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Magic Knows No Boundaries But Those We Believe In (Harry Potter)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by NonsensicalRants, Jun 17, 2022.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 1: A Stolen Hero
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Magic Knows No BoundariesBut Those We Believe In
    Original Story by Cosette-Aimee
    Rewrite By NonsensicalRants
    Chapter 1:
    A Stolen Hero


    Summary:
    Harry Potter liked his new life as a professional Seeker. With Voldemort nothing more than a bad memory he thought his life was finally his own. Waking up in an alternate universe where Tommy still ran amok killed what little optimism he'd discovered since the war ended. But he'll be damned if he wasn't going to eek out a life of his own choosing regardless of fate's interference.




    Harry awoke on a surface significantly harder, and significantly more wet than he was used to.

    Past experience with Quidditch related accidents leading him to wake up in uncomfortable positions with debilitating injuries didn't come without a bit of wisdom. He very slowly and very carefully checked his body for injuries, one body part at a time. He closed both hands into fists, wiggled his toes and from there worked his way inward, testing the ability of each limb and digit to twist, bend and turn without unnatural crunching sounds.

    He kept his eyes closed throughout the entire ordeal, paying close attention to every sensation. It wasn't until he risked moving his neck that the first sign of injury reared its' ugly head.

    "Ohhhhhhhhhh wow!" He moaned as his skull swam and the sound of his heartbeat filled his ears.

    He tried to remember what he did the night before. As far as he could recall all he did was fly the usual obstacle course and practice the Wronski Feint a few times before turning in for the night. He saw no reason to wake up in a grassy field covered in fresh, sticky, morning dew with his head feeling like he'd arrived for practice flat-out drunk and suffered an accident involving a failed Feint attempt.

    He considered the possibility that he may have actually crashed into the ground during a death defying dive and dreamt about returning home and snuggling into bed; only now regaining consciousness. It sure would teach him not to practice alone ever again. This idea was dashed when he realized that it wasn't the grass of the Falmouth Falcons' Quidditch pitch currently tickling his neck and ears.

    The lack of stadium stands and quaffle hoops was the first hint. The cows were the second.

    "Oh. Hello there." He greeted the especially obese bull pawing at the earth next to him.

    Harry wondered if the horned beast could even see him through the mange of fur covering its face. He further wondered if highland cows were originally a pack of golden retrievers or Irish setters that some cynophobic witch or wizard transfigured into cattle and just used for husbandry from then on.

    He liked that idea. He'd have to write Xenophilius with that theory. It would make for a great Quibbler article.

    He ignored the bulls' warning snort as he got to his feet with another groan.

    Taking a deep breath he expanded his senses and tried to ignore the splitting headache. He couldn't feel any magic in his surroundings, not even the echoes of a portkey or recently cast spell of any kind. In fact, aside from the bulls internal debate about the merits of trampling him, he could sense no danger and all seemed right with the world.

    Deciding there was no benefit to tangling with the beast next to him he apparated away.


    And immediately regretted this decision as a fit of dizziness and nausea joined his migraine in a conspiracy to ruin his day.

    He steadied himself against the entrance to Diagon Alley as he caught his breath again. The brick wall was already opened into the familiar archway, which was strange enough, but the red-robed figures on either side of the entrance closely watching him was fast making this his fourth worst visit to Diagon Alley.

    "Ah, youth. I miss the days when I could risk drinking on Sunday nights and jog the hangover off before work Monday morning." Said the older Auror with a sigh that was both nostalgic and mocking.

    "I'm only twenty seven, thank you very much!" Harry retorted, picking himself up. It was a lie of course, he was really twenty eight, but with the average Seeker career rarely lasting past thirty Harry had recently become as self-conscious about his age as Minerva. "I can jog it off just fine. I just don't feel like it."

    With his indignation expressed Harry walked past the two guards into the nearly vacant street intent on visiting Florean Fortescue. Food would do him a lot of good right now. Sugar was great for headaches, especially in the morning. He patted himself down in an effort to dredge up some loose change from his robes and soon held up a fistful of sickles in triumph. The small sense of accomplishment vanished at the sight of a boarded up ice-cream parlor. A sign in front f it explained that, due to safety concens, all Fortescue dairy products can me mail ordered from Fortescue and Fortescue Inc.

    The sparse crowd he originally attributed to the early hour took on a more sinister vibe. Small groups of shoppers skirted nervously between what few stores were open with nary a conversation or hint of laughter. As he watched he noticed that those around him didn't bother to greet him, or each other, as they passed. It all reminded him of Voldemort's return over a decade ago.

    It was still only his third worst experience visiting Diagon Alley.

    Deciding to catch up on what he missed during his impromptu nap he made his way back to the Diagon Alley entrance and, ignoring the heckling Aurors, entered the Leaky Cauldron. Tom was upon Harry before his bum even hit the chair.
    "Anything I can get you?" The normally friendly hunchback grunted. "Sir." He added as an afterthought.

    "Beer." Harry demanded simply.

    The bald man raised a judgmental eyebrow at this. It was rather early after all.

    "Hair of the dog that bit me and all that." Harry explained. "And a plate of bacon, sausage and eggs. Extra bacon and sausage, please."

    Harry placed the loose change from his pocket on the table and Tom was off to the kitchen with a scoff. Since when was Tom so rude? Had Harry done something to offend the man? Was he mad that Harry hadn't eaten there in, what, three months now? That didn't seem like him.

    Tom returned with a glass mug of beer and Harry took it with a smile. He motioned for Tom to stay as he practically inhaled the liquid in long, slow gulps. The landlord/innkeeper/barman looked visibly impressed when Harry handed the mug back to him.

    "More please." Harry asked with his winning smile.

    Tom finally showed off his missing teeth with that grin Harry was used to and returned to the kitchens. He had that ability with people. The power to make them stop moping, no matter what triggered the depression. Twas a useful superpower.

    "And a newspaper please." Harry called after him. "Anything other than the Prophet."

    Tom waved in acknowledgement as he disappeared behind the counter and through the doors beyond, returning moments later with another mug of beer in one hand, the plate of food Harry ordered in the other, and a newspaper under his arm. Harry thanked Tom again as the man placed everything on the table.

    "How much do I owe you?"

    "Three galleons."

    Harry stared at the man, careful to keep his face blank. He didn't seem to be joking.

    Three galleons? For breakfast, a couple beers and a newspaper? It wasn't the most expensive meal he'd ever had, having eaten at fancy restaurants charging ten times as much. But still. Last time he'd been here he paid four sickles for dinner. A dinner with much more food and much, much more beer.

    "Here you go sir." Harry said, handing the barkeep a whole fourth of the money on him. "And how much for a room for the night?"

    "One galleon."

    Harry gave him that too and dug into his food.

    Now he knew what it felt like to be Meroped - A euphemism he himself popularized meaning 'ripped off'. Alternatively meaning "Date Raped." Which he came uncomfortably close to experiencing by the hand of love-potion slinging groupies on more than one occasion.

    If that shakedown didn't make this the second worst visit to Diagon Alley in his life, the date on the newspaper certainly did. He had difficulty reading the headline, what with the front page being soaked in the beer and spittle he'd just sprayed it with in surprise. Either Tom had handed him a twelve year old newspaper or his life of traveling with groupies as a Quidditch rock star had come to an abrupt end. And judging by the condition of the newspaper - ignoring the damage he himself had caused it - he doubted it was the former case.

    Assassination of Amelia Bones Averted

    Harry rifled through the pages only bothering to read the headlines of the various articles. Phrases and terms like 'Many Dead' and 'Death Eaters' and 'He-who-must-not-be-named' jumped out at him, but none as strongly as 'Child of Prophecy.'

    "That's a new one." He muttered to himself.

    Harry thought he'd heard them all. Boy-Who-Lived. Chosen One. Man-Who-Conquered. These are the titles he knew. Perhaps the article would enlighten him on why they were calling him by the new moniker.

    Scene's of Terror at the Ministry of Magic as a large group of Death Eaters attacked the press conference held by our Savior, Neville Longbottom, colloquially known as 'The Child of Prophecy'.
    Thanks to the valiant efforts of his Auror guard who gave their lives during the attack, Mr. Longbottom survived the ordeal unscathed.

    Harry had to put the paper down as his migraine returned with a vengeance.

    Okay. He could rule out time travel.

    Thinking things over he probably could have ruled it out from the Amelia Bones article. In his timeline, which probably wasn't the correct term, Voldemort and his Death Eatershad succeeded in murdering Madame Bones to death by this time. So what did that leave him with?

    He rubbed his temples as he considered his situation, leaving any planning by the wayside as he brainstormed.

    Time travel was definitely a part of what was going on here. He was, after all, stuck in the year 1996, instead of hurtling fast towards 2009. But it wasn't his past. How does that make any sense at all?

    Maybe somebody else played around with time travel and made some changes further back in time, and he was stuck in this new timeline? That made more sense. After all if Neville was 'The Chosen One' in this timeline then odds are Harry wasn't around. Or at least he hoped he wasn't, he'd prefer to be parentless than have to visit his parents in Saint Mungo's like Neville did. The mere idea of growing up in Neville's shoes made him yearn for the days when he slept under a staircase.

    He tried to invent a scenario where time travel would have resulted in his current predicament. His history of increasingly unlikely and nonsensical events had gifted him with an active imagination when it came to such things.
    Maybe somebody stunned him in his sleep, kidnapped him for a trip to the past hoping to make him watch his own death as a baby? Knowing his luck he probably fell out of the time machine a third of the way into the trip and wound up twelve years into the past instead of twenty seven. The hypothetical culprit would have finished the trip and killed him or his parents before he was born. The problem with this theory was the premise that somebody, anybody, could sneak up on him in his sleep was laughable.

    A more likely scenario was that the culprit went back in time without him, performed the dark deed and the Fates decided to transport him to the new timeline instead of letting him be obliterated with the rest of his original timeline. That sounded like something the Fates would do. They sure did enjoy screwing with him.

    He went over the wording of the prophecy for what must have been the ten thousandth time.

    'Either must die at the hand of the other' could preclude time travel mischief from killing him. Even if somebody successfully prevented him from being born he'd just jump timelines. This possibility brought up a whole host of questions. Did this make him completely immune to the consequences of meddling with time? The Marauder in him was coming up with oh so many dangerous and immoral(not to mention highly illegal) schemes involving a time turner.
    He always had wondered what kind of terror would be unleashed if you used one to give yourself a high five. Best not to tempt it. Especially since he couldn't be sure it even was time travel that landed him here. Odds are he was missing something.

    He went back and properly read the articles in the newspaper as he finished his meal and ordered a third beer. Apparently Voldemort never fell from power like he did in the original timeline, if the throwaway line "as if to commemorate his 32nd year of terror" was anything to go by. His reign of terror had continued nonstop and England was hurting because of it. Especially economically. The import market was one of his favorite targets, which explained the high price of his meal.

    If memory served 1996 saw Great Britain in the grips of a severe draught, leading to the four countries in one having to import a lot of food and feed for animals especially. The lack of feed for cows meant meat was worth its weight in gold here. Egg and chicken prices seemed steady though. Nice to know ahead of time what he'd be ordering for dinner.
    Could he get away with going back and stealing that bull from earlier? Probably wasn't worth the risk. He'd hate to be the first person lynched for cattle theft since the wild west calmed down.

    A lot of the information on this timeline didn't line up and when he returned to the article on Neville the mystery of why Harry was brought here became clear.

    "Ohhhh blast it all." He groaned as he banged his head on the table.

    Neville had no scar on his forehead. Or mark of any kind. He was very obviously not the child of prophecy.

    This new detail explained everything. This wasn't time travel mischief, and it wasn't a fever hallucination. This was an alternate universe; one without a child of prophecy. Whatever powers that controlled these things decided to reach across the void and steal one from another universe. Him.

    "Magic knows no boundaries except those we believe in." He quoted as he banged his head on the table some more.
    Just when he thought he'd finally settled into his new life and left the suffering caused by Voldemort and Dumbledore and the Ministry behind him, now he'd have to do it aaaaaallllll over again.

    This was officially his worst visit to Diagon Alley EVER! The hellacious experience of breaking into, and out of, Gringotts and the bareback dragon ride afterwards didn't come close.

    He hoped he was wrong. He hoped that this universe, or timeline, had a differently worded prophecy that would require him to take a minor role, Maybe help train Neville as his replacement?

    Knowing his luck though he wouldn't come close to returning to his own world until after he fulfilled the prophecy. Again.

    Deciding to leave worrying about what he needed to do for tomorrow he flagged Tom back over to his table.

    "I'm going to need more beer." He said. "A lot more beer."


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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  2. shakeval

    shakeval Versed in the lewd.

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    or maybe not a whole lot more beer, you've got very limited funds, nothing but the clothes on your back and the potential to get railroaded onto all sorts of dangerous shenanigans by 'the fates'
     
  3. Threadmarks: Chapter 2: A Much Better Day
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 2:
    A Much Better Day


    Harry woke up experiencing two of the three best feelings in the world.

    Going to sleep with a headache/cold and waking up without one was the first. Going to bed drunk and waking up, not with a hangover, but instead a slight buzz was the second. Sadly, he had no job and was well rested enough to attack the day, so he couldn't experience the joy of going right back to sleep with the knowledge that he still had hours left before work. The third best feeling in the world.

    He did, however, have a long list of things to do if he wanted to have a place to sleep in two days and so with a wistful sigh he stretched and dressed himself.

    A few waves of his hand later and the clothes he wore the day before flattened themselves as if freshly ironed and the specks of dirt and dust vanished. Another wave of his hand and the slight stubble on his jaw vanished. He waited until he scarfed down the complimentary loaf of bread before casting a cleaning charm on his teeth and tongue then exited his room. Barely remembering to grab his wands before doing so.

    He had taken stock of his possessions the night before and counted his blessings. Not only did he have both of his wands, enough money to last him a few days and his glasses, but he was also fortunate enough to have brought along his handy dandy notebook, snugly tucked away in his breast pocket, and his four color retractable ballpoint pen. Those were a pain in the butt to find sometimes, so he hated losing one. Especially now that he didn't have Bill or Fleur around to enchant them with never-ending ink and never-wearing nibs.

    Diagon Alley was much more crowded today but was still a far cry from how it should be. This was especially true considering Hogwarts letters should have gone out yesterday and what shoppers he did see were clearly new and returning students. Mostly new students.

    He dodged and weaved between the crowds of parents - Muggle and wizard alike - as if their children were a horde of bewitched knife-keys trying to rip him to shreds. He didn't hate children - and honestly how could anybody? - he just didn't dare risk an encounter with any of his former classmates or their parents. If his math was right, he figured most were only now turning fifteen. That thirteen-year difference in age felt like thirteen decades, and yet he knew he wouldn't be able to keep a cool exterior if he were to meet anyone he knew to be deceased.

    He was almost upon the Gringotts bank doors when he realized he couldn't enter.

    Well, he could, but he wouldn't live for very long. Goblins weren't very open-minded nor forgiving creatures, and if he walked in with his bank key - which in all likelihood had an identical twin in this world - then an army of serrated knife wielding warriors would descend upon him and feed whatever quivering ribbons of flesh remained of the 'counterfeiter' to the army of kappa they kept hidden in the more watery areas of their subterranean caverns. He probably wouldn't have even made it to the first teller.

    What did that leave him?

    He had no money beyond the loose change he carried. His vault key was a liability, one he intended to throw away at the first opportunity. He had no friends, family or coworkers to loan him money. To top it all off he was too upstanding of a citizen to break into places he knew would be easy targets (Cough, Malfoy manor!) and steal everything not bolted to the ground.

    He needed to make a friend. Harry needed to find somebody that he could not only convince of his nature as a visitor from another world, but who would furthermore be willing to help him AND wouldn't share his secret or prove to be a danger to him upon learning it. The list of potential allies was thin indeed.

    "Johnathan! Don't wave that thing around!" A woman, obviously Muggle, chastised her son. "You don't know what it might do."

    The boy, Johnathan, was a soon to be first year and had been playing with his newly purchased wand. His mother was right to stop him. Waving a wand, even without intent or incantations, was a one way ticket to the hospital.

    He watched as a group of three families and their collective litter of four eleven year-olds entered the same shop that Johnny and his sensible mother just exited. He considered the gold lettering above the door and tried his hardest to think of a more trustworthy person in the world who he could convince of his situation.

    He realized there wasn't one. Except maybe Aberforth. That guy's tongue was the polar opposite of loose. Trying to get directions to the bathroom from him required the cruciatus curse, let alone his patron's secrets. If this didn't work he'd go to the Hog's Head.

    Ollivander was on top of his game today and had already situated the first child, a particularly short blonde boy, with a sixteen inch wand that he would hopefully grow into. Waving around a wand that's almost a third as long as you are tall looked rather ridiculous.
    "There you have it, mister Zeller. And if your sister would come on up here." Ollivander said kindly.

    Harry looked and recognized the young Rose Zeller. He vaguely remembered her as a Hufflepuff who had helped Hermione evacuate the house elves during the battle of Hogwarts. She was one of only three students who Hermione managed to kowtow into joining SPEW.

    Rose hopped up to the counter where Ollivander's floating measuring tape got to work as he wrote down the results. As he did this Harry stretched out his senses again and felt as his magic flooded into his surroundings.

    He could feel every piece of soft fabric on the bodies around him, every hard edge of furniture and deep groove of engraved metal as if they were all his own skin. This was his greatest power, one he had developed unknowingly and by pure accident during his hunt for horcruxes and later evolved into something altogether new. His ability to sense Voldemort's magic grew into the ability to sense magic itself and then the physical properties of things in general. He could even recall recent event in an area or which an object he held had experienced.

    Parvati thought it was psychometry. Lavender argued it was clairvoyance. Hermione had a stranger theory still, but Harry knew it wasn't a psychic ability, per se, it was just a magical technique like occlumency or legilimency(which is what he was TRYING to learn when he invented the art.) He still had no name for it, but it was damned useful all the same. What he did know about it was that magic was alive, magic was beautiful and magic did little other that beg to be heard, and his ability gave him ears with which to hear.

    He tuned out the breathing and heartbeats of those around him, which was always so loud in his ears when he used the technique, and lightly touched the piles upon piles of wands behind the counter with his magic. Wands felt hot to his senses, like the active coals of a grill, but he kept on in search of one that suited Rose the most. The funny thing about wands is that the magic internal to them tends to point towards the magic internal to those around them, as if reaching out to touch their soulmate. Sadly this only happens if their master was in close enough proximity or else finding missing people would be much easier for him.

    More than two dozen wands were doing this now, and not just towards Rose, but towards her brother, her father, the other children and every magical person in the room, and a couple nonmagical ones. Wands are funny like that, they can bond with or want to bond with Muggles, even though said Muggles could never use them. Love like that didn't have to make sense, not when the wand's most sincere desire was to bond with someboy based on character, which they were superb at judging. Several of them matched Rose' signature to varying degrees, but the strongest reaction to her came from a short wand with the fiery magic of a phoenix tail feather three aisles back.

    "Hmm. I think we should try something with cedar wood to start for you." Ollivander said to the girl as he pulled a wand from the stack directly beneath the counter.

