Temporal Illusion

Disclaimer; I do not own Harry Potter or the Night World. Anything from my story that you recognise from either of these Book Series' are not my own. This also includes the concept from the film Cashback.

Warnings; Slash, Anti-Wizarding World.

Chapter 1; Butterfly Wings

Harry James Potter, eighteen year old BVetMed student at the Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary College, sat on the grass outside his first year dorms with the two friends he'd met at the beginning of his previous year, his first year there. They'd been relaxing in the warmth of the early June sunlight.

"So you still going down to Brambridge?" Nicky, or Nicola, asked Harry as she stared up through her sunglasses into the open sky.

"Yeah." Harry grinned down at her from where he sat cross-legged playing cards with his other friend Jez, or Jeremy. "I've still got the gig in Marwell."

"You know, I'm really jealous." Jez grumbled for about the hundredth time in the last week since they'd gotten their first year results back and Harry had been accepted for a Summer Apprenticeship working with the Vets at one of the country's largest Zoos.

"You know you plan to lounge around at home and do fuck all." Harry laughed at his friend who for a moment looked truly offended before his face lost the stern look and he chuckled. "See. You wouldn't want the job anyway, ten hour days and all that work."

"You know this is getting old, right?" Nicky pointed out. She barely turned to look at them as she spoke. There were subtle difference in the three friends but their personalities were surprisingly similar. They all had a caring, soft side even though they were hid behind more outgoing exteriors. Nicky always fretted over her appearance even though she drew the attention of most of the boys in their class. Jez had the look of a rebel even though he was rather soft on the inside whereas Harry was the same except he had a more welcoming face though he attracted the girls because of the sense of mystery that hung around him wherever he went.

All three had no family though for different reasons. Nicky's father had died of cancer and her mother had married an utter bastard who'd paid to send Nicky to a boarding school. Her mother and step father had then promptly moved to Spain and never spoken to her again, leaving her only enough money to start off at University. Jez probably had near the worst history. His mother had died at childbirth and though it had come up exactly twice with Harry and once with Nicky, he'd been abused violently from an early age until his father had disappeared and been found dead in America after he had supposedly tried to extort money from a gang. Jez had been thirteen at the time and had then grown up with foster carers who hadn't really been able to help him. A grant had seen Jez into the University.

Harry's past was definitely the most interesting though. As far as Jez and Nicky knew his parents had been murdered when he was a baby and he'd grown up with unwelcoming relatives who'd neglected him until he was sent to a boarding school up North. Not much was known about those years but it culminated with the loss of his friends, the murder of a student, the death of an escaped convict of a godfather he'd loved and the universal school attitude that Harry was no better than a tool.

The way Harry spoke about it left Jez and Nicky with little to imagine in the way of how horrible it had been for him but they both understood what it was like to be rejected by family and friends and to come into the small population of those that have experienced pain at the hands of those that they should have been able to trust unconditionally. Harry's stint at boarding school had lasted six years before he'd left the school, finished his A-levels at a southern college and then used the remains of his trust fund to pay for University.

They had no outside ties and it made them the perfect friends. Harry always found some kind of justice in that. He, Hermione and Ron had always been too different in both history, emotions and views to have ever survived. Harry's days of overlooking the obvious for his own faked happiness were over now though. He'd live a normal life and that was all he wanted.

Ok, so maybe things weren't perfectly normal. His wand was perfectly safe with Fawkes and he had no intention of ever collecting it, he could use small bits of wandless magic here and there if he really needed to get out of a jam but with Voldemort dead he had no horrific supernatural powers hunting him down and that was a weight off of his shoulders.

As he picked up the card Jez had just discarded before replacing it with one of his own a flicker of wings drew his attention. A butterfly landed serenely on Jez's fringe perching lightly on the blond hair. Jez saw it but Harry had seen it first.

A blanket of silence came down over the world. The butterfly's slowly twitching wings froze as did Jez. The gentle breeze seemed to stop instantaneously. Harry smiled in the sudden stillness of the world. The students were frozen in whatever they were doing. A couple had stopped their playful bantering under a tree nearby, three students and a lecturer had stopped their languid walk through the grounds. The few clouds above them had frozen in place, a bird was caught in the act of taking off out of a tree and finally the clock on the building behind Harry was frozen between two seconds. The entire world was frozen in a single moment.

