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
Anyone asking questions regarding the KFC or combo harvester didn't read my last chapter. Here, I'll quote for you: "The affect of fairies on technology does not have to be obvious, instant or immediate (though it can be all of those things) and it certainly is not universal."
I I I
Hogwarts castle was truly ancient. Similar muggle structures were all fairly young, by comparison. Most of the truly ancient ones had been destroyed by lightning blasting them apart and burning them down through the ages. It was a real problem back before Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod in the 18th Century. Countless old castles were simply ruins, scattered stones tossed about like bombs because of powerful lightning strikes during storms.
But lightning never struck Hogwarts. The wizards didn't know why, they'd just never had that problem. And, after all, the attitude of "any problem I can safely ignore is not a problem" had been prevalent for a long time- and not just among wizards.
While they reentered this ancient edifice, two barely recognizable furry blurs raced passed the children at maximum velocity.
The kids could not help themselves and glanced back the way they'd come, wondering if a film projector was chasing them.
"I could almost convince myself one of those two cats was McGonagall,"Hermione spoke with an odd lilt to her voice, unable to shake the strangeness of the moment.
"C'mon," Harry grabbed her arm and kindly towed her along. "We'll be late for Divination class."
This further strangeness did not help Hermione in the slightest. "I find it so odd that we're still having that class, in spite of the teacher going missing."
Harry shrugged. Hermione/Trelawney had managed to impress quite a large number of the students. Strangely, most students who'd had her class this year were already missing her.
However, Hermione for one was unsurprised that most of those students had taken great care to get their Divination homework done on time and properly, taking it for granted the teacher would know in spite of her absence, and somehow sure their grades would be marked appropriately.
What neither child knew was that Fred and George had seen Trelawney nip off into the forest and not come back. So those two were playing pranks on the school by skipping up to her tower every morning to write assignments on the board - with the ultimate challenge that whoever found their teacher got a free 'O' for the year.
Dumbledore knew those two Weasleys were doing this, but frankly couldn't spare the time from his other emergencies to deal with the matter himself; so he was quite happy to let their pranks continue for a time, as it concealed an issue he'd otherwise have to take time out to correct personally.
He just didn't have the time to find or hire a new Divination teacher at this moment. And worse yet, finding one who could fill both Trelawney's shoes as a true oracle yet incompetent teacher would be all but impossible.
At the moment, he didn't even have the time to try. So, Fred and George were getting away with a massive prank on the entire school.
Frankly, Hermione fought a near-constant temptation to just turn back into Trelawney's old form again and take up teaching that class once more, she'd enjoyed it so much. And it seemed only fair, the new Sybil Trelawney was still using Hermione's old face and form. Only the sure knowledge the Headmaster would confront her over her return, and ask questions she didn't want to answer, or possibly do worse things, stopped her from trying.
She'd really liked teaching that class.
I I I
"Hermione, what are you doing?"
The girl started guiltily, then looked up sheepishly. "Grading everyone's Divination homework?"
"Uh huh," Harry looked over the sheaves of paper surrounding her, from all Houses and all years. "And why is it that on each assignment you have put comments on their NEXT piece of homework? The ones we haven't written yet? Actually, there's stuff here on our behavior in classes - and I KNOW you weren't in some of those to see what you're commenting about."
Hermione drooped visibly, dropping the assignment she'd been making notes on. "Because it won't leave me alone. Their work keeps swimming in my head, and unless I tell them about it the things I need to tell them won't stop being there, trying to get out. Like this fifth year Ravenclaw- this assignment is alright, but unless he does the next one quickly he'll get a bad cold and won't be able to get it in on time. Or, over here, the seventh year Hufflepuff girls, they're ALL wrong about palmistry! I know we don't cover those lines until next week, but unless I tell them now one of them is going to get in a dating relationship with a boy who's all wrong for her! And I know we weren't there, but I've still got to scold the fourth-year Slytherins for their abominable behavior their last Divination class session. They really had no call to say those things - and I KNOW I shouldn't know what they said, to whom, or why!"
The bushy haired girl looked up at Harry in distress. "It's all there, in my head! I can't tell you how it got there, but now it won't leave me alone! And I've got to do things like scold poor Neville for spilling ink over his next paper - the one he hasn't written yet! Although, I feel less guilty about telling Nott that he and his cronies are all going to die during the next war, so he ought to be less enthusiastic about it coming, because he loses."
Harry blinked several times.
"Oh. Carry on, then."
I I I
"Well, truly, it's obvious Hermione is a Homework Seer," Luna commented as they all got together on the castle lawn to grade History of Magic homework.
Myrtle, who was hovering around, giggled before darting back to the castle.
