Harry Potter and the Boy Who Lived
Questions Asked. Answers Given?
Durmstrang, (Aug. 23rd)...
Walking up the main staircase at Durmstrang, Harry quickly made his way through the familiar castle.
Harry knew he would be in trouble for leaving for Durmstrang early, but he just didn't care. He wanted to find out what Calypso had to say and sitting around at home thinking about it for a few more days would be pointless.
Besides, he had grown tired of his brother's attitude. Nathan had not only remained distant over the last few days, but Harry also caught him casting suspicious looks at him every now and then. The tension was present at every meal, and Harry was sick of it. He'd rather be at Durmstrang than putting up with whatever issue Nathan had with him at the moment.
His mother might send him a Howler, but Harry wasn't concerned with that. He'd send his parents a letter explaining why he left, and, hopefully, that would keep them from sending one. Even if they did though, it wasn't like the Howler would reach him. He wasn't sure why more students didn't learn how to cancel the magic that created those awful letters, but he wouldn't let some enchanted parchment embarrass him in front of his peers.
After dropping off his trunk and belongings in his room, Harry quickly made his way down the girls' corridor. Surprised at the amount of students already at the school, he weaved his way through the corridor until he reached Calypso's room. Knocking twice on the door, he waited impatiently for Calypso to answer.
The door opened a few moments later, and Calypso's eyes widened in surprise at seeing him.
Before Harry could ask her to show him the parchment, he felt the slight push of Legilimency against his mind. Instinctively, he cleared his mind and met her gaze. When her probe didn't recede, Harry grew annoyed and began projecting his anger and disappointment at her. Almost immediately the invasive feeling against his mind vanished, and Calypso looked slightly abashed.
"Do you want to come it?" she asked, opening the door, and revealing the standard, spartan, Durmstrang room. While Harry had managed to teach her the charms to expand her room and bed the year before, Calypso was not completely comfortable with how long her own receptacles would last.
Walking inside, Harry took a seat on Calypso's small cot. "How long have you been a Legilimens?"
"For a while. It was one of my first bouts of accidental magic." Calypso shifted on the heels of her feet before quickly adding, "Your Occlumency is impressive. I started working on it a little this summer as well, and, well, I'm still not that comfortable with it."
Harry nodded his head before carefully removing the book on mind magic Calypso had sent him from inside his coat pocket. "Thank you for the book."
Calypso smiled and relaxed somewhat. "You're welcome. I didn't expect you to be this advanced though. I actually thought we would work on Occlumency together since it's nearly impossible to learn from theory, you must have had a great tutor."
Growing slightly tired of the small talk, Harry said, "I did."
"Was the rest of your summer good? I know we didn't talk muc–"
Taking a series of calming breaths, Harry cleared his mind, completely repressing his growing impatience. "Calypso," he said evenly, "you know why we didn't talk much. I've mastered Occlumency, and I'd like to know what the big secret is now."
Calypso was slightly taken aback by Harry's empty tone, but she quickly recovered. "Okay Harry, but I need to tell you something first."
Looking completely impassive, Harry simply raised an eyebrow in curiosity.
"I didn't ask you to learn Occlumecy to protect your mind from a Legilimens." Calypso bit her lip and fidgeted slightly. "I mean, that's a great benefit, but that's not why I wanted you to learn it."
Blinking in confusion, Harry slowly said, "I don't understand. Why did you want me to learn Occlumency if not to protect myself from a Legilimens?"
"Harry, I needed to know that you'd listen to what I say and not freak out. Occlumency allows you to have an incredible amount of control over your emotions. Just look at yourself right now, you're completely calm."
"I'm not," Harry snapped suddenly, causing Calypso to jerk away in surprise. Doing his best to reign in his anger, Harry took several calming breaths. "Learning Occlumency was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, Calypso. Having your mind ripped into is incredibly painful! Now, are you seriously telling me that you could have used a bloody calming charm on me instead?"
"Harry, I'm sorry that it hurt, I really am." Growing more and more uncomfortable as she watched her friend's face slowly morph from rage to complete detachment, Calypso quickly added, "When I told my father about our fight, and that you found out about the parchment, I didn't know what to do. You weren't supposed to find out about that parchment."
"Why not, Calypso?" Harry demanded. "What's the big secret?"
"It's not a secret, Harry." Calypso stood up and paced her small room. "I was going to tell you, but...not for a few more years. When you saw it, I knew what it probably looked like, and I could feel just how suspicious and angry you were with me over the last month of term. I just didn't know how to explain without making the situation worse."
As Harry followed his friend's uncharacteristically rattled pacing, he began to realize just how nervous Calypso truly was. Maybe it was him arriving to Durmstrang early to seek out answers, or perhaps it was her inability to use Legilimency on him now, but Harry could almost feel his friend's anxiety. "Calypso, I'd like some answers now."
Nodding her head, Harry watched as Calypso walked to the small desk across from the cot Harry was sitting on. Removing a piece of parchment from the desk, Calypso took a deep breath and, after a moment, appeared to calm somewhat, though she was still a far cry from the collected Calypso he was used to seeing. After spending most his summer practicing Occlumency, Harry recognized that she was trying, and failing, to use Occlumency to clear her mind.
"Here Harry," Calypso said, handing him the parchment. After a casual glance at it, Harry confirmed that it was indeed the same piece of parchment he had seen twice before. "This parchment is the culmination of all my research on you and your family. I did the research to show my father you could be a good candidate for a potential marriage contract."
At first, Harry thought he must have misheard her, but when he looked up from the parchment and saw Calypso looking nervously at him, he knew he hadn't. No amount of Occlumency could have prepared him for the onslaught of different emotions that hit him in that moment. His eyes widened and the parchment slipped from his hands onto the floor.
Seeing her friend's reaction, Calypso quickly said, "Harry, please say something."
When he remained silent, Calypso met his eyes, and Harry once again felt her trying to use Legilimency on him. Knowing that he would never be able to keep the various emotions he had bottled up, Harry broke eye contact with her, stopping the connection.
"A marriage contract?" He asked looking down at the floor. "You want to marry me? You actually want to marry me?"
Had Harry been looking up, he would have seen Calypso flinch slightly at the question. "Harry, it's complicated."
Snapping his head up, Harry looked right at his friend. "But you just sai–"
"I know what I said," Calypso said tiredly. Walking over to Harry, Calypso sat down next to him on the small cot – slightly pleased that he didn't move away from her. "But...you weren't supposed to see this. It's only research, and it doesn't mean a lot. My father probably won't make a decision until I'm older. It's just... when you saw the parchment, I didn't know how to explain it. I wasn't sure how you'd take it. I can barely stand to think about it, and I've had most of my life to get used to the idea, so I had no idea how you would react."
Harry shook his head in utter disbelief. "You're seriously telling me that you had me learn Occlumency just to tell me that this parchment doesn't matter? I don't know if I actually believe that. What aren't you telling me?"
When Calypso couldn't meet his eyes, Harry's anger and suspicions came roaring back. "Tell me the truth Calypso!"
"You're my friend, Harry," Calypso spoke so quietly that Harry barely heard her add, "and I don't want to lose that."
Months of suspicion, anger, and uncertainly finally boiled over, and Harry angrily stood up and drew his wand. Slashing his wand across his body, Harry sent Calypso's rickety wooden chair flying into the far wall of her room. The chair smashed into the stone wall, breaking off two of its legs and sending wood splinters across the room.
Before he could even think about finishing off the chair, Calypso quickly stood up. "For fuck's sake, Harry! What do you want to hear? That I like you? I do! I know father would never consider you as someone he'd send a potential marriage contract to, so I found information on you to show him just how good of a candidate you were. I wanted you to ask me out, and then maybe in a few years when I had to actually deal with this fucking marriage thing, it wouldn't have been as big a deal!"
The moment Calypso stopped speaking, her eyes widened comically, as if realizing who she just revealed that information to, and her pale face flushed in embarrassment.
His hands suddenly feeling sweaty, Harry could only stare at Calypso in disbelief. "You... you like me? I- really?"
Calypso could only sit down, bury her face in her hands, and nod, not wanting to further embarrass herself.
Using every technique Snape ever taught him, Harry did his best to control his emotions. In a moment of clarity, he acknowledged that perhaps learning Occlumency for this discussion wasn't such a bad idea after all. "Why me?" he eventually asked.
"What do you mean?" Calypso asked, looking up in confusion.
Doing his best to suppress his embarrassment, Harry asked, "Why do you like me?"
Calypso took a moment to compose herself, but she couldn't stop a slight blush from appearing on her face. "Before you got to Durmstrang, I didn't like it. I was the daughter of an infamously dark family, who tested into a third year Dark Arts class. I didn't get along with anyone until you showed up, but since then the last few years have been some of the best of my life. I like practicing to become an animagus with you. I enjoy seeing us claim the top spots in our classes while the rest of our year watches in jealousy. You're my friend...and, I just like you."
Harry couldn't help but feel a little proud that Calypso thought so highly for him, but he was more than a little concerned about the possibility of a marriage contract. "Err, can you tell me anything about the marriage contr–?"
"Harry," Calypso interrupted, "I don't know if that's a good idea."
Giving Calypso a slightly suspicious look, Harry asked, "Why?"
"Harry, you weren't supposed to know about any of this. I didn't think I would have to deal with this until the end of my fifth year. It's not something I like talking about, and I just..." Calypso trailed off looking uncomfortable with the topic.
"I guess I understand," Harry said after a moment.
Calypso looked up at Harry with a small smile. "Thank you."
"Promise me that you're not keeping any other secrets though." Harry said, staring into Calypso's eyes.
Meeting her friend's eyes steadily, Calypso said, "I'm not."
Harry didn't know why, but, at that moment, he felt that Calypso was telling the truth, yet something still seemed a bit off. Brushing the thought aside as angst from the marriage contract, Harry smiled and trusted his friend.
Years later, he would look back upon that as his first use of Legilimency.
Durmstrang Library, (Sept. 14th)...
Over the next few days, Harry begrudgingly admitted that Calypso was right in asking him to learn Occlumency. While he was able to initially disregard thoughts of a marriage contract, Calypso admitting she liked him persisted for a while. Every time he saw Calypso, Harry just couldn't help but feel a little awkward around her. If it wasn't for Occlumency, he probably wouldn't have been able to meet her eyes due to embarrassment. Fortunately, Occlumency allowed him some leeway in controlling those emotions, but that didn't mean it wasn't on his mind at times.
Sitting across from Viktor, Harry once again found himself contemplating whether he should ask his friend for advice.
"Umm excuse me, Mr. Krum?"
Glancing up from his Transfiguration book, Harry resisted the urge to hex the impudent first year. After a blowout victory against the Russians, Viktor had officially been ordained as the next great Seeker by the international Quidditch community. His friend's continued success had skyrocketed his popularity at Durmstrang, and many students now looked up to him as if he were a god.
At first, Viktor had found it slightly humorous how the people who had once treated him like dirt suddenly were bending over backwards just to sit near him at lunch, but the humor had quickly diminished.
Without looking up at the first year, Viktor took out a piece of parchment, scribbled his name, and tossed it at the boy.
"Thank you." The boy gushed. "My sister thinks you're the best player in the world. She's only seven you know, but she'll be coming to Durmstrang in a few years. Do you think you could maybe give her an autogra–"
"Hey," Harry snapped, causing the boy to cease his babbling, "can't you see we're trying to study. Leave."
The boy looked like he was about to protest before he noticed just who was talking to him. The first year took an instinctive step back, muttered a quick apology, and quickly ran back to his table.
"Your reputation proceeds you, Harry." Viktor grinned.
