On a Similar Path (a ruthless, clever and powerful Harry Potter story)

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#1
The Threadmarks below are the corrected version of the chapters.

On a Similar Path

Harry, the ruthless and powerful wizard

This uses Tom Riddle as inspiration to how Harry develops. True, he won’t be nearly as villainous as Tom, but he will be clearly similar to him regardless.

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I don’t own ‘Harry Potter’; I also lay no claim to ‘His Dark Materials’ which is referenced in this story.

(Yes, the anachronism is deliberate. I claim artistic licence; and a canon Playstation in 1992 or so.)

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Harry had just become six years old. Most children his age were pretty carefree, even with school‘s burdens; however, Harry Potter was contemplating much heavier matters than the usual, even for adults. To be exact, he was considering dropping his efforts to impress his relatives. Why? Because he was certain they would never care.

“Aunt Petunia! Aunt Petunia!â€

“What is it, boy? Out with it!â€

“Look, my progress report! Perfect scores all around!â€

Petunia looked it over, then turned her nose up and looked to the side, whispering “far better than Dudley.†She returned to her usual shrill, loud voice. “That’s it, boy! Off to the cupboard, with no dinner! You are not better than Dudley, no matter what delusions might enter that head of yours. You hear?â€

His aunt’s reaction to a mention of a birthday party was just as bad; rather than angry and cruel, she was casually cruel (‘of course there will be no party; it’s not like something important happened’).

Even though he was awfully young, some people mature quickly. Harry realised the futility of seeking his ‘family’s’ affection; something which, for some people, might continue well into adulthood. Worse, with others, despair would set in and they likely ended up mentally broken or at least horrible (and usually malicious) shells of their previous selves.

There were also the rare people who, while significantly impacted, still functioned; and, above all, were pure of heart. Harry could have been one of those, but his patience had worn thin. Thus, while he was unbroken and not truly malevolent, he was far from pure-hearted.

‘What should I do? I’ve been studying far ahead, but since I know it won’t change anything now, I should stop. Right?’ After a bit of thinking he decided. ‘No, definitely not. I’ve put too much work into my studies to stop now -hell, I learned how to read when I was four on my own, after almost a year of effort- so why would I stop now? I won’t do it for anyone other than myself; after all, didn’t I want to read to find something to do then?’ Though, to be truthful, he started learning how to read because he saw Vernon trying to teach Dudley (in vain).

Of course, nicking Dudley’s never-used books from the second bedroom without being noticed had been a staple and a passive-aggressive form of revenge for Harry since early on.

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Our protagonist’s temper was a lot more volatile than before, due to his optimism having run dry; or it would have been, had cold calculation not held him back. In the past few months, he had progressed in the subtle arts of deception and manipulation. He was much better at acting submissive and using flattery to his advantage, and had managed to keep the Dursleys from ever denying him food, through carefully mentioning the school nurse and how inquisitive she was.

Harry prodded Petunia and managed to get her to put more vegetables and fruit in their diet, even if Dudley never touched them and Vernon only ate them on rare occasions. Another skill he had developed was ‘reading’ people; their body language, minute face twitches and mannerisms, the meanings hidden in words and other such things.

His morals, already ‘flexible’ enough, had become more something in the line of ‘don’t get caught’. Whereas before, he only took Dudley’s books and even returned them afterwards, recently, Harry had sold some of those he no longer needed as ‘slightly used’ at a shop on the other side of Little Whinging.

He used the earnings to buy a small lamp and more powerful light bulbs as a better light source for his cupboard and a flashlight, in order to better read in other dark places. Otherwise, he was pretty careful about what he did; he only ever took things from his relatives, did so on rare occasions and never directly stole money or something that would be missed.

Time went on, Harry got far more clever and deceptive in a gradual process; he progressed in his studies, reaching early secondary school work. His grades hardly reflected his progress, since even for a first grader, Harry looked especially dim; which was an apt description for his cousin, Dudley, after whom he modelled himself in class.

Close to a year had passed since Harry gave up on the Dursleys, he was nearing the age of seven and his carefully controlled emotions were about to show themselves.

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Harry was running to save himself. That school year, Dudley had taken to a game he called ‘Harry Hunting’. It involved taking his gang of junior delinquents, catching the aforementioned cousin and beating him up.

He was out of breath, so he stopped for a bit. “Huff, huff, huff. Have, I, lost them?â€

“You wish, Potter!†Said Piers Polkiss, the newest, rat-faced addition in Dudley’s gang.

Piers was the fastest of them; he very well might be the fastest in their grade -along with the next-, with the exception of Harry. Of course, Piers, Dudley and the rest of them had the advantage of numbers - so Harry, for all his cunning, speed and stamina, tended to run out of energy and get beaten up for the few weeks since Piers and his family moved to Little Whinging; even if he sometimes managed to use his stealth to hide well enough to dodge the proverbial bullet.

The beating that day was especially brutal, since Dudley was trying out his new bat. Harry knew better than to fight back, since Dudley’s parents could make his life really hard, which was why he wouldn’t push his luck. It was fortunate that the bat broke rather easily, and that Harry was surprisingly durable.

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“Potter!†Snapped the teacher, sneering. “Why do you look like that - have you been picking fights again?â€

Harry rubbed his tender skull, then spoke. “A gang of bullies were picking on me, Ms. Muggleham.†He said, anger mounting.

“A likely story, boy.†She replied, dismissing his words. “Does anyone know what truly happened?â€

Dudley immediately spoke, without bothering to wait for permission. “Ms. Muggleham! Harry tried to beat up a first-year girl and I stopped him. He tried to beat me up then, but he couldn’t.â€

“I see. Apparently, you are incorrigible, Potter. Detention for the rest of the month.†She ignored the light fading out and in repeatedly, and said her piece. “I’ll have to speak to the Headmistress; perhaps expelling you is the only solution, after all.â€

‘That- that bloody - bitch!’ Harry was trembling mildly in his rage and glaring at the fat-arse teacher. Nobody could tell for sure what happened then; the only thing that was certain was that Ms. Muggleham’s wig had disappeared somehow.

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“…So you see, Headmistress, there must be a logical explanation for this.â€

The Head of St. Grogory’s Primary School looked unmoved, but she sighed. “I suppose I cannot blame you for this, Mr. Potter,†she told him. “There is also no evidence that you ever bullied any first year girls, so I shall have to ask Mr. Dursley not to say such things.â€

Thus, Harry was spared any punishment at school. However, Dudley described what happened in class that day (the filthy snitch), so Harry was confined to his cupboard for the next four weekends. His meals, on the other hand, remained exactly the same - there is a lot to be said of the value of subtle manipulation.

The Dursleys added to Harry’s chores: breakfast became Harry’s duty, same with tending the garden. The tenuous peace he had established with his Aunt and Uncle had shattered; it was much harder to manipulate them, since they almost never spoke to him for longer than a few seconds, and usually only to… give him ‘fashion advice’ (‘Comb your hair, boy’, ‘fix those wrinkles’). They even actively tried to make him miserable, something that seldom occurred before.

So, we could find our hero inside his cupboard, once again giving deep consideration to something; in this case, the nature of Ms. Muggleham’s wig’s disappearance.

‘There’s no doubt that the Dursleys were right this time. I caused Muggleham’s wig to vanish. No, the question is “howâ€. A better question is “can I reproduce it, on purpose?†’ Harry’s mind had its gears turning at maximum speed.

After a bit of thought, he decided that either he was either some kind of mutant, or a potential magician; maybe both. Harry was reasonably certain that he had to will reality to respond to his, well, will, but needed more information. True to the boy’s character, the answer lay in books. To be exact, he would read as much fiction as possible at the school library in order to think up a way to call upon his power deliberately.

He would rather not have it respond to extreme emotions, since that would mean it could easily get out of control. Harry refused to have any more ‘accidents’. Considering Dudley usually angered him greatly, there was a chance Harry would do something to said cousin, and that might have his horse-faced aunt skewer him on a kitchen knife, or his walrus of an uncle break out his ‘secret’ shotgun.

He could want things with all his heart without anger, hatred, envy or other emotions that could get out of control being involved much, thank you very much.

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Most of what Harry read was useless for his purpose (thus quickly discarded), until he stumbled upon the series called ‘His Dark Materials’. Research forgotten, Harry was immersed into a fantastical world of sentient Polar Bears, weird truth-divining devices and, of course, a protagonist who was too fun for her own good.

He snapped out of that immersion when he reached the part describing the focus needed for the use of powerful artifacts such as the Aletheiometer and the subtle knife.

To use them, one had to reach a state of mind in which he or she was focused on one thing, but also calm and detached; they would not be forcing themselves.

From what Harry could tell, it was a form of trance-like state. It seemed like a great idea, or at least a good start. He continued reading the book series on the side, but mainly kept experimenting in an effort to use his powers consciously.

The attempts bore no fruit for quite a while. Harry only had a small breakthrough when he decided to try to transform something into something else, rather than make it disappear entirely.

Despite failing to manage anything worthwhile for over three weeks, Harry persevered. He got better and better at the trance thing, owing to daily practice and a few books on meditation and something called ‘Divination’ he read at the school library, which gave him the impression that his power was likely to be some form of magic. Until, on a literal rainy day, he managed to turn a matchstick into a sewing needle, though not a flawless one. He had got the idea for this particular combination from an elderly woman in odd robes, who was telling what looked like her grandchild that ‘At school, it’s matchsticks to needles first.’

What was even weirder was that the old woman acted like she recognised Harry from somewhere immediately afterwards, and even tipped her hat at him, which felt kind of like a violation of the rules of the universe. Petunia pulled him away immediately - another consequence of the wig incident was that he was no longer allowed to wander off on his own, and the Dursleys often had their eyes on him, which put an end to his creative acquisition of funds due to the risks involved.

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“Wake up, boy!†His aunt shouted, with her oh so sweet screech. Petunia never failed to wake Harry up at a quarter past six every morning. In a deviation from routine, she didn’t wait, and opened the cupboard’s door herself. “What in blazes-†She had seen the new addition to Harry’s ‘room’, since Harry had forgotten to switch off the light. “What is this, boy?†She interrogated, holding up the lamp.

“Wha-†Harry wasn’t exactly coherent so early in the morning.

“Don’t play innocent, Potter! Did you steal this?!â€

Harry explained that he got it at a shop with used stuff, even told her which shop it was (fortunately, he was wise enough not to buy things from anywhere near where he sold what he stole) and, when the woman demanded that he tell where he found the money and if he stole it.

“You see, Aunt Petunia, people seem to think my family is hard up on money; not in this neighbourhood, but in other parts of Little Whinging, people sometimes give me money when they see me. I didn’t refuse the gifts; that would be rude, right?†He said, twisting the proverbial knife. He wasn’t truly lying, either, since that had happened more than once, though not often enough for Harry to buy anything more than a few sweets.

Petunia’s face turned a yellowish colour, then the shades of purple Vernon was so prone to, for the first time. Her anger turned into tired resignation quickly, though. “Just- stay in here, boy. No; make breakfast, then return to the cupboard immediately.†At the moment, her already sour personality was showing in her face to the fullest extent. Anyone would agree it made for an ugly sight, including Harry, but he also thought it was a sight for sore eyes. Her suffering, that is.

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Harry’s gambit backfired, but he maintained that it was worth it, even if he no longer had any money or a light source at his cupboard. Even the flashlight had been confiscated, not to mention the light bulb the Dursleys had given him. Fortunately, he had hidden the books he had kept in a place they wouldn’t be found. There was, however, a silver lining to the situation. While he didn’t get any new clothes (God forbid!), Petunia was more careful about what hand-me-downs she gave him, and even tailored them herself.

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The next part in Project M (from Magic, which might or might not be the proper name) was, of course, to make light. Since Harry had already managed to use magic deliberately more than once (being a bit of a perfectionist, he had practised the transformation repeatedly, until he could do it in less than four seconds. He especially tried to get into the trance more quickly, but long-term practice would be necessary for serious results), it didn’t take nearly as long this time.

He did seem to have more of an affinity for transforming things (and probably making and vanishing) than anything else, which he took note of. Making a light source was fairly easy as far as magical skills were concerned; the hard parts were to keep the light there while concentrating on a book, and to modify it so that it came from somewhere above Harry, rather than his palm or index finger.

After a few more beatings from Dudley, Harry was ready to call it quits, make a skill that allowed him to travel very fast and be out of there. However, another idea came to him suddenly: They fear my powers, and potentially me. Why not give them a real reason to?

Learning how to keep his relatives in check became his top priority.

So, he started making a skill to move objects and, when that was mastered, animals. He dared not use it on his relatives until he was much better at it. His first true test? Killing Ripper by planting him into a wall, somewhere he couldn‘t be seen, of course. He made the corpse vanish and washed off the blood by making water (a skill which was obscenely difficult; he managed it after studying Chemistry a lot and months of practice).

Harry also considered something else after he was ready to try magic on his relatives: if they murdered him in his sleep, no level of magical skill would save him. So, as much as he hated what he was doing, he tried giving orders to Dudley. He failed, but had more success with giving him ‘suggestions’. Eventually, he reached a level where he could keep his cousin from remembering something which even he wouldn’t normally forget, and keep it that way for months. Undoing it immediately was another skill Harry practised.

Making Dudley do something he truly didn’t want to was easy after that, but Harry still avoided using it for anything more than practice. Mind control was something that sickened him to the core.

When he could use it on five people and make it stick for longer than two months (potentially much longer, since he didn’t take the time to see his limits yet), he suggested to Vernon, Petunia and Dudley not to ever kill him or try to. Then, the fun began.

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Please tell me what you think of this idea, and don't hold back.
 
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zerohour

Well-Known Member
#2
This could be interesting, but there is a significant number of dark and powerful harry stories around. It's good to see that he still has some morals, but I think his first year at Hogwarts will significantly affect his development. ANy plans for where this is going to go?
 

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#3
zerohour said:
This could be interesting, but there is a significant number of dark and powerful harry stories around. It's good to see that he still has some morals, but I think his first year at Hogwarts will significantly affect his development. ANy plans for where this is going to go?
I'm thinking mentor!Flamel eventually, but both Nicolas and his wife will be pretty amoral (the Philosopher's Stone's creation is reminiscent of FMA). So yes, moral decay ensues soon enough.

This Harry, I believe, will be better off hunting down magical creatures with a magical sword or something (I intend to make him an adrenaline seeker of sorts) or even shutting himself in a lab to make magical innovations than fighting people or juggling politics.

His adrenaline seeker tendencies may land him in Gryffindor, but I don't think he would want Slytherin anyway. Maybe Ravenclaw if not a Gryff?

Edit: if you've noticed, his talents lay less in Charms and more in changing the material and such, i.e. Transfiguration, Alchemy... He will be average at flying. Also, no exceptional Runes talent and very slow pace and little talent in all foreign languages. It will take him a while to get good at Charms. But everything else should be at least well above average. (So, whether I include the fanon 'Rune Magic' or not matters little to this Harry.)

Edit2: In First Year, I'm considering having him kill Quirrell, but his first kill won't be ignored. I also have plans for the soul fragment in Harry's forehead, which you'll start seeing in the next snippet (already started writing it). Maybe I should have put this in Previews, not Ideas.
 
Harry 1

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#4
On a Similar Path

This uses Tom Riddle (and others) as inspiration to how Harry develops. True, he won’t be nearly as villainous as Tom, but he will clearly be similar regardless.

This story contains coarse language and violence!

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I don’t own the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise - J.K. Rowling does; I also lay no claim to ‘His Dark Materials’ book series which is referenced in this story (Philip Pullman owns that).

(Yes, the anachronism of 'His Dark Materials' existing in 1986 is deliberate; I moved them up ~12 years, so that the second book came out in 1984-85 and the third comes out in 1988. I claim artistic licence, and point at a Playstation in 1992 or so in canon.)

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Harry had just become six years old. Most children his age were pretty carefree, even with school included; however, Harry Potter was contemplating heavier matters, even for adults. To be exact, he was considering dropping his efforts to impress his relatives. Why? Because he was certain they would never care.

