AU 1st year PS! Harry is starting school in this new world of magic, & makes his first friend on the train. Five houses! Neville the BWL! & magic without the need for a focus (wand), except for intricate things (i.e. healing/wards).
Harry Potter - Rated: T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 10 - Words: 52,096 - Reviews: 90 - Updated: 5/5/2012 - Published: 4/24/2012 - [Harry P., Ginny W., Astoria G.]
Young eleven-year-old Harry stood in between platforms 9 and 10 at Kings Cross Station wondering where platform 9 and 3 quarters could be located. His school trunk, holding his new belongings was on a trolley in front of him as his emerald green eyes scanned the platform.
He sighed wondering why the magical people had to make things so difficult for him. Though, having met a fair few of these 'wizards' he has to wonder whether it was just an oversight on their part as they all do seem to be very, very... simple.
Shaking his head clear, his unruly black hair breezed as he looked around, ignoring most of the people trying to spot something that just seemed wrong or out of place that might be the entrance when he spotted a large group of suspicious red heads standing between the two platforms in front of one of the barriers.
Harry almost jumped as the oldest looking boy ran with his trolley at the barrier and disappeared. Harry was quite surprised by this, as even if it is just an illusion the human mind must have made him feel like he was going to hit the wall anyway... well that's the sort of thing he's seen on TV anyway.
However, shrugging those thoughts away he quickly rushed over just as two twin boys rushed through the barrier and phased straight through it and out of sight.
He waited and watched again as a plump red haired witch sent her last and obviously youngest son through the barrier before turning to her youngest and only daughter who just happened to be standing next to Harry staring at him curiously, and seemed about to speak when she was interrupted
"Oh, dears, you best go together, you only have three minutes before the train leaves!" she cried out a little panicked. Harry frowned only briefly as it seemed obvious by her demeanour that she has been late a lot in the past. It seems she needs to practice time management.
Harry and the girl looked to each other and shrugged before walking through the barrier with their trolley's and out of sight. Harry felt quite scared admittedly, as he had just gone and walked at what looked like a solid wall without a second thought. He wondered mildly whether it was because he had been around magic for the past month that he didn't find that walking through a solid was odd.
After all, during this last month he has witnessed some freaky stuff that would turn anyone's head. Though, admittedly the freakiest thing about these people is their disrespect and rudeness when he asked perfectly reasonable questions.
Harry held back his gasp as he saw the magnificent sight of the scarlet Hogwarts Express. It was awesome all right, and though he may have preferred to see a gleaming modern age train he felt satisfied that the trail (although steam) looked brand new so it was obviously well maintained and cared for.
He really did not want to stand out too much if he could help it as he did not wish to get picked on for anything that is not his fault, (and that he doesn't class as a fault) as he had already heard a little about how these strange people for the most part thought.
Continuing towards the train and heaving his trunk onboard, and dragging it behind him he found an empty compartment. He had never seen so many kids stuffed onto one train before and had to squeeze his way passed people to find a place for himself, which was easier said than done, but he soon found himself a place and entered letting the door slid closed behind him.
He stowed his trunk away under his seat as he dropped down with a sigh onto the seat by the window. He looked out seeing that red haired family saying their final farewells. It squeezed at his heart wishing he had his parents to wish him well on his first ever trip to school, to kiss him farewell, and hug him tight wishing him luck. He figured life just sucked sometimes no matter how much he wished it didn't and he could attest to how unfair life is through his experiences throughout his short young life.
Sure, he wasn't beaten by his old 'guardians' or anything, but they didn't care about him either, and no matter what, he has never felt any sort of attachment to them. He felt that here, amongst these weird people that he might find some connections.
He chuckled sadly as he thought about all of the dos and do nots his parents might have reprimanded him with before letting him jump onto the train after kissing and hugging him, but those were not thoughts he wanted to dwell upon or else he'll just sadden him self on this happy first day of school even though he is quite fearful of what to expect.
He had heard quite a lot of stories, or maybe rumours that made him want to reconsider his even attending the school, but it was better in his opinion than not learning magic. He could put up with racism, and even fight back if he had too, and quite frankly the thought of learning magic brightened his heart with every second he waited to finally be apart of this new school.
He has come to the conclusion that he'll do his best, and become strong and powerful, and that he wont just stand by and let anyone belittle him, and maybe he'll make friends. He'll meet people who he can inspire to fight back for their rights and freedoms.
Shaking his head clear of depressing thoughts he realised the train was moving and he could not see the platform any more as the countryside slowly whizzed by. It was a nice day out and he was quite fascinated and content to just watch the world whizz by out through the window.
This was his first time on a train, and travelling alone and it simply enthralled him the feeling of freedom it allowed his head that he no longer had to put up with those who dared call themselves family continuing to ignore his existence, even if no one else acknowledged it.
"Hey, mind if I sit here?"
Harry jumped in startled surprise and turned to see that girl from the barrier standing in the open doorway with her trunk. She was unique in his opinion compared with her family. Her hair was not red or ginger like the others but a beautiful bright orange, it was sure unusual in contrasted to her chocolate brown eyes. Her skin a milky sort of white with some light freckles running along her nose and under her eyes.
He smiled at her nervously wondering how old she might be, slightly confused since she seemed younger than him, and he has not long turned eleven.
"O-okay, there's plenty of room," he agreed gesturing the bench opposite.
She gave him a small smile as she dragged in her trunk and shoved it under her bench before sitting opposite him.
"Thanks, I'm Ginny Weasley by the way."
"Oh, uh, I'm Harry Evans, nice to meet you."
"You too… so are you new or something? I've never seen you around school before."
Harry blushed lightly as Ginny stared at him as if trying to remember if she might have seen him before but coming up with a blank. He ran his right hand nervously through his messy black hair at her scrutiny.
"N-no, I'm new, this is my first year. It was a bit of a shock finding out I'm a wizard."
Ginny looked at him with a raised eyebrow, and to Harry's mild amusement she was looking down at him as if she was superior. It was kind of cute, and not threatening at all like when all of those adults did it.
"Oh, well you must be eleven then," she said knowingly with a superiority that just didn't suit her or fit at all. "I'm ten, but I've been going to Hogwarts since last year. Muggle-born's like you start two years after pure-bloods"
Harry raised an eyebrow at her before he laughed, and she just stared at him in disorder. Her 'superior 'tone was just too funny. He had learned during his short life how to read peoples expressions better than most as it kept him from getting into trouble when he was younger.
"Sorry," he said still sounding amused. "Its just you sound like you were trying to be mean about my heritage without actually believing in it yourself," he chuckled while she blushed light pink.
"O-of course I do," she answered defiantly. Though even she could hear the lie in her voice.
He smiled at her with a cheeky smirk. "What does it matter, huh?"
"Of course it matters," she replied with a half-glare, trying to convince herself more than the boy. "If everyone thinks I sympathise with muggle-born's then I'll be treated just as bad."
Harry just gave her a pitying look while shaking his head sadly.
"Well that's just sad," he said. "Well if you don't want to be associated with a 'mud-blood'!" She flinched at the word he used, which to his count he had already been called seventeen times since he joined this strange new world, not that such a stupid name bothered him. He could think of much worse things to call people and his uncle had used them all on him at least a thousand times. "Then maybe I'll just go and find some of my own kind to sit with," he continued, bluffing, as he stood up and went to pull out his trunk.
Ginny looked horrified, her whole demeanour changing instantly, reached out on instinct, and grabbed his hand. He looked round at her and looked at where her small hand held his tightly as if frightened of letting go.
"Please don't go," she pleaded with him. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't mean it. I-I don't have any friends at school; well not really, I don't have much in common with anyone in my year. Its just my family's very poor, and well that leaves my standing in the school very low as it is, and hanging out with a muggle-born will drop that even further," she said sadly as she let his hand go and dropped back into her seat.
Harry sighed as he retook his seat and smiled sadly. He understood all too well what it was like to not have any friends, and also knew what its like to be lower than scum, as his 'relatives' taught him well. He was actually surprised he turned out so well rounded and not a bitter hateful jerk.
"So what are the teachers like with all this social crap?" he asked curiously.
She looked up at him hopeful, seeing his reassuring smile she smiled too.
"Most of them are fine, but the potion teacher is a complete jerk to everyone but his house anyway," she said eagerly. "His names Professor Snape, and his house is Slytherin house, and they're all dark and horrid," she added with a shiver. "They creep me out, but the other four houses are OK, except maybe Nero House. It mostly has muggle-born's It's for the cunning and adventurous. It's just as disliked as Slytherin House mostly just because of the muggle-born thing. I heard that Rosette Nero, one of the five founders of Hogwarts was a muggle-born, but nobody knows whether that's true or not."
Harry chuckled lightly while smiling. Ginny was probably the nicest person he has met so far in the wizarding world, and he thought the goblins were going to be the nicest and they were just plain rude at times, even though in the end they were very, very polite and respectful. He laughed internally at that thought. It wasn't that every wizard he met were asses it was just they treated him as a lesser life form than even those weird little monsters that ran Gringotts wizarding bank.
"Well at least it doesn't sound too bad, so what house are you in?"
She just shook her head.
"We don't get sorted until we're ten, or in your case eleven," she answered. "Last year was just an orientation year where we're only taught a few easy spells, and the rest is all theory, maths, English, and other classes like that, so we won't get left behind by muggle-born's who went to muggle schools to learn those sorts of things. My whole family has been in Gryffindor House for centuries so I'll probably be in that house too."
Harry nodded in understanding. It sounded reasonable to him if a little unfair on muggle-born's such as he since they still get to start a whole year ahead of them. But on a happier thought he figured that meant he and Ginny shall be in the same year.
"Well, how are houses picked anyway? And what says you go into them?" he asked with a curious frown since no one yet has told him much about the schoolhouse system.
"Well, there are five houses as you know," she began; he nodded and she continued. "First is Gryffindor, they're represented by a lion, and brave and courageous students go into that house. Then we have Slytherin, represented by a snake where the dark and ambitious students go, and after that is Ravenclaw, the raven, where smart people go, and Hufflepuff the badger where the hard working and loyal go. And last we have Nero represented by a fox where the cunning and adventurous end up, or as a lot of pure-bloods think, mainly muggle-born's, but occasionally a blood traitor goes there too."
Harry nodded as he let the information sink in. It sounded to him like he would be best suited for Nero, Gryffindor, or Hufflepuff house.
"So all five houses take muggle-born's right?" he asked interestedly.
Ginny then shook her head frantically.
"No, not all of them," she answered knowingly. "Slytherin House has never been known to take muggle-born's I just don't think they're ever dark enough, but they sometimes take half-bloods"
"OK, but how do they find out where to put us? Who chooses what house will suit us best?"
Ginny smiled smugly.
"It's a cleaver, singing wizards hat that once belonged to Godric Gryffindor. We put the hat on and it finds out what house we would do best in and then shouts it out for the hall to hear."
Harry nodded eagerly It sounded interesting and he could barely wait to see this hat and find out what house he'll be in when he thought of something, looking up at Ginny.
"What house do you want to be in?" he asked her interestedly.
Ginny was startled for a minute – nobody had asked her what house she wanted to be in before, and she had not really thought about it since she like everybody else had just assumed she would be in Gryffindor house like the rest of her family. Though, she sometimes wondered whether her twin prankster brothers were closet-Nero's with their cunning minds. However, now she was asked she gave it a little thought. It would be nice to be in a different house from her brothers.
"Uh, I'm not too sure," she answered truthfully after a few moments of thought. "I had always just assumed I would be in Gryffindor House like my parents were, and brothers, but I guess there still is a chance I might be different. It would be nice to be in a different house, maybe Ravenclaw since people mock Hufflepuffs for being week and pushovers. The only house I would hate to be in one hundred percent is Slytherin. Though going into Nero would be bad, and my family would not like it, if I became a Slytherin my parents would probably disown me, mostly bad people are made in that house like Death Eaters and You-Know-Who."
"You-Know-Who?" he repeated in confusion with a deep frown. "Death Eaters, what are they, and I'm afraid I don't know who."
Ginny gasped and stared at him in utter disbelief, unable to comprehend nobody telling him yet, so took a deep breath and let it out slowly. She now had a somewhat depressing mission set out before her, a mission she would rather not have, but she couldn't just leave his curiosity hanging like this.
"O-okay," she began nervously. "I'm only going to explain this once OK?" Harry nodded with rapt attention so she took another deep breath before continuing. "A while back we were at war with the Death Eaters. They were a group of purists. Witches and wizards who didn't think muggle-born's had the right to learn magic, even though most pure-bloods look down on muggle-born's they didn't agree. The Death Eaters bowed to their master and commander, You-Know-Who, the Dark Lord…"
"What's his name?" interrupted Harry interestedly, and wondering why she wouldn't just say it. It seemed odd as if she actually feared some terrorists name or something, a concept he found totally ridiculous.
However, Ginny just shook her head frantically looking afraid.
"W-we don't speak his name," she retorted with frightened eyes. "He was as bad as they came, and very powerful, and the darkest of all the Death Eaters, only Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of Hogwarts could ever stand up to him…"
"Please," he interrupted again looking at her pleadingly. "Tell me his name… spell it out if you don't want to say it. I don't want to fear a name I've never even heard before."
Ginny looked at him sternly for a moment before taking a long deep breath and biting her lower lip nervously. She could barely believe she was even considering it. If her mother ever heard her say his name out loud, she would be in a lot of trouble, for why she had no idea, for being too brave perhaps.
"V-Voldemort!" she hissed out in disgust, shuddering and looking amazed she had actually had the courage to say it out loud. She shook her head clear before continuing with the story before Harry interrupted again. Though, it seemed weird seeing someone not flinch at hearing the name, or show any reaction of fear. "Well anyway, he and his Death Eaters were trying to take over the wizarding world, murdering anyone who got in their way, and also attacking and murdering muggles for sport.
"Then just under ten years ago on a Halloween night, You-Know-Who attacked a baby boy, Neville Longbottom after he killed the babies parents," she paused here for a moment to regain her breath, as Harry leaned forward to make sure he didn't miss anything. "But something happened when he tried to kill Neville... his killing curse failed and destroyed him instead. Neville was just left with a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, and lives with his grandmother now.
"He's here at Hogwarts It's his second year now," she shook her head rolling her eyes. "I used to dream about how brilliant he'll be… the selfless hero and all that like probably every pure-blooded little girl, but it turns out he's a bit of a jerk. I think all of the fame and praise he receives has gone straight to his head."
Harry chuckled lightly as he shook away the horrid images of a war from his young mind. He just hopes he doesn't ever have to worry about a war like that, but something deep down within his being tells him that the story may not be over yet, as the future remains unwritten.
"So if Voldemort's," he stopped as she flinched before continuing as if nothing happened. Though, she looked awed. "Gone, what happened to all of his Death Eaters?" he asked curiously, as he had a suspicion that not all is over.
"A lot of them were rounded up by law enforcement," she answered him. "But some of them either bribed their way out of jail, or they were 'noble and ancient' families so managed to blag their way out of trouble."
"Typical," he said with a shake of his head, disgusted. "No offence but the magical world seems a little messed up."
She shook her head and laughed a little.
"That's an understatement," she agreed amusedly smirking. "But not many really see it, or if they do they don't care, or don't mention it or try to fix it. I don't think anyone has the guts."
Harry chuckled when they were startled as the compartment door slid open to reveal a smiling plump woman with a large trolley full of snack foods and plenty of sweets. It was like a treasure trove of all of the stuff Harry had previously been denied in his life, and it brought awe to his emerald green eyes.
"Would you like to buy something, dears?" she asked them with a sweet smile.
Ginny blushed brightly but shook her head mumbling something about her mum having made her some sandwiches.
Harry however stood up with a huge grin, pulling out a small pile of gold coins from his pocket.
"I'll have some of everything," he declared joyously.
Five minutes later the snack lady had left and Harry had a small mountain of snacks on the bench beside him. Sweets and snack foods of the varieties Harry knew most of which he could never find within a muggle shop so thought to try everything. Though, he knew some of it was bound to be stupid, like these beans that have every flavour, even snot.
"Help your self, Ginny," he said gesturing the sweets as he picked up one of the many pies and began to eat it with a smile. It was quite tasty, mince and apple with a sugary top settling his sweet tooth, which all kids his age seem to have. Though, he does love the savoury snacks too.
Ginny looked from him to the sweets in thought, thinking back to the rushed sandwiches her mother made her this morning. She wanted to accept his offer of sweets and snacks but her stupid family pride kept her at bay. It was not often she was in the presents of someone who obviously had a bit of money because of her poor standing, and it made her a little uncomfortable, much like how she thought muggle-born's feel a lot of the time.
She finally just shook her head.
"I can't… mum made me some sandwiches so I'll be OK"
Harry laughed and rolled his eyes with a shake of his head. He could tell easily she wanted some but she obviously had some serious issues with accepting things from people, maybe because her family is not very well off money wise so it seems awkward to her or something. He was not too sure since he is not exactly the most socially adept person, quite the opposite in fact.
"Don't be stupid," he finally retorted. "You're like my only friend, and first friend I've ever had and I want to share, plus do you honestly think I can eat all of this alone? We are friends now, right, even though I am just a lowly muggle-born?" he asked the last with a cheeky grin as he dropped a sugary pie onto her lap.
Ginny groaned with a small blush as she picked up the pie, she looked at him as he watched her in anticipation. She gave him a small smile and bit into the pie.
"Yes, we're friends," she said as she swallowed. "I guess since we're each others only friend, that makes us best friends, huh?" she asked hopefully.
"Right," he agreed with a bright smile so she smiled just as brightly.
They started moments later as the door was forced open and Harry caught the grimace on Ginny's face as they looked to see a pretty young girl with light, near golden brown hair hanging down between her shoulders and icy blue eyes wearing a school uniform and smirking.
Next to the girl stood an ugly gorilla of a girl with short black hair that gave Harry the creeps. He couldn't even mentally describe her without scrubbing his eyes and brain clean.
"Well if it isn't Weasley," the brown haired girl suddenly spoke, her voice soft, and looking smug and condescending as her cool eyes scanned over Harry a moment later before sneering. "And I didn't think you could sink any lower," she continued arrogantly. "I guess I was wrong as here you are, consorting with a filthy little mud-blood!"
"Get lost Greengrass!" Ginny hissed out angrily as she stood up glaring. "He's better company than you keep in Parkinson!" she said gesturing the huge girl.
The Parkinson girl took a menacing step forward but paused as Harry stood glaring too. "Why don't you two get lost," he asked rhetorically. "It should be easy for her," he said pointing to the brutish girl. "She looks like she would get lost in her own house!"
Greengrass snorted as her cool blue eyes turned to Harry. "Shut it mud-blood, your kind don't talk back to mine you scum!" she hissed out as her cool eyes turned angry.
"I thought you seemed a little less human than Ginny and me, but now you're admitting it," he replied with a smug smirk as she shot daggers at his rely and Ginny snorted out a small giggle.
"Shut it Weasley...!" the girl hissed out again, sneering before turning to the bruit and leading her out leaving Ginny with her 'mud-blood'.
However, as Greengrass stalked away with her 'minion' as he likes to refer to Parkinson in her own mind, she couldn't help but feel jealous that a boy, mud-blood or not was standing up for her arch-enemy, and a cute boy too. There aren't many cute boys in Slytherin House.
She internally shrugged, she'll get Weasley back, and her mud-blood too. She narrowed her eyes in anger thinking about him and made a mental note to tell Malfoy about the filthy mud-blood that stood up to her.
Back in the train compartment with Harry and Ginny they reclaimed their seats. Harry raised an eyebrow at his new friend looking confused.
"So, who are they and what's their deal?" he asked her looking confused.
Ginny just rolled her eyes shaking her head. "That's Astoria Greengrass and Selma Parkinson her lackey. They can be annoying and rude, and Parkinson has attempted to hit people at school, but Greengrass keeps her on a short lead. I only think Greengrass hangs with her for conveniences sake!"
"So... anyone else I should worry about bothering us?" he asked in curiosity.
"Just Draco Malfoy from Slytherin house and his thugs," she replied shrugging. "Though, Longbottom can be quite the bully too, I doubt he'll be too much of a bother to us. He's friends with my brother Ron so that should keep him from bothering us!"
Harry smiled at that and nodded his agreement. "Yeah, I guess you're right," he agreed smilingly.
They spent the rest of the trip talking, eating sweets and playing a few games of exploding snap Ginny had brought to school with her. Harry learnt as much as he could from her, including a few spells that in his and Ginny's opinion were useless for much, unless you're being stupid.
Seriously, what use are coloured sparks, and a tickling charm is only amusing used against someone for a few minutes before it gets old and painful to your sides because you're laughing so hard. However, those spells were easy and of no real practical use so they could barely wait to learn proper spells when they finally start classes.
He liked her and was glad he managed to find such a smart and knowledgeable friend, even though technically she found him since he was in the compartment first. Harry was thankful that other than the snack lady and Greengrass nobody bothered the pair as they enjoyed their time together, and Harry was practically praying to him self that Ginny and he will be in the same Hogwarts house, but if not that they will still be friends.
He was at last actually completely happy joining this strange new world, one where he now had a friend – a friend who enjoyed his company as much as he enjoyed hers.
Unbeknownst to these two new best friends but this chance meeting would have greater consequences than just creating the friendship of two lonely children.
The world may never be the same again.
Harry and Ginny walked together with the rest of the first years into the Great Hall of Hogwarts Harry found himself wondering what that Greengrass girls problem is as she had once again chosen to be a fool.
Harry was awed by the sight of the Great Hall, and the awesome ceiling made him stare a little too much as his eyes took in everything. Ginny watched him with an amused smile as he made a funny expression. Professor McGonagall the Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts led them to the front of the hall.
He had been awed a lot in the past hour, when the giant man, Hagrid had taken them to some little boats that took fist years across the lake to the castle, which was a magnificent sight from the water with the quarter moon overhead shining light upon them all.
However, now looking up at the enchanted ceiling that looked like the nights sky with twinkling stars high above them he had to wonder. Candles floating above them lighting the huge hall. The hall itself had five huge tables stretching the length with hundreds of students sitting at them, with large banners with house coat of arms hanging above them.
It all found a way to overwhelm the senses, and awe the heart. All of it put a lot of his troubles completely free from the forefront of his young mind, and he was thankful for that, plus it was just simply amazing and interested him greatly.
He found himself wondering what house will be his, and what wonderful things he'll assuredly learn while in that house. He'll learn his normal stuff, and magic's that he'll find in books, and how to play magical games. He just can't wait.
Slytherins coat was green and silver with a huge silver snake. The students at that table seemed to be glaring at the new first years, and did seem horrid and dark, and foreboding, but Harry wasn't too convinced that they acted like that all the time, after all, in the world everyone are all just actors, playing the part expected of them. It seems to make life easier for them.
Take his aunt for example. She'll be a great neighbour to your face, but behind closed doors she'll spend hours ranting and raving about all of your 'faults'.
However, even though he can see their stage, Harry knew he defiantly did not want anything to do with that house if he can help it. He also noted that some of the older boys and even a few girls had rotting yellow teeth that just made them seem 'evil' and so very not approachable.
In addition, those that looked clean and expensive looked like the typical snob wearing the most expensive of materials and looking down on everyone who isn't like them. Some of them reminded him of Greengrass, and he even noticed one boy with slick back blonde hair with two huge and repulsive lackey's.
Gryffindors coat was crimson red and gold with a magnificent lion roaring proudly on it. That house was a lot friendlier looking at first sight, and they smiled at the first years. Harry noticed a few ginger and red haired boys who matched the descriptions Ginny gave of her brothers, and he vaguely remembers seeing them on the platform. He would much rather go here than Slytherin.
However, he took note that again for a lot of the table it appeared to be an act to keep some form of dominance, and they occasionally shot a hard look at the Slytherins, condemning them as filthy evil Slytherins with just their eyes.
Ravenclaws coat was blue and bronze with a black raven spreading its wings. These students seemed a little arrogant but at least they smiled a lot too. Harry guessed it would not be too bad going into that house, but doubted he is smart enough. Anyway, in all honestly he would rather not go into a house where he would have to keep up a snooty image of intellect.
Sure, Harry acts a lot, but he would rather a place where he can sit back, relax, and be himself. He likes to consider himself, a kind person that does have the guts to stand up for himself and others, so maybe the next house?
Hufflepuffs coat was yellow and black with a black and white badger that seemed in his opinion to be yawning, but he supposed it could be growling. The students here all had wide grins for the most part, and looked to be very kind and friendly; even if they aren't respected, Harry knew he could be happy there, and even sit back and be himself, after all he can always gain respect through his actions.
However, it was the last house that seemed the oddest, at the middle table. Nero's coat of arms was white and platinum with a red fox with the tip of its tails and ears black with calculating platinum eyes. The students here smiled but they also had highly alert eyes as if they were on constant watch for each other and raring to defend them selves from anything anyone could throw at them. Harry liked that as he knew most if not all of them are muggle-born's, and the other houses consider them lowly.
He wondered whether the house traits really existed or not because it seemed strange to him that it would be mostly only muggle-born's with any cunning or adventurous tendencies. He also couldn't bring himself to believe that no one in any other house part from Gryffindor is brave, so maybe this hat takes into consideration other factors when choosing where to place someone.
When they finally came to a stop, Harry got a good look at the teachers table, which faced the other five. The teachers all sat watching the first years. At the centre of the table sat the oldest man Harry had ever seen, Albus Dumbledore, the Headmaster of the school was smiling cheerfully with a twinkle in his brilliant blue eyes. He wore the stupidest robes he had seen on a wizard: bright purple silk with gold and silver stars and moons with a pointy wizard hat to match.
Harry wondered whether he could be gay or something because only a gay man could get away with wearing something like that, but also realised being gay in such a screwed up society is probably worse than muggle-born so figured not... at least not openly, he internally shrugged.
Harry also noticed a greasy haired teacher glaring at all of the first years in hate, and Harry realised he must be the head of Slytherin House, Professor Snape and probably hated all of the students though was a bit more lenient with the Slytherins
Harry accidentally caught his eye before quickly looking away to another teacher since his glare intensified in hate as he saw Harry looking his way. Harry shuddered, that teacher was certainly evil in his honest opinion.
He looked further along the table where he saw a man who could be in his thirties but looked haggard and had greying brown hair, and ragged robes that made him look older than he probably is, and wondered whether he might be sick or something. He continued looking down the table when he had to hold back from laughing as some man was wearing a bright red turban.
Shaking his head clear he turned back to the front of the hall where Professor McGonagall stood waiting by a three legged stood with a raggedy old hat sitting on it. The hall had gone very quiet as every eye now lay on the hat as the brim opened like a mouth and it began to sing.
Harry listened as the hat sung a short poem about the five houses and the founders of the school and what qualities they favoured in their students.
"Ah, brave Gryffindor it is true, where his heart lies with great courage and strength of soul...
"Next is Ravenclaw, her heart wanted by one, but taken by another, the other love could not be, so she did what the smart can see, to love another...
"Then we have Hufflepuff, a better friend there was not, she was loyal and righteous and stood for truth...
"Then our Slytherin, strong and bold. He held high honour for ambitious path...
"And last we have our Nero... Rosette was true to her people, but it drove a wedge between her friends, with her cunning she sought to bridge and hide the world, heartbroken as she was, but it ought to protect them...!"
Harry was surprised by the words the hat spoke and wounded what the Nero bit meant as he applauded the 'song' with the rest of the school. They didn't seem to find the somewhat history lesson about the founders odd so he just shrugged it off.
Anyway, it didn't tell him anything Ginny had not about the houses except the whole love thing with Ravenclaw and a couple of guys or the Nero thing really. He'll have to ask Ginny or get a book sometimes. Though, with a book and Ginny's knowledge he'll have to 'read' between the lines. The founders just sound so very interesting. Its like the whole King Arthur legends. Thinking of that, he'll have to read up on the real legends of King Arthur and Merlin. Its just the sort of thing that he enjoys.
