Basically just a filler chapter between last chapter's timeframe and Harry's arrival at Platform 9¾. It skips from event to event that happens over that time.
(A/N: OK, all you lily-livered weak-kneed pansies! Leonineus here with a shiny new chapter of Heir and Sword and Stave! I feel I should say now that this chapter will not be up to my usual standard of writing (thank you to all those people who complimented my writing ability, it meant a lot to me). It’s basically just the transition between the current moment and Hogwarts. As such, it will skip through a lot of times, occasionally stopping for some important moment or other. It also quotes directly from the Philosopher’s Stone at points. I apologize in advance for this chapter, but let me make it up to you by giving you a SECOND chapter featuring a VERY familiar face! Well, adios for now! Leonineus, signing off!)
The next few months went by without a great deal of trouble, though Harry did have a couple of small problems, namely when he got into a fight with four fifteen-year-olds whom saw him playing with his sword. He refused to let them have it when they told him to give it to them, and they attacked him. Tom and Annette were drawn outside by the sounds of shouting and fighting to find Harry crying and his sword gone. Tom chased them all the way down to the Gringotts end of Diagon Alley before he caught them with Trip Jinxes. He took the sword back from them, scolded them and then forced them to apologize to Harry for beating him up and stealing his sword.
After the boys’ parents had been told, Tom sat Harry down and explained to him that he would have to learn how to be strong. Harry had taken that suggestion to heart; working almost constantly to make himself stronger. It was soon quite common for early morning patrons to find young Harold Perkins in the backyard doing chin-ups, press-ups, sit-ups or any manner of exercises to increase his strength, physical endurance, and the like. Some found it hilarious; some found it slightly annoying for some reason; but most just passed it off as another bizarre quirk of Harold Perkins, the slightly mysterious boy whom passed himself off as the informally adopted child of Tom and Annette Deadman.
Harry had just finished his standard early-morning exercises and was walking back upstairs for a shower when he heard Tom calling to him. Turning around, he waited while the elderly barman hurried up. “Harry, can I show you something?” Harry nodded, and they walked downstairs again to the bar. When Tom pushed the door back, Harry immediately jumped backwards as many voices from within shouted, “SURPRISE!!!!!!!!” Harry’s jaw dropped. The bar was full of people holding drinks. A large banner above their heads proclaimed:
HAPPY 10TH BIRTHDAY HAROLD!!!
Harry gave a broad grin and laughed as everyone cheered and applauded him. Then he saw a large pile of presents on the bar. He whooped with glee and made for it, but Annette caught hold of his collar and tugged him back. Quickly drawing her wand, she flicked it at Harry so that he was instantly clean. Harry twisted around to glare at the barman’s wife, prompting Annette to grin and say, “Well, you stank!”
Harry scowled playfully at her as he tugged his collar out of her grip and scampered over to the presents. Taking the one on top, he ripped it open. He discovered a neat little box which he opened to find a beautiful quill. The feather was pure black with deep emerald highlights, and had a neat gold nib on the tip of the shaft. Harry grinned as he set it back down on the bar and picked up the next parcel. He had forgotten it was his birthday. He was torn between uncertainty because of his lack of prior experience with his birthday being celebrated and happiness that it was being celebrated and he was being given presents.
Harry dropped back onto his bed a little while later after neatly storing all his new presents away. Apart from the new quill he had received a few new sets of robes and a hat, a voucher which he could redeem at the magical optometrists’ for a free eye check and a shiny new wristwatch. A soft hoot heralded Hedwig’s flight across the room to land on his knee. He stroked the owl’s head a couple of times before she butted her head against his hand. Their eyes briefly locked, emerald green and ice-blue, and it felt like Hedwig was speaking directly into his mind, “My master, this is my gift to you.” Harry tilted his head to one side as Hedwig opened her beak and uttered a hoot. However, the hoot seemed to change halfway through, becoming higher. It seemed to begin changing in pitch and tone occasionally, almost like song. Harry eyed Hedwig for a moment before suddenly lurching back as the bird perched on his leg suddenly flared bright white. Before the astonished just-turned-ten year old’s eyes, the snowy owl he had owned for six months changed shape, becoming sleeker, taller, the tail lengthening into a magnificent plumage and her eyes shrinking somewhat.
After a minute, Harry was sitting on his bed staring in shock at a beautiful bird sitting where his owl had been. The creature considered him with familiar ice-blue eyes. “He-Hedwig?”
