Categories > Books > Harry Potter > I, Alone
Chapter 6– From Outsiders To Charms
Ronald Weasley sighed and hefted his school bag over one shoulder before turning and making his way out of the boy's dormitory. Breakfast had been a good meal…a very good meal! With three plates full of eggs, potatoes and bacon in him he felt with a fair degree of certainty that he could hold out till lunch time. If they keep feeding us like they did yesterday I could really come to love this place, he thought with a grin. The realization that he was talking about loving school had the boy shaking his head in disbelief as he turned and walked from the room. "Mental, I am," he said aloud to himself in a hushed tone of amazement.
Growing up in a large family he was used to large meals. With five older brothers, a younger sister and his parents, nothing short of a feast would suffice when the nine of them sat down to eat. Molly Weasley, his mother, loved to cook which made the kitchen her favorite room in the entire house. Cooking was more than just something to do; it was a way of life for the Weasley Matriarch. If there was one thing she did better than meddling it was cooking, although Ron thought it might be a tossup between the two as to which the woman was most accomplished at. The young redhead also couldn't decide which his mother preferred to do first. A perfect day for Mum would be meddling while she was cooking, he mused with a silent chuckle at the image that thought called to mind.
It's not like Mom gossips, he reminded himself as he trooped down the stairs from the dormitory into the Gryffindor common room. She just likes to have her say in things…everything actually, he quickly added, his grin slipping slightly recalling several of the times he had been in the receiving end of his mother's sharp tongue. He had learned at a young age that there were two ways of doing things in the Weasley world, the wrong way, and his mother's way. Nothing will get you an earful quicker around Mum than doing things the wrong way, he thought, his grin slipping further as he felt a stab of home sickness. As loud and as boisterous as his mother may be, he loved her dearly and missed her, even if he didn't want to admit that to anyone including himself.
This was the first time he had been away from home for any great length of time, and while it was exciting it was also a bit difficult to deal with. He missed the safety and security of his house and room. The young boy knew that many people often scoffed or made fun of the Burrow for how it looked yet to him it was home. To his way of thinking there really was no better place to be. Ron thought that the structure, with its many sides and portions out jutting like a poorly stacked set of blocks, reflected their unique family rather well. We're all very different but together they're all my family. That thought alone brought a warm smile back to his face.
While many did not think much of the small Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office his father worked for within the Ministry of Magic, Ron was very proud of his father. Arthur Weasley was honest, hardworking, loving and cared for his family a great deal. These were traits that the Weasley elder had tried to instill in his children. Judging by the oldest two siblings it was clear that Arthur had achieved his goal. Bill was a highly respected Curse Breaker employed by the Wizarding bank Gringotts while Charlie was currently working through an apprenticeship as a Dragon Handler at a secluded dragon preserve in Romania.
Percy, the third eldest Weasley brother was already a Prefect at Hogwarts and there was little doubt that he would follow in Bill's footsteps and become Head Boy one day. Ron couldn't help but feel the pressure of having such older brothers. Living in their shadow was no easy task for the eleven year old. The one saving grace, or perhaps two saving graces, were the twins. Fred and George were an endless source of both frustration as well as laughter to the Weasley parents. While Ron couldn't deny that he often fell prey to their pranks and latest potions he would be the first to admit that life was anything but dull around the both of them. With the twins about, laughter was the main course of any day.
Ron's little sister, Ginevra, was the youngest of the Weasley family brood. He, like his older brothers, was fiercely protective of the young girl. The young Gryffindor was both dreading as well as looking forward to his sister starting at Hogwarts next year. It will be grand having her here, he told himself, but looking after her will certainly cut into my free time. With a mental shrug he just chalked it up to what brothers do, deciding to make the best of it and enjoy the time with her.
Ron adjusted his robes as best he could being that they were alittle big for him. They were hand-me-down from Percy, as the twins were taller and hence their older clothes didn't fit correctly. It wasn't all bad he reasoned. Percy tended to take better care of his appearance and hygiene than the twins did. This usually meant that the clothes passed down to him were in better shape than if they had come from the twins. They also didn't have stains and odor from whatever new potion or mixture the twins had been cooking up at the time.
Life itself wasn't easy at all for the youngest male Weasley, being at the bottom of the male food chain meant that the word new seldom, if ever, entered Ron's life. Almost everything he had, besides the Chudley Cannons posters in his room, had once belonged to someone else, from his shoes, to his trousers, to his knickers, and even to the wand that was currently tucked away in his pants pocket. In the Weasley world there was no such thing as an extra galleons, sickles or knuts. 'If it was worn by one member of the family it is good enough to worn by another'was one of Molly's favorite saying and one Ron had heard far more times than he would have liked to.
The young pureblood wizard had found it very hard to wait to turn eleven and start his schooling at Hogwarts. While he didn't know how much it was costing his parent for him to be there, he certainly didn't want them to think it had been a waste to send him. I'll make them proud of me! He had made a promise to his younger self once that he would graduate and become a Quidditch star, so that he could get rich and take care of his parents. We'll never want for anything ever again! His fervent wish was for his Dad to spend his declining years tinkering with Muggle items out in his shed while his Mum cooked and baked in the kitchen of the Burrow to her heart's content.
