Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Heir of Sword and Stave

Chapter 7: Dumbledore's Discomfort

by quilla04 10 Reviews

Harry arrives at Hogwarts. Excitement levels rising.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama,Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Blaise Zabini,Dumbledore,Harry,Hermione,Neville,Professor McGonagall - Warnings: [!] [V] [?] - Published: 2010/07/19 - Updated: 2010/07/19 - 5465 words

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Chapter Seven: Dumbledore’s Discomfort

(A/N: Ok, now I’m officially excited. Harry’s arrived at Hogwarts, and as the title suggests, this chapter heralds the beginning of the worst seven years of Dumbledore’s miserable and manipulative life. Believe me when I say that Fumblebore is going to curse Harry’s name before long. Harry is going to run the old man off the road at every corner. Well, enjoy the chapter guys, because I’ve certainly enjoyed writing it! Leonineus, signing off!)

Harry was dreaming. He was still in his dream of flying. The difference this time was that while Harry flew, he could see the face of Hermione on his right. She was flying closest on his right hand side, looking at him with a joyful smile on her face. On her right flew the blonde girl, her face obscured. Likewise, the black-haired girl flew on his left with the redhead on her left. Their faces were obscured as well.

Harry woke up to find Hermione gently shaking him. He smiled at her. She helped him sit up, from which position he stood. A voice echoed through the train at that moment, “We will be reaching Hogsmeade Station in five minutes time. Please leave your luggage on the train; it will be taken to the school separately.”

Harry scowled, “Sod that, I’m not leaving my trunk here. You guys shouldn’t leave yours either. No telling what might happen to them. The amount of books I’ve read through; I can recount multiple charms that anyone could use to spy on people. I’m afraid to say that I’ve lately become rather paranoid.”

Hermione smiled at him, “I agree. I still feel a little shaken after that incident on the platform…”

Harry didn’t bother thinking; he strode forwards and embraced the brunette in his arms. Neville watched from the door. After a few seconds, Harry released her, turned to his trunk and began rummaging for robes. When he found them, he set them down on the seat and undid the clasp of his dragonhide cloak. He laid it on the seat beside his robes, tugged on the robes, and refastened his cloak. Hermione watched her friend for a moment, before quickly pulling her own robes out of her trunk and putting them on, followed closely by Neville.

Harry extended his wand into his hand and shrank his trunk. A second later he shrank Hermione’s and Neville’s as well and slotted all three matchbox-sized trunks into his pocket. Finally he returned his wand to his belt and held up an arm, “Come on, Hedwig; come on.” The phoenix flew gracefully down onto Harry’s shoulder from where she had been sitting and quietly sleeping in the luggage rack.

Hermione gave a soft gasp when she saw the stunning avian on Harry’s shoulder, “Harry! You have a phoenix!”

Harry nodded, stroking the phoenix, “I know. Hermione, Neville, meet Hedwig. Hedwig, my new friends Hermione and Neville.” The phoenix nodded its head towards Hermione and Neville in a silent greeting, before both started suddenly. Harry grinned, “She speak to you? That was my reaction the first time. Then again, the first time she spoke to me I was more preoccupied with the fact that she was transforming from a small snowy owl into a lovely phoenix at the same time, so the experience may not be entirely the same.”

Hermione stared at Harry as though a tiny alien was waving hello from a little platform on his forehead. “Hedwig… transformed… from a snowy owl… into a phoenix??? Actually transformed???”

Harry nodded at her, causing the little alien on his forehead to lose his balance and fall off his platform. Hedwig caught him on the way down and swallowed him whole. She went back to her previous position looking very pleased with herself. Neville eyed the phoenix oddly, “That is one odd bird…”

Harry chuckled, “Tell me about it…” then yelped as Hedwig nipped his ear affectionately before nuzzling her beautiful head against his own. Harry tickled the underside of her beak, causing Hedwig’s ice-blue eyes to close in enjoyment.

