Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby

The Philosopher's Stone

by Meteoricshipyards 3 reviews

Harry's friends go off to Hogwarts.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor, Romance - Characters: Draco, Harry, Hermione, Luna, Neville, Quirinus Quirrell, Ron - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-07-14 - Updated: 2006-07-14 - 6964 words - Complete

I am not J.K. Rowling. I have a beard, and she doesn't. So if you see someone with a beard, you can be sure it's not JKR. I don't own Harry Potter, his world, or anything or anyone in the Harry Potter Universe. Sometimes it seems these characters own me.
Many thanks to Moine Green and Kaetti for beta-ing.

Chapter 7 The Philosopher's Stone

Selene spent a few days in St. Mungo's followed by a week of bed rest at home. The project was abandoned while she was convalescing. It was deemed that lightning and magic didn't mix.

But after Harry's impressive feat of magic, she worked more with the children on magic. She hadn't been teaching many spells; mostly concentrating on the other subjects that Hogwarts assumed children knew but didn't teach - like reading and writing and arithmetic. But now she found that the children were ready for some of the spells that they hadn't been able to learn. Over the next few months they learned how to do the Scourgify spell, the trick of levitating numerous objects from the table to the sink, and became more adept at using magic to clean the dishes.

She thought they caught on to transfigurations just a bit too quick. She'd have to think of somewhere else to secure the wands.

They mastered the Aquamenti spell, and no longer had to be near the stream to drench each other. Selene made sure that she monitored them constantly when she allowed them their wands. Or almost constantly. One day, when they were doing gardening, she got a floo call. While she was talking with a friend, Harry killed a bush that he tried to diffindo into a topiary animal.

- - -

Several times during the summer Draco and Neville came over. One time, with both Mr. Lovegood and Mr. Croaker monitoring, they were allowed to bring brooms and fly at the Quidditch pitch the Weasleys set up. Draco had a Quidditch broom -- a Comet 260. Ron and Ginny and the twins used older brooms, and Harry, Luna, and Neville used their training brooms. They were teased about their brooms. Luna ignored the taunts; Harry and Neville did too after Harry noticed (and mentioned to Neville) that their brooms might not be faster, but were more maneuverable than the Weasleys' brooms.

As they were walking back to the Lovegoods' house, Draco took a breath and started talking.

"I'm supposed to subtly convince you that pure-bloods are the best kinds of wizards."

Harry raised an eyebrow. "And how are you supposed to do that?"

"I already told you: subtly."

Luna chuckled, and said, "You do know that by telling us, you're not being subtle."

"But by being obvious about it, I'm actually subtly influencing you."

"Why are you trying to do that?" Neville asked.

"Because my father told me to. He's hoping that you'll grow up not only believing pure-bloods are better, but that people like my father are the best people for protecting pure-blood rights and privileges. And when the time comes, you'll help overthrow the wizarding government and put a pure-blood in charge."

"Isn't Fudge a pure-blood?" Harry asked.

"I don't know. But my father says that there are pure-bloods and there are pure-bloods, so it wouldn't surprise me if he considers Fudge the wrong kind of pure-blood. Thats what he considers the Weasleys."

"A revolutionary conspiracy! How fun! Do we get to use fake names? Do I have to take up knitting?" Luna asked excitedly.

"Uh, I don't think so. I think they'll just hide their beliefs until they feel they have enough support to take over the world. Or at least the British wizarding world."

"You know, if you have to hide, you're probably doing something wrong," mused Harry.

"And you've never done anything wrong?" Draco said, a little angry that Harry seemed to be accusing his father of something.

Harry looked back, and saw Larry and Algie walking slowly behind. The more energetic children had moved far ahead of them.

"Of course I have," Harry answered. "It's just I've never tried to overthrow the wizarding government."

Luna volunteered, "We once flew my father's broom to Portsmouth to see the sea. Boy, did we get in trouble when Mum and Daddy found out."

Draco and Neville snickered. Neither of them had tried anything like that.

"Anyway, I suppose you can tell your father that you tried to influence us. But I've never met a Muggle-born wizard, so I don't know if they are worse than pure-bloods," Harry said.

"But if they're just as good, or better, maybe we can come up with another reason to overthrow the Minister," Luna said.

"Why would you want to overthrow the Minister of Magic?" Neville asked.

"Because not only does he eat Goblin pies, it would be fun!"

