I woke up early the next morning. I ordered some breakfast from Tom and chatted with him about what I should buy before my meeting with the Deputy Headmistress. He recommended I buy the necessities first; a wand, clothing, and at least the books for first year along with somewhere to store it all. He said I had a few months to learn the coursework, and considering we were only in April and they wanted a response by the end of July I had time. I had been practicing magic for years; how hard could a few spells that kids younger than me learned be?
I thanked Tom and entered Diagon Alley. The streets were sparsely populated at this time of day, which meant I wouldn't have to wait in long lines. I stopped by Madame Malkin's Robes For All Occasions first. There was only one other person in the store, a squat woman dressed in a purple dress. Mannequins littered the store, each displaying robes of different materials and sizes. I saw normal robes, dress robes and robes that looked tailored for rough use. Some robes felt rough and heavy as if made from wool or leather, while others felt light and flowy, as if made from silk.
"Well hello there dear," the lady said. "Welcome to madame Malkin's. I'm Madame Malkin, how may I help you today?"
"I wanted to order some robes," I told her.
"Of course dear. Now, what sort of robes are you looking for?"
"What do you have?" She led me in front of a mirror where a tape measure zipped out of her pocket and began to measure every inch of my body.
"Well we have Dragonhide which is a bit bulkier than some people prefer, but it is the preferred material for Auror's as it inherently magically resistant. We also have Acromantula silk, which is the lightest material around, and one of the most highly sought after. Wearing it feels as if you're wearing air, and I've yet to know of anyone who is disappointed by it. We also have more standard cloaks from regular materials that, while not at the same level as cloaks made from the materials I just told you, they are also highly sought after."
"Regular robes will be fine. Ill need five of them."
"Of course dear. Will woolen robes work then?" I nodded. As the tape measure finished measuring my legs it zipped off and landed on top of a desk. Madame Malkin walked over to it and waved a wand. A sheet of paper came out and settled under the tap measure, and numbers began to appear on the paper.
"I have your measurements here." She told me. "Give me three days and your robes will be ready. Come back and pick them up then."
I left the store after paying for the robes, which only cost two galleons and thirty sickles. Next stop was the bookstore. I entered Flourish and Blotts and was amazed at the sheer size of the store. Shelves stacked to the ceiling with books littered the store. The sheer disparity in books themselves was astounding; some books were the size of large stones bound in leather. Others were the size of a stamp, and a few of the books contained nothing at all. A few books caught my attention, mostly the books about curses, but I decided to wait before tackling those. Fundamentals first. After a few minutes of browsing I asked the manager about the books I needed, and after giving me a strange look he collected them both and handed them to me. I purchased them, along with paper, ink and quills. I wondered why they used such an antiquated form of writing, but assumed it was just wizards being weird. I went back to The Leaky Cauldron and stored my books there. One more stop left, and the one I was most excited about.
Asking a few questions to the other wizards in the alley led me to the wandmakers store, a narrow and shabby shop with the words 'Ollivanders; Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.' emblazoned on a sign above the door. I entered the shop and was a little taken aback at its appearance.
It was as narrow and shabby on the inside as it was on the outside, with a thin layer of dust throughout the store. I expected more of a wizard owned shop, especially since it seems this Ollivander character had a monopoly on wands here. Everyone got their wands from him, so it isn't like he's hard up for money. Thousands of boxes lined the shop, some in shelves and others piled up in mounds. A single spindly chair was the only piece of furniture I could see. As I looked around the store a voice called out from between the isles.
"How curious," the voice said. "It isn't often that I receive older students in my shop."
I turned towards the voice and saw an old man walking towards me. He had pale skin, aged white hair and silver eyes like my own. Despite his age the man carried himself with confidence and regarded me with a sharp gaze not unlike Griselda's when we train.
"You're the wandmaker," I asked.
"The very one. Bound for Hogwarts?" I nodded. "Its rare to receive foreign wizards here. Most study at their countries' respective school. May I ask why you chose Hogwarts specifically?"
"I heard it was the best school," I lied. I'm not about to tell him I teleported to study at a school no one had ever heard of.
