Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Now Harry Potter would never consider himself to be brave. Anyone that talked about him would beg to differ, they would say that he was the bravest and most courageous person that they had ever met. Depending on who you asked it might have been considered an honorable thing or maybe a foolish trait. Harry Potter would have considered it to be a bit of both. He was too stubborn to ever give up or in and he was really not as brave as people thought. Half the time he was scared and had no idea what he was doing he was simply reacting. He had to think on his feet he had to act or he would simply not be there anymore.
So when he figured it all out, the truth about Snape and how he had a little fragment of old Voldaworts soul in him it certainly scared him as much as it grossed him out. He knew what it meant. He knew what he had to do. And he had stepped into the forest with two of the relics that supposedly were from death himself. He was comforted by his family and friends that no longer were and prepared himself for the inevitable end.
It didn’t hurt. The killing curse, that was. It was instant and Harry could only be slightly happy about that. He expected to see his parents and friends waiting for him. Perhaps that was more of the religious sort of nonsense that he had learned from his time with Muggles, but he has not expected to find himself in a very white version of kings crossing. Well perhaps that was incorrect the background had a slightly green tint to it, near the edges where there was less distinction of exactly where he was.
The only definite color to the room seemed to be his clothes, but even they were a bit dulled, grayed out by the space around him. The place was far too bright it was so bright that it was disorienting. He had never noticed such different colors in white until he entered this place.
There were no trains to this Kings Crossing. The tracks were there or rather the pits that would have led to them were empty and the only furniture to the place was a bench that had a horrid creature seemingly under it. He peered at it and he could make out those features that he had come accustomed to in his nightmares. It looked like Voldemort….
The flesh to the thing was shriveled in and it looked like it was bleeding horribly as the flesh seemed to be peeling away from it in certain places. It cradled itself and had its eyes were closed in what must have been agony as it breathed heavily in and out.
“You can’t help.” Said a familiar voice. “Harry.”
Dumbledore was there in white robes that barely were different than the background around him. He looked much like he had in life. Harry looked around himself to see if he could see anyone else there but them and the withering away piece of what could have been Voldemort's soul.
“You wonderful boy you brave, brave man. Let us walk.”
That friendly voice was a welcome one despite his somewhat disappointment in the other for keeping so many secrets from him and for lying to him about what he was. Even with all of the truth out, even with how things had ultimately ended Harry Potter could not blame the other for what he had done. So he followed the wiser old man and they started to walk.
The environment seemed to warp around them.
“Professor where are we?” Harry could not help but ask.
“I was going to ask you that.” Dumbledore motioned for Harry to follow and they started walking. “Where would you say we are?”
Harry looked around himself and nodded slightly stating his first assessment of the place. “It looks like Kings cross only without the trains and much cleaner.”
The platform around them seemed to be endless and the bench with what was left of Voldemort's soul was far behind them.
“Kings Cross it that right?” Dumbledore looked around himself, his gray beard seeming to shine in the brilliance of the lighting. “This is how they say your parting.”
The old man turned to him as he explained. So he really was dead then, he had figured as much. Perhaps this place or the world had just been imagined by his dying mind.
“I expect that you now realize that you and Voldemort have been connected by something other than by fate, that being in Godric's Hollow all those years ago.
He nodded, “It's true isn’t it, that part of him lived in me?”
“Yes it did,” Dumbledore said did thus in past tense as confirming that the decaying husk of a soul was soon going to be gone as it had truly been destroyed when Harry himself was killed.
“That part of him was destroyed by none other than Voldemort himself,” Domboledore confirmed for Harry as if he could hear his thoughts, who was he kidding he was probably dying and his mind was conjuring all of this.
The space was losing that color and the floor that made up the platform was becoming less defined.
“You were the Horcrux that he never meant to make Harry.” They were so close to the light now that nothing was really visible beside the man walking beside him. Harry tried to focus on Dumbledore's face as he talked. They came to a stop at another bench that came out of what seemed nothing but mist and Domboldore sat down onto it and shifted his robes as he sat. Even now he still had a grace about him in his movements, just as he had when he was alive.
“I have to go back don’t I?” Harry asked looking around himself. Because he figured that if it was possible that he would have to go back. He knew that his friends could probably do it. Kill Voldemort as it was, but they could always use help, and if he could help he figured that he owed them enough to make that happen.
“That is entirely up to you Harry,” Dumbledore said as softly as a summer breeze.
“I have a choice?” Harry said more to himself than the professor as he held onto his knees and faced the swirling mist. He kept sight of the others robe in the off chance that if he looked entirely away from him he would lose his guide.
“Yes.” was the one-word reply that made Harry look back into the wrinkled but kind face. “Were in king’s cross you say?”
The dark eyes shifted towards where the tracks were. “I think if you so desired that you would be able to board a train.”
The way he said it made it sound like a suggestion and not a casual statement, even if his voice did not change all that much from its rather soft and gentle tone.
“Where would it take me?” Harry asked unsure that he wanted to board one. Slightly nervous about what would happen from there, but equally as curious and in need of knowing.
“On.” Dumbledore seemed oddly amused by his reluctance. His eyebrows quirking ever so slightly and his lips twitching with a smile. With that, the old man stood and left him sitting on the bench. He was standing in the near blinding light and all that could be seen of him was his silhouette.
Harry stood up and followed him from the bench. Yet he seemed unable to get closer to the other.
“He still has the elder wand.” Harry felt the statement slip from his lips.
Dumbledore then turned. “True.” His voice was softer than before.
“The snake is still alive,” Harry confessed.
“Yes.” The old man said just as soft as before.
“I have nothing to kill it with…” He trailed off hoping for advice, this one last time so that if he made it back he would know what to do.
“Help will always be given at Hogwarts.” Dumbledore started his iconic line that he often told Harry. “To those that ask for it, I always prided myself on my ability to turn a phrase words are in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of inflicting injury and remedying it. I would, in this case, amend my statement to this, help will always be given at Hogwarts to those that deserve it.”
He moved closer to Harry as he said it as if to make his point and then drew back again. “Don’t pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and above all, all those that live without love.”
He seemed to be trying to leave.
“Professor my mother's Patronus was a doe same as professor Snapes that's curious isn’t it.” He called out trying to stall the other to better understand everything.
The professor shook his head. “No, if I think about it, it does not seem that curious at all.”
So it was true then that Snape had loved his mother...
He seemed to try to smile again at Harry, he was fading it seemed and the mist was coming to swallow him up. “I will be going now, Harry.”
“Professor,” Harry called out desperately. “Is this all just in my head?”
“Of course it is in your head,” the older man shook his head. “That doesn’t make it any less real does it?” He after that turned into the light and he started to be swallowed up by it so that all that was left was his fading form. “Don’t miss your train, Harry.”
There was the sound of a whistle and it was ear-splitting as a train screeched to a halt on the tracks there were many car doors and they all swung open to him. He didn’t know which car to get into but he assumed that it did not matter as it was all part of the train. He boarded the closest open car to him and the doors shut behind him.
The room instantly went black and there was the sound of something being banged on fiercely. He opened his eyes, they felt hard to open. They felt as if they were crusted over. He forced them open and blinked several times the area around him was dark and he squinted his eyes he could not see anything. He noted that his glasses were not on, and he was not in the forest but rather his room and his scar was burning.
It was his old room. The cracked wall to Dudley’s second bedroom. Hedwig hooted from the side of the room. He could not see her as much as he heard her. He could just make out the old furnishings.
“Shut up Boy!” The unmistakable voice of Uncle Vernon filled the air, the door rattled under his fist before giving a very large huff and stalking back towards his room with loud thunderous thuds.
Harry reached for his glasses that he had always kept on the old faded nightstand and placed them on his face.
There was something so off about this, it felt as if he had been asleep of ages and yet he had so many things buzzing in his head in such detail that it could not have been a dream. He could see the books that were from last year stacked up on his trunk that was in the far corner. They were his third-year books.
Letters from his friends lay by the window sill with dates and the week's post. He blinked at the paper. He had read this one and he was fairly certain that one could not read when they were in a dream. There was a letter from Ron over the one from Hermione. Ron’s was about the big quidditch games going on and Hermonie’s just the basic letter about how she was. His Flying with the Cannons book almost tripped him as he made his way towards the closet door that had a mirror inside of it. He yanked it open to see himself, a boy again. A boy that would be in his fourth year of wizard’s schooling at Hogwarts.
He looked at himself in shock because looking back at it perhaps round glasses was not the best look for him. He took in a couple of deep breaths. He had to stay calm if he was going to work his way out of this one.
He rubbed at his scar it was still burning.
It was burning as if someone had taken a red hot poker and placed it against his head. He started to Occulate, following the vague lessons that Snape had given him and his own practice in the months that he had been wandering the wilderness.
The burning lessened and he took in several breaths.
He sat back onto his bed rubbing at the scar and then at his face. He could not dismiss it as a dream if he could do magic that he had learned in a different time and place. It was sometime in the summer before his 4th year meaning that he would be headed to the World Cup as it were with the Weasleys he could not remember the exact date but he did know what would happen at the cup.
He rubbed at his face again. Messing with time was one of the biggest warnings the Wizarding World ever gave him. It was messed up enough that he and Hermione had traveled back through it to help Serius.
Sirius… He was still alive. He had the letters to prove it. They were from Padfoot and they came every so often from random places of the world.
He could mess with the time frame a little he supposed as he now knew what lie in wait for him. He knew what he was and the task that he would eventually be put onto. He knew for a fact that he did not have to go to the ministry of magic, because his godfather was not in danger unless Harry would directly put him in harm's way of going.
He supposed that if he did not go through that the ministry would never believe him that Voldemort had returned. But then that was a year away and the thing he should be focusing on was the fact that this year was the year that Old Voldie would be trying to at least become living flesh again.
He knew one thing for certain he would try to avoid that part altogether, the mad man would find some other way to come back, he always did like the wart or cancer that he was, but it would at least help with the slander to both his and Dumbledore's name. Things would go smoother fifth year if Umbrage never came into the equation.
He rummaged through his drawers for a calender he was going to really have to contain himself if it wasn’t close to that quidditch match. He pulled it out and found that there was, to his relief, only two more weeks until school would start. His eyes flickered to his books that were school-related. He knew most of the things in there. He could refresh just a bit to make sure that he didn’t just become all-knowing.
He rather was all-knowing now though…
He could possibly have some real fun with this.
He shook his head that would probably be really irresponsible of him. Fred and George would definitely take the opportunity.
Thinking about them hurt because that brought back memories of the battle and all those that had died. This time though they wouldn’t have to. Harry could get the diadem early, he never would have to go there and put the rest of the castle at risk…
He could do better this time. Save those that he had failed to save, perhaps turn those away that had not yet fallen down the path to evil. There were people that were worth trying to save. Even that git Malfoy didn’t deserve to have the dark lord living in his home.
He really could master all the things that he would need to know outside of classes as his assignments would all be pretty easy. Then again, he didn’t really have to much fun the first time around. He had tried to get along with most of the Gryffindors and keep himself alive. At least this time he wouldn’t have to worry as much about the tasks as before and he already knew most of the traps that awaited him.
He could definitely have more fun or he could do the responsible thing and become the brightest wizard of his age. He had learned enough to get by last time but he could really read up on some things and become a lot better at dueling and potion-making.
Oh, man wouldn’t that be funny to see Snape’s face when he suddenly was really good at making potions. He would probably accuse him of cheating but then he could do it right in front of his face. He could see those thick eyebrows scrunching already and that large nose scrunching with annoyance. It didn't matter if Snape was on their side. He still was a real bastard to Harry and tormented others.
Okay so maybe some shenanigans would be good. A healthy mix of both betterment of himself as a wizard and messing with the timeline just enough to have a great time and save those that he could but not cause too much lasting damage.
That was possible right?
Okay so all he had to do was survive and keep things the way that they were save maybe the accusations of him putting the dark mark in the sky at the quidditch cup. He could do that.
He picked up a quill after he looked over Padfoot's short letter just to check-in and to let him know that he was doing alright and that the Dursleys were not being too horrible to him. It was this summer where the connection to Voldamort would start, well start to act up as they would form a link. He was pretty sure that was what was causing his scar to burn now that he thought about it.
Yes this was the summer that it had all started… the dreams of what Voldamort was doing in the shadows. He had written Sirius a letter about his scar burning.
No need to mention that this time…
He debated if he should send it with that attached before deciding to screw it and send it anyway, just as he had last time. It would help to have Sirius to talk to at least, and talking about his problems last time with someone that was an adult that wouldn’t laugh at him about such things or dismiss them without telling him the truth was something that he really missed after his godfather had died.
He nodded and easily got the window open and Hedwig out of her cage. He gave her a few good pets because he had missed her and if felt like they were reuniting. He was grinning like an idiot holding her up. He would have to be a bit more careful when he was reunited with other people that he had seen die or he really would cause suspicion.
Hedwig made her way to the sill as Harry creaked it quietly open. “Find Sirius.” He whispered, before adding “good girl.” as he tired the letter loosely to her leg.
He eventually went down for breakfast forgetting that this was the summer that the diet for Dudley had started. He nearly snorted as he took the grapefruit. He would have to eat some of the food stored under his floorboards.
He gave a wonderful smile as he watched Dudley try to eat such a thing. Uncle Vernon looked at him with one of his more menacing looks but it did not bother Harry in the slightest. What were they going to do lock him in his room again all summer?
Yah that one had worked out really well for them. He ate his slices merrily knowing that he was going to have some birthday cake after this.
Uncle Vernon ate one of his slice muttering to himself about diets and schools not making proper sized uniforms.
The doorbell gave a loud chime and Uncle Vernon took his muttering with him to the door. There was words exchanged none of which that Harry could overhear before Uncle Vernon returned with that beat red color flowering his cheeks, his ridiculous mustache crinkled with his large scowl.
“You living room.” He pointed at Harry barely grunting like a pig out the sentence.
He followed him to the living room smiling as Dudley was lightly scolded for trying to take Uncle Vernon’s grapefruit slices.
“So.” Uncle Vernon started. “So.” he repeated as he mumbled to himself.
“So what?” Harry was getting tired of this already, he had done nothing wrong he supposed other than somehow time traveling back to his past self and waking up a bit disorientated in his bed. He must have picked the wrong train car now that he thought about it. Maybe if he picked one that was closer to the engine he would have woken up at a later date.
The man scowled at him and gave a very frustrated grunt. “This just arrived.” He held up purple letter.
