DISCLAIMER THE FIRST: It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the grace of coffee that thoughts acquire speed, the back acquires strains, the strains become a warning. The warning is that I make no money from this. It is by JKR's writing alone I set my mind in motion.

DISCLAIMER THE SECOND: This is a AU take done as a challenge to write the characters and can in a way not normally seen. Thus don't be surprise things go differently than you are used to. Also this fic has a lot of weird, some may even say squicky, things going on. You've been warned!

PITHY STATEMENT RELATING TO THIS CHAPTER: "A soft refusal is not always taken, but a rude one is immediately believed." – Alexander Chase – American Journalist – 1926-

LAST UPDATED ON: 01-08-2014

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CHAPTER ONE – I REFUSE

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CHANGES TO CANON: While not critical for the first chapter, all of major changes to canon are listed at the beginning of the author's notes. Many of these are on my FFnet author's profile as well. For those that don't read them, don't be surprised if you get a snarky reply to a review where I tell you that the author's notes are there for a reason.

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NORTH TOWER, HOGWARTS, SEPTEMBER 26th 1996 – AFTERNOON

The tower window gave Harry a grand view of the land around Hogwarts. It was better even than the view from his old rooms in the Gryffindor Tower. Even though see couldn't see the Quidditch pitch, he could hear the cheers and groans from the fans. That and the magnified voice of Quincy Rivers, the new announcer who was in his year from Ravenclaw who had replaced Lee Jordan. Harry gave a snort of disgust at the thought of his year since he hadn't had one class since the start of term. Funny how he had merely traded one jail cell of his relatives house for a new one here at Hogwarts.

All things considering, if Harry had a choice he probably wouldn't have it any other way.

Harry turned away from the window and wondered whimsically if he could get Dobby to fashion him an iron mask. If he was going to be trapped in a tower he should look the part, right? Harry wanted to laugh at this but he had noticed that he was starting to talk to himself or Hedwig far too much so he kept quiet.

He knew that Dumbledore was trying to break him by keeping him locked up here. Not that the Old Man would admit to that or even think to himself that is what he was actually trying to do. No, Harry was sure the Headmaster figured he'd eventually end his "youthful rebellion" eventually.

Of course little did the Headmaster know that Harry had his own reasons for allowing himself to be kept locked up in one of the many unused towers of Hogwarts. However because it was Hogwarts made it difficult for him to be alone knowing his friends where so very near. Harry was glad that he at least had Hedwig for company.

It went without saying he was upset by the charm that had been placed on her so that she was unable to carry any messages. Heaven forbid Harry might want to write to his friends! Of course Harry knew the Headmaster was probably worried he'd write to a solicitor or the goblins. Just because he needed time to deal with the aftermath of the fight at the Ministry didn't mean Harry liked not being able to write to his friends. Hermione, he was sure, was probably worried sick…but then again maybe not.

There were days when Harry felt depressed because since none of his friends had tried to communicate with him. Considering all the adventures he figured Hermione or maybe Ginny would find a way. If not them, there were plenty of smart and resourceful witches and wizards in the D.A. but it didn't look like any of them had the stones to try anything. With the Twins gone, it seemed no one had the guts to try to brave the tower to try and see him. Of course who knew what story the Headmaster and Professor McGonagall had spun to the student body after the incident on the Hogwarts Express?

As he often did, Harry reminded himself that it was more likely his friends had tried but failed. He didn't doubt that if they wanted to, teachers such as Flitwick and McGonagall could easily come up with many ways to prevent people from getting to him. In fact e wondered if his window had some sort of charm on it since he'd never seen any of the students in the Astronomy Tower ever looking his way. About the only time he saw people these days was students on the grounds or on the nearby Astronomy tower.

What bothered Harry, when he really thought about it, wasn't that nobody had contacted him but that he hadn't noticed anyone failing. He figured someone should get close enough for him to hear them be driven off. Since no one had stood at the base of the tower and magically wrote out message large enough for him to read meant that perhaps the Headmaster had convinced everyone he was not longer at Hogwarts.

