These are the last of Curalium Lacrimo's chapters. My own will be coming out to a computer near you soon.
Author of Original Story: Curalium Lacrimo
Pairing: (tentatively) Harry Potter/ Luna Lovegood
Rating: M for Future Content
Archived: fanfiction(dot)net under pyrodaemon; hpfandom(dot)net under pyrodaemon.
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
I hope you guys like these chapters. Curalium Lacrimo did a wonderful job. I've edited it a bit and added some of my own flair.
It was August 27th and Harry was wishing he hadn’t changed time so much. His back, ribs and chest were badly bruised; when the Dursleys realized just what he’d done, the gloves had come off.
The Dursleys had always been abusive, a slap here, a kick or a shove there, nothing spectacular. Well, Petunia had nearly taken his head off with a frying pan when he'd been six (and again after first year but that, technically, hadn't happened) which could be considered pretty bad, but Harry had ducked and the shot missed. Mostly Harry just had to deal with them lying to him and belittle him every chance they got. Over the years he’d garnered a few beatings, often when he did accidental magic. Though, they usually just belittled him, and starved him and locked him in his cupboard for days on end. This time around it was much worse; the beatings over this last month had been frequent and severe, leaving him gasping in pain, when he was conscious after a beating that was. He’d had to stop practicing magic after he removed the final block on his core the morning after his visit to Diagon Alley, and since he needed to let it regenerate he could only use minor spells in times of great need.
He had used his magic to undo the lock on the cupboard, and while he had managed it the process had exhausted him. But still, he’d he was able to get some food and water and hid it before locking the cupboard up and passing out.
He had no other options, so he’d have to sit the abuse out.
As he closed his eyes, drifting into dreamland, he hoped to himself that he could last up until September.
He’d been part way through a dream about Quidditch against a team of bunnies, who were winning by the way, when a different scene started to play out. He saw himself, in his cupboard. There was a half eaten biscuit on the floor so he knew it was tomorrow, since he remembered leaving it there today. He saw himself staring into space, organizing his Occlumency shields, which was all he was really doing, or capable of doing, these days. He wondered why he was having this weird dream when the cupboard door slammed open, bouncing off the wall to hit Vernon in the side who leveled a vicious glared at it then at Harry. His uncle stood menacingly in the doorway. Not much new there, Harry thought, this scene had become quite commonplace over the last month. Or at least Harry didn’t think it was so uncommon until the other him snapped his eyes open just in time to watch a bread knife get stabbed through his heart.
The scene blurred until Harry found himself in the White Room with the Tapestry where he’d met the three women. He was breathing as harshly as if it had been him who had been stabbed. Atropos was standing in front of him, smiling sadly, her eyes just as unseeing as before but seemed to be filled with compassion. “What was that?” He asked, still shaken.
“Your future.” She said simply, as if they were discussing the weather.
“How would you know?” Okay, so he was being rude. But he didn’t want to die. He couldn’t. Not by his worthless uncle's hand!
“As I’ve told you before, I see things, even when the time line is interfered with I see things. One of those things was your demise and I just went against Zeus’ wish to allow you to redo your life. I’m not just going to stand back and let you get killed. Especially not because some insignificant muggle decided to go berserk and kill you.”
“Oh- So why did you show me my, uh, demise.” Harry asked awkwardly.
“So you could stop it, of course. It will be happening at 8:34 tomorrow morning.” With that the room faded and Harry woke up with a jolt, sweat pouring off his face.
Sitting up quickly he felt something drop into his lap. Looking down he saw a silver locket. It had an hourglass on the face and on the back words were written. The inscription read, “A posse ad esse.”
Opening it up he saw a picture of his parents and across from it was a clock, which read 8:23. Meaning he still had 11 minutes left until his uncle meant to kill him. Looking the clock again he saw it, too, was inscribed. His eyes widened in shock as he saw it said, “A gift from the Fates.”
Harry knew he'd known them from somewhere! The names seemed so familiar but for some reason it hadn't clicked in his head before. There were brief references of people seeing them in “visions” throughout history from the beginning of the written word. He’d read about them when he researched prophecies and destiny.
Smiling contentedly he shut the locket then put it around his neck, tucking it under his shirt. Pulling out the shrunken trunk he put it in the pocked of his jeans, which were the ones he'd worn on his outing with Flitwick, then he retrieving his new glasses and put them in his pocket for safe keeping. His new wand holster went on his right arm with his wand in it.
Harry pushed the old glasses he'd had forever up the bridge of his nose; he’d taken to wearing them, lest his new ones be broken, even with the charms and spells on them, when his uncle hit him.
Opening the locket he saw it read 8:32. Two minutes.
