Chapter 11 – In the Beginning There Were Four Elements
The classroom that the Seventh Years sat in was unlike any room Harry had ever seen before. He wasn’t sure if he remembered it existing in Hogwarts before Isis came. Much like the Great Hall, when the students had first arrived at Hogwarts, the sky above them swirled with the four colors of the Elements. There were no desks, only the bare tan carpeted floor where everyone sat. Harry only assumed that it was so everyone was closer together instead of being confined in seats and behind desks. It made him feel more at ease knowing that they were free to quickly move around if some unknown need arose.
“This is the class I have been dying to come to,” Hermione said, fidgeting uncontrollably. Ron quickly took one of her hands to distract her for a moment. “The Four Elements! Harry, this is it! You’ll learn everything you need to know in here.”
Harry wasn’t sure if Isis would be revealing everything to the students. He was more than certain that she would still have to teach him a thing or two that she wouldn’t say in class. There were a great many things that the students needed to know. The Four Elements was just the tip of the iceberg. It just seemed to be too much information to put into a few classes.
“I still don’t see what’s so special about the Elements,” Ron groaned. He laid back onto the floor and looked up at the sky. “Everything about them is tied to the earth somehow. Big deal. They possess some powers. Woo-hoo! So do wizards.”
“They do magic without wands, Ron!” Hermione was getting caught up in the excitement. “It’s an amazing feat.”
“Sounds like someone has a crush.”
Before Hermione could rebut Ron’s remark, the door to the classroom opened. Hermione gasped at the sight as Harry went wide eyed. Isis stood in the doorway as pale as a ghost. The tanned skin she had a few days ago seemed to have vanished. Her copper orbs were dull and lifeless. Instead of the cascading curls about her shoulders, it was tied up in a matted mess. However, she was back in her normal garb of a blood red top and black leather pants. Isis looked as though she had walked through a storm and had been torn apart in the process. Her entire body seemed as though it was ready to crack and break. As she sat down on the floor to join them, Harry grimaced as she shuddered from pain.
“Isis, are you alright?” Neville asked concerned.
She smiled warmly at them as she tried to get comfortable on the hard floor. “I’m a little out of sorts, Neville, please forgive me.”
Ron quickly sat up and noticed the state Isis was in. “Maybe we should take you to Madam Pomfrey.”
“Class, I’m extremely grateful for your concern, but trust me when I say that Madam Pomfrey will not be able to cure what ails me.” Her eyes closed briefly before finally concentrating about what was at hand. “Leave it to me to be in the worst state I’ve been in at Hogwarts for your first Elements class.”
“We’ll take it slow, Isis,” Hermione said, smiling. “I think I speak for all of us when we say we don’t mind.”
“Thank you, Hermione, that’s sweet.” Noticing the color of the sky above, she smiled and sighed. “I suppose its time you learned about your first Element. Who can tell me something about the Fire Element? Anything including stories or even myths you’ve heard. Nothing said would be wrong.”
She looked around at the class and the lack of raised hands. Suddenly, Ron’s hand rose sheepishly. She smiled and pointed at Ron. “Yes, Ron?”
“Um…,” he stuttered as everyone turned toward him. “The Fire Element has a phoenix of sorts.”
Isis nodded. “That’s right, Ron. The Fire Element has a phoenix.”
“But how is that possible?” asked Dean. “Is the phoenix a patronus?”
“Not quite. It’s not a patronus or an animagi. I guess you could call it something in between.” Her entire body ached and she felt drained. It was getting harder to concentrate. “The phoenix is physical. It isn’t mystical and it doesn’t change form. Its fire shaped body can be touched. To those that pose danger it will burn, however to those who pose no threat it is cool to the touch.”
“Isis, tell us more about the Fire Element,” Hermione pressed on. “The phoenix goes out in its stead. But what happens with the Fire Element is called? How is it called? Is it a wizard or a witch?” Ron jabbed her in the side with his elbow and she just glared at him. “I can’t help it if I’m curious, Ron.”
“Ron,” Isis said, garnering Ron’s attention, “why don’t you tell me what you know about the Fire Element? You seem to be the only one in the class that has any knowledge of it.”
Ron glanced around the room, noticing all of the attention that was now focused on him. “I’d rather not,” he said, looking down.
“Come on, Ron.” Harry nudged him and gestured to Isis. “Let’s hear what you know.”
“It’s only stories. I mean, the Fire Element is one of the strongest. Its power can’t be matched except for the Water Element. Earth is more laid back but does the most damage. Wind is untamable and unrelenting. Its sheer force can disable any witch or wizard without trying.”
