Chapter 11: Potter Manor

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Author's Note: I've also had a brilliant suggestion from a YouTube comment to change Si Ji Pavilion to a real sorcery sect, Shangqing Mao Shan School, so I'll be going through and making that edit soon as well.

Amazingly, we're still in August 1881 until next chapter, when we finally get into September. We'll probably skip through October to get to Hogwarts at last. Harry needs to go to Ollivanders first.

~~~

August 1881

"Alright, spill," Rose demanded as she came down the stairs the next morning with her hanfu skirt tied across her chest to show her calves and give her freer movement. “What on earth did you do last night to those girls. Aunt Mei Ling said that started a fight.” 

“I didn’t start a fight!” Harry frowned. “They started fighting all on their own.”

“You incited it,” Remus said, not looking up from his coffee.

“All that I did was compliment them both. They’re the ones who felt they each better ‘suited’ for me. They started competing and fighting all on their own.”

“Oh,” Rose said slowly. “So that’s why you did it.”

“Wait – you understand this insanity?” Remus asked her, sounding impressed. “Please, for the sake of all that is good and green in this world, explain it to me.”

“You’re so overdramatic,” Harry said, rolling his eyes.

“They’re not interested in him,” Rose said, dishing out some rice into her bowl. “They’re interested in the legend of Henry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, Heir of the Potter Estate and Fortune. He exposed their fake faces. Let me guess – they didn’t ask a single question about you as a person.”

“Not a one,” Harry nodded.

“See? They weren’t earnest about their courting, so he tricked them as punishment.”

“You exposed their shallowness,” Remus realized. “Well, I’m impressed, Harry. That’s actually rather clever – and probably necessary. Lots of kids at the school are going to be—”

“Yeah,” Harry nodded. “Draco warned me.”

“So!” Rose sighed. “Off to Potter Manor today?”

“Off to look at it,” Remus clarified. “It’s going to be a mess. Be ready.”

“Once we see it, we can start working on a repair plan,” Harry said as Sean and Marie joined them. “It’s a big house, right?”

“It’s practically a palace,” Aunt Mei Ling said, sitting next to Remus and accepting a bowl of rice from him. “The Potter Manor is quite expansive. I attended a ball there once. The ballroom itself was larger than most houses.”

“It’ll take years to restore it,” Remus admitted. “But we need to have a look and see how bad the damage is from the attack fifteen years ago. I don’t think James even did repairs before abandoning the manor.”

“It’s probably infested,” Sean pointed out. “Who knows what’s moved in.”

“Indeed,” Remus said. “And many of those critters are likely magical creatures, which makes clean-up even more complicated.”

They finished breakfast and filed out of the inn and down to the veranda overlooking the lake, only to hear hushed bickering.

“I was here first!”

“He doesn’t want you here! You’re a brute!”

“Then you’d better run away before I give you a good beating!”

“Ladies,” Harry greeted smoothly, leaning against the banister to smirk at them. “I’m surprised to see you both this morning, considering that rather embarrassing debacle last night.”

“Oh, Harry!” Elizabeth giggled. Like Aunt Mei Ling, she was wearing trousers, but with a western blouse and tailored vest. “Beautiful morning, isn’t it?”

“Good morning,” Xiang bowed lightly, adorned in a simple cross-front shirt and knee-length skirt, which Harry had never seen before on a woman in public. Curiously, there was no hair on her legs, much like how Harry's body hair had been removed by the cleaning salts at the bathhouse.

“Wonder if they learned their lesson,” Rose whispered as she passed Harry. He wondered as well and followed them to greet Lord Selwyn and Wei Jing.

There was a ladder at the edge of the veranda down to the loch, and the ten travellers descended down into a covered river boat. Wei Jing took a look stick to push them off from the edge while Remus steered using the rudder stick across the loch toward the southern shore.

“It’s this beautiful?” Elizabeth asked, leaning against Harry's arm.

“So romantic,” Xiang commented, reaching down and lightly touching the water, stretching out her legs in front of Harry, who scoffed silently and shook his head at their obviousness.

