A Lost Friend
By: USA Tiger
Author note: Give a big hand to my new beta for this story, Tsuyu-the-Hanyou!
Everyone was stunned silent for a moment then started talking all at once.
Voices blended together into a jumble of words and noise until Albus lifted his wand over his head, a bang getting everyone's attention.
"Please everyone." He said once it was quite. "I think we should move this to the kitchen
before we wake Mrs. Black again." Everyone moved downstairs to the kitchen, sitting
around the table.
"Harry, where were you?" Hermione asked. "We were worried sick!"
"I accidently teleported myself to Japan." Harry said. Hermione frowned in confusion.
"Harry, you cannot apparate that far and on top of the fact that you haven’t taken lessons to apparate, you're too young!" The frizzy hair girl said.
"I didn't apparate, Hermione!" Harry said with a shake of his head. "When I say teleport,
that is what I meant!"
"You haven’t quite explained just how you manage that feat." Albus said.
"Err, maybe I should just show you." Harry said, then with a pop changed into his Mew
form. Ranma made a soft strangled sounding noise and shut his eyes but no one paid
attention to him.
"Ah, 10 points to Gryffindor." Albus said. "An extraordinary transformation! I must admit I have never come across an animal such as this."
"Oh Merlin Harry, you are so cute!" Hermione said as she and Ginny cooed over Harry
cattish form. They gasped as Harry started floating off his chair and over the table.
"Mewwww!" Harry started doing loops and tumbles in the air.
"Whoever is doing that, stop it before he gets hurt!" Molly said firmly then zeroed in on
her twin sons. "George, Fred!"
"Us Mum. We"
"Are not doing"
"Any of this!" Fred and George said back and forth.
"Meeew. Mew mew mew!" Harry said as he came to float in front of Albus.
"I believe Molly, that Mr. Potter is doing this, all on his own." The headmaster said. "But I can detect no magic."
"Mew!" Harry nodded then suddenly disappeared, reappearing behind Ranma before doing so again. This time he was on the other side of the room. Finally he appeared back above the table, floated back to his chair and popped back into human.
"Harry! Mate, that was amazing!" Ron said.
"What in the world are you?" Hermione asked. Harry shrugged his shoulders.
"I don't know. I've just been calling it 'Mew' because that's the noise I make." He explained. "But I have figured out it's a non-magical animal. My Mew form is psychic."
"Sai…kick?" Ron repeated. "What does that mean?"
"Oh Harry, psychic powers don't really exist." Hermione said with a shake of her head.
"Yes they do." Ryoga spoke up. "You don't come across it very often but some people
really do have psychic abilities."
"And before you found it was real you would have said magic didn't exist either." Harry pointed out.
"Mr. Hibiki and Mr. Potter are correct, Miss Granger." Albus said. "There are muggles out in the world with powers that have nothing to do with magic, what muggles call psychic powers."
"Oh." Hermione said.
"Now, why don't you young ones show Mr. Potter and his two friends upstairs to settle in?" Albus suggested.
"Come on mate, we're sharing a room again." Ron said as they all got up. Harry grabbed Ryoga's arm as the older teen started to head for the door outside and lead his friend out of the kitchen, Ranma following behind. The teens headed upstairs to the first floor of the house where the bedrooms were. "Sooo... who's your friends mate?"
"Oh, this is Ranma and Ryoga." Harry said. "Ryoga is a friend of mine from before Hogwarts, I met Ranma this summer."
"Who was the pretty bird that was with you?" Ron asked, remembering the white hair girl that had been with them.
"That's a little harder to explain." Harry said with a sigh as he sat down. Ranma leaned against the wall while Ryoga sat down beside the smaller boy. "That was Hedwig."
"Harry, Hedwig is an owl." Hermione said with a frown. "Unless she's been a hidden Animagus like Pettigrew she can't be a human."
"The bird is cursed." Ranma said, getting the other's attention.
"Cursed? What sort"
"Of curse would"
"That be?" Fred and George asked. Ranma raised an eyebrow at the twins.
"Do you two do that all the time? It's kinda annoying." He said. "Anyway, she's cursed to change into a girl with cold water. Use some hot water she'd turn back into an owl."
"That doesn't sound like any curse I've heard of." Hermione said.
"Well it's true." Ranma said. "I got the same curse; I think I know what I am talkin' about."
"Oh really? You know what Forge, I think we should test that." George said, looking at Fred.
"I think you're right Gred." Fred said with a smirk, both red headed twins taking out their wands and pointing them at Ranma.
"Wait don't!" Ranma yelled too late, cold water hitting him from the twin’s wands. "Why the hell do you people keep doing that!?!" Ranma yelled loudly, looking like a drowned rat.
