Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter…
Quote: 'So… what did you do in your free while I was slaving away in Literature?' -Rach
'Oh, we were in the dark room 'making art' weren't we, Jay?' - Me
'Oh yeah, we made lovely art, didn't we, Jess?' - Jay
'What kind of art…?' - Rach
'Well… Jay was enlarging some stuff…' –Me
Just… banter between me and a couple of mates. He was actually enlarging an art piece with the projector in the dark room at my school while I talked to him. We just like to take the piss. We actually kept on with the innuendo like that for about an hour – it was quite funny. Especially when we went back into the dark room and the light went off after I left. Jay got lost in the dark and fell over so we had to go save him xD
Heaven For the Weather, Hell for the Company
Chapter Three: Orion Knight
The headmaster was looking over the letter from professor McGonagall when they arrived. He was frowning at it quite prominently. He looked up in surprise when they walked through the door to his office.
"I thought you were going to explain the syllabus to him… explain a few things about the school?"
"Oh! I did… it didn't take as long as I thought it would." She lied.
He nodded slowly. "Alright. Take a seat, Mr Summers."
Doing as he was told, he couldn't help but feel odd. It didn't sound right for the headmaster to be calling him anything other than Harry. It had always been Harry. It almost seemed wrong.
He put down the letter and raised his head to look him in the eye. "So… a portkey?" he asked skeptically.
"Well… yes. I've never been very good with that spell you see… haven't actually used it in practice before. It was supposed to take me outside the gates but my co-ordinates were off. You're wards are strong, it physically hurt going through them."
"I'm not surprised; they're designed to prevent anyone from entering at any costs. Are you aware of the fact that trying to portkey into the building usually ends in an extended trip to Saint Mungos?" he said, raising his eyebrows. "And yet you're here… fine. You landed on your feet as well, quite a feat."
"I've always been very lucky." Harry replied, simply.
"Yes." He said, looking down at the letter. "Minerva told me."
Harry did a double take. "How-"
Aurora, looking down at her hands, sat down to his right. "Did you tell him?" he demanded.
"W- no! He showed me the letter."
Dumbledore handed it over with a small smile.
It bore all of 3 sentences:
'He's 'the' Harry Potter.
Harry's very lucky to have this chance. Don't ever doubt him.'
She hadn't even bothered to sign it. "How did you know it was professor McGonagall?"
"I recognized the handwriting." He pointed to a large leather bound book on a pedestal on the right side of the room, near one of the staircases. "Whenever a witch or wizard is born in Britain, their name appears in that book alongside their date of birth. That's how I know who to send letters to. You, however, appeared on my list 3 weeks ago. No date, just 'Harry James Potter'. I looked everywhere but there weren't any records of a child named Harry Potter born in the UK around that time. All the other 'Harry Potter's have already been through school, years and decades ago. You've remained a mystery to me and my staff until now. You must have appeared on the list early because it was warning me that you were going to arrive to come to this school. Or rather, this is your earliest appearance into the world. You're a wizard, so you appeared on my list. You haven't technically been born yet, so there was no date. Do you understand?"
Harry nodded slowly. "So… how much do you know?" He glanced at the divination professor apprehensively.
"That you're from the future. I'm not to doubt you. And apparently you're very lucky. Your words not mine." he sat back in his seat. "Can I ask how old you are, whether you've been to school here before…?"
"I'm 18 in a couple of months… or I would be… I don't know how this works… I went to this school up until my 6th year, when I had to drop out at the end to… pursue a few things. I missed my entire 7th year. I was going to repeat it in my own time, but then my mum…" He shook his head. "I think that's as much as I can tell you without telling you anything about the future."
Dumbledore nodded agreeably. "Oh, yes. At all costs, keep the information about the future of myself, and others in this school to yourself. Information like that can be the undoing of the universe." He looked at Aurora. "Only a few are gifted with both knowledge and the sense of when things can be changed."
She twisted her engagement ring around her finger, about to say something when her vision blurred and a memory was forced to the forefront of her mind. The memory of the first day she met Orion, his first day in office, as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, exactly one year ago.