Rose looked between them expectantly before scoffing much more loudly than either of them, drawing their attention. “Wow,” she said simply while Remus bit his lips.

“I didn’t get the chance to ask last night, Miss Evans,” Elizabeth said. “How are you and Harry—”

“We’re cousins,” Rose said. “We grew up together. He’s closer to me than my own brother.”

“Think of Rose as Harry's sister,” Remus suggested. “She’s very dear to him.”

“I see that you enjoy Chinese clothing,” Xiang said. “I could show you my wardrobe sometime. And I would be happy to tutor you both in Mandarin.”

“How sweet,” Rose said. Harry knew her voice well enough to know that, even though her tone sounded sweet to a stranger, she was angry and hiding it. It was the same tone that she used with her family when they bullied Harry in public.

“And I must introduce you to my wee brother,” Elizabeth said. “He’s not to Hogwarts until the year after next, so you two can play while we’re gone.”

“Lovely.”

And that was it. They didn’t ask any questions or try to get to know Rose or Harry at all for the rest of the voyage to a river that flowed down from the mountain. Remus cast a spell on the boat that allowed it to cut through the downstream current more effectively, sailing them up toward the mountain.

“The Potters built this river, you know,” Lord Selwyn explained, pointing out the stone banks. “It leads to the old mill.”

“Mill?” Harry asked.

“I said before that Shéhú was built to replace Druid’s Grove,” Remus said, “but it wasn’t built in the same place exactly – just in this same area, within the Blood Wards. The ruins of the Grove were consecrated as sacred ground. The immigrants of Shéhú didn’t dare disturb it, so they built their village on the cliff by the fields, closer to the work and food. Unlike western architecture, Eastern architecture can adapt to incredibly rough terrain. The Potter Manor was rebuilt right where it originally was, though, because it has to centre the Blood Wards. Lord Charlus Potter believed that the distance would protect the villagers in case someone else attacked the new manor. The original Potter Manor had a mill for turning some of the magical herbs out here into powders.”

“Our Manor’s out here as well,” Lord Selwyn smiled. “We’ll be neighbours once you get it fixed up. Ah, here we are!” He pointed at a small castle up the river that had a boat enclave. A woman was waving a towel at them out of one of the windows. “Hello, my darling! That’s my wife.”

“Would you like to stop and meet my mother, Harry?” Elizabeth asked expectantly, fluttering her eyelashes at him and gripping his arm.

“Why don’t you introduce Xiang and Mr. Cho to your mother?” Harry suggested sweetly. “In fact, why don’t you two go have fun, just you girls.”

“What?”

“Sorry?”

“Harry's never seen Potter Manor before,” Rose said to them. “It’s an emotional introduction.”

“Of course,” Wei Jing agreed. “You wish to see the Manor privately first.”

“Come down for lunch,” Lord Selwyn said, hopping out onto the edge of the dock and offering a hand to his daughter, who reluctantly departed the boat.

“There’s a plan,” Remus beamed, helping Xiang out with her father.

“See you later, Harry!”

“Be careful, Harry!”

“What am I, invisible?” Rose hissed to her cousin.

“No one else matters to a young girl in love,” Aunt Mei Ling chuckled.

Hanging between the edge of the castle and a lamppost on the other side of the river was a a rope with long cotton ribbons hanging down that they gentle parted to pass. As soon as they passed the rope, Harry felt a sharp pain in his chest that caught his breath.  

“Harry?” Remus asked worriedly. “Are you okay?”

Harry moved to the front of the boat, looking out ahead of them. The trees hung long and low, hiding the sky in their boughs. The banks were overgrown on both sides, but stone walls without roofs could be seen under the moss. The trees and tips of the stones were adorned with more of the cotton ribbons of all colours, creating a fresco of the ruins.

“Welcome to Druid’s Grove,” Remus said sadly, looking around as he used the steering rod to keep them in the middle of the channel. Harry reached up and grazed the back of his fingers along one of the ribbons.

~~~

“You must be careful of this place,” James said. “The magic here is strong and ingrained to the ruins.”

