Forbidden: A Tale of Four Friends

A sort of different Harry Potter is sorted into Ravenclaw in his first year. Sticks to canon very loosely. Warnings include (in the future): Slash, Het, BDSM, cross dressing, and (obviously) more than a bit of OOC-ness.


Harry wasn't very impressed with Ron's attitude. The boy gaped at him in shock, eyes flicking to his forehead, which was covered by his bangs. After his visit to Diagon Alley, and the summer he'd had, he was sick and tired of people staring at him.

"It's a bit rude to stare." He said coldly. Ron looked away quickly.

"Sorry, mate, I just…you're famous!"

Harry sighed. "For something I don't even remember? For something my parents died for? I'd rather not be famous." He made a face, and went to his trunk.

He was very lucky he still had his things. He had to be on extra good behavior this past month of his summer. His Uncle was looking for any excuse to punish Harry- and his Cousin hadn't been too friendly either after getting his tail from Hagrid.

Aunt Petunia hadn't spoken a word to him, and just made him do more work than usual- which was a lot. He was glad to be rid of them, at least for a while, anyways. He'd do his best to try to figure out a way of getting away from them forever.

He opened his trunk, which was crammed with his new school things. He'd managed to read his new books at night, since his trunk had been crammed in along with him into the cupboard. Who knows how he'd been able to fit like that, but he was rather small for his age.

He'd skimmed through the majority of his books, and had just chosen his charms book to read again. He wanted to know everything he could about this new place he was going to.

He sat back down, after closing his trunk. He glanced at Ron, who was frowning slightly.

"Know anything about quidditch?"

Harry shrugged. "No, not really. What is it?"

Ron's face brightened. He went through a run through of the game, but Harry was not the sporting type. He might enjoy learning how to fly, though. When Ron was finally finished half an hour later, Harry nodded slightly. "Okay." And then he opened his book.

It seemed like another sport he'd never get to play because he was too small, and would probably would get hurt, with the way those bludgers sounded.

Ron huffed, and left the compartment. Harry rolled his eyes.

His ride was largely interrupted, until a girl came by with bushy hair. She saw Harry reading, and smiled. "Have you seen a toad? My friend Neville's lost one."

Harry shook his head. "Sorry, been reading this…haven't noticed a toad anywhere."

The girl sighed, shaking her head. She glanced at Harry's book. "What are you reading anyways?" Nosy little girl, Harry thought.

"Charms. Thought I'd get a leg up."

The girl nodded. "I've read all my books, nearly got them memorized! What do you think about-"

Harry interrupted her. "Shouldn't you be looking for your friend's toad?"

"Oh! That's right! See you later!" She called, and left the compartment.

Harry went back to his book. His eyes lit up as he saw a basic charm for making small objects dance. Of course, it was in the back of the book nearly, but it sounded like fun. He was going over the words in his head when the compartment door opened again.

"Anything off the trolley, dear?"

Harry sighed, getting up. He looked at the trolley, eyeing the odd candy. He hadn't had much candy in his short life, but he at least recognized some of them from his cousin's wrappers. This must be magical candy. "I don't recognize any of this."

The trolley lady smiled at him, pale blue eyes glittering. "Ah, well, there's all sorts here, we've got Bott's Beans, chocolate frogs, blood pops, ice mice, and sugar quills."

Harry eyed the chocolate frog boxes with interest. "They aren't' really frogs, are they?"

The lady twittered. "No dear, it's just a charm. After one jump, it's just regular chocolate. Everyone buys these things for the cards, though. You should start a collection!" She smiled at him pleasantly.

Harry bought a chocolate frog, and a box of Bertie Bott's Beans, a blood pop, and a sugar quill. He paid the lady, and she trotted off, humming a song he didn't recognize. He closed the door, and sat down.

He made a face at some of the newest flavors that were named on the side of the Bertie Bott's carton, and set that aside. He opened the chocolate frog package carefully. The compartment door opened again, and the frog flew out of his hands.

He frowned, and looked at the door. A familiar blonde stood there with two hulking boys.

"Oh, sorry about that." The blonde said, glancing at the chocolate frog that was oozing against the window.

Harry sighed. "That's alright." He took a look at the card. "Hmm. Dumbledore."

"Everyone's saying Harry Potter is on the train, and since this is the only compartment we haven't checked, you must be him!"

Harry stared at the boy in surprise. There must have been a lot of compartments on this train…surely he didn't check them all. But then again, this was another scar gawker. He was a bit of a snob, but he did go through all that trouble...the boy would find out soon enough who he was anyways.

Harry finally shrugged. "I am."

The blonde held out his hand. "Draco Malfoy. Nice to meet you."

Harry stood reluctantly, thinking he would never get back to his candy and book. "Nice to meet you Draco." He shook the boy's hand, glancing at the two boys at his side.

"Oh, this is Crabbe and Goyle." Malfoy commented offhandedly. "So, sitting alone?"

Harry shrugged. "Someone was here a while ago, but he left. Probably to talk someone else's ear off about quidditch when they're trying to read." That was a hint, but it wasn't taken, apparently, since they still stood there.

Malfoy chuckled, and two gorillas laughed as well. "So, looking forward to the sorting?"

Harry nodded. "Guess so. A bit nervous. You?"

The blonde laughed. "As if! I know where I'll end up." He scoffed. "Slytherin, just like the rest of my family. What about you?"

Harry looked thoughtful. Hagrid had said the worst sort were sorted into Slytherin, but they all couldn't be that bad. "No idea, really. Well, I'd like to get back to my book, so…"

Malfoy nodded. "Of course, of course." He said pompously, pushing his two friends out. "Well, welcome to Hogwarts."

"Thanks." Harry said quietly, thinking he'd finally get to his book.

The compartment door closed, and Harry went to his candy. Hmm…blood pop. It did taste a bit like blood, he thought morbidly, but it was a bit sweeter. He smiled around the pop, and grabbed his book.

After McGonagall's speech, everyone was straightening up themselves, pushing into a line. Harry, because of his small size, was mostly ignored, and shoved to the back as they sorted themselves out. He didn't really care.

The doors opened, and everyone filed in. Everyone was looking their way, and Harry glanced up, doing a double take at the ceiling of the Great Hall. It was gorgeous, and Harry wondered if he'd be able to do spell work like that one day.

The sorting hat sang its song. He was a bit relieved to find that they only had to try on the hat! He glanced around some taller kids to see that McGonagall was unfurling her scroll. She started calling names in alphabetical order. Each table clapped politely for the students sorted into their house.

Harry glanced around, noting who was where. Friendly looking lot at the yellow and black table. The kids under the gold and ruby banner seemed rather boisterous and loud…hmm. The ones under the dark blue and bronze banner seemed a bit subdued, with the exception of whispering girls, greeting their new housemates with a smile and a handshake.

The ones under the green and silver banner seemed like a snobby lot, but they were all smiles for their new firsties. Malfoy, of course, was sorted there, along with his two buddies.

The bushy haired girl, Hermione Granger, was sorted into Gryffindor. Two twins were sorted just before he was- one in Gryffindor, and one in Ravenclaw. There went the theory that it went in families…

His name was called, and the hall filled with whispers. He rolled his eyes, gently pushing past a couple students and went to the front. Ignoring the stares, he put the hat on, sitting on the stool.

Hello Mr. Potter

Hello Hat. Where shall I be?

Hmm…right to the point, are we?

Don't like people staring at me much. I'd rather get this over with.

Yes, I can see that. Hmm…well, bit blunt like a Gryffindor, but they are not really your sort. Hmm. You could use a few good friends, and might find that in Hufflepuff, and you aren't afraid of getting your hands dirty.

I'm used to hard work. What I'm not used to are friends.

You could learn to be a bit more subtle. But I think you'll learn it naturally. Hmm…you want to learn everything you can about the Magical World…discover its secrets…very interesting. So much like your Mother.

I thought my Mother was a Gryffindor.

She was. Most people are not purely of one house, which is a good thing. Life is not black and white, child, and I think you already know that. Yes…you will do quite well in RAVENCLAW!

Harry ignored the cheers, taking the hat off of his head, his mind going over the comment about his Mother. He handed the hat over to a slightly put out McGonagall, and went to the Ravenclaw table.

He sat with the other first years, and everyone nearly shook his hand numb. The next person was sorted, and he stuck both of his hands under the table, making it clear he didn't want them shook anymore.

He glanced over to see Padma Patil looking over at her twin that sat at the Gryffindor table.

"Does that happen often? Families being split up?" Harry blurted.

The Indian girl glanced at him. "Oh…no." She whispered, leaning a bit close, pausing as the clapping for a Slytherin had passed. "Last time it happened, it was about ten years ago, I heard. But…it's not expected. Parvati's been more of a…flighty one." She said reluctantly. "Dad won't be happy, though."

Harry thought it wouldn't be polite to ask why, since he'd just met the girl. As the sorting ended, with Ron being sorted into Gryffindor, and a Blaise Zabini was sorted into Slytherin, food appeared on the table.

He stared at it with wide eyes. He'd never seen that much food in his life, even at Privet Drive. And he didn't have to cook a bit of it. Where did it come from? And where could he start?

A boy next to him nudged his arm. "Potatoes?"

Harry glanced over, taking the bowl silently. The boy smiled. "Terry Boot. Nice to meet you."

Harry smiled back slightly. "Er…nice to meet you." He put a bit of potatoes on his plate, setting it back on the table. Across the way, he could see a blonde boy piling food onto his plate. His eyes widened at the amount. The boy was skinnier than Dudley, but he managed to eat just as much.

A brown haired girl spoke up, looking at Harry with a bright smile. "I'm Mandy Brocklehurst, and this is my best friend, Lisa Turpin." She nudged the girl.

Harry nodded at them slightly, taking the green beans. "Nice to meet you."

Everyone introduced themselves throughout dinner. There were five girls and six boys, including himself. Most of them were purebloods, with the exception of Su Li, who was a halfblood, and Anthony Goldstein, who was the lone muggleborn. All of them seemed to know each other in some way, with the exception of Anthony and himself. He figured it was a wizarding thing. Perhaps they'd all gone to primary school together?

"So…what am I exactly? I know my mum was a muggleborn, and my father a pureblood, but I'm not sure what I would be called." Harry asked, taking a bite of some carrots.

Morag McDougal spoke up. "You're a halfblood. Of course, your Father's family is so old, it doesn't matter much, does it?"

Harry let that go. "So, who is our head of House?" He asked.

A second year spoke up, who sat several seats away. She had red curly hair, and freckles on her face. She sat next to a Chinese girl. "Flitwick. He's the short one up there talking to McGonagall. He teaches charms."

Harry looked up at the table, eyeing the Professor. He was a short looking man, dressed in royal blue robes- whispy white hair atop his head. Harry couldn't quite say he was a dwarf, but he wasn't exactly human either. It would be rude to ask, though, so he decided not to. He looked quite cheerful, and was having an animated conversation with McGonagall. Harry liked him instantly, for some reason, just like he had with Hagrid.

Hagrid, in fact, was entering the room through a door behind the Professor's table. The man caught Harry's eye, and waved wildly. Harry grinned at him, and looked back at his classmates.

