VERITAS

Books are my haven. I creep through the library, doing my best to preserve the calmness. The place is tranquil in a harsh opposite from reality.

My escape, my paradise
My gateway to another world
My pretty little Edelweiss

In this place reality can shift
It can destroy and create existence
From my dreary life I drift

They give me control
Over whether I read or not
I can order not cajole

They do not hate
They do not prejudge
They do not mutate

They never change
There is no spontaneous violence
They are not deranged

They talk and advise
With knowledge and uncommon sense
I listen for they are wise

I can learn
For no-one can command my mind
That is mine to govern

While my body
Can be beaten like a baseball
I am not that shoddy

My being is my own
Not a pawn of anyone else
My own alone

They talk about horizons
I have none for horizons are constraints
I expand my passions

For there is naught
A book can do to hurt me
I remain uncaught

I am mine and mine alone. Mine. Mine Mine. Me. Me. Me. Nobody else can control me.

I can learn
For no-one can command my mind
That is mine to govern

While my body
Can be beaten like a baseball
I am not that shoddy

My being is my own
Not a pawn of anyone else
My own alone

I have come to the soul of the problem. Elation spirals over me like a desert wind. I am in control again. I know who I am. I am me. Sometimes I want to do amazingly stupid Gryffindor things. Often I plan as a Slytherin.

I serve myself
And no-one else

Me, myself and I. That is an old saying, for people who never want to be alone. But there is more than three of me. There is a side to me that wants to please everyone, to sacrifice myself. There is a side that is loyal only to my friends. There is a side that wishes to forgive Voldemort. There is a side that wishes for revenge against those who hurt me. There is a side that wants the world to burn. There is a side who does not wish for war but peace. There is a side that cares only for myself.
There are many more.

Yet somehow they all work together to create me. I am not simple, though parts of me am. I am not a single string coloured red, yellow, purple, pink, blue, gold, silver, green, bronze, ivory, grey, orange or black. I am an artwork woven from every colour on the rainbow and beyond, as well as many that do not exist in reality.

Mainly, though, I exist in two parts; one loyal to all, the other to me alone. In the past two years, the latter has dominated. Mayhaps I am the only one who can control me. I was the one in control. Yet I was also shoved aside in favour of myself. The tapestry of my character had turned on itself, turning to bright Gryffindor Hufflepuff hues. Yet a fire cannot blaze long without air or fuel. Should I stay dressed in reds and yellows I shall soon burn out.

I refuse to burn out.

I trace the thread of my life back to the last time I was equal.

o~O~o

For once, all my various facets have agreed to one emotion- shock. I was skeptical when first the Giant claimed I was special, curious when he tricked the motor. Now I am dumbstruck as I cautiously make my way down the aisle. I find myself waiting for a shout of 'April Fool!' or for a camera man and reporter to approach me for reactions to their staged performance. I am agape as I watch an urchin with body twisted in an impossible way greet a women so deformed she would not consent to appear on screen. If this is for a movie, I plan to take the producer to court for Crimes Against Humanity.

As I gape at my surroundings the Giant- no doubt the result of an illegal biological experiment- greets the barkeep.

"Howdy do, Tom?"
"No Worse than yerself. The usual."
"'Fraid not. 'M on Hogwarts buzniss. 'Mportant buzniss."

He claps a hand to my shoulder. I am acutely aware of the multitude of eyes on my back.

"Can't be. Melissa will never believe me."
"It is, Doris my old friend."
"Potter? Here? Is the old goat insane?"
"You'd think there'd be a little more security than that blundering oaf."
"How much fatter do ya think my purse'll be if I tell Mr. Malfoy?"
"Depends how soon you get there. Half the Dark is headed to the fire."
"The other half is seeing how soon they can poison him, no doubt."

I do not like feeling the victim, but am accustomed. I start wishing to be invisible, then stop. The crowd will be aghast if I pull my disappearing act. Before I can decide, I am shoved towards the swarming sheep. I am passed from hand to hand, feet barely touching the ground and uncomfortable at how close to molestation the Crazies come to. There is an assortment of people rushing to touch me. I wonder whether I will be worn smooth by their strokes like what happens to religious idols.

