Wild Horse of Hogwarts(Looking for a better title, open to suggestions)
Disclaimer, I don't own anything like Harry Potter or Ranma ½.
A/N, just another one of my plot bunnies that won't leave me alone. Reader reaction will be a deciding factor on how quickly I choose to work on chapter 2 of this since it's not a current priority for me.
/ Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry \
Minerva McGonnagall sat and stared at the parchment before her, she hated to admit it but she was perplexed by what she'd just seen as she'd never seen or heard anything like it happening before. The list of names of the latest crop of potential students for Hogwarts was usually set for eleven years before the owls with their invitations were sent. Names of newborns appeared all the time, and some even disappeared if the child died but names of eleven year old children did not just appear on the parchment, and certainly not a full grown adult who was untrained in magic. That was where her problem lay, she had both on her hands and wasn't quite sure how to handle it.
The lad was eleven according to the list and in accordance with the rules of the ministry she'd sent the Hogwarts acceptance letter. The other unusual thing was that the other name kept fading in and out, another thing she'd never seen in her time as deputy headmistress. The fading name wasn't that of a potential student though because 'he', was in his mid thirties and Hogwarts was not renowned for its adult training facilities….there were remedial tutors for such things, with the usual stigma attached that would deem the student to be below par.
It had been twelve days since the boys birthday and yet none of the owls she'd sent out had returned with a reply or at all for that matter, to be perfectly frank she was worried about the situation. Minerva felt uneasy, an unspecified sense of dread where these two were concerned. Not to mention the fact that their current address was truly strange, it stated, River Thames near – and then stated the name of the nearest town or village. From what she could tell they were travelling up the course of the river by boat and making fairly good time too. Not that it really mattered all that much, the address was only for the purpose of placing on the envelope and had nothing to do with the owls that had been sent. Owls homed in on a person's aura rather like a pigeon could always find its way home.
So focused on the parchment under her hands was she that she didn't feel the presence enter the room until it was peering over her shoulder.
"What seems to be troubling you my dear?" She jumped like a startled cat when the elderly gentleman spoke just over her shoulder.
"Oh Albus, I wish you wouldn't sneak up on me like that," she chose to ignore the fact that he chuckled at her expense, and even after he stopped his eyes still managed to twinkle at her letting her know he was still highly amused.
"True Minnie, but it's such a rare occurrence that I find I can not resist seeing you act like a cat on a hot tin roof. You still haven't answered my question though, now have you?" Again she chose to ignore the nick-name he used, a name that only her late husband had ever dared use in her presence. Being one of, if not the most respected wizards of the post war era had some advantages, that and the fact he was her superior.
"Headmaster, it's these names" she pointed and was dissatisfied that the elder name was gone again and only the youngest remained, "They just appeared on the scroll at the beginning of last week."
"I see only one name Minerva," Albus Dumbledore chose to stop baiting his colleague since the last time he'd pushed her too far she'd decided to shed cat fur all through his new bowl of lemon drops. A fitting revenge to be sure, he was just happy that his sock collection was well secured.
"Well that's the other thing that's troubling me," her face took on a severe cast as she pursed her lips in vexation, "It's like the second name can't make up its mind if it's magical or not, one minute it's there and when I look again it'll be gone. Not that that one is my problem since he's too old for Hogwarts, but it's perplexing," she frowned at the parchment once more not really expecting an answer.
"There are more things in Heaven and Earth dear Minerva than are dreamt of by mere mortals," Albus returned to her with the horribly mangled Shakespearean quote. "I'm not surprised that you don't know what this means since it was much more common in my time than now, I suspect they are vagabonds travelling wherever the whim takes them. It would behove us to offer the lad at least an opportunity to learn of magic that he might have a future since the child appears to be quite strong," he said as he noted how solid the text of the name was, it wasn't a true reading of the persons power but rather a representation of what the parchment could sense.
"Be that as it may Albus I'd still like to know. That's not the only thing either, since the boys birthday twelve days ago I have sent out eleven owls, none of which have returned, I'm currently contemplating whether I should send another."