“Aunt Petunia! Aunt Petunia!”

“What is it, boy? Out with it!”

“Look, my progress report! Perfect scores all around!”

Petunia looked it over, then turned her nose up and looked to the side, whispering “far better than Dudley.”

She returned to her usual shrill, loud voice. “That’s it, boy! Off to the cupboard, with no dinner! You are not better than Dudley, no matter what delusions might enter that head of yours. You hear?”

His aunt’s reaction to a mention of a birthday party was just as bad; rather than angry and cruel, she was casually cruel (‘of course there will be no party; it’s not like something important happened.’)

Even though he was awfully young, some people mature quickly. Harry realised the futility of seeking his ‘family’s’ affection; something which, for some people, might continue well into adulthood. Worse, with others, despair would set in and they likely ended up mentally broken or at least horrible (and usually malicious) shells of their previous selves.

There were also the rare people who, while seriously affected, still functioned; and, above all, were pure of heart. Harry could have been one of those, but his patience had worn thin. Thus, while he was unbroken and not truly malevolent, he was far from pure-hearted.

‘What should I do? I’ve been studying far ahead, but since I know it won’t change anything now, I should stop. Right?’ After a bit of thinking he decided. ‘No, definitely not. I’ve put too much work into my studies to stop now -heck, I learned how to read and write when I was four to five with only some help from a librarian after close to a year of effort- so why would I stop now? I won’t do it for anyone other than myself; after all, didn’t I want to read to find something to do then?’ Though, to be truthful, he started learning how to read out of envy and spite, because he saw Vernon trying to teach Dudley (and mostly fail at the time).

Of course, nicking Dudley’s never-used books from the second bedroom without being noticed had been a staple for Harry since early on; though, recently it was more of a passive-aggressive form of revenge than about finding a way to pass the time.

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Our protagonist’s temper was a lot more volatile than before, due to his optimism having run dry; or it would have been, had cold calculation not held him back. In the past few months, he had progressed in the arts of deception and manipulation. He was much better at acting submissive and using flattery to his advantage, and had managed to keep the Dursleys from ever denying him food, through carefully mentioning the school nurse and how inquisitive she was. Not that they would, but they wouldn't have stopped Dudley from stuffing himself, grabbing everything in reach, otherwise.

Harry prodded Petunia and managed to get her to put more vegetables and fruit in their diet, even if Dudley never touched them and Vernon only ate them on rare occasions. Another skill he had developed was ‘reading’ people; their body language, small face twitches and mannerisms, the meanings hidden in words and other such things. His morals, already ‘flexible’ enough, had become more something in the line of ‘don’t get caught’. Whereas before, he only took Dudley’s books and even returned them afterwards, recently, Harry had sold some of those he no longer needed as ‘slightly used’ at a shop on the other side of Little Whinging. He used the earnings to buy a small lamp for his cupboard; also a torch, in order to better read in other dark places. Otherwise, he was pretty careful about what he did; he only ever took things from his relatives, did so on rare occasions and never directly stole money or something that would be missed.

Time went on, Harry got far more clever and deceptive in a gradual process; he progressed in his studies, reaching early secondary school work. His grades hardly reflected his progress, since Harry looked painfully average; which was an apt description for his cousin, Dudley, after whom he modelled himself in class to keep the boy from punching Harry, though Harry still beat his cousin in marks by a small margin. Okay, so maybe Dudley had a decent level of intelligence, but he was so lazy it didn't matter!

Harry also became a bit more skeptical and tended to try to ascertain the truth of things he was told, since the Dursleys lied constantly about everything, and they weren’t the only ones (recently, even Harry himself followed their example); he even questioned things he had taken as granted before. For instance, he realised that writing with his left hand had not been a mistake caused by him learning how to nearly on his own, unlike what he had assumed when his schoolteacher had corrected him when he had been in year one. Of course, after he realised that, Harry made sure to learn how to write (and how to do anything, really) with either hand equally; with the same level of skill and, if possible, simultaneously. All that thinking, though, left him wondering just how his parents had died and what they had truly been like. He couldn’t think of a way that would make his relatives tell the truth, unfortunately.

Close to a year had passed since Harry gave up on the Dursleys, he was nearing the age of seven and his carefully controlled emotions were about to show themselves.

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Harry was running to save himself. That school year, Dudley had taken to a game he called ‘Harry Hunting’. It involved taking his gang of junior delinquents, catching the aforementioned cousin and beating him up. This time, for some reason, they had managed to chase him for much longer than usual. He was out of breath, so he stopped for a bit. (*Huff, huff, huff.*) "Have, I, lost them?” Harry said to himself.

“You wish, Potter!” Piers Polkiss said, the newest, rat-faced addition in Dudley’s gang.

Piers was the fastest of them; he very well might be the fastest in their grade -along with the next-, with the exception of Harry, who was his equal. Of course, Piers, Dudley and the rest of them had the advantage of numbers - so Harry, for all his speed and stamina, tended to run out of energy and get beaten up for the few weeks since Piers and his family moved to Little Whinging; even if he sometimes managed to use his brain to hide well enough to dodge the proverbial bullet. The beating that day was especially brutal, since Dudley was trying out his new plastic bat. Harry knew better than to fight back, since Dudley’s parents could make his life really hard, which was why he wouldn’t push his luck. It was fortunate that the bat broke rather easily, and that Harry was surprisingly durable. If he had got injuries as bad as they were trying to give him, he would have found a way to make them pay, no matter the consequences.

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“Potter!” Snapped the teacher, sneering. “Why do you look like that - have you been picking fights again?”

Harry rubbed his tender ribs and bruised face, then spoke. “A gang of bullies were picking on me, Ms. Muggleham,” he said, anger mounting.

“A likely story, boy," she replied, dismissing his words. “Does anyone know what truly happened?”

Dudley immediately spoke, without bothering to wait for permission. “Ms. Muggleham! Harry tried to beat up a first year girl and I stopped him. He tried to beat me up then, but he couldn’t.”

“I see. Apparently, you are incorrigible, Potter. Detention for the rest of the month.” She ignored the light fading out and in repeatedly, and said her piece. “I’ll have to speak to the Headmistress; perhaps expelling you is the only solution, after all.”

‘That- that bloody - bitch!’ Harry was trembling a bit in his rage and glaring at the fat-arse teacher. Nobody could tell for sure what happened then; the only thing that was certain was that Ms. Muggleham’s wig had disappeared somehow.

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“…So you see, Headmistress, there must be a logical explanation for this.”

The Head of St. Grogory’s Primary School looked unmoved, but she sighed. “I suppose I cannot blame you for this, Mr. Potter,” she told him. “There is also no evidence that you ever bullied any first year girls, so I will have to ask Mr. Dursley not to say such things.”

Soon after, Harry and Dudley got a new teacher; rumour had it that Muggleham had been fired because of serious favouritism - something had also been mentioned about her husband working in a certain company, and Harry had barely heard a whispered bit about drills. Thus, Harry was spared any punishment at school, and had come out ahead. However, Dudley described what happened in class that day to his parents (the filthy snitch), so Harry was not allowed to get out of the house for the next three weekends. His meals, on the other hand, remained exactly the same - there is a lot to be said of the value of subtle manipulation.

The Dursleys added to Harry’s chores: most meals became Harry’s duty, same with tending the garden. The tenuous peace he had established with his Aunt and Uncle had shattered; it was much harder to manipulate them, since they almost never spoke to him for longer than a few seconds, and usually only to… give him ‘fashion advice’ (‘Comb your hair, boy’, ‘fix those wrinkles in your shirt’). They even sometimes actively tried to make him miserable, something that very seldom occurred before. Taking care of the garden was relaxing to Harry; the rest, not so much. So, we could find our hero inside his cupboard, once again giving deep consideration to something; in this case, the nature of Ms. Muggleham’s wig’s disappearance.

‘There’s no doubt that the Dursleys were right this time. I caused Muggleham’s wig to vanish. No, the question is “how”. A better question is “can I do it again, on purpose?” ’ Harry’s mind had its gears turning at maximum speed.

After a bit of thought, he decided that either he was either some kind of mutant, or a potential magician; maybe both. Harry was reasonably certain that he could will reality to respond to his, well, will, but needed more information. True to the boy’s character, the answer lay in books. To be exact, he would read as much fiction as possible at the school library in order to think up a way to call upon his power deliberately. He would rather not have it respond to extreme emotions, since that would mean it could easily get out of control. Harry refused to have any more ‘accidents’. Considering Dudley usually angered him greatly, there was a chance Harry would do something to said cousin, and that might have his horse-faced aunt skewer him on a kitchen knife, or his walrus of an uncle get a shotgun and shoot him with it, or beat him to death. He could want things with all his heart without anger, hatred, envy or other emotions that could get out of control being involved much, thank you very much.

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Most of what Harry read was useless for his purpose (thus quickly discarded), until he stumbled upon a series called ‘His Dark Materials’. Research forgotten, Harry was immersed into a fantastical world of sentient Polar Bears, weird truth-divining devices and, of course, a protagonist who was too fun for her own good. He snapped out of that immersion when he reached the part describing the focus needed for the use of powerful artifacts such as the Alethiometer and the Subtle Knife.

To use them, one has to reach a state of mind in which he or she is focused on one thing, but also calm and detached; not pushing or forcing themselves.

From what Harry could tell from other books, it was a form of trance-like state. It seemed like a great idea, or at least a good start. He continued reading the book series on the side, but mainly kept experimenting in an effort to use his powers consciously. The attempts bore no fruit for quite a while. Harry only had a small breakthrough when he decided to try to transform something into something else, rather than make it disappear entirely. Despite failing to manage anything worthwhile for over three weeks, Harry persevered. He got better and better at the trance thing, thanks to daily practice, help from the librarian at school, a few books on meditation he read at the school library and the book on something called 'Divination' an elderly woman who looked Indian slipped into his pocket (or so Harry thought), which gave him the impression that his power was likely to be some form of magic.

On the other hand, 'Divination' sounded a bit woolly; he wouldn't dismiss it from the get go, but anyone without the natural talent, the 'Inner Eye' was doomed when it came to predicting the future -- the book said so, in not so many words. On the other hand, apparently magic might also have more... normal parts. Harry studied as much of chemistry and physics as he could; he wasn't certain it would help, but he had no access to magical books other than the Divination one. On a literal rainy day, Harry managed to turn a matchstick into a small needle, though not a flawless one. He had got the idea for this particular combination from the same elderly woman in odd robes, who was telling what looked like her grandchild that ‘At school, it’s matchsticks to needles first, Padma. Make sure to study the laws of Tran- my word!’

What was even weirder was that the old woman acted like she recognised Harry from somewhere, and even tipped her hat at him after she said a few words in a foreign language; that acknowledgement felt kind of like a violation of the rules of the universe. Petunia pulled him away immediately - another consequence of the wig incident was that he was no longer allowed to wander off on his own, and the Dursleys often had their eyes on him, which put an end to his creative acquisition of funds due to the risks involved. He didn't know how the old woman managed to slip him that book, but he was convinced it was her; he said nothing to his aunt, of course.

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“Wake up, boy!” His aunt shouted, with her oh so sweet screech. Petunia never failed to wake Harry up at half past six every morning. In a deviation from routine, she didn’t wait, and opened the cupboard’s door herself. “What in blazes-”

She had seen the new addition to Harry’s ‘room’, since Harry had forgotten to switch off the light when he had fallen asleep practising with his powers. “What is this, boy?” She interrogated, holding up the electric lamp.

“Wha-” Harry wasn’t exactly coherent so early in the morning.

“Don’t play innocent, Potter! Did you steal this?!”

Harry explained that he got it at a shop with used stuff, even told her which shop it was (fortunately, he was wise enough not to buy things from anywhere near where he sold what he stole) and, when the woman demanded that he tell where he found the money and if he stole it, Harry took advantage of his knowledge of his aunt’s weak points.

“You see, Aunt Petunia, people seem to think my family is hard up on money; not in this neighbourhood, but in other parts of Little Whinging, people sometimes give me money when they see me. I didn’t refuse the gifts; that would be rude, right?” He said, twisting the proverbial knife and savouring the changes in expression. He wasn’t truly lying, either, since that had happened more than once, though not often enough for Harry to buy anything more than a few sweets.

Petunia’s face turned a yellowish colour, then the shades of purple Vernon was so prone to, for the first time. Her anger turned into tired resignation quickly, though. She said, “just- stay in here, boy. No; make breakfast, then return to the cupboard immediately.”

At the moment, her already sour personality was showing on her face to the fullest extent. Anyone would agree it made for an ugly sight, including Harry, but he also thought it was a sight for sore eyes. Her suffering, that is. That would teach her not to only give him castoffs as clothes.

-----

Harry’s backtalk backfired, but he still thought that it was worth it just to see Petunia's face, even if he no longer had any money or a light source at his cupboard. Even the torch had been confiscated! Fortunately, he had hidden the books he had kept and money he had left in a place they wouldn’t be found. There was, however, a silver lining to the situation: while he didn’t usually get any new clothes (God forbid!), Petunia was more careful about which hand-me-downs she gave him, and even tailored them herself.

Yup, worth it.

-----

The next part in Project M (for Magic, which probably was the proper name) was, of course, to produce or attract light. Since Harry had already managed to use magic deliberately more than once, it didn’t take nearly as long this time. Being a bit of a perfectionist, he had practised the transformation repeatedly, until he could do it in less than four seconds. He especially tried to get into the trance-like state more quickly, but months or years of practice would be necessary for serious results. He did seem to have more of an affinity for transforming things (and possibly making and vanishing) than anything else, which he took note of. Making a light source was extremely easy as far as magical skills not of the transforming variety were concerned; the hard parts were to keep the light there while concentrating on a book, and to modify it so that it came from somewhere above Harry, rather than his palm or index finger.

After a few more beatings from Dudley, Harry was ready to call it quits, make a skill that allowed him to travel very fast and be out of there. However, another idea came to him suddenly: They fear my powers, and maybe me too. Why not give them a real reason to? It might make them less terrible. So, he started making a skill to move objects and, when that was mastered, animals. He dared not use it on his relatives until he was much better at it. His first true test? Killing Ripper by planting him into a wall, somewhere he couldn’t be seen, of course.

He made the corpse vanish (which made him feel as if he lacked sleep) and washed off the blood by making water (which made him feel as if he had jogged for over an hour), a skill which was obscenely difficult; he had managed it after studying the sciences a lot, especially about the composition of the atmosphere and chemical composition of water, and months of practice. At first, he had tried to use the vapour in the air, but he had felt as if he had burned himself on and even inside his hands and torso immediately afterwards (like his blood and skin had turned into lava at certain places); it was agonizing, and worst of all, it took a while to pass, though cold compresses helped a bit. He hadn't even succeeded beyond splashing himself with a few drops! Not to mention the terrible migraine!

He was wary of water spells from then on; after he had no longer felt the burning seven days of no magic use later (and waiting three more days without magic because he had been shaken and wanted to be certain), he tried a different way: he tried making water by combining two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, repeated many times in the same second... which at least didn't cause him any suspicious burning sensations, nor did it cause him a headache immediately. He was a lot more aware of his limits from then on, though -- he always made sure to stop casting at any hint of a burning feeling on or in his body.

After killing Ripper, not smirking in front of Marge had been an immense challenge, but her face was still worth it when she couldn’t find her precious sweetie anywhere. She blamed Harry anyway, but even Vernon considered that 'irrational', as he put it. Making sure he could control how much force he put so that he didn’t accidentally kill anybody was going along fairly well - even if he maimed his aunt and uncle a bit, he wouldn’t truly mind, though, because it was their fault for Dudley being like that, and able to get away with beating up Harry. In the course of making his new skills, the most-likely-a-magician discovered other ones, such as how to summon an object to his position, though summoning made him tire mentally really quickly. He also made sure to have the extra skills to be able to manage what he wanted without problems.

