"Let's explore this a bit, shall we?" said Hermione.
"Sure!" said Harry. Neither he nor Granny Weatherwax could ever run dry on this topic.
"So, wizards are all bad?" Hermione asked.
"For the most part, yes," said Harry.
"Things can't be all bad for the most part," said Hermione.
Things were quiet for a moment as Harry considered this. Well, quiet apart from the furious scribbling of Tonks' quill.
"Well," said Harry, "I suppose that bad wizards could be alright."
"What?!" Hermione said. "You mean to say that you-know-who is alright?"
Tonks' enormous book banged against the table, the thud resonated in the charged silence. Well, the silence was only partially charged. Harry was just thinking about whether he did, indeed, know who. He would have to be really bad at being a wizard, and a wizard that Harry and Hermione knew for her question to make sense. There was only one answer.
"Yeah, I suppose he is alright," Harry admitted. "He doesn't even wear one of those stupid wizard hats."
Hermione's jaw dropped. She glanced up at Harry's hat and her brows furrowed. After a moment she closed her mouth, clenched her jaw, and channeled a considerable amount of confused aggression into raking her quill across parchment. She made quite a few of those blurry bits that she kept telling Harry were words.
"Harry," she began with the kind of forced calm that he was very familiar with hearing, "you do realize that you-know-who tried to kill you as a baby, don't you?"
"He did?" Harry asked.
"And it, uh, didn't work?" Harry asked.
"No," she said, "and no one's really sure why."
"So he's a really excessively bad wizard then?" Harry asked.
"Yes," she confirmed.
"So he's alright then," said Harry.
"What?!" she exclaimed.
"You two have got to shut it," interrupted Tonks "or I'm not going to finish my bloody thesis project."
"What's a 'these is' project?" asked Harry.
"Oh," said Hermione, "at the end of your 7th year you're supposed to make a presentation in front of the whole class and faculty. It's a capstone to your magical education. I've started a notebook of ideas about topics to research. I've narrowed it down to a few dozen. I think if I select one by the end of term then I should have just about enough time to squeeze in enough research. My current favorite is the animagus transformation, just like-"
"Anyway," said Tonks, "some of us start things a little closer to the due date, try to their natural metamorphmagic talent into a project proposal, and get a bit miffed when all the resources are written as densely as possible by stodgy old wizards."
Harry nodded. He'd nod to any statement that ended by deriding wizards.
There was a hesitant knock at the door.
"Eh-eh-ex- excuse m-m-m-m-me," said the professor with the purple turban, "H-h-harry?"
"Oh look," Harry said to Hermione, "it's you-know-who!"
Everyone besides Harry froze in place for a long moment.
"H-he-here?!" exclaimed the professor. "Where?!"
He drew his wand, whirled about, and fainted.
"Harry!" said Hermione. "Professor Quirrel is not you-know-who!"
"But he's such a bad wizard, who else could we have been talking about?" Harry asked.
The professor rose, apparently having a relatively short fainting refractory period for fainting. Perhaps from constant practice.
"Er, H-harry," he said, "the, er, uh, h-headmaster, has, uh, er, s-s-su-summoned you to his, er, uh, office."
Harry took a deep breath to gather himself to face off against the wizard again. At least it wasn't Harry that was Afraid.
He and the professor began walking the halls. Both were silent for a few moments.
"Wh-why d-did you c-call me Voldemort?" asked the professor.
"Who?" asked Harry.
"You-know-who," said the professor.
"Oh," said Harry, "you?"
"No!" Voldemort exclaimed.
"Oh," said Harry, "so you prefer 'Voldemort' to 'you-know-who'? That makes sense. I suppose it is a bit rude to refer to you that way. I mean, we have names for a reason. Though, to be honest, I hadn't really learned yours, so it's nice to know that it's Voldemort. Nice to meet you, Voldemort."
Harry stopped and extended his hand. Despite facing him, Harry didn't notice his professor withdrawing his wand and pointing it at Harry with a white-knuckled grip. His attention was grabbed by a tall figure in a dark cloak immediately behind the professor. His face was covered in shadow and yet his eyes were visible as impossibly bright pinpricks of blue light. Despite his attire and presence in a school of witchcraft and wizardry, Harry felt certain that this was no wizard. Maybe it was the enormous scythe he carried.
"What are you doing?" Harry asked.
"Taking care of unfinished business," professor Voldemort said.
WAITING, the other presence said at the same time.