"Hmmm, that is a puzzle, I suggest that you send one more owl and if no response is forthcoming then we should make a personal approach."
"Is that wise? We don't know anything about these people, even their names are unfamiliar," she lamented, the family name wasn't even close to any family that she'd heard of in Europe.
"I suspect that they are of Japanese extraction, though what they are doing this far afield I wouldn't know. You have my suggestion on how to proceed, if there is no response in a reasonable time you should come to my office and we'll go and see these mysterious visitors. In the meantime I do believe your mysterious second name has reappeared," he noted casually as he pointed down at the official document used to notify the school of untrained magical children within the confines of the United Kingdom.
Minerva looked back down to confirm what he'd said and felt an urge to pull her hair out, "That's not the name, now there're three of them," she noted that this one was still back in London and that almost one hundred and seventy five miles separated the two groups. The third name she noted was aged twenty-eight and was currently at Heathrow airport, well that certainly didn't sound like any vagabond if this person could afford airfare.
/ Heathrow \
The flight had been long and even though she'd slept she was still as tired as she could remember being since the incessant whine of the engines had stopped her from truly sleeping. With a resolute will she remained perfectly still in a sea of bustling humanity as she waited for her luggage to come around on the conveyor belt. At present she stood in a widening circle of space as more and more people began to notice her, it wasn't that she was famous, which she wasn't, or that she was beautiful, though she was, it was more a sense of dread, and the minor fact that she was glowing slightly with a steadily pulsing reddish aura.
Ten minutes later when her bags still hadn't arrived she was approached by two concerned police officers, "Excuse us miss but is there anything we can do to help?"
The woman straightened from her search of the conveyor belt and turned to see whom was addressing her, "It's Mrs," she stated calmly, "And no, I am in no need of assistance. Why do you ask?"
"It's just that….uh, oh never mind, sorry to have bothered you," the constable made to turn away wondering how he'd report this one, 'No, honest sarge, the lady was glowing all red-like. No sarge I haven't been drinking.' Oh yeah he could just see it now, he'd never live it down making a report like that. One look at his partner confirmed the thought that this would remain just between the two of them.
Having figured that she'd just wasted some time she turned away in time to see her suitcase as it began to disappear around the next curve, while she'd been distracted it'd come and was going again. At the speed the line travelled it'd be another ten minutes before she saw it again or she could….she seemed to blur as she sped towards the distant case, the crowd that would have been a hindrance to anyone else was nothing to her as she slipped through the tightly packed masses like a ghost. It certainly helped that if people saw the red glowing figure approach then they made sure they weren't in her way as she gracefully sped past. All in all it took twenty seconds to grab the case and return to her starting point where she retrieved her other case.
If she wanted to catch up to them she'd need to move fast, she hated thinking of all the times she'd been so close to catching up but it was like he was trying to avoid her. Though why that'd be she didn't have a clue. So she was resolute, she needed to be fast and she needed to inherently be able to hone in on her quarries location, she was so intent that she didn't notice the brief flash as the air went incandescent around her. However there was no way to miss the pain as her body reshaped itself and she began to panic at the unexpected sensation. The pain seemed to last an eternity but when the light finally dimmed once more she found herself much closer to the ground and her ground eating stride had become a bumbling hop. She'd always hated the transition and tried to ignore her innate ability whenever she could. Though she had to admit being a animorph was a rather useful skill to have and since it was even rarer than the animagus trait most people had neither heard of it nor made allowance for it in their ward schemes.
She wasn't made for this as her talons clicked on the tile floor, her instincts told her she had a better way, a more natural way. Besides she could feel them now, not just the knowledge that they were here in England somewhere but a pull towards where she knew them to be. Spreading her wings she thrust downwards and lifted into the air, letting instinct take her she passed through the hall ignoring the mass of inconsequential people below. Diving she passed close by the heads of people coming into the complex through the open doors causing them to duck at the near collision as she left the airport. It would be seven minutes before the red-robed figures of aurors were seen amongst the crowds busily obliviating any people who'd seen anything the least unusual.
She gave a shrill cry of triumph as she soared into the late afternoon sky well on her way to reuniting with her lost family.