"That it is. Very well, enough dallying." A tape measure flew out of a pocket and whizzed around measuring me. As it did so Ollivander rummaged through the numerous boxes before pulling one out and handing it to me. I pulled the wand out with the hand not currently being measured, but as soon as I grabbed it Ollivander snatched it from my hand and walked off muttering.
The process continued for a few minutes with more wands discarded. As the piles of wands reached my knee I thought Ollivander would begin to get frustrated, but instead he seemed to grow more excited with each rejected wand. He started taking longer to bring me a wand, going through a process of elimination known only to himself.
Eventually he brought me a plain black box, unadorned like the numerous boxes at my feet, with a gleam in his eye. He opened the box and exposed a gleaming black wand, as unadorned as the box itself.
I picked up the wand and immediately felt a warmth suffuse me, as if I were standing directly under the sun on a summer day. I could feel part of the wand latch itself onto my core, and as I swung it silver sparks shot from the tip.
"How curious," Ollivander said. An ebony wand, eleven inches with the essence of an ice wraith as its core. Ebony wands are proficient in combat magic and conjuration. The ice wraith essence is peculiar. An unusual choice for a wand core, since not many wizards focus on elemental spells these days. The essence is the decayed body of an Ice Wraith, which disintegrates upon death. As the name implies, an Ice Wraith has a large affinity to ice spells and, to a lesser degree, water spells also. Most wizards with these wand cores tend to experience a weakness when dealing with fire-based spells, although a sufficiently powerful wizard could use Ice to extinguish fire. I will be very interested to see what you do with this wand."
I would have to research ice wraiths later. I'm glad that it would power my ice magic more though. It had become a staple when hunting, and I was excited to see what else it would do. I paid for the wand and headed back to The Leaky Cauldron. I ordered some soup from Tom and headed up to my room. Time to study.
There were only a few spells in the books I bought, barely a dozen. It made sense since these were the spells taught to new students who needed to master their magic. The books detailed the wand motion and incantations needed to perform the spell, but I quickly realized that intent was most important to cast a spell. I had been performing magic for years without any incantations or silly wand waving. But it did serve a purpose; a preset incantation structured the magic instead of solely relying on the intent and emotions of the caster, since a stray thought or emotion could alter a spell. I had practiced meditation for years to counter this effect, but even I occasionally found that magic acts differently than I intend.
Over the next few hours, I practiced and mastered all the spells in the book. The levitation and Lumos charms carried the most potential, and I was excited to experiment with them. How much weight could I lift? How bright a light could I produce? Could I move it around or was it stuck emanating from my wand? All food for thought.
As I was practicing the scourging charm I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find a tall, stern looking woman standing there. She was tall, with ebony hair, emerald green robes and square glasses.
"Mr. Quarta, I presume," she asked.
"Yes, that's me."
"I am Professor Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Oh, hello there professor. I'm sorry, I was caught up reading the curriculum that I seemed to have lost track of time."
Her mouth set in a thin line and she quirked an eyebrow as she looked over at the open books on the bed.
"Yes… well, in that case let us see how far along you've gotten."
She walked into the room, waved her wand and conjured a chair that she sat on. I was suddenly feeling nervous. This lady reminded me of Griselda. She would be the one to determine what year I was placed in. It seems students were separated by their age, even more severely than the exorcist institution. I swallowed hard as I realized I had to impress her if I didn't want to look like the idiot studying with younger kids.
We finished up quickly, in about half an hour. I performed the Lumos spell and then extinguished it. I levitated a feather that she conjured, and then used Finite Incantatem to cancel the spell. She conjured a small stick figure and I cast the body-binding curse, tripping hex, and leg locking curse. After that she conjured two socks and cast a stream of water at them. I used the siphoning spell to draw the water out of one, and the hot-air charm to dry the other. Lastly, she locked the door to the room and I cast the Alohomora spell to unlock it.
"I have to say Mr. Quarta, you've shown an excellent understanding of the material."
"Thank you professor. I bought the books and my wand this morning and practiced them while waiting for our meeting."
Her eyes widened. "Truly? This was your first time learning these spells? Without supervision?"
