HP vs Himself (Pt 1)


The delivery owl drifted into Hermione’s kitchen, buoyed by a summer breeze. While she offered it a knut and a bit of toast, I snagged the Prophet.

“That’s rather rude, you know,” she huffed as the owl flew away.

I glanced up from the newspaper, frowning. “You’re the one who asked me to come outside for meals.”

Hermione pouted. “But you stole my paper.”

“You also asked me to keep up with the news,” I said.

With a groan and a muttered, “Too early for this,” Hermione turned her attention to her breakfast.

I hummed thoughtfully as I skimmed the front page. “Looks like Dumbledore died.”

Hermione gasped, dropping her toast, and I continued, “Some sort of wasting sickness. Probably Dragon Pox. I told him to get that arm checked out.”

“Is there a funeral?” she asked, all sniffles and crocodile tears.

“Doesn’t say” – I spotted several familiar names in the article below it – “Death Eaters have taken over the Ministry, too.”

Hermione’s eyes widened, all attempts at grief forgotten. “WHAT?!”

“It doesn’t explicitly say that, but it’s pretty heavily implied,” I assured her. “Also, Snape’s the new headmaster.”

Hermione pushed her plate away. “Oh, Harry, this is awful.”

“I know! Slytherin will win the House Cup for sure,” I said.

“Not that!” she snapped. “Voldemort has control over Hogwarts. He hates Muggleborns –”

“Allegedly.”

“– and he _despises _you, and I’m your Muggleborn best friend. There’s absolutely no way we can return to Hogwarts. How are we supposed to prepare for our NEWTs?”

I blinked. “Really? That’s your problem with this? I assumed you were talking about the murder.”

She buried her face in her hands and seemed to be having some difficulty breathing.

“It’ll be fine,” I reassured her. “I just turned seventeen. We grab Ron, go on the run, and finish the task Dumbledore set for us.”

Hermione peeked upwards, eyes alight with curiosity. “Task?”

“There are five items necessary to defeat Voldemort,” I said. “We have to gather them all and use them in a Dark ritual.”

It was time to collect my Horcruxes. Once Voldemort fell, who knew what would happen to them?

I continued, “They include the Gaunt ring, Voldemort’s pet snake, Ravenclaw’s Diadem, Hufflepuff’s Cup –”

“Those are lost artifacts, Harry,” Hermione said. “People have been searching for them for generations.”

I snorted. “Voldemort found them. How hard can it be? We don’t even have to find the last one. He’s currently wearing Slytherin’s locket.”

“So we’ll need to get it off of his neck, then?” Hermione asked.

“Not a problem,” I said cheerfully. “If he has it, then it’ll be there when we need it. He’s actually helping us by keeping it close because he is arrogant and insane.”

She rolled her eyes, but smiled. “That makes thing easier for us, I suppose. We’ll need someplace to stay –”

“Way ahead of you,” I assured her.

“Not the trunk,” she said.

“No, not that. It’s better than the trunk. I’ll tell you about it once we’ve grabbed Ron.”

I brought my trunk out from the guest bedroom. I held a hand out to Hermione, but she refused it with a tight smile. “You go ahead. I need to pack and have a talk with my parents.”

With a quick wave, I apparated to the Weasleys’ hovel.


Arriving at the Burrow, Hermione carefully stepped around my trunk, which was spewing a pearly mist. Soon, I would need to add fairy wings to my cauldron of Felix Felicis.

“Hi guys,” Hermione said, nodding to Ron, Ginevra, and me before turning to the man beside us. “Nice to see you again, Professor.”

Lupin smiled at her. “I’m not a professor anymore. Please, call me Remus.”

Something deep inside Hermione exploded at the thought of addressing a former authority figure as an equal, and she devolved into stuttered protests.

Ron interjected, “Lupin’s working with the werewolves now.”

Lupin sighed. “They’re not working with me, though. Not after all the Werewolf Rights legislation that just got pushed through.”

I snorted. “It’s about time, really. They were first suggested decades ago.”

Lupin said, “I’m surprised you all know so much about this.”

“Long-standing interest,” I said.

“My ex-girlfriend was really into it.” I think Ron was blushing, although it was hard to tell with the potions fumes obscuring his face.

With an arrogant tilt to her chin, Hermione declared, “Everyone should care about oppression.”

