Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
Harry paid no attention to the topic at hand during his first Defence Against the Dark Arts class. How anybody was able to get a coherent response out of the stuttering fool was questionable at best. Instead he merely pondered on what would be happening to the man later that evening, or not if it panned out in such a way. Looking over his shoulder he could see that Susan had struggled to get any of her work done and was writing with a shaking hand. Perhaps his letter to her had been too aggressive.
Something he would have to look into regarding future prospects for his little club.
He had wondered who he would select the previous night and felt guilty at first for choosing Susan as his test subject. He had rattled his brain for any information he could come up with regarding what he knew about the girl and recalled only that she lived with her aunt, meaning the rest of her family was more likely than not dead. It was a grim yet likely possibility, and one he could exploit to a certain degree. He planned on lingering behind after the lesson and figured that chances were high that Susan would question him about the letter.
Speaking of the lesson, he had learned the only valuable thing worth learning during this first year, Voldemort was indeed connected to the back of Quirrell's head. When he had been writing on the blackboard his scar had ached and Harry for the life of him couldn't figure out why he never got such evil vibes from the professor before. He had pondered going to Dumbledore and stating that his scar hurt whenever he had a staring contest with the back of Quirrell's turban, but opted not to. Better to not let the Headmaster hire somebody new and alter the timeline too dramatically.
Instead he would alter it himself.
Dangerous, but he would enjoy every step of it.
It wasn't long before class ended and Harry slowly packed away his things. He was free for the rest of the day so it wasn't like he was going to be running late for something. "Are you alright M-M-Mister P-Pott-ter?" asked Quirrell, noticing the speed in which Harry was packing.
"Just got a few things scratching at the back of my head," replied Harry.
He fought back the urge to slap himself across the face for such a terrible line.
"W-Well if you have a q-q-question p-please d-don't hesitate to ask," said Quirrell as he turned around and started cleaning what he had written on the board, causing Harry's scar to momentarily ache. Between both the sharp pains Voldemort mentally sent him and the inconsistent stuttering, Harry questioned whether he would be able to prevent himself from killing Quirrell early this time round.
Grabbing his gear, he headed out the classroom and was glad that his hunch was spot on from earlier. "Is everything alright?" he asked noticing the girl waiting for him.
"Yes...No...I mean..." started Susan unsure of what she wanted to say.
"If something's wrong you can tell me," assured Harry.
"Well...you see, this morning an owl came before the post..." said Susan, her voice timid and uneven.
"Here, let's go for a walk and get outside for a bit and into the sunlight," declared Harry, shifting the conversation completely. Susan didn't respond in words and merely nodded her head as she and Harry walked through the corridors. Eventually they came into an empty courtyard and Harry gestured for Susan to take a seat on a stone bench. "Now," he said as he took the seat next to her, "Take a deep breath and tell me what this owl did."
Seconds passed as Susan did her best to compose herself. "Well, this owl landed in front of me and had both a scroll and a small package," explained Susan in a much more fluid manner. Maybe the walk and sunshine had been a good idea after all. "The scroll said some...things before it burst into flames right in front of me!"
"Did it hurt you?" asked Harry with concern in his voice.
"No, thankfully," said Susan. "Harry...have you heard of the Potter Club?"
"Potter Club...do I have a fanclub or something?" asked Harry.
While Susan didn't doubt the fact that there was likely a Harry Potter Club being established between some of the first year students or one that already existed she was confident that Harry wasn't a part of it. "I...don't know," she said slowly. "The letter said that I'd been welcomed into the Potter Club."
"A combusting letter doesn't seem like the best way to get someone to join a club," said Harry earning a slight giggle from the young Hufflepuff.
"No it doesn't," said Susan turning her attention skywards.
"There was more, wasn't there."
"The letter said I had to do something with the item in the package before dinner or face...consequences," said Susan. Harry didn't say anything but put a comforting arm around her shoulder. Susan flinched at the initial contact and Harry guessed that with her aunt being such a powerful figure in the Ministry of Magic she spent more time at work than at home. Physical contact was likely a rarity.
