AN: Hi everyone, got something new. This is a mainly Harry Potter fanfic with some elements from Monster Hunter World, though not enough to classify as a as a full crossover. This is also my take on the Fem Harry idea, but before you ask, I highly doubt there will be any romance. Enjoy and please review, though keep it civil. Please read my profile for how not to review.
The Luminous Guides
The sounds of hundreds of conversations filled the air. The cacophony of owls hooting, shrieking or barking their displeasure was deafening. Cats of all sizes, colors and breeds slinked their way the forest of legs as they followed their owners to the gleaming Scarlet and Black of the Hogwarts Express, meowing constantly. Most people here were dressed in long robes with one formidable old witch wearing a hat with a stuffed vulture on top and a good number of the children were already in their school robes of black. The sulfurous smell of burning coal was in the air as the wind blew through Platform Nine and Three Quarters.
Harri wheeled her trunk through the crowd, with her Snowy Owl trying to sleep, but glaring at the noise disturbing Her Royal rest. Harriet Belladonna Potter shook her head, her waist length black hair fluttering in the wind. Hedwig certainly knew her place. Harriet Potter was a slender girl, just gaining the curves of a woman, with porcelain skin, in the five-foot four range, with wicked green eyes and long dark lashes and a perfect complexion thanks to a magical adoption at six years old.
She finally arrived at an empty carriage and hoisted his trunk onto the train with the help of one of the platform workers. Owl cage in hand, she hauled her trunk to the nearest open compartment about halfway down the train. After stowing her trunk in the overhead rack along with Hedwig, she settled down to wait after putting a note on the door that read, "Please knock before entering. Some things can't be unseen."
As the departure of the Hogwarts Express drew near, Harri heard familiar voices. "Come on Hermione, she's here somewhere!"
"Ron, slow down! You're going to trip!"
Harri sighed and opened the compartment window, sticking her head out. "Oi!" She shouted, "In here." She pulled her head back in. Soon enough the compartment door opened and what seemed like half the Weasley clan, plus one Hermione Granger entered.
"Hi, Harriet," Ron grunted as he hoisted his trunk and new owl up to the rack.
"Hullo Ron," Harri answered as she was promptly given a Hermione Hug and could barely breathe.
"Harri!" The bushy haired Gryffindor squealed in her ear.
"Hermione, it's good to see you too. Harri needs to breathe."
Hermione quickly let go and set about storing her trunk as the raven-haired witch was greeted by the two other members of the Weasley family present.
"Harri, old chap-," said one twin.
"Spiffing to see you-," finished the second.
"Fred, George good to see the both of you. Or should I say Gred and Forge?" She replied. The twins cracked identical grins and made their excuses to find Lee Jordan. Hermione let her orange part kneazle Crookshanks out of his basket and he curled up on the seat as Harriet's friends made themselves comfortable. The departure whistle sounded and the carriage lurched forwards as the Hogwarts Express pulled out of King's Cross.
"So, Ron, Hermione, how was the Cup?" She asked them, once they made it out of London and into the countryside, as her guardians had made prior plans and she couldn't go.
"Blimey, Harry. It was amazing. Top Box was great! Right shame you couldn't be there," Ron remarked and was about to go into a play by play of the entire match when an unwelcome voice made itself known.
"Yes, Weatherby. And this last time for you as well. What did your father have to sell to afford those tickets? Your shack of a house?" Draco Malfoy stood outside the compartment. Harriet barely even glanced up. After her summer, Malfoy was just an annoyance. A minor one at that.
"Malfoy. Why don't you just leave and enjoy the train ride to school with your better half, Parkinson. Go get up to something with her. Or your butt buddies, Crabbe and Goyle." She shut the door in Malfoy's face and locked it, not opening it until the odious boy left.
Her friends were staring at her in wide-eyed astonishment, and the Ron gave a wry grin.
"Mate, that was the most hilarious thing I've ever heard." Harri grinned back as Hermione rebuked her.
