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Possession of the Heart

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The Eagle has Landed October 2017

Harry sipped his tea; his spectacled eyes surveyed the Great Hall over the teacup’s brim. The older students were used to him showing up the first week of October every school year, but the younger ones still looked at him in awe. He loved guest lecturing for DADA for three weeks throughout the year: once in October, once in February, and then once again in June, before the fifth-years and seventh-years took their major exams.

He winked at his youngest son sitting at the Gryffindor table; James was too busy laughing with his friends at the opposite end of the table to even acknowledge him. Al looked lost in his school robes; at least he didn’t have glasses continually slipping down his nose. He seemed happy talking and laughing with the other first-years around him. Harry’s heart tingled as he noticed there was very little babyish about Al anymore; the roundness of his cheeks was disappearing, but at least the spray of Weasley freckles across his nose remained. James' loud laugh carried through the Hall. Everyone said it sounded liked Fred's. Harry agreed.

Professor Flitwick, sitting to Harry’s right at the Head Table, elbowed him in his side and motioned with a flick of his head for Harry to look over to the Ravenclaw table.

Seeing a Malfoy sitting at the Ravenclaw table was surreal. He'd heard that Draco Malfoy’s son had been sorted into the Eagle’s Nest, and he remembered giving a chuckle at the time, but seeing it in person was a bit shocking. The young boy sitting at the end of the bench closest to the Head Table was now sporting green hair while he quietly ate his porridge. Even from this point of view, Harry saw the upturned corners of his mouth.

A not so soft boot heel tapped his under the table. He glanced to his left at Headmistress McGonagall; she lifted one finger and pointed back to the Gryffindor table just as sounds of retching reached the Head Table. Harry set down his cup and covered his mouth trying not to laugh as enormous slugs filled certain Gryffindor breakfast plates.

“Brilliant,” Harry whispered. “He targeted only those responsible.”

Flitwick smiled. “Talented as his mother was in Charms, and I’ve reports from others that he may rival your old friend, Ms Weasley, in his brilliance in other subjects.”

Harry blinked. “Ginny?”

“Um, no, Hermione,” Professor Flitwick replied with a chuckle.

“Oh — oh, yeah, sorry. Any troubles, yet?” Harry asked as he picked up a raisin scone.

“No. So far, it’s all been retaliation, no first strikes, and nothing nefarious. We’ve set up a betting pool on when that will change; there’s only so much a young boy can handle. This is the first time we’ve seen a spell reach him.”

Harry grimaced. “He’s being bullied?”

The Headmistress cleared her throat. “We’re trying to minimize it. I’ve never seen so many detentions handed out in the first month. He’s getting it from all sides.”

Harry took another sip of tea, washing down the bite of raisin scone. “Well, if he’s anything like Draco, I'm guessing he's told his father. I know Draco doesn’t hold as much weight as Lucius Malfoy did as a school governor, but a defence solicitor is someone to be reckoned with. Has Scorpius told Malfoy? I have to say that I'm disheartened that this is happening to a student.”

Both McGonagall and Flitwick shook their heads. “Solicitor Malfoy hasn't sent any missives to me complaining about his son's treatment. Children are cruel, Harry; have you forgotten that?” Minerva said despairingly. “They don’t filter what they say; they’re expressing what they’ve heard from their parents and how they were raised.”

Harry dropped his scone. “Excuse me, Headmistress; I haven't raised my children to be bullies.”

Minerva’s right brow arched. “No, Auror Potter, but I would say James is not unaware of how your extended family feels and what words they use. And as you know, he’s a smart boy, but he has his uncles’ and grandfather’s tendency to be a prankster.”

Harry sighed, knowing what she said was true, and he also knew that he and his children were due for some serious discussions. He detested having to rein them in, but he was beginning to suspect that maybe a little more discipline was called for. In the meantime, he watched the disintegration of a Stinging Hex that was headed towards the Ravenclaw table, the added twist of black feathers drifting down over the Slytherin table was a nice touch.

The seventh-year boys with green ties stood with their wands raised. Harry rose and with a flick of his own wand, the Slytherin wands sailed into his waiting hand. He nodded to the boys he would be seeing in ten minutes when class began, and strode out of the Great Hall. He failed to notice the wide grey eyes tracking his exit.