So things were definitely not perfectly normal in Harry's life. Jez looked completely altered in the moment before he brushed away the Butterfly and it was moments like these that Harry treasured in his life. This was how he'd discovered the power he had over the moments in the world. Some moments were perfect, like this one, whereas others were hard to remember but all were equally important and to Harry some were worth more than the barest of looks. Like the mixing of nature and humans like the scene before him or even the frozen look of regret on his Godfather's face as he realised he was about to die and leave Harry behind.

That had been the moment Harry had seen this new world, the world within a single moment. When his Godfather had been falling, Harry had wanted so much to never lose his Godfather but it was impossible to stop a man from falling when the inertia was already there and no matter what Harry could have tried wouldn't have been enough.

He didn't see how any human could do this to the world but then again Harry wasn't a human, not since he was thirteen and he'd been knocked off of a bridge by a sleeping driver in the middle of the night in his summer holidays. Suddenly having wings had been a welcome surprise to a plummeting boy even if they had only slowed his descent. It had taken a full week of hiding before he'd worked out he could hide them within his body but that event had changed him too but he'd never made the mistake of admitting that change to anybody. Not his relatives, not anybody at Hogwarts, not even to Sirius.

Harry's smile shifted into a slightly sad one as he remembered his life while staring at that single innocent Butterfly. It's wings flickered once as the sound crashed back around them and Harry's hand snaked forwards and grabbed at Jez's before he could swat it away. Harry grinned at him before reaching over and cupping his hands smoothly around the Butterfly. He lifted it clear of Jez's head before opening his hands. It sat there calmly on his hands, trusting Harry like most animals seemed to always do.

Harry smiled down at it before raising his hands up into the air. The Butterfly flew off into the sun and Harry watched it go, up until the moment that Jez tackled him backwards onto the grass.


Marwell Zoological Society

Harry arrived at the front gate at eight o'clock on his first day. He'd been told that he'd do alternative shifts. So one day he'd do the later mid-day to ten pm shift and the next day he'd do a five am to three pm day where he'd probably stay the night on site. It was odd hours for him to get used to but if Harry was one thing it was versatile. It would also give him time off in larger chunks.

"Hi." Harry greeted the guard that sat ready to check passes and open the gates into the actual zoo when a staff car arrived. He looked to be about twenty five. "I'm supposed to meet Doctor Mitchell here."

"Oh right." The guard stood up and offered his hand. "I'm Shay and you must be Harry Potter. Doctor Mitchell got called a few minutes ago, he got called to the Primate House. He asked me to take you there."

"Can you leave the gate?" Harry asked, not wanting to be a problem.

"Don't worry about it. They're setting up the visitors booths so they'll keep an eye on it. Besides I really don't do all that much until visitors start arriving." Shay told him with a grin. "You got a car?"

"Yeah, I parked it at the other end of the car park like Doctor Mitchell told me." Harry told him.

"Ok, well we can find you a space in the park later once the good Doctor decides where to stick your office." Shay told him before gesturing for Harry to duck under the gate. Together they began walking up the road towards the enclosures. Harry could hear the sounds of animals all around him.

"Did he tell you what was wrong?" Harry asked eventually as they passed an empty enclosure and then came into sight of an enclosure with three large White Rhinos.

"It's probably just Choto again. He has a habit of being able to open his door from the inside. Nobody can work out how he manages it. He just makes a ruckus until the handlers manage to get a hold of him and put him back." Shay laughed. "He played hell with the Rhinos before though. Got in and sat on Samy's head. He didn't mind but he got a bit protective of Choto and wouldn't let the handlers have him back."

Harry laughed and continued talking to the older man about the park. Shay seemed to know most of the animals by name and Harry soaked in the information knowing that he'd need to learn it all as quickly as possible. They reached the wooden building that housed the Primates and Harry ducked inside when Shay opened the door for him. Inside was a winding wooden pathway between two rows of open topped enclosures housing the different types of Primates.

They walked along listening to irritated shouts coming from further into the building. "What is Choto?" Harry asked.

"A Chimpanzee." Shay told him.

"Figures." Harry shook his head. Chimpanzee's were among the smartest of the animal world with a knack for learning from humans simply by watching them. They were generally fun loving but they enjoyed chaos and mischief.

