97% said continue and I thank you for participating – posts will slow down as I am still writing
***Hogwarts September 6th (Saturday morning)***
Minerva McGonagall sat in her office staring at the letter she had received at the reading of Harry's will. She had been trying to open it for the last half hour. Giving up she tucked the letter into her pocket and stood to leave. She went to the floo and called out her destination.
"Three Broomsticks." She stepped in and disappeared.
A frowning Albus faded into view in her office after she was gone, "Now how am I going to see what it says."
She stepped out of the floo in the pub and moved to her normal booth in the back of the room. She pulled out the letter and found it open. She frowned for a moment before she opened it and read what was said.
My Dear Aunt Minnie,
First I don't know how long this will take you to open but if anyone is spying on you it would have stayed sealed. I do not want Albus Dumbledore to see this nor do I want him to know, which is why I wanted the vow. If he tries to touch it he will be shocked and information will disappear. The Goblins set up the spells for me.
Anyway at the end of fourth year I got Remus to send me a list of books on the animagus transformation. I have spent my summer up to this point working on doing the reading and meditating. I have seen my form. I'm a smaller mammal with short legs and pointed face. In the vision I am digging in a hold and pull out a large snake and kill it. I believe the snake to be a cobra.
When I get to Grimmauld place Sirius and Remus will be helping me to try and do the transfiguration. In case I don't finish before I die I wanted you to know that you really inspired me to try it. When I saw you change in first year I was so awed. Then later I found out Dad and Sirius had transformed and it doubled my desire to do it too. Since Voldemort got a body back I think it might be my only means to escape if he ever catches me.
Talk to Sirius and Remus sometime when you are away from the school and in a secure environment.
Thank you for everything.
"I so wish you had finished." She sniffed and tucked the letter back into her pocket. She decided to put it in her vault later so Dumbledore wouldn't be able to steal it, even if he would deserve the shock it would give him.
***Harry Potter Northern Academy September 8th***
Harry glanced at a blond girl that was walking up the steps to the school just ahead of him. She had made him jump when he first saw her because she looked so much like Luna. Watching her move into the school he recalled the first time he had met Luna.
***Flash back 4th year before the first task***
"Hello Harry Potter." A blond girl in Ravenclaw robes said as she stood beside him, "Is this seat taken?"
"No it isn't." He tried for a friendly smile but he was sure it came out as a grimace, "I seem to be at a loss you know my name but I do not know yours."
"I'm Luna Lovegood." She smiled as she took the seat beside him at the library table, "If you don't mind me saying it looks like your friends are letting their wrackspurts get out of control."
"Their what?" he asked not having heard that term before.
"Wrackspurts." She reiterated in a dreamy voice, "They are invisible creatures that enter through your ears and muddle your thoughts. It's the only thing I can think of that would keep them from supporting you as they usually do."
"Oh." He had no idea what to say in reply to her statement.
"They should try thinking positive thoughts." She offered.
"Why?" he asked wondering where this was heading.
"Positive thoughts ward off wrackspurts." She nodded, her wide-eyed gaze making her look oddly sincere.
"If they were thinking positive thoughts they would be sitting with him." Ginny approached and smiled at the two of them, "I see you've met my friend Luna."
"Yes." He smile in relief at Ginny, he really didn't know what to think of Luna.
"She lives fairly close to the Burrow so we've known each other for years." Ginny offered then turned to her friend, "Do you think just wrackspurts or could nargles be involved."
"One must never underestimate the involvement of nargles." Luna nodded sagely, "Of course Ronald isn't always kind so it could just be him."
"That's the understatement of the century." Ginny snickered.
The three of them had talked for a little longer before Luna wandered off. Harry waited until she was out of earshot before he asked, "What are wrackspurts and nargles?"
"I don't have any idea." Ginny snickered then turned serious, "Luna has been different been since her mother died in a potion mishap. She saw the whole thing. Some call her Loony but really she just sees things differently! She isn't crazy!"
"I didn't think she was." Harry held up his hands in surrender, "I just wanted to know what was making Ron be so... Anyway wrackspurts work as well as any other explanation I suppose."
"She doesn't have many friends." Ginny offered, "Once she considers you a friend though, she'll be there for you."
"I can always use more friends." Harry grinned.
"I can always use more friends." Harry repeated his thoughts aloud as he took his first steps into his new school.
He'd had a rather busy weekend. As soon as Snape had found out whom his potions teacher was he set about giving Harry all new lessons in Potions. This time he actually taught Harry rather than scowl and growl. Harry didn't say a word but worked as hard as he could. Sirius had almost brought the lessons to a stop when he had pointed out that the teacher would never know who had taught him previously. Harry had smacked him upside the head and told him to shut up. Severus had nearly laughed and he continued to teach Harry potions.