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes at his friend. Even before the welcoming feast, Harry had overheard people whispering his name wherever he walked. His surpassing Grindelwald's academic mark had been huge news across Central and Eastern Europe, and Harry had been the subject of rumors immediately upon his return to the school. As Harry had become accustom to ignoring whatever his peers said about him, when the rumors of his cursing students that interrupted his study time emerged, Harry did nothing to correct them. If anything, he appreciated that particular rumor since it kept many of the more inquisitive students from pestering him with questions.
Doing his best to get back to work, Harry said, "You should learn how to say no to them Viktor."
"He was just a first year," Viktor replied. "If it was an upperclassman, I would have told them to piss off."
"Doesn't matter. The little peons are all going to be asking for your autograph now. It'll only be a matter of time."
"Doubtful." Viktor grinned. "No one would dare interrupt me while I study with the great and powerful Harry Potter."
"Then why is your fan club on its way over here," Harry said distastefully.
Viktor turned around and openly scowled at the five fourth-year girls that were heading right for their table.
Noticing that the subject of their infatuation was paying attention to them, the girls giggled and quickened their pace.
"Hi Viktor," Virginia Newton said with a huge smile. "What are you doing?"
"We were studying," Harry dropped his transfiguration book into his bag. "Until you interrupted us."
Virginia hesitated when she looked at Harry, but a subtle nudge from her friend seemed to give her more courage than the first year Harry had scared off earlier. "Oh, well, that's good. We were going to study now. How about we all study together?"
"We were just leaving, weren't we Viktor?" Harry said pointedly.
Viktor nodded and grabbed his bag.
"Oh, well, maybe another time then?" Virginia asked lamely.
Ignoring the girl, Harry and Viktor left the library.
"I swear I'm going to curse one of them," Viktor muttered, doing his best to ignore a passing group of sixth years who were shamelessly staring at him.
"You could probably get away with it, too."
Viktor continued to aimlessly follow Harry down the corridor. "So could you."
Harry shook his head. "Doubtful...well, maybe, depends on which professor caught me."
Viktor rolled his eyes at his friend's understatement. The professors had gone out of their way to celebrate Harry's academic achievement. A good hour of the welcoming feast was practically dedicated to Harry with each professor giving a detailed explanation of his final project before they gave him their elaborate gifts.
The most practical –though no less expensive– of the gifts Harry had received came from Professor Rosemburg, who got Harry a rare, self updating, History of Transfiguration. The book was practically the definitive history of Transfiguration, and it explained the basic roots of the art in ancient Greece all the way to the most modern theories. Harry had been especially pleased to discover his theory had already been included in one of the latter pages of the book.
While Professor Rosemburg's gift was simple and elegant, other professors seemed to go out of their way to get extravagant gifts. Professor Kosarev had created a fully enchanted magic carpet, and Harry had a standing appointment with him to learn how to enchant it. Viktor, while initially doubtful that the carpet could match his broom, had taken the carpet on a test flight and immediately fell in love with the increased maneuverability the carpet granted him in the air.
Professor Kral had gotten Harry a brand new gold cauldron, something that Harry knew cost well in excess of 100 Galleons while the History Professor, Professor Cristof, bought Harry a very impressive chess set with the pieces being famous wizards and witches.
Not all Harry's gifts were great. Professor Cherny, infamous for not giving out decent gifts, had lived up to his reputation and simply handed Harry a homework planner and a gift certificate to a bookstore Harry had never heard of in Norway. Harry was later told that was probably the most effort Professor Cherny had ever put into giving a gift to a student younger than a fifth year.
While Harry appreciated all his professors' presents, the most impressive gift was given by Professor Rosier. The Dark Arts instructor had walked up to Harry with a small vial and asked him to lean forward. With only the slightest bit of trepidation, Harry complied.
Dipping his wand into the vial, Professor Rosier drew out a swirling white mist and placed the tip of his wand against Harry's temple. The mist, still attached to the wand tip, seemed to pool around Harry's head for just a moment before it was absorbed through his skin.
After all his work with Occlumency over the summer, Harry could immediately feel something wrong tugging at his mind. Curious, Harry sought out where the feeling had come from and found himself remembering something he had never witnessed before.
At first, Harry wasn't even sure what he was remembering. He recalled standing in a field, the freezing cold gusts of air blowing all around him. A short distance away, there were two wizards facing each other.
After they both took a calm bow, they raised their wands, and magic seemed to explode everywhere. The few observers who had foolishly stood too close were quickly torn apart as the violent spells and curses ripped the battlefield around the wizards to shreds.
Harry recognized perhaps one or two spells; however, the quick wand-work and silent incantations made it extremely difficult. In fact, Harry was so taken by the magic on display that it took until the red-haired wizard was blasted across the battlefield closer to Harry's view point that he understood what memory he was recalling at the moment.
It was the redhead's eyes that gave him away. Harry had only seen such crystal blue eyes on one other wizard, Albus Dumbledore. Harry could do nothing else but stand dumbstruck in the middle of the Durmstrang Great hall as the 'duel of the century' between Dumbledore and Grindelwald played out in his mind.
Then, in a blink of the eye, the memory faded, and Professor Rosier was withdrawing the silver mist from Harry's temple.
Harry knew he must have looked like a zombie as he mindlessly walked back to his place at the table next to Viktor and Calypso, but his mind was a thousand miles away. The sheer power and viciousness of the magic he had witnessed had left him humbled and awed, but Harry had also never been more inspired.
"Harry where are we going?" Viktor finally asked, looking around the seldom used first floor corridor.
"I am sick of being pestered by people, Viktor. I know you didn't ask for all this attention when you started playing Quidditch, but it's started to bug the hell out of me."
"I'm sorry, Harry," Viktor said apologetically.
Harry waved his friend off immediately. "It's not your fault, so don't apologize. The bottom line is people are bothering us when we should be studying. There's only one solution to our problem."
Viktor's eyes grew wide when he noticed where Harry was leading him. Lining the walls were the magical portraits of the previous Durmstrang Highmasters, a suit of armor standing on guard between of them. "Harry," Viktor practically hissed, "why are we in the Highmaster's Hall?"
Harry smiled. "The Professors weren't the only ones to give me a gift. The Highmaster sent me an owl on the second day of class with his office's password. He said if I ever needed anything, I could talk to him. Well, Viktor, we need a private room to study."
"Because of my fans?" Viktor asked skeptically.
"Well, not entirely," Harry admitted. "I'm sick of Kira and Calypso having a go in my room during our Animagus training, and since both of them refuse to let the other into their room, and, and I mean no offense, I can't meditate in your room."
"Why?" Viktor asked in confusion.
Harry frowned. "You mean besides the various alerts you've set up to report Quidditch scores from the world cup? Or the periodic owls that swoop in from your teammates, coaches, and fans? Or how about the–"
"Fine." Viktor interrupted. "We need a private room."
"Glad you see it my way." Reaching a pair of large doors with a golden etching of the Durmstrang crest above it, Harry said, "Excellence above all."
The two doors swung open and the two boys looked at each other for a moment.
"After you, Viktor."
Grindelwald and The Next Step
Private Room, (Sept. 21st)...
Scribbling a large 'P' at the top of a fourth year's essay, Audemar Rosemburg tossed the last essay onto the stack. Leaning back in his chair, Rosemburg withdrew his wand and casually cast the tempus charm, causing the time to appear in front of him.
"Damn it," he muttered when he glanced at the floating numbers.
He was almost ten minutes late.
Cursing his incompetent fourth years for not being able to write in a clear and coherent manner, Rosemburg quickly stood up and stepped out of his office, locking the door with a nonchalant flick of his wand.
Typically, Rosemburg would be the last professor willing to take a meeting with a student outside of his classroom or office, but he wasn't meeting with a typical student.
Harry Potter was a brilliant student whose potential far exceeded anybody he had ever taught. The boy's successes during his first and, especially, his second year had given him a level of notoriety never before achieved by a half-blood at Durmstrang.
Beginning the walk up the large main staircase, Rosemburg couldn't help but marvel at the boy's improvement over the summer. It was well known that fifth year classes had the highest attrition rate. On average, only half the students in fifth year Transfiguration would be allowed to advance into the sixth year class, a number Rosemburg knew was in line with his colleagues' standards. It was often joked that fifth year should be renamed 'the culling' as the professors set ever increasing standards for any student who wanted to advance. One of the most difficult challenges was the requirement that students begin to cast silently.
Rosemburg had actually been concerned that Potter might not be up to silent casting as it required both a higher command of magic and emotional discipline – something 13 year old boys did not commonly posses. Surprisingly, his concern seemed to be unnecessary as Harry Potter was the first to pick up silent casting in his class, further distinguishing himself from students several years older than him.
As several of the students Potter surpassed flickered through Rosemburg's mind, he continued walking down the hallway toward Harry Potter and Viktor Krum's new private room.
The thought of Krum caused Rosemburg to repress a scowl. He wasn't sure why Potter had chosen the Bulgarian as a friend, but the two couldn't have been more different people. He still remembered Romulus Rosier entering the staff lounge at the end of last term muttering about how Krum had barely scraped through into the sixth year Dark Arts class, having only the most basic ability at silent casting.
Of course like everyone else in Europe, Rosemburg had followed Krum's spectacular rise as a Quidditch player, but, unlike Krum's legion of loyal fans, he was curious to see if the boy would even be able to pass his classes – it wasn't like playing professional Quidditch would sharpen Krum's already lackluster wand skills. After receiving Krum's summer transfiguration homework in August, he would have bet anything that the boy would have failed out of Durmstrang at the end of the year. Unfortunately, the Highmaster had foreseen such a problem as well, and Karkaroff thought expelling Europe's latest Quidditch prodigy was simply unacceptable. Since Krum simply couldn't afford to fail any more of his classes, the Highmaster ordered the professors to schedule "every extra available time to give private assistance to Krum," something Rosemburg openly told Krum he was loathe to do.
Stopping at the door between Goreman and Grundel, Rosemburg steadied himself before saying, "For the Greater Good."
When he had first heard that the Highmaster had shown Potter and Krum how to access Gellert Grindelwald's private room, Rosemburg had been incensed. Trying to remove the room from the school had taken the lives of two curse breakers, and, regardless of what Karkaroff said, no one was completely sure that the numerous curse breakers had removed all the harmful spells from the room. Rosemburg was certain that it was only the sheer amount of Notice-Me-Not and Aversion charms placed around the door that kept the students from investigating the room and likely getting themselves killed in the process.
Opening the door, Rosemburg allowed himself a moment to take in the main hallway. Grindelwald had been a master enchanter, and the opulence of his room was incredible. The high vaulted ceilings and large Greco-Roman columns made entering the room seem like stepping into an ancient imperial palace. Famous pieces of art from all over Europe were stuck to the walls by unbreakable sticking charms while tapestries taken from the Middle East told the story of how wizards came to rule the Ottoman Empire in the 10th century. The arched ceiling was painted with scenes depicting Grindelwald's dark army's successful campaigns across Europe and North Africa.
The soft echo of his feet on the pristine white marble was the only sound the Transfiguration professor heard as he walked the massive entryway. Having been shown Grindelwald's room when he first started teaching at Durmstrang, Rosemburg knew that there were several concealed doors that lined this hallway. The doors led to several luxurious bathrooms, a decent sized library, Grindelwald's personal bedroom, a full study, and a large meeting hall. At the far end of the entrance way, he saw the massive clear glass window that partially opened to a grand patio, and presented an absolutely stunning view of Durmstrang's grounds and Quidditch pitch.
Noticing that his hands were shaking somewhat, Rosemburg balled his hands into fists to get them to stop. He still remembered sitting in the Main Hall when the Dark Lord had executed Professor Reinhart and claimed the Highmaster position. The next several months were a truly horrifying experience. Several scholars had written on the time period, but no book could ever completely convey the sheer terror the students felt every day.
