Disclaimer: A definite date has been set for Order of the Phoenix, you heard that? Meaning that I have until June to finish this piece of crap, then it becomes a fifth-year AU. Well, technically, with the upcoming characters, it'll be an AU anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter, does it?
Unless, of course, I truly am JK Rowling, and you don't know it. I don't feel like a pregnant woman, but then, having never been one before, I wouldn't know how it feels, now would I?
His eavesdropping was weighing heavily on Harry's conscience for some reason. Logically, he knew he'd listened to more conversations than he cared to count, but most of those had been accidental.
After dinner, Harry approached Remus, who was reading in a chair near the fire. "I have something I need to tell you," he admitted.
"You sneaked upstairs, grabbed your Invisibility Cloak, put it on and eavesdropped on mine and Professor Dumbledore's private conversation, and therefore you know that you are even more unusual than before and that you will be taking a class on physical self-defence," Remus said without looking up from his book.
Harry blinked, then blinked again, then rubbed the back of his neck self-consciously. "Perhaps I should pay more attention in Divination," Harry said sheepishly.
"No you shouldn't. I knew you did because I heard you. And because Dumbledore saw you. And…" he looked up at Harry, "because it's what your father would have done."
"Well, he would have had the sense not to admit it. Or to be caught in the first place."
"Er… I'm sorry."
Moony laughed. "Don't be. I think you left before you heard everything though, so do you want me to fill you in?"
"Dumbledore winked at you just after he said he was starting the class, right? Professor Dumbledore says the professor's very famous when he comes from."
"Something involving a time-turner, I think. Anyway, he never got a proper magical education, so Professor Dumbledore is offering him tutelage in exchange for his teaching martial arts."
"Wow, I sort of wish I hadn't sent out my letters."
Remus suddenly looked alarmed. "What? Who did you tell?"
"Just Ron and Hermione."
"Oh," Remus said, calming down. "Right. Good, because even you weren't strictly supposed to find out."
"Why is that?"
"Can't tell you, Harry. Sorry."
This was, Harry thought, starting to resemble last year. Right down to a mysterious new teacher and people keeping secrets.
"What's the professor's name?" Harry asked.
"I don't recall. Something odd, I think. Boxers, or something."
Harry took a shower that night and, thanks to a potion from Remus, came out looking fresh and flesh-toned.
He left the bathroom and fell into his bedroom vaguely wishing his glasses weren't such a necessity. After dressing for sleep, he flopped onto his bed and unceremoniously wrapped himself in his covers.
Soon, he couldn't feel the blankets anymore. Nor could he feel his bed beneath him. He opened his eyes and, though he knew he wasn't wearing his glasses, he could see perfectly.
He saw two short men, one with short hair, and one whose hair made up more of his height than his body. He couldn't make out what they were saying, but they were arguing. A pretty blonde-haired woman and a taller woman with bluish hair stood on one side. Harry got the distinct feeling that they were the wives of the arguing pair. The blonde was very pregnant, he could tell, and the blue woman held a small lavender-haired child in her arms. He felt himself walking up to the group but not of his own accord. The shorthaired man stopped arguing and turned to greet Harry.
Harry looked around and felt his lips form words. "Where's Mom?" he asked. At least, he thought he asked, as he couldn't hear it. He wasn't sure why he asked this, as he had never known his mother, and never would have said "Mom" in his life.
The longhaired man said something, and motioned in a dismissive way. This earned him a glare from the blue-haired woman, but he felt his own lips grin. He turned, and saw a very tall and very green man that looked not altogether unlike a merperson with legs. He was walking alongside a black-haired woman and carrying a child with messy black hair.
Harry felt a very odd feeling that he'd only ever felt at the Burrow. He was surrounded by family. His family. His mother, his brother, his friends… they were all there. Even though he had no idea who (or what, in the green man's case) these people were, he knew that they loved him.
Suddenly, he felt himself waking up. The world faded around him, turning dark. Soon, it was only him, and then, nothing at all.
Harry woke up the next morning feeling oddly refreshed. Of course, in most situations, sleep was used in order to become refreshed, but in Harry's case, it very rarely worked out like that. Sleep was used for information gathering, reliving the past, and getting to tomorrow sooner.
Harry double-checked the mirror before he went downstairs to be sure he was still a normal colour, and, when he was sure, he went down to breakfast. Dobby greeted him, not so much politely as… exuberantly. "Harry Potter, sir! Dobby was bringing you breakfast!" he exclaimed.
"Why's that Dobby?"
"Harry Potter was sleeping very late, sir! Professor Moony was telling Dobby to check on you!"
Harry shook his head. "It can't be that late. It's only…" he checked the clock, "ten fifty-nine." As he said that, he heard the clock chime its eleven times. "Ten sixty then," he grinned.
Dobby pushed a plate rather forcefully into Harry's hands. "Harry Potter should be eating! Nippy is saying that growing humans should be eating a lot sir!"
"Nippy?" Harry asked.
"Nippy is a house elf of Dumbledore's. He more or less runs the kitchen staff at Hogwarts," said a voice from behind Harry. He turned to see a grinning Moony shaking a finger at Harry. "Just what did you drink last night to keep you in bed for so long?"
"Sorry. But why didn't you wake me for training?" Harry asked.
"Well, I had planned for the forest to keep you occupied for the next couple of days. However, you seem to have blown that idea out of the water," Remus said. "So I suppose you have a day off while I try to come up with something else to keep a growing boy such as yourself on his toes."
Before Harry could respond, or indeed say anything, he was dragged off by Dobby to the dining room.
"Aren't you going to eat, Dobby?" Harry asked. Dobby stared at him for a couple seconds, then broke into tears. Oy, Harry thought.
"Dobby is sorry, sir. Dobby has never been asked to eat with humans, sir, like…" he couldn't continue.
"An equal," Harry finished. "Of course you're an equal. You're my friend, aren't you?"
Dobby was quite obviously torn between crying his very large eyes out and leaping across the table to hug Harry. He settled for both.
"Ack!" Harry cried. "Okay. Yeah. Okay Dobby. I need those ribs, thanks."
After Dobby sat down and got himself a plate (and a sponge to wipe up his tears) Harry asked, "You wouldn't know of a race that's very tall and green?"
Dobby thought for a moment, then said, "When Dobby was in the employ of his old masters, sir, Dobby heard rumours from the other house-elves. They were saying that there were big green men in another place, sir. And one of them had horrible power, sir, but then, suddenly, he wasn't horrible anymore."
"Dobby does not know, sir. He only heard the rumour."
Remus watched Harry and Dobby from the doorway and grinned. All this hullabaloo about house-elf rights, and here was one having breakfast with the Boy-Who-Lived.
He recalled something Harry said about Hermione being obsessed with house-elf freedom. As long as there were people like Harry around, she wouldn't have to worry.
Ten House points to whoever can name all the characters hinted at. Bonus if you can tell me in whose point of view Harry was. Double bonus if you can tell me how he's related to Harry.
Oh, and because I keep forgetting, I express to girl-whose-email-I-lost my most humble expression of thanks for the fanart she drew me. Since she was the only one who sent it, I imagine she'll know who she is. And I'm sorry I lost your email. Hotmail is a harsh mistress.