“It’s so beautiful,” Lily said, gazing at the ribbons in awe. “I’ve never seen such a large sacred ground before. Who put up the ribbons? The survivors?”

“Some of them, but more appear all the time. Dad thinks it’s ghosts, but I’ve never seen any ghosts here. Just spirits and whisps.”

“Will of the Whisps?” Lily asked, looking around as if the folk lights would appear on command. “They’re good luck, you know.”

“There it is,” James said, looking ahead. Lily sat up onto her knees to look. At the end of the river was water wheel, fed by the river flowing down from the mountain behind, the excess water dropping into the manufactured river. But to the left of that was a glorious Georgian mansion of light stone with vines climbing the face around sparkling windows. The front garden was reigned by wildflowers carefully manicured into groups between moss paths, the grass allowed the bloom naturally. James pulled the boat into a stone alcove and helped Lily out, looking up at the manor.

“Oh, James,” she said, smiling at it. “It’s beautiful – and massive! You never said it was so large. It’s the size of a palace! There’s not a castle in Ireland this size.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to just stay at the Wen Estate?” James asked her. “It much more compact and less—”

“And miss my chance to be a bloody princess in a castle in the woods?” Lily asked, smirking. “Not on your life. Tell me there’s a ballroom.”

“There’s a ballroom,” James rolled his eyes. “And galleries and a bathing pool and a stable and a library.”

“Ah, yes,” Lily said, looking to him. “You promised to show me those famous Potter Healing Books. Don’t go back on your word now.”

“When would I ever break a promise to you?” James asked.

“There she is!” Fleamont called happily, exiting a wide wrought-iron gate between the mill and the manor. “Come on, then, you two!”

“Monty, don’t be crass,” Ann Wen chastised, checking her hair, which had a glistening silver comb. “Xiao Ning, bring her over, hurry!”

“Yes, mother,” James said, taking Lily’s hand and walking over to his parents. Lily looked very nervous as she adjusted her dark wine bodice subtly, glancing down to ensure that her pink romantic blouse was situated properly along the neckline. James smiled at her as she brushed away imaginary dust from her full skirt. “You look beautiful.”

She smiled back and approached the Potters with a gulp. “Lord Potter, Lady Wen.” She bowed and Lady Wen gasped quietly.

“Ji zan,” Lady Wen said, looking at James, who blushed. “Xiao Ning—”

“I gifted it,” he said, scratching his nose nervously.

“Xiao Lily,” Lady Wen grinned softly. “Did my Xiao Ning put that hairpin in himself?”

Lily reached up and touched the rose hair stick. “Oh, no. It was a birthday present. It came in a very lovely box, though.”

“Next time,” Fleamont said, smirking at his son.

“Da!” James chastised.

“I don’t understand.”

“In my country,” Lady Wen said, taking Lily’s arm, “when a lover puts a hairpin into your hair, it is a suggestion of marriage. Only married couples dress each other’s hair.”

“That’s why!” Lily realized, looking at James, who was sheepishly, fidgeting with his own long hair draped over his shoulder. “He never lets me play with his hair – or anyone else. He’s always so protective of it. I thought he was tender-headed or that it was because he was a Pureblood or something.”

“Well, if he does let you play with it, now you know how significant that is for him,” Lady Wen chuckled. “Come inside, Xiao Lily.”

“Why is she calling her that already?” James whispered to his father. “We’re only courting.”

“You brought a girl home,” Fleamont said, throwing an arm around his shoulder. “And not just any girl. Didn’t I tell you we’d have an Evans in the family one day?” He let out a delighted laugh while James scratched his nose again in embarrassment.

~~~

“Another vision?” Remus asked softly.

Harry jumped, looking up and seeing that they, too, had docked alongside the Manor’s lawn. He didn’t answer, though, for he was shocked at the difference fifteen years had made to the beautiful palace-like manor. The garden was completely overrun with thorny bushes and tall weeds. The water wheel had fallen from its spindle. The vines now covered the windows, obscuring the light stone, which seemed darker and smelled of mould.

“This alone would take weeks to tame,” Sean said, looking over the lawn. “That bamboo over there’s sky-high already.”

“Bamboo can be a pit parasitic,” Remus said. “Once it sprouts, it spreads like wildfire. That used to be a clear view all the way down to the loch. It’s going to be nightmare clearing that.”

Harry didn’t care about the bamboo. He gazed at the manor with a hundred emotions in his heart that he didn’t recognize. The very air felt familiar, and he could sense the memories of his ancestors going back generations embracing his magic, beckoning him in. He’d never felt anything like it before. His legs carried him before he even knew where he was going, following an invisible path as if by instinct and practice along the long front of the house to a tall set of oak front doors.

There was a curious paper talisman tied on the knocker. Harry reached out and touched it timidly.

