Chapter 37 – Fear and Frustration
Many thanks to my Beta, Trey of the Rebellion, thanks for the hard work going through the chapter to get it to this stage.
Thank you all for waiting for this next release, life has been very sucky through work for both myself and my wife, so I've not had much of a chance to knuckle down and get this chapter sorted as quickly as I wanted to. Then I went and did the entire third year of the story... So, this is being released in several parts to reduce the block of reading to go through. The next part will be up as soon as I can after it's been beta checked and then the next part will follow when I've finished writing it and it's been checked as well. I'm hoping to get 3rd year done in 3 sections, but it keeps running off with me so it'll probably be more :P
As the children moved through the carriages, Harry sat and pondered how to handle the next stages of his plan. How far could he push with training his friends? Not to mention the necessity of further recruitment. Truly, there was no way he could do everything he needed without others capable of assisting him without supervision.
Hermione was a given, her hunger for knowledge would allow her to push her past her physical limits as they currently were. Dangling more information behind a wall of physical health and readiness would be the drive she needed. That and the time turner of course. With that, he could get her up to a much better standard faster than the others. He would just have to get her to look past the limits imposed by McGonagall and Dumbledore.
Ron was a wild card. He could go far if his rage and jealousy could be channelled to the physical aspects of a Marauder. But for all his skill with chess, he didn't like to think, happy to slack off. That was his biggest flaw. The boy's the laziness would either be broken out of him, or he would give up. Either way, there won't be any holding back for his sake.
Neville had such potential, the amount of power that was within him was impressive, but he was sorely lacking the needed guidance to bring it to the front. He was a meek boy, he might be happier in a support role, but if that barrier could be broken, he could be spectacular.
Ginny was an issue, her fixation on the Boy Who Lived would need to be broken… no not broken. Broken implied that it could be fixed, and that was unacceptable. He needed to shatter it completely, but, in doing so making sure that she was loyal, and not have that desire twisted to hatred. Reminiscent of a Sith Acolyte, difficult but doable through careful management and subtle comments.
Luna... Was Luna. She would have to be at least more physical, but he would teach her only what she requested of him. Harry frowned in thought of her, how much was she capable of without his assistance already?
Remus Lupin, Mooney, was in the next cabin. A connection to his birth father that he could gain information and skills from, but one that had abandoned him, likely due to Dumbledores 'advice'. He managed not to snarl in anger at the weak puppet that couldn't see past the script he had been placed in. The man was meant to be a Marauder, a breaker of rules, a maverick! Why didn't he make any attempt at contact when Harry was a child? But Sirius Black escapes Azkaban and suddenly he's offered a teaching post at Hogwarts to help protect Harry? Harry tried to remember if Lupin had ever acted against Dumbledore and shook his head slightly as he realised that the werewolf was little more than an obedient dog who performed on command.
Not even a sliver of the pro-werewolf rhetoric Dumbledore spewed made it's way into law, despite the man being in three positions of power with years of politicking behind him. If Dumbledore actually had any intention to help werewolves, there would have been more attending Hogwarts over the years or he would have provided Remus resources to teach those he could. Well, if Dumbledore wasn't going to bring the assets that were the werewolves into play, Harry would. If he could get their loyalty, then he would have a faction that could work in the mundane and magical world. Now, the logistics to shelter, educate and equip them and their families stood to be completed
He glanced across to Jane, dismissing the issue of Lupin and the other werewolves from his mind for the moment. She had no real talent with the Force, but she could be a powerful fulcrum to use with getting the werewolves on side in the future. He would have to make sure she got access to all the resources available to her at Hogwarts. He paused for a moment in shock, an inscrutable look of frustration passing across his face.
"Fuck." He snarled and clenched his fist in annoyance.
Jane looked at him and quickly looked over the cabin and into the hall beyond, "What's wrong?"
Harry shook his head, "Did you inform Hogwarts that you would be attending as my bodyguard?"
"No." Jane answered as she blinked in surprise at him, "I thought you had done that?"
Harry rubbed his face, "No, I forgot about it completely, I'm really not used to that happening, give me a moment." Internally he screamed in frustration at the habits he would have to break without Abaddon there to support him. He had allowed himself to get lazy. "Right. Best send them a letter about it with Hedwig." He looked at Jane, "With Black on the loose, we'll get you a place in Hogsmeade as well."
She nodded at that, "A place to fall back to would be good. The Hogshead would be cheap to rent a room for a bit."
Harry shook his head, "I'll have Greyshield deal with it. I might already have something we can use." He pulled some parchment as well as quill and ink from his trunk, using a book to rest upon and began writing. He glanced up at the platform clock with a frown, he had a bit before the Weasleys arrived, best to time this right.
He finished the first letter and quicky began the next, managing to have the third and fourth letter ready by the time it was nearing eleven. It was nearly the same every year he had gone to Hogwarts before, the Weasleys were always rushing onto the platform at the last minute, barely having enough time to get settled for the train to begin its nine-hour journey.
Smirking to himself, he let Hedwig out of her cage and tied the letters to her feet. He tapped them as he gave her the recipients, "Greyshield first at Gringotts, Narcissa next, she said she would be visiting her sister. Andromeda's letter next, and finally this one is for McGonagall, but give it to either Black sister, they will get it to her in time. Do not wait for a response from any of them. Once you're done, go to Hogwarts, I'll see you there."
Jane chuckled, "I'm surprised that you didn't get her to deliver the letter to Hogwarts herself."
Harry shook his head, "I'll be there before she is. Better to have someone use the floo to send a message than it arrives after us. We want McGonagall to agree rather than fight us." He glanced at her, "We're going to have enough problems with the school as it is." He stood and carried Hedwig to the doorway at the end of the carriage and set her flying, timing the flight for just gone quarter to eleven, Harry waited a moment as if watching his friend fly, but he felt the Weasleys enter the platform and the shining beacon that was Hermione see him as he turned to re-enter the carriage. A petty bit of drama, but enough to guide them to him.
Within a few minutes, the door opened and Hermione practically launched herself at Harry. Said flight suddenly stopped as she went rigid as Jane's whispered spell hit and Harry caught her before she fell and hurt herself.
"Hello Hermione," Harry chuckled as he guided her frozen form to rest against a seat, "One moment and we'll have you back to normal." He quickly placed her next to his spot and dismissed Jane's spell to let her collapse into her seat before the rising panic at being frozen could build too far.
He gave her a hug, which made her relax and rubbed her back as her breathing slowed back to normal, "You're okay. You're safe. Nice tan by the way, looks like you enjoyed your holiday." He glanced up to see Ron frozen against the door with Jane pointing her wand at the twins behind him, confusion and fear barely hidden behind their faces.
"Jane," he called out, "Let them in. There will be a few more in a bit I imagine."
Jane glanced at him and gave him a subtle wink before letting Ron free of being frozen and the twins grimaced as they waved goodbye and left to find their friends.
Harry began introductions, "Hermione, this is Jane, she's my bodyguard. Jane, this is Hermione Granger, my best friend and smartest witch of her generation." He gestured to the fuming Ron, "Ron, this is Jane. Jane, this is Ron, another friend of mine. He's good at chess and supports the Cannons."
"Cannons? Ouch." Jane winced at that. She nodded to each of them, "Jane Doe, yes that's my actual name," she said as Hermione opened her mouth to ask, "Harry here has hired me to keep him safe and help him train." she focused back on Hermione, "Sorry about that, Harry's told me a bit about you, so I don't imagine you're happy with me right now, but you did barge into a closed room and launch yourself at my charge."
Hermione shook her head and gave Jane a smile, "You're keeping Harry safe, I can forgive you getting me with that spell. I did deserve it with how things are."
Harry gave her a gentle squeeze and Hermione blushed as she realised that Harry hadn't let her go, with his arm resting around her shoulders.
"Janes taught me a few bits about Runes and how they can be used, you might want to ask her a few things about that later." Harry glanced at Ron's look of confused annoyance at Harry's words. "I'm actually looking forward to the subject, apparently I have a talent for it."
He ignored Rons grimace as Hermione let loose a torrent of questions, gently chuckling as she finally stopped on seeing the bemused look on Jane's face. He glanced across Hermione to look at Crookshanks, who sat in his carry case giving Harry the oddest look he could remember seeing on the half-kneazles face. It was as if something about Harry deeply offended him, but he wasn't sure what it was that was wrong.
"Oh," Hermione gasped as she saw where Harry's attention had gone, "This is Crookshanks. We found each other in the Pet shop in Diagon Alley and he is absolutely perfect." Her grin and obvious joy, was like a rising sun to Harry, her presence in the Force shining purely without any darkness to mar bit.
"A pleasure," He said as he nodded his head at the feline in greeting, "I'm sure you will take great care of Hermione."
Crookshanks simply huffed and turned in his case as if to say you aren't worth my time.
Hermione frowned at that, "Well that's rude Crookshanks." She turned to Harry, "I'm sorry, he's very... particular as to people he likes."
"Don't worry Hermione," Harry answered as he gave the feline a knowing look, "I trust that Crookshanks will protect you to the best of his ability."
He leant back and used his eyebrows to gesture to Jane and Hermione resumed her interrogation of the woman and her knowledge, but this time at a calmer rate. Taking the opportunity, now that the passengers had settled and his fellow travellers were focused on other matters, Harry reached out with his senses and used the distraction of Hurricane Hermione to survey the train as it juddered along on its journey.
From his experiences and training, as well as what he had learned from records and reports from both Sith and Jedi, every life could be sensed as a misty star in the dark void of reality. Among those misty stars, those who had some connection with the Force shone brighter and the most powerful were like burning suns in the Force. With experience, a practitioner could sense aspects of the sparks that burned within people, their talents, attitudes and the like. With the Force also gifting the ability to sense emotions and hear thoughts, you could look upon someone through the Force and gain an understanding of a person.
But amongst Magi, or those Force wielders who opened themselves to the flow of magic, that shine changed to a more... metaphysical flavour. It had taken time and focus over the holiday, but he had rebuilt his awareness as best he could. He wasn't anywhere as skilled as he had been before, but he would recover the talent in full given the time to do so.
He looked through the Force, gently drifting over the platform and train, watching the multitude of colours and textures rippling amongst each other. Here and there, someone shined brighter than others, but few were vibrant enough to catch his focus.
He dismissed many as being either not strong enough, or with fickle loyalty in his memory. A few more had talent, but their actions over the years had spoiled his interest in them. There were those too old who he lacked the time to bind to his purpose and those too young who could be moulded later. But first, he needed the core of his allies to begin training.