Given what happened on the Hogwarts Express, perhaps they were told he was in Azkaban.

What was really worrisome (something he didn't like to dwell on) was the chance that his friends had been convinced he was up in the tower for his own good. He could see Hermione falling for this since she already had done so back in the summer before his Fifth Year but it didn't sit well with Harry that Ginny or Luna would.

If anything, Harry was sad Neville hadn't tried or succeeded if he had. He had written to Neville a lot over the summer and had talked to Neville for quite awhile waiting for the train. The once shy wizard seemed a lot more confident now especially with his new wand. Harry had felt he was almost a new person and he missed being able to hang out with the new and improved Neville.

Neville hadn't even sat with Harry on the train because he was off chatting up Susan Bones and Hannah Abbot. Harry smiled at the thought of shy Neville finally being brave enough to go after what he wanted. Once again it showed that the Sorting Hat was an amazing piece of magic. Although this did make Harry wonder, once again, about it wanting to put him in Slytherin. Perhaps there was more going on in his own head than Harry wanted to admit.

That Ron hadn't tried wasn't surprising since he might still be in St. Mungo's. Neville had written that the brains thingies which had attacked Ron were creatures called cognivores and they fed on human thoughts. Apparently studying them was one of the things the Unspeakables did. A letter in late August from Ginny had stated the Healers predicted Ron might even miss the first week or so of class while they made sure there wasn't any long term damage to his mind.

While Ron had been well enough to take the train, Harry had ended up sitting with Luna due to Ron radiating discontent and moodiness. After a summer with the Dursleys on top of Sirius' death had made Harry loathe to deal with the ginger's mood swings. While any day at the Dursleys was unpleasant, Harry counted himself lucky he hadn't ended up at the Burrow like most summers. Even if his moodiness wasn't his fault, Harry wasn't sure if he could have held off strangling the ginger after some of the comments Ron had made at the station. Who knew how putting up with him for weeks would have been?

Harry finally turned away from the window and sat back down on his bed and grabbed a book and got back to his reading. McGonagall had made sure that he had access to his school books relating to the subjects he could do while cooped up in the room. It was a shame really that the first year he had actually looked forward to potions class was the year he hadn't been able attend. He wondered what sort of teacher Slughorn was. Pompous or not, he doubted his mother would have been the potions expert she was if Slughorn taught like Snape did.

While missing potions was disappointing, it couldn't be helped. After his blow-out with Dumbledore at the beginning of term Harry just had to play the cards he had. Of course Harry hadn't been lying when he had said he wasn't going to play by the normal rules anymore. If he was stuck with a prophecy pitting him against a Dark Lord then he wasn't going to just let everyone treat him like a normal student anymore.

With this eventual date with destiny in mind, Harry had hit the books hard while brushing up on his French. Either Dumbledore didn't know or didn't care but Dobby had been able to bring him books so he wasn't dependent on the books he was allowed. Hermione, if she managed to get to see him, would be rather pleased with how much he was studying these days. Harry had found studying was actually engaging if it was the only way to actually pass the time. There was also the fact he would need the information when he finally decided to make his break for freedom.

Harry had to admit that he felt like he was learning more locked in tower of the mostly unused wing of Hogwarts. Harry thought it a bit ironic he was a few stories above the room where Fluffy had been kept. Since he was locked away from other students and none had tried to contact him, he was left to reading and teaching himself. Harry wasn't sure if the amount he had learned of late from books meant he had never applied himself or that the quality of Hogwarts teaching staff was as wretched as some said it was.

Of course considering the consequences of Voldemort attempting to possess him did make Harry wonder if he was learning or simply remembering what had been taught to Tom Riddle long ago. Even so there were limits to what he could teach himself or practice since he didn't have a wand. He hadn't had a wand since he had thrown it down on Dumbledore's desk the first day of term.

