Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Second Fiddle

Unfortunate Events pt. 1

by Crucio_Crusade 3 reviews

Harry is aware of the wizarding world. The only problem is he grew up apart from it. When he explored the magical world, he found danger, wonder, and friendship.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama - Characters: Harry, Hermione, Neville, Voldemort - Warnings: [!] [?] [V] - Published: 2006-09-14 - Updated: 2006-09-14 - 3127 words

Disclaimer: This fan fiction was based on the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling. I do not claim ownership on any character created by J.K. Rowling, and no money is collected from this story. This is one way I show appreciation to J.K. Rowling's works. Other names or places on this story are fictional. Any similarity to actual name is purely coincidental.

Chapter 13: Unfortunate Events pt. 1

Harry and Hermione were in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place. Harry was pranked by the Weasley twins, again. He was now sporting a red hair with matching blue skin. They were going to brew an antidote for the Color Changing Potion. Or at least, Harry was brewing. Hermione was observing him brew the potion. She would give comments or caution him once in a while. But other than that, she was mostly silent.

Harry had evenly cut the carnation roots and added them into the mix. He always thought of himself as a fairly good cook. But potion making seemed out of his league. There were too many precise cutting, measuring, stirring, and heating. And to make matters worse, Hermione was angry at him.

"Hermione, would you please tell me what's wrong? It's been four days. You have been ignoring me since last Tuesday. Look, I'm sorry I hurt your friends. They would have hurt me too if the curses they used hit me." When she didn't say anything, Harry threw her a quick glance. Still, no answer.

He saw the potion changed color. He consulted his Magical Drafts and Potions book for the next step. He reached for the crab spider legs and took three. "You need only two," she cautioned softly. He checked the book again. Sure enough, he only needed two.

"I know. This is about the kiss, right? Hermione, I'm really, really sorry I tricked you. My mind was telling me not to do it. But, I just couldn't resist," Harry said, sincerely contrite.

"It's not my friends or the kiss either..." she said softly. She was hardly looking at him. Her attention was mostly in the Potions book that she pulled in front of her. "Why didn't you tell me you were studying advance magic? I'm supposed to help you learn magic. If you find my lessons boring, you should have told me." Her voice sounded more hurt than angry. She was now dog-earing the pages of the Potions book which she normally wouldn't do. "I designed the lessons to efficiently cover as much topic as possible. But it doesn't mean we couldn't change it."

Harry didn't answer. What reason could he give to justify his actions? Hermione handed him a cup. It was time to add the grounded acacia leaves. He carefully sprinkled a dash of it. Now he had to stir six times clockwise. When he was done, he turned off the fire and turned to Hermione.

"What color is it?" she asked suddenly.

"Bright green, of course," He answered confidently. "Was there any doubt?"

Hermione huffed. "Beginners luck."

"Hermione, I've been having beginners luck since I started Potions lesson four weeks ago. Surely, you recognize it's my talent at work?" Harry said jokingly. His eyes filled with laughter.

"Yeah, right," Hermione countered merrily. Then, she remembered she's supposed to be angry at him. And, her smile disappeared. She lowered her eyes on the book.

Harry and Hermione sat quietly. Their short camaraderie only increased the awkwardness between them. Harry was thinking what he would say to her. He knew she was very bright. She could help him a lot. But, part of him was wary. She didn't really know him. So, her loyalty would be primarily to her friends and to this Order of the Phoenix which he accidentally overheard. Ron really was the chatterbox not his sister.

"Hermione, I didn't tell you because it was an extracurricular activity." He noted her puzzled expression. "Take silent spell casting for example. You told me the correct pronunciation of a spell. And, you showed me the proper way to wave my wand. And those were all good. But you also told me spells can be performed without words or too much wand waving. So, on my spare time, I practice silent spell casting."

"But Harry, silent spell casting is advance magic. You could get hurt if something went wrong," she said with concern.

