Learning the horrible truth of what the future holds Harry begins his quest to become the perfect wizard and change the future of death and destruction he's foreseen. Not realizing just what the co...
Entering his room at the Dursley's Harry was surprised to see a very serious looking Ollivander standing next to the Pensieve. A feeling of dread came over Harry as he realized he had forgotten to remove the memory of Sirius from it this morning.
"I can explain sir." Harry said, hoping Ollivander could be convinced to listen to reason.
"No Mr. Potter. There is no need to explain." Ollivander replied, his voice steady and calm.
Harry stood there for a moment and blink. That was about the last thing he'd expect Ollivander to say and was confused that helping a wanted mass-murderer escape wasn't something that needed to be explained.
"No, there is not. I am here to continue assisting you with your lessons, not to confront you about the memory you left in the Pensieve." Ollivander told him while gesturing for Harry to sit.
"This is your life Mr. Potter. The decisions you make and the reasons for those decisions are yours, and yours alone. If there is anything you wish to tell me, I will listen and offer the best advice I can provide. But you have no need to explain Mr. Potter. Those loyal to you should require no explanation, and those who do would not believe it anyways."
"From the broomstick you carry I assume you did not spend the day studying?"
"No sir." Harry said, smiling sheepishly as he laid his Firebolt on his bed. He was about to explain why he had been out so long but Mr. Ollivander spoke before he could.
"Do not worry Mr. Potter, there is plenty of time left to study. This, however, fits perfectly with another lesson I wished to teach you."
"No one person can do everything Mr. Potter. Even the most powerful wizard or witch needs the help of others, many others. The best are either respected and well liked, or hated and feared, but all require help in order to succeed. It would be wise for you to begin gaining friends and loyalty now, if you desire to greatness so young and to survive long."
Harry wasn't sure exactly what to make of what Ollivander said. He understood he needed his friends, he already relied on Ron and Hermione a lot, but what did he mean by gaining loyalty?
"Not many your age understands how to inspire such loyalty Mr. Potter. This, of course, makes it even more important that you learn soon. First you must learn how to communicate well with others. Watch the person you are talking to, Observe their body language, listen to the words they use, and when talking be certain to look into their eyes. Many times you can learn more by how someone talks, than by the words they say."
"I would also highly recommend for you to increase the number of people you know. Perhaps make it a point to talk to a person you do not know well once every week or two, and not just those your age, adults as well. And continue to speak to everyone you know regularly."
"If you are walking and see someone you haven't talked to in a while stop for a moment and talk to them. It does not require a long conversation, just say hello and see how they are doing, ask if anything is wrong. Be nice and make sure you leave them feeling good about having talked with you."
"You will be surprised by how little effort is required to win the friendship of others when you require nothing of them." As an after-thought Ollivander added, "Of course, this will mean you will have a lot more people and information to remember. At first it may be difficult for you to keep it all straight, writing down the names and important facts about each person on some parchment to review later would be wise."
The dreary weather did nothing to hamper Harry's high spirits as he jogged the last bit to the Three Broomsticks.
During his practical lesson with Ollivander last night he explained about Sirius. Ollivander had been shocked to say the least, but not about Sirius being innocent.
His surprise was that Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic would let a third year student, no matter how talented, use a Time-Turner. He couldn't begin to imagine why anyone would approve of such a thing as a time-turner was one of the most dangerous objects in existence, and had far too many side-effects for even a trained adult to safely use.
The side-effects part caught Harry's attention. Could that have been what was happening to me?
Ollivander was amazed that Sirius was in such good condition after so long around Dementors, but also said that his mind would require more healing than his body. Without proper treatment Sirius would less and less in the real world and more in his memories, real and imaginary. Then one day he'd become trapped inside his own mind, never even realizing that it wasn't real until his death.
Harry had been afraid before; when he pushed his Uncle too far, at school when he had faced Voldemort, when he learned that Ron's little sister's life was in danger, and again later that same night when he fought the Basilisk to save her. But never before had he been as afraid as he was now. He could loose his godfather, his only chance for a family, to a fate worse than death.
Harry was so engulfed by the momentary feeling of self-pity that it took a minute for the rest of what Ollivander said to finally sink in. Not only would Ollivander arrange the necessary help for Sirius, but he would arrange for a safe place to live, one where Harry could visit anytime he desired.