The bird cocked its head to one side, “Well what do you expect, numbnuts? I’m still Hedwig even if I am a phoenix!”
Harry stared at the bird on his knee, “A ph-phoenix?”
The bird nodded, and Harry scratched her head slightly. Hedwig closed her eyes, enjoying the attention.
At that moment, Annette knocked on the door. Harry took Hedwig on his arm back to the perch, where she settled down. Harry called, “Come in!” Annette entered, and stopped dead when she saw the elegant bird on the perch. “Wh-what? A phoenix?”
Harry gave a sheepish nod, “Yeah. That was my reaction too. It’s still Hedwig, however. I’m not sure what happened; she was just sitting on my knee, then she seemed to say, ‘This is my gift to you, master’, then she suddenly glowed white and changed shape.”
Annette stared at Harry before murmuring, “She wasn’t an owl. She was a WereAvian…”
Harry stared at her, “What’s a WereAvian?”
She smiled, “A WereAvian is a special type of magical bird that looks like a standard breed like a snowy owl until they meet the person they seem most worthy of being their master at which point they transform into a phoenix. I would say that Hedwig has decided who she likes.”
Harry spent the next month reading. Tom and Annette gave him hundreds of books to read, and he soon sank into a general pattern. He would spend three hours every morning working out, followed by spending the rest of the day reading books and helping out in the bar. He was a popular sight. Finally, one day came when Harry walked downstairs to find a large number of people walking through the bar. He wandered over to Tom and asked, “Hey, what’s going on?”
Tom smiled down at the ten-year-old, “It’s time for all the young witches and wizards to get their supplies for the new school year. This is what you’ll be doing next year.”
Harry nodded, climbing onto a barstool and watching the hordes of people moving by. Now that he thought about it, would he have been here come next August had he stayed on with the Dursleys? It wasn’t likely. What with the Dursleys’ attitude, they’d have been more inclined to just shut him in his cupboard without food or drink until he starved to death than let him go to magic school. He smirked as he remembered that the Dursleys were old news now. He was free of them, and he would never have to go back.
Time blurred by quite quickly after the swarms of people passing through in late August. Harry was now widely known by the Wizarding population whom passed through the Leaky Cauldron, as well as the shopkeepers of Diagon Alley. He loved to have a treacle tart ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s parlour. The people in Flourish & Blotts were always happy to let him sit in a corner and read a book, and the owner of Quality Quidditch Supplies commonly enjoyed a nice chat with Harry about the nuances of the greatest Wizarding game. It helped that Harry’s usual opening sentence involved the words, “do you have anything I could do to help?”
Albus Dumbledore had heard about this young man in the Leaky Cauldron. He was polite, courteous and helpful. Incidentally, his name was Harold Perkins. It might have just been a coincidence, but the fact that Perkins had lost his parents in the last war and that his name was very similar to that of Harry Potter, but Dumbledore felt it was worth checking out. So he left Hogwarts and Apparated over to Diagon Alley.
Harry was lounging in the bar during a quiet pause of the day when he heard the door open and a quiet voice say, “Ah, you must be Mr Perkins.”
Harry looked up to see a tall person dressed in purple robes and wearing half-moon spectacles. He also had extremely long white hair and a beard. “Yeah, who’s asking?” said Harry. He might have been more polite, but he had had time to talk more to his parents in the Pensieve and had discovered a couple of interesting facts about this man, whom he recognized as Albus Dumbledore from a Chocolate Frog Card. Apparently, the man was something of a control freak. Harry had found out that it would only have been Dumbledore who left Harry at the Dursleys, and as far as he was concerned any man who would leave him in a place like that deserved no loyalty from him.
Dumbledore smiled kindly down at him, his eyes twinkling, “I am Albus Dumbledore, and as you will be going to Hogwarts next year, I’ll be your Headmaster.”
Harry stared him right in the eye. Dumbledore’s eye twinkle spiked before Harry felt a sudden jolt of pain through his forehead. “Ow! What do you think you’re doing?”