Harry also considered something else after he was ready to try magic on his relatives: if they murdered him in his sleep, no level of magical skill would save him. So, as much as he hated what he was doing, he tried giving orders to Dudley. He failed, but had more success with giving him ‘suggestions’ on what to do, what to remember and when. Eventually, he reached a level where he could keep his cousin from remembering something which even he wouldn’t normally forget, and keep it that way for months. Undoing it immediately was another skill Harry practised.

Making Dudley do something he truly didn’t want to was easy after that, but Harry still avoided using it for anything more than practice. Mind control was something that sickened him to the core; his intelligence and free will was something he had been certain couldn't be taken away. To find out that there might be someone out there who could make his mind not be his own horrified him - normally, he wouldn't even wish that on his relatives. Unfortunately, he didn't exactly have good solutions. By this point, he realised he was stalling. When he could use his suggestion magic on five people (the Dursleys, and Piers and Gordon from Dudley's gang) and make it stick for longer than two months (potentially much longer, since he didn’t take the time to see his limits yet), he 'suggested' to Vernon, Petunia and Dudley not to ever kill him or try to; it wouldn’t even occur to them and if someone else suggested it, they would by extremely likely to refuse. Then, the 'fun' part began.

-----

“Aunt Petunia, please give me back my money and lights,” said Harry, stating rather than pleading.

Petunia seemed taken aback, but she sneered immediately afterwards, moving the hand with the empty frying pan to and fro. “Out of the question, boy. Now go to your cupboard.”

“I think I will stay right here, thank you very much, Aunt Petunia.” Harry answered, a light sneer also present.

She screeched something about a lack of respect and how she would teach him manners. Petunia once again moved the frying pan as she spoke.

Harry smiled (probably in a way similar to complete and utter psychopaths), lifted his left hand and magically drove his aunt into a wall, back first. She started screaming bloody murder, so the young magic user floated the pan above her, then struck her in the ribs repeatedly with it to silence her. However, Vernon came running to the kitchen, panicking horribly, and Dudley’s thundering footsteps echoed through the entire house. When the man noticed Harry looking pleased over Petunia’s injured frame, he immediately came to rather accurate conclusions and dove for his nephew’s arm-

Then fell upon something reminiscent of an invisible wall generated through Harry‘s right hand, a disgusting noise resounding as his nose broke and bled freely. The 'wall' spell had been the hardest for Harry to master -- it took him many months and tired him out mentally something fierce; it even affected his body, making him tired. Even now, Harry had to put a lot of effort into not showing his fatigue and looking confident and ruthless; Vernon was stronger than Harry had expected. Dudley was magically immobilized before he could snap out of the shock, and Harry gagged him with a handkerchief, since he hadn’t found a way to make someone shut up using magic yet. He also looked his Uncle in the eyes and gave him a vision of Marge dead to keep him docile, though the boy wasn’t sure how realistic he had made it. In the aftermath of the beating, only Vernon’s broken sobs and knuckles striking the ground, Petunia’s own sobs occasionally interrupted by wet coughing and Dudley’s muffled screams could be heard, with a boy who had hopefully returned to looking like a well-adjusted child a couple months off his eighth birthday making no sound.

When Harry spoke, his voice was quiet and calm. It didn’t need to be any louder, he knew. “Things need to change here, and will. I have tolerated you three being poor excuses for human beings long enough, and have to lay down some ground rules.
One: you never take my things. That is a shortcut to making me angry, and you wouldn’t like me angry.
Two: you never try to hit me, because I will return it a hundredfold.
Three: you never try to make me miserable; I’m a merciless little shit, and you’ll eventually pay.
Four: you are hopefully intelligent enough to understand what would displease me - things that displease me are a big ‘no’, though you may ask if unsure.
Five: Live and let live. Nod if you understand.”

He looked his relatives over when he finished speaking, relishing in their fearful looks and squashing down his guilt, mild physical fatigue and moderate headache. He could worry about going too far and recovering his stamina later - he had to make sure nothing was suspected at the moment, since he had roughed them up pretty badly. Harry smirked as he got an idea, and the Dursleys all cringed. He permanently modified Dudley’s memories to remember that his parents had been fighting very intensely, and 'suggested' that the boy go to a friend to stay for the day. Vernon was protesting very strongly, and Harry made the man’s arms move in a punch, likely breaking several knuckles as the fists struck the floor very forcefully; Harry had really improved his fine control when it came to moving things, even though humans were harder to move than dogs.

“Now, now, Uncle Vernon. I’m not going to do anything to Dudley, so don’t get your knickers in a twist; I am not stooping to your level. Of course, that also depends on your behaviour, right?”

-----

Harry was thinking over what he had done to his relatives and one thing stuck out: I could have been less violent. Even breaking a vase might have been enough to scare his relatives into submission, considering the fact that they feared the supernatural. Harry decided to be less violent in the future. If someone tried to treat him the way his relatives used to, though, he would still be utterly ruthless; only the method of his retribution would change and be more subtle. He went to sleep, mostly undisturbed by nightmares.

-----

Harry got out of the ophthalmologist’s office whistling, clad in clothes that were brand new and far from rags. He had a bit of trouble seeing the blackboard at school, and so got his uncle to take steps. An optometrist would have been fine, but Harry wanted to make sure he had no serious problems (which he didn’t). The doctor claimed that it was lucky he had visited early on, since without spectacles or ill-fitting ones, his eyesight would likely worsen at a greater rate. The elder Dursleys had considered trying to tell someone of Harry’s behaviour, but when they realised what Dudley remembered of that day, they backed off. Harry had spied on their talks, but the fact that the threat was also directed on their son eventually sank in, so his aunt and uncle stayed on their best behaviour.

Dudley had to be treated to an aura of instinctive terror, as Harry called it -an easier to cast variant of illusions- more than once to learn; Harry was unwilling to beat him up or return his memories of the incident. His cousin, though a bully, was more a victim of his foolish parents than anything, and Harry didn't want to risk Dudley telling anyone. More recently, Harry had had cause to think that someone was in his head, though he tried really hard not to panic. Since the time he had beaten up his relatives, a mental voice had been trying to get him to kill people. Fortunately, it wasn’t very subtle, thus easily noticed. Still, Harry couldn't even begin to guess why it was there - he was glad that the voice didn't manage to control him, but the more he thought about it, the more paranoid he became about his thoughts being his own.

The voice could also become really annoying (the lack of subtlety actually made Harry less paranoid). So, Harry sought ways to annoy it back. Mimicking a kitten worked wonders; whistling at high frequency was even better. Those usually got the voice to back off, though when he dealt with Dudley, it was more persistent. Also, since the voice appeared, his magic had been harder to use - to be exact, the spells needed better mental focus to use, which was also harder with the distracting presence in his head. The slightest mistake or loss of concentration could and would make the spell fail, and some -like his Torture Vision, what he used to make Vernon see Marge dead- were unavailable at the moment; he also had a loss of both power and control as a result.

Harry was certain the voice and his weakened magic were related. His recent project had become a lot harder, which was to use magic not with his hands, but the rest of the body too. He still could try, but only basic transformations had a chance of working, and even those hadn’t worked yet. Which was a far cry from being able to get light from any part of his body like before. He didn’t give up though, even if he had less time on his hands. He had been accepted into a secondary school, after a month of showing his teachers what he could do uninhibited. In fact, Harry would only go through the last few years of schooling; he had been given a pass on the rest, after a lot of effort and convincing. Of course, while he would be known as a child prodigy, his name was kept off the papers at his request.

“H- Harry,” Petunia addressed him for the first time in a while. “I need to tell you something.”

The boy raised his eyebrows. That was new. “By all means, then.” Pathetic. This woman would be better off dead

“I know you want to skip ahead a few grades, but please keep your name, ours and the location of this house off the public eye. Maybe even use a pseudonym and a disguise.”

Harry was intrigued; he did not think his aunt would pass on the opportunity to get fame.

“Does this have anything to do with the reasons you think I won’t be able to finish schooling from the age of eleven on?”

When Petunia flinched, he knew that he had hit the nail on the head. “Never mind. You can tell me whenever you like,” Harry said, shrugging it off; he wouldn't concern himself with the human-shaped piece of garbage. Force her to tell everything. It’s safer for you

“So, you’ll do it?” Petunia pressed, with a bit of disbelief mixed in.

She will backstab you at the first opportunity “Of course. I can tell you have a good reason, and will trust my gut this time; but if there’s a catch, there will be no mercy to be found from me.”

Harry hoped that he had injected the right amount of menace in his voice. Too much and his relationship with his aunt would worsen further (which might mean she would become more annoying), too little and she might think to test him.

Petunia cleared her throat. “You don’t need to tell me that you are a little psychopath. Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

She left after saying that, with Harry remaining thoughtful, ignoring the whispered part of her words.

‘She didn’t sound deceptive and didn’t stutter in fear again, even if she’s getting a little uppity. All in all, this went well.’

His relationship with his aunt remained distant, with Petunia fearing and distrusting him; filthy Muggles he could also see the bitterness and disgust was as strong as ever. Strangely enough, Harry actually got along with Vernon decently, despite what the boy had done. The man had embraced the saying ‘live and let live’, at last, after Harry promising not to mess with their minds again and actually apologising. It might also have something to do with how Harry never seriously harmed Dudley, and that he had no problem taking care of a large portion of the housework. He had also shown that he wouldn’t constantly hang his powers over their heads - nowadays, he never needed to threaten them, or at least Vernon and Dudley.

He got along with his cousin, but it was a bit awkward, since Harry actually remembered his own brutality and Dudley was clueless. First though, to do something about that blasted voice in his head! Since he had started annoying it back, it had abandoned what little subtlety it was able to muster up.

-----

“Vernon,” Petunia told her husband, “we need to talk. Now.”

The man nodded in agreement, though Petunia could see he braced himself for a difficult conversation.

“Why are you so… accommodating to the boy? Especially after what he did!” Petunia said. She continued by saying, “don’t tell me he… bewitched you?!”

Vernon shook his head in the negative. He said, “This is not about facing Harry. It’s about myself, Petunia.”

“What do you mean?” Petunia asked, confused and wary.

“When Harry was tormenting me with images of Marge dying, he lost control for a bit; at least, that is what I assume happened,” Vernon said.

Petunia scowled - she hadn’t known that- that the freak’s violence had gone beyond the physical (apart from the intimidation factor). In fact, the two of them hadn’t talked about that day at all.

“Anyway,” Vernon said, “for a few moments there, I saw myself as I truly was; and let me tell you, Pet, I really didn’t like what I was seeing. I got a glimpse of what I looked like from Harry’s perspective. But what cinched it for me was the signs he showed.”

“What signs?” Petunia asked, “signs of being a psychopath?”

“Not exactly,” Vernon replied, “rather than worrying Harry will be an axe murderer, I’m more concerned about him becoming like the one who murdered his parents, or like Hitler except with m-magic. He needs some positive interaction in his life, Petunia - preferably before he loses the few moral scruples he still has.”

Petunia made a sour face. She said, “even if you have a point, I can’t bring myself to treat him like you are, Vernon. Could we simply agree to disagree on that?”

Vernon nodded. He said, “all right; just don’t anger him too much. I don’t want you to get hurt again.”

Petunia's face softened and she nodded as well.

-----

School started in less than a month; Harry had skipped many grades and would start with the second year of Key Stage 4 - that is, with fifteen-year-olds as his classmates, at most sixteen-year-olds. Thus, he would go through the last year of compulsory education, along with two extra years. The school he was about to go to technically had a very low admission age, even if nearly all who had entered it thus far had been eleven. His magical practice had come to a halt in favour of suppressing the murderous, alien voice in his head (and to read the third book in His Dark Materials series, which had just come out). His otherwise brilliant solution of annoying it to near-catatonia hadn’t worked for long, after all. The only point he had to go off was that extreme negative emotions made things easier for the creepy voice.

Again, the boy sought out fiction. After all, anything magic-related (he couldn’t call what he was involved with anything else; after all, it was the word ‘magic’ that made Vernon and Petunia clam up faster than anything else, not to mention the references in the Divination book) was widely considered to be fiction. The meditation methods he had already learned helped, but he needed something more. Failing to find something especially useful, Harry turned to anger management advice. Along with his meditation and taking up football, the voice was mostly silenced and his magic got easier again, though not quite as easy as it used to be. Still, he thought something was missing from his methods to isolate the horrible voice.

With the relative clarity of thought suppressing the murderous voice brought (not to mention that the voice was clearly magical and it being isolated may have kept it from direct interference against his magic), Harry managed to channel his spells through places other than his hands again after more practice, though not as well as before. His feet were the hardest, as in ‘all but impossible’.

-----
-----

Yeah, this Harry is brutal. It might be that it seems worse to me because I wrote it, or that I tried to go for realism and not the usual fanfiction depictions of violence. (Harry is characterised like this on purpose, including the minimal initial guilt in case you’re wondering. No, the soul fragment had nothing to do with it, it awoke just after.)

It’s written in British English because I know it decently well and, anyway, why not.
 
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Harry 2

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#5
This is terribly time-skippy (between chapters 1 and 2, not within this -chapter 2- itself), but I've kept this in editing hell for long enough.

I intend to revisit Ch. 1 at some point because of very valid points made by the members of SB, though.

Harry calls Dumbledore a poof in his thoughts, which is a British slang term for a gay man, and a bit insulting. No offence meant by the author to real-life gays.

-----
-----

‘So, that’s what I’ve been waiting for,’ Harry thought. He had graduated early from what Mike (his American teammate in the football team) called High School and taken his A-levels, expecting he would have to stop to get magical education, but the letter had surpassed all of his expectations. They sound barking mad, those Romans- I mean magicals, though. Well, those kinds of people were the most fun, in Harry's opinion – sanity was overrated.

Of course, there were some problems too – mainly the fact that the owl had left and he had no way to communicate with the most likely, by her name, Scottish Deputy Headmistress. He could hardly send it through the normal channels, and he didn’t know if any owl could qualify or only a ‘special’ species. Normal channels? Wait. Could it be that simple? Did wizards and witches have people in the Post Office who made sure to reroute magical mail? 'It’s worth a shot,' Harry thought. It wasn’t like he couldn’t be discreet, after all. He ended up addressing the letter to Minerva McGonagall, Hogwarts School of W and W and sent it through the nearest Post Office. He also made sure to make the letter extra vague, just in case someone tried to read it – the magicals liked their secrecy; otherwise, the existence of magic would be common knowledge.

-----

Harry had let the educational authorities know that he would only continue on to a University once he was eighteen, telling them an excuse regarding him wishing to study with his age-mates this time. Which wasn't even a complete lie; a few people tried to bully him at school, but he always escaped. Later, a lot of bad luck seemed to befall them; one of them called him a freak, tried to put his head in a toilet, which earned the guy a punch in the bollocks and, worst of all, that guy sabotaged his learning! That person nearly died when he fell from a relatively great height and landed on his head. He survived, but would likely never leave his wheelchair. All that had landed Harry a reputation as a bringer of bad luck or jinx or whatever and soured him on studying with people older than him.

Unfortunately, government officials kept bothering him about continuing his education; one of them even covertly threatened to have his name and location released to the papers, though she probably thought the threat flew over his head... it was a pity she had a terrible accident afterwards – her car turned out to have had its brakes sabotaged (thanks for the information on how cars work, Uncle Vernon! Who says bonding with one's uncle is not productive?) ; she happened to be literally driving downhill when she discovered the fact, and she wasn't a good (or at least cool-headed) enough driver to find a way to reduce the impact, so she and her partner were both killed, slamming onto a huge boulder. After that, there was an investigation, but there was no real evidence that pointed to him – needless to say, though, that there were no more government officials afterwards.