When the hall had settled again and gone quiet, McGonagall stepped up to the side of the stool with a scroll of parchment in her hand, and looking down at it tight lipped.
"First years," she began to gain their full attention. "When I call out your names you shall come forward, take a seat and place the hat upon your head to be sorted. Once your house has been chosen, take of the hat and take a seat at the chosen table." She then paused and looked at all of the nervous first years sternly to make sure they had all been paying attention.
She then began, and Harry and Ginny were getting more nervous as the time passed. Some people had their house chosen in seconds, and others took a few moments… a few had barely even had the hat touch their heads before it called out.
Astoria Greengrass smugly went over to the Slytherin table as her name had been called. She had not been sorted as fast as Harry would have expected, and for a moment he saw worry on what he could see of her face under the hat. He smiled a little at the thought that the hat might have suggested Gryffindor or Hufflepuff to the snobby rich pureblood girl.
"Evans, Harry!" McGonagall called suddenly making him jump out of his thoughts. She then looked up from her list staring at the nervous boy for the briefest of moments with slightly odd look in her eyes before averting her gaze before anybody noticed.
Harry gulped and took a deep breath when Ginny quickly squeezed his hand giving him a small smile and nudging him on.
"Good luck," she whispered to him as she let his hand go and let him walk forward.
It was unnerving to have all eyes on him as he picked up the hat and sat on the stool, why couldn't they all just examine their tables or something? Taking one final deep breath, he placed the hat on his head where it slipped down covering his eyes, thankfully blocking out the view of his large audience thankful he had not had to do this first.
He felt a little sorry for those that went early on as it was a nerve racking experience having a whole hall full of kids just staring at him. He could see just before the hat blocked them out that many of the students seemed to be trying to remember him, or at least his family, but pushed the thought of racism quickly from his mind as he heard the hat suddenly talk to him.
'Be in your noggin, Evans,' a small voice whispered in his minds ear causing him to startle and almost fall off the stool even though he expected it might speak to him. It is a talking hat after all, and sometimes took several seconds to sort students. 'Yes, where to put you, a great mind yes, hard working and loyal to… and what's this, a mass of cunning, is more than I've seen in a long while. Yes and brave, very much so, and a thirst for adventure. Such an independent young man you are Mr. Evans, but where to put you?'
'Please,' Harry whispered back into his mind. 'I want to be in the same house as my new friend, Ginny.'
'Another Weasley, eh,' the hat chuckled. 'Well I'm afraid she hasn't been sorted yet, but from your mind that may happen, but as of yet I'm unsure. So I'll sort you where a very powerful young mage like you could become a great sorcerer someday." It paused for a moment and Harry held his breath shakily. "NERO!" the hat roared out aloud to the hall.
Harry sighed, letting out a long low breath as he removed the hat as that table applauded and cheered. Harry placed the hat back on the stool and walked over to an empty seat at said table and sat down, shaking a few other nervous first years hands before turning to the remanding first years. Ginny was staring at him sadly but he gave her a reassuring smile, and she returned it.
Harry was saddened himself that he most likely wont have Ginny in his house, but he could pray. The hat did say it was possible, but he wasn't going to hold out too much hope. The hat could have been lying to spare his feelings for all he knew, but that thought just made him feel worse, but wouldn't let Ginny see him upset at the events likely to unfold; all he could do is hold his breath and hope.
Ginny had a while to wait before her name would be called, being a Weasley, and W being near the end of the alphabet. She was disappointed that Harry was in Nero House because she was most likely going to become a Gryffindor and not get to hang out with him much, especially since her brothers will most likely stand in her way.
She sighed sadly wondering why everyone gave so much of a damn about blood status when everyone to her are just witches and wizards. She wasn't stupid, it just seemed obvious but even still she had been raised to think like that too, but from what her own eyes had seen there was nothing special that pure-bloods can do that muggle-born's can't.
"Weasley, Ginevra!" McGonagall finally called out her name and she moved forward nervously and a little annoyed about her full name getting out. She noticed not many first years left and everyone watching her. It was beyond off-putting now she knew what it is like. She had not thought about it when she watched this last year.
She took the hat with a deep breath as she sat on the stool and placed it on her head, expecting it to just shout out Gryffindor as it did her brother Ron last year, but instead it talked.
'So you are Ginevra "Ginny" Weasley, eh?' it whispered in her ear chuckling at the moan at her full name. 'The only female Weasley I have sorted in many generations. Your friend thinks highly of you, and I must say he is right to. But where shall I place you. Yes you have plenty of courage, and cunning, and very loyal and smart, and I sense you have an adventurous spirit… hmm, lets have some fun, yes you would do well in Gryffindor… but you could be great in Nero.'
The hat paused as Ginny's heart temporarily stopped as her eyes widened, she was not sure whether to be happy about being with Harry, or mortified about what her family will think and say about the house she is in. She settled for happy, as she'll be with her friend and the house, which has the less bigotry in it.
"NERO!" the hat suddenly yelled as her heart restarted and she let out a frustrated breath of relief.
She pulled the hat off her head with a small nervous smile as she noticed the hall was exceptionally quiet, everyone was staring at her in shock. She placed the hat back onto the stool as she looked at her brothers at the Gryffindor table to see them looking horrified, well, Ron and Percy looked horrified, the twins looked just shocked.
No Weasley has ever been sorted into any other house, and never would one have thought to go into Nero. It appeared to have overloaded their minds into meltdown and they were probably slowly rebooting.
Suddenly as she walked over to her table someone started clapping loudly, and she saw Harry with a huge grin on his face, one that was contagious as she grinned slyly back. The rest of the table seemed to get the hint and joined in looking sheepish as she sat down next to Harry.
She was surprised that the rest of the house appeared to now just accept the facts and take it in their stride without any resentment towards the pureblood that is related to a certain asshole named Ron Weasley whom none of them likes and he's only been at the school for two years.
The rest of the sorting continued as normal, and after Professor Dumbledore made announcements the tables filled up with food for the students and they began to dig in. The tables filled with foods of all varieties, some of which Harry had never even seen before.
It was then that Harry noticed something off with the five tables, mainly theirs.
"Why is our food different from the other four tables?" he suddenly asked loud enough for the older students to hear. "Our food doesn't look as good as theirs. Its almost like its... just one standard above microwave ready meals."
One of the older students, a boy with black hair sitting nearby snorted bitterly.
"Why do you think kid?" he asked in mock wonder. "We're a house full of mud-bloods and blood traitors, so we get below their standards."
"Well that's pathetic," he replied in annoyance. His eyes narrowed as he mentally decided that he'll find away to fix this problem.
"Yeah we know," said another older student, a blonde haired girl. "But what can we do about it? It's just the way they are, maybe if we had a few decent quidditch players and won a few games we might actually get a little respect around here, but most of our players suck on a broom."
"Yeah or even win the house cup for once," said a brown haired boy with a sigh.
"I can fly," interrupted Ginny. "Are there any team positions? I saw you play last year and you sucked – no offence."
"None taken," the girl replied. "We do suck, but first years don't normally get onto the team, but we do have a chaser, and seeker position."
"Um, what is quidditch?" asked Harry because he like the other first years were looking beyond confused and none of them seemed likely to ask anytime soon.
Therefore, the blonde girl who it turned out is the teams new captain and fifth year chaser began the explanation while they ate and listened with rapt attention while some other students added in bits she missed out. To Harry it sounded like an unusual but intriguing sport, and would not mind learning to play himself if only because flying on a broom sounded awesome, and beating the other teams at the sport would show them.
"Well I could ask our head of house Professor Lupin," began Emily the team captain gesturing to the old looking young professor Harry saw earlier. "If he'll let first years try-out, and if they get on then allow them to have a broom at school."
"That would be awesome, but when are try-outs?" asked Ginny excitedly.
"Don't get your hopes up yet, we might not be allowed," she said with a shrug. "But Gryffindor have their precious Boy-Who-Lived seeking for them, and he got on the team first year, so we can use that to our advantage."
The feast was a fun affair for the new Nero's and old alike; everyone was so friendly and helpful. They looked out for each other, as a proper family should, having no family himself Harry was lavishing in the atmosphere. They had even accepted Ginny even though her brothers have always been jerks to their house; she was now one of them.
They didn't even seem to care too much about the lower class feast they received compared to the rest of the school. It was just normal to them, and they put up with it because they are stronger than that, and refuse to let the racism get their spirits down.
Harry learnt a few more things such as why he had not noticed the nine year olds was because they came with the older students and are scattered around the school sitting at which table they like.
Also, he learnt a few things about their head of house Professor Remus Lupin. He teaches an elective subject for third years and above: Elemental Control, which sounded interesting to Harry. Apparently, the professor has no infinity to any element so can perform them all substandard, therefore can teach everybody their element. Harry was interested to know what his element might be but had to wait for his third year to find out.
Soon the feast was over and Dumbledore stood giving all sorts of announcements about banned magical items, the forest on the grounds being off limits, no magic to be used in the corridors, and not to go to the third floor corridor to the right if you don't want to die a most horrid death. Harry thought it was some sick joke at first, like many others but the serious expression on his face made Harry and those others realise he was being 'deadly' serious.
After Dumbledore finished with the announcements the Nero prefects called out for the first years to follow them and led the way through the castle. It took about fifteen minutes to reach the ninth floor since they were made to walk further than normal because of its greater distance than any other tower.
They stood before an alcove with a beautiful marble statue of a young woman with some kind of animal sitting at her feet that looked suspiciously fox-like
"Abracadabra!" one of the prefects said gaining a fair amount of laughter from the students. Then to their surprise, the statue sunk into the wall to the right revealing a beautiful white carpeted stairs leading down, with still paintings of different kinds of foxes leading the way down on the white painted walls.
Harry was at the back of the line of first years with Ginny while the prefects led them down the stairs. Harry was in awe of the staircase and was surprised that something finally amazed Ginny since he knew she had never seen this tower before.
Ginny had just stepped forward off the bottom step into what must be the common room when Harry stopped staring at the last painting on the wall, his eyes wide. It was a fluffy snowy-white fox with a mountain background and snow all around. It seemed to stare right at him with its piercing green eyes. It then winked its right eye at him and seemed to smirk as Harry jumped and all most fell down the last few steps.
He shook his head clear and looked back at the painting but it just looked as still as the others and was looking the other way. He frowned for a moment wondering whether he imagined it, but then this is a magic school. He had seen all of the paintings on the way to the tower had moved and even spoken, but the prefect had told them the paintings in the tower are all stills so figured he just imagined it.
Shaking his head clear again, he stepped down into the common room and let his mouth drop when he saw it. It was a huge circular room with two levels. The upper level had a railing running around the edge since the large circular centre was open to look down. The railings were all platinum in colour as the walls were white with plenty of still paintings of foxes and the same woman who was guarding the entrance, and even one large painting of all five founders, all together looking happy and content with each other, all wearing their house colours and coats of arms. It must have been painted before they started fighting each other.
Each founder carried a weapon within their belts. Godric and Salazar each had swords, while Rowena had a bow over her shoulder, and Helga had two daggers visible one on each thigh, and last visible on her back Rosette had what looked like a very short white spear. The five founders looked magnificent and extremely powerful. Harry was in awe of them even in the average muggle painting.
Harry continued looking around to see two spiralling staircases, leading up to the upper level, and bookshelves stacked with many books running around the edge of the upper floor made of a beautiful light purple wood Harry had never seen before with tables and chairs of the same wood. Obviously, the upper floor was mainly designed for a study area so the people in the main common room don't disturb you when they've finished and are messing about or playing.
In the main common room, a few coffee tables lay scattered about with white and purple leather chairs and sofas scattered about all directed mainly towards the large roaring fire in the beautiful red brick fireplace with a large and fierce looking fox painting above it sleeping. Harry double took like many others as he got a good look at the huge red fox with black tips to his ears and tail. His body was moving as he breathed, so Harry figured this was the only magical portrait in the tower.
Harry also took note of the purple fluffy rugs scattered about on the soft white carpet as his like every other first years eyes continued to roam the room while the prefects just grinned and let them continue looking around for a few minutes. Harry also noted the several windows looking out from incredibly high up over the lake with white drapes tied open. It was a beautiful sight and they could even see the forest across this part of the lake.
His eyes continued to wander as he spied two huge double doors leading outside, also with drapes leading to a huge balcony that went around the outside of the tower and to another set of double doors the other side. Looking up he saw windows up the top to, as well two sets of double doors leading to another balcony so figured you could get up there from the stairs outside too.
Shaking his head in disbelief he continued looking around where two archways caught his attention with stairs leading up and down, both had platinum signs, one stating that it is the girls' dormitories, and the other boys' dormitories. The whole place was simply huge and amazing, he could scarcely comprehend the magnitude of it all in one go. It was all so beautiful and wondrous.
The most amazing thing though was Ginny's expression since she looked even more shocked and impressed compared to the other first years, and he felt a little better about his lack of magical experience through it.
Suddenly one of the prefects cleared his throat to gain their attention, which is when they all seemed to realise how quiet they were. He grinned cockily at them when he had their attention.
"OK now first year, before we begin. I know I said all of our paintings are still, but I meant all but one," he gestured the large sleeping fox over the fireplace. "His name is Nitrous… and wasn't named after something you use in a car to make it go faster before someone smarts off. He was named before that was even invented. He is like a guardian of sort, watching out for those in his house. He can be a bit grumpy at times but he's a big softy really, but he likes to sleep and sometimes leaves his portrait for a while, but he'll answer any questions he can when he's here and awake.
"OK then, about our house. We are the sorcerers wizarding society doesn't like, but while you are here in this house and even beyond that we are family, and will help each other out as much as we possibly can no matter the consequences, because that is what family does. If you need help with your homework, don't hesitate to ask an older student if they have free time to help if you think they can and they shall. We like to do well in this house to prove we are not weaklings just because of our beliefs or heritage.
"So first let me tell you, life will be easy if you stick together, and stick with the rest of the house. Of course making friends outside the house is encouraged, because acting like the rest of the school is a pointless waste of time and energy. However, I should warn you now, while two of the other houses for the most part will leave us alone because they are not stupid enough to think we're helpless against them and know we can and will fight back or retaliate just as fiercely as them."
He paused here to let his words sink in, and Harry gulped taking a long deep breath as he looked at Ginny to see her looking a little pale as she looked at him. However, he gave her a reassuring smile and she returned it though a little reluctantly.
"However," he finally continued. "Slytherin House seem to think they're better than everybody else no matter how many times their spells are deflected. But we have the advantage on them since they are always warring with those idiot Gryffindors who think everything in plain and simple good vs. evil, and that they're the good guys the Slytherins play a lot less attention to us because of this which we should be thankful for.
"However, that does not mean we can let our guard down around either of them, because Slytherins think we are scum, and Gryffindors are threatened by us possibly being the better good guys, well that's just us speculating since they accept muggle-born's and blood traitors with open arms same as us. Though, we only have about ten of the later, eleven now including our new first year…"
He gestured towards Ginny with a smirk while she blushed and looked down at the floor in embarrassment.
"Well enough about that for now, you will find out more as time goes on here at Hogwarts," he continued beaming around at all the first years. "Maybe this year we might be able to win the house cup, or even better the quidditch cup if we get those much needed and excellent new players this year.
"Well boys up and to the left, and girls down and to the right," he finished gesturing towards the dormitories. "Have a good night; first classes tomorrow so don't stay up too long, classes start at nine thirty so try to be up for a shower and to get dressed by eight in the morning, so you have enough time to get to the Great Hall and have a quick breakfast."
He finished as all the first years headed off to their dorms. Harry was heading up the stairs when he heard the rest of the house entering the common room behind them. He wondered vaguely whether they planned it like that.
The first floor dorm room had a platinum plaque on it saying first years so he entered followed by five other boys he had only vaguely talked with at dinner.
They all nervously looked around the bright white room with huge oak four-poster beds with white hangings and covers, and two huge windows with window seats overlooking the lake and forest. Trunks were at the edge of each bed that had obviously been brought up from the train for them while they were eating. Harry wondered who could have brought them up and how they knew what house they went into so quickly, but shrugged it off since he was too exhausted to care about that too much.
Harry found his trunk at the end of the bed by one of the large windows and sat on it, looking at the two bedside tables he had either side of the head of his bed in wonder. They both had draws and some kind of fire lamp on each in fox shaped patterns. Rosette Nero sure did have a great love for foxes, not that Harry was going to complain since foxes are cool.
He had never even considered the possibility that in all of his life he would ever have such a beautiful, huge and comfortable bed in his life; it all seemed too much. It almost made up for the stupidity of the rest of the wizarding world just to have such comfort, and from the expression Ginny wore in the common room earlier this whole tower probably out-shined Gryffindors completely.
He sighed contently as he looked around as the other boys either sat or stood around looking a little nervous so Harry introduced him self.
"Hi, I'm Harry Evans!" he just announced out of the blue making the others jump, but laugh at them selves for being startled like that.
"I'm Matthew Parks," said a small mousey boy with rusty brown hair and light grey eyes smiling brightly.
"Yo, the names Donovan Keeley," introduced a dark skinned boy with very dark brown hair and dark eyes, giving a wave of his hand as he dropped down onto his bed.
"I-I'm David Waylin," said a small timid looking boy with dim blue eyes and bright blonde hair.
"And I'm Edward Sanders," added a boy with black hair with his fringe coloured dark blue with brown eyes. "Just call me Eddy."
"I'm Samuel Collins," introduced the last boy as everyone else was staring at him for his name. He had dark red hair and pale blue eyes; he smiled nervously. "Just call me Sam, its nice to meet you all."
"Well what do you guys think of all this?" asked Donovan as he shook his head. "It's a bit overwhelming for me, that bloody common room is awesome. I expected something cool but that was almost too much."
"Yeah it was awesome," agreed Eddy grinning. "Though, Rosette Nero seems to have been obsessed with foxes, not that I'm complaining since they're totally awesome paintings and all."
"They're quite awesome," agreed Harry. "So were you all as freaked as me when you found out you are mage's?" he asked them eagerly.
"Too right I was," laughed Sam. "It took awhile for me to get used to the idea. Mum and dad were a little more accepting since it explained away all of those freaky things that kept happening around me."
They all then settled down into talk about them selves and their families. Well except Harry since he was unsure where he was going to stay during the summer when he had to leave Hogwarts, but the other boys did not seem to notice, so Harry was thankful for the pre-teen's short attention span.
Though they only talked for about an hour when they changed into pyjamas and climbed into their warm beds and as soon as their heads hit their soft pillows, they fell into the world of dreams.
However, in the reflection of the window by Harry's bed if he were to open his eyes and look. He would see a beautiful fluffy-white snow fox watching him with beautiful green eyes. It watched over the sleeping boy with curious eyes and a hint of mischief all night, until he began to stir that morning, and the fox was no longer there.
Harry was feeling bright and fresh that morning. He had finished his shower and dressed in his school uniform, which was similar to a muggle school uniform. Black trousers, white shirt, and a black and white striped tie, with platinum edges to the white, black shoes and socks, and the odd thing about it being the long black robe with the Nero coat of arms on the right breast side. Though, he quite liked the way the robe flowed about him as he walked down to the common room. He wanted to know how the coat of arms got onto his robe since he didn't put it there, but blamed it on magic and shrugged it off.
He just stepped into the common room to see a fair few students lingering around when Ginny came rushing over from near Nitrous, and grabbed his hand looking excited she began pulling him to where she was.
"Come on, Harry check this out!" she squealed out in delight as they stopped by a notice board. "Look, flying lessons are on the weekends with Madam Hooch. I can already fly but we should go together since quidditch try-outs are next month and you should try-out too. I want to be a chaser but I bet you could be an awesome seeker. And we might both get on the team together if we're best and the captain can get first years permission to play for the team. It'll be so awesome!"
Harry blinked several times in shock at her long-winded and excited rant about quidditch. He gave a nervous chuckle when she finally let his hand go, and rubbed the back of his head as he blushed lightly.
"B-but I've never even flown before. I might be rubbish," he informed her in embarrassment.
"Nonsense, Harry! I'm sure you'll do great," she replied shaking her head. "Flying is easy as long as you have confidence in your self and just not think too hard. You can't really learn to fly from a book, but just feel it. The wind through your hair, and the feeling of being truly free. It's the greatest feeling in the world."
Harry smiled at her as he imagined himself flying at speed through the air with the wind blowing at his hair, and the freedom it could bring. Then his mind wondered as he shot down through the sky, and a stadium of spectators cheered as he caught the fluttering golden snitch during a quidditch match.
"OK. I'll give it my best," he agreed as a huge grin spread to his lips. "But we should get to breakfast before we miss it, we shouldn't be hungry on our first day."
She nodded her agreement and they were about to leave when they heard an amused chuckle nearby that seemed to growl a little. They looked around in shock but found no one when they noticed Nitrous staring at them as he lay down in his painting. His orange eyes sparkled in amusement as he watched them both.
"Well we could certainly use some decent flyers on the team," the foxes growl like and strong voice commented to them. "Hopefully if you two do get on the team we can at the very least win one match, preferably Slytherin, or Gryffindor since those two teams have almost always been the strongest. Did you know it's been sixty years since we've won the school quidditch cup, which is a shame since we have such brilliant students? But be weary young ones. The better you are the more attention the other houses will pay you, but fear not your house mates will always back you in times of trouble, but you should get off to breakfast."
He chuckled as they stared at him in awe.
"Err, thanks Nitrous," said Harry with a smile after a moment. "Well come on, Gin," he said and she shook her head clear and followed him across the common room and up the stairs and out of the entrance.
They walked a little way in silence before Ginny broke it.
"I would have never though the Nero common room would be that awesome," she said with a wide grin directed at Harry. "I mean I've been in the Gryffindor common room and that's rubbish compared with ours. Ours is bigger, and Gryffindor doesn't have that upper level study area, or balconies, and all it has is some fat lady painting guarding a hole to get in without any paintings inside."
"So you're glad you're in Nero House, huh?" he asked with a cheeky smirk. "Happy you're with me and not your brothers?"
"Too right I am," she agreed with a nod as they began rushing down the stairs. "I get to spend lots of time with my best friend and have an awesome common room with people who are really nice. I met the girls in my year and they were nice, though asked me a lot because I'm a pureblood and the only one near their age who can explain some stuff."
"Well I'm glad you're enjoying yourself," he said with a smile. "I just hope Professor Lupin can convince Professor Dumbledore to let the first years try out for the team, even if I'm no good I'm sure you'll get in no problem."
"Thanks, Harry," she replied with a light blush at his praise and a smile. "But I'm sure you'll do well to. I don't know why but I just have this feeling that you'll be awesome in the air."
Harry smiled at that as they continued hurrying down the stairs towards the Great Hall. They descended into a conversation about quidditch, with Ginny explaining some of the British teams, which Harry found fascinating since he had never followed any muggle sport because his 'relatives' had never let him do things like that.
They soon entered the Great Hall with half an hour before classes and quickly hurried over to their table and took free seats, loading up their plates with toast, bacon, sausage, and 'freshly' cooked plum tomato's before eating happily and talking about what classes they might have first thing.
They had been sitting quietly and eating when they sensed they had guests. Turning with Ginny, Harry saw a set of twin red haired boys, and a younger ginger haired boy, three of Ginny's brothers, Fred, George, and Ron. Harry noted the twins seemed a little amused about something while Ron looked to be on the verge of a fuming temper tantrum.
"Ginny!" hissed Ron suddenly. "How could you disgrace us with this, a freaking Fox," he demanded angrily. "How could you let the hat put you here. It's almost as bad as Slytherin."
"Hey shut it, and leave her alone!" interrupted Harry angrily glaring. "Who the hell do you think you are to come over here and bother us?"
"I'm her brother that's who, so I can do whatever I like when it has to do with my baby sister!" he spat angrily. "So stay out of this muggle-born, you don't have a clue."
Harry growled angrily and Ginny and the twins would swear his emerald green eyes were glowing, but that wasn't all. The air around him crackled slightly and hissed, as the temperature around them seemed to up a few notches making it seem harder to breathe.
"Don't speak to me like that, moron!" he replied calmly as he stood up to face the slightly taller boy.
Ginny too stood glaring at her brother angrily, her face red as she clenched and unclenched her fists.
"Yeah Ronald!" she said through clenched teeth. "And leave me alone. I don't need you complaining because I'm a Nero, just because you're jealous I'm different from the rest of you, and I'll stand out while you're too thick to know how to step out of your brothers shadows. The hat said I could be great in this house, and I like it, so shut up and get lost!"
Ron looked taken a back before he took an angry step forward while the twins were suppressing snickers. Harry figured they expected Ron to get his ass kicked or something and were here mainly for the show.
"Excuse me, Weasley!" interrupted a very annoyed voice. They all looked over to see the quidditch captain Emily Colton and a few other Foxes standing by them all glaring at the ginger haired Gryffindor. "If you don't have anything to say to our new house mates then I suggest you make your self scarce before we inform Professor McGonagall that you're harassing a first year because of her house. And Professor McGonagall maybe your head of house but she does not tolerate such behaviour, especially from her own house."
Ron growled angrily and cursed a few times before stalking off to the Gryffindor table. The twins just laughed.
"Don't worry, sis," said Fred suddenly.
"Yeah, we don't care what house you're in," continued the other.
"Well as long as you're not in Slytherin, we're happy," added the other.
"Yep, so have a good first day, and enjoy yourself," finished George; both of them grinned and gave a short bow. "See ya later," they both chimed before walking off back to their table.
Harry and Ginny tried not to laugh as they turned to the other Foxes who shook their heads in amusement. Ginny noted that the power coming from Harry a moment ago had just disappeared. She had only ever sensed power like that coming from the teachers before, Dumbledore's being the strongest.
"Thanks for helping there," said Harry with a sheepish grin. "I don't think he would have just left us alone for awhile."
"No problem," said Emily as they all returned to their seats. "You two are family now, and family stands up for each other, even if its against our families stupid siblings. Well at least you only have one to worry about, Ginny. The twins have never been asses to us, and Percy's by the book and a prefect so won't be an ass either."
Harry and Ginny smiled at her when Professor Lupin came by as he was handing out everybody's timetables. He had just handed Ginny hers when he stopped at Harry and smiled, staring at him with a weird expression before seemingly shaking his head clear and looking to Ginny. His look had been a little weird and a little disconcerting, but the professor then just handed over the timetable and moved on. Harry looked down at his timetable moving the teachers' odd behaviour to the back of his mind.
Transfiguration – 09:30 – 11:30
Break – 11:30 – 12:00
History of Magic – 12:00 – 13:00
Lunch – 13:00 – 14:00
Charms – 14:00 – 16:00
End of Classes 16:00
Dinner – 18:00 – 20:00
Harry smiled at his timetable. It was a good first day from his point of view. He looked down the page and grinned wider since potions wasn't until Friday, and last too, which was a bonus if what everyone says about Professor Snape is even half true.
Ginny and Harry soon got up, grabbing their backpacks and headed off to the transfiguration classroom. It was just a good thing Professor Lupin saw fit to pin a map to Harry's timetable or they might have been late. However, he was confused as to why Ginny had no map on hers, and neither did any of the other first years who came with them.
Ginny introduced him to a couple of the girls, a blonde haired girl with blue eyes: Emma Clarkson, and a brown haired girl with brown eyes: Jamie O'Neil, an Irish girl who luckily only has a light accent. And Harry introduced Ginny and the girls to Donovan and Sam.
They quickly entered the classroom, which was empty except for a tabby cat sitting on the teachers' desk. The pair sat at the front facing the desk with the other two girls at the desk next to them in the other isle, and the two boys behind them. They were waiting a while as the other students entered. They shared this class with the Hufflepuff first years so felt less threatened than they would if they were to share with Slytherins or Gryffindors
Harry watched the strange cat on the desk curiously, as it started staring at him. Something was just off with the cat, and he wondered whether it was really at cat or something else. This is transfiguration class after all so it just might be something else in reality, and he wanted to suss it out. It was intelligent whatever it really is, but he just couldn't tell by looking at it. But still it looked at him as if it actually knows him some how, and seemed to have a sadness to its eyes.
