I'll Get By


And here is another one for you guys here.

As always, for those interested, further chapters for this are available on my website. See previous chapters for info on how to access that.

(Yes, they are completely free to access)

Anyway, enjoy, and follow, favourite, and review.


"You're making excellent progress," Dumbledore praised.

"It doesn't feel like I'm making any," Minerva yawned. "Nothing is happening."

Before the sun had risen, she found herself in the transfiguration classroom with the overly chipper man working diligently to make strides in their current project.

Her professor was an excellent practitioner of transfiguration, a brilliant wizard overall in truth, but even Minerva had her limits at five am when she should still be resting.

"Nothing that you would pay attention to, my dear," he countered with a chuckle, "but I believe I would be right in saying that the hair on your arms is longer than when you arrived."

Minerva scowled at the growth.

She thought that learning to be an animagus would be a fun process, but thus far, all she had done is spent her free time removing rogue hair from her arms, legs, and even her feet.

If this was progress, then she wanted no part of it.

"Patience, Minerva," Dumbledore urged. "This is one of the most complex forms of transfiguration to master, but when you do, it will all be worth it."

Minerva nodded.

The project had been her idea, after all, and knew that it would not be simple. It was a very dangerous undertaking, and in truth, she should be grateful that there had been no mishaps.

It was not as though she had completed a partial transformation that she had been stuck with.

Not yet anyway.

"I know," she sighed.

Dumbledore offered her an encouraging smile.

"This could take several years of work to complete, but you are well on your way towards it. Stay positive, you will get there."

"And I will just have to tolerate the additional hair growth along the way?" she said dryly.

Dumbledore chuckled.

"Indeed, but it could be worse. You could be a fish and have to descale yourself instead."

Minerva grimaced at the thought.

"Why did you never do it, professor? Become an animagus," she asked.

Dumbledore hummed at the question and nodded.

"I considered it many times, but my attention was always turned towards other ventures. I apprenticed under Nicholas for my studies in Alchemy, and forgive me a moment of immodesty, but I did not have such a proficient instructor to hand. I exceeded the capabilities of my own Professor before I finished my fourth year."

Minerva nodded her understanding.

For all his quirks and whimsical ways, Dumbledore was already perhaps one of the best transfiguration practitioners who had ever lived.

"Anyway, I do not wish to be rude, but I am required to assess Mr Potter with Professor Dippet shortly," he explained. "We will resume our work tomorrow."

"Of course," Minerva readily agreed as she began gathering her things.

"What do you think of him so far?" Dumbledore asked curiously as she did so.


Dumbledore nodded.

"He mentioned you put him through his paces."

Minerva smiled at the memory.

"He is a natural, Professor, but he lacks the confidence," she replied honestly. "He completed an organic to synthetic transfiguration without realising how advanced it is."

"Really?" Dumbledore questioned.

That was a very difficult practice to grasp, one that many seventh years struggled with.

"He says that he hasn't done much work beyond the classroom, and that he is better with defence than anything else."

"I suppose he would have to be," Dumbledore said sadly, shaking his head.


"It's nothing, Minerva. I will not break his confidence, but Mr Potter has experienced much more than any should for one even as old as Professor Dippet. He is quite the remarkable young man."

"He seems nice," Minerva agreed. "It must be horrible for him. He doesn't know anyone here, or anything really. I wonder what it is like where he came from?"

"Something that I would urge you not to question him on," Dumbledore said firmly. "Mr Potter is in a very unique position, one that is dangerous, and I must again stress the importance of maintaining his secret. If word were to get out of what befell him, he would be in considerable trouble."

"Of course, Professor, I will not say a thing to anyone, but there is a problem."

Dumbledore gestured for her to continue.

"How will he explain that he has the same name as a really prominent family? He even looks a little bit like Charlus."

Dumbledore released a deep breath.

"That is indeed something that must be addressed, and I am sure the headmaster will do so. However, for the time being, his name is the only thing that he has. I do not think that he will part with it lightly."

"So, what will happen?"