~~~

“Are you sure about this, James?” Lily asked, standing behind him, James’ pale jade hairpin glistening in her hair in the bright sunshine which completely contrasted James’ mournful look. He was injured, a rough cut across the side of his face toward his mouth, his ear lobe badly bruised as if someone had tried to rip out his earring. His arm was in a sling, but he gently used his fingers to tie the talisman to the knocker, a lingering touch with his good arm as he sighed.

“I don’t know how he got in,” James said quietly. “I’ve checked everything. I’m just…I’m not connected enough. The link isn’t strong enough for me to have complete control of the grounds. With the damage that he already did, he could easily break through again.”

“Why don’t we just stay at the Wen Estate for a while longer—”

“Lily, I can’t…” He took a shaky breath and she pet his hair, kissing his shoulder. They were the same height because of her boots, which she wore over her trousers like a rider or sailor.

“It’s okay. You’re right. It’s not safe here. I’m just worried.”

“I’m not defenceless,” James said, turning to face her.

“You’re not an Auror either,” she argued. “I love you. You’re the most important person in the world to me. I want to protect you, and I don’t know if I can do that in Edinburgh.”

“I know you can,” James said confidently. “You’re stronger than they think.”

“You could easily overpower me—”

“I’m a healer,” James said, waving his good hand dismissively. “I’m not a weapon like they want, and maybe spending some time in Edinburgh, working at the hospital – maybe they’ll realize that, too.”

Lily sighed and looked behind her where a covered carriage was waiting. “Are you sure the Potter Healing Books will be safe at the Wen Estate?”