    Harry knew the wands beneath the counter were created for the sole purpose of being 'test wands'. He used them to narrow down what type of wand a customer was most suited to before hunting down the proper wand from the back. The test wands could be used as a regular wand, theoretically, but they didn't tend to last long.

    "I can save you the trouble." Harry offered, gaining the eyes of everyone in the room. "Four inches. Alder wood. Phoenix feather core. Three rows back."

    Few people have experienced the full force of Garrick Ollivanders' glare. Harry was one of those few, and even he had difficulty not buckling beneath it despite having earned it eight going on nine times before.

    "I'm going to have to ask you to wait outside of my shop while I fit my customers." Ollivander said coolly, before growling a vindictive. "Sir."

    Harry smiled confidently, no, arrogantly but did as he was told.

    "Call me back in when I'm proven right." He said offhandedly as he exited the shop and stood to the side.

    He didn't have to wait long. Exactly eighty seconds later the Zeller family exited the shop. He couldn't help noticing that Rose carried the exact wand he described. The smiling girl even went so far as to show it off to him by wiggling it.

    "Hey now, be careful with that thing. It's dangerous." Harry told Rose, returning her smile.

    She pocketed the wand with a giggle as her father approached him.

    "He wants you back in there, but he's not happy."

    Harry thanked the Zeller patriarch and prepared to re-enter the shop. He mentally went through his checklist before turning the handle. Chin up. Shoulders back. Chest out. Aaaaaaand STRUT!

    Based on the tenth glare he'd ever received from the wand maker Harry would call his efforts in annoying him a raging success. The two remaining children and their parents stifled their laughter as he entered, adding fuel to the fire behind the old man's eyes.

    "How'd you do that?" Ollivander demanded.

    Harry shrugged.

    "I tend to just..." Harry paused dramatically to tap his forehead. "Know things."

    Harry noted the familiar vein popping out of his old friends' jaw as he clenched his teeth. Maybe it was time to reel in his attempts at instigating his senior.

    "I can try to do it for these two if you like?" Harry offered, correcting his posture into one a bit more deferential.

    Ollivander motioned towards the two children and Harry repeated his earlier action of searching the rows of wands with his mind. Thirty seconds later two groups of satisfied customers exited the store, leaving Harry alone with the shop owner.

    Harry waited for his gracious host to break the silence and he didn't disappoint.

    "Well? Did you just come in here to embarrass me, or did you want something?"

    In answer Harry withdrew a wand from his robes, one of the two he carried at all times. He offered it to Ollivander handle first. He took it in the manner of a smith taking a sword for examination.

    "Holly." Ollivander observed, carefully listing the wands properties. "Eleven inches and a core of phoenix..."

    He locked eyes with Harry, who had to fight the smirk threatening to erupt on his face. It wouldn't do for Ollivander to think him a thief. Harry nodded his head towards the stacks of wands in the direction he knew an identical wand to his own sat.

    Ollivander left the original on the counter and disappeared to where Harry indicated. He returned with a box that he handled with shaking hands. Harry hadn't seen the man so nervous since the time he showed him the elder wand. Good thing he hadn't pull that one out by accident.

    Harry sat down on the bench as he waited for the wandmaker to compare them. This took a lot longer than it should have. After comparing them visually and by touch he went through a list of pretty much every spell Hogwarts taught. One by one he compared how both wands performed each spell. When he was finally satisfied in the knowledge that the wands were indeed identical he turned to Harry and stared for some time.

    "How?"

    Harry stood up and took a deep breath. He knew that nothing but the truth would suffice, but he still didn't look forward to it.
    "Tell me Garrick. What do you know about multiverse theory?"

    Ollivander, with a speed that belied his age, drew the recently unboxed wand and with a few waves layered no fewer than 6 locking spells, 5 privacy spells, 3 wards and a partridge and a pear tree on the front door.

    Harry took this time to close the blinds.

    "Explain." He demanded.

    "My name is Harry James Potter. I'm the son of James Potter and Lily Potter nee Evans from an alternate universe. I don't even know if they or I exist in this one."

    "They do. But to my knowledge, you don't."

    "Good! Voldemort murdered my parents when I was a baby and tried, but failed, to kill me. In the process 'marking me as his equal' and making me the child of prophecy."

    Hmm. No taboo triggered. Interesting.

    "A qualification Mister Longbottom lacks."

    "Indeed. And until 1994 we lived in a mostly Voldemort and Death Eater free world. He was still around but without a body - long story. That didn't stop him and others from making my first four years at Hogwarts hell. He returned and slowly began to rebuild his forces. I witnessed his rebirth and tried to blow the whistle, unfortunately our Minister of Magic at the time was one Cornelius Fudge."

    "Oh no!"

    "Oh yes! And for the next year he, most of the ministry and the Daily Prophet ran a massive smear campaign against me, Dumbledore - the headmaster not the barkeep - and anybody who took our side. I'm skipping a lot here but he conquered the ministry, my friends and I had to go into hiding but continued the good fight until I finally killed him. We rebuilt, I became a Quidditch star, woke up in this universe yesterday. It was 2008 in the universe I left."

    They returned to their staring contest. It took less than a minute to share his story, even with Ollivander's excellent commentary. He did always make for a good audience to the skilled storyteller.

    "If it were not for this wand, I would never have believed a word you said." He admitted, indicating the significantly more worn stick of holly and the scars from where it had been broken and repaired.

    "I know."

    The old man returned the more pristine wand to its box with a sigh, clearly still digesting the unlikely information Harry just unloaded on him.
    "Stranger things have happened." Ollivander finally admitted in acceptance. "But why did you come to me instead of somebody more... substantial?"
    Harry waited for Ollivander to return this universe's version of his wand back to the shelf, and explained his reasoning when he returned with a bottle of firewhisky and two shot glasses.

    "Aside from the fact I knew I could convince you?" Harry said. "Having worked with you in the past I knew you don't share secrets. Nor would you incorporate anything I tell you into schemes or machinations."

    "Dumbledore?"

    "Dumbledore."

    The two of them knocked the glasses back and grunted at the magical and chemical burn as the drink slid down their throats.
    "Why couldn't you have just been a wand crafting prodigy who discovered how to magically duplicate wands?" Ollivander bemoaned.
    Harry laughed so hard at that one he almost dropped the bottle of whisky he was trying to use to refill their glasses.

    "Is that what you thought was going on?" Harry asked incredulously. "That I just, what, broke in here, duplicated this wand, memorized your stock and did it all without your knowing?"

    Ollivander could only shrug as he accepted the second glass.

    "That or time travel. Either would have made my life a whole lot easier." He admitted before drinking the second shot. "What did we work on together?"

    "Experiments involving the twin cores of mine and Voldemort's wands." Harry explained. Garrick was notably nonplussed by his use of the name. "And the Elder wand."

    That got him moving. Before Harry's very eyes a safe appeared in the wall. After performing a complicated set of wand movements, putting in a combination code and - most strangely - pressing his thumb into a muggle fingerprint scanner Garrick withdrew a large sack of what could only be magical coinage.

    "This is my entire life savings. If you give me the memories of our experiments in your timeline it's all yours."

    That was exactly how Harry expected this interaction to go. Minus the fingerprint scanner.

    "I'll do you one better. I'll give you all of those memories AND help you with some new experiments." He indicated his wand on the counter with one hand and pointed in the direction of its' counterpart. "We have the opportunity to investigate an otherwise impossible scenario where two completely identical wands interact and are loyal to the same person. A monozygotic set of twin wands instead of dizygotic."
    Ollivander offered a hand to shake.

    "You have yourself a deal."

    "I have one further condition!" Harry said, refusing the hand. "I am only borrowing this money. I will be giving it back to you under the condition that I get a percentage ownership of your future endeavors. You'll need some funding to do proper experiments and apply the knowledge I'm giving you anyways."

    Ollivander actually had to consider that. Harry knew giving partial ownership of his company, no matter how small, would be much harder for the pure-blood than trading his retirement savings. He'd never done it before, despite several accommodating and generous offers. But none of them could offer what Harry was now.

    "Also deal."

    And this time Harry did shake the hand he offered.

    "Now I'm gonna have to take this to Gringotts. But I need you to hold on to this in the meantime." Harry handed Ollivander his vault key. "That is the key to the Potter family vault."

    Ollivander examined it closely.

    "Why would you want me to hold onto... Wait. Nevermind. Stupid question."

    Harry could only laugh at his friend as he reopened the safe and hid the key inside. Harry had broke off from asking stupid questions of his own often enough to relate. His laughter died as Ollivander dropped a signet ring on the counter in place of his key.

    "What's this?"

    "That is my signature stamp." The wand maker answered. "Unless you're planning to contact James and convince him to adopt you, you can't go around using your own name. Until such time as you come up with a new one, you can sign any important documents or purchases with this and claim to be doing errands for me."

    Harry nodded as he secured the ring on his pinky.

    "They send the documents to me to get a proper signature afterwards so don't go doing anything stupid or illegal with it!" The old man warned.

    Harry had the decency to at least act offended at the insinuation.


    Harry exited Ollivanders' weighed down with nearly eight thousand galleons. Even with the enchantments on goblin money to make it nearly weightless and the undetectable expansion charm on the bag his belt could barely tolerate the weight of the sack.

    He had more than enough money to purchase the blood testing he needed hundreds of times over again, assuming the price of Gringotts' services hadn't inflated along with everything else. That wasn't an assumption Harry was willing to make. At least he had something to put in his new vault if the tests didn't come up with anything, and this nest egg would go a long way to getting his new life established.

    As he walked towards the massive marble bank he finally took stock of shops that weren't boarded up, making a mental list of the things he'd need to purchase from them. Flourish and Blotts was doing good business but Gambol and Japes was absolutely booming with activity. After all, dark times called for good humor. He passed the same group of first year children from before coming out of the magical menagerie with matching toads and identical smiles. He waved at them as he passed and the Zeller children positively bounced as they waved back.

    Harry froze at Eeylops Owl Emporium.

    He must have stared at that door for five whole minutes at the epiphany that struck him dumb. It was a crazy idea, and the odds were almost impossible, but he simply had to know.

    He entered the empty shop and the same manager as his timeline looked up from whatever he was reading.

    "Welcome sir. What can I do for you?" The manager greeted Harry nodded in way of a hello and hesitated to ask his question.

    "I'm looking for an owl." He said.

    The manager beamed at him. Business must be slow.

    "You're in luck. We happen to sell owls here!" He said in all good humor. "If you'd come on into the back we can find the right one for you."
    "Actually." Harry interrupted with a staying wave of his hand. "I'm looking for a very specific owl."

    The manager looked him up and down before indicating he should continue.

    "I'm looking for a female snow owl. She would be around five years old, maybe a bit older. She has bright amber eyes and is rather irritable."
    The manager stared at him some more. Somehow Harry doubted the old man had ever heard such a detailed description from a new customer.
    "That was very specific." The manager verified. "And until very recently I had exactly the owl you just described."

    Harry's heart sank at the news.

    "Well. Thank you anyways. I don't suppose you'd be willing to write a letter to the customer you sold it to on my behalf, would you?"

    The manager shook his head and Harry's heart sank even further. If the day became anymore of a disappointment he'd have to dig it out of the ground.

    "I didn't sell her." The manager said. "I tried to for years, but nobody would take her. Last year I found out she was mixed with something magical and handed her off to Sarah at the Magical Menagerie hoping she'd have better luck."

    Harry barely managed to utter a proper 'thank you' as he ran as fast as he could through the exit, entering the much more noisy shop moments later.
    He waited for the saleswoman, a young witch with short, curly auburn hair, to finish with another customer. Harry didn't need to expand his senses to feel the heat rising to her cheeks or increase in her heart rate as he approached. He only now realized his face was plastered with a smile of pure joy. He needed to be more careful about showing off his teeth like that, he didn't want to cause accidents with it. Not to sound like Lockheart, but it happened before.

    "Um. Excuse me." Harry said, trying to put on a more professional air. "I'm looking for a magical snowy owl I'm told you have in stock."
    "Oh! Are you sure?" The saleswoman, Nichole according to her name tag, backtracked. "She's a bit... temperamental."

    "That's definitely her!" Harry confirmed, his smile returning.

    Nichole mimicked the manager from Eyelops in skeptically glancing him up and down before relenting. She led him through the towering stacks of cages for several minutes in silence, or as close to silence as things could get in this particular store. Harry had never been this deep into the warehouse-sized menagerie and would have otherwise been ignorant to how gargantuan it was.

    "Here we are." Nichole announced as they entered a more open area.

    The large stacks of cages parted around a desk on which a single golden cage sat.

    Harry fought back the tears at the sight of what sat inside the cage. It wasn't the tears of joy he expected to shed at seeing her, and how could he be happy to see his magnificent friend hunched over, eyes staring at the ground instead of skyward where she belonged? If there were such a thing as a hunchbacked owl, Hedwig looked rather close to being one, and the lack of exercise over the years had plumped her up into an unhealthy shape.
    That shape being round.

    "Oh no, what have they done to you Hedwig?" He whispered as he approached the desk and kneeled beside her cage.

    She didn't even look up at him as he approached, but nor did she shuffle away on her perch. It made sense that she wouldn't recognize the name, as did her sequestering away from the other animals. The owl had never gotten along well with other animals, feathered or not. And as Harry listened to the screeching, squeaking and squawking of the veritable zoo around them the reason for Hedwig's deep depression became rather obvious.

    "How much?" Harry asked without looking up at the young saleswoman.

    "Um. Are you sure you want her?"

    "How. Much." He repeated pointedly, still examining Hedwig's plumage, which was blessedly healthy and clean.

    "Oh. I think we charge eighteen galleons for jobberknolls, and she's only a quarter, so she'd come out to twelve galleons."

    He reached into the heavy sack on his waist and handed the witch the money. Harry opened the wretched cage as soon as she started counting the coinage. Only then did Hedwig look up at him.

    "Come on, girl." He said, putting his forearm out near the cage door for her to jump onto. "I'm busting you out of this joint."

    Hedwig blinked at him in confusion. Her head flicked down to his arm and back to his face several times as she considered him with obvious confusion. He knew her to be suspicious and uncooperative at the best of times, and this was decidedly not the best of times.

    Eventually she did hop along her cage and onto his outstretched arm. It went a long way to helping him overcome his disappointment at her lack of recognition.

    "Oooh, you're heavy." He grumbled as he lifted the owl up to his face.

    "Yeah." Nichole said. "We tried to put her on a diet several times but it always ended in disaster."

    Harry could only snort at that. Yeah. Hedwig didn't do diets. When she'd gotten unhealthily large in his fourth year from all the bacon he'd been feeding her he had to start helping her exercise. He even managed to train her in several flying formations on the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch with the book on hawk training he'd dug up in the library. He doubted that same routine would work on her this time. Could she even fly anymore?

    His good humor vanished as Hedwig returned to her earlier posture of staring blankly at the ground. He buried his face in her plumage like he used to do on particularly rough days. She reacted by standing at full height, holding her head away from him. It was a posture that showed clear discomfort, and Harry imagined any one of his other friends would react in a similar way if he came right up to them and gave them such an emotional embrace. He didn't care. Even if it was just for a second he needed to breath in the familiar smell of her feathers and convince himself this was real.

    "If you would kindly follow me so we can fill out the bill of sale and transfer ownership to you."

    "I would like that." Harry said, removing his face from the part-jobberknolls' chest.

    They were nearly upon the front desk and register when he paused and glanced around the shop. Against all odds he had found his favorite animal in the world, one he had seen die in his. The likelihood that his second favorite animal yet lived was much more favorable.

    "Crookshanks?" He called out more questioningly than demandingly.

    He turned to look at the sound of padded feet on wood and saw the familiar bottlebrush tail descend from a stack of crates near the front door. The part-kneazle walked up to him as if they were already acquainted. The feline didn't act like most cats, and followed instruction from a completely different set of instincts. It's instincts, instead of demanding rudeness at every opportunity like a normal cat, commanded it to obey instruction from those who were trustworthy, which Crookshanks must sense Harry was.

    "I'll be taking him too."

    Ollivander's signature stamp was a godsend, as no amount of galleons would have earned him ownership of the two animals without naming the new owner. It broke Harry's heart to give somebody else temporary ownership of the two animals, but he'd transfer the deeds to himself at the first opportunity.

    "Will you need a cage or kennel for them?"

    "Nope."

    Twenty one galleons lighter Harry made to exit the store.

    "Come on you two. I'm taking you home." Harry commanded them. "You've been kept waiting long enough."

    Crookshanks followed him with ease, and neither made a single complaint or sign of intention to run off on their own as they walked down Diagon Alley. Harry took them straight back to the Leaky Cauldron intent on spending the rest of the day with them.

    His business with Gringotts could wait.



    Become a Patron:
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    - Patrons who pledge 3 Dollars get all future chapters 2 weeks early and a link to the discord server. They also get access to all commissioned works, which is the only source of X-rated scenes from me. I'm not holding them hostage; I just don't want my name tied to X-rated stuff. I keep it PG-13 unless paid to do otherwise. If enough people pay me, I'll become a fulltime smut writer and make it public. Wear it with pride. It's also just not allowed on FFnet.

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  4. Nicohals J Westerberg

    Nicohals J Westerberg Getting out there.

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    I did not expect this. But I'm happy either way
     
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  5. Naelyon

    Naelyon Getting sticky.

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    Thanks for the update, there's not much to say about this story yet since it's clearly still in it's prologue stage, but if it's anything lime the others you've started posting on here, I'm sure it's worth sticking around for when it starts picking up speed. Keep up the good work, bud.
     
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  6. grimr

    grimr Getting some practice in, huh?

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    First chapter isn't indexed properly.
     
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  7. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Is that better? Is it fixed?
     
  8. gymrat

    gymrat Getting some practice in, huh?

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    Looks like it's reversed. Chapter 2 comes before Chapter 1.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. DragooKnight11

    DragooKnight11 [INAUDABLE ANXIETY]

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    Read somewhere recently that editing chapters can mess up the threadmarks, you might have to re-arrange them manually to fix it, however that works (haven't written a story myself yet).
     
  10. kabs

    kabs I like well thought out, inspiring stories. Gone for Good

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    Hedwig was unexpected and moving
     
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 3: Work
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 3:
    Work


    Harry spent the rest of that day playing with his animal companions.

    His attempts at exercising Hedwig boiled down to playing fetch with a foam ball he bought for the occasion. He'd never seen an owl run after a ball before. It was oddly adorable, especially with their comically long legs. The experiment certainly answered his question on whether or not she could fly anymore. He later cast a weight reduction charm on her but that only served to spook her and make his forearms resemble the wallpaper in the shrieking shack.

    Neither were particularly fond of cuddling and so they slept apart. In time he knew Crookshanks would come around to sleeping on his feet, but like any other cat he was nervous in new environments.

    Sadly, he had to leave early the next morning as per his agreement with Garrick.

    "All right. I left you both enough food to last several days, so I expect to come home tonight to two fully alive animals." He told them. "That means no eating each other."

    They both stared at him stupidly. Despite being rather brilliant animals, they were still just animals.

    "Okay. Goodbye."

