Welcome back! I present to you the newest chapter of The Half-Blood Magician! U know it took a few months for me to release it, but RL really gets in the way of things you enjoy sometimes, am I right or am I right?
Here's a response to Kamiccola, who reviewed last chapter: As you'll see in this chapter, Ben is more powerful than the average wizard, because, well, let's face it, compared to what the Per Ankh normally faces, Hogwarts would be a piece of cake. He's not OP though; he'll have his own challenges to face, with many surprises hidden within the wizarding world. Also, I dropped a hint as to whose path Ben would follow in this chapter!
Chapter 4 - Not What I'd Expected
Disclaimer: I tend to forget this. I own nothing.
As Ben fell asleep, he recognized the weightless feeling from the few times his ba had left his body, and looked down. Indeed, he saw his own sleeping form below him. Ben wondered why his ba was unanchored to his body, then remembered that since was no loner at the Per Ankh school, he didn't have the magical headrests that anchored his ba to his body.
Ben looked down at his ba form and mentally groaned. Normally, magicians would have their human heads with the body of a bird or a monkey or something normal like that. But for some reason, whenever his ba entered the Duat, he would have his normal head, but his neck would be grafted to the tiny body of a bumblebee. Fortunately, he knew how to change his look, and after a few seconds of concentration, his body was back to normal.
On a side note he did find that it was much easier for him to fall asleep, although he wasn't sure if it was worth looking like a freak every night, even if he was the only one who could see it.
A strong current pulled him through the door of the dormitory, and Ben found himself in a black, smoky looking location. He knew it was a room of some sort, but he couldn't properly identify it. He did note that it had a strong smell of garlic. Ben looked around to find only one inhabitant of the room: a strange looking snake.
The snake was gigantic, at least twelve feet long, and was a light brown color. What made it strange, however, was the fact that the snake had not one, but two heads at both of its ends. Ben wasn't freaked out in the slightest; after all, he'd seen worse looking demons. It definitely made his Top 200 Freaky-Looking Things though.
The snake started talking to itself. "Yes, master. Both targets arrived safe and sound at Hogwarts," Head 1 said. "I even got to observe the special one."
"The foreign one?" Head 2 two asked in a raspy, sickly sounding voice.
"Yes," Head 1 replied. "He is truly as impressive as Dumbledore mentioned. Last night after the sorting he entertained his housemates with shows of the magic he learned from his school. I witnessed him summon a staff from nonbeing, and transfigure the staff into a bird neither without a wand nor with any spells. Sadly he was sorted into Gryffindor. "
"Interesting," Head 2 said. "A shame for such talent to go to waste. No matter. After all, it is possible to have allies in all houses. You and Wormtail are perfect examples of that. Continue to observe him for now. If possible we can turn him to me, have his help in my return."
"Of course, master."
"Anything new to report about the stone?" Head 2 inquired, looking slightly more interested.
"I had already figured out effective counters to the charms and protections placed around the stone. Unfortunately, that meddlesome squib and his cat know about it as well, and spend most of their time guarding the door. I Confounded him, but I discovered upon entry the infernal half-giant from our fifth year gave Dumbledore yet another line of defense in the form of a magically resistant Cerberus. I've been trying to find out how to subdue it, but I can't do much without looking suspicious."
"You will bring me the stone. That elixir will be mine." Head 2 said angrily, towering over the first. "I need not remind you what happens to those who displease me?"
"N-no, of course not master," Head 1 said in fear. Suddenly, the second head turned and looked at Ben's direction.
"We are being watched," it stated.
"Impossible!" Head 1 cried. "There is no one here. I myself placed all the wards to prevent anyone from disturbing us."
"Do you doubt me?!" Head 2 asked menacingly. "I can sense a presence here."
Then, without warning, the second snake head opened up his mouth, and a green beam of light came out, almost hitting Ben in the chest, but the magician disappeared before the light could touch him.
Ben shot up out of his bed and landed on the ground. A few of his fellow first years moved at the sound of the noise, but none woke up. Ben panted heavily, trying to calm himself down. The details from the dream were already leaving his head, although he could still remember some parts.
