"What exactly do you mean by that Minerva?" Ana asked fearfully.
"I mean we will have to see what kind of person she is. If she is like Molly then we will have to break the Betrothal agreement; if she isn't then we will see. Personally I'd rather not have her with Harry because of Molly's connection to Albus but we will wait and see," Minerva said sternly.
"I never understood why she stayed loyal to the old man especially after what happened to her brothers," Cassandra asked curiously.
"My thoughts exactly but we can only speculate at this point. Does everyone understand what needs to be done?" Minerva asked her Sisters.
Everyone nodded their understanding then Minerva said.
"Very well. If there is nothing else then we well can this meeting to a close. Good night Sisters."
Everyone left and went there separate ways until next time. Minerva pulled Tonks aside when they returned to Hogwarts and said.
"Tonks I have a favor to ask of you. Off the books as it were."
"What is it Professor?"
"Harry and his friends have a study group and will be looking for an empty classroom. I would like you to be a sponsor for their group. That boy has already made acquaintances in every house but Ravenclaw but I have a feeling that it won't be long before that changes," Minerva stated proudly.
"He's already promoting house unity and he's only been here a week. What's he going to do when he's an adult?" Tonks said astonished.
"One can only hope that he will continue to improve. Will you sponsor them?"
"Of course I will," Tonks agreed happily.
"Thank you Tonks, good night," Minerva said graciously.
"Good night Professor . . . I mean Minerva," Tonks said blushing as she returned to Hufflepuff House.
Minerva smiled and shook her head at the young sister's antics then returned to her stateroom. All the while wondering what Albus was trying to accomplish.
Harry awoke feeling refreshed and after his morning business headed to the common room. His daily chats with Hermione were enjoyed by both since they could practice their conversational French and chatted about going to Paris on holiday some time.
They met with Susan and Hannah and ate with them when Ted and Tracy came by to join them. Hannah asked cautiously.
"I'm surprised you two haven't had any issues with your house because of us."
"I had a few words with some of my dorm mates but they finally let it go," Tracy stated.
"Why would they have a problem with us?" Hermione asked.
"House unity. For ages, Slytherin has been the Dark House of Hogwarts and no one wants to associate with us openly. Also, there are a few that believe that we would be traitors to our house if we have friends in the other houses especially Gryffindor," Ted added in a disgusted tone.
"That's crazy; we're only in our houses while at school. What about afterwards? You're saying that because Ted's mum was a Slytherin, I shouldn't take her potions because I'm a Gryffindor?" Harry exclaimed.
"That's just the way it is; the way it's always been," Tracy said sadly.
Harry was thinking back to the conversation he had with the sorting hat when he was interrupted by Hermione who said.
"What are you thinking Harry?"
"I was thinking about what the sorting hat said. He told me to learn from the other house and teach them as well because they've been separated for too long. Now I understand what he meant," Harry explained.
"The sorting hat wanted you to be an ambassador of sorts?" Hannah asked curiously.
"Maybe. Think about our houses and what we know of them. Hufflepuffs are loyal but from what Ted and Tracy just said so are Slytherins. They are loyal to themselves and their house beliefs. Gryffindors are brave but then again so are Ted and Tracy for just sitting with us now. Am I making any sense or am I just rambling?" Harry said without thinking.
"YES!" Everyone around him said simultaneously.
Everyone started laughing and enjoyed the rest of their meal anxious to go exploring.
Meanwhile at the head's table, Albus Dumbledore was watching this display and pondered a possible outcome. He thought, Harry has only been here for a short time and already gaining a following. He has a foothold in three of the houses already and the fourth will not be far behind; even Tom didn't work this fast. I must put a stop to this but how without causing suspicions. Harry has a task to perform which does not include having liaisons in any house but Gryffindor. He needs to be a meek and humble hero not this friendly and outgoing Lord he portrays himself as. Why did Minerva tell him about that; there was no need to inform him of his position in our world; he has no need of it but what do I do? Albus ended his internal rant and began thinking of a way to break the dark influence that has befallen HIS young protégé.
The group of friends finished their meal then set out to begin their adventure. Ted pulled something from his pocket and Hermione inquired.
"What is that?"
"This is a shrunken sketch pad. I thought it would be a good idea to make a map of the new things we find. Do you like to draw?"
"I never really had a talent for it. Could you show me some of your drawings?" Hermione asked with a smile.
"I'd be happy to," Ted agreed readily.
He resized his sketch pad with a simple 'Finite' charm and began showing Hermione his sketches. The others were chatting happily about were to begin so they all agreed to start at the bottom. They started wondering around the ground floor and were in awe of their surroundings. To say that the ancient architecture was impressive would be an understatement. As they were exploring, Tracy noticed a few students and exclaimed.
"Did you see that? They came out of nowhere."
"Maybe its like those stories I read when I was younger," Susan said.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked his lively friend.
