"Beyond all Sciences, Philosophies, Theologies and Histories - a child's relentless inquiry is truly all it takes
To remind us that we don't know as much as we think we know."
Adventures in Magick by Pseudonymous Entity
Summary: What if the first friend Harry made in the magical world was a goblin? Curious!Harry.
Characters: Harry Potter, Goblins, Twins, Blonds, Prefects, Scholars, Vampires, Accidental Masterminds
Warnings: Harry's curiosity, and luck, is somewhat awe inspiring. (Suggestions for additional warnings will be taken into consideration)
AN: As always I welcome thoughts, questions, guesses, theories and limericks. In whichever order of importance you feel inclined to give.
ANx2: Over 4,000 words for you lot, but -alas- it comes at a price. I beg forgiveness ahead of time...you'll see why.
Ever Yours, Pseu [The clever, magnificent and ridiculously good looking]
"An ache so deep that I can hardly breathe, this pain can't be imagined...will it ever heal?
I waited so long for you to come and you were here and now you're gone
I was not prepared for you to leave me, oh this is misery
I wanna scream! Is this a dream? How could this happen, happen to me?
This isn't fair! This nightmare...this kind of torture I just can't bare
I want you here! I want you here! God help me breathe..."
Their brief -seemingly- absence had gone unnoticed.
As his friends resumed their previous seats Harry pushed his way over to the high table. Professor Snape and a teacher Harry could not name by sight seemed to be having an argument with Dumbledore who in turn was speaking over them to the distraught prefect who'd brought them all the news of the Hobgoblins, to begin with. Not one of them noticed Harry's approach.
Plus five to stealth, thought Harry. Pleased.
"Er, excuse me? Professor Snape sir? I hate to bother you, and you're not looking at me yet and I know you can't hear me so I don't know how soon I will actually be bothering you. This is more of an apology in advance. I wonder if can count as after the fact since I've already done this? Only this is the first time I'm doing it myself but I know I've already done or that I already will because...wait I am getting off track aren't I?" Harry narrowed his eyes and willed himself to focus.
"I sort of have something important to tell you. A few things actually. I know this isn't the best place for some of them, but you really do need to know. The first thing I should tell you, though I can see you can't hear me yet, is that students within the great hall are going to begin falling ill soon. None of you will be able to figure out what is wrong and you're going to put up a quarantine ward to warn others away. Not lock the doors though, my friends and I will need to come back in. We've left you to see. I know we seem like we're here. We're actually following a map trying to find my twins, you see. Oh, the robins are by the kitchens. Or at least some of them are. Oh for the love of Narnia why'd I tell you that? Don't worry about that." Harry said, waving his hands to an unlistening potions master.
"Oh! Sloth told me it is very important to tell you that the ward is Quadraginta and that he is ready to help from outside with finding an antidote or cure spell, as none will have come up." Harry shrugged to himself. "He's left and not come back but his farther future self or I suppose his past self as he was already back and came forward to meet us, he knows a bit. The main thing is that we don't know what is causing it and there may a bit of a panic so-" Harry trailed off.
Professor Quirrell was watching Harry with great interest.
"Are you listening?" Harry asked.
Quirrell waved a hand, a customary trail of silks following the motion. "I had intended to deal with the Robins. It appears that won't be necessary?"
Harry's cheeks flamed. "Well, a few of them are sort of indisposed Sir."
"Tied up? Bound? Frozen?" Quirrell guessed.
"More like," Harry paused and licked his lips. For some very odd reason, it was much harder speaking of such things to Quirrell than it was to Sloth or to Professor Snape. "More like possibly deceased. Or I hope they are."
Quirrell blinked. "It seems quite a lot has happened. Or will happen, from what I have heard." Quirrell turned and stepped back into the privacy ward, murmuring to Professor Snape. The pale, dark haired man turned to look at Harry with...actually Harry had no idea what the wizard was thinking. Both wizards stepped from the privacy ward.
