Disclaimer: Harry Potter and other canon characters belong to JKR I'm only having some fun
Chapter 12: Training
Department of Mysteries: Potions Lab.
Potion Master Newell was flummoxed, never before had the Animagus Revealer shown someone as a Flobberworm, he lifted down another vial from the batch they had used and took it over to the analysis bench. He checked the batch no. against his records revealing the name of the brewer, no problem there, Nobel had been brewing potions for years and was due to be promoted to Master Brewer at his next staff appraisal.
Carefully he took a sample of the liquid and put it in a sterile petrie dish, he cast the analysis spell and drew a magical line to an auto-quill (similar to a quick-quote quill but enchanted to write the ingredients of an analysed sample) which was set up on a sheet of parchment. All the ingredients were there and in the correct proportions, another dead end.
Newell decided to brew the potion himself, he gathered all the ingredients, making sure he used samples from the same jars as his colleague. He carefully brewed the potion, normally he would have brewed it from memory but today he used the potion book.
As he let the potion brew he read the text that explained how the potion worked, then on the last line he read, 'This potion is normally free from side effects, however three percent of the Magical population may suffer from an allergic reaction to the Flobberworm mucus. In such cases, a potion brewed using the saliva of the drinker in place of the Flobberworm mucus should be used. Anyone showing no Animagus form should be tested using the same recipe.'
DoM Training Area.
Newell approached the instructor in charge of Harry and Hermione's training, "I've found a possible problem with the Animagus potion, we need to get a sample of their saliva and brew a person specific potion for each of them."
"Okay, but they are due in the lab this afternoon, how about letting them brew their own?"
"Good thinking, Batman, but don't tell them."
"Fine, but just because my name is Bruce Wayne, don't call me Batman!"
"You love it really" said Newell as he walked off to the sound of Instructor Wayne muttering what sounded like "Insufferable Muggleborns."
Harry and Hermione had been given their training schedule and it puzzled them, they had more training hours than there were hours in the day. When it was explained that the training area was under a time dilation spell all became clearer. Their eight hour day would give them the equivalent of eight days training. They were worried about the effect that this would have on them but were assured that the potions they would use to build their stamina and muscles would protect them from premature ageing.
Instructor Wayne had informed them that his name was Sir (complete with capital S) until they proved themselves worthy. They themselves would not be referred to by their own names within the Department again. Harry would be known as Jade and Hermione would be Amber. It was explained to them that this was so that no one could accidentally give out information on them. Only Moody and those that interviewed them would know their real identities. One other exception would be their Hogwarts contact.
Hermione asked why they hadn't been tested for Ancient Runes or Arithmancy the previous day, the answer was simple, to be Field Operatives they didn't need that knowledge, they could however, be given basic instruction if they completed other academic training ahead of schedule.
The Potions Lab.
Jade and Amber went into the Potions lab, they couldn't believe their eyes, it was well lit and the benches were free from the battle-scars the Hogwarts benches bore. They were given the recipe from Newell and he sat back and watched them.
After five minutes he stopped them and said. "Right, you two, lets get back to basics, I see Severus is teaching non-Slytherins to his usual standards. Did he explain why ingredients must be cut to exact lengths? Or how important it is to clean your knives between ingredients? Or why certain ingredients can't be cut on the same surface?"
At the shaking heads he sighed. "No bloody wonder we can't get decent Brewers, that man is a menace to Wizarding society. Did you know he holds special tutorials for the Slytherins so they know what to do? I don't care what strings Dumbledore pulls, that man should be forbidden to teach anything more complicated than making tea."
Very quickly he instructed them in the proper use of knives and ingredient grinders and started them brewing their potions. He watched over them, Harry found this disconcerting to begin with, especially when Newell would occasionally stop him and correct what he was doing. In time he found it reassuring, he wasn't being abused by his instructor, but being encouraged, his errors were being gently corrected and being explained to him. By the end of the session he was enjoying his brewing and was delighted that his potion was perfect.
