Soooooo it turns out College becomes infinitely more strssful during the last semester since I didn't have any future semesters to use as a safety net in case of failure. Should be good for now though, just need to find a job before summer happens, shouldn't be too hard...
Oh crap, I just jinxed myself didn't I...
And so the days continued, between that weekend and the next week I managed to figure out a basic move for each element and master wall walking. There were a number of people ambushing me outside classes to ask about the spell I used in the duel. Though they mostly stopped after I explained it was Safeguard, told them it worked on spells that caused minor 'status' effects and demonstrated casting it a few times. I also found an adorable doggo when waking down the side of the castle on my way to practice water walking. It seemed a bit confused at first, but I gave it some peanut butter I had carded and it was fine after that. While hanging out with him I found a trapdoor that I thought would lead to adventure but turned out to be boring, the most interesting thing was probably the rock at the end on a pedestal that I Indiana-Jonesed with a plastic copy I pulled out of a picture, but even that didn't do anything interesting except give off magic.
School work is going well enough, I think? At least none of the teachers seem to have anything bad to say, though they keep giving me odd looks. Professor MG in particular said something about our class mastering the matchstick-needle transfiguration faster than normal while staring at me for some reason, and Professor Litwick kept giving me points for the oddest reasons after he managed to get enough people to start a Dueling Club. The rest of the Professors weren't much better, though Professor Snap seemed content to ignore me for the most part, so at least there's that.
Today was the day of flying lessons, while I had initially hoped that meant unassisted flight it turned out that it meant with brooms. When I asked why we didn't simply make cloaks or those climbing harnesses fly I just got more odd looks than usual. We were led outside by Madame Hooch to where the brooms were lined up. Taking a spot next to Frizz and Pale I notice how Frizz is muttering under her breath and scaring Pale.
"Why are you two worried, all you have to do is sit down on something and travel slowly enough that hitting something doesn't hurt. From the way you're acting they've asked you to train a Dragon."
Frizz huffs at that, "you know it's not so easy, I've been reading and there are a number of things that affect how you fly. From how you lean to what you-"
"I'll just stop you there." I interrupt her before she can make Pale look any more like his name. "Do you know how to ride a bike?"
"Well yes, but-"
"And did you overanalyze that as well?"
"I mean, maybe…"
"And did it help at all?"
"There, you see, this is going to be the same thing." I turn to Pale. "And Pale, why are you worried? The worst that can happen is you fall and, according to you, the last time you did that you bounced."
In lieu of response he simply gives a nod and looks determined.
Madame Hooch soon finished making sure everyone had a broom and gave a lecture that I summarily ignored. Eventually everyone started shouting UP at their brooms so I followed suit, throwing a twist of Intent to show-
When the stars clear from my vision I realize the broom missed my hand and hit me in the face. Grumbling I get up and hold my broom, noting with some surprise that Frizz and Pale seem to have theirs already. Also Frizz is talking to Pale again. I should probably sto-
I'm cut off from doing so by Madame Hooch. "Alright everyone, now mount your brooms and-"
And now she's been interrupted by Pale losing his head entirely and jetting off while screaming.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-" Huh he managed to pull down to avoid the castle rather well. "-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-"And now he's avoided the ground, not sure why he's upside down. "-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-"The loop-de loops seem a bit much.
Finally, his broom seems to have had enough and snaps clean in half. While he's quite far above the ground. Someone should probably do something about that.
Casting about with my 'eyes' it seems nobody else is doing more than gawking, including Hooch. Shrugging I call my wand out and call the appropriate Concepts to mind with a shout of "Feather Fall!"
Abruptly Pale's descent is slowed from a sprint to a swift trot, the screaming kept up though. I'm not sure if he realizes what's going on anymore, yep on the ground and still yelling. Huh.
As his scream finally peters out and Madame Hooch moves to check him over, I'm jumped by Frizz.
"What spell was that!?"