There, at the other end of the carriage, he felt a group of stars settling for the journey and he focused his senses upon them, watching as the lights resolved into a more defined form. Where Neville had previously just been a burning green energy to Harry, now it had grown to more resemble a forest shaped like a man, with spurs of a paler wood at his temples, glimmers of something shone at his brow, something that looked almost like a metal.
Luna's shining silvery cloud was echoed by the silvery fire shaped like an adult version a half second behind her actions, behind that echoed faint images of other Luna's, all slightly out of time with each other, it was strangely like looking at waves on the surface of the sea under the light of a full moon. Beautiful, but hiding the dark depths beneath.
Ginny sat beside Luna, a shadowy form, stained by ink in the shape of chains and shackles. A dull red glow lit the shadows from within and a small blade of golden metal flickered around her fingers, ready and waiting to be drawn. Her shadow was of an adult, watching and judging, a large axe in one hand and a sword in the other, the light of a blue moon shining in her eyes, but the Force refused to look deeper into that connection. No matter, he could investigate more later, but she had obviously gained the attention and protection of someone with power, and it wasn't dear old Tom.
Moving on, he drifted through the Slytherin cabin, quickly finding Theodore Nott's presence, much like his grandfathers and his mothers, he appeared as a deep pool of water in winter, dark depths hidden by a thin layer of ice. Opposite him sat Draco Malfoy, a figure of ornately painted porcelain with thin cracks that leaked black ichor from within, red tear stains ran down his painted cheeks. Not far from them sat a young mountain, calm and slow on the surface, but filled with raging magma, waiting to burst free and lay waste to the land around them.
In the next carriage, a boy of iron fragments around a core of steel, smiled and joked with his friends as he watched them, waiting for them to betray him. In the next cabin, a form made from rose petals that hid the poisoned thorns beneath talked animatedly with a doll filled with air and perfume but both were weak echoes to the serpent with scales of paper that read beside her, a thin and tarnished chain binding the serpent and dolls hearts together to beat as one.
Returning his focus to his own cabin, he saw a brown wolf tattooed in shining silver and blood, its reflection an armoured woman with burning spear and a shield of black and green, brown tattoos covered what flesh he could see that mirrored that of the wolf. Opposite him rested a shattered shadow that bled rage and anger while the shadow kept trying to form armour but collapsing under its own weight back to shadow. Within the edge of Ron's presence, a rat that was torn and flayed flickered in fear as a green snake coiled tightly around its throat, bloody pawprints were left in its wake as it searched for a way to escape and survive.
Hermione was interesting, her presence was of a young woman shaped from the pages of a book, designs and schematics drawn with red ink, a circlet of ancient bronze and shining gems rested within hair formed from cerulean flames. In her hand rested a quill that was formed of metal which dripped ink that was black in light and sanguine in darkness. Over her heart rested a sliver of gold that was familiar to him, but he couldn't remember where he had seen the design before.
Returning his focus to the physical reality of the cabin, he smiled as he listened to Jane answer what she could to Hermione's torrent of questions while Ron seemed lost in thought, a thread from his jumper being worried in his fingers. Obviously, he was thinking deeply about something, so Harry left him to it, eventually Ron would say what he wanted to or stay quiet, Harry wasn't going to chase after the boy any more.
It would be a few hours later when Ron finally came to a decision. Hermione had been glancing in concern at him while he was quietly thinking, Harry simply enjoyed Hermione's presence beside him, well aware of Janes amusement as she watched them.
The only disturbances were the Trolley Lady arriving and when Malfoy had come to the cabin door and paused as he was about to open it, he had frozen as Jane's amber eyes had met his own pale grey, rather than cause problems in front of an adult, Malfoy had simply walked on as if his pause and touching the door was nothing of importance. Crabbe and Goyle followed in his wake as normal, their brows furrowed in confusion at the change of routine.
Harry allowed himself to imagine the possible ways that could have gone, many of them highly amusing, before his soft chuckles were disturbed by Ron finally gathering his resolve. "Harry… Can we…"
Harry smiled at Ron, simply nodding and gestured to the door, "Shall we go see about some snacks?"
Ron hurriedly nodded at that and quickly stood up put Scabbers in his cage before they left the cabin, not daring to look back to see what he expected to be judging eyes following him. Harry glanced around and saw only honest curiosity in Hermione's eyes, so he gave her a small smile that she understood to say that he was fine and he raised a hand to signal Jane to stay, "Give us a few minutes, we'll be fine."
She held back an annoyed growl much to Hermione's curiosity at the reaction, but nodded at that and returned to watching the hallway and discussing matters with Hermione as she could.
Harry led Ron to the end of the train, passing Malfoy just outside the Prefects carriage door as he tried to hold court with a few of the Purebloods there. Without him seeing, Harry gave a mocking salute and a knowing smirk to the prefects, getting a few chuckles. Moving on, the pair came to the door to the baggage carriage and he opened it using a touch of the Force, motioning Ron to enter before him.
Following Ron, Harry looked around and sat, using a trunk as a seat, gesturing to another for Ron to take. "We should be good here, so, what's the matter?"
Ron fiddled with the edge of his shirt as he frowned, realising the age of the material and his doubts rose as to how he looked, "I've thought about things over the Summer." He looked up at Harry as he struggled to find the words.
Deciding to give the boy a fraction of mercy Harry nodded and filled the gaps with what he knew about the boy before him. "You're worried. Stop me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that you just want to relax and do just enough to pass, no worries, no stress."
Ron shrugged as he looked embarrassed at that and he began to wring his hands together, and Harry realised that this Ron had actually made steps over the summer. Harry had honestly expected this to be the start of their friendship fracturing. "Last trip, I asked you a question Ron, do you have an answer for me?"
Ron's ears turned red as he looked further down the carriage, "I know what I want. But I don't think I can get it, so why bother trying? I'll never be as good as my brothers, I'll never be more than the last of the Weasleys, Merlin, people remember Ginny but forget me! How is that fair?"
Harry hid his smirk as he nodded at that, "So, what is it you want Ron?"
Ron turned to glare at Harry, "I want people to see me! I want to be seen and heard and listened to." He leapt to his feet as his anger surged, "I want people to compare my brothers to me! I…" his rage rapidly faded as he dropped back to sit on the trunk, his face in his hands, "I don't want to be left behind. I don't want to be alone."
Harry waited a moment before letting out a large sigh. "I remember our first year, what the Mirror of Erised showed you what you desire." He waited for Ron to nod before he continued, "If what you told me was the truth and nothing was missed, I think what you want is rather simple. It's how to get it that's hard, and I mean that Ron, it will be a lot of hard work."
He rubbed his face as if to gather his thoughts, better for the boy to believe he was sincere in thinking this out now rather than having planned this weeks ago as a possible path to take. "Right, Head Boy, lets nip that in the bud right now. Unless you suddenly pull out a genius level academic ability you've hidden for the last few years, that's not going to happen. Hell, I imagine the teachers are already planning who is potential prefect material in our first years and from them head boy and girl options in our OWLs. So, let's just put a line through that right now. It's also something that's been done by your siblings."
He sat back and stared at Ron for a moment, "So let's go over your talents shall we and find out what paths you can take. Chess of course, you're very fond and skilled at that. I don't think there's a Chess Club at school, perhaps that's something you can found and lead? Quidditch is something you are good at, at least you have a lot of knowledge about it. Say, if I wanted to know the score of the Puddlemere and Harpies second game in Nineteen Seventy-Nine?" Harry asked pulling names and dates at random to get an answer.
"Got cancelled due to Deatheater attacks on a member of the Harpies team. Rescheduled twice but never played in that season." Ron muttered without thinking.
Harry smirked and just pointed a finger at him, "That right there. If you could use that ability on your studies, you could make something of it, but you don't. Can you match your Quidditch knowledge with your skill at playing the game?"
Ron shrugged, "I play with my brothers, but I don't know where I scale with others in school."
"What's your favourite position?" Harry asked, curious to see how he answered.
Ron frowned in thought, "Keeper is best, you get to watch the match, how the teams flow around each other and can call out instructions for the team that you may spot but the others may have missed, being so focused on their parts."
Harry nodded at that thoughtfully, "That explains Wood being the captain. So, there's an area you'd be suited for. Wood won't be here much longer, he'll want a replacement to keep the team strong. Ask to be his understudy, learn from him and practice your skills. If something happens to him, we have a replacement to fill the role and it's a good place to learn how to be a captain from."
Ron looked up in askance before Harry made the connection. "For… Merlin's Sake, I can't be captain if I'm the seeker, it would be a disaster, I'd have to pay too much attention on the team to do my job and we'll lose games that way. Plus, none of your brothers have been captain to my knowledge, so that's something there where you can surpass them."
He gestured to Rons wand at his waist, "You have power, you used a barely functioning wand in our first year and still cast decent spells with it. So, that's not a problem. I can teach you to fight, so that's something else."
"Fight?" Ron asked in confusion, "We had the duelling group last year, but I haven't heard anything about it continuing?"
Harry snorted in amusement at that, "Dumbledore allow us to learn how to hurt each other? No, he'll have conveniently forgotten all about it and everyone will be too busy to do anything about it."
He tapped his lips as if he had an idea, "But it wouldn't be a bad idea to ask about it where he has to publicly make a decision. But, as I was saying, I know how to fight, duelling is something completely different. A duel has rules and is a formal situation. A fight, one of you walks away, the other doesn't. If you want to learn, then just say so. But, if I teach you, then you listen, you give me everything you can and more. It will be hard work and you'll probably hate me for it, but you will be stronger."
Harry stared at Ron for a moment longer, "Respect comes from earning it from others. Treat others well, be powerful and they will respect you. Use them, lie or ignore them, then they'll hate you. Malfoy's learnt half the lesson; he ignores the other and will suffer for it. You've a lot of ground to work on gaining there."
"Malfoys rich," Ron sneered, "His dad has the Minister's ear, so he can get away with everything."
Harry chuckled at that, "Less than you think Ron. He's going to come to some nasty realisations soon enough, don't worry about that. Ignore him," he made sure to meet Ron's eyes as he emphasised his next words, "Ignore him, Ron. If you ignore him, he lacks the power to do anything. Do not react, don't answer him unless it's an honest question. Don't rise up to his bait and you will see him repeatedly embarrass himself trying to get a reaction from you. If he insults me, let me deal with it. If he insults Hermione, I will end it. If he insults you, just stare at him as if he was owl shit on your shoes."
He chuckled as he imagined how the pampered boy would react to that, "He will turn vicious, insult you, your siblings, especially your sister. He will insult your mum, call her names, insult your dad, claim he's why you are poor. All this is nothing, just noise in the wind."