For six months, the most powerful and evil man in the world had run his war from Durmstrang, and Grindelwald had no qualms about killing any dissidents in the school. Looking back on it, Rosemburg knew it was a tactic to break the pockets of resistance that had formed throughout Central and Eastern Europe. After all, who would dare challenge Grindelwald's authority when they knew the Dark Lord was sleeping not a few doors away from your child or the child of a relative or friend.
Shaking away the dark memories, Rosemburg forced himself to walk down the hallway and open the door to Grindelwald's study.
Immediately spotting his best student looking nervously at the time while talking to Romulus' daughter, Rosemburg announced his arrival by saying, "I apologize for my lateness, Mr. Potter. We had best do this as quickly as we can since I believe you have class starting very soon. I take it Ms. Rosier will be here to assist you?"
"Yes, sir, though she's made a lot of progress herself," Harry said confidently before raising his wand and tapped it against Calypso's right arm.
Instantly, Calypso's arm sprouted thick brown fur and expanded several times its natural size. Her hand soon followed, immediately twisting and contorting, leaving the girl with a large brown paw complete with sharp claws.
Rosemburg carefully inspected the transfiguration for any flaws. Not finding any, he asked, "And you feel no pain at all, Ms. Rosier?"
"None sir," Calypso replied. "It feels completely natural." To prove her point, Calypso flexed her new arm a few times and took a couple of swipes with the large bear paw.
Rosemburg nodded his head, quite pleased with transfiguration. "Very well done, Mr. Potter, and you say you are capable of doing self-transfiguration at the same level?"
"Remarkable." Rosemburg favored his best student with a rare smile before turning to Calypso. "You wished to show me your progress as well?"
"Yes, sir." Calypso said with only the slightest hesitation. "I can transfigure large individual parts of the body like fingers, maybe even a hand, but I'm not able to make complete changes like Harry does."
"Show me," Rosemburg said, not bothering to hide his skepticism of the girl's claims.
Before Rosemburg could raise his wand to counter the transfiguration on Calypso's wand arm, Harry nonchalantly flicked his wand, reversing the transfiguration – he never noticed his professor's eyes widen at the casual display of untransfiguration.
Drawing her wand, Calypso smiled slightly when Harry raised his left arm for her to transfigure. Doing her best to focus on the transfiguration, Calypso took a deep breath and tapped her wand against Harry's hand. The slightly audible crack of the bones caused Professor Rosemburg to frown and remove his wand. With a flick of his wand, the transfiguration immediately reversed, leaving Harry rubbing the back of his hand.
"Sloppy, Ms. Rosier." Rosemburg said, carefully inspecting the back of his favorite student's hand as if to ensure that no lasting damage had been done. "How badly did it hurt, Mr. Potter?"
"It's was a fairly sharp pain, sir," Harry said honestly, "but it was no worse than when I was at the same level. Calypso's improved a lot, I don't think you needed to stop the Transfiguration."
"I seriously doubt Armando would be pleased if I sent you to Charms class both late and injured," Rosemburg said flippantly before turning to address Calypso. "You need more practice, but, provided you do so, I don't see a reason why you cannot continue onto the next step with Mr. Potter. However, you should know that you will never complete the transformation if you do not drastically improve upon your transfiguration skills."
"I'll keeping working at it, sir," Calypso said seriously.
"Do that." Rosemburg said dismissively. "Now, Mr. Potter, the next step in the process is optional, and you are free to ignore it if you wish; however, I believe it is of great value." Seeing that his student was paying very close attention, Rosemburg continued, "There has never been any firm proof that a person's personality directly reflects their animagus form, but strong correlations have been shown in several studies."
Harry couldn't help but recall how his father and uncle Sirius would comment on how their animal forms fit their personality. "I believe that's true sir."
"Excellent. Then the next step for you is to take some time to understand yourself. Contemplate what makes you, you." Seeing the rare flicker of confusion cross his student's face, Rosemburg sighed. "Unfortunately, I can not give you much more direction than that. There is no easy way to go about this, Mr. Potter. However, if it were me, I would start by creating a list of my obvious personality traits and talking to my closest friends – too often we overlook things that others see clearly in us, and your friends should be able to help you with that. Once you believe you have a firm grasp of your personality, you can attempt your first transformation."
"But how will we transform if we don't know what we are supposed to transform into?" Calypso asked immediately. "Do we need to meditate to find our form or take a potion?"
"Ms. Rosier that is possibly the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time," Rosemburg said bluntly. "If there was a potion to find your form, I daresay that animagi wouldn't be so rare. As for your other thought, if the process was a matter of meditation, please explain to me why I bothered to have you learn advanced human transfiguration?"
Ignoring the abashed look on his student's face, Rosemburg turned to Harry and said, "Managing your first transformation will likely take a while. What you need to do is keep in mind those attributes which define you, and will yourself to change."
"Will ourselves?" Harry asked. "How exactly?"
"The Animagus transformation is...not a type of magic you will learn in school." Rosemburg said, struggling slightly to explain the concept. "It's old magic, a magic that requires a deeper level of understanding and control. Honestly, there is a chance you might simply be too young to command your magic in such a fashion."
"So, it's kind of like sensing magical traces in a way?" Harry asked curiously.
Raising a curious eyebrow Rosemburg said, "I wasn't aware you knew of such magic, Harry, but, yes, on a very basic level, the animagus transformation is similar. Both require the individual to have a strong sense of self and to manipulate magic on a level far deeper than simply wand waving. Again, I must warn you to be careful when attempting to change yourself, and, above all, should you feel a change occurring, do not, under any circumstances, fight it. Horrible things have happened to people who panicked or tried to stop the magic whilst undergoing the change into their animal form."
Harry and Calypso both nodded, but Rosemburg narrowed his eyes. "I am deadly serious about this, Mr. Potter. People have died when they unexpectedly changed for the first time. Fear is a powerful emotion and a sudden change to your very being can easily cause a burst of fear driven accidental magic. It is best if you do not even attempt to transform without someone competant, preferably me, present. I trust, of course, that you have successfully taught Ms. Rosier the Homorphus Charm just in case you need emergency assistance?"
"I can cast it, sir," Calyspo said.
"Very well then. Mr. Potter, if you have any additional questions, you are free to ask me, but if not, I believe it's time I get you to Charms. Armando will be quite cross should you miss the entire lesson."
"I'll get started writing out my characteristics," Calypso said as Harry and Rosemburg stood up to leave.
"It might be best if you begin by writing down your thoughts of Mr. Potter, Ms. Rosier," Rosemburg said casually. "I've found that few people are able to accurately describe themselves without giving into a positivity bias."
"Err, yes sir, I'll start on that," Calypso said.
"Good. Now, Mr. Potter, we had best get you to class."
"Yes sir," Harry said, following Rosemburg out of the room and into the fourth floor boys' corridor.
"You improved a great deal over the summer. How often did you work on your transfiguration?"
Harry couldn't help but grin. It seemed that his Occlumency practice over the summer prepared him to adapt well to silent magic. Occlumency allowed one to become very aware of their emotions, and silent magic was especially driven by the caster's emotional intent. By using Occlumency to channel the proper emotion, Harry was able to generate a high quality silent spell.
"Not as often as I would have wanted, sir," Harry admitted, "but I had a very intense project I was working on, and I think the results have helped me this year."
"Well, whatever you did, keep it up. This type of improvement is impressive. I honestly cannot ever recall seeing someone adapt as flawlessly as you have to silent casting, and, believe me, I am not the only professor that has noticed. Tell me, did you even recognize that you silently untransfigured Ms. Rosier's arm?"
Harry blinked. He hadn't noticed.
Seeing the look on Harry's face, Rosemburg chuckled in amusement as they approached the Charm's classroom. "You are a truly impressive young man, Mr. Potter."
Opening the door, Rosemburg led Harry into the room where the students were paired up and trying to silently cast a shield charm. Harry spotted Viktor in the corner of the room looking a little ragged. His face had some light hex marks on it, and his robes were singed slightly.
"Armando," Rosemburg greeted pleasantly, "I apologize, but my meeting with Mr. Potter ran longer than I expected."
Kosarev looked up at the pair, but was soon distracted by a nearby student taking a stinging hex to their face. Apparently too busy to mix pleasantries, Kosarev quickly said, "Mr. Potter, can you cast the shield charm silently?"
"I'm sure he can, Armando," Rosemburg said before Harry could speak. "I personally watched him perform a silent partial human transfiguration not twenty minutes ago."
Doing his best to clear his mind, Harry fought the urge to blush at his professor's praise. Rosemburg rarely complemented a student's performance, and several students' in the room had stopped their spell casting to look enviously at Harry.
"What are you all staring at!" Kosarev snapped the moment he saw the class had stopped casting. "Get back to work! Thank you for delivering Mr. Potter, Audemar. Mr. Potter, please take Mr. Flemming's spot and begin working with Mr. Krum."
Nodding his head, Harry walked over to Viktor. "Bad class?"
"The worst," Viktor muttered distastefully. "Do you want to go first? Or should I?"
"You can cast first, it looks like you need a break anyway."
Nodding his head in thanks, Viktor raised his wand and silently sent a stinging hex at Harry, who raised his wand and blocked it with a silent Protego.
Viktor looked enviously at his friend for a moment before he shook his head ruefully. "You must teach me Occlumency,"
"I don't think you'd say that if you knew how painful and time consuming Occlumency is to learn," Harry muttered distastefully. "Besides, with everything you're doing right now, I doubt you'd have the time to learn it properly."
Viktor had one of the most intense schedules Harry had ever seen. Immediately after his last class, he would use an international Portkey to take him to Bulgaria's training facility in Varna on the Black Sea. After a grueling three hour practice, he would Portkey back to Durmstrang, giving himself just enough time for a quick dinner, a brief private meeting with a professor or two, and then an hour on homework before literally passing out in his bed.
Victor scowled as he continued to send stinging hexes at his friend, each one blocked by a perfectly executed Shield Charm.
"You'll catch up, Viktor, you're just out of practice," Harry said encouragingly. "I know I saw you cast a silent shield charm at the end of last year. It's just a matter of confidence. Now, are you ready to try?"
Taking several deep breathes, Viktor prepared to defend himself. Receiving only the slightest of nods to signal that he was ready, Harry fired off a quick stinging hex. Instinctively, Viktor raised his wand and thought Protego. A slight flicker of a shield appeared in front of him, but the moment the stinging hex struck it, the shield dissipated and the spell continued on to hit Viktor in the chest.
"Alright, I believe that's enough for today everyone," Kosarev said, calling the lesson to a close. "Since Mr. Potter seems to be the only person who is at all capable of casting a decent shield charm, I'd recommend you all go back and read chapter three in your books. I will personally be testing your shields during our next class, so be prepared."
Quickly grabbing his things, Viktor stormed out of the Charms classroom in frustration. Harry caught up to his friend at the top of the main staircase and the two of them silently walked down the boys' corridor, but while Harry stopped outside of Grindelwald's door, Viktor continued walking towards his own room. Viktor hadn't fully embraced practicing in Grindelwald's room, and while he would go there if Harry asked him to, he wouldn't spend his free time in the room if he could help it. Sighing, Harry said, "For the Greater Good."
Walking through the main entrance way and into the library, Harry saw Calypso sitting at a desk writing something on a piece of parchment. Reasonably sure that he knew what Calypso was working so hard on, Harry walked over to her and looked over her shoulder at the parchment.
"Is that for me?" Harry asked, his eyes widening at the large list Calypso had compiled on the parchment.
"Yes." Taking out another piece of parchment, Calypso said, "You need to get to work on mine, and remember what Rosemburg said, be honest."
Dropping down into an open chair, Harry grabbed a quill. "Alright, I guess I'll get started."
Harry's Room, (Oct 3rd)...