- - -

Summer was filled with trips to Remus' and the beach; vacation in Mexico (including an archaeological tour of a pyramid where Luna learned a lot about protective wards; Selene thought if Luna wasn't so naturally curious, she would think there was an ulterior motive to her questions); and a few more flying dates with Neville and Draco.

Fall came, the Weasleys (except Ginny, Ron, and Bill, who was working at Gringotts) went back to Hogwarts. Harry celebrated his tenth birthday. Selene and Larry celebrated their anniversary without a stained dress; Harry and Luna had both mastered the levitation spell and were secretly working on transfigurations.

Christmas came, with parties, visits, and presents. Once more there was a big game of exploding snap at Sirius' house, and Draco enjoyed himself even more. He did take some time to get Harry, Neville, and Luna alone again.

"I just wanted to subtly remind you that pure-bloods are the best sorts of witches and wizards."

"Why are you doing this, Draco? You know we aren't going to accept that, especially the way you're trying to persuade us," Neville told him.

"I know. But I have to. After the last time we flew together, my father asked if I had been trying to get you to the pure-blood camp. He used a truth detector spell, so I had to tell him that I hadn't. I did make up the excuse that we were closely supervised by your Gran and your father," he indicated Neville and Luna. "But I had to tell him about the other time I told you. I had to tell the truth."

"What did you tell him?" Harry asked, a bit suspicious.

Draco smiled. "I told him that Luna would like to overthrow the Ministry because she thinks it would be fun, and that you weren't going to believe me until you met some Muggle-born witches and wizards and saw for yourself. He said that Luna would probably be in Gryffindor, and you would probably be in Ravenclaw. And I told him that you didn't say anything, Neville, so he thinks you might be in Slytherin House, because you're keeping your feelings to yourself."

"Are you being cunning, Neville?" Harry asked.

"Uh, no, I don't think so. I just figured that since Draco was trying so hard not to persuade us, there wasn't anything for me to say. After all, nobody was accepting it, not even Draco, so there wasn't any reason to argue against it."

"And Luna's leaping before she looks! A very Gryffindor trait. No offense Luna, but they do have a reputation for stupidity."

"None taken, Draco, since I'm not in any house yet. I reserve the right to hex you for that remark in a few years, though, if I do end up in Gryffindor House."

"Ah, but I'll be in Slytherin, and cunningly soothe you with my words, and make you realize that it would be dishonorable for you to do so."

"What about you, Neville? Where do you think you'll end up?"

"I don't know. My Gran wants me to be in Gryffindor like my Dad, but I think I'd rather be with friends any day. I'd never go on an adventure like you did to the sea shore. But I'd go with any of you anywhere. I think that sounds more like Hufflepuff."

Draco said, "I better not tell my father that. He's never said a good word about Hufflepuff." He eyed Neville shrewdly. "You know, a Slytherin would say something like that to throw others off. I think Harry's right, you're being very cunning, Neville. If nothing else, you're too smart for Gryffindor." They all started laughing at that. About that time Ron found them.

"Hi, guys! Whatcha doing?"

"Talking about Hogwart's houses," Harry answered.

"Oh, that's easy, Gryffindor's the best house, of course. All my family ends up there." For some reason, the other children thought that was very funny.

- - -


"Yes, father."

"Did you talk to your friends?"

"Yes, father?"

"Did you have any success?"

"It's hard to say, father. None of them really said much about it, but Harry's not convinced. Neville, though. . . ."

"What about Longbottom?"

"He indicated that he knew what I was up to the other time we talked, and purposefully kept his opinions to himself. Soon after, the conversation changed to Hogwart's houses. Harry didn't object when I said he would probably be a Ravenclaw. Luna didn't seem to care, but joked about being a Slytherin in such a way that I'm sure she won't. Neville objected to being in Gryffindor. . ."

"Hmmm, he did, did he?"

"And then talked about being in Hufflepuff."


"But the thing is, earlier in the conversation, Harry had talked about how cunning Neville was. And I was thinking, if I came from a family with Gryffindor ties, I might not want to be known as a Slytherin until I was away from home."

"Hmmm, that may be. Well, we shall see. Keep watching when you are with them. Maybe one of them will be useful."

"Yes, father."

- - -

Valentine's Day came around, and Luna and Harry got into a fight over who would make who breakfast in bed. Then they went to Larry and Selene to work it out.

"Normally, Harry, I'd say you were right," Larry told him, when they were talking alone. "But there's a rule of marriage that you should learn; even when you're right, she's right."


