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The Mentor

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Harry watched as little Helga, only 7 years old, manipulated Devil's Snare to protect her from the Night Hunt. He took the young Druid Witch away from her village and the Muggle parents who abandoned her.

 

"If a Harper is not who you wish be than be a Harper you shall not,"

 

"Who am I then, Lord Death?"

 

Harry thought to Helga's plants, and remembered Madam Sprout. He glanced to Helga's red tinted brown hair, and thought of his former (or future) classmate Susan Bones. Helga's hazel blue eyes that reminded him of Susan’s friend Hannah. Helga was shy, often ducking behind him during their travels to avoid being seen. She was clever, creating plant pastes to heal their wounds, and she was kind most of the time...with a temper like a badger. Which is where he'd picked her nickname from.

 

"...Hufflepuff, little badger,"

 

"That's an odd name,"

 

"Then it suits you,"

 

"...Rude!"

 

Harry and his little badger wandered from village to village. They stayed only long enough to rest before the Muggles chased them out. The wooden huts and farmlands didn't provide much shelter from the weather, but Harry did his best with what he had.

 

Harry dug into his pathetically muggle bag. The fabric was pig hide , and wasn't very magic conductive, so no enchantments for space or anti-theft, or at all really.

 

Harry pulled out a hat, and some gloves. The wool cap covered her ears, while the matching gloves protected her hands. Wool was actually quite responsive to magic, being able to hold both an enchantment and a temporary charm without losing its quality.

 

Casting a warming charm on the wool, and recasting the charm on Helga's cotton gown.

 

"My gown is starting to tatter, Lord Death,"

 

"I see this, little badger, but coin for wares we do not have, "

 

"Do you still seek the Forest of Demons?"

 

"That I do," Harry lay on the pile of hay, Helga curled next to him for warmth. "Do you still seek my knowledge of Magic?"

 

"I do! I never mean to doubt your wisdom Lord Death, but the Forest of Demons has...demons,"

 

Harry's rumbling laugh shocked Helga. She sat up with a start, watching him with wide eyes.

 

"Little badger, Tis nothing to fear," Harry said. "For I have been to this forest before, many a year ago,"

 

"Honest? Do be honest Lord Death,"

 

"As honest as the sun in the sky,"

 

"What it be like?"

 

Harry sat up, preparing to tell the story, when he heard feet running outside the barn. He spoke softly, so he’d hear danger if it approached.

 

"A gathering of spiders, three as tall as a tree. One as wise as an old oak, one as strong as a titan, one as human as you or I,"

 

"How could a spider be human?"

 

"The spider only looks human, her beauty like no other, to hunt her pray she takes the shape of a woman. She takes with her the life of her pray to keep her young in body and her beauty as enticing as an angel,” Seeing that Helga was still awake, and the noise outside had faded Harry continued. “Deep within the forest lays a clearing of open grass, where the Centaurs live and wander. The stars they read guide them in belief, while the forest paths they roam. Friends with the Unicorn, yet never seen are they, for human words and human minds are full of doubt and shades of gray,”

 

There was a clatter outside the barn, two young voices whispering to each other. Tossing a revealing charm at the door showed two boys trying to listen in. Deciding to invite the boys to the party, Harry vanished the door with a wave of his hand.

 

"We have guests, little badger," Harry said as the two boys tumbled into the barn.

 

Helga squeaked, crawling into the hay pile. Harry sighed at Helga’s attempt to hide.

 

"Now we shall be punished, excellent idea peasant," the boy in the nightgown said.

 

“None would dare harm the young master, you know that as well as I,” the other boy said.

 

“Come closer young lads,” Harry said. “tell me what does the son of a Nobleman, and a servant boy, seek so far after dark?”

 

The two looked at each other, silently communicating or trying to pressure the other to speak up first?