"I don't know what to do," she said nuzzling her way closer to Harry.
Harry meanwhile had frozen somewhat, having not expected this kind of development. He was glad that she enjoyed the feeling of being comforted, nothing was wrong with that at all. From anybody else's perspective however it would look like they were a couple. While not necessarily a bad thing he didn't need rumors sprouting up just yet.
"I say for now," started Harry after what seemed like a longer than necessary time. "Do as they say, if anything, it may just be a prank or a gag but I recommend not telling anybody else about it for now."
"But what if what I do hurts someone?" asked Susan as she edged closer again.
Harry was getting flustered in the cheeks, even having come from the future he had no idea where this was going. "Well," he said as he stood up, breaking the contact between himself and Susan. He paced for a bit in a thinking pose, making sure that he didn't make eye contact for a little while while he calmed his emotions. "I guess you just have to take the risk, I seriously doubt that whoever sent it to you would do so with the intention of hurting someone else, especially since we haven't even been at this school for forty eight hours yet! It may be someone in the upper years and this might be some sort of unwritten initiation period, I honestly don't know. If it was me, I'd go through with it, but in the end it's your choice."
Susan had laced her fingers together when Harry finally found it in him to turn back to her. Her ginger hair had fallen over her face as she contemplated her options. Harry remained silent as the sun beat down on his back. "Thank you Harry," said Susan as she stood up. "I'll see you around."
It was an awkward situation and Harry by no means had an answer to what Susan would actually do that night. Regardless, he had already put plans into motion if it were to go either way. Grabbing his gear, Harry slung it over before heading towards to Common Room, wondering whether or not he had made the right move by calling his little group Potter Club.
The way he saw it there were two options people had if they wanted to bring this up, either take it to one of the Professors or to him directly. If it was brought to one of the school teachers he would be able to claim that if he were to create such a club he wouldn't name it so that it would be brought straight back onto him. Arguably he had already seen the results when Dumbledore's Army had been discovered, and unlike the Headmaster he wasn't going to be taking the fall.
Climbing up the stairwell he pondered who he should target next to join his little project. Arguably somebody in Gryffindor would be the simplest way to go but he had to choose wisely, both the person and how best to manipulate them. Alternatively, if he selected someone from a different house it would remove suspicion from him, considering how little houses mingled outside of classes.
Maybe he should ask Dumbledore to arrange an interhouse chess tournament.
At least then Ron could win something.
Harry was one of the first people to arrive at the Great Hall for dinner that evening, having ensured that he got a good seat for the event. Whether or not the main event happened or not he couldn't help but be somewhat nervous for Susan. Had she gone through with it, had she not, had she gone to her friends or perhaps a teacher?
All these questions would be answered shortly.
Harry meanwhile was going to be entertained prior as he found himself once more joined by both the Weasley twins, one of them sitting on either side of him once more. "Alright Harry, we believe that we have something that belongs to you if you wish to accept it," said the one on his left. "Of course if you want to lend it to us from time to time it'd be greatly appreciated as we would love to do the Marauders proud."
"You two not doing the whole back and forth thing tonight?" asked Harry noticing the distinct lack of combination chatting.
"Well we discussed last night about what we were going to say, and decided that as opposed to our normal routine we would nominate a candidate to speak on both our behalves," they said. "So after a vigorous game of Exploding Snap I was declared the spokesperson for this encounter."
"You're not going to tell me which one you are, are you?"
"Figured," said Harry with a cheeky smile. "As for with the map, I'd like it back predominantly as it is something of a family heirloom. That being said, perhaps down the track we'll consider each other brothers of sort and as I would see you as part of my family, I believe that my family heirloom would belong as much to you as it does to me."
"How very generous of you, Harry."
"Likewise, as family I hope that if the time ever comes that you'll have my back for whatever reason, and I too would have yours."
"I believe that is most acceptable."