Of course given how things usually went in his life, Harry knew he was lucky his wand hadn't been snapped after what he had done to Draco.

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HOGWARTS EXPRESS, IN-TRANSIT TO HOGWARTS – SEPTEMBER 1st 1996 – AFTERNOON

Draco Malfoy's nose made a satisfying crunch as it broke under Harry's fist. As the white-haired ponce hit the floor of the hallway, his twin goons looked shocked before they belatedly remembered their job was being Draco's bodyguard. This job didn't include sitting there with their mouths wide open as their boss screamed on the floor.

Crabbe reacted first and therefore was recipient of Harry's next move which was a swift kick to the crotch. This made Crabbe make a rather odd noise which sounded like, "Derp!" as he collapsed like a marionette with its strings cut. Goyle reached out to grab Harry when he was suddenly thrown up against the door of the car by an unseen force. Luckily for him Harry had chosen the last compartment of the car and so he didn't have far to go before smashing into it. Like Crabbe, he hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. Unlike his counterpart, who was grabbing his crotch and moaning in pain, Goyle was no longer conscious.

Harry could hear the shocked gasps from down the corridor. Obviously everyone in the car had seen Draco and his thugs walk down to his compartment and had stuck their heads out to watch the show. Once again no one had done or said anything to warn him. Heaven forbid they were denied their dose of drama!

This angered an already enraged Harry. He reached down and roughly grabbed the bleeding Malfoy and hustled him up against the door across from his own compartment. A quartet of what looked like Third Year girls held each other and tried to get as far away from the door as they could due he look in Harry's eyes. Harry ignored them as he slapped the struggling teen to shut him up and then easily batted Draco's wand away down the corridor when the frightened Slytherin tried to raise it.

Harry looked into Draco's eyes; eyes which were wide with shock and fear. There was a Harry Potter that would have relished getting that look from Draco. There was another Harry Potter who would be ashamed at what he had allowed the Slytherin to provoke him into doing. Today, however, the Harry holding Draco by the throat didn't feel amusement or shame. If Draco could have been asked what he thought Harry was feeling, the teen would have had to say murderous rage.

"You don't know when to stop, do you Draco? I defeating your master Voldemort back in First Year and you don't stop with the comments. I took your house elf from your dad and you don't stop. I beat you down in Quidditch and you don't stop. Only through the actions of a bitter girl did you find out that I hid a group of people I was training from the Inquisitorial Squad for months and you don't stop. I've gone toe-to-toe with dementors, a dragon and a bloody basilisk and you don't stop. With only five other students I beat your dad, eleven other Death Eaters and oh, yeah, Voldemort again AND STILL YOU DON'T KNOW WHEN TO STOP!"

Draco tried to speak but whether to plead or scream the onlookers couldn't tell. A collective gasp went down the corridor as Harry's wand seemed to just appear in his hand. They saw Harry raise it to where it was pointing right between Draco's eyes. Draco gave an audible gulp and fell silent.

"Right there, Draco. That's the point where they hit animals to put them down which I think needs to be done as you obviously cannot be taught. What? No snappy comebacks about my godfather's death? Nothing about him being put down like a rabid dog? Why not Draco? Maybe because you realize to me you are nothing but an annoying, yappy dog like my Aunt Marge has. Do you know how much I hate that fucking piece of shite of a dog, Draco? I hate it almost as much as I do you," Harry said in an even tone which still manage to be filled with menace.

Draco could do little but vainly try to break Harry's magically enhanced grip. His breath came out in choked gasps.

Harry seemed not to take any notice of Draco's slow asphyxiation. In a voice as cold as the snowy peaks around Hogwarts he simply kept on talking to the Slytherin as if he wasn't slowly killing him. "Of course you are just a piece of shite as well, Draco. You are just a turd that I keep stepping on in between fights with your precious Dark Lord. I have always been able to just scrape you off my boot and now I'm going to prove it."

"Harry, stop!"