The train drew to a slow halt, and the corridor was instantly filled with a din of voices as people poured out onto the platform. Harry carefully drew up the hood of his cloak and led his friends out of the compartment onto the platform. They finally spied a huge figure holding a lamp in the darkness, shouting “Firs’-years! Firs’-years over here!”

Harry gestured to Hermione and Neville, whom followed him across. Hagrid, for of course it was he, eyed Harry cautiously, “And who might ye be?”

Harry looked up at him, “A new student. Let’s go.” Hagrid nodded and they walked along the path towards the lake. Harry knew that it was tradition for the first-years to sail across the lake in little boats from what Tom had told him the night before he left. Behind him, he could nearly feel Hermione shivering. She seemed to have accidentally left her warm cloak in her trunk, so Harry beckoned her close to him. She moved up close to him, and he gently slipped one side of his cloak around her. He smiled down at the brunette at his side. She smiled back, the image of flying still fresh in her mind.

They piled into the small boats. Harry, Hermione and Neville got a boat together, and were joined by a tall skinny black boy. Or at least, what they thought was a tall skinny black boy, for all they could see of him in the darkness. “What’s your name?” asked Harry of the black boy.

The black boy smiled, white teeth shining in the gloomy dark, “Blaise Zabini. And you are?”

Harry, still hooded, nodded towards his two friends, “This is Neville Longbottom, and this is Hermione Granger. I am Harry Potter.”

Blaise’s eyes widened slightly, “The Harry Potter?”

Harry scowled, “Yes, that’s me.”

Blaise swallowed, “O-ok. Well, do you want to be friends?”

Harry smiled; an expression that changed his entire face. Though barely any of them could see it in the dim light yielded by the crescent moon above, the abrupt shift between Harry’s facial expressions was startling. “That would be nice,” said Harry extending a hand, “Friends?” Blaise nodded and extended his as well, and they groped for each other in the dark for a second before finding each other. They shook.

“Yeh’ll get your firs’ sight of Hogwarts in a sec!” bellowed Hagrid from the front of the fleet, attracting their attention, “Just around this bend here!”

Harry looked up over his shoulder as Hermione gasped. Above them stood a huge castle, festooned with towers and turrets. Gasps echoed across the water from the other boats. Neville swallowed and Blaise whistled as Harry grinned, his eyes sparkling with the reflected light.

The boats sailed under a curtain of ivy into a small bay. Harry helped Hermione out of the boat, followed by Blaise and Neville. “Hold on,” said Harry, pulling out his wand and raising it, “Accio toad!” Neville’s toad shot out of the boat into Harry’s hand, from where he passed it to Neville.

“Trevor!” said Neville happily, taking the toad from Harry.

Harry chuckled, “Just hold onto him, I can’t always be there to summon him back to you.” Neville nodded as they walked slowly across towards Hagrid, whom stood about twenty feet from them.

“Come on, all of yeh! Do yeh want to get to Hogwarts or not?” Hagrid called, causing all the first-years to snap to and hurry over to him.

They walked quietly up the lawns towards the castle, and finally reached the front doors of the castle. Hagrid scanned the group once to make sure they were all there, before raising his fist and knocking three times on the gigantic castle doors.

The doors creaked open, revealing a tall woman in emerald robes. “I’ve got the first-years, Professor McGonagall…” said Hagrid.

“Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here…” said McGonagall. She beckoned to the first-years, whom followed her into a room off the cavernous hall. Harry looked around, still with his hood up. Hedwig, on his shoulder, trilled gently. A number of people eyed the phoenix with awed looks. Malfoy, as seemed expected of him, decided to be an idiot. He leaned over, grabbed Hedwig’s tail and tugged. Hedwig screeched and Harry moved. In less time than it took for Professor McGonagall to hear the sound and draw her wand, Malfoy was pinned up against the wall with the tip of Erwydd jammed up under his chin. “If you ever… I repeat ever…” said Harry in a low, dangerous voice, “touch my familiar when she doesn’t want you to again, I will kill you. So just watch it. I’m not above making my point with violence where my familiar is concerned.”