"Harriet Belladonna Potter! Just what did you get up to this summer?!" Hermione hadn't changed at all over the summer.
"Not much Hermione. My guardians gave me the Talk and hung around the castle while I completed my summer work, then we traveled." She answered. Hermione blushed, looking more like a Scottish tomato than an English Rose. Ron gagged on a chocolate frog he nicked from home. Harriet thumped her male friend on the back to clear the offending piece of chocolate.
"The Talk? That Talk?! The one where you can't look any girl or guy in the eye for a week Talk?" Ron sputtered.
"It was necessary," Harriet replied. "My guardians wanted to catch up with an old friend in Japan and brought me with them. Apparently, it was time for it and this particular friend made it necessary. Believe me, it was embarrassing. Although the historical sights and Tokyo were amazing. And the Japanese Aurors are Samurai. I also got to meet a few Yokai."
"What friend made the Talk necessary?" Hermione queried, raising a fine eyebrow.
"A full-fledged Far Eastern Witch. A powerful one. Goes by the name Yuuko-chan. I doubt she'll be in any of our course books or the library, Hermione. She's a bit reclusive and isn't that interested in Britain or most of Europe." Hermione scowled, there had to be something in the Hogwarts Library about a powerful witch in Japan by that name.
"What about your guardians, Harriet? I've never seen them pick you up from the Express and Ron says that none of his family have met them? Who are they?" Ron nodded in agreement with his bookish friend. "Yeah, mate. You could at least tell us their names. Four years of knowing you and we haven't met them yet. Mum is getting concerned." This was a topic that got brought up every train ride to and from Hogwarts since the end of First Year, when the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, got a rather stern letter about hiding powerful artifacts in schools full of children.
Harri shook her head, her hair swishing around her. "You both know I'm not allowed to talk about them. Names have power after all. You'll meet them, eventually. Besides, you already know that they have a castle out in the wilderness. You'll find the meeting to be illuminating. Besides, Ron, your mum has a habit of believing just about anything the Headmaster says and you know it. Hell, you are the one who keeps telling Ginny off about believing Dumbledore, listening to Dumbledore, trusting Dumbledore."
"Thanks a lot, mate, and you have a point about that. But really a castle?!" Ron asked.
"Hey, I don't own any part of it. And though it is neat to live in a castle for a home, it is bloody annoying. The place is massive, bigger than Hogwarts with corridors and halls leading to all sorts of places and the fjord it's built into is honeycombed with a warren of storage tunnels and hidden caverns. The surrounding lands are also locked in ice and snow so it can be near freezing. I don't go wandering in the unused parts, not after the last time."
"Why not?" Ron asked.
"Ran into some of Aragog's smaller, less intelligent kin."
The redhead shuddered in disgust. "Right, good point."
Soon the interrogation settled into swapping summer tales and Ron rushing to finish his summer work, as Hermione chastised him for putting it off, again. Really, it was a wonder that Ron hadn't gone deaf yet or at least picked up some of Hermione's studiousness. Harriet rolled her eyes, chuckling to herself, amused. Frost and Cataclysmus would have had a conniption fit if she procrastinated on her work. Probably would have banned her from bringing her new familiar as well.
As the train traveled north, passing into Scotland, the sky grew dark with storm clouds and lightning cracked and thunder roared as rain pelted against the carriage windows making it even harder to see out the carriage. Half an hour out, the trio put on their robes and stowed their books, Ron just barely managing to finish his last essay. Not long afterwards, the lights of Hogsmeade Station came into view in the gloom and the train came to a halt. Harriet quickly left the cabin and stood by the carriage door waiting for it to unlock, Ron and Hermione behind her.
