Magical Loops 5
Disclaimer: I don't own this series or any other series. I am just floating an idea. I am making no money, nor plan to, off this venture. If you think of suing me over this, then grow up.
This group is based on a Groundhog's Day concept, if time was looping, and certain members were aware of this.
These are their insanities.
Also, just found out I am to be a new father for the first time. With OT from work, sorry for the delay.
New Loop #1:
He had been correct. Once again, Dumbledore had acted as predictable as expected, making several attempts during the trip and the resultant time between the Monday meeting and when Harry had left for the field trip. No less than three attempts to get him lost to damage his faith in the school, five attempts to turn the teachers against him, and two attempts to 'convince' the staff at the school that Harry would be better elsewhere.
Amazing how many people didn't check for wards to prevent such acts.
Therefore, here he was, once again getting dressed for the morning, prepared for the latest attempt for Albus to convince him to go to Hogwarts. He knew the usual tale, honed from constant attempts to make him choose Hogwarts over other magic schools. They would say how Hogwarts was the best school in the world—despite never placing in the ICW's independent school review's top twenty. They would say how his parents had planned for it—ignoring that they had also probably planned for a long life, so plans can change. They would try to appeal to his sense of duty, revealing the tale of the Boy-Who-Lived, forgetting that as Muggle-raised, it would mean nothing to him.
And Harry was prepared to debate those points, one after the other. Harry had plans, had no reason to return to the magical world at this time. If he was famous and rich, surely he could hire tutors to help him at his own pace, without leaving Ashford School. And since Hogwarts—in fact, many of the schools in the so-called Old World—didn't have any classes geared towards those wishing to advance in the Muggle World as well, he would have to give up much to attend Hogwarts.
And as to his parents? After a few comments about how low-brow it was to try and use them to sell the school, he would point out that first and foremost, they would want him to be happy, even if that meant he didn't attend the school they had 'planned' for.
"What do you want now?" he heard his Aunt bellow downstairs. Thankfully, Vernon was at work, Dudley was visiting Aunt Marge, and soon, Aunt Petunia would be running out to go to some afternoon tea/gossip some neighbor was hosting, and thus he would be left alone with whomever Dumbledore brought this time.
He did wonder who would be included this time. With none of his attempts—for the greater good, of course—to guide Harry to Hogwarts, working, he would need to pull out the stops. Would he bring friends of his parents? Remus? Would he have sped through a trial for Sirius, hoping that some legal maneuvering would give him a friendly guardian to say to Harry, "Trust us, Hogwarts is for the best, now off you go!"?
He had tried them all before. Everything from emotional blackmail to revealing that he was still on some 'hit lists', to even having Severus drop a few hints, and show up in time to save Harry Potter. Though in the latter, emotional blackmail would usually arrive. "Sorry, Harry, but remember, the deaths of those they got to, trying to get you, was not your fault."
Although, it usually did produce a smile to see Albus arrive with the cavalry to 'save the day', only to find several dead or dying Death Eaters—sorry, innocents who were mind-controlled once again—and Harry just tapping his foot, ready to point out that Albus's protections 'sucked'.
Straightening his tie, he turned from the mirror and prepared to head downstairs. It was time to break the dreams of others, thanks to the amazing super powers of Logic and Common Sense, the kryptonite of wizards.
Besides, he had inroads to make. Some of those private school girls could grow into some major hotties.
New Loop #2:
Blinking, the tired form of Sirius Black III, Marauder and supposed Secret Keeper of the Potters, looked towards the bars of his cell, spotting… "James?"
"Nope, Harry!" the boy smirked.
"… I've finally gone balmy."
"Now be serious, Sirius," Harry admonished. "If you were insane, you're in Azkaban. So if you went insane here, wouldn't you … I don't know, think you were nude, in bed with Snape, feeling sore on your bottom?"
"… If I had any food, I'd vomit now."
"Aren't you going to ask how your godson got into Azkaban to see you?" Harry asked.
"Not really," Sirius stated. "Since I'm apparently insane, I figure asking questions won't be of much help."
"See, this is why I like the Lovegoods; they are professional in their insanity.
"But since you won't ask, I'll do the decent thing and tell you.
"See, someone told Amelia Bones, the current head of the DMLE, that someone was breaking into Azkaban to silence Sirius Black before any secrets of Moldyshort's could be discovered, such as safe houses, supplies, spells, and foreign supporters."
"Who told or who is breaking in?"
"I told, and I sort of 'forced' the enforcer of the Dork Lord to show up."
"Because the Dementors so rarely get to play ball, considering they prefer to have human souls in them."
Curious about what his demented mental figment was talking about, Sirius stood up and approached the door. Luckily, his cell was at the end of a hallway, affording him the stunning view of the rest of the cells.
He blinked in honest surprise, spotting a group of Dementors tossing around… "Is that a rat?"
"Oh yes, tragic story," stated Harry. "Fearful about rumors that you might be questioned by Mad-Eye Moody and Bones, Wormtail decided to resurface and silence you before you could be questioned."
Sirius's growl rose in pitch as he feebly tried to yank open the cell doors.
"Sirius, think for a moment," cautioned Harry. "Now, you could kill him, or leave him to be the ball in the Dementor version of catch."
Sirius stopped struggling, but continued to glare at the rat-ball. "Why doesn't he change?"
"For one, the Dementors might try and Kiss him. And two, I invoked a little-known ward in the scheme around here that prevents animagus transformations, at least until Moody and Bones get here. If I know Fudge, he'll be along with some Aurors of his own to dose you and ask some questions.
"Pity he won't like those answers," Harry mused. "And to happen when Lucius was out vacationing as well," Harry mused.
"This is one hell of a dream, Pup," Sirius muttered.
"Oh, I need you to sign these as well," Harry replied, handing Sirius several forms and a self-inking quill. "And do hurry, my wards to alert me to their arrival just tripped."
"And what are these?"
"Well, sadly, because your time here, you're not quite ready to assume the mantle as Head of House. So, you must sadly release that to your Godson to bring matters up to snuff while you are seeking treatment. I heard they had a nice hospital to deal with Dementor exposure in southern France, oddly right next to a Veela community."
"Really?" asked Sirius.
Harry nodded. "You'll also be seeking treatment in New Orleans, in America, where the medical professionals will need me there to authorize a few things, say around the time of Mardi Gras."
"So, aside from ensuring I get the best professional help available to give me some happy memories and recover from this trauma—"
"May take years, even," Harry muttered sadly.
"… What do you get?"
"As Temporary Head of House Black, I can nullify the marriage of Bellatrix and Rodolphus, for sadly; they have not produced an heir. Not likely to, given their both here with life sentences.
"Luckily, I can absorb their vaults, and use their funds for better things. I've spotted a nice couple of Muggle orphanages that are in the need of funding."
Sirius was barking in laughter as he quickly signed the forms. "Oh, this is a wonderful mental break!"
"I am quite real, Padfoot."
"Then explain how you know all this," Sirius stated, handing his godson the paperwork.
Harry shrugged. "Prophecy and time looping," Harry replied, preparing to drop the ward. "I've got more notches on my wand than you're about to get."
"Really?" asked Sirius.
Harry smirked. "Trust me, all women love a guy who is a Parselmouth," he spoke with a perverted leer.
