Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Hibiki and the Philosopher's Stone

Chapter 13

by USA_Tiger 1 review

n/a

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover - Characters: Blaise Zabini,Flitwick,Harry,Hermione,Justin,Ron - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2015-01-03 - 8701 words

1Exciting
Harry Hibiki and the Philosopher's Stone

Disclaimer: Harry Potter © J. K. Rowling and Ranma 1/2 © Rumiko Takahashi

Author note: Thanks once again to my beta Blissfull Wulf.

Chapter 13

After the long night he had with Cologne, Harry ended up sleeping in a couple of hours later than he usually did.

‘Thank Kami it’s the weekend,’ Harry thought as he slid off his bed with a yawn. He looked around at the other beds in his dorm, everyone seemed to still be asleep except for Neville who was sitting on his bed dressed for the day already reading a book. “Morning Neville-kun,” Harry greeted as he dug around in his trunk for something to wear.

“Oh… good morning,” Neville said softly in surprised. “Y-you’re up pretty late, you’re usually gone by the time I get up in the mornings.”

“I usually get up early to practice my forms,” Harry said as he started to get dressed in a pair of jeans and shirt.

“Forms? Like sword forms?” Neville asked curious.

“I can use a katana a little bit, but that’s Tachi’s thing,” Harry said with a shake of his head as he sat down on his bed again, his bouncing waking up Diego who woke with a startled hiss. “No, it’s my martial arts forms, my katas. Honestly the room I’ve been using is way too small to really do anything but a few basic katas so I’m planning on exploring the school to see if I can’t find a room that’s bigger.”

“Oh well… good luck,” Neville said softly as he turned back to his book. Harry paused in tugging on his shoes to look at his friend.

“Don’t you want to come too?” Harry asked, he was use to his friend Spice inserting herself in his little ‘adventures’, if she hadn’t started the incident herself.

“Y-you want me to come?” Neville asked as he quickly looked back up.

“Sure, if you want to,” Harry said with a shrug as he pulled on his other shoe. Diego slithered up so he was wrapped around Harry’s arm and shoulders. Neville looked at the snake warily, everyone in the dorm had gotten use to the large Boa, Dean having accepted it since the start and the others coming around one by one. Still it was weird seeing anyone sitting calmly while a snake wrapped itself around them.

“O-ok,” Neville said, quickly jumping off his bed to pull on a pair of boots as if he was sure Harry would change his mind if he didn’t move quickly enough. He paused for a moment then looked over at Ron’s bed. “What about Ron?”

“He’s asleep,” Harry said. “Don’t see any reason to wake him up.” Neville glanced at Ron’s bed again then followed Harry out of the room. Down stairs the common room was mostly empty with only a couple of older teens sitting by the fireplace. They ignored the two firsties as Neville and Harry left the tower.

“So… um… what sort of martial arts do you practice anyway?” Neville asked as they poked around in an unused room.

“Hmm, this and that,” Harry said as he pulled open the drawers in an old teachers desk. The room was too small for him to use but he couldn’t help but he curious about what could be hidden in the room. “Do you know anything about martial arts Neville-kun?”

“Not really, we have a couple of Japanese wizards who buy from my families greenhouses who sometimes talk about it and at least one American witch who told me one time she loves to watch Kung Fu,” Neville explained.

“Kung fu is a general term for martial arts from China,” Harry said as he pushed close the drawer. “I think it’s also a TV show.”

“A what?” Neville asked confused.

“Muggle thing,” Harry said with a wave of his hand as they left the room. “Anyway, I’m part of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts but I also know some Joketsuzoku styles, my mom’s style and bits and pieces of others which is really the whole bases of Anything Goes so…” Harry shrugged again then petted Diego’s head when the snake complained about being jousted.

“Anything Goes?” Neville asked as they entered another room.

“Meh, another small one,” Harry said with a wrinkled nose as he looked around the old class room. “Yeah, pretty much how it sounds. My Uncle Ranma has been teaching me since I was about 6 years old in the Saotome branch.”

“I-is that your adopted Dad’s brother?” Neville asked as they found a back staircase to walk down.

“Nah, my parents are both only children,” Harry said. “He’s a friend of my parents, my mom’s best friend in fact. He and Dad use to be rivals when they were teens, still are sometimes. He’s sorta my godfather… well,” Harry grinned before saying, “Godmother really.”

“Godmother?” Neville asked with a small laugh. “Why is he your ‘godmother’?”

“Well… cause my godmother that my birth parents picked couldn’t take care of me,” Harry said softly, looking over at Neville. “You’re mother is currently in the hospital isn’t she?”

“M-my mother?” Neville asked stopping to look at Harry in shock. “M-my mother is your g-g-godmother?”

“You didn’t know?” Harry asked. Neville shook his head, eyes still wide in shock.

“N-no, my gram never mentioned it,” Neville said.

“Come on,” Harry tugged at Neville’s arm, pulling the older boy into a nearby unused classroom. It was like the rest but Harry saw signs that someone had at one time turned into something like a little club house. Harry turned and cast a silencing spell over the door, one of the spells Remus taught him. It could be easily broken but it gave the boys some privacy at least. “I’m sorry Neville-kun, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“No it’s ok,” Neville said as he sat down on top of the old teacher’s desk. “I just wasn’t expecting you to tell me that.”