The Chinese girl spoke up. "Flitwick used to be a dueling champion, back in the day. He's a really good teacher. He'll talk to you guys tonight." Harry nodded. The girl went on. "I'm Cho Chang, and this is my friend Marietta Edgecombe." Cho giggled a bit, glancing at her friend, but Harry ignored it.

"Nice to meet you both."

After they were dismissed from the Great Hall, Harry felt unbearably full. He was unused to eating so much. He walked behind his fellow first years, who were tagging along with the prefect.

"Now, all of you will be given a riddle to gain entry into the common room. It is the only way in, so I do hope you'll be smart enough to know the answers." The boy drawled. After a tricky riddle was answered, they entered the common room.

It was two levels, in a circular shape, the upper level was in a semicircle, the walls covered in books, a few squashy couches and chairs sitting about. The bottom level had two stair cases on either side. The older students went on up the stair cases, while the first years were told to remain behind.

Harry stared at the room as the first years settled into the couches and chairs that surrounded the fireplace. Dark blue and bronze decorated it, creating an quiet atmosphere. There was a huge white marble fireplace, with the Ravenclaw insignia above it.

Off to the side, by the door, had a rather large bulletin board, which was empty, for now. He settled onto a place by the floor just as Flitwick came into the common room, smiling brightly at the students.

"Hello all of you, and welcome to Hogwarts!" He had a sheath of papers in his hands. "Now, Miss Li, please hand these out for me."

The Japanese girl went about handing out the papers. Harry looked at the one in his hands.

Flitwick spoke. "Now, what you have there is your schedule for this year, a map of where your classes will be, and a recommended reading list. Also, all of you will be assigned a tutor to help familiarize yourselves with how the classes work, and other things."

He smiled pleasantly at the students. " I recommend joining at least one extracurricular, to round out your education here." He paused. "However, if your grades slip, you will be put on probation within that group."

He motioned to the bulletin board. "Monthly, there will be a listing of where you are in your year's standings, and also, where you sit in your House. It provides a bit of good competitive spirit!" He said with a grin. "We also host a dueling exhibition once a month with the Slytherins, to be followed afterward with a small get-together."

"I would like for all of you to do your best. Ravenclaw is your family here at Hogwarts, and I know all of you will become good friends in the seven years that you attend here. Have fun, learn a lot, and…please do be on your best behavior?"

The first years giggled. Flitwick glanced at the silent Harry, for just a moment, and then looked away.

"Now, all of you have a big day tomorrow! You'll meet your 'mentors' first thing in the morning, and all of you can head to the Great Hall together. If any of you have any questions or concerns, please come to me."

Everyone stood from their seats.

"Oh!" Flitwick exclaimed. "I do hope my Ravens have explained the dorms to you. Boys are on the right, and girls on the left. They've been charmed so, don't try sneaking in where you shouldn't be…goodnight children!"

Everyone went to their stairs, and Flitwick called after Harry. "Mr. Potter?"

Harry turned slightly. "Sir?"

Flitwick seemed to study him for a moment. "I would like to talk to you for a moment, if I may?"

Harry glanced to his housemates, who were glancing his way, going up the stairs. He followed Flitwick out of the common room, and down the corridor. It wasn't too far away that they entered a cozy looking office.

"Please sit."

Harry sat, glancing about at all the books and papers that seemed to be stacked about. Flitwick sat behind his desk, perched on top of a high chair, that had to be reached by a step stool.

"Now, Harry, if I may call you that?"

Harry nodded, looking to the Professor.

Flitwick smiled. "Very well. Now, from what I've gathered from Hagrid and the Headmaster…you had a bit of trouble getting your Hogwarts letter?"

Harry colored. "Yes sir."

Flitwick nodded slightly. "I see." He looked thoughtful. "Now that you are a Ravenclaw, you can come to me about any problems you may have…such as trouble with school work, or a question about class…or even problems at home."

At this, Harry shifted nervously, looking down at his lap.

Flitwick sighed. "Harry…I don't want to pry, but I like to make sure my students are safe. The Headmaster and Hagrid might be a bit oblivious at times…they are Gryffindors, after all…" Harry gave him a tiny smile at this, but Flitwick went on. "But I would like to know…are you safe at home?"

Harry swallowed. "Well…it depends on what you would call safe." He skirted.

Flitwick sighed. "There are procedures we can take. It might be a bit different for you, you being who you are, but I will do my best so that you will never have to return to them again."

Harry stared. He'd always hoped for something like this…but he'd never thought it might actually happen.

"What gave it away?" He finally asked.

Flitwick's cheerful persona faded away, and there was a sad look in his eyes. "I'm a quarter Goblin…we have a way of seeing things that most humans can't."

Harry gaped at the Professor. He should have figured it out. "Oh."

Flitwick went on. "Now, will you go see Poppy in the hospital wing sometime this week? I could even escort you myself, if you like."

Harry nodded nervously. "Thank you sir."

Harry was escorted back to the common room, and he went to his dorm, lost in thought. The boys had three to a room, a bath for them to share. He was roommates with Terry Boot and Anthony Goldstein, and both boys were still unpacking their trunks when he arrived. He had the feeling that they had been talking about him right before he had come into the room.

Harry saw that they had a good amount of space- each had their own desk, and a bookshelf above each of them. They also had a twin bed, with shelves built into them, and drawers underneath, and curtains closing them off. Everything was dark blue and bronze, the furniture a heavy oak.

"So, what did Flitwick want?" Anthony asked.

Harry shrugged. "Oh, something silly." He waved it off, going to the bed with his trunk at the end of it. "Where's Hedwig?"

Terry spoke up. "Your owl is with the other ones in the owlery. You'll see her tomorrow when the mail comes."

Harry nodded, wondering about who would ever want to send him mail. He started to unpack his things, and he saw that he had a window just beside his bed. He smiled, seeing that he could see the lake from it.

Things were looking up. He was at a school far, far away from Privet Drive, and hopefully, he would never have to see the Dursleys again.

The next morning, he went downstairs with his roommates, glancing at his packet as he did so. Marietta was his 'mentor', it said. Hmm. Everyone paired up at the door, and there were already fliers on the bulletin board, Harry noticed distractedly.

Marietta smiled at him. "Hello Harry! I just found out I was your mentor this morning…I was a bit surprised!"

Harry smiled at her. "So…breakfast?"

They followed the rest of the Ravenclaws to the Great Hall, while Marietta talked to Harry quietly about his classes for the day.

"Yes, you've got…transfiguration this afternoon with McGonagall. She's a fair sort, rather strict, but she's alright."

They sat at the table. Harry grabbed some toast and porridge, sitting across from the red head. "So…how are classes with the Hufflepuffs? It says that we have the class with them."

Marietta smiled, putting some bacon on her plate. "Well, they're alright, for the most part. It's the Gryffindors and Slytherins who fight. Sometimes, we Ravenclaws tend to root for the Slytherins secretly, but we don't openly."

"Why not?"

Marietta sighed. "Well, Slytherins and Ravenclaws are…cousin houses, of a sort. Like Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. You see, most sortings go into families. Like I am a Ravenclaw, and my Mother was a Ravenclaw, and so was my Father, my older brothers, and all of my cousins, but my Great-Great Uncle was a Slytherin."

She paused. "You'll be hard pressed to find anyone here who doesn't have a Slytherin somewhere in their family."

"Not mine, apparently." Harry said, thinking about what Hagrid had said.

The girl looked thoughtful. "Actually…that's not true. I think it was your Grandmother, on your Father's side, of course, she was a Slytherin. Of course, she was a Black as well, she had married into the family, and they've always been Slytherins, but…" She shrugged. "Like I said…"

Harry poked his porridge with his spoon thoughtfully. It tasted a bit different than the porridge he had at home. This one tasted much better.

He looked up as owls flew into the Great Hall, dropping off packages and letters. He watched a tawny owl fly to Marietta, dropping off a letter, and leaving right off. He smiled as he saw Hedwig fly to the table, stealing a bit of bacon off of Marietta's plate. She hadn't noticed, though, as she was reading her letter.

Harry was petting Hedwig, noting that he was the only one that seemed to not get any mail. Marietta looked up from her letter. "Didn't you get a letter from your family, or…" She paused, uncomfortably.

Harry smiled slightly. "That's alright. My Aunt and Uncle are muggles. They're not really used to Owl post."

Marietta nodded slightly, returning to her letter.

The Castle was tricky to get around, if you weren't used to it. The staircases had a habit of moving if you were running late, Harry had heard, but luckily, they seemed to be just fine for him so far. The portraits were helpful in pointing out shortcuts, although there were a few who tried to trick you when doing so.

Classes were interesting. Harry managed to get his spells completed rather effortlessly after he tried them out a couple of times. He was glad he had read ahead, though. It seemed to help. McGonagall was rather brilliant, as was Flitwick. He had astronomy class at night, with Professor Sinastra. He mostly just stuck to himself, staring up at the stars, getting lost in them, as she lectured.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was a joke. Quirrell seemed terrified of the creatures he talked about in class, and Harry could hardly understand him between all the stuttering he did. He was rather thankful he could just read from the book. The text was very dry and boring, and he hoped it could only get better.

History was very boring, and Harry fought to keep from falling asleep. He found that reading the text instead would be better than listening to the ghostly Professor. He liked Herbology enough. He had plenty of practice with plants, from his gardening at Privet Drive, but at least these plants were more interesting!

He got a letter from Hagrid, congratulating him on becoming a Ravenclaw, and an invitation for tea Friday afternoon. He accepted, happy that the man wasn't upset that he didn't make Gryffindor.

Friday morning, though, he had potions with the Slytherins. Apparently, gossip mongers were saying that Gryffindors and Slytherins were always paired together in the past for Potions classes, but last year there had been an accident of sorts. So now they were trying to keep the two houses from throttling each other with potions ingredients.

Malfoy gave him a slight nod as Harry entered the dark classroom. The seat next to him was empty, even though his two friends sat together behind him. Malfoy motioned to the seat. Not wanting to be rude, Harry took it.

It was an unspoken rule that the houses sat separately, so he had garnered several glances from this. Malfoy smiled as Harry sat next to him.

"How are things, Harry?"

Harry smiled. "Alright. How's Slytherin?"

"Perfect." Malfoy said with a smirk. "And Ravenclaw?"

"Suits me just fine." Harry said, looking around. "Where's the Professor?"

"Oh, well, he likes to make a bit of a Grand Entrance. Just sit tight and watch." The boy whispered, smiling at Harry mischievously. Harry kind of liked the look on the boy- he seemed a lot less snobbish- and he thought this was probably Draco's true personality.

Harry glanced over to see Terry and Anthony partnering up at the next table over, glancing at him curiously. He tilted his head, and they looked away. He looked back at Malfoy, and saw that everything was already set up neatly.

"I guess that's how were supposed to set things up?"

Malfoy nodded. "Of course. We'll use your cauldron next time." The boy said airily.

A dark haired man slammed the door open, striding in. Harry fought to keep from flinching. The man's aggressive demeanor was a bit too much like Uncle Vernon's for his liking.

Professor made his speech about what potions could do…Harry could admit it sounded rather exciting, but the way the man's voice glided over his words made him a bit nervous too…from what he'd heard from Marietta, Snape was not a bloke to be messed with.

Snape started to call roll, going down his list.

