Weasley matriarch said…
“No, he's home. He just has a bad case of wrackspurts. Try the doorbell again.” Luna?!
“ There! They've done it again! ” Hedwig complains glaring accusingly as Harry opens the door. Harry stares blankly in shock at an alive Neville and Luna standing smiling at his doorstep.
“Surprise!” Neville shouts throwing his arms up in the air after the silence lasts a bit too long.
“You're not dead,” Harry says in shock, hope clearly written in his voice.
“Of course were not dead silly.” Luna says in her dreamy voice with one of her kind smiles “Just like you're not the newest Dark Lord.”
“Can we come in?” Neville asks gesturing to the open doorway. “I bought homemade banana bread. Longbottom recipe,” he says taking a loaf wrapped in clear plastic out of the bag slung around his shoulder. “And… I know they're in here somewhere…” he mumbles elbow deep in a bottomless black shopping bag digging for… something.
“Behind the jars and to the right of the quilts. Do try not to rearrange everything again.” Luna instructs with a gentle yet firm smile.
“What's the between the plates?” He asks Luna while moving out of the way enough to hold the solid iron door open but not enough to block their entry.
“We bought chocolate chip and pumpkin cookies!” Luna cheers opening up the upside-down plate and entering before he has a chance to reach out and take one. His eyes widen upon seeing the wedding ring on her finger as she passes.
“I'll just let her find it.” Neville says defeated while walking forward confidently. “We went out and bought pumpkin juice and the ingredients for treacle tart.” He says with a smile.
“Which is why you're my best friend. Speaking of,” Harry says throwing his arm around his best friend's shoulders and leading him into the house. “when were you planning on telling me you and Luna were soulmates? Wait, are you soulmates?”
“Yes,” Nev says with a small awkward and embarrassed smile. “And we always meant to tell you but Hermione and those Weasleys kept you running ragged. We were lucky to see you twice a week outside of their watch. If it wasn't for the twins we wouldn't have been able to see you at all most days.”
“Still... I wish you had found the time to tell me. Not that I’m mad, mind you.” Harry says stopping once in the hallway and looking around confused. “Where did she go?”
“Uh, she might have mentioned redecorating your kitchen on the way here?’ Neville says awkwardly, clearly embarrassed.
“Great.” At Neville’s embarrassed look Harry explains “No seriously. That's great! My kitchen is way too old fashioned. I don't know how to work half of it. I’ll let her have her fun. Should we help out?”
“Oh. Uh, probably?” Neville says before gasping and staring rudely in amazement. “Are those Gargoyles? Like real, living Gargoyles?”
“We are very much alive yes.” A raspy voice responds gathering Harry's attention as he doesn't recognize the voice. “We have guarded this mansion since it was built back in Italy in 1681.” One of the full bodied Gargoyles rasps out before coughing causing his wings to shake. “Please forgive me I have a terrible cold.”
“Why didn't you say something sooner, Claude? Do you need me to call a healer or get Wednesday to make you a pepper up potion?”
“That would be much appreciated, however, we have three healers on staff. Seven if you count your house elves. I will simply see one of them.”
“Oh, I didn't know,” Harry says abashed.
“That is understandable. All households have a minimum of five healers on staff. It is just not common knowledge. Not all wizards are as kind as you master Sayre. However, I don't advice going to them for your own treatment unless its an emergency. I fear other wizards will likely look down on you for it.”
Harry sighs and a retort already on his tongue but is Neville who responds. “People like that aren't worth getting to know. So kitchen?”
“Why the rush?” Harry asks watching as Kylian takes Claude's post. He doesn't want to seem overbearing but he also doesn't want his employees overworked. Gargoyles are very much like Goblins in regards to work ethic and have been known to literally work themselves to death.
“You do want some say in the design don't you?” Neville asks with a grin. It's no secret among their small friend group that once Luna has a design for something in mind it gets designed exactly as she envisions it. Depending on the idea this can be a very good or a very bad thing.
“Good point. Alright follow me.”