“How come your grandmother never mentioned it, or your parents for that matter?” Harry asked as he sat down beside Neville, letting Diego slid off his shoulder to explore the room.

“M-my parents?” Neville looked at Harry as if to ask if he was serious. “Harry… do you know what happened to my Mum and Dad?”

“Iie, I just know they’re under long term care at your wizarding hospital,” Harry said with a shake of his head. “That’s all Dad was told and Uncle Remus doesn’t like to talk about it so I figured they were hurt kinda badly but that’s all I know.”

“My parents are….” Neville trailed off, he never spoke to anyone about his parents and no one other than his grandmother spoke of Frank or Alice and when Madame Longbottom did, she was busy telling Neville want a great man his father was and how he should be just like him.

“You don’t have to tell me Neville,” Harry offered knowing that they stumbled on a sore subject.

“No… I mean I don’t really like to talk about it because it hurts but…. You’re my Mum’s godson,” Neville said looking up at the taller boy, “so that kinda makes you my godbrother hmm?”

“If that’s what you want,” Harry said with an uncertain smile. “I just don’t want to force you into something you’re not comfortable with just because I inserted my foot in my mouth.”

“Well… it’s my choice isn’t it,” Neville said as he took a deep breath. “After… after what happened to your first Mum and Dad, mine were attacked by Death Eaters. Bellatrix Lestrange, her husband Rodolphus, his brother Rabastan and Barty Crouch Jr. all broken into our house and tortured my parents using the C-cruciatus Curse.”

“Why?” Harry breathed; this was much worse than what he had thought might have happened to the Longbottoms. The three Unforgivables were well known around most of the world even if they didn’t carry the same punishments for their use everywhere. The Cruciatus was famous for attacking the nerve endings in a person’s body and causing them great pain. Neville shrugged his shoulders slightly, looking down at his feet.

“They were famous Aurors and they brought down a lot of Death Eaters,” he said. “After you defeated You-Know-Who they thought that my parents knew where he was, thinking that he wasn’t dead but captured. Those… those… bastards tortured my Mum and Dad to the point that their minds broke. That’s why they’re in St. Mungo’s.”

“I’m sorry Neville, I really didn’t know,” Harry said softly. Neville sniffed softly and rubbed at his eyes, it hurt to think about his mother and father.

“It’s ok Harry, I guess I’m use to people already knowing or no one knowing at all,” he said. “We go see them every year on my birthday and during Yule holidays. Dad just lays there but Mum will give me candy wrappers and sometimes when I was little she would absently stroke my hair.”

“I’m sorry Neville, part of me wishes I didn’t bring it up,” Harry said softly. “But… I’m glad to know the whole story now, now I won’t insert my foot anymore.”

“Well… you’re mum’s godson, I think you have a right to know,” Neville said. “I wonder… if you’re mum was my godmother. Gram never mentions anything like that.”

“I don’t know, I could ask uncle Remus he might know,” Harry offered.

“I-if it’s not a problem,” Neville said.

“It won’t be,” Harry promised with a smile. Neville returned the smile shyly.

“Thanks Harry,” He said softly.

“You’re welcome,” Harry said with a grin as he hopped down off the desk. “Enough of the mushy stuff for now, let’s keep exploring.” Neville laughed softly and slid off the desk as well, watching as Harry picked up Diego and let the snake drape himself around the young wizard’s shoulders again. The pair of wizards in training walked down the hallways, looking into unused classrooms and getting to know each other better. Neville felt for the first time he had a true friend.

Sometime later, while searching around on the fourth floor in some of the more unused hallways, Neville pushed open a door to look inside. He gasped then called for Harry who was down the hallway looking into another room.

“Is this the type of room you were looking for?” Neville asked as he pushed the door open wider. Harry stepped in with his friend right behind him, green eyes wide.

“Sugoi!” Harry exclaimed. The room was large, at least two stories high, and had a large stage in the back and several old practice mats and what looked like practice dummies piled up in the corners. “What was this used for?”

“It looks like an old dueling hall,” Neville said having always been interested in dueling but always told he wouldn’t be good enough since he was a near squib by his relatives. “Hogwarts use to teach dueling a long time ago but they dropped the classes at some point.”

“So it’s made for learning how to fight,” Harry mused. “We should show this to Tachi and Dachi, I bet this would be perfect for them too.”

“Where would we find them?” Neville asked.

“The Great Hall I guess, I think they’re still serving breakfast and neither of us have eaten yet,” Harry said grinning as Neville’s stomach growled in agreement making the boy blush.

“Yeah, breakfast sounds great,” He agreed.

“Let’s stop at the tower first, better not give the other students a heart attack with Diego’s ugly mug,” Harry joked as he waved a hand at the snake.

~I think I wassss jusssst insssulted,~ Diego hissed. Neville grinned and nodded, following Harry out of the old dueling hall to the Gryffindor tower.

***

“Good morning Kasumi,” Remus said as he kissed Kasumi on the cheek. Kasumi laughed and playfully pushed him away.