There was somebody in this school trying to steal something, and that person was interested in him and someone else. Unfortunately, he really didn't have anything to go by considering he couldn't report his dream to any of the staff. Not to mention he couldn't report dreaming about a two-headed snake. Sadly, wizards wouldn't understand that the dreams of magicians were visions of the past, present and sometimes future.
Ben looked at the time to see it was 6:08, the barely noticeable brightened sky confirming that. It seemed he would have to learn not to wake up so early, as he was no longer at the Per Ankh and didn't have to prepare for mortal school. At Hogwarts, breakfast didn't start until 7:40, and classes started at 8:10.
Sighing internally, Ben stood up from the ground and headed to the bathroom. It was fortunate that he had asked Percy for the directions last night. Once he finished his shower and put on his school robes, he placed all of the supplies he would need for that day in a leather satchel and went out into the Gryffindor common room, where a few older students were gathered, copying notes or finishing up homework assignments or simply reading. Most of them recognized Ben from the previous night, and few started whispering but didn't approach him.
Ben found an empty seat and pulled Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling and got to reading, something to pass the time as he waited for breakfast.
"Good morning," a voice said to him. He looked up from his book to see his friend Hermione.
"Oh, mornin' princess," Ben replied as he looked down at his book once more. Hermione's cheeks tinged with red.
"I'm sorry?" she said.
"I said good morning princess," Ben repeated, not taking his eyes off of his book.
"No, I m-meant why are you calling me princess?" Hermione asked, blushing again.
"Oh. It's one of he two nicknames I thought up for you," Ben said excitedly. "In Greek mythology, Hermione was the daughter of King Menelaus of Sparta and his wife, Helen of Troy. Besides, you look pretty enough to be a princess, so I though it would make a fitting nickname."
"So, what are you reading?" Hermione said, still blushing over his last comment.
"Magical Theory," Ben replied. "I woke up a bit early this morning, so what better thing to do than read? This reminds me, I don't think I finished telling you about the Per Ankh." Hermione dropped all her embarrassment and look excited as she took a seat next to him.
"I believed I stopped at Animal Charmers. Which means next are Combat Magicians. Combat Magicians use gigantic avatars-similar to magical armor-depending on what path they follow, which gives them absurd strength and durability. But its powerful magic which requires a lot of stamina. After that we have the Necromancers, who can control spirits of the dead to perform different tasks, such as, answering questions or haunting people's dreams-" Hermione paled "- and occasionally combat purposes."
Ben reached into his bag and handed Hermione a ring. Hermione turned the ring over in her hands, looking at it in confusion, before directing her look at Ben.
"What is this?" she asked.
"That's a magical item know as a charm," Ben explained. "Another discipline. The sau are magical craftsmen who make magical amulets, rings, and other magical items for various uses. The ring you have in your hand a charm to produce a temporary shield." Hermione nodded in understanding.
"We also have the sunu, or Healers, which is pretty self-explanatory. This is a discipline of support, learning how to heal all sorts of wounds and diseases. Last but not least we have The Path of the gods."
"What do you mean by gods?" Hermione said, causing Ben to curse silently. He kept forgetting that she wouldn't really have an idea of some of the terms he used, and she probably didn't know of the existence of the Egyptian deities. Best to keep it that way, at least for now. So he came up with something quick.
"Oh, um, you know how you have popular wizards, like Professor Dumbledore and that Voldymold guy?" Hermione flinched but nodded "Imagine if they each had some sort of magic they created and specialized in, and other ma-wizards admired that magic so much that they decided to practice it. That's what the path of the gods is all about."
"So you practice the magic of other wizards?"
"So which field did you study in?" Hermione asked eagerly.
"Wow, you sure do ask a lot of questions," Ben noted.
"Just answer already!" she snapped in response.
Ben sighed. "Well, I didn't focus on any particular field of study. I just learnt a little of each, except for Divining, Healing, and the path of the gods. Diviners have to have the gift, which I do not. I couldn't heal to save my life, much less somebody else's, so that was out of the question. As for the path, I could never really find a go-magician whose path I would like to follow." Hermione open her mouth to ask something else, but before she could Ben looked at his watch.