She watched as Orion made his way into his classroom, placing a couple of books on his desk, flipping his dark hair out of his eyes. She followed him in and smiled. "I see you decorated already.''
"Yea.'' He replied, smiling forlornly at the pictures on the wall.
She made her way over to a few of them, on the wall directly opposite him. Aurora ran her fingers across the photo frames and faces of the people. "Who's this?'' she asked, pointing at a group of about 45 students in a room with mirrored walls and grate flooring. She could see them all dressed in black, white and grey uniforms, their multi-coloured striped ties either loose or missing all together, girls in skirts and loosely buttoned white blouses, while the boys where the same only in trousers. Those who wore jumpers, she noticed had crests which bore the same colours as their ties, like different groups… she couldn't make out what was on the crests, but thought nothing of it.
Orion made his way over to her, seeing her pointing at the boy of about 15 who stood proudly in the middle, at the front. He had unruly black hair and almond shaped emerald green eyes. "That's…'' he cleared his throat. "That's my godson, Harry.''
"Oh, who are the others…?''
A man stood at the edge of a large glacier directly in the middle of Antarctica. He stood tall, despite the blistering winds, his heavily gloved hands in the pockets of his ski jacket. The darkened goggles he wore hid his midnight blue eyes from the harsh cold of the Antarctic as they scanned the land around him. The whiter than white snow pelted down to the ground around him, making it extremely difficult to see any further than 5 meters in front of him, which is where his specialized goggles came in handy.
He took his right hand out of his pocket, using his left to remove the gloves from his hand before he drew his wand. He cast a warming charm on his now slowly freezing hand before he tapped the edge of his goggles. They slowly changed colour, tinting green instead of black, he could now see strait through the snow, and to the mountain tops ahead of him.
He zoomed in on one spot a few miles ahead and frowned, seeing the time, date, distance travelled, and distance left to go in an emerald green script imprinted on the left side of his goggles. Calculations of how long it would take to walk to their next safe spot slowly filed down the right side, giving them an easy route there that would hopefully have them there before night fall. It was dangerous to be out at night.
He tapped his goggles again and pocketed his wand, replacing his glove on his right hand.
A woman of no older than 18 came up behind him, forcing herself through the treacherous winds. "Professor? The others are wanting to know when we are going to set off…Professor?'' she placed a hand on his shoulder, he shrugged it off.
"Don't call me professor, Jezebel. I haven't taught you for a while now. 'S Mr Knight now, alright?''
She nodded enthusiastically. "Are we going to leave soon, Sir?''
He gave a slight incline of the head. "Round up the others. There is a ridge exactly 2.36 miles away from here if we carry on in a north easterly direction, we should arrive within the hour.''
Once the others in their group were collected around him, he continued. "I know we've done naught but walk all day, but we need to get to that ridge soon!'' he called over the noise of the wind. "When we arrive, we need to set up camp and have dinner; you'll have until midnight before we go over the mountain to find what we are looking for… Stay close to me.''
They all hurried along behind him as he made his way across the ice in front of him. Jezebel ran forward to walk by his side. "Sir? We – we're going out at midnight?'' Orion nodded. "But…Didn't Dumbledore say we weren't to go out after dark? The... the creatures that we're looking for, they'd kill us!''
He slowly turned to look around at her, his reassuring smile lost behind the black cotton face mask. "Don't worry; you'll be safe with me. We wouldn't be doing this, but our dead line is tomorrow, we have to be back by then. What with the incident with Chloe, we are behind. So we're going to have to portkey back to base, and then get quick transport back to headquarters before I go back to Hogwarts.
If we go back without what he sent us for, he won't be too happy, and he won't trust us to go out and to try and get it a second time. So, we go at midnight, get back before sun rise, and make our way back home at sun rise.'' He paused and glanced at her again, wrapped his arm around her side, giving her a short squeeze as he rubbed her right arm before letting her go. "Don't look so worried!"
