The characters and devices featured within do not belong to me. Harry Potter and his universe belong to the amazing J. K. Rowling, while Discworld is the brainchilde of the masterful Terry Pratchett. I am neither of these people, I'm simply playing in their world. Don't sue, I have no money.
(Harry Potter / Discworld crossover) Harry finds himself in need of some new school equipment.
This is set during Goblet of Fire in Potterverse, but has no connection in the slightest to books 5-7, for reasons that become clear as you progress. It just references certain items from Pratchett.
Author's Note :
Be aware that this has major Ron bashing in it, it is very definitely a non-Ron-friendly-zone. In fact, this is an anti-Ron fic.
If you have a problem with that, then you really shouldn't read this.
Harry Potter and the Baggage of Doom
And the year had started out with such promise.
First was getting away from the Dursleys – always a high point – then getting to go to the Burrow and spend the rest of the holiday with his adoptive family. The Quidditch World Cup had come out pretty evenly in his book. On the plus side he got to see how the professionals played the game he loved so very much, on the negative was that he almost died when the camp was attacked by Voldie's Death Munchers.
Then the school year began proper, and with all the rushing to and fro in Diagon Alley visiting the various stores for the needed equipment, he had no time to be worried about Sirius or any of the other troubling matters at hand. The train ride had been pretty standard. Sitting with the Weasleys, catching up when their other friend Hermione arrived, facing off with the ferret when he inevitably showed up. Nothing unusual.
The excitement when reaching Hogwarts and hearing that they'd be having students from two other highly prestigious schools joining them for that term, in preparation for some big surprise that had the Wizarding World all abuzz.
Seeing the delectable girls of Beauxabaxtons Academy, with their ever so pert rears, glide down the hall had been especially pleasant, and the stomping violence of the Durmstrang students had been just as impressive. And then came the announcement.
For the first time in over one hundred years the Triwizard Tournament was going to be held again, at Hogwarts no less. To the sounds of much moaning and groaning from various students throughout the hall, most notably the Weasley twins, the tournament was only open to those in their sixth year and above. Meaning for once that he, Harry Potter, wouldn't have to prove yet again how 'amazing' he was, and finally have a quiet year.
Of course, that's when some bloody bastard put his name in the cup and enchanted the goblet to spit it out. So there he was, a runner in one of the most dangerous activities in the Wizarding World, and completely shunned by all and sundry since they all seemed to think of him as a glory hound.
But at least he had his friends, right?
Sure he did.
The moment Ron got him alone that night, the redhead had immediately torn into him, saying that 'yet again the great Harry Potter needed his spotlight, needed the girls to notice him, needed to be the star'. He'd gone on in that tone for some time, leaving Harry stunned with mouth agape. When he tried to get a word in edgewise, Ron just talked over him, ignoring everything he had to say, treating him like the worst form of scum.
Needless to say, the figurative temperature of the room that night had been subfreezing.
But when all was said and done, he knew that he'd always have one friend who'd believe and stand by him.
Well, he'd been close.
She had believed him when he told her he had nothing to do with his name appearing, nor that he wanted anything to do with it; however she did not stay by his side showing her support. Instead, she tried to be the mediator between the two ex-friends, tried to be the glue that held them together, tried to help them reconcile. All she managed to do was distance herself from them both.
So there he was, alienated from his peers, betrayed by his friends, alone in what might by the most dangerous thing he had ever faced – barring facing off against a Dark Lord of course – with barely any spell training at all.
Unable to face the stares and whispers echoing through the great hall as the houses ate their evening meal, he'd decided to go back to his room to get some studying done.
And found this.
Somebody had smashed his trunk open and destroyed all the schoolwork he had already completed, as well as used what looked like reductors on all his school books and clothes. The trunk itself looked to be too far gone to repair, meaning he now had to get a new one; unfortunately he didn't even know where Hagrid had bought this one.
But what hurt him the most was that they had ripped up the photos from his parents' album. They had attacked the most prized possession he had. As he held the torn papers in his hands, and cried silent tears of pain, he only hoped that these could also be repaired by magic. Otherwise, the last remaining link to his parents, the only pictures he had of their faces, would be lost forever.
Hearing a sound at the door, he looked up to see a smirking Ron gaze at him for a moment before turning and walking away, whistling merrily.
He sat there with his tears drying on his face, horrified that such a thing was possible, that Ron, the person he considered his brother, would willingly and vindictively hurt him like this. Would attack him where it would hurt the most. His breath coming in gasps as the rage built in his chest, he slowly gained his feet, not seeing the way the items in the room started to vibrate as the magic began to escape his control.
Holding his wand in a much shaking hand, Harry pushed open the door and purposefully starting walking. Ron wasn't in the common room, not surprisingly since food was still being served. Choice made, Harry continued on his path, still oblivious to how candles that were near him were turning into puddles on the floor, how carelessly placed papers were browning around the edges, how small objects were taking off and flying around the room. Harry was too lost in his own rage to notice, or to care.
As he stormed out, those paintings who had been cowering in their frames at the fearsome display of accidental magic, leapt to their painted feet and ran out to warn the rest of their brethren that Potter was on the warpath, and to stay out of his way.
Standing before the entrance to the great hall, he could hear the murmur of voices and the clink of plates inside. But all he could think about was the loss of his possessions, and the vengeance he would reap on the one responsible.
With his wand ready, he moved towards the doors which swung open with a boom, in a wave of power thrust out by him. All speech cut off abruptly at the sudden sound, and those inside craned their heads to see whatever caused it. They did not have to wait long.
Striding down the walkway between the centre tables, Harry was an imposing sight. With anger surging through him, he was unconsciously exuding an air of menace, not unlike what Snape tried to do, one that caused those near him to shy back in fear.
