Merry Christmas Dess!
So, as a lot of my long time fans might have noticed, I routinely put out story chapters as presents to my fans in December. This is one of this year's. It is based on an idea I shared with my Patty Ron fans months ago, so they will have already seen it, though this version isn't quite so raw, but has not been beta-read by anyone.
If I ever picked this story up (tough, since I already have a story working in the DxD verse) I would probably come back and enlarge this chapter somewhat to give more of a background for Harry. But this should give you at least an idea of how different this Harry is from canon and how he will be interacting with the ladies of DxD, IE in a way that I have never seen before: that of an adult who knows what he likes and while is not a pervert has a libido along with a certain small… complication LOL. You'll have to read to see what I mean when I say that so without further ado...
This has been edited by Cybergades now. Everyone thank him for going through this old chapter for me!
Chapter 1: Days in the Life of Harry Potter
OOO Year 2: From tiny Pebbles an avalanche begins OOO
Harry Potter was a normally a self-effacing, indeed rather shy, young boy. This had become his normal operating procedure given his life with his so-called relatives, the Dursleys. The more silent and unseen he could be, the less abuse they heaped on him. Oh, the Dursleys never hit him, or very rarely did at any rate. So long as he was out of sight out of mind and did his chores they let him alone. But whenever anything 'freakish' happened the abuse escalated from their normal uncaring disdain and contempt to outright hate. When that happened, Harry would normally try to become as invisible as he possibly could without the use of magic in order to wait out the storm.
Right now however besides being sore, aching and bleeding, Harry was rather angry. That anger was not just directed at his so-called relatives, but at himself as he groaned in pain on his bed, listening to his uncle install a cat flap on the door after having placed bars on the windows. Thank goodness Hedwig was out hunting last night and I warned her not to come home. At least one of us can be free this way.
Having come home from his first year at Hogwarts, Harry had been told that they weren't allowed to use spells at home for some reason. Admittedly he understood the Statute of Secrecy, but shouldn't there be some way of practicing what you learned at home? Hermione had pointed out how much she would have liked to be able to show her parents what she was learning, and Harry couldn't imagine she was the only one. But they had all been told in no uncertain terms that they couldn't use magic at home.
Harry had fully expected the Dursleys to be worse than when he left and in a way they were. Outside of ordering him around they utterly ignored him, which included food. Even if they had given him one of Dudley's rooms, the one devoted to smashed toys and other broken things, it barely made up for the rest of their neglect. They also knew he couldn't use magic. Apparently Petunia had remembered that from his mother's time at Hogwarts.
So there Harry was, just trying to get by, hidden in his room as per his uncle's orders while he had a client and his family over. Then a magical creature called a house-elf had shown up. It had spouted something about not letting Harry go back to Hogwarts, and about not letting his friends contact him because of some threat there. Harry had tried to convince Dobby to stop his attempts at keeping Harry away from Hogwarts but instead the little creature had tried to get him in trouble with his relatives, something he had succeeded at magnificently.
First Vernon had taken his belt to Harry's back. Then he'd put bars on the windows while Harry lay in his bed on his stomach, his back bleeding and badly bruised from the beating.
"What the bloody hell is a house-elf anyway?" Harry groaned now, wincing as his back pained him even while he was lying on his stomach like this. He had done his best to clean the wounds, knowing they might go bad, but there was scant little he could do except let them heal on their own. He knew he'd heal eventually, he'd always done so before when the Dursleys hit him after all.
Not knowing about magical species was just one thing going through Harry's head at the moment. The other was a message that had arrived via a strange owl telling him he was being given a citation for underage magic from the ministry. A ministry Harry had only heard about occasionally from fellow students and from Hagrid, without any real idea what it was supposed to be. One that seemed to be on a hair trigger and was willing to see him expelled if he used magic out of school again, a fate worse than death in his opinion. There's so much I don't know, and that damn ghost Binns is no help! And the less said about my classwork the better.
I'm tired of this, I'm tired of just trying to get along. I'm tired of being pushed. I'm tired of being ignorant! Trying to blend in and stay out of the way isn't working here any longer, and it's impossible to do at school thanks to my bloody damn Title! I need to really start applying myself, especially if my relatives are going to treat me like this.
With that Harry got up, and pulled out the books he had stashed under the bed. Everything else he owned was in his trunk downstairs, in his former bedroom. He had taken out his books early on in the summer to help him do his homework then decided to hide them after he realized Petunia knew he couldn't use magic.
Despite being in pain, Harry felt his lips curl into a grim smile. Hedwig after all was still out and about, and he could reach through the bars at least. There has to be some way of getting books here? And the house-elf is no longer blocking my mail, or else the ministry message couldn't have gotten through. Still I wonder what Hermione and Ron are up to? Hope they'll believe me when I tell them about Dobby the thieving elf.
Rumors were once again flying around about him, and Harry decided he'd had enough. If no one else is going to say anything to fight the rumors, maybe I can. "I don't get it Hermione, you would think that having a best friend who is a first born would show people that I can't be this 'Heir of Slytherin'. But I suppose that inbreeding is supposed to effect the brain," he said in a loud voice as he stood up from the table, pulling Hermione to her feet too. "Come on, let's leave before we catch their stupidity."
"That could just be cover!" shouted a voice from the Ravenclaw table. "You could be using Granger to…"
The Ravenclaw girl's voice slid to a halt as Hermione turned to glare at her, a glare that Hedwig would have been proud of. "You must not know me very well if you think I'd go along with that, or not notice anything unusual. You're right Harry," she went on in a loud voice. "If the fact your friends with me and a pureblood from a family known for their non-magical sympathies like the Weasleys can't convince these people they're wrong, then nothing will. Such a pity."
With that they both laughed, ignoring the glares thrown their way since there were also a few thoughtful looks mixed in with them. At least there were from the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables. Slytherin was united against them, though Harry felt that few of them believed him to be the Heir. If only because they refused to believe a half-blood like him could be.
Hermione honestly doubted Harry's demonstration would do much in the long term but at least it would do something to deflect the Hogwarts rumor mill. Honestly, that thing seems to have a life of its own sometimes. As they left however, her mind was on something else entirely. "Harry you called me your best friend?"
"Well yeah," Harry said with one of his small, shy smiles she so liked to see. "Haven't you noticed how often Ron and I have argued this year? He just wants to skive through but after last year, I don't know if that's a smart decision for me in the long term."
Hermione frowned, slowly nodding. She had noticed a change in her friend this year, and arguing with Ron was just part of it. She had been pleased to see he wasn't trying to play dumb any longer in class for one thing. Of course Hermione had noticed that Harry was smart: he was always one of the first to cast the spell correctly in the practical portions of their classes, though his writing style and handwriting itself had left much to be desired. Both had improved measurably this year. That hadn't helped in Potions of course, but if she were honest Hermione doubted anything would.
He also seemed to be reading all the time, not for their classes but about the magical world as well as books from the non-magical world too. When she had asked him about it, Harry had told Hermione about the house elf who had tried to get him into trouble, that it lead to him thinking he was too ignorant about too many things, and the best way to combat that was to read and learn. That was a sentiment Hermione could get behind and they had both started to study more about the magical world together.
The only thing that had marred their friendship this year was their argument about the professors, in particular Lockhart. Hermione maintained that because they were professors they should be respected, but Harry had actually not shown up to Lockhart's class the day before, and Hermione knew he was going to get in trouble for it.
Now she broached that subject delicately, or as delicately as she knew how. "I know Harry, and I'm really happy to see you apply yourself more, but that doesn't mean you can just stop coming to classes like you did the other day with Defense." She looked at the glint in Harry's eyes behind his glasses and felt her own eyes narrow. "Does it?"
Before Harry could reply they were interrupted by a voice behind them. "Mr. Potter, I need to speak to you for a moment."
The two students turned to see Professor McGonagall had come out of the main hall after them. She caught up to them quickly, looking down at them for a moment before allowing a faint smile on her face. "Well done in there Mr. Potter, you might not have stayed around long enough to see it but the Weasleys and several others are now backing up your claim. In particular the Quidditch team is now willing to hex anyone who says anything bad about you in their presence. I do not know if your speech will change many of the student's minds given your ability with Parseltongue but at least half of those who were willing to believe it no longer are."
"I had to do something Professor or else those rumors would've just continued to grow just like the one's last year about how I had lost Gryffindor house so many points, let alone about what happened to Professor Quirell. Especially since you and the other professors seem content to let the rumors continue to fly. I wonder if you would've stepped in if they had started to send spells my way instead of insults," Harry said. His tone was mild, almost contemplative, but his green eyes, the eyes everyone said he got from his mom, had narrowed into hard, dangerous looking emeralds as he stared up at the Scotswoman.
McGonagall drew herself up glaring down at the boy. "I'll thank you not to take that tone with me Mr. Potter. Of course we would've stepped in!"
"Oh, even if it was just my word against theirs? You didn't seem so quick to take our word for it last year when we warned you someone was going after the Stone," Harry retorted, now looking up at her with a weary expression. McGonagall flinched slightly at that and Harry went on. "And whose bright idea was it to send three first-year students into the Forbidden Forest? Yours, Hagrid's, or someone else's, especially when there was something out there killing unicorns? If you were willing to send me into danger like that, why should I trust you'd protect me from more?"
Professor McGonagall clamped down on her Highland temper for a moment, because the boy did have a point, and when she spoke her voice had a note of contrition to it. "…I was not told you were assigned to the forbidden Forest until after the fact Mr. Potter. I suppose I should have come to you and apologized for that at the time, and for that I will say I'm sorry. And I will also say concerning the incident with the Stone, I should have listened, and I did not."
"What exactly did you want with us Professor?" Harry asked after acknowledging her apologies with the barest nod.
The lack of response to her words and the lingering look in Harry's eyes made Minerva to want to shake her head, though she refrained. James and Lily's little boy should not look so, so old, so cynical. What have those Dursleys done to you? What did the confrontation with Quirell last year do to you?
Shaking those thoughts off she went on brusquely deciding to, as she always did, concentrate on her job. "Professor Lockhart stated that you were not in class today or yesterday? If you are injured I would understand, but as it is I'm afraid he has asked that I pass on that you will be spending detention with him this evening."
"No professor, I will not," Harry said evenly while Hermione's eyes widened.
"This is not up for debate Mr. Potter!" McGonagall said, now becoming quite angry with the boy. Standing up for himself was one thing, even calling her out on her mistakes from last year she could forgive. But outright disobedience she could not accept.
"I will not serve a single detention for skipping that class Professor," Harry went on even as Hermione frantically squeezed his hand trying to get him to stop. "Because it is in fact not a defense course. It is a course on Prof. Lockhart's books, nothing more nothing less. I doubt there's a student in that class who's learned a single spell since it began. I certainly haven't! And with the threat of being attacked from behind, and whatever is causing these petrifications I refuse to go to a class that can't teach me anything useful."
Minerva sighed. She knew hiring Gilderoy was a mistake, but Albus had said no one else had applied for the job. "Mr. Potter I can understand your concerns, but that does not mean you can simply flaunt the rules of the school."
"Classes are supposed to teach, not just waste our time. According to the student handbook I found a copy of in the library, If a student and I quote 'finds that a class is not teaching to his or her standards, he can elect to self-study so long as he submits both his current grades and agrees to a monthly exam by the Wizarding Examinations Authority'. I submitted my grades and got the okay to self-study yesterday."
Harry would be lying if he said that being the Boy Who Lived hadn't helped grease the wheels, but for this he was more than willing to use his name. Without his so-called fame, it was entirely possible that the whole school year might've gone by before he got a reply.
McGonagall's lips thinned. "That request should've gone through me as your head of house, Mr. Potter" she said coldly.
"After last year can you blame me for not trusting you to see my point of view?" Harry asked tartly, not backing down. I've had enough of being walked over!
The two of them stared at one another then McGonagall sighed nodding her head slightly. She had after all apologized for last year just now, nearly halfway through the school year. And it had also fallen on Harry to try to fight the rumors about him too. "Very well, I will veto Lockhart's demand that you sit a detention with him for now. However, I will also sit in on your testing, and if you cannot perform to the standard demanded Mr. Potter, I will see you in detention for a week with Professor Snape!"
"That's fine by us Professor," Harry said with a smile, tugging Hermione along. "In that case though, we have some studying to do."
"Wow Harry, I would've figured she'd throw the book at you!" Hermione whispered. Harry's logical denouncement of McGonagall's actions from last year had somewhat rattled Hermione's faith in the woman which caused her to remain silent. But she was still an authority figure and Harry had practically challenged her outright, something that Hermione was still very of two minds about.
"She couldn't say anything Hermione, not really. She knew I was right," Harry said with a shrug. "So, you want to self-study with me, or go back to Lockhart?"
"I'm insulted that you even have to ask," Hermione said loftily, her nose in the air before giggling. As they walked off however, she asked hesitantly, "But um, what about Ron?"
"He actually doesn't care about schooling. Ron says he's going to be a professional Quidditch player, so I figure he's got his life planned out anyway. Me, I don't know what I want." Except a family of my own, maybe. Oh and to never go back to the Dursleys, that's important too. "That's why I'm taking my studies more seriously this year." That, and knowledge is power too. I'm done with being pushed around!
"Good for you," Hermione said briskly, her mind excitedly turning to the amount of studying they could do now with a class free. "Now, how far have you gotten and what books have you been using? I'll have to come up with a study plan for us of course. Then maybe we'll have to find an abandoned classroom for the practical side of things and ooh how about some targets or…"
Laughing Harry followed his best friend, always amused at how she had this urge to coordinate things and happy she was willing to work with him on this.
OOO Year 3: the Avalanche continues to Roll OOO
Harry gasped as he pushed Hermione out of the way of Remus' attack, fighting back with a wave of his wand while also keeping a hold of the unconscious rat in his other hand. Thank god that I demanded he go back to rat form before stunning him! "Stupefy!" The spell was supposed to knock the target back, but with Remus in his werewolf form it only served to push him a few feet away.
On the ground Hermione rolled to one side, lifting her wand and attacking Remus with a spell of her own. But her Stupefy did nothing but irritate the werewolf, not even knocking him off balance.
A second later Remus was smashed to one side by the giant black dog that was Sirius Black, Harry's newfound godfather. The two large beasts rolled around on the ground ripping and snarling at one another. But as weak as Sirius was from having been on the run for so long he was hurled aside swiftly. The triumphant werewolf howled, charging towards the two teens, its mouth gaping.
Seeing this Harry flung up a Protego between them, watching the angry werewolf bounce off for a moment before leaping to one side in an attempt to get around the shield. "Hermione, run! We can't try and fight Remus with the Dementors still somewhere aroundddd…" As if his words had conjured them the dementors appeared in the distance, a black tide moving towards them. "Shiiittt…."
"Run!" Hermione shouted, not even taking the time to tell him off for cursing. The two turned and raced away, with Ron lobbing spells behind them from his position in the air above Hermione, held there by her Leviosa spell and pulled along by the point of her wand. Ron had reclaimed his wand from Sirius when Sirius went into dog form and was trying his best to help his friends, but not really having much luck.
Concentrating so much on his prey, Remus hadn't spotted the dementors yet. He lunged forward at Harry underneath Ron's spells, and even though Harry dodged most of the werewolf's charge, the tip of Remus' fangs still cut along Harry's arm, leaving a deep gash there.
A second later the werewolf finally caught sight of the dementors and for the first time since arriving at the school the Dementors actually helped the students there. The werewolf ran off whimpering like a kicked puppy with his tail between his legs as the eldritch horrors floated closer.
Seeing this Harry thought it was a sign of the man in in the wolf coming out. He knew my parents and didn't come forward! He was one of my father's best friends, and this year is the first bloody time I see him? And even then I was the one who had to search him out!? Harry wasn't certain what to think about that or a lot of what else he had learned today. Frankly his thoughts of this entire evening were still in a jumble combined with the fact that a werewolf had just ripped into his arm, and Harry knew what that meant.