She smiled, he knew she had, though could not see it due to the cotton face mask that, like his, and covered her neck, mouth and nose. He smiled back and turned to look behind him, searching for Chloe, she'd fallen through the ice a few days ago and they'd been forced to stop for a couple of days to help her get through it before moving on, she was still having trouble walking properly. He spotted her dark purple ski jacket amongst the other blue, black, and grey ones. Only he, Jezebel and Chloe wore that colour, and with the two girls varying in height, it was easy for him to spot them both. He motioned for her to come forward.
She quickened her pace and caught up with him, letting him grab her wrist and pull her the last meter that was left between them. "How're you holding up?'' he asked, looking down at the 18 year old girl as she struggled to walk forward without pain.
"I'm… alright, not great, but I'll be okay.''
She gasped in pain as she jarred her bad leg, nearly tripping over a raised piece of ice. He grabbed her arm to stop her from falling and pulled him to his side, right arm around her waist, allowing her to lean on him for support, he would have loved to stop and let her calm down, have a rest, but if they didn't get there soon, they wouldn't have time to set up camp, and secure it before night fall.
"You're okay…'' he mumbled to her as she buried her head into his side, she had tears of pain filling up her goggles. She wrapped both her arms around his middle as he tightened his grip around her waist, rubbing her side slowly. He felt horrible, she was in a lot of pain and he couldn't do anything about it… though it didn't help that she was Auroras little sister. He was pretty close to her, which made it rather personal that she got hurt and he wasn't by her side to stop it from happening.
"She alright?'' asked Jack from behind him. He was 21, and had just gotten out of Auror Academy, rather than school, like the two girls either side of him. There was 6 of them altogether, a small group of newly recruited Order of the Phoenix members out on their latest mission. He himself was the eldest there by far, and the one in charge.
"No.'' he said bluntly. "Which is why we need to get to camp as quickly as we can, alright?''
The others nodded and they sped up slightly.
He looked down at Chloe. "You know I can carry you if you want?''
She sniffed and shook her head. "That's okay.''
"You sure? I can give you a piggy back, it'll be fun.''
She gave a short laugh. "No, I'll be okay.''
"Well, let me know if it gets worse, alright.'' She nodded. "You promise?''
When she reopened her eyes she found both Albus and Harry looking at her. "Are you alright?
"Yeah, I just…" She cleared her throat. "While I'm here – Orion, when will he be back? He's late…"
The headmaster glanced at Harry once before deciding it didn't matter and answering her question. "He's due back from the mission tomorrow. Unfortunately, a couple of days a go there was an accident that delayed them."
"…What kind of accident?" She asked apprehensively.
"You're sister. She fell through the ice. She's fine, but she will need medical attention when they arrive back. He'll be taking her to the hospital wing so you can see her tomorrow."
She jumped out of her seat. "I uhh… I'll have to come and see how you're doing later, Harry. I just need to make a quick call." She closed her eyes tightly and turned back around to the headmaster. "If that's alright with you."
He shrugged. "So long as you can get a hold of him, I don't mind."
She nodded in thanks and all but ran from the headmaster's office.
He tilted his head in interest. "So what house were you in in your time, Harry?"
A small, almost undetectable smile came upon his face and Harry knew he was deducting who his father was right this minute. "Would you like to automatically be placed in your old house, or can I resort you?"
Harry thought about it for a few seconds. On the one hand, he could be in a house with his parents, with Sirius and Remus. He could get to know them, befriend them… and on the other, he could be sorted into a different house and watch them from a distance. He was supposed to be there to meet them, to see them as they were, not to interfere and possibly change their lives. He closed his eye, torn.
He so wanted to meet his parents properly. But he knew that the moment he spoke to either of them he'd want to tell them everything, to save them. Because he was weak, and he loved them so much, even though he didn't really know them. He just about managed to shake his head jauntily. "No." He said harshly, through clenched teeth. "I want to be resorted."
The headmaster regarded him for a moment, suddenly realising with a pang of what was perhaps dread, that this boy wasn't here to meddle with the past, or for the fun like perhaps his father may have done. He was here to learn. He didn't want to know what the future had to hold, not if it would lead to feeling the way Harry Potter looked right at that second.