Ignoring all – the shocked stares, the new whispers his entrance had brought up, even the jokes and catcalls from the Slytherin table – Harry moved to where the redheaded traitor was sitting. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Professor McGonagall hurriedly rising to her feet, but he knew she'd be too late.
Harry could see his target's mouth opening to speak, but he pre-empted him.
The force from the spell, augmented by rage and betrayal, was enough to yank the retard up from his seat and throw him violently into the wall at his back with a painful sounding crunch, while Ron's wand flew from his hand at such speed that had Harry not caught it, it would have impaled someone at the table behind.
Ignoring those nearby, rising to their feet in horror at his actions, Harry took a step forward and prepared another spell, something Sirius had taught him through his letters.
"Mister Potter! What is the meaning of this! You will explain your actions this instant!"
Though he desperately wanted to finish the curse, Harry reluctantly lowered his wand and turned to look into the infuriated eyes of his head of house.
'That traitorous piece of shit had it coming. He attacked my things, destroyed my possessions. He deserves what he's about to get."
As he spoke, his wand rose almost of its own volition to finish the spell and deal with mo-Ron, but was stopped as a pair of arms wrapped around him.
"Harry, calm down. Please. Whatever he did, I'm sure he's sorry. Give him a chance and he'll apologise. We're all friends here."
Ever the peacemaker, Hermione was trying yet again to prove that a reasonable solution could be reached. This time she was in for a rude awakening.
"Hermione, I know you're trying to help, but this time he's gone too far." Seeing her mouth open to obviously rebut his statement, his patience snapped and he blurted out for all to hear, "He destroyed my parent's album! And he was grinning when he saw how it hurt me. That... thing... is not my friend, now or ever again."
Shrugging off her now limp arms and turning from the horrified look that his words had induced on her face, he gazed into the Professor's disappointed eyes, and told her something that silenced the hall.
"Professor, I want you to move me to another dorm, or move me to another house. Either way, I'm leaving. It's up to you what colours I wear from now on."
He knew he should be happy, to have a room so luxuriant, so elegant, so majestic. Yet all he felt was depression. After the huge blow-out with Ron during dinner, McGonagall had done her best to place him in another of the dorms, but had been unable to. Unfortunately, his entire house had pretty much turned against him, believing him to be everything the Daily Prophet had been describing him as, such beliefs becoming ironclad after Ron's 'explanation' of his actions.
Ultimately, the professors had been forced to open up one of the spare chambers built into Gryffindor Tower but left vacant until needed. Apparently the house elves had gone into paroxysms of joy when they saw the amount of dust and filth covering the chamber; it seemed it was true that the species got pleasure from work – the more work, the more pleasure.
So here he was, sitting in a room so opulent as to make a Malfoy wriggle, and all because no-one else wanted to be near him. The only high point was that the photos had been repairable, though some of them looked a little put out by their treatment. The trunk, as expected, had been a total loss. It hadn't been much of one, dented and battered, clearly second-hand, yet it had been his.
Meaning he now desperately needed a new one.
Alas, since it was early in the school year, and so close to the first task of the tournament, Dumbledore had regretfully informed him that travelling back to Diagon Alley to purchase a replacement was simply not possible.
Personally, Harry couldn't see why since magic would have made it a very quick trip.
So he was going to have to make do, until the next Hogsmeade trip at least. He was desperately hoping to find a shop there that might have something for him, but with the way his luck was running, it was unlikely.
Walking through Hogsmeade alone made him feel even more isolated, but Harry persevered. He had briefly spotted Ron and Hermione walking towards Honeydukes, and had quickly ducked behind a handy wall until they were past. He didn't trust himself to be able to hold his temper if good old 'Ronnikins' started up again.
So now he was wandering down the back alleys of the town, keeping away from any of the main thoroughfares where he might run into other students, seeing what shops might exist, squirrelled away from normal sight.
He had been looking for almost an hour and was thinking about turning back, when he heard a strange whirring sound. Glancing around sharply to place it, he noticed a shop where he would have sworn there had been an empty lot a moment before. Shaking of his bemusement, since not even in the Wizarding World did shops appear out of thin air, Harry moved over to the window to peer inside and see its wares.
From what he could make out through the dirty glass, it seemed to be an old junk shop full of strange odds and ends. Hopeful for the first time in what felt like a long while, he pushed open the door and entered.
Just to freeze on the threshold as he saw the stock.
Dribbly candles. A stuffed crocodile hanging from the rafters. Jars of strange goopy liquid that slowly moved as he watched. And a little old lady sitting behind the counter smiling cheerfully at him.
"Hello deary, how can I help you?"
'Well,' Harry mused, 'not what I was expecting, even from a wizard's store, but I might get lucky.'
"Miss, I had an accident involving my school trunk and a malicious dorm mate and need a replacement. I'm kind of hoping you might have something for me. But if you don't, its okay. It's not really urgent."
Small shrewd eyes peered out at him from a wrinkled face, and Harry had the uncomfortable feeling that she knew just by looking, exactly what had happened, and why. The feeling grew, and his hand began to creep towards his wand in response, when suddenly it vanished leaving him foolishly gripping his robes like a scared first year.
"Now don't you worry about little old me, I mean you no harm, and I think there's a good bet I have something you can use." So saying, she placed his wand on the counter before her. Picking it up, he wavered for a moment before putting it away. "Just go ahead and have a look around, see if anything catches your eye."
Trying to ignore how her unwavering smile was seriously creeping him out, Harry sidled into the chaos that was the shelving system of the shop. But no matter how far into the mountainous mounds of merchandise he went, he could feel her smile watching him still.