"No, if something went wrong, nothing happens. I found that out the hard way," Harry replied reminiscing his long arduous nights.

"But what about the other advance magic you tried, surely those were dangerous." She was looking at him as if she's challenging him to deny her allegations.

Harry gave her a searching look. Then, he hesitantly said, "I have tried other advance magic. And I admit my actions were foolhardy. But, I have been successful so far." Hermione was about to say something. But, Harry interrupted her. "Hermione, I know I'm not a powerful wizard like Albus Dumbledore or Neville Longbottom or some other witches and wizards. But just because someone told me I couldn't do it, doesn't mean I shouldn't try. Uncle Max once told me, 'it's not how much power I have, it's how I use it'."

Hermione saw the determined look on his face. It seemed no amount of argument would change his mind. "I understand. But from now on, I want to be included in any of your extracurricular activity." Hermione's expression didn't soften until he agreed. "Oh, and for your information, I think you are a powerful wizard."

"Thanks Hermione. So, if you're not angry because of your friends or the kiss, does this mean I can kick your friends' arse...or kiss you again?" Harry asked smiling mischievously.

"Don't push your luck," Hermione said disapprovingly but her voice held a hint of humor. She took a ladle and filled it with potion. She brought it near his face and playfully said, "The little train is coming... open wide."

Harry pulled a face at the sight and smell of the potion. It looked like two weeks old spoiled milk and smelled like one too. "Do I have to? You did say the twins' pranks usually last a day or two." His objection was met with a glare and a scary one at that. He quickly downed the potion and tried his best not to throw up. After a moment, his skin and hair were the color of the wood he was sitting on. He reached for the Potions book to read it again. But, when he touched the pages of the book, his hand developed squiggly lines mimicking the written words. "Cool. I'm a chameleon."

All at once, Hermione had her thinking face on. She's probably thinking it's her fault the potion didn't work, Harry thought. For the next hour, Harry and Hermione recreated the potion step by step. Harry told her exactly what he did on each step. "Ha! I got it!" Hermione yelled triumphantly. "You used the chameleon's liver instead of a spleen."

"Spleen, Liver, what's the difference?" Harry asked indifferently.

Hermione looked at him, surprised. "Have you looked at yourself lately?" she asked sarcastically.

The door to the kitchen opened. Neville, Ron, Susan, Ginny, Luna, and Cho entered. Ron and Neville laughed out loud when they saw what happened to Harry. The rest had a bemused smile on their faces.

Hermione stood up and glared at her two friends who promptly stopped laughing. However, they would snigger once in a while. "Hello there. Do you need something?" she asked curiously.

"We're going to the twin's joke shop. Cho wanted to see it. Do you want to come with us?" Neville asked.

"I don't know..." Hermione replied hesitantly. "Does Professor Dumbledore know you were going?"

"Dung knows. I'm sure he would inform Professor Dumbledore," Ron immediately told her.

"Dung? He's not very reliable," Hermione said squarely. She started to walk towards the door. "Wait here. I'll firecall Professor Dumbledore. It won't take me a minute."

"Oh, come on, Hermione," Ginny protested loudly. "You can firecall him at the twin's shop. You know what he would say to us."

"Yeah, besides, it's Saturday. We should have a little bit of fun, instead of training and studying all the time." Neville gave Hermione a puppy dog face. And, it wasn't just Neville. The others, excluding Cho, had a hopeful look on their faces.

Hermione, seeing their pitiful expressions, relented against her better judgment. "Oh, alright..." There was a loud cheering. "But, we have to call Professor Dumbledore once we get to the twins shop." The others volubly agreed. "Wait for us at the fireplace. We'll just finish up in here."

"He's coming with us?" Neville asked in a hard voice while looking at Harry who also stood up. Ron had a belligerent look on his face. The others listened worriedly.

Hermione looked at both Neville and Ron and then at the others. "Yes," she answered simply. "Is there a problem?"

