Title: Harry Potter and the Staff of Merlin
Author: Legolas-gurl88 (name change: Golden-Flute)
Disclaimer: All of the wonderful works are owned by J.K. Rowling, one of the greatest minds ever to have graced the planet. Thank you, J.K. Rowling!
Updated Note (PLEASE READ!):I am writing this note on April 19, 2013... just about eight or nine years after this story was first published. To this day, I continue to get reviews on this story and some of them are very nice and supportive (thank you!), while others are quite mean and rude. Before you start this story, I would like to remind you that this was written by an overly-angsty 16-year-old girl. I am now 24 and will be the first to tell you that, yes, this story is chalk-full of mistakes. To err is human. I know that sometimes the flow is off, the characters aren't in character or whatever- I WAS NOT PAID TO WRITE THIS. It's amazing how many people seem to be under the assumption that I was. It's a fan fiction; it won't be perfect. I hope, if this message hasn't deterred you from reading this story, that you look at the better qualities and just enjoy it as a 495-paged, single-spaced tale that I put my 16-year-old heart and soul into. However, if you're just an angry person who wants to take your life problems out on me by leaving a rude review, by all means, go ahead! However, please don't hide behind the anonymous 'Guest' option now available for reviewers. If you hide your name, I don't take you seriously, no matter what you have to say about me or my story, which I still stand behind, despite its faults.
1. Bad Dreams
The nightly scratching of the quill stopped as Uncle Vernon's footsteps could be heard as the large man made his way to the bathroom. Harry Potter peeked out from under the sheets that he lay beneath, doing his homework by flashlight. He saw Uncle Vernon's shadow move from under the crack in the door, finally halting on Harry's face as he lay quiet. Harry knew his uncle's ear was pressed to the door as he listened for a sign that his nephew was still in the room. Ever since Harry had escaped last year with the Order of the Phoenix, Uncle Vernon constantly checked that Harry was still there. The floorboards creaking and the disappearance of the large shadow announced Uncle Vernon's retreat to the bathroom.
Harry absentmindedly read over what he had written on the yellow parchment as he waited for the telltale sounds of a flush and the chafe of bed sheets on pajamas that heralded Uncle Vernon's grunting snores. Harry sighed when he heard Dudley's low grunts from the room next to his and vaguely listened to the noises, not wanting to return to the potion homework he was finishing for Hogwarts meanest teacher, Professor Snape. Instead, he closed his ink bottle, wiped his quill clean on a spare piece of parchment and set it down in the fold of his potions book before closing it, using the quill as a page marker.
As Harry blew at his essay to help the ink dry faster so he could put it away, he heard his snowy white owl, Hedwig, hoot from her cage as Harry shuffled around under the sheets. Obviously, he had woken the great bird up and she was not happy about it at all. Hedwig had been sleeping for a while, since she returned from delivering a letter to the Weasley's in a surprising bout of summer rain, which tired her greatly. Normally, she would have been wide awake.
Once the ink dried, Harry slipped the essay into the book as well, so the edge of the parchment touched the split in the book. Putting the stopper on the ink bottle (and being very careful not to spill any), he slipped out from under his covers and leaned over the edge of the bed so his head peeked under the bed. With great speed, he pulled the loose floorboard up and slid his book and ink into it before snapping it shut again. Harry pulled himself up and rubbed his stomach where the corner of the bed had dug into it. He didn't want to go to sleep; he wasn't tired in the least. Instead, he crawled to the end of the bed and opened his trunk.
Harry dug through the contents, pushing by the Firebolt, Sneakoscope, Invisibility cloak, robes and spare pieces of parchment before finding what he was looking for; a leather-bound book given to him by Hagrid, the Hogwarts Gamekeeper and Professor of the Care of Magical Creatures class. Silently, he flipped through the pages and pages of his parents. In every one, they smiled up at him and he felt tears reach his eyes. It was even more painful to face his parents' smiling faces since the tragedies of the last school year. He just wanted to forget, but then, if he really wanted to, why was he looking in this book? Finally, he found the picture he was looking for. It was one of his Godfather, Sirius Black, who had passed away at the end of the year. His death was still vivid in Harry's mind.
