Harry Potter is aware of the wizarding world. The only problem is he grew up apart from it. When he explored the magical world, he found danger, wonder, and friendship.
Chapter 8: Magical Lessons pt.1
Hermione Granger, one of Hogwarts' smartest witches, was busily sorting through her charms, transfiguration, potions, and other books from grade one to five in her room at number twelve Grimmauld Place. Parchments, past and present essays, quills, and few notes were orderly filed and categorized at various places of the room. Some were on the table, on the bed, and on the floor. She was preparing her lesson plan by grouping the various subjects by year and topic, and by what was most essential.
She relaxed a little bit and contemplated what led to this circumstance. She was supposed to accompany her parents on their regular summer tour when Professor Lupin asked her a favor. He wanted her to tutor one Harry Evans. He would take over when he completed the Order business or at the end of summer. A special room was already prepared by Professor Moody for the practical part of study. She and her friends could also use it to practice.
The subjects she would teach him should cover first-year to fifth-year lessons. She was given free rein on the lesson plan. She was flattered by Professor Lupin's confidence in her. But, she warned him not to expect great result. After all, she was only a student. Professor Lupin merely smiled at her and gave her morale, a boost.
"So, are you excited to meet your student?" The teasing voice of Ginny Weasley brought her to reality. Ginny was surprised at the big change in her friend, not only in appearance, but also in fashion. Her oblivious brother would surely notice her now.
"Ginny! When did you get here?" Hermione stood up smiling and happily hugged her friend. She was glad she had someone, at least, her own age to talk now. She pulled Ginny from the doorway towards her work area. "Who is with you?"
"Hmmm, you changed a lot Hermione. You will have Ron and this new guy fighting over you." She saw Hermione blushed while frowning at her.
"You didn't answer my questions," she reminded Ginny, annoyed.
"You didn't answer mine first," Ginny countered cheekily.
They engaged in a friendly glaring match. "Is this a private party or can anyone join in?" a voice very much like Professor Lupin jokingly asked.
The surprised girls turned towards the door and warmly greeted the visitor, "Hello Professor Lupin."
Remus scowled dramatically. "Need I remind you again? I'm not your professor anymore. Remus will do," he said smiling. He entered the room and looked around taking note of the neatly stacked parchments and books. He noticed Ginny constantly looking behind him. "Expecting someone?"
"You said Hermione's student will be here today," she said, playfully smiling at her friend.
"Harry is in Sirius' room right now, resting. You probably won't see him today. He's had a rough day." He turned to Hermione. "Are you all set, Hermione?"
"I hope so," Hermione anxiously replied. She grabbed a pile of parchments on the table and rifled thru them. "I have a rough draft of the lesson plan. Would you check it for me prof... Remus? I don't want to miss anything important."
Remus indulgently smiled at her. "I'll take a look at it after dinner." He left after that and went to see Harry.
As Remus guessed correctly, Harry didn't join them at dinner time. He was sprawled on his bed sound asleep. He was so tired physically and emotionally that he didn't even change his clothes. It was nearing dawn when he jerked awake. He was disoriented at first with the unfamiliar surrounding. But, he soon realized he was not in his room at Wicker Farm anymore.
He quickly took a shower, put on fresh clothes, and quietly went downstairs for breakfast. Several trials later, he found the kitchen in the basement. A portly redheaded woman was busy preparing the morning meal. The table was set for nine people.
"Good morning." The woman turned around. Harry had a nagging feeling he'd seen her before. "My name is Harry Evans. Is there anything I can do to help?" Harry offered graciously. His stomach silently growled at the smell of cooking food.
"It's quite alright, dear. Why don't you sit down and I'll bring you a platter. You must be terribly hungry. I didn't see you eat last night." He was handed a plateful of egg, bacons, sausages, fried bread, mushrooms, and a glass of orangey juice.
"By the way, my name is Molly Weasley. I'm the mother of Fred, George, Ron and Ginny. You'll probably meet them all today," she said cheerfully. Harry liked her warm motherly appearance and manners. The door opened and three people came in. He was introduced to Fred, George and Moody.
"The name is Gred and Forge. I am Gred. He is Forge," the one, sitting on his left side, said.
"Fred!" Mrs. Weasley yelled, giving her twins a menacing look. "Harry is new here. I'll have none of your mischief."
"But mum, we haven't done anything...yet. Besides, we were only trying to make Harry feel welcome." George who was sitting on Harry's right side, protested on behalf of his twin.
Mrs. Weasley and the twins went on for a bit. Harry had a feeling this was a common occurrence. When she turned back to cooking breakfast, Fred hurriedly handed Harry a couple of, what looked like, crÃ¨me cakes. Harry looked at him, puzzled.
"You didn't eat last night," George said softly, while cutting his sausages.
"So, we saved some for you," Fred continued also in a quiet voice, before taking a bite off his fried bread.
