Revised as of 3 August 2008.
Chapter 19: Friends.
After the Welcoming Feast Ron and Hermione had tried to talk to Harry, but Professor McGonagell had chased them towards the Gryffindor Tower. This had caused some amusement from Harry, who registered the slightly outraged look on Hermione's face. He prepared himself for a quiet night, as he would have to get up early the next morning.
Luckily he fell asleep very quickly.
The next morning came sooner than any of the men had wanted, but still, work called. They had made an entire schedule with Albus and Minerva, so Harry wouldn't be alone for long periods of time. So early in the morning, either Remus or Severus had the first hour of, to be able to help Harry get out of bed, get dressed and to breakfast. They had decided to only let Harry eat in the Great Hall during dinner. After the first hour Remus or Severus left Harry alone for the next hour, in which he could read, or listen to some books. Then Minerva stayed around for an hour, after which it was time for lunch and both Severus and Remus would be there. After lunch Harry would sleep for an hour, or more. For the first hour he would be alone, after that hour, Albus was going to stay with him untill classes finished for Remus and Severus. They would then do his exercises, and take him to the Room, so he could work on his projects over there. They would do the marking, help Harry or just spend some time for themselves. For dinner they would go to the Great Hall, and after dinner his friends would be allowed to visit for an hour or two.
They hoped it wouldn't be too much for Harry, but if it was, they would cut out some things, and let him rest some more.
During the weekend, they would sleep in, his friends would be allowed to stay longer, and they would be able to go over Harry's memories, without too many distractions.
So this fine Wednesday morning (September 1st was on a Tuesday) Severus was the one who had the first hour. He enjoyed being able to take his time getting ready for his classes, and together with Harry he thought up ways to shock his classes. Harry also told him that perhaps he should start with the absolute basics for the first years, as he had to look up all information about stirring patterns, ingredient properties and cauldron matters, for himself. Severus promised he would pay more attention to those things, as he always assumed his students knew this (completely forgetting the muggleborns who didn't have a clue about any of this of course).
When Severus left, Harry was settled in his bed in the living room, with 'The Complete Chronicles of Narnia' open in his lap. What the three of them didn't know was that both Remus and Severus were worried sick about Harry having to stay alone for the next hour, and would itch for a chance to go back to their rooms. Harry for his part, was enjoying the peaceful moment of reading a nice book. After half an hour he got tired however (that book sure was heavy) and so he decided to take a short nap.
He awoke from it by the door softly closing, and silent feet tipping over the floor. He opened his eyes slightly and smiled at the tabby cat that walked towards him. "Lo P'fessor." He murmered sleepily.
The cat changed into his Professor, who smiled down at him. "I do believe you were to call me Minerva in here, were you not?"
Harry nodded, his cheecks heating slightly.
"I came in as a cat, since both Remus and Severus were driving me crazy giving me instructions of what to do or not do with you. I do believe you have them wrapped around your finger, Harry."
His smile grew. "They can be a bit protective yes. But really, that bad?"
Minerva nodded. "I believe they told me to give you your favorite drink three times already, as well as how to contact them if something went wrong, and that I would need to help you moving around. They just kept going, as if they haven't told me this two days ago as well." She huffed slightly, and then gave Harry a good look.
He looked at her questioningly. "Are you still very tired Harry? I can leave you to sleep of course."
"Oh no, M- Minerva, I just woke up that's all. But perhaps I could sit on the couch for a little while? I want to try my meditation again."
She nodded and took the blankets of him. Then she positioned the wheelchair in the right place and lifted Harry up. He helped her by putting his arms around her neck. Then she carefully lowered him into his chair. When he sat safely, she rolled him towards the couch, where he tried to lift himself onto it first, but when he nearly fell on the floor, Minerva just lifted him up again.
When he was settled, Minerva noticed the frown on his face. "Out with it Harry. I know it bothers you to not be able to do everything yourself, but I'd like to hear you say more about it."