Harry didn't know how to feel about his first human kill(s) – he didn't actually enjoy killing, except for Ripper, which was an uncontrollable monster that should have been put to death years before he killed it. By the time he finished his 'normal' education, though, he had realised from interrogating and eavesdropping on his aunt that his life may well depend on his secrecy, same with Dudley's and Vernon's lives, so he did what he must. He didn't much care if his aunt were to die, but still, a jumped up government worker wouldn't threaten what was his, bloody fucking damn it! The voice had made a return then, extremely gleeful, but Harry somehow managed to make it shut up by imagining a drill burrowing its way into a human skull. Crude Legilimency, the voice had let slip, but Harry had little context for it.

It started bothering Harry in his sleep, or so he thought from what he remembered of his dreams. The only other thing he could remember from his dreams was something like a lullaby, red hair and a flower-like smell; once that started appearing, the nightmares became less frequent.

-----

After the bell ringing, Harry opened the door to see an extremely short man with a grey, nearly white mid-length beard framing the man’s face and somewhat long hair of the same colour doing the same, though in the middle of the head, he was bald, which showed when he tipped his hat to Harry. He had laugh lines around his mouth and generally seemed like a cheerful, easy-going old man. His robes covered everything from the neck down and everything he had on, including the hat, was green.

“Hello Mr. Potter. My name is Filius Flitwick, the Professor of Charms at Hogwarts; I’ve been sent to help you with getting your school supplies, as you requested,” the man said, introducing himself.

“It’s nice to meet you Professor Flitwick. I’m Harry Potter, though you already knew that,” Harry said, not thrown off much by being addressed by name.

“Yes, the benefits of fame, right Mr. Potter?” The man said with a wink.

“Fame? What do you mean by that, Professor?” Harry asked, dread settling in.

It had been a long time since he had felt the thrill of such strong emotions until recently, but this was the second time since the letter came. That was one of the reasons why he liked playing football (yes, it's called football, not soccer! Shut up Mike!) so much, despite not being especially talented in it; the adrenaline rush... it was something that he couldn't feel often in his life.

Flitwick’s hat left his head again, this time because the man -rather theatrically, Harry thought- fell onto his arse. “My word, Mr. Potter. I knew you were raised away from the Wizarding World, but I hardly expected- I mean, you know how your parents died, right?” Flitwick said.

“They were attacked by a madman, right? That much I got from my aunt, though she was reluctant to speak much about that,” Harry said, though he left out the fact that he had had to eavesdrop to find out and that she was reluctant to speak to him at all.

Flitwick reluctantly nodded. He said, “technically correct, though he was far more than a simple madman. He was one who terrorised our entire society; You-Know-Who was a very powerful and skilled wizard, and commanded the loyalty of a small but formidable army.”

The man went on to explain the War between the Dark wizard’s forces and the Ministry for Magic, spanning from the early seventies to 1981 – though it was the short version, as he admitted, himself. Flitwick reluctantly told Harry that the Dark wizard called himself the Dark Lord Voldemort; he was obviously terrified of the madman.

Harry decided to make sure he would look him up, as well as what was written about Harry himself. He hoped that the magicals wouldn’t expect him to be a saint, but he also suspected it was a vain hope – Harry knew people in general, and he doubted magical people would be any different.

-----

“Here, Mr. Potter! My name is Doris Cro-”

“Harry Potter, in the flesh! Oh Merlin-”

“It’s so very nice to meet-”

Harry most likely had a very ugly expression on his face. He was astonished, but mostly, he was disgusted by the way those simpering morons were acting. He had thought himself wise, predicting how wizards and witches would see him, but he severely underestimated the level of hero worship. Instead of being a minor celebrity, they treated him as if he were Jesus Christ. Literally – one witch who looked to be in her thirties tried to get a touch as if it would heal her of all maladies; at least, he hoped it was for that. Even the rest were trying to shake his hands as if it would mean their salvation. The words of everyone present were getting garbled and Harry was getting more and more dizzy; he was trying to recall a wandless spell that would make them back off, but he couldn’t even manage that.

Boom!

Harry practically jumped out of his skin. He looked over at Flitwick, who had his wand out and suddenly looked very imposing, low height or not. The professor instructed them to go one by one and the rest to be silent. Nobody seemed to even consider doing otherwise; Harry considered the man’s apparent age (probably late fifties or so, despite his nearly white hair) and concluded that he had taught most of those present, considering they mostly looked to be below thirty-five. He had thought him a very hands-off and easygoing teacher, but apparently, Flitwick could be strict when he wanted.

He shook a few hands -now that they weren’t crowding him, he could see that they weren’t huge in numbers- noting the young professor Quirinus Quirrell, who stuttered and gave vibes that told Harry he was going to be a useless teacher. Too pathetic for words, was his first impression of the soon-to-be Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor. As they left the Leaky Cauldron (and wasn’t that an interesting name? Others might have considered the names wizards gave things ridiculous, but to Harry, their mild nuttiness was refreshing), as soon as Harry stopped gawking at Diagon Alley's appearance (it was as if it was straight out of a fairy tale!), Flitwick asked the boy about his impression of Professor Quirrell.

“Well, he seems to know his subject; it remains to be seen whether he can teach it,” Harry said, choosing his words very carefully, but without pausing more than a split second.

Flitwick smiled, but it was more of a smirk. He said, “a very diplomatic answer, Mr. Potter. It seems likely you are headed for Slytherin House.”

He went on to explain how ‘Quirinus’ used to be the Muggle Studies Professor, but had gone on a trip to train himself in his new subject and returned a bit off. Harry thought he was trying to warn him to be wary of Quirrell, but he couldn’t be sure. The young professor looked completely pathetic to him, but Flitwick must have known and taught the man since he was eleven, especially considering he let slip that Quirrell had been sorted into Ravenclaw twenty-three years earlier.

“Professor, could you tell me more about the Houses of Hogwarts? You told me about Ravenclaw, but I only know the names of the other Houses,” Harry said, realising that he had been told next to nothing about Slytherin, as well as Hufflepuff and Gryffindor.

“Of course. How remiss of me,” the man said, not sounding the least bit sorry.

Harry thought that he was either testing Harry to see if he would ask, or trying to push him toward his own House; possibly both. After Flitwick gave him more information, including the fact that his father and Lily had both been in Gryffindor and that many families got into the same House for generations, the boy concluded that the new students had a say on where they were sorted; he still couldn’t get Flitwick to tell him the method, though.

“Did you know my parents well, Professor Flitwick?” Harry asked, hopeful that he could find out about them, for the first time.

Petunia barely knew what his father was like and refused to even speak his name, or had forgotten it, and his mother was a topic that, if brought up, made her clam up faster than anything else could manage. As for his uncle, he didn't remember Harry's dad's first name, but Uncle Vernon was under the impression that when they met, Mr. Potter had looked down upon him for being 'new money'. That had then devolved into Uncle Vernon recounting the story of how Mr. Grunning had taken Vernon under his wing when the latter had been nineteen, culminating in Vernon becoming Director at the tender age of twenty-six.

Flitwick smiled. He said, “I thought you’d never ask, Mr. Potter. I did not know your father, James Potter, better than most students of mine except by association, but he was very mischievous; a prankster at heart. He was a good person, with the only black mark on his record being that he sometimes took jokes too far; Minerva -that is, Professor McGonagall- knew him a lot better.”

“What about my mother, Professor?” Harry asked, glad to find out his father's name for the first time, but realising that the man had been closer to his mother.

Flitwick closed his eyes and smiled nostalgically. He said, “Lily Evans was the most brilliant student I have ever had in my Charms class – I myself was much less skilled at the same age. I wanted to recommend her for the Charms Mastery exam, but she was too busy with fighting a war. She was adept in using Charms both for combat and for healing, and her knowledge of Potions allowed her a further avenue for the latter. She was the second most adept medic of their group, behind the much older Frank, though every single one of them could heal, to a point- but never mind that.”

“So, she was the most talented student of Charms you have ever encountered, sir? What was she like as a person?” Harry asked quickly, thirsty for more information.

“The most talented of my students, Harry- I mean Mr. Potter. The Headmaster, as well as another Professor, have nearly as great a talent for Charms as she did -despite it not being their chosen subject- and I knew someone who was even better than her, an underclassman from when I was a student myself. Unfortunately, I don’t know what became of Tom… but I digress. Well,” Flitwick said, “Lily was caring and highly intelligent. She also was far less fickle than most girls her age, which led to her not changing her opinion of your father until over a year after he had matured. She always stood by her friends, and it took a lot for her to abandon them, but also a lot to forgive them.”

Harry stayed silent for a minute, digesting the information he’d been told. So Lily Potter was stubborn to a fault, but very loyal. She had also torn apart a friendship or two after having had enough with someone. Petunia might have been that person. “Thank you, Professor, and please call me Harry, if you prefer,” he said, smiling genuinely, “it’s the first time I find out so much about one of my parents. Aunt Petunia barely knew my father at all and Mum is still a very touchy subject for her.”

“She should have told you something, at least!” Flitwick exclaimed, realising he had shouted immediately afterwards and blushing badly enough for it to show through the facial hair, though he lowered his hat to hide his face almost immediately. He said, “my apologies, Harry. But, she told you nothing?”

“Every parent has their favourites, Professor. I get along far better with Uncle Vernon who, in turn, interacts less with Dudley -that’s my cousin- than he does with me,” Harry said, the half-lie leaving his tongue with extreme ease.

Flitwick seemed more at ease, but he made a token protest. “I understand that,” he said, “but you should have been told something about them, at least.”

“She probably expected a wizard or witch to do so. Don’t blame her, Professor; the sins of the past weigh heavily upon her. Aunt Petunia blames all magicals for what happened to Mum, and merely looking at me brings up bad memories. I suspect she and Uncle Vernon decided that he would be the one do the majority of looking after me,” Harry said.

“I see,” Flitwick said, looking into Harry's eyes seriously, “so she blames you as well?”

“I don’t know,” Harry said, lying through his teeth with little more effort than it took to straighten his glasses; which was, fortunately, a habit he no longer paired up with the practice, “it’s something I’d rather not know the answer to, Sir.”

“Fair enough,” the professor said, smiling again.

-----

The conversation had lasted all the way through the two males circling Diagon Alley twice, and it wasn’t small by any stretch. By coincidence, they arrived at their first destination not long after its end.

“Here it is – the magical bank, Gringotts,” Flitwick said calmly, “it’s run by goblins. Take care not to offend them too much, Harry, but don’t offer them much in the way of pleasantries, either; they are not going to like any human for any reason, and friendliness will only annoy them further.”

Harry nodded. He looked at the armed creatures standing guard; when they nodded at the two of them, he nodded back, but nothing more; he simply turned back to his Professor.

He thought for a moment that the reason the man was so short was goblin blood, but he dismissed it: he didn’t look anything like them and they didn’t give him any more or less attention than they did Harry... maybe he had a goblin ancestor very far up the line...?

Harry took in the poem the goblins had inscribed on the doors of Gringotts, and promptly decided not to test the bank's defences anytime soon. Inside the bank, they went to a teller and waited a short time. When the goblin asked what their business was with Gringotts, Flitwick produced a golden key from somewhere in his robes and told the creature that his student was Harry Potter and was to make a withdrawal from his vault.

The goblin checked the key, then said, “wait here. Someone will be here shortly,” and left its station.

Harry looked at Flitwick and said, “Sir, may I have my key?”

The man paused for a moment. He said, “are you certain, Harry? Taking care of your own finances can be quite difficult, especially at your age,” showing uncharacteristic seriousness.

Harry looked him in the eyes and nodded. He said, “it’s not like I haven’t handled money before. My family is fairly well-off, but not nearly rich enough for me to not know the value of money. Will I have to pick investments simply for receiving my key?”

Flitwick gave him the key. He said, “well, if you’re sure – there is no need to decide on investments, though you may do that if you wish. You could also most likely withdraw a relatively small sum from your family's vault, its exact amount depending on what your grandfather had set, but investments are almost certainly out of the question for it at your age, despite you being the sole inheritor.”

Harry considered that for a bit, then said, “does it happen often, for someone to have multiple vaults to his name?”

His professor said, “not so young. It is the very rare parent who opens a vault for his or her child; the children usually do it themselves when they have become adults, and only after they have been active in the workforce for a while. I believe that this vault was opened for you by Albus – that is, Professor Dumbledore, in order to store letters bearing your name, as well as gifts and bequests for you, the majority of which was in coin. Anyone intending to give you an offering could store money or items here; much of the gold inside your vault is, I believe, from cursed objects that were de-spelled, then sold – again, on Albus’s decision. Fame, after all, is a two-sided coin, and many would seek to harm you. Anything relating to wands and their construction is kept either in your ancestors’ holdings, or by Albus; the Ministry strongly discourages giving goblins potential access to wands. With you bearing your key now, you are the only one who may make financial decisions, as Muggles are not allowed to do anything more than convert from muggle money, and only on behalf of their magical child or ward. So, do you intend to make any investments, Harry?”

Harry shook his head in the negative. He said, “it’s better if I find out more first; after all, this is all new to me. Maybe in a couple of years.”

The goblin sent to guide them, Griphook, waited until they finished their conversation, tapping his foot and otherwise looking impatient, even though he had only caught the tail end of it.

-----

“You weren’t joking, Sir,” Harry said, looking around in awe, “this is a lot of gold.”

“Indeed,” the man admitted, “for a student just starting, twenty-seven to twenty-eight galleons -the gold coins- should more than suffice; here is an expanded Pouch made of mokeskin, which can hold a lot and is difficult to steal from. It is preferable that you only store one kind of thing in it, or you may be unable to find what you seek,” he continued, handing him a small bag and giving him instructions in how to 'bond' with the pouch.

Harry took a sewing needle out of his pocket, which he usually used as a target for his transformations, and pricked a finger with it without hesitation, then touched his finger to the pouch. The good professor was examining Harry carefully, but Harry couldn't tell if the man was suspicious or worried or whatnot. Shit, it wasn't normal for people to be so carefree and blase about blood, was it? Oh well, normal was overrated; Harry would rather be an outcast or 'freak' as his aunt put it when she was furious once, than someone 'normal' like her. He was not going to change himself for anyone's sake but his own, and would only pretend if absolutely necessary. Harry decided to not think of the topic anymore for the time being.

“Professor,” Harry said, “does Hogwarts have a library students can borrow from and do students in higher years need more money?”

“It does have a library, Harry. There is no need for getting extra books at this point,” the man said, though Harry doubted that the Head of the House that advocated learning truly meant what he was saying. He then said, “most subsequent years require a lot less money than first year, unless your wand breaks or you decide to get something gaudy or specialised like a solid gold cauldron.”

Harry picked up a hundred and twenty gold coins, nearly a dozen silver ones and four bronze. He said, “could you recommend me a few books that will show what the Wizarding World thinks of me, Professor? Some recent history as well; everything else can wait for later.”

Flitwick nodded enthusiastically and repeatedly. He said, “of course, Harry! We may yet make a Ravenclaw out of you! Might I also recommend you the Periodic Table of Potions Ingredients? It shows the way basic ingredients react with one another and why, and is in high demand at the library, so it’s always taken. You might not truly need it this year, as you will only brew following instructions, but it helps along on the way to a deeper understanding of Potions, and something tells me you might have a talent for the subject. Another potentially important book is the Introduction to the Wizarding World; it is the only book meant for the Muggle-raised that actually provides the more critical information.”

Harry tried to give the professor a few gold coins -Galleons- for the mokeskin pouch, but the man emphatically refused. In the end, Flitwick convinced Harry by telling him it was a gift for his birthday next week. "By the way, Sir, what is the spell that made the pouch expand and gave it theft protection?" Harry said, getting curious again.

He also made a mental note not to try to steal from anyone until he had a much better idea of magical defences against thieves; even then, only if he considered it necessary.

"Extension Charms are something that is not taught until the sixth year at the earliest; I would not recommend trying anything like that until you have a really good grasp of Charms. There used to be a law that disallowed applying those for private uses, but it was repealed with near unanimity nearly a decade ago. That said, Mokeskin is bigger on the inside even without the spell, because of the properties of the creature it comes from, the Moke," the professor said.

Harry's cheek twitched; he didn't like how much of an open book Harry was to this man. Well, at least Flitwick didn't realise that Harry had stolen before, and might do so again if he considered it necessary.

