HP/FoR crossover, Harry raised by Mikagami. Join in as we deal with a much more keyed up first book!
Chapter 3: Form up!
03rd January 2006
Harry didn't think much of his dorm mates. Michael, Stephen, and Kevin were too proud for his liking, and while they did indeed have a fondness for books and knowledge, they just seemed so much more Gryffindor than Ravenclaw. Terry and Anthony, on the other hand, became his friends, though they would never be as close to him as Padma, his first friend at Hogwarts, or Su Li.
Su Li was perhaps the person Harry identified with the most. Both were raised in Asia and didn't speak like British as others did, he in Japan, she in China. Tokiya had taken him all over the world when he was younger, and China had been the first place. Padma, perhaps the most Ravenclaw of them all, was most interested in the different cultures whereas they too were intrigued by the Indian culture. They formed a little group, as others in the house had, becoming perhaps the most talked about in school.
Hermione Granger became the fourth in their group after Halloween. Having been sorted into Ravenclaw, she thought she'd finally be among true peers. Needless to say, she was highly disappointed when she found out nearly nobody shared her level of interest in books. Things had finally come to a head when she'd been partnered with Ron Weasley in Transfiguration, and he'd made various cutting comments which sent her crying. Ron had been given detentions with his head-of-house and Hermione hadn't been seen the rest of the day.
At the Halloween Feast, Professor Quirrel dashed into the Great Hall, his turban askew, he gasped, "Troll! Dungeons!" before promptly passing out and sparking mass panic, which only Harry and Su Li didn't react to. Harry grabbed Padma, "It is easiest to keep everyone safe if they're all in the same place." She promptly sat and continued hyperventilating. Harry caught Dumbledore's eye and gave him a significant look which the headmaster returned, "All students return to your seats. Professors McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick, and Sprout please remain and guard the children. The rest of us, please follow me." On the way he caught Harry's eye and gestured for him to follow. The rest of the school watched in awe as Harry followed Dumbledore and the Professors out of the Great Hall.
Once outside, Dumbledore waved his wand, sealing the Great Hall shut before turning to the others, "The Troll could be anywhere by now, spread out. Hagrid, Victoria, and Harry, search the grounds. If you spot it going into the forest, don't stop it. The rest of us, the various towers and dungeons. Quickly now." Harry led his companions out the front door, "I'll search the lake area. Professor Vector, please check the pitch, neither Hagrid nor I can get it fast enough if it has reached the stands. Hagrid, the last third of the grounds are open area near where your hut is. Be careful." Aurora appeared in a flash of fire and in a whirlwind of flames they were gone.
Harry's hunch was right, and he found the troll just as it stood up from drinking. The large green creature raised its club onto its shoulder and turned to a tree. Gasping, Harry realized there was someone there, and from the robes and frame, he or she could only be a student. Aurora flamed him directly in front of the person, distracting the troll. Realizing that he didn't know any spell powerful enough to incapacitate the troll, Harry directed Aurora to get the Dumbledore while he drew his Kodachi. Channeling his magic into the blade, he jumped, aiming for the troll's head. A dull thunk and a squelch signaled he'd caught the monster's attention, and he heard a scream as the person seemed to realize what was happening. He whirled away, realizing just how thick the troll's skin really was, blocking the club's downward arc, and realizing just how strong it was. He sheathed the blade and called up his flame, "Reiketsu!" his arm lit up in flames and he directed them at the troll, burning the creature's club to ash.
The thing seemed to realize that he had an actual opponent and gave a sickly half grin. Harry unsheathed his Katana and channeled his flame and ki into it, expanding the 3ft blade another 1.5ft in length and quadrupling it otherwise, turning it into a flaming, immense broadsword (think Innuyasha's Tetsusaiga). Bringing it into a viable stance, he charged, "Flames of Gaia!" he'd named this particular attack after reading about the birth of the Greek gods, mainly because he channeled his flame through any cracks in the ground. Being ancient ground, cracks and openings were a certainty, more so that the troll had just stomped. Harry jumped and slashed downwards, "Flaming Thundebolt!" (think Innuyasha's Kaze-no-Kize plus purple flames) not very original, but apt. Using his Ki, Harry could manipulate the interactions between the air and his blade, producing lightning, combined with his flames, producing the flaming thunderbolt. The troll didn't know what hit it, but screamed and screeched as it felt the attack strike its back, ripping through like a knife through jam.
