First day of classes, a Staff Meeting, Harry shows talent, Quirrell smells bad and Snape snaps.
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. Nor any of the Marvel Comics Characters mentioned herein. But you knew that.
Harry Potter and The Invincible TechnoMage
Chapter Two - Fitting in
"And that covers the announcements for this morning." Dumbledore idly stirred his tea. He always allowed Minerva to run these staff meetings, when he did it they tended to veer off on odd tangents.
"So Filius, What can you tell us about young Mr. Potter?"
The diminutive Charms Master looked up from his notes. "Well, to begin with Minerva, as he told you last night, he wants to be known as Harry Stark. He is quite devoted to his adoptive father, and has few memories of being a Potter. He is a startlingly intelligent young man."
"Wonderful, another year of yammering children, and a celebrity to make it all the more memorable."
"Severus, if he is a celebrity that is the doing of others, not Mr. Stark. He was introduced to his own legend last night by a fellow first year. Miss Granger is Muggle-born who after noticing the reaction to the Potter name, looked him up.
"And what was his reaction to learning his 'legend' as you put it?" Dumbledore looked up from his tea.
"Disbelief actually. Mr. Stark is blessed with an exceptionally logical outlook. He immediately questioned the story and wanted to know its source. He actually asked me to explain the documented history of the events in Godric's Hollow when he pointed out that there was a single surviving witness of the event, himself. He asked where the account had come from. He also questioned the reasonableness of the account, pointing out that his parents, two powerful and fully trained magic users died at You-Know-Who's hand, and that the story had a mere infant destroying their killer. He was most adamant that this made no sense."
"Did you explain his mother's sacrifice?" Poppy Pomfrey asked.
"Yes, and he scoffed at that. He asked if Lilly Potter was the only mother to sacrifice herself in an attempt save her child from the Death Eaters. The longer we discussed that night, the less sense it made."
"He's just looking to stir up trouble. What do you expect of the spawn of James Potter?"
"Severus, he may look somewhat like James Potter, but Harry is nothing like him. James was highly intelligent, but lazy. He didn't apply himself to his studies until he decided he wanted to impress Lilly Evans, as you well know. I know I've only spent 20 minutes speaking with young Mr. Stark, but I can tell you. The boy is very intelligent, and is driven to impress someone. But whoever that might be, he or she is not in this castle." Flitwick shook his head. "There's something else about the boy. He's brought Muggle Electronics to the castle."
The Potions Master barked a harsh laugh. "Some of the Muggle-born or Muggle-Raised always do. Is the boy pouting because his toys don't work?"
"His toys DO work, otherwise why would I mention it? He has something he calls a 'Datapad'. With it, he accessed what he called the 'Stark International Corporate Data Base' and pulled an amazing amount of cross referenced information about this area, including what he called 'Satellite Images' of this Castle."
"That's not possible." Snape spat. "The boy is trying to pull something; all magical structures are invisible to Muggles and their Technology."
"I think you mean it used to be Severus." Flitwick sipped his tea. "After my conversation with Mr. Stark last night, I did some research of my own. Harry's adopted Father is a certified genius, with more patents in the field of Muggle Electronics than any other living soul. Given that his adopted son is magical, and the boy's mere presence would disrupt his technology, why is it surprising that such a man might find a way for his technology to work with magic and be able see through our wards?"
A murmur swelled from the table. "I'm afraid there's more. Hogwarts will not be young Harry's first foray into magical education. He has received extensive tuition in chaos magics by Wanda Maximoff no less."
"Chaos magic? That's what killed Selene Lovegood last year" gasped Poppy Pomfrey
"Potter's lying." Snape was building to a rant. "There is no way for an eleven year old to have access to that kind of magic. Maximoff publishes her books and disappears. There are those who doubt she even exists."
"She disappears to the Muggle world Severus. That's where she lives. The Muggle press reports her to be in regular contact with Harry's adopted father. When he told me of his exposure to Chaos Magics, and his other education he was unaware of how rare it was for a Hogwarts student to receive such tuition."
"You said 'other education' Filius?" the normally robust Pomona Sprout was looking pale. "What 'other education'?"
"During the accident that killed his blood relatives and for some weeks following Harry exhibited prolonged bouts of accidental magic. Not knowing what it was, but somehow recognizing it for magic, the elder Stark contacted an associate for help. From the age of five years until last month, Harry has received periodic training from Stephen Strange."