The class was all too soon full. The professor still had not turned up, and it was already 09:40. He looked around breaking his gaze from the cat like many others looking for the teacher, but when he looked back at the cat, he jumped in shock like most of the class when the cat leapt from the desk, and morphed into Professor McGonagall.
Harry stared open mouthed at the professor in wonder as he applauded along with the other students. It was the most amazing thing he had ever seen and he wanted right now more than anything to learn how to transform into an animal.
When the applause had died down the stern professor thanked them in appreciation before she explained a little about being an animagi; and how hard it is to accomplish the transformation. But Harry didn't care how difficult it might be. He just wanted it so bad, but he didn't like the thought of having to register his form with the ministry, even though it was very unlikely he will even have an animagi form. But deep down inside he just had this gut feeling he could do it, and if his gut feeling were right he would be an animagi, and he wouldn't let the ministry know because it will be his advantage. And what right does the ministry have to restrict what he can learn or become. He is free, and his animagi form will make him more so.
He just has to go to the library and find some books on animagi to find the correct spells, and or potions.
Professor Minerva McGonagall watched Harry Evans as she talked about animagi, interested in the amount of attention he was paying to the subject very much aware of what he might be thinking, and intrigued by the young boy. She wondered what form he might have, as she could see he was at the very least going to find out what form he has if any.
Shaking her head clear as she finished her animagi lecture, she glanced at Ginny Weasley still a little surprised at the house she's in, but glad she had made friends with Mr. Evans, and noted that if Harry was going to become an animagus she would too. That's all the school needs two people like them able to sneak around as animals, but she had never stopped students yet from becoming illegal animagi to shove one to the ministry.
"OK now class," she began as she floated a matchstick to each student landing it on his or her desk in front of them. "We shall begin with a little practical. Now this kind of transfiguration is fairly simple because it's not at all large, and has no spell, no magical words. However, it needs a fair bit of concentration and intent in your actions within your magic, but once practised a lot and mastered you shall find it becomes second nature.
"To begin with you might want to place a hand or both hands over your matchstick, or even hold it," she said as she watched some students placing one or both hands over their matchsticks and some picking them up and holding them. She noted Harry had his hand hanging loosely over his looking quite calm while Ginny chose to hold hers in the palm of her hand.
"OK, now it will be doubtful you'll get it straight away, and maybe not even by the end of the lesson," she continued with a tight smile. "But I hope that most of you get some change by the end of class, and have it mastered by our next class. OK, so I want you to concentrate, and feel inside for your magic, and push it through your hand or hands and into the matchstick, willing it to reshape into a sharp and pointed silver sowing needle. You just have to picture it in your minds, OK, so begin."
Harry began, pulling forth that strange buzzing feeling that normally only comes out under stress, fear or anger, but got distracted slightly as he felt as small spark of energy coming from Ginny as her matchstick changed from its wooden colour to silver but still very much looked like a matchstick and he still believed it is wood.
He looked back at his matchstick as it laid on his desk as McGonagall praised Ginny for her first attempt and gave her a point for Nero House. Harry concentrated forcing his will as he felt his magic spike for less that a second. Though, unlike Ginny's small spike, the whole class felt his and turned to look in his direction.
McGonagall stared, surprised he could force out such a jolt of energy at such an early stage. She hadn't expected to feel spikes like that until at least the end of the year. Though for most the end of second year or even third.
Harry was amazed as his matchstick changed into a thin silver metal needle with a sharp point. Though it had no loop to it on the end like he wanted he was very pleased with it and had a huge grin on his face that Ginny mirrored pleased for him.
"Excellent Mr. Evans!" exclaimed McGonagall as she rushed over and gave him a rare smile; she picked it up and examined it. "Yes, a brilliant needle. Though, its missing its loop the rest is perfect, five points to Nero," she said proudly. "Mr. Evans why don't you try to master this while the other student continue," she said rhetorically as she looked at the other students as they stared, and they went back to work looking sheepish. She gave Harry back his needle and he got to work straight away wanting to master it to prove him self to the world.
By the end of the class, Harry had mastered changing the needle and earned ten more points for it, and had actually started making it different colours, which was easy compared to changing it. Ginny had also done really well, managing to fully change the needle, and progressed to trying to master it. Homework was to master the spell by next class, and to write a small essay on the theory behind the spell, but all Harry had to do was the essay, but Harry knew he might use his extra time to study some more spells for the subject that fascinated him so much. Though most subjects might.
Harry and Ginny spent their break outside together reading the standard book of spells grade one to try and learn a new spell before history. They found the Expelliamus, a disarming charm, and practised against the school wall since it isn't a damaging spell. Harry was surprised he got it right after only a few tries and it seemed to come natural after that and the more he used it the easier it became, and could actually throw the spell from nearly every inch of his body by the end of the half hour.
Ginny however, was not as perfect with the spell, though she had it mastered from her hands by the end of the hour because it's a simple spell. She promised to master it as good as Harry can by the end of the week. She did not hold Harry's natural talents at focusing his magic against him, quite the opposite she was happy he was doing so well, as so far it was getting them a nice few extra house points.
Harry believed History of Magic might have been invented as a subject to give the students a good opportunity for a nice midday nap. It was so boring listening to the ghost teacher drone on in a monotone not even seeing the students, and not reprimanding anyone for sleeping.
It was lucky the lesson was only an hour long, and they had lunch after because that class brought forth a strong appetite. Lunch was nice, but once again, the other four houses got better food than them. Harry had asked some older student who made the food, so got a short lesson on house elves, the servants/slaves that work in the kitchen. However, none of them knew the location of the kitchens so couldn't go and demand the same as everybody else, or better.
Harry and Ginny only spent twenty minutes eating and decided to go outside to lean a curse or hex to defend them when needed. However, they stopped in the entrance hall when there names were called, and span round to see a grinning Fred and George approach them.
"We heard you two, would like to know where the kitchens are," began one smugly.
"And probably how to get in, because your house is being ripped off in the food department," the other continued with a smirk.
"It's through that door, down the stairs, first right, and keep going until you reach a picture of fruit."
"Just tickle the pear, and you're set."
"Why are you helping us?" asked Ginny suspiciously.
"We're just looking out for our younger sister."
"Indeed, oh, and keep clear of Ron, Harry, he has a grudge against you, but don't worry too much his magic's nothing much, and he struggles with most spells that could be bothersome. You can easily dodge his spells they take so long to manifest."
They both laughed cheerfully as they hurried away back into the Great Hall. Harry and Ginny looked at each other and giggled before shrugging with amused looks.
"Well shall we go and speak to the elves?" asked Harry hopefully.
Ginny nodded her head glaring into the Great Hall.
"Yeah. The food isn't really bad but it's not as nice as the other tables," she agreed in annoyance. "And we don't get as much variety either."
Harry nodded and led the way with a frown. They walked down into the basement that was lined with wooden walls, turned right, and carried on walking passed paintings of food. They finally came to the correct painting and Ginny tickled the pair. They startled as the picture giggled and then swung open.
They walked in closing the door behind them and looked around. It housed five house tables as big as the ones upstairs. They figured its how the food travels. They saw the huge kitchen with several hundred small creatures wearing tee towel togas. They all had long pointed noses, and big floppy ears, and huge expressive eyes.
As soon as Harry and Ginny were spotted one elf quickly hurried over looking very eager.
"Sir, Miss, how can we help you?" it squeaked out excitedly. "We can get you cake, or pie, or even a ham if you need it, whatever you need?"
Harry and Ginny held back from giggling at the strange creatures' eagerness to help them.
"Could you answer a few questions please?" asked Harry kindly and politely.
"Oh yes sir, of course I can, what is it you need to know?" 'she', Harry thought asked.
"Well, why is it Nero house doesn't get the same quality food as the other four houses?" he asked interestedly, a look Ginny shared.
The little elf gasped in horror.
"Does Nero House not like their food? Professor Snape say they do many years ago," she answered looking horrified that they followed such an order the house doesn't like.
"Of course we don't," he replied thoughtfully. "Hmm. If we ordered you to correct this problem would anyone be able to override it?" he asked with a plan forming in his mind.
"No sir, as long as the order is not against any other houses, and can not hurt anybody, your order can not be cancelled," she replied nodding her head vigorously.
Harry smirked a little darkly.
"OK then, I order you to correct the problem, and for dinner for my house tonight... have you ever heard of McDonald's, Burger King, or Pizza Hut?" he asked as he snickered as a few more eager house elves came over to hear about the new menu. "Oh, and don't ever do this for any other house because they hate muggle stuff, and no matter what they say, only our house can ever have this, and that's an order."
Twenty minutes later Harry and Ginny were giggling with success as they entered the charms classroom and sat at the front of the class. The tiny Professor Flitwick stood on a pile of books behind his desk smiling at the class as it filled, which did not take long. They were sharing this class with Ravenclaws, which wasn't too bad.
Flitwick started off the class talking about the art of charms and explaining all it has to offer before setting them to work on the levitation charm. It has words and hand movements, but since it's a simple and not a very powerful spell it can also easily be cast like the transfiguration spell they had learnt. However, it was up to them how they wanted to perform the spell.
He had handed out feathers for them to practice on and Harry watched as everyone, Ginny included tried the easy way, but Harry did not want to take short cuts in life and get lazy. He wanted to show that a fox is just as talented as any other and placed his hand out towards the feather and did as Flitwick had said to levitate it this way unaware that the tiny professor had spotted his method with a grin.
Harry only got a few twitches for the first fifteen minutes while a few others had managed to get their feathers off the table for a few seconds for a few feet before they feel back down. However, Flitwick saw Harry was not giving up his method and was surprised he actually managed to float it a foot from his desk for over a minute before it fell. But Harry looked please if a little strained from concentrating so hard.
The more Harry tried the easier it became, and the less strained or exhausted he felt floating the feather. Ginny had done very well with her method and earned herself several points, but by the end of class, Harry could easily float his feather without ever dropping it, and had control of it. He had a while yet before he mastered it, but he was by far the best in the class since he did it the harder way and exceeded the teachers' expectations.
"Twenty points to Nero for Mr. Evans' excellent use of the levitation charm with no hand gestures or words!" the professor chimed cheerfully as the class was packing away. The Ravenclaws stared over at him in shock not liking that he beat them like that, and annoyed they had not noticed him practising the more difficult method or they would have done it like that too. The Nero's however all grinned at him, glad he grabbed them such a handful of house points in one day: the first day no less.
Ginny even gave him a huge hug and said that next lesson she was going to get just as good. Before they left, Flitwick gave them the same type of homework as McGonagall gave – a short essay and to practice their charm and try to master it.
It was the end of classes so Harry and Ginny returned to their common room and sat down in the study area for a while reading up on some spells from their standard book of spells, and practising a few on each other like jelly legs, and a weak petrifaction for an hour before heading off and taking long showers.
Harry relished the hot water wiping away his exhaustion for forcing out so much power and magic in one day, and so much at once. It was a delight, and he was glad his magic seemed to recharge so fast and wondered whether it was normal when he came back to the common room dressed in some normal clothes under his robes feeling fresh and bright after his rest. However, a lot of his fellow first years looked a little haggard and tired so figured recharge rates were different with everyone
It was nearing six in the evening, and dinnertime as house mates were all ready leaving for the great hall. Harry found Ginny and was pleased to see she obviously had a fast recharge rate too. They smirked to each other as they hurried out of the common room and down the nine flights of stairs and into the Great Hall where they found seats at the centre of their table.
They talked quietly to each other as the hall filled up; all of the teachers were at their table by the time six pm arrived as well as most of the school. However, when the tables filled, the Foxes were in for a pleasant surprise, as huge Pizza Hut boxes appeared with trays of French fries with McDonald's holders to scoop them into, and burgers from McDonald's and Burger King all over in stacks on the table, and buckets of KFC, along with hundreds of sauce packages and salt and pepper. Also, hundreds of McFlury's of different types with cooling charms, and hot apple pies and giant cookies with different toppings like Smarties and Rollo, and many other deserts. Bottles of Coca cola, Fanta, and Dr. Pepper lined the table with stacks of McDonald's and Burger King Cups.
However, it was the smell that was to die for. The smell of junk foods was the greatest the Foxes had smelt at Hogwarts They just all stared in awe, and quiet. The whole hall in fact stared at their table in disbelief and awe, everyone smelling the perfection of the Nero's menu. Harry and Ginny gave each other a smug look before grabbing a spicy chicken pizza to share opening it and pulling out a delicious slice and eating. They caught the twins' eyes as everyone stared at them and winked, which caused them to laugh, and the rest of the house gained their senses and dug in right away.
The rest of the hall after a minute turned from them as they enjoyed themselves, most of them looking bitter, and started dishing themselves some of their now lower standard food.
"I love you two!" said Emily from across the table from them. "I don't know how you got to the elves, but this is awesome, we have a freaking McDonald's at Hogwarts," she continued almost crying in joy as she ate some of her fries.
Harry and Ginny just chuckled smugly without telling anyone their secret they continued eating. Harry looked up at the teachers table after he poured himself and Ginny some Dr. Pepper to see Snape had just finished ranting angrily at Dumbledore but returned to his seat and grumpily began his food.
He started as both Dumbledore and Lupin looked over at him directly. The old man had an amused twinkle in his eyes while Lupin actually looked proud of him, as a father might. However, he shook that thought away as he returned to his meal but let a smile grace his lips as he grabbed some chicken and mayonnaise for it.
It just had to be the greatest meal the Foxes had had in years, and it gave the other four houses reason to be pissed off at them for having something better than them.
Harry and Ginny were heading for their tower after the awesome meal when the twins confronted them looking both annoyed and pleased at the same time.
"That was pretty impressive revenge you pulled on the other houses," said Fred. "So who messed with your houses meals?"
"One guess," said Ginny with a dark smirk.
"Snape," they both chimed and Harry and Ginny nodded.
"Well funny story," said George. "We were just in the kitchens talking to the elves."
"Trying to acquire some of that delicious looking fried chicken," said George. "And some sauces for it."
"But the elves actually said no," continued Fred frowning. "They've never refused service before so we asked why."
"They said because its muggle and we're from a pureblood house," added George. "And only a muggle-born house such as Nero can have muggle food, so we can't have any."
"We gathered you convinced the little darlings to take that order to heart," commented Fred a little pleadingly. "So please could you be so kind as to ask the elves to make us some?"
"Oh, what's it worth?" asked Ginny with a smug smirk.
"Hey we told you where the kitchen is, please," begged George pleadingly. "We could barely eat what was at our table having to smell all of that, and we're hungry, we won't tell anybody about it. We'll finish it off before going back to the tower."
"Well OK, since you did tell us how to get into the kitchen," agreed Harry getting two pleased twins. They were just going to lead the way when Harry called. "Dizzy!" And the house elf he talked to earlier appeared with a pop.
"How can I help young Master Harry," she asked eagerly. "Did you and your house enjoy your meals?" she asked hopefully.
"Indeed we did Dizzy, but could you fetch me a bucket of chicken with some sauces, a bottle of coke with two cups, and two Smartie McFlury's?" he asked her hopefully.
"Of course Master Harry, Dizzy shall be back in a minute," she declared, overjoyed before disappearing with a small pop.
The twins were gawking at Harry in utter shock.
"What?" he asked in confusion.
"That is so not fair," they said in unison shaking their heads.
"We tried to get a house elf to track to us but they all said no, and that they only work for Hogwarts," continued George grumpily.
"Well she just likes us," said Ginny smirking to let them know the elf is tracked to her too. "Anyway she still is a Hogwarts elf; it just means she's primarily ours, and she'll leave when we do."
"Cheeky schemers, how'd you manage that?" asked George.
They both shrugged their shoulders.
"She said she was not technically a Hogwarts house elf and was waiting to find a new master," said Ginny with a smile. "And she chose Harry, and Harry asked her to track to me too, and she was only too happy too. Said I reminded her a little of her previous master but wouldn't say who it was so we let it drop. It must be a sour subject for the poor thing."
Just then, Dizzy reappeared passing Harry the bucket of chicken, and Ginny the bottle of coke, McFlury's and cups.
"Will this be all Masters?" she asked cheerfully.
"Yes. Thank you very much Dizzy," agreed Harry with a kind smile. She grinned back, bowed and disappeared.
Harry and Ginny just shoved the food and drink on the twins before walking passed them.
"We're even now!" called Ginny. "Want any more and you'll owe us," she added as they giggled and round the corner out of sight.
The twins sighed and shook their heads.
"I have a strange feeling with those two in Nero together this school might never be the same again," said Fred with a grin stretching across his lips.
"I'll have to agree," nodded George happily. "I think its great, maybe the other Gryffindors will stop being pricks about their house just because they're mostly muggle-born's I remember when the hat argued with me saying I'm a fox while I was horrified about what my family would say, but I wish I didn't now. I think I could have been better suited to Nero."
"Same here brother," agreed the other sadly. "But it took our baby sister to have the guts to mess with family tradition and go to the house she belongs. It's a shame we can't ask for a resorting. I think the hat can't be swayed at all if you get resorted."
"Yeah, but that can only happen if our head of house and another head of house to agree, and then the headmaster has to consent too," said George thoughtfully. "And we have to have a perfectly good reason to, as well as a letter from a parent stating its OK to do so, but if we became Gryffindors again we don't get a second chance. Normally it would only be tried if you're having trouble with your house mates."
"Yeah, we could probably get Dumbledore and Lupin to agree," said Fred. "But mum and McGonagall are another story, unless we get dad to write the letter of consent? He hasn't anything against them like mum, and has his weird muggle fascination. He might think we'll learn some muggle things to explain to him?"
"Oh, mum would be pissed if she found out dad did that," laughed George before looking down at the bucket of chicken he held licking his lips. "Well lets use some of our Nero cunning to find away to get into that bloody fast food paradise house after we find a nice quiet classroom to eat our chicken."
"Deal, dear brother of mine."
They laughed as they walked off towards the nearest empty classroom. Hopeful of their scheme they also knew it would doubtfully succeed but they can only hope.
However, they weren't alone because in the shadows of a hidden passageway. The very one the twins used to catch up with Harry and Ginny a greying haggard looking teacher had watched the whole exchange with a huge grin on his face with his amber eyes sparkling with new life.
Hogwarts had just become a more fun and interesting place it seems, and he just had to help convince a certain stern teacher to let the twins get resorted, and make sure he knows when his house will be having another takeaway night so he can be sure to sit with them.
Then a spark of an idea struck him like lightning. His smile grew wider. Technically, he is a member of that house so the elves will give him some fried chicken too, and some fries and a teacher so didn't think Harry would ban the teachers too. He also couldn't find the appetite for what he had with the smell of all that fast food. In fact, none of the other teachers seemed able to concentrate on the crap they had either, so he quickly rushed off in the direction of the kitchens.
It didn't take long until he had entered the kitchens and closed the door. He turned around and double took as he saw all of the other teachers staring at him sheepishly, except for Snape and Quirrell, but they are weirdos anyway. The teachers had piles of fast food on the table in front of them as they sat at the Nero table with food either in their mouths or on rout.
"Ah, Remus m'boy," chimed Dumbledore after a moments silence with a large smile. "I see you like us found yourself unsatisfied until you had some of this delicious fast food that Mr. Evans and Miss. Weasley had ordered from the house elves. Please sit. There's plenty left," he said tapping the empty space next to him.
Remus didn't need telling twice as some of the other teachers laughed at the speed he rushed over and took his seat, grabbing one of the many pieces of chicken from a KFC bucket.
"I couldn't really eat the stuff we were served when I smelt all of this at the time," he said as he tore into his crispy fried chicken with vigour.
Dumbledore chuckled shaking his head laughingly.
"Neither could I. I believe Mr. Evans and Miss. Weasley may stir things up a bit around school. It has been far too boring around here as of late."
Remus chuckled with a nod of his head as he pored himself some coke.
"Totally. And did you know we can't serve this to any of the other houses coz they convinced the house elves that no matter what the pureblood houses wont like it?"
The other teachers laughed and nodded.
"Yes we did," said McGonagall half glaring at the man. "I asked them about it. It's the first time they've ever refused me something."
"Yes, young Harry was being very cleaver," agreed Albus amusedly. "Using the muggle discrimination most of the school has against them. It's a shame the magical people keep thinking so blindly, but it is a happy day when the Foxes start to use it against them."
"I totally agree," nodded Remus. "It's about time my house fights back and wins the House Cup."
"Well Mr. Evans has been doing very well in my class," squeaked Flitwick eagerly. "While I offered the whole class the choice of doing the levitation charm with words and hand gestures, or doing it purely through intent and focus. He was the only one in class to choose the later, and still did better than most of the class. I have no doubt he'll have it mastered by my next class. I gave him twenty points for it. He worked so hard. It's a shame my Ravenclaws looked so sour when they found out how much better he did. He was quite exhausted after such forceful work, but was doing it quite easily by the end of class with exceptional control."
The other teachers just looked at him impressed with what he had told them. It was not often they have a student that works so hard and chooses the more difficult method.
"Miss. Weasley wasn't bad either. She kept ahead of the rest of the class constantly," he added. "And earned a fair few points too."
"Yes, Evans and Weasley did well in my class too," agreed McGonagall. "Evans even managed to master the spell by the end of the class, and Weasley was close behind. I think they feel they have something to prove."
"Indeed," nodded Dumbledore happily. "Nero's have always worked fairly hard to prove their worth, but maybe they might push that bit harder when they catch on to these two first years."
"Oh, talking about first years, Albus," interrupted Remus suddenly since now seemed as good time as any could be. "My new quidditch captain has asked me something that I would like for your permission to enforce if I could?" he paused here and Dumbledore raised an eyebrow and gestured for him to continue. "Well she wants to allow first years to try-out for the team and for them to be allowed their own brooms if they succeed in getting in?"
"Hmm," he replied with a thoughtful frown. "I don't know Remus. The rule is there for a reason. We don't want any first years hurting them selves."
"And you twisted this rule last year for Neville Longbottom, because he's the Boy-Who-Lived?" he asked with a winners smirk.
The old man's eyes widened in surprise before he laughed.
"Well I suppose it should be OK," he finally agreed. "If they are good enough to join the team then I'll trust they are good enough to have a broom at school."
"You can't really be serious, Albus?" asked McGonagall with wide eyes. "Longbottom was a special case, an accident. He never actually tried out."
"Yes I am serious," he nodded. "I shall of course extend this as a new special rule to the other houses, but of course the fist years must use school brooms to try-out on, or borrow a broom from an older house member until they are a part of the team."
"Thanks, Albus," said Remus with a huge grin. "He'll be brilliant no matter what broom he rides. I know he will."
Albus chuckled at the younger man's enthusiasm, but he knew the boy would too.
Astoria Greengrass ground her teeth in her anger as she flopped down onto her bed that evening.
"Evans!" she hissed, spitting out the name in disgust. "And Weasley! How dare they make a mockery out of us! They think they can start some stupid little fight by waving around delicious smelling muggle foods!" she demanded of no one. Her room-mates all gave her concerned looks, apart from her minion, her minion was sitting on her own bed nodding a long in agreement.
"Then the Weaslette!" she snorted in mock humour. "That stupid little mud-blood lover, hanging out with her stupid little mud-blood!"
Her breathing was heavy with anger as she spoke to herself, making herself angrier, and angrier the more she thought about it. She ignored that tiny part of her brain that suggested she might actually be jealous of the Weaslette. After all, her house deserves all of the nicest tasting foods, not the mud-bloods
She couldn't for the life of her think of a way to get her revenge on Weasley for caring about that filthy mud-blood And secretly she was mad because the Weaslette has a cute boyfriend, (in her mind the two are boy and girlfriend), and none of the Slytherin boys in her year look at all worthy of her beauty!
Its so unfair, and she is not going to lower her standards to the poor, ugly, or non-Slytherin. There's no chance in hell. She would rather die.
"Well OK. I won't lower my standards to either the poor or ugly!" she hissed out to herself angrily as she can manage an outer house relationship. "As long as its not a filthy mud-blood!"
She then started as she remembered she's not alone and her milky pale cheeks stained red as she looked around at her dorm-mates.
"Damn. I've really got to stop ranting to myself!" she reprimanded as she relaxed into her bed too tired (mentally) to get out of her uniform into her night gown.
During the week Harry and Ginny studied as hard as they could, learning what ever they felt they could manage or takes their fancy. However, they did their hardest during classes to earn as many house points as they could. They seriously wanted to win the House Cup this year, and their hard work seemed to be rubbing off on the other Nero first years since none of them chose the easy methods now if there was a harder one to master.
Even a lot of the older Foxes upon realising the first years were receiving so many house points for their hard and tireless work were upping their work effort to not let their house down. This year they were determined to win the House Cup if they could, and it became a house goal. They were determined to bring some glory, pride and honour back to their house.
It had been too long since their house gained any respect or acknowledgement, so it was about time that Nero fight back and tell the other houses where to go and swivel.
It was Friday after lunch where Harry and Ginny along with a few other Nero first years were leaving the Great Hall and heading towards the dungeons for their first ever double potions lesson when they paused as Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom and a few other Gryffindors were facing off against a few Slytherins Their leader being an asshole Harry and Ginny ran into a few days a go, Draco Malfoy.
Well, OK, they didn't really run into him, but where rudely introduced by Greengrass... well Astoria Greengrass as her pretty blonde haired older sister was now standing with Malfoy and his 'followers' with her cold looking blue eyes seemingly bored out of her mind.
Though, Harry couldn't blame her for looking so bored. It must get a little tiring having to listen to Ron and Draco bickering all the time.
Then add in that brown haired fat lump of a 'Boy-Who-Lived', and you get your time wasted with meaningless taunts and whatever. They're all as bad as each other, and Harry's been having this mildly upsetting feeling that if they don't manage to sneak passed them quietly enough they'll be dragged into the petty argument.
Though, looking at it... Ronald's and Neville's argument of Draco being evil, and Draco's argument of Gryffindors being idiots was bordering pathetic. And how Draco could say that while he's flanked by two mindless gorillas without laughing the Nero's may never know.
"Well, now that's just pathetic, brother of a blood traitor fox looking down on me...? So what are you going to do!" mocked the bleach blonde boy, Malfoy.
Harry rolled his eyes. Not only does Malfoy have the nineteen eighties gangster look, with silk robes and slicked back hair, but now he's even trying to sound like one.
"Shut it, Snake!" the ginger top Weasley boy hissed his reply as he flung a blurry yellow spell at him with his right hand. Harry was surprised he used such a meaningless hex, but then his twin brothers did say it takes awhile for the bigger and getter stuff to manifest from him.
However, Malfoy easily stepped out of its way smirking. However, he turned around in surprise to see it heading straight for Harry. Ron however looked as if his spell was going to do something good anyway. However, when it hit Harry's reflection shield that can easily stop such a low class spell and return it without having to move an inch, it headed straight back for Ron at twice the speed.
Ron's eyes widened in horror as he frantically flicked his hands and fingers crying out something about protection. Harry realised he had heard of the shield before, but Ron obviously couldn't preform it, even by casting verbally, (which would normally bring greater meaning to the spell, making it stronger). However, he wasn't even saying the spell right.
Ron tried and tried. He hadn't even thought of trying to dodge. It was also obvious that he had never even tried to use any kind of shield (and there are a lot) until now when he finally realises as Harry did when starting school that shields are highly useful if you don't want to be hexed.
The spell hit Ron and he cried out in shock as his eyebrows started growing extremely long, he cried out in panic, staggering a little under the force of the spell. Harry looked at the others and shrugged while they and the Slytherins laughed at Ron's predicament. (Even the older Greengrass, Daphne he thinks cracked a small smirk from her otherwise cold expression).
Harry then just led the Nero's towards the dungeons just as Lupin angrily exited the Great Hall after seeing what happened, and almost happened.