/ River Thames – twenty miles from Kemble \
The boy stomped soggily through the small copse of trees, his shoes making a wet squelching sound with every step. It was a fairly cool evening that wasn't helped by the fact that he'd spent the last twelve hours immersed in a river up to his shoulders as he tried to learn the latest technique his father had come up with. He sure hoped the old man had a fire going because he was going to need it badly by time he got back. The sun was nearing the horizon and the temperature was beginning to drop and he just knew it'd be the coldest night they'd faced so far since coming here, it'd just be in keeping with his luck.
"Hey Oyaji, you got that fire going?" At eleven years of age the boy had quite a set of lungs on him and even at a distance he knew his Pops would be able to hear him.
"Is that anyway to speak to your father boy?" the middle aged man pushed his glasses up his nose as he watched the boy clear the last of the underbrush, "So how did your training go?" He almost gave into the urge to smirk as he wondered if the boy had figured out the purpose of this particular training.
"Yeah, I think I've almost got it Pops. That's some tough training though, you sure there ain't an easier way?" He'd often thought the old man was off his rocker with some of the training schemes he'd come up with over the years but this one was actually looking pretty decent. It'd seemed like many of the others at first, a total bust, or one of the ones that had a disclaimer that stated you'd have to be nuts to try it but then he'd began to search for the trick. There had to be a trick else why would he be expected to do it? It wasn't until seven hours had passed in the nearly frigid water that he'd realized that his ki was being used to heat his body even if it was only slightly, it was enough that it made him wonder just what else he could do with it and he'd begun to experiment.
Scratching his head the elder of the two wondered just what the boy was talking about, the training was a futile exercise that should lead him into understanding the importance of his next lesson. It should instil in the pupil a sense of the element of water and how it applies to the art, but it seemed the stupid boy couldn't even figure that out.
"What do you mean son?"
"Gotta admit ya had me at first, I couldn't figure out what you wanted from me, I mean there's no way I could hold back the water just by holding out my arms like that. The water would just flow around me cause I ain't big enough to dam a river even if it's just a stream here."
"Oh?" he prompted, hoping that his son would elaborate.
"At first I thought it might have something ta do with the water, you know the way it flowed around me, but I figured if it was somethin' that simple you'da stuck around and waited for me. I mean I figured that out in about ten minutes."
He was about to congratulate the boy on figuring it out when the youth continued, "Like I said I figured it couldn't be anything that simple. So I started digging deeper. Ya know I've been usin' ki for a while now, making myself stronger and faster and stuff?"
He grunted to let the boy know he'd heard him, it wouldn't do to tell him how proud he was. After all he'd heard the master tell him often enough to 'Treat 'em mean to keep 'em keen'. It'd explain why he and his partner had been treated so rough all of those years, but he couldn't help the thought that he'd missed the true meaning of his masters cryptic message. Where his son was concerned it meant that he never acknowledged the boys accomplishments with positive comments, it was much better to let the boy believe he hadn't done well and thus challenge him to push the boundaries of what he had already done.
"Well it took a while but I finally figured that I should'a been a lot colder than I was as I realized I was usin' ki to heat myself. I tried to make it better by getting more ki so I really started pulling on my ki reserves," he explained. Every martial artist believed they had a pool of energy that they could access if they only trained hard enough. "I could feel it getting stronger and as it did I could sort'a sense where it was coming from."
That had the old man sitting up straighter as he paid avid attention to the boys explanation, "Go on," he prompted, this was sounding even better than he'd ever dreamt of. If what he said was real then he'd make a man out of the boy soon and they could go home without any fear of his wife.
"I felt right on the edge of something," he was getting frustrated because he didn't have the words to describe what he'd found, or what he'd felt, "you know that feeling when you're standing on ice, just balanced but you know if you relax then you're gonna fall? I stayed like that for ages and then I thought it wasn't doing anything different so I just let go of my control. It was like an elastic band, the way everything snapped into place an' I found myself surrounded by my ki. Does that make any sense?"
"Hmmm, it could be you've found your centre," he mused.
"That's easy ta find," he pointed at his midriff. Everyone knew that.