"I do not know," Dumbledore muttered. "I will discuss it with Professor Dippet and Harry when the time is right."


Nicholas was sulking. He always did when he did not have something to keep his mind occupied. After more than six centuries of living, he had kept the same routine when he found himself at a loose end.

At first, he would pace in his library, perusing his vast collection of tomes for something to sink in his teeth in.

When nothing emerged to pique his curiosity, he would take to driving muggle golf balls from the adjoining balcony.

This did little to ingratiate him with his neighbours who did not take kindly to the occasional broken window, but Nicholas didn't care.

Perenelle was much more social than him and was forever apologising for his behaviour, mostly because he refused to. Why would he when he wasn't sorry?

Besides, soon enough, they'd die, and others would move in to begin the process once more.

Maybe he was immature, childish even, but the thought of having new people to upset brought him a sense of joy.

It distracted him from the tedium of life for a while at least.

"Do not even think about it, Nicholas!" Perenelle warned as he passed her by with his favourite club in hand, whistling a tune he'd heard on the radio. "You broke three of their windows yesterday. Mr Ames was furious."

"Mr Ames can get stuffed, the stuck-up old git. He spends his days swanning around his estate and getting his end away with the staff. I've seen him disappearing into the potting shed with that blonde that isn't his wife. Maybe I'll send her an anonymous note," he mused aloud.

"You will do no such thing," Perenelle huffed. "Leave the man be, Nicholas."

"He threw dogshit over our wall!"

"You have no proof it was him. Please, can we not just have neighbours we get on with?"

"No chance," Nicholas grumbled. "I know it was him so a few broken windows should be the least of his worries."

Perenelle shook her head but grinned amusedly at her husband.

"Will you never grow up?"

"No," the man answered petulantly.

"Well, before you decide to launch a plethora of balls towards Mr Ames greenhouse, a letter arrived for you from Albus yesterday. Maybe he has something that will turn you away from your foolish rivalry."

Nicholas nodded eagerly as his wife handed him the missive.

"Albus is a good boy," he said fondly as he tore the parchment open. "He always has such trivial problems for me to solve."

Perenelle watched as her husband's face morphed from one of excitement to one of horror.

"Perhaps not so trivial this time," he muttered as he handed back the note.

"Good gracious," Perenelle exclaimed. "Surely he is jesting with this."

Nicholas shook his head.

"Albus is not one to make light of such things," he mumbled. "No, whatever has happened to this boy is troubling. I can think of no single thing that would result in this."

"Then perhaps it is several things?"

Nicholas nodded.


With something to occupy his mind, his petty rivalry with Mr Ames was all but forgotten, and Nicholas headed towards the library.

If what Albus had said was true, then something was amiss, but he would need to consult a few works first of all.

From there, he would need to speak with the boy to ascertain the series of events that led to his condition, but there was one thing the man was certain of.

Whatever was ailing the boy would be no easy fix, if it could be fixed at all.


"There's no need to be nervous, Harry," Dippet assured him. "We just wish to see where in your studies you are and how best to help you moving forward."

Harry nodded his understanding.

"Alright, we will begin with some questions on potions, and judging by your reaction, it is not your favourite subject?"

Harry had unwittingly grimaced.

"Not really," he replied with a shrug.

"No matter," Dippet dismissed. "We can't all favour spending our days in front of a cauldron, but it is a mandatory topic for the first five years of your schooling, so let's see what you can remember."

Harry sighed, but gestured to the man that he was ready.

"Can you name two ingredients used when brewing a Polyjuice Potion?"

How could he forget?

He had spent much of his second year helping Hermione brew her elicit concoction.

"Boomslang Skin and Lacewing Flies."

Dippet nodded appreciatively as he made a note on his parchment.

"Can you name two ingredients that can be used to heal or cure in their natural state?"

The back of Harry's hand itched at the memory of Umbridge's quill, and he flexed it, the skin still tight from where it had bitten into it.

"Essence of Murtlap and a Bezoar."

The latter he would not forget. Snape had ensured that from the first lesson he had under his instruction.