"Weasley, twenty points from Gryffindor, and Saturday detention for attacking another student!" they heard him roar angrily. "Now get to the hospital wing to get that sorted if you're too bone idle to learn the counter curse to your jinxes!"
Harry, Ginny and their first year friends laughed some more as they walked down towards their final lesson of the week and one they all dreaded. However, it might not be too bad since they have it with Gryffindors.. he'll have two houses to hate, Slytherins rivals and mud-bloods.
Harry was glad in away as he won't have to put up with the youngest Greengrass bothering them like she did during herbology yesterday!
They soon found them selves seated in Snape's class. Harry and Ginny were together at the back as they listened to Snape talk about how awesome potions are, but Harry just thought it was like fancy cooking.
Snape then went on to tell them how most of his students are all dunderheads, but the Nero's were pulling in all of there courage to not let him intimidate them. The same could not be said for the Gryffindor first years as they all seemed to be quivering.
"Evans!" Snape suddenly hissed making him jump at the suddenness, and wondering why Snape seems to hate him so much. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"
"Uh, I think it's the Draught of Living Death, sir," he answered respectfully. He and Ginny both had been studying their potions book as much as they could planning for a moment just like this since Snape is known for picking on one student from his first first year classes.
Snape looked as if he was going to deny it for a moment when he paused with his mouth half open and blinked in surprise just staring at Harry in shock.
"I-indeed you are correct, Evans," he spat out as if giving praise to a Nero in any form caused him physical and emotional pain. "One p-point to Nero," he stuttered with a lump in his throat, unable to believe he did that, but points given when points deserved even if it is to 'him'.
The other students looked gobsmacked. "Well it seems Mr. Evans has actually opened his book, but where Evans would you look, if I asked you to find me a bezoar?" he continued with a sneer returning to his features.
"Oh, I remember that one," he chimed proudly ignoring Snape's scowl. "It is a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and will save you from most poisons," he answered with a nervous smile.
Snape double took and internally groaned wishing he chose a Gryffindor to question since these new Nero's were a lot harder to scare while the Gryffindors were all quivering, and they say Gryffindors are the brave house. He internally scoffed at the thought.
"Indeed, you are once again correct, maybe you're not as stupid as I originally thought!" he hissed angrily. "Two points to Nero… but Evans what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?" he asked smugly knowing full well the answer is not in the first year's potion textbook.
"Oh, um… err," he thought frantically when something clicked and jumped into his mind. "I know. I read about it in my defence book on werewolves. It's a key ingredient to wolfsbane potion, and they are the same plant also known as aconite. I think it also said they're members of the buttercup family, and have some other names too, but didn't mention them."
Snape wanted to smash his head into the wall. How the boy had read all of that was beyond him, and bloody annoying. He had looked forward to humiliating him and deflating his obviously oversized ego. Especially after the muggle fast food event of Monday!
"Correct, Evans, have another five points," he said in defeat. The boy had studied hard and he maybe a jerk but he can appreciate hard work, even from Evans. "OK, instructions on the board, begin," he continued flicking his wand at the blackboard and instructions appeared.
It was for a cure to boles, and Harry and Ginny began on their potion straight away. They did things a little differently but it just seemed their way was both faster and more efficient, and honestly failing potions didn't bother either of them. Plus, Harry had learnt a lot of neat tricks for things like this from all of the times his aunt forced him to cook, and make dinner and whatever, and the cook book apps he used all had some awesome tips for cutting vegetables and fruits, and plants and stuff. It seems as if it all translates perfectly.
By the end of class, Snape had not commented once on their potion, but did not sneer at it as he did practically every other potion in the room, except for some bushy haired Gryffindor who was doing well. Harry thought her name was Hermione or something, and a muggle-born too if he was correct.
The class had finally finished bottling and labelling their work before tidying up, grabbing their bags, and as the bell rang they left the classroom, most of the Nero's hung back a little to let the Gryffindors go, and out of their sight. It wasn't as if they hated the Gryffindors it was just they didn't trust them. With Longbottom and Ronald Weasley's behaviour no-one would blame them.
However, Harry started as he noticed Hermione had slowed to walk the other side of him to Ginny, and was staring at him with calculating eyes.
"You are Harry Evans, correct?" she suddenly asked bossily.
"Yes I am," he agreed with a nod. "And you're Hermione Granger if I am right?"
"You are," she agreed businesslike. "I have never been behind any body before in school, but you, and in some classes I'm even drawing with Ginevra," she said gesturing the orange haired girl who narrowed her eyes in annoyance at her full name. "The only class I'm top of is history."
Harry laughed rolling his eyes in amusement.
"That's when I catch up on my sleep. Anyway, we've only been here less than a week how could you possibly know our standings. And why would you want to?"
Hermione blushed in embarrassment.
"I asked Professor McGonagall yesterday," she replied impishly. "I just wanted to make sure I was best in the year but she said I was second. I had thought it was a Ravenclaw because I was prepared to accept that because Ravenclaws are supposed to be smart, but when I told the professor this, she said first place belongs to a Nero. I had never heard of them coming so high, and didn't want to believe it, but you just proved her right. But you can't really be this good or you wouldn't be in Nero, so how did you cheat?"
Harry stopped dead staring at her in disbelief as everyone stopped with him, and everyone stared at Hermione looking in some degree of anger. She gulped and started looking nervous but stood her ground.
"Cheat?" he repeated slowly. "Sure I'll tell you. I read the books. I studied the magic, and I worked as hard as I could to get good grades, better than yours apparently. YOU DARE ACCUSE ME OF CHEATING!" he roared angrily at the end as he just couldn't help himself even though he tried. She jumped backwards wanting to run and wishing she had never said anything.
"What are you some kind of fool?" he asked rhetorically, and awaited no response. "Is hanging around with all of those racists rubbing off on you. I wanted to go into this house. Sure, I would have accepted any other house but truly inside my heart, Rosette Nero is my kin, and I am proud to bring points to her house and study hard to get them. If you can't handle someone being better than you don't ask for any of the academic standings because that's pathetic.
"I'll give you credit for bravery in confronting me in the presents of just my family," he glared at her and she flinched as many other glares were added to his. "But none for intelligence. Seriously, most Gryffindors hate us, and we have little trust for them. Think yourself lucky we don't hex you for being an idiot Gryffindor, acting before you think things through. If you did this to a Slytherin you would not have been so lucky, so get lost."
She didn't need telling twice as she burst out into tears and ran off down the corridor crying. Harry sighed and looked to Ginny to see her looking a little guilty at what just happened. He sighed again but smiled.
"Go and see if she's OK, please?" he asked. "I don't think she knows how to make friends, and the way Gryffindors are morons I doubt she'll ever make any proper friends in that house if any."
Ginny nodded with a smile as she ran off after the girl calling back. "But don't expect what I tell her to stick. She might listen, but she'll be Gryfindorked!"
"Wait up, Gin, we'll come too," cried out Jamie as she and a few other girls chased after her and out of sight while they all laughed at Ginny's comment.
The rest of the first years soon shrugged with smiles and continued back to their common room where they began playing some games of exploding snap to pass the time until dinner.
Ginny and the other girls returned just before dinner. They had explained to Hermione how Nero's are treated because of their blood by the other houses, the same blood she has, and because of their belief's. They had found Hermione crying in a bathroom and managed to calm her down and get her to listen.
She didn't want to believe that muggle-born's had hardly any rights in the magical world, and blood traitors are treated the same, but Ginny had said she seemed to realise it as truth, and that just because a pureblood says something bad about Nero House does not mean its true.
They had even proven that by letting her leave when she insulted them, and even sending the girls to make sure she is OK, but some people are hard to change, and even harder to befriend when those she is supposed to trust tell her lies.
Harry felt afraid that Hermione wont listen, and felt sorry for her, believing in bigots, and betraying the love of her family. Harry had never had a real family to love and wishes she won't through hers away.
Saturday morning, eleven in the morning, a great and happy day for Harry Evans, Ginny Weasley and many other happy go lucky first years as they stood around within the Hogwarts quidditch stadium. Madam Hooch was there smiling at them all, but something was wrong in Harry's mind. If this was a flying lesson, where are the brooms because he's quite sure you can't learn to fly a broom without said brooms?
"Where're the brooms?" he suddenly blurted out at the teacher.
Someone a little way away snorted while nearly everyone from Nero House looked as confused. Harry saw the mean snorter, Hermione Granger sticking her nose in the air at him. He sighed, at least Astoria's not here too, being a pureblood and having been taught to fly chose not to attend. In fact, there were only a hand-full of pure-blood first years attending, most of which, like Ginny came to have fun with their muggle-born friends and help them out.
"Witches and wizards don't need brooms to fly," she said smugly. She was obviously trying to flaunt her knowledge on the matter. "You don't get to learn to fly a broom until you can at least hover without one encase you fall off without anyone to catch you under a levitation charm, but you'll probably not get that far."
"Oh, cool, thanks," he said smiling brightly, and he could tell she was annoyed he wasn't bothered she knew and he didn't. It honestly amused him to be nice while she was being mean. Well in his honest opinion, someone had to tell him eventually and he isn't bothered who he learns from, as long as it's accurate and interesting he'll take what he can get, and Hermione seems to be an encyclopedia of stuff, (most of it probably useless in the real world).
"Absolutely correct Miss. Granger," said Hooch with a smile in her direction. "Two points for Gryffindor, but you shouldn't mock the Foxes like that... for one its not very nice, and two I'm a Fox my self." Hermione paled at that news but the teacher just smiled and allowed the Nero's to snicker silently.
"Well, let me begin with instruction first," continued Hooch. "Flying without a broom for long periods of time can be dangerous as you can exhaust your magic and fall out of the air to your deaths." She paused here for dramatic effect to see most of the first years looking a little worried now, most of all Hermione, which pleased her. She noticed Harry seemed to find the news exciting, which she would expect from a true Fox like herself, the thrill of the added challenge of surviving.
"If you ever feel yourself getting tired within the sky I suggest only one thing, and that is to be on or near the ground before you pass out," she added on smiling before again continuing. "To fly is simple out loud but difficult in practice. You have to push your magic from every inch of your body at once and manipulate the air around you to move. That is the simplest way to explain it, and I will not be able to help you until you try so I can sense what you are doing and correct you accordingly.
"OK. To begin I want you to attempt to hover, now some of you may have been taught to fly by a family member, so those few will get it straight away, but I don't want you flying off. The others may take several weeks to even hover, and you shall not be allowed to learn the broom if you can not hover, OK, get to it."
Harry took a deep breath as he watched the wind gently brush around Ginny and a few other first years as they slowly rose a few feet and hovered in place looking smug.
"How come you didn't tell me you can do that?" asked Harry gesturing the floating orange haired girl.
"Sorry," she answered sheepishly. "I thought you knew what flying meant. I didn't think you just thought brooms."
"Then why is quidditch played on broom and not like this?"
"You can fly longer on a broom," she answered with a shrug. "And I guess it makes things fairer, since some people can out fly even the Nimbus 2000 broom."
Harry pouted as he turned away and closed his eyes, as he felt deep inside for his personal well of magic. He clenched his fists softly as he pushed it out of every inch of his body, feeling for the air, for the wind around him unaware Madam Hooch was watching him with everyone else in shock as a powerful whirlwind gently span around him for a moment before calming and he slowly lifted from the ground a few metres, held by the air. It felt so natural.
He opened his eyes grinning like a loon as he looked down at the students and teacher. He was floating even higher than Ginny, his hair ruffling in a soft breeze. It felt so easy holding himself up, natural even. It was so peaceful floating in the air, his robes rippling around him. He looked back to the students and smirked at Hermione smugly when he saw her look of horror and jealousy.
"I thought I wouldn't get anywhere, Hermione," he laughed mockingly as he drifted backwards as if lying in the sky before continuing back and hanging upside down. "This is so freaking awesome!"
"Impressive Mr. Evans," commented Hooch after a moment. "It seems you have a better understanding of your own magic than the others do."
"Indeed," he agreed as he drifted down upside down, stopping with his face inches from Ginny's grinning from ear to ear as she smiled at him in amusement. He poked her on the nose. "Tag, you're IT!" he cried out as he shot up into the sky feet first giggling insanely displacing Ginny slightly with his wind, but she managed to stay airborne looking annoyed.
"MR. Evans GET BACK HERE!" yelled Hooch just as he changed direction, flying head first towards the other side of the stadium whooping with joy. Then Ginny shot off after him, not that her speed was anything compared to his. "MISS. WEASLEY DON'T YOU…" she trailed off with a sigh. "There's always a couple of Sky Runners!" she groaned in annoyance.
"Excuse me Madam Hooch, but how can he be that good already?" asked Hermione in annoyance and jealousy. "And what's a Sky Runner?"
"They're natural flyers," she answered. "And Sky Runner is a term used for a witch or wizards, who seek thrills in the sky, by flying fast, and dangerous. They make brilliant quidditch players because they aren't afraid of doing stupid things to score, save, beat, or catch the snitch. And before you ask why he is faster than her when she has been flying for longer... it's because he has more power to waste on more speed, and appears to be a Wind Elementalist so he doesn't use or need as much power to fly as everyone else."
Harry was having the time of his life flying away from Ginny every time she got close to him for the next hour. Madam Hooch didn't bother chasing after them so they figured it was OK. It was so freeing, breezing through the sky, the ultimate high, but all too soon they had to return to the ground because Ginny said she was getting a little tired, and Harry had to admit that he was too.
They landed near the other students where Madam Hooch had told Harry that he could be a Wind Elementalist, and that he should take that elective in his third year, which he intended to anyway. It was an interesting thought having the power over the wind and air because it will mean it will be easier to fly, and he'll be able to stay in the sky for longer.
She had retrieved a couple of brooms for them, and was not surprised Harry had taken to it easily, and even though the broom fought him and was crap compared to flying with the wind he still found it fun. Though Ginny could now keep up with him, which wasn't as fun for him.
"I told you, you would be great," said Ginny later that afternoon as they were heading back to their tower for a shower. "Though I never expected you to grasp it so fast, but I have heard of others in books learning just as fast. It only took me two days and I thought that was fast, my dad praised me for getting it faster than all of the boys for weeks. Most of my brothers were OK with my skill, except one, guess who?"
"Ronald," he supplied the answer and they laughed while she nodded when he stopped laughing suddenly and pulled Ginny into his arms as a spell streaked through where she was walking. They had stopped and looked around seeing Ron, Longbottom and a few other Gryffindor boys.
"Who threw that," growled Ginny angrily as Harry let her go with a light blush at their closeness.
"What you going to do?" asked Longbottom mockingly. "I bet you're exhausted from flying lessons."
"Not too tired that I can't kick your arrogant ass!" said Harry with a scowl. "I thought you were supposed to be a hero and not a bully who cant even fight someone while they're at full strength or face to face. Someday this kind of thing might come back to bite you on your fat ass. Oh, and good afternoon Professor Snape."
"Ha like we'll fall for that you no good for nothing trash!" roared Neville as he clenched his fists angrily, but Harry and Ginny just smiled tiredly.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Evans," replied Snape sneering down at the Gryffindors and they paled looking sickly green as they turned to see the teacher. "Now now Longbottom attacking students while they are weakened and have their backs turned and still you miss. How disappointingly pathetic, and utterly disgraceful of you. I think fifty points from Gryffindor, and a week's detention for the five of you," he said with a scowl. "You may return to your tower now Mr. Evans, Miss. Weasley," he added so they quickly turned tail and left up the stairs.
Snape watched them leave for a moment unable to believe he came to the rescue, but he had to have at least a little respect for the boy, and girl because they never stand down to the Gryffindors, and fight back, weakened or not, and that is a quality he can respect. And the boy is smart and nothing like he thought, he would be. He doesn't bully, and he avoids trouble when possible, a very cunning boy, and he can appreciate that.
Hidden in the shadows a little way back out of sight one Greengrass hid from view. No, this isn't Astoria, Astoria is hidden a little way off unbeknownst that her elder sister too had taken an interest in the little Nero's.
They are strong, and only getting stronger. They hadn't backed down from those foolish Gryffindors (including Longbottom), and they had at least garnered a little appreciation from Snape!
She had begun the year thinking that it was going to truly be as boring as the last two, but no! Sure, she has to put up with the crazy crap from Draco and Longbottom, but now a third party has entered the war. It seems strange thinking about it, but at the same time interesting.
Daphne found her self curious about Draco's... or perhaps what Slytherins stance will become if the mud-blood house becomes a full fledged feuding party as Gryffindor and Slytherin have been for centuries.
Frowning in thought a smirk soon lined her lips as school was finally becoming unpredictable. However, a frown soon re-emerged as she looked to where her 'hidden' little sister fumed in rage.
Her sister seriously needs a life. First her absolute hatred of Longbottom... something that is worse than ever, but now a freakishly stalkerish fascination with a mud-blood She'll have to have some words with the girl! She is obviously unhinged right now and needs some help.
It had been three weeks since their first flying lesson, and they only went to the second and third before Madam Hooch had got annoyed with those who can fly playing all day while she was teaching and band them from attending any more lessons.
Harry was a little disappointed because he couldn't get any more practice on a broom. Though, he was pleased that when he gets a brand new broom it won't fight him as if it's an old man's back he's flying on.
Lessons were only getting slightly more difficult with history and defence being the worse. Professor Quirrell just seemed off somehow, and Harry felt his stutter was being laid on a bit thick for a man who supposedly thought vampires to fear kids, though maybe not if you've spent enough time around Longbottom or Ronald Weasley. He just found the man made an interesting subject boring, which in its self shows some talent.
Potions were a lot better since his first lesson. Snape was doing something that other houses, and Nero included found odd. He was actually giving points to Nero house. Though they did deserve it by not talking back in class and working as hard as they could. Though Snape never gave them more than couple points each, a points a point.
Slytherin and Nero Houses could team up, but then that would just be screwing up everybody's belief system and nobody wants that because nobody would have a clue what is what and who they can like or hate. It would just be too confusing for everybody involved. Though, it did not mean that they couldn't have the occasional alliance or cease fire if the need ever arises with one side out numbered by those pesky Gryffindors who for 'good guys' start more fights than the 'bad guys'.
It was try-out day today and Ginny and Harry were walking towards the quidditch pitch just after potions with two of the best school brooms in hand. Though even the best is lame.
"Hey wait up!" called Fred suddenly.
The two stopped and turned to them, both carrying their own Cleansweep brooms. The twins stopped by them panting for breath.
"We thought you two were trying out," said George with a grin. "That annoying Granger girl keeps winging about Harry being better at nearly everything than her, flying being the largest gap between you. That you're a natural even, just like our Ginny."
"So, we want to offer our brooms up for loan so you'll both get on the team," added Fred eagerly. "And win the Foxes the quidditch cup."
"And why would you want that?" asked Harry suspiciously.
"Yeah, wouldn't you want Gryffindor to win the cup?" asked Ginny just as suspiciously.
"Maybe," agreed George. "But Neville's good and all, but if Harry is better than you little sister then that makes him better than Neville, and that Granger girl said he is, and she has her nose butted in to things that don't concern her so we'll believe it."
"Indeed," nodded Fred in agreement. "Even we notice cleaver students, especially in our house, and we don't want Slytherin to win again like last year. They are getting insufferable. And we heard a rumour that Draco Malfoy has bought his way onto the Slytherin team as their new seeker and he's not half bad."
"And a team of Nimbus two thousands is not something to scorn at," added George angrily.
"How the hell did you find out this anyway?" asked Harry interestedly.
"We'll tell you someday I'm sure," said Fred smirking as he and his brother swapped brooms with Harry and Ginny. "So do you think you could get us some burgers and fries later?"
"Um, sure," agreed Ginny liking the buzz of her brothers broom much better than the school one.
They then turned back towards the pitch and the four walked and talked about quidditch, and the twins explained a few seeker moves he could try against Malfoy, two of them very dangerous, but then quidditch is a dangerous sport.
"Get down!" hissed Astoria angrily at her minion forcing the large bruit of a girl to hide behind the bushes with her looking baffled.
However, Astoria's cold gaze was stationed directly at Evans and the three Weasley's. They're obviously up to something suspicious she's sure, but what.
However, a moment later a shadow blocked out her light and she looked up to see her older sister glaring down at her.
"You're worse than Malfoy," her blonde older sister said rolling her eyes.
Astoria stood up suddenly glaring at her blonde haired sister angrily. "I am nothing like that pompous moron! He's just as bad as Longbottom!" she spoke harshly before standing and stalking off. "Come on Parkinson!" she added commandingly and her minion obeyed following her back to the castle.
Daphne rolled her eyes as a pretty brunette girl came up to her from behind and looked in the direction the younger Greengrass hurried with an eye roll and smug smirk.
"Hey Daph, at least I don't have a younger sibling to catch stalking a mud-blood," she commented with a laughing edge to her voice.
Daphne turned to her hazel-eyed friend with an annoyed expression. "Did I ask for your opinion of MY younger sister Tracey?" she demanded heatedly. Her eyes colder than ever.
"Nope!" she chimed out in reply, now laughing. "But you know me girl. Never one to keep my opinions to myself!"
Daphne just rolled her eyes as she walked off back to the school with Tracey quickly following after her friend.
"I even tried reasoning with her," the blonde girl said with a sigh. "But... she's even more obsessed with them than she was with Longbottom's gang of losers!"
"She'll drop it eventually," her friend tried to reassure her. "Though, I'm not sure she doesn't still want to gut Longbottom."
"I don't know what she wants from this one," Daphne replied with a sigh. "I guess its just down to us to keep our eyes on her?" she added, grabbing her friends pale soft wrist and leading her on faster.
"Us...!" the brunette almost shrieked in shock. "But she's your little sister, not mine."
The blonde girl glared ice daggers, which caused the brunette to gulp and give a resigned sigh before they disappeared into the school.
It did not take long for Harry, Ginny, and the twins long to arrive at the quidditch pitch, and meet up with the team and other hopefuls, which was not too many. Fred and George went and sat up in the stands. Though Emily objected to them watching since they beat for Gryffindor, but Harry and Ginny reassured her they will not tell them anything, and Harry and Ginny have a high respect status with their kin because of both their talent and the points they achieve in most classes.
Emily then went on to introduce the rest of the team. The second chaser, Kelly Bowen, the keeper, Mark Tuffy, and the beaters who both claim to be lame, and the other teammates agreed with them, Jeff Henderson, and Gary Baggins. The team seemed OK, but it needed to be great in Harry's opinion, not that he's played before.
"OK, lets have the seekers over here," said Emily as she pulled out a small golden ball and led them a little way from the others. Harry counted the other seekers and found there're eight of them, all a few years older than him. "OK," she smiled as she let the snitch go. They watched it for a moment before it zoomed out of sight. "Try to keep out of the chasers way, and who ever catches the snitch is our new seeker... bye." She just walked back to the others.
Harry and the other eight just stared at each other for a moment before mounting their brooms and rocketing into the air. Harry being both fastest and most stable, as he searched for a glint of gold and kept the others in his line of sight.
In the stands, Professor Remus Lupin sat watching the seekers with Fred and George Weasley. Harry was just gliding gently as if he has no care in the world while the others kept close to him. He appeared to be the only one fully looking for his target while the others who have heard of his skill in the air were keeping close hoping to steal victory.
Remus really doubted they could beat him from what he heard about Harry from Madam Hooch. Not only one Sky Runner but two he thought smugly as he let his eyes breeze over the Chaser hopefuls where the other would be.
Suddenly Harry darted towards the ground at a slight angle, and the others followed, but he let them keep up for a short while before speeding ahead, and they too picked up speed even if they didn't realise or want to. They were just watching Harry and attempting to pass when he suddenly pulled up and Remus and the twins winced as all eight hit dirt and weren't getting up anytime soon.
Harry rocketed back into the sky as several people went to check on the fallen seekers. Remus could barely believe all eight of them feel for an average faint. That was just pathetic, it was just lucky Harry was here to get rid of them from the match.
"That was pretty awesome," said Fred as they watched the fallen, levitated off the pitch and probably to the hospital wing.
"Indeed, it appears we'll have a better chance of winning this year," agreed Remus with a smirk. "But if we could loose the beaters, and have you two instead, we could even win the Cup."
"But not until Dinner, Professor," commented George with a smug grin.
Then they saw it Harry blasted across the pitch, reach out and plucked it out of the sky in seconds with a huge grin. He raised his stitch hand in victory as he flew down to Emily. When he landed, she grinned at him, and almost hugged him to death. Not that he'll complain, she's pretty and enjoys his company, a death hug from her is well worth the effort of seeking!
"Excellent!" she cried out in joy. "I actually have not just a competent seeker, but a brilliant seeker!" she finished as she let him go wiping tears from her eyes.
"Thanks. So has Ginny been yet?" he asked eagerly. "How has she done?"
"Yes. I had her go first since she's a good flyer," she agreed with a grin. "It looks like she's in too. Scored nine out of ten, and nobody else has come close."
Harry searched out Ginny after and watched the rest of the try-outs with her. After the last had taken their turn, Emily announced that Harry was the new seeker, and Ginny the new chaser, which got a lot of cheers from those who had watched before they went off to shower and celebrate at dinner in the Great Hall.
Harry and Ginny were sitting at the Nero House table and it was about half past six, yet no food appeared yet, and it was not just their table but all tables. They were worried something might have happened to the house elves but the teachers did not look worried at all so it eased their minds a little but they were still hungry.
Then Professor McGonagall came walking in carrying the sorting hat with a look of both annoyance and pleasure. It was a strange look, and the only reason she would have the sorting hat for would be a sorting, and they wondered who the new student might be and why they are so late.
Dumbledore then stood and cleared his throat to gain everyone's attention, so everyone quietened and looked his way.
"I'm afraid today we are resorting two students," he began getting surprised gasps but he just smiled. "Two students have asked to be resorted, which I might add I don't intend to let happen again, but these are… special circumstances, as these two students may not actually belong in the house they are in, and this is a one time deal experiment to see whether the sorting hall will rectify this or return them to their house. So could Mr. Fred and Mr. George Weasley please step up and try on the hat."
The hall was speechlessly quiet as the twins stood up and walked over to McGonagall. She placed the hat on Fred's head first and it only stayed for a few seconds when it called out.
The hall took an intake of breath in surprise, but they knew how cunning they could be. McGonagall took the hat back as Fred moved aside and awaited his brother as the hat was too placed upon his noggin, and seconds later.
McGonagall took the hat back with a tight smile and a shake of her head before just walking straight passed them and out of the hall. Harry and Ginny then started applauding, soon followed by the rest of the house as the twins came over looking smug and sitting either side of Harry and Ginny with the rest of the quidditch team.
"Awesome!" declared Harry. "You're just a pair of schemers aren't you," he chuckled as their Gryffindor coat of arms just changed to Nero. He again wondered how the school does it.
"We are Nero's," they agreed in unison.
Dumbledore waiting a moment for the applause to die down before speaking.
"Now that we're finished, I believe we're all hungry," he clapped once and the food appeared before he sat down.
Everyone began digging in with vigour and talking about the weird resorting amongst them selves.
"Awesome," said Jeff. "You two can take our beater places," he added gesturing him self and Gary, Gary nodded his consent.
"Well only if the captain agrees," nodded Fred looking over at Emily.
"Of course I bloody agree," she accepted. "Sure they're kin but they don't even want to play, and a chance to win the Quidditch Cup can't be missed, and now Gryffindor is down two beaters."
"Yeah I just hope our friends can forgive us," said George. "Its just we've always regretted begging the hat not to put us here just because we were young and stupid wanting to please our mother, when she finds out we're most likely getting a howler."
"She's already sent letters to us about how disappointed she is Ginny's a Nero," continued Fred. "But we just ignored them. Though Ron's just makes him angrier, but I actually think he's afraid of Harry. He's actually been conspiring with Hermione coz she's jealous of his talent and hard work. She doesn't like being second best to anyone, and hates even more when she draws with Ginny."
"Yeah, why don't you two ask McGonagall to keep your class standings confidential?" asked George curiously.