“I don’t actually care that much. I just like spending time with Harry,” Ginevra clarified.

“That’s horrible,” I said. “Your brother is a werewolf.”

“I am not!” Ron wailed.

Lupin slinked away during the ensuing argument. The whole incident was terribly upsetting. I was almost certain that Ron had come to terms with his lycanthropy. Giving up, I turned to Hermione. “You aren’t going to believe this. Dumbledore got us presents.”

I was right. Hermione didn’t believe me at all. “Harry,” she said delicately. “Dumbledore is dead.”

I beamed. “I know. I think I like him better this way. He never did this when he was alive.”

Hermione paled. “Um…”

“He left us stuff,” Ron said. “Like, inheritance.”

“Us?” Hermione said.

“The three of us. Not Ginevra,” I said. “Hardly surprising. He’s never liked her.”

Ginevra pouted. “Really? I don’t think we ever met.”

“That explains it, then,” I said.

Hermione frowned. “I’ve barely spoken to him, myself. Have you, Ron?”

Ron shook his head.

Her brow wrinkled. “What did he give us?”

“You got a book” – I handed it to her – “because everyone knows you like reading, Ron got Dumbledore’s wand, and I got a signet ring.”

Ron swished the elder wood wand, causing weak, black sparks to fall out, and I flashed the Gaunt ring at her. Ron said, “The stuff came with a note, but Harry wouldn’t let me read it.”

The note had said something along the lines of:

Harry,

Do not wear this ring. It is a Horcrux and will kill you. I’m speaking from personal experience. DO NOT PUT ON THE RING.

Good luck,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

“He said that the ring’s one of our special items and wished us luck.”

“Why’d you burn the note, then?” Ron asked.

“It’s sensitive information, Ron,” I shouted. “If we keep it around, then anyone could find out this ring’s importance!”

Ron blushed with shame. On second thought, that might have been the slowly reddening mist. I made a note to check on that potion soon.

“You shouldn’t take him on your trip,” Ginevra said. “I’ll be a better Ron.”

“Ginevra, we’ve been over this. We need your spy network.”

Also, I don’t like her that much.

“But –”

I raised a hand, though I’m not sure if she saw it in the thickening mist. “Enough. Only Hermione and Ron shall accompany me to Potter Manor.”

Hermione said, “Potter Manor?”

“My ancestral home, hidden for all these years,” I said.

“…You’ve never seen it, have you?” Hermione said.

I paused. “Well, no.”

“Are you sure you have a manor?”

“Don’t all Pureblood families have manors?”

“No, Harry,” Hermione said. “That fad occurred during the twelfth century when wizarding families were concerned about possibly going under siege. That’s why they have such extensive warding, and their larger grounds can be put to use for agricultural purposes. The Potter family isn’t nearly old enough for that.”

Ron asked, “What about my manor?”

“Lost to gambling debts. The Malfoys own it now,” Hermione said.

My jaw fell open, and red mist drifted inside. It tasted vaguely of cinnamon. “Is that why you hate each other so much?”

Ron said, “I guess. Mostly it’s ‘cause they’re gits.”

We were silent for a few moments, contemplating the ephemeral nature of history. At least, that’s what I was thinking about. I’m fairly certain Hermione was, too. I don’t know about the Weasleys.

Hermione interrupted our musings, “Harry, if there isn’t a Potter Manor. Then where are we going to stay?”

“The trunk, of course,” I said.

My cauldron of Felix Felicis promptly exploded, knocking the trunk over and sending a rush of black smoke towards us.

Ginevra giggled. “I feel loads better about staying behind!”


I woke up, muttering, “I always hated that name.”

Ron and Hermione were still asleep. The girl hugged her wand like a teddy bear while the Weasley curled into a ball, as if to take up as little space as possible.

The ceiling slid open to reveal starlight, and, dragging my cloak behind me, I trudged upwards. I waved it closed again as I settled invisibly onto the grass and said, “Voldemort.”

Pop! Pop!

Two Death Eaters arrived, waving their wands around wildly in search of rebels. The taller one frowned, “There’s no one here.”

“There’s gotta be,” the second grunted.

“Maybe the Taboo machine’s acting up.”

The shorter one jerked his head towards my home. “Or maybe they’re in that trunk there.”