"He'll get desperate to get a reaction, turn physical." Harry paused as if in thought before he carried on, "If that happens, then you put him on his back, quick clean and simple. Nothing messy or insulting, the less effort or spectacle you give him, the more he loses face."
Harry gestured toward the front of the train, "Everyone, and I mean everyone in Slytherin, is watching and waiting. When his influence starts to fade, the very moment they taste blood in the water, they will turn on him like a pack of sharks. A nip here and a bite there, until they realise he can't back up his threats, then they will tear him apart. He's swung his father's name and influence around like a mace, now he is going to collect on what he's sown."
"Tomorrow morning, Ron," Harry said with a nod as if deciding something important, "I'll be getting up to start training. If you want my help to be everything you can be. Then you will be up and waiting to go with me at six. No bitching, no moaning whinging. I want everything you can give me. I will test you and it will hurt. But with time, you can be something truly powerful. But you have to want it."
He stood up and offered Ron his hand, staring down at the boy before him, as if examining his soul, "But this is the only warning you will get Ron. If you betray me... If you use what I teach you against me... Then that's it, we're done and there won't be a second chance. It's as simple as that."
Ron broke the eye contact and stared at the hand offered for a moment before his resolve strengthened, and he grasped it. "Don't let me slip. Remind me of this if I start to give up. Please."
Harry smiled and clasped Ron by the shoulder, still holding his hand, "I will never let you forget."
"Oh," he exclaimed as if he had just realised something, "I know you don't really like Scabbers, he's rather embarrassing as a pet or familiar, so how about I get started and help with that. Give him to me and I'll pay for a new pet. We can get it when we go to Hogsmeade, whatever you like, don't worry about the cost, call it us balancing our debts in full. A clean slate." A subtle touch of the Force echoed in his words as he smiled at the boy.
Ron frowned as he subconsciously tried to resist before nodding, "Sure Harry. That would be good, you okay waiting until we get to school? That way I can give you all his things as well."
Harry grinned, "No worries at all Ron, might be best if you make sure he's and locked up in his cage so he can't escape, I'll see Hagrid about finding him a good home for you." He felt the temperature begin to sharply drop and glanced at the front of the train, "Best head back Ron, let Jane know I'll be back in a minute, I just need a moment to clear my head and settle some ideas."
Ron smiled and turned to leave, but as his hand touched the handle to open the door, Harry's voice called out from behind him and a chill ran down his spine from the tone used, "By the way Ron, if you ever make Hermione cry, I will make you suffer. And if you ever hurt her…"
Ron turned around to see Harry's back and his head turned slightly to glance at him, the green of his eye glowing in the dark, "If you hurt her, I will rip your spine out through your stomach, do you understand me?"
Ron gulped as his blood froze at the malice in Harry's voice, "Yes! Yes, I understand."
Harrys smiled widened further, "Good Ron, that's good. I don't want something like that to happen, so it's best to just get that out of the way now. Nobody can say I didn't warn you about it that way."
Harry waited for Ron to scurry down the corridor back to their cabin as he prepared for what was about to happen. He reached out with his senses and recoiled at the twisted voids in the Force ahead of them. Snarling, he began to walk towards the door that the Dementor would enter the train, ignoring the other Dementor as it floated beside the Ministry Auror as he was signalling the train to stop.
He swayed slightly as the train finally slowed enough to stop and he just watched the door as he waited for the Dementor to open it. He raised an eyebrow at the hunger and rage at the living world that coiled under the black robes of the thing before him, an eternal maw in the Force, trying to fill that absence with the souls of others.
As the ice spread across the glass of the window, he heard the lock open and felt a ripple through the Trains magic as other doors were unbarred, his calm face twisted into a snarl as he realised the train driver had unlocked all the cabins and carriages of the train without thinking. He watched the door drift open and the hooded figure float there.
Staring at the shadows under its hood, he growled out his greeting to this thing of Dark magic and the Force made flesh, "Fuck off, or else."
The Dementor paused for a moment before hissing and surging forward at Harry.
Harry felt the aura wash over him and cloaked himself in the Darkside to protect himself, his eyes glowing from the power flowing through him as he raised a hand and emerald lightning leapt across the gap to slam into the Dementor.
It fell back screaming under the onslaught, as Harry took a step forward and the Dementor fell to the frost burned grass below.
Harry drew upon his many frustrations and hate at his position in time, his disgust at the thing before him and his rage at such an abomination coming to harm what was his. "They are mine!" He snarled as he raised his other hand and struck with a second blast of Force Lightning to join the first.
The Dementor's scream rose and twisted into a wail as glass around them cracked under the noise.
The other Dementor rushed at Harry from over the top of the train and Harry felt its presence in time to blast it away as he turned one of the arcs of lightning towards it. He felt Jane's presence in the Force rapidly coming closer and knew he had to end this quickly, the Auror was rushing around the front of the train to find out where the Dementor had rushed off to and he felt Moony hurrying behind Jane.
Too many witnesses to take the time to try and kill the Dementors, so he let the Force fade from his rage and drew his wand, thinking of his Hermione, Dooku, Xora and the others, he snapped out a Patronus to slam into each of the Dementors and drive them back.
He almost froze and ruined his plan when he saw the shape of his Patronus form. How the fuck had that happened?!
Where once a proud stag would have stood, its rack of antlers used as a weapon to drive the Dementors from here, now, a lizard-like bird flew at them, its razor-sharp talons tearing at the voids hidden within the ragged robes as it screeched silently at them in rage and hate.
He almost burst into laughter and mournful tears as a surge of pain rushed through him at the symbol of Dooku's youth burned bright and pure against the darkness around him.
He clutched at his self-control, using his emotional pain as fuel for his anger and focus and took a deep breath as they fled, letting the cloak of the Darkside fade from him and the monsters' auras slam into his memories, but it was too little, too late to ruin his performance. Timing it so that the adults would just manage to see him, wand raised and a silver glow chasing the monsters before he let it fade, "I told you to fuck off!" He yelled, before leaning against the wall, displaying exhaustion at his actions. Not that it wasn't real, just not as bad as he let them see.
"Sorry Jane," he muttered, "they caught me when I was on the way back to the cabin."
She nodded and wrapped her cloak around him, "Let's get you back. This is fucking why I'm meant to go with you, in case shit like this happens." She turned slightly to look at the Auror, the amber in her eyes glowing in her rage, "You had best have a fucking good reason why you brought Dementors onto a train filled with defenceless children."
The man blanched and stammered at that, "I was ordered to search the train for any sign of Sirius Black."
Harry glared at the man, "Well he's not bloody here is he. What's your fucking name, and who sent you? I'm going to rip them apart for endangering the others. Cornelius better have authorised this or by Merlin, I'll have you fired along with your boss and anyone else who thought this shit was a good idea."
As the Auror stammered his response, trying to avoid saying his name to the furious boy-who-lived, a series of cracks echoed around them and more Auror's rushed forward, "What in Merlin's name happened here? The damned trace room nearly ignited." The lead Auror yelled out as he approached the stammering Auror.
Harry called out before anyone else could say something, "This idiot brought two Dementors onto a train full of children searching for Sirius Black. I drove them off and want to get to Hogwarts, which bloody fool thought it would be a good idea to let this happen?"
The lead Auror turned with a snarl to berate the child yelling at him but stopped when he saw it was the Boy-Who-Lived. "How did you drive them off?" he asked as he tried to calm himself.
"Expecto Patronum," Harry snarled, ignoring the shocked flinch from Moony beside them, "Learnt it this summer in theory when Cornelius told me that Dementors would be searching for Sirius Black. Fuckers looking for me, so the Dementors would probably be not far behind him. Glad it worked so well in the field."
The Auror's glanced at each other as they blinked in shock at that, "You can cast it? At your age?" The lead Auror asked in awe.
"Of course, I can," Harry growled, "Its simple, a memory to fuel feelings of joy and happiness, single jab forward for wand work, the words are easy and the biggest issue isn't the power, its finding a memory strong enough to get the spell to activate. I could probably cast it without the memory if I had enough practice. Why?"
The Auror's looked at each other in embarrassment, "Well, everyone has trouble with it, it's a hard spell to do."
Harry barked out a harsh laugh at that, "It's bloody easy, whoever told you otherwise is a moron, I bet I could get half the school casting it by the end of the year with a little effort. The biggest problem, as I said, was the memory or dream to focus on. Anyway, I'm pissed off, I'm tired, hungry and I have a splitting fucking headache from hearing my mother's screams. Black isn't here, so you can fuck off," he jabbed a finger at the Auror who had been with the Dementors, "and take that idiot with you."
He turned his finger towards the lead Auror who would later swear that the boy's eyes were glowing like molten gold with how angry he was, "I want the resignation of the one who's idea this was on Cornelius' desk by the time I get to Hogwarts, or them in a cell if they refuse." His finger returned to point at the Auror who had stopped the train, "That idiot should go back and get retrained at least and for fucks sake, someone get this bloody train moving before I have to go and yell at the driver. Actually, that fucker needs retraining as well, he unlocked all the doors of the train."
He stormed off with Jane grinning in amusement behind him as he muttered loudly enough that the Auror's and the nearby students heard him as he returned to his cabin, "It's like no-one takes the kids safety seriously around here."
Internally, he relaxed in amusement at the flummoxed look on Moony's face and the confusion among the Auror's. He let himself smile at least internally as he entered the cabin and dropped into his seat with a deep sigh, resting his head on Hermione's shoulder, enjoying the shock and glee that churned in her as he did so. He could do without the fear and worry that coiled beneath that though. Jane's amusement could also be ignored as she watched him rest his head and sigh in relief, glad she didn't have a camera with her.
By the time they reached Hogwarts, the rumours would have spread and his fame grow in a path he wanted for once. He would have to get someone to write down the different versions so he could read them for amusement and see if anyone came close to what had happened.
He managed to not freeze as he realised a problem with his amazing plan, his Patronus now took the form of a Hawkbat, a creature that had never evolved on Earth.
He metaphysically rubbed his forehead in frustration, he could probably call it something else, what was the name of that dinosaur bird? Archeosomethingosaurus. He'd need to be careful and get Dobby to find him a book quickly to get the name. He was sure he'd seen something like that in a picture at primary school. Within his mental construct, he turned to Abaddon to ask for him to search his memories, but froze as he remembered that he wasn't there anymore either.
Sithspit, this was getting annoying.
Harry waited with Jane in the entrance hall as McGonagall was giving Hermione the time turner for her extra lessons. Less than in the previous timeline, but still more than she could manage without it due to the lesson scheduling, he wondered if Percy had to use it as well for his own OWLs. He shook his head in bemusement at the insanity of the wizarding world. They would give a child the ability to meddle with the flow of time for the simple matter of taking more classes. What sort of payment or debts had McGonagall been dealing in to wrangle this?