"Yes professor. But I've been using magic for years. These spells were fairly easy to learn since the books detailed how to cast them."
"You mean that you've been using magic without a wand for years?"
"Do you mind showing me the magic you've used.?"
I spent the next few minutes showing her the magic I used. I formed a few ice constructs and noticed that the spells came easier and used less mana. I assumed it was the ice wraith core helping me. I conjured fire, wind, lightning and moved things around telepathically. All of it wordless, as always.
"Well Mr. Quarta, I have to say I'm impressed. Few wizards use elemental spells these days, and wordless to boot! How long have you been practicing this?"
A few years now professor. Telepathy I've been using since I was a toddler, but elemental spells I learned a few years ago while training."
"Training? For what?"
"My guardian is part of a group of fighters. We hunt creatures that attack humans, like trolls."
"That sounds exceedingly dangerous Mr. Quarta. Trolls are a danger even to adult wizards."
"You're telling me. I almost died when fighting a troll last year."
"You fought a troll?"
"Yes, this troll was hunting in a town and there were already some disappearances. Griselda and I went to investigate. I tracked it down to a cave and as I was leaving it came back and attacked me. Damn thing was a pain in the ass to kill." At her aghast expression I had to clarify. "But Griselda was supervising the whole time. She would have stepped in if I had been in any danger."
"It was still a dangerous situation to put a child in Mr. Quarta."
I shrugged. "Trolls are far from the most dangerous creatures out there professor. It's our job to hunt them down."
"I can see there won't be any changing your mind. Such courage is to be admired though and is what my house of lions pride themselves on. Maybe there's a future for you as an Auror?"
"Ill consider it professor." I had no clue what an Auror was, but it seemed to be like an exorcist. Little did she know I was already one of their members.
"Before I leave Mr. Quarta, would you like to attempt transfiguration? It's the class I teach. Normally we provide the first-year book, A Beginners Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch, to students so I brought one with me."
"Of course, professor."
She pulled out a pouch from her pocket, reached in and brought out a book. When I asked how she fit an entire book into such a small pouch she said it was a space expansion charm. It seemed like my pocket dimension but confined into an object. Much more covert. I would have to learn that as soon as possible.
Professor McGonagall then went on a lecture of how transfiguration worked. We would use a single spell, Transformare, for most transfigurations. She described it as a more scientific magic than say charms, which allows for much more personal creativity. She said that Transfiguration does not make an object truly living; instead, it animates it in a way like a golem. When casting the transfiguration, the knowledge that we have of the animal is transferred to the object, which is why they seem so real. She had me start off easy, transfiguring a match into a needle. My first attempt gave the match the shape of a needle but retained the color of the match. My second attempt did the same but gave the needle a pointed tip. On my third try I got it perfect.
"If we were in class right now I would have given you house points Mr. Quarta. Rarely does a student manage the transfiguration so quickly. But I guess your age and years using magic would give you an advantage over a first year."
"Do children not practice with their magic while young professor?"
"Not usually, no. While accidental magic is common among children, like bringing toys out of reach to them, most don't practice their magic until they reach eleven years old and begin their education. Magic can be dangerous if improperly used, and children reach their first magical maturity at eleven. They reach their second and last one at seventeen, which is usually when they graduate from Hogwarts and are considered an adult."
That sounded very similar to the magic I used as a toddler. But it made no sense not to start developing powers earlier. By eleven years old I was able to fight off trainees much older than me. But these people weren't trained for combat, they were civilians who could use magic. It made some sense to wait for them to mature before having them learn using something as volatile as magic.
Professor McGonagall then had me perform one more transfiguration, turning a mouse into a teacup. She waved her wand and conjured a mouse. My first transformation was nearly flawless, except for the inside of the teacup which was still brown and furry. Professor McGonagall reminded me that I need to imagine the finished form in its entirety. Focusing on just one aspect, like the outside in my case, would cause a partial transformation. My second transfiguration came out flawlessly.
"Well done Mr. Trajan. You seem to have a talent for Transfiguration. I hope you continue to show this degree of skill in my class."