Standing up and wiping the thin sheen of sweat, he noticed the sound of clapping from where the student had been. Looking up, he found Albus Dumbledore with several professors and Tokiya, as well as the student currently being held by Tokiya. Albus quickly stopped, "Well then, professors, please inform the house heads that the danger's over and that Mr. Potter and Ms. Granger will be rejoining their house shortly." He waited till his colleagues had left before turning to Harry, "Well done Harry, I congratulate you on that excellent bit of magic, the likes of which I've never seen before. If you don't mind me asking, where did you learn it?" Tokiya answered, "It's not magic. The first was simple sword skills with a Kodachi and after that he used his fire. After that he used his Katana and Ki. So you see, there's no magic in it. I must admit though, that he could have simply used his fire to win?" Here he glanced at Harry. Recognizing the analysis of a mistake, Harry bowed his head, "I'm still not up to Recca's level, I can't get it into a proper weapon." Tokiya recognized the avoiding statement, "really? That doesn't diminish the Rei's destructive power." Harry winced, "I didn't think of it, I still can't channel that kind of power yet. Rei says I'm still to young, but that my channeling levels should increase at an accelerated pace now that I'm older."
Tokiya nodded, "Indeed? Then we will be training more, and harder. If your channels are widening and strengthening, then you should be able to take it. Heaven knows why my master didn't do that." Albus had been quiet through the exchange, "Surely there isn't a need for that level of harshness? He's just a child!" Harry snarled, "I'm not a child. If I am, then you're a walking corpse." Albus was taken aback, so he backtracked and tried a different track, "You're a Flame Master? I wasn't aware that they still existed." Tokiya shook his head, "He is a Flame Apprentice. I doubt he'll reach the level of a Flame Master for another few years. More importantly though, Ms Granger here should get back to the Raven's Aerie, it will get chilly soon." Albus nodded, "Indeed, 20 points to Ravenclaw for clearing the school of a threat Mr. Potter, please return to your common room." He started to walk away but turned back, "Oh, and congratulations on bonding with a most beautiful phoenix."
From then on, Hermione had become part of the group, and her appetite for learning only increased with the availability of different cultures to learn of.
Their first flying lesson with the Slytherians and Gryffindors was pretty much a failure. Neville Longbottom was what seemed to Harry as the stereotypical downtrodden, and he just couldn't help but wonder exactly what was wrong. His shoulders and back showed a defeatist attitude, and he shuffled his way to a broom slowly, nervously glancing at a small red ball in his hand.
His broom didn't move. Even Hermione's broom rolled around on the ground, even though she was well known within their year for an almost phobia of heights and flying. Harry's though, jumped into his hand instantly, humming with anticipation. Harry observed his classmates, wondering absently if broomsticks actually could feel anticipation. Eventually though, everyone was mounted and ready, Madam Hooch going round correcting people's grips, chastening Draco Malfoy for a badly positioned Seeker's grip. Harry didn't like the glint in his eye.
Neville, jumpy with overextended nerves began rising into the air almost gently, and so Hooch didn't realize till he screamed just before slipping off the handle and crashing to the ground. Harry sighed, there were some things that were just meant to happen. Madam Hooch proclaimed that nobody was to move in the slightest till she got back for fear of expulsion. That didn't stop Malfoy though, he picked up Neville's rememberall and laughed, "Look it's that thing the oaf's gran sent him! I wonder if he'll miss it?" Harry frowned, but was beaten to the punch by Ron Weasley, "Give it back, Malfoy." Said heir snorted, "Like you even had a chance of catching me, weasel. But you're right. I shall leave it for him to collect, perhaps the gargoyle on that tower?" He almost gracefully glided up on his broom, not even properly gripping it.