Harry was about to continue when he spotted Quirrell walking towards the teachers table. The Great Hall wasn't as full as he would like at the moment and even the Headmaster wasn't present, which probably worked better in the scenario, provided Susan had done what he had asked of her. Fred and George had seemed to sense something was amiss and after a quick glance between each other followed Harry's line of sight towards the turban wearing professor as he sat down at the table.
It was loud, louder than any natural fart ought to have been. All the gossiping and chatter ceased immediately as all eyes focused towards where the sound was originating from. Quirrell meanwhile was frozen on the spot as he realized that the sound was coming from him, and while it should have ceased quickly, it did not; if anything it continued to grow in decibels. He pushed himself onto his feet, however that only activated the second part of the prank in which what he had been sitting on exploded violently, causing him to squeak in fear.
Silence reigned for a few seconds before the giggling began, the flustered teacher vacating the room with his cheeks red with embarrassment only caused the laughter to grow into a chuckle. Harry meanwhile ignored the laughter as he looked towards the Hufflepuff table where Susan's face was hidden from view, her gaze directed at her feet.
Harry started planning his next move.
Susan was terrified as she sat at breakfast that morning, once more having done so before many of the other students. Her hands were shaking as she went to pick up a slice of toast. She had gotten minimal sleep that night, if any at all.
She was petrified of what the consequences would be if they traced the prank back to her. What would be her punishment; surely it wasn't bad enough to warrant anything more than a detention?
Putting her toast back down on her plate without taking a bite, Susan used both her hands to rub at her eyes. Thankfully she only had one class for the day, so worst case scenario was that she fell asleep and embarrassed herself. At least she knew that one was a guaranteed detention.
The screech of an owl made her freeze in fear and she began chanting over and over, begging whatever luck she had that the owl would bypass her. Closing her eyes she continued asking whatever deity was looking over her for the owl to go elsewhere.
Seconds passed by before she opened her eyes, finding herself staring straight at the owl. Again it looked as if the owl belonged to the school, but thankfully this time it only carried a scroll tied to it's leg, no package in sight.
Reaching forward with trembling fingers, she undid the twine that was holding the parchment to the creature, the owl taking flight moments later. Unrolling it, she braced herself for whatever it said.
Congratulations Susan, your initiation is complete.
Or so we had hoped.
Your actions were not detected, the initial blame having fallen to Fred and George Weasley of Gryffindor. They have denied all knowledge of the prank and Dumbledore has seen fit to not punish them for something they took no part in. We hope that you understand that your actions were not malicious in anyway shape or form and merely served as a source of entertainment.
While we will not tell you our goal at this time, I do hope that you believe that we do not wish to cause harm to others.
Unfortunately, here is where our problems may begin. There is one who does know what you did; while you may not have told Harry Potter directly that this was what you were doing, the implication was there. As such we believe that he may be suspicious of any future incidents, and if they were to get too out of hand we can't help but fear that he will rat you out.
This is something we cannot permit, you are a valuable asset, Susan, and we have high hopes for you. Therefore, until we give you your next assignment, we wish for you to befriend Harry. Our sources indicate that the Muggles he lived with were vile people who prevented him from creating friendships with others. We don't know how he will react to a genuine friendship so we can offer you no advice into how to go about such a process other than to be yourself.
Of course, here is the part where we offer you the choice to do what you want to do. Below there are two boxes which you are to select from. If you choose the box on the left, then we will not contact you again and this paper will incinerate. If you choose the box on the right, you give us your permission to contact you again for another chance to bring some more joy and entertainment to Hogwarts.
Just tap your wand on the box you wish to select.
We hope you make the right choice.
Susan reread the parchment, feeling more awake than she had earlier that morning. While the paper technically gave her only two options, she believed that there was a third one regarding the fact she could fess up and pass the paper to a teacher or a Prefect. Of course then she would basically be signing herself up for a week's worth of detentions and potentially get whoever else was in the Potter Club in trouble. Surely if the piece of paper in her hand got to Dumbledore then the Headmaster would have some way to track down the author.
She decided that the third option she had created was not viable.
Regardless of which she picked she was still going to befriend Harry; the boy had shown her kindness and wisdom the day before she had imagined boys her age would not have.
