Harry Potter and the Return of the Heirs
By J.C. Vascardi

Disclaimer: All characters and places featured in this story that relate to Harry Potter are the property of J.K. Rowling, various publishers, and Warner Brothers. No money is being made on this story and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. The only things about this story that I own are the storylines, places and characters that are not featured in the books.

Author's Note: By now, I'm sure you all know the regular author's note which appeared in the first 10 chapters of this story by heart, so I shall spare you having to look at it anymore. Now, in Chapter 10, those of you who have read HBP know that my description of Blaise is different from JKR's description of him. The reason is because I chose to adhere to how I had originally described Blaise in my notes prior to the release of HBP.

Chapter Eleven

"Now, how do we find out who the other heirs are?" Harry asked.

"Those large oak doors over there, Harry," Rowena said as she pointed at them. "Enter the room behind them, and I'll move to my portrait in there and give you more instructions."

Harry and Ryan nodded, and then went over to the oak doors that Rowena pointed to and opened them. Walking inside, they found themselves in a cavernous room filled with bookshelves. Walking over to the fireplace, Ryan quickly lit a fire to provide more light, and then looked up at Rowena's portrait. She smiled and said, "Welcome Ryan, Harry, to my private library."

"Wow," Ryan and Harry said in unison as they looked around at the massive collection of books.

"There must be more books here then in the Hogwarts library, including the restricted section!"

"Right you are, Harry," Rowena confirmed. "I charmed this library so that it would magically obtain copies of every single written work ever produced. This library contains books on every subject under the sun. There are books here written by Merlin himself, as well as Morgana Le Fey, and there are also copies of all the scrolls from the Great Library at Alexandria."

"Wow," Ryan muttered. "A collection of rare books this size would be worth a fortune. I remember Matt saying that if we pooled our vaults with Oliver's, Draco would still have more money, but all these books would be worth even more than Matt's, Oliver's, Draco's and my vaults combined."

"That's probably true," Rowena stated. "Of course, if there was one thing that I learned in life, it was that knowledge can be vastly more valuable than all the galleons in the world. Who are the other people you mentioned, Ryan?"

"Oh, I'm sorry, I was referring to my cousin, Matthew Cromwell, his boyfriend, Oliver Wood, and my second cousin, Draco Malfoy."

Rowena nodded and asked, "I should very much like to meet them, Ryan; especially this Matthew and his boyfriend Oliver. Am I correct in assuming that Draco is not related to me?"

"I don't think he is, although I can't be totally sure since I haven't seen his complete family tree. He's my late grandmother, Lucinda Malfoy Cromwell's grandnephew."

"Well, even if he isn't related to me directly, I'd still like to meet him. I've been so lonely over the last millennium that I relish the thought of talking to people again."

"Would they even be able to get into your quarters? You did say that they were charmed so that only you and your heirs could access them."

"You're right, Harry, I did say that," Rowena said with a patient smile. "Am I correct in assuming that you are not in my house?"

"Yes, I'm in Gryffindor, why?"

"Well, Harry, I mean no offense, but I do believe a member of my house would have already figured out that anyone who is invited into my quarters by my heir can access them."

"Ryan didn't invite me though."

"Oh, I assure you, he must have, Harry. If he hadn't, a magical barrier would have prevented you from stepping even one foot into my quarters. Ryan did you say anything to Harry before you entered?"

Thinking back for a moment, Ryan nodded. "Yes," he answered. "I said `Well, follow me, Harry.'"

"Then that's why you have access to this room, Harry. Ryan told you to follow him, which the room's magic took as an invitation. Only Ryan can open the door into this room. However, as an invited guest, the room will allow you to enter from now on without a word from Ryan, unless of course, he asks you to leave and not return, at which point the room's magic would evict you, and not allow you to enter again until invited."

Harry nodded his understanding, as Ryan asked, "You said I'm the only one who can open the door? Would my cousin Matthew, or my uncle Charles be able to open it? They're both Cromwells, both descended from you."

"No, even though they are technically my heirs, since it was you who found the room, the magic will only recognize you as my heir now. If Matthew or Charles had found the room before you, then one of them would be recognized as my heir. As my heir, you can instruct the room to allow other people to open the door, if you so desire."

"Well, for now, I think I'll keep it so that only I can open the door."

"You mean you're not going to give Justin permission?"

"Justin?" Rowena asked, as she raised an eyebrow, clearly curious.

"Harry is referring to Justin Finch-Fletchley, my boyfriend."