Harry's jaw tightened, that was something that would have happened to him at the Dursleys, and he'd be damned if he let it happen again, "I suggest you don't." his tone left no doubt it was anything but. Malfoy paled slightly as he remembered their last meeting, but that was hardly noticeable on his already pale skin. And then he smirked, "Like you have a chance either, Potty." Harry mentally called Aurora and she appeared in a flash of fire, "No, perhaps I don't. But I can assure you, Malfoy, that Aurora here does, his eyes flashing a dangerous green. Malfoy's sneer became a worried frown, phoenixes were kings once in the air, "Catch it if you can!" He hauled back and threw the rememberall as far as he could.
Harry watched it fly up and begin its climax. Time seemed to slow as his broom flew into his hand and he mentally communicated with Aurora. A whirlwind of fire later, he was just within reach of the little ball, and grabbed it, just before starting his fall. Getting both feet on the broom, he did the only thing that was logical to his mind. He stood on it.
Everyone on the ground gasped in fear as his downward flight was suddenly halted and slowed such that Harry hovered around the second floor, standing on the broom with the wind whipping his hair and robes around him. He looked like some god or other, and Malfoy couldn't help but stare in awe. The moment was broken though, when Flitwick opened his window, which Harry just happened to be hovering in front of, "Mr. Potter! Come in here now. Mr. Malfoy, fifty points from Slytherian, and I shall be speaking to both Professor Snape and Headmaster Dumbledore. Harry?" Harry sighed as he floated into his Charms Professor's classroom.
Out on the grounds, Malfoy was leading a dance with the other Slytherians, celebrating the possible expulsion of Harry Potter, while the others, starting with the Ravens, stalked off muttering about "twice-be-damned snakes". Madam Hooch returned to collect the brooms later, arriving just in time to see Minerva McGonagall berating the Slytherians for skipping class.
Inside the Charms office, Flitwick had Harry sit down across from him, "You realize you broke a rule, don't you? For such, twenty points from Ravenclaw and detentions with the Headmaster. However, I saw what happened, and I have something in mind for you. Please call in Mr. Ackerly, he is waiting outside with his classmates. Harry nodded and did as bidden, and the tall lanky Ravenclaw entered quickly, "Professor?"
"Mr. Ackerly, I want you to meet Mr. Harry Potter. Mr. Potter, Mr. Stephen Ackerly. Mr. Ackerly is the captain of the Ravenclaw quidditch team. Mr. Potter here has just displayed for me, inadvertently, an excellent sense of balance, co-ordination and control. I remember we need to replace a Seeker, a Beater, and a Chaser. Mr. Potter, I believe, has a chance at any of those positions." Stephan raised his eyebrows, "Know what Quidditch is?" Harry nodded, "Yes, in part at least, but I have Transfiguration now." Flitwick nodded, "True, take this note, Professor McGonagall will understand. Stephen, please call in the class."
The Trials were like a trait difference between the different houses. The Slytherians would be gesturing rudely or threateningly at each other, silently willing any given candidate to fall and break an appendage. The Gryffindors would be going through extraneous stunts or some such. The Hufflepuffs would cheer each other on, something no other house would do. The Ravenclaws were an exercise in outdoor classes. Most were perusing books on quidditch, or magazines on equipment.
Harry had inherited a substantial portion of the Searing Flames, a broom producing company like Nimbus. After being ordered to the tryouts, he'd spoken to Tokiya over Katas, and his guardian had agreed to visit the company president on Harry's behalf. Harry was now the proud owner of the prototype Flare, the latest broom off the drawing board after the Bonfire. It wasn't even on the market yet, but owning 20% of one of the three largest broom producers globally did that for you. Harry watched as Cho Chang, a second-year, tried out for the Seeker and Chaser positions with a Nimbus 2001, also a prototype, off the current Nimbus 2000.
