Spreading his Wings - Learning to Fly
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of these characters (these belong to J. K. Rowling), nor the idea of Ravenclaw!Harry, good!Dursleys, good!Malfoys and good!Severus. I don't know who owns them, to say I'm sorry for borrowing them. If I would know, I would ask. However, I do own my plot.
Summary: Seeing the value of having a wizard in the family, the Dursleys treated Harry properly, gaining a new son in the process. They fostered Harry's curiosity and love of knowledge, changing his whole future. Ravenclaw!Harry
Genre: Family / Friendship
Challenge: This is an answer to Sharlmalfoy's "The Different Sorting Challenge"!
Warnings: This story may contain some swearing and spanking. Furthermore, it contains Ravenclaw!Harry, good!Dursleys, good!Malfoys, good!Severus and some minor bashings. Don't like it, then please don't read further.
First of all, thanks for all the reviews. I can't promise there will be regular updates, but at least I can tell you, that I found my inspiration and love for this story again.
As some of you seemed to be a bit worried about the bashing-part I announced in the summary, I can placate you that bashing will be kept to minimum possible. But, seeing as Dumbledore won't be portrayed as the good and loving, grandfatherly old man, small parts of bashing might occur. I can promise you, however, that he won't be turned into the next super Dark Lord, nor will the Dark Side suddenly find their hearts and compassion. They will remain "dark".
As for most of the other questions, they will be answered in this or the next chapter. Just be patient and keep on reading, you will find out soon.
The next morning found Arian and the rest of the Ravenclaws in them common room, waiting for the lasts of their year, so they could finally go down to have breakfast. The nice prefect had told them just before they had entered their new home that she would accompany them to the Great Hall and the rooms to all of their classes so they would not only be on time for breakfast and the lessons, but would be able to remember the way for the whole year. Arian thought in a very intelligent thing to do. The few moments they had been following their prefects through Hogwarts to find their common room, had been enough for Arian to realize how big the castle had to be.
After what seemed to be five minutes, the group arrived at their destination. The two prefects had stopped in front a huge painting, a portrayal to be precise. The portrayal was featuring a young woman with long, brown hair and light blue eyes. She was wearing a deep blue set of dress robes and held a gigantic book. Her face, Arian realized, was neither beautiful nor ugly. It was a very plain face, with no certain aspects to remember. Only the pair of blue eyes was something to remember. Her gaze was hard, calculating, her eyes hard like steal. With a stern look on her face, the woman had turned to the students and demanded they solve her riddle.
Arian was beneath himself with delight. Solving a riddle to gain entrance sounded like real fun. With a smile on his face, Arian held his arm up and told the stern looking witch his another. Upon hearing his answer her stern face lighted up in a friendly and fondly expression. Bowing lightly to the mass of students, the witch on the portrayal let the door to their new home.
When Arian entered, his mouth dropped open in wonder, amazement and awe. The huge room he had entered was round to his amazement and was filled with dark blue hangings and huge, dark blue armchairs. The floor was of a light bronze tone and the ceiling was domed, painted with stars. The other side of the door the room featured a replica statue of Rowena wearing her diadem. Through the big windows Arian had a spectacular view over the surrounding mountains and the sun that disappeared behind them on the purple sky. To the right and to the left were staircases, leading to upper floors.
Now that Arian was able to look around with more time, it became clear to him who the witch in the painting had been. It had to be the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, seeing as the resemblance was just too overwhelming.
After the two prefects and their Head of House, Professor Flitwick, a small, but always excited man, had explained to them the house rules and told them the most important things they would have to remember, the first year students were sent to bed.
Now the group of new Ravenclaws was walking down the halls, remembering each and every corner and hallway and finally reached their destination, the Great Hall. Together they sat down at their table not as a whole group but splitting up and joining the older Ravenclaws. While the students were eating, Professor Flitwick walked around and gave out their timetables. Just as his timetable landed next to his plate, Arian was looking around the Great Hall. Nearly all of the students were present at the moment. A shimmer of silvery white caught his attention and caused him to search for it. Finding it, his gaze fell on Draco Malfoy. His friend was at the moment scanning through his timetable, though he must have felt Arian's gaze on him as soon later Draco look up from the piece of paper in his hands and looked up to Arian. Smiling brightly at him, Draco waved back a little and then went to get up from the table.
With a fond smile on his face, Arian reached for the small piece of paper laying next to his plate. It was a wonder what a huge positive effect such a little act as a true, fond smile could have upon him.