Professor McGonagall’s voice cut through the silence at that moment, “Excuse me, could you please put your wand away, young man? I’m not above putting you in detention before you even get sorted.”

Harry scowled at Malfoy for a second, before returning Erwydd to staff-size and stepping back over to his friends, “Sorry Professor. I shouldn’t have lost my temper and taken Malfoy away from his boyfriends. I’m sure they’re very upset about that. Sorry guys!” he called this last over to Crabbe and Goyle.

One could almost see the steam coming out of Malfoy’s ears as he fumed at Harry, “I already told you. I… AM… NOT… GAY!!!” Of course this did not help; it simply caused everybody to laugh at Malfoy.

“Malfoy, I already told you. It’s not a lifestyle choice you should be afraid of. I’ve heard of a lot of gay people who’ve gone on to live rich and fulfilling lives. Most were Muggles, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, there’s no shame to being gay Malfoy, I already told you!”

Malfoy gave a scream of anger and went for his wand, but it had barely cleared his pocket when Harry pushed his magic through Erwydd and sent it spinning from his fingers.

You could have heard a pin drop in the room off the hall. It was like a freezeframe; Malfoy standing with his hands empty and his wand on the other side of the room, Harry standing opposite him with his staff pointed at Malfoy, Professor McGonagall looking from one to the other in amazement. Hermione broke the spell; she took Harry’s arm and said, “Harry, it’s not worth it. Don’t bother yourself with him.”

Harry scowled, lowering the staff and leaning on it as Malfoy went to fetch his wand. Professor McGonagall cleared her throat, “The Sorting will begin in about ten minutes. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can before it begins.” She walked towards the door, but stopped before she got there, “And please try not to kill each other?” Then she was gone.

Harry smirked as he leaned on his staff. Numerous people were eyeing him cautiously. He smiled around him; everything below his eyes illuminated by the torchlight and the rest in shadow, “I’m not going to hurt you, just those who earn it.” Four people close to him actually visibly relaxed.

That was the moment in which several people screamed. Malfoy jumped into Crabbe’s arms with an extremely girlish squeal of fear, only to realize his position a second later and squirm out of the large boy’s grip with a red face as the screams turned into laughter. About twenty ghosts had just appeared through the back wall. Pearlescent and semi-transparent, they didn’t seem to notice the students until they were almost halfway across the room. Harry stepped out and called, “Hello!”

The ghosts stopped, seeming to only just notice the students before them. “Well hello, new students!” said one, a plump little man in a monk’s habit.

Harry grinned, “Yep, we’re the new students. I’m Harry, pleased to meet you.”

The plump ghost smiled, “I’m the Fat Friar, and it’s very good to meet you.”

A few minutes’ idle conversation ensued before Professor McGonagall returned. She shooed the ghosts out into the hall and beckoned to the first-years. Harry, still hooded and carrying Erwydd in his left hand, took the lead behind Professor McGonagall. Hermione walked on his right, with Blaise and Neville walking behind them. The rest of the students followed.

Professor Dumbledore looked up as the first-years entered. He was looking for Harry Potter, but he didn’t seem to be among the students. There was however a tall hooded figure at the head of the students behind Professor McGonagall. Even to his own limited magical sight, Dumbledore could tell that this person’s body seethed with power. The staff in his hand burned with ancient magic; as did the sword sheathed on his back, the hilt of which was visible over the figure’s shoulder. On the boy’s shoulder sat a beautiful white and dark-blue phoenix. Then his eyes locked back onto the staff. He recognized it as the one Harry had been holding it when he encountered him the first time; at the Leaky Cauldron. He smiled; now the boy was in his domain, and would be easier to control.

How very, very wrong Dumbledore was.

Harry saw a very old hat sitting on a stool before the teachers’ table. Harry smiled when he saw it; this was obviously the Sorting Hat.