As soon as the door unlatched, hood raise to fend of the worst of the rain, Harri darted out to the waiting horseless carriages, with a shout of, "Hi, Hagrid!" The friendly half-giant waved as he shouted to Harriet, "Harriet! Good to see ya! I'll see ya in the Hall if we don' drown!" The ravenette winced as she caught a brief glimpse of the Black Lake as she scurried with her friends into the waiting carriage. It was not an inviting picture. White capped black waves slammed against the shore as lightning crashed down in great electrical spears. Rain pelted down in great sheets as thunder roared through the mountains. Great gusts of wind screamed through the night sky, carrying a strange hint of ice, steel and fire. Ron shook his head as he stared out the carriage window as it traveled up to the castle.
"Mother Nature certainly has her knickers in a twist. I don't fancy being out there anymore than I have to tonight," he remarked.
Hermione muttered an incantation under her breath, pointing her wand at the each of them in turn. "There," the bright witch said, "That should repel the worst of the weather until we can get inside a dry off. Hopefully a professor will be kind enough to cast the Hot-Air Charm on us. I don't fancy getting into trouble with Mr. Filch this early in the year." The other two nodded in agreeance, though, thankfully for Harriet after a couple of kind acts to help the ever-irritable caretaker, Filch was a bit more understanding with her especially if the weather was particularly nasty. The man had even set his nasty cat, Mrs. Norris to escort her to the Hospital Wing after a nasty ambush by Malfoy and his cronies.
Soon enough, the carriage came to a halt and the trio quickly scrambled inside, shaking off the worst of the water before entering. As soon as they got inside, the trio were greeted by Professor Flitwick with several well timed Hot-Air Charms which thankfully dried them off the rest of the way. "Miss Granger, Miss Potter, Mr. Weasley," the diminuative Professor greeted as he dried up the puddles of water, "I assume the weather is just as bad as it appears and many students will probably be needing drying off?"
"Several Elder Dragons might be the cause of the storm, Professor," Harriet answered as Ron blanched at her statement and Hermione looked confused. "At least that's how it seemed from the state of the Lake and from the carriage." Flitwick shook his head as more students arrived.
Ron hissed as they entered the Great Hall, "Harri, don't even joke about those things! They're right nasty and there is nothing we could even do because they're so rare and reclusive."
As they settled down at the Gryffindor table, Hermione asked lowly as shouts of "Dammit Peeves!" came from the Entrance Halls, "Elder Dragons? I've never heard anything about those before. What are they?"
Both Harri and Ron looked incredible grave as they shared a glance. This was not a subject to take lightly. Ron slowly answered, "Hermione, no magical is quite sure what Elder Dragons are, besides the fact that a good number of them look like dragons. Most people consider them myths, they're that elusive, but magical in general are forbidden to even get near one. Not even the Ministry can touch them. Only the Monster Hunters and those like them can deal with them. Charlie says that's for a good reason too, at least according to the few Hunters he's talked too."
"Alright, Ron, but that doesn't answer my question," Hermione snapped.
"I'm getting there, geez! Look, according the Hunters, these aren't your ordinary Monsters-things that are not classified as magical creatures, though they're wyverns. Hunters say that they're more of a phenomenon than creature; more like disasters, cataclysms, living forces of nature and ecological change. All that is known are a few basic things," Ron then proceeded to tick off the points on his fingers as more students filled the Hall. "One: No matter what they look like, they are primarily reptilian in design, though most are more like you or I in metabolism. Two: They are bloody powerful and you don't want to piss one off. Three: If one shows up, get a Hunter there as soon as you can to drive it off. Four: Magicals are explicitly forbidden harming or approaching one, unless it happens to be an Awakened Elder mated to a Hunter, even then the Ministry can't touch them. And finally, stay out of their way. I'm talking about near sentient creatures that live for millennia that can control the very forces of nature."
By this time the other fourth year Gryffindors had arrived and were listening in, As Ron didn't normally show this much interest in any subject aside from Chess and Quidditch if it wasn't necessary for class or dealing with one of the yearly attempts on Harri's life. Several of which were nodding in agreement, like Seamus Finnegan and Neville Longbottom.