Harry started on a quick summary, assuming that Professor Snape would stop him -or somehow fix it- if he mentioned something he oughtn't with Quirrell present. He'd just gotten close to the end of the little adventure when a student collapsed at the Ravenclaw table. No warning. No sign. They just slumped and fell over, tumbling to the floor with a smack. Startled shrieks rose from the student's tablemates. One went down in the aisle. Then another.
Harry watched the students clinging to one another -the Slytherins were backed against the wall and snapping disinfecting charms at one another he was pleased to note- as if the physical contact would keep them grounded in a world of uncertainty. It really was poor planning, in his opinion, to be a school, of magic and not have developed a health potion. They had all sorts of spells and elixirs to heal a broken born or regrow them or help bruises heal faster or heal small cuts but nothing you could take to give you reprieve from most poisons and illnesses as well as most injuries. A fairly obvious oversight. How could no one have thought to have that? Sure having specific potions could be helpful, but why not have a potential cure all available? Even one that greatly speeded the process of recovery for most grievances would be helpful to have on hand.
The wizarding world's lack of imagination would never cease to amaze him.
Professors and Prefects hurried about the great hall taking down the names of the children who were ill. He knew though that no answer would be forthcoming. Shortly after Harry was brought along with Professor Snape -to keep him from further mischief the professor claimed- holding a clipboard dutifully, while the man went along the row of students laid out on a long green mat at the far side of the great hall. He waved his wand and stared at something only he could see. Another wand wave and on it went. Harry's job was to write down the age, blood status, last name, house name or affiliation, financial status and general reputation of each student down on the clipboard along with any symptoms Snape found. Fevers or bruising or recent colds. That sort of thing. A problem quickly arose. Name and age and all of that were easily acquired.
However even the more complicated and detailed of scan charms couldn't bring up any physical or mental information from the students.
At the end of the line, the tall professor turned to him. "Anything to report?"
Harry gave his clipboard a quick glance. "There doesn't seem to be any connection through status -blood or social or financial- that I can see. I do think it seems odd that most of these students are either in Ravenclaw house or close friends with someone who is. Do you think the illness started there?" Harry looked up at the professor.
Snape's dark eyes swept along the other students forced to remain in their seats. "I do not...know."
Harry's heart gave a nearly audible shudder, his too large eyes widening. "Terry Boot and Draco are in Ravenclaw. What if, you don't think-"
Snape turned on his heel and headed back toward the scholar's table, bypassing the high table and Headmaster Dumbledore's attempts to hail him. Harry valiantly attempted to keep pace, and to keep panic from over taking him. Without a by-your-leave Snape's long fingers curled about the shoulders of Draco and Terry Boot, maneuvering them toward the hall closest to the Scholar's area, and the one through which Harry and his friends had earlier escaped.
The Professor did not tell them that they had most certainly come into contact with an unknown illness. For the best really, Harry could only imagine Draco's response. The man waved his wand and repeated the tests Harry had just seen him perform on the unconscious students. To Harry's relief, all attempts at health scans were successful. Neither boy had contracted the disease. Yet.
"Misters Boot and Malfoy, you will remain with the scholar's and away from the student body for the foreseeable future, is that understood? You will not be permitted to return to your dormitory's tonight nor will you eat at your house table. Do I make myself...clear?"
Terry Nodded, golden curls shining in the candlelight. Draco studied the man Harry knew was his godfather with a quick thinking cleverness one didn't usually associate him with. Well, what did you expect from someone raised by two Slytherins? Three if you counted Professor Snape.
"Yes, sir." Murmured Draco.
Snape left with a fabulous swish of his cloak. Draco's silver eyes turned to Harry.
Harry swallowed and put on his brightest smile "Just an unknown super contagious disease that we can't get any scans on and a few of the students are Ravenclaws. We wanted to be sure you hadn't gotten it and won't. Can't be too safe right?"
Draco was not reassured if the sudden green tinge to his skin was anything to go by. He probably didn't entirely believe Harry.