"Good," Dippet praised, "and finally, can you explain why we would use a brass cauldron instead of a pewter one?"

Harry frowned.

"I have no idea," he answered honestly.

"That's fine," Dippet replied. "That is one of the things we can cover during our tutoring sessions.

Harry nodded gratefully.

"We will move on to transfiguration next. Albus?" Dippet prompted.

The man stood from where he had been leaning on the headmaster's desk and approached, removing a box and enlarging as he did so before placing it on the table Harry was seated at.

"Okay, Harry, to begin with, I would like you for you to turn this feather into a metal," he instructed, giving him an encouraging smile.

"That is rather advanced, don't you think, Albus?" Dippet interjected.

Dumbledore ignored him and nodded for Harry to continue.

Harry drew his wand and did as he had the previous day with Minerva. When he was done, Dumbledore picked up the length of metal, his eyes twinkling merrily as he inspected it.

Dippet all but snatched it from his colleague to get a closer look himself before his gaze swept across to Harry.

"This is a flawless transfiguration," he snorted. "Good grief that is impressive."

Dumbledore took it back and placed it back on the desk, holding a hand up to silence Dippet.

"Do you think you could turn this into a bird? Any bird will do."

Harry had seen Professor McGonagall demonstrate the spell once before, and remembered the incantation, though he had never attempted it himself. As far as he knew, it was not something they would attempt until their seventh year.

Nonetheless, he aimed his wand at the length of metal he had created and focused on what he wanted it to become.

"Avifors," he murmured.

The piece of metal warped and formed into what resembled a dove, but as it took flight, its wings were bent, and it thumped to the floor after only managing to stay aloft for a few seconds.

"Oh," he muttered disappointedly.

"No, do not be disheartened, Harry," Dumbledore urged, "that was fantastic for a first attempt."

Dippet nodded his agreement.

"You completed the most difficult part of the transfiguration. With just a little more work, you will perfect the spell. What do you think, Albus?"

"I think that Mr Potter has natural ability and that if he applies himself, he will do exceedingly well indeed," Dumbledore predicted. "Minerva mentioned that you have not invested much into it?"

"I haven't," Harry confirmed. "Only what was required of me in the classroom."

"That is a shame," Dumbledore sighed. "Your talent cannot be denied, Harry. It is not often I give such praise, but what you have demonstrated is exceptionally advanced transfiguration."

Harry felt awkward being praised by the man and shuffled his feet in discomfort.

He didn't know what to say or how to react, but Dumbledore seemingly noticed this.

"We can discuss it further when we meet for your tutoring in the subject. I do not wish to jinx my expectations of you, Harry, but I am expecting remarkable things from you."

Again, Harry did not know what to say.

"Perhaps we should move on to charms," Dippet suggested, he too noticing that Harry was feeling a little overwhelmed. "I would like you to repair this," he instructed, pushing a glass of water from the desk to the floor, shattering it.

"Reparo," Harry muttered having levelled his wand at the shards of glass.

They formed back together, and he levitated it back onto the desk before casting a Drought Charm to clear up the water left behind.

"Very good," Dippet declared. "We will need to begin working on non-verbal magic. Next, I'd like you to fill the glass halfway up for me."

Harry did so with a steady stream of water from the tip of his wand.

"Excellent control of your flow. Now, out of interest, I'd like to see the spell fully with no holding back. Please, just aim your wand away from us," Dippet chuckled.

Dumbledore looked towards the headmaster questioningly but found himself distracted by the geyser of water being propelled from Harry's wand. If anyone were to find themselves in the way of it, they would undoubtedly be sent sprawling.

It was impressive to say the least.

"That will do, Harry," Dippet called loudly when he had seen enough. "Well, I think it is safe to say that your charms work is exemplary and that you will grow into a rather gifted wizard in the branch. Have you seen anyone produce such a stream at his age?" he asked Dumbledore.

"Only I and one other," the man answered with a light frown marring his features. "Both of us grew to be rather powerful in our own right, though such a thing is merely one facet of being a competent wizard."