"Not your centre of gravity boy. I meant your spiritual centre. If I'm right you found your ki reserve. What did it feel like?" he asked while trying not to sound too wistful. He'd been a martial artist for twenty years or more, he'd had one of the most strict masters to teach him and still he'd never come close to what the boy was currently describing. The man might also have been a pervert but that didn't mean he didn't known his stuff.
Hearing his son speak it almost made him want to go and dive into a river and try to hold it back just as the boy had done, almost, but then it sounded too much like hard work. Besides he didn't like the thought of all that cold water, he was advanced enough that he didn't need to go as far as the boy had. "So what did you do after that, surely that didn't take you twelve hours?"
"Once I sorted that out I went back to the first problem of holding the river back," he admitted sheepishly.
"Foolish boy, didn't I already explain that that was an impossible task?"
"No you didn't, you mean ta tell me I spent twelve hours in a freezing river when I only needed to spend ten minutes or so in there?" He was as close to yelling now as he ever got which meant he was getting pretty close to the point where his outrage would burst the old mans eardrums, at least he could hope so. It also reminded him that he was cold, wet and starving since he hadn't eaten for a while. That compiled with the fact he'd expended most of his ki in his later attempts to hold the river back was the only thing stopping him from trying to clobber the older man.
He'd nearly succeeded too with the task he'd been allotted too, if only for a moment before the weight of all that water pushed him downstream a couple of hundred metres with the force of a freight train.
Genma wouldn't admit it but at that moment his son reminded him a great deal of his wife and he took an instinctual step backwards, "Now, now, there's no need to get all prissy at me Ranma. Anyone would think you were a girl or something," he growled out and watched amused as Ranma bristled at the catch-phrase he'd programmed the boy with when he was younger.
"You take that back Oyaji!"
"Quiet down boy, I thought you said you were cold? If that's the case why aren't you sitting by the fire drying out? Do you think I'll take it easy on you just because you foolishly got sick?" That seemed to work as the ld headed for the cheery flames amidst the darkening forest. Ranma was almost halfway to the fire when he caught the smell of roasting meat. It was unusual enough that Ranma was actually impressed with the fact that his pops had managed to supplement their diet of rice with some of the local fauna when he normally wasn't a very good hunter.
"Hey cool, you caught another one. I dunno pops, they must be real easy to catch."
"Hn," Genma grunted something non-committal since if he were being honest it really was easy to catch them and the little blighters brought their own kindling with them as well. He knew he'd get more respect from the boy if he believed it was skill rather than the creatures flying right up to him and shaking a leg at him. The local wildlife was insane if you asked him and he was doing them a favour to put them out of their misery.
Neither Saotome acknowledged the other for a while as they devoured their meals. The only interaction was when Genma would lash out with his chop-sticks and try to nab some choice morsel from his childs dish. More often than not he'd draw his hand back with a fresh welt for his trouble, all in all he only got the one piece of meat and a few grains of rice and a number of developing bruises where the boys eating utensils had struck him. If he was any judge he'd have to guess that Ranma had actually managed to channel his ki through the thin pieces of wood they inflicted so much pain.
"Good," he grunted grudgingly, "it seems you are getting quicker."
"Gee pops, I don't suppose there's any chance you could just leave me alone when we eat?"
"Quit your whining boy, a great martial artist must be prepared to turn anything into training." He was just about to tell his son to go and get the scroll he was working on and bring it back to the fire to continue his studies when his eyes widened in surprise. He'd looked up for a moment and seen another of those birds winging into the clearing on silent wings. Unlike the earlier birds this one didn't look like it intended to land near him in fact it flared its wings at the last second so it could brandish its talons. Genma gave a startled yelp and promptly fell over the log he'd been using as a seat as he tried unsuccessfully to back away. Looking up into the tree canopy he noted the bird pass through where his head would have been before it passed out of sight again.
