Peter, the man had introduced himself as.
He had looked ordinary – so ordinary – and yet, he was anything but.
Harry couldn’t remember his parents – or anyone, really – ever mentioning a Peter. And yet, the name rang familiar, and he felt as if he knew who the man was. Knew and just couldn’t remember. Knew and didn’t like. Knew and… resented.
Clutching the journal of Haines Potter in his hands, Harry used the portkey to return to Durmstrang, thinking of Tom, Grindelwald, and Peter. There were so many things he was supposed to take into account and that made him worry about forgetting something important.
Merope had told him to focus on getting stronger for now, and Harry was inclined to agree with her and focus solely on that. Reading up about the Gone Tribe wouldn’t hurt though. He’d just keep it as an option. A last resort.
‘I wonder when Clemens is coming back,’ Harry thought suddenly, entering his flat and shrugging off his coat. ‘Tomorrow, yes, but when exactly.’ Without realizing it, his worried expression had melted into a smile as he thought of the German boy. Clemens had said that he’d return as soon as he could, hadn’t he?
Then again, there wasn’t much left of the Christmas break itself, and soon enough, everyone else would be coming back, too. And they’ll go back to the routine of practicing spells and trying to survive dueling classes and worrying about Jakob.
What he could do now, though, was try to stay up to date on what’s going on in the war front. James was – who knew where he was, really. What about Sirius? It was as if, after Lily’s death, Harry had lost the rest of his family, too.
Was it… was it completely wrong that Harry resented James, a little bit? Was he a bad person for not just… forgiving his father? Maybe he should be more understanding, more patient. Though try as he might, Harry couldn’t bring himself to do so.
‘I shouldn’t think that,’ the boy thought then. ‘I need to find something else to do. Something else to focus on. Anything…’
Then again, it had been a long day, so perhaps going to sleep would be the best course of action? He’d shower first and then go to bed. And tomorrow, well, Clemens would be coming back, and somehow, that made the future seem a lot less boring.
“The Triwizward Tournament?” Anthony Lestrange repeated, turning to look at his aunt with a curious expression. “It would bring honour to the House of Black.”
“If you get chosen,” Bellatrix said, sounding nearly bored. Anthony smiled, trying to not let his irritation show. He feared and respected his aunt, but the way she always treated him… it was almost intolerable.
“Of course he will get chosen,” Anthony’s father, Rabastan, said. “Isn’t Sirius the one organizing the tournament? We’ll just tell him that we want Anthony to represent Durmstrang.”
“You are a fool,” Bellatrix said, gesturing for Uncle Rodolphus to pour more wine into her glass. “There will be several students sent from Durmstrang to Hogwarts where the tournament will take place. There, the competing champions will be selected by the Goblet of Fire.”
“Not to mention that the students who will be chosen as candidates will need to be nominated by people of influence. And knowing how many heirs there are in Durmstrang… dear little Anthony will need all the votes he can get.”
“The three of us and Sirius will surely vote for him,” Uncle Rodolphus said, and Anthony nearly nodded in agreement. He didn’t want to seem too confident though, for fear of making Bellatrix choose someone else just to be contrary. The woman smiled though and shrugged.
“Sirius’s godson is in Durmstrang.”
“What’s his name?” Anthony asked. “Did he get in before or after the change of the entrance exam?”
“After,” Bellatrix replied. “He’s one of the so-called golden generation. Harry Potter. He’s not the only one you need to be wary of; although you’re lucky that Cassius Meliflua is graduating in a few months. He’d be a tough candidate to beat. Viktor Krum has quite a few admirers.”
“He’s a quidditch player,” Anthony exclaimed. “Not a duelist!” Not to mention that Viktor, who was a classmate of his, was awkward and ungraceful and couldn’t even speak properly.
Someone like that, the Durmstrang champion?
What a joke!
“People would love it, though,” Uncle Rodolphus said. “To see the famous Krum compete like that. Some will watch the tournament only for Krum. What do you think, Rabastan?”
“Durmstrang will want to win,” Rabastan said. “They won’t send someone who cannot win, just to draw an audience. They won’t sacrifice this opportunity to show how superior they are.” Anthony nodded, feeling relieved.
“I’m one of the best duelists in Durmstrang,” Anthony said quickly. “Crouch told me so.”
“One of the best,” Bellatrix said. “Not the best.” Anthony tensed, trying to keep his temper in check. Sometimes he truly hated his aunt and her condescending attitude.
