The Cliffhanger is resolved, Harry makes some discoveries about Hufflepuff House, Harri, Orestes and Ronnie discover how Harry trains, and Madeye has a talk.
Harry Potter and the Distaff Side
Parties and Pain
Harry Potter was suddenly completely utterly awake.
That meant someone had cast Enervate on him. That was the only way to wake so completely so quickly. There was something on his face. Whatever it was it didn’t interfere with breathing, but it kept all light from reaching him. Dozens of voices began a chant of “Hufflepuff… Hufflepuff… Hufflepuff” began echoing all around him. Harry then felt the covering pulled from his head.
He appeared to be in a dungeon, torches on the wall lit the room, around him were figures shrouded in hooded cloaks of black, their faces in the shadows of the hoods.
“Awake Harry James Potter.” A thick guttural voice came from the shrouded figure in front of him. “You have been brought to the inner most sanctum of Humphrey Hufflepuff to answer a single simple question. Be aware, the answer to this question will set the tone for the rest of this night.”
Harry silently checked for restraints, and found none. He was in the center of the room surrounded by dozens of cloaked figures. He ran his hand along his left side and was surprised to find his wand still there. He swallowed, would he be able to fight his way out of here?
“What is the question?” Harry asked.
Ominously the chanting stopped.
“Butterbeer or wine?”
What? “Butterbeer” Harry was surprised when a cold bottle was shoved into his hand as Phaleon Sprout shoved back the hood of his cloak.
“Welcome Harry Potter to the Hufflepuff Council. Drink up boy, you’re behind and the next round is on you.” The jovial man’s face became serious for a moment. “Hufflepuff house and all of our resources are behind you in your fight against the Dark Lady Harry. The vote to support you was unanimous Harry. That’s something that almost never happens.”
Harry looked around the room as the lights came up, and everyone in the room removed their cloaks revealing various students and staff in their normal school attire, though a sizable percentage appeared to be wrapped in sheets. Someone turned on a Witching Wireless and a horribly atonal Odd-Brothers song began to belt out.
Harry took a long pull on his butterbeer. The Gryffindors were certainly a staid house in comparison to the ‘puffs, of that he was certain. Someone bumped into his back almost causing him to spill his drink. Harry turned to find an embarrassed looking Stu Bones and Haden Abbott both wrapped in sheets with some kind of wreath in their hair.
“Harry, sorry about that ‘stupefy’ thing.” Abbott blushed. “We were tasked to, uh kidnap you for your induction into the council, but we’d never seen anyone break a body bind that quick before… I kind of panicked.”
“What is all this about?”
“Harry,” Stu Bones said, “The Hufflepuff Council is as old as Hogwarts. Humphrey Hufflepuff himself chaired the first meeting, we are tasked with safe guarding Hogwarts and the Relm. It’s whispered that the inner circle of the council report to His Royal Highness himself. The general membership met and decided to throw all of our support behind you in your and Harri’s fight against the Dark Lady.”
“Are you serious?” Harry was incredulous. “You actually had to vote to decide?”
Bones shrugged. “We’re ‘puffs, we vote on pretty much everything. The Ministry has done some things almost as horrible as the Dark Lady. There are whispers that Harri’s Muggle relatives were killed by Dementors, and the Ministry controls the Dementors.”
In a corner around the Witching Wireless a small crowd of Witches started singing.
Louise Louise, oh no
Me gotta go
Aye-yi-yi-yi, I said
Louise Louise, oh baby
Me gotta go
Fine little boy waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know if I make it home
”Every freaking time we have a party, someone starts singing that song.” Haden Abbott said disgustedly. “Drunken idiots. What does it even mean?”
“It’s a traditional drinking son Lad.” Moody had somehow managed to come right up along side Harry without his noticing her. How did she do that? “Traditional since the ‘60s anyway”
Three nights and days I sail the sea
Think of boy, constantly
On that ship, I dream he's there
I smell the rose in his hair.
Harry started laughing. He couldn’t help it; it just struck him as ridiculous when he realized that they were singing a version of ‘Louie Louie’. It took him this long to figure it out because he had been distracted by understanding the words. More pieces started clicking into place. He had been ‘kidnapped’ to an initiation, drinking, sheets, a god awful song.
See Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take him in my arms again
Tell him I'll never leave again
Laughing Harry deposited his empty bottle on a side table and snagged a fresh bottle. This might just be fun.
