AUTHOR MESSAGE: STOP SUGGESTING FIC IDEAS, IT IS REALLY GETTING IRRITATING! Thank you. I will be posting the same message on all future updates because I get bloody requests almost every time I update a chapter, often for crosses I know absolutely nothing about.
Chapter 4: Alice arrives
Mary walked out of the hospital wing three days after the disastrous prank. During that time she had stayed in dragon-girl form because they were both unsure about how changing forms would affect her injuries.
During that time she also started to practice her writing in her 'true' form, so that she wouldn't have to keep switching back and forth. She managed to make some semi-legible handwriting and drafted a letter to Alice, that she would talk to Dumbledore about before she sent it.
She had also noted in that time, everything had a slight red tint to it, but she simply ignored it and adjusted accordingly, correctly assuming that it was just a quirk of her new biology.
She wasn't feeling guilty about Ron's screw up, but she felt that getting some goodwill from her mother would be a good thing, so he felt that having Alice examine the four-eyed girl would probably have better information on when, and if it could be reversed.
Not that she wanted to be changed back, but giving the option to Ronda would only be fair... as long as the other neo-girl apologizes for stealing from her.
Mary stopped and remembered what day it was, and wished she had another day in bed, today she had potions.
Changing into her human form as she crossed the threshold to her least favorite class, she looked around for a partner and seeing the choice between Ronda, Hermione, a random Ravenclaw pair, or on her own she sat at an empty desk.
Seeing the new girl sitting alone, and not tripling up with her pre-transformation friends was confirmation enough that the friendships had fractured.
Professor Snape started his class by insulting Harry, and what she had become, and beyond a slight clenching of Harry's teeth, got almost no response, beyond the gut feeling that he was poking an irritated dragon with pointy sticks made of words.
Which is why he stopped much earlier than normal.
The potion today was actually simpler than the first one of the year but showed a nice clear change in colors.
The potion turns at one point from a nice bright purple to a nice bright blue.
At that point, you need to stop stirring and add the next ingredient.
Continue to stir beyond a few more stirs, and the thing goes off like a bomb.
He noted that Mary had reached that point and kept stirring.
He moved to see why she was still stirring.
Mary frowned at the still purplish solution. She noted many people adding in other ingredients at this point in the class, but hers remained stubbornly purplish, and the book stated explicitly to not add the next ingredient until it wasn't visibly purple.
She felt the shift in the air as her least favorite professor moved behind her.
It was at that point the potion turned a violent red, and if she recalled the warning correctly... she acted on instinct, shoving the professor back with one arm, and covering her eyes with the other.
Severus saw the potion change color and tried to check his forward momentum. The potion at this stage was harmless, but the shrapnel wouldn't be.
Then he felt himself shoved backward, causing him to fall on his butt, right before the cauldron exploded.
He saw that the girl was standing where her cauldron was, with her arm over her eyes.
Fearing that Dumbledore would take it out of his hide if his precious golden boy... er girl was harmed badly, he stood up and went to check on her, only for her to put her arm down and turn to him.
He looked away. The man was not a pedophile, so seeing a half-naked eleven-year-old was not on his list of allowable actions.
The cauldron had shredded Potter's robes, but the flesh underneath, from what he had seen in his brief glimpse was unharmed.
Pointing his wand at the girl's last known location, he cast the repairing charm. Looking again, he saw the robes were still badly damaged but preserved the girl's modesty.
"Sorry about shoving you professor, it was the only way I could think to get you out of the blast radius," Mary sheepishly explained.
Taking a deep breath, Snape calmed the anger he always felt when dealing with the Potter brat. This was actually helped by the transformation, as she no longer looked like a young James Potter with her mother's eyes, now she just had the eyes.
"Explain why you didn't stop stirring," the professor demanded.
"It was still... aw damn it. A side effect of my transformation, one I didn't really think about during the brewing, was everything looks slightly red to me, so..."
She was interrupted by an annoyed Snape, "So the potion looked purple to you. Detention for not telling me the problem. Now get out."
Mary nodded and packed up, noting how there were shards of her cauldron all around the area and said, "Yes professor, would you like me to come back later and clean up the mess I made?"
Snape raised an eyebrow and was about to respond when Neville's cauldron exploded.
"No, that will probably be part of your detention, go to Pomfrey and tell her to come here to help these two."
Mary nodded and made her way out of the classroom, and to the medical wing.
After passing on the message, Harry went to see his current least favorite person in the world.
Dumbledore was mildly surprised that Mary wanted to speak to him, and so let her in.
"You wanted to see me my boy, er girl?" he asked to start the conversation off with.