"Thank you professor. Now, about the year I'll be placed in…"
"Normally a fourteen-year-old would be in their fourth year of class. In your situation I came up with an idea. We are halfway through April right now. Buy the second year coursebooks and study them. I brought the list of necessary books here. Owl me when you believe you have mastered them and I will come by and proctor an exam like today, After that I will provide you with the third year book list and you can proceed to do the same with the coursework, and we will do an exam again. Whatever year you reach by mid-July will be the year you'll be placed in. If it happens to be below fourth year then you can spend the next year practicing. When you reach the fourth year coursework we can do another exam and move you up to that year."
"That sounds perfect professor."
"Very well. I need to get back to school now. I have essays to grade. I hope to see great things from you Mr. Quarta."
As Professor McGonagall left I thought over what she said. I had most of three months to study three year's worth of coursework. I managed to learn the entire first year coursework in one morning, but each year would grow progressively harder. I could do it. I packed all of materials into my pocket dimension and left the Leaky Cauldron. I would come by later to buy the second-year books. It was time to tell Griselda what I found. I headed to an alley and teleported away.
Minerva hadn't seen a student like Mr. Quarta in a long time. While true that he was behind his peers in their Hogwarts coursework, he was far beyond them in his actual use of magic. She wasn't lying when she told him few wizards used elemental spells these days. Manipulating elements was inherently dangerous, and Liam had not only showed proficient use with four of them, he had done it wordlessly to boot! His ease of use showed he had been using wordless magic for years now, which was unheard of for a wizard of his age. Only a wizard of Albus' caliber could do something like that. She was expecting great things from Mr. Quarta. She would just have to wait to see how far along he could get in three months. After all, he wouldn't have scrolls of homework assigned to distract him.
As I teleported I found myself in the strange kaleidoscope of colors again. Except this time something latched onto me and I found myself moving through space not of my own volition, a sphere of red energy surrounding me. After a few minutes of traveling I stopped moving and a tear in space appeared in front of me. A tiny girl emerged from it and I couldn't help myself from staring at her. She was a tiny waif of a girl, four feet tall and looked like she was maybe ten years old. She wore white shorts, a black dress closed by a purple bow that covered her torso but opened at the bottom. She wore a hairpiece that wouldn't look out of place on a maid, and her pitch-black hair seemed to shine in this space of infinite colors. She slowly floated until she was in front of me and just stared. Eventually she spoke.
"You, are strange," she said. I flinched at the sound at her voice; it carried no emotion. Her face was equally impassive. It was creepy.
"I don't want to hear that from you," I replied. Somewhere in the back of my head warning bells were going off telling me to shut up, but I ignored them. "What's a little girl doing in a place like this anyways?"
"I, have no shape. You, look strange. You feel human, but also don't. What are you?"
"I'm human as far as I know."
"And yet, you are here. No human can enter this place."
"And where are we?"
"The dimensional gap. The area between dimensions. My home."
"I see. So I'm intruding in your home?"
"You and one other."
"Who is the other one?"
"An annoyance. One you will help me kill."
"I doubt I could be much help to you. You were able to easily stop me, I'm sure this being could too."
"Yes, you are weak. But you can travel between dimensions. Continue to do so, and become stronger."
She grew silent and just stared at me, so I did the same to see how she liked it. I admit it's not my greatest idea, antagonizing a being that is clearly leagues beyond me in power, but my brain doesn't seem to be in control now. Some part of me screamed to meet the expectation of this girl, and I struggled to force that feeling down.
I looked inside her eyes, and suddenly understood why I'm drawn to her; nothing can be found in her eyes. And by that I don't mean her eyes are guarded or blank; there simply isn't anything in them. They look like two pieces of glass embedded in her head. Unlike people who have been harmed and form a barrier around their emotions, she seems to never have had those emotions in the first place. It made me wonder what sort of life she had lived up until this point.
"It's rude to stare," she said, drawing me out from my thoughts. I wonder how long we stared at each other.
"Yes, yes it is. I apologize for staring; I was trying to understand you." She cocked her head to the side, and the intensity with which she stared at me seemed to increase.
"You came to me first, so you should first tell me what you want."
