During the train ride before third year Harry has a close encounter with a dementor that causes him to absorb the soul fragment within him, granting both knowledge and power. Features Harry with a ...
I I I
"It is good to see you feeling better, Albus," McGonagall greeted her lifelong acquaintance. Then asked in sober seriousness, "Is there any news on your attacker?"
"I have learned this muggle Dark Lord is based out of Kentucky, where he is apparently well known, and have lodged a formal protest with the United States for not keeping him properly contained." Albus returned with equal seriousness. "Their ambassador, however, had the effrontery to laugh at my brief. I spoke with him quite severely that Dark Lords operating this openly are a threat to all, but in return he assured me that Colonel Harland Sanders was a threat to no one."
"A threat to no one? After your attack?" McGonagall's eyebrows lifted.
"Yes," Dumbledore agreed, nodding seriously. "It makes me fear how greatly this Colonel's influence has corrupted their Ministry, as in practically the same breath he also vowed that Colonel Sander's influence would be felt so long as chickens roamed the Earth - which, I must admit, is a form of Dark Immortality I was previously unaware of. Just to be cautious, Ihave ordered Hagrid to dispose of his flock. Perhaps the Dark Colonel's influence will not be able to reach us here, so long as there are no chickens upon the grounds."
"A wise precaution, Albus," McGonagall agreed, before allowing, "Although we may miss the eggs."
"I shall have them shipped to us every morning in time for breakfast,"her superior of long years allowed, comfortingly. "I feel sure that, so long as they remain unhatched, they should expose us to no danger. After all, it is the chicken, and not the egg, that we must fear."
"Very comforting, I'm sure." Minerva chose not to speak of doubts of what if her mentor was wrong. "Has Severus made any progress on identifying the poison?"
Dumbledore shook his head. "No. He has come to me, revealing eleven herbs and spices, but cannot, even with all his experience, explain the secret of why they had such a profound effect upon me, even in combination. He is working on that mystery, even as we speak."
And, indeed, many of the Slytherin students walking past Snape's office on their way to the Great Hall felt strange emotions as they inhaled prevailing fumes emitting from under the crack of his door and, upon reaching their destination, attacked their breakfasts with unusual hunger.
I I I
Harry successfully fought down a smirk on seeing the red/purple lines on the Headmaster's arm as he sat at breakfast.
While Dumbledore had survived the experience of the chicken bone stabbing, rather inevitable given where he'd been when it happened, there remained several dark purple marks around the wound, representing buried slivers of chicken bone that had wormed their way out from the immediate injury, steadily working their way into the rest of his body.
Dark curses on those slivers made them resistant to most magic in avery dastardly way - they would simply explode if spells were cast on them, or if magic got too close, like potions being drunk and assimilated by the body or the arm with those slivers in it being used to cast a spell. And the explosion ought to be quite sufficient to blow off the Headmaster's arm.
He could check in with a muggle surgeon to get those removed straight away, but somehow Harry knew that Dumbledore wouldn't do that, if on the remote chance it did get suggested to him.
Wizards regarded muggle medicine with some amount of horror, just like most muggles regarded the leech and snake-oil wielding quacks of centuries gone by. They were not only certain that it couldn't possibly offer benefit to them, but they found it more than a bit disturbing, relying as it did on a concept they found revolting: Being cut apart and sewn back together like a garment.
It also made no sense to them, like if you'd gone in to see a doctor about an earache and the solution he proposed was to cut off your leg.
No, wizards saw muggle doctors as the most dangerously deranged sort of quacks imaginable. And, to be fair, muggle surgeons did a fair amount of cutting off of body parts to treat things wizards could cure with asimple potion (cancer surgery was one example). But there was an extra, added element of risk to it, as accidental magic was extremely possible, even for mature wizards, when their bodies were undergoing great stresses- like from being cut open and someone reaching in to manipulate their insides.
It didn't take much of a spark of magic to ignite dangerous gasses used to anesthetize surgical patients. So surgery for wizards almost guaranteed an explosion. So there was a fair amount of honest and respectable truth to the basis of their fear of muggle medicine.
So, unless the Headmaster wanted to lose an arm, he ought to be avoiding much magic use for a while.
That ought to be a significant benefit to anyone wanting to avoid him. It did not, could not, shut him down entirely, as he still possessed great influence, but it did offer a nice amount of help to people like Harry.
I I I
The other ideal thing about having his own house elf, Harry felt, was the opportunities for smuggling that it opened up.
He knew with absolute certainty that the Headmaster was watching his mail. There was no doubt of that. Harry had checked out the mail wards over him himself, and everything they didn't block entirely got routed to Dumbledore for screening. It was not possible for him to receive any mail that the Dark Ravenclaw hadn't seen and approved of first.
Part of that was information, mostly it was a control. Stop the boy from getting in contact with anyone the Headmaster hadn't personally selected, and all of that. Keep him isolated and alone and he'll stay reliant on you.