“Gong gong will protect them.”

~~~

“Gong gong?” Harry repeated.

“Did you have another vision?” Remus asked worriedly. “That’s two in one day.”

“What’s gong gong?” he asked Aunt Mei Ling.

“It means grandfather,” she said.

“Dad said that his grandfather had the Potter Healing Books?” Harry asked Remus.

“Most of them,” Remus nodded. “There’s some in the vault, obviously, but he kept a lot of them. He keeps them at the Estate.”

“That’s not widely known,” Aunt Mei Ling warned. “If people knew, they might attack, so he told everyone that they’re all in the vault in Gringotts and made quite a show of moving some of them there.”

“We should probably keep it a family secret,” Remus nodded, “at least until the Wards are completely restored and able to withstand an attack.”

“Agreed,” Harry said, touching the talisman. “I don’t think we should go through this door. I can feel something…I can’t explain it.”

“Where’s the servant’s entrance?” Marie asked.

“One on either side,” Remus said, “but the mill side will be easier to get into.”

They went back the way they came to the wrought-iron gate that Harry had seen his grandparents come out of. However, no matter how hard they tried, even with magic, the lock wouldn’t budge.

“Is it the blood magic?” Rose asked.

“No, Harry should be able to open it if that’s the case. Something’s wrong.”

“Balcony,” Harry noticed, pointing to it on the story above them. “Wait here.”

“Harry!”

“I’ll be fine,” Harry insisted, climbing up the vines easily to the balcony. The glass doors opened readily. “It’s open!”

“That’s the staircase,” Remus said. “Go down and out on the right. The gate will be right there.”

“Okay, just a minute!” Harry ducked inside and looked around in awe. The glass of the windows all the way up were filthy, shrouding the room in grey light, but the marble staircase still shined vaguely. He’d never seen such a staircase before. He approached it and looked up and down. Once upon a time, it had been two interconnected spiral stairs, twisted around one another with an open space in the middle up to a skylight. However, the skylight had long since collapsed as though something huge and heavy had fallen from the sky, taking several chunks of the staircase with it and crashing into a pile at the bottom. The way down was blocked by the rubble.

The way around the room was still intact, though, and Harry knew, having been a servant, that big houses like this had hidden staircases all through them for servant passages. He was sure there was another stair in the opposite corner of the house, so he crossed the room around the edge and opened the next door.

The smell hit him hard, and he groaned, covering his nose and mouth with the back of his hand. With watery eyes, Harry looked into the room to find an indoor bathing pool full of blackened water and fifteen years of mildew. The skylight was dripping inky green globs from icicle-like growths like a cave. Harry ducked back into the staircase and struggled not to lose his stomach. He pulled out a handkerchief and covered his mouth and nose before hurrying through the poolroom along the edge.

However, he’d barely reached halfway across when something gripped his ankle, making him jump and scramble back toward the wall.

SPLASH!

The water burst apart with sickly green creatures that launched themselves toward Harry with sharp teeth and wiry fingers.

“AAAAAHHHH!”

Harry ran for his life, sliding across the floor into the wall at the end as the beasties followed him with webbed feet and glaring eyes. He dived into the door in front of him, which was covered in ash as if it had been burned repeatedly. He coughed his way through to the next door, shoving through it and closing it behind him, stumbling back.

“OW!” he yelped as he tripped over something, which turned out to be a wild dog, which turned and growled at him. “I’M SORRY!” Harry yelled, running through the next door as the dog barked after him. He ran into a couch and darted to the nearby door, which led into a staircase hall – but it only went up!

With no other choice, he clambered up the stairs and tried to hurry into the first room he saw, but the dog cut him off, forcing him across to the other door, which he flung closed and jumped into the closest room he found, closing the locking the door while the dog barked on the other side, scratching at the door.

Harry panted and looked around. It looked like a bedroom, but it was very dark. He rubbed his eyes and tried to let them adjust, eventually making out the shape of a window beside the bed.

He walked over and opened it but screamed when the cloth grabbed hold of him in return, yanking away from it and falling down onto the ground. The curtain moved on its own, fluttering like organza, seeming to glare down at him with tentacles creeping out along its centre.

The living shadow shot toward him—

Light engulfed the room from Harry's scarred wrist, which he’d raised to defend himself. The searing pain was worth the sight of the shadow rushing under the bed away from him. His hand was bleeding as he gripped it, backing away from the bed. The light seemed to gather together across from the door, illuminating a mirror, which shattered, revealing a passage behind it.

Hoping for escape, Harry ran into the passage – a narrow corridor – and found a window on the end that slid sideways onto an interior balcony. Harry hurried to close the window, only to find that it was a mirror from this side. He tried to catch his breath, staring at his bloody hand print on the looking glass.

A bone-chillingly loud groan made Harry jump and spin around, plastering himself against the corner. Huge purple eyes glared from a black scaly face, two long beard-like whiskers grazing the banister while webbed ears perked out.

A dragon.

A much less friendly-looking dragon than Eda.

It sniffed powerfully enough to rustle Harry's clothes and turned its head toward the mirror. Harry hid his arm behind his back, realizing that it could probably smell his blood.