Thanks to Sirius having already touched the special knot that made the Whumping Willow go still for a few minutes and the dementor's lack of speed, they reached the entrance to the tunnel underneath the willow within minutes. A tunnel's as good as any place to confine myself I suppose, Harry thought morbidly, watching as Hermione, with Ron still hovering in the air right in front of her now, slipped into the tunnel.
"Sorry I've not been much help tonight mates," Ron said, shaking his head as he bumped across the ceiling of the tunnel.
"Oh hush! It's not your fault that despite being innocent Sirius Black is a little insane in how much he focuses on the dratted rat!" Hermione groused, shuddering as she pushed Ron along with her wand's motions, trying desperately to ignore the creeping cold of the Dementors coming closer.
Harry however had stopped by the entrance. Now as his friends put more distance between them he raised his wand to the ceiling, waiting until his friends covered another 20 feet or so before he whispered, "Reducto." He let only a trickle of power out into the spell, which promptly hit and shattered the ceiling. There was a rumble and a crash and Harry had a brief moment to see Hermione turn back with a shriek, her brown eyes widening as she saw Harry was on the other side of the cave in.
"Harry!" She shouted as the rubble began to settle, and Harry could hear her rushing back, then scrambling at the rubble. "Harry, are you alright!?"
"I'm fine for now Hermione, but I won't be for long. Ron, cast a Protego spell over the rubble, and keep her on that side of it, whatever happens." Harry said grimly.
Even as Ron answered in a confused affirmative Hermione gasped in sudden realization. "Harry, why… you… were you bitten, Harry?" she asked, her voice trailing off and becoming smaller and frailer as she went on.
"Remus got me in the arm Hermione," Harry said, sitting down against the wall of the tunnel and turning to stare out of the tunnel's entrance. "I don't know how long I have, do you?"
Using the side of the tunnel Ron pushed himself to his feet before reaching for his wand which had fallen to the floor of the tunnel. His face was lined with worry, and fear at what had happened to his friend.
At the same time, Hermione began to think about anything she knew about the process of someone being turned into a werewolf. "There isn't much writing about the subject," she said, trying to keep her voice unemotional, but the trembling in it came through. "You should, should normally be seeing a change within three to four hours under normal circumstances. However it's a full moon tonight, so you might be changing far faster than that. Noticeable changes occur first in the area around where you are bitten, flowing outwards from there to your entire body. Once, once it has, has reached your head it will be, will start to… Oh, Harry!"
"You still there Ron?" Harry asked.
"Yeah Harry, I'm here," Ron said, having situated himself to face the rubble, and having just cast another Stupefy at the rat just in case. No way in hell was that thing getting out of here.
"You know what to do. No matter what you hear, no matter what Hermione tries, don't let her move the rubble and keep yourselves safe."
"You got it Harry," Ron said grimly, raising his wand to face the rubble, motioning Hermione out of the way. What is it with me being bloody cut off from Harry when he faces trouble, huh? Though I suppose in this case it's a good thing…
Hermione did so very reluctantly and Ron threw up a Protego spell, then some spells at the rubble trying to make it impervious. Those kinds of spells could be broken through by brute force if the brute force was stronger than the caster's spell, but they would hold for a bit and he could always renew them.
Turning away Hermione raced down the tunnel hoping to get some help. About ten feet beyond her line of sight however, she found that Harry's attempt to separate himself from them had damaged the tunnel severely. There was at least one more pile of rubble in the way back to Hogwarts. Rushing back she whispered this to Ron, who nodded grimly. "We're going to stick this out together then, good."
On the other side of the rubble Harry looked down in growing fear as the area around where he had been bitten began to change, visible even in the dark of the cavern thanks to the moon outside streaming slightly into the entrance. His arm hairs quickly grew and his arm also seemed to bulk up for a moment, and then the changes continued. But Hermione had been wrong about one thing: the changes didn't start hitting the mind when the physical changes reached the head, that aspect started right away.
Harry could feel anger and fury and an animalistic hunger building up inside of him and he gasped, moving away quickly from the rubble towards the entrance as he tried to concentrate on his meditation practices. He had taken to studying meditation and Occlumency in his second year from a book he'd found in Borgin and Burkes during his accidental trip through the floo network. He'd picked it up on a whim remembering the pain in his scar whenever Quirellmort was around and his promise to do whatever he could to become less ignorant about the world around him. It had led to his further falling out with Professor Snape when he realized the man had been occasionally sifting through his mind, but he hadn't been able to prove it yet.
It might come in handy now to keep control though, he thought. Slumping against the wall of the tunnel Harry tried to enter a meditation state even as the anger and hunger assaulted his mind. Soon, Harry found his psyche pulled into his mental realm. He'd modeled his mental realm after the Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch, though it's current state left much to be desired. He had yet to build any defenses or real organization into it, and that came back to haunt him now as he felt a shivering through his mental plane.
The sky above him became stormy and black with lightning bolts of red and yellow, and suddenly there was a large black wolf-like creature across from him, snarling at him. Between one second and the next it charged towards Harry's mental representation of himself. It's charge bore Harry to the grass of the pitch and it continued to attack, its teeth seeking his throat.
Harry fought back, grabbing the wolf-thing's maw with his hands, holding it back as he remembered all of the things that he'd read about Occlumency. This is my mind, this is my mind! I am as strong as I can imagine myself to be here. With his imagined strength Harry was able to hold the werewolf's fangs away from his throat as he glared into its mad red eyes. "I'm not giving in! I'm not going to let you win!"
But, is that the way forward? thought a small part of Harry's mind. While thinking that Harry heaved the wolf off him to the side. When the wolf tried to scramble back on top of him again, Harry dodged slightly to one side, then lashed out. somehow getting the large wolf-creature in a headlock. Using that, Harry rolled them both around on the ground for a moment until he was behind the wolf-creature and then clung on for dear life, locking the headlock in around the wolf's throat while his legs latched around its middle.
The wolf howled bucking up and racing off through his mental plane but Harry clung grimly on, unwilling to be hurled off. He knew the moment he did the wolf would savage him. While his body, or at least his mental representation of it was busy, Harry decided to follow up that last thought for a moment.
Okay, so the change is irreversible, right? And Remus obviously fights his werewolf's side all the time, he's always tired and exhausted after the full moon. It's obvious he doesn't give in like Fenrir Grayback probably does. But is there a difference between not giving in to the instincts and just… accepting the change?
Are you serious you want to give in to the wolf? Thought another part of Harry's mind, which he thought was probably his snarky side, since the first side sounded like his analytical mind.
No, I want to absorb it. We need to admit that the wolf is now part of us, to take the wolf into ourselves and make it part of the whole. Think about it: Humans have instincts; we have emotions of anger, fear, and hunger of course. While we control them they are part of us, we don't turn around and say they're not and shove them into a corner. The wolf has instincts, the wolf has strengths. If the wolf won't go away, we have to make it part of ourselves.
That must be what happens to Remus! Harry suddenly realized. He fought the wolf and lost, and ever since he has to fight it again and again. He's always afraid of the curse then. And Fenrir, he uses the wolf but he was a monster before the wolf took him, wasn't he?
After Snape had assigned the subject to their class Hermione and Harry had looked up famous werewolves of the last few centuries. Both had quickly found out what Remus was though neither cared so long as he didn't attack Harry and actually taught Defense. Grayback was the worst of the bunch, but he had already been a murderer before being turned into a werewolf. He might have eventually absorbed the wolf aspect of himself, but on his own terms.
"What if I do it my way? What if I absorbed the Wolf, but don't become the monster?" Harry asked himself aloud, the words reverberating around him while the wolf-creature continued to try and throw him off.
Harry gathered himself, then looked down at the wolf-creature, twisting its head around so he could glare into its eyes. "I'm not doing this every month! I'm not going to give in to my instincts like you want me to. But I refuse to fight you day in and day out for the rest of my damned life. You're part of me now!" he shouted and with that he began to concentrate, imagining his self-image absorbing the wolf-creature underneath. "This is my mind, my world, and what I say goes!".
The spirit of the werewolf curse fought him for a moment howling out its rage. Then it seemed to realize what was going on, and the madness of rage and even the fear, which Harry had only just noticed, left its eyes. The wolf spirit slowly disappeared into Harry's mental representation, and as it did, Harry found himself back in his physical body.
While Harry had been fighting the wolf on his mental plane, the werewolf's instincts had been running his body. He had smashed through much of the rubble, trying hard to get away from the cold creatures that were attempting to enter the tunnel and also get at the two humans his nose could scent on the other side of the rocks.
The Dementors had been drawn by Harry's struggle against the werewolf curse, but most of them couldn't get close thanks to the Whumping Willow. Whatever Dementors looked like underneath their robes, they had enough corporeal substance for them to feel the willow's attacks and the tree had gone crazy, lashing out at them as soon as it had come out of its torpor.
One of them however had gotten past its flailing branches, and had entered the tunnel with difficulty. After all it was not made for anyone taller than four feet. It now loomed as Harry came back to himself, reaching for him.
But having been stuck in his mental plane, Harry hadn't been subjected to the cold depressing touch of the Dementor's presence. Now, as his mother's voice echoed in his mind shouting, "No, not Harry, not Harry," Harry grabbed up his wand from the tunnel's floor and turned to face the Dementor.
I didn't give in to one monster I am not going to have my soul eaten by another! I am not going back to the bloody Dursleys, Sirius and I will live together and I will finally have a real family! Those thoughts, the idea of a family that loved him, merged in Harry's mind with the happy moments he'd had since coming to Hogwarts: his first time flying, his Quidditch matches and spending time with Hermione and Ron.
It wasn't any one thought, it was all merged into a jumble, but it was enough for Harry to power his spell. He tried to shout out the words to the spell, but they came out in a jumble, his jaw and tongue strangely unable to form the words. "Exrepgo Pashronum!"
Despite his maw mangling the words the spell rocketed out of his wand filling the tunnel with blazing silver light. The form was that of a giant stag which filled the tunnel celling to floor and then some. It lunged at the suddenly retreating dementor, skewering the monster on its tines. The Dementor let out a wail like a steam engine being tortured as the stag barreled on, the Dementor still stuck on it's tines, smashing it into the top of the tunnel. A second later the wail trailed off into a gurgle as the stag's tine's dug deeper into the thing and the robe suddenly went slack as the thing inside it began to disintegrate into dust which Harry could just make out by the light of the Patronus falling like water to the ground.
"WROw…" Harry muttered as he watched the dementor die. A minute later his Patronus dissipated, a lot of its energy consumed by the deed.
As it did, Harry took stock of himself. His body had changed of course, he had expected that. Judging by how he had to duck his head somewhat Harry though his were-form was about a foot taller than his normal body, and he was also somewhat less skinny if Harry was any judge. Looking down at his body, he found he was of course covered in hair and had a wolfish appearance from what he could tell by looking at his hands and feet. He had also burst out of his robes and the jeans he wore underneath, though his undershirt was somewhat in place. His new body was definitely designed to run on four legs just as well as two, his forearms longer than they had been.
"H, Harry?" a hesitant female voice asked, and he looked up quickly, his ears pricking forward, a sensation he could feel somehow. Turning he saw that the werewolf had made a large hole in the rubble wall somehow in its attempt to get away from the Dementor and it was from this hole that the voice was coming from. "Harry Are you there?" said the voice again sounding rather shrill and as if it was sore from shouting.
Harry's lips twisted, and he tried to form words but all he got was out was "gres, gres Herrrriorre."
Ron pushed Hermione to one side to look through the whole Harry had made in the door. He saw his friend in full werewolf mode lying against the far wall looking back and jerked back slightly before he looked again. "Um, mate, are you in full control in there?"
Harry looked him in the eye before slowly nodding his head. Then, feeling somewhat mischievous after his recent brush with death and the curse, he leaped forward. Before Ron could back away Harry's long tongue licked out, slobbering all over his face.
"OH, yuck Harry, gahhhh!" Ron bawled, falling back and wiping irritably at his face. But even so, he smiled, shaking his head. "Yeah, that's Harry in there, unless werewolves kill their victims with slobber. Licking better not be enough to give me the curse mate, or else I'm gonna sic me mum on you!"
"That's impossible! Er, both the slobber doing that Ronald and you being in control Harry!" Hermione said shaking her head, moving back into the hole so that Harry could see her face. "That, that just doesn't happen!" She then paused, looking at Ron and then Harry, who hadn't moved very far away from the hole and was now panting in doggy amusement. "And if you try to slobber me Harry Potter I will cut off your boy bits understood? I am a cat person!"
After whimpering at that image Harry again tried to form words, but they came out mangled once more. A wolf's muzzle couldn't quite form them though Harry didn't think he looked as much of a warped amalgam of human and werewolf as Remus had seemed to be. "Ahhs crn't cralk crand rexolan rkke rhis!"
"Oh," Hermione said nodding faintly, her adrenaline slowly fading and leaving her rather weak in the knees at everything that had happened. "He says he can't explain like this."
"I understood him!" Ron said indignantly, shaking his head and staring at Harry for a moment. "But blimey Harry, you don't do anything by halves do you?"
Harry simply shrugged his shoulders, his tongue rolling out as he laughed at them both. "Rince Ren rash rryr lirre rren rormal."
After they translated those words to 'since when has my life been normal' the two friends could only nod their heads in agreement. "When you're right, you're right Harry," Ron muttered.
Suddenly there was a clamor from outside the tunnel and Hermione shimmied through the whole in the rubble. She smiled as Harry made way for her, moving against one side of the tunnel as she glanced out from underneath the whomping willow's roots. "It's a group of Aurors, they are banishing the dementors using that Patronus spell Professor Lupin's been trying to teach you Harry. Strange though, the dementors seem to have already started running before they arrived on the scene…" she frowned, then, looking down at a mound of black robes she hadn't noticed before she gasped turning back to Harry, a lock of shock on her face.
Before she could ask, the far end of the tunnel from where Ron still was began to move. Each piece rose into the air, moving to either side and then up into the tunnel's roof like so many pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, filling in the tunnel and making it look like it was brand new.
A second later Albus Dumbledore stepped through smiling slightly. "That would be because I told them to come here, Ms. Granger. A large black dog told me they would be needed. I understand however that you have a rat about your person?"
Harry growled a little, moving forward towards the headmaster who quickly turned in his direction, his body no longer showing any sign of his age as his wand came up, his jovial mood dissipating slowly. "Mr. Potter?" He said cautiously, "Are you in there?"
"RRill rere rand rin ronrrol ressor (Still here and in control professor)," Harry growled, one long finger pointing to the rat still in Ron's hand. "Strrruprry rit regrrain, rit's a rrricky rrittler rastard (Stupefy the rat again it's a tricky little bastard)."
"Language Harry," Hermione said automatically, then had the good grace to flush as Ron and Harry both looked at her askance.
Unlike his friends it took Dumbledore a few moments to realize what Harry was trying to say. He then nodded slowly and his wand flicked to one side, a silent and narrow-beamed Stupefy lashing out with pinpoint accuracy straight into the rat's head, knocking it backwards in Ron's grip.
The youngest Weasley boy whistled appreciatively. "Wow Professor!"
Dumbledore winked at him then looked back to Harry thoughtfully before glancing over the changed boy's shoulder towards what looked like a crumpled up black robe and some kind of crystal skull. "I see that you three have a interesting tale to tell here," he said mildly. "However, I doubt that anyone would be served in the knowledge of Harry's new status becoming common knowledge."
With that he walked past Harry and blocked up the entrance again, despite the fact that there were dozens of auror's outside working to corral the Dementors. "Come with me children, we will hide Harry in a spare room for now. That is, so long as you don't know if you can change back Harry?"
"Professor, all the books said that a werewolf couldn't change back during the full moon!"
"Yes, but books about such subjects are often tainted by the opinions of those who write them Ms. Granger."
