Harry meets Seamus F. and has an appointment with Pomfrey.
Author of Original Story: Curalium Lacrimo
Pairing: (tentatively) Harry Potter/Luna Lovegood
Rating: M for Future Content
Archived: fanfiction(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.
A/N: Several people have made comments both in review and as Pm asking if I'm going to have Harry be friends with the Weasleys and/or Hermione. I haven't really decided. I like all their characters and I think Ron is treated a little harshly (just a little mind) by Fans of the Book but I don't know if this Harry could be friends with this Ron. And so with this Hermione. I do plan for him to be at least friendly with the Twins but I want your opinion. Who do you think should be Harry's friends? (It goes without saying that Luna will be his friend). By the by be happy my friend is a good person or I'd never have gotten this chapter up. My Internet plug thingy broke so my Internet doesn't work. Happy Joy.
Rum and Runes
Despite being a Saturday and not even 6am, Harry Potter was wide awake.
After the Runes teacher had wondered off to the staff meeting yesterday he had rushed back to the castle, apologized profusely to the librarian, and gathered up the books the Runes professor had carelessly discarded. He knew it wasn’t healthy studying so much, but after going to Defense class and coming out with a Voldemort-induced headache, which seemed far worse than anything he'd had before Voldemort's return in his fourth year, it suddenly seemed clearer what his purpose was, because Voldemort was right in one thing, knowledge was power. If he was as sensitive to Voldemort now as he was after his Rebirth the first time then how was he ever going to survive Voldemort's Second Rebirth?
With this in mind he read as much as possible, mainly categorising texts so when he needed something he would only have to look down the list and the brief summary. He figured one day he would buy a book and do it properly, but for now the steadily-growing roll of parchment would do. After all, magical parchment could grow up to ten feet in length.
Before class he would pick one spell, potion or general theory which he figured would help in his fight and read up on it in depth. The problem was that while there were plenty of advanced books on the main subjects, others like Ancient Runes only skimmed over the most basic of theory. It didn't even go over how to cast spells in Runes. It appeared as though they were trying to get people to believe the only way to spellcast was though the use of wands. Which actually wouldn't be that surprising really, given the Ministry's view of most things. The important information was either in the restricted section, or far more likely, in the teachers’ personal library. Harry shuddered to think what his Hermione would have done to learn that the Professors purposefully kept information hidden from students. She'd probably have died.
With this line of thinking in mind Harry looked at his watch, and seeing that most of the teachers would be down at breakfast he marked the page he had been reading and hurriedly got dressed.
Walking into the Great Hall he saw that there were very few students up at this hour, for which he was thankful as he didn’t want to do this in front of a large number of students.
It figured that the only teacher that wasn’t there would be Professor Astray, hell even Trelawney was there! And he didn't remember seeing her until his third year the First Time. Of course, he had had his head shoved so far up his and Ron's arses that he barely noticed Neville Longbottom, Seamus Finnigan, and Dean Thomas let alone some teacher he didn't know.
When Astray finally did appear the Hall was nearly full but, giving a resigned sigh, he made his way determinedly up to where the Professor was sitting, after she'd had her first two cups of coffee of course, no point in talking to a near zombie, after all.
“Professor Astray?” Harry’s voice sounded hesitant, even to him.
“Oh, hello Harry, what do you need?” Astray asked peering blurredly at him.
“I know it's rather unusual.” Harry said, his voice quiet but he knew every staff member was listening to him. “But...I was wondering if I might ask for lessons in Ancient Runes.”
“Lessons? But you're not a third year.” Professor Astray said blinking at him her brow furrowed in a frown.
“Yes I realize that, however, its the only subject that I can't read up on in the library and learn on my own. Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Defense. I can look up those until I reach after NEWTs but I haven't found anything but basic Runes.” Harry said softly. “In all my other subjects I've learned the entire first year book, I've even done most of the spells in a empty classroom and they seem to work fine. Because of that I moved on to more advanced spells and charms but it's really just as easy as the first year stuff was.”
“So you want something to hold your attention.” Professor Astray stated smiling at him. “Well I'd really love to, Harry, but Runes is only for third years and up. That's a Ministry Rule you know. You'll have to get signed permission from all of your professors stating that you're not having any problems in class and that taking on extra work will not hinder you in any way. If you get them all to sign the form you have to take it to the Headmaster and get permission from him.”
“Is it a special form or can I just have all the professors sign a sheet of parchment?”
“Are you so sure that they'll sign it?”
“The only person I might have problems with is Professor Snape and that's only because he's rather hostile towards me. I do excellent work in his class, however.”