Releasing the catch on the holster his wand shot into his hand and he held it up in the ready position. When a thought stuck him. The only reason he’d managed to practice magic beforehand was because the Ministry only tracked wanded and accidental magic. They couldn't track the Rune Magic because it was pulled from the surrounding area, it was wild.
However, if he started throwing spells around, then no doubt a Ministry worker or even a representative from Hogwarts would come. They couldn’t be complex spells, he wasn't even a first year yet, perhaps just “Expelliarmus.” It was a first year spell and Flitwick had seen him read some of the book when he'd brought it so he had an excuse for knowing it even though his trunk and all his books and supplies were still shrunk. So they wouldn’t be too suspicious and he doubted he could do much more than that, even with his wand, as his magic still wasn’t fully restored. That would still take a few days still but it would be done by September 2nd which was when classes started.
As 8:34 rolled around the door slammed open and as his uncle came into view. Harry shouted, “Expelliarmus!” and threw his uncle back into the hallway but that didn't stop the man for long as he got right back up and came at him, this time without the knife which had flown into the cupboard with Harry and Vernon was still too large to fit into the small cupboard and get the knife. Harry knew the man couldn't reach him but shouted “Expelliarmus!” again, feeling his magic protest its use as the blow barely knocked Vernon down. It wouldn't work a third time, Harry knew. He knew the signs of magical exhaustion better than most Healers. Vernon had gotten up for the second time and was lumbering toward Harry who had the spell on the tip of his tongue when a red light came out of no where and knocked his uncle out.
Turning his head he saw Dumbledore, Flitwick and McGonagall standing in the hallway wands drawn and pointed at Vernon's unmoving form. They looked shocked and were staring between Harry, Vernon and the cupboard where the knife was visible for all to see, stained red with blood, his blood. He looked down and saw that the knife had sliced open his side, nothing deep but a wound that bled noticeably. He hadn't even notice it get him when it came flying at him, his adrenalin was too high to feel it even now. Wands usually just slapped into you and fell harmlessly to the floor, he hadn't considered the fact that the knife would cut him. He was about to thank them, even opened his mouth to do so, however, his magic had different ideas. He only had a second to realize what was happening as his magic shut his conscious thoughts down and sent him into inky darkness, trying to recharge itself without interruption.
Meanwhile Albus Dumbledore watched as Harry crumpled to the floor, blood flowing into the carpet around the small boy. Vernon was still knocked out and with the power of three spells would be for several days if someone didn't wake him up. He was about to go check on the small boy when he heard someone shriek, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HUSBAND!”
Looking up he saw Petunia, and his eyes turned ice cold. “How dare you!” He found himself hissing. “I left him in your care and I come here and find you husband with his fist raised about to strike him! A child Petunia! I find that the boy looks like he was beaten every day this week, he looks like he hasn't eaten in weeks and he's /bleeding/.” He barely noticed as Flitwick darted forward to check on Harry, he continued speaking in a cold voice, “Why? What could he have done for you to allow your husband to do such a thing?”
Petunia felt a brief flash of guilt, but it wasn’t her fault! She couldn’t exactly stop Vernon, just look at the size difference and secretly she wasn't sure she would have if she could, she'd gotten a thrill at seeing Pretty Perfect Lily's brat helpless before her. But where did this wizard get away with insinuating she owed that child anything. Pushing back memories of a helpless emerald green gaze, she glared defiantly at him. She hadn't asked the freaks to dump the boy on them, hadn't asked him to stay. They were lucky she hadn't just given him up for adoption or put him out on the street – which had really been her first thought when she'd first seen the boy on her doorstep.
McGonagall put a reassuring hand on the headmasters arm before nodding at Flitwick who was levitating Harry. Dumbledore sent one last glare at Petunia, promising they hadn't seen the last of him, before pulling out an emergency portkey that was programmed for the hospital wing. He hadn’t ever expected to use it, he thought sadly but it was standard for all members of the staff to carry them in case a student – or even staff member – were ever injured gravely enough that they couldn't make the trip to Poppy's Wing.
Landing in the hospital wing Dumbledore watched as Filius lay Harry down on a bed. “Poppy!” he shouted, waiting anxiously for the medi-witch.
Sure enough she came out of her office, looking flustered, she was about to ask what he was shouting about when she saw Harry's bloody form. Gasping as she hurried forward and, demanding to know what happened, she started waving her wand in quick, efficient movements. After being told about the “rescue” in a rather condensed form she shooed them all out, and settled into work. She took pictures of the various wounds for when the Aurors came to take statements.
Waking up Harry found himself in what he knew to be the hospital wing, he'd been there often enough to know it just by smell. He wondered why he was there when it all came flashing back to him... the dream, Vernon, the knife, Dumbledore, McGonagall and Flitwick. He found himself blushing as he’d never actually wanted anyone to see him like that, he’d planned to simply get through it and come to Hogwarts without anyone being any wiser. They hadn't learn in his last life, after all.