“You need to shave husband,” she said jokingly, Remus’s morning stubble had rubbed against her skin when he kissed her.

“Aww, don’t you think I would look good with a mustache like your father?” Remus asked, tilting his head to the side.

“I don’t know,” Kasumi said as she tapped her finger against her chin. “He’s had years of practice over you but…. I think it might look good.”

“I have no idea if you're joking or not,” Remus said amused. Kasumi gave him a smile and turned back to cook breakfast.

“Daddy,” Miyu said sleepily as she toddled into the kitchen and wrapped her arms around Remus’s leg. She looked like she was still half asleep which was the only reason why she and her twin brother weren’t causing havoc around the house. Remus chuckled and leaned over to pick her up. Miyu laid her head on Remus’s shoulder and started to doze on her daddy’s shoulder.

“Aww, you two are so sweet,” Kasumi cooed. She loved that Remus adored their two children and there was nothing sexier than watching the man you loved take care of their child in her book.

“Hmm yes, she’s quite cute when she’s not trying to destroy the house,” Remus joked.

“You’re horrible,” Kasumi giggled then pushed at Remus’s back toward the main room of the house. “Got sit at the table, I’ll have breakfast on the table soon.”

“Yes dear,” Remus said with a smile as he obeyed his wife. In the main room Soun was already at the head of the table reading his usual morning paper. Remus’s other cub Tsuki was laying on the cushions surrounding the low table, or the kotatsu, the toddler covered up by the blanket trapped between the table and table top. As soon as Remus sat down Tsuki scooted closer to his father making Soun smile as he peeked over his paper to watch his son-in-law gaze lovingly down at his two grandchildren.

At that moment a black owl, just a little over a foot tall, swooped in through the open sliding doors that led to the yard with a short piercing shriek that sounded not unlike a falling bomb. The twins gave a startled cry and turned around to look at the creature that woke them up.

“What in the world?!” Soun said just as startled. He had gotten use to owls flying in and out of his house over the last few years and honestly compared to having a son-in-law that turned into a woman and his oldest friend having turned into a panda when he was alive with cold water, not to mention everything else that happened since the day the Saotomes shows up on their doorstep, owls was hardly the strangest thing.

“It’s a Sooty Owl,” Remus said, letting his hand that had been pressed over his heart when the owl had come in shrieking fall to his lap. “Native to Australia but wizarding breeders will sell them elsewhere.”

“Pwetty birdy,” Miyu said as she reached up to touch the owl. It clacked its beak in warning, not a friendly bird Remus noticed as he quickly grabbed his daughter’s hand back.

“No no cub, the owl doesn’t want to play,” He said. The owl held up one of its legs with a letter attached, glaring at Remus as the man gently removed it. ‘I can only wonder who the bird belongs too with a glare like that,’ Remus mused.

“What is going on?” Kasumi asked as she stepped into the room. A bright smile crossed her lips as her brown eyes landed on the Sooty Owl on her table. “What a handsome fellow. Would you like some owl treats Mr. Owl?” She asked as she offered her arm to the owl. Remus was amused to see the owl’s attitude take a 180 as it, like many others, fell under the sweet charm of Kasumi Lupin nee Tendo. It cooed softly and let Kasumi take him out of the room to find it some of the promised owl treats.

Lupin,

I don’t know who’s harebrain idea it was to give a creature like you custody of any children, clearly they need to have their heads checked, but I would be neglecting my duties as both a teacher and Head of House if I did not assure that Tatewaki and Kodachi Kuno are safe with you and your wife. Knowing what you are, I question the woman who agreed to wed you and agreed to raise any child along your side’s sanity.

Return an owl with a suitable meeting time.

Potion Master Severus Snape

‘Well that explains why the owl had such a glare on it,’ Remus thought in amusement, smiling as Tsuki sat in his lap to look at the letter, pretending he was reading it along with his father. A large part of him was a bit upset that Snape had spoken so badly of his mate but knowing the other man like he did, that sort of thing was normal for him. Still Remus couldn’t blame him for wanting to make sure their foster children were safe since werewolves didn’t have the level of care and understanding in Britain that they did here in Japan. Remus sometimes wished his father Lyall Lupin had heard of the packs in Japan or even the states, it wouldn’t have cured Remus of his curse but at least he would have been able to merge and control his werewolf side at a much younger age making himself less of a danger to people.

Thinking of his father, Remus had to fight to keep the wince off his face. Lyall was still alive though Remus’s mother Hope Lupin had passed away years ago. Remus hadn’t spoken to his father in years, after all the man had put up with trying to find help and a cure for his son after causing the attack with the werewolf Grayback to start with, Remus felt he owed the man to stay out of his life. Lyall had no idea that Remus was married much less had two grandchildren and two foster grandchildren. He hadn’t even told Kasumi that his father was still alive. Don’t get him wrong, Remus loved his father but he wasn’t sure if the man wanted anything else to do with his only son who had been forced to be a monster for years.

“Is something the matter son?” Soun asked as he watched the younger man.

“It’s nothing really,” Remus assured his father-in-law as he shook himself out of his thoughts. “One of the teachers from Hogwarts wants to meet with me.”