With that Albus looked back at Harry who shrugged. "RII Rouldn't reen row rere ro rart ressor."
"Yes," Dumbledore said after a moment translating that to 'I wouldn't even know where to start professor'. "I suppose that would be a problem. You haven't had any lectures about Animagus forms yet have you? Pity, still we can get Sirius to help you I think." With that he led the way through the tunnel into the school, and then up to an empty classroom quickly, all of them covered by a mass disillusionment charm just in case.
Once ensconced there, Dumbledore left them for a moment before returning with Sirius in his dog form. The instant the door closed behind them he changed back into his human body and rushed Harry, hugging the werewolf Harry tightly. "Oh Harry," he said, shaking slightly, "I'm so sorry!"
Harry looked a little uncomfortable at being hugged, but also quite happy. The werewolf was part wolf after all, and wolves were much more social in a touchy-feely way than Harry was used to. A low rumble of pleasure actually reverberated through Harry's chest, and Hermione looked at him for a moment shaking her head.
Werewolf Harry was actually quite decent looking for the breed she supposed, reminding her more of the American comic book version werewolves, who were noble beasts at times, rather than the ravening terrors they were in most magical books. He actually reminded Hermione of a teenage version of a werewolf in a comic book her father had called Gold something or other.
"So," Sirius said somewhat briskly, clapping Harry on the shoulders once before stepping back. "Dumbledore says you want to see if you can change right? Do you know any Occlumency?"
Harry nodded. "Res, rit's rone of re rearonr rhy ri rink ri'm rin cronrol, RI rort rof abrorbed rhe rolf." Hearing his disjoined words he scowled, pouting as much as his snout would allow him to and falling silent.
After spending a few seconds to translate this Sirius nodded thoughtfully. "Absorb is new, but the other part isn't. Other Occlumency users have been attacked by werewolves of course, though none have ever shared their experiences during that time. So what you need to do is picture your human body on one side, and your present image of yourself on the other, and then sort of fill up the image of your human body like it's a cup with the image of your present self."
"Whatever you do, don't stop halfway through, you need to force your entire present image into the cup of your normal body, if you stop halfway you won't change cleanly," Sirius warned. Given practice it's a lot easier and in time you won't even need to picture that most of the time, but you will need it for your first attempt."
Harry nodded, and closed his eyes but after several minutes of silent meditations he shook his head. "CRan't picrrrurrre ryrelf," he muttered, shaking his head.
"Cock," Sirius muttered under his breath, drawing a hissed gasp from Hermione which the older man ignored. "That probably means there's some kind of carryover, you'll be stuck in that form until the full moon ends then Harry, I'm sorry."
Harry shrugged, looking at Hermione dolefully, "Rooks (books)?"
Hermione laughed, reaching forward to fling her arms around her friend as Ron began to chuckle too, shaking his head. "Bloody nutters, the pair of you!"
Just then Harry's stomach rumbled like the animal he looked and Hermione squeaked slightly looking up at Harry's now sheepish expression. Ron on the other hand pointed at Harry's stomach. "See mate, at least part of ya knows what's really important!"
"I shall assign a house-elf to bring you food as you ask for it Harry, no doubt you will be hungry tonight." Albus said, smiling slightly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a lot I need to make certain occurs tonight. Sirius, you may stay with Harry until I call for you. Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley, I should no doubt be urging you two to head to your dorms, but you may stay up and have a late meal with your friend as well. After that however, I must ask you to take yourselves off to bed."
So Harry was stuck in that room for the rest of the night. He spent some of it reading, but most of the time he spent sleeping or eating. He ate a lot, even more than Ron would each time he called for food and a lot of it was heavier than he usually ate, steaks and fried chicken being the heaviest.
When Harry woke up, it was to a completely changed world, and though he failed to notice it at first, a changed Harry. "Mr. Potter," said a familiar voice near his bed, one he'd heard before in a somewhat similar situation. "Back with us I see."
Harry looked up from his bed, which Dumbledore had transfigured into a giant doggie bed, to see the headmaster standing there. "Professor," he said, then gasped as the word came out clear for the first time since he'd changed. He quickly reached up, and found that his face was no longer hairy, human once more rather than the werewolf's lupine snout.
"Yes you've changed forms. It also seems that Sirius was correct: your human body has developed some carryover from the curse of the werewolf. We might have to use an illusion charm on you for a time, at least until this summer. I remember that young children do go through growth spurts, though yours is rather more pronounced than most." There was a laugh in the old man's voice, despite his obviously exhausted appearance.
Harry quickly stood up moving to the old man's side before helping the headmaster sit down on the bed looking at him with his head cocked to on side. "You look exhausted Sir, what's been going on?"
The two of them had had a bit of a rocky relationship honestly, especially after Harry had started to go out of his way to solve his own ignorance of the magical world. That had changed when Dumbledore had given him a present to make up for his failings in first year upon hearing of what Harry had gone through with his relatives from Ms. Weasley. Of course Harry had decided not to share anything with Ms. Weasley after that, but this one time her inability to not keep a secret had seemingly paid off. The book on combat transfiguration had been an amazing find, one well above his current level of course, though what little he understood was still helpful. It had also served to somewhat bridge the gap between Dumbledore and Harry.
"Quite a lot has been going on Mr. Potter. First, I and Ms. Amelia Bones… do you know who that is?" Harry nodded impatiently and Dumbledore went on. "We were able to ram through an emergency trial for Sirius Black. He is now innocent of all charges and free to live his life as he pleases."
He looked at Harry thoughtfully, his eyes not twinkling for once. "I have made many mistakes in my life Mr. Potter, and I know that my… call it my grip on current reality is sometimes skewed thanks to my old age. It never occurred to me that a family would abuse a relative as the Dursleys did you, and I fear I also trusted the wrong watchwoman to make certain you were treated well. For that and putting you with your relatives I apologize, but you no longer need to live there if you do not wish to. You will be moving in with Sirius this summer, I trust?"
"That was the plan if we could get him free Professor, thank you!" Harry said, sitting down on the floor abruptly, a grin, the widest grin he'd ever had appearing on his face. He would've had to be in his werewolf form to make it any wider.
"I thought as much," Albus said with a smile. "The Black mansion has numerous defensive wards around it, and we can also put it under the Fidelius, making myself the secret keeper. That will be simple enough to accomplish and I think you'll learn quite a bit from Sirius and Remus, who apparently is going to be moving in with the two of you."
Harry winced a little. He was not looking forward to meeting with Remus again.
Catching that Albus sighed, reaching up to push his spectacles back up his nose. "I ask that you forgive him Harry. Remus Lupin has fought his curse every day of his life since Fenrir Greyback turned him. A lesser man would have given in to it at some point."
"I can forgive him for that professor and I would never judge him for being a werewolf in the first place. But I will smack him upside the head for forgetting his bloody potion last night!" Harry quipped. He did however resent Remus having never contacted him, even though he was supposedly one of his father's best friends.
Having no idea what Harry was actually thinking Albus merely laughed, going on to tell Harry about the trial. Thanks to Amelia Bones they had gotten the word out about it quickly. They did so despite the minister's attempt to block them from doing so fearing the backlash if it became known that he had ordered a kill on sight order for an innocent man and had in fact been involved with keeping him in the prison despite that innocence.
"The fact that Sirius is heir to the House of Black, a noble and important, that is to say ancient and rich, house is also a massive problem for Minister Fudge. A mere hint that he was trying to block his innocence because it is Black money which has made the Malfoys so important and he is too busy covering his rear end to get in our way." Albus said, smiling complacently and leaning back as Harry laughed.
That discussion went on for some time until they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Harry moved to open it before Dumbledore could say anything, as he heard Hermione asking in a small voice, "Harry, are you awake?"
He opened the door to find Hermione and Ron both outside. Hermione took one look and blinked in shock, a light dusting of pink coming to her cheeks before she looked away quickly. "Harry!"
Ron shook his head, turning his head to one side and holding up a hand to his eyes. "My eyes I'm blind, why, just why mate!?"
Harry looked down at himself, and found that he was only wearing a rather torn pair of boxers and a ripped undershirt. Squeaking slightly he hurried behind the door, as Albus moved towards him conjuring up a set of clothing for him despite his own chuckles.
Once their friend was dressed the two came in, and Hermione could only stare at the changes that had come over their friend. Before, Harry had been one of the shortest in their grade, and rather…underfed looking. She had attempted at one point to talk to Harry about his home life, but had been shut down so quickly she never tried to bring it up again directly. She knew enough however to be certain the Dursleys had, if not abused him physically had at least not fed or clothed Harry as they should have.
Now he stood as tall as Ron, and was a little wider in the shoulders. His emaciated form had filled out with wiry muscle, all of the food he had eaten during the night being transformed directly into muscles thanks to his new werewolf curse. Harry was quite fanciable now, Hermione thought, if in a slightly clinical manner, before she shook her head. Stop that, he's a friend, a handsome friend but still a friend.
"Yes," Dumbledore mused, "We'll definitely need some illusion spells. For now however, I think we should figure out what to do in the future Mr. Potter. With your other form, your training with it, and what to do on full moons…"
Coming home to Grimauld Place was an experience despite Sirius having done as much cleaning as he could over the last few months. First, it was Harry's first experience with side-along apparition, and he found he hated it. The instant the motion stopped Harry fell to his knees, grabbing at his stomach and groaning as a bout of queasiness hit him. Hearing laughter from next to him Harry glared up at Sirius despite his dry heaves. "What was that?!"
Sirius merely continued to laugh along with two other people, ruffling Harry's head. "Sorry about that pup, I didn't expect you to react like that to apparition. Most of the time it's the easiest form of magical transportation."
"I suppose it could be worse, the few times I've used the floo I've come out going arse over tea kettle," Harry grunted, pushing himself to his feet and looking around at the others who had laughed at his entrance.
One was a young woman, Harry guessed her age to be early 20s at the oldest. She looked somewhat familiar, as if Harry had seen her in passing a time or two, though her pink hair was definitely something he had never seen before. She was dressed in tight jeans with a few holes in them, and a Weird Sisters T-shirt, along with a small black choker around her neck. She was quite pretty Harry had to admit, in a sort of in your face kind of way, and older to boot.
Beside her stood Remus, and Harry had to fight back a growl at seeing the man. The full moon had just past, and Harry had spent his last full moon at Hogwarts running through the woods getting to know his other form. Remus however had not shown up. The man obviously felt shame for what he had done, and wasn't willing to face Harry just yet. Looking at him now as Harry tried to catch his eyes Remus looked away again, and Harry fought back another growl. "Remus, stop it!" he ordered
Remus looked up at him, and Harry shook his head. "I won't say I'm happy that you bit me, but it happened, it's a thing, get over it! You didn't mean to do it, it was the wolf who attacked us not Remus Lupin. Understood?"
Remus nodded, but still looked shamefaced, looking away as if he didn't really believe Harry. Harry sighed turning away from him to look at the woman, who had looked on this diatribe with amusement. "That's what I've been saying all along wolfie," she said pushing Remus playfully in the shoulder before moving towards Harry holding out her hand.
Before she could introduce herself however Sirius spoke up. "The hyphen club is all here!" he said, grinning at them both.
Harry looked at him quizzically, and Sirius went on. "We have Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived, and this is Tonks, She-Who-Will-Not-Be-Named."
Harry looked at the girl who shrugged. "I hate my first name. I'm not even going to tell you what is it. Just call me Tonks okay? Fair warning, if I ever hear you say my first name, we're going to have problems. I'm this madman's cousin. One of only two relatives he actually admits ta knowing for my sins, which even if I don't remember 'em must've been whoppers to stick me with this old dog and his sense of humor."
"One of only two relatives I still have after disinheriting both of my other cousins you mean," Sirius said seriously. "It's a work in progress to bring the Black family name back to something like reputable status, or" he smiled, his eyebrows waggling "as reputable as I want it to be."
"Two people doesn't make a club Sirius," Harry said dryly, ignoring Sirius's attempt at a joke. "Unless you're talking about Remus over there, or He-Who-Is-Mopey?"
Remus chuckled wanly at that, and Sirius shook his head. "Nope. You're looking at Sirius black, The-king-Of-FAMMMK!"
"All right that's enough!" Tonks said slapping her hand over her cousin's mouth. "Keep it PG in front of the kid would you?"
Harry rolled his eyes. "I haven't been a kid since the first time my aunt took a frying pan to the back of my head for messing up dinner." As Tonks gaped at him Harry ignored her turning to Sirius. "So, where do you want me to put my stuff, and when do we start training?"
"Training." Tonks asked, noticeably changing what she was about to say, her hair turning bright blue for a moment. "What's that about?"
"That would be why I wanted you to take an oath of secrecy cuz," Sirius said, putting his arms around both of them and moving them towards the door, twitching his head towards Remus to follow them. "Let's get Harry situated, and then I'll show you the training room, and we can discuss why Harry needs it. It turns out," he went on as they walked out the door, "that the Dark Wanker isn't quite dead enough, and we need to prepare just in case."
OOO Year 4: The Avalanche becomes ever stronger OOO
"I wonder if I should just attack this Moody character now given our past record with Defense teachers..." Harry mused, and it said a lot for their past few years that neither Ron nor Hermione objected to this idea.
"Hmm… a preemptive strike? You might be onta something there Harry," Ron mumbled between his brutal assault on the food in front of them, which had not ended when the headmaster began his announcements. In Ron's view, there was no quarter ever given in the war to sate his hunger. "But, 'e's Moody rig'? Me da's always over at his house on account of some charms he's go' on the property, but he's righ' famous."
By this point Hermione had had enough and cut in sharply, smacking Ron on the shoulder. "Don't talk with your mouth full Ronald!" As Ron quieted, she turned to Harry. "As for your idea, I would say if it was anyone but a famous Dark Wizard hunter, your idea might have merit, but as it is, I think we should wait and see." Since Hermione was smiling slightly when she said this, one would be hard pressed to figure out if she was serious or not and Hermione wasn't telling.
"It was just a thought. I wouldn't want to attack him here anyway, too many witnesses." Harry said winking at his friends who both laughed.
"Harry Potter…" Dumbledore said, to the sound of sudden silence in the hall.
Groaning, Harry began to bang his head against the wood of the table in front of him. At the same time Hermione began to actually curse beside him. Across from them Ron looked dyspeptic for a moment.
"Harry, you'll have to fight this quickly unless you want another round of Harry Potter rumor mongering," Hermione whispered.
Harry nodded getting up quickly and looking around at the faces of those all around him. The Hufflepuff table looked murderous, as if Harry had stolen their champion's chance at glory on purpose. The Slytherins looked amused, angry and contemptuous in turns, the Ravenclaws looked angry (though that might have been from events earlier in the year dealing with a young blonde girl who was sitting next to Ginny at present), and his own house looked torn between shock and adulation.
Odd reaction from my own house, but I suppose they think I somehow managed to cheat my way in. Shows a piss poor understanding of my personality, that does. Swiftly Harry held out his hand, and shouted "Ergo fides: I Harry Potter did not enter myself in this tournament, nor did I ever want to enter! Ergo Fides!"
That caused the side comments to stop and Dumbledore to halt from where he had been getting up out of his chair. All of them looked at Harry in shock as magic flared from his wand acknowledging his oath. A second later, Harry held his wand up once more and color flared out from the end of it. "Wow," he said in a bland tone, "it looks as if I was telling the truth. Now, if that's all Professor, can I sit back down? I'd like to have one ruddy year without something deadly trying to happen to me."
"I'm afraid it isn't that simple Harry," Dumbledore said softly, staring at the piece of paper in his hand. "Please, come with me."
It turned out that Harry would have to compete, something he was not at all happy about. Somehow, someone had been able to enter him into this tournament, most likely by using a bit of parchment from a past test which had his magical signature on it. If he did not compete that would be enough for the goblet, an old and very finicky magical artifact, to drain him of his magic. Harry and Dumbledore had had an argument about it, and decided that while Harry might willingly be able to live among Muggles, what the effect of losing his magic would do to his being a werewolf was utterly unknown, and not something they wanted to play with.