"As for Mokeskin's anti-theft properties, that's because of the moke again, which is a magical creature related to lizards. It shrinks whenever in the presence of a stranger, so most thieves will never be able to even find a mokeskin pouch; the moke also resists magic far more than a creature its size has any right to," the professor added.

Harry mulled that over. He would look up that magical creature and others; he started realising just how interesting magical creatures were, for the first time.

The next stop was the trunk shop, and Harry was entranced by all the multi-compartment trunks with all their features. There was even one with five compartments, along with the standard Feather-light Charm, top of the line Undetectable Extension Charm on some of the compartments – it even had separate keys for each of them! He asked the proprietor for the price, seeing no price tag on or near it. The answer was twenty-one galleons, which was the equivalent of a hundred and forty-seven Pounds Sterling, and approximately two hundred and ten US Dollars.(*2) Harry knew he could afford it, but Flitwick vetoed it.

The man said, "Harry, I am content to let people make their own mistakes usually, but even with the Feather-light Charm, you will be unable to carry that; it's too bulky for you. Don't go wasting your money now – you did say you were aware of the value of the Pound, and you know that the Galleon is seven times as valuable, five only for the underage Muggleborn converting from muggle money, which you are not. Let that sink in for a minute."

Harry remained silent for a minute; he felt really annoyed at his professor.

The man continued speaking and said, "why don't you leave this for a few years later, when you may actually need it? Look: this is a two-compartment trunk with an exceedingly good Feather-light Charm and a great Undetectable Extension Charm on the second compartment, and the latter is actually contained in a corner of the first one, so it's not more bulky than the usual trunks."

Harry sighed, but he eventually folded, begrudgingly – the man knew his stuff, and Harry, though his teammates in football called him stubborn, knew how to pick his battles.

-----

Harry had picked up nearly everything, including a bronze cauldron, which cost two galleons plus ten sickles -the pewter one was only a galleon on the dot and lighter, thus easier to carry, but pewter was being slowly phased out due to the lead in it apparently being bad for health- and more supplementary reading, after the professor gave Harry some recommendations, including some second-year textbooks for some subjects and some highly-recommended Defence Against the Dark Arts related books that had (or could have) been used as textbooks. Fortunately, he was strong enough to carry the cauldron, though his hands would probably have got achy if he hadn't put it in the trunk. He was thankful for the existence of trunks and the Feather-light Charm.

A solid gold cauldron cost significantly above a hundred Galleons, which was to be expected because in the Wizarding World, there was an even bigger difference in price between pure copper and gold, much less bronze and gold. According to Flitwick, there was a huge number of precious metal mines, deposits and veins that had been hidden from Muggles, not to mention metals created by Nicolas Flamel centuries earlier, so precious metals were more available and their price was lower in their society; despite people's usual assumptions, Flamel had made more silver than gold before that was also outlawed, artificially keeping gold more expensive despite silver being just as rare in the Earth as gold, no matter what the Muggles thought. Harry secretly thought that copper's price in particular was so low because electricity wasn't used by magicals, so they didn't need a conductor for making cables.

"Be wary, Harry, because buying gold in bulk, then selling it to the muggles was outlawed centuries ago," Flitwick said, looking Harry in the eye, "there are a few really good reasons for this, but what they boil down to is making Muggles suspect our existence, and losing the exclusivity to wizards of our 'extra' supply."

Afterwards, Flitwick took Harry to the wandmaker’s, the man leaving him alone just outside the shop. The professor claimed that getting one’s first wand was something deeply personal, thus best experienced on their own. He also admitted that this same Ollivander had already been old when Flitwick had been eleven, and Flitwick was seventy at the moment, making Garrick Ollivander ancient. Harry hadn’t expected that Flitwick was so old, but apparently, most wizards and witches looked younger than they were and lived longer than Muggles. When Harry entered 'Ollivanders' ', nobody was inside; however, the presence of something was so heavy in the air that Harry got goosebumps.

“A good afternoon to you Mr. Potter.”

Harry jumped at the same time he turned his head, causing his neck some soreness. ‘Crap, I just about soiled myself,’ he thought. Next time he was startled, he would try his best to lay the culprit out. “Hello Mr. Ollivander,” the boy said out loud, assuming that the man was the proprietor of the shop.

“Harry Potter. You have green eyes,” the positively ancient man, but unbent and around a hundred and ninety centimetres tall, told Harry, “yes, like your mother; it seems like only a day has passed since she got her own wand; ten and three quarter inch long, swishy, Willow wood. A unicorn tail hair from a rather temperamental male unicorn.* Nearly gored me in my inexperience of then. Yes, yes.”

‘Wizards are an eccentric lot, but this one takes the cake,’ Harry thought. He couldn’t help but like the slightly creepy man, though. He said, “well, sir, you have silver eyes; I fail to see why eye colour matters in this case, though.”

“As for your father,” Ollivander continued, ignoring Harry’s words and walking around a bit. “His was not exactly one of mine, though I helped manufacture it. Mahogany, eleven inches on the dot, a core of Thunderbird tail feather. Pliable, excellent for Transfiguration. A joint project with another wandmaker, very rare and very powerful in every way. You resemble your father a lot, you know. He was just as cheeky.”

The man stopped his pacing in front of Harry; very close to him, in fact. He clapped loudly and very suddenly. This time, Harry barely reacted, making Ollivander smile. The man said, “well, let us get to it, young one. We don’t have all day,” conveniently leaving out the fact that he was the one stalling, making Harry snort.

Harry said nothing while he was being measured by the appropriate devices. They measured everything; including the distance between his nostrils, the circumference of his ankles and a lot more. Only after the tapes went still as if they’d never moved did he speak. He said, “Was all that necessary, Mr. Ollivander?”

The man blinked a few times and got into a crouching position. He said, “I assume you are speaking about measuring? Quite necessary, Mr. Potter, and not at all to unnerve the customer,” waving the measuring tapes away.

Harry, again, said nothing; he was somewhat amused by the wandmaker’s antics, though.

The man sprang to an upright position as if he were over a century younger and went to get something from the shelves. He set a box in front of Harry. Ollivander said, “Mahogany and Unicorn tail hair, ten and a quarter inch. Go on, go on, Mr. Potter; just give it a wave,” making a waving motion with his left hand. Then he said, “before I forget, which is your wand hand, Mr. Potter? Use that one.”

“My original dominant hand is the left one, but I’ve trained myself to use both equally as well,” Harry said.

“Ambidexterity at your age? Impressive. You’ll go far,” the man said, pausing for a bit. “Just use whichever,” he continued when Harry did nothing but stare at him.

He waved the wand, only for nothing to happen. Ollivander snatched it from Harry’s hands and brought him more wands, most of which he rejected as soon as the boy lay a hand on them.

“A tricky customer, eh? No worries, Mr. Potter; I have never failed to find a match for a young customer, one way or another. After all, there is more than one way to skin a cat, right?” Ollivander said, smiling a not-so-toothy grin, mostly because the majority of his teeth were missing.

Harry simply rolled his eyes. By the time he finished rolling them, the tall wandmaker was already setting down another box, this time with much more reverence.

“Perhaps this is the one,” Ollivander said, suddenly more serious, “eleven inches, Holly and Phoenix feather, nice and supple. An unusual combination of wood and core, but no less potent for it.”

Harry took the wand in his right hand, felt warmth he hadn’t earlier and a small number of white sparks came out, disappearing immediately. From Ollivander’s reaction, the man had expected more. It was not groundbreaking, but much more than anything so far.

Ollivander stared in an especially unnerving way, his silver eyes open wide. “A very tricky customer,” the man said, “this is a decent match. Would you like to keep looking? There might yet be a better match. What am I asking? Of course you would!”

After a few more failures, in which Ollivander rejected the wands out of hand, he brought out one that he said he had high hopes for. “Yes, twelve inches -exactly one foot-, Ebony wood and Phoenix feather core; straight and rigid, but somewhat gnarled rather than smooth. It favours Transfiguration and offensive battle magic like most Ebony wands, but is suitable for all kinds of magic except, most likely, those related to positive emotions and fully defensive battle magic like the basic Shield Charm. What do you think?” The old man said, looking into Harry's eyes directly, focusing to the point of being creepy.

Harry waved the wand, getting a similar reaction to the Holly wand – as in, good but slightly underwhelming.

Ollivander said, “it seems we have just about run out of options, Mr. Potter. This is the last wand I have that has a chance to fit you. So, which do you want? The Holly wand or the Ebony wand? Note that one may only have one personal wand at a time, with only law enforcement being exempt.”

Harry asked for more information about the wands.

Ollivander smiled and nodded, his silver eyes shining. He said, “well, the Holly wand is significantly more powerful; the Phoenix that donated its feather is significantly older. It is well suited to all magic except delicate ones such as illusions and Memory Charms -which would end up being far less effective with it-, and Holly significantly favours magic based on positive emotions. On the other hand, the one with Ebony wood is significantly weaker as a spell amplifier, but is well suited to both straightforward magic and subtle magic. For the more powerful spells to work well, the user needs to be highly powerful by himself, but it can also handle any level of power. The younger a Phoenix is when it donated them, the more its feathers favour subtle magic as cores – though the Ebony wand might mostly catch up in power with the other one by the time you are fifty, and will still be as good as ever at subtle magic. It will never catch up fully in power. So! Mr. Potter! Which do you prefer?” The old man finished with a jump and twirl in place, his demeanour becoming as jolly as earlier again.

Harry thought it over, but he had a very hard time deciding. After a bit of time, he started getting frustrated, which proved to be a great mistake, since something took advantage. Just pick one, you foolish boy!

The boy rubbed his scar and funneled the emotions through his torso, legs then feet into the ground, calming himself. ‘Was that…?’ He thought. For a moment, while the voice was speaking to him, he saw some sparks come out of the Holly wand. ‘Is the presence of the voice the reason why this wand reacted more strongly?’ He thought. He intended to get rid of whatever that was, so his decision was clear at this point. Still, he asked another question of Ollivander, who was waiting patiently. “Mr. Ollivander. Is there anything else you can tell me about the origins of the wands? What was each Phoenix like?”

Harry hadn’t been told anything about Phoenixes, but he would assume Muggles had got most things right until proven otherwise. So, My Immortal birds reborn from their ashes and associated with fire and healing.

Ollivander grinned again. He said, “you are wise to ask for more information, Mr. Potter. The Enoby wand has a feather from Sparky, the mascot of a Quidditch team from New Zealand. That Phoenix has donated one more feather, which has not been sold. The Holly wand has a feather from the Phoenix companion of Headmaster Dumbledore -an extremely powerful and skilled wizard, Albus-, Fawkes, with the only other feather he gave being- well, being in the wand that gave you this scar,” pointing at Harry’s brow. “Curious, no? Nothing else of note comes to mind, and my memory is sharp – near-flawless, even. So, tell me, young one; what is your decision?”

‘The voice in my head might be connected to You-Know-Who?’ Harry thought, ‘that’s... not a huge surprise, but not pleasant by any stretch. That thing may be tricky to get rid of.’ Out loud, he said, “The Ebony wand,” not saying anything more. He was convinced it was the better choice, especially since he had a knack for illusions.

“I see,” the towering man said, “are you certain Mr. Potter? Absolutely certain? Beyond the shadow of a doubt?" After a few seconds of silence, the man nodded to himself, gave Harry a wand-caring kit and a wrist-mounted wand holster charmed with an Undetectable Extension Charm, as well as Charms that allowed only the owner to get it out easily and kept it from being Summoned, for free ‘for being the trickiest customer I have ever had, of course,’ and bid him farewell after being paid the fee of seven Galleons.

“Just a moment, Sir,” Harry said, pausing before the door. He then asked, “what kind of wand is yours, Sir? If you don’t mind answering, of course," the question having just occurred to him, his curiosity holding strong.

Ollivander chuckled. He said, “not at all, Mr. Potter, not at all. Hornbeam wood, with a dragon heartstring core, twelve and three quarter inches, slightly bendy. One of my grandfather’s, if you’ll believe it. This may be the first time an eleven-year-old has asked me this question. Yes, you will go far, Mr. Potter. Whether that is for good or for ill remains to be seen…."

Harry shivered a bit, remembering the sobs of his Uncle and Aunt when he essentially tortured them and his first -and second- murder. He steeled himself and bid Ollivander goodbye, once again resolving to use violence more sparingly, but still keep that spark of ruthlessness alive. After all, people had been trying to assassinate him since he was one year old, if he had read between the lines right.

-----

Filius had been waiting for Harry for a while; the snowy owl he had in a cage was starting to get impatient, but patience was a virtue Filius was not lacking in. After over half an hour of standing there, the student he had been waiting for got out of the wand shop. The professor had long thought that the Ollivanders had some kind of Charm or even Curse that kept customers from showing up at the same time as each other, as no student had ever had to wait inside or outside the shop while another was being fitted, to his knowledge. Unfortunately, old Garrick was tight-lipped.

Harry got out of the shop, greeted Filius and said, “you haven’t been waiting too long, have you, Professor?”

The boy’s sheepish expression showed he was well aware how long he took. Filius was reminded of Lily Evans every time he looked at him; the curiosity and thirst for learning he could see in his eyes, their colour, the politeness without submission. Lily, though, had been a bit naïve at his age. Her son was a lot more cynical and pragmatic than her – much like a young Severus. Filius hoped Harry wouldn’t be as fascinated by the Dark Arts as said Potions Professor.

-----

Harry really wanted to jump headfirst into casting spells with his new wand – he really, really did, but he had only a month and a week before starting school; he wasn't going to do badly in academia. Gone were the days where he struggled with spelling and French... not that he was especially fluent in French nowadays, but he got by. Harry barely had enough time to learn most of his books by heart, he thought; he would also practise his casting without a wand -mainly getting into the focused trance- nearly every day, but not for long.

-----

After a speech by his uncle about how Harry was taking his first steps as a man and enduring much fussing by the same, Harry stood in front of Dudley, both staring at each other in an awkward fashion. The first to break the silence was Dudley. He said, “be well at your new school, you hear?” Patting Harry’s shoulder with a lot of force.

Harry forced a smile, pretending that the shoulder-slap hadn't hurt, and said, “same for you, Dudley. And do try to raise your grades – I know you’re far from stupid, so don’t be so lazy about studying, okay?”

The no longer fat (but still a bit chubby) boy said, in a small voice, “but, I won’t be able to reach your level. What point is there?”

Harry shook his head. He said, “what my grades are is irrelevant – don’t forget we will be in different schools and nobody knows you’re my cousin, so take advantage of that,” trying to get his cousin motivated.

Dudley nodded, a bit reluctantly perhaps, but he seemed willing to give studying a try; Uncle Vernon interjected that as long as he didn’t turn into a ‘nancy boy’, studying was a good idea. He had started a rant on the importance of completing higher education ‘because not everyone is as fortunate as I am to become the protege of the owner’ when Petunia cleared her throat and reminded them of the time.

So, the three males completed their greetings, Petunia grunted in response to her nephew’s goodbye, then Harry was alone in King’s Cross with less than half an hour before the train for school departed. Hedwig’s cage was in his trunk, but the owl itself had been instructed to go to Hogwarts herself, discreetly; that was because owls hated being carried in a trunk according to Flitwick, and Harry wouldn’t risk attention by carrying her out in the open. To Flitwick's protests, Harry actually paid the short man for the owl as soon as the boy had named her – the Mokeskin Pouch was already an extravagant gift. Harry could tell that the man had good intentions, but his pride wouldn't let him accept more than one such gift.

-----

After slipping into Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, Harry looked around, nearly as fascinated as when he had first entered Diagon Alley. He boarded the train, barely having enough strength and height while standing on his toes to put his trunk into the luggage shelf above his seat after a few false starts – he had been just about to give up and use magic when he managed it. As soon as he did, he heard clapping and whistling. When the boy turned, he saw two identical ‘carrot-tops’ or ‘gingers’, as his uncle called those who had that shade of red in their hair. Harry blinked, also noting absently that one of them had slightly more freckles than the other on the right side of his face and the other was slightly more muscular.