"Well, would look at that!" Ben said loudly. "7:42! We'd better head to breakfast or else we'll be late!" Ben quickly gathered up his things into his satchel. When Hermione offered his ring back to him, he refused.
"Nah, you can keep it," he said. "I don't really need it. It was just one of the few things I made for my charm-making class." The bushy-haired girl smiled her thanks, pocketing the item. Together, the duo made their way to Great Hall, along with some other Gryffindors, and headed to their table. A few minutes later food appeared on the table and the students dug in.
Soon Harry and Ron joined them at the Gryffindor table.
"Blimey, Ben, where have been?!" Ron exclaimed. "We were looking for you in the dorm, but you weren't there!"
Ben scratched the back of his head nervously. "Oh, I woke up a bit early, so I got ready and went to the Gryffindor common room to do some reading," he explained. Harry, who was focused on eating, just nodded at his friend. Ron muttered something about being weird before digging into the plates surrounding him.
While they were in the middle of eating, Percy came by handing them their class schedules, after which he sat down next to his brother and asked him about how he enjoyed his first night at Hogwarts.
Ben finished eating and was looking through the subjects on his time table. Just as Hermione said, they would be taking seven subjects, along with mandatory flying lessons. Ben briefly wondered what it would be like to fly on a broomstick, but figured it couldn't much harder than flying on a griffin.
Finally, they finished breakfast were on their way to their first class, which was Charms with Ravenclaw students, taught by Professor Flitwick. According to the Sorting Hat, his eccentricity and intelligence made him a prime candidate for the Ravenclaw house, but his bravery and chivalry were much greater, although Ben wasn't sure if that was such a good thing. Ben also wondered if they would be making magic objects, but figured he'd find out anyway.
Hermione left before her fellow first years, stating she wanted to make sure she was on time for her first class. Not long after, Harry, Ron, and Ben also made their way to the classroom, but three boys got in their way. One was a pale, pointed-faced boy with light blond hair, while the other two looked like typical bodyguards: big, beefy, and stupid faced.
"Well, well, if it isn't Potter and Weasly," the blond haired boy sneered. He turned to look at Ben. "What's this? Associating with a blood traitor are we? Or perhaps you three are hoping you'll become some kind of famous 'golden trio'?" He laughed along with his two bodyguards. Harry opened his mouth to retort, but Ben beat him to the punch.
"Um, I don't really know who you are, but it seems like to me that you would have a much better chance at that than we would," Harry and Ron seemed taken aback at Ben's statement, while Malfoy seemed pleased. That was until Ben continued, "After all, it takes a special kind of talent to be that hideous." The tables turned with Ron and Harry bursting out in laughter while Malfoy went red in the face. His bodyguards cracked their knuckles threateningly.
Before anything could be done, a sharp voice said, "What are you children doing here?" The boys turned to see Professor McGonagall with an annoyed expression on her face.
"Well, we were on our way to class, but then we were accosted by these three boys here," Ben said innocently.
McGonagall gave Malfoy and his goons a sharp look. "Now be on your way; classes are about to start." she said. Malfoy gave Harry, Ben, and Ron a nasty look before leaving, make sure to bump shoulders with Harry.
Soon after they made it to their class, arriving just on time. Ben slid into the seat next to Hermione, while Ron and Harry sat in the seat in front of him. Hermione looked at all three boys disapprovingly, but said nothing, most likely due to the fact that Professor Flitwick began taking attendance.
Ben let his mind wander a bit while he waited for Flitwick to call his name. He thought back to his dream once more, deciding to figure out what was being guarded, and who was trying to steal it. He briefly considered going to the corridor on the third floor, which he figured would have whatever item was being guarded, as Professor Dumbledore stated that anyone who did go there would die a painful death, and being eaten alive by a three-headed dog was certainly a painful way to die in his book.
There were multiple ways to get past a magic-resistant Cerberus, surprisingly not involving magic. But he would still need to find out about the other defenses. Then he would have to identify the objects itself. According to the two-headed snake, it was a stone, and it had something to do with revival.
