Disclaimer: All characters and settings are the property of JK Rowling and the various publishing and media companies that have purchased rights for the name Harry Potter and all that entails. No infringement on these rights is intended.
Warnings: Magical creature fic, AU (really... the wings didn'y give this one away?), OOC
Introduction : Unexpected Mutations
Harry glared at the door as he rolled out of the small single bed. Pulling on the overlarge hand-me-down clothes he groused, “I’m coming.”
“Don’t give me any cheek, boy. There is work to be done.”
Sliding his socked feet into trainers, thankful he snuck a shower last night, Harry sighed
“I’ll be right down, Aunt Petunia.”
Harry barely made it across the kitchen threshold before an enraged Uncle Vernon accosted him. “What the ruddy hell is going on with you, boy?”
Inwardly Harry cringed. ‘Great,’ he thought, ‘they finally noticed something about me.’ Outwardly, though he turned an innocent look to his uncle and asked, “Sir?”
“This new look you have, boy. You have slowly been changing for the past three weeks. I’ve told you that I’ll have none of that freakishness in this house.” Uncle Vernon raged, his face quickly becoming purple.
“I don't know what's happening, Uncle!” Harry's frustration was evident; he let it be seen in a futile attempt to calm his irate uncle.
“You expect me to believe......blasted freakish changes in your SLEEP, boy!?! I suppose someone ELSE is doing it to you, then?” Uncle Vernon's eyes gleamed with malice.
“"I don't know what's happening, really. I could send my owl if you'd like. I was waiting until I got picked up on August first to ask about it.” Harry explained, willing his uncle to see the truth behind his words.
With a disbelieving tone Uncle Vernon said, “Go upstairs and wake up that ruddy bird. Until we know exactly what else is wrong with you, you are to stay away from us. Up to your room. NOW!”
I am writing to you at my uncle’s request. I was going to wait to discuss this issue with you in person on August 1st, but situations have forced me to write you. Since arriving here on the first of July I have been waking every morning with changes in my physical appearance. There has been a very subtle change each morning. However, all of these changes have come together making me look completely different.
The changes started with my eyes turning a brighter green. They almost look like they are glowing now. It is eerie when I look in the mirror and the room is dark. I had a small growth spurt, too. I’m sure that I am still short for my age but I am taller than I was three weeks ago. The growth in itself is not cause for worry; however, that I grew about five inches overnight has caused a bit of nervousness though.
Unfortunately, I did not bulk up any with the increased height. My aunt referred to me as willowy a few days ago, whatever that means. My face has seemed to lose the edginess. For lack of a better phrase, I look soft almost girly now with long eyelashes and poofy lips. But, this morning seemed to be the last straw for my uncle.
My hair is blacker. Or at least it looks blacker. And, it feels different. I never paid attention to it before so I really can’t tell you what exactly is different.
Sir, I know that I have to be here until August 1. But, until my uncle hears from you that I am not consciously causing these changes with magic I am confined to my room. Please write me back and tell me what is going on.
Sending Hedwig off with a plea of “fly fast, girl” Harry flumped back on his bed to wait.
As usual, Harry’s ‘thinking’ lead straight to Voldemort and the prophecy. Or to be more specific, just a single line from the prophecy. But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not. Grimacing, he replayed the arguments, mere discussions according to Dumbledore, this one line had caused in many Order meetings. Most everyone, including Dumbledore kept insisting it had to be Harry’s ability to love, seeing as the power had already saved Harry more than once against this madman. They assumed it was the power of love because Voldemort couldn’t, or more likely wouldn’t, love. Shaking his head Harry whispered to the empty room. “I still think that idea is barmy.”
“I keep trying to tell them. It’s almost got to be a person. Either someone he never met or one of the Death Eaters turning on him.” Harry said, pacing while he talked himself through the thought. Voldemort knew that Harry had a great capacity to love others. Harry’s theory applied the words ‘knows not’ more literally. As in, something the Dark Lord does not know; not something he does not know how to do. He believed the unknown power would be a witch or wizard that Voldemort did not know was working with Harry. Harry’s theory always came back to Snape. Or, since last Christmas, any one of the Malfoys.
Any thought of the day when the Order was told the Malfoys had always been spying for the Light brought a snort of amusement. Looking out the window, peering for any sign of an owl, Harry said, “I almost thought I’d have to stun Moody. And, I wanted to silence Mrs. Weasley.”