"Padma Patil?"

Padma spoke up meekly. "Here sir."

He glanced at her disinterestedly, then went back to his list. A smirk spread on his face. "Harry Potter…our new celebrity."

Harry stiffened in his chair as Snape looked at him, right into his eyes. His eyes darted down immediately. Then Snape proceeded to interrogate him. He answered as best he could, and luckily, they had all been correct.

The man sneered, eyes narrowed. "Well, I suppose you lucked out…this time. Don't let it get to your head." He growled.

Harry nodded slightly. Snape finished the roll call, and then went right into his lecture, tapping his wand to the board, where a list of potions ingredients went up. Harry glanced over to see Malfoy already taking notes, so Harry hurried to do the same. They wrote for a while, listening intently.

He noticed Malfoy had perfect penmanship, and was clearly used to writing with quills. He was not, obviously, his page splotched up, ink dripping on it. They began to set up everything to make their potion, getting their ingredients.

"I'll prepare the ingredients." Harry volunteered. After all, it couldn't be much different from cooking, right?

Malfoy smiled. "And I'll make the potion."

They worked quietly together, Malfoy correcting Harry a few times in how fine the leaves should be diced, and a trick to extracting the bile from another ingredient. Harry learned a lot, working with Malfoy. Malfoy had even commented on his perfect knife handling, though.

Snape came by to look at their cauldron. He frowned, seeing them together for a moment, and then looked into their cauldron. He rose a brow, and then smiled at Malfoy. "Ten points, Mr. Malfoy, for a perfect potion."

Malfoy beamed at this, chest puffing slightly. Snape glanced Harry's way, but said nothing, and went on to the next table. Harry frowned, seeing him go. What an asshole!

Malfoy leant over, seeing Harry's face. "Hey, he does that for all his Slytherins…no hard feelings?"

Harry shrugged, starting to clean up the table. "So…you know an awful lot about potions. I read the textbook, but some of those hints and things weren't in there."

Malfoy smirked. "I learned the basics at home before coming here." He paused. "If you want, I can help you out…if you partner with me again."

Harry nodded. "Sure." Even if Malfoy was a bit of a snob, the boy seemed to know what he was doing.

Harry went to Hagrid's for tea. He had a rather large dog that drooled all over him, named Fang, and his hut was crammed with really cool stuff from the forbidden forest. He ran his hands through the unicorn hair, admiring the gleaming white hair.

"Can I see a unicorn?"

Hagrid laughed, pouring tea for Harry into a large chipped mug. "Well, I don't see why not, you're young enough." He explained, seeing Harry's questioning look. "They don't like blokes much, once they reach a certain age, but you're still young enough that you would be okay with them." He beamed. "Tell you what, when I go into the forest next time to check up on them, you can tag along with me."

Harry beamed. "Really?"

Hagrid nodded. "But you'll have to stay with me, the forest is a bit dangerous for someone of your age…gotta know what's goin' on."

Harry nodded, looking to the gleaming unicorn hair. "They must be beautiful."

"They are, lad. So, how's classes going?"

Harry went to the hospital wing after he left Hagrid's. He was plenty nervous, and stood nervously about while an older woman dressed in white went about healing a first year Gryffindor who had boils on his hands and face. She glanced his way.

The first year stared at him, face going pink under the boils, looking clearly embarrassed. Harry thought it might have been Longbottom, but he wasn't sure, what with the boils on the boy's face.

"Can I help you dear?" She looked him over clinically.

Harry shifted nervously. "Um…it can wait…I just had a few questions."

The woman looked him over again, and motioned to her office. "You can wait there, dear, I'll be there in a few minutes."

Harry did as he was told, and sat in her office. It was rather small, but crammed with books. He glanced at the titled interestedly, and then to the fireplace. This room was a bit small for a fireplace…and wouldn't it get dreadfully hot in here if it was going?

The woman came in with a slight smile, closing the door behind her. "Now, what can I do for you?"

Harry bit his lip. "I…I um talked to Flitwick. He said I should come here."

The woman looked him over again, tilting her head. "I see." She went to a cabinet. "Name?"

"Harry…Harry Potter."

The woman's hand faltered as she went through the files, but otherwise, she had no reaction. She came back with a slim file, and sat. "Now…oh goodness, I haven't introduced myself. I'm Madam Pomfrey, and I am a certified Healer, trained at St. Mungo's." She looked at Harry, opening the file. "Everything we do here is private, even the Headmaster can't have me breaking my vows of confidentiality."

Harry nodded, nervousness easing a bit.

Madam Pomfrey went on. "You don't have much in your file, just the usual inoculations that you had from when you were a baby, and the file from your Muggle school. It automatically updates, you see." She made a slight face at that. "Seems you were in their infirmarary a few times."

Harry blushed, looking down. "My Cousin."

She nodded, looking as though she didn't believe him. "Now, we can start doing a basic check up, and see if there's anything else we need to work on." She drew her wand. "Now, I'm going to cast a few spells to check your weight, temperature, and the like, and then we'll go to the hospital wing."

Harry swallowed.

She smiled slightly. "Mr. Longbottom already left, dear, there is no one else out there."

Harry nodded, and she started to cast spells. He felt unaffected for the most part, although sometimes he glowed different colors. A quill was writing in the file for the healer as she spoke, and as she finished, the woman shook her head.

"You're almost 15 pounds underweight for a child of your age, and for someone of your height, it makes a large difference." She wrote a bit more in her file. "I'm going to put you on a regimen of nutrient potions, and I'm going to give you a list of foods that I would like for you to eat."

They stood, going out the wing, and Harry sat on one of the beds as instructed. Pomfrey held the file in her hands, looking at it with a slight frown. "Please lie down."

She flicked her wand, drawing the curtains about. She set the file on the table next to the bed, and the floating quill was poised to write. She cast some spells, making Harry glow a bit more.

"A bit of skelegrow might be in order, if those nutrient potions don't do the trick." She pursed her lips. "However did you break your arm so many times, and that muggle school of yours not notice?"

Harry colored, looking away.

She sighed, casting some more spells. "And you need plenty of sunlight. I suggest you go out for a walk once a day, before dinner, perhaps. Of course, don't go walking off on your own until you know the castle better. Go with a friend. I say…just a walk for twenty minutes, outside, in the afternoon."

Harry nodded, slightly, freezing up as she cast another spell that made something in his stomach throb sharply. "Ah!" He gasped in pain.

The woman winced. "I'm sorry dear…" She cast a few more spells, easing the pain. "I hadn't realized the extent…the muggles you have been living with, what have they been giving you to eat?"

Harry looked away. "Well…mostly the stuff they didn't want. Bread, some veggies…about it."

Madam Pomfrey frowned. "Hmm, well, whatever you got, it certainly wasn't enough! Wizards burn through their food faster, because of their magic, so I expect you to start eating bigger portions, with more variety. The list of foods I'm going to give you will help you figure that out."

She sighed, flicking her wand, sending a pamphlet their way. "This has the exercises you can do every morning. I'd like for you to do fifteen minutes a day, first thing in the morning. Try to keep to this routine for a few months, at the very least. This pamphlet also explains how food can affect your magic- usually this is given for the muggleborns in their orientation packet…did you not get one?"

Harry took the pamphlet, sitting up. "Um…no." Magic and Your Body: A Comprehensive for the Growing Witch and Wizard.

Pomfrey nodded. "Very well, then. I'd like for you to follow that, and…" She took a page from the file, copying it. "And follow this as well. Now, I want you to eat at all of your meals, no skipping!"

She looked thoughtful. "You will also need to eat between meals, small snacks. The kitchens are just below the Great Hall, and they will know what to get you." She paused, looking at Harry thoughtfully. "I want you to return next week, so I can see how you are faring."

Harry nodded slowly, still looking at the pamphlet, scanning it. "Um…do you think I could learn a couple of healing spells? There's not any in here, and I saw that there was a charm for healing small cuts, but…"

Pomfrey gave him a slight smile. "Well, healing spells are a bit advanced. Come back in a year and ask me, okay?"

Harry nodded, and hopped off the bed. Whatever she did, he felt a bit better. "Thanks."

She tilted her head. "You're welcome. Next week, we can get rid of those dreadful glasses!"

Harry grinned widely at this.

Harry glanced at his watch as he left the hospital wing. It was almost dinner, so he started heading towards the Great Hall. He put the pamphlet in his pocket, and looked at the list for his new 'diet'. He raised a brow, but continued walking towards the Great Hall.

He sat, waving to his classmates. Most of the guys stuck together, Anthony and Terry were always goofing around, so he was sort of the odd man out. Terry seemed to had taken Anthony under his wing and show him everything about the magical world. Harry felt like he didn't fit in with the two boys.

It didn't help that he shied away from them a lot. He always woke before them so he could use the bathroom first, undisturbed. He always changed there too, so they couldn't see him. They had teased him about that, but Harry would rather them do that than see his scars.

He studied with Padma and Marietta in the common room sometimes, but he didn't really feel…close with anyone, just yet. And Cho was always bothering him if he was ever around Marietta. He didn't like her much…she was a bit annoying.

He shrugged it off, putting some food on his plate. He grabbed some chicken. He had never eaten chicken before, although he'd prepared it plenty of times. It was grilled, with seasoning on it. He grabbed some potatoes, carrots, and some brussel sprouts. Compared to the other children his age, he ate downright healthy.

Thinking of the list, instead of grabbing water or pumpkin juice, he grabbed the milk. His dinner was full of new tastes. The Milk was good, and it would take some getting used to. The chicken was delicious, he nearly groaned as he took his first bite.

After dinner, he went to the kitchens. He saw a painting of some fruit. He had heard that some rooms opened up through portraits, and he idly wondered if this was one of them. He stared at the painting closely, trying to figure out how to open it.

He could see that some of the varnish on the painting had been scratched at, on the peach, so he touched it carefully. The peach wriggled, and the painting slowly opened. Harry grinned, opening it fully, and then gaped at the scene in front of him.

It was a large room, large as the Great Hall, but just much lower ceilings. There were four tables, like the ones in the Great Hall. What made him stare, though, were the creatures milling about. They were short little things, a bit shorter than Flitwick, all with pointy ears and large eyes. They had tea towels on with the Hogwarts crest on it.

One of them approached him as the painting closed behind him.

"Cans I be helping you sir?" It squeaked.

Harry gaped at it. "What are you?" He finally asked.

The creature giggled, and so did the others that walked towards him.

"We is House Elves, Harry Potter Sir. Cans we help you?"

Harry motioned to his list. "Madam Pomfrey put me on a diet, so…"

The list was snatched from his hands, and the elves crowded around it. They nodded and whispered to each other, smiles on their faces. The list vanished, and Harry couldn't help but gape.

"Um…that was…"

"Oh, you don't needs it! We is taking care of everything!" One of the elves squeaked.

Harry shifted uncomfortably. "Okay…um…so, how did you guys vanish that paper without wands?"

Several giggles and gasps went about. "We is not allowed wands, Mr. Harry Potter sir. We don't need them anyways." One of the elves said.

"Now, is you wanting anything to eat?"

Harry bit his lip. "Um…well, could I have a small snack to take with me to the common room while I study tonight?"

The elves nodded, setting about making it, and Harry was put into a chair that sat in a corner, along with a low table and other chairs.

