Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Like Some Song You Can't Unlearn

Two Doors To The Same Room

by BJH 36 reviews

Now that Harry has what he wants, what will he do with it? His job, his parents, and his old friends all returning to Hogwarts.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Ginny, Harry, James, Lily, Narcissa - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2007-02-22 - Updated: 2007-02-23 - 4722 words

Like Some Song You Can't Unlearn

Chapter Six: Two Doors To The Same Room

The next few weeks flew by for Harry. He moved from his hotel to his quarters at Hogwarts the day after his interview with Dumbledore. The old man couldn't move quickly enough to pull a teaching contract out of his files after Harry had quoted that bit from the prophesy. Harry didn't even bother to read it before signing. The fist thing he did after unpacking was to dive into the Library and its stacks of old Daily Prophets. He didn't go out of his way to meet any of his fellow faculty members and, in fact, hadn't, with the obvious exception of Madam Pince, the Librarian. He was so occupied that his own birthday went by completely unnoticed. That was until he received a card from Professor Dumbledore with shooting stars all over the cover spelling out "Happy Birthday". He spent a large bag of Galleons at Flourish and Blotts building a reference Library of his own. He missed several of the Darker tomes that resided in the Black Library and combed the shops of Knockturn Alley to find replacements.

Oft times his nights were occupied with Narcissa. She had developed a peculiar penchant for the Berkshire Hotel and usually tried to get the same suite Harry had rented that first time. Harry felt odd returning to the scene of Lucius's death but Narcissa always seemed to distract him.

While doing all of this, Harry had also managed to come up with a plan to trap Wormtail. It sprang from a lecture that Remus had planned for during his time at Hogwarts but would require the cooperation, unwitting of course, of Professor McGonagall to succeed.

On August fifteenth of each year, before the beginning of the new school term, the teachers of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry meet for their first staff meeting. Harry anxiously straightened his robes as he walked down the stairs towards the Great Hall. He wasn't worried about his teaching skills, there had been enough truly awful Defense teachers lately that if he never showed up to a class he would still fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. After all, he wasn't a Death Eater and that alone made him better than two. What Harry was worried about was meeting his father for the first time and although this James Potter didn't know he was his father, Harry did.

Harry had worked very hard during his time here in this world not to think about his parents; his parents were dead after all, they died to save him. The James and Lily Potter of this world didn't. But why didn't they? Did the attack occur differently here? Weren't they home at the time? Or did they just not love their baby enough to make the ultimate sacrifice? Then again, considering how that sacrifice had turned out in his old world, maybe they shouldn't have. Either way, it didn't matter. Harry was an orphan; he had no family and that was the way it was going to stay. Harry didn't need family, his other life had proven that. He had done everything he could to protect them and in the end what they had wanted was protection from him. So no, Harry wasn't in any rush to meet his father but he wouldn't avoid it either. In this world they would be nothing to each other, simply colleagues. Colleagues who bore a strange and striking resemblance.

Albus had already commented on the physical similarities between them so he assumed everyone else would notice as well. Harry had decided that he would simply deflect any questions by calling it a strange coincidence and nothing more. Perhaps he would even make a joke about it, saying that somebody on staff had to be good looking and, since no one else was willing to do it, the two of them would just have to carry the load for the rest. At least this is what Harry told himself as he walked through the halls. He and James Potter would be strangers to each other. But regardless of this, Harry couldn't prevent the ember of hope that burned hidden deep within his bosom that he could befriend his father and get to know him in this world.

With these thoughts occupying his mind Harry pushed through the doors to the Great Hall. There was a single large round table where the four house tables would sit in a fortnight and several of his fellow teachers were already sitting down and waiting for the meeting to begin. Harry walked at a deliberately casual pace towards the table while he tried to recognize the teachers. There was tiny Professor Flitwick sitting on a stool rather than a chair in order to see eye-to-eye with his fellows. McGonagall was sitting on his right, her hair still in its usual tight bun at the top of her head. On Flitwick's left, two spaces down, was a witch with her glossy black hair tucked under a stiffly pointed witch's hat; he thought she was Professor Vector of Arithmancy but he couldn't be sure. Across the table was a middle-aged...

With a snap, Harry's head was spun around and a finger was wagging in his face.