She made her decision as she pulled out her wand and tapped the appropriate box. The result was instantaneous as the paper began to fold in on itself before forming into an origami crane which took flight in front of her, much to her joy and amusement, a small laugh escaping her lips.
Harry watched as the paper bird flew away from Susan, the red-haired witch having chosen to remain a member of his little club for the moment. He wasn't sure what her choice would be after the previous night when she had seemed ashamed of her actions. Arguably though, he imagined that she had felt a rush of excitement from having done something so against the norm. It wasn't a feeling that someone could get normally, and that had been what he had been hoping for.
He had her hooked, now she just needed to reel her in.
Getting up from the table, his stomach full of bacon and baked beans, Harry headed towards the exit only to pause as he came face to face with Hermione. A sly smile crossed his face as he recalled that he had another game going on with the intelligent student. "So Hermione, have you thought of a book you want me to get?" asked Harry of the ginger haired witch.
"Well, I gouged out the contents of the library and discovered that they have very minimal in terms of fiction," declared Hermione.
"Fiction," repeated Harry in disbelief. He had been expecting either something historical or something educational; fictional hadn't even come into his calculations.
"Yes, I want you to get me a copy of 'Harry Potter and the Jade Dragon.'"
Seconds passed by one after the other as Harry just stood there in complete shock. "You're shitting me right," he finally said.
Hermione allowed a frown to cross her face, but didn't comment. "Yes, you told me to come up with a book that I wanted and that's the one I want," she decreed.
"C'mon, you really want me to get a fictional story with me as the title character? Not something about Goblin Wars, facts about Hippogriffs or dangerous magical fauna?"
"All those things I can discover in the library," stated Hermione. "Are you too embarrassed to go buy a book about you?"
"Well it's not like you're going to be able to get it anyway, I'll await to hear about your defeat over the coming days."
That was all that was said before Hermione moved past Harry and went deeper into the Great Hall for breakfast. Harry meanwhile was scratching at the back of his head wondering what had possessed Hermione to want that book, of all things. It was one in a collection and he could guarantee that the store had it, it was just kind of humiliating getting something that was about him, and a fictional adventure he would never have. Or at least he wouldn't have within the seven years from now.
After that who knew.
Harry had to select his target wisely for bringing up the possibility of the Wizarding Chess tournament. While he had mentally joked about, it he had spent a good deal of time contemplating the possibility of arranging such an event, and then subsequently sabotaging it. Part two of that plan was still in development, but the possibility of poking the proverbial bear that was inter house rivalry seemed like too good of an offer to pass up.
He just had to get a teacher to like the idea and then forward it onto Dumbledore.
Easier said than done.
Professor Binns was out of the question, the deceased teacher would undoubtedly divert the conversation to a game of chess he had had centuries earlier in which his pawn was the last piece protecting his king against the enemy, or something along those lines. Probably in a more boring tone however, Harry had theorized that the professor had died due to lack of excitement in his life.
Professor Snape wouldn't give him the time of day and tracking down Professor Sprout outside of the Greenhouses was difficult to say the least. Professor Quirrell was out for obvious reasons, Harry had no intention of spending more time than necessary with Voldemort's henchmen. Professor McGonagall was also out of the question, as she would think that the boy was trying to suck up to his head of house. While she was the most likely to say yes, he didn't quite feel like becoming the next Percy Weasley.
Hence he had tracked down the smallest of the teachers, one who was seemingly ecstatic about the whole idea. "Excellent idea, Mister Potter," proclaimed Flitwick. "Heavens, I never wondered why somebody hadn't thought of such an idea before."
"Well my friend was just telling me that the only competitions between the houses were for the Quidditch and the House Cup," said Harry with a shrug of the shoulders. "I thought maybe something else would be nice for the Houses to compete in."
"Considering this is your idea, Mister Potter, how best would you go about it?" asked the Charms professor.
"Well, suppose if each house was to put up four way you could separate the tournament into four equal brackets, with a student of each house in one bracket ," explained Harry. "That way the tournament is fair, yet at the same time in the semifinals all of the players could be from the same house."