"Second Sight manifests is unpredictable ways," Luna went on lecturing just as though she hadn't been mocked or interrupted. "We all have it. She is just the first to learn how to use it in any fashion."
The other two stared at her.
"Oh, don't go looking at me like that." Luna would not be ruffled. "It's easy to know too much about the future. Hermione actually has one of the most useful forms of it: helping people to learn. Really, I can't think of a more useful one."
Desperately unwilling to face that subject as yet, Hermione hefted her books more closely to her chest (and yes, she had an enchanted bookbag given to her by Harry, but honestly, it was... okay, she simply felt safer with a good, thick tome between her and the rest of the world. It's a defense mechanism, but one that worked well for her) before laying them out and, checking to see if they were alone, turned to her best friend, who was currently fingering a hole where he was missing a tooth. "Harry, why are you so concerned with the way your muggle form works? I mean, you are exercising to get it in shape when your real body is already quite fit. Now this whole tooth decay thing. You really have perfect teeth. It's your human disguise that doesn't!"
The boy pulled his finger out of his mouth, ceasing its explorations, and gave her his best answer. "It's not like that. It's... hard to describe, Hermione. But think of it like an old and favorite suit of clothes. Just because you have great workout gear or a really neat swimsuit or excellent casual dress doesn't mean you don't have to put on the old business suit from time to time; and you care that it has grown worn in the knees or it's getting scuffs on the jacket. You want it to look nice, because sometimes you still have to wear it."
Hermione's eyes glittered, and she kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks, Harry. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to explain it to a girl. Yes, of course you'd want it to look nice."
"How did you come to be missing teeth?" Luna was honestly puzzled.
Harry shrugged. "Blame the Dursleys. Not only did I get a few knocked out of me by my 'kind relatives' in various beatings, but they also took pride in having never spent a penny on me. So naturally I've never seen a dentist."
"Well, you've SEEN one." Hermione giggled. "Technically you've seen two - when my parents left me at King's Cross. But I'll admit that's different than visiting one in a professional capacity."
Luna turned to direct a puzzled look on her. "Why are you taking this so casually?"
The bushy haired girl bounced a carefree shrug. "I guess because it doesn't matter. I mean, we all know he really has perfect teeth under that disguise. Besides, I'm sure there must be some magical way of restoring them. Right, Harry?"
"No, there isn't," Luna interjected sharply. "I'm amazed you didn't know that, actually. Haven't you seen the toothless hags loitering around the Leaky Cauldron or Knockturn Alley? For that matter, Tom the barkeep doesn't have a full set himself. Don't you think they'd fix that if they could?"
That was enough to bring Hermione to a full stop. "What?!? But..! I KNOW wizards regrow bones with ease! And they're almost the same thing."
"And boys are almost the same as girls," Luna provided calmly. "But'almost' provides room for a world of difference in the fine details. You could also say with some accuracy that boys and girls are nothing alike- and the same would be just as true of teeth and bones."
"Well, they're made out of the same thing..." Hermione began.
"...with only minor differences," Luna finished for her, then blinked innocent wide eyes at her. "Were you talking of boys and girls or teeth and bones?"
That was enough to bring Hermione to a jarring stop.
Harry gave an unusually sober shrug. "Recall that I've only just begun to study medicine, and didn't inherit any from before, but generally speaking wizardkind can only supercharge the body's own ability to repair itself. Skin, blood and bone can all be replaced by a body naturally. The potions and spells we use just speed that up. It can't do something like replace a lost limb, because a body has no ability to do that naturally. Likewise, if the healing ability of one's body is lost due to age or illness, they are helpless. Magical understanding of infectious, genetic or mental diseases is late Medieval at best. And since human teeth do not regenerate... once lost they are gone."
"And a wise person takes care not to lose anything they cannot replace,"Luna scolded primly, an effect somewhat marred by the fact her eyes were crossed, looking over one of their shoulders.
Somehow both other youths caught the message. 'A secret once lost cannot be reclaimed' and decided to put off talking of fairies or secrets for now.
Still, Hermione had a bur in her mind from the most recent topic of conversation and it worried her, so she in turn gnawed it back. "We do, you know," she declared some moments later.
"What?" both of her friends looked up at her.
"We do, replace our teeth, I mean," the bookworm shoved an errant lock of hair out of her face, gaze still down as she pondered in heavy thought."As children we get a set of baby teeth. Then, as we grow, those are no longer the right size for our much larger bodies, and they fall out and are replaced by a set of permanent teeth."
"Yes," Harry acquiesced. "But they call them permanent for a reason. We don't get another."