"I've read stories about knights in castles that had all sorts of secret passages. Maybe Hogwarts has some too," Susan explained happily.
"Only one way to find out," Ted stated.
"Feeling a bit BRAVE aren't you Slytherin?" Harry teased.
"Sod off Potter," Ted shot back grinning.
Everyone enjoyed a good laugh then proceeded towards the secret passage. They went behind the tapestry and found a hallway then followed it to the end. They came out on the other side of the school on the second floor then Hermione exclaimed.
"That was amazing. We traversed the entire school in only a few minutes. Ted did you sketch the location of this?"
"Already on it," Ted exclaimed shaking his head smiling at Hermione enthusiasm.
"I wonder how many more of these shortcuts there are," Hannah asked.
"More than you know," A woman's voice stated.
Everyone turned around looking for the voice without a body then they heard the sound of someone clearing their throat. They looked around then Susan spotted a portrait of a woman in a fancy dress looking slightly annoyed at being ignored. Harry said in a formal lordly tone.
"Please excuse our foolishness milady. We have only just arrived here and are unused to portraits speaking to ones unworthy such as us," Harry stated bowing in respect.
"Well it seems that proper manners haven't completely disappeared. What is your name young sir?"
"Forgive me, my name is Harry Potter, Last Scion of House Potter at your service. Who might you be milady?"
The portrait was stunned at Harry's introduction then curtsied and stated.
"Forgive my impertinence Lord Potter, my name is Serena Kirkland. My family has been allies to the Potters for centuries; my much older sister married Septimus Potter. What may I do for you milord?" Serena stated in a formal yet friendly tone.
"Please Miss Kirkland call me Harry, we are family after all," Harry stated warmly as he introduced his friends.
The group talked to Serena's portrait for a short while but Harry promised to see her as often as possible. Before they departed for lunch, Serena said.
"Harry if you have my family's Grimoire then there will be a layout of all the secret passageways that we've found over the centuries."
"Do all Pure-Blood families have Grimoires?" Hermione asked curiously yet sadly.
"In my time yes but things may have changed since then. Thank you for today, I haven't conversed like that in quite some time," Serena's portrait said happily.
"You are more than welcome milady. I'll keep my promise and thank you," Harry said politely and bowed.
"I've never met a Potter that EVER broke a promise young sir. Good day to you all," Serena's portrait said waving as the group departed.
The group left then Susan hung back with a saddened Hermione and asked in a comforting tone.
"What's wrong? Why are you so sad?"
"When Serena talked about her family Grimoire I felt a bit sad because I know I don't have one. I guess I was feeling a bit left out because of it," Hermione sadly replied.
"I wouldn't worry too much about that; my family doesn't have one either. Maybe you could start your own; they have to start somewhere," Susan said with a smile trying to cheer her friend.
"I'll think about it. Do you think Harry would let me see the Kirkland Grimoire?" Hermione asked feeling a bit better.
"Maybe. Why don't we ask him over lunch?"
The two young ladies caught up to their friends then made their way to the Great Hall. They all agreed to sit at the Hufflepuff table together but before they could make themselves comfortable, Harry was approached buy Ron who said sternly.
"Oi Harry why are you sitting at the Hufflepuff table with two Slytherins? Come and sit with us."
"They're my friends Ron why don't you join us? There is plenty of room," Harry said in a democratic tone.
"No thanks, I'm not sitting with Slytherins."
"Why not?" Harry asked curiously yet annoyed.
"Because they're Slytherins; you can't trust any of them," Ron replied angrily.
"Why can't I trust them?" Harry asked annoyed but thinking, this is what the hat was talking about.
"Because they are Slytherins; everyone knows that house is evil," Ron retorted growing angrier by the moment.
"I won't try and force you to change your opinion but don't try to force me to give up my friends because of your beliefs. Ted and Tracy are good people now if you'll excuse us, we're famished," Harry said in a formal tone.
Ron started grumbling some obscenities about Harry but they went mostly ignored. Harry and his friends sat down then began filling their plates chatting about Serena when Hedwig made an appearance. She landed gracefully then presented Harry with a letter from Luna. He took the letter and fed his familiar a bit of ham as Hedwig greeted Susan and Hermione. The Snowy Owl observed the other students with HER human but found them acceptable then flew off to the owlery for some rest. Tracy said.
"Your owl is amazing, are you going to breed her? You could make a fortune from her chicks."
"She's not my owl, she's my familiar. As far as breeding, I don't know. I'd hate to use her like that," Harry explained feeling a bit off from his conversation with Ron.
"You already have a familiar? Wicked!" Ted exclaimed.
"Susan explained the familiar bond to me but I'm curious; can a witch or wizard have more than one in their lifetime?" Hermione asked eager for information that wasn't written.
"I've heard that some really powerful witches and wizards have several at the same time but I'm not certain," Tracy stated.