"See you later, Padfoot," Harry stated, activating a portkey as Wormtail returned to his human form.
"I still find this all hard to believe," Sirius said, sipping at a drink his Godson had told him to 'drink two and call me in the morning'.
Harry—thanks to an aging potion to legally get into the bar—just smiled from beside his godfather. "So you think the Dementors would make you see this?"
"… Well, the time loops, my brother, Dumbledore…" he trailed off.
"There you two are!"
Turning, they spotted Remus advancing towards them. "Sirius, you are supposed to be in the hospital!"
"Hey, orders from my doctor, Doctor Feelgood," Sirius smiled, holding up his flute of beer.
"And why is Harry old enough to pass for Prongs, post-Hogwarts?"
"Because amazingly, birds won't flash you if you're eleven," Harry replied, sipping his own mixed drink.
Remus just sighed. And to think, he was the one Albus had insisted go with Harry to keep him out of trouble. "The Headmaster will not like this."
"Oh, I'm sure of that," Harry smirked, quickly handing a topless lady a few bead necklaces. "Luckily, we are simply here to comfort Padfoot until the local medical professionals inform us he is in no danger of passing on."
Sirius nodded. "Yes, though I do fear bouts of this issue reoccurring."
"Damn it, Padfoot," Remus muttered.
"And now," called the stage announcer, "let's begin the first Miss Prongs Competition!"
"Sorry, Sirius, used some of the Black accounts for this," Harry replied.
Sirius just wiped away a tear. "Your father would be so proud… Your mother, well, before she'd kill your father and us for corrupting you."
"Us?" asked Remus.
"Come now, Mooney; Lily wouldn't think me or James would be smart enough to pull this off. So of course she'd blame you for—wow, things are bigger in America!"
"Padfoot, focus! We should—DAMN!"
Harry just smirked. "I love vacation Loops!" he cheered, as he caught the thrown top.
New Loop #3:
Well, it wasn't as if he hadn't expected this. He knew it was going to happen after he started to finalize everything, had told the Weasleys and Hermione, Padfoot and Mooney, everyone who was important.
It figured that no response would have occurred until after he had received the transfer acceptance letter from Salem School of Magic.
So now, he stood before the doorway to the kitchen of Grimmauld, waiting for them to call him in. Oh, he wondered what plans they would try, threats and hints they would make, trying to get him to attend Hogwarts for a Fifth Year.
Yeah, like I want to start this Loop dealing with Umbridge,he though angrily.
"Please come in, Harry," Molly said, being behind the now open door.
Oh, Molly. There's a shock,he thought with sarcasm.
Entering the kitchen, he sat at the only seat available. Not coincidentally, he felt, it was the lone seat opposite the head of the table.
"Now, Harry," began Arthur, sitting closer to him, "we've heard some disturbing rumors."
"I've heard some too," responded Harry with a smile. "But I don't gossip."
At the head of the table was Dumbledore, once again trying to avoid Harry's eyes. To his right was Snape, his left sat McGonagall. Between the two and the rest of the group was a good seat or two—though who they were trying to avoid, either Snape or Dumbledore, was hard to describe. The rest was filled with Sirius, Remus, Molly, Arthur, Tonks, and even Moody.
Harry didn't know how Moody was needed to convince Harry to return to Hogwarts and not flee to America, but he figured it might be for a good laugh.
"You know why we are here, Harry," Albus stated.
"Because Sirius rented you the place?" asked Harry.
"I should be charging rent," Sirius muttered, glaring at Snape.
Snape snorted, before directing a glare at Harry, almost daring him to meet his eyes.
Harry did with a smile, watching as a confused look appeared on the Potion Master's face. Nothing like a Lovegood-designed Occlumency shield to mess with people.
"Harry, you must return to Hogwarts," Dumbledore said.
"I must go someplace where I'm not vilified in the press, abused at home, or harassed by people," Harry stated. "And don't think I haven't learned who our new DADA teacher is this year. I'm not dealing with her."
"Typical," snorted Snape.
"With what I've seen of the Wizarding World; yes, yes it is," Harry agreed. "I'm tired of the up and down support, the fact that everyone has done a wonderful job publicizing Tommy's return, and the two Dementors sent after me. So, after all this, I decided maybe this is Fate's way of saying, 'Harry, you need to leave Britain'.
"So, I applied to some schools in America, cause if this crap wants to chase me, it'll need a few extra galleons to do it. I start is late August at Salem."
"But what of your friends, Harry?" asked Molly.
"Hey, they can transfer too," Harry shrugged. "But you know, we've grown apart, with the whole 'not talking to me all summer' thing," he spat out.
"Do not blame them, Harry," Albus stated. "I asked them too, in case it inadvertently led the Death Eaters to you."
Harry arched an eyebrow. "Wow, that much faith in those blood wards you keep saying I'm needed for at Camp Dursley.
"I have to be honest here, sir; not helping your case here," Harry responded. "And they could just as easily ignored you."
"I thought Salem was female-only," Sirius asked.
"It was," smirked Harry. "The Headmistress decided to use me as part of the introductory male class."
"Really?" asked Sirius with a perverted smirk.
Harry nodded. "One male for every three dozen females," he added, trying to keep his smile from seeming perverted. There were a few Veela enclaves in the area—not as much as in New Orleans and Florida, but a few still attended.
"Arrogant like his father," Snape muttered.
Before Sirius could respond, Harry struck first. "See, it is methods like his that make this country such a poor place to live.
"Sorry, Snape, that my Dad was an ass to you, but since you got a club tattoo on your arm and find joy in trying to get me for his sins, I'd have to say you're no better."
Shock was probably the only reason Molly hadn't started screaming about Harry's cursing. Snape was so used to insults, but calling him no better than James Potter? Oh, he could hear those teeth grinding from here.
"I'm afraid that you cannot leave, Harry," Dumbledore said in a sad grandfatherly tone. "Your guardians would not consent to such."
"As I recall, Headmaster, they never consented to me going to Hogwarts either.
"Aside from that, Sirius is my legal guardian. Moreover, the Headmistress has even arranged for him to be taken into custody in America, even given a new trial. Apparently, their magicals seem to have a deep need to embarrass their British cousins."
"Why?" asked Arthur.
Smiling, Harry pulled a small book and slid it over to the Weasley Patriarch. The title was The History of the American Magical World. "Basically, Britain used to send all the Muggle-born, half-bloods, and secondary heirs to the purebloods over there, rather than deal with them here or pay a decent wage.
"Amazingly, that upset them." Oh, he wasn't fooling himself. The Americans would probably let Sirius go, even if he had been the Secret Keeper, if only to embarrass their former homeland. Living on average much longer than their Muggle counterparts meant a grudge could be held much longer, ingrained that much deeper.
"I'm sorry, Harry, but you must finish out the rest of your schooling at Hogwarts—"
"Not according to the ICW's education rules," Harry replied with a smile. Oh, this promised to be ever so much fun. Moreover, since dear Albus's quest to spread the truth had ended with his dismissal from the head of the ICW, he couldn't even rewrite them to keep Harry here.
Reading law books for the entirety of the ICW: eight loops, four years, seven months, two weeks, five days, and ten hours.
The look on Snape's and Dumbledore's face when they realized the prophesized one wasn't going to be around to save their asses and they might actually have to do some worktowards that end: priceless.
