Title: The Gray Phoenix
Pairing: Voldemort/Tom Riddle Jr. X Harry Potter
Genre: Romance/Supernatural
Summary: The summer after his fourth year Harry gets the memories and abilities of two different people who lived in different times. When he makes sense of them, he realizes that his life can never be easy.
Warning: Reincarnation, Slash, Incest, Necromancer! Seer! Harry, Mentions of Mpreg

Chapter Sixteen - Interlude

He found her floating about in an abandoned corridor, her face pale with death and full of melancholy. It was staggering seeing her like this when he remembered the cheerful child of lifetimes before, always ready to greet him with a smile and a request to play with her. Yet, there she was, little Helena Ravenclaw, not so little anymore and very much dead.

(Hericles remembered the little baby he held in his arms so, so long ago, the tiny fragile fingers curling around his. He remembered a childish laugh and a face full of baby fat. He remembered small arms wrapping around his middle, two innocent eyes shining at him in happiness. Hericles remembered the child she used to be; the child he had considered as his own niece.)

"Helena," he called gently as he took a step towards her. He watched as she lifted her head to stare at him with dull, surprised eyes.

"How do you know my name?" she asked. She floated closer and then froze, her eyes widening in surprise and her lips forming an 'O' of realisation. "…Hericles?"

His smiled gentled and his eyes softened. "Hello, Helena."

"You are back." Her voice was surprised and yet her eyes finally seemed to gain some life back even in her ghostly state.

"Yes." He took another step, his hand coming up to hover beside her cheek. "I am back," he affirmed, fingers ghosting over her cheek, leaving a path of light where they trailed across her pale skin. With a sigh, he retracted his hand and took a step back to then settle on a nearby windowsill. "Why are you still here, Helena? You should have gone back to the afterlife by now."

The ghost of Helena Ravenclaw, daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, but better known as the Grey Lady gave him a sad smile and came to hover beside him.

"I have been waiting for you to come back," she replied. "I knew you would be back again."

"But that cannot have been the only reason." He gave her a piercing look, gentle yet stern.

"No." She lowered her head, unable to look at him in the eyes. "I… My mother's diadem… it's…"

"Ah," Hericles made a sound of understanding before he sighed. "You told Salazar's current incarnation where it was but he did not do with it what you were hoping he would have."

"I thought… that by telling Lord Slytherin its whereabouts would help… I thought that I could atone for my sins and mother would forgive me…"

"Oh, Helena," Hericles sighed again. He reached forward and held her hands gently in his, ignoring the wisps of light floating from their joint hands. Leaning towards her, he peered up at her with a gentle smile on his face. "Rowena has already forgiven you from the moment she learned that you were the one to take the diadem. You have nothing to atone for."

Her face scrunched up at his words and if she was alive, she would have been crying her eyes out.

"How would you know? You were already gone when it happened!" Her voice rose in an attempt to sound angry but she only manged to sound desperate to hear his answer.

Hericles tightened his hold on her hands and replied, "I am a Seer, Helena. I know. And remember, I have also been to the Afterlife more than once before; your mother is waiting to see you. She misses you."

At this, she let out a dry sobbing sound. Her body crumbled forward as if a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. She curled into a ball, trembling, but never letting go of Hericles' hands. The young teenager remained a silent guardian beside her, giving her his quiet support.

"Alright… Alright… I will leave," she finally said after a long moment of gathering herself again. Helena straightened and curled her fingers tighter within Hericles' hold. "But… not yet."

Hericles blinked. She gave him a wobbly smile.

"I wish to see mother too," she admitted. "But not yet." She took a moment to gather her thoughts before she asked, "You will retrieve the diadem, won't you?"


She smiled. "You will also confront Lord Slytherin." This time it was less of a question and more of a statement. "I will stay," she replied to Hericles' bewildered silence. "I will stay until everything settles down between you two and then I will leave." Then, with an impish grin, she added, "I need to tell the others about what is happening between you two after all."

Hericles stared and then gave a defeated sigh.

Nathaniel puffed up his cheeks in indignation, arms crossed over his chest as he stood, facing his new friends. They were clearly being stupid! Why would they not believe him?

The four friends were in the library, looking for an appropriate book to help them for their Potions' assignment. Professor Snape was a scary man and the class was not exactly easy either. The books they found on the subject, unfortunately, used too many complicated words or contexts they were not familiar with which made their work even more difficult.

Peter was the first to think about asking an older student for help. After a brief discussion, with a long debate about what would happen if they submitted another subpar assignment to Professor Snape, they all agreed to it. Alas, there were few Hufflepuffs in the library at this time of the day and they were scared to ask anyone from the other Houses.