Ah, it was that letter.
Without much further hesitation he read the letter that the Weasleys had sent him. He smiled knowing that his ticket literally out of here was coming around a bit sooner than he remembered it.
“Look at this.” He held up the envelope and Harry laughed, because one the expression on his uncle’s face was priceless and also because the envelope was covered every inch of it in stamps and he could just imagine Arther putting as many as he could on the thing from some collection that he had in his garage.
“I would say that she put enough stamps on.” He regained his composure.
“The postman noticed.” The man glared at Harry.
“Well of course he did, there is quite a lot of beautiful stamps on it.” Harry acted as if that was the only mistake that was made.
“He seemed to think that it was funny.” Vernon continued hotly.
“I am sure that he did.” Harry nodded vigorously. “Because I would find it a bit funny as well. No harm it was a prank you could say.”
The older man seemed to turn redder by the suggestion. Harry was sure it was because he had not thought of that. He decided to just get the show on the road so he asked pointedly “can I go then, I mean it would be in your best interest and all. I would be gone the last few weeks of summer and you won't get woken by my nightmare about dark wizards murdering me and people I care about in my sleep. Or you could keep me here for the rest of the summer that’s fine too. My Godfather is planning to take me to school this year.”
Now that was a lie but it was worth watching his uncles face turn a wonderful shade of purple as he was fighting with Harry’s very obvious disrespect and the idea of getting Harry and his odd friends and relatives as far away from his normal family as possible.
“Who is this woman anyway?” Vernon looked at the card trying to gather some sort of thought since the man had never really had an original one it must have been very difficult.
“You know her or rather have seen her before.” Harry answered innocently enough, “She is my friend Ron’s mother and the one that usually picks him up from the Hogwarts train.”
“Quidditch he muttered what the hell is that rubbish.
Harry rolled his eyes. “It's a sport that is played on broomsticks, I don’t think you bothered to look at some of my school's letters home to you, but I play it.”
Vernon cut him off with another animalistic noise. “Fine alright its a freak sport.”
“Well, its about on par with football or baseball in popularity,” Harry added brightly.
His uncle managed to take in a couple of wheezed breaths. “What does send us an answer in the normal way mean?”
“I think she means by an owl which would be very normal for people like her and me.”
Petunia who had made her way into the living room looked faint by the word normal being used in the same sentence as owls.
He looked so pissed that. “You will not say that sorta thing in this house, why after all that we have done for you.”
Harry stood at that. “You have done a wonderful job of making me miserable from the moment that you took me in. Why I am sure that you let me cry in the cupboard when I was little. Trust me You have done plenty but none of it has been really good has it?”
Petunia looked like a gaping fish and Vernon looked as if Harry had just threatened to blow up the house.
“How dare you.” the man hissed.
“How dare you.” Harry repeated back mockingly. “You know in a way you should be grateful that I exist because I am pretty sure that is the only thing keeping the protective spell that were placed on this house up.”
He made his way to the stairs as his uncle made a move to follow him. “Protective spells?” he blundered.
“Yeah,” Harry said making it to his door. “They were put up to protect you from the man that murdered my parents because he is still out there wanting to murder anyone that has any blood in them that is related to them. Which includes your wife, and Dudley.”
He shut the door as he heard the sound of something similar to a bowling ball pop down on the stairs causing them to creek. Yah he was not coming back here next summer of that he was certain.
After a very long time, he heard Uncle Vernon’s voice it was slightly cracked. “Go to this cup thing, just get out of the house.”
Harry smiled a little to himself perhaps his tactic was a bit meaner than the one that he had used all those years ago, but it was no less effective and addressed some of the things he had been bottling up forever.
He let the Weasley’s owl have the lettered reply that he would be delighted to go. Pig giving him one last look before zooming out like the little spazz it was.
Well, this was going to be a fun Sunday of that he was sure.
That night he dreamed of the war, and all the horror to come. He woke and while his scar was not burning the lingering dream was still painful. That was what would happen if he failed this time around. He sucked in a few breaths and went about getting his things ready to go as soon as his friends came for him he could leave and not hopefully ever come back.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Harry had all of his things packed by 6 am which made him retake some of the older books out just to have something for himself to do. He really did not have many possessions because he knew people like Hermione probably had to spell their trunks to fit everything in and he didn’t have to even try to fit things if he wanted he could have just tossed them in. He didn’t really have a problem with not owning things he supposed made it easy to get up and leave if needed. He could clean his room, but then he really didn’t feel like helping the Dursleys in any way. They could live with the dust and owl feathers.
They could deal with the room after he was gone, do whatever it was that they wanted with it. He would make the suggestion to burn all of the furnishings but he doubted that they would have listened to that one.
The Dursleys were more bitter than normal and Petunia was fussing over the simplest of things out of place. They did not want to seem odd and they certainly did not like the idea of wizards stopping by at supper time.
They did not like the idea that the Weasley could be wearing robes or things that were more Wizard focused.
Harry had rather not so politely as he took something upstairs for lunch mentioned that it was probably better that they wore robes than try to wear muggle clothing because that would probably make them seem all the odder.
His uncle had floundered about that one and dressed himself up in one of his best suits as if such a thing could make him intimidating to anyone that could wave their wands and transfigure him into something like a mouse.
Yes, his Uncle was going to give it the old Vernon try to make himself seem important but the Whealeys wouldn’t fall for it in the slightest they knew all about his and his aunt's mistreatment of him. Dudley looked downright nervous about the whole thing.
It was probably because the last time that Dudley had been in the presence of a wizard it had been Hagrid that gave Dudley a tail, a small curly pig one that rather went well with his stocky build and the fact that he had tried to eat the first birthday cake that Harry had ever received. It still was one of the best things that had ever been done on Harry’s behalf. Most of the time the adults in his life were far too busy trying to hide things from him that he probably should have known from the start. Dumbledore and Mrs. Weasley were notorious for that sorta thing.
The house had never been so peaceful.
As the hour drew near Harry brought down his things and placed them neatly in the living room that had the blinds tightly drawn.
“They will be driving here?” his uncle asked.
“Well, seeing that the flying car was lost in the forbidden forest I don’t think so.” Harry shrugged. “They will probably be coming by the fireplace.”
“Fireplace.” The big thick eyebrows raised up high into the receding hairline.
“Yes.” Harry nodded taking his seat on the sofa.
Petunia again looked slightly pale as she looked at her wonderfully white decorated living room and back at the fireplace that they hadn’t really cleaned out in a while. It was rather funny the way that his aunt would peer out the window every few minutes as if someone would arrive on broomsticks.
Harry took care to unboard the fireplace as not to have the repeat of when his friend's family had gotten stuck in it. He made a show of moving it all so that they could note that he did not make a mess. Petunia was watching with thee most amount of fear that he had seen from her apart for the time that Dudley had been attacked by a dementor. Heaven forbid that her white fluffy rug got a speck of black on it.
Time crawled mostly because Harry just wanted to get the train wreck that was about to happen over with and so that he could get to talk to Mr. Weasely how he had managed to make a flying car. It would be a rather practical thing to learn he supposed. How great would it have been to be able to fly that thing rather than a broomstick to places? He, of course, would have to learn to drive. He would not be trusting Ron in that department again.
He smiled a little to himself and added that to a small notebook page that he was making of things to do before he died. Well died again.
The clock on the mantel in the living room chimed and no sooner had it finished before his uncle was growling to himself. “They’re late.”
Harry shrugged. “Different time zones.”
He went back to making lists of things that he certainly was going to do in the near future and Vernon went back to trying to read the paper.
A half an hour passed and Harry wondered if the pillows to the other sofa were going to rip with how much fluffing that his aunt was doing to them. Not that he cared if the things became damaged they were unsightly to start with.
“If they are later do you think that they will want to stay for food?” Petunia chirped, her nerves seemed fried with the idea.
“No.” Harry shook his head. “They will have already started to prepare something.”
He did not bother to comment about how the household had nothing good to eat on the account of Dudley's diet.
“Good.” She snipped. “I would hate to have to make something.”
Harry bit back telling her that he really would hate to see her try to attempt to make anything, Mrs. Weasley was a way better cook than she would ever be and food offered would most likely be insulting.
There was the shifting of sound form the chimney just as Harry had suspected and the Dursleys scrambled away from the fireplace.
“What is this?” Petunia shrieked.
“I told you they would be coming by flew didn’t I?” Harry shook his head. Honestly, did they never listen to anything he said. He had been nice enough to warn them this time.
“Ouch Fred, wait.”
“Go back, George.”
“Tell Ron not to come, this is such a small fireplace.”
Petunia made a horrid noise as she watched them start to stumble out.
The whole red-haired family except for Percy, Charlie, Ginny, and Bill made their way into the living room quite covered in soot. Harry did feel a bit bad that they had to bend so far to get out of the confined space.
“Harry.” Arther greeted happily moving despite his dirtiness across the living room. Harry laughed a little as the man hugged him and a visible cloud came off of him.
“Good to see you all.” He greeted.
“So sorry that we are late Harry but everyone wanted to come and it like herding owls you know.” Molly smiled and accepted the hug that Harry offered her as well. She perhaps was a bit surprised by it but she accepted it with grace nonetheless.
“Herding owls?” He grinned at her. He loved Wizard's expressions.
“Utterly pointless,” She nodded swiftly.
As the greeting ended for a moment the Dursleys started to show signs of life again. There was some white dusty power being spread around as Ron and the twins brushed themselves off a bit.
“Sorry bout being and all that.” Arther offered some sort of an apology, and he to his credit did sound like he meant it. “Muggles fireplaces aren't supposed to be connected to our network, but I figured that it would be fine for the afternoon. Didn’t account for such a tight one though. He frowned a tad. No worries though I can fix everything back the way that it's meant to be by the time we're all ready to leave.”
“I have my things all ready to go.” Harry piped up. “Just there.” He pointed over at his trunk and few belongings that were mostly in the living room and a few things like his broomstick that were still on the stars.
“I have to get Hedwig though she is still upstairs.” He had not brought her down as the Durselys were already on edge and while he was quite capable of dealing with them he preferred that he did not have to.
“Ron be a dear and help Harry move that towards the flew,” Molly instructed.
“Well get it.” Fred and George said in unison. One of them making his way up the stairs.
“Well, nice place you have here.” Arther tired again to make some sort of communication with Vernon who looked livid but did not say anything and petunia looked frightened so she was just chewing uselessly at her lip holding onto her husband as if he could protect her.
They really had nothing to fear from the Weasley they were probably the nicest of Wizarding families.
“So electricity,” Arther started. “I collect batteries and some of the different types of plugs. Fascinating stuff it is. We don’t really need it to run our households but none the less it is rather interesting to see in action.”
He was looking particularly at the TV and the video player. Harry knew that he probably wanted to try tinkering with it. Perhaps that would be his next gift to Arther some old video player for him to mess around with and a couple of tapes.
Harry could see Dudley peering around the bend as Fred returned with his owl.
Vernon held onto his wife and Arther moved a bit closer as he saw Dudley. “Is this your cousin then?”
“Yep.” Harry nodded, “That would be the one and only Dudley.”
The brown eyes of Petunia looked over at Harry with uneasiness. Dudley had the expression of someone that had stuck a slice of lemon into his mouth.
“Are you having a nice holiday Dudley.” Arther offered not understanding the norms of the muggle household and certainly unsure about if the behavior was normal or not. But since Dudley had been stupid enough to make eye contact they were at this point now.
“Right…” Arther sighed defeated by the rudeness of the Durelsys. “We should be off then.”
Molly waved her wand and started the fireplace. And proceeded to take the flu powder bag from her husband the flames turned green then.
“Alright off we go then.” She went first and then Arther motioned for Fred to go with Hedwig and as he bent down to also take the broom a few treats fell out of his pocket and he scooped most of them up purposely leaving one behind so that Dudely would try it.
He went and then George went with the rest of the supplies.
Then Ron went with a wave and to the burrow announced.
“Well bye then.” Harry went to the fire and the Dursleys did not say anything. Arther stopped him then.
“Wait.” Arther held him back and then spoke. “Harry said goodbye to you didn’t you hear him?” He turned to the family that still looked like they were in utter shock. They should be happy that the curtains were closed and no one could see the odd happenings that were going on.
“It really doesn’t matter,” Harry said brightly to Mr. Weasley that looked a bit shocked.
“Doesn’t matter?” He repeated.
Harry shook his head.
The very usually soft eyes hardened a little. “You aren’t going to see young Harry here till next summer.”
“If then.” Harry corrected.
The man hesitated before continuing. “Surely you are going to say goodbye.”
“Goodbye.” Petunia squeaked and Vernon nodded.
Harry quickly turned in the flames and smiled as he heard the sound of Dudley starting to gag as he definitely had just like he had before tried the sweet left behind.
He really did not exactly like flew travel but he couldn’t say that it was worse than appreciation. He would take the slightly upset stomach than the feeling that he had been turned inside out or if he had managed to get himself splinched.
The Kitchen to the Weasley home was alongside the living room and it was a much more welcoming place, the clock on the wall ticked and the hand with names and faces on them moved slightly with it so that all the spoons were on home.
Harry loved this place, it was crowded and it was in some places what people would consider shabby with furniture that showed the wear and tear of use. But to Harry it was the closest place that he had ever had to a home. He could smell homemade food wafting from the kitchen.
“Did he eat it?” Fred asked excitedly.
Harry smirked confirming it for him even before his words. “He sure did, that was bloody brilliant.”
The kitchen table had Charley and bill sitting at it and they were chuckling along with Harry as he explained what the toffee did in detail.
Before there could be any more information about the crazy things that Fred and George were making, there was a pop and Mr. Weasley looking very disheveled entered the room.
“That was anything but funny.” He dusted himself off. “They were terrified by such an action.”
Fred smiled innocently. “I dropped it, I never said that he had to eat it.”
“You knew that he would, it got to be four feet long before they let me do anything about it. This sorta behavior is why Muggle and Wizard relations are so poor why you just wait until I tell your mother.
Arther looked like he was ready to yell some more but Molly came back. “Tell me what.”
It seemed that Arther had been bluffing about telling on his sons because he faltered under his wife's look. Her eyes shifted to all of her kids in the room though they softened a little when she looked at Harry. They were interrupted as the girls entered the kitchen and Molly only paused briefly in her interrogation.
“Tell me what.” She repeated. “Arther what have they done now?”
