o0o Chapter Seven o0o
"I cannot believe that Snape got the job, Dumbledore is bloody insane to trust him!"
Harry was walking along side Ron and Hermione, presently dreading what used to be his favorite class as Ron loudly announced his thoughts.
"Why do you think Dumbledore did it?" He asked channeling his thoughts, generally unsure as to why the headmaster would do this. Harry wished he could have Dumbledore himself tell him though, Harry had no idea why the man he considered to be extremely wise would suddenly trust Snape to teach a subject he was overly fascinated in.
Hermione had an answer, as always, "I think he might have run out of people to hire, surely everyone knows that it's practically cursed now, and in times like these, I'm sure very few people would volunteer."
When they got there, it seemed the other Gryffindors had the same thing on their minds as they waited for class to begin, at least as well as he could tell from the whispers that drifted across the hall. The Slytherins on the other hand were grinning – some were practically leering – at them from across the hall as they conversed among themselves in hushed tones.
The door opened just as the new kid came running down the hall, Snape, ever coming at the worst times, saw him and glared at him until he was standing a few feet away, looking a bit disheveled.
"Mr. Jackson, you are late."
He glanced around him, "I'm sorry but what exactly have I missed because if I'm right," he looked at his watch, then his time table, squinted at for a second, then continued, "and I am, I'm actually a minute early and you were about to start without me."
Snape scowled, "Ten points for talking back, ten for running in the hallways, and another ten for not having you tie done. Go find your seat, and watch your mouth in my class, if you talk back again it will be double the consequence."
Percy smiled and gave Snape a thumbs up before walking into the classroom and finding a seat in the back. It took a second for everyone to register what just happened before they all filed into the classroom.
Hermione, Ron, and Harry got a table a row away from the back and sat down. Harry immediately took notice of the changes Snape had made, the room was far more dark and gloomy than he ever remembered it to be. The walls now adorned gruesome scenes of people in agony, dead, or suffering some terrible fate.
"No books, or wands out please, I would like your full attention as I attempt to talk to you and possibly get some knowledge through your thick skulls."
In response serval students began to shove whatever they had out back into their bags. After everyone had stilled and were looking back up at Snape, he finally began his lecture.
"There have been five teachers before me, who all had different ways of teaching you, and through all of it I'm surprised that this many of you are before me now. I can assure you, few of you will still be here next year." His gaze lingered on Harry maliciously before he continued.
"The Dark Arts are ever changing, ever developing, and ever evolving. You must be prepared for them, that does not mean having a weak shield charm.
"Examples of such arts are around, people who suffered from their incompetence. I hope will not have to meet any of these fates. Yet the Dark Arts are rising, it would be one of the absolute stupidest things any of you have ever done to underestimate them.
"This year I will attempt to teach and arm you against the Dark Arts, hopefully some of you will succeed. Much more advanced spells will be taught, and you must also master nonverbal spells, which if done right, can prove to be an advantage, at least for a moment.
"I would like you all to pair up and practice jinxing and defending against each other silently."
A few moments later Harry had only succeeded in muttering a spell, now he watched as Ron began to grow purple in the face attempting to resist cheating and actually cast a spell without speaking.
He saw Hermione effectively cast a body bind on Neville. As the first one in the class to produce a strong nonverbal spell, he knew that was worth quite a points to any sensible teacher, but Snape pointedly ignored her and came straight for the pair that was currently failing.
"Insufficient Weasley, I asked you to cast a jinx without talking, not try to turn yourself into a plum," the professor commented unhelpfully, "Let me demonstrate."
In a split-second Snape had whipped his wand out and aimed a jinx at Harry's face.
"Protego!" he accidentally shouted in surprise.
The spell was so strong in knocked Snape off his feet and sent flying a few feet backwards.
"Did I not tell you to cast the spell nonverbally Potter?"
"Yes," he said stiffly, it was the first day, and yet Harry had already had enough of Snape bullying him.
"No need to call me sir professor."
The Gryffindors laughed at this quietly, while the Slytherins stared in anticipation, knowing just as well as anyone else that this would not go unpunished.
"Detention. Saturday night, my office Potter."
"Oh, company!" exclaimed a voice in the back, all eyes turned to face Percy.
"Excuse me?" Snape drawled, his voice tight, looking ready to murder the next person who did so much as breathed too loudly.
"You know, since I'll be there all week and instead of dying of boredom seven out of seven days, I'll die of boredom six days, and only be half dead on one, so, all in all, much better."
"Didn't I tell you to watch your mouth Jackson?"
"I believe you did," the American said going cross eyed.
Ron snorted at it, setting off a few chuckles from the Gryffindors.