Harry didn't even blink at the shouted command, "What spell to use? Or do I even need a spell? Doesn't Snivellus always tell us tools ritually bathed in the right blood work better? I could just put my wand through your eye right now and who knows what I could do with it then?"

"Harry, I'm warning you!"

"Of course why would I want to soil my wand with any of your blood? Bad enough my wand has had troll bogeys on them. So I guess that leaves spells. Any preferences?" Harry asked with a smile that had absolutely nothing to do with mirth. Draco's' mouth worked but nothing intelligible came out.

"Harry, if you don't release Malfoy then I...I'll be f-forced to stop you!"

Harry eyes quickly glanced down the corridor to see Hermione holding her wand on him. He saw how unsteady it was. Her prefect badge made Harry briefly think of Percy. There was another git who would get what was coming to him soon enough!

His eyes, the color of the death curse itself, turned back to Draco, "Ah Draco, I guess you've just been granted a stay of execution. However how about we send you off with an old favorite as a fun parting gift?" Harry said as he suddenly tossed Draco down the corridor towards Hermione who yelped and leaped backwards. As he had unconsciously done with Goyle, his wandless magic helped him toss the Slytherin with ease. Harry's wand came slashing down, "Serpensortia!"

Screams echoed down the corridor and Hermione gave out a startled gasp as a huge snake, the likes of which she had never seen, erupted from Harry's wand. It landed on the groaning Crabbe and slithered off him towards Draco who was struggling to crawl around Hermione to get away from it. Harry's mouth moved and everyone heard the evil-sounding parseltongue commands he gave. Then, to everyone's surprise, Harry simply turned and went back into his compartment. The snake reared up and hissed at Draco and then lunged forward.

Harry sat down as Draco's screams could be heard mingling with Hermione's attempts to defend him from the snake. He looked out the window at the countryside as it whizzed by. The other two people in the compartment were a picture of opposites. The first was the young Irish Muggleborn, Ciara ó Conchobhair, from Castlewellan who Harry had helped earlier to get through to Platform 9¾ since she and her family had never been out of Ireland before. They had been as lost amid the bustle of King's Cross as he had been back in his First Year. She had blushed prettily as Harry commented how beautiful her name was but how it must be a pain to spell. Ciara told him it was merely Gaelic for O'Conner.

The excited, giggly girl was gone now. She was obviously terrified by what had just happened. The other occupant of the compartment was Luna Lovegood who looked as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. She finished the article in the Quibbler she had been reading seemingly oblivious to the screams coming from out in the corridor.

After folding her paper and stowing it in her bag, Luna cocked her head to the side and looked over at brooding teen. "You know Harry, I am not sure that was very nice to use a Tandalore Jungle snake. They are difficult to control since they are so resistant to magic. That and their bite is very, very painful...oh" Luna seemed to realize what she was saying and decided to drop it.

Harry turned to Luna, "I don't want to talk about any of that shite, Luna. Tell me about yourself. Did you have a good summer? I know you didn't get to go to Sweden this year but I hope you got to have some fun after what happened at the Ministry." While Harry was sort of interested in Luna's summer, he just wanted to get her talking. There was something different about her and he couldn't quite put his finger on it other than she wasn't wearing her ubiquitous butterbeer cork necklace or her radish earrings.

Luna gave a wide smile while Ciara gave a sort of gurgle at how the two where being so calm when it had sounded like Draco was being slowly fed into a Muggle wood-chipper from the sound of his screams. Before Luna could launch into her summer exploits the compartment door was thrown open.

A wild-eyed Hermione looked down at the Boy-Who-Lived. Her robe was torn with some blood spattered upon it. Her prefect badge was askew and she was shaking. Her voice seemed to be two octaves higher than normal when she exclaimed, "Harry, what have you done?"

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HEADMASTER'S OFFICE, HOGWARTS, SEPTEMBER 1st 1996 - EVENING

"I will not be denied, Headmaster! I demand that Potter not only be expelled but given over to the Ministry so he can be thrown into Azkaban!" Snape shouted. He was livid that Dumbledore seemed to be taking the attempted murder of one of his House so cavalierly.