Neville looked hard at Harry who remained unemotional. Then, he turned to address Hermione with a stiff smile. "No. No problem at all." He walked closer to Harry and in a menacing voice, he said, "I don't like you. If you do anything to endanger my friends, I will personally make your life a living hell. Do you understand?" For a moment, they stared hard at each other. Then, Neville turned around, grabbed Cho's hand, and led the others out the door.

"Don't mind him, Harry. He's really a nice person once you get to know him," Hermione reassured with a tense smile.

Neville's rude behavior was far from Harry's mind. He was wondering more about Cho. Ever since she came here, she did nothing but stir the cauldron of animosity between him, Ron, and Neville. She did nothing obvious. No. She was far too intelligent for that. Rather, she would subtly flirt with him, but not too subtle that Neville or Ron could overlooked. And, she would always make it appear he was the one doing the flirting.

Harry felt she was also part of the reason Hermione stayed angry at him for so long. It's a pity Neville never looked beyond outward appearances. Ginny would have been a better catch. She may be plain in comparison to Cho. But, at least, she had fire and a good heart. He wondered what Neville would do once Cho's exotic beauty faded. Probably replaced her, Harry thought.

After a moment of introspection, Harry turned to Hermione who was quietly studying him. "I don't want to create a problem for you. I think it's best if I remained here." Hermione tried to protest. "No, it's quite alright. You go and enjoy the day with your friends." After a bit more convincing, Hermione hesitantly agreed and left.

Harry was sitting on his bed contemplating what he was going to do next. It was only him in the house now. The others left as soon as Dung went to the Order meeting. He was brought out of his musing by the knocking on his door. He walked to the door and opened it to reveal Hestia Jones and Charlie Weasley.

Charlie raised his eyebrows when he saw Harry. His lips pursed in a hint of a smile. However, he didn't voice any comment. "I'm sorry to bother you, Harry. But, do you know where Neville and the others are?" Charlie expectantly looked at him. Harry didn't answer. "If you know where they are, it's best that you tell me. It's dangerous out there, especially for Neville."

Harry undecidedly looked at Charlie. He didn't want to further aggravate his relationship with the other teens. But, then again, it's really their fault for endangering themselves. "Well, Neville mentioned they will visit the twins' joke shop."

"Thanks, Harry." Charlie and Hestia hurriedly took off. Harry just watched them leave. Seeing no reason to hang around in his bedroom, he put on his green cloak. Once outside his room, he took out his oak wand and tapped it to the door. He, then, leisurely went down the flight of stairs and headed to the fireplace in the sitting room.

He came out unsteadily at the Leaky Cauldron. Harry thanked his lucky stars he didn't fall down and embarrass himself. The Leaky Cauldron had a few customers inside its premises. He pulled up his hood and headed to the brick wall that led to Diagon Alley. He noticed Diagon Alley had even fewer shoppers. And, it was almost school day. With a hood covering his face, he easily walked past Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. He saw Charlie and Hestia walking his way with Ginny and Luna in tow. When he and Charlie's group were about to pass each other, Luna briefly glanced in his direction. And, he mischievously smiled at her.

"Luna? What is it?" He heard Ginny asked. There was no answer. "Come on, Luna. We're already in so much trouble as it is." He heard their hurried footsteps grew fainter as they walked away.

He turned left to Knockturn Alley. With even fewer shoppers, Knockturn Alley was downright creepy. It felt like walking in a graveyard. He continued down the cobblestone path until he stopped at the entrance of Borgin and Burkes. He stood at the entrance undecided. He knew it would take more than asking a few questions to get the information he needed. As much as he liked to go inside, he decided to observe the shop. He looked around trying to find a place to watch the shop and its patrons unobtrusively.

He picked Philter & Medicamentus Apothecary across the street. A bell tinkled when he entered the Apothecary. He glanced around and found the place no different from the one in Diagon Alley. This one, however, smelled worse. He saw two men talking loudly. From the tone of their voices, they seemed to be arguing. Harry discreetly wondered near a glass pane window facing Borgin and Burkes. Once in a while, he would pick up an item and pretend to examine it. But, his attention was mostly focused on the dark art shop outside.