Spying his trousers and top on the bench next to his bed he pulled out his trunk and new glasses. He put them on as and swung his legs off the bed, with his shrunken trunk held in his hands. He only had one foot on the floor, the other was still raised in the air, when he saw Madam Pomfrey come out of the office. She hurried over to him and tucked him back into bed, taking his trunk and putting it on the sideboard again.
“Hello, dear, my name is Madam Pomfrey. I'm the nurse in charge of the Hogwarts Infirmary Wing.” He heard her say in a soft voice, ah yes, he remembered; he wasn’t supposed to know anything about this. So he wouldn't know who Pomfrey was.
“Hi, where am I?” he whispered, trying not to wince at his still childish voice, even though she'd technically told him he could play disoriented for a while until he got his bearings and keeping her talking was the best way to by time.
“Hogwarts Infirmary, dear, do you know how you got here?” She replied. Harry DID remember, or at least, he could guess. But what was he supposed to say? Last time around no one had noticed and even if they had he wouldn’t have said anything, he'd been too insecure in his last life, too prideful. How was anyone supposed to think he could defeat a dark lord if he couldn't even escape his own muggle uncle? That had been what he thought anytime he got the urge to tell someone what his life had been like.
Apparently Pomfrey took his silence as confirmation that he wouldn’t say anything, but pushed on anyway. “Harry, has your uncle ever hurt you? Before this I mean.” She asked gently.
“No!” This time he did wince. His shout had been an automatic response, he HAD planned on telling them or at least telling them enough so that his relatives wouldn’t make a repeat next holiday since the cat was already out of the bag, anyways. He wouldn't live through that again. “I-well you see, it-” he continued, trying to get the words pass the lump in his throat. It had always been hard to talk about his 'family,' though most people, even Hermione when they had been best friends, never asked about them. They knew the Dursleys didn't like him, he didn't like them, and that was the end of it. It never went any farther.
It was then Madam Pomfrey did something Harry had never seen her do before: she got up from her chair, sat on the edge of his bed pulled him gently into her arms and hugged him. Tightly. He’d been hugged before, a few times by Mrs. Weasley and on occasion by Hermione, but it never felt any less weird. Warmth spread through him at the contact and that always bothered him. No matter how good and safe he felt hugs always bothered him.
Harry sat tense in her arms until she started to rub his back. Something broke inside him and he found himself crying into the medi-witch's shoulder. Huge, breath-taking sobs that seemed to come from the very center of his soul. They hurt his chest and throat as they came out, but it felt so good. Like a vast weight was slowly being chipped away from his very being. He knew he was technically 19 years old and that sobbing on the shoulder of anyone was too 'childish,' but as all the memories started flooding back he couldn’t help himself. He started speaking, not even paying attention to what was coming out of his mouth, but he knew. It was about all the hurt the Dursleys had inflicted upon him. All the pain and loneliness. The bruises and the tears. It all came pouring out until he was babbling and the woman couldn't have understood him but she still held him and made soothing noises at him, rocked him and rubbed his back gently.
“He hurts me, she let him, she watched, she knows, she doesn’t care. They just lock me in my cupboard and forget I’m there and if I made a noise then he’d come and it hurt and...” He continued on for a period of time until his voice gave out and he lay against the woman, exhausted. His eyes were swollen and sore and his throat and chest ached. Harry didn't even have the energy to berate himself. Pomfrey laid him against the bed and tucked the covers around him. He didn't feel the warm wet cloth she pressed against his eyes because his magic yet again sent him into the land of dreams.
Pomfrey fondly brushed away a stray hair, revealing the lightening-shape scar, but unlike she had seen it last, it was now pale silver, almost like most normal scars. She removed the cloth from his eyes, hoping they wouldn't be sore when the boy woke up. Shaking her head she left the room to go and write up the paperwork that never ended, even during the summer.
A few hours later Harry woke from a peaceful sleep; he thought about getting up but figured he wouldn’t get far with Pomfrey about. Staring at the castle wall he wondered exactly what he would do differently this time around. Would he still be the glorious Gryffindor, or would he be more recluse like he had been during his last year of his other self. He'd already seen what changing things could do and wasn't really sure he was ready for everything and everyone to completely change.
He was naturally what most considered anti-social, he enjoyed burying himself in books for hours on end and ignoring the entire world outside his little bubble. He also knew that that had been his major problem the first time around. People had flipped opinions of him so much because no one outside Hermione and Ron really knew him. He didn't speak to anyone and so they didn't know him. He hadn't even really been friends with the Gryffindor Quidditch team, though he'd been friendly. He was, however, the Boy-Who-Lived and it was hardly expected of him to be a brainy little Ravenclaw. But he wasn’t expected to be an abused child either.