He himself tried out for all three spots, but found that he wasn't quite suited to the Beater position, and that the last bludger almost took his arm off. His fault for underestimating its speed. Chaser was an interesting spot, he'd been reading one of the advanced books, just for the theory, and found a set of runes that were most interesting. His broom now came to his call with the aid of recalling runes carved into the handle, allowing him to jump into empty space to score and call his broom on the way down.
That was how he came to be in the Chaser position on the week after Gryffindor lost to Slytherian. Their chasers though, Harry decided, were probably the best one would possibly find for a while yet. Cho smiled at him over her shoulder from the Seeker position beside their Keeper, and Harry felt the rush of adrenaline as they went through their warm up laps.
Harry settled into position as Madam Hooch, refereeing the match, called for fair play. It was really beside the point, Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws for the most part couldn't find it in their hearts to cheat against their opponents. The Bludgers came first, zooming away over their heads into the sky with the Snitch following close behind, disappearing to the human eye. Taking out the large red quaffle, she threw it into the air and Harry zoomed down, grabbing it just after it left her hand and speeding towards the open Hufflepuff goal.
He smirked inwardly, their keeper had had a head start on him, but they were neck and neck now, with the other chasers not a threat. Angling up, he lured the keeper away from the hoops before releasing his broom and dropping down to the farthest hoop to score like an NBA player he'd once seen on a one-handed windmill dunk. Dropping from there, he grabbed his broom mid-air and zoomed away to thunderous applause from the Ravenclaw and Gryffindor masses. Plucking the quaffle mid-pass a few possessions later above the Gryffindor stands, he heard Ron mutter about attention-seeking prats and wondered if it'd be a foul if he fumbled and dropped the quaffle on Ron's head.
Cho was having a hard time, Cedric Diggory didn't taunt or sneer like some other seekers to pass through Hogwarts, but was an excellent seeker. Even riding the previous model of the Nimbus, the 2000, he had Cho struggling to keep up with his far superior skills. The snitch had been absent so far, but Hufflepuff had managed to keep the score difference down to 4 goals.
Finally, an hour of spectacular goals, saves, dives, and rolls later, Cho finally dived with a light in her eyes, chased by Cedric Diggory. Closer and closer they hurtled towards the ground, Cho twitching this way and that as if the snitch were not flying a proper course. Cedric's eyes narrowed but he continued following her. Then all at once, Cho extended her arm like she was going to catch the snitch, and used it as a fulcrum while pulling on her broom such that is did almost a 180. Cedric caught the movement and executed a barrel roll just in time, narrowly missing the grassy pitch. His shoulder caught a particularly thick patch of grass and he fell the few inches to roll over on the ground. Harry flew over to congratulate Cho on an almost perfect Wronski Feint, much as she'd tried so many times in practice. He quickly doubled back to catch the quaffle and returned to his spot.
Cho, on the other hand, went back to searching for the snitch, and not five minutes later was diving towards the base of the Hufflepuff goals with Cedric hot on her tail. This time she didn't budge at all, flying straight for the thick golden pole. Cedric managed to catch up with her, but then the snitch suddenly flew upwards, causing both seekers to knock into each other. Unfortunately, this meant Cho, with her smaller and lighter frame, fell to the ground while Cedric was left clutching his head. Harry, the closest from just scoring, swooped down to catch her as Madam Hooch called a time-out.
It was a tense timeout, Cho had been flying exceedingly well, and nobody wanted to take her out. Yet she had strained her right neck muscles, which basically mean no flying for fear of greater complications. Stewart faced all his players, his face grim, "We're going to take a gamble then. We have the advantage, 90-120, but we need the snitch to win. Harry, you take Seeker, we need someone to catch the slippery little thing, and we'll hold the fort. Just catch it quick and everything will be fine. Alright?" They broke huddle just as Madam Hooch blew her whistle, signaling the match resumed. Harry took to the air, getting a feel for the pitch as Cedric took to his own small circle in the middle, watching for the elusive golden ball.