"Ah, how nice; you must allow me to meet him as well. Would it be possible for you to bring them all here for me to meet?"

"It shouldn't be too hard," Ryan said. "Matt and Oliver are the Music and Art professors, respectively, and the others are all students here at Hogwarts. I'm not sure about getting my uncle to come for a visit though, because being an Auror keeps him very busy considering the current state of things."

"What do you mean by `current state of things'?" Rowena asked as she again raised her eyebrow.

"The Wizarding World is at war, and it isn't going well."

"War? My, my, Ryan, how unpleasant," Rowena said. "Then, we must figure out who the heirs are immediately, so that the other quarters can be found. Backed up by the knowledge of all four founders, I'm sure the heirs will be able to help turn the tide in this war. Who is the enemy, if I may ask?"

"A former Hogwarts student actually," Harry said. "Tom Marvolo Riddle, now known as Lord Voldemort; he's also Salazar Slytherin's heir. He went to school here over fifty years ago, and he found Slytherin's Chamber of Secrets, but as far as we know, he didn't find Slytherin's quarters."

"Hmm, so, Salazar actually built a secret chamber, did he? The other founders and I suspected that he might have, but we could never prove it. I'm sure he probably would have made his gift for Parseltongue necessary to access the chamber, and there are only two known Wizard lines that possess the Parseltongue ability, namely the male heirs of Salazar Slytherin and the female heirs of Morgana Le Fey; and the last of the Le Fey line died childless the year before I did."

Harry gasped, causing Ryan and Rowena to look at him in curious concern.

"Is something wrong, Harry?" Ryan asked, not sure what had caused the boy's alarm.

"Well, it's just that Rowena said that only the male heirs of Salazar Slytherin possess the Parseltongue ability," Harry answered.

"Yes, that's true. I have no idea how his line came to possess the ability, but only his male heirs have it. Before he died, Salazar had three daughters, six granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters, and none of them could speak Parseltongue; whereas all of his sons and grandsons could."

"Um, does that mean that I'm related to Slytherin?" Harry asked, a look on his face which made it obvious, that despite his recent friendship with Draco, and the fact that he was almost sorted into Slytherin, made him a bit frightened of the possibility.

"Can you speak Parseltongue?" Rowena asked.

"Yes," hissed Harry in Parseltongue, before repeating it in English.

"Then, you must be Slytherin's heir," Rowena said.

"Are you sure? I mean there's no other possible way for me to have the Parseltongue ability?" Harry asked, feeling uneasy.

"Well, there is one way that I can think of," Rowena answered. "There is an ancient soul bonding ritual that some married couples used to bind their souls so they would be together for all eternity, at which point they both can use any special abilities that either one possesses, but very few couples ever used it. It's an ancient magic, known by only a few people, and since it binds the couple's souls, if one dies, so will the other. Of course, I assume you haven't married anyone recently, right Harry?"

"No, I haven't married anyone," Harry confirmed, a little surprised that she would even ask such a question. He was only sixteen, after all.

"Well, then I am unaware of any other way in which you could be a Parselmouth."

"What about through this?" Harry asked as he pushed back his fringe to reveal his scar.

"A scar in the shape of a lightning bolt," Rowena mused. "A rather distinctive scar, but I don't see how that would give you the ability to understand and speak Parseltongue."

"It's a curse scar," Harry revealed. "I've had it ever since I was a year old, when Voldemort killed my parents and tried to kill me. Somehow, when he used the Killing Curse on me, it rebounded against him and destroyed his body. Professor Dumbledore, the current Headmaster, thinks that when that happened, Voldemort transferred some of his powers to me, including his Parseltongue ability. Our minds are connected, so he has the power to read my thoughts, regardless of our distance from one another, which is why I had to start studying Occlumency after he regained his body."

"Wait, wait, wait," Rowena said in surprise. "You survived the Killing Curse?"

"Yes, the curse rebounded and destroyed Voldemort's body instead, and I got this scar."

Taking a few minutes to think, Rowena finally spoke. "Hmm, well, your Professor Dumbledore could be right. I've never heard of anyone surviving the Killing Curse. I have heard of rebounded spells, because I was able to rebound spells when I was alive, I have not, however, ever heard of a rebounded Killing Curse, and a one-year-old wizard should be incapable of rebounding curses."

"So, do you think Harry is Slytherin's heir?" Ryan asked in awe.

