Legends of Potter by Roff Chapter Seven Defense Instructor Extraordinaire Another week went by and Harry was starting to feel guilty.
Hermione had been complaining about no Defense Against the Dark Arts class and how far they were falling behind.
This made Harry realize that the first and second years were really getting the worst end of it. It was vital to learn the basics in your first and second year. Then you built off of that knowledge the following years. He was already considering doing something for the third years and up but what about the first and second years?
Something had to be done. Dumbledore was too busy to teach and spent what time he had looking for a new teacher but he evidently was not having much luck. Harry heard from Amelia again when she came to talk to him about the capture of Rookwood. She mentioned that the death eater had a horribly dislocated shoulder and it took a little longer than normal to heal it. She wanted to know how that happened since she was told Harry had only cast the same spells he had cast on Umbridge disarm, stun, tie up.
Harry told her he had accidentally used a lot of power on the disarm spell because the Cruciatus was coming straight at him when he cast it. She accepted his explanation and told him that Dumbledore was still having problems finding a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Even though she was horrible, Harry was the one to get rid of Umbridge so he was feeling a bit responsible for the school not having a defense professor.
He decided he would help the first and second years if he can. First, he had to find out when they had time to meet and if they would. If their defense class time was a good time for Harry then he could just meet them in their class and teach them then. He understood though that there were usually two classes for the first years and two classes for the second years.
The classes were usually broken up with Gryffindors and Slytherins in one; Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws in the other. Four classes. How would he be able to help with four classes when he is in his OWL year? Harry went to the common room and checked with some first years. "Hi, Kevin and Lucy. Can I ask you guys a question?" "Sure Harry. What's up?" asked Kevin. "I want to know if the first years would be interested in learning Defense Against the Dark Arts if I was willing to teach them and there was a time that we could meet to have class.
For instance, when is your regularly scheduled Defense Against the Dark Arts class with the Slytherins?" "It was the first class of the year we attended with that terrible Umbridge woman" said Lucy. "Okay, so you and the Slytherins would normally meet when I am in History of Magic.
I will have to work on that one. Do you know when the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws are supposed to meet for their defense class?" "No, but I can find out. I have a friend in Hufflepuff" said Kevin. "I would appreciate that Kevin. Can you let me know when you find out?" asked Harry. "Sure, Harry. I will see him tomorrow and ask him then" said Kevin.
"Do you guys think that if I can fix my schedule and teach you that others would be interested as well?" asked Harry. "If you teach us, Harry, I think all the students will come" said Lucy. "First and second year Defense Against the Dark Arts is very important because you build off of the basic spells you learn in those years. Not having a Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor is not good so if I can help, I am going to try." "Thanks Harry" said Lucy.
"See you guys later and thanks for your help." "Bye Harry." Harry talked to a second year as well. The next day all the first and second years had provided Harry with their Defense Against the Dark Arts schedules and free periods.
Even the young Slytherins provided their schedules. Harry was able to see that he might be able to work it out if he missed a couple classes. The classes were History of Magic and Divination, two he might be willing to miss for a while then catch them up once a teacher was found. Hermione could help with her history notes and Ron could keep him informed about Divination work. It so happened that the other first year defense class met during his free period which was perfect.
One of the second Year defense classes met during his Divination class time while the other second Year defense class met during his Charms class time. He definitely could not skip Charms. He noticed though that those same kids had a free period during Harry's defense class time.
Things just might work out he thought. Harry had told Hermione that he was willing to lead third year and above in a group she wanted to form.
The group was to meet after classes and work on defense spells. Harry was to lead the class. The first meeting was this Saturday at 2:00pm. Everyone was to meet in the Room of Requirement to see who was interested. On Saturday, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Neville went early to the Room of Requirement to make sure the room was setup for the first meeting. Hermione had a signup sheet ready.
They left the door open so all the students would be able to find it easier. Once all the students, third years through seventh years showed up, Hermione began the meeting. There was quite a large group that came, around 80 people but the room just adjusted as more people came in so it was not crowded. "Welcome to the Room of Requirement everybody" announced Hermione. "This is a room that Harry found with the help of one of the house elves.
It is a magical room that will adjust to what we need. You may have noticed it expanded as more people arrived. I also want to welcome you to the first meeting of a new defense group that is being offered to third years and above so we do not continue to fall behind while we are without a proper Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor. We have decided to call the group the Defense Association or DA for short.
Our very own Harry Potter has agreed to lead the class and help everyone with learning new spells and defending ourselves. I have a signup sheet for those who are interested. I realize some of you may have come out of curiosity and will choose not to participate. I hope you stay and join us but I understand some may not. Please sign the sheet if you are interested and list what year you are next to your name.
This will help us with knowing the material we need to cover. I will place the signup sheet on this table and you can come up and sign your name at any time during this meeting. Right now I would like to turn it over to Harry." Harry moved over to the middle, in front of everyone. "Thanks everyone for coming. It was Hermione's brilliant idea to start this group so we could develop our skills in defense while the school is without a Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor.
I do not claim to be a great teacher or even a good one but I do like sharing my knowledge with others so I am only here to lead the group. I welcome anyone who wishes to help. Please see me after the meeting if you are interested in helping us do this. I am a fifth year so I'm sure there are some sixth and seventh years who would have a lot to offer if they are willing to share." "Another issue that has been on my mind are the first and second years.
It dawned on me the position they are in. You guys all know how important it is to learn the basic spells in your first and second year because all the other spells are built on that foundation.
I am sure everyone remembers how long Professor Flitwick went over the swish and flick for the levitation charm." Everyone laughed and few said "Wingardium Leviosa" which caused a few more chuckles. "Anyway" Harry continued, "I am working on a plan to help them as well. It appears that their defense classes meet when I am in History of Magic, Divination, Charms, and a free period. I have decided to skip History of Magic and Divination." There were several gasps in the crowd.
"I know that sounds horrible but I can't stay awake with Binns droning on and on so if I could copy someone's notes, Hermione, I could get by until a professor is found. The same goes for Divination. Ron can keep me informed of any projects and if I could get someone else's notes," he paused since they all laughed at that, "then I can get caught up after a professor is found." "I am not that concerned about Divination anyway.
I'm not cut out for that discipline so it will not be a big loss for me if my grade suffers. I absolutely cannot and will not skip Charms class but they gave me their free period times as well and it turns out the second Year class that meets during my Charms, pretty much all have a free period during my Defense Against the Dark Arts class time so I could instruct them then.
It would be very helpful in your common rooms if you give them a hand with their spells on occasion. If we all work together we can do this." "Harry, you sure are taking on a lot and it's your fifth year OWLS you know!" said Cho Chang.
"I know, Cho" said Harry "but I was responsible for getting rid of Umbridge as you all saw in the Daily Prophet. The first and second years have to learn their defense spells just like we did. If I can help them at all then I am going to do it. Besides I already know the spells for all the years and even past seventh year so I should be able to teach them what they need to learn." "You know all the spells including seventh year and more?" asked Neville.
"Yes, I do and I am sure Hermione does as well." Hermione nodded. "If you guys haven't noticed I have had a mad man after me ever since I was a baby. He killed my parents and tried to kill me. Last spring he ordered one of his death eaters to kill Cedric and he used my blood in a ritual that gave him a new body.
He then tried to kill me again before I could escape." "I had jumped ahead in spell knowledge during my fourth year due to what I had to learn for the tournament in order to compete. This summer I had a crash course in spells and other things that took me past seventh year level.
I have had a reason to learn all of this if only to protect myself." "Just last week after I attended Umbridge's trial, I was attacked in Diagon Alley by Augustus Rookwood, a death eater.
Without these skills I have developed, he would have either killed me or captured me so he could deliver me to Voldemort." Harry paused waiting for the noise to die down. "He failed in his attempt and was turned over to the aurors." Ron stood up. "What you guys need to know is that Harry is very modest and has always underplayed his role in some fantastic accomplishments. Joining this group to be taught by Harry is a privilege you should not pass up." "Let me explain.
In our first year Harry took down a fully-grown mountain troll at Halloween. He also faced you-know-who alone at the end of the year, not only surviving the ordeal but he actually stopped him from coming back. In his second year he stopped you-know-who again, saved my sister, and killed a 50 foot basilisk with just a sword from Dumbledore's office.
In his third year he drove off about a hundred dementors at once with his Patronus charm. You just heard what he did last year and saw him in the tournament, a 14 year old fourth year competing against 17 year old seventh years, and he won." "Wow, Harry" said Fred Weasley, "where do I sign?" "Well, it was actually Ron who knocked out the troll" said Harry with a smile.
"The troll was after Hermione. Ron levitated the troll's club and then dropped it right on his head, knocking the troll out cold. See, even a first year spell can be used in self-defense! Everyone together. What goes with swish and flick?" "Wingardium Leviosa" they all said together and laughed. Ron's face turned red. "That's all I have to say" said Harry. "Those who wish to join please sign up and we will help each other with defense." "Thank you, Harry" said Luna. "You are very kind to offer your limited time to help us.
I know I am looking forward to your teaching. I am positive you will do wonderfully." "Thank you, Luna" replied Harry. "Once we have a list and the years of everyone we will let everyone know when the first meeting will be" added Hermione.
"It will be soon, I promise. Tentatively we will meet every Tuesday and Thursday here from 7 to 8 pm." Everyone got up and stood in line to sign the sheet. Harry did not see anyone leave without signing. With this many people he knew already that he would need help. They would have to be split up according to skill and knowledge so that the individual groups could learn on their own level.
He was wondering what he had just got himself into. After everyone left Hermione, Ron, Neville, Ginny and Luna stayed behind and asked him about his decision to skip History of Magic and Divination to help the first and second years. He told them he had made up his mind about it and was not going to change it back. He needed Hermione's notes for History of Magic anyway because he always fell asleep when Binns started talking.
He did not need Divination and hated the class with Trelawney always predicting his death. This would be temporary anyway he told them. He could go back to class when a teacher was found. Hermione agreed that she would take extra good notes during History of Magic and give Harry a copy. She said he would have to give a copy to Ron because she wasn't going to. "He should take his own notes" she said. Parvati and Lavender had come up to Harry after they signed and assured him they would take good notes in Divination for him and even offered to tutor him in it if he needed them too.
"So, I have it covered with everyone's generosity helping me. I have to let the first and second years know so we can start meeting. I will be meeting with the one second year group during our defense class time so if you guys care to join me you can help me teach them. We can also work on ideas for this new group we just started. Surely you guys realize that you are going to have to help me a lot? This is a big group and they will have to be split out into smaller groups so they can work on their own level.
We will have to see what levels we are dealing with first." "But Harry, I'm a fourth year. How will I be able to help teach?" asked Ginny.
"Ginny, I have seen you use a wand. You are better than any fourth year I know of." She smiled at Harry. "Besides, you can teach the third years which will allow us to teach the others. Some of the third and fourth years are likely to be behind as well and will need instruction to get caught up so they will be in the lowest class. You can help them with that and I bet Luna would be happy to help you as well. I will be available to all groups and can come over if you need assistance.
I am sure there will be a seventh year and sixth year or two that will be willing to help us as well." "This sounds good, Harry" said Hermione. "I will go through the list and categorize the members in possible levels based on year. During the next meeting we can see where they truly are and make adjustments from there." oo0O0oo Harry had spread the word about teaching the first and second years.
He told them to let everyone know to start attending their regular defense class except the one that would attend during his defense class time. He also told them that the professors knew nothing about this so strongly suggested they all keep quiet about it.
Harry was waiting in the defense classroom for the first years to arrive instead of going to his History of Magic class. He was a little nervous but confident as well. He was standing in front of the teacher's desk and was leaning back against it when the students started arriving.
He had a chalk board behind the desk. He was surprised that the classroom was full when the bell rung. It looked like all the Slytherins had come too. When the students arrived they saw Harry standing in front of the teacher's desk. They saw no desks for themselves so just came in and stood around waiting for class to start. After the bell rang they all turned to Harry expectantly.
Harry looked at the young faces then started. "Welcome, first years to Defense Against the Dark Arts class. As you see I have removed all the desks except one." Harry turned around and waved his wand. The teacher's desk disappeared as well. "There, no more desks because we will not need them in my classroom. This class will be practical only. I am sure you heard Professor Snape in your Potions class say there would be no silly wand waving in his class room?
Well, in my classroom we are going to get plumb silly with our wand waving." They all smiled at Harry. "The biggest reason why we are going to concentrate on practical and not theory is because you are behind on your spell knowledge and defense techniques.
These are more important to learn in a defense class. So, we will need to get you caught up. What is the point of knowing all that theory if you cannot protect yourselves?
Plus, I really like the practical and it's a lot more fun." "Right now, before we go any further, I would like you all to get out your defense book Umbridge had you buy." Harry waited until they had retrieved their books. Some looked a little worried. "Now I would like you all to stack your books right here next to me on the floor." All the kids came up and stacked their books at Harry's feet.
When they were done Harry pointed his wand at the books and used Evanesco on them like they were rubbish, making them disappear. "There, that is one of the most awful defense books ever written. We will not be using those. Here is what I am going to do. I know good money was spent on those stupid books so I am going to buy you guys a copy of the defense book I had to buy when I was in my first year.
It is a good book and covers all the theory you need to learn. Once I get the books and hand them out, I recommend you get caught up with the chapters and stay caught up so you learn the theory. I have asked older students in your houses to lend a hand and help you guys if you need it. You can also ask a theory question in class and I will address it for you.
Other than that class will be filled with you learning spells and how to defend yourself. Clear?" "Yes, Professor Potter" they all chorused together. Harry hung his head and shook it. "There will be none of that Umbridge rubbish, answering all together. Nodding your head will work just fine." They all nodded at Harry.
"Also, even though it's a good habit, remember that I am a student as well and not a real professor." Lucy raised her hand. Harry recognized her and said "Go ahead, Lucy." "Professor Potter, I think it would be fine to call you Harry like we normally do outside of class but in class I think we need to stick with Professor Potter so we are showing the proper respect for our class and the instructor." All the other kids nodded in agreement. "Okay, class. That will be fine.
If it works for you, it works for me" Harry replied. "Now who knows how to light up the tip of their wand so it provides light?" asked Harry. "Anyone know the spell?" A Slytherin boy raised his hand. "And your name is?" asked Harry.
"Stephen Smith, Professor." "Alright Stephen, you know the answer?" "Lumos?" asked Stephen. "Correct!
10 points to Slytherin" said Harry. He pointed his wand at the chalkboard and it wrote Lumos. Then he leaned in toward the students and pretended to whisper. "I am not actually a professor so I cannot award or take away points but I will do this anyway to recognize you and so you will know that you deserved the points." They all nodded excitedly.
"Okay, next question. Who knows how to cancel the Lumos spell?" asked Harry. A Slytherin girl raised her hand. "And your name is?" asked Harry. "Jennifer Braxton, Professor." "Alright Jennifer what do you think is the spell to cancel Lumos?" "Finite?" asked Jennifer.
"Good guess, Jennifer, but not the correct spell. 5 points to Slytherin though for knowing Finite which cancels a whole bunch of spells." He wrote Finite and Finite Incantatem on the board. "I will explain those in more detail later. Lumos, has a special incantation for it. Anyone else want to give it a try?" Harry looked around but no one indicated they knew. "The cancelling spell for Lumos" said Harry as he lit his wand "is Nox" he said as he put out the light.
He then pointed his wand at the chalkboard again and Nox appeared under Lumos. "There is no special wand movement so just concentrate on the incantation. I want everyone to pair up and practice Lumos" his wand lit again "and Nox" his wand went back out.
You do not need a partner to practice this spell but I want you to pair up so you can help each other. I will come around and see if you can demonstrate it for me." The first years all paired up and began working on Lumos and Nox. Harry gave them a couple minutes and watched to see if anyone had success. They took a minute but he finally started seeing wands light up so he walked around stopping at each pair and verifying they could perform the spells.
Lumos and Nox were easy spells so he was not surprised they could all do it with just a little effort. "What else besides the incantation is required for your wand to light up?" asked Harry. Several students spoke saying, "Nothing, just Lumos." "Actually there is, you just did it naturally. When you say Lumos you have to want a light. When you say Nox you have to want it to go out. These spells are easy because we naturally want to create a light when we say Lumos and put it out when we say Nox.
Understand?" They all nodded. "Wonderful! Excellent work! We have enough time for one more. The next spell I am going to teach you is a little harder but you guys are smart so I am sure you will master it.
This spell is the unlocking spell. Anyone know the incantation?" Kevin raised his hand. "Yes, Kevin?" asked Harry "Alohomora" said Kevin. "Excellent!" said Harry. "10 points to Gryffindor!" Harry pointed his wand at the board and the spell was written out for the class to see. "It is pronounced AL-o-ho-MOR-ah" said Harry.
"Everyone say it together." "AL-o-ho-MOR-a" they all chorused together. "Good, everyone line up behind this door" which he conjured right then for them. The door had a simple lock and Harry made sure it was locked then demonstrated to the students that it was indeed locked.
"I want each of you to step forward and perform the spell to unlock the door. Remember this is an unlocking spell mostly for simple locks. Really complex locks will need a stronger spell. Step up and give it your best shot." Kevin stepped up first and opened the lock on his first try. "Me thinks Kevin here has had some practice with this spell" said Harry to the class.
"Kevin, congratulations on your success. You may wait over there for the others to finish. Next!" They all tried one after the other.
Harry allowed three tries if you did not get it the first two times. After three you were sent to the end of the line to try again if there was enough time. In the end he had four students who were not able to unlock the door. He recommended they practice before next time and that the successful ones help their friends learn the spell. He then dismissed the class reminding them that their professors should not be told he was doing this. They thanked their new defense professor and left the classroom excited that they had learned new spells already.
Harry thought the class went well and the students seemed to enjoy it. What Harry did not realize was that Hogwarts was considering Harry a legitimate professor and recorded each time he awarded points to his students. oo0O0oo "Hi girl. How have you been doing?" asked Harry as he stroked Hedwig's feathers. "You know you are the prettiest owl in the owlery, don't you?" Hedwig gave Harry an affectionate nibble on his finger.
"Here is a note that I need you to deliver to Flourish & Blotts. Wait for a reply then come back and find me at meal time in the Great Hall. Okay?" Hedwig gave Harry a "hoot" and took off. Before lunch Harry had hurried off to the owlery to send Hedwig on a mission to Flourish & Blotts. His note told the store he needed to order 40 first year books and 40 second year books. He asked how long it would take to get them and how much it would cost. Harry would then send Hedwig back with the money.
The books were to be delivered to Harry Potter at Hogwarts. oo0O0oo Later in Harry's karate class, he watched as his students entered the dojo bowing before they came in. Harry was already stretching and they began stretching as well. Harry dropped into a full Chinese split, also called a middle or straddle split to finish up and wait for his students to finish their stretches.
"Sensei, I still cannot believe you are that limber" said Hermione. "Hermione, look at Ginny. She is already able to do full side splits right and left. You guys have only been at it for a couple weeks.
Ginny obviously was already somewhat limber, probably due to her athletic nature. It took me almost a month of more training than you guys are getting before I could go all the way down.
It just takes time and consistent practice so keep at it. You will get there." "Everyone nice and limber now?" asked Harry. "Yes, Sensei" they all replied and bowed to Harry. Harry bowed to them in return. "Good, because today we are going to work on your first kata. All the punches, blocks, and kicks you have learned thus far will be used in this kata. Let me teach you the moves and explain it." Harry worked them hard making sure their form was perfect on every move, punch, kick, and block.
They were ready when it was time for dinner, especially Ron. He was extra hungry as always. They all grabbed a shower and headed to the Great Hall for food. While eating dinner Hedwig arrived and brought Harry a note. "Hey Hedwig. Thank you! Do you want some food?" Hedwig took some food Harry offered her. "Meet me in my room in a few minutes. I will be there after I finish dinner, okay?" Hedwig hooted and took off.
"What's in the note?" asked Ron. Hermione elbowed him in the ribs. "Ouch! Hermione. That hurt." "Eat your food, nosey. That's Harry's note, not yours. It could be private. If he wants to share I am sure he will." "It's okay Hermione. I sent Hedwig off to Flourish & Blotts to order books for the first and second years. I had her wait for the reply so I would know the cost.