Hermione being the precise person she was didn't need as much help but deep inside was angry that information on proper brewing had been withheld from her.
After the potion had cooled they were instructed to swallow it, Harry swallowed his down and waited, twenty seconds, nothing, thirty seconds, nothing, forty seconds and he felt a tingling in his left arm, he looked down, it was transforming into a silver and black furry leg, the process speeded up and he found himself on all fours on the floor, someone put a mirror in front of him, he looked at his reflection, he was a wolf.
The tingling started again, and he heard those in the room gasp, he had changed into a stag. The tingling started a third time and he was a black mutt. He changed back to his human form and lay on the floor gasping. Forrest and Bond who had been watching looked at each other and nodded.
Hermione had been thrilled to see that Harry had a wolf Animagus form, then when he changed to the stag, she almost stopped breathing, when he changed to the mutt she had to sit down. She drew him a 'we'll talk about this later Mister Potter' look and prepared to take her own potion.
Almost immediately she felt a tingling in her left arm, she looked and saw it begin to transform into a furry leg, the process speeded up and as she looked around from her position on the floor she saw a wolf reflected in a mirror. The still-human part of her brain asked itself why Harry was back in his wolf form and then she realised, it was her. She was a she-wolf. Immediately her brain rationalised it, the leader of the pack may be the Alpha-male, but his greatest protector was the Alpha-female, as she was pondering this she changed back to her human form.
They were called into Commander Bond's office. "Well, Jade, any explanations?"
"My father was a stag Animagus, but you probably knew that from his files. My Godfather, Sirius Black, was a black dog, similar to the form I took. Their other friend, Remus Lupin, who is now one of my advisors, is a werewolf. When I was about a year old I was discovered copying Sirius' form when he was teasing me. The following day I was found copying my father. I recently found a journal my mother had written with a description of my transformations. They asked Dumbledore to bind my magic because my 'Accidental Magic' was getting to be not-so-accidental. He was supposed to gradually lift the block when I reached eleven-years-old, but he didn't. The block wasn't released until I claimed my place as Head of the House of Potter. This is one of the reasons I have stopped trusting him, without the block I would've been able to learn things easier."
"Fine, we want you to practice all three forms, start with the wolf and make it your main one, Dumbledore may recognise the other two forms and suspect who you are. Your scar doesn't show in any of your forms, the only giveaway is your eyes, we'll need to teach you a glamour to make them more natural. Other than cats, animals just don't have green eyes. We'll see if we can do anything with your scar, you'll need to be able to disguise it for going undercover."
"Okay, Amber, nice form it's quite unusual for couples to have similar forms, but as you know the she-wolf is the protector of the pack and wolves are extremely loyal animals. I think your form is a symbol of your loyalty to Jade. Tomorrow we start on the transformation lessons, you will be qualified in a week."
"Sir, I thought Animagi training took longer than that?"
"It does if you don't do it our way, now eight hours rest and on with the training."
Over the next three weeks they did the equivalent of just over two and a half years training. They learned to cast silently and wandlessly, Harry broke new ground in a practice duel with Moody, while casting verbally with his wand he also cast silently with his hand, winning a duel against the old master for the first time.
The Department Heads were amazed, one, that he had the audacity to try it and two, that he had actually managed it. Hermione was first angry that he hadn't told her, then annoyed that he hadn't shown her first and then frustrated that no matter how hard she tried she couldn't do it.
Harry tried to explain what he was doing to everyone, but no one could make the breakthrough.
Their training had sharpened not only their skills and minds, their bodies were now in peak condition. To begin with they had used potions to help with stamina and strength, but as time passed they didn't need them as they became toned and honed. They weren't muscle-bound but they didn't have a spare ounce of fat on them.
The time spent outwith the training rooms kept them grounded, as did the time they spent with Hermione's parents and Remus. They had also had a weekend with Ron and Ginny at Potter Manor. They used glamours all weekend so they didn't look any different than they should.