Seconds later Ollivander was alone in the Pensieve, Harry back in the real world grabbing a parchment and quill to write to Sirius. A family! He dreamed about having a family for so long, and now he'd finally have one!
A sweet aroma filled his senses as he entered the Three Broomsticks. The sight of a full English breakfast caused his stomach to rumble a second time and he decided to a quick bite was in order before heading to Ollivander's. Harry could barely sleep after the realization that he'd get to see his godfather again and woke up late, barely finishing his chores on time and missing his own breakfast.
Ollivander was speaking with an older man Harry didn't know when he entered the shop. He went to the backroom to study, not wanting to interrupt. He was interrupted from his studies a while later by Ollivander entering the room carrying a potion for him to drink.
After two weeks of drinking the pleasant tasting elixir Harry expected this one to be the same. The light blue potion was filled with glowing red specs and looked like it was a thin watery liquid, but it turned out taste like an incredibly thick and lumpy paste that was so tart it overwhelmed his taste-buds and nearly caused him to vomit.
He finally managed to swallow the potion, it left his mouth so numb he couldn't even talk for a few minutes afterwards.
"What was that?" Harry asked when he finally got the feeling in his mouth back in his mouth.
"There is a book of potions on the shelf behind you, Mr. Potter." Ollivander replied from the table he was currently working at, and then added, "I will be busy for some time with a project, but I am sure you can remember enough it in order to search for it."
"Of course you could not find it Mr. Potter, the potion is not listed in that book."
"What?" Harry gasped out. "Then why did you just have me spend hours reading through it!"
"To teach you a valuable lesson, one I'm quite certain you learned." Ollivander replied.
"How? I didn't find anything and spent over two hours looking through a book that was completely useless!"
"Is that so Mr. Potter? Then tell me, if the potion had been in the book how would its blue color helped you identify it?"
"It would have narrowed down which ingredients were used."
"How would it have done that?" Ollivander then asked.
"Well," Harry answered, "the primary color is the result of the first reaction and the shade is changed later by the last absorbed reactant."
"Very good Mr. Potter, and how would knowing the potion felt like a paste while retaining the appearance of a liquid help?"
"It would mean that the primary reactants were liquid and used a solid neutral base, which would narrow down which potions it could have been a lot."
Ollivander nodded and then asked, "And the glowing red specs in the potion?"
"I don't know sir." Harry admitted, "I looked but couldn't find anything small and red like that in another potion."
"Think of more than just the physical appearance Mr. Potter. From the potions you know, or have read in the book, what do you think could cause such a glow?"
After a minute of thinking Harry ventured a guess, "Magic maybe? The potion could require an active magical catalyst."
"Close Mr. Potter, incorrect but it was a good educated guess none the less. Those specs were actually an entire dragon heart, shrunken, and then carefully ground to a powder. The potion itself is little more than a complex inhibitor for their magic and is required to prepare you for a ritual you will go through at the start of Lammas, which coincidentally is on the night of your birthday."
Harry blinked in surprise, but didn't have time to think about it as Ollivander continued talking. "And you just proved that the book was hardly useless. I daresay you learned more in the last few hours than in any single potion's class you have attended."
"Potions should not be about memorizing and following recipes. There are times where you can change ingredients and still arrive at the same potion, or where a single potion has multiple names depending on what ingredients you use and the process in which you combined them. If you understand the fundamental laws of creating potions and learn why ingredients react the way they do, there is little need to rely only on the recipes currently in front of you."
"You can just make potions like that?" Harry asked amazed. Snape never mentioned anything like that!
"Yes Mr. Potter, you can. It was once how all potions were made, though only a few bother to learn the laws anymore. A testament of the sad state the wizarding world is in today." Ollivander finished in a mournful whisper.
Harry wasn't sure how to respond, so instead asked , "You mentioned I'll be going through a ritual?"
"Ah, yes, the ritual. As a wizard or witch ages their body slowly increases its ability to handle magic. This slow and steady increase is enough for the vast majority of people, though occasionally a person's magic will surpass their body's ability to handle it and they are forced to assist the process using other means. The ritual, as well as several potions and spells I have given you over the last few weeks, increases your body's ability to hold, channel, and resist magic."
"This is just one of the many preparations that must be done if we are to succeed Mr. Potter."