I am going to send Hedwig back with the money. Hopefully the books will get here quickly. I want the students to get caught up on their reading and stay caught up so they can get the theory from the book while I go over the practical in class and get them caught up to where they should be. Also, if they have any questions about what they read then I can answer them in class when they ask." "Which books are you buying?" asked Hermione. "The same ones we used. They worked well for us so I stuck with those." "That's a lot of money Harry for four classes full of students" said Ron.
"Well, I had them bring to the front all the books Umbridge had them buy, then I used Evanesco on all of them. I'm just replacing them with decent books they can actually use and learn from. Besides, they have to know both theory and practical. They need those books, Ron, and I can afford it." "That's very nice of you Harry to buy all their books" said Ginny. "It certainly is Harry" added Neville. "I wish I had you as my instructor for Defense Against the Dark Arts. I saw how excited our first years were after your class today.
You must have done a good job." "Yeah, Harry" said Ron. "They were bouncing off the walls in the common room and casting Lumos and Nox over and over. Quite annoying actually now that I think about it." "I thought they were cute" said Hermione. "They learned a new spell and wanted to practice.
I was proud of them." "Me too, Hermione" said Harry. "They did great in class. I'm glad they were excited. Look, I have to meet Hedwig in my room so she can take the money back before it gets too late. I'm heading there now." "I'll walk with you Harry" said Ginny. "I've finished eating anyway." "I'm going to have one more helping" said Ron. "See you in a bit." Hermione and Neville rolled their eyes and shook her heads while they waited for their friend.
oo0O0oo A few days later Harry had figured out why some students could not successfully cast the unlocking charm. They did not understand how a lock works. Once he showed them how it works they could cast the spell without a problem, visualizing seeing it unlock. He also taught them the locking spell, Colloportus, the body bind spell, Petrificus Totalus, and Aguamenti to produce water out of their wands.
He handed out the books after they arrived from Flourish and Blotts and instructed them to get caught up and stay current with their reading so they could learn the theory. He encouraged them to ask for help in their common rooms if they needed it but they could always ask him in class if there was something they did not understand. His second years were coming along as well and Hermione liked to help with the one class that met during the fifth year's defense class time.
That gave him a chance to think about the DA he was leading on Tuesday and Thursday nights and discuss it with his friends. After a week, he put his students through a scenario where he encouraged them to remember and use the spells they had been taught thus far in his class. Harry conjured the locked door again and got ready for the students. After they arrived he got started right away. "Alright, everyone.
We are going to have a test today to see how well you are doing with your spell work. I have setup our favorite locked door and we are going to use it in the following scenario.
You are going to pretend that you have been kidnapped or captured and the bad guy put you in this locked room but that person did not know you still had your wand. The room has no windows and it is pitch black in there. You cannot see your hand in front of your face. You will need to escape through the locked door, and pretending the classroom is the rest of the house, make your way over to the classroom door and escape through it to safety.
When done just come back into class. Understood?" They all nodded with excitement. "Who wants to go first? Whoever goes first will not get the benefit of seeing what everyone else does so I expect some of the last ones to go should be really good." No one stepped up. "How about you Theresa?
You're good with all your spells. Would you go first for me?" "Sure, Professor Potter. I'll go first. I don't mind." "Thanks, Theresa. Step over there behind the locked door. I am going to make it dark behind there. When I say go I want you to start and run through the scenario I described.
Any questions?" he looked at Theresa who shook her head no. Harry looked at the rest of the class and they did the same. "Okay, Theresa get in position." Theresa walked over to behind the door. Harry cast Colloportus at it and the classroom door to make sure they were locked. He then made the area behind the door where Theresa was pitch black.
"Okay Theresa, go!" Everyone heard "Lumos" and saw Theresa's wand light up. She moved toward the door and cast "Alohomora." She opened the door and made her way slowly across to the classroom door, looking around carefully.
She had to unlock that door as well and go through. Theresa came back through the door after a second. "Ten points to Ravenclaw" said Harry. "Everyone give Theresa a hand for a spectacular job of going first and completing the scenario." They all clapped hard for Theresa who looked a little embarrassed. "Okay, line up everyone. I want all of you to get a turn before class is over. Before the next one goes however, let me ask you guys a question. What would you do if you were locked in the room all day or two days before you could escape?" No one answered.
"Would you get thirsty? Maybe need some water? What's the spell?" "Aguamenti" they all replied. "What spell could you cast if your bad guy came after you when you are trying to escape?" A few kids said "Petrificus Totalus." "Very good class. One other suggestion. I would lock both doors after going through them so they slow down any possible pursuers a bit more and it gives you a little more time to escape.
You might even spray water on the floor behind you to possibly make your bad guy slip and fall." They all smiled at that tip. "Alright, next up and we will keep it moving" said Harry.
The rest of the students completed the scenario just fine. Harry made a few suggestions to some that struggled a bit but he was proud of how they performed. All the students left the class in high spirits. He ended up having to clean up water off the floor several times due to his suggestion but he didn't mind. He wanted them to learn to use the spells. "Next class we will work on aiming so you can always hit what you aim at. Be ready to have some fun" announced Harry.
oo0O0oo On the next weekend, Harry asked his friends to cover for him so he could go back to Potter Place to chat with Mattie about some things and ride Rolly. He missed his beautiful Appaloosa horse. He took his portkey over on Saturday morning. He had saved his bed in his dorm room as another portkey location.
Mattie appeared right after Harry had arrived in the Receiving Room and was greeted by Andrew. "Hello, Mattie, I've missed you" Harry said as he gave her a hug.
Mattie was pleased to see her young master as well. "Hello Harry! It is so nice to see you. We were not expecting you so soon since Hogwarts does not normally let you leave for visits until the holidays" said Mattie.
"That is the very reason I am here, Mattie. I want to give you plenty of time to think about and plan for this Christmas. I would like to invite my friends over for a stay at Christmas so they all can enjoy Potter Place and have a good time. Do you think that would be possible?" "That would not be a problem at all, Harry. As a matter of fact, the elves around here will be so excited to hear we are having guests they can take care of that they will not be able to sit still.
How many guests are you wanting to invite?" "Let me see, I will want to invite Sirius, Remus, Tonks, the Weasley family which should include Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill and Charlie if they can come, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny. I also want to invite Hermione Granger and her parents, Neville Longbottom and his grandmother, Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and finally, last but not least, Luna Lovegood." "Okay, Harry. I will take care of the invitations. What shall we plan for them?" "I would definitely like a big Christmas tree so we can all open presents together on Christmas morning.
I also want to plan for a fancy ball we can attend in the evening on Christmas day. We can hold it in the Ballroom next to the Banquet Hall. I am not ready to invite strangers in yet so no live band. We will just have to magic our own music. I want it really fancy with food available in the Banquet Hall in case someone gets hungry while dancing. We will need plenty of drinks for everyone, wine and other adult beverages for the adults, Butter Beer, Pumpkin juice, etc.
for everyone else. I realize there may be some who cannot stay overnight but will come for the Ball. We will have to plan accordingly. The Ball should be formal attire to give the ladies an excuse to dress up." "This sounds so wonderful Harry, even an old house elf like me is getting excited thinking about it." "I want you and the house elves to enjoy this as well.
Do they all have proper attire for the Ball?" Mattie nodded. "I want this to be fun for everyone. Jojo and I can give riding lessons to anyone that needs it so we all can enjoy the horses. I can probably get several to play Quidditch a time or two if it's not too cold. We can also cover the pool and heat it up for swimming. Anything else you can think of, please let me know Mattie.
I'm sure my friend Hermione will want to spend most of her time in the Library but I will talk her into other things as well." "Okay, Harry. Leave it to me. I will make sure everything is ready. I will create the invitation and let you approve the design before I make enough for everyone. Then I will send them out at the appropriate time so they can respond and plan for it." "Thanks, Mattie. You're the best! I will leave it in your capable hands.
Right now I wish to go see Grandma, Grandpa, and Simon. Then I will go ride Rolly. See you later!" It was good seeing Harry so happy, Mattie thought to herself. She was determined to make this Christmas the best ever for him. She knew the other elves would be beside themselves and anxious to get started decorating the manor.
She would have to make them wait until at least December 1st she chuckled to herself. Harry had a good talk with his grandparents and Simon then rushed out the door to ride Rolly.
His horse was very excited to see him. Rolly was hurrying Harry to get his blanket, saddle, and bridle on him so they could go for a ride. He even went and grabbed his blanket and brought it to Harry. Jojo joined them on one of the other horses he was giving a turn. He and Harry had a great time riding all over Potter Place. The horses enjoyed the exercise and never seemed to tire. Harry told his Grandpa and Simon that he would be back after riding Rolly because he wanted them to teach him more spells and tell them about the classes he was teaching and the DA.
He was hoping they would have some ideas for him. Simon and Henry were impressed with Harry and what he was doing at Hogwarts. To teach all the years from first to seventh defense was quite a feat for a 15 year old they told him. They were also impressed with his karate class and how much his students had learned.
They told Harry how proud they were of him and what he had been able to accomplish. They offered their services for anything he needs and made sure he knew to call on them at any time. Harry spent the rest of Saturday working with Simon and his grandpa on new spells and ideas for both the DA and his first and second year classes.
He did more of the same on Sunday but spent some time with is grandma working on healing spells before he had to go back to Hogwarts. He told everyone goodbye and thank you before he took his portkey back to his bed in his dorm room. oo0O0oo As planned Harry worked with his students on their aim. He worked with both first and second years on it. He even had the DA working on their aim.
He discovered that many students did not have good aim when casting a spell. They groaned about it at first but found shooting bubbles fun and challenging, plus they actually improved their skill. He taught them all how to cast with just sparks from their wands if they did not already know and then he conjured thick bubbles for them to hit with the sparks.
At first he used large stationary bubbles and they had to stand 5 feet away and hit them, then 10 feet away and so one. As they progressed he had decreased the size of the bubbles and the distance of up to 30 feet. Harry was happy with everyone's progress. "Today class we are going to shoot at the bubbles again but this time they are going to be moving." They all looked at each other wondering how they would do.
Harry conjured a whole bunch of medium size bubbles and placed them in the air. Next he conjured a slight wind that caused the bubbles to move around slowly.
"Alright class, have at it. Hit as many bubbles as you can. Just make sure you only hit the bubbles and not each other." They all started attacking the bubbles and having a good time. Harry would occasionally create more bubbles and changed the speed of the movement for them. After he called a quit to the activity they talked about the challenge of hitting a moving target and what that taught them.
"So, is it difficult to hit a moving target?" asked Harry. They all nodded yes. "What would happen if you were the target and you were moving?" asked Harry. "It would be harder to hit me if I am moving" said Jonathon "Right Jonathon. 5 points to Hufflepuff. While the moving bubbles helps you to better your aim, you should keep in mind the other lesson that a moving target is much harder to hit. We are going to start working on movement next time to avoid being hit with a spell.
Be ready for some exercise. How many of you know that I run and do other exercises every morning?" Nearly all their hands went up.
"Do you know why I exercise like that every day?" No one spoke up. "Because, it keeps me fit and gives me lots of energy. If I get in a duel with a Death Eater then I can move a lot and not get tired. Plus, I will be able to fight longer if it becomes necessary. If the Death Eater is not in shape then he or she will tire out before I do. Also, with my speed from being in good shape I can dodge curses better.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I strongly suggest that you all do the same and exercise regularly. If you are going to have to run away from a Death Eater then you better be able to run fast and far without getting tired. I mean that. It is the best thing for you so give it some thought and try it out. I would be happy to help any of you start a good exercise routine. All you have to do is ask." "Any questions?" asked Harry "Thanks Professor Potter.
We really enjoy your class and we are learning a lot" said Belinda while the other kids nodded their heads. "You're welcome Belinda, and everyone else. Thank you for allowing me to teach you.
You are all dismissed. Have a great rest of the day!" oo0O0oo Harry was having a good time watching the Gryffindor Quidditch practice with Hermione.
Ron had made keeper easily with his new confidence level. Even Neville was an extra player playing on occasion if someone got hurt and he had to stand in for them. He proved himself pretty capable of helping as a chaser or a beater whenever they needed him. During practice he got to play a good bit with the team. He was getting better so likely would replace a seventh year when they left. The seeker for the team was a third year, Jerry Reynolds, who had real potential and was getting better all the time thanks to Harry.
Whenever he had time Harry would come to practice to work with Jerry on his seeking abilities. Harry was the stand in for Jerry in case he was hurt or could not make the game for whatever reason. The only difference was Harry did not practice unless he was there to help Jerry. Harry's schedule was far too busy for him to make all the practices. Keeping up with his homework and studies for the classes he was missing, plus preparing for the classes and the DA that he was teaching, was very difficult on his time schedule.
He also continued with his exercises every morning and karate in the afternoon. He was a very busy guy. "Harry, can you work with Jerry some since you are here?" asked Angelina after she flew over to in front of Harry and Hermione.
"I'm sorry, Angelina, but I can't. In fact, I have to go inside now. I was trying to read all the notes I have to get through while out here but your practice is too distracting for me. Hermione can do it but if I'm around Quidditch then I either have to watch or play.
I will try and squeeze in some more time with Jerry next week. If I have to I will see if he can work with me when I have available time rather than just at practice times." "Okay, Harry, see you! Get that homework done" Angelina said as she flew off. "I'll go with you Harry. We can work on our homework together in the common room." "Thanks Hermione. I could use the company." oo0O0oo 2 weeks later… Harry had taught several more spells to his students to get them caught up and past where they needed to be.
He realized that with the younger kids that the more important thing would be for them to escape instead of fighting with grown death eaters. Keeping that in mind, while he did teach them the important offensive spells and defensive spells he concentrated on making sure they had a good chance to escape their attacker. Following that line of thought he drilled the kids so they could cast their spell then run and hide to escape. Drawing on his inner Moody, he also emphasized to them the need for constant vigilance or as Moody says "CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" For those reasons, Harry conjured a wall in the classroom which they used when they ran their drills and it represented a safe haven to escape to.
Harry was having another test with his first year Gryffindor/Slytherin class. He had conjured five bubbles that were of small to medium size. He set them in the air at about 5 feet high and in a row about a meter apart.
The bubbles did not move this time. He had the bubbles about 10 feet from the back wall opposite the classroom door. Harry had cast a protection spell on the back wall to protect it. When his students arrived he explained what he wanted. "Alright class, settle in. We are going to have another test and a bit of a contest with it as well.
As you can see I have prepared these five bubbles as our targets today. We are going to take turns shooting these bubbles from 10 feet away. What I want you to do is draw your wand and pop each of the bubbles as fast as you can and I will time you.
Be careful though, a miss will cost you 5 seconds. Your time ends when you have popped all the bubbles. Any questions?" They all shook their heads no. "Good" said Harry. He conjured several bubbles in another part of the room. "Go over there and warm up. You have 5 minutes then we will start the contest." They all hurried over and practiced their aim on the bubbles Harry had conjured.
When 5 minutes was up Harry had them come back and line up. Harry noticed that Kevin was doing really well with his spell work and had pretty good aim as well. He was not surprised to see him go first. "Well, it looks like Kevin wants to go first. Let's see what his time will be and then everyone will try to beat it." They all looked a little anxious. "Wands away. You will have to pull out your wand quickly and start firing when I say go which is also when I will start the clock.
Are you ready?" Kevin nodded, his face full of concentration. "Go!" said Harry starting the clock. Kevin whipped out his wand and started firing left to right. He took out all five without a miss and it took him 5 seconds. "Way to go Kevin!" said Harry. "5 seconds flat! Only a second a bubble. Very well done." Harry conjured the bubbles up with a wave of his wand.
"Okay, next" said Harry. They continued on with the contest. Kevin's record holding until about halfway through the class, Lucy managed to surprise everyone and shave off a couple milliseconds from Kevin's time. They were all celebrating with her when Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall suddenly became visible just inside the classroom door. Harry noticed them first because he was facing that way. "Oops! Looks like we have been found out" said Harry.
Chapter Eight Hogsmeade "Oops! Looks like we have been found out" said Harry. All the students whipped around to face the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall.
They suddenly started shouting the spell Fumos which created a dark gray smoke. Harry laughed and quickly conjured the wall. The students stayed behind the smoke they created and escaped to their safe haven leaving their poor professor all alone to face the music.
"Very good students" announced Dumbledore. "20 points each to Gryffindor and Slytherin for their defense work." "Excellent kids" said McGonagall. "I see that our Mr. Potter has been helping you with your defense." All the students came out from behind the wall and walked to in front of Harry so they were between him and the professors. Kevin spoke up. "Professor Potter is the best. We have learned so much from him. We are even ahead in our defense class in both spells and theory.
It is all due to Professor Potter helping us." The rest of the kids were nodding in agreement. "Professor Potter is so busy" said Lucy "but he offered to help us with defense so we would not fall behind.
I have seen how busy he is but he has always been here for us, every class time he is here to teach us. Please don't make him stop" she cried. "Lucy, just so you know I have been sneaking into this class since Professor Potter tested you guys in that scenario where you had to light your wand, unlock doors, and escape. I was most impressed with Professor Potter and each of you and how well you performed.
I have since then dropped in unannounced several times into all of the classes that he teaches. He helps the other students just as much as you." The students all nodded and smiled at the Headmaster. "And I was most impressed," said McGonagall "with your performances today in the contest Professor Potter setup.
Most ingenious to use strong bubbles to work on your aim. I was extremely impressed with you Kevin and you Lucy for having the fastest times. Congratulations" she said smiling at them. "And that is where we leave you" said Dumbledore. "I believe you need to finish your contest and see if anyone else here is quicker. Professor Potter, I would ask that you come visit me in my office after dinner.
I believe we have a few things to discuss" he said with a smile. "Yes, Professor. I will see you then" replied Harry. Dumbledore and McGonagall had headed toward the door. Dumbledore turned back around.
"I apologize kids for not being able to find a suitable defense teacher yet but it appears you have found one on your own. Excellent work!" He and McGonagall walked out the door. "You heard the Headmaster. Let's finish this.
Next!" Every student got their turn and did pretty well. Some were not as good but Harry encouraged them to keep practicing. Lucy's time still held as the fastest when they were done. "Well done, Lucy, well done" said Harry "and you weren't so bad yourself Kevin. She only beat you by a couple milliseconds. Most of the rest of you came close so everyone give yourselves a hand for a job well done." They all clapped. "Professor" said Lucy "there is still one person here that has not had a go at it.
I find it hard to believe that I am fastest in this class. Perhaps he is faster?" "Who are you talking about Lucy? I am sure everyone got a turn" said Harry. "You haven't gone Professor" said Lucy. "Oh, you want me to go?" All of them said "Yes!" "Alright, Kevin, here is the stop watch. When you say go. I will go. Let me setup the bubbles again." Harry conjured the bubbles again.
"So I have to beat Lucy who was just shy of 5 seconds?" They all nodded. Harry got into position facing the bubbles from 10 feet away. "Wait, since I am the teacher it is only fair that I make it harder. I will move back to 20 feet.
That good for everyone?" They all nodded again. They were anxious to see how fast Harry was. "I am ready Kevin. You call it." Kevin said "Go" while pushing the button on the watch and Harry started. His wand came out of his wand holder in a blur.
He popped all 5 of the bubbles without missing a one and it sounded like they all went about the same time. All the students were amazed and could not form words for a second. "Professor, you did that so fast that I was slower than you stopping the time. The stopwatch shows the time at less than two seconds. I am pretty sure your real time would be just over a second." "Really? Hmm, that wasn't too bad I suppose" said Harry "Duh! That was fantastic" said Stephen, a Slytherin.
"I don't know" said Harry. "I think I can do better." They all just picked up their things and left, mumbling as they went. Harry laughed. oo0O0oo After dinner Harry went to see Dumbledore in his office.
When Dumbledore told him to come in he was surprised to see all the teachers there, except Binns. Harry suddenly felt more nervous than he already was. "H-hello professors, I was not expecting to see everyone h-here" said Harry.
"Have a seat Harry. We have much to discuss" said Dumbledore. Harry sat down in the seat provided and looked up at Dumbledore expectantly. "Harry, I want you to know that I discovered what you were doing when I noticed the school was tallying points from the defense class. Since I knew we had no teacher for defense I had to see who the school was recognizing as a professor. I observed your classes for a while before I decided to invite Minerva along today so she could witness it for herself" said Dumbledore.
"I had to apologize to the others here before you arrived because they did not get to see you in action. However, I provided a small snippet of my memories for them to watch before you arrived. I must say that all of us have been very impressed not only with your self-sacrifice to teach these children but the skill at which you have taught them. We are also aware of the DA and commend you on your job teaching the third through the seventh years.