He heard Professor Flitwick call his name, and if Ben wasn't mistaken, he heard a bit of longing in his voice.
Ben would have to write up everything he knew involving the third floor corridor later.
The first thing he learned in that class was that they would not be making magical items. Charms-in the wizarding world- are incantations used for bewitchment. For their first lesson, Professor Flitwick said that they would perform a simple color changing charm, and that was when the Ben and the other students in class learned about how powerful Ben was at performing magic.
Professor Flitwick placed a wooden box in front of every student. "Colovaria," he said, waving his wand and changing the color of his desk from brown to a dark blue, and then reversing the spell.
"Now, I want to copy my movements, and change the color of the box to whatever you please," he instructed, casting the charm a few more times and changing the color of the box each time. The students immediately got to work casting the color changing charm.
"Colovaria!" Ben said, and everything went black. Literally.
When Ben performed the spell, the entire room, along with everyone and everyone and everything in it, turned blacker than ink. No one could see anything. Eventually, after a few minutes of shock, the students heard Professor Flitwick perform a hasty reversal charm, and everything turned back to normal, except now everyone was looking at Ben in a combination of shock and awe. Ben could feel his face heating up in embarrassment, in addition to the fact that his body felt like he'd run a marathon.
Professor Flitwick cleared his throat while panting, albeit subtly. Reversing the magicians spell took quite a bit out of him. "Get back to work, students." He said, but even he stared at Ben. The magician in question just looked down and focused on his wooden box.
Ben attempted the spell a couple more times, but he was met with the same result. After undoing it the third time, Professor Flitwick momentarily passed out from doing the reversal spell so many times, Ben following shortly afterwards. Fortunately, not long after that their class ended, and soon the students were departing for other classes.
"How did you do that?!" Harry asked.
"That was bloody brilliant!" Ron exclaimed. More people came to talk to Ben, but expertly maneuvered himself away from them.
Ben's other classes weren't as disastrous as Charms was, mostly because they didn't require him to do magic. He pretty decent at Herbology, as he considered it the magical equivalent of mortal gardening or botany, and he knew how to care for plants. Ben took note of the fact that the Neville character seemed to be a natural at that subject.
As for History of Magic…Ben really loved school, both mortal and magical, but there absolutely no way he could enjoy that particular class. He considered the teacher cool, considering he was ghost and all, but he deadpanned at the fact that the man died without even noticing. The subject itself, or rather the way Professor Binns taught it, was absolutely horrid. All the man did was scribble dates for them to memorize and rattle off long lectures and speeches about different goblin and elf and giant wars. The worst part was the Ben had no choice but to stay awake during his classes, no matter how much his body begged him to take an hour long sleep. It also helped that Hermione would glare at him, Harry and Ron whenever they tried.
Well, if I ever need help sleeping, all I need to do is play a recording of this guy's class, and I'll be good, Ben thought.
Ben did notice something during Professor Binns' classes, though. In every case, whenever the wizards fought in any war, they were always painted in the most perfect light, something which Ben found fishy. He filed that thought at the back of his mind for future reviewing.
Astronomy had to be one of Ben's favorite subjects. He loved nothing more than to study the night sky along with all the other heavenly bodies.
Defense Against The Dark Arts was nowhere near as cracked up as Ben had originally thought it to be. Their teacher acted like someone who should be talking to a therapist rather than a class full of students. Despite the fact that the students were supposed to perform more magic in this class than any other, they hadn't practiced one spell since school began. Plus, Professor Quirrell constantly stared at Ben, which made the young magician uncomfortable and suspicious.
Ben hoped for a more positive result for his next class that would involve magic, but he had no such luck. When they were to have their first Transfiguration lesson, Ben made sure that he, Ron and Harry made it to class on time. He knew the kind of teacher Professor McGonagall was. She took no nonsense, and Ben sure wasn't eager to find out what she did to offenders by way of punishment.
"Transfiguration is among the most dangerous and intricate magic you will practice here at Hogwarts," she lectured at the beginning of the class. "It is essentially the art of changing the properties of an object. Any tomfoolery and offenders shall leave without returning. This is your first and only warning."