“A good show of physical strength, young one,” the muscular twin said.

“Yes, I dare say we wouldn’t have been able to do that alone in our first year,” the freckled twin continued.

“I’m Fred,” the muscular twin said, introducing himself.

“And I’m George,” the other one said, doing the same.

“Collectively, we’re known as the Weasley twins,” Fred said. “Or is that Fredandgeorge?” He continued.

“No,” George said, “it’s Georgeandfred,” correcting his brother.

“Well, whatever the case might be, we’re both the Weasley twins, and the Weasley twins are us,” Fred finished with a bow.

“So, who are you, ickle firsty?” The both of them asked at the same time.

Harry smiled at their antics. He said, “my name is Harry Potter, upperclassmen o' mine.”

After the twins showed their astonishment in a properly exaggerated way, they bid him farewell, citing meeting their friend Lee as the reason.

“Yes, Lee Jordan. A stand up bloke indeed,” Fred said.

“Word has it he’s brought a big spider along; a tarantula, if you’ll believe it,” George shared in a stage whisper.

“Well, it’s not an Acromantula, but it’ll do,” Fred said, waving his hand in a ‘so-so’ gesture.

“So we’ll see ya another time, young Harry,” George finished before leaving Harry alone in the compartment.

Harry was still grinning when they left – those two were highly charismatic and entertaining. He wasn't at all annoyed when they gawked at him; it was all in good humour. The young wizard shook his head at their antics and took out the book on magical creatures he had bought (and read cover to cover more than once), and read the entry on the Acromantula for the fifth time or so. The reminder only served to excite him, though he wouldn’t be stupid enough to seek out one without a lot more schooling and training under his belt. He had been told some of the story of the British wizard who wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Flitwick, and he liked it. He wanted to be like Newt Scamander, though Harry wasn't interested in taking care of animals, per se.

The first-year subject Harry was looking forward to the most was probably Potions – he had already dabbled in Transfiguration and Charms years earlier, but Potions was something new. He would be impatient for Defence Against the Dark Arts, too… if he hadn’t met Quirinus Quirrell.

A while later, there was a knock on the compartment’s door; a blond boy his age who oozed arrogance entered, flanked by two gorillas in human form, and said, “they say Harry Potter is supposed to go to Hogwarts this year. Are you him?”

“That’s right,” Harry admitted, “I’m Harry Potter. And you are…?”

“Oh, where are my manners? My name is Malfoy; Draco Malfoy,” the seemingly-arrogant boy introduced himself, “a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Potter.”

“It is a pleasure for me as well, Malfoy,” Harry said. When the other boy offered his hand for shaking, Harry asked, “does a handshake have a particular meaning for British wizards? You see, I was raised away from civilisation, in a manner of speaking.”

Draco Malfoy scrutinized him, but didn’t push for more information. He said, “a handshake does not have a special meaning except acknowledgement outside of some official contracts, but it is considered an insult to simply ignore somebody offering his hand.”

Harry took the hint and shook Malfoy’s hand, saying, “as long as you don’t expect me to be subordinate to you, I’m perfectly willing to be civil, Malfoy.”

-----

Draco was about to tell Potter something about helping him find those of the right sort, but he rethought his strategy after what the other boy said. ‘Potter is a lot more Slytherin-like than I’ve given him credit for, despite growing up with Muggles according to Father,’ Draco thought, making a note not to try anything risky where Harry Potter was concerned.

“What do you think of the Houses, Potter, and which are you aiming for? I believe I’m headed to Slytherin,” the blond boy said out loud, taking care to choose his words well.

Potter thought it over for a few seconds, then said, “I’ll just let the chips fall where they may,” seemingly nonchalantly.

Draco couldn’t even tell if the other boy was lying or faking his nonchalance. ‘Potter is definitely not to be underestimated,’ he thought, 'I should be on my best behaviour here, and not even call a spade what it is – even Father is annoyed whenever I call mudbloods by their proper name for some reason. "Show some subtlety, Draco." "Be aware of the impact of your words and use them strategically, Draco." When he says the word, it's fine?'

-----

“What do we have here?” A voice resounded in Harry’s head. “Rudimentary Occlumency, probably self-taught? As for your personality-

Harry stiffened. He mentally shouted, 'get out of my head!' Barely managing to keep from doing so out loud.

Calm down, child. I was made only for the most cursory of examinations. My purpose is to sort children into the Houses, not learn their pasts. Your personality and whatever you actively tell me should be enough for that; I won’t snoop further,” the Sorting Hat said in his mind.

Harry took a few deep breaths to calm down, sinking into the trance characteristic of novice Occlumency users, doing so far more efficiently than he used to and also using what he had seen in His Dark Materials and meditation manuals to enter it quickly and alter it into something that would help him think more quickly; he also could separate his emotions from trains of thought and memories now – compartmentalise his thoughts, as it were. It was fortunate that he was still riding on the high of seeing and feeling the castle for the first time; otherwise, he might have made a scene. He was certain that the new information about the branch of magic called the Mind Arts he now possessed was given by the Hat, which led to him deciding to give it the benefit of the doubt, especially considering the knowledge it had given him was likely very valuable. Up until a minute before, he hadn’t even known what Occlumency was.

The Hat remained silent for a few moments, with Harry keeping a lid on his emotions enough not to fidget much. “Difficult, very difficult,” the Hat said, “an intelligence and ruthlessness that could conquer the world, if given the time and nurturing needed….”

Harry made a disgusted, guttural voice. He said mentally, 'conquer the world! Why on Earth would I try that? No, my interest lies in other things.'

Yes, I see that now, Mr. Potter. You have a lust for adventure, carefully hidden but recently brought to the surface somehow. Which House do you think is best for you?” The Hat probed.

'Not Slytherin,' Harry replied, 'if I judge by Draco Malfoy, they will scramble for every advantage and will be on the lookout for methods to turn me to their sides or manipulate me. I’d have to sleep with one eye open; not my cup of tea.'

Very well. Tell me; if you were to choose between the life of a scholar and the life of an adventurer, which would you pick?” The Sorting Hat asked.

'I’d simply pick both,' the boy replied, thinking of Newton Scamander’s adventures and exploits as a book author both. Of course, the man had been a Hufflepuff, a House which was probably incompatible with Harry’s character, but that was fine – Harry didn't intend to be exactly the same.

The Hat chuckled and it was a strange, deep sound, similar to a tuba being played. It said, “I like your answer, Mr. Potter. And, after all, the Founder with the best grasp of magical theory after Rowena was neither Salazar nor Helga. You have guts, I believe is the term. May you do well in GRYFFINDOR!

Harry walked up to the table decorated in red and gold, in the midst of cheers, with the Weasley twins shouting ‘we got Potter! We got Potter!’ At the top of their lungs. His hands were shaking, he noted; they hadn't stopped ever since he entered the castle – the presence of something similar to the 'something' at Ollivanders', except more spread out, overwhelmed all his senses. He wondered if every person with magic had an extra sense, or if it was something that was rarer, or even unique to Harry. As he got used to the feeling, his hands stopped shaking gradually.

After the Sorting was over and done with, the Headmaster, Professor Dumbledore -as other students called him; he was a very... colourful old man with long white hair (down to his hips), a beard longer than Flitwick's, but he surpassed Ollivander in height by about half a foot, so he was easily over two metres tall- got up and made a few announcements. Harry decided not to risk going to the Forbidden Forest yet, but the third floor corridor part drew his attention, especially considering George told him, when asked, that Dumbledore usually gave them a reason for why something was prohibited. Harry didn’t think it was on purpose, but he was certain that troublemakers would be drawn to it; he wouldn’t lie to himself, he was also eager to go there and try his luck, but he wouldn’t go in half-cocked like the stereotypical Gryffindor – it was an unknown challenge, so the only thing he could do for the time being would be to improve his knowledge of magic.

“Finally, a few words,” Dumbledore said, “cataract, prong, ophthalmic, dunderhead,” a small smirk appearing on his bearded face for a second, unless Harry simply imagined it.

Harry thought over what Dumbledore had said for a few moments. 'A few words'?... Harry snickered and decided to try faking literal-mindedness himself sometime, but he looked away from the eye-searing colours almost immediately. Dumbledore's extremely colourful robes and high-heeled boots made Harry think the man might be a poof, though in the magical society, such a thing as extra colourful clothes might not be associated with queerness.

At some point after those 'words', Dumbledore looked at Harry – the man's expression looked sad and worried. Harry didn't know exactly what warranted that look, but he could make a guess. How would Dumbledore know about those government officials, though? The hat did nothing, and it wasn't as if- wait. People at the Post Office were able to reroute his letter to Hogwarts. What if some people in the muggle authorities were magical, or at least knew about magic, and contacted the magical side whenever there was a case with suspected magic use involved? His apparent fame may have worked against him which, considering he didn't even know about said fame until afterwards, was really terrible luck. Who knew other than Dumbledore, though? If a school Headmaster knew, was it common knowledge among the adults?

No, Harry was overthinking it to the point of becoming paranoid – he would take things as they came. Many owls came around after breakfast had been eaten, most carrying a letter or package; his Snowy Owl companion, Hedwig, greeted him with a light peck on the back of his hand, took some of his bacon, then departed again.

-----

The prefect, the twins’ older brother Percy, led them towards the dormitories. The first-year Gryffindors had to climb a lot of stairs, with the nuisance called Peeves accosting them until it got bored. The hilarious fart sounds Peeves had let out had put Harry in a jolly mood though, and seeing Longbottom targeted didn’t bother him one bit – that boy was born to be a target, Harry felt. Harry asked Percy what the difference between Peeves and the ghosts was, putting his fondness for toilet humour aside.

Percy said, “well, you see – he’s a Poltergeist. Those creatures never were human, and never died; they’re simply immortal, or maybe amortal, as in never being living. Some rumours say that he was present when Hogwarts was founded; even Hogwarts: A History seems to agree – I’m not sure if I believe that, but he’s been here for at least a few generations.”

Harry took note of that – there might be more to Peeves than seen at first or second glance. He also resolved to find and read Hogwarts: A History in the school library. The first years were ushered to bed; Harry had a hard time putting his worries out of his mind and falling asleep -his good mood after Peeves's antics didn't last for long- but he did some Occlumency exercises the Hat had given him knowledge of, so he fell asleep at some point. He dreamed of a green light and terrible, high-pitched laughter.

-----
-----

*2: While Ms. Rowling might be bad at math, the conversion rate between Galleons and Pounds isn't all that bad, considering the Pound Sterling had a ~50% higher value than the US Dollar, and the Dollar had nearly twice the value it has today.

*Temperamental male unicorn: yes, it’s the same one that Cedric got his wand from in canon. What, did you think that there’s only one pair of brother wands in existence? Note that Ollivander got the tail hair with the unicorn’s consent in my interpretation; he simply was clumsy and caused it too much pain in the process. The 'only girls are allowed to get close' is a myth, or only applies to female unicorns.
 
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Innortal

Well-Known Member
#6
Interesting take on it, well done and a good flow of character development, hope to see how you take it.
 
Harry 3

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#7
(A hard time writing with quills? Potions interest piqued? Hedwig? Library; Madam Pince/Prince? Dean Thomas & football & the fine arts? A sense of wonder at the castle’s secrets? A curious/passionate reaction to Animagus Transformation? Ron & ...something? Flying lessons? Leviosa spell? Exploring the castle? Centaurs calling him ‘destroyer’ or ‘defiler’? Expand scenes and make them not be flashbacks?) (Reading about slicing, dicing and such in Potions books, though he mostly knows from cooking.)

Madam Pince is Madam Prince here, and Tracey Davis is a Davies. For obvious reasons.

Remember, whenever I refer to football, I mean European football, known in America as ‘soccer’.

This is a very rough draft and unfinished; I mostly wrote it in the past few months (Fall-Winter, late 2019)
-----

Harry woke up, groggy but still early, as usual for him because his school hadn't been a boarding school, so he had needed to wake up early every day to take the bus there. He went to the dorm’s bathroom, turned the knob at the sink and threw some water at his face, cringing a bit at its coldness.

The creaking of the door opening again could be heard; Harry lifted his head and turned around, seeing his black dormmate, Thomas or something. The other boy said 'good morning, mate!' energetically.

"Good morning," Harry said. Then, he said, "you're one of those, aren't you? You are a morning person!" Letting out a small yawn.

Thomas sniggered




There he is! Did you see that messy hair? His eyes, too!

Did you see the scar?

Harry Potter’s more muscular than I expected!

People were whispering about Harry during breakfast, or at least the ones awake enough to speak did. Harry’s lip curled in a sneer for a moment; he still didn’t get the idiots who populated the wizarding society, but whenever people blatantly stared, he calmly met their eyes, making them look away. Even his dorm-mates talked about him like he wasn’t there sometimes! Well, at least Harry got along with them, especially Dean Thomas, the black muggleborn(?) guy – though they didn’t support the same teams, Dean didn’t have anything against Liverpool FC (which Harry supported) and Harry didn’t have anything against West Ham (which Dean supported); they were the only ones who cared about football in the entire dorm. It was fortunate that Harry didn’t support Tottenham Hotspur or, God forbid, Millwall.

….

Harry would make sure to read all books Professor Flitwick had recommended – he decided to go to the library immediately after breakfast, which he asking Percy for, following the same all the way there. In the meanwhile, Percy was making small talk.

Percy said, “so, Harry – how are you finding Hogwarts so far?”

Harry said, “well, it has wonderful food and really good desserts, I’ve got to give Hogwarts that. Unfortunately, the staring and whispering can get really annoying,” his lip curling again.

Percy was silent for a few seconds, then he said, “have you not got used to it already?” Brows furrowed, looking puzzled.

Harry realised that Percy thought Harry had lived with magicals after a few seconds, so he shook his head. Harry said, “I live with some relatives of mine, but they’re muggles. After the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley, this is the first time I’ve been directly exposed to the Wizarding society, and let me tell you, that was a really bad first impression!” Letting his true emotions show on his face in front of the older boy.

Percy cringed. He said, “...It’s that bad? Are there no famous people in the Muggle World?”

“There are, and Muggles probably react in a similar way to such people,” Harry said, sighing, “fortunately, I am nowhere near famous in the muggle society, so I never had to find out first-hand. I don’t know what celebrities’ children are treated like, but there are laws for the protection of those below eighteen years of age, and I doubt such children are as exposed as I am unless they did something themselves, like starring in a popular film.”

Percy stopped speaking again, probably mulling over Harry’s words. Then, he said, “wait… what do you mean ‘did something themselves’? Didn’t you destroy You-Know-Who?”

Harry shook his head, saying, “of course not. I may not remember that night, but it seems obvious to me that my parents must have done something to save me. Is there such a thing as sacrificial magic?”

Percy stopped walking all of a sudden, and Harry, walking to his left and somewhat behind him, stopped in place too. Percy said, his voice trembling, “the sacrifice of human life in magic is either seriously illegal, or means some kind of suicide. Do you really think your parents committed suicide knowingly?”

Harry thought it over a bit. He said, “well, they were facing a seemingly insurmountable foe. If the only way to save their child was to give their lives, and if they saved tens of thousands of people from death or slavery in the process, I don’t see a reason to look down on them – sometimes, disregarding the law is necessary; otherwise, that monster might have been in charge today. As for suicide via You-Know-Who… well, I admit I generally look down upon cowards who kill themselves, but as I said, it might have been truly necessary, and saved a lot of lives, so I really can’t call them cowards.”

“...You might not want to spread this around, Harry. Human sacrifice magic is considered taboo, even the non-illegal parts. You see, that taboo dates back to the witch hunts, when certain parties spread rumours of magic coming from the devil; satanism was often linked with human sacrifice, so wizards and witches understandably wanted to distance themselves from such things. Suicide is also a painful subject in our world,” Percy said, looking Harry straight in the eyes. Then, the older boy said, “disregarding the law would have made the ‘good’ side no better than the other one, though.”