"Because Hermione amuses us, and does worse because of it," said Ginny and everyone laughed. "She has to learn her lesson that sometimes people are better or just as good. Nobody whinges and cries over her being better than them, or accuses her of cheating like she did Harry just because he answered Snape's question, which were all in school books we had been scanning through for such questions."
"That girl is pathetic," said Jamie from across them. "I saw her in the library yesterday looking crazy as she was reading this huge book like her life depended on it."
"And I've seen her in the corridors," added Matthew who sat next to her. "She was muttering to her self about muggle ways you could be cheating to fool everybody."
"Maybe she should be in Slytherin," suggested Emily amusedly. "She'll be delving into damaged magic's if she doesn't get a clue, and face facts just because the books on our house say we're all losers it doesn't mean its true. She's a freaking muggle-born, and she's acting like most pure-bloods about us."
"She takes books and authority figures at face value," added George. "To her what they say is word of god."
"Yeah. I think I should bring up Hermione's odd behaviour with McGonagall," agreed Harry with a sigh. "And have my status kept secret, but that might make Hermione worse, and think I'm mocking her. She's troublesome but weak magically, and never tries any variation from the written word."
"I think that might be best, Harry," agreed Kelly with a sweet smile. "She may not be much of a threat magically but she's smart, and could help others get you with their power."
"Agreed," said Fred nodding his head. "We need you to catch that snitch."
"OK. OK. I'll go and speak to McGonagall after dinner," he answered with a sigh as they continued with dinner and let the conversation drop to less annoying topics of complete rubbish and jokes.
Dinner had been over for a short while and Harry was alone having just knocked on McGonagall's office door. She called him in, and he closed the door behind him and smiled at the stern professor as she sat behind her desk.
"Good evening Mr. Evans," she greeted with a nod. "I believe congratulations are in order for making your house quidditch team."
"Thank you, professor," he replied with a smile.
"Well I doubt you came here to talk quidditch. So how can I help you?"
"Well I'm concerned about one of your students, ma'am," he answered bravely.
"Mr. Weasley? Or Mr. Longbottom?" she asked reasonably.
"Well yeah sure they can be a problem but I'm not worried about them," he agreed and disagreed. "No. I'm talking about Hermione Granger and her sick obsession with how she should be better than me in classes because I'm a Fox and she's not." He paused here and McGonagall nodded for him to continue. "After our first potions lesson, a lesson where I answered Professor Snape's. 'I'm gonna get you questions' correctly she confronted me and told me you let her know our years students standings. Said I'm top of the year in all but history.
"And then, surrounded by a large group of my kin I might add, stupid in it self since none of hers was around. She accused me of cheating, because I... a lowly Nero couldn't possibly beat her in academics. She had even admitted that she could have accepted it if I was a Ravenclaw, but not because I'm a Fox. If I wasn't such a nice guy and just told her off, and let her flee crying my kin might have hexed her, and I even sent a few of the girls after her to make sure she was alright, and to explain her misconceptions.
"However, what they said seems to have gone in one ear and out of the other, as she has this crazy idea that books are all factual, and there word is god. Then during flying lessons, she mocked me because I was unaware that we could fly without brooms, and thanked her for telling me, but that just made her angry that I wasn't bothered by her cheep shot. And then she just kept glaring jealously at me because I understand my magic so well I could fly nearly straight away.
"She has since gotten worse... glaring at me, and hissing cheat and the likes. And now she spends a lot of time in the library reading god knows what like a psycho and walking around the castle muttering about how I'm a cheat and that she'll get me. And just today, the twins informed me she's been conspiring with Ronald Weasley and Neville Longbottom!
"Now I'm not exactly afraid of her, but her obsession is seriously disturbing, and I'm afraid she'll help other, less intelligent members of your house hurt my kin. And we won't stand for that kind of behaviour against us. We will fight back, but we would rather avoid getting hurt by fools who have some kind of grudge. We're not even sure what it is; at least with the Slytherins we know why they don't like us. I have also informed Professor Lupin of this, and he expects to speak with you soon about it."
Harry finished as he looked at McGonagall. She looked grave and older than she has in a long time. She had feared this kind of situation for a while now. Since Harry came to Hogwarts with Ginny and they both became Foxes. She saw they were both special, two students built to be great, and they were pushing Nero House out of the shadows of oppression, and helping them regain their strength. Two very special children, and her house doesn't like a rival that could be a greater good than them.
However, her house causing all of this conflict is weakening their stance, and with Slytherin one side, and Nero the other Gryffindor may fall since Slytherin, Nero conflicts were always fairly low because they had Gryffindors to worry about, but now those conflicts are near non-existent The other two houses mostly stay neutral, and with Nero's House unity, and their kinship they believe in, their entire house will fight to gain dominance of the school as one controlled structure.
How she wished her house acted more like Nero, but alas they are too reckless and foolish to think about what they are doing; and the consequences of their actions. She took a deep breath and rubbed the bridge of her nose tiredly before looking at Harry as he awaited her reply.
"Very well Mr. Evans," she began. "Thank you for coming to me in an attempt to prevent this from running out of control. I shall try my hardest to prohibit this from becoming a problem to your house."
Harry nodded his thanks with a grateful smile.
"Thank you Professor. I know I'm above average in the brain department, so I also know that if Gryffindor start something above what they do now, they do not hold out much hope of staying on top as they tend to do. But myself and my housemates are more worried about our friends and loved ones getting hurt than taking this opportunity to take their position. It is a better solution to prevent rather than engage."
Harry then gave a short bow of respect, turned and exited her office. She just sat back in her chair feeling sick, and wanting for the first time in many years to cry. Why did her house have to be causing such a huge fuss over two students from another house who just wants to do well, have fun and be left alone?
Sighing tiredly to herself she supposes she should go and find Remus to discuss matters before they do get out of hand, and then find the Headmaster, maybe he can make her House see reason!
Harry was feeling quite good after his talk with McGonagall and hoped she can prevent her house from attacking them. Why wouldn't the Gryffindors just leave them alone? He would bet Godric Gryffindor would be furious if he heard about what his house was doing. It was just non-logical for Gryffindor to start a fight with Nero while they are still pissing off Slytherins with their goody two shoes crap, which they don't even preach let alone practice.
He shook his head clear of those thoughts as he stepped onto the fifth floor towards his common room and paused, something felt wrong. The air felt thick with tension when he quickly raised a shield with his left hand deflecting a jelly legs hex into a wall.
He gulped when several Gryffindors came out from around the corners including Ron Weasley, Neville Longbottom, and Hermione Granger, all three glaring at him with their housemates, some of which are a few years older, and more experienced than him.
He moved back to retreat, but a quick glance behind him revealed several more Gryffindors on the stairs. He was trapped and this floors ceiling was too low to fly out of danger, obviously Hermione's idea to trap him here.
"Do you know what you're doing?" he demanded a little panicked. However, he showed them nothing but calm and courage, after all he doesn't poetically want to get hurt.
"Yeah, kicking your ass for corrupting my baby sister!" yelled Ron enraged, the whites of his eyes bloodshot with hate.
"Taking you down for being a cheat," added Hermione smugly, a crazy glint in her eyes. She will not have her lovely books being called fiction.
"And stopping you from becoming the next Dark Lord," added Neville. Harry found that one a little amusing. Him...? A Dark Lord...? Too much trouble. "If you didn't know already, I'm the defeater of You-Know-Who."
"Who… Voldemort?" he asked and they all flinched and hissed. "What...? His conqueror can't even say his name, or stop himself flinching as its spoken? You're all pathetic. You're supposed to be brave yet you can't even bare hearing that name and a stupid sounding name too, one better suited to a comic book bad guy."
"Shut up, Evans!" hissed Neville angrily. "You don't know what it's like, my parents died because of him!"
"And you think you're the only one who's lost their parents, war or not?" he asked angrily. "My parents are dead too, asshole, but you expect me to give a shit about you and some lame ass scar when all you care about is yourself?"
Neville growled angrily and threw a red beam from his right hand, but Harry sidestepped it and it flew harmlessly by him and into a wall.
"Do you truly understand what fighting me now means?" he asked but waited no answer. "My house will fight back, and we shall wipe the floor with you, and Slytherin wont ever let you get back up once we're done with you!" he said in a commanding voice as he pulled his magic to the forefront, gently burning the air around him, and he knew they could sense him readying to fight.
"That won't ever happen," laughed Ron mockingly. "We Gryffindors are the light... the good guys… the good guys always win."
"Oh, dear Ronald… this is reality," he replied sadly shaking his head. "In reality, there is no good or evil, just idiots who fight over a different kind of freedom... their beliefs."
"Enough talk, lets teach the stupid cheating fox a lesson!" yelled Hermione throwing a stunner to Harry's surprise, but it was not very strong and Harry just knocked it back with a simple shield. She cried out in shock as it hit her. She flew back and crashed to the ground as all hell broke loose as he was hit by several stinging hexes: one in the right eyes.
Harry screamed out in pain but refused to fall as he staggered and closed his right eye in pain. His left eye watering he found it hard to see. He threw several stingers in retaliation forward hoping to hit his adversaries. Hearing some yelps of pain he felt a little triumphant. He followed through with two jelly legs behind him, which tripped his two targets. They tumbled down the stairs with a loud crash.
He then felt something club him extremely hard on the back of the head, followed by the feeling of not being able to control his legs. He fell, tumbling heavily down the stairs to the bottom landing on the two who previously fell. His body felt bruised all over as he looked up with his one good eye he saw many angry yet smug faces.
Harry cancelled the jelly legs on him self and staggered painfully and tiredly to his feet, his body slumped slightly. His face burnt, and one eye closed but not a tear shed as blood trialled from his mouth. He would not give these bastards the satisfaction; he had been hurt worse in the past, (his uncle could have a furious temper). He spat out some blood as he glared up at the Gryffindors, his emerald eye glowing with power.
"Pathetic, weaklings!" he hissed at them. "The goodie goodie little Gryffindors are beating up a first year fourteen to one, and he still managed to hurt you!"
"Arsehole!" roared Neville raising his fist to punch Harry when a huge purple beam came from down the hall smashing into him and sending him flying into unconsciousness as he crashed to the floor.
Harry looked down the corridor with the Gryffindors to see four professors fuming and running towards them. Snape was the one to have fired from the front with McGonagall, Lupin, and Flitwick bringing up the rear, 'pretty spry for a tiny guy'. The teachers stopped and glared at the Gryffindors for a moment before Remus and McGonagall rushed to help Harry stand. He looked at McGonagall sadly, as he used her for support.
"I told you so, b-but I guess I w-was too late," he whispered shakily before he lost the fight to stay conscious. Remus kept him upright just staring at him in horror as he held the boy.
"WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU FOOLS WERE DOING!" screamed McGonagall suddenly with such furry everyone backed up as her power pumped and spiked dangerously. "YOU COULD HAVE KILLED HIM, YOU ARE DISGRACES TO THIS SCHOOL, AND GRYFFINDOR! I DO PRAY YOU ARE ALL EXPELLED!" she turned from them in disgust to Snape and Flitwick. "Deal with these fools, while Remus and I get Mr. Evans to Poppy," she commanded tiredly.
His head was pounding, and his body ached all over, but he felt he was lying on something soft and comfortable. He slowly opened his eyes… correction eye. He slowly opened his left eye as he realised something was covering his right one. He could make out a white ceiling as his eye adjusted to the bright light. He felt something or maybe someone gently stroking his right hand and someone holding his left.
"Harry?" asked a scratchy voice to his right. He turned his head to look… mistake: he winced as his head throbbed. It was Ginny, and she looked terrible with tear streaks down her cheeks and her eyes red and puffy from crying. Since when did Ginny cry? "Oh Harry we're so glad you're OK," she said shakily in relief.
He looked over to his other side slower this time to see Emily holding his other hand. She wasn't all tear streaked or anything but she looked just as worried as Ginny.
"You've been out for two days," she answered his unasked question. "You gave us all a scare little brother… what would we do without you? You have a special way about you, and it brings out the greatness in us all, and you have to help us bring in the Quidditch Cup," she sniffled with a few loose tears she had been holding back. "We won't stand for what they did," she added causing a faint smile to form on his lips.
"B-but if they're ex-ex," he coughed here a little.
"They're not getting expelled," interrupted Ginny bitterly. He looked over at her to see she was beyond pissed off, her face burning red with her rage. "Because of that Thing-Who-Lived. The governors won't expel him, so the others can't be either or the school could be sued for favouritism. All that happened is they lost five hundred points and having detention from now until Christmas."
Harry sighed sadly, as he looked back up at the ceiling tiredly. He just had to wonder at the freakishness of it all.
"W-what was wrong w-with me?" he croaked out to change the subject quickly, hoping Ginny will calm down a little.
"Burns over your body," began Ginny tiredly. "Burnt right eye, but the nurse said it will heal fine… a broken right arm in two places, bruises all over from where you fell down the stairs, and a cracked skull. Madam Pomfrey says you'll be up and about as good as new in a week."
"Good, but G-Gin, you look exhausted," he said sleepily. "P-please get some rest."
"She's been here with you since you arrived," said Emily smiling at the pair of best friends. "But you should have seen Snape on my way here. He was fuming over what those Gryffindors did, and with Lupin. They were actually ranting on the same wavelength, and wanting Longbottom and those others expelled. And according to what the twins found out, Dumbledore is also pissed he can't kick out Longbottom. He actually wants rid of the boy!"
Harry smiled dreamily. His head felt light, and he knew subconsciously that he is drugged up, or potioned up as the magical people might say.
"That's good," he whispered as he slowly lost consciousness again.
"You heard him, Ginny. As soon as someone else turns up I'm taking you to bed, and I'll even stay to make sure you don't leave again if I have to."
The orange haired girl sighed, resigned. At least she knows that Harry is going to be fine now. That's all she really wants.
Harry woke with a small yawn later that day and almost jumped as he saw the Weasley twins grinning at him.
"Good morning, Harry," they chimed together.
"Morning," he replied uncertainly. "Damn I feel like crap," he commented more to himself than them, with a cotton feel in his mouth and slight headache with a small throb to his right eye, which is still covered.
"Well you would wouldn't you," Fred answered anyway. "Those bastard cowards will pay for this."
"Thanks… oh... what did your parents do to Ron?" he asked interestedly. "Ginny said your mum can be really strict when need be."
They both looked sour at the thought, eyes narrowed dangerously.
"Mum didn't do anything. She said you deserved it," said George rolling his eyes and not sugar coating anything, especially his disgust. "We just got a letter from dad. It-it says he left her. He left our mum because of all this crap... because she won't see things as they are."
"I'm so sorry," he replied. "I-I didn't mean for all of this to happen. I just wanted to learn, fly and have some fun with my best friend."
"We know, mate, and it's not your fault," said Fred honestly. "Its Ron's fault, and Neville's and Hermione's for not just leaving you alone because they're jealous of your talent, and skill, and the way your house care for each other. We've only been in the house for a few days and they've already made us feel so welcome. And the Nero common room is freaking awesome."
Harry chuckled at that with a small smile while nodding in agreement.
"So where are you going to live?" he asked them worriedly.
"We're not sure," said George looking a little worried. "Ginny and us will have to go with dad, but we're not exactly well off... well we're quite the opposite actually."
"You can all stay with me if you want," he replied guiltily since it is kind of his fault. Though, he knows it has more to do with bigotry. He also realises if he weren't here none of this would have happened.
"Really, but would your parents mind?" asked George hopefully.
"My parents are dead," he shrugged but getting pitying looks from the twins. "I lived with my aunt and uncle until the moment I said I'm going to learn magic. They hate me for it, and gave me a choice, a home or Hogwarts," he laughed. "It turned out my mums parents left me a lot of money, and I mean a lot. They were well off, and my aunt knew, but they had a falling out over something so it all went to me. I was just going to use the wizarding world's stupidity and get the goblins to buy me a house and ward it the hell up, and live alone, but it would be OK to have house guests."
The twins stared at him gobsmacked for a moment.
"You can't just live alone!" they both declared together.
"I have little choice," he answered. "And I'm happy here. I actually have a family. My aunt and uncle stopped looking after me once I was three or four, since then they hardly gave a crap, so I know how to take care of myself. And then I came here, and I met my house. They became that family I had never had and always wanted. I count myself one of the luckiest kids on earth."
"That is freaking sad, man," said George slumping down in his seat. "And you always look so happy."
Harry giggled a little at this, his lips curving up brightly.
"That's because I am happy," he said honestly. "Just because my mum and dad are gone doesn't mean I'm sad all of the time."
"Does, Ginny know this?" asked Fred as he too slumped down in a chair.
"Yes," he nodded in agreement.
"And she just let you continue like this?" asked George sceptically.
"Heck no! She hit me, and demanded I go to Professor Lupin and tell him I'm an orphan with no one to look after me," he answered with a chuckle at the memory. "She looked so sad I almost considered it, but she finally understood. I'm afraid of the magical world like every muggle-born in Nero House because this world is so messed up. It will harm me for anyone to find out."
"Then why trust us?"
"Because you are my friends, and your father left your mother because he sides with us. I feel I can trust him for that alone. Plus I feel a little guilty about all of this. If you get your dad to meet us in the Leaky Cauldron for the Christmas Holiday we can go to Gringotts"
"OK, Harry," said George, though somewhat reluctantly.
"Hang on. Doesn't your dad earn all the money?" he asked and the twins nodded. "Then what is your mum, Ron, and Percy going to do for money?"
The twins burst out laughing.
"Mum will have to get a job," suggested Fred in amusement.
"She could have done that anyway since you're all away at Hogwarts," said Harry. "Why'd she bother going to school if she's just going to stay at home and live off your fathers earnings. Ginny says your mums always complaining about your dads 'stupid' job not bringing in enough money, so why can't she get off her lazy butt and make some her self. I heard she's brilliant in the kitchen and chefs make a fair amount of money."
The twins stared at him in utter disbelief; unable to comprehend he actually said that. It had only ever been suggested once in their memory and it had not been a happy day at the Weasley house. In fact, it was a very bad day, especially for their dad for mentioning it, and was one of the very few arguments they had, and of course, their dad lost, mainly because he gave in to keep the peace. She could keep an argument going for years.
"Dad joked about that last year when Ginny came here," said Fred shuddering. "Mum kicked up a storm about how she needed to take care of the house, and then started criticising his job and saying how that if he had a little ambition and got promoted we would have more money. The fight only lasted a couple of days but in dads letter he said things haven't been the same since, and that he feels that all she wants is to be a mother, and not the provider."
"Yeah, so you should make sure Ginny has a career plan, mate," said George with a smirk.
The twins laughed in amusement.
"It doesn't matter. Things can change in the next few years," one said laughing with his twin at Harry's baffled expression.
"O-K," Harry agreed still confused, but shrugged it off as a twin thing. "So can I get the hell out of here?" he asked looking around in annoyance. "You would think that a hospital would be painted up nice dark colours, because all this white hurts my head."
"I'll go get Madam Pomfrey and see," said George getting up, walking over to her office door, and knocking.
The door opened and a woman in light blue robes exited, looked at George and then Harry; she just stalked over tutting.
"He is perfectly safe you know!" she said in annoyance. "You Nero's are the most stubborn people I know, guarding him day and night."
"Well he was brutally attacked by people still free in the castle," reminded Fred reasonably.
"Yes I'm very much aware of that," she retorted angrily. "Honestly will they let them get away with murder just for that ill mannered Longbottom boy?" she demanded as she stopped by Harry and started prodding him with a wand.
Seriously... a WAND. It was made of light brown wood, but he had heard that some more précised professions used wands as focuses for their magic, like HEALING magic.
"Hmm. Mr. Evans you are quite exceptional. I checked you just four hours ago when the girls said you woke briefly, and you were magically drained, but now your matrix is almost at full, and I must say for how large your matrix is that seems almost impossible. How do you feel?"
"I'm feeling quite good actually," he answered as he moved about a bit. "Yeah, everything feels fine except a slight stinging in my right eye."
"That would be the potion healing the nerve damage," she told him sternly. "You are lucky... any more damage and you would have gone blind in that eye." Harry sighed in relief. "I suppose you want to leave?" she asked and he nodded frantically. "Very well, but any other house and I would have made you stay until tomorrow. Now you can't take off the bandage covering your eye until Friday. So if you need it changed before then please come and see me.
"Now you two," she turned to the twins and gave Fred two small vials. "These are a mild pain killer, make sure he takes one tonight before bed, and the same tomorrow night or he might not get much sleep with his eye stinging. The stinging should have ceased by then, OK?"
"Yes, ma'am," they chimed together.
"Plus, Ginny will kill us if we don't," added George as an afterthought.
"Too true brother, too true."
Pomfrey rolled her eyes while Harry laughed and climbed out of bed, finding some clean clothes he quickly got dressed.
Astoria was alone as she quickly moved from where she had been listening at the hospital room door. She had gotten some good dirt on Evans but even now couldn't bring herself to go and tell a teacher on him.
Her eyes narrowed in anger as she watched him and the Weasley twins turn a corner out of sight. She ground her teeth in anger. She could have the boy being some pure-bloods pet, maybe even hers if she told that he has no family, but she wouldn't, no... why... she didn't know.
Anyway, it might be amusing to watch Evans fight against Longbottom... maybe Evans will put the fat jerk in his place and squish Gryffindor with a little help from Slytherin. Then Nero will just leave the top dog space open because they're too docile to take it, and Slytherin will take the top spot. Yes... the stupid little mud-blood is more useful this way.
It didn't even register to her that she had in that one decision changed the Magical World as she knew it! However, she wouldn't have cared, as long as it suited her... well she wouldn't have cared until after the fact.
She was startled and looked to see her older sister glaring at her icily and grimaced.
"You're stalking Evans again aren't you?" Daphne demanded in annoyance.
"I am not a stalker!" Astoria said heatedly reprimanding her elder sister. "I was... I was just taking a walk. So what if he was just exiting the hospital wing as I was passing!"
"And you hid because...?" she asked doubting her younger sisters 'story'.
Astoria just glared, huffed and quickly stalked off. Daphne sighed tiredly as she quickly followed after the girl!
"Look whose back from lala land!" yelled out George as Fred helped Harry dizzily into the common room.
The Foxes in the common room all looked around and quickly rushed over. The girls all giving him a caring hug, and the boys a shake of the hand or pat on the back.
He then went on to tell them of his humiliating defeat, and the brave rescue by Snape, Flitwick, McGonagall, and Lupin. They all like the part where Snape blasted Longbottom best. But they have all already sworn retaliation against Gryffindor, so he doubted he could stop them even if he wanted to.
Apparently, the Slytherins were even disgusted at such a cowardly ambush especially on an opponent's seeker, so the Slytherins are mocking them that they're afraid of Nero's new team, which the Foxes, Harry included finds amusing.
It took awhile for everyone to leave him alone for a bit, but he needed space. He asked the twins where Ginny had gone, and they made him laugh when they said Emily had to drag her to bed, so he sat alone watching Nitrous.
"Hey Cub what's on your mind," the fox suddenly said making him jump as he lazily opened his eyes.
"Is it right to go to war with Gryffindor for what they did. For what they've been doing and how they've been acting towards us?"
"You have given them opportunities, and I understand you were ambushed on the way back from talking with their head about your worries of an inter school war between the two houses, something you did not want. Your kin will stand by you because you have given their house back its pride and worth."
"But what would Rosette do?"
"Kick their asses and then make fun of them while they're down."
Harry couldn't help but laugh along with the fox for a while before Nitrous closed his eyes again and returned to sleep. Harry just leaned back in his chair for a while thinking about what will happen at school from here on out. He did not want to be in constant confrontations with Gryffindors as Slytherins are, but knew now the Gryffindors would not leave them alone, so if they want war, then its war they shall get, and Harry did not intend to play fair.
"Harry!" cried out Ginny suddenly from the girls stairs. He looked up as she rushed over and threw herself onto his lap and burying her face into the crock of his neck as she hugged him. He smiled brightly and hugged back while she got comfortable on him. "I'm so glad you're back, but did you escape or were you released. I'll kill Fred and George if they helped you escape."
"Don't worry, Gin," he chuckled amusedly. "I'm sure they're aware you would. Madam Pomfrey let me come back, I feel fine and my eye should be back to top notch by Friday."
The next month flew by slowly with pranks flying left, right, and centre, mainly at the Gryffindors courtesy of the Weasley twins and any and all Nero's with free time to assist at the time. Confrontations were very tense and thick with malice from both sides. The first confrontation after the attack on Harry was the worse so far as it happened in the Great Hall when some Gryffindors tried to jump a group of Nero's.
However, the Nero's had been on guard and hexes and curses went flying all over the hall putting most of everybody involved in the hospital wing. And after that fight, neither Gryffindor nor Nero went anywhere alone, including the bathroom. In fact, the other three houses were getting so worried they were taking this same stance encase they got caught in the crossfire.
Slytherin seemed to be enjoying the all out house war, and to Gryffindors stupidity they seemed to be trying to drag the snakes into it as they have not stopped fighting with the Slytherins for their immediate problems. However, Nero House kept well away from any conflict involving Gryffindor and Slytherin because the Slytherins were pretty much leaving them alone. If they ever did enter a Slytherin, Gryffindor conflict, Nero House knew that although Slytherins are the worse of two evils they would side with that evil for the simple reason, with a Slytherin you know what you're getting, and the Gryffindors would never choose to side with them anyway.
Slytherins don't pretend to be all-good and then attack when your back is turned or your guard is down because that is what Gryffindors do. No, Slytherins are dark and ambitious, but not evil as Gryffindors and books would have you believe but that does not mean they are to be trusted. However, with them, they are what they are, they don't try to hide their true nature, and the Foxes can at least respect that a little.
However, with the Gryffindors they believe strongly that they are in the right no matter how stupid and selfish that sounds. To them it is simple fact they are all good even though they attacked another student for selfish reasons.
Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are harder to read. Though one thing was certain, both houses were disgusted at Gryffindor for attacking Harry the way they did and starting this stupid House War. Therefore, both houses wanted nothing to do with the other three houses, and a few cross-house friendships were broken to keep their whole houses out of the confrontation.
The teachers were on constant watch for house confrontations, which luckily Nero tried to avoid as best they can settling primarily on humiliating pranks, something Gryffindor was helpless against, and lacked the skill to retaliate with the Weasley twins now in Nero.
Professor Lupin was starting to get a bit worried about the pranks pulled on Gryffindor because they were getting bigger and more malicious as time went by. Even the Marauders had their limits, but that was primarily because their was only four of them, but now there's a whole house of cleaver minds to come up with ideas with wizards and witches talented enough to pull them off. He figured his old friends James and Sirius would love this all out war of pranking talent, and would have loved to be on the greater side.
Harry and Ginny had stayed out of as much as they could as they were studying a lot of new spells in their spare time. Harry had had his bandages removed and was thankful his eye worked fine, since he did not want to have to wear glasses.
The pair of best friends worked on every and any spell that crossed their paths and caught their interest to such an extent that Ginny was now second in most classes, which seemed to just piss off Hermione Granger even more, which brought on even more attacks on the pair, but they were now never without at least one or two older students when not in the common room. It was top priority to protect all Nero quidditch players.
Quidditch practice was one of those rare times when the quidditch team could relax a little because half of the house came and set up guards around the stadium. They would not let anyone in because they would not risk their teams' lives; their team is family after all.
Harry had to order himself a broom but he had not wanted a Nimbus like the Slytherins, and two weeks before Halloween he had received a new broom catalogue that made him grin like a loon as he finally made his order. This new broom was a lot more pricey but to him it was hardly spare change.
Halloween was a lovely affair when everyone seemed to be ignoring the House War and enjoying the great feast the house elves had prepared. Not even one prank, which was only because the Foxes wanted to enjoy the day without anything to worry about. However, that was until Professor Quirrell came running into the hall panting for breath he came to a stop at the teachers table.