The lanky youth paused in the common room beside the Wizarding chess set long enough to shift a pawn forward two spaces as an opening gambit. It was a clear indication for anyone wanting to play a game to make their move. Ron had spent many a night playing chess with his father from an early age. His father had called it their 'bonding time'; however Ron quickly noticed that whenever his Mom wanted his Dad to do something the elder Weasley wasn't wanting to do, the chess board came out. They both enjoyed the challenge of the game as well as the time spent together regardless of the reason for it. These days it was usually an even split on who would win the game they were involved in. Satisfied with his first move Ron turned and quickly made his way to the passageway only to see the portrait of the fat lady swing aside as a tear streaked, busy-haired witch rushed past him clearly upset and crying.
"Hermione," Ron called out after the fleeing girl, even as he retraced his footsteps back to the common room only to see his classmate hastening up the stairs while hastily wiping at her cheeks. "What's wrong, Hermione?"
"It's nothing Ron," Hermione replied over her shoulder abit more curtly than she had intended. "You'd best head to class or you'll be late," she added pausing at the top of the stairs though refusing to turn about to face him. "I'll see you there. I just need to grab my books."
The young Gryffindor male had no clue what could have upset his new friend and even less of a clue as to what he should do. Crying girls, other than his sister, were a new experience for him which left him feeling rather barmy from not knowing what to do. The redhead quickly decided it wasn't something he liked and added 'crying girls' to his short list of things to avoid at all costs. Ron stood there, his face etched with concern, as the girl disappeared through the doorway to the girl's dormitory with her book bag clearly slung over one shoulder.
I'm such a fool, she berated herself with silently. Leaving the hospital wing of Hogwarts she had hastened her pace towards the seventh floor and the Gryffindor tower. It was only through a sheer force of will that she had held back the hurt tears till the portrait had opened before her. Like the workings of a floodgate, it had signaled the start of her water works. The young witch had hoped that there would be no one in the Gryffindor common room. Just my luck, someone would be here!
Slipping into her dorm room she quickly made her way to her own bed and sat upon the foot of it as once more tears leaked free from her eyes and trailed their way down her youthful cheeks. I'll have to apologize to Ron later, she thought, realizing she had been rude to the boy, even if unintentionally so. With a shrug of her shoulder she allowed the heavy book bag to fall to the bed behind her.
Why? Why did Harry push me away? she asked herself once again as her logical mind refused to drop the matter even though it hurt her heart thinking of it. It was like a sore tooth that hurt to touch it, yet you couldn't resist probing it with your tongue. He must blame me, she finally decided. I pushed him to try transfiguring the match into a pin. The young witch toppled over sideways onto her bed, her small shoulders shaking as silent sobs racked her body for several long moments.
It's my fault entirely, she silently bemoaned in realization. What if something had happened, she suddenly thought. The bright witch was well aware that something had happened but knew it could have possibly been worse. She was already aghast at the fact that all those books had been transfigured into pins, perhaps gone forever. Books were like friends to her as she had spent so much of her young life buried with her nose in them. Books had filled the place in her life where real friends should have been. The fact that her actions caused so many books to be destroyed was tantamount to blasphemy to the young studious girl. A sobering thought suddenly hit her. What if Harry or someone else had been injured?
The young brunette's mind was off and racing at the possibilities of what might have happened. Being smart had its drawbacks as it allowed her mind to clearly see all the possibilities and the devastating consequences they would hold. It didn't take very long for her to come to the same conclusion that Harry had previously in the hospital bed he had been lying in. What if Harry had turned someone into a pin? A cold shiver ran down her spine as she realized that someone could have died.
Hermione sat up once again, shocked from her tears by the realization that they may have all very well just barely escaped death last night. But could he actually do that? The young witch's mind was quickly off and running along that chain of thought. Would it take stronger ability to turn a person into a pin than a book?"Granted he did transfigure a great many books," she stated aloud sullenly at the thought of the ruined treasures of printed words.
"But would that be enough to change a living person into an inanimate object?" she asked herself as she wiped the remains of the tears from her cheeks with one hand. "Harry said that it was accidental magic," she pursued her thoughts like a hungry dog after a bone. "By definition that would mean that it was unintentional what happened. Transfiguration requires the wizard or witch to impose their will upon the object they are trying to transfigure." Hermione chewed her lower lip for a long moment as she pondered that thought. "It would seem to me then that the act of transfiguring someone into a pin would have to be a very intentional one," she reasoned.
"So then," she said as she climbed to her feet, continuing her one sided dialogue, "if that is true then no one was really in any danger as Harry never meant for the magic to affect anything other than the match itself." The young witch made her way into the bathroom, slipping a washcloth from the shelf before she turned on the tap and held the cloth under the cool water. "So why then did the books get transfigured?"
Wringing the water from the wash cloth she turned the tap off and then folded the cloth before placing it over one closed eye. She was no stranger to tears and well knew that they made her eyes red as well as causing them to swell up. A cold compress was usually the quickest way to bring the swelling down. Standing there gazing into the mirror before the sink she thought back to last night. "The first indication that something was wrong was when my Defense Against The Dark Arts book was suddenly gone," she recalled as she shifted the wash cloth to her other eyes and applied gentle pressure.
"It wasn't gone, it was transfigured!" she suddenly exclaimed excitedly, feeling she was on to something. The bushy-haired witch stared at her reflection for several long minutes as she pondered the implication of that realization. "Could it be so simple?" she asked herself in a tone of disbelief. "Could he have just not been focused enough?" she pondered, believing that the boy's attention had simply wandered to her book which had been lying right there within his field of vision. Hermione used the cloth to erase the tear tracks from her cheeks before leaning in closer and peering at herself in the mirror intently. "That has to be it," she said even as she turned away, satisfied with her appearance, knowing from experience that the redness around the edges of her eyes would go away in time.