"Put them away and eat them later," George quietly added, cutting his bacons this time.
"They're delicious." Fred finished the bread and started eating his eggs.
Harry felt a crick on his neck from moving his head side to side, following the twins disjointed sentences. He thanked Fred and pocketed the sweets in his brown cargo pants.
Moody who was quietly eating his breakfast so far, gruffly said to Harry, "Constant vigilance." Harry nodded in response although he didn't have a foggiest idea what the wizened wizard meant by that.
After a few minutes, Hermione, Ginny, Remus and Ron joined them. More intermittent conversation from the twins followed. Harry and Hermione had finished eating their breakfast when a pink haired witch entered the kitchen. She sat on the last remaining seat and glared at everyone.
"Why didn't anyone bother to wake me up?" she said crossly. Her hair surprisingly turned purple, red, and then pink again. Harry was mesmerized. He couldn't take his eyes off her hair. The others were amused at Harry's awestruck expression.
"Tonks, I didn't know you were here," Mrs. Weasley said surprised. She stood up and gave her the same kind of food Harry ate. Tonks' sour face swiftly cleared up.
"Mrs. Weasley, you are the best," she said, smiling contentedly at her generous meal.
Harry and Hermione excused themselves and headed to the library. Harry studied the schedule laid out by Hermione for the whole summer. On Mondays, he had Charms and Transfiguration. On Tuesdays, he had Defence Against the Dark Arts and duel practice. On Wednesdays, he had Herbology and Potions. On Thursdays, he had History of Magic and Astronomy. On Fridays, he had duel practice all day. Saturdays and Sundays were off days.
They would start after breakfast, break for lunch, and continue at one in the afternoon. They would study the theory first and do the practical second. Hermione gave him the syllabus for each subject. She urged him to read in advance so they could cover as much topic as possible.
She showed him where to find the reference books. Next, she led him to a table with neatly piled textbooks. Harry picked one and read the inscription on the flyleaf of The Standard Book of Spells Grade 1 /by Miranda Goshawk/. "This is the property of Hermione Jane Granger."
"Are you sure you want me to use your books? Uncle Max once told me I have a bad habit of doodling on my textbooks," Harry said with a mischievous smile. He watched Hermione momentarily stopped caressing the spine of a book entitled /The Monster Book of Monsters/. She carefully set the book on the table.
"Well, I'll just make sure to keep the lessons as interesting as possible. Or, you just have to curb your doodling habit, won't you?" Hermione replied with a tense smile.
Harry laughed, "I'll try to treat these books like they were somebody else's property. You never know. They might come in handy."
Hermione was glad that Harry was an attentive student. He didn't fool around or contradict everything she said. He would just write everything on his note and asked question to clarify a certain concept. They were now moving to the practical side of the Levitation Charm. Moody had erected a shield on this one side of the library so that no underage magic would leak out. The shield would stay up as long as no strong magic or Unforgivable Curses were performed.
"Remember, the correct pronunciation of the word is as important as the movement of your wand. Now watch. Wingardium/ Leviosa/." Hermione let the feather float for several seconds before canceling the charm. "Now you do it."
"/Wingardium// Leviosa/." Harry concentrated hard on keeping the feather afloat. He felt the tingling sensation in the palm of his wand hand. After a moment, he cancelled the charm.
"That's very good, Harry. And, it's your first try too." Hermione was simply happy. She was surprised that Harry was a fast learner.
"What can I say? I have a great teacher," Harry said lightly. She looked so excited he didn't have a heart to tell her otherwise.
They had been studying for three straight hours with no break. And Harry felt it's about time for some snack. He stood up and brought out the two crÃ¨me cakes.
Hermione stopped her lecture on Cheering Charm when she saw Harry put some food on the table. "Harry, where did you get those?" she asked recognizing the confection.
"These? Weasley twins gave them to me. It was real nice of them. Do you want one?" He handed one to Hermione while he took a bite of the other.
"Harry, don't..." She was too late, in front of her stood a big yellow canary. The bird looked around confused. Then, it started to twitter madly and hopped around the room. Hermione strained not to laugh out loud. After a while, the yellow feathers fell.
Harry was his old self again and very confused. "What the bloody hell happened?"
"Don't swear," said Hermione with a disapproving look. "You ate a Canary Cream. It was one of the products sold by the twins. Next time, don't eat anything they give you."
"What do you mean 'next time'? There will be no 'next time'." Harry inspected himself to see if everything was back to normal.
"Come on. Let's take a break." Hermione started walking out of the library. She turned slightly to Harry who was following her. "You have to remind me to take a break once in a while. Sometimes, I forget not everyone share my passion for learning."
Two more weeks passed and soon Remus would take charge of his magical education. Hermione was a hard taskmaster. Harry had to work extra hard to keep up with her schedule. In a way, it was a good thing because he was learning a lot. On the other hand, he wasn't practicing enough. Hermione liked him to understand the concepts before they practice.