I'm sorry that it's taken me so long to reply, but Sirius, your mother, and I have been bouncing back and forth from home to the Ministry and Hogwarts ever since a Muggle called the police saying she spotted someone who looked just like Peter near Inverness. While the Minister still refuses to remove the Dementors, Albus has been open to our suggestions on how to close the secret passageways into the school. Now, I know you wanted Nathan to study some of the spells you left for him, but, at the moment, I think he's trying not to think about Peter and the threat he poses. I have spoken to your uncle Remus, and he said Nathan has expressed an interest in possibly learning the Patronus Charm to drive off Dementors. Your mother and I are hoping that once he starts practicing more advanced Charms, Nathan will begin to focus more on some protective magic.
Speaking of charms, I should mention that I bumped into Filius after leaving Dumbledore's office. He was standing outside the gargoyle with four girls who looked exceptionally nervous. Remus later filled me in that they had been caught picking on an eccentric second year in Ravenclaw and Filius was not pleased to discover that they had been doing so for most of the girl's time at Hogwarts.
It would seem that since you left Hogwarts, Flitwick has taken a rather stern approach towards his own house – he has apparently taken more points away from them then Snape this year. Minerva confided to your uncle that Filius was not pleased to discover the problems you had within Ravenclaw while you were at Hogwarts, and he has begun holding his students to much higher standards inside and outside the classroom.
Also, while I didn't get a chance to speak to Filius much, he did ask me to forward his congratulations. It seems that Filius was really impressed by the article in Transfiguration Today. Perhaps you should write to your old professor, Harry. I think he'd like to hear from you, and you never know, he might give you an idea for a future final project.
I hope everything is going well for you so far this year at Durmstrang. Have you had any ideas for your final projects yet?
Write if you need anything.
Putting the letter away, Harry couldn't help but be glad his uncle Remus had taken the position as Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts. When he had first heard about the Dementors around Hogwarts, he had been shocked. His mother had written and, after yelling at him for both leaving early and missing his uncle Remus' party for being named the new Hogwarts Defense Professor, explained just why they were there, but the entire situation made Harry nervous.
The news about Professor Flitwick was interesting as well. Harry hadn't thought much about his old Head of House since he had left Hogwarts. Glancing at his Charms notebook, Harry decided that maybe a letter to Flitwick would be a good idea.
Bats in the Belfry
Grindelwald's Room, Oct 18th...
It was impossible. Well, obviously, that wasn't true, but it was certainly improbable.
And yet, it happened.
Viktor Krum, the person who had to repeat his first year Transfiguration class. The person who could just barely cast silently. The person who, admittedly, would rather play Quidditch than study, had, in his first ever attempt, found his animagus form.
The small bat that was Viktor Kurm was frantically flying around Grindelwald's library as Harry, Calypso, and Kira watched in stunned amazement.
"Do you think he knows how to transform back?" Calypso asked as Viktor continued to fly haphazardly around the room.
"I doubt it," Harry said his eyes fixed on the frantic creature. "If you can hit him with an Impedimenta or Immobulus, I'll cast the Homorphus Charm on him."
The two spells quickly flew from Calypso's wand, hitting the bat and freezing it in the air. A moment later Harry cast the Homorphus Charm, and a fully human Viktor Krum fell to ground. Kira immediately canceled Calypso's immobilizing spells and rushed to Viktor's side.
"Are you alright?" She asked, frantically looking him over as if to make sure no parts were missing.
"I'm fine," Viktor said shaking his head. "That was...unexpected."
"How did you find your form so quickly?" Harry tried to keep the envy out of his question, but he was having a very hard time understanding how his friend had transformed.
"I-I can't really explain it," Viktor admitted. "I tried doing what you said. I was thinking about what I felt most defined me, but I became distracted and just started thinking about how much I would rather be flying. I remembered the thrill of catching the snitch against Turkey, and then I remembered what I was supposed to be doing and I concentrated on changing. I wasn't sure what happened, but the next thing I know, my mind was filled with the image of a bat. I saw it flying, using its echolocation to find its prey, and I felt...happy. The next thing I know, I'm flapping my wings, and I'm practically blind. It was incredible, I couldn't see anything a few inches away from my face, but I knew where everything in the room was. When Calypso raised her wand to send the spells, I felt them leave her wand, and I knew I could have dodged them, but I assumed that you were trying to help and I let them hit me."
Harry listened carefully to everything Viktor said. Glancing over at Calypso, he thought he saw a flicker of annoyance before she schooled her face into indifference. Taking a deep breath, Harry used Occlumency to clear his mind. Viktor had found his form, and while he was proud and happy for his friend, Harry was now more determined then ever.
What the Eyes See and Ears Hear...
Dark Arts Classroom, Oct 31st...
Today's Dark Arts class was going to be different. There was a feeling of excitement and foreboding in the air as the students waited for Professor Rosier to begin his lecture. Most of the class had been waiting for this lecture since the first day of class, and there wasn't a single seat without a student in it. The few fifth years that would mention anything about what the lesson was like for them last year all said the same thing, that today would be the most memorable Dark Arts class of their lives.
Harry wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing.
At exactly eleven o'clock, Romulus stood up from behind his desk. He waved his wand, and a single word appeared on the board behind him.
The class waited with baited breath, quills ready to take down exactly what their teacher had to tell them.
"You all believe yourself to be practitioners of the Dark Arts," Romulus said, his tone leaving no one in doubt as to what he thought of such a claim. "In truth, you are all nothing but children. So far, I have taught you spells to hinder, terrify, and to defend yourself, but all of the curses that you have been taught are nothing. They are the tools of children wishing to be adults. Well, today marks the end of your childhood. From now on, I will treat you like adults, and hold you to the same expectations of adults. If you do not think you can handle that, leave now."
No one moved, Harry wasn't sure if anyone had even dared to breathe.
"I see. You all feel that you are ready to become adults. That you are capable of understanding the raw power of the Dark Arts. You know nothing." Romulus locked eyes with some of his students. "None of you have beheld the destructive force of Fiendfyre. You've never witnessed an army of Infiri storm a battlefield, or seen a Basilisk hatch. You sit in this classroom and you think you are learning the Dark Arts." Rosier snorted in disgust before turning his gaze to Harry.
"Potter. Name me one of the unforgivables."
"The Cruciatus Curse, sir." Harry replied. "The incantation is Crucio."
"Yes, the Cruciatus Curse," Rosier said, his voice eerily quiet, yet still managing to carry throughout the room. "A spell designed to cause an indescribable amount of pain in its victim. Many have tried to find a use for the spell beyond its destructive nature, but I assure you, there is none. The Cruciatus does not help psychic shock or assist coma patients. The Cruciatus is used for one thing, and one thing only, to cause agony in those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of it."
Turning his back to his class, Romulus went back to his desk and brought a fairly large box to the front of the classroom. Romulus opened the lid and levitated out a small brown-haired puppy.
Harry felt his stomach lurch. Calypso had warned him not to eat anything at breakfast this morning, and now he knew why.
"Crucio," Romulus snarled, and, immediately, the small puppy let out a horrible, heart-wrenching, yowl of pain.
Harry watch as Romulus held the curse on the small creature until blood started oozing from out of the puppy's mouth. After another minute in which the puppy stopped making any noise and just continued twitching, Romulus released the spell.
"How many of you wish to leave now?" Romulus asked coldly.
Harry did. He wanted to leave and not come back. The poor puppy was just staring out into space, it was like there was nothing left. The curse had turned a vibrant, happy, puppy into a living corpse, and he wanted to throw up.
"Potter! Name me another unforgivable," Romulus demanded.
Knowing exactly what Romulus was planning on doing, Harry looked up at his professor and said, "I don't know, sir."
Romulus appeared annoyed before a dark smirk made its way onto his face. "Really? How very... disappointing. Why don't you assist me in a demonstration then, Potter. I'm sure you would benefit from it."
Harry knew it was more than a command, it was an ultimatum. Slowly, Harry stood up and walked to the front of the class. He was close enough to see the two remaining puppies inside the box Romulus had brought with him. They looked terrified.
"Since I believe more than a few people, my daughter included, would be upset if I demonstrated the killing curse on Potter here, someone tell me the remaining unforgivable," Romulus asked the class at large.
"The Imperius Curse, the incantation is Imperio," A plump girl named Melissa spoke up.
"Correct, Ms. Davenport. The Imperius Curse, a spell that completely subjugates the will of another person. It is the only unforgivable that may be fought off; however, it requires a keen mind and a great deal of will power to do so. Shall we see, Mr. Potter, if you have such will power?"
Harry nodded stiffly, recognizing the challenge. As Romulus raised his wand, Harry idly wondered if Calypso had known he would try to do this to him.
Much like Legilimency, Harry felt the spell hit him and try to exert a foreign presence into his mind. He fought the spell, but, slowly, a strange sensation began to wash over him. It was...bliss. It really did feel wonderful, like there was nothing in the world to care about.
'Curse one of the puppies in the box'
Wait...what? Why would he want to do that? The puppies were rather cute.
'Curse one of the puppies in the box!"
Well, maybe they were just a little too cute. That was deserving of good cursing, right?
Harry slowly started to raise his wand, but, as soon as he did, he began to falter. It didn't make sense, why would he want to curse a puppy?
'Do it! Curse the puppies!'
"No," Harry moaned, dropping his wand and falling to his knees.
Suddenly the peaceful feeling disappeared completely, and Harry remembered where he was. He felt several people helping him to stand up, and he got to his feet unsteadily.
"Impressive, Potter," Professor Rosier commented. "Very few people have the strength of will to fight the imperius curse that well on their first attempt."
"Thank you, sir," Harry said wearily as he slowly returned to his seat.
"Oh and Potter," Romulus called out just as Harry was about to sit down.
Romulus stared right into Harry's eyes. "The final unforgivable?"
Knowing nothing would stop Romulus from finding out the answer, Harry sighed softly. "The killing curse. The incantation is Avada Kedavra. It's... usually, always fatal."
"Yes," Romulus muttered darkly. "Usually it is. Avada Kedavra."
With a burst of green light, the puppy that had endured the Cruciatus died.
The class sat in silence as Romulus looked at the shocked and frightened faces of his students. Some of them tried to hide their fear, but he could still see it.
"From this point on, you are no longer children. As adults, I make you this offer; I will give anyone who wishes it, a chance to cast the Imperius or Cruciatus curse on me right now, and I will not try to avoid it; however, if your spell fails, I will cast the same spell on you."
The students immediately began muttering amongst themselves, wondering if anyone would take up Romulus offer.
Harry knew better than to volunteer. The unforgivables were powerful dark magic, and you would have to be a complete idiot to think you could just wave your wand, speak an incantation, and expect the spell to work on the first attempt.
"I'll try it."
Harry glanced at the speaker and snorted. Devin Montague was the younger brother of Graham Montague, a student at Hogwarts. Devin was an above average duelist, but he was far from one of the best students in the class. Harry figured he was volunteering to make a name for himself or to impress Professor Rosier.
"Take your shot, Mr. Montague," Romulus invited.
Devin took a deep breath before snarling, "Crucio!"
Harry's eyes widened at the boy's stupidity.
The spell struck professor Rosier in the chest, and other than making him wince for a moment, there was no noticeable effect. "A poor effort, Mr. Montague," Romulus muttered. "Now, let me show you how it's done. Crucio!"
The class watched as Professor Rosier held Montague under the Cruciatus for several seconds. Devin's screams filled the classroom and caused several people to look like they were going to be violently ill. Harry held no pity for the boy though, unlike the puppies, Montague had practically asked for this by being stupid.
Romulus released the spell, and Devin curled up pathetically into the fetal position crying softly.
"Are there any other volunteers?" Romulus asked.
No one spoke up.
"Very well then. For homework, read chapter 13 in your book on the Unforgivables. Class dismissed."