"Troll in the dungeon – thought you ought to know!" he gasped out before he collapsed to the ground in a dead faint.
The hall was in a chaos of panic, as many students screamed and cried in fear. However, Harry just sat in his seat watching with a frown because its one troll, and in the dungeon, which is far from the Great Hall so nobody is in danger because even if it was here the upper classes could handle it, plus the teachers would protect everyone. Panicking and screaming will just draw its attention anyway.
Dumbledore stood at this point sending sparks into the air, his power booming. Harry finally realised why the man was thought of as the greatest wizard of this age.
"Silence!" he yelled out and the school all paused staring at him. "Prefects will escort students to their houses and the rest of the feast shall be continued in your common rooms. Teachers with me," he then led the teachers out of the hall while the house prefects led their housemates.
They had all reached their common room to be greeted by the Halloween feast scattered about the house coffee tables, so settled themselves about on chairs, sofas and even on the floor discussing what could be going on and how the troll even got into the school. It was an odd occurrence since trolls are supposed to be stupid, either somebody led it to the school or it got in by accident, which was unlikely because the school wards should have prevented such a thing or at least alerted Dumbledore and McGonagall.
There was lots of discussion as to who could have let the vile creature into the school and why. Though most speculated that whoever let the troll in did it as a distraction in attempt to perhaps steal whatever Dumbledore might have stashed away on the third floor corridor. Not that anyone thought that he should be stashing anything away within a school full of children, but Dumbledore is considered a little odd.
Mostly everyone in Nero House figured it must be one of the teachers attempting to rob the school as it would be near impossible for a student to sneak in a troll, and even more difficult for an adult from outside the school.
"What are you two doing?" asked Harry suddenly looking at the Weasley twins as they wrote someone else's name down in a little note book.
"Taking bets on who's trying to rob the school," said Fred with a huge grin. "So far the number one suspect is Snape, two to one odds if you're interested."
"And what if there is nothing to steal in the school, or we never find out?" he retorted in amusement.
"Then all bets are off," said George with a shrug.
"I bet two galleons its Malfoy," said Donovan "He's a jerk, and his dads a Death Eater, right? I bet their working together."
"OK, ten to one on Malfoy Junior and Senior working together," chuckled Fred as he marked it down in the book. "What about you, Harry, want some action?"
He shrugged as he thought about it before grinning widely.
"Sure I'll bet ten galleons on Quirrell," he said cheerfully. Those close enough to hear, minus Ginny looked at him as if he is crazy.
"Quirrell?" asked Emily doubtfully. "You'll be loosing ten galleons on that one. He's a wimp. He's even too afraid to take house points from us if we mess about in his class."
"Yep. I believe Quirrell is the bad guy," he agreed with a nod and a shrug.
"OK. Your lose!" said Fred as he marked it down. "I'll give twenty to one odds on that."
"Easiest two hundred galleons I'll ever make," he chuckled while Ginny giggled.
Just then, Professor Lupin entered the common room looking both annoyed and haggard dropping down into an empty seat. The common room dropped its noise looking to him expectantly. He smiled sheepishly at his house before clearing his throat.
"The troll has been contained," he began to some cheers. "I might as well tell you before you find out through the rumour mill. Three students were almost killed by it. Hermione Granger said she went looking for the troll because she thought she could handle it," he snorted here with a few others. "And said Longbottom and Weasley followed trying to stop her, but I'm not buying it even if Professor McGonagall and Dumbledore did, which I doubt very much but we can't prove otherwise.
"All three are in the hospital wing injured," he continued with a sigh. "If it wasn't for Nitrous stalking through some paintings through the castle seeing them and the toll, not in the dungeon I might add, and quickly finding myself and the Headmaster they might have been killed."
"I do not stalk," interrupted said fox from his painting as he had just arrived back. "I was just taking a walk, saw that idiot Quirrell running into the hall yelling about a troll so I went and did my duty to my school and searched it out. I do have my uses you know."
"Err, sorry," replied Lupin sheepishly. The fox just nodded his acceptance before lying down, closing his eyes and quickly falling to sleep. "Well anyway, everyone, continue your meals, we all need our strength for classes tomorrow."
They all continued with their meals thinking about what they have learnt as Lupin grabbed himself a plate and dished himself out some food. Harry was not surprised that Longbottom, Granger, and Weasley had gone looking for the troll like good little Gryffindors they're idiots who don't think about the consequences before they act, and Granger thinks she is smart, its no wonder she ain't no Ravenclaw.
"So Professor, how badly were they hurt, will Longbottom be able to fly next week?" asked Emily eagerly.
He laughed with a nod of his head.
"Yes the boy will… though if Professor Snape and I had our way we would have had his quidditch privileges taken away," he replied with a roll of his eyes. "But we had to settle for just fifty points each. I don't think Gryffindor have a chance for the House Cup this year since they're already minus five hundred and fifty the last time I checked while we're actually in the lead by about sixty with Slytherin coming in second."
"Awesome!" chimed Emily. "We haven't ever been in the lead before, but its still early we need to keep up our hard work."
"Indeed you do…" began Lupin but trailed off as an army of post owls suddenly flew in through the common rooms open doors landing about everywhere, where they left eight wrapped cases before flying off back out of the door.
Everyone was quiet as they looked at the wrapped packages while Harry got up with a grin and they watched him collect all of the packages and pile them up by his chair as he sat back down. All eyes were on him, curious what he had purchased before they watched him tear the first wrapping open to reveal a beautifully varnished red wood case with a black leather bound handle. However, the platinum lettering across it was what got everyone's attention.
The words 'Guststar Zero', and everyone's mouths fell open in shock.
"Whoa. How the hell did you get that?" asked Emily in awe. "It isn't supposed to be released over here for another year or two. It's even better than the Nimbus."
"I just ordered it straight from the manufactures in Japan when I received the catalogue," he shrugged with a cheeky smirk. "Cost a fair bit more with the import export and delivery but I thought it was worth it. I bought seven for the house and one for my self."
"You freaking bought the team these to play on?" yelled out Mark the goalkeeper in shock.
"Sure, why not, Malfoy did," he replied with a shrug. "I just paid a fair bit more and just happened to already be on the team."
"There's no way Gryffindor can win now," said Ginny in awe. "Come on, Harry pull one out," she added eagerly.
He nodded while everybody watched he flipped the catches slowly, no one blinked or even breathed afraid they might miss something. Harry took a steadying breath as he could already feel the beautiful pulse of the brooms magic even through the case. He carefully lifted the lid and everyone gasped as they lay eyes for the first time ever on the Guststar Zero racing broom.
It was beautifully aerodynamic, red wood smartly varnished it kept a reflection. Its name was perfectly embroiled into the handle in both English and Japanese, in platinum. Its slimline body was a work of pure art with the beautiful grain lining it. Its tail was perfectly straight red twigs melding quickly into yellow, then melding into an icy blue at the tips. Harry stroked the soft cool wood and the buzz of power sparked through his fingers.
"Oh my god," whispered Emily. "The pictures don't do it justice, but how fast is it?"
"Zero to one hundred in seven seconds with a top speed of one hundred and thirty," he said without his eyes leaving the broom. "It can reach top speed in nine seconds. The Nimbus two thousands top speed is only eighty five miles per hour, zero to eighty-five in fourteen seconds."
"Whoa, now that is impressive. It gets to top speed before the Nimbus, and it's faster," said Kelly one of the chasers eagerly. "We'll have to get used to them before the match."
"Well we have the pitch before dinner tomorrow," said Emily just as eagerly.
Tuesday wasn't the best day. The day after Halloween, the day after three foolish Gryffindors tried to fight a fully-grown mountain troll and failed. The thing that made this day bad began at breakfast that morning. The Gryffindors were gloating over Longbottom, Weasley, and Granger's defeat of the troll even though, Lupin had told his whole house Dumbledore had stunned the creature and the moronic trio had ended up in the hospital wing.
Both Slytherin House and Nero House were fuming at the audacity of the idiots thinking they can claim they won when they would be dead if not for Professor Dumbledore. It was a disgrace, and no matter how many times both houses refuted their claims they didn't care or attacked and walked around as if they own the school.
It was just before lunch when the largest commotion happened just after herbology (where both Harry and Ginny suffered Astoria's constant glares. Is it not bad enough that she's a stalker?), when the Nero first years re-entered the school through the entrance hall when they saw the second year Gryffindors and Slytherins were facing off in an argument. It included the idiot trio and Malfoy and his gang. Though, they noted out of them all only Daphne Greengrass looked bored while her black haired fired was smiling in amusement, her smile only increasing as the Nero's entered the hall. Other students were around watching the commotion but trying to keep as clear as they could.
As soon as the Nero first years entered the school they gained the two opposing forces attention and paused, glares all around. The tension in the hall just thickened as nobody quite knew what to do but that didn't mean the Nero's weren't building forth their magic readying themselves for a fight, something both Gryffindors and Slytherins had already done. The atmosphere in the hall was crackling with magic as the three houses stared each other down, no one wanting to be the first to fling a curse through fear of getting into trouble so they started with insults attempting to provoke others to start the fight.
"Oh look its Evans and his looser friends!" hissed Neville angrily glaring at him. The boy just doesn't seem to get how to insult someone correctly.
"Oh look it's the Boy-Who-Got-His-Ass-Kicked-By-A-Troll!" Harry retorted with a smirk. "How is our wonderful nurse? I hope she's doing well after having to suffer some time with you?" The Nero's and Slytherins laughed or snorted in amusement while Neville went red with rage.
"Shut it, Evans!" hissed Ron coming to his friends aid. "You're nothing but a cheat who corrupted my baby sister!"
"That what you think, huh?" asked Malfoy in amusement, getting his digs in quick. "You're pretty stupid aren't you? Blaming your own faults on others jealous Evans and your sister have more talent than you'll ever have because you're a moron." The Slytherins snickered while the Nero's were surprised and the Gryffindors just getting angrier.
"Shut up, Malfoy!" interrupted Hermione. "You don't know anything! Evans is just a cheat, and he's obviously taught her how to cheat too!"
"Don't call me or Harry cheats!" yelled Ginny angrily. "You're just a cow, jealous we're better than you and work harder in our studies!"
"Don't speak to our friend like that!" roared Neville enraged. "She's smarter than you'll ever be… she's a genius!"
"Book smarts isn't genius, you idiot!" interrupted Harry with a glare as a fuzzy blue light faded into form around his right fist. "You're just a bunch of bullying evil gits who won't leave anyone and anything be. I bet Godric Gryffindors spinning in his grave at your disrespect to his house!"
"Shut up you're the evil ones, not us!" yelled Ron angrily. "And you've turned my sister evil just like you!"
"You're pathetic, Weasley if you actually believe that!" laughed Malfoy smugly, pushing Ron's buttons easily. "You just think everyone who has different belief's and ideas is evil you moron!"
"You're just saying that because you're evil too!" said Hermione with a scowl. "I bet Nero House and Slytherin House are secretly working together!"
"We are not!" hissed a black Slytherin boy stepping forward with a glare; Harry believed he is Blaise Zabini, and caught the annoyed eye roll from Greengrass. Thinking of her where is the other one? He wondered. "But believe what you want fools, you're just proving you're afraid of us!"
"ARE NOT!" screamed out Neville a yellow light forming around both clenched fists. "I'm the Boy-Who-Lived, and I defeated You-Know-Who!"
"No I don't know who," said Harry smirking. "Maybe Voldemort?" he asked amused as everybody except the Nero's gasped and flinched.
"You shouldn't be saying his name, Evans!" hissed Hermione shakily. "Its not accepted in wizarding society!"
"Screw what you think genetic traitor!" he retorted angrily getting a lot of confused looks; he rolled his eyes. "It's what I'm calling muggle-born's who have no pride in their muggle heritage and side with pure-bloods in their bigotry trying to act as if they are pure-blooded them selves."
Malfoy and the Slytherins laughed while the Nero's smirked smugly.
"Ha, good one," said Malfoy. "I always wondered why the other houses mud-bloods always sided with pure-bloods against you Foxes."
"Don't call her that you asshole!" roared out Ron while Hermione looked on the verge of tears.
The Nero's however, laughed in amusement.
"Pathetic. Crying over an insult like that!" hissed Ginny with a scowl at the girl. "I can call you much worse things, what you going to do then run off and cry to your mummy?"
"Shut up traitor!" she screamed in reply throwing a lame stunner that Ginny just swatted away angrily and it just hit a wall.
"Pathetic!" hissed Harry as he threw his spell at the Gryffindors, Malfoy quickly followed suit, in turn so did Ginny while the three Gryffindors threw spells at Malfoy, Harry and Ginny. The spells clashed in a small explosion between the three groups and they all had to shield their eyes from the blinding light for a moment looking up to see nobody had actually been hit with a spell they were all readying for another volley, this time including more of their friends.
"STOP THAT, THIS INSTANT!" roared an angry voice suddenly. They all looked to the stairs and gulped to see Professor McGonagall storming down them red with rage. She stopped between them. "Right...! sixty points from Longbottom, Granger, and Ronald Weasley. Fifty points from Malfoy, Evans, and Ginevra Weasley, and a detention each tonight after dinner!" she hissed angrily.
"What...? Why do we lose sixty while they only lose fifty?" demanded Ron angrily.
"Because doing so will give you extra detentions," she retorted with a glare. "And you already have them until Christmas so think your self lucky, we're already in minuses by hundreds, and I'm taking another ten points for your backtalk and disrespect! Now get to lunch before I give you all a detention now and make you go hungry!"
The large group and spectators quickly dispersed and hurriedly rushed into the Great Hall to lunch before she changed her mind. McGonagall groaned and rubbed her tired eyes as she shook her head. Why did they all have to bump into each other like that, and to make matters worse from what she saw both Slytherin and Nero attacked Gryffindor together while Gryffindor had to fight both? She had figured if a confrontation like that came about that Slytherin and Nero though enemies would side together against the enemy they dislike the most, which she had no doubt is Gryffindor.
"It is a shame that came about, Minerva," said Dumbledore suddenly standing beside her and making her jump as he looked into the Great Hall where the Gryffindors were glaring at the Nero's and Slytherins, and the Slytherins were glaring at the Gryffindors Though what was surprising the Nero's were just getting on with lunch and acting as if nothing happened. "I don't think this will stop until the Gryffindors back down, because the Nero's can't afford to because it would mean letting grades drop, loosing the House Cup and purposefully losing all their quidditch matches for the Gryffindors to leave them alone.
"And the Slytherins can't back down because it would mean accepting Gryffindors run the school and I'm afraid to say that is the worse thing that can happen, because I have noticed in the past few years that Gryffindor House bullies and causes more trouble than the other four houses combined."
She nodded with a sad and tired sigh.
"I'm afraid you're right," she agreed sadly. "I've tried speaking with my house but all I get is a lot of false accusations against Nero House. Them trying to tell me that they are all cheating to get such good grades suddenly, when in fact they have just started working harder when they realised they actually could get the House Cup if they put enough effort in. And Longbottom keeps accusing Evans of being dark and wanting to become the next Dark Lord so muggle-born's can take over the wizarding world."
She snorted at the mere thought and idea while Dumbledore shook his head sadly she continued.
"Evans is too smart for that," she said. "If he was going to try and take over he would do it within the law, after all the Foxes are supposed to be cunning."
"Indeed," chuckled Dumbledore letting a small smile grace his lips. "Or perhaps create a new magical world and school and hide it from us, all he would have to do is invite muggle-born's before they are eleven since I doubt the ministry would even let us take them earlier even then."
McGonagall rolled her eyes at the old man's theory.
"You read too much muggle science fiction and fantasy," she reprimanded him causing his Santa cheeks to brighten. "Creating a hidden society from us would not be that easy, Albus," she offered shaking her head. "They would have to create new wards to keep any of our people from stumbling across them, which might also mean tuning in everyone from their world into too many wards. It would be near impossible."
"Oh, maybe," he agreed with a shrug and his blue eyes twinkling full force laughingly, maybe he should cut back on the muggle fiction... na. "But they are very determined children, and they shall be just as determined adults. We shall just have to wait and see what the future holds for us all."
Astoria frowned as she spied on the two teachers and they finally walked off, into the Great Hall. Some of the things the old man comes up with... seriously?
Shaking her head clear of the old man's silliness she let her cool blue eyes glare full force into the Great Hall where she can see Evans laughing with his mud-blood friends. She was just thinking about going over and starting an argument as the fight a moment ago had been too chummy between Nero and her house when she was startled out of her thoughts.
It was her sister again and the blonde haired Greengrass second year just grabbed one of her arms while her sisters best friend Tracey Davis grabbed her other, and they began marching her into the Great Hall and towards the Slytherin table.
"You are not going to make trouble with your stalk victim!" her sister said commandingly.
"I am not stalking the mud-blood," she replied, but let the two older girls guide her to the Slytherin table where she saw that her minions older sister keeping her from... well her. She thinks Astoria's becoming a very bad influence, and that's saying a lot coming from a minion of one Draco Malfoy. The only second years that aren't his minions seems to be Daphne, Tracey, and that weird Zabini boy.
"Keep telling yourself that," said Tracey laughingly. "Maybe it'll sink in and become true."
Astoria just sulked and slumped down onto a seat with Tracey and Daphne sitting either side of her.
The rest of that day was more uneventful for the school, and the Nero's just acted as if the short battle had not even happened even though they were perfectly OK with the outcome they would have preferred it just never happened, especially Harry and Ginny since they had gotten detention for the altercation.
On a lighter note, quidditch practice was a blast. The Nero's were nothing more than blurs around the pitch as they spent the first hour just flying around like loons with most of the house watching and cheering as they even practised flying in formations. The brooms were near perfect, and they had to give credit to the Japanese engineers for the perfect craftsmanship and spell weaving. They were much better than any American or British designed broom they had ever rid and no doubt much better than the British Nimbus brooms. It's a shame the ministry makes us have to wait so long for such brooms to be sold in the UK, or import them privately, which costs a lot more money, but in the long run was well worth it.
The brooms seemed connected to the riders thoughts as well as touch, their breaking was unbelievable, and the speed incredible. Most of the team had never flown so fast in all their lives and never dreamt they would ever get to ride such fast brooms, especially in quidditch at school. They were all whooping with joy, the thrill of the air blasting through their hair at high speeds was something indescribable, and the feeling of confidence that they had the Quidditch Cup in the bag went through the roof.
When they finally got around to practising quidditch, Harry was unstoppable at catching the snitch. It took no longer than ten minutes each time he let it escape. The chasers were trying out their manoeuvres at high speeds and just seemed unstoppable in their determination that the keeper found it hard at first to stop any goals. The beaters found it easy to catch up to the bludgers and hitting them back and forth, and practised targeting players to practice against moving targets and give the rest of the team a chance to practice dodging.
However, all good things must come to an end, so they packed away their brooms and snuck back to their tower because they only wanted the rest of the school to see their new brooms during their first match. They knew Neville Longbottom's family is rich and did not want to give him the idea of buying new brooms for his team until after they've trounced them into the ground with the superior brooms.
After a quick shower, the team went to dinner, and near the end, Harry and Ginny received a note from McGonagall telling them to meet Hagrid in the entrance hall for their detention. So as soon they finished they said bye to their friends and exited the hall. Longbottom, Granger, Weasley, and Malfoy were already waiting with the giant sized man, Malfoy glaring at the three while they glared back.
When Harry and Ginny turned up nobody was quite sure who to glare at any more Hagrid looked nervous wondering what he had done to be stuck with students from three houses that hate each other.
"Good evening Mr. Hagrid," chimed Harry with a huge grin. Honestly how bad can a detention be with such a kind and friendly bloke.
Hagrid looked at him in surprise before sighing and beaming in delight.
"Good evening, 'Arry," he replied. "But jus' call me, Hagrid, OK?"
"OK. So what are we doing for our detention?" he asked as Hagrid gestured for them to follow and led them out of the castle towards his hut.
"Somethin' been killing unicorns," he replied uneasily. "'Ard to catch em, and not very nice ta kill em," he said with a frown. "We're going inta the forest… ones been hurt recently and might need help, or ta be put out of its misery."
"But why would someone want to kill a unicorn, they're so pure?" asked Hermione worriedly.
"To drink its blood," said Ginny rolling her eyes. "Drinking the blood of a unicorn can keep you alive even when an inch from death, but it will give you a cursed life. Or in reality a half life since it cuts your natural life in half for slaying something so pure just so you can live."
"Who would be that stupid," snorted Ron with a sneer.
"You," said Malfoy with a smirk as they reached Hagrid's hut and he grabbed a crossbow and lantern.
"Anyway Ginny migh' be right," said Hagrid sadly. "Since if it were poachers they wouldn't have left the bodies coz they could bring a lot of money for rare potions supplies, and the ones I found were all bleeding but nothing else missing." He then opened his door and a large boarhound bounded out and jumped up at Harry trying to lick his face while Ginny giggled at his predicament. "Fang get of 'em, let 'em breath ya gonna knock him over," he said with a chuckle as the dog dropped down looking sheepish.
"It's OK Hagrid. Dogs are cool," said Harry amused as he petted the dogs head.
"Well, OK," said Hagrid smiling. "Well let's get goin' then," he chimed as he led them towards a path leading them into the forest.
"I thought we weren't allowed in here," said Malfoy a little worried. "Aren't there werewolves and other things in here?"
"Full moon isn't for another two weeks," commented Harry with a shrug.
"'Arry's right," agreed Hagrid giving Harry a proud look. "Anyway as long as ya with me or Fang nothin' will get ya."
"You scared or something Malfoy?" mocked Neville with a smirk.
"No!" he retorted glaring. "I'm just not stupid like you, running off to get eaten by a troll."
"Shut up, looser," hissed Ron. "You would be too afraid to fight a troll."
"Hay Hagrid," interrupted Harry as he rushed ahead and came to a stop at a fork in the road crouching down to get a closer look at a shimmering silver puddle. "Unicorn blood, but I don't know which way it went."
Hagrid leaned over and looked down too, glad for the interruption to the pointless argument.
"Alright. Looks like its pretty bad," he declared with a serious look. "We'll 'ave ta split up," he said looking at the students nervously. "OK, Malfoy, 'Arry and Ginny can go ta the right, and Ron, Neville and Hermione to the left with me." He took a paused here. He knew Harry and Ginny could take care of themselves, and that the three Gryffindors were troublemakers, and would do something stupid if left with Malfoy.
"Fine with us. We'll send a green flare for found it, and red for damn we need to be rescued," said Harry with a smile and a shrug. "Come on guys… Fang!" he said just walking off. The large dog followed as if Harry was his new master, and Ginny laughed as she and Malfoy jogged to catch up with them. Harry created a couple of small globes of light to follow them and light the path so they could continue on and see where they are heading.
"How did he create those orbs, Hagrid? Can you teach us?" asked Hermione eagerly and jealous of Harry.
"Dunno 'ow he did it," he said with a shrug and a grin. "But its mighty cleaver," he added as he led them down the other path.
"Cleaver?" snorted Hermione doubtfully. "Don't you know Hagrid that those Nero's are cheaters?"
Hagrid looked at her with a chuckle and a shake of his head.
"I was a Gryffindor along time ago," he told them happily. "I knew a fair few Nero's too. See a lot of Gryffindors used ta pick on me, coz of me size, and the fact I'm a half-blood But the Nero's always accepted me for me. They never looked down on me coz I was different, and young Harry is always polite. And if ya didn't notice, he prefers to avoid trouble. I'm not the brightest person around but when I notice something you lot don't you should open ya eyes a little wider," he said with a smile.
"Nonsense, Hagrid," answered Neville unbelieving. "So a few of those idiots were nice to you, Evans is evil…"
"'Arry, evil? Don't talk stupid boy!" the giant man suddenly did not look so kind but a little scary. "You don't know the meaning of evil if you think that boy is. Its no wonder your houses are warring with each other if you keep sprouting rubbish like that."
"But he still cheats in classes," said Hermione bravely.
"Ya think someone can cheat at magic?" he asked a little amused now. "Either ya got talent or ya don't. And even if he was trying to cheat with written stuff do ya think so little of McGonagall that she wouldn't notice? Or think Snape wouldn't have blown his top over it?"
"He still corrupted my baby sister!" hissed Ron angrily. "She wouldn't be in that inferior house if she never met Evans."
"But she did, and is. It is our choices, nobody else's that make us us. Dumbledore told me that," he answered getting annoyed with them. "She looks perfectly content to me. Fro' what I've 'eard, she's second in 'er year," he said proud for the girl.
"Because she's a cheat too," said Hermione bitterly. "I should be top of the class not third, and now McGonagall won't let anybody see the class standings until the end of each year because of them."
Hagrid had to pause for a moment here because these three children were so blind and starting to annoy him with these obsessive and false accusations. It takes a lot to annoy him, but they seemed to have a knack for it. Why can't they just forget these stupid prejudice, and just get along. He had to blame the families, and the ministry for his predicament.
"Now listen here Hermione!" said Hagrid as he continued before taking a deep calming breath. "I heard that McGonagall did that because you kept harassing 'Arry, and Ginny for being better than you in classes, and neither of them cheat. Its impossible see. You saw those little orbs… 'ow could 'e cheat to get 'em, eh?"
Hermione just scowled and shut up as they walked on and Hagrid was really wishing he kept the other three. Screw whether these three got hurt for being idiots.
"At least we don't have to put up with Malfoy," said Ron smugly.
Hagrid internally groaned. How the mighty House of Gryffindor had fallen. He was almost ashamed to have been a Gryffindor him self. He had even heard both McGonagall and Dumbledore saying how ashamed they felt of most of the Gryffindors If only magic could solves these petty house problems, Hagrid knew then Dumbledore could have sorted these silly Gryffindors out by now.
This is the last time he volunteers to hold a detention before asking for names.
"I spy with my little eye something beginning with "T"," said Harry with a chuckle as Malfoy and Ginny looked at him in surprise at the sudden break in the silence they had been walking in.
"Trees?" asked Malfoy with a shrug thinking he might as well play. Sure it's a stupid game, and with people he dislikes, but nobody else is around so who cares, right?
"Yep, your turn," he replied with a grin while Ginny giggled at the oddness of this if anyone ever saw it. She was just glad nobody else was here, because playing such a silly game during detention with a Slytherin is embarrassing. Even worse, they were all actually being civil to each other. Though she knew this was only a temporary truce, which is mutually beneficial, after all, they're not idiots like Longbottom and gang.
"OK," he shrugged. "But this never happened. I spy with my little eye something beginning with "D"," he said with a smug smirk.
"Dirt?" asked Harry hopefully. He wished he had a video camera. If he told someone, he and Ginny were playing 'I spy' with a Slytherin in the Forbidden Forest, nobody would believe him. He felt he needed proof. Not that he believed for a second Ginny would let him show the video footage, but it could be good blackmail material against the Malfoy heir at a later date.
"Nope, guess again."
"Dog?" asked Ginny pointing to Fang.
"Yeah," he groaned thinking he'll have to come up with something better next time.
"OK, um… I spy with my little eye something beginning with "R"," she said with a huge smile.
"Rocks?" asked Malfoy.
"Red?" asked Harry pointing to some red leaves.
"Road?" asked Malfoy hopefully.
"Yeah," sighed Ginny disappointedly while Malfoy smirked smugly at his victory.
"Hey this isn't a road," said Harry. "Its more like just a path… kinda... or dirt track."
"Don't be such a poor loser, Evans," said Malfoy as his smirk widened. "OK, now my turn. I spy with my little eye something beginning with…" he paused and stopped causing the other two and dog to stop with him. He looked pale as his eyes widened in shock and fear.
"Well what's your letter?" asked Harry a little confused and uncomfortable.
"Creepy cloaked figure chewing on unicorn," he replied fearfully with a quiver to his voice.
"Huh, a creepy what?" he asked turning to stare at what Malfoy had seen with Ginny and gulped.
They had walked into a tiny clearing where a beautiful pure white unicorn lay motionless with a soft unearthly glow, and looking up from it at them was a dark hooded figure. Its face hidden in the shadows of its hood, but they could clearly see a silver shine from within its hood: unicorn blood.