"Merlin’s pants!" Ron yelped while Hermione and Ginny gasped. Ranma grumbled under her breath as she started to take off her shirt to wring it out, much to the Weasley male’s delighted shock while Ryoga whined and slapped his hand over his eyes.
"RANMA!" Ryoga yelled. "Put your shirt back on!" He did not need a nose bleed right now from seeing Ranma's female form's tits. Ranma sighed and slipped the shirt back up on her shoulders and buttoned it back up.
"Wait, so we don't get a free show?" Fred asked disappointed.
"Perverts." Ranma muttered.
After a while Ranma wondered off to explore the house while Ryoga stuck around with Harry while the younger teen spoke to his friends.
"So what's Japan like mate?" Ron asked.
"It's alright but very strange. But I didn't see much outside of Nerima, that's the district I was in, and Mahou Village." Harry said.
"Oh, that's the magical community in Japan." Hermione said having read about it when researching the magical towns of different countries.
"Yeah, it was neat. I got a lot of cool books and a new trunk." Harry said. "New clothes too, Ryoga's insisted." He added, tugging at the shirt he was wearing. Ryoga snorted softly.
"Those things you wore weren't worthy to even be called rags Harry-chan." He said. "I swear they were the same things you wore when I first met you when we were kids."
"I don't think they were but Dudley is so big who knows?" Harry said with a shrug.
"I can't believe you completed the Animagus transformation. Harry, do you know how dangerous that is? What if you got stuck?" Hermione scolded.
"Mione, I needed something to keep my mind off of what happen to Sirius." Harry said.
"I thought he had died and I would never get him back. The Animagus training was hard and busy enough to keep me from thinking about it. And my Mew form is great! You haven’t seen even half the things I can do in it!"
"What do you mean? We saw you fly and apparate downstairs." Ron pointed out.
"That was wicked"
"By the way, Harry." Fred and George said with large grins.
"So what other"
"Tricks do you"
"Let me show you." Harry said with a smile before popping into his Mew form. The group of teens watched the floating black and white cat for a moment, gasps and sounds of surprises coming from the room as Harry started to glow. His form seemed to shrink while floating to the floor and when the light died away a black and orange pig was left in
his place. "Tepig!"
"Blimey!" Ron said.
"Oh wow, you're a multi-animagus?" Ginny asked.
"Wicked!" The twins said.
"That is impossible!" Hermione said in disbelief.
"His mew form has the ability to transform into other unusual animals, but he has to be a Mew first." Ryoga explained as Harry-Tepig jumped into his lap. "He just needs to see an animal or think of something and his body changes on its own, the first time, then he can do it at will."
"So... he can turn into any animal?" Ron asked.
"Err... not normal ones. And sometimes it's not an animal." Ryoga said.
"Neat.... can you turn into an owl mate?" Ron asked.
"Te... tepig." Harry hopped off of Ryoga's lap and closed his eyes, picturing an owl in his head. He glowed bright again as his form expanded. When the light died down, a very large owl stood before the group of teens. "Noctowl." Harry said as he spread his wings.
He stood at just over 5 feet tall with light brown head and chest feathers with dark brown feathers on his back, wings and tail feathers. He had two rows of even darker brown upside down triangles on his chest and stomach as well as an up sweeping crest of
yellow above his green eyes, with one single white feather in the place where his scar was located. "Owl, noctowl."
"Merlin pants!" Ron said. "I've never seen an owl that big!"
"Owls don't get that big unless they are hit by an Engorgio spell." Hermione said.
"Guess you can't deliver mail like a post owl." Fred said.
"You would stick out like a sore thumb being that large." George added.
"If he was a smaller owl he wouldn't, though I have no idea what type he would be." Ginny said. When she said smaller owl, it triggered Harry's ability, glowing and shrinking down leaving a smaller round owl in his place.
"Hoothoot!" Harry said startled, his wings flapping. He was two feet high now with brown feathers with a beige underbelly. Around his large green eyes was a black mask like chest with notches all around both sides and two protrusions at the top that reminded Hermione of clock hands. The 'clock hand' on the left was bent in two places making it look a bit like a lightning bolt and was solid white. Harry stood on two feet that were so close together that he looked like he had one large foot.
"I don't think he could deliver mail like this either." Fred mused.
"Hooot hoothoot." Harry said with a scowl before his popped back into human. "I'm not going to deliver any mail anyway!"
"Harry, that was amazing!" Hermione said.
"Yeah but I didn't know I could turn into different versions of the same animal." Harry said amazed.
"Well it's clear you will have to..." Hermione started.
"AAAHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!!" A scream rip through the house, startling the teens.
"That was Ranma." Ryoga said as he stood.
