Chapter 1: Prologue
Natalie was an avid reader. For as long as she could remember, she always had some kind of book in her hands. She was twelve when she discovered fanfiction on one lucky day and since then she had read many different kinds of fanfiction. It was also through fanfiction that Natalie met her best friend, Harper. Unfortunately, Harper was also a fan of Natalie's most hated genre of fanfiction, the dreaded Self-Inserts.
Honestly, Natalie found it insulting the way in which writers had the gall to insert an original character whose primary function always served to… 'save the world'. Sure, some were in fact quite well written, that much she could admit, but the plot was always the same. The original character, most of the times a female character, was reborn or somehow dropped into a familiar world. The story would be filled with angst, angst and more angst as the character would try to accept the fact that, yes they were in fact in a very familiar world, either as an original character or embodying a pre-existing character.
However, while Natalie was a literature snob, her best friend was not. Unfortunately for her, Harper was an avid fan of Self-Insert stories. Even more unfortunate was the fact that her crazy best friend was into the occult. So when Natalie decided to insult the Self-Insert genre – if it could even be considered as a genre – one time too many, Harper went ballistic. And that was how Natalie found herself in this… ah, much unfortunate predicament.
In other terms, that was how twenty-four years old Natalie Butler found herself in the body of one eleven years old Harry Potter.
With a long-suffering sigh and a groan, she – er, he – collapsed back on the cot under her, hard knocking on the door of the cupboard and the screeching of a harpy resounding around her.
The Dursleys were despicable people, Natalie would proclaim without hesitation if anyone was to ask her. She had been in their home only for a few hours but she could already tell that she would never get along with them.
Knowing there was no way of escaping her fate, Natalie had settled into following the script of books from her childhood before she could really decide what to do about her unfortunate predicament. For the time being at least. Unfortunately for her, that also meant going along with who young Harry Potter was supposed to be at that point in time – that was, being practically a slave in the Dursleys' home. Well, maybe she was exaggerating but even she – who absolutely abhorred children – would never go so far as to force a young ten years old child into making her breakfast. Yet in the Dursley household it would seem to be an everyday occurrence to have young Harry Potter making them breakfast.
Natalie was absolutely repulsed by those people. And well, she was in a book for young children; her life was literally turned into one of fiction. However, Natalie was no pushover and those people were starting to be too much even for her. She hated self-insert stories and Harper had known that, so forcing her to live out a life as a self-insert was beyond insulting. However, her friend most likely expected her to completely follow the script and end up doing what all Self-Inserts did: save the world, fall in love and all that crap. After all, what else could she do as the protagonist?
(And she was pretty sure the only way for her to go back to her own world would be by completing the story since it was Harper who was concerned.)
Well, not on her watch.
The first day of her arrival, Natalie spent her time thinking, really thinking about her predicament. Harper, while a bit crazy – as proven by her sending her very own best friend in a fictional world in a fit of childish temper tantrum – was not a bad person. She might be angry at Natalie but she would never make it so that Natalie actually got really hurt or worst. Ultimately, whatever would happen, she was most likely to survive. So at least that little tit bit was taken care of.
Second, Natalie was trapped there for the moment until she fulfilled whatever condition Harper had placed when cursing her in this world (Natalie was alarmingly enough becoming used to her crazy best friend's antics. Sigh.) Knowing Harper, the condition would be that she either accepted her view on Self-Inserts – which, no way – or that Natalie reached the end of the story. In other words, she would say she had about seven years to waste in this world before she could go back home. (Seriously, Harper was so predictable sometimes. Except if it went on until Harry Potter had children. That… would be a problem.)
But, knowing her, there was another way to also go back home quicker and that was through doing absolutely nothing. She was supposed to be Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One. As such, she was supposed to go and beat the freaking Dark Lord. Yep, no way was Natalie doing that. Best way to get home would be to be the most boring Self-Insert in the world until Harper herself got bored and sent her home. She would pout and sulk for a while but she would have to do it eventually so…
She could run away but there was also the possibility that someone would come to find her and that would put her in the spotlight. So no, she would go to Hogwarts as was expected and keep her head down. Granted, her decision was also influenced by the fact that she was also curious about the castle and magic. Who would not be? It was Hogwarts after all; every child's dream come true! All she would have to do would be to make sure she did not get unnecessarily hurt. No harm no foul.
And so, she could use this opportunity as an unexpected vacation before going back to her usual life of adulthood and unavoidable responsibility.
That still did not make dealing with the Dursleys any better though.
They were the worst sort of people Natalie had ever met. They were arrogant, posturing and their attitude towards their supposed nephew/cousin was frankly despicable. Vernon was a big man who ate and behaved like a pig, flattering his wife and son while continuously insulting Natalie. (She swore if he so much as lifted a finger on her she was out of there. Insults she could do with, it was not unlike her mother's usual disapproving nagging to her life choices but physical abuse was something else entirely that she was in no way going to tolerate.)
Petunia was a screeching banshee with an attitude that grated on Natalie's nerves, who spent her time simpering and fussing over her son. And Dudley was a combination of his parents, a pig and a sorry excuse of a human being who was more spoilt than she had ever been (which said something since she had been particularly spoilt by her father whenever he came to visit during her childhood and teen years.)
Honestly, Natalie was practically a saint because of all the patience she had to execute due to those three. Thankfully, she continuously thought to herself, they were only fictional characters so she would not have to deal with them ever again after she got back home.
It was already the summer of the year 1991 when she appeared in this world, right before the beginning of the story though apparently she had missed the famous trip to the zoo. Go figure. She was still expected to live in the cupboard under the stairs so the Hogwarts letter most likely had not come yet (and was that not just disgusting! It was so dusty and cramped. Thankfully Harry Potter was a small child so she was not altogether too uncomfortable).
However, she was also not expected to go to primary school so at least there was that. She did not know how she would have reacted otherwise; she had no idea what Harry Potter was like personality-wise and by his relatives' reactions to Natalie, he was most likely not like her. Going to school after a sudden personality change would be far too suspicious. Fortunately, for the Dursleys, though they noticed that she was somehow different, they did not react more than increasing muttered 'freak' and added avoidance which suited her just fine.
Harry Potter's relationship with his relatives was simply weird at times. While the Dursleys clearly disliked him and tended to bully him, they also seemed oddly apprehensive of his every move. And that was more subconsciously than not. They avoided touching him as much as possibly except Dudley always trying to get a rise out of him but that was more childish and infantile really.
Either way, Natalie could tolerate these living conditions for the time being.
The days went by slowly. Natalie spent her time doing chores that were not completely unpleasant – gardening, cooking and so on. While despicable of the Dursleys having a young child do all these in their own house, the chores served to keep her occupied since there was not much else she could do during the day.
Then finally things started to move forward. One morning, a certain letter came with the morning post and Natalie could not have felt more pleased.
Finally the monotony of such simple routines was going to change.
Of course, since the aim was to go to Hogwarts and she already knew that there was no way she would not actually go, she simply let the script write itself. She did not interfere when the letter came and Vernon ripped it apart. At least she finally got a room for herself. Not that it was much better than the cupboard, what with the thin mattress on the old bed and the broken toys littering the place but at least it was slightly bigger than the cupboard. Less cramped at the very least.
The letters kept appearing, significantly more each day whatever Vernon or Petunia might do. Natalie simply kept her distance and watched, thoroughly amused as the two adults tried to make sure that she did not get her hands on any while Dudley attempted to get his piggy little fingers on them. The Dursleys got more harassed each day until finally Vernon could not keep up with the mass of letters appearing in their home.
(A part of her wondered what the adults of Hogwarts were thinking, sending outrageous number of letters like this. While amusing, it was also guaranteed to get on the Dursleys' nerves more. And if they had been another family who did not already know of magic, they would most likely have already felt some degree of disgust for the magical world. If it had been her, she would not have sent her child to a school that preferred harassing someone in their home instead of simply sending an official from the school to see about the problem.)
Vernon hurried them to the car one morning, looking more agitated as he tried to escape the letters coming at them. Honestly, even though Natalie did not like the Dursleys, she could still feel some pity for them having to put their lives on hold because strange letters kept appearing in their house. While they were not innocent in any way and were keeping Natalie from the letters – while lead to this whole nonsensical scenario – they still had their lives disrupted because magical adults could not bother to simply do their job right and go see what the problem was with a child not getting their letter. Instead they preferred wasting more by sending outrageous numbers of letter at them.
When she had read the books back during her childhood, she had not really cared about this scene beyond general amusement and sadistic glee at the horrid family's predicament. However, right now as an adult in her own right, she could not help but feel that this was all beyond ridiculous. The problem could have been solved so simply really. It was no wonder the Dursleys hated the magical world if that was the way their lives were treated.
Well, either, way, beyond this absentminded observation, Natalie did not much care. After all this was all fiction anyway. Real life would have been something else. It was not fiction tended to be particularly logical.
