HP/FoR crossover, Harry raised by Mikagami. Join in as we deal with a much more keyed up first book!
Chapter 4: What Do You Want?
04th January 2006
Draco Malfoy was furious that Potter had gotten away with a victory over Slytherian, let alone such a humiliating victory. He hardly remembered their previous run-ins they'd had with each other, and besides, he'd learnt much since from his father. He sauntered up the Ravenclaw table with Crabbe and Goyle flanking him, "think you're so great do you, Pot-head? That victory was a fluke, that's the only reason you birds won."
Harry sighed, "I'd take such a humiliating victory, even if it was a fluke, any day over a well fought loss. Of course, you'd know nothing about that wouldn't you? Or so you'd tell others..." He trailed off, causing Malfoy to redden in rage, "Is that so? Then I challenge you to a wizards duel! Midnight, trophy room." Harry raised an eyebrow, "Is that so? Then Su Li is my second, who's yours?" Malfoy sized up his cronies then caught one of his housemate's eyes, "Nott. Don't be late."
Harry chuckled, "I won't be, if of course, you swear a wizards oath to be there on time yourself...?" He'd caught the gleam in the pale boy's eyes and knew something bad was afoot. Malfoy paled even further, if that was possible, but back tracking now was impossible without losing greatly, so they both swore to be there on time and Harry grinned, "You're it."
The trophy room was big and crowded, trophies and plaques all over. Harry spied several with familiar names, McGonagall, Dumbledore, and Flitwick, among others. It was dark and the floor creaked badly. Padma and Su Li leaned against the pillars that weren't crowded with awards and Harry stood in the middle, waiting.
Right at midnight, Draco Malfoy appeared with Theodore Nott behind him, as well as the customary Crabbe and Goyle. The weedy, almost sickly looking Nott glared at him with dark eyes but Harry shrugged. He and Malfoy made their way to the centre, bowing slightly to each other. Malfoy's first spell flew clear over Harry's shoulder and hit one of the doors. Harry's first spell hit Malfoy dead centre and threw him back a few feet, magically bound. Nott stepped in quickly and fired off several quick hexes before diving under the incoming curse.
Harry parried the hexes with a shield, and sent a number of charms and hexes at his opponent while charging a more powerful spell. The moment Nott stood up, Harry released the pent up stunner, throwing Nott into a wall with a crash. All was silent for a few moments when they heard the caretaker's seedy voice, "Sniff them out my sweet, they're there somewhere." Harry's eyes narrowed before he turned, grabbing his friends' arms and wandlessly unlocking the door behind them and running for all they were worth.
They finally stopped outside a locked door. Wide eyed, they realized they were in the forbidden corridor! Harry snarled impudently and smashed the door lock open with a fist and locked them in with a wandless and wordless Claudo before he turned round and came face to face with a Cerebus. They froze, as did the three-headed dog. The canine recovered first and leapt forward with a roar. Harry frowned and waved his wand, Desino, and eyed the dog curiously. In his travels with Tokiya, they'd met various magical beasts, one of them being the Cerebus, particularly in China and Greece. One of them, a magnificent beast by the name of Praefinio, had a highly inquisitive cub. Said cub had been rescued from a particularly vicious Direwolf belonging to a passing Druid, but sustained a deep gash on its side. As the dog in front of them fell o its left, Harry noticed an especially nasty scar on its flank and smiled, "Well I never. I'll have to speak with Hagrid about you. Now go back to sleep."
Padma and Su Li stared at him like he was mad, and Padma fainted when the dog actually went back to sleep. Harry grinned and sent a charm at the door, showing nothing hiding out in the corridor before waking Padma. Silently they fled the scene, watching for professors. Unfortunately, they caught Snape and Quirrel arguing quietly in a darkened corridor. Sensing someone watching him, Snape spun around with a freezing charm. Harry deflected it with a flick of his wand instantly and pulled his friends into a nearby empty classroom while Snape fired off immobilization curses everywhere recklessly before storming off when he found no one.
The three sighed in relief and Padma groaned, "Three surprises in one night is too much for me. I doubt my heart can take much more of this." Harry looked round the room and grinned, "Well prepare for another then, I wonder what this mirror does." 'it reeks of magical power, I wonder...' He stepped in front of it and the surface shifted to become his parents, then to become his immediate cousins, then slowly the rest of the Potter line came through. A lot of red hair, mostly on females, several knobby knees, green eyes, messy raven locks, Harry gulped, he was staring, for the first time, at his family. 'My family', he thought, 'sounds so...alien...' He frowned, and consciously strengthened his Occlumency shields, searching for the probe. He finally found the probe, and tested it only to gasp when he felt the immense magical power it used. 'Where does it draw this power from?'
The time to leave came quickly though, and the three Ravens flew back to their common room, passing the portrait hole without mishap. They landed in a heap in front of the dying embers of the fire. Su Li recovered first, "What was that Harry? You just spoke to it and..." Harry chuckled, "I've been all over the world Su, and no matter what Hermione could tell us tomorrow when we ask her, it is indeed possible for me to have met and made friends with a certain Cerebus puppy." He grinned and their shocked faces, "It's time for bed. C'mon then, go on, we'll talk more in the morning."