"Go back to practicing nonverbal spells now, I have not seen a single one of you cast a spell without speaking. Yes, I hear you mumbling your pathetic incantations."
They went back to practicing but knowing the rest of the day was free of activities seemed to draw the class out forever. Finally, after what seemed to be hours, the class was over, and Harry was walking to the Gryffindor common room with Ron by his side and Hermione hurrying the other way to one of her classes.
"Snape is bloody mental; did you hear the way he was talking about the dark arts?"
"That slimy git fancies the dark arts, that much is clear. Did you hear the admiration in his voice, it's disgusting."
The two looked behind them, Jimmy Peaks, a player from last year's Quidditch team, was running towards them.
"So, when are you gonna hold the team tryouts?"
"I uh, I'm not sure Jimmy."
"Okay then, I'm supposed to give this to you. Do you think…"
But Harry was already gone, after instantly recognizing the small slanted writing he took off, Ron right after him. They stopped in a deserted corridor a little ways away, and Harry unrolled the scroll,
I would like to start our lessons this Saturday. Come to my office at 8 p.m. I hope you are enjoying your first day back at school.
P.S. I enjoy Acid Pops
"Wait, he enjoys Acid Pops? What does that have to do with anything?" Ron asked after reading it through.
"That's the password." Harry muttered back, after reading it one more time he exclaimed, "Snape won't be happy, now I can't go to his destination!"
The two walked back to the common room chatting lightly.
"I suppose we should start on our homework…" Harry sighed as they climbed through the portrait hole.
"Are you kidding, we just got out of class and you want me to do more work already? Who are you, Hermione? Let me get out my chess set, maybe you can actually beat me this time."
"Why don't we do something I'm not rubbish at? How 'bout we go down to the Quidditch pitch?"
With that they both grinned, Harry and Ron blotted up to their dorm, grabbed their brooms and ran down to the pitch, excited by the prospect of being in the air again.
By the time dinner rolled around Harry was feeling great. Being in the air, the feeling of flying again, it made him feeling ten times lighter.
Hermione met up with them as they walked into the Great Hall, she immediately started scolding Ron, who was already ranting about how much he needed some food. As they sat down and Ron dug in as quickly as he could scoop the food onto his plate, Hermione looked at him disapprovingly from across the table.
"Do you have any dignity?"
She rolled her eyes and served herself some of the steak and kidney pie, a considerable amount less than the masses of food stacked on Ron's plate. Harry too served himself and started to eat, but he could feel Hermione's eyes on him.
She seemed startled but responded nevertheless, "You know shouldn't keep that book."
"Hermione, whoever had it before me was some sort of positions master, I'm not going to waste what he wrote."
"I have bad feeling about it, don't you remember the dairy?"
"That was a diary that responded to people, this is a book someone wrote in, the writing in this one stays still, just like any other book. Besides you're just mad Harry did better than you in potions."
"I am not," she stiffly defended.
As Harry watched, he sincerely hoped that this was not the start of a fight between his two best friends and notorious arguers on the first day.
To distract himself he glanced down towards the end of the table where the American sat, he picked at his food and ate gloomily, seeming to contrast greatly with the upbeat mood he was in earlier, someone has to be in an incredible mood to brush off everything Snape did After a minute Percy got up and left, Harry turned back to his friends who, he found, were interlocked in a staring contest, except with extra heat making more of a glaring contest.
Harry finished his food quickly as the awkward silence stretched on. Soon he followed the new kid's example and after telling his two friends, left the Great Hall and begun his way to the common room.
Harry decided to get a start in his homework since he had nothing else to do. He sighed as he pulled out the heavy defense books and wondered how he was going to write nine inches on the 'advantages nonverbal spells have given and could give.'
The day had passed rather uneventfully and ended as he gave up after five inches, deciding to come back another time. Soon after, Ron and Hermione came back, bantering back and forth, about something completely useless, but different than before, and thankfully not sounding like they were planning to murder each other, something Harry was always glad to see. Harry had slid past the two before they saw him (/before they could pit him into the middle of their argument) and climbed the stairs to his dormitory. After readying himself for bed, Harry slipped under his covers and drifted off into an easy sleep.
After finishing his dinner Percy went to the library.
Which typically is a sentence that would be read 'Annabeth dragged Percy to the library after a long debate ending with Annabeth beating him in a sparring match' or something along those lines. But no, Percy willingly walked back to the library that he had visited earlier that day.
He now felt, for one of the few times in his life, the overwhelming feeling of knowing nothing. Learning about a new world and actually living in it were two completely different things. He knew knowledge could be great as a sword in a fight. Currently, he was armed with the amount of knowledge that leveled up to something weaker than his fist. And this was no fist fight.