Making his decision he lay back down and settled in for another tranquil sleep, knowing that he could finally be himself.
The next day quite a few different people visited Harry.
First Pomfrey came back to do a check up and reapply some bruise salve. She was different from his other life, smiling gently at him and when she found him up and about to use the toilet, she only gently chided him before helping him to the room then leaving him on his own. Whereas last time he would have gotten his head bitten off and a lecture an hour long on doing what he was told.
Not long after that Dumbledore came, introducing himself and telling Harry that he’d be staying at Hogwarts for the rest of today, since it was September first the very next day. He had tried to convince Harry to go on the train the next day, but after seeing Harry’s wary eyes and having Harry plead to just stay at the school, he relented, thinking that the boy had been through enough without adding what he knew would be hordes of children and their parents gawking at the boy. No it was certainly best that he just stay at Hogwarts. There was plenty of time to ride the train for the next seven years.
Next was Flitwick who had apparently come to un-shrink his trunk, which he did, before telling Harry that he could come to him at any time, day or night as his door was always open. They spent half and hour talking about Harry’s parents and Harry even learned a few new things, mostly about his mother.
Hagrid also quickly popped in --- looking just as Harry remembered him, too huge to be allowed, with big hands and an even bigger heart --- giving Harry a very familiar white bird.
“Thanks-” Harry started, but stopped before saying anything that could incriminate him.
“Hagrid, jus’ Hagrid. ‘m sorry ‘arry, bu’ I gotta be goin’. I’ll see yeh at the feast.” Hagrid said before walking to the exit.
“Hedwig.” Harry whispered. Death Eaters had been trying to get a letter from his loyal owl and had killed her early in the war. He couldn’t believe how much he had missed her, he hadn't even realized it until she was in front of him. Hedwig hooted softly at him, blinking large intelligent eyes before nipping him affectionately.
The rest of the day was spent in relative ease. He re-read some of his first year books, petted Hedwig and chatted to a disgruntled Pomfrey, who didn’t like an owl in her infirmary, but said nothing.
The next day Harry was gently awakened. When he opened his eyes he was surprised to see it was about four in the afternoon. He quickly got over his shock when he realized his magic was back in full flow. It never ceased to amaze him how much his magic had been damaged. It was hard to damage your magic, but when it was done it never worked quite the same again. Getting up he smiled in thanks to the medi-witch before getting his school robes from their place at the end of the bed and walking to the bathroom.
Poppy Pomfrey watched sadly as he walked away, she doubted the boy knew just how much of a mess he had been when he came in. It had scared her half to death. She had been the attending medi-witch at his birth and to see him in such a state was shocking, and to be done by his own family made it so much worse, abuse cases always got to her. She didn't see many of them but it broke her heart every time she did.
She smiled at him as he walked back out, his hair had obviously been brushed, because now it lay flatly on his head, a deep charcoal with crimson flecks. He looked just like his mother. She had been almost positive he’d be a spitting image of his father. Perhaps it was the hair, she mused. When he came in it was a mess and he had looked identical to his father.
Shaking her head she told him that it’d be another half hour yet and sat down with him to talk.
At 6:00 Harry found himself in the antechamber of the Great Hall near the first years. Near because he was currently hidden in the shadows at the back of the room. He tagged on the end of the line and followed them into the Great Hall when McGonagall bid them to follow. He smiled at the ceiling, knowing it was done by one of the first known natural Rune Masters, Rowena Ravenclaw.
He absently listened to the Sorting Hat's song; it was precisely the same as last time, so it wasn’t exactly holding his attention. He absently noticed everyone getting sorted, it was so odd to see them so young and in some cases, alive. It was unreal. But he supposed he'd have to get used to it sooner or later. Well that or go crazy, something that he didn't what.
He waited patiently until his name was called out before walking up to the hat, ignoring all the whispers that broke out in the Hall. Sitting down he allowed it to be dropped onto his head, thankful he didn’t have to lower his Occlumency shields, since he’d long ago learned the Sorting Hat read their minds in a very different sort of way.
“Well, well, well.” A very familiar voice whispered. “A time traveler. How odd. Let’s see, plenty of courage and cunning, loyalty that would make Helga proud, but I fear there is only one place that would suit you. Have fun in...” And before Harry could even speak or object the hat shouted out “RAVENCLAW!”
Getting down, Harry happily walked over to the table, ignoring the shocked silence that filled the once buzzing Hall. Though, luckily for Harry, who was just starting to feel awkward, the Ravenclaw table eventually started clapping and the Sorting went on.
He listened intently to Dumbledore give the same speech as last time, which meant the Stone was still here. Then he tucked into his food trying to puzzle out the feeling that was lodged in his gut. Smiling, he finally figured it out.