Professor McGonagall made them stop just before the hat. For a moment, everyone simply watched the hat. Then a rip near the brim opened like a ragged mouth, and the threadbare hat broke into song.

‘Oh, you my not think I’m pretty,
But don’t judge on what you see,
I’ll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I’m the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There’s nothing hidden in your head,
The Sorting Hat can’t see,
So try me on and I will tell you,
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don’t be afraid!
And don’t get in a flap!
You’re in safe hands (though I have none)
For I’m a Thinking Cap!’


There was a momentary pause, then the hat became still and the hall burst into applause. Harry smiled and tapped the end of Erwydd against the floor as his applause. Then Professor McGonagall unrolled a scroll of parchment and addressed the first years, “When I call your name, you will come forward, put on the hat and sit on the stool to be Sorted. When your house is called, you will go and sit at the appropriate table.”

“Abbott, Hannah!”
“HUFFLEPUFF!”
“Bones, Susan!”
“HUFFLEPUFF!”

As the redhead scuttled off to the cheering Hufflepuff table, Harry’s eyes unconsciously followed her. He knew who she was; recognized her as one of the three unnamed girls from his dream. But unless she saw him, and recalled the dream, he could do nothing.

“Boot, Terry!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Brocklehurst, Mandy!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Brown, Lavender!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Bulstrode, Millicent!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Corner, Michael!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Crabbe, Vincent!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Davis, Tracy!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Finch-Fletchly, Justin!”
“HUFFLEPUFF!”
“Finnegan, Seamus!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Goldstein, Anthony!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Goyle, Gregory!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Granger, Hermione!”

Hermione walked forwards with her knees shaking. Only the knowledge that Harry was watching over her from behind gave her the strength to keep standing. She sat on the stool, McGonagall lowered the hat onto her head, and Harry drew a breath.

“RAVEN- no wait, are you sure? Ok, suit yourself, GRYFFINDOR!”

Hermione got up, beaming with joy, and ran across to the Gryffindor table.

“Greengrass, Daphne!”

Harry’s eyes locked onto the black-haired first-year as she walked forwards with her back straight and head held high. This was the black-haired girl from the dream. However, as with Susan Bones, he could do nothing until she experienced the dream as Hermione had.

“SLYTHERIN!”
“Longbottom, Neville!”

Harry patted his friend on the shoulder as he gently pushed him forwards. Neville sat down and Professor McGonagall lowered the hat onto Neville’s head.

“GRYFFINDOR!”

Harry smiled at his friend as he walked past and sat beside Hermione.

“MacDougal, Morag!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Macmillan, Ernie!”
“HUFFLEPUFF!”
“Malfoy, Draco!”

Malfoy swaggered forth. Or at least he tried; when he saw Harry giving him a most terrifyingly predatory smile from under his hood it turned into a sort of weak stumble. He sat on the stool, and the hat hardly even touched his hair when it shouted, “SLYTHERIN!” Malfoy stalked over to the Slytherin table with a smarmy smile plastered on his pointed face.

“Moon, Lily!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Nott, Theodore!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Parkinson, Pansy!”
“SLYTHERIN!”
“Patil, Padma!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Patil, Parvati!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Perks, Sally-Anne!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Potter, Harry!”

Whispers swept the hall like a soft wind.
“Did she just say Potter?”
“I don’t see Potter, and who’s the hooded kid?”

Professor McGonagall looked up, “Potter, Harry!” she repeated.

Harry stepped out, “That would be me.”

Professor McGonagall eyed him for a minute, before nodding. Harry stepped forwards, his cloak stirring softly behind him and the silence split only by the dull peal of Erwydd striking the stones. Harry slowly moved his cloak aside for him to sit on the stool, and sat. Professor McGonagall lowered the hat onto his head, Hedwig moving slightly to allow her to set the hat down, and all went black.

“Well hello, Mr Potter, or should I say Duke Potter? Would you mind lowering your Occlumency shields so that I might look into your mind?”

Harry complied, but then felt two subtle brushes against the back of his mind and quickly thought, “Just a minute.”