Ranma watched the attack with wide eyes, he'd never known a wild animal to attack a human for no reason. Animals tended to avoid humans like they were the plague unless the human invaded their territory and wouldn't leave after being threatened or something equally stupid. Owls weren't generally that aggressive or territorial to begin with so he watched warily as the bird landed behind his father. He was the only one to see the bird begin to glow and a moment later he gasped as it began to grow in size in a manner he had trouble describing. It was like watching muscle and bone flow like water and it looked quite painful if he was any judge. For all of that it only took a couple of seconds before he was looking at a rather tall woman wearing a kimono, she was also holding two suitcases that he was wondering where they had come from.
He'd admit he'd seen some pretty strange things in his short life, but this had to top them all. Nothing had prepared him for something so, so, er magical. Yeah that was it, magical. It had to be something like that, though for a moment he'd thought he felt a flash of ki but his ki senses were rudimentary at best so he hadn't been able to pinpoint it. Ranma watched as the unknown woman put the suitcases down carefully as she surveyed the clearing in which they'd made camp. It seemed that pops had regained his upright position as well since he'd turned to regard the woman with a totally fearful expression as he made warding gestures with his hands. He didn't know who the lady was but it looked like his dad was really terrified of her.
"Eh-heh, N-N-No-chan?" Genma was sweating big time as he looked at those icy blue eyes and knew he was in for a world of pain if he didn't talk his way out of this, and quickly.
"No-chan? That's all you've got to say to me after seven years?" the rage in her expression turned truly ugly for a moment and she raised a thin piece of wood and pointed it at the martial artist. Ranma didn't hear what she'd said but he was astonished when a bolt of white light flew from the stick and struck his old man in the chest, the surprise of that was nothing compared to what he felt when he watched the bulk of his old man sail across the clearing and smash into a tree thirty feet away.
"Genma Saotome prepare to die!" Ranma was bemused for a moment as the stick vanished and an elegant, but functional katana replace it in her hands. She looked like she knew what to do with it as well as she crouched and aligned the blade with her target, and when she sprang Ranma noted just how fast she was.
"Whoa!" Lucky I'm faster he thought as his pops was still ineffectually waving his hands in the air.
"Now No-chan, can't we talk?" She'd covered most of the distance and didn't look like she was going to stop before Genma decided it might be a good idea to move out of the way. The decision was taken out of his hands when he felt something strike his ankles and smash them out from under his body turning him so that he was parallel with the ground.
Ranma by the time he realized his father was fairly safe was thinking about the repercussions of what he'd just done. Sure his old man was safe but once gravity did its job he just knew it was going to hurt to have the fat man land on him. The woman, whom he'd labelled No-chan in his mind because he didn't have anything better had begun to slow almost instantly as her target vanished from her view. She was unprepared to have something strike her in the feet as the small body of a young boy rolled out from under the falling bulk of the man and thus lost her balance turning her stop into a lunge as momentum carried her forward once more and the sword in her hands smashed point first into the bole of the tree. It sunk at least eight inches in with the power of her thrust but that wouldn't matter to Nodoka Saotome since she'd lost her grip on the hilt and tripped over her son to land on both of the male Saotome's.
Genma took the only chance he was likely to get and wrapped her slender frame in his arms trapping hers against her sides as she tried to regain her breath.
"No-chan?" he ventured softly, this was one of the reasons he'd kept moving all these years, he'd known deep down that his wife would be angry with him for taking their son on a long training journey and leaving her behind. Looking into her eyes, he could see beyond the anger though, he could see the pain of loss he'd inflicted when he'd taken her young son from his mother without so much as a by-your leave. Pain didn't even come close as he was looking into the depths of those oh-so familiar blue eyes. That look made him do something he did very rarely, "I'm sorry No-chan." The soft tone of his apology arrested her struggles for a moment.
"Sorry? That's it? You take my son and don't tell me anything for seven years and you're sorry?" Nodoka vowed she wouldn't cry when she found her errant husband. She'd told herself that she'd punish him and then leave with her son. But something in his voice spoke of true regret and she couldn't escape the look of contrition in his eyes. Not at this range. She was about to break down when a curious voice intruded on their moment.
"Hey Pops, who's the old lady?"