Harry tried to quickly make his way from the room, but Romulus called for him to remain.
Once the rest of the room had cleared out, Harry approached his teacher's desk.
"Your reputation for charms is well known, Mr. Potter. Tell me, have you had a chance to study illusions?" Romulus asked curiously.
"Of course," Harry responded.
"Then you know how to dispel one?"
Harry nodded affirmatively.
Romulus smiled. "Then if you would. Please remove the illusions from the puppies."
Surprised, Harry cast the spell and quickly jumped away from Professor Rosier's desk. Instead of adorable puppies, there were now two vicious baby acromantulas, with their pincers and teeth bound, in the box. Romulus canceled the spell on the dead puppy, revealing it too was an acromantula.
"I have found that most people see the torture and death of a puppy to be far more reprehensible than that of a spider," Romulus explained. "That said, my daughter has always been a dog lover, and I must, on occasion, improvise. I trust this will remain between the two us?"
Harry nodded his head, relieved that a puppy wasn't tortured with the Cruciatus.
"Did you enjoy today's class?" Romulus asked curiously.
Unsure of what to say, Harry decided to be respectfully vague. "It was interesting, sir."
"Would you like to try your hand at any of the curses?" Romulus asked. "I seem to have two rather vicious creatures I need to dispose of soon."
"Err...no, sir. I-I don't believe I would be able to cast any of those spells."
Romulus simply nodded his head. "I see. Well, Potter, best be off with you. Wouldn't want to be late to your next class."
Grindelwald's Room (Nov 10th)...
Harry couldn't focus, not today. Peter had broken into Hogwarts and managed to make it all the way to the Gryffindor Common Room before being spotted. In fact, the only thing that stopped him from walking into the Gryffindor Common Room and killing Nathan was that he hadn't known the password, and the painting had refused him access. Peter had become enraged and violently slashed the portrait with a knife before escaping from the school.
"It will be alright, Harry," Viktor said.
Pacing the floor of Grindelwald's study, Harry wasn't convinced. "How did he get into the school? My parents told Dumbledore to ward all the secret passageways. It just doesn't make sense."
"You said he could turn into a rat, correct?"
"Then he most likely just walked into the castle. A rat is very small and hard to notice at night."
"You're probably right, Viktor, but that doesn't make me feel better. It's not like you can ward an area against Animagi."
Trying to turn his friend's attention away from the bleak looking situation, Viktor tried to veer the subject away from Peter. "What did your brother say? Did he apologize for not taking your suggestion to learn spells over the summer?"
Harry snorted. "No. While he mentioned that he's started to learn some offensive spells, he never once said that I was right and he was being an idiot for listening to Weasley."
"At least he is learning the spells to protect himself now," Viktor pointed out. "I'm sure he'll apologize over the holiday to you."
Harry was prepared to debate that when the two boys heard a loud crash followed by the sound of Kira's laughter. The two shared a look before drawing their wands – anything that could make Kira laugh like that was likely at Calypso's expense, and they didn't want to walk into the middle of an impromptu duel.
Quickly making their way across the hall and into the library, where Kira and Calypso were trying to find their animagus form, Viktor and Harry were prepared for many things, including the two girls at each other's throats. What they weren't prepared for though was the sight of Calyspo rolling face-down on the ground in agony while Kira laughed hysterically in a nearby chair.
Rushing over to Calypso, Harry racked his mind to think of what curse could cause this kind of reaction in his friend. However, it was only after Calypso rolled around and Harry got a clear look at her face that he realize what had happened.
Calypso's face was a horrid mix of human and animal features. The girl's normally pale skin had shifted several tones darker and her hair had clearly shrunk and thickened. Her nose was a disgusting shade of purple and looked to be broken in several places while her lips had practically been stretched across her face. A small trail of blood was leaking down the right side of her mouth and onto her right cheek, which was puffed out and covered in crisscrossing scars and stretchmarks, making it grotesquely disproportionate to the left
When Calypso met Harry's eyes, he was momentarily stunned to see the sheer amount of agony that shone through her bloodshot eyes. As a painful moan reverberated in the back of the girl's throat, Harry immediately began the wand movement and practically screamed out, "Homorphus!"
A jet of scarlet and blue light exploded out of Harry's wand, striking Calypso in the chest, who immediately let out another moan of pain as her features began shifting and reversing back to normal. A few seconds later, Calypso let out a soft cry.
"Are you okay?" Harry asked, terrified. "Do you need to go to the hospital wing?"
Calypso quickly shook her head, slowly running her fingers over her face as if to check that it was back to normal "N-no. I think, I think I'm okay." Looking up into Harry's concerned eyes, Calypso raised her face closer to his and quietly whispered, "Thank you, Harry. Thank you."
Suddenly feeling need to swallow, Harry felt a growing sense of anticipation as Calypso continued to slowly lean closer to him.
"You should have left her, Potter," Kira called out, causing Harry to quickly turn his head away from Calypso. "I think all that practice really paid off Rosier, your animagus form really brings out the inner you. An ugly cuntish littl–"
Before he knew what he was doing, Harry practically leapt to his feet and fired a silent flinging hex at Kira.
Unprepared for such a quick and violent reaction, especially from Harry, Kira took the spell in the chest and was forcefully thrown clear over the desk she had been working at and into a bookcase.
Before Harry could even realize what he had just done, he was thrown to the ground a few feet from Calypso, and his wand flew out of his hand. Turning around, he saw his wand sail into Viktor's outstretched hand. A rapid movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention, and Harry saw Calypso scramble forward and raise her wand. A shield charm immediately appeared protecting him just in time as a blue and yellow spell crash into it – Kira had seemingly recovered from being thrown into the wall, and, judging from the enraged look on her face, she did not appear happy.
As Calypso raised her wand to send a retaliatory spell at Kira, Viktor screamed, "ENOUGH!"
Kira and Calypso stopped moving, though their wands were now aiming directly at the other's head.
"Harry," Viktor said angrily, "come with me, we need to talk."
Glancing between the two girls who looked like they were only seconds away from unleashing hell on each other, Harry said, "Viktor I don't think that's a good ide–"
Taking a several purposeful strides forward, Viktor practically pulled Harry up from the ground and said, "We are going to talk now." After a moment's hesitation, he extended his arm hand, offering Harry his wand back.
Noticing that Calypso was watching him very carefully out of the corner of his eye, Harry accepted his wand and his shoulders sagged. "Alright Viktor, let's go."
As Harry followed Viktor out of the room, he had to stop suddenly as Viktor turned around just short of the door. "Are you two going to be able to act civilly around each other while we are gone?"
Receiving nothing besides a blank stare from Kira and a slight scowl from Calypso, Viktor shook his head and walked out of the room, seemingly giving way to the inevitable. Harry followed him down the main hallway and back into the study. As he closed the door, Harry heard Calypso's voice shout out a particularly painful vomit inducing hex."
As soon as the door was closed, Viktor snapped. "Just what the fuck were you thinking sending that spell at Kira?"
"Did you even see what happened to Calypso!" Harry retorted. "You know how dangerous the animagus transformation can be, and Kira had no right to say that after Calyp–"
"What Kira said was no worse than what they typically say to each other." Viktor said, cutting Harry off immediately. "They would have simply screamed insults back and forth like they always do. But since you had to get involved and send my girlfriend flying into a wall, they are probably now in that room trying to kill each other!"
Viktor saw Harry drop his head somewhat. Sighing, he asked, "What the hell were you thinking Harry? For fuck's sake, I almost cursed you when I saw that spell slam into Kira. You're damn lucky I was able to send a cushioning charm at the bookshelf before she hit it."
Realizing that he could have seriously hurt Kira and that he had, inadvertently, prompted what was probably a very bad fight between Kira and Calypso, Harry felt his anger dissapate. "I'm sorry Viktor. I was just really worried about Calypso. I remembered what Professor Rosemburg said about the dangers of the animagus transformation, and I was scared that something terrible had happened. When I heard Kira taunting her, I guess I just snapped. I'm sorry."
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Viktor seemed to appraise Harry for a moment.
Not sure what his friend was thinking, Harry found himself curiously looking up at Viktor. When he met Viktor's eyes, he felt a sudden rush of anxiety and hesitancy.
"You like her, don't you?"
Shaking his head slightly, Harry tried to process both Viktor's question and the strange feelings he just experienced.
"Kira? I mean, she's, well, she's very –" Harry asked with wide eyes.
Viktor barked out a laugh. "No, Harry. Not Kira. Rosier. You like her, don't you?"
Harry felt his face heat up somewhat. He couldn't deny that he had begun thinking differently about Calypso, but the idea of a marriage contract was something he was not prepared to deal with. Still, for a moment there in the library, he thought Calypso was going to kiss him, and if he was being honest with himself, he was kind of disappointed that it didn't happen.
Seeing his friend's face redden slightly and taking his continued silence as confirmation, Viktor sighed. "It had to be her," he muttered before saying, "Harry, I understand if you have some feelings for Calypso, but you can't attack Kira just because she says something... even if what she said was callous. There have been plenty of times I've taken exception to what Calypso has said to Kira, but you don't see me throwing curses at her."
Almost reluctantly, Harry nodded his head.
"I promise I will talk to Kira, but you know that by cursing her, you've just made the situation between those two a lot worse, right?"
Realizing that Viktor was probably right, and that Kira and Calypso's animosity for each other would probably only increase after this fight, Harry said, "I'm sorry Viktor."
Viktor waved off his apology. "As long as it doesn't happen again, we're okay, but Harry," Viktor's voice dropped an octave, "if you ever curse my girlfriend again, I won't hold back and use a simple expelliarmus, understand?"
His eyes widening somewhat, Harry quickly nodded.
"Good." Viktor said softly. "You're my friend Harry, and I know Kira can be a bit much at times, but please try to –"
Turning their heads to the only window in the bedroom, the two boys spotted a large horned owl flapping its wings outside.
"Is that for you?" Viktor asked.
"I don't know anyone with that kind of owl. Maybe it's from one of your team mates or coaches." Harry paused and smirked somewhat. "Or maybe it's another love letter from one of your fans."
Happy to move on from one of the first real arguments with his friend, Viktor playfully pushed Harry and walked over to the window, letting the bird fly into the room. Expecting it to land on his outstretched arm, Viktor was surprised when the owl ignored him and flew over to Harry.
Curious as to who was writing to him, Harry untied the small letter.
It was smashing to hear from you. I've been meaning to write you for some time, but I'm sure you're aware of the problems we had at Hogwarts last year, and, unfortunately, this year isn't shaping up to be much better.
I suppose I should start by saying how terribly sorry I am for not being as good a head of house to you as I should have been. I should have spotted the problems you were having adjusting at Hogwarts, and recognized your true potential when you asked me for help. Know that it is one of my deepest regrets that you felt you needed to leave Hogwarts to get the best education available to you.
With that said, I'm so very proud of what you have so far accomplished at Durmstrang. Minerva lent me her copy of Transfiguration Today, and I was amazed not only by your discovery, but also at your final projects for Charms. Enchanting is one of the most difficult aspects of charms, and for you to have succeeded at such a young age... well I'm just flabbergasted.
While I know that your mother is a charms mistress in her own right, if you ever need an extra opinion or help, I would be honored to assist you.
I wish you nothing but the best Harry.
"Who is it from?" Viktor asked.
"My old Charms Professor at Hogwarts." Harry handed Viktor the letter to read. He had long ago told Viktor about the problems he had at Hogwarts, and there was nothing really private in the letter that required him keeping it a secret.
When he was done reading it, Viktor gave Harry back the letter. "Will you take him up on his offer?"
"Yes," Harry said immediately. "I'm going to need his help for my charms project this year. It's actually one of the reasons I wrote him in the first place."
Viktor looked surprised. "You know what you're doing already? You typically wait till after the Christmas break to decide on your final projects."