We realize that not all the students are getting the benefit of your teaching but it appears that is their fault for not joining the DA." "Uh…thank you, sir" said Harry. "I was not expecting to see all of you here tonight.
I only wanted to help until you were able to find a teacher for the defense class. I asked the students not to say anything because I was not sure of your reaction since I am not really qualified. I've had to skip History of Magic and Divination in order to do this for the first and second years but I have Hermione to help me with History of Magic and both Lavender and Parvati are tutoring me in Divination. It's difficult to squeeze everything in but I found that I enjoy sharing my knowledge with the other students.
I get excited when they do." All the professors smiled at him knowingly. "When Hermione complained about falling behind in defense and asked me to lead the third through seventh years in a defense club I was happy to oblige but that made me think of the first and second years and how important it is for them to learn the basics. That is when I started talking to them and we worked out a schedule. It was easier to meet with them at their regularly scheduled time." "One second year class has defense the same time I have Charms but it worked out that they had a free period during my scheduled defense class time.
Hermione likes to help with teaching that class while the rest of us are helping the DA plan ahead for the next meetings." Harry quickly added a second later "Oh, and I was not aware the school honored the points I handed out.
I told the students that I could not actually award points but wanted them to know when they deserved it." "Well, Harry" said Dumbledore "from what I have seen you handed out points in a very even and well deserved manner. I believe the school honored those points because it saw what a great job you were doing as a teacher." "Mr. Potter" said McGonagall "You have outdone yourself with your teaching. I dare say if we took a vote of the first and second years to see who their favorite teacher is I believe it would be you.
With your DA group it might be you again for the third through seventh years. I am very proud of you…Professor Potter." "Indeed" said Dumbledore. "I am proud of you too." All the professors, except Snape, were nodding their heads in agreement.
"But we best get on to the main reason I asked you here. Harry, I am sorry but it looks like there is just no one available this year to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. I have looked for many weeks and I have not found anyone.
What I propose is that we make a few changes. Am I correct in saying that you really do not desire to continue in Divination?" "Yes, Professor" answered Harry. "Divination is just not for me but it is one of my electives." "Very well then what I propose we do is allow you to drop Divination and we will substitute your teaching the DA for that elective. However, for the teaching of the first and second years we will have to devise another plan. Keep in mind that History of Magic is required so you will need Miss Granger's help keeping up with that class.
I realize that this is difficult to do during your OWL year but all the professors have noticed how well you are doing in your classes. You appear way ahead in spell knowledge and theory so I take it you are keeping up fairly well? "Yes, Professor. I had to learn a lot of spells last year in order to compete on a seventh year level in the tournament.
Then this summer I had a crash course in magic and learned spells even past seventh year. So, basically the spells and theory we are going over in class are subjects I have already covered in my studies." "That was what I thought" said Dumbledore. "So, we would like you to continue to teach the first and second years and we will set you up as Assistant Professor. This will give you rights to what you need to do as a professor but you still maintain your status as a student.
We will also allow you to use the office in the back of the defense classroom for preparation and study as you see fit." "Thank you Professor, I appreciate that. I feel much better with Divination removed and getting to teach more is fine with me.
I really like helping them." All the professors, save Snape, congratulated Harry on making Assistant Professor and acknowledged his excellent teaching skills before he left.
Once Harry was gone, Professor Dumbledore looked at all of them and said "I have a strong feeling that our Professor Potter is going to be due another special award for services to the school before his fifth year is done." oo0O0oo A few days later on Saturday, it was time for their first Hogsmeade visit of the year. As usual only the third years and above were allowed to go. Harry had asked his DA group to go with someone and to not go alone. There was safety in numbers and they could watch each other's back he told them.
It would be just like Voldemort to send his death eaters to spoil their visit, he warned. He asked them to be alert for any sign of trouble. If they did run into trouble they were to sound the alarm he had taught them. The DA was to come running ready for anything. The third years were instructed to alert the non-DA members and help get everyone else moving back toward the castle where they were to alert the teachers. On Saturday morning Harry met Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Ginny in the common room before they all set off together for Hogsmeade.
They picked up Luna on the way who was waiting just outside the main doors to the castle. They had decided to take Harry's advice and go as a group together. Luna had been joining them more and more since she joined the DA. She had even started attending Harry's karate class and was working on getting caught up with the others. Harry found that he really liked the strange girl.
She was fast becoming a good friend. "Where do you guys want to go first?" asked Harry. Harry heard "Honeydukes" from Ron, "Scrivenshaft's" from Hermione, "Zonko's" from Ginny, "It doesn't matter" from Neville, and Luna was staring into space still thinking about it, he guessed. They all stopped and looked at each other with a grin. "Well, we could split up in pairs" said Hermione "then we could all meet at the Three Broomsticks for lunch.
Sound good?" "Sure," said Harry. "How do we want to split up?" "How about Ron and I stay together" said Hermione. "I just need a quill at Scrivenshaft's, then we can go over to Honeydukes. Why don't Luna and Neville go do whatever they need to do and you can accompany Ginny to Zonko's?" Ginny smiled at Hermione. "Okay, that sounds good" said Harry. "Is that good for everyone else?" They all nodded at him. "Remember, any sign of trouble sound the alarm and protect yourselves." "Yes, Professor" they all said in a high pitched small kids voice.
"Right" Harry mumbled as he set off again towards Hogsmeade at a quicker pace. Ginny with her shorter legs ran to catch up. The rest were laughing and started moving again as well. Ginny was taking her time in Zonko's. It was almost as if she was studying all their products and committing them to memory Harry thought.
He patiently followed her around like a good boy keeping himself alert for anything out of the ordinary. Everything seemed peaceful though.
Finally Ginny indicated she was done. Harry noticed she had not purchased anything as they walked out the door.
They noticed Neville and Luna going into Gladrags and waved. "Ginny, what exactly were you doing in there?" asked Harry. "I was seeing what products they carry" replied Ginny.
"Why?" "Because Fred and George need to know what the competition has." "Ah, I see. So you are helping Fred and George with their joke shop?" "Of course, they are my brothers and I have a very good memory." "Where to next?" asked Harry. "What about you, Harry? Don't you have some place you would like to visit?" "Not really but I could use some items from Honeydukes to take back, but I can get that later.
Do you have any other place you need to go?" "Actually, I need to go to Honeydukes" replied Ginny. "I could use some candy to take back to the school." "Okay" said Harry. "Let's go now then and I will get what I need as well." They set off down the street toward Honeydukes and were about halfway there when they heard a woman scream.
They looked and saw a few death eaters had apparated right in front of the Post Office which is located across the street from Honeyduke's. Harry saw one of the death eaters raise his wand at the woman and start a spell. Harry heard him start "Avada Kedavra" and with hardly a thought Harry had his wand out and silently summoned the woman to him with a quick Accio. He then put up a cushioning charm and pulling Ginny with him he sidestepped out of the way so the woman would not hit them.
The death eaters all turned to where the woman flew to and noticed Harry and Ginny. "Ginny, sound the alarm and get that woman inside now" ordered Harry. He then advanced on the death eaters. "Wait Harry come back!" shouted Ginny. "GINNY! DO IT NOW!" he shouted as he continued toward the death eaters. Ginny quickly sounded the alarm following Harry's orders.
The DA went into action. The third years started rounding up non-DA students to head them back toward Hogwarts and to warn the teachers. The rest of the DA headed toward the alarm. While Harry was advancing on the death eaters he had wandlessly cast an anti-apparition charm on the area they were in. He noticed there were five of them and they were still grouped together looking at him with their wands coming up. Harry conjured a mini sandstorm that swirled around them and all over them, getting into their eyes so they could not see what happened next.
Harry then hit all five with a stunner each like he was popping bubbles in the classroom. They all went down and out in a little more than a second. He quickly summoned their wands and cast Incarcerous to tie them up. He heard a crack behind him as he kept moving toward the downed death eaters. He whipped around only to see Ginny take out the death eater with a powerful stunner that knocked her back toward Harry about five feet.
Harry summoned her wand and tied her up as well. Next Harry heard another scream and he turned back to look toward The Three Broomsticks.
He saw two death eaters, one had cast Crucio on one of the DA while the other he saw cast a stunner on another DA member. Thinking quickly Harry summoned the death eater casting the Cruciatus to him. Then summoned the other one right behind him. When the first death eater came close Harry leaped into the air and hit the death eater on the chin with a spinning back kick.
He was out cold with a broken jaw. The next death eater was hit with a short-arm clothesline which flattened him on his back. He moved a little so Ginny stunned him, took his wand, and tied him up. She looked at the one Harry kicked and then did the same to him just in case. She noticed Harry was moving down the street toward the DA members that were hit. The DA was starting to gather so he got their attention. Harry cast a Sonorus on his voice. "DA, STAY ON ALERT!
THERE MAY BE MORE COMING OR MORE HERE ALREADY. GO IN GROUPS OF FOUR OR MORE AND SWEEP THE TOWN FOR ANY MORE DEATH EATERS OR ANY INJURED. IF YOU FIND A DEATH EATER, ONE OF YOU SEND UP AN ALARM WHILE THE OTHERS ENGAGE. PICK ONE FOR THE ALARM, ONE FOR SHIELDS, AND TWO FOR OFFENSIVE SPELLS. IF YOU ARE CLOSE TO AN ALARM HELP EACH OTHER. NOW GO! BE CAREFUL!" "Quietus" Ginny looked at Harry and said to herself "I'm glad he's on our side." Dumbledore apparated in close to Ginny. "The aurors are on their way!
Are there any more death eaters?" Harry turned back when he heard Dumbledore. "Professor, we have a student who was subjected to the Cruciatus. Please get Madam Pomfrey. Another was stunned, I believe.
I am going to check on them now." "Not that we know of Professor" replied Ginny. "The DA is doing a sweep of the town for any more death eaters or others injured." Dumbledore quickly cast his phoenix patronus and sent it to Pomfrey. He followed Harry and asked what happened. Harry provided the details to Dumbledore and the DA's planning in case anything happened.
Harry cast an enervate on Theo, the stunned fourth year DA member. He then cast a healing spell he hoped would help on the fourth year girl, Janet. They were both from Hufflepuff. Madam Pomfrey showed up a couple minutes later with potions. She waved her wand over Janet and then over Theo. "I don't see much to do here" said Pomfrey. Harry walked over to her. "Madam Pomfrey, Theo was stunned and Janet was tortured with the Cruciatus.
I am not sure how long. I used Enervate on Theo and cast a healing spell on Janet but I was not sure if it would help. I knew it would not hurt." "Apparently, it helped a lot. She shows no physical signs of the torture. Well done, Mr. Potter. However, the Cruciatus curse tends to cause mental anguish as well.
I will get her back to the hospital wing for some potions and require an overnight stay for observation. The other one is fine. It was just a stunner and you fixed that as well. Please come see me soon Mr. Potter so we can discuss your healing abilities." she said with a smile. "Thank you Madam Pomfrey, I will" said Harry as the aurors started showing up. Harry cast Sonorus again. "DA, CAN I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?" Everyone stopped to listen, not just the DA.
"EVERYONE COME BACK BUT STAY ALERT. THE AURORS HAVE ARRIVED. I ALSO WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW HOW VERY PROUD I AM OF YOUR ACTIONS TODAY. I WILL SPEAK ON THIS AGAIN LATER WHEN THE THIRD YEARS ARE BACK WITH US. I AM VERY PROUD OF THEM TOO. HANG AROUND FOR A LITTLE WHILE LONGER IN CASE THE AURORS NEED TO TALK TO YOU. IF THEY DO NOT, THEN TRY TO ENJOY THE REST OF YOUR HOGSMEADE VISIT. THANK YOU ALL!" Quietus "NO, THANK YOU HARRY!" they practically all shouted together. "YOU PRETTY MUCH DID IT ALL!" Hermione and Ron came up to Harry.
"We spoke to all the groups who were doing the sweep. No one else was injured and no other death eaters were found. If there were more they probably left after what you did to their friends" said Ron. "Thanks, guys. Good job!" said Harry Ginny came up to Harry. "Harry, I am so sorry. I shouldn't have " "No, Ginny. I am the one that should be sorry. I did not mean to yell at you. I had in my mind what I needed to do so needed you to sound the alarm to get the DA moving.
I am sorry if I overreacted, Ginny. I was too focused on the job at hand and forgot to regard your feelings. I'm sorry." "Harry, you have no need to be sorry. If I had known that you could do what you just did I never would have hesitated. You were awesome!
I am sorry I ever doubted for a second your ability. I won't hesitate again. I promise. Thank you for saving us." Ginny kissed Harry on the cheek and gave him a big hug. Harry hugged her back and it felt good. They heard a throat clearing next to them so they pulled apart and turned to see Dumbledore standing with Kingsley Shacklebolt.
Harry heard that distinct deep voice from Kingsley as he said, "Mr. Potter it appears you have some details for me. Can I trouble you for a few minutes for the information?" "Certainly, sir but you will want Ginny's account as well. She was right behind me the whole way using her wand like a real pro." Ginny smiled innocently. "I see. Well, let me get the aurors moving so they can take these death eaters back to the ministry.
Why don't you and Miss Weasley, Professor Dumbledore, and anyone else you think can add to the details meet me in The Three Broomsticks? We can go over the details and quench our thirst at the same time. I will bring Auror Tonks with me as a second to help gather the facts. We may need a big table. See if Madam Rosmerta can let us use one of the back rooms. There are big tables in there and more privacy." "Yes, sir" said Harry.
"We will meet you there." Harry called over Ron and Hermione and let them know. He recommended they come along. They all walked down to The Three Broomsticks together. When they entered, the tavern erupted with applause and a quiet chant for Harry. "Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry " "THAT'S ENOUGH" Harry shouted. "What are all you on about?" he asked when the noise died down.
Seamus Finnegan stood up. "Now Harry, is it not true you took out eight death eaters all by yourself? No one else in the DA has reported even fighting one." "No, Seamus. I did not" replied Harry. "Ginny here was helping me. Just ask her." "Let me see Seamus if I can set the record straight. Hmmm, yes I remember. I took out one and Harry took out seven. That about covers it." The room erupted again and Harry hung his head shaking it back and forth.
Dumbledore walked up beside him. "Come on Harry. I spoke to Rosmerta and she is letting us use this back room over here." They all followed Dumbledore and Harry into a back room under the soft chant of "Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry, Harry…" Hermione put a silencing charm on the wall and door facing the tavern. "Thank you, Hermione" said Harry. "You're welcome, Harry" answered Hermione. Then after a pause, she said "Anything for my hero." Everyone started laughing.
Even Harry could not help but grin. He then said "I'll get you for that." "Don't worry Hermione" said Ron. "I'll protect you." "Who is going to protect you, Ron?" asked Hermione.
"Uh…Ginny?" asked Ron. "Not me" said Ginny. "I will not fight Harry. I saw what he is capable of today and I am telling you it is a good thing he is on our side." Shaking that off, Harry asked, "Ron and Hermione will you go order us some drinks from Rosmerta?
I would but do not need to hear any more of that out there. Cold butterbeers all around?" Everyone agreed so Harry reached into his pocket and handed some gold to Ron. "Get extras will you? I am extra thirsty. I am sure others are as well. Drinks on me" he said to everyone. "Thanks Harry" they all said. By the time Ron and Hermione got back with the drinks, Kingsley and Tonks had entered the back room as well.
Ron brought back plenty of butterbeer so Harry offered some to the aurors who accepted with great thanks. Kingsley started the conversation. "Basically, I need to hear in your own words what happened today. Who would like to start?" "I'll start" said Harry "since I was in the middle of most of it. Before I do though I wanted to mention that I did not recognize any of the death eaters and I thought I knew most of them." "I believe they were new recruits and were sent here for some practice on what they thought would be easy pickings with all the students here" replied Dumbledore.
"I believe you surprised them." "Alright, Mr. Potter, you go first and the others can add their viewpoint after that" said Kingsley. "Tonks will monitor the quill that will write down everything that we say. Go ahead and start it up Tonks." Tonks cast a spell on the quill and it made ready to write. "So, Mr. Potter, tell us in your own words what happened today in Hogsmeade" stated Kingsley very formally.
"Well, Auror Shacklebolt," Harry said formally as well, "Ginny Weasley and I had just come out of Zonko's Joke Shop and we were headed for Honeydukes. We had made it about halfway when we heard a woman scream. We looked and saw a few death eaters had apparated in front of the Post Office. The lady that screamed was in danger because one of the death eaters was casting the killing curse on her. I quickly summoned her to me and cast a cushioning charm to stop her. I then had Ginny sound an alarm that our defense group had practiced and also had her get the lady inside and out of danger." Ginny was nervous about Harry revealing her hesitation but he did not.
He continued on. "The alarm was to alert our defense group and set them in action. The third years were to get everyone who was not a member of our group to head towards Hogwarts and they were to alert the professors. The rest of the group was to go to where the alarm sounded and be ready for anything." "I approached the five death eaters in front of the Post Office with a plan in mind. They were turning toward us following the lady I summoned. I first cast an anti-apparition spell, then conjured a mini sandstorm around them that temporarily blinded them.
While they were struggling with the sand I stunned them all, took their wands, and tied them up. As I was still heading toward them I heard an apparition crack behind me. I quickly turned around to see Ginny hitting the newly arrived death eater with a stunner that must have knocked her toward me about five feet.
Unfortunately for that death eater she arrived with us on both sides of her and Ginny was loaded for bear. I summoned her wand and tied her up." "We next heard another scream coming from up close to The Three Broomsticks. I saw that a death eater had a fourth year under the Cruciatus curse. I saw the second death eater hit another fourth year with a stunner. I summoned the death eater that was using Crucio then summoned the second one right behind him.
When the first one was close I kicked him in the head. The second was met with a short-arm clothesline. I believe Ginny stepped in and stunned them both, retrieved their wands, and tied them up." "After that I sent the defense group to sweep the town looking for any injured or more death eaters. They travelled in groups of four or more and were to respond to any alarms. They all reported back to Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger." "We called in Madam Pomfrey to take care of the Cruciatus victim and she also checked the stun victim as well.
They were both doing okay but Madam Pomfrey told me she would give the Cruciatus victim some potions and keep her overnight for observation in the hospital wing." "That is all I have" finished Harry. "Miss Weasley, it would seem you would be the most logical to go next" said Kingsley. "Certainly Auror Shacklebolt. Like Harry said we heard the woman scream, he summoned her, put up a cushioning charm then sidestepped both of us out of her way.
He told me to sound the alarm and get the woman to safety so I did. I stunned one death eater only because she apparated right between me and Harry. The two death eaters Harry summoned were not likely to get up but I stunned them anyway for precautionary measures, took their wands, and tied them up.
The one he kicked was out cold and his jaw was obviously broken. The one he clotheslined moved a little bit but I still doubt he would have been able to get up anytime soon." "That is all I have" finished Ginny.
"Mr. Weasley or Miss Granger?" asked Kingsley. Hermione nodded at Ron. "We were in Honeydukes when the alarm sounded" said Ron. "We immediately went out the door to see what was wrong. We came out just in time to see Harry hitting death eaters with stunners. He took out five in about a second or so. We saw when the other death eater apparated in a few feet behind Harry.
We started heading that way but Ginny took her out quickly. We next heard Janet scream and turned that way to go help but once again Harry took care of it. We saw the two death eaters go flying by one after another headed straight for Harry. He never flinched. He leaped so high in the air and spun around hitting that man with his heel right on the chin. I know his jaw broke because I heard the crack from several feet away. The second one was actually funny the way Harry clotheslined him.
I was like 'ouch' when he did that. He may have moved a little but I'm with Ginny on that one. I doubt very seriously he was going to get back up anytime soon." "I do not have anything to add to that Auror Shacklebolt" said Hermione. "Except I did not think it was funny at all. It looked like it hurt…a lot." "Professor Dumbledore, do you have anything you can add?" asked Kingsley.
"No, Auror Shacklebolt. I do not. Mr. Potter had it well taken care of by the time I was able to arrive." "Thank you everyone for your detail on today's events.
We appreciate your cooperation" said Kingsley. He indicated for Tonks to stop the dictation which she did. "Harry, can you tell me which kick you used on the one death eater?" asked Tonks.'' "I jumped and used a spinning back kick. Surprisingly, since he was moving toward me quickly I managed to connect just right on his chin.