Standing and drawing off the hat, he turned to face the teachers. Reinforcing his Occlumency shields as powerfully as he could, Harry locked eyes with Dumbledore and said, “Professor McGonagall, is it common practice to read the students’ minds?”

She stared at him, “No, of course not. What makes you ask such a thing?”

Harry didn’t turn to her; he simply said, “Because nobody seems to have told the headmaster or,” he scanned his eyes down the table catching each teacher’s gaze in turn, “the greasy-haired fellow on the end.”

Professor McGonagall turned to her superior, whom simply said, “Harry, see me in my office immediately following the Sorting.”

Harry shook his head, “Sorry, no can do, I have to sleep. As a matter of fact, where am I going to sleep? Surely as the Heads of four Noble and Most Ancient Houses I’m allowed my own private rooms. Oh, and by the way, it’s Duke Potter to you. Only my best friends will call me Harry.”

Whispers swept across the hall at the words Duke Potter. Harry ignored them for the moment, “Now, I would like to return to being Sorted. I will expect an answer from you regarding my accommodations by the end of the feast Headmaster. And this time, please can you and your greasy lapdog I now recognize to be Severus ‘Snivellus’ Snape refrain from trying to read my mind again? Once was enough. Twice, and I may be inclined to take action.” He turned his back on the Headmaster and sat back down. Along the teachers’ table, Snape was seething with anger at the use of his old nickname.

“Well, that was interesting…” commented the hat as Harry lowered his defences again.

“Indeed…” murmured Harry, “So, what house then? I’m holding up the sorting.”

The hat was silent for a moment before speaking, “Well, head of Gryffindor and Slytherin implies one of those two. Slytherin; I’m sure you’d rather saw off your wand arm than be in the same house as the Malfoy boy.”

“Got that right,” growled Harry, “I hate him.”

“Well then,” said the hat, “I guess the decision is made then. I sort you into… GRYFFINDOR!!!” The hat bawled this last to the entire Hall.

Before he tugged the hat off, Harry thought of something. “What’s your name?” he asked the hat.

The hat seemed to quiver slightly before answering, “Why, no-one’s ever asked me that before! My name’s Bob!”

Harry grinned, “Ok, I’ll be seeing you Bob!” then he took off the hat, handed it to Professor McGonagall, and walked across to the table of cheering and clapping students.

Sitting down next to Hermione, whom hugged him, he clapped Neville on the back and grinned as the Weasley twins started up a chant of “We got Potter! We got Potter!”

Across the hall at the Hufflepuff table, Susan Bones watched Harry Potter from where he sat at the Gryffindor table with the beautiful phoenix on his shoulder. She could still see the image in her mind; of her flying with three other girls and Harry high above the clouds. She would have to ask him about it when she got a chance.

On another table, Daphne Greengrass was also watching Harry Potter, and thinking the same thoughts as Susan. Harry Potter was interesting; any Pureblood girl would love to bag the Boy-Who-Lived. Maybe later on in her school career she might approach him. She would have to soon enough though; this mental image of flying with him and three others was too confusing to ignore for long.

The Sorting continued after a moment as the last few people stepped forwards one by one.

“Thomas, Dean!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Turpin, Lisa!”
“RAVENCLAW!”
“Weasley, Ronald!”
“GRYFFINDOR!”
“Zabini, Blaise!”
“SLYTHERIN!”

Ron Weasley sloped over and dropped into a chair opposite Harry. Then he noticed Harry’s piercing glare and immediately moved about four seats down the table.

The feast began as the plates filled. Harry instantly tucked in, occasionally holding up a titbit for Hedwig to eat. For a while, there was simply idle conversation. Harry was telling Hermione a funny story involving three dragons and a wyvern he had heard in the Leaky Cauldron, and she was laughing. Percy was watching disapprovingly. He seemed to have it in for Harry ever since Harry had “accidentally” crushed his hand on the platform. After a few minutes, the talk turned to people’s families.