He was /home/.
Waking up the next morning, Harry looked around wondering where he was when it all came back. There were five other beds, within them were; Terry Boot, Michael Corner, Stephen Cornfoot, Kevin Entwhistle and Anthony Goldstein. All of whom he’d met the night before.
Pulling the locket out from under the t-shirt he went to bed in, he opened it and checked the time. Seeing that it was six in the morning (a time in his past life he’d be used to getting up at) he decided he might as well get up now. No use in wasting time, after all.
Pushing his covers down he walked to his trunk and pulled out his school uniform. Getting dressed, and combing his now straight red-tinted hair and re-doing the runic work on it just in case (no point in having it mess up while he couldn't fix it), he put on his new silver oval-shaped glasses. He plucked out a diary-like book he’d grabbed at the bookstore. He didn’t have many books other than his school ones because he knew no matter how smart he was it’d seem odd if he had too many books, let alone any advanced ones, but this was one book he’d allowed himself to purchase since he didn’t have his last one.
The book itself was quite amazing, it was a dark blue book with the Eihwaz Rune on the front, protecting from others reading it; it also stood for insight which was originally put there for those who were not Rune masters to give them inspiration to do what needed to be done. The book had a bronze lock holding it together so it truly looked Ravenclaw. You weren’t supposed to have this type of book until you had “played around” with Runes for a good few years; he himself had only had a book like this for two months in his past life.
Shaking his head, he pulled on his outer robe and grabbed the book, a special quill he’d bought, and some ink. Walking at a sedate pace to the Great Hall he thought about the quill, it wasn’t special looking, it was a nice black color with a tinge of green and purple, but it had Runes carved into it, courtesy of Harry. These types of quills were used to do runic work and only runic work.Walking into the Great Hall, he was just in time to see the food come on the table, so it was just turning seven. He ignored the looks he got from Dumbledore and the four Heads of Houses, the only ones who were up at this hour, as he sat down at his table and grabbed an apple and some orange juice. He ate them contentedly, ignoring the looks he got as more and more people came in, concentrating on the runic book in front of him and placing the quill Runes on the first page and a description of what they did, as was mandatory, since everyone had different Runes on their quill, everyone had different needs and wants.
He was about to start on his “hair Runes” when he felt someone tap on his shoulder. Turning he saw Professor Flitwick, smiling as Harry accepted the timetable. Shutting his Rune Book he gathered his bag up before leaving the Great Hall, making his way back up to Ravenclaw tower.
Coming to a halt in front of a suit of armour with the Ravenclaw crest secretly hidden on it’s hand, he listened to the riddle it gave him (“I look at you, you look at me, I raise my right, you raise your left. What is this object?” to which the answer was, “Yourself in a mirror.”). Walking past the suit of armour, which had stepped to the side and through a wall he looked at his timetable.
He had three frees, which he knew he would. Today was Monday, he knew, so he had one was today after lunch, but he still had Potions and Charms in the morning. He wasn't sure if he was looking forward to Potions or dreading it.
Walking through the corridor to the first year’s room, he grabbed his bag, put quills, ink, parchment and his books into it, including his runic one. He looked into the mirror and then made his way back down the stairs, saying nothing to the few people who were in the common room.
He walked to the Potions classroom at a leisurely pace knowing he’d arrive early anyway. True to his thought he arrived at the potions classroom at 8:25, when the potions master wouldn’t arrive for another five minutes. Looking around he saw all of the Ravenclaws were already there, though he didn’t expect any less. Taking a second, closer look at them, he saw they were all partnered up. Sighing, he went to a desk of his own at the back of the classroom.
The Hufflepuffs soon arrived and they all sat together.
He watched with hidden amusement as Snape started the speech he did with all first years ending with, “I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death — if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.”
The Hufflepuffs looked petrified while the Ravenclaws looked ready to prove they were not /Dunderheads/. Holding back a snort Harry carefully kept his face blank. This time when Snape took his register and commented that Harry was “our new celebrity,” Harry barely batted an eyelash.
He wasn’t surprised when Snape started firing the same questions at him as before, though this time he looked oddly surprised since Harry had given the correct answers. Instead of getting angry like Harry had expected he simply carried on with the lesson.
It was then Harry realized just where, or rather what he was. He was a Ravenclaw; he would be expected to know the answers, which could work to his advantage. Shaking himself out of his stupor he started working on the potion. Meanwhile Severus Snape was watching the Potter boy with hidden amazement. Potter Senior hadn't been proficient in potions; actually he had been quite awful and Lily had...well she had been brilliant at everything but to think the boy took after his mother with that hair was nearly a crime. He surreptitiously watched the boy work throughout the lesson and was amazed at what he saw.