He doubted that the device belonged to the school, if it had, then it would be in Dumbledore's grasp and he'd be an even worse nightmare to deal with. Luckily, he knew that wasn't the case as he had never seen Dumbledore appear twice on the Map over the years he had been watching.
It was weird to feel Hermione's presence twice at the same time, hopefully, he would get used to it. There was a surge of golden power in the current Hermione's aura and his chest ached for a moment as that Hermione simply ceased to exist and the presence hiding in a side room moved to return to the main room.
McGonagall's presence in the Force had been amusing and slightly disturbing at the same time, it would be a while until he could look at her without blushing, damn these hormones. She had appeared to his senses as a Pictish warrior woman painted in red and gold woading that matched her animagus forms fur markings, a gold torc with Quaffles at the ends was her only clothing other than the warpaint. Because, damn, if that was how she had looked when young, then he was honestly surprised she was unmarried.
He could feel the other teachers either in their quarters or in the great hall waiting. Of those of interest to him, Snape was a molten man, its surface blackened and cooled by the icy armour that covered it. Blood stained its hands and dripped constantly from his fingertips, a green snake wrapped around his right forearm, its fangs ready to sink deep into the flesh and a golden chain was wrapped around his other arm, burnt deep into the molten flesh beneath the armour. A flicker of silver flashed in his eyes, before it hid once more within that molten skull.
Flitwick was a figure of lightning and blades of light, constantly in motion and ready to strike at any threat. Armour of a tarnished silver metal ran over his right arm from fingertip to shoulder, heavily scarred and battered, but still strong and intact.
Moony sat there, the weight of the moon pushing down on him as the time to shift crept closer. A large black wolf covered in scars and with badly healed bones snarled and bit at the tarnished silver chains holding it in place, a tired man dressed in rags held tight to those chains, he reeked of the fear of failing to keep control.
Up in her tower, Trelawney drank herself into a stupor, her dreams dark and filled with nightmares. Her presence was of a shining woman, dressed in a classic Greek toga, her head turned up to gaze at the heavens above. Her limbs were bound in chains of glass, her eyes covered in a blindfold of the same glass, while bloody tears ran down her cheeks from beneath. A gag of fear and doubt filled her mouth and held her tongue from speaking of what she could see.
Then there was Dumbledore, sitting upon the ancient golden throne, an ancient set of armour, tarnished, scarred and blackened by hundreds of battles, runes and sigils adorned the surface in patterns that hurt the eyes to look upon. On one arm rested a shield with a simple design Harry did not recognise, but felt strangely familiar, but splashed with bright blood. Within his hand a thin circlet of tarnished iron was slowly forming to match the one resting upon his brow. In his other hand rested a blade of burning white fire, but blood dripped from the hilt to stain the armour below.
Shaking his head slightly, Harry returned his focus to here and now, frowning as he tried to recover his train of thought. He hissed in frustration under his breath as his mind caught up and he realised that the Weasley twins still held the Marauders Map, he needed to get hold of that item before anyone looked at it, he had no idea what name it would show for him now. Who was he to the map?
Harry Potter, the student of Hogwarts and heir to the Marauders?
Harry Black, Pater Familias of the Ancient and Noble House of Black?
Evan Jade, Emperor of the Jade Imperium?
Adas, Lord of the Sith and Slayer of Dragons?
He was all of them and more, but what did the map choose to show? It was too dangerous to risk; the twins would have to provide it to him earlier than they had previously. It would also allow him to act easier without them watching him.
He paused the flow of his thoughts as Hermione exited the room, tucking a gold chain under her collar, McGonagall stood and motioned him to enter with Jane. He touched Hermione gently on the arm, "You go ahead, save me a spot, I'll catch up."
She smiled and hurried off to the Great Hall as Harry turned back to the ladies and entered the room, Jane following, her gaze quickly sweeping over the room. He caught sight of her hand shaking slightly as the night moved on and the moon grew closer.
"Mr Potter, Miss Doe?" At Janes nodded confirmation, she continued, "I have received your letter through Mrs Tonks, who has informed me, that she will be acting as your representative for the House of Potter."
"Good," Harry smiled at that, "I was hoping it would get here before we arrived."
McGonagall frowned, "Indeed. It would have been better for such missives to have arrived weeks ago. Please keep such in mind for the future." She moved to a table and picked up the letter. "It says here that Miss Doe is a werewolf, I presume that you have a safe location to change." She turned a cold gaze upon them, "I am sure that you would be aware that we lack the facilities for such."
Harry nodded at that, "Miss Doe and I have already organised this, for the nights of the full moon, Miss Doe will be contained in a private location in a suitable manner with all appropriate efforts taken to ensure the safety of herself and others." He waved a hand to dismiss the subject, "Her current issues aside, are you agreeable to assist us in handling her position in school?"
McGonagall sighed, "Mr Potter, you are perfectly safe here, you do not need a bodyguard within these walls."
Harry shook his head, "Quirrell in the first year, Lockhart and a Basilisk in the second, I'm two for two of defence teachers trying to kill me." He ignored the subtle flinch McGonagall made at the reminders, "I don't know who will be teaching it this year, but I don't want to take any risks and that's before we even get to the Sirius Black issue. Not to mention the Dementors, who I might note, have already attacked me once and the year technically hadn't started yet."
"Yes, well." McGonagall coughed politely into her fist, "As Deputy Headmistress, I can authorise Miss Doe's presence due to your station and needs. I will organise a room for her near the common room."
She looked at Jane, "Unfortunately, I don't know you, so I am having to provide more than a little trust in you. I will meet you at the entrance hall tomorrow morning, I will show you your room, provide you with the password for the common room and a timetable for Mr Potters classes."
She raised a hand for silence as she continued, "While you may attend his classes, you will not interfere. If you have concerns or issues, then you will come to me and discuss them. You have no power for points or detentions, nor will the teachers and prefects have any power over you. However, I would ask that you listen to their suggestions when they happen."
Jane nodded at that, "That's all good, unless something happens that risks Mr Potter's safety, then I will act immediately to resolve the issue."
Harry nodded in agreement to that, "You might want to warn Professor Snape about her before we attend the first class, we wouldn't want any... accidents to happen in there. As for next year and beyond, I'm organising a place in Hogsmeade for Jane to stay rather than in the school. I don't expect her to be needed all the time here Professor, but I won't take chances with Sirius Black out there."
McGonagall nodded in agreement at that, "That's understandable, Mr Potter, and more than agreeable." She focused again on Jane, "As a final note, while you may not be employed by the school, you are an adult with some authority, therefore you will act within the decorum of a member of Hogwarts staff while you reside within its walls. As you are aware, your actions will reflect on Mr Potter as well as myself for allowing you access." She glanced at a clock, "Now, if this is all agreeable, then we should return to the Great Hall, the sorting is running late enough as it is."
Fred and George sighed in unison as they settled into their usual seats in the common room, the feast had been as boring as usual and the warning about the Dementors had disrupted a number of their plans for the year.
Fred opened his mouth to begin adapting their plans with the new information when little Harry Potter sat opposite them and gave them a smile that hit something instinctive in their minds. That was a smile that promised many things, and of those, few would be good for them.
Mum wished she could smile like that.
George opened his mouth to begin their usual patter but Harry raised a hand, palm towards them to motion them to wait as he began to speak, "Sorry gents, but I have a headache and could do with this being a nice simple conversation. I'd like it if you didn't make it worse."
Both glanced at the other before nodding and Fred sat back in his chair and George took the role of their spokesman, "We're always happy to help out the guy who saved our sister. What's the matter?"
Harry's smile relaxed to what passed as a normal one for him, actually it was a bit more open than last year, the summer must have been good for him. Apparently, the muggles could learn after all. "You rescued me last year, so I'll call us even if you don't mind. But I've heard it many times, that if I wanted something, you are the people to talk to. I'm hoping you will be able to help me. From some notes my parents left that were in my vault, there's a few items that belonged to my father and his friends that might still be around. I'm hoping you can either point me at them or might know where they are."
George nodded, "Depending on what they are, we may be able to help you. Just a warning, someone may have taken them home or something, so they may not be here anymore."
"Yeah, that would suck," Harry agreed with a nod, "but at least I'd know that it wasn't here."
George smiled at him, "What are they then?"
Harry smiled as he started ticking off items on his fingers as he spoke, "Well, there's a collection of pictures my dad left of my mum in their school years, a bit stalkery, but I would like them to see what she looked like as she grew up. There's a journal with their research notes that was hidden in a secret panel on one of their beds. They had a deserted corridor that they had turned into a lab that might have a few of their things there, but I think the elves would have already dealt with that by now. Oh, and there's meant to be some parchment which could act as a map for Hogwarts even with it all moving around as it does."
The boys glanced at each other and nodded along as they listened to the things Harry was looking for, pausing in surprise at the mention of the parchment. Fred began to probe for more information at a glance from George, "There's several sections which might have been a potions lab or the like we've found over the years, but the elves had cleaned up the dangerous parts by the time we found them. We can show you them later to see if any match the description for you. We never found any secret panels on the beds, not that we really looked as it is, but it may be in the higher year rooms. As for the photo's, not heard any sign of them, pictures of a pretty girl would have been mentioned before, so they may already be gone or they may still be where they were left. Again, it might be in a higher year's room. As for the parchment, we have heard about something like that, but we'd need more information before sending you to the wrong person."
Harry blinked in surprise and smiled at them, "That's more than I had before and I would definitely like to have a look at these areas. As for the parchment, there's an Oath that goes with it and it was made by three friends and a traitor. Would that be enough to find it?"
George glanced over the room, before leaning in towards Harry as carefully as he could to not draw attention, "And what would the oath be and the names of the four creators?"
"You've seen it then?" Harry said with a smirk.
Fred chuckled, "We can neither confirm nor deny any such statements. But theoretically, we may know how to acquire this... parchment you mention. Depending on if you could answer our questions."
Harry leant back in his chair before glancing around the room, seeing no-one unexpected watching them, he nodded to himself and leaned back in. "I won't give you everything, but let's just say that my father had a nickname of Prongs to his three fellow Marauders."
The twins sat back in shock, before Fred sighed in annoyance and George rubbed his face, "Three years you've been here and we didn't know we were in the presence of mischief royalty. Damn it Harry, we could have brought you in on so much if we had realised."
Harry chuckled at that, "I didn't know until this summer myself. But I thought you might have heard of them, hence why I came to you."
Fred shook his head, "We have the map and we'll have it ready for you by breakfast if you don't mind, we need to make a few notes before passing it back. We might also need to borrow it every so often as well if you don't mind? But you wouldn't happen to know who the others are, would you?"