The timetable seemed to be a fairly nice one. Each Friday they would have morning classes only circling around Defence Against the Dark Arts. A prudent decision, in Arian`s mind. The subject seemed rather important and difficult. Having a whole day only to think about it, might prove to be rather helpful. Potions and History of Magic would always be during the afternoon classes, so they would have time after lunch to prepare themselves for those classes, Charms and Transfiguration in the morning classes, meaning their heads would be free and fresh from sleep and breakfast, Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures just before lunch, so staying outside wouldn't be too bad and once a week Astronomy at Midnight.
As expected, Ravenclaw shared all their classes with Hufflepuff, leaving Gryffindor with Slytherin. No one knew why, seeing as the tension between the two houses was palpable. Letting Gryffindor and Hufflepuff share classes would be helpful for both, as the Hufflepuffs wouldn't feel so bad for not being bookworms and the Gryffindors would associate well with the Hufflepuffs` friendly and loyal behaviour.
The Slytherins on the other hand would be motivated to study more, seeing themselves in direct competition with the rather well prepared and knowledgeable Ravenclaws, while those would gain from this change, as they would be able to live to their full potentials. The most preferable reason would however be, that Ravenclaws didn't care too much for the Slytherins' bad reputation, as they only believed in things which could be proven.
And being evil by nature through your sorted house certainly wasn't.
There had been many attempts in the past, and probably would be in the future, to change this system. Headmaster Dumbledore, however, always rejected those advices. He claimed that having Gryffindors and Slytherins socialize on a daily basis, would help them to overcome their prejudices and get along better. That was, what Headmaster Dumbledore would state when asked by concerned parents or the investigating press.
It seemed logical and like a good idea. Arian, however, suspected other reasons. From what Draco had told him, Dumbledore seemed rather biased and overly too fond of the Gryffindors. Letting them stick together with the Slytherins would be a perfect way to show the world how evil and corrupted the snakes truly were.
Not for the first time in his short life, Arian thanked his mother, who had, during many rainy summer days, taken the time and the patience to go with him through Lily Potter's personal things like diary, notes, schoolbooks and letters. It was thanks to her and her memories that Arian soon came to the conclusion that not everything was fine and well in the wizarding world and that one should always be on guard, especially when old, manipulating men were involved.
The Headmaster may seem like a trustworthy person. However, his biological parents' friend had, too, and now everyone could see what Lily and James Potter had gained from that.
No, he wouldn't make the same mistake, Arian decided. He would keep his eyes open.
Filing his dark and all but depressing thoughts away for the moment, Arian finished his breakfast and gathered his things. It wouldn't do him any good to be late on his first day of school.
Once the Ravenclaw first years were ready, they gathered together and left the Great Hall. Theories and speculations about what might expect them captivated their interest and thoughts.
Hadn't they been too engrossed in their talks arguments, Arian might have notice the calculating gaze in one old man's eyes.
Their first class of the day was Transfiguration. Professor McGonagall was going to teach it. From what Arian had read in Hogwarts - A History, Transfiguration was a rather difficult subject in which only few people ever excelled. His father had obviously been one of them.
In his need to be prepared for everything and to learn as much as he could, Arian had already started reading through the book before the term had started. It had been fascinating: the spells, the effects they had, but most of all the theory behind it. It didn't sound too overly difficult nor too complex, but this could be because Arian had compared his Transfiguration book with some of his mother's notes. It helped a lot to know what she had found important enough to copy and write down.
Sitting down in the front row next to Padma Patil and Terry Boot, Arian waited patiently for the Professor to arrive.
When Professor McGonagall arrived, her stern gaze swept upon the students, not missing a single one. Her eyes stayed emotionless, stern and calculating as her eyes took the new students in. However, when she finally looked at the students in the front row and her gaze fell upon Arian, her eyes widened considerably for a marginal second. The expression immediately faded away into the emotionless mask she had worn before, but still Arian was absolutely sure he had seen incredible hope followed by immense sadness for a split moment.
"Good morning, students. Please sit down and listen to me closely. Transfiguration is one of the most difficult and dangerous branches of magic itself. Whoever thinks, he or she has to disrupt my lesson or cause havoc, can be sure to leave this room for good and never be allowed back in.", her sharp and stern voice echoed through the room.
Turning around to the blackboard, Professor McGonagall raised her wand and, with a short but precise movement, a chalk started to label it.
