It had been just over a week since their very long library stint the previous Monday, and they had been busy days. September was always frantic with everyone getting back into the flow of things. Normal school business didn't simply stop because he and Draco had a project, much to Harry's annoyance. It wasn't that Hogwarts wasn't important to him, it was that, just at the moment, the conundrum of Sirius was more so.
It had been a long day, but Harry was reading over his notes yet again as they prepared for bed. They had so many pieces, but no whole.
"Time to sleep," Draco said, climbing into the bed beside him; "that will still be there tomorrow."
"Hmm," Harry agreed.
He'd read the same part five times and it was getting him nowhere. With a sigh he closed the book, pulled off his glasses and lay down.
"Nox," he said and the lights went out.
Draco turned on his side and snuggled down into the covers, shuffling over so his back was against Harry's side. It was nice and relaxed and cosy and it almost had Harry closing his eyes and drifting off. However, his brain wasn't about to give up that easily.
"You do remember I can feel you thinking, right?" Draco asked after about ten minutes.
"Sorry," he apologised immediately, "I just know I'm missing something."
Draco turned back over.
"Okay," he said, "then explain it to me, maybe it will help."
They really did need to sleep; they had another long day tomorrow, but Harry didn't need inviting twice.
"The conclave managed to summon the magic," Harry said; "it didn't blow them up or destroy everything in sight, so why couldn't they control it."
"Simply not strong enough," Draco suggested.
Harry hummed; he wasn't sure that was quite right.
"What if it's simply not possible to control wild magic at all?" he said.
"Well it has to be," Draco said, "or no one could use a wild wand."
"But a wild wand has the crystal lattice," Harry countered and it was like a little light went on in his brain. "Oh," he said, "oh, maybe that's it."
His thoughts started spinning with possibilities.
"Harry, what is it?" Draco asked and Harry realised he was leaving his soulmate out.
"What if the magic has to change itself?" he said.
"I don't understand," Draco admitted.
"What if the reason it's impossible to control wild magic is that it's fundamentally incompatible with us?" Harry said as he tried to think through the ideas in his head. "What if it's as incompatible with us as our magic is with Muggles?"
"But all the theories say wild magic is just our magic in pure form," Draco said.
"What if the theories are wrong?" Harry said.
It was probably horribly presumptuous, but he just had a feeling. Draco didn't seem to know whether to agree or disagree.
"Okay, forget that part," he said, "but let's just say in its pure form it's impossible to control. In the wand it needs the crystal to be useful, so what if we made something that stood in for the crystal and changed the magic as it passed through it?"
Draco was silent.
"You're talking about a spell matrix," Draco said.
"I don't know what that is," Harry admitted.
"Many magical objects have a spell matrix in them," Draco explained, "so when magic is put into them a certain effect occurs. Usually you have to put a certain spell into them to get the desired result."
"Why do you have to put a spell in?" Harry asked.
"Because otherwise the magic isn't directed enough," Draco replied. "A spell matrix isn't powerful enough to change unfocused magic with just one pass."
"What if it passed through more than once?"
"Then I suppose you would get the desired effect, but how could you get the magic to go through more than once?"
"Ask it to," Harry said and he could feel Draco looking at him in the darkness.
His brain was suddenly alive with ideas and, for the first time since their long day in the library, he felt as if they might be getting somewhere.
"You are going to explain that, right, Harry?" Draco finally said.
* * *
It had been two more busy days and, even though Harry had at least an idea now, he still had to sort out the details. It had been a D.A. night so he was already tired, but as they climbed into bed he knew what he needed to do.
[I have to talk to Primrose,] he said as they climbed into bed.
[You're exhausted...] Draco started.
[Just tired,] Harry interrupted, [and this has been going round and round in my head for two days now. We don't have to get up in the morning and I'm never going to get to sleep like this.]
Draco gave him a long careful look.
Harry was shocked by how quickly Draco agreed.
[It's been going round and round in my head as well,] Draco admitted.
It said quite a lot about how preoccupied Harry had been that he hadn't known that already.