“It seems pretty small,” he mused.

The other said, “Maybe it’s one a’ those magically expanded trunks.”

“I wouldn’t go in there if it was!” he cried. “My cousin had one of those. The thing broke and we had to bury him in it!”

The second snorted. “I know. I was at the funeral, too.”

“Maybe this is a test,” the taller said slowly, “from the Dark Lord. Maybe he’s trying to trick us.”

“Probly,” the shorter said. “Bet we oughta take the trunk, though.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure. It could be booby-trapped.”

“We can’t just head back,” he snapped. “I mean, _somebody _around here said Voldemort!”

Pop! Pop!

The two earlier Death Eaters raised their hands while their compatriots scanned the clearing for enemies.

“Woah, woah, don’t shoot. This moron here said Voldemort –”

They all groaned. Pop! Pop!

One of the men from the second group raised a hand for silence. “Okay. Clearly somebody said Vol…the word that nobody’s allowed to say.”

They all breathed a sigh of relief. He continued, “Let’s all agree to leave and not come back to this spot for a few minutes, alright?”

The Death Eaters nodded, popping away.

I wandered back into the trunk, rousing Ron and Hermione. “Fair warning: We aren’t allowed to say Voldemort, anymore. So, if you really want to say Voldemort, I’d suggest you say Voldemort now because, in about five minutes, we have to stop saying Voldemort.”


It was a plain barn owl, brown and plump. A ribbon on its ankle identified it as a rented bird from Diagon Alley. It dropped the letter at my feet, not waiting for a response, and didn’t even twitch as it passed through Grimmauld Place’s wards.

“Wingardium Leviosa,” I said, the letter flicking upwards and unfolding in front of me. It read:

Dear Lord Voldemort,

You may wonder why I, Harry Potter, have written you this letter. There are a few reasons for this.

First, I would like to inform you that my associate has brewed a cauldron of polyjuice potion, while I have kidnapped several of your Death Eaters. Further, we just followed this owl to your base.

By the time you’ve finished this letter, it will be too late.

Love,

Harry Potter


I leapt out of bed, humming merrily to myself. Hermione, for some inexplicable reason, immediately began panicking. She nearly tripped over our lamp (better known as Trelawney’s prophecy orb) on her way towards me. Funny. I thought she’d finally relaxed about sleeping in the trunk.

“Harry, why are you so happy?” she asked.

“You-Know-Who’s killing his own people!” I exclaimed.

Ron groaned, dragging himself into a sitting position. “What did you do, mate?”

“I sent him a letter. He thinks we’re breaking into his base. He’ll probably calm down in a few days, but then I’ll send him another letter,” I said. “Come to think of it, we should probably break into Gringotts while he’s distracted.”

Ron let out a strangled squeak, and Hermione weakly asked, “Sorry?”

“That’s where Bellatrix put Hufflepuff’s Cup,” I said.

“Okay, this is…” – Hermione ran a hand through her hair, her face gaunt under the orb’s bluish light – “Okay. We can do this. Let me get the Felix Felicis.”

She was clearly delusional with fear. I frowned. “Hermione, there isn’t any Felix Felicis. You made me stop brewing it for some inane reason.”

“Not that Felix Felicis,” Hermione said. “I’m talking about the vial I got from Slughorn for brewing the best Amortentia.”

Ron said, “You’ve still got that?”

She snorted, rummaging through her purse. “Of course. It’s not like I just used it the day I got it. That would be highly irresponsible.”

To be fair, that _was _how I found the Chamber of Secrets in four hours by skipping five hints. My original Sixth Year was quite the adventure, though it could never compare to Third.

“There it is,” she cried, pulling out a golden vial. It shimmered in the light of the prophecy orb.


“Hermione, are you still mad?” I whined, following my best minion through the busy London streets.

After several tense moments, Ron answered for her, “I’m pretty sure she is.”

I tossed the Cup of Hufflepuff between my hands, enjoying the familiar warmth of its golden sides. “Come on! We got the Cup, and everything went great…I know they’re called the Unforgivables, but you can still forgive me. Preferably in the next thirty seconds or so.”

“Get in the trunk,” she snarled.