“Why? Did sometime happen with the young ones?” Soun asked worriedly. Remus smiled slightly, Soun for the most part was an over emotionally man who couldn’t seem to really take care of himself since his wife died. He had all but begged Kasumi and Remus to live in the Tendo home instead of moving out to the apartment Remus use to rent after they had married. The man was also a bit of a tool when it came to his old master Happosai, a man who frankly terrified Remus at times.

Happosai was powerful, not magically but still in the terms of physically and the energy he called Ki or Chi depending on who you asked, and was more perverted that any of the boys he had gone to school with. Luckily Kasumi, who Happosai had treated like a beloved granddaughter and didn’t dare touch her in any way, had kindly but bluntly asked Happosai to move the hell out of her home when they began to foster the Kuno siblings. That didn’t stop the tiny old man, older that Dumbledore even, from visiting and making Soun do his bidding. Still, Soun had a soft spot for kids and loved all of his grandchildren.

“No, the kids are fine,” Remus said. “It’s a man I went to school with. He… well… let’s say he had a run in with my ‘furry little problem’ during our school years and during that time I didn’t have the control I do now. Snape also didn’t get along with myself or my friends, to put it kindly, so naturally he’s worried about the kids’ safety.”

“I see,” Soun said with a nod of his head.

“It’s nothing to worry about,” Remus said as he put the note to the side to answer. “I’ll meet with him and that’ll hopefully be the end of it.” Soun nodded again as Kasumi walked in with breakfast, putting the letter out of his mind.

***

After breakfast, Harry informed his friends about the old dueling hall he and Neville had found. Tatewaki and Kodachi seemed very excited to find a proper place to practice their arts.

“I perform my stretches and a few exercises in the common room, the space is just big enough for a few flips and tumbles but there is no proper gymnast equipment and cold stone floors are horrible to fall on,” Kodachi complained.

“I have not even been that lucky,” Tatewaki said with a long suffering sigh. “I am never able to find a time to be alone.” Harry and the others started to notice the older Kuno sibling was starting to drop the annoying Shakespearian tone of talking, much to the relief of everyone who had to suffer through it.

“Turns out Hufflepuffs are a really friendly lot,” Justin said with a laugh while Tatewaki nodded, the Japanese teen was not use to being surrounded by a large group of overly friendly people, at least most of them as his housemate Smith tended to get on everyone’s nerves.

By now, the group of students barely turned any heads as everyone got use to seeing a group of Gryffindors and Slytherins hanging around together without curses flying between them or the Hufflepuffs that mixed in with them so very few paid attention as Harry and his friends left the Great Hall and headed toward the dueling hall. Even Blaise, who was not in the mood to listen to Draco gripe and bitch that morning, had joined them.

“Oh this is perfect Harry-sama!” Kodachi proclaimed as the tweens stepped into the large dueling hall.

“It’s a little… er… dirty,” Daphne said as she swiped a finger in a thick coat of dust that was on the desk in front of the room.

“Anyone know any cleaning spells?” Tracy asked.

“Just ask the House Elves to clean up in here,” Ron said as he started poking around at the old training dummies that were off to the side.

“What’s a ‘House Elf’?” Hermione asked having never heard of them before.

“A servant race,” Blaise drawled.

“About yay high,” Tracy said, holding up her hand a couple of feet over the ground. “Big eyes, floppy ears. Don’t let the name fool you, they’re not really elves.”

“Are they paid? Get days off?” Hermione asked.

“Of course not, House Elves are bound to the family they serve,” Blaise said. “Most Pureblood families have Elves.”

“Bound?” Hermione asked her mind racing. “You mean they’re slaves!? They’re forced to work for lazy witch and wizards?”

“Nah, not forced,” Ron said as he came back over. “House Elves like to work and clean. I know Mum would love it if we had one growing up with seven kids in the house.”

“That is so wrong!” Hermione complained. “How can you force an intelligent race to become slaves for you?” She continued to rant, completely missing the glares that Blaise and Daphne were giving her as they had House Elves working for their families. Even Neville was giving her uncomfortable looks as the Longbottom’s had Elves as well.

“Hermione!” Harry called loudly at last to get her attention. Hermione’s ranting died off as she turned to look at Harry. “Hermione-chan, I love you dearly, but don’t go ranting about something you have no idea about.”

“But… but it’s wrong to keep slaves,” Hermione said with a flush on her face.

“House Elves are not slaves,” Harry said. “There is a reason why they are bonded to magical families or magical locations like here in the school-“

“Hogwarts has House Elves!?” Hermione screeched.

“Of course it does,” Daphne said dryly. “Who do you think keeps this huge drafty castle clean? Not that squib Filch, it would be too much for someone like him.”

“Didn’t do a very good job here,” Justin noted as he looked around the dusty old hall again.

“Why bother cleaning an area that no one goes into,” Blaise pointed out.

“And who do you think cooks all the food?” Ron added, after all their three square meals a day, or more, was important. Hermione’s mouth opened and closed, doing a pretty good impression of a fish.

“How can any of you think that this is alright?” Hermione asked at last.

“Why are you going nuts over it?” Ron asked with a frown. “We just told you House Elves like working and cleaning.”

“It’s clear that’s what they’re forced to say,” Hermione argued with a huff.

