The morning of their first day at Hogwarts, the dorm room of the first year Ravenclaws found three eleven years old boys standing at the side of one of the beds with its curtains still closed. They shifted uneasily on their feet, looking at each other in absolute bewilderment.
What were they supposed to do? Should they get Potter to wake up? It was almost time for breakfast and the Prefects had come earlier to wake them before telling them they would be showing them to the Great Hall for the first week. But since no one seemed to be able to open Potter's bed curtain, the boy did not know.
Then, before any of them could do anything more than shuffle their feet in front of the closed curtain, said curtain snapped open and out stumbled the small black-haired boy they had been thinking about. Potter was already dressed and carrying a large book in his hand. The boy froze at the foot of his bed and blinked bewilderingly at the gathered first years before tilting his head to the side like an owl. A very creepy owl staring at them with wide luminescent green eyes.
"Um… hi?" Potter blinked at them.
After a nudge from Michael, Terry was the one who spoke up, "the Prefects said they'd show us the way around the castle for our first week. They're waiting for us in the common room."
"Oh, that's great!" Pooter immediately replied, snapping the curtain shut behind him. All three boys took note of the way the curtains glistened for a moment before going back to normal though no one said anything about it. "That will help in not getting lost! Let's go then."
As the boy made to exit their dorm room, Terry asked hesitantly, "…Aren't you going to shower?"
"I've got a bathroom in there," Potter commented distractedly, motioning over his shoulder his bed and probably talking about the tent they had seen the previous night. Instead of waiting for a reply from the other boy, Potter opened his book and started walking forward, eyes buried in said book. He hit his shoulder in the doorway on the way and muttered a flat, "ow," but made no move to watch where he was going.
Left to stare after him, the three other boys did not know what to think of their dormmate. What they knew for certain was that Harry Potter was definitely nothing they had expected.
Breakfast was pretty much quiet affair. Well, for Natalie anyway. She was mostly left alone while she read her book at the Ravenclaw table but she was also not the only one. A lot of other Ravenclaws already at the table were also buried in their books, looking up long enough to take a bite of their breakfast or a sip of their morning drink. Some others were also whispering excitedly among themselves about their classes for the year, according to what she managed to vaguely hear.
Professor Flitwick was a short man with clear goblin heritage but unlike the goblins he was also a smiling, cheerful man. He distributed the time tables to the students at the Ravenclaw table, welcoming all of them cheerfully.
"Here you go, Mr. Potter!" the man said, handing Natalie her own time table. "Welcome to Ravenclaw!" With that, he went ahead to the next student. With a blink, almost surprised that the man was not making a scene for having 'the Great Harry Potter' in his House – much to her own pleasure since that would get old fast – Natalie glanced down at her new timetable. With one glance, it was enough to notice that most of her classes were going to be with Hufflepuffs, excluding Astronomy with all the Houses on Wednesday nights, Herbology with the Slytherins and Charms with the Gryffindors.
Their first class of the day was Transfiguration. The Prefect who had shown them the way to the Great Hall ushered them to class after they were done eating, showing them the way to the Transfiguration classroom. It had to be a funny sight: a tall teenager walking in front of a troop of tiny first years that followed behind him like clumsy, wide-eyed ducklings. And that one weirdo duckling that was tinier than the other tiny first years and somehow managed to follow despite not looking up from a book that seemed bigger than him.
"I'll be back after Transfiguration to show the way to your next class," the Prefect said after he stopped in front of their Transfiguration classroom. "After your last class I'll show you the way to the library."
And that was when Natalie's attention was caught. Her head snapped up from her book and she turned shining green eyes to the teenager standing in front of them.
"Library?" she asked excitedly. "You'll show us the library? How long are we allowed there? Can we take books out?"
Momentarily stunned at the sudden attention from the otherwise distracted eleven years old celebrity, the Prefect took a moment to process that, yes, Harry Potter was talking to him and his eyes were definitely creepy when holding his attention.
"Er… you," he stuttered before continuing with more confidence, "you can stay until curfew and you're not allowed to take books out until third year, except if you get permission from Madam Pince. But if you really need a book, check we don't have it in the Tower first. Our Ravenclaw library may not be as large as Hogwarts library but most of the most interesting books can be found in the Tower. Usually the older years will help you look if you ask."