Leaving the wash cloth on the counter next to the sink she walked back into the dorm room and to her bed, feeling better about herself. "At least no one was in any danger," she spoke aloud thoughtfully as she reached down and shouldered her book bag. It was with a pain of regret that she recalled Harry and his reaction to her presence just a short while ago."Nothing to be done for it now," she told herself as she walked towards the door to head to class.
I was so certain that he was like me, she mused to herself. Once again she saw him seated at the table reading through the books before him. That could have just as easily been me seated there and reading those books.This realization did little to make her feel better. Perhaps I wanted to make a new friend…someone like myself, so badly that I just imagined that he and I would have anything in common.
Lost in thought the young Gryffindor slowly descended the stairs. Harry must have been there just because he couldn't perform the transfiguration in class. He only asked me because he thought I would know the answer to being able to do it.Any further thoughts were suddenly interrupted.
"Ready then?" Ron asked with a nervous smile from where he was leaning against the wall near the passage way.
Hermione looked up, pulled from her musing by the boy's voice so close at hand. The young witch only then slowly realized that she may not be able to be friends with The-Boy-Who-Lived, however he was also not the only student here at Hogwarts. "Yeah, I guess so," she replied with ahesitant smile of her own.
The two first year students made their way through the passageway, the portrait closing silently behind them. It was a surprisingly quick trip to the third floor as the staircases must have known they were running late and so seemed to align perfectly for them. It wasn't till they entered the Charms corridor leading to classroom 2E that the silence between them was broken.
"Alright there Granger?" Ron enquired without looking towards the witch walking next to him.
"Just fine," Hermione replied as she adjusted the heavy book bag on her shoulder. "Ronald, did you recall to read the Charms chapter last night?" The groan which escaped the redhead's lips next to her left little doubt that the boy hadn't. The young witch chuckled while rolling her eyes, wondering if she would have to stay after her housemate all term.
The blonde Slytherin witch was making her way through the first floor corridor from the great hall when she spied a familiar unruly mop of black hair ahead of her and hastened her pace to catch up with The-Boy-Who-Lived. Upon reaching Harry's side she slowed to match her pace to his. She could see that he was deep in thought as he hadn't as yet noticed her presence. Daphne nudged him slightly with her elbow only to see his emerald eyes turn and regard her for a long second before recognition dawned.
"Alright there Harry?" Daphne Greengrass asked as they approached the Grande stairway and waited for the set of stairs to shift towards them.
Harry shrugged slightly before answering, "As well as I can be I guess," he replied unassumingly as he unconsciously eased to the side so there was greater distance between the two of them.
The young witch noticed the shifting away from her and found it rather refreshing. More accustomed to wizards attempting to get closer to her in the hopes of garnishing her attention it was a new experience to see a boy shy away for a change. She had no doubt that those who sought her affections and attention did so solely for her family name and whatever political or financial gain it could bring them. She half suspected this to be the driving force behind Draco's recent actions but had no proof…not that it would change anything if she did.
Daphne smiled slightly as they stepped out onto the stairs which had shifted into place and began the climb to the third floor where their Charms class was to be held. "You look better than you did last night," she told him. The young Slytherin was careful to maintain the separation between them that Harry had set. She was glad that Tracey had forgotten her book and had to run down to the Dungeon to retrieve it as it allowed her this time alone with Harry, though she felt slightly guilty about being glad her closest friend wasn't there.
"I see, so that was you," Harry said thoughtfully, chewing the inside of his lip for a moment. "I wasn't certain if it was you or if I had been dreaming," he explained. Recalling the Hospital reminded him what he had been lost in thought about when the blonde witch had caught up with him. I hope Hermione understands, he worried, feeling bad for having turned her away even if it was for her own welfare.
"Dreaming of me already are you?" Daphne asked with agrin unable to resist teasing him and feeling it was proper payback for not telling her who he really was on the train.
"NO! Never!" Harry quickly exclaimed, aghast at such athought. The volume of his response surprised both her, as well as himself, at how loudly he repudiated her words. Several other students who were at various other locations on the stairs looked in their directions as his words echoed about the relatively enclosed area.
The grin quickly dropped from the young witch's face. "I'm sorry Harry. I was just having a go at you is all," Daphne said softly."I didn't mean anything by it." The Greengrass girl wasn't certain what to make of the wizard next to her as his behavior was anything other than what she had come to expect from the male members of Wizarding Houses.
"No," Harry said after taking a shaky breath and running his fingers through his hair, only making it more unruly, "I shouldn't have yelled like that. I'm really sorry," he apologized as they stepped off the stairs and made their way to the Charms corridor. "I'm not used to being around others all that much," he told her quietly as if ashamed to admit it.
Daphne waved one hand as if dismissing his apology. "It's alright," she assured him, feeling it was as much her own fault as his."A lot of families keep their children close to home," she explained. When he didn't refute her words she decided to let the matter stand.
The two walked a short ways in silence. "If you don't mind me asking, why were you in the hospital wing last night?" Harry enquired.
"Studying," Daphne replied as classroom 2E came into view. The young witch decided not to mention that she had also been listening in on aconversation between the school's Medical Witch and the Headmaster as well. Apart of her was upset that she had listened and knew what she did. All she could do now was to keep what she had heard to herself and try to act like nothing had changed.
How do you tell a friend that you heard all about the horrendous life they had growing up? Her own thoughts gave her pause and rise to another question. Is Harry afriend? Daphne quickly decided that it was far too soon to decide anything of that nature. Counting last night this is only our third time even speaking to each other, she reasoned. Now was also not the time to be mentioning anything she had heard last night she affirmed to herself. If we ever do become friends and Harry decides to tell me then I will certainly be all ears.