Harry smiled. "Did you ever take Astronomy, Viktor?"
"Well, back at Hogwarts it was a core subject, and practically since its inception, Ravenclaw House always had the best students in it. Our success in the class wasn't because we studied harder like everyone else believed though. The ceiling of the Ravenclaw common room was painted with stars, and they would mimic the actual position of the stars overhead that night. It was an amazing bit of charms work, and rumored to be cast by Lady Ravenclaw herself."
Viktor's eyes widened. "And you want to duplicate this?"
"No. The charms cast in the Ravenclaw common room were actually cast directly into the paint used for the ceiling, and I wouldn't even know where to begin looking into how to do that; however, there is a very similar spell that enchants the ceiling of Hogwarts' Great Hall to show what it is like outside at all times. I want to cast that spell on the ceiling of my room. If I can manage it, I could use it for both my Charms and Astronomy final projects."
"But why do you need your old professor's help for that?" Viktor asked. "Surely Kosarev could give you some advice about how to go about it."
"I'm sure he could, but unless Kosarev has been to Hogwarts, he won't understand what I'm trying to do as well as Flitwick. Besides, I'm hoping Flitwick will actually know what the spells on the ceiling of the Great Hall are. If he tells me, it will give me more time to learn how to cast them. I've never tried such an intricate charms project, and I think I'm going to need all the help I can get to make this one work."
Before Viktor could say anything about Harry's idea, there was loud bang, and both boys quickly walked back into the main hallway. Spotting a small stream of smoke coming from underneath the library door, Harry and Viktor listened for a moment, but couldn't hear any noise coming from where Kira and Calypso had been dueling.
"Think it's over?" Harry asked.
"Yes," Viktor sighed. "Let's go get them and see if we can fix what they did to each other. If not, we'll have to take them to the healer."
Entering the library, Harry shook his head at the damage. Two of the three tables were in pieces around the room, and several bookshelves appeared to have been knocked over by a few over-zealously banished chairs. Thankfully most of the books were unharmed, although a few looked like the covers had been hit by spells.
Harry spotted Kira lying face down near the main entrance; she was bound in ropes and petrified. As he passed her, Harry noticed that the tight ropes were actually moving slightly around her wrists, ankles, and neck, causing nasty burns and welts on Kira's exposed skin. After casually casting a finite, the ropes disappeared; however, much to Harry's surprise, the body bind curse remained. He was prepared to cast an identification charm to see what spell Calypso had used to petrify Kira when Viktor came up beside him.
"I'll deal with Kira, Harry, you find Calypso."
Nodding his head in agreement, Harry began searching for Calypso. He eventually found her unconscious behind the only undamaged table in the room. After checking her over for any serious spell damage and finding none, Harry sighed in relief. Calypso had a few nasty looking cuts and bruises, but they weren't caused by any dark spell, and they were easily healed by a quick Episkey. When all that was left was to rennervate her from the stunning spell, Harry asked Viktor how Kira was doing.
"I've healed the rope burns, but Calypso was able to hit Kira with a Con Totalus, and I think it would be best if we separated them before I remove it."
Harry nodded. "They would probably get right back into it if they saw each other when they woke up."
"I'll see you at dinner then Harry," Viktor said, levitating Kira out of the room.
Once Harry was certain that Viktor and Kira were gone, he pointed his wand at Calypso and silently cast Rennervate.
Calypso's eyes snapped open, and she bolted upright. She glared angrily around the library, obviously looking for Kira. "Where is she!"
"Viktor took her to his room before removing the Con Totalus," Harry replied as he began fixing the destroyed tables and righting the fallen bookshelves. "We thought it would be best to keep the two of you away from each other for the time being."
"What did Krum say to you?" Calypso asked. "I wanted to use Legilimency on him, but I didn't want to take my eyes off Megara. He didn't hex you for putting that cunt into a wall did he?"
"No, we just talked," Harry said reassuringly. "And I realized that I probably shouldn't have cursed Kira. It, undoubtedly, only made the situation worse."
Calypso smiled slightly. "Thank you for that by the way. The look on Megara's face as she flew into the wall was priceless. I'm actually surprised that she got up as quickly as she did. That was one powerful flinging hex."
"Yeah, well, Viktor managed to cast a cushioning charm on the bookshelf before she hit it. Otherwise, well, she probably would have gotten a lot more banged up. Thank you for saving me with that shield spell by the way."
"It's no problem Harry," Calypso said, her voice unconsciously softening. "I'd never let Megara curse you, especially not after you helped me."
"About that," Harry said meeting Calypso gaze. "What happened? Did you start to transform?"
Dropping her eyes to the ground, Calypso said, "I wasn't ready for it. I was just thinking about... well I was thinking about some things. I was also getting pissed off at Megara. She kept talking and wouldn't shut up. I don't know what happened, but one minute I was sitting down trying to transform, and the next second I felt something in my face...shift."
"It was like the entire front part of my skull suddenly tried to push itself forward. I...well I wasn't exactly expecting that, and for a moment, I just wanted it to stop. I wasn't sure what was going on, and then my facial structure just went nuts. I guess Rosemburg was right about not practicing alone. Anything could have happened, and fucking Megara would have just sat there laughing as my skull caved in on me."
"I can't believe Kira didn't cast the Homorphus Charm on you," Harry said, a little anger creeping into his voice. "She had to have known what was happening, and I told her and Viktor what could happen if the charm wasn't used."
By the time he finished speaking, Harry's voice had gotten louder. Taking a second to calm himself, Harry said, "I think from now on we should only practice together. Viktor already has his form, and I'm not in the mood to help Kira."
Calypso smiled. "I think that's a great idea. Do you want to do some work now or–"
"No," Harry said, "No, I think you've gotten enough work in for both of us today. Let's just, I don't know, what do you want to do?"
Blinking, Calypso said, "Err, I don't know. Are you hungry?"
"I suppose I could go for a snack before dinner."
"A snack sounds like a good idea," Calypso agreed.
Offering her his hand, Harry helped Calypso up off the ground.
He was slightly surprised though when he tried to release her hand and she firmly held onto his. Looking questioningly at Calypso, Harry felt his throat dry up when he saw the same look she had given him earlier reappear. There was a pause when the two teens stared at each other for a moment before Calypso leaned forward and placed a very soft kiss on his lips.
Harry felt his eyes widen. His heart began thumping in his chest and every nerve in his body seemed to suddenly explode. Unsure what to do, he could only stare as Calypso pulled back, a blush spreading across her face.
Knowing that his own face was probably turning red, Harry ducked his head slightly, though he didn't try to remove his hand from Calypso's. Doing his best to call upon his Occlumency, Harry tried to relax and act normal as the two of them silently walked out of Grindelwald's room.
The walk down to the kitchens was done in silence, but Harry couldn't help but glance over at Calypso every now and then. While she too looked to be using Occlumency to keep her emotions in check, a soft smile never seemed to leave her face.
One Last Step
Grindelwald's Library, Nov 12th
Sprawled out on the floor, Viktor muttered a curse – his body having been forcibly changed from a bat back to a human being.
"I don't understand, you can't change back?" Harry asked.
"I don't understand it either." Viktor said angrily. "It's as if I can only manage half the transformation."
Having no idea what might be wrong, Harry said, "We need to go see Professor Rosemburg, maybe he'll be able to explain what's going on."
Viktor nodded his head, but before they left the room, he said, "Don't tell Kira."
"Huh?" Harry asked in confusion. "Why?"
"Just, don't tell her, at least for now." Viktor paused before adding, "You know I've never been the best student –"
"Only because you never actually tried," Harry countered. "You'd have to be blind not to notice your improvement this year. Those private lessons have really helped you."
Viktor shrugged, but he didn't deny that the special treatment he was receiving was helping him to become a much more accomplished wizard. "Harry, please. Just keep it between us for right now. Kira is proud that I managed the transformation before everyone else. I don't want her to think that I screwed it up somehow."
Seeing how serious Viktor was, Harry said, "Alright, I'll keep it between us for now, but you know if Calyspo or Kira achieves the transformation and this happens to them..."
"Then we'll explain that it happened to me as well, but hopefully Professor Rosemburg can give us some answers to fix this."
Stepping out of the room, the two quickly made their way down to the second floor and approached professor Rosemburg's office. Unfortunately, two suits armor were blocking the entrance. "He must be working with another student right now. Do you want to wait?"
Thinking for a moment, Viktor said, "Yes, I want to find out what I'm doing wrong, and if we put it off, I don't know when I'll have the free time."
"Alright, I guess we wait. I hope Rosemburg doesn't take too long, you'd think they would have chairs out here or something." Looking around the drafty corridor, Harry saw various weapons, portraits, and paintings on the walls. "What do you think the odds are that we could take one of those axes down and transfigure it into a chair?"
Walking over to the hanging weapons, Viktor cast a few charms to try and remove them before shaking his head. "I think they used a permanent sticking charm. Do you know how to undo those?"
"No, but I know that it can be done. It took my uncle a year or two, but he was eventually able to get rid of this bitchy portrait of his mother in his family's old house."
"Well, unless you've been holding back a lot in Transfiguration and know how to conjure, I think we're stuck standing."
"I'm waiting until this Christmas to start conjuring," Harry said casually.
"You're serious?" Viktor asked, surprised. "Rosemburg told me we weren't going to start conjuring until a month into next year."
"Good, I'll get a head start." Harry grinned. "I'm sure my dad will help me if I ask him, and it'll give me something to do over the holiday since I can't work on the transformation at home. My parents would freak if they suspected I was trying to figure that out."
"Do you know where your..." Viktor trailed off as the two large suits of armor standing in front of Rosemburg's door moved to the side.
"I guess his meeting's over," Harry commented as the door opened. His eyes widened when he saw Calypso walk out of the Transfiguration professor's office.
Calypso seemed just as surprised to see him, and said, "Harry, what are you doing here?"
"Harry and I had a question about conjuring for Professor Rosemburg," Viktor lied quickly.
"What are you doing here, Calypso?" Harry asked.
"Conjuring, really?" Calypso asked Viktor with barely veiled sarcasm. Turning to Harry, she said, "I just had a question about my latest inanimate to animate assignment... I'm running late for a meeting with my father, but I'll see you later, right? Maybe then you can tell me what you're up to?"
Laughing, Harry said, "Sounds good. I'll meet you in Grindelwald's room later tonight."
Calypso smiled at Harry before quickly setting off down the corridor towards her father's office.
"Harry," Viktor practically hissed, "you said you wouldn't tell Calypso."
"You said not to tell Kira," Harry countered, "I didn't think you meant Calypso as well. And if you didn't want her to know, what were you thinking lying to her like that? You know she's a Legilimens. You might as well have just screamed 'I'm keeping a secret.'"
"She caught me off guard," Viktor admitted distastefully, "but that's besides the point. If I didn't want my girlfriend to know, why would I ever want you to tell Calypso?"
"Well, I'm sorry Viktor," Harry said, slightly annoyed. "Next time you tell me to keep a secret from Kira, I'll assume that you mean from Calypso as well. Don't worry, I'll think of something to tell Calypso about why we're here." Brushing past his friend, Harry pushed open Professor Rosemburg's door, and stepped into his office, an annoyed Viktor trailing behind him.
Looking up from his desk, Rosemburg smiled when he saw his star student enter his office. "Mr. Potter, what can I do for you today?" The cheerful greeting seemed to dim somewhat when he saw Krum followed Harry into the room.
"Sir, Viktor's discovered a problem with his Animgaus transformation," Harry explained, sitting down in an open chair. "He was able to transform for the first time a few weeks ago–"
"Is that true, Mr. Krum?" Rosemburg interrupted. "You were able to transform?"
"Yes sir," Viktor said, an almost mocking smile appearing on his face.