I blinked, suddenly noticing the trunk propped against a lamppost. Right, Hermione had cast a Notice-Me-Not charm on it. I followed her inside. “I mean, really, would Moody have taught us the incantations if he didn’t expect us to use –”

She whirled around at the bottom of the staircase, wand aimed at my head. “You cast the Cruciatius Curse.”

“On a Death Eater,” I said.

Her chin trembled. Typical Hermione: only accepting violent retribution when she does it. “It was cruel and horrible and unnecessary –”

“I contest that,” I said. “You were taking Felix Felicis. If it wasn’t necessary to our success, the potion wouldn’t have let it happen.”

“I refuse to believe that _torture _was necessary. There were any number of options,” she said.

“Come to think of it, isn’t that potion supposed to give you your perfect day?” – my eyes widened – “Hermione, you don’t actually like that sort of thing? In fact, you’re probably still under its effects. You want this argument!”

“No, she doesn’t,” Ron said.

Hermione smiled. “Thank you, Ron. It’s nice to see you have some faith in me.”

That was probably the Felix Felicis working.

He turned red. “I know I’ve fallen for a lot of stupid arguments and things, but I think I know you pretty well, ‘Mione.”

She flushed and glanced away, probably contemplating how her entire life was a ruse constructed by the Department of Mysteries. They were silent for some time, not even looking in my direction. It irked me.

“I know you’re angry, but you don’t have to ignore me,” I said, the Cup’s handle clenched in my fist.

“Yes, we’re angry,” Hermione said, pulling Ron into her mutiny.

I shook my head, frustrated by her disloyalty and hypocrisy. “I don’t know why this is suddenly a problem. Nobody cared when Krum cast the Cruciatius.”

She gaped, surprised by my brilliant arguing tactics. “He was under the Imperius.”

I snorted. “Oh, sure he was. Everyone’s under the Imperius. Tell me, Hermione, who are all these wizards casting the Imperius? Maybe we need to accept that the people we’re looking for are the ones crucioing people.”

“So, you, then?” Ron said.

I shook my head, setting Hufflepuff’s Cup on the coffee table. “No, of course not. I can’t be held accountable for my actions. After all, I was under the Imperius.”


Another letter sat upon my desk. I glared at the parchment hard enough to burn a hole through it, then frantically covered it with my cloak to smother the resulting flames. A reparo returned it to a legible state, and, slumping into my throne, I read:

Dear Lord Voldemort,

I see that you have once again failed to catch myself and my companions, despite killing several of your Death Eaters. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot with you, and I am compelled to ask if you just really like killing your own people.

Regardless, my sense of fair play urges me to once again inform you of our visit tomorrow.

Love,

Harry Potter

P.S. I would like to assure you that I shall not be masquerading as Lucius Malfoy.


“You’ve killed him,” Hermione whispered, eyes wide. “I know he’s a bigot and probably a murderer, but I can’t believe you just consigned a man to death.”

“That does seem pretty nasty, mate,” Ron agreed.

I had no idea what she was talking about. “Hermione, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Lucius Malfoy!” she cried. “You just set him up to be killed.”

“No I didn’t. I specifically said that I wouldn’t be him. He’s probably the only one who’s safe.”

Hermione huffed, placing her hands on her hips. “Harry, you singled him out in a clearly sarcastic manner.”

“You’re overthinking things,” I said.

“Uh, that’s what I think, too,” Ron said, “and won’t You-Know-Who overthink it?”

“That’s possible, but, then, he’ll probably just decide that I want him to kill Lucius Malfoy for some reason and refuse to touch him.”

“But, what if he kills him just to be safe?”

I rolled my eyes. “Fine. I’ll ask him.”

Ron gaped. “You’ll what?”

I raised a hand to silence the Weasley as I yanked Voldemort’s consciousness into my head. “Yes or no question: Are you planning to kill Lucius Malfoy?”

After a few moments’ listening, I said, “I’m well aware that I told you I wouldn’t be him. No, I don’t retract that statement.”

I turned to my minions. “He said he wasn’t going to kill Lucius. Clearly, I was correct and…Why, yes, that is the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff. I’m not sure why you’re surprised about this; Bellatrix has always been one of ours. On that note, have you seen your Diary anywhere recently? No reason. Just curious.”

Voldemort slammed my head against the wall, then fled back to his body. Hermione was the first to find her voice. “Were you actually talking to He- Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?”