That, Harry supposed, was why he didn't like sleeping. Because his dreams nowadays, were nightmares, either of Cedric Diggory dying, Voldemort coming back, his parents' deaths and faces, Sirius's death and, worst of all, what Voldemort was doing and thinking.. Life had been made somewhat easier since Cornelius Fudge had finally agreed to the fact that Voldemort had returned. The Daily Prophet hadn't written any insulting articles about Harry; only ones about how he had seen Voldemort come back. What pained Harry the most was, on every paper, it read the same thing in bold letters;
SIRIUS BLACK, FUGITIVE MURDERER, STILL MISSING.
Apparently the Order of the Phoenix still wished to keep Sirius a secret, even in death, but it was probably all for the best. If anyone found out that Sirius was dead through one of the Order members, odd questions would soon be asked and they would all be caught. It's better this way, Harry thought to himself, although he always got a lump in his throat at the knowledge that Sirius had been so close- so close- to being proven innocent and he was still known as the 'fugitive murderer' who killed a dozen muggles and one wizard with a single curse. Harry missed his Godfather dearly. He also missed the tropical birds that often flew through his window to deliver letters from Sirius. The only one that was happy about the absence of the letters was Hedwig. She had always been reluctant to share her water dish with the beautifully plumed birds that often came to visit.
Putting away the album, Harry sat in his bed, wondering what to do next. He didn't want to sleep. It had been a while since he had. Sure, there had been a few dozes here and there, but Harry woke so often due to nightmares that he decided to give up sleeping altogether. Of course it was unhealthy, but when had Harry Potter been healthy-looking? When had he last had decent muggle clothes to wear outside of the house to make him look a little better built? Harry wished someone would come to visit. Even Mundungus Fletcher would be welcome, but Harry felt so cut off that he was willing to see any familiar faces from the magical world. Harry knew why he was being cut off; the rise of spies for Voldemort had increased two-fold since Harry's last encounter with him and the probability of the letters being intercepted had expanded as well. Harry had heard this from Ron, who said he heard it from his twin brothers, Fred and George. Apparently, Extendible Ears were back on.
Mrs. Figg hadn't come to visit and hadn't invited him to tea in a while. Harry supposed it was all as well anyway, because it might rouse suspicion with the Dursley's, and Harry might be cut off from taking strolls down to the park to sit on the swing and try to stay awake, when he could really be having a nice chat about the wizarding world over a cup of bitter tea and year-old biscuits. But the chance to do those things, even walk to the park, hadn't been able to happen since Harry got back. For one thing, Uncle Vernon wanted to keep such a close watch on Harry that he forbid him to leave the house. And two, Lupin had sent him a letter, telling him not to leave the house, no matter what. So, Harry was grounded. He had not left the house for two months.
Harry's eyes drooped suddenly and the urge to keep them open floated away as he felt the sweetness of dreams. No! Harry snapped open his eyes again. You mustn't fall asleep Potter! But the impulse to close them and sleep overpowered him. He slipped away into the dream world. Harry dreamed he was riding his Firebolt, trying to catch the snitch. The other team's player was gaining on the snitch as well, going faster than Harry. The snitch darted in the direction of Harry when it morphed into Neville Longbottom's Rememberall. It turned red and Harry paused to remember what he'd forgotten when it floated away from him and turned into the small orb with swirling mists that was the Prophecy. It flew into the opponent's hand and Harry could vividly see the face of his rival. It was Voldemort. The Dark Lord cackled, holding the Prophecy above his head in triumph and Harry stared at it. Inside the swirling mist, Sirius had his face pressed against the glass, trying to escape. Before he could get out, Voldemort squeezed the Prophecy and it burst into a thousand pieces, crushing Sirius…
Harry woke up, gasping for breath, a sheet of sweat covering his body and his scar giving a moment's pain. It was just a dream. Harry thought to himself. He stared around his room, positive that Sirius was going to appear from around a corner. When he didn't Harry sunk back into his pillows and stared at the clock. It was three o'clock in the morning, July 30th. Just one more day and he'd be sixteen. Sixteen. Harry could hardly believe his luck. He was, in a way, proud that he'd lived this long, what with all the threats that had been growing over the past five years. But the other side of him was sad. So many people had died in his place. His parents, Cedric Diggory, Sirius. He should have been the one to have died. Suddenly, Harry jumped as he heard a soft tap on his window. He peered out, expecting to see Errol or Pigwidgeon or some other owl. But his breath was caught in his chest as he saw the beautiful red and gold phoenix hovering outside. Fawkes!