"Yeah," Harry sighed at that and looked much older, "it's pretty easy to find out if you do a bit of research and have a starting point. My dad was one of four boys in Gryffindor the year he began, he was Prongs, the other three are Mooney, Wormtail and Padfoot. No idea why those nicknames yet, that wasn't mentioned anywhere so far."
George frowned in thought, "Who were the other three?"
Harry smirked at them for a moment, "I'm tempted to let you do the research for it yourselves, but if you promise to give me the map tomorrow morning," he waited for them to nod in agreement at that, then he continued, "Then the other three were a Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black."
"Wow." Both teens gasped in awe at the original Marauder's identities, recognising one from the new teachers introduced tonight, then shock as they realised that one of their heroes had been a traitor. Fred groaned as he realised it first, "Three friends and a traitor. Black was the traitor."
Harry shrugged sadly, "That's what everyone tells me but I've yet to read the trial transcript to find out why. It's weird and just doesn't add up, why would he betray my family like that? He was meant to be my godfather. Surely, there's something magic would do to stop something like that?"
George smiled sadly at the young teen, "Sorry Harry, if there's magic to stop someone hurting a child they're meant to protect, we've never heard of it. Well, there's the Unbreakable Oath, but if you do something, even by accident, it can trigger the Oath in full. The wording and the intent can conflict, but the spell itself judges those bound by it. If you swear to never hurt the child, what if you bump into them and they fall and scrape their knee, what if hurting their feelings is enough? We learnt this really early when we almost did something really bloody stupid."
Harry chuckled sadly at that, "Ron mentioned it." He let out a deep sigh and sank bank in his chair, "I was hoping you would say something other than that, but it makes sense. As for Professor Lupin being one of the Marauders, I don't really care about him."
George frowned as Fred leapt to his feet, "How can you say that?! They were geniuses beyond compared, demigods of mischief, legends!"
Harry laughed at seeing the awe filled face of Fred with his arms raised to the roof as if in prayer. "A fair point on that, especially for you, but beware meeting your heroes. If Lupin was so great, how did I have to learn about him from some notes in my vault? Where was he the decade, I was alone with the Dursleys, where was he the last two years on top of that?"
He sighed and shook his head, "Something really wrong happened and I'm going to find out what, but I need more information first to protect myself before I even broach the subject with him."
George placed a hand on Fred's arm and pulled him back to the chair, "Can't blame you on that Harry, let us do some digging ourselves, we'll also have a look for the items you're looking for and get you the map in the morning. Then we can start helping you investigate and see what we can find out. I'm sure dad can help on the ministry side of things as well."
Fred nodded along with that, "Definitely, plus, we'll not catch you with any of our pranks unless it would make people suspicious why you avoided things."
Harry chuckled at that, "Best avoid Jane and Hermione as well, you don't want either of those coming after you."
Fred and George looked at each other and made slight motions and gestures before nodding in unison, before George spoke, "Yeah, fair enough on that, we'll leave the ladies alone."
Harry nodded and stood, "Brilliant, I'll leave you gents to it then and I'll see you at breakfast."
Harry took two steps before Oliver Wood was standing beside them all, a fanatical glint of joy shone in his eyes and Harry was tempted to just walk away, "Excellent!" but it was too late now, there was no escape, "Remember to be up nice and early tomorrow gentlemen, first morning to shake off those cobwebs and get back to our fighting form. Usual time."
He paused as he watched the three chasers enter the room and freeze when they felt his gaze upon them, unable to escape before he could get to them, "Now if you will excuse me, I need to discuss some ideas I had with the ladies. Get a good night's sleep gents, you will need it."
Harry would have been amused at the surge of fear and despair in the girls if he hadn't already been caught himself. Well, Wood was right, they did need to go get some sleep if Wood was going to start his latest crusade to win the cup with all guns blazing.
In the dark of the bathroom in the Gryffindor Tower, Harry reached out with the Force to the mass of presences around him, sensing none near as the majority slumbered in their rooms, "Dobby." He hissed out.
With a slight pop of displaced air and the sudden flaring of his presence, Dobby appeared and bowed, his mouth opening to begin his customary greeting when Harry clamped his hand over the elf's mouth.
"Hush." Harry began with a gentle smile, "I have work for you and it must be kept quiet." At Dobby's widened eyes and gentle nod, Harry released him. "This," he said raising the cage from the floor with its stunned cargo, "Is Peter Pettigrew. He is the traitor to my family, not Sirius Black. I want you to store him somewhere safe and secure. He is an Animagus and will do everything he can to escape. Your mission is to take him home and secure him until I need him. He needs to be kept safe and healthy, so no punishing him until I say so. Understood?"
Dobby nodded his head rapidly, "Dobby understands Mysterious and Cunning Master Harry Potter."
Harry mentally groaned before nodding and passing the cage across to the Elf who disappeared from the castle entirely. Harry shook his head before returning to his warm bed, so much to do and so little time. He really needed to get things rolling.
Harry sighed in relief as he saw only Harry Potter on the map in the Gryffindor changing room of the Quidditch pitch. There was no-one else he wasn't expecting present. Hermione was outside the entrance waiting for him with Jane beside the door. Oliver was making the twins run laps on the field, not fly, but actually run them. And the chasers were in the girl's section of the changing rooms.
Thank the Force, he didn't have to worry about the name anymore. He could lend the map to the twins as discussed without having to disappear or do something to protect himself.
He paused as he watched Hermione move towards her second first class while she was waiting for him outside. He closed his eyes and reached out through the Force for her, finding the current Hermione was here, and the Hermione cloaked in golden sand was in the halls.
At least he would be able to explain how he knew she was messing with time when that subject came up. But that was still going to be an awkward conversation to have. He wondered if Ron would notice at the same rate that he did last time.
But first, he needed to have a chat with Oliver to give him the time he needed to train himself and the others without the fanatic having a fit or forcing him to choose between his friends and Quidditch. A non-starter of a question for Oliver Wood, but Harry's answer would not please him, nor McGonagall. Especially after all the praise he gave Harry this morning in the training.
He could make sure Hermione was ready to join him in the morning for the first session while he walked back up to the school.
He frowned as he saw the chasers move into a smaller group on the map, there had been no shouts or signs of violence that he could hear, so why had they moved to defend themselves in such a small group in the showers?
He blinked and blushed as his mind ran with that question and gave him several rather candid answers for what they could be doing. He let out a sigh and delved into his mental exercises to clear his mind. These damned hormones were coming in hard and faster than last time with his improved health. He allowed himself a juvenile mental snicker at his hard and fast comment before hammering it back down.
He allowed his mind to drift to other thoughts to try and calm himself, Quidditch, no that wasn't helping right now, Hermione nagging him about his homework, Hermione helping with his homework, Hermione in that lovely blue dress from the Ball. Sithspit.
Okay... McGonagall, that should work, just picture McGonagall glaring at you, her dark hair bound up in a bun as it fell around her shoulders and the woading highlighting... Okay, that didn't take long to fail on him... He couldn't remember what Margaret Thatcher looked like, so her in a bikini wouldn't help, time to call in the big guns.
He took a deep breath and imagined Umbridge in a bikini smiling at him and gesturing for him to come closer.
He sighed in relief as his hormones screamed in terror at even a mental flash of such an image. It certainly didn't help that he had seen more of her than he would have liked when he killed her. He shuddered in memory of being in her house and the sickly pink of everything. Had the woman been colourblind or something?
Back in control of his body, he smiled as he closed the map and stood up, brushing his clothes down to remove any dust or dirt. He grabbed his school bag and was almost at the door when there was a noise from behind him of a wet towel striking flesh and amused giggling from the chasers in the girl's section around the corner.
He dropped his bag on the floor and gently headbutted the frame of the door, as his mind and hormones let his imagination immediately flare back up. 'Force damn it!'
Harry closed his eyes for a moment as he felt Hermione suddenly flare into being just outside the Divination classroom, her golden presence already ready to take notes in the Muggle Studies Classroom and she was reading the first chapter of her Arithmancy textbook beside him, a veritable bundle of vibrating joy at learning such new concepts.
Ron had been sulking as he walked alone towards Divination, but he'd either get over it or he wouldn't, the early starts wouldn't be helping his mood either.
The highlight of the day to come was the fact that today Draco Malfoy was going to be hurt and no-one would be able to blame him for it. He let out a sigh of pleasure which got a grin from Hermione as she nudged his shoulder, mistaking his attention being on the class and not what was about to happen in a few hours.
Professor Septima Vector was an intelligent and direct woman, who brooked no trouble in her class. Where the Harry of the past/future would have had trouble dealing with the maths and equations written on display as an example, his education as Evan Jade had made all this make much more sense. Thank the Force he had actually taken the lessons on astrogation and paid attention, some of this seemed similar to some of the low-level basic training, predicting the shifts of stellar objects against the projected paths of the hyperspace routes.
In an odd way, it was rather relaxing for him. For the other students, much less so. Hermione was in awe, a few of the other students were staring blankly at the board in horror and he was sure someone was quietly weeping at the back of the class.
At the back of the room sat a board with a sheet draped over it, but the section he could read looked interesting and much more complex than anything else in the room. A little spark burned at the back of his mind at the sight of it, the challenge was so tempting, but better to get the basics down and then he could start playing with the advanced lessons he had received, thank the Force for Dooku's insistence for Harry to undergo Flash Training like the clones to bring him to a standard Dooku deemed suitable for him.
But he could wait until Vector decided to let him see the project she was obviously working on. Until then, he would just have to see how he did and how far he could push it. Being known as a natural at Arithmancy wouldn't be too bad, it would likely help him with the image of an academic rather than a warrior.
He finished the simple puzzle before him without having to refer to his textbook and let his mind wander slightly, wondering how Transfiguration would go next. Or more importantly, how far could he push his skills or pull them back without being too obvious about it. He also wondered who Trelawney would focus on without such an easy target as himself being there.
Harry sat in the Transfiguration classroom, writing a few notes and ideas down while he was supposedly waiting for Hermione to catch up from going to the toilet. In a completely unrelated matter of timing, the Divination group walked through the door just after she did.
As Hermione sat beside him, he scrunched his nose in disgust at the stench of Trelawney's burnt incense that hung around the girl beside him, never mind the other students. Seriously, he was going to have to do something about this, the expectation that he wouldn't notice what she was doing was already insulting and they hadn't finished the first day yet.
McGonagall nodded as the doors closed and began her lecture about Animagi which was a field that Harry had a distinct interest in learning about, she turned into her cat form as an example and looked around the room from her perch on her desk at the front of the room.