*********************

Harry eagerly anticipated the final class of his first day. Al would be in it, and he had missed his son deeply over the previous month. While James was a true Potter and Weasley in his demeanour, it was Al who Harry was sure took after his mother, Lily. They connected on a different level, and he knew it was obvious to the rest of the family. He would never say Al was his favourite child; such a concept was incongruent with how he felt about his family. Each member was cherished. Even with his and Ginny's difficulties, they were still a family and he would never do anything to jeopardize that.

He sat behind the Professor's desk looking over his notes and attendance sheet as the young students filed in. He had heard their high-pitched conversations and laughter echoing down the hall, but as they neared the door, their mouths shut. Harry smiled to himself, finding it humorous that anyone would be afraid of him. Well, at least the students here at Hogwarts.

Once the students were seated, he set down his notes and roster, rose from his seat, rounded the desk, and leaned back against it. Wide eyes checked him over; he found it best to wear his official Head Auror robes so that the seriousness of the subject matter he would be teaching was never questioned. He tried not to focus on any individual Gryffindor or Ravenclaw, but his plan faltered as he saw his son sitting in the back of the room next to Scorpius Malfoy. The young Ravenclaw was in the far left corner, the one position where he could view everyone else and the door. He expected to see grey eyes looking at him in disdain, but instead he saw them sparkle with curiosity. Harry wondered what Scorpius' family, especially his father, had said about him. Harry couldn’t help but grin at Al, who was struggling to get his book out of his satchel. Harry cleared his throat.

“Good afternoon. I’m Auror Potter, but for the next week you may refer to me as Professor or sir. I’ll be guest lecturing all of this week and two additional weeks during the school year. I’ve been doing this for ten years and have enjoyed every occasion. I’m sure Professor Chang has informed you that I won't be involved in the grading.

"You’ve had four weeks of instruction in Defence Against the Dark Arts. I am curious as to what each of you believe the Dark Arts are.”

The young students fiddled with their quills and books, each trying to avoid his eyes, hoping he wouldn’t focus on them, all but the two in the back and one in the middle. He knew Al and Rose knew the answer as did every member of his family, but Scorpius looked at him and nodded. The resemblance to Draco at this age was startling, but the expressions did not match exactly, and it was throwing Harry off kilter. There was more to the boy than just being proud of being a Malfoy.

Harry glanced down at his roster, picking out a random name. “Miss Goldstein? Do you have a comment?” he asked. He watched to see which witch’s face filled with dread and then he smiled at the girl in the third row. “Anything at all, just tell me what you think of when you hear the words Dark Arts.”

The small, brown-haired witch with curls Lily would have killed for, looked up, her lower lip trembled. “Um, um, the Unforgivables,” she stammered out.

Harry nodded. “Very good. Yes, the three Unforgivables are curses, and curses are one way to distinguish whether a spell is Dark or not. However, as a trained Auror, I am permitted to use them during certain situations. Does that make me a Dark Wizard? Dark Wizards are those I’m supposed to be apprehending. What makes us different?” He knew a true understanding was beyond their ability; hell, he had to admit to himself there were times he wasn’t sure when the line was crossed. He spotted the lone hand raised in the back.

“Yes, Mr Malfoy.”

“It’s intent, sir.”

The aristocratic voice was similar, but the tone his father would have used was not there. “You’re correct, Mr Malfoy. Ten points to Ravenclaw.”

The class ended on a high note when Harry told them the next four days would be spent on learning and practising Protection Spells and that there would be no written work for the week. The class filed out; he could tell they were tired from the long day and that they were hungry. Al stopped before him and unfortunately Scorpius bumped into Al and they both stumbled forward. Harry reached out and caught them. Embarrassed thank yous were given. Harry kept his hand on both their arms. “Al, I’ll see you and James for dinner tonight, okay?”

“Yeah, James said he would show me the way to your quarters.”

Harry raised a brow. “Al, just so you know, I’m right next to the Teacher’s lounge on the First Floor.”

Al rolled his eyes. “He told me you were in the dungeons.”

Scorpius snickered, as did Harry. Harry released Al’s arm. “Mr Malfoy, I was hoping to have a moment to discuss your answer in class. Would you be able to stay?”

The grey eyes widened. It was the first time Harry had seen a hint of fear cross the boy’s face. “Yes, sir, that would be fine, sir,” he said hesitantly.

Harry let go of his arm and moved to sit in a student’s seat in the front row. He motioned for Scorpius to do the same. Harry gave him a quick smile as he turned to face him. “I have to admit I lied, Mr Malfoy. I wanted to talk to you about the spell I witnessed you using this morning in the Great Hall.”