    He closed the door and made to lock it but thinking better of it he opened the door again and interrupted a glaring contest the two started in his absence. A few charms later and their claws and teeth/beak were left as dull as a troll. They could settle their differences all they wanted now and Harry could be confident that when he next saw them their worst injuries will be a couple bruises.


    He spent his third day in this new world manning the counter to Ollivander's shop. He agreed to take over until such time as Garrick finished studying his memories. Which Harry knew would take several weeks of full-time effort on the old man's part.

    On the positive side of things, sorting wands to new students was both fun and easy.

    Most of these children waited a day or two after getting their letters before coming to Diagon Alley, especially the Muggleborns whose parents justifiably worried they were being pranked. Harry spotted several Hogwarts professors escorting families towards Gringotts after a short tour of the alley before vanishing to pick up another family and repeat the process. He chiefly observed, from afar, Hagrid, Minerva, Dumbledore himself, Filius, Pamona and Severus. But there were a good dozen other faces he didn't recognize amongst the Muggleborn escorts, one of whom he thought could have been Remus, but he looked far too youthful and put-together to be his favorite Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and quasi-uncle.

    He supposed they only took the families that far so they could exchange the currency and work through buying the list of supplies on their own. He imagined it would be one incredible experience making your way through the wizarding market with your parents, like a rite of passage. All of you discovering the wizarding world together. He didn't harass the students or their Muggle parents to ask them about it. He knew they'd be getting those same questions from other shopkeepers and he didn't want to be a nuisance.

    Oddly enough he got more returning students than new ones. Some came in to use a self-service wand-waxer that Harry somehow never noticed sitting in the corner, others came to check if there was a better match for them in the new stock of wands - something Harry would never have dreamed of checking for himself- and others still came in for replacements or spares.

    None bothered to ask him who he was or why Ollivander wasn't manning the counter. Harry figured that they all made their own assumptions regarding his identity and relationship to Garrick. He was happy to remain ignorant of their inner thoughts.

    The only real shock he received was when Bellatrix Lestrange walked right through the front door. He was rather proud of his success at hiding his expression when his eyes nearly popped out of his head at the sight of her. At first, he almost thought it was Andromeda, having mistaken the eldest black sister for Bellatrix when they first met. This world's Bellatrix looked even more like her sister. Her clothes were clean, her hair was combed, and she looked... well... Sane.

    "Good morning." She greeted noncommittally before tossing her wand on the counter without a care.

    "Good morning! How may I help you today, miss..." Harry waved for her to introduce herself.

    "Miss will do just fine." She said. "And I was hoping you could repair my wand."

    Harry picked up and eyed the wand - more like a club in appearance - but there was no physical indication of damage.

    "And what is wrong with it?"

    "Lately it has been..." She paused to think. "Disobedient."

    Don't imagine her in a dominatrix outfit. Don't imagine her in a dominatrix outfit. Must. Not. Imagine her in a dominatrix outfit!

    "What's a dominatrix outfit?"

    Oh no! Is she in my head? Legilimens.

    "Young man, you are speaking out loud."

    Well that cinches it. She knows too much. She must die.

    "Bring it on you scrawny little ponce! Wandless and starkers I can take you on any day of the week."

    "Well then, now that the joke has passed. Let me take a closer look at this disobedient wand of yours and see if I can find your problem." He sidestepped, liking this version of Bellatrix more and more. She played along with his semi-sane sense of humor, which always earned somebody a few points in his book.

    It took all of two milliseconds to find the issue once he stretched his magical senses. But he used this opportunity to examine the woman across from him as well. No dark mark. That was interesting. She still had a decidedly dark aura though, but so do many law-abiding witches and wizards who just favored darker magic. She was still very much a fighter and probably a killer. Her wand testified to such. He could feel the litany of curses, killing and otherwise, to have passed through the wand in recent days. He also found himself surprised by her physique. Wouldn't have imagined her to be fit enough to sport a six-pack underneath that thick Victorian dress. Professional dueler training and good diet will do that to you.

    "Well I found the issue." He told her as he gingerly placed her wand back on the counter. "It's good you brought it in when you did. I recommend getting a permanent replacement."

    "Why? What's wrong with it?"

    "Do you know what a wand blockage is?"

    She shook her head.

    "Imagine a pipe."

    "Okay."

    "The kind that carries water."

    "Got it."

    "Now imagine the pipe bulging at a spot because of too much pressure. That's kind of what's happening inside of your wand. There's a buildup of magic inside of it. Whenever you cast a spell the blockage absorbs some or all of it, or counters it completely."

    Bellatrix nodded inquisitively.

    "That explains why my spells have been weaker as of late. Is there a way to clear the blockage?"

    Harry winced at the question.

    "Yes, but it's dangerous. I've seen it happen twice. One time I saw a wand clear the blockage by explosively casting golden flames. It was like a superpowered spell and was pretty amazing." He explained, leaving out the fact that it was his wand that did this along with his wand acting of its own will, as some phoenix feather wands tend to do. "Another time I saw a wand clear the blockage by explosively backfiring a killing curse on the caster. It was very awesome, just not for the caster."

    The difference with that situation was that the Elder Wand is supposed to have magical blockage along its length. It was one of the defining principles of how the wand worked. It had five such blockages. One for transfiguration, one for curses, one for charms, one for healing spells and one for counterspells or defensive magic. There were actual knots in the thestral hair running along its length tied around splinters of different types of wood. A Fir splinter for the transfiguration knot, an Elm splitter for charms, Yew for curses, Willow for healing spells, and Rowan for protective magic and counterspells.

    Whoever designed the Elder Wand was a genius. Each knot would charge when a spell of another knots' type was cast and only expel the buildup when a spell of its type was cast. Harry came to call it the Gambler's Wand because in order to get the best results you'd have to cycle through the spell types in the same order each time and hope your opponent didn't pick up on this trend. If they did they could just wait for a harmless healing spell to mount a proper offensive. Dumbledore was good at using spells that always looked like offensive spells and in creatively using the transfiguration or healing slot and predicting the right time to use a counter.

    To design a wand to use what most would consider a dangerous flaw and not just design around it, but incorporate that flaw as a core feature was the epitome of brilliance. And this was just one of the features unique to the Elder Wand.

    Of course if you kept using the same type of spell, or the same exact spell in Voldemort's case, over and over again you'd overload the particular knot and probably die. That was the main reason Harry survived that battle with Voldemort. The fact that he was the Elder Wands true master made backfiring even more likely when it was used against him, which seemed like something Dumbledore would have planned for.
    "And I'm guessing it's more likely to just backfire on me?"

    Oh right. Other people. Those exist. He better deal with this one.

    "Most likely, yes. It's possible to remove the blockage by casting a powerful enough spell of a different type, for example some kid tries to cast a patronus and it causes a blockage. In order to cancel it out he would have to cast a dark curse of equal power." Harry explained. "And even then, it takes a lot of attempts to get right and it can be deadly."

    The immaculate woman nodded thoughtfully as she stared at her wand.

    "Okay. I'll need a replacement, but I want to try and repair it anyways." She concluded.

    Harry made a show of raising an objecting eyebrow at her, but stretched his senses to find a match for her all the same.

    "I understand if you're attached to it and don't want to let it go, but it really is liable to kill you, or worse, me."

    She answered by way of shrugging.

    "It's not like that. Not exactly. I'm just curious to see what will happen."


    Harry closed up shop for the day soon after getting her a new, hopefully spare, wand and rushing her out. Ollivanders closed well before dark on most days, earlier than most shops and long before Gringotts - his next destination. He tried to tell Garrick he was leaving, but the old man probably didn't hear him, what with his head shoulders deep in a pensieve.

    Somehow he'd already come to terms with the fact that most people in this world wouldn't necessarily be like they were in his. In the case of Bellatrix he was pleasantly surprised to discover what he thought was an adrenaline junkie with a proper ladylike veneer. He handled it rather well, or so he thought. Right now his greatest fear was that he might encounter somebody in this world who is reprehensibly evil but fail to act because of how much he loved them in his world, or because he worried that he might be misjudging them based on his prior experiences with their counterpart.

    When he found himself chained to an uncomfortable chair across Director Ragnok with five guards pointing an assortment of spears, swords and maces at him he thanked his lucky stars that at least Goblins were the same across dimensions.



    Become a Patron:
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    - Patrons who pledge 3 Dollars get all future chapters 2 weeks early and a link to the discord server. They also get access to all commissioned works, which is the only source of X-rated scenes from me. I'm not holding them hostage; I just don't want my name tied to X-rated stuff. I keep it PG-13 unless paid to do otherwise. If enough people pay me, I'll become a fulltime smut writer and make it public. Wear it with pride. It's also just not allowed on FFnet.

    - Patrons who pledge 10 Dollars get the right to vote on story choices, what story I update next, and access to the source code for my Fangame projects.

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 4: Banking Troubles
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 4: Banking Troubles


    Harry watched Ragnok sift through the documents in his hands as he slowly consulted whatever information they held. He paused only to compare what he read to the devices on his desk. It was a rather nice desk. Mahogany, polished to a metallic sheen, and - most beautifully of all - providing a vast barrier between the righteously angry midget and Harry, though sadly not the armed guard keeping him in the chained chair.

    His ability to stretch his senses and examine the devices, or the chains which bound him, was severely hampered by the amazing ward schema of this world's Gringotts. Entering through the front door had been like walking through several layers of molasses, vinegar and olive oil. It was a thing of beauty, so intricately weaved that Harry couldn't discern where one ward ended and another began.
    He'd been so enthralled by the overpowering sensation of the Goblin magic that he failed to react in time as an army of guards descended upon him like a rugby team. A rugby team composed of especially tiny, and especially ugly, players - even by the beauty standards set by the average athlete specializing in the sport.

    Resorting to using his eyes - of all things - to examine the devices he easily deduced what some of them were. Some indicated vault numbers, others loan eligibility, and one he couldn't make heads or tails of kept beeping and displaying a red light.

    "What does the beeping one do?" Harry dared to ask when he gave up on figuring it out himself.
    Ragnok didn't look up from his papers.

    "It's an alarm to indicate when a person who has stolen from Gringotts has entered the premises." He said simply.

    What? But Harry hadn't stolen from Gringotts before. Or at least not this one. So how would the wards here have recognized him? Either the records of his theft transcended dimensions or...

    "The wards mark a person as a thief, and that mark stays on the person, not in a magical record kept here." Harry concluded out loud.

    This time the old Goblin really did look up.

    "Impressive reasoning skills." He said as he placed the documents aside.

    He motioned for Harry to continue.

    "I'm guessing whatever stain was placed on my magical signature cannot be removed?" Ragnok nodded. "But the wards in the bank proper can be taught to ignore it, or the stain modified if the transgression was forgiven or justified?"

    "The latter." Ragnok said simply.

    That certainly explained why Harry never had trouble with his own bank in his own world.
    "There's just one problem." The branch director added. "The identification markers in your stain also indicates the vault number and the processing ID of the object stolen."

    Harry nodded. He could see where this was going.

    "The processing ID is for an object that rests soundly within the vault in question. Or so says the auditors I sent down to check."

    And there was no questioning the veracity of a claim made by Goblin auditors.

    "A malfunctioning ward then?" Harry offered with a grin that clearly showed even he didn't believe such a possibility.

    "My thoughts exactly. Even though such a thing has never happened before. If it were only one ward malfunctioning we would have contracted you to help fix the flaw. Problem is, multiple wards are all saying impossible things, leading us to believe that they are not malfunctioning."

    Harry noted the Goblin's use of the word 'contracted' to describe what would have been a much uglier form of employment.

    "Tell me mister Potter. What is it that you saw fit to steal from the Lestrange vault of your universe?"
    A loud ringing sound filled Harry's ears, a ringing sound that had nothing to do with the noisy contraptions in front of him and everything to do with his brain stuttering like a fax machine in his panic.

    He racked his mind for some possible explanation for how they could know his name, or lineage. They hadn't taken blood from him for an inheritance test, of that he was sure. They certainly hadn't breached the tungsten missile silo vault door he called an occlumency barrier. As he eliminated possibility after possibility he was left with one, incredibly improbable solution to this riddle.

    Eliminate the impossible and what you're left with, no matter how improbable, is the truth
    He surprised everyone in the room with his uproarious laughter.

    "You brilliant bastards!" He said between fits. "The blood tests and keys are all a sham! Your wards identify a person and their blood relations the moment they walk through that door."

    That was the only explanation. Their wards recognized him as the son of James Potter, and likely Lily Evans - assuming she hadn't married in this world. That alone could be explained as him being their lost bastard son, or hidden child, but combined with the nonexistent theft, reconciliation and whatever else they had detected they must have figured out the truth. Just like he had, through a process of elimination. Even time travel couldn't explain all of these impossibilities.

    Ragnok returned his smile with rows of needle-like teeth and Harry knew his friendship with the old Goblin transcended dimensions.

    "I assure you, Mister Potter, that they are not a sham. Our wards can only detect immediate blood relations. Providing keys and tests both give a sense of security to our customers and the funds raised from issuing them goes towards maintenance, allowing us to forego usurious practices through fees, rampant stock market speculation or interest rates on credit."

    Harry nodded. God, but did he ever love Goblins!

    "Formalities hold power over those who believe in them." Harry repeated the ancient Goblin saying. "Or so you always told me, sir."

    Ragnok leaned back and waved for the guards holding an array of weapons to his throat to stop doing so. The chains remained tightly fastened to his limbs.

    "I see. So we were rather close in your world?" He said more than asked.
    Harry shrugged.

    "We were friends. Mostly of the Sunday brunch variety." He told the wizened banker. "Speaking of, I could kill for some chimera haggis."

    His captor raised both eyebrows inquisitively.

    "Could you, now? Most wizards can't stomach our food. It's a bit too flavorful for their delicate pallets." Ragnok warned him. "I've heard many a man talk a big game about liking our dishes only to disappoint."

    Harry grimaced.

    "People just don't seem to understand the importance of pairing food with the proper drink." He said offhandedly. "They can recognize how red wines compliments red meats and white wines compliments seafood, but can't grasp the concept of pairing beers and rums with stronger tasting foods."

    It was true. The pungent smells and taste-bud nuking capabilities of chimera haggis, for instance, was easily offset by a good ale. A strong, citrus variety. The one that the Goblins made from rye bread, and roasted before fermenting like a rich, dark coffee after drowning it in grapefruit and lime served with a slice of...

    "I have already called for the inheritance specialist. He is currently tending to another client and will be here shortly." Ragnok said, interrupting his reverie. "Any man capable of stomaching our food and being merry is plenty trustworthy in my book."

    "Hm?" Harry said dumbly as thoughts of cucumber slices left him. "Oh right! Much appreciated."

    "Am I right to feel confident in the belief that you had a good reason for stealing what you had, Mister Potter?"

    Harry hesitated before answering.

    "It did save a lot of lives." He admitted. "But it was still a crime and a sin. Only offset by the fact that the item was itself stolen in the first place."

    That was the correct answer when discussing something as abhorrent in the race's moral code as theft.

    The director leaned in and continued in almost a whisper.

    "What exactly was the object you stole and for what purpose?"

    Harry winced, knowing that his friend wouldn't like his answer.

    "I can't tell you sir." He confessed. "I knew before coming here that it isn't in the Lestrange vault, and I honestly can't be certain if it shares the same history or importance as it did in my world. Even if it does, it may not even be in the bank at all."

    Whatever object shared the ID number was in all likelihood some other heirloom in the not-so-mad woman's vault. Assuming Bellatrix had married into the Lestrange family.

    "If you would merely describe the object I can check." He responded, a bit too readily.

    Harry stared at the diminutive banker. His stare quickly turned into a glare.

    "Ragnok, if you are suggesting what I think you're suggesting then I swear by all that is holy I will reach across this desk and backhand you so hard that Meirna will feel it." He told his friend, who raised his eyebrows in fear at the sound of his mother's name. "And after she proceeds to come up here to whoop my arse for the trouble, she will then proceed to whoop YOUR arse once I tell her how you offered to aid me in a theft."

    The director and his entire entourage reacted predictably. Not with outrage at the threat, but by swelling with pride at the reminder of their duty and his respect for it. Again, that was the correct answer.

    The chains binding Harry to the chair fell away.

    "Well! It's a good thing I was suggesting no such thing. I doubt either of us would want that." Ragnok said with a nervous chuckle.

    "Noooo sir!" Harry said, matching the chuckle. "I won't pretend to know how bad or desperate things are here, but I am certain another decade of Voldemort is preferable to a minute of that kind of divine wrath."

    A few minutes later the head of inheritance, an even more elderly and ornately dressed Goblin than Ragnok named Inkgots, joined them in the office and made preparations for the inheritance ritual.

    Harry recognized the expense and fashionability of the Goblin's clothes not as a pompous display, but as a means of honoring the more senior workers within Gringotts. It wasn't a matter of expense or even dickwaving - though Goblins were as guilty of that as any culture - but instead of recognition of his service.

    The process was rather mundane. Harry merely had to write his name on a heavily enchanted and potion-soaked piece of parchment with a specialized quill. The writing implement was metallic and wrote in his blood. It took exactly seven drops of the life giving liquid to write out all of the information he needed.

    The use of the writer's blood was the sole reason the process was legally regarded as a ritual. Harry had already done this ritual before in his own world, and it was just as mind-numbingly boring the second time. The only difference this time was his request to only check and access his maternal inheritance. It would not do for his father to get a bank notice telling him of Harry's existence.

    He knew his mother's line descended from a series of Squibs who escaped into the Muggle world in search of a life worth living. As such the squiggly diagram of a family tree the parchment displayed held no surprises. Centuries of either Muggle or female descendants up until this point prevented any claimants to the long unused vaults of certain wizarding families. Lack of male heirs was a huge problem for Goblin run banks. If you had a few hours to spare you could easily broach the topic with a bar hopping Goblin and they will wax on about stagnant wealth going unused and the good in the world gone undone from lack of investment and business loans as a consequence.

    It especially enraged Goblins because they, like Jews, determined inheritance and lineage on the maternal side. Why the sadistic race universally despised Talmudic Judaism - as you could also discover by broaching the topic over a bar table - was beyond him. The only group Goblins hated more was the Jesuits, for similar reasons.

    The ritual eventually concluded and displayed two inheritances.

    Morrigan Estate, designated by Lord Nathaniel Gryer Morrigan of the Noble House of Morrigan, 1897
    Wentforth Family, designated by Eloise Harriet Wentworth, 1980.

    Harry couldn't decide whether to frown or smirk. There had been more names In his world, to be sure, but one of these was new. He didn't even recognize Wentworth as a vague memory, but surmised it was yet another line wiped out by this Voldemort's pointless war.

    "That is unfortunate." Inkgot allowed with a sigh.

    Frown. Definitely frown.

    "Why is that?" Harry demanded.

    Both of the older Goblins groaned as they clearly searched for a diplomatic way to share the news.
    "All liquid assets and properties of the Morrigan and Wentworth lines were seized by the Ministry in order to provide..." Ragnok paused to think of a word. "Remunerations for 'victims' of DMLE investigations that failed to lead to convictions."