Smart of him.
Another half hour went by, and Professor Snape, Quirrell, and Sloth seemed to have banded together in rebellion against Dumbledore, along with Scruffy, the Slytherin Prefect from the train and Percy Weasley. Harry didn't know for certain what the problem was but he suspected it had a great lot to do with Dumbledore's desire to keep all of this quiet. He would not allow any of the children to owl their parents. That was quite silly to Harry. It wasn't as if it were the Headmasters fault they were all sick, why not alert people who could come and help?
It was decided that Harry would bring the information Quirrell, Snape and past/future Sloth found here with him to the other Slot. Or whichever other Sloth it happened to be. He didn't know how many times a day Sloth went back in time as he hadn't known until fairly recently the wizard traveled time at all. Professor Snape put up the ward without permission from Dumbledore. The dark haired man seemed to take a quiet pleasure in this.
Harry took the Twins and Blaise with him, Draco and Terry both confined to the Scholar's table where Snape could keep an eye on them and their health. Draco did look a bit gray beneath the eyes. It couldn't be easy for him, this was probably as close to his own personal nightmare as you could get in reality.
Traveling back and forth with the adult's paperwork and notes on antidotes and symptoms was a great difference from leaving the castle to check in with the goblins or going back a few hours to finish Sloth's paperwork or his homework. There were several Harry's running about that he had to avoid. Interestingly, there didn't seem much point in avoiding any of the various Sloths running about and the wizard in whatever tense always seemed to find them with exactly what they need or information that only made sense later. At least it explained why he was so tired all of the time. And he still needed an assistant to help him. What did he do when he wasn't working on that mechanical grasshopper he was sent?
Finally, Sloth and Professor Snape agreed on a potion to contain the illness, whatever it may be, within each individual sick student to prevent it from spreading. This would enable them to safely move the students to a quarantined hallway in the mediwing near the infirmary. The rest of the students were given a reassuring speech from Dumbledore and sent on their way.
While the rest of the students were leaving Harry and his friends were pulled aside to the hallway they had used quite a lot that night. Harry watched with mild regret as Sloth erased the memories of that night pertaining to time travel and Sloth's lab from their minds. He'd agreed to it and he knew it was for the best. Still, it had been nice to share one of his secrets with his friends. Even if it was for a short while.
Harry twirled around to find Quirrell standing there, watching. "Sir?"
"That you would so easily allow your friends to be manipulated. Does it not bother you for them to forget the time they spent with you?"
Harry cocked his head. "It was nice to share some secrets but it is for the best. It won't hurt them, I've read about it, you see."
Quirrell nodded. "And you had no reservations when Ian said it must be done?"
"Actually," Harry paused. "It was my wish. I wanted them to forget. Sloth agreed with me. As few people as possible know about a secret the more likely you are to keep it. My secrets are more than me and so I must think of that." Harry walked by Quirrell, stopping to look at him and say, "You should know, I only said they must forget. I never said they couldn't remember some other time."
Quirrell's unexpected laughter followed after him.
After that time passed as usual and fear of the illness faded a bit. Once in a while, another student would fall ill but the lack of fear in the adults and the fact none of them were actually injured or in jeopardy of dying kept the from being too concerned about it. Harry had other worries. Perhaps worries wasn't the right word. He was very, very busy. Sloth needed his help more than ever now that he spent a good deal of his time helping Professor Snape to divine the illness. Harry took on more and more responsibility within Sloth's lab. Running errands to other labs, picking up and retrieving items, getting books from the library or notes from scholars in other departments. He'd gotten to know some of them and by now they knew when they saw him coming that he was doing something for Sloth.
The small Slytherin could currently be found standing before a work table with his hands tugging on his inky hair in frustration. He needed two hands to do most of what he needed to do, and the time it took to constantly stop and take out his wand to open a door, or lift something up or turn on a light was cutting into his time. Harry huffed. Perhaps he should go ahead and look more into the alternative foci he was researching for Master Ollivander.