Harry found his way to the office and stood in line. Sirius had wanted to come with him but he'd thankfully been talked out of it by Remus who had seen Harry's pleading expression. Finally it was Harry's turn.
"Name and purpose?" the woman asked without looking up.
"Harold Arcane." He replied, "New student."
"Here is a basic schedule." She handed him a paper from a file, "Counselors office is left out this door third door on the right."
"Thank you." He turned and left the office and made his way to the Counselors office. He knocked on the door and opened it when called to enter, "Good morning, I'm Harold Arcane."
"Welcome to Northern." The woman greeted him, "I'm Amanda Johnson. Have a seat and we'll see what we can get scheduled for you. Are you prepared for some placement tests?"
"I guess." He shrugged, "What do they entail?"
"A few questions and some practical application." She waved him off, "Nothing too difficult. I just want to make sure your old school set you up to our level or if it surpassed it."
"Ok." Harry shrugged, "What's first?"
"Let's just chat for a few minutes." She smiled, "Have a seat."
He took the open chair and faced the woman, "What shall we chat about?"
She chuckled for a moment before she started, "Tell me about you're old school."
"Not really a lot to talk about." He shrugged, "It was a private boarding school."
"How do you feel about public school?" she asked.
"I really like the idea of going home every night." He grinned.
"You're file says your parents were killed over the summer how do you feel about that?" she continued.
"Honestly I really didn't know them very well." Harry shrugged, he didn't like how this painted his parents but he couldn't tell them the truth, "I knew the nannies and boarding school professors with just a few visits and vacations with my parents."
"You don't sound particularly upset by it." She observed.
"What is there to be upset about?" he wondered, "Lots of kids don't have hands on parents. Some that do wish they didn't because the bruises the hands on treatments give them. I never felt like I didn't have parents just that mine were busy. They really did important stuff."
"That is a rather different outlook." She offered.
"You either learn to deal with what life lays on you or you get crushed." He shrugged, "I prefer to deal."
"Very well." She nodded she changed the subject, "You like the idea of going home ever night?"
"I haven't known my uncles for very long. I knew of them but I'd never met them." He corrected, "I like spending time with them. Uncle Pads is rather immature and likes to play around. Uncle Selwain, even though he is younger, acts like an older man and loves potions. Uncle Lee has his health issues but he's very kind and always listens."
"I'm surprised you have marked you need help in potions." She tilted her head, "Is he too wrapped up to help?"
"That was marked before I spent time with him." Harry grinned, "He's added some extensive lessons at home so I'm not quite as bad as I was. My school professor didn't like me much, he knew Uncle Pads."
"I see." She smiled, "So if I was looking for a bezoar?"
"I would prefer to find it in a potions kit and not get it from the stomach of a goat." Harry shuddered.
Another chuckle escaped the woman, "Ok, an animagus is?"
"A person who can transfigure themselves into their inner animal, without the spell." He answered.
"Patronus?" she asked.
"Positive energy that can block a dementor. In corporeal form it can chase away dementors, provide identity in most cases and some say it can carry messages." He replied.
"Identity in most cases?" she asked.
"It can change form if you have experienced emotional upheaval." He shrugged, "I've not tried mine since the accident."
"You can cast one?" she was very curious now.
"Yes, I can try now if you want." He offered.
"Please do." she nodded.
He turned to the side and thought about Sirius and Remus hugging him when they found out he was still alive. He called out the spell and watched as the silvery light twisted and turned before settling into the form of a large mongoose.
He smiled slightly and turned to the councilor who was awed, "How long have you been able to do that?"
"Since I was thirteen. And it has changed. It used to be a stag." He frowned and let the animal vanish, "I also can keep a corporeal form in the presence of a dementor. It was needed a few years ago."
She blinked a few times then took a breath, "Right. So." She paused in thought, "What classes have you taken?"
"Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, Astronomy, Charms, Care of Magical Creatures, History of Magic and Divination are the classes but… History was for another country and Divination was a horrible idea." He frowned, "I let a friend talk me into that one."
"So we'll need History 101." She wrote down the list as she made it, "I take it you would not like to continue Divination?"
"That is correct." He nodded.
"What can we replace it with?" she pulled out a list and hummed, "You didn't have a physical education class?"
"They never offered any." He shrugged, "I did play quidditch."
"We have a team and it is also in one of our PE classes. You can play in the class and on the team." She offered.
"Play quidditch every day?" he asked in awe, "Sign me up."