"Here you is Sir!" An elf squeaked, bringing him a bowl of fruit that looked quite appetizing.

"Thanks!" Harry said, taking the bowl. The elves blinked at him tearily, faces looking at him in rapture.

"Well…I should get going. See you guys later." He said reluctantly. He headed towards the door, and turned, a slight frown on his face. "Um….you guys are treated well, aren't you?"

One elf burst into sobs, and another spoke. "We is being happy here…we is not used to wizards asking if we is happy, though. That is why little Nob is crying…he is happy!"

Harry stared at the crying elf. "Um…okay. Well, see you later."

He went back to his common room, nibbling on the fruit as he went. Some of it was tangy, others, bitter or sweet. He liked it a lot! He entered the common room.

Anthony was eyeing the bulletin board, and waved Harry over as he saw him. Harry walked over, eating a small piece of cantaloupe. Anthony glanced at him oddly, but said nothing about it. "Um, all the clubs are having their first meetings this coming week, are you going to go to any?"

Harry looked at the board, chewing his cantaloupe. There was a poster for the Gobstones club, one for the choir, Chocolate Frog traders looking for people who were interested in trading cards…even a chess club. His smiled slightly as he saw the astronomy club.

"Astronomy sounds nice." He said. He rather liked the class. Nice and quiet, and outside.

Anthony made a face. "It's alright. I'm going to go for Gobstones, myself. Terry taught me how to play. He's going to go for it too."

Harry shrugged, still looking at the other posters. One for Runes, whatever that was, and a 'Social Club'. By the hearts and girly things on it, he suspected it was for girls that liked to gossip…no thanks.

"Well, I might check it out, but I think I'll look into the Astronomy Club. It might be fun."

That night, Harry was in his dorm, at his desk, doing his homework. He had already finished most of his homework for the week, and just had to do Herbology now. He tapped his quill to his scrap paper, making a face at the drippy mess it caused. Surely there had to be something better…he sighed disgustedly, shaking his head. His fingers had ink on them as well. Didn't wizards know about pens?

Earlier that week, he'd borrowed a catalog from Morag McDougal for Flourish and Blott's. He remembered he gotten his quills from there, so he grabbed the catalog, and looked at their selection of quills. Non dripping, never-out, automatic inking, some that checked your spelling…he frowned.

No pens.

He flipped through a few more pages, seeing the ones on sale…nothing. Just plain quills. Quills that broke easily, that had to be sharpened, that had to be re-inked…he shook his head, wishing he had access to muggle money.

He idly wondered if there was a way to get muggle things. Probably not. He hadn't heard one mention of a pen since arriving at the school. He sighed, leaning back in his chair, scanning his memories of Diagon Alley.

Harry approached Flitwick about it after lunch the following day. Flitwick looked at him thoughtfully. "Well, Harry, you aren't the first muggle-raised to have this problem. Generally, they get the hang of using quills and things, and make do."

Harry shook his head. "But using a regular pen is so much easier than quills, I just don't get it!"

Flitwick chuckled. "Trust me, the wizarding world is a rather backward place sometimes, and very against progression and change. We have several recent inventions, like the Wizarding wireless, but those were introduced about fifteen years ago."

Harry gaped. "Really? But radio has been around for ages in the muggle world…"

Flitwick nodded slightly in agreement. "Like I said, it takes a while for the wizarding world to catch up to things."

"You would think muggleborns would want to change things."

Flitwick looked thoughtful. "Sometimes, yes. But it is hard enough for them to be accepted in the society as it is…many just try to stick to the status-quo, and try to manage…or they leave."

Harry frowned. "Oh." He didn't like the sound of that at all. How were things supposed to progress if people thought that way? No wonder wizards seemed to be stuck in the dark ages sometimes!

Flitwick swiveled in his chair with a smile. "Now, I understand you went to visit Hagrid yesterday?"

Harry nodded, smiling. "Hagrid's great. I met his dog Fang, and he showed me some really cool stuff he'd found in the forest."

Flitwick chuckled. "Yes, he does have some interesting things…so, how are you feeling? Madam Pomfrey told me you came by yesterday."

Harry sighed. "Better. I feel better. I don't know exactly what she did, but…"

"And you got your potion this morning?"

Harry nodded. "Yep, it was on my desk when I woke."

Flitwick nodded. "Good. Now, the Professors have been telling me that you're faring pretty well in class."

Harry smiled. "Yeah, after a few tries, I usually get the hang of a spell."

Flitwick smiled. "Good, very good! Keep that up, Mr. Potter. Now, have you signed up for a Club yet? Extracurricular activities are a very important part of your education here."

Harry bit his lip. "Well, I was thinking of signing up for Astronomy…but Anthony and the others are going for Gobstones."

Flitwick looked thoughtful. "Well, there are many students in the Astronomy club you will get along with…you don't have to do something just because your classmates do."

Harry nodded, smiling slightly. "You're right." He glanced down at his lap. "So…is there a way to get muggle supplies here? Things are hard enough as it is, trying to get used to everything…I thought it might be easier if I had a few muggle things."

Flitwick tilted his head in thought. "Well…a friend of mine often goes into the muggle world. He owns the Quibbler, one of the smaller newspapers. He advertises often for muggle items, unspelled, of course…"

"Why can't you magick muggle items?" Harry cut in.

Flitwick smiled pleasantly. "Against the law, Mr. Potter. You see, the items could be used for muggle-baiting."

Harry frowned. "But…these things wouldn't be cursed…they would be improved upon."

Flitwick shrugged. "I don't make the laws. However, Arthur Weasley, who works at the Ministry of Magic, does. His sons go to school here. Why don't you try talking to Fred and George Weasley? They might be interested in helping you."

Harry approached the Gryffindor table shyly that evening, looking at the red headed twins that were dressed in quidditch gear. The Gryffindor table went quiet, and stared at him. The twins turned around to look at him.

"Oi, it's Harry!"

"How are things Harry?"

"Trunk giving you anymore trouble?"

Harry blinked. "Um…no. I wanted to ask you guys some questions."

"Ask away ickle firstie!"

Harry glanced about, at all the people staring at him. He colored. "Um…may I sit…"

The twins slid apart, so that he could sit between them. He sat, ignoring all the whispers that accompanied it.

"So, I heard that your Dad works at the Ministry, with muggle items?"

The twins exchanged a glance. "Um…yeah."

Harry smiled. "Well, do you think I could write him and ask him a few questions? I had an idea to improve a couple of muggle items…"

One of the twins held out his hand with a wide smile. "Sure. Name's Fred, and this handsome fellow over here is George."


Harry shook their hands, and the boys stood, leading Harry out of the Hall. Harry walked between them. "So do you think he'd listen to my ideas?"

Fred grinned. "He loves tinkering with muggle stuff! I don't see why not."

George nodded. "Yeah, so, what are your ideas?"

Harry shifted. "Well, I wanted to make a muggle pen sort of like a quill…never-out ink and stuff, without the mess or the hassle of trying to sharpen a quill."

Fred nodded slowly. "Not too shabby. What does a pen look like?"

Harry scrunched up his face, motioning with his hands. "Well, it's about this long, and it comes in all sorts of colors, the ink is on the inside, in a sort of tube…then there's the metal bit at the end that the ink comes out of."

George looked thoughtful. "Any color, you say? Hmm…how do you hold it?"

Harry shrugged. "Kind of like a quill. Sometimes it has grips so it won't slide out, some are made of plastic…" At the vacant looks on their faces, Harry frowned. "You don't know what plastic is?"

"Is it sort of transparent, but hard?" Fred asked, biting his lip.

Harry nodded. "That's right!" Well, some of it was, anyways. He wasn't about to get into all the other types of plastics.

George suddenly smiled. "Wicked. We saw some of that stuff when we went to the muggle world sometimes with our Dad. Yeah, you can write our Dad. We'll let him know to look out for your letter…hey, if you figure out how to do this…give us a call, and we'll help out."

Fred nodded. "Yeah, we like messing with gadgets and stuff."

Harry smiled. "Thanks!"

That night, he sat at his desk, clumsily writing with his quill and parchment.

Dear Mr. Weasley

I am a first year at Hogwarts, and I have a few questions for you. I grew up with muggles, and I was told you would be a good person to talk to about bewitching muggle items. I was told it could be illegal, for muggle-baiting…I looked it up, and usually those items are cursed to hurt muggles.

I wouldn't want to do that. I only want to improve on muggle items, sort of like the Wizarding wireless. As you can see by my handwriting, I am not used to writing with a quill. I was wondering if it was possible to use a muggle pen, putting inking charms and such on it like you would a quill. It would certainly be easier to write with, and I think the Professors would be a bit happier if things could be a bit more legible.

I have some other ideas, but I'd like to know if it is possible to do such a thing first. Your sons, Fred and George, seemed interested in my ideas, and said they would be happy to work with me on it, if we were able to.

Thank you for your time,

Harry Potter

He got a reply on Monday morning, from a Ministry Owl. He beamed as he began to read.

Dear Mr. Potter,

Thank you for your letter! I am happy to help you with your questions. Currently, I am writing legislation on muggle charmed objects so that they cannot be used to bait muggles. However, if the item in question is not going to be used where muggles can see, there is so problem. Even better, if the item can be used in front of muggles, and no one can tell the difference. You could also spell the item so that its magical effects are concealed from muggles if they accidentally use it.

As far as charming a muggle pen…excellent idea! I sort of wish I'd thought of it myself! Now, I don't know what the spells are that are used on quills, but I understand you are a Ravenclaw, and you sort love your research. My twins like to invent things as well, although it's mostly geared towards pranks.

In my own experience, charms and transfiguration are key, but runes are a definite help. Of course, you are a bit young for taking a runes class, but that doesn't mean you can't research in the meantime.

Hope to see what you come up with,

Arthur Weasley

Harry smiled. Mr. Weasley seemed like a friendly chap- he would have to be, with sons like Fred and George. That letter had certainly helped. So…he knew it was legal, so long that the item could be hidden from muggles….and if it wasn't, there had to be a way from keeping the muggles from knowing it was magical…hmm.

He folded the letter, thoughts racing. He leant over to Marietta. "Hey, isn't there a Runes club?"

Marietta blinked at him. "Um…yes, but no one under third year is in it…that's when you start taking the class."

"But…could I be in it, even though I'm not in the class?"

Marietta looked thoughtful. "I guess so. The clubs are open to everyone."

So Harry signed up for the Runes club, and the Astronomy club. Astronomy met on Monday evenings, after dinner. Runes met every Thursday night. Harry went to his classes on Monday, excited about his first Astronomy club meeting. He wondered who was going to be there.

That night, he went up the stairs to the Astronomy tower, dragging up his telescope and things. Sinastra smiled as she saw him. "Oh, hello Mr. Potter, you don't have class until tomorrow-"

"I'm here for the Astronomy Club!" He said with a smile.

Sinastra blinked. "Oh, well, please take a spot."

Harry looked around. It was mostly upper years who were there, and they all clearly knew each other. He found a tucked away corner, and set up his things.

Sinastra spoke. "Hello all of you. Now, I know each of you have your own projects you'd like to get started on, so I will be here if any of you have any questions."