At that moment, Fang saw it. He bolted, abandoning them as he sprinted away, and out of sight into the forest.
The creatures gaze was just so unnerving they felt fear flood their bodies and wanted to run themselves but felt trapped and too afraid. They were rooted by fear, though every nerve in their bodies told them to flee… screamed at them to leave and fast. They found they couldn't.
Suddenly the robed thing flew up towards them. Harry broke free from his fear for worry. He moved fast, shoved both Malfoy and Ginny backwards a few steps, and raised his right hand to bloke the thing. It grabbed his wrist and squeezed tight. He could see two red eyes through its hood as a burning sensation came from his wrist and he looked down wincing in pain and gritting his teeth as black smog of energy pored in and around his wrist, twisting and turning and burning.
It burnt and seared at his skin causing his eyes to water in pain. He tried pulling away, but the monster would not let loose its grip. It only held on tighter. Its red orb-like eyes glaring mockingly at him as he struggled.
He was already panicked and even more so when he saw a horrid black snake and skull forming on his wrist through the creatures long and pale bony fingers. He knew what that is, and did not want anything to do with such a filthy mark, but the thing would not let go no matter how hard he tried to struggle free.
His heart beat loudly and fearfully in his chest, like a hammer trying to brake free of his ribcage. His emerald green eyes wide with terror. How could this thing be real? How could this thing be here? Why isn't this disgrace of humanity dead? Why did it have to burn as if a lit blowtorch was held up to his wrist?
"Evans!" it suddenly hissed in a dark and cruel scratchy voice. "I shall always know you… and hurt you with my mark!"
"No!" he cried out in fear. "Fuck off, bastard. I'm a Nero. A Fox. I'm a mud-blood and proud of it!" he roared as anger overtook his fear and his wrist pulsed with his own magic fighting back the mark. A red smog of energy pored in forcing the black away with ease before burning the creatures hand and forcing it to retreat a little way.
Harry was breathing heavily as sweat poured down his face. He held his wrist with his left hand. His eyes never leaving the dark spectre as it hissed in rage, cursing under its breath. Its eyes bored into Harry's making him take a few staggered steps back as that fear encroached on him again. He had to do something; he had to get away. But more importantly, he had to get Ginny away from this thing.
Ginny is his best, and first real friend and he would let no one ever hurt her. NO!… not a Slytherin… not a Gryffindor… and certainly not some freaking evil phantom of the past. He would protect his friend with his life if he had to.
Moving fast Harry quickly fighting the pain. He stepped back between Ginny and Malfoy where they stood petrified and grabbed their arms tightly before paling forth as much of his power he could gather. A Whirlwind span around them. Harry gave one defiant glare at the thing before shooting into the air straight up and pulling Ginny and Malfoy with him through the tree canapé scratching their flesh on branches and ripping their clothes a little. They shot out into the sky above the trees. Ginny and Malfoy looked up at Harry in shock as he struggled to hold their combined weight in such an awkward position, so gaining some sense they both controlled their own flight, seeing and feeling this Harry let them go with a sigh of relief.
Harry felt exhausted after his ordeal and carrying the combined weight of both Ginny and Malfoy he felt as if his arms might drop off. He took several deep breaths as he whipped away the sweat on his tattered left sleeve as he recovered his breath.
He rubbed vigorously at his burning wrist in frustration before nervously looking. He expected to see the dark mark but in its place was a fierce red fox curled up and snarling on his wrist but not making a sound. Its orange eyes moved to look at him for a second as he stared. It snapped its sharp teeth playfully as it calmed down before it yawned, curled up peacefully and went to sleep before remaining motionless as if a normal tattoo on his wrist. He sighed in relief as the pain was slowly subsiding. He took the fox as a good sign. He figured his magic refused the dark mark, but couldn't stop the magic so altered it. However, Harry worried what it could mean or if it did anything but he would think more about that later.
"Let's get the hell out of here," he said to the other two who were watching him worriedly. Well Ginny was worried and Malfoy was still shaking with the remnants of fear. He had never imagined seeing such a thing up close and personal, and secretly (away from his father) prayed he wouldn't.
They both nodded and all three flew fast, back towards the castle not speaking a word. They soon landed back outside the forest with sighs of relief. They were exhausted and a little beat up but they felt safer now they could see the castle and the warm inviting lights of the school.
"What was that?" asked Ginny suddenly shivering as she wrapped Harry in a hug, which he quickly reciprocated, holding her tight and keeping her as warm as he could, and revelling in the warmth from her body in return. "It felt so… so twisted and dark. I-I don't know why b-but I just couldn't move… I-I'm so sorry, Harry," she whimpered a little.
Harry just held her a little tighter and shh(ing) her with a soft kiss to her forehead and a gentle smile to tell her it is OK
"It's fine, Ginny… I felt it too," he whispered in her ear comfortingly as she rested her head on his shoulder. Her shivering slowly ebbing away as she relaxed and Harry's body heat helped warm her up.
"What do you think that was?" asked Malfoy shakily ignoring the touchy feely moment the Nero's were having. He could guess what that thing was, but he wanted one of them to say it. To confirm his fears.
"Voldemort!" hissed Harry angrily rubbing his wrist behind Ginny's back as it ached a little still. Malfoy flinched at the name but nodded his agreement nervously. His eyes shifting from side to side as if expecting the believed dead dark, evil wizard to jump out at any moment.
"B-but it can't be," said Ginny in horror, shaking a little more. "H-he's supposed to be gone… as in not ever to return."
"What do you expect. Longbottom wasn't strong enough to completely destroy him," said Malfoy in worry.
"Malfoy's right," agreed Harry with a sigh. He released his hold on Ginny though held her right hand tightly in his left, before throwing both a red and green flare up over the forest where they exploded into a shower of illuminating sparks.
"So Evans care to tell us what he tried to do to you?" asked Malfoy, curious suddenly after the sparks died down and he looked away from them. "Or did he succeed?"
"No he didn't," spat Harry in disgust. "He tried to freaking mark me so he could always know where I am even if I don't join him. I don't think he likes me much."
"Well he's obviously heard about what you've done with Nero House," said Malfoy. "Before you came along the Foxes avoided doing anything to bring them selves' confrontation. He probably considers you a threat if left alone."
"Whatever," said Harry tiredly in annoyance. "That bastard should have just stayed dead like a good little vanquished asshole. But I guess evil gits like him don't like to loose that easily?"
Malfoy didn't get a chance to retort because at that moment Hagrid, Longbottom, Granger, and Weasley charged out of the forest looking distressed and haggard as they came to a stop with them. Though that didn't stop, the Gryffindors glaring hatefully at them.
"What happened," demanded Hagrid in a panic. "What are you doing 'ere… we saw ya flares are you three OK," he asked breathlessly and worriedly.
"Yeah idiots. We were attacked by some cloaked thing," said Neville angrily rubbing his irritating scar. "And we found the dead unicorn. If it wasn't for that half horse man thing we would have been gonnas."
"Yeah we already met that thing," retorted Harry with a glare. "We managed to escape into the sky through the canapé if you didn't notice our cuts."
"Actually he saved both me and Malfoy by dragging us into the sky with him," interrupted Ginny with a proud and grateful small at Harry.
"Don't bloody remind me I owe him a debt," said Malfoy a little sourly.
"Well you six get back off ta ya common rooms. I have to go and tell Dumbledore," said Hagrid as he led them hurriedly back to the castle.
Harry had taken Ginny back to the common room, and promised to be back after he goes and speaks to Dumbledore about what had happened because knowing Hagrid he might just be clueless about the truth. Ginny was a little reluctant about letting Harry go alone but he assured her the Gryffindors would not attack since they think he's gone back to the common room and promised to be back soon.
He rubbed his fox tattoo subconsciously as he approached the gargoyle entrance to the heads office and came to a stop. Frowning he didn't know the password and saw no bell or way to alert the headmaster to his presents. He sighed in frustration, rubbing the back of his neck in an attempt to knead out the stress as he thought of how to alert the old head teacher of his presents and need to talk.
"Uh, hey statue open up?" he asked jokingly as he gave it a shove, but it stayed put for a minute or so as he continued thinking about what he could do. He sighed and was about to head off and ask Lupin for the password when the gargoyle suddenly sprang aside, making him jump. He had expected to see someone exit but nobody was there so guessed the head knew he was waiting and opened it for him. He did wonder how Dumbledore could possibly know he is out side the door, but shrugged it off for now.
He stepped in quite impressed with the escalator that steadily moved him up towards the oak door to Albus Dumbledore's office. It took no time at all when he stepped off with a smile he reached towards the brass door knocker of the oak door at the top of the revolving stone stairs, but his hand never made it all of the way.
"Come in, Mr. Evans," the old man called from the other side. Harry startled at the sudden invitation
However, smiled and reached the door handle instead, pushing it down he pushed the door open and walked in closing the door behind him. Albus Dumbledore sat behind his large oak desk smiling benignly as Harry looked around the office in interest.
It was certainly the most interesting office he had seen in all his time here at Hogwarts with all its weird little gadgets and devices Harry could not identify and would love to have explanations for. The many portraits of sleeping witches and wizard, and even a giant bronze telescope.
However, what Harry found most interesting upon its golden perch: a bird as large as a swan with crimson feathers and golden beak and talons. Its small black attentive eyes watching him interestedly. It was a phoenix, and a very beautiful one, standing proud and majestic on its perch.
"His name is Fawkes," interrupted Dumbledore with a chuckle as Harry jumped and looked back at the old man sheepishly. "So Harry how may I help you?"
"I met Voldemort today, not to long ago in the forest," he answered as he moved closer to the desk. If Dumbledore was surprised, he didn't show it; he just nodded for Harry to continue. "He was drinking from the unicorn like some kind of messed up vampire. He attacked me, and tried to give me the dark mark… I saw it forming through his fingers on my wrist."
Now Dumbledore looked surprised and worried as he rose powerfully from his seat and moved around the desk next to Harry.
"He 'tried'?" he asked accentuating the last word with meaning.
"I told him no. I told him I'm a Nero, and I'm proud to be," he answered proudly. "And my magic interfered, and something else happened." He lifted his right sleeve and showed Dumbledore the fox.
Albus Dumbledore has seen many shocking things in his long life and this was just a new one to add to the list that almost made him gasp as his eyes widened in shock. Many possibilities ran solidly through his mind as he realised what this could mean. He reached up and touched Harry's mark. It startled him as it moved and snapped at him in annoyance as he felt for dark magic. He let go in shock and the fox just curled up again and went back to sleep.
"It doesn't contain any traces of dark magic," he finally said as Harry covered it again with his robe sleeve, looking relieved to hear it. "But I could feel a slight greyness to it. However, primarily it contains exceptionally pure magic so I don't think you should worry too much m'boy," he said giving Harry a large grandfatherly smile.
"Thanks Professor," said Harry sighing in relief. "But why is Voldemort here. What does he want at the school?" he asked shyly (craftily).
"I'm afraid I can only guess at these things, Harry," he lied and could see the boy saw through it and tried not to smile at that. "It is nothing you need to worry about I'm sure."
"But why would he want to mark me?" he asked in slight confusion. "Why would he ever look at me? Why would he be threatened enough to risk himself like that to mark me?"
"I'm afraid I can only speculate, Harry," he answered with a small sigh. "But I think he may have heard of your natural talent, and as you are a Nero may have seen you as a threat to his power if left to continue as you are. You may not have realised it but you are quite a powerful young man, and from what Madam Pomfrey has informed me after your 'incident' your magical matrix is exceptionally large, and even more interesting your magical build up is five times above normal so magical exhaustion is hard for you to reach. But enough for now, I think you should return to your tower and get some rest… and good luck in your match on Saturday."
Harry smiled as Dumbledore beamed at him and nodded before walking to the door he opened it before turning back slightly.
"Thank you Professor, but maybe you should save that luck for your own house," he said with a cheeky grin. "We don't intend to loose ever again if we can help it," and with that he left closing the door behind him.
Dumbledore chuckled slightly before sighing and leaning up against his desk looking tired and defeated as worry etched his features. He knew Hagrid had probably not known the fall story. However, Hagrid knew Neville's scar had stung him so what was going on. The fox mark on Harry's arm was the most complex piece of magic he had ever felt, even more so than the dark mark, but its magic was mostly pure. He was just thankful Harry had managed to fight off the dark mark even if it meant receiving a different kind of mark, and it will only be a matter of time before Harry discovers what his mark does, and Albus was quite curious himself.
He wondered if fate intended to complicate things more or if it might have made a mistake before. Or perhaps it was just Voldemort's mistake all those years ago? No – he shook his head clear – that just did not sound right. It was just things were going a little differently to how he had thought it might. Well he supposed if he knew everything the adventure of life would be a rather boring one.
He shook his head again as he thought back to what Hagrid had said from their brief conversation earlier. Hagrid hardly found a dislike for anyone, but the friendly giant had mentioned that the troublesome Gryffindors had gotten on his nerves with Granger's continued assertion that Nero's somehow cheat at magic, Weasley's belief that Harry somehow corrupted his sister, and Longbottom's belief that Harry is evil. He rolled his eyes to all three of them.
He realised Harry was the smartest by far as he also saw fit to come and see him about what happened, and Neville did not see fit to come. Hagrid had not mentioned the figure being Voldemort, but it made sense when Hagrid mentioned Neville's scar stinging. Another thing it had surprised him a little that Harry even after meeting him called Voldemort by name, which shows a great strength of character. It's no wonder Snape can't hold his grudge against the boy, and was glad for that fact. He smiled lightly as he stood straight and moved back behind his desk and sitting down deep in thought, unaware Fawkes was watching him in amusement.
Yes, the Phoenix saw things clearly. He had often wondered why humans looked so far into things that are in reality very simple. Ah well… whatever. It isn't a Phoenixes place to interfere, only to assist and offer guidance when needed. But Harry Evans it seemed needed closer inspection. Fawkes found the young human to be a very interesting creature indeed… yes very interesting.
The rest of the week at school was less eventful leading up to the Quidditch Match of Nero Vs. Gryffindor if you discount the Gryffindors attempts at taking out Nero team members, which was more something Slytherins might have done if they were worried about a match. However, it just showed everyone the Gryffindors had no honour when it came to sports, and had no sportsmanship spirit.
However, the Nero's didn't let that concern them too much as the Gryffindors attempts were pathetic at best, and everyone wondered why they even bothered. Their attacks are more along the lines of attempted battery anyway.
However, the worst was when Harry had a small accident a few days after the incident with Voldemort. Ginny had gotten a good look at his mark and worriedly demanded an explanation about it. So he told her everything he could, and was thankful what Dumbledore had said about it calmed her down. He was actually getting used to it, and it wasn't so bad, at least it looked nice and wasn't creepy, after all he's not a goth-kid and has no near future plans to become one.
However, at this moment Harry and Ginny were sitting with the rest of the team in the Nero changing rooms watching Professor Lupin as he grinned and floated down a huge box in front of them.
"Just a present for my team," he commented with a smirk before hurrying out of the changing room leaving the players confused.
Emily got up and opened the box looking in she gasped before looking at the others with a huge grin.
"We're gonna look great!" she said as she handed out the 'gifts' before she and the other girls left to the girls changing room.
The stadium was a wave of excited noise and chaos as they waited for the much-anticipated match between Nero and Gryffindor. The stands were full to breaking point as all five houses looked out over the large green field with three huge and high white hoops at each end of the stadium.
"Welcome Hogwarts!" the voice of Lee Jordan of Gryffindor: the commentator boomed throughout the stadium. "Let's bring out the teams!" he said excitedly to a huge roar of approval from the crowd. "First we have Gryffindor with Bell," as he said the names one by one they shot out into the air to circle the pitch. "Johnson, Spinnet, Weasley, Finnegan, Wood, and Neville Longbottom!" he finished off as the team made a few circles of the pitch before landing where Madam Hooch stood in the middle of the pitch to start the game.
"Two new players this game!" continued Lee. "We have Seamus Finnegan and Ronald Weasley as beaters as the Weasley twins are no longer Gryffindors, which is a shame and a great loss, but let's hope these two can do the team proud."
"Next up!" he boomed in his commentators' style. "We have the Nero team, which has four new players and are claiming they're going to win, which is doubtful even if they do have the twins."
"JORDAN!" interrupted McGonagall from next to him angrily.
"S-sorry Professor!" he replied sheepishly. "OK, for Nero we have, Weasley!" and Ginny burst out into the sky a white streak, and as he called the other names they too followed suit. "Colton, Bowen, Weasley, Weasley, Tuffy, and Harry Evans!" the Nero's and Slytherins all cheered here with some Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs drowning out the Gryffindors boos and hisses. The Slytherins just hate Longbottom so much more than Nero.
Though, in the Slytherin stands being closely monitored by her sister was Astoria Greengrass with a scowl marring her pretty face before she sighed and relaxed as she watched Evans zoom around, a slight widening of her eyes as she takes in his uniform.
"I suppose supporting them is better than that Longbottom twit!" she suddenly hissed out at her sister, and Tracey the other side of her in annoyance.
"Of course," Tracey answered smirking in amusement. "But do you see what those mud-bloods are riding?"
Astoria looked back up, her eyes widening more than before as she took in the sight of the slick and powerful brooms the Nero team is riding.
The Nero's streaked around the pitch twice together falling into formation they took another lap before they hovered nearer to the ground facing the Gryffindor team as their mouths dropped open when finally noticed the new brooms.
The foxes wore a new white uniform of combats, and long sleeved top with thin black protective body armour vest over their chests, and padded black skin tight gloves, and black trainer like boots for comfort with Velcro straps to hide the laces and keep them out of the way with black framed ski-type sunglasses on with glare proof, water repelling lenses, self correcting and transition so they're fully transparent when its dark, and little foxes on the handles. Their names printed in silver on their backs, and the Nero coat of arms on the front. They looked spectacular, and decidedly non-magical-world. Though, it all had some comfort charms and the like woven throughout the materials used, so felt really good.
They watched their crimson robed opponents with amused smirks as they hovered. Longbottom's face was priceless.
"Oh my god! The Nero's are looking...! But look...!" Lee declared in shock. "Ladies and Gentlemen. I don't know how they did it but the Foxes are all riding Guststar Zero's. The fastest broom in the world!" Lee then went off into a rant about the broom while the Nero's landed smoothly in front of the pissed off Gryffindor team.
"How did you losers get those!" demanded Ron jealously just forgetting to comment of the new uniforms upon seeing the new brooms. "None of you could afford one."
"Ha, not us!" laughed the twins.
"Nor me," giggled Ginny.
"Not me either," smirked Emily with a shrug.
"Nope. It was me!" interrupted Harry with a smug grin getting wide eyes from the Gryffindor team. "What do you think only pure-blooded wizards can be filthy rich. It just gives Ronald another reason to hate me, but hey I can live with that."
"Your going down Evans!" he spat angrily.
"Bring it, Weasley!" he replied with a smirk.
"OK enough of this," interrupted Hooch in annoyance. However, her eyes held a hint of amusement as they lay on the Nero teams new brooms and outfits. It made her wish to be a kid again. "We have a match to begin."
Therefore, the match went underway when Madam Hooch launched the balls. Ginny swooped in straight of the mark and grabbed the qwuffle, streaking towards Oliver Wood at the Gryffindor hoops. The large keeper watched the fast streaking first year with trepidation but she passed at the last second to Kelly, and as Oliver turned to her, she let the scarlet ball drop where Emily was waiting and caught it, launching upwards she tossed the ball back to Ginny and she hit it straight through the left hoop.
The crowd roared and booed in great numbers as Oliver retrieved the qwuffle and passed it to Katie Bell who went towards the Nero side of the pitch her fellow chasers flanking her.
Harry zoned out of the rest of the match here, as he needed to pay attention to what he was doing as he dodged a bludger hit by Ron and smirked as Fred smacked it right back and Ron was almost dislodged from his broom.
Harry looked away searching for the snitch, and watching Neville out of the corner of his eyes. The Boy-Who-Lived-To-Bother was not paying much attention to him as he searched out for the snitch himself. Harry grinned suddenly as he got a cunning idea and shot off towards the other end of the pitch, not too fast but fast enough to gain a shadow in Longbottom as he noticed.
Harry then shot down faster with a slight twist on his decent and moving faster the further he went. He looked behind to see Longbottom right on his tail looking smug and victorious. However, Harry steepened his dive suddenly, and he was glad Neville managed to keep up. They could hear Lee's commentary about how Harry had seen the stitch. Then Harry pulled up to the left nearing the Slytherin side of the stands the wind blasting through his ears as he blast towards the stands before pulling up and back at the last second.
Harry reared out of harm but the huge crunch sound and mass of gasps told him Neville was not very lucky. He looked back at the stands and down as the Slytherins and Nero's cheered to see Longbottom's broom in pieces and the Boy-Who-Lived unmoving on the floor. However, the match continued as some people rushed out to check on the Gryffindor seeker.
"And Harry Evans has just pulled a sidewinder faint on Neville Longbottom, and I don't think he's getting up after that!" said Lee sadly over the noise from the crowd.
Astoria had been sitting at the front of the stands with her sister, and sisters best friend and was now peering over and down to ground level with a giant grin on her face.
"Did you here that crash!" she said sounding a little manic with glee. "I do hope I heard right and he broke some bones."
"Daph. Your sisters twisted," Tracey said rolling her eyes at the younger girls antics.
"Maybe," Daphne replied smirking. "But its that moron, so who could blame anyone for enjoying the arrogant jerk being knocked out legally in a sport he brags about being perfect in, by a mud-blood no less."
Tracey returned her smirk. "Point taken and agreed upon," she said laughingly while Daphne just rolled her eyes.
Harry pulled back up a few more meters avoiding an angrily directed bludgers by Seamus Finnegan, and slowly circling the pitch like a bird of prey hunting the snitch. The score now 90 – 20 Nero in the lead. However, Harry had plenty of time to just let the points get higher as he drifted about lazily. He spotted someone levitating Longbottom out of the stadium and couldn't help but smile as he had finally gotten punished for the attack and Harry did it in front of everyone and wont get into trouble for it.
Fred flew up at that moment with a smug smirk on his lips "That was awesome, Harry," he complimented. "You have as much time as you want now. I can't believe he actually thought he was keeping up with you because of his own skill."
"I know," he agreed smugly. "He actually thought he could keep up if I was chasing the snitch," he added shaking his head in mock disappointment.
Fred just laughed as he went back to the match trying to get his brother Ron with a bludger for the simple heck of it. Harry was watching the match as it continued with the Gryffindors becoming more and more violent and desperate and the Nero's had to up the violence in retaliation to keep things 'fair'.
It had been another fifteen minutes when something felt wrong with Harry's broom as it suddenly lurched forward and Harry had to hold on tight to keep on his broom as it came to a halt. It then bucked and rocked trying to buck him off and he was having trouble staying on as it rocked side to side, back and forth.
He could feel a foreign magic interfering with his broom. He held on tight as he tried his hardest to trace the trail of magic. The best he got was it coming from the teachers stand. His right wrist suddenly tingled and he knew straight away what it meant just as he was flung from his broom, but kept a float when he watched his broom fall he felt that same foreign magic trying but failing to interfere with his flight magic as the crowd watched in confusion, when suddenly he felt the magic cease.
Harry reached down and his broom flew back up and into his hand and he slid back on fast as he saw the snitch the crowd went wild as he shot after it before Voldemort could interfere again. He blast down towards the ground, reaching out as a bludger suddenly smashed into his outstretched arm snapping it clean. He grit his teeth in pain as he flew off his broom and reached out with his left arm and took the snitch just as he crashed into the ground skidding and bouncing painfully to a stop. He finished on his back in a lot of pain.
The crowed went quiet as his vision blurred. He smiled lightly as he felt the fluttering wings between his fingers. He raised his left arm with a smile and heard as his team were declared the winners and the stadium erupted into cheers.
His team all charged down and began frantically checking him over, but the last thing he saw before he lost consciousness was Ginny's worried face hovering over him, and it warmed his heart to know she cares so much.
Harry awoke later groggily in the hospital wing to one of the strangest sights he ever had seen in the wizarding world. He was surrounded by a group of Nero Housemates and they were glaring to his right. He looked over curiously to see a group of Gryffindors surrounding Longbottom's bed glaring right back. Professor McGonagall stood with them looking annoyed, and as Harry looked back at his group, he saw Professor Lupin was standing with them, smiling.
"Ah, Harry you're awake," said Lupin suddenly with a soft smile.
"Harry!" chimed Ginny excitedly as she noticed too. "We won… you... caught the snitch. The score ended up being two hundred and sixty to fifty."
"Awesome!" he replied croakily. "But what the hell happened to get me back here?"
"Weasley hit you with a bludger," said Emily. "Not that it stopped you, eh?"
He chuckled nervously but grinned wider. "I guess not, but why are you all here?"
"Making sure those pesky Gryffindors don't attack you," said Fred as he came into view.
"Though there is no need for that," interrupted Madam Pomfrey as she pushed her way through to Harry. "Nobody will be attacked in my hospital wing," she added as she checked Harry over. "Here drink this," she said forcing a potion down his throat.
"Yuk," he moaned wrinkling up his face in disgust.
"Well Mr. Evans you are free to leave," she commanded. "And take this, riff-raff with you," she added gesturing the other Nero's before pushing her way through and heading to the Gryffindors looking even more annoyed.
"All right, party time," yelled out George Weasley to some eager cheers from everyone else.
Harry chuckled as he climbed out of bed testing his body. He felt good considering he had broken his arm and fallen off his broom not long ago.
They all left the hospital wing in high spirits. Ginny was holding onto Harry's right arm carefully as if to make sure he doesn't get hurt again and talking adamantly about the match, and the goals she scored, and how awesome his catch was even though he had no competition for it at the time. It was a short trip to their tower and once they entered the common room, it suddenly exploded into cheers as the team had finally arrived.
The house had proclaimed plenty of drinks and cakes for the party and reliving the match with vigour as they congratulated Harry on taking out Longbottom early on and showing him how useless, he truly is on a broom. It was amazing the amount of praise the team received from the house, something that Harry was not used to since he had never gotten any praise before he came to Hogwarts, but he liked the feeling of being appreciated, and cared for as other house members asked about his well being after his accident on the pitch.
The party lasted several hours before they all steadily drifted to their dorms and to bed and sleep as exhaustion had settled on most. It had been a long exciting day and it had to end sometime.
The next day was interesting with the way the Gryffindors were unusually subdued over their humiliating defeat. However, the Slytherins were nice enough to remind the Gryffindors every chance they had got. Neville Longbottom was a prime target of ridicule as he was up and about by lunchtime that day, though he had a slight limp.
However, Harry had a weird suspicion Professor Quirrell was working with Voldemort somehow that lunch because every time he looked towards the teachers table and his eyes drifted over the stuttering professor his fox tattoo came to life, and tingled slightly. He had also seen something similar happening to Longbottom's scar, but the Boy-Who-Lived was always looking at Snape when it happened as if it was his doing. Sure if Harry were to guess the evillest teacher in school he would think of Snape first, but then he would think of Quirrell who is definitely up to something. Plus he really wants to smirk his smuggest by winning the betting pool.
The rest of the school term swam by smoothly, and the more he saw Quirrell the more his fox mark tingled and awoke. He often smiled when it happen because Voldemort had given him some kind of early warning system.
Harry had been doing a bit of research on the dark mark, and other marks like it trying to find out what it is supposed to do. From what he has found out, the mark is used for calling each other. You just pulse magic through one and it burns the ones you are calling, and in theory, they would come to your call. He wondered whether he could figure out how it is made so he could potentially use it himself, though he didn't like the thought of it burning so hoped it could be altered to go cold instead to just cool the arm, or just tingle or something. He could see other potential uses; maybe it could be changed so it could be used to send short messages.
