Harry Potter and the Enchanting Boy
A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and wish I did.
A Harry/Hermione/Gabrielle story.
Rating is M for language. (Sorry, no beta for this chapter).
If my sanity asks, I was never here.
Chapter 15: Recovery
Beauxbatons, Early October.
Days later Harry was beginning to remember the horror of the caves. As he spoke to his family, Gabrielle and the professors, he shuddered.
"I don't know how I got in the caves, but it was pitch dark inside. There was a faint light, far away. After fumbling around for my wand and trying to cast Lumos, I was thrown to the ground." He continued his tale, remarking that he was afraid to use his wand and that a rock he picked up took him deeper into the cave. He told of his meeting with the three monsters and how he escaped each time. Finally. He told them of the rock he enchanted to a Portkey that took him back here.
"Harry, you enchanted a rock to make a Portkey?" Madame Maxime asked, shocked. "That's very advanced magic Harry."
Minerva also gasped when she heard that. "What have you been reading, Harry? That book of yours has dangerous magic in it. You're lucky it didn't kill you."
Harry shook off the remonstration. "I would have been trapped in there forever if I hadn't remembered the enchantment," he replied. "I saw a skeleton of someone that had died in there: I didn't want to end up like them."
Minerva blushed and reluctantly agreed. "I'm sorry, Harry. We were all so worried when we couldn't find you. Do you mind if Professor Brabant examines the Portkey? It seems a little odd somehow. I would not have believed it would have worked through all the wards on the cave."
Harry agreed and Professor Brabant took the rock and examined it.
"That's odd," he exclaimed after a close examination. "I've never seen a rock quite like this. I can detect the enchantment, but the rock itself has peculiar properties as well. I'll need to study it further. There is a definite crystalline structure quite unlike anything I've seen before. Not exactly a rigid formed structure, more… plastic? The rock structure sort of shifts when I run my wand over it: definitely weird.
As he examined it, the rock suddenly disappeared from his hand and landed on Harry's lap. "Now that's very weird!" Brabant exclaimed. "I've never heard of a Portkey doing that!"
"Harry no! Don't…" Hermione warned, but it was too late.
Harry picked up the Portkey and promptly disappeared again.
"What in Merlin's name happened? W-where did he go?"
Everyone was so startled that they stood there with their mouths hanging open, before Hermione and Gabrielle collapsed sobbing. "H-he's gone again!" they wailed.
Meanwhile, Severus was startled to see Albus wandering in the corridor outside his cell. "Albus," he hissed. "What are you doing here? The corridors are enchanted to…"
Dumbledore suddenly found himself in a cell next to Snape, bound and gagged. He tried to apparate out, but found he couldn't concentrate. A fog seemed to form in his mind as soon as he tried to think of a destination.
"Albus, what have you done? You're now as trapped as I."
Albus glared and tried to move, but the magical bindings merely tightened themselves around his body.
"Tut, tut, professor," A voice said. "Mustn't struggle, you know. The bindings will only tighten themselves and eventually kill you." The voice seemed to be coming from the ceiling and Albus could make out a small mirror like device in a far corner of the ceiling.
"As you can see, Dumbledore, you are now a prisoner of the State. Attempting to arrange a prison break in France is a serious offence. I'm afraid you will be spending time here until the Minister of Magic for France decides to release you."
A guard entered the cell and relieved Dumbledore of his wand and after a thorough search, several other suspicious articles that were hidden in various places in his clothing and body. One item of note was a rather nasty looking curved dagger that seemed to have several enchantments on it.
"Well, well," the voice said. "Full of surprises, are we? Bringing enchanted dangerous objects into a prison will likely not be well received by our government. Guard, perform a cavity search on the prisoner!"
As the guard moved to comply, stripping the bound headmaster, both simply disappeared, leaving the observer to gape in shock. "Damn! Timed Portkey! Well, now we have kidnapping to add to his charges. Maurice, notify the Minister! Collect his clothing and burn it!
The breakfast in the Great Hall at Hogwarts was interrupted by the Headmaster suddenly appearing, albeit stark naked, with a very confused French prison guard with his hand in a very inappropriate place. Giggling immediately broke out between the students and a red faced Albus Dumbledore quickly conjured a robe for himself, bound the guard and herded him off to one of the dungeons.