Harry glanced from his Ancient Runes text when he heard Ollivander enter the backroom and was surprised to see a pair of tan feminine legs next to Ollivander's blue robes. Startled, he looked up and saw Katie being lead into the backroom by Ollivander.
"Hey Harry, I found all my notes if you still want in them." She said, giving him a smile.
He was confused at first but then remembered she offered her Ancient Runes notes. He'd completely forgotten about it, so much had happened since then.
"Yeah, I could really use the help . I've been reading the book but it's been a pain, trying to keep all the means straight."
"Oh, trust me. I know what exactly what you mean." Katie said with a sour look on her face. "I still have to go back and check the meaning of a lot of the runes, and I've taken two years of it!"
"Thanks." Harry told her as he took the tome from her. "These should help me out a lot."
"Make sure you can read what I've written first, sometimes I get distracted copying down notes and write messy. Actually, I could start on my summer homework in Ancient Ruins while you work on that. That way I could help with any questions you have."
"An excellent idea Ms. Bell," Ollivander said, not giving Harry a chance to respond. "Mr. Potter must get quite bored with spending so much time studying alone."
Harry was confused why Ollivander would think that, he'd met the Dursley's and had to know this was tons better than being at home. Then he remembered there conversation last night, Ollivander wanted him to spend more time talking to people.
"Great," Katie said making her way to his table. "Mom will be happy that I didn't procrastinate with it like normal."
Harry spent the morning and well into the afternoon studying with Katie. It was nothing like studying with Hermione and Ron. With Hermione studying was never fun, it was a battle. Each page hid information and she did her best to fight for every scrap of it she could. She didn't understand that other people weren't like that, so studying with her was always difficult. Hermione's way was effective though and he learned a lot with her than he ever would on his own. Studying with Ron on the other hand, was far less efficient but more fun since they generally spent just as much time joking around and complaining as they did studying.
Studying with Katie was different though. She took her studies seriously but was relaxed about it, looking completely at ease writing her essay, occasionally glancing at her notes. It intrigued Harry as he very rarely felt at ease with anything other than flying.
She also made sure they took breaks throughout the day to talk and rest their minds. During these chats Harry paid attention to how she talked, like Ollivander suggested and managed to pick up on a few mannerisms and hand gestures she used. He was surprised by just how difficult it was though as he never really thought about what he was going to say, he just talked. So trying to not only pay attention to what Katie said, but how exactly she said it, was something he had little experience doing.
His task wasn't made any easier by Katie's nervous fidgeting, or that her hands sometimes played with the hem of her skirt, a rather short skirt which emphasized her athletic legs quite well. Try as he might to look her in the eyes, Harry couldn't stop himself from sneaking glances at her legs.
Leaving Ollivander's that afternoon Katie couldn't help but smile, today had turned out even better than she planned!
After taking a shower this morning she let her mother know that she was going out to do homework with a friend, and wouldn't be back till evening. Her mother would never have let her out of the house looking like she wanted to, so she went over to Alicia's to get ready. Alicia, Angelina and she spent nearly two hours making sure her hair, makeup, and outfit were just right.
The skirt was shorter than any Katie ever wore before, ending mid-thigh, and her blouse was slightly see-through, just enough to hint at what was hidden underneath. As a whole she liked it, the outfit showed off her legs and breasts without making her look like a tart. The makeup had been carefully selected to give her a slightly older look by accenting her tanned skin, high cheek bones, and lips.
Alicia wasn't sure about the outfit though and warned her that while she'd get his attention, it may not be as great as she thought.
Being stared at hadn't been the disgusting feeling Alicia described at all. Quite the opposite really, as the thrill of having Harry's eyes on her body, glancing towards her legs, had nearly overwhelmed her! Before today she'd only ever felt such a strong exhilaration when pushing herself past normal limits to pull off a difficult Quidditch play. But this was as strong as any she ever felt from flying.
Thinking back to her conversation with Alicia and Angelina, she realized very little was as they described. Harry stared at her body like they knew he would, but it was in such an honest way that it made her feel special, powerful. Not at all like the cheap and dirty feeling they described. It wasn't just the attention he gave her body that made the day so great, it was the attention she gave /her/.