“Hermione, you’ve never even seen a House Elf much less talked to one,” Harry pointed out a bit annoyed. “So you can’t go around talking for the Elves. Don’t jump the gun until you meet a House Elf.”

“Jump the gun?” Harry heard one of the Purebloods ask in the background.

“What’s a ‘gun’?” Another one asked.

“But…” Hermione tried again.

“Hermione, I know you have the best intentions and the idea isn’t normal in the non-magical world but wait until you find out all the facts before you make someone angry,” Harry suggested. Hermione huffed softly but nodded her head, Harry had a point and her mother would be disappointed if she went on a crusade without finding out all the facts before hand.

“Alright… I’m sorry,” She said with a blush.

“Alright,” Harry agreed then turned to the rest. “So everyone agrees? We take over this place as our own?”

“Harry, are we even allowed to take over a classroom like that?” Hermione asked. “Shouldn’t we ask a professor if it’s alright?”

“Well me and Neville-kun found a bunch of old rooms that someone had turned into a club house at some point,” Harry said. “This room hasn’t been used in years, dueling was dropped from the classes years ago, and I doubt anyone knows about this room anymore.” The others had spread out to explore the old dueling hall some more, finding old training equipment and dueling books.

“Hey, fencing swords,” Justin said as he opened a cabinet that contained weapons. Inside were different types of blades and staffs. None of them looked all that sharp since they were for training and teaching after all. The Muggleborn Hufflepuff took down one of the sabre fencing blades and swung it in a way that suggested that he had some training.

“You’ve been trained in how to use a blade?” Blaise asked in surprise. He didn’t think muggles were into that sort of thing anymore though it was a popular sport in the wizarding world, at least among the elite purebloods.

“Mother insisted,” Justin said. “I was training for Olympic fencing with private tutors at home and when I’m older I’m sure I’ll be entered in competitions during the summers, at least I would have if I had gone to Eton like my Mother wanted.”

“Eton? That’s a prestigious school for muggles isn’t it?” Blaise said, he remembered one of his step-father’s mentioning it once.

“Yes, all boys too,” Justin agreed. “You wouldn’t believe how glad I was when I was invited to Hogwarts instead. You could imagine how my Mother felt about it at first, after all she wanted me to go to the same school as former Prime Ministers and the Royal Family but after I showed her a couple of that Lockhart fellow’s books she begun to see how useful it’ll be to have a fully trained wizard in the family.”

Blaise quickly puzzled out Justin came from a wealthy family, at least a wealthy muggle family, and couldn’t help but wonder how different a rich muggle family was from a wizarding one.

‘I keep hanging out with this lot and I may just find out,’ Blaise thought to himself as he reached into the cabinet and took out a second sabre facing the other wizard. “Shall you try your hand to see how you fare against a trained wizard then?”

“You learned how to fence too?” Justin said with a grin as he followed Blaise over to the mats in the middle of the room.

“Most pureblood families do, mostly the male heirs but some girls learn as well,” Blaise said. “Greengrass has had some training I believe. Malfoy and Nott as well, no one would trust Crabb or Goyle with a sword.”

The boys started off slow, testing the other to see how well they knew how to use their blade. While Justin had trained in competitive Olympic fencing, Blaise had been trained with classical fencing which in itself was a martial art which gave him a bit of an edge. Still both boys were young and still beginners putting them on equal ground.

Across the room Kodachi scouted out an area in the dueling hall where she could practice. Since she practiced Rhythmic Gymnastics, she wouldn’t need a lot of large equipment like bars or a balance beam to name a few, just mostly balls, hoops, rope, clubs and of course her ribbons. As she kept all of that in her trunk, all Kodachi had to do was bring it here.

“I wonder if these training dummies can be re-programmed,” Harry said nearby as he examined one of the old dummies. “They would make decent sparring partners if they can be changed to use martial arts instead of magic. Not as good as a real person but at least we can fight against something.”

“Ohh, that’s a wonderful idea,” Hermione said her eyes shining, she wanted to dive into some books on dueling and animation charms. “But I think that’s way above our level of magic.”

“Oh my! What is going on in here?” Everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to face the door. Filius Flitwick, the student’s part goblin charms professor was standing in the doorway looking at the pre-teens. “Come here, all of you.”

The students looked at each other, wondering if they were in trouble for being here, then walked over to stand in front of their short professor.

“Hai sensei?” Harry asked once they were gathered.

“You’re not in any trouble Mr. Hibiki,” Flitwick assured the boy. “I would like to know what you are all doing here. Not causing trouble are you?”

“Iie sensei,” Harry shook his head. “Tatewaki, Kodachi and I all practice different martial arts. It’s a big part of our lives but none of us can find a good place to practice every day. Neville and I found this room earlier. He said it was the old dueling hall and no one has used it in a long time.”

Flitwick nodded his head in agreement, the hall had been in use when he was a student at Hogwarts, a long time ago when he had been a young Ravenclaw but he knew sometime before Armando Dippet was made Headmaster of Hogwarts the class had sadly been dropped. Flitwick had for years tried to convince Dumbledore to at least let him start a dueling club, as he was a national dueling champion, if they didn’t reinstate the class but his old friend kept turning him down.