With that, she sat next to him. His frown disappeared, and he looked at his hands and legs. "It's just so very frustrating. I know I was growing stronger before the holidays started, and even though I knew I would have to gain much of that strength again after the holidays, I didn't exactly imagine me not being able to use my legs at all.
It might take me quite some time before I'll be able to properly use my legs and arms again, and it's just very frustrating."
Minerva nodded, pleased he let it all out. They had to prevent him from keeping everything to himself once more. "But Harry, just remember, that if you didn't have any magic, you'd be dead because of the accident, and if you had survived you might have never walked again. I believe you already made much progress. Besides, you take a potion to strengthen your muscles, do you not?"
"Yes, however, it makes me feel very tired, as it uses much of my energy and body fats. Also, I need to do specific excercises to make the potion work properly. And I can't take the potion for more than once every two days. I took it this morning, which is why I will be so tired today. This afternoon I'm going to do my excercises. I know that by the end of the month I will most likely be able to stand and perhaps walk again, but a month is a long time, especially since I want to work some of my magic again, and bring everything up to the level I was before the holidays."
Minerva had listened patiently to him, and eventually decided that there wasn't much she could say. So the normally stoic professor startled Harry slightly by giving him a hug.
Not long after this Remus and Severus came in the room for lunch, to find Minerva marking summer work, while Harry was obviously in a deep trance next to her on the couch. In fact, Harry was in such trance that his magic was suspending him a few feet above the couch. Apparantely his new method of discovering your magic, worked.
Amazed Remus and Severus looked on when Harry slowly opened his eyes, and giving them a piercing look, as if he could look right through them, and judge them for everything they had ever done. Severus mainly felt very vulnerable afterwards. However, Harry smiled slightly, and when he looked at them again, they were filled with a warmth they hadn't experienced before. Then Harry blinked, and lowered himself slowly onto the couch. The magically glow that had surrounded him dissappeared, but Remus and Severus noticed a difference about Harry. When they saw what it was they groaned, attracting the attention of both Harry and Minerva.
"Oh hello Remus, Severus. Is it time for lunch already? And why are you staring at Harry like that. He's still very much alive you know."
Remus shook himself slightly. "Minerva, perhaps you'd like to have a look at Harry's eyes?"
Frowning slightly, she half turned and looked in Harry's eyes, and gasped. "Oh my, Harry! How ever did you manage that feat?"
Harry looked at them surprised, having no idea what they were talking about.
"What is wrong with my eyes? My new meditation state didn't lave them purple or red or anything like that?"
Severus shook his head. "No that's not it. They're damn well twinkling. Just like Albus'. But he only gained the damn twinkle after he had defeated Grindelwald and had gained acces to his entire magical core. To be able to gain acces to your magical core at such a young age and only through meditation is certainly a very remarkable feat."
Harry was gaping at him slightly. "You mean I get to annoy people now by twinkling at them?"
Remus groanded loudly, and started banging his head on the table. Harry sounded way too cheerfull about that option.
Minerva chuckled, gave Harry another hug, and left the rooms for lunch in the Great Hall. She decided not to tell Albus about this. He could find out himself when he would watch Harry that afternoon. She wondered if she couldn't be there somehow when it happened, that would be fun. But no, she had a class to teach, too bad.
Remus and Severus quickly prepared lunch, as they had to get to classes soon. Remus then planted Harry in the wheelchair and put him at the table. This lunch Harry managed to eat all by himself. The only thing nearly going wrong was when he wanted to take a drink, and his hands couldn't hold on to the goblet. So Severus assisted him. It seemed the meditation had also helped him with his muscles slightly, as he seemed to move around easier.
However, Harry was soon asleep again, after a short trip to the bathroom. Quietly Severus and Remus left the room, knowing they wouldn't be back for another three hours.