"You, are weak. But you carry potential. You can use the Gap. I will find you again one day. Become stronger." With that she turned around and left through another tear in space, leaving me confused. Before I could think on it too much the sphere of energy began to wear away, so I teleported back home once more.
As I reached back home I immediately set out to find Griselda. After speaking to Sister Sarah I found out Griselda was currently away on a mission. In order to waste time I trained with Xenovia. This time I decided to test out my new spells on her. It was both a test of her reflexes and to determine how long I could cast continually.
Maybe it was because these were spells learned by children, but after casting dozens I barely felt a dip in my reserves. I was excited to find out how I would do with stronger spells. Xenovia was less than happy with our training. Each spell shot out at a speed just below a shot arrow, so she was on the defensive often. I was faster than her, so even when she got close I was able to dodge her swings. Watching her fall flat on her face after catching her with a tripping hex was immensely satisfying.
My advantage didn't last long. Xenovia quickly discovered that she could intercept my spells with her sword without them affecting her. Once she discovered that we quickly reached a stalemate; her reflexes were quick enough to catch every single spell I slung her way. I called off our spar after a few minutes.
"You completely ruined my excitement of learning new spells," I told her.
"Good. I almost broke my nose you know."
"You would have been fine. Sister Sarah would have fixed it."
"You enjoyed that far too much." I just smiled at her. "Griselda said you're leaving to go study magic?"
"That's right. I found one this weekend. I met with one of the professors there. Term starts in august."
"I see. So you'll be gone for a while." She looked crestfallen so I tried to cheer her up.
"It won't be that bad. I'll come by every weekend." She smiled, but still didn't look happy. "There was always a chance I'd leave for extended amounts of time. If it weren't for school, it could have been a mission or I could have been stuck monitoring an area. At least ill be safe here. No monster attacks at a school."
"True. You must come every weekend okay? If you don't ill tell Griselda she has to be extra hard on you." A shiver went down my spine. That would be horrible. After that we parted ways and I spent the next few hours practicing my spells in the forest. I practiced transfiguration by conjuring ice and changing its shape. In a real fight it would be faster to just conjure my ice in the shape I needed, but for transfiguration it worked wonders. Since the ice was a construct of my magic it changed shape much easier. I created birds, goblets, books and a bunch of other meaningless items I could think of.
Before long night fell, and as I was considering heading back a familiar golden glow erupted in the sky above me.
"Hello Lady Gabriel," I said as she descended. She looked as beautiful and flawless as always. I had to resist the urge to look up her dress as she flew down. No need to be beaten senseless today.
"Hello there Liam," her melodious voice said. "It's been a while since we last saw each other. How have you been?" She sat down on the floor and I did the same.
"I've been doing well. My training has been coming along splendidly. I brought up that I need magical training to Griselda and she agreed that I should study at an academy."
"I see. Well I'm glad that you're so focused on your studies. Have you given any thought to which school you'll join?" despite what she said she didn't actually sound happy. She was probably afraid of losing someone to talk to.
"Well Griselda suggested a few, like Grauzauberer, the golden Dawn and Rosenkreuzer. But I found one myself. There's just a small problem though. It seems to be in a different dimension."
At her raised eyebrow I explained the events of the last two days. I explained my teleportation to her, which she praised me for. Apparently, teleportation was a difficult spell to master for most wizards. When I explained that my first time teleporting was the day she found me nine years ago she praised me for being so powerful at a young age. I blushed at her words and hoped she couldn't see it in the low gloom; praise from a lady as beautiful as Lady Gabriel would make anyone blush.
I told her of the Dimensional Gap, which brought a frown to her face. I told her of The Leaky Cauldron, Gringotts and the shops I visited. Then I told her of the letter I received and the exam Professor McGonagall proctored. I told her about our plan for the next three months, and then told her about my trip back through the Dimensional Gap and the being I encountered.
"You must be very careful around her Liam," she told me. "That person is exceedingly dangerous. I mean it."
"You know who that was?"
"I've never met her, but yes. The last I heard she wore the form of an old man. But she changes shape every few centuries. Don't let her looks fool you though. That is the singular most dangerous being in existence. You have to promise me to be careful, okay?"