The day before the O.W.L. results were due to arrive, Jade and Amber were sent out on a training mission. They were to infiltrate the Wizarding Examination Authority office and check out their own files. Unknown to the pair, the Unspeakables Operative in the W.E.A. office had overheard Dumbledore bribing one of the clerks to alter their results.
An appeal against an awarded O.W.L. mark was possible, but it had to be made through the Headmaster. Dumbledore's plan was to only allow the appeal if they agreed to split up and Harry to sign on as his apprentice, the carrot to be dangled in front of Hermione was the Head Girl position next year and unrestricted access to the library for the remainder of her stay at Hogwarts.
At lunchtime the following day and under cover of their Goblin concealment cloaks, they made their way to the Atrium of the MoM, while Harry spoke to the Wizards on the Security Desk, Hermione cast wandless charms on them to make them forget to check their wands.
As they walked through the building, people stepped out their way but couldn't quite remember why, only that they needed to be as far away from the couple as was possible.
Jade scanned the room beyond the door and found it to be empty, Amber cast a wandless 'Alohamora' and opened the door while Jade cast distraction wards round the door, anyone trying to enter would have a sudden impulse to empty their bowels and hurry off to do so.
Jade was aware of someone watching them work, and cast a ricochet charm on the corridor walls followed by a tickling hex, he heard Moody snort as he tried to conceal his laughter, and slipped in the open door.
Very quickly the pair searched the room, located their files and found the letters that were due to be sent out. They were disgusted by what they saw, all of their marks had been altered to show that they had passed with the minimum pass mark. They had discussed what their options were and followed through. Each letter was charmed so that it would show the false marks for the next twenty-four hours, (including the copies that would be sent to Hogwarts) and then show their true marks. This would mean that when Dumbledore read the letters, it would seem that his plan had worked, but when Professor McGonagall read them before sending out their course choice letters their true marks would show.
They finished their work quickly and made their way back to the DoM where they were met by a slightly disgruntled Moody.
"I suppose you think that was clever?" Growled the Master Auror. "How can I assess you if you don't let me see what you're doing?"
"How can we expect to receive a good assessment if we let someone watch us without us letting them know we've spotted them?" retorted Jade. "If I'd let you off scot-free you would've berated us from here to eternity for not being 'Constantly Vigilant', am I right, or am I right?"
"Okay, Jade, point taken. Well done, now it's time to meet your Hogwarts' contact. Any messages will be passed through your contact unless it is an emergency, follow me."
Not knowing what to expect, they followed Moody into a room, they could see someone sitting on a chair with their back to them, there was something familiar about the person, but neither of them could actually put a finger on it.
The person rose and turned to face them, their jaws dropped as they recognised the man before them, Argus Filch! But this wasn't an Argus Filch that a Hogwarts student would recognise, he was smartly dressed and well groomed, the sneer was gone and a genuine smile graced his face, all in all he was quite a handsome man.
"Potter, Granger, welcome aboard." said Filch, "You will of course realise that I'm not a Squib, but it is my cover, please be careful of it. Now, you need to meet someone else." He pointed to his mangy cat and said. "Meet Mrs. Filch, or as you know her, Mrs. Norris."
At that the cat transformed into woman. "If you need to get a message to Argus in a hurry, send it to me with Crookshanks, he really is a most remarkable feline for a half-Kneazle. If you didn't realise, I am a Kneazle Animagus, not a cat, the fur is the give away if you need to distinguish between the two."
The four sat and discussed signals and arranged 'dead letter drops' for passing information. Harry and Hermione realised why Mr. Filch seemed to be magically linked to his 'cat', he actually was.
Albus Dumbledore smiled as he read through the O.W.L. results he had received from the W.E.A. it had worked. Potter and Granger would bow to the pressure to get their results reinstated, Potter would be his Apprentice and Granger was so goal orientated that she would accept so she could be Head Girl, he was so sure of himself.