Thinking on the issue, he decided to do this more often. It was priceless to see the players on the chess board realize their pawns were no longer playing.
New Loop #4:
Harry continued to hum as he lay on the single cot in the cell, waiting for the man he had requested to arrive, singing a few songs mentally in French so he didn't embarrass himself.
Looking up, he saw Jean Delacour, father of two quarter-Veela, high up in the French Ministry, and holding a fresh copy of the Daily Prophet. "Yes?" he replied in French.
"I have finished reading this rag from the Island," he started. "And I was hoping you could give me a … better analysis to see what is true and what that Skeeter woman's inflations are."
Nodding, Harry stood up and approached the bars, waiting for the man to set the paper down and back away—he figured it would be a bad impression to get stunned by the protections on the door when meeting the person you hoped would help you.
Once the paper was in hand, he started speed-reading, looking over the paper and the nearly dozen and a half stories Rita had submitted. He did have a good idea what they would say, after all. With him hanging her Animagus secret over the reporter's head, they had spent the day, going over the stories he was offering.
In addition, since they struck everything from Fudge to Dumbledore to Black and beyond, Rita loved every moment since it was all but guaranteed to be her greatest work.
Probably final, once Moldyshorts reads it,Harry thought. Nevertheless, he did warn her, so if she failed to take his advice and leave, especially after the two Dementors Umbitch had sent after him had shown up and nearly kissed them and the photographer…
Well, he couldn't save someone from themselves.
"Yep, pretty much all true for once," Harry offered. Sure, Rita added her own style to it, but the truth was out there, from Sirius's innocence, to Crouch Jr.'s last Kiss at Hogwarts, to Dumbledore's lackluster attempt to warn others of Voldie's return—a whole line of speech at the ICW, to Harry's own attempted assassination via Ministry-approved Dementors.
It had been a simple plan when he had awoken in the Loop, shortly after Fourth Year. He was not going to simply 'go through the motions', as it were. Therefore, one Owl to Rita when Dung was guarding him, and it was set. He simply met Rita at a nearby grocer's, spent time talking with her about his story ideas—which she had written down on a non-modified Quick-Quotes Quill pad—and he merely needed to keep her occupied until the Fated Moment where Umbitch tried to give Harry a Kiss.
It always seemed to happen on that night, give or take half an hour… Curious.
Therefore, now here he was, fresh from his 'escape' from England, applying for sanctuary here in France. Moreover, if there was one group that would help him, merely to spite the English, it would be the French.
Mr. Delacour nodded. "We will of course need to have you tested and verified with Veritaserum, as well as several magical oaths."
"Understood, sir," Harry replied, not worried in the slightest. If it killed him, he'd just start over again.
He just hoped Dobby was able to master Colin's camera. He wanted to have photos of the faces of Dumbledore and the Order when they learned what he did.
The fact he would be likely attending a French magical school, complete with mysterious past, dangerous people after him… Well, the girls just ate that stuff up. Now, all he had to worry about was—
"Until then, you shall stay at my Chateau," Mr. Delacour offered.
Paling, Harry turned to face the man. "Please tell me Gabrielle is off to schooling!"
Jean just smirked. Yes, it was obvious the boy knew of his youngest's crush on him. "Not for another year. Until then, we have a tutor that comes three times a week.
"I do trust you will be able to … maintain a modicum of composure around my dearest child?"
"Can I stay in the cell?"
"… It's because I'm English, isn't it?"
New Loop #5:
Harry blinked as the world returned to focus, wondering what played-out adventure awaited him now.
"Clear your mind, Potter," came Snape's usual arrogant voice.
Oh crap, not here and now,Harry thought, wishing everything to become clear a bit quicker.
Sadly—for Snape—the Potions Professor didn't wait to understand why Harry suddenly looked confused, and held up his wand, right at Harry's forehead. "Legilimens!"
Harry blinked as everything came into focus, Snape before him, eyes unfocused, the tip of his wand glowing to show the spell still in effect.
The problem was … Harry didn't feel him in his mind. "Well … sucks to be him," Harry shrugged, before walking off—pilfering several potion vials and some equipment, including Snape's wand—and heading back to his room.
"Wonder what happened, though," he mused.
Severus blinked. When he had cast Legilimens, he had expected to immediately play through Potter's thoughts, both to get some information, as well as expand the link as both his 'Masters' had requested.
He didn't expect to find himself in a field, surrounded by trees and sunshine.
"Oh, it is just you."
Turning around, whipping out his wand, he spotted a small stone table, a chess set sitting on it, and a middle-aged man sitting on a nearby seat. His eyes went wide as he recognized the person. "My Lord," Snape proclaimed, falling to one knee, wondering how the Dark Lord had made it through the link so quickly.
Tom merely looked at the Potions professor and sighed. Should I ever get a body back, I must remember to choose better people to associate myself with, perhaps ensure that they bathe regularly."Stand up, Severus. I am not the Dark Lord you seek."
Snape looked up from the ground, keeping his face emotionless. "My Lord?"
"Do you play chess, Severus?"
"No, my Lord."
The man's shoulders sagged. "And I had so been hoping for a good game before hegot you."
"Who?" asked Snape, standing. "And where is Potter's mind?"
"We are not in Potter's mind," Tom stated, looking at the board sadly—I really need to find some more entertainment in here, or at least have Harry find a way to let me out like Naruto does the Kyuubi. "You surprised him, so his body redirected you here.
"And as for who, him," Tom stated, pointing to the side of the field.
Snape turned, spotting an image of Potter … but almost … ghost-white in appearance, with black eyes surrounding a yellow center.
"Ah, and it ain't even my birthday,"the figure stated, before a long serpent-like tongue snaked out, licking its lips.
Snape just sneered, before raising his wand. "Arrogance; a trait I expect of all Potters."
Tom just shook his head. Well, perhaps this was better than having the fool running off to Albus and stating that the Horcrux in Harry was active.
Besides, he'd never been on this side, watching as Harry's Hollow side tried to eat someone. Who knew, it might prove … entertaining.
New Loop #6:
"Objection!" yelled out Harry, much to the surprise of all gathered for his trial.
None more surprised than the Headmaster. "Harry…"
"Excuse me?" demanded Fudge.
"The Headmaster has had multiple occasions to meet with me to discuss my legal strategies for this trial," Harry continued, refusing to even give a glance at the Headmaster. "As such, he cannot come into this trial now and try and usurp control over my defense, when he has shown no desire to even participate in the planning of such."
"Agreed," Amelia Bones replied with a light smile. "You are entitled to choose who you wish to represent you."
"He is?" asked Fudge, before shaking his head and scowling at Harry. What did he care? True, finding him guilty with Dumbledore defending him would have been an even greater political coup.
But maybe he could deal with just removing one enemy at a time.
"Yes," growled Amelia, before turning towards Harry once again. "Mr. Potter, do you wish to name your barrister?"
"As for now, and the shape of my defense, I am prepared to claim that I will be defending myself."
He took a calming breath before turning to face … well, technically, she was a woman. "Yes, Madam?"
"Are you saying that you are willing to rely solely on your own legal knowledge to defend yourself against these charges?" Dolores asked.
It would have been so easy to make a sarcastic comment there and then.