Her husband floundered a bit and she looked away from him to tell Ron to help Harry set up upstairs. They as a group of four hurried out of the kitchen and headed towards Ron’s room. Conversation flowed easily about Fred and Georges pranking inventions and products.
Harry had to hold back from telling Hermione that she needed to chill about it because the twins would become famous for the stuff.
Harry did his best to talk about summer and share Hermione's enthusiasm for the upcoming school year as he put his things down. Ron’s bedroom was decorated with a lot of the Cannons merch thrown about. It was a tight fit the four beds in one room. But Harry would take cramped quarters then spending any more time with the Dursleys.
Fighting could be heard from downstairs as voices got louder in an argument.
Hermione distracted Harry with conversation of the books that she had been reading. Harry took note of them, mentally though he didn’t think that most of them would be all that useful for fighting Voldie.
They went back downstairs as the sound of arguing faded and it was about time for food. Harry knew that technically he had been at the Dursleys for the summer and have been eating whatever they provided with snacks, it felt even longer than that since he had good cooking. Hermione, Ron, and him had tried but cooking was not any of their strong suits.
They ate and enjoyed themselves. Talk about the cup and other conversation flowed quickly. They all went to bed late even though they had to get up early in the morning for the cup. Even if he knew that he would be tired by that sort of action Harry was happy about being able to go and see the game again.
Going to the cup was just how he remembered it. He was not a fan of using a portkey, not with how the last one had ended for him. The experience was still unpleasant but he was glad to be at the place where the cup would take place. There were hundreds of people running around and the air felt charged with magic.
He was going to lay down some bets he knew what the score was going to be and he could at least this time around warn Fred and George about who they made their bets with. He was rather unhappy that he was going to be in a tent again. He hated tents he decided. Least this one was a bit bigger on the inside than the one that they were using all last year or rather a few years from now.
They passed many tents the one with white peacocks in front of it was Malfoy's he would recognize the structure anywhere now that he had been in the real home. If he was going to guess where the start of the Death Eater masquerade was going to start it would be around this area.
Ah well nothing to do about that at the moment at least. He gave one last look at it before following the rest of the party to the area that they were going to set up tent.
“I don’t think we're all going to fit.” Hermione whispered to Harry.
“We easily will with an expansion charm.” Harry replied. “It can add more rooms while looking small on the outside it will be larger on the inside.”
“Is that a doctor who reference.” Hermione smiled slightly. “And that is rather true Harry, it wouldn’t be that hard to charm.”
She sounded impressed and Harry mentally patted himself on the back, because it had been a while since Hermione wasn’t the one to explain the use for a particular spell. They all went into the tent and Harry took note again of how horrible it smelt of cats.
He took the kettle and headed out of the tent to get some water. Hermione was barely able to catch him and tag along.
“Where are you going, Harry.” She panted as she caught up to him.
“To fetch some water, and before you ask I am aware there is a spell for it. I just wanted to get out and stretch my legs a bit.”
She nodded her frizzy hair blowing in the breeze. “I suppose that it has been a bit cramped with everyone at the Burrow.”
She tried to tame her hair and smooth it down.
“It looks better all puffed up.” Harry laughed. “Gives you a wild vibe about you.”
Hermione flushed. “Its awful Harry, you know it.”
Harry shrugged. “I wouldn’t worry about it. I don’t care for that sort of thing.”
She gave him a look and started to laugh softly. “No, you honestly don’t.” She agreed.
They walked across the camp toward where they could get water and Harry took note of what life was like for wizarding families, little kids flying on toy broomsticks, and waving sticks around as they were too young for actual wands.
These were innocent people that suffered because of Voldemort. These were the faces of people that in a few short hours would be screaming in terror as the mark was cast and the Death Eaters marched setting fire to selected people’s tents.
Hermione caught his frown and raised an eyebrow in concern. “Harry,” she started.
“It’s alright.” Harry brightened his face up. “I am just a bit tired.”
“We did get up at a very early hour considering the time that we went to bed.” She looked towards some of the tents that had signs for a Salum Magical Institute.
“Do you want to stop by and chat with them.” Harry tilted his head towards where the middle age witches seemed to be having some sort of discussion.
Hermione blinked at him. “I mean, I wouldn’t mind stopping to pick up one of their fliers at least.”
Harry took her by the arm and steered her toward the tent. “Alright then.”
She looked at him puzzled but soon gave her attention to the older women that had paused in their conversation.
“Umm Hello.” Hermione waved uneasily suddenly struck shy by them all looking at her.
“We were curious,” Harry easily chimed in to bail her out. “What exactly is this institution we're from Britain area you see and have never heard of it.”
The oldest looked delighted and soon went off into an explanation about how in the old days in America there were literal witch hunts that killed a lot of people in the town of Salem. They liked to keep the old culture alive and teach courses about interacting with the muggle world. They strove for friendly Muggle relationships and Hermione eagerly took one of their pamphlets and one of their small books they offered about the trials themselves.
“Well that was informative,” said Harry as they finally reached toward where the water was located.
“Sorry I did not intend to ask so many questions.” Hermione's face was tinted pink as she knew that she could be quite inquisitive.
“It's alright, I learned some things I did not know.” Harry paused. “Suppose that were are lucky Ron didn’t come with us. I think he possibly would have fallen asleep.”
Hermione snorted in agreement. “He would have certainly have been bored.”
They passed through the Irish section of tents and Harry paused to say Hi to Dean and his mother before continuing towards the water station. There were a few more peculiar dressed wizards and witches that were trying to blend in and it was nice to have someone else that understood Muggle culture to laugh with him about the attempts.
They took the water and started to head back to their tent, only stopping when running into other people that they knew.
“Goodness, you both have been gone a while.” Molly took the water from them. “Thank you so much dears.” She went with it towards the kitchen.
“How goes trying to get the fire lit.” Harry asked as he looked over at Arther who had about half a box of matches used up by his feet.
“It’s going,” said George.
“He is having fun though.” Ginny insisted and Arther did indeed look to be having the time of his life trying to do things the Muggle way.
“Probably would be easier with a lighter.” Hermione sniffed as she made her way over and showed him how to properly strike a match so that he could do it himself.
Ludo Baggins started talking about betting and such as he made his way over to talk to Arther and Harry remembered that he was going to make some of his own. He quickly steered Fred and George towards himself and explained to them that Ludo was not the person to be gambling with considering that he was in debt with goblins.
Harry knew where to make the right sort of bets. He also might have fabricated a shit ton of stats like numbers to make sure that they made the correct betting choices. They trusted him enough and while Baggins seemed to find it odd that they did not want to make a bet with him and his friends, he didn’t think too long on it.
The game was set to start soon and Harry felt that excitement enter his very being, the rush of it just like the first time. He was quite happy to be making his way to the seats. He watched Ron spend his pocket money and shook his head. That Crumb one would be something he would not be so fond of later.
Harry bought just like last time the enchanted binoculars and a few extra pairs so that his friends could see the match. They then made their way up towards the stadium. Harry started up conversation with Hermione and Arther about how it was possible to build such things and keep them hidden. He knew about Hogwarts protective enchantments but wondered about the stadium. It never hurt to learn about helpful enchantments.
“Top Box Arther all the way up as high as you can go.” The witch that checked their tickets nodded towards the stairs. They made it up their rather easily and Harry enjoyed looking around at all the excited faces.
Made his instincts about protecting them flair a bit. After the game the Death Eaters would wait 3 hours before they attacked. Harry supposed that gave them enough time to celebrate a little bit before they needed to get to work. Lucius seemed like that kind of person at least.
He engaged in conversation with Winkie knowing that the best that he could do for her after this mess was probably get her a job at Hogwarts. Hermione would hardly allow for him to hire her which could come in handy. House-elves had a lot of uses and it was not like he would treat her poorly as it seemed many wizards were inclined to do.
He turned his head back to watching the field as it would be starting soon. Introductions were made and the game was set to be played.
Arther greeted and shook hands with a few people that were famous wizards or at least important and he saw that all to former blonde hair ahh there Malfoy was. Harry still shook Fudge's hand even if he would come to dislike him in a few years perhaps more so that he actually had disliked Malfoy because as bad as Draco was at least he had not set out on an international slandering Harry’s name campaign.
“Harry good to see you.” He held the hand a bit longer than Harry was comfortable with.
“Nice to see you again too sir.” He nodded respectfully. He smiled a bit wider at Lucius, who eyed him a bit with contempt. Draco shifted a little behind his father, reminding Harry a bit of a penguin.
Lucius greeted the minister and wasted no time introducing the rest of his family.
The minster introduced everyone to each other and Mr. Weasly and Lucius exchanged looks.
“Good god what did you have to sell to get seats up here.” The blonde man leaned in to insult Arther.
Of course Fudge was oblivious to this and Harry smiled a bit at Lucius.
“It is very kind of you to donate.” Harry gave a knowing smile that the only reason that the man did anything was for his won personal gain. He knew just how well that worked out for Lucius in the long run. “I am sure that all that funding will be put to good use in helping all magical folk alike receive excellent care.”
Fudge nodded. “Indeed Harry.” He beamed. “I dare say the funding has been lacking for some of our more impoverished witches and wizards.”
Harry frowned slightly. “I heard it happens a lot with Muggle Borns and Squibs.” Harry shook his head bullshitting as he went, “Some people can be quite cruel to even their own families.”
Fudge shook his head solemnly. “A shame that is really. It is very good that, that donation was made.”
Harry again nodded forcing on a brilliant smile as he looked at the Malfoys that looked like they had been told some terrible sort of news. It was probably the best thing that anyone of his friends had ever witnessed and there was nothing that they could say or do at the moment because Fudge was eyeing them with excitement and gratitude.
“Well, we best take out seats.” Mr. Malfoy said rather coldly and they made their way towards their seats and Harry waved at Draco when he turned to scowl at him.
Yep, he now just had to sit back relax and enjoy the game and figure out a way to ruin the Death Eaters fun in a few hours.
Chapter 3: chapter 3
The game ended and Harry led Fred and George towards the place that they had made bets earlier so that they could get their winnings.
“Don’t tell your mother that you have been gambling” Arther told them when they returned to the tent. Harry won quite a bit of money that he promptly stored away in his robe.
Everyone started to chat and the night wound down and Harry knew what was going to come next. The Death Eaters were going to attack. He rubbed at his chin as Hermione sat a mug of cocoa in front of Harry.
Well, he had to do something he supposed.
He stood up abruptly and dumped the cocoa across the table. Hermione managed to yank away but the hot liquid flooded around the table and it looked like she was going to say something to scold him and to ask if he was alright but he schooled his face to be blank. Most eyes were looking at him now, he could feel them.
He ignored how his lap was slightly burning and transfixed his eyes on the wall making them seem as out of focus as possible. He made his voice come out as wheezed and unnatural as possible, making it sound as close as he could to the time that he had heard his Professor Trelawney during the 3rd year’s Divination class.
“In the darkness of an old manner, he calls to them, tells them his time has come yet again. His mark shall rise above all those that slumber peacefully tonight, all those that forgot him. The time of prosperity has ended all that adorn the mark shall rise to the occasion. The master calls for you. Be wary for there is another who wears a mark of his own. A mark that was given not taken that shall stand against you.”
He then cut himself off from the most bullshit prophecy that he could make and then just stood there looking at them blankly before shaking his head a couple of times and looking in puzzlement at himself.
Now Harry not to pride himself or anything but he seemed to really have sold it, so maybe the burn on his leg would be worth it. No one was calling BS and no one was making any movement.
“Hermione,” He said pleasantly, “Why am I all wet?”
She looked at him and the others looked at him.
“You went all weird.” Ron stumbled out, “your voice got all scratchy.”
“You were speaking a prophecy,” Arther said concerned. “I have seen a few witches and wizards in my time do that.”
Harry looked at them with the most confused look that he could muster. “But I was awful at divinations, Professor Trelawney said so.”
“That seemed like a prophecy to me.” Percy piped up. “A scary one at that. Should we warn someone, you said it was going to be tonight.”
“What did I even say?” Harry sat down and Hermione was kind enough to dry the table and his clothes for him.
“Something about a mark,” Ron said. “Something about peace ending.”
Harry rubbed at his face. “Great now besides people trying to kill me, I am going to have fits of speaking prophecies that I won’t remember.”
“That's just how it sometimes is Mate.” Ron tried to comfort.
“Again shouldn’t we tell someone.” Percy raised his voice. “I mean warn security or something?”
Arther nodded, “I’ll pop over to the official's tent.”
He disappeared and not more than a couple of minutes later a very tired looking Mr. Crouch and a person that looked like they would be in charge of some sort of security as they had badges and a rough look about them. They agreed to post more people and went about making it happen. Harry was sure that it was only because he was the bloody boy that lived that they were taking it semi-seriously.
Even so, no one that herd his so-called prophecy left the tent and hours ticked on. Before there was the sound of loud pops and the air suddenly grew cold. Arther went to look out the tent flap and then motioned for them all to get up.
The screaming started and Harry made his way out of the tent. It seemed to at least be contained this time to the side of the campsites. Things were burning and Harry took out his wand and pointed it at their tent saying the incantation that he knew would make it fireproof.
Hermione looked at him curiously but did not have time to question it as Arther told them to head for the trees. Harry did not move right away. He stood there to watch as the Death Eaters this time around were intercepted by a few other wizards that were throwing up shielding spells.
“Go,” Arther repeated and Harry made his way towards the trees motioning for his friends to follow him as he made his way towards where more of the fancy tents were before stopping. Hermione looked at him and Ron raised an eyebrow.
“This is Malfoy’s tent,” Harry explained. “And his parents are running about doing unsavory things I'm sure.” He then just moved toward the peacocks that squeaked at him.
Fred and George now were watching him too.
“I thought that I would leave them a surprise because they thought that they could terrorize others.” He waved his wand checking forwards and then muttered an anti-curse before dragging one of the deranged birds and releasing it into the tent. The other birds scrambled in without much prompting.
“Harry.” Hermione hissed. “That is complete…”
“Brilliant.” Fred finished for her.
Harry nodded. “It’s a harmless payback.”
He straightened himself and they headed towards the edge of the woods. They stopped because Harry stopped.
“They won’t bring it too close to their own tents.” Harry watched as a few more people passed him. This year at least there seemed like there would be a little less people hurt. He scowled, he should have pushed harder for more security. He just couldn’t have told them where it would start because he didn’t know that form last time.