"Don't you just go ignoring me, James Potter!" a fiery voice nearly shouted at him. It took a moment for Harry to focus on the face in front of him. There was a long plait of auburn hair that flung back and forth as the witch shook her head in sudden shocked disbelief. A hand rose up to cover her mouth so the only distinguishing characteristic that was left for Harry to notice were the bright emerald green eyes that looked exactly like his own. "Oh!" she squeaked. "I'm so sorry. I thought you were someone else."

Harry stood there in shock. How could he have been so stupid? He had been so wrapped up in being in the same school as his father that he had completely forgotten about his mum. If he was here then obviously she would be. How could he have been so dense as to have ignored that? He opened his mouth a few times but no sound can out. Finally he was able to stutter out, "P-p-pardon me?"

Luckily, Lily Potter was too embarrassed by her own actions to notice Harry's discomfort. "I'm sorry for grabbing at you like that," she continued. "But from the rear you look remarkably like my husband." She stared into his face as if fighting to recognize him. Harry stared back, drinking in her features. She looked almost exactly like he had seen her in the Mirror of Erised so many years ago. Here face showed a few more wrinkles and Harry hoped they were laugh lines. Her hair even had a few grey hairs in it, now that Harry had a moment to really look, but all in all she was just the same as he had always envisioned her. She was lovely. With an uncomfortable laugh Lily spoke again. "Please forgive me and let me introduce myself; I'm Lily Potter and I teach Muggle Studies."

Harry shook his head to clear it and answered, "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. I'm Odysseus Harris, the new teacher for Defense."

Lily smiled brightly at him. "Oh, so Albus finally managed to find someone for the job? Well, I wish you luck."

"I'm sure I'll do fine," Harry said. On an impulse he held out his elbow for her to take. "May I show you to a seat, Lily?"

Lily smiled as she began to slip her hand into his elbow but a sharp cough from the door stopped her.

"There will be no need for that. My wife is quite well attended to already." Harry turned and looked into the flashing eyes of his father. James Potter was obviously on the defensive and Harry gently removed Lily's hand from his arm.

"I was merely trying to be polite," Harry said calmly.

James stalked across the room but turned gentle as he took his wife's hand and led her to the table where they sat side by side. At first Lily appeared angry at her husband's behavior but easily released it and smiled gently at Harry as he took a seat on the opposite side of the table.

Harry watched James swallow before speaking. "I'm sorry if my actions seemed a bit abrupt, Mr. Harris, but you have to understand my concern given recent events."

Harry smiled easily at the people who should have been his parents. For a moment he wondered how life had treated them after the events of that Halloween. "It's perfectly understandable, but there is little to worry about." Everyone at the table looked at him questioningly. "We are, after all, on the ground floor and the drop from the windows here would pose hardly any danger at all." James forced himself to laugh at the horrid bit of humor while most others just grimaced. "Besides, if we are to be colleagues then we should be on a first name basis; James, isn't it?"

James nodded. "And you are Odysseus?"

"Most people just call me Odd."

"But is it a name or a description?" came an oily voice from behind.

Harry turned to see the Potions Master approaching, he fought back the desire to simply kill the Death Eater on the spot, barely, and said, "And you must be Professor Snivellus Snape for Potions?"

Snape recoiled as if slapped and out of the corner of his eye Harry saw James stuffing his fist into his mouth to stifle any sound. "That's Severus," he replied coldly.

"Pardon?" Harry said calmly.

"My name," Snape responded with ice dripping off each word. "My name is Professor Severus Snape."

"Not Snivellus?"




"Are you quite certain?"


Harry tried his best at failing to look abashed. "Well, pardon me. I must have misheard someone speaking about you. I do hope I didn't offend you." Before Snape could say another word Harry turned away from him and towards tiny Professor Flitwick. He extended his hand which the other shook happily.

"I'm Filius Flitwick. I teach Charms and head Ravenclaw House. Call me Filius, please."

Harry returned the smile and said, "I'll be happy to."

Pleased with himself that he had been able to so successfully hit two birds with one stone, embarrassing Snape and changing his father's first impression of him, Harry missed what Filius had been saying to him. He flushed slightly and stammered, "I'm sorry but I didn't quite catch that?"

Filius chortled and said again, "I couldn't help but notice that you bear a striking resemblance to our own James Potter, could the two of you be related?"

Harry shot a quick glance at James who seemed as put off by this question as Harry was.

"No, I don't think so."

"But still, what families are you related to, if I may ask?" Filius continued.

Harry grinned, he hoped disarmingly. "I'm afraid I don't know. Both my parents died when I was quite young. The only relative I have ever known was my Muggle aunt. You wouldn't happen to be Muggle-born, would you, James?"