The potion was perfect. Looking at the boy he wondered how the spawn of Potter could do anything well. It was then he noticed something that had bypassed him when he was studying the boy's work and not necessarily his person. The boy who had been born with messy black hair and who everyone had insisted would look exactly like James Potter looked nothing like him.
Oh there was no question he was Potter Senior’s son, but the boy had far more of Lily’s characteristics than one would expect. His hair was smooth and in the candle light red highlights could be seen. The green eyes looking over silver oval-shaped glasses were Lily’s too, and he appeared to have her stature as well and her nose. Though the boy had Potter Senior’s cheekbones and general hair colour.
Snape argued with himself that he could still act like Potter Senior but the boy didn’t seem to have friends. The boy was still obviously given privileges like Potter Senior being brought to school early, though he didn’t know why since everyone refused to tell him. Shaking his head as if clearing his jumbled thoughts, Snape walked over to a few Hufflepuffs to berate them for their potions, which, while they were the wrong colour, had thankfully not blown up, and ordered everyone to put their potions into vials and label them. They did so and as they left he found himself looking at Harry Potter's perfect potion.
This year promised to be interesting.
Harry was walking to Transfiguration, knowing that there was half an hour between classes, but knowing he didn’t want to be asked ridiculous questions or talk to anyone really. So he went straight to the Transfigurations room, knowing that not even the most studious of Ravenclaws would be there that early.
Sitting at the front he took out his book and equipment and was startled when he saw someone sit next to him out of the corner of his eye.
Turning he saw it was Hermione Granger. Thinking back he wondered why he didn’t remember that they had Transfigurations with Ravenclaws first year.
“My name's Hermione Granger.” The brown haired girl said, looking at him.
“Harry-” he didn’t get to finish because Hermione interrupted.
“Potter I know- I’ve read all about you. You’re in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding-”
“-Events of the Twentieth Century, I know.” Harry finished dryly, cringing slightly when he realised this really wasn’t his Hermione.
“You know it’s rude to interrupt.” Hermione pointed out looking annoyed.
Harry knew Hermione was just nervous because she always used to interrupt people and ramble when she was nervous or trying to prove something. It just didn’t make it any less annoying. He loved his Hermione like a sister, this just wasn’t his Hermione. This was the Hermione from 9 years ago and he didn’t know if he could connect with her like before.
“I’m sorry, but you did interrupt me first and I don’t like people knowing more about me than I do. Wouldn’t you find it slightly disconcerting to have books being written about you? Especially since if you put them all together none of them agree on any of the point beside the fact that Voldemort came to my house, my parents died, Voldemort's body was destroyed and I was hit by the Killing Curse.” Hermione looked less annoyed and nodded in sympathy though she looked rather put out when he implied that he thought any of the books were wrong.
Turning back to his book, Harry started reading, trying to keep his mind off how hard it was to see his friends like this. He knew they’d grown apart, but with them like this it was almost as if they had a world between them. No, not a world, just time. Years and years of time.
Soon the lesson started, in the exact same way as it had last time they were told to turn the matchstick into a needle which Harry did perfectly on his first try. He knew he should probably try look average, try to fit in, but for once he wanted to be special, to show them he earned everything he got. For his transformation he got 30 points, seeing as he transformed it back as well. Besides, he knew that no First Year since Minerva McGonagall herself – and Albus Dumbledore before her – changed their needles on the first lesson. Even Hermione had taken two lessons to do so the first time around. He was instructed to try and transform it into something else, like a bent needle. He was tempted to simply transform it into a needle and bend it but instead concentrated on making the needle a circle. After a few attempts he had managed it, though as he squinted at it, it looked a little more like an oval than a circle.
He looked up to smile at Hermione when he caught her glaring sullenly at him. She had only managed to make her needle go pointy without even the silver shine she'd gotten last time. She had apparently been to busy resenting him to actually try the work herself.
Looking back down he felt like he could hit himself. He knew Hermione had usually been the best and was proud of this fact, seeing it as a way of proving herself as good as a pureblood. It had defined her even after they left school. He thought for a brief moment about not trying so hard before shaking his head.
He had an unfair advantage yes, but you always play to your advantages. Hermione sure did as she had confessed to him in sixth year that she had an eidetic memory and an IQ of 143, putting her in the gifted range. So he wasn’t going to play dumb because it’d make Hermione happy. Hermione would make friends with him for him. If not... then she just wasn’t meant to be a friend. He at least hoped she’d make friends, since out of Ron and Hermione when he’d died he’d been closer to Hermione, still talking to her on occasion about a book one of them had read.
He went to lunch and sat on his own, eating a sandwich and some pumpkin juice before taking off to the library. Sitting at a small table near a corner he put his bag down and went to go look for a book. Finding it where he knew it would be he went back to his table. He flipped through the book until he found the page he needed, it was an incantation he’d read about before dying and he had wanted to put it on his Rune book.