"Why is he screaming like that?" Ron asked as he headed for the door. Harry thought about it for a second then paled.
"Hermione, where is Crookshanks?" Harry asked.
"Crookshanks?" Ryoga asked.
"Her cat." Harry told him, making Ryoga hiss.
"He's wandering around the house, why?" Hermione asked confused. She got her answer a second later as they pushed into a room where the screams had come from, the adults right behind them. On the floor sat Crookshanks who was looking up at ceiling. Everyone followed his view, seeing Ranma clinging to the ceiling.
Ranma had gotten bored with listening to the other teens and tired of the red headed boys who kept trying to sneak a look at her bust. Harry had warned her on the way out the door to be careful while exploring as the house was filled with creepy creatures and dark curses items that could hurt her. She had found a bathroom and used the hot water to change back to his original form. Then Ranma had explored different rooms, hoping that maybe he could find a room he could use as a makeshift dojo.
In one of the rooms he spied an odd little being that had muttered nasty things like calling him a 'mudblood', whatever that was, under his breath before walking out of the room.
"Weird looking thing." Ranma muttered as he shook his head then leaned over to look more closely at the items in a glass cabinet. He thought a lot of the items in the cabinet were either very ugly or tacky looking.
"mrewl...." Ranma stiffened, a shiver of fear going up his back. He stood up and slowly turned around, then looked down. There, sitting on the floor, was a large ginger long hair cat whose face was squashed in looking. The cat-Kneazle, Crookshanks, studied Ranma in return. "Mrowl." A tic started in Ranma's eye as he stepped back away from Crookshanks who stood up on bowed legs and stepped closer to Ranma.
"AAAHHHHHGGGGGGGGGG!!" Ranma screamed loudly, jumping up to the ceiling and clinging to the rafters. Crookshanks sat back down and watched the frightened boy. The door burst open as Harry, Ryoga, Hermione and the Weasleys ran into the room, the adults right behind them. Ranma saw them and let go, dropping to the floor and hiding behind Ryoga.
"Get that thing away from me!" Hermione scowled and walked over, picking up her cat.
"Crookshanks is not a thing!" She said in defense of her pet as she walked over. Ranma let out another little scream and clung to the back of Ryoga's shirt, making sure the larger boy was between him and the cat.
"Hermione-san, Ranma is very afraid of cats and if you don't remove your pet from the room Ranma might slip into the Neko-ken." Ryoga explained to the bushy hair girl.
Hermione looked confused by what he meant by 'neko-ken' but did understand that Ranma was afraid of her cat.
"He has Ailurophobia." She said in understanding. "I'll go put Crookshanks in mine and Ginny’s room." Hermione quickly ran out of the room with Crookshanks.
"Ranma, you can let go now, the cat is gone." Ryoga said as he shook Ranma off of him. Ranma let go and leaned forward, his hands resting on his knees, his heart still racing.
"Saotome-san, you didn't inform anyone you are afraid of cats." Albus said. Ranma looked up at the older man through his black bangs.
"I ain't proud of my weakness." He said. "I didn't think it would come up."
"I'm afraid, Saotome-san, that several students in the school have cats." Albus informed him. Ranma made a strangled noise and dropped to the floor. "What is the Neko-ken?"
"The Neko-ken means Cat-fist. It's a fighting technique that allows its user to fight like a cat." Ryoga explained for Ranma. "But the way you train the user is that they got to be under 10 years old and you throw the children into a pit full of starving cats wrapped in fish sausage."
"Oh Merlin!" Molly said, holding her hands up to her mouth. "That's horrible, who could do that to a child?"
"Ranma's father is an idiot." Ryoga said with a bit of a sneer.
"That is an understatement!" Ranma agreed. "I learned the Neko-ken but the only way I can use it is if my mind snaps when I'm around cats for too long then I go 'cat'."
"Go 'cat'?" Albus repeated. "You mean... you act as a feline?" Ranma nodded.
"Yeah, I act just like a cat but I can't remember what happens during that time. My mind snaps back when I sleep or if I change." He said as he got up off the floor.
"Ah... well we'll have set a ward around you that will keep cats away from you." Albus said. "We'll have to figure out what to do after you're sorted into a house, we may have
to room you by yourself if your dorm mates have cats."
"That's fine; just keep those things away from me. I know I'm very dangerous when I'm 'cat' around people who are trying to attack me." Ranma said firmly.
"You poor dear!" Molly said then huffed. "If I ever meet your father I am going to give him a piece of my mind!" She said as she turned and walked out of the room.
"You could have warned me there was a c-cat here." Ranma said as he looked at Harry.
"I didn't think about it and I didn't know about the cat-fist thing." Harry said.
"Yeah... it's fine. It's not like I was gonna tell anyone either." Ranma admitted.