“I still have time to practice,” Anthony told her, and Rabastan nodded.
“Yes, you’re right. There is still plenty of time left.”
“Time flies by fast,” Bellatrix reminded the two, before setting down her drink and standing up. “We will see what will happen. The selection won’t take place until after summer. Impress the right people and, who knows, you might end up a champion after all.”
“No need to worry so much about impressing people,” Rabastan said. “He has done so already!”
“A piece of advice, nephew, before I leave,” Bellatrix said. “Anyone from the Golden Generation will be a tough opponent to beat. You’d do well to remember that.”
Sirius was getting sick of firewhisky. Not just the taste of it, but the smell.
A part of him was getting sick of James too, but he didn’t want to admit it to himself. Every time the thought crossed his mind, he just felt so guilty. James had suffered such a huge tragedy and—
‘And instead of being there for Harry, he focuses only on his own loss,’ Sirius thought, watching his friend order yet another pint. He really was a bad friend, wasn’t he? He just had no idea how to make James better. How to help him get over his pain and reach out for Harry.
Perhaps it was good that the Triwizard Tournament would take place in Hogwarts. If he got Harry nominated as a champion candidate, the boy would be in Hogwarts for a year, and Sirius could keep an eye on him. He would just need to convince a few other witches or wizards to nominate him.
“People are fighting over the summer holiday dates,” James suddenly said. “They stress so much over that.”
“Shouldn’t you be doing the same, or will Harry have to spend the summer alone?”
“How can I spend it with him?” Something in the way James asked the question made Sirius look away from the barmaid and stare at his friend.
“How could you not?”
James stared back at him for a few long, silent moments before he sighed. “How can I even face him? Sirius, do you think that I don’t know how much I have failed him?”
“But nothing. He’s better off without me, anyway.”
“How can you even say that?” Sirius demanded to know. “Where did you get those kind of ideas into that head of yours, Jamie?”
“Harry is in Durmstrang,” James said. “He’ll learn how to take care of himself. He doesn’t need me. I don’t have… I don’t think I know how to function right anymore, anyway.”
“I don’t get it,” Sirius said. “That doesn’t make any sense. What does that have anything to do with you spending more or less time with your son?”
“It’s not me spending time with Harry that is a chore,” James said listlessly. “I just… I don’t want it to be a chore to him. I’ve let him down so much, Sirius. I don’t want to see him because I don’t want him to see me.”
“I don’t get it,” Sirius sighed, and James shrugged.
“In a way I’m glad that you don’t,” the man said. “I wouldn’t want you to know how this feels. If I had any energy left, I’d feel horrible rather than just tired.”
“Tired and drunk,” Sirius pointed out. “Maybe you should stop drinking altogether. You haven’t yet committed an unfixable mistake.”
“Assume I did,” James said, leaning heavily against the back of his chair. “Assume I stopped drinking and started to spend more time with Harry… how would that benefit him?”
“Look, the thing is that… Lily is gone. I’m a sunken ship. All I can do now is help Harry stay afloat. If I… if I go near him, I’ll end up dragging him down.”
“That’s not true!”
“It is, Sirius.”
“You’re just coming up with excuses,” Sirius said, scowling, “to not go and see him.”
“Whatever,” James finally muttered, his shoulders slumped and face showing resignation. “You’re so high on the top you don’t realize the hard road Harry has to endure to reach you. Anything can knock him down. If he’s like… if he ends up being like me, a Death Eater who’s sent out to different fronts, he’s dooming himself to live a life of constant danger. The higher he is in the ranks, the safer he will be.”
“Come on,” Sirius said, standing up. “I’ll take you back home, and you can sleep. Maybe when you wake up, you’ll see the world for what it is.”
“It’s not the world that let me down, my friend,” James said, stumbling to follow Sirius. “It’s me.”
“Then maybe you should pick yourself up again,” replied Sirius.
When Clemens returned, he was pale and nearly shaking with anger. Harry didn’t speak, only made him a cup of coffee and set it in front of him. If Harry happened to keep his wand strictly within reach, well, he was just being cautious. He really liked Clemens – perhaps too much – but he was aware of how little he knew about the things Clemens could do if angered.
“Did you go and meet your father?” Clemens suddenly asked. Harry hesitated for a moment before shaking his head.