"It's easier if you don't fight her over little things. If it doesn't matter, then it's not worth worrying about. If you don't make her breakfast in bed, does that mean you don't love her?"


"And that's what this is all about, isn't it? Showing her you love her, right? Well, if it's not important to the goal, then don't get into a big fight about it."


Meanwhile, Selene and Luna were having their own conversation.

"If he wants to do something nice for you, let him. Then you surprise him at a later date with. Choose your fights. Fighting over who does something nice is silly. If you're going to fight, fight over something important."

Luna and Harry then got into an argument over who was wrong as they each tried to apologize and let the other make breakfast.

- - -

Luna's tenth birthday party was quieter, as Selene and Larry had arranged before hand to take the family out for dinner that night.

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump, etc., made his way through the corridors to the Deputy Headmistress' office, on a bright June morning. He entered, feeling apprehensive. There was the tiniest chance of success, and he wanted to see it. Hope springs eternal in the human breast, and with the same hope that drives people to buy lottery tickets, he sat down across from Professor McGonagall. She looked at him, and he nodded. She placed a set of parchments on the desk, and a stack of envelopes. She opened a bottle of ink, and produced a beautiful, inlaid, wooden box. She opened it, and took out a quill pen. After tapping it with her wand, it rose up, dipped its end in the ink, and began writing, inviting Hannah Abbott to the school. Once it was done, it addressed an envelope. The Headmistress took the letter, put it in the envelope along with a list of school supplies, and set it aside. The quill was most of the way through the next letter.

Student by student it continued, slowly getting closer to the name they were waiting for. But Sally-Anne Perks was not followed by Potter.

Albus Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class, etc, got up sadly. He gave his deputy headmistress a nod, and walked slowly back to his office.

He took down the sorting hat, glancing at the portraits of all the other headmasters, and decided to not have this conversation out loud. He placed the sorting hat on his head.

"Greetings, Headmaster. Do you need me to sort you again?"

"No, but I do have a request for the sorting that will be happening this fall."

"This is highly unusual. You are asking me to go against my charge to sort people where they belong. If you are asking, then I'm pretty sure that you want someone where you think they don't belong."

"Well, yes. But it's important. Neville Longbottom must be in Gryffindor house to learn courage so that he may someday face Lord Voldemort -- Awww! For crying out loud, don't you shake when someone says his name, too!"

"I don't think you realize what you are asking. Someone who shouldn't be in Gryffindor will have what little courage they possess teased out of them, unless they are lucky. Gryffindors feel that they have the right to shame their less courageous house mates into doing stupid actions because they claim it's brave. You really should teach them real bravery -- going against peer pressure, befriending Slytherins, taking Ancient Runes, acting even when you're afraid. These things take courage.

"And speaking of Ancient Runes, are the rumors true? You've replaced Professor Quirrell?"

"I had to. Either I got him a different job, or I sacked him. You just can't teach students ancient, magical incantations with a stutter. We'll have a new instructor for AR and Professor Quirrell will take over as DADA instructor."

"You would think, after all these DADA instructors, at least one of them would have been well enough versed in the subject to dispell the curse on that job."

The headmaster sighed and removed the hat.

- - -

"I got it! I got my letter!" Ron ran to the living room, where Harry and Luna were brushing off the soot from floo-ing over. It was Friday, and Larry and Selene were working, so, as usual, Luna and Harry spent the day at the Weasleys'.

"What letter?" Harry asked.

"My Hogwarts letter. I've been accepted. I'm going to Hogwarts in the fall!"

"That's good?" Harry asked.

"Good! It's only the best Wizarding School in Europe. Probably the world."

"Oh. I hear Beauxbaton's Academy is good."

"Harry! They're /foreigners! /What kind of education do you think you'd get there?"

"Well, I was just sort of saying that there are other places. . . ."

"You just can't improve on Hogwarts."

"But it's such a big school. We were thinking about a smaller school, with more personal time from the teacher. The Poppins Institute looks really good, and they specialize in household charms."

Ron stared at Harry with his mouth hanging open.

Luna started snorting, which caused Harry to lose control. He started laughing, and couldn't stop for several minutes. He was literally on the floor, because he was laughing too hard to stand. Ginny started laughing when Luna did, not sure of the extent of the joke, but enjoying the look on Ron's face. When the twins showed up to find out what was so funny, Ron stomped off. As Harry calmed down, Luna explained what happened.

"He told Ron that we'd be learning magic from Mary Poppins."

"Who's Mary Poppins?"