At 15 Katie was already quite familiar with how boys acted like they were listening but really weren't. Harry hadn't done that though. He listened to what she said and never tuned her out as soon as she stopped talking about whatever he wanted to, like the others always did. Harry paid attention, even asked questions when she knew he couldn't really be interested in what she was talking about.
This realization caused Katie to blush slightly and brought another burst of excitement to the young woman. She quickened her pace through the crowd, wanting to get back and tell her friends everything.
Angelina and Alicia, who Katie normally studied with, took their OWL's last year and received no homework for the summer because of it. Ollivander didn't mind her using the backroom to study with him so Harry continued going to Ollivander's every other day, only now Katie showed up to do her homework with him. He was surprised by just how much he looked forward to those study sessions with her.
Taking Ollivander's advice, he began writing down all the information he could about Katie and was amazed by how much more he remembered about her because of it. It helped so much in talking with her that he began creating pages for Ron, Hermione, and a few of his other friends. There was so much he'd forgotten, even about his best friends. But even with writing everything down Harry had some hard times in talking with Katie. Mostly because she talked about places he didn't even know existed, let along been to. There was so much more to the magical world than Diagon Alley and Hogwarts, and he'd never been to any of it!
Katie decided to expand their studies sessions to include exploring the different magical sections of England. On the days they studied together they'd take a couple hour long lunch break and visit in a different restaurant, or market, each time. A few times Mrs. Bell even brought them, so they'd have more time to explore during their break. They even met up on their days off to go exploring somewhere neither of them had been to before.
Most of the places they'd explored were similar to Diagon Alley, hidden in the middle of Muggle areas. There were a couple places they went that really stood out though.
The Cetera Zoo was a wooden tower about as wide as Gryffindor tower, but much taller. It was so tall it seemed to go all the way up past the clouds and into heaven itself.
He'd been to a Muggle zoo shortly before learning that he was a wizard, but it was nothing like this. The idea was the same, to see rare and exotic animals, but unlike a Muggle zoo, you didn't stand outside and merely look in at them. Each floor was made up of four slightly raised platforms lined with chairs. By taking a seat on one of the chairs a mental image of yourself was projected into the creature's natural habitat. You could walk around and observe the animals as if you were really there, but still be completely safe thousands of kilometers away.
Harry and Katie spent nearly the entire day visiting the different creatures, laughing, and having a great time. The fact that nothing they did actually affected the creatures helped a lot. They surely wouldn't have been able to have a snowball fight in front of an Abominable Snowman in real life. Of course trying to douse a Fire Crab with water, climb a huge scarlet Liondragon, and seek a Snidget wouldn't have been smart either.
All in all Harry had a great time, though he did make it a point to stay clear of any snakes and serpents. Ever since second year, he made sure to stay clear of them. He knew being a Parslemouth was part of him and nothing would ever change that, he just didn't like the think of it. If he could avoid them, he could shove it out of him, most of the time. He was sure Katie realized he was avoiding them on purpose but she didn't say anything, and for that he was quite thankful.
It was nearly dinner time when they exited the tower, their stomachs aching for food and legs sore from climbing all the stairs. The Leaky Cauldron was completely full by the time they got there and neither felt like waiting. After a brief Floo call home, Katie invited Harry over for dinner, which he reluctantly agreed to. His hunger over-powering the reluctance to be a bother; an involuntary reaction left-over from being raised by the Dursley's.
Another one of their all-day adventures was spent at the bottom of the ocean exploring the ruins of an ancient city, KÃ©r Ys. Once a beautiful and thriving kingdom built completely under water, it was destroyed by the red knight; an evil dark wizard of about two thousand years ago.
There was something about the city. He didn't know what it was but the moment they arrived Harry wanted to learn about it, wanted to know it's story, it's history. He signed up for the group tour to go through the main second of the ruins and learn about the city. A tour of the city was normally only offered a few times a year, but because of the World Cup they were available for most the day.
The tour was amazing for Harry. All the time he spent stuck in his cupboard gave him a great imagination, and he used it now creating several possibilities as to what it must have been like then. In his mind the city came to life, evolving as he listened to the wizard explain it's history.
As they moved on through the tour he noticed Katie wasn't enjoying herself. She wore a fake smile and pretended to be interested, probably for his sake, but he'd spent enough time with her to tell the difference. She barely spoke to him and that bothered him because they normally spent all their time talking, getting to know each other better and having fun. Unfortunately, with so many people around he couldn't just ask her what was wrong. He jumped at the chance to go exploring by themselves, hoping that once they were alone she'd talk to him again and maybe find out what was bothering her.