But as the bastard beside him was fond of saying—yet never living up to, he would choose the right way. "I do believe that is what I just stated, Madam Umbridge, and I do believe I was correctly informed that in such trials, the defendant is allowed to act as their own council."
"Very well," Madam Bones stated. "Let the record show such."
"Harry! Please!" whispered Dumbledore.
Harry just ignored him.
Amelia did not. "Mr. Dumbledore; since you have no legal standing as barrister for the defendant, not position within this body, please take a seat in the section for spectators, or you will be escorted out.
Once Dumbledore had been seated in the upper concourse, the trial once again focused on Mr. Potter.
"Have a seat," Umbridge stated.
Harry just cast a side-long glance at the chair. "Forgive me, but is a seat usually reserved for violent offenders, including chains and magical suppression charms, really necessary for a fifteen-year-old on trial for Underage Magic?"
Before Delores could even consider a reply, Amelia stepped in. "No; it is not," she stated, before waving her wand. With a pop, the chair was replaced by a simple wooden one.
"Thank you, Madam Bones," Harry replied with a deep bow, before taking his seat. The only thing he hated about it was that it wouldn't allow him to see Dumbledore's face as he performed some true magic.
As expected from the countless other times he had experienced before, Fudge once again simply repeated the charges against him, which Harry stated were true … until he got to the one Harry was waiting for.
"And by doing so," Fudge started, "broke the Decree on the Use of Underage Magic?"
"No," Harry replied with a quiet smirk.
The gallery and the trio of interrogators stared at him in shock.
"Excuse me!" demanded Fudge.
"I stated, 'no', Interrogator Fudge," Harry replied with a calm demeanor.
"So you think such rules are below you, Mr. Potter?" Delores asked with a sneer.
Turning a lazy gaze towards her, Harry smiled. "Not at all, Interrogator Umbridge. I am simply stating that I did not break such a law."
"Quit lying, boy," growled Fudge.
Harry just changed the focus of his smile. "Now, Interrogator Fudge; that is hardly the proper protocol for addressing a defendant."
"Agreed," Amelia stated, before turning to the Minister. "Keep with protocol or I'll have to ask for your removal from this panel. We want this trial above reproach, after all."
Seeing Fudge turn a color labeled Vernon-3, Harry slowly stood up. "It is my stance that I was already excused from Underage Restrictions, and as such, cannot be charged with them."
"Explain," Amelia replied, before either of her co-interrogators could interfere.
"Thank you, Interrogator Bones," Harry offered, bowing again, before pulling a trio of large folders from a satchel at his side. As he approached the bench, neither of the other interrogators noticed that a file he handed Madam Bones was slightly larger than their own.
"As you can see from these files, my stance goes back to last year's revived Tri-Wizard Tournament, and the rules of such.
"Despite my age, I was stated able to compete by Mr. Crouch, Mr. Bagman, and also Headmaster Dumbledore, despite that I did not enter my name—"
"The lies of youth, Mr. Potter—" Umbridge started, but Harry talked over her.
"As I was stating," Harry yelled out to drown out her voice, "that according to the rules laid down in the Tournament of 1717, a person not entering their own name willingly or not meeting the base requirements needed to enter into the Tournament by the Tournament Committee, cannot be forced to compete.
"Therefore, those three legally agreed that I was able to enter into the Tournament, instead of following the rules offered for those whose names were chosen and later did not wish to continue.
"Furthermore," Harry continued, "this was further shown to be the case when Minister Fudge awarded me the prize purse for winning it."
"WHAT!" bellowed Fudge, standing from his seat.
"According to the laws laid down by the ICW," Harry continued, ignoring the actions of Fudge, "an underage wizard can be certified 'of age' and free from Underage Restrictions, if certain people agree to such.
"By those same bylaws, listing said people, Minister Fudge, Headmaster Dumbledore—at least until this summer, Mister Crouch, and Mister Bagman all fill the needed roles.
"As such, by my own government's actions preceding, during, and proceeding the Tournament, I was declared emancipated from the Underage Restrictions Law," Harry replied with a smile.
Fudge wanted to respond, to yell, to curse—not magically, unless he could do so without people watching—before Amelia pulled him back to his seat. As he glared at her for doing such, she glared right back.
"If you had bothered to even look at the materials he provided, Cornelius," she whispered, wanting to keep the rest of the gallery from hearing their words as her hand covered the item needed to pick up their voice and broadcast it, "you will see he cited binding legal precedence for this."
Hissing, Fudge turned towards the Court Scribe. "Weatherby!" he bellowed. "Check these facts, make certain they are true!"
Putting what she felt was a calming hand on his shoulder, Delores turned towards the slightly smiling Potter. "And you believe a child should dictate the law to their betters?" she asked in her usual sickingly sweet voice.
"A child, no," Harry replied. "However, I am not acting as a child, now am I?" Harry asked with a smirk. "After all, I hardly feel this august body would declare a mere child, to be capable of defending themselves before a trial in the Wizengamot," he finished.
A few looked affronted at such a notion.
More looked on with concern as such a sneaky tactic.
"You need not go, Weasley," Amelia stated. "I can already certify that these laws referenced are indeed current."
Fudge and Delores turned towards her.
She ignored their glares. "While this may settle the charges of Underage Magic, it does not do anything to mitigate the charges of violating the Statute of Secrecy."
As the glares on Bones turned to smirks of vindication as they swiveled their heads towards Harry, he replied. "The supposed Muggle in question is my cousin, with whom I reside with. The family members with me in that home all know about magic, as it was … kindly explained to them when I received my Letter of Acceptance to Hogwarts. As such, they fall into the exception listing of said Statute."
Amelia nodded, as she continued to thumb through the papers Harry provided. If nothing, the boy had been very detailed and thorough. Each paper cited a law he was using, anything that might counter it, and why such a counter would fail.
"I also would like to be tested under Veritaserum and offer memories for a Pensieve to verify my account that the actions I took on the night in question were indeed necessary," Harry offered once more.
Delores couldn't allow this brat to get the better of Cornelius. "I suppose you offer proof as well that the former Dark Lord is back as well," she stated in barely hidden contempt.
Harry just tilted his head. "Well, the incident I think you are referring to; yes, I do have proof someone trying to claim to be the former Dark Lord was there. But at the time, I lacked any real manner of identifying whether it was true or not.
"Magic, being so unpredictable at times, you know.
"But I was referring to the incident which necessitated this case, to verify my claims that even had I still be subjected to Underage Restrictions or violated the Statute, I did so as legally allowed by said Laws. After all, as a responsible citizen to the Magical World, I would be remised in my duties to my fellow Magicals if I failed to do everything I could to warn them of at least two Dementors running about."
"And I suppose next you'll claim that somehow, You-Know-Who sent them after you, Potter," Fudge seethed, seeing his plan fall apart. At the least, he wanted to boost up the image of Potter being insane by claiming the Dark Lord was back … even if the punk had tried to claim it may at the least have been someone trying to claim to be said person.
"Honestly, I have no idea who sent them after me, if it is as you are stating, Minister, that they were indeed sent after me as a specific target." All true, he wasn't exactly privy to who all Delores chatted with at Azkaban to send them off. "I will leave that to Madam Bones to investigate." Actually, now that he thought about it, he'd have to see if he could capture the Dementors next time, and present them as 'evidence' at his trial.
