The Book of Seals to the Magical World - by teddylonglong
9 – Classes
"Mr. Potter, please follow me into my office," the Gryffindor Head instructed him, and Harry cautiously followed the professor, noticing in relief that her expression became much friendlier when they left the classroom.
"I'm sorry, Professor," he said in a barely audible voice. "I haven't ever used a wand before."
McGonagall gave him a sharp look. "Most students only receive their wands when they turn eleven. Therefore, many of them have never used a wand before, which is the explanation of why none of your other classmates managed to perform the transfiguration. You were the only one; however, to manage any type of change but your spell seemed much too strong." She let out a long sigh. "Mr. Potter, did you ever willingly do magic before? Without a wand?"
"Yes Madame," Harry hesitantly admitted. "I'd probably be able to do the Transfiguration without my wand."
The professor threw him a surprised look. "You are capable of wandless magic?" she queried, causing Harry to slightly nod his head. She conjured a match and laid it in front of Harry on the desk. "Go on then."
Under the Transfiguration professor's watchful eyes, Harry easily transfigured the match into a needle, sighing in relief when the needle remained on the desk as it was supposed to do.
"Very well done, Mr. Potter. Five points to Slytherin," McGonagall commended him gently, before her expression turned stern again. "Mr. Potter, the ability of wandless magic is very uncommon to say the least, especially at your young age. I know that you grew up with your relatives, but did you by chance receive any kind of magical training before you came here?"
Harry threw the witch a terrified look. 'I don't want to lie, but what am I supposed to say?' he thought frantically. "Yes Professor, but I'm not supposed to speak about the matter," he said quietly.
McGonagall sighed. "Mr. Potter, please tell me at least if anyone here at Hogwarts knows about it and who told you not to speak about it."
"Professor Snape knows about it," Harry said hesitantly.
McGonagall glanced at her wrist watch. "Unfortunately, we don't have time to continue this discussion at the moment. Please come back to me after dinner. In the meantime, I'd like you to consider letting me in on the secret. You probably don't know that your mother was like a daughter to me and I often babysat you when she was still alive. Whatever the truth is, I want you to know that I'll fully support you. You definitely need help doing wand magic. I suggest that you try not to let anyone know that you're capable of wandless magic."
"Professor, if I tell you the truth as well, can you promise me not to tell the Headmaster about it?"
The professor threw him a surprised look. "Of course, Harry." She quickly scribbled something on a parchment. "Hand this to your professor in case you're late for your second class."
Harry profusely thanked the professor, knowing that he'd manage to be in front of the Potions classroom within thirty seconds if he used one of the hidden doors.
Professor Snape just opened the classroom door when Harry arrived. He once more sat between Draco and Blaise, who threw him sympathetic looks. Harry smiled back and listened with interest as the professor began to hold a monologue about the art of Potions. From the corner of his eyes, Harry could see that Ron Weasley was pointing at him, snickering together with another Gryffindor boy, whose name Harry didn't know.
"Some of you seem to think that they needn't listen to their professors," Severus suddenly interrupted his speech, turning around quickly. "Mr. Weasley, tell me what would I get if I inserted worm wood to a basic healing potion and stirred clockwise?"
"How should I know?" Ron replied, shrugging. "This is only our first class."
"You don't know? Such a pity," the professor sneered. "Five points from Gryffindor for your insolence. Mr. Potter, can you enlighten your classmate?"
"An explosion, sir," Harry replied quietly, sighing as he felt himself blush when everyone's attention was turned to him... again.
"That is correct. Five points to Slytherin, Mr. Potter. Now if you're finished, Mr. Weasley, let's begin with your first simple healing potion. The recipe is on the board." With a flick of his wand, the recipe appeared, and Harry saw that it was indeed a very simple concoction.
He quickly gathered his ingredients and managed to flawlessly brew the potion, sighing in relief when he bottled one phial and placed it on the professor's desk. 'That's strange though,' he mused as he reflected the potion he had just brewed while he waited for his classmates to finish their potions, absently noticing that the professor took more House points from Ron and also from Neville, who had managed to make his potion explode. 'Why aren't there any full moon dew drops in the recipe? Salazar used the same recipe, however with full moon dew drops in them. Last year, we even went out at four o'clock in the morning to harvest them.'
Seeing that the professor returned to his desk and quietly observed the class, Harry hesitantly stepped to his side. "Excuse me, sir; may I ask you something?"