"We’ll just have to keep a look out for cats around you then mate." Ron said, slapping Ranma’s shoulder.
"Let’s go see the Twins’ shop mate!" Ron said as the group of teens walked down Diagon Alley. Harry was holding on to one of Ryoga's arms, everyone had been taking care not to let the teen wonder off on his own.
"I can't believe those two opened that shop instead of returning for their last year of school!" Hermione said with a huff as Ron led the way to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.
"What's wrong with having a store?" Ranma asked, his arms crossed behind his head.
"It's irresponsible." Hermione said. "They are missing taking their NEWTS! And they are only 17!"
"Ucchan has had her own restaurant since she was 16." Ranma said. "And she is going to school at the same time so it's not impossible."
"Sides 'Mione, WWW is what the twins always wanted!" Ron said.
"What's up with Malfoy?" Harry asked behind other three.
"What's that mate?" Ron asked as they stopped. Harry pointed toward the entrance to Knockturn Alley where Draco disappeared with a group of shifty looking wizards. "Who knows, Malfoy is always up to something."
"Yeah but he doesn't usually look so pale and ragged looking." Harry said. "Come on, let’s just see what he's doing."
"Harry, people are going to notice us following Malfoy down Knockturn Alley and we can't all fit under your cloak." Hermione reasoned.
"So we just go above them!" Ranma said. "No one looks up when you follow someone."
"You would know." Ryoga said. Ranma shrugged and gathered Hermione up bridal style.
"Eek! What are you doing?" Hermione said, clinging tightly to Ranma as the pig tailed boy leapt from the ground to the nearest rooftop.
"Blimy!" Ron said, his mouth hanging open. "He did that with one jump!" Ryoga looked at Harry who smiled, looked around to make sure no one was watching then popped into his mew form, flying off after Ranma.
"Come on." Ryoga said as he grabbed Ron and jumped up on the roof after the others. Ron gave a soft yelp of surprise as the bigger teen easily leapt up to the roof. Ryoga spotted Ranma, Hermione and Harry a few feet away.
"Malfoy is in Borgin & Burkes." Harry said as they caught up, pointing at the store as they watched what was happening through a sky light.
"What are they looking at?" Hermione asked.
"Looks like some sort of cabinet." Ranma said.
"It is, I accidently flooed there my first time. Malfoy and his dad came in while I was in there and I had to hide in that thing." Harry said.
"Looks like Malfoy wants to buy it." Ron said as they watched Malfoy touching the side of the cabinet then turned to the store clerk.
"I wonder why?" Harry said, his green eyes narrowing. He popped into his Mew form again and tried to think of something with really good hearing. His form glowed as he turned into a round blue mouse creature with blue fur and a white under belly. His tail had a zigzag look to it and was topped with a blue orb. "Marill" His round ears twisted toward the store as he tried to listen in. (1)
"Why does it matter mate?" Ron asked. "So he's buying some cabinet."
"Well he's got that shifty look to him that screams 'I'm up to something nasty'." Ranma said. "Kuno and even Ryoga get that look when they got some scheme up their sleeves."
"Like you're one to talk, Saotome." Ryoga said with a soft growl.
"Malfoy is always up to something." Ron pointed out once again.
"Marill!" Harry said, turning to glare up at Ron. "Mar marill" He turned back to listen in but it seemed they were done as Malfoy was leaving the store with a couple of the men he had entered with while the rest were packing up the cabinet. All he had managed to hear was mission and something about a twin at Hogwarts. Harry sighed, a mushroom shaped cloud escaped from his mouth before turning back into his normal human form.
"I couldn't hear much over Ron's voice but he is up to something for sure." Harry said.
"I heard something about a mission and something about Hogwarts."
"Oh don't worry about it Harry." Hermione said. "This has nothing to do with us!" Harry frowned, wondering why his two friends didn't take this seriously. "Come on, let’s get back down, I don't like being up here." Soon all five teens were back on the ground and heading for WWW.
A while later they were back at Grimmauld Place, Harry telling Remus and Sirius what they saw and what he heard.
"It sounds like a vanishing cabinet." Remus said. "They use to be very popular as a means to escape. You enter one cabinet, close the door and end up in its twin. But they get damaged much too easily. Once one is damaged, they will not work anymore unless they are fixed."
"So that sneaky little snake is planning to use the cabinet for something." Sirius said.
"He said something about a twin right?"
"It sounded like twin." Harry said with a nod.
"The other cabinet must be there at Hogwarts. But one of them must be damaged because you entered the one at Borgin & Burkes and didn't end up in the other one." Sirius said.
"This is only a theory, Sirius." Remus said with a sigh. "We have no proof Mr. Malfoy is up to anything."