One thing puzzled him, the pair had been spotted regularly in Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Stonehenge, Avebury and even at Tintagel Castle, the legendry home of Arthur Pendragon. But whenever he or one of his Order members had turned up, they were gone, it was like he was chasing shadows, little did he know he actually was.
The DoM were using 'Potter sightings' as training missions. Some of them were genuine sightings but ninety percent were Unspeakables under either Polyjuice or glamour charms. They were enjoying giving the MoB (Manipulative old Bastard as they had tagged him) the run around, it was distracting him and keeping him from looking deeper into what Jade and Amber were actually doing, as well as keeping both the Order and the Death Eaters running about like headless chickens.
McGonagall's Office: after O.W.L.s.
Minerva McGonagall was shocked, she had just received replies from her two favourite students, and when she opened the envelope, two Prefect badges had fallen onto her desk.
Ron had lost his post as Prefect due to him being ineffective in his post and failing to pass enough of his O.W.L.s with high enough grades, and she had offered the position to Harry, as she had wanted to originally.
She had been shocked that they had sent their replies in the same envelope but even more surprised that they had written a joint letter explaining their decision to decline the offer of being Prefects.
Dear Professor McGonagall,
It is with deep regret that we have to decline your kind offer of being Gryffindor Prefects for the coming year. While we have the utmost respect for you, and are proud of being members of Gryffindor House, due to Professor Dumbledore's interference in our lives, we can't accept any position of authority under him.
We are willing to discuss our reasons with you when we return to Hogwarts.
Hermione Granger and Harry Potter.
Update on the Dursleys.
Since her driving ban, Petunia had slipped deeper and deeper into self-pity, she found herself in agreement with Vernon, it was all the freak's fault. She had visited Vernon in hospital, but was only allowed to see him for fifteen minutes per visit and the first time she wasn't happy at not being allowed to see him without a male nurse being present. This lasted right up to when he started foaming at the mouth and shouting about freaks.
The brandy bottle took a large hit when she received a letter from a solicitor representing Vernon's ex-secretary, Vernon had been named as the father of her unborn baby, and she was suing him for maintenance. Petunia was suddenly thinking divorce, she should have known that he was screwing his secretary, after all, that was how she got him.
Vernon's days were simple, he was woken, washed, dressed, fed (a strictly controlled diet) sedated and put back into his bed. He was too volatile to be allowed to mix with other patients, every minute of the day he was watched over by large male nurses. No one could understand what was happening to him, every time it seemed he was gaining some sense of normality, he started foaming at the mouth and shouting about freaks taking over the world.
Hestia Jones was taking great delight in winding up the fat Muggle. She had let slip to her friend Tonks what she had been doing and between the two of them they were keeping the pot stirred.
The Psychiatrist in charge of his case had diagnosed him as being paranoid, a danger to himself and others and had recommended that he be held in hospital under the Mental Health Act.
Dudley couldn't quite understand what had happened to him, his mother had visited and told him that his father was in hospital, 'under observation' were her words. She couldn't bring herself to mention it was a Psychiatric Hospital.
He had made two more appearances in Court, during the first one he had pled 'Not Guilty'. To his horror, he had been sent back to his Remand Centre. He was not a happy camper, although he was physically bigger than anyone else, he was nearer lapdog than top dog. The top dog used him as muscle, of course all this was noted by the staff and went on his permanent record.
His last appearance in Court had brought his world crashing round his shoulders, the evidence against him was relentless, even the LWC gave evidence against him. They claimed he had bullied them into everything they had done. Some careful coaching by their parents mixed with crocodile tears, and Dudley was doomed.
Three years Youth Custody, name on the Sex Offenders Register for ten years, life was a lemon, it sucked.
That night he found what it was like to be someone's bitch. As a sex offender he was the lowest of the low in the youth prison he had been sent to. His new owner was even larger than him, but what was fat on Dudley was muscle on his large roommate.