He had also began his search for books on animagi but none of the books he found in the library told him how to become one, they only talked about them. Harry figured all of the proper books were in the forbidden section and doubted any teacher would give him permission to look in that section unless he gave them a good reason why.
Harry put his name down for leaving Hogwarts during the Christmas holiday's with Ginny and the twins. They had told Harry that Mr. Weasley had tried to reconcile things with Mrs. Weasley but she was being worse than ever about the way he acted, and that three of their children were a disgrace in Nero House, which drove him over the edge to the point he had actually cut her off from any of his hard earned money.
Harry felt a bit guilty that he was partially responsible for the falling apart of a family, but Ginny always made him feel better about it. Mr. Weasley had of course agreed to meet up with them at Diagon Alley, though he was not told why, but he had been staying at the Leaky Cauldron anyway, and expected all three would be reluctant to return to their mother.
It was the day they were due to leave for the holiday when Harry was just checking he had everything packed he found a book on his bed wrapped in a blue silk cloth.
Curious and confused he opened it to find and animagi book he had never seen before with a white card on it with a short note, which he quickly read?
It has come to my attention you have been searching for this book.
I must ask that you be careful while using it, as it can be dangerous, but I am sure you are both talented and smart enough to not hurt yourselves or let anyone you don't trust one hundred percent know of it.
From a Friend
Harry was surprised and confused not knowing who would have gotten him this book, but he was not going to complain. He might find out eventually so he re-wrapped the book and hid it at the bottom of his trunk before shrinking it down and placing it in his pocket for easy travel.
Shaking his head clear he grinned and left his dorm room and into the common room meeting with Ginny and the twins who also had shrunk their trunks as they were not travelling by the train and did not want to dragged their trunks around with them.
"I still can't get over how well the goblins did on this house," Ginny complemented as she lay on Harry's bed in his room on her stomach wearing her blue pyjamas with fluffy little bunnies on them. Harry meanwhile sat next to her in only a pair of black shorts with a book on his lap as Ginny's was in front of her as they completed their homework as school shall be continuing the next day.
Ginny has to admit that she has had a wonderful holiday even if it wasn't with her whole family, (she's still not sure whose side Charlie and Bill her eldest brothers are on as they haven't heard from them all holiday).
It felt a lot less stressful than she realised a lot of her previous Christmases have felt in the past and they had all gotten into the spirit to make a wonderful Christmas dinner. Well okay to be honest Harry made dinner while giving herself, her dad and the twins orders when needed. She would never have guessed that Harry was so talented in the kitchen. Heck, he can certainly give her mother a run for her money.
Well… if she had any money. Ginny has to wonder how her mother is coping without her dad around to buy stuff. It leads Ginny to wonder whether her mother is capable of getting a job and earning to support herself, Ron and Percy. It seems a waste of her having graduated from Hogwarts if she isn't going to use what she has learnt at school to earn a little.
She knew she would feel terrible, and bored not going out and doing something, anything other than boring household chores... chores suck!
Ginny sighed slightly as she looked back at Harry as he sat up against his headboard, blushing as she expected a reply. She sure wishes he would put on a tee shirt… well okay she only half wishes he does... who knew that Harry actually worked out and didn't look flabby. Her twin brothers wont walk around without shirts on like they used to at the Burrow because they've seen harry with his shirt off. Its kind of amusing.
Harry smiled at his best friend as he drops his 'pen' down onto the bed next to his transfiguration book, tapping his notebook in thought as he looks around his room. He has his nice king/queen? Sized bed with super comfy magical matrices with thick duvet and black/midnight blue covers with red, gold, orange, yellow, and green pentagrams for design purposes.
His walls are nicely decorated a light blue like a slight darkened sky with a stereo system to one wall with directly opposite his bed on the wall a large 55inch flat panel HD 3D TV with some systems built into the wall such as a SKY+ HD 3D box, (allowing him access to every single channel, HAD and 3D), and a PS3, XBOX 360 (with Kinect), Nintendo WII, and Blu-ray recorder.
Under all of his systems sat a very long and deep cabinet containing video games from all three consoles, Blu-ray movies and TV series, with a multitude of different controllers, except the Sky and TV ones as they sit on the cabinet beside his bed next to his closed Apple lap top, cordless phone and charging smart phone. Its cool being loaded. Its just a shame Ginny wont let him buy her loads of cool stuff.
If he were to step off of his bed and to the floor his bare feet would certainly touch down on the soft cosmic blue carpet. He also has two built in walk in closets which, thanks to Ginny's prompting, one is full to the brim of clothes while the other is stacked with book shelves containing useful magic books, which are not kept in the cottages library along with magical supplies and his school trunk.
Also, his room contains an en-suit bath room with toilet, large power shower, (something that Harry figured with magic could be improved on and has personally made it his personal project to do so). In it he also has a large Jacuzzi bath tub and absolute hundreds of cleaning products the goblins saw fit to include. He supposed that next time he'll be more specific about what he wants as they went a little overboard and actually built a mansion that externally and in most cases internally looks like a giant cottage. It even came with a swimming pool. He hadn't even asked for one, but it made the twins happy, and Ginny happier so he's happy too.
Well, he supposed that at least he has everything he asked for and then some. It makes him wonder as the place only took two days to build and for everyone to move in. It even contains a beautifully worked seven foot high stone parameter wall working its way around all of his land, which is a lot. The goblins had even been so kind as to spend the left over cash on the land, such as maze garden, which house-elves shall attend (there was just enough cash to buy two, one to work inside and one out), and a full side Quidditch stadium (the twins were rather pleased and had the team round for some extra super secret practice during the holiday), as well a broom racing course gorged into the ground. How they afforded it all on their budget... but then magic has its ways, and the budget was quite huge.
Harry had to admit he was impressed with all that his money managed to buy. He had offered his friends to buy them some cool stuff too, but they continued refusing. It was totally frustrating how stubborn they can be. Though without Ron, Percy, and Mrs. Weasley to pay for Arthur can manage to give the other three more.
Harry, (although annoyed they wouldn't accept any money, even interest free loans) was proud to know such people with such great strength of character. It's just a shame that the rest of their family can't see that everyone is equal and that ones house or blood does not make them stupid weaklings or evil.
"Yeah, it still kind of amazes me," he agreed with an amused nod. "So, how long until you're finished? I'm done," he asked.
"Hmm…" she mumbled as she wrote down one last thing and closed her note book and pressed the little cliquey thing to hide the nib on her pen and sat up. "Just finished," she answered shaking her head. "I still can't believe these pen things. Not one smudge; or drops of ink where they shouldn't be, and they make homework take half the time without all of the mess and having to dab it in an ink bottle."
Harry laughed and rolled his eyes. "So Gin, what do you want to do now?" he asked as he looked at his plastic and metal bracelet like digital watch (charmed, since they can use magic under the goblins super wards – Goblins are awesome when you pay them money) that just about hid his tattoo mark so he can wear tee shirts and not worry about everyone seeing it. "It's only three thirty two so we don't have to go to bed for hours yet."
"I don't know," she answered in thought. "Maybe we could finally wash up and get dressed, watch some TV down stairs, maybe a movie."
He nodded his head smiling. "Sure but I say we skip the getting changed as it is so late in the afternoon already what does it mater. Plus I can't be-bothered," they laughed.
She beamed in reply. "Awesome!" she cried out hoping off the bed and waited as Harry climbed off after her and pulled on a plain white tee shirt. "I want to watch those Matrix movies you told me about and then those S… umm… Star..?"
"Wars?" he filled in.
"Yeah Star Wars ones," she agreed brightly. "And some more superhero one's, superheroes are cool! I wish I had superpowers!"
He just laughed shaking his head. "Well I think we can fit in a couple of them but we have to catch the train to school tomorrow," he reminded her as he led her out of his room while she pouted. "You've feasted for the past few weeks none stop on Sci-fi, what is it that you find so fascinating about the it?"
Ginny rolled her eyes with a look that said it should be obvious. "Don't be silly. The Magical World doesn't have anything like it. Our books and stuff that in the Muggle World is fantasy are fact. We don't just make up stuff or twist the facts to make a story more entertaining. It's why I like Sci-fi so much; because it's total make believe. It has lots of thought-out imagination involved. Plus space aliens and superheroes are freaking awesome."
Harry snorted in laughter as they trekked down the last few steps to the ground floor. "But you're always asking me to explain things to you."
"That's because you know more about this stuff than me, and I'm still learning."
He was just about to reply when they were about to reach the reception hall that leads to the lounge and largest 'TV' in the house, (more like a small cinema screen at one hundred and one inches) when they heard Ginny's dad talking.
"I know. It is a very nice and surprising offer but I'm sure there is some one more capable for the position, plus I enjoy where I work now."
"Arthur, see reason now," a woman's voice reprimanded and both Harry and Ginny stuck their heads around the door frame to see an older woman with slightly greying blonde hair looking exasperated with her hands on hips glaring slightly up at Mr. Weasley.
Harry grimaced. If Ginny gave him a look like that he would have already caved. "This is to replace me as Head of Law Enforcement and Investigations while I take over the Auror Office. I wish to leave the post to someone I know shall not abuse the responsibility."
"B-but I enjoy…"
"Working with all of those Muggle things you find?" she asked with a raised eyebrow as she looked around the lounge. "This place is coated with functioning Muggle stuff. I'm no idiot and know that you do not own this home… with the vast rise in pay you can at the very least contribute a lot more than you can now. Plus with the rise and raise in position you'll have the power to make a difference when and where you can."
"I-I don't know Amelia," he replied uncertainly. "I-I wouldn't know where to begin running the whole department…"
"I will be just around the corner when you need some advice. The Auror Office is after all just next door," she replied rolling her grey/blue eyes. "I wouldn't just leave you high and dry to figure it all out as you go!"
"B-but what about the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office? Who will take over from me? There aren't many people that can be trusted to do a proper job."
"That will be your choice as you shall be the boss."
"I-I still don't know about this… I-I…"
"You're afraid you'll be crap?" interrupted Harry startling Ginny and the adults as he entered and rolled his eyes at Mr. Weasley. "Don't worry too much or your hair will go the way of Dumbledore's. If you don't try you'll never know, and as she said she'll help you out, and I'm sure you'll do great. Just think about the added bonuses this gives you and the doors of opportunity it will barge open and smack you in the head with."
"He's right dad," Ginny piped in before turning to the lady. "Ma'am," she said all American like from a movie. "My father will happily accept this promotion. If he says anything else against it you have my express permission to curse him into submission."
The woman laughed. "See Arthur," she said smugly. "It looks like I'll see you tomorrow Captain Weasley," she said smugly as she turned to the huge chrome and glass gas fire with a frown as she stepped onto the stone tile floor beneath it, confused.
"Umm..?" she turned to them looking baffled. "I'm almost certain this is the fire I came out of after speaking through it."
"It's from Japan," Harry commented. "It took us a while to figure it out too… we actually needed to consult the manual" he said laughingly as he looked into the flames behind the glass warming the room sitting opposite the main doors of the mansion. He then stepped forward and pointing to a green glass panel next to it with measuring lines on it in almost glowing red. "This is where the floo powder goes so you can see when it needs refilling. It has this squishy button underneath and you push it like so." He pushed the button and in a poof the flames behind the glass turned from red, yellow and orange to emerald green.
"Then you tell it where you want to go?" he added as he gestured for her to do so.
She curiously stepped forward. "Ministry of Magic!" she called out.
She then startled as on the glass cover in white contrasting with the green it spelt out words.
Ministry of Magic
"Wow, that's pretty good," she commented in awe. "A fireplace that actually makes sure it heard us right. So I take it if I said France it would ask me whether I meant in Paris, right?" she asked in amazement as they nodded. "I have most certainly got to get one of these my self. I have to wonder at our countries craziness for not having fires like this when someone has gone to a lot of effort in inventing it," she said shaking her head in wonder.
"It also has safety features to stop unwanted guests and the likes. If someone uninvited tries it will throw them out wherever you want," Ginny said in amusement. "Ours will dump someone in a small magical village in Antarctica," she giggled.
She smiled at that. "Well I'll be sure to await invitation," she replied. "Well I have to go now as I have things to do. Arthur! I'll expect you to start by twelve tomorrow, goodbye," she said as she turned back to the waiting fire. "Yes," she spoke and the emerald flames burst out around her before splashing away back to its original state taking her with them.
"Well Mr. Weasley, looking forward to your first day as boss?" asked Harry smugly.
Arthur looked at him with a gulp. "A-actually I'm terrified."
Harry shrugged. "I was too on my first day of school, but it worked out well. Just remember you're the boss so don't let all of the corrupt jerks push you around. Push them around and step on their toes, don't let them intimidate you, intimidate them. Be tough but fair and I'm sure you'll be awesome."
"T-thanks Harry," he replied as he led them into the huge lounge and flopped down on a squishy arm chair. "It's ironic really how Molly has acted so badly about my lack of ambition that when we finally split I now get several promotions at once and take them all."
"You can help make a difference," said Harry. "It doesn't take an army to change the world but one person with a vision to aspire great good in others. If you can nudge others into doing what is right, even if its only one person then you are making a difference."
"Yeah yeah," Ginny muttered as she pushed him onto one of the many leather couches and slopped down next to him with the remotes "Enough inspirational speeches, more TV… leave the speeches for people who need to change. We're already the good-guys so let's get some inspiration from some movie heroes kicking butt!" she cheered out as she turned the TV on with the press of a button.
"Wow," Arthur muttered as he looked at his watch as they finally arrived from the Leaky Cauldron (floo fire) at Kings Cross station to catch the Hogwarts express. "We're half an hour early," he said in wonder as he looked to the twins wearing standard blue jeans and tee shirts as they pushed their trunks on trolleys. The twins just shrugged and laughed at him.
Harry was wearing some khaki cargo shorts and a light cream tee with white Nike running trainers as he pushed his stuff along behind them, with Ginny next to him wearing a plaid red and black skirt with a red top that left her arms and back bare, but going around her neck with some black converses.
Arthur, during the holiday bought Ginny practically a new wardrobe of clothes as he discovered a simple fact… Muggle clothe stores are a lot cheaper, and that includes designer stuff.
Harry figured that Muggle shops are cheaper because there are millions if not billions more Muggles so they can make more at cheaper prices with better materials. Harry had then had his, Ginny's and the twins school uniforms custom made in the Muggle world using better materials for a cheaper price. The muggle made uniforms were actually of a better quality too when compared to the ones made in the Magical World, and maybe certain things shouldn't be left to magic to make.
Heck, the uniforms made in Diagon Alley don't come charmed or anything at all so its not cost effective, and any charming they might want they'll learn for them selves. It turned out when they went shopping at the Muggle Hypermarket that foods a lot cheaper too, and none of the Weasley's had ever heard of 'special offers' such as buy on get one free or three for the price of two, and when Ginny saw her first ever 'SALE' sign at the mall, in a clothes shop window… well that expression will be burnt into Harry's found memories forever. Girls, plus clothes store, plus sale, equals very, very happy girls.
"Wow, we are pretty early compared to normal," Ginny said looking at the digital sports watch Harry had kindly bought her and charmed for Christmas to see the time: 10:31am. "Normally when mums in charge of getting us to school we have only about five minutes to spare if that."
Harry was about to answer when someone startled them by calling out and interrupted.
The young red haired man growled out as he stopped before Arthur and the twins causing them all to halt. The man wore nicely tailored trousers with a black shirt and shoes with a dragon tooth earring in his left ear while seven gold hoops curled around his other, and his long red hair tied back in a tail. If it weren't for the glare on his face aimed at them Harry would think this guy is pretty cool.
"Hello Bill," Arthur spoke with a small sigh but his voice was firm and strong, unwavering, which made Harry realise that he'll do good in his new job if he can be firm with an angry son like this. "I had been hoping that you would come sooner."
"Yeah well," he spoke less forcefully now and rubbed the back of his neck, his anger seeping away a little. "Charlie and I have had our hands full. He wanted to be here too but had to return to work. I've gotten myself a temporary transfer home as someone has to take care of mum."
Arthur winced a little but held his ground. "I'm sorry you feel the need, but I'm sure she's capable of finding work if she bothered to look. She may even find she'll enjoy it."
Bill sighed and scratched his chin where it housed a bit of stubble. "I know that but this is mum we're talking about. She's stubborn to the end. Charlie and I are not even sure what this is about. Something to do with Ginny's house at school and her best friend turning her evil… damn, Ron keeps adding and adding its hard to decipher, even for me and that's my job."
"Your brother made friends with Neville Longbottom," Harry suddenly interrupted as he stepped forward. Bill looked at him in surprise but didn't interrupt. "I'm afraid your brother may have hoped for glory, or a hero, but all he got was a racist big heading prat. Longbottom doesn't like coming second to anyone, but I shall not hold back my studies, my talent for anyone, especially no no talent waste of oxygen who can't just get lost and leave others alone.
"Neville Longbottom is the cause because he is a Gryffindor he believes it is his right and duty to 'sort' us Nero and Slytherins out before we become a threat. In doing so he and Ronald along with a Genetic-traitor named Hermione Granger, have spearheaded a house war between Gryffindor and Nero and Gryffindor and Slytherin, leaving the other two houses neutral and scared of being dragged in by Gryffindor.
"The Gryffindors are now going around bullying Nero and Slytherin, but we are managing to protect our own. It is this war that pit your mother against your sister and in effect your father as he stuck up for her, along with your twin brothers switch of house and the brutal attack on me, which could have been called attempted murder if it had not been the Boy-Who-Lived… an attack your mother openly approved of. So that is the gist and summary of what has happened. If you have any questions please hurry as the train leaves in twenty minutes."
Bill frowned in thought as he took a deep breath and looked to the others. They nodded in agreement and he returned his attention to Harry.
"What's a Genetic-traitor?" he suddenly asked in curiosity.
Harry and Ginny snorted in unison, laughing. "Its something Harry came up with to describe a Muggle-born who betrays their Muggle ancestry and tries to act like a Pure-blood. It's practically the opposite of Blood-traitor," Ginny told him.
"This is messed up," he said turning around to face the barrier with a sigh. "Ah well. I guess I can't do anything about it while mum and Ron are worshipping Longbottom."
Harry smiled as he grabbed his trolley and continued his way. "Don't worry too much. Stuff happens and we all need to cope as best we can. It's just a shame as it takes so much energy to be so hateful."
Harry and Ginny had just entered through the barrier between the platforms in the Muggle World and the platform in the Magical World where the scarlet steam engine was awaiting them, and other Hogwarts student to take them back to school after a lovely Christmas break.
However, Harry had barely gotten a look around when something grabbed his throat and started chocking him as something lifted him from his feet and slammed him painfully into a wall. He heard Ginny scream as he forced his watering eyes open to see he was being pinned to a wall by some huge brown haired man who only sneered and squeezed his throat tighter making it impossible to breath.
"You filthy little Mud-blood!" he hissed menacingly. "You dare think you hold a candle to our saviour, my nephew!" he continued gesturing to the side where he could see the smug Longbottom boy standing with a stern looking old lady. "I should just snap your neck you piss-ant… AHHHH!" he screamed out letting Harry drop weakly to his knees gasping for breath.
The large man's hands had swollen with heat and pus seeped out. He turned to Harry even angrier and went in to attack again, but caught short as Bill Weasley tackled the man to the ground and hit him twice in the face before another brown haired man grabbed Bill and threw him off before attacking the red haired man leaving the first to stand.
Harry looked up through blurry eyes to see that the man was bloody nosed and Arthur and Bill duelled the other man, and no one was stopping this. After all this is going up against the Longbottom's. The man took two steps forward before he stopped as Ginny moved in his way slinging several hexes that he just swat away before he back handed her out of his way, blood splattering from her face as she hit the ground whimpering, tears in her eyes falling rapidly as she cried.
Harry's eyes had first widened in horror and shock before they narrowed in rage as the man continued on without a care. "You fucking bastard!" his words exploded over the alley as the ground shook and sparks coerced over Harry's body and he moved as nothing but a blur his arms out stretched and his attacker went flying; his back smashing into the Hogwarts express. The man screamed in pain and terror as Harry stood holding him, putting more pressure in his magic.
"I'll fucking kill you, you bastard filth!" he roared as did his magic coarse and roared in his ears, crashing into the man over and over, gritting his teeth. "You fucking weak piece of shit Longbottom, die, die, die, die!" he screamed and each time he roared out 'die' the man cried out as he was blast. It was actually denting and cracking the train carriage. "You don't hurt her, you don't hurt her! NEVER!" he roared his eyes glowing gold with power.
The man was in tears as his skin started splitting with blood pouring from the wounds as Harry wouldn't let up his attack. He thought he heard his name being yelled a few times but he couldn't tell when he suddenly felt soft arms wrap around him from behind, holding him tight.
"Harry," she whispered, but he could hear her sniffles. "You're not like them. You're a good person… let him go."
"I'm proud of you Harry."
"You did good son."
"No one else dares stand up to people like them, but now you showed them all. Freedom is the birthright of all life."
"You shall make me and your House-mates proud with every growing success. Don't give up… never give up, and… someday, you shall change the world!"
"It looks like the bastards are getting away with it!" Amelia hissed outraged. "But it was good that you fought them and brought them in Arthur. They at least have to pay compensation to Mr. Evans and everyone else they hurt, and they will certainly not think it wise to mess with the boy again for awhile at least after what he did!"
Arthur sighed as he sat at his new desk with his ex-boss sitting across from him. "They did all of that just because Harry was making the Boy-Who-Lived look like a rank armature with below average magical potential."
"Yes, I understand. My niece has told me a lot about what that Longbottom boy has been up to since starting Hogwarts," she agreed in disgust. "It has only escalated since Mr. Evans is too gifted and stubborn to back down. Longbottom is getting away with what ever he wants and others have to suffer. I'm in the belief that whatever saved his life from the killing curse was most likely his mothers doing and a complete fluke."
Arthur nodded tiredly. "His mother had always been a good person, and very bright... a gifted witch," he agreed. "I believe if it were down to Frank's family he would never have married Alice, being just a 'lowly' half-blood," he said rolling his eyes. "This isn't going to stop until someone stronger than the Longbottom's steps up and says enough is enough."
"Agreed," she nodded her head looking sad. "Unfortunately my family name is not that strong. The Malfoy's could, but won't as it would mean possibly alienating the Minister as the Minister loves Longbottom...! And the Black's... unfortunately that is a no go either. The few other family's that could... well most of them are either neutral like the Greengrass family, and kind of lean towards the dark.
"Or they are openly dark, and want to stay in the good graces of the... 'light', or are light family's that wont fight the Longbottom's and be called dark if they don't agree with the Longbottom's, and everyone will follow along and they'll become outcast from light and dark. Then there are family's that still have sway that don't have heirs and died out or have been lost through the generations, some of which would have spoke out no matter what."
"Yes, I know," he replied. "Unfortunately my family name used to mean something before we hit hard times. Money is unfortunately also a major factor into this."
"It would take the smaller houses some big alliances to stand up to them," Amelia replied with a sigh. "I'm afraid that my house would not be able to convince others as the smaller houses and newer houses all follow Longbottom, and wouldn't have the money to side against them anyway..."
Astoria Greengrass just sat rather subdued in her train compartment as the train zoomed them to school. Her sister Daphne, and Daphne's best friend Tracey were her only company.
She had watched the whole fight in awe. Though after the Weasley twins managed somehow to down a Longbottom she kicked him in the head while he was down just before her sister quickly pulled her away saying something about NOT starting a family feud.
However, moments later she witnessed the Weasley girl getting backhanded by some bruit of a Longbottom because she tried protecting her mud-blood friend. Though, what came next was both terrifying and exciting at the same time as Harry Evans. The same Harry Evans that she does not stalk got up with glowing gold eyes full of rage and she could feel his anger soaking through the air.
Then he kicks the crap out of a fully trained pure-blood mage with nothing more than will... or accidental magic! It was a momentous sight, and she hates to admit it even to herself that Evans is powerful, more so than her.
Well, she is humble enough to admit that to her self at least, and it made the boy even more intriguing. She must discover him... what are his motivations? His goals? Does he plan on stabbing The-Boy-Who-Lived to death with a rusty fork one day? She sure hopes so because no matter how much she hates mud-bloods or Evans, she'll always hate Neville Longbottom more.
"Daph, your sisters at it again!" Tracey said laughing as Astoria just shook off her 'evil' thinking pose. Though, Tracey thinks its cute Daphne was getting annoyed with her. Sure the older Greengrass doesn't mind keeping her little sister company, but the evil scheming and especially stalking is going too far.
"Astoria!" she reprimanded while she tried to look innocent. "What is your fascination with Evans?"
"Apart the fact he's powerful," Tracey answered laughing more. "Rich, smart, gifted, and not bad looking, and practically has a whole house following him. If he was a pure blood I would have my father set up a marriage contract with him, and who cares how out of date the mud bloods think they are!"
"Eww!" Astoria cried out in annoyance. "You like Evans. That's disgusting. You're a disgrace to Slytherin!"
"I do not like him!" Tracey hissed back angrily in reply. "I'm just stating facts. If he were a pure blood, and not a Nero mud blood he would make OK husband material. Who are you girls hoping your dad will get for you anyway?"
They just shrugged in unison. "I doesn't matter," Daphne answered but didn't miss Astoria's scowl that said she disagrees, but ignored it. "As long as they're strong pure bloods within a strong family. Then we shall take what we get, and like it."
"That sounds stupid!" Astoria retorted in annoyance. "What if he's an ugly old man in his fifties while your just seventeen. That's just gross!"
"I'll have to agree with her on that," Tracey said shivering, but also noticed Daphne's shiver at the thought, but didn't mention it as they all sat back and talked little as their minds drifted.
Harry woke up with a start and a sigh as his head still stings and he wont be properly seen to until he arrives at Hogwarts, and sees the nurse.
"Bad dream Harry?" Ginny asked as he smiled at her. She had a bandage wrapped around her forehead and a bruise on her left cheek.
He just shook his head as he took stock of other occupants of his carriage. The twins were a little battered as Harry had discovered there were a few more attackers than just the two he saw and they got into a fight with one, (kicked his ass eventually, according to them). Also Emily was in the carriage with a swollen eye as she and a few others got involved to stop the Longbottom's racist attack.
The attack had only really stopped when Harry went 'berserker' (the twin's word) on Neville's uncle and tried to kill him. They all seemed to think it was quite awesome to watch a full grown wizard getting flawed by the accidental magic of a first year.
Apparently the Boy-Who-Lived didn't look very smug after Harry had almost killed his uncle. He actually looked scared. Though, Harry figures the fear will wear off soon. They're half expectant of the oaf to come and bother them.
The whole Quidditch team was together in this one carriage while other Nero's surrounded it in other compartments as a front line of defence. Harry just has to wonder what the other houses have to say about the brutal attack. He is almost certain the Slytherins will use it to taunt Longbottom and friends and question their strength.
If the Hufflepuff are half as honest as they claim to be they will want very little to do with Longbottom, and if the Ravenclaws have any smarts they'll steer clear of him too.
"Not really," he finally spoke after a few moments of quiet thought. "Just and epiphany," he muttered quietly as he looked at his knees before his head snapped up, his emerald eyes practically a light like burning floo powder glowing with strength with small sparks of gold twinkling with resolve. "I'm going to change the world!"
Those six little words seemed to just ring in his friend's ears. If they had heard those six innocent words from any other first year they would have just joked and maybe humoured him, but this coming from Harry with the power in his eyes they couldn't help but feel a shiver run down their spines. That shiver they realise is both fear and excitement.
Fear of change, of uncertainty, and not knowing what the next morning might bring, but excitement to see the corrupt and filthy world where adults can assault innocent kids and get away with it crumble at their feet, implode into nothing as they build a better world for those that come next. It was an empowering idea, and backing this first year boy will be the most important thing they will ever decide.
"The future begins now!" Harry spoke quietly as he leaned back up against Ginny as she pulled him into a hug. "The future begins now!" he repeated as he drifted back off to rest the rest of the journey in Ginny's arms.