Scared, torn, upset and aggrieviated all at once. It was like it physically hurt to make this decision.
The moment Orion woke the next morning, he knew something was wrong. Everything was set into a deathly silence that was only disrupted by the occasional rattling of the cadged, now caught creature that they'd came for… and whispering to his right. He rolled over and frowned, the temperature in the room had dropped. He drew his wand and strengthened the heating charm on the tent, then turned to the source of the whispering.
It was Chloe and Jezebel.
"Look, Chloe, I think I should wake him…'' whispered Jezebel.
"I'll be fine.'' Replied Chloe in a strained voice. "I don't want to worry him… We have to tough it out for a few more hours, then I can go get myself sorted out.''
"I heard you promise him you would tell him if things got worse!''
"It's only a few hours, I'm fine.'' She slipped out of her sleeping bag and stood up, making her way over to the entrance of the tent, stepping over the others as they slept peacefully.
"Where are you going?'' hissed Jezebel, sitting up, her darker than dark brown eyes wider than usual.
She stopped and turned to look at her, half way through stepping over Jack; her legs placed firmly on the ground either side of his still form. "I need some fresh air.'' She turned and continued to weave around the random items (and people) that littered the floor of the tent.
"You can't! It's still dark out, it's too dangerous.''
"I don't care! If I don't breathe in fresh air soon, I will die, alright, so piss off and leave me be.'' She was two steps away from the tents entrance, when she doubled over in pain and clutched her stomach. Both Orion and Jezebel where out of their sleeping bags like a shot. He got their first; he was closer to her than Jezebel. He placed one arm around her back and leant forward with her, she didn't move or react, but upon reaching her level, he saw the strained look on her face, mouth clamped shut, lips pressed tightly together, he eyes where squeezed shut. "Clo?'' she didn't reply.
He gently began to move her back with him, intending on helping her lie down, but a gasp of pain left her lips as she cried out. He stopped. "Right, okay, give me your hand, you can't stay like this, okay?'' she nodded slowly.
He nodded to Jezebel, and she came running over, nearly falling over Jack as she did. Her foot got caught under his stomach and she stumbled, waking him in the process.
"Wuzgoing on?'' he mumbled groggily, his eyes not quite open as he stretched his arms above his head.
Orion bit his bottom lip. "Stay there, Jack, we'll explain in a minute.''
Jezebel grinned down at Jack apologetically. "Sorry.''
He leant back, his arms folded behind his head while he did as he was told, lying back across the floor in his sleeping bag. He smirked up at her. "S'allright.'' She smiled back.
"Yes, alright kids, we get it, you like each other. Now will you hurry up!'' cried Orion, standing half bent over a few meters to the right of her, arms wrapped firmly around Chloe.
She nodded, finished walking over Jack and stopped when she was about a meter away from them. She just stood there for a moment before Orion glared at her and nodded to something she couldn't see. "Blankets, water!'' he growled, clearly getting angry. She nodded again, pausing again, looking around the room. She blew hot air up over her nose, flapping her arms about for a moment before she spied what she'd been looking for.
After retrieving a pile of thick blankets and a bottle of chilled water from their supplies, she placed them both on the floor next to Chloe, giving the water to Jack to hold before laying the blankets out on the floor behind Chloe and Orion. She stood back and waited as her ex-professor slowly lay Chloe down, straitening her out. She fell to her knees by her best friends' side, taking the water back from Jack and handing it to her.
Orion took both of Chloe's hands it his and sat down behind her, her head resting in his lap. She couldn't help but notice that his hands were shaking. "I'm okay. I'll be fine, don't worry.'' He smiled at her, but it was clear that her words hadn't consoled him in the slightest.
She was his fiancée's little sister, and he'd let her hurt herself, then later come to the point where she couldn't move at all. He almost felt ashamed.
"Can I move now?''
Orion gave Jack an exasperated look, and then nodded. He grinned and got out of his sleeping bag, standing next to Jezebel. "Oh, and just for the record… me and Jez don't… you know, like each other.'' He pointed between himself and Jezebel as if to emphasise his point.