 

“Godric was looking for mischief,” - “Adventure Sal, Adventure!”- “And I sought to keep him from harm,”

 

“I see,” And Harry did. It was like looking at Ron and Draco, had they been friends instead of rivals. ‘Sal’ was standing proud, his nightgown and outdoor coat made of expensive fabrics looked out of place in the shabby barn, yet he stood unashamed of his obvious misplacement. Godric on the other hand wore a mix of squire’s clothes and the garb of a peasant. He sat on the ground happily laughing at being caught sneaking around at night.

 

“Would you two lads like to hear the story of the Great Dragons?”

 

Hegla came out of hiding to hear the story, and watched the two boys carefully before she decided to trust them.

 

Harry watched as the Witch Hunters took over the village he and Helga had been staying in. The Hunters were Knights and farmers, trained or not, from various social classes. All had one thing in common though.

 

“Find the Witch, kill the Witch,” the ominous chant haunted nightmares as the men stormed through the countryside. “Kill the Witch, Kill the Witch”

 

Helga kept her face hidden, hiding close to Harry’s side. Harry just watched the makeshift militia passby.

 

“I heard the young lord’s betrothed was possessed by a witch, yes she was,” One housewife said to another.

 

“That tis not what I be hearing from the manor, tis the young master himself who bes possessed,”

 

“Horrid, absolutely horrid I say. Damning our children for sport!”

 

Harry packed up the few belongings they had, additional clothes he’d gotten for Helga, a hat for himself. They would be gone by morning, before the Hunters knew they’d been there. Helga was watching the barn door, waiting for the boys to show up.

 

“What if they do not show?”

 

“Then I take us to the Manor and we make certain they are well before we make haste,”

 

Helga worried a clover between her fingers, turning it into a blooming daisy and back in an attempt at patience.

 

“They come, Lord Death, and they bring another,” Helga said. Harry vanished all traces of himself and Helga from the barn. Checking it to make sure nothing was forgotten before he followed the girl outside.

 

The two boys held an injured young girl between them as they stumbled through the field.

 

“Sir Death, please, you must aid her!” Salazar said. “As..as Lord Slytherin, I make this request,”

 

Harry was casting diagnostic spells and at the three as they spoke. Salazar had cuts and welts all along his back, as did Godric, but the girl showed signs of spiritual exorcism. She  was rejecting her magic and it was killing her from the inside out.  He could keep her stable, binding her magic inside her and keep her asleep while her body heals, but unless she accepted and learned to channel it...her magic would kill her.

 

“I can keep her alive, but to mend her wounds we must leave,” The two boys agreed.

 

Harry took the girl, Rowena Ravenclaw, and carried the unconscious girl as the other three ran behind him. With a grin Harry lead the kids to one of the Hunter’s horse drawn wagons. Salazar and Godric climbed onto the wagon, turning around to help Helga inside before taking Rowena from Harry. Harry caste a cushioning charm on the benches and floor for the kids before locked the wagon door. Running around to the driverseat he casted a sticking charm on the seat and snapped the horse into a startled run.

 

“Lord Death, They follow!’ Helga said.

 

“Hold on to the bench lads!” Harry said. “Badger! Toss some Screechsnap at them!”

 

“Yes Sir!” Helga opened her pouch, much like Harry’s but it held her plant packets. As Harry encouraged the horse to go faster, Helga stood at the wagon door. The wagon rocked violently under her feet, the wind blowing harshly against her face. She sprinkled some seeds into palm before dropping the packet back into her pouch. She channeled her magic into her hands, letting the energy pool around the seeds, before she blew them towards the Hunters. The wisps of her magic guided the seeds towards her targets.

 

Godric and Salazar watched wide eyed as a monstrous plant sprouted from the seeds. It screeched as it wrapped itself around the Hunters. It was a shrill sound that filled the village with fear.

 

“I never thought a girl could be so frightening,” Godric said in awe.  

 

Salazar raised an eyebrow. “I never thought you had a brain,”