In which Tonks assists Harry with some of his exercises, Harry shops in Diagon Alley, and has a bit of excitement, The trip to Hogwarts is detailed and Harry becomes the first sixteen year old the...
A/N2: In which Tonks assists Harry with some of his exercises, Harry shops in Diagon Alley, and has a bit of excitement, The trip to Hogwarts is detailed and Harry becomes the first sixteen year old the Sorting Hat has ever tried to sort. Whatever.
Harry Potter and the Sun Source
Chapter 2: Diagon Danger
August 31 1996
London, England, UK
The Tower Bridge
His name was Harry Potter and he was trying to think up a new synonym for pointless cruelty to use to describe his master. He had worked his way through nine of the languages he knew, and was starting on the tenth. Harry loved his father dearly, but sometimes the Master of Sinanju’s assignments made no sense at all. This of course didn’t mean that he wouldn’t be following the instructions he had been given to the letter, after all, as Master Chiun had told him many times, his Little Father only demanded obedience, not agreement. This meant he could bitch about his assignments to his heart’s content, until such time as it annoyed his master and then pain would result. Unfortunately, the amount of complaint Chiun would tolerate was usually approximately none.
That being said, even with Chiun on the other side of the world, Harry still wasn’t all that sure that pain wouldn’t instantly follow complaint anyway, so Harry wisely kept his thoughts to himself.
"Work on my balance!" he grumbled to himself, as he scrabbled up the western face of the South Tower. As far as he could tell his balance was perfect, but that one topic was Chiun’s favorites to harp on when he couldn’t think of anything else to kvetch about. “Your balance is an embarrassment to me. You will work on it during your vacation in Scotland, or I will know the reason why.” Chiun went on to detail how Harry would work on his failing aspect while at the school. “Since you will be in London for two days before you leave for the school, to prevent you from falling into sloth, I require a souvenir.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my balance.” Harry muttered as he leapt from the wall of the tower to the safety railing of the western pedestrian walkway, and breaking into a run along the top of the railing. The winds whipped past him, but he ignored them as he had been trained, and compensated as was required. Upon reaching the center of the span, he climbed to the top of the flagpole to obtain Chiun’s ‘souvenir’.
Holding onto the flagpole with is left foot and right knee, Harry drew the heavy shipping envelope from the pack he wore on his back, and carefully stuffed the flag he had ‘liberated’ from the pole into the envelope, before placing it back into the pack. Making his way back to the railing he continued his run to the North Tower.
Descending a vertical surface was immeasurably easier than ascending, Harry reached the deck of the bridge just as the bell warning that the bascules were about to lift sounded and Harry found himself facing a pair of London cops. He had been seen. That was alright, he was tasked with working on his balance and with the speed of completion of his task, not with stealth.
Feeling mildly disappointed that the pair were not wearing the stereotypical helmet of movie fame; Harry let them approach them until they were almost close enough to touch him. Neither of the constables had said a word, amazed at having seen his descent from the Northern tower. The taller of the two swallowed noisily and found his voice. “You’ll be coming with us lad.”
“Sorry Constable.” Harry said with a wide smile. “I’d love to, but I’ve got a gorgeous girl waiting for me in bed just now. She should be waking up soon and be wanting round three, and I’ve really got to get something in the mail. Maybe next time.”
The two policemen gaped as the young man spun on his heel and ran up the incline of the now open drawbridge. They continued staring as the boy vaulted an impossible gap between the two counter weighted bascules. The two police officers stared after the boy’s retreating form on the far span of the drawbridge after struggling up the incline to the edge. The pair were far too amazed at the jump the boy had made to even think about using the radios on their belts to alert their fellow on the far side. This omission saved several lives.
August 31 1996
London, England, UK
The Savoy Hotel
Nymphadora Tonks slowly woke, realizing by the smell of the linens that she was in a strange bed. An unusual, but not unknown experience. At least she hadn’t taken this one back to her flat…
Wait. She sat up clutching the sheets to her breasts. She was in her base form. Why was she in her base form? She never showed anyone that. Her real appearance was for family and… Wait. This wasn’t just a healthy roll in the hay, she was on Order business. She was supposed to be body guarding Harry Potter and he…
Oh Sweet Merlin, I bedded a sixteen year old. She looked around the room and there was no sign of Harry. Don’t Panic. Don’t panic. He couldn’t have been taken; any Death Eater who got that close would have killed me, even if I wasn’t recognized. He’s probably just down at the restaurant getting something to eat. Yeah. He’s sixteen. He’ll be hungry. Yeah.
Some of the problems resolved themselves when the door opened and Harry Potter pushed a trolley laden with food into the room. “Room Service!” he said in a cheery voice.
“Harry, don’t do that to me. I’m supposed to be protecting you.” She said. “I can’t do that if you run off without telling me.”
“You were asleep Tonksie.” He said simply. “Is this a particularly dangerous Hotel? Should I be worried?”
“Prat.” She groused. “Just don’t go anywhere, all right?”
Tonks looked about for something to cover herself with, and then realized she was being stupid. He had already gotten a very close view of her entire body; another look at her naked form wouldn’t do him any more harm than she had already done. Rising from the bed Tonks picked up her overnight bag and padded to the bath and took a shower. This had started out as such a simple assignment. Pick up Harry Potter at the airport, escort him to the Leaky Cauldron, stand guard over night, escort him to purchase his school things and put him on the train at 11 am on the first. Simple. Dumbledore had even managed to pull the strings necessary to make it an official assignment. The recent death of Madam Bones had made escorting Harry Potter of all people an important task indeed. The Danger pay and overtime was just icing on the cake.
Tonks stepped into what was easily the most decadent shower she had ever seen, with shower heads at three levels. Turning them on, she luxuriated in the water that was instantly hot.
After arriving at the airport, it had occurred to the Metamorphmagus Auror that she really didn’t know what Harry Potter looked like. Looking around she noticed people at the arrival gates holding signs with surnames on them. Scooping up an abandoned drink cup from a table she quietly transfigured the cup into a ‘Potter’ sign, and settled into wait.
She had stood there scanning the people coming off the jet way looking for a spotty little kid, she was unprepared for the man who walked up to her and said “I’m Harry Potter.” Clad in black jeans and a black t-shirt with trainers, he stood a bit taller than the average Brit male at 5’11”. His black hair was long and worn pulled back into a pony tail. The muscles in his chest and arms rippled as he moved with an alluring grace. A quick glance at the faces of a pair of young women who had followed him down the jet way told Tonks that they had enjoyed the view. His eyes were a brilliant green and seemed to pulse with power. In spite of herself, her eyes flicked to his forehead, were she could pick out the faintest outlines of the most famous scar in magical Britain. Despite knowing that he was only sixteen, Tonks was horrified when her body began to react to him.
“Wotcher, Harry!” she said, praying that her voice wasn’t giving her away. “I’m Tonks. I’m to get you to the train on the first.” She looked him up and down and found her self smiling. “I wonder how we’ll spend the time?”