Hard to claim he was making it up when he dropped the Dreary Duo on the courtroom floor.
A trip to Gringott's to explore his new-found freedom, explore what were of the Potter investments, properties, and funds—in part thanks to the fact Dumbledore had been unable to reach the lower concourse before Harry was more than halfway away from the Ministry—and he was back at the currently hidden base of the Order of the Phoenix.
And as expected, when he entered the front door, arms laden with bags from a recent shopping spree—as a legal adult, he had to look the part, and Dudley castoffs were not helping—he spotted several members of the Order, as well as his friends, staring at him.
But before they could begin yelling at him—for not trusting Dumbledore, leaving his escort, experiencing life, etc—he cut them off.
"Hey! Who wants to listen to WWN? I hear the latest news issue in thirty seconds will be … enlightening."
It took little time to get them to follow him to the main dining area—where they wanted to discuss things with him anyway—and have Kreacher bring out the wireless, so they could listen.
"And now, we interrupt our normal programming to bring you this emergency message from the Head of the DMLE, Amelia Bones."
"Hello, my fellow Magical citizen.
"I am here to report several new changes within our government.
"The first, the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister, Delores Umbridge, has been arrested on charges of attempted murder. We have records of transcripts from her consult with two members of the Azkaban Defense Force about sending two or more Dementors after Harry Potter.
"Second, due to recent information given to me, we have arrested Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, for crime of murder. As you know, Minister Fudge used his power to order not only the Dementor's Kiss for Sirius Black, but he actually used it on Bartemius Crouch Jr.
"However, after the rule of Minister of Magic, Paragus Smiredon, the Wizenmagot ruled that such power did not reside with the Minister."
Harry smirked, recalling that research to discover what Paragus 'the Paranoid' Smiredon had done. Once elected, he tried to use the Dementors to eliminate all opposition.
Sure, the Wizenmagot was okay with it … until it started to attack them as well. Then self-preservation kicked in, and it was limited to being a result of trials before the entire Wizenmagot.
Thus, no Minister could have someone Kissed unless it was during and approved by a trial before the entire Wizenmagot.
"Now, normally, this would end with all of the former Minister Fudge's estate—as he had no heirs—"
Harry and a few of the people at Sirius's house shuddered, just at the idea that Fudge could have mated with anyone.
"However, we recently recovered evidence from Bartemius Crouch Sr.'s office, stating about reports he had received earlier.
"He had tested one Sirius Black's wand upon capture, and the last spell on it was a tracking spell. What more, a test upon the severed finger of Peter Pettigrew revealed that there was a spell on it, that the end of it had been severed by a dark magic cutting-type curse, a spell that had the same magical signature as Pettigrew himself.
"As such, we have changed the requirements that Sirius Black be brought in, alive, for further questioning, to determine if his alleged trial was legal.
"We say alleged, now, because evidence recently uncovered at the trial of one, Harry James Potter, that he provided to use, shows Pettigrew alive and well, assisting another entity try and claim that he was in fact, the reborn Dark Lord.
"Now, we don't believe a man can come back from the dead, and recent investigations completed—which former Minister Fudge blocked—conclude that the magical signature, while close, was not an exact match. So we believe it is perhaps an illegitimate child birthed from the former Dark Lord, now trying to claim his title.
"Several members of our society, previously let off by the previous administration by claiming they had been 'Imperiused', have been rounded up. We will test them for said curse, as well as use truth serum to confirm their stories this time.
"Anyway, we ask Sirius Black to turn himself in to one of several individuals, whom we have confirmed beyond reproach, for a proper trial."
Harry smiled as he looked towards Dumbledore, who still refused to meet his sight. "So; I just spent all day undermining Voldemort and all his potential allies.
"So, Headmaster, what have you done to hold him back and clear Sirius?" Harry asked with a smirk.
Man, he almost felt like going into law after the Loops were over.
Almost! He wasn't that crazy yet.
New Loops #7:
"I'm simply following the rules."
It was amazing how often that sentence infuriated people—especially Hermione, depending on her mood. After spending a good bit of Loops, just researching the law, it wasn't like he was just going to use it in one case.
Why, he had found a law, stating that the Minister of Magic was allowed to be placed under the Imperius Curse on Sundays between 4:30 and 4:35am, during the week of a Solstice, in which a full moon proceeds.
That was actually a lot of fun, and he had grown quite adept at making Fudge work his ass off for those five minutes.
Anyway, it didn't stop the fact that beating the System with its own rules—and once again when they would try and add a law to correct what he had done, but forget to repeal the previous law, thus making the changes illegal in themselves.
So, here he was, sitting at the Gryffindor Table in the Great Hall, enjoying a fresh pastry, waiting to see the Frog Bitch-Queen's next move to try and make him follow her will. She had tried detentions for everything, he never went. He skipped her class, thumbed his nose at any attempt by her to exert authority, and basically ignored her at every opportunity. When McGonagall had tried to make him serve Umbridge's detentions with her, he skipped them as well, saying his line.
Oh sure, he still attended other detentions, ended up costing his house hundreds of points that they all took away, ignored his Head of House's request that he keep his head down—while laughing about such a line coming from a Gryffindor, and continued on.
But then what he had been waiting for happened; a warming sensation from a medallion hanging from his neck, letting home know the game was truly nearing an end.
Too bad, really wanted to see if I could get her to stroke out.
The doors to the Great Hall opened, allowing Umbridge to enter, being followed by several Aurors, marching their way behind the smiling disaster in Pink—he personally wondered how traumatized walking behind Umbridge would make someone—as she headed for him.
Ignoring her—but keeping his wand hidden and at the ready—he focused more on his food.
Yeah, like he was going to turn towards her now.
"What is the meaning of this, Delores?" barked McGonagall, having made her way towards where Harry sat as soon as the Aurors had arrived.
"I am merely here to show Mr. Potter that all actions have consequences," the happy frog replied. "He is under arrest for dissention and such, for his improper actions during my esteemed tenure here."
Putting down what remained of his pastry, Harry took a napkin, dabbed his mouth, followed by a quick drink of water, before slowing turning towards his accuser. "My, whatever do you mean?" he asked. "I have broken no rules."
"Oh, but you have, Mr. Potter," she smirked.
"Not really, no," Harry replied, standing up, taking a relaxed stance. "You see, I haven't done anything illegal, as you can not only teach here, but be High Inquisitor."
"… Excuse me?" she growled, eyes narrowed, and turning a slight shade of purple he had grown to label Vernon-1.
"Well, you see, the ICW Rules for Scholastic Advancement state that any teacher within an ICW certified educational establishment, must have at least a Level 1 Mastery in their subject, or at least a month away from obtaining said Mastery before the start of the scholastic year.
"You," he said, pointing at Umbridge, "only have an O.W.L. in Defense—and a Poor, if I recall. You have no N.E.W.T., nor a Mastery. Therefore, you cannot be a teacher in this school, as Hogwarts is an ICW certified establishment, and Britain is still a member of the ICW."
Her eyes opened wide, as did McGonagall's, several of the Aurors, and many of the students as they had all quieted down to hear him.
"Mr. Potter," she growled out, "I was appointed to this position at the behest of Minister Fudge!"
