Chapter 20 : Knowledge
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It was almost 5pm when a knock on his door broke the monotonous silence that filled his room, there was only one of two people who it could be, both of which Harry needed to speak with. He sprang from his chair with agility that a man as exhausted as he could seldom possess. His long strides took him to the door in moments and upon opening it he launched into a furiously paced monologue.
‘Ron, ‘Mione. You’re not going to believe what I’ve seen, what I possess and what I’ve read. I saw it Ron, just like you said, he had them, and he could use them. I saw him practicing and then I fought him. I took these books from him and they have powerful curses and counter curses, jinxes and counter jinxes, wards and blood wards. It’s a tome containing magic over a thousand years old and it has the spell we need. The one to free Ginny.’ No sooner had he said Ginny’s name than he stopped dead in his tracks and smiled. Ron and Hermione were both looking at him funnily.
‘Mate, you need to calm down. Start from the beginning, where have you been all this time? We’ve had lessons, I know you haven’t been turning up for the last couple of weeks but today was…no, I mean today…is important.’
‘What Ronald is trying to say is why didn’t you stick to the plan Harry?’
Harry’s jaw tightened, he could do without being berated right now.
‘I did stick to the plan, at least I did at first. But it was so easy, getting in was easier than in our second year. I snuck in and I found the dorms with no problem, Wei Sheng was in his room practicing battle magic. I saw it with my own eyes.’ Hermione put her hands on her hips, closed her eyes and shook her head.
‘DAMN IT HERMIONE, I SAW IT AND SO DID RON. HE’S A FUCKING BATTLE MAGI.’ Hermione recoiled at the strength of Harry’s voice. To which he sighed and lowered his voice,
‘I know it’s hard to believe but he is involved in all this, I just wish I knew how. He had all of these books about evil magic and I could feel dark magic in the room, it was pulsating all around me. I realise now that it was pretty stupid to go in alone when there were students everywhere but it’s done.’ Ron put a calming hand on his best friends shoulder.
‘Ok mate, just tell us what happened from the beginning.’ Harry shook his head.
‘I’ll do one better than that, I’ll show you.’ Harry walked over to the far side of the room and opened his cupboard where his recently bought pensieve was kept. Harry bought it not three weeks ago, and had gone over memories of himself and Ginny during the summer months when they had the chance to be happy. Ron and Hermione didn’t know he had the pensieve until now.
‘When did you get a pensieve mate?’
‘Couple of weeks ago mate, but that’s not important now.’ Harry placed his wand to his head and drew out the memory he needed, placed it in the pensieve and gestured for Hermione and Ron to have a look. The pair of them placed their heads in the bowl and watched the events of that morning. After a few minutes, Hermione was standing muttering to herself something about the realms of possibility. Ron and Harry looked at one another and couldn’t help but smile, no matter how brilliant Hermione was, she still struggled to think out of the box.
‘So we know Wei Sheng’s a battle mage, and I’m pretty sure what our African friend said was directed toward you Harry.’ Harry nodded at Ron’s comment.
‘We also know he’s able to control plants. We need to do some reading on these sorts of abilities, we have to know something more about them. Not only that but I feel like they’re connected somehow to this dream of Ginny’s. I think we should read through the books I have tonight to try to find some information. I must speak with Professor Fitzgerald too, and perhaps with Albus. I must find the spell and try to cast it as soon as possible. ‘
‘Harry slow down, we can’t do all of that tonight, lets settle down and do some reading first. Once we know more about what we’re up against then we can try to help you learn this spell and eventually have you prepared well enough to get Ginny back.’ Unfortunately Harry didn’t want to listen to Hermione’s words of advice.
‘I can’t wait around ‘Mione. I’ve been reading all day and I’ve read accounts of battle magic. It’s a very real threat and it’s got an amazing versatility and power about it like no other form of magic I’ve ever read about or seen. I’ve found nothing about the controlling of plants, but I have lots of books here that may have information in, so get reading. We’re wasting time discussing it needlessly.’
Ron agreed wholeheartedly despite his lack of passion for reading, the sooner they could get Ginny back, the better. Harry settled himself in the armchair in front of the fireplace and pointed to it, the logs burst into flame. After a brief moment of silence Harry spoke
‘What can Kreacher do for noble master?’
‘Kreacher, there’s a couple of things. Firstly could you bring us some sandwiches and pumpkin juice please. I’ll speak to you about the other when you come back.’ Kreacher nodded and Harry gave him a smile in recognition. The ancient house elf disappeared with a crack.
Harry settled back in his chair and opened the decrepit tome to where he’d read up to. The chapter he was on was not particularly relevant to Ginny’s situation but it described a condition which enabled witches or wizards to channel their magic through their entire body, emitting pure magical energy. He was trying to gain an insight into the mist like substance that he himself could produce and control.