Tonks escorted the young man to the Leaky Caldron. Harry took one look around and pronounced the place a ‘dump’. Tonks tried to argue, but Harry told her not to worry since it was all covered by his ‘expenses’. The young man led her from the pub and to a taxi. Once inside the cab the young man told the driver to take them to the Savoy.
Through her father, Tonks knew of the reputation and the price of this iconic London Hotel. This wasn’t what Dumbledore had told her to do, but… What had Harry meant by ‘expenses’? She was still sputtering her protests when the cab delivered them to the hotel. Harry paid the driver and received a receipt; he then pulled the young woman into the very posh lobby of the hotel.
The woman at the check in desk of the hotel, raised an eyebrow at their lack of luggage and Tonk’s mode of dress, then she started to tell them that the Savoy was not their type of hotel until she saw that jet black American Express card in Harry’s hand. The next thing Tonks knew they were being conducted to a suite. As soon as the door closed behind the bellman, Tonks found herself attacking Harry Potter.
Harry’ hand reached around her to take her left hand in his, his index finger lightly tapping on her wrist in time with her heartbeat. How had he managed to get in the shower with her? She had not heard the door open, nor had there been the tell tale displacement of air that even the most powerful wizards caused when the apparated. Turning the woman to face him for a kiss, his left hand began an odd figure eight pattern in the small of her back. Tonks broke the kiss, braced her back against the wall of the shower, and pulled him into her body.
Damn it. Harry thought as he spider walked his left hand from her hip to the underside of her left breast. How am I supposed to practice if she never lets me get past step six?
It was like Remo had told him. There might be thirty seven steps, but women tended to be impatient. Oh well.
August 31 1996
London, England, UK
“I’ve got a wand.” Harry said for the ninth time.
“I’m sure you do Mr. Potter.” The ancient wizard named Ollivander said, never pausing from his fussing about with his enchanted measuring tape. “And I’m sure that whatever Wand Monger you used did his very best for you, but really. You will be attending Hogwarts. You will need a proper wand.”
“Master Suk Wi-joong is not a ‘Wand Monger’ Mr. Ollivander.” Harry said dangerously. “I saw your sign out front ‘Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC’ yours is the upstart house, not that of Master Wi-joong. His family was making wands for centuries before yours picked up the first stick and tried waving it around.”
“Suk Wi-joong? He’s still alive?”
“He is. You will not be insulting him in my presence sir.”
“I… see. Mr. Potter, as an underage wizard, you must have a wand that is registered with the Ministry of Magic.”
For the first time since she had met Harry Potter, Tonks noted that he actually acted his age. The young man stood sullenly as the Wand Maker fussed about him. Handing him wand after wand while looking for whatever it was that Ollivander looked for when he fitted a wand to a wizard. Finally the old man sighed.
“You’re making work for my gold Mr. Potter.” The old man seemed to make a decision. “Not to worry, I wonder… Oh, why not…” The Wand Maker went into the back of his small shop and returned with a dust covered box. “A most unusual combination… Holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple.”
Tonks watched as the young man took hold of the wand. He raised the wand above his head, brought it swishing down through the dusty air and a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end like a roman candle, throwing dancing spots of light on to the walls.
Ollivander cried, “Oh, bravo! Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well… how curious… how very curious…”
The old man put Holly and Phoenix feather wand back into its box and wrapped it in brown paper, still muttering, “Curious… curious…”
“Alright, I’ll bite,” Harry said sarcastically, “What’s curious?”
Fixing Harry with a stare Ollivander said “I remember every wand I’ve ever sold, Mr. Potter. Every single wand. It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather… just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother… why, its brother gave you that scar.” The old man lightly touched the faint scar on Harry’s forehead with a long, white finger. “Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew and Phoenix feather. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands… well, if I’d known what that wand was going out into the world to do…”
“Well, that was creepy.” Tonks had waited until Harry had paid for the wand and they were on the cobble stones outside the shop before stating the obvious.
“What? That the wand he matched to me shares a core with the one that tried to kill me?” Harry shrugged. “No, what was creepy is that he expected that result from the beginning, but still went through his whole routine in order to impress me.” The young man shook his head. “He’s too used to impressing eleven year olds. People who waste my time trying to impress me only succeed in annoying me.”
“I thought you were going to pout in there.” Tonks laughed, and then laughed harder when she saw the look on the young man’s face.
“I don’t pout.” Harry said dangerously.
“Sure you don’t. Fancy an Ice?”
“No.” Harry shook his head, “though if you want…” He quit speaking causing Tonks to look at him to determine what was wrong. “I thought that you weren’t supposed to apparate into the alley?” Harry asked, with his eyes focusing on the middle of the lane.
“You’re not, why…” Tonks followed his eyes in time to see five black robed figures appear in the middle of the lane. Grabbing Harry’s arm she hauled him off the street into the nearest shop.
“Stay Here.” She ordered. Through the window she could see the Death Eaters beginning to cast into the crowded street. “Call the Aurors!” she snapped at the clerk behind the counter, then, grasping her wand Tonks exited back out into the street.
Easing up as close as possible to the nearest Death Eater, Tonks weighed her options. Being outnumbered five to one wasn’t doing much for her confidence. Normal procedures wouldn’t work here. She was going to have to take them down hard, and hope that she could last long enough for the Rapid Response team to show up and help.
“Reducto!” she murmured. Her wand bucked a bit as the Reductor curse leapt from her wand to the black robed man who had been casting the Cruciatus curse on a crowd of children. The Death Eater was blasted through the shop window, ending his attack on the children, and with any luck his life. The next closest Death Eater hadn’t noticed his fellow falling, Tonks attempted to hit him with an Incarcerous, but missed when she was spotted by one of the others and had to dodge his incoming cutting curse.
Tonks weaved across the street to the relative safety of a doorway, trying to think of someway to take at least one of them out without exposing herself, when the door behind her opened and she heard a woman’s voice.
Every pain receptor in Tonks’ body started firing at once, as she found herself in a sea of agony.
And just as quickly, the pain was gone. Tonks lay on the pavement panting as her body rebelled against her conscious control. She was barely aware of her attacker stooping to pick up her wand. “Well, well, well.” The woman’s voice continued in a sing song manner. “My favorite niece. I’d heard you’ve carried on with your mother’s shaming of the family by becoming an Auror.”
“B…b….b… Bellatrix!” Tonks ground out. Keep them focused on her. Protect the innocents. Keep them from noticing Harry. Give the Aurors a chance to respond. The four Death Eaters in the street stopped their random attacks and crowded around.
“I’m touched Nymphadora, I really am. How kind of you to remember your dear old Auntie.” The mad woman stood with her wand pointed at the fallen Auror’s chest. “Ah, if only the Dark Lord had allowed me to take prisoners, we could have such fun together, you and I. Oh well, not to worry little Nymphy, you won’t be lonely on the other side… I’ll be sending your Mum and Dad to see you so very soon.”