"Wait!" Tonks shouted as she ran up to them. Neither Harry nor Voldemort had noticed her approach. Neither Harry nor Tonks noticed Voldemort hastily tuck his wand away. Neither Tonks nor Voldemort seemed to notice the presence of the other figure.
"You said you're going to see Dumbledore, right?" She asked. "Well you need to have a neutral par- er good friend with you to back you up."
Harry nodded and considered how to get his coven to follow him on all his adventures.
"W-w-w-w-ell," Professor Voldemort said (though perhaps 'said' is being too generous here), "let's be off then."
They started walking again. The footsteps of the one with the scythe made an odd sound. They had a soft clink on the hard stone floor and yet seemed to reverberate through Harry's whole body.
"H-h-here you are then," said professor Voldemort, "I-I h-hope that you f-f-finish your business with the h-headmaster b-b-before he is c-called a-away on sssome other matter. Sssuch a b-busybod- er man."
"Bye professor Voldemort," said Harry.
Tonks and the professor both flinched.
As Harry moved towards the gargoyle protecting Afraid's tower and the professor moved down the hall, the figure with the scythe looked urgently between the two of them. After a moment, he looked at Harry.
SEE YOU LATER, he said before following the professor.
"Let me in, if you would," Harry addressed the gargoyle. "Or don't. He's the one that wants to see me."
"That's a weird password," said Tonks.
"Password?" asked Harry.
They ascended the spinny staircase that Harry couldn't admit to himself that he was jealous of and they entered the big office through the big doors which were already open. Inside was not just the headmaster, but the extremely severe witch that chased down his rabbit, the oil-slicked professor who didn't like his tea, and the plump professor who did.
"Late, as usual, Potter," said the one with the crooked nose, "we have been far too lax in our treatment of you."
"Hah!" said Hat.
The professor's eyes moved up slightly to glare at the hat before continuing to verbally attack Harry. It was very kind of him to demonstrate proper witchiness like this. If Harry were further along in his tutoring, he might have got out his quill and ink to take notes.
"We should have expelled you when you first started in on this nonsense with the headmaster's familiar," he said. "There are serious magical and legal dangers in messing about with such a bond.
"Furthermore, you are the only student in history that the sorting hat has refused to sort, which is what has landed you in this current mess."
"Refusing am I?" Hat rejoined. "I'm just making sure to get it right!"
"Well perhaps you should get on in getting it right," said the severe one, "we have only just been made aware that Harry has not attended any classes since his initial assessments. Typically, notices of such behavior are automatically sent to a student's head of house. In your case, Harry, quite a stack has accumulated in the owlery."
"We have an owlery?!" said Harry. "Like, a room full of owls?"
"That's hardly the most salient point," she replied, "what we need to do is-"
"One point to Harry for makes strides towards literacy" interrupted a voice, oh the short one was here too, just visible behind the legs of the others.
The others stared at him for a moment, a moment that Hat made good use of.
"If I may," he began, "perhaps the professors ought to have noticed that they were missing a student in class before it came to this. I might also point out that the only accommodation you have made for this dimensional exchange student is the assignment of a first-year to literacy lessons. You have not sought to redress any of his misunderstandings arising from, er, cultural differences. You have not even noticed his need for glasses.
"Perhaps these collective shortcomings could at least impact the tone of this conversation," said Hat.
They all looked down, but not at the short professor.
"I am afraid you are quite right, Hair," said, well, Afraid. "Regardless, it seems the best solution going forward is to sort Harry now so that his head of house can begin seeing to his heretofore inadequately addressed needs.
I think the jig is up, kid, 'said' Hat, it's been a great vacation. Do stop by my shelf every once in a while.
"So this room," said Harry, "has it got all the same owl or lots of different types?"
Good try, Harry, but I don't think your usual approach is going to-
Hat's thought was interrupted by an unusual event. The fireplace flared green as a narrow-faced head appeared in it.
"Professor Dumbledore!" It said. "Malfoy's trying something at the ministry. He's set up some kind of kangaroo court and it's to do with you!"
The headmaster was on his feet and in front of the fire surprisingly quickly.
"Right," he said, "I trust you will resolve this matter and keep watch over the castle in my absence, professors."
They all nodded and the wizard departed leaving only his professors and his familiar in the room.
The professors all turned towards Tonks. Well, they turned towards an empty space below and next to Tonks and then they turned towards Tonks. Tonks felt like turning inwards as she looked at the space Harry had been.