I felt the jaw break as well. I would have helped heal it but he was the one who used the Cruciatus on Janet. I was much more concerned with her and Theo than helping him. If I ever see him using an unforgiveable again I might be a little less nice." A shudder ran through Tonks with the way Harry finished that statement. He was serious. She had seen him in action before and knew he could back it up.
She pitied anyone who would be stupid enough to attack one of Harry's friends. "So, Harry," said Kingsley, "Tonks tells me you are quite proficient in self-defense and that you have been teaching karate to a few of your friends. She said that she even joins when she can. Would it be okay for me to come by sometime with Tonks and join you as well?" "Certainly, Tonks knows when we meet. Anytime you can join us you are more than welcome. I hear you are proficient as well.
Perhaps you could share with us sometime?" asked Harry. "It would be my pleasure, Harry, but from what Tonks has described to me it would seem I have much to learn from you.
I am looking forward to your class." "Great! We hope to see you in there soon." oo0O0oo Things were running a little smoother for Harry with Divination out of the picture. He found more and more that his own classes were less of a challenge so he did not require any real study time anymore. He had to complete the assignments but he could do those fairly quickly from memory now.
Ever since his magic was unbound his ability to remember things and the speed at which he learned had been increasing. He was not sure why but it felt like his magic helped stimulate the parts of his brain that involved memory and comprehension.
He wondered if the same thing had happened to Simon. He decided he would ask at his next opportunity. It's about time something good happened where he could do well in school and improve himself. This also allowed him to work more intensely on self-defense, physical training, and his magic.
He had a feeling that he would be facing more death eaters in the near future and wanted to be prepared for whatever life threw at him. He was well into several of the advanced books his parents left him. The Halloween feast was good as usual. It came and went and November was the time for sending out the Christmas invitations. Mattie had done a marvelous job on the invitation design and Harry was excited over who all might come share Christmas with him.
He decided it was time for another visit home. He had his friends cover for him again. Harry used his watch and port keyed over to Potter Place. He spoke to Mattie and asked her to add Kingsley Shacklebolt to the invitation list. He then went and talked to Simon. He wanted to ask about his new learning abilities. "Simon, how have you been?" asked Harry. "Excellent, Harry. As a portrait I cannot complain" replied Simon. "I have a question for you, O Wise One" asked Harry.
"Flattery will get you everywhere, young Harry." "I am glad to know that, but I do have a serious question." "Okay, ask a way. I am here to help you anyway I can." "Simon, I have noticed a change in me.
Ever since my magic was unbound it seems like my ability to learn and remember are increasing. I do not have to study anymore for my classes. Dumbledore allowed me to drop Divination which is great. My DA group that I lead is now counting as that elective. I have a lot more free time due to that. Hermione takes excellent notes in History of Magic. All I have to do is read through them once and I remember all of it. They made me an Assistant Professor and want me to continue teaching the first and second years.
I love that and the kids seem to like how I teach them as well. I am not sure where all of this is headed but I was wondering how you became so smart and I know you were very powerful like me." "That is wonderful news Harry. You are correct in what you are thinking. This also happened to me. I have a theory that I have not been able to prove completely but nonetheless with each discovery my theory becomes more credible." "Let me guess, Simon" said Harry.
"I bet your theory is that magical power in abundance stimulates your brain in certain ways so that you become smarter, your memory is better, and your comprehension is increased." "You are advancing quickly Harry.
That lends credence to the theory as well. Without a doubt you are more powerful than I was. With that much power your abilities will advance even faster and further. You know that I was powerful and I was known for my great intellect." "You are still a great intellect.
What you left behind in your portrait speaks volumes as to how intelligent and wise you were. You are still providing great wisdom to whomever gets to speak to you." "Thank you, Harry but let me speak of someone else. That will make it easier to discuss. Look at Dumbledore. He is without a doubt a very powerful wizard and he is very wise. Don't you think that his intelligence and wisdom has been aided by the magical power that flows through his body? I would be willing to guarantee that is why he is so smart and wise because I believe that my theory is correct.
I am not saying you have to be magically powerful to be smart. What I am saying is that if you are magically powerful then you are likely to be smart as well because the power within you aids your brain function." "I see what you are saying and from my own experience your theory rings true as well. I was a mediocre student before. I did okay when I tried harder but I was certainly no Hermione Granger.
Now, I can do as well or better than Hermione without much effort. Hermione is super smart but she studies all the time to keep learning. I know she has a good memory but she constantly reads or studies to be that smart." "That is the key Harry. You have to keep learning. Learn from your friend's example. Read and study things to advance yourself. Start with the things that interest you the most and then you will see after a while that your interests are expanding and you will thirst even more for knowledge." "Thanks Simon.
As usual your advice is very sound. I think Rolly is waiting for me. When I get back, would you and Grandpa like to share some more spells and tactics with me? I would love to share with you what I did to those death eaters in Hogsmeade. You guys might get a kick out of it." "Looking forward to it Harry and we would be happy to share more with you.
I will speak with Henry so he will know to be ready to join us when you get back." "Okay, see you again soon." oo0O0oo Harry and Jojo had another great time riding around together. Rolly was obviously excited to see Harry again. He was bursting with energy as well and raring to go. Harry spent some extra time with him when they returned. He washed him up and brushed him down real good taking his time and talking to Rolly the whole time about his Christmas plans.
Rolly was grateful for the added attention and nuzzled Harry a goodbye before he left to go back to the house. Simon and Henry were ready for him and took him through his paces in the training room. They got a kick out of Harry's story about what happened in Hogsmeade. They were kidding around with him a bit about Ginny, especially when Harry described her long red hair. He took it all in stride though. He knew they were just trying to get him going. He liked it too.
It felt like real family which was not a normal feeling for him. After he learned several new spells and tactics from Simon and Henry, Harry spent a good bit of time with his Grandma learning several new healing spells and techniques. She also taught him about several potions used for healing and how to brew them to make them more effective.
She used her pepper up potion as an example. Harry was excited to take this information back to his Potions class to see how much better he could do. She also gave Harry her recipe for her pepper up potion. He thanked her heartily for that. He remembered how well that worked on him. oo0O0oo Back at Hogwarts, Harry was getting a lot of attention from the friends he had invited over for Christmas. They all thought the invitations Mattie created were outstanding. Basically, they were all invited to come home with Harry for the Christmas holidays.
If they could not come for the stay then they were invited to at least attend the Christmas Ball starting at 7:00 pm on Christmas night. Plenty of food and music would be provided. You only needed to show up for the Ball. Dress for the Ball was formal attire, wizard robes or muggle. The guests were asked to RSVP so Harry would know who and how many to provide instructions and transportation. Molly Weasley sent Harry an owl message gushing over how thoughtful he was to invite them to his home.
In fact, everyone was genuinely excited to get the invitation. Dumbledore and McGonagall told Harry they could not stay but would not miss the Christmas Ball for the world.
Hermione immediately borrowed Hedwig and sent her to her parents to confirm their plans. Harry had told her that an owl had delivered her parents the invitation as well.
Neville's grandmother said she would come to the Ball and allowed Neville to stay for the holidays. Everyone was happy about it, except Ginny, and even Ron seemed a little down. Harry finally got Hermione off to the side to ask her a question. "Hermione, something is wrong with Ginny and Ron. They say they are fine and not to worry about it but I know something is wrong. Do you know what is going on?" "Harry, you know they do not have much money.
Ginny told me that she cannot afford a formal gown and she does not currently have one that fits. Ron is in the same boat.
For that matter, I need a new one too but we are not allowed another Hogsmeade visit to get one. I was going to see if Mum would pick one out for me and bring it with them although it might not fit perfectly." "I see," said Harry. "I did not mean to hurt them this way. I just did not realize this would cause a problem. I hate seeing them like that." Harry paused for a minute to think. "I've got it! I can fix this. Hermione, I want you to gather up Ginny, Ron, Neville, and Luna.
Have them meet us in the Room of Requirement tonight at 8 pm. I have a surprise for everyone." Harry took off without waiting for a reply. Hermione said "Okay" and began finding the friends to do what Harry said. oo0O0oo At 8:00 Harry was found waiting in the Room of Requirement when his friends showed up.
The room looked a bit like the Gryffindor common room. "Thank you guys for coming. I have a surprise for all of you. Give me just a second to get setup." Harry pulled out his little ornate trunk, kissed it and set it on the floor. It enlarged to regular size. They were all impressed. Next, Harry opened and closed the first compartment. The trunk shrunk again. He picked it back up and walked over to a wall where he kissed it again and placed on its side against the wall.
It turned into a door and his friends were speechless. Harry opened the door and said to them "Step into my office." They all walked over and entered the trunk. They were impressed with the spaciousness.
Harry had them wait just a second so he could tell them something. "This living space is fully furnished. Everything works. It has a living room, dining room, kitchen, small loo, two bedrooms each with two walk-in closets and loos with showers. This is part of the surprise I wanted to share with you.
This was left to me by my parents. The rest of the surprise I will share with you if you will follow me." They all followed Harry to one of the bedrooms. He took them to his closet with the clothes for men. "See all of these clothes?" They all nodded. "Every single one of them was charmed by my mum to auto-fit anyone who wears them. There is another closet over there full of clothes for women. They are charmed as well.
My parents left me all of this. Back at Potter Place I have a closet bigger than this bedroom full of even more clothes. There are plenty of wizard and muggle formal wear in both of these closets." "I realized that since we are not going to get to go to Hogsmeade to buy clothing for the Christmas Ball that my friends were going to be in a pickle and I did not want that.
I am now offering to each of you and only you as my friends, that if you need new formals then pick out something you like from these closets and you can have them. I cannot wear the dresses and I have more men's clothes than I can possibly wear." "Please accept this gift and my apologies for putting you guys in a situation where you are invited to a fancy Christmas Ball but have no opportunity to shop for what you wish to wear.
If you do not find anything here in these closets that you like then I have plenty more back at Potter Place. Ginny, my mum had red hair so I am fairly certain she will have something in there that will be perfect for you." "Harry, I can't take your mum's clothes" said Ginny. "Why not? She can no longer use them and she told me herself in a memory my parents left that I should let my friends wear them. In fact, all of these clothes are brand new and have never been worn.
Go in there and claim you one." "I can't Harry. It doesn't feel right to accept it" said Ginny. "Okay, then. Don't keep it, just borrow one. You can return it after the Christmas Ball. That goes for everyone. Borrow what you need and you can return it if you want to after the Ball. How else are you going to get a good formal before Christmas?" Ginny looked indecisive and was looking down. "Ginny, you need to know that this Christmas Ball is formal attire only. If you are not dressed appropriately you cannot attend." Ginny looked up at Harry.
"If you do not attend my Christmas Ball simply because you are too pig headed to borrow a dress, then I may never forgive you. I had plans to dance with you at this Ball. My plans will be shattered if you do not attend." Harry looked upset. "You guys decide what you are going to do" Harry said waving his arms in defeat. "I'll get out of your way." Harry left and went out the door and into the Room of Requirement.
They knew he was upset and frowned at Ginny. Harry sat down on the couch in front of the fire. He could not understand her. After a minute, Ginny came out and sat down right next to Harry. She started crying. Harry looked over at her then said quietly "Hey, that's not fair. I am upset with you because you will not let me solve a problem and help everyone.
You can't come over here and start crying. How am I supposed to deal with that?" Harry put his arm around her to comfort her. "Don't cry Gin. I'm sorry I called you pig headed. I didn't really mean it. I was just upset and trying to get you to change your mind. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings but I still want that dance with you at my Christmas Ball." Ginny crawled up into Harry's lap, put her arms around his neck, and her head on his chest.
He held her around the shoulders and his other arm was wrapped around her middle in a hug. They stayed there for a couple minutes until Ginny had calmed down a bit. "I-I'm sorry Harry. I was being pig headed. You were right.
I did not realize how much this means to you but it is your Christmas Ball and I almost ruined it" said Ginny. "Almost?" asked Harry. "Does this mean you are going to find a dress to wear?" "Yes, Harry. I accept your offer, with all my heart, to borrow one of your mum's new ball gowns to wear to your Christmas Ball. I will be honored to do so and thank you for your kindness." "That's more like it!" exclaimed Harry.
Ginny raised up and grabbed Harry's head in her hands. She leaned in closer to his face and told him, "You are the sweetest man I have ever known." Their noses were only a fraction of an inch away from each other's. For a minute Harry thought Ginny was going to kiss him right on the lips, but she didn't. She hopped up and took Harry by the hand. "Come on Harry, I need you to help me pick out a ball gown." Harry followed her back in and noticed the girls were taking the gowns they were trying on into the other bedroom for more privacy.
The guys were changing in the closet and using the mirror in the loo to see how they look. The girls were using the other loo for that. Ginny found a beautiful dark green gown that was gorgeous. Hermione and Luna told her they had saved it just for her. She came out to see if Harry liked it and he was stunned to say the least. He finally stammered and stuttered out a "yes" before she grinned and returned to the bedroom to tell the other girls that this was the one.
Luna had come out with a light blue gown that matched her eyes. She looked beautiful. Finally Hermione came out wearing a silver gown that accentuated her curves.
Ron nearly fainted. "Hermione, you look beautiful in that" Harry said. "Well, you look good for a sister anyway." Hermione smiled at Harry, walked over and gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek. "Thanks brother. You are very kind to offer these beautiful gowns for us to wear. Mum is going to flip when she sees me in this" she said laughing. The guys found some nice formals as well.
Ron found a black formal with silver trim while Neville found a dark blue formal with a pale blue trim. The closets also had shoes to match the gowns and the men's formals. "I would like you guys to leave your outfits in these closets to keep them safe. I will have this trunk with me at Potter Place. You can get your outfits out then and take them to your rooms.
That way no one else will see them and ask about them. No one else needs to know about my trunk. Understand?" "Sure, Harry. No problem." "Now follow me out with your outfits on." They all followed Harry out of the trunk and into the Room of Requirement again.
Harry turned the trunk back onto its bottom and opened the first compartment. He pointed into the compartment. "If any of you need to borrow some jewelry as well look in here and see if you can find anything that will match your outfit." Ginny found some earrings and a necklace that went perfectly with her gown. Luna found a bracelet that was nice. Hermione found a necklace and earrings as well that worked.
The guys decided that they did not need any jewelry. Harry setup the trunk as a door again and had them go back in and change. The girls went ahead and hung their gowns in the spare bedroom closets where they changed. Harry waited in the Room of Requirement for them. When they had all come back out Harry shrunk the trunk and pocketed it again.
Harry looked at his friends and grinned. "I am glad you were all able to find what you need. This will be the best Christmas ever!" Chapter Nine A Potter Place Christmas Harry and his friends were anxious for Christmas vacation to arrive.
Since they were attacked in Hogsmeade no students were allowed to go again until they could guarantee safety. His friends were wanting to see Potter Place and Harry was ready to spend more time at home.
As the days drew nearer though Harry started having problems sleeping. He was plagued with the same dream over and over about a dark stoned corridor and black door at the end of it. One night the dream changed. His body felt different. It was smooth and he was sliding across the cold dark stone on his stomach. He saw up ahead a man sitting in front of the door with his head hanging down. He was asleep. Harry wanted to bite him but he had more important things to do so took control of his impulse.
However, the man started moving. He dropped a silvery cloak onto the floor and jumped to his feet. He saw the man draw his wand so Harry realized he had no choice so he raised himself up high from the floor and struck the man several times. The man yelled in pain. There was much blood. The man became silent and slumped against the wall… Harry's scar was ready to burst… The man Harry saw injured by the snake was Mr.
Weasley. Harry was yelling in his sleep. Ron ended up waking him up and Neville fetched Professor McGonagall. She took him and Ron to the Headmaster where he related the story of what he saw. He had a vision he assured them, not a dream. Arthur Weasley was in dire need of help. Dumbledore seemed to know exactly where Arthur was and got help to him right away. He had Professor McGonagall go get the other Weasley kids and bring them to his office.
Dumbledore explained about their dad being hurt and that he was sent to St. Mungos for treatment. He then provided a portkey that took them all, including Harry, to Grimmauld Place. When they arrived, they found Sirius waiting for them. He would not let them go anywhere but insisted that they wait to hear from Molly.
He provided them with cold butterbeers and they sat around until she arrived. She finally showed up a few hours later. She had seen Arthur and although he was hurt bad, he was going to be fine she told them. She hugged Harry and thanked him for saving Arthur's life. They were all supposed to get some rest and go see Mr. Weasley later in the day but Harry was worried. How did he become the snake in the vision?
What was with the repeated dream? It was the same location as the snake attack. Harry tried to talk to Sirius about it but was told he should not worry about it right now but be thankful he saved Arthur. He wanted Harry to eat some breakfast and get some sleep instead. He thought Harry was too tired and needed rest. Harry was afraid that there was a connection to Voldemort that allowed this vision. He was not sure how much Voldemort was aware of it.
He needed to talk to Simon and Henry about this. It was time he learned a couple things right away. He needed to learn Occlumency to block Voldemort and he needed to be able to apparate.
He hoped they could teach him. He had already read through the book on Occlumency and read about Legilimency as well. He needed a bit more direction and he thought he could learn it fairly quickly with his new learning abilities. Harry decided that after visiting Arthur at the hospital later he would head over to Potter Place and talk with Simon and his grandpa about it. Later in the day Moody and Tonks came by to escort everyone to St.
Mungos to visit Arthur. Everyone was excited except Harry. Harry had not rested at all. He pretended that he had so no one would worry. While they were there Harry overheard Mad-Eye telling Molly that Voldemort could be possessing Harry since Harry was the snake in the vision.
This really made Harry worry. He told Ron and Ginny that he needed to get to Potter Place quickly to get some answers. He asked them to explain to the others and he would be in touch with them as soon as he could. Harry walked off to the loo to use his watch. The loo was empty so he said "Legends of Potter" and disappeared. Harry hurried down to the library and found Simon.
Mattie showed up worried about Harry. She witnessed him running down the hall. "Sorry, Mattie but I have an issue and I need answers and of course more assistance. Would you mind telling Grandpa I could use his help as well?" "Sure, Harry. I will tell him and then I will bring you some tea.
You look like you need it." "Thank you, Mattie. I do not know what I would do without you." When Henry arrived Harry described the vision to his two mentors and left out no details. He also let them know of what he was worried about and asked if they could teach him Occlumency and how to apparate. Mattie returned with tea for Harry accompanied with some scones for a snack. Harry thanked her and dug right in. Henry began. "The way I understand it Harry and from what you described, I do not see where Voldemort is possessing or was possessing you.
You did not describe any symptoms representative of being possessed by someone. On the contrary, what it appears you have experienced is Legilimency, which is the opposite of Occlumency. Do you agree Simon?" "Yes, Henry. I believe you have it right. The question is how did Harry get into the mind of the snake without initiating the connection and why all the dreams of the same corridor? I believe the answer is in his scar. Remember Harry when you cast the spell on yourself we saw that green color around your scar and it had no description as to what it is?
I believe the answer is there. Voldemort is probably initiating the connection without knowing it. It would appear you have a connection to him via that scar he gave you. We still are unsure on how to remove that so we will have to wait until we have a good approach for it." "And that is why my scar hurts so much.
It's a connection to Voldemort" Harry said. "He must have been possessing his snake Nagini to get her there and he obviously was after something when she ran into Mr. Weasley. Was Mr. Weasley guarding what Voldemort wanted?" "Could be Harry" said Henry. "Why else would he have been there? By the way, I believe you described the corridor to the Department of Mysteries where I worked." "Thank you Grandpa.
I was wondering what that place was. I hope Dumbledore will be willing to share the information with me this time. I could help figure all this out if I knew more of what is going on" said Harry. "And with you guys helping we could probably work it all out in short order." "We are certainly willing to help Harry and we will help you with Occlumency, Legilimency, and Apparition" said Simon.
"Voldemort may not realize it now but he could figure it out and that would be bad for you. Why don't we meet in the training room right away to work on this?" "Sounds good to me" said Harry.
oo0O0oo A few days later… Harry had been going back and forth between Potter Place and Grimmauld Place to check on his friends via his watch.
With Henry's help he had picked up apparition right away. With his magical abilities it was quite easy for him actually. Occlumency, on the other hand, required preparation and time to organize your mind. Henry wanted to teach Harry how to apparate and let Simon teach Harry occlumency. Henry knew that Simon could teach both but Simon was a little better at occlumency and legilimency. Henry's job was over in a matter of minutes and he was able to turn it over to Simon.