Then another comes up to me, his eyes shifting warily. As soon as he touches me, I start to scream mentally.

I remember a foreign thing trying to control me. But no-one other than me may control me. It comes harshly, dominating my senses, wanting to own me. Gryffindor Hufflepuff wants to stand aside and let it have victory. Smart Slytherin Ravenclaw abandons Gryffindor Hufflepuff to wrap around the thing. It simply slides down Slytherin Ravenclaw, towards where Gryffindor Hufflepuff is holding the reins. Instead of allowing it to advance towards the submissive duo, Slytherin Ravenclaw cuts their connection.

Over the years, the thing tries to absorb Slytherin Ravenclaw. Sly Slytherin allows himself to be absorbed enough to gain an imprint of the thing's knowledge, before knowing Ravenclaw yanks it back. It remains as a prison for the terrified thing, unyielding to its frantic attempts at escape.

Suddenly, there is a tug from outside, pulling on me. On the essence of me. Desperate, Slytherin Ravenclaw throws the thing to intercept the tug, hoping that they will hinder each other instead of joining forces to destroy me. Overjoyed, Slytherin watches as his Gryffindoresque leap of faith bears fruit.

o~O~o

I am whole now.
United.

Gryffindor Hufflepuff sheepishly admits that Slytherin Ravenclaw has a point. Slytherin abstains from forgiving them, demanding a greater voice and other rewards. Weary with the ongoing argument, I demand that they concede and once more join forces. With their acquiescence, I once more begin to re-weave the tapestry of my character.

It has changed.

Salazer Slytherin
I watch my true heir worriedly. He is breathing, he is alive. While he may be in a coma currently, Slytherins as a breed are too death-defyingly stubborn to stay with Morpheus for long. Though He may tempt them, Snakes were true only to themselves.

Rowena would laugh at me had she heard that last thought. I could not even protest at her humor, standing as I am fearful for one I know will be alright.

He must be. He is the last chance for my House, my Name, my Honour to be restored. No other but the false heir can speak to me and learn my tale. The false heir shut his eyes and closed his ears. This one will not make the same mistake.

I will not allow it.

Despite myself, I am concerned as he jackknifes upright. Then his eyes snap open, and my doubts are reassured. This one will be fine.

His face for a moment is devoid of a mask and I see the calculating set to his features. I see the staunch, certain jaw that is characteristic of my line. I have never before seen him wear it. The look suits him. I am proud of my descendant; at last I meet one worthy of my name. He bears the impression of his fiery squib-born mother.

He will take the school by storm and lead a revolution.

The damned Headmaster approaches him, a kindly mask firm in place. "My dear boy, you gave us quite the fright! Are you alright?"

I want to kill him, but bearing in mind the fact that I am a portrait, find myself unable. Instead, I listen to my heir's answer, a warm haze of relief overcoming me as he replies "I'm fine, thank you Headmaster. Just a little stiff."

Bile rises in my throat at Dumbledore's genial appearance. He thinks so little of my lineage that he allows his true uncaring feelings to darken the mask. I see my Childe tighten his mask, his obvious recognition of the Pecksniffian in front of him the only reason I do not outright vomit.

Dumbledore strengthens the spell on his eyes. "Is there anything I can do for you, dear boy? Your friends were most worried."

I can tell from how my Scion narrows his eyes that he recognized the way Dumbledore excluded himself from the statement. The smile my Snake gives is a mirror of his Headmaster's; wide, beaming and utterly fake.

"Actually, Headmaster, I was wondering whether I could be resorted? I am not same person I was when I first came to Hogwarts."

Fini

Anyone who wishes to may use this story as background for one of theirs.

Yes, it is finished. I stopped caring about it a while back, but pushed myself to complete it for my readers. When I posted the first chapter I had no plans to continue it, only the fact that the only other option was deleting or abandoning it made me write this much. The previous chapters are edited to echo the abrupt ending.