Harry just shrugged, the smile never disappearing for a moment. "Nice and all, but even hehas to follow that rule. All your posting did was include him in the personal penalty fines that will be labeled against Headmaster Dumbledore for allowing an unqualified teacher in this place. That of course, doesn't include the fines the ICW will lobby against the current administration as well as any previous ones, depending on how far back their investigation revealed unqualified educators being used at Hogwarts."
Her mouth opened and closed several times, but he pushed on.
"As for your appointment as High Inquisitor, that is also quite illegal, as such a position requires that our nation be under some sort of internal strife, the bare minimum being a civil war. The point of said position being to keep such a war from being spilled into an educational institution, as well as insure that neither side can use the children as combatants or hostages.
"As your dear Cornelius keeps repeating, all is fine in our land, so that means your position cannot exist legally."
"… Why didn't you tell us, mate?" asked Ron from across the table.
Harry never took his eyes off Delores, knowing she would strike if she could or if she believed she could get away with it. "Simple, you never asked."
"I did!" Hermione screeched.
"No, you went into a rant about why I should follow the rules, and then demanded I explain myself.
"You never just asked."
Slowing stroking his chin—and once again reminding himself to get some salve to grow hair there so it would look even more dramatic, he looked at the still shocked frog. "So, basically, since you had no legal or true authority here at Hogwarts, I cannot be held accountable for ditching your class, any detentions you assigned, any of the decrees you made, and such.
"Actually, since I just proved you have not even the right to be here since you initially arrived, that would mean each and every point you took or gave, becomes reversed."
The school wards—at least, the ones dealing with points given or taken by those with the authority to do such—took actions, causing the Slytherin tally to drop considerably, as the other three houses increased dramatically.
"Finally, let us not forget the fact that you used a Class-2 dark artifact known as a Blood Quill on students for detention, and also drugged many students with Veritaserum without their knowledge of permission of their guardians. I imagine there will be quite a penalty for such an act.
"Right, Madam Bones?" he asked, turning slightly to a suit of armor by the wall, near him.
The assembled mass was immediately surprised as the Head of the DMLE appeared, pulling off an invisibility cloak and handing it to an oddly dressed house elf, who immediately popped away. "Indeed, Mr. Potter," she smirked, pointing her wand at Umbridge. "I will also need to discuss several things with my Aurors here, as to why they are here and not at their assigned locations."
Nodding, Harry turned back towards Delores, who looked even paler than Snape. "Yes, I do imagine when this scandal is made public, the current administration will undergo a … strong change," he clicked, as several more Aurors entered—those he knew were loyal and vetted to Amelia—to 'assist' their comrades in returning to the Ministry and ensure Umbridge didn't 'disappear'.
"You will pay for this, boy," hissed Umbridge.
"Now, Ms. Umbridge," Harry replied, "you must not tell lies.
"Oh, and Madam Bones, I do believe she might know something about the incident I was charged with during the summer. It might be wise to question her under Veritaserum if at all possible."
Amelia's smirk was near shark-like as Umbridge went for her wand—knowing what would happen if she was forced to answer such questions—stunning the woman and binding her in heavy chains. "Oh, I shall ask that and more.
"Perhaps even of some of you," she growled, looking at the nervous Aurors who had accompanied Umbridge.
"Thank you for your assistance in this matter, Mr. Potter," she stated, bowing, before she had her detail levitate Umbridge and escort the original detail from the property.
Returning to his seat, Harry just picked up his remaining pastry, ignoring the stares of everyone for what he had just pulled off, and could only think of one thing to say.
"Oh, I love it when I do that to them," he purred, biting into his treat.
New Loop #8:
Hermione moaned as consciousness returned to her, her mind rebooting.
Blinking her eyes, she took a moment to adjust to the light, before turning slowly, discovering…
"HARRY!" she cried, sitting up.
"Yes, Ms. Granger?" he asked, his wand glowing as it worked on a small block of wood, somehow shaving off bits of it. As usual for her, his voice was … cold, almost devoid of emotion.
"What happened? Where am I?" she asked, looking about, discovering the Hospital Wing was her location. To her left, she spotted a bed holding the unconscious Ron Weasley. Across from her, she spotted two Slytherin females, Tracey Davis and Daphne Greengrass, the latter of whom was in a bed, looking at her.
"You are where you think you are," Harry continued, focused more on his project of wood-carving via magic than looking at her. "You and Mr. Weasley are here because you doubted my warning."
"But Harry!" she cried out. "It was Him!"
"Him who?" Harry asked, turning the block slightly to carve more detail.
"I … I think it was You-Know-Who."
"Do at least say his common name, Ms. Granger," Harry replied, sparing her a cold glance before resuming his work. "I find his assorted names given to him by frightened sheep to be somewhat … unintelligent. I did inform you of who he really was, after all."
"You know the original name of the Dark Lord?" Daphne asked.
Harry nodded. "His full name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, born from the nearly Squib daughter of the Gaunt line, who drugged a Muggle named Tom Riddle. If you wish for more, see me afterwards, as I do believe Ms. Granger has more to impart or query me about."
Hermione just stared at him. "Harry! He took the stone! I'm sure of it!"
"AND?" she screeched. She knew he was emotionally distant to everyone, but even he had to understand the danger if the Dark Lord had such an item.
"And why would I be concerned that Mr. Riddle and his current Host had a fake Philosopher's Stone?" Harry asked, vanishing a large portion of the wood shavings, as he continued to magically whittle.
"Fake?" Hermione asked, eyes wide. The two First Years across from her had similar expressions, but for more the mention of the Stone than the possibility of whom now had it.
"Yes; I did the smart thing and contacted Mr. Flamel, asking why he would entrust such an item to a man who would hide it in a school full of children, guarded by such poorly conceived traps."
"You … you talked to him!" she gasped.
Harry just nodded. "Mr. Flamel informed me he had made no such deal with Headmaster Dumbledore, so I took it to mean the supposed Philosopher's Stone was a fake, a trap of some sorts, designed by those who had no trouble setting such an irresistible target among unprepared innocents. I was even able to discern the moronic obstacles placed to 'deter' any thieves."
Harry paused in his work to stare at her. "I found them sorely lacking," he muttered, before returning to his carving. "I imagine that right now, Mr. Riddle is most upset that Mr. Quirrell cannot make the fake stone work."
"Quirrell?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, it appears that Headmaster Dumbledore failed to not only hire a competent teacher for the DADA position, but hired one who rented out his body to the disembodied spirit of Mr. Riddle," Harry replied, before pulling his wand away from the former block of wood, revealing a human-like figure. As he vanished the rest of the mess, he kept examining his work, before finally nodding. "A major oversight on his part, I admit; one I have spotted a pattern of lately, but that is for a later Inquiry to debate upon."
"So … he doesn't have the stone?" asked Hermione. She herself had been rendered unconscious after Ron had taken a hit to allow her to win a chess game trap.
Harry shook his head in the negative, picking up what looked like a thick gauze wrapping, before wrapping the wooden figurine in it. "No, he has a fake, though the Headmaster for some reason believed I had gone with you to stop him…
"Most curious," Harry continued, finishing the wrapping, and placed his wand against it, the figure changing to look like a life-like representation of the former DADA professor.
"Yes, Ms. Granger?"