    Harry allowed the growl to escape his throat unimpeded. He knew openly fuming at the Ministry's tendency to take that which belonged to others was only outstripped by the similar proclivities of Muggle governments. Hiding his rage at this turn of events would only offend his hosts, who appreciated honest displays of justified wrath.

    Knowing that the money and property stolen from himwas siphoned off to Death Eaters to recoup their losses from bribing their way out of prison nearly made him lose control of his magic.
    A knock on the door interrupted his angsting.

    "Ah. And now for the good news." Only it said as a surly looking Goblin youth handed him a stack of folders.

    "Both estates did have investments in companies and stocks whose dividends have, up until now, been siphoned away by the Ministry." Inkgot explained.

    Harry let a smile grace his face.

    "And now that I can claim ownership all future dividends go to me?"

    The older Goblins nodded.

    "If you'd like we can sell the stocks and bonds and open a vault to store the liquidated assets." Ragnok offered.

    Harry looked at his friend in confusion.

    "Now why would we want to do that?"

    From what Harry knew about them, Goblins despised 'hoarders' as they were called. They believed that people with money should use that money to better the world. Not by giving it away to worthless charities that rarely achieve their goals, and more often than not achieve the exact opposite of their mission statements.

    Fuck all that.

    You loan money to create businesses that will hire people and drag them kicking and screaming out of poverty. You fund the research and development of new technology that will raise the standard of living to the point that the poor of today live better lives than the kings of yesterday. You fund projects and ambitions to rival the seven wonders of the ancient world and, succeed or fail, at least you can say you were part of something cool. That's how Goblins roll!

    So why was a Gringotts branch manager suggesting he abandons such efforts?

    "Well, Mister Potter..."

    "Morrigan." Harry corrected.

    He needed an alias and it would serve him well to take the name he knew would entitle him to a seat on the Wizengomat and Hogwarts Board of Governors.

    "Well, Mister Morrigan." Ragnok amended. "Most of your inherited investments have lost value due to recent market forces. We are required to recommend, for your financial benefit, that you abandon these investments."

    Ah. So that was it.

    "Director. We humans have a term for describing people who abandon bear markets for the safety of mattress stuffing. A term you might like."

    Ragnok considered Harry for a moment.

    "And what do you call them, Mister Morrigan?"

    "Pussies.

    Harry soon found himself practicing his new signature on a mountain of documents.

    Hadrian Edward Morrigan had officially entered the game.



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  13. randomchance

    randomchance Not too sore, are you?

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    Well I am fucking delighted
     
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  14. Threadmarks: Chapter 5: An Impromptu Lesson
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 5: An Impromptu Lesson


    Ollivander's shop had a self-enclosed garden similar to a courtyard.

    Many of the things you could expect in a normal London garden made appearances there. Tea bushes, blackberries, mint patches and leafy greens covered most available ground, but the real stars of the courtyard were the many trees keeping these foodstuffs shaded from the harsh summer sun.
    The ancient English oak towered at the very center of the garden with the smaller trees - fir, elm, yew, ash and maple among them - hugged the walls tightly, leaving barely enough room for the windows. Ollivander also kept trees that weren't so native to the isles, but kept them as pygmy trees, made eternally small through the use of a bonsai potion and each kept in a plastic container to serve as a mini-greenhouse.

    The witch or wizard with a good eye would notice that every single tree in the garden and on every windowsill was of a type used for wand-crafting. What they might not know is that these specimens weren't particularly well-suited for use as wands and weren't used for the wands Garrick himself made. No, the old man kept them for his own personal study and served to help the wandmaker gain a sense of immersion to his craft. For meditative purposes.

    Harry was out here for a similar purpose at the moment. He was meditating. Stretching his senses to feel the fine grain of bark, soft fabric of leaves and deep vining roots.

    Trees, above and beyond all other things, trees are magical. Trees feel. Trees think.

    Even Muggles are capable of experiencing the magic of trees. All you have to do is give one a great, big hug, and you will feel it.

    Harry's ability to stretch out his senses into his surrounding came from his studying and meditating beside these very trees. Experiments with wandless magic in conjunction with his study and attempted reverse-engineering of the elder wand lead to him gaining the ability to grow his magical core to encompass the world around him and practically incorporate it into his being, just as these trees do.

    When he discovered how to feel his core, his very magical essence he discovered that magic is alive. Magic is sentient. Magic remembers.
    Trees also remember

    To hold even the remains of a tree, as wood carved into furniture or a wand, opens the door to gain knowledge from them. To tap into their memories. It is one of the most useful functions of his sixth sense. It took a lot of practice, but speaking to the, what some eastern philosophies call kami, of an object or place can yield incredible knowledge.

    With enough time he can see every person to have ever sat in a particular chair, or slept in a particular bed. It was practically postcognitive in it's application and was his best method for comparing the history of this world to that of his own world.

    These trees talked freely, as if they recognized him, and shared freely. Every difference he tried to glean seemed so minor that it didn't lead to many answers.

    He would strive to search the histories of more important objects and places to find where their histories diverged, but thoroughly hoped they didn't diverge too greatly.

    His list of objects and places whose kami he craved to speak with grew exponentially from including the desk in the oval office(and her sister), to the entirety of everything he had already spoken to in his own world.

    "Am I interrupting something?"

    Harry opened his eyes and turned to look at her, even though he didn't really need his eyes to see. Bellatrix Lestranges(Black? No ring on her finger, but there was a tan line for one.) was as immaculate as the first time he saw her in this universe. Hair? Perfect. Dress robes? Perfect. Nails and makeup? You get the picture.

    "Just meditating. This garden is good for that." Harry told her. "And for testing wands. Hopefully clearing blockages comes just as easily."

    With that declaration, one meant to announce his intention to keep the encounter brief and professional, Harry rose to his feet.

    "Now. Clearing a wand blockage is a simple, but dangerous affair. All you need to do is determine which spell caused the blockage and cast a spell of equal power but opposite wavelength." Harry explained. "Are you familiar with the wavelength of spells and their reactions with each other as described by the arithmetist John Vendile?"

    "Er, remind me." Bellatrix said.

    It was the kind of phrase one used when they didn't want to admit they did not know a thing. A small part of Harry, the part that couldn't separate this woman from the one who murdered his godfather, goaded him into teasing her for it. But no, there is a time to tease a woman and a time to be respectful.

    "Well, simply put, all spells can be imagined to exist on a hexagon."

    "Hexagon?"

    "Hexagon. With each vertice, or point, representing one of the six types of spells. Charms, transfiguration, hexes, jinxes, curses and healing magic." Harry simplified. "Counter spells are really not a branch of magic so much as a reverse-engineered and wavelength swapped version of a particular spell. Some have surprising uses as spells in their own rights, but that is neither here nor there."

    Bellatrix nodded in understanding.

    "So if you cast a powerful transfiguration spell at somebody could they annihilate in mid flight by simply casting it's opposite?" She asked. "Kind of like a wand stream connection mid duel, but without the struggle over dominance?"

    Harry had never thought of that.

    Thinking back to the duel in the graveyard he knew that in a normal scenario where two spells intercepted, thereby connecting the wands, then the more powerful spell would simply rip through the other. Twin core interaction notwithstanding, what would happen if equally powerful, oppositely tuned spells intercepted?

    "I suppose they would pretty much cancel each other out. Not necessarily annihilate like matter and antimatter if that's what you were imagining."
    She actually blushed at that.

    Clearly that's exactly what she was imagining. Could you imagine the energy released by two spells if they could actually undergo annihilation? Harry could. The conversion rate between magical energy and matter was close to infinite, hence conjuration, the art of creating matter from nothing. It would be like annihilating an entire chair or couch worth of atoms.

    Goodbye Europe. And all life on Earth, really.

    "But it's a moot point, in order to properly counter a spell so perfectly you'd have to be able to identify the spell being cast, know it's perfect opposite, cast that opposite and do so with the exact same amount of force as your opponent."

    Bellatrix had a faraway look to her the more Harry explained.

    Was she actually considering this as a possible tactic? He knew she was a professional dueler, so identifying her opponent's spell as they cast it and casting one of her own was child's play. It was knowing how much force her opponent had put into it that she had no hope of knowing or countering.
    But he could.

    With that dangerous thought Harry came to mirror her glazed expression. He could! With a little - okay a lot - of training as a duelist and even more experimentation he could easily obliterate a spell mid flight with its opposite. Hell, if the spell was weak enough he could do it wandlessly, morphing the magic around him into a perfect, specialized shield against specific hexes and jinxes. With enough experimentation he could use this method to craft a counter to the killing cur...

    No! Bad thoughts!

    It's a law of arithmetic every spellcrafter knows. Don't try to create counters to the unforgivables. Too many people have wasted too many years of their lives trying.

    "I think we're getting off track. All I need to know is what spell you used and, if we're lucky, it has a perfectly opposite spell you can cast to clear it."
    She returned to reality, but adopted a more demure and hesitant posture. Harry found this thoroughly disturbing.

    "It was a curse." She confessed.

    "Good, that means you'll have to cast a charm to clear it, and charms are the most numerous of any branch of spells. So we are more likely to find a match."

    She didn't offer any more specifics.

    "And?"

    "And what?"

    "Which spell was it?!"

    "I don't really wish to disclose that. Do you perchance have a hexagonal graph depicting every spell and it's opposite?"

    "Yeah! In my head by way of arithmetic deduction!"

    "Well pull it out of your head and put it in a pensieve! I'll figure it out myself!"

    And so their shouting match continued. This was turning out to be terribly unproductive and unprofessional.

    "Look." Harry stopped the argument, taking a deep breath. "If you're worried I may judge you or report you if you tell me the specific spell, know that I have cast two of the unforgivables before." He explained.

    She seemed unimpressed.

    "On people." He clarified.

    She gasped. That was an incredibly stupid thing to confess to somebody. Life in Azkaban and all that.

    "Truly?"

    "Yes."

    And one of them was on you, you child-torturing, godfather-killing, cruciatus-slinging whor... Deep breaths Harry. Deep breaths. This isn't her.
    "So if it was an unforgivable, I swear to you I will hold your confession sacred."

    He gave her his most sympathetic smile and she positively melted. This had more to do with him attempting to influence her emotions through wandless manipulation of her aura than any inherent charm - the one thing Riddle hadn't seen fit to transfer to him - but it was still incredibly effective.
    "Imperius." She said all but at a whisper.

    "Excellent!" Harry clapped. "Because the other two don't have a counter. All you have to do to clear your wand is cast a patronus."

    "A patronus?"

    "A patronus."

    "The patronus charm is the opposite of the Imperius?" She asked, sounding unconvinced.

    "One protects the mind from dark influences of emotions, the other influences the mind through dark influencing emotions."

    Most people didn't know that. The Imperius isn't a mind control spell, it's an emotion controlling spell. A thing it had in common with the patronus, and the other unforgivables, was that it's an enthused spell; a spell that works on emotion and plain old will to cast. No need for complicated wand motions. Just point and shoot.

    "But what if I can't cast the patronus?" She asked with a glare that seemed to be daring him to criticize her for her lack of ability.

    "Then somebody else who the wand recognizes as it's master could do it. Has anybody ever bested you in a duel?"

    She glared at him.

    "Once or twice. It's part of being in a competitive sport."

    "Then if you can't cast it, invite one of them to do so."

    "No."

    "Didn't think you'd go for that. In that case I'll just have to teach you the patronus."

    She scowled at him.

    "That could take weeks!"

    "For most people it takes months."

    "I'm not most people."

    The cool, deep voice she said it in, beyond being sexy as all hell, left no doubt in Harry's mind that she wasn't overstating her ability.
    "But I also started learning it already, but stopped." She confessed.

    "Hm ? Why did you stop?"

    She didn't answer right away.

    "I... Experienced a barrier to casting it that I couldn't overcome."

    She didn't need to explain further. Harry had a similar experience. It's hard to cast a spell that requires a happy memory, when you have so few to choose from and none powerful enough.

    Fortunately he had the cure.

    "I find... That it doesn't need to be a real memory to work." He explained slowly. "It can be a fantasy, a delusion, but it has to be a powerful one. Imaging a lost loved one alive and just... doing the normal daily routine with you is the one I see works most often."

    She considered him thoughtfully.

    "Like what? Household chores and mealtime talk?"

    "That's exactly right!" He told her. "When we lose the people we love the thing we miss the most is just the comfort of their presence during the most mundane moments. By imagining that again we can cultivate the most brilliant light of happiness in our hearts."

    As he explained it his mind turned to George, as it always did when he gave this speech. It was through this exact method that he'd helped the man who lost his other half regain the ability to cast the patronus. It was a spell he couldn't sleep without casting before bed after the war; a nightlight many of the survivors resorted to. Harry included.

    "Expecto patronum." Bellatrix whispered.

    Nothing came out of her wand. Not even the fizzle that could be expected if she had put too little or too much force into it to counter the blockage.
    "Say it like you mean it!"

    "Expecto patronum!"

    There it was. A spatter of white and transparent sparks.

    "Good. Do it again"

    She did, and more sparks followed.

    "You'll need to put more power behind it."

    She did, and an outright fountain of magic sparks erupted.

    "Good. From here you need to adjust how much to put into it. Right now you're putting a bit too much behind it."

    And so began the tedious task of trying to incrementally decrease how much power she was putting into the spell to match that of the blockage. It helped that Harry could sense exactly how much it needed. It didn't help that it was impossible to convey that through words and so all he could do was instruct her to increase or decrease how much strength she was putting into it.

    Her training as a duelist was a huge blessing to the endeavor. Most people can't judge how much magical power they were putting into their spells. Duelists were very good at it. Mostly because they ran endless drills where they varied the force behind their piercing, bludgeoning and cutting hexes at targets to create larger or more precise damage. Along with dodging, ducking, running, aiming, sidestepping, countercursing, blocking, quickcasting and spell identification drills. To name a few.

    "You're really close, just.."

    But his warning fell on deaf ears.

    "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

    A glorious white falcon erupted from the tip of her wand and rocketed across the courtyard with a loud bang!

    Harry reeled from the sensation it had on his sixth sense, and it was only his experience fighting off the Imperius curse that prevented him from falling under it then and there. He was much more sensitive to some spells, like the imperius and cruciatus, when he had his magical senses stretched out.
    If she had waited for his warning she would have known that the end result would have been an unnatural fusion of the original spell and the new one and he could have braced himself.

    All the same, Harry had never seen a patronus so large or vibrant, but then again, he had never seen one cast through a wand blockage either. His own patronus when cast with the elder wand came close, but the sight of her falcon made Harry wish he'd have reserved the azkaban courtyard, because if any spell could kill a dementors, it was this one.

    "I. We. Wow." Bellatrix, who had worked up a real sweat in the quarter hour of excursion, fell to her knees.

    Harry momentarily marveled at her ability to collapse into such a ladylike and poised position, before the eight foot tall falcon faded into a shower of sparks. If only he'd had the presence of mind to bring a gordian bottle to this meeting. He could have captured it for later experiments involving a caged lethifold.

    "Takes a lot more out of you when you cast it successfully huh?" He asked as he offered the not-a-death-eater his arm.

    He turned away from her as she wiped her face clean of tears, after all she was a warrior, and warriors demanded dignity. With that finished she grasped his elbow gently and allowed him to lift her up.

    She patted out the wrinkles in her dress robes and bowed slightly, exactly as a noble lady of the ancient house of black would have been raised to do.

    "Thank you, Mister Morrigan, for your services." She said graciously.

    "Don't thank me yet. You haven't tested to see if the blockage is fully removed."

    "I am confident that it is."

    She was right, of course. He had stretched his senses back out the moment the imperionus(tm) faded, and the blockage was indeed gone.

    "Please send an invoice with the price by owl to number twelve Grimmauld Place and I will ensure you receive proper compensation for your help."

    Harry, jolted by the address given, didn't recall his manners until she already reached the door back into Ollivander's shop. He had to jog to catch up with her in order to do the proper thing and open it for her before leading her through the shop.

    "Thank you for your patronage, and never shy away from coming to Ollivander or myself for help in the future." He said by way of goodbye as he held the front door open for her to leave.

    She curtsied politely before exiting.

    He closed the door intending to get a good look at her behind only to spot a young man with perfectly coiffed, platinum blonde hair approaching Bellatrix. Harry could recognize Draco Malfoy in any dimension. God he completely forgot that they had once been kids.

    Unable to resist, he held his hand to the glass panel of the door and altered his perception to instead feel the vibrations of the air outside. It took an immense amount of concentration, but with practice he had discovered how to "hear" conversations with his sixth sense too. It was still more of an art than a science.

    "Thank you for your patience, Draco. Have you gathered all of your school things?" Bellatrix greeted her nephew.

    "Yes auntie. Have you finished your platonic date with Ollivander's catamite?"

    Aaaaaaand Harry was done eavesdropping for today.

    You'd think he would be used to the wonderful and bizarre rumors that sprouted up in his wake by now, but Harry had hoped such things were behind him in another universe. Rumors of his batting for the other team were easily ignored when it arose due to his constant rejection of fangirls, but what stung about this one was how reasonable it was.

    After all, what was everyone supposed to assume when a reclusive, elderly, never-married man suddenly had a handsome, slightly feminine young man working in his shop?

    Harry cringed at the visuals. He'd have to make an effort to avoid any Hogwarts aged girls with fantasies about his homophilic tendencies in the future. What was yaoi again?

    With a sigh he locked the front door and plopped down on the seat behind the counter. The notepad, pen and pile of newspapers were all as he left them, and so he got back to work circling ads that interested him and writing down the pertinent information as he went.

    "What in the blazes are you doing boy?"

    Harry turned to Garrick with a glare.

    The old man had really let his hygiene slip in last week. Spending fourteen hours in a pensieve each day and sleeping for the rest left little time for the man to shower and shave. Or eat, by the look of him.

    He'd have to intervene soon enough for the wandmaker's own good.

    "I'm looking for a job, what the hell does it look like?" Harry snapped.

    "It looks like a damn waste of time is what it looks like." Garrick snapped back

    "And why is that?"

    "Because who in their right mind is stupid enough to hire a man with no owl or newt scores, let alone history of any kind?"

    Harry smirked as that question hung in the air. Soon enough the insinuated answer to that question dawned on his mentor.

    "Oh you can kiss my ass. And after all I've done for you since you got stranded here." Garrick bemoaned as he threw his hands up in exasperation.
    Harry chucked at the old man's expense, but relented.

    "I know. I'm kinda up a creek without a paddle in that regard, but I have to try. You can't have expected me to apprentice under you and take over the shop when you eventually keel over."

    Ollivander paused and made the oddest simpering sound as he motioned around the shop.

    Oh. Apparently he had expected Harry to do just that.

    "Oh damn, I'm sorry old man." Harry said sincerely, getting up from his seat to put a comforting hand on Garrick's shoulder. He would have hugged him if it weren't for the smell. "I didn't mean to mislead you or anything, but wand-crafting really isn't in my blood. You'll find a proper apprentice soon, I've seen it."

    And he had. Being trapped in the Malfoy dungeon with a loony girl had gained the Ollivander of his universe a brilliant, if odd, apprentice to impart his knowledge onto. An apprentice that Harry had enjoyed learning beside, and sleeping beside on a few occasions.