Harry next awoke to soft humming coming from the kitchen. When he looked at the time, he noticed he had slept for two hours straight. Apparentely meditating was more tiring than he had guessed. The good thing was that he felt very rested by now. The humming grew slightly louder, and Harry wondered about it. Luckily he didn't have to wonder very long, as the bright blue robes tht came around the corner were telling enough. The Headmaster was here.
He wore bright blue robes, with small stars on it. The stars were slowly rotating and blinking slightly. Harry looked at them in wonder, annoyed he couldn't see everything very well because of the blindness in his one eye. He would need to look for a cure in the Room.
Albus noticed Harry was awake, and changed his route from the kitchen to his bed. "Hello my boy, And how are you today?"
Then the looked Harry in the eye, and saw the twinkle in it. His mouth fell open just slightly, and Harry had the pleasure of being one of very few people who could claim to have seen the Esteemed Headmaster of Hogwarts, speechless, and surprised all in one go.
His smile grew. "Hello Albus. I woke up from you humming, and I'm quite fine today, thank you."
Albus raised his eyebrows in pleasant surprise, and beamed down at the young man. "Hm, yes I was humming, as my hot chocolate is going to be ready in about five minutes. Would you like some as well?"
Harry nodded, suddenly hot chocolate sounded just great, even though it wasn't that cold outside yet.
"Splendid my boy. I wil just hop you to the couch, and we can enjoy our little snack together."
With a wave of his wand, he levitated Harry to the couch, completely forgoing the wheelchair. This made Harry wonder why the others didn't do it like this too.
When Harry was safely settled, Albus went back to the kitchen and soon a tray with hot chocolate and biscuits was coming out. "Just another moment Harry." Harry wondered why.
Then Albus came back in with the whipped cream. He put a big dollop on top of their hot chocolate and handed Harry his cup. Harry was worried he wouldn't be able to hold it up, but then he noticed the cup had been spelled to always hover at the right height. He would need to look up the charm for that.
Together they sipped their chocolate, and ate some biscuits. Then Albus started the questions Harry had been expecting.
"Tell me, my boy. How ever did you manage such a fast access to your entire magical core. Yesterday you didn't have it yet."
This was quite direct for the Headmaster, so Harry sat back for a moment in surprise. Then he tried to go and explain things to Albus.
"Well, I figured I needed a better way to protect my mind, and to help me learn magic more quickly, so I started reading about ways to do so. I read a lot about calming the mind, and clearing it, but the ways they described on how to do so never worked for me. It was as if there was something blocking me from the inside. I know it was not Voldemort, sir, but it felt as if my own magic was stopping me from doing this. So I researched muggle books to see if those methods worked. They worked better than the magical ones, but still not good enough.
So I decided to make a combination between muggle meditating, and clearing the mind the magical way. I had to change several things, before I felt I got it right. So I tried it out today, and it worked. I can feel magic inside me the whole time, and can feel it being activated in several places. Right now for instance it is working in my arm muscles, as I need to drink my chocolate before it's cold. And I'm pretty sure that when I need to do my excercises the magic will work on both my arms and legs. I do feel it is blocked with my blind eye, so perhaps I can do something about it myself. The part where my eye is feels distorted, and the magic is tangled and damaged there. Perhaps if I fix it slowly, I can gain back my sight by a simple potion."
After this story he fell silent wondering what Albus' thoughts were on this.
Albus stayed quiet for a while. "Perhaps you are right about your eye. There's no harm in trying it, after you have learned more about all your magic. I prefer you to concentrate on your muscles first. But you could do little repairs on the magic. And as for your magic blocking your attempts to gain access to it, I think I have heard more wizards say this. Perhaps our ancestry does have to do with this. I am a Pureblood and the magical ways to gain access to my magical core worked just fine for me. I do know most halfbloods have more problems with it, and most never get it, and I know for sure muggleborns never get the access needed. Most wizards, including myself I have to admit, believe it is because they just haven't the right magic for this. Yes, Harry, even I am prejudiced in this. It is rather difficult to overcome everything you have been raised by."