So, once again Harry was forced to face a life or death struggle, rather than getting to know girls as he had wanted to. He had noticed the looks he was getting once his 'growth spurt' ended, and had been interested in seeing where some of those looks led.
Despite that however, months later when it came time to look for a date for the Yule Ball he decided to go with someone he could actually have a conversation with rather than try to date someone based on looks alone like so many other boys seemed to be doing. Not mind you, that Hermione isn't a looker, whatever she might think Harry thought as he sat across from her in the library.
His friend had grown up, and though she still worried about her teeth and her hair was still frizzy, she was becoming a very good-looking young woman. Her style of beauty was somewhat understated in comparison to say Lavender Brown or Susan Bones, the two girls who were the most 'shagable' in his grade as the boys put it, but it was definitely there.
Hermione looked up smiling in welcome and Harry smiled back before deciding to just blurt it out. Gryffindors charge! "So, would you like to go to that will Yule Ball with me?"
At that Hermione blinked in shock before looking down, poking at her book with a finger for a moment. "I um, wow, are you sure you want to go with me? I mean, I know other girls have thought about asking you, and that is a major breach of etiquette, and I thought, I mean, wouldn't it be best if you went with someone prettier?"
Harry shrugged. "I'll admit that there are some good-looking girls out there, but you're good-looking to, and I know you, you're someone I can have an actual conversation with. Besides, how many of those girls think of me as simply a good-looking guy, or the Boy-Who-Lived rather than just, Harry Potter, the whole package?"
He reached over touching her hand with one of his gently. "Besides, who knows where it could lead?" He said hesitantly, looking into her eyes.
Hermione blushed a little, understanding what he was really saying there, and nodded hesitantly.
The night of the dance the idea that his 'friend-who-is-a-girl' Hermione was simply pretty went out of Harry's mind the instant she walked down the stairs in that periwinkle blue dress. Okay, she is not beautiful, she's bloody gorgeous! Why haven't I noticed this before!?
With Hermione on his arm, Harry had quite a lot of fun, the two of them talking laughing and dancing. They were both leaning towards this being an actual date rather than simply some kind of practice date sort of thing. Thanks to Harry's help, and Sirius paying for a suit for him in recompense for his leg, Ron had fun too, dancing the night away with Parvati. The two of them hadn't returned by the time Harry and Hermione made their way back up to the Gryffindor common room.
"Well this has been an amazing night Harry," Hermione said, hugging Harry tightly around the chest.
"It was only amazing because of the company," Harry said with a grin, looking down at her. Having spent the summer with Tonks and Sirius had done wonders for his ability to flirt. One as a target who never, ever blushed but had no problem making Harry do so, and the other for giving perfect examples of lines that should never ever work.
"I see Sirius' lessons are doing you a world of good," Hermione chuckled, seemed to make a decision. Blushing slightly she leaned her head to the side as she tilted her neck upwards, her eyes closed as she closed the distance.
Harry hesitated a moment, then did the same, and the two exchanged a kiss. It was… nice. Just… nice. Hermione wrinkled her nose, leaning back slightly and looked up as Harry blinked in confusion, before they both leaned in and kissed again. Again it was just… nice. There was no spark there, no desire to take it further.
"That is odd…" Hermione muttered.
The two of them looked at one another frowning a little. "I don't… hmmm…" Harry muttered then looked away frowning as he scratched the back of his head.
Hermione nodded. "I thought there would be I mean…"
They both looked at one another than laughed shaking their heads. "Okay, so maybe this whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing wouldn't work out for us?"
"I suppose not," Hermione thought shaking your head. "I guess, I mean yeah. I'm sorry Harry, I find you attractive, but it's just I don't feel that attraction on an emotional level I guess? I didn't really understand that until right now."
"Me too," Harry said. "I mean you're gorgeous, and if anyone says differently I will bloody smack them for you, but that was like… I mean it felt like I was trying to kiss a sister. Or well you know what I mean."
"Like Tonks?" Hermione teased.
Harry blushed a little, shaking his head. Tonks had actually kissed him once over the summer after Sirius introduced Harry to the pleasures of alcohol and the two of them had gotten drunk. It had been slobbery and not very good frankly, and both of them had been embarrassed by it. He thought she was attractive, but she felt he was a little too young for her, and preferred older guys anyway. The two of them had a lot of fun, but there was no spark of attraction between them.
"So better as friends?" Harry said holding out his hand.
Hermione shook it gratefully. "Better as friends," she said. Then she cocked her head thoughtfully to one side. "What girl do you think you're interested in? I mean you don't really talk to many people outside Ron, your teammates and I. Maybe Katie then?"
"No, she, Alicia and Angelina are pretty much just teammates and friends, you know I don't like them that way," Harry sighed but not backing away. "As to what kind of girl I like… fiery I guess, I mean I've always admired how you stand up for yourself, so that's part of it, and then there's what all I've been told about my mom standing up for herself and for other people. She also apparently had a temper on her that was slow to boil but once someone set it off they had better watch out."
"Hmm, so fiery, okay, but what about physically? Hair color? Tall, leggy, chesty, what?" Hermione asked, getting into the teasing.
"Red I guess, I mean I'm always looking at Susan and that redheaded Seventh year Slytherin." Harry said with a smirk.
"McDougal I think," Hermione said trying to bring the girl to mind. She was a quiet one, but evidently a power to be reckoned with in her own house at least, considering that she hadn't been pressured to join any of the Slytherin's cliques. "So fiery with red hair, can stand up for herself and intelligent?"
"Oh yes," Harry said with a wink deciding to turn the teasing on her now. "Brainy girls are definitely a turn on. Hopefully there will be other people who realize the same thing."
It worked and Hermione blushed, swatting at his shoulder even as she looked pleased.
Neither of them noticed that Ginny had returned from her own date with Neville Longbottom, having left Neville behind to help drag Seamus and Dean to bed, both of whom had somehow gotten drunk on spiked punch, no doubt brought in by the twins. She was standing near the entrance way with it cracked open, listening to their conversation with a smile on her face.
The entire stadium had gone into a tizzy the moment Harry had disappeared, even the judges and Sirius and a few others running around trying to find out how. Dumbledore's face was practically a storm cloud of fury and Sirius and Tonks both looked angry, the metamorph's hair writhing around like a pit of black snakes. Hermione watched anxiously, not knowing enough to help, something that galled her really, while Ron was a simmering pile of redheaded rage beside her, his fingers twitching where they held his wand. "Where the bloody hell is Harry, and who the bloody fucking hell took him!?"
So worried was she about their friend, Hermione didn't even try to correct Ron's language. "I don't know, but both he and Cedric touched the cup. It must have been a portkey, and only the professors and judges should have had access to it…"
"Moody, Snape, Karkaroff," Ron muttered, nodding his head and looking around. "Harry really should have launched that preemptive strike he mentioned. Then we'd only have to worry about two possible death eaters…"
Just as Ron began to look around for the possible culprit Harry returned with the dead body of Cedric next to him. One of Harry's arms had been slashed open from the hand up to the shoulder while another cut crossed his chest, and half his head looked as if it had been singed in a fire, blinding him temporarily in one eye. "He's back," Harry muttered as Sirius and the others rushed toward him, "Voldemort is back," he said, before collapsing forward.
OOO After Hogwarts: things fall apart OOO
The war had begun that day but through many trials and travails Harry and his friends had made it through with their bodies and minds as intact as could be expected. Through incompetent ministers, and their own side's unwillingness to get their hands dirty or let the kids actually do their own fighting, they had survived and moved on to start making real lives of their own. Harry and Ginny dated for a time, breaking up, then getting back together until they had bitten the bullet and married one day in a small ceremony despite Ginny's desire to have the largest wedding in the history of Britain.
At times Harry thought that Ginny had fallen in love more with the idea of Harry's title as the Boy-Who-Lived, but at other times married life was almost blissful. But despite his married life not being as pleasant as he could have hoped, one thing had come along that made it worth it: his daughter Lily Luna Potter. Seven years old and a bundle of red-haired energy, she was Harry's pride and joy, and he let his thoughts turn to her now, taking him away from the small if tastefully designed room.
Hmm… I finished these tests early, I could pick Lily up early and head out for some ice cream before heading home in time for dinner… no, I should at least wait to make certain she behaved for Luna and Rolf.
"Congratulations Mister Potter. I have seen countless wizards take their NEWTS and even Mastery tests, but you are the first to break the records for both your Defense NEWT and Mastery test."
Harry looked up as the head of the Wizarding Examining Authority spoke from where he had been sipping calmly from a pot of tea as he thought not of the test he'd just had but of his daughter and seeing her after having had to spend two days away from her and her mother. Thought admittedly it wasn't a test as most thought it, and Harry was probably the first examinee who had taken to it somewhat calmly before or after.
Even the test's name The Defense Against the Dark Arts Mastery Examination, was not an appropriate label for the test in Harry's opinion. Rather, in his mind it would be better to term it as Combat and Magical Tactics Mastery. There was a reason why defense masteries were so very rare, far rarer than any other mastery, or even dueling champions.
As part of his test Harry had of course both a practical and theoretical. The theoretical test made the examinee walk his way through various tactical problems, and examined his knowledge of spells and their use in various environments. The practical put the examinee against a series of professional duelists, Aurors, Hit-wizards, and monsters on an ever increasing scale of danger.
"Well, fighting the Chimera one on one was tough, but other than that it was rather like old home week to me Miss." Harry said, shrugging his shoulders. Heh, and hadn't the chimera been surprised when its poison didn't work on me. Had the devil of a time convincing the examiners I didn't cheat though. You'd think cheating like that would have earned me more points not suspicion, but no, it's a bloody test to see how you do in combat, of course you can't cheat. Ugh.
"Hmmf, it says a lot for your life that I have no doubt of the veracity of that statement Mister Potter." Griselda Marchbanks muttered, before looking down and stamping the scroll in front of her before tying it up with a piece of velum, and holding it out to Harry. "Congratulations on now having the paperwork to tell the world what it already knew Mister Potter: that you are a Defense phenomenon," She finished dryly.
Harry chuckled at that, taking the parchment from her and tucking it into his mokeskin pouch, a gift from Hagrid he took everywhere he went unless his wife had asked to use it on a shopping trip. He shook hands with Griselda, then turned and walked out of the examination center, which was a part of the ICW's headquarters in Paris, France. It wasn't always there of course, the ICW headquarters shifted countries every five years among its members.
Walking through the magical district, Paris' equivalent of Diagon Alley and it's offshoots, Harry frowned as he saw the looks sent his way. Some were admiring, some were filled with awe, others fear.
Man-Who-Conquered bah, you can keep it. Fame is a bloody curse as bad as the one on the Defense position at Hogwarts. It's as if just because I fought my enemies the way they fought me that I am a step away from going Dark to some people. Whatever the bloody fuck that's supposed to mean. Then there's the people who think I'm some kind of infallible superhero, those who see my stance on 'muggleborn' rights and werewolf rights as a sign that I'm a threat to their way of life, and those who just want to use me or my name for their own reasons! Is it any bloody wonder I spend so much time in the non-magical world?
That was actually a major bone of contention between Ginny and Harry, right up there with Harry wanting to live simply rather than live the highlife. Harry was very careful with his money and with the few things his family had left him, and almost never used his name to get anything. He'd tried occasionally to use his fame in the political arena to help Neville ram some new laws down the Wizengamot's collective throat right after finishing school. But those attempts had withered and died on the vine in the face of the opposition, and Harry had given up the political and social arenas in disgust.
In contrast, Ginny wasn't a huge spender on her own, but she wasn't careful either. She wanted to live the high life, go to the same parties that people like the Malfoys threw, hob nob with the famous and rich in that order. She followed Quidditch, and spent a lot of money going to the games she could.
She always seemed personally insulted when Harry would rather go flying on his own with Lily or spend time at home rather than go to a game or a ball or out in public. She often accused him of not wanting to spend time with her, but when the things she wanted to spend time doing were things he hated, could anyone blame him?
As for Harry enjoying the muggle world, Ginny was rather conservative in her views of the non-magical world, much like most magicals, even those like her father who were fascinated by them. They thought that muggles were fascinating, but always in a condescending manner, and never really believed they could do or achieve much without magic.
She disliked the fact that Harry and Hermione had both gone back to school and actually finished college, seeing the idea as a waste of time despite the number of things the non-magicals had come up with that were simply better than anything the magicals had.
Harry had actually gotten a mastery in Education from Cambridge, as Hermione had in science. Harry wanted to be a teacher, possibly at Hogwarts, to teach the new generation how to defend themselves and about the non-magical world. Ginny just didn't understand that, since he could have made a lot more as an Auror, or just skive by on his family's money.
Ginny had nixed the idea of having muggle things like 'ekilticity' in their house. Not wanting to have another argument with her that would no doubt have involved her shouting at him, Harry had given in on that. Instead he routinely brought Lily with him into the non-magical world, and had, with Hermione and Tonk's connivance, started to teach her about the non-magical world.
Maybe that's part of the issue. Harry paused as he stepped toward the international portkey point, stepping to one side to avoid being run into by the man behind him with a speed that took the man by surprise though he still hurried forward to take his place in queue. Is Ginny jealous of the time I spend around Tonks and Hermione? Bloody hell, I never accuse her of anything when she hangs around Seamus, Neville or Dean do I? Sheesh, I see them both as sisters, there's never been anything between Tonks and me besides a prank war, and after that kiss we tried during our date at the Yule Ball Hermione and I have never looked at one another like that.
That actually brought to Harry's mind another problem lying between him and Ginny. Harry wanted a large family, but Ginny had made her opinion on that very plain, her mother might have been a big family woman, she however wasn't. She had done her duty and supplied an heir, that was it for her.
Harry was more than willing to accede the point, after all even the best pain diluting potions couldn't do anything to make the birth process easier, not without damaging the baby. Harry was totally on board that that was Ginny's decision.
But Ginny also wasn't very… adventuresome in the bedroom. She wasn't a missionary style only kind of girl by any means, but after they had married Ginny had become increasingly less responsive to his attempts to try new things. She didn't really seem to want much foreplay these days, and the few times he had tried to initiate 'a romantic moment' out of the bedroom she had shot him down and even called him a deviant for doing so. I made certain Lily Luna wasn't home, wasn't that enough?
Still, Harry had to admit that aspect of their relationship was his fault, or rather his condition's fault. As a werewolf Harry had stamina to spare: he could go on for an entire night without really resting. Those bodice rippers Tonks hid in Grimauld at least had that part of it right. Ginny, while quite lusty herself, also finished very quickly, and became increasingly irritable the more Harry tried to continue after she was finished.
We married too early, that's the problem. We didn't date long enough, didn't really get to know one another. We should have lived together for a few years, got to know one another. Now after a little bit under seven years the glow's gone, and all we're both seeing are the warts.
Shaking his head to banish his marital woes from his mind, Harry took the portkey, a small steel bracelet this time, and was suddenly back in Britain's Ministerial building, nearly falling as he always did. Why am I still bloody bothered by every kind of magical transportation there is, seriously!? Quickly recovering Harry made his way out of the building as fast as possible, unwilling to be roped into any more publicity stunts or talks with any of the high muckities who thought they were so important here.
Moments later Harry had barely opened the gates to the Rookery's front yard when he was hit by a small red-haired missile which thumped into his legs. "Daddy, you're back!"
Laughing happily Harry leaned down picking up his daughter in his hands and hugging her tightly as he nuzzled into her cheek. "Hey Red Moon," he said, his voice gentle and full of love. "How are you doing today? Have you been a good girl for Luna?"
"Of course daddy!" Lily leaned back, trying to look down her pert little nose at him. "As if I'm ever anything else."