A shocked silence filled the chamber. Relations between Wizarding Britain and the Sorcerer Supreme were testy at best, ever since an 8 man Obliviator team responded to a battle Strange was fighting against a horde of demons in London and attempted to remove the former surgeon's memories of the event on the justification that he was a Muggle. When the Obliviator team called for help, a 12 man team of Special Tactics Aurors responded.
Strange had deposited all 20 men, bound and senseless on the desk of the Minister of Magic and instructed the man in no uncertain terms to not involve his provincial wand waving fascists in the business of those wielding true magic.
The Minister of course(immediately after making a change of robes) issued an arrest warrant for the Sorcerer Supreme, accompanied by a 'don't bother to take alive' order. Oddly no Auror ever found Stephen Strange, though he often was seen by common Wizarding folk in the streets of several of Britain's major cities. There were suggestions that the Aurors weren't trying all that hard to find him.
"Alright Filius, Mr. Stark has had instruction in Chaos magic and has been a Sorcerers apprentice, anything else?"
The small man hesitated. "Yes. Harry tells me his principle teacher since he was six years old was Agatha Harkness."
A gasp ran through the assembled staff.
Dumbledore stood. "Several of you will have Mr. Stark in your classes. I would like to have reports on his abilities and his progress in your class through the year. I thank you for your attendance at this meeting. Our next meeting will be at 7am Monday next. Minerva, if you would stay?"
McGonagall waited until the rest of the staff had filed from the room. "How could this have happened Albus?"
Dumbledore removed his glasses and pinched his nose, attempting to ward off a headache. "I don't know Minerva, the Dursleys go on a business trip taking Harry with them and they drop out of existence. It was only when the enchantments that drive the Hogwarts letters enacted that I could find him again. Minerva, I need to know where he is in his education. Would you consider contacting your Great Aunt?"
Classes started the next day. The Ravenclaw's first class was double transfiguration with Professor McGonagall. Just as he has assumed McGonagall was not a teacher to cross. Strict and exacting, her first words in the class room set the theme for the year.
"Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts,"she said. "Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned."
She then demonstrated her talent by changing a desk into a pig and then back again. The combined Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff class were dazzled by McGonagall's display, and couldn't wait to get started, but it did not take long for the class to realize that none of them would be changing the furniture into anything, much less a living animal any time soon. The Professor presented them with along involved lecture. After most of an hour and a half of note taking, they were each given a match and started trying to turn it into a needle.
Sitting at the table in the front row with Hermione to his left and Padma to his right, Harry noticed the looks of strained concentration on both their faces. He did not notice Minerva McGonagall watching him.
"Don't try and force it, just let the magic flow."
"What do you mean Harry?" Padma looked up at him.
Harry ran his hand through his mop of hair. "Ok, look at the match," they were both still looking at him. "I mean it, really look at the match. Get a complete image of it in your mind; does the stick have a flaw? Is the head unsymmetrical? Pretend you need to be able to identify your match stick out of a box of 500. Got it?" Both girls nodded, still concentrating on their matches. "Now take the hand you don't use for your wand, and cup it behind the match. Put your wand just over the match without touching it. Got it?" Again they nodded. "Close your eyes. Picture the matchstick in your mind, after you can see it, picture the one of the ends as coming to a point, and the other flattening and having an eye. Ok, keeping that image of a pointed matchstick with an eye in your mind, start imagining made of some metal. Think of a metal you're familiar with. Think about how it feels, how it smells, what that metal tastes like. Complete the image. The image in your mind should be your needle now right?" Both girls nodded. "Open your eyes."
Both of the young Ravenclaws opened their eyes to see a needle where the match stick had been. They both gasped excitedly. Professor McGonagall had been watching the entire time, her eyes wide in amazement.
"Well done Miss Patil, Miss Granger. Five points to Ravenclaw, each."
The girls squealed happily as the bell rang ending the period. "Everyone turn in your matches. While you're up here, take a look at Miss Patil and Miss Granger's work. I would like 12 inches on the practical application on transmutation of wood to metal by Wednesday. Mr. Stark, stay behind if you would?"
The class filed out. Harry finished stowing his text in his book bag. After the last student had left the classroom she turned to Harry.
"Mr. Stark, it was nice of you to assist your classmates like that and with an interesting technique as well, but you didn't do your own work. I would rather not give a student who knows what he is doing a zero for the day, would you care to stay here and do your assignment rather than go to lunch?"