Dumbledore looked momentarily startled, “How do you know Occlumency at your age? I’ve never seen shields like that before!” Harry put both hands to his head, “You tried to read my mind?? Ow, that really hurts…”
Dumbledore suddenly grabbed Harry’s hand and pulled it closer, looking at the ring on his finger. “Uh oh… he got his inheritance. This means I will have to alter my plans a little bit.” He then noticed the other three rings, “Gryffindor… Slytherin… and Myrrdin… This is a very large problem, I have to deal with it quickly.” Letting go of Harry’s hand, he drew his wand and levelled it at the boy. He didn’t expect any resistance, but suddenly Harry was on his feet with a long staff in one hand and a silver sword in the other. Dumbledore stared at him for a second, before Harry Potter’s face suddenly changed. His sandy hair became black, his grey eyes turned emerald green and the scar slowly materialized on his forehead. It seemed fainter than it had the last time Dumbledore had seen it; when he had dropped the boy off at the Dursleys ten years before.
Harry glared at the old wizard for a few moments before he slowly returned the sword to its sheath and shrank the staff back to wand-size. Tom appeared at that moment. He looked at Dumbledore for a moment, before turning and staring at Harry. It was immediately obvious that he and his wife had been found out; Harry was standing in front of Albus Dumbledore with his wand out and the glamours gone.
Dumbledore stood, “Well, if that is everything, Mr Potter, I will take my leave. I would redo those glamours if I were you and make sure you stay safely here.”
Harry growled, “I will. Now, good day!”
Dumbledore took his leave. Harry scowled at the door for a minute before throwing himself into a chair and holstering his wand. At that moment, an owl-sized scaly reptile flew in through the window and landed on Harry’s shoulder. It breathed out a plume of flames into the air before giving a tiny roar and crawling down his arm onto the table. Harry spied a letter tied to its leg and untied it before realizing that he was sitting before a tiny little dragon. He idly scratched its head with two fingers as he opened the letter and read it.
Duke Potter, Your Grace, events have come to light that require your immediate attention. We must respectfully request you present yourself at the bank as soon as possible to talk with goblin leadership concerning this urgent matter.
Harry looked up at Tom, “I have to go to Gringotts quickly. They say they have to talk to me.” Tom nodded and waved goodbye as a few customers wandered in. Harry just remembered to redo the glamour charm which Tom had taught him before they smiled and greeted him.
Harry ran along the Alley to Gringotts and hurried in through the front doors. Griphook ran up to him, “Ah, Your Grace, I am glad you could get here on such short notice!”
Harry smiled, careful not to show any teeth, “Hello, Griphook. How are you today?”
Griphook smiled as well, before he was suddenly businesslike, “Anyway, I need you to follow me.”
Harry nodded, walking after him. They strode across the main entrance and towards another door. Passing through, they found a tunnel unlike any that Harry had seen before during his frequent trips to the bank. Instead of the standard bare rock, this tunnel was lined with deep brown marble. A silver cart sat at the top. Harry climbed in at Griphook’s behest. Griphook climbed in and sat in front of him. Harry looked at the goblin, “Where are we going, Griphook?”
Griphook turned to him, “Duke Potter, certain events have come to light…”
Harry scowled slightly, “That’s what you said in the letter, could you please go into detail?”
Griphook smiled for one of the few times Harry had ever seen him do so, “Very direct, Duke Potter. Direct is good. So, for your information, I am taking you down to the goblin city of Borg af Pínulítill Vígtönn Fólk built far beneath Gringotts. My king, the Almighty Clan Chief of Clan Chiefs Lord Ragnok, has requested your presence. This is quite an honour; you are the first human ever to see our city.”
Harry nodded quietly before bracing himself as Griphook set off. As had happened many, many times before now; the cart rolled steadily down the tunnel until it reached the end, before pausing and then going into a very steep dive straight down. Harry gave a gleeful whoop as the wind rushed over the cart and it spiralled into the depths of the chasm.
It took them perhaps five minutes of hairpin bends, twisting curves and alarming swerved that left the cart balanced on two wheels before they succeeded in finally skidding to a halt before a pair of huge doors. Griphook turned to face him smiling cheerfully. Harry was looking ruffled and pale, but a slow smile spread across his face as he felt the adrenaline rush. Griphook gave a dry chuckle, “Enjoy the ride?” Harry nodded. They climbed out of the cart and approached the doors. Harry watched carefully as Griphook spoke out loud, “Hear me, Wardens of the Gate! I am Griphook son of Stonefang, and I require entrance to the goblin city on the business of Lord Ragnok himself!”