"I guess we better start searching, I'll go first, bye!" Tonks said before dashing out of the room. She hoped to get to Harry before he wandered too far or did something too dangerous. She tried not to glance back at the room full of professors who would be writing her letters of recommendation in the next few months. She really needed to find Harry soon.
She looked for any sign of his passing once she got into the hallway. No footprints on the clean stone floor. No telltale signs of much of anything that she could discern.
She took a moment to think. She had overheard Harry telling Hermione something about running away upwards for some reason. She didn't quite get the logic of it, but it was worth a shot.
She took every stairway and turn that led upwards and found herself on the path to the divination classroom. She got to the trap door and almost pushed it open before noticing a sign on it.
What you seek is not here, but is in the last place you will look.
Right, that was the sort of self-fulfilling shill that kept her from taking divination. She couldn't waste her time with this while Harry was off somewhere probably dying a terrible death.
"No," she said.
She ran downstairs at full tilt. She leapt down staircases and leaned into corners so much she was almost entirely horizontal. She fairly barreled through the door on the third floor corridor. She leveled her wand at the room ready for anything.
Her wand quickly pointed at the enormous three-headed dog. She relaxed minutely once she realized that all three heads were sleeping and then noticed that it was far from the strangest thing in the room. An odd smell was emanating from a bubbling cauldron, a harp was playing an eerie tune by itself, candles were lit and haphazardly distributed throughout the room and professor Dumbledore's phoenix was perched on Harry's shoulder as he was writing all over the floor in chalk.
Tonks read a few of the bits in English just to make sure Harry hadn't managed to pull an actual ritual from somewhere. She could make out 'free trees for evryone,' 'Wyzrds R dum,' and 'brims!' It matched with Harry's usual fare and wasn't likely to trigger any real magic.
"Uh, Harry?" Tonks asked. "Whatcha got going on here?"
She gestured at the harp, dog, cauldron, phoenix, and chalk.
"Don't worry, Tonks," Harry said, "I've got a plan."
"I see," said Tonks. She took a peek in the cauldron and beheld thousands of tiny black dots in a rolling boil. "Any chance you could share that plan with your fellow coven-er?"
Harry looked up from his work and blinked.
"Right," he said, "well, it's simple enough. I've been saving up all the best words that the were-mummy has been teaching me," Harry thumped a journal that was lying open on the floor. "I didn't know what to use 'em for till now. I'm making a ritual to make the hat my familiar! That way they can't take him away from me."
The phoenix chirped brightly.
"This is such a terrible idea," muttered the sorting hat.
"What sort of potion have you got going in the cauldron?" Tonks asked.
"Oh, it's not really a potion," said Harry, "it's just newt eyes, for amber-ants."
"Amber ants?" asked Tonks.
"Yeah, I've never seen them myself," Harry admitted, "but my mums say that you've always got to light a few candles and have something scented to get the right amber-ants."
The bird squawked.
"I know," said Harry, "but I couldn't find any."
The bird chirped.
"Oh," he said, "you've got one? Is it nice and shiny"
The bird chirped then trilled.
"Well, it's for the amber-ants, who I've never even seen show up," said Harry, "so I suppose I don't really plan on using it."
Fawkes disappeared with a flash. Fawkes reappeared with another flash, holding a deep red stone.
"Oh, that's perfect!" said Harry before setting it down atop an important-looking chalk shape.
"I suppose the harp's your work too" Tonks said, "it's a neat bit of magic."
"No," said Harry, "that was there when I got here."
At that moment, the harp stopped playing music. Almost immediately, six nostrils on three heads started sniffing as if they found themselves in a room saturated in an odd and unfamiliar scent.
Tonks pulled her wand and took up a position between Harry and the dog.
Harry thought differently and pulled some sausages from Hat.
"Good riddance," Hat muttered as Harry tied the sausages to some freshly convinced rabbits.
"Get ready," said Harry, who was feeling sorry for the rabbits, but also hoping that his plan worked, which would directly lead to the reason for him feeling sorry for them.
He chose not to think about it too much.
He pulled the door open and confidently returned to his chalkwork.
It was, perhaps, possible for a quorum of cerberus heads to resist the allure of a rabbit, especially as this trick had been used to distract them before. The impossibility of the monster resisting the temptation of several sausage-laden settled down on the rabbits' minds like the force of gravity.
They had frozen at the sight of the predator. Three tongues licked at six lips.