Harriet then added, "Or if you're a rare magical whose been adopted by a Hunter. If seen, admire them from afar. They are awe inspiring in their homelands. The storm outside could very well have been caused by a clash between two or more Elders. I caught the faint scent of Ice and Steel on the wind which is normally a sign of two Elders in particular. A Kushala Daora, The Steel Dragon," that name cause everyone nearby to shudder as Harriet continued, "And even worse, the Ice Dragon as well."
Neville squeaked at that, "Please not that! Not the Icebourne!" as the last of the elder students filed in to their seats awaiting the Sorting. Though Seamus said, "Neville, it's just a mere myth! No one's even sighted one."
Luckily, before that topic could be delved further into Professor McGonagall entered the Hall with the first years as Hagrid sidled in from a side entrance behind the Head Table. Then the Sorting Hat began to sing:
"A thousand years or more ago
When I was newly sewn,
There lived four wizards of renown,
Whose names are still well known:
Bold Gryffindor, from wild moor,
Fair Ravenclaw, from glen,
Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad,
Shrewd Slytherin, from fen.
They shared a wish, a hope, a dream,
They hatched a daring plan
To educate young sorcerers
Thus Hogwarts School began.
Now each of these four founders
Formed their own house, for each
Did value different virtues
In the ones they had to teach.
By Gryffindor, the bravest were
Prized far beyond the rest;
For Ravenclaw, the cleverest
Would always be the best;
For Hufflepuff, hard workers were
Most worthy of admission;
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.
While still alive they did divide
Their favourites from the throng,
Yet how to pick the worthy ones
When they were dead and gone?
Twas Gryffindor who found the way,
He whipped me off his head
The founders put some brains in me
So I could choose instead!
Now slip me snug about your ears,
I've never yet been wrong,
I'll have a look inside your mind
And tell where you belong!"
The Hall politely applauded as the Hat bowed. Then Professor McGonagall started calling out names to be sorted. Ron was quietly grumbling about being hungry, which prompted a snarky reply from Harriet that he was always hungry. The rebuttal was amusing.
"So? I just had to give Hermione Granger of all people an educational lecture! Excuse me for being hungry after that!" This caused quiet laughter amongst the nearby Gryffindors. Hermione pouted when Harriet attempted to soothe her by petting her head. The ravenette had figured out quickly in First Year that her bookish friend could be very catlike in her mannerisms.
Luckily for everyone, the Sorting soon concluded. It was then that Headmaster Dumbledore stood up to speak causing Ron to groan.
"I have just two words to say to you," the bearded headmaster announced, "Tuck In."
With that the Welcoming Feast appeared upon the gold plates before them and everyone started to serve themselves. While Ron stuck to foods he was familiar with, such as chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes and other such things, and Hermione daintily ate salad and roast beef, Harriet aimed for the more, healthy options, like fish and several different vegetables, but did enjoy a few things that reminded her of home. Hearty meat filled stews and other such things, especially on a night like this. Soon enough, the main course had been replaced by dessert which Harriet abstained from. Her family did not eat the kind of overly rich, sweet and fattening things found in Britain, for after all, in their lands, being sluggish after eating could end in death. She contented herself with a small cup of tea from Japan, which, she had discovered, helped soothe her more than anything else.
Hermione caught a whiff of the tea and simply asked, "Macha?" Harriet nodded, replying, "Yuuko introduced it to me."
"Now I really what to find out more. That smells absolutely divine."
The desserts then disappeared, much to the disappointment of Ron and Headmaster Dumbledore then stood. He gave the usual Start of Term announcements and one that displeased most, that for the Year, Quidditch was canceled. Naturally, this drew many protests from the student body, Fred and George in particular were not saying pleasant things at all.