Finding herself in a little shack with the Dursleys, in the middle of a bad storm and surrounded by turbulent water was not exactly pleasant though. Only the thought that all this nonsense was coming to an end kept her from screaming her head off in frustration.
And then Hagrid arrived.
Hagrid was… well, in one word, big. And he was everything Natalie had expected after reading the books. Yet, she also could not help but wonder why on earth the original Harry Potter had been so attached to the half-giant man. Well, he was nice enough, she supposed, but far too emotional for her liking. And touchy. Natalie hated when people just touched her without permission and that was exactly what Hagrid did after confirming that she was 'Harry Potter'. He went and gave her a hug, one that was really uncomfortable since he literally picked her up and squeezed her hard in his bulky arms.
Alright, fine, she might be slightly unfair with her assessment of the man. He did genuinely like her, though it had more to do with the fact that he had known 'her' parents and had held 'her' as a baby. Natalie had first thought that she would like him when he would eventually appear but she came to realise that while Hagrid was nice and seemed not to have a malicious bone in his body, he was also very stupid. Very stupid. He was a simple man with a simple way of thinking.
And if there was one thing Natalie detested more than anything, it was stupidity. She held no patience for unintelligent people thought it was not really their fault. She never boasted being particularly saintly.
One advantage of Hagrid being, well, Hagrid was the fact that he was easily misled. He never thought that innocent, little 'Harry Potter' could be anything but like his noble, perfect parents. Thus, Natalie played on this with ease and he never doubted that Natalie really did not know anything about his parents or the Wizarding world, or even who 'Harry Potter' was supposed to be like.
(Honestly, it was almost more work than she would care to put to blend in in a stupid fictional world of all things. But well, if she was going to be stuck there, she was going to enjoy it. That meant, she would actually get to play around with the magic. Who cared about everyone else? They were characters in a book – unimportant in the grand scheme of things.)
And so, Hagrid, after meeting innocent, little 'Harry Potter', took Natalie to finally discover the Wizarding World.
She could not wait.
The trip to the Wizarding World was well… something. It definitely left an impression.
First, of course, it started with entering the Leaky Cauldron where of course Hagrid had to announce their arrival. Loudly. They wasted a long time because of rest of the pub wanted to greet great little Harry Potter, the freaking Boy-Who-bloody-Lived.
Natalie was not happy. No, Natalie was very grumpy by the time they made their way to the back and to the brick wall leading to Diagon Alley.
She tried her best to keep the scowl from her face which was actually easy since she had another… issue to think about. In the pub, much like in the book, Hagrid introduced her to a certain Professor with a turban. She needed to deal with this before it became a problem; after all if she was to stay seven years in a bloody book, she was going to enjoy it and not get dragged in a war that had nothing to do with her.
A plan slowly constructed itself in her mind and… she grinned. Well, this was all fiction; she could do whatever the hell she wanted.
A new story, not to be taken seriously.
Natalie is Harry. Harry is a Boy. Natalie is a Woman. Things will change.
The first few chapters will go quickly because it's useless just repeating what we all know.
As you'll notice, Natalie-who-is-Harry will repeat a lot that she is in a fictional world. So, her actions will be at first influenced a lot by this belief. To her, this is just an entertaining game she is playing and so her actions have no real, important consequences.
Things will change in the future but for now this is how it is.
Their first stop was the bank. Natalie had to admit that she was impressed by it. She stayed mostly silent for the trip in and out, taking note of the 'secret' package Hagrid had also come to pick up. On the day she was supposed to be there with him. By being conspicuously mysterious. Well, that definitely made her overly wary. She really hoped she was not in one of those bashing fics where Dumbledore was an evil, evil man gleefully planning her death. That… would be an inconvenience.
(Granted Dumbledore was manipulative in the books but he had not been a bad man. She would prefer that really to one from those fics where he stole from her, paid the Weasleys with her money and the whole shebang. Then again she could also just be too heavily influenced by those fics she had read that she would always find something suspicious with them…)
(On another note, she had never seen that much money, well gold before. Hell yes, she was rich! That had definitely looked like a very impressive dragon hoard.)
She made sure to request the key – her key (okay, Harry Potter's but whatever; right now she was Harry Potter) – from the half-giant man before they even left the bank. He was reluctant at first but she managed to convince him after a few well-placed words and her adorable green eyes. One thing for sure was that Harry Potter's eyes were really pretty. Like really pretty. The first time she had seen them, she had been surprised. They were of a green she had never seen in anyone's eyes before. They were of a bright green, almost magical and if she widened then just so they made for killer puppy eyes. Too bad those ugly glasses mostly hid them though.
"Migh' as well get yer uniform," Hagrid said immediately after exiting the bank. "Listen, 'arry, would yeh mind if I slipped fer a pick-me-up in the Leaky Cauldron? I hate them Gringotts carts."
"Oh, you're looking positively green, Hagrid," she noted with the appropriate worried tone to her young little boy voice. "You should just go home. You don't have to accompany me, you know. I'll be perfectly fine on my own."
The man immediately seemed reluctant. Not a surprise there; what adult would just leave an eleven years old little boy alone to do his own shopping?
"No, no, 'arry. I can't leave yeh alone. I'll get a pick-me-up quick an' come back."
"You don't have to worry about me, Hagrid, really. I'm used to going shopping alone. I'll be just fine. Besides, it's not like anything's going to happen to me with all those people doing their own shopping."
"Yeh're sure, 'arry?" he furrowed his brows in concern.
"Of course! I'll be fine, don't worry."
"A'right, if yeh're sure."
After that it was a quick goodbye and then she was left alone.
What adult would leave an eleven years old boy alone? Apparently Hagrid was stupid enough to. Good thing too or she would have to come back another day to do what she wanted.
The moment Hagrid was out of her sight, she pivoted on her heel and went right back into the bank.
"Yes?" the goblin in front of her asked nastily when he finally looked at her waiting form.
"I would like to talk to whoever is in charge of the Potter Vault," she informed immediately. She was really not in the mood to care about goblins and their attitudes; she really just wanted to have this over with. Well, she was also just going in blind and mostly through her knowledge of fanfictions. For all she knew there was nothing new she was going to find than what she already knew.
"And you are?" the goblin peered at her behind his glasses, his expression turning even more unwelcoming.
"Harry Potter," she deadpanned, unimpressed.
He – well, she was pretty sure it was a he anyway – stared at her for a while before turning to a nearby goblin to say something in a language that made her stare. It was guttural and completely foreign. The goblin language, maybe? What was it supposed to be called? Gobble-something or other if she remembered correctly, but then again, she could also again just be remembering a fanfiction instead of the actual books. (God, when was the last time she had read the books?)
He turned back to her and said, "Gobtook will take you there." And then he turned back to the gems in front of him, dismissing her completely. Rude.
"Thank you," she said for the sake of being polite – because her father would have been otherwise disappointed and Natalie did not like his disappointment – before turning and following the other goblin that had already started leaving before waiting for her. Well, at least she knew now that goblins were not particularly polite. Eh, whatever.
Gobtook took her through winding corridors before stopping in front of one of the numerous doors. After knocking, the goblin opened the door and spoke in the strange language from before. Natalie waited, hoping that she was not just wasting her time and that Hagrid would not have a sudden change of heart to come back for her. Oh, whatever; she would still just do what she wanted anyway.
When Gobtook finally signalled her to go in, she walked pass him and to the door, nodding at him in thanks as he closed the door behind her. In the room, sitting across from her and behind a large marble desk – who on earth had marble desks? Goblins apparently – was another goblin, this one seeming older than Gobtook and even more menacing than the one at the entrance.
"I am Ironclaw. What can I do for you, Heir Potter?"
Natalie blinked. Well, that was more polite than she was expecting. Besides, 'Heir Potter'? Well, that already seemed promising.
"I came to know as much as you can tell me about the Potter Vault. Is the Trust Vault the only one I have or is there another? What do they contain and has there been any transaction during the last ten years after my parents' deaths?" Natalie asked immediately, going right for what she had come there for. There was no time for pleasantries after all and besides, they were only characters in a fictional world so she would allow herself a little more leeway.
The goblin regarded her with a serious looks before he even deigned to answer her questions.
"Have you not been getting our reports of the Potter Accounts?"
Natalie blinked again.
"Beg pardon? What reports?"
He stared at her some more. "I see." He turned to his desk and riffled through the drawers before turning back to her with a scroll in hand. Opening it, he said, "We have sent reports on the Potter Accounts yearly to your magical guardian as is protocol but since we have never received a reply for you personally, we concluded you either might not have received them or that you would prefer your guardian taking care of them."
Now it was Natalie's turn to stare. "Alright, first, why did no one just ask me when I first came this morning to get money from my Trust Vault?"
He grinned at her menacingly, his teeth looking very sharp as it glinted at her. "You never asked."