The young boy’s expression fell; his unease was apparent. “I don’t believe it’s illegal, sir.”

Harry chuckled. “No, while it is a Ministry created spell for the Legal Enforcement Agency, it’s not illegal to use. It is, though, a very advanced spell for a wizard your age, and I was impressed with your proficiency.”

The Malfoy pride he recognized appeared. “My father taught me.”

“Ah, I see. Yes, a defence solicitor would have access to a few Ministry spells. So your father is aware of your problems here at Hogwarts?”

Scorpio shook his head. “Problems? If I may be blunt, sir, I’m not the one with the problems.”

Harry couldn’t help but laugh, knowing the teachers had their hands full with another Malfoy. “You’re right again, Mr Malfoy. However, I’m sure your father would want to know that you’ve had to use the spell quite often.”

“No, he doesn’t need to know that, sir. My father needs to know that I’m succeeding in school and that I’ve made a few friends. Even if he did know, there is nothing my father could do, is there?”

Harry sighed. “No, not really, the Headmistress is aware as are your teachers. So have you made any friends?”

Scorpius snorted. “If you mean besides a few portraits, ghosts, and house-elves, the answer would be no.”

Harry’s heart broke as he watched the self-assured young boy, who was still a child, having to face the daemons of his family’s past. “What about Al?”

Harry almost choked as he saw one eyebrow cock up. “Al is a nice boy, sir, but I have chosen not to make any friends. I would only put them in harm’s way.”

“Mr Malfoy, everyone needs friends, and friends can help. Believe me; I could have never survived my youth without them.”

“Sir, Professor, why does it matter to you whether I have friends or not? I mean no disrespect, sir, but our families are not exactly friendly,” Scorpius said, the last words spoken with a hint of sadness.

Harry shook his head. “Mr Malfoy, whatever feelings I have towards your family are irrelevant to the situation I see before me. Your father and I are civil towards one other. I hold no grudge against him, and I would like to believe he doesn’t hold one against me. I care, because one day this year or the next, the others are going to learn how to overcome the tracking and retaliation spell. The one that got through this morning was harmless and I don’t believe any of them guessed why it worked. I’m afraid when they do, you'll be severely injured.”

Scorpius' eyes narrowed. “You know how to overcome it, don’t you?”

Harry nodded. “Of course I do. And I’m sure you do, too. Did your father teach you the newest modified version? I’m not sure he would have access to it.”

“There’s another version!” Scorpius said excitedly.

Harry wanted to ruffle the boy’s perfectly combed, blond hair; he enjoyed seeing a look of joy on a Malfoy face. “Yes, and when the time comes, I will ask permission from the Minister to teach it to you.”

“You will?”

Harry nodded. “I will. You just let me know if you think anyone’s getting close.”

“You...you...you mean I can write to you?”

“Yes, you can write to me. In fact, Mr Malfoy, you can write to me whether you need the spell or not. How about we become friends,” Harry said and held out his hand.

Scorpius' satchel dropped to the floor as he held out his hand. Harry’s hand practically wrapped around it; he didn’t squeeze too tight. As he opened his hand, he noticed two silver bands on the slender fingers. One of the rings' engravings looked familiar. Scorpius seemed to understand Harry's interest. “It’s from my grandmother; it’s a Black heirloom. The other one I made.”

Harry turned each ring around the small fingers, trying to decipher the script. He swallowed hard reading Toujours pur and then his initial emotion of anger softened as read the second nosce te ipsum. "Know thyself?" Harry muttered questioningly.

Scorpius grinned and gave a quick nod.

“You work with metals?” Harry asked, astonished at the thought of Draco’s son working with his hands in such a menial way.

“Yes, I make jewellery. I can only add in the basic spells right now, but in the future I hope to do more. I wish they taught a course at Hogwarts in it. So, sir, can I tell my father we talked and that you are my friend?”

Harry stood up and pulled Scorpius up with him. “Mr Malfoy, you shouldn’t have secrets from your parents at this age, but I will leave it up to you as to what you tell him. Now, you run along and go make some friends.”

Scorpius smiled as he picked up his satchel. Harry never thought he would see such a loving expression come from those eyes and mouth. The nose and chin were softer. Yes, he could see differences; Scorpius had the same colouring, but he had his own look. Harry thought it was a better one. To his utter shock, long skinny arms tightly wrapped around him, and then even longer legs attached to a black blur ran out the door.

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