"SILENCE!" Dumbledore roared gaining instant quiet. "As I was saying, Quidditch is canceled due to a prestigious event we are hosting-," Just then, Mother Nature interrupted with an almighty final thunder clap that echoed through the hall and illuminated a grizzled man. "Ah, please welcome your new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, ex-Auror, Alastor Moody!" Moody stumped up to the head table and seated himself as Ron hissed out, "It's Mad-Eye Moody!" Most of the Hall was in shock at the sight of the grizzled man. Luckily Dumbledore refocused the Hall.
"As I was saying, we are to have the honour of hosting a very exciting event over the coming months, an event that has not been held for over a century. It is my very great pleasure to inform you that the Triwizard Tournament will be taking place at Hogwarts this year."
Harriet grew afraid as the Headmaster continued on, delving briefly into the History of the Tournament and the death toll, announcing that rules and that the delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang would be arriving on October Thirtieth for the selection of Champions at the Halloween Feast. Then, just as her fear reached a peak as the Headmaster was going to dismiss them all to bed, the Great Hall shook, as something made itself known. The lights flickered and the windows rattled as a great roar echoed across the land. It was the unmistakable roar of a Monster. Everyone turned to the doors, waiting for some fierce beast to come bursting through. When they did finally open, it wasn't what they were expecting.
Striding into the Hall were several individuals in armor carrying very large and dangerous looking weapons, lead by a man in metal plate with a silver staff in one hand and a Gunlance across his back. The Hunters had arrived at Hogwarts.
Everyone stared at the newcomers as the armed group briskly made their way up to the Head Table, where a hushed conversation quickly took place. Dumbledore's eyebrows rose in surprise, and Snape made some unheard comment which got a reaction out of one of the Hunters, one with armor that appeared to be made from an ice beast that looked like a gown a queen would wear.
The woman snapped out, "When the Sapphire Star wants your opinion, Potions Master, he will ask for it! Until then, keep your mouth shut!"
Snape immediately shut his mouth, not wanting the test this woman as the temperature in the Hall dropped by twenty degrees. Soon the hushed conversation finished and the Headmaster turned to speak.
"Students, due to a few, last minute alterations by members of the Ministry, the Tri-Wizard Tournament will now involve Monster Hunter oversight. The Guild has sent this delegation from Astera to oversee and maintain safety for the duration of the Tournament. Before I dismiss you to your beds, their leader wishes to say a few words and I urge all of you to listen well." Dumbledore stepped back as a few members to the Hunters removed their helmets, including the leading hunter and the woman in the gown-armor.
Harriet let out a short gasp, catching her friends' attention. "You guys wanted to meet my guardians, well now you can."
The face of the leading man was marred by three unmistakable scars from a Rathian, over searing blue eyes that cast their gaze out upon the students, steel grey hair falling to his shoulders. The woman in the gown-armor was even more striking, with hair the color of the deepest blue ice and shockingly yellow eyes that seemed to sear into the very soul. Another woman, not in armor, but with magnifying goggles perched on her head flanked him, a leather-bound book strapped to her waist. The man stepped forwards and stood there for a moment watching the students, and then he spoke with a stern voice that reached the far corners of the hall, though he didn't seem to raise it whatsoever.
"Students of Hogwarts Castle, I am the Sapphire Star, Cataclysmus Wind, Master ranked Hunter from Astera. This," he gestured towards the black-haired, goggle wearing woman, who waved, "Is my Hunting Guide and Handler, Margaret Lumiose. And this," he gestured towards the ice-haired woman, who barely moved her head as she cast her eerie yellow gaze towards the Gryffindor Table locking eyes with Harriet and giving a subtle nod, "Is my right-hand woman, wife and fellow Master Hunter, Frost Tempest. I shan't keep you long, for I am well aware that you have need of sleep, but there are things you must know. Due to alterations by your Ministry, The Hunters' Guild is now involved. That means that I and members of my team here are under orders to keep you safe due to the hazard of the Monsters involved in this game. For you, that means if I or anyone of us gives you an order or tell you to do something, you do it. No. Questions. Asked. This is for your safety. Also, you will now be required to attend at least one lesson on Saturday afternoons here in the Hall for instruction on the Monsters you may see during the course of the year, such as my ward's familiar, whom you will see tomorrow. A final warning, do not approach her familiar unless you are escorted personally by my ward. You will die if you do so. Otherwise, I hope that you all have a pleasant and exciting year. That is all."
