Orestes contemplates, the 'Puffs plot, Harri faces her past, Orestes has a Geek moment, Harry gets lucky, Thubani schemes, and Harry is cursed.
Harry Potter and the Distaff Side
Meetings and Plans
Orestes Granger was confused. This was an unusual condition for the brainy, slightly bossy, Gryffindor to find himself in. He usually understood what was going on or knew where to go to research the situation until he did. But he really didn’t know where to start for solving this problem.
Sitting here holding Harri’s hand while she slept and looking across the room at the screen that hid the badly injured professor, he wasn’t sure what to do, or even how he felt about the situation. Strews had quite literally taken Harri apart in her attack. She was just at a level that the students had never seen before. Then the guy who spent the summer with Orestes had been told of the incident, and less than an hour later Professor Strews was laying in a hospital bed in agony. Logic told Orestes that Harry was the one who put the professor in that bed. How was this possible?
Over the summer, Orestes thought that he had gotten to know Harry Potter quite well, but this was causing Orestes to question that. What kind of power did this male Potter have?
Harry and Luna Lovegood had somehow been involved in the Death Eater attack at Hogsmeade. The news that made its way into the castle spoke of a half dozen Death Eaters preparing to attack Britain’s only all magical town, only to be discovered and stopped by a squad of Aurors before they could even start. But Harry and Luna had been late getting back to the castle that night, and when they did return they were escorted by Almanzo Bones, the head of the DMLE.
Orestes recalled thinking that Harry must have been hurt from the way he was leaning on the Lovegood girl, but what if…
The problem with being called the ‘Smartest Wizard of his Age’ was that you start to believe it. Was he over analyzing because he didn’t understand what was happening? Was his new found suspicion of Harry Potter’s motives the based on Orestes frustration at not knowing what was going on? Was it jealously over Harry’s being able and willing to act so aggressively and not care what others thought?
Harri stirred in the bed, the pain of her healing body fighting the Dreamless Sleep potion. Orestes started feeling more than a little ashamed of himself.
Reflection was sometimes cathartic. His confusion cleared as he admitted to himself what was wrong. He had wanted to hurt Professor Strews for what she had done, but couldn’t take the step. Harry Potter had taken that step without a second thought. Orestes had supported Harri in her brushing off the male Potter’s suggestions that they train together, not really believing for a second that a mere male could function at the level of ‘his’ Harri, that Harri’s twin would slow her down, hamper her on her training, leave her vulnerable.
He had been an idiot. Things had to change. He couldn’t be the weak link any longer. Harry had shown him that being male didn’t mean being weak. Maybe he’d never reach the levels of Harri, (or Harry for that matter) but it didn’t mean he had to hide behind either of them.
Phaleon Sprout sat at his desk in the Hufflepuff Council Room, listening to Jessica Finch-Fletchly’s report on the male Potter. The rest of the Hufflepuff Council (the Seventh Year class, all the Hufflepuff prefects and any Hufflepuff alumni on staff.) listened in rapt silence. Usually these meetings were dedicated to keeping the house informed as to the happenings in the school. It was unusual for a meeting to be dedicated to discussions of an actual member of Hufflepuff House. But what ever the topic, information was power. The Ravenclaws reviled in their knowledge, the Slytherins in their cunning, and the Gryffindors in their bravery. They could all keep their arrogant specializations. Hufflepuffs dealt in cooperation and hard work. As a consequence the Wizarding world was run by the ‘duffer house’. Not the elected positions, those were for self important peacocks, but the civil servants, the managers, most of the Department heads, the positions earned through hard work and diligence, those were ‘puffs.
“And how did you reach the conclusion that Potter might be a Wizards Wizard?”
“When I attempted to initiate a relationship in order to better understand him and his situation, he told me a story of a male version of myself from his own reality and that he couldn’t possibly separate the two of us in his mind.” The Muggle born Witch shook her head. “I took that as his clumsy way of telling me he liked boys. I mean really, a male version of me? I know he’s a male analog of the Girl Who Lived, but come on. The idea of a male dominated society is just ludicrous. How would anything get done? How could an entire society be subjected to the randomness and hormonal imbalances of the male mind?”
There were more than a few throat clearings from the males on the Council, and many understanding nods from the females.
“Regardless of how much sense it makes, it is true, at least from the point of view of the Potter Boy.” Anastasia Moody said from her seat in the alumni gallery. Despite the level of power he has, his Occlumency is almost non-existent; I’ve been in his mind.” The Retired Auror shook her head. “In his world he was known as the Boy Who Lived, and he knew most of us, only with our genders reversed.”
“Did you gain any perspective as to why he is here?” asked the Haden Abbott.
“From his perspective, completely by accident. Just like our Potter he was entered into the Triwitch Tournament against his will by the younger Crouch, polyjuiced to be me.” Moody grimaced at the memory. “Just like our Potter, he and his version of a male Diggory were portkeyed to a graveyard, where Diggory was incapacitated and Potter was used in a ritual to return his version of a male Riddle to a corporeal body. The primary differences between his reality and ours is that his Diggory was killed where ours was stunned, and where our Riddle immediately called her Death Eaters and proceeded to duel the Girl Who Lived, his Riddle told Potter that he knew the prophecy that linked them, that it spoke of neither being able to live while the other existed, and that one must die at the hands of the other.”