Lily Luna Potter was a fit, athletic little seven year old, with a face that was a mix of her mother's and her father's. She had the same emerald eyes Harry had gotten from his mother, which sat above her mother's dimples and a smattering of freckles along with Harry's jaw. Her hair was darker than her mother's by quite a ways, showing her paternal grandmother's genes mixing with the Weasley ginger.
At seven years of age Lily was a precocious little girl, quite a bit more intelligent than her age would lead most people to expect which Harry supposed was another thing she got from his mother. She also had an ever-increasing vocabulary thanks to Hermione gleefully helping the girl along. Luna helped too, as did Harry of course. He actually spoiled Lily rotten according to Ginny, but Harry couldn't find it in himself to care. If Lily was going to be his only child she would damn well be spoiled rotten thank you!
Behind his daughter Harry could see Luna coming down the walkway with Rolf, both of them smiling in welcome. Rolf Scamander was a large well-muscled young man whose view of the world fit Luna's like a glove. The two of them spent most of their time traveling the world looking for the mythical creatures Scamander put in his books, hence why Lily had wanted to spend the days Harry was gone with the two of them. Harry couldn't say he was close to Rolf, despite having spent several years at Hogwarts with him since Rolf had been a Hufflepuff and Harry's interactions with that house were a little stormy to say the least.
But he was good for Luna, and that made him alright in Harry's book. He clasped the other young man's arm firmly then looked at Luna. "Has she been good?" he asked, now nuzzling into his daughter's hair and making no move to let her down, which she seemed quite happy about.
"Quite good. She only changed all of the colors in her room to green and blue once this trip.. Oh, and she scared my father when she had a bit of accidental magic outside his office. His hair might never be the same again." Luna supplied, giggling even as she spoke.
"I think we have a different definition of good Luna," Harry replied.
At that Lily looked away pouting. "He shouldn't have been ignoring me," she muttered.
"Red Moon what've I told you about accidental magic like that.…" Harry said warningly, leaning away from their hug to look her in the eyes.
"That it isn't accidental, and that I should know to control myself," Lily over parroted, before scowling. "So, no ice cream?"
"Tell you what," Harry said leaning forward to rub noses with her. "How about we go over and pick up your mother first and then we'll go out for ice cream as a family. I did after all just receive my defense mastery so we do have a reason to celebrate, even if you haven't earned a reward…"
"Okay!" Lily said with a grin. After all, ice cream was ice cream, regardless of the reason.
Both Potters missed the small frown coming over Luna's face, her eyes going a little silver for a moment before she shook her head. "That sounds like an excellent idea. I wish we could go with you, but Rolf and I still need to pack for our trip later today."
The four of them talked for a few more moments before Harry and Lily took their leave. After their guests left, Rolf looked at his wife questioningly. "You went into a seer mode for a moment there, what did you see?" He was one of the few who knew Luna was sometimes able to discern the future in small brief glimpses though very rarely did she see anything useful.
"Something Harry has to see I'm afraid, before moving on to his real life."
Harry and Lily took a portkey home, only to find Grimauld's wards shut for a moment against them. As Harry was patriarch of the family however he was able to open the wards anyway, frowning as he did so. I wonder why the wards were up like that?
His public wand in one hand Harry moved towards the doorway, pushing Lily behind him with his other hand just in case. After quieting the hinges Harry opened the door slowly then his frown deepened as a scent hit him from deeper within the house. Even in his human body, Harry had heightened senses. He could smell the scent of sex in the air of the mansion and worse the scent of another man.
"Lily, stay here for a moment," he said softly, waving his wand over her, casting a Muffilatio spell and a few protective charms. "I'm going to go talk with your mother."
Lily knew that tone of voice. Papa always took that tone when he was going to argue with Mother, and she wondered what Mother had done this time. Her parents seemed to always be arguing about something or other, but she routinely took her father's side, never realizing that that too was part of the growing problems between them. It was just the things Harry wanted to do with her were so much more interesting than staying home and watching her Mother or read the same old stories all the time. And Papa always had time for her, while Mother didn't.
Walking inside Harry slowly closed the door, locking it just in case Lily tried to come after him. Then he stalked through the house, stopping outside one of the guest rooms, reining in his anger, which was fueled this time by his werewolf instincts, with the ease of long practice. At least she had the decency not to do it on our own wedding bed!
He opened the door swiftly, striding inside and finding what he knew we would: Ginny was on top of another man, who looked like someone Harry knew from school, a Ravenclaw boy maybe. On one of the chairs nearby there was a Puddlemere United jersey and two broomsticks.
Both of them had turned at the door banging open and scrambled to dive apart, staring at Harry in shock. "What…" Ginny stuttered, "Harry, what are you doing back so early?"
Harry shook his head slowly. His rage had left him now, and all he felt was simple disgust. I wonder when I fell out of love with you Ginny, that this doesn't really impact me more than it does.
"My lawyers will see you in the morning Ginny," he said coldly, turning away as he called over his shoulder. "And if you think you're getting any kind of custody with Lily, you can bloody well think again!"
Hermione stared over the table at her oldest and best friend shaking her head slowly. "She really was cheating on you? I thought something was going on, but I didn't want to say anything given your already frequent arguments without solid proof. I'm sorry Harry I should have…"
"No, you're right, if you said anything it would've gotten Ginny's back up, and I would have been forced to take sides. And on a topic like that I would've had to side with her unless the evidence was overwhelming. Then she might've become more circumspect about it. Better this way I think. If we were ever in love we grew out of it over the years. Honestly it was only because of Lily that I was even trying to make it work, it just took this to make me realize it."
Hermione nodded. "My mother once told me that moving in with someone would show you all of their flaws quickly. It's why she demanded that Padma and I live together for a time before formalizing our relationship."
The two brightest witches of their generation getting together had not surprised Harry honestly. He had seen his friend date several boys during their time in Hogwarts, but there always seemed to be something missing. And Padma had never dated anyone outside of going to the Yule Ball with one of her fellow Ravenclaws.
The two of them had been friends and rivals for much of their time in Hogwarts, and one drunken night in their seventh year had tried to kiss one another. Hermione had explained later that what she hadn't felt for Harry or any of the boys she dated, the sparks of desire had definitely been there when she kissed Padma, though both of them hadn't been in their right mind.
The two of them had quickly moved to Barcelona in Spain, which was much more relaxed in its outlook on such things than England, where witches being with witches was still seen as somehow depraved. "Have you told Lily?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, we had a talk about it. I don't know how much she understood, but she knows that she won't be seeing her mother any more until she's older at the very least. She doesn't seem sad about it at all, which I suppose says something about their own relationship.
Hermione winced, but nodded. "What will you do now?" she asked. "You're welcome to stay here with us of course."
"I don't know. I just don't know. I'm going to take some time to think about it. Moving abroad is definitely part of it, I don't want to deal with Ginny or any of her friends or family. Did you hear that she's turned Mrs. Weasley against me on my refusing Ginny custody of Lily?"
"Yes she definitely has views about certain things doesn't she?" Hermione replied tartly, having had to deal with howlers from the woman several times since she and Padma had gotten together. For some reason the woman had thought she would get together with Ron, never mind the fact that Ron wasn't interested in a permanent relationship, preferring to travel around with his Quidditch team, the Chudley Cannons. Hermione shuddered now, thinking about that. Ugh, what did Molly expect me to be, some kind of housewife?
She tuned back in on her friend's words as Harry went on. "It's just a question of what nation. Not America, I've looked at some of their laws, and while non-magical America may be known as the land of the free, the magical one is anything but, especially for werewolves. If my secret got out…" Harry shrugged. "To say nothing about what might happen to Lily if my curse passes on to her somehow."
"Understandable, but if you want to move to a country that might look kinder upon your status you should look for countries that have no ties to the ICW. According to what I've seen China, Japan and Malaysia are actually much more at home with such things." Hermione said before going on hesitantly, actually looking around as if worried she would be overheard. "I will warn you though I've been researching magic worldwide, and there have been strange gaps in my research, especially where it coincides with religious sites and past events."
"Gaps?" Harry asked.
"Like someone's hiding the information from the public," Hermione said firmly. "I don't like that, but I can't explain why it is, not yet. The amount varies from country to country, with the most occurring in Italy, and the second most in Israel."
"Understood. I'll be on the lookout then," Harry said with a shrug.
"Will you stay here tonight?" Hermione asked.
Harry shook his head. "No, I put myself and Luna up at a local hotel. I didn't want to put you and Padma out. After all you're coming up on your anniversary aren't you?" And the two of you can get ruddy loud when you get going which is a problem on many levels.
"Harry you could never impose and you know it!" Hermione said with a laugh. "Though I will say it's nice that you remembered."
"How could I forget, the grin you wore the day after you officially got together was the widest I've ever seen you wear Hermione," He leaned over, hugging Hermione gently. "I'll see you around okay?"
Hermione nodded, watching as he made for the door before sighing and shaking her head. "Why can't life ever be normal for you Harry Potter?"
OOO New Beginnings OOO
Harry took Lily around Barcelona for a time seeing the sights. The girl particularly liked going to the zoo and the aquarium, becoming entranced with the dolphins. The day was so busy and so interesting that by the time they returned to the hotel Lily was asleep on his shoulder.
He dropped her off in their room and then spent several minutes casting various defensive wards around the place. Since Lily had been born she had been targeted by wizards aiming to get back at Harry for Riddle's death twice. None of them had survived the attempts, which had done nothing to dissuade those who thought Harry was a Dark Lord in the making, but Harry didn't care. In his mind you mess with his daughter you die, plain and simple.
But now that he wasn't watching his daughter, Harry decided he needed a drink. Maybe I could find some companionship for the evening. It's certainly been long enough, and even a one night fling will make me feel better after this past week.
He entered the hotel's bar, and almost immediately stopped, staring at a well-dressed man sitting in a booth by himself as he leaned back sipping at something. It wasn't the young man's looks that had grabbed Harry's attention of course but the color of his hair. The other man looked up at him one eyebrow cocked in query and Harry shook his head. "Sorry I was staring it's just your hair's the same color as my daughter's." He said in English, cursing himself for forgetting to translate his words to Spanish.
The man chuckled. "Interesting, I imagine that isn't exactly a normal color around here?" he asked, his English only slightly accented.
"Not really no," Harry said dryly, grateful the man had understood him. "She's a bit of a sport in that area. Her mother, who is the reason I'm here to drink, is a ginger. My mother was also a ginger, even if a slightly darker color."
"Ouch," the man said, waving at a waiter to come over. "There seems to be a tale there. Care to share with a stranger?"
Harry sighed, but sat in the booth across from the man. "Can I ask where you come from? I can't place your accent," Harry said as the waiter took his order and left. "And is red hair normal there?"
"Japan actually, I've only recently learned English for business purposes though my family has British blood in us, according to my mother anyway. The red hair is a hallmark of my father's side of the family, so I suppose you could say yes it's normal in a very limited circle." The man replied dryly. "I am Sirzechs by the way. And you are?"
"Harry Potter," Harry said, watching the man closely for any sign of recognition. There wasn't any, though something was telling Harry that the man did recognize the name. He shook that thought off as paranoia, as the drinks arrived.
"So, that story…" Sirzechs hinted, and Harry sighed before he began.
After sharing his tale with the other man, Sirzechs returned the favor, talking about his wife. They loved one another dearly, but Sirzechs was very laidback ,while his wife was uptight and very formal. They also had a lot of demands on their time, and couldn't spend much time together. Despite everything however, it was was their shared passions, including their son, that kept them together.
The two men then bonded over pranks of all things, with Harry talking about Sirius and his pranks. Sirius had died in the war, but had truly become the father figure Harry had needed for many years. After that, they got onto the subject of kids, and it turned out they were both doting dads. Harry talked about Lily and Sirzechs talked about his own son, Milicas.
After they had shared more than a dozen drinks Harry asked, "So what brings you here?"
"I'm headhunting to fill a few key positions. You see, I'm a sponsor for a private high school in Japan, and they've recently opened their doors to boys but several of their teachers left in protest. That leaves us scrambling before the school year begins to find teachers for the vacated positions."
"What positions are you talking about?" Harry asked suddenly interested. Japan after all was not an ICW country, and this could be a moment of good fortune. Later, Harry would wonder why he ever thought good fortune was something that happened to him without some sort of hidden cost, but at the moment that was the furthest thing from his mind.
"English and Physical education are the last slots i need to fill, but unfortunately it has to be a single person. Our budget just won't let me hire two teachers to fill both slots."
Harry looked at him then a slow smile spread across his face. "I think you're in luck then. I happen to be a teacher, and I'm looking for a job that gets me as far away from my ex-wife and her family as possible. Do you want to see my credentials? Or would you prefer to set up a formal interview?" After all, I can always use a translation spell to learn Japanese quickly, and I certainly know enough about athletics to teach Gym.
Sirzechs looked down at his drink for a moment before pushing it to one side. "Meh, these were kind of weak anyway, so if you have your credentials on you, we can do this now."
Harry nodded, and excused himself for a moment before returning with his résumé. The two of them talked some more and Sirzechs eventually offered Harry the job. They hammered out the details, and Harry walked out of the bar with a new job to look forward to and plans to make for the future.
Behind Harry a silver haired young woman dressed in a business outfit she looked rather uncomfortable in, sat down across from Sirzechs, looking at him thoughtfully. "Are you sure about this?"
"You felt the power in him. You know what that young man is." Sirzechs stated rather than asked, his own eyes locked on the door Harry had just walked through, looking far more serious than he had during his conversation with Harry. "And i'm not talking about his werewolf curse."
The young woman nodded. "That is not what I am asking, are you sure about getting him involved with Rias-sama's issue?"
"I don't want my younger sister married to that bastard of a Phenex!" Sirzechs said, his face morphing into a grim line. "But given my position, and the number of spells my father placed on her, my hands are personally tied. This simply gives Rias-chan another way of possibly breaking that agreement, and one that could be far more reliable then simply hoping she finds enough powerful people to add to her peerage."
"You're putting a lot of faith both in that young man, and in your sister to actually ask for help when the time comes," she said critically. "Judging from his character I have to admit that the first doesn't seem like that far of a stretch, but the question is will Rias-sama be willing to ask for help from him?"
"We shall see," the young man replied with a faint smile.
Traveling with a young child on a plane flight fourteen hours long would be a trying experience for anyone, but Harry had planned accordingly. Thus whenever his daughter was awake she was occupied with coloring books, small toys, or a set of foam puzzles. Those were her favorite, little puzzle pieces that she could fit into various box-based designs, which she seemed to find fascinating. This allowed Harry to do some reading and paperwork. The paperwork was for his new job, and the reading was mostly about Japan and its relationship with the ICW.
It turned out that the magical Japanese had to deal with their version of the Black Ships and the Perry Intervention in the past, but had, unlike the mundanes, actually turned the attempt to open their borders aside, refusing to become part of the ICW. And unlike the mundane governments, the ICW had decided against trying to enforce their rule with force.
Instead they had compromised: Japan was allowed to keep all of its magical traditions, local laws and rules, but they had to uphold the Statute of Secrecy. How they went about that was up to them, and they seemed to have developed both an entirely new way of doing so, in addition to using the tried and true method of warded areas under Notice-Me Not and anti-non-magical arrays. Unlike Britain however, they didn't stick some of their magical zones in the center of non-magical population centers, following the far more sensible idea of sticking them as far away from most people as possible, mostly up north, with one area in a large national forest the locals called 'the Suicide Forest'.
On top of that, they seemed to have developed a control over the nation's media that was both quite subtle and rather astonishing. Whenever magic appeared in the news they ran with the story and added embellishments, making it obvious that it was a tabloid type tale rather than reality. At the same time they erased the memories of any non-magical witnesses and hunted down random recordings of the incident. The combination was extremely effective, and Japan had the least number of true threats to the Statute of any country in the world.
