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Chapter Thirty: Ravenclaw and Revelations

Harry felt his previous depression and concern for Severus become briefly overwhelmed by the shock and amazement at Severus' proclamation. "A prophecy addressed to us specifically?"

"Well," Severus drawled as he considered the parchment again, "Not by name, but most definitely by description, and by the fact that the writing magically revealed itself when it appeared blank before." Thrusting the page under Harry's nose, he inquired, "Can you read it now?"

Squinting at the page again, Harry shook his head. "Still looks blank to me."

"And to me as well," Dumbledore noted as he peered over Harry's shoulder.

"Hmm. I expect that it would have something to do with which of the two of us is able to perceive the other's aura." More dryly Severus added, "You will likely be able to see the wondrous delight of Ravenclaw's script the next time we ... shift abilities."

"Abilities?" Harry let his eyebrows rise incredulously. "I don't feel any different now then from before this whole thing started between us."

"That is something we will have to experiment with. Once we are able to leave this protected area." Reclaiming the parchment, Severus gestured with a flourish, "As a matter of fact, that is what these words of wisdom are referring to."

Son of Gryffindor, Head of Slytherin.
Two lives altered by mine fellows,
Have met them not yet live their lives
In hatred and in friendship -
I send this hidden help to you.

Thy safety lies with each other.
Together abilities are increased, especially upon touch.
Efforts that seek thee harm shall be thwarted.
One shall heal, shall know all the other requires
While from the other shall emanate the magnified power of both.
Trust in thy fate, and in thy friends.'

Severus' voice fell silent and neither Harry nor Dumbledore seemed especially eager to shatter the solemn quiet while considering this new prophecy. When Severus spoke again, it was to the accompaniment of a small jump of startlement from Harry. Being more experienced, Dumbledore merely blinked as the words pressed themselves into being. "One might interpret that to mean that so long as Harry and I are together in some fashion we would be more capable of defending ourselves ... and developing our powers."

A thoughtful hum came from the Headmaster of Hogwarts as he rubbed speculative at his chin. "It does indeed sound as though Rowena Ravenclaw has offered us further hope. After all, it would be difficult for the two of you to remain here in the isolation ward indefinitely."

The reception of the idea from both man and boy was one of distaste. Both also seemed about to speak at the same time, but Harry's lack of hesitation in the words won out as he said with affection, "Stay here? With him? I'd go barmy!" He grinned.

Severus felt irritation at Harry's usurping of his sentiment, but he hadn't wanted to harm the boy again so had reconsidered the wisdom of the words. Doing otherwise and hurting Harry's feelings was hard on the eyes. But when he saw Harry's aura swirling now with amusement and ... was that affection? His own irritation was transfigured into amazement at the sight. From the past experience of Harry seeing and reacting to his aura, and from what Severus had seen of Harry's so far, the aura viewing seemed to be a painfully accurate source of information. But affection? From Harry Potter? Severus shook his head to himself before regarding Harry again. "It seems decided then. Once Harry has recovered we will leave the isolation ward. First we'll spend some time out in the main hospital area where the wards will be close at hand if necessary, and then we can continue from there."

"But where will I stay?" Harry asked. Between his expression and the forlorn colors in his aura he seemed more a waif than a wizard.

"You'll come with me to my office first; there is a great deal we will need to do in regards to learning to handle these new abilities and not a lot of time to do it in." Settling in what had quickly become his chair between the two bunks, Severus brooked no argument.

"Gryffindor Tower can be made ready for habitation again, Harry," Dumbledore offered, "But I think it might be best for you to stay close to Severus for now. There are one or two empty rooms in the dungeons which would serve nicely."

Severus sighed, but saw the sense of Dumbledore's words and nodded. He didn't need to see Harry's aura to perceive his alarm. "But what about later? When the school year begins? What are we going to do then? Will I have to stay in the dungeons with the Slytherins? What will I tell Ron and Hermione?"