Harry nodded, he sure understood. It was very difficult to get free of the image the Dursleys had made him believe about himself.
"I believe you should write down your way on paper, and perhaps we have found the way to let everyone gain access to their magical core. Perhaps muggleborns should do it the muggle way with meditation, while the halfbloods should use your method. Of course, still not everyone will be able to gain access to all their magic, but they should be able to access more than they do now. We will offer this to the sixth and seventh year students if it really does work. What do you think Harry?"
Harry had to think this over. It did sound like a good idea, and if he could help others with it? "Yes it's a good idea sir."
With that they spend the rest of the hour playing Exploding Snap (which set Albus' beard on fire once) sipping hot chocolate, eating biscuits and just talking.
So when Remus and Severus came in it was to be greeted by a biscuit and chocolate, which they took with pleasure (albeit a bit of surprise as well).
Then Albus left them, to do those boring Headmastery things he said he just had to do.
Severus and Remus changed out of their teaching robes, and helped Harry to the bathroom because he really had to go. Then they left to the Room, where the last werewolves of the community would get the potion.
They were already waiting, and quickly Harry and Severus distributed the potion. They waited with making a new batch, as the Potion Mistress was expected by now.
And indeed she came. Escorted by Dobby the house elf, she strode into the Room, right towards Severus, who bowed slightly to her, and kissed her hand. She smiled at him.
"Bonjour Severus. Perhaps you can do the introductions?" Her voice didn't sound very French to Harry's ears, and later he would learn she originally was English as well.
"Very well Francisca. This young man is Harry Potter, and the other one is Remus Lupin, who teaches Defence here. Harry is the one who developed the potion."
Turning to Harry and Remus. "This is Francisca LeSage, Potions Mistress, and Potions teacher at Beauxbaton."
"Hello Ma'am." Harry murmered suddenly feeling a bit shy while in front of this impossing woman. For she looked imposing indeed. She was perhaps even taller than Severus (though not by much) and stood straight. She was thin, with a long body. She had piercing blue eyes, and dark brown hair with streaks of grey, which was an unusual combination in Harry's eyes. Her hair was done up in a long braid which fell down her back. She wore black robes, which were finely made, and showed of her family crest, as well as the Potions' Mastery signet. Her face was thin, with some wrinkles visible, but still feminine enough. However, her face changed when she smiled slightly at Harry.
"No reason to call me that young man. Francisca is fine by me. Especially if you have created this potion. Perhaps I should call you Mister Potter, as you have done something I haven't been able to do."
He blushed, and ducked his head. "No please, don't." He murmered, leaving Severus and Remus in an amused state.
Then Remus decided to help him out, and he bowed slightly to Francisca. "Welcome Francisca. We are glad you came so quickly."
She smiled at him. "Now I know you were once a werewolf, so perhaps you can show me the result of the potion?"
Smiling Remus turned into his wolf form, ran a few rounds, carefull not to touch anything, and changed back.
Francisca clapped in delight. "Wonderfull. I see you have done a very good job Harry. Shall we go over the process now, as I am quite eager to learn."
Harry's eye lit up in pleasure. He didn't know why he suddenly felt the urge to be so shy and silent around her, but perhaps it was her presence. However, if they were going to be making the potion, he would be more in his element.
So discussing the ingredients, the way it should be stirred, and the special cauldron with her they were soon bussy making the next batch of potions. Harry figured that it had a shell life of about two weeks, so they would make a batch every day, until the special cauldrons were finished (hopefully in a week) and then Francisca would be able to help a lot of werewolves in one go.
Remus entered the Room a few hours later, to get everyone for dinner, and noticed that it was the perfect time, as they were just cleaning up, because the potion had to simmer for twelve hours.
"Dinnertime, everyone. You have about ten minutes to clean up, before we have to be in the Great Hall. So I suggest you hurry up."