Harry had never heard Mrs. Weasley screech as loud as she did when Dumbledore disclosed the Malfoys true standings. Everyone in the room began talking at once except for Snape, the Malfoys, Remus Lupin, the Weasley twins, and Harry Potter. Slowly, Harry, Remus, and the Weasley twins wove their way through the crowd to the set of Slytherins in the room. Harry easily extended his hand, reminiscent of Draco’s offer in first year, and calmly said, “Thank you for the sacrifices your family has made.”
By the time Dumbledore regained a semblance of control over the meeting Harry was in a deep conversation with Remus, Snape, and the two elder Malfoys on defensive spells while Fred and George had Draco in a planning session for the joke shop and pranks that could double to benefit the war effort.
“Well,” Harry said with a soft sneer, “That Christmas was the beginning of the end for the Golden Trio.” Ron and Hermione had not taken the addition of the Malfoy family any better than the heads of the Weasley clan. The fact that Harry not only trusted the Malfoys but also actually enjoyed the time he spent training with them, and then with Snape, finally pushed the Trio into a strained existence where greetings were only muttered in passing. Harry missed his friends especially since no one outside of the Order knew of his friendship with Draco. It made for a very lonely life during the school day. But, if he was honest, he really valued the new relationships more and could not picture going back to the way it had been.
With a chortle Harry whispered, “Snape, Snape, Snape.” There was an ongoing battle between Harry and Snape over names, of all mundane things. Closing his eyes Harry pictured the most recent of the battles and the unlikely support he had received.
"How is it, Harry, that you can call the entirety of the Malfoy family by their given names; yet I, the person you have worked with the longest, am still Snape?"
Harry drawled, “I've not yet met Severus.” Harry permitted himself the small satisfaction of making the Potions Master drop his eyes, though he wasn't quite sure WHY it was so satisfying.
“He has a point there, Sev.” Narcissa interjected, eyes twinkling almost as bad as the headmaster’s.
“Cissa, do shut up.” Snape growled at his long time friend, a smile twitching at the corners of his mouth.
With a small smile Harry breathed, “Severus, soon it will be Severus.” The time spent training jointly with Snape and the Malfoy men introduced Harry to a more relaxed side of Snape. Harry knew that Snape would protect his true self out of habit and fear of mockery. Harry had finally earned the man’s respect with actions at that fateful Order meeting. Trust had been harder to earn but Harry finally did it. When, at the end of the year, no one outside the Order was wiser of the Malfoy allegiance or the extra training, Snape grudgingly told the younger wizard that he 'impressed him with his unexpected discretion'. That was unheard of high praise from Snape, even with the added acidic comment. “Perhaps there is hope for you after all, Potter.”
Friendship was forming between the two men. The process was slow but the foundations were strong. For a reason yet known to Harry he felt the need to keep Severus Snape in his life. That meant the time invested in forming their relationship was time well spent. With a scowl worthy of the Potions Master Harry hissed, “My instincts best be right this time.”
A pecking at the window shook Harry away from thoughts of the acerbic older man and back into the reality of his dingy room. Raising his window he greeted the familiar owl. “Hello, Hera. How is Draco doing today?”
The eagle owl gently nipped Harry’s ear in greeting, dropped the parchment on his bed, and promptly flew to Hedwig’s perch for a drink and a snack. Breaking the seal, Harry smiled at seeing his best friend’s writing.
We were with Dumbledore when your letter arrived. Look, mate, it’s normal, okay. Wizards and witches have their last magical growth on their 17th birthday. The month before that, their body changes. It is a last physical growth. Besides, you could use the extra five inches.
If you have any magical inheritances coming, you’ll get them on your 17th birthday too. Dumbledore is checking your family history now to see if there are any magical creatures in them.
I can’t wait to see you at the Manor next week. You’re going to love it. And, don’t forget your broom!
Harry smiled as he tossed the note on his bed. Before he could shut the window Hedwig appeared carrying another scroll of parchment. With a snort he said, “Hopefully this means I won’t be stuck in this room much longer.”
I know that the young Mr. Malfoy was going to write you with an explanation. He should have told you this growth is normal… a final growth spurt if you will. It is the last stages of your body preparing for your increase in magic. However, since the changes you are experiencing are so drastic I researched back a few generations of your family to determine if you should also expect a magical creature inheritance.
I traced back five generations, for both Lily and James, and found no indication of creature blood. I can only explain the extreme nature of your change as a result to the mistreatment of your early years. I am sorry, my boy, that I was unable to give you a more definitive explanation.
Due to the extreme changes experienced thus far Lucius and Narcissa will portkey in with Draco on August 1. I will, of course, still be waiting to see you at the Manor.
The morning of July 31st Harry woke to his Aunt Petunia screaming for her husband. His only thought as his uncle raced, huffing and puffing, into his room was ‘Bloody hell! I’ve got wings.’