Ten minutes later and he was starting to get frustrated. The shop wasn't that big and, though the items for sale had no organisation as far as he could tell, he was sure he'd searched every shelf, nook and cranny, and had no luck finding anything even resembling a trunk. But every time he'd begun to consider giving up her voice would sound out 'Don't worry deary, its in there somewhere', and for reasons that eluded him, he would continue.
Finally reaching the end of his patience, he turned and walked back to the front and made to leave. But just as he did, it caught his eye.
He couldn't understand how he'd missed it. It was standing out in the open, not covered in the assorted knick-knacks that had migrated to every other surface visible. Just sitting there, facing him.
It wasn't exactly a trunk, and from the bangs and nicks that marred its surface it certainly wasn't new, but to him it looked perfect.
"This… this is exactly what I was looking for. How much are you asking for it?"
Turning triumphantly to the shopkeeper, he was surprised by the look of shock on her face.
"You can see that?"
"… Yes miss. Why? Is there something wrong?"
"No! No, nothing's wrong, per se, it's just… you're the first person to ever see that luggage. I… didn't think it would ever sell." Seeing the young man in front of her giving her a funny look, she hastened to add, "Oh don't worry, it's not expensive, it's just… that's a magical luggage."
"Well I'm a wizard, that's exactly what I need."
"No, you misunderstand. You will never have seen anything like that," motioning at the object in question, "before. It's unique, even where I'm from. You see, it's alive."
Harry blinked. He knew he must have misheard. Trunks, even magical ones, are not alive. It was simply impossible for inanimate objects to form sentience. He knew he wasn't the most adept at the theory of magic, but he was certain of that.
Which apparently was about to be utterly disproved.
"I know what you're thinking, it's impossible, it can't be done, she's completely batty, blah, blah, blah… but I'm afraid in this case I'm right. You see, this luggage is made from sapient pearwood, the most rare and sought after wood in all of existence, a wood so magical that any item crafted from it takes on a life and personality of its own. Unfortunately, the personalities that develop can be as varied as those found among the traditional races. That one has been known to get… stroppy with some of the people it's come in contact with, to the point where its owner had to let it go.
"But don't worry," she hastily added to avoid letting another customer run screaming into the night like the last one, "if the luggage let you see it, then it must mean it likes you. If you don't believe me, go and give it a pat."
Harry didn't know what to do. Obviously the old woman wasn't playing with a full deck, and common sense said the wise thing to do would be to get the hell out of there.
But on the other hand, he did need a new trunk.
And this one really attracted his interest. There was just something about it the spoke of comfort and security to him. So deciding to play along with the old dear, he reached out a hand and did as she suggested.
And nearly jumped a foot in the air as the luggage leaned into his hand and rubbed against him.
Walking back to Hogwarts, Harry was still trying to figure out how he'd gone from planning to run for the hills, to purchasing the freaky luggage. As his thought turned yet again to his newest acquisition, his eyes inevitably swivelled to the form trundling along behind him. The truly unnerving thing about it was – it had legs. Hundreds of them. Tiny little legs coming out from the base, propelling it onwards, constantly dogging his footsteps. If he was remembering the information the old lady had told him, though his mind had been in a bit of a daze at the time, as the new owner the luggage would now follow him everywhere. Through fire, fog, snow or hail. It would follow him into the mouth of hell, if he was so inclined.
It had bonded to him completely, and would even follow him past the gates of death.
It was kind of understandable why he was feeling so out of it.
But there were good points about it. It would seem to be fiercely protective of its owner, to the extent of killing and maiming its owner's foes. Something he was actually unsure on whether to be happy or terrified about. Useful when dealing with Death Eaters, not so good with the Dursleys.
It was also far bigger on the inside than its modest frame suggested. It was connected to a place known as 'L Space', which was infinite in size, and could hold all his possessions with contemptuous ease.
Though he wasn't too happy with putting the most treasured of his belongings in something so… unnerving.
But what he was finding most uncomfortable, was the future conversation of trying to explain it to Hermione when she found out. He knew, instinctively knew, she would be insufferable about it. It was enough to make him want to cry. He actually manages to get a new trunk, and instead of making his life a little easier, it complicates things even further!
If he had ever needed proof that Fate considered him its bitch, he had it now. His life truly sucked.
God he loved that luggage.
Finally he was free of those annoying kids, constantly running up to him for autographs or pictures, or his peers sneering at him and shoving him around in the corridors. Instead, because of his uniquely wonderful luggage, he was now one of the most feared people in school. Not that he liked that kind of response, but at least they were being honest about their feelings.
It had all started with the first task.
There he was, standing in the tent, waiting for his name to be called to come out and face his dragon, and his luggage rubbing against his knee with a slight vibration running through it – something he'd realised was its version of a purr.
The thrill of adrenaline as his name rang out, his cautious entry into the arena, the massive tail slamming down where he'd practically been standing, the heat of the flames as the dragon tried to roast him where he stood, his frantic heart beating as he prayed that his 'Accio Firebolt' had worked, when it happened.
The dragon let out a horrific screech.
It seemed to shudder in place, then spun with a roar revealing… his little luggage with its lid tightly shut on the tip of its tail. His luggage was helping him. Then all sight of the little chest who could vanished as it was enveloped in a blast of superheated flame as the enraged dragon exhaled on it.
Moments later, the dragon was yet again screeching in pain, since it had forgotten to get its tail out of the trunk before it did, and now had a blackened stump. His luggage on the other hand, was completely unharmed. Apparently dragon fire was another thing it was immune to. The now slightly deranged drake lunged at the offender, hoping to rend it into kindling with its mighty claws.
Alas, it was not to be.