"Indeed," Dippet agreed, "but you have a rather natural head start, Harry. Under the right guidance, and with work from yourself, you could be a great wizard."

Once more, Harry felt awkward.

From his work with DA the past year, he knew that he was above average when it came to power. Where most other student's blasting curses merely left a hole in a target, his reduced the training dummy to dust.

Hermione had put it down to one of those Harry things, but he had not been convinced, not until she had shouted at him in front of everyone for doubting himself.

"What electives did you take, Harry?" Dippet's voice pulled him from his thoughts.

"Care of Magical Creatures and Divination," he answered, the last said with distaste.

"So, you found that you are not a natural seer?" Dippet asked amusedly.

"Definitely not."

That wasn't why he despised the subject, but for all the trouble that prophecies had caused throughout his life, the one that Trelawney gave at the end of third year just as much as the one he had learned most recently.

"Well, I certainly will not force you to continue with the subject. If it weren't for the governors insisting it remains, I would remove it from the syllabus."

Dumbledore nodded his agreement.

"Well, we will move on to Defence Against the Dark Arts as we do not have creatures to hand and neither I nor Albus studied them."

Harry's expression brightened considerably. This was the topic he was most confident in, after all.

"What spell would you use to render an opponent unconscious?"

"A Stunning Spell would be the obvious choice, but it is easily shielded against and only works in a one-one duel. If you are facing off with multiple opponents, an Area Spell would be better. It is difficult to defend against as it has no wand movements to give away your intention and creates a fog that you can use to escape or better your position."

He had found the spell in one of the books in the library after he had witnessed Dumbledore use it on the Ministry representatives when they tried to arrest him.

"That is quite a rare and little-known piece of magic," Dippet chuckled, surprised Harry knew of it.

That was true.

Harry had to sneak into the restricted section to peruse the books there for a reference to it. The hours spent amongst the stacks had been worth it, though he had not practiced it himself yet.

He added a mental note to do so at his earliest convenience. It would be a useful spell to add to his arsenal.

"I won't ask you to demonstrate it, but if you could with a regular Stunning Spell."

Harry did so with practiced ease, the jet of red light sizzling on the stone it impacted against.

"Impressive," Dumbledore declared. "Your wand movements are textbook, if unnecessary. I'm sure Armando will talk you through that, but an excellent demonstration."

Dippet nodded his agreement.

"What spell would you use to blast a hole through a target? Please demonstrate it on my door."

Harry looked at the man questioningly but complied when he nodded for him to proceed.


A large hole was punched through the door and Dippet repaired it with a wave of his wand.

"I think it is fair to say that I would not like to be on the receiving end of that. I will not even ask for you to demonstrate the defodio charm. There'd be nothing left of my office," the headmaster chuckled. "Well done, Harry, another impressive demonstration."

"Thank you, sir," the teen replied.

"Finally, how would you defend yourself against a Dementor?"

Harry snorted and shook his head.

"For most people, I would recommend running away. The only thing you can use to defend yourselves against one or several is the Patronus Charm, and very few people can cast it, let alone sustain it for long enough to be effective."

"Very true," Dippet agreed. "I think Albus and I are the only people that reside in the castle that are capable. It is a very advanced and complex piece of magic. Every day I am grateful that the Dementors are guarding Azkaban."

"I can do it," Harry replied.

"You can produce a corporeal patronus?" Dippet asked sceptically.

Harry nodded.

"I've been able to do it since I was thirteen," he explained.

Dippet's eyebrows rose considerably as he stared at him.

"Why would you put so much effort into such an obscure spell?" he asked curiously.

"Because I encountered them, and they seemed to be drawn to me," Harry sighed. "I used to have a horrible reaction to them. My mother…I would hear her final moments."

Both Dumbledore and Dippet were horrified by the revelation, the former shaking his head sympathetically with the latter appearing as though he wished to pull him into his arms and comfort him.

He didn't, something that Harry was grateful for.

"Well, that would motivate you to learn it," he muttered unhappily.