"It's a distinct possibility," Rowena said. "However, now that I think about it, it is also possible that your Professor Dumbledore is right. If Voldemort has the ability to get inside Harry's head and read his thoughts, regardless of their distance from each other, then in a way, they are magically bonded, which would give Harry the ability to use Voldemort's gift of Parseltongue."

"Do you have any idea how I survived the Killing Curse?" Harry asked, wondering if he'd finally get an answer to a question that had been plaguing him. "Professor Dumbledore has always told me that it was because my mom died, trying to protect me."

"As I said, I've never heard of it happening," Rowena answered as she paused to think. "As for your mother sacrificing herself for you, it's true that can help protect a child, but that sacrifice alone should not protect against the Killing Curse. Everything I ever read about the curse says that there is no method strong enough to protect against it. At any rate, even if you aren't Slytherin's heir, I will say this much, I'd say Harry is definitely one of the founder's heirs."

"Why is that?" Ryan asked.

"Well, toward the ends of our lives, the other founders and I cast a series of powerful protection charms on our children and grandchildren. The protection charms were designed to merge with their blood, thus passing on the protective qualities of the magic to future generations. I can't be sure, but I would say that over the last millennium, some of our descendants may have cast similar protection charms on their children, which then combined with the charms we had cast, and caused them to reach a level of potency capable of protecting against the Killing Curse. Of course, this is just supposition on my part, so I am in no way suggesting that either of you put yourselves in front of a Killing Curse, to see if I'm right."

Ryan and Harry nodded, and silence reigned for the next several minutes, until finally Ryan spoke. "So, how do we go about finding out the identities of the heirs?"

"Simply ask for the information."

"Ask? Ask who?"

"Not who, Ryan, what. As you can see, I have a very extensive collection of books in my library and while I am highly intelligent, even I would have been unable to remember where each and every book was stored. So, I devised a spell which I cast upon this room. All you need to do is ask the library for information on the heirs of the founders, and it will search through my collection, find the books, place them on the table in the center of the room, and even open them to the correct page."

"Wow, that's an impressive bit of magic," Harry said.

"Yes, isn't it though? It took me almost thirty years to perfect it."

"Library, I require information on the living heirs of the four founders of Hogwarts."

As soon as the words left Ryan's mouth, a small globe of blue light appeared above the center table and zoomed off towards the nearest bookshelf. Ryan and Harry watched in awe as the small globe darted from bookshelf to bookshelf until finally it found a large book bound in what looked like black dragon hide. The small globe of light flew back to the center table as the book floated after it, finally coming to rest on the table. The small globe of light then plunged itself into the book, causing the cover to open and the pages to start turning of their own accord, until finally it stopped.

Ryan and Harry walked over to the book and looked down; unfortunately, they could only just barely see the extremely faint outline of writing on the pages. Ryan looked up at Rowena's portrait and said, "The writing has faded, presumably with age, and I can't read a word it says."

"Oh dear, I should have remembered," Rowena said. "When I died I didn't know how long it would be until my heir would find my quarters, but I never expected it to take over a millennium. So, I only cast a preservation charm powerful enough to preserve the books for 500 years."

"So, you mean; all of the information in these books is now unreadable and useless?" Harry asked.

"No, Harry, it can be retrieved. The spell is a rather complicated one though, and it'll take about a week to reverse every hundred years worth of damage. So, I died in the year 867 and per my spell, the books stayed in perfect condition until 1367. So, if my calculations are correct, once the restoration charm is cast, the damage to my collection will be completely reversed in a little over six weeks from now."

"So, that means we'll have to wait until November," Harry said. "Oh well, guess it would be too much to ask to find out everything at once."

"Well, it might be possible to retrieve clues before then," Rowena said. "You asked for information on the living heirs of the founders and if I'm not mistaken, the library provided you with a book entitled `The Tome of the Founders'. Godric, Helga, Salazar, and I wrote the book and bestowed it with a powerful charm that would automatically add the names of each of our heirs whenever one was born and cross the name out when they died. The book also keeps track of each heir's age and automatically updates their age each time they celebrate a birthday.

"If I remember correctly, the book will write each heir's name in a color corresponding to the founder from whom they are descended. I believe Godric's heirs would be written in gold ink, Salazar's in silver ink, Helga's in black ink, and mine in blue ink. As the restoration charm does its work, it's possible that the names will become clearer, though you may only be able to read first names until the full restoration period has passed."