This is it. Tonks thought. I’m going to die.
Bellatrix’s voice was cut off when someone silently apparated directly between the fallen Auror and the Dark Lord’s Favorite, and two rock hard fingers were driven into the mad woman’s solar plexus dropping the most feared woman in Magical Britain to her knees.
“Harry?” Tonks gasped, her eyes wide as she took in the young man bursting into motion. The Four remaining Death Eaters were standing in a semi-circle around Tonks. Harry pivoted on his left foot and drove the same two fingers that had silenced Bellatrix LeStrange into the Adams apple of the first black robed terrorist. A sweep of Harry’s right foot twisted the next Death Eater in lines head so that he was looking backwards with a loud wet crack. Harry planted his right foot and drove his left into the belly of the third Death Eater, liquefying his liver and snapping the man’s spine.
All three men fell to the ground dead at the same time. The fourth terrorist stood in terror of the killing machine that had moved among his mates like a scythe through grass. Even Bellatrix had fallen to this man. Trembling he extended his wand, trying to think of what to cast.
Algernon Blakeslee was the second son of a very minor pure blood family, and as such was expected to make his own way in the world. He had left Hogwarts two years before with a disappointing (for a Ravenclaw) 6 NEWTs. The only job he had found was a Ministry position as a junior assistant in the Department of Magical Sports. Passed over for promotion twice due mostly to his attitude (Algernon hated all sports and everything and everyone involved with them), he had drifted into a circle of acquaintances who got together over a few pints to complain about their lots in life, and the root of all their despair, the non-purebloods who were polluting society to the point where decent purebloods like themselves couldn’t make a decent living.
This had lead to Algernon attending a meeting three weeks before with the Dark Lord, who was… well, not what he had expected. The initiation of raping and killing the Muggle woman was easier than Algernon had thought it would be, then the application of the Dark Mark. That had been far worse than Algernon had anticipated. Today’s mission to Diagon Alley was the third that Algernon had gone on. The first two had been so easy; no one had even tried to fight back. But today, he had watched as Bloody Bellatrix herself was dropped like a sack of potatoes, and three of his mates were dead while Algernon found himself staring into the green eyes of their killer.
“It’s not so easy when they fight back is it Death Eater?” The young man spoke for the first time. “Of course how brave could you possibly be, hiding behind a mask like that. It’s really sad, you know?” Then the boy moved. The Death Eater found himself looking at the stub of his wrist gushing blood, and watching his right hand falling to the ground still clutching his wand. It was as if he was dreaming. There was no pain, no sense of reality. The man with green eyes had flayed the left sleeve of the Death Eater’s robes with his finger nails, leaving Blackslee’s arm bare to the world.
“Thank you. I need to borrow your arm for a minute.” Harry said as he placed the palm of his left hand on the Death Eater’s Dark Mark. The Death Eater screamed. The pain was worse than when the Dark Lord had applied the mark in the first place. The pain continued when Harry released him and the Death Eater formerly known as Algernon Blakeslee bled out onto the cobblestones of Diagon Alley.
Harry Potter returned to where Tonks lay, still struggling to regain control of her body. Tonks watched as her lover stepped behind the gagging Bellatrix LeStrange and methodically stripped the most infamous Death Eater naked, pausing only to push his thumbs into several places on the older woman’s back. Bellatrix started screaming. Harry grasped the woman by her throat and lifted her to her feet.
“Hurts don’t it?” He asked the whimpering woman. “You seemed to be in charge, that’s why you’re still alive. I’ve got a message for your master. Tell him Harry Potter is coming for him. Tell him that there is no where he can hide. Tell him that every day he makes me wait will cause me to kill him that much slower.” Harry lifted the woman’s left hand and placed her own portkey that he had liberated from her robes into it, he then wrapped each of her fingers around it. “Oh, in case you’re wondering, you will never use your arms again, but they will be causing you pain every second of the rest of your life. Bye now.” The raven haired wizard touched his wand to the portkey and the woman disappeared in a shower of color.
Harry knelt by Tonks and began massaging her legs. “Nasty curse that one. You’ll be ok. We just need to get your nervous system to talk to your muscles again.” He looked up from his ministrations to see that the people in the street were beginning to crowd around. “Yes, they can be fought. You people out numbered them at least twenty to one, but you cowered instead of defending yourself. If you killed just one of these bastards every time they made a raid, the raids would stop pretty damned fast.”
“Har… Harry.” Tonks groaned. “How did… did you do that?”
“It wasn’t that hard Tonksie.” He said in a soothing voice, moving his massage to her torso, “They were all slow and fat. Not an ounce of discipline in the lot of them.”
The crowd parted and a trio of red robed Aurors approached the carnage.
“Auror Tonks? Merlin girl, what happened here?” The tall black Auror who was evidently in charge said recognizing the woman on the ground.
“Bellatrix LeStrange got me Shack.” The young woman ground out through clenched teeth.
“Six seconds Cruciatus curse exposure.” Harry said. “Tonks blasted one of the bastards through that window over there.” He gestured toward the shop in question.
“What about the rest?” The Auror indicated the four bodies.
“Shack!” called one of the other Aurors. This man was kneeling beside the dead Death Eaters. “They’re all dead. We’ve got a murderer on our hands.”
“He killed them defending me Blancet!” Tonks spat. “Merlin, there’s a reason you were last in every class isn’t there?”
Kingsley Shacklebolt frowned. “Why didn’t you wait for the Aurors to show up kid?”
“What? You mean wait until you three strolled up like you just did? Tonks would be dead if I had, and who knows how many innocents in the crowd.” Harry kicked the foot of the man with his head facing the wrong way. “This one was casting the Cruciatus on a crowd of children and laughing. Was I supposed to let that happen while you lot strolled over after you finished your cup of tea?”
“Who are you boy?” The big Auror demanded.
“My name is Harry Potter.”
August 31 1996
To say that the Death Eaters guarding the PortKey return point at Malfoy manor were shocked when a naked whimpering Bellatrix LeStrange suddenly materialized in a heap in front of them would be something of an understatement. They were even more shocked when the senior Death Eater on Duty attempted to assist the Dark Lord’s favorite to her feet by grasping her arm caused the most dangerous woman in Wizarding Britain to scream as if she were suffering the torments of hell.
Bellatrix’s screams brought a score of Death Eaters running to find out what was wrong. Lucius Malfoy was the most senior of the new arrivals. He saw his sister-in-law’s condition and levitated her off the ground. “Where is your team?” The blond man asked.