She stared. "Alright, fair." Because it was. She certainly would not have cared to inform someone if they were stupid enough not to ask. "Now, second, who is my magical guardian?"
"Figures," she grumbled to herself. At least those fanfictions were good for something if they were somewhat accurate while she was there in the freaking fictional world.
"As for your other questions, there has been no transaction from the Potter Vaults since your parents' deaths, except for this morning when you removed two hundred galleons, three hundred and twenty one sickles and fifty two knuts."
She remembered clearly how she had counted the galleons one by one until she had reached two hundreds and then, not wanting to do the same thing again, had just grabbed handfuls of sickles and knuts before leaving the vault. It was at least good to know that they could know the exact amount that was removed.
And apparently, no one had removed anything from her accounts – well, Harry Potter's but right now she was him so they were hers now – so at least she knew she was not in one of those fics where people just stole from her. Though the Dumbledore thing was still irking her; he was her magical guardian and yet she was pretty sure Harry Potter – the original – had never met him before school and he apparently got reports from her accounts.
"Well, can you send me reports instead from now?"
"As a minor, we have to send to your magical guardian." She deflated. "However, since you are the last of your line and the Heir of your Potter Family, it is possible for you to be legally emancipated before you take full control of your Accounts if you have received you invitation to start your magical education, as stipulated in the ancient laws. However, of course, some Vaults will remain inaccessible until you reach your majority."
Natalie stared. She was doing that a lot on that day. "Emancipation?" she asked. Okay, now this was getting interesting. "What do I need to do?"
The goblin's grin widened, his teeth becoming even more pronounced. Natalie was becoming oddly fond of those menacing looks directed at her. Her stay in this world was definitely not going to be boring.
When she finally managed to leave the bank, Natalie stretched before making her way to the first shop on the list. She had spent four hours getting everything done and while it was a lot of time spent, it was definitely not time wasted. Oh, no. She had managed to get herself emancipated – and according to the goblins, Dumbledore would know only after he would not receive the yearly report and he would inquire with the bank as to why. And since this year's had only been sent a few days before, he would know not before a year's time. Perfect.
And that was not all; the goblin, Ironclaw, went with her through her accounts, explaining everything she had access to as the new Lord Potter –and was that not just plain awesome? – such as shares in businesses both muggle and magical, money, artefacts – though those were in a vault that she would only have access at her majority – but most of all, properties.
Oh, yes, she had properties to her name that she had access to even being only eleven. And so there was no need for her to go back to the Dursleys! At first she had thought that she would have to go back there either way, if only because someone might try to bring her back because of the wards.
(Speaking of, that was definitely something she was interested in learning how they worked.)
After that thought, she had shrugged her concerns and decided that she really could not care. This was her life – well, sort of – and she could do whatever she wanted to do. Allowing someone else to dictate her decisions would go against her desire to do things her way and enjoy her stay in this magical world. Besides staying with the Dursleys, even only until it would be time to leave for Hogwarts, would also mean her time reading whatever she wanted would be reduced. That was one thing she could not allow.
And so, her decision was made.
The rest of the time was spent taking care of the legal matters such as suing all those that had been using her name – Harry Potter – for their gain and for making one of her very own properties a national treasure – (that place Voldemort had attacked in Godric's Hollow and where her parents' had died) – without her permission. All done discreetly of course. Technically, since she was just in a fictional world, she could have left well enough alone but she reeeeally did not like people taking advantage of her and that meant even fictional characters apparently.
Besides, it also meant she was making some people's lives – though she did not know who – miserable. The thought alone filled her with excitement. It was something pretty much cruel and mean for her to do but this was a fictional world; it was not as if she could do this in the real world. So if not a world that did not exist, where else would she be able to be as cruel as she ever wanted to be? It was not as if it really mattered here after all.
Well, that had all been time well spent and everything went along smoothly.
She was in a fictional world now so of course everything would be so easy and convenient!
And now time for shopping. While she was tired after all this, she also really wanted to get the school shopping over and done with.
Madam Malkin's was easy enough and after getting her school robes, she continued from shop to shop, getting everything quickly, leaving the wand and the books for last. To her annoyance, she had to go back to Gringotts for more money since what she had was not enough for the trunk she wanted. No even a quarter of the galleons she had with her was spent with everything she had already bought but the trunk she wanted was apparently really expensive.
She chose one with an expanding compartment for her books and added enough protection that she was pretty sure no one would be able to get in. It was at the bank that she found out, guess what, she could have a gold card for her monetary transactions instead of carrying around bags of galleons, and only she would be able to use it. Of course, the goblins never told her during the two times she had been there already in the same day because she had not asked.
It took her a while before she could leave the bookshop, since she also made sure to but anything and everything that caught her eyes besides the regular school books. After all if she was to stay in this world, she would learn and practise as much magic as she could. It was after all a freaking magical world.
And then, finally, the wand shop.
Entering the shop, her first thought was that the place would have been perfect for being a mysterious, magical library. It gave off that air of being old and full of mysteries, even with the dust. And it was quiet. The thrum of the rest of the Alley was immediately silenced the moment Natalie closed the door behind her. Most likely by magic, which made her excitement at learning and having magic intensify.
"Ah, Harry Potter," a voice said from behind her, making jump in surprise, a hand coming to rest on her chest. With wide eyes, she watched an old man come to stand in front of her, peering down at her through his glasses. "I thought I'd be seeing you soon. You have your mother's eyes." There he paused and gave her a long narrowed look. "No, no, not quite. And while the resemblance is here, you do not look much like your father either. Curious. Very curious."
Natalie furrowed her brows; she was pretty sure that was what the books said Harry Potter had. He was supposed to have his mother's eyes but look just like his father. Utterly baffled, she listened with half an ear as the man started murmuring about Harry Potter's parents' wands, more concerned by his first comment. Did it actually mean something that there was such a difference? She did not think that she had already affected the story that much with her presence; while she expected changes to come, she did not think they would come in the form of her physical appearance.
Harry Potter, as she had found since finding herself in this world, was a tiny child with messy black hair that refused to be tamed, and beautiful green eyes. His features were soft and well, maybe in a way aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. He had slightly slanted eyes with thick dark eyelashes, arched eyebrows that looked curiously like they had been carefully trimmed and styled, a small, slightly upturned nose and rose-coloured lips. Harry Potter made for a very adorable child but those features were hidden behind his big round glasses, so it was not like Natalie really cared. But maybe she should have… However, could her presence alone change the protagonist's appearance? Unlikely.
No. She was most likely overthinking things again.
The rest of her stay in the shop to get her wand went more or less the same way she had expected, with the man measuring her with a measuring tape that floated and did it itself, and the man handing her different wands to try.
It was strange, trying on wands. Each time one came in her hand, it was like she was feeling something resounding in her chest, deep within and through her. At first it was a small little ripple that she almost did not notice but then as each new wand was placed in her hand, it became more conspicuous, until finally, after Ollivander had come back from the back room with another wand, the something from before… exploded out of her and through the wand. The moment the wand touched her hand, bright silver light flew from the tip, sparks and sparkles exploding around her even as she felt her breath leave her in a big whoosh and the wand warm in her hand.
When the show of magic ended, Natalie was left gaping and gasping for breath, almost swaying on her feet as she felt a shudder go through her. The something from before that she was now pretty sure was magic settled comfortably inside and around her. It felt like it was – well, to put it in simple words – purring, and was ready and waiting for her to use it.
"Marvellous! Marvellous!" Ollivander clapped his hands gleefully. Natalie was left wide eyed as the man plucked the wand from her fingers and put it back in the box, paying no heed to the completely perplexed child in his shop. "Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple. Unusual combination."
Natalie paid no mind to whatever else the man said, far too preoccupied by what had happened. Okay, she had to admit, magic was awesome. She almost felt high just from the little display.
She paid Ollivander quickly and then left the shop.
She could not wait until she could use magic.
AN: Natalie, right now, is acting like someone who has found herself living in - well, let's say - a video game. In her mind, she is in a word of fiction that she can remember mostly through fanfiction so her knowledge and actions are heavily influenced by this belief. If you thought you were in a world of fiction, with unlimited choices in front of you, how would you react? Would you try to be the hero? Make everyone adore you? Or would you maybe make decisions you would not usually take in real life due to their moral ambiguity?
Natalie thinks she will just be having harmless fun while in this world. Who wants to find out her reactions when she finds out the truth? ;)
If there was one thing that Natalie would have hated, for being pushed into being a Self-Insert Harry Potter, it would be having to deal with the Dursleys. Thankfully, being a self-insert was apparently like playing a very entertaining Role-Playing Game, with unlimited choices. Usually in those games, there were only so much you could do or change and the end result – the ending – would be more or less the same but with some tiny differences that belied the choices taken earlier in the game.