The students went to their telescopes, talking quietly amongst themselves. Harry turned to his telescope. He'd only had one Astronomy class so far, so he struggled a bit with his scope.

"Here, let me." Sinastra said quietly, turning the dial for him, focusing it.

"Thanks." Harry said, peeking through it.

"So…why did you sign up for the Club?"

Harry shrugged, looking up at the sky. "I like looking at the stars. You don't really get this kind of view where I live. I love it." Literally. He was never allowed outside at night, and he was always locked in his cupboard after dinner- so this was the only real view he'd ever gotten of the night sky. He didn't count the T.V, which didn't do it justice.

Sinastra smiled as he looked back down at her. "Well, that seems to be a reasonable answer. Now, I know you just had your first class, so you don't have any projects or charts to fill out just yet…I'd like to ask what you want to learn."

"Well…I know a bit about space and stuff from school, but I always wanted to know more. Like, those constellation things…I want to know more about those…they never really covered that."

Sinastra smiled. "Well, you have the basic charts in your textbook. There's stories behind each of them, to help you remember. The best way of remembering, though, is making your own chart."

Harry looked over at some of the older students, who had complex looking charts on their parchments. It did look a bit interesting, if plain. "Okay…so how do I get started?"

Sinastra chuckled. "Start with the North star, the one I showed you last class, and work your way from there. That's the thing about stars, they are always there the next night. Why don't you try drawing out a constellation first, hmm?"

Harry nodded.

Harry came back just before curfew, dumping his things on his bed. Terry looked up from his homework. "I didn't know we had an Astronomy class tonight." He said worriedly.

Harry shook his head. "We don't. I went to an Astronomy club meeting."

"Oh." Terry said, glancing at Anthony, who shrugged. "Well, that stuff is mostly used for Divination…not really a hard academic, you know."

Harry shrugged. "I think it's nice."

He sat at his desk with a sigh, reviewing for Charms the next day.

Things progressed from there. Harry started his research on the 'pen project' as he called it, in between his school work for his regular classes. He did fairly well in class still, although he didn't show off like that girl from Gryffindor did.

She was a bit annoying, but he would never say it to her face like the others did. He thought it was a bit mean, they way they laughed at her. He didn't say anything though, because he didn't want to get picked on either.

Thursday night, he went to his first Runes club meeting. It was mostly Slytherins and Ravenclaws, again, and they were older. They all stared at him as he entered.


"Wrong classroom, kid." A Slytherin boy said brusquely.

One of the Ravenclaw girls twittered. "Got lost, sweetie?"

Harry colored. "No…this is the Runes club, right?"

The Professor entered. It was an older man, holding a few books in his arms. He did a double take at Harry. "Oh…hello young man…can I help you?"

"This is the runes club, right?" Harry repeated.

The man nodded, looking a bit perplexed. "Runes are only open to third years and up…"

Harry frowned. "Oh…so I'm not allowed?"

Several whispers and giggles.

The man shook his head. "No, you can sit in if you like. I'm Professor Vector. Please sit, Mr. Potter."

Several more whispers and stares were directed at him, and Harry sat in the corner. He had brought along some parchment and a quill while the man lectured about using runes on drawn images to make them move, as opposed to charms.

Harry smiled, tilting his head at his drawing. It was just a sketch, and with the small runes he'd drawn at the bottom, the man bounced his basketball. He wasn't the greatest artist, but it was a lot of fun! The club was dismissed, and Harry approached the Professor, eyes bright.

"Brilliant lecture! I couldn't help but try it out…I'm not the greatest artist, but…" He handed over his sketch.

The Professor smiled at it for a moment. "Good work, Mr. Potter, very nice. You should consider signing up for runes in your third year, you've done pretty well with your runes."


The man tilted his head slightly. "Now, when you're writing, make sure you clean it up neatly, use that blotter for your quill, okay?"

Harry nodded, frowning slightly. "Um…someone told me you can use runes on objects, is that true?"

Professor Vector nodded. "That's right. Runes are used on pensieves, and other objects- even warding. It's a very useful skill to have."

Harry smiled. "See you next week Professor!"

Vector watched him go, a slight smile on his face.

Flitwick was reading the Quibbler in the Teacher's lounge. "Hey Filius."

Flitwick glanced up, seeing Vector. "Victor. How are things?" He greeted.

The man sat next to Flitwick. "Well, a new Ravenclaw popped into my Runes club last night."

Flitwick smiled. "That's great, who is it?"

"Harry Potter."

Flitwick's brows rose in surprise. "Oh?"

"I explained to him that Runes were only offered for third years and up, but he could sit in anyways. The boy just sat there and listened, taking notes…and when he came to me at the end of class, he'd drawn up a sketch using the runes we'd covered…and damn, they worked!"

Flitwick beamed. "That's great! What were they?"

Vector leant back in his seat. "Well, they were imaging runes, used for illustrations…those are quite advanced even for my fourth years, yet he managed to get it…of course, he was a bit sloppy, but it was expected for his first set of runes."

Flitwick stared at his colleague. "How interesting…is he going to come back?"

Vector smiled. "I hope so…I'm tired of the students coming in just for extra credit."

By his third week, Harry managed to get his schedule down pretty good. He would get up at six AM, take his potion, do the exercises, which consisted of a number of simple spells, strengthening and weakening them, like one would a muscle. He would go to breakfast with his housemates, and then class.

After classes were over, he'd usually do his homework right away, and if he didn't have homework, he'd either visit Hagrid, or he would do his research. After dinner, he went for a short walk, if he didn't have a club meeting to go to.

He didn't stress too much about tests. If he got it, he got it. He wouldn't try to cram everything in the night before. His evenings were pretty much free, if he didn't have a meeting, so he spent his time researching runes, and how they could be used. Sometimes he'd go outside with his charts, and make sketches of his constellations.

He would also practice his animation rune, with his little doodles he wrote in the margins of his notes. His doodles sometimes showed McGonagall transforming into her cat form, or someone casting a spell, or even Ron and that Hermione girl bickering as they sometimes did during dinner.

It was his third week there that things got a bit messy. They had flying lessons with the other first years. This was the first class they had with all of the first years together, and the first time Harry saw the Slytherins and Gryffindors interact.

Other than Neville Longbottom breaking his arm, the lesson went fairly smoothly. Even Harry had heard about the notorious clumsiness of the boy by then. During that lesson, he'd counted at least three times where the boy had tripped, and usually ended up on Harry. If Harry didn't know any better, he would have thought the boy was doing it on purpose.

Harry found that he loved to fly, and felt right at home floating in midair. The others were impressed, learning that it was his first time on a broom. Some of them even said he should try out for Quidditch. He didn't really go for it, though. He still didn't fancy getting hurt during a game- especially with much bigger and older players.

Harry was usually pretty busy, so he'd nearly forgotten the first quidditch game of the year, between Gryffindor and Slytherin. He went, but got bored after half an hour, so he left early. He went back to the school, and went to the library instead. A number of lone upper year students were doing last minute homework, so he stayed out of their way, reading a couple of chapters from his potions book.

That evening, he was in the common room once everyone returned from the game.

"So, who won?" He asked as Terry sat down next to him.

"Oh, the Slytherins. Not very surprising. The Gryffindors have got a new seeker, somebody called Katie Bell, and she isn't that good yet. She'd probably be better as a Chaser. Well, I've got to get started on my transfiguration homework…have you finished that yet?"

Harry nodded. "A couple of days ago."

Terry grinned hopefully. "Can I borrow it?"

Harry frowned. "Um…I'm not sure…if you need help, I can help you, but…"

Terry pouted. "You won't let me copy a little bit?"

Harry shook his head. "No…I don't want to get into trouble. You can copy off of Anthony if you want, I think he's finished his."

Terry rolled his eyes at that, and went off to find Anthony.

Harry was using a parchment as a straight edge, wishing he had a ruler instead. He was trying to draw out his charts, but it was kind of hard to do so if you didn't have a ruler, or a protractor…he frowned. Something else he'd have to get from the muggle world.

The end of September arrived, along with the grade listings. Harry, along with all the rest of the Ravenclaws, crowded around the board. Older students pushed their way through, once finding out their grades, left giving high fives, crying, or shaking their heads.

Apparently grades were a big deal.

Harry went up on his tippy toes to look over a rather tall boy's shoulder to see his name. The boy got out of his way, leaving the crowd, and Harry managed to get a good look.

Harry Potter: 4th in year, 1st in Ravenclaw First Year group

O: Astronomy, Charms, Herbology, History of Magic, DADA

E: Transfiguration, Potions

Harry grinned, seeing his grades. He'd done much better than he'd hoped! Terry was giving him a dirty look, though. Marietta caught his eye, giving him a thumbs up. He approached her. "How did you do?"

She smiled. "Pretty good, third in my year. Congratulations Harry, for doing so well. There's the dueling exhibition tonight, and the party, so you'll want to dress nice, okay?"

Harry frowned, thinking of his wardrobe. "I don't have much besides my school robes."

She looked at him oddly when he said that. "Well…you could borrow something, I'm sure one of your roommates would let you."

Harry nodded.



"You going to the party tonight?"

Anthony nodded, flipping through his Quidditch magazine. "Yeah, you?"

"Well…I want to, but I don't have anything to wear."

Anthony glanced up. "Just wear a nice shirt or something."

Harry sighed. That was the problem. He went to his trunk, scrounging around the bottom for his Dursleys shirts. Nothing would suit him. He grabbed a clean school shirt from his drawer, and used a color charm, making it a dark green.

He pulled it on, and then pulled on some school pants. He made a face at his trainers, and pulled on the only other shoes he had, the black school shoes he wore every day.

He ran a hand through his messy hair with a sigh. Guess this was all he could do.

The group of Ravenclaws were lead down to the dungeons by Flitwick and the Prefects. Everyone was dressed rather nicely. They arrived to the Slytherin common room.

"Flitwick." Snape greeted distantly at the door.

"Severus, good to see you!" Flitwick said cheerily. The students filed in. Music was already going, and part of the room was cleared of chairs and things, with a platform on it.

The Slytherins were already gathered. Harry saw Malfoy wave him over, so he headed over there, settling on the floor next to the blonde. Malfoy motioned to the girls that sat on the other side of him. "This is Pansy Parkinson and Daphne Greengrass. Girls, this is Harry Potter."

Harry gave them a small smile. The girls gave him a slight nod, looking at him coolly.

"So, ever seen an exhibition match?" Draco asked with a grin.

Harry shook his head. "No, I'm excited though."

Two sixth years were up first, one from each house. It was a flashy duel, and the spells lit up the student's faces. Harry watched carefully, taking mental notes of what they were doing. One finally fell to the other, and everyone applauded.

Two Seventh years were up, but they weren't smiling. Apparently they had a grudge against each other, as the spells were noticeably more dangerous. It ended when one of them was blasted off the platform. Everyone clapped politely, but not as much as they had for the first two.

Flitwick got onto the platform. "I'm glad to see all of you here tonight!" Snape got on the platform as well, looking odd next to their cheerful professor. "We'll start the party soon enough, but first, awards for the students first in their year group!"

Both Professors flicked their wrists, taking out small boxes. Harry's eyes widened at the use of magic, and he glanced at his housemates. Apparently, this was one of the reasons why grades were so important. Why hadn't anyone mentioned this before?