"No, the Potters are an old Wizarding family, staunch supporters of the Light as far back as the Founders."

"Hmm," Harry appeared lost in thought for a few moments. "And your father, is he known for having Muggle dalliances?"

James sat up straight in shock at this. "I'll have you know that my father was an honorable man! He would never have betrayed my mother in that manner!" He looked ready to leap across the table to defend his father's honor when Harry held up his hands in supplication.

"I'm sorry if I insulted you, James. It wasn't my intention, I was just analyzing the question."

"And?" James said, not at all mollified.

Harry chuckled a bit and said, "And it would seem that any resemblance we may share is purely happenstance. I seriously doubt that there could be any blood connection between us."

Flitwick, feeling slightly guilty about having opened up the topic, took the chance to change it. "No, I don't suppose there is at that. Pure chance. But Odd, what do you plan on teaching our students this year?"

"Yes," Minerva said, firmly pushing the topic further into safer waters. "I have to admit that their training in Defense Against the Dark Arts has been rather hodge-podge these last few years."

Harry nodded his agreement. "Yes, it has from what I have read of my predecessors' notes. This Remus Lupin from a few years ago seemed to be the best of the lot." Harry glanced at his father and noticed his grin. Their relationship, at least the ten minutes of it there was, certainly seemed to be a bit of a roller coaster. "He had some excellent ideas and I plan on using quite a few of them. In fact, Minerva, I'd love to have your assistance in a bit of a demonstration for my sixth years. If I could impose upon you?"

Minerva smiled at him. "Of course, if our schedules permit it of course. May I inquire as what the lesson would involve?"

"Oh, it would be on various charms that can be used to identify magical creatures, and since you are an Animagus, you would be an invaluable asset to the lesson." Harry noticed Lily blush at his statement, and a slight smirk on James.

At this point, Snape cleared his throat and interrupted, "You know, I do have some notes on your subject. I might be persuaded to share them."

Harry looked at the Potions Master coldly. "And what would you know about Defense Against the Dark Arts?"

"I'll have you know..." Snape began with a sneer.

"I'm well aware of what you consider to be your qualifications, Snivellus... oh, excuse me, Severus, but I hardly think succumbing to the Dark is any sort of qualification to teach the defense against them. Quite the opposite in fact!"

Snape looked about ready to draw when Dumbledore finally entered and took his seat.

"Headmaster," Snape said in his most obsequious and oily voice, "I must object to your bringing an obviously Dark Wizard onto the staff."

Harry snorted at this and interjected, "What's wrong, afraid of the competition?" Harry watched amused as a vein in Snivellus's forehead began to pulse.

"I am not Dark!" he snapped.

Harry pulled up his left sleeve, exposing his forearm for all to see. There was a jagged scar there, from where Wormtail had sliced his arm open although no one but Harry knew that story, but no tattoo. "Prove it," he said calmly. Snape sat back and merely sneered.

"Now, now, let us not squabble amongst ourselves," Dumbledore said to calm the scene. "I have complete trust and confidence in everyone at this table, and we should all trust each other."

James cleared his throat and spoke up, "As much as I hate to agree with Snape on anything..."

"Professor Snape, James," Albus admonished lightly, "or simply Severus." James grimaced at this but Harry grinned, guessing that some things were indeed hereditary.

"Be that as it may," James continued. "We all have heard the rumors regarding our newest colleague and I think it needs to be addressed openly, for no other reason than to simply clear the air." He turned and looked Harry directly in the eye. "Mr. Harris, are you a Dark Wizard or not?"

Harry tried to smile lightly at the question. "I, personally, prefer not to use such arbitrary labels for people. Light. Dark. Hero. Villain. Pureblood. Mudblood. People are more than mere labels, Mr. Potter."

"Are you Dark?" James persisted.

Harry let his eyes grow hard and noticed the effect it had as everyone at the table seemed to push back slightly as if to escape. "What do you mean by Dark?" he asked coldly. "Do you mean have I studied magics that have been classified by the Ministry as Dark? Yes, I have. Do you mean can I do this so-called Dark Magic? Yes, I can. Do you mean have I used this magic against my enemies? Again, yes, I have."

"Then you are a Dark Wizard."

"Many people have called me thus."

"So, you admit it!" James crowed.