Now, being a freaking self-insert in an actual fictional world made it so that Natalie could do whatever she wanted, however she wanted. And thus, came the emancipation. It had never been mentioned in the actual canon story but then again canon is also limited in what is shown. Since Natalie could make her own decisions, she managed to get emancipated at the tender age of eleven, which was apparently possible in the Wizarding World for the Heir of a powerful family – like the Potters – that held a Lordship – and thus accepting the Lordship instead of remaining heir – as from the moment said heir received their letter of acceptance to start their magical education.
It frankly went against all logic and reason but then again this was a fictional world and a magical one at that so Natalie really did not care much about that. What she did care about was the fact that not only did she not have to waste her precious time at the Dursleys, she never had to go back there and no one could force her to since she was freaking emancipated.
(Granted she had been an adult before being unceremoniously flung in this mess so if someone had tried to force their authority over her… Well, she would have not reacted like the nice little innocent angel her father made her out to be in front of strangers.)
As for where she would live, apparently the Potters had a lot of properties scattered around the globe. Like, a lot.
Unfortunately, some of them had fallen into disrepair since even before James and Lily's death so Natalie could not really live there. However, one of the properties, one of the bigger ones according to the goblins, Potter Palace, was still structurally sound and the wards were still active and powerful since the place was the main Potter residence. Or well, it had been built to be the main Potter residence but no one had lived there since before the time of Harry Potter's grandparents.
It was situated in Scotland and had not been touched since. The goblins, since they were actually pretty badass though with a penchant for trying to get a rise out of Natalie, gave her a portkey that would take her directly to the unplotted Potter Palace. It was a portkey that Harry Potter's great-grandparents had had made for emergency but could still be used even now. It would take her to Potter Palace and could also bring her back to Diagon Alley. In other words, everything was just plain convenient for Natalie. Everything really was easier in a fictional world.
After leaving Ollivander's shop and storing all her purchases in her new trunk, Natalie removed the portkey from her front pocket where she had placed it earlier after leaving Gringotts, and said the password. The hooking in her navel and the sudden change in landscape around her was nauseous and something she really could have done without. When she finally landed, she fell in a heap to the group, hearing her trunk falling not too far. Head spinning and feeling the little food she had in her stomach just waiting to make its way back up, she closed her eyes and remained lying where she was, her hand coming up to clasp her mouth shut.
It took her a while before the nausea settled and by then, she knew that wherever she was, she was outside. She could feel the grass under her prone form, taller than she would have liked – she really hoped there was no snail or worm sneaking their way into her clothes – and the warm rays of the afternoon sun on her face.
Deciding that she could not keep lying there for the rest for the day, she sat up carefully and looked around. She found herself in a big courtyard that looked not to have been looked after for a long while. Grass had overgrown, the trees looked like they had been left to grow however and wherever, and moss and weeds seemed to have grown everywhere she could see, even what looked like a very old fountain in the middle of the yard, and right in front of what she was pretty sure was Potter Palace.
Potter Palace itself stood opposite where she was, seeming immense and immeasurable in the afternoon light. It looked a lot like a giant castle with tall towers and what looked like big windows. A part of her wondered if she would get lost in there and another could not help but be excited at the prospect of exploring the place. Who knew what she could find over there?
However, now was not the time for exploring. She had much to do if she was to be ready for Hogwarts in September. While it was true that she had time, there was so much she wanted to do – to read – and she did not think she could do everything before she was to take the train.
Besides, she was already tired after the day she had had, what with business at the bank, shopping and then magic…
Shaking her head, Natalie stood up and went to her trunk. Opening it, she took out the tent she had spent a good hundred galleons for. While it was true that the goblins had reassured her that Potter Palace was structurally sound and thus no danger to her – in terms of the floor carving out under her or the roof falling on her – she did not feel like wasting her time to find a bedroom, make sure it was clean and dust free, and then find bedding to spend the night. Instead, she had decided to invest in a tent – magical tent – that she was certain she could rely on for sheltering her during the holidays.
Following the instructions in the manual, it was not long before a small tent that could not be bigger than a child's toy tent was erected in front of her. Pleased, Natalie gathered her trunk and ducked inside. She let out an excited squeal. Inside was bigger than outside and looked to already have everything that she had paid for. On the far left was a small kitchen, complete with counters, stove and fridge. On the right was the bathroom, though not exactly separated in an actual room. Instead, there was a toilet, a bathtub, a shower and a sink secluded from the rest of the 'room' but could still be seen the entrance. Closer to the entrance and where she was, was a king-sized bed – which was apparently far bigger than she had expected when she had ordered it – and a wardrobe. Not far was a small section with two couches and an armchair. Everything was not very luxurious but far more than she needed to be honest.
She closed the entrance behind her and left her trunk at the bottom of the bed. Time to test that bathtub!
After her bath, Natalie settled on the bed with one of the many, many books she had bought earlier that day to read. She did not exactly have any other clothes with her except for her school uniform that she really did not feel like wearing and sleeping in so she settled for staying naked for the time being. She needed to do more shopping but it was already late and she was exhausted. She would have to go another day. Her clothes, those she had worn all day, were drying outside the tent where she had strung them up between two tree branches.
For the moment, the book remained closed and pushed aside while she dragged a certain box on the bed, closer to her. While she could not wait to start reading her new books she had bought about magic in a magic bookshop, there was something else she wanted to try.
Since trying the wands at Ollivander's, the magic from inside her had in no way disappeared. It had remained… close to the surface, as if waiting for her to use it. And use it she would. She did not think it would be wise to just play around with it right now as she was since she had no actual, proper schooling in magic…
But who the hell cared?
If Voldemort could use magic before going to Hogwarts, then so could she! Besides she was in a fictional world; how bad could it get? Worst case scenario, she would off herself and end up back home. Meh.
Natalie opened the box and stared at her new wand, Harry Potter's Holly wand of all things. It was an unassuming little thing, really; it looked like a stick, the base of which had been fashioned so that it would fit in someone's hand. With her own unfamiliarly small hand hovering over, she felt the magic in her stir almost excitedly, slowly, lazily floating over the wand as if testing. It was strange, to feel the magic like this. It almost felt sentient in the way moved as if with a mind of its own and… yet not.
She did not touch the wand, instead she grabbed hold of the magic, her magic and allowed it to wrap around her and spread – spread, spread – around her. It felt warm, like spending a lazy winter afternoon in front of a fireplace, wrapped up in a fluffy blanket. It felt like the first rain of spring, the pleasant breeze of the summer months and the colours of autumn – though how what that one meant, she had no idea or even how it pertained to the magic.
With a laugh, Natalie threw herself back on the bed, wrapped her small, small arms around her body and rolled around on the huge mattress.
Magic was just plain awesome.
The next day Natalie woke up with the sun. Since the previous day, she had not eaten anything and so she was ravenous. Unfortunately, she had also forgotten to settle food for the summer; the tent's kitchen remained empty. The first thing she did was brush her teeth and drink some water before getting back in her now dry clothes. Not wasting any more time, she quickly grabbed anything she needed for another day of shopping before she portkey'ed away.
The portkey was just as nauseating as the previous day but this time around she managed to stay on her feet and it was not long after landing in Diagon Alley than she quickly made her way to the Leaky Cauldron where she had a satisfying breakfast. As soon as she was done, she rushed towards the closest clothing store. She did not find what she was looking for at Madam Malkin's but she did at Twilfitt and Tatting's. A couple of hours later she exited and made her way to Second-Hand Robes where she purchased a simple set of muggle clothing that were old but in a much better condition than what she had worn since the previous day. She immediately changed into those clothes and threw away her last vestiges of the Dursleys.
She would have preferred to burn them but throwing them away felt just as good at that moment.
Done with the magical side of London, Natalie secured her miniaturized package from Twilfitt and Tatting's in her new pocket before she made her way to the Leaky Cauldron.
Her shopping from the muggle side of London was slightly more difficult than in Diagon Alley but really, she should have expected this. After all it was not exactly normal to see a tiny child like she currently was going shopping alone without adult supervision, and while having the means to pay for her purchases. Thankfully, she managed to accomplish what she had set out to do with minimum obstacle. This trip to muggle London at least reaffirmed that she really hating her current status as a child.
As soon as she was done, Natalie went back to the Leaky Cauldron where she had a late lunch and secured her means of acquiring her meals for the rest of the week.
That done, she finally portkey'ed back to her new home. She threw her many packages on her bed and then quickly left the tent again. That was one thing out of way but now she had something else to do.
Determined, Natalie crossed over to the Palace's front door. It was time to see about this place.
It was not as bad as she had first thought. Sure, there were cobwebs practically everywhere, the windows were darkened with years of dust, the air was stale and heavy and let's not talk of the doors that creaked every time she opened them, but it could have been worst. The floor was sturdy, like the goblins had promised, the furniture was covered by cloths – and Natalie had a feeling some kind of magic spell (a charm maybe?) – that had kept them in good condition.
The place was far too big for her to explore completely but that was the last of her concern.