For the next hour, Arian and his friends sat there, writing down what Professor McGonagall had somehow dictated to the chalk. Several pieces of parchment were already filled with long lists of movements, chants and theories. It wasn't that difficult, Arian thought while writing; after having read through it again and thinking it through he should be able to memorize those theories and work with them. And still he was growing restless. Just writing down things had never been what he solely wanted to do.
"That should suffice for the moment.", Professor McGonagall`s voice broke through his musings. "Put away your quills and parchment. You will need space to move. Now, grab your wands. We will start with your first exercise now."
Excitement started to bubble in Arian. Learning theories was all good and well. But ever since he had known that he was a wizard, he had felt the incredible need to do magic instead just to read about it. Gingerly he grabbed his wand, which felt warm and comforting in his hands, and turned expectant eyes towards his Professor.
Once she had made sure that every student had his or her wand in hand and all things had been put away, McGonagall made a short wand movement and changed a match into needle.
The magic didn't look outstanding, nor was it overly astounding and yet Arian soon found out that he should admire the Professor for changing the match with such an ease. There was a huge difference between theoretically knowing and understanding how you were to change it and trying it yourself. It was difficult and very frustrating, seeing as there was no to nearly no improvement.
At the end of the lesson, none of them had managed to change the match into a needle completely. Padma's match became silvery and Arian's was formed like a needle, while Terry's became a strange mixture of both.
Before they were allowed to leave, Professor McGonagall wanted them to stay, so she could have a better look at their improvements, stating what they had done wrong and what they should change in the future.
When she finally reached the front row, the Professor paused in front of their table, her eyes roaming over their achievements. With a nod of approval and a rare but genuine smile, McGonagall looked at Terry. "Well done, Mr. Boot. With a little more practice you should be able to change it completely."
Going further to the left, Arian expected her to compliment him, too. But instead of praising him, McGonagall just ignored his work, not sparing it nor him a single glance and paused in front of Padma. "Well done, Miss Patil. You definitely seem to have a talent for transfiguration. Well then, class, please practice this transfiguration for the next lesson. Class dismissed."
Too shocked to understand what happened and why the Professor had so bluntly ignored him, Arian packed his things away and followed his happily and excitingly babbling friends out of the room.
"What a fantastic lesson! Don't you think so, too, Arian?", Padma exclaimed excitedly, once the door to the classroom was closed. Arian nodded absentmindedly, though he had to approve. The lesson was a fantastic one, indeed.
And still he couldn't feel happy about it. The Professor's strange behaviour towards him was unexplainable.
And unexplainable things irked him.
Too disturbed by what had happened, Arian sat through lunch, only half-heartedly listening to his comrades talking, before he gathered his things and went to Potions.
The classroom door was open and so Arian and his friends entered and took their places in the front rows. The room was dark, with no natural light reaching through the magical windows. A high ceiling with different kinds of herbs and other things - Arian decided he preferred to not know what exactly it was - were hanging down from it, though not reaching their heads.
In the front there was a huge blackboard, next to a fireplace where the Potions Master's cauldron would soon be placed to demonstrate them the correct way of brewing. When Arian had first heard from his mother that magic did not only include wand swinging and spell chanting, but also brewing of potions, he had been very fascinated to say the at least.
Potions reminded him a lot of chemistry. It was interesting, very complicated and complex, with lots of things to study and to keep in mind. When done wrong, potions like chemistry experiments could go horribly wrong. Arian was sure that it would be fascinating him a lot, as all subjects did so far, but still he had the feeling that potions would never be his favourite subject.
Arian preferred thinking and theorizing to doing manual work. Even waving a wand was better than chopping.
He could chop and slice and munch things, that wasn't the problem. He just knew that brewing a potion theoretically, to say only in his mind, would be what he would choose instead of having to brew it for real.
Hopefully, this wouldn't cause him too many problems.
Arian wasn't able to think the consequences through, before the door to the classroom was thrown open and a dark, tall figure entered the room. Having shocked the students into silence, Professor Snape walked through the classroom, his eyes scanning minutely through the horde of students, his robe billowing behind him.
As the professor took his place in front of the class, Arian knew for sure that he had found someone he would come to admire. Though a sinister expression on his face, completed by uncaringly cold eyes, the man radiated power, knowledge and most of all wisdom. He was more than a regular Potions Master, Arian thought. He seemed to live for his subject.
With his gruff voice Professor Snape was easily able to cut through the heavy silence. One by one the students' names were called. The Professor took his time to take in each student, as if he was not only trying to memorize their names and appearances, but as if he already tried to figure out who might succeed in his subject and who probably wouldn't.