The party in the Hufflepuff Council chambers had lasted through the night. Every ‘Puff present had felt the need to come to Harry, grasp his hand and promise their support in all things. Much to his distress, more than a few of the women offered more.
Harry spent a fair amount of the evening trying to reconcile the idea of Madeye Moody being a Hufflepuff with his image of the house. After a while he gave it up as a waste of time. After all, who said that a psychotic paranoid couldn’t be a hard working team player? Thinking of Moody dimmed his good time a bit when he realized how easily he had been taken, by classmates looking to take him to a party no less. If he had been that lackadaisical that day at the Shrieking Shack, he and Luna would likely be dead, or wishing that they were. He had allowed himself to become distracted, by Harri and her parents, by Luna, and by the prospect of sleep.
He had to change, Harry recognized as he left the party (still going strong at three a.m.) heading for his bed. He had underestimated Riddle, and found himself banished to this reality. Even after the attack at the Shrieking Shack, and his encounter with the DADA Professor, he had underestimated the possibility of being attacked inside Hogwarts Castle and had been taken out by a pair of classmates.
Harry sighed as he made his way to his dorm room. He was going to have to force himself to practice the lesson that Barty Crouch Junior had taught him the previous year. If Harry wanted to survive he was going to have to be constantly vigilant. No more surprises. At some level he knew that the Riddle of the Room had been trying to teach him that lesson for a while now.
Entering the dorm, he noted that, as usual Stu Bone’s foot stuck out from the curtains of his bed. Harry smiled to himself wondering if Sue had done the same thing. As he passed Haden’s bed, a very naked Erin MacMillan emerged. Erin had been… interested for about two months now, much like Jessica Finch-Fletchly she had been making offers of a sexual nature. Unlike Jessica, Erin wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. Harry had told her that he was interested in someone else. Harry had told her that he was most specifically not interested in her and why. This had happened with several young women, and with the exception of Erin, they had backed off. Most recently she had taken to groping him.
“Not doing this Erin. Get dressed, or go back to Haden.”
The young woman came very close to him. “Why would I do that Harry? Don’t you like what you see?”
“Erin, you’re making a mistake.”
She closed the gap between them. Harry could smell the wine on her breath. “I won’t hurt you Harry. I’ll be gentle.” Her right hand made contact with his crotch and squeezed.
Harry had had enough. He wrapped his right hand around the girl’s throat and pushed her against the wall, hard. “I think we need to get a few things straight Erin. I am not one of the fluffy bunny boys you’re used to playing with. I come from a culture every bit as violent as this one, but in mine it is the men who are aggressive. I have killed people. I have hurt people badly. I am the most dangerous person you have ever met and you are pissing me off. If you value your bones remaining unbroken, I would suggest that you leave. Now.”
The girl paled. Harry released her and she gathered her clothing from Haden’s bed and quickly left the dorm. Watching her leave, Harry wondered if he had just made a mistake.
Orestes opened the door and followed Harri and Ronnie into the Room of Requirements.
Once in the room, with the door closed behind them the lights came up in the room to show a set of bleacher. Orestes led the two women to their seats. It was only after they sat down that the other side of the room became visible.
Harry was in what appeared to be the fight of his life, against a tall, pale, bald, white skinned figure. The two of them were moving at inhuman speeds, flickering from place to place in the room, casting spells of every kind.
Harri gasped and rose to try to assist her ‘twin’. Orestes placed his hand on her shoulder and held her in her seat as Harry had asked him to.
“But Orestes, that’s Riddle, she…”
“Harry said that no matter what we saw, not to interfere. I don’t know why, but he said not to.”
The Gryffindor trio watched as the fight went on. Both of the fighters were moving too fast for the eye to focus on, it was only when they stopped for split seconds to cast that they were clearly visible. After almost twenty minutes, Harry fell under the sickly yellow light of a crucio.
After a few seconds the curse was stopped, and Harry slowly got to his feet.
“Your guests have arrived.” The tall figure spoke in a disconcertingly male voice.
It was only then that Harry noticed his audience. He and his opponent approached the bleachers.
“Hello everyone.” Harry said. “I’m glad you could make it. More importantly, I hope you’re glad you made it after your first session.”
Harri stared at the snake-faced man. “I don’t think there’s any point to us doing this Harry. None of us can do what you just showed us.”
Seeing her reaction to his companion Harry spoke. “This is Tom Riddle, known in my world as the Dark Lord Voldemort. More specifically, he is a Room generated shade of Tom Riddle, just like the shades of your parents the other night Harri. I needed someone to train me, and he is what the room provided.”