He just didn’t want any more of the senseless violence maybe he could convince some of the Slytherins that blood purity was a load of horse shit. That would be quite the difficult feat but if he could convince some of the Death Eaters children to turn from their parent's ways perhaps he could convince more people to leave the service and go into hiding. The fewer supporters that Voldie had the better.
Harry didn’t budge as a few people tried to push past him. He put up a barrier spell and leaned against a tree.
“What type of spell is this?” Fred asked.
“A powerful shielding one,” Harry replied.
“Where ever did you learn this magic, Harry?” Hermione looked at him nervously.
“A furry friend.” Harry lied and Hermione instantly seemed to relax. Ron though a bit slow did catch on.
Malfoy was running towards the woods with a few other people. He seemed to not have known his parents plan or had been in on it just had not expected to be nearly overtaken by the swarms of people fleeing. He turned his rather pale face towards Harry and seemed to notice that the Weasely family was near his tent and that there were fewer people around the group of them. He scowled and made his way towards them.
Harry really wasn’t looking forward to this one.
Draco got to the area and hit the barrier as it was invisible to anyone that was not inside it. He then touched it and noted that it was solid.
He opened his thin lips and tried to say something. “What are you Weaselbee's up to?”
Harry made a face of confusion and cupped his ear and George and Fred snickered.
Draco repeated himself louder and Harry shook his head and fake mouthed something to Hermione who grinned a little bit despite the situation that was happening around them.
Draco looked frustrated and Harry watched him made some rather rude gestures before Harry held up his finger and expanded the barrier to include him.
“Honestly you good for nothing…” Draco trailed off as he saw the shimmering barrier around them and the fact that he was probably stuck in there.
“Welcome to my shielding charm.” Harry smiled. “It usually keeps all annoying prats out, but seeing that you were scared of the Death Eaters that I prophesied about a few hours ago I thought I would expand it to include you as well.”
“Prophetized? Prats?” Malfoy hissed taking a step forward.
“Well, yeah I had a vision about people coming in black robes the night before and burning the place down and apparently gave a prophecy about the whole thing. Sorry that your parents left you to wander about. Hopefully, they are helping with the fires.”
Malfoy’s eyes darted towards the ring of fire that was being battled in the middle of the field.
“You know his family isn’t helping with the fires they are fucking setting them.” Ron accused.
Draco sneered at that, his lip curling and his body tensing. “They are not he hissed.” Harry knew that the other was only saying that because he wanted to cover for them. If there was one thing that Harry knew it was most Malfoys cared about their own.
Ron looked like he was going to say something but Harry cut him off. “There is a lot of death and pain going on tonight. In my vision, it was a lot worse. Death Eaters are out to kill the Muggle Borns and those that study to benefit them and Muggles. Your family just made a donation that would be helpful to those types of people. I dare say your parents could be in danger.”
Malfoy again looked towards the fire this time he actually looked a little panicked by the idea.
“People are being killed,” Harry repeated shaking his head. “It makes you wonder about the world how anyone can justify taking someone else's life.”
Draco seemed to pale a little more. He had always been a bit cowardly and squeamish.
“I mean what sort of monster can justify killing someone just because of how they were born. Anyway, you should be safe here under the barrier, just try not to talk about blood purity and stuff this would hardly be the place considering some people have taken that ideology a bit further than insults and pity paying for those they think they are better than.”
“It wasn’t pity pay…” Draco started.
Harry chuckled at that. “You and I both know that it was to get good seats, but nonetheless your family did something somewhat nice for Squibs and Muggle Borns alike. Hardly can see anyone that follows Old Voldie approving of that one.”
There was a loud explosion that shifted the magic shield making it shine the nice pink color but it held, Harry made sure of that.
Draco fell silent and took a seat a bit away from the others.
Now Harry really didn’t like Draco that much, but he knew what family he came from. He knew what path laid ahead for Draco if he continued down this sort of road. He didn’t really want to see that horribly broken boy bleeding in the bathroom again. He would rather get it to the point that Draco took the protection that Dumbledore offered and this time, Harry would make sure that Draco could trust it and that it was not just words used to push his Professor's death onto Snape.
There was screaming and this time rather than smiling because of Harry’s talk Draco flinched by the sound, he was closer to the action this time. He could see the lights of green. He could see what his parents were doing, see it, and if Harry brought down his shield he was sure that Draco would be able to feel that fire.
“I hate that color,” Harry said softly. He looked at the fading light of the green.
Ron turned to him and Ginny looked up from the ground where she was softly crying from what she could hear happening.
“Green,” Harry said softly not really looking at them being reminded of his death and his parents. “The worst color of a spell.”
He shivered a bit by it feeling his body jerk and the way that it felt to have one’s heart stopped instantly. It was not painful but it was not a good feeling.
“What spell is it, Harry.” Hermione put her hand on his shoulder trying to comfort him.
“That light is the killing curse.” Harry looked at her. His eyes traveled from her concerned face over to Draco who looked up from the ground that he was looking at as sparks of fire hit the treeline a bit away from them and started the woods aflame.
He then focused on shifting the barrier to also clock them as some people in hoods ran passed them. Everyone held their breath as they passed. Even Draco who probably worried about the implications of being found near Harry Potter and under his seeming protection.
In the sky, a mark could be seen as a skull and a snake twisting around it.
“Your prophecy came true.” Ginny squeaked the Dark Lord is calling his followers.
Malfoy looked at the mark with concern as that had probably not been in the plan, whatever it was that he knew of it.
Harry felt his scar start to burn and he felt at it, that all too familiar warning. He lowered the shield as the fires started to die down and nothing but ministry people were walking around trying to locate people that had fleed.
Eventually everyone was reunited. Lucius looked a bit relieved to find Draco though he did not seem to like the company that he was with. Harry caught the man's eye before he and rest of his red headed hidding group were all brought into a large Weasley hug.
Everyone sat down to talk about the event and Harry took note that it had happened much the same Winkie had been the one to cast it. She had been given someone else’s stolen wand and the actual caster was still unknown. Well to everyone but Harry. There were 5 casualties which were a lot less than what it was the last time but there were a lot more people were injured and there was a lot more property damage.
There was one of the Death Eaters caught out of the apparent 12 that had been running rampant in groups of three seeking out as many people as they could to inflict harm onto. Harry was thanked for the warning in advance and he accepted that praise with nothing more than thanks because he could have done more, he really should have, but he was unsure if it was a good idea to show off all the spells that he knew. It would be very suspicious of him to know such things.
Harry spent the rest of the summer reading up on more advanced spells, playing quidditch, and previewing what was supposed to be his future classwork. He managed to get his essays that he was supposed to have done over the summer holiday completed. He also had himself fitted for some new robes. He figured that he could spend a bit because he had won a lot from gambling after all and felt nothing about spending that money as it was his and not his parents. That money that he had been left went to treats every once and a while and things that he needed.
As summer wound down. Harry braced himself for the year that was to come. He thought did cross off his list talking to Arther about his flying car. Harry was still very interested in making something similar in the future.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Harry was not a fan of rain. It was not fun to walk to school back in the days that he went to muggle schools and it certainly was not fun to fly in. The sad thing about moving thought muggle London meant that one had to carry an umbrella and be wet, while waiting for the chance to dry off.
That he figured was the thing that made being magical a bit difficult it was hard to have patience when you could instantly do something and it was irritating that you had to wait to do it. Making it to the platform itself was quite the debacle and when they finally made it to the other side. Harry wasted no time in drying himself off.
He looked at the express and had that horrible feeling of deja vu as he had been in the Crossing just two weeks ago, though at that time he was fairly certain that he had gotten onto the wrong train car.
They all quickly said goodbyes and Harry shifted Hedwig’s cage back to being balanced on his luggage.
“Well come on then.” Ron made a move for the train or they wouldn’t get seats.
“They were all acting weird.” Hermione huffed as she put her luggage up into the rack.
Harry shrugged. “I know why but I think it’s sort of one of those things that is better if it is a surprise.”
Hermione looked at him skeptically.
“She doesn't like surprises.” Ron raised an eyebrow.
“I don't mind them.” she folded her arms, “I just prefer when I know about things and can best prepare.”
Hermione, I would say that you are prepared for almost anything. Harry said lightly, this is just a nice surprise is all.
She tapped her hand against her arm, before getting out one of her books and Ron paused his rifling around in his bag when an all too familiar drawl filled their ears.
“My father actually considered sending me there instead of Hogwarts, knew the headmaster. They don’t let just anyone in like Hogwarts. He said they don’t like Mudbloods there and don’t let them in. But of course, mother didn’t want me going somewhere so far away.”
Ron looked ready to go punch Malfoy for that one but Harry shook his head. Looked like Draco was still along the lines of thinking himself above other people by the place that they were born. Harry knew that it was going to take a lot to get someone like Draco to see the foolishness of his blood claims. But he had seen a few dents back at the world cup and for all he knew even if there was a little doubt. Draco would not want to show it in front of his other housemates. Most of the people that he talked to would become Death Eaters if Harry couldn’t alter their paths.
“They learn defense against the dark arts and actual dark arts there. It's a more practical approach.”
Harry hated to think that he ever could possibly agree with Draco on something, but it was true the defense that Hogwarts gave was pitiful to the actual dark arts that would be used against them. He would like to see any of the nonsense that Lockheart ever said be tried in front of Voldemort. The lizard face would have just been puzzled and then uttered an Avada Kedavra. Harry didn’t think he would even laugh. Voldemort did not like incompetence and he certainly did not like being confused.
Hermione rose but Harry beat her to it. He opened the compartment door and smiled at Draco who jumped as the door that he had been leaning on slid away from him he stumbled and nearly fell over. He looked at Harry hotly, but didn’t say anything.
“Didn’t see you there.” Harry smiled as he made his way down a couple of train cars and back to the one that had Fred and George in it.
“What you are doing here Harry?” Fred asked working on making new order forms that Mrs. Whesaly would have wanted to burn on sight. He smiled, glad that his help with gambling had given them the needed money to start up sooner than later.
“Ah just hanging out here for a little bit.” Harry sat in the open spot. “I made Draco nearly fall on his face so I’m acting like I had a place to go.”
“Prat probably deserved it,” George muttered.
“Would love to see him try one of our Toffees." agreed Fred.
“He was rattling off about Blood purity again. I mean if we were really talking about blood purity and that sorta thing I would love to introduce him to the subject of genetics.”
“Genetics?” Goerge tilted his head.
And Harry spent an hour talking to them about how genetics worked.
“So that's why you don’t marry cousins.” Fred shook his head.
Harry nodded Yep, anyway I best head back to my car so that Ron and Hermione don’t freak out about it.”
When he made it to the car a few of his fellow quidditch players stopped in and Harry had a long discussion with them about quidditch. They ate some of the cakes that Harry had bought from the dining cart as they chatted.
Hermione quickly got bored and took out the Standard Book of Spells 4th year.
“I like the ones about conjuring Items.” Harry leaned in. “I can call my broomstick and other things I need to me that way.”
Hermione thumbed through it. “What page? she asked.
Harry took the book he had thumbed through it to see if he had known all the spells in the thing and learned some nice ones that could cause plants to grow wildly. He figured that it could be useful to lose someone on the run or to annoy the Dursley’s as Dudley had been given the job of lawn duty when Harry was at school.
“Here.” He handed it back to her.
“Your so studious all of a sudden.” Hermione tilted her head leaning in to whisper it as the other people in the car had not noticed that Harry had stopped arguing quidditch stats.
“I figured that I needed to know some spells because someone tries to kill me every year.” Harry shrugged.
Hermione shook her head.
“It's true.” Harry smiled at her, “First year it was old Voldie on the back of someone's head, then it was Tom Riddle and his pet snake, and then it was our dear friend be it accidental that was in his wolfie form.”
Hermione snorted. “I shouldn’t laugh at that.”
“Then who will?” Harry shrugged and turned away to argue the stupid point that he heard Dean try to make.
“We saw Crumb at the very least.” Ron said smiling showing off some of his trinkets form the game.
Of course, leaving the car door open brought about more problems as Draco must have been thirsting for vengeance for the earlier stunt as it were and came to try to be annoying like usual.
“For the last time, I’m sure Whesealbee,” Draco stated standing in the doorway to their car.
“It's nice to see you again Harry smiled did you come to share our car as you shared my shielding charm at the cup?”
Draco looked taken aback for a second but continued to try to press his attack. “What is that?”
Draco was pointing in the direction of Pig’s cage and the ugly dress robe that Ron would really have been better off burning.
“Its an owl.” Harry smiled pleasantly, “Be it a little bit of a spazz, but an owl.”
“Not the bloody owl Potter, that” he pointed more directly at the sleeve of dress robes.
“A transfiguration project.” Harry deadpanned. “We were messing around with spells that add lace and alter the color. It’s in the transformation spellbook for this year.”
“Prove it.” Malfoy narrowed his eyes.
“I could put lace on your robe if you like.” Harry shrugged.
“So did you need something?” Harry asked.
“Prove you can put lace on a robe or whatever.” Draco folded his arms.
“Not that I need to prove myself or anything especially to you but here you go. Harry pulled out the dress robe and transfigured it to a regular robe that was red without lace.
“It’s still ugly.” Draco sniffed.
“I’m a Wizard, not a fashionista.” Harry deadpanned. “And since you're so great at fashion I challenge you to do better.”
Draco scoffed. “Of course I can do better than that.” He took out his wand and waved it over the dress robe turning it a rather nice shade of green with black trim.
“Not bad.” Harry nodded his head. “I think it would look better with silver trim.”
“That looks, awful Potter.” Draco sneered. “Do your glasses actually help you to see anything or they just for show.”
He changed it to a dark blue.
“That actually looks pretty good,” Dean admitted.
“What’s the spell for patterns again?” Harry tapped his chin.
“Ratio.” Hermione supplied she had shut her book to watch the duel over the garment.
“Ratio,” Harry repeated adding a design to the sides of it.
“Even worse than your last attempt.” Draco laughed and changed the pattern from dots to more of a swirled one.
He actually smiled Harry thought and when it seemed that other people had noticed. Draco Awkwardly schooled his face back to one that was more indifferent.
Everyone didn’t seem to know where to go from there and Crab and Goyal looked stupid as ever in the hallway.
“Well, it’s better than it was.” Draco finished tersely. “So if you brought dress robes to mess around with are you going to enter the tournament? Herd there is money involved.”
“And death.” Harry said plainly, “you know you can’t enter if you are under 17.”
Hermione looked at him confused.
“You didn’t tell them did you, Potter.” Draco shook his head. “The Triwizard tournament is this year.”