The doors slowly swung back. Harry followed Griphook through them, and they strode slowly down a long avenue towards a huge building carved from the rock. Many goblins were watching them. Harry concentrated on not tripping over his feet as they made progress through the throng of goblins.
They came before the Almighty Clan Chief of Clan Chiefs Lord Ragnok in due course. Harry and Griphook each bowed in turn, and the Goblin King looked upon them with a stern gaze. He thanked Griphook for bringing Harry before addressing the latter, “Duke Potter, it is good that you come before me today. It is important that we speak with you.”
Harry nodded his head respectfully, “I know my priorities, Goblin King. Now, for what have you called me here?”
Ragnok gazed at Harry from his ornate throne, “Straight to business, I see. Alright, two days ago the oldest and greatest of all goblin seers, Bloodeye the Ancient, foretold of a time soon to come in which the goblin race will have to ally itself to one who can protect them from the coming darkness. Let me show you the prophecy as it was told to me:”
He touched one sharp fingernail to the rim of a stone basin to one side of his throne that Harry recognized as a Pensieve. An image rose out of it; bowed under the weight of centuries, his eyes thick with milky cataracts, his hair straggly and sparse, and when he spoke he was revealed to have few remaining teeth.
Now he comes; the heir of four,
Wielder of sword, wielder of stave.
The One of the Mark; forth shall he stand,
Beset by hardship, a magnet for all trouble.
The Peace-Bringer comes soon,
And the Masters of Gold need be prepared.
Harry raised an eyebrow, “Very specific. So what does this have to do with me?”
Ragnok looked vaguely concerned, “Well, you fit into that perfectly. As such, I have gifts for you. Bring them in!” He addressed this last to a goblin at one side, who hurried from the room. He soon returned at the head of a procession of goblins holding large crates. Ragnok stepped down from his throne and waited while the boxes were levered open. He reached into the first and drew out something like a shirt made of some heavy material. “A shirt of basilisk hide. The first part of a set.” He reached into the next box, drawing from it a pair of leggings made of the same material. After withdrawing boots, gauntlets, and a belt studded with small gemstones from the other crates, he stepped back and turned to Harry. “Please don them, Duke Potter.” Harry carefully donned the clothes. The basilisk armour felt heavy, but after a minute he decided that he could take the weight and straightened up. He had grown a lot over the past year and a half, so he now wore the sheath containing Excalibur slung over his shoulder. Finally, Lord Ragnok reached into the last crate and withdrew a long hooded cloak of some kind of scaly material. “A cloak of dragonhide from the Hungarian Horntail dragon…” said Ragnok, “It, like your Basilisk-hide armour, can stop most dark spells in their tracks.”
Harry smiled as he carefully extended Erwydd into his hand and cancelled the glamour charm concealing his face, “Thank you, Lord Ragnok. Your thoughtful gifts are well-received.”
Ragnok did not smile; he merely fixed Harry with a piercing gaze and said, “Go forth, Duke Potter, and may your enemies cower before you!”
Harry smiled, careful not to show any teeth. “I will ensure they do, Lord Ragnok!”
Ragnok smiled for the first time. “Farewell!” he said, and watched as Griphook escorted Harry away.
The trip back to the surface was fairly slow. Harry bid goodbye to Griphook when they reached the main entrance of the bank and walked back up to the Leaky Cauldron in silence. So caught up was he in his thoughts that he only realized he had forgotten his glamours when he walked into Annette outside the doors. It turned out that she had been coming to find him. Quick as lightning she drew her wand and cast a glamour charm on him. Only after she had cast the glamour did she realize what he was wearing.
Harry grinned and gave her a little twirl, “The goblins gave it to me. It’s bast-basilk…”
Annette raised her eyebrows, “Basilisk-hide? Wow that is very strong material. What about your cloak?”
Harry gave her a lopsided grin, “Dragon-hide.”
Annette looked impressed, “The goblins must really like you, Harry. Now, let’s get going. You’ve got to get up early tomorrow. I booked you an appointment at the magical optometrist’s so that you can get contact lenses. It’ll be better than wearing those terrible glasses. That way it won’t hide those lovely green eyes of yours.”
Harry smirked as he followed her. Effectively there was little more to do until the day came for him to do to Hogwarts.
Harry stepped out of the optometrist’s half an hour later wearing his new contact lenses. They were enhanced with night-vision filters and magnification. He was very pleased with them and was busily testing out the magnification. He found he was able to pick out a fly on the wall of Gringotts at the other end of the Alley. This made him immensely happy.