"A witch from a book we read; she was hired as a nanny."

With that Ginny got the reference to household charms, and started laughing again.

Ron eventually forgave Harry -- sometime around lunch, because his mother was going to send him to his room without it unless he started acting nice to the Lovegoods. Harry also apologized, and then congratulated Ron.

- - -

Harry and Luna went with the Weasleys to Diagon Alley. They met Draco there, and the smile that lit up his face when he saw Harry and Luna was observed by his mother. She talked politely with Mrs. Weasley for a few minutes while the ten and 11 year olds talked excitedly about the coming year. Ginny was a little jealous about Ron going, but Harry told the group that he was glad that he would have friends who could show him around when he got there.

They also met the biggest man Harry had ever seen. Mrs. Weasley was walking behind the crowd of kids, trying to make sure nobody (ie. the twins) went off on their own, when a deep, pleasant voice boomed out, "Hello, Molly!"

"Hagrid! How are you?"

"Jus' fine, Molly. How many do I 'ave ter keep out of the Forbidd'n Fores' this year?"

"Just four. Ron goes for the first time this year. Ron, this is Rubeus Hagrid, grounds keeper of Hogwarts. The twins --GET BACK HERE, FRED AND GEORGE! -- will be back, along with Percy here."

"Hello, Mr. Hagrid."

"Please, just call me Hagrid. An' there seems ter be a few more here."

"Ginny you met when she was just a baby, and these are Harry and Luna Lovegood. All three have another year to wait before they get into trouble."

"Pleased ter mee'cha."

"Please, sir, what's the Forbidden Forest?" Harry asked.

"It's the magic fores' near Hogwarts. It's a lot safer than the rumors make it out ter be. But it's still no place for a student who doesn't know what he might encounter. Well, some of yer I'll see in a few days. Now I've got to be off ter Gringotts; Hogwarts business, you know. Nice to meet all of yer!"

- - -


"What, Luna."

"One of the lines, it's moved."

"Really? Let me get the map, and we'll check it out."

"OK, move your head a little more. That's about right. It's the one that wasn't in England. The others seem to be the same, but that one is pointing the same as this one. Didn't Daddy say that that was Hogwarts?"

"Yes. Next year we might be able to get two of them."

"If it stays there. We'll just have to see."

- - -

The door to the compartment slid open.

"Have you seen a toad? This boy has lost one."

"Oh, hi Neville!"

"Hi Ron. This is Hermione, she's helping me find my toad."

"Hello. I'll help too. Where did you look?"

- - -

The door to the compartment slid open again. Neville grabbed Trevor before he hopped out again.

"Hello, Draco," Ron and Neville said.

"Hi Ron, Neville. This is Crabbe and this is Goyle. Why don't you two go back to the compartment, I'll be along later."

"Draco, this is Hermione. She's a Muggle-born."

"Really? Harry would like to meet you."

"Hello. Who is Harry?"

"Friend of ours. He's too young to come to Hogwarts this year. He'll be along next year."

"Why would he want to meet me?"

"I was telling him about my father's beliefs that pure-bloods are the best witches and wizards. Harry wanted to see if it was true."

"According to Hogwarts, A History, there's no overall difference in grades between Muggle-born and magical born."

"That's interesting. I'll have to tell Harry."

"Hey Draco, who were those two with you?"

"Crabbe and Goyle? Would you believe it? My father wants them to act as my body guards! As if I can't protect myself!"

"Can you protect yourself?" Hermione asked.

Draco laughed, "Probably not from anyone bigger than I am. But I'm going to school, not a riot! Anyway, have you been around the train yet?"

"We've been in this car and the next, looking for Neville's toad."

Draco looked at the toad and said, "Nice toad, Neville. Very traditional, good choice. But have any of you heard the rumors that Harry Potter's supposed to be on this train? We were sort of looking for him. My father wants me to befriend him. But all I get are rumors. As far as I know, he's not on the train."

"Harry Potter! The one who defeated the Dark Lord that they won't print his name? Let me see, nineteen minus nineteen cancels out, and ninety-one minus eighty-one and he was one at the time, then, yes, he should be on this train! Where is he?"

"That seems to be the question everyone is asking. As far as I can tell, he's not here. Well, if you find him, or hear anything, I'm one car back. See you at Hogwarts."

"What a strange boy. I think there's something going on about him, the way he was talking."

"Yes, you're right," said Neville. "He's caught between his father and what's right. His father is a pure-blood bigot. Draco can't go against that, but he doesn't want to go with it, either. He's a good guy, though. Just have to give him some leeway about that, though."