Somehow Harry decided to use metal as a base. It was easier to shape into whatever form you needed it to be, jewelry the obvious thought, or perhaps the nib on a quill or something similar. The point being it was an everyday material and unlikely to draw attention. The issue he had now was whether he should order out for some ingots or if it would be easier and just as effective to possibly transfigure some metal? Wouldn't that be so much faster? If he could just change what the metal was as he was working so he didn't have to continually recreate the item in question?
Harry found himself sitting at a desk in a corner of the library researching Alchemy. The only known way to alter the properties of metals. That was a lot of the idea of it and different research methods. It most concerned copper into bronze, or steel into silver. The only known to have succeeded in turning any metal into gold was a very old wizard named Nicolas Flamel.
"Developed an interest in Alchemy or in immortality?"
Harry looked up to find Quirrell standing in front of his table, dressed in dark gray silks today. Harry quirked a brow. "Immortality?"
Quirrell leaned forward and tapped the page. "Nicolas Flamel is best known for creating the philosophers stone. An object that can turn any metal into gold and has had the remarkable effect of creating an elixir which has kept him alive a rather unlikely long time, don't you think?"
Harry looked where the professor indicated. The wizard turned six hundred-and-sixty-six this year! He could feel his mouth drop open.
"He's amazing," Harry breathed.
"Yes, I quite agree." Quirrell settled himself in the opposite chair in a swirl of silks. "Why the sudden interest?"
"More so in the properties of metals and the usefulness of transfiguring or altering the metal you are working with as you are working with it rather than making more of the same thing with different metals. I'm working on alternative foci for Master Ollivander. I had a thought..."
Quirrell rested his fingertips against his chin. "Go on."
"It's just, with all of my responsibilities, I've found it would be more efficient to have the use of both of my hands. If only I didn't have to stop to use my wand all of the time." He said, carefully. After all no one was supposed to know what exactly it was he did for Sloth.
Quirrell held out a hand for the paperwork Harry had beside him. He handed them to him. "Just some notes I am taking." Said, Harry. Quirrell's eyes flashed over each parchment.
"Clever." The wizard whispered. "What item were you thinking of sing?"
"For myself or that, I was going to present to Master Ollivander?" Harry asked.
Quirrell gave him a small smile. "I'm flattered you offered the information that there were levels to the question. Very well, what are you working on for yourself, little genius?"
"I was thinking of ways to enhance your abilities. Your proficiencies. I still want my wand and want to use it, I know that it narrows the flow of my magic and makes for better control. But, what if I could enhance my magic all on its own, while still being able to use my wand? If I could directly focus on different parts of it and enhance them and enable myself to access these parts of my magic to a greater degree without my wand, so if I am without -or need both hands!- I can do spells and charms that fall within that realm of magic and I'm not defenseless? Like a piece of myself or attached to a piece of myself, maybe my blood or my tears, something intimate, that only I could really use. Something no one else would likely see for what it was? Can you imagine?"
Quirrell's eyes glinted in a way that reminded Harry of Lucius Malfoy the day they'd met.
"I have a book I think you would find...enlightening."
Just before winter break, Harry found himself in one of Professor Snape's personal lab - he did his very best to keep his fangirling to a minimum- along with Sloth and the Slytherin Prefect. They were going over the one main thing the students getting sick had in common, outside of affiliation with Ravenclaw house. That none of the scans were working on them. They'd all been working on the assumption that the illness was somehow cloaking their magic and so the scans couldn't find it in order to read it. But how could this be done? A lot of research had gone into various curses, illnesses, herbs, and allergies that might have any sort of similarity to such an odd symptom. Luckily Snape had known how to check their -vital signs he called it- conditions through monitoring their heart rates and things like that.
Professor Snape really was amazingly clever.
Harry watched from his spot on the far side of the table they were all collected at. That was when the thought first occurred to him. "Elena?"
The Slytherin prefect turned to Harry. "Black?"