“No,” he replied. “I went home and he was… well, I don’t know where he was. Probably getting drunk with my godfather somewhere. Did you… How did your visit go?”
“Like expected,” Clemens said. “I’m glad I don’t need to spend time with any of them. Although I did hear something interesting. Something that may concern all of us.”
“Like what?” Harry asked, hoping that whatever Clemens had heard would not spell trouble for any of them.
“I didn’t get all the details, but apparently there’s some kind of a competition that will take place in England after summer. People from different schools will be invited.”
“I wonder if we’re expected to participate, or if it’s just for the older students.”
“I think it’s for all,” Clemens said. “Actually, I’d say it’s mainly for us. We’re the ones who matter, after all. I guess it’s something we all need to volunteer for, or something.”
“I don’t really fancy competing in anything,” Harry admitted. “But I’d love to go to Hogwarts for a while, if that’s where the competition is held.”
“We should practice during the summer, then.”
“That would be fun. Before the Quidditch World Cup, right? I don’t think we have much time after it.”
“Sure,” Clemens said and nodded. “We can talk about it with the others when they come back. Let’s just hope we won’t end up having to duel each other, because Björn is wicked with that wand of his.”
“Björn?” Harry said, surprised. “I thought that you or Truls would be the best.”
“Not to brag or anything, but yeah, I am good because my dad used to teach me,” Clemens said, “Truls has massive magical reserves, and even if he doesn’t know any fancy curses, he can use the ones he does know numerous times without getting tired. Björn, though… he’s… crafty. Unpredictable.”
“That he is,” Harry agreed. “When did you get the opportunity to see him duel?”
“A few months ago, he was setting things straight with some older students,” Clemens said, “also, I’ve kept an eye on his work in class. He comprehends spellwork easily.”
“True,” Harry nodded. It was odd how easy it was to overlook how dangerous Björn was, simply because he was also a funny, easygoing person. “I just hope that the competition won’t end up pitching us against each other.”
“Unlikely,” Clemens said. “I’d imagine that the only reason for organizing an interschool tournament is to show which school produces the best students. Making students from the same school fight each other would defeat the purpose.”
“Of course,” Harry all but whispered, a strange ache in his chest. “To show which school produces the best fighters. The survivors.”
“It’s all about surviving, in the end.”
“Do you think that the war will start shifting north from Italy and Spain?”
“Definitely,” Clemens sighed. “I know that there’ve been some battles in France and Germany too, so…”
“But isn’t it amazing,” Harry started, “how widespread this battle is? You’d think that the people in Spain and Germany and so on… that they wouldn’t care to fight for ideals of a ruler in England.”
“It’s the power of the Dark Lord,” Clemens said. “Makes you… wonder…” Harry watched his friend silently for a few moments, waiting for him to continue. Clemens didn’t add anything though, and eventually, Harry moved to pour himself another cup of tea.
“I suppose the only thing we can do now is simply keep trying our best,” Harry said. “Practice dueling; keep our ears and eyes open for any news that may come our way.”
“While simultaneously trying to keep our grades up.”
“Easier said than done though, isn’t it?” Clemens asked. “There’s so much to do and I just… sometimes I just wake up at night thinking that I forgot to submit an assignment on time or something. I’m constantly worried about performing well, and I barely remember a time without this… crippling sense of anxiety.”
“You’re doing well though,” Harry reminded him, thinking of Jakob. “Or is there something specific…?”
“I make a lot of mistakes,” Clemens admitted with a small shrug. “Don’t get me wrong, I can make up for them, but sometimes, it’s as if some of the professors don’t want to… help?”
“Professor Kay is like that,” Harry agreed, nodding. “It’s rough, writing a great report that you end up having to rewrite completely just because he spotted one mistake.”
“Yeah, it makes effort feel so pointless,” Clemens sighed, running his fingers through his hair tiredly. “How many times am I going to fail before I can just give up and let go?”
“We’re done with two and a half years,” Harry said, eyeing his friend with a worried expression. “We can survive the rest.”
“Alive, maybe,” Clemens snorted. “Somehow.”
“I just… don’t understand him anymore,” Sirius said, watching the werewolf warily. He wasn’t sure how exactly he had ended up telling it about James, but then again – who would it tell? And it was much more pleasant to talk with someone – something, damn it – that could respond and react.
“I suppose you have not experienced grief quite as deeply as he has,” Lupin replied with irritating calmness, eyes still firmly fixed on the book on his lap. Sirius sighed loudly and resisted the urge to stomp.