Ron stared at Neville. All this was news to him.

"Well, we should get our robes on, we're getting close."

- - -

"Granger, Hermione."

She sat on the stool and put on the sorting hat. Suddenly, she heard another voice in her head.

"Hmmm, an excellent mind. And a real drive to prove yourself. You would do well in Ravenclaw where they would support your academic endeavors. Or you could learn how to channel your ambition in Slytherin house. Where's the deciding factor?"

"But Gryffindor is the best house. Lots of great witches and wizards came from there, and that's the headmaster's house."

"Lots of great witches and wizards came from all the houses. I'll admit that a lot of the more famous came from Gryffindor. . . ."

"Then put me in Gryffindor, please."

"Desire is part of the deciding factor, but I'm telling you, it's a mistake. GRYFFINDOR!"

- - -

"Longbottom, Neville."

"What have we got here? Your father and mother were in Gryffindor. Shall I follow family tradition?"

"I'm not sure. That doesn't seem like a good enough reason to put me there."

"It actually is a good enough reason. When Mr. Weasley comes up, that will be his reasoning."

"You know that already?"

"Well, not know. . . ."

"But from his brothers, you deduce it."

"Yes. You have a sharp mind. Maybe not Ravenclaw quality, but there's more to intelligence than book learning. You might do well in Slytherin. But I think if things don't work out for you, you should ask for a transfer to Hufflepuff."

"If things don't work out for me? Why wouldn't they. . . ."


- - -

"Malfoy, Draco."

"Well, well, well. What a dilemma."

"What dilemma? Just put me in Slytherin."

"And while you have a fine Slytherin mind, you would benefit more from Ravenclaw. You are probably as cunning as you need to be, so filling this mind with information to be cunning about would probably be the best choice. But what's this? Your happiest memories are having fun with friends. Hufflepuff would certainly supply you with loyal friends."

"NO! Not Hufflepuff. My father would disown me before allowing that to stand."

"Your subterfuge against your father takes courage. Gryffindor is open to you."

"Are you kidding? That's almost as bad as Hufflepuff. Now will you stop arguing and just put me in . . . ."

"Very well, SLYTHERIN!"

- - -

"Weasley, Ronald."


- - -


"Yes, Draco."

"Is it really necessary to insult Neville Longbottom like that?"

"He is a menace. You saw what happened to his cauldron."

"And why did you take points from Weasley."

"Because he should have seen what Longbottom was doing and stopped it."

"Did you see what Longbottom was doing wrong?"

"Of course."

"Then why didn't you stop it."

"Are you questioning me!?"

"Yes. I'd heard that you were a great potions professor, but it seems you're not."

"How dare you! What he was doing was dangerous."

"Then how dare you not stop it when you saw it. And how dare you punish someone else for not doing what you didn't do."

"Your father will hear of this."

"That won't change the fact that I'm ashamed of you."

"Get out before I take points from you!"

- - -

Even though they didn't get together very often, Harry felt Neville and Draco's absence, along with Ron's. Of course, they missed Ron every Friday at the Weasleys'. Selene turned his feelings into penmanship and grammar lessons, forcing the kids to write to their friends at Hogwarts every week. That helped the feelings pass. And they enjoyed the return letters from Neville and Draco. Ron wrote once, but mostly didn't reply to his mail.

- - -

"Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off from the ground, hard," said Madam Hooch. "Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet, and then come straight back down by leaning forward slightly. On my whistle -- three -- two --"*

But Neville's broom didn't wait for the whistle. It bucked, which made Neville lean back, which told the broom to go higher.

"Mr. Longbottom! You come back here this instant!"

"I can't! It's not responding!" And indeed the broom was doing a side to side motion that was extremely difficult if not impossible to force it to do. It then gave a violent jerk, and Neville found neither of his hands on the broomstick.

Malfoy kicked off, aiming right at Neville, who was only about fifteen feet up. He reached the other boy in almost no time, and steadied him. Neville was slightly below Draco and had one hand on Draco's broom, while Draco had one hand under Neville's arm. Suddenly the broom Neville was on dropped from beneath him. He got the other hand on Draco's broom, and the Slytherin quickly brought him down before his grip gave out.

"Five points to Slytherin. Let me see that broom. I must apologize, Mr. Longbottom. Some of these school brooms should have been replaced years ago. This one has given up the ghost, and is nothing more than a cleaning instrument now. Class will be dismissed until I have checked the safety of all these brooms."