"I've heard that you can have several over your lifetime but they are rarely the same. Sometimes it's a bird then it might be a cat or dog or even some magical creature. There isn't that much written down about it so no one knows for sure," Ted explained.
"You'll find that many of the customs and beliefs in our world are passed down from generation to generation and kept within the family," Tracy continued.
"Then how are witches like me supposed to learn things like this to fit in?" Hermione asked sternly.
"You're not. Most of the people in power today don't believe that muggle-bornes have the right to even have magic let alone learn about it and live here. Many of us don't share that belief but what can we do about it?" Ted explained somberly to his new friend.
"We change the way people think," Harry exclaimed confidently.
"That sounds easy enough. What's the plan Harry?" Hannah teased.
"Um . . . Well we can . . .um . . ." Harry stammered.
Everyone chuckled at Harry's confusion but thought the same thing. How can we change the way people think? Harry was pulled from his embarrassment by Hermione who asked sheepishly.
"Harry would you mind if I looked at the Kirkland Grimoire?"
"I don't mind, I have it in my trunk," Harry agreed.
"Are you mad?" Ted said a bit loud.
"What's the problem?" Harry asked confused.
"Sharing a family's magic just isn't done," Ted replied gruffly.
"I don't understand."
"A family's magic is really personal and has always been kept in the family for a reason. You sharing with Hermione goes against tradition," Ted explained.
"But Serena said it was okay to share to information," Harry retorted.
"Some information yes but you're willing to turn over a family Grimoire to someone outside the family and that's just not done. It's scandalous; it's . . . . . tradition," Ted exclaimed in an appalled tone.
"Well this is where we start to change the world. I'm willing to share that information with anyone here but I'm not ready to share the Potter Grimoire with anyone yet," Harry exclaimed proudly.
"Thank you Harry," Hermione said graciously but shot Ted a stern glare for his beliefs.
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step," Susan exclaimed.
"I never knew you were so philosophical; you must have a bit of Ravenclaw in you," Hermione teased her friend.
Susan blushed at the compliment and everyone laughed at her predicament. At the Head's table, Minerva was observing the current exchange and the earlier one and thought, he will change the world someday, if he has the right backing. I'll have to keep an eye on Miss Davis; she has the right attitude. Mr. Weasley and Mr. Nott still have the old mentality but we shall see Miss Weasley.
Lunch ended and the group was back at it but they obtained a new member. Neville listened to the loud debate between Harry and Ron and sided with Harry. He felt a bit indebted to him for his actions on the train so he apologized for his late awakening earlier then joined them in their quest. Harry and Hermione returned to Gryffindor Tower to retrieve the Kirkland Grimoire much to Ted's dismay. When Hermione began browsing the book she exclaimed.
"This is incredible. I never would have suspected there were so many shortcuts in Hogwarts. If I'm reading this right, there is a shortcut to the Great Hall just down the Hall from here," Hermione stated gleefully.
"Maybe we should tell Ron then he could get to the food quicker," Harry teased.
Hermione gave him a strange look that turned into a grin as she said.
"Maybe we shouldn't; it would just give him an excuse to sleep even later," chuckling as she spoke.
Harry just shook his head and the two Lions left to rejoin their group. They used the new found shortcut and arrived in less than two minutes that would normally take fifteen. When Harry told his friends about this they were more than interested in learning more. They left to continue their search for an unused classroom, with Hermione keeping the interesting tome safe. They searched for nearly and hour then Tracy found the perfect place. The room was on the fourth floor and had a wonderful view of the Black Lake. Susan said.
"This is perfect. Its easy to find a not too far away from the library."
"And the view is beautiful; nice pick Tracy," Hannah said happily.
"Yeah, great choice Tracy. Um, what do we do now?" Neville asked.
"Well let's start by rearranging the desks into something else then I'm open to ideas," Harry exclaimed.
Everyone started moving the available desks into a circle, with many empty desks pushed to one side. Everyone started chatting about how they could make the room more homey except for Hermione who was reading the family tome with great interest. She was entranced with the vast knowledge that the Kirkland family had; not only with Hogwarts but different branches of magic as well. The history of the family was also interesting and she was oblivious to her friends staring at her. Hermione felt uneasy all of a sudden then looked up from her reading to see her friends smiling at her. Harry said in between laughs.
"Find something interesting?"
"It must be since she hasn't moved for ages. My kids are starting Hogwarts next year," Ted teased.
Her friends began chuckling aloud then Hermione did the most mature thing she could think of; she stuck out her tongue causing everyone to laugh louder. Harry composed himself enough to say.
"You can finish reading later its almost time for dinner."
"Sorry about that but everything in here is so intriguing. I've learned more about Hogwarts from this Grimoire than I have from even Hogwarts: A History," Hermione said proudly.
"That's a great book isn't it," Tracy stated.
The group left and took another shortcut to the Great Hall. They separated to eat at there respective house tables but made Hermione promise to give them all copies of all the shortcuts and other interesting things she found.