The woman just whimpered and shook her head. Possible actions to take ran through Malfoy’s mind. Bellatrix had been out on a routine death and chaos strike. Kill a few people, spread some terror, show that the Ministry was powerless to stop the Dark Lord’s followers, and return. Of the six that went out less than an hour before, only Bellatrix returned, and she was incoherent in agony. Malfoy went through the chain of evens twice. He had nothing to do with any part of the mission; there was no way he could be blamed for its spectacular failure. Since the Dark Lord’s rebirth, Voldemort had been in a foul mood. What he had done to Crouch Junior was legendary among the Death Eaters. No one wanted to share that fate.
Bellatix had collected herself enough to whisper an answer “Potter.”
Lucius Malfoy’s blood ran cold. Potter? What could a boy his son’s age have possibly done to Bellatrix LeStrange? The Dark Lord’s fury toward the sole remaining Potter was the stuff of myth. Delaying news, any news of Potter would be an instant painful death.
From the darkened corner of his throne room Tom Riddle also known as The Dark Lord Voldemort looked up as Lucius Malfoy entered the room, guiding a naked Bellatrix LeStrange in a levitation charm.
“What is the meaning of this Lucius? What have you done to Bellatrix?”
The blond man bowed deeply. “My Lord. The Lady LeStrange returned from leading a squad of your followers on a raid in this condition. When I attempted to find out what happened the only thing I could get out of her was ‘Potter’.”
“Indeed?” The reborn Dark Lord gestured and wandlessly took control of the levitation charm from Malfoy’s wand, bringing the woman closer until they were nose to nose. “Tell me Bellatrix. Tell me of Potter.”
The woman struggled against the pain to speak, desperate to please her master. All she could manage was yet another whispered “Potter!”
“Very well Bella. If you cannot tell me, I will have to see for myself. This may be painful.” Voldemort gathered himself. “Legilimens!”
The Dark Lord was suddenly among Bellatrix’s memories, and immediately set about isolating the one he wanted. He found himself staring into the face of a young man. “You seemed to be in charge,” the boy was saying, “that’s why you’re still alive. I’ve got a message for your master. Tell him Harry Potter is coming for him. Tell him that there is no where he can hide. Tell him that every day he makes me wait will cause me to kill him that much slower.”
Voldemort pulled himself from the mind of his most dedicated follower. That boy… That arrogant boy. He would die… No. Voldemort reflected on the boy’s body. The boy’s perfect body. Young, strong, powerful… male. The boy would have to be captured alive.
“Take her to our healers Lucius.” Voldemort said idly while still making his plans. “She may still be of value to me. If they cannot repair her arms, kill her. Bellatrix is useful to me Lucius. Make sure you… motivate the healers.”
Malfoy bowed low, and moved his sister-in-law from the room. Escaping the Dark Lord’s punishments always made for a better day.
August 31 1996
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Albus Dumbledore waited patiently for Minerva to wrap up her traditional beginning of term staff meeting. As soon as the Transfiguration Mistress finished, she nodded to the Headmaster and he rose from his seat.
“My friends” he said. “I thank you for your continued support and efforts toward educating our students. I am happy to announce that at long last I have located our missing lamb. Harry Potter is coming to Hogwarts this year.”
A murmur passed through the assembled educators.
“Are we supposed to be excited about a sixteen year old first year?” Severus Snape asked
“Mr. Potter has been taking his education at another school Severus. He will be joining his age cohort as a sixth year, though he will need to be sorted.”
“Where was he Albus?” Pomona Sprout asked.
“Korea. Under the tutelage of Headmistress Chun Hei of the Kumsilu school.” Once it became evident that no one on staff knew anything of the Kumsilu school, (indeed possibly little of Korea full stop.) Albus continued. “Their curriculum covers much the same subject matter as our own, though with different emphasis. I have no doubt that Mr. Potter will be well prepared for your classes.”
The meeting over the various staff members rose to complete their preparations for the coming school year.
“Severus? Could you please stay?”
The Potions Master merely lifted an eyebrow before settling back into his seat. As soon as the last of the staff exited the room, Dumbledore raised his wand and sealed the door, and then established a privacy ward.
“What of the war Severus?”
“The Dark Lord is consolidating his position, dealing with the lesser subversive elements before making his move on the Ministry. You have achieved more than he has, he has been looking for Potter since his rebirth and has had no luck, despite torturing several of his minions to death for their failure. Potter coming here will attract his attention in very short order.”
“I expect that you are correct.” Dumbledore said, stroking his beard thoughtfully. “I am worried about your reaction to young Harry Severus. It is no secret that you loathed his father. Are you capable of dealing with the son of James Potter in an adult and professional manner?”
“I will not be allowing the boy any liberties.” Snape said.
“Harry Potter could not be any more unlike his father and still be human Severus. Nor is he anything like Lily. What the boy is is very powerful, very dangerous.”
“I will teach him his place.”
Dumbledore sighed. “That is exactly what I am afraid of Severus. If you make the mistake of attempting to ‘teach him his place’ he is likely to kill you.”
Silence filled the room for a full ten count.
“Excuse me?” The Potions Master asked incredulously. “This arrogant little boy presumes to threaten me and you just allow it?”
“Severus. He never threatened you. He doesn’t even know you exist. The boy is powerful, very well trained and utterly ruthless. I watched him duel an even dozen opponents simultaneously.”
“A display setup to impress you no doubt.”
“I had arrived unannounced Severus. His opponents were very good. Not quite the level of the professional circuit perhaps, but easily a match for all but a select few of Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Do you suppose you could stand against twelve opponents of that caliber?”
“No.” There was a pause while Snape reflected. “How long did he last?”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t clear my friend. He won. He was the last one standing.”
“You will need to rein in your traditional methods, and you will need to rein in your Slytherins. Mr. Malfoy for example. If that young man attempts to intimidate Mr. Potter, the best he can hope for is to be very badly hurt. I trust you my friend. I need you and your special talents, but the biggest mistake you could ever make would be to raise your wand to Harry Potter. It would also likely be your last.”
August 31 1996
London, England, UK
The Asadal Restaurant:
The ‘interviews’ with the Aurors ended up lasting several hours. By the time Harry was finished being interviewed and Tonks had finished her reports it was after six pm. Harry had dragged Tonks out of the magical enclave, to Muggle London, and into a cab asking the Cabbie to take them to the best Korean Restaurant in London.
After twenty minutes in the cab they pulled up in front of an establishment with a sign that identified it as Asadal. Harry paid the cabbie, pocketing his receipt, and then led Tonks into the restaurant. The hostess led the pair to a table and presented them with their menus.
“I don’t know any of these dishes Harry.” Tonks said looking over the colorful menu replete with photos of the various dishes.
“Well, I’m on a special diet, but I have friends that rave on this food. Do you like chicken and vegetables?”
“Would you like me to order for you?”
Tonks hesitated for a moment, and then recalled how she had resisted Italian food for so long and how stupid she felt when she had finally been talked into trying it. She closed the menu. “Yes please.”
The waitress approached. Harry looked up, smiled and said in Korean. “The Lady will have the Dak Bal Gi, and I will have four ounces of plain steamed rice with four ounces of unseasoned boiled duck.”