Harry nodded and picked up the match, then handed it to her. "Here you go Professor."
Minerva McGonagall looked into her hand and found a silver needle. She couldn't have done the transformation that effortlessly.
"You didn't use your wand."
"No Ma'am. I'm still getting used to using a wand. My teachers didn't use them or teach using them."
"And one of your teachers was Agatha Harkness?"
"Yes Ma'am. Mistress Harkness has been my principle teacher for as long as I can remember."
"Thank you Mr. Stark. Run along to lunch now."
"Thank you Ma'am." The boy left the classroom.
Harry entered the Great Hall, and spotting Hermione made his way to join her.
"Nev! How's Gryffindor treating you?"
"Ah, nobody grovels to Purebloods in Gryffindor. Woe is me."
"Don't worry; your purity will see you through. Have you got this place figured out yet? Is there someplace to study with people from other houses?"
"Not a clue, after the feast last night, it was unpack and straight to bed, then this morning was Herbology and Charms. Double Transfiguration this afternoon with our head of house."
"Had her this morning. She's strict, but she knows her business. Hopefully there's somewhere we can get together and hang out. I'm starving Nev, see you later."
Harry slide onto the bench next to Hermione and started filling his plate. The bushy haired girl smiled at him.
"Thanks for the help in class. I don't know if I'd have gotten it without your help."
"You'd have gotten it, both of you." Harry nodded to Padma across the table. "McGonagall teaches a good lesson, but I think she wants us to discover the flow of magic for ourselves."
"You talked us through the transfiguration Harry, but I'm still not sure what we did."
"Look Padma, think of it like this; when you pick up a fork, do you have to think about what every muscle and ligament has to do in order to pick up the fork? Of course not, you just do it. Magic is the same way. For some reason the people who teach like to make you think about every step along the way, when all you've got to do is do it." He took a bite of the meatloaf on his plate, after swallowing he continued. "Magic really boils down to 4 steps. 1. Recognize what you want to do. 2. Visualize what you want to do. 3. Intend to do what you want to do, and 4. Do it. The wand waving and incantations are all just focusing exercises that teach you to use your intent and your will to make what you want to happen, happen.
Hermione looked perplexed. "There must be more to magic than that."
"Why? Is there more to moving your arm than that?"
The first class following lunch was Defense Against the Dark Arts. The lessons were a bit, well, odd. The classroom smelled strongly of garlic, Harry felt like he was in a bad Italian restaurant. The rumor was that Quirrell was attempting to ward off a vampire he'd met in Romania and was afraid would be coming back to get him one of these days. The man's turban, he told them, was supposed to be a gift from some unnamed African Prince as a reward for getting rid of some Zombie, but Harry wasn't sure he believed this story, knowing that most of what remained of Africa's royalty would be far more likely to call on T'Challa than some stuttering Englishman. In the unlikely event that T'Challa needed help he would call on Stephen Strange. Besides that, Harry was hard pressed to think of an African tribe that would award a turban. Whenever someone asked about the Professor's adventures, Quirrell would go all pink and started talking about the weather.
But here something not right here. Harry felt his mental defenses tested time and again, particularly when Quirrell's back was turned to him. He instructed the Techsuit to scan Quirrell. The results of that scan indicated two separate entities in the Teacher's body. This was odd... A familiar perhaps. Harry wasn't aware of any familiars capable of mind magics, but that didn't mean that there weren't any.
Potions lessons took place down in one of the dungeons. It was quite cold in the lower levels of the castle, which struck Harry as odd, being below ground as they were. The walls of the classroom were lined with pickled animals floating in glass jars. The overall effect was 1950s movie mad scientist chic. Hermione and Padma sat together at one of the tables. Harry sat at the table behind them and was joined by one of the Hufflepuffs, Justin Finch-Fletchley. Professor Snape started the class by taking the roll call, he paused at Harry's name.
"Ah, Yes," he said softly, "Harry Potter. Our new - celebrity."
"Harry Stark sir. I'm hardly a celebrity."
"Two points from Ravenclaw for your cheek boy. In this class you are Potter."
Snape finished calling the names and looked up at the class. His eyes were black, cold and empty. Harry thought about arguing with the twit, but decided that an official complaint would probably be more profitable.