Mere feet from impact, the luggage exploded into action and launched itself into the very face of danger, lid wide open, teeth flashing white in the midday sun. No-one there would ever be able to forget the scream of utter agony that occurred as the lid slammed shut… on the dragon's extremely sensitive tongue.
The cry would have woken the dead.
For a few frenzied minutes, the dragon could be seen by the awestruck crowd to be flailing back and forth across the arena, pounding its head repeatedly into the stony outcroppings, trying to dislodge the entity that was causing it so much pain. Eventually, the pain grew too much and, with an almighty thunk, it hit its head hard enough to knock itself out. A moment after its hulk had collapsed, its jaws were pushed apart and a very smug seeming luggage trotted out and moved to its stunned owner for some well earned kudos.
Except for Karkaroff, he got maximum scores from the judges for showing them something they had never even heard of before.
All in all, a good day.
The aftermath had also been highly pleasurable for Harry.
The moment he walked into the Gryffindor common room he was met with a resounding cheer, as all his classmates gathered round to congratulate him on his win in an impromptu party. They were all acting very chummy with him, as if their past behaviour had never happened. Harry was cool towards the lot of them, not because he actively disliked them, but more because he no longer felt the need to justify himself to them.
The high point, however, had been Ron's reaction.
He had come swaggering in partway through the celebration, had walked straight up to Harry, slapped him on the back, and congratulated him on putting another scowl on the 'stinking Slytherin's faces'. Acting like their falling out had never happened.
Harry was quick to disabuse him of the notion.
First he shrugged off the unwanted arm, then he spun and pushed his face into Ron's, making the redhead flinch back. Then he went off into a tirade about how they were no longer friends, about his utter contempt for Ron and his 'morals', about his lack of anything resembling true humanity, and how Ron had only stuck around with him to get a piece of the fame.
Though he might have let slip a few things about personal hygiene, and body odour, as well as how mould growing between the toes is not normal.
By the end of the rant, which Harry had been extremely happy to say without raising his voice once, Ron's face was alternating between a deep red and a shocking white. The colours of those surrounding them were much the same, but that was more likely from disgust for Ron's cleanliness issues.
Spinning on his heel, he left the now silent room and strode purposefully to the doorway of his private abode and entered. Behind him he could hear a certain redhead spluttering as he tried to find a rebuttal, and a growing hum of conversation and rumour as the other inhabitants of the party began to discuss what they had witnessed.
Definitely a good day.
The next morning had been almost as special, as when he was going to breakfast he was cornered by Draco and his goons, but before they could even start on their baiting, a wooden shape slammed into Draco's knees causing him to fall violently to the ground.
It was just his poor luck that he was standing at the top of one of the staircases at the time.
Harry had been surprised to see how far down he went. The Malfoys must have had a slinky somewhere in their ancestry.
Walking into the great hall with a wooden companion did get him a number of strange looks but from the way people shied back, news of what was happening was spreading fast. By far the best thing to come out of all of it was that the eternally annoying Rita Skeeter wasn't able to get within ten feet of him without getting a reaction from his companion. Absently he noted the luggage suddenly lunging at and succeeding in eating a small bluish beetle that had been buzzing round them. Though he knew he should be a little worried at its eating habits, that bug had been annoying him for some time.
No annoying people pretending to be his friends, no-one trying to bully or pester him, and no reporters able to get close for libellous interviews. He could definitely get used to this.
Though he had been unable to crack the riddle of the egg by himself, a helpful ghost did pass along a hint that sent him in the right direction. Though that might have been more an interest in seeing him in the bath.
It amused him no end when he heard that the ghosts, being the only ones immune to the luggage's depredations, had been placing bets on who'd be taken down next. According to Nearly Headless Nick, the stakes were getting quite high – even Peeves was getting into the spirit of things. He was staking an oath to give the winner a pass from all pranks he pulled for the rest of the school year.
Some of the stakes the others were using were ludicrous, while others were just downright disturbing.
The only thing that all agreed on was getting Peeves' 'jokes' curtailed. The problem was he had an uncanny knack of knowing exactly who or what was next to be 'gotten'. Harry had his suspicions that the poltergeist had found a kindred soul in his luggage, but was profoundly unwilling to pry.
Some things were just too dangerous for his peace of mind.
Now, standing on the edge of the lake, shivering in the biting wind alongside the other three champions, Harry prepared to start the second task. If it hadn't been for a stroke of luck, in the form of Neville Longbottom, overhearing him curse about the lack of spells allowing him to breathe underwater, he would have had to forfeit altogether. As it stood, he was feeling decidedly queasy at the thought of eating the slimy weed he'd been handed. But enough of that, the whistle was about to be blown, and the race would be on.
He promised himself that if he survived this challenge, that getting to know Neville better would be a definite. Even not knowing him well, and being a quiet boy with… a less than stellar record of magical accomplishment, Neville had truly come through for him. Nothing shows the truth of a man more than how you treat a stranger in need.
The roars of the crowd as the whistle blew and the other competitors dived into the water jarred him loose from his musings, and hastily gulping down the weed, and swallowing back the gag reflex, Harry joined them in the lake.
He had managed to get a decent score in the round, tying him for first place with Cedric Diggory, but he had been censured for his improper use of items. He knew he was only allowed to use what he had taken into the lake with him, but they shouldn't have blamed him because his wooden shadow had followed him – and decided that Grindylowes were a tasty snack. Privately, Harry revelled in the horror that the evil little monsters must have felt when the luggage started chowing down on them.
It served them right for trying to eat the luggage first.
Though he did have to tell it off for going after the giant squid. Friends were most definitely not on the menu. As he had stood over it, telling it off for attacking something it shouldn't, it had developed a distinct hangdog expression. Which was surprising since it didn't have a face.