    Back to the present Harry, come on!

    "You're not going to tell me who?" Garrick pleaded in a sad whisper.

    Harry grinned like a Cheshire cat.

    "Nope. But I am going to make damn sure she finds her way to you." He promised.

    Garrick snarled at that.

    "Great. As if the rumors going around with you as my apprentice weren't bad enough, how bad are they going to be with a young woman down here?" He bemoaned aloud.

    Harry hadn't thought of that. In his universe nobody would have dared make such a suggestion about the two, after what they'd gone through together. After the bravery they'd shown in the fight against Voldemort.

    He suspected the people here wouldn't be nearly as understanding.

    "A bridge we'll cross when we come to it. Now, is there any chance you can help me get a job to make some proper coin?"

    Garrick wiped the self-pitying expression from his face and picked up the notepad of candidates.

    "I can write an outstanding letter of recommendation, but good Lord is this a terrible job selection. Why are you picking such low-skilled jobs?" Garrick asked as he flipped through the notebook.

    "Er, because I have no documentation or newt scores with which to apply for good jobs?" Harry asked pointedly.

    Garrick turned from the notes and stared at him. It was that way of staring that always made Harry feel like he was being x-rayed. Examined like a product.

    "I assume you are aware of recent and old attacks on the ministry of magic?" Garick started.

    "Yeeees?" Harry confirmed hesitantly.

    "Well, as you would expect when a building containing all of magical Britain's records is attacked, some peoples records have gone missing or were destroyed." He explained.

    And then it clicked.

    "So naturally it is our responsibility as citizens to inquire if our records were retained or if we need to go in and help replace them!" Harry concluded. "And retake exams if necessary."

    Garrick beamed at him.

    "Quite right. And if they ask why you waited so long to come in since this last attack, just give them a spiel about how you wanted to avoid the chaos of other people immediately following the attack."

    Sometimes things in life really do fall into your lap. Despite how good this prospect looked Harry still had to consider the downsides.

    "I'm not so sure I want to retake my exams." He confessed. "Those examiners are good at gauging your abilities, no matter how hard you try to hide your skill."

    Garrick looked at him inquisitively.

    "And you don't want people thinking you're as exceptional as you are because?"

    "Because certain actors may take an unhealthy interest in my abilities."

    "Dumbledore?"

    "Dumbledore."

    In the end Harry decided to walk down to the owlery and mail an inquiry to the status of his non-existent documents all the same. When the negative response inevitably came back, it would be no time at all before he was called in to retake his exams.

    It was time to hit the books again.



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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  15. walket11

    walket11 Know what you're doing yet?

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    Pst, new chapter is good, but isn't threadmarked.
     
  16. Lucho9

    Lucho9 Viva la vida

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    Let's be honest, everyone. Anyone in his place would avoid the old man like the plague. I know I would.
     
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  17. Mastersgt

    Mastersgt Experienced.

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    I like this story on Fanfiction.net, but I REALLY dislike how everyone just keeps assuming he is a fraud and not a Seer, when they have no evidence of that. Also dislike how they just up and guess/know that the MC is Harry Potter, beyond some feelings and similar appearances. Which is also complete bs.
     
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  18. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Pssst. They did not guess or assume he's Harry Potter. They KNOW he is Harry Potter, specifically Harry Potter in the case of the marauder family. Harry Potter is the one who made an incorrect assumption in chapter one that he is still basing decisions on. Also he is KINDA a fraud. Just a little bit.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 6: Written Exams
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 6: Written Exams


    The ministry had finally responded to his request to "retake" his newt exam by the following weekend. Which was a miracle considering he'd never sat for his newt exam in the first place; neither in his home universe, nor this one.

    But with the Ministry of Magic being constantly under attack by Death Eaters, was it any wonder educational records tended to be casualties of war? Not if you considered the fact that deliberate targeting of financial and personal records by Voldemort's posse of terrorists was a regular occurrence, as the need to hide paper trails leading to dark business dealings and erasing the history of people they "disappeared" outstripped the self-styled Dark Lord's need to know the qualifications of his latest recruit.

    The written response signed by a Mrs. Tufty specified the day and time of the appointment and Harry - ehem - Hadrian made haste to prepare for it. A few dozen galleons at Madame Malkin's Robes for All Occasion netted him a lovely set of black and green dress-robes to match his hair and eyes. It was a little too Slytherin for his tastes, but he'd long come to accept that Salazar's choice of house colors looked damned sexy on him.

    His only remaining stop for the day was to the book store to pick up a study guide; hopefully one with a practice test in the back. He wasn't worried about failing the test, but it paid to take a quick refresher and put in a few hours of cramming the day before any exam. It was good enough to get him through Hogwarts, so it ought to be good enough for this, right?

    Unfortunately fate decided to sour his morning with a kerfuffle in front of the book store he'd set his eyes on.

    "Geroff me!" A young man, no older than seventeen, exclaimed as he was bodily thrown out of the bookstore.

    One of the two larger men who had done the throwing spat on the ground separating them.

    "You know our store policy, Mutt! Same as everywhere else. If yous be needing a product then you owl order it." The spitter warned.

    Harry took a moment to assess the situation. By the state of the young man's tattered clothes, scarred body and the use of "mutt" as a slur the conclusion he came to was an ugly one. He'd have to ask Ollivander about the state of Werewolf relations when he got back to the shop. Or maybe after his test the next day.

    Maybe check-in on Dolores while he was at it? Might be taking too many cues from his old universe, but his Umbridge had earned enough bad Karma for every counterpart of hers across all dimensions. At least enough for him to drop by this one's house like he had the original's after the war ended.

    "But how am I to know what I want to order without taking a look, see? What's wrong with browsing?" The boy simpered deferentially.

    He had the air of the bookish type too. Came across as the kind of person who loved the smell of ancient and slightly molded paper of books, wood polish of shelves and dust covered bindings. There were worse character flaws, to be sure, but that alone was enough to earn him the kind of treatment he was getting at the moment. But instead these bozos were bullying him over a slight case of magical rabies? He simply had to step in. It was the principle of the thing!

    "Come here!" Harry snarled as he snatched the kid up off the cobblestone street and dragged him away from the shop.

    When he was out of earshot, but still in view of the bouncers - which every store seemed to have these days - he lightly slammed him against a wooden pillar.

    "You gotta be careful and choose your fights kid." Harry said gently, still holding him roughly by the scruff but relaxing his facial features to show he was a friend.

    Kid caught on to what was happening quick, and gave him a seemingly frightened nod, betrayed only by the gleam in his eye.

    "What book are you looking for and where should I be sending it to?" Harry demanded, showing off his teeth in a fake snarl.

    "Study guide for a proctored newt exam." The young werewolf answered.

    Hm. Small world.

    "And the name's Romulus. I'm the only person in the country whose dad was stupid enough to give him such a name so you don't need my address. Any office owl can find me."

    Fair enough.

    "And how much does the book cost?"

    "Two galleons." Romulus answered simply.

    A moment later Harry felt a slight weight in his robe pocket and knew the young man had slipped the coins in with a slight of hand. Damnit was this kid trying to make Harry like him?

    "The name is Hadrian Morrigan. Keep an eye out for a delivery owl." He conspired, before grabbing him by the scruff yet again. "And don't let me catch you in civilized company again!"

    He shoved Romulus down the street and he scampered off. He nailed the kid with a stinging hex to the ass just for extra show. And because he was sure the kid had done something troublesome enough to deserve it recently. Had that Marauder air about him.

    He turned around and shoved his way past the bouncers, ordered two copies of the same book, and made the trip back to Olivanders. On the down side it was a much thicker and heavier volume than he expected to have to sift through. On the up side it looked like Hedwig's fatass was getting a workout today.

    On the pls side Romulus had added a few sickles on top of the cost of the book, probably as thanks for the service, so he had a nice cuppa to go with his studying.




    Having his fingerprints taken upon entering the Ministry Of Magic was a first for Harry. The aura scanners and wand inspection, on the other hand, were par for the course. The pat down and metal detector scans were just dreary and too big of a reminder of the Orwellian - not to mention wholly unnecessary and ineffectual TSA that the Muggle government across the pond had implemented after the "Saudis" decided to fly a plane into the twin towers.

    God what shitshow. The ridiculous measures that the entire world went through to try and cover up the magical involvement in that incident. Ranging from seers shorting plane company stocks the day before, to the terrorists having actual enchanted objects like indestructible passports and an obedience ward that forced the pilot and passengers to surrender to some hicks with box cutters. Not to mention the two planes enchanted to be invisible that hit building seven and the pentagon respectively. And that was just the fuck-ups on the wizarding side, that intelligence agencies from Mossad to the alphabet agencies in America all had forewarning but failed to act was an even bigger fiasco, to say nothing of the racist dancing Israeli's and Muslims who were celebrating the attack AS IT HEPPENED!

    There were also quite a few wizards involved in the incident throwing around quite a few imperius and confundus curses.
    Yeah, when 2001 rolled back around he'd be sure to prevent that entire fiasco. Partly to prevent the pointless loss of life, mostly so he'd never have to be felt up at an airport ever again.

    Now if only he could go further back in time and prevent the magical terrorist attack on Chernobyl. Some wizard supremacists saw Muggles developing a method of safe, reliable and unlimited energy and managed to turn a nuclear reactor into a weapon of mass destruction. It was an incident that was truly impossible to repeat with any other nuclear reactors - this was partly because of Communist mismanagement of the facility and willful negligence combined with magical interference. Then again, that Muggles were stupid enough to be tricked into throwing away the perfect energy source over an incident that killed maybe a few dozen people and stick with coal - which directly kills millions every year - really gave credence to the wizard-supremacist point of view.

    But if Muggles ever found out about the existence of wizarding society - an inevitability in the long term - then they would be rather angry to discover that the answer to most mysteries or conspiracies amount to "A wizard did it."

    Chernobyl and September 11th? Wizard terrorists. JFK? It really was a magic bullet. The Philadelphia experiment? Wizard/Muggle scientist collaboration gone bad. The list goes on. But it does raise the question of why so many wizard terrorists kept committing acts likely to expose the wizarding world and instigate the genocide of everyone they loved.

    Wizard supremacists weren't great at long-term planning.

    The Aurors manning the checkpoint near the floor entrance, and the telephone booth Harry opted to use instead, issued him a set of thoroughly unhelpful directions for reaching the exam room. Go to the elevator he understood. Taking the elevator down to floor 3c1 he did not. Fortunately a balding, tiny old gentleman in the lift helped him with that. Two levels down, two levels right, one level forward... However this lift system managed to move in all three vectors was beyond him, but interesting.

    "Thank you sir." Harry said to the elderly gentleman as they exited the lift.

    "It's what I do." He said with a chuckle. "If the three-dimensional lift system tripped you up, might you also need help checking into the correct booth?"

    It was only then that Harry properly took in the examination room, and blanched. The place was a cubicle farm that would make the most soulless corporation shudder at the artificial and soul-crushing nature of making human beings work in such environments. If you could take the room of hidden things and fill every inch of it - including rising vertically along the walls and covering the ceiling - with wooden office cubicles, this is what would result.

    "I think I would appreciate that very much sir." Harry confided in the helpful ministry worker, before offering his hand to shake. "I'm Hadrian Morrigan by the way. My appointment is with an examiner named Alastor Marchbanks."

    "I'm examiner Alastor Marchbanks. I happen to have an appointment with an examinee named Hadrian Morrigan." Marchbanks greeted cheekily as he took Harry's hand and shook.

    ... Again, small world.

    Examiner Marchbanks led him down the aisles of cubicles and Harry couldn't stop himself from looking up to see if people were walking, sitting and working on the ceiling above. Indeed, they were, and he was overcome with a sense of vertigo at the strange type of space optimizing magic employed here.

    Fortunately Marchbanks' cubicle was safely on the ground so they didn't wind up having to walk up the walls, literally or figuratively. His was as tidy as could be expected, and the neat, evenly-spaced stacks of examination tests layed out looked to be pre-prepared for Harry in particular.

    "Today you will be doing a written exam in the disciplines you specified." Marchbanks' preempted, before pointing at every stack of exams in turn and listing off the subject. "Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, Muggle Studies, Ancient Runes, Care of Magical Creatures, Arithmancy, Astronomy and, of course, Divination. Is that correct?"

    "Yes sir." Harry confirmed politely.

    Harry had studied Ancient Runes while he was helping with the creation of a new sport back in 2003, and he felt reasonably confident in that and arithmancy, which it turned out was mostly mathematics through calculus mixed with numerology and runes for spell and potion engineering. Muggle Studies would be a doddle.

    "That seems to be nearly every subject offered at Hogwarts, save for one. What about history of magic?"

    "What about history of magic?" Harry retorted derisively.

    "Fair enough I suppose. Now before we go on I do need to ask one very important question." Marchbanks continued "Are you Muggle-born?"
    It was only experience dealing with this bullshit in his home dimension that allowed Harry to answer without showing any shock or offense at the question. Best to stick with the truth.

    "No sir. But my mother was. And I was raised by her extended family."

    "Ah, Muggle-raised? Excellent! That means we can get through the Muggle Studies test much more quickly." Marchbanks cheerily exclaimed, surprising Harry to reveal the question was asked not out of discriminatory purposes, but for making his job easier. "All you have to do is perform two distinctly advanced Muggle tasks that no wizard-raised person could ever accomplish."

    And with that ominous declaration Marchbanks began weaving his wand like a symphony conductor and produced one of the most impressive displays of transfiguration Harry had ever beheld. Piece by piece he conjured different types of metal alloy and shaped them into mechanical contraptions that on their own were wholly alien to Harry, but taken together formed the recognizable shape of a Ford Model T; One small enough to fit on top of the desk and seat a toddler.

    "I realize it's not in fashion to be driving such a vehicle today, but I find the electric razors on wheels seen on roads recently to be abominations and insulting to the beauty and style automobiles once exhibited." Said Marchbanks. "Still, a car is a car, and a wheel is a wheel. And a spark plug is a spark plug. All you must do is change the tire, and by that I mean switch one tire with another since there is no spare, and change the spark plugs OR change the oil OR change the fuses. Without magic, save for conjuring materials you will need, obviously."

    Harry was sufficiently impressed. Be would have to make inquiries at Hogwarts to find out if the head of Gryffindor house wasn't a spinster carrying her maiden name of McGonnigal, but a married woman carrying the name Mrs Marchbanks.

    "Okay, but what if I can do all of those things?"

    "Can you do all of those things?"

    Verily, he could. In fact, Harry went so far as to conjure up his own fuses which he then had to shrink to fit, and a duplicate of the spark plug the machine had. He knew full well that conjured and transfigured materials don't take on the chemical or electrical properties of the material intended, as such the Model T would never be able to run or start for that matter, but it was still beautiful work in his opinion. He conjured an aluminum pans to drain the oil, and then just poured it back in as the point was to show he could do it.

    "Bravo! Bravo! I think you've earned an outstanding on your Muggle Studies. And if you can write on the theory behind conjuring and transfiguring materials as well as your wandwork would suggest I expect another O on your transfiguration newt as well." Said Marchbanks.

    He was right.

    Seven hours later Harry finished his last written test with a bad case of carpal tunnel, and an impressive set of grades.

    An Outstanding in Charms.

    An Outstanding in Defense.

    An Exceeds Expectations in potions.(Thank you "Prince".)

    An Exceeds Expectations in transfiguration.

    An Outstanding in Muggle Studies.(Thank you Mister Weasley)

    An Acceptable in Ancient Runes.

    An Exceeds Expectations in Care of Magical Creatures.

    An Acceptable in Astronomy.

    An Acceptable in Herbology.

    And a Poor in Arithmancy.(The outrage!)

    Seven passing newt scores. Not bad. Some would say acceptable is a passing grade, but it's really not for newt. No employer will hire for anything below Exceeds Expectations, and even then that's only if the E is in a subject only tangentially related to the job as opposed to the primary focus(Like Herbology for a potions brewer), otherwise you better have an O in the primary focus.(Like potions for a potions brewer).

    And so, finally, he was onto divination. Harry was fully expecting a second failing grade as, like with the Muggle Studies test, this one was actually practical instead of written. He knew this because Marchbanks provided a fully-enchanted crystal ball as soon as he finished shuffling away the stack of math questions.

    Marchbanks chuckled at Harry's over-exaggerated groan.

    "Yes, yes. You were expecting another written, but honestly there's no point in having a written exam for divination. You are either able to divine the future, or you aren't." He explained. "Besides. I do so enjoy the looks on people faces when they flunk out of what they thought was an easy E to pad out their newt scores."

    He was onto him! Damnit! And to think he and Ron were so sure none of the teachers would figure out that was their motivation in picking Divination and Care over Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. Oh well, he'd just have to cheat. Good thing he had a tool capable of making him appear to be a skilled diviner.

    "Now. I'm going to place the crystal ball and all you need to do is speak of whatever it is you see, feel or otherwise sense about the present, past, or future. Begin when ready."

    Harry was born ready.

    He took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and relaxed into his seat. The first step to divination is to always relax, clear your mind and dull the senses. Something he learned through his own independent studies.

    He reached out his sixth, magical sense and allowed the world around him to fill his soul. The curvature of the armrests of his chair. The cold hardness of the filing cabinet. The dustiness of the carpet and curtains blocking off the entrance to the cubicle. Each and every place and thing had a story to be told and they shared them willingly to those with ears to hear, but his interest was in the man opposite him.

    His eyes snapped open and he stared, unseeing, into the crystal ball. He ignored the cloudy coalescing masses within and focused his attention on the story Marchbanks' aura told.

    Recent events tend to stick for a while, linger like scratches on a record. Harry could pick up on those scratches and, if he focused, translate them back into the five senses he was more accustomed to.

    He ignored the recent and superfluous facts about his egg, ham and hash breakfast. He ignored the overflowing joy and warm fuzziness that he still got every time his wife kissed his cheek goodbye in the morning, even after sixty years of marriage. He ignored the deep rest he got sleeping beside that woman with the warm weight of their way-too-old and way-too-fat basset hound laying across his feet.

    He did not, however, ignore the threatening, whispered voices from days earlier.

    "You should be honored. It is not every day I make such an offer in person."

    It sounded healthier and more human than Harry remembered, but he recognized it all the same.

    "You have been approached by the Dark Lord." Harry said simply.

    Marchbanks nodded, but Harry was too enthralled in the past to pay any attention to the present.

    "I doubt you have much of importance to be getting on with. War's a bit fizzled out at the moment, so I can't imagine you doing much besides plotting and recruiting."

    His response earned Voldemort's thrilled, high-pitched laughter.

    "Indeed. And I come bearing gifts. Gifts of fire, and death."

    Harry felt the lingering touch of something powerful. Something hot and sharp. Not a spell, but an object of ancient make and forgotten power.
    He also felt Marchbanks lust for the object, and the feel of the rosary on his fingers and he clasped it in surprise at the sight of whatever it was Voldemort sought to bribe him with.

    "He has made you a very generous offer. One that would turn many of your faith and line of research into accepting." Harry went on.