Harry's face took on a puzzled look for a moment as he contemplated her answer. "Seems like an unusual place to do that," he finally replied with, still puzzled by her reason for being there.
Daphne turned and looked at him with a bemused smile, "It seems that the library had to close early last night," she said only to see him look away and to the ground but not before she saw the embarrassed look on his face.
"Sorry," he softly apologized, his voice thick with remorse, just as they walked into the class room. Without another word or even a look in her direction Harry turned and quickly made his way to the top row of seats before walking the length of the classroom to the seat that was furthest from the door.
Having heard of the incident in the library she had hoped to play it off with a bit of humor yet it seemed to have the opposite effect on the dark haired wizard. That's twice now that I've tried to be funny and it has failed miserably, she mused to herself. Daphne turned and followed the back of the retreating boy, uncertain why she was even bothering doing so. Third time's the charm, right?
As they reached the last two seats the wizard-to-be before her stopped and turned to sit. Daphne didn't fail to see the startled expression that appeared upon his face as soon as he realized that she had followed him. Setting her book bag down on the desktop she quickly pulled out her book as well as her writing quill, ink and parchment. Slipping the shoulder strap over the back of her chair she seated herself and arranged the items before her.
"Not much of a sense of humor then?" she casually asked without turning to look at Harry.
"Who?" asked Blaise Zabini upon dropping into the seat next to Daphne. "Potter here? He has loads of humor. Tried to tell me he'd read all the books prior to the start of term," the dark Slytherin said as he pulled out his own book and writing items. "No matter how you look at it, what you did in the library was bloody brilliant, mate! I can just imagine the look on Madam Pince's face," Blaise finished with, shaking his head back and forth with a huge grin on his face.
"But I did read them," Harry shot back a bit defensively before realizing what he was doing and dropping his eyes to the book before him. "The library was just an accident. It wasn't like I planned to do that."
"Call it what you will, Potter," Blaise said turning in his seat to regard them both, "it was still pretty funny."
Harry sighed heavily and looked away as he realized that no matter what he said or did it wasn't going to change anything that had already happened. The young wizard had learned early on in his life that an opinion could see you doing without food or worse, beaten. As he looked out over the classroom his eyes were drawn to where the Gryffindor students were seated and a certain bushy-haired witch who was sitting in the front row, closest to the large desk that could only belong to the Professor who would be teaching the class. For a brief moment their eyes met before Harry quickly looked away, dropping his gaze, however not before noticing the redness of her eyes. Has she been crying? he wondered.
"Look," Harry said, after licking his lips to moisten them, "you guys probably shouldn't be around me," he told them."You'd do best to keep your distance I think." Once more he couldn't bring himself to tell them it was for their own safety and that he would feel miserable if anything were to happen to them due to his actions and apparent inability to control his magic.
Daphne turned to look at the dark haired boy next to her for asecond before glancing about the classroom. "It would seem all the other seats are already taken." The blonde witch couldn't help but feel there was more to his words than just simply not sitting by him. "Looks like you're stuck with us, Potter," she informed him of, using his last name for the first time to express her disapproval of his previous statement.
"No I don't mean just in class," Harry said with a shake of his head. "I mean any other times as well." Harry turned to look at the two other Slytherin's then and they both could see the near pleading in his emerald eyes.
"That would be fairly hard to do as we're housemates and share a dorm," Blaise replied. "Besides, us outsiders need to stick together," he added with a crooked grin. "Safety in numbers and all that rubbish."
"Outsiders?" Daphne asked, curious what he meant."How do you figure?"
"Malfoy already has Crabbe and Goyle following him around like his pet bodyguards. Last night I saw him talking to Theo Nott so I suspect he'll be joining them as well." Blaise leaned in and lowered his tone."We're in Slytherin. You can't survive by being alone in our House."
"I don't need any friends," Harry spoke up forcibly wanting to put a stop to any thoughts either of them might be having in regards to him. "I can manage on my own."
"Friends?" Blaise scoffed at the other boys words. "There's no such thing as friends within Slytherin, Potter. There are those you know, those you use, those you ignore and those you abuse. Being firsties you can bet that none of the other years are even going to admit that we exist unless it is to use or abuse us," he told them both. "That means if we're to have any chance of surviving we outsiders have to band together."
"Outsiders?" Harry asked, intrigued despite himself."How could we possibly be labeled outsiders in our own House?"
Blaise nodded before explaining. "I'm an outsider simply because I won't play by Malfoy's rules. I don't buy into the whole pureblood dribble that he and his kind are spewing. Greengrass here," he said with atilt of his head in the blonde witch's direction, "while still a pureblood, has already shot the prat down twice, once on the train and then in the common room in front of almost everyone. He's not likely to forget that," Blaise warned the witch seated next to him. "His pride as a Pureblood won't let aslighting of that nature go overly long without a response. If he did then others would think him soft and wouldn't want to follow him."
"Are all Purebloods like that," Harry asked in disbelief as he turned to regard the young witch seated between him and Blaise.
Daphne looked down and started playing with the cuff at the end of the sleeve of her robe as she felt Harry's questioning eyes upon her. "I don't know what game he's playing at but I don't have any intentions of playing it." Her small fingers absently plucked at a loose thread. "I may be a Pureblood but that doesn't mean I'm anything like Draco," she stated firmly.