As they came around a corner they walked into a slightly larger area. A man Harry recognised as Doctor Mitchell from his books was standing side on watching a group of three handlers attempting to get hold of a black Chimpanzee that was sitting on a rafter across the walkway. They didn't seem to be having much luck though as it kept jumping to a new seat every time they tried to get close.

"We're going to have to tranq him, Doctor Mitchell." A shorter woman sighed looking over her shoulder at the Doctor before seeing Harry and Shay standing in the doorway.

A huge grin spread across Choto's mouth and he dropped from the rafter, grabbed it with his hands and swung across the room. He'd crossed the room in a single second and Harry almost froze the scene before realising Choto was heading for him with a happy chatter. Harry tensed as Choto looped his arms around Harry's neck before he span around to piggy 

back on Harry's back. Harry hands came up to grip Choto's even as he shrugged at the astonished looking Doctor and the three handlers.

"Mr. Potter." Doctor Mitchell laughed. "It seems you're making an impression."

"Sorry Sir." Harry told him without much sincerity. "Is there somewhere you want me to put him?"

"Knowing Choto he's not going anywhere." The Doctor told him. "Looks like you're babysitting for a while."

Harry shuddered as Choto chewed on his ear with his lips. "Could be worse." Harry told the Doctor calmly. "He could be a Rhino."

The Doctor laughed before turning to Shay. "Thank you, Shay. I'll take him for now."

"Sure thing, Doc." Shay told him. "You let me know if you need anything, Harry."

"Thanks, Shay." Harry nodded at him.

"Have fun with Choto." Shay laughed even as Choto began ruffling Harry's hair.

"Let's take him to the medical centre." Doctor Mitchell told Harry. "He's due for a check up at any rate and since he seems to like you, you can help me."

"Sure." Harry nodded and let the man lead him and Choto from the Primate House. Doctor Mitchell led him to an open topped Jeep with two seats in the front. Locked boxes in the back seats and two cages in the boot. Harry didn't have to do anything as Choto spun around to hug his front. Harry took the offer of sitting in the passenger seat and Choto sat on his lap. "Is he normally this tame, Doctor Mitchell?" Harry asked the older man.

"I don't think he's ever sat down for so long in one place." The Doctor laughed. "And as long as we're working together, call me David."

"Really?" Harry asked. "Thanks."

"You're lecturers all seem to think you have a gift for calming even the most erratic animals." David glanced at him as they pulled away and headed up one of the roads towards Marwell Hall where all the offices and the main medical centre was. "I see now what they mean." Harry laughed but that soon ended when Choto kissed him right over the nose. David laughed at him.

The medical labs were extensive. There was a reception room that visitors could enter. It was filled with information on what the vets did in Marwell. There was a door on the left that was labelled as a lecture theatre, obviously for talks. On the far wall was a door which was locked with a keypad that said private. David showed him the code before opening the door and leading them through. There was a corridor lined with two examination rooms, a lab and then a storage room, two offices, a staff room, and an overnight holding room clearly designed to 

hold even the larger cats. A door led from that room out into a loading bay for safe transfer of animals.

The corridor led out onto the balcony that overlooked the lower green behind the Hall, there was a playground and picnic benches and off to the left the bird cages and then opposite the Hall was the large Cattle enclosure.

David led Harry and his passenger into one of the examining rooms and Harry managed to get Choto to sit on the table without too much argument. "We've got two other vets working at Marwell at the moment." David told him as he headed for the counter and pulled off his jacket. Harry pulled off his own jacket and hung it next to the door. "George tends to work the later shift and Katie works a daylight shift. One of us will always be on during the night shift with you and we'll be keeping you busy I assure you."

Harry nodded to show he was paying attention even if the man wasn't looking at him. "I'll have Katie show you around when she arrived at nine. She'll take you around the zoo and introduce you to all the animals but I'll be giving you a portfolio of all the animals. I want you to spend your free time going through it. Learn the animals by name and look at their previous records. Will that be a problem?"

"No, Sir." Harry assured him.

"Good. Katie will show you up to the night shift room upstairs in the admin area too and get you kited out in a uniform of some kind and a radio." David continued while pulling on a white jacket and cleaning his hands. He motioned Harry to do the same and Harry did. He was used to this at University. "The radio is yours for the time you work here. You're responsible for making sure its charged. There's a cradle in the night shift rooms and spare batteries in the staff room for your long shifts."