So, that's how the son of Poseidon ended up standing in the Hogwarts library, squinting at books that surrounded him, trying to make out their titles, quickly remembering the first order of business was to find some spell that could let him read the god dammed English language. Eventually, after what seems like hours of scanning through a few of the thickest books he had ever seen, he found a spell that let a person read any language - for a limited time.
Percy wasn't sure if it would work or not, but since he found something, he figured he might as well try it before continuing his search to death. Sure, he could already read English, but not very well, maybe this would help, maybe it wouldn't but it was worth a shot either way.
The first time he tried – big shock – it didn't work, but after tweaking a few things, and just trying again and again, he felt a strange little tingle and hoped that meant he did it right. Glancing down at the book, which helpfully had a sentence written in five different languages, he attempted to read them and it took a second but he figured it out, his hopes weren't too high after that but he glanced at the English on the next page. He read it the whole page easily, excited, he tore the cursive schedule out of his pocket. He found he could read that too, he felt like jumping up and down in joy.
His hours of research had paid off, not only had he learned a spell that would help him exponentially, but he also marked some pages of things he wanted to try, ranging from 'that looks cool' to 'that could be helpful in class' to 'that would whip someone's butt in a duel.'
All the things he found, just in one book, it made him want to visit it the Athena Cabin's library. Percy he never thought about it, but the books in there are almost all in Greek, something he could actually read. The demigod now hoped he might learn strategies or moves from books, sure all the Athena kids loved sticking their noses in boring books but Athena was goddess of wisdom and battle strategy there had to be some actually good books that could help him in there.
Just thinking about camp dampened Percy's mood immediately, all he wanted was to be there right now. He shoved the thoughts out of his head and focused on what he came here for, knowledge on what he was facing.
What he really wanted was all the recent events, at least as a starter. After thinking about it, he realized it wasn't a book he was looking for, no books in here were written about now.
He recalled something about one of his old schools' libraries having newspapers, he hoped Hogwarts did too. After being pointed towards the back by a kid who didn't even look up from their book Percy was off.
It wasn't hard to find, instead of books, wooden filing cabinets adorned the walls, clearly marking a different section of the library. Percy scanned the dates that were engraved on the metal plates that labeled each drawer. He quickly found the most recent and opened it, it wasn't very full, but he pulled out what he could get, thankful there was something.
The first thing he found was a newspaper from last month called the Daily Prophet, as he read through it, it became more and more obvious the entire paper was biased, but it gave him some background information nonetheless.
He read through a quite few Daily Prophets from over the summer and last school year, knowing even though it wasn't the most reliable, it was at least constant.
He found and dug out a few magazines, and different newspapers, though there weren't nearly as many. Some of the articles took a completely different view than the Daily Prophet, some of them even covered the some of the same exact news but in a way so different it was astonishing.
He knew he wasn't getting the full story, or even the true one most of the time, but it was a start, and it helped. He felt more calibrated to the new world, Percy knew what was happening around him, and that felt much better than the absolute amount of nothing Hecate told him.
Although he was glad to have it, all this newfound knowledge didn't reassure him. It seemed the big bad of this world, Voldemort, had been out and about for an entire year before the government actually acknowledged it and made a few weak attempts to stop him.
Percy knew that was a bad thing, a very, very bad thing if the time was used wisely, which he could only assume it was. The other side had a head start, they had gotten an entire year to recruit and reform under the radar. This could have been the difference between winning and losing, they could have stopped a war before it had even started, hit Voldemort when he was weak. It wouldn't have taken nearly as much time nor people as it was now going to.
There was war coming, no denying it. It was what he was here for after all. What he could really do though, he wasn't sure, the biggest difference he could really make was before the war, when he could lessness the damage before it was done. One person in a big war wasn't going to make a big difference. Plus, he was barely equipped to fight this one.
He felt powerless, with his tiny arsenal of useless charms, and the absolute weakness if his magic was embarrassing. Percy felt exposed, and raw, he didn't really know what he was doing here. He felt vulnerable and that any attempt he might make here would be rendered futile.
After reading for a bit longer, he put everything back and stood up, groaning a bit due to the stiffness in his limbs. He knew he'd be back, but the demigod was done for now, he was pretty sure the spell had worn off a little bit ago, and that he had been in the library for hours. Sure, ADHD messed with his sense of time sometimes, but there was no way with all he just went through he had been in there for anything short of three hours.
He walked over to his previous spot and picked up the charms books that had bits of paper sticking out the top in various places (courtesy of the random bit of paper he found lying round then turned into book marks) then started towards the front of the library, hoping to find a place to check the book out.
After checking it out from a librarian that looked to be hardly human, almost fury like, he thought, not even in disguise, just the full-on demon grandma look.