"It isn't quite every day." She grinned, "It is a Sports class that does a variety of sports, quidditch is a favorite though."
"That still sounds great." He grinned.
"Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, Astronomy, Charms and History are part of our core class group." She frowned, "Care of Magical Creatures is at the same time as the Sports Class. Are you dead set on keeping it?"
"No." he shook his head, "I basically took the class just because the Professor was a friend of my parents and I thought they'd like it."
"Do you know what you want to do when you grow up?" she asked.
"I had thought of Law Enforcement but I'm not sure that's such a good idea now." He huffed, "I was really sheltered as a child and I don't know what else is out there."
"I can see about the excel class on Runes." She hummed again, "We have it for people who changed their minds. It is basically two years of Runes packed into one. It is a tough course but I think you'd be mature enough to handle it."
"Do a lot of jobs call for that?" he asked.
"Universities are more likely to look at you seriously if you take it." She offered, "Some parts of the world still use a mentor/trainee formula to instruct people for things like a potions mastery. Here we have universities that do the training. More people can get training that way. Some of those countries don't like how we do things. For instance the European governments won't accept any of our potions masters unless they pass the certification that their potion masters go through. Even without any further education many of ours pass their test with flying colors."
"They do seem a bit old fashioned." Harry knew from his talk with Richard that Americans were more adaptable and so not still locked in the old days.
"Ok so we think the core classes, then Runes and Sports for your two electives." She nodded, "I think we should step outside and go on with the practical."
"Ok." He nodded and stood up to follow her through the door.
She led the way down the hall and into a large gym like room with several sections, "This is our testing facility. You're finals all happen in here as do a few classes."
"Finals?" he asked.
"Tests at the end of the year." She offered, "What do you call them?"
"End of Term tests." He shrugged, "Do you have special tests at the end of fifth and seventh years?"
"We do." she nodded, "OWLs and NEWTs are worldwide standards. I know some schools take them during sixth and seventh years but we stick with the standard."
Harry began with potions. He had to explain everything he could about each ingredient he was shown. Then he was asked to follow instructions and make a potion. He did similar tests in all the core classes before he was brought back to the councilor's office where he was introduced to the coach.
"Coach Brad runs the sports department." Amanda stated as he shook the man's hand, "Harold likes to play quidditch."
"Harry." He corrected, "Harold means I'm in trouble."
"What do you play and how long have you played it in school sports?" he asked.
"Seeker for four years." He answered, "The captain had said I would do well as a beater but we had a set of identical twins that seemed to share one brain on the pitch."
"I've had a set like that." The man grinned, "They were a sight to behold. Do you have a broom?"
"Not with me today." He shrugged, "But I have one at home."
"What is it?" Coach Brad asked.
"Firebolt." He replied.
The man blinked one then swallowed, "Say that again."
"I have a Firebolt." He repeated.
"Bring it tomorrow, better yet can someone bring it today?" he asked.
"I am supposed to go home at lunch I can bring it back with me." Harry offered.
"Do it." He grinned, "Lunch doesn't start for half an hour but I think she's done with you."
"I am." Amanda grinned, "Go ahead and get lunch and come back with the broom. I should have your schedule worked out by the time you get back."
Harry made the short walk home rather quickly. He was met at the door by Severus, "Did they kick you out already?"
"Funny." Harry grinned as he followed him into the kitchen, "No they let me go early for lunch since I had finished all the tests a little early. I also met the quidditch coach and he wants me to bring my broom back."
"Figures." Severus huffed.
"You mean flying coach?" Sirius looked confused.
"Quidditch coach picks the team. They have one school team and they play other schools." Harry explained, "I might get to do a little bit of traveling if I make the team."
"Richard talked about it on Friday." Remus pointed out, "Don't you remember?"
"No I think I may have fallen asleep at one point." Sirius shrugged.
"Master Harry here is yous lunch." Winky sat a plate in front of him.
"Thank you, it looks delicious." Harry complemented.
After lunch he hurried back to the school carrying his broom. It was a lovely day out and he couldn't wait to get up in the air. The councilor told him he could find the coach in the cafeteria for the next ten minutes so he followed her directions and entered the room full of students. He didn't really pay any attention the stares as he was rather used to them. He walked right up to the coach and held out the broom for inspection.
"You weren't teasing." The man breathed, "I was sure you either didn't know what you were talking about or you were teasing."
"She's a couple years old and had a few rough spots." Harry fiddled with a few ends he needed to trim, "But she's always pulled through."
"Tell me how does a kid get a broom like this?" the coach handed it back.
"Guilt." Harry grinned, "My uncles hadn't been told about me so when they found out they got me one present to make up for all the missed ones."