‘The pathways that exist in a magical being are unique to the individual that they belong to. Some are rather thin in diameter and so magic struggles to flow from the core to a point on the body where it can be unleashed from. Others are unusually wide and allow easy manipulation of the magical core, some so much so that no vessel is required to release energy. This in a being’s early years is known as accidental magic, normally caused by severe emotion which causes the pathways to react in unknown ways, hence the random act of accidental magic. In later years, if harnessed correctly then wandless magic may be achieved. In very rare and extreme cases, the being in question may still release bouts of accidental magic in later years which in turn can lead to pure magical energy being emitted at random, this can lead to magical exhaustion, however if controlled correctly the individual may become extraordinarily powerful.
The magical core of the magical being is the place where a being’s magic stems from and has a very sensitive membrane surrounding it, huge emotion can disturb this membrane. For example when a large amount of adrenaline is released it can induce a release of magical energy so large that the pathways widen exponentially and the body cannot cope so magic in its purest form is released and can be uncontrollable. This can kill the being that it is released from, at the very least the person will succumb to tiredness at first, suffering physical and mental exhaustion. Though if the person can learn to control this release of pure magic then they may bend it to do whatever they wish. They must however be very careful for over exertion can be fatal due to the membrane around the magical core being disturbed. It will continue to release pure magic until high emotion is overcome or the situation that has forced the pure magic to be released is resolved. This could leave the being with no magical core left if they survive, and thus the being would from that moment forward probably be a squib. These magical outbursts shall we call them, widen the magical pathways, which can also be a danger to somebody with a weak magical core. Most who have them do not survive, those that do become very powerful.
A squib has magical pathways but they are either too small to actually carry any magic or their magical core contains so little magic that there is not enough to pass down a magical pathway and be released.’
This passage intrigued Harry, he had only recently discovered this new ability he possessed. He had now discovered that his magical pathways were probably wider than many witches and wizards and he had survived the first few outbursts which probably occurred due to high emotion, but surely there’s more to it? He could control it, but not really how he wanted to, the book stated he could use it to do practically anything but if he used it too much then it could kill him, how could he learn his limits?
Harry pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind as he flicked back to the contents page, he scanned the page looking for the section on rare magic that generally only existed genetically. The magics were listed in alphabetical order and the first was battlemagic.
`Battlemagi have existed for millennia, it was once an art form that could be taught. However, now there are very few who have the aptitude to learn. The use of battle magic died out in part due to the peaceful times in the magical world, but also in part due to technological advances in the muggle world. No muggle borns would be born with aptitude to learn the art, so only those who could control the magics could pass on their knowledge, and it soon became clear that only those who were born to those with an aptitude for the magic could learn it.
The first sign of this magic is when a magical youth would charge a non magical object with their own magic, at a young age this can be dangerous. Why is it only weapons are charged with magic and not non weapons? We will answer this question. As a child, a dangerous object used to inflict pain or death does not exist coherently. The child would not think about a weapon, for their knowledge of them is slim to none, so therefore any object can be used to produce lethal force. However, as a child’s thought processes evolve to recognise dangerous weapons then they cannot channel their magic through any object, and only those that they recognise as usable in combat, those battle magi evolved to the highest level can recognise any object as usable in combat and can therefore channel through any object.
Many weapons are produced especially with magical cores like wands, this is another reason why many battle mages who are born to parents who were also battle mages will be nowhere near as powerful. The magic is helped by the core in the weapon and channels less of their own magic through the weapon, thus requiring little of their own focus. There are many spells that can make use of the unique channelling through a weapon and so a battle mage is a fearsome foe.
Characteristics of a battle mage may include a special robe with the symbol of ‘The School of Magical Battle’ and also their favourite weapon worn in a woven case on their left hip. At the start of battle they will have their left hand on their heart and their right hand on the weapon.’
Harry found this intriguing for when he looked back into the dreams he’d had he recalled one of the groups of people threatening him wore robes with the same symbol depicted in the book and all stood with their hands as the book suggested. Harry was getting somewhere, Wei Sheng was definitely involved. Harry flicked through the book some more and found a section describing a group of people who could control nature and began to read.
`The next group of people we are going to look at are dangerous individuals and are often secretive people who keep themselves to themselves. As with all other magics in this section, it is a genetic ability. The witch or wizard who possesses the ability to communicate with plants and animals are a great ally, there is not a great deal to say on the matter, the ability itself is fairly self explanatory, however the reason behind why a witch or wizard is able to communicate with sentient natural beings is unclear. It is believed the ability started when an unfortunate witch cursed herself with not being able to see or speak. Though this was unfortunate, she became a collector of plants and magical beasts because it was easier to communicate with them, her senses evolved and its believed her exposure to only magical beings besides witches and wizards in her seclusion from all things wizarding led her to evolve and be able to communicate with magical beings with her mind. Through her, many of her ancestors have inherited the ability too. Their affinity with plants and animals surpasses any other human beings. The few that are recognised around the world are proud of their heritage and as such enter a duel or battle in special robes and kneeling with the palm of their non wand hand flat on the ground.