"Oh. Okay. Thanks."
Entering he classroom, most of the Ravenclaw first years found seats in the first rows and since the Hufflepuffs were not there yet, they were able to choose their preferred seats. Natalie took the first seat she could find and went back to her book. It was a fascinating tome about the culture and history of the Chinese Magical community, one of the books she had grabbed from the Potter library. Granted, the book was slightly outdated, having been published a good couple of centuries before but it was still an interesting read.
A ripple of whispers pulled her from her book. Looking up, she found Professor McGonagall standing in front of the classroom, and it looked like the Hufflepuffs had appeared when she was not looking. Wait. Did that mean she had missed the whole cat-turning-into-Professor thing!? Damn it! She had been looking forward to it!
With a pout, Natalie slammed her book shut and turned her attention to her new Professor. Class was surprisingly easy. It was only theory to begin with as McGonagall defined Transfiguration and explained how wizards and witches used it but even then, it was done concisely and simply. She was pretty sure she had already read this in the assigned reading. Besides everything was dumbed down to explain to eleven years olds… Well, this was going to get boring pretty quickly…
The rest of the classes also turned out the same. Simple, and repeating things she had already read from the assigned reading. The rest of the day, they had History of Magic with the Hufflepuffs. As expected, it was pretty boring. At first Natalie attempted to listen to the droning of Binns' voice but when she realised that his information was way outdated even by her standards, she gave up and went back to her own book. She was not the only one either; the other Ravenclaws, taking inspiration from her, took out some books for personal reading. Meanwhile, most of the Hufflepuffs nodded off.
At the end of the day, the Prefect showed them the way to the library where the Ravenclaws anonymously decided to camp until dinner.
What Natalie found annoying, however, was the endless stares and whispers she was subjected to. Her fellow Ravenclaws were thankfully not as annoying; they all simply revolved around the same orbit, existing in each other's space without having anything to do with each other. While she absently noted the small cliques being made, the girls breaking of together into two or three, and his dormmates staying together, no one was bothering her so she was content. No one asked her about her personal life – which was frankly none of their business – and no one tried to get a look at the scar on her forehead.
To be honest, she had been expecting more curiosity or nosiness from her fellow Ravenclaws. She had been expecting a gaggle of book Hermione Granger but they were simply content to leave her to her own. Natalie was pleased.
What she did not know was that said First Years were just too intimidated to approach her. The whispers of Harry Potter doing wandless and wordless magic as if it was nothing had made the rounds between the first year Ravenclaws. They did not know what to make of their celebrity classmate who appeared mostly lost in his own world, one they could not even hope to reach.
If only they knew that behind the awe-inspiring image they were creating of said Harry Potter was an adult woman silently screaming, 'Magic! Magic! It's all magic! Sparkly! Sparkly! Ooooh! BOOK!'
Of course, her quiet days were not going to last. Being in the Harry Potter world as Harry Potter brought more inconveniences than being in the child body of a male celebrity. To be honest, Natalie did not care about the sudden gender change nor the loss in height. It was a fictional world so it was expected that the body she would inhabit would be strange to begin with. She was getting used to it though but that was not the point. The point was that since she was now Harry Potter, she was also a celebrity in the Magical World. And that came with a series of useless problems.
While she could endure the annoying stares and whispers, mostly ignoring them by immersing herself in her books, meeting the other characters turned out to be even more annoying. The Professors were fine; it was not like they tried to attract her attention for nonsensical reasons. They kept to their professionalism which was appreciated. The children on the other hand…
It took them a few days before they started trying to approach her.
The first was Hermione Granger, of all freaking people, who dropped a book loudly in front of Natalie in the library on the table she was occupying. The other Ravenclaws were also sitting at the same table but because Natalie tended to grab more than one book every time they went to the library, occupying more space on the table, no one sat in front of her so as not to bother her.
But apparently, Hermione Granger did not get the memo.
"Hi! You must be Harry Potter! I'm Hermione Granger. I've read all the books about you," the girl talked fast, pushing aside Natalie's books to settle in front of her.
She did not notice the First Year Ravenclaws quiet down from their whispered conversations to stare at her with bewildered eyes, silently asking themselves who that Gryffindor thought she was. Natalie on the other hand finally looked up from her book to stare at the little girl staring back at her with earnest eyes.