"Actually we do," Hermione corrected. "Wisdom teeth at age eighteen or thereabouts. Another complete set of four molars at the back of the jaw, so called because you're supposed to have acquired a spot of wisdom by the time they grow in."
"Still, four teeth is not a mouthful," Harry rubbed where he was missing some.
By now Hermione was sparkling as she looked up at them. "But it could be, don't you see? Harry, you just told me yourself how magic healing focuses on supercharging what the body can already do. We can regrow bits of bone, yes, but replace entirely missing ones? Not hardly. Not naturally. That's one area where magic helps a body go farther and do more than it could on its own. And, frankly, the fields have got to be related. Boys and girls are different, yes, but not so different that what kills one won't hurt the other. Besides, since a body ALREADY replaces it's entire mouthful of teeth once, why not magically trigger that over again? Then use magic to speed it up?"
Both her companions could see the light shining in her eyes as she declared this. They looked at each other.
"There are already examples of critters that replace teeth regularly. Sharks are one such, although there are others. Those could prove to be a source of ingredients. It's worth experimenting on," Luna conceded.
"For that matter, she's right," Harry allowed, "humans replace their teeth once during their lives, going from baby teeth to our adult sets. So, if we can just trigger that reaction over again..."
"You'd get a brand new set of cavity-less choppers!" Hermione overrode him excitedly to finish for him. "Which is not a bad thing," she mumbled,"as the mercury used in standard fillings has been proven to cause all sorts of health problems."
Harry pondered, scratching his chin. "If this could be made anywhere near as good as skele-grow you could replace your whole set overnight."
"Probably also modified to enhance evenness and brightness!" Hermione exclaimed, happy as a girl could get (without romance, that is, which atalk about dentistry does not usually have).
"Plus, there's the monetary aspect," Harry added quietly, so only they could hear. "If we come up with a potion to replace bad teeth, people would buy it. So if we market our magic tooth cure to the magical public we'd make a small mint. And, as you know, money is power; and on the scale of politicking, or even fighting, we plan to do you can never have enough of it. More gold means more medicine, more weapons, and more food. In short, more ability to win a war. And the extra fame could hardly hurt any when it comes to future clashes with... certain old men."
"It would be as large an item as those magical plant pots," Luna agreed with a strange, far-off look to her eyes. "Possibly more, as it has more of a potential market. Not everyone raises plants, but we all have teeth- or wish we did. And the 'elegant' set would probably buy this to enhance looks if they had even minor problems to correct. Provided it worked, we'd have worldwide appeal, and probably have to hire out the work to make them."
Hermione frowned. "Which would lead to the secret for how to make it getting out, so we'd have knock-offs appearing."
"That would happen eventually in any case," Luna agreed. "We don't have the political clout to force through a monopoly such as this. Even if we did, it is vanishingly unlikely such a monopoly would extend beyond England. And what if it did? Potion monopolies are always on a single recipe. All it would take are some minor modifications for there to be fairly cheap imitations."
Harry smiled darkly through his scowl. "There are families in Britain that do that for a living, switching out a few ingredients on established potions to market their own versions. And due to national pride people here would rather use the 'home grown' recipes than ones invented by foreigners. But due to the fact those families favor cheap substitutes to save on cost... it's given us the most foul tasting concoctions in the world. 'Tastes like a British potion' is a nasty epithet in most of the world."
"One frequently used in insults and other foul language," Luna agreed.
Harry was thinking. "Also, there's more to consider than just human teeth. There are uses for monster teeth of every kind. I can't tell you what a temptation it has been to just snag a few out of a dragon's maw from time to time - and they're already missing a few from before I got them. If we could pull the ones we need, then regrow them complete sets too..."
Luna was nodding. "Supply of certain valuable potion ingredients could expand explosively." Then she looked directly behind the other two. "Oh!Professor Myrtle, where have you been? We've all been waiting for you."
Hermione had been blinking furiously. She leaned closer to Harry and whispered, "so, not all potions taste nasty?"
Harry chuckled, then leaned closer to whisper back. "Not in the least. In fact the French go the opposite ways that we do. Just about every country has somebody who modifies potions to break patents or monopolies. Ours make the foul tasting concoctions you're familiar with, while the French take pride in their culinary skills and make some of the best flavored ones around."
"Good," the girl declared, resuming an upright stance in her seat as the ghost flittered in, directing the House Elves that had accompanied her to set up chairs and tables for them to work on the stacks of homework she also had them deliver. "What was the assignment again?"
"Three feet of parchment on how The Lord of the Rings shaped the modern magical world we live in," Luna answered promptly.