"Indeed," Dumbledore concurred, his look of shock having morphed into one of questioning. "Could you perhaps demonstrate it for us? I am certainly intrigued by your ability to cast it."

Harry shrugged and closed his eyes, thinking of the time Sirius had wanted to give him a home, the moments spent with the man in the library of Grimmauld Place when he would sneak Harry away from his cleaning duties, and the one Christmas he had been able to spend with his godfather.

"Expecto Patronum," he whispered.

He felt a lump form in his throat at the sight of the enormous dog that formed. It was not the stag that he was used to, but it warmed him to know that the man lived on.

Sirius may be gone, but Padfoot remained.

The light the grim emanated was bright enough that Dumbledore and Dippet had to close their eyes, and though it burned, Harry refused to. He could not take his off the majestic creature before him.

It made sense that this would be his patronus. Sirius had been the closest thing he'd had to a father, and with the man no longer here, it was the next best thing.

"Could you end the spell please, Harry?" Dippet asked, breaking into his thoughts.

"Sorry," Harry offered as he watched the grim fade.

"No, there is no need to apologise," the headmaster insisted, "what you did was incredible. I have never seen a patronus like that."

"Neither have I," Dumbledore agreed. "I suspect that would be strong enough to fend off several Dementors."

"Close to a hundred," Harry shrugged, his eyes still fixed on the spot padfoot had been.

"Really?" Dippet asked. "When would you have encountered so many?"

Harry shook his head.

"It doesn't matter," he replied.

He wasn't ready to talk about Sirius yet. Perhaps he never would be, not with those that didn't know him.

"I think that will do for the demonstrations," Dippet spoke once more, noting that Harry's mood had darkened. "The only other thing I wished to discuss with you today was if there is anything that you need? I will not pretend to be an expert in fashion and such, but I imagine it is very different where you came from. We would not want people questioning such an inane thing. I think perhaps a trip to Diagon Alley soon would serve you well."

"I can do that," Harry agreed.

He was curious to see how different it would be from his own time.

"Excellent," Dippet declared. "I'm sure we can arrange an outing soon enough, but for now, well done for your efforts today. I will see you again tomorrow at the same time."

The boy said nothing as he took his leave from the office and Armando turned his attention towards Dumbledore.

"He is an exceptional young man, is he not, Albus?"

Dumbledore nodded.

"It saddens me that much of his achievements have come from necessity rather than simply joy, but I would like to hope we can change that. I would like to instil a passion within him, give him something to work towards. Such a talent would be wasted if left to stagnate."

"I couldn't agree more," Dippet replied. "We need to build him up, Albus. The boy has such little self-worth that it is painful to see. I would see him believe in himself, see him grow into the young man I believe he can be."

"As would I," Albus agreed wholeheartedly. "We have time to work with him. Before he leaves Hogwarts, I will ensure he knows his worth. His ability is more than exceptional, but it will lead to nothing unless he sees it for himself and applies his talent."

"Then we have work to do."

Dumbledore nodded.



It was a very reflective Harry that made his way back towards Gryffindor Tower, his thoughts turned to his times with Sirius, with Ron and Hermione, and what memories he carried from his previous life.

If truth be told, most were unpleasant.

From a little over a year old, it was as though everything terrible that could have happened had come to pass. He'd lost his parents, had to endure living with the Dursleys, and even his years at Hogwarts had been fraught with danger and near-death experiences.

Not once had he had a year that had gone by without incident, it had just merely been preferable to the existence he had away from the castle.

Would being here be any different?

He released a deep breath as he shook his head.


Deep down he knew that even though he had escaped the fame he had unwittingly brought upon himself that there were things that he would have to do.

He couldn't just sit back and allow people to die in their thousands whilst waiting for Dumbledore to confront Grindelwald, or for Tom Riddle to become the monster he would.

But what could he do about either? Could he bring himself to murder a harmless child, the very same way Voldemort had tried to do to him?

It was not a position he would relish, and though he was willing to do what was needed to put the prophecy to rest so that he could finally live his life, the killing of a child was a step too far.