The center sections of the ruins were still protected by magic, but all the outer sections were outside of the magical dome. When an older witch cast a spell on them that would let them walk around in the water with out having to swim, they wouldn't even get wet. The cool air whipped violently around him, slowly settling down to form a translucent barrier against the sea. It almost felt like he flying, the air moving continuously moving around his body.
Relishing in the wonderful feeling of the spell, he didn't even notice the tour-witch explain the complexities of the spell. So he was surprised when he couldn't talk with Katie through the barrier of bubbles. He did notice, however, that when he stood really close to her their bubbles would combine into one, and they could talk just fine. There was no way he be able stay close enough to her for the barriers to stay combined, so he suggested they hold each other's hands. It was a little awkward at first, but he held Hermione's hand several times over the years and soon became comfortable enough with Katie to carry on a conversation.
Being submerged for the last two thousand years the outer ruins were in a lot better shape than the central ones, and the air bubble charm let them inspect the ruins perfectly! The large stone and crystal city was overgrown with plants and sea-life, but there were enough bare sections that Harry could see it's previous splendor. His imagination didn't do it justice. They spent a long time exploring the full extent of the ruins and a feeling of incredible sadness settled deep within his heat at the destruction of such a beautiful city.
The most amazing, and saddest, part of the ruins was near the entrance to the city where an ancient oak tree still stood. Most of the outer branches were charred black, the trunk and inner part of the branches were still alive though, and thriving. Even after the centuries Harry could still feel the immense magical power, which once powered the wards of the city, emanating from the tree.
At that moment he realized why this city touched him so, his dream. Because of what would happen in the future. This would happen to his world, to Hogwarts, to Diagon Alley. He vowed that he'd change things, he wouldn't let his world become like this, ruins.
Katie was in a great mood as she said goodbye to him late that evening, thanking for offering to help setup their camp for the World Cup in a couple days.
Harry had been confusing her lately, he always gave her a lot of attention and they spent most of their time together, but he never made any moves on her! And she even went out of her way to make sure he had plenty of opportunities to do so. She'd almost given up hope when her mom, of all people, intervened. After a long, and somewhat embarrassing, talk, she'd decided to give him a bit longer, and if he hadn't made a move by the time they started the camp-out for the world cup, she'd make it for him. Finally today he made one, albeit a small one, but after two weeks of frustration she'd take just about anything.
She'd been angry when Harry decided to join a tour of the ruins, this was to be their last full day together before she left to camp out for the World Cup and she wanted to be alone with Harry, not stuck with a large group of people. When he jumped at the opportunity to explore the underwater sections by themselves, she'd been elated. Maybe all wasn't lost; maybe he wanted to be alone with her as much as she did with him.
They'd only been underwater for a minute when Harry started acting weird and standing incredible close to her whenever he talked. She wasn't sure why he didn't just use the bubbles to talk back and forth like they'd been told, but when he finally suggested they hold hands to keep the bubbles formed into one, she understood. He was using it as an excuse!
It was such an adorable thing to do, and so like Harry. Even with all the signs she'd giving him, he was still a little afraid that she'd say no and came up with an excuse. She grinned, now that she knew he was interested she'd make the next move so blatant that even he couldn't misunderstand it.
Of course Harry didn't spend all his time with Katie, much of his time was still spent reading, listening to Ollivander, or in the Pensieve. Ollivander had taken to visiting him for a couple hours each night to assist with practical lessons. Because he was studying Ancient Runes with Katie, Ollivander would teach him about Ancient Traditions of the Wizarding World and about the lives of several important wizard and witches throughout history. While these subjects didn't really interest Harry, they weren't nearly as boring History of Magic and he considered it a small price to pay for all the help Ollivander gave him.
"As you seem to focus on combat," Ollivander said after walking in on him practicing a spell from one of the dueling books. "I will make this lesson related to dueling."
"It is not always the strongest opponent, or the most knowledgeable opponent that wins. There are many factors involved, one of the most important being speed. Physical speed in casting a spell, as well as mental speed in knowing which spell to cast. But there is also the quality of the spells being cast and that, Mr. Potter, is something that most wizard and witches have forgotten. Being able to cast a spell better than your opponent is just as crucial as knowing the spell itself. Actually, I would say it is more important to be able to cast a few simple spells perfectly than being able to cast many spells decently."