Rosemburg looked distastefully at Viktor before snapping, "Then why have you waited so long to inform me? If you intend to complete the transformation, you need to know the final step in the process, or did you intend to give up living as a wizard and to spend the rest of your life in your animagus form?"
Viktor and Harry shared a surprised look with each other. Eventually it was Harry who said, "Sir, we thought that once you were able to will yourself to transform that's all that you had to do."
Rosemburg looked between his two students for a moment, shaking his head in displeasure. "It is not, Mr. Potter. Now, Mr. Krum, what is your form?
"A bat, sir."
"Very well. Now, while the theory of turning yourself from a human into an animal is the same as turning yourself from an animal back into a human, there is one noticeable difference. Can you tell me what that might be?"
There was a pause before Harry said, "What you're starting the transformation as?"
"No, Mr. Potter, what you start as has little to do with the process. When you began trying to will yourself into your form, what did I tell you to be especially careful of?"
"Panicking. Keeping our emotions in check." Harry replied, remembering all too well what happened to Calypso.
"Exactly. So, Mr. Krum. How well did you adjust to becoming a bat? Were you calm? Patient? Or were you like the vast majority of other Animagi who couldn't comprehend the vast physiological changes your body had just undergone?"
"I, I thought I handled it fairly well," Viktor said defiantly.
"Really?" Rosmeburg said sarcastically. "You believe that your human mind – a mind that has spent seventeen years giving you the same sense of self – flawlessly adjusted to suddenly having wings, different eyesight, and a massive readjustment in mass? I'll ask you again, how did you handle it?"
"I-I flew around the room until someone transformed me back."
Rosemburg scoffed. "Your body reacted to a primal stimulus in the bat's subconscious – a subconscious that merged with your own when you were in that form. That is why you probably flew aimlessly around the room until someone turned you back. Now, knowing what kind of mental focus it takes to transform from a human to an animal, do you really think you were in any mental condition to turn yourself back into a human?"
"No, sir," Viktor said admitted.
"Sir, how can he overcome that to turn back?" Harry asked.
"There are two schools of thought on that, Mr. Potter." Rosemburg explained patiently. "Mr. Krum, the first option is to will only a small part of your anatomy into a bat. Now that you know what your form is, you can try to change a little bit of yourself at a time. By remaining mostly human, you'll slowly expose yourself to the change gradually. That way when you change your entire form, it's not so jarring to your mind. Unfortunately, this method tends to take an even greater amount of mental focus than the initial transformation as you're not trying to change your entire being, only a small part of yourself. However, the very will power it takes to undergo this process has proven to help improve the speed of your transformation from human to animal and vice-versa."
"Sir, it seems like that might take a long time," Viktor said. "Is the other method quicker?"
"The other method is essentially to continue as you currently are. You transform the entire way, get stuck in your form, and have someone change you back. Eventually, you will acclimate to the change enough to attempt to turn back to normal. However, there is a strong possibility that you won't be truly ready when you try to turn back. So, to answer your question, I suppose that this method might be quicker, but it's not necessarily safer. In all likelihood, if you choose this method, you will rush the return transformation and end up hurting yourself. I understand that you both witnessed Ms. Rosier's failed transformation attempt?"
Harry and Viktor nodded.
"Well, from what she explained to me, she was very fortunate. Imagine turning from a bat into a human, but returning with the lungs of a bat and quickly suffocating." Seeing both his students look suitably horrified, Rosemburg said, "A failed return transformation can be far more dangerous if you use the second method as you won't know exactly when you've acclimated enough to return successfully. You're likely to screw up several times, in very gruesome ways. That's why I suggest the first method, but the choice is yours, Mr. Krum. You may do as you wish."
"I- thank you, sir." Viktor said, slightly pale. "I'll give both options a good deal of consideration."
"Yes, you do that." Rosemburg said indifferently. "Now, was there anything else?"
"No, sir." Harry said. "Thank you for explaining everything."
Dementors, Patroni, and Harry's Awkward Moment
Main Hall (Nov. 22nd) ...
I really wish I was writing with some good news but, unfortunately, I can't
Your mother and I were at Nathan's first quidditch match of the year when a horde or Dementors flew over the pitch. The Dementors attacked your brother while he was several hundred feet in the air searching for the snitch. With that many Dementors around him, Nathan was rendered unconscious and fell from his broom. Fortunately, Albus was able to slow Nathan's fall before he hit the ground while the professors, your mother, and I were able to drive off the Dementors around the stadium.
Nathan is going to be alright. He suffered a few bruised ribs from the fall, but it wasn't anything that Madam Pomphrey couldn't quickly heal.
After the attack, Albus and I spoke to the Minister about removing the Dementors; however, Fudge is being remarkably stubborn and is refusing to send them back to Azkaban.
The one piece of good news that has come from this ordeal is that your brother has begun to realize the danger he is in this year. Nathan has asked Remus to give him some special lessons to practice the Patronus charm, as well as several of the spells on the list your gave him earlier this year. While I hope Nathan never has to use those spells to defend himself, I find it reassuring that he is going to be learning them.
Please write back soon Harry, your mother and I could use some good news.
All my love,
With an angry scowl on his face, Viktor gave Harry back his letter. "What is wrong with you Englishmen? Putting Dementors anywhere near a quidditch match is madness!"
Unable to hide his anger, Harry spat, "Our minister is clearly an idiot. If Nathan had been kissed..."
"Do you think your brother can manage to learn the Patronus Charm?" Calypso asked in the ensuing silence. "That's some pretty advanced magic."
"Yeah, because that's what's important about the letter, Calypso," Harry said peevishly. "My brother could have died!"
"But he didn't." Reaching out, Calypso took one of Harry's hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "He's okay."
Relaxing somewhat, Harry said, "Yeah. Yeah, I know. I'm just worried about him."
"At least your father thinks that your brother will start preparing to defend himself now." Viktor couldn't help but notice the way Harry and Calypso seemed to have grown even closer as of late, and he wasn't sure it was a good thing. "So maybe some good has come of this."
A dark look crossed Harry's face. "It shouldn't have taken a bunch of Dementors to get my brother to practice some advanced magic."
"But at least he's started," Viktor said reassuringly. "What do you know about the Patronus Charm? You should try to learn the spell and help him over the break."
"Honestly? Nothing. I've never even heard of it," Harry admitted. "Obviously it defends against Dementors somehow, but I don't know in what way. Can you even kill Dementors?"
"I seriously doubt it, Harry. If you could, I imagine they would have been exterminated a long time ago. It's not like they actually serve a useful purpose. Father knows a bit about Dementors, and a book I read over the summer mentioned the Patronus charm," Calypso said.
"And," prompted Harry.
"It didn't say much, just that the Patronus was a spell that required a high level of emotional intent. The book just used it as an example, and didn't explain the spell itself. If you want to know more about it, go ask my father or, better yet, professor Kosarev."
"Kosarev has come down with a mild case of Dragon Pox," Viktor interjected. "The Highmaster has sent him home till he recovers."
"When did this happen?" Harry asked. "We had class with Kosarev a few days ago, and he looked fine."
"The symptoms apparently began showing during one of his first year classes yesterday," Viktor said. "One of my old teammates was in the hospital wing, and he overheard the Highmaster and Lady Shluga talking about it."
"Alright, I guess that means I get to go ask your father," Harry said, standing up. "Do you know if he's in a good mood?"
"Last I checked, he was planning on spending the entire morning grading some papers." Calypso said.
"Papers?" Viktor asked. "I don't think I've ever been assigned an essay from your father."
"That's because father feels that if you can't cast the spell, writing several feet about the magic is a waste of time," Calypso explained.
"So why is he grading papers now?"
"Because he lost his temper when none of his second years could successfully banish a Boggart. He told them all to write five feet of parchment on combating Boggarts or he would lock them in a closet with one till they figured it out."
"Five feet on Boggarts!" Viktor said incredulously. "Is there even that much information on Boggarts in the entire library."
"So you want me to interrupt your father while he's grading papers and is already in a bad mood," Harry clarified. "Maybe I'll just wait till tomorrow."
"No, no, no. By now he will have read a dozen essays that make the same point, so he's probably looking for anything to distract him."
"Alright, I'll ask him," Harry said, "but if I get hexed, I'm going to be taking it out on you, Calypso."
Calypso laughed. "I'm sure you'll be fine Harry."
An Equivocal Lesson
Romulus Rosier's Office...
Harry opened the door to his professor's office and nervously looked at the scowling figure of Professor Rosier sitting behind his desk with an inordinate amount of parchment stacked next to him.
"Mr. Potter, what can I do for you?"
Perhaps it was Harry's imagination, but he thought Professor Rosier seemed uncharacteristically inviting. Hoping that Calypso was right, and her father was seeking a distraction, Harry said, "I was hoping to ask you a question about a spell, sir."
Professor Rosier eyed Harry curiously for a moment before looking distastefully at the pile of essays he had yet to grade. "Why don't you take a seat, Mr. Potter. Does this have to do with your final project? My daughter tells me you're already starting to develop ideas for both your Transfiguration and Charms projects."
Feeling slightly unnerved that Calypso was apparently still providing her father updates about him, Harry took a seat across from his professor. "Um, honestly, I don't know, sir. It might."
"I see. What is the spell you wish to discus?" Professor Rosier asked.
"The Patronus charm."
"Ah, the Patronus charm," Professor Rosier muttered. "You certainly have an eye for interesting, if obscure, magic, Mr. Potter."
"I suppose, sir."
"What do you know of this spell?"
"Very little," admitted Harry.
"How did you come to learn of it then?"
"Dementors are placed around the Hogwarts grounds. I heard that the Patronus charm can stop them, is that true?"
Professor Rosier nodded thoughtfully. "Yes, the Patronus charm certainly does that, though it is very advanced magic. When successfully cast, a corporeal Patronus will act as a shield for the wizard against a Dementor or Lethifold. Like most powerful magic, the spell requires not only an incantation and wand movement, but also a great deal of intent on the part of the caster in order for it to work properly. The emotion that fuels a Patronus is happiness. Without a suitably happy or joyous memory, the spell will not function to its full effect."
"Happiness? I don't think I've ever heard of a spell that required that emotion before."
"Happiness, joy, love. Those are all powerful emotions, Mr. Potter, although we do not focus on them much in this class. After all, the spells that require such emotions rarely fall under the category of 'Dark Arts.' Now, is there anything else you wish to know about the spell?"
"Would that make a good final project?" Harry asked curiously.
Professor Rosier 'tutted' in a disproving manner. "I teach the Dark Arts, Mr. Potter, and, as I said, the Patronus, while impressive, would fall more under the category of Charms. However, I'm sure Professor Kosarev would be impressed if you managed it. "
"But Dementors are dark creatures," Harry commented. "Dark creatures are a part of the Dark Arts curriculum."
"I am aware of what is covered in my class, Mr. Potter." Professor Rosier said sarcastically.
"So you wouldn't pass me for casting the Patronus Charm, even though you just said it was powerful magic?"
"I did not say I wouldn't pass you," Professor Rosier said irritably. "If you were able to successfully cast the Patronus for your final project, I would be disappointed in your project, but I would still pass you."
"Why would you be disappointed, sir?"
"If you cannot understand why, clearly I have reason to be." Professor Rosier casually summoned a book from behind him and handed it to Harry. "Chapter seven describes how to properly go about casting the Patronus Charm."
Harry quickly accepted the book. "Thank you, sir. I promise I'll take good care of it."
"I'm sure that you will."
Standing up to leave, Harry was surprised when Professor Rosier quickly said, "Sit back down, Mr. Potter, there is another matter we need to speak about. Wouldn't you agree?"