But after the dressing down he made sure to whisper how very proud he was about its reaction to the Grindylowes, at which point it started bouncing around him like a hyperactive puppy.
Harry was having a hard time remembering a time when he didn't have his faithful companion with him, cheering him up, keeping him safe. As time passed, he was finding the strangest feeling of eagerness welling up inside him for when he returned to the Dursley's come summer.
Unfortunately, before that there were two sizable chores ahead of him. The third task would be difficult, he was positive, but it was the other that scared him to his very core.
He was going to have to dance.
Normally he would have been besieged by invitations by many of the varied girls at Hogwarts BL (before luggage). He had received several dozen requests for his arm at the dance, from girls in most of the years and all of the houses. It had really shocked him when the first Slytherin girl shyly asked him out. It seemed along with their cunning and sneakiness, at least the female Slytherins, had a fondness for the misunderstood badboy – which they all saw him as.
Now they couldn't get close to him without having the luggage try to take their legs off at the knee. He had been starting to despair of finding anyone, when he discovered the most unusual thing.
Luna Lovegood and the luggage got on like two peas in a pod.
They seemed to understand each other on a basic level and, since she was the only girl who'd got within five feet of the luggage without death threats, Harry decided to risk it and ask her out.
The smile she gave him when she said yes lit up her entire face, and had sent his thoughts in an entirely new and unexpected direction. But by no means an unpleasant one.
The night in question had actually turned out to be really pleasant. Luna had been dressed in a long flowing gown that accentuated the curves she had, and stunned Harry when he laid eyes on her. As they had been on the dance floor, doing the required first waltz, all his worries on forgetting the steps had faded as he gazed into her trusting eyes, and before he knew it they were gliding round the floor like pros. Everything had felt perfect, not even the muttered gripings of a dateless Ron could quell the feelings he had.
This might have had something to do with Ron being completely unable to get within speaking distance of a girl since the words spoken at the first task's celebration party. The word had gotten around that dancing with Ron was hazardous to your health, as well as your feet.
When Hermione had been asked by Krum it had been the icing on the cake as far as Harry had been concerned. He had suspicions that Ron had leanings towards her, but from the looks she was sharing with her date, it was likely Ron had missed his chance.
Harry couldn't stop the smirk from emerging.
Luna answering grin made his heart flip-flop.
Standing at the entrance to the maze, Harry felt calm and peaceful. Two months ago he would've been a gibbering wreck, but having a girl like Luna there to support him and believe in him, to stop him from second guessing himself, to show her unwavering faith in him at all times, and to be adamant he couldn't fail. It had changed his life.
She had changed his life.
After the ball, along with finding reasons to spend more time with her, he made sure to get to know Neville. He soon realised that Neville wasn't actually an inept wizard, just that he was being forced to use his father's old wand. Though 'forced' wasn't quite the right way to describe it, more… compelled by the way his gran looked when she saw him holding it. Nonetheless, because his wand didn't really suit him or his magic, he didn't get good results when he tried to cast spells. Hence his reputation for being weak.
With some subtle nudging from his dear friend Luna, Harry had written to Madam Longbottom, and explained the situation to her without her grandson's knowledge, as well as point out Neville's willingness to persevere through the myriad problems he had.
It wasn't clear who was more shocked, Harry or Neville, when his gran showed up at school the next day filled with heartfelt apologies, and had taken Neville to Ollivander's immediately. A scant hour later he was back, brand new wand in hand, completely shellshocked from what had happened.
Apparently, when his gran had received Harry's message she had realised what a frightful mistake she had made and had hurried to fix it as soon as possible. It would appear that a determined matriarch like herself had no trouble in 'persuading' the headmaster that her grandson needed a wand matched to him, and that a 'no' was not an acceptable answer.
The suggestion of twinkling eyes in Dumbledore's face made it seem unlikely she had to press that hard.
The results had surprised everyone, but none more than Harry.
Neville had gone from being the absolute last in most of his subjects, to being one of the best in his year. To make up for his poor control, he had taken to spending vast amounts of time and effort learning the theory behind the spells he was having trouble with. Now, with a properly attuned wand, he was giving Hermione a run for her money. A fact that caused her considerable irritation.
As for Luna, things had progressed slowly but surely. An evening walk here. A quiet night studying in the library there. Time spent eating together and discussing various subjects, school-based and otherwise. When he had at last leant in and captured her lips that first time, after breaking apart – and regaining the equilibrium that was lost in the earth-shattering feeling that rushed through them both – Luna had looked him right in the eyes and said those three magic words.
"It's about time."
Since then a new golden trio had formed, one based on love and true friendship, one that would survive the sands of time. One that would last them the rest of their lives.
And the culmination of it all was this.
The final task of the Triwizard Tournament.
Luna had already told him that win or lose, she would feel the same about him. The glow it gave him still hadn't faded. Glancing to his right, he caught Cedric's eye and gave him a nod between equals. Cedric was a good man, and if anyone was going to beat him, Harry hoped it would be Cedric.
Then the firework went off, and he was racing into the darkness of the hedge maze.
Whimpering in pain, Harry gazed with tear filled eyes at the lifeless body of Cedric Diggory. He was dead, and it was all because of him. If he hadn't insisted they take the cup together, Cedric would still be alive. Harry would be sobbing if it wasn't for the all consuming fear.
The snakey bastard had set it all up. Somehow he had managed to get Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire, all so that Harry could find himself here, in the graveyard where Riddle's father was buried. All so He could be reborn.
Tearing his eyes from the body, Harry instead stared at the monster that had destroyed his life. As Voldemort rose from the cauldron, in all his naked glory, Harry felt a shudder of revulsion run through him. He might have been human before, but now he was decidedly reptilian in appearance.