Harry got up early in the morning to speak with Hagrid. Fortunately, the gamekeeper also awoke early and was tending to the Hogwarts gardens. Harry pitched in with him while they spoke, "What do you know of Cerebi, Hagrid?" It turned out that Hagrid indeed knew a lot about the three-headed dog that mythically guarded the gates of hell. It also transpired that 'Fluffy' as Hagrid called him, had come to him lost, alone and hungry. Hagrid had taken in the little pup and raised it. Pampered by Hagrid and provided by the Forbidden Forest with plenty of game, Fluffy became the great hulking Hell Hound his father had been.
Hagrid was amazed at what Harry told him. A seven-year-old making friends with Fluffy's mother? Inconceivable! Yet it was entirely plausible from what little he knew of Harry's upbringing, and roared when Harry told him about Fluffy being swatted by his mother. He'd sobbed and wiped his eye when Harry told him about the Direwolf, and returned it with the time Fluffy had met the Runespoor he kept for his NEWT classes. He showed it to Harry later, it was a truly impressive specimen, well advanced in age to most others of the endangered specie. The average Runespoor was recorded to be around six and a half feet in length, but Hagrid's had been well raised and at full extension could reach a total of either and a half feet.
The Boarhound, Fang, came over once it woke up and drooled all over Harry's leg. Nothing that couldn't be cleaned with a simple flick of a wand, or finger in Harry's case, but nevertheless annoying. He soon left to join his friends at breakfast in the Great Hall.
"What exactly could it be hiding? Not much would warrant such a powerful magical beast, right?" Su Li contradicted Padma, "Well if the price is right, anything could warrant it. You just need someone powerful enough to summon them." Hermione interrupted, "Actually, I remember reading about people actually taming them and raising them as magical pets. The last one was killed and its owner prosecuted over a hundred years ago though." Harry was lost in thought, the auras around Hogwarts didn't help his reading of power signatures, but whatever it was would have to have an immense aura if it had to be guarded by a Cerebus.
That wasn't the only thing worrying though, as he'd grown accustomed to the many auras around Hogwarts, he'd learnt to differentiate individual auras, assuming the person was on his or her own, roughly 1.5 feet away from the next person. Quirrel had a dark aura, mostly dark green and some browns with a few swirls of purple and blue. His turban though, was much more. The 'Turban Aura' as he'd taken to calling it, was a deep purple and black, with thick swirls of blue and maroon. Harry frowned, Dumbledore had a similar aura, and by subject size, roughly equal. The most worrying thing, though, was that the TA was a good bit larger than Quirrel's, just with an ethereal appearance.
He later overheard what seemed like a conversation.
"The Stone, have you found it?"
"N-n-no, m-m-master, I h-h-have y-y-y-yet to find a way p-p-past the p-protections."
"Then hurry up, my patience grows thin. Very thin."
"M-m-master, I b-beg, the a-a-aura finding s-spells d-don't work p-p-properly..."
"Fool! Hogwarts has perhaps the highest concentration of magic in all Europe! Try something else!"
Quirrel hurried away a few minutes later, but Harry didn't notice, too busy wondering what exactly 'The Stone' meant.
"It could mean several things, though we're probably looking at just one of four possible." Hermione drew out a piece of parchment and scratched out with her quill as she spoke, "The first possibility is the Vindico Calx, roughly translated means the Stone of Protection. It's an ancient artifact supposedly now in fragments, and is supposed to provide an ancient advanced barrier. It is possible, I suppose, that Dumbledore has recovered most or all the fragments and reconstructed the stone." Padma's eyebrows rose, and Su Li looked like she was going to interrupt, but Hermione plunged on without giving them a chance.
"The second, and even more unlikely, is the Orb known as Tal Rasha's Eye. It is perhaps the oldest on my list, and belonged to the Horadric mage Tal Rasha, who existed in the time when angels often came to earth and demons often came to meet them on the battlefield, so it's quite possible that it isn't around anymore. However, we have to take into account that the goblins were around then and could have held onto it, and now Dumbledore is taking care of it for them." Harry frowned at this, but Padma shushed him, anticipating the next artifact.
"The most unlikely is the Orb known as the Orb of Shadows, and is said to corrupt the wielder by combining part of their life force with that of the victim's to transform the victim into a demon of some sort. Details are sketchy, but apparently it was involved in some demon war or other and has since shrunk such that it became a gem in a sword handle." Harry chuckled, knowing exactly what had become of the orb, and the gem in Kagehoushi's personal psychic device.
"Lastly we have Nicholas Flamel's Philosopher's Stone. It has two functions, a lesser form of the Midas Touch, turning any metal into gold, and can be used to produce the Elixir of Life which basically grants eternal life with the condition of drinking it regularly. I don't remember the last one or two functions though, that and how often one has to drink the Elixir. I do, however, remember a reference to Phoenix Tears, which suggests great healing powers, and the Phoenix Gem, but that is very small so probably not 'The Stone' we're looking for." She paused to check if she'd missed anything and Harry took the opportunity, "It's not the Orb of Shadows. That was tamed with Psychic Melding and used in the warring stages of Japan. It's still around though. Tal Rasha's eye though, I know someone who was around at that time, but now...she mentioned once that she'd tried tracking it down but lost it before she could find it."