They also strangely had far more firstborns, what the UK called muggleborn, than most countries. The book Harry had found on the country didn't seem to have any opinion on why that was, but it was an interesting point. So they had no local equivalent of the pureblood movement that continually ravaged Europe and the UK. They weren't exactly welcoming of outsiders however, even beyond the mundane side of the country, something that had been heightened to near rabid paranoia after WW2.
Finally Harry heard the announcement they were finally going into land, and Lily quickly turned, opening the blinds of the plane and staring out avidly. The city below them was large, and ultra modern. Just off in the distance Harry spotted what he realized must be the famous Tokyo Tower, which his book had mentioned. Other than that, it looked relatively normal to his senses, but Lily continued to look out the window, pressing her face against it as if that would let her see better.
The two Potters disembarked and passed through customs without any difficulty, with Lily chatting excitedly about what she wanted to do first. Fourteen hours of sitting down had made the girl go a little stir crazy, and Harry decided that the first thing they would do would be to find a park so she could work off some of that energy. With no need to pick up any actual luggage, Harry having shrunk their trunks and stuck them in his mokeskin pouch, the two quickly exited the airport, and began to look for a bus to take them elsewhere in the city.
However near the luggage area they were accosted by a middle-aged woman, who smiled politely at them holding up a sign that said 'Potter' on it. Bowing briefly from the waist she addressed them formally but in English. "Mr. Potter, your car is this way, please follow me."
Harry stopped suddenly, moving his hand from holding Lily's to pushing her back behind him as his eyes narrowed. "I don't recall asking for a car," he said mildly, but there was nothing mild about his suddenly hard eyes. "May I ask who did?"
The woman's smile faded slightly, and she held up her free hand quickly to show she wasn't carrying a wand. Looking around she made sure that no one was nearby and spoke quietly. "Peace Mr. Potter. You've only dealt with the non-magical variety of customs. You now have to deal with the magical."
Harry nodded at that, but he was still tense as the woman gestured for him to follow her.
Instead of heading out into the car park they walked towards a door with a sign that said 'maintenance' on it, passing through a Notice-me-Not field that extended a few yards away from the doorway. Lily paused, pointing at the edge of the Notice Me Not ward where it hit one of the walls. "What's that Papa?"
Harry turned to look, and cocked his head thoughtfully. "That looks like a piece of paper with some kind of runic array on it honey, though I didn't think paper could hold runes."
"Not your European variety," the woman said somewhat proudly, or perhaps arrogantly. "Our runic language is much more subtle than your brute force methodology. We can also perform a far wider array of tricks than your rune-based arrays can through the use of our talismans."
"It's pretty," Lily said, trotting over to look at the design on it for a moment before turning back and moving over to her father once more.
The woman chuckled at that, and opened the door for the two Potters as Lily tried to strike up a conversation with her. The woman replied quickly enough, seemingly enjoying answering the young foreign girl's questions, though Harry noticed that she was still somewhat condescending.
The supposed maintenance hall on the other side of the door was instead a large room with two desks in it. One desk was set to one side with a few mugs of drinks and a plate of local finger food while the other desk was set in the direct center of the room. Two men sat there, one middle aged, one elderly. The older man was sitting with his eyes closed as if sleeping, his feet pulled up under him in a mediation pose Harry recognized and was wearing a kimono. The other, a thin man with glasses and wearing a very good business suit, was scribbling something on paper while several other pieces of paper waited beside him.
The two men however were not what grabbed Harry's attention. That honor was given to the two large red humanoid-looking creatures, , that stood on either side of the desk. They looked like miniature giants mated to demons, complete with heavy clubs and tiny horns rising from their foreheads. They stared forward dumbly, and both of them had a collar around their necks which was festooned by more talismans.
"Wow!" Lily exclaimed, escaping from Harry's hand for a moment to rush over to one of the monsters and stare up at it. Shaking his head, Harry made his way forward, nonchalantly casting a tether spell on his daughter, which would allow him to pull her back if needed, just like if he had cast an Accio on her. It could also be used to bounce her away just in case.
Harry was not intimidated by the large red things. He'd dealt with far more dangerous creatures then two ogres like that. So he simply sat in the chair facing the desk with the two men without being asked. Leaning back slightly, his wand in one hand but hidden behind his other forearm as he crossed his arms, staring around him. "I can't say I approve of the decor, and if either of those things even look at Lily wrong you're going to have to clean their innards off your pretty white walls."
The man with the glasses looked up at that and frowned slightly, an internal debate obviously going on behind his eyes. He could continue with his attempt to intimidate or he could simply get to the reason why Harry was here. "…I wouldn't advise that Mr. Potter, you'd find that they're magically immune to a very high degree." He replied, prevaricating slightly.
"I've fought giants who thought they were magically immune to a high degree too. Boy, were they surprised," Harry said blandly, his eyes meeting the man's unflinchingly.
At his side, Lily had completely ignored the tension between the two men, choosing instead to continue staring at the giants before sighing and moving over to the corner where the middle-aged woman had moved to stand by the small desk with refreshments. Knowing the rules about such things she took a cup of tea from the woman, then hurried over to her father, who cast some spells over it despite the locals' frowns. "It's clean, just the local version of Earl Grey but I don't think you really need the sugar do you?"
"Silly Papa!" Lily said loftily, "I'm a young girl, young girls always need sugar."
The woman chuckled at that, but the man simply continued to stare at Harry and Harry returned his gaze blandly. Finally the man sighed and shook his head. "So you really are the Harry Potter, The Man Who Conquered?"
"Have to admit, I like that moniker more than the old Boy Who Lived nonsense, even if the fame grates badly these days." Harry said nodding. "Why, do you get many people trying to it sell themselves off as Harry Potter?"
"We don't get many foreigners in this country at all, let alone famous ones, and that's the way we like it," the man said bluntly, not giving his name. "The purpose for your visit here, Mr. Potter?"
"Business. I was offered a job at a local non-magical school and I wanted to get away from the adulation of the Man Who Conquered bollocks." Harry replied, his eyes shifting slightly over to the older man before back to the one who was doing all the talking.
"And you were having some familial difficulties with your ex-wife," the man said glancing down at the paper on his desk. "Understandable I suppose, though if that had occurred in this country you would have had no need of moving away, rather…" he paused and shook his head. "I'm getting off-topic."
"Considering you haven't even told me you why I'm here, yes," Harry retorted mildly, though his eyes flashed at the mention of his 'issue' with his ex-wife.
The man caught that and hurried on, trying not to show that he was somewhat intimidated by the Englishman. "We have rules about wands and foci of that nature Mr. Potter," he said, gesturing at Harry's wand. "Our citizens use other mediums to cast their spells or learn wandless magic as you all put it, and there are severe fines for adults using magic in a non-magically warded area. To stay in the country you'll have to agree to be trained in the local magic and agree to abide by our laws."
"So long as your laws have places in them for self-defense and the defense of family, I'll provisionally agree to that," Harry said nodding his head and mellowing noticeably now that the attempts at intimidation were over with. "Learning how to do wandless magic sounds fascinating really."
The man blinked. "Most foreigners immediately decide they want to leave when they're told that their wand will have to be exchanged."
"What do you mean exchanged?" Harry asked, his eyes narrowing.
"We will exchange the magical core from your wand into a wooden bracelet. That is the normal median here for most spells. It is a somewhat painful process for adults I've been told, as they have bonded with their wand to a certain extent as is."
"Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if I could bond with an entirely new wand. Still, that's fine by me," Harry said thoughtfully, looking down at his Phoenix wand for a moment. His old wand of course still worked for him, but it wasn't like it was his only one these days and it definitely did not react to his willpower like it used to.
Harry actually preferred the Elder Wand he had won from Dumbledore during a spar with him, though he very rarely used it. Harry thought that using it had become one of Albus is crutches later in life, that he relied on the Elder Wand rather than his own abilities.
He didn't like to think about Dumbledore though. The man had made so many mistakes with Harry and in general in his final years, but he had also admitted to many of them and tried to do the right thing. Or at least what he thought was the right thing, which in Harry's opinion had not always been the same thing.
"Very well," the man said, somewhat off-balance now that Harry had agreed to the stipulation. "There are also several fines to be levied for moving into the country in the first place. As I said, we do not encourage European magicals to remain in our country overlong."
"Your blunt about it which I actually approve of frankly. Better to be up front about that kind of thing then try to be subtle. Besides, it won't be the first time I've dealt with prejudice." Harry replied with a faint smirk.
"Which brings us to another point: We understand that in Europe there is some kind of pureblood nonsense? We don't have that here," the man said firmly, not rising to the jab about prejudice or even noticing it. "Non-magicals have just as many rights as magicals, and firstborn just as many rights as those born into magically gifted families. If you have any other thoughts on that matter, then we will help you make reservations on the next flight out."
To one side Lily pouted shaking her head. "No way! I am not getting back on a plane for another fourteen hours, not even for one more hour! Even taking a few portkeys would be better than that," she finished, though she looked a little queasy at the very idea. Lily had developed many of the same issues with magical transportation her father had, though her stomach was able to handle apparition better than Harry's had initially.
"I rather think that pureblood business is all nonsense myself," Harry said with a shrug. "That was one type of prejudice that I was talking about having dealt with before. Unfortunately it's almost an institutional thing in Britain and in many other European countries. Even the families that like nonmagicals look down their noses at them."
The man nodded then looked quizzically at Lily and back to Harry, now looking worried once more. "You will also have to, that is… certain information about you has…" he trailed off trying to think of a way to speak about this subject in front of the girl.
"I have no secrets from Lily," Harry said with a faint frown, already discerning what this was about.
The man nodded quickly. "We know you are a werewolf Mr. Potter, we also know that you have somehow made peace with the inner beast. We would like you to either give interviews about that process or write up an instructional lesson on it. There are many were-creatures in Japan and China who could benefit from such thing."
"It occurs to me that that is a little beyond the pale for simply moving into your country." Harry said musingly, though he wondered how the Japanese had found that out since it wasn't exactly common knowledge back home. "How much would instruction in the local magical style cost, and how much would you be willing to pay for the kind of lessons you're asking me for?"
The two of them haggled for a time, while Lily talked to the woman about anything that caught her fancy. This included a poster for a magical girl live action show that had been in the airport a few days back. "You mean one of them is really magical!?"
"Oh yes, many of the live magical girl shows have at least one actual magical involved to do the special effects. It's part of why they're so popular. People try to figure out how they can have such amazing special effects with such a primitive setup. No one has ever cottoned on to the idea it might all be real magic of course."
"Papa!" Lily shouted looking over and causing Harry to look up from his discussion with the man wearing glasses. "I want to be a magical girl like Sailor Moon!"
The man in glasses chuckled into one hand, while the silent man's lips twitched a little and Harry rolled his eyes. "You're already a witch luv, how much more magical do you want to be?"
"Not like that!" Lily pouted, stamping one foot. "I mean like in one of the local magical girl shows!"
Harry looked at the woman blandly and she had the grace to blush a little. "Where exactly will I be going to buy her an outfit like that?" he asked in a tone of long suffering. Of course if he had spotted the poster and seen what Sailor Moon actually wore, he would never have allowed his daughter anywhere near it. The woman hurriedly gave directions, and Harry sighed memorizing them before turning back to his haggling.
It turned out the Japanese magicals had a small workshop setup right there in the airport, where visitors were fitted with either a magical inhibitor if they were just there for short amounts of time, or the local equivalent of a wand. Harry looked at the bracelets, nodding in approval since they were much more practical than wands. They wouldn't stick out, in fact they looked like extremely elaborate friendship bracelets, or something a child would give to a parent, which suited him down to the ground.
In fact Harry had Lily pick out the design for him, while Harry was tested on a few core ingredients. Basilisk venom was a surprise to everyone but Harry, though he was happy that he also still reacted to the Phoenix feather core in his original wand. It turned out it was simply the holly wood that was causing a bit of an issue rather than the core.
Taking his wand apart was indeed as painful as he had been warned about, but Harry had dealt with much worse, and even joked, "Compared to the Cruciatus, this is child's play." The joke fell flat when everyone realized he actually had been put under the cruciatus and looked at him, rather appalled at the idea someone would joke about it.
Harry's bracelet was made of ancient oak, which was then steeped in the basilisk venom, creating a greenish tinge to the wood before it was then dried swiftly via a few spells. Then the Phoenix feather was infused into the bracelet, a process that was fascinating to watch even for Lily.
Eventually Harry put on the bracelet and looked at his daughter questioningly holding it out to her. "What do you think, does it make me look pretty?"
She giggled but hugged his hand, and he lifted her into his arms. The little girl was also proud that her father had decided to go with the design she found. It looked like an intricate carving of scales and feathers going around the bracelet.
"Do you have a familiar?" the man asked as they filled out more paperwork after Harry's fitting.
He was looking a little smug, as if Harry deciding to use one of the local tools rather than his wand had been a major point of contention. Harry would find out later that the bracelet also had a limiter on it, which was supposed to limit how much of Harry's power it could let out at any one moment, as well as a tracer that would allow them to track him anywhere.
Harry broke both of them easily that evening, having had a crash course in such things from Sirius, though the reasoning for that had been to get away with pranks rather than anything serious. The limiter he simply broke, the tracer he eventually put on one of Lily's most infrequently used toys
"No," Harry said his voice suddenly very cold and the man backed away slightly. "Not anymore." Hedwig had died in the war taking a killing curse that had been meant for Harry, and her death was still a sore point for him, as was Sirius's, though Harry had been able to move on from that easier, considering the man had gone down with a bang, taking both Lestranges with him.
The man in glasses nodded, handing Harry a small slip of paper with an address written on it. "I apologize for asking, but if you had we would've had to register it. You will be expected at this location tomorrow morning to begin instruction in our magical methodology. Any spells outside of the spells from our school of magic you use will have to be in self-defense, or in your own habitation once you set up wards. If you use them in public where they can be seen you will be fined and if they are seen, the fines are quite exorbitant save in cases of clear self-defense."
This was both a way to keep the Statute of Secrecy and a way to discourage foreign magics of course but Harry nodded nonetheless. The locals really weren't very welcoming, but he could deal with that, he'd dealt with far worse in his life. And besides, learning a whole new magical methodology was no doubt going to be fascinating. For some reason Harry was looking forward to being a student again. "Will Lily be allowed to take local classes, or will I have to teach her myself?" Harry asked.
"We start magical education later than ICW countries at around 15, but we expect that families have already begun personal instruction before that," the man said. He still hadn't introduced himself, which Harry decided was some kind of local discourtesy and so ignored it. "We also demand that all magicals are as at home in the non-magical environment as they are in the magical. Will that be a problem?"
Harry shook his head with a laugh. "No, though that means I will have to take some time to look around for a school for Lily."
With all the paperwork done the two Potters were allowed to leave the airport, Harry with his new bracelet wand on his wrist and still holding Lily's hand with his other.
"What did you think of him?" asked the middle-aged woman to the silent man, standing with her two colleagues by a window that was following Harry and his daughter as they walked off.
"He's dangerous," the heretofore silent man said simply. "He has the eyes of a warrior, someone who has fought and killed, which is only to be expected. He also was hiding something, though it wasn't anything dangerous to us so long as we do not become a danger to him. But he wasn't lying about being able to deal with the Oni. In fact he was confident he could deal with all of us despite his daughter being here. His attitude was not false bravado at all."
The man who had been doing all the talking turned to the current speaker with a startled look. "But surely that's wrong master Morimoto. An oni's magical durability is one of the highest of any species!"
"So are giants, and he said he dealt with them easily and I did not detect any lie." The man said sharply. "He is the Man Who Conquered for a reason. Remember that and look past the prejudices of him being a foreigner or he may just surprise us all in a way you won't like."
The two government officials bowed their heads deeply to Truthspotter Iori Morimoto, before turning and leaving to go about their business. Morimoto stood there for a silent moment, staring out the window towards Harry, frowning.