"Oh, it was such a surprise when you ended up in Ravenclaw!" she continued, not noticing the changed atmosphere around them. "I thought for sure you were going to be in Gryffindor. Like your parents, you know? They say you usually go to the House your family went to. We would have been Housemates! Oh, I'm the only one in my family with magic. I was ever so surprised when Professor McGonagall told me about magic! I've read all the books, you know. I even tried some spells in the books and they worked really well for me!"
After a moment of the girl staring at her with wide eyes, as if expecting a reply to her bombardment of comments, Natalie finally found her voice and replied with, "that's… nice?" Then, deciding to ignore the bothersome bug in front of her, she turned back to her book.
"You know, that's very rude," Hermione scolded as she leaned forward, voice pitched. "You should not ignore someone when they're trying to talk to you. You are going to get in trouble like this."
No longer caring what the girl was talking about, Natalie ignored her while the Ravenclaws looked on like wolves watching their prey. There was slight pity in their hearts but they also knew that Granger was the one intruding on their studying and Potter was clearly busy and did not want to be bothered. It was her own fault, really. Not even they dared to bother him when he was reading – which he pretty much did all the time – and they were his Housemates and dormmates.
Fortunately, after a while, Hermione finally got the message and she left with a huff.
Unfortunately, that was not the last time Natalie was approached by one of the books' main characters.
Of course, the next ones were Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy. Together. Like a bad drama.
They both approached Natalie the day after Hermione's appearance right as the Ravenclaw First Years were having breakfast. As it had become the usual for them, the Ravenclaw First Years, despite each having made their own cliques, always stayed together when they left the Ravenclaw Tower. Subconsciously, they revolved around their resident celebrity, never interacting with him but always in his orbit. They did not realise it themselves, too attracted by their Housemate's impressiveness that when Harry Potter never ushered them away, they always kept close to him.
(This way, they also always saw little things that impressed them further: a flick of fingers here and a book flying there, floating quills and inkwells… Of course, most of these also happened in the Tower but each glimpse of their Housemate's power made them hungry to see more…)
That was why, when Draco Malfoy approached their Housemate as they had only just gotten to sit at their House table for breakfast, his fellow Ravenclaws stopped talking among themselves to watch. Consequently, when Draco Malfoy and his two lackeys reached them, the three Snakes found by a gaggle of Ravens that quickly quietened and turned disconcertingly interested eyes at them.
Draco Malfoy, far from being intimidated stopped behind their celebrity agemate.
"You must be Harry Potter," the blond stated haughtily, silver eyes locked on the tiny figure that paused in his eating and reading – because of course Harry Potter was reading; when was he not? – to turn wide, luminescent green eyes that looked even bigger from behind the glasses at him. "Malfoy. Draco Malfoy," he continued when he finally had Potter's attention. "I can help you get to know who are really worth knowing." With that, he sneered at the Ravenclaw First years as if they were trash under his foot.
Natalie, without looking away from the peacock fluffing his feathers before her, slowly picked up her plate and started piling up food. Before she could respond, another voice interrupted while a redhead burst his way towards them.
"Don't listen to him, Harry!" the stranger said, coming to stand between her and Malfoy. "Everyone knows Malfoys are Dark! I can show you what real friends are!"
Natalie piled her food faster.
Malfoy looked at the redhead up and down and sneered. "Red hair and hand-me-downs: you must be a Weasley," he drawled. "My father told me that your family has more children than they can afford. Clearly they can't even teach you basic manners."
Weasley's face became as red as his hair. While the two started bickering, the other two boorish Slytherins looming beside Malfoy like unpleasant gorillas, Natalie grabbed her book and her plate, and slid from her seat and under the table. As she settled to have breakfast under the safety of her House table and McGonagall's voice could be heard in the background scolding the bothersome children, she decided that it might be time to find the kitchen after all.
In the Great Hall, as McGonagall sent the four First years to their own tables, the Ravenclaws discreetly looked under their table to find the usual image of a happily reading Harry Potter despite… being under the table. Because that was now a thing.
Well, just another of their housemate's quirks. Besides, it was not like they could blame him; having strangers fight to get to talk to you when you clearly did not want to had to be troublesome after some time.