Orion narrowed his eyes. "I think we should be more worried about Chloe right now than your ominous love life.'' Jack nodded. "Right.'' He dropped down into a sitting position next to Jezebel.
Orion tore his eyes away from Jack to look down at Chloe. "Right, I need you to tell me exactly what's wrong, and where it hurts, Jez, I need you to call for a helicopter from base 4 to come pick us up.''
"Why base 4?''
"Because it will get here the quickest, now go.''
Jezebel ran off to the tent entrance to send her Patronus off to base.
"I - it's really not that bad, you don't need to send off for anybody.''
He squeezed her hand lightly so she sighed and began to explain.
"I stood on something… I didn't trip or anything I just doubled over, you know the way you do to grab your foot and swear at whatever inanimate object beat you up? Only when I bent forward I got this shooting pain down my back."
"Agony." She said shortly, smiling forcefully.
It took around 45 minutes for the helicopter to arrive, and another 15 to load everything up into it. It had been difficult enough getting the two cadged creatures into the small holding area at the back, never mind getting Chloe into the front, she was lying strapped down on a stretcher.
They'd figured that she landed on her back when she fell through the ice into a small, yet deep ice cave, it had been completely white, an underground conglomeration of ice, crystals and rock. Orion was sure that she had fractured her spine, adding to the further, rather painful things that were wrong with her.
They had been in the helicopter for little over an hour, with only a few minutes left until their arrival at their first destination when Jack began to complain.
"Is there any way of shutting those things up?'' He whined from where he was lying across a massive pile of sleeping bags and extra blankets.
Orion looked from the two magical creatures in separate cages (to stop them from ripping one another apart) a few meters away from Jack, to Jack himself who was lying on his back across an uneven pile of unrolled sleeping bags, extra blankets and pillows. "No.'' He said plainly.
Jack made an odd whining noise. "But… But it's annoying me!''
"Just be quiet Jack.'' Whispered Jez, half asleep.
He went quiet for a few moments. "…How much longer till we get there?''
Orion sighed exasperatedly. "A few hours.''
"A few hours? What do you mean, a few hours? Why can't we just floo… or, or apparate… or – oh I don't know, just something faster! If she's in that much pain, surely it's safer to get her home sooner.''
Orion gave him a look. "We'll get to the docks in half an hour. Then we take a magically powered ferry from the docking point, which is actually faster than the helicopter, being magically powered. After we've gotten through the Atlantic Indian Antarctic basin, we can apparate to the Prince Edward Island. After that we get to floo to the base in Madagascar before setting off by private jet to somewhere near Turkey, continuing on over to Paris where we can then apparate over to the safe point in central London, where we will then be picked up in a jeep by a very trusted order member, alright? We should be back at Head Quarters by half past three for the debriefing then you lot can bugger off and I can get to Hogwarts. There'll be medical attention all ready and waiting for Chloe when we get there. So no lack of excitement for you there.''
Jack was quiet for a few more seconds before he burst out with: "But why can't we just apparate from here to London?''
Orion almost growled, making Jack fall short toward the end of his question, he sounded remarkably like a dog. "Because it's not safe to apparate across that kind of a distance, and most certainly not safe to try to floo Chloe anywhere. Portkeying will jostle her about too much. The only reason why we're flooing to Madagascar is to shave off a few hours of the journey, and it will have to be done with great caution… We'd apparate to different locations and get home in minutes but to be honest, she's having trouble breathing as it is. It's much safer for her to be patched up and for us to take the long way there than it is to rush and possibly end up killing her.''
Jack was quiet for the rest of the journey to the docks.
Professor Dumbledore handed him the sorting hat. "Before you're sorted – what classes were you studying for NEWT's in your own time? I can get Minerva to draw up your time table ready for Monday while you're talking to the hat."
Harry actually really had to think about it. It had been so long since he had been in school; he'd completely blanked what he'd actually been taking. "Er… Transfiguration… Potions… Charms… Defence Against the Dark Arts… Herbology. I think that's it."