"He is up to something." Harry insisted.
"I agree with Harry." Sirius said. Remus sighed again, rubbing his forehead.
"Just leave it alone Harry, I doubt Mr. Malfoy is doing anything to dangerous." The werewolf said as he stood up. "Just some childish prank or something. Don't dwell on it." He added before leaving the room. Harry pouted a bit then turned to Sirius.
"Why doesn't anyone believe me Siri?" He asked his godfather.
"I believe you Pup, if you think Malfoy is up to something then he is." Sirius said.
"Even your friends don't believe it?"
"I think Ranma and Ryoga does, they seemed to take it seriously when we watched him but Ron and Hermione kept telling me to leave it alone." Harry said with a sigh as his shoulders sagged.
"Well, all I will say is keep an eye on the blond brat until he slips up or you can find out more about what he is up too!" Sirius said. "Just promise me you'll be careful Pup."
He grabbed Harry into a hug. "I don't want to lose you or see you get hurt. You need to, and I can't believe I'm saying this, channel your inner Slytherin."
"My inner Slytherin?" Harry repeated amused.
"Yeah... I mean you told me that hat almost sorted you there so that means you got an inner Slytherin." Sirius said firmly, a serious look on his face. "So use it to find out what Malfoy is up to and to keep yourself alive."
"I promise Siri." Harry said.
"Ok pup, go spend time with your friends then." Sirius said as he let go of the teen.
"You got less than a month before school starts and you can't do anything about Malfoy until then so just go enjoy hanging out with your friends."
Hermione hummed to herself as she flipped through one of the safer books in the Black library. Harry had presented her with two challenges to help his friend Ryoga. She found out the day after the two Japanese teens arrived that Ryoga had the same type of curse as Ranma, but instead of changing into a female version of himself, he turned into a small black piglet. The first challenge was for Hermione to find a way so that Ryoga didn't
get splashed with cold water all the time.
That one had been easy, all Ryoga needed cast on him was the Impervius charm against cold water. The problem was that it wore off and needed to be recast every day. So now she was trying to come up with something to anchor the Impervius spell to something that Ryoga could wear and the spell didn't wear off.
The second challenge was a lot trickier. Ryoga was a wolf Animagus who had been unable to complete his transformation before he was curse and now the curse was blocking the ability it seemed. So now Hermione was researching ways to unblock it so Ryoga could turn into his wolf form.
"I need to be able to study just how those curses work." She said as she hit another dead end. That she couldn't do until they were back at Hogwarts and was able to look at the books there. She rolled her eyes as she heard Mrs. Black portrait started to curse loudly as somebody, likely Tonks, crashed into something.
Meanwhile downstairs, Ryoga held his hands over his ears as he watched Sirius and Tonks struggle to close the curtains over Sirius's mother portrait.
"Why do you keep that thing around?" He asked once the curtains were closed and the screaming stopped.
"We can't get the bloody thing down." Sirius said, giving the curtains a dark look. "It’s got some sort of powerful sticking charm on it."
"So just destroy the wall." Ryoga said.
"Huh?" The two cousins said, blinking at Ryoga.
"It's not a wall holding up the house is it?" Ryoga asked. Sirius slowly shook his head.
"So just tear down the wall. If there isn't a wall, there isn't anything for the painting to stick too."
Sirius blinked and turned to look at Tonks.
"Why didn't anyone think of that?" He asked the younger woman who just shrugged her shoulders.
"I can do it now." Ryoga offered. "Just show me where the back part of the wall is."
Sirius looked curious to what Ryoga was going to do and lead the teen to the room on the other side of the wall, Tonks following after them.
"This is the wall on the other side." Sirius said, pointing to one of the walls. Ryoga walked over to study it for a moment then jabbed his index finger into the walls while shouting.
"Baku Chaitenkechu!" (2)
The wall splintered then exploded in a shower of wood, making Sirius cast a shield to keep himself and Tonks from getting impaled. With no wall to hold it up, Mrs. Black's portrait fell to the floor and landed face first, muffling her renewed screams.
"Bloody hell!" Sirius said, looking at the hole left over from Ryoga's attack.
"What on Earth is going on!?" Molly said as she came up from the kitchen. She gasped in shock as she saw what had happen. "What happened?"
"Just a little remodeling." Sirius said with a grin.
"You used that modified Bakusai Tenketsu didn't you?" Ranma said as he came down and looked at what the other martial artist did. Ryoga shrugged his shoulders in response.
"It worked. Now we don't have to listen to that painting scream anymore."
"Oh my poor mistress!" Kreacher yelled as he knelt next to the painting. "Stupid mudbloods damage mistress's house."