"What are you doing?" she asked, as Harry pulled an odd sheet of parchment out, setting it on a nearby table, and placing the figure on it.
"While my unfortunate family may have taught me the lesson that friendship is most fleeting, they also taught me that one simply does not allow an insult to go unpunished, that retribution should be fitting, no matter the speed delivered," Harry started.
Hermione nodded, knowing her House-mate's habits well enough. He did, after all, consider her an ally, if not friend. Though she hoped he would accept the power of friends soon enough. "And?"
"I am simply using a ritual I found while researching a few Caribbean books," Harry replied. As he prepared to touch his wand to the table, he paused, looking around the room. "Oh, and just for your information; he can only hear me."
With that, Harry touched his wand to the table, muttering an incantation none of them could hear, as the table flashed to life.
"I'm sorry, Master!" the figure cried out, sounding like Quirrell. "I am unsure how to work the Stone!"
"Work faster, fool!"
came the formless cry. The figurine seemed to move as if the figure was doing something.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Riddle, but that won't happen," Harry replied, holding up his wand, as the figurine turned wildly, as if looking for the source of the voice.
"You see, you attacked two people whom I consider as … protectorates of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter. And your actions have declared the pitiful Houses of Quirrell and Riddle as our enemies.
"So, prepare to learn why it is folly to challenge those houses…
"Goodbye for now, Mr. Riddle, and goodbye forever, Mr. Quirrell." With that the tip of his wand glowed an eerie green.
"Avada Kedavra,"Harry stated, directing the Killing Curse at the figurine, causing it and the parchment it was on to burst into flames, before quickly burning to ash, the table only slightly singed.
Hermione just stared in shock. "You… You used…"
"I used a curse to deal with an enemy," Harry calmly replied. "Mr. Riddle has killed my parents, Mr. Quirrell, while merged with Mr. Riddle, attacked two members under the protections of my House, and was so dealt with as well."
"Then, the Killing Curse did strike them?" asked Tracey, slightly pale. This was certainly not the Boy Hero of Books, or the one ranted about by their Head of House or Draco Malfoy.
"Somewhat," Harry replied. "The ritual can be used to strike enemies from afar, if you have an item they valued."
Hermione's eyes went wide as her brain went into overdrive. "That gauze! It was his turban, wasn't it!"
Harry nodded. "Very astute, Ms. Granger; yes, I used it to link the doll I created to Mr. Quirrell and Mr. Riddle. With it, I could have ended their current existence from anywhere magic could reach. As such, I have fired the next volley for this feud between Houses Potter and Riddle, for his attack on those under the protections of House Potter."
Standing up, he turned towards Hermione. "Ms. Granger, I do hope you will read the book I have left you on the table on your other side, about wizarding etiquette. While I admit it is seemingly dry and somewhat obsolete, it will serve you as a good basis for what to expect, especially as a House under my protection.
"What more, I do hope it will serve as a reminder that you should have more faith in my judgment. Good day," he replied with a curt bow and walking towards the exit.
He paused before the doorway, turning to his left to look at the empty corner there. "Headmaster Dumbledore," he started, "it would seem rude to enter into a wing of healing, hidden behind so many charms."
With that, Harry left, even as a surprised Albus Dumbledore slowly faded into view.
Harry refused to smirk as he left. He had already met Dumbledore earlier that year, explaining to the supposed 'Leader of the Light' why not only he did not seek friends, by why he had only barely close acquaintances.
Then again, Harry also admitted he would be carrying a grudge from the first few Loops, where he had tried to convince Albus of what was occurring, only for him to be Obliviated, drugged, or worse, as Albus felt only he was secure enough to hold such knowledge.
Either way, the look on the man's face when Harry used a supposed Unforgiveable to deal with Riddle was priceless.
He just hoped he could keep up the image of the cold bastard who refused friendship for seven years.
The looks on their faces when their Boy Hero didn't willingly throw himself to the wolves for them would be priceless.
New Loop #9:
Smirking as they waited in the hallway for their Sorting, Harry slipped near the walls. With a flick of his wrist, he summoned what was known as a Hogwarts Token: an item given to the Headmaster or those trusted for the school defenses, to activate them when needed.
They also had the use of allowing you another function Harry had worked out, an ability lost in the annuls of time since the Four Founders created the school. With it, one could set up time-delayed acts, reactions to spells cast elsewhere, or held until certain conditions were met. The Founders had planned to use it to deal with students casting spells they should not be.
The plan was initially for a stunning spell, binding spell, followed by a summoning spell to get the staff there to deal with the evil berk.
But, like most things, wizards of even that caliber didn't question if those wards could be used for something else.
Smiling as he flicked the Token back into his subspace pocket, Harry edged back into the crowd, hearing Ron start to question about a Troll being how they were tested.
It was going to be fun.
As Professor McGonagall set the Sorting Hat on its stool, she backed away, preparing to read the names of the First Years after the empowered hat sang its song.
She was thus; understandably surprised when the lights flickered out, throwing the Great Hall into total darkness, as even the Moon was hidden from sight in the enchanted ceiling.
Finally, over the confused murmurs and frantic screams of the students, a loud … note was heard, from what most of the Muggle-knowledgeable would have referred to as an electric guitar.
Screams rose as large flames shot from the floor near the Sorting Hat, which was no longer sitting on a stool, but now on a large, imposing figure … with glowing eyes.
"I … AM IRON-MAN!"
As the guitar hit the second extended note, with more flames shooting towards the ceiling, Harry had to smirk, even as many of the students and staff were panicking. The Sorting Hat was right; it was a great prank.
Though Harry had to wonder how the Hat was able to sound exactly like Ozzy Osbourne.
New Loop #10:
Blinking, Harry looked around, wondering where this Reset had placed him.
Luckily, having undergone the same session for way-too-many times, he quickly learned what he needed.
He was cold.
He was near Black Lake.
Fleur was once again proving that a swimsuit in winter could make any guy's blood boil.
Crap, Second Task, Harry thought.
However, he could see the silver lining to even this dreadful cloud. "So, let me get this straight," he stated, surprising the officials and stopping their droning. "You kidnapped four people and put them underwater."
"We did not kidnap them," Ludo stated with a glare. "They volunteered."
Harry shrugged. "Whatever; can we also safely assume they are being watched over."
"Yes," Dumbledore smiled with a twinkle.
"And can we also take solace in the fact that those guarding them will also be able to keep them from drowning for whatever reason, since as far as I am aware of, the Merpeople are deep enough that should whatever is keeping the hostages alive, fail, they won't make it to the surface in time?" Harry asked with narrowed eyes.
The judges/officials stared at him for several seconds, almost as if they had never considered such a thing.
"Or will you give me the same assurances as the people who said the Horntail was safely secured and couldn't break free?" Harry asked again.
One again, the same stares, some of them quite angry for being questioned, others actually considering his words.
Palming his head, Harry sighed. "Merlin save me from the idiots."
As several of the group—especially Percy—began to mutter at him, Harry turned to face the lake. "Let's see," he started, speaking loud enough for all to hear him, "they would have added charms to them to prevent a simple Accio, but in usual fashion for those I know, forgot to do the same to whatever is securing them inside the so-called safe-zone."
By now, the other champions were staring at Harry, wondering where he was going with this.