The movement caught the beast’s attention and it glared at him.

“AAAAAAAHHHH!”

Harry dived across the room to the door as the dragon snapped toward him, growling with bone-chilling volume. The other side of the door was the balcony of a ballroom, which had apparently been turned into the dragon’s nest by the look of the bones and moss. The entire wall to the left crashed open, stone flying as the dragon freed itself from the door it had been poking through, destroying the grand staircase.

Terrified, Harry hopped the banister down onto the landing of the edge of the staircase, darting down the last few stairs as the dragon clawed at him. He tripped through a door into a dining hall, where a pack of green monkey were squawking on the table. The dragon tried to catch him through the door, but Harry ran toward the door, entering a grand staircase that blessedly had a descending stair.

The dragon was still roaring as Harry fell and rolled down the last few stairs, landing painfully on the tile floor. A hoard of flying creatures flew down the hall before him, and he covered his head as he escaped from them around the stairs into a door, tripping down two stone steps into a recognizable servery.

The smell of burning made him avoid the kitchen, opting instead of a hall door into a narrow lauder corridor. The dragon roared again, and Harry heard crashing, which forced him down to the next door he saw, leading out into a walled garden that had long been overrun with weeds and mushrooms.

There was a greenhouse next to him, and the interior wall, which must have been the dining room wall, burst, giving Harry barely enough time to duck under a gardening table before the glass exterior shattered across the garden. The dragon took flight in the open air, flapping its wings hard enough to flatten the weeds and make the mushrooms screech.

The sound was unbearable, and Harry launched himself at the wooden door, falling with it as it clattered broken on the other side.

Outside! Finally! The teen looked around the kitchen yard and sprinted to the collapsed wrought-iron gates leading out to a meadow. A huff drew Harry's eyes to the left, where the ugliest bull he’d ever seen before glared angrily at him.

“Oh, come on!” the teen barked before running for it away from the creature that thundered after him horns-first. Talons latched onto his shoulders and Harry screamed again in fright as he was lifted off the ground and into the air, then dropped, eliciting another scream.

However, he landed onto the back of the flying horse that had drawn the carriage, the other two flying closely behind to guard them as they flew toward the sea while a strange eagle-horse hybrid flew away toward the mountain. Harry looked around for the dragon but was distracted by the beauty of the view. The Manor was situated in a crease along the ridge, giving it a view in either direction – the front toward the loch, the back across Scotland to the south.

One of the horses flew down to where Remus and the others were, catching their attention and steering them to the boat. They seemed to understand and launched just as the dragon roared again. Harry looked behind him to find that it had spotted him and was flying toward them. The boat sailed rapidly down the river, and Harry's steed dived into the forest, expertly landing at the edge of Druid’s Grove and running down the ancient streets toward the loch, stopping with a whine at the Selwyn house as the dragon flew past to the loch, unable to see them through the thick canopy.

Harry panted with the horse, listening carefully as the dragon’s sounds drifted farther away until a bump in the wards told Harry that it had left the area. The teen let out a long breath, wiping his forehead with his sleeve and looking down at his bloody scar.

“HARRY!”

“I’m here,” Harry said as Remus bolting out of the Selwyn door and looked for him. The man ran over to the steed and pulled him off of it, gripping him tightly by the arms and looking him over for injuries. “Oy, hang on – can I sit down, please?”

“Sit,” Remus ordered, helping Harry to sink down to the dirt, where he promptly laid back and covered eyes with his sleeve while Remus checked his legs. “Where does it hurt?”

“On my – OUCH!”

HISSSSSS!

The horses startled and flew away in a panic while Harry sat up, cradling his already injured arm and looking over at the snake that had just bitten him. It was white with a black diamond pattern down its back, glaring brown eyes as it hissed at him warningly.

You upset the drake, brat! You deserve it!”

“I didn’t mean to upset it! It came after me!” Harry argued as Remus snatched his hand and began sucking at the bite to remove the poison, spitting it onto the ground.

“Potters aren’t welcome here anymore. Your kin abandoned us!”

“My kin died, you bloody worm!” Harry snapped. “OW!” he yelled angrily as his entire hand stung.

“SHOO!” Aunt Mei Ling barked, kicking dirt at the snake, which slithered away rapidly.

“I avoided a dragon, but got bit by a snake – unbelievable,” Harry grumbled.

Remus wiped off his mouth, staring at Harry in shock as Aunt Mei Ling offered the teen an antidote. “You’re a parselmouth?”

“A what?” Harry asked, frowning.

“You can speak pareseltongue – snake language.”

“He talked to the snake at the zoo when we were kids,” Rose said, making them all jump.

“I told you to stay inside!” Remus barked.

“The dragon’s gone!” she argued, kneeling to look at her cousin. “That looks painful.”

“Where did you get a parselmouth from?” Remus asked, squeezing his eyes closed as he pinched the brow of his nose.

“Not us,” Aunt Mei Ling said. “There are no parselmouths in the Wen Clan.”

“But James wasn’t a parselmouth,” Remus insisted. “How—”

“What’s the big deal?” Rose asked. “Is it bad?”

“Not necessarily,” Remus said. “It has a bad reputation, but it’s not bad, no.”

“Then let’s talk about it when we’re more alone,” Rose whispered as the door opened and Lord Selwyn came out with the others.