There were also wards in plenty around the Hogwarts property, and only a few of those had to do with protecting the place. Most of the castle's actual defenses were presently inactive (which was the only way to explain all of the villains that got in the place over and over and over again!). No, mostly the wards had been converted over into a vast information net, and one of the things they monitored most carefully was who came in and went out.
However, Hogwarts did not grow its own food. Those greenhouses were for other purposes, teaching classes and creating potions ingredients, and so on. So, by having Dobby leave as part of the grocery pickup crew every morning, and pick up some actual groceries before coming back, Harry could send or deliver packages through his personal house elf, and it came under one of the few blind spots in the information network.
Albus did track house elves, but there was such a large body of information there that he couldn't possibly recover data from that unless he was looking hard at just the right place, and so far Dobby was just another elf leaving in the morning as part of the grocery pickup crew. Totally unremarkable. It had been one of Dobby's assignments before Harry had bonded him.
So, through Dobby, Harry was now able to get packages in and out.
"Thank you, Dobby." Harry accepted the latest package. "Is there anything I can do to reward you for this?" he asked curiously.
"Dobby is so grateful to serve Harry Potter, sir!" The elf's eyes shone."And now Harry Potter sir wants to reward him? Harry Potter sir is the kindest wizard ever!"
The elf suddenly tensed and vanished, just as Hermione came into the little alcove that Harry had been receiving his clandestine merchandise in. She came in, nervously looking over her shoulder. "Harry! It's only our second day and that's the third time we've seen Filch since breakfast!It's like he's hovering around, watching us!"
"Pay it no mind, Hermione. He's probably hoping to catch us going to a broom closet, so he can give us detentions." Harry answered with a grin.
Hermione blushed, noticing they were in an out-of-the-way place already, one that couples might use for snogging.
Then she noticed the box in his arms. "What are you doing with that?"
Harry stood up, straightening even as he levitated the box to check out what was inside. "Oh, just plotting to improve the education at Hogwarts, that's all."
"Improve it in what way?" the girl inquired suspiciously.
Harry gave her a delightfully unconcerned shrug. "Well, you know how bad Muggle Studies is. Honestly! Who hires a pureblood to teach a course on muggles? Do you think she's ever even met one?"
Hermione sucked in her bottom lip. "To be fair, we've only had one class with her."
"One was quite enough," Harry answered, looking down at a list he'd drawn from the box and beaming. "So I ordered some supplementary materials so we could make a club. That might help our classmates more than the class."
"What is it you've got?" Hermione stepped closer to peer in the box.
Harry withdrew a large metal disk. "Film reels. The picture plays so long as the reel is spinning and a light is shining through it. There are plenty of magic lights we can use, and if not there are muggle ones that do not use 'lekticky'. And I was just looking up a book on Charms that could help us play the music and dialog soundtrack as well. Magically, of course."
Hermione frowned at his mispronunciation of "Electricity", but as it was the same one their Muggle Studies Professor had used, she could not complain out loud. But she swiftly got over that in her budding excitement."Really? That's marvelous! What have you got?"
Harry gave a deprecating shrug. "Well, I didn't have a great deal of control over what I got. Most people get their movies on tape or disk, actual reels of 35mm film are only used by theaters, and not many of them anymore. So I just had an agent go looking, and buy what was available."
That dimmed her excitement somewhat. "So what did you get?" she repeated.
Harry shot her a delighted grin. "Mostly old TV shows my agent picked up at the estate sale of a collector."
"What show?" she asked.
"Star Trek, the original series," he answered.
Hermione grinned. "That's one of my father's favorite series. I grew up on it, and wouldn't mind seeing all the episodes again. Besides, it ought to at least grant the students here an idea of what the muggles use for entertainment. That's something, isn't it?"
"Oh, absolutely!" he agreed emphatically, still flipping through the box. "But there are some other things in here that ought to be useful. Actually, this one would make for a perfect prank."
He withdrew one reel and looked at it.
"Oh? Let me see." Hermione pushed forward to examine it.
"Only if you agree to listen to my plan." Harry hid the film can behind him.
I I I
The class of first-year Ravenclaws pushed into the room, waiting for their History Professor to show up for their very first class. Most of them knew not to expect much from the old ghost, and a few were even bold enough to start setting out other projects to work on while the old ghost droned on. And the few who did not know from having overheard before learned that in whispers now, while a few were clustering in the best napping seats.
"Hey, why are there shells on the walls?" one of them asked, only to be answered by a pureblood.
"Shells can be easily enchanted to record and play back sounds. My guess is they've got a speech from an old Minister of Magic they want us to listen to."
Some of the students perked up in more interest. The older years had made this class sound more boring than that. That could actually be useful.