I nodded, and then told her of our conversation. Lady Gabriel did not take that well.
"That bitch!" My jaw dropped at her use of profanity. I had never heard her swear before. I didn't think she even could. She wasn't paying me any attention though and went on a small rant about power hungry idiots destroying the lives of others.
'If she has such a problem with him being in her home then she should do something about it herself instead of seeking others to do it for her. You said she told you to get stronger and that she would seek you out later?" I nodded. "That isn't good. Ophis Is up to something. What if she's gathering people to…?"
She stood up with an alarmed expression. "I'm sorry to cut our meeting short Liam, but I must tell my brother about this."
"Is there something I could help you with?"
"No, don't concern yourself with this. Leave this problem for the adults to deal with. You just concentrate on going to school, okay? You're only young once. Go learn, make friends and enjoy life."
With that she kissed me on the forehead and disappeared in a flash of golden light. As I looked down at the bulge in my pants I groaned as now I had a very different problem I had to deal with.
The next three months passed by in the blink of an eye. Griselda came along and told me Lady Gabriel had talked to her. I was now to focus exclusively on the Hogwarts curriculum. According to Griselda, 'no student of hers would fall behind their peers.' She also told me that Lady Gabriel had dropped off presents for me.
Dozens of gold and silver bars. It was apparently a present to make sure I could purchase my supplies. I was truly blessed to know Lady Gabriel. She was so nice and helpful. I dropped the bars off at Gringotts who proceeded to deposit their worth into my account with no questions asked. It's not like they would have believed that a literal angel from another dimension gave them to me anyways.
I purchased the next three years of the Hogwarts curriculum at once. I would need it eventually and this saved me a few trips in the future. I picked up my robes from Madame Malkin and ordered a few more, these of dragonhide and Acromantula silk. Dragonhide was supposed to be resistant to minor spells and jinxes, and I would have to test out how well they protected me alongside Touki. As for the Acromantula silk, well, any excuse to look good right?
It took me three weeks to learn the second-year curriculum. Professor McGonagall was astonished when I owled her for m exam and praised me when we finished our exam. After that it took me a full month to learn the third-year curriculum. Professor McGonagall was less astonished this time but told me that I should now focus on the other classes we would be learning. She gave me the book list for Potions, Astronomy, Herbology and A History of Magic. She warned that I would be behind my peers for these classes and that would be no excuse for the professors. That was fine. Memorization was easy enough for me. I spent the next month poring over the books. I focused on the history and astronomy books first. It was easy enough to memorize names, events and dates, and Xenovia was more than happy enough to quiz me.
Potions and Herbology seemed to go hand in hand. Herbology was a study of plants and their effects on people and potions. A few seemed to possess a level of sentience, which I quickly discovered was common when dealing with magic. Potions was the hardest class yet. It reminded me of cooking, but with the added danger of a potion exploding in your face if done wrong. But the books detailed the crafting process, and after purchasing the needed supplies I was able to craft all the first and second year potions and most of the third years.
Eventually the end of July came around and I met with Professor McGonagall again who enrolled me in the fourth-year curriculum. She gave me instruction of when and where to be to ride the train that would take me to Hogwarts.
August first came along, and after saying my goodbyes and promising Griselda and Xenovia that I would visit every weekend I teleported and said goodbye to my home.
Hogwarts starts next chapter. I already know which years Liam will be a part of, and which house he will be sorted into. My wife was the one who made the choice after I asked which house he should join of the two I was considering.
If curious about the progress of the following chapters, I will update on my profile about the word count.
I moved this chapter to the crossover section since I plan on mixing a few worlds in this story. A thanks to Guest-questioner for bringing that to my attention.
And about my use of third and first person view. I will use third person when the POV changes to another character because they aren't the main character. If I use it with Liam, please forgive me. I have the nasty habit of using third person when not paying attention. My wife usually catches this when she reviews my chapters, but if you catch some that slip through call me out on it. It's the only way ill learn.
As always, please leave a review. Each one inspires me, no matter how small.