The Professors called out names, starting from Seventh year, on down. They would say where the student was in their year as well, and would hand them a pin, showing they had been first in their year for their House.

Snape spoke up for the first year Slytherins, a tiny smile on his face. "Draco Malfoy!"

Draco grinned widely, smoothing back his hair as he stood, and went up on the platform, accepting his pin. Snape spoke up again, putting his hand on the blonde's shoulder. "Mr. Malfoy is also First is his year. Congratulations, Mr. Malfoy."

Draco smiled widely, putting the pin on his robes, just below the Slytherin crest.

Flitwick clapped along with the rest of the students politely, and called out the last name. "Harry Potter!"

Harry stood, flashing a smile to a still grinning Draco, and got up on the platform. Flitwick handed the pin to Harry with a grin. "Well done, Harry." He whispered, and turned to the students. "Mr. Potter is fourth in his year, as well! Well done!" He clapped.

Harry blushed, sitting back down next to Draco. He looked at the bronze and blue pin in his palm.

"Pretty neat, isn't it?" Draco whispered.

Harry nodded, putting the pin on his shirt.

At the party, Harry had been surrounded by the first year Slytherins, along with Morag McDougal, who he'd never really talked to much, Marietta, and Cho.

"So, do the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs do something like this too?"

Pansy Parkinson made a face. "I don't think so. I've never really talked to any of them."

Daphne Greengrass spoke, just after sipping her pumpkin juice. "Well, Susan Bones tells me that the Hufflepuffs do something similar, but the Gryffindors aren't involved."

"You talked to a Hufflepuff?" Theodore Nott said distastefully.

Daphne sniffed. "Susan is a neighbor of mine, it's not like she's a blood traitor or anything. She comes from a good family, and we've known each other since we were little."

"And look where all the Bones' are…dead." Nott groused.

Harry frowned at this. "Really?"

Draco exchanged a warning look with Nott. "It's nothing. So, did you finish that essay for Professor Snape yet?"

Harry nodded. "Finished two days ago. You?"

Draco smirked. "Already finished. I'm surprised you're doing so well, since you lived with muggles and all."

Harry frowned, looking down at the drink in his hands, hearing the others giggle.

"Well, it wasn't my choice to live with them." He said reluctantly. He glanced at the clock that was on the wall of the common room. "It's late. I should get going…I have some work to do. Excuse me." He said quietly, leaving the group.

Draco went after him, tugging on his shoulder. "Hey-"

Harry pulled away quickly, turning to face the blonde. "What?"

Draco's face softened, his eyes searching Harry's face. "It's still early. Are you sure you want to leave now?"

Harry glanced to the group they had just left behind, who were all looking their way. Harry looked down at his shoes. "I just…don't like talking about the muggles, okay?"

Draco frowned, reaching over to pat Harry's arm, but Harry pulled away, eyes darting to the floor again. "Um…I'll see you later Draco."

Draco watched the boy go, crossing his arms.

Harry slept in the following morning, the first of October. He yawned, glancing over at his roommates' beds. He could still hear them snoring. He got out of bed, taking his potion, grimacing at the taste. He set the vial back on his desk, and cleaned up for the day. Since it was Sunday, he had the whole day to do what he wanted. He had no homework to do, and it was a nice day, so he decided to go for a walk and visit Hagrid.

He went by the kitchens, getting some breakfast first, since the Great Hall didn't start serving breakfast for another hour. He was pleased to talk to the elves again, and left with snacks to take with him to Hagrid's.

He arrived at the man's hut, throwing a cookie to Fang so the dog wouldn't jump up on him. "Hi Fang! Hi Hagrid."

The man grinned at him. "Little early, eh Harry?"

Harry smiled sheepishly. "Bit of a morning person. I…um…can come back later if you like."

Hagrid shook his head, letting the boy in. "No, that's alright. I was just going to get some breakfast, would you…"

Harry shook his head, putting his parcel on the table. "I just went to the kitchens. I had breakfast there, and the house elves gave me some food…would you like some?" He unwrapped it.

Hagrid took a sweet roll, preparing the tea. "Thank ye' Harry, that was very nice of you. So, how are things?"

Harry told him about his class standings, and what had happened the night before.

Hagrid beamed at him. "Good job Harry! I say, I think we should celebrate!" Hagrid said, bringing out a wooden flute. "Come on, let me show you something."

The two of them left the hut, with Fang in tow, and headed into the forest. The forest was loud, full of birds chirping, and another animals Harry couldn't recognize.

Hagrid startled to blow on the flute, and Harry watched as the forest slowly quieted for a moment. He smiled, grabbing onto Hagrid's coat as they made their way through the forest. It was brightly lit with the morning light, and Harry couldn't figure out why everyone thought it was scary. He thought it was beautiful.

He heard hooves, and Hagrid lowered his flute. "Shh." He whispered to Harry, and they both stilled.

A unicorn, a small colt, slowly trotted towards them, peeking out from the trees, a larger one at its side. Harry watched in awe. Hagrid smiled, playing softly on his flute.

Harry stared, not moving an inch as he watched the colt prance around its mother, seeming like it was dancing to the music. Harry smiled. Both horses stilled, tilting their heads as if they heard something.

Hagrid stopped playing as they heard more hooves, and the unicorns trotted away. Harry swallowed as they saw a half horse-half man creature approach them, bow in hand. Several red feathers dangled from the creature's hair.

"Hagrid, good to see you this morning….and I see you've brought one of the little humans."

"Firenze." Hagrid sounded a bit relieved. "How are things?"

Firenze stared at Harry thoughtfully, not answering. Harry stared at the creature, looking at the bow and arrows strapped to his strange body.

"Have you not seen one of my kind before?"

Harry shook his head, frightened.

Hagrid spoke up. "This is Firenze. He is second eldest of Chief Appleheart, the clan of Centaurs that live here."

"Oh." Harry said quietly.

Hagrid put his hand on Harry's shoulder gently. "This is Harry Potter." He said to the centaur.

The centaur smiled slightly at Harry. "Nice to meet you, young Harry Potter." He looked to Hagrid. "The forest grows quiet. Mars is approaching. Please listen to my warning, Hagrid, Friend of My Clan."

Hagrid nodded slightly, looking a bit confused. He looked down at Harry. "Come on Harry. Let's get to my hut, and I'll tell you the story about the time I met a vampire, right here at Hogwarts!"

Harry's eyes widened, and they headed out of the forest.

Time passed. Harry kept pretty much to himself during the week, keeping busy between his classes and the two clubs he was in. Snape seemed to be watching him more than usual, which made him a bit nervous during class. Draco was a big help to him in class, and Harry pulled his potions grade up to an O.

He was tired of never getting any mail, so he subscribed to the Quibbler, and Charms Weekly. He could always borrow the Daily Prophet if he wanted to, but it was usually full of gossip and stuff he didn't like to read anyways. At least the Quibbler made him laugh, and it had fun rune puzzles in the back.

The articles in Charms Weekly sometimes went a bit over his head, but it was interesting to read about how Charms could be applied in every day life, and how they were used. By Halloween, he was getting straight O's in his courses.

Harry started animating his charts in Astronomy club, just for fun, and they turned out pretty neat, even if they were still a little sloppy. And of course, he was still trying to figure out how a pen could be magicked. Of course…it would be easier if he had a pen to work with!

There was to be a feast for Halloween. The Slytherins and the Ravenclaws had their end of the month party/exhibition match the night before, and Harry was quite happy to add another pin, showing that he was first in out of the first year Ravenclaws again. He was third in their year out of all four of the houses. Draco was still first, though. Neither boy could figure out who was second, since it wasn't a Ravenclaw or a Slytherin.

Harry suspected it was Hermione Granger, but Draco had scoffed and said it couldn't possibly be a Mudblood. He had said this in the middle of class, so Harry had waited until after class to punch the blonde.

Speaking of Hermione Granger, the girl had not shown up at the Halloween Feast. Quirrel came in, screaming about a troll, sending everyone into fits. The students were sent to their common rooms, with the exception of the Slytherins, since the troll was supposed to be in the dungeons, near their dorm. Snape had left though, while no one was looking.

Harry was just out the door when he heard a couple of Gryffindor girls whispering about Granger, but they continued to walk with the rest of their house, not going to look for the girl. Harry frowned, grabbing the nearest Gryffindor, which happened to be Ron Weasley.

Ron squawked, pulling out of Harry's grip. "What?" The twins sidled up to their brother, looking at Harry.

"That Granger girl is missing, just so you know. Thought you might want to go warn her about the troll." And then he left with his housemates.

That night, word spread about the troll being defeated somehow, so the Ravenclaws ended up leaving the common room, going about their usual Halloween business.

The next morning, he found out that Ron and the twins rescued Granger from the troll, earning Gryffindor 40 points. Harry reflected that they wouldn't have gotten those points if it wasn't for him…but they probably wouldn't have gone after the girl if it wasn't for him either. Oh well. At least he didn't have to find the troll.

Harry sat in the corner of the classroom, head bent over his paper, taking notes from Vector's lecture. "So you can use pretty much any materials to carve runes into things. Generally, when using runes, people use wood, paper or ceramic. Paper is good to start with. With wood, you have to be careful, because wood is magical, so you have to take that into consideration. Ceramic is versatile, but you have to be careful not to charge it too much, or the piece will break, releasing the magic."

Everyone shuddered at that.

Harry piped up. "What about metal?"

Vector glanced his way, as did several students. Vector smiled pleasantly. "Metal is extremely tough to work with. Only Goblins engrave metal, and their techniques are very secret, for fear of us creating our own money from precious metals. They use runes quite regularly, although theirs are much more advanced than ours will ever be."

Harry's eyes were wide. He hadn't known that. "Have you ever asked the Goblins about their runes?"

Vector laughed, as did the rest of the students, and Vector continued with his lecture. Harry went back to taking notes, but his thoughts were lost with the Goblins.

As November zipped by, Harry worked hard to keep up his grades. The Professors were pushing more homework on them before the end of the term, so he spent more time than usual on it. Flitwick posted a paper on the board, asking everyone who wanted to sign up to stay for the holidays would need to sign that.

Harry went to Flitwick's office after that.

"Hello Harry, how are you?" Flitwick poured some tea from a cheerful looking ceramic set. He handed a cup to Harry.

Harry took it with a small smile. "I'm good, thank you very much."

"So, what's on your mind?"

Harry looked down at his tea, waiting for it to cool. "Well…the holidays…I don't know what I should do."

Flitwick sighed. "I have been quietly investigating possibilities about where you could live, if your Guardians were deemed unfit. It's been hard, trying to keep it quiet, and the….Headmaster is not being very cooperative."

Harry frowned at this. "Oh."

Flitwick went on. "You are welcome to stay here for the holidays. There will be other students here, not many though, and some of the staff will be here."

"Will you be here?" Harry asked hopefully.

Flitwick laughed. "Yes, Harry, I will." He sipped his tea.

Harry smiled sheepishly at the man. "Sorry…I mean…I'm sure you have family to go to…"

Flitwick sighed. "Well, I have a daughter, but she lives in South America at the moment…we're not very close." He said reluctantly, but his smile returned. "But I like being here for the holidays. Minerva makes a good egg nog, and Yule Breakfast is quite enjoyable."