There were a lot of paintings everywhere she walked – moving, talking paintings – and as she examined them and asked them questions, she determined that they were the last remnants of the Potters' ancestors. That was not what was important though. No, what was, was the directions they gave her to the one room the reason for which Natalie had chosen that particular estate as her new 'home': the library.
Those few chapters are actually kind of boring but unfortunately necessary for the plot. This is all just Natalie settling down in this world and the decisions she took, mostly based on her own desires.
Oh, right. I forgot to mention, Natalie is not actually a Self-Insert. She is like one but that's kind of the point. You'll find out more as the story progresses though not before or during the first year at Hogwarts. (She seems like an OC but she actually is not...)
No one could really blame Natalie for the completely embarrassing squeaking that came from her when she opened the doors to the library. The sound was accompanied by a full body wiggle, wide excited eyes and a grin that frankly seemed more crazed than anything.
"I can so die happy right now," came the whispered words, voice reverent and hushed as if addressing a sacred subject.
The library was a vision right out of a dream. It was big, bigger than she could have ever hoped. It even had two levels, where you climbed a set of winding stairs to reach the upper level. The large windows were darkened with dust and age, allowing only limited amount of sunlight to filter in and since the chandeliers were unlit, the library remained mostly dark if not for the little orb of light Natalie had managed to make with her freaking magic like a total badass. Okay, it was not that impressive since it was as small as a firefly but it was magic that she had been able to control as she wished.
She had found the previous night while she had played around with her magic that it was surprisingly easy to mess around with. Alright, she was stumped at the beginning, not really knowing what the heck she was doing but she learned that magic worked better in terms of will. The more will you put behind your spell, the better it worked.
She certainly did not know spells but it was easy to push her will behind her magic and bam! Instant result. It was not perfect since she had only been able to practise for so many hours before falling asleep – and let's all forget little singed eyebrows, yes? – but she had until September to get more control.
And the way to it? The library.
It might have been a long while since anyone had been there, and the cobwebs practically everywhere attested to it, but the books showed absolutely no damage. The pages were of thick parchment, the ink clear and visible. There was honestly no sign of age in the books which in a way was freaky and in another was just plain awesome.
The first thing she did after checking a few books – there were a lot she did not understand since they were apparently written in other languages Natalie had no knowledge of – was open the windows. The air was dry and old, filled with clogging dust. While it did add to the fantastical, magical atmosphere, it was also irritating to her nose and she ended up sneezing far too much for her liking.
Then she went back downstairs and outside, made a bee-line to her tent and promptly dragged it and everything inside back in the Palace and to the library. She settled it in an open space between shelves, took a couple of interesting books from a nearby shelf and ducked inside.
At least the couch was going to have its uses after all.
It was a few days later when she had decided to spend the day outdoors instead of staying inside that it happened. She was just sitting on a bench that had surprising not been overtaken by the undergrowth, reading a very interesting book on the history of the European Wizarding World, when she heard an angry screech.
Natalie startled but did not have time to do more than that when a ball of white fluff and angry screeching bowled her over. She let out a squawk and flailed for a moment before she fell hard on her back. With a yelp, she batted at the little creature of doom that pecked her and clawed at her, until finally it let out an irritated huff and backed away.
Blinking up at the sky in complete bewilderment, she vaguely wondered if that had actually happened. Closing her eyes in trepidation, slowly she gathered herself. Almost afraid of what she would see, Natalie peeked up and at the bench where a certain ball of white fluff stared back at her grumpily.
"Oh, you have got to be joking," Natalie deadpanned because that – that was –
The owl glared back at her and puffed out its feathers.
"What are you doing here?"her only answer was of course an annoyed, haughty hoot and the flapping of ruffled wings.
Harry Potter world.
At the answering nod, Natalie gawped.
That… That should not be possible. Because this particular white owl was definitely the same owl that used to follow her from school, pecking her in empty streets, pooping on her head… If this was Hedwigthen Natalie had no idea what to think. This owl had always been present in her life, one way or another, following her around when she left her house, almost giving her heart attacks by appearing out of nowhere on Halloween to steal her food. Her mother had laughed at her when she had mentioned the owl, saying some bullshit answer of 'maybe it was meant to be'. Her father would give her this strange little look, half-amused and half-something. Honestly, after their reactions she had taken to just ignore the fact that an owl seemed to follow her around and cause her certain misfortune and yes, she had still not forgiven that thing for ruining her first – and last – date when it went and pooped in their food.
But anyways, if that owl was Hedwig – and was apparently an immortal owl since Natalie was pretty sure it had never aged since she had first met it when she had been seven – well, she had no idea what it meant. It could not even be Harper sending the thing after her when she was a kid because she had met Harper only in her teens and not before. As for sending that thing in this world at this moment, well, might as well be Harper if Natalie was honest. She always did find some sick sense of glee at Natalie's misfortune when the owl was concerned.
Seriously, being stalked by a creepy owl…
Shaking her head, Natalie pointed a finger at her stalker owl. "I'm going to ignore you, weirdo-owl."
Her answer was another screech and a hard peck on her forehead before the owl – Hedwig, holy shit, what the hell did that even mean!? – flew away. Natalie was certain that would not be the last time she would see it.
She bolted back to the Palace.
Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.
Natalie was balancing on the edge of a chair, trying to reach one of the books higher up on a shelf when she heard the shuffling. She really should not have turned to look, but really, it was Natalie, so of course she turned, only to come face to face with a freaky ugly creature with floppy ears and bulging eyes. She let out a shriek and toppled over on her back, her head knocking into the shelf in her descent.
With a hiss, she gingerly grabbed the back of her head before she remembered herself and scrambled backwards until she hit the next shelf. The little creature was staring at her with wide worried eyes, wringing its large ears in its tiny hands, muttering under its breath. Staring, Natalie tried to make sense of what it was saying, ending even more confused by what she could understand.
"Oh, Moppy is a bad elf… – hurt little master… – first master since… – Oh, Moppy is sorry, little master…"
"Um – ?" When the bulging eyes locked with hers, Natalie cringed but continued. "Who are you?"
The thing seemed to shrink for a moment. "Moppy is Moppy, little master. Moppy is a Potter elf, the elf of the Potter Palace."
Natalie blinked, relaxing from her tensed position and crossing her legs to be more comfortable. "Elf? As in, house elf? A Potter house elf?"
"Yes, little master, Moppy is a Potter elf. Moppy is very very sorry for hurting the little master. Moppy should be punished for hurting the little master."
Natalie quickly waved her hand. "No, that's fine." Thinking, she added, "Are you the only house elf?"
The elf – Moppy – blinked its large eyes at her before bobbing its head. "Moppy is the only elf in Potter Palace but there are other elves in the other properties. Moppy can get the other Potter elves if the little master wishes?"
Natalie stared. And then she banged her head in the shelf behind her. Great, just another thing the goblins did not mention; that would have made things so easy in those first few days. And speaking of, why the hell had the thing only appeared only now?
With a resolute twist to her lips, Natalie stood up. Well, then, just another thing to take care of.
"Moppy, was it? Yes, can you get the other elves, please?"
"You should really get rid of those horrid glasses, darling. They are not befitting the Lord of the Family, even one as young as you." Natalie shot the woman who spoke – from a large painting near her favourite place in the library – an exasperated look.
"Yes, you've been telling me this for weeks now, Astrid. Thank you for the advice," she grumbled back. The blonde woman – a Potter from a few generations back, nee Selwyn and married into the family apparently – sniffed daintily at her, flipping open her fan in a graceful move. Natalie was jealous.
"And you should really listen for once, darling," the woman continued as she looked down her nose at the eleven years old boy laying sprawling on the fancy couch in front of the now clean window. "You have such beautiful features. It is shame to hide them behind those horrible contraptions."
"She is quite right, dear," another woman – from a couple of generations even farther back and older in appearance (seeming in her fifties instead of thirties like the other woman) – from a nearby painting interjected. "You would look much better without those glasses on. Why, you would look absolutely lovely if only you agree to get your eyesight corrected."
"Come now, Lorencia, Astrid," this time it was a man – seeming in his sixties – in a painting on the opposite wall. "If the poor boy does not wish to bother with correcting his eyesight, then he is free to do as he wishes. There is no need to keep bothering him thus."
"Thank you, Lorenzo," Natalie threw back, sending a cheeky grin at the two meddling women.
"Though I have to admit, those glasses are quite… unpleasant to the eyes. You should consider at least replacing them if you would rather not bother with correcting your eyesight."
"But that'll take in my reading time!" Natalie instead whined. "No way."
"Harry James Potter, I swear to all that is – "
At that very moment, a tray of tea and sandwiches appeared on the nearby table and Natalie cried excitedly, cutting off Astrid's reprimand, "Tea time!"
The other adults in the nearby painting chuckled at the spluttering blond woman as she was thoroughly ignored for a warm cup of tea and tasty sandwiches. Those taking part in the never-ending argument let out simultaneous sighs.
