House Category: Hogwarts, others
Beta Reader(s): roseofthewest
(Highlight to View) Warning(s): None.
Summary: The castle is more than a pile of stone and mortar.
It hurts. The damage done to my walls pales in the face of what my children have done to each other.
What children, you ask? How does a pile of stone and mortar figure itself to have children? How dare you question me, you silly boy. You've always thought yourself above things, but now, now you need to listen.
It is quite easy, you see. Britannia has always had magic running along the surface of it. The four, my parents, they found a place brimming with magic, at the crux of four different ley lines; here is where I was born. Not only a pile of stone and mortar, but with a jeweled heart and eyes and ears borne of magic.
The wards they placed used not only the magic of the ground, but let me taste and feel the magic of all who entered. Some was beautifully light and some was devilishly dark, yet all left their mark.
When the elves arrived, they knew instinctively that I would protect them, and in turn, they would and do use their magic to bolster mine. It is no accident that they can Apparate within my walls... they are truly part of me.
How do I identify my children? Each is different. Some are just more attuned to me than others. It is usually the most needy who feel me the best. But some of them could only feel how they could use me to bolster themselves, while others, many of whom are here today to attempt to help me heal, saw me as I truly am, a sanctuary, a mother, a home.
The ones who called themselves pure generally ignored me, too used to magical homes to contemplate a place that would help or hinder them. I know most of them believe the way I move the staircases to be random. It isn't. It only gets dangerous when one of the heads gets involved. I cannot stop them from adding their own magic to mine, and we are often at cross-purposes. Yes, you are not only included, you are one of the main culprits. You truly believed yourself to be doing things to better life for everyone, or I would have excluded you, just as I did the toad woman.
Wait, please, I hear a couple of my children talking... Yes, yes, exactly! Please do that, it will make my healing far easier.
The portrait of Albus Dumbledore cleared his throat, as though his painted needs were more than those of the castle he hung in.
Stop grumbling. You caused quite a bit of damage. It is about time your rather imposing wards came down. You hindered my magic, you silly boy.
Portrait Albus flushed. He knew exactly what the castle meant. Unfortunately, if she was excited about them being broken, then Harry, Severus, and Tom must all be nearby.
Yes, they are all here now, my three magical boys. One may be a ghost, the other is ill and the youngest is damaged, but they will help me heal the best. If only... Ah. There she is.
"Harry, we need to get Headmaster Snape to the heart of the castle. If we find the jewel it should work to have him change the wards so we can really heal her."
"OK, Luna. Let's do it. How can we get there?"
"We need to ask the castle, or maybe the elves."
At Luna's request, an ancient elf popped into existence in front of her and Harry. "Follow me, please."
Harry and Luna took up the cot that held the Headmaster's comatose body and followed the little elf.
As they were walking, they realized the castle was lighting their way. Suddenly, they found themselves in a spacious chamber that held a sparkling crystal the size of Harry's head. They placed the Headmaster directly under the jewel, somehow knowing what they should do.
"Hmph. I don't know why you are honoring that horrible traitor."
The rest all looked at the young handsome ghost of the self-proclaimed Lord Voldemort.
"Oh, shut it, Tom. Just because you couldn't get everyone to do what you wanted all the bloody time doesn't make you right."
"Certainly, Harry. Because Albus Dumbledore was a saint, such a nice man, using you as bait the way he did."
"Turns out he was a horrid man, true. But if it were up to you, I'd have been dead years ago."
"Will you two boys stop bickering? Really, the castle seems to love you both and the Headmaster far more than anyone else, and all you like to do is argue. Now, help the Headmaster drop Dumbledore's wards."
The dark haired young man looked at the ghost of his nemesis and shrugged. Walking and drifting they approached the man under the jewel. Reaching out, they seemed to get caught up in the magic of the moment, and the three, all who had considered the castle far more of a home than almost any other student who walked through her halls, seemingly willed the wards to drop.
The moment Albus's oppressive wards dropped, the castle began to hum with energy. Harry and Luna picked up the cot and returned to the Great Hall, their grins telling those waiting that they had succeeded. The magic flowed out at a rapid pace, helping the people and elves who were attempting to repair the castle things started to happen at a rapid pace. Headmaster Snape even woke up, surprising all the Healers who had come to see him at Harry's behest.
Ha! I can't believe you thought they wouldn't manage, you meddling old man. I'm keeping you here, you know. You won't be able to access the headmaster's office any longer. Why? Consider it your punishment for meddling where you shouldn't have. If you are nice, maybe I will allow the ghosts to visit you.
"Headmaster Snape, may I ask you another question?"
"Yes, Ms. Lovegood."
"Why is Headmaster Dumbledore's portrait covered like that?"
"When we repaired the castle and I returned to the office, it was like that. No human magic has been able to part the curtains."
"Guess the castle decided he needed a time out," interjected Harry, making the others in the office laugh.
Had they been closer to the wall, they might have heard muffled cursing coming from behind the curtain.
They are such good children. Even with all of their differences they came together to help me heal.
Oh, hush, Albus, you will be set free when you learn your lesson. They succeeded in spite of you, not because of you.
Don't shake your head at me, young man. I may have a heart of stone, but I do have a soul of magic.