[Are you sure you can do this?"] Draco checked.
[With everything Primrose explained, I've got it.]
[Want me to Travel with you?]
This time he shook his head.
[I'd rather you were on this end, just in case.]
Draco frowned and bit his lip, but did nod. The anxiety that simple admission caused in his soulmate was more than obvious to Harry. He didn't like it, but he was sure of this course of action.
[I'll be as quick as I can,] he promised.
[Good,] was all Draco said to that.
It would take a little while to mentally prepare, but Harry knew this had to be done. He only hoped it seemed as effortless as last time had, until they had returned, that was, but he could cope with sleeping in.
* * *
This time Harry knew exactly where he would be when he opened his eyes. He did not like the disconnection from Draco, but they had agreed to try it that way and so he put up with it.
"Harry," Primrose said, getting up from her desk, "how lovely to see you again."
Primrose looked very different with her hair braided in an ornate style and wearing a beautiful dark green gown. She looked like the lady she undoubtedly was.
"Hello," he said, marvelling at how her workshop came alive with sunshine flowing into it through the window. "Sorry to bother you again."
"Not at all," she said, smiling, "I very much enjoyed our discussions last time."
"I think we have a way to bring Sirius back," Harry told her, "but I wanted to discuss it with you first."
"Ah, Harry," Primrose said, conjuring him a chair, "I have a feeling I am going to be very jealous when you have finished."
"Given how dangerous it is," he said, "I don't think so."
"Exactly how dangerous?" Primrose asked, growing serious.
"Very," Harry admitted, "but I don't think I have a choice."
Some of the time he thought he was probably crazy for what he was contemplating, but the more he considered it, the more he knew there were so many factors that were forcing his hand. It made a change to be thinking about risking his neck for something other than the fight against Voldemort.
"Explain away, Harry," Primrose said, so Harry did.
He told her about the matrix stone, the blood ritual and then his coup de gras: "and I don't think it's possible to control wild magic, I think you just have to ask it to help. Magic had to have come to humans at some point and it must have been wild, so it has to be possible. I don't think all the researchers have been looking at it the right way. What if magic originally combined with people because it wanted to?"
Primrose opened her mouth in a little 'o' and then smiled.
"That," she said, "is a remarkable theory."
"I've been thinking about how it feels to use my wild wand," he admitted, "how it takes so much concentration. I think it's because I have to force the magic to work, my magic has to push it to do what I want, but I think it might be easier to ask it."
"Have you tried?" Primrose asked.
Harry shook his head.
"This is only a feeling," he admitted, "but I don't think it would work with a normal spell. I think it needs something vital."
"What makes you think that?"
"A feeling," was all he could say, but Primrose nodded as if that was explanation enough.
"Sometimes feelings are all we have to go on," she agreed. "So you plan to create a matrix then attempt something no other witch or wizard has managed to ever do and practically perform a miracle."
"You're going to tell me I'm insane, aren't you?" Harry said.
"No," Primrose replied, "no I'm not. I don't really know you, Harry, but I have a sense of you. From what little you have been able to tell me, your life seems fraught with dangers few of us have to face. This seems to be another one which you must confront. The peril you feel is very real and, unfortunately, you are the only one who can undo the wrong which has been done."
Somehow, Harry had hoped, maybe Primrose would have told him he was wrong, that there was another way. Now it seemed that much more real. He was going to have to attempt the impossible ... again.
* * *
When Harry wandered off carrying the box with his wild wand in it, no one ever questioned or followed him, which was an advantage. Since using it could have such explosive results it was a perfectly valid idea to go and practice by himself. What no one saw this time was when he stopped by the Potion's classroom and picked up the stone Draco had left there for him earlier.
There was only one place he could think of that would be totally safe for what he planned to do and he headed for the Shrieking Shack. He and Draco had already prepared one of the rooms a few days earlier and it was totally shielded from the outside, but also far enough away from the school that, should anything go wrong, no student would be endangered.
With the use of his invisibility cloak, it really wasn't hard to get all the way there without being seen.