“So you figured if the room wasn’t in use you could use it yourselves?” Flitwick guessed.

“We didn’t do anything wrong did we sensei?” Harry asked. “If we did, we didn’t know. There isn’t anything in the rules about abandoned classrooms in Hogwarts a History is there Hermione?”

“No, at least I didn’t see any,” Hermione said.

“No no, you didn’t do anything wrong children,” Flitwick assured them. “I set a ward on this room a long time ago to tell me if anyone entered or exited this room. The ward tripping this morning must have been you two Mr. Hibiki and Mr. Longbottom.”

“Why did you set up a ward to warn you if someone comes in here sensei?” Harry asked.

“As some of you already know, there was dueling equipment left here in the room when the course was dropped from the classes,” Flitwick said as he turned his gaze toward Blaise and Justin. “Equipment such as weapons. I simply want to assure none of you will be hurt.” The short Charms professor thought that the weapons should have been removed from the classroom when the dueling class was dropped. He had been horrified to find that no one had cleaned out the equipment from the classroom while visiting the room after he had been hired by Dumbledore after his years on the dueling circuit.

When he brought it up with Albus, the Headmaster seemed to brush him off, assuring Flitwick that no one would bother the classroom much less the leftover weapons inside. Nor did they have anywhere to store the weapons other than the old dueling hall. Flitwick had been furious when Albus told him that, the weapons might be just for training but that didn’t make them any less dangerous in the hands of someone who didn’t know what they were doing. So to keep the students safe, Flitwick had set up a ward to warn him whenever somebody crossed the doorway.

Amazingly very few people had discovered the old dueling hall. Most of the time when the ward tripped who ever came in soon left after. During those times Flitwick didn’t bother checking on the old classroom as whoever tripped the ward would be long gone. He only went when whoever entered the room didn’t leave almost right away or like today, when several people entered the old classroom without leaving.

“Sensei, while I can’t speak for everyone, we’ve been trained in weapons,” Harry waved a hand at himself and Tatewaki. “And Dachi can be pretty dangerous herself with whatever she can get her hands on.”

“We’ve had training in fencing,” Blaise said. “Myself, Greengrass and Flinch-Flentchley.”

“Gram would never attempt to let me hold a weapon,” Neville said nervously.

“Can we use this room? It would be great for practicing our arts in,” Harry asked. Flitwick hummed softly as he rubbed his chin, looking at all the children in front of him.

“Show me what you can do and I will decide,” He said at last.

“Hai Sensei,” Harry said with a short bow. “We have to get our personal weapons out of our dorms,” he added after look at Kuno who nodded.

“Yes yes, but be careful,” Flitwick said. He wasn’t too worried that two of his students had brought weapons into the school, he knew several of the pure bloods had daggers, knives and even their own swords tucked away into trunks. It was allowed as long as no one used the weapons on another outside of a duel, the purebloods insisted on letting their children have the weapons with them. Harry and Tatewaki bowed to him again then raced out of the room to their dorms. Kodachi gave her own small bow then calmly strolled out of the room, while she always carried her ribbon on her, the rest of her gymnastic equipment was in her trunk.

“In the meantime, prove to me you can use those fencing swords,” Flitwick said as he turned to the rest of the students.

****

When Harry and the Kuno siblings returned to the dueling hall their friends were gathered to one side, watching Daphne and Blaise fighting with the fencing swords under the watchful eye of Flitwick.

“What happened after we left?” Harry asked Hermione as he placed his combat umbrella point down against the stone floor and leaned against it.

“Professor Flitwick had Justin and Blaise show him a brief duel with their swords and now Blaise is going up against Daphne,” Hermione whispered, her eyes glued to her fellow students movements. The two Slytherins were a lot more graceful in their movements than Justin had been.

“Have you had any training in anything?” Harry asked curiously.

“I took ballet when I was small,” Hermione said with a small shrug as she turned her attention to Harry. “Daddy taught me how to use a rifle when he goes to his club, he takes me sometimes. I’ve only used it a couple of times under Daddy’s supervision, I might take up target shooting one day.”

“Enough,” Flitwick squeaked out, bringing Daphne and Blaise to a halt. He motioned for the two to join the rest of the first years then turned to the three children that had rejoined them. “Mr. Kuno, if you will allow me to see your sword?”

Kuno handed his bokken to Flitwick who hefted the wooden blade up to study it. “Why wood Mr. Kuno?”

“All training swords are made of wood, I have trained using a real Katana but only under my instructors watch,” Kuno said. Flitwick nodded and handed the sword back.

“Can you show me?” The tiny professor asked. Kuno nodded sharply and strolled into the middle of the room. The youth went through his drills, going through his sword forms like flowing water. “Kendo correct?” Flitwick remember some of his fellow duelist from Japan practiced the art form, it made fighting against them interesting.

“Hai Sensei,” Tatewaki said. Flitwick nodded then turned to Kodachi. Kodachi instantly took her brother’s place, giving a short demonstration of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Her housemates were quite familiar with her use of a ribbon since she often used it against Draco to teach him a lesson.