"Please calm down, Severus, for while I am indeed old I am hardly deaf." Dumbledore's normal cheery voice was strained and to those who knew him might even say he was almost sounding a bit peevish. It was often difficult to deal with Severus and tonight was certainly proving to be one of those nights.

"I will not calm down! Merlin's beard, have you seen what Potter did to Mr. Malfoy? Pomfrey says it will be days before he can leave the hospital wing! Not only was that snake magically resistant, its bite and venom are as well! Pomfrey is practically at her wits end trying to keep his wounds from reopening!" Snape retorted. "You are acting like this is some schoolyard brawl when it was obviously a shameless attack!"

For those in the know, the unstated accusation was that Snape was expecting him to sweep it under the attack under the rug as he had done with James, Sirius and Remus during the Shrieking Shack incident. It was obvious that Snape didn't want this to happen again.

"An attack I must point out in which your student provoked, Severus!" McGonagall interrupted hotly. "I'm not condoning Mr. Potter's action but what do you expect to happen when he is cornered and provoked over the death of his godfather? We all know how dangerous teenagers with wands are at the best of times. Considering all the damage Mr. Potter did to this office before leaving I think Mr. Malfoy was foolhardy to go anywhere near the boy! I shudder to think what might have happened if Ms. Granger hadn't intervened. I've said time and time again a teacher should be present on the Express to prevent just these types of incidents!"

A dry cough caught everyone's attention. Dumbledore was a bit surprised that it was Sinestra since she rarely spoke at faculty meetings, even emergency ones. She preferred the solitude of the Astronomy tower.

The pale woman spoke in a measured voice even if it was soft and a bit breathy. "Headmaster, I believe we have a bit more of a pressing problem and a mystery considering we had the heirs to two politically important Houses fighting. While Heir Potter hasn't taken up the option of becoming head of his house due to his status as an orphan, the fact remains his status puts more weight on his attack on Heir Malfoy and though it to House Malfoy. There will be political ramifications of this and I doubt we will be able to keep the Ministry out of it. With that...woman Umbridge freshly gone, I am distressed to think the Ministry could again interfere here in Hogwarts so soon afterwards."

"You said there was a mystery, Aurora. What did you mean?" Flitwick asked.

Dumbledore was interested in what his Astronomy teacher was thinking of as well. The political ramifications were bad enough especially with almost half the Board of Governors in Lucius' pocket. Even in Azkaban, Lucius Malfoy's reach was long.

Sinestra frowned. "With the death of Sirius Black, most expected that House Black should fall to young Draco due to his patrilinear claim. I know many Light side families have been dreading Sirius Black's death because Draco's line comes via Pollux to Cygnus and then through Narcissa whereas the next closest male, that being Mr. Potter, line comes from Pollux's sister Dorea. However Mr. Malfoy has not been declared head of House Black."

"Well there is the fact that Black made Mr. Potter his heir. Plus the question of patrilineal descent is muddled a bit Aurora. The Wizengamot still has not been able to definitely rule on the exact inheritance rules," Charity Burbage said from her chair next to Septima Vesper. Unlike the four Heads, the rest of the staff rarely had much to contribute so it was interesting to Dumbledore to hear from others beyond usual four.

Sinestra spread her hands, "Yes that is true, Charity. Given how Mr. Potter is descended of a son of a Black whereas Mr. Draco is descended from daughter of a Black. Never could understand why this would matter given how Dorea to Charles to James to Harry compared to Pollux to Cygnus to Narcissa to Draco given modern understanding of genetics both magical and Muggle."

Dumbledore chuckled, "Old ways are often not rooted in any sort of logic. As the Chief Warlock I can assure you that given the back-and-forth between the Wizengamot, the Ministry, the Great Houses and Gringotts makes for a byzantine entanglement of conflicting interests. I am not surprised a house as old as House Black would have a contested inheritance."