Isis nodded her head, impressed. “Ron, you know a lot more than you’ve let on. You are correct in your assumptions. The Fire Element is the most powerful Element. However, it is the Earth Element that commands them all. Water and Fire are usually paired together. While it seems an unlikely pair, their strength combined is unstoppable.”
“So then why don’t they destroy Voldemort?” Neville asked. He wasn’t quite sure he should ask that sort of question but he was curious. “If they are so powerful why don’t they just kill him?”
Everyone turned their attention back to Isis. All of the students in the classroom had the same question but didn’t want to ask it themselves.
“That is an excellent question, Neville. I am glad you brought it up.” Isis shifted uncomfortably, trying not to let anyone notice. She glanced over to see Harry staring at her. “Even though the Elements are more powerful than most wizards, it isn’t in their nature to take over something that isn’t theirs to fight. What you have to understand is that the Elements are tied to the earth. They are brought forth when there is danger upon the land. While they can help in any way they can, they cannot fight battles that aren’t theirs to fight. Voldemort is a cruel and unrelenting wizard and is evil beyond anything this world has ever seen. As much as I know the Elements would love to be rid of a being that can torture innocent souls without remorse, they cannot destroy him.”
“But they can help?” Neville piped up again.
“That they can. If anything violent happens in their presence, they are allowed to act with due course. However, there are certain variations of the rules – some of which the Elements don’t follow. Protection is key. It’s almost like a motto for them. Protection is the thing they provide above everything else. If there is an instrumental person in the war, they will protect them at all costs – even if it means their life.”
Hermione’s mouth fell open. “They would die?”
“But the Elements are immortal!” Ron chimed in. “They don’t die.”
Isis tilted her head to the side, ignoring the pain inside of her that was growing. “There is truly only one Element that is immortal. While the Fire Element has the phoenix, a part of the true phoenix lives within. Once the Fire Element dies, it is reborn of the fire and ash that first created it. They go back to the true form that they had once resided with.”
“I thought the Elements were contained within a wizard,” Harry said. “How can the Fire Element die and be reborn?”
“The Fire Element is also the only Element that a wizard does not control. While Wind, Water, and Earth are all controlled by powerful wizards, the Fire Element is contained within itself. It is everlasting and immortal. But while it is immortal, it can be destroyed. It does have it’s…” She groaned in pain. Her hand grasped her side as if it would help. “…weaknesses.”
“Isis, you need to rest,” Hermione said, rising to her feet. “Let us get you some help.”
Isis held up her hand and fought back the pain that had been growing inside of her for quite awhile. The aches that lingered would disappear in time. However, it seemed to be growing worse instead of better as it always had. It was as if there was a hot poker stabbing her in places she didn’t think possible.
Harry and Ron stood beside Hermione as George and Fred rushed to the front of the room as Isis doubled over in pain. The class began to talk amongst themselves about what was going on in front of them. Fred and George were trying their best to help Isis, but she continually pushed them away.
“We have to get help.” Harry watched as Isis writhed in pain. “I think I might know who to go to. Stay here with Isis.”
Harry ran from the room before Hermione or Ron could say anything. Fred and George held onto Isis as she screamed in pain. Ron and Hermione moved to the front of the room and gestured to the other students to leave. The students filed out of the room without question, but continued to talk with each other about what was happening.
“Ron, I’m worried about Isis.”
Ron glanced down to see Hermione grasp his hand. He looked over to see Isis paler than what she had been before – if that was possible. “Harry will take care of it.”
His legs weren’t carrying him fast enough. It was hard enough to see Isis in pain, but to know he might be her only hope was making this trip worse. The moving staircases seemed to have cooperated with him for the time being. The basement was dark and damp but he ignored the conditions. His pants were soaked from the water that had lain dormant for years. He didn’t care – Isis was in trouble.
Harry knocked on the wooden door and waited impatiently for the occupant on the other side to open it. As the door cracked open, he saw Poseidon look at him curiously. There was only a single candle lit in the small Potion Master office. It was as if Poseidon enjoyed the darkness.
“Harry, I wasn’t expecting to see you.”
He was out of breath and trying to catch it. There was no time for trivial matters. “Isis is in trouble.”
“I don’t know. She seemed pale and not up to par when she first came into the class. It grew worse as it went on. Fred and George are helping her, but she’s refusing.”
“She would.” He blew out the candle and began to walk down the corridor. “Is she still in the classroom?”