Harry shook his head. He considered what he wanted to say carefully, then said, “in the words of a wise muggle: war is not about who is right, but about who is left. If a situation has escalated to civil war, then there is no such thing as law anyway. I’m not saying people should have used the truly horrible dark magic, but slitting the throat of an attacker, or exploding that attacker with a curse or two should have been not only allowed, but encouraged.”

Percy answered a few seconds later, saying, “what about vigilantes? Should they have been encouraged, too?”

Harry said, “putting a prize on known Death Eaters’ heads might have helped,” after a few seconds of thought.

Percy shook his head. He said, “there were few to no known Death Eaters; they always wore masks. Try again.”

“If they always wore the same robes and masks,” Harry said, “then an organisation that executed Death Eaters while they were in garb could have helped things considerably.”

“And then, the families of the members would be targeted, often by You-Know-Who himself,” Percy countered, “my grandparents, the Prewetts, were killed because my uncles were members of the Order of the Phoenix, which was a kind-of vigilante organisation, founded by Professor Dumbledore, dedicated to fighting against You-Know-Who and his followers… the Order weren’t even using lethal means, usually! My uncles themselves were also killed, though they actually went lethal on that night when they realised how outnumbered they were – they killed three Death Eaters, seriously wounded a fourth and stalled the fifth, Antonin Dolohov, enough to get him arrested.”

Harry was certain that those uncles of Percy’s must have been serious powerhouses, but he shook off the thought and shook his head. He said, “perhaps that was exactly the Order of the Phoenix’s mistake: not killing the Death Eaters when they could – morals are all well and good, but that was too dangerous a situation to afford most morals. How many skilled allies did You-Know-Who have? How long until he ran out? Would he have been able to do everything on his own?”

Percy sighed. He said, “You-Know-Who was exceedingly powerful and skilled. Do not misunderstand me; perhaps you have a point, but I am not the one to speak to about that. Do you have any other questions for me?”

Harry decided to let Percy’s change of subject go. He considered Percy’s words earlier, then said, “I have a few questions about the witch hunts. The history texts I’ve looked at generally treat them as a joke, but I don’t get why: isn’t it relatively easy to separate a magical from their wand? Wandless magic is not very widespread, and I doubt it was much more common back then, so I’m quite certain some witches and wizards got killed by muggle mobs. What about magical children, especially the Muggleborn? Why was the Statute of Secrecy created if Muggles were a minor danger?”

Percy smiled at Harry bitterly. He said, “you are not one for the easy questions, are you? Well, from what I’ve studied, you are generally correct, but actual witches and wizards were never the targets, so the problem was not as major as it sounds. You see, what the Church of the time wanted was control over people’s sexuality. Anyone, mainly women, who didn’t have the behaviour they wanted –had sex before marriage or something like that– was hunted down and executed. It’s an important reason why having sex in Hogwarts, while not encouraged, is not punished nearly as harshly as in muggle schools.

>>As for why the Statute of Secrecy was made… that’s equally as painful a topic, if not more. You see, most of our own wanted to subjugate the Muggles, or eliminate them. Despite their numbers and firearms, the simple Shield Charm is far stronger against physical impacts than spells, so the average adult wizard could directly take hundreds of- billets? Bullets? Before his Shield broke, to say nothing of more exceptional ones. Add to that the existence of magical trickery, compulsion, Legilimency and mind-control, and we had a distinct advantage.

>>Some of the wizards, though, were against subjugating or killing the Muggles; among them was one of my ancestors, Bedivere Weasley. Because of his words and actions, many people labelled the Weasley family as 'blood traitors', though the term has lost most of its meaning nowadays. As a result of the existence of 'blood traitors', our leaders of the time feared that some wizards would side with the Muggles against their own. As a compromise, the Statute of Secrecy was written up, being finalised in sixteen eighty-nine and becoming fully active in sixteen ninety-two."




[Dumbledore didn’t have his members kill Death Eaters because of Barty Crouch Sr. – he and Dumbledore despise one another, though Crouch IS a monster greater than V] [Seeing the castle’s eccentricities]














Harry was left with his mouth hanging open. The library was absolutely titanic; it spanned across multiple levels – possibly five? It also went beyond where his eyes could see both in length and in width. I wouldn’t be surprised if the famed Library of Alexandria had been smaller than this.





“The Great Library of Alexandria still exists,” an older feminine voice said behind Harry.





Harry turned around suddenly, seeing a woman around her late thirties; her hair was brown, chin-length, straight but a bit uncared for, and her black eyes were cold and inexpressive. Her skin was an unhealthy colour similar to parchment and her height, unusual for women, was over a hundred and seventy five centimetres, possibly all the way to a hundred and eighty.





Harry was surprised by this knowledge, but on second thought, maybe he shouldn’t have. He said, “is there a book about the Library of Alexandria, then?”





“...We shall see,” the woman said in a monotone, “firstly, the Hogwarts Library has certain rules which are to be followed to the letter and in the spirit both








History of Magic was, simply put, a snooze-fest; it was the first day, Tuesday, September third, and it started off with a whimper. Harry found it more productive to study ahead in something theory-heavy, mainly Potions and Transfiguration. That earned him a dirty look from Hermione Granger, a major teacher’s pet, but he simply ignored the girl. Those subjects were thus far way easier than French, which he had had to put countless hours into studying to get As and Bs in.





Defence Against the Dark Arts, or DADA, was a serious disappointment, but not as much as it would have been, had Harry not expected it. Quirrell was as much of a stuttering wreck as he remembered, maybe even worse, and as bad a teacher as he had suspected. The added garlic smell was an unpleasant surprise, as if the rest weren’t enough. He simply couldn’t understand what it was that made Professor Flitwick wary – unless he had misunderstood the short man’s words. The only thing of note was that the creepy voice in Harry’s head had let out high-pitched sniggers during the lesson, which was out of character for it; possibly because Quirrell was that pathetic.

Professor Flitwick was an engaging teacher, but he refused to teach them anything beyond ‘Lumos’ and its counter-charm (‘Nox’) until they had truly mastered those two – with good reason, considering Seamus Finnigan had set fire to one of his books by poking it with his wand, which earned him an Aqueructo, a variation of the Water-Making Charm, in the face by Flitwick… which did put out the fire without getting the book wet somehow. Harry, on the other hand, had to get used to the size of his wand before casting – waving around something as long as one foot was not the easiest of things at his age and size; he had already practised the motion that got his wand out of the holster, which Professor Flitwick had been kind enough to show him, but both that and simply holding the wand were still giving Harry trouble.

Harry get himself into his trance-like state, waved his wand and said “Lumos”, thinking of a light and trying to wish it into existence, only to get nothing at all; it had been that way for him since Flitwick’s class. He wasn’t quite behind, only Parvati Patil had managed anything out of all the Gryffindors, but he hated not being the best at school; it was something he wasn’t used to, and something which he definitely didn’t like.

‘Let’s take this logically,’ Harry thought, ‘I managed to make a magic light years ago, without a wand. So, the problem either has something to do with the wand, or with a difference in the spells.’

He thought it over a bit more, but couldn’t understand what he was missing.

“Potter,” a familiar voice said.

Harry turned, only to see the girl who was ahead of him in the Charms curriculum, Parvati Patil. She was rather dark-skinned and of obvious Indian descent, with black hair and dark eyes, the latter of which shone with something Harry couldn’t quite figure out.

“What is it, Patil?” Harry said, carefully keeping the frustration out of his tone.

The girl looked at him, then at his wand and said, “want some help with the Charm?”

Harry was about to snap at her, opened his mouth… then closed it again. He carefully considered the proposition and said, “er, sure, why not.”

The giggles Lavender Brown let out made him realise that he sounded a bit too awkward. He had a bit of a hard time ignoring her, so he glared at her.

“Don’t mind Lavender,” Patil said, smiling awkwardly, “she’s a bit too… jolly?”

“If you say so,” Harry said, smirking this time.

Patil looked away for a minute for some reason and Brown simply laughed harder, confusing Harry - he had got used to being able to guess people's motives and emotions, so this was worrying. Harry didn't let any of his turmoil show on his face, though - he looked at the girls expectantly until they calmed down.

“Oh, yes, the spell!” Patil said, back to normal. Then, she said, “show me how you do it.”

Harry concentrated, did the wand motion and said the incantation, putting his intent into the spell… and failed. So, he did it again, at Patil’s urging… and failed once again.

“You’re doing it all perfectly,” Patil said, confused, “I don’t get what the problem is – you’ve been trying this many times, so it can’t be because you didn’t practise enough. Your wand is well-matched, not an heirloom – right?”

“Right,” Harry said, familiar frustration building up.

“Do you picture a light coming out of the wand?” Patil said.

“Yes, of cou- wait, is it supposed to come out of the wand directly, like the wand is a torch?” Harry said.

“Yes, though it’s only light, not fire – didn’t you hear Flitwick say that?” Patil said incredulously.

“I must have missed that part of the lecture,” Harry said, annoyed at himself, giving little heed to the fact that Patil knew nothing of modern torches; flashlights, as Mike called them.

Harry tried again, failing once more; but this time, he realised he was close to a breakthrough. After nearly fifteen minutes and more tries, he managed to get a very small light. He felt his lips quirk slightly at his accomplishment, snapping out of his trance when he heard clapping.

Patil was the one making that sound. She said, “that’s it Harry, you did great! See? All you needed was a bit of a push,” smiling.

Harry wanted to be annoyed, he really did, but his elation at getting the spell right couldn’t be doused. He said, “thanks, Patil,” trying to smile at her, only to realise that it was more of a smirk again.

“You’re welcome,” Patil said, looking away once again and making Harry want to solve the mystery of her behaviour.

“By the way,” Harry said, thinking of the old woman who helped him in the past, “have we met before? I remember meeting an elderly woman and a little girl who looked just like you a few years ago.”

“What!” Patil said, very loudly, “so, Grandma and Padma weren’t joking?! What the bloo- what the heck?!” Incredulously.

Harry ignored her outburst and left, but he could feel that his lips were still curved upwards at the corners. He hid in an empty classroom and gave the wand-lighting spell a lot more tries until the light was strong enough to be useful, then he started experimenting. He couldn’t control the intensity of the light at first – apparently either spells with wands were harder to control, or he had grown a bit too used to not having a wand. After a lot of practice, he managed to vary the intensity, but he wasn’t certain what caused it, so it might as well be random. He tried thinking the incantation rather than saying it out loud, but that only made the light more uncontrolled and erratic.

Harry stopped, realising that a lot of time had passed because he heard a bell sound signifying the start of dinner. Come to think of it, I am hungry, Harry mused, fortunately, using magic with a wand is much less taxing on my body, apparently.

-----

From the ‘Lumos’ debacle on, Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown started following Harry around. He was confused by that, until he realised that they wanted to be his friends, which was a new experience for him – he had spent time with his teammates from football, but this was the first time his classmates wanted to befriend him, though the fact that his previous classmates had been nearly twice his age might have been the reason. Parvati (as she insisted to be called) even sat close to him in Transfiguration.

When McGonagall entered the classroom, the woman gave them a short lecture on the dangers of Transfiguration, and warned them to be serious in her class, or else get kicked out forever. She then showed them a couple of Transfigurations that were probably more advanced than the class could handle, including her ability to turn into a cat. Harry wanted some of that; he could think of quite a lot of things that could be accomplished by temporarily becoming a cat... or was it any animal? McGonagall somehow retained human intelligence as a cat, Harry suspected. The professor then gave them some more safety instructions, and managed to make Seamus Finnigan nearly soil himself when he tried poking his desk with his wand.

‘She is just as strict as she lets on,’ Harry thought. Then, ‘I wonder how hard it is to become an animal with human intelligence,' noting in his mind that he should ask the woman about it.

Minerva McGonagall looked to be around her early forties; she had black hair and very dark-green eyes, still visible behind her glasses, and was nearly as tall as Madam Prince. The Professor had them learn the theory, which Harry had already studied, then gave them matches and told them to try to turn them into needles. This time, it was Hermione Granger who got results first (turning her match a silvery colour), while Harry was considering how to proceed.

“Won’t you try it?” Parvati urged him.

Harry nodded, and didn’t bother saying the incantation out loud… turning the match into a needle.

“My word,” McGonagall said, checking the ‘needle’ for flaws and favouring Harry with an unexpectedly sweet smile, “Mr. Potter, you managed the transformation flawlessly on your first try! Five points to Gryffindor!”

Granger gave Harry the stink eye once again, but Harry ignored her and simply asked McGonagall how to turn the ‘needle’ back.

“Untransfiguration is more difficult than Transformation, Mr. Potter,” the Scottish woman said, but she did give a brief overview on what each branch did and how. “You see, there are four known main branches in Transfiguration, from easiest to hardest: Transformation, Untransfiguration, Vanishment and Conjuration. Untransfiguration spells are considered counter-spells in addition to Transfiguration. As for Vanishment, it is the art of turning things into the base materials of the universe, and I mean much smaller than atoms: you are vanishing, essentially destroying, something. Finally, Conjuration is bringing something into existence from base materials – the opposite of Vanishment. Vanishment is taught in the fifth year, whereas Conjuration is taught in the final two years of Hogwarts, as long as you pass your Transfiguration OWL with at least an Exceeds Expectations.”

She showed them a spell, Reparifarge, which could reverse some wrongly done Transfigurations, but then, she told them it was normally taught in second year and, even so, few got it before fourth year, because it was a general spell, as in free Transfiguration – not for a specific occasion such as reversing a beetles-to-buttons Transformation.

Harry decided that he would manage both Reparifarge and Vanishing by the end of the month. He was no longer capable of such difficult things wandlessly; no thanks to the voice in his head, which had thankfully been silent recently except the time during Quirrell’s class, but he should be perfectly capable of managing it with a wand. He had made water before, but that may or may not have been Conjuration. He would try the latter after he got good at Vanishing. Harry stayed back after the class in order to ask about the animal transformation.

-----

Severus Snape looked a bit like Madam Prince – tall frame, nearly as tall as Ollivander; inexpressive black eyes, and even colder than Madam Prince’s; unhealthy looking skin, though his was much paler. The greatest differences were that Snape had a much larger, hook-like nose and black hair. He was also a lot younger, likely in his twenties, and possessed slightly longer hair and a small goatee. Harry thought this professor must be the youngest on the staff, with the possible exception of the stuttering wonder; Quirrell had been sorted into Ravenclaw twenty-three years before according to Flitwick, so the man was most likely thirty-four. Of course, wizards aged differently from muggles, so who could say which was younger?

Snape’s robes looked especially ominous – the black colour and long, flowing parts made him look like an overgrown bat. Though his dental hygiene was better than most wizards'*, his shoulder-length hair was covered in grease. Though, on second glance, it looked less like the usual grease and more like something he had covered his hair in, like hair gel.





“Ah, yes, Harry Potter; we will see whether fame translates into talent,” Snape said, the sneer obvious in his voice without even looking.





Harry barely hid a yawn – the Astronomy they had the previous night had left him with less sleep than he was used to, since he always woke up early. Snape apparently noticed, because his sneer became worse, but Harry didn’t care enough to apologise.





After finishing roll call, he warned them about the dangers of messing up Potions without raising his voice, but somehow managed to make everyone listen carefully. Then, Snape went over safety precautions twice; finally, he gave a rather impressive speech about how powerful Potions could be.





After all of that, Snape addressed Harry directly. He said, “Potter! What would one get by mixing asphodel and wormwood?”





Harry thought it over, throwing a brief glare at Granger for her annoying behaviour, then said, “they form the basis for the Draught of Living Death, a powerful sleeping Potion, Professor.”





“A passable answer,” Snape said, his lips curling downwards slightly, “where would you look for a Bezoar, Potter?”





“The stomach of a goat,” Harry replied without hesitation.





“And what does it do?” Snape insisted.





“It’s a cure to most poisons, Sir,” Harry said, not volunteering any more information.