~~~

“Parseltongue is a magical language,” Remus explained back at the inn. “It’s genetic – it passes through family lines. There’s no record of the Potters being parselmouths, though.”

“Would there be?” Aunt Mei Ling asked. “It’s considered the mark of a dark mage. It makes sense that they would suppress such knowledge.”

“No, James would have told me,” Remus said, rubbing his chin.

“What if it doesn’t come from James Potter?” Sean suggested. “What if he gets it from Lily?”

“That’s impossible. Lily was a muggleborn,” Remus argued.

“Look, I’m a squib,” Sean explained. “We Figgs were magical once, though. We come from the O’Reilly mages, but they inbred too much and died out. Isn’t one of the theories about how muggleborns get magic that they descend from squibs that have married into muggles until something reactivates their magic?”

“But that’s just a theory,” Aunt Mei Ling said.

“But if it’s true, then Lily Evans could have descended from a Pureblood line a few generations ago, and that’s where she got the tongue from. But parselmouth is a passive magical ability, right? So, you have to have enough magic to make it work. Harry has enough magic.”

“But then Aunt Lily would have had it, too, and me,” Rose pointed out.

“Wait,” Harry said, “It’s passive magic – like the Seer’s Eye. Didn’t you say that that skips generations?”

Remus sat up, looking at him. “Right. It does. You think the parselmouth might also skip generations?”

“Could it?”

“It makes sense,” Remus nodded. “But we should really consult an expert about such things, just to be sure. Passive magical abilities can mutate with long pureblood lines. It’s always a possibility that this is new – that you’re the first parselmouth of your line – and if that’s so, then it could have happened because of the transference with your parents.”

“Who can determine something like this?” Marie asked.

“A blood scholar,” Sean said.

“Draco – his grandfather—”

“Out of the question,” Remus said immediately. “The Malfoys cannot be trusted with something like this.”

“You can’t blame an entire family for the actions of one person!” Harry argued. “Just because Lucius Malfoy has dubious morals doesn’t mean that Draco or his grandfather do. Is there honestly any reason to suspect him apart from his son?”

Remus sighed. “I don’t know. I’ll ask Amelia. She should be here sometime this week.”

“Then she can help me with this,” Aunt Mei Ling said, showing them a list in a journal. “These are all of the professionals that we will need to repair the Manor.”

“Janey Mack!” Marie exclaimed. “That’ll cost a fortune.”

“Good thing we have one,” Rose shrugged.

There was a knock on the door, and Sean went to answer it, only to be brushed aside as Xiang and Elizabeth rushed into the inn, dressed as prettily as they could in empire-waists – hanfu for Xiang, Georgian dress for Elizabeth. They both collapsed in front of Harry's chair, gripping his good arm and looking worriedly at him, halfway to tears.

“Oh Harry!”

“You poor thing!”

“You must have been terrified!”

“You’re so brave!”

Harry looked over at Rose, who looked as unamused as he was with the shallow acts of the girls, shaking her head at their frantic faked concern.

“This is going to be a long summer,” Remus noted, rubbing his neck and dropping his chin into his palm.

~~~

I know I haven't done a YouTube video in like a month. It's just been crazy lately. I had a massive inspiration rush for a fanfiction in a different fandom and I've been pouring 10,000 words a day into that. I've learned that it's best to just let these rushes happen, as they tend to inspire other work afterward, so I'm happily working on that. It won't be much longer. Once I'm done with that, I'll post it to AO3 and then be able to focus properly on this again with more chapters and videos more often.

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