The waitress blinked in surprise at hearing Korean, but gamely took the order. “And to drink?”
“Beer for the lady.” The Dak bal gi was fairly spicy after all, “And tap water for me. No ice please.”
The waitress nodded and left the table.
“Ooh, very smooth Harry. Ordering in another language. Always a good way to impress the ladies. How many languages do you speak anyway?
“Twelve. Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Gobbledygook, Hebrew, Greek, and Persian.”
“That’s impressive. You actually speak Gobbledygook?”
“Yeah, that ones hard on the throat.”
“I imagine… Harry,” Tonks was still processing how he had saved her life earlier that afternoon. “That last Death Eater, you stripped off his sleeve and did something to his Dark Mark. What was it?”
“Oh, I’d heard about the marks and the various methods used to hide them. I’m sensitive to dark magic, so I got a good impression of his mark. Now I know what they feel like.”
“Yeah. If I’m within thirty feet of one, I’ll know it.”
“Who ordered this?” The cook asked. He had prepared thousands of meals during his time at this restaurant. ‘Four ounces of plain steamed rice with four ounces of unseasoned boiled duck’ had a ring of familiarity. He had just used the standard rice in an order just like this two years before, and had been rewarded by a crazy white man who did something to his ear that caused the most intense pain the cook had ever known.
“White boy at table seven.” The waitress said. “He speaks Korean like a native… He’s speaks with a northern dialect.”
The cook peered out into the restaurant. No, this kid didn’t look anything like that crazy man with the ear pain… except for the wrists. Both of them had very thick wrists. And spoke Korean with a northern accent… Better safe than sorry.
The cook set to making fresh plain steamed rice for his honored customer.
Tonks hesitantly raised the fork with a tiny sliver of the chicken to her mouth, just a taste to start. Her eyes grew wide.
“This is good.”
“Glad you like it.” Harry said lifting a small ball of rice to his own mouth. “Friends at Kumsilu always said how much they liked it.”
“Last night you had steamed rice and fish. What’s this special diet?”
“To Sinanju, food is fuel, nothing more, nothing less.” Harry shrugged. “It’s the only food I can remember, it’s all I’ve ever eaten.”
That struck Tonks as being very odd. Still, she wasn’t one to criticize how someone led their life. Next she tried some of the more unfamiliar vegetables. Marvelous! How had she missed out on this?
“So, this ‘Sinanju’, is it your religion?”
Harry smiled. “Sinanju is more a way of life.”
“Quite the sacrifice, giving up so much in the way of food.”
Harry reached across the table and caressed her wrist, sending shivers up the woman’s back. “There are certain advantages too.”
August 31 1996
London, England, UK
The Savoy Hotel
“Here,” Harry said turning on his side. Tonks pressed her back against his chest and snuggled into him, pulling the blankets up around them. Harry ran his hand along the dips and curves of the young woman’s side, ending with rubbing light circles on her hip. He propped his head on his other hand and looked down at her face, focusing on her profile. “Tonksie?”
“I wanted to thank you” he asked tentatively.
The Auror rolled to face him. “Thank me?”
“For helping me to acclimate. Finding my way into Wizarding Britain would have been a lot harder without your help.”
“You’re not really here to go to school are you?”
Harry hesitated. From speaking with the young woman over the last few days he knew she worked for Dumbledore on occasion. “No. I’m here to kill Voldemort.”
“That’s why you let Bellatrix go. To take a message to Voldemort.”
“Yeah.” Harry resumed the circles on her hip.
“She’s a murderer Harry. She killed dozens of people.”
“And she never will again. She’ll never hold a wand; her arms will never work for her again, though she’ll be in constant pain that no drug or potion will be able to treat. Besides,” He grinned down at her. “Voldemort doesn’t seem to be the type to take bad news without throwing a substantial temper tantrum.”
“You expect Voldemort to kill her?”
“I did a little research on the Death Eaters and their history. Not the biggest ‘people’ organization on the planet. One of the reasons they are as ineffectual as they are is Voldemort’s method of dealing with bad news. When the Rank and File find out that even Voldemort’s more trusted sycophants aren’t safe from his insanity…”
The part of the Auror’s mind that dealt with strategic moves knew he was right. She pulled him down for a kiss. “You saved my life.”
“Damsel rescuing is a hobby.” He flashed that wonderful crooked smile.
“I’m hardly a damsel, even if I was in distress you prat. I’ve never seen anyone move like you do. Or anyone who can do what you do.”
“I aim to please.” Harry said waggling his eyebrows before leaning down to kiss the curve of her bare shoulder.
“Not that! Merlin aren’t you ever serious?”
“I try not to be.” His fingertips brushed the inside of her left thigh.
Tonks shuddered again, when moved to straddle him, leaning down for yet another kiss.
Damn it. Harry thought. Step five. How am I supposed to get good at this?
September 1 1996
London, England, UK
Kings Cross Station
Platform 9 ¾:
They stepped through the barrier onto platform 9 ¾. Harry looked around for a moment.
“I’m supposed to take a train?” Harry looked to Tonks for confirmation. “A steam train?”
“This is the Hogwarts Express.” Tonks said proudly. “What did you expect to find at Kings Cross station?”
“I don’t know, a large public floo situated so that large numbers of people could use it or something. But Tonks, it’s a steam train. Who still uses steam trains anyway? How the hell do they hide a huge freaking train? Why would anyone waste six or seven hours on a train when the student body could be at Hogwarts in seconds using apparition, portkeys or the Floo network?”
“Tradition I guess.” Tonks shrugged. “It’s always been this way.”
“Weird.” Harry looked down the platform at the length of the train. “So, are you coming with?”
“No. My job is finished when I deliver you to the train. You’ve got everything, your wand?”
Harry pulled his very short black wand from… somewhere. “Right here mum.”
“No, your new wand.” Tonks said, surprised that he still had his original wand. For some reason she had thought that Ollivander had exchanged his Ministry approved wand for Harry’s original.
Harry kicked his trunk lightly. “Packed away safe and sound.” He saw the look on her face. “What? Did you expect me to actually use the one with the tracking charm on it? Fat chance. I’m required to have a ministry approved wand, and I do, in my trunk.”
The Auror in her wanted to protest, but she swallowed the urge, and spread her arms. “Alright smart ass, come here.” They came together in a brief hug. “Just go ahead and get aboard, the bulk of the crowd will be hear in about fifteen minutes, and the train leaves in half an hour.”
“Is there assigned seating?” He asked
“No, sit anywhere you want after the second passenger car. The first is for any teachers using the train; the second is the Heads car and is used by the Heads and the Prefects.”
“Thanks again Tonks.” He covertly squeezed her left buttock, earning himself an ‘eep!’ from the Metamorphmagus and climbed aboard the train with a wide smile.