Harry tried to follow suit but couldn’t keep up. “She wouldn’t leave, saying she was fine.”
“I’ll take care of it, Harry. Just meet me there as soon as you can.”
Poseidon began to run and was soon lost in the darkness of the basement. Harry wasn’t sure if he did the right thing, but knew someone had to help Isis. He would catch up in due time. The only thing was: he hoped this trip was shorter than the one to the basement.
The classroom door burst open and Poseidon stood in the doorway. Hermione and Ron looked at one another as he approached the front of the room.
“Step aside, boys.”
Fred and George moved off to the side as Poseidon knelt down beside Isis. Her eyes were shut and her body unmoving. He felt her skin – as cold as ice.
“How long has she been like this?” He looked up into the fearful eyes of Fred and George. “How long?!”
“Ten minutes!” Hermione shouted. “She just closed her eyes about two minutes ago.”
Harry quickly ran into the room and noticed Isis’s unconscious form. “I’m too late.”
“You weren’t too late, Harry.” Poseidon lifted Isis into his arms and turned toward the trio. “You came to me just in time. Thank you for trusting me.”
Poseidon rushed out of the room with Isis in his arms. All they could do was watch him go. Hermione still had a hold of Ron’s hand. He drew her close when he saw she was on the verge of tears. Harry was still standing beside the doorway while Fred and George felt as though they had been hit by a broomstick. The sky, overhead, had turned dark and grey. The Four Element colors had disappeared and allowed the rain to come cascading down. It was a dismal time for Hogwarts. For some reason, Harry knew it was a bad time for everyone.
Poseidon sat in front of the fire, his legs outstretched and his feet bare. He held Isis in his arms, her eyes still closed. The fire danced and crackled and was full of the life that Isis hadn’t been for hours. Her locks seemed to be matted to her face while sweat dripped off of her. He hadn’t dared move her away from the fire, no matter how hot she was. To move her would spell death for her. He would rather her suffer from the heat then for there to be no chance for her to regain consciousness.
“Come on, Isis.” He gently kissed the top of her head. “Wake up.”
Suddenly Isis gasped for air as if she had been devoid of it all of the time she had been unconscious. Poseidon quickly let her go as the flames from the fireplace jumped out of the hearth and engulfed her. Her head tilted back, flames filling her eyes and masking her copper-colored orbs. Everything about her was on fire and Poseidon scrambled backwards before he was caught up in the blaze. He heard a phoenix screeching in the distance, a song that was unlike any other ever heard before.
The fire died and left Isis alone in the darkness. Poseidon quickly lit a few candles and turned to see Isis standing in front of darkened the fireplace. The tanned skin that was part of her trademark was back. The sickly Isis seemed to have disappeared in an instant. The fire had done its work and rekindled the flame deep within.
“Merlin, you scared me.”
She didn’t say anything, allowing her strength to totally return to her. The woman he had come to love over the years stood before him, more magnificent than ever.
“What did you do to yourself?”
Isis looked at her hands and noticed nothing different, but knew that somehow everything she was had changed. “I did what I had to.” She began to step toward him. “Let me see you.”
He looked at her, dumbfounded by her request. “Isis, not here.”
“This isn’t you.” Her hands rested on his chest. “This isn’t you.”
“What I saw sitting in front of me, a few hours ago, was your figure nearly drained of everything inside of you. That wasn’t you either, so you are not allowed to say anything about me.” He grasped her hands and made her look at him. “You cannot continue to do this. I have to live with my mistake. We all have to live with my mistake. You cannot continue to try and make up for something I should have taken more precaution with.”
Isis pushed away from him angrily. “Everything will be fine and back to the way it was.”
“At what cost?!” Poseidon asked, screaming to get her attention. “If you die Harry has no protection. And then what?”
“I can’t die!” she screamed in frustration. “Haven’t we already figured that out?! I cannot die because I am immortal. I have seen too many people close to me die while I continue to live. I will not allow some wizard to destroy everything that has been created and now destroyed because of his greed. Harry Potter will succeed. He will defeat Voldemort and the earth will be at peace.”
“With the Fire Element’s help,” said a voice from the doorway.
Poseidon and Isis looked over to see Harry standing in the doorway of her office. Poseidon stood up straighter as Isis’s expression of fury turned to shock.
“Harry…,” Isis began to say.
Harry interrupted her. “After all, she’s been helping me all along.”
Harry stepped into the room as Poseidon moved toward the door. Poseidon gestured to Harry, “I’ll leave you two alone. We will continue our discussion at a later date.”