While eating their evening meal, Ron came to Harry and said in a strained voice.
"I'm sorry I got mad at you earlier."
"I'm not the one you insulted. Ted and Tracy aren't evil; they're house just has a bad rep," Harry replied in an emotionless tone.
"I . . . I know but that's the way its always been," Ron stammered.
"I've heard that before, I wonder what that's all about," Harry mumbled to himself.
"Huh?" Ron asked.
"Nothing. Listen, we are all getting together tomorrow so you can talk to them then if you want. Give them a chance; Ted told me he was in a chess tournament once so start there," Harry explained.
"Really. How did he do?" Ron asked curiously.
Harry snickered at Ron's apparent change of heart and began chatting about other things.
The next morning things began as always. Harry met with his group of friends then they all headed to their new room for a discussion of what to do next. Hermione was pleased to inform them of her progress in documenting the information about the various short-cuts she learned and everyone was excited. The list she had already compiled was more than enough for them to want to try them all. Before they departed on their new adventure, an unknown older student entered the room. She was immediately recognized by Susan and Hannah who said in a friendly tone.
"Hi Tonks, what brings you here?"
"Wotcher Hannah, Susan. I'm here at the request of the Deputy Headmistress," Tonks stated plainly.
"Oh that's right, she told me about you. Everyone, Tonks here is our student advisor to our study group," Harry explained.
Harry introduced himself then set to introduce everyone else to their new advisor. Tonks took note of all who were present and explained what her duties were. She wouldn't interfere with their group but she was there to answer any questions they might have and to help them along the way. Most of the students instantly liked Tonks due to her jovial personality but Neville seemed a bit bashful around her. All the young ladies present liked the fact they now had an older girl to explain things to them that they were otherwise uncomfortable talking to their parents or teachers about. Tonks stayed for a short while then departed to enjoy the rest of her day leaving the group alone to continue theirs.
They were looking over the list of short cuts when Hermione exclaimed.
"I found a map of all the short-cuts."
"May I see?" Ted asked quickly.
"I thought family magic wasn't supposed to be shared Ted?" Harry stated coolly.
"Okay, okay I get it. I guess some things are just too hard to let go of," Ted said dejectedly.
"Not only that but you would be considered a hypocrite by looking into that book through your own words," Tracy stated smartly.
"I get it alright," Ted said angrily.
"Calm down. We can't change the way you think over night but we did just prove certain things are . . . I'm not sure what the word I need is," Harry said feeling a bit foolish.
"Outdated or how about obsolete; will those do?" Susan replied.
"Exactly what is was thinking. Thank you Lady Susan," Harry replied in a formal tone smiling.
"Always willing to help Lord Harry," Susan retorted playfully.
"You're a lady?" Hermione exclaimed.
"Yeah right," Harry said smartly.
"Remember your manners Harry. Remarks like that have caused more blood feuds than I can think of," Neville stated.
"You're right. I apologize for my lack of decorum Lady Susan. Please forgive my foolishness," Harry asked politely.
"You are forgiven but I am telling Luna about this," Susan said smirking while Harry looked frightened.
"Who is Luna?" Tracy asked.
"She's my best friend." Harry said nervously.
Everyone accepted his answer then Ted sat next to Hermione and copied the map from the Kirkland Grimoire. While everyone was chatting about this and that, Tracy pulled Susan aside for a bit of girl talk. Tracy asked bluntly.
"Who is Luna really?"
"She is Harry's best friend but more than likely she will be his First," Susan stated plainly.
"And where does that leave you?" Tracy asked cautiously.
"Hopefully his second, if he is interested in such a thing. You are treading towards dangerous ground Miss Davis; let us change the subject," Susan warned.
"I understand Miss Bones. He isn't what I expected though," Tracy replied.
"No he isn't. He's just Harry. I thought that he would be some stuck up arrogant snob of a hero or even a playboy in the making but he's just a normal person."
"As normal as a Lord in training can be," Tracy added.
"I've only seen him use his position selfishly once and that was against Malfoy but he deserved it," Susan replied.
"What really happened with that? Malfoy is always spouting off about how Harry insulted him and tried to get him expelled," Tracy said.
"That's not what happened. I was there so let me tell you the truth. You do know the history between those two families?" Susan asked.
Tracy nodded then Susan began to tell the truth behind the Train incident. While the young ladies were chatting, Ted worked feverishly in copying the map from the family tome feeling a bit uneasy. He was always taught that certain things remained within the family but now he wasn't so sure. If Harry wasn't willing to share this wealth of knowledge with them then no one would benefit from it. Maybe things do need to change, he thought to himself as he continued to work. Hermione watched as Ted drew the map perfectly then interrupted his work by asking.
"Isn't there a spell that can copy the map directly?"
"Most books in general have charms on them to prevent that very thing from happening. If they weren't in place then all you would have to do is go to the Hogwart's library and copy all the books and never have to buy one again. The bookstores would go out of business in no time," Ted replied.