He nodded. "Right. You've room for one more subject on your timetable if you would like to fill it with anything in particular…?"
"Is that a hint, professor?"
"Miss Sidus offers a class during a few of the periods you would have. It's sort of a cross between astronomy and Divination. It's a popular class. She's a good teacher, one of the best divination teachers we've ever had, being a seer. We're lucky to have her. Unfortunately, Divination isn't really the most serious of lessons, and most people want to go for some more substantial classes after their OWL's, even if they do enjoy it, so she has quite a lot of free periods. She came to me after a while saying she was bored and that she'd like to try something new. It's sort of an add on, it amounts to something equal to half a NEWT, but the students in 7th year last year seemed to really enjoy it. It's a good way to keep them from disrupting other classes while they have nothing to do."
"And you assume I'll be a troublemaker?"
He smiled. "No. I assume that you'll enjoy it. I would also like you to take it due to the fact that then, Miss Sidus will see you every day, which makes it more likely for her to catch any… memories, if you catch my drift. I don't want to know about the future, Mr Potter, but unfortunately I don't know anything about you. I may have the word of a dear friend, but until I know for certain that you won't harm my students in anyway… I can't be too careful."
"Alright. If it'll help you trust me, then sure. But I promise you. I'm not here to change anything… as much as I want to."
The headmaster stood and walked over to the fireplace. "I'll talk to Minerva now; feel free to talk to the sorting hat when you're ready."
Harry looked down at the hat apprehensively. So this was it. After this there was no going back. He was stuck in the house the sorting hat chose, and he couldn't change it. He couldn't go home, either. He took a deep breath and placed the hat on his head.
'Mr Potter! I do believe, if you're memory serves me right, that we've met before!'
'You could say that, yes."
'You would do well in all four houses boy, though two more than the others…' said the hat.
'Anything but Gryffindor.'
'Really? But didn't you fight to go into that house to begin with, all those years in the future? Isn't that where you belong?'
'I… yes, but… I can't, not here… it's too dangerous, I can't get too close to them, and it would be too obvious to them, who I really am, if I'm in Gryffindor, I'll say something I shouldn't.. Please, just… anywhere but there.'
'Very well. Then I have to say:'
Orion heard his name whispered from his back pocket. Confused for all but a second, he pulled a small ornate mirror from the back of his jeans.
Her eyes widened in the mirror. "You're there! Good, are you okay? How's Chloe? Albus said she fell-"
"Woah!" he said quickly before she could continue, moving over to the other side of the jet. "I'm fine, Chloe's fine. We're almost home. You'll see her in a few hours, tops."
She gave a sigh of relief. "Where is she? Can I talk to her?"
"She's asleep." He turned the mirror around so it was facing the stretcher that her younger sister was attached to, wrapped in warm blankets, a healer sat beside her.
Turning it around to look at her again, he watched as she relaxed a little, placated by the sight of her sister alive and being attended to by a professional. She looked over her shoulder. "Where's everybody else?"
He looked across the room to where the others were, asleep in their seats. "Comatose, why?"
She took a deep breath. "Listen, there's something I have to tell you… something… well, I don't know if it's good or not, really… You should sit down, are you sat down, I can't tell…"
He purposefully stood up. "Yeah, go ahead." It couldn't be that serious.
She looked over her shoulder again, checking to see if anyone was around. "Harry's here. He arrived this morning, I don't know how, but he's here… you're godson…"
The small, priceless mirror slid between Sirius Blacks fingers and smashed into tiny shards across the aircrafts floor.
A/N: I'm sure that came as no surprise to those who've read this before ;] The scenes in the office were over about 20 minutes, while the ones with 'Orion' were over a good few hours, which I'm aware is odd, call them flashbacks if you must.
I'm in the middle of a massive project for this A Level I'm doing so… that's the reason why this is late. I sort of did all of the research I needed to do for it over the week so I had more time to do whatever the hell I wanted without having to worry about it – like this =] I'll update soon!
Next Chapter: Harry finds out what his new house is.