There were gasps in the room as that statement sunk in.
“Does that same prophecy apply to the Potter Girl?” Phaleon Sprout asked.
“From the way Blanch Dumbledore is reacting to the boy, I would say yes.” Moody waited for the rush of whispered conversations to die down. “The male Riddle believed this prophecy. Believing that it meant that he could only be killed by the Potter boy and that if he himself killed the boy the prophecy would be fulfilled making him vulnerable to others. To circumvent the prophecy he banished the boy from their plane of existence, telling Potter that both of them would then be immortal. That is how the boy came to be here.”
Sprout once again signaled for silence in the chamber. “That is quite the amplification of what was released by the Ministry about the boy. What else have you found?”
Moody hesitated. “I must evoke full Council privacy oaths.”
Phaleon Sprout nodded. “Anyone unwilling to abide by the privacy oaths, leave now.”
No one moved, after thirty seconds, privacy wards bloomed and the walls shimmered with a faint blue glow.
Moody then gave the true story of the Death Eater attack at Hogsmeade and destruction of the pureblood fanatic Defense instructor. She finished with "I've only ever seen two witches move like that -- Dumbledore and Riddle, and they couldn’t do perform the accelerated magic at the age of fifteen. I reported what I saw to Dumbledore who thinks I’m imagining things; she insists that no wizard is capable of doing what I saw the boy do. She believes that the level of power necessary is limited to a few select witches.” She shook her head. “Whenever something doesn’t conform to her world view, Blanch can be quite blinkered.”
“Are you saying that someone from our own house has the potential of becoming… Dark?” Asked a 7th year Witch looking a bit perplexed. “Are Dark Wizards even possible?”
“There have been Dark Wizards, but they mostly gather followers looking for the protections offered by sexual rituals.” Phaleon Sprout interjected. “They rarely have the drive to attempt anything more.”
“And I don’t believe the Potter Boy is Dark. He became physically ill after he killed those Death Eaters. That isn’t the sign of a Dark soul.” Moody shook her head. “He’s deeply unhappy, and feels guilty for not being able to return to his original world, but he has somewhat come to terms with being here, and intends to dedicate himself in assisting his ‘twin’ in defeating the Dark Lady.”
“Thank you Anastasia.” Phaleon sat up in his chair. “I’m declaring discussion over, and calling for the vote. We are the heirs of the legacy of Humphrey Hufflepuff, we take out responsibility seriously. Does Hufflepuff support Harry Potter, or do we take steps to neutralize him?”
Orestes blinked when the door appeared in the wall. His fifth year at Hogwarts, and still the magic of this castle could surprise him. He and Harri had followed her male twin to this little used corridor and watched while he walked back and forth three times. Harry opened the magical door and led them inside.
The room they entered was a duplicate of the Gryffindor common room. Still not at one hundred percent, the stairs had taken their toll on Harri, she had come in the room leaning heavily on Orestes, and immediately slumped onto one of the sofas upon entering the room.
“Why is there a duplicate of the Gryffindor common room here Harry?” She asked upon catching her breath.
“It’s a creation of this room. Dobby told me about it when I needed a place to train. The elves call this the Come and Go Room, or the Room of Requirements. Basically, you can only find it when you need it. But the room can supply you with what you need. This is where I go to train.”
“So, that’s why we’re here? To start the training?”
“No, you’re not ready yet Harri.” Orestes felt a little indignant at this put down of ‘his’ Harri. The male Potter continued. “It will be a few days yet. You were badly winded just climbing the stairs; you would probably be badly hurt by the training in your condition.” A slight grin formed on Harry’s lips. “When you meet the trainer, you’ll understand. He can be a right bastard.”
“Then why are we here?” Orestes asked.
“I did something for Luna Lovegood here, something that I thought you might like Harri.”
“This better not be something pervy Harry.” His twin said with a smile. “You’ll freak Orestes out; he’s a good boy who has fallen in with a bad crowd.”
“I’ll bad crowd you Harriet Jane Potter!”
“Nothing like that.” Harry laughed as he crossed to the door. At the door he turned back to the seated couple. “I hope you enjoy this Harri, I really do.” Harry exited the room.
“What’s this all about?” Harri asked. “Did you put him up to this so that we’d have a private place to snog?”
“He had better not.” Came a woman’s voice that neither of them recognized.
The two teens turned their attention from the door to the fireplace, standing there was a raven haired woman wearing glasses and a red headed man. Harri immediately recognized them from the Mirror of Erised and the photo album she had gotten from Hagrid for Christmas first year.
Harry was sitting in the library trying to read. He was failing miserably, hoping that he hadn’t made a mistake with Harri and her parents.
He had come close to asking the room for James and Lilly so many times, but just couldn’t bring himself to actually do it. The fear of how they might react to how he had turned out, how they would look upon his failures, how he had taken lives. No, it was safer to offer Harri her time with Jane and Lance. Safer for him anyway.