He made no difference while reading through the names. When he, however, reached the name Evans, Professor Snape seemed to stumble over the surname. For mere seconds, he didn't do anything else beside staring intently at the young boy sitting in front of him. Black eyes stared intently at Arian, as if they were searching for something.
The intensity of gaze made Arian gulp. He felt as if those eyes could do more than just look at him, it was as if they saw right through him, to the depths of his soul. The Potions Master was searching for something, that much was clear.
After seconds which felt like hours, Professor Snape closed his eyes and shuddered, breaking the strange connection between them. Centring himself, he shook his head as if he was trying to get rid of unpleasant memories and returned to reading through the name list, as if nothing had happened.
Arian was at a loss at what to do.
From there on, nothing strange nor unexpected happened. Professor Snape handed out a written test, to find out what important knowledge they were missing, as he stated. After having completed it, they were allowed to try brewing their first potion.
It was a rather easy one, with not too many ingredients and not too many different stages. Arian chopped, sliced and munched as the Professor wanted him to, earning himself and his house a praise.
And though he seemed to have a talent for brewing, as this was what Professor Snape told him with a strangely strangled expression on his face, he knew that this would never be his favourite subject.
He liked his hands clean and nicely smelling, thank you very much.
And though the class was pleasant itself and the theory behind the potion brewing interesting to say at least, Arians wasn't really satisfied, not even for having earned ten house points. Something was amiss with the Professor and now, with his curiosity sparked and his thirst for knowledge of whatever kind growing, Arian knew that he would be spending many nights pondering.
How utterly annoying.
After two more days Arian was sure that he had never been more confused in his whole life. Whatever he had expected, Hogwarts, the staff, his year mates and the subjects didn't turn out at all how he had them expected to.
In the light of the fireplace, Arian took a seat next to the brightly burning fire, grabbed his parchment and quill and started to think. It had been three days since he had left for Hogwarts, three days since he had last communicated with his family. Whatever it was, his family always helped him through it. Perhaps a letter was in order?
Deciding to ask his mother and father for help, Arian tucked the quill into the ink and started to write.
Dear Mother and Father, dear Dudley,
It has been three days since I last contacted you and I want to apologize if I left you worried. So many things have happened here, too many to write down everything in one single letter.
First of all, I want you to know, Mother, that you of course assumed right. I was sorted into Ravenclaw, as you were assured I would. Though the Hat was convinced I would do brilliantly in each of the four houses, he seemed to be sure Ravenclaw was were I truly belong. And even after only three days at Hogwarts I have to say, I share his opinion.
I managed to make friends with my year mates already. Aside from me four boy and five girls were selected into Ravenclaw. They are basically all very nice and love reading and theorizing just as much as I do. It is indeed a blessing I was selected into this House, I wouldn't know what I would be doing, should I have ended up somewhere else.
The castle is a sight to behold. You would love it here, Mother, for there are so many wild and exotic flowers and plants. Situation near a huge lake and an even larger forest, Hogwarts is as much a fairy-tale castle as it could be. Walking through the hallways, I can imagine Dudley running through. He would be excited to be here, so many places to encounter and so many things to try out. And Father, well, I think he would love to sit in one of the comfortable armchairs directly in front of the fire, hot tea and biscuits on the table and the newspapers in his hand.
Some things are confusing, though. The stairways here are moving around. At first I thought they moved with a certain system, but after having watched them for quite a period of time, I can say that they just move around randomly. Why they are doing this, no one can tell.
Then there are the students. I first thought one would be able to notice, who comes from a wizarding family and who doesn't, but again, I guessed wrong. It seems to me that all students seem to know nearly as much about magic as the other; nearly nothing. It shocked me a bit that wizarding parents wouldn't teach their children the basic principles of magic.
Then there are the wizards and witches themselves. They seem to be a fairly strange folk. Their sense of fashion and styling is unique and their behaviour sometimes would leave you scandalized.
What confuses me most, however, is the staff's reaction towards my name. Professor Flitwick, my Head of House, wanted to know whether by any chance I was related to a brilliant former student of his, Lily Evans. I told him, I was, as I thought it too dangerous too lie to him and seeing as with the same surname and the resemblance Lily and I share, it wouldn't be prudent to deny a relation.