The rabbits bolted like a section of cloth.
The monster leapt forward and hounded them through the halls.
Tonks looked at her wand before lowering it and staring at Harry.
"To be fair," said the sorting hat, "he did say that he had a plan."
Ripping, tearing, clashing, and clanking sounds resounded from the hall.
"He didn't say it was a good plan," the hat muttered.
Tonks then noticed that the phoenix was behind Harry quietly rubbing out bits of chalk. Sometimes it rounded out a curve a bit, erased a letter, or removed an entire word. Then it looked right at her with its beady little eyes. It raised a single feather from its wing and held it in front of its mouth.
"Oh no," said Tonks as she sank to the ground, "I've gone mad. I've spent too much time with Harry and now I'm completely barmy."
A small clack sounded as chalk set on the ground.
Tonks thought about her career, her references, and her thesis. All the things that could be ruined by Harry without him really meaning anything by it. Without it really being his fault. She was so wrapped up in it that she hardly noticed as he crawled into her lap, laid his head on her shoulder and wrapped his little arms around her in a light squeeze. It, it felt nice.
"My mums get like this sometimes," said Harry, "this usually helps."
Tonks sniffed and held Harry tightly for a few moments before standing up.
"Right," she said, "what do we need to do to finish your ritual so we can find the professors and tell them you're ok?"
"I walked into the courtroom by chance," said Arthur Weasely, "but I saw Malfoy and his cronies and no one else in there. I was able to catch your name being said before they booted me out. I tried to get back in, but it was empty!"
"You've done well to fetch me so soon, Arthur," said Dumbledore.
"Yes, well, let's go then!"
"I'm afraid that it won't be that simple," Dumbledore said. "By your description, I'd say they're using the Old Mugwump's personal courtroom. He charmed it so that once court was in session it couldn't be accessed by anyone who looked for it. He wasn't too fond of interruptions. Or of challenges to his authority. Come to think of it he wasn't known to be fond of anything in particular."
"Oh dear," said Arthur, "how will we be able to reach it if we can't get there while wanting to get there?"
"There will be no 'we,' Mr. Weasley," said Dumbledore.
"But I'd never leave you at a time like this!"
Dumbledore silenced him with an upheld finger.
"If, indeed, Mr. Malfoy has gathered all of his allies for a bold scheme," said Dumbledore, "then we may repay him with a little boldness of our own. How quickly do you think you can have a few search warrants prepared and executed without his interference?"
Arthur's eyes widened.
"I'll go to the judge's office at once!"
Arthur ran the few steps to an elevator door, which opened to reveal a courtroom.
"Don't mind if I do," said Dumbledore as he strolled through into the now silent room.
Lucius Malfoy's already pale skin had paled a few shades further, but he rallied remarkably with a tried and true sneer.
"So the defendant has finally bothered to show up," he said. "No matter, we have made and approved the writs of restraint and you won't be allowed anywhere near any of us ever-"
"Such a charming room," Dumbledore interrupted, "or I guess I should say charmed, eh?"
"With these writs-"
"The Old Mugwump was such a character wasn't he?" Dumbledore asked.
He waited patiently for Malfoy to let himself get interrupted again, but there was only silence.
"It wasn't just the one charm, you know? The no-interruptions bit is certainly the most well-known property of this courtroom created seven-eighths of his life, but it wasn't the only one."
Dumbledore twirled his wand before a lot of grim, staring faces.
"He had a rather dim view of weaker wizards wasting his time," Dumbledore said. "Here, and only here, he granted the right to the sitting Supreme Mugwump to settle any affair with a duel.
"You finished your magical education quite some time ago, Mr. Malfoy, but forgive me for saying that the schooling you're about to receive is long overdue."
Hermione revised Harry's literacy learning plan. She did this just about every time she met with him. She could almost admire his particular talent for disruption, were it not so vexing for her personally. He always started off so eager to please her with his efforts. As each lesson went on, however, he would practically shake with the need to be anywhere else.
She finished revising the plan based on Harry's progress and lack thereof. The culmination of this task marked the point where Harry went from probably busy with something to probably just skiving off. Hermione packed her things and exited the empty classroom they had claimed. Harry referred to it as their secret coven-house and had insisted only that it not be in a tower.
Harry had a sort of mania to him, one that was most contagious to those who bore responsibility for him. Hermione had spent several hours frantically searching for him. This time, she chose to take a different approach.