He said the words deliberately slow Harry was sure for Ron and Neville.
“Well I wanted it actually to be a surprise, but now the fun is completely taken away. Thanks for that.”
Draco seemed to be trying to place him, in fact, most of the people that were in the car seemed to be trying to do that. Harry Potter and Draco were not at each other's throats. They were talking somewhat like Rivals than real enemies. Harry supposed that it would be odd to other people but he just was so tired of always having to fight with people all the time. And half the things that Malfoy said he only seemed to say to try to get some sort of rise out of them. He wanted attention or something.
The whistle blew and Draco gave one last glare at Harry for whatever reason he now was upset at him for and headed out of the train.
Ron shut the car door after them. “Are we going to talk about what the hell just happened?” He asked.
Harry sighed. “You got better dress robes out of it.”
“You mean that thing was not a fun transformation exercise?” Dean asked and then started to laugh hysterically and it was very contagious and soon everyone was laughing on how Ron had the worst looking dress robe and now might have had something that would pass as acceptable.
“I am not wearing something that snake designed,” Ron said after he had, had enough of their laughing.
“It’s alright Ron.” Hermione smiled a bit. “I could always change it back to the way it was.”
Harry greeted Hagrid as they made their way up to the castle it looked like rain again and the sky rumbled overhead. It was a good thing that he didn’t have to worry about using magic because Harry really did not want to be wet again. The carriage ride was peaceful and they managed it to make it inside before the rain.
They were herded into the great hall and it was as wonderful as Harry remembered. He had not seen in such splendor in awhile. Snape, when he was headmaster, had done away with the nice candles and the night sky.
Students were chatting and debating on who would be the new defense against the dark arts teacher and Harry suppressed his dread over that one. He really didn’t want to tiptoe around a fake dressed up Moody. He especially was not looking forward to seeing the unforgiveables having been on the receiving end of all of them and knowing that fake Moody would want to try one on him.
Harry looked at Dumbledore and felt at least happy to see the other, there was a lot to learn from this man and maybe this time around he could come to understand him more. The sky of the enchanted great hall fell dark as the sky warned of the person that entered. The fake Mad-Eye Moody stepped into the room and horrified a few people who saw him enter it. He cast his wand at the ceiling and fixed the sky back to the way it was dispatching the oddness with mad angry grunts.
Harry sighed as the year's announcements droned on and introductions and sorting started.
This was going to be a long year.
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
The announcements and sorting were all rather boring to Harry the only thing of note was the fact that there would be no quidditch cup this year and Darco had quite the sour look at that one. In fact, everyone looked sour about it, except for Harry because he had known that it was coming. He did like quidditch but he would have had to hold back to at least make the games remotely fair. It was just one of those things he supposed about going back in time.
The Triwizard Tournament was officially announced and the whole hall went to hell as everyone excitedly started chatting at once. Dumbledore started to explain the history to the tournament the difficult and dangerous tasks that lay in wait for those that wished to enter it.
Harry sighed at that. They really were some of the more risky things that he had done. Having to outfly a dragon was one of the most challenging things that he had to do that was for sure. He wasn’t sure how he wanted to beat the dragon this year but he was sure that he could figure something out that would be a bit less risky.
Hermione and Ron looked over at him confused.
Ah yes, he was supposed to be happy about the tournament news, wasn’t he? It was not the easiest thing in the world to do when all he could think about was not letting Cedric die and watching Voldemort rise again.
“This is how I’m nearly going to die this year.” He whispered to them as Dumbledore continued to drown on about the death toll and precautions.
Precautions Goyal's fat ass, the only precautions taken was leaving a thrown about welcome matt put over Hogwart's main gate for Death Eaters and even worse Rita Skeeter to just prance inside.
“Did you have a vision…” Hermione whispered back.
“No just a feeling in my gut,” Harry said plainly.
“Maybe it's just indigestion,” Ron suggested.
“No.” Harry shook his head. “That is a whole different feeling. I am just telling you now if I somehow get registered into this thing or picked it was not by my own doing or if I end up dead it was either Snape or someone that I somehow manage to piss off unknowingly from another school.”
Ron gave him a funny look.
“I’m serious I hate having to fight for my life all the time .” Harry sighed, “It’s gotten almost predictable that something or someone is going to try to kill me that I have to assume that anyone I meet might have the motive.”
Hermione elbowed him. “Not everyone wants to kill you, Harry.”
“Right.” Ron agreed, “Not everyone has met you.”
Harry grinned at that.
They headed to the dorms with the talk of the tournament Ron and his brothers still had that want it seemed to enter because well 1000 galleons would be enough to really fund a business or get the things that their family needed, as well as some spending money for themselves.
Harry figured that Ron again was going to be a shit when it came time again for the champions to be announced. He could hope for a different outcome but that was probably what was going to happen.
Harry set up his room back to the way he liked it and got into bed. There seemed to be something odd about going to bed so early all things considering, but then he supposed that he had to go through the whole school life stuff tomorrow and he had been out of school routine for a while.
Pale hands reached for him from under white sheets of cloth. Their gray skin peeling slightly away and red bleeding out between the cracks. The wrinkled flesh bulging around the eye sockets. The dark black eyes were pits that shined and shimmered with endless wet ink leaking out of them as they stared at him and he could see his reflection in the pits of them. He could see the green of his own eyes and the flicking of a snake-like tongue.
And large snake coiled and twisted out of the corpse of an old woman. Cracking the jaw and hissing something terrible as it lunged forward its teeth bared and ready to strike. There was a green flash of light and then the scene changed to a boathouse. The same snake tilting its head before rushing forward and striking at a man that fell.
He could see the pale flesh of Snape reaching out for him as he was bleeding from the snake wound on his neck. He was trying to get to him. He was clasping at his robe, blood leaking out of parted lips. He sucked in a breath and more leaked out. Harry took the hand of the dying man as he cried out a few tears.
Harry the voice rasped old boney hands gripped him plunging him under into a pensive. The water-like liquid seeping into his eyes and the scenery changing to that of the old orphanage that Riddle had once been at. The boy looked at him and his face twisted to that of a husk that was drifting away in a fading light, in King's Cross station. Dumbledore looked at him in his gray robes a small smile formed on his face.
The Gryffindor tower brick wall came into view and if he squinted he could just make out Ron’s blurry face. It had to be Ron because he had that red hair and no one said his name that worriedly that had red hair unless it was Ron.
He groaned and sat up, rubbing at his face. He flinched a bit back from Ron's pudgy face as it was a bit too close to his.
“You okay Harry?” Ron asked. “Was it a dream or a vision?”
“A nightmare for sure.” Harry grabbed his glasses and started to get dressed.
“It’s not even close to the time we have to get up,” Ron said quietly.
“It’s early enough to get things done and late enough that it’s not called wandering the corridors.” He dressed grabbed a few of his things he would need for class and enchanted it all to fit into his bag. He then went for a walk.
Nightmares were nothing new. He was used to them for the most part. That one just happened to be bad enough to stick out into the forefront of his brain. There were few happy memories in comparison to many that were far from it. He walked the grounds a little while hearing a soft voice coming from near the herbology greenhouse.
“Help!” A voice called. “Stay away from me feather heathen.”
Harry found himself around the bend to see a small snake trying to bite the bird that was pecking at it.
A common adder by the looks of it, the viper twisted and thrashed trying to getaway.
Harry knew that it was nature, but could not help but hit the large raven with a spell as the snake was asking for help. It took off cawing and the snake turned to look at him coiling up onto itself. There was not much blood so the snake was probably not that hurt.
“Hi,” said Harry.
The snake tilted its head. It had pretty brown scales that shimmered as it bent its body over itself. The rich copper eyes looked deep into his.
“Hi,” Harry repeated, not sure if he had switched over to Parseltongue. It was still hard to force himself to switch over.
“Ssso your a sssnake talker, haven’t met a human that could do sssuch a thing before.” The viper raised itself up a little bit more so that it could get a clearer look at him. The black pattern shifted slightly as it did so. Its tongue flicked in and out as it spoke with elegance, but a very distinctive accent with the S.
“Not many of us left,” Harry admitted.
“Plenty of uss sssnakes though.” It hissed back, not too convinced that it was a good thing or not that Harry could talk to it.
“Do you need help still?” Harry asked it.
“Thiss isss not too bad.” The snake looked at its tail it was bleeding and it did not look all that great. “Hurtss though.”
“I am sure it does.” Agreed Harry, because it looked like it did.
“I think I will need to ressst a bit.” The snake started moving towards the bushes. “Thanksss for the assist."
“Will the bird not come back to finish the job?” Harry asked looking over at the tree line.
“Itsss posssible.” The viper paused in its movements.
“Would you like to come inside with me?” Harry could always use another set of ears and a Snake that he saved seemed like a good way as any to make a friend.
“Is it warm in the casssle?” The viper flicked its tongue. It looked over towards the castle as it spoke.
“It can be, if you get cold I will cast a heating spell.” Harry offered.
“That isss kind.” It made its way back over to Harry it was not much longer than 12 inches and would be easy to hide in his robe.
“I can protect you till your better, and in exchange, could you keep the mice out of my room.” Harry could not explain why he wanted a snake as a friend, but he was trying.
“Yesss.” The viper nodded its head. “That I can do.”
“Do you have a name?” Harry let it slither up his arm.
“Ssssnakes have no need for namessss.” The viper held its head up proudly off of Harry’s shoulder. “But if you were to call me sssomething, make ssssure it sssuits a beautiful lady sssuch as me.”
“You are rather pretty.” Harry patted her head trying to pacify it.
“None of that.” She hissed. “Earn my affectionssss.”
“Okay.” Harry laughed dropping his hand. “How about Addy, you are an Adder Viper after all.”
“Terrible.” The viper shook her head. “Have you no good namesss.”
The snake paused. “Sssatisfactory.”
Harry made his way back into the castle and stopped by Madam Pumfry to get a few bandages as she did not know spells that would work on snakes, or so she claimed. Harry had a feeling that Vicktoria distributed her just a tad.
Victoria raised her tail slightly to allow him to wrap it.
After that Harry visited the library and took out a few books that had a very large array of spells in it for him to learn when he was supposed to be learning other things. Victoria did not see the point of reading. She did not see the point of a lot of things.
Her idea of a good time was sun basking and she claimed that nothing could ever be more sophisticated than making one's black scales shimmer in the sunlight.
Vicktoria enjoyed the ride on his shoulder though moved so that she could tighten down around a bit of his neck. She gave comments on things that they passed. Most of them were sort of snooty which Harry found oddly funny.
“She wears dead bird feathersss on her head, why not just eat them. Scandalous ssshe should try some scales they are more fashionable. ” Victoria commented as they passed Professor Mcagonigall that was wearing her larger hat that had a few feathers sticking out of it.
“That one smells like a female, but is not.” Victoria looked over at Draco and Harry actually snorted. Which caused the blonde to turn and pale a little bit when he saw how Victoria was trying to get a better whiff of him.
“What the hell do you have there Potter?” Draco scowled.
“Victoria,” Harry said calmly.
“Hiss voice iss nice though.” Victoria approved. “Tell him that.”
“No, I am not telling him that.” Harry shook his head. “It will go to his head.”
“Did you get yourself a garter so that you could talk to yourself, Potter?” Draco asked. “Granger and Weaselbee below even a snake to speak to.”
“Ohhhh tell him, he is a bassstard and that his mother ate dead fish. I am far better company than just a simple gartner.”
Harry laughed. “Think what you want Malfoy, but she makes better conversation than most. She is a royal breed of snake, she would like you to know and her pattern is rare.”
“True.” Victoria seemed to smile. “Tell him how it is, tell him that his skin is not nearly as fine as mine, he should shed it.”
“Whatever, you say Potter your the nutter that's talking to a snake.”
Harry brushed past him to get something to eat. Victoria did not eat anything but she did ask to have a bit of Harry’s water.
Hermione made a few comments about the snake, but Ron eventually got her to leave Harry alone about it. He figured that the teachers would say something if it was a problem and that she should leave him alone.
The post was the only thing to freak Victoria out. She did not mind the people around them because she claimed that she knew that they would not attack her when she was in biting distance, but the owls were enough to get her cursing them and Harry was fairly certain that the Owls understood her.
Classes this year were just as dull as he remembered them. Victoria was no help either to kill the boredom because she fell asleep in his bag and decided to stay there. She had said that the transfiguration classroom smelled weird and refused to elaborate.
The day went by quickly, as Harry moved between classes and finished his work that was assigned in about half the time. He then would take out his common book of spells and continue where he left off.
Draco tried to embarrass Ron with the newspaper article that involved his father and Moody.
“Look there is even a picture Weasely.” Draco laughed.
“That ones actually not bad.” Harry smiled taking the paper from his hands. “You know I wonder why you're laughing so hard about this, I mean if I was you I would not be laughing at the professor that I was going to be spending the next double period with.”
A couple of people started to laugh nervously at that.
“I’m not scared of him.” Draco said bitterly, “how scary can he be if he couldn’t fight off some dustpans.”
“Anyway I have to ask Whealbee is your mother just looking extra porky in this picture or is she always like that.” Draco continued.
“I mean if we want to stoop so low to insult each other's mothers, I suppose I could say something about yours.” Harry held Ron back. “But I think it says plenty about her capability to raise someone to have you constantly trying to put others down to make yourself feel important.”
Draco tried to cast some sort of spell at Harry and Victoria gave a very loud hiss as the spell missed her by a few inches.
“Oh no, you don’t.” Moody flicked his wand and Malfoy turned into a ferret. Oh yes, it was the beginning of the year when this happened. He thought for some reason that it was a little bit more into the year.
“Did he hit you?” Moody asked. Harry shook his head knowing full well that the only reason that Moody cared was because he was trying to earn Harry’s trust and what better way to do that then come to Harry’s rescue or seem like the cool teacher.
“Don’t touch it.” Moody snapped to Goyal who went to pick up the ferret.
Draco gave a terrified squeak and tried to run but Moody was too fast. And he smacked the ferret into the ground a few times. Harry did not like it this time around as much thinking about how easy it would be to snap one of those small limbs. Of course then maybe it would teach Draco a lesson if he did get hurt other than his pride over this. He had very mixed feelings over this.
“Cowardly thing to do attack when someone’s back is turned.” Moody ranted. “Never do that again.”
The ferret bounced a couple of more times.
“Hesss just toying with it.” Victoria hissed. “I would just eat him.”