"In the muggle world, there are machines to copy pages from books instantly. Maybe something like that could be used here as well. It would make things more efficient not that you're doing a poor job. You are a very talented artist," Hermione said blushing.
"Thank you. My parents don't agree with you though. There isn't much work in the wizarding world for artist so its just a hobby of mine."
"Then who paints the portraits like Serena's?" Hermione inquired.
"There are Portrait Masters out there but becoming an apprentice to them is nearly impossible. You'd have to know someone to even get noticed by them and then there is no guarantee that you'll succeed," Ted stated dejectedly.
"So in this world, it is more who you know than what you know," Hermione stated plainly.
"That's the way its always been. Isn't it like that in the muggle world?" Ted asked curiously.
"To some extent but overall everyone has an equal chance to succeed in their chosen field if the work hard enough. There is some discrimination, whether it be race, religion or whatever but over all it isn't too bad I guess. There are laws in place to prevent people from being discriminated against," Hermione said confidently.
"We are going to have some interesting discussion about both worlds aren't we?" Ted said with a smile.
"I look forward to them," Hermione said returning the smile.
The group broke from their private discussion then headed to the Great Hall for lunch. They all sat at the Hufflepuff table again as it was quickly becoming a sort of neutral ground for the motley crew. Professor Sprout smiled proudly that it was her house that was becoming the focal point of this new development; others weren't as enthusiastic.
While sitting down, the group was approached by a pensive looking Ron Weasley who was carrying something. He spoke in a quiet voice.
"I want to apologize for acting like a git to you," he said to Ted and Tracy.
"We understand; our houses have been feuding for ever. Please sit down," Ted replied.
"Thanks. Um, Harry told me you were in a chess tournament; want to play?" Ron asked carefully.
"Sure. Is that your board?" Ted replied ready for a challenge.
Ron nodded his head then set up his board quickly. He said.
"It was my uncle's so it's a bit worn out."
"No worries. You should see mine. My dad and I have some serious wars," Ted replied with a grin.
The two chess masters began their game as the others watched and chatted amongst themselves. Harry tried to pick up some pointers from the two experts since he wasn't very good. After what seemed like and eternity, Ted exclaimed.
"Cor, you really are good. How did you do in the tournament?"
"I made it to the quarter finals; best two of three?" Ted said with an evil smirk.
Ron tapped his wand to the board and said, "Reset," then they continued their game.
Harry watched as the two warriors battled it out and his mind drifted for a moment. Hannah asked.
"What are you thinking Harry? You looked so far away."
"I was just thinking that yesterday these two didn't like each other for stupid reasons and now their playing together. How did that happen?"
"You really don't know do you?" Hermione asked with a strange look on her face.
Harry just shrugged his shoulders shaking his head in confusion then Hermione answered.
"It was you Harry. You did this."
"But I didn't do anything. I just told Ron that Ted liked to play chess and he brought his board with him. I didn't do anything special; did I?"
"You didn't have to. You told them they had something in common then let them be. You do have a way about you," Tracy said then tried to hide her blush.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked even more confused.
"Nothing, nothing at all," Tracy said bashfully.
Susan looked at Tracy and gave her a glare of disapproval. The two would talk later in private. Lunch ended but the two chess masters were oblivious to the others' departure. Apparently, the tie breaker was too intense. Minerva watched as the two were playing then spoke to Albus.
"If I didn't see it with my own eyes I would never have believed it. A Gryffindor and Slytherin sitting together playing a friendly game. What do you think Albus?"
"It does appear that Young Harry has broken down that particular barrier quite efficiently but only time will tell," Albus stated in an uncaring tone.
"You seem uninterested in this development. We all have agreed that House Unity needed to be improved and even in a small manner, it has," Minerva retorted.
"That is not what I meant. I have much work to do so if you will excuse me," Albus said curtly then departed.
Minerva was taken aback by Albus' reaction and thought, why wouldn't he want House Unity? He's been preaching about it for ages unless he doesn't want that. But why? What would he have to gain from this continued animosity? She ended her internal rant then returned to her office, she needed to make a call to an old friend.
The rest of the day was eventful to say the least. The group tried several of the short-cuts they discovered and now could get to their classes in record time. None of them wanted to reveal the location of their common rooms, due to school rules, but found several useful passageways that cut travel time to the Great Hall to a minimal. While trying one passageway, Harry exited a bit too abruptly and bumped into someone. He said quickly.
"I'm sorry; I wasn't paying attention."
"You will be sorry for bumping into me like that," The boy said angrily.
"It was an accident and I apologized. Can't we leave it like that? I don't want any trouble," Harry asked democratically.
"Too bad," The boy replied smartly then drew his wand.