Regardless of all that Harry had endured, he was not Tom Riddle, and he would not become him.

Sometime in the near future, a discussion with Dumbledore would have to be had.

For now, Tom Riddle was but a boy waiting for his Hogwarts letter to arrive in the next year or so.

Grindelwald was the more pressing threat.

His knowledge on the war was admittedly lacking, but he could not sit idly by whilst it unfolded. If no one else would do anything about it, then Harry would.

He would be ready to act when the time was right, he hoped.

"Bloody saving people thing," he mumbled as he rounded the corner and almost bumped into Minerva.

"Oh," she gasped in surprise. "Sorry, I was just coming back from flying."

"You like to fly?" Harry asked, taken aback by the revelation.

Minerva nodded keenly.

Her hair was a mess and cheeks were flushed from her efforts.

"I'm a chaser on the Quidditch team," she said proudly.

"I'll have to make sure I'm come and watch when you play," Harry replied.

He missed being on his broom and had to ignore the pang of guilt and sadness at the thought of his firebolt having been left to wherever Umbridge had hidden it.

"I'd really like that," Minerva said sincerely. "Anyway, I'm going to have a shower. You can probably smell me from there."

Harry nodded, a grin tugging at his lips.

"It's overpowering," he returned, eliciting a rather familiar glare from the girl. "I'll see you later," he said, bidding her farewell and making his escape before she could scold him.

He entered the common room before her and immediately made his way to his own room.

He needed to get away from here more often, but for now, he wanted to be alone. If he was going to be going to Diagon Alley soon to buy his supplies and more fitting clothes, he should really sort through his trunk and finally throw away Dudley's castaways and any junk that had accumulated.

Undoubtedly, there would be much of that.

First of all, he checked his money bag, the very same one he had taken from Gringotts during his very first visit to the bank with Hagrid.

Over the years, he had been adding what money Mrs Weasley had withdrawn for him, and when he finished counting, he had exactly 712 Galleons, most of which he had taken during his first trip, not knowing the value of such coins.

Even now he did not know what the amount would equate to in the muggle world, but he knew it would not last forever. This was the sum of his wealth, and he would need it to see him through indefinitely.

Was there a way he could make money?

He certainly did not wish to rely on others for it.

He never had and wouldn't do so now, so it was something he would have to ponder.

There was little in his trunk of value, and he would never sell his cloak. To him, that was priceless.

No, it was no good. He would have to think of something to build upon what he had.

With his coins counted, he sorted everything else into piles and released a deep breath.

There was much more to sort through than he had initially thought, and it would take time to do so.

Nonetheless, he began by tackling the mountain of clothes.

It wasn't as though he had anything better to do for the time being.


Nicholas had spent the past many hours hunched over his desk as he pored over book after book, his brow creased as he pondered the conundrum that Albus had presented him with.

It was a difficult one, not only because he had never heard of anyone having survived the killing curse before, but because he was missing vital information.

For the most part, ritualistic magic worked on the same principle regardless of what one was trying to achieve. For something to be gained, an equal sacrifice had to be given.

It was a dangerous venture, rather simple on the surface but so many had lost their lives to such practices.

Nicholas himself had dabbled in the art, but never with anything that presented the risk of death.

Only a fool or someone desperate would do such a thing.

What happened to the boy Dumbledore referred to, Nicholas could only guess. Even his almost six centuries of life had never presented such a puzzle to piece together.

He had several ideas of what had occurred, some more likely than others, and some so far beyond the realm of possibility that he had dismissed them. Still, those that remained had one thing in common.

The boy should be dead.

To understand just how he had survived against all odds and logic, he needed to speak with him. It was the only way he could glean for certain just what had transpired and what was ailing him.

But first, he still had a few more tomes to trawl through, some other ideas he wished to put to rest.

Truthfully, it mattered not what the outcome was. If the boy was to be cured, it would be a very unpleasant experience for him, but at least then, he could live his life without the taint of the one that murdered his parents burdening him.

Or so Nicholas hoped.

Magic often worked in mysterious ways, and it might just do so again.