"Really, what has got into you all today?" she asked as she turned back into herself with a faint pop of displaced air staring around at them all. "Not that it matters, but that's the first time my transformation's not got applause from a class."
Honestly curious himself seeing as he hadn't been in divination, he was surprised to see everybody's heads turned toward Hermione, but nobody spoke, as if deathly afraid of what was about to happen.
McGonagall gestured towards Hermione, "Miss Granger, seeing as how you appear to be the centre of attention right now, perhaps you could enlighten me as to the issue."
"Please, Professor," she began before glancing at Harry with suddenly widening eyes and her face paled in shock as she realised, she was caught, taking a deep gulp of air, she closed her eyes and forged forward. Harry could never deny the girls bravery. "We've just had our first Divination class and..."
"Ah," McGonagall sighed, her habitual frown deepening at that, "of course. No need for any further explanation Miss Granger. Tell me, which of you will be shuffling off the mortal coil this year?"
Everyone else stared at her in horror at the blasé tone she had used.
Harry froze as Hermione's hand slowly went up, "Me, Professor."
McGonagall opened her mouth to begin explaining when she froze at the sudden crack of noises as all the glass in the room broke as one, the desk before Harry splintered as it twisted under his hand and the quill in said hand ignited.
For a moment, she was sure that she has seen his eyes burn gold as a look of rage flickered across his face before he closed his eyes and forced himself to relax.
"Hermione..." Harry began in a hissing tone that had the children shrink back from him.
"Enough!" McGonagall demanded in a tone, that Harry obeyed by instinct of years of conditioning before he could stop himself. "Mr Potter, detention this evening while you assist me in repairing the damages you have inflicted on my classroom."
She glared at him until he gave her a nod and struggled to calm himself, "Miss Granger, you should be aware that Sybill Trelawney has predicted the death of one student a year that attends her class since she has arrived at this school. I can ensure you that none of them has died yet, as far as I am aware, they are all alive and healthy at this time, I believe one even has a child in this school at the moment. From my experience, death omens are her favourite way to greet a new class."
McGonagall stepped forward and placed the tip of her finger on the desk before Hermione, a very faint smirk appeared on her lips, "If I may," she gestured to Harry as he sat beside Hermione, "If Mr Potter had joined her class, I imagine it would have been him who was predicted to die rather than yourself."
Hermione gave her a sad smile but nodded along, "If it were not for the fact that I never speak ill of my colleagues..."
Professor McGonagall broke off, and Harry saw that her nostrils had gone white. She went on, more calmly, "Divination is one of the most imprecise branches of magic. I shall not conceal from you that I have very little patience with it. True Seers are very rare, and Professor Trelawney..."
She stopped again, and then said, in a very matter-of-fact tone, "You look in excellent health to me, Miss Granger so you will excuse me if I don't let you off homework today. I assure you that if you die, you need not hand it in."
Hermione laughed at that, seemingly surprised at the sound bursting from her lips. But her presence in the Force relaxed as she realised that she wasn't in danger.
Harry meanwhile forced his simmering rage to be contained, Trelawney was going to have a series of unexpected accidents for scaring Hermione like that. Better that than Dumbledore finding her dismembered limbs scattered around her tower as his rage demanded.
McGonagall nodded as Hermione laughed and turned slightly to focus on Harry, "Directly after supper, Mr Potter, do not be late, you will not be returning to the tower until you are done."
Harry savoured the warmth of the sun shining down on them in this clear afternoon, knowing that this weather wouldn't last too much longer. The Forbidden Forest, for once, seemed to be cool and welcoming to the students. Well, this part of it was at least.
Off to one side, Malfoy and his goon squad were joking amongst themselves, and Harry smiled at the familiarity of the situation and images of what would likely soon happen. Oh, how he hoped the spoiled brat would actually lose an arm or something this time, that would improve Harry's day immensely.
Hagrid stood by the door of his hut, his moleskin overcoat much too warm for the lingering warmth of the summer, but he seemed happier in it than out. For a moment, Harry lost himself in trying to work out how many moles it had taken to make a greatcoat that fit Hagrid.
That was likely a lot of moles, no wonder the grounds were so well kept, Hagrid likely decimated their population every time he needed a new coat.
He blinked to find himself by a paddock with Malfoy whining about something and Hagrid looking sad about it as he was demonstrating with Hermione's copy, looking around he saw that everyone had their furry books tied up and bound to prevent them biting them.
Harry sighed in annoyance, "Malfoy, shut up. Did you ask how to handle it at the bookshop?" At the boys glare he pulled out his own copy which wasn't tied up like everyone else's and simply ran his finger down its spine as Hagrid had just displayed. "A good lesson in common sense Hagrid, thank you. If you don't know, ask someone who might."
Hagrid beamed at him while Malfoy and his book ends glared at him, actually that was unfair, bookends were more useful.
"Righ' then," Hagrid declared to his class, "So stay 'ere and I'll go an' get 'em. Hang on a mo..." and with that he headed off into the forest shadows.
"Merlin, this place is going to the dogs," Malfoy loudly whined, "That oaf teaching classes? My father will have a fit when I tell him..."
"Dear god, Malfoy. Do you even listen to yourself?" harry asked bluntly, much to the awe of those watching, "Your father will do nothing beyond listen to you whine. If you don't want to be here, fuck off." He glanced to the side as he felt Hagrid return, "If you don't mind, I'd like to learn something today beyond the usual drivel that spews from your stupid mouth."
Malfoy opened his mouth either in shock or to answer back when Hagrid returned to them, following a dozen Hippogriffs, each different to the others and actually a good range of options to teach his class with. Looking at this with a new set of eyes, Harry realised that Hagrid had actually put a lot of thought into his class to impress them.
"Gee up, there!" he called out, urging the creatures towards the class with a shake of the chains held between the leather collars and his hands. Everyone else drew back in concern other than Harry as Hagrid moved up to tether the creatures to the fence.
"Hippogriffs!" Hagrid roared happily, waving a hand towards the magnificent animals. "Beau'iful, aren' they?" He rubbed his hands in glee as he beamed at them in his happiness, "So, come closer. Now, firs' thing yeh gotta know abou' hippogriffs is, they're proud," he said. "Easily offended, hippogriffs are. Don't never insult one, 'cause it might be the last thing yeh do."
Harry glanced to one side and watched as Malfoy and his idiots weren't paying attention to the lesson, likely planning something disruptive, but Harry wouldn't let them. He glanced the other way to look at Jane and gestured at the idiot squad with his head, pleased when she nodded and glared at the boys with her wand waiting to act.
"Yeh always wait fer the hippogriff ter make the firs' move," Hagrid continued. "It's polite, see? Yeh walk toward him, and yeh bow, an' yeh wait. If he bows back, yeh're allowed ter touch him. If he doesn' bow, then get away from him sharpish, 'cause those talons hurt."
"Right. Who wants ter go first?" Hagrid asked with the glee of a small child on Christmas morning.
Most of the class backed farther away in answer. The hippogriffs were tossing their heads and flexing their wings; Harry noticed that they didn't seem to like being tethered like this. But they were creatures of the air, they probably disliked being contained in general.
"I'll do it," Harry said as he stepped forward with a gentle smile at Hagrid, making sure he wasn't displaying teeth near the Hippogriffs. No idea if they would see it as an aggressive action or not and he wasn't going to chance it.
There was a sharp intake of breath from behind him, and he felt Hermione's fear spike. He reached back and gave her hand a squeeze, before he climbed over the fence.
"Good man, Harry!" roared Hagrid. "Right then. Let's see how yeh get on with Buckbeak."
He untied one of the chains, pulling the grey hippogriff away from its fellows, and slipped off its leather collar. The class on the other side of the paddock seemed to be holding its breath while Malfoy's eyes were narrowed maliciously, planning on making Potter pay for insulting him and his father.
"Easy, now, Harry," said Hagrid quietly. "Yeh've got eye contact, now try not ter blink... Hippogriff's don' trust yeh if yeh blink too much..."
Harry simply patted Hagrid's arm to say he understood and looked Buckbeak in the eye, letting a fraction of his presence in the Force out, letting Buckbeak know that he was more dangerous than the Hippogriff was.
Buckbeak turned his great head with his razor-sharp beak and was staring at Harry with one fierce orange eye. Glaring in challenge back at the predator before it.
"Tha's it," said Hagrid. "Tha's it, Harry... now, bow..."
Harry didn't feel like he should be the one bowing, but did as he remembered, never breaking eye contact, daring the animal to challenge him.
Buckbeak stared haughtily at the human before him, but did not move for a moment before he carefully bent his scaly front knees and sank into what was an unmistakable bow, but also making sure not to break eye contact.
"Well done, Harry!" said Hagrid, ecstatic at how well this was going. "Right. Yeh can touch him! Pat his beak, go on!"
Amused at his friend's joy, Harry moved slowly toward the hippogriff so as not to startle it and patted the beak, running his hands over the warm beak and Buckbeak closed his eyes lazily, as though enjoying it.
The class broke into quiet applause, all except for Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, who were looking deeply disappointed that Harry wasn't being maimed by the animal.
"Righ' then, Harry," said Hagrid. "I reckon he might' let yeh ride him! Now, Yeh just..."
Harry blinked and grinned in memory of the last time this had happened, the exhilaration of the ride over the lake had been amazing, with a smooth motion, he took hold of the Hippogriffs shoulder and placed his foot as he remembered, swinging up into place without issue.
"Huh, yer a natural at this." said Hagrid, "Go on, then!" roared Hagrid, slapping the hippogriff's hindquarters.
Without warning, twelve-foot wings flapped open on either side of Harry; with glee and confidence, he gripped onto Buckbeak's neck, just strong enough to keep in place, but free enough not to hinder the animal. And with that sudden surge of powerful muscle under him, they were airborne and soon soaring in the skies above Hogwarts.
The difference between his broom and Buckbeak was immense, but he could admire the power within the animal and its nature in comparison to the lifeless and smooth flight of the broom. He wouldn't want to play Quidditch on a Hippogriff, but he could definitely enjoy a relaxing flight on one.
With a sigh of disappointment, they soon returned to the Paddock and landed, Harry let his body roll with the landing, absorbing the impact. He'd have trouble sitting later due to the bruises on his leg and backside, but it would be worth it.
As he dismounted, he pondered if they made saddles for Hippogriffs, that might be something to look into.
"Good work, Harry!" roared Hagrid as everyone except Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle cheered. "Okay, who else wants a go?"