Before she could protest, Poseidon had left her alone with Harry. Harry didn’t seem to be confused any longer. It was as if all of the pieces had fallen into place. He, too, had changed in a matter of hours. It was no longer Harry Potter the boy standing in front of her. Now it was Harry Potter the man.
“Harry, I tried to protect you by not telling you what I was.”
“It was you in Sirius’s house,” Harry said calmly. “You disappeared and the figure of flames appeared. It was you.”
She nodded. “It was.”
“Who else knows?”
“Remus and Poseidon. Very few know who and what I am, Harry.” She sat on the arm of the chair behind her. “As far as everyone is concerned, I am Isis the new headmaster of Hogwarts. If they believe I have ties to the Four Elements, so be it. My father sent me here because he knew of what I was. He knew that I could protect you, Harry.”
Harry stepped in front of her and looked at her as no one had before. She watched as curiosity swept over him and more questions rose while some had finally been answered. In Harry’s eyes she was now different than just the woman who escorted him from his home on Privet Drive. She could no longer be normal to him. Now she was merely an Element sent to protect him.
“You know who the other Elements are?”
“Two of them. The Wind Element has been lost for quite some time. The wizard that possesses the power does not know they do. I am searching for the wizard as we speak.”
“Can they protect me?” he asked.
Isis sighed. “In a way. However, since I have been sent to you by the Earth Element and my father, I am bound to you in a way that I cannot explain. I suppose you can thank your parents for that.”
Harry looked at her curiously. “My parents?”
“Remember, Harry, that I taught your parents during their Seventh Year. I became a very good friend of your mother’s. She was a witch that believed in her power but also believed to use it for good. Much like the Elements, her power was tied to the earth in a way that no one understood – even us. When she died…” Isis paused for a moment, trying to push back the sorrow that she felt for the death of so many loved ones that died before she ever would.
“When she died, Harry, the earth mourned for her and your father. They were both tied to the earth unlike any wizard alive. It wasn’t only the Wizarding community that suffered the loss, but also everything they had been connected to them. After their death and your immediate move to your aunt and uncle’s, my father sent me to continue to train in ways no other Element had. I couldn’t just harness my own power any longer. He wished for me to learn anything and everything about witches and wizards and their spells that he could not teach me while head of Hogwarts. I could no longer just be tied to the earth as the other Elements. My destiny had changed. My father knew that I would have to be stronger and more powerful in order to protect the Boy-Who-Lived. My father knew everything.”
“What about me?” He looked at her as she looked at him. “What am I?”
Isis smiled at him, warmly. “Harry, inside of you is a power that is untouched. It is a power that no one would ever believe a wizard possessed. Because of your mother and father’s talents, when they combined you became something Voldemort never imagined. It is that power that will destroy him.”
“Am I an Element?”
“That, Harry, is one thing that I know you are not.” She watched the disappointment cross his face. “Please, do not be disappointed in that fact. You are much better off not being one. The power that you possess is much stronger than anything any Element contains. Voldemort thinks that he is the most powerful wizard in the world when, in fact, it is you, Harry Potter. Love is what saved you. Anger and fury could be what destroys you. However, it is everything inside of you that will help you and the rest of the world to continue to live. It is you, Harry, and you alone that commands the changing of the tide. You will save everyone you love because of your determination.”
Harry stood there, silent and not really sure of everything that Isis had said. He knew that there was something deep inside that was simmering. There had been a time where he ignored the feeling, but it had been growing in intensity over the weeks he had been back at Hogwarts.
He looked at Isis with an intensity building inside of him that he had never felt before. “Can you help me harness it?”
Isis’s hand grasped his shoulder and she nodded. “I will and so will Poseidon.”
“Poseidon?” Harry shook his head. “Why Poseidon?”
“Because Poseidon is more than meets the eye. You need his help more than you think.” She paused, knowing that Harry would rebut her statement soon enough. “Before you decide to fight me on this decision, I will tell you why I believe you dislike him.”
“I don’t trust anyone, Isis. With Voldemort bringing in spies…”
She held up a hand and stopped him before he finished his statement. “Trust me when I say that Poseidon is far from being a Voldemort spy. I have known him for too long for the Death Eaters to send in someone to try and pose as him. Polyjuice Potion is something I can detect from a mile away. Poseidon is a man you can trust, Harry. I think its time you try.”
Harry hesitated before nodding. “Alright, I’ll trust him because you asked me to. Now, what will I learn from him?”
Isis smirked and leaned forward. “The Art of Darkness.”
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