Cataclysmus stepped backed and allowed Dumbledore to regain the podium, "Yes, thank you Master Hunter Wind for that informative speech. And my dear students I can confirm, that the Hunters do have the authority to tell you exactly what to do and can enforce it. They don't report to the Ministry so I'd better not hear any reports of anyone threatening to tell influential family members about issues. You will not find any sympathy. Now to bed with all of you. Off you pop!"
The students stood quickly and the Gryffindors followed the prefects to the Tower. The upper years scattered to various corners of the Common Room while the prefects directed the first years to their dorms. The rest of the Gryffindors gossiped and Fred and George plotted about the Tournament. Then Professor McGonagall showed up with Cataclysmus and Frost in tow. Both Hunters had divested themselves of their weapons and armor and were dressed a bit more comfortably, the Sapphire Star was in trousers and a pull over shirt and leather boots, while the eerily-eyed Frost was in a dress that matched her glacier dark blue hair accented with silver and helped draw the eye to her very ample chest and fair skin, skin that was so white it had a very slight icy blue tint to it. McGonagall cleared her throat to gain the attention of the upper years. Once all of them were paying attention, she launched into a speech about the behavior expected of them this year. Cataclysmus and Frost maneuvered through the students to reach Harriet for they knew that her friends had been bugging her.
"Harriet," Cataclysmus greeted his adopted daughter. As he approached, Hermione blushed slightly, for even though he was dressed, she could catch sight of his rippling muscles, "I see that your friends did not wait long. I merely wish to inform you that your familiar has made the journey safely and rests within the Forest."
"Dawn made it?!" The young witch asked, as Hermione muttered lowly, "I bet the Centaurs are pleased about that. They don't like any intrusions into the Forest."
Frost nodded, "Yes," she said, her voice like a singing breeze, "However, you've yet to introduce us to your friends, Harriet." Her eyebrow raised up in a scolding manner.
"Sorry," Harri muttered, "Cataclysmus, Frost, meet Ron Weasley," she waved her hand to the red head who politely shook hands with the two Hunters, "And Hermione Granger." Hermione curtsied to the two gaining a smirk from Frost. "Hermione, Ron, you finally get to meet my enigmatic guardians from Seliana. Hopefully, Ron, this will satisfy your mum's curiosity."
Cataclysmus gave a grunt of "Huh," and gave a satisfied grin as Frost laughed, her voice tinkling like icicles in the wind.
"So, this is the chess wizard and bibliophile, both!" The woman remarked, "I may have to test this one's brains." She tapped Hermione lightly on the forehead with a light blue nail causing the Gryffindor Brainiac to squeak and glare at Frost, blushing in embarrassment.
Cataclysmus rumbled, "Miss Granger, the Centaurs were not a problem. In fact, they were quite respectful and indeed grateful when they found that Dawn had completely destroyed a nest of very large spiders that they say was causing numerous problems in the forest. They promised to leave anyone in the outskirts well alone. Now I do believe that it is time you three got to bed. You have class tomorrow. Harriet, you can have your friends meet Dawn after class tomorrow under supervision."
The Sapphire Star clapped her on the shoulder and left, Frost following. The trio parted, heading to their dorms and then prepping for bed.
In the Girls' Dorms, Harriet was settling down, with Lavender and Parvati gossiping in the background. Hermione rolled her eyes and cast a Silencing Charm on her curtains, moving Crookshanks to the side as Hedwig swooped in from the window to almost say, "Good night." Harriet stroked her owl, and with a happy hoot, she flew off. The Giggling Gossips finally turned in and Harri finally rolled over and fell asleep.