Natalie was an avid reader. Anyone who knew her would readily tell you that. She could hardly be seen without a book in her hands – or if it was back home, with her phone or tablet – but that certainly did not mean she liked following everything books said or learn everything by heart – or by rote. She much preferred learning everything the books told her that interested her and then challenge the given information. In this new world of magic, she found that she had no patience for learning all the spells – incantation, wand movements, etc – but she was much more interested in the end result.
There were spells to make water appear from the tip of a wand, to conjure birds that flew at your opponents and even to make fire that took on the shape of animals. Magic was completely interesting and awesome but Natalie had honestly no patience learning all those spells like the books instructed.
Oh, no. She had so much more fun – ah – experimenting. She was in a world of fiction after all, what was the worst that could happen?
And so, with an excited – and frankly crazed – grin, she experimented under the completely aghast eyes of Harry Potter's dead relatives – from the surrounding paintings in the library – with magic. She did not use the wand, since she had no idea if the trace-thing was a thing there yet and she really did not want her fun interrupted by ministry officials – and since they had not come or warned her in any way when she had used magic before without a wand. Instead she used her will.
Everything was not without incident though. The first time she tried to conjure water, she got a face full – and mouth full – of brown water that strangely tasted of lemon. When she tried to make fire appear, she set fire to one of the nearby shelves which incited panic – running around and flailing like a headless chicken – from her until Moppy had appeared and set everything right again.
The poor elf ended with an armful of a blubbering Natalie but – eh – details.
Things were going fine for her though. She was honestly enjoying herself reading and experimenting, and since the elves – Moppy and all the others that had come from the other properties – had started to get the Palace back to its once pristine form, the library was no longer dusty and uncomfortable to be in. She spent all her time in that place, no longer needing her tent except for sleeping and bathing – the elves and the paintings tried to get her to sleep in an actual room and use an actual bathroom but that would take her too far away from the library and so she refused. Honestly, she had hardly stepped out of the library or even visited the rest of the Palace.
The library was far more interesting.
Granted, she was pretty sure she would also like to explore the place more at a later date, and discover all the secrets and history it had accumulated during the years but that was after she got used to the reading all day – and most of the night – long.
Yep. Natalie was very, very happy.
When the day for her to embark on her journey to Hogwarts arrived, she almost did not feel like going. But then she convinced herself with the thought that, well, it was freaking Hogwarts! How could you ever miss that!?
So, she departed from the Palace, Moppy being kind enough to drop her off at the Station.
And, no, she was not pouting when she left.
… And, yes, she might have a couple of miniaturised books in her pocket but that was no one's business but her own!
I hope you guys like it.
And yes, the clues are right in front of her but Natalie is an absolute dunderhead.
Leave behind your thoughts.
Natalie was pleased that she arrived a good thirty minutes before the train was supposed to depart. There were few students and parents compared to what she was expecting and it was easy for her to find an empty compartment for herself. Of course, that was when she got lost in her books. She did not know the exact moment but a group of older students had joined her, she realised when she picked her head from her book, blinking at the other students also burrowing in their own books and then outside at the moving landscape. Huh. With a shrug, she went back to her reading.
All in all, the ride was quiet and pleasant, and also nothing particularly special.
When they finally arrived, Natalie left her trunk in the train as instructed but kept her books with her in her pocket. Hopping from the train, she looked towards where a familiar voice called for the first years. With a skip to her steps, she followed the other first years to Hagrid and down the slope. As they rounded the bend, they finally caught sight of Hogwarts. Among the awed whispers of the other first years, Natalie stared with wide eyes.
It was a sight right out of a fairy tale.
Which… was not so farfetched since she was literally in a children's story.
The castle's reflection shone on the lake, the illuminated windows and the floating candles giving the place an enchanted look. The architecture and the wide gothic arches brought a whole other look to the place in the light of the moon and the stars.
Natalie definitely did not regret going to Hogwarts. This was her childhood dream come true.
She joined three other children to one of the boats: two identical little girls huddled together on one side of the boat and a little brown-haired boy with a tiny mousy face who quietly sat down and turned solemn eyes forward. Natalie had half a mind to get one of her miniaturized books out but it was not like she could read anyway in the dark. Granted she could summon some light but that would mean bringing attention to her which would prevent her from actually reading, making summoning the light in the first place a moot point.
Natalie sighed. She supposed she would have to wait until dinner at least. They would definitely have enough lighting then.
After they disembarked from the boats, Hagrid led them to the massive doors that cracked open upon his resounding knocking. Out appeared an older woman with a stern, pinched face, dressed like the stereotypical witch, along with the frankly ridiculous pointy hat. Eh, to each their own, Natalie supposed.
"Firs' ye'rs, Prof'ssor," Hagrid rumbled.
"Thank you, Hagrid," the woman replied with a look at the man. Then she turned to the huddling first years gathered at the steps of the castle, like a gaggle of sacrifices waiting naively for their own slaughter. "Come in, children. Follow me." She led them to a small chamber and started informing them of the House system at Hogwarts. Natalie listened with a distracted ear, too busy looking around the place. The architecture was really splendid though it surprisingly did not compare to Potter Palace. Sure, everything was pretty but in a more… gaudy manner. Too shiny and golden for her personal taste but whatever. It was still better than the simplistic architecture that she had become used to in her real life.
They were left alone in the chamber to wait, the first years fidgeting restlessly, murmuring among themselves. Natalie heard someone mentioning Harry Potter coming to Hogwarts and she raised an eyebrow as the children started looking around, though others looked more confused – the muggleborns maybe? Wow, she really hoped this would not be the usual for the next few years.
Her fingers twitched towards her pocket that held her books.
Sudden screams from the back of their small crowd made her jump. She craned her neck to see what the commotion was all about and then blinked. Those were… ghosts. Actual ghosts! Natalie almost squealed in excitement but she thankfully managed to contain herself though she was pretty sure her eyes were shining as they stared at the floating, greyed out and see-through people in front of them. She did not hear what they were talking about as she was too busy boggling at them, itching to ask so many questions. One of the ghosts saw her staring. He cocked his head at her and her eyes shone brighter.
Unfortunately, before she could approach, McGonagall came back and ushered them into the Great Hall. Natalie allowed herself to pout but cheered herself with the knowledge she would have ample time talking to the ghosts since she was staying there for the year. She quickly got distracted with the Great Hall, or well, to be more precise, with the ceiling.
"It's bewitched to look like the sky outside. I read it in Hogwarts: A History," a little voice whispered among their little crowd. Now, that was something Natalie would not mind learning. Hm… Maybe she would try it. All she needed was to find an empty room somewhere…
McGonagall placed an old hat – the Sorting Hat – on a little stool with three legs while the whole Hall quietened in anticipation. A slit appeared on the Hat and it started singing.
Even though Natalie had somewhat become used to magic after first ending up in this world, she still found it absolutely fascinating. The hat was made of old cloth and was still apparently from a thousand years before. She silently wondered what kind of magic could be used for that, to keep the hat from disintegrating through the years. And then she wondered to the degree of sentience the thing held. Was it like the moving portraits? How far could they both think for themselves? Or maybe they operated on a set of rules placed during first being enchanted into their current states?
She wondered how souls actually worked. She wondered if she could put a soul in an object and give it sentience... Hm, maybe she should look in necromancy. It could not just be about animating corpses, right?
Natalie blinked. What…? Oh! The Sorting had already started while she had gotten lost in her mind. She mentally cringed when McGonagall's voice repeated 'her' name after she had spent too long not moving to the Sorting Hat, and whispers started from around the Hall.
With another inward cringe, Natalie took a step from the rest of the first years, conspicuously ignoring the whispers following her. However, just as she walked in front of McGonagall to make her way to sit on the stool, the Hat – that McGonagall was holding in her hand while waiting to place it on her head – made a sound before shouting for the whole Hall to hear.
Natalie stopped in her tracks and turned to blinked at it.
"Hat, what –?" McGonagall spluttered in a show of obvious surprise and confusion.
Said Hat snorted. "There is no other place for that one. I don't think I've ever Sorted anyone that easily," it commented dryly. While McGonagall spluttered again and the Hall fell into excited whispers, Natalie decided to shrug this off. Well, it was actually right since she did not think there would be a better place for her than the House of the… curious? Yeah, let's go with that. Besides, that also meant she could go back to her reading quicker.
With a spring to her steps, Natalie pivoted on her heel and made her way to the table with the blue linings. She sat down in the first empty place she found, at the far end of the table while the rest of the Hall stared at her moving form. Behind her, McGonagall cleared her throat and went back to the Sorting.
Natalie paid no mind to the curious children surrounding her. No one tried to talk to her during the rest of the Sorting, though she could see them shooting glances her way. Since there was nothing else for her to do, she looked forward towards the table where the teachers were seated. Finding Dumbledore was easy: he was seated right in the middle of the long table and had the distinctive long beard. Like a real-life Gandalf. Next was Snape, with his complete black get-up and long, straight and flat black hair. Aaaand the man was glaring at her. Okaaaaay, next! There was Quirrell with his distinctive turban but Natalie could not really recognise the other teachers. Oh, well.