"Exactly!" exclaimed Blaise as if that proved his point."Because you're not like Draco that makes you an Outsider!"
"What does this have to do with me?" Harry asked."I know nothing about Purebloods or anything else really. Does that make me an Outsider just because I am ignorant of the customs of Wizarding society?"
Zabini chuckled softly. "Mate, as bad as Greengrass and Ihave it you're worse off than the both of us combined." Seeing the confused expressions on both their faces he explained it to them. "On the night of the sorting you snubbed the entire House by sitting at the very end by yourself. Your Housemates all interpreted that as you believing you were better than the rest of them. The-Boy-Who-Lived is above sitting with everyone else."
"I'm sure that's not what Harry meant," Daphne spat out before the boy next to her could speak up for himself. "Maybe he just liked sitting at the end of the table or he's unused to eating with others," she offered in Harry's defense recalling the boy's family life and realizing she really had no real clue.
Blaise shrugged slightly. "Doesn't really matter at this point as that is how they all saw it. I'd be surprised if many of them didn't see the entire library thing as you just showing off, Potter." Blaise paused and quickly glanced about to ensure no one was listening to them before he continued. As the dark skinned wizard leaned in the other two did as well, hanging on his every word. "I overheard several fourth years talking about how you were trying to put everyone in their place. I'd watch your back if Iwas you, mate."
Harry thought for a moment before realizing that this was no different from being home in many ways. There was always a mishap or a beating around every corner there thanks to Dudley and his Uncle Vernon. It was never aquestion of if/but rather /when it would happen. "I don't need any friends," Harry reiterated as he sat back and turned in his seat and tucked in. "I'll be fine." Any further discussion was forestalled by the arrival of Professor Flitwick the Charms instructor.
Professor Filius Flitwick was a short man, even by Harry's standards which was saying something as the eleven year old wasn't very tall himself. There was something about the white haired wizard that Harry took an instant liking to. Perhaps it was his white hair and the manner in which it blended directly into his beard and mustache so that you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. It might have been the calm and respectful manner that the diminutive wizard spoke to each and every student. There was acertain air of distinction about the wizard that made him appear larger than his actual size. Whatever the reason might have been Harry knew almost instinctually that the small professor would be one of his favorites at Hogwarts.
"The Levitation Charm was invented in 1544 by the warlock Jarleth Hobart who mistakenly believed that he had at last succeeded in doing what wizardkind had so far failed to do, namely learn to fly," the Professor told his class of Gryffindors and Slytherins. "It was discovered during a demonstration that the charm had actually levitated Hobart's clothes and not himself. Sadly it took him falling to the ground and injuring himself after removing his clothes in mid-air to determine this." There were several snickers and laughs throughout the classroom at his tale.
"Laugh if you want but many of the charms, jinxes and hexes we use today were discovered in much the same manner. It is only through trial and sometimes error," the professors paused dramatically as he reached up and brushed his whiskers and beard for a moment recalling that it was amisfired charm that saw him looking as he currently did, "that new spells may come into existence. Now while the tale of Jarleth Hobart may be humorous to us, he was fortunate enough to escape with only sixteen broken bones when he plummeted back to earth. I highly doubt he found his injuries funny at the time."
"A very close and dear friend of mine who was an extraordinary witch in her own right, used to love to experiment. One day one of her spells went terribly wrong with dire consequences." The small Professor sighed sadly for a moment before he continued in a soft and somber tone. "Her husband Xenophilius and their young daughter who she left behind have never been the same."
"This is why it is important not to try things on your own until such time as you are ready for it. Many a good wizard or witch has lost their lives in the pursuit of knowledge, even under the best of circumstances and the most stringent of safety precautions." The Professor's steely eyes scanned each and every face to insure they understood the seriousness of the matter. "People die, sometimes taking those around them with them as well."
"If you'll turn to the first chapter in your book and read it over then," the professors said as he slipped from the chair behind his desk and walked out to the center of the classroom. "Once you're done reading I would like you to practice saying the charm ten times followed by performing the wand movement ten times as well. You may begin." The professor made his way about the room offering helpful suggestions where he saw they were needed.
"Right then," Professor Flitwick said as he walked over and climbed upon his mountain of books so that everyone could see him."Now that we've had our safety talk and you've all read over the charm and have practiced the proper enunciation as well as the correct wand movement, let's give it a try shall we." With a wave of his wand a white feather appeared before each student. "Wands at the ready," the Professor said before waiting a few moments till he could see that everyone was ready."Repeat after me…Wingardium Leviosa"
Harry sat and looked at the feather before him with trepidation. All too clearly he recalled what had transpired the last time he had attempted to use magic. What if Ican't control it? The safety talk delivered just a short bit ago by the Professor has sent a chill down the young boy's spine. I could have hurt Hermione as well as anyone else in the library yesterday. The thought of hurting another, even by accident, made him feel sick to his stomach.
The white feather sat there calling for his attention as if it were silently challenging him. What if I can't do this? What will happen to me, he asked himself. They'll probably be forced to expel me and ship me back to the Dursleys, he realized. Can't have a non-magical at a school for witchcraft and wizardry after all.Even after the accidental magic incident in the library he was fairly certain that if he couldn't learn to use magic normally they wouldn't allow him to remain. His emerald eyes stared at the feather for a long moment before he lifted his wand to make the proper gesture.
Beside him he could hear Daphne speaking the charm and swishing with her wand. The white feather before her jerked to one side and then slid back to the other. Momentarily distracted Harry watched as the witch tried once again and the feather slowly rose into the air to float about jerkily following the movements of the witch's wand.