"Kreacher just shut up!" Sirius yelled, tired of the House-elf. "Look, just take the painting and go put it in your room. You can have the stupid thing. But you're not allowed to put it anywhere but in your room!"
"Bad master let Kreacher keep kind mistress?" Kreacher said in disbelief.
"Yes, but you better take it now before I change my mind." Sirius said, drawing his wand.
Kreacher yelped and grabbed the painting popping out of the room. "Bloody mental House Elf." he muttered to himself.
"I'm just glad someone got the painting down." Harry said as he studied the wall. "Are you going to put another wall up here?"
"Oh my, it seems we've done a little redecorating." Albus said as he entered the house, Cologne and Shampoo right behind her. He had gone to pick up the two Amazons from Japan now that Cologne's affairs were in order.
"Nihao!" Shampoo chirped as she bounced into the room. "Ranma miss Shampoo?" Shampoo asked as she hugged Ranma. "Aiyah! Husband and Ryoga fight again?" She asked as she let go of the pigtailed boy and looked at the destruction in the hallway.
"This is all Ryoga's work." Ranma said.
"Well, let's see if we can’t clean it up a little." Albus said as he saved his wand, banishing all of the wood splinters then transfigured the ragger hole left behind into a neat doorway. "Ah well, that opens up the room nicely."
"Maybe we should have Ryoga blow out more walls." Sirius said with a grin. "Just open the whole floor up."
"Umm sir? Why do you have the sorting hat?" Harry said as he noticed the ragged old hat sticking out of Dumbledore's colorful robes.
"Hmm? Oh yes. I brought it here to sort Mr. Hibiki and Mr. Saotome." Albus said as he took the hat out of his pocket. "I didn't think either of them would like to be sorted with the first years."
"We can do that down in the kitchen." Sirius said. Soon everyone was in the kitchen, Ryoga and Ranma sitting at the table. Luckily for Ranma he didn't have to be in his girl form for the hat to work.
"Now, who would like to go first?" Albus asked the two teens.
"So we just have to put on the hat and it does what?" Ranma asked.
"Baka!" Ryoga said as he hit Ranma on the head. "Haven’t you been paying attention to what the others told you about Hogwarts? Each student is sorted into a 'House' and that's where you stay during the school year."
"Quite right, if a little simplified." Albus said. "The sorting hat is a relic from the time of Hogwart's founders. Godric Gryffindor charmed the hat, which use to belong to him, himself to sort each student within Hogwarts halls."
"I can speak for myself, Headmaster." The sorting hat said, making Ranma, Ryoga and Shampoo jump.
"Aiyah! Hat talk!" Shampoo said as she leaned forward. The motion showed the top of Shampoo's cleavage through her top, Ron staring at it with his mouth open until Hermione noticed and slapped the back of his head.
"Ronald!" She hissed.
"Bloody hell Mione!" Ron said as he rubbed the back of his head. "You didn't have to hit me so hard!"
"Ronald! Language!" Molly snapped. Ron blushed, the top of his ears going red.
"Now, seeing as this isn't the great hall, I assume this is one of those special case
sortings." The hat said after clearing its 'throat' to get everyone's attention again.
"Who is it then?"
"These two young gentlemen are joining Hogwarts this year." Albus said. "Now, who is going first?"
"Ok, I'll bite." Ranma said with a shrug. Albus smiled and sat the hat on Ranma's head.
'Hmm... you know about working hard but I can't say you have a strong since of loyalty so that leaves out Hufflepuff.' The hat said in Ranma's mind. 'Not Ravenclaw, you have no wish to study anything unless it is a marital art. Oh... you could fit in with Slytherin, you are ambitious when presented with something you want and you are not above using dirty tricks to get it or to win a fight. On the other hand, you also have a great deal of bravery and you will fight for anyone, even those you consider a foe...'
"So that puts me where?" Ranma asked out loud.
'You do not have to speak out loud boy.' The hat said. 'Ah... I don't think Slytherin is right for you, you would not handle the snake pit very well with the way that most in there currently think so it better be...'
"Gryffindor!" The sorting hat called out loud.
"Right on mate!" Ron said with a grin. "Gryffindor is the best house, you'll be with us!"
"Now you Mr. Hibiki." Albus said as he moved the hat from Ranma to Ryoga's head.
'You have loyalty in spades, especially for young Mr. Potter but I think you may be a little much for some of the Hufflepuffs... you are well learned but are you are not driven by it.' The sorting hat said. 'While you have your sly and cunning moments; you
would not fit in with Slytherin. On the other hand you're not afraid to charge forward into a challenge or to put aside your feelings for someone to help them. I think you'll do well in...'