It was not long after that the Sorting finished and the food appeared on the tables after a few words from Dumbledore. Natalie made to grab the closest dish which was a salad. She put some on her place and grabbed the next one.
"Hey, Potter!" a voice distracted her and as she looked up, she found numerous eyes locked on her tiny form. The speaker had been the older boy sitting opposite her. He had dirty blond hair and a slightly crooked nose, but otherwise could be considered handsome. He looked to be around fifteen or sixteen, much like the other students sitting around her. Well, she had apparently sat down in the middle of the older years instead of the other first years. Eh, whatever. "Welcome to Ravenclaw. My name is Samuel Guard."
"Er… Hello? And, thank you?" Damn it, it had come out like a question. Her father would have had her hide if he was there. The man was very firm about her manners…
The other students around her also introduced themselves but Natalie, to be honest, did not even register half of them. Her father would have been so disappointed in her.
Urg. Not like it mattered since they were no even freaking real!
She wanted to get out her book… but it was not exactly something to be done in polite company, much less during a meal and while people were trying to have conversations with her.
… Who cared!? Her father was not there to be disappointed in her.
With that thought in mind and a firm nod to herself, she decided, screw it. She was doing things her way. Besides those people were not real so their opinion of her did not matter.
She got out her book from her pocket and plopped it on her lap, opening it to the page she had left it earlier. Dinner was much more pleasant for her after that even if the children surrounding her shifted awkwardly at her sudden dismissal of them.
After dinner, the first years were gathered to be shown the way to their Common Room. The castle was great. The decoration, the moving paintings and suits of armour were all very interesting. It was like stepping in a medieval castle but much more fantastic. Still did not compare to Potter Palace though. Meh. Natalie had the feeling a lot of things paled when compared to Potter Palace, even in its decrepit state.
Their common room was located at the top of a spiral staircase. It was a long walk from the Great Hall but the First Years were too busy looking around excitedly to really care at that moment. The entrance was a door which, weirdly enough, had no doorknob nor a key hold. Instead it only had a bronze knocker in the shape of an eagle. But then again, this was a castle of magic so Natalie should have expected this. She wondered how many hidden rooms there were and how many were still untouched…
A question later, an answer later and the little gaggle of first years were finally allowed inside the Common Room. Natalie immediately disregarded the décor, zeroing in on the giant bookshelves lining the walls. With narrowed eyes glancing around, homing in on the really, really comfortable looking armchairs and couches, Natalie decided that she had really chosen well. Ravenclaw was clearly perfect for her.
Later, after the first years were shown their dormitory – Natalie almost going with the girls before she caught herself – Natalie found herself alone with three other little boys. They were tiny little eleven years olds but it was not like she could really talk since apparently Harry Potter was even tinier. So, there Natalie found herself, in a circular room with four single poster beds, surrounded by the three new roommates apparently eager to get to know her – Harry Potter – and the shortest of the lot. It was not something she was used to since Natalie, in her real body, was more of average height, neither too short nor too tall and that had suited her just fine. But it was not so much of a surprise since Harry Potter – the body she had found herself in – had been a starved, scrawny little thing when she had first taken over. That had most likely stunted his growth and so, there Natalie was, the tiniest among tiny children.
After a quick introduction – Boot Terry, Corner Michael, Goldstein Anthony – the three were thankfully content to leave her alone as they went preparing themselves for bed. Natalie located her trunk beside one of the beds and went over to it with purposeful strides. Disregarding the presence of the other little boys in the room, she rummaged through her trunk and found her tent, the one she had stuffed in the trunk before leave Potter Palace. Pleased with her find, she hoisted it out and with a resolute gesture, she plopped the thing on the bed. Since it was just as small as a child's toy tent, it fitted perfectly the single bed, she noted with a nod, her fists resting firmly on her tiny hips.
"Err, Potter?" the confused voice brought her attention to the three boys that had stopped in their night rituals to stare at her and her tent.
Blinking at them, she turned determined eyes at her new roommates and declared without preamble, "That's mine. I'll be using that. No one gets to touch it." Then, without waiting for her bewildered roommates to reply, she closed her trunk with a snap, grabbed it by the handle and hauled it into the tent. Next, she climbed the bed, closed the curtains – spelling them to stick shut in case one of the children decided to open it, with a flick of her tiny fingers – and entered her tent.
Looking at the large bed, the bathroom, the kitchen and the little cosy lounge, Natalie decided that it had been a good idea to bring the tent with her.
Now, she needed to make a schedule to decide what to read and try first. She had so many new ideas about the use of magic and her fingers were itching eagerly to try them.
Here's a new chapter. On a side note, I added in the tags that Natalie will gradually shift to gender fluid but I'm adding it here in case you miss it.
Don't forget to leave behind your thoughts.
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.
The Ravenclaws, to be on the safe side, have decided to observe their housemate before doing anything that might alienate that one First Year who might as well be the real deal. Because, wandless? and wordless? magic? At their age? How? ...And how can they do it too?
Incidentally, the image that they create of this same First Year does not reflect how said First Year is inside.
Natalie on the other hand just wants some peace and quiet to read, OKAY!?
Natalie found that ignoring the three stooges was not as easy as she had hoped it would be. For one, Malfoy, after not getting any reaction to his first attempt at befriend Harry Potter, decided that the way to do it would be through juvenile bullying. Not that Natalie noticed much of his attempts but it did become annoying being interrupted in her reading every time by a pointy blond toddler throwing a tantrum to get her attention.
And that was not only Malfoy. Ron Weasley thought it would be a good idea to keep trying to befriend her through clumsy and irritating attempts at throwing himself in Natalie's personal space, chatting up a storm about uninteresting topics like Quidditch, 'slimy Slytherins', etc. Thankfully, that was when the Ravenclaws came in handy and all Natalie had to do to get rid of that one pesky child was to scuttle between the nearest Ravenclaws and they would give the Weasley child some mean intimidating looks that made him go away like some scared rabbit.
Then, of course, there was Hermione Granger. Her way of getting on Natalie's nerves was trying to one-up her in classes – which she inevitable failed since Natalie was quite obviously and effortlessly better than her – throwing her smug, challenging looks. And when that failed at getting a rise from her, she tried to criticise Natalie's techniques, lazy ways of always doing the minimum in class – though still besting everyone because otherwise gave Natalie the mental image of her father's judging looks – and so on. At first, Natalie ignored her but even her eternal patience appeared to have limits, especially since Granger was the one among the three annoyances who interrupted her reading time more and she did it in the most obnoxious ways possible.
Thus, Natalie took to spending most of her time in the Ravenclaw Common Rooms when she was not forced to leave for classes or meals. This also put a damper on her plans to explore but she thought that the children's attempts would mellow after they got used to Harry Potter's presence so she chose to endure for the moment.
And so, time went by, Natalie went to magic classes, read magic books and experimented with magic in her spare time. Life was good. Maybe this little mishap would turn out to be a nice vacation from regular adult life after all.
Whenever she could, Natalie would bombard Flitwick and McGonagall with questions about their respective subjects. She also wanted to pick at Snape's brain but unfortunately the man was not as approachable as his colleagues.
Their first practicals turned out to be easy enough for Natalie, as she found out. For Transfiguration, she turned the matchstick into a needle on the first try and with just a simple mumble of absolute nonsensical words. When McGonagall congratulated her, she was too embarrassed to admit that she had not even bothered to learn the incantation due to pure laziness. She chose to let the woman believe that she did it perfectly.
Even Snape's class was pretty nice, if she ignored his constant subtle and not-so-subtle insults. She turned in a potion that got an actual "adequate" from the man which might as well be a standing ovation from the grumpy man.
As for Flying Class, the only other class worth mentioning… Well, Natalie refused to get on the piece of wood to fly. Flying would be pretty cool but depending on that flimsy, rickety thing was out of the question. When Longbottom broke his wrist falling from his broom, Natalie gave Madam Hooch – who had been trying to get her on the broom – a deadpanned look and decisively plopped down on the ground cross-legged, refusing to budge until they were eventually dismissed back to their dorms.
Then there was the Charms class from the book where they were taught to levitate a feather. Granger was situated at the table to Natalie's left and she used that opportunity to snidely criticise her pronunciation of the incantation and her wand movements. Since it was the first time that she had actually bothered to try them – they were part of the books so it would be fun to try it their way for once, she had thought – Natalie was pretty annoyed by the girl and so she decided to be a bitch about it.
Staring at the girl in the eyes, she pointed her wand at the feather and said flatly, "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo."
The girl opened her mouth, mostly like to criticise her again, when the feather freaking lifted from the table like a boss. Natalie, obviously, gave her a mocking smirk even as the girl gapped, because she was just as petty as an actual eleven years old apparently.