Already the boy was a product of something quite sinister from magic itself.

Who was to say what would happen if it was to be interfered with?

Nicholas would not hazard a guess, but out of his own curiosity, he would not miss it for anything.

After all, there would never another opportunity to witness such a thing again.

Still, he needed to ascertain all the facts before focusing on those thoughts.

A boy's life was at stake.


It hadn't been until the early hours that Harry had found himself in his bed. He knew that sorting thorough his belongings would take time, but he did not account for the moments of reminiscing he would do when he came upon things that triggered memories: the jumpers that Mrs Weasley would knit for him, the books and journals Hermione had given, and even a box of Bertie Bott's he hadn't eaten that came courtesy of Ron.

It had been a rollercoaster of emotions, the memories a myriad of happy and sadder times he had lived through.

Of course, he had kept them all, but it had been when he came across the set of books that Remus and Sirius had gifted him the previous Christmas.

'Practical Defensive Magic and its Use Against the Dark Arts'.

Harry had all but forgotten about them until last night, and when he flipped open the cover of the first, he had received quite the surprise.

The handwriting within was the familiar scrawl of his godfather who had scratched a note to him.

To Harry,

Dumbledore would not like you having these, but Remus and I think differently.

It is no secret that he expects you to defeat the Dark Lord, and to do so, you will need to learn magic like this.

This is a unique collection, gathered by my Great-Grandfather, Orion Black.

We have taken the liberty of highlighting the things we think will be of particular use to you, but honestly, it is all pretty good stuff in here.

Say what you will about the Blacks, but if there is anything we know, it is how to keep ourselves safe.

Some of the spells you find may surprise you, but when coming up against the likes of Voldemort, and the Death Eaters, you will be glad to have them at your disposal.

Use these wisely and be sure to practice as often as you can. When you come back next Summer, we will help you with any you are struggling with.

You never know when you will need them.

Love Sirius.

It had taken Harry several moments to compose himself having read the message from the man, and though he continued to grieve for him and the moments they would never share, he was grateful.

Out of everyone he had ever met, there was no ulterior motive with Sirius Black. He had cared for Harry and only wanted him to live.

He would make use of the books, the spells he came across whilst skimming the first volume alone ones he knew would be useful for what was to come.

He would begin working on them as a matter of urgency, but first, he needed to meet with Dippet for his first tutoring session with the man.

He did not know what they would be covering, but Harry was excited by the prospect of learning from him.

As such, he readied himself and headed towards the office where he found the gargoyle guardian already stood aside in anticipation of his arrival.

Passing the statue by, he ascended the stairs and knocked on the office door.

"Come in," Dippet instructed.

Harry entered the room to find the man alone, seemingly waiting for him.

Without preamble, the headmaster gestured for him to take a seat.

"Today, we will do some work on charms," Dippet announced as Harry sat on the opposite side of the desk to the man. "I have some questions that have come up frequently on the past exams, I would like you answer them to the best of your ability, and then we will go from there. Does that sound okay to you?"

Harry nodded and accepted the proffered parchment.

"Although I won't be timing you, I would expect you to finish those within an hour. You may begin when you're ready," Dippet instructed.

Harry turned his attention to the list of questions, reading the first as he dipped his quill in the ink the headmaster had provided.

1. Give the name of the charm and incantation that allows the caster to breathe underwater. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this charm?

This was something he would never forget.

Harry had spent weeks scolding himself for not having found the bubblehead charm prior to the second task of the tournament.

Both Cedric and Fleur had used it to great effect, though it was certainly not without its issues.

Having become aware of it, he had asked Professor Flitwick about the charm and had learned more than enough to answer the question. He did so before moving on to the next.

2. What charm would be best used to freeze a small body of water, such as a puddle or pond? Provide the incantation and wand movements.

The questions continued in the same vein, and it took a little under an hour for Harry to complete all twenty that Dippet had provided. When he was finished, he handed the parchment back to the man who read through his answers carefully.