“And now the room is providing someone to train all of you” The white skinned shade said. Three images of Thomasina Riddle shimmered into existence, one before each of the new comers.
“I didn’t start at this level back in September when I discovered the room would teach me to fight. You’ll all get there as well. As soon as you each catch up, we’ll start training together.”
“Why is your Riddle male?” Orestes asked.
“He’s my image of evil. The Room made him for me, yours for you.”
Harry was waiting when the trio exited from their individual training rooms shuffling and limping in pain. Harry already had this portion of the room reconfigured to the hot tub/massage table combination.
He directed the trio to changing rooms. “Try the tub. It will help, honest. You can change in there.”
Harri and Orestes readily accepted the suggestion. Magically raised Ronnie hesitated. Then shrugged and followed Harri into the changing area. Orestes was the first out and joined Harry in the Hot Tub. The two women followed shortly.
“How often do you do this?” Ronnie Weasley asked through clinched teeth as she settled in the hot water.
“At least an hour every day. Two or three most days.” Harry answered.
“We did about that, right?”
“Your sessions were twenty minutes.”
“What?” the red head was incredulous. “It had to be longer than that!”
Harry shook his head. “Nope, twenty minutes. Your endurance will build. I’ve even beat him a time or two.”
“Are those real Crucio’s she throws about?” Orestes asked.
“Nope. They feel the same as the real thing, but don’t do the physiological damage that the real ones do. They just hurt like hell.”
“This is good training, assuming that the magic creating these shades does an accurate job. What’s the plan?” Harry’s twin said.
“Well, first we need to get all four of us up to speed, when the room’s magic feels we’re ready, we will start going after a single Riddle in teams. I’ve only recently discovered that when my Riddle and I fight, we move at and extremely high rate of speed.”
“You certainly do Harry” Orestes interrupted, “For most of your fight, the two of you were blurs.”
“Yeah… Well, I don’t know if all three of you will learn to move that fast. I hope you do. I’m certain Harri will, seeing as Healer Pomphrey has pronounced us to be ‘identical’ magically. If you two can manage it as well, we’ll be unstoppable.”
“Should we consider bringing others into this?” Orestes asked.
“I think we should see how we do first.” Harri said.
“More pieces on the board give you more striking power, but they also require more protection.” Ronnie added.
Following a long soak, both Harri and Ronnie had to go. They both had homework to finish. Orestes made excuses and remained behind.
“Have you got a few moments Harry? I’d like to talk if you do.”
Harry shrugged. “My time is your time Orestes.” The room shimmered. The tub disappeared and a copy of the Gryffindor Common room appeared. Harry settled himself in to one of the squashy chairs and looked to his friend. “So, how are you and Harri?”
The Bushy haired man sat on the other chair. “Amazingly good. Maybe too good.”
The Gryffindor nodded. “We’ve spent more time snogging than training. I think what happened with Professor Strews showed that.”
“I disagree Orestes.” Harry said. “Anyone can be ambushed, I was the other night.”
“Harry, I sat there and watched. I never made a move.”
“And a good thing you did Orestes, she’d have killed you.”
Orestes shook his head, the tears could clearly seen in his eyes. “I sat there, terrified. You challenged Strews and won. Why could you defend Harri and I couldn’t?”
“That’s hardly the same thing Orestes. I’ve been training for all out combat since September with my world’s most vicious fighter. He had gotten me to do that high speed fighting without my even knowing it.” Harry ran his hand through his hair. ‘Yes, when Harri was attacked, I reacted and confronted Strews. If she had done it to you, I’d have done the same thing.”
“Orestes, in order for you to react like I do you have to overcome the social conditioning you’ve learned your entire life. You would also have to develop an instinctual aggression that the vast majority of men in this world do not have. Think about that Orestes. There is no shame in being who you are. And you work harder than anyone I know to improve yourself. Give yourself a chance.”
Orestes stared at Harry wide eyed, his mouth opening and closing silently as he processed what he had been told.
“I’m an idiot aren’t I?”
“No, no you’re not. You’re hard on yourself, but you’re not an idiot.”
Orestes left not long after that. Harry waited a moment after the door closed behind his friend thinking about the conversation they had had and planning the next step in the training of the Gryffindors.
“You give good advice Potter. You should take some of it.”
Harry reacted, hitting the floor rolling unconsciously accelerating himself, almost instantly Harry was on the far side of the room with his wand drawn and aimed at Anastasia Moody.