Severus looked up, questioningly raising an eyebrow, and Harry asked about the full moon dew drops in a barely audible voice, noticing that the professor was hardly able to hide his surprise.
"Why would I want to insert full moon dew drops?" he whispered with apparent interest.
"Because they're supposed to strengthen the healing potion," Harry whispered back, "but they have to be taken very early in the morning after the full moon."
With a flick of his wand the professor conjured a parchment with the recipe, before he handed Harry his quill. Harry thought for an instant and inserted the dew drops between the third and fourth brewing step, adding, 'fourteen and a half stirs, anti-clockwise.'
"Are you sure, Mr. Potter?" Severus asked in surprise, causing Harry to chuckle. "Of course. That's one of the first potions we learned in our first Hogwarts year."
In the meantime, most of his classmates had finished brewing, and the professor quickly dismissed the class. "Mr. Potter," he said thoughtfully, "who taught you Potions? Professor Slytherin?"
"Yes sir. He was the Potions professor and Potions Master," Harry replied, glad that his classmates, who had been looking at him curiously, had left the room. "Ceridwen and I were allowed to attend classes from the age of eight onwards. Therefore, we already studied Potions for three years, and Potions was one of my favourite classes. After Runes in fact," he added thoughtfully. "Don't we have Runes classes here in this time?"
The professor looked up, deep in thoughts. "Runes classes only begin from third year onwards. I'll check the time tables though and if the third year Runes classes don't collide with any of your main subjects, I shall speak with my colleagues and ask if you may attend. The problem is that no one is supposed to know why you're ahead in several of your classes."
"I don't think I'll be much ahead, sir," Harry replied quickly. "In Potions maybe yes, although the recipes could be slightly different from what I learned. However, I have problems casting spells with a wand..." He quickly told the professor what had happened in Transfiguration.
"Harry, I will join you for your conversation with Professor McGonagall tonight. I suggest that we tell her the truth. She won't tell your secret to the Headmaster, and she'll be a valuable ally, especially if we notice that you're too advanced for some classes or need more training for others. We should also take Ms. Hufflepuff with us, considering that she will probably have similar problems to what you are having."
After dinner, Severus, Harry and Ceridwen visited Professor McGonagall and told her the truth about Ceridwen and Harry. Harry anxiously observed the professor, who had a stern expression on her face, while Severus informed her about how Harry had spent his last five years. Only when the Potions Master finished, the edges of her mouth pulled upwards, and a huge smile spread across her face.
"Harry, I'm very glad that you got away from your horrible relatives and found such a nice home," she said warmly.
"Thank you, Professor," Harry said gratefully and listened quietly when Severus explained about the classes Harry and Ceridwen had already attended in the past.
The teachers decided that Harry would be allowed to attend the third year Ancient Runes class. He was going to miss two of his History of Magic classes and one Potions class, and the professors told him sternly that he would still be supposed to take his tests in History of Magic at the end of the school year. Ceridwen was allowed to miss Herbology and History of Magic classes in favour of private Healing classes with Madam Pomfrey, provided that the Mediwitch would agree to teach her, which was very likely, although they'd have to let her in on their secret. The professors also agreed to take turns teaching both children in wand magic in Helga's quarters every day between the last afternoon class and dinner.
Harry smiled happily when he sank into bed that evening. All of the problems that had arisen throughout the day seemed to be solved, and he looked very much forward to his first Ancient Runes class that was going to take place first thing in the morning.
At the beginning of the class, the third year students eyed him with suspicion; however, one class of Ancient Runes was enough for everyone to accept that Harry was not only as ready to learn about Runes as themselves, but that he could answer all questions and seemed to be at least two years ahead of them already.
Unfortunately, his next class, Defence Against the Dark Arts, was much less pleasant. Not only did Harry once more have problems with wand magic, but from the moment he entered the classroom, his head exploded in pain. 'What am I going to do?' he thought frantically when the professor instructed them to pair up and cast the Expelliarmus spell at their partner. He looked around, seeing Neville stand right behind him.