"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion making," Snape had the gift of keeping a class's attention with little effort. "As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even stopper death- if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
More silence followed this little speech. Harry and Justin exchanged looks.
"Potter!"said Snape suddenly. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
"Asphodel and wormwood make a powerful sleeping potion known as the Draught of Living Death, sir," said Harry.
Snape's lips curled into a sneer. "Lucky guess Potter? Let's try again. Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"
A bezoar is a stone taken from the stomach of a ruminant animal, usually a goat and it will save you from most poisons sir."
"What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?"
"Monkshood and wolfsbane, are different names for the same plant, it is also known as aconite. There are more than 250 species of aconite. Aconites are herbaceous perennial plants that are chiefly native to mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere, growing in moisture retentive but well draining soils of mountain meadows. They have dark green leaves that lack stipules. They are palmate or deeply palmately lobed with 5-7 segments. Each segment again is 3-lobed with coarse sharp teeth. The leaves have a spiral or alternate arrangement. The lower leaves have long petioles." 'Take that asshole.' He added silently. For the first time he was thankful for an assignment from Mistress Harkness. This ass thought he was intimidating; he was nothing next to her. Still, why had she required him to produce a 2000 word essay on Aconites just last month? It had nothing to do with the potion she had been teaching him, it had puzzled Harry at the time. Was Mistress Harkness some kind of seer?
Well?"Snape turned on the rest of the class. "Why aren't you all taking notes?"
There was a sudden rummaging for quills and parchment. Over the noise, Snape snatched up Harry's Datapad and said,
"50 points will be taken from Ravenclaw House for bringing your filthy Muggle toys to class, Potter." He flung the Datapad across the room, where it hit the wall with a crunch, falling to the floor, bits of plastic bouncing away from the main body.
"You will pay for that Professor."
The entire class stared at Harry as he stood up from his stool, and began to gather his things into his book bag.
"Are you threatening me Potter?"
"Not at all Professor. You willfully damaged my personal property in a childish fit. You will pay for the damage you caused. We can do this like adults, or if you prefer to carry on the way you have started, I can get lawyers involved, and then you can pay for the damage you caused, court costs and my lawyers." Harry shrugged. "It doesn't matter to me either way."
"Sit down Potter. A week's detention might teach you your place."
"What did you say Potter." Snape hissed threateningly.
"I said no. I will not attend any detention you assign. I do not recognize you as having any authority over me. I have no time for bullies or cowards, and you sir, are both. There is nothing you know that I wish to learn." He shouldered his bag and turned his back to the Potions Master, making to leave the room.
In a smooth motion Severus Snape drew his wand and he was sub vocalizing the stunning spell that would teach 'Potter' a lesson when four tentacles suddenly sprouted from the boy's robes. The class gasped when they saw four spots of light on Snape's body, one between his eyes, one over his heart, and two on either side of his navel. Harry stopped as soon as the tentacles had manifested, and slowly turned around. The tentacles maneuvered about his body to allow the movement, never dropping their focus on Snape for an instant.
"Professor, your hostile act has triggered the defensive protocols of my Techsuit. Lower your wand before you get hurt."
"What are those things Potter?"
"They are the weapons modules of my Techsuit. The one aimed between your eyes is currently set to disable and will deliver a milliliter of a very painful blinding agent. The one over your heart is a Stark International Series 12 pulse laser, which will kill you. The two targeted on your abdomen one is a Stark International Series 4 taser unit, which will disable you with 250,000 volts of electricity, and the other a Stark International force beam projector, commonly known as a 'repulsor', which depending on its intensity will either knock the wind out of you, cut you in half and everything in between. Which of the weapons used is decided by the Artificial intelligence of the Techsuit, in proportional response to any offensive act on your part." Harry smiled ruefully. "I know that the weapons I have described are outside your understanding, but allow me to assure you that you do not want them to be used on you. Lower your wand, sir."
"Idiot boy!" snarled Snape, "do you really think you can scare me with your filthy Muggle toys?"
Harry felt the telltale tickle of someone testing his mental defenses. "Ah, you are a legimens. That won't do you any good Professor, the Techsuit's AI will respond whether I am conscious or not. Do I think I can scare you? I guess that depends on whether you are smart enough to know that there are things you do not know."
"I will have you expelled for this Potter."
"You will try Sir, I suspect that it will come down to who the Headmaster wants here more, you or me."