Harry, however, was apparating all over Potter Place before he finally came back to learn from Simon, a big smile on his face. Simon's method of teaching Harry occlumency made everything Harry had read about it make perfect sense.
Simon filled in the gaps that the book left out, instructing Harry in a way he knew Harry would understand completely and be able to implement. After several hours over a couple days Harry took over from there and began the process of protecting his mind. He had spent a few hours each day and some time before going to sleep searching through his mind, getting familiar with it, and organizing it. He learned how to lock away his important memories and thoughts where they could only be retrieved by himself.
He took all the memories that he did not need to hide and dumped them into a decoy mind he setup. This was to fool anyone into thinking he was not capable of occlumency.
Taking Simon's advice he also created traps for unwanted guests. Once he learned legilimency proficiently he would be able to use those traps even more effectively. Harry continued to work daily on his occlumency. Simon then taught him legilimency which was much easier to learn, especially after learning occlumency. He found that his focus training in karate helped tremendously.
Harry needed a few more weeks but was fast on his way of mastering both. During the middle of all of his training the time for Christmas holidays had begun. The guests were to arrive any minute. Harry was working on his occlumency when he was informed of his first arrivals. All the ones from Grimmauld Place were showing up. Mattie was welcoming all of them when Harry walked up.
Harry had made portkeys for all his guests to arrive safely at Potter Place whether coming right away or just to the Christmas Ball. Andrew received all of the guests and announced their arrivals. Mattie took over to welcome them and assign house elves to take care of their bags and show them to their rooms.
Mattie, Sirius, and Remus were like old friends seeing each other after a long time. "I see you have met one of my great grandfathers Andrew Potter and Mattie who is my right arm.
I could not run this place without her. She is indispensable to me" said Harry putting his arm around her shoulders. Mattie almost blushed but maintained her decorum in front of the guests. "Master Harry I have assigned elves to your guests and they can take their bags and get them settled into their rooms. After that, perhaps you would like to show them around?" asked Mattie. "Just a second everyone" Harry said to his guests holding up one finger. All the guests had questioning looks on their faces.
He led Mattie a few feet away and whispered to her. "Mattie, are you sure this is the right time to call me master? These are my friends and are like family." "Only if you insist Harry but at the Ball you will be addressed formally" replied Mattie.
"Okay" said Harry walking her back to their guests. "I apologize everyone. Mattie is trying to teach me when it is appropriate for her to call me master. On a daily basis with just us around she calls me Harry as I have asked her to.
She told me just now that for you guys if I insist she will drop the master but she also informed me that at the Ball she must address me formally. I have agreed. Thank you, Mattie." "You're welcome, Harry" said Mattie. "Well, I believe Mattie has everything under control as usual" continued Harry. "The house elves she has assigned will be the ones who will help you should you need anything while you are here.
Of course you can ask me as well if I am close by. They will show you to your rooms and help with your bags. Please introduce yourselves to each other so you know each other's names.
I know I do not have to worry about you guys but let me just say that the house elves at Potter Place are my family and that is the way they are to be treated. Please help me to let anyone who visits here know this." They all smiled back at Harry including the elves. "When you are settled in lets meet back here in the foyer and I will give you the grand tour. Hopefully others will arrive soon and we can include them at the same time. Go get settled in because we have lots to do and see.
Lunch will be served promptly at noon and dinner at six. Make yourselves at home." They all trooped off to their rooms following the elves, except Sirius and Remus. "We know our way around Kipper" said Sirius to the elf. "Please put our bags in our rooms and you can show us later which rooms are ours. We would like a word with Harry here. Thanks for your help." Kipper bowed and disappeared with their bags. "Harry it is so good to be back over here at Potter Place" said Remus.
"This place has always amazed me. I have spent less time here than Sirius but I came here a lot when we were about your age." "Same here, Kiddo!
It is good to be back" said Sirius. "I lived here a while with your dad, you know. I had ran away from my crazy family and your dad's parents took me in. They let me stay here. It was an awesome time we had." "I want you guys to know" Harry began, "that you are always welcome here. Sirius, I am going to get you a portkey that will take you back and forth from here to Grimmauld Place.
That way you can be there for the Order if they need you but you can return here and have many things to keep you busy and enjoying life." Sirius started to protest. "Don't argue with me Sirius. I know how bad it is for you over there when nothing is going on. You are stuck in that house. A house you ran away from once. I want you to live in my house with me. When I go back to school you can still stay here. Why suffer over there? I will make you a promise right here and now. I will find Peter again and you will be set free so you no longer have to hide." "Harry, don't worry about Peter" said Sirius.
"He is too dangerous. I will accept your offer to stay here and enjoy life when the Order does not need me at Grimmauld Place. Thank you, Harry." "This is great Harry" said Remus. "I am so tired of seeing him moping around in that old house. He needs to have some fun." "You are welcome here too, Remus. Stay as long or as much as you like. You can have your own room even. I mean it." "Thank you Harry. I will definitely be visiting a lot." "I guess we better see where our rooms are now" said Sirius.
"Kipper?" Kipper appeared in front of them. "Yes, Mr. Black and Mr. Lupin? Kipper is at your service." "Kipper feel free to call me Sirius-" "And you may call me Remus, Kipper" "Thank you sirs. It will be my honor Sirius and Remus." "Well, we are off to a good start Kipper" said Remus. "Can you show us to our rooms now? "Certainly, please follow me." Harry watched them go down the hall then heard Andrew announcing Neville Longbottom and a few seconds later, he announced Luna Lovegood.
Harry arrived at Andrew's room about the same time as Mattie. She opened the door and welcomed Neville and Luna to Potter Place. Harry introduced Mattie to his friends and Mattie provided house elves to take their bags and get them settled in their rooms.
Harry explained again that the elves would help them if they needed anything while they were here at Potter Place.
He recommended they get settled and meet back here with the others so he can give everyone the grand tour. He also told them to make themselves at home. They thanked Harry and followed the elves to their rooms. Harry thought for a minute. I believe that is everyone except Hermione's parents and Tonks. Remus would have to leave on occasion for Order business.
Tonks had to work so would be coming and going spending mostly evenings and weekends with them. Bill and Charlie could only come for Christmas Eve and stay for Christmas day and the Ball. The twins, Ron, Ginny, and Molly came over for the full stay but occasionally will go to visit Arthur who is still in the hospital. However, he was to come straight to Potter Place when he was let out.
Hermione came with the Weasleys from Grimmauld Place. He would have to ask about her parents. Neville and Luna are here for the full stay. Neville's grandmother was coming to the Ball only and Luna's father was coming to the Ball as well. Harry had an invite sent to him when he realized later it would be the right thing to do. He would have to ask him not to write about it though.
Harry also amended the Christmas Ball, allowing his guests to bring dates. It would not be much of a Ball if there are not enough couples to dance together. All the guests met Harry in the front foyer near Andrew's room. Since it was morning tea time, he asked if they all would like some tea when they made it through the kitchen and into the Dining Room. They agreed so he had them sit and Leru brought out tea for everyone.
After tea they thanked Leru and continued on. When they got to the Study Harry introduced everyone to his grandparents' portraits Henry and Elizabeth. Sirius and Remus spoke the most to them. They all remembered each other. Next they went to the Library where Hermione nearly fainted after seeing it.
Harry introduced them all to Simon and explained that he had been getting training from Simon, Henry, and Elizabeth. He told them about Simon's tremendous teaching ability and his grandpa's too. He also mentioned Simon's powerful magic and Elizabeth's great healing knowledge. They continued through and finished the tour. They were impressed with the Training Room. It was almost lunch.
Harry recommended they break and have lunch. He would show them some of the things outside afterwards. Everyone would need to dress warmly as well. Harry spoke to Hermione at lunch and found out that her parents were coming in a couple days. oo0O0oo Two days later… Dan and Emma Granger were announced by Andrew. Mattie went and welcomed them into the manor. "Hello, Dr. and Dr. Granger. It is so nice to finally meet you. My name is Mattie and I am the head house elf here at Potter Place.
Please step this way." The Grangers were not accustomed to portkey travel but all in all it was not an unpleasant experience. Harry was taught how to make them where you feel no pull behind the navel. However, the portrait that welcomed them was quite different in their opinion. Andrew was pleasant as always but a talking and moving portrait was a new experience for them but they soon recalled Hermione's description of magical portraits and calmed down a little.
The house elf that came through the door and greeted them was a sight they had never seen before but once again house elves had been described by their daughter so they were not completely ignorant about them. "Uh…hello, Mattie. It is so nice of you to invite us" said Emma. "We have been looking forward to seeing our daughter again and spending time with her and her friends. My word, the house is lovely. It is amazing actually." Dan added, "Yes it is dear.
I absolutely love what I have seen so far." "Thank you. The Potters have always been a delightful family to serve. Your daughter Hermione is a very special person and has been a delight since she has been here.
They are all currently outside riding." She called another elf and introduced them. "This is Kacey. Kacey this is Dr. and Dr. Granger." "Very nice to meet you, Kacey" said Dan.
"Kacey will take your bags and lead you to your room. If you need anything at all just say 'Kacey' and she will be prompt and available to help you. We want you to enjoy your stay here at Potter Place so make yourself at home. After you are settled in your room, please have Kasey bring you to the kitchen for something to drink if you like. While you are settling in I will let Harry know that you have arrived and he will meet you there." "There is no need to disturb Harry.
We can wait until they come back" said Emma. "Oh, no ma'am. Harry left instructions to come get him when you arrived, no matter what he was doing so I will be sure and let him know you are here" replied Mattie. "Okay, then, Mattie we will meet Harry in the kitchen after we see to our room" said Emma. "Lead the way Kacey." Kacey bowed deep, levitated their bags, and said "Follow me please." Mattie left with a soft pop and appeared close to Harry and his guests who were all riding horses.
They had spent the last two days getting everyone comfortable on the horses and now they were officially riding around and seeing the sites. Harry noticed Mattie and had everyone pull up so he could talk to her. "Hello, Mattie! What a pleasant surprise. Can I help you with anything?" "Yes, Harry. You have more guests. The Grangers have arrived and you wanted me to let you know as soon as they did." "Great!" said Hermione "That I did Mattie and now I will go and get them" said Harry.
"Should I come along too, Harry?" asked Hermione. "No, Hermione. You continue with the others and your ride. You told me that your parents know how to ride so I will fetch them and get them mounted up. We will catch up with you guys in a bit." "The Grangers are getting settled in their room right now and will meet you in the kitchen, Harry" said Mattie.
"See you back there." "Alright, Mattie. Thank you. I am going to ride Rolly up to the back of the house. I will meet the Grangers in the kitchen." Mattie disappeared and Harry took off really fast on Rolly, heading back to the house. They were not that far out yet and Rolly was wanting to run anyway so Harry let him. He could get a breather while Harry went in to get the Grangers. Harry was waiting in the kitchen working on a cup of tea when Dan and Emma Granger arrived.
Harry hopped up and went to greet his guests. "Thank you Kasey. Dr. and Dr. Granger, it is my pleasure to welcome you to my humble abode. Would you like some tea?" "Sure but Harry you may call us Dan and Emma" said Dan.
"And I don't think 'humble abode' quite describes it." "Harry, your home is magnificent and we have not even seen all of it yet" said Emma.
"That will come. Everyone else got the grand tour a couple days ago but I will make sure you get it as well. But right now I need you guys ready to go outside and pick a horse to ride for each of you." "Pick a horse?" asked Dan.
"Yes, everyone else is out riding and Hermione has assured me that the both of you know how to ride. I rode my horse Rolly up to the back door practically to fetch you. We need to get you mounted so we can catch up with the others." "We do know how to ride but it has been a few years. We used to ride quite a bit" said Dan. "Do you prefer English or Western saddles?" asked Harry.
"English" said Emma. "Same here" said Dan. "Alright, I will get the blankets, saddles, bridles, etc. ready for you while you both go back to your room. Look in your closets and you will find riding boots, riding pants, shirts, etc. There are both English and Western outfits in there. You can also just wear jeans if you want." "But how did you know our sizes?" asked Emma. "I don't but my mum was a genius at charms. She pretty much charmed every piece of clothing and shoes in this place to auto-fit anyone.
I have also learned her spell from notes that she left me. I will meet you out the back door here after you get changed. I will take you to the horses so you can each pick one out to ride." The Grangers went back to their room while Harry headed outside. He walked Rolly back to where the other horses were. He then grabbed two saddles and the other equipment they would need. He and Rolly walked back up to the house to wait on Dan and Emma.
They both came out a couple minutes later ready to go. "That is one beautiful horse, Harry" said Emma "Thank you" said Harry. "This is Rolly. He has quite the personality too." Rolly nuzzled Harry. "See?" said Harry. The Grangers laughed. They picked out a couple nice quarter-horses. They were worried the thoroughbreds would be too high-spirited for them.
The horses they picked out were both about 15 hands high. They looked very comfortable in the saddles. "Ready?" asked Harry after they were mounted and settled. "Yes! I am loving it already" said Emma. Dan nodded his head and smiled. "Okay, keep up and we will catch up to the others. Let's just go at a nice gallop, shall we?" Harry took off with the Grangers following him.
He looked back on occasion to make sure they were doing alright but they obviously knew how to ride so he soon quit checking on them. Harry had a good sense of where the group might be so they caught up with them in no time at all. He knew Jojo would be showing off his prize cattle, sheep, and goats so they would be stopping a bit and talking.
When they came into view of the group, Harry saw Hermione lift her hands straight up in the air and give a loud yahoo. They all got off their horses to greet each other properly. Hermione was happy to see her parents and they were happy to see her. He overheard Emma telling Hermione that this could turn out to be the best vacation they have ever had.
Harry smiled and hoped they did have a good time. They finished their tour of the grounds by horseback. Ron got excited when he saw the quidditch pitch. He was ready to play right then but Harry recommended another day for that.
It was nearing dinner time so they needed time to take care of the horses and get cleaned up themselves. Harry and Jojo instructed all who needed it on how to take care of your horse after riding it. Jojo offered to do it for them but Harry insisted that they all learn and show the horse they rode some attention in thanks for the nice ride it provided. Dan and Emma needed no help. They were old pros. Sirius and Remus seemed at home as well with the horses.
Everyone had a great time and thought that the Potter Place lands were a magnificent place to ride. There was so much to see with the fields, gardens, livestock, woods, streams, hills, etc. you never could get bored. Even the manor itself from an outside view was a site to behold with its three stories above ground and the connecting terraces, ornate and beautiful. Everyone cleaned up and changed after the horse rides and met in the Dining Room. Harry had shrunk the table down from 24 seats to 14 so there would be the right amount for him and his guests.
He wanted Mattie to join them but she had duties she informed him. Dinner was marvelous. Everyone was amazed at Leru's ability to put on a spread. Two other house elves served the meal and drinks to the guests. All the guests were very thankful and polite to the elves giving them praise when appropriate. When they were done with dinner and dessert Harry excused himself for a minute and went to the kitchen and brought out Leru.
"Ladies and gentlemen may I have your attention?" asked Harry. Everyone quieted down and looked to Harry who had his arm on the shoulder of Leru. "Honored guests, I give you the one responsible for that marvelous meal and desserts. Potter Place's very own Leru!" Harry stepped away gesturing toward the elf with his hand. All the guests at the table gave him a standing ovation.
Fred and George even whistled. Leru was obviously embarrassed but managed a deep bow and hurried back to the kitchen. After dinner Harry recommended a 30 minute rest followed by a dip in the heated pool and sitting around in the Jacuzzi to relax the muscles of the first time riders.
They all accepted his offer except Mrs. Weasley who decided that she would take the opportunity to spend the evening alone with Arthur at St. Mungos. Even Tonks arrived in time for dinner and joined them in the pool afterwards. He let everyone know that swim suits would be provided if anyone was without one. Harry had asked Mattie to purchase several men's and women's swim suits of various styles which Harry had charmed himself to auto-fit. He found the charm in his mum's diary.
Mattie had the pool surrounded by clear walls and ceiling then had it heated to the perfect steady temperature. The Jacuzzi was quite a bit warmer and very relaxing. Harry, Ron and Neville were all wearing swim trunks that reached to their mid-thigh and had arrived at the pool ahead of the girls. The pool area was warm so their chests were bare. When Ginny, Hermione, and Luna arrived and took off there soft but thick towel like robes with the Potter crest emblem, the guys were having a difficult time looking away.
The girls were somewhat modest wearing one-piece swim suits but they were far from their usual loose robes that fully covered them at Hogwarts. When the adults showed up the boys decided they had better maintain more control. The girls thought it was funny how the boys were struggling not to look. Although, truth be known Ginny was having a difficult time not looking at Harry with his tan muscular body in those black swim trunks.
Hermione would snatch a glimpse at Ron on occasion as well. All the guys and the girls were in great shape and looked good from all the exercise and karate Harry put them through.
Harry was a bit more defined than the rest but Neville had the biggest transformation. He was no longer overweight but in good shape with nice muscles. The older guests and the young ones who rode for the first time preferred the Jacuzzi the most.
After a while they were all in the Jacuzzi just sitting around relaxing and having good conversation. Dan and Emma seemed to fit right in with all the magic users and enjoyed themselves like everyone else. After they were done at the pool, Harry recommended that Ron, Neville, Ginny, Hermione, and Luna get changed and meet him in his room, the master suite. He remembered that they still needed to get their formals out of his trunk. He also invited Dan and Emma to meet him there as well.
He was going to give them the tour of the manor tonight if they were up to it and they could just start there. They agreed to meet him there. When Dan and Emma arrived with Kasey, the kids were talking up a storm enjoying themselves.
Harry stopped the conversation and apologized to Dan and Emma. "I'm sorry Dan and Emma, we were talking and have not taken care of business. What you are about to see is a secret. I do not mind you knowing about this but for now please tell no one." "Alright Harry we will not tell anyone" said Dan. "Thank you" said Harry. Harry picked up his trunk from his nightstand, kissed it and placed it on its side against the wall.
It turned into a door which he opened and let his friends in to get their items for the Ball. He turned back to Dan and Emma. "This is a magical trunk left to me by my parents. It has five compartments. The fifth is expanded and if placed on its side it turns into a door.
Would you like to see what it looks like?" "Sure Harry" said Emma. "Just step through here then. Your daughter and our friends are getting some formals I loaned them. They picked out what they wanted before we left Hogwarts. We decided to leave them safely in my trunk until we were here and they could get them out and take them to their rooms.
They are getting them now." The Grangers looked at Harry questioningly. "We were not allowed to leave the school after I sent out the invitations so no one had a chance to buy a new formal for the Christmas Ball. All of us being teenagers we can no longer wear previous year outfits.
I had this trunk which is full of men's and women's clothing charmed to auto-fit. All the clothes are brand new bought for my mum and dad and placed in the trunk just in case. Dad had several formals in there and Mum had several nice ball gowns.
My friends were able to find all that they need for the Ball." Harry's friends came back through thanking him again and headed to their rooms to hang up their formals. Harry described the trunk and showed the Grangers all the rooms. They were more than a little impressed with the trunk to say the least.
When they came back out Harry shrunk it and pocketed it. He then gave them a tour of his magnificent master bedroom and loo before heading out into the hall to tour the rest of the manor. The Grangers were beyond impressed with Harry's home. There were many oohs and ahhs during the tour. oo0O0oo The next morning after Harry's exercises and shower, he changed his appearance using some advanced human transfiguration spells he had learned.
Harry was now a couple inches taller, ten years older, and somewhat stockier than his normal self. His face was rounder with no scar and his eyes colored a dark brown.
His hair was a sandy brown with a full but slightly darker brown mustache. He was attired in typical black wizard robes in an effort to not stand out. Harry apparated to Diagon Alley for some Christmas shopping. The only person who knew he went anywhere was Mattie. He asked her to explain that he had some errands to run and he would be back later if anyone asked. Harry had not had a chance to buy Christmas presents so he was going to get some from Diagon Alley and then shop a little in muggle London after that.
Harry headed straight to Gringotts after he arrived in Diagon Alley. He was going to need a bit of gold and some muggle money for the day. After entering the bank Harry walked up to the same goblin he met when Hagrid brought him here the first time a few years ago. Harry casually cast a wandless silencing spell around the goblin and himself so no one would notice. "How can I help you?" asked the goblin.