Harry slid out of bed and walked lightly to his window and pushed it open. Fawkes swooped in and dropped onto Harry's bed, holding out his leg which had a yellow piece of parchment tied to it. Harry closed the window and walked to the bed, passing Hedwig who looked accusingly at Fawkes for stealing her master.
"Hello Fawkes," Harry said, approaching the bed and sitting down next to the phoenix and began untying the letter. Once the string was off, Harry unfolded it and two pieces of parchment fell from Fawkes's leg. Harry picked one and held it closer to the lamp to read what it said. It took his tired head several seconds to realize that it was upside-down and he had to turn it over. At the top of the parchment, it read;
O.W.L. examination test results- Potter, Harry J.
Harry became excited. His exam results were finally here! After several months of waiting, they were finally here. He turned his head to look at Fawkes and Hedwig, who watched him eagerly before directing his attention back to the letter in his hands.
Astronomy- A- Acceptable
Care of Magical Creatures- O- Outstanding
"Good old Hagrid," Harry whispered happily. Then, he read on;
Charms- O- Outstanding
Defense Against the Dark Arts- O- Outstanding
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. He was glad that in-class work hadn't counted for the exams, because if they had, Umbridge would have been sure to give him a T, for Troll.
Divination- P- Poor
"Who cares?" Harry said to the two birds accompanying him.
Herbology- A- Acceptable
History of Magic- A- Acceptable
Harry thought that was fair enough, as he had passed out that day and had to leave the examination early.
Potions- O- Outstanding
Harry felt very proud of this grade. If Snape had had it his way, Harry supposed he would have been packing his bags to leave Hogwarts forever. Harry turned his thoughts back to the last one;
Transfiguration- O- Outstanding
Silently, Harry read through his grades one last time, trying to remember which ones were passing and which ones were not. In the end, the only one he hadn't passed was Divination and that wasn't his favorite class in the world. Reading the list again, trying to imagine what Hermione and Ron had gotten, he remembered there had been one last letter. Harry set down his test scores and picked up the last letter. He saw the loopy handwriting and knew it was from Dumbledore himself. He unfolded the letter and read in a loud whisper;
I have several things to write to you about and I ask that you take them all seriously.
Your friends, Mr. Weasly and Miss. Granger are begging me to bring you here, (I trust you know where 'here' is) but I ask you to stay for about one more week and then, there will be time to bring you here saftley. Please, stay out of trouble, Harry.
Secondly, I trust you read your O.W.L. grades. They are very good (not including Divination, but you never enjoyed Professor Trelawney's different outlook on your life span, did you?). I also looked at the notes Professor McGonagall took, explaining what your occupation choice was for after Hogwarts. Might I be the first to congratulate you on your O.W.L. scores; they are high enough for you to continue on the road to becoming an Auror.
As I looked over the rest of the students' grades (with that handy note Miss. Granger had written out for your 'D.A. Meetings' sitting beside me) I was able to see that everyone whom had taken those lessons from you, achieved an 'Outstanding' or 'Exceeds Expectations,' even Mr. Longbottom. You must have been a very good teacher, Harry, to help everyone accomplish grades such as those.
This has brought me to my next topic to discuss with you; Defense Against the Dark Arts. Seeing the grades of the students and that you had helped teach them to Defend themselves from Dark Arts. I have come to the conclusion that Hogwarts needs a teacher like you, Mr. Potter. Therefore, I am offering you a part-time job, teaching the Sixth years (and only the Sixth years) Defense Against the Dark Arts, as a professor.
You would be allowed all the necessities of any teacher here. This means, you would have the privilege to give and take points (in class and for good reason ONLY!) and to give detentions (I very much doubt I need to remind you; in class and for good reason ONLY!) You would need to assign and correct homework aside from doing your own. If it becomes too much for you to handle, we can have the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for years 1-5 and 7 to take over for you. I cannot tell you any information about her, because, as reliable as Fawkes is, there is still chance of interception. You will meet her when you arrive, for she has joined the Order.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate you back on the Gryffindor Quidditch team as Seeker. It was a terrible punishment for Professor Umbridge to inflict on you, though I am still unimpressed with the way you handled the situation with Mr. Malfoy last year after the Quittitch game, so I have decided to give you back the spot. Mr. Weasley will have some big news for you when you arrive, I presume. However, it may be difficult to juggle Defense Against the Dark Arts and Quidditch at the same time, but if you feel you can do it, I have the utmost confidence in your ability to succeed. Remember, during the school year if you feel you are being too stressed, we can always give the other Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher the job. She is willing to do it if you should not. I have not told your friends about the offer I am giving you. I leave it up to you to tell them.