Harry saw what he was doing then drew his own in defense. The boy cast, "Diffindo" and Harry knew it was a cutting curse. He dove out of the way but heard a girl's scream. He looked up and saw Susan holding her arm which was bleeding badly. His anger arose and he turned to the older boy who was smirking as if to dare the firsty to try something. Harry cast his best spell, "Depulso," but the boy raised a shield but the over charged spell knocked him into the wall regardless. He was about to retaliate when an angry voice shouted.
"Stop this at once."
The two boys froze when they saw an angry Professor Flitwick glaring at them. He took one look at Susan then commanded.
"Take her to the Hospital Wing and wait for me there. Now what is going on here Mr. Peterson? Why are you fighting a first year?"
"He attacked me without warning Professor," Peterson said smirking internally.
"Is this true Mr. Potter?" Flitwick asked sternly.
Marcus Peterson paled when he heard Harry's name; he just attacked the Boy-Who-Lived. Harry replied in a somewhat clam tone but inside he was fuming.
"No sir. I was trying out a shortcut my friends and I found but bumped into Peterson by accident. I tried to apologize to him but he wouldn't hear of it. Is Susan going to be okay sir?" Harry asked fearfully for his friend's wellbeing.
"I believe Miss Bones will be fine but we have to clear up this matter. Both of you, surrender your wands immediately," Flitwick commanded holding out his hand.
Harry complied instantly then Marcus complied with a shaking hand. Not only did he attack The Harry Potter but he injured the niece of the Head of the DMLE. He was in big trouble if this got out and he knew he would be in trouble when they scanned his wand. Flitwick escorted the two boys to Minerva's office, because Harry was a Gryffindor and Marcus was his. Filius Flitwick explained what he had found then began to scan their wands in front of all. Harry's wand showed the banishing charm and several other uninteresting spells but Marcus' wand revealed a different story. He has several spells that were considered unacceptable by school standards and they found the cutting curse and shield as the last spells cast. Minerva said in an angry tone.
"What were you thinking by casting a cutting curse in the hallway Mr. Peterson? You could have killed someone."
"I just reacted Professor. I just cast the first thing that came to mind," Marcus said inn his defense.
"A possible lethal spell was the first on your mind; I see that I was wrong about you Mr. Peterson. It was a mistake to teach you the basics of dueling. You obviously do not have the proper mindset for the art. What caused this incident to occur?" Flitwick asked sternly.
"I . . .I was just angry and took it out on the first one that crossed my path sir," Marcus said sadly. He knew lying would only make things worse at this point.
"I see. Nevertheless, you both were using magic in the hallways and both of you will be punished. You will both receive detention and you both loose fifty house points each. Is this acceptable Filius?" Minerva asked.
"Very. I'll deal with my student and you can deal with yours. Come along Mr. Peterson, we have things to discuss," Filius stated as he placed Harry's wand in Minerva's hand then departed with his Ravenclaw.
Harry stood before his upset aunt and felt ashamed. He let her and Susan down and Susan got hurt because of it. Minerva spoke sternly.
"What do you have to say for yourself Harry?"
"I didn't want any trouble but he drew his wand so I did in response. I didn't know Susan was behind me and she got hurt. I tried to apologize but he wouldn't accept it. I'm sorry I let you down," Harry replied sadly.
Minerva put her hands on Harry's shoulders and told him to look at her. She said in a motherly tone.
"You did nothing wrong. You did everything you could to prevent this and defended yourself when you had too. I'm not angry with you because of this but I still have to punish you for breaking school rules. You'll be serving detention with Mr. Filch tomorrow night and we will speak more of this later. I am impressed that you were able to force Mr. Peterson into the wall even when he was shielded and for that; well done," Minerva said with a slight smile of pride.
Harry smiled back weakly then said.
"I understand. May I see Susan now?"
"Of course," Minerva said in a comforting tone. She returned his wand then the two made their way to the Hospital Wing.
Meanwhile, a very different conversation was taking place.
Filius led his student to his office and told the young man to sit down. He paced back and forth in an attempt to compose himself before speaking. He said in and angry tone.
"You do know who you attacked and who you injured don't you Mr. Peterson?"
"Yes sir. I'm really sorry sir but . . ."
"I don't want to hear your excuses Mr. Peterson. You were wrong; end of story. This attitude of yours was the reason you weren't named prefect and now you might be facing expulsion if those two wish to press charges and unfortunately you deserve it," Filius growled.
"I understand sir," Marcus said bowing his head in shame.
"The worst of it was the fact you made MY house look bad. In case you haven't noticed, Mr. Potter has made liaisons in every house but mine and now YOU made a foolish mistake by attacking him because you were in a bad mood. You'll be serving detention with Professor Snape tomorrow night and you had best pray that they don't press charges. Also, you are no longer in my dueling class. If you learn some self control I may let you return but don't hold you breath. Get out of my sight," Filius commanded venomously.
Marcus left the office instantly leaving a very angry Filius Flitwick alone with his thoughts and none of them were pleasant.