A lot of the other teachers share this curiosity. So far I have been asked by all Professors, with the exception of my Transfiguration and my Potions Professors. Which leads me to my next question: Professor McGonagall, who was very fond of James, from what I understand from Lily's diary, seems to hate me. Whenever I sit in her class, she is blatantly ignoring, never sparing me a single glance, nor does she comment on my work. It is frustrating, to say at least, and very much troubling. I dearly wish to know what I did to cause such a reaction. Could you help me with this? I would appreciate it, if you had the time to read through my mother's journals. Perhaps they contain a clue.
Equally frustrating and troubling is Professor Snape's reaction towards my presence. From what I gathered so far from others, especially older students, Professor Snape normally shows no interest in any students besides his Slytherins. It was therefore that I expected to be treated like the rest, with no great interest and no expectations.
However, Professor Snape reacted totally different from what I imagined. When reading my name, he looked at me quite shocked. This shock, however, soon vanished and was replaced by an eerie intense gaze, which seemed to reach my very soul. I don't know what he saw, for he must have seen something, but whatever it was, it caused him to regard me in a new light. He isn't overly friendly nor supportive of me, but he praises my work in public and is always there to help me improve my work. Most confusing, however, is the little flicker of happiness, I see in his eyes, when I fulfil my work to his expectations. It is entirely troubling, as such a behaviour seems to be completely out of place for this Professor. Do you, by any chance, know what this could have caused?
Sadly I have a sinking suspicion that soon there will be a lot of trouble ahead of me. But do not worry, Mother and Father, I will steer around it. You know me, there are few things I despise more than unnecessary trouble.
I will soon write you again. For the time being, however, I am keeping up with my studies. It wouldn't do me a lot of good if I fell behind already.
With lots of love and the best wishes.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Rereading the letter, Arian approved of it, folded it together and put it into his pocket. It was time to share with his family what was going on and happening here in Hogwarts. They would probably be nearly dying from suspense already, something Arian couldn't allow.
After having informed his friends where he would be going, Arian left the common room.
It must have taken him longer than he expected, for when he finally left the owls, it was dark outside. A gaze confirmed his suspicions; it was mere minutes before curfew. Cursing silently in his head, Arian quickened his steps and hurried to his common room. He would have been faster, had he run, but his sense of duty forbid him to do anything that would be against the school rules.
He was nearly at the Ravenclaw common room, when a sudden sharp whisper and the fluttering of robes caught his attention.
"- isn't there, Albus! You promised he would be. Whatever have you done-"
The enraged whisper belonged to a witch. From the tone she used, she had to be more than angry, though the high-pitched voice reduced the frightening effect considerably.
"Enough, Minerva. This topic is too sensitive to be discussed in the open. Come, we shall talk about it in my-", a gruff, male voice cut through the woman's demand. Coming to a sudden halt behind a corner, Arian could see that the displeased voice belonged to the Headmaster, who had all but scolded his Transfiguration Professor.
Too engrossed in their whispers, the two Professors didn't notice the young boy listening in on them, while they hurried away, their colourful robes billowing behind them. .
A surprised frown appeared on Arian's face. Someone was missing? And it was Headmaster Dumbledore's fault? Professor McGonagall seemed very distressed about the person's absence. So he had to be important. But, who could it be?
Could it be, that a first year student was missing? No, that couldn't be it. Professor McGonagall had read out loud all the names, which had been on the name list for sorting and no one had been missing. So, could it be that the name wasn't on the list at all? But how would Professor McGonagall then know that the name should have been on it? There was no way to be assured that a newborn child was going to become a witch or wizard. There were just chances. The probabilities of a pureblood family having a child with magical abilities was considerably higher than those of a Muggle family. Did that mean that a pureblood student was missing? But wouldn't the parents or the family contact the Aurors, seeing how precious children were to them?
It all didn't make too much sense.
Feeling the coldness reach his toes, Arian took a glance at his watch and cursed. It was all but curfew. If he didn't hurry now, he would be home too late.
Hurrying down the last corner, Arian decided to leave this mystery be and think about it, once he had time.
A/N: First of all, I want to tell you my thanks to all of you, who found the time and the interest to leave a review. The same goes for all of you, who decided to put my story on favourite or alert mood. Thank you very much. You don't know how much that means to me.
If you have questions, ideas for the plotline, suggestion and wishes, or if you found some grammar or spelling mistakes, please leave a review or contact me. Seeing as I for the moment have no beta-reader, I imagine there might be plenty of them. As always, comments, reviews and notes will be very much appreciated and always make a poor author's day.