Su Li cut in, "The Vindicio Calx is partly with my family, stored in one of our secret tombs, so that isn't it. The remaining fragments, even if joined together, wouldn't amount to any of the more advanced modern shields and protection lines. My brother said the Calx would probably lose its power and die out eventually, but then he was really young at the time so I don't know. Mother and Father though, they seem to know where the Calx is..." Padma caught the trail off, "So it's settled then, it's either the Philosopher's Stone or the Phoenix Gem. Small wonder why Quirrel would want either, the Phoenix Gem is so pure it's supposed to have killed some ruthless Baroness when she tried to force it into a ring on her finger." Harry whistled appreciatively at that and Madam Prince scowled at their backs. He glanced at them, "Well, lets see what else we can learn about 'The Stone' from its maker, shall we?"
Dear Mr. Potter,
First, let me start off by saying how pleased I am to finally speak with you, no matter how indirect this is. I've been meaning to write you for some time, but just haven't been able to get round to it. Dragon Blood, I assure you, would seem to have another use or two.
Onto the subject, my Philosophers' Stone. Your friend is indeed brilliant if she can deduce from rumors, myths, and stories, the uses for it. Indeed it can make gold, produces the Elixir of Life, and heal with great effectiveness. I won't release the last use, as it is really a diabolical one, but I will tell you that it is best left alone.
If you and your friends are interested, perhaps a month after the Christmas holidays we can have a chat. I need to speak with Albus, Headmaster Dumbledore to you, so I will be visiting Hogwarts anyway, and I'd like to see these protections that have been put up. As for the Phoenix Gem, I assure you it is quite safe, as I have attached it to the crystal powering the wards around my home.
"Well, that certainly clears things up, a reply anyone? Aurora can send it off for us." Hermione, the parchment quick draw, had the parchment and the 'Dear Mr. Flamel' ready an instant after Harry finished his sentence.
They got the letter together and sent it off just in time for classes. Harry waited till they were up the first three stairs before speaking, "What do you think of becoming Animagi?" All three girls stumbled and he laughed.
Harry's last night before Christmas was perhaps the best so far. He found both his forms were magical, though he currently only had the power levels to perform one of them, the Dire Wolf. The Phoenix was mostly magical and he hadn't the capacity he'd need to fulfill the phoenix requirements of power. He didn't mind though, the Direwolf was an amazing creature, not as powerful magically as the phoenix, but almost as resistant to spells as the fully grown Acromantula.
He didn't dream, instead he spent most of his time integrating his inner-wolf into himself, becoming wolf and man at different times. Like he'd been told, parts of his animagus form flowed into himself, as parts of himself became part of the wolf. The canine dark eyes became an intense green and the fur on his head became a dark blue squiggle that vaguely resembled a lightning bolt. He sighed in relief when he noticed the dark blue almost blended in perfectly with his jet black fur. He grinned as the feeling of familiarity flowed through him, accompanied by the feedback from the wolf animagus form. Sleep came blissfully after that.
The "Fantastic Four" as Hermione had dubbed them one late night after they'd all pitched in to complete a particularly nasty essay from Snape to their satisfaction, sat in a square-like formation, while Harry led them in the initial stages of meditation in finding their Animagus forms, later for awareness of their own minds, and finally for the beginning stages of Occlumency.
Hermione had been the hardest to convince, especially with the threat of breaking the law, not some silly school rule. Harry would later hold her to that comment, but for now he chuckled at the memory of emotions warring across Hermione's face: the desire to grab all the books on animagi and memorize them, or turn down the opportunity and report them because authority was always right. Almost always she'd later amended, but Harry had already seen all he needed to.
Padma was easier to convince, showing that the Indian magical culture was in fact much more versatile than almost anywhere else in the world. On the other hand, it also explained why the crime rate was so high, and why their Law Enforcement was a great source of employment. Her father himself was an animagus, one of the seven that last century who was registered, he could become a Hammerhead Shark at will. In keeping with "family tradition" Padma agreed to learn to be an animagus, or at least try to. Harry warned them all that they might not have a form, even if they reach the required power level.
Su Li had been schooled in a Chinese Martial Art known as the Unbeatable Cat-Fist, or Neko-ken as Tokiya called it. As she later admitted, she only knew part of it, a minute proportion of the whole, but then she wasn't exactly descended from the gods or anything like that. Nearly everyone who'd tried to learn the full version of the Neko-ken had either gone mad or had died. Still, with the small bit she knew she was on a par with Harry for the opening stages of a fight, and used meditation to keep her feline side sated. Harry theorized that with the animagus transformation, she'd become a feline of some sort and possibly become better suited to the style. His personal view though, was that it was more a torture than anything else.