"Is it possible to speed up the process by casting the restoration charm on just this book?" Ryan asked as he motioned towards the book that Rowena had identified as `The Tome of the Founders'.

"No, it isn't. The restoration spell is so powerful that it will start to restore all of the books in the library at once. If you tried to direct the spell at a single book, it would likely destroy it, because the book would be incapable of handling such a powerful saturation of magic."

"Okay, well, we obviously don't want to destroy it, so I guess we'll just have to wait until November."

"Agreed," Ryan said as he nodded to Harry. "So, Rowena what's the incantation?"

"If I may ask, Ryan, what year are you in?"

"I'm a sixth year."

"Hmm, I'm not sure if you'll be able to cast it, to be honest. The incantation is simple, but in order for it to work, it would require a very large output of magical energy, which I cannot be sure that a sixteen-year-old wizard would possess, even though you're my heir."

"Well, could I try at least? Or would that be too draining?"

"Yes Ryan, I fear that it would be too draining. I think in order to cast the spell you should have at least four wizards, preferably more because of your age."

"Hmm, well, I think we should get the spell started as soon as possible, so, Harry, could you check your map? See if any of our friends are around?"

"Sure," Harry said as he took out his wand and tapped the parchment. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

"What on Earth is that thing?" Rowena asked.

"It's called the Marauder's Map," Harry explained. "It's a complete map of the school and it shows where every single person is, and what they're doing every second of every day. My dad, my godfather, and two of their friends made it while they were in school."

"Impressive," Rowena commented. "I'd very much like to meet them."

"Unfortunately, you can't," Harry said. "Well, at least not all of them anyway; my dad and my godfather are dead. Their friend Remus Lupin is still alive, but unfortunately he was bitten by a werewolf as a child, and the moon will be full tomorrow night."

"Ah, alright. Now, you said two friends, what about the other one?"

"Peter Pettigrew," Harry spat. "He's the reason my parents are dead. Shortly after I was born, Voldemort marked them for death, so they went into hiding under the Fidelius charm. Peter was their friend and Secret Keeper, and he betrayed them to Voldemort."

"Oh dear," Rowena said. "You have my condolences."

"Thanks," Harry said as he looked at the map, not really feeling any better. "We're in luck. It looks like Justin and Hermione are still on their prefect rounds in the hallway outside Ravenclaw Tower, and Draco and Susan Bones are two hallways over."

"Does it make a difference that Justin and Hermione are Muggle-born?"

"No, it doesn't," Rowena answered. "Despite what some people might like to believe, Muggle-borns are just as magically capable as a pureblood. It just sometimes takes a little longer, and more practice is usually required for their powers to reach full capacity. There is also a potion to help them reach their full potential; but I doubt you've ever heard of it, because most of its ingredients are extremely rare. Some people also think of it as a Dark Magic potion, because it requires a drop of blood from a pureblood witch or wizard."

"Okay, well, Ryan, you go get Justin and Hermione," Harry said. "They're right outside the entrance to Ravenclaw Tower, and there's no sign of any professors. Filch is in the dungeons, and Mrs. Norris is in the library. I'll go get Draco and Susan. I'm friends with Draco and Susan, so hopefully I can convince them not to take points from me."

Harry snuck as quietly as possible to where Draco and Susan were patrolling. Finding them and noting that there was nobody else in the vicinity, he decided to make himself known.

"Mischief managed," Harry whispered and tucked the map into his cloak pocket before removing his cloak and saying, "Hello Draco, Susan."

"Harry?" Draco asked, slightly startled. "What are you doing this far from Gryffindor Tower after curfew?"

"Harry, you shouldn't be here," Susan said. Even though she knew she should take points, she still felt a certain loyalty to Harry as the former head of the DA.

"I wouldn't have even come to you, but Ryan and I need your help."

"What's wrong?" Draco asked, suddenly concerned for his cousin.

"Nothing, but we do need your help," Harry said. "I'll tell you this much for now; it's about the heirs."

"What about the heirs?" Susan asked.

"We know who one of them is," Harry asked. "Come with me, and you'll know too."

Susan looked at Draco for a moment and then said, "Alright, fine. You'd better not be leading us on a wild goose chase though, Harry."

Harry nodded and said, "I'm not taking you on a wild goose chase, I swear. Now follow me, we're going to the Ravenclaw hallway."

A few moments later, Harry arrived at the entrance to Rowena's private quarters and found Ryan standing there waiting with Justin and Hermione. Smiling at Draco and Susan, Ryan said, "Welcome to Rowena Ravenclaw's private quarters."

