Disclaimer: I make no claims on the Potterverse
AU Post OotP Some elements of HBP but not HBP compliant, summer before 6th year.
This is my NaNoWriMo project for Nov 2005 unfortunately I only achieved a little over 40,000 words. This story is finished.
Harry Potter was roaming the halls of Hogwarts alone late in the night again. As he had for the last few nights, tomorrow he would leave for the Dursley's once more; he was not looking forward to it.
It was a waste of time.
Sirius's death and the revelations from the Headmaster had made Harry realize that he needed to learn how to defeat Voldemort. It truly was his responsibility to save the Wizarding world.
His talk with Luna earlier in the evening made things clearer. He had to do it for Sirius but being stuck at the Dursleys wouldn't help. Maybe he should steal some books from the library. He snorted to himself Hermione would be horrified but he needed to know how to destroy Voldemort. Harry leaned up against one wall. Thinking fiercely 'I needed to know!'
The wall behind him dissolved and Harry fell backwards into a room he didn't know was there. As Harry regained his feet and began to look around the small study a voice spoke.
"Welcome young one, you must have a great thirst for knowledge to find your way to my chamber." The voice came from a portrait above the mantel.
Harry gazed in shock at the picture, "You-- You're a founder, Rowena Ravenclaw. I've seen your picture in Hermione's book. I didn't think there were any portraits of you here."
"You're not one of my Ravens are you child? What house are you in?" asked Rowena smiling.
"I'm a Gryffindor, I'm Harry Potter, I'm please to meet you ma'am," said Harry remembering his manners.
"So, little lion, how is it that you've found my chamber? Only those with a true thirst for knowledge and a need to learn have been led to my study."
"I need to learn how to kill a dark wizard or he will end up killing me and probably all my friends." Harry blurted to the kindly looking woman in the portrait. Then he dropped his gaze. Expecting to hear her tell him he didn't belong in her study, or to leave it to the adults to handle.
"Ah, my little lion and if I tell you how, will you rush right out to slay this dark wizard? Will this dark wizard's death truly be the end or will it just perpetuate the violence? Will his friends think you are the dark wizard? Would a duel truly solve your problem with this dark wizard? Or would you strike at him from the shadows?" asked Rowena, "perhaps you should tell me of this conflict and why you, my little lion must be the one to protect your friends."
Harry looked up at the portrait and took the seat she gestured to and began to tell his tale.
"So you see the prophecy says I have to be the one to kill him or die trying and if I knew more, if I wasn't so stupid, Sirius wouldn't be dead. I'm afraid; if I don't kill him soon more of my friends will die. I can't let that happen. I just can't."
Harry felt as if a massive weight had been lifted from him. Telling the tale to Rowena Ravenclaw had been easier than he thought it might be. She had made noises of shock and outrage had asked questions to clarify things and now he sat waiting for a verdict. Waiting to find out if she could help him.
"My little lion you are always welcome here in my study. You must come every evening and learn from my shelves. We will find away for you to vanquish your foe."
"I'm leaving for the summer in the morning," he reminded her.
"Then you must take some study materials with you, young lion." She gave a little laugh. "I was a lazy creature in life, young lion, I greatly tired of walking to the library each time I needed to do a bit of research. The shelf behind my desk is enchanted. It will call forth any book that lies within Hogwarts, well any book that isn't directly warded against my magics. Godric grew annoyed when I read his journal and taunted him about it." She laughed again.
"Do you know the copying spell my little lion?"
"Just the one that does one page at a time," replied Harry.
"So first stand in front of the shelf, little one. You must request the type of book you want if you do not know a specific title," she said
"Like, I want a book on quidditch?" Harry was surprised when the entire shelf filled with books. Rowena laughed again.
"More specific request I think, young lion. Tell the books to 'return' then request a book containing 'copy spells for books'."
"Why can't I just take the one from the shelf, ma'am?" asked Harry.
"The person it belongs to might miss it."
"I see, 'return'" the quidditch books vanished, "I need a book with a copying spell for books in it." Harry said to the shelf. Three books appeared. The first one Harry picked up was titled 'Book Safe Spells for Books'. Harry thumbed through and found a spell to copy the entire text of a book regardless of copyright wards. Rowena agreed that was the spell to use. He copied that page on to a parchment from the desk and started to return the book to the shelf when Rowena stopped him.
"Perhaps young lion you should practice on the one you have out. The next shelf over with all of the blue books, yes that one, they are blank. You must promise to bring back blank journal books when you return to refill my supplies for the next knowledge seeker. Now place the empty book over the one you wish to copy. Yes that's right. You have the wand movement and the incantation? Good now do it," came the instructions from the portrait.
Harry did as he was told. Took a moment to concentrate and then with a wave from his wand and a muttered, "xeroxis totalis" had copied the book to the new journal. Flushed with success he thumbed the new copy and then thrust the original onto the shelf and muttered, "return".
"So what do I need to study do you think ma'am?" asked Harry setting aside the first copied book.
"You said you had trouble learning mind magic's from your Professor Snape, perhaps a you should ask for a text on that. You mentioned underage magic isn't allowed, what about wandless magic? Are there specific things you'd like to learn young lion, which have not been offered in your course work. Perhaps you could learn the theory behind the ward that guards you so that you can argue for your release from an informed point of view." Then Rowena glanced off to one side of her portrait.
"The castle is wakening young one you'd best hurry, you've not more than an hour or two before you must leave here."
Harry nodded and began to request books on a variety of subjects. He thumbed through the offered texts. Copying some, replacing others and refining his search.
Two hours later Harry had a stack of books to take with him. From the first book he found a spell that allowed him to shrink them to pocket size with a re-expansion charm that would active on a word command and not show a use of magic. It would allow him to carry them in his pocket and expand them once he was home in the privacy of his room just in case his uncle locked up his trunk.
"I'll come and see you as soon as I get back in September," Harry promised.
"You must lay your hand on the wall, young lion, and say the words 'I seek the knowledge of Ravenclaw' and you will find me again," said Rowena with a smile.
When Harry left to room he found himself in a small side hall just down from the main entrance to the library. He looked back at the door but it wasn't there. It was a section of blank wall between a statue of a raven and a painting of a young girl in a library. Harry nodded happily yes he'd be able to find it again.
As Harry ran to the common room to prepare for the day he made the decision not to tell his friends about this. He was not ready to share the prophecy with them and telling them about Ravenclaw, well somehow he knew it would be best in his best interests not to share that information or Hermione would make him bring her here before the train left.