"Ah, very good." Albus said as he took the hat. "You two shall be placed in the same dorm as the 6th years. None of the 6th year boys have cats so you should be good there Mr. Saotome."
"Can Shampoo try hat?" Shampoo asked, she was curious about the talking hat.
"Well... I don't suppose there would be anything wrong with that." Albus said as he stroked his beard.
"But she's not a student is she?" Remus asked.
"No but it's not the first time a non-student tried on the hat." The headmaster said.
"Siblings of Muggle-borns who come to the castle with their parents when I have to speak to them like to try it on as well."
Dumbledore gently placed the sorting hat on Shampoo's head at an angle to fit over one of her hair buns on top of her head.
'Well well! I know just the place for you my dear.' The hat said as it quickly scanned Shampoo's mind. 'You have great loyalty for both your village and for Mr. Saotome. You are also not a stranger to working hard, best fighter of your generation in your village. My dear, Helga would be proud to have you in...'
"Hufflepuff!" The hat called.
"I'm sure you would be an asset to Hufflepuff if you were a student." Albus said as took the hat from Shampoo's head. "Well, I will leave you ladies to get settled in. Elder Cologne I’ll escort you to Hogwarts in a few days."
"Yes yes, I look forward to it." Cologne said as she waved Albus off.
"Oh yes, something else." Dumbledore stopped by the door, taking out three packages from his robes. "A little late but here are your OWL results." He said as he handed them to the Golden Trio.
"I was worried when they didn't come with the school lists." Hermione said as she eagerly ripped the package open. She grinned as she read her results, squealing happily. "I made 9 OWLs! What did you two get?"
"Hmm... I did pretty well. An O in CoMC, Herbology and DADA, EE in Potions, Charms and Transfiguration... A in History and Divination." Harry said as he read his results.
"I got mostly A's and an O in DADA and Divination.” Ron said. "Thanks to you mate, couldn't have made that OWL in DADA without you." He added as he slapped Harry on the back. "And we're rid of Snape, with EE and A, we don't have to take Potions!"
"No, I'm still taking potions." Harry admitted. "Our new Potions teacher allowed lower grades."
"New teacher? Was Snape sacked?" Ron asked.
"Professor Snape." Hermione scolded Ron. "Who's our new potions professor?"
"That would be me." Cologne said, drawing their attention. Ron and Hermione blinked, they just assumed she was the new DADA professor. "I shall be taking over Potions while the Snape boy becomes your DADA instructor."
"Merlin's pants." Ron groaned. "Just when I thought I was rid of the Greasy Git!"
"Ronald!" Molly scolded him, making Ron blush to the tip of his ears.
"So we'll be in potions together then?" Hermione asked Harry who nodded.
"To tell the truth... I'll be getting extra lessons too." Harry told her. "Cologne has taken me as her apprentice."
"Apprentice?" Hermione repeated. "Really? But Harry... I hate to say it but you grades aren’t that good even if you did make EE on your OWLs."
"With a teacher like Snape who would? He might be a great Potions Master but he's a crap teacher for it." Harry pointed out.
"Harry, don't speak about a professor that way!" Hermione scolded.
"I agree with him girly." Cologne said. "I had to go over the correct ways to prepare ingredients and why everything should be done in certain ways with Harry as Snape didn't bother to teach any of you that or am I wrong?"
"Well..." Hermione blushed slightly as she was put on the spot. "No, not really but he must have wanted us to look it up ourselves."
"That is not an excuse." Cologne pointed out. "To be a professor you much teach not just throw the instructions up on a boards and tell someone to brew. Once I taught him the correct way, Harry's talent shone through and I plan on helping him nurture his abilities. That is why he is my apprentice!"
"... Oh." Hermione said, feeling very scolded.
"Come Shampoo, let us settle into our room." Cologne said.
"Coming Great Grandmother." Shampoo said as she picked up their things.
"Oh, we've set up another bed in Hermione and Ginny's room for you." Molly said.
"My Great Granddaughter will be staying with me." Cologne said firmly. "There is no reason for her to share with anyone else." Molly looked slightly flustered, not use to anyone other than Albus disagreeing with her. Cologne hopped out of the room on her staff, Shampoo following behind her.
When Albus left the room, Sirius followed out behind him.
"Headmaster." He called before the man could leave.
"Ah Sirius, what can I do for you?" Dumbledore said as he stopped and turned.
"Have you thought about what we talked about the other day?" Sirius asked, he had brought up the fact that he didn't want to be in the old depressing out once again. The first time around had driven him nut and even more reckless that he usually was.
"My boy, it is simply too dangerous for you to leave." Albus said soothingly.
"Now listen here you old goat!" Sirius hissed, a dog-like growling in his voice. "The last year was hell on me. I cannot stand this hell hole; there are too many bad memories here. It was driving me into depression. I refuse to stay here again!"