Reading out the long Latin phrase he watched with pride as the book flashed a bright green then a serene blue before going back to normal. Putting his Rune Book back in his bag he went back to the shelf where he’d found the book only to run into Emilia Astray, the Ancient Runes professor.
“Ahh, Mr. Potter, do you mind if I borrow that book?” she asked. Nodding Harry handed it to her before picking another and going back to his table. He started to read the book, which went over the basics, knowing it never hurt to brush up on them. He was so involved in reading the book that he started when someone spoke to him.
“Interesting book. You’re interested in Ancient Runes?” Professor Astray asked, leaning her hip against the table. Harry nodded, he didn’t really know her since she had died in his sixth year in a surprise attack and he hadn't taken Runes at Hogwarts. Her blue eyes sparkled with intelligence and her brown hair was messily tied back. She appeared to be quite friendly. “I am as well, well, obviously since I'm the Ancient Runes teacher. Would you like to see something cool?” she sounded quite like a kid in a candy store.
He nodded again and watched as she pulled out a book, a Rune Book much like his.
He was surprised she was showing it him. A Rune Book was personal. Though he’d heard that she kept two different ones, an academic and a private. He’d have to look into doing that himself. Pushing aside his thoughts he looked at the page she was showing him. To any other first year it would look like a complicated mess of scribbles, hell, to any sixth year it would like a mess of scribbles. To him it looked like English. It was a ward, obviously she’d been working hard on it as it was extremely complex, involving many different wards intertwined together. Some he knew but a few he hadn’t seen before. She was about to shut the book, thinking he was confused like she’d expected him to be when he gently took her wrist stopping her.
“Your Kenaz Rune is misplaced, you need to put it next to your Hagalaz Rune.” He said simply. Looking down her eyes widened as she frantically grabbed her Runic Quill and started making alterations.
Half an hour later she looked up and he was gone. She cursed herself softly before promising that she’d get to know the Potter boy.
Harry had realized he sounded too knowledgeable. Though he could put it down to having read the book and being a natural Runic Master. He smiled, well that was a good way for them to find out.
It was very much like being in a Pensieve, since Harry already knew a lot of what would happen, so he was now focusing on the little details he would otherwise have missed.
Like the fact that Percy Weasley would secretly smile when he saw one of his brothers’ pranks but hide it before anyone could really see.
Or that Pansy Parkinson didn’t even like Malfoy, as she made snide remarks at him when she thought no one could hear, and faces at him when his back was turned.
Or that Hannah Abbott was an absolute genius when it came to Herbology, which was very good as she was paired with him in that lesson and the plants all seemed intent on hurting him.
Or that Neville Longbottom was the only Gryffindor other than Hermione that stayed awake in History and took meticulous notes.
He hadn’t realised before how quickly everyone stuck him with a label. In his past life he had been the Gryffindor Golden Boy, prepared to throw himself into danger without first making plans of any kind, and he had only reinforced that label each and every year.
In this life, however, he was an intelligent recluse. On the downside it meant he didn’t really have any friends. On the upside it also meant he didn’t have any enemies.
Although there were those he would work with in various classes. In Astronomy he usually worked with Padma who seemed fascinated by him, though unlike her sister it seemed she was far more interested in his intelligence than anything else. She was constantly asking him questions about what he thought about a certain theory. In History he sat next to Neville and while they didn’t talk a comfortable silence existed between them. They were friendly without words. In Charms he worked with Pansy Parkinson who was surprisingly brilliant and was happy to discuss them at length with him. Harry found it odd at first until he ignored the fact that in her past life he’d thought of her as simply another egotistical ignorant Slytherin. So when he found out that she really did enjoy learning, it was a pleasant surprise.
Hannah Abbott, who had approached him in Herbology in their first lesson, was a very kind and introvert person who he wouldn’t have minded getting to know better. Unfortunately, Hufflepuffs rarely spoke to Ravenclaws outside of class and Hannah seemed to follow this trend almost subconsciously. In the one class so far that he had had to work with anyone in Potions he had worked with Su Li who, while usually very chatty, was extremely serious when she worked on a potion, dismissing the usually girlish air and showing that she truly belonged in Ravenclaw, which was something he truly respected her for.
In Transfigurations he found himself still working next to and on occasion with Hermione Granger. It had become almost competition-like between them to see who could produce better results the fastest. Though she seemed less annoyed about Harry doing so well in the second lesson and instead focused on being better than him. He hoped that one day soon she would realise what her other self never had. That it was all right not to be the best at everything.
Finally in Defence Against the Dark Arts he found himself working with Susan Bones who, even at this age, was brilliant at curses. She had even confided that she was almost sorted into Ravenclaw, as she chatted excitedly about almost OWL-level defence spells.