He didn't know if the glowing red eyes were real, or a spell for the occasion. All Harry knew was… they looked silly.
If he'd left his form as it was, it would have scared most people into submission without him lifting a finger. But with glowing red eyes, it somehow detracted from the total effect. It made him come off as almost… cheesy.
Still scary. Evil, demented, twisted, and vile. But definitely cheesy.
If he wasn't in such dire peril, Harry would have been tempted to snigger.
"Potter. How nice to see you again. You're looking well, that's good. I do like my victims to be in good health before I kill them."
"Hey Tom," The spasm of rage that flitted over his enemy's face made Harry smirk, "nice eyes. How long did it take you to get that effect? Or did you just go ahead, and get contacts?"
He knew taunting the most feared Dark Lord in recent history was a bad idea, but for some reason Harry couldn't give a damn. Instead of feeling terrified and torn by fear, he was in an almost exuberant mood. He didn't know where it was coming from, but he felt like playing with it.
"So I see the whole gang's here, eh? Lucy, good to see you! How's the house elf hunt? I hear you've been unable to replace the one you lost. Terribly silly thing for you to do, giving him a sock. But then, no-one ever accused you of being bright."
"You little… "
Wand flying up into Harry's face, Lucius looked ready to do something terminal to him, when he was interrupted.
"You dare try to take my place?" Harry noted distantly that being a Dark Lord's mortal enemy was bad, but apparently being a flunky who crossed him was something truly unpleasant. As the screams from the Crucio'ed Malfoy rang out over the hallowed ground, Harry glanced around to see what else he could do to screw with their minds.
His thoughts froze however, as his gaze came to rest on a small battered looking wooden box. One that was creeping, ever so quietly, up behind the Dark Tosser. Stopping the laugh that bubbled up inside him was one of the hardest things he had ever had to do, but Harry managed. He didn't know how it had managed to follow him there, but he really wanted to see what happened next.
He wasn't disappointed.
The luggage was able to close to almost striking distance before one of the other Death Eaters spotted it.
"Master! Behind you!"
Voldemort spun sharply, wand at the ready, just to find himself facing a battered old trunk. Thanks to his spies, he had heard much about this entity and was truthfully curious about it. Alas, the fact that it was so close to young Potter made it an inconvenience he had to do away with.
With a lazy flick of his wand, the hellish green curse flew straight and true to impact on the side of the luggage. A great shudder thrummed through it as green energies crackled over it, then all was silent. The luggage was unmoving.
Briefly meeting Harry's disbelieving eyes, Voldemort sauntered over to his defeated foe and kicked open the lid.
He didn't even have a chance to scream.
A massive tongue shot out and wrapped around him and, in a blink of an eye, had whipped back into the trunk now filled with razor sharp teeth, and the lid slammed shut.
Before the horrified gazes of a dozen Death Eaters and the joyful one of a young man, loud crunching noises could be heard emanating from within the wooden confines. Occasionally a single muffled scream would be heard, but was quickly cut off.
For what was like an eternity, but more likely only a few short minutes, the tableau held. All present frozen in place. Finally someone moved.
A short, slightly balding man with one silver hand rushed forward and tried to pry open the lid.
"Master can't die! If you die, who'll protect me from the Potter? Master, come back! Come back!"
Alas, his cries did not go unheeded. When the lid snapped open and the tongue emerged again.
Harry luckily had his wits about him.
"Wait! Don't kill that one, I need him alive! The others are fair game, but not the silver armed freak! Remember Sirius!"
For a moment he thought he was too late, as the tongue had already begun drawing the rat inside, but it stopped at his godfather's name. It was at times like these that Harry was glad he had allowed the luggage to hear the descriptions of his previous years, when he had explained his past to his new friends. Otherwise, the only proof would have disappeared into that mouth, never to be seen again.
But his hoped were dashed as the tongue suddenly resumed its movement and, with a single pathetic squeak, Wormtail disappeared. Torn and stunned by the loss, Harry was oblivious to the carnage that erupted around him. The remaining Death Eaters tried to escape, only to find that the luggage was able to move far faster than should have been possible. A few muffled screams and crunches later, and the graveyard was empty apart from one lost young man, and his travelling companion.
With a thump he felt in his bones, Harry and Cedric's body reappeared lying at the entrance to the maze which they had entered what had felt like a lifetime ago. At first cheers met his ears, but as those present realised that only one of the two bodies was moving, or to be exact, breathing – the cheers turned to screams.
In his shellshocked state, Harry was untouched by the drama.
Seeing the only chance he had to clear his godfather's name disappear in front of him had dropped him into a pit of depression. He knew people were talking to him, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Mr Diggory – but nothing reached him. Until a small warm hand intertwined with his own. Looking up into his girlfriend's compassionate eyes, he felt his barriers break, and the flood of tears drenched his face. Instantly he felt himself drawn into a loving embrace.
For an unknown time, he wept into her shoulder as she stroked his back and whispered sweet nothings into his ears, but eventually he calmed down enough to be able to answer the questions bombarding him.
"It was Voldemort."
The ripple of shock and revulsion at the name was almost comical to see, it reminded a morbid Harry of an Indian Wave. Shaking off the strange thoughts cluttering his head, he jumped to an important part.
"He set me up. He had a spy put my name into the Goblet, he wanted me to compete so he could get me alone. His spy turned the cup into a portkey and… "
"Hush Harry, we know about the spy."
Stumbling to a stop, Harry gazed at Headmaster Dumbledore in disbelief. "You know?! How? Who was it? Was it Malfoy?"