It didn't take long before a hare with something dark and greasy strapped to its back sprinted past her. Having settled in to wait, it took her a moment to move to follow it. This was fortunate as it saved her from being trampled underneath the following train.
First, a cat with wiry markings about its eyes leaped past her. A gigantic set of jaws snapped at its tail, while another head panted with its eyes trained on the hare. The third head gave Hermione a sniff as it flew by. Next, a great clanging sounded. It kept sounding. It was sounding closer and closer. A great suit of armor jogged down the hall.
"You'll not trouble these hallowed halls any longer, fiend!" it cried.
It gave a polite nod to Hermione as it passed.
Hermione briefly struggled with the thought that any true Gryffindor would rush headlong into danger to save a friend, for Harry was surely at the root of this madness. On further thought, none of the other first-years had faced a troll, so she still ought to come out ahead.
She set out in the opposite direction and searched for a professor.
Albus twirled his wand.
A length of fur whirled about in the air.
Mr. Nott refused to meet his eyes.
Albus wondered how much time Arthur might need to organize and conduct raids on every major dark family in the wizengamot.
The furred object impacted a wooden wall with a faint clunk.
"Whoopsie," said Albus.
It may well require a great deal of time. It was no matter, though. The duel could not end until Malfoy was dead or yielded, and he wasn't human enough to talk at the moment.
Mr. Malfoy collided with the metallic seal of office emblazoned on Dumbledore's podium.
"Terribly sorry," he said.
Technically Mr. Malfoy's second could step in. That wouldn't end the duel, however, it would merely let the second enter the duel.
Mr. Nott did not show any signs of wanting to take that step.
Albus conjured a large thin bit of paper and sent Lucius through it.
Pop! Went the weasel.
"Ah," said Albus, "there it is."
Everything was going well, as far as Harry could tell. Tonks was chanting all the words he had written in his journal, Hat was muttering to himself in the middle of the chalk constellations, and that pretty rock was shining brightly. Oh and Wossname was singing an eerie tune, but that was probably more to pass time than to help with anything.
Harry continued walking around the circle. He was going for seven times around, but had lost count and figured he should probably just keep walking until the ritual was over.
One of his rabbits darted into the room and ran straight under and into Hat.
"What's thi- ARGH!" said Hat as a cat pounced on him and started clawing at his insides.
"Hat!" cried Harry.
He jumped into the ritual space and tried to separate the cat from Hat. A moment later they were all covered in a squirming pile of dog and armor. Light flashed and the stonework gave way beneath them. Harry felt a brief sensation of weightlessness but quickly regretted it.
"Whzn," Harry said. He had tried to say something a bit more verbose.
"PSST!" said Hat, who had fallen on a bit of rubble that was an impossible handful of feet from Harry.
"Hur?" mumbled Harry.
"Oh my," said Hat, "I'd forgotten how hard rituals could be on those directly affected. Don't worry about all this, I've got a plan."
"Whaz?" asked Harry, who had little conception of what 'all this' was. He couldn't make out the barks, growls, mewls, shrieks and clanks as the dog, cat, and armor waged a fierce five-way battle. He was much less able to make out the ornate mirror in the center of the chamber or the man in the shadows who had recently been gazing into it.
No one saw the even darker figure standing tall in the somehow darker shadows.
For better or for worse (probably for worse), cat, dog, and medieval weapon collectively crashed through a wall and took their battle elsewhere.
Soft footsteps announced the approach of the man in the shadows. Another set of footsteps trailed behind. These were completely silent and yet echoed with gravitas.
Harry had recovered enough to open his eyes and behold a purplish blur for just a moment. Fortunately, he was well used to interpreting blurs.
"Prussr, Vomor?" he asked.
He scowled for its own sake, since Harry had his eyes closed, Hat had none, and the man himself was no longer facing the mirror.
"Indeed, insolent child," he said. "I shall enjoy killing you and your execrable companion."
He lifted his wand to-
"Use the hat," a wispy voice said.
"Master, I-" he began.
"It's sat in Dumbledore's office for years," it continued, "perhaps it can help us."
Things were going according to Hat's plan.
DON'T GET YOUR HOPES UP, a voice said.
The professor donned the hat, even though he was already wearing a turban, and looked into the mirror.
"Reveal your headmaster's secrets, hat," spat the professor.
"You know," Hat began, "you could say that inviting you-know-who to share your body is quite brave. Have a sword!"