He hadn't told the two of them what else he sensed about the young man, uncertain what to make of it. Even a soldier who was also a werewolf should not have such a Dark, dangerous aura to him, especially one like Harry, who was noticeably drawn to the Light side of the spectrum. It was a mystery, and he wondered what to make of it for a moment before sighing. If it causes trouble I'll no doubt find about it in time.
With an objective in mind Harry and Lily headed into Tokyo proper, looking around in interest at the city while asking directions for where they could go to pick up a costume for his daughter. Harry figured it would be a nice gift to commemorate their moving to a new country.
His mastery of the local language brought both smiles and frowns, and Harry wondered what to make of that at first though he decided to simply ignore it after a little while. He knew that the non-magical Japanese were almost as biased against foreigners as the magical variety, and supposed it had something to do with that.
Eventually they were given directions to a section of the city called Akihabara which was supposedly more than an hour's walk away. But since both of them had spent most of the last day and a half sitting down, Harry and Lily decided to walk and pick up some food on the way.
They were about halfway there when Lily stopped and pointed. "Look Papa! There's a magical girl!"
Harry looked, and shook his head slightly. "I don't think that's the right style for being a magical girl Little Luna. That looks more like a personal style to me."
The young girl in question was around 15 or so Harry guessed, with blonde hair done in the twin-tail style. The blonde hair made her stick out in the crowd here and she was wearing what he thought looked like some kind of maid suit as she walked down the street.
Lily paused, thinking. "Well, I think that actually looks a little better than the outfit I saw the magical girls wearing on that poster."
"And since you can actually walk around in it, I'll approve of it too," Harry said with a chuckle ruffling her hair. He had seen a poster for that show as they were walking and feared what would happen when they actually got to the costume shop and saw one in person.
With that Lily moved through the crowd to the girl. "Excuse me miss."
The girl turned to her, a somewhat haughty look on her face, which seemed to dissipate slightly when she noticed the age of the individual who had stopped her. "Yes what is it chibi?"
Lily pouted at that, understanding it was some kind of insult, but went on gamely. "Where can I get a dress like yours?"
That caused the girl to smile and puff herself up slightly, one hand flicking one of her pony tails behind her as her other hand came to rest on her hip. "This? This is something I designed and sewed myself. You'll never be able to find a dress to match it. There are a few though that sells similar things," she said after a few seconds and she quickly gave Lily a few directions.
She didn't notice Harry coming up behind his daughter, busy talking to the young girl about color and fashions, which seemed to be something of a passion for her. She did look up though when another female voice interrupted them. "And who's this little cutie you're talking to rather than meeting with us, or did you just get lost again Mittelt?"
"Hush you!" The girl said turning angrily to address the woman, noticeably biting off her reply given the crowd still moving all around them.
The new woman was tallish, with long blue hair flowing down her back to her rear. Harry had no idea if the blue was natural or not, but it did look good on her. She was wearing a tight short crimson skirt and a matching jacket which was open nearly down to her belly button to allow a nearly indecent amount of her ample cleavage to be seen.
Harry had to pause for a moment to take in the woman's appearance, shaking his head slightly and banishing his baser urges for a moment with a reminder that his daughter was right there. While as a man I have to approve, as a father I'm not certain I want my daughter to associate with these two any longer...
The woman however immediately got back on his good side when she knelt down in front of Lily winking at her. "I love your hair! But I think going all black and white like my friend here would be a little too dreary. I think you'd look better in brighter colors."
"She's right you know, Red Moon," Harry said, placing a hand on Lily's head. Suddenly both women were mindful of his presence and looked up at him, the woman who had knelt down straightening up, though she still had to look slightly upwards at Harry's face. He was quite tall thanks to his werewolf curse and how he dealt with it, standing at 6' 9".
"Is this little cutie yours?" The woman asked, flushing slightly at the handsome man in front of her.
"Yep," Harry said with a grin, patting Lily's hair . "Oh, but where's my manners, the name's Harry Potter, and this is Lily Potter, my daughter. May I have the pleasure of knowing who I'm addressing ladies?" he asked, taking a note straight from Sirius' little black book in how to introduce himself.
"Well Harry Potter, this is Mittelt and I'm Kalawarner and I think the pleasure is mutual, or could be anyway…" Kalawarner said, smiling and moving slightly closer to Harry so that he could see even more of her cleavage. Her smile widened as the man's mesmerizing eyes flicked down once before coming back up to lock on her face. "Hmm…despite your mastery of Japanese, I can tell you're a foreigner. British, right?"
"Indeed miss," Harry said, his nostrils almost flaring as the woman's scent hit him. Next to him Lily and Mittelt struck up a conversation of their own about local fashions and anime shows of all things, which Harry was quite thankful for at present. "What gave me away?"
Kalawarner shrugged. "Your looks, the way you speak. Your sentence structure is off, though your daughter's accent is more obvious. I don't suppose I could ask for your help sometime in the future to brush up on my own English? My mastery of French is good, but my English could use some work." Her tongue flicked out, lightly licking at her upper lip. "I just can't get my tongue around the words. You think you could help me with that?"
Harry's voice was deep and throaty as he replied, only his daughter's presence keeping him from upping the flirting beyond words. "Oh, I'm certain we could find some way to solve that problem of yours, certain exercises for your tongue that might help..."
Next to her friend, Mittelt shook her head looking down at her watch. "Anyway, we need to get going, we're supposed to meet up with some friends and we're already running late."
Her words helped Harry snap out of it, and he shook his head, one hand falling to his daughter's head to better steady himself in the here and now. "Yes, um yes. Actually we should be on our way too if we're going to get Lily fitted for her dress and still catch the train we need to. It was a distinct pleasure meeting you Kalawarner." Harry said, his eyes flashing with desire.
Allowing a faint blush to appear on her cheeks Kalawarner smiled in reply, holding out a card with her number on it, pulling the card out from under her blouse from somewhere. It was still warm when Harry took it from her. "Call me sometime, hopefully we'll see each other again soon."
Mittelt nodded, looking at Harry thoughtfully for a moment, then took out a small card of her own, handing it over to them. "In case you have any more for questions about what real fashion is like," she said haughtily, winking at the little redhead, before turning to walk down the road, dragging Kalawarner with her for a moment as the blue-haired beauty winked at Harry.
Behind them Harry watched them thoughtfully, his eyes narrowed as he watched them disappear into the crowd. Something was a little off about those two, and more importantly his reaction to the woman. A Veela maybe, or something similar. I didn't feel anything malicious about it but looking back on it it definitely got through my defenses in a way I don't like. I'm going to have to be wary of that if she and I ever meet again. Still would have been a lot of fun though…
"Did you feel that?! That guy's got to have a Sacred Gear of some kind!"
"If he does, it's a fully awakened one Mittelt, and even without one that man is dangerous." the woman "That was a soldier of some kind or I'll eat my bra. Besides which he also had the aura of some kind of were-creature, though I couldn't tell what kind." Kalawarner replied warningly, before blushing slightly as she licked her lips. "And he's quite an attractive man too."
"Don't tell me you're going to try to seduce him? When has that worked in the past hundred years you old hag!" Mittelt groaned.
"Tell me again which of us has the better track record?" The woman replied tartly shaking her head, reining in her temper at the jab at her age with the ease of painful practice. "There are better ways to get what we want then brute force sometimes. Don't be angry at me simply because you can't use seduction except against people with Lolita tendencies!"
As Mittelt simmered at that Kalawarner went on. "Now come on, we're already late for meeting up with Dohnaseek and Raynare."
After buying Lily a dress to match the woman Mittelt's in style but which was white with yellow highlights rather than black, the two of them continued to explore the city until Lily declared she was hungry. After that Harry led them to the train which would take them to the district where his new job was before buying them both some food for the train.
Public transportation in Japan was amazing: on time, clean, and very quick. The bullet train took them from Tokyo and dropped them off at their destination after only about 40 minutes whereas trying to get there by car would've taken them four hours.
Upon arriving in Kuoh, Harry checked in at the school and was shown around the campus by the headmaster, an elderly man with a bent back and frail appearance. Despite that appearance he was noticeably quite spry on his feet as he moved around the campus showing Harry where everything was.
"Our induction ceremony is in five days, and we expect you to be a part of it," he said at one point near the end of the orientation. "we'll be welcoming the new teachers there as well as the incoming freshman class. You'll be one of four new teachers this year."
"I understand that you opened your campus to boys for the first time this year? Have there been any problems so far organizational and facility-wise?" Harry asked, looking around in slight awe at the size of the campus.
"Not so much other than the teachers who quit," the man said dryly. "That was quite a large problem of course especially given how much of the budget we had to use to set up facilities, like men's rooms changing areas and so forth. But thanks to your hiring we seem to have solved them all."
"I'll want you to have your lesson plans for the English course ready the evening before the induction ceremony at the latest," the headmaster went on seriously. "You won't have to submit all of them for review, but as this is your first job I insist on looking over at least your first week's worth of classes for both English and Physical Education."
"I have them ready now," Harry said shrugging. "I worked on them over the past few days. Of course I'll want to tailor them to each class, but I've made them flexible enough to do that easily enough once school starts."
"Excellent, e-mail them to me tomorrow morning and I'll go over them and either approve or ask for corrections. You did make allowances for the fact that Japan's educational standards are different than the UK's correct?"
The headmaster nodded agreeably, then asked, "And have you found an apartment or something similar?"
"Actually I'm going to be buying a small house if I can manage it. I'll be looking around for one over the next few days. Until then, my daughter and I will be staying in a hotel."
The headmaster nodded again, and the discussion turned once more to scholastic topics until Harry picked up Lily from two of the teachers who were already on campus that had agreed to watch her as he and the principal talked. By the time he did it was obvious both middle-aged women had fallen under Lily's spell as they were gushing about how cute she was, and Harry could only sigh. Wait until she has a bad day. Red Moon can be a right little hellion at times.
The next day, Harry showed up for his appointment to start learning the locals' magic, only to be surprised. "Wait, you mean they're distant courses?"
"For someone your age sure," the young man said from across the small desk. It was in an equally small office, part of dozens of others that looked this like any other non-magical office space really. "Normally, the distant courses are used for people following up on their Masters, we don't get many gaijin who want to learn what real magic is like," the man said blithely ignorant of Harry's twitching eyebrow at his unthinking condescension. "But we still have classes. We simply transfer the in-class stuff online and have you do all the work with none of the actual in-class instruction. It's a hardship of course but the textbook should be good enough."
Again not noticing or ignoring Harry's twitching eyebrow, the man went on. "The login codes are magically locked. If someone overheard your code they couldn't login to Magi-net nor could your daughter accidentally. So if I could have you use this blood quill for a moment?"
Harry sighed but picked up the blood quill and then wrote out his name. Hermione will go spare when I tell her about how much magic and technology are mixed in Japan, he thought with an inner laugh. She might actually convince Padma to move here just for that!
Although come to think of it, Tonks and Teddy might be the two who move here first, Harry thought, letting that happy idea keep his spirits up. Remus had died late in the war, but before that Tonks had snagged him after more than a year of chasing the older werewolf, and they had rather quickly gotten serious, even secretly marrying when Tonks had gotten pregnant. Harry had served as a groomsmen at the wedding, and had helped Sirius chase Remus down when he'd had cold feet. Tonks had hinted at the idea of following him with Teddy, but hadn't yet made up her mind when Harry had met Sirzechs.
His renewed good humor did not stop Harry from twitting the man nameless office drone for his condescension. After the man was finished magically copying Harry's magical signature, into a computer format Harry lit the blood quill on fire along with the piece of parchment containing his name.
At the man's astonished look Harry replied blandly, "Sorry, I've had bad experiences being signed up for things through the use of papers with my magical signature on them before. And in fact I'd like your assurances that that computer format couldn't be changed back or used without my permission."
Over the next few days Harry began to teach himself some of the local magic, while also spending time with Lily looking at houses and generally getting to know the town that the school was located in. He also became interested in the number of strange auras he could vaguely sense around him at times as he and Lily moved around the town. It was evident that there were other magicals in the area, or something similar anyway.
I wonder if Sirzechs knew about that. Harry hadn't been able to sense anything off about the man when they met, but that didn't really mean anything, especially since Harry had a hunch the man had recognized his name.
He and Lily eventually found a small two-story house that had a large and varied backyard that they both fell in love with immediately. There was a tree right by the back of the house, where someone apparently had begun to build a sort of deck out and around it. Capping off the tranquility of the yard was a tiny little pond, while the whole lot was surrounded by a large fence covered with ivy. The price was astronomical of course, which had scared off many buyers, but not Harry who thought it an excellent investment.
With that done they started to buy furniture and move in while Harry also put down wards around the area and began to create a permanent ward scheme. That would take several weeks of course even for Harry but by the time he was done this place would be as well defended as he could make it, to the level of Grimauld Place or maybe even better.
Soon after that, the first day of school began and after dropping Lily off at a local elementary school, Harry headed into work. Striding through the front gates Harry noticed immediately how many girls there were on campus in comparison to the boys. There were a number of exceptionally attractive girls, just as the teachers he had met so far had been somewhat good-looking, and the academy's uniform did not help matters.
Dammit! It's been too damn long if I'm looking at high school girls like that! Maybe I really should have found a local girl for a tumble back in Barcelona, or called Kalawarner over the last few days despite how her presence affected me.
A few of the girls stuck out to him the first being a redheaded girl who grabbed his attention immediately. She had blood-red hair flowing down her back in a wave to the back of her knees She was a buxom beauty with fair skin, and her heart-shaped face with high cheek bones and dimples was dominated by blue-green eyes which sparkled as she looked around her. Despite her age, the redhead was one of the most attractive girls Harry had ever seen.
Yet right next to her was another girl of similar beauty. The second girl's long black hair was tied in a long ponytail, the end of which fell to her knees like her friend's. It was tied in place with an orange ribbon and two strands sticking out from the top of her ponytail and sloping backwards. Her face was more traditionally Japanese, slightly thinner than her friends with no sign of dimples, and her eyes were black. Perhaps most startling for Harry, she had the largest chest he had ever seen, larger even than Kalawarner's, though that could possibly be said about the redhead too.
I'd have to examine them much more closely to be certain though… Harry shook his head quickly such thoughts, despite his werewolf side wanting to sit up and howl at the very sight of the two. Their bodies were precisely the type his werewolf instincts thought most attractive, though Harry had to admit he could say much the same, especially after settling for Ginny's much more athletic tomboy physique for so long.
The redheaded girl looked in his direction, and Harry winked at her for a moment before turning and heading towards the gym where the induction ceremony would occur. Down boy, no flirting with the students now, that was just you being friendly…
Behind him the girl, one Rias Gremory, blushed slightly at the older man's wink, shaking her head. "That was a very handsome man," she murmured to her friend. "But what's he doing on campus and dressed like a teacher too? Do you have any idea Akeno?"
Her friend Sona Sitri spoke up before Akeno could. Sona was slightly taller than Rias though not as tall as Akeno, and was less busty than the two of them. Despite that she was still markedly attractive, with a cool, regal expression on her face and a trim body underneath the school's uniform. She was also the student body president, while Rias was head of the Occult Research Club. "He's our new teacher, English and Phys Ed. apparently. One of the administrators, I haven't found out who, reached out to him rather than vice versa. His name is Harry Potter."
"Interesting," Rias said shaking her head. "Is it just me or does he have a noticeable aura of power around him?"
"It's not just you," Akeno said from behind her, shivering in place and licking her lips slightly. "I felt it too. A powerful aura, though a very odd one. It looked like a strange dichotomy of light and dark, as if each side was somehow two sides of a coin rather than the usual mix, and I could be wrong but there also seemed to be a bit of animal to it too."
"That is what I sensed too, the animal part, not the strange dichotomy," Rias said. "I wonder if he has a Sacred Gear, or if he's some kind of Magician from the Magical Association? I can sense some magic around him too."