Snape lowered his wand, and the Techsuit's tentacles lowered, and then retreated back inside Harry's robes.
"Class is dismissed. Potter you will accompany me to the Headmaster office. Say good bye to your little friends, you won't be seeing them again."
"I am not overly concerned about the threats of a coward who attempted to hex me in the back Professor." He smiled at the rage on the man's face. "Nor one who cannot seem to learn my name."
Harry followed the fuming Potions Master into the Headmaster's office silently. The aged wizard looked up at the pair in surprise.
"And to what do I owe this visit?"
"Headmaster, this idiot boy threatened me. I demand his expulsion."
"Professor Snape was abusive and derogatory toward me for no reason Headmaster. He began the class by docking Ravenclaw two points when I told him my name was no longer Potter, and insisted on calling me Potter for the rest of the time I was in his class room. He destroyed my Datapad for no reason, calling it, and I quote a "filthy Muggle Toy" and docked Ravenclaw 50 points. After informing Professor Snape that I would be billing him for the willful destruction of my property, I then collected my things to leave the abusive environment. When my back was turned the coward in your employ pulled his wand and started to hex me in the back, triggering my Techsuit's defensive protocols. After I explained how much damage my tech could and would do to him, he dismissed the class, and escorted me here."
"The boy's a liar Headmaster."
"Somehow I thought a gutless coward might try the 'boy is lying' gambit, so I have the recordings my Techsuit made available for you Headmaster. Techsuit. Display time in Potions Classroom. Audio and Visual." One of the tentacles extended from Harry's robes and a hologram projected from it to the desktop of the headmaster's desk. The recording ran from the time Harry entered the classroom until he left it following Snape.
When the recording was done playing. Harry looked to the pair of silent adults. "Headmaster, Now that we have established beyond a doubt that this man is a liar, and a coward, I refuse his punishments. For whatever reason, he has a grudge against me. If my refusing his punishments is not acceptable, I will be leaving. Remember Headmaster, you came to me speaking of fulfilling my destiny by coming to Hogwarts. If the destiny you have in mind involved dealing with this cowardly bully, I'll leave you to it. Professor Snape, that Datapad you destroyed is perfectly allowable under school policy. I specifically asked the Headmaster if I could use such a device for note taking before I accepted my place here."
"Actually Harry, when I said that I had no idea that your device would work."
"Ah, your little joke for the Muggle raised then? I guess the joke is on you. The Datapad was one of 12, limited run technology. Each unit cost in excess of $128,000 dollars. At Friday's exchange rate to the pound, and pound to Galleon, I estimate you owe me 14,220 Galleons. I will of course be producing an itemized invoice for your 'purchase'. I'll give you until the end of the month to make restitution. If you do not, I will be contacting a solicitor and we'll find out if the British Magical Courts believe in the concept of 'punitive damages'. Headmaster, I also expect the points taken from Ravenclaw by this man be returned. If he is to remain employed here despite his obvious moral and character flaws, I will want a public apology in the Great Hall, at Dinner, as well as a public promise to stay out of my mind."
"Do you feel it appropriate for a student to dictate terms Mr. Stark?"
"No, I don't Headmaster. I leave it to you to dictate terms. I simply outlined the terms in which I am willing to stay here."
"And what of your punishment for threatening a teacher Mr. Stark?"
Harry smiled. "I will gracefully accept that punishment as soon as Professor Snape is arrested for attempted assault with a deadly weapon. If the school isn't interested in justice, perhaps the Aurors are. Also, are you aware he carries a protean charm on his left arm? Isn't that the marking of the terrorist group that people seem to feel I beheaded as an infant."
"I am aware of the mark, yes. I might ask how you are aware of it."
"My tech is sensitive to magic, especially the magic of those who are displaying hostile intent toward me. For example are you also aware that Professor Quirrell has some sort of entity under his turban?"
"No, I didn't know that."
"I don't appreciate legimancy being used on me. Professor Snape has tried it, whatever it is under Quirrell's turban has tried it, and you are trying it right now Headmaster. Mistress Harkness showed me some rather unpleasant defensive charms for mind magics, the people who trigger said charms can be easily identified by the way they lay on the ground screaming while clawing at their own eyes. Like I said, most unpleasant. Was there anything else Headmaster?"
"No Mr. Stark, you may go."
"Thank you Headmaster. Good day Professor Snape, I'll be getting you that invoice."