Moaning Myrtle then chose that moment to float in through the chalkboard, having been enlisted by Harry for this prank. The real Professor Binns was trapped inside of a ghost ward placed on the armchair he'd died in, so would be missing this class.
So she was there impersonating him.
The class, some of whom knew their teacher was a ghost (and none in this particular batch knew wasn't a girl - Professor was a gender-neutral title) sat down at their desks, awaiting what this 'Professor Binns' would say.
"Good morning, class," Myrtle gave all a nod of acknowledgement. "First I will take roll, then we will get right to one of the most pivotal events in magical history. I expect three feet of parchment from each of you on how you feel the events you are to witness shaped the world we live in. Any questions?" she asked, prompting some shaking of heads, so she looked at an attendance record laid out by elves that Binns always ignored. "Sara Ashley?"
Myrtle actually did a far better impersonation of a professor than Binns did, so it was only a moment before attendance was called. Two Ravenclaws were absent, having felt from rumors they'd overheard their time would have been better spent in the library researching. Myrtle informed their classmates, "I will not take points this time. Inform them they can make up the class with the Gryffindors or Slytherins. And see that it does not happen again."
She got respectful and obedient "Yes, ma'am's."
Then the lights dimmed, and a vague sort of nebulous singing came out from the conch shells attached to the walls. In the newly blackened atmosphere, the ghost at the head of the room shone out like a light bulb.
"Now pay close attention," Myrtle informed them. "I shall be watching you for any misbehavior from the back of the room."
Then she dimmed herself and took up position. But very quickly Myrtle got caught up herself, and soon wasn't paying attention to anything but the film.
A voice spoke out in a strange language, that was fortunately translated by another voice in English and in text at the bottom of the blank wall being used as a screen. Filled with dramatic pauses, it said, "The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost, for none now live who remember it."
A title then swam into view, proclaiming this to be the story of "The Lord of The Rings."
And the class sat in rapt attention as the story got told of the forging of the Great Rings of Power, unfolding into the tale of the Dark Lord Sauron, who forged in secret a master ring to control all others.
No one moved, people barely breathed as the students watched armies clash and heroes fall in full stereophonic sound, and thus began the unfolding story as it developed into one of the greatest tales of all time.
Unfortunately for them, they thought they were sitting in a history class.
I I I
"I can't believe you got me to go along with that." Hermione blushed, still wondering over that turn of conversation. But he'd made each step sound so reasonable and follow so closely on the heels of the others!
She was standing beside him as he was sliding large, leatherbound copies of 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of The Rings' onto a history shelf of the Hogwarts library, the books already marked as if part of the school's collection.
"It was 'For The Greater Good'," Harry joked, barely holding onto astraight face as he did so.
"You don't honestly expect someone to fall for that cheesy line, do you?" Hermione gave him a beady eye, unbelieving.
Harry couldn't help it, and broke down laughing.
I I I
"Professor McGonagall, may I speak with you for a few minutes?" Luna asked.
"You may Ms. Lovegood," Minerva replied.
"Then can I? I don't have a mummy any longer and I needed some womanly advice."
"Have a seat," Minerva sighed. Why in the nine hells did Lovegood have to come to her for help? "What do you need?"
"Well," Luna began. "I was hoping that you could give me an idea of how I could get Harry to notice me."
"Is that all," Minerva giggled. It was nice to see the Lovegood girl wasn't so odd after all.
"Uh huh," Luna agreed. "I just want him to corner me in an empty classroom, grab me roughly, and tell me that I'm his woman."
"Urk." Or not.
"Then he'll break me to his will," Luna continued. "At first I'll try to resist but he'll be too strong for me and so it will go until finally, out of breath I'll accept him as my one true master."
"I see, um I..."
"And then after he's sure of my loyalty," Luna giggled. "Harry will send me out to gather more girls to sate his dark lusts, one by one I'll lure my friends to meet their fate." Luna's knees rubbed together. "They'll be defiant at first, but Harry will order me to break them."
"That's very interesting but..."
"In the end, Harry will take them over and over but he'll never be satisfied. He'll keep sending me out until all the attractive girls are his. Ohhh it will be so romantic."
"I... if you'll excuse me Ms. Lovegood, I have some things I need to discuss with my coworkers."
"Ok," Luna chirped. She was ever so happy that Professor McGonagall was going to go get a second opinion to help her win Harry's heart, such a dedicated educator.
After all, until her Uncle Lucy was dead, certain appearances had to be maintained! And, to be quite frank, in order to compensate for Harry's blunder, she had to appear even more odd than usual.
Besides, it never hurt to set the groundwork for things to come. And she couldn't just marry him out of the blue, now could she?
I I I
Not much to say really. Except I find myself a touch confused.
My reviews seem to have missed the difference between minions and friends. They seem to think having toadies to do your bidding makes you a Hufflepuff.
People you are willing to sacrifice for trivial reasons do not count as friends.