"Be that as it may, Headmaster, the mystery is that regardless of who takes up House Black, both Heir Potter and Heir Malfoy are in the running and thus Mr. Potter should not have been able to attack Mr. Malfoy as he did," Sinestra pointed out smoothly. "We all know all of greater Houses have protections which have evolved with the house magicks. Attacks by potential heirs is prevented. The magicks of House Black should have prevented Mr. Potter from using the potentially deadly spell he used. Even if it couldn't prevent the attack, Mr. Potter should be suffering similar to breaking an oath or magical contract."

"It is possible that perhaps with Lucius attacking Mr. Potter in addition to Bellatrix actually killing the Head of her original House has given Mr. Potter more leeway given he is the designated heir," Slughorn pointed out before taking another drink of mead from an ornate mug. "Plus there is the old vendetta between the two Houses. Not many outside the Unspeakables really know how it has played out over the last 1,000 years or so."

"And this matters how?" Sprout interrupted hotly before Slughorn could go on. She turned angrily to Dumbledore, "Frankly Headmaster I think we are wasting far too much time on this. Give Potter a year's worth of detentions or give him to the Ministry. I'm tired of how Mr. Potter and the whole Gryffindor versus Slytherin feud detracts from us doing our job which is to teach students!" Sprout said angrily.

Sinestra continued as if the head of Hufflepuff House hadn't spoken. "We are still left with the question of why Heir Potter was able to attack Heir Malfoy. Given he wasn't magically prevented in his attack might imply justification of some manner. That is the mystery, Filius, that I speak of. Mr. Potter is already marked by Fate as the Headmaster has hinted over the years. Perhaps we are seeing more of this playing out. We must be cautious not to punish what may be written into the stars."

Dumbledore sighed, "Mystery or not, you are quite right that the Ministry will be involved. Even with Lucius off the Board of Governors and in Azkaban, the news of the attack has galvanized his allies. It has not helped that Minister Fudge has used his leverage with the Daily Prophet to pillory Mr. Potter all summer. However, I will not allow another repeat of last year. The attack happened on the Hogwarts Express and thus it falls under school jurisdiction. Now that the Dark Lord is confirm to be back, I doubt the Minister would be so foolish as to challenge me on this."

Dumbledore looked over his half-moon glass and his gaze had none of the twinkle one normally saw. "Therefore, we will apply harsh corrective actions against Mr. Potter and we shall wait to respond to whatever Ministry response which is surely forthcoming."

Seeing Snape about to burst Dumbledore cut him off, "We have a volatile situation which must be controlled. The actions of the Inquisitional Squad, students mostly from your House Severus, left a great deal of resentment among the student body. With all of the rumors of Voldemort's return, the matter has polarized the already tense situation at Hogwarts even more. I am sure all of you noticed now Mr. Potter's action affected the students during the Welcome Feast?"

All the teachers nodded at this. The energy in the Great Hall had been one of a supersaturated potion that only needed a slight catalyst to spark it off into an explosion. Many in the hall were thankful that the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables sat between those of Slytherin and Gryffindor or a brawl might have taken place. As it was, there had been a few scuffles as the students were going up to their common rooms. It probably would have been worse if Harry had eaten in the Great Hall instead of in the kitchens.

Dumbledore let this sink in a bit before looking at his Potion Master. "Now Severus, I have been quite lenient over the years in regards to your behavior toward Mr. Potter. In this matter, let me make myself quite clear. His punishments will fit his actions. However, your student made a very bad judgment call in provoking Mr. Potter after the death of his godfather. While I deplore his actions, I must agree with Minerva that it could have been much worse. Mr. Malfoy is lucky Ms. Granger is such an accomplished witch."

Dumbledore looked at all the Heads in turn, "Given that none of the other prefects thought to use or even remembered where the emergency bezoars are kept shows we need to train our prefects a bit more carefully in the future. I believe Minerva may be right and in these dark times we will have to have a teacher on the train."