- - -

Dear Harry,

School is interesting. I think you'll like it. I suppose you heard that Ron and Neville got sorted into Gryffindor. I'm guessing Luna will end up there, too. Some of the stories you guys tell!

Slytherin isn't what I hoped. There are a lot of people here who sound like my father. If you ignore that, then they're not so bad.

I found you a Muggle-born. She's also in Gryffindor, but probably should be in Ravenclaw. She's probably the smartest witch in our class. I'll introduce you when you come next year. If I thought it would do any good I'd introduce her to my father. Slytherins are supposed to be smart, not ignore facts. If that's what being "pure-blood" is all about, he can have it.

We had flying lessons. Madam Hooch was the instructor. The brooms are garbage. I can't wait until next year when I can bring my own broom. Stupid rules.

Your friend,


- - -

"She's a horror! No wonder no one can stand her!"*

Hermione bumped Ron, as she moved quickly past.

"I think she heard you," Neville said.

"So? She must have noticed she's got no friends."*

- - -

"Troll! Troll in the dungeon! Thought you'd like to know."

During the chaos that followed that announcement, Neville found himself near the door with Draco.

"Hermione's in the girl's bathroom. She doesn't know about the troll."

"I suppose it's a Gryffindor thing to rescue her?" Draco asked, rolling his eyes.

"No, I think it's more Hufflepuff," Neville answered with a grin.

As soon as they were out of the hall, they raced up the steps and headed for the bathroom. As they neared it they heard a scream. Racing into the bathroom, they saw Hermione sitting against the far wall, the troll between them and her.

"Congratulations, you found it," drawled Draco. "Step two?"

"Distract it," Neville said, grabbing a broken chunk of sink and throwing it at the troll. The pipe that Draco threw hit it in the ear, which seemed to get its attention. It turned to the two boys, raising its club.

"Step two worked perfectly. I hope step three does, also."

"Let's try to get it to follow us out of here."

"Great, make it mad at us. I love this plan!"

They continued to throw debris at the troll, which started to move towards them. They backed into the hall, and the troll stopped. They boys looked around. There was no damage out here; nothing to throw. The troll started to turn back towards Hermione. Neville reached in his pocket and pulled a small glass ball out of it. It immediately started filling with red smoke.

"Hey! Olog!" The troll turned it's head to the noise, and Neville threw the Rememberall at it. It hit the troll right in the eye, breaking, and getting glass and magical ingredients in it. The troll yelled, and put its hands over its damaged eye. It snarled and turned towards the boys.

Draco said, quickly, "Hey, I know step 5! Run!" Draco and Neville raced down the halls. The troll was rather like an avalanche, starting slowly, but building momentum.

"Good throw, by the way."

"Thanks. Quiff pays off!"

"You do know it's gaining," Draco gasped between gulping breaths.

"Yes, and I've figured out step 6. The Charms Hall."

"Want to clue me in on why?" Draco asked, as they reached a T in the halls, and headed right. The troll almost missed the turn. Actually, it slammed into the wall, absorbing the impact with its hands and arms, then headed after the boys.

"Did you think that would stop it?"

"Actually, I didn't think of that at all. Would have been nice."

"It's gaining again."

"Just have to reach the east wing first."

"Should be possible. Only there's not much escape once we get there. Uh, here. Oh! Hope this works."

As the charms hall reached the east wing of the castle the architecture changed. The tall, rounded ceiling gave way to a hall with different stone work, sconces, and columns, but most importantly with a flat ceiling, several feet lower that the earlier part of the hall. The troll, once again at full momentum and covering a lot more distance per step than the boys, ran right into the lintel where the ceiling suddenly became lower.

There was a crash, and a shower of stone falling, followed by a troll hitting the floor with a boom. It lay there, not moving.

"Step 7, figure out what to tell the professors when they ask," Draco said.

"Any reason not to tell the truth?"

"None that I can see. We might lose some points, but we might gain some, too. Let's see."

They started walking back the way they came.

"Hufflepuff, huh?"

"I think so."

- - -

"Aunt Selene?"

"Yes, Harry."

"Are we sure we want to go to Hogwarts? Draco and Neville just fought a troll."

"Don't be silly. You don't fight trolls at Hogwarts."

"Mum, read the paper."

"Merddwyn! Draco and Neville?"


"All I can say is that the curriculum has changed a lot since my day."