Professor Astray blinked as the boy walked away then shrugged. He'd either get permission or he wouldn't. It wasn't any of her business until he did. She had a feeling, however, that it didn't matter if he got permission or not. He'd find a way to learn what he wanted and no one and nothing would stop him. Especially not the Ministry Flunkies who made most of the asinine rules they had to abide by. Standing in his way might make it fun for him, actually, Emilia thought as she glanced at Snape, who had the ugliest look on his face that she had ever seen. Way to go Snape. Just push him. Any moron can /feel /the power in that boy. It radiates from him like heat. You just push him, give him a reason to take you apart. I'm sure he'll be happy to oblige.
Harry made his way to the Common Room to pick up his Rune Book. He had to be at the hospital after nine but before ten to get a physical on Pomfrey's orders. She wanted to make sure he healed right and there were no lingering effects, or maybe she wanted to make sure Harry was dealing well with the 'trauma'. Either way he knew if he didn't go to the infirmary by the stated time Pomfrey would go on a war hunt until she found him.
Then he'd pay.
Seeing as how it was nearly nine he made his way there. When he got to the infirmary Harry saw that Pomfrey was with a patient, so he stood back while she got it over with. Seamus/, Harry stared at the boy. He remembered why Seamus was in Poppy Pomfrey's domain so early in the year. /Water to rum. When Pomfrey was done with the boy Harry grabbed his arm as he was walking passed. “This'll take about ten minutes.” Harry said nodding to the nurse. “If you're willing to wait I'll show you how to change water into all kinds of.../interesting/ things.” Harry said with a wink. The First Time it had taken Seamus five years of work to out how to change water to rum because no one would explain to him what he needed to make it work. Those in the know would never teach a person to make an alcoholic beverage.
“Mr. Potter, you seem to be doing well.” Pomfrey said five minutes later. “How do you feel?”
“There's a little lingering soreness.” Harry said with a shrug. “I was a little tired the first two days of class but other than that I felt good.”
“Well yes but I've always had nightmares.” Harry said with a shrug.
“How often do you have them?”
“About twice a week usually. I had one of Monday, Tuesday and another last night.”
“Are the nightmares strong enough that you wake up?”
“Yes but on Tuesday and last night I was able to go back to sleep.” Harry said. “Monday was pretty bad but I didn't have the nightmare until real early or late, I guess. I woke up at a few minutes before six which is when I get up anyways. I don't know if I would've been able to get back to sleep or not. But I suspect not.”
“All alight then. If you have any problems sleeping I want you to come to me. Missing sleep is a very bad thing for anyone but especially for growing boys. Speaking of growing, you're rather small for your size, as you've probably noticed. To fix what those monsters did to you I want you to take this potion before you eat any meal,” Pomfrey gave him a blood-red potion that had flecks of silver in it. Harry knew what it was immediately as he'd prepared it often enough during the war. It was a nutrition potion that gave the drinker all the nutrients they needed for a day based on a highly active lifestyle. It was kind of like a muggle multivitamin meals in a bottle type things only much better. “And I want you to drink this potion when you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning.” She handed him a ruby, frothy potion the consistency of water, when Harry took it away from Pomfrey he saw that it flashed purple randomly. “The potions will appear in your nightstand every morning and one will appear next to your plate at meals so you don't need to come down to receive them.”
“All right, you've got me on this one. What is it?” He asked the nurse looking up at her from the ruby potion.
“You know what the other potion is?”
“A nutrition potion.” Harry said and immediately backtracked and did some fast thinking. “You gave me one during my stay here and I looked it up when I got to the library.”
“Oh. I wouldn't expect a student to go to so much trouble.”
“I've been really bored in classes.” Harry said with a shrug.
She gave him a queer look but didn't comment. “This is a potion that will strengthen your bones and suggest to your body to build up muscles faster. It will, if you take it like you're supposed to, allow you to experience a growth spurt before Winter Break.” Pomfrey gave him a stern look and put her hands on her hips. “Now I'm going to give you the benefit of doubt. You seem like an intelligent, responsible boy so I'm not going to require you to be here every weekend. I'll give you three weeks. The 21st, all right? If I find you haven't followed my instructions to a T I will have you in here every day after classes until I'm sure you have caught up with your peers and that might take several years.”
“Yes, ma'am.” Harry said. Her face softened into a smile as she shooed him off.
“All right, Potter, I waited.” Seamus said as soon as he stepped outside the door. Harry waved him to follow.
“First, it's Harry. Second I heard a rumor that you've been trying to turn water to rum. Is that true?”
“Yeah. So far all it's done is explode in my face.” Seamus said and looked at him intently. “I know Granger could help me but when I asked she told me if I ever tried again she'd report me to McGonagall.”
“Oh I wouldn't worry too much about McGonagall.” Harry said. “She'd take five points from you then give you ten if you managed it. It's a tricky bit of transfiguration, really, with a bit of Charms thrown in for good measure.” Harry stopped at a class and looked in. It was free of students, you had to be careful when stepping into an empty classroom because if you interrupted older students snogging they got pretty huffy with you. He waved the sandy-haired boy in and waved his wand creating a privacy ward after shutting the door. “All right, here's what you do...oh wait, don't tell Hermione who you learned it from.”