"Well done, Ms. Greengrass," Professor Flitwick exclaimed upon seeing the floating feather. "Ms. Granger as well," the small teacher added as another feather quickly ascended to join Daphne's above the heads of the class members. "Five points to each of your Houses!"
Harry turned back to his own feather as he tightened his grip upon his wand. /I can do this/, he told himself. "Wingardium Leviosa," he spoke as he swished and flicked his wand. There was the same rushing sound within his ears as he had first heard within the library however this time it did not grow to become overwhelming as it had previously. The feather jumped up a foot from the desk and hovered there in the air motionless. Unlike other feathers that seemed to float or hop about his held perfectly still.
"Nice, Harry," Daphne said next to him having witnessed him perform he charm on his first attempt. "The steadier an object is the great the control of the witch or wizard levitating it," she told him as they both stared at the rock solid feather in the air.
"Thanks," Harry replied breathlessly as he turned and looked towards her with wide eyes and the brightest smile she had ever seen on anyone's face before. "I did it," he added in a disbelieving tone of voice.
"And on your first attempt as well," Daphne replied with a grin of her own at his apparent relief and obvious joy at completing the charm. The blonde witch turned to the Slytherin boy on her other side only to see that he was not having nearly as much success as Harry and she had with their feathers.
"I don't understand what I'm doing wrong," Blaise said, the frustration clearly evident in his words as well as his features.
"Relax your wrist, it's too stiff," Daphne offered."It's swish and flick," she demonstrated for her Housemate."You're pronouncing it correctly though try to hold the R a bit longer."
"Thanks Professor," Zabini replied with a teasing grin.
"Prat! I may just have to give you detention!" Daphne fired back with a scowl which was quickly ruined when she started to giggle."Just do it."
Blaise nodded before turning back to his feather and trying it once again as she had suggested. It took him another two tries but he was eventually able to coax the feather to rise off the desk and hover before him though it appeared to be fighting a heavy breeze which wished nothing more than to blow it across the room. "Thanks Greengrass," he offered with anod and a crooked grin without taking his eyes off his feather.
"You boys would be lost without us girls here to show you how it's done properly," Daphne replied with her blue eyes twinkling merrily. Glancing over at the Gryffindors her eyes met those of the Granger girl who tipped her head slightly towards her. Daphne nodded once in return, a kudo to them both they were saying for once again being the first in their class to complete the assignment.
"You and Granger seem to be putting the rest of us to shame," Blaise said with a grin to clearly indicate that the fact didn't bother him in the least. "Some more than others," he added tipping his head towards Draco who was seated in the front row and hadn't managed to levitate his feather as yet.
The class continued as more and more of them managed to complete the charm. It wasn't long before everyone had finally managed to lift their feathers off the desktops. Some who were more proficient at the charm than others started dive-bombing other students feathers with their own. An Irish boy from Gryffindor House was the last to complete the charm but only after managing to explode two feathers. A feat that the small wizard leading the class was heard to say he had never seen happen before in all his years of teaching.
Professor Flitwick finally dismissed the class after giving them their homework assignment. Harry remained in his seat, pretending not to notice the questioning looks sent his way by Daphne and Blaise as they made their way out of the classroom. Once everyone had left for the great hall and the waiting lunch there, Harry approached the small teacher who was now seated in the plush chair behind the large desk once again.
"Excuse me, Sir. I was wondering if I might have a moment of your time," Harry asked, causing the Professor to look up from the paperwork he was reading. "If it's not too much of a bother that is," Harry stammered. It was taking all of his courage to address the adult, something that didn't happen in his world and life with the Dursleys. He had it beaten into him at an early age that you didn't speak unless you were asked adirect question and then you answered in as short a reply as possible.
"Ah, Mr. Potter," Filius said with a warm and inviting smile, most of which was lost in the thick growth of facial hair, upon seeing who had spoken to him. "What may I do for you?" he enquired as he clasped his hands together before him on the desk, his short stubby fingers interlacing.
Harry swallowed quickly, suddenly feeling uncertain upon having the wizard's full attention. The young wizard knew that had this been an adult size Professor he most certainly would never had been able to address him at all. It was only the diminutive size that was closely akin to someone more his own age that allowed Harry to continue. "I was wondering if you could tell me anything about accidental magic, Sir."
The aged wizard removed his glasses and pulling a cloth from within his robes began to clean the lenses carefully. "Am I to believe this is in regards to what happened within the library last night?" Filius asked, already suspecting the answer to his question but wishing to make certain.
"Yes, Sir," Harry promptly answered. "I was wondering if it…I mean to say what I did…if it…," the youths words trailed off as he suddenly became uncertain of how to phrase his question.
"You wish to know if your accidental magic could have harmed someone," Filius guessed judging by the boy's hesitation to actually ask the question. At the young wizard's nod he continued. "I would be lying to you if I told you that magic left uncontrolled couldn't be dangerous. Magic is a force unlike any other in existence. Left to run wild there is no telling what it might do. In most cases accidental magic is usually reserved for those who are fairly young which also ensures that they don't have much strength to affect anything in a manner that could be considered harmful or life threatening."
"How young?" Harry asked fearfully. Now that his main question was out, even if the answer wasn't favorable, he wanted to learn as much as he could. The dark haired youth still had the book given to him that morning by the Headmaster; however he had as yet had a chance to do more than skim through it.
