Can't Rely on Authority
"Three turns should do it" said Dumbledore. Harry didn't know what was going on, but something didn't feel right…
Harry Potter was sitting on the train to London on a bright July morning and thankfully was garnering very little attention. He was dressed in his cousins too large hand me downs, baseball cap, and a 'borrowed' backpack. Inside was his wand, invisibility cloak and a 'borrowed' Ravenclaw robe. As the train speeded on to its destination, Harry was thinking about his plan and how he got started on his new path.
-Flashback - Hospital Wing after Minister Fudge, Snape, and Dumbledore left.
Harry lay in his bed with a knot in his stomach, not being able to fall asleep even though he was extremely tired. The reason for his dilemma was the realization that he couldn't trust in any authority figure to protect him.
Fudge was going to let the Dementor's kiss Sirius without even questioning him, even though Harry, Hermione and even Ron said he was innocent. Even though the bastard Snape was saying they were bewitched, they had Sirius in custody and should have at least questioned him, if for nothing else than to see what he cursed the children with or how he escaped Azkaban. They didn't even examine the children to see if they were even 'Bewitched'. Dumbledore didn't even put up a fuss.
Harry knew that Dumbledore knew how Sirius escaped; even with the 'HINT' about using the Time Turner he could have… should have done more. 'Wasn't he Chief Warlock?' Harry thought. And that, more than anything made Harry realize that he needed to do something about his own protection and freedom. Looking back on his school adventures, he noticed a pattern. Everything he went through could have been avoided if an adult only listened to him and done what should have been their job. Dumbledore always showed up after the event was over… right after. Almost as if he knew what was going on.
Harry knew that whatever he did he needed to be kept a secret. He needed to come up with a plan or else he probably would get caught and stopped from doing what he felt needed to be done for his own safety. Normally he would ask Hermione to help him make any type of plan but he realized that he might have to do some illegal things, and he didn't want to get Hermione in trouble if he got caught. He knew that with his Boy-Who-Lived status that he shouldn't get into too much trouble, but Hermione as a muggleborn could get seriously screwed by the corrupt system. Hermione was getting better but Harry knew that she still had faith in authority and wouldn't do anything considered illegal, which Harry figured he might have to do. It was time to plan.
Step one… finding a way to do magic over the summer. Find a way to get the Trace removed from his wand or maybe a new Trace free wand?
Step two… get materials to study over the summer. See if he can take home some books from the library or maybe ask an older student if he can borrow their books. After all, what good is it to practice magic if all you are only practicing the first through third year spells.
Step Three… See if he can get around the Dursley's. Maybe make a deal or threaten them with 'escaped murderer Sirius Black', his godfather. Harry smiled to himself at that thought.
Step four… Find a way to get some money for new books, food, clothes and maybe a new wand anything to help him prepare. 'I'll have to sneak to Diagon Alley and Gringotts. ' he thought.
Whatever he did Harry knew he would have to keep it hidden or someone would try to stop him. "Also imagine Voldemort's surprise when they next meet and he can fight back." Harry now had an idea of what he had to do and was starting to feel a little better. His thoughts as he started to fall asleep were "A Time Turner would sure come in handy…"
The next day while the three friends were leaving the hospital wing Harry announced that he was going to go to the library to ask Madam Pince a question.
"That sounds like fun." said Hermione. To her it probably was.
Ron begged off saying "I've spent enough time in the library this year, I'll catch up with you both later." and he headed for the Gryffindor dorms.
The library was quiet when they both arrived. Looking around Harry noticed Madam Pince at her desk examining a book with a sour look on her face… her normal look. "Hello Madam Pince" Harry said in a voice just above a whisper. He knew that even with the library empty that Madam Pince didn't tolerate what she called excess noise. "I was wondering if it is possible to borrow a couple of books over the summer?"
Hermione beamed at him, but Madam Pince looked at him as if he asked to borrow a couple of her children over the summer. "I'm sorry but Hogwarts doesn't allow its books to be removed from the grounds."
"Why?" asked Hermione. Harry wondered this also but was glad that he could rely on Hermione to ask a follow up question, especially if it involved a book or learning something new.
Seeing how Hermione was one of the few students that she could tolerate, Madame Pince answered "Tradition mostly, but also over the summer break I take the quiet time to reorganize the shelves and repair any book damaged over the year."