“I wasn’t talking to myself” – I paused for a moment, realizing that I was lying – “Regardless, he’s gone now. And he’s really upset about something.”


HOW COULD I NOT REMEMBER WHERE I’D LEFT MY SOUL?!

I struggled to calm myself, pacing Grimmauld Place’s dining room. The table had been transfigured into a throne, and the room cleared for an emergency meeting of my Inner Circle. Surely, one of them had my boyhood diary.

My eyes swept over the group, smaller now than it had ever been. It was for the better, I knew, cleared of traitors and spies. I turned to the most loyal of them all, Severus Snape. “Severus, did I ever give you a Dark artifact to watch over for me?”

Severus shook his head. “No, my lord. I’m afraid I was living in the same castle as Dumbledore. The risk was too great.”

“Of course,” I said. “Thank you for poisoning him, by the way.”

“It was my pleasure,” he drawled.

“I presume you were in a similar situation, Hagrid?”

Hagrid nodded, silent as always. Some might have found this suspicious, but I knew how invested he was in our success. After all, Giants’ Rights was a founding principle of the Death Eaters.

“Sirius, did I ever give you a small, black book?” I inquired.

Sirius laughed. “Nah. You gave me a necklace.”

My hands unconsciously drifted to the locket around my neck. “Yes, I suppose I did…What about you, Lucius?”

Lucius said, “No, my lord. You’ve given me nothing at all. May…may I please go?”

I frowned. “Why?”

“I need to brush my hair,” he said.

“Didn’t you just do that?”

He shook his head, terribly mussing his blond locks. “Yes, but I need to do it again.”

With a chuckle, I said, “You may go in a moment. Your son was trying to open the Room of Requirement, wasn’t he?”

“Yes, my lord, although he gave up on it some time ago.”

“Tell him to complete whatever trials are necessary,” I said.

He nodded, increasingly pale as I delayed his time with a hairbrush. “Of course, my lord.”

“Also, alert your sources in Hogwarts that we’re moving in. This location is no longer secure, and Trelawney has informed me that the castle will be a fortunate place for us.”


Having houseguests, I found, could be rather tiring. Gone were the days of lounging in my trunk, brewing a few cauldrons of Felix Felicis and plotting against Dumbledore. Whenever the silence stretched for a while and I began to drift off to sleep under my invisibility cloak, someone invariably interrupted the peace.

Usually Ron.

The redhead groaned. “Are you still reading that book?”

I dragged my invisibility cloak off of my head in order to glare at him, and Hermione glanced up from The Tales of Beedle the Bard, lips pursed. “It’s very informative –”

“It’s for kids!” he shouted.

She rolled her eyes. “Informative about cultural standards, Ronald. The morality tales told to children reveal a great deal about a society’s values.”

Ron blinked. “Wha?”

“Morality tales, Ronald,” she said. “They teach Wizarding children what wizards think are important lessons.”

“For instance,” I said. “The moral of The Fountain of Fair Fortune _is that the magic was within you all along. The moral of _The Warlock’s Hairy Heart is that you shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks of you. And the moral of The Tale of the Three Brothers is that you should be invisible at all times.”

Hermione frowned at me, as she often does. “That isn’t the moral at all. It’s that you can’t cheat death.”

“Really, Hermione? Did you even read the tale? It clearly states that the youngest brother spends his entire life under an invisibility cloak, only taking it off when he wanted to die. I’m not sure why he would have wanted that, though,” I mused, pulling my cloak tightly around my shoulders.

Ron laughed. “Probly because he spent his whole life under an invisibility cloak.”

Hermione’s face reddened. “He did not –”

“D’ya think he had kids under there?” Ron said.

“That is disgusting and –”

“He probably kept his entire family under the cloak, to prevent vengeance from Death,” I said. It was what I would do.

Ron said, “I bet they’re still there.”

“IT WAS A METAPHOR!” Hermione shouted. Her voice echoed throughout the trunk, and Ron paled, likely reminded of his mother’s Howlers.

“Did the story say it was a metaphor?” I asked.

“Of course not,” she snapped.

“Then how do you know?” I said.

“Starting to sound like a Slytherin, mate,” Ron said.

I brushed him off. “Actually, I’m sounding more like Dumbledore.”

“Yes,” Hermione said stiffly, “and he’s the one who left me the book. I think it might be some sort of clue.”