Best of luck in your last week at the Dursleys,
P.S. Do not send a reply! Talk to me when you arrive.
A terribly loud silence filled the room. Even the two birds were quiet as Harry finished the last sentence. Maybe it was just shock, tiredness or both that kept the room quiet for the next few minutes as Harry reread the letter to confirm what Dumbledore had written was true. In the end, it was all true- it was even written on paper! Him? A professor? The truth hadn't even sunk in yet, Harry was so shocked. Fawkes' soft chirrups seemed to come from miles away. In the end, Fawkes got his attention by biting down on his ear.
"Ow!" yelled Harry, clapping a hand to his right ear. Rubbing it, he looked at Fawkes who looked innocently back at him. "Oh, you want out, don't you?" Harry asked, understanding finally. In answer, Fawkes opened his wings and took flight across the room, landing on Harry's desk and causing pieces of parchment to go flying everywhere. Harry waited for a minute before getting up, making sure that the Dursley's were still asleep. The last thing he needed was to get in trouble as he was walking a very fine rope at the moment. Once the coast was clear, Harry stood up and tiptoed to the window. Before he opened it, he gave Fawkes a small pat on the head and whispered, "Thanks, Fawkes. See you in a week, alright?" The red bird twittered in farewell and spread out his wings again before taking flight, flying over the housetops. Harry watched him until darkness surrounded the phoenix and even after he had gone, Harry propped his elbows on the windowsill, setting his chin in his hands and looked out at the stars, twinkling in the darkness.
Then, he sighed again and returned to his bed, folding the letters and putting them under his bed in the floorboards with his potions homework. Before snapping it shut, he grabbed a quill and ink bottle, pulling them out and swiftly removing the ink stopper, dipping the tip of the quill into it and then moved it to the calendar on his wall. He circled August 5th, the day when he supposedly would be returning to Grimmauld Place. One week seemed ages from now and now that he had something to somewhat look forward to, it would take even longer to arrive. Harry wondered how Dumbledore was going to get him out, because as more years passed and the Dursley's became more familiar with means of travel, they couldn't be fooled as easily as when he was in his second year. In the end, Harry decided not to worry about it. This was Dumbledore he was talking about… Dumbledore would find a way.
Returning the quill and ink to their spots under the bed, he sat back up and swung his legs onto his bed and rested his back to the wall, staring unconsciously outside at the spot where Fawkes had recently disappeared to, hoping beyond hope that more owls would come. Yawning, Harry peered at the clock on his nightstand. It read 5:35 a.m. Aunt Petunia, who was usually the first person to be downstairs in the morning, wouldn't be up for another three and a half hours at the most. Until then, Harry would just keep staring into the abyss, waiting for the signs of life downstairs before entering the day world again, in complete silence, since he now knew the reasons he needed to be here. But that didn't stop him from feeling anger at the fact that all his friends, family, teacher and even the muggles could wander around without a care in the world. The attacks hadn't started yet, but they would start soon. Harry was sure of it. Until and after they did, he would be stuck indoors, unable to feel the freedoms of a normal human being and wizard. But he had never been normal. All his life, one thing or the other was pulling him away from normality.
Harry felt like a prisoner; a prisoner trapped inside himself where he couldn't escape.
Several hours later, the sizzle of a frying pan could be heard, announcing that morning- another trapped morning- had indeed arrived in the uneasy silence that had been growing, day after day.
Harry settled himself at the breakfast table, across from Dudley, watching as he stuffed his overlarge face with crispy, oily bacon and sausage and eggs, that Aunt Petunia had prepared as a congratulations for her son. He had now been on his diet for two whole years. Somehow, Harry believed that letting Dudley eat fattening foods for being on a diet was defeating the whole point of being on the diet in the first place, which had made little change anyway, so the whole thing had been pointless.