I look at her, confused. "It was just Feather Fall, it's a basic first-level spell that everyone should know." I pull out my card book and flip through it looking for my copy of the ADnD player's handbook. "Here, I had to learn it from this, but it's not that difficult. You might be able to figure out some of the other spells too."
She looks through the book for a moment before turning to me again. "this is a game book, not a spell book."
"Well yeah, it's not like nonmagicals know that magic is real, right? So I figure this is either based off of stories of magic or is by magicals looking to make a quick buck from old teaching materials." At least that's what I assume from how different the spell descriptions are from what I remember, they include a lot more detail. "Either way most of the low-level spells seem to work and the wand seems to substitute for most components, though I suspect they'd make casting easier."
She looks back to the book with renewed interest, "that… actually does make sense, can I borrow this?"
"Sure, I only brought it in case someone wanted to play a campaign."
She gives me a nod of thanks and quickly hides it as Madame Hooch helps Pale back to the group.
"Alright, flying class is canceled until we go through the brooms and ensure there aren't any others liable to break like that. It's incredibly lucky that none of them have broken before now." She turns to me, "and thirty points to Ravenclaw for Mr. Potter's quick thinking. Falling from that height would not have been fun."
As we walk back to the castle Pale is quick to find me.
"Ah, th-thanks Harry."
"Hm? Oh, for the save. Nah, I'm sure if I hadn't managed it you would've bounced."
"S-still, if there's anything you need, just ask"
Hmm, this could be a good way to help him with his nerves. Let's see, what books and manga do I have? Too bad Gurren Lagann isn't out yet, that would've been perfect. I haven't read that Fate/King's Sword one yet, or the mega man one, Redwall won't work. Ahh, I know!
"Actually, there is one thing." I smile and take out my book.
"R-r-really?" I think his voice just rose in pitch, I wonder why.
I pull out all the copies of Jojo's Bizzare Adventure I have and hand them to him. "These are from Japan, I assume they're a similar principle to the DnD books but haven't tried yet. Even if they aren't they should be a fun read."
"S-so you just want me to read them?" And now he's relieved, odd.
"Yep, maybe see if you can figure out some of the magic too, but that's not as important. I really just want to know the gist of it before I decide to do anything with it." I know the broad strokes, but not much more, so this will be helpful in deciding if I should actually read them.
The next day was interesting in that I got mail, one was a letter inviting me down to Hagrid's to talk for some reason, likely to use mind magic. I made note to respond in the negative to it, using the excuse that I have homework that I want to get perfect. The rest were various mail-order items I sent for, including a few new books and a number of potions ingredients I've been burning through. Of course Frizz notices this, sliding past Hedwig's plate of Bacon to inquire about them.
"Harry, why do you have so many potions ingredients?"
"I was running low and don't want to see what Snap would do if I do run out."
She pauses for a moment, "how are you using that many ingredients? We have double what we would use for the year."
I nod. "So it turns out editing potions recipes is harder than I thought. On the bright side I think I've developed a resistance to explosions!"
Frizz gapes. "Wh- why would you do that!? Rulebreaking aside it's incredibly dangerous."
Oh right, I never told her about the mints. Eh, Halloween should be coming up soon, that's enough of an excuse to be generous with candy.
"I made these," I say, pulling the most recent batch of mints out of a card. "I call them PepperUp Mints! They're better than sugar-blasted septuple espresso."
Frizz goes from surprised to alarmed after I finish, so I decide to demonstrate by tossing one into my mou- that's an invisible hand made of magic. It stole my mint. And now Frizz has stolen the others. How rude.
"No!" She pauses, "I mean, we should probably have these looked over by a teacher first, to make sure there aren't any side effects."
I pause, "that's actually a good point, I still don't know if the addition of minute amounts of uranium had the desired effects."
Hmm, she looks… Surprised? I would say concerned but I can't imagine why. It's not like pulling uranium out of that science book was difficult after all. Plus I ate a few of them in lieu of sleep last night and nothing untoward seems to have happened. Well, other than blacking out for about an hour after taking them and waking up with several dozen more made, but that probably doesn't mean anything.