"But there is nowhere else." Dumbledore said. "Unless you intend to leave England but I know you don't want to be far from Harry."
"Why can't I stay at Hogwarts?" Sirius asked. "There are several places in the castle that no one goes to, I can find a room to set up base in. I can help train Harry and his friends."
Albus hummed as he stroked his beard as he thought over Sirius's offer. He was already changing his plans on what to teach Harry. He still planned on showing the boy the memories he collected but now that Harry didn't have to die to get rid of the Horcux, Harry could get a bit of real training so he could survive his last encounter with Tom.
He also didn't want to drive the man to end up in danger again like he had last year, he never meant to harm Sirius mentally, he just wanted to keep Sirius safe after he failed the man years before.
"Will you be able to avoid Severus?" He finally asked. "Perhaps tutor Mr. Saotome and Miss Potter?"
"Yes." Sirius said with a relieved tone that Dumbledore was considering this. "Anything, just get me out of this fucking house!"
"I suppose... I owe you that much. After all, you are letting us use your home as Headquarters." Albus said after a few seconds. "And I have treated you poorly last year by not listening to you. Alright, if you can keep from fighting with Severus as best you can and keep yourself out of trouble at the school, you may stay there."
"Thank you!" Sirius said happily.
"I shall have the House Elves set up a set of rooms for you, Miss Potter will be staying with you as well as she continues to adjust to life as a human." Dumbledore said as he headed for the door again. Sirius didn't have a problem with that, he got along with Hedwig.
In the following days up to September first flowed by quickly. Harry resumed his lessons with Cologne and even Hermione was allowed to sit in on a couple of them. Ranma was tutored in magic, shocking some of the adults at how fast he, or she as the case would be, picked up the spells. Ranma tended to lean more toward charms and offensive magic’s, though if you asked her, she would rather use her martial arts to fight. Ryoga was also caught up and would be in sixth year with Harry and his friends.
Ryoga did end up lost once, everyone lost sight of him for one second and he disappeared. Molly almost had a fit when she found out Ryoga had gone missing, thinking that he had snuck out. It took the combined effort of Cologne, Harry and Ranma to inform the elder Weasley woman that Ryoga getting lost was quite normal and that he would show back up in a few days. And as they said, Tonks showed up 3 days later at the house with Ryoga in tow, who had come bearing souvenirs from the places he had been. Shirokuro had been extremely happy to see his master and had bowled Ryoga over, bathing the bandanna teen with kisses.
Harry meanwhile had been practicing with his Mew form. He had yet to tell anyone else about his telepathic ability, so far only Sirius, Hedwig and the members of the NWC knew. He had also discovered a new form. Another deer form called Sawsbuck, which was closer to looking like Prongs than his Stantler form did. It had come about when he was showing the ability off to Remus and ended up as Sawsbuck instead of Stantler.
Hedwig was also adjusting to life as a human nicely. Every day she was speaking more and more as well as quickly picking up on the spells Remus and Sirius taught her. She spent most of her time with her Harry-chick or with Sirius as the stares the others in the house, baring the Nerima teens and Cologne, gave her was unnerving as if they couldn't believe how fast the owl was adjusting to being human. Of course she was a human all the way now, when Cologne arrived she had the Musk's bucket which locked her in her cursed form.
Then said bucket was then sent via post-owl back to Prince Herb. Rumor has it the owl never came back, but one of the Musk did gain a new bride.
Soon it was nearing the time to return to Hogwarts. Albus turned up to escort Cologne to Hogwarts so she could set up her class room and personal chambers. The headmaster also informed Harry was he was to have private lessons with him during the school year. When the day arrived to return to school, the Golden Trio and the three members of the Nerima Wrecking Crew were escorted by members of the Order of the Phoenix to catch the Hogwarts Express. As soon as the kids left, Sirius and Hedwig flooed to Hogwarts so they could move into the rooms Albus had set up for them. Kreacher came as well, banished to the kitchens under the watch of Dobby.
Once they were on the train and found a compartment to sit in, Harry smiled as he settled in beside Ryoga. The summer had been strange and wonderful but he was happy to be returning to the first home he ever really knew. He just hoped Hogwarts was ready for the new chaos he had brought back with him from Japan.
Author Note: So I have a confession, I've never read either of the last two Harry Potter books. But I have seen the Half Blood Prince movie, so this will be more movie based thought I'm trying to add my own spin to it.
(1) I chose Marill because Tracy's Marill supposed to have really good hearing so I assume it's the same for all Marills.
(2) From the de-aging mushroom saga, Ryoga used an attack that worked like the Bakusai Tenketsu but could destroy wood instead of rock.