Those damnable twinkling eyes. No matter how angry he was, he could never keep it when confronted by those most dangerous of weapons. He could feel the rage draining from him, and wanted to be annoyed about it, but couldn't find the will.
"It was Mad-Eye Moody. Or should I say, Barty Crouch Jr. He'd been using polyjuice all year to fool us all, even myself I'm afraid. We only found out because your young friend Neville went to his room to return a Herbology book he had borrowed, and discovered the real Moody trapped in the trunk. We managed to subdue Barty, but couldn't find out where you were. In case he was discovered he wasn't told the location.
"Now Harry, I know it's difficult but I need you to tell us what happened. How did He return? And how were you able to escape?"
Sighing, Harry answered as quickly and as concisely as possible. When they reached the fate of good old Tom Riddle, the crowd of eavesdroppers all gave the innocent seeming piece of luggage a look, then took a collective step back.
Harry had an idea that when he wasn't so numb, he was going to get the Headmaster to show him how to use a pensieve, since a lot of the memories from this night were worth viewing over and over again.
He heard a snort, and looked in surprise at the Headmaster for making such an undignified sound. Upon seeing the bemused frown on his face, Harry was compelled to ask, "What it is Professor? Is something wrong?"
Dumbledore turned his twinkling eyes to his young charge and explained in a serious yet playful voice, "Many years ago, I was gifted to hear a prophecy regarding Voldemort. It described the one who would ultimately defeat him. It went as thus :
The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches ...
born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies ...
and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not ...
and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives ...
the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies ...
Harry's horror stricken face plainly showed he had got the references, and Albus hastened to explain, "I knew it meant you when I realised you were the one so marked. Tom had managed to discover half of the prophecy thanks to a spy who overheard it, but he never discovered the rest.
"Harry, the reason I… ah… snorted, was because I realised what the 'power he knows not' was. It was Love, Harry." Lifting a hand to forestall the obvious questions he elaborated, "It was the way you treated those close to you, the way you treated those not considered to have rights. Like magical creatures. Like your luggage. Because of the love you show your friends, the way you treat them, the way you defend them, that is the reason your luggage was able to defeat him."
Dumbledore blithely ignored someone coughing in the background where mysteriously the word 'devoured' echoed quietly through the crowd, "If you had treated it like just another possession, it is likely you would be dead now. Your luggage may have struck the final blow, but it was because of you that it succeeded.
"You are the reason we are finally free of Voldemort, now and forever."
Not sure what to think, unable to cope with the admiration he was garnering with the horror still fresh in his mind, Harry pushed on with the story to have something else to focus on.
His throat constricted when he reached Peter's demise, and a pair of arms encircled him. Willingly he moved into his girlfriend's hug. He wasn't sure if he would ever forgive the luggage for the deed. He would have continued but Dumbledore held up one hand.
Turning his head slightly, a slight frown graced his features. "Does anyone else, perchance, hear screaming?"
Listening hard, each person there realised they could and jumped to their feet to search for the poor soul. A search that was quickly aborted as the luggage's lid suddenly sprang open and a very distraught Peter Pettigrew flew out and landed with a painful sounding thud, which cut off his cry. At first no-one wanted to approach him, less to do with him being supposedly dead, more to do with the fine layer of mucus covering his body from head to toe.
Wherever he had been kept within might not have been life-threatening, but it was certainly lunch-threatening. As it was, from the sound of retching not all the people could hold onto their… meals.
The words were a mere whisper on the wind, yet the silence was so great that all heard it.
"Please help me. Throw me in Azkaban, feed me to a Dementor. Kill me now, just please! I'm begging you! Don't let that thing near me again!"
The abject fear on his gooey face as he tried to edge away from his ex-captor, only to slip in some of the slime dripping off him and bounce his head off the ground as he fell, caused a titter to sweep the crowd. The titter grew in strength, and became a chuckle, then a guffaw. Moments later the entire gathering was in stitches, laughter causing tears to run streaming down their faces at the sad picture before them. Even the stern façade of Professor McGonagall had cracked, letting a slight smile show through.
After all the fear, all the horror, all the nightmares that Voldemort and his minions had given the Wizarding World, it ended like this. Those present couldn't help but feel there was some kind of irony in that, if they could but see it.
A few pops were heard as a number of Aurors arrived, obviously summoned by one of the staff. Quietly mentioning Pettigrew's animagus abilities to them, which caused a few widened eyes, Harry watched them take a very sorry looking rat away for his interrogation. Hopefully very soon, Sirius's name would be cleared and the two of them could start a proper life together, as a family was meant to.
Turning back to the much relaxed audience he finished the tale. To hear that not only had Voldemort fallen to the might of the wooden devourer, but also his inner circle was gone, brought another round of cheers. Everyone was jubilant. Not only was the long nightmare finally over, but the second war that so many had feared, would never now begin. With the only free and loyal Death Eaters taken care of, they could finally relax and take life as it comes.
The time for worries was over.
Drawing Harry aside, Albus leaned in and quietly asked him a very important question, "Harry, Pettigrew was still alive inside your luggage, is there a possibility that Tom is too? Is he dead, or is he simply gone? We need to know."
His eyes locked with the man he considered a mentor. Harry was expressionless for a moment, then a slow smirk spread across his features. "Well, since you ask, I think there is one way I can ease your mind. See, I had to know myself, so I asked the luggage to show me proof. Would you like to see the gift it gave me?"
Seeing the nod of assent, Harry led Dumbledore over to the luggage and whispered something to it. The lid slowly creaked open, and lying within, hidden from all but the two men, one old and one young – was Tom's phoenix feather wand on a plush velvet cushion.