The months between September and mid-June passed fairly quickly with Harry growing tougher and stronger every day. Finally, the day came when Harry received a letter bearing the Hogwarts emblem. Harry whooped gleefully as he ripped the envelope in half and tugged out his letter.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Mr Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than the 31 July.
Harry grinned and quickly unfolded the list of books and equipment.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
First year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil’s clothes should carry name tags
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an owl OR a cat OR a toad
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICKS
Harry grinned slightly; by now he knew exactly where to go for everything, so it shouldn’t take him more than an hour or so. He quickly scribbled a note saying that he accepted the invitation and then pointed out to Tom that he was going out later.
Fifteen minutes later, Harry had finished collecting all his books from Flourish & Blotts, as well as most of his other gear from various places. Finally he wandered towards Madame Malkin’s for his robes.
He was approaching the shop when a boy stepped through it coming out and shouldered his way past Harry with a sneering laugh. Harry retaliated by casually throwing him into a pile of trash down a little side alley and walking into the shop. It was mayhem inside. Every single rack seemed to have been overturned. Madame Malkin was straining to lift a particularly heavy rack which was pinning her young assistant to the floor. The girl was gasping for breath, evidently unable to breath because of the massive wooden clothes rack sitting directly on her breastbone. As she struggled, Madame Malkin muttered, “Little Malfoy whelp, thinks he’s king of the alley…”
“Need a hand?” Harry asked from the doorway.
Madame Malkin looked up and smiled at him, “Yes please.”
Harry walked over and pulled the heavy clothes rack up with one arm. The assistant crawled from underneath with Madame Malkin’s help as Harry shoved the huge clothes rack upright.
“So what happened in here?” Harry asked, flipping back his hood and pushing his sweaty black bangs out of his eyes. Both women stared at him for a few seconds before Harry noticed their expressions. “Yeah, I know,” he said resignedly, “I’m the Boy-Who-Lived, yeah. Doesn’t really matter. Let’s get all this mess cleaned up; I need school robes.”
It took them a good two and a half hours before they finished clearing up the shop, and a further half an hour before Harry was fully fitted for his school robes. Harry finally bid both women goodbye and took his leave from the shop.
For the next month, Harry was sure to read through all of the books he had bought. He also practiced some of them using Erwydd. Finally 1st September rolled around and Harry was busily packing his multi-compartment trunk to head off to Hogwarts. “Let’s see…” he murmured to himself, “Book compartment all packed, possessions all packed, Pensieve stored in the apartment…” He closed and locked the trunk, hung the key around his neck on a chain and checked his other stuff. “Armour… I’m wearing all of it. Sword… sheathed on my back as usual. Erwydd… I’ll be carrying it in my hand. Everything is ready by the look of it. Time to go.”
Harry hefted his trunk into the crook of his right arm and picked up his staff in his left hand. Walking down the stairs into the bar, he set the trunk on the bar and leaned his staff against the bar too. He smiled at Annette, “Thanks for looking after me for the last two years.”
Annette smiled, “It isn’t a problem, Harry. By the way, you forgot your glamour charm again!” Harry whirled around to see the entirety of the bar staring at him.
“Uh oh…” Harry groaned, as his fringe seemed to part of its own accord, revealing the faint mark on his forehead.
He was instantly surrounded by a swarm of people.
“Doris Crockford, Mr Potter, can’t believe I’m meeting you at last.”
“So proud, Mr Potter, I’m just so proud.”
“Always wanted to shake your hand – I’m all of a flutter.”
“Delighted, Mr Potter, just can’t tell you. Diggle’s the name, Dedalus Diggle.”
Harry finally stepped backwards and raised his hands, “Ok, ok, it’s nice to meet all of you, but I’ve really got to go before I miss the Hogwarts Express!” The witches and wizards made various noises of disappointment as Harry picked up his staff and trunk, pulled up his hood and walked slowly out the door.
*Borg af Pínulítill Vígtönn Fólk – Icelandic for City of Tiny Fanged People
(A/N: I believe this may be the longest chapter for S&S I have yet written. I again apologize for the fact that this chapter is not up to my usual standard, but I wanted to get to Hogwarts as soon as possible. Things are going to get much more interesting from here onwards. Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this chapter, and I will see you in the next one. Thank you for reading and GOOD NIGHT!!!)