Ben got the message. As an example, Professor McGonagall transfigured her desk into a pig, and almost immediately reversed the spell. This excited all of the students in the class, especially Ben, although he was a bit reluctant to perform any magic after his last affair. Fortunately, they started out with lots of notes which most of the class insisted were complicated, although Ben saw nothing out of the ordinary about them.
Unfortunately, Professor McGonagall gave them each a match and, after showing them the correct wand form, instructed them to change it into a needle. While most of the students got right on that, Ben pulled out his wand, but made no move to cast any spells.
"Is there a problem, Mr. Garner?" Professor McGonagall said from behind Ben, causing him to jump. He hadn't even heard her coming.
"N-no, Professor," Ben stammered, cautious not to say anything to upset the teacher.
"If that is the case I'd like to see more wand waving an less daydreaming," she said curtly.
Taking a deep breath, Ben performed the wand movements and cast the spell. He watched as the match's texture slowly changed from wood, to metal, until a needle was lying on the desk in place of a match. Ben let out a deep breath.
"Very impressive, Mr. Gar-" Professor McGonagall paused when noticed the needle begin to vibrate violently, before getting larger, with two bulges jutting out from the middle of the needle. It continued growing until an iron dagger sat in the place of the needle. Ben felt his face get considerably hotter, but he barely had enough time to be embarrassed before he slumped against the back of his chair, exhausted. Fortunately for him, the other students were too deeply concentrated on their work to notice his latest mishap. His Transfiguration teacher, however, was a different matter.
Now, Minerva McGonagall was a woman who prided herself in not allowing anything to surprise her, and knowing how to hide her shock in the rare occasion that it did. But never in all of her years of teaching did one of her students transfigure a match into a knife, and a first year at that! She stared, open-mouthed at the dagger, before composing herself.
She picked up the knife and changed it back into a needle, a very thin layer of sweat on her face. "Ten points to Gryffindor," she announced, placing the needle back on the desk and saying nothing else as she walked away, examining the work of other students. The other students noticed the needle on the desk, and assumed nothing out of the ordinary happened, although some had been hoping to see how Ben had done it.
Ben just sat quietly, musing within himself until the end of the class. He took note of the fact that nobody had been able to perform the spell, save Hermione, who managed to change the match from wood to metal, but ended there. Immediately Transfiguration ended, Ben rushed off to the next class, avoiding anyone who tried to talk to him, including Professor McGonagall.
Ben made it through day without messing up his spells too much, but it still bothered him. He considered using his scrying bowl to call his mother, but decided against it. At dinner, Harry, Ron and a few other Gryffindors tried to make conversation with Ben, but his heart wasn't really into it. He went to bed that night, extremely exhausted and very concerned about his predicament.
The next morning, he sat with his friends at breakfast, slightly less distracted.
"What have we got today?" Harry asked Ron as he poured powered sugar on his porridge. Ben just had a simple plate of eggs, toast, bacon and milk.
"Double Potions with the Slytherins," Ron replied. "Snape's head of the Slytherin house, and I hear he favors them. We'll be able to see if…" Ron continued talking, but Ben allowed himself to get lost in thought. He had mixed feelings about this Potions class. He looked forward to it as there wasn't much spell casting in the class, but he already knew that Snape wasn't a very likable teacher. In addition to what Ron heard, he'd also heard that Snape really disliked Gryffindors. In fact, majority of the points their House lost was taken by Snape. Still, he probably shouldn't make assumptions before formally interacting with the man.
Ben was snapped out of his musings when the mail arrived, hundreds of owls streaming in the hall and delivering mail to the recipients. So far, he still hadn't received a message back from his mother, but he figured a reply would probably come soon.
Ben saw Harry replying to a message from Hagrid, that giant man, asking Harry to come see him. Ben decided he would tag along when Harry went to meet him, as he was curious to see if he was a real giant, as he was obviously much larger than normal humans, but much smaller than the giants he'd met.
The first years had their first Potions lesson in the dungeons, which made Ben wonder two things: One, why did a school for teaching magic to children have dungeons in the first place, and two, why would anyone in their right mind want to teach students there. Professor Snape did his best to make the place look unsettling, with its low temperature and pickled animal parts floating in glass jars.