Muttering to himself, Albus made his way to his office and sealed himself in to consider his next move. The loss of his wand was a severe blow to his dignity and he promised himself that the French would pay dearly for this affront.
Harry was confused. He had rapidly transported to a succession of odd places: The forest, the cave, his dorm and finally popping back into the infirmary, only to repeat the process twice more before someone managed to summon the Portkey rock from his hand. "Wha… what happened?"
Madame Maxime quickly warded the stone and shrugged her shoulders. "Where did you go Harry? You seemed to pop in and out of here three times before we were able to stop you."
"Well, Headmistress, I remember the cave and the forest and my dorm. I think that's all. How did that happen?"
Professor Brabant attempted to explain. "I think the rock was unstable with the enchantment you added to it and it bounced you around the school property a bit. You are not to touch this rock again. We will dispose of it as soon as we can figure a way to safely handle it."
Hermione and Gabrielle had meanwhile hugged Harry to them tightly, refusing to let go. "Harry," Hermione moaned, "that was dangerous. We thought we'd lost you for good. Your magical reserve is still weak and you wouldn't have been able to return if you'd continued much longer. Each time you returned, you sort of flickered before disappearing again. The last time you disappeared, you flickered for several seconds and Madame Maxime couldn't get a spell to hold on the rock long enough to prevent it activating again. Finally, the three of them managed to get it away from you, but it was a near thing."
Jane and Dan joined the girls in the hug and afterwards promised to have a long talk with Harry. "You're not in trouble Harry, we're simply worried that you ran away," Dan said. "Please be careful in the future."
As the days passed, Harry and the girls settled into a routine. Classes, rest (in Harry's case), studying and relaxation out of doors. Harry had resolved not to experiment with enchantments until he learned much more. Professor Brabant had cautioned him to leave the book locked up in a safe place and Harry had agreed.
Hogwarts, Late October.
The French Ministry of Magic was in an uproar. One of their Aurors had been kidnapped by Albus Dumbledore. An appeal to the British Ministry of Magic had fallen on deaf ears. Apparently Cornelius Fudge had been browbeaten by Albus to cut all ties with the French. Things could not stay at this impasse for long and a series of censures by the ICW and increasing pressure by the various magical governments had finally brought about the release of the French Auror. Relations between the two countries, already strained, had deteriorated to the point that the muggle governments became involved. The British Prime Minister and French Premier had started exploratory talks to see if a compromise could be arranged before more serious consequences resulted. Albus Dumbledore was in deep trouble and he knew it, but steadfastly refused to be intimidated by what he regarded as an inferior government. Politics, being what they were, took a dim view of Dumbledore's prejudices. There were calls for his removal from both within the British magical community and muggle government. Albus stood fast, however and retreated to his office when the Minister For Magic demanded an audience. A loud and acrimonious argument ensued and Albus was forced to make a public apology to the French. Things settled down somewhat after that but Albus was determined to have his revenge and retrieve his friend Severus.
Harry Potter was now a secondary objective, but was not forgotten. He had tried to access the Potter vaults, only to be hustled out of Gringotts by several angry guards that didn't take well to being bullied. Goblin magic was something Albus was not able to deal with, despite being the most powerful wizard in Britain. A broken nose was the least of his injuries and Madam Pomfrey spent several hours tending to the various cuts and broken bones on the ancient wizard.
'Blasted boy, I need those funds!' he thought savagely. The Potter vaults held significant gold that would be better put to use to fund his various projects, not the least was to ensure that Voldemort would not regain power and influence once he returned as prophesied.
Meanwhile, several students were questioning whether it was prudent to remain at Britain's premier magical school. Neville Longbottom had owled his grandmother for permission to transfer to Beauxbatons Academe to join Harry. It had become increasingly apparent that Hogwarts was not safe when a Mountain Troll was discovered loose in the dungeons on Halloween. Two students had died and three more were injured before the troll had been killed. Then there was the three headed dog that was in the supposedly locked room on the third floor. It has escaped and the staff had lost one more professor before it too was killed. It seemed that the Potions position was cursed. Then the DADA professor was found to have been possessed and had escaped before he could be captured. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was not having a good year. Even his fabled Phoenix, Fawkes was turning his back on the old wizard. Albus knew Fawkes couldn't leave because of the binding spell he had set on the bird, but Fawkes chafed at being compelled to obey the old fool. Soon he would find a way to break the spell and then he would seek a more deserving companion.