Remus had to cancel his participation in dueling class because he didn't know enough defensive and offensive magic. Hence, he took the time to incorporate what magic he already knew to his martial arts practice. He had seen the other Hogwarts students duel. They were very good. However, he noticed they relied too much on their wand. And, they let their opponents know what spell they were going to use next.
Harry put down his book on Transfiguration and tiredly rested his head on the table. He looked at his watch and read twelve midnight. For over a week now, he had been practicing silent spell casting with very little success. He had also tried casting spell without wand movement with no result either. Harry closed his eyes firmly. He must be doing something wrong. Hermione told him it was possible because that Dumbledore bloke did it a lot of times.
He sat up straight, held his wand, and cleared his mind of distraction. He breathed deeply and evenly. He decided to imagine his magic, as he would with his /chi/, was centered in the region of his stomach. He slowly pointed his wand at the feather and mentally said the magic word without any wand movement. Again, he felt the tingling sensation in the palm of his hand. This time, he let the sensation flow to his wand. Suddenly, the feather was floating five centimeters from the surface of the table. He couldn't believe it was that easy. He kept his elation under control. He moved his wand toward the left and the feather moved left. Next, he made it moved towards the right and it moved towards the right.
Harry smiled from ear to ear. He let the feather dropped and pointed his wand at his Transfiguration book. He repeated exactly what he did with the feather. The book rose up. He excitedly stood up and backed away from the table. In no time, the table was floating almost to the ceiling. He couldn't contain his joy any longer. Harry laughed maniacally.
Suddently, the door burst open and three wizards charged inside. The table fell with a loud crash. That triggered the wizards to fire a barrage of curses. Harry barely managed to run for cover.
"Stop! Stop! It's me you guys! Stop shooting!" Harry shouted above the noise. The wizards stopped, but kept their wand pointed at his hiding place.
"Is that you, Evans?" one of them asked. Harry answered affirmatively. "What kind of wand did you buy at Ollivander's?"
"Um...I didn't buy any," Harry answered nervously. That's when the three wizards relaxed and put away their wands. Harry slowly poked his head out to identify the wizards. They were Moody, Tonks, and Remus.
"Was that you laughing? We thought You-Know-Who was inside the house." Remus was grinning widely as he watched Harry come out of his hiding place.
"Sorry about that... I got carried away." Harry also grinned.
"Next time, Harry, cast a Silencing Charm before you laugh like that. You gave me the creeps," Tonks admonished lightly.
"You better go to bed, Evans. You don't want to fall asleep in one of Granger's lectures." Moody's artificial eye looked him over for a moment before he walked out of the library. Outside the door, he heard Moody ordered everyone back to bed.
"I will. I'll just finish cleaning up in here," he called at Moody's retreating back. Remus and Tonks had already started repairing the curse scarred library. "Thanks Remus, Tonks. See you at breakfast."
Harry was again first at the breakfast table. No matter, how late he stayed up. He always showed up early for breakfast. Moody and Remus came in next. It didn't take long for the others to file in as well. Soon, everyone was enjoying a hearty breakfast except for the twins. Mrs. Weasley noticed their absence and ordered Ron to wake up his brothers. No sooner had he left the table when the kitchen door opened.
Fred and George unsteadily entered. They were wearing a very big red clown shoes. They were holding hands to support each other as they walked.
Mrs. Weasley shook her head at her sons' antics. "Will you two take those ridiculous shoes off and eat your breakfast."
"We can't." Mrs. Weasley glared at them. "Honestly, we can't," said George pleadingly.
"Do you really think we would wear these horrendous shoes..." Fred began, exasperated.
"...So we could slide down those flights of stairs on our bums?" George finished while rubbing his posterior.
Mrs. Weasley made a huge effort not to laugh. She tried to be solicitous, but she failed miserably. Harry and the others, however, guffawed to their hearts content. Fortunately for the others, Ron's side was the only one with available chairs. He was kicked and slapped by the huge shoes before the twins could sit down.
Fred leaned forward and looked at Harry. "This is brilliant, mate."
"Yeah, even Ron couldn't pull this kind of trick," George added
"And, he's been using magic longer than you are," Fred said
"Of course, you realize this means war," George said.
"Just to let you know, we never lose a prank war." Fred smugly informed him.
Harry finished his meal and drank his pumpkin juice. He couldn't understand how the twins knew it was him. Now, he's in bigger trouble. How would he fight a magical prank war with his limited knowledge of magic? Nevertheless, he put up a brave front and said, "There is always a first time for everything."
The twins grinned wickedly. Hermione buried her face in her hands. Ginny looked very interested. Ron looked positively ecstatic. Tonks and Remus were rooting for him. The rest were just amused.