The paragraph came to an abrupt end, it was apparent that not much was known about that particular mysterious group of people. Harry was pleased with the progress being made, but not pleased enough, that was until Hermione shrieked at the top of her lungs. She’d found the spells Harry needed to enter Ginny’s dream.
Harry’s movement was so sudden that he toppled his armchair over, the pile of books next to him was thrown to all corners of the giant rug that Hermione had placed them upon so neatly. He slipped and landed face first on the hard wood floor. His adrenaline was pumping so hard, that he didn’t even feel his cheek bounce off of the floor board.
`You’ve really found it ‘Mione?’ Hermione nodded enthusiastically and handed the book to Harry who recognised the spell name instantly. He exhaled deeply and sat down on his bed to read about the spell he would have to learn.
`Mate, I think we’ve done enough for today, a good nights rest will do us all the world of good. We can trust Madam Pomfrey with Ginny for now, it won’t be long until we can get her back mate you’ll see. Harry didn’t react at all to Ron’s speech, Hermione and Ron knew Harry in this mood, there would be no getting him to snap out of it at all, so they left arm in arm, leaving Harry to his thoughts.
As soon as Hermione and Ron left his room, Harry sprang to life. He knew that if he looked like he wanted to be alone, then he would invariably be left alone. That was one thing he’d learnt over the past few weeks, he knew how people reacted to him and his emotions. Even his own best friends, he knew them better than anyone just like they knew him, it felt wrong using that to his advantage but right now Ginny was his number 1 priority…his only priority.
His wand was in his hand and he was practicing the motion he needed to perform the spell in the book. He knew nothing of its method but before anything he could practice the wand movement. And practice the wand movement he did.
An hour later Harry was still mindlessly putting himself through the most vigorous way of repetitively moving his wand forwards and backwards, around in an anticlockwise circle followed by around his head and pointing toward the floor whilst imagining what he had seen whilst glimpsing Ginny’s dreams. He repeated the motion hundreds of times and did not need to think of it anymore, which was just as well considering the more he thought about Ginny’s dream, the more immersed he became, he wished he could be in Ginny’s dream, he felt with all his heart that he had to do something to help her. He was sure she could fight it forever but she deserved more and even though he didn’t think it, he did too. Harry didn’t know it but he was unconsciously moving, gliding would be the only way to describe it, toward his large oak bookcase. Rather unceremoniously he bumped into the wall knocking his head and cutting every last thought of his off. He shook his head and he noticed a book had fallen into his hand. He looked down and there sitting in his palm was the large green stone Kingsley had found for him. He smiled, he was so close to helping Ginny, he had the stone and he knew all about the dream. His mind wandered and he thought about what he must do when he got into Ginny’s dream, how he could overcome the death that was given to him in that virtual reality.
The room became fuzzy all of a sudden, the colours he could see from the window, the leather bound books, the paintings and his bed sheets swirled in a whirlpool. Harry struggled to focus his vision and had no idea what was going on. He froze and as soon as he stopped moving, he realised he’d been thinking of Ginny’s dream, he had been holding the stone and he had been waving his arms in the motion required for the spell. How had he done it? He didn’t know how the spell worked, all he understood was his will to see Ginny through this was as great as his will to do anything. He supposed that coupled with his knowledge of the dream he and Ginny were a part of had given him enough to go wherever he was now.
The maelstrom of colour subsided and Harry found himself face up on the ground, he could feel cold stone beneath his back and could see the clear night sky by the light of a full moon. Groggily, Harry clambered to his feet and noticed he was in a dark robe with a hood covering his face, as his eyes came into focus he found himself staring at large wooden doors and knew exactly where he was. Hogwarts was under threat and he was the lone defender standing in that threats way. He sighed deeply and closed his eyes, he needed no motivation for doing what needed to be done in this instance. He turned slowly and opened his eyes as he heard the familiar sound of a phoenix cry.
Fawkes circled the sky above him in a downward spiral before landing on Harry’s shoulder, Harry stroked him under the beak as he turned and looked toward the forbidden forest. Between him and the forest stood many, many witches and wizards all in varying coloured robes and standing in varied positions, some stood with an arm across their body on a weapon case worn on their hip, others were knelt with their non wand wielding hand, palm down on the ground, Harry recognised both of these battle starting positions but some of the others with their wand raised to the heavens, Harry did not recognise. Harry sighed and lowered his hood, uncovering his face. In a matter of seconds a flurry of noise and movement began, a loud command from the forest beyond signalled the first of a wave of shouts from his opponents, and a shrill shriek that sounded so very much like Ginny. Harry knew where she was and he looked in her direction from memory of the dream. He clenched his jaw and despite being immeasurably happy at being able to hear Ginny’s voice, the manner in which he heard it enraged him. Harry sprang to life, he would play along with this dream for as long as he needed to, until he could save Ginny.