"The Merpeople wouldn't allow them inside their homes, so they'd be kept somewhere public, where a multitude of the Merpeople could keep an eye on them, protect them from the local predators…
"Only one thing like that inside the village," Harry finished with a smirk, pointing his wand out over the water. "Accio, Central Merperson Statue!"
A few of the people in the stands having heard him giggles, Draco beginning to spout of his usual quips about Harry, as the Champions and even the judges focused on the glowing tip of his wand. Even a few of the staff were wondering if what Harry had said was true, while a few of the event staff began to curse themselves for not enchanting the statue to prevent such.
They tried to console themselves, claiming no wizard had the power to summon a statue weighing several tons, from hundreds of feet below the surface, even further away, to themselves.
"INCOMING!" Harry yelled, as said 'impossible' event occurred, the statue breaking the surface, as Harry yanked his wand back like a fisherman's pole, sending it into the air. Behind it, quickly breaching the surface, were the four hostages.
A wide-arcing Diffindo severed the ropes, with a wide-area Cushioning Charm combined with Mobilicorpus to slow their descent.
He did find it odd that Gabrielle landed in his arms again, almost like Fate.
Heaven help the idiots who began any 'loli' rumors, or he'd show them a few new Unforgivables he had created.
The judges and event staff, however, were less impressed as the statue nearly landed on them.
"Mr. Potter!" Dumbledore yelled, having nearly been speared by the statue's … spear, only being saved by his quick wand-work.
"Yes?" Harry asked, paying him no attention, as he was busy using Drying Charms and Warming Charms on the now awake hostages.
Dumbledore's response—as well as several colorful remarks from the others who had nearly been crushed—were cut off as several Merpeople broke the surface and began yelling.
Handing off the ecstatic Veela to her sister, Harry looked at the other champions. "Think I'll get first place?" he asked with a smile.
New Loop #11:
"Wow," Hermione gasped, as the Golden Trio made their way towards the Hogwarts Train Station, "this year was ever so exhilarating!"
Harry just nodded with a smile.
"Hey, mate; why are you smiling like that?" Ron asked, the smile seeming … extra creepy.
"Oh, just made a deal with the Muggle Studies teacher to finish it off over the summer," Harry replied.
Hermione's eyes shot wide. "But that's a Third Year elective!" she gasped. "And we just completed our First Year!
"How did you do it!" she demanded, grabbing Harry and giving him a glare that would have made Snape blink.
"Oh, I gave her a priceless Muggle artifact to explore over the summer, for them to work out."
"… A priceless Muggle artifact?" Hermione asked.
"Well, priceless to a wizard," Harry corrected. "Muggle munitions are pretty cheap, if you know the right contacts," Harry offered.
Hermione's eyes went wide in shock.
"What are munitions?" Ron asked, not familiar with the term, as it wasn't something he could recall his father ever having been interested in.
"YOU GAVE A TEACHER EXPLOSIVES!" Hermione bellowed in shock.
"Ow," Harry muttered, trying to pop his ears. "And yes, but just a small one. They seemed very excited to try and understand it."
Further comment was cut off, however, as a section of Hogwarts exploded, creating a huge plume of fire and showing some of the students with debris.
As one, Hermione and Ron turned back to Harry, as he was searching his pocket for something.
Only Hermione's eyes grew wide as Harry pulled out a hand grenade.
"Hmm," he thought, before pocketing it again, "I thought I gave that to her; must have been the other package."
"Other … package?" Hermione asked.
Harry nodded. "Yeah, military-grade C4," Harry replied. "Damn; had plans for that…"
"What… Why…," Hermione tried to ask, as the teachers who were supposed to be watch the students leave, took off in a dead run—after several seconds of staring—back towards the castle.
Harry just shrugged. He had been telling the truth: he had planned to give the teacher a simple hand grenade—less chance of them taking others with them. The C4 had been to see if having Vernon's car explode in the parking lot would finally get some police presence on the lard's case.
Either way, fun for him, work for Dumbledore. Harry would freely admit that he hadn't quite forgiven the man for the first ten Loops, where Harry went to him for help, Dumbledore went to erase Harry's mind, and somehow made the resulting future muchworse.
Besides, Harry had learned to live by Darwin for the moment, and as such was living for the moment.
And at this moment, he saw a use for the hand grenade he now had instead of a block of C4. "Hey, Draco! Gift!"
"HARRY!" cried Hermione.
"What?" Harry asked. "It still had the pin in it … when he caught it. Um … run?"
Purebloods: natural prey for Darwin.
New Loop #12:
Harry fought a losing battle to keep a twitch off his face, before finally giving in.
Growling, he turned to the rest of the Slytherin table. "Really! Are you all so lacking in ambition and cunning that allowing Malfoy to continue acting like this is somehow considered, 'in your best interests'?"
As they glared at him, Harry rounded on Malfoy. "And you, Draco! Are you seriously going to stand here and keep using the term, mudblood, incorrectly!"
That confused many people.
"Harry?" Hermione started.
"Hermione, that term was originally coined well before the Founders, what was humanity in Britain like during that time?"
Hermione opened her mouth, before understanding dawned on her.
Harry was very grateful that even in Primary, she'd been an over-achiever. "But that means…"
"So, the term was…"
He nodded again.
"So, Slytherin was against the Muggleborn because…"
He just smiled.
Malfoy did not.
Sighing, Harry turned on him and the Slytherin table. "During that time period, Muggle society was deteriorating. As such, Salazar was afraid that should a Muggleborn do magic or learn of its existence, they'd blab about it to other frightened Muggles, who would then launch a crusade to wipe us out. 'Mudblood' was just a term like Muggle, used to describe those born from a society living in mud-based dwellings, of wood and grass, to hide their real meaning. Wizards at the time, dressed as they were, would have passed for high-nobility—being so clean and such. It would have been merely assumed to be yet another noble lauding their birthright over the poor peasants.
"He was mainly concerned that any Muggleborn at the time might learn of Hogwarts's location and lead the enemies here.
"The fact that you," he stated, pointing at Draco, "and those like you, continue to use it as was redefined by a poor excuse for a Dark Lord in the 1200s, just adds to my fury!"
The Great Hall was silent—even the approaching teachers had stopped and stared, as Harry growled.
"Hell! Right now, the situation is reversed, with the Magical World filled with fanatical idiots, believing a dogma of purity, trying to wipe out any inferior they spot!" Harry bellowed.
"YOU LIE!" Draco yelled.
Smirking, Harry waved his hands at the counters for House Points, revealing four portraits, those he found in the private offices that had been hidden, of each of the four Founders.
Oddly, each was accessed by a doorway in the kitchens, much like the Room of Requirements, that the House Elves used as a pantry.
Founders they may have been, but so secretive of their own offices, none mentioned they all used the same door.
And in each, a portrait waited for a worthy searcher to find.
"Ask them," Harry spat, before turning away. "I have enough cunning to, and enough ambition not to be an idiot."
The fact that he had now added the Four Founders to the Hogwarts painting network—allowing them to move about like all others, and adding a correcting influence to history—thus derailing certain Dark Lords and Light Lords as well—was just icing on the cake.
Now, if he could figure out a way to do this during Quirrell's tenure, and thus really mind-fuck Tom, his day would be perfect.