"Well, I think it is safe to say that you know your charms well, Harry," the headmaster praised. "Excellent work indeed. Perhaps we should move on to the practical aspect of these and see how you fare," he suggested, holding the parchment aloft. "Begin with the bubblehead charm in your own time."

As prompted, Harry worked his way through the list of charms, performing all the first time other than a hair-lightening spell he had only briefly read about but never performed. He managed it after a few attempts, and Dippet nodded encouragingly when he finished by turning the provided jar of vinegar into water.

"Very well done," Dippet said sincerely. "That hair-lightening charm is a difficult one if you have never practiced it before. It requires finesse, and you made the necessary adjustments. That is what the difference is between a good wizard and a great one, knowing when to change your tact."

"It wasn't an easy one," Harry agreed.

"No, but you did what was needed to get it right," Dippet reiterated. "It is not about getting it right the first time, Harry, but about how you correct yourself when it goes wrong. You have quite the natural grasp with charms that I did not even need to suggest for you to do so."

"Thank you, Professor."

Dippet offered him a sad smile.

"Far be it for me to say, but you do not appear to be as chipper as you were yesterday. Has something happened?"

Harry released a deep breath as he shook his head.

"No, nothing has happened, but it is all feeling more real now, this whole situation," he clarified.

Dippet nodded his understanding.

"Your position is a difficult one," he acknowledged.

"It is," Harry sighed. "I know that you and Dumbledore have warned me that I need to be careful but…"

"You have knowledge of things that you would like to change," the headmaster finished.


Dippet stared at Harry thoughtfully for a moment before speaking once more.

"I will not even pretend to understand what it is you're going through, Harry. Your position is one that many would believe they would like to find themselves in, but the reality is rather harrowing. You face choices that no other will, you have things that you do not wish to experience, or see come to pass. Of course, I urge caution as I do not wish for you to experience worse things than you already have, but ultimately, whatever you do with the knowledge you have is your choice. The only person that you must answer to is yourself."

"What if I do make it worse?" Harry asked. "I have knowledge, but not all of it. I have a vague idea of what is coming but not the important details to prevent it."

"Then you do what you can, Harry," Dippet replied. "Despite everything you have seen and done, you are still only one person. Regardless of what you do, some of the things you wish to prevent will happen."

"Even the war?"

Dippet nodded.

"The war is something that has been brewing for decades. It does not surprise me that it will happen. Let me ask you something. What could you do in this very moment that would prevent it?"

Harry snorted.

"Kill Grindelwald."

Dippet smiled as he shook his head.

"Grindelwald, like you, is only one man. If he were to die now, another would take the reins and continue his work. The war would still happen, Harry, that is inevitable. Grindelwald is not filling his followers with his own ideas, they already existed within them. He merely gives them legitimacy, a flag to fall under if you will."

"So, I can't stop it?"

"No, I do not believe you can," Dippet returned simply. "You should turn your focus to what you can do. You may not be able to stop the rise of Grindelwald, but you can be prepared to play your part for when the time comes it is needed. I cannot promise you that I will agree with your decisions, or that I will involve myself in whatever you choose to do, but I am here for you, Harry, even if you only need a pair of ears to listen or me to offer you advice."

Harry nodded his understanding, though certain things coming to pass did not sit right with him.

He had already made up his mind, but what Dippet had said did not make any decision he would make in the future any easier.

Although Grindelwald was the more imminent threat, his mind was still occupied with Voldemort. When the time was right, Harry would need to make the headmaster aware of him, but for now, some things were better left unsaid.

There were steps that Harry would take to inhibit his rise, and even if he was not what Tom Riddle would become, he would be prepared to act against him before he became such a threat.

The first step to doing so sat mere metres below him now, waiting in the bowels of the castle itself.

Still, he did not have the sword of Gryffindor, nor did he wish to confront the basilisk in such a manner.

No, he would need to ponder just how he would rid the school of the beast and take control of the chamber.

That would certainly hamper the young Tom Riddle.

Whatever else that could be done to that end would be.

Harry would not become a child killer, but he had no qualms in weakening his future foe by what means he could.