That was when Nathaniel noticed his favourite person in the whole castle not far from them, immersed in a huge book but also very much alone. Nathaniel was a sensible child and Hericles was his second favourite person in the world after all – second only to his little brother of course – and asking Hericles for help was the only logical solution to their problem.

Unfortunately, the others did not see it that way when he presented the idea to them. Instead of the relief he expected from his friends, he was faced with horror as the others immediately protested asking Hericles for help.

Their reason? Hericles was a Slytherin. What kind of silly reason was that?

"Slytherins are bad!" Chris said. "My brother said so."

"Yeah! The others in the common room are always talking about how bad and evil they are," Peter added.

"That's true," Adam nodded and whispered, "They are all bad guys, Nathaniel. You have to be careful. Especially, you, since you're a muggleborn."

As the others nodded at him, Nathaniel pouted. "Why?"

The other three shared a look and then leaned forward to whisper in conspiration. "They say that all Slytherins are Death Eaters! They work with You-Know-You and they really, really don't like muggleborns. You know the attack on Diagon Alley, right? That was them!"

Nathaniel crunched up his face at that, remembering said attack on Dagon Alley and how Hericles had been the one to save him, how the older teen had kept his little brother and him safe.

"That's silly," he finally declared. "Hericles is not a bad guy! Look, I'll prove it to you!"

With that said, Nathaniel stood up, tuned on his heels and made his way to Hericles. His friends stared after him, wide-eyed, before they shared a look and rushed after him. They could not leave him alone after all.

That was how, when he looked up from his book, Hericles found himself facing four little eleven years old, one very familiar to him. Surprised, Hericles blinked for a moment in bafflement at the strangely determined look in their eyes before he turned, smiling, towards Nathaniel.

"Hello, Nathaniel," he greeted the child he had unfortunately not been able to check up on since the welcoming feast a few weeks before. "How have you been?"

The child beamed at him, his cheeks lighting up with a happy flush.

"Hi, Hericles! Can you help us with something?"

Hericles unhesitatingly turned his full attention to the child. "Sure. What can I help you with?"

Behind the boy, the other three Hufflepuffs watched the interaction with bafflement. They had not expected the older Slytherin to be so welcoming towards them, and even less to be so gentle towards their friend and so ready to offer his help.

"Professor Snape gave an assignment but we are really, really confused," the boy explained. "Can you help us?"

"Sure." Hericles pushed his book aside and freed the table enough for Nathaniel to take the seat opposite him. "Will your friends be joining us then?" He asked, amused, when the other three children hovered hesitatingly behind Nathaniel.

Said child whirled on them and grinned. "See!? Didn't I say Hericles is nice?"

While the three turned red and hastily took a seat at the table, Hericles hid his mouth behind a dainty hand to hide the laugh that bubbled up from his throat.

Ah, children were always so adorable.

Calling for Dobby was not easy. First, he needed to find an abandoned classroom, one he was sure no student would find their way inside, not even for illicit affairs. That was not the hard part, however. The hard part was when he had to actually confront the elf. Dobby came readily after being called, throwing himself at the teenager in happiness. Hericles, unfortunately, was not exactly happy. He was in fact very disapproving.


The elf had to have heard the disapproving tone to his voice – or maybe he felt his unhappiness through their bond – as he immediately detached himself from his person.

"Master be back. Master be not happy to see Dobby?" the small elf looked sad when he said this and Hericles steeled himself to be able to continue.

"It is not that I am unhappy to see you, Dobby, but you have disappointed me."

"Master not happy! Dobby be bad elf!" He reached up and twisted his ears in punishment, large, bulbous eyes already filling with tears.

Hericles stifled the irritated sigh, knowing it would make the elf punish himself even more. Said elf had changed much since his time as Heri Black but his time as Harry Potter had already prepared himself for this.

"Dobby enough," he ordered. With a frown, he continued, "You know what you did wrong."

Instead of replying, the elf turned trembling eyes to him and blinked.

Hericles sighed. "I expressly ordered you to stay with the Malfoys until I were to personally take back control of your bond." He frowned, pursing his lips in disapproval. "Instead of doing as I said, you used my naivety and the absence of my memories to your advantage, and forced your bond back into my hands." In front of him, Dobby lowered his head in guilt and stared at the floor. "You were to stay by Abraxas' side, Dobby," he stressed. "You were to prevent him from catching dragon pox. Instead, you went against your ancestral contract and Abraxas caught dragon pox, like I Saw."

At this, the elf threw himself on the floor and wailed. "Dobby be sorry! Dobby be sorry! Master Abraxas' bad son was bad to Dobby and Dobby could not take it! Dobby is sorry!"

Hericles sighed again but this time in exhaustion. More gently, he continued, "Dobby, I told you Lucius would not be kind to you. I warned you of this but you insisted on taking on this responsibility yourself. I trusted you to look after Abraxas."