Harry knew that getting any books from Madam Pince was hopeless and turned to leave. Hermione on the other hand didn't want to miss out on any chance of getting a new book… even if borrowed, and asked "Isn't there any exceptions that can be made. I understand not trusting certain students, but someone like myself or even Harry, who are trustworthy and don't have access to the Magical world over the summer?"
As Hermione was arguing with Madam Pince, Harry was looking around the library and noticed a robe on the back of a chair, looking closer he noticed it was a Ravenclaw robe. Harry picked it up and was about to turn it into Madam Pince when an idea struck. 'If I want to get around unnoticed, what better way than to go around dressed as a student from another house. Harry tucked the robe under his own and waited by the entrance. A few minutes later Hermione met him grumbling about "Stupid traditions" and they both walked back to Gryffindor tower.
"It's too bad we can't check out books, but why did you want to? You never seemed that interested before?" asked Hermione, looking at Harry with a mix of excitement and suspicion.
. "With everything involved with Sirius, I realized that there is sooo much I don't know about. It also seems that most adults don't really help me out."
Hermione stuttered "You can't be serious Harry? ALL the teachers have been helpful to you and me…maybe not Snape… but professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick and Professor Sprout are always helpful. What about Professor Lupin,? He taught you the Patroness Charm!"
Harry could see that Hermione was getting upset and decided to explain his reasoning. "I didn't mean that the professors aren't helpful, but they tell you what they normally teach or only answer questions that you ask them. Look Hermione, being raised as a muggle there is so much of the wizarding world that I don't know about. The professors, and even people like Ron, who were raised in this world take certain things for granted."
Hermione still looked upset but also was starting to look a little unsure. "But like you said, you just need to ask them."
"But I don't know what questions to ask! And even some people like Dumbledore sometimes say I'm not ready to hear the information. In fact I believe that if I told Dumbledore I wanted to spend the summer learning new magic, he would tell me that I wasn't ready yet, or something similar."
"Dumbledore must have a good reason for not wanting you to practice or for keeping the information from you. It might be too dangerous." Hermione responded with a slight plea in her voice. Harry could tell she didn't like going against authority, and in her mind there was no higher authority than Dumbledore.
"What is so dangerous in telling me why Voldemort was after me as a baby? And other than practicing actual magic in a muggle neighborhood, why shouldn't I be able to learn what could be used against me? Or might help protect me?"
Hermione had a slight shiver at the name Voldemort but couldn't think of a good reason to not tell Harry. Especially after Harry faced him in his first and second year and knew he will be trying to come after him again. ".I'm sure Dumbledore or the professors will tell you what you should learn. I'll help you make a list of questions and we can ask a professor."
"That won't really help. You are the same age as me and were also raised as a muggle. Last night in the hospital wing I was thinking back over my time here at Hogwarts. It seems that all the trouble we got in could have been avoided if an adult stepped in. Now I know what you are going to say…that we usually never went to an adult. Your right, I never felt comfortable going to adults, probably because of the Dursley's, but the times we did go to an adult they weren't very helpful were they?" Hermione was looking troubled but Harry continued before she could say anything. "In first year McGonagall didn't believe us about someone stealing the Philosopher's Stone.. and when have any of the teachers really stopped people like Malfoy from bullying us or the other students?" Harry didn't want to tell Hermione about his suspicion of Dumbledore knowing what was going on and allowing it. He felt it would be too much for her. "Look at what Fudge just did with Sirius. He believed Snape over the three of us… and patted me on the head and just dismissed anything we said."
"I can… see where you might think that." Hermione said hesitantly. "But it doesn't mean you have to do everything on your own."
"I never said I was going to do it all alone. I'm just saying I need to learn more stuff and make sure I can take care of myself."
""That's' seams…. reasonable. But remember you can always count on me!" Hermione said looking more like her usual self. Harry could tell that he gave Hermione a lot to think about and she hadn't made up her mind yet. "Whatever you learn, you'll teach me?" there was a little bit of a plea in her voice.
"Of course Hermione, I could never deprive you of learning something new." Harry said teasingly. They finished their journey to the Gryffindor Tower and after giving the Fat Lady the password, entered to find Ron playing a game of chess with their dorm mate Dean Thomas.
The next day Harry sought out Oliver Wood to see if he could borrow his 7th year text books over the summer. The Quidditch captain was more than happy to lend his books to his star seeker who had just won him the Quidditch Cup. "Keep them. I have a tryout for a professional team in a few weeks and won't need them anymore."
Harry asked "What team?"