Dumbledore paused before looking back to Snape who was still fuming, "Severus, you will caution your Slytherins that any reprisals against Mr. Potter or any other Gryffindor will dealt with harshly. Minerva, this applies to your House as well. We must calm things down! So Severus you will abide by whatever punishments I and Minerva see fit to give Mr. Potter and you will not take any punitive actions against Mr. Potter in class. Is this clear?"

"No"

All eyes turned to the boy sitting quietly by Fawkes' perch. They had all, quite frankly, forgotten Harry had been in the room the entire time. In fact he had barely said a word since he had been brought in by McGonagall.

"Excuse me, Harry?" Dumbledore said genially.

OoOoO

Harry's gaze was a mirror of the cold mask that he had had on the train when he was contemplating the best way to hurt Draco. "Headmaster, I said no and I will say it again if you didn't hear it the first time. If you like I can also say non, nein, nyet and no fucking way."

Most of the teachers looked at the teen with confusion. "No to what, my boy?" Dumbledore asked, ignoring the rest.

"I said no to you punishing me. I said no to Snape being civil to me because I'm not going to his class anymore. I said 'no' because I am going to walk out your door, find Hedwig and see if I can get transferred to Beauxbatons." Harry said with little in the way of inflection.

A collective shocked gasp came from most of the assembled teachers except for Snape whose sneer was firmly in place.

McGonagall recovered the quickest, "Mr. Potter, I know you have recently been through a traumatic event and..."

"You don't know shite, Professor!" Harry interrupted. "None of you know anything about me. You have never taken the time to and you have no idea what is like to be me. To listen to you talk about me like I wasn't even here just disgusts me! I said no and I mean it. I am through with you all, I'm through with Hogwarts, I'm through with the fickle public, I'm through with the Ministry and I'm through with Britain. I'm leaving."

"Now see here Potter..." Sprout began hotly only to be cut off again by the teen.

"No Professor, it is you who do not see. You all never saw the abuse I lived with since I was two and then every summer after coming here. Did any of you ever care enough to find out that I didn't even know my name wasn't freak or boy till I was five years old? How my room was a cupboard under the stairs till I got my Hogwarts letter? How come Madame Pomfrey can tell when a kid is trying to skive off class but she couldn't see the bruises from the beatings I got or how I was practically starved all of my life?"

Harry gestured at Snape, "You turned a blind eye to this bastard who couldn't see past my father's face and so has messed with me since my first days here. Of course there was last year when he spent a good amount of time raping my mind under the pretext of teaching me occlumension! Given what I know now, telling me clear my mind and then smashing into my memories did nothing but shred any natural defenses I had. Given how these made it easy for Voldemort sent images into my head which directly led to my godfather's death, well it seems you finally got your wish to see him dead, didn't you Snivellus?"

Snape's pale face almost seemed to gain some normal color as most in the room looked at him due to Harry's accusation.

Harry didn't let up, "You don't see what I have in front of me in the form of my fate because our beloved Headmaster thinks living with abusive relatives is a normal childhood. Then he waits five years before telling me about a prophecy which says it's me or Voldemort just so I can have a happy childhood. Any half-pissed git could have see that I lived in an abusive house so how was I to have a care-free childhood? So tell me Professor, what am I supposed to see?"

Dumbledore suddenly stood and towered over his desk, "Mr. Potter, this is not the time or the place for youthful rebellion and I would remind you that many good wizard and witches have died to protect that secret you so blithely mention without my permission!"

Harry gave a mirthless laugh, "You permission? I'm sorry, I didn't realize I needed to ask, 'by your leave' before talking about my so-called-life. If you don't want to me talking about me how about we discuss you? Let's talk about how you kept me away from my godfather's funeral? Do you know what it is like to hear that my own godfather had wanted me to be his heir from fucking Malfoy? Do you think I wanted to learn some of the unpleasant truths about my life by having Voldemort try to possess me, a possession that wouldn't have happened if you