Harry skewered the people at the table with his gaze. "As you wish." Harry sat back in his chair and fumed. He didn't know whether he was angry with his father for being so pig-headed and narrow-minded, or hurt that his father so obviously considered him an enemy, or at least a potential one. All he did know was that he had lost all chance of getting to know his dad in this world and didn't see that changing any time soon. Not merely that though; once again he was a Dark Wizard, once again the world considered him evil. Maybe he was fated to be damned by the Magical world while at the same time destined to save it. Maybe he was doomed to be alone for all his life no matter where or when he lived it. So wrapped up was he in his own miseries that the rest of the meeting passed in a blur and looking back, Harry couldn't recall a single word that had been said.


Platform 9 ¾ on the morning of September first was just as crowded and noisy as Harry remembered from his old life. Students dashed pell-mell across the platform greeting friends and hauling luggage aboard the train. Parents struggled to follow their children for one last good-bye and were occasionally successful. And mixed in with all this were a half dozen Ministry Aurors providing added security. Harry stood with his back against the solid stone wall of the station and tried to stay out of the way as he watched the crowds flow before him.

Dumbledore had stated that, although the Ministry was providing Aurors for security, he wanted teachers to be present as well. He felt that their familiar presence would calm the students as much as the Aurors would calm the parents. And in case an attack should occur, every friendly wand would be needed. The Headmaster had asked that Harry ride the train to Hogwarts as well but Harry had countered that the presence of an unfamiliar adult on the train would likely cause more problems than it would solve. Besides, this way he could provide some additional security in London after the Express's departure as well as in Hogsmeade prior to its arrival. Dumbledore reluctantly agreed.

So here Harry stood, leaning against the station wall and wondering how he would react to seeing his old friends, or the people who would have become his friends if he had lived. But then again, in his old world he had lived and they had all stopped being his friends, didn't they? Or had he stopped being their friend? He shook his head to clear away those thoughts. It no longer mattered what happened in that other world. It no longer mattered how anyone felt about him, in that world or this one. Let people fear him, let them hate him even; he didn't care. He had a task to complete. He would free Sirius from Azkaban and he would see Pettigrew punished. After that he didn't care what happened. To any of them.

Harry ran his hands down his robes, more to try to calm himself than smooth away any wrinkles. He had never had decent clothes in his past life, the Dursleys wouldn't have wasted their money on his needs and after he left them he had been too busy fighting Voldemort to care much about what he wore. Now he did. In fact, most people would consider his clothes indecent considering how much he spent on them. Harry smirked to himself; the shabby little ragamuffin had become a clothes horse. Today, he was wearing a black alpaca roll-neck jumper over charcoal grey worsted wool slacks. His feet were clad in shining dragonhide loafers and on top of it all was a short cloak of camelhair. It had broad three-quarter sleeves and fell loosely to just above his knees. Harry thought to himself, with a chuckle, that all he needed was a deerstalker and he would be a wizarding Sherlock Holmes.

His attention was drawn to a familiar head of bushy brown hair. Hermione was pushing her laden trolley towards the train, at her side were a pair of awestruck children, obviously firsties and Muggleborn at that. Hermione must have gathered them from the other side of the portal and shown them through. He could almost hear her lecturing them on the history of the platform, the Express and Hogwarts itself. Harry reflexively took a half-step towards her to help when he caught himself. This was not his friend, he recalled, and even if she were that Hermione she would likely not welcome his help or his presence in her life. He leaned back against the wall as the teenager wrestled her trunk onto the train and disappeared.

Turning away, Harry noticed the large scrum of redheads coming through the barrier from the Muggle station. The Weasleys had arrived. Pressing back harder against the wall, he watched them advance. He immediately recognized the twins in their bright Dragonhide jackets and joking manners. They were followed by a flushed Ron who was likely on the receiving end of some teasing. Harry's heart began to thud in his chest as the next pair appeared through gateway. Molly Weasley, in all her motherly glory, had her arm tightly locked with that of a reluctant girl. The girl's head was hung low and her long red hair hung over her face hiding it from view.

Over the last few weeks, as Harry had devoured the past issues of the Daily Prophet, he had paid particular attention to what would have been his second year, but there was precious little information to be had. He read a single editorial published just after Christmas complaining about Hogwarts not being safe but nothing else. Evidently, the events surrounding the re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets had been withheld from the general public. So Harry was doubly intrigued to find out what had happened with the Diary/Horcrux even if it meant he would have to deal with the youngest Weasley.