"Harry, I'm afraid this isn't enough. This is just… "
He trailed off as the cushion moved to one side, revealing in all its glory, the mounted and stuffed head of the former Dark Lord, Tom Marvolo Riddle.
Still with glowing red eyes.
Only for some reason, they were staring at the tip of his reptilian nose.
"How about that?"
"… That'll do."
It was the end of the school year, and he'd never felt happier. He was sitting on the Hogwarts Express with his three best friends, having finally made up with Hermione. Ron had become the pariah of the entire school, with his treatment of his now ex-friends, and there was word that next year he wouldn't be allowed back. Harry only wished he could be a fly on the wall when Ron got home and had to confront his mother.
Hermione had found new depths to herself with the challenge Neville presented her, and they could be seen quite often now huddled together in the library arguing over the proper way to interpret the work set them in Ancient Runes. On occasion he and Luna would share amused glances at the way the two seemed to light up around each other. It wouldn't be long now.
Harry was so happy he felt like he was about to burst. Pettigrew's confession under veritaserum had proven not only Sirius innocent, but had brought to light the lack of any formal trial for him in the first place. Fudge's standing was getting shakier by the minute, and any day now, he would be gone from office. Not only had Sirius been officially pardoned, he had gotten a huge settlement, including the return of those assets of the House of Black that the government had seized.
So now Harry was eagerly bouncing in his seat, anxiously waiting for the train ride to end, so he could meet up with Sirius and go with him to their new home. There was even talk of Luna joining him at some point. He wasn't sure exactly what he was feeling for her, but he had an idea. He mused that maybe his parents had the right idea to marry right out of school.
After the role of Lucius Malfoy as one of the inner circle, the revitalised and exultant government had been quick to pass a law stating that any person proved to have connections to the deceased Dark Lord, was to be stripped of their worldly possessions and sent to Azkaban for the remainder of their miserable existence.
This was more to ride on the coattails of Harry's victory than because the government truly felt it necessary, but it did have one pleasant knock-on effect.
Draco was left destitute and in the poor house.
Narcissa was able to rejoin her sister Andromeda as a member of the House of Black, but only after the Lord, Sirius, had laid down some ground rules. Among them, was having to give up all ties to the Malfoy name.
Which included her son.
She did get to continue to live in style, but was unlikely to ever be trusted in any capacity again. And with the general feeling of wizards everywhere, was likely to die old, alone and unloved by anyone ever again.
The last Harry had heard of Draco, he was being dragged from Hogwart's grounds by a pair of Aurors, since being connected to Voldemort but still technically a minor, he couldn't be jailed. Instead he was banished to a magical orphanage. Harry had a sneaking suspicion his godfather had had something to do with that, and would thank Sirius when he saw him.
The only sour taste, came from Snape. With the war finally over, he had handed in his resignation to the Headmaster and left to go into seclusion on his family estate. Harry had been one of many to be blown away at the news that all along the slimy git had been a spy in Voldemort's camp, working on the side of light.
Harry could never forgive Snape for his actions towards him, but he felt a grudging respect for the trials the man must have gone through. He was still tempted to send him some shampoo though.
So with that, his life was finally complete. He had brilliant friends, a loving girlfriend, a godfather who would die for him, and all his enemies had been dealt with.
Even the Dursleys got their comeuppance. It seemed that while Dumbledore couldn't remove him from Privet Drive for his own protection, he had been carefully documenting the abuse being heaped on Harry's head by those within. With the threat gone for good, he was able to finally give Harry the justice he deserved.
Both Vernon and Petunia Dursley were going to jail for at least twenty five years each, for their mistreatment of a minor and all the other laws they broke regarding him. Dudley was being forced to go to St Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys. It had apparently been a real school that they had been planning to send Harry to, if Hagrid and Dumbledore hadn't intervened. He couldn't stay with his aunt Marge, since she was also doing a prison sentence, though a shorter one than her kin, for causing Harry more that a bit of emotional grief over the years.
Best of all, in Harry's book, the house on Privet Drive itself was being auctioned off and the money gained from the sale was being combined with that taken from the Dursleys, to go to Harry as damages for their treatment of him.
It meant that even when they got out, if they were still alive in half a century, they wouldn't have a penny to their names, and would have to start over entirely – and with criminal records the types of jobs available to them will be limited indeed.
Yes, life was good and Harry knew who, or what, to thank for all of it. Seeing Kings Cross come into sight, he dropped the hand not entwined with Luna's to caress the luggage at his feet. Feeling it rub against him in pleasure, he thanked his lucky stars yet again that he had found that little shop.
It was just a pity that when he tried to show it to Luna, it was nowhere to be found.
When he had turned to her, exasperated, she had simply given him a slow smile and said, "It was what you needed. So it was what you got. Come on Harry, let's go home."
Author's Note :
I told you it was weird. So what did you think?
I want it understood that I am in no way a Ron hater, he was portrayed within because it was vital to the plot – and it was fun to write :-P
This was originally an idea I had that I had intending to post as a challenge on , but before I could get back to my computer to type it up, the plot blossomed in my mind. If anyone can see another way to write a funny fic crossing these two worlds, feel free to run with it. All I ask is you give me credit for the idea, as well as sending me the link so I can check it out.
The idea itself hit me out of the blue one day as I was working (hence being unable to get to a PC to post the challenge), and wouldn't leave me alone.
It was a strange idea, with an even stranger plot. I would apologise for any plot points you don't like, except it felt like it wasn't me writing it. My fingers were doing the typing, but the story had a life of its own. I was as surprised as you at some of the twists (e.g. slinky).
I do hope you all enjoyed this dip into 'The Twilight Zone' (tell me it wouldn't fit), and review if you found it enjoyable enough.
Catch you all later.