"Most Magicians aren't that powerful though," Sona muttered shaking her head, having felt some of the same things that her friends had, as did Tsubaki Shinra, her vice president. "Nonetheless, we'll find out more in time. Come on, it wouldn't due for four honor students to be late to the induction ceremony, would it?"
My God when they said the ratio between boys and girls was uneven I didn't realize it was this bad! Harry thought to himself as he stood with the other new teachers, nodding his head towards the crowd as he was introduced. There can't be more than one boy for every seven or eight girls max!
The headmaster having finished introducing Harry and the other new teachers Harry sat back down. He listened to the rest of the ceremony while his eyes roamed over the crowd, trying not to let them linger on any of the frankly gorgeous looking young women out there. After several weeks without any physical affection that was hard, but Harry kept the fact he was a teacher now firmly in mind and fought back his body's demands.
Harry noticed one blonde girl was looking back at him intently, her eyes narrowed in thought. She was very attractive as well, with a chest that was close to the two he had seen that morning. dark brown eyes who peered up at him with a lively looking face. He couldn't figure out why she was staring at him so intensely, but decided to put it out of his mind for now.
Instead, he concentrated on what the principal was saying as he forced his mind into teacher mode, readying himself for his first-class. There was no gym class today since gym classes were all scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays with a shorter class on Saturday. But he had four classes of English to teach today.
Harry walked into his new class confidently. He didn't actually have a specific classroom assigned to him since as a new teacher he hadn't been given authority over a homeroom class and in Japan outside of lab classes teachers traveled to their classrooms rather than the students coming to them. That of course made him unable to rearrange the classroom as he wanted, but Harry was fine with that.
After a few minutes writing on the whiteboard he turned with a smile. "Good morning class, my name is Mr. Potter, and I am your new English teacher." He then repeated himself in Japanese. "I will be taking role now and then we can get down to business."
At the sound of his only slightly accented Japanese the girls and two boys in this class all blinked in shock looking at the foreign teacher in interest. Many of the girls had hearts in their eyes; others were just as obviously undressing him, while the two boys seemed to be glaring at him. Harry had no idea what was going on there, though he had a good idea as to what was happening on the girl's side of things. No Harry, bad Harry, don't look at your students like that!
"Now, as a new teacher I'm sure you're curious about me, just as I am curious about you. So for half the period we will play a little game. You can ask me any questions you like, so long as they are in English. I reserve the right to not answer of course if they are too personal, and I will be asking the students who volunteer to try one or two questions in turn, which they must answer in English. If a student can answer all three questions without any coaching from her or his fellows, they will receive a get out of homework card they can use this first month if they so wish," Harry said before falling silent, not repeating himself in Japanese this time.
Knowing how much prior knowledge this class, which was a sophomore level class, Harry was unsurprised to see that a little under a third of the students raised their hands while the others slowly worked through what he said. English was apparently very hard for Japanese to learn just like vice-versa, but Kuoh was a very prestigious school. With that in mind he smiled and moved around his desk to lean against the front of it staring out over his students.
When he spoke, he spoke in English first, then Japanese once more. "Please state your name first then your question. Remember however, that I did say I reserve the right to not answer any question I deem too personal or disruptive to the class."
To his amusement those last two points seemed to curb the student's enthusiasm, but there were still four hands to choose from. One was one of the two boys, and Harry pointed at him. "Karisomo, Hayate sensei. Are you from England or from America?"
"I am from Britain, which is England yes. Are there any good family restaurants around here?" Harry asked.
"A few," Hayate replied, then began to list them, starting from the nearest, and even gave directions, all in English before translating back to Japanese. The young boy, a rather mousy sort both in size and attitude, knew his stuff.
Harry waved him back into his seat and turned to the next, a tall, athletic looking girl who asked whether Harry played any sports, and if he was also going to be their Phys Ed. teacher, something that had been mentioned in the introduction ceremony. Harry answered in the affirmative, then asked about the school's sports clubs, and if there was a self-defense seminar or club. The girl, whose name was Murayama Shiratori (though she introduced herself family name first, which Harry knew was the Japanese way), replied with a quizzical expression. "I'm not certain if I understand Sensei, what do you mean a self-defense club? We have kendo and various martial arts clubs..."
"Those are nice and all, but if you don't walk around with a, what do you call those wooden play swords?"
Murayama bristled slightly at the 'play swords' line, but still answered. "We call them bokken sensei."
"Yes those. But what if you don't have one on you? What if you find yourself in a situation where you're suddenly set upon or have your purse stolen from you? That is what I mean when I talk about defense. It is more of a mindset than anything else, though I suppose martial arts clubs and the like would be able to teach the same thing." Harry replied, waving the girl into her chair. "Well done Shiratori-san."
This left only two more students with their hands up and Harry saw they were the two girls he had noticed this morning. Smiling, he gestured to the one with black hair to ask her question first, trying as hard as he could to keep his eyes on their faces as he did.
"Himejima Akeno, sensei. Can I ask what brings you to Japan, and what do you miss most from Britain?" Akeno said, smiling back, though there was something in her violet eyes that made Harry's spine stiffen slightly, though he hid it well. That is a far more mature look than I'd have expected from a normal high school student.
"A chance to start over and a very well-paying job brought me to Japan. As for what I miss most, I suppose that I have yet to get used to the local teas, and much of the local food is still new to me. Not bad, I hasten to add, just new." Harry replied, then paused and asked, "Now for my question: Is the cafeteria here any good, and if so what would you recommend?"
"It is alright I suppose sensei, but most of the good food goes quickly," Akeno laughed, raising one hand to hide her mouth, something that made Harry angle his head to one side in question. "Even girls get hungry sensei, and the cafeteria can be something of a battlefield at times. I would recommend that you bring something to eat, lest you be mobbed in your pursuit of food, both for that, and for… other things…" Akeno finished slowly, her eyes raking Harry up and down.
If Harry had been a younger man he might have blushed. Instead, he simply smiled, crossing his arms over his chest and looked back, shaking his head. "Unfortunately I wasn't looking for food for myself here on campus but something to take home for dinner for my daughter and me since I doubt I'll have time to make us anything after finishing here." At least not until I get used to the workload.
There was a loud murmuring at that throughout the class, as he translated his words to Japanese as he had been doing all along. At the back of the class one girl, who Harry couldn't' see through her fellows, whispered loudly, "So he's a DILF? Oh that's so hot!"
That made Harry nearly lose his cool and laugh out loud, but he coughed into his hand and quickly turned to the last student who had raised her hand to answer his earlier challenge. "Yes, well, last student. Then we are going to do a few group exercises to give me an idea of your grasp on grammar, vocabulary and above all the written version of English. In fact Ms. Akeno if you could hand these papers out while your friend here asks her questions?"
Akeno answered in the affirmative, getting up from her seat quickly. She made a point of rubbing slightly against Harry as he stood by the papers before turning away, not having gotten any reaction from him, which she thought was both a pity and rather telling. Mr. Potter might be young for a teacher, but he has a certain amount of self-control. But this close I can sense more of the animalistic side of him. He's definitely a were-creature of some kind.
For her part Rias smiled thinking of what to ask. She knew what most of the class was interested in, but she knew that Mr. Potter would not respond to such personal questions such as if he was married or not. Besides, she had already spotted the answer. He wore no ring on his finger any longer but there was a slight band of discoloration on his ring finger. That meant he had been married at one point, and if it had ended poorly for whatever reason, Rias had no interest in opening up that can of worms.
Instead she decided to get to know him another way, through his daughter. "My name is Gremory Rias sensei. You mentioned a daughter, what is she like, and does she go to school near here? Can she speak Japanese as well as you can?"
It was immediately evident that she had taken the right tack as Harry's eyes and face softened noticeably. A look of love came into those emerald eyes that quite took the breath away from many of the girls looking at him, including Rias, though she didn't show it as much as those around her.
Reaching into a pocket Harry pulled out a nonmagical photograph of Lily, smiling at it before handing it to the girl in the desk right in front of him. "That's my little Red Moon, Lily. She is a bundle of energy, quite intelligent for her age."
While the girls of the classroom all cooed about the photo or shot looks between it and Rias, Harry went on to answer the rest of Rias' questions. He had already noticed that Rias' hair was only a little darker than his daughter's. "I enrolled her in Kuoh Elementary, and yes she can speak Japanese. We both have a good ear for languages, which has served us well here. The culture is still an issue but I think we're settling down as well as we can."
When it reached her, Rias understood immediately why people had been looking between her and the girl. The hair color and some of the face did look like the two of them could be related. Still, Rias knew they weren't, it was simply a coincidence. Though she did think the young girl was a absolutely adorable.
"Hmmm… as for my question…" Harry thought for a moment, not wanting to waste his question on what he thought obvious: that the girl was related to the man who had offered him this position, Sirzechs. Yet for some reason Harry was having a lot of trouble stopping himself from asking any one of a dozen inappropriate questions that had been going through his mind since Akeno had eyed him moments ago.
After a few seconds contemplation, as his picture returned to him and Akeno signaled she was done passing out papers Harry shrugged. "For my question Ms. Gremory, answer me this: where around here would I go to purchase some good teas?"
Rias smiled happily, and went into a lengthy explanation of a few of the local tea stores while Akeno reclaimed her seat pouting slightly. She habitually made the two of them tea whenever they were in their club room, but Rias too enjoyed making and drinking it.
Smiling at the redhead's enthusiasm, Harry clapped his hands looking around at all of the students, making a point to nod at the four who had taken up his challenge. "Very well done, I am impressed. However we need to make certain that your information and knowledge is not the exception but the rule." He said once more in English then converting to Japanese.
"In front of you is a page of multiple choice and short answer questions. Don't worry, this is not going to be graded, this is only for my own understanding of your individual levels. You have fifteen minutes to complete these, and then we will go over the sheet together for the rest of the class. In the last five minutes we will discuss required reading and the syllabus for this course."
Harry spent the next fifteen minutes walking around the room, talking quietly to any student who needed his help. He found that some of the girls still tried to make doe eyes at him but didn't thankfully outright flirt with him, though Akeno did wink at him, and Rias smiled at him before looking away demurely.
The class were all finished the assessment paper in the allotted time, and Harry spent the rest of the class doing as he said he would. When they got to it they were several questions about the syllabus, noticeably about how rarely there would be actual graded quizzes, and the amount of reading homework which was a marked difference from their first classes. There were also a few questions about how Harry wanted them to record themselves speaking specific lines in English and prepare them for class the next day.
Some of his choices for reading were also questioned, since he hadn't included as many of the known classics as was normal. Instead he had mixed in several modern fantasy and science fiction novels and even magazines from popular culture. Harry answered their questions easily, and the class realized to an individual that maybe this class was actually going to be fun.
Altogether Harry was quite happy how his first class had gone, and dismissed the class to lunch happily. Now he had some time free before his next class, though the rest of the day would see him without further breaks.
"Potter-sensei," Akeno said, moving towards him as the rest of the class hurried out, while Rias waited nearby to ask her own question. Akeno stood almost pressing Harry back against his desk, obviously flirting with him in a way he was surprised to see from a student to a teacher. "Seeing as you mentioned being concerned about being able to cook for you and your daughter, I could stop by this evening and cook you something?"
Surprised, and despite himself becoming quite excited by the girl's closeness Harry almost replied in the affirmative before his self-control reasserted himself. Down boy, she's a student remember, and a high school girl, no matter that she has a body any adult woman would kill for GAH stop it! "That would hardly be appropriate Himejima-san. What would people think of you being alone in a teacher's house?"
"Ara, but I wouldn't be alone with you would I, your daughter would be there too," Akeno replied disingenuously. "Besides, I am certain you wouldn't do anything I wouldn't want you to after all."
"I think that would rather be the problem Himejima-san, what exactly would you not like me to do to you?" Harry replied before he could stop himself, his voice deepening for a moment as his eyes bore into Akeno's. To Akeno's chagrin she was the first to look away, a blush coming to her cheeks.
Shaking his head Harry regained control of himself and turned away to fiddle with some papers on his desk. "Thank you for the offer though, it was very kind."
Akeno nodded, still looking away rather flustered and moved toward the door, while behind her Rias chuckled, shaking her head. It was obvious that while you could get Mr. Potter to respond to physical flirtations, he would either reply in kind and turn the attack back on you or ignore it and make you feel silly. I suppose he is more experienced than either Akeno or I attempt to fool ourselves and others into thinking. In any event, that kind of flirtation is more Akeno's style than mine.
No, it's best to go for a soft sell to find out what exactly Mr. Potter is and if he would like to join my peerage. Rias did not like trying to manipulate people, she was honestly quite a straightforward girl when she could be. But at present she was facing an issue in the near future that was slowly starting to dominate her mind and she had to do something to combat it.
To get out of that fate, she was willing to be underhanded. And besides, it isn't like I am going to hurt Harry or his daughter, she consoled herself. And they can always say no. I refuse to force anyone to join if they don't want to. I'd rather have friends than nothing.
Moving forward to take her friend's place near Mr. Potter, Rias kept some distance between them unlike Akeno, just enough to make their talk more informal but not close enough to make it seem she was flirting with him. "Excuse me Mr. Potter, I wanted to ask if you've decided to over oversee a club yet? You mentioned something about defense?"
"I haven't no, but as for defense that is a passion of mine you might say, though given how many martial arts clubs Shiratori-san mentioned it doesn't seem to be necessary. Why, do you have a club in mind, or would you like some defense lessons?" Harry asked looking at the redhead with interest.
Now that Akeno wasn't flirting with him and there weren't other people around, Harry became aware of a feeling in the air, a sense just beyond his ability to discern. It was like Rias was giving off a kind of magical aura, but not one he was familiar with, just like the ones he had sometimes sensed walking around town. Interesting.
"Well, I happen to be the president of the Occult Research Club. We go around looking at mysteries and discuss the supernatural." Rias smiled at Harry, noticing his lips twitching at that, not as if he was making fun of her, but as if he knew something she didn't.
Rias saw that, and realized that yes, Mr. Potter knew what he was and about the occult world, or at least parts of it. That would make it easier to approach him later on. "We don't have an advisor however, Miss Imuya left after the school declared it would become coed. If you think you could, that would be a major help in organizing trips and other things of that nature. We could also be open to babysitting Lily after school if you're busy with paperwork or just want a night out on the town Sensei."
"Hmm… I'll think about it Gremory-san," Harry said, standing fully upright and gesturing toward the door. This brought him slightly into Rias' personal space, which caused her to blush for some reason, though he didn't notice. "For now though I think you should get to lunch."
Rias nodded and bowed politely. "In that case I will see you tomorrow Sensei." Despite her desire not to come on physically as Akeno had, she couldn't stop herself from adding an extra little swing to her hips as she turned away and Rias smiled when she spotted Harry's eyes trailing down her back in the door's window as she made her exit.
Shaking his head Harry moved around the desk to stand by his heretofore unused chair. This is going to be an interesting job for certain. I wonder if I really understood what I'd be getting into as a teacher, especially here…
t occurred to me that the point before Harry meets Sirzechs could be a great moment use what has preceded as a story starter chapter. So if anyone wants to use or expand on the above, please send me a message and we can talk about it.
Obviously this story would need a lot of work - above and beyond Harry's past, I would like to delve more into the magic of Japan, its spells, its talismans and so forth, as well as how it overlaps the Youkai and Magic Associations of DxD. I would of course also have to explain the difference between magicians and wizards as well, both how and why wizards have remained separate from the Three Factions and why.
As an exercise I actually enjoyed working with this chapter, but the amount of world building and the fact I already have a story going in Highschool DxD mean I probably won't continue this, unless a lot of people request it and are willing to do so over on Patty R on. Still it works as a Christmas gift for my fans here on fanfic and I hope you all liked it as much as I enjoyed writing it.