A sandy haired boy Harry knew to be called Seamus Finnegan said, “I’m half-and-half. Me dad’s a Muggle. Mam didn’t tell him she was a witch until after they were married. Bit of a nasty shock for him.”

Everybody laughed. After Dean, Neville and a couple of others had talked about their families, they all turned to Harry. He had since finished his meal and was sitting with Hedwig on his knee, stroking her beautiful plumage and gazing up at the starry ceiling. The bird was nibbling on a fishbone. “Harry?” said Hermione.

Harry shook his head slightly and looked around, “Huh? Sorry, I must have zoned out a little. What were we talking about?”

Hermione smiled, “We were discussing our families.”

Harry cleared his throat, “I have relatives other than my real family, but they hated me and threw me out two years ago. I wondered around in the dead of winter for a week or so before finding my way to London. There I appeared at the Leaky Cauldron, where I’ve stayed ever since.”

The rest of the feast passed without incident, and finally the Headmaster dismissed them. Harry bid Blaise goodnight before stalking up towards the head table again. Dumbledore looked up as Harry approached, “Ah, Mr… Duke Potter. Professor McGonagall will lead you to your new quarters. You will be permitted to set your own password for them. The only condition is that both I and your Head of House must be told the password and informed if it ever changes.”

Harry gave him a smile which even an amateur could have deduced to be false. “Of course, Headmaster, but I feel I should ask is it not wise for as few people as possible to know the password to my quarters? Besides, I’m not sure you need to know the password to my quarters; only my Head of House does.”

Dumbledore inwardly ground his teeth. Here he was, the most powerful and influential wizard in Britain, maybe even the world; and he was being outsmarted by an eleven-year-old boy. “Be that as it may, Duke Potter, it would make me feel much better to know that if you were in need of assistance I could easily reach you.”

Harry gave Dumbledore a patronizingly friendly smile, “Of course I understand Headmaster. However, I stand by my decision to tell only my Head of House the password to my private rooms. I am confident that you will be too bogged down with urgent matters for the Headmaster to bother with me if I need assistance.”

Dumbledore was now internally turning the air blue. This boy was infuriating in the extreme; he had successfully outmanoeuvred him no matter what he said and hi could do nothing about it!

“Very well,” said Dumbledore, fighting down his emotions, “Professor McGonagall will see you to your rooms.”

Harry nodded, and walked back to his friends. They stood for a minute, talking quietly, and suddenly Harry was tapped on the shoulder by somebody. He turned to see Professor McGonagall. “Why, hello Professor,” he said, smiling at the elderly witch, “I take it you are here to take me to my private accommodations?”

The deputy Headmistress nodded and began to walk away. Harry followed, with Neville and Hermione just behind him. Professor McGonagall frowned at this at first, but finally consented to them accompanying Harry.

On their way up to Harry’s quarters, which were situated off the corridor leading to the Gryffindor, Harry had an opportunity to talk to Professor McGonagall. He found out that she was the Transfiguration teacher, and proceeded to engage her in a long conversation on the basic principles behind Transfiguration which Hermione joined with enthusiasm a minute later. Neville, meanwhile, seemed deep in thought.

As they halted outside the portrait concealing Harry’s rooms, Professor McGonagall gave him a faintly sad look, “It’s a shame about your parents, Harry. They were two of the greatest people I ever knew, and two of my favourite students. I’m ashamed that I was never able to protect them, and sad that I can’t apologize for that.”

Harry looked up at the Transfiguration teacher for a moment, before saying, “Professor, I came upon something interesting in the Potter vault, which you may find intriguing. Believe me when I say that if you were to ask, you could talk to my parents once more.”

The Transfiguration professor stared at him for a moment before asking, “How???”

Harry smiled, “Do you know what a Pensieve is, Professor?” At her nod, he explained, “See, my parents used a spell to insert copies of their own minds and bodies into a Pensieve. I now own said Pensieve and have it in my trunk. If I wish, I can enter the Pensieve and enjoy a few hours of interesting talk with my parents. I would like to extend an offer for you to go in yourself one day and talk with them, if you wish.”