As he said that, Ryan tapped the brick and once again, it began to glow, and the line traced the outline of a door, which then opened. Ryan smiled at the looks on Draco, Susan, and Justin's faces and said, "As Rowena's heir, I invite you all to enter. Follow me."

The four prefects did as Ryan asked, and followed him and Harry through the door into Rowena's quarters, as the door closed behind them. Motioning towards the fireplace, Ryan said, "May I introduce, my however many times great-grandmother, Rowena Ravenclaw."

"Hello everyone," Rowena said and everyone whirled around to look up at Rowena's portrait.

"Oh my Gods," Susan cried. "You weren't lying, Harry."

"Of course not, I'm a Gryffindor."

"Gryffindors are known for bravery, not necessarily telling the truth," Justin pointed out.

"So says the Hufflepuff," Harry shot back with a smile.

"If you could all please stop bickering," Rowena said with a bemused smile on her face. She waited for everyone to give her their attention again, before continuing. "If you'd all proceed through the large oak doors, I'll tell you why Ryan and Harry have brought you here."

"Welcome to my private library," Rowena said once everyone was in the library. "The book on the center table is the key to discovering the identities of the other three heirs. Unfortunately, time has ravaged my collection, making the books unreadable. I died in 867, and I never expected it would take over a millennium for my heir to find my quarters, and renew the preservation charms. Because of this, I only cast a charm powerful enough to last 500 years. Fortunately, there is a spell which can reverse the ravages of the last 629 years, but it is an extremely powerful spell that requires a large output of energy, and I believe it would be too much for Ryan, alone, to expel without killing him."

"So, how are we supposed to help?" Justin asked.

"Quite simply, you will cast it together, thus each of you will expel a smaller amount of energy for the spell. Between the six of you, there should be enough power put out, that you can safely cast the spell. You may all feel a little tired afterward, but it's nothing a good night's rest won't remedy."

"Wizards can share their power to cast a spell?" Justin asked.

"Yes, Justin," Rowena answered. "It's known as Simultaneous Casting, however, it usually isn't taught until the last semester of seventh year Charms. I can teach you how to do it now though, and I assure you that I am qualified, because not only am I one of this school's founders and one of the most powerful witches of my age, I was also this school's first Charms professor, so I know what I'm talking about."

Everyone nodded and waited for Rowena to continue.

"Take out your wands, please."

Once everyone had their wands out, Rowena continued her instructions. "Now, please stand in a circle and with your free hands I want you to hold the free hand of the person standing next to you. Good, now, raise your wands above your heads and touch the tips of them together."

Rowena smiled as the six students did as she instructed. "Okay, now, for the incantation. I should warn you that the results will not be immediate. It will take a little over six weeks to reverse all the damage to my collection, but if the spell is cast correctly, you will see an arc of blue light emerge from your wand tips, which will spread around the room and cause all the books to glow for a few seconds.

"Now, you must all speak the incantation in unison, so I'm going to ask you to practice with a much simpler spell first, before we move on. Now, why don't you try the Flower Conjuring spell, Orchideous?"

"Orchideous!" the six students said, but nothing happened.

"Okay, that wasn't in unison," Rowena said. "You all must say the incantation at the same time, or it won't work."

"Orchideous!" the six students said again, this time in unison, causing a huge bouquet of flowers to appear out of their wands.

"Alright, that was very good," praised Rowena. "Now, for the incantation for the Mass-Book Restoration charm, please pay careful attention to my pronunciation:  Redintegro Bibliotheca."

"Redintegro Bibliotheca!" the six students said once again in unison and they could all feel a much larger amount of their power going into the spell as the blue arc that Rowena mentioned formed above their heads, and all the books in the library suddenly glowed bright blue for a few seconds.

"Excellent," Rowena said. "Now, I suggest you all get some sleep. I think it would be best if you all stayed here for tonight. Dobby!"

Dobby popped in and bowing before Rowena's portrait asked, "Yes, Mistress Ravenclaw?"

"Have the bedrooms been cleaned yet?"

"Yes, Mistress Ravenclaw, other house-elves and I finished cleaning; all the rooms now done."

"Good, then if you could be so kind, please show Ryan and his guests to the bedrooms. Please give Ryan the large room at the end of the hall, since he is now master of these quarters, and it is only fitting that he has the master bedroom."

Dobby bowed to Rowena again before walking over to the doors and motioning for the six students to follow him.

To be continued...