"I wish to make a withdrawal and see my vault, good sir." "Your key?" "Ah, yes. Here it is" said Harry drawing it out of his pocket. He handed the key to the goblin. The goblin leaned forward and whispered "This key belongs to someone who looks quite a bit younger and different than you do." Harry leaned in closer to the goblin as well and whispered.
"Yes, good sir. Thank you for your concern and seeing to my best interests. I am indeed Harry Potter but I do not wish for anyone to know that I am here." "Not a problem" replied the goblin. "Griphook will take you to your vault." Harry removed the silencing charm. "Excellent!" replied Harry. "I remember Griphook. He was very helpful once before. Thank you, good sir." As Griphook led Harry to the carts to take them down to the vaults the goblin behind the desk took note of the young wizard who remembered the name of a goblin.
Most wizards acted like goblins were beneath them. It would pay to watch the young Mr. Potter closely. He appears to be a different sort of wizard, much like Albus Dumbledore has been to the goblins. He also remembers some other Potters over many years who acted very much the same. Not to mention, young Mr. Potter would be coming into a rather sizeable fortune when he comes of age. It would be wise for a goblin such as himself to be helpful to Mr. Potter and gain his trust.
It could mean a lot to Gringotts to do more business once again with the Potters. Harry searched his vault carefully to make sure there were no other items hidden there. Satisfied he had found all he was supposed to find last time, he gathered up the gold he needed and headed back up with Griphook. Once back in the bank the goblin that helped him before waited on him immediately to exchange some galleons for pounds.
"Thank you, good sir. You and Griphook have been of great service today. May I ask your name?" "You honor me sir. My name is Rogklaw. Please see me anytime you need assistance" replied the goblin. Griphook eyed Rogklaw knowingly. "Thank you Rogklaw and you as well Griphook. I will do that." Harry departed the bank.
Rogklaw looked at Griphook who had a toothy grin. He whispered as he summoned Griphook closer, "Yes, Griphook, you know exactly who that was and we must keep that a secret today for him as he requested.
I foresee great business opportunity with his family once again when he comes of age. It would be very beneficial to help him as much as we can and hopefully gain his trust." They both smiled their toothy grin at each other and nodded in agreement. After all, it would not be difficult to be helpful to the young Mr. Potter. He was very respectful and polite and easy to work with. Harry left Gringotts and did some shopping in Diagon Alley.
He ran into Susan Bones and her aunt. He almost said hello before he remembered he was in disguise. They did not notice it was Harry at all. Harry looked around for a little while but did not see anything that struck his fancy.
He wanted to get all the house elves something but was not sure what to get them. He bought a lot of candy to give to everyone but was stumped on what else to get. Suddenly he got some ideas that would simplify his Christmas shopping and took off for The Leaky Cauldron where he could go through into London.
Once in London Harry found some muggle candy to go with the wizard candy. He knew Mr. Weasley would enjoy that. He stopped in a jewelry store and bought some nice necklaces for all the ladies and some different ones for the men as well.
He then bought pendants for all the ladies in different stones to wear on their necklaces. When he was done there he found another jewelry store that had what he wanted to buy the Potter elves. He bought necklaces as well for them with pendants that formed a double P for Potter Place. He bought one extra for Dobby without the pendant. He finally finished at the jewelry stores and went back to the same sporting goods store he visited last time.
Harry picked up some more jock straps for the boys and sport bras for the girls. He picked up some additional karate uniforms in white, black, and grey for extras and for Kingsley. He also picked up some more protection gear for sparring. While there he asked the checkout clerk if there was a place he could find western wear.
Harry was given directions and he decided that would be his last stop. He found the store and they had exactly what he wanted. After making his purchases and leaving the store Harry stopped again in an alley to shrink the packages like he did after each store. Noticing there was still no one else around he then used his watch to get back to Potter Place. Harry was headed back to his room when he was stopped in the hall by Mrs. Weasley, Fred and George. "Hello, sir. I do not believe we have met.
My name is Molly Weasley and these are my sons Fred and George. Are you a friend of Harry's?" asked Molly. Realizing he had not cancelled the transfiguration spell, Harry thought he would have a little fun. "Why yes, Harry and I are very close friends. The closest you could say. I have known him for a long time. My name is Jack Peavey. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." Harry reached over and took Molly's hand, bowing slightly he raised her hand to his face and kissed the back of it before straightening back up.
Others had shown up while he kissed Molly's hand. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, and Luna had just arrived and were staring at the newcomer. Molly's face turned red after Harry kissed her hand.
She was looking a bit embarrassed. Harry could not remember the last time he saw Mrs. Weasley speechless. "Strange, we have known Harry since he was 11 but we have never heard of you, Mr. Peavey" said George. "Yes, we thought we knew everyone Harry knows" said Fred. "Wait a minute" said Hermione.
"Mattie told us Harry went out to run some errands and now this guy shows up instead of Harry. Is there something you wish to share? Mr. Peavey, is it?" "Why, young lady, I am not sure what you are referring to" replied Harry trying to keep a straight face. He held it for a couple seconds while Hermione looked closely at the newcomer. Finally Harry burst out laughing. "What is so funny, Mr. Peavey?" asked Molly. "Just one second Mrs.
Weasley. Introductions are still in order." Harry took Hermione's hand and kissed it like he did for Molly. "Jack Peavey, at your service miss." Hermione had a knowing look on her face. Harry then went over to Luna and kissed her hand. "Jack Peavey, nice to meet you." Harry next went over to Ginny but instead of kissing her hand he grabbed her head and kissed her on the left check.
"Jack Peavey, most delighted to meet you young lady." Harry then kissed her on her right cheek. Ginny cracked up laughing. She had figured it out too.
Harry went back to Molly. "Mrs. Weasley, you wanted to know what was so funny." "Yes, what did you find so funny and Ginny as well I might add?" asked Molly. "Only this Mrs. Weasley." Harry undid the transfiguration spell so he looked like Harry again.
The twins started cracking up. The rest of the kids soon joined them. Molly was standing there with her hands on her hips and her mouth gaping open in surprise. "Harry Potter" Molly said.
Harry thought for a second he was in trouble. "That was…was…about the most&hellip.ah…never mind. Come here Harry." Molly grabbed and hugged Harry in one of her signature motherly hugs. "Harry that was one of the best pranks ever. You could give the twins a run for their money." "Thanks, Mrs.
Weasley. When I realized I had not cancelled the spell I thought I would have a little fun." "But Harry. That was…" said Fred "…advanced…" said George "…human…" said Fred. "…transfiguration" said George.
"I guess you guys haven't heard" replied Hermione. "Harry here is past seventh year in most of his classes" added Ron. "And I would like that to remain a secret as much as possible, please?" asked Harry. "Sure Harry…" replied George. "…no problem" added Fred. Everyone else nodded in agreement. "Thanks, everyone" said Harry. "This came in handy today for my errands. No one recognized me so I was able to do what I needed to do without incident." "What errands did you have to take care of?" asked Hermione.
"That's my secret, Hermione. You will just have to wait to find out. Now if you will excuse me I need to go to my room to change. I will meet you all in a few minutes for lunch. I have an idea of what we can do today." Harry walked off toward his room. "He's up to something" said Ron. "Yes, he is" replied Hermione.
"Yes, indeed" added Ginny. "I'm pretty sure he just went Christmas shopping" said Luna. Everyone turned and looked at Luna. Somehow she always knows. oo0O0oo Harry put up all the presents he had purchased. He planned to deal with them tonight.
After that he changed his clothes and met up with everyone else a little later for lunch. During lunch Harry asked everyone if they would like to go hunting for a nice big Christmas tree that they would cut down and bring back to the manor to decorate. Everyone seemed excited about that, especially when he recommended they take the horses to look for it.
Harry had a big space for the tree to fill so they were going to be looking for one that stood about 20 feet tall. As everyone else went off to get ready for the cold outdoors, Harry asked Mattie if there were tree ornaments and decorations in the manor they could use on the tree.
Mattie assured Harry that there were ample ornaments and decorations in storage so Harry asked her to get an elf to gather them up so they would be able to decorate the tree when they returned. He also told Mattie to inform all the elves they were invited to join with the guests in decorating the tree.
"Christmas was for everyone to enjoy" he told her. Jojo assured Harry that he knew the best places to look for the tree so they all mounted and followed Jojo across the property to a portion of the woods on Potter Place. The land was beautiful, covered in a nice new dusting of pure, white snow. They spread out a little and searched for the perfect tree. After about 10 minutes Fred yelled out "Found it!" so everyone went over to him to see the tree. What they found though was bent and gnarled and twisted beyond belief.
"Fred" said Harry, "I can see where that may be the perfect Christmas tree for you and George but not for my house. Please keep looking." About 15 minutes later, Neville said "I think I found it." Then a little louder he said to everyone, "Hey guys, I think I found it!" Everyone rushed over to Neville and looked at the tree. It was perfect. It stood about 23 feet tall and would need very little trimming. "Okay, everyone" said Harry getting their attention. "Thank you Neville for finding the perfect tree.
Now what I am about to say may sound strange to the wizards and witches here but I doubt it will sound strange to Dan and Emma." Harry put his hand inside his coat and wandlessly conjured a sharp hatchet and then pulled it out for all to see. "What I have here is called a hatchet and instead of using magic I would like for us to cut down this tree the muggle way by using this hatchet.
In addition, I would like for everyone here to have a chance to strike a blow with the hatchet so that each and every one of us plays a major role in providing this year's Christmas tree. I will finish the tree off after everyone has had a turn.
Not only are all of you my friends but you are also like family to me and I wish to share my first Christmas at Potter Place with all of you in any way possible. Please join me in this.
I understand that many muggle families do this as a tradition on Christmas. It is a shared experience they have of finding the tree, cutting it down, and decorating it together. I only wish Mr. Weasley were able to be here with us.
I am sure he would appreciate the muggle tradition." Molly wiped a tear from her eye. "That's right, Harry" said Dan. "Many families do this just as you said and it is a wonderful family bonding experience. I consider it a privilege to share your first Potter Place Christmas with you, Harry. May I have the honor of being the first to strike the tree? I have had a little bit of experience with this." "Thank you, Dan. Nothing would please me more than for you to start us off." Harry handed the hatchet to Dan who stepped up to the tree and sank the hatchet in close to the bottom.
Dan worked the hatchet back out and handed it to his wife Emma who managed to hit around the same spot as Dan. Dan instructed everyone on alternating with downward strokes and upward strokes to remove more of the wood with each strike. By the time it got to Harry, he only had to strike the tree 5 times before it began to fall. Neville was quick to cast a levitation charm so the tree did not break any branches when it landed.
Using his wand, Harry cut the trunk evenly and cast a feather light charm on the tree. He then conjured a giant clear bag that he put the tree in and tied it at the top so all the limbs were protected. Everyone mounted back up and Harry floated the tree ahead of him back to the house where he turned it over to the elves so they could get it in place while the riders took care of their horses. After everyone was done they went back to the manor to warm up.
Harry suggested they all get their swimsuits on and meet in the Jacuzzi to warm up. They agreed and met him at the pool. Harry showed up a little later but came with some hot cocoa and biscuits for everyone. Harry served his guests before joining them in the hot tub.
Harry told them about all the decorations the elves had brought for the tree. They then shared Christmas traditions and stories with each other adding additional warmth on top of the water and the cocoa. After Leru and a couple more elves served them dinner, all the elves, the guests, and Harry met in the lounge to decorate the tree.
The elves had setup the tree magically so it would stay in one place and not fall over. With everyone helping it did not take long at all and the tree looked magnificent when they were done. "Oh, Harry" said Mattie. "It has been so long since we had a Christmas tree at Potter Place and it looks absolutely beautiful. As a matter of fact you were just a baby the last time we had a tree." "You know Mattie there is only one thing left to do for this tree.
The star needs to be put on top. I would like you to have this honor because you are one of my most favorite people." "Oh, Harry I could not do that.
As Lord of the Potters and Potter Place it is your right and honor to place the star on top" replied Mattie. "Mattie, you are teaching me too well" said Harry.
"As the Lord of the manor I also have the right to choose who gets the honor of placing the star on top of the tree and that my dear is you." All the guests smiled at their two hosts while hearing the exchange. "Okay, Harry I will place the star on top of the tree but only if you will do me one favor." "What would that be, Mattie?" "I want to put the star in place using my hands so I want you to levitate me up to the top of the tree so I can do that.
I learned a lesson from what I was told you did with our guests when you all participated together in chopping down this great tree without using magic. In the same venue I think this Christmas will mean more to me if I can place the star there with just my hands instead of using my magic and if you levitate me then I will not use any magic at all to place the star on top." "It would be my honor Mattie" replied Harry.
Mattie picked up the large star. "Are you ready?" asked Harry. Mattie nodded yes so Harry took his wand and levitated Mattie up to the top of the tree very slowly being as careful as he can be.
Mattie placed the star on top of the tree and fastened it in place the muggle way. Harry brought her back down after she was done. Once her feet hit the floor she ran over to Harry and hugged him. "Thank you Harry! That meant more to me than you will ever know.
You honor an old house elf and I am so proud of you for making this Christmas the best ever!" exclaimed Mattie. "You are most welcome Mattie but I could not have done any of this without you and all the rest of the elves. You guys have been absolutely outstanding in everything you have done." Harry waved his wand and a tray of drinks appeared. Picking up one of the drinks he raised his glass in the air, "May I have your attention?
I would like to propose a toast." All the guests stopped and picked up a drink. "To the house elves of Potter Place. They have done a remarkable job this Christmas and I want to thank them for being the best they can be." Harry raised his glass then took a drink.
All the guests raised theirs as well and took a drink then put down their glasses and began applauding the elves and thanking them for taking such good care of everyone. The elves were embarrassed to say the least but they were very happy that everybody thought they were doing a good job. It was getting late and some guests were showing signs of being tired so Harry excused himself to go to his room. He really wanted to work on his presents that he bought and he would need to get help from Simon a bit later after everyone was asleep.
Once in his room Harry started casting the auto-fit charm on several of the items he had bought. When it was late enough he quietly apparated into the Library and asked Simon if he would meet him in the training room to work on something. He was afraid Hermione might make a late night run to the Library so wanted to do this in the training room just in case. Harry apparated to the training room and Simon was there about the same time.
Harry cast a silencing charm. "Well Harry, what can I do for you so late at night?" "Thanks for helping Simon. I bought a bunch of Christmas presents for my guests and the elves. I actually bought them all necklaces and the girls also got pendants to go on their necklace. I know. I know. Why would I think the guys would want a necklace from me? Well, what I want to do is put all kinds of strong protections on all the necklaces and also want them to be able to wear them but the necklace can be invisible.
If they want it to show to others they can but it will stay invisible if they don't want it to show. I need your help with some of the protections and how to make it easy for them to show the necklace or hide the necklace. Will you help me with that?" "Certainly Harry. I would be happy to help you. You are good lad you know that? To want to protect your friends like that is a very noble and caring thing to do. Let's get started shall we? Did you bring a necklace?" "Yes, got one right here and remember this is a secret.
They cannot know what I bought them and what we are doing until after Christmas morning when they receive their gifts. Got it?" "My painted lips are sealed Harry. Here is what you need to do…" oo0O0oo Christmas morning finally arrived. Bill and Charlie came in the night before and helped bring Mr. Weasley as well. He was finally let out of the hospital but was still sore from his injuries.
Everyone was starting to stir and the elves had prepared a breakfast feast for everyone. They all met in the dining room. Harry had Mr. Weasley sit at one end of the table while Harry occupied the other end. Everyone else sat where they wanted. On Harry's left sat Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Neville, and Luna. On Harry's right sat Dan, Emma, George, and Fred.
Molly, Bill, Charlie, Remus, Tonks, and Sirius sat closer to Mr. Weasley on his end and helped to fill in the middle seats. The food was outstanding to say the least.
Leru completely outdid himself with Christmas breakfast. Harry had all his guests adjourn from the dining room and gather around the Christmas tree they had decorated. He called in all the elves as well to join in on the Christmas celebrations. Once everyone was settled Harry asked Luna and Neville if they would do the honors and pass out all the Christmas presents.
Harry noticed that all his guests, including the house elves, were wondering where all the extra presents had come from. Harry had brought all of his wrapped presents and put them under the tree in the wee hours of the morning so no one saw when he did.
Luna and Neville were very efficient handing out the presents. The elves were shocked when they were handed a present and shocked again when they were handed a second present.
His guests were getting a little suspicious as well when they received two presents each from Harry. "Harry, this is not fair!" said Ginny. "You bought us two presents?" "Once we start opening them you will understand and I already realized I will have to explain both presents but I will do that once everyone has opened all their presents first.
Wait until then and I will be happy to explain" replied Harry. Once all the presents were open, Harry was looking at the jumper he received from Mrs. Weasley, then the book he got from Hermione (she apologized for not knowing at the time how many books he had), the chocolates from Ron, a photo album from Ginny for his new memories, green dragon hide gloves from Charlie, a book on finance from Bill, a staff from Mattie (she said she would explain later), and a few other gifts.
Harry realized everyone was now staring at him, especially the men who were looking back and forth at him and then at their necklaces. Harry slowly looked up and caught everyone's eyes on him. "Oh, I guess you guys would like an explanation?" asked Harry. They all nodded yes, even the elves. "Alright, then here goes" said Harry.
"Let's start with the easy one. Could everyone put on their new cowboy hat?" All the guests and elves put on the cowboy hat that Harry had bought them. Harry put on his as well. All the hats fit perfectly due to Harry's auto-fit charm. "Since most of us have taken up horseback riding and some were already old pros, I decided that you all deserved a cowboy hat that you can wear when you ride. It is a special thank you to my guests and friends for spending this holiday with me.
If you like someone else's color and they are agreeable for a trade then feel free. Otherwise we will have to use magic to change the color. Up to you. The auto-fit charm will still work. Okay, you can take your hats off now if you want." Most left theirs on.
George and Fred held up their necklaces.
"Harry" said Fred, "what were you thinking?" "Yes, Harry a necklace?" said George. "Grant it, it is a man's necklace but I'm not sure how to accept a necklace from another guy." "I know, I know" said Harry. "Hold your horses while I explain.
"I love my new necklace and the pendant is beautiful" said Ginny. "Me, too" said Luna "but I think I still like my cork bottle necklace a little better." "It's lovely Harry. Thank you" said Mrs. Weasley. "Harry, I think the guys are still waiting for your explanation" said Sirius.
"I know I am." "Alright, everyone. I would like you all to put on your necklace, yes, the men too" said Harry. Everyone put on their necklace and as soon as they did it disappeared. "Look around" said Harry. "Do you see anyone with their necklace on? Look in the mirror. Can you see your necklace around your neck? No? You can feel it but you cannot see it. Nor can anyone else see it." "Now, everyone reach up and touch your necklace.
While touching it say the word 'show' then look in the mirror or at another person. You can now see your necklace. Touch it and say 'hide' to make it disappear again." "Wow, this is so cool Harry" said Emma. "It's like I'm doing magic." "I am glad you like it. The magic is in the necklace.
The word just triggers the change." "Harry, this is some very advanced magic. I am extremely impressed" said Hermione. "Thank you Hermione but there is more to this story. I made it so you can hide the necklace if you do not wish for it to show but the important thing is that you wear it all the time or at least as much as possible.
The reason you should wear it is because those necklaces have every protection spell I could think to place on them. I also got help and ideas from Simon to do this. While they cannot stop any of the unforgiveable curses they should prove most effective against others, even nasty ones. So, please wear them and stay protected." "You are all my friends and family and I wish for you all to remain as safe as possible. So there guys, wear it hidden if you do not want it to show and take advantage of the protection it gives." Harry received lots of hugs and thanks that morning from all his guests and all the house elves as well.
They all looked real cute in their cowboy hats too. Chapter Ten The Potter Christmas Ball Harry is happy. He could not remember ever having a Christmas like this before.
Of course previously he had been with the Dursleys enough said. All of his guests and the house elves were in great moods after opening their presents. Everyone had thanked Harry profusely for his gifts, especially for the necklaces with the strong protection spells.
Mrs. Weasley hugged him for a long time not just in thanks for her necklace but for Harry providing protection for all of her family. "You are the sweetest boy!" she said while crying on his shoulder. "Don't cry Mrs. Weasley" said Harry uncomfortably. "It's the least I could do. You guys are like family to me and we both know I do not have much real family left to speak of." Molly grabbed him again and cried some more.