“What would you know,” he sneered, and Remus – Lupin, for Merlin’s sake! Lupin, not Remus! – finally looked up from the dull book that had held his attention for the past two hours.
“Quite a lot, I’d imagine,” Lupin said. “I wasn’t born a werewolf, after all. I was a human, and I got bit. That… caused more grief than you can comprehend, I suspect.”
“Stop treating me like an idiot, wolf,” Sirius all but growled. “Why can’t you just… learn your place or something?”
“You think less of me for something I can't help. I think less of you for something you choose to do,” the wolf stated simply. “One can only hope that, one day, you will see how wrong you are.”
“Wait, hold on a second. You’re not saying you actually like being a werewolf.”
“Curiously, the only hardships I have experienced due to me being a werewolf are because of people and how they treat me.”
“And you never wished you had died instead?” Sirius asked bluntly. Lupin rolled his eyes, and that gesture made him, just for the briefest moment, almost tolerable.
“I had a brother. He died after a werewolf, rather than turn him, decided to eat him. Perhaps it was mercy that made another werewolf turn me, rather than eat me.”
“I can die any time I choose to. He left me with that choice to make. And having a choice is a luxury we can… seldom afford anymore.”
“Okay, whatever,” Sirius said with a dismissive wave, trying to not show how much Lupin’s words bothered him. “Back to James and his chromic—”
“It’s not stupidity,” Remus said. “It’s lack of confidence. He has lost his self-worth. Maybe he’s even depressed.”
“He’s not depressed,” Sirius was quick to claim. “He isn’t crying or anything. He should soon get over that grieving stage, honestly.”
“Depression and grief are not the same.”
“What would you know?” Sirius had expected the werewolf to respond in some way. To tell him something about how it has feelings too or how tough life is. What Sirius got instead was a look that told him nothing and a smile void of any good humour.
Lupin didn’t say anything, opting to refocus on his book instead, leaving Sirius to stare at him in silence.
“I just don’t understand how you think,” Sirius said after a while. “Does your kind have uncontrollable primitive urges? Do you always want to kill? Do you feel hunger all the time? Is a human in your eyes a prey or a predator?”
“I’m sure that any of the books on werewolves that have been written by highly praised professors will tell you all of what you need to know,” Lupin all but drawled. Sirius frowned.
If only that would be true.
The problem was that he had tried, actually, to reread one of his favourite books, An Unbiased Study on Werewolves by Gordon Carrow, and had found it… painfully inaccurate at times. Mere months ago, Sirius had read the book with delight, absorbing each sentence eagerly, but now… each paragraph seemed like speculation, not research. Having observed Lupin for a while, there were so many things in the book that were simply wrong.
It was unsettling, because a part of Sirius was thinking of things he should definitely not think of.
As if Sirius didn’t have enough on his plate already, what with James and the Triwizard Tournament and nominating Harry and a dozen other things! He couldn’t wait for James to snap back to his senses and just start living again.
“It feels like ages since I last saw you,” Filippa exclaimed, throwing her arms around Harry and greeting him enthusiastically. “Is your hair longer? Do you want a haircut?”
“I’m fine,” Harry replied, hugging her back. “How have you been? Did you enjoy the break?”
“I bet she did,” Heidi said, sauntering past them. “You have to tell me all about the show in Milan, Filippa!”
“Of course I will,” the Italian girl said immediately, smiling brightly at her friend. “Will you drop by my place later on? How soon? I have a few pictures I want you to check out.”
“I can just go throw my luggage in my room and come by immediately,” Heidi promised. “So I’ll see you in a moment again.”
“Alright,” Filippa said, and turned to look at Harry. “Will you join us?”
“I don’t think so. I’ll pass this time,” Harry replied. “Truls should be here soon. Did you get my message by the way? About the Quidditch World Cup this year?”
“I did, and I think it’s a brilliant idea,” Filippa said, nodding. “Anyway, I have to go now. I’ll drop by later on so we can properly catch up. See you!”
“See you,” Harry called after her, feeling happy to see that the girl was now far more cheerful than she had been for quite a while. This was how things were supposed to be. His classmates, loud and talkative and happy. For a moment, for just this moment, Harry stood in front of his apartment and forgot about the things worrying him.
For a moment, he thought of how beautiful the world would be if people were happier. If smiles were easily given and kindness a habit rather than a luxury.