- - -

Dear Harry,

Hey, Mate! Sorry I haven't written more. This place is amazing. It's the biggest castle I've ever seen, and it's in working order. It's got everything, secret passages, ghosts, more food than even my Mum makes! Gryffindor is the best house, we got some great people here. Next year I hope you get sorted here. Take care,


- - -

"Miss Granger. Mr. Longbottom. Lemon drop?"

"No thank you, Headmaster," Hermione said. Neville just shook his head, too nervous to talk.

"Good work on the troll, by the way. That was excellent thinking on your part, Mr. Longbottom. Your parents would be proud."

"Th...thank you, sir."

"Now, to what do I owe this visit?"

"It says in Hogwarts, a History that a student can request a transfer to a different house if they feel that the original sorting was in error. We would like to transfer houses."

"But my dear, I don't believe any error has been made. Your courageous battle with the troll has proven your Gryffindor character."

"All I did was cower in the corner. I should have listened to the Sorting Hat and let it put me in Ravenclaw as it wanted."

"I see. I'll agree to this. But you, Neville! From what Mr. Malfoy said, it was your plan that killed the troll. Certainly you see that you are Gryffindor material. I would have to say your actions show that you are more Gryffindor than any other student in your house. And to be honest, I don't think your grades are up to Ravenclaw standards."

"No, sir. It wasn't courage that made me do what I did. As I told Draco, it was loyalty to my friend. I want to transfer to Hufflepuff house, please."

The Headmaster started coughing. Once he got control, he said, "I don't know, Neville. The Hat put you into Gryffindor for a purpose."

"But it also offered Hufflepuff and Slytherin."

The Headmaster suddenly choked on his lemon drop.

- - -

Dear Harry,

Thanks for letter. Yes, we're OK. No, we didn't really want to fight the troll. Yes, we did save someone. Draco says he's told you about Hermione Granger. She's the one we saved. No, we weren't trying to kill it. I was expecting at most to knock it out, but at least to get to a part of the castle where it couldn't chase us as easily. If there are going to be more trolls, I think I'll switch schools. What was the name of that place in France you teased Ron with?

But I've got Big News! I changed houses. Hermione found students could do that. I am now in Hufflepuff. There are some great people here, and no one teases me. They try to help me remember my things and remind me to get my homework done. It's great, a lot friendlier than Gryffindor. And the twins aren't short sheeting my bed every few days. (At least I think it was them.)

Draco says the people in Slytherin talk down Hufflepuff, but he knows me, so he doesn't do it when I'm around. But we've been talking about studying together, since we all have the same classes even if not together.

Looking forward to seeing you during the break.

Your friend,


- - -

"Merry Christmas, Draco!"

"Merry Christmas, Harry, Luna!"

"Fought a troll, huh. Aunt Selene says she doesn't remember anyone fighting trolls when she was in school."

"I'm sure Granger could tell you the last time a student fought a troll at Hogwarts."

"Who's Granger?"

"She's a Muggle-born, Harry. She's the one you want to meet to prove that pure-bloods aren't the best. She's got to be the smartest witch in our class. Doesn't fly very well, though."

"Well, then, what are you going to say to your father?"

"Nothing. Nothing I say will change him, and it will only get me in trouble. So I'll keep "working" on you so I can truthfully tell him that."

"OK. Uh-oh. Here comes Ron. Time for a change of subject."

"Hi guys! Merry Christmas. What are you talking about?"

Draco buffed his finger nails against his shirt and answered, "How the Slytherin/Gryffindor Quidditch match went."

Ron turned red.

Luna cut in, "Actually, we were talking about fathers. Draco's is strict, mine is happy-go-lucky; what's yours like, Ron?" And Ron was defused.

- - -


"Yes, Luna?"

"What did you think when Ginny said she was going to marry you? You didn't say anything."

"She didn't say she was going to marry me. She said she was going to marry Harry Potter."

"But that's you."

"No, I'm Harry Lovegood. It even says so on the documents your Mum and Dad signed. If she ever wanted to marry me, well, then I'd have something to say. She wants to marry a superhero who never really existed."

"You know if she ever finds out that you used to be Harry Potter, she'd want to marry you."

"She wants to marry someone named "Harry Potter." If the ugliest man in the world turned up with that name, she'd want to marry him. That's just silly. You don't marry /names. /You marry people; and she's not interested in me as a person. And I'm already married to you. And nothing she can do will change that."

"I'm glad. But I wonder if there are other girls out there who want to marry Harry Potter?"