It was Bill and Charley that lead their mum back to the sofa to sit next to Arthur. Charley told Harry that his father wanted a word with him so Harry followed them over to the sofa where he was resting. "Mr. Weasley, you wanted to speak to me?" asked Harry. "Yes, Harry, please have a seat next to me." Harry sat down next to Mr.
Weasley and waited for him to say what he wanted to say. "Harry, you are an amazing man. I know you are only 15 but you are a man in my eyes. You are shouldering a man's responsibilities and doing quite well I might add.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving my life. I was not ready to part from my family or this world quite yet and you made sure I am still around to enjoy it." Molly, who was sitting on the other side of Arthur, started sniffling.
Arthur put his good arm around her shoulders and held her close. "There is no way I can thank you for everything you have done for my family. I am not the only family member either whose life has been saved by you. We owe you a debt we cannot possibly pay." "Mr. Weasley, your family has paid me back in abundance. None of you owe me a thing.
Do you realize how much value I place on family and friends? You know my past and what I have been through. Ron was the first friend I have ever had. Before Hogwarts when I was in a muggle school my cousin Dudley made sure none of the other kids became my friends.
He would scare them all off. When Ron became my friend I did not realize the full package that came with it. Now I do and no one is going to take you guys away from me if I can help it." Molly started crying again. "Thank you, son. Always remember that you are welcome in this family.
Molly and I think of you as one of ours already." "Thank you, Mr. Weasley" said Harry as he stood up and leaned over to give them both a hug.
"You have no idea how much you guys mean to me." Harry raised back up and looked at them fondly on the sofa. "You know with your new hats I might make cowboys and cowgirls out of you two yet." They both grinned at him. "Now you go talk to some of the others" said Mrs. Weasley. "We have monopolized your time enough. I am sure there are others who wish to speak with you" she said smiling. "I will do that, Mrs.
Weasley. Mr. Weasley I want you to take it easy. If you need anything at all call the house elf assigned to you or let Mattie or myself know what you need if we are near.
The house elves are excited and count it a privilege to help my friends and family. They have not had any wizards and witches around here for many years before I showed up. Mattie takes care of me so the other elves are enjoying taking care of you guys. Trust me they love it. Don't disappoint them by not calling them when you need something." "Thank you Harry.
I am a little thirsty. I will call on Maisy right away. Maisy?" called Mr. Weasley.
Pop! Maisy appeared before Mr. Weasley. "What can Maisy do for Arthur? I am happy to help" said Maisy. "Maisy, thank you so much for your prompt service.
I am most impressed with you. Since I cannot move very well would you be so kind as to bring me some tea?" asked Arthur. "Right away Arthur. Can Maisy bring any drinks for anyone else?" asked Maisy to Molly, Charley, and Bill. "Actually, I could use some tea as well" said Molly. "Me too" said Bill.
"I would rather have cold pumpkin juice" replied Charley. "Coming right up" said Maisy and she left with a pop. One minute later she appeared before them again with three hot teas and a pumpkin juice on a platter along with honey, cream and sugar. Harry had moved on across the room to talk to other guests but had been watching the exchange.
He was grinning as he watched Maisy serve his guests and their interaction with the house elf. What a great day he thought to himself. Next thing he knew there was a blur of movement. Harry was grabbed and a big kiss was planted on his lips. His eyes went wide and he realized it was Tonks. He saw Ginny and Hermione across the room with a shocked look on their faces.
Harry wrapped his arms around Tonks and kissed her back and then Tonks finally let him go and stepped back. "Harry, I have been waiting to do that ever since I opened my presents from you.
You do not know how much this means to me to have this protection around my neck." "Actually, I believe I have a pretty good idea after that kiss, Tonks." Harry smiled. Tonks started giggling. "I'm sorry Harry. You know how excited I get when you do something so nice. As an auror this kind of gift is highly useful.
It will likely save my life, Harry. I would kiss you again but I do not want to get Remus too jealous. The wolf might come out. Actually, that might not be a bad idea. I may have to find a dark corner and drag him into it." "Too much information, Tonks. Besides I see Remus, Sirius, Hermione and Ginny all headed this way.
I am sure your show of thanks has peaked their interest to say the least." Tonks giggled again. "Harry, are you going after older women?" asked Remus. "We are all wondering what is going on over here" said Hermione. Sirius was grinning from ear to ear. Ginny was not looking happy for some reason. "Tonks is the one who initiated it and kissed me so she can explain it to you" replied Harry.
"Okay, lover. I don't mind" said Tonks with a wink. "Tonks! That's not helping!" exclaimed Harry. "Sorry, Harry. Actually that was not the first time Harry and I kissed." Tonks grinned real big.
"Tonks! Please!" Everyone was looking at them at this point. "Okay, I've toyed with poor Harry long enough. It's an interesting story so let's all come a little closer to Arthur and Molly so everyone can hear. Now pay close attention" she told everyone. "After the trial of Umbridge my boss (Madame Bones) assigned me to accompany Harry safely back to Hogwarts but she suggested that we could make a few stops if Harry needed anything. When we were in the Ministry Atrium I asked Harry if he needed to run any errands before returning to school.
I suggested he could buy a pretty girl an ice cream and turned into a buxom blonde." Tonks transformed at that time into the same movie star look she did for Harry. When she did Ron, Neville, Charley, Bill, Remus, and Dan all grunted approval and leaned in a little closer to get a better look.
Sirius was laughing out loud. Hermione, Ginny, Molly, and Emma had their mouths open in shock. Luna was staring into space and Arthur just sat there enjoying the story. Harry put his hands over his face obviously embarrassed.
"Well, as I was standing there like this" continued Tonks, "Harry said something that I will never forget. He said 'Tonks, I appreciate the show but I think you are pretty just the way you were.' Harry was completely honest about it too. It wasn't just a line he was saying. You all know Harry. Now folks I have never had anyone tell me that before. It completely stopped me in my tracks. I returned back to normal." Tonks returned back to herself. All the guys were looking at her differently now agreeing that she is pretty.
The ladies were smiling a knowing smile, even Luna. Sirius had stopped laughing. "Well, I am a little excitable as you know so I grabbed Harry and kissed him for all he was worth right on the lips. He was surprised to say the least." Harry's face was red. "When I let him go I apologized for going overboard with my excitement but he put me at ease and assured me that it was okay because at his age he had never been kissed that way before he said.
He is very smart you know. He acknowledged that we did not have any special feelings for each other and we were just good friends. He also came to the conclusion that the kiss was quite enjoyable and since he now knew that it was just a friendly kiss he would remember that next time and respond in kind.
I must say Harry you did respond and it was quite good. You are one good kisser!" "Oh, brother" said Harry and hid his red face further. Everyone started laughing, even Ginny found it funny. Tonks continued. "Of course that was not the most exciting thing that happened on our outing. It came close though. I mean kissing the-boy-who-lived ranks right up there, you know" she said with a dreamy face like Luna's.
"Tonks?" "Yes, Harry" she responded with a wicked grin. "I may have to give you an itch you can't scratch if you don't cut it out." "Ooh, where would the itch be?" "My secret and your surprise if you keep it up." Harry grinned at her. "OK, Harry you spoils sport" Tonks said smiling. "I suppose I have ribbed you long enough.
Hey, did you guys know that was the same day that Harry captured Augustus Rookwood? We were headed to Gringotts when he attacked us. My savior here pushed me down out of the way and stepped in front of me. Rookwood cast the Cruciatus curse and Harry cast an Expelliarmus right afterwards.
He said he accidentally put a little extra power into it because he saw the Cruciatus coming at him. Rookwood flew back about 20 feet.
Harry stunned him and tied him up. Both spells looked like they were cast about the same time he was so fast.
Then he was helping me up. I told him I am the auror and he is the student. He was not supposed to show me up so bad." "Harry, why didn't you move out of the way of the curse?" asked Ginny. "Tonks and others were behind me. I got his wand real quick so the curse did not turn out to be much. I never even fell down." Everyone looked concerned, thinking hard on this new information after his statement but Tonks came to his rescue.
"That is not all that happened either. There was even more excitement later on." "What, there's more?" asked Ron. Tonks looked at Harry. "Is it okay to tell them the rest, Harry? It's your secrets that I have promised not to share. You will have to release me before I will tell the rest." "It's okay Tonks.
Everyone here is safe to share with. Let me say this though before you continue. The information Tonks is about to share is a secret. Some here already know this secret but not all of you. I ask that you keep the secret for me until it is okay for public consumption. It is likely not to remain secret for very long anyway but it is important that it remain secret for as long as possible.
I should mention that the necklaces also block legilimency attacks so as long as you do not share this information with anyone outside this room then my secret will be safe. Does everyone agree?" They all nodded and affirmed that they would.
"Alright" said Tonks. "Where was I? Oh yes, more excitement. Harry went on to Gringotts and withdrew the funds he needed. I called the aurors who came and took care of Rookwood. I met Harry in Gringotts when he came back up from his vault and then he took this pretty girl (me) for some ice cream.
What a gentlemen. After all that he remembered I wanted ice cream. Anyway we finished up and went through the Leaky Cauldron into London. I transformed my robes into muggle attire. Harry wanted to go to a sporting goods store that sold karate uniforms and equipment.
I knew where one was so we headed that direction. On the way we passed by an ally that contained a young woman and four big guys who had her backed against the wall. We stopped after we went past. Harry said he did not like the look of that so I suggested we go see if she needed help. Harry said for me to stay close to the entrance so I could use my wand if needed. He was going to confront the guys and rescue the girl. All these guys were much bigger than Harry.
I told him to be careful because I was not going to allow those thugs to hurt him." "Harry are you nuts going in after four guys bigger than you? Tonks, how could you let him do that?" shouted Sirius. "Calm down cousin and let me finish the story" replied Tonks. "I assure you Harry was never hurt. In fact this is where I got my first real karate lesson. Now don't get me wrong Kingsley is really good and has taught me a lot about self-defense but I am here to tell you I could have sold tickets to the show Harry put on." "I bet" interrupted Hermione.
"A few of us have seen him in action on the train." "I heard about that" said Tonks "but let me tell you what he did. He was so smooth it was entertaining. Harry said 'Miss, do you need assistance? I could not help but notice these gentlemen around you. I am not sure if they stopped to help as well or if they are the cause for your distress.'" "'I-I n-need h-help' she said." "Harry said 'Alright, ma'am.
I'll take care of it for you. Please go and stand by my friend over there while I talk to these gentlemen.' Harry pointed at me and the young woman started to slowly walk toward me but one of the men grabbed her arm.
Harry quickly grabbed the man's little finger which made him let go of the girl immediately and then the man went to his knees. His friends went on alert but did not attack. I think they were afraid that Harry would break their friend's finger." Harry piped in "I would have had they done anything." "Harry let go of the man's finger once the girl was safely with me. He faced the guys and moved in real close to them which made them a little nervous that this young kid showed no fear.
I must admit Harry was making me nervous too." "Harry said 'What are you guys doing? Where is the dignity and decency in attacking a young defenseless woman like that?' he asked." "The leader of the four and the biggest decided he did not need a lecture from some kid so he grabbed Harry by the front of his shirt." "He said 'You listen here, squirt.
You need to mind your own business. When we get done with you we will take care of that girl and your girlfriend too.'" "Harry was so cool. 'You mean that pretty girl that came with me? You should know that she is far from defenseless and the last thing you want to do is attack her, besides I am not done with you yet' said Harry.
He was so calm it was scary." "The thug said 'What are you going to do, squirt?'" "Here is when I got my karate lesson. To be honest it was almost a blur Harry was so fast. I will try and describe it as best as I can. 'This, said Harry' Then in one fluid motion, Harry grabbed the wrists of the man who had him by the shirt front. He then stepped back to throw the man off balance which also caused the man to lean forward. Harry then took his right arm and swung it over the man's two arms while turning to the left so he was sideways to the man.
This loosened the man's grip but Harry was not done. Oh no. He elbowed the man hard in the face with his right elbow and then back-fisted the man in the temple.
Harry held on to his arms and threw the man over his shoulder to the hard concrete, landing the man on his back. Harry did a quick kick to the head which knocked him out." "Then Harry spun around and noticed the other three were getting into position. He quickly front kicked the man on the right in the solar plexus. He then jumped and front kicked him hard in the face. The man dropped like a rock. When Harry landed, he was in the perfect position so he did a spinning back kick to the man's chin on his left.
The man fell and was out cold." "The next guy reached for Harry but Harry kicked him with a very powerful side kick that sent the man flying 4 to 5 feet away. The man was slowly getting up so Harry took time to make sure the rest were still knocked out and they were. The man came rushing back holding his ribs. Harry waited until he was close enough then jumped in the air and using a roundhouse kick, kicked him hard right on the chin.
The man flew into the brick wall and slumped down out cold." "Harry calmly looked around, straightened his clothes and walked over to us." "I told Harry he could have left some for me." "I was having way too much fun" said Harry.
"Anyway we made sure the young woman whose name was Julie was alright before sending her on her way. That's the day Harry bought all the karate uniforms, belts, and equipment." All the karate students nodded at her remembering that day.
"I bought some more on my errand the other day. I thought everyone could use a few more since we meet practically every day. I picked up some more sport bras and jockey straps that way you do not have to worry about running out before laundry is done. Plus I wanted to get some of that for Kingsley since he has been joining us on occasion." "Thanks Harry" replied all of his karate students.
"Wait a second" said Mrs. Weasley. "Harry, where did you learn to do all that?" "Right here, in this house, from a very good friend, an unspeakable. Grandpa introduced me to him" replied Harry. "Okay, now what are sport bras and jockey straps?" asked Mrs. Weasley.
Emma spoke up. "Molly, sport bras are for the girls. I have some myself that I use when I exercise. They are great for that and I take it for karate training as well." "Yes," replied Harry. "They are more comfortable correct?" "Yes, Harry" replied Emma.
"For the woman they make a huge difference when you are exercising. Regular bras do not provide as much support as a sports bra so if you are exercising your breasts tend to bounce too much in a regular bra plus if your regular bra is lacy then all the sweat will eventually ruin and stain it.
The sports bra holds the breasts in place better so you are more comfortable doing physical exercise and the material is easily washed to clean it. A regular bra could actually cause some pain. The less your breasts move around when you are active the more comfortable a woman will be." "Thank you, Emma. That was a very good explanation" replied Molly.
"Yes, thank you Emma. That was very educational for me too. I knew some of it which is why I purchased them for the ladies but you obviously know more about it then I do which I do not find embarrassing in the least" said Harry honestly.
"I could explain about the jockey strap but I am willing to bet that Dan may be able to explain it better. Dan?" "Ha, ha. Alright, Harry. I'll help you out" said Dan. "Molly the jockey or jock strap is for the men and boys. The important part about the jock strap is it works like the sports bra to provide support so nothing moves around too much. For the man the jock strap supports his bits when exercising. Some, like the ones I am sure Harry purchased, has a pocket in the front.
You need what is called a protective cup which fits inside this pocket. The cup is generally made out of hard plastic and protects the bits from injury, especially when participating in contact sports like karate." "Thanks, Dan" replied Harry. "That was an excellent explanation. I bought the jock straps and cups for Ron, Neville, and myself so we could have protection during our karate sessions.
Sometimes you can be accidentally or on purpose kicked or hit in the bits. Since we do not intentionally want to hurt each other in my karate class I felt getting the proper protection was wise.
We also have protective gear that we wear when practicing our sparring. It protects us pretty much all over." "Thank you Harry and Dan.
That was very informative" said Mrs. Weasley. "I find it all very fascinating what those wonderful muggles can come up with" said Mr. Weasley. After the conversation trailed off, Harry stood up and got everyone's attention. "Everyone? May I suggest that we all take our presents back to our rooms so the elves can straighten up in here? I know you are aware of the ball that starts at 7 pm tonight.
I am sure you will want plenty of time to get ready for it beforehand. We have a couple hours before lunch so why not everyone do whatever they wish to do before then. I have a couple things I need to check on so see you all at lunch." oo0O0oo Harry could not believe it was already time to get ready for the Christmas ball.
He noticed the girls had started getting ready hours ago. He decided he better get cleaned up and dressed so he would be on time to welcome his other guests at 7 pm. He checked with Mattie and as usual she had everything well in hand. Harry showered and dressed in the nicest black robes he could find.
He was ready early so was down at the kitchen by 6:30 chatting with Mattie and Leru. Dinner at 6:00 had been cancelled due to food being served at the ball.
Leru had cooked up a storm for the special event. He seemed to take it personal if anyone was hungry. Harry had looked in at the ballroom and was very pleased with all the decorations. The elves had out done themselves. They were all dressed in formal robes as well with the Potter crest on their uniforms. They looked excited and ready to go.
The whole manor looked like Christmas. There was soft music playing in the ballroom and one of the elves had volunteered to be the DJ. His name was Jazey. He was ready to vary the music during the evening of dancing so there were fast songs, slow songs, waltzes, etc. Mattie and Jazey had worked it all out based on past experience. Evidently in the past Potter Place used to host many such occasions.
Harry had left them to it since he had no expertise in that area. One of Harry's deepest secrets was between Mattie and himself. After Harry had showed up at Potter Place one of the things Mattie had instructed him on was his behavior during functions such as this. Mattie told him that not only was he to carry himself in a certain manner but it was required to be able to dance.
After Harry's less than spectacular dancing at the Yule Ball last year (poor Parvati) he was somewhat thankful that he was going to learn how to dance properly. Mattie made sure he was taught thoroughly during part of the lessons she worked on with Harry. She noticed that the karate he was taught helped with his dancing. His ability and showmanship vastly improved after a week of karate training. It appears the extra control he gained over his body was helpful with his dance lessons. He was quite proficient the last time she had worked with him.
She had thoroughly enjoyed teaching and preparing her charge. He was a delight to work with and she knew that Harry cared as much for her as she did for him. The Potters had always been a good family and she counted herself very lucky to be at Potter Place.
She was anxious to see Harry in action at the ball. She has been very proud of him this entire Christmas holiday. His behavior with his guests has been better than she could have hoped for.
She realizes that Harry is close to most of them but he has handled himself perfectly, nonetheless. Taking a final sweep through the ballroom and Banquet Hall, Mattie made sure everything was in place and the food hot. Leru had a spread on the large table close to the ballroom filled with eats and drinks.
It was one impressive spread. Sirius, Remus, Neville, and the Weasley men had come down about 6:45. Arthur and Molly, along with Dan and Emma showed up soon after that. Next was Tonks. At 7:00 the guests began to arrive. Professor Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall arrived together. Harry and Mattie greeted them warmly and escorted them to the table to show them the food and then into the ballroom where everyone else waited, except for Ron who was hanging around the food.
Luna's father showed up and Harry greeted him warmly. He asked Mr. Lovegood if he could have a quick word with him and took him aside a few feet away. Xenophilius Lovegood was wondering what the young man wanted but was happy to oblige all the same. "Mr. Lovegood" said Harry, "I know that you publish The Quibbler but I am asking you to not write anything about your visit here.
You will not be able to publish any real specifics about the place anyway due to certain charms in place. I hope I am not offending you with this but it is very important that my home remain a secret.
I do not wish to be attacked here." "Mr. Potter" said Xenophilius, "You do not offend me in the slightest. As a matter of fact my daughter Luna has beat you to the punch. She sent me an owl explaining that this was your home and no one outside of whom you invite was to know about it. I understand completely and I appreciate your invitation. Your secret is safe with me." "Thank you, sir. I very much appreciate it." "No problem, Mr. Potter." "You may call me Harry." "Thank you Harry.
My first name is Xenophilius but you may call me Xen." "Thank you Xen. Shall we join the others?" Harry led Xen past the food table and into the Ballroom.
On their way, they saw the girls coming down the stairs. Harry could not believe how beautiful they all were in the ball gowns he had loaned them. He decided right then and there that he was not going to allow them to return them. He would think of something he decided. Luna ran up and gave her Dad a big hug and kiss. She then gave Harry a hug and kiss on the cheek as well thanking him for the dress and what she knew was going to be a great evening.
Harry blushed and told her "you're welcome." The parents were gushing over how well their children looked. Neville's grandmother, Mrs.