Once he was aboard the train, Harry hefted the trunk onto his shoulder and ghosted down the passageway looking for an open compartment. There weren’t a lot of students on the train yet, he could see through the windows that the platform was beginning to become crowded with families. Harry decided that the place where he was least likely to attract attention would be at the end of the train, so he made his way to the last car. Once there he found all five compartments to be empty, so he picked on at random and entered.
Storing his trunk in the over head baggage area, Harry looked about the small compartment, a pair of leather upholstered bench seats facing each other, a window facing the platform, on the other side a framed glass wall complete with a windowed door facing the passageway. So this was to be his home for the next six hours or so.
Harry ran through a quick set of stretches to ensure that he was ready for an extended period of minimal movement, and then settled down for the trip. Deciding that he might as well practice while he was waiting, he slowed his breathing and ceased all movement. This was one of the minor aspects of Sinanju that the Japanese thieves known as Ninja had stolen. The human eye is drawn to movement. To a casual observer Harry was for all intents and purposes invisible. It might be educational to observe the students for a while.
As the appointed time came, the train got underway with a jolt. Harry was somewhat amused that several students passed by the door to his compartment without attempting to open it. He wondered if he was generating a subconscious notice me not field, or was this just a random event?
The train had cleared the station and was moving through the city at a relatively high rate of speed. Harry was impressed with the charms work on the train because the huge machine was not attracting the slightest bit of attention from the city dwellers as it chugged its way out of town.
More people in the passage, and now they were opening the door.
“This one’s empty, I’ll call you for your turn when I’m done.”
A young woman was shoved into the compartment followed by a tall blond man. The door was closed behind him. Harry could see a pair of large men standing in the passageway on either side of the door. Guards?
“Leave me alone Malfoy!” the girl spat. She was putting on a good face, but her terror was obvious to Harry.
“Bones, Bones, Bones. With your Aunt gone, you don’t have anyone to protect you anymore. The Dark Lord has decided that you will be joining his forces now. Your family belongs to him now. You’ve been promised to me, just like your friend Abbott.”
“I’d die first.”
She was still terrified, but she actually meant that.
“Now Susan, that would be such a waste.” The blond man groped at the girl’s chest. “You won’t die until after you supply me with an heir.”
“You know…” Harry said breaking his silence. “If that’s your idea of a pickup line, your technique could use a bit of work.”
The blond man, spun toward Harry in surprise. “How did you get in here?”
Harry gestured toward the door. “I turned the latch and the door slid right open. It wasn’t very hard, why do you ask?”
Malfoy slowly drew his wand. “How did you get past Goyle and Crabbe?”
The girl’s eyes met Harry’s, silently pleading for help. “Those two large individuals outside the door? By the devious method of being in the compartment before you came in. Sneaky of me I suppose.” Harry smiled at the look on the other man’s face. “So, why do you feel the need to assault a pretty young woman like this? Compensating for a tiny winkie?”
“What?” Malfoy sputtered
“You know a miniature John Thomas, a micro phallus, microscopic wedding tackle? Do the women in your life respond to the question ‘was it good for you’ by asking ‘is it in yet?’ There has to be a reason.”
“Do you know who my father is?” the blond asked imperiously.
“Not a clue mate. Tell you what, you get your mother and I’ll get a photo registry for the men of the Royal Navy, and we’ll see if we can’t isolate the possible candidates to a manageable number.”
“I am Draco Malfoy!” The blond screamed drawing his wand.
“Ah, named for your father then?” Harry said seemingly ignoring the wand pointed at him. “My French is a little rusty, isn’t ‘Malfoy’ French for ‘Wrong Hole?”
Incoherent with rage the blond man thrust his wand at Harry who batted it away with his left hand, then delivered a pair of blows to the other man’s hips using each hand. Malfoy crumpled to the ground in agony.
Harry lifted him up. “That wasn’t very nice Wrong Hole. Today’s punishment for not being very nice is a broken pelvis. Raise a wand to me again and I’ll kill you. Slowly. If I even hear a rumor of you forcing yourself on a woman, any woman, I will rip your testicles off and shove them down your throat.”
“My father…” Draco ground out through clenched teeth. “The Dark Lord will kill your entire family!”
“Too late Wrong Hole. He already did. But by all means do ask your daddy to tell his master that Harry Potter looks forward to killing them both.”
“Potter?” The blonde’s eyes went wide. Harry’s short wand appeared in his right hand and the door slid open, disrupting the silencing spell that Malfoy had placed on the compartment when he had pushed the girl in.
“Hi fellas.” Harry said to Malfoy’s guards as he shoved the whimpering man out of the compartment. “He fa down, go boom! You should probably take care of him.” Harry slid the door shut again and turned to the girl.
“Hello there. I’m Harry Potter.” He offered his hand.
“Susan Bones.” The redhead said taking his hand. “Thank you.”
“Ah,” Harry waved off her thanks. “Abusing idiots is its own reward. Are you ok?”
“Yes, Thank you.” Thanks to you… “You’re really Harry Potter?”
“Yeah. That’s what they told me.” He sat back down in his seat and smiled slightly as Susan sat across from him. “So, what’s the story with that clown anyway?”
“Draco Malfoy. He’s the son of about the richest man in magical Britain. Everyone but the ministry knows that the Malfoys follow He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. The school won’t punish him, so he gets away with whatever he wants to do. You’ll probably end up getting punished for defending me.”
Harry shrugged. “I don’t do punishments. Would you like me to accompany you to find your friends?”
“No.” The redhead said in a very small voice. “I’d like to stay here with you.”
The pair quietly shared the compartment alone for almost twenty minutes before they were interrupted by the door sliding open.
“Sue? Are you alright?” A young blond woman stood in the doorway.
Susan stood and rushed to the other woman, Harry watched as they clung together.
“I’ve been looking everywhere for you; someone said that Malfoy had grabbed you.” The blond held her friend by the shoulders. “Are you alright? Did he hurt you?”
“I’m fine Hannah. Nothing happened.”
“That’s what Sally-Anne said last year.” The Blond named Hannah said. “I know your Auntie is gone, but she had a lot of friends. We can do something about this.”
“Hannah, nothing happened.” Susan gestured toward Harry. “This is Harry Potter. He stopped Malfoy from doing anything.”
“Harry Potter?” She turned and gave Harry an appraising look. “Are you really?”
“More or less.” Harry stood and offered his hand to the girl.
“Hannah Abbott.” She said suddenly shy. “Thank you for helping my friend.”
Harry shrugged. “I did it for me mostly. I don’t like assholes, and Wrong Hole is the biggest I’ve ever met. Being of aid to a beautiful woman was just icing on the cake.”
They were interrupted by more voices from the door. “You found Susan? Thank Merlin.” The speaker was a young man of moderate height. Harry could see that while he had been on the pudgy side, his body was burning through the excess fat on its way though late adolescence. Beside him was a young woman with bushy brunette hair. Both of them were dressed in immaculate school robes with small silver badges embossed with the letter ‘P’.