I snorted, falling back into bed with a thump. “He’s obviously manipulating us. He’s set us up on an adventure, and we won’t understand half of it until he explains afterwards.”

“He can’t, though,” Ron said. “He’s dead.”

I rolled onto my side, mumbling, “He’s got a portrait.”


It didn’t take long to settle into my new office. I was perfectly content to keep Dumbledore’s knickknacks and expensive pensieve. I wouldn’t have minded the phoenix, either, but it had disappeared sometime before my arrival. I took a lemon drop from Dumbledore’s tin, rolling it between my fingers. After many years, I finally had the chance to test it for poison.

Severus Snape swept into my office. “It appears that the students are rebelling.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because we are Death Eaters.”

“I’m not an idiot,” I snapped. “…but I will admit to continued confusion. I haven’t done anything worth rebelling against.”

“Dumbledore filled the Gryffindors’ heads with ridiculous notions,” Severus said.

“Right, he always did favor them.” I never understood where he got that bias. Dumbledore went to Durmstrang.

“The Hufflepuffs are following them, as they always do,” he said, “and most of the Ravenclaws haven’t even noticed.”

“And the Slytherins?” I asked.

Severus smirked. “Passive aggressive, but that’s probably because you killed their parents.”

“Potter killed some of them,” I said modestly.

Potter did not publically take credit for their deaths.”

In retrospect, I probably should have taken Bellatrix off of my Public Relations team prior to her revelation as a traitor.

“Have you tried taking House Points?”

Severus nodded. “I did, but they ran out.”

I snorted. “There’s your problem. You lose all your power when they see they can’t win.”

“That’s probably why they’re so upset,” Severus drawled. “Also, the Carrows have been crucioing First Years.”

I’d expected the Carrows to be incompetent, but this was actively hurting the learning environment. Clearly, they would have to go.

I scowled, waving Severus away with a request to send up Sirius and the Malfoys.

They arrived quickly. The Malfoys were pale and nervous, but Sirius retained the relaxed demeanor that had earned him his place at my right hand. I smiled, Lucius flinched, and I smiled wider in response. “Sirius, would you like to be the Muggle Studies professor?”

He shrugged. “Yeah, sure.”

“Then I shall be the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor,” I declared, staring dreamily at the ceiling.

“That’s a great idea!” Sirius said.

Lucius, displaying his pessimistic nature, said, “Are you…sure about this, my lord?”

Sirius smirked. “What? You think he’ll be a bad professor?”

“No, of course not,” Lucius said. “I was simply concerned that he might be distracted from other goals. Like running Wizarding Britain.”

“You underestimate me,” I said coldly.

“I think you’ll be brilliant, my lord!” the younger one blurted out.

I chuckled, rising from my desk to approach him. “Ah, Draco. I’ve been meaning to speak with you. How go the trials?”

Draco peered intently at his toes. “I’m, uh…stuck.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Stuck?”

“I can’t get into the Girls’ Dormitory for the next key piece. There are wards.”

I clenched my wand in annoyance. “For Merlin’s sake, you’re a wizard! Turn yourself into a girl. I can think of three ways off the top of my head.”

Draco looked pale. “Oh…”

“Or you could befriend a girl and have her do it” – I waved my wand around for emphasis – “Then you’ll find out about friendship or something. What’s important is that you find a lesson and learn it.”

“Th-thank you,” he said, voice trembling along with the rest of his body.

“You can leave, now,” I said.

The Malfoy clone scurried away, likely planning to join his classmates’ rebellion. I shook my head and turned my attention back to Dumbledore’s lemon drops.


A Bird’s Eye View: Fawkes POV

I landed upon the Apprentice’s shoulder. The muscle beneath me was tensed, the shiny sword raised for battle. It pleased my eyes, and I sang in support. The Red one covered her ears, revealing her corruption to the world. But the others did not understand this.

Evil filled their nest. It was in the Apprentice’s nature to fight it. I am the same.

For now, I would aid him. Lunge at the evil ones. Claw out their eyes.

But the Apprentice did not need me. He was too noble. He would do the right thing without being watched.

My Old Roost was dead and my New Roost gone. The New Roost would return, as he always did. When he came, I would be there to ensure that he denied his darker nature.

I feared what he would do if I was not there. Watching.

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