Harry just listened mutely as he continued telling Harry things even though they seemed to come to him at random. Eventually Harry was standing opposite David trying to make Choto stop playing with his fingers. "I'm guessing they've already covered the basics of standard checkups. Taking blood, checking skin, eyes, ears and so on?"

"Yes Sir." Harry nodded.

"Good, when you're around you'll be doing all of that. Katie, George and I will be doing the more advanced tests and we'll try to train you in them too. You'll be left to your own devices if we don't have something planned but always have your radio around since as they get to know you the area handlers will start calling on you instead of us." David told them. "Watch out for a couple of them though, some of them think they know everything about their areas and might argue with what you say. Don't advise a treatment unless you are one hundred percent sure. If you're not sure call one of us. And don't let the handlers argue with you. You're already more trained than some of them. Even said though, some of them know what they are talking about so listen to them."

"Ok." Harry nodded.

"Right, see if you can get a blood sample out of him, Harry." David told him and handed him the needed equipment. "Watch your fingers. Choto knows what they are and he has a habit of biting us."

Harry nodded and took the needle out of the wrapper. Choto was watching him suspiciously as Harry attached the valve to the tube. As soon as Harry reached for Choto's arm and the inside of his elbow Choto jumped to his feet and flapped his hands around. "At least you haven't bitten me yet." Harry told the Chimpanzee calmly. "Now sit back down and this won't take a moment."

Harry reached out to stroke the side of his head and Choto sat cross-legged in front of Harry. It took a few more calming words before Choto let him press the needle into his arm and draw the blood he needed. Harry pulled the needle out a moment later, dabbed at Choto's arm for a moment until he was sure that it wouldn't bleed again. Choto wrapped his arms around Harry again and Harry was forced to lift him up. Harry manoeuvred the primate around onto his back so he could sort out the blood before offering the vial to a silently watching David who grinned at him.

"I think you're going to make life a little easier around here." David chuckled at him. "Let's get through the rest of the checks, get him back to his cage and then Katie can take you through the blood tests in the lab once she arrives. She'll be rather jealous you managed that so easily. He took a chunk out of her last time she tried."


That afternoon

Harry had spent the morning following Katie around on her work. She was a rather bubbly twenty-eight year old veterinarian surgeon who was the Zoo's surgeon when it came to the animals. She wore glasses like Harry had done before he'd started using contacts but they didn't take away from her face like Harry's done. The silver rims went well with her black hair which seemed to constantly get in her way. Harry liked her open attitude. Plus she didn't treat him like a child like he was so used to.

He'd expected to be treated like an idiot as well but so far he hadn't gotten much of that. There were still a few handlers to meet as well as George but so far it looked good. He'd had a few moments where the head-handlers, as Katie called them, acted like he was just out of pre-school but Katie hadn't been deterred, in fact their few conversations so far about the animals showed that he was well on his way to being excellent in his chosen field.

Harry had come out to eat his lunch that he'd gotten at the park cafe. He'd sat on a bench overlooking the Tiger enclosure which seemed to attract at least a dozen or so visitors at every moment. The tiger hadn't cared about him so far but Harry had never been face to face with one of the Panthera family before but he doubted his normal calming 'powers' would work against something that would quiet happily tear him limb from limb.

Harry didn't know where that effect came from though he had his theories. As far as he could tell everything tied in with his wings. The dark navy, almost black, wings that seemed to reflect the light were a lot of things to him that he wouldn't be surprised if whatever gave him the wings gave him the powers that made him stand out from the world around him. For starters he could only guess that whatever he was allowed him to freeze time like he did. Apart from the obvious ability to fly he also seemed to have a calming effect on animals though that seemed to have its limits. He hadn't been able to calm down the Blast-Ended Skrewts at all.

Added to that was the wings ability to deflect magic. That had taken some testing but after tearing one of his ligaments while dodging a rather peeved Griffon he'd failed when he tried the simple spell to heal it. Lastly was the magic he was most confused about. He felt like he should be able to heal. Like if somebody transfused his blood their own bodies would rejuvenate. The concept plagued his dreams but the few times he'd tried it with wounded animals had done nothing but make them ill.

Harry watched as Jemilikan, one of the female tigers took a twisting leap into the air from one of the rocks in the enclosure. She froze even as the world around him fell utterly silent. Her jaws were just about to close barely an inch short of the small blue and red butterfly daring a crossing of the enclosure.

Harry smiled at the scene. At least time was something he had plenty of.


End Chapter