"One question at a time, Potter" Severus quietly growled, his use of Harry's last name more of a focusing point for the boy rather than a gesture of disregard.

"Severus, I must express a deep concern for your situation as it stands," Dumbledore murmured, resting one hand upon the back of Severus' chair from where he stool next to it. "I don't want you to return to Voldemort, especially now."

Before Severus was able to finish opening his mouth to deliver the withering sarcasm that was his knee-jerk response to the statement, Harry again trod over Severus' words with his own. "But is there no way to stop him from being summoned and causing him pain? At one point Voldemort was even speaking to him telepathically."

It was with a good deal of control that Severus didn't turn his suddenly increased ire upon Harry- but that was abruptly cut short when he saw the colors in the boy's aura now. Fear. Not for Harry but for ... himself. Harry was afraid for him- protective, helpless and feeling an almost crippling worry as the boy wrapped his arms around himself, beseeching Dumbledore with his eyes.

Almost absently, Severus wondered how many more times his acceptedworld view was going to be skewed under the influence of the aura-awareness. Keeping his voice factual, he leaned forward just a little towards the boy. "Potter. Harry. From our recent experience and the prophetic pieces of advice I should say that we have the answers to that, do you not agree? You will be my protection as I am yours."

The boy turned suddenly to meet his regard, colors of shock and happiness wreathed around him at the pronouncement. "Really?"

"No, Potter, I said that just to waste breath. Yes, really." Severus was treated to a more literal than he liked example of the phrase 'beaming smile' and found that he had to squint and look away briefly. He found that he didn't want to look away for long, however ... the warmth was something difficult to resist. Severus consoled himself with the fact that he had maintained his composure throughout. To distract the boy from continuing it, he waved a hand as though to disperse a patch of toxic fumes. "What little piece of insight did you have about the prophecies before this whole delightful soul baring session began?"

Harry blinked with incomprehension for a few moments before remembering. "Oh! Erm." Having the grace to blush and squirm uncomfortably, even if only for a moment, the boy explained. "The one about the Fall and the Separation. My end of our powers- at least the aura part of it- became active just after you were cursed from your broom and fell, losing your memory. Your end of the powers started after we were separated for the first time after all of this by the protective wards."

Severus nodded his acknowledgement of Harry's analysis even as he cast a mildly annoyed glance up at Dumbledore who was still hovering over him. The older wizard was less subtle in his congratulations to Harry for his perception, but Severus took that as part and parcel of being a Gryffindor. All too soon afterwards Severus was wishing for the end to Dumbledore's visit as the older wizard turned his concern upon Severus once more due to Harry's mentioning his loss of memory. "Enough already!" Severus frowned at Dumbledore. "Leave us alone and let Harry get some rest so that we can finally get out of-" biting back the undeserved uncomplimentary words he had been about to express, he finished off with, "... this place."

The restraint proved itself fortuitous as Madam Pomfrey chose that moment to enter the ward, a knowing smirk firmly planted upon her features. "Perhaps I should take you on as a nurse in training, Severus. Your bedside manner is charming and you give such wonderfully phrased advice to both visitors and patients."

When Severus stiffened rather than showing any sign of amusement at her teasing, Madam Pomfrey seemed troubled but swiftly set about enforcing Severus' 'request' of Dumbledore, shooing him out of the ward. When she didn't immediately return, Severus sighed and closed his eyes, leaning back into the cushions of his chair and reminding himself that Pomfrey hadn't been aware of the circumstances surrounding his words to Harry before his retreat into the washroom. It wasn't as though things like that had ever mattered to him at any rate; he didn't really know why Pomfrey's words gave him a shock of surprise and hurt and quite frankly he didn't care to know.

Harry's voice quietly intruded upon his thoughts and echoed them as well. "She didn't mean it that way, you know."

"I am aware of that," Severus murmured in reply without opening his eyes. "Now be quiet and get some rest lest I be forced to pour a sleeping draught down your throat." A pause and he added, "We shall see the test results from the scan in my office once we return there."


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