“Malfoy got himself injured somehow.” The brunette observed. The Slytherins are up in arms about it.”
“Good.” All eyes in the compartment moved to Harry. “He seemed to be the type with a fair herd of sycophants. Stirring up that anthill might improve things.”
“And you are?” The brunette asked.
“Harry Potter. At your service.” He smiled at her.
“Are you really?” she gave Harry a look that suggested that she would prefer him dead. “I’ve read about you.”
“All lies.” Harry said with a smile. “Especially the good things.”
“Yes. The good things usually are.” She turned to her companion. “Neville, we’ve got to finish our patrol.”
‘Neville’ nodded. “We do.” He looked to Hannah and took her hand. “I’ll find you when I’m done. Please don’t worry. We won’t let Malfoy carry through with his threats.”
“Thank you Neville.” The blond said quietly as the door slid shut.
“I find myself wondering just what I’ve gotten myself into coming here.” Harry said looking at the girls. “There seems to be nearly a state of war going on. Those ‘P’ badges, they identify a Prefect, right?”
“Yes.” Susan said.
“And you’re more right than you know about there being a war.”
The two girls sat with Harry and explained what they knew of the situation with Voldemort. By the time Neville the Prefect returned the conversation had changed to what they had seen at Hogwarts over the last half dozen years. How school discipline had fallen away in the face of Draco Malfoy’s untouchability that had somehow extended itself to cover all of Slytherin house.
All of this going on, with students who were frightened for their very lives and the Headmaster has spent his time and political capital tracking Harry down? Harry found himself wondering just what he had gotten himself into. This wasn’t going to be a simple clean killing, was it?
The train pulled into the station and the students around Harry climbed to their feet.
“Just leave your trunk, the elves will take it where ever you get sorted.” Susan said looking toward him shyly.
“You should be in your School Robes.” The brunette (Hermione?) said in a bossy manner as Harry exited the compartment.
“I don’t like robes. I’ve read over the school rules, Robes are required for class. There is no mention of having to wear them at meals.
“You’re going to cost your house points.” She sniffed.
“I’m not in a house, and to tell you the truth, I’m not sure I would care if I was.”
Hermione felt her mouth go dry seeing the muscles in his chest ripple clearly through the black tee shirt this man claiming to be Harry Potter wore. What had she been saying?
“I’m not sure how you’re supposed to go to the castle. Second year and up ride in carriages, but you’ve never been sorted, so maybe you should ride the boats with the first years.”
“Don’t worry about it Herms.” He stepped down from the train car, and reached up to help the girl down. “Tonks said that I’d be met.”
“Don’t call me Herms!” she thundered.
“Ah, it the Mudblood angry?” A tall redhead said in a mocking voice.
“Piss off Weasley.” The young woman said with utter loathing in her voice.
“Who’s your friend Mudblood?” the man named Weasley asked.
Harry turned to the girl. “Mudblood?”
“An insulting term for Muggleborn.” She sent a glare in the Redhead’s direction.
“Really? Excuse me. Hey, Red, could we have a word?”
The tall man regarded Harry guardedly. “What do you want?”
Harry wrapped his right hand around the redhead’s throat and pushed him back against the train car. “Red, my mother was Muggle born, and I find the term ‘Mudblood’ to be more than a little bit insulting to her memory. I’d really like for you to stop using that word, and stop offending people like my Mother and Hermione, or I might become upset with you.” Harry smiled. “Do we understand each other?”
“What’s going on here?” asked a woman’s voice with a light Scottish lilt.
“Professor McGonagall, this is Harry Potter.” The girl named Hermione said.
“Mr. Potter, I was sent to take you to the castle for your sorting. Release Mr. Weasley at once.”
“Sorry Professor,” Harry said without breaking eye contact with the Weasley boy. “Red and I are having a discussion about changes to his vocabulary that will keep him from becoming injured. I’ll be with you as soon as we’re finished. Do we have an understanding Red?”
“Yes.” Weasley gasped.
Harry dropped him. “Good, all done. I’m all yours Professor.”
“Mr. Weasley get yourself on to the carriages.” McGonagall said, never taking her eyes off of Harry. Miss Granger, please stay.” She waited for the redhead to leave and the siding to be clear of students. “Mr. Potter I am unaccustomed to having my instructions ignored.”
“Really?” Harry fixed the woman with his own glare. “Perhaps if you spent more time doing your job you wouldn’t have had time to becoming accustomed to things.”
“Excuse me? How dare you?”
“I have been associated with this so called ‘school’ for less than twelve hours. I’ve seen an attempted assault, heard tales of an untouchable student and house both allowed to run rampant over the rest of the student body, of a teacher so blatantly unfair as to call into question the professionalism of the rest of the staff for allowing it to go on, and I have witness one of your students of your house call one of your prefects, one of your personal representatives a ‘mudblood’ and he has done so for the last six years if your other sixth year prefect is to be believed. Yes Professor, I dare to question if you have been doing your job.”
“I am capable of defending myself.” Hermione the Prefect hissed.
“Then do it. If you tolerate abuse of any kind, you open yourself up for more.”
“Be that as it may Mr. Potter, you are supposed to be in your robes.”
“Miss Granger said much the same thing, and was also wrong Professor. The school handbook given to me by the Headmaster himself specifically states that Robes are required to be worn in class. It makes no mention of robes being required for any other occasion. I dislike robes; as such I will not be wearing them other than those times required by the school rules.”
“You cannot go to the Sorting Ceremony dressed like a Muggle.”
“Really?” From the back pocket of his black jeans Harry pulled out a dog eared copy of the Hogwarts Student Handbook and offered it to the older witch. “Show me where the handbook says that.”
McGonagall’s carriage arrived in front of the main entrance to the castle. Harry dismounted first, and reached up to offer the women assistance in stepping down. McGonagall accepted graciously, Hermione ignored his hand and made her own way.
Entering the castle, McGonagall shed her evening cloak and handed it to a waiting House Elf. A dark figure stepped from the shadows of the Entry Hall brandishing a wand.
Suddenly Harry was between the two women and the figure. Hermione hadn’t even seen him move, yet suddenly he was in front of her. “Death Eater” He hissed, a wand suddenly in his hand.
“Stupefy!” the dark figure called in a voice that Hermione recognized as belonging to Severus Snape.
Harry batted the stunning spell away and closed the distance between himself and Snape, driving the index finger of his left hand into Snape’s right shoulder, shattering both the clavicle and scapula. Snape’s wand clattered to the stone floor. Harry swept the man’s feet from underneath him before staring down at the man.
“How did you get into the castle Death Eater? Is your master ready to die?”
“Not now Professor, I’m working.”
“Mr. Potter.” The Headmaster’s voice came from the far end of the hall. “That is Professor Snape.”
“You employ Death Eaters Headmaster? Are you sure he keeps his extra curricular activities separate from his job?”