Severus quickly pushed the weelchair out of the Room, which Harry sealed of, and they walked quickly towards their room. Francisca walked along as well, since she was placed in an extra room that had been added.
After a refresing short wash, they were ready to go to the Great Hall. After they entered and found their seats, Minerva started talking with Harry about Albus' reaction, and was quite satisfied with hearing the result. She was also delighted to find out Harry might be able to heal his own eye. Severus and Francisca were talking about their lives, and of course, potions. Remus was just helping Harry eat, and occasionally entered their conversations.
After dinner, they were joined by a delighted Ron and Hermione. Hermione had to be pried of Harry's neck as she was so happy that he got his memories back, she nearly choked him by her hugging.
Francisca retreated to her bedroom, claiming the trip had tired her out. Remus and Severus seated themselves at the big table to start marking summerwork from the students, while Ron, Hermione and Harry sat on the couch. Hermione seemed to need a constant reminder that Harry was really remembering again, as she kept asking him about things (only nice ones mind you). Then they talked about their classes of the day, which included Potions.
Ron was very excited. "You should have been there Harry, it was great. First Professor Snape just came in calmly, and started to question us about last years work. He even told some of the Slytherins they had it wrong. Then he described in great detail how we had to make the potion, and why certain steps were necessary. Heck, I actually understood everything. Even Neville calmed down, though I still wonder how he ended up getting an E at his OWL's. And we will begin making the potion the next class, so we still have time to do more research. You know I don't like research, but it sure sounds interesting."
Ron had apparantly forgotten that Professor Snape was in the same room, because he kept on talking about it. Also how Draco Malfoy had lost points and got a detention for being a prat. Then Neville had earned points because he could describe several plants correctly.
Remus was looking and listening on in amusement. Snape wanted to interfere at first, afraid he would have to listen to his lesson being bashed, but was pleasantly surprised by Ron Weasleys talk. So Harry had been right, this way of teaching did work better. He smiled slightly to himself, and reminded that he would tuck Harry in that night, and would thank him then.
Hermione was glowing with pride at her boyfriend, as she hadn't forgotten Professor Snape was in the same room. And she would get the story from Harry, as she was sure he had something to do with this.
All in all the evening proceeded pleasantly for Harry, who was happy being tucked between his two best friends. He enjoyed their stories, their bickering, and helped them making homework. When curfew approached, Remus reminded them of it, and Hermione and Ron left, after giving Harry a hug (Hermione) and a few pats on the back (Ron). When they had walked out of the door, Harry yawned. He slumped slightly on the couch. All in all it had been a very tiring but pleasant day for him. His eyes flew open however (he hadn't noticed closing them) when he was lifted up in strong arms, and carried to his bedroom. Severus gently put him on the bed, and changed him into his pyjamas.
"It seems I need to thank you for your advice, little one."
Harry looked at him in wonder. He had never heard Severus speak to him like that, so soft, and caring. "Thank you for telling me how to improve my teaching skills, I must admit, Mr Weasley nearly gave me a heart attack admitting liking my class."
Harry laughed softly, he opened up his arms again, and Severus took him in a firm hug. "You're quite welcome Severus. It's nice to be able to help in such ways."
Severus ruffled his hair, and let him go again. He helped Harry to the bathroom again, and then tucked him into bed. When Harry was snuggled under the blankets, Severus decided to read some more from Harry's book 'the Complete Chronicles of Narnia', but he stopped after one page, as Harry had already fallen asleep.
"Don't worry Harry. I will let you help in any way you want. And I will help you and your friends as well."
He gave Harry a slight kiss on his forehead, and silently walked from the room. In the living room Remus was waiting for him.
"We're friends now too?"
Severus raised his eyebrow and just gave Remus a look.
Then he smacked him upside his head, and laughing walked away.
Remus stared after him, and just before he shut the door to his bedroom, he shouted: "I suppose that was a yes?"
His only answer was more laughter.
Smiling to himself, Remus also went to bed, feeling very happy about it all.