When it was Harry’s turn to show off, he started off simple. A simple kata that anyone could learn but gradually Harry started to show off more and more until the boy was all but bouncing around the room fighting against an invisible opponent. Ron’s mouth dropped open in shock, he had never seen anything like this in his short life. Harry sometimes seemed to blur as his fist and feet flew in punches and kicks, for a moment seemingly able to defy gravity until he gracefully fell back to the floor only to start again.

“Good god, he’s like something out of a kung fu movie,” Hermione whispered her eyes wide. Harry landed briefly beside his friends and grabbed the bamboo umbrella leaned up against the wall. His ‘battle’ against nothing started anew at a whole new level as he swung and jabbed with his umbrella. At last Harry landed lightly on his feet, his umbrella resting against his shoulder as he faced Flitwick.

“Very impressive Mr. Hibiki,” Flitwick said as he clapped his hands. “I haven’t seen anything like that since my days in the dueling circuit.”

“Thank you Flitwick-sensei,” Harry said with a small blush, rubbing the back of his neck. Flitwick gave the son of one of his favorite students a smile then had him join the others. Flitwick paced for a bit deep in thought while Harry and his friends talked.

“Mate that was amazing!” Ron said in awe. “I’ve never seen anything like that!”

“I have, but only in movies,” Justin said while Hermione nodded. “And you can tell those are fake, nothing like you were just doing.”

“You should see my teachers,” Harry said with a small laugh. “When Dad and Uncle Ranma go at it, well let’s just sat the insurance companies hate them but the construction companies love them. And even after all these years, they still ain’t got nothing on Grandmother or Grandpa Happi. I’m nowhere near as good as any of them, at least not yet.”

“How long have you been training to be able to do all… that at age 11!?” Hermione asked. She read the stories Harry had written her about but seeing it was something completely different.

“Dad started training me when I was 4, just the really easy stuff. Punching, kicking, how to fall properly, stuff like that. Mom taught me her art over the years too. Uncle Ranma became my official sensei when I was 6 after he was able to open his own dojo. Me and Spice, that’s his oldest daughter, are his most talented students,” Harry said. Harry’s new friends were impressed as was Flitwick who listened with half an ear.

“And none of that involved magic?” Blaise asked at last. He knew that muggles had some way of protecting themselves without magic, knew enough about muggles that they had a range of different, dangerous weapons, most of which he had no idea what they were even called much less how they worked.

“None at all,” Harry said. “Doesn’t mean I can’t combine magic with martial arts but most magical people have no idea how to defend themselves against hand to hand combat. Anyone with any sort of training in fighting could do a good job of whipping the floor with a wizard if they get close enough.”

“But wizards got magic, they can just you know, stun a muggle,” Ron pointed out.

“If they’re not fast enough to dodge a spell, of course they can be stopped,” Harry agreed. “But if you miss and a mundane gets close enough they can knock your wand out of your hands then what are you going to do?”

“I think my opinion may have gone up on muggles a tiny bit,” Tracy said.

“Your mother is a muggle-born,” Daphne pointed out.

“Yeah but Ma cut all ties off with her muggle family after they couldn’t accept she was a witch,” Tracy said. “Ma pretty much embraced the wizarding way of life after that, she doesn’t talk about the muggle world very often. We got some muggle stuff in our house, stuff she and Da’s got working with magic, but that’s it.”

“That’s horrible,” Hermione said. “My parents were very understanding after Mr. Lupin explained what was going on and encouraged me all the way.”

“My Mother and Father were a little weirded out but they’re fine with it too,” Justin agreed. “Mother is even happy to have a young wizard in the family. Father’s fine with it as long as I keep up my non-magical studies during the summer.”

“Ahem, children?” Flitwick said amused as he drew their attention back to him. The part goblin was no longer pacing, standing instead in front of them with his hands clasped behind his back. “I will not stop you from using the room as you see fit. In fact it does my old heart good to see this old dueling hall in use again even if it’s not for its original purpose. I understand that you three need the space, especially you Mr. Hibiki, to practice your martial arts. But, I will be locking up all the weapons in this room in a cabinet you cannot get into and will replace them with wooden ones not unlike Mr. Kuno’s sword. You three and anyone else you invite may use the wooden swords to practice your fencing, this is for your safety. You may only use real swords under the supervision of a professor,” he looked at Daphne, Blaise and Justin when he said this.

“You may also practice your spell work in here but I will be putting up more wards to ensure you are not dabbling in anything dangerous or that is too much for you. I will also inform your head of houses to let them know what you intend to do with this room so they will be able to locate you at any time,” Flitwick looked at all the first years in front of him. “You are not allowed to be here after curfew or during your classes, your free periods are yours to do with as you wish. This may all sound a little strict but this is for your safety. I do not wish you see any of you to get hurt.”

Harry and his friends quickly agreed, the rules weren’t too out there after all and they were being allowed to do as they wish with the room.

“Sensei, what about those training dummies?” Harry asked.

“They’re a bit old but they can be fixed up and set to your level of spell work,” Flitwick said.

“Well I was wondering, could the dummies be set to do something else?” Harry asked. Flitwick tilted his head to the side in curiosity.

“Such as?” the short Charms Master asked.