“He’s not going to eat him,” Harry whispered to her.
“Too bad he would probably tasste good.”
“Professor Moody, what are you doing?” McGonagall blinked horrified following the ferret's jerked movements.
"Teaching," Moody said calmly as ever.
“Is that a student?” McGonagall stammered out in pure disbelief and not anything else. She dumped her books down in order to get at her wand.
“Yep,” said Moody
And Maunigal quickly changed Draco back who sprawled on the floor. His face was pink and his hair was dissolved. He got to his feet, and this time Harry could see him wincing.
"Moody we never use transfiguration as a punishment." She hissed. "Surely Professor Dumbledore told you that."
“Might of mentioned it.” Moody looked past her at Draco his magical eye still on Harry.
“Detentions Moody not transfigurations,” McGonagall said sharply again.
Draco’s eyes were watering with pain and humiliation. Harry met those eyes with a look of pity he was sure, because he honestly felt a bit bad for him. Smacking into the concrete like that, when one had such a delicate form as a ferret. He was sure there were bruises hidden by the mop of blonde. He mumbled something that sounded like my father and Moody gave him an even darker look that made Draco pale a bit more.
“Oh yeah?” He moved closer the wooden leg clunking on the floor, “I know your father, you tell him that I’m keeping a good eye on his son. Your head of house is Snape isn’t it?”
“Yes.” Malfoy was barely containing himself it seemed.
“Another old friend.” Moody shook his head. “Been looking forward to chatting with old Snape. Come on you.” He gripped Malfoy's arm and yanked him on what probably was one of the bruises up the stairs.
Everyone waited until the professors were out of earshot before everyone burst into talking about what had just happened.
“That was amazing,” Ron said, smiling to himself almost dreamily. “Draco Malfoy the dancing Ferret.”
Hermione laughed a little and then turned when she saw that Harry had not shared their enthusiasm.
“Harry? She raised a bushy eyebrow.
He rubbed at his face. “He really could have been hurt, he was dropping him ten feet in the air into the floor. Now he did need some sort of lesson taught to him, I just don’t know if that was the best way to go about it.”
“Harry don’t be ruining the best moment in my life,” Ron complained.
“I’m just saying that there is something off about Moody that is all.” Harry said plainly, "and I would hate to see what he thinks real punishment is if he calls that teaching.”
Hermione made a slight choking sound. Harry patted her on the back. “I really could have done without that kinda thought Harry.”
“Sorry.” Harry rubbed at his scar. It was not hurting it was just he could almost feel the time in Moody’s office that he would touch it, ramble on about the dark lord coming to power. He was not looking forward to his next defense against the dark arts lesson.
The day Harry found himself in the defense against the dark arts room. It had not changed much since Lupin's time in the office. Harry wished that he was there again teaching, it was a shame how bigoted the ministry was towards Werewolves. He took in a couple of breaths as he waited for this lesson to be over with.
He sat in the back of the classroom this time which forced a couple of people more towards the front. Draco was one of them. The room was quiet and it seemed that yesterday's ferret thing had a few people on guard. Namely, Malfoy who looked like he wanted to be anywhere else but was trying to play it off like he did not care that he was there.
The first thing the Fake Moody did was have them put their books away and started talking about curses and how it was important to know what curses could do if they had never seen them.
Harry had seen them.
He had seen them far too many times used on people that he loved and even on himself. He hated them all. He hated the Cruciatus curse for the times that he had to endure it and the time that it was used on Hermione and he could do nothing but listen in the dungeons and hear her scream. He had seen how easily the Killing curse had taken his parents, Lupin, and others. Harry now knew what it felt like to be hit by it. He knew what it felt like to have his heart forcibly stopped.
Ron started with the Imperious curse and Harry watched the spider intensely as the display happened. He had been under that one too, fake Moody would do it to him. He scowled at the seen not disturbed by it, and certainly not as interested as he was the first time.
He waited for the fake to try his curse on them and he tightened his fist under the desk, but it was not the lesson that it happened. He knew that. This one was just the one that was to scare them. Draco looked slightly repulsed by the idea of needing to be able to break free of the curse and Harry did not blame him.
The Cruciatus curse was harder to watch for Harry. He watched the spider writhe on the table and was sent back to that night at the graveyard when Voldemort had hit him with it twice, he was transfixed on the spider so much so that when he saw Hermione’s hand he nearly jumped. Her arm was up again for the final curse but not as excited as before as she was disturbed by what she had seen. Harry could see the unscarred arm that she was raising. The same arm that would have the words Mudblood carved into it with a magical knife that's wound would leave her with a scar that would never heal.
Harry stood at that moment. A few people looked at him. “I don’t need to see the killing curse again.” He all but blurted.
“Yes, that is the last one.” The fake smiled slightly.
Nightmares pounding with his heartbeats. Lupin, his parents, Snape even though that had not been what killed him, the old groundskeeper, his owl. He could see all of their faces.
“He is the only one to survive it.” Moody restated and then cast the spell despite the fact that Harry was glaring at him.
He said the curse and there was that blinding green light and Harry could only picture his mother's cries as he watched that light nearly blind him and the others. Draco knew that Harry was not bluffing that night now. His pale face was even paler as the spider was dead feet from him and he curled his hands into fists.
Harry hissed at Vicktoria and she lurched from the bag and coiled her way up his arm and he took comfort from her and she allowed it. Hissing back at him that the man was definitely as evil as he was ugly she could smell it on him.
Harry took his things and left. People watched him go and he ignored the way that they looked at him. He was not a coward for walking out of that room.
Every blink sending a new dead face.
He nearly tripped on the stairs away from the defense classroom.
He did not care if he got in trouble, let the man write him a detention...
His breath hitched as he could see that light everywhere and King’s Cross before him, outstretched like the paths that he could have chosen. He leaned his head against the tile and he could see more corpses lining the corridor as he sat there.
Taking in breath after breath, he felt his frantic heart in his chest.
Even though she had not been with him long, Vicktoria curled tightly, protectively around him. She did not offer words of encouragement or comfort. Her body against his and her seeming fondness of him was enough.
He felt it beat and remembered what it felt like when it stopped, how it felt as if something had grabbed it and forced it still. How it had been a rush of fire like heat and then left him cold.
The class went the way that it was intended that it would go, Harry, supposed. He knew what facing those curses would be like from now on…
He could hear the voices as they came down the hall. He stood and retreated the rest of the way to the Gryffindor common room. He knew what they thought about the curses. They had found it to be a show of sorts and Harry would be damned if he didn’t feel disgusted about that.
“Little one,” Victoria spoke at last. “I will bite him for upsetting you.”
“It’s alright,” Harry whispered to her and she leaned into the touch that he offered her. She liked her belly scratched not that she would admit this, she was a proud snake after all.
He knew that he was lying slightly to himself. Nothing was alright about what he had seen and re-lived.
Moody would have to look for him if he wanted to talk about it and Harry would not be inclined to take up his offer.
Harry did his homework, made some real predictions that he knew would happen next week based on the course syllabus and schedule. He knew what those lessons vaguely entitled and he made a single very true prediction for the long term. I am going to be fighting a dragon in my future.
Hedwig came into Harry’s room with a letter from Sirius. It was sort and Harry now upon reading it again, knew what he meant by the signs. Yes, there was a great deal of signs that pointed at Voldie trying to return. At least some people were smart enough to read them. Harry had to pretend that he was dumb enough not to see them when it came to fake Moody.
The weeks that led to the tournament start was rather boring, Victoria made it bearable. She went to most places with him now, Except for Potions where she was not welcome as Snape had threatened to use her as an ingredient and Victoria had called him a greasy lizard. Apparently snakes had a thing against Lizards as they hated that they had limbs. So her calling the man that was a very impressive insult.
Harry played nice with Snape, which made the larger nosed man very confused. He tried his usual things to rile Harry up and Harry just took them in stride. He let the insults rebound off of him like a good counter curse. The more that he let bounce off the better he found that his potions became, as he focused on them and not Snape's little jibes.
" Mr. Potter tell me where I might find Living, Creeping, Death."
"I would assume any good ingredient shop or potion master's cabinet, but if we're talking in the wild South American Jungles would be a good place to start."
"Mr. Potter your potion is green."
"Oh, it will be that way until I add the troll fat."
"Troll fat, if I recall, was not on the ingredients list."
"Ah but it works a lot better than the plant substitute, don't worry, I brought my own."
Snape was leaving him a bit alone after that last one.
Harry tried not to say anything too sarcastic back and turned in successful potion after potion. He wagered that the next time that he did a potion that was perfect that Snape would call him in to show him exactly what he was doing and how he had managed to get better at the art. Harry really could not wait to just sit there and brew something right in front of his face.
He was actually waiting for the opportunity, as that would put them alone to actually talk about things. Things that matter vs the petty excuse for things that normally passed between the two of them. Harry could be the bigger person if he had to be. Maybe if Harry did that, the other would stop being as much of a bastard as Harry really was trying to put his best foot forward so to speak.
He wanted to trust Snape when the time came, and he could not do that if Snape and him still hated each other. Harry could forgive the other, he had done a lot of things that were unsavory, to say the least. BUT he had done some good things for the light side and he had saved Harry's ass quite a few times. Snape did not have to risk going after Sirius, yes it was a vendetta that did help to motivate the other, but he really did not have to put himself on the line. He had even put himself in front of Harry when it came to Lupin changing into his moonlight form. Snape had risked his life pretending to be on the dark side more times than Harry could count. So it felt only fair this time around to try to give the greasy lizard a chance.
Harry read the next book of advanced spells and practiced the movements with his wand. The room of requirements made a nice place to slip off too early in the morning to practice. Ron and Hermione were probably wondering where he slipped off to as the cold October weather had started to creep into the air, and with it excitement for the Tournaments start had become the only thing worth talking about. Harry was nowhere to be found when it was being talked about, and he was not in the usual places that they would have easily found him.
Harry had to be ready for anything in case, his slight meddling changed something. He had a feeling though that old Voldie would be surprised if he did end up dueling him that he knew a lot more about it this time around. This time Harry could block everything but the unforgivable and would most likely not need to be reliant on his wand's core to save him.
Not that he wanted to end up anywhere near that trophy and he was researching how to mess with Portkey magic. It was not something that he could just ask the librarian about either as it would be a suspicious thing to be asking if it was possible to mess with them.
Hogwarts was supposed to be a portkey free zone, they were not supposed to work. Harry knew full well that it was somehow possible because the Death Eater that was parading around as Moody had figured it out.
So Harry practiced everything from curses, to defensive spells. He had learned how to enchant the dummies to be able to fire spells back, so whatever Harry hit them with they would use back. He had to learn to dodge and be quick on his feet if he did not want something to hit him. He had almost missed class on occasion due to the fact he hit himself with a couple of powerful spells that knocked the wind out of him.
He was lucky enough to get himself out of the leg locking curse with a little help from Victoria. She was able to get him his wand that had landed a few feet away.
He would take Victoria with him every morning as she would like to wander the halls a bit when no one was around. She found mice and rats and ate them with glee. She had told Harry no shorter than 20 times that rats were delicious and that if she ever met this Pettigrew fellow that she would show him the strength of her fangs for daring to harm her hatchling, Harry.
Yes he now was the favorite nonscaly thing that Victoria could have attached herself to. He needed to learn how to hunt and all that. Victoria had claimed that it was an essential skill. She was teaching him how to move quietly and to stalk prey. Harry would admit that he did learn a bit about positioning himself from her.
The idea was to make a small target, and Harry learned that well from Victoria. Baring Fangs only for intimidation was not Victoria style and Harry liked that about her. She had not bit any humans yet, but she had been close when Ron was dumb enough to almost sit on her tail. Her tail had healed over pretty well and Harry was happy that Victoria had chosen to stay and watch over him as she put it then slink her way back to the garden.
She was safer with him he liked to think.
Hagrid liked her, though that was not saying much Hagrid liked all sorts of bloody creatures. He even liked that large spider enough to have a funeral for it. Victoria was a bit worried about him picking her up. But claimed that for such a big thing that Hagrid was really gentle.
Snakes were rather beautiful dancers when it came to striking and their movements were smooth and powerful. Victoria made him move with rhythm that found its way into his footwork when he dodged the unfriendly spells. Strike and dance away, position, dance, and strike again. Movements were quick when it came to vipers just as it was quick for someone to flick their wand wrist.
Victoria posed herself on his shoulder. This morning was just one of those rainy days. The rain could be heard pelting off of the castle. Harry didn’t mind storms just as long as he did not have to go out into it. It was a bit chilly and Harry was casting warming spells every so often so that Victoria felt warm.
"Itsss to cold." She complained. "Harry let me curl in your pocket."
"You are getting too big for that." Harry sighed at her as he kept reading the new potions book that he had gotten from the library. Hermione looked up from her book across from him. Ron was still trying to puzzle out his Transfiguration homework. He had run his hand through his hair at least a hundred times.
"Not too big, I am the correct sssize for an Adder." Victoria took that to mean that she was fat, in reality, she was just longer now and nearly full-grown there just was not enough pocket without an extending charm for her to fit there anymore.
"You're too long though." Harry corrected and she stuck up her head away from his hand that he moved to show affection to her.
"I don't suppose that you would write this essay for me Harry." Ron asked hopefully as Hermione had declined and he seemed to catch that Harry was breaking for a second or two to talk to his snake. They still found him taking a snake in to be a bit odd. Harry had pointed out that they both had had pets besides owls at some point and that it was not too odd to talk to one's pet, the only difference was his could talk back to him. Not that he would ever call Victoria a pet to her face she would bite him for sure.
He had made some antivenom in preparation for that day that she lost it and hurt him or someone else in a fear crazed frenzy. He had seen how she and Hedwig got along. Harry really could not see the Dursleys letting him keep Victoria, but then if he was speaking snake to her then they would probably freak out enough to leave him be if they had to.
He would rather never go to pivot drive again but knowing Dumbledore and his luck he would end up there for a little while before the whole order thing started up.
Harry looked up again from his book. He was just getting to the good part of how to brew a potion to be able to change into an animal of his choosing for an hour. He was thinking of trying to be a snake. Of course, the potion would be dangerous if he was to do it incorrectly but he would love to be an Adder for a little while and slitter around with Victoria for a little while.
He wondered if he could get Sirius to teach him how to be an Animagus. He wondered what type of animal that he would be...
"I could but then you would probably not learn anything. I'll help but I won't write it." Harry offered after pausing to think about it.