Emboldened by Harry's success, the rest of the class climbed cautiously into the paddock. Hagrid untied the hippogriffs one by one, and soon people were bowing nervously, all over the paddock. Neville took a deep breath and forced himself to keep before his Hippogriff which seemed confused with the boy before him, before deciding that Nevilles hair looked tasty and tried to either preen the boy or eat his hair. Ron and Hermione practiced on the chestnut, while Harry watched, his fingers rolling his wand in his grip in case something were to go wrong.
They may be beautiful, but they were still dangerous and he was still on edge from Trelawney's supposed prediction earlier today.
Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle had stomped over to Buckbeak as they had before. He had apparently actually been listening to the instructions and bowed to Buckbeak who had bowed back in return after examining him as he had Harry. Malfoy, who was now patting his beak, looking disdainful.
"This is very easy," Malfoy drawled, loud enough for the class to hear him. "I knew it must have been, if Potter could do it... I bet you're not dangerous at all, are you?" he said to the hippogriff. "Are you, you great ugly brute?"
As he remembered it, Buckbeak reared back and slashed out with his steely talons; Malfoy let out a high-pitched scream but was yanked back by Jane's spell work to land in a muddy patch while the brute squad backed away, pale in their fear. Hagrid was already between them and the Hippogriff, wrestling Buckbeak back into his collar as the creature struggled to get at Malfoy.
Harry was surprised by the surge of anger and rage burning in the creature and released his own bubbling anger into his aura and snarled "Enough!"
The paddock went silent as he stepped towards Buckbeak, gently pulling his emotions back under his defences and stroking the Hippogriffs beak and neck, "Ignore the idiot child, he isn't worth your attention. Go calm down and Hagrid will get you something to eat."
He glanced at the confused look on the Half-Giants face, "Get him something to eat and drink Hagrid, we'll sort out the others." He glanced at the class, who had all frozen in shock and surprise while the Hippogriffs were all staring at him with their muscles bunched as if ready to flee if he did anything suddenly in their direction, "Can you carefully lead your hippogriffs to the fence and tether them like Hagrid did earlier please."
Harry then looked towards Jane who had her head coked at an angle with her eyes wide while looking at him, "Jane, can you escort Mr Malfoy to the Hospital Wing to make sure he's okay. I don't want anyone to miss an injury if there is one."
She nodded and helped the shocked boy up from the mud.
Hagrid looked around and blinked back to the moment, "Aye, just wrap ter chains around ter fence an' I'll make sure they're sound. Best head back to ter school."
Very shaken, the Care of Magical Creatures class followed at a walk. The moment they were out of earshot, the Slytherins were all shouting about Hagrid.
"They should fire him straight away!" said Pansy Parkinson, who was in tears, "That beast almost killed Draco!"
"It was Malfoy's fault!" snapped Dean Thomas. Crabbe and Goyle flexed what muscles they had threateningly, which almost made Harry laugh. Many of the others were torn between staring at Harry at the back of the group and rushing ahead to spread the news.
As they climbed the stone steps into the deserted entrance hall, Pansy spoke up, "I'm going to see if he's okay!" The other Slytherins, still muttering about Hagrid, headed away in the direction of their dungeon common room. Harry followed Pansy towards the hospital wing with Ron and Hermione following him after almost heading upstairs to the Gryffindor Tower.
"D'you think he'll be all right?" asked Hermione nervously.
Ron shrugged, "Depends on if Malfoy was hurt or not."
Harry shook his head and gave her a small smile, "Don't worry, Malfoy is fine, he's just had a bit of a scare, but he'll lash out so I'm going to stop that before he does something stupid like try and get Hagrid fired or Buckbeak executed or something."
Harry smirked as he entered the Hospital wing to see Snape present already with Pansy hovering around Malfoy, much to his and the new school nurses' annoyance. Jane was watching in amusement as she ignored the raging potions professor who kept a more than healthy distance between them.
Harry presumed from that, that Snapes understandable dislike of Werewolves expanded beyond just Remus. The nurse was waving her wand over Malfoy but didn't look worried or concerned about anything.
"Brilliant, Professor Snape, it's good to see that you are already here." Harry called out as he approached. "We have a matter of protocol to discuss and I would ask for your advice."
As Snapes glare of hate and confusion wared on his face, Harry soldiered on, turning to look at his victim. "Now, Mr Malfoy, before this escalates any further, I have a few questions to ask you. Did you feel that your life was in danger during the incident?"
Malfoy simply responded as Harry had predicted, not thinking before he opened his mouth. "Of course, I did, that brute put me in danger! I was almost killed by that beast!"
"So, you felt in mortal danger and yet have no injuries that I am aware of." Harry said as he looked to the nurse. "Was he injured?"
The nurse shrugged and looked to Malfoy and the others present, "I'm not normally supposed to discuss this with others present, but if the Professor is agreeable?" At Snapes nod, she shrugged and continued, "All right, then beyond a bit of bruising and a slight sprain in his wrist from his landing, he's fine in relation to the incident."
Harry smiled at her and nodded, "Could you confirm what would have been the injuries if an enraged Hippogriff had attacked him?"
The nurse pursed her lips in thought, "Minor lacerations if it were a glancing blow and he got away, ranging up to death if he had been struck across the chest."
"Thank you," Harry said before turning back to Malfoy, "So, an expert in the field warned you of the danger before we began. An enraged Hippogriff attacked you and due to the actions of my bodyguard, you have no injuries that could have likely ranged all the way to death. Am I missing anything of importance?"
"That's right!" Malfoy snarled, ignoring the paling face of Snape as he opened his mouth to tell the boy to shut up, "That animal would have killed me."
Harry clapped his hands together, turning to face Snape, "Professor, if I remember the rules correctly, Mr Malfoy here owes my bodyguard his life, does he not? Which would mean that he owes a life debt to Jane Doe?"
"No," Snape hissed in anger, "He doesn't!"
Harry smiled at him, "Really? Then that would mean that he wasn't in danger and that Hagrid did his job correctly and that the Hippogriff wasn't a threat to Mr Malfoy."
He turned to look at the boy who suddenly realised his predicament, "So Mr Malfoy, either you owe a life debt to my werewolf bodyguard or nothing happened today. Do you understand?"
Malfoy glanced at Snape before glaring at Harry, recognising that he was caught in a trap. "I must have just slipped then."
Harry gave him a sad but knowing smile, "I'm sorry that you scared the class like that, but no harm, no foul. Hagrid carries on his classes with no further issues, the Hippogriff is left healthy and unstressed, and no debt is owed to Miss Doe. Should someone," he turned to look at Pansy as he continued, "anyone in fact raise the issue of Mr Malfoys safety, then I would be honour and duty bound to enquire after the debt owed between a vassal of House Potter and the heir to House Malfoy." He waited for a moment to emphasis his next word, "Publicly."
He stepped beside Jane and smiled at the Slytherins, "I'm so glad we got that all sorted before anyone decided to write to their parents and escalate matters out of hand. Could you imagine the headlines?" He raised his hands and spread them as if imagining it, "Malfoy repays life debt to werewolf saviour." He let his hands drop and nodded politely to them as he began to walk away, "Mr Malfoy, Miss Parkinson, Professor Snape, Healer. Pleasure to have helped sort this out between us."
He made it to the door before he paused and looked back at Snape, "Oh and Professor, how long do you think it will take one of the witnesses in your House to do something stupid?"
Harry whistled as he led Hermione and Ron back towards the tower, smirking at the sound of Snape rushing to the dungeons. He looked to find Ron staring at him in awe, "And that Ron, is how you deal with Slytherins. You twist their words and make sure they are aware of how bad it could get. Have faith in a Slytherins drive to survive."
"Harry?" Hermione asked staring at the boy she thought she knew, "What just happened?"
He looked at her and frowned slightly, "I grew up and have decided to take the gloves off. If Malfoy wants to play around and threaten my friend and an innocent animal, then I'm going to play back harder until he gets the hint to leave me and mine alone."
He shrugged and carried on walking, "It's not like I pushed him into the claws or something terrible like that."
Ron laughed, not realising what Harry just implied, "Good one, would have loved seeing him getting what the slimy bastard deserved."
Harry just looked at Hermione and watched her rising anger at Ron at his callous words and meaning, "By the way Hermione, could you help me with an Arithmancy problem I have. I'm not sure if I have the time to fix it before my detention."
Hermione winced and glanced at him in concern as Ron shuddered, "Homework already!? Glad I took divination after all."
Harry just gave her a soft smile to show he wasn't angry. Leaning over to whisper to her as Ron hurried ahead of them in fear of being dragged into more studying. "I know you were sitting right beside me in Arithmancy while you were with Ron in Divination. So, either there's more of you running around the place, which is pretty cool an idea in itself, or you are repeating the day and more than once."
"Harry..." she began, worrying her hair and a chain around her neck, "I..."
Harry nudged her shoulder with his own, "I'm guessing you promised not to talk about it. So, I won't make you break it. But I'd like to talk about a situation that's purely hypothetical if you'd be interested later?"
She grimaced but nodded to him.
"Good," he patted her on the shoulder and gave her a gentle squeeze, "I don't want any secrets between us Hermione. I know I have my own at the moment, but I'm looking at a way to tell you about them, so bear with me and I'll do the same to you."
"You'd tell me your secrets?" she gasped in shock.
He smiled at her, "Hermione, I'd tell you anything that I knew that you asked me if I were able to do so. Just bear with me and we'll get there."
"Professor, where should I begin?" Harry asked as he entered the Transfiguration classroom, Jane taking a spot by the door to keep an eye on her charge.
McGonagall looked up from her marking and pointed to the seat directly in front of her, "Sit there for a moment Mr Potter, I just need to finish this paragraph and I shall be with you."
Harry did so and looked around, planning how to fix things when he realised that everything had already been repaired. As McGonagall finished marking the essay and put down the quill, she folded her hands before her and gave him Look Number Four, translated to 'What am I going to do with you?' better that than Look Seven, 'I'm tired of your shit and you are going to understand how nice I have been so far in comparison.'
A flicker of his vision and that look on his mental image of McGonagall flashed through his mind. Glancing away, he looked around again as if looking for something but calming himself and his blush down. Apparently, he was discovering that he had a thing for older confident women.
"Mr Potter," she began in a tone that was not angry with him, "Your reaction this morning is not something I wish to have again in this classroom." As he focused back on her, she seemed to be looking for something in his gaze before shaking her head and tapping her finger on a book beside her, "You are powerful Mr Potter. Enough so, that I lost my entire free period this afternoon repairing this room when it should have taken me about ten minutes at most."
She waved a hand around to gesture to her surroundings, "This is my domain Mr Potter. I have taught in this room before your parents were even born. This place is as much a part of me as my arm. It should not have taken that long to restore it, but your emotions... your anger, it stained the damage. Made me work much harder to repair it than a normal accident would do."
