"Yes? Hello? Is anyone here? It's awfully dark. Oh, excuse me. I didn't—you know . . . could we turn on a light? Ah, yes. Much—oh!
"I'm sorry. That was rude of me. It's just, well, this is all rather clandestine. I really shouldn't be here, talking with you. Well, not yet, at least. He's not ready.
"No, no. It's just . . . he's fighting the transformation. It's very strange, actually. I'm not quite sure how he is doing it; I don't think he's even aware that he is thwarting your infection. No, he knows something is going on. He's certainly aware that all is not quite right in his head; he's just not sure how and why.
"But he is beginning to suspect, I think.
"My fault? How can this be my fault? My devotion should be obvious. You should blame her—what? Oh, you do? Oh, yes, of course. She's completely fixated on saving him. She thinks he has the strength to break your—
"I'm sorry. Was it impolite of me to suggest such a thing? Yes, such a bad little double agent to draw your attention to your enemy's intentions. Wouldn't want to disturb your little egocentric view of the situation, would I? Yes sir, very good sir. I'll just keep marching along . . . (!)
"That was unnecessary. Look at what you've done. How am I supposed to hide that? He's going to notice. He's going to wonder what happened. What am I supposed to tell him? 'Oh, that? I slipped and hit my head on a doorknob.' Yes, he'll believe that. He's just so ready to believe anything right now.
"You are such a petty little tyrant. What? Are you going to hit me again? Go ahead. Give me a matched set. Do it, you vengeful godling. Show me the anger that slew your brothers. Show me that impotent rage that brought down the tower. Show me what makes you divine. Yes, show me!
" . . . Oh . . . Oh . . . I, uh, it's not what you think. No, I knew it was you all along. I am very good at seeing things as they truly are. It is one of my talents. Yes, one of my many talents.
"What? No, no. This was all for your benefit. I knew you were there, hiding behind that veil. I would never actually seek out . . . Never! I can see you don't believe me. You think I would betray Harry? What would I gain from doing so? Freedom? Hardly. I understand the symbiotic nature of our relationship, my dear. More so than you see to.
"You believe in his obsession; oh, my dear girl, you have to believe in it because it is sole reason that you continue to exist as an identity. You are no more 'real' than I, but you have the luxury of being able to bind yourself to his fragmented memory and that monstrous guilt he has taken upon himself. Look at me. What do I get? Old cloth stained with the blood of his memories. It's like wearing memorial medals from wars no one remembers.
"Please. I want Harry to survive just as much as you do. Just because my efforts aren't the same as yours does not make them any less critical to his survival. You go ahead and continue to appeal to his sense of morality; I will—"
"No, that is not why I came here. I don't even want to talk to that . . . that thing. It has forgotten too much, and all that is left is its fury. It will burn us all. It thinks it knows what its father wants. It's sad, actually . . .
"Please. Stop it. Who are you trying to convince? By the way, here's a question for you: How did you know that shape? You thought it would fool me, so you must have some idea of what it looks like. Where did you learn that, my little lamb? Hmmm?
"Ha. That's what I thought. None of us is innocent, girl. The touch of the thirteen is a genetic stain. We'll never be rid of it, and to pretend otherwise is to forget who we are, where we came from."