"I was wondering. Have you ever heard of Power Monothliths or gaging power levels through orbs?"
She blinked. "What brought that on?"
Harry fidgeted. "It's only. They were talking about their magic being hidden and I wondered if maybe we could get something like an orb and a CPM to test their power levels. Even if the scan can't get a read on them, the CPM still should. Because, what if..." He tapped his fingers against his side excitedly. "What if their magic is being drained or dampened, like was the orb pulls it and then it's attracted to the CPM closest to your power level? Maybe they're poisoned or something and it's using their magic to keep its self going and that's why they can't read it. because there isn't enough for them too."
During his explanation, both Sloth and Snape had stopped talking to listen.
"What made you think of that?" Asked Sloth.
"When I first told you what your...self said about the ward you said that you could drain some of the magic so you could analyze the connections in it to confirm its identity and look up the sort of illness and instances that ward is used. You know, so you could have some books and stuff ready. So, I thought, what if it is being drained or something, and then I thought of the CPMs. You all have said you can't get a scan on them so I wondered if instead of being hidden, the magic was being used some way and that made their magic level little enough that the scan didn't have a strong enough...er...flow to get a read on...them." Harry finished.
There was much scrambling and writing of notes and Elena messed his hair a bit so Harry guessed he'd done something right.
Professor Snape, Sloth and some of the scholars left that night. Securing CPMs and orb thingies was a difficult political thing, or so Scruffy informed Harry the following morning. They did not know when they return, only that it was as soon as possible.
Harry carried on with his work in Sloth's absence. Grading papers, organizing, taking inventory and picking up things from other departments according to a list left behind. He continued to meet with Draco each night in the Ravenclaw tower, he continued to use his SIDRAT to attend study sessions with his friends and get his homework completed. Life carried on. Draco continued to think himself ill with worry about all the unknown germs floating about. Blaise continued to frighten his fellow Gryffindors.
Then it all sort of came to a head in a most unexpected fashion.
Harry was working in the lab again. This time he was working on the mechanical grasshopper Sloth left behind. He wanted to help Sloth not have much to come back to and he knew he'd been trying to get the compartment on the thing open. It took a screw driver amazingly enough. The compartment popped open and tiny pieces of metal fell to the table top with soft clinks. Harry squinted. They looked like really tiny insects. Could robots be parents? His eyes widened, was he holding dead baby robots? Harry dropped them to the table with a squeal and shuffled back from the table. That's when a flash of light was seen in the corner of his eye.
He looked up and turned his head. It seemed to be coming from the far left corner, just behind a tall cabinet on wheels. Harry made his way over there, careful not to knock anything over. He was rather good at that at this point. He walked around in time to see Elena wiping ash from her robes, Percy Weasley walking out of the flames behind her. Harry blinked at the fireplace. Had that always been there?
"Good thing we thought of using the floo. You've got some pretty good locks on this place," Elena complimented. Something about it was off. The too cheery tone of voice maybe or the fact her hair was messy of all things. Percy came to stand beside her, his face grim. Harry looked between the two of them in confusion. How did they even know he was here? What was wrong? Why didn't the big kids and the adults ever just tell you what was going on?
Percy exchanged a glance with Elena. He nodded and turned back to Harry. "As the closest next of kin, and with the headmaster preventing outgoing owls, we're choosing to use a loophole to tell you...to inform you." He paused, the first time Harry had seen Percy uncertain. "Malfoy has fallen ill Harry. He's being moved to the quarantine hall in the mediwing-"
Harry forgot how to breathe.
"Don't leave me, leave me alone...begging you please, I gotta settle this thing once and for all, I'm on my knees begging you please, begging you please, don't leave me alone."
Notes: Thoughts? Guesses? Questions? Theories? Limericks?
Post Script: Unedited, will go back and edit it when I have the time. A lot of stuff happened this chapter and some of it will be coming back later on. What caught your eye?
-Ever Yours. Pseu