Once inside he activated the wards, started a fire in the grate and settled in for what was going to be a long session of spell work.
At the moment the stone was simply that; inert rock. It was grey and uninteresting and looked like an average, quarried chunk of stone. It wasn't even magical in origin, in fact they had been very careful to acquire it from a purely Muggle source. It was completely free from all magical influence, just how Harry needed it.
Kneeling down, Harry reached out to where he had placed the box containing his wild wand and put it on top of the stone he intended to turn into a magical matrix. This was a matrix for wild magic and so the only way to create it was with wild magic, even if it was slightly tamed by the crystal. Opening the box carefully, he surveyed the gently glowing wand inside. It was always beautiful and always a little intoxicating.
He had practiced on and off with the wand ever since Draco had given it to him, but he knew he was very much not proficient with it. However, given what he had learned from Primrose and the subsequent reading he and Draco had been doing, he had an idea why.
Taking the wand from the box, he did not immediately take it in his right hand; he laid it flat over both of his palms and closed his eyes. He could feel the magic encased in the crystal, how it writhed against the confines. For a while he just let the sensation roll over him as he became familiar with it. Only then did he reach out for it. He did not bring his will to bear on the magic he could feel, he simply allowed his own core magic to reach out and touch what was there.
At first it snapped at him, like a trapped animal, although he suspected it was more of a reaction than anything sentient. It hurt in something of an abstract way, but he didn't shy back, he stayed firm, waiting to see what would happen. His mind equated it to a cat trying to scratch him as he felt his magic attacked several more times, before the bursts of power stopped.
Slowly he opened his eyes and the wild wand was glowing even more brightly than usual. Very carefully, not sure that what he was doing would even remotely work, he reached out further with his own magic, ghosting around the power contained in the wand. It undulated under his touch. The rawness was still there, the untainted, pure power, but as he moved his magic it began to flow in time rather than fighting.
Now he moved the wild wand into his right hand, dipping the tip so that it just touched the top of the stone in front of him.
Creating a matrix was a matter of setting a magical idea in stone. It took clarity of thought, concentration and bursts of magic. The overall process was likely to take at least three days, if not four, which was why Harry had started now.
Harry had memorised every part of the spell to reignite the resonance within the energy that had been a human soul, or in Sirius' case, his body and his soul. Settling in to what was almost a meditative state he began to form the spell in his mind. If he could imprint the stone with the elements of the spell, any magic that passed through it would begin to take on the form of the spell and eventually cast it, like a very specific wand. Of course if the magic was not strong enough nothing would happen as the spell failed and the magic dissipated, hence the need for wild magic.
Focusing only on the formation of the spell, Harry stared at the wild wand and the stone and pushed with his core magic. The wild magic within the wand moved far more easily than it had before and a spark of gold and silver leapt from the wand into the stone.
It felt so effortless as he did it, but the moment it was over Harry found himself gasping. Sweat erupted on his forehead and he had to put the wild wand down as the magic scratched him again.
[Harry?] Draco's worried voice was instantly in his mind.
[I'm fine,] he promised, [this is just hard.]
How anything that had felt so easy had taken so much out of him he had no idea, but he had no intention of doing it again immediately.
[Are you sure?] Draco checked.
[Very,] he said. [It's draining. I think it's the backlash. I just need to make sure I take a few minutes between each try.]
[Well don't push too hard,] Draco said. [If I have to come peel you off the floor I'm making you mark all my first year potions essays.]
[I'll be careful, I swear,] Harry promised. [I just wasn't expecting it the first time. I'm sorry I interrupted you.]
[Never be sorry about that, you dolt,] Draco replied, apparently somewhat appeased. [Just make sure you are careful and channel your inner Slytherin.]
[I can't do that,] Harry said, [I'd never get anything done. You're my inner Slytherin and you only ever think about sex.]
Draco's mental squawk of indignation made Harry laugh.
[Right, you're fine,] Draco said. [Just don't expect to get away with that comment without reprisals.]
[I look forward to you revenge,] Harry replied and went back to his matrix stone.