Professor McGonagall’s jaw almost dropped. That didn’t even sound possible but, she remembered with a small smile, Filius Flitwick had long been raving about Lily Potter’s talent for Charms. Apparently she had been his most gifted student, while James Potter had been her most talented pupil. It would most likely have been but a piece of cake for Lily Potter to perform a spell that powerful and difficult without causing harm or damage to anything in the vicinity.

“Anyway,” said Harry, jerking Minerva McGonagall from quiet recollections concerning the parents of the young man standing before her, “How do I set the password?”

Professor McGonagall shook her head slightly before saying, “Place your hand on the frame of the portrait and say the password you want.”

Harry stepped towards the picture of a man who was evidently Godric Gryffindor, set his hand on the panel, and thought for a moment. A slow smile quickly spread across his face as he thought of a password.

Clearing his throat, he enunciated, “Amicitia est eternus.” Friendship is eternal.

The portrait of Godric Gryffindor winked at him, “Friendship is eternal, eh? I would imagine you’re planning something a little more than friendship with this young lady! Remember, my heir, the brainiest birds are the naughtiest ones! I still remember my days with the lovely Rowena Ravenclaw…”

McGonagall chose that moment to snap, “I don’t think these children need to hear your perverted stories, Godric!”

As Harry, Hermione and Neville all looked askance at their Head of House, she explained, “He’s a wee bit of a pervert. Just ignore him and you’ll be fine, though.”

Harry smiled and nodded, before turning back to the portrait and saying the password. The portrait swung back, revealing a comfortable looking room decorating with Gryffindor hangings.

Harry grinned as Hermione and Neville looked in behind him. Under his breath, he murmured, “I think I’m going to like it here…”

Harry, Hermione and Neville had a nice conversation in the sitting room of Harry’s quarters with Professor McGonagall before she stood and told them they should sleep, as classes started the next day. Harry passed them their still-shrunken trunks with instructions on how to return them to their original sizes, Professor McGonagall gave them the password to the Gryffingor Common Room, and Neville and Hermione took their leave, along with Professor McGonagall. As she left, the Transfiguration teacher promised to take Harry up on his offer of entering his Pensieve. After Harry said goodnight, he opened his trunk and took out his Pensieve. Carefully setting it on a chest of drawers in his room, he levitated Hedwig’s perch out of his trunk and set it upright in a corner. The phoenix flew from his shoulder to it, where she quickly put her head under her wing and fell asleep. Harry stepped over to the window of his bedroom. Above him, the crescent moon was rising over the mountains. He had arrived at Hogwarts, and already created a stir. He had seen how things were done in the school, and turned those proceedings on their ear.

He stepped away from the window, went to the bed, and lay down on it, quickly sliding into a dream of flying with four girls, three of whose faces he could now see. Tomorrow promised to be a very interesting day…

Elsewhere in the castle, three girls in different houses were also dreaming of flying high above the clouds. All three were smiling in their sleep as they dreamed of being freer than birds, in the great blue sky.

(A/N: Wow. Just… wow. That chapter was I think even longer than any others I’ve written so far. I’m impressed. Events before Hogwarts now seem mildly dull and boring by comparison, if I could only squeeze a measly average of 1.3k words a chapter out of them. I borrowed the idea of a perverted Godric Gryffindor from clonserpants’ fic Harry Potter and the Sword of Gryffindor. It’s a little heavy on the sexual humour so don’t read it if you don’t like that stuff or if you’re too young. It just made me laugh so much while reading that fic I had to employ the concept here. I also sort of jumped the gun a little here; I was planning on introducing a girl a year until he has all four. Instead, we now know the identities of three of the girls with the fourth yet to come. Now it’s just a matter of how long they hold out before coming to our favourite little wizard. Well, I’d better wrap this chapter up. This is Leonineus saying GOOD NIGHT!)
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