They both spotted it at the same time, Harry and Cedric equally far from the Snitch, neck and neck when the Snitch suddenly swooped downwards and the followed. They leveled off bare inches off the grass, Cedric slightly higher, as they closed in on the Snitch on its straight course. It suddenly dipped before rising a foot higher than before. Harry, expecting to have to pull up, stayed on course, but Cedric, reacting instantly to the dip, dipped violently in a bid to snatch it away. Unfortunately, he was thrown by the instant rise of the golden ball and crashed. Harry, however, managed to maintain his course and distance from the Snitch, but it seemed to be gaining speed as he did himself. Deciding that there was only one thing to try, Harry got up from the crouching position he was in, and stood on the broom, profiled. He muttered sticking light sticking charms on his boots and reached for the snitch. It elevated sharply, and Harry maneuvered to follow it, making it just in time for the Snitch to rise snugly into his palm, securing the victory for Ravenclaw.
The match against Gryffindor was an intense affair, and Harry just barely managed to hold down the more experienced Alicia Spinnet. Cho had an easy time catching the snitch, beating the shortsighted Demelza Robins to the golden ball, snatching victory from the jaws of the lions, literally. Even then, the score was only 190-170, and Harry condeeded later that Oliver Wood was an amazing keeper.
Perhaps the most humiliating affair was the match against the Slytherians. Humiliating for the Slytherians, that is. Keeper Miles Bletchley decided that if Harry could do the flying quaffle dunk or an alley-oop off a lob from one of the other Chasers, then he could do the flying one-armed quaffle block. Without his broom. Madam Pomfrey confined him to the Hospital Wing for a week. Bole and Derrick, the Slytherian Beaters, were condeeded to have amazing hitting power and aim. Unfortunately, they also hadn't their eyes on the game, so when Harry caught their eye with the quaffle, and began flying towards the right hoop, they didn't realize that Marcus Flint, their captain and chaser was going to be in the path of the quaffle, laying him out for a month with a bludger each to the head and back.
Terrance Higgs, with astounding determination and courage worthy of a Gryffindor, wouldn't let himself be beaten by a petite second year, and followed her into not one, not two, but three Wronski Feints, each time coming out worse for wear. Eventually, after he crashed into the Ravenclaw stands, he was taken to Madam Pomfrey's tender loving care on a stretcher, out cold. Their remaining players, Derrick, Bole, Montague and Warrington, played their best ever, which wasn't hard since Flint often dominated the quaffle on their side and yelled at the beaters often, but they couldn't score and defend based on 2 chasers against 3 and a keeper, losing eventually 350-90 when Cho caught the Snitch.
Hermione just couldn't, or wouldn't, understand why exactly throwing a few balls around and flying about was considered exciting. She did, however, scream in fear the first time she saw Harry leap from his broom and dunk the quaffle, and later gripped him in a death hug, relieved he was still alive.
Harry lay flat on his bed, floating an inch and a half off it on a cushion of hot air. He was meditating, dead to the world. He was again looking for his animagus form, or forms. Only the last quadrant was left to be scoured, otherwise he'd have to descend into the labyrinths that were his cerebellum. Indeed, he found something like it, a touch of familiarity, a tinge of animal instincts, and he was off on the trail, deep into the dungeons of his mind.
To the outside world it had only been an hour, and everyone was still asleep. But to Harry it was like an eternity, following the trail had led him further from the bustling metropolis that was his mind into the dark, unexplored dungeons behind and below it. The trail was growing warmer, and Harry knew his search was nearing its end, but did it have to really be that long?
He rounded a corner and found it. A dark red cage over two amazing animals, but the net-like cage seemed to originate from something, and this something reeked of evil magic and intent. He stepped round to it, and drawing his katana, and absently wondering how it had got there, he severed the cage from it. Calling Aurora and Reiketsu to him, he drew on their flames and magical energy, augmenting his ki, and blasted at the glowing red globe. For an instant after it shattered and disappeared, Harry felt nothing, then he knew only pain and then nothing.
As his vision faded, he made a note to remember his forms were a bird of some sort, and a four-legged creature.