"I've noticed that you and Calypso seem to be growing closer." Professor Rosier's voice didn't reveal anything, but Harry had a feeling that his professor wasn't pleased. "You are aware that Calypso will have a marriage contract made for her at some point, correct?
Sitting across from Professor Rosier, Harry felt trapped in his chair by his professor's powerful gaze. Instinctively, Harry thought back to all the times he'd seem Calypso laugh or smile, the way his heart sped up when she held his hand, the kiss they shared. As those thoughts seemed to cross his mind, a horrible sense of realization caused Harry to immediately clear his mind, stopping the sudden onslaught of emotions he was feeling.
Immediately, his thoughts of Calypso ceased, and he looked at his professor with a neutral expression. "I am aware of that, sir. She mentioned it to me at the start of this year. However, Calypso and I are not dating."
Harry felt his professor's Legilimency again reach out and touch his mind, trying to coerce a thought or emotion from him. After a few seconds, the uneasy feeling of Legilimency began to diminish, but not completely disappear.
"I see," Professor Rosier eventually said.
Wanting to escape his professor's presence, Harry did his best to continuously mask his emotions. "If you'll excuse me, sir. I have to meet Viktor in the library." Still feeling the sense of Legilimency from Professor Rosier, Harry couldn't help but add, "Besides, I'd hate to keep you from your grading, sir."
Inside the office, Romulus Rosier waited until Harry Potter had left his office before he allowed a smile to slowly make its way across his face. "Such an interesting young man."
A Very Happy Birthday
Calypso's Room (Dec 19th)...
"Aww, Krum, you shouldn't have," Calypso said, accepting the small present from Viktor. Looking at the box, she was almost certain that it was probably something Quidditch related.
Her relationship with Viktor Krum was... contentious. The only thing that the two really had in common was Harry, and, as much as Calypso hated to admit it, the large Bulgarian had started to grow on her this year. Being the first to find his animagus form had improved her opinion of his magical ability, and, with all the private tutoring the professors were ordered to give him, Viktor was slowly becoming one of the more respected 6th year students. Still, Krum could frustrate her to no end, and it was a testament to her revised opinion of his skill that she hadn't tried to hex him at some point.
"I told him not to bother," Kira said walking into the room and looking distastefully at the small cake on the table. "I mean, pity should only go so far, and we wouldn't want you to actually think Viktor is your friend, Rosier."
"Megara, looking forward to the holidays? All your talentless family members standing around the yule tree, trying in vain to correctly cast a fairy lights charm. It must be quite the pathetic sight," Calypso casually responded.
"I hope you have a good holiday, Rosier," Viktor said formally.
"The same to you, Krum. I'd invite you to stay for the party, but I'd hate for that shrew on your arm to think she is allowed to remain in my room."
"Oh, yes, some party." Kira snorted. "You and Potter sitting in your room. Where is Potter by the way? Did he get bored of you already?"
"None of your business, Megara. Now get out before I decide to start my holiday early by cursing you."
"Rosier, I have to be going. Please tell Harry I wish him a happy holidays," Viktor said, guiding Kira from the room.
Nodding her head in acknowledgment, Calypso closed her door and lazily relaxed on her couch. She glanced to the side and smiled at the small cake Harry had gotten to celebrate her birthday. He had been acting more relaxed around her lately, and she took that as a very good sign. Her father told her that he briefly talked to Harry about 'their relationship', though he refused to say what was said. The fact that Harry wasn't acting jumpy or considerably freaked out put Calypso slightly at ease. In fact, had her father not told her that he and Harry had talked, Calypso wouldn't have thought anything had happened at all. While she had noticed Harry utilizing Occlumency more frequently than before, she hadn't thought much about it.
Hearing her door open, Calypso looked up to see Harry walking into her room, a smile on his face.
"You know, I swear the founder of this school must have been a genius. Not putting any boys' restrooms on the girls' side of the corridor is a better deterrent than the charmed staircases they use at Hogwarts to keep boys and girls separate.
Calypso sat up and made room for him on the couch. She hid a smile when he sat next to her and left the chair across from the couch unoccupied.
"So have you thought of a birthday wish yet?"
"I still don't understand this," Calypso admitted. "You say it's a muggle thing?"
"Yep. It's a tradition my mum's family had. Every year on my birthday my parents would put candles on the cake and tell me to make a wish before blowing them out."
"But what about the anti-extinguishing charm?"
"My mother is a charms mistress, Calypso. It's not like she doesn't know how to remove a simple charm like that, and these candles aren't enchanted," Harry explained patiently. "Now, stop stalling and make a wish."
Knowing exactly what she wanted, Calypso took a deep breath and blew out the candles.
"Happy birthday," Harry said, giving Calypso a hug.
Calypso leaned into the embrace and wrapped her arms around Harry's back. "Thank you," She whispered softly in his ear.
Harry felt his face and neck begin to heat up, and he slowly pulled out of the hug. "You're welcome," he said awkwardly. "Do you, err, want to open your gift now?"
"I suppose. You have to Portkey home soon, don't you?"
"Not for another hour or so."
"Well, it'll probably take you at least fifteen minutes to get outside the school's wards, so I might as well open the gift now. Oh, and Krum stopped by to drop off a gift as well. He wishes you a Merry Christmas by the way."
"I know, I ran into them in the hallway. Open Viktor's gift first. Let's see what he got you."
"Alright." Calypso quickly unwrapped the small wrapped parcel and opened a brown box. Inside was a small gold pocket watch. "That's nice of him, I suppose."
"Yeah, I guess," Harry said, inspecting the watch.
Putting the watch to the side, Calypso turned to Harry. "So can I see my gift now?"
"Well, you know, I was thinking. Maybe I should wait to give you your gift," Harry said putting the present to the side. "I mean, it's really close to Christmas, I could just send it along with your Christmas gift."
Calypso looked at Harry like he had momentarily lost his mind. "Today is my birthday, and you have my gift right there. Why would you go home and send me my gift when you have it here?"
Feeling slightly embarrassed, Harry handed over his gift.
Calypso quickly tore into the wrapping to find a small leather bound book, and, judging by how some of the pages were not correctly lined up with one another, it was clearly held together by magic.
"I know you've wanted to know how to make enchantment receptacles for a while now, and those are my notes from when I first learned how to make them," Harry explained. "I've also added the information that Professor Kosarev and my mum gave me to help extend how long they last."
Calypso opened the book and saw that it was full of Harry's typically terrible quillmanship. "Harry, this is great."
"Err, I know it might not have cost as much as Viktor's gift-"
"Harry, this is way better than Viktor's gift," Calypso said seriously. "Like you said, I've wanted to learn how to make receptacles for a long time now. I know you don't have the time to teach me with everything else we're doing, and I really don't want to set my room on fire by miscasting a spell. This should help me figure it out over the break. Thank you." Calypso leaned forward and gave Harry a soft kiss on his cheek. She placed her hand on his other cheek and let her lips linger for a moment before pulling away.
"You're welcome," Harry said, doing his best to act normally after the kiss.
"Did you think I would like Viktor's gift more?" Calypso asked, very amused.
"Well, it definitely cost more. All I did was ask my mum to send my old notes from home."
Calypso reached out and held Harry's hands in her's before looking deeply into his green eyes. "You also cast several copying charms, added information given to you by your mother and Professor Kosarev, and put it all together. That takes way more effort than buying a stupid watch, and it means a lot to me."
When Calypso first looked into his eyes, Harry was prepared to immediately clear his mind. Ever since his meeting with Calypso's father, he'd been trying to act as normal as possible while being constantly prepared to use Occlumency. It was incredibly difficult to remain vigilant, especially when no Legilimency attempts ever seemed to come. Even now, as he anticipated a Legilimency probe from Calypso, it never happened.
As she spoke, Harry couldn't help but stare deeply into Calypso's pale gray eyes. There was a brief moment where Harry felt himself become momentarily disoriented. A half-second later an overwhelming amount of desire seemed to hit him like a wave. He could practically sense a great deal of uncertainty as he continued to look at Calypso, and the longer he stared into her eyes, the more certain he grew that the uncertainty was somehow connected to the initial desire.
As quickly as these feelings and emotions came, they vanished. The sudden emptiness felt wrong, and Harry found himself wanting to reach out and sense those feelings again.
He was about to ask Calypso what was wrong when he really looked at her. Calypso seemed to be struggling somehow. Her face seemed closed off, her eyes cold and judging. There was just something strange happening, she was upset, but he didn't know why.
Harry was about to ask what was wrong when Calyspo's eyes seemed to widen, as if suddenly realizing something. Immediately, there was a flood of thoughts and emotions that seemed to assault his senses. He remembered the two of them sharing their first kiss. How her heartbeat quickened as they grew closer together. Leaning forward slightly, Harry had the strongest desire to reach out and...
Letting out a gasp, Harry felt the world momentarily realign although nothing seemed to actually change. There was a sudden rush of blood to his head, quickly followed by brief dizziness.
"Wow," he said softly.
"That was your first real burst of Legilimency, wasn't it?" Calypso asked hesitantly.
"I-what? Legilimency?" Harry asked, slightly confused. "That's what Legilimency feels like?"
"A feeling that everything is different, but somehow the same? A sense of displacement, accompanied by a rush of foreign emotions and thoughts. A yearning to learn more, to seek out those feelings?"
Still looking into Calypso's eyes, Harry could only nod.
"Yes, that's Legilimency," Calypso explained. "The displacement becomes less and less noticeable the more you do it. My father says he doesn't even feel it anymore."
"And, the feelings?" Harry asked brushing some hair away from Calypso's face. "The overwhelming desire to..."
Calypso looked away. Not even bothering to try using Occlumency again. "My immediate surface emotions."
Harry slowly turned Calypso's face back towards him. "You felt all of that?"
"Yes," She said softly.
Leaning forward, Harry placed a feather light kiss against Calypso's lips. It was nothing like the first kiss they shared. Where the first kiss was short and awkward, this kiss felt right. Harry instinctively wrapped his free hand behind Calypso's back and held her against him. He felt Calypso stiffen for a moment before she relaxed against him. Harry let his lips linger against Calypso's for a few more seconds before pulling back slowly.
"Wow," He said smiling.
Calypso returned his smile. "Wow is right."
"Calypso about the contract...," he said uncertainly.
Placing a finger against Harry's lips, Calypso stopped him from talking. "Don't," she said. "That was the most wonderful kiss I've ever had. Don't think about the contract. Not now."
Nodding, Harry leaned back to relax on the couch, Calypso leaning against him slightly.
"This has been a wonderful birthday, Harry," Calypso said before initiating another brief kiss. "Thank you."
There was a prolonged silence where the two teens just leaned against one another on the couch. It wasn't awkward or tense, rather it was the kind of comfortable silence that only the closest of people could enjoy. Finally, it was Harry who spoke. "Are we still friends Calypso?"
"Of course," she replied immediately.
Calypso saw a look of relief cross Harry's face before it was replaced by confusion. "But...are we, um, dating?"
"I don't know, Harry. Does it really matter if we are dating or not?" She asked. "I will say that I enjoyed kissing you, and I don't think I'm going to stop anytime soon."
Harry smiled at the thought of more kisses. He certainly enjoyed kissing Calypso, and he was glad that she wasn't going to stop kissing him. Would it really matter if they were just very close friends or girlfriend/boyfriend? He knew that Calypso ultimately wanted to marry him, and she knew that he was freaked out by the idea of a marriage contract. Would their relationship be any different if they were officially 'dating' or just friends that kiss? Probably not.
"I guess it wouldn't matter," Harry said, wrapping one arm around Calypso's waist and bringing her closer to him.
A look of triumph appeared on Calypso's face as she leaned into the embrace. As Harry held her, Calypso decided to someday examine Muggle society. How the Muggles discovered that wishing for something on your birthday by blowing out a series of candles caused the wish to come true she didn't know, but she would definitely find out.