Filius slipped his glasses back on and pondered the young wizard's question before deciding to answer him truthfully. "We've seen it happen with children as young as two or three years of age, sometimes as late as five or six but hardly ever past that age." The Charms Professor had been stunned upon hearing of the events that had transpired in the library. While some had suspected it of being a prank that had gone awry Filius wasn't blinkered enough to not suspect it was exactly what the Headmaster had said it was, accidental magic.
Harry's brow creased as he tried to process this bit of information. "It doesn't make any sense then, Sir. I mean why me? Why am Idifferent?" For a boy who wanted to be left alone the last thing he wanted was to be different from others. In this case, if his fears were accurate, his difference could prove fatal to someone around him. The thought that it might prove life threatening to himself never crossed his mind.
"There is still a great deal about accidental magic we do not understand, Mr. Potter. It is theorized that it is seen in young children because their minds and bodies are still developing and hence that is when it makes its first appearance. It isn't very powerful, much in the same manner that an infants or toddlers grip isn't very strong," the Charms Professor explained.
"In most cases once sufficient hand eye coordination skills have been developed the ability seems to go dormant for a while. Again it's only a theory but experts have thought that as the body turns its primary focus to growth and learning it could be suppressing these magical attributes," Filius told the boy standing before him all the while watching him closely.
"When a witch of wizard enters puberty the ability seems to resurface with a vengeance which is why we do not enroll students till they are eleven. It is hoped that by the time their bodies begin to change they will have sufficient control of their abilities that there won't be any danger to those around them or themselves," Filius said trying to recall all that he could about the condition they were discussing.
"But Professor that still doesn't explain why it is happening to me," Harry stated in a very confused and puzzled tone. "I've had strange things happening to me my entire life," he confessed, "but have never known why or what it is. I'm eleven now Sir. Is it normal in the least for such things still be occurring?" Harry asked looking up and meeting the Professor's eyes.
"Leading experts think that maybe just as some people are late to bloom so might some be slow for their magical potential to go dormant." Filius looked the boy over, noticing for the first time his small size, short stature and apparent thinness. "If someone was malnourished to the point that it stunted their growth that could possible account for adifference," he said making an educated guess. The small man was no stranger to physical deficiencies himself and was more than capable of seeing them in others. "The human body is an amazing and immensely complex machine of which we still understand so little about when you get right down to the inner workings of it and the mind that controls it all."
"As I said at the onset of this conversation, there is agreat deal as yet still unknown about accidental magic. There very well could be any number of reasons for your outbreak." Filius sighed, leaning back in his chair. "In all honesty we really have no clue why these things happen. If I had to hazard a guess I would say it is a possibility that it is due to who you are."
"Who I am?" Harry asked, confused even further by this revelation.
Filius nodded. "You're The-Boy-Who-Lived when by all rights you shouldn't have. Something unprecedented took place that night which none of us, having neither been present to witness it or participate in it, can honestly say with any degree of certainty just what it was. Perhaps it is due in part to that," the tiny Professor pointed to the scar on Harry's forehead, "you are different, Mr. Potter. You survived a killing curse, something no one else had ever done or has done since. That alone certainly had to change you," he told the young wizard in a sympathetic tone of voice.
"I see," Harry replied even as his mind was deep in thought processing everything he had just learned. He could see a great deal of time spent in the library researching everything he could find on the subject of accidental magic. Quickly following that thought was the realization that he would have to face Madam Pince if he was to be able to learn what he needed to."Thank you Professor. You've been very helpful."
"That's what I'm here for, Mr. Potter," Filius replied with a warm smile. "Is there anything else I can do for you today?"
"Actually there is. When a person does magic should they hear anything?" Harry asked.
"I'm not certain what you're asking," Filius replied, his curiosity piqued by the boys question. "Do you mean should everything go silent around them?"
"No, it's like I hear this noise," Harry answered slowly attempting to find the correct words to explain what he had heard. "It's almost like a wind which I can hear within my head I think. I'm still hearing everything else that is happening about me though. Is that normal, Sir?" Harry asked with a creased brow, not certain he had explained it sufficiently enough to make it clear to the seated Professor.
"Did you hear it today while you were performing the charm?" the Professor asked. Seeing the boy nod that he had, Filius continued with his next question. "How about last night in the library?Did you hear it then as well?" Filius couldn't help but feel that the lad was just full of surprises. First the accidental magic in the library and now the possibility of some new magical indicator.
Harry had to pause and think for a long moment before he nodded that he had. "It was different though. It started out the same; however it became more like a rushing sound." Harry frowned, disappointed with himself for being unable to recall more from the experience. "I'm sorry Professor," he said looking up to the seated man, "most of what happened is a hazy blur which I can't seem to recall clearly. I've tried several times since then but to no avail."
"That's alright, Mr. Potter," the white haired Professor told Harry. "I'll admit this is the first I've heard of anyone hearing sound in association with their use of magic." Filius leaned forward and regarded the young wizard for several long moments. "You're a very interesting young man, Mr. Potter. If you like I can do some research into the matter and let you know what I find."
"Thank you Sir. I think I should like that," Harry said in a clearly relieved tone. Given the Professor's help Harry still felt it would be best to do his own research in the library as well. Two sets of eyes are better than one, he reasoned silently to himself.
"For now I wouldn't worry too much about it," Filius said with what he hoped was a reassuring smile. "If you should hear this rushing sound again," he paused for a moment to ensure he was using the correct term which Harry had used previously, "please come and let me know."
"I will," Harry promised. "Thank you Professor," the boy added with a relieved smile suddenly feeling better. There was every possibility that between the two of them they could figure out the cause for his affliction or at the very least a means by which to prevent another occurrence of the same wild magic as had happened in the library.