All in all things had settled into a routine of sorts, going to classes, exploring the castle, watching Pale fail at learning martial arts, and all too soon it was Candy Day (Halloween). Of course today was an incredibly big day, I had finally gotten approval from Madam Pomfrey to make the mints! Well, not so much approval as telling her I "found" a recipe for them and was wondering if I had made them correctly, but she said that they were perfectly fine to use in emergencies and asked for the recipe so she could make some. Naturally this meant I was currently skipping dinner while trying to make enough mints to distribute to my house as Halloween gifts, though as I was juuuust finishing my final batch I should have enough time to get to the end of it.
This was, of course, when the wall decided to explosively vanish in favor of holding a Troll.
"Huh, so that's a- ohshit-" I reflexively raise a Protect as its club attempts to vanish me like the wall. Luckily the Protect holds and the Troll is left looking confusedly at its club, trying to figure out why and how a club ran out of ammo.
"Right, Troll, I think I'm supposed to stick its club up its nose? Let's try, Psychic!"
I bring the Concepts to mind and the club begins to glow. It lifts easily out of the dumbfounded Troll's hand, flies right past its head, and out a convenient nearby window, out of range of my Psychic. Well. That's less than ideal. Before I can follow the club's excellent example and GTFO, the Troll decides that the club was being useless anyways and resolves to figure things out after a meal. Taking exception to that I go to cast my most powerful… I don't actually have anything strong enough to hurt a troll, do I?
This thought distracts me for just long enough that my Protect only manages to slow the incoming fist down before it plows into me and flights me out a convenient open doorway. Dazed I almost miss the near simultaneous calls of "Harry!" and "Potter!" coming from two different side-hallways as I roll past.
I recover enough to sit up and see Frizz and Hair poking their heads out of the left and right side-passages, they are flanked by Pale and Red respectively. I manage to open my mouth before the Troll kool-aides through the wall, sending a piece of stone at my head that makes everything fuzzy for a few moments, though even through the fog I can see a bright flash. Why my head clears I can make out that the Troll has switched targets to Frizz, Pale is unconscious on the ground behind her, the Troll has a stone fist, Hair is furiously Banishing things at the Troll, and Red seems to be trying to trip it up.
As the Troll inexorably approaches Frizz I take a deep breath and fall back on my test taking (anti stress) strategies to Step Back from the situation, distancing myself from my now growing panic and other emotions so that I can see things objectively even as things seem to slow down. The Troll is approaching Hermione and will be within striking distance in less than a second, Neville seems to have exhausted himself with a basic application of Ripple, turning the Troll's arm to stone via Sunlight. Draco's attempts to distract the Troll are having no effect, he'd need to hit it somewhere with soft tissue for it to notice and its back is bereft of such weak spots. And Ron is managing to slow its pace a bit by having turned the ground to ice and strung up some ropes, causing it to stumble, however it is too close to Hermione, even falling will put it in range of her. I need an ability with enough stopping power to stagger a Troll, one that is both within my abilities and can be cast by a complete novice. Casting about through my memory I locate a sufficient technique and begin casting.
I cup my hands.
It rears its stone fist back, I breathe out and place my hands at my side, "Kaaaa" the first step, bringing out your inner power. Its arm seems to slow further, nearing the apex, I breathe in "Meeee" gathering your power, bringing it to my cupped hands. Its arm reaches the apex, I breathe out "Haaaa" Focusing power, compressing it to a point. The Troll tenses in preparation for a punch, I breathe in "Meeee" shaping the power, giving it form so it moves in a direction instead of everywhere at once. The Troll begins its punch, I breathe out "HAAAAAA" release, the final step. The Kamehameha wave rolls out of my hands, a brilliant blue, it reaches the Troll the moment before the punch would've made contact, caving its chest in and throwing it through the wall and back into the room I had been using. I pant as I look at the hole in the wall, casting about I see Hermione peeking out from the fetal position, that's good, now I jus- why is the floor jump-..?