Hermione gave a grateful look towards Harry, who finally noticed what she was reading. She was reading up on house-elves. He shuddered remembering the whole SPEW thing.
"Hermione is there a reason that you are reading up on house-elves?" Harry asked pointedly.
"I was just curious after the whole cup thing." Hermine huffed a little.
"I just wanted you to know that they like to be in service and being away from service is seen as a dishonor to them. Dobby is an odd case."
"I know." Hermine scowled a little, "I don't understand it at all. They shouldn't do slave labor they should have holidays and sick leave and pay."
Ron made a choking noise. "You're joking right."
Herminoe just glared at him.
“Hermione.” Harry said steadily, “they like having jobs that way, it's a security for them. Think of it as a cultural thing. You would not want to propose to them that their way of life is wrong and set about changing it would you?"
“I'm serious Hermione think about the muggle equivalent. It would be like telling someone that they could follow a certain religion but not ware the traditional clothes for it or that it was not okay to do their traditional ceremonies and that they had to be civilized.”
He would have continued if she didn’t meet his gaze and let out a deep sigh. “I suppose that makes sense. I just wanted them to be happier was all.”
Ron looked relieved.
“If you want to talk about rights look into goblins.” Harry shook his head, “they are the ones that are oppressed.”
Hermione looked at him a bit confused but then went to the nearest trolly returned her books and went to go find some about goblins. Harry knew that she would soon be reading all the wars that wizards had, had with goblins.
“Mental that.” Ron said watching her go.
Harry shook his head. “She just wants to help. Her heart at least in the right place.”
"Her hair looksss comfortable, like a nest." Victoria added her two cents about the whole thing. "iss her hair soft."
"I don't know." He hissed back.
"I sshall have to try it out."
"Wouldn't recommend it." Harry went back to his book.
Ron shook his head. "I don't understand how you can like snakes after fighting that one in the Chamber of Secrets."
Harry held back from saying that Voldie had a snake too, that was a bit smaller. "Look if you could talk to an animal would you not want to spend time with them?"
Ron shrugged. "Even if I could talk to more spiders than the one we met I wouldn't want to."
"Victoria means a lot to me." Harry said simply. "I don't know what to tell you."
He was grateful said snake did not try anything as she hated being compared to other animals that she found below snakes, which was every animal, as Adders were the best sort of snake there was.
Hermione came back with some books on goblins and started to read up on them.
Potions was boring as usual. Snape was watching Harry take his first potions exam with extreme vigilance. It was almost funny the way that his nose would twitch when Harry would move something that was the correct ingredient into the cauldron. He hissed to himself a little about the ingredients. It made Snape scan over his bag but Harry was not cheating. He was just trying not to mumbled to himself the answers.
Snape still wanted to talk to him after class, which meant that putting his plan of getting the other to at least get along with him, or help him an operation GO.
"Potter, as of late I noticed increasing acceptability of your work in my class." Those lips were in a thin-lined frown.
"Thank you, sir." Harry said pleasantly enough.
"Whatever brought this change about." Snape squinted at him those dark eyes peering a bit deeper into his soul.
"Studying." Harry said plainly.
"Studying." Snape repeated in that tone.
Harry took in a very deep breath and let out a snake curse word about lizards and then looked back up at the man that he had hated for a very long time, that he no longer hated but did not completely like.
"Look sir if I may, we got off on the wrong foot first year. It's fine that you didn't think I was paying attention."
Snape raised an eyebrow.
"I actually was writing down everything you said not that it's important. I was excited to be out of my Muggle household and wanted to learn. I don't know what you think my life is like, but it gets real old with people trying to kill you all the time."
He took in another long breath. "And I wanted to say that I respect you enough to thank you for the times that you saved my life. I know you were saying the anti curse for me, my first year for the broom, and I know that you tried to save me from Lupin and Sirius 3rd year. I held a grudge against you for the things you said about my father, and for seeming to pick on me in class.”
“Is there a point to this Potter?”
“I want to start over.” Harry stated as confidently as he could. “If you teach me, I can do the potions. I want to do them. I want to be able to fight him with anything at my disposal."
He met Snape's gaze.
"He’s coming back. I have had visions. I've seen him come back in a graveyard and I see him cursed me into dueling him, it happens this year by the end of it."
Snape blinked, "and you are telling me this..."
Why was left unsaid.
"Because I saw you die to save me." Harry said plainly. "I see his snake bite your neck and you reach for me under the invisibility cloak that you know I have. You tell me that I have Lily's eyes and then die."
That throws the old lizard off, because before he could pretend and not to be buying it. He could say that Harry was a liar, but Harry had just told him something that he should not have known.
"So you wish to learn potions." Snape sits up more rigidly.
"I want to know how to brew strong healing ones, I see a lot of people hurt. It might not come to pass that he attacks the castle, futures are tricky changing things especially when I look a lot older than I do now. But I know that it's real because I have dreamed it night after night."
Harry hesitated. "I see a lot of people die, I see myself die."
Snape didn't have that greasy look about him, like he is concealing something dark under the surface. He didn't look like he is happy about the misfortune that was sent Harry's way. Not now. He looked like he is trying to place the boy that is sitting in front of him. One that is trying very hard to offer an olive branch. One that perhaps he never wanted to look too close at because Harry, as Lupin said, is some sort of mix of Lily and James. He is a bit of both and Harry knew, god did he know how much Snape loved Lily.
"I am training." Harry sat up a bit more leaning forward. "I am training by learning all the spells I can. I need other lessons. Potions can help. You said first year that you could teach me to brew something that could bewitch the mind and even put a stopper in death. I want to put a stopper in death before it comes back this year and murders more people."
"The dark lord is showing signs of stirring." Snape shifted a little. “His followers at least are making waves, be it small ones, but waves nonetheless.”
"He never is resting." Harry said what Snape had once spat at him. "Voldemort is going to be reborn out of a cauldron potion. I see it in my visions. I need to find a way to sabotage that potion when he tries to use it."
Because Harry could choose not to go to that graveyard. He could choose to just to win the tournament. But if he did that like he originally thought about messing with the port key Voldemort could take blood from a different enemy he was bound to have a few. if he could stop himself from being caught he could blow the whole thing up under that ugly nose or near no nosed face.
“Are there potions that you know of that require someone to die, a bone from a father unwillingly given, flesh from a servant willingly sacrificed, and blood from an enemy forcibly taken?” Harry restated what he remembered of the ritual.
“If it is requiring any of those things than it is dark blood magic to be sure.” Snape did not exactly look all that happy to think about it.
Harry nodded. “I figured, there was not much to go on and it is not something one can just search up.”
Snape’s lip twitched as if he wanted to smile at that but was holding back. “No, it wouldn’t be, at least not something that you could look up in this castle.”
“That is why I thought to ask you, you have experience with potions and the dark arts. You also know about him better than I do.”
Silence stretched between them.
“I don’t pretend to know the dark lord’s mind. He has studied things in order to ascend to power that one can only be horrified by.”
“I don’t doubt that.” Harry met his gaze. “He fears death, I think. Craves power, but fears death.”
Snape seemed to think on that.
“Look sir this got off really from where I wanted it to go… I really only wanted to ask you for help with occlumency and I am rambling on about other things.”
“Occlumency?” Snape seemed surprised that he knew about it.
“I am having more visions then I care to admit.” Harry schooled his face. “I need a way to tune them out, suppress them. You know how to do that right? You had to be able to resist him entering your head.”
“It was not a matter of resisting, more a matter of redirecting what he saw.” Snape’s tone had a slight edge to it as he eyed Harry with a look that was not completely foreign, but slightly different than that defensive and angry side that Harry was used to from the failed attempts at occlumency. He had half-assed them as Snape had been a nightmare to work with, but he was the one that if Harry did get to teach him. Then he would be way better at shutting out those nightmares that were starting to plague him, and he would be better at shutting out things that destroyed or frightened him until the proper time where he could release that build-up of feelings.
“I need to be able to redirect him if possible then.” Harry nodded. “And be able to shut things out vision wise. I have had a couple that Victoria had to snap me out of. Please, Sir, can you help me.”
He was only sort of lying. He must have had PTSD from the night that he died because anything that had a green light was enough to send him skittering. Not completely away or make him cower. He was a Gryffindor after all, but he could not say that he was not disturbed. He could see bodies still when he went to certain locations. He could not walk the grounds by the forest without picturing how he had walked past all the Death Eaters to get there.
Snape was searching his eyes. He then rubbed at his face as if he was tired. “Occlumency is not easy Potter, and are you really sure that you want someone like me snooping in your memories.”
“I trust you.” Harry snorted, “I know how that must sound. While I am sure that we don’t get along for reasons that are probably petty when we boil it down. I know that you have sacrificed a lot for the light side as they call it. I know that you saved me a couple of times. I also trust you to be honest enough with me, sometimes brutally honest.”
Snape sniffed at that like he was smug that some of whatever shit he had thrown Harry’s direction had stuck. Snape could be a bastard but he sometimes said things that Harry had to hear. He knew that the man was a spy he had appearances to hold up. He knew a lot more than he was willing at the moment to let on. Maybe Snape had even wanted Harry to hate him because he felt responsible for his parent's deaths. It was Snape that had given the prophecy over after all. He probably would regret that for as long as he lived.
“I will give you a few trial lessons.” Snape said slowly testingly. “If you are not up to pare I will not waste my valuable time, as for potions I will look into this potion that you described. And if you want to brew healing potions Madam Pomfrey might be the one to talk to.”
Harry smiled a little. “Well, I can not guarantee that I will not be rubbish at it. I have had to practice on my own so far and I’m not that great, but if your willing to teach me then I will try.”
“If your too set in your ways like you are about causing trouble and actively seeking it then I dare say that it will just be pointless.” Snape scowled. “You can go.”
Harry picked up his books with a wave of his hand and then took his school bag. Hissing softly and Victoria slithered up his arm.
“I’m taking points for you having that snake in your bag.” Snape snapped at him as Harry left the potion rooms laughing to himself.
The next defense against the dark arts class had the imperious curse being used on people, it would be the start of things that Harry would come to hate more and more. They, of course, took notes about the big 3 curses and had seen them, but now it was time to feel the power of the curse on them. Harry felt disgusted by it and wondered if it was just a Death Eater thing to crave power and to like imposing that though power over people.
He wondered why Dumbledore allowed it. He did not want to hate Dumbledore, he wanted to still see him as somewhat of a friend, but at this point Harry really was starting to believe that the old man did not care enough about his student’s safety.
When it was his turn he stood his ground. He felt that floating feeling but he shut it the best that he could knowing that it was wrong. Jump on the desk was repeated over and over again.
"No I would rather not." Harry said.
"Jump onto the desk."
"No thanks," Harry repeated.
"No I don't really want to."
"Now!" was the command. He felt his knees bend but that was all. That was all that he was willing to give. He could hear another voice a soft voice it was a hissing one that was calling from in his pocket that he had enchanted to enlarge.
The air cleared in his head when Moody relieved him of the curse and started spouting how in the eyes you could see how Harry fought and when he said that he would do it again. Harry put his foot down and said no. He refused and he made sure that it was damn clear.
“I can throw it off, that was the goal and I will not be doing that again.” Harry went and sat in his seat much to a few very startled people's surprise Moody dropped it.
“You tell him.” Victoria hissed. “He ssshould not be pointing his wand at you he hasss no right.”
“No he doesn’t.” Harry muttered back.
Harry hated that the course load was picking up in preparation for OWL examinations. He had very vivid memories of his hand hurting through the lines that Umbridge forced him to write. He had not had time to really study not with how Snape had been plaguing him with poor occlumency lessons and the repeated attempts for Lord Voldie Wart to enter his mind had made studying the least of his worries. He knew was going to be on his OWLs though. He might not know the exact questions but he knew about what to expect.
Snapes would be the hardest though the new agreement between them might make things a bit easier to ask questions of the other. Perhaps not in class so Snape could keep up appearances but he could maybe ask them after class.
He sat in the great hall. Victoria lazily draping herself over his shoulders.
"Today is the day he told her." Watching as everyone moved around him.
"Yesss, that tournament thing startsss" she hissed back.
“I really wish I came back 5th year.” Harry shook his head.
“You wouldn't have me then,” Victoria stated calmly.
It was true. She was the only one that knew about the time travel and things. She was not a gossip snake and having someone to talk to about the whole thing was relieving, because besides her who else could he tell?
"Well, 6th year sucked too," Harry said matter of factually.
“You musst learn to be happy for the times that you have to bask in the sssun.”
“Is that a snake proverb?” Harry asked her smiling slightly.
“It’s a Victoria original as you would call it.” She lifted up her nose.
He nodded in acceptance and the day passed by fairly easily as no one really wanted to pay attention in classes. The buzz for when the other schools would be arriving was just too great, not even Snape could obtain complete control over his classroom. Threats about checking on how well their antidotes worked were not even enough to get more than a couple of moments of silence.
Victoria did not understand the thrill of it, said things were just too loud. Harry ignored the fact that they needed to be dressed nicely. He did though to stop McGunagal from bothering Victoria put a slight ribbon around where he supposed her neck would be. Victoria made him turn it from red to blue as she claimed blue was a truly royal color and made her scales shine wonderfully.
Hermione had snorted when she saw Harry tempting to tie it and managed to save him, from Victoria’s verbal assault about how it should have sparkles on it.
“Is she warm enough.” Hermione fussed over Victoria who had won her over by slithering over to her shoulder to get a good scratching.
“She’s fine.” Harry sighed because it was not the first time that Hermione asked.
Moonlight trickled in from behind the clouds.
“How do you think they are coming.” Ron checked his watch and looked about.
“No idea.” Said Dean that was next to him.
The sky was wonderful and but the air was a bit chilly. Harry cast another warming spell for Victoria that slithered closer to his neck and into his scarf for warmth.
“If they don’t come ssssooon I ssshould probably go inssside.” Victoria yawned. “Colder weather makes me sssleepy.”
Harry declined to mention that near everything that was not hunting made her sleepy.
Dumbledore announced the arrival of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic and everyone looked to the sky where a first-year pointed nearly bouncing up and down. “Up there!” He cried.
Everyone watched as a beautiful carriage made its way across the skyline. The horses pulling it were just as majestic as Harry remembered them. The carriage swung around before landing on the ground with a tremendous thud that made a few people jump.