A very surprised Luna Lovegood was discussing her upcoming entrance to Hogwarts next September. Her father, one Xenophilius Lovegood had other ideas, however. "No, my sweet, you will not be going to Hogwarts next year."
"Father? Why-ever not? I was looking forward to attending and meeting with Neville. Has something happened to my betrothed?" she questioned.
Her father patted her head in affection and explained. "I just heard from Augusta Longbottom. Neville will be transferring to Beauxbatons next year and you will join him. Time to brush up on your French, pumpkin. Augusta tells me that Hogwarts is no longer safe. Even Harry Potter refuses to attend."
Luna blinked in confusion. Hogwarts was no longer safe? Harry Potter and her betrothed were attending Beauxbatons? This was serious. Of course she would follow Neville; that was a foregone conclusion. They had grown up together and had a marriage contact written when they were still infants. She adored Neville and he returned her affection. The petite dusky blonde with hair down to her bum accepted what her father told her without question. If he told her that Hogwarts wasn't safe, it meant that something very wrong had happened. Of course there were rumours, but she had not been told much, even though her Neville had owled her weekly. She would have to ask him when she next saw him at Christmas.
Beauxbatons November 27
After the scare with the cave, Harry had been extremely cautious. The book had been secured and protected deep within the school's protected vaults. Only the headmistress had ultimate access and Harry had decided to let her safeguard the book until he was older.
They had celebrated Hermione's birthday on September 19th, but today was Gabrielle's birthday. Fleur had arranged a birthday party and with the help of Harry and Hermione, a classroom was obtained for the celebration. Gabrielle was almost a year younger than Harry, but was allowed to attend the French school as her magic had matured enough to allow it. It was one of the differences that the French were proud of. Children could start magical school as young as ten as long as their magical core was developed enough to be controlled. Britain, however, demanded that they be eleven before they could attend, thus Hermione was almost a year older than Harry.
Being a veela, Gabrielle had matured faster than a normal witch but had not reached veela puberty yet. Fleur had kept an eye on her sister, fearing that when she attained puberty, her hormones would affect those males close to her, just as hers had. Strangely, Harry had not been affected, for which she was grateful. She had pushed her allure a bit to test him, but it apparently had no effect. He was able to ignore it and she was glad. Gabrielle would not have any trouble being around him when she fully matured in the near future.
The party was a success with Gaby receiving presents from her friends and as the days passed, the trio began an intense study regimen for the upcoming term exams. Hermione, of course, led the charge with a very detailed planner and made sure Harry and Gabrielle stuck to it. Late night studying became a habit and the trio were usually found in the library, surrounded by books and parchment, quills writing furiously as they pondered points that were sure to be asked on the exams.
Finally the exams were upon them and the first day proved the worth of all the extra study. All three felt that they was done well and prepared for the following day's exams. Transfiguration and Defense were the hardest and were now safely behind them. Tomorrow would be Charms and History, followed by Potions, Herbology and Astronomy. The fourth day was set aside for Government and Muggle Studies. Harry was also allowed to try Enchantments but was not expected to pass. Apparently, Harry had retained more in the class than Professor Brabant realised as he passed with an Acceptable. Hermione and Gabrielle were ecstatic at his marks with Hermione a bit disappointed that she wasn't allowed to take the test as well. She knew that Harry was much better than she in that course, but contented herself with topping the class in all her other subject, although Harry and Gabrielle were close behind.
Minerva couldn't be prouder and had notified Jane and Dan at once. Both parents were extremely pleased that their children had scored well on their term exams.
The winter was now upon them, although not as harsh as Scotland, was almost as rainy. As the dreary days marched on, Christmas holidays approached and the pair anxiously awaited the trip back to Marseille and the Granger home.