“So you have read ahead, Potter; continue like this, and you might prove not to be a complete dunderhead. A final question: what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?” Snape said, this time without as pronounced a sneer.





After a bit of thought, Harry remembered the answer. “They are the same plant, Professor Snape,” Harry said; again, not adding anything more.





Harry did thank his lucky stars that he read all of the books, including Herbology’s ‘One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi’, though. He didn’t know what was important and what wasn’t in magical studies, so he made sure to pay attention to all of them, though he read some more than others – the Fantastic Beasts book drew his attention in a major way. If Professor Flitwick mentioned the overlap between Herbology and Potions, Harry missed it, but better late than never.





“Essentially correct; it is also known as aconite, and can be lethally poisonous to ingest; it is even dangerous to touch without gloves, and still lethal to muggles that way,” Snape said, his cold black eyes sweeping across the classroom. Then, he said, “well? Why are all of you not writing it down?” Prompting everyone to pick up their quills.





After all was said and done, Snape put them up to brewing a Cure for Boils, making rounds of the class to check on them; Harry ended up being one of the few people to be alone by their fire, because their professor was the one to assign them places.





The potions recipe in the book seemed simple enough to Harry, who made sure to read the instructions twice before he even started, and true to form, his was one of the few Potions that were the right colour (light red, with hot pink smoke emitting from it); the only others who managed that were a Slytherin boy and a Slytherin girl by the name of Knot or Nott and Davis or maybe Davies, though Harry couldn’t tell which of them deserved the credit; as well as Granger and Malfoy, the latter sitting by a darker-skinned Slytherin boy (possibly from Southern Europe(*2)) and regarding Harry’s cauldron and Harry himself with a calculating look.





Harry barely kept himself from shivering, turning away from Malfoy and his interest, only to see Seamus Finnigan about to add the porcupine quills with the fire still on, which the books cautioned against. He warned the other boy, but it was too late. The liquid inside Finnigan’s cauldron let out green fumes, with Harry holding his breath for good measure-





Snape moved, as Harry saw from the corner of his eye. The solution –it could probably not be called a potion yet, or… ever– froze in place. It was as if it was replaced by a solid of similar colour. Then, the professor called out an incantation for the first time in the entire duration of the class, ‘Gelflamma’ and after that ‘Evanesco’, making the solution disappear. The first incantation was unknown to Harry; the other one was the Vanishing Spell, obviously. Snape moved his wand a third time, saying ‘Ventus Recens’ and the air rippled, making any trace of fumes disappear.





Snape berated Finnigan for not paying the instructions enough attention. Finnigan apologised, but Snape said, “apparently, you are too lazy to put effort into your studies, Finnigan; it is one thing to make a mistake due to inexperience and another entirely to take dangerous subjects lightly. You will be seeing me on Saturday evening – scrubbing cauldrons by hand for your detention. Three points from Gryffindor.”





Harry was starting to respect his Potions professor more, with the man’s next words cementing that respect.





Snape said, “the first spell I cast, you won’t find in books yet; it is something that I invented myself in the past decade, with the Ministry officially approving it and giving me the patent last year – I call it the Delaying Charm, though certain… elements in the Ministry of Magic prefer the name ‘Time-freeze Charm’. It does not work on living beings, but is really well-suited to situations like this. The second one was the Flame-Freezing Charm, incantation ‘Gelflamma’, with a soft ‘G’; its movement is waving one’s wand downwards from above their head. Ask your Charms professor for information on that one.





>>‘Evanesco’ is the incantation for generic Vanishment, which is a branch of Transfiguration. As for the Air-freshening Charm, incantation ‘Ventus Recens’, it is one of the spells attributed to Merlin himself, though he apparently did not consider it very useful according to surviving writings. Merlin lived in the eleventh century Anno Domini and was sorted to Slytherin House at Hogwarts, though he was retroactively added to events –or fiction– of six centuries before then. King Arthur may or may not have existed.”





Harry was looking at his young professor in awe; the boy could see that, though Snape’s explanation was a bit protracted, it had managed to awaken a thirst for mastering magic in his classmates –and possibly learning about Wizarding history– that no amount of listening to Binns drone on would; not even Professor Flitwick was that good at motivating a class. He wondered just how reliable the sources of nearly a thousand years in the past were, and if Snape was serious about Merlin having been a Slytherin.





‘Wait,’ Harry thought, ‘I might forget the incantations and such!’ Immediately starting to take notes on what Professor Snape said.





As Harry was leaving, having delayed a bit in order to keep a sample of his first ever Potion in a vial, he heard a whispered ‘Maybe you are not a lazy waste of space, Harry Potter. Two points to Gryffindor for warning me just quickly enough and for proper preparation’, but he might have imagined that.





‘Yes,’ Harry determined, ‘there’s no way Snape said that. He didn’t even give points to his Slytherins!’








-----





Harry read the letter he had received once again, but he still couldn’t make sense of it.





“What is it, Harry?” Parvati said, brows furrowed, “you’ve been glaring at that letter for the past few minutes.”





Harry simply handed it over, hoping that she could understand it better.





Parvati read the letter, and turned to Harry. She said, “I don’t get what you don’t get. It’s an invitation to tea Hagrid sent you – simple enough, though the spelling and calligraphy could use a lot of work,” looking at him as if questioning his intelligence.





“Yeah, but… why?” Harry said, still puzzled.





“Because he knew your parents – it says so in the letter, duh!” Parvati said, rolling her eyes.





“He doesn’t know me at all, though,” Harry said, starting to get annoyed – he wasn’t sure what he was annoyed at, though.





“Then go and get to know him, you grumpy lump!” Parvati urged him, smiling. “You could also ask him about your parents!” She concluded.





“Oh! Oh! Can I come with?!” Lavender interjected, a jolly grin on her face.





“I haven’t even decided if I’ll go yet,” Harry said, half-heartedly. In truth, he had already decided to accept the invitation.





Lavender looked at him skeptically, raising her eyebrows in an exaggerated way.





Harry noted how hard it was to lie to Lavender; she was nowhere near as gullible as Parvati – far more observant, too. ‘Too bad she’s so… giggly,’ Harry thought, ‘and never applies herself to learning magic. As for her obsession with Divination, I’m not sure what to think of it. Did she get that from Parvati? I wonder.’





-----





Harry and his friends (allies? Hangers-on? He wasn’t sure) reached Hagrid’s hut a few minutes after they left the Great Hall; all the while, the two girls were chatting with one another about some topic or another. Harry felt strange when he left the castle – he could no longer feel many sources of… something, only one major source. Perhaps he could sense spells or magical energy or something? Harry hesitated when he reached the door, only for Lavender to intervene and knock on it herself.





The blonde gave Harry a questioning look, but Harry shrugged and stared ahead.





!





The barking of a dog snapped Harry out of his fugue, making him take a couple steps back and stumble a bit due to a stone beneath his feet. He lifted his hands, ready to cast a spell.





“Down, Fang, down!” A deep and rough voice said, a huge hand holding the even larger black dog by its red collar.





Harry didn’t dare look up at the source of the voice; he kept both eyes on the dog, which was… whimpering and rolling on the ground? Maybe Harry somehow managed to scare- ‘Wait,’ Harry thought, ‘why is Lavender petting it? Why is it licking her hand?’





Harry reluctantly lowered his right hand, though he kept his left pointed at the giant dog. It wasn’t overly bulky, but its height was greater than any dog he had encountered before; Ripper was probably a monster only because that bloody bitch Marge had raised it, but Harry didn’t trust dogs anyway.





Harry said, “hello, Mr. Hagrid,” still keeping track of the dog from the corner of his eye, “are you well?”





“I’m jus’ fine Harry, but call me Hagrid – no ‘Mr.’. Whatabou’ you?” Hagrid said. Then, the man said, “don’t yeh worry ‘bout Fang. He’s a total softy – bit of a coward, too.”





“Hagrid,” Harry said, “how tall is… Fang?” Genuinely curious.





“Oh, four foot one, or thereabouts – don’ ask me how much that is in metres,” Hagrid said, waving his hand around.





Harry did a bit of mental math; that amounted to slightly below 125 centimetres. Was it normal for dogs to reach such sizes? Or were magical breeds –or enlarging Charms– involved?





“Fang’s a Great Dane, or Boarhound,” Hagrid spoke again, “muggle breeds of this dog cin reach three foot five, mabe a bit more. Fang has sum magical dog blood, I think.”





Hagrid apparently knew his stuff when it came to animals, both magical and not. While Harry wasn’t interested in dog trivia, he made note of Hagrid’s apparent expertise. The boy reluctantly approached the large dog and Hagrid.





Since Harry could see the man more clearly, he could tell that Hagrid’s hair was black; despite all those whiskers, Hagrid didn’t look a day over forty; no white hair to find, nor did he have any difficulty moving. The gigantic man could be from anywhere from his thirties to even his late fifties, though magicals tended to look younger than they actually were. Harry’s curiosity reared its head again – before he could stop himself, he said, “so, Hagrid – on an unrelated note, how old are you?”





Lavender and Parvati glared at Harry for some reason – was he being rude? ‘Oh well, those two will get over it,’ Harry thought, not overly concerned; maybe he once cared about such things, but if so, that time was long gone. He knew how to mimic other people’s behaviour, but would only do so if necessary.





Hagrid’s lips and whiskers twitched. He said, “would yeh believe me if I told yeh nobody has asked me that fer years? I will be sixty-three in a coupla months.”





“You don’t look sixty-two,” Harry commented.





Parvati kept glaring at Harry, while Lavender said, “yeah, you look so young, Hagrid!”



Hagrid laughed awkwardly, saying, "yeh kids are makin' me blush."

Suddenly, a whistle-like noise resounded in the hut, making Harry twitch, but no more than that; he was slowly getting used to being startled in the wizarding society.

Hagrid excused himself to get the tea; he returned with a teapot that looked to be hand-carved imperfectly out of porcelain, a few cups that were probably made the same way but of clay and with better craftsmanship, and what looked like rock-cakes.

According to Hagrid, the rock-cakes were vanilla flavoured with raisins. Harry tried one – it was crunchy outside and softer inside, which was par for the course for a rock-cake. Unfortunately, it was way too soft and mud-like inside, as if it hadn’t been heated for long enough.

"Well? How are them rock-cakes? I managed not ter make them too hard to chew this time, right?" Hagrid asked.

This time…? Harry sensed a story there. Shrugging that off, Harry was completely honest on how bad the sweet Hagrid baked was and why.

Parvati said, "Harry!" Trying to scold him.

Lavender, of all people, came to Harry's defence. She said, "Parvati – Harry has a point. If we don't tell Hagrid what's wrong with his cakes, how do you expect him to get better? Hagrid. You shouldn't move sweets around all the time, though a few rotations help with a problem like this. You shouldn't open the oven door too many times, if you’re using an oven. If the cake has ended up almost raw inside, next time you should try with lower temperature. If they’re too hard to chew, mix more slowly, relatively gently and by hand next time – no magic for stirring and such. Make sure to use the right kind and amount of flour.”

Hagrid asked Lavender to tell him all those tips again... so the blonde did.

Harry was surprised by Lavender's knowledge of baking, but he didn’t say anything. Parvati was looking at Lavender with her mouth open, saying, “Lavender… since when have you known how to bake?”





Lavender rolled her eyes in exasperation. She said, “don’t tell me that ‘cause I’m a disaster when cooking, you thought I’d be bad at baking, too?”





“Well, yeah,” Parvati said, mouth still a bit open.





“At least you’re honest,” Lavender said, smirking, “what about you, Harry?





“What about me… what?” Harry said, smirking back at Lavender.





Lavender sighed and said, “did you think I’d be bad at baking, too? Can you bake and cook?”





“Yes to all three,” Harry said, still smirking.





Parvati perked up. She said, “wait, you can cook and bake, Harry? My grandmother has shown me how to bake a few traditional sweets from India, but I’m not very good at making them on my own!”





Harry thought back to when his aunt and uncle had him cook most meals; his mood darkened. “Yes; I’m decent at it, but I don’t do it often. On the other hand, I’m both really good at baking and do it often. I'm the one who usually makes sweets at home," Harry explained, "my aunt isn't one to make such things – my cousin and uncle had a problem with their weight, so if any of us wants something unhealthy, she won't make it, and even the one making it is not allowed more than a certain amount."

"Are your uncle and cousin better with their weight now?” Lavender asked.

"Yes," Harry said, "they have both lost weight and put on a bit of muscle; my uncle has taken up kickboxing, my cousin plays basketball now – I knew Dudley was good at aiming before then, but not THAT good! Both of them are eating more healthy thanks to advice from a dietician."





“Glad to hear it,” Lavender said, “what’s ‘basketball’ and ‘kickboxing’, though?”





“Muggle sports,” Harry said, feeling too lazy to explain further at the moment.





“Yeh kids are so responsible for yer age!” Hagrid said, blowing his nose.





Fang barked once, startling Harry again. The boy said, “so, it’s getting late, Hagrid – I’ll be taking my leave now.”





“I didn’t even get ta tell you about yer parents,” Hagrid said, “oh well – come back sometime, yeh hear?”





“Sure thing, Hagrid,” Harry said, smiling awkwardly at the gigantic man.





As the three children were returning to the castle, Lavender pestered Harry about what muggle sports he knew. Harry told her and Parvati some things about football and basketball, but didn’t mention that he had played them – not just football; he had dabbled in basketball with Dudley, though it was really difficult to beat his cousin because Dudley was more accurate, far more skilled in that particular sport and a bit taller and stronger too, though Harry was catching up in strength rapidly.





‘I wonder if those who have magic tend to be stronger, more durable, faster and all that rot,’ Harry thought.





He decided to get back to exercising nearly religiously – his coach had warned him against overdoing it, because it might keep him from growing much taller in the future, but Harry could do with going back to his previous routine; he had been slacking at Hogwarts.





-----





“Flying lessons?” Harry said out loud, looking at the announcement board in the Gryffindor Common Room.





“Flying?! Where!” A voice said, and a boy Harry knew as Ronald Weasley came running, nearly bowling over Harry.





Harry managed to dodge, barely. His lips pursed, but before he could tear into Ronald, Granger made a snide comment.





The annoying girl said, “Ronald – I always thought you were like an ape, but I was wrong; you are a lot less coordinated than one.”





Harry snorted – he hadn’t expected this of Granger. Who knew she had a sense of humour? He left the two annoying fools to their continued bickering











[Parvati or Lavender or Dean, or even Harry, eats something that upsets their stomach (large intestine, to be exact) and ends up in toilet for a long time. Then the troll comes.]





-----
-----

IIRC, Neville and Seamus worked on the same cauldron during the first Potions lesson. Considering Snape’s potential bias against Neville, it’s perfectly possible that it was Seamus who screwed up. That Seamus causes explosions in multiple subjects is also a point against him.

(Maybe he has a Spontaneous Combustion ability, like a certain miss Kokutou. :p)

*Yes, I made Snape have good teeth – he is a Potions genius, he must have found/made something to ensure his teeth’s health if he cares. The grease on his hair is a Potion, too. Mostly, it’s because of him trying to spite people who mocked him for his looks during his Hogwarts years that he is actually taking care of himself, I think. As for him actually acting like a human being… well, if I want Dumbledore not to be fanon!GreaterGood!Dumbledore, he’s not going to tolerate cr$p like that from his professors.

*2 I’m not sure, but I think Zabini hasn’t been described as black in the books, only dark-skinned, which could simply mean a Mediterranean tan. Since he’s often written as Italian, I went for that option.
 
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Innortal

Well-Known Member
#8
Not bad, aside from the blank spots and uneven spacing, still a good read.
 

AoMythology

Well-Known Member
#9
Not bad, aside from the blank spots and uneven spacing, still a good read.
Yeah, the spacing was ruined when I copy-pasted, and the rest is because the chapter is still an unfinished draft. Will fix all that gradually.

Thanks for the kind words. :)

Edit: I have also changed Chapter 1 and 2 a lot - you might want to give them a reread if you haven't already.
 
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