Meanwhile, Harry and Minerva entered the Hospital Wing just as Poppy Pomfrey was finishing her treatment. All of their study group was waiting patiently to hear some good news and they were not disappointed. Susan was completely healed and wouldn't have a scar but her are was going to be in a sling for a few days just in case. Harry walked up to her bed and said sadly.
"I'm really sorry you got hurt. I tried to stop it but I couldn't. Please forgive me."
"I saw what happened and it wasn't your fault so there is nothing to forgive. What happened afterwards?" Susan asked curiously.
"We both lost fifty house points and I have detention tomorrow for fighting in the halls. Sorry Hermione, Neville."
"It wasn't your fault so why are you being punished?" Hermione protested strongly.
"He is being punished for fighting with magic in the hallways. For situations like this, it doesn't matter who started it both parties must be punished. I am well aware of what happened so I am sympathetic to your argument but rules are rules. Someone could have been killed because of it and that is not something I want on my conscience. I am sorry you were injured Miss Bones but it truly could have been much worse and we take these matters very seriously," Minerva explained.
"It still isn't right," Hermione protested again.
"Hermione its okay. Professor McGonagall is right so just drop it please," Harry said in a calm tone.
Hermione reluctantly agreed to let this particular argument go for now but knew somehow it was far from over. Susan had to stay in the Hospital Wing overnight so Hannah went to the Hufflepuff dorms to get a few personal things for her as the others departed to their new classroom. Ted continued his work on the map as everyone tried to comfort Harry over the incident. Once Ted finished, he exclaimed.
"I'm all done with the short-cut map. We'll have to send it somewhere for copies to be made though."
"No we won't. I read about a copying spell for such things in A Thousand and Three Useful Spells. We can try that before sending it anywhere," Harry explained.
"You definitely have to let me borrow that book Harry," Hermione scolded lightly.
Harry just shrugged his shoulders then went back to sulking. Everyone tried to pull Harry out of his apparent funk but knew he wouldn't feel better until Susan was completely healed. The group was about to depart for dinner, Tonks appeared but brought along several other students with her. She explained.
"Harry, these people would like to speak with you for a moment."
"Okay, what's going on?" Harry inquired.
"Hello Harry, my name is Penny Clearwater. I'm the fifth year prefect for Ravenclaw house. These two are Lisa Turpin and Michael Corner; they're in your year. On behalf of Ravenclaw House we would like to apologize for our housemates actions today. He was out of line and had no reason to attack you or your friends. Please forgive us."
"I don't understand. Peterson was the one who caused this not any of you. Why are you apologizing for him?" Harry replied a bit curtly.
"We didn't want you to hate our house because of what he did," Lisa replied.
"Why would I do that? He's the idiot that cast the spell not any of you. I wouldn't hold your house responsible for what one person did, just like I don't hold Slytherin House responsible for what Malfoy did. That's just dumb in my opinion," Harry explained but felt confused by their actions.
"Well I for one am glad you feel that way. Marcus always did have a temper and it finally got him in trouble. Thank you for listening," Penny stated relieved.
"Um, we were told that you have a study group or something and were wondering if we can join you," Michael asked.
"I don't mind. Does anyone else mind?" Harry asked the group.
Nobody denied their request then Tonks and Penny left the two Ravenclaws to get acquainted with their new friends. Michael said.
"I thought you were the leader of this group Harry? Why did you ask the others for their opinion?"
"I'm no leader. We're all friends and we work together. Why would you think that?"
"I just assumed that because you're a Lord that you would be in charge or something. I'm sorry if I offended you," Michael said quickly.
"I'll tell you the same thing I tell everyone else. I'm only a Lord when I have to be; the rest of the time I'm just another first year student like everyone else. It's almost time for dinner so we had best be going," Harry explained.
Everyone agreed with him but they all felt he was in error; Harry was the leader whether he knew it or not. Harry separated from the rest of the group and headed straight towards the Hospital Wing to visit his friend. Upon arrival, he saw Susan's Aunt Amelia and his Aunt Minerva speaking with her. He cautiously approached them then Susan exclaimed.
"Harry why don't you join us."
"Thanks. I just wanted to see how you were doing."
"I'll be fine Harry really. Madam Pomfrey said there won't even be a scar. You're really worried about me aren't you?" Susan asked blushing.
"You're my friend, of course I'm worried about you. If you weren't around then I wouldn't have anyone to catch frogs with," Harry teased.
"Susan Amelia Bones; please tell me you don't still chase frogs around," Amelia said in a shocked tone.
"Only when I'm bored auntie," Susan replied sheepishly.
"You should be practicing your violin instead of doing foolish things like that young lady," Amelia scolded.
"With respect ma'am, Susan is wasting her talents with the violin. She is much better suited for the saxophone, " Harry interjected.
"Be that as it may but it is traditional for a young lady to learn an instrument of poise and elegance," Amelia defended.
"There's that phrase again," Harry mumbled gruffly.
"Harry don't mumble; now what is it you just said?" Minerva commanded.