"But why? Once you're able to cast the spell what does it matter?" Harry asked.
"It matters Mr. Potter, think on this for a moment. There are two duelers, each with about the same skill, speed, and power. The first is using a wide variety of complex spells and the second is using only a few simple spells that he has perfected. The first dueler only needs one complex spell to hit his opponent and he'd win, but because the spells take longer to cast his opponent has more time to dodge or properly shield himself from the attack. Now the second dueler's spells are simple and less powerful, but because he has perfected these few spells his opponent's complex shield will not last against his spells. This allows the second dueler to press his opponent into a defensive position where he'll still be taking a small amount of damage. It may take some time, but the second dueler will, more than likely, win using his 'lesser' spells.
"But how could the spells get through the shield?" Harry asked, "Shouldn't the more complex and powerful shield stop such simple spells?"
"In a way yes and no Mr. Potter." Ollivander answered. "A complex shield should, and would, be able to stop any one of those spells, but because the second's dueler spent so much time perfecting them, and because they would be sent in great numbers and speed, the more complex shield would be penetrated."
"Couldn't the other dueler just use a more powerful shield then?"
"Perhaps I should explain what I mean by perfecting a spell Mr. Potter, it may make more sense then. Using the word power is not entirely accurate when talking about spells, as measuring the effect of magic is far to complex for a single term. If we take two wizards of about the same skill and magical power and have them cast the same spell, it should have about the same effect. However, if one of the wizards were to cast the spell significantly better than the other, than that spell would have a greater effect. This would make it appear that one wizard is more powerful than the other, when really all that has changed is he spell being cast better. Do you understand?"
"Yes," Harry answered, understanding what he said but still slightly confused. "It's something like how a better matched wand makes the spells more efficient. But why would someone duel with spells they couldn't cast right?"
"It is not that he would not cast the spell correctly Mr. Potter, it is that casting spells is more complex than you believe. Let me give you another example." Ollivander said as two rocks appeared floating in the air in front of them, each the size of his fist.
"Look at these two rocks Mr. Potter, from the outside they look the same. However, when we split them open and look at the insides there is a difference. See how one has stress lines and small imperfections through out, while the other does not?"
Harry nodded, "Now let us consider each rock is a spell, the same spell but from two different wizards. The one with the imperfections was cast by someone who learned the spell, was able to cast it well, and then moved on to learn a new spell."
"The second rock, the one with no imperfections, was cast by a wizard who instead of moving on to the next spell, spent a much larger amount of time honing his ability to cast that particular spell to near perfection. The spells may be cast by two wizards who are equal in power, but because of the lack of imperfections the second rock is stronger than the first, correct?"
Harry nodded again, beginning to grasp what Ollivander was talking about.
"Let us say that the first wizard is upset that the second wizard's spell seemed more powerful and tried to make his spell even more powerful by forcing more magic into it." Ollivander gestured with his hand and the first rock grew about twice its size, "Now the first rock is larger and takes power than the second. However, if you look closely you'll see that not only does the first rock still have imperfections, but that they imperfections are, in fact, even more prominent now than they were originally. While the larger rock technically has more power than smaller, if we test them we'll find that the effect of the smaller rock is actually greater than the effect of the larger rock."
With a wave from Ollivander's wand two thick glass shields appeared a couple meters away from them. He flicked the wand again and the larger of the two rocks flew towards the shield, shattering on impact and leaving a few cracks in the glass. The smaller rock then flew towards the shield, but instead of shattering like the first rock did, it cracked into only a few pieces and fell to the ground. Nearly the entire second shield was filled with cracks growing outwards from the impact and Harry thought he could see a few open gaps where pieces of the shield broke away completely.
"That Mr. Potter, is why using a perfected, but less powerful, spell would allow the wizard to win the duel."
At Ollivander's insistence Harry spent the next three days practicing only one spell, the levitation charm. Ollivander wouldn't tell him what he should be trying to learn from it all, only that he wanted Harry to pay as much attention as he could to the spell. Though he did give one last piece of advice before leaving, "Concentrate on the basics and all else will fall into place."