Genma sat up while still holding his wife in his arms, she'd turned to look at the source of the voice and stopped moving as she drank in the details of her child for the first time in many years. He was familiar to her, she could see the four year old she'd last seen all those years ago in so many different ways. In another sense he was a totally different person, he was tall for a child of eleven and quite muscular as well. Not the bulky kind, but whipcord thin muscles that informed you that this wasn't a child to mess with. Well if you had any kind of martial arts training anyway. She wondered for a moment just how good her child was, it might even lessen the pain she'd felt all these years if some good had come of it. Lessen but certainly not banish.
Genma didn't wait for Nodoka to finish her perusal before he was berating the child. "Show your mother some respect Ranma. Use some of those manners I taught you!"
Ranma ignored his fathers last statement, though he'd later ask what manners those were. As far as he was concerned he was using the very best manners his old man had ever taught him. That would come later though since he had frozen with the words 'your mother'. Where the woman was watching him carefully he was now returning the favour in spades. This woman was his mother? She'd come for him after all this time? He wasn't sure what he felt but it as if a hole in his heart was suddenly mending as he took in her red hair and blue eyes. Eyes he'd seen so many times in mirrors and pools of water over the years. He didn't really remember all that well, just a soft scent and the sound of her voice as she spoke but things came back to him quickly as he drank in the semi-familiar sight.
"M-Mom?" That was all the impetus either of them needed as Nodoka Saotome broke her husbands hold on her in an instant and rushed to envelope her son in a crushing hug.
"Ranma," she whispered into his hair as she dropped kisses on him, putting her hands on his shoulders she held him away from herself to get a better look at his face. "Oh, Kami how I've missed you!" her whisper turned fierce as she crushed him back to her breast. It was the last coherent thing she said for a while as she held on for dear life, afraid that if she let go for even a moment that he'd vanish or she'd awaken from the happy dream. The knowledge that if this was a dream and she woke up and he wasn't here she wouldn't know what to do and might in her pain do something rash.
She hardly felt the strong arms that enveloped them both as Genma joined his family for the first time in seven years. No one noticed as a tear slowly slid down the normally stoic mans face, this wasn't what he'd wanted all those years ago. He'd never meant to take the child for so long, a month or two at most was his plan. Then the boy had proved to have a knack for the martial arts, he snorted for a moment at the understatement of the century. The boy was a true prodigy and soaked up anything to do with the art at an amazing pace. Two months had turned into six and before he'd known it they'd been gone a year, then two. He'd been afraid to go back at that point feeling that he'd burned his bridges with Nodoka. As time went on Ranma had seemed to forger all about his mother and it had become easier to rationalise what he was doing. Then he set himself the challenge. Surely if he returned to her and Ranma was a man amongst men then she wouldn't be so angry? It seemed he forgot that she'd be in so much pain that she'd never gotten to see the transition from boy to man that she would never forgive him.
He didn't know if they had a future right now, but now that they were all back together and couldn't, no wouldn't be leaving each other again he'd make sure he never did anything this stupid again in the hope that someday she'd forgive him.
/ Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry \
Minerva Mcgonagall waited patiently for the owl to return with some kind of acknowledgement from either of her vagabonds. She'd sent the owl several hours ago which was more than enough time to get to the place where they were staying. Deciding that enough time had passed she headed for Albus's office to inform him that she was about to head out and find out what was going on. It took her nearly ten minutes to reach his office before muttering the password and heading up the stairs.
"Come on in Minerva," Albus called when she was half way up the stairs. With his invitation she didn't even pause to knock but pushed into the circular room at the top of the tower.
"I take it you've had no response?"
"No Albus, they haven't responded," she answered as she watched the headmaster stroke his beard thoughtfully. She was about to ask what he was thinking about when he chose to enlighten her himself.
"I wonder Minnie if it's not a case of neither speaking the others language."
"What do you mean?"
"Well we've assumed that these people even speak English. What if they don't? What if they only speak a little and thus don't even know what the letters say?" Minerva looked shocked for a moment before a thoughtful expression settled over her face.
"If that's the case Albus what would you have me do?" she asked as she was unfamiliar with this kind of problem. Certainly they had had foreign students here before but they always spoke reasonably fluent English when they arrived or could at the very least make themselves understood.