"First, I'm Not your anything, politeness dictates you refer to me the same way as the rest of your students, Ms. Potter is fine. Second, I would like to ask permission to invite the one who gave me the books to Hogwarts. She's probably more knowledgeable about the ritual than I am, and might be able to help the thief, after all, she knew what was needed without looking it up."
Dumbledore frowned at this technically correct term for the son of one of his biggest supporters, before responding, "I'm glad that you are starting to forgive..."
"I'm not forgiving anybody, but in the interest of self-interest, me making my best attempt to see whether it can be undone for the Weasley, means fewer issues from the uninvolved," Mary calmly stated.
Dumbledore frowned then nodded. Ron had made his/her own bed by using an unknown ritual, never mind a poor translation of said ritual. He had retrieved the copy that the boy had used, and compared it to the version that Mary had provided post ritual, and had cringed at the horrible grammar. The headmaster was just grateful that whoever made the ritual had put in safeties that prevented people from dying if they screwed it up.
So he made a decision, "Please contact her. I have also contacted the department of mysteries for the same purpose."
Mary nodded, then stood up, and was about to leave, when Dumbledore asked, "Ms. Potter, have you changed your mind about..."
"Being under your so-called 'protection?' No chance in hell. Nobody that actually cared about me would have placed me with those animals," Mary snarled.
"Very well," said a disappointed headmaster, "I hope you will change your mind before the end of the year.
"Not likely," Mary snorted and left.
A few minutes later, she stuck her head back in, and Dumbledore asked, "Yes?"
"I've been meaning to ask someone, where's Draco? I've been expecting him to attempt to torment me like he's been trying since September. Except for more insults about 'impure' blood and 'subhuman trash.'"
Dumbledore's face fell. "He was expelled by Pomfrey for attacking you while in her domain. I couldn't prevent her from doing so."
Mary scowled, and shot back, "You would have prevented it? Someone that proved to be willing to attack others, and you would have kept him here? More proof that your protection isn't worth a damn."
She then pulled her head back and slammed the door shut.
Dumbledore's mouth, which was about to extol the virtues of forgiveness and second chances, closed.
He honestly didn't think that would make his case worse for being her guardian.
Perhaps he should actually think of what to say to convince her to allow him to be her guardian, instead of thinking she'd just calm down. He would have to speak with her, not as one of his allies, but as a neutral, or hostile entity.
At least she was willing to work with him for some minor tasks, like young Ronda.
Even if it was in self-interest.
He did wonder who gave Harry the ritual that turned him into Mary.
Three hours later, a bored Alice was dozing at her shop. Few people come in, and she merely ran it to keep herself occupied, when she received a letter via ice phoenix delivery.
Opening it, she chuckled at the legible, but untidy scrawl.
I want to thank you again for the ritual, and I'm starting to get used to writing with my claws.
The reason I'm writing, not that I wouldn't write anyway, is that someone used one of my poor translations to do the ritual, and of course, flubbed it. I would like to ask if you would come and examine the screw-up, and see if it could be reversed (personally I'm hoping she's stuck that way).
I just want to 'cover our bases' in the event that people start accusing me, and/or you, of setting the newly girled boy up.
I have already obtained the headmaster's permission in case you decide to come.
Enclosed are some pictures of the screw up the ritual circle he used, and the poor translation, as well as some better shots of myself since the previous versions were rather... bad since I used a flash in front of a mirror.
Thanks again for your help, and if you decide not to come, I hope to drop by after the school year is over.
Mary Erica Potter,
Harry James Potter.
Alice chuckled at both the letters and the pictures, pictures that were of a considerably better quality than the previous ones, and frowned at what Mary called 'the screw up', and seeing that the phoenix Alice was still there, she asked, "Would you mind giving me a lift?" at the bird's nod, she started packing the references that she needed, not that she actually needed them, but it gave her more credibility if it looked like she needed to look something up once in a while. She completely missed how the bird was giving the ritual book a speculative glance.
After getting ready, Alice was 'iced' (EN) to Hogwarts's front doors, uncaring that it was dinner time.
She then pounded on the large doors and waited.
Several minutes later, a very large hairy man. A man who asked, "What do you want?"
"I was invited to check on a student who screwed up a ritual," she simply said.
The big man thought for a second, then said, "Let me check."
Five minutes later he was back, and simply said, "Dumbledore told me to invite you to join us for supper before you look at Ron."
"I would be happy to, I admit I'm rather hungry," came the woman's response.
Upon entering the great hall, Dumbledore abruptly stood up at seeing her, and shouted, uncaring of the fact that he was around the full complement of students, "Bloody hell! I should have known it was you that gave that damn book to Harry!"
Alice simply smiled impishly.
EN: everybody calls Fawkes's transportation flaming, so an ice phoenix would be icing, and flamed becomes iced.