‘I wish I could give Tom this feeling,’ Harry thought. ‘This happiness that fills me and leaves no space for much else until it fades.’ That thought, for some reason, felt important. Important enough to be remembered.
Not wishing to stand in the hallway pointlessly for an unknown amount of time, Harry left the front door open and stepped back into his apartment. He knew that, eventually, Truls would wander in.
Eventually ended up being slightly less than an hour.
The break had lasted but a few weeks, and yet, Harry could see a slight change in his friend. Not just that his hair was now long enough to require pulling back, but also... there was something in the way he moved that seemed almost tense.
"You and Clemens are better friends now, I take it?" Truls asked, sitting on a chair and watching Harry wash the pair of coffee mugs that they had used. "You like him, now?"
"He's not bad," Harry admitted, thinking of how to describe the other boy. "But he's not... he's not you." Clemens was like a hawk, or an eagle - someone who was free to fly independently, a predator who could survive on his own. But he wasn’t trustworthy, and no matter how close they had gotten, Harry didn’t think he could count on Clemens to help him.
He simply wasn’t the loyal type.
"I got your message about the Quidditch World Cup trip," Truls said then, after a moment of strange, awkward silence. "I’m in, of course. Already told my parents to not demand anything from me during the summer.”
“Want to spend some days with me, then?” Harry asked, the question slipping out before he had made the conscious decision of voicing it. “I don’t think I’ll have much to do during the summer, anyway. Aside from watching Quidditch, I mean. Dad is… probably not going to be there, anyway. At all.”
“I’d love to do that,” Truls assured him quickly. “We can train together or something.”
“Speaking of training,” Harry started. “Have you heard anything of some sort of a tournament taking place soon?”
“A tournament? No. You have, I take it?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I… I have. Hold on I’ll dry these and then tell you what I know.”
“I still think it’s cruelty to start Monday mornings with History of Magic,” Björn moaned as they entered the classroom. “I’m going to fall asleep and nothing will wake me up.”
“Except the sound of coins,” Filippa said dryly, sitting next to him.
“Or the sound of Mette Erling,” Heidi added cheerfully. “Who still, by the way, doesn’t know who you are.”
“I hate you all,” Björn said. “Even you, Harry.”
“What?” Harry yelped. “What did I even do?”
“You were smirking! Is this the unfortunate side-effect of spending time with Clemens?”
“I’m good company,” Clemens was quick to claim.
“Sure you are,” Truls drawled, earning him a surprisingly sincere glare from Clemens.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“I wonder when Professor Lyuben is going to get here,” Harry interrupted hastily, feeling unsettled by the nearly hostile tension between Clemens and Truls. “He’s usually early, isn’t he?”
“It’s still two minutes until eight sharp,” Nikolai pointed out. “It’s pretty cold outside, but I think I’m going to fly a little bit after classes are over. You guys in?”
“If it’s a race, I’m betting!” Björn said.
“If it’s a race, I’m in,” Truls grinned. Clemens nodded as well.
“Yeah, sure. Getting into the mood for the World Cup already,” the boy said. Harry grinned, feeling pleased every time someone mentioned anything related to the summer break. He couldn’t wait to actually be there, watching the game happen and enjoying every moment spent.
“Think Krum will be there?”
“Of course he will be! Man, we’re so going to brag about that guy, eh?”
“Speak for yourself. I have no intention of doing something like that.”
“That’s what you’re saying now. Just wait until—” Whatever Björn had been about to say was interrupted by the arrival of Professor Lyuben, who seemed to be in a mood worse than ever before. The usually calm man was visibly irritated, his face set in a severe scowl.
“Students,” he began, “the original study plan for today had been about the political impacts a series of muggle wars have had on our world. However, due to… unexpected circumstances, I have been required to teach you the history of something else.”
‘Anything is better than more talk about wars,’ Harry thought. Lyuben eyed his few students with a mix of pity and disdain before he continued:
“The Triwizard Tournament— oh, I see some of you have heard of it. That does not matter – today’s lecture will not require active participation from any of you, but do listen carefully. This information might be part of history, but it will also be a possible part of your future as well, even though I doubt the wisdom of such… decision.”
‘He clearly disapproves of the whole tournament idea,’ Harry thought. ‘That, or he had just really wanted to talk about muggle wars.’