"I think I might have a work around for this problem Minerva. I usually don't advocate such things since I feel actually learning the language is much more beneficial in the long run but time is a real constraint in this case. Here, take these. The red one will teach the person who takes it to speak Japanese. I'd suggest you suck on it since simply swallowing can have dire consequences. These blue ones will teach the recipient the English language, with again the same caution. I believe the best comprehension will be attained if you speak English while they speak Japanese. Once they have the lozenges of course. While you'll be able to understand the language as you hear it your mouth will need practice to be able to speak the language. The same will run true for the Saotome family I would assume."
He watched as Minerva placed the bright red lozenge on her tongue and closed her mouth, her lips immediately puckered up at the sour sweet and she had to stop herself from gagging and spitting the bitter thing out. Doing something like that was never a good idea in her estimation so she bore with it as she felt her scalp begin to tingle, it was like someone had lifted the top of her skull and was blowing against her exposed brain. She didn't even have any way of knowing if it had worked until she actually met the Saotome family and introduced herself, hopefully in Japanese. It would be a few minutes before her head began to feel normal again and she sat quietly having nothing more to add for the moment.
"Thankyou for that Headmaster. I suppose I'd better leave now."
"That would be best Minerva, we have much to prepare for the new school year. Then there is the fact that young Harry Potter will be joining us as well which will pose its own problems I'm sure," Albus pondered what he knew of the situation already and frowned. So far he'd sent nearly a thousand letters to various places around the country but it seemed that the muggles that Harry lived with didn't want him to know about the magical world. He'd have to have a word with the Dursley's about that at some point.
"I'm afraid to admit that I'm having a similar problem to the one you're having with Ranma Saotome. It seems Harry isn't receiving his Hogwarts letter either. I'm deciding whom I should send to deliver that letter. I can't decide between Severus or Hagrid." To be honest he'd already made his decision but as was his way he found it made for better relations if he seemed to ask someone else's opinion on occasion. Even if he had to explain why his idea would be better than theirs they'd still feel he valued their opinion enough to ask for it.
"Hagrid? Surely not! He's a very nice man but hardly an ideal role-model. As for Severus, he'd hate Harry on sight. You know that, Snape has never forgiven James Potter for the things that were done to him while they were in school together. While I think he's a very good potions master I'd have to say having the two mix before they absolutely have to could prove explosive. Why not have Filius approach them?"
"I did think of that Minerva, the problem as I see it is that the Dursley's may need to be persuaded to let Harry come here. While Filius is a very good duelist and a powerful wizard in his own right, you'll have to admit he's hardly intimidating. I'm afraid I have to go with either Severus or Hagrid, I don't think the Dursley's would challenge either if they were confronted by them. Filius on the other hand would hardly intimidate them until he had to prove himself which is something I'd rather avoid if I can help it."
"Hmm, I see your point," Filius was rather on the short side and many people tended to underestimate him for that fact, then there was the fact that he was rather excitable and might do something rash such as hex the Dursley's into the middle of next week if they managed to raise his Goblin ire. "Well if it's a choice between those two then I'd say it would be best to send Hagrid, or I could make myself available. I'm not exactly a pushover either Albus."
"Again I had thought of you Minnie, but I fear you'll have your hands full with the Saotome's for a while. It would be best to deal with Harry's situation as quickly as possible. Why Hagrid if I may ask?"
"Well I'm not sure but I get the feeling Severus would take any chance to pay back the Potter family for his past. Harry would be very vulnerable in this situation. There's also the fact that Hagrid knew James and Lily quite well from their time here."
"I dislike speaking badly of Severus but I fear in this instance you would be correct. I shall call for Hagrid to track them down as soon as you leave Minerva. I wish you luck with your mission. I've been doing some research and it seems that Nodoka Saotome is a rather prominent member of the Japanese magical community. It would be a good thing for international politics if her son came to our school."
"I see Albus, then I suppose I'd better leave as quickly as I can." Saying nothing more she rose from her seat and headed for her quarters, she would need her broom if she was going to make best possible time.
/ To be continued? \
A/N, Please Review if you want to see more of this.