"Off with you now," Filius said in way of reply as he made a shewing motion with both hands. "If you don't hurry you'll have no time for lunch before your afternoon class." The Charms Professor watched as the boy gave a quick nod before turning and hastening from the room. "A very interesting lad indeed," Filius said aloud to himself as he stared towards the doorway the boy had left through.
"My father said that Professor Snape is the best Potion's Master in all of Europe," Draco spouted while seated at the Slytherin table for lunch. "We'll finally be able to learn something from aProfessor who actually knows what they're doing," the young corn-silk haired youth said with a sneer, implying that none of the other teachers were up to snuff.
"McGonagall is so old I wager she forgets where she is half the time," Draco said with a chuckle though making sure his voice didn't carry to the head table and the referenced witch who was seated there eating lunch and chatting with the dark skinned Astronomy Witch next to her. Crabbe and Goyle, seated across from their groups undisputed ring leader were quick to add their blusterous laughter.
"It's pathetic what passes for Professors these days," the young Malfoy continued with, his voice heavy with contempt. "Flitwick isn't even human!" he exclaimed, referencing the rumor that there was goblin blood somewhere back in the diminutive Professor's heritage. "Is it any wonder he couldn't teach us the simplest of charms today?"
Blaise leaned forward from his seat further down the table and added his two knuts. "Funny I didn't see anyone else having as much trouble as you did, Malfoy" the first year Slytherin said loud enough to ensure everyone seated close could clearly hear him. "As I recall you only just accomplished it before Crabbe and Goyle did."
"It did seem to take him a bit longer than most to complete the charm," Tracy Davis added from her place across the table from Blaise and next to Daphne who remained silent, not even bothering to glance in the Malfoy heir's direction or acknowledge his presence.
"Belt up, Davis!" Draco hissed angrily his temper finally snapping at being talked about in such a manner. The fact that it was all truth only served to anger him further. "Your betters are speaking!"
"Better at what," Tracey scoffed without flinching."Certainly not better at levitation charms!" The Slytherin girl's response drew several laughs from those seated nearby who had been listening in on the conversation. Tracey's grin only grew as she watched the young Malfoy's face turn bright red in embarrassment.
"Is there a problem here?" asked a contemptuous voice from directly behind Draco, effectively keeping the boy from drawing the wand he had been reaching for.
"No, Professor Snape," Tracey answered innocently."We were just discussing this morning's Charms class and how some people fared better than others," Tracey continued with straight-faced."Daphne earned us another five points as well."
Snape's dark eyes swept the table quickly as if daring any of them to cause an issue and force him to deduct points from his own house. "Very well then. Carry on," he replied in a slow monotone drawl before turning with his robes bellowing out behind him, to continue on his way to the staff table.
"Watch yourself, Davis," Draco spat out between clenched teeth before rising from the table. "My father will be certain to hear about this!" Draco threatened angrily. With a jerk of his head Crabbe and Goyle both stood, glancing with regret at the food still on their plates, and made to follow their leader who was storming from the hall.
"I don't believe he was charmed with you at all, Davis," Blaise deadpanned causing Daphne to choke on the pumpkin juice she had been drinking.
Tracey grinned as she pounded her blonde friend on the back in an attempt to help her breath correctly once again. "I guess I'll have to work at it some more then," she said in a melancholy tone of voice that was clearly meant to be theatrical. "I was so certain I had it down just right too," she added causing Daphne to choke all the more as she attempted to laugh, choke and breath all at the same time. "Oh dear, Ithink we've broken her!" Tracey said with a wide grin towards Blaise.
"You guys shouldn't antagonize him like that," said Pansy Parkinson as she slipped into the seat next to the chuckling Blaise Zabini. "It doesn't set a good appearance to have Purebloods disagree in front of others," the dark haired girl added, overlooking the fact that Tracey was actually a half-blood.
"Perhaps if he didn't make it so bloody easy we wouldn't," Blaise replied before taking a sip of his own juice and winking at the two girls seated across from him who both smiled in agreement to his statement. "Some things are just too good to pass up," Blaise concluded with as he set his cup back down on the table.
"I would be all too happy to leave him alone, Parkinson," offered a red faced Daphne who had only just then managed to stop choking and regain control of her breathing again, "if he would return the favor and steer clear of me. Honestly I don't know what his game is but I wish he'd just clear off and leave me be!"
"Draco will be the head of the Malfoy house one of these days," Pansy replied in such a manner as to make it sound like it would next week rather than several decades in the future. "I should think you'd be pleased to have such a pureblood interested in you in such a manner, Greengrass."
"We're barely eleven!" Daphne said in disbelief."I'm far too young to be thinking about anything of that nature. No offense Blaise, but boys are just….," the blonde girl's words trailed off but the visible shiver that ran down her body said it clearly enough for the others to get the message.
"My Mom says that now's the time to start looking for amarriage contract partner," Pansy told them matter-of-factly as her head turned to look in the direction that Draco had gone. "There aren't that many good purebloods out there and if you wait you might have to settle for the ones like Crabbe or Goyle."
"You can't be serious?" Tracey interjected, finding it difficult to believe that anyone in their year could be contemplating marriage contracts already.
"Suit yourselves," Pansy replied. "Don't come crying to me when you're stuck with Vincent Crabbe and slaving over a stove every day to keep him fed." The three other Slytherins exchanged looks before pushing their plates away in unison, having suddenly lost their appetites.
Sign up to rate and review this story