“The Triwizard Tournament is a competition in which three schools pitch in by nominating a champion. It was held for the first time in 1294 and was designed to test magical ability, intelligence, and courage,” Professor Lyuben said. “Champions compete for the honour and glory of winning the Tournament, the Triwizard Cup, and a monetary prize. The first Tournament was held in 1294, and the next one will be held later on this year.”
“What?” Petronella yelped. “Wait, we’re not required to participate, right? We’re—”
“You’re not required to participate,” Professor Lyuben assured her. “In a few weeks, you will be given an application form, which you will fill only if you wish to be nominated for participation. After you have submitted it – by the end of April – your name will be added into a list.”
“A list of… participants?” Jakob asked hesitantly.
“A list of nominees. Seven students will be chosen based on recommendations and suggestions and will go with Headmaster Karkaroff to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy in Britain, where the tournament will take place.”
“What about the classes that we miss?” Clemens asked. “I mean, if some of us go to Hogwarts – for how long will we be there and what will happen to our classes?”
“You would be staying there for nearly an entire school year,” Professor Lyuben said. “More information will be provided later on, of course. It is recommended that you try hard to not only be selected as the Durmstrang Champion, but also to go for the win. Be ruthless and cunning – this tournament is not a game.”
“Is it dangerous, then?”
“It was discontinued after 1792 after the death toll from previous years reached triple digits. The tournament is extremely dangerous, and I doubt that the rules regarding killing the competitors have been changed.”
‘Ideally,’ Harry thought, ‘it’d be lucky to get to be part of the group that goes to Hogwarts without being the Champion. I wonder if Truls and Clemens will want to do this…’
Tom was tired.
It had been quite a few years since the last time he had felt tired like this. Since the beginning of the year, Rebel activities had increased in Italy and Spain, spreading to France and Switzerland far too easily. What was most alarming, though, was the Rebel activity in Ireland, the battles that seemed to become fiercer day after day and the assassinations carried successfully by the opposition. Tom had already lost three excellent Generals in Dublin, and the thought of losing more talented people was simply unacceptable.
The problem wasn’t just that the generals had died, but that they had been assassinated. Two out of the three had been found dead in their tents, and that made them more than simple casualties of war. Therefore, either the Rebels had somehow recruited extremely skilled assassins or there were traitors in his ranks.
It wasn’t that Tom didn’t think that there would be traitors somewhere in his army, hiding and waiting for the opportunity to strike. He just… hadn’t expected them to be quite so skilled as to succeed in eliminating Death Eaters of significant ranks. He had miscalculated, perhaps due to the exhaustion plaguing him.
Tom had never been much of a sleeper, but nowadays, the time for rest had dwindled down to a few measly hours every other night. Strategies, one after another, had to be studied and carefully perfected. Political decisions had to be made, complaints looked into, missions assigned, all the while keeping up a facade of normalcy in order to keep the British public calm and at ease in regards to the war.
"You smell sick," Nagini told him, and Tom yawned in response.
"I'm just tired," he said. "The situation should improve soon, though. There are some quite brilliant plans about to be set into motion. Though right now, I only need to confirm and accept two of these plans, and then, I'm free to rest."
"Is this war?" Nagini asked. "Your two-legged pets keep talking about it."
"They're fools," Tom replied dismissively. "We've slipped into war quite a while ago, and even if I were to confirm it and declare it publicly and officially now, nothing would change for the better. There will be no more or less military actions taken. People will just panic, and traitors will see opportunities."
"What about your boy? Does he know?"
"Know about the war? It would not... surprise me. It's very likely. I'd say yes, he knows at least something about it."
"Also," Tom added, "he's not my boy." Speaking of Harry though, could his ability be of use at the time? Tom still only knew bits and parts of what Harry could do, but the little he knew held a lot of potential. Would Harry be willing to use that potential though?
"It would be quite useful if he could... talk with the Generals who were assassinated," Tom murmured. "Ask them who killed them. If there's a spy in the ranks. Find out what happened."
"Do you think he would help you?" Nagini asked.
"Perhaps not without a reason," Tom replied. "Luckily, I can give him one."
“Well, doesn’t that sound promising.”
“There are things he wants that I can give him. And since his father is pretty much out of the picture, it’s not like there’s anyone who is going to monitor his activities. A child his age… he will want some kind of guidance, I’m sure. Anything to not feel lost. He will want security, safety.”
“And you can give him that?”
“I can give him power,” Tom said. “And power will help him keep himself safe.”