"Wonderful! Wonderful! Well done, Mr. Potter! 5 points to Ravenclaw!"
Natalie's smug smile turned into a grin as she turned to Professor Flitwick who scuttled over to her, eyes shining as he regarded her.
"On the first try too!"
Natalie wiggled in glee in her seat. Flitwick's enthusiasm was contagious and though the class was pretty easy all things considered, she had to admit that his was her favourite class.
"But, Professor! That's not true!" a voice interrupted. Granger, due to her frustration building up could not hold back her comments and her voice came out as whiny. She was used to being the best in academics; having someone who clearly did not take things seriously being better than her was too much.
"He did not even use the incantation properly!" the young girl was so frustrated and upset that she appeared close to tears and her words came out breathless. "He must have – he must have cheated!"
"Miss Granger!" Flitwick puffed up in indignation and bafflement. He never would have expected this kind of attitude from his student. She had appeared studious and enthusiastic in class but daring to say another student was cheating only because she could not get the same results was simply too much. Some competitiveness between classmates was good as it served as appropriate motivation but certainly not to this extent! "10 points from Gryffindor!"
"But! But! Professor he did not even use the proper incantation or the wand movements! He must have been cheating!"
Now intrigued, Flitwick turned curious eyes towards Mr Potter and asked, "Could you use the charm again, Mr Potter?"
With a small shrug, Natalie pointed her wand at the feather – already forgetting the proper wand movement – and it floated gently front the desk.
Flitwick clapped. "Wonderful! Wonderful! This is what we call advanced use of magic! Well done, Mr. Potter! 5 more points to Ravenclaw!"
Of course, Hermione Granger could not accept that Potter got it right without doing it as it was instructed. It should not be possible and what advanced use of magic? Potter was her age!
"But Professor! He did not do it correctly!"
"There is no such thing as cheating in magic, Miss Granger," Flitwick frowned at her, his cheerful demeanour turning sour as he remembered her previous words. "Class, as you can see, Mr Potter did not use the incantation or the wand movement but still made the feather float. The reason is that these are to help you to direct your magic in the proper manner to get the charm to work. This is the same thing in your other subjects. However, when you are older and more used to consciously use magic, you will be able to do it silently and without the wand movement, like Mr Potter has just shown us. Yes, Miss Turpin?"
Lisa Turpin lowered her hand and asked, "Does that mean Potter has already used the charm and that's why he can do it without the incantation and the wand movements?"
"Good question. Some wizards and witches, you will find, are more favoured by magic and thus, they find using magic much easier than other. Mr Potter is one such person. Yes, Mr Corner?"
"Is it common to find people more favoured by magic? How do we know they are favoured?"
"No, it is not so common. It is very rare to find people favoured to this extent, only one in a millennium can we find such a person. We are of course lucky to have Mr Potter among us. As how you know is through the way they tend to use magic. Those people find the use of magic instinctive, much more than ordinary people. Of course, it is no reason to be discouraged! If you work hard enough anyone can achieve their level of proficiency. Now, everyone, go on. Try to get those feathers floating."
There were some shuffling and quiet whispers as everyone started discussing what they had just learned. The Ravenclaws were not as surprised to know their Housemate was the kind of person only found in a thousand years. They had seen his constant and effortless use of magic after all.
"Now Miss Granger," Flitwick turned displeased eyes towards the Gryffindor student while everyone else went back to work, "I will speak to Professor McGonagall about your reprehensible attitude. Never before have I seen…" He huffed and puffed and went back to his table.
The little girl lowered her head, barely holding her tears at bay.
Natalie shot her a dismissive look, hoping this would be a lesson for the girl to make her stop bothering others with her nonsense. Shaking the matter from her mind, she got a book from her bag as was the norm.
As soon as the class was done, and since Charms was the last class of the day, Natalie decided to go to the kitchens for dinner. The other students were giving her too many strange looks for her to comfortably relax with a good book for dinner. With that in mind, Natalie cheerfully skipped away from class, heedless of the little girl running away in tears in the other direction after an unpleasant comment from a certain red-haired Gryffindor.
After grabbing a few snacks and stuffing them in her bag to serve as dinner from the house elves in the kitchens, she made her way back to Ravenclaw Tower which, with everyone else in the Great Hall, would be empty and quiet, perfect to relax in the common rom with her book. With her head buried in her book, she did not see the trick step… and she stepped right in… and through. With a squawk, Natalie flailed and found the whole of her lower body slipping and before she knew it, she was trapped from the waist down in the floor.
She pushed with her hands but her body refused to budge. Yep. She really needed someone else to get her out of there. Unfortunately, every other student and even the teachers were in the Great Hall for dinner. She would have asked help from any painting nearby but the corridor she was in was one not frequented as much and there was no painting in sight. Hoping someone would think to look for her when curfew approached, Natalie settled for waiting a while for help to reach her.
At least she still had her book!
With that in mind, she wiggled a bit and reached for her book that had fallen not too far during the incident. With a triumphant whoop, she dragged the book closer and opened it back to where she had reached. Grabbing her bag, she got her snacks out and settled down for the long wait.
She did not know how long it was after when an unpleasant smell reached her nose and broke her concentration. With a grimace, she wiggled her nose and looked up from her book. That was when she was made aware of the thundering footsteps coming her way and… a tall, ugly thing rounding the corner.
The look on her face would have been hilarious in any other situation. That was a troll. In the castle.
Wait, was it already Halloween?
While she was lost in her thoughts, the creature's eyes found her and with a roar, decided to rush at her.
Natalie would not have it.
With a flick of her wrist, she pointed at the troll. A jet of water flew through the air between them and hit the troll full force. The troll, bewildered, stood and blinked blankly when the water finally stopped. With another flick of her wrist, soap poured over the troll's head, soaking the creature completely. Natalie swiped her arm and brushes appeared from thin air, and the swish swish swish sound was heard as the brushes rubbed all over the troll, grime leaving as Natalie repeated the process with more water, more soap and more swish swish swish.
When the teachers found Natalie, it was to her still trapped and with a troll docilely sitting cross-legged in front of her while she used her wand to blow the water from it. Now thoroughly clean and smelling even flowery, Natalie was happily cooing at the troll as she fed it bits from her dinner.
The gasp from Professor McGonagall and the squeak from Quirrell made their presence known.
"Mr Potter – !" McGonagall grasped her chest in fright while Quirrell fainted – or pretended to – and Snape pointed his wand at the troll.
Said troll let out a growl at them and made to attack them… if not for Natalie throwing her wand at it. It hit the troll's head dead centre.
"Hey!" Natalie gave it a scolding look while the troll plopped back down with an almost sulky look. "Behave."
Snape kept his wand pointed at the oddly well-behaved and docile troll while McGonagall edged around the troll to reach Natalie.
"Mr Potter, what in Merlin's name happened here!?"
"And why are you here instead of your common room as you were ordered?" Snape glared at Natalie, eyes narrowed in dismay while securing the troll with conjured ropes in case it suddenly decided to attack. Strangely, it made no move to stop him except to visibly pout at the tiny First Year in front of it. "Did you really think in your arrogance that you can fight a troll for glory!?"
Natalie's answer was to give him a perplexed look. "I have no idea what you mean? I was in the kitchens for dinner and then on my way to my dorm… I got trapped?"
Both Snape and McGonagall stared down at the first year's trapped lower body.
"Why didn't you call for help?"
"There's no portrait near and I was waiting for someone to come look for me to ask for help."
McGonagall pinched the bridge of her nose. "There are paintings in the next corridor: you could have called for help. You could even have asked for a house elf!"
Natalie stared at her blankly. "But that would take in my reading time!"
The two Professors stared at the book spread out in front of their student, the scenario of how Potter had even found himself in this situation already playing in their minds. They had already gotten used to the boy's obsession with reading but this was even more extreme than they had expected.
Deciding not to open this can of worms, Snape turned their attention towards the most important aspect of this situation. "And what do you have to say about the troll?"
"He found me. He smelled. So, I gave him a shower."
Snape and McGonagall stared at her blankly.
"Allow me to clarify: you were trapped, a troll found you and your first instinct is not to call for help but to give the troll a shower because it smelled!?!?!?"
Natalie blinked innocuously. "It smelled really bad," she clarified.
Snape joined McGonagall in pinching the bridge of his nose. He could already feel the headache coming. "Why it did not attack you is beyond me."
"Bob is a good boy!" Natalie protested.
"You named it!!!!!!"
After the other Professors found them and Natalie was no longer trapped, she tentatively asked, "So… Can we keep him?"
I'm not bashing Hermione here. Simply put, she is a child and her attitude is completely understandable if we extrapolate from her attitude before she became friends with Ron and Harry in the books. I just exaggerated a bit to show the snowballing effect Natalie has on the characters through her OOC attitude. Sorry if I offend any Hermione fan