"Maybe. But they'll have to marry someone else. I'm taken."

"Thank you, Harry."

"Thank /you/, Luna."

- - -

"'ello, 'ermione, Ron, Neville, Draco. Can't talk, very busy. Thanks for dropping by, but we'll have ter talk some other time." He turned and looked in his house, and growled, "Bloody hell, not my chair, again!" and moved quickly away from the door. The four first years poked their heads in and saw him extinguishing the fire that was consuming his chair. Something right behind him let loose a jet of flame at his backside. He quickly got the chair and his pants put out, scooped up the lizard-like creature, and deposited him in a large stone basin.

"Hagrid, was that a dragon?" Hermione asked.

"That weren't just a dragon, but a Norwegian Ridgeback," Ron put in.

"Cool! But dangerous," Neville said.

"Naw! You just have to know how ter handle him. 'e's just a baby, after all."

Draco looked around the hut. He had visited several times before with Hermione, Ron, and Neville. He thought Hagrid strange, but a nice enough person. He knew what his father thought of him, but enjoyed the visits. It was funny listening to the other kids' excuses for not eating Hagrid's rock cakes. Hagrid was ... rustic, that was the word ... and wouldn't fit in at Malfoy Manor, but that was OK. The world was bigger than the Manor, Draco had found out.

"You know," he drawled, "It seems a little dangerous trying to raise any sort of fire breathing creature in a wooden house."

Hagrid looked around, seeming to notice that little drawback for the first time.

"Hmmm, maybe you're right."

The children eventually convinced him to contact Ron's brother Charlie and see if he couldn't get it to the dragon preserve where he worked. They assumed Hagrid must have done it, because they never saw the dragon at Hagrid's house again.

- - -

"I can see myself with the stone! How do I get it?"

"You don't. Professor Quirrell, I'm very disappointed in you.

"Dumbledore! You're supposed to be at the Ministry of Magic!"

"Yes, well, I didn't think it prudent to leave at this particular time."

"Give me the Philosopher's Stone!"

"I'm very sorry, Professor, but it's not here."

"NOT HERE! Then what are all these traps and tests for?"

"They were for capturing you. Surely you realized that a group of determined first years could have gotten through those barriers. I mean, really, expecting a fungus that hates light and heat to stop someone? Or putting the key in the room with the locked door. If I really wanted you to stay out, I would have kept the key in my pocket."

"But where is the Stone!"

"It is someplace truly safe. And now, as Chief Warlock, I place you under arrest."

"NO! You can't! My master won't let you!"

"I'm sure the Dark Lord can do without you. . . ."

"Ha! He can't!" Quirrell started taking off his turban. Dumbledore watched until he saw the face on the back of Quirrell's head in the Mirror.

"Tom! I wasn't expecting to catch you, too. This is an unexpected bonus."

"You fool, Dumbledore. You haven't caught me!" Suddenly, something came out of Quirrell, and sped away. It wasn't totally substantial, but it wasn't insubstantial, either. It knocked down the Mirror as it went past. Then it sped through a crack in the wall. Dumbledore was caught completely unprepared.

He spoke to Quirrell, "Well, it seems your master doesn't care if you are captured."

But Quirrell made no answer. He stood perfectly still, staring at Dumbledore, unblinking. Then Dumbledore noticed that he wasn't even breathing. He gently touched the former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and the body collapsed, revealing a hole in the back of the former defense teacher's head.

Dumbledore sighed. He may have won the battle, but the war wasn't over. And he needed a new defense teacher.

- - -

"Harry. It's moved again."

"Where is it?"

"I don't know. Probably still in Britain, but no longer at Hogwarts. I think it's with the one we couldn't get to near Hangleton, in the Lake District."

"If it stays there, once we learn how to get past wards, we'll get two of them, then."

"Yes, but it's taking a long time to learn."

"That's alright. It's fun learning with you."

"You say the sweetest things."

- - -

"We better say our goodbyes here. I don't want a scene with my father."

"Yes. Well, it's been an interesting year -- magic, trolls, dragons! This time last year I didn't know a thing about any of those."

"And now you're top of the class. We'll write, and try to get together during the summer. The Lovegoods and Croakers have had us over, and it's rather fun."

"I'll need to get an owl, I think. You don't have telephones, do you?"


"Honestly, I don't understand the wizarding world sometimes. Goodbye, Draco. Goodbye, Neville. And thank you again for saving me from the troll."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Notes Chapter 7
* Excerpt from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
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