    Marchbanks nodded again but this time Harry was overwhelmed by a new sense. Like the dizziness that heralds a fainting fit, or precipitates sleep. But it stayed with him, held him in that state and the coalescing smoke in the crystal ball parted to show him the future.

    It was a bloody scene. Scorched gashes in walls, severed limbs and a significant amount of blood. Blurry, but obvious in meaning.

    "You will not accept." Harry managed to gasp as he pulled himself away from the vision.

    He discovered that he was clammy, sweating and out of breath.

    "No. I will not." Marchbanks nodded solemnly, though his eyes betrayed a razor-sharp focus and cunning that most people would miss.

    "His retaliation will be terrible." Harry warned.

    Marchbanks motioned back towards the crystal ball.

    "Do you see... Death?"

    Harry shuddered at the word. He could feel that it was meant with a capital D, but allowed himself to sink back into the trance that had never let go of him, and returned to the scene of violence and mayhem.

    He saw flashes of places. Siren lights. Hands, so many hands. And then, white hospital sheets and curtains of the highest cleanliness through which morning sunlight streamed and a subtle breeze blew.

    Harry felt the smile of relief grow on his face before he even returned to the land of the present.

    "The event will stay with you forever, but you will live."

    He saw a similar relief to that he felt spread onto Marchbanks' features and posture as he slouched back into his seat.

    It was only then that Harry realized he may have been goading Harry into lying, giving a fake warning of death as many so-called seers are prone to do. But something in his voice or smile must have tipped Marchbanks off that his prediction was genuine, if still not to be taken as gospel.

    "You've put an old man's mind at ease, Mr Morrigan. I thank you for that." Marchbanks told him. "And I'll be sending the final results of your test scores in a week's time."

    It took Harry a moment to remember he was Morrigan and stood up to shake the examiner's hand goodbye.

    "I have to share the results and my testimony with the others on the board. A precaution to ensure no favoritism towards examinees or manipulation towards examiners. But assuming I'm not under some advanced Imperius spell and this all isn't a hallucination, I can say with some certainty that you tested rather well."

    Harry practiced his new signature again on the last of the paperwork and was sent on his way.

    As he climbed into the elevator he became lost in his own thoughts.

    What had just happened?

    He'd been able to predict the future before, certainly. If you see a plate falling to the ground it's easy to predict it will break. With his ability to re-experience recent events he could collect enough chaotic information to make an informed opinion of what will likely happen. He could predict in the purely literal sense, but he'd never had a vision before!

    This was an entirely new and alien ability to him.

    While he always used to joke about his ESP with Hermione she knew it was a more reasonable and, dare he say, scientific ability. This new development was wholly mystic and beyond actual understanding, so he settled for the next best thing to understanding.

    Acceptance.

    So preoccupied with his thoughts was he that it wasn't until he flood back to the leaky cauldron that he discovered a note slipped into his pocket. A note signed by the old, eminently likeable Catholic. Romulus could learn something from him.

    You are exceptional in a way I cannot place, but in a way that will entice Him. He will come for you. He will find you irresistible. He will want you by his side, or dead. I hope you show the same strength of character you seem to think me capable of, because he is more terrible than you can imagine.

    Harry crumpled the note and reduced it to carbon in his hand with a nameless burst of magic, one that didn't even make heat.

    Oh, he could imagine. He could imagine very well.




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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
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  20. CourageousPlastic

    CourageousPlastic Getting some practice in, huh?

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    I misread this as Become a Patronus.
     
  21. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Go talk to the Ottsel/Precursors. Light eco tends to cause a similar effect when consumed.
     
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  22. Guilliman

    Guilliman Know what you're doing yet?

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    Uhh this section is kind of weird? A bit unnecessary in my opinion.
     
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  23. WaNoMatsuri

    WaNoMatsuri Not too sore, are you?

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    nice, I'll be watching.
    tactic
    feminine
    he had expected
    plus
    He would
    Edit: But claiming that EVERY disaster and mystery is because of magic or wizards is over the top imo, sometimes, like with charnobyl, experiments just go wrong.
     
  24. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Edit: But claiming that EVERY disaster and mystery is because of magic or wizards is over the top imo, sometimes, like with charnobyl, experiments just go wrong.[/QUOTE]

    Chernobyl is the one that makes the least amount of sense without magic, or tinfoil hattery, to be completely honest. But that's my opinion.
     
  25. Threadmarks: Chapter 7: Practical Exams Part 2
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 7:
    Practical Exams : Part 1


    The following day brought with it a sense of anticipation and excitement for the practical exams.

    He prepared that morning by drinking the entire pot of coffee and dictating a letter for Bellatrix as he soaked his hand in ice and murtlap juice. Ollivander was none too happy to be forcibly recruited into the role of calligrapher for the morning, but he'd get over it.

    "I have nearly finished retaking my NEWTs and find myself suffering from a sudden and unexplainable case of carpal tunnel syndrome. So extreme, in fact, that I decided I will be unable to cook my own dinner this evening and so will be going out on the town." Harry said as he stretched his aching fingers. "I am writing to you because the serving sizes at restaraunts are far too large for me to eat by myself, and would appreciate it if you joined me for supper. Pee ess, Ollivander sends his love."

    The unloving old man in question snorted at his presumptuous addition.

    "You're goddamn Cassanova reincarnate, you know that?" Ollivander grouched as he dotted the I's and crossed the T's.

    He neatly folded the letter before hurling the finished product into Harry's lap and fleeing from the room. Harry unfurled it with his free hand and read it as the curmudgeon retreated to his workshop and whatever experiments lay within.

    Dear Bella.

    Go on a date with me?

    Sincerely, Hadrian Morrigan.

    Harry was slightly disturbed at how perfectly Ollivander had forged his signature at the end, but couldn't bring himself to care due to being overjoyed at the exquisite accuracy and faithfulness with which his boss had lovingly transcribed every single word to paper. It was perfect.

    He sealed the letter with some melted wax from a candle and stamped it with the ring Ollivander had given him for good measure before tying it to Hedwig's talon and sending her on her second ever delivery. He somehow managed to do it all one-handed and felt an inordinate amount of pride at the accomplishment.

    As soon as she left he did the last of his morning routine - feeding Crookshanks, practicing wandless magic by doing all of the household charms, etc. After magically cleaning the entire shop and living area, pressing his clothes, making the food and so forth without a wand he went on his way. He barely remembered to take his wand from this universe and put his original in the box instead.

    The last thing he did before heading to the Ministry of Magic was stop by a Muggle Pharmacy to purchase a wrist brace. With his thumb locked into an uncomfortable, but unpained, position he strolled to the all-too-familiar phone booth.

    Harry's practicals that day were going to be with a Mrs Professor Tufty and he hoped finding her would be as easy as it had been finding Mister Marchbanks.

    Going through the ministry security for the second time was still just as big of a hassle, though this time he actually carried a wand for them to scan. He hadn't needed one the day before, and he would be damned if they caught whiff of his mastership over the elder wand(an alternate universe's elder wand to boot) or that the wand he supposedly received from Ollivander a few weeks ago had apparently been in use for over a decade and a half. Neither of those revelations would have boded well for him. It was bad enough that the goblin nation knew about his interloping, but having the Unspeakables breaking down Olivander's door looking for him would be a nightmare.

    With the checkpoint hassle finished he was directed to 3a1 and managed to instruct the lift there himself. Three floors down, one floor over, one floor forward. Turns out, that was one floor forward too many and he had to go back one. He was only supposed to go three floors down, one floor over and stay there. Apparently the system of organization was only zero based with the up/down levels not side or front.

    The room he found himself in was a large, round antichamber with white-tiled floors, a ceiling like the sistine chapel and blank walls. The only things in the room were an enormous dresser and an elderly lady in a purple dress.

    "Mrs Professor Tufty I presume?" Harry called as he approached.

    "Believe it or not, it's actually Mrs Dr Professor Tufty, but I'm not so conceited about titles." She said with a polite smile as she offered a hand for him to shake, which he did.

    "Can we start with something non-wand based? My hand is still a bit cramped from yesterday and I'd rather give it a little more time before I cramp it harder." He told her, indicating the wrist brace which held his right hand.

    "Not a problem, not a problem. From what Alastor told me you didn't test that well in potions, so let's see if you can make it up with practicals." Tufty informed him.

    For a moment Harry's brain stalled as he thought she was referring to Mad-eye, before he remembered that Marchbanks also shared his first name with the old Auror.

    "Right! Yes, I'm a fair hand better at application than theory." He told her.

    Two hours later he had proved it. You see, studying the Half-Blood Prince's diary for a year had made him into an excellent potion brewer, in practice. But it turned him into a terrible tester on account of certification boards and the like demanding specific answers. In other words, he learned the best method to do things, which were not synonymous with the government and academia approved method of doing things.

    However that handicap only affected him when doing written exams. When doing practicals? With an actual human being present? One who cared about skill and results over a checklist? In that environment he excelled.

    Tufty had opened one of the cabinets on the dresser and removed a table, cauldron and box of potions ingredients. After setting up the test area she had him complete the final stages of brewing a Felix Felicis potion - which has always been a bitch of a potion to brew - before the six months of condensing it would have to go through before becoming a single spoon's worth of drinkable content out of the gallon of material.

    "Excellent work! Where did you learn to use conjured fool's gold as a separator before adding the powdered unicorn horn?" Mrs Dr Professor Tufty congratulated him.

    "I read it in my school bully's diary." Harry answered honestly. "He was an arse, but a very inventive potioneer."

    "Hmm." Tufty agreed. "It can be a shock to learn of people with special talents, greatness can be found in the most unexpected of places."

    Harry was struck by how "Dumbledore-y" that statement was, before he found himself nodding in agreement.

    "Well then! Let's move onto charms. How's your wrist doing?" She asked.

    "Aweful." Harry answered.

    "I'm sorry, but you can't wear that wrist brace during exams. If you're in too much pain to go on we can reschedule but you may have to pay the testers fee a second time." She informed him.

    "It's fine. I'll push through." Harry told her.

    He removed the brace and shook his hand as if trying to dry it without a towel. As he did this Tufty opened one of the cabinets on the dresser and took out a gym bag of sorts and set up a second table. A few seconds later she had placed a miscellany of seemingly random objects on the table.
    "Okay then. To start, please cast a color swapping charm on the platonic solid blocks, next use a switching charm on the walnut and pecan so that their insides are swapped, a weightless charm on the block of lead with the weight amplification charm on the feather and a tickling charm on the puffskein." Tufty instructed.

    Harry did so. The blue octahedron turned red, the red tetrahedron turned blue, the pecan shell burst open to reveal a walnut, the walnut she burst open to reveal a pecan, the block of lead floated away, the feather flattened at the sudden increase in weight and the puffskein giggled uncontrollably. This all happened at once.

    "Uh dear, I meantwitha wand?" Tufty said awkwardly after his display of wandless magic.

    Most people reacted with much more shock and awe when they witnessed him use magic without a wand. The fact that her response to him doing five different spells simultaneously, using each separate finger as if each were a wand said a lot about her composure. The trick to doing multiple spells simultaneously is to prepare them ahead of time and hold off casting until they were all ready. It was a trick inspired by the lessons he learned from mathemagic - which he stopped using when he realized he kept getting the wrong answers compared to when he wrote the math out - where you calculate the answer in your head as the person is asking the question.

    In other words, he silently cast each charm in his head as she called them out but delayed their casting until after she finished. It was a great party trick but that's all it was. The concentration needed to do even two spells simultaneously made even walking a difficult challenge. It was useless in a duel, save for surprise attacks where stunning four enemies at once can cause shock and awe. Lord knows Harry had been impressed when Dumbledore did the same trick on Kingsley, Dawlish, Umbridge and Fudge. He shouldn't have been, considering how much time Fudge had given him to prepare the trick with all of his monologuing and posturing.

    Another downside was that it was impossible to cast the same spell multiple times simultaneously, making it the only situation anybody would use a stunning spell other than stupefy, the generic and board approved stunning spell.

    "Do the rules specifically require me to use a wand to cast the spells for the test?" Harry goaded. "My wrist is such that wand movements would be a little hard on me, wandless casting won't aggravate it."

    Tufty smiled at him before shaking her head and giving him the next set of instructions.

    After he had wandlessly summoned and banished a baseball(ironically, the first two spells he ever learned to do wandlessly) Tufty gave up on the list of spells for demonstration and began to absolutely vibrate with anticipation of something only she could see. This caused Harry no small amount of concern.

    "Well you certainly seem able, so what d'you say we make this more interesting?" She preempted. "Why don't you cast the most advanced and complex charms you can do wandlessly and we call it a day for charms and move on?"

    The suggestion was significantly less 'interesting' than his usual morning workout of running through a forest dodging killing curses or breaking into goblin banks. Still, never accept gift horses from Greeks and all that.

    "Is that a valid method of marking?" He asked warily.

    "Not really." She shrugged. "But I can't be bothered to go through the entire syllabus. And seeing as the whole of the ministry takes advantage of the chaos to cut corners why should I pretend to do things properly?"

    "Fair enough." Harry relented.

    He started with his best spell. The patronus. A spell he could do better wandlessly than even with the elder wand.

    The white mist poured out of his every hair follicle and coalesced around him like a protective wedding veil before rising above him like steam to form the mighty prongs. Tofty clapped and cheered as the stag galloped around the antechamber before he let it fade and moved onto the next spell.

    Next he tried to enchant the ceiling to mirror the sky outside. Tried being the operative word, seeing as one needed to actually touch a ceiling with their wand many times over again to accomplish this feat. He stretched his magic and senses out until he could feel every smooth slab of granite up there, but by the time it got that far it was stretched too thin to affect the entire ceiling, so he focused on a single square slab instead of all hundred or so. It was still a most impressive feat, or so Tufty assured him.

    Finally, for charms at least, he placed the octahedron from the set of platonic solids in one of the drawers of the wardrobe before removing a quill, inkwell and piece of parchment from that same drawer.

    He wrote the secret he was about to hide on that scrap of paper.

    The test octahedron is hidden in the second drawer down on the left-hand side of Professor Tufty's wardrobe of fantastical test ancili.

    He showed the note to Professor Tafty - who raised an eyebrow at what he was claiming he was about to accomplish - before igniting the parchment and rubbing it between his hands. The ash on his palms evaporating into transparent silver vapor that glittered with magic. At his mental command it coalesced into a single mass and rushed to strike the drawer like a light from the deluminator.

    The drawer glowed with a soft hum for several seconds before returning to normal. Appearing to them both as it had before.

    "If you are the caster, and I am the secret keeper, then how do we test if it was successful?" Tufty prompted.

    Harry blanched as he realized his error, but Tufty laughed it off and walked to the lift and left the test room. She returned less than a minute later with a young secretary Harry recognized from 3a2 when he went forward one floor too many.

    "Helena dear, would you be so kind as to open every single drawer in the wardrobe? It would help us greatly." Tufty asked politely.

    Helena huffed before doing as instructed, and as she opened each drawer both her eyes and hands passed right over the drawer Harry had cast the fidelius charm on as if it weren't even there. So that by the end only seven of the eight drawers were open.

    "Thank you Helena, that will be all." Tufty dismissed the girl.

    She looked at them both suspiciously, no doubt she expected they were having a go at her, but she eventually shrugged and returned to the lift. This left Professor Tufty satisfied that he had accomplished the fidelius charm.

    "How large of a space can you cast the charm on?" Tufty prompted as she marked his sheet.

    "A garage or a shed, wandlessly. With a wand, a small cottage or one-bedroom house." He answered honestly. "I have neither the power nor the skill to accomplish it on anything larger."

    Every now and then he would learn a piece of more advanced magic, like the fidelius charm, and become that much more impressed with men of Dumbledore and Voldemort's calibre. Both men were in a league far above his own, even accounting for the significant age difference. Even should he reach Dumbledore's age, Harry doubted he'd be a match for either of them. If he just devoted his life to study and training and did nothing else? Maybe. But he had sports to play, skirts to chase and money to earn; each of which was a full-time endeavor. So yeah, that wasn't going to happen.

    "I suppose that settles whether or not the fidelius you cast was successful. And that is more than enough for me to score you on charms." Tufty spoke as she made marks on her clipboard. "Why, if I didn't know better I'd think you were currently working on your charms mastery beneath Filius."

    That may have been the most flattering thing anybody had ever said to him. And that was saying a lot, considering the fanmail and publicity he'd received over the years.

    "Now. Transfiguration." Tufty prompted.

    He had never really learned any advanced transfiguration like animation or the like, so he just snatched the list of spells she was meant to test and performed them all. Inanimate to inanimate. Living to living. Inanimate to living. Living to inanimate. Conjuration. Vanishing. It was all more than doable wandlessly, if slightly imperfect, but he never claimed to be above average in transfiguration. By now the wow factor of doing it wandlessly had probably worn off on the doctor professor, but it would probably still count for something in his scoring.

    He expected an Acceptable, but hoped for an Exceeds Expectations.

    It was just as she finished marking him for transfiguration that another young lady entered the room by way of the lift.

    She was maybe a few years older than Harry, with short, curly brown hair, light skinned but not pale and had the smallest peppering of freckles. Something about her seemed oddly familiar. Visually he thought he recognized her light brown eyes along with the shapes of her face, but he couldn't quite place it.

    "Ah! Ariana. Welcome. You're just in time." Tufty greeted.

    Ariana? No. Surely a coincidence. Nothing in her appearance would suggest relations with the Dumbledore family. In fact, when he stretched four his senses to examine her aura he could feel the smell(weird way to sense, but it worked) of cabbage and cats around her. Particularly kneazle mixes.
    Harry knew her family name before Professor Tufty said it.

    "Mister Morrigan, this is Auror Ariana Figg. She is a class A duelist and has agreed to help test you in defense against the dark arts by way of a duel." Tufty explained. "I managed to send word for her while stealing Helena earlier."

    So that's why it had taken so long.

    "I see." Harry said as he examined the young woman.

    Her stance, even in the ease of their surroundings, was a hair trigger away from being ready for a fight. As his extended magic touched hers Harry sensed the wide array of fast, brutal offensive spell chains she practiced religiously every morning with her workout routine. A disciple of Moody, it would seem. The cool confidence in her smirk betrayed the playfulness in her expression as she pouted in such a way as if she were pleading him to accept.

    How could anyone say no to such a face?

    "I accept." He said with a confident smirk of his own.




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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
    GryffynFX, Mad.23, 2oclock and 24 others like this.
  26. Mastersgt

    Mastersgt Experienced.

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    when this is all uploaded and matches what has been posted on Fanfiction, will you begin releasing new chapters for it?
     
  27. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    If patrons vote for it, yes. Right now, they're most interested in "Much Deadlier Tournament" with "Blood-Soaked Succession" and "Marauding Champions" tying for second. So those are the three I'm focusing on.
     
  28. Threadmarks: Chapter 8: Practical Exams Part 2
    NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    Chapter 8:
    Practical Exams Part 2



    Arabella Figg's daughter, Ariana, reeked of the dueling circuit(And kneazles, but that goes without saying). It was a sports league that, like all the others Harry had dipped his toe into during his search for a career path after the war had ended, ended poorly for him.