“Why not?” Seamus looked suspiciously at him. He might not have been friends with the girl personally but House pride won out against anything else. Someone inside the House insulting the girl for being a bossy little know-it-all was fine – so long as she didn't hear – someone outside the House doing it was grounds for a fight.
“Oh, not for the reasons you're thinking.” Harry said. “It's just me and her have a kind of rivalry going. She's jealous because I'm better than her at Transfiguration so she keeps trying to out do me. I just don't want her to know exactly how much farther I am than her. She seems to have an unhealthy interest in books.” Harry really just didn't want to push Hermione. She'd always been the best and she hated it that Harry was better than her. He was afraid, really, that if she got deep into her studies – without him there to distract her – that she'd become sick. “Oh...well all right then.” Seamus said.
“Good, here's what you do....”
Thirty minutes later Harry was drinking the rum Seamus had created. “Now you know this won't get you drunk, right?”
“Yeah, I read something about that.” “It's the properties of alcohol. Changing water to real rum is something a normal first year can't manage. Hell normal sixth years can't manage it. Doing the favor is easy, relatively, I mean. But changing not only the taste but the properties of the liquid completely is much, much harder.”
“Do you know how?” Seamus asked, giving Harry a shrew look.
“No.” Harry said, shaking his head. “I'm sure I could learn but I've never tried. Well, I mean never in the week I've had my wand.”
Seamus laughed. “That's fine, I just wanted the taste of home anyways. Being hungover while going to class isn't something I want. Being drunk while eleven isn't something I want either.”
Harry laughed. “Well, when you want some help with the alcoholic part just come ask. I'll look it up for you.”
Seamus nodded. “Wait, Harry.” Seamus stopped him.
“Why-er why do you snub people?”
It's just that...everyone who's tried to talk to you you've blown off. We all think you're a snob.”
Harry laughed. “I don't want to talk to people who start the conversation with 'Do you remember what Voldemort looked like?' or 'Do you remember anything from that night?' It's not something I want to think about and I'm not going to talk about.” Harry said with a shrug. “I'm Harry Potter but that doesn't give people the right to invade my privacy. And I definitely don't want to talk about the night I lost my family.”
“Oh.” Seamus said and shifted uncomfortably. “Then...er...I'll see you around.”
Harry nodded and took down the spells he put around the room.
Harry made his way back to the Ravenclaw Common Room, giving the answer to the Riddle he was asked (What falls but never breaks? What breaks but never falls? Night and Day.) Then set up camp at one of the tables to finish what homework he still had which was just the work he'd gotten from class yesterday, History, Transfiguration, and Astronomy. He started his History first as that was the easiest, “Tell About the Life and Times of Paracelsus.” Harry glared at the book when he'd looked up Paracelsus. He now knew why Hermione had that book on Alchemy for a 'bit of light reading' back in first year. Paracelsus was Nicolas Flamel's student. If Harry could come across that information why hadn't Hermione? The books were different but surely her book said something about who taught Paracelsus Hermione, who habitually wrote three and four extra feet on their essays, didn't know that these two people had a mentor-student relationship. And Harry knew the Gryffindors had this same essay because they were in the same class. If Hermione didn't write facts like this in her essays what did she write? Harry had never read one of her essays because she was always afraid they'd copy them. Hmmm, the mysteries of the world.
Harry then moved on to his Transfiguration homework which for everyone but Harry and Hermione was “Write down and describe the process of changing a matchstick into a needle in your own words.” Harry and Hermione, however, had to explain the process of changing wood to metal plus the regular class work because they were the only two to get the change to happen in the second class. Thankfully the Astronomy homework was just making a chart of Cancer and labeling all the major stars and the star groups.
“Are you already done with your homework?” Padma Patil asked when he closed up the last essay.
“Yes, for the week. Why?”
“Because I'm not. How did you do the Herbology homework? The Greenhouses have been closed today.”
“I did them yesterday during our free.”
“But your partner!”
“We share free with Hufflepuff on Fridays.”
“Oh...I didn't know that. I thought you working outside the House would only hurt both of you.”
“I generally know what I'm doing, Padma.” Harry said.
“I'm sorry I ever doubted you.” Padma grinned.
Harry spent Sunday exercising in the Room of Requirement and running around the lake – which he decided to start doing every morning from then on – and that night meditating. Harry went to sleep that night hoping he'd get enough time to ask for permission to take Runes in each of the classes he had that week. He wondered what he'd have to do to get Snape to agree. Old Bat that he was he he would refuse just to spite James Potter. Harry had never gotten to like the bastard but he'd be the first to admit that Snape knew what he was doing in Potions, even if it pained him to do so. Harry went to sleep that night after practicing his Occlumency.
As always any questions or comments can reach me through review or PM and I'll do my best to answer.
Added: May 28, 2008