Harry nodded, smiling slightly. "I was also wondering if there was a way to shop at the muggle world. I have a list of items I'd like to get, but…"

Flitwick looked thoughtful. "Well, I could escort you one day during the holidays, if you like. I will have to get permission from the Headmaster, though…"

Harry beamed. "Thank you sir!"

Harry glanced up from the latest issue of the Quibbler, seeing Anthony and Terry packing for the holidays.

"My family and I are going to Ireland to see my cousins. We haven't seen them in ages!" Terry said with a grin.

Anthony nodded. "My Father is going on a business trip in America, so I'm getting to tag along."

Harry sighed, looking back down at the Quibbler, a smile spreading over his face as he read an article about Blibbering Humdingers, and how they affect the minds of muggles and cause bouts of amnesia.

Harry found he was one of the few Ravenclaws to remain behind in the tower. Marietta had remained, saying that her Mum was going to be busy at work anyways, so it didn't matter much if she was going to be home. A couple of seventh years had remained behind, working on a special project with Professor Snape.

Two Slytherin seventh years had remained behind for the same reason, but none of the others had stayed. Draco told him he'd send Harry something for Yule, and promised to write. A few Hufflepuffs remained, mostly upper years, and only the Weasleys from Gryffindor had stayed for the holidays.

Apparently, their parents were going on a trip to see one of the older brothers in Romania.

On the second day of the holiday, after breakfast, Flitwick and Harry took a portkey to Diagon Alley. Harry was unused to that method of travel, so it took him a few moments to catch his bearings.

They went to the bank first, where Harry switched over some of his galleons for muggle money, getting a large sum of Pounds. While they were in the Alley, Flitwick got a few books that he'd had his eye on, and Harry grabbed a few more mail order catalogs. Flitwick then glamoured himself to look like a rather short human, and they went out to the muggle world.

They took a cab to the toy store, where Flitwick had always wanted to go. They had fun choosing a number of toys for the Headmaster and some of the other Professors. While they were there, Harry grabbed several packages of pens and pencils, and a set of engineering rulers, s-curves, and protractors.

Flitwick was quite interested in the stuff, and Harry's mouth went a mile a minute, talking about his ideas. He also grabbed a pad of tracing paper, some self hardening clay, some ceramic engraving tools, and a few large spools of wire.

Flitwick eyed the wire with wide eyes, running a finger over it. "This label says gold, but I can tell it is not pure gold…"

"It's probably some cheaper metal. It just has that color." Harry said, putting it in the cart.

Flitwick looked thoughtful, and then smiled at Harry. "I thought it might be a good idea to get you some clothes as well. You can't go about in your uniform all the time!"

Harry groaned.

They had returned late that day, just before dinner. Flitwick was excited about their trip, and told the Professors what he'd seen in the stores, excluding what he'd gotten for them for their presents, and kind of glossed over Harry's project.

Harry spent the evening trying to write runes onto a muggle pen, using a marker. He wondered if it would work with any old material. He couldn't feel the runes charging, so he assumed it didn't work. He would have to figure out something else.

He spent the next few days holed up in his room, breaking the pens apart, encasing the tubes of ink with a thin, thin layer of self hardening clay. He etched runes into the clay, and sighed when it didn't seem to work that way either.

Then it occurred to him that the tubes were plastic, and that might have an effect on the magic. He grabbed one of his ink wells, and hollowed out a wooden pencil using a charm, and pouring the ink into the hollowed out area. He groaned as the ink spilled from the other end of the pencil.

It took almost twenty different tries, but he managed to come up with something eventually…

He experimented a bit, using a bit of the gold wire inside the hollowed area, then put a cap on the pencil using the self hardening clay, and then put the ink in. He wrapped the end of the gold wire about the end, and engraved into the side of the pencil.

He could feel it charge, very, very weakly, but it was charged!

He grinned widely, and ran down the stairs. He ran out of the common room, and down the corridor, and banged on Flitwick's office door.

"It works! It works!" He yelled loudly, excited.

Flitwick opened the door, half awake. "Harry…it's 3 AM."

Harry didn't care, and held up his ugly looking…pencil/pen thing. "It works!"

Flitwick's eyes widened. "The runes charged?"

Harry grinned. "Yeah!"

They went in the man's office, and Flitwick took a good look at the pencil. "Hmm…I can barely feel the charge, but yes, I think it did work….um…how are you supposed to write with it?"

Harry laughed, feeling his adrenaline start to leave him. "I dunno. The clay at the end of it is stopping the ink from spilling out. I'm sure if it was pure wood, and not the crap the muggles make these pencils out of, it would work better."

Flitwick ran his hands over the runes, looking thoughtful. "Very interesting. I'm sure you'll be working on this a bit more to work out the kinks, but it looks very promising!"

Harry grinned, and yawned. Flitwick scowled at him playfully. "Now, young man, I do suggest you get up to bed!"

Harry slumped to his bed, exhausted.

Christmas morning arrived, and Harry had a small pile of things at the foot of his bed. Hagrid had given him a flute, something a bit smaller than the one he'd used himself. It was plain, but Harry thought he might decorate it and put some amplifying runes on it if he had the time.

He then opened a package from Marietta, a book about the Ministry of Magic. Draco had gotten him a book on Potions, with notes written in the margins in his super neat handwriting.

He got a yoyo from Flitwick, and Harry tried it a bit, hitting himself in the forehead on his third try. He set it aside safely, and opened a squashy package that was unlabeled. He opened it, eyes widening at the cloak inside. There was a note in unfamiliar handwriting, saying to use it well, mysteriously. Of course Harry was going to use it well! It was an invisibility cloak!

He slipped it into his drawer, underneath his clothes. He dressed for the day, and went downstairs for breakfast.

After breakfast, he came back to the room, and started working on the flute. He carved amplifying runes into it, and looked up a charm to make it unbreakable, and preservation charms.

He set it on the windowsill, and practiced with his new yoyo. It was kind of fun, once you got it to stop hitting you. On the package, there was a boy with two yoyo's, wrists flicked out so that they both flew out of his hands…it looked really cool. He took it apart after getting the string tangled, and figured it would be pretty easy to make. He fixed the thread, and put it back together pretty easily, and put it aside, checking on his flute.

Pretty wicked looking! He grinned, going downstairs to show it to Hagrid. Hagrid was at his hut, shoveling snow. Harry approached the man, blowing on the flute, and both of them jumped as sound burst out of the flute, making birds fly out of the forest.

Hagrid turned in surprise, and Fang bayed.

"What was that?"

Harry jogged towards him, holding up his flute. Harry grinned. "The flute you gave me. Pretty wicked, huh?"

Hagrid eyed it, looking it over. "It looks very nice Harry. Now it's a bit loud…"

Harry laughed. "Sorry about that…I'll try to fix it. So, what kind of wood is it made out of?"

Hagrid leant against his shovel. "Well, I think its birch, why do you ask?"

Harry looked at it thoughtfully. "Think I could borrow a unicorn hair or something?"

Hagrid raised a brow, used to Harry's 'ideas'. "Sure go ahead. Could you start up the tea while you're in there? I'll be wanting to warm up once I'm finished here."

Harry nodded, and went in the hut. He started the tea, and went through Hagrid's things, searching for something that would work with the flute. The unicorn hair seemed way too strong for it, he felt, so he stayed away from that.

Hagrid came in, stomping his feet to get the snow off, and took the kettle off the stove as it whistled. He poured the tea, and watched Harry search the room.

"Think about coloring the wood?" Harry looked at the man, a slow smile spreading on his face.

Hagrid looked thoughtful. "Try the blue jar over there. That has some Blackberry dye, which should help the magic of the Birch calm down a bit."

Harry grabbed the jar and sat at the table with Hagrid. Hagrid got a cloth for Harry, and showed him how to stain the wood with the dye.

"This is pretty neat Hagrid…how did you learn how to do this?"

"My Dad." Hagrid said with a proud grin. "He was a muggle. Everyone around here just uses color charms, but I think doing it by hand gives it a bit somethin' extra."

Harry set the flute down carefully. Hagrid downed his tea, pouring some more. "Why don't you grab that jar over there, the white one?"

Harry did as he was told, and looked inside. He made a face, holding his nose. "What is it?"

Hagrid let out a big booming laugh. "Threstral piss. It will tone down that sound, and give it a nice low tone. And the Threstrals will come right to ya when you play."

Harry looked at him curiously. "What's a threstral?"

Hagrid gave him a sad smile. "They pull the carriages. You can only see them if you have seen death."

Harry gasped. "That's terrible!"

Hagrid shrugged. "They're sweet creatures, very playful, even if they do like blood a bit much…" He made a face. Harry cringed, wondering if he should stop coating the inside of the flute with that stuff.

"It also brings about unicorns." Hagrid said. "The unicorns and the threstrals are pretty close kin, look nothing alike, but they are pretty close."

Harry continued to coat the inside of the flute, trying not to concentrate on the smell. He definitely hoped it would go away soon. He finished that, and Hagrid stood, going through a huge trunk.

"Aha! Acromantua hair. Let me show you how to make it into thread."

Harry came back to the castle with Hagrid for dinner, his new and improved flute was still in Hagrid's hut, airing out. He did have a ton of acromantula thread in his pocket, on a huge spool. He knew it would last him for ages. He did not know he could probably sell it for 10,000 galleons- enough for a small house.

That night, he was in the common room, searching through the bookshelves, wondering what he could possibly do with that much acromantula thread. He and Hagrid had so much fun spinning it that they had finished the whole lot of it in one afternoon. Hagrid always said there would be more where that came from, and left it at that.

So now, Harry was searching for a book that would help him use some acromantula thread.

Marietta went up the stairs. "Hey Harry. Been busy?"

Harry nodded absently. "Looking for a book, now."

Marietta rolled her eyes. "You're always looking for a book." She said playfully. "Which one are you looking for?"

"Well…I have some thread, and I was wondering what I could do with it."

Marietta laughed. "Well…one generally sews with it, things like that."

Harry made a face at her.

Marietta sniffed at him. "Alright then, I guess I won't help you…" She turned, and started down the stairs.

"Wait, Marietta, I didn't mean it like that…" Harry said sheepishly.

Marietta gave him a look over her shoulder, clearly not believing him.

Harry sighed. "Okay, maybe I did, but I would like to know…do you know how to sew?"

Marietta shook her head. "No. The book you're looking for is called Madam Hines Presents the Art of Needlework and Sewing. Mum tried to get me to read it ages ago, but I never really bothered with it."She gave him a wicked smile. "And I do hope you don't read that where your roommates can see." She winked at him, and went down the stairs.

Harry got the book, which was hiding way off in the bottom, and escaped to his dorm room. The following day, he went back to Hagrid's to get his flute back, and have some more tea with the man. Hagrid and he spun some of the unicorn hair that had been in the cabin, and Harry came back to the castle with unicorn thread, and the flute in his pocket.

He spent the rest of the day reading the sewing book. It was alright, for a sewing book. He sighed roughly, putting it aside, and picked up his flute from his desk. He had applied a ton of cleaning charms on it that morning, so the odor was completely gone.