Wood refused to say. "I don't want to jinx it so I won't say until it's over."
Harry wished him luck and left, dropping off the books in his trunk. His next stop was the twins. He found them about an hour later as they entered the common room laughing.
"Did you see him squirm?"
Yeah, and it'll last a week after school ends… if he doesn't get it treated."
Both were laughing when Harry approached them "What's so funny guys?"
Fred, or was it George responded "Cursed Flint…"
"…with invisible Hemorrhoids…"
"…that will last for about two weeks!"
Harry joined Fred and George in Laughing. After a few moments Harry asked "Gred, Forge… I wanted to ask a favor."
"I don't know Fred… should we grant this Impertinent request?" said one twin in a snooty manner, looking down his nose at Harry as if he were dirt. Harry couldn't tell if it really was George who spoke. It didn't matter.
"Probably should find out what the favor is before turning it down and crushing his spirit." Said the other twin in a similar attitude
"Proceed… ask your favor Ickle Harrykins."
Harry, knowing the twins antics, chuckled and asked. "Can I borrow your 5th year course books? I will return them when I see you over the summer."
The twins didn't expect this and were looking a little surprised. Back in their regular tone of voice, "Why would you want books two years ahead of you?"
"Is there a reason …"
"…for this all of a sudden…"
"…or are you Hermione under Polyjuice?"
"I'm not Hermione, she's right over there," Harry responded pointing out Hermione by the fireplace reading a book about half her height. "I'm stuck at Durskaban most of the summer without access to anything magical. I can probably convince the Dursley's to let me read because it means I am quiet and out of their way."
The twins chuckled at Harry calling Privet Drive Durskaban . "I don't know Harry. The books might be a little advanced,…"
Harry cut them off. "I'm only going to read them. I can't do magic in the muggle world." One of the twins was about to speak when Harry continued. "Also, Imagine all the mischief I could cause next year if I can do magic that I shouldn't know how to do? No one will suspect me." Harry finished with a little smirk.
The prospect of mischief definitely convinced the twins. They would have given the books to Harry anyway, but now they were looking forward to next year.
"Sure thing Harry…"
"… can we give them to you tomorrow?"
" We want to mark a few pages we think …"
"…you will find…"
"…interesting." They said together, matching Harry's smirk.
"Sure thing guys." Harry knew that anything the twins thought of as interesting was going to be really good… or really bad. He couldn't wait to see which.
The rest of term was uneventful. Harry took this time to refine and add to his plan for the summer. He felt that getting the advanced books from the twins and Oliver Wood was a good first step. The Ravenclaw robe was also a useful tool for the plan. He transfigured a piece of wood to look like his wand that he would let the Dursley's keep to show that he couldn't do magic. With the threat of Sirius and the promise to stay in his room away from them, he felt that he might be able to keep his trunk in his room. He was still planning on hiding his real wand and his father's invisibility cloak on him in case the threat of Sirius wasn't enough. He'll have to wait until he gets there to find out if the plan will work.
Harry was happy that Hermione seemed to be supporting his decision to study up over the summer but she seemed a little concerned when she found out about Harry borrowing the twins books,. She accepted it though because according to her…"Learning is learning". Harry didn't tell her about borrowing Woods 7th year books. Harry flipped through the books at night and thought that they 'didn't look too hard, just need more power or focus.'
Before he knew it, Harry found himself, Hermione and Ron on the Hogwarts Express speeding their way to Kings Cross Station. Ron was all excited about the upcoming Quidditch World Cup, and talked about almost nothing else. He did comment on Harry's plan to study over the summer as "Mental, there are so much better things to do with your time than read."
"I think it is a good idea Ron. You could try to get ahead like Harry too." Hermione responded indignintly.
Ron looked at Hermione and muttered "Mental"
Harry spoke to stall the approaching argument, realizing he has done this many times. "Look Ron, while I'm at the Dursley's I don't have anything else to do. At the Burrow you have your family to do things with, I don't. "
"Fine." Ron said. "But I still think it's mental".
It was relatively quiet after that, some idle chit chat but nothing of importance being discussed. Malfoy made his normal appearance and it ended the usual way. Sirius's owl arrived with a Hogsmeade permission slip signed for Harry and the owl itself as a gift for Ron as a replacement for Scabber's. Before he knew it, Harry was at Kings Cross Station and about to face the Dursley's. It was time to see if his plan would work. Harry sighed to himself 'You can do this.' and walked through the barrier.