As the tide of red hair moved past him, Ron turned and saw the stranger lolling against the wall. Harry met his gaze with his own icy stare until the teen tripped over his own feet and nearly fell. As the twins pulled him up Harry overheard Molly talking to Ginny as she coaxed her along.

"Come along now, Ginny," she said with some asperity, "the train's about to leave."

"But Mum," the girl whinged from behind her hair, "why? Why can't I just stay home? I promise I'll work hard. I'll do all the cooking and cleaning. Please, don't make me go."

Harry was surprised at the pitiful tone she was using. Ginny had always been the strongest of the Weasleys, never backing down from any challenge, yet here she was acting like a two year old being forced to kiss a particularly poorly preserved aunt.

"I swear, Ginny, must we go through with this EVERY year?" Molly continued. "You need your education and your father works hard to make sure we can provide it. The least you can do is put forth a bit of effort!"

"Well then let me stay home. You and Dad can save all that money and I promise I'll study hard at home. I'll do anything you want, please, just don't make me go."

Molly looked about to really lay into Ginny when a head of stringy dirty blonde hair appeared behind them.

"Hello, Ginevra," Luna Lovegood said while looking over the girls left shoulder at absolutely nothing. "How was your summer?" Ginny shrugged her shoulders and Luna continued. "Would you like to sit with me?" Ginny shrugged again and took Luna's hand and the two young girls mounted the steps to the train.

Watching them, Harry noticed that Luna was wearing her necklace of butterbeer caps and felt the heat of anger rising up inside him again. 'One more thing to take care of here,' Harry thought to himself as his eyes resumed their scan of the platform.

The twins stood flanking their mother, while Molly chatted with one the other was busy handing out parchment fliers to the students walking by on the other side. As soon as Molly would begin to turn her head to talk to the second the fliers were passed behind her back to the first twin for distribution. Harry reached out and snatched one of the sheets from a passing boy and examined it. It was an Owl post order form for Weasley Wizard Wheezes. Even without his giving them the Tri-Wizard prize money the twins were well on the way to having their joke shop. They didn't have the physical shop yet but Harry didn't doubt that the 'To Let' sign he had seen in Diagon Alley that day would soon be disappearing.

Harry's eyes glazed over as he was lost in a memory. In the last world, he had received a letter from the twins a few weeks before the final battle. It contained a Gringotts draft for fifteen hundred Galleons and a short note that said that they appreciated the loan but didn't want the shop to be beholden to anyone other than themselves so they were repaying it along with interest. They said if Harry didn't agree with the amount they would meet to negotiate the rate of return. Harry had tossed the draft in the fire.

Harry's attention snapped back to the present as Hermione stepped down from the train back onto the platform, her gleaming Prefect's badge pinned squarely on her Hogwarts robes. He watched, expecting her to join Ron but instead she began to walk through the crowd gathering any confused or frightened looking new students she saw along the way. As she was herding the sprogs onto the train, Harry watched as Ron stuck his tongue out at her behind her back. Next he put one hand on his hip and waved the other about in an atrocious attempt to mimic his fellow Gryffindor. Fred and George laughed uproariously at his antics and slapped him on the back in brotherly good humor. Harry was about to step in when he noticed that what they had really done was paste a flashing sign on Ron's back that read: "I'm lonely. Please hug me."

As the last of the students were boarding the train, Harry noticed a regal head of silver blonde hair in the crowd of parents. Narcissa stood in an emerald cloak watching as Draco mounted the steps to the last car of the train. She waved gently but Draco didn't bother turning back to see as he disappeared into the carriage. With a blast of steam and the spinning of the drive wheels, the train began to pull from the station. Children waved from the windows and parents waved back as they made their way back through the arch. The magical youth of Great Britain were away for another term at Hogwarts.

Harry noticed that somehow Narcissa had maneuvered herself to be standing directly in front of his location without seeming to have even noticed that he was there. She whispered back to him, "Well, the train is off and your duty done."

Harry grinned. "Well, I do have to be in Hogsmeade when the Express arrives."

"But it won't be arriving for hours yet."

Harry's grin became a smirk. "Whatever will I do with myself to pass the time?"

Narcissa turned around and found herself wrapped in two strong arms. "I'm sure we can think of something," she whispered throatily then stood on tip-toes to give him a heated kiss.

Neither one of them noticed, as the last car of the train slipped past the end of the platform, the pinched face of Draco Malfoy staring back at them with hatred in his eyes.
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