    His short stint in professional dueling wasn't as disastrous as that time Dudley convinced him to try out lightweight boxing, but it was a close second. And it was for completely different reasons. Whereas his pitiful boxing career ended with a concussion and broken jaw for him, his time in dueling ended with him being disqualified one too many times for nearly killing his opponents and spectators with spells that were technically within guidelines, but so overpowered that the referees and ring warders(people who managed the wards around the arena to protect bystanders) couldn't do their jobs effectively.

    And he also got his ass kicked a lot too, seeing as all of his opponents were far better trained, and had far more experience. He lost the tournaments, but won the battles. So yeah, all around a failure.

    Most of his other forays into professional sports, both magical and mundane, fared a bit better but he naturally landed on Quidditch. He had tried to deny himself said career, but he simply couldn't defeat fate.

    Moirai : 2

    Harry Potter : 0

    Voldemort : -2.7

    And now here he was facing a duelist who he could feel, in his bones, was as much of a natural at her sport as he was at his. No way was he going to beat her fair and square. So in the words of the great Lord Draco Lucius Malfoy of House Malfoy; time to play by whatever rules benefited him most.

    "Scared Morrigan?" Arianna asked with a grin.

    "You wish." Harry grinned back.

    "Alright! Both of you to your separate corners." Tufty ordered.

    Twenty paces each and they made it to their opposite ends of their "ring" and turned back on one-another. Harry realized his strides were quite a bit longer than Arianna's so had to close the distance by a lot before they could begin. Much to Arianna's giggling amusement.

    Then Tufty began the countdown, from ten to zero.

    Giving him a countdown before a fight was a dangerous thing to do, as it gave him plenty of time to prepare a barrage of simultaneous spells. One for each finger, on both hands.

    Now, ten different spells would be a bit too much, even for him. But ten similar spells? That was easy, especially wandlessly.

    You see, without the tricky movements and incantations a wand requires, all you need to cast a spell is concentration and the feeling behind a spell. A feeling that declared intent. Like the feeling of making somebody else giddy charging a cheering charm, or the genuine belief that the victim of your cruciatus deserves to suffer.
    He naturally went with ten different fire spells. There are countless different ones that work differently, including one that specifically uses water as fuel(and what's 70% of the human body made of again?), one that uses carbon dioxide in place of oxygen(what do humans{and fire} exhale again?) And one that just eats other fire. Incendio was just designed to create regular old fire, and there were dozens of different spells that did exactly that.

    But as different as these different incendiary charms and curses war, the intent and feeling behind them were always the same. And could best be summed up with two simple words.

    BURN BABY!

    "ONE!" Tufty announced the ending of her countdown.

    Harry let loose all ten streams of fire and they barreled at her in a nice series of arks. If he could solidify the flames into ice they could be an art piece, but more artistic still was Arianna's defense against the onslaught.

    She created three entire shields in concentric domes around herself.

    The first was a vacuum bubble. A tricky piece of magic where to create a gap in the air around you and vacate it of all air, creating a vacuum through which fire cannot pass, but the heat and magic of it can.

    Hence the second and third berries. One sapped heat away from her towards the ceiling, where it would rise and dissipate on its own, and one cloaking her entire body to soak up any residual magic. The third was a bit overkill, essentially a full-body protego to block any residual magic behind the fire spells, a spell echo as it were, which was rare but could ignite the clothes she wore if not accounted for.

    Clever woman. He smelled Alaster on her.

    By the time the spell even hit her first shield both of them were already moving - after all, to stay still in a fight is to die - and both were carving the air with their wands.
    Harry threw off a couple stunners and a cutter with his wand, as he could do so with far more power than with his mere fingers. But by now he was already splitting his focus between the wanded magic and the wandless carving charms he was weaving with his off-hand. It took an extra toll on his focus as he was using his extrasensory abilities to carve the runes necessary beneath the floor tiles and under the bricks of the walls and pillars about them. As such his opponent got him with a slasher that took off his entire cloak and left a nice, thick gash in his shoulder.

    She taunted him after the hit landed, but he was so deep in his concentration that he didn't even register what she said. In a normal duel he'd be flinging her around by blasting the floor beneath her, but he couldn't risk damaging the runic array he was so carefully drawing around them. Like a cage that would seal this match. So instead he followed it up with some conjured ropes, razor wire and chains that he animated with a silent bit of parselmagic.

    Turns out legitimacy with parseltongue was so easy that even he, a genuine nitwit at the art, could perform it on even the most foul-tempered viper. Or conjurations slightly transfigured to have the heads of snakes. Same thing according to parselmagic. He didn't bother questioning such things.

    Arianna tried vanishing them, no doubt thinking they were simple inanimate objects bereft of the magical imprint of life, but quickly discovered they were a tougher cookie to crack. Harry actually took pity on her after the thick, boat-chain viper batted her so hard with its tail that it sent her into a complete backflip to land on her face, by calling off the barb-wire vine snake with a mental command. Arianna took the time she gained from the delay of his pity to reduce the rope anaconda to ash with an incendiary charm of her own.

    By now he was nearly finished with the runic array and merely commanded the two metal serpents to block the barrage of incoming stunners, cutters and piercers, which they did up until the point of their own total demolition. By which time, the array was complete and the duel was won.

    All of a sudden and without warning - to arianna at least - gravity ceased it's hold on the arena and the two floated into the air as if they were suspended beneath the ocean. Their hair floated about their heads like ghostly lion manes, and their cloaks - or remnants thereof - billowed behind them like jet trails.

    Ariana recovered surprisingly quickly and shot off a stream of firework sparks in his direction, only to be pushed back from the momentum the spell created against her. Harry fired off a simple gust spell to the side and the momentum likewise pushed him, this time out of the way of the oncoming spell.

    Funny story behind this runic array. It was one of only a few he could carve without a guide, but that's because he himself created it… with a hell of a lot of help from Bill, Fleur and Hermione of course.

    It all started back in 2001, when he and Dudley got into a bit of a war over Teddy's affection. You see, both of them adored the little tyke, and he adored them in return. Both the godfather and uncle would take Teddy on all kinds of adventures, and bequeath unto him all manner of gifts. Dudley had been winning with the use of a secret weapon that Harry simply couldn't compete with.

    Video games.

    And in July of 2001 Dudley had purchased a video game that would capture Teddy's undivided attention for the remainder of that year. But Harry had his own secret weapon unavailable to Dudley. And using that weapon - magic, obviously - he took the fantasy of the digital world that had nearly stolen his godson from him and brought it into the real world.

    A simple ward field that gave air the consistency of water and made those within it weightless. That was step one. Step two was to throw in an oddly shaped ball charmed to be frictionless with the air/water. Step three was to introduce two teams of eight players. And so a new sport was born. A sport that wizards, Muggleborns, Muggle relatives to the first two, half breeds and more would all play and mermaids in particular would dominate. A sport that, by 2008, would start to encroach on Quidditch' dominance of magical entertainment.

    Blitzball was born, and his godson was to become a star player.

    Harry wasn't exactly a slouch in it either, but Quidditch was where he belonged and so where he stayed. But never again did Dudley get it into his head that he could usurp Harry's position as Teddy's favorite father figure. No sir, that never happened again. Draco and Ron were smart enough to not try in the first place.

    Harry considered toying with his opponent now that she was completely flatfooted, but knew she was exactly the kind of survivor who could adapt to such a change in battle conditions in mere moments so got serious. As such, he swam through the air towards her, and he swam with the kind of intensity and force that would put anybody into a panic, so it was understandable that she would go with a kitchen sink tactic.

    A kitchen sink tactic is when you throw every random, and different, spell you can think of when up against a situation you can't work out. It was actually a very good tactic to use when trying to nail an opponent while being flung around by the force of your own spells. Or when facing a creature or enchantment you've never even heard of before.

    Unfortunately for her, Harry had enough training in blitz-dueling(because of course people got it in their heads to try dueling in zero gravity, and naturally Harry bombed at that too.) to dodge everything she could throw at him. Which included a few spells that were DEFINITELY tournament illegal. But it didn't matter. Within moments he was upon her.

    A twist of her wrist here, a push on her head there and he had her in an armbar lock. Just in time too, because it was then that the runic array for the blitzball field lost what little charge he could give it on short notice and gravity reassured it's dominance.

    They fell together, with Arianna in the unenviable position of being beneath Harry. He gathered magic around them and, shutting his eyes tight in concentration, cast a cushioning charm beneath Arianna so as not to shatter her skull, neck and rib cage as she landed face first. Another bit of wandless magic and be pushed a simple stupefy through his skin into hers, stunning her instantly.

    "Bravo!" Professor Tufty congratulated with much clapping.

    Yeah. It was a pretty fun fight. Now that it was over though he kind of wished he had saved that trick for a more worthy opponent. With another Voldemort running around every little ability he didn't know about could be the difference between life and death.

    He really needed to start thinking of these things instead of barreling into fights without planning long term deceptions. Now that Draco wasn't here to scheme for him. He had rubbed off on Harry enough that he could do short term scheming, but long term was more valuable.

    "Now, move over so I can run a few diagnostic charms on her." Tufty commanded.

    He did as she instructed and she did as she promised. When the diagnostics showed nothing was broken or ruptured she cast a quick rennervate.

    "Welcome back to the world of the living Arianna." Tufty greeted the woman as she rose to her feet.

    Harry felt his eyes nearly pop out of his head in horror at the sentence. He suddenly felt very glad that neither of the Dumbledores were present to have heard that particular combination of words. It hurt Harry in the chest hearing them, and might kill either of the old goats.

    "Oweeeee." Arianna groaned as she rose from the floor.

    "Where are you hurt?" Tufty asked, concerned.

    "My pride. It aches. Owie." Arianna goofed.

    Harry allowed himself a small chuckle at her expense. She regained herself and turned on him.

    "You're something else, you know that Mister Morrigan?" She said in lieu of congratulating him.

    "People keep telling me that, but somehow I can't seem to see it." He deflected the compliment. "And please. Hadrian."

    He offered his hand and she took it jubilantly. Every freckle on her face seemed to shine with that smile.

    "You're going to have to show me how you set up that ward field." She said. "Did you somehow put it up while we were fighting?"

    Hmmm. To lie, or not to lie. That is the question. Inspiration struck and he decided to lie after all.

    "Actually I set it up beforehand." He told her. "I knew you were coming."

    That got Tufty's attention.

    "How?" She queried. "Did you put some eavesdropping spell on me when I left to get Helena?"

    Harry shook his head.

    "Nope. I just knew. Ask professor Marchbanks how." He turned to Ariana. "And I'll teach you all about that ward under one condition."

    Arianna nodded enthusiastically.

    "I need you two to keep it a complete secret." He said in a conspiring whisper. "It's actually a trade secret I'm not supposed to show off. It's for a new sport I've been creating. I haven't patented anything yet and don't want competitors to try and steal the idea from under me."

    Ariana nodded enthusiastically some more, but Tufty huffed.

    "If I keep it a secret I won't be able to give you extra credit for your runes score you know?" Tufty said. "And with that display, of something you clearly invented, I'm sure I could raise you up to an Outstanding if you got an Acceptable or better in the written."

    Ouch! That was tempting. But, the possible advantage it could give him in a fight was too powerful of a motivator. To say nothing of the fact that he didn't NEED a good grade in runes for any of the work he wanted. Especially seeing as an O would give employers drastically high expectations of his abilities that he simply wouldn't be able to meet. Then there was the little fact that he didn't want to take full credit for the invention of the blitzball field, when it had been a collaborative effort of four people, of which he was the least important.

    "I'm sure. It's vital that you keep the blitzball field a complete secret." He told them emphatically, deliberately exposing the name.

    Ariana perked up, exactly as he expected.

    "So that's what it's called? How's it played?" She asked.

    "I promise to tell you all about it some other time. But only if you promise to keep it a secret." He promised.

    She made a zipping motion over her lips and threw away the imaginary key.

    "Alright! Go on and get!" Tufty ordered the younger woman.

    And so Harry's encounter with the youngest Figg came to an end. He honestly looked forward to meeting her again. She was a breath of fresh air. Reminded him of someone.

    "So." Professor Tufty commanded his attention. "I won't bother telling you what your final grades are, because even I won't know until my evaluations are compared to Marchbank's, but I will say this. Most testers can expect their average grades to drop slightly after scrutiny from outside examiners. If yours stay the same, or even rise above what estimate Marchbanks gave you, well, let's just say I won't be very surprised."

    Was he blushing? He might have been blushing. Old people praising him always did that to him.

    "You're dismissed." She said with a distinct tone of finality.




    Harry apparated back into diagon alley to see a figure standing alone in the dark in front of Ollivander's shop.

    At first he thought it might be a hunchback, but once he got closer he could see it was a woman propping a rather large aluminum container against her hip. An aluminum container whose contents he could smell from the entrance to the alley. It took a great deal of resistance to overcome the temptation to use his abilities to feel what was underneath that aluminum foil.

    Instead he focused on the woman who, now that he was close enough to make out her face in the dark, smelled almost as amazing as the food she carried.
    "Bellatrix?" Harry asked. "What are you doing here?"

    Even in the dark he could see her roll her eyes at the silly question. Right, of course. He had asked her out and all that.

    "Well, funny story about that." She said. "I was visiting my sister and niece for dinner, when a terribly fat white owl carrying a letter arrived. A letter detailing how Diagon Alley's latest bachelor was…"

    She retrieved the letter from a pocket and held it up to read against the meager moonlight.

    "Suffering from a sudden and unexplainable case of carpal tunnel syndrome, and wouldn't be able to cook his own food, yadda yadda, come have dinner with me." She summarized the letter he had sent her that morning.

    … That whiskered old wanker! He had actually written his letter exactly as he dictated. Must have cast an illusion charm over it. If Harry had bothered to check it he would have seen through the deception, but was in too much of a zany mood to be bothered.

    Ollivander had pulled one over on him. And he'd have to find a way to get him back. Problem is, benevolent pranks - that is, pranks which benefit the victim instead of harming or humiliating them - were tricky things to pull off. He'd have to sleep on this.

    "And after much heckling, Andy and Nymphadora finally convinced me to bring you leftovers." Bellatrix finished her explanation. "So, are you going to invite me inside? This is a great deal heavier than it looks."

    He knew she was a witch and fully capable of a weightlessness charm, but perhaps it was the weight of having to abstain from eating such delicious-smelling food as she waited on him that was the true ordela?

    "Yup. Hang on a sec." Harry fumbled with the keys to let them both inside.

    A flip of a switch and the lobby to Garrick's shop was lit up. He held the door open long enough for her to deliver the meal to the store counter before he locked back up. He didn't even need prodding from her to take her coat and hang it on the coat rack.

    She wasn't dolled up in anything fancier than usual for her, which was still significantly fancier than his usual attire, so he believed her story that she had come straight from Andromeda's place. Not that she had any inkling that he knew who Andy and Nymphadora were.

    He excused himself to the kitchen and fetched two wine glasses and a bottle of red.

    "Do we need serving utensils? Plates or bowls?" He called back through the hallway.

    "Just forks will do." She called back.

    Harry shrugged and walked back into the store to see the remnants of a rotisserie chicken, scalloped potatoes and mixed greens on full display. Yup. Andy had definitely cooked this.

    "No harm in eating like savages once in a while." She welcomed him back and reached out to pluck one of the forks out of his hand.

    They were both hungrier than even he suspected because they dug right in. Soon they were so deep in conversation, and gluttony, that the wine was left forgotten and unopened to the side.

    "... So that by the time this bird was finished in the oven, Theodore and Nym had already worked themselves up into a tizzy at the idea of any man asking me out on a date." Bellatrix went on. "So naturally I wasn't allowed to eat with them, since they wanted me to wait until you came back from your exams."
    Harry hummed.

    "No wonder you're as hungry as me. Having to sit at dinner and watch your extended family stuff their faces must have been torture." He said.
    "Did you eat at all today?" She asked him.

    "Nope."

    "Then save the pity and fill your belly." She commanded as she got down another fork full of spinach and kale.

    Harry couldn't quite place what Andromeda had used for the dressing in this salad. It reminded him of mediterannian food, some of the spices used for lamb shawarma, but with the distinct tinge of vinegar and sweetness of honey. Really helped the kale to go down. He probably wouldn't have been able to stand the greens otherwise.

    "Tell me more about the Tonkses." Harry commanded.

    And the starry woman obliged. And oh did she go on and on about her little metamorph niece. The girl who constantly confused her aunt for her mother as an infant, and would steal her makeup despite never having had any need for it. Just so she could feel more like her mature and beautiful aunt by trying to imitate her without the need of her shapeshifting abilities.

    It's the most Harry had ever heard someone talk about the mother of his godson.

    Andromeda had become a shell of her former self in his world. With Theodore, Remus and Nym dead, and the other scars of the war running deep, she had little to hold on to. Little Teddy was to become the one light in her life helping her to stay from that dark abyss that had swallowed so many others, and everybody had come together to surround that light and help it blossom in order to save Andy.

    She and George were the two that everybody, absolutely everybody, made time in their days to see and chat with. From Draco funding outings and trips and fancy dinners, to Bill calling in every favor imaginable from other curse-breakers to bring over experts and artifacts that either of them might find interesting. And in the end, both had healed about as well as anybody else after the war, and became human again. But it had been a long, dark road and Harry never dared reopen those old wounds by digging for stories about the dead.

    Bellatrix though? She was full of pride over the niece that had flood to Grimmauld place on her first night at Hogwarts because she had lost control of her abilities in front of the great hall. Wound up walking to the sorting hat with eyes of two different colors, legs and arms of mismatched lengths, buck teeth and a wild bird's nest of hair.

    Oh how she had cried and pleaded not to go back to school. This was back when her appearance simply couldn't take hold of one thing at a time for very long, and she was such a shy little thing. It was a side of Tonks he'd never had the pleasure of glimpsing, but perhaps little bits of it had peeked through in what little time he had known her.

    Eventually the food was all but gone, and their bellies were overly full, and so they both decided to call it a night. Bellatrix let him put her coat back on her before allowing him to lead her to the door.

    Once through she turned back to him and seemed to realize something.

    "Oh no!" She groaned and covered her face with both hands in shame. "We spent all that time talking."

    She peeked a deep indigo eye through her fingers.

    "And we never once talked about you! I'm such an inconsiderate date."

    Harry couldn't help laughing from the belly at that one. She lowered her hands from her face and folded her arms around herself defensively instead.

    "Not at all. And even if you were, I think we're both out of practice when it comes to dating." He consoled her and reached out to take one of her hands, which she reluctantly allowed. "So let's feel things out and discover how to date each other as it happens. Our own adventure."

    With that he planted a kiss on her knuckle and bid her a goodnight. Without skipping a beat She appirated away with a smile.

    He closed the door and walked past the old man who was now scarfing down what little remained of their meal remained and drinking a now opened bottle of wine. He ignored his snide remarks thanking him for not having loud raunchy sex on his counter and walked up the stairs hidden behind the stacks of wands. A short trip down the hallway, into his room and he finally flopped onto his bed. Exhausted and full of family cooking, he fell asleep without even removing his shoes.

    Today had been a most excellent day.