Hat imagined using his familiar bond with Harry to skirt around one of his most fundamental rules. He could not sort anyone twice. Unfortunately for him, there was an error in his logic and the head he sat astride remained unimpaled.
"Useless rag!" shouted the professor as he flung Hat aside and leveled his already flaming wand at it.
Harry, meanwhile, had recovered the barest amount of energy. He used it to lift his head a few inches and open his eyes. He was the only one in the room who saw one more bit of rubble fall. It was small, as castles went. As wizards went, it was the size of a head and much heavier. There was a short lived competition between it and the professor's cranium. It was no contest and, frankly, no more cranium.
A scythe whooshed through the professor's body with no more physical effect, though the body did fall a moment later.
The professor, in a manner of speaking, rose.
"Oh," he said, staring at his body and where his head had been. "Am I, uh, moving on now?"
Another shade rose from this body.
JUST A MOMENT said Death.
Harry had recovered enough to get up and begin to stumble towards Hat. He didn't notice bits of stone and mortar rolling themselves back towards their position prior to being blown apart. He did notice the tall robed figure swing his scythe through the air.
He then looked at his scythe for a long moment before hurriedly swinging it a few more times. His stare traced an invisible path from professor Voldemort's body to a nearby wall.
HUH, he said.
Suddenly, his gaze was fixed on Harry. Harry didn't like it. It felt like something vast and irresistible had chosen to stare into his soul. The feeling eased slightly as the two pinpricks of blue light focused instead on the center of Harry's forehead.
The figure moved towards him slowly and all at once. A ghastly hand of bone reached towards his face and-
The hand flicked Harry's forehead.
UNTIL NEXT TIME, Harry heard as he collapsed.
Abus returned to an empty office. He supposed that affairs had been managed satisfactorily in his absence.
He frowned. While there was a certain satisfaction to thwarting the plans of dark wizards, he preferred not to resort to force.
He took a deep breath and made his way towards the halls of the castle hoping to run into a student. He wanted to do something more professorial than judicial.
"Ah," he said, "just the lad I was hoping to see!"
Young Harry froze in his steps and looked up at Albus with wide eyes.
"I trust that our issue got sorted out properly," Albus winked.
"Er, about that-" began Hair.
"Nothing happened!" cried Harry. "I didn't do it!"
"Don't worry, Harry," he said, "whatever it is, you can talk about it."
It was apparent that Harry didn't believe him as he backed himself against a wall. His face was a pale white.
"I, er, it was an accident," urged Harry.
"What was an accident?" Albus asked.
"I, uh, I killed him," said Harry, "I killed Voldemort."
"Well yes," said Albus, "everyone knows that."
"Everyone?" Harry whispered. "I suppose that they're on their way then, to hang me."
"Why would they do that?" asked Albus. "We were all glad to be rid of him, to be quite honest. Even were the Aurors to press charges, they'd be hard-pressed to prove a murder without a body."
"Wait," said Harry, "are you saying that they need a body to get me? A whole one, or would one without a head be enough."
"What a morbid question," said Albus. "They have not got any body, at any rate, so there is little reason to worry about this, of all things, to create problems for you."
"So I've just got to make sure," said Harry. "I've got to hide the… er bye!"
Harry ran down the halls.
"Don't even think about it!" shouted Hair.
That… was not remotely what Albus expected, but it had taken his mind off of the nastiness at the Wizengamot. Still…
"What a strange boy," he couldn't help but mutter.
AN: First year is done! I have an interlude story planned. Well, sort of planned. I also have canon set to be even more derailed, which isn't to say that I have a real grand plan, just that anything that happens is not going to be anything close to a canon rehash. Even though I'll probably continue to use this fic for sequels, I'm gonna chalk this up as my first completed fanfic (yay!). Things I've learned: writing dialogue is my favorite part. I usually go back through to write more setting details, but I could probably do that a few more times. Also, though not every chapter is a first draft, this story is definitely a first draft. By that, I mean that going back through with all the scenes to come in mind would do a lot for the story. I set some things up that never paid off, left some things off-screen for too long before using them, and neglected to set up some things I ended up using. This goes for characters too. I went a little too far with bashing Dumbledore when I didn't really mean to and used largely flat characters. Going back now that I have more than just an idea of where I want to go would do wonders for my characters.
I won't, of course. Re-writes are the death-knells of fanfic and I'd rather continue on this adventure with Harry.
Thanks for reading!