As it was he felt fairly happy. True, he didn’t really have friends outside of classes but he could deal with that, and who knew, perhaps they would become closer later on. For the moment was he was focused on training himself, using the Room of Requirement to try and reach a stage similar to what he had before being sent back. He had made great headway in only a few days with working on regaining some of his past abilities but didn’t use the room too much, hoping that it would draw less suspicion.
He knew it had only been a week. That this was his free lesson on a surprisingly warm Friday afternoon but he couldn’t stop. He couldn’t fail them this time. He would get smarter, faster, stronger. Be /better/.
“Hello Harry.” A voice spoke from behind him, shocking him out of his thoughts. As he spun around he tried not to drop the books he’d been pulling off the shelves. “Sorry about that, didn’t mean to surprise you!” Said the now-familiar voice of Emilia Astray. By his free on Wednesday morning she had tracked him down and had simply stared at him with her intense cobalt-blue eyes.
Emilia Astray was a very unusual person, she had to be in her early twenties and had obviously worked extremely hard to get to where she was, as she wasn’t a natural Rune Master and so deciphering Runes was much harder and took a lot of dedication.
She wasn’t beautiful in a traditional way. With uncontrollable curly brown hair, a slightly plump figure and unusual olive skin, most wouldn’t look at her twice. But with her penetrating eyes and generally positive outlook on life there was something that drew him to her.
In reality, she was his only friend.
“Don’t do that!” He scolded her as soon as the books steadied in his arms.
“Oh don’t get your knickers in a twist. I was just wondering if you were busy. I’ve got a staff meeting at five and nothing to do in the mean time.” She whispered conspiringly, peaking over at the prickly librarian who seemed to greatly dislike the hyperactive professor.
“Yes, I’m studying.” He said simply, though knowing this would not distract the professor.
She looked at him queerly for a few moments before speaking in usual casual tone. “You know, you have to be the only first year who spends their frees neck high in books, it’s barmy. It’s a wonderful Friday afternoon, probably the last there will be for ages this time of year and you're all cooped up in here.”
“I like studying.” He knew he must sound slightly peevish, but she didn’t understand his need to correct the past, he had to make things right again.
“Never the less this is ridiculous. You have the whole weekend ahead of you if you’re really that desperate to study. Anyway, I’m bored, so I’m afraid that we’ll be going outside.” With that she pulled the books out of his hands, walked over to Madam Pince, and unceremoniously dropped the books on her desk before grabbing onto his hand and marching out of the library.
Looking back at the messy array of books, he understood why the now-flustered librarian didn’t seem to like the Runes Professor.
So it was that until nearly five o’clock the unusual paring wondered around the lake, talking about nonsensical topics such as if Snape and Trelawney were faced against each other on a Quidditch pitch, who would win? Or how many steps there were in Hogwarts.
Emilia Astray was an unusual person. This was a well known fact and she knew it.
There had been a short period in her schooling days when she had desperately tried to fit in. Smoothing down her wild mane and trying to be the ideal Ravenclaw. As it was, she had never really succeeded. Now in her teaching days she often found herself drawn to the most curious people. Though she had only been teaching for three years, ever since she was 21. So she hadn’t actually taught that many people.
Nevertheless those she chose as her “favourites” were quite odd.
Now, most would call her bias. But really, every teacher was, and as she sat in the staff meeting she could tell from how they talked of the first years that everyone had a favourite.
They did it every year, you see. They sat down and talked about the most promising new-comers, though she rarely said much about first years as she only taught third.
Minerva already seemed excited about some girl named Hermione. Snape naturally chose some Slytherin who was probably actually quite awful at the subject, Sprout went on about how everyone was just as good as everyone else and Flitwick told everyone his Ravenclaws were simply brilliant.
Ironically, no one had yet to mention Harry Potter and so, as usual, she took the initiative.
“I think Harry Potter will be quite good as Ancient Runes.”
Naturally Snape sneered. “You haven’t even taught the boy!”
Similar comments were made along with a few more snide comments from Snape about being dazzled by his fame.
Finally, the headmaster’s voice floated through the commotion. “And why do you say that Emilia?”
“Well for one, he took on look at a complex ward I have been working on for ages and corrected it for me, and for another he already seems interested in them. I caught him looking through books about the subject every day this week.” She liked to think she didn’t sound too self-satisfied.
“Really?” Flitwick squeaked, sounding slightly smug. “Well I’d have thought he’d follow his mother, he’s very good at Charms you see.”
And so it went on for quite some time.
Though, what they didn’t know was that Harry Potter would solve their argument, just the next day.
As always any questions or comments can reach me through review or a PM and I'll do my best to answer. One question: do you guys like the big space between paragraphs or should I take them out?
May 25, 2008