"Excuse me, can I help you?" Harry put down the dried lizard he was holding and slowly turned around. "Can I help you?" the old proprietor asked again. If the old proprietor noticed something odd with Harry, he didn't mention it.

"No, thank you," Harry said amiably. "I was just looking around. I'll call you if I need anything." He picked up a dried root and pretended to inspect it

The old proprietor nodded his head and turned around. "Whoever you are trying to observe across the street, you won't get him from here." The old proprietor returned to his place behind the counter.

Harry uncertainly followed the old man. He saw him carefully filling vials, jars, and small paper bags with potion ingredients. "What do you mean? I wasn't watching anyone." He knew his denial only confirmed the old man's statement.

The old man chuckled. "Aurors give the same excuse when they pretend to buy and stood at that same window looking at Borgin and Burkes." The old man squinted at him. "You're too young to be an auror. Who are you looking for?"

"It's none of your concern old man." Harry decided to leave thinking there was nothing to be gained by talking to the old proprietor. He was almost at the door when the old man spoke.

"I have lived here in Knockturn Alley for a long time. This is the second self-proclaimed Dark Lord who arose within my lifetime. Hopefully, he will be the last," the old man said softly. But in the silence of the Apothecary, Harry clearly heard his voice.

Harry stopped and deliberated whether to talk to the old man. Thinking he could ask for some information, he walked back to the counter. "I would have thought you would be happy with this Second Wizarding War. Your potion ingredients are probably in great demand."

The old man rolled his eyes. "What's good about it if they're killing all potential customers?" A bell tinkled. A cloak covered customer entered the shop and looked around a bit. There was a moment of silence. Before the stranger left, he glanced at Harry and gave an almost imperceptible nod. Harry was puzzled by the gesture. But, he didn't dwell on it.

By now, the old man had put all the sealed potion ingredients in a big paper bag and placed it on the table. He looked around first before he started talking. "I don't normally see students in my shop. So, I asked again. Who are you looking for?"

Harry had a look of someone weighing his options. He didn't know the old man. He could be a supporter of Voldemort. Finally, he decided to chance it. "I am looking for a wizard named Marcus Flint."

"Ahhh...I see." The old man nodded knowingly. "I thought I recognized you. You are that boy whose uncle was killed over a month ago, aren't you?" He didn't wait for an answer. He went to one of the cabinets behind him. He rummaged around for something. He came back and pushed a picture in front of Harry. The photograph showed a big house. It seemed to be in a muggle neighborhood.

Harry quizzically looked at the old proprietor. "That house is at the village of Budleigh Babberton. I want you to deliver these potion ingredients to a wizard living in that house. His name is Horace Slughorn. When you're done, come back here and I will tell you where to find Marcus Flint. Do we have a deal?" The old man waited patiently for Harry's answer.

Harry warily agreed. "Go to Budleigh Babberton and give this to a wizard named Horace Slughorn, you say?" he asked calmly. The old proprietor simply nodded. "How will I know if the wizard I give this to is really Horace Slughorn?"

The old man smiled widely. "You have a good head on your shoulder. Good you'll need that. And if you survived this war, I might have a place for you in my Apothecary." However, his demeanor changed when he remembered Harry's question. The old man breathed deeply, thinking. "Well, he's an old man around my age. He has a shiny, bald head and prominent blue eyes. He's a short man, fat, and has a ridiculous silvery, walrus-like moustache. He wears extravagant, but tacky old-fashioned clothes. Now, off you go. I'm open till ten tonight."

As soon as Harry stepped out of the Apothecary, he disapparated. He didn't notice the customer, who entered the Apothecary earlier, standing to one side. The unknown wizard pulled out his wand and muttered a spell. When he was done, he too disapparated.
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