“Could they be reprogrammed to be sparing partners?” Harry asked. “To use hand-to-hand or any other type of psychical combat?”

“Hmm…” Flitwick glanced over at the training dummies. The better spelled ones could be set to move and dodge for training, a high quality charm could program them to do much more.

“You pose an interesting question Mr. Hibiki, one I think I will look into and will let you know,” Flitwick finally said. “Alright children, why don’t you go outside to enjoy the rest of this beautiful day while the House Elves clean this dusty old hall.”

****

Later that evening, after supper had been served in the Great Hall and all the students sent back to their dorms, Flitwick invited the other three heads of houses into his rooms for a drink. While there, he told them what had happen that day.

“Are we sure this is wise?” Sprout said in a worried tone.

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be,” Flitwick said. “There is nothing in the rules about students using the old, unused classrooms.”

“If we didn’t allow them to occupy the old dueling hall, the children will just find someplace else,” Minerva pointed out. “At least this way we have an idea where they would be and can keep an eye on them.”

“So we are just allowing Hibiki to take over which ever room he wants,” Severus commented as he topped over his glass of brandy.

“At least 4 of your snakes get to benefit from this,” Flitwick pointed out. Snape slowly nodded, the extra studying would always help his snakes be the best.

“But what will Dumbledore say about it?” Sprout asked. The other three heads of houses were quiet for a moment until Snape spoke up.

“Is there any reason to tell him?”

“Severus is right, Albus doesn’t need to know the day-to-day lives of his students,” Minerva said in agreement.

“He always wants to know what his ‘Golden Boy’ is doing,” Snape pointed out. Minerva scowled in her own glass of brandy.

“He has an almost unhealthy interest in Mr. Hibiki sometimes,” She said in a bitter tone. “That if nothing else would have me agree to leave him out of this. And why would we tell him anything, this isn’t unlike a study group. The approval of the Headmaster isn’t needed.”

“I do like the way multiple houses are coming together,” Sprout said. “It’s been so long since the Hogwarts houses have gotten along, especially Gryffindor and Slytherin.”

“We only have ourselves to blame for that,” Minerva said. “Severus and I allow our students to snip and attack each other daily instead of working together.”

“Everyone treats Slytherins as if they are the next Dark Lords and Ladies of the wizarding world,” Severus said bitterly. “My snakes feel they can rely on no one but ourselves.” The other three winced slightly, they never stopped to think about how poorly they treated the fourth house.

“We should make an effort then,” Flitwick said. “We all know what Albus believes, that You-Know-Who isn’t really gone.”

“He’s not,” Severus said his hand drifted to clasp his arm where his faded Dark Mark resided.

“Then it’s only a matter of time before the man returns and starts up the war again,” Flitwick said. “Albus already believes ‘He’ is going to try to go after the Stone. If the houses come together, they will stand a better chance against ‘Him’ in the future.”

“It could take years to undo the damage caused,” Sprout said. “The upper years will never get along, too much bad blood.”

“Yes it will take some doing,” Minerva agreed. “But we already have students coming together. Purebloods, half Bloods and Muggleborns from three of the houses.”

“Too bad none of your Ravenclaws are a part of this group,” Sprout said to Flitwick. The goblin blood professor smiled slightly.

“Maybe not now, but one day there might be,” He said.

“So we leave the students to do what they want and we just make sure the little idiots don’t kill themselves,” Severus said.

“It’s either that or forbid them from spending time together and that would still just push them to rebel and do so anyway,” Minerva said.

“I quite like this idea,” Flitwick said with a smile. “We’ll just remove the weapons, store them somewhere the students can’t find them, and ward the room to keep an eye on the children.”

“I do as well,” Minerva said. “To hopefully the future unity of the Hogwarts Houses.”

“To keeping a secret from Albus for once,” Severus said with a smirk. “Though I doubt it will stay a secret for long that man has an annoying habit of finding out things he shouldn’t.”

“Hmm, he does,” Minerva said with an annoyed sigh. “Anything else we need to talk about then?”

“I may,” Severus said after Flitwick and Sprout had shaken their heads. “Some of my upper years have approached me with tales of a dragon in the lake, or some large lizard at least. Two of my half bloods both swear it is either a giant alligator or a crocodile.”

“Impossible, we don’t have either in the lake,” Sprout said. “Both the giant squid and the mer-folk would run it off.”

“Neither creature live this far up north,” Flitwick agreed.

“Neither is native to the UK,” Minerva pointed out. “Are your students sure Severus?”

“They all swear that today they have seen glimpses of some sort of beast they have never seen before in the lake,” Severus said. “And only since today. I have yet to see this creature for myself.”

“This may be something we should bring to the attention of the headmaster,” Flitwick said.

“I agree, we should bring it up during the next staff meeting,” Minerva said. She glanced at the clock on the wall then sighed as she placed her glass to the side. “I believe I will retire for the night.” Sprout and Severus quickly agreed and stood as well, leaving Flitwick’s quarters.

*****

When Severus returned to his rooms, he found a letter sitting on the desk, left there by the House Elves.

Snape,

Next weekend around noon at the Cat Café in Hogsmeade.

Remus J. Lupin.

******

Author Note: I hope everyone had a happy start of the New Year.
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