Hiding at Hogwarts
~ by Healer Pomfrey ~
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
23 - Ancient Magic
Harry spent the following days sulking because of not being allowed to fly. 'Why does everyone have to make such a fuss?' he thought in annoyance. 'I won't fly if I feel dizzy, but if I feel fine, they should allow me to fly. I really want to continue being the captain of the school team.'
"Don't worry about that yet," McGonagall told him in a soothing voice, when she visited Harry, who was stuck in his rooms after catching the Squid's flu from the Giant Squid. "Maybe you can still train the team without flying and remain captain. Perhaps Madam Pomfrey will at least allow you to participate in the matches, provided that you're well enough."
Harry felt slightly comforted by the Headmistress' words; however, he was still annoyed, before the Founders managed to completely distract him.
~ Harry's rooms ~
One day, when the Squid flu was already on the mend and Harry was sitting in the living room translating another of Salazar's books, Godric Gryffindor spoke up in a firm voice.
"Leo," he addressed the boy, "I've spoken with my colleagues, and we agreed on something." Seeing that Harry looked at him with apparent interest, he explained, "Since the burden of the prophecy between you and Voldemort is gone now, we expect you to concentrate on your studies, and we're going to teach you Ancient Magic. Every day between the last afternoon class and dinner, one of us is going to instruct you in the subjects, which we taught in our time."
"All right," Harry wearily agreed, wondering when he was supposed to do his homework. 'Oh well, since I can't attend Quidditch practice anymore except for that of the school team, I'll have more time during the evenings,' he realised.
During the following two years, the Founders intensely taught Harry. Apart from Potions, Transfiguration and Charms, they instructed him in Sword Fighting, Warding Technique, Arithmancy, as well as Healing, Occlumency, Wandless Magic and Divination. Since Salazar found it too dangerous to make Harry brew difficult potions without being able to efficiently help the boy in case something happened, he asked Severus to participate in their Potions classes, and the younger Potions Master happily agreed.
'I wished I could skip Trelawney's Divination class,' Harry thought one day. 'Rowena's teaching is much better, apart from the fact that she's a real Seer. Transfiguration and Charms are so different and interesting that I don't mind attending both.' When he spoke about the matter with his guardian one day, Severus suggested to talk to the Headmistress.
~ The Headmistress' office ~
"The Founders have been teaching you since the beginning of your forth year?" McGonagall asked, incredulously.
"Yes, oh well, only after the last afternoon class and a few hours during the weekends though," Harry replied, unsurely averting his eyes to the floor.
"Minerva," Godric Gryffindor suddenly spoke up from his portrait. "I'd like you to enquire with the Ministry of Magic if there's a possibility for Harry to take his OWLs in Ancient Magic."
McGonagall cast him a surprised look. "That would be brilliant, but I don't think they'll agree, as they don't have anyone who'd be able to test Harry," she replied, thoughtfully.
Salazar let out a snort, as he pushed Godric aside. "Godric, Rowena, Helga and I have already tested thousands of students for their OWLs and NEWTs one thousand years ago. Why wouldn't we be able to perform the tests now?" he sneered, causing the Headmistress to roll her eyes and Harry to chuckle.
Harry could barely believe his luck, when McGonagall informed him a few days later that the Ministry had in fact agreed to accept his OWL in the subject Ancient Magic, tested by the four Founders of Hogwarts in their portraits. To his relief, the Ancient Magic OWL took place a week after all his other exams, so that he had some time to fully concentrate on the subject, which consisted of so many different areas.
~ Harry's rooms ~
In the evening of his Ancient Magic test, he slightly hesitantly returned to his rooms, inwardly groaning upon noticing that the Founders were observing him with stern expressions.
"Did I fail my test?" he asked, worriedly, looking from one to the next.
"You'll know when you receive your results," Godric replied in a firm voice.
'I surely failed,' Harry thought, when even Helga did not say anything soothing but merely instructed him to take it easy during the following weeks.
It was a few weeks later that the Headmistress visited him, when he was once again busily translating one of Salazar's books.
"Harry, I just received the results of your OWLs," McGonagall said kindly, handing him an envelope. "Your results are excellent. Congratulations my boy," she added, smiling at Harry's stunned expression upon viewing the results.
"I received an O in Ancient Magic," Harry spoke up in a small voice, glancing at the Founders.
"Did you expect anything else after we taught you for two years?" Salazar replied, sneering.
"No sir," Harry replied, rolling his eyes at his grandfather.
"Harry, I'd like to suggest something to you," McGonagall spoke up. "You could take Ancient Magic as an NEWT subject and instead skip one or two of the selective subjects like Divination or Care of Magical Creatures. That way you could properly study during class time and would have more time to study for all subjects, in which you wish to take your NEWTs."
"Will it be possible to take my NEWTs in Ancient Magic too?" Harry queried, looking at the Headmistress in excitement. "That would be awesome."
"Yes my boy," McGonagall replied, gently. "I already discussed this with the Minister of Magic, and I told him that I want to suggest to you to become the professor for the newly to be founded subject of Ancient Magic after your NEWTs."
"I'd like that," Harry said, smiling. "I don't know if I'm good enough to teach the subject though."
"Of course you are," Godric threw in from the Founders' portrait. "Who else would be able to teach it if not you?"
During the following two years, the Founders intensified their classes with Harry, and just like with his OWLs, he managed to receive an O in his Ancient Magic NEWT.
'Thank Merlin I passed it,' he mused, feeling extremely grateful that the Founders had been so forthcoming and tell him the result right before he had to leave for the Leaving Feast in the Great Hall.
~ The Great Hall ~
"Harry, I'm going to come back here after the holidays," Hermione whispered to him, while they were waiting for the desert to be served. "Professor McGonagall has invited me to become the new Charms teacher, because Professor Flitwick wants to retire."
'Ah that's why she asked me to become the Ravenclaw Head of House,' Harry mused, casting his friend a huge smile. "I'm so happy, Mione. That's the best that could have happened."
During the night, Harry lay in his bed awake for hours, unable to sleep, since his thoughts kept drifting off to a young witch with bushy brown hair. It was in the early morning hours that he made a decision.
~ The Hogwarts grounds ~
In the morning, Harry boarded one of the carriages that were going to take the students to the station together with Hermione and Neville.
Glad that no one else but Neville was with them, he summoned all his courage and asked in a soft voice, "Hermione, would you be willing to become my wife?" Realising that she stared at him in surprise, he stammered, "You don't have to decide now. We can speak about it when you come back at the end of the holidays."
"No need," Hermione replied, smiling, when they got off at the station. "I'd love to become your wife."
Barely able to believe that she replied positively, Harry stared at the girl, only realising what had happened, when she leaned over and pulled him into a kiss. 'She said yes,' he thought, 'I did it. I managed to ask her and she said yes.' Feeling extremely happy, he laid an arm around her back and led her away from the platform, back in the direction of Hogwarts, not caring about the surprised looks, which they received from their classmates.
"Where are we going, Harry?" Hermione queried in apparent surprise, leaning into his embrace.
"Hiding at Hogwarts," Harry replied, smiling.
Thank you very much for your kind support throughout this story!