Harry watched the horses and then shifted his eyes to the woman that would be the one that Hagrid fell for. He did not know if their relationship would ever continue or if it were possible what with how Hagrid was determined to bring back his brother from the other giants, but perhaps this time around there could be a happy ending. Dumbledore started the clapping so that the larger woman did not feel discouraged and most of the lovely Beauxbaton girls got out of the carriage shivering because it was a bit cold outside.
“Ssshouldn’t come out of their den unprepared.” Victoria shook her head and one of the girls that looked over stared with wide eyes at Victoria realizing that the noise that she could hear because she was standing so close by was a snake.
She shifted toward the other girls and a bit further away from Harry.
“Sssshe is scared of me.” Victoria sounded slightly insulted. “Asss if I would bight ssssomething sso thin, sshe iss just bones.”
She was squirming quite a bit and Harry was fairly certain that the large horses were looking their way now. She needed to calm down of her loud hisses would cause a scene.
“She probably just has never seen an adder before.” Harry stroked up her back. “You are a beautiful snake, and can be a little intimidating.”
Victoria stilled, being filled again up to the brim with pride. “I am a very wondrousss specimen.” She agreed. “Her feeble mammal mind can not help but remember how powerful us snakes are.”
“Right.” Harry snorted and watched as the fine ladies made their way into the building as not to get cold a couple more of them looking over at Victoria that gleefully showed off her teeth and radiant bow.
The Durmstrang Institute ship was loud and sounded like a vacuum cleaner as it started to rise out of the watery depths that it had come from. Harry had always wondered how deep the lake was and how the ship moved once it reached the end of it. It could have gone all Peter Pan 2 for all he knew and started flying after a while to get back to open water.
The Durmstrang young men made their way down the planks and onto the bank. They looked about, their cloaks were probably a bit to warm for the weather.
Victoria shifted again on his shoulder. “They wear their killsss what fun fashion.”
Karkaroff greeted with false pleasantries Dumbledore and ushered Victor Crumb to get inside. Harry ignored the way that Ron shook his arm, letting Victoria’s warning hiss, that was much like a growl to his ears as he was able to understand her, scare Ron enough to let go of him.
“Its Crumb.” He repeated.
“So it is.” Harry nodded and watched as the other students started to make their way into the castle.
Hermione rolled her eyes and let Victoria slitter over to her and off of Harry’s shoulder. Ron was lucky enough that she did not comment on how Crumb was not that big of a deal.
“Her hair isss soft.” The snake said fondly, rubbing her face into the puffy hair.
Everyone quickly made way to head back to the great hall, talk for the girls and Crumb on the tip of every tongue. The poor man was going to be harassed not even being at the school for ten minutes. Crumb must have been used to it. Harry himself never enjoyed the crowds that wanted to chat with him either. The novelty would wear off eventually, and hopefully, Crumb would be able to have some peace.
The schools gathered to eat with each other. Harry let Victoria climb back off of Hermione and onto himself.
“She is a rather nice snake.” Hermione smiled a little because Victoria had been cuddling her and Harry was sure that Victoria had secured herself another living heat rock as she liked to call it.
“She likes your hair,” Harry said, ignoring the way that Victoria was making moves to make it into his robe pockets.
Harry ignored the Triwizard Tournament announcements and concentrated on the book that he had gotten from the library on dragons, there had to be some weaknesses that he had been unable to exploit last time due to poor planning, and the fact that he had not known nearly as many spells as he did now. Still, dragons were something that he wanted to know more about. They according to Hagrid were misunderstood creatures, but Harry knew full well that Hagrid would vouch for any creature regardless of how dangerous it was.
After what he had to stay for harry made sure to hold the door open for the Durmstrang as he made his way out. They looked from the snake to his forehead and they had about the same look that Crumb had been getting from the Hogwarts students moments ago.
“Well please move through the door then, it's a bit heavy to keep open and I need to feed Victoria.”
Victoria perked up with the prospect of food, flicking her tongue out. They moved slightly bewildered muttering that was Harry Potter.
Blood dripped down from a gaping wound upon his forearm, a slice that wouldn’t stop bleeding. The crimson liquid fell onto the grass. It seeped into the grass and pooled around the tombstone below. Dark opal eyes looked at him, never blinking, constricting around his legs. The pressure building and making it hard to breathe.
A cauldron bubbled near him, smoke drifted from the top of it. The silver-blue liquid rippled and turned. There was a figure in a black cloak that sat near and stirred it with a long white fingers. Red eyes looked up at him and the wind shifted, bringing with it voices.
‘He must be there…’
The scene changed to that of an old house.
‘He must be there…’
‘My lord… came another voice, it would be easier to…’
‘No. It must be the boy.’
Harry woke with a start and his scar was burning. He struggled out of bed and nearly stepped on Victoria as he quickly threw on something so that he could start moving around to clear his head.
“Harry?” Ron blinked rubbing at his face.
“It's fine, go back to sleep,” Harry said louder than he meant to.
He slipped on his shoes and made his way down towards the room of requirement. Victoria trailing quickly behind him. He had let something slip through and if he was not careful then Voldie would see things that he was not meant to see. If he knew that Harry knew about the Horcruxes he would move them, hide them and then the light side would be screwed.
He cursed the dummies and dodged their spells that they fired back. He attacked hard and fast, moving with the rhythm that he had learned. He danced through his spells with graceful, deadly accuracy. He managed to blow one of the dummy's away and the fractured wooden shards landed around him. He sucked in-breaths and then sat on the floor rubbing his head. The scar wasn’t burning as badly. He needed to see Snape.
He was more relaxed because he was tired now, but he still was nervous. The dream had changed so quickly and if he could start blocking it out the sooner the better.
Harry knew that Snape worked in his office in the morning before breakfast. It did not matter if it was a weekday or weekend he was always able to be found in that stuffy side room. He made his on potions there and did his grading. Harry, of course, knew that because of detentions.
He checked the map, motioning for Victoria to come along but she was already making her way towards the crack in the castle wall.
“Hunts on.” She hissed as she squeezed through the opening.
Harry supposed that he was on his own then and he made his way towards Snape’s office. It was so early that no one else would be up, not at 6 am after a night like last night. Most people had taken to talking to the foreign students and trying to learn all about their school and them. Some were more interested than others in possibly hooking up.
He knocked on Snape’s door and the man muttered something that sounded like a cross between a curse and come in.
Harry stepped past the thick wooden door.
“Potter…” It only took a second for the surprise to wore off, “I’m shocked someone like you that stalks the castle would be up so early.”
“You assume that I ever went to bed.” Harry smiled slightly, before letting his face slip into a more serious one. “Actually I am here to talk to you about a dream that I had. See in the dream, I was looking through the eyes of someone that was plotting something, something awful. I woke up and my scar was burning. No matter the dream or vision this has never happened before. The only time I have felt it burn is when Voldemort comes close to me.”
Snape blinked probably because of the casual use of the Dark Lords name from him or because that was not what he wanted to think about first thing in the morning
“And you thought to come to me rather than the headmaster?” Snape kept his voice level.
“Sir, I like Dumbledore but I don’t know if he always takes students safety seriously.”
“I assure you that he does care for this school’s well being.” Snape hit him with a piercing stare.
Harry held back a snort. He was pretty sure that they were welcoming danger into their halls at this point.
“Sir, he left me no choice but to slay a basilisk as he was going to let Lockheart deal with the issue of finding Ginny, and he also asked Hermione and myself to use a time turner last year to save Sirius and Buckbeak.”
Snape turned from him a moment at the mention of Sirius. Harry understood why he was not a fan of Sirius no matter the context. Also, he probably was just hearing about how such a stunt was pulled and how dangerous messing with time. Harry should be a bit more concerned with his own modeling.
“I assure you that he should hear about this,” Snape said levelly. “Between this and your vision about the potion, I think it’s best that he is informed.”
“Do you trust him?” Harry felt himself asking.
He liked Dumbledore but he had learned a lot about him. He knew that he wanted Harry to kill himself in a couple of years for the cause. Harry did not know what else the man was willing to sacrifice. Harry knew that he had given into the madness it in the end. He had accepted that he had to die, but this time he wondered if there was more that he was supposed to do.
Not to get philosophical but there had to be a reason that he was back in the fourth year. There had to be a reason that Harry had seen the man in Kings Cross as well. There were a lot of people that could have come to him that were dead and it was the old man that did.
Dumbledore never told anyone what he was doing or planning and as such, they had been in a very tight spot when he had died and when everything lay on everyone else’s shoulders. It was those secrets that had caused Domeblore and Harry to drift in his fifth year because he had not trusted Harry enough to get him the proper training or to listen to him, or think to tell him why he was distancing himself. That year had been one of his longest in existence and he felt angry and scared of what was going on inside of him.
“He is a great wizard, I know that much, but I know behind that smile that he is hiding things from me,” Harry stated the obvious.
“And are you hoping for honesty with me because of some vision that you see?” Snape shook his head as if disappointed. “Has it occurred to you that I in your own words have tormented you for the past 4 years that I have known you. I probably am hiding a lot from you.”
“My interactions have only seemed to solidify that you will die in an upcoming war.” Harry brushed it off. “I have several other visions that have come true since I have started having them. I do not trust them to always be right but with the success rate, I would say that unless I take great steps to alter an event it happens. I don’t care if you keep things from me, but I do need your help to shield my mind or there could be some very real consequences.”
“What did you see?” Snape snapped cutting him short. “What did you see that made you reach out to be besides my death, that secures your belief that I am trustworthy.”
Harry folded his arms.
“Potter, tell me.”
“No, not unless this stays between us.” Harry stared at him intensely, “I do trust Dumbledore but not with everything that I have found out, hell I don’t trust you with all of it. I get that is hypocritical because that is what Dumbledore does in spades but you do not want to know all the messed up things that I have seen come to pass.”
“I am keeping a lot of secrets for you,” Snape spoke matter of factly. “I have not mentioned your visions to anyone else nor the potion that you have me looking into.”
“And I can’t thank you enough for that.” Harry nodded his head in acceptance. “It was not a vision that you should concern yourself with, it is the fact that Voldie seems to be on the move. I have a lot of visions that would probably interest him and as I have yet to find a way to stop myself from getting to that graveyard that he comes back to life. I think there is a high chance that he can torture some of those visions out of me before I figure out how to escape.”
“You want to start training your mind now.” Snape waved his wand making sure that there was no way that anyone would be coming to disturb them.
“Well, I cursed and battled out most of my initial anger and worry out on some practice targets. I am as relaxed as I can get.”
Snape beckoned him to take a seat.
“I apologize in advance for anything that you may see.” Harry looked into the other's eyes he had okay control but there was no telling what emotions could be stirred up.
“Legilimens,” Snape said with near no emotion.
The first thing that Harry did was close his eyes and steady his breathing, it was hard to clear one’s mind, the push was there and slowly a memory burst forth.
~~~ The clock was striking a number, Dudley was running down the stairs, jumping and sending pools of dust. Petunia was yelling at him about his hearing and being a freak. Vernon was turning purple and a hand was raised against him.~~~
Harry shoved back not liking where this was headed, the world that his mind made shifted with the panic.
~~~ A Large snake slithered on the wooden floors to a darkened house, hissing loudly and twisting towards a ghostly hand.~~~
Concentrate he told himself and he managed for a couple of seconds to still his mind enough to think about the stone floor of the Owlery and he could pause his mind there for a couple of moments despite feeling that wave of pressure from Snape. He shoved and thrashed mentally to cling to that room but his mind turned like the tide to another memory.
~~~Dark and sitting on the cobblestone floor much like the Owlery tower was a young Severus Snape. Lilly, his mother was holding out her hand to him to help him up.~~~
Harry jerked his mind away from that bringing forth enough push back and bring himself back to the physical world.
Snape was staring at him, he did not look angry only mildly off with the last snippet that he was able to catch before Harry had thrown him out of his head.
“You did better than expected.” Snape was trying to put things back to normal even though he had shown Harry already that chip in his mask.
He then did his best to explain that Harry had to pick a place or something that he could visualize in his head that would act like a barrier or a shield so whenever a push was made by an attacker all the person that was trying to pry could see was that room or that objective barrier. They would be trying again once Harry had practice clearing his mind and thinking about something that he had a strong enough anchor to keep his thoughts from wandering too far from it.
They also could try sooner than next weekend if Harry had another one of those horrible dreams. Harry wished him a good rest of his morning now that he had probably thrown the whole thing off tilt after accidentally bringing his mother’s memory into the mix.
Snape perhaps almost jokingly said that he had expected Victoria to make an appearance as she was not permitted near his chambers to which Harry had replied that she was off hunting and no doubt finding mischief as she was his snake after all.
The breakfast tables were loud with the sound of munching. The goblet was in perfect view with its protective spells and talk was on who was going to enter. There, of course, was more about how to stupify the protective enchantment, but Harry was pretty sure that just like before any attempt to tamper with it besides Moody’s would fail.
Fred and Goerge tried their aging potion all over again and Harry sighed into his cereal. Thankfully Victoria made her way over causing a few people to scream as she did so and happily made her way up onto Harry’s shoulder with one of her kills.
“Here.” she showed a small fairy, “You needed more wingsss right?”
“I did, thanks.” he nodded taking the small corpse and placing it into his bag, wondering how many people were starting rumors again about him, based on the display they saw. He wiped a little at the blood that was still on her face.
“My ssshow of dominance,” Victoria complained.
“You can't have blood and kill bits on you, people could want to hurt you for that.”
“They have their killsss on display.” Victoria nodded towards the Durmstrang table where they were still wearing bits of fur.
“I think they just buy that for the looks of it and it’s part of their uniforms.”
Victoria paused her tongue hanging out. “What?” She twisted her body with agitation. “How could they do that liessss. Their nice masculinity issss a lie like that blonde.”
“Draco?” Harry asked.
“Yah that dragon belly, lizard legger.” Victoria hissed and then dropped so that she was putting her head in Harry’s arm. “I can not believe that I wanted to impressss them. Prove I was the better predator.”
“You are a marvelous snake, they have nothing on your hunting ability.” Harry patted her as he explained to Hermione why his snake had suddenly become droopy as she put it. They finished breakfast and many pets later Victoria was napping soundly, dreaming probably of hunting rats and forgetting about impressing other hunters in the school.
Harry made sure to put Victoria on the small enchanted heating rock by his bed before he made his way to Hagrids with Ron and Hermione. The Triwizard tournament was mostly what Hagrid wanted to talk about and Harry let him, helping to make tea so that this time around it would probably taste alright.