His perceptions slowed. “Don’t do that, I might have killed you.”
“I trust your reflexes Boy.” The old Auror said. “I’ve been watching you since your induction into the Council.”
“Wonderful.” Harry pocketed his wand. “I suppose that means Dumbledore knows all about how I’m training? When can I expect the ‘I’m disappointed in you Harry’ speech?”
“You misunderstand me Potter. I’ve no interest in having Dumbledore stop you from doing everything you can to destroy Riddle. Before last year, I might well have bought into Blanch’s “Greater Good” arguments. After what Riddle did to me last year, I want her dead. I learned in the last war with her that I would never be the one to put her in the ground. She made that very clear when she took my leg and my eye. But you… You can do it. The Potter Girl already did it once, and with you will do it again, permanently this time.”
“Great, a vote of confidence. I’m not there yet.”
“I’ve watched you boy. I’ve seen you move and fight for over an hour of real time. Can the real flesh and blood Riddle fight that long? I doubt it, she never has. When you get your twin up to speed, you two will cut her to pieces. Granger and Weasley will keep the rest of the Death Eaters off your back, and so will I.”
“So do you want me to start training with you Professor?”
“Think boy! I couldn’t have kept up with you on the best day of my life. No, you keep doing what you’re doing, and I’ll have your back.”
A/N: In reviews it has been mentioned that it is sometimes hard to keep track of who is who with the universe/gender swap. In response from here on out I’m including my score card (Can’t tell the players without a score card) that I use to keep the names (mostly) straight.
The Distaff Side
Male Harry Universe......................Female Harri Universe
Harry James Potter.........................Harriet Jane Potter
Hermione Jean Granger......................Orestes John Granger
Ronald Billius Weasley.....................Veronica Beth Weasley (Ronnie)
Parvarti Patil.............................Parvatinandan Patil
Padma Patil................................Padmaj Patil
Lavender Brown.............................Lawrence Brown.
Neville Longbottom.........................Nelly Longbottom
Dean Thomas................................Diedra Thomas
Lee Jordan.................................Lea Jordon
Susan Bones................................Stu Bones
Draco Malfoy...............................Thubani Malfoy
Hannah Abbott..............................Haden Abbott
Justin Finch-Fletchly......................Jessica Finch-Fletchly
Wayne Hopkins..............................Wendy Hopkins
Megan Jones................................Michael Jones
Ernie MacMillan ...........................Erin MacMillan
Zacharias Smith ...........................Zaylie Smith
Lilly Potter nee Evans ...................Lance Potter nee Evans
James Potter...............................Jane Potter
Sirus Black................................Cubicula Black
Remus John Lupin...........................Naguals Lupin
Peter Pettigrew ...........................Petra Pettigrew
Arthur Weasley ...........................Ginevra Weasley
Amelia Bones...............................Almanzo Bones
Bellatrix LeStrange........................Orion LeStrange
Cornelius Fudge ...........................Cornelia Fudge
Tom Marvolo Riddle.........................Tomasina Merlope Riddle
Albus Dumbledore...........................Blanch Dumbledore
Severus Snape..............................Silvia Snape
Pomona Sprout..............................Phaleon Sprout
Filius Flitwick ...........................Filia Flitwick
Alaster Moody ...........................Anastasia Moody
Minerva McGonagall.........................Marcus McGonagall
Poppy Pomphrey ...........................Paul Pomphrey
Omake * Omake * Omake * Omake * Omake
As suggested by Meteoricshipyards & Wonderbee31
After disposing with the Dark Lady, Harry returns to his home Universe, bringing Luna with him. The Luna of his original Universe is intrigued.:
Hermione: Harry, how do you tell them apart?
Harry: I can't. But they don't seem to mind.
Ron: This is so weird!
Harry: You have no idea!
Lunas: (In stereo) Hello Harry Potter
(Ron chokes on his food for a moment)
Harry: Hello Luna's, how are you both doing today?
Luna 1: Oh my, did you know that we have found a Nargle nest in our bedroom,
Luna 2: and we would like you to come and help remove them,
Luna 1: and then help us with an itch.
Harry: Um, Well, I've got Care coming up...
Luna 1: Silly Harry, we are the Luna's.
Luna 2: Resistance is futile.
Luna 1: You will service...us.
Luna 2: Repeatedly.
Harry: Oh well, resistance is overrated anyway, see you later guys.
(Ron sits there, speechless)
Hermione looks… jealous?