She stood and picked up the book, walking around her desk and placing it before him.
Harry quickly read the title and raised an eyebrow in surprise, "A muggle book on meditation?"
McGonagall nodded, "Indeed. A gift from a former student of mine as thanks." She gave him a strange smile that Harry didn't remember seeing from her before in either timeline. "The student in question had a... volatile... issue with their anger. They once described it to me as always bubbling under their skin, one moment, one insult from exploding and burning everything. They asked me for help, I gave them a wizarding text but that just confused them."
She sighed and moved to the window to look out over the grounds, "I'm sure you have noticed that Wizarding texts presume that you will understand their meaning as you use them. It's an issue that has tormented many Muggleborn throughout my time as a teacher in these Halls and likely before me as well."
She nodded to herself and returned to her desk and began looking through more homework, "You will read that book in full; you will practice the techniques within and the Monday before each Hogsmeade weekend, I will test you on them. If you fail, you will spend the weekend with me practicing them further. Otherwise, I would suggest you enjoy yourself in Hogsmeade under Miss Doe's watchful gaze. If there is another incident like today, then I am sure I can find a suitable punishment to reinforce my lesson."
She picked up her quill and returned to marking the parchment, "If that is all, Mr Potter, you had best return to the tower and get started on reading that book."
Harry nodded and left with the book as instructed, a surge of amusement and mourning flared for a moment in the room behind them as Jane closed the door.
Harry in curiosity opened the book and on the title page was written a simple message.
'Thank you for all the help over the years, hopefully this will help others as you did me. Lily Evans.'
Harry paused and ran a finger over her signature, shock and awe burning away any other emotion as this prized treasure was held carefully in his hands. "Mum?" he whispered, his emotions obvious for all to hear and Jane smiled sadly at him and patted him on the shoulder.
"Let's get you back so you can start reading it." Jane said with an almost longing look at the writing he was fixated by.
Thank you to all my reviewers:
Mirrors Cracked And Broken; Cauti0n; skygunner58203; s-k-f-f-f; Araytigre; anthonym3; mwinter1; wanderingwitchelaine; Morkail; Celexs Draconia; Ariadne Venegas; wanderingwitchelaine; SGM84; master of death12345; AnimeA55Kicker; Bearmauls; Zuronsjoy; starboy454; hiddenpoet; TheScottishLegend; Ptool; suziq968; marius1117; DebaterMax; Pyrophoricity; Victorules; Warrof; Jostanos; evildaystar-ca; H Prince321; HughJasz; Sanders7201; beatshield; Lycan01; JohnDouglas4274; fraewyn; willam and jack and jake; kuriboh1233; Emperor Vanquest; Kuma Dzurui; Daniel-palacio; G silently; Orangerazor; Dark Patrician; Mastersgtjames; GorrilaVMan; Maxymooo; Tenchi; N7SPARTAN-Commander-Jay117; demon87; Cyclical Beats84; NathanielTheCat; kurganxy; 0richierich0; pottersparky; peachx89; Kinjo2k01; Jacob Phantom; Th3D3athOfM3
Thank you to all my guest reviewers as well.
Nimrod Everdeen: I've been prodded by a lot of reviews about that issue and releasing chapters on Ao3 as well. I'm planning on a slight rewrite of my earlier chapters to neaten them up and clear a few problems, so I'll be looking at trying to get the whilst issue sorted when I do so. NO promises when that's going to happen though :P
Aredianx: Apologies over that issue, unfortunately, there are a lot of characters running around in the setting which can cause that confusion, as noted above in my response to Nimrod Everdeen, I plan on neatening it up when I copy it across to Ao3 at some point.
HeckNo: I'm sorry you feel that way.
AvidReader2425: I will confirm that Harry has no intention of getting infected with the werewolf curse, there is no way to predict how it would react to his blood and power, nor if he could retain control over it. As for the basilisk corpse, I've answered this in a generic note further down.
red demon161: Hermione's mother is already pushing that idea of the uniform out of amusement at her daughter. Not that she wouldn't complain if they progressed further in a relationship, he seems such a nice boy.
ItMeYaGril: Luna has a tendency at running off with her own lines every so often for me :) As for the droid design, it has Grevious's legs (see the original clone war cartoon – not the CG one – for what he can do with them) They have very good cortosis weaved armour, clawed hands with retractable cortosis blades when fighting jedi, shoulder mounted blaster which folds back against the spine when not in use. Then the runes are designed to absorb force abilities and blaster fire as a forcefield like the rolling droids but can be overloaded with enough firepower or bypassed in close combat. Enhanced sensors, good combat training, medical knowledge, hacking skills and the ability to learn. Plus, they can be portkeyed out to a safehouse if they take extensive damage as long as the system is near enough for it to work. That way they can be repaired to have another go and share their experiences with their brothers to be more effective. In short, they were designed by a munchkin to murder jedi knights one on one in a fair fight, masters by ambush and padawans in groups. They are a terror weapon that uses hit and run guerrilla warfare. I originally designed them years ago for a game (minus the magic effects and I couldn't afford that much cortosis, so the arm blades were vibro blades) to help me hunt Sith (old republic period game, which was the origin of a certain Knight Kato that's popped up as well) and the gm asked if I wanted to be arrested for war crimes? :P have fun with them.
Skygunner58203: Dumbledore is seeing a change in Harry and is concerned; he is also aware of his age. So, he is preparing a successor and training the spare prophesised child to win the coming battle. Dumbledore knows Harry is a Horcrux and must die. Neville is free of such an issue and can be the one to remove any final threat of Voldemort if things go wrong. It will take time and resources to train a suitable heir, something he is realising he lacks, so better to have Harry assist in the groundwork while Dumbledore can build upon that basis. Why spend resources when your likely enemies will do it for you. Then the Oaths he has over Neville will allow him to shift his loyalty fully to himself and turn him against Harry when the time is right.
George Cristian810: Sorry you feel that way.
vyoom: If you thought that one was big :) It was Umbridge who died from an Insulin overdose.
Seros109: The Daughter of Legends (Auror Savage) is a slight homage to a book series called Hawk and Fisher, I love the author and his settings and would recommend them to all. As there was nothing bar a name for the auror in canon, I decided to use the gap. Gerold Hightower is actually an accident. I had the character in the background to use, began to write that section and realised I hadn't given him a name, so I used the first surname that popped into my head that sounded right for an old Pureblood family and then gave him a first name that suited it. He isn't a nod to GoT except by accident, as I didnt remember about that family until after I published the chapter.
Comodo50: I have something planned around him getting back to the SW setting, no spoilers though :P And yes, time will have moved on for them, Im working on sections for that story along this one and will be releasing them every so often. The orchard is a literal group of trees which branch and grow fruit for the Pureblood families involved in their creation. It was an idea that popped into my head and wouldn't leave until it was written and I liked it so much I found a use for it in this story, it will be expanded later on don't worry. As for the Crystal, Perenelle sent him an alchemically replicated khyber crystal, its just an early test version which couldn't stand the strain.
Joe-El: Adas is in reference to this person, just remove the spaces in the link: starwars . Fandom wiki / Adas
Svenion: Sorry you feel that way.
JackBlaze123: Abaddon is a bit of a troll, plus losing to Harry being dominant doesn't mean he can't play his own games or get a little revenge for losing to him. As for Jane being unique, she isn't, shes just very rare as few pregnant women or their unborn children would survive the experience. Jane was just very lucky that she had good medical care so soon after the incident. And yes, there are enough of the monsters out there who would probably give it a go and see what resulted from the experience. As for the Draugr, compare the werewolf that Remus was and then look at something like the Crinos form from the Werewolf RPG games by white wolf and successors. The Van Helsing black werewolf was definitely inspired by the same source. As for Albus and Neville, I covered that a little in my response to Skygunner58203 above, not all of Albus' schemes, but just a taster of them.
l4w: Harry doesn't but he also wants to make her hurt, so this works without killing her, plus it keeps his mother's protections working which keeps Dumbledore off his back. As for Christopher Lee, I like to think he's in his thirties or so.
Dragon VS Phoenix: Hedwig is around as she usually is for Harry at this stage of the story. He never watched her die for him as he travelled through time before that happened, so he only missed her as she was left behind and not mourned her death.
. fan forever: Remus is a self-loathing type and he was nudged to abandon Harry by Dumbledore, now Dumbledore has given him the chance to connect to Harry through Hogwarts as a teacher. He's ignored the letter from Jane as she simply mentions that she is looking for a tutor for a child and he ignored it as what's a werewolf child compared to a chance to connect with Harry? As for Sirius, Harry remembers him as a broken and tortured man-child who never grew up, sure he loved Harry but he still abandoned him for revenge and Harry was punished for it. Better that Harry has the power and wealth, then he can make sure Sirius heals properly rather than spend it on crazy and random things to try and buy off his guilt. I have read his work and I am a fan.
Kitsune Obsessed Freak: I am, no disputes from me there. It just never seems right no matter what I try. Luckily I can avoid the green menace for a while :)
Tgfofp: Sorry you feel that way.
Apobhp: Chapter 34 onwards is in the Harry Potter Earth...
LordNemesis: Chapter 1 is in the battle of the ministry in Harrys 5th year, he goes to the Star Wars period before the clone wars kicks off and joins Dooku, various stuff happens as the timeline moves through the events up to the 3rd of the prequels where Harry fights Sidious on a molten world and defeats him (to a certain point of view) then he returns to his 2nd year of Hogwarts at the moment he would have died from the basilisk venom which is Chapter 34. Hope that helps clarify it for you.
Fgougeon: Dumbledore, as far as Harry is concerned, is trying to hold everything together with best wishes and words. He acts as a shining beacon of civilization, but the corrupt and rotten core around him is ruining his efforts. As far as throwing Dumbledore under the bus, theres the famous phrase of a road to hell and best wishes. But, personally, as far as I am concerned, he is as much of a dark Lord as Voldemort is, at least Tom is honest about wanting Harry to die. Dumbledore just allowed Harry to be tortured and abused and then grooms him to want to die. If a lot of writers are looking at it the same way as I do, maybe there's something actually wrong with his character. Harry is short due to the years of mal-nutrition that he's suffered in his formative years, it's a common symptom of that as I understand it. As for Harry giving his wand to Neville, that's a path through my plot that I am using, I am sorry that you do not like that.
Arthorius: Harry's Scar no longer contains the Horcrux in the Star Wars setting due to the events that occurred in Harry's timeline. When he returns to Hogwarts, it bursts open and fades away due to the events and magics involved. A scar like that does not heal instantly and it may take years to fade if it fades at all.