His breath hitched as he said his cousin's – ex-cousin's – name, knowing that the Malfoy was already dead and that this could have been prevented if Dobby had done as he had instructed. Being a Seer was never easy. He had Seen the past and many possible futures. Sometimes, the future could be influenced and other times they were set in stone. Abraxas' death could have been prevented and that was why it was so unfortunate and why he was so angry about this.

Voice quiet, he said, "You have greatly disappointed me, Dobby. For breaching the contract, you need to be punished."

"Dobby be sorry! Dobby be accept punishment from Master! Dobby be sorry!"

All Hericles could do was to give another sigh.

Hericles had been kidnaped by Nathaniel a few days later – because apparently, they had not spent enough time together since the Welcoming Feast and Hericles tutoring his friends and him did not count – and they were sitting outside in the courtyard, Hericles telling the young boy a real fairy tale story when they were approached by his Gryffindor friends. From his perch on the bench beside him, Nathaniel was leaning into Hericles to see the moving pictures in the book Hericles held in his lap and so, he was the first one to notice the new arrivals.

"Well, well, well, look who we have here," a familiar voice said from behind them. Surprised, Hericles turned around to find Ron, Hermione, Neville and Ginny standing behind him, grinning. "Our very own slimy, slithering, snake," Ron continued as he gave Hericles a mock-pompous look.

Before Hericles could greet them, however, he was interrupted by Nathaniel who asked innocently, face scrunched up in confusion, "Snakes are slimy?" Question asked, he turned wide, curious eyes towards Hericles.

Said teenager's lips quirked up in amusement. "No, they are in fact very dry."

"Oh." Question answered, Nathaniel then turned his inquisitive eyes towards Ron who appeared taken aback. Beside him, the other three snickered at him. "Why did you call him slimy? Hericles is not slimy."

"Errr…. I didn't… erm," Ron stuttered, making the other three laugh even louder. Hericles joined in before he decided to help him in his predicament.

"It's just a way of speaking," he explained, laying a hand on Nathaniel's head.

"Right!" Ron was quick to agree.

Hericles snickered good-naturedly.


"Did you need something? Or did you come here to call me 'slimy'?" Hericles asked, raising a teasing eyebrow at them.

Ginny let out another laugh, elbowing her brother lightly in the back. "We haven't hung out with you in a while," she explained. "How are the Slytherins treating you?"

"Pretty well," Hericles smiled as the four Gryffindors rounded the bench to take a seat close by.

"Really?" Ron asked sceptically. "Have they tried to recruit you yet?" He added sardonically.

"Ronald!" Hermione scolded, slapping him over the head.

"Hey, 'Mione!"

The girl huffed in annoyance.

"How have you been? Have you made other friends yet?" Neville, the kind soul that he was, asked, ignoring Ron's question.

"Well, I have Nathaniel here," Hericles replied with a teasing smile as he reached and lightly pinched said boy's chubby cheek. Nathaniel let out a laugh and made to grab at his hand. "And he has been quite a good company." Said boy replied to this with a large beaming smile.

"Nice to meet you, Nathaniel," Hermione greeted the boy, smiling at their interaction. "I'm Hermione. This is Ron." Ron shot him a grin. "That's Ginny."


"And this is Neville."


"Hi!" The boy blinked wide eyes at them and then asked, "Are you Hericles' friends?"

"Yup! We are his friends. Are you his friend too?"


"So, what were you doing before we came along?" Ginny asked after the introductions were completed.

"Hericles was telling me a story!"

"Really?" The four turned curious eyes to their friend, wondering if this story was like the other stories Hericles had told them during the summer at the Sanctuary. Hericles had the tendency to tell factual stories after they had asked for it when they learned of their lack of knowledge in so many things their friend found common and basic knowledge. "What is it about?"

"It's an account of the Fairy Prince's adventure to the Light Realm," Hericles explained.

"The what about what now?" Ginny was quick to ask.

"Well, it starts like this – "

AN: This chapter is more of an interlude, a filler of sorts, before things start to pick off. I want to finish this story as soon as possible since I've dragged it on for years now. BUT I'm pretty sure it's likely to be done sooner rather than later since I have everything already planned out. Now I just need to write it. I hope you liked this chapter. I wanted to add the Slytherins too but I found that it would fit more what I have planned for the next chapter, so no Slytherin here except for Hericles.

(Maybe I should add slow burn for the romance in warning though since there hasn't been anything about that yet...)

I would really like to know what you all think of this chapter or the story as a whole so don't hesitate to drop in a review. I don't even mind guest reviews so let me know your thoughts! Constructive criticism is really appreciated.