"Here," Aunt Petunia said shortly, pushing and orange and a few tiny pieces of sausage towards Harry before walking off and starting the coffee for Uncle Vernon. Harry ate without complaint; he was too tired to complain anymore about the lack of food he was receiving daily. Of course, his friends had sent him packages of food, but whenever Harry was in his room, Uncle Vernon checked that he wasn't doing anything so often that Harry didn't even get a change to pull a rapper off a sugarless nutrition bar from Hermione. By the time he finished the few sausages, Uncle Vernon had arrived, carrying the daily newspaper in his hand.
"Good morning, Vernon." Aunt Petunia said, walking to her husband and pecking him on the cheek. "Sugar in your tea today?"
"No, no thank you, Petunia." Uncle Vernon said, sitting in the chair to Harry's right and watched the two boys eat until Aunt Petunia gave him his own plate to stare at.
"This looks wonderful, Petunia. Any special occasion?" Uncle Vernon asked, taking a bite of the bacon as the oil dripped down his hand. Harry watched as the trail of grease made it's way to Uncle Vernon's expensive jacket sleeve, wondering if his uncle would catch it. Sure enough, Uncle Vernon wiped it away right before it touched the fabric. Harry smiled to himself; Uncle Vernon would probably put himself in the way to keep his suits clean, even if it meant jumping in front of a bullet to avoid a hole. Harry then became engrossed in thinking how far a bullet would have to go through Dudley before the fat of his body stopped it.
"Actually, Vernon, there is a special occasion," Aunt Petunia said, handing Uncle Vernon his tea, "Our Dinky Duddydums has been on his diet for two whole years now, poor thing." She clucked her tongue sympathetically. Harry's insides boiled with partial anger. The only one on the diet today was himself and he was the skinniest of the four. But, Harry accepted it. Just one more week and he would taste Mrs. Weasley's wonderfully cooked breakfast of eggs, toast, sausage, non-oily bacon, orange juice, porridge and so many other things that made Harry's mouth water then and there.
"Congratulations, Dudley, my boy!" Uncle Vernon said, clapping his son's arm, making it jiggle uncontrollably, causing Harry to lose his appetite. He pushed his plate away and stood up.
"Oh no you don't!" Uncle Vernon said, grabbing the back of Harry's shirt as he walked by, heading for the stairs, "We're celebrating so sit and be thankful that your aunt made this wonderful meal."
"Wonderful, is it?" Harry said coldly, "I couldn't taste anything. Maybe my portion was a bit too small."
"Don't you take that tone with me! You should be thankful we've let you stay here, even after you've been going to that school of yours for five years now!" Uncle Vernon said, his hand still closed on Harry's shirt. "Sit!"
"I've got better things to do than watch Dudley stuff his face for the next hour," Harry said. He tied to pull away from his uncle's grasp, but Uncle Vernon would not let go. His face was starting to turn beet red as it always did when he became angry and his eyes flared.
"Just because you can carry a stupid stick, does NOT mean that you are allowed to disobey my orders. SIT!"
"My 'stupid stick' has more power in it than one of your stupid drills could EVER carry!"
"SIT!" Uncle Vernon yelled. Anger had gotten the best of him so he was only able to utter one word. With a great force, he pulled at Harry's shirt, causing him to stumble backward and fall into the chair. Harry, then, had no choice but to sit at the table, watching as the other three talked cheerfully, as though he weren't there. He knew that Uncle Vernon really didn't want Harry there, as much as Harry didn't want to be there, but it was the only way Uncle Vernon could think of to keep an eye on Harry and make sure he didn't leave the house.
Closing his eyes, Harry thought over and over in his head, 'Just seven more days…'
How was that? Did you like the first chappie? I hope you did! Please, can you find it in your heart to review? Please? It would mean the world to me! Please? Okay, I'll update in a few more days. Until then, may friends be with you and broomsticks be in your dreams!
April 17, 2005- I have re-posted this chapter five times now for several different reasons. The past two times, I have been trying to get the underlining to stop on this chapter. It won't stop, no matter what I do, so I'm hoping that this time, it will be fixed. You need not review to me just to say that it's not. It gets annoying to have tons of people tell me. I know, okay? If it doesn't fix itself, I'm sorry and I'll try to get it done, but please stop badgering me, right? Thank you.
By the way, the History of Magic grade is exactly how I want it. Nothing in the book says that Harry only answered one question. It says so on page 725 of the American version of 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'. There is no real way of telling how many questions there even were on the exam. So please stop badgering me about the grade. I think it was fair, just as Harry did.
PLEASE REVIEW… nicely!