Snape, like Flitwick, started the class by taking the roll call, and like Flitwick, he paused at Harry's name.
"Ah, Yes," he said softly, "Harry Potter. Our new…celebrity."
He also paused briefly at Ben's name, but made no comments.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potionmaking," he began, speaking in an audible whisper. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses."
"Should we give you a moment alone with the room?" Ben joked quietly, making a few students giggle.
Snape glared at Ben, and then continued on as if the disruption never occurred, although Ben noted a faint tinge of pink on his cheeks. "I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death - if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
"Garner!" Snape called out. "Since you have time to make jokes at the expense of your professor, do tell what a bezoar is, where I might find one, and what purpose does it serve?"
Hermione's hand shot up, but Ben stood up confidently. "Why, of course, Professor. A bezoar is a stone most commonly found in a goat. It acts as a universal antidote against almost all poisons. Moreover, if you place a bezoar in a cup of poison, it will neutralize the effects of poison. I've actually had to find a bezoar in order to cure one of my classmates from poisoning." Ben finished as he sat down. He knew he probably shouldn't have added that last part, but he couldn't resist. After all, this man did just try to intentionally embarrass him in front of his classmates.
Speaking of which, the members of the Gryffindor house were now applauding Ben, while the Slytherins were mumbling to themselves. Theo shot him a particularly dirty look, which responded to with a smug smile.
"Silence!" Snape yelled, and immediately everyone quieted down. "Mr. Garner. It seems you have a talent for disrupting class. I'll be taking five points for earlier and five for just now."
Ben was peeved, but didn't allow it to show. He didn't want to grant Snape the satisfaction of know he'd gotten under his skin.
"Mr. Potter!" Snape said suddenly. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
Before Snape even finished asking the question, Hermione's hand shot up into the air. Harry glanced at his friends, looking completely bewildered.
"I don't know, sir," Harry said.
"Let's try again. Potter, what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
Ben had to hold himself back from saying certain things that might get him in serious trouble. This shouldn't even be allowed; a teacher publicly shaming their students!
"I don't know," said Harry quietly. "Looks like Hermione does, though. Why don't you ask her?" he snapped, once again causing a few students to laugh.
Snape didn't take so kindly to being dissed twice. "Put your hand down and sit, you silly girl. For your information, Potter, asphodel and wormwood make a sleeping potion so powerful it is known as the Draught of Living Death. As for monkshood and wolfsbane, they are the same plant, which also goes by the name of aconite. Well? Why aren't you all copying that down?"
At that, the students began rushing to copy down what Snape said. "Ten points from Gryffindor your cheek, Mr. Potter." Snape added, subtly smirking at the boy.
After that, Snape put them all into pairs and set them to mixing up a simple potion to cure boils. He swept around in his long black cloak, watching them weigh dried nettles and crush snake fangs, criticizing everyone. He tried to find something the criticize Ben and Neville, who he was partnered up with, but Ben made sure that he followed the instructions to the letter. With good reason, as multiple times Neville almost messed up their potion.
As he couldn't find anything to complain about with Ben, he turned on his second favorite target, Harry, constantly shaming him in front of his classmates and comparing his work to Draco Malfoy's. An hour later, the Potions class was over and the students turned in their assignments and left.
But Ben would make sure his grudge was avenged. Moving quickly, he used his wand to write a few hieroglyphics on multiple spots in the room. Professor Snape was bound to activate one of them, and then he would be having some very, shall we say, furry problems.
He caught up with Harry and Ron, where the latter was consoling the former. "Snape's always taking points off Fred and George. Can I come and meet Hagrid with you?"
"Yeah, let's get a move on. I'd like to finish up Transfiguration homework today, if you don't mind." Ben added.
"Where have you been, mate?" Ron asked.
"Just taking care of some pending business," Ben replied ominously. Harry and Ron glanced at each other, shrugged, then continued on their way.
A/N: Chapter Three is finished! I know it took a while, but like I said earlier, RL can really bust on you, if you catch my drift. Anyway, just let me know your thoughts in a review!
Till next time,