"While technical, I wouldn't consider such a feat plausible, Mister Potter, but continue," stated Flitwick.
"Well, I'm not quite sure what the prize is for the house, maybe fifty points to the House Cup for the winner and thirty to the runner up with both semifinalists receiving ten," said Harry. "If it was to become an annual thing, however, there'd have to be a trophy."
"I'm sure we can organize something there," declared Flitwick. "I'll relay this on to Professor Dumbledore right away, and ten points to Gryffindor for your idea."
"Thank you Professor," said Harry as the small teacher started walking down the corridor at what Harry assumed was his top speed. Harry meanwhile had to fight back the urge to skip merrily through the halls as he contemplated his next ploy. Essentially, sneaking into Hogsmeade in a couple of hours.
Hermione was in the library that Friday afternoon, nose hovering over textbooks as she cross referenced her Charms assignment with books that were years above her current class. It didn't matter to her that her essay had been assigned only the previous day, and that the textbooks she was looking at were some of the more highly advanced in the library. For years Hermione had studied well above her grade.
Due to the school year starting at the beginning of September, Hermione had only just missed out on being sent there the previous year. Hermione hadn't waited to head to Diagon Alley with her parents and begin learning all she could about the Magical World. Needless to say, most of the purchases had been made at the bookstore while her parents did their best to keep their jaws in place. While Hermione may have been mesmerised by the wondrous world she had entered, her parents had been astounded that something like that had been kept hidden for so long.
The first debate when they had returned to the normal world was whether to keep Hermione studying in the now defined 'Muggle' world or pull her out of school. Ultimately they had allowed Hermione to make the decision. Her first response had been to see whether or not she could join as soon as possible and catch up on any lessons she had already missed. She had nearly cried when she had been told that that was not a viable option but she took it in stride. Hermione understood that if she was to join this wonderous world she would have to abide by their rules.
The decision was eventually made to pull her out of school so that she could best prepare herself for the transition to the new environment. They had told the school that she was being transferred to an elite school in France and when the school had pressed for more details they refused to give any.
A slam on the desk brought Hermione out of her momentary funk and found herself looking at a book not found in the library. In fact it was a book that shouldn't be in the school at all considering this was a place of study, not leisure.
"Harry Potter and the Jade Dragon," she said reading the title. This wasn't the only book to be placed in front of her as five stacks of five books found their way in front of her. In other words, the entire collection of the Harry Potter Adventures.
"Here you go," said Harry with either of the Weasley twins by his side, the brothers having gone with Harry on his little expedition.
"How did you get these?" asked Hermione as she closed the book she had been looking through.
"Bookstore in Hogsmeade," answered Harry. "When I told the clerk who I was she gave me the entire collection free, well free money wise. I had to sign a copy for her daughter which I had no problem with."
"But how did you get to Hogsmeade?" asked Hermione.
"What, you expect us to tell all of our secrets?" said one of the twins with a cheeky grin.
"If you ever want to sneak out, however, we'll gladly escort you," said the other one.
"I believe our business is done for the day, gentlemen, I wish you well with whatever it is you have planned with whatever it was that you purchased," said Harry clapping both the twins on the back.
"Until next we meet," said both twins in unison as they turned towards Harry and gave a mock bow before galavanting off. Hermione could only fathom what they were off to do now.
"What was that?"
"Aren't you full of questions today," stated Harry as he sat on the other side of the table, his head only just poking over the collection that was his magical adventures. He had known such a collection had existed but he wasn't aware of how extensive it was. He would peruse through the contents at his own pace to see whether or not it was possible to turn any of the fiction into nonfiction somewhere down the track. Maybe the one about the Goblin Mine or the Curse of the Forest. "Don't answer that, instead we need to start discussing the terms of our agreement."
"Agreement?" said Hermione before coming to sudden realization.
"Yep, we're going to be having a bit of fun tonight."
Hope you enjoyed. Special thanks to Kalebxdd for his brilliant beta work.