Harry all but jumped. Luna had managed to surprise him.
“You’re my Hero Harry. You did save me remember.” The blonde smiled. “As I recall, you promised me a date.”
Luna could always bring him out of his moods. Whatever else he was he was healthy fifteen year of boy. He smiled. “Did you want to go somewhere now?”
She took the book from his hands and put it back on the shelf, then took his hand and pulled him to his feet. “Yes, I think I do. Come with me.”
Luna led him through the halls to a secluded broom closet, and pulled him inside.
Orestes stared opened mouth at Harri’s parents and his girlfriend and the adults clung together in a tearful hug. Magic couldn’t do this. Harry Potter could not possibly have brought the Potters back to life. It was impossible… impossible… His mouth went dry and the Muggle born Wizard found himself wishing for a glass of water, he almost screamed when a glass tumbler shimmered into existence on the side table next to his hand.
“This is a holodeck!” He exclaimed. All three of the Potters stopped their private conversation to look at him with questioning looks on their faces, and then returned their attention to each other. Of course, a magical holodeck, it made sense, sort of. He picked up the glass of water and sipped. It was perfect.
Orestes’ chain of thought was interrupted when the redheaded man sat down in the chair next to him.
“I’m Lance Potter. Harri tells me you’re Orestes.”
“Muggle born? Me too.” The redhead’s brow furrowed. “This is awkward isn’t it?”
“Yes sir. Are you… real?”
“No. Jane and I are creations of the magic in the room, images of the real Jane and Lance from the last time they were in the castle.”
“Ah. That’s weird isn’t it?”
“No, that’s magic. Magic does what it is going to do unfortunately. It is a wonderful thing really.” Lance Potter nee Evans ran his hand through his red hair. “So, you called this a ‘holodeck’?”
“That’s a Star Trek thing.”
The shade of Lance Potter took on a perplexed look. “I’ve seen every episode of Star Trek, I don’t remember a holodeck.”
“Oh, you never saw The Next Generation. There was a new series in 1987.” Orestes smiled, feeling his inner geek come out. “A holodeck was a plot device that allowed for the crew to go places and do things without leaving the ship.”
“Ah, sorry I missed it. So, you’re Harri’s… boyfriend?”
“Is Harri a… good woman?”
Lance Potter gave Orestes a look of… guilt? “Jane at that age wasn’t a very nice person. But then neither was I really. She was something of a bully, especially when she was with Cubicula, Naguals and Petra. Those that didn’t measure up to their standards were nothing more than victims to them. Jane and Cubicula worked their way through most of the men in our class by the time they were Harri’s age, and I was to be then next notch on their wands, but I… Well, after fighting like children, Jane and I fell in love around the middle of sixth year. I guess what I’m asking is what kind of woman has my daughter turned out to be?”
“Harri hasn’t had the easiest life. Your brother and her family treated her badly, and since she came to Hogwarts, it’s been one thing after another, but Harri most specifically is not a bully. She detests them, and protects those being bullied to the best of her ability.” Orestes hesitated for a moment. “She has certainly gone out of her way to take care of me.”
The shade of Lance Potter nodded, seemingly relieved at this news. So tell me about the Dimensional Traveler. I always wondered what it would be like to have a son.”
“Well, he has your eyes…”
Thubani Malfoy sat at the desk in her dormitory, her fingers steepled before her, deep in thought. Something had happened to her mother, and it had something to do with the Potter boy, that much he had managed to get out of her father. The Dark Lady was very displeased with the Malfoys just now, and that had trickled down to the Slytherin common room, where Thubani had received a beating as payment for past insults. News of the Malfoys losing the protections of the Dark Lady traveled fast.
Lucile would regain her position, the fifth year was certain of that; in the mean time the Dark Lady wanted more information about both the Potters.
The female Potter had been on Thubani’s list since the ride on the Express first year when the Muggle loving fool had rejected her offer of friendship. And the male Potter, with his insults about her appearance and touching…
She would enjoy handing both of them to the Dark Lady… Perhaps she would be allowed to witness their punishment for defying the greatest Witch of all time…
Harry returned to the Hufflepuff common room in something of a daze. That Luna was something else. The taste of her was still on his lips, the smell of her on his robes. Sometimes it didn’t suck to be Harry Potter.
He approached the twin suits of armor guarding the entrance to the Hufflepuff common room. He was still amused that the armor had breasts built into them, as opposed to the flat breast plates of the armor of his home reality. The original owner of the suit on the right must have been a most impressive sight indeed… He leaned close to the suit on the left and whispered this month’s passphrase “There is no I in team” (the seventh year prefects were on a Muggle metaphor kick). The suits of armor stepped away from each other and the door appeared.
As he was stepping over the threshold, a male voice whispered, “Petrificus Totalus” and Harry felt the Body-Bind curse force his legs together and his arms to his sides. He immediately attempted to dispel the curse, but the world went black when something was placed over his head.
“Shit! He’s breaking the curse!” the male voice hissed. “Stun him!”
Then Harry knew nothing.
A/N: Many thanks to meteoricshipyards for his assist with the Hufflepuff Council…