"Would you like to practise together?" he asked hesitantly, sighing in relief when the Gryffindor nodded eagerly. "You begin," Harry instructed the other boy, and the two first years quietly practised the spell. Seeing that Neville failed to cast the spell properly, Harry only spoke the incantation, but didn't move his hand nor his wand in order not to harm his partner but to keep up appearances at the same time. Unfortunately, by the end of the class his headache had become so bad that he decided to skip lunch and take a nap. He quickly exchanged a few words with Blaise in case anyone asked for him and returned to his dormitory, where he curled up on the small green bed the castle had once made for him, noticing that his headache completely vanished as soon as he lay down.
'Something must be off with Professor Quirrell,' he thought, resolving to speak with his Head of House when he had problems in the strange professor's presence again. Still feeling slightly nauseated, Harry remained in his dormitory, thinking about how to cast spells with wandless magic even with his wand in his hand. 'I'll need to do that in Charms too,' he realised in anticipation of his first afternoon class. 'Thank God Ceridwen and I are going to have private classes with Professors Snape and McGonagall. I'm glad that Ceridwen has the same problems, even if they don't seem to be as bad as mine.'
He laid his hand on the wall. "Hello Hogwarts, how are you?"
"Hello Harry, what are you doing here at this time of the day?" the old castle asked back, causing Harry to tell her everything about his Defence class.
"Hmmm," the castle made thoughtfully. "I have an idea, although I'm not sure if it'll work. You can try to release some of your magic into my walls, before you attend classes, during which you have to use your wand. Afterwards, you need to touch my walls again to have your magic returned."
"Can we try it out immediately?" Harry asked eagerly, sitting up in excitement. The castle agreed, just when Professor Snape entered the dormitory. 'Oh no,' Harry groaned inwardly, but asked the castle, "What do I have to do?"
"Just leave your hand on my wall. I'm going to borrow fifty percent of your magic. We'll have to see if that's enough or perhaps too much. You might feel a bit tired. Anyway, touch my wall again after your Charms class, and I'll refill your magic."
Harry instantly began to feel tired. "Okay. Thank you, Hogwarts," he replied quietly and finally pulled his hand away. "I'm sorry, Professor," he turned to Severus, who stood next to him, quietly observing his interaction with the castle.
"What exactly was that?" the professor asked sternly, causing Harry to quickly explain. "We'll see if that works," Severus said thoughtfully. "Nevertheless, you are not to miss any meals. One toad for missing lunch, Mr. Potter."
Harry looked at his Head of House in shock and quickly explained about Professor Quirrell and his headache.
Severus remained pensive for a moment, before he said, "If it happens again, please come to me immediately, so that we can find out when and why it happens."
Harry noticed soon that the castle's idea had been brilliant. In his Charms class, he barely managed the Lumos charm and only after Draco managed to cast it. Unfortunately, after practising the charm a few times, he felt exhausted like Hogwarts had predicted. 'That's still so much better than burning things,' he thought in relief as he pocketed his wand at the end of the class, pondering where he could speak to the castle to retrieve his magic back without being heard or seen by others. 'Well, maybe Hogwarts will understand that I'm not able to talk when other students are around,' he finally thought and unobtrusively placed his hand on the wall as if to steady himself when they waited to be let into the Potions classroom for their second afternoon class. He let out a relieved sigh when he felt the magic being returned into his body.
'I must tell Ceridwen,' he thought when he entered Helga's quarters for their lesson with Professors McGonagall and Snape. However, his foster sister was much too excited to listen.
"Harry, Harry, my Healing class was so interesting. You won't believe what they can do in this time. I can't wait to tell Helga and Mum about what I learned today. It's so much faster and easier to heal someone's bones than it was in our time," she blurted out in excitement. "Oh Harry, it's such a pity that we can't have classes together due to being in different Houses," she finally ended her monologue, looking sadly at Harry, who couldn't help chuckling at her enthusiasm.
"That's true," he said thoughtfully. "I'm glad that we can at least study together, although I'd love to bring Hermione, Neville and perhaps a few other nice students, so that we could all spend some time together."
"Well, maybe we'll be able to tell Hermione and Neville the truth some time, but I think it's still too early. We don't know them well enough," Ceridwen replied pensively. "But I have an idea. Why don't we ask Hogwarts to make a study room for all the first years, where we can all meet and study together, indifferent of our House?"
Harry eagerly agreed, although they didn't have time to speak with the castle due to the professors' arrival.
Thank you so much for your kind reviews. I appreciate them very much.
Thanks to Mushcorn for her invaluable help, advice, and editing.
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.