Longbottom, had come in while Harry spoke to Xen. She was admiring her grandson in his evening wear. He was explaining to her what Harry had done for them when they were not allowed to go anywhere to buy anything for the ball. Augusta Longbottom was very impressed with Harry's generosity and told him so herself just as soon as they spoke. After talking to Augusta for a bit Kingsley Shacklebolt arrived with a guest. It was Madam Amelia Bones. Mattie and Harry greeted them and welcomed them to Potter Place.
Now that all the guests had arrived it was time to introduce Harry. Harry was to make a speech to his guests. After everyone was in the ballroom, Mattie had Jazey turn the music way down low. She then went upon the small stage and got everyone's attention.
In a formal but loud voice she said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lords and Ladies, witches and wizards it is my honor to introduce you to Master Harry James Potter, Lord of Potter Place and all that is Potter. Master Harry please come." Harry went up on the stage with Mattie.
He had produced his staff she had given him for Christmas. No one knew where it came from. It just appeared in his hand.
He walked with it up onto the stage, turned to his guests with the staff planted in front of him at his left hand. Harry began. "Friends and Family, I welcome you all to Potter Place and my first Christmas Ball. First of all, you should know that there are loos close by just down the hall.
If you get lost call Mattie and she will sort you out. Next, I wish to thank Jazey who has kindly volunteered to man the music. I am sure he will handle his duties well. If you have a request then be sure and let him know. Last but not least we have our very own magnificent chef here at Potter Place and he has been wowing us this entire holiday season. He has done no less for us tonight. Just outside the ballroom door in the Banquet Hall you will find a large table loaded with the best tasting food you can imagine.
Please help yourselves. I have given the house elves the night off as they are also celebrating with us. If you need anything that is not on the table, please let me know and I will try to assist. I believe Ron Weasley knows the fastest way to the table so follow him if you are not sure." There was quite a bit of laughter and a red-faced Ron.
"Now without further ado let's eat and have a ball!" Harry descended from the stage and the staff disappeared from sight after he was back on the dance floor. Once again, no one knew how he managed that. After everyone had satisfied themselves with food, they all congregated back into the ballroom where Jazey had the music going at just the right volume.
People began to pair up and dance. Harry saw Arthur and Molly dancing slowly and carefully, then Dan and Emma, Dumbledore and McGonagall, Xen and Augusta. Next, he saw Tonks drag Remus onto the floor. Looking around further he saw Sirius guiding Hermione onto the floor while Neville was asking Luna for a dance.
Ron looked like he was heading back out to the food. As his eyes followed Ron walking, they stopped on Ginny when Ron went past her and she came into focus. She was looking down at her shoes. Harry walked slowly over to Ginny. When she noticed him standing in front of her she looked up suddenly into his green eyes, the eyes that always made her weak in the knees.
Harry was staring intently at her. Ginny stared back as best she could but was feeling a fluttering in her stomach that was distracting. Harry made a deep bow and then held out his hand. "May I have this dance, my lady?" he asked with a grin. "Why certainly my Lord" she said taking his offered hand. "It would be my honor." Harry led Ginny out on to the floor. There was a waltz being played so he began leading her around the dance floor in as expert a manner as he could muster.
After they had danced for a minute or so Ginny looked at Harry who was keeping his eyes focused on hers the whole time. "Harry, when did you learn to dance?" she asked. "You are quite good at it as well." "Thank you, I was taught by Mattie. She informed me that as the Lord of the Potters it was required that I know how due to functions such as this and the lord of the Potters was expected to be able to equip himself quite handily on the dance floor. My performance at the Yule Ball was appalling.
I am sorry I put Parvati through that. Her toes are probably still hurting. Mattie is a good teacher and has taught me well. I hope I am sufficient a dancer for you. I noticed that you are quite good at it." "Harry, you are a remarkably quick learner if you are this good after such a short period of time you have spent with Mattie.
You must be a natural dancer because I am quite impressed." "Why thank you, Ginny. It is important to me to be as good a Potter as I can be. I would not want to disappoint Mattie." "I would be willing to bet that Mattie is extremely proud of you.
I know that I am" Ginny said with a smile. "You are very kind, Ginny. Thank you for the dance, my lady" Harry bowed and said as the song ended. "Thank you, my lord" Ginny replied with a curtsey. "Please save me another dance or two later?" Harry asked Ginny. "Right now I must see to my other guests. Please have fun and enjoy yourself." Ginny could not believe Harry could dance like that after how poorly he did at the Yule Ball just a year ago.
She watched him as he danced with every woman in the room. He was good no matter the song or the tempo. During that time she danced with some of her brothers, Sirius, and Remus but her father had to sit down after the one dance with her mother so she was not able to dance with him. He needed the rest though so they made sure he did no more dancing for the night. He told her he was sorry he could not dance with his girl but he knew he was pushing it dancing with Molly and he could not resist at least one dance with his wife.
Ginny gave him a hug and told him that was alright. She would make sure to get a dance out of him next time when he was all healed up. Harry and the Weasley boys made sure Molly got plenty of dances since Arthur was not well enough. However, she seem to be content sitting with her husband and watching their kids enjoy themselves. Harry did indeed dance with all the ladies, elves included. He made sure they all got his undivided attention when he was dancing with them. The female elves had a difficult time looking him in the eye though, except Mattie.
Hermione, Luna, and Tonks were equally impressed with his dancing ability. McGonagall could not remember the last time she had enjoyed dancing that much. She was very proud of her Gryffindor. Sirius and Remus noticed as well how smooth he was on the dance floor and gave each other questioning looks and raised eyebrows. Harry finally convinced Ron to dance, especially with Hermione. He promised him dancing lessons later so he would be more confident.
He explained how the karate lessons helped and right now even without dance lessons Harry bet Ron he would be able to dance better if he would just give it a try. He suggested Ron start with his mum so she could teach him a little before he asked Hermione. He finally gave in and asked his mum to dance since he was the only Weasley son that had not danced with her yet.
The guilt was too much so he asked her. He also asked her when they started dancing if she could give him some pointers. Molly gladly obliged and taught Ron as best she could over the next three dances. He then danced with Hermione who told him how surprised she was at how good of a dancer he was.
This boosted his confidence even more so he ended up dancing with Luna, Tonks, and even Ginny. They never thought they would see Ron enjoying dancing. He even danced with Emma Granger while Dan danced with his daughter. Molly had told him to watch Harry dance when he was not dancing. She said he could learn a lot that way. He did just that and enjoyed himself the rest of the evening dancing with his friends.
Harry was dancing with Amelia Bones when she struck up a conversation with him. "Harry, your dancing is superb. I dare say I have heard that you are good at a quite a few other things as well." "Really, Amelia? May I ask what exactly you have heard about me?" "Just that you are a remarkable teacher for someone so young.
I was told that you had took it upon yourself to help the first and second years when they had no Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Quite remarkable indeed" said Amelia. "Oh, that. Well I do enjoy teaching them. They are a great bunch of kids and they just soak it all up. When we could not find a replacement teacher I started helping them so they would not fall too far behind by the time we get another teacher." "I also heard that you started a group for the third years and above called the D.A., the Defense Association?" "Yes, ma'am.
Actually that was my friend Hermione's suggestion. She recognized how far we would get behind if we did not do something soon. That was the reason I thought of the first and second years. We realized they would not fit with our D.A. group because they still needed to learn the basics. That is why it is limited to third years and above. So I started helping the first and second years as well." "Very commendable Harry. Very commendable indeed and in your OWL year as well.
I understand though that not all of the students are getting instruction?" "That is correct, Amelia. Without a real Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher the classes and group are strictly optional. All of the first and second years attend my classes but we have a little less than 100 students in the D.A.
so the rest are not getting instruction in defense." "Tell me Harry, how is it you as a fifth year are able to teach sixth and seventh years?" "I actually have a lot of help in the D.A. and there are a few other students helping me teach the group. Other than that I would have to get a promise that you could keep my secrets before I can tell you more." Amelia looked at Harry for a moment considering what he had just said before she replied. "Harry, I am perfectly willing to keep your secrets but I will ask you to stop and tell me nothing more that would require that trust.
I really do not need to know more than you have shared at this point." "Thank you Amelia. Obviously you are a trustworthy person but I will stop there until and if it becomes necessary to share with you further details." The music ended so they stopped dancing. "One last thing Harry. I noticed your godfather was here." Harry started looking worried. "Oh, Harry, do not get worried. Professor Dumbledore and Kingsley have kept me apprised of his situation. I would not be here if that was an issue." "Then do you know that I am a personal witness on more than one occasion seeing Peter Pettigrew alive?
As a matter of fact I was a witness to Cedric Diggory's death when Peter cast a killing curse on him at Voldemort's orders. He said 'Kill the spare' and Peter killed him just like that.
I also have reliable knowledge that Peter was the secret keeper for my parents and not Sirius. Peter was the one that betrayed my parents to Voldemort. Sirius simply went after him when he found my parents dead. Peter cut off his finger and caused an explosion that killed all those muggles. He then turned into his animagus form, a rat, and disappeared. We had him captured in my third year but he got away again. He is very slippery. However, if I run across him again, he will not escape me this time.
I can promise you that" Harry said a bit heatedly. "Thank you Harry for that information. I learned a few things I did not know. I want you to know though that everyone in this room is on your side.
Don't forget that. Now, if you will excuse me I am going to ask Sirius for a dance" she said with a smile as she walked away. Harry just shook his head and smiled.
Harry managed to dance with Mattie and his friends again and danced with Ginny a couple more times just as he had asked her. He had finally devised a plan on how to force his friends to keep the formals he had let them borrow. While dancing with the girls he cast a wandless spell that would not allow them to take off the gowns until they truly accepted them as a gift.
He manage to do the same to Ron and Neville when they were not looking. The ball finally came to a close as the last of the guests left to go home. Everyone apparently enjoyed themselves. As they were leaving to go back to their rooms, Harry asked his friends while they were walking down the hall if he could talk to them for a second.
They all stopped and turned to look at him. "Everyone, I wanted to thank you all for making this evening such an enjoyable one. I also wanted to tell those of you who borrowed the formals from me that I insist you keep them as a gift." They started to protest. "Hang on. Let me finish. After I saw all of you in those clothes and how good you look in them, it would not be right if you gave them back. I would rather see you in them again at another time in the future.
You all look incredible and I do not want those formals returned. Please keep them?" "Harry we have been through this" said Ginny. "We simply can't keep these. They are way too expensive a gift." "Really? Are you sure you can't keep them?" Harry asked with a straight face. "Yes, really, we cannot keep these formals as a gift.
It was bad enough that we had to borrow them" Ginny replied. "That is too bad because I insist that you keep them" replied Harry. "You are getting them back whether you insist or not" said Ginny. "I am going to my room now to remove the gown and I will be returning it to you in a few minutes." She started toward her room. "I'm afraid that will not be possible" announced Harry. Ginny stopped and turned around with a questioning look on her face.
Hermione asked "Why is that Harry?" "Because I have charmed all of your formals so that they cannot be removed until you fully accept them as a gift and keep them as your own" said Harry smugly. Sirius and Remus started laughing. They had been hanging around listening to the conversation. "Harry, how could you?" asked Ginny. "It was quite easy actually. I meant every word I said. Do you hear me? I do not ever want to see anyone else wearing those clothes.
They are yours. Accept it so you can go get changed." Some had already tried to take off something but it would not budge. "You're serious?" asked Ron. "No, Ron. I'm Harry. That is Sirius" he said pointing at Sirius. Remus groaned. "Sorry Remus, I could not resist. Yes, I am serious Ron. I definitely mean it. I am not budging on this. If you want to change out of those formals then you will have to fully accept them as a gift from me.
When you do accept, truthfully and fully with no desire to return them, then you will be able to take them off. Any more questions?" "I accept your gift Harry" said Neville.
"And I appreciate it very much. You are a great friend. I am going to change now." Neville headed toward his room. "You are welcome Neville" replied Harry. "I accept your gift too Harry" said Luna as she gave Harry a hug. "You are a very caring friend, you know that? Thank you for this marvelous gift.
I will enjoy wearing it again." Luna turned and headed toward her room. "You are welcome Luna and you too are a great friend" replied Harry. "I accept your gift Harry" said Ron as he stepped up to give Harry a hug. While Ron hugged Harry he thanked him for the great clothes and promised he would wear them again since these were the best formals he has ever owned. "You are welcome Ron. I would really appreciate that if you did.
It makes me very happy when my friends will let me give them something that I really want to give them" replied Harry. Hermione was next. "Harry, you are unbelievable. Once again, very advanced and impressive magic and I bet you did it wandlessly, correct?" Harry nodded his head. "Okay, Harry. I whole-heartedly accept this gift. I promise you that I will be wearing this again because this is by far my favorite formal gown now. My mum absolutely loved it as well." "Good, you can let her borrow it sometime if you want.
Remember it still has the auto-fit charm that my mum put on it." Hermione smiled then gave Harry a hug and a kiss on his cheek before heading to her room. Sirius and Remus took one look at Ginny and decided they would go to their rooms as well.
When he and Ginny were alone in the hall Harry asked "And what about you Miss Weasley? You seem to be reluctant to accept my gift. Why is that? It hurts when one of my friends refuse a gift from me.
It makes me sad. If I did not want to give it then I would not have offered it and I certainly would not have done all of this to make you accept it if it was not important to me." "Why then is this important to you, Harry?" "Don't you know?" Ginny shook her head.
"Ginny, before I came to Hogwarts I was not allowed any friends. Dudley made sure of that. Ron was my very first friend…ever. Then more friends were added and I could not believe it. Hermione, Neville, Luna and your entire family became my friends.
And your family has practically become my family. I certainly do not have any family left to speak of. Then I discovered that I own all of this" Harry said as he turned around indicating Potter Place "and this is not even the half of it Ginny. Have you not been listening to me? Look at you. Look how beautiful you are in that gown. How can you possibly ask me to take it back?
I want to see you wear that again when the opportunity presents itself because I will do my best to be there so I can admire you in it once more.
I will also add that I gave these to all of you because I can and because you are all my family and friends and you deserve it. If I cannot give gifts to my family and friends then who else can I give gifts too?" "Oh, Harry" said Ginny as she flung herself into his arms and started crying. "I'm sorry. I am so sorry. I cannot believe I am so stupid that I have hurt your feelings twice now over this silly dress" she said still hanging on to him.
"Silly? I really believe that you have not spent enough time in front of the mirror with this dress on. You are stunningly gorgeous! There is no one else who should ever wear that gown but you. Do you hear me?" asked Harry with all the meaning he could put into it. Ginny giggled into his shoulder. "What are you giggling about?" "You said I was 'stunningly gorgeous.'" "Well, it's true.
Ginny, you are just 14 years old and I had to consciously close my mouth when I saw you in this dress tonight. I was stunned at your beauty. Now let's move forward a few years when you are older and your body is more mature.
My tongue will be dragging the floor after you show up in this dress." Ginny raised her head up and looked at Harry. Their faces were only a few inches apart. She could tell he was not making any of this up.
Ginny then kissed him right on the lips like there was no tomorrow. After a second, Harry started kissing her back. He figured if he can kiss Tonks then he can kiss Ginny if she wanted. He wondered if he might have went a bit overboard on the compliments but he knew everything he said was the truth. They finally stopped because they needed air.
They were breathing heavy with their foreheads touching. "Thank you for this wonderful gown, Harry" Ginny said breathlessly. "I will never forget this night for as long as I live. I am sorry for getting so excited and kissing you like that." "I'm not sorry" said Harry quickly. "I told Tonks that I had never been kissed like that before and it was true but now I can say I have never been kissed like that before either.
Wow, Ginny. You can do that any time as long as none of your brothers are around. I don't feel like getting beat up. You know I enjoy these friendly kisses. As a 15 year old boy, how could I not?" Ginny started giggling again. Then she stopped suddenly.
They still had their foreheads together. "Harry I do not deserve you now but I promise I am going make myself worthy enough for you as soon as I can." Harry looked confused. "I accept this gown as your gift Harry. You will never get it back now." With Harry still looking confused about what she said. Ginny pulled him into another kiss but this time it was gentle and soft.
"Thank you Harry" she said then left him to walk back to her room. Harry stood there for a minute not sure of what just happened. He finally went to his room and got ready for bed. He slept pretty peacefully all night long with a dream or two of a certain redhead kissing him for all it was worth. oo0O0oo Two days later in the morning when Harry and his karate students were working out in the Practice Room Harry got their attention when they were done exercising.
"Everyone, I have a surprise for you today." "Harry, you can't keep giving us things" said Hermione. "It will be too one-sided unless we can gift you back." Harry laughed. "No, this is different. There will be a wizard that is showing up today at 2pm. This wizard's name is Benjamin Preston and he is my sensei.
He is the one who taught me all I know about the Isshinryu Karate System this past summer. Remember I told you he is an Unspeakable from the Department of Mysteries? When he was young they sent him to Agena, Okinawa to study the Isshinryu Karate System with the world master who founded the Isshinryu style. The world master's name was Tatsuo Shimabuku." "Ben learned all he could and brought his training back here.
My Grandpa worked with him in the Department of Mysteries so he convinced Ben to teach me. The other day I contacted Ben and asked if he would have the time to work with me for a few days after Christmas was over and before school starts up again. He agreed so he is coming today.
Normally we work from 2pm to 6pm but usually later than that, depending on what we are working on. Are you guys ready to meet my sensei?
If he agrees to work with you as well then he will be your sensei too. However. I will continue to teach you guys when we return to Hogwarts. I am warning you now though. Ben does not take it easy.
How do you think I learned all that I did in one month?" "Wow, Harry. We are really going to get to meet the sensei who taught our sensei?" asked Neville. "Yes, you will meet him today. I am pretty sure he will help you guys as well but do not be shocked if he spends more time with me. I need the extra time so I can continue to learn. I will likely not see him again until this summer.
Don't worry. He or I can give you things to work on while he works with me. I will expect you all in your uniforms promptly at 2 pm today ready to work.
At that time this space will become a dojo so remember the proper respect we show. Ben is very touchy about that, maybe even more so than me." They all yelled together "YES SENSEI!" "Hey, you guys are good" Harry said smiling.
They all cracked up laughing. oo0O0oo Ben arrived prompt as usual. Simon and Henry decided they would watch the proceedings so met them all in the Practice Room in their other portraits. They promised to stay quiet. Ben was impressed when he saw Harry's friends in full uniform bowing at the entrance to the dojo then lining up in front of Harry who directed them to stretch.
Every single one of them, including Harry, dropped down to the floor in full middle splits. Ben joined them and when everyone was sufficiently warmed up and stretched out, he asked Harry to introduce him to his well-disciplined students. After the introductions Harry explained what he had been doing with his friends and let Ben know that he needed a bit more instruction than they do since his time is limited with his sensei but would appreciate any help he could give his students as well.
Ben had them show him what level they were at and what they were currently working on. He then showed them a couple things to work on and just like Harry had them repeat it over and over until it was muscle memory. He then started working with Harry on advanced techniques. After a while he would go back to the others and give them something else to work on while Harry practiced. He did this back and forth giving everyone equal time with no one having to wait.
At the end of the session, he had them all spar. He spent some time with each of Harry's students and helped them in areas where he saw weaknesses. Harry worked with them as well so that they all got personalized instruction from both senseis. At the end, Ben and Harry sparred and put on quite a show for Harry's students. They were shocked at the skill they witnessed from the two. After the day's session was complete, Ben told Harry that he had been working on something ever since this past summer.
He said that based on how Harry performed during this holiday break he would decide if it was safe enough to allow Harry to use it.
Basically he had developed pictures and charts of the things Harry needed to learn next. Ben was confident that Harry had the theory and the ability to learn on his own with these helps he created.
Ben told Harry that he could always owl him if he had questions. The materials Ben created included the theory, pictures, explanations, and instructions for each new technique Harry needed to learn. The plus to the package was the pensieve Ben gave him along with a whole bunch of memories.
He made sure Harry knew how to view the memories above the pensieve like a 3D movie then explained that all the techniques in the material he was given was demonstrated in the memories. If Harry studied the techniques carefully using the theory, pictures, and pensieve then he should be able to advance on his own. He told Harry that he planned on giving him at least one day during his week-long spring break so he could test Harry and see where he stood.
He fully expected for Harry to advance a belt or two. Ben spent about a week with Harry and his students. He was impressed with the instruction Harry had been giving them. He did not see where he could have done much better. Harry's karate students learned a lot from Ben but they assured Harry that he was still the stricter sensei. One thing was for sure though, they were more than impressed with Ben. Next is chapter 11.