He blew gently at the top, preparing himself for a loud sound, but it sounded…nice, actually. He smiled, sitting in his chair, experimenting with the flute. He closed his eyes, moving his fingers over the holes as he blew gently. He practiced with different strengths and such, and thought it was…missing something.

He grabbed his engraving tools, and engraved a border around the holes. He laid pieces of acromantula threads in the grooves around the holes and in the engraved runes. He made them stay there with sticking charms, and he could barely see the light grey threads against the dark blue wood grain.

He sighed, and raised the flute to his mouth. He blew gently, and he could feel the runes activate beneath his fingers. He gasped, feeling suddenly dizzy as he heard an amazing sound…like nothing he'd ever heard before! He fell off his chair, staring at the flute in his hand.


The next morning, he was called to the Headmaster's office. He had been up late playing his flute, slowly getting used to the sound, and that morning, he'd been taking notes on his project, trying to figure out if he could recreate it for Hagrid. So he was a bit of a mess, and his hair rather disheveled.

He arrived to the Headmaster's office, glancing curiously around the room, eyes stopping as he saw Draco.

"Draco! What are you doing here!"

The blonde smiled brightly at him. "Working again, I see-"

The Headmaster cleared his throat. Harry looked his way, and then saw a man standing behind Draco, who looked a lot like him. He must be Draco's father. They were both dressed in rather expensive robes.

"This is Lucius Malfoy, my Father." Draco said.

Lucius looked Harry over, and Harry shifted nervously, straightening out his robes.

Dumbledore spoke up. "Mr. Malfoy and his son have expressed an interest for you to come to their holiday party."

Harry smiled at Draco, and then at his Father. "I'd love to go, thank you very much for inviting me."

Draco beamed at him, and looked up at his Father, as if saying 'I told you so'.

The Headmaster spoke. "I would feel more comfortable if Harry was escorted by one of the Professors-"

Mr. Malfoy interrupted the Headmaster. "Severus is already invited, Headmaster, he can escort the boy." He looked at Harry. "If that is alright with you?"

Harry glanced to Draco, who was looking at him hopefully. "Um…yes, that's fine."

Draco beamed. "Great! Come on, I'll help you pack!"

Harry gaped. "We're going now?"

Draco shrugged. "The party is tonight, might as well, right?"

His Father cleared his throat, and everyone looked at him. "Draco, Malfoys do not shrug."

Draco winced. "Sorry Father."

"Please help Mr. Potter pack. We will wait here."

The two boys left the office pretty quickly. "Dumbledore's office is pretty cool." Harry said. "Didn't get a good look at it though."

Draco scrunched up his nose. "Father says all those silver doohickeys are just for show, they don't even do anything."

Harry chuckled, letting Draco inside the common room. The boys went up the stairs. Draco did a double take at Harry's mess of a desk.

"What were you doing?"

Harry picked up the flute gently from his desk. "Isn't it cool?"

Draco took the flute from him carefully, eyeing it. "You made this?"

Harry nodded, going to his trunk, glad that he and Flitwick had gone shopping.

He took out some dark blue robes. Draco fussed about his shoes and things, and the two boys packed everything into Harry's school bag, after dumping everything out on his bed. "Do you play that flute?"

Harry shrugged. "I'm learning."

Draco smiled. "I play the piano, myself. Perhaps we can play together."

Harry cleaned up quickly in the bathroom, dressing into some clean robes, and came back out. He slid the flute into his pocket. Draco shook his head.

"You'll need a case for that. Something that nice should have a case. I'm sure Mother will have one lying about. Come on, let's go!"

Harry stumbled out of the floo, and was caught by a beautiful blonde woman with blue eyes. She laughed softly, helping Harry to stand. Draco and his Father strode out of the fireplace.

"I'm Narcissa Malfoy. Welcome to our home."

"Thank you." Harry said to her, then looked around the room. It was rather grandiose, with high vaulted ceilings and marble floors. It looked more like a museum than a house.

"Draco, why don't you show Harry where he can put his things, and then you can show him the Pitch." His Mother said.

Draco grinned, dragging Harry away. "The Pitch?" Harry echoed.

After seeing Draco's room, which was crammed full of magical toys and such, the two boys went to the Pitch. They got onto some rather nice brooms and began to fly. Draco of course, had to show off, and was doing all sorts of tricks and stunts.

Harry flew around, quite liking the breeze that blew around him as he zoomed about. Soon, it was time for tea, and they had to come down. House elves served the tea, and Harry noticed that they weren't treated that well, and wore pillowcases, and bandages on their hands and ears. He did not like that at all. Not one bit.

Harry didn't comment though, although the House elves were staring at him strangely when he thanked them.

"Mother, did you know Harry plays the flute?" Draco said.

Narcissa smiled at Harry. "Do you really?"

Harry blushed. "Well, I just got it for Christmas…I spent the last few days practicing and fixing it up…"

Narcissa tilted her head. "Well, why don't we go to the music room. I'm sure I have some sheet music there, and we can see how it goes, hmm?"

Lucius had to leave, for business, he said, so the woman and the two boys went to the music room after tea. Harry noticed that the house elves were decorating the house lavishly at this time.

Narcissa rooted through a bookshelf while Draco sat at the white grand piano, and started playing. Harry gaped as the notes filled the room.

"How long have you been playing?"

Draco smiled, continuing to play. "Since I was five. Why don't you see what you can do Harry?"

Harry nodded, taking the flute out of his pocket. He closed his eyes, listening to Draco play. He blew softly at a certain point, adding to the piano. It was a bright, happy tune, and slowly, the piano went away, but he kept playing.

He swayed from side to side, feeling the hum of magic beneath his fingers, from the runes. He then realized that the room was completely silent. He opened his eyes to see Draco gaping at him, and Narcissa. Even the house elves were in the doorway, crying and staring at him.

"What was that?" Draco finally whispered. "That…that was amazing!"

Harry lowered the flute, coloring. "I dunno."

Narcissa held a hand to her chest. "Oh, you two have to play tonight, I think everyone would love to hear!"

Draco grinned at this. "Really?" He turned to Harry. "Come on, I think everyone should hear."

Harry shrugged, looking down. "I think it's more the flute than me, really."

Narcissa approached Harry. "May I?"

Harry nodded, handing it over. She suddenly flushed, running her fingers over the instrument.

"Hmm, these are just amplifying runes…but I can feel a lot more in this….what is in this instrument?" She asked softly.

"Well, it's made from birch wood. Hagrid did that bit."

"Hagrid? That oaf?" Draco interrupted.

Harry glared at him, but continued to talk. "Yes, he did. Now, he did that bit. I added the amplifying runes, then Hagrid helped me dye it with cornflower dye, and then coat the inside with…" He colored. "Threstral urine."

Neither Malfoy had a reaction to that, so he went on. "Then I added Acromantula thread-"

"Wait, where did you get acromantula thread?" Draco interrupted.

Harry glanced at him. "From Hagrid. Anyways, I just ran bits of it in the grooves. You can barely see it, though."

Narcissa looked at the flute with renewed interest. "Hmm…very interesting. A very powerful instrument you have there, Harry. I do suggest you don't tell anyone else how you made it, though."


Narcissa tilted her head. "Acromantula thread is terribly expensive, and terribly powerful. One doesn't use such an item lightly. Especially when combining it with any part of a threstral….it takes a strong wizard to use that."

She looked at him calculatingly, and her son glanced at her.

Harry looked at the flute in his hands. "Oh."

That evening, the two boys got ready for the party. Draco was a bit nervous about playing in front of everyone. "The Minister is going to be here tonight, and so are a whole bunch of Dad's and Mum's friends…Merlin, I'm so nervous."

Harry sighed, trying to fix his hair. "Don't be. You play great. I was thinking you could play first, by yourself, then I would do something, and then we would do one together. Think we could do that?"

Draco nodded reluctantly. He then saw Harry trying to fix his hair. "Merlin Harry, you're never going to get it to lie flat like that. You can use some of my gel…"

Harry chuckled. "No thanks."

"Fine then, go to my Mum and see what she can do."

Twenty minutes later, Harry returned, his dark blue robes turned a dark green, and his hair six inches longer, so that it laid in a braid between his shoulder blades, pulled back with a green ribbon.

"I look like your Dad." He said flatly. "And everyone can see my scar."

Draco rolled his eyes, fixing Harry's bangs. Harry stared at the boy, face getting warm. Draco was definitely in Harry's comfort zone. He did his best not to pull away. Draco was his friend, he told himself, not his stupid Cousin or the Dursleys.

"There. A bit better. I don't see why you don't show it off; use it to your advantage."

Harry chuckled. "And that's why I'm a Ravenclaw, and not a Slytherin."

Draco stuck his tongue out at Harry playfully, and the boys went downstairs. Adults were already standing about, gossiping, house elves weaving in and out of the crowd with trays of drinks and such.

Draco's parents were at the foot of the stairs, talking to a rather portly man in pinstriped robes, and a bowler hat. The man smiled at Draco.

"Well hello Draco! You've grown so quickly since I saw you last."

Draco put a charming smile on his face, stepping down the stairs. "Good to see you again Minister." He motioned to Harry. "This is my friend Harry."

The Minister did a double take. "Harry Potter?"

He glanced at Lucius, then back at Harry, holding out his hand. "Nice to meet you, Harry, if I may call you Harry…"

Harry smiled, shaking his hand. "It's fine, Minister."

Narcissa spoke up. "We were thinking the boys would play a little something for everyone before dinner."

Fudge grinned. "That would be lovely!"

Harry noticed there were several reporters there, so he skirted around them carefully, but he noticed the Malfoys were careful to not let him get too far away from them.

They all went to the music room, which had gotten twice as large since the afternoon. Harry looked at Draco questioningly, and the boy murmured "Expansion Charms."

Harry nodded, and Draco led the way to the piano, chin tilted up. He smiled at the crowd. "I am going to play a Racmaninoff piece." He said, and sat down. His fingers poised over the keys, and he began to play.

Harry stared at the blonde. He didn't know why Draco was so nervous, because he could play….really, really good. Everyone clapped politely as he finished. Draco smiled, and glanced to his parents, who nodded approvingly at him. His smile widened, and he gave a nod to Harry.

Harry took out his flute, and started to play. He couldn't stand everyone staring at him, so he closed his eyes. He didn't follow any sheet music. In fact, he couldn't even read sheet music. So he just played. He got lost in the music, forgetting about everyone staring at him, about the house elves' bandages, about that stupid Minister…he just played, and focused on that music. And damn, did it feel nice.

He finally felt like he reached a stopping point, so he opened his eyes, lowering his flute. Everyone was gaping at him again, even the house elves.

Harry blushed, and looked at Draco. Draco cleared his throat, and smiled, and began to play.

Harry looked at him, listening intently to when he could begin…and jumped right in. He didn't close his eyes, but still got carried away again, and he knew that Draco was improvising as much as he was now. They had loads of fun, and Harry even forgot for a bit that people were there – until he could see a flash of photography out of the corner of his eye, but he tried to ignore it.

They looked at each other, and Draco gave him a slight nod, and they both ended it together gradually. Clapping filled the room, and Draco stood, taking a bow. Harry followed him, blushing.

I hope you like it. More to come- I'm planning on updating this once a week, every Monday. I've gotten thirteen chapters written already!