"Hmm," Hermione started blinking at the stack of homework set before her, reading the top line, "Ring Wraiths were the obvious progenitors of the dementors of modern day? I guess I'd never given it much thought."A strange sort of clarity descended over the girl, and she bent down quickly to write. "An O+ concept, but for the grammar I have to make it an EE."
Both other young teens got scared looks on their faces as the girl descended on the clouds of homework, "Most hobbits are cowards, obsessed with food and other comforts... never having won a war, but being excellent cooks, they are the obvious ancestors of the French? Hmm."
The girl marked down a grade, sharply and decisively, and Harry had an odd feeling of wishing he knew what grade it was.
I I I
You know, it's amazing to me just how big a proportion of my reviews boil down to "Kindly do not attempt to cloud my entertainment with facts."
I LOVE facts! I love learning things! I love understanding how different things affect or shape the world we live in, or those worlds that went before ours. To me this IS entertainment!
And, frankly, I am convinced without my need to understand things Iwould not be half the author I am today, as there just wouldn't be the depth of details to make a fully fleshed out story.
You've all read the "OMG!! [Hero] gets ultimate power dropped on him and pwns everyone, the end!" stories out there.
In Harry Potter fiction most of those fall along the lines of, "Wow!All Harry had to do was join the super-elitist House of racist snobs whose head once contracted with Voldemort to kill him, and everything instantly became fine as those murderous bastards instantly developed hearts of gold and treated the poor orphan boy who'd always been treated like a slave as their king!"
Don't Tell ME that what Snape did - telling old Voldy to kill the father and the child, just deliver the mother to him, wasn't EXACTLY that! He contracted out a hit that SUCCEEDED in killing James, was INTENDED to kill Harry, and his payment in return was to have been Lily - until she made herself inconvenient and so Voldy broke the deal, killing her instead of delivering her live to Snape.
Some good guy THAT turned out to be! "Yes, I loved your mother so much that I told Voldemort to kill her husband and child so I could have her instead of the man she chose for herself."
Really romantic guy, isn't he? Guess all you girls out there are just DYING to have a guy like that crush on you, aren't you? Raise your hands, all of you, who want some psycho nut-crazy stalk you, who is determined to have you no matter how you feel about him and is willing to kill to get you!
To me, putting a shy and meek boy among the magical world's Nazis sounds like throwing a slab of fresh meat before ravenous wolves.
The insanity I can't explain is that, according to common fan perceptions, Slytherin is the house for the kind and understanding, selfless, self-sacrificing, insightful and caring.
Have none of them ever READ the books?!?!?
None of the Slytherins we see depicted in the actual source material are people I'd want sleeping in the same dorm with a knife in their potions kit! I'd be worried about being stabbed or smothered in my sleep!
Also, the 'poor Harry would be happy in Slytherin' cliche has one glaring flaw I've never seen anyone exploit yet - rich snobs in ANY society are hard on those who aren't as rich as they! Plain Hogwarts robes aren't going to do it!
Why do you think Draco was already being fitted for robes when Harry arrived? Then STILL there being fitted after Harry got his robes and left?
It's called 'getting special treatment' people, and it happens when you spend more, getting higher than the normal quality at an obscene price tag.
Hanging around rich snobs, who we SEE rule that House in the books, then failing to dress right, act right, eat at all the right places (and'right' in all cases being more accurately described as 'expensive') would be the most miserable place possible for a boy who doesn't have money to throw around!
In that situation you have only two options: be a pariah, abused by all around you, or become a suck up and become someone's toady. Human nature permits no other alternatives!
That Is The Way People Act! Have none of you even met snobs at school?Did you all grow up in some alternate universe where there were no cliques that did not welcome you with open arms?
Why do you crave acceptance from those who are most famous for rejecting everyone else out of hand for not being as good as they are? The children of people who are famous for KILLING people over the 'you CAN NEVER be as good as me, so therefore you must DIE' creed? Children who LOUDLY trumpet those SAME BELIEFS! And make NO SECRET they adhere to them?
Do you really want to hang out with all those bullies who sneered at you at school?
So all those 'Harry's parent's don't love him because they think it was his twin who saved them' plotlines, where our hero is as badly neglected by his own parents as the Dursleys, would NOT find all of his problems solved by being Slytherin! They'd become infinitely worse!
Some of these plots... it amazes me to think... No, I can't even picture HOW the people who wrote them had even MET other people at any point in their LIVES!! Their only rationality for the "Yes, my daddy kills people for not being as good as us, and I'm going to carry on that aspect of family tradition" crowd accepting and nurturing a little lost lamb who has nowhere else to go without a thought for personal gain or reward, seems to be wishful thinking.
No, I can only rejoice that MY stories, at least, contain a few facts.