He slipped out of the library, book under arm, and despite all the disheartening things he had learned and the scary librarian, he had a small smile on his face. This all reminded his of Annabeth, all research she liked to do, many of the times he had IMed her over the years she was in a library, sometimes he could get her to ramble about all the information she had found just to see how long she could go and hear her voice. Oh, how much he wished he could hear her now.
Heading up to his common room, he daydreamed about Annabeth, and wondered if he would ever be able to take his mind off of her. Percy knew he'd be in the library time after time again, and all the architecture around him constantly made him think of his Wise Girl, all the new information, the feeling of loneliness, the amount of times he wished she were here…
It reminded him how dependent on her he had grown, he knew she was strong, and hoped against hope she was doing fine.
"Wattlebird, and, um, good night," he said as he arrived, still a bit awkward talking to the paintings. Climbing through the portrait hole, he realized how long he must have been in the library, there were still students out, but mostly older ones, and not quite as many as there should be. After checking the clock, he deducted it was a little past nine forty-five, which, in his opinion wasn't too late, but he remembered the curfew was ten, so, maybe the Brits did things a bit differently… or maybe he was going to sleep later than he should.
Whatever the reason, he didn't really care, but he did however realize the problem the curfew could possibly pose. On a night on which he barely had any homework – homework he had already done, so it didn't actually take any of his time in library– and Percy still managed to shave the curfew. He recognized that he probably wouldn't always try to do as much as he had that night, but with the amount of homework that was bound to be added to his daily schedule in the near future, it wouldn't be easy to fit all that much researching in.
Now stuck in the Gryffindor tower, unable to leave he decided he might as well go through his extremely large charms book. Percy figured he could practice everything he found tomorrow, seeing as tonight seemed to be researching night, and he was far from tired, he found a nice, squishy armchair, and settled down with his book.
Percy cast the reading spell again he began to leaf through the book, scanning less, and actually reading to see each spell this time. He found a few that were cool enough but those that really caught his eye were the ones he saw useful in a fight. It might have been a charms book, but in a fight, almost anything could be used, if only used with thought.
Accio, summons things, though it may seem like a lazy man's spell, it could be used to slam something into an opponent's head from behind, catching them off guard. Percy knew this would have to be tested, because if the object instead of flying straight, zoomed around whatever was in its way to come to its caller then it would be all messed up. Yet, if it worked out the way he thought it would, it could be used as quite a surprise in a fight.
Confringo can burst objects into flame, it probably wouldn't work too well on person, but it would a very handy distraction. Descendo, causes an object to fall down, possibly right on top of an opponent's head. Melofors, surrounds a target's head in a pumpkin, ok, this one was pretty useless, if Percy had a clear shot a person, he would never waste it on this, but it was so useless and so funny, he had to know it. Finestra, another indirect but very hurtful spell, shatters grass. Along with many, many others. He was acutely aware as he continued adding to his list, that this was the easy part.
Tomorrow he was going to have to actually try all of these and practice until he collapsed, Percy knew his magic was weak, even though it should be strong, but he was determined to try and practice until he became strong. He was sent here to help, and that's what he was going to do, if he was going to be ripped from his life, his break, his peace, then he should at least use the time well. All the demigod wanted was to be sitting around idly with his Wise Girl, but he knew it would be a long time before he got there again.
He tried to steer his thoughts, once again, away from the wistful thinking of what could be, and back to the present, back to reality. Percy finally felt the effect of hours of reading and research, tiredness hit him suddenly as a realization, and weighed him down as he trudged up to his dorm. After readying himself for bed and casting up the hazy white barrier that would protect his roommate's ears and his privacy he crashed down on to the bed, that was looking ever more comfy by the second, pulled curtains closed, and laid down.
Even though he tried not to, he thought about what he would be doing at camp right now, preparing for the school year, visiting his mom, spending time with Annabeth, enjoying himself. Drowning all that weighed him down in the happiness surrounded him there. He tried to focus on the good memories, rather than paying attention to the fact he was halfway around the world from where he wanted to be.
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I've recently posted a one shot, it's by Yesse2362 called Nothing is What it Seems, if you haven't yet, go check it out!
Not the best, I know. I was seriously stuck on what to write at multiple points while writing this, so, sorry if it's boring or absolute trash or whatever. I'm new, forgive me. This isn't the most exciting chapter, but you have to take time, enjoy the little parts, let me slowly lay out the plot, this is supposed spread out over a year after all, the stories that have something crazy (/interesting) going on every chapter are either people who writing are are actually good at writing or they're moving too fast. Really sorry to disappoint anyone, but at least it's on time...
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See ya next week and thanks for reading - BBB (11/15/2020)