    The weekend passed by in something of a haze. This was partly because he kept falling into daydreams about a certain raven-haired heiress to the house of Black... and partly because people started acting oddly around him.

    Young ladies kept showing up with boyfriends, or pictures of boyfriends, and asking him if they were to live long happy lives together. Then there were the elderly asking him about their impending deaths - which wasn't macabre at all - and some hedge fund manager Goblins asking him for stock advice.
    That last one in particular sent his suspicions so high that, after assuring them that shorting Muggle tech companies like Google and Apple was an excellent endeavor - marched down to Ollivander's workshop in the basement.

    "Garriiiiiick." He all but snarled at the men currently winding a thread of manticore heartstring into loops over his first attempt at a gamblers wand.

    "Calm your tits, I didn't tell anybody you were from the future." Ollivander said without turning away from the soldering kit-like device he was using to work on the wand.

    "Then why…"

    "Because the whole town has a bugaboo about you being a seer." Ollivander preemptively answered his next query.

    … was it because he got a get well soon bouquet for Mr Marchbanks in anticipation of the upcoming attack? Or had one of the examiners leaked something? Did he need to pay the Figg family a visit?

    "And where did they get that idea?" Harry dared to ask.

    "Probably from your seemingly supernatural ability to know instantly what wand is suited to a person just from looking at them. And your uncanny "talent" for making people feel like you already know them intimately." Ollivander explained. "Your poker face is awful."

    Oh yeah! He did sort of fail to mask his foreknowledge of people's personalities and his rapport with them. That was a pretty big giveaway. At least they were going with the whole "he's a seer" angle instead of the "he's played around with a funky time turner" angle.

    "Well alright then. I have a wizarding world to go screw with, so I'll leave you to it." Harry said in lieu of an apology as he closed the workshop door and made his way back upstairs.

    Oh, it was too sweet of an opportunity to pass up. With people thinking he had special insight into their futures he had all manner of choices to make. He'd have to come up with bullshit predictions that would both irritate people, but also improve their lives down the line. But first, he had errands to run.
    Namely, he had to check the afternoon newspaper for job ads. And the very first one, at the top of the classifieds table, in big, bold flowery letters ruined his good morning.

    Sybill Patricia Trewlawney Sacked. New Divination Teacher Wanted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

    Harry glowered at the page.

    Hmmmm. He recently had his first full-blown vision while taking his NEWT exams, half of Diagon Alley believed him to be a seer and a position at the premier school of magic in the country - and nexus of all major events in the world for some god damned reason - is in need of a Divination Teacher.

    "What, could the universe POSSIBLY, be trying to…"

    Just then a small tawny owl flew in and dropped a letter right onto his face, before flying back out.

    "... tell me." He finished his rhetorical question and sighed.

    The envelope was signed by both Professor Marchbanks and Professor Tufty.

    He didn't even bother opening his results from the examiners. He simply placed it into another envelope and skipped writing any form of letter of introduction. Instead letting the envelope speak for him.

    From:
    Harold Edward Morrigan, Candidate for the Position of Divination Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
    To:
    Professor Minerva McGonnagall, Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

    He sealed it tight, cast a few protection charms around it and called Hedwig down from her perch. It was going to be one of those days. Or weeks, more likely.

    Moirai: 3
    Harry Potter: 0



    The Order meetings as of late had been solemn events, as article after article of horrendous news came in. Today's was even more so than usual, with the news that Professor Marchbanks, an old friend of Albus', had been attacked and nearly killed by Voldemort personally.

    The man had worked in the time room of the department of mysteries for decades, and Albus was under no delusions as to how great of a setback in the war it would have been if he had accepted Voldemort's offer. That everyone from Frederick to Severus merely shrugged at him when he revealed the news was disappointing, if to be expected.

    "I just don't get why it's a big deal. Is he important?" George asked.

    "It doesn't matter if you understand or not, Weasley, it matters that Dumbledore believes it is and so it is." Came Severus' snide remarks.

    "Oh go jump off a building Snape!"

    "I will remind everyone here that I have called this meeting into order and expect the professionalism that entails." Albus interrupted the match.
    That reduced everyone back down to a simmer. Now that tensions had calmed back down, though reluctantly for some, he continued down the itinerary.
    "I see the significance of Voldemort attempting to recruit Marchbanks is lost on you all. I suppose that may be for the best. But I'm sure the news of the attack on our colleagues has hit closer to home?" Albus queried.

    The sight of their pale faces and withdrawn temperaments was all the answer he needed. The war had changed everybody, and even he was straining to hold onto a last glimmer of hope. That those who remained - not been killed by Death Eaters - were still holding strong was a testament to Albus's ability to select allies.

    Albus motioned for James to report on the incident and he took the floor.

    "I'm happy to inform you all that there have been no casualties. Both Alice and Frank managed to activate their emergency portkeys to get away in time." Said the last Potter. "I propose we devote resources to finding out how their location was discovered."

    "A leak within the ministry perhaps?" Kinsley queried, before flinching as his words caused him to stretch the still healing wound on his cheek.

    Alastor gave his usual indignant harrumph.

    "The ministry is so full of holes it could be used as a sieve." Said Moody. "If we devoted all of our resources to trying to plug those leaks we'd be at it for another century, and by then the war would already be over."

    Albus hated to agree with such a cynical viewpoint, but agree he did. Their resources would have to be spent somewhere else. But every option seemed to suggest similar impossibilities.

    "We must find adequate safety measures for them somehow." Arthur Weasley said from his seat at the heart of his brood of redheads.

    This was the first meeting they'd attended since the dreadful news of Charlie's disappearance had reached English shores. He was still missing, and now presumed dead. The now broken family had yet to recover from the blow.

    "Neville is, after all, our last hope." Arthur finished.

    The room responded with a collection of murmurs lamenting the poor boys fate, or long-winded sighs of malcontent. Severus was in the latter group and made this point known.

    "The boy is an idiot. He can barely hold a wand and any potion he touches explodes. Completely incompetent."

    Even Minerva, the head of house belonging to the boy in question, couldn't offer up much of a defense. Though she tried.

    "He's barely sixteen. We should hardly expect him to be at the level of a dark lord." She said.

    "And yet look at what other great wizards have managed to accomplish by his age?" Severus countered. "At sixteen I invented and published no fewer than forty two innovations for advanced potions. Longbottom? He's near the bottom of his class in most subjects."

    "Perhaps if we gave him a more… regimented training program." Alastor broached a topic he knew by now was taboo.

    Dumbledore stamped down on that train of thought before anybody could consider it.

    "We are not turning longbottom into a living weapon." He said definitively. "I have seen what those kinds of "training" programs do to men. And it will not be the craft of black operative assassin's that is the power the dark lord knows not."

    Moody, and several others, groused under their breath but acquiesced to his authority.

    Remus was the first to muster up the bravery to continue the conversation.

    "I do agree with Severus." He said. "We must stop putting all of our hope into a boy barely on the cusp of manhood, and begin considering the possibility that he either is not the subject of the prophecy, or that the prophecy simply wasn't legitimate."

    "I agree." Albus confessed, much to the horror of some present. "In fact I've changed tactics into working from that assumption for some time time now. Hence why I fired Sybill this morning."

    That caused a new wave of confused shouting between his allies, and so Albus got up from his chair and moved to the kitchen where he poured himself another cup of mint tea. By the time he sat back down the arguments had calmed back down.

    He turned his attention to Severus and James.

    "What of Lily? Will I be having my potions master back in time for the new school year?"

    Both men shook their heads.

    "She keeps herself locked up in her lab, experimenting with that thrice-damned charm." Said James. "She doesn't even talk to me anymore. Although I can hardly tell the difference…"

    Severus jumped in where James left off.

    "She asked me to cover her school duties again." Said Severus. "As much as I despise the title of substitute teacher, and the duties it entails, it looks like your students will have to suffer me for at least a few more months."

    Albus nodded.

    "Kingsley, despite the daunting task, since you are on light duty from your injuries I am assigning you the job of trying to find the leak which nearly led to the Longbottom's, and your, death." He commanded.

    Kingsley nodded.

    "It will be slow work." He said.

    "Story of my life." Sirius scoffed.

    Before he could add to the thought they all heard a commotion outside as someone entered Grimmauld Place. Soon the telltale signs of a late member trying to get past the charms on the door let them all know it was a friendly, before the familiar face of Ariana Figg popped through the doorway.

    "Sorry I'm late everyone." She said as she closed the door behind her and put the charms back up. "I've been hitting the dueling pit like a madwoman all weekend."
    She kissed her mother on the cheek, gave Nymphadora a high five, and made her way over to Sirius, whose lap she soon occupied.

    "But BOY do I have some amazing news for all of you." She preempted.

    "Who died?" Moody asked.

    "Nobody, you morbid arse! Geez." Ariana said.

    "Well, get on with it woman." Moody countered.

    "Okay. So. Friday a young man came in to sit, or re-sit, his NEWT exams. He must have been homeschooled or something because I've never seen or heard of him before." She explained. "Anyways, the examiners were so impressed with his abilities that they decided to switch things up and have me duel him. Just to see if he was up to snuff."

    "Okay, that's fun, but what's so diverting about that?" Fred asked curiosity. "Not that it isn't an interesting story and all that, but how is it order business?"
    Ariana beamed at him.

    "Simple. Because we are going to recruit this guy."

    Silence met her declaration.

    "Um. Why?" Perceival asked from his place beside Arthur.

    "Simple." She answered. "Because he kicked. My. Arse!"

    Everyone had something to say at that.

    "But I've seen you duel! You're amazing!" Said George.

    "You beat aunt Bella not two weeks ago!" Said Nymphadora.

    "You seem rather cheerful about the loss, dear." Said Sirius.

    "Well he was a whole lot better than me. Bellatrix's wand started acting all funky or else she would have wiped the floor with me." Arianna calmed down their disbelief easily. "And of course I'm happy! I learned so much about what areas I need to improve on. Been working on them ever since."

    "Okay, I admit this man is interesting." Fred continued in his usual skepticism. "But is there more to it? I assume you wouldn't bother recommending we recruit him if he was just a good dueler."

    "Right you are Freddie." Said Arianna. "And I think we need to recruit him because he doesn't need a wand."

    "Huh?"

    "What do you mean? He has his own wand?" Minerva asked. "Doesn't everybody? Presuming they can afford the ludicrous price hikes on everything these days."
    "Oh no, I mean he performed most of the magic in the duel wandlessly." She explained. "He still used a wand, and his spells were more powerful with it, but I'm eighty five perfect sure he could have still beaten me while wandless and naked."

    Once more, silence met her claim.

    "Impossible." Molly said simply, putting all of their thoughts into words.

    "We're witches and wizards. Nothing is impossible." Ariana retorted.

    Everyone turned to the headmaster. To he had been enjoying the interruption, and the opportunity it provided him to enjoy his tea.

    "I have seen feats of magic in my life that even I still have trouble believing happened." Dumbledore said carefully. "I have witnessed people shatter time and send into existence a tangled web of alternate timelines. I have seen people reach across the veil separating the living from the dead and bring things back from the other side. I have seen gateways opened into umbral planes to unleash greater demons on armies that could do little in fighting back with heavy artillery."

    He allowed his words to sink in before continuing.

    "And while I have never encountered anybody capable of doing wandless magic at a higher level than second year spells, or a single fourth year spell, it is nowhere near being beyond belief for me." He finished. "There are people out there with inborn talents that are just as amazing, from natural born legilimens'' he paused to indicate Severus " to natural born metamorphmagi."

    That got everybody to sit back and, he hoped, allow themselves the privilege of expand their definition of impossible just a smidgeon.

    "And this man's abilities are things we have all heard of existing, so why be surprised?" He queried. "History is replete with men and women uncommonly powerful with wandless magic."

    "But surely those are myths and legends?" Said Mel Bradley.

    "No smoke without fire." Sirius shrugged. "And if my woman says that's what happened, then that's what happened."

    Severus nodded. Even he couldn't have doubts about Ariana's contagious honesty.

    "Needless to say we need to recruit him." He said.

    "Why so?" Dumbledore asked.

    That actually threw Severus off center, and so they all got to witness the rare event of him sputtering.

    "Be-cause he is very powerful?" Snape said slowly. "And we cannot allow him to fall into enemy hands?"

    Dumbledore made a non-committal noise.

    "He is unique, but that does not mean he is powerful." He explained. "Just because he can do wandlessly what each of us can do with a wand doesn't mean he can do it with greater skill or finesse, nor that he is capable of any magic beyond any of our abilities."

    It was a rather long-winded way of saying "let's not make any assumptions about him beyond what we actually know", but he liked the sound of his own voice.

    "What was the young man's name?" Molly eventually asked the obvious question.

    "Hadrian something or other." Arianna answered.

    Both Nymphadora and Romulus perked up at the name.

    "Hadrian Morrigan?" Nymphadora offered.

    "Yeah! That was it." Arianna confirmed.

    And then Nymphadora broke down laughing.

    "Ollivander's apprentice?" She specified.

    This time Dumbledore and Minerva perked up. This was news to them.

    "Garrick has taken on a protege?" He asked, allowing his genuine surprise to seep into his voice.

    "Meh. More like an assistant." Nymphadora said. "He has an uncanny ability to match people with wands instantly! Better than Ollivander can. The whole town is convinced he's a psychic of some kind."

    Arianna perked up at the last part.

    "That explains it!" She exclaimed. "Whenever I cast a spell, even from a blind spit of his, it was as if he knew it was coming ahead of time! Like he could sense it! Maybe he has some kind of battle divination?"

    "I've never heard of Divination being used in such a manner." Remus countered dubiously. "And one borderline unheard of, near impossible talent I'm willing to believe. But two? Advanced wandless magic and, ehem, battle divination?"

    Again they all turned to Dumbledore.

    "Tom Riddle was a natural born Parseltongue, a natural born occlumens and a natural born legilimens." He countered. "Two extremely rare abilities is hardly unheard of, though my skepticism rises."

    "That's hardly the most unbelievable thing about him." Nymphadora drew then all back in, and Albus felt himself bracing for a bombshell, and yet still was not ready for the next words to come out of her mouth. "He's banging my aunt."

    Half of the room choked on their own spit at the revelation, but none harder than Sirius.

    "Bella?" He asked.

    "No! Aunt Cissa is having an affair on Lucius' smarmy ass with Ollivander's errand boy and let me catch wind of it. Of course Bella!" Came Nymphadora's scathing sarcasm.

    Albus couldn't decide which scenario was more scandalous, but knew he wasn't going to get anything productive done while the entire order meeting descended into giggles and speculation. And so, he tuned them out and finished his tea.

    As they went down the rabbit hole of conjecture Albus noticed one of their youngest members, Romulus Lupin, wore a pensive look on his face. Quiet and inquisitive was his normal mode of operation, but the deep suspicion thrown in told Dumbledore just as much as a legilimency probe would.

    "Romulus? Is there something you would like to share?" He interrupted the chatter and brought the boy out of his reverie.

    "Err." He said hesitantly and looked to his father.

    Remus nodded in encouragement and Romulus started.

    "This man, Hadrian, did he have wild black hair and deep green eyes?" He asked Arianna.

    "Yup."

    "Tall and lanky? Gave off the impression like you had known him your entire life and were already friends?"

    "That is an excellent choice of words." Arianna confirmed. "Describes him to a tee. You've met him?"

    "Yeah." Romulus nodded, sharing a look with his father. "He helped me buy a book the other day. A newt study guide, ironically enough. The doorman at the store wouldn't let me in so he pretended to rough me up, while conspiring to help me get a copy of the book I needed."

    This Hadrian fellow really got around. Alastor put Albus' feelings into words better than he could have.

    "I know I say this a lot, but damned this is suspicious." Said Moody. "A man claiming to be a member of a lost family, who is potentially dangerously powerful, suddenly shows up in our world and manages to warm up to the premier wandmaker of our country and the two premier duelists of our country, even going so far as to date one of them. He also manages to become acquainted with two order members, a close relative of an order member and sister in law to one of the highest-rankimg Death Eaters I. the dark lord's forces. To top it all off, he shows sympathies to the plight of werewolves. All while remaining completely under the radar, so well that we're only learning about him because one of our best wants to recruit him."

    It was a suspicious set of circumstances indeed.

    "Oh right!" Sirius explained with a snap of his finger. "The Morrigan family are one of the fourteen aren't they?"

    "Were." Mel piped up. "The last lord died out in world war one."

    "Correct." Said Severus. "And they are related to, Rowena Ravenclaw. Descended fromher cousin I believe. If he has proper claim to the family name he could become politically powerful as well. He could be entitled to a seat on the Hogwarts board of governors and Wizengomat. Or at least the right to assign a proxy to either or both."

    More suspicious with every new detail.

    "William, I am assigning you the task of sniffing out any information you can on our mysterious friend. If anybody has information, it'll be the goblins." Albus ordered.
    Just then a massive white owl flew in through the kitchen window to land on the table in front of Minerva. The whole room went silent, either at their own stupidity for forgetting to ward the window for eavesdropping, surprise at the fact a snowy owl could be that overweight and still fly, or anticipation was anyone's guess.

    It proffered a letter to the Headmistress and she promptly took it. She simply stared at the front of the envelope with her usual stern expression.

    "I will give you all three guesses as to who it's from." She said. "And the first two don't count."

    "Oh I don't need to guess." Said Nymphadora. "That's Morrigan's owl. She delivered a letter to aunt Bella while we were making dinner."

    "What does he want?" Moody asked skeptically.

    "Well he signed it as "Candidate for the Position of Divination Professor for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" so I presume it's an application." Minerva said before opening the envelope.

    Inside was… another envelope. He noticed her smirk at the inner envelope before tearing it open too.

    "It's just his newt results." She said. "This cheeky bastard sent an application that consisted solely of his unopened, and uncopied newt results."

    When she unfolded the card inside her eyebrows jumped up to her hairline.

    "Seems like a rather arrogant thing to do." Ron commented.

    "He is right to be arrogant." Minerva said before passing the piece of parchment to Albus.

    When he received it one look at the results was enough to make his eyebrows jump high enough to be confused for hair as well.

    "Alastor?" He said to the retired Auror. "Add "is a perfect candidate for a job at Hogwarts" to the list of suspicious circumstances regarding this young man."

    After all, it wasn't every day that Marchbanks or Tufty rated somebody as deserving a Mastery in any field, let alone in divination. And while they were not qualified to dish out a proper mastery diploma, an M in your newt report card in place of an O was the next most impressive thing.





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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
    GryffynFX, 2oclock, theM and 36 others like this.
  29. Mastersgt

    Mastersgt Experienced.

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    I think the one thing that hurts this story the most, for me, was how much everyone just accepted that the MC must be a Fraud and a liar rather than believe he is a Seer. Especially with Dumbledore... I just couldn't help feeling annoyed/offended on the MC's behalf when reading it.
     
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  30. NonsensicalRants

    NonsensicalRants Know what you're doing yet?

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    They didn't. They originally believed him, and now he has lost their trust because he did, in fact, lie to them and defraud them using his knowledge of alternate futures. It will be one of his greatest obstacles, earning that trust back. But he will.
     
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