"This weekend has been strange to say the least. I heard from Ted that its traditional for people not to share family magic but we found some very useful information in the Kirkland Grimoire that everyone is excited about. It's traditional for Gryffindor and Slytherin to hate each other but Ron and Ted seem to enjoy playing chess together. I'm not saying traditions are a bad thing but some of them seem outdated. You said its traditional for a lady to learn the violin but when I was in muggle primary school; we had a school band and there were many girls playing saxophones, trumpets and even a tuba and they were brilliant. I know I'm rambling but wouldn't I be better to support Susan with something she really wants to do instead of just being traditional? I'm sorry I was out of line on that one," Harry said foolishly.
Minerva and Amelia stood there astonished as Susan had her mouth open in disbelief. Harry had just told both their aunts they were wrong and she waited for the fallout. Minerva composed herself form her shock and said.
"I see this has been a more eventful weekend than I had expected. We will speak more of this later on young man. You had best head to dinner and we'll speak again soon."
Harry nodded his acknowledgement then said goodbye to Susan and Amelia. Once he departed, Amelia said confused.
"Is it true Susan? Do you really prefer the saxophone over the violin?"
"Yes auntie. When I was attending my primary school, there were many different instruments available and the teacher said I had a natural talent for the Sax. I was always afraid to tell you because you seemed determined for me to learn the violin. I'm sorry it came out this way," Susan said sadly.
"Don't be Suzzie. I'll have to think about this then I'll let you know. I have to be going so I'll owl you later okay," Amelia said in a motherly tone then departed with Minerva.
As they were walking, Minerva said.
"Harry seems to be unafraid to voice his opinions when the need arises and his view points on tradition have me thinking. What is you opinion Amy?"
"I feel the same way. I never once considered Susan's feelings about this and to have them thrown in my face like that leaves me wondering if I done right by her all this time."
"You've done a wonderful job with Susan. I'm just surprised that Harry is so democratic in his approach with things. I did almost nothing to encourage that but I am not displeased," Minerva stated proudly.
"Could you imagine what he would be like if we hadn't intervened when we did? He would be nothing like the young man we know today," Amelia replied.
"I have to agree with you on that. If Albus had succeeded, I shudder to think what would have become of him," Minerva said somberly.
"He would have just been a puppet in the old man's game. I'll see you tonight," Amelia said as she separated from her friend.
That night, there was a meeting of the minds as it were. Minerva started the meeting by saying.
"Good evening sisters, what do we have to report so far?"
"We haven't been able to ascertain what has happened to the payroll for Binns yet. The only way to be certain is to do a full audit of Hogwarts books but Albus would become suspicious if that happened," Amelia replied.
"I bought some chocolate frogs and several of them had Dumbledore's card but I couldn't find any sign of tampering on them," Cassandra stated.
"Maybe he only tampers with the ones on the train. We'll have to see at the end of the year to be certain," Dolores added.
"Maybe but for now we can do nothing. Anything else?"
"I escorted three Ravenclaw students to Harry's study group and they apologized for Peterson's actions. They were Prefect Penelope Clearwater and first years Lisa Turpin and Michael Corner. Harry didn't hold the house responsible but I'm confused as to why they did that," Tonks reported.
"I believe Filius was a bit jealous that his house was being left out of this new regime as it were. The incident in the hallway made his house look bad and he wanted to save face as it were," Pomona replied.
"I would have never guessed that Filius would be so petty about that. I'm almost certain that Harry would have met some Ravenclaws before long. Why the rush? Why force the issue?" Septima asked confused.
"That would fit in with the reason why Albus doesn't like this new development of House Unity. He seemed almost disgusted with it but I could be wrong," Minerva replied.
"Maybe he's worried he would become obsolete," Tonks remarked.
"What do you mean? Please explain yourself," Dolores retorted strongly.
"Well, when my grandfather on my father's side became too old to work like he used to then his company forced him to retire. They hired a younger person for less money and did the same thing. He died a few years later; my dad said it was because he felt useless. Maybe that's why the Headmaster doesn't like this House Unity thing happening. You all told me how he likes to play the concerned grandfather but does actually nothing to fix the problem. If the problem of House Animosity fixes itself then he'll be useless. It's just a theory but I don't know," Tonks stated.
"A theory, yes, but a theory that makes too much sense but what does this all have to do with Harry?" Minerva pondered.
"He's The-Boy-Who-Lived. He is as famous as Dumbledore and is much, much younger. He might have thought to mold him into his successor but he was never one to share anything especially information," Anastasia replied smartly.
"It can't be that simple; nothing Albus has done is that simple," Minerva retorted.
"What else could it be?" Septima asked fearfully.
"I don't know and that's what worries me," Minerva said ominously.
Disclaimer: I own nothing Harry Potter.
A/N: I didn't want to portray Ravenclaw House in a bad light but you have to admit, they treated Luna poorly in cannon.