“Mr. Potter.” McGonagall said shrilly. “You will show the Headmaster the respect he is due.”
Harry still didn’t move his attention from the fallen Snape. “I am showing the Headmaster all the respect I would show any client who didn’t tell me that he was employing some one who would attack me from the darkness Professor.”
“Albus!” Snape hissed from the floor. “This animal must be expelled. He attacked Draco Malfoy on the Express without provocation, and then attacked me the same way.”
Harry knelt beside the fallen Potions Master and took hold of the man’s left earlobe between a thumb and forefinger. Snape screamed like he was on fire. “Let’s try that again Death Eater. Who attacked who?”
“Mr. Potter I know he cast the first spell. Release him.” Harry stood away from the fallen man, who slowly attempted to collect himself. Dumbledore straightened his robes. “Professor McGonagall, the first years are waiting for you.”
Minerva worked her jaw for a moment, then seeing that Severus was struggling to his feet nodded. “We will be speaking of this following the Sorting Feast Albus.”
“I’m afraid we will.” Dumbledore sighed. “Miss Granger, would you accompany Professor Snape to the Madam Pomphrey?”
“I don’t need help from a Mudbloo…”
Harry hand whipped out and captured the man’s ear lobe again. “You know Death Eater, I really hate that word. Really really hate it. It makes me think about the kind of coward who might have attacked my mother when she attended this madhouse. You seem about the right age… did you ever call my mother a ‘mudblood’ Death Eater?”
“Mr. Potter, please?” He watched as Harry once again stepped away from Severus. You just couldn’t do what I asked of you could you Severus? Get yourself to Poppy if you please.”
“Miss Granger.” The old wizard continued. “Would you please escort Mr. Potter to the Anteroom off the Great Hall and wait for the first years to finish sorting?”
“The one used during the Tournament sir?”
“Yes Miss Granger. Mr. Potter we need to speak following the Sorting Feast. Come to my office immediately following the feast.”
Seeing that Harry’s angry stare was all the answer he was going to get, Dumbledore turned and entered the Great Hall.
“Well, come on then.” The girl said.
Harry followed her on a roundabout winding path that brought them to a small tastefully appointed room. Throughout the trek the various portraits all seemed to be exceptionally interested in here Harry was going and who he was with.
The girl suddenly turned to face him. “I don’t like you. You do what suits you instead of what you know you’re supposed to do. You using the rules as a weapon is offensive. You know that the spirit of the rules wants you to be in your robes, but you’re too good for that. You’re special. You’re Harry Potter. You disgust me.”
Harry’s tee shirt and jeans flowed into a complete set of Hogwarts robes. Her cinnamon eyes grew wider. “Well little girl, as long as we’re laying our cards on the table, it’s my turn. I don’t give a single solitary fuck if you like me or not. Your ‘spirit of the rules’ has resulted in the most complete bedlam I’ve ever seen in a school setting. You let yourself be called ‘Mudblood’ for six years. I stopped that red headed moron from doing it and I stopped the Death Eater from doing it, not for you, but for my mother and all the other first generation magic users who have ever been abused by the type of mouth breathing moron you coddle with your rules. I saw a girl being assaulted. Where were you? Where were the rest of the Prefects? In a meeting instead of doing their jobs? I go where I will, I do what I will, and I answer to no one but myself, my brother and my father.”
“Your parents only had you, and they were killed.” She said quietly.
“My adopted family, the only family I can remember is still alive. Do I use the rules as a weapon? Yes I do. Stupid rules need to be abused until they are changed.”
The silence built between them. Hermione Granger’s mind raced. There were so many things she could say to refute his position… but… Was he right? Had she contributed to the situation here at the school?
“I’m sorry. I spoke out of turn.”
“Ehh.” Harry said waving a hand at her. “Don’t sweat the petty stuff, and don’t pet the sweaty stuff.” His robes flowed back into a tee shirt and pair of jeans. “Do you suppose they’ll have cod for dinner? I like cod.”
A small man came to the door leading to the Great Hall.
“Miss Granger, you can go to Gryffindor Table now.”
As the girl exited the room the man turned to Harry. “I am Filius Flitwick, Professor of Charms. I knew your parents when they attended Hogwarts. I would like to say that it is good to see their son here as well.”
Harry looked at the man closely, and then bowed in the Goblin way. “I am Harry, Adopted Son of Chiun of the clan of Sinanju.” He said in Gobbledygook. “This one offers the good will of his clan to you.”
Flitwick grinned widely and responded in kind. “I am Filius great grandson of Arkis of the clan of Gleethorp, I thank you and your clan for its good will and offer that of my clan and myself.” Switching to English the Charms Master continued. “I rarely get the opportunity to speak the Brethren’s tongue Harry, thank you. They are ready for us.”
Harry followed Flitwick into the Great Hall. A table full of adults, presumably the staff table was at one end of the hall, four long tables full of children ran perpendicular to the staff table. Between the staff table and the four longer tables was a small three legged stool, upon which sat an old fashioned patched hat.
Dumbledore was addressing the assembled students.
“… and he has been found. Staff and Students of Hogwarts, the Boy Who Lived is now a student at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft, it only remains that he be sorted to reveal what House he will call home for the next two years. Ladies and Gentlemen, Staff and Students, Harry Potter.”
Harry stepped out of the shadows approaching the stool as Dumbledore indicated. There Minerva McGonagall waited for him. Audible gasps came from the assembled students when they saw what he was wearing. More than a few student craned their necks for a better view.
“Just sit on the stool and place the hat on your head.”
“Sit on that stool? My knees would be on either side of my ears. I’ll stand thank you.” Harry reached down and picked up the hat, placing it on his head and waited.
“Oh my. A voice whispered in his ear. “I’ve never seen anyone like you before Mr. Potter.
“Is that a bad thing?” Harry asked.
“Not at all. After a thousand years of sorting eleven year olds, any novelty is appreciated. Oh my, you are brave aren’t you… No Gryffindor wouldn’t do. Their stupid bravery would annoy you to no end. And by the founders you are cunning… But Slytherin wouldn’t do. Too many of the current crop mistake treachery for cunning and you would end up killing the lot of them. Hmm. You are certainly smart enough for Ravenclaw, but you don’t really care all that much, and their obsessing would likely drive you to violence. You know how to work, and you are loyal to a fault… yes.”
The Hat quit whispering in Harry’s ear and shouted to the room. “It had better be… Hufflepuff!”
A few thoughts:
Before anyone decides to start screaming ‘Harry Stu’ I would suggest that they review the source material for this cross. The Destroyer series is a tale of human beings pushed to be the ultimate expression of human physical ability through diet, practice and a total dedication to knowing one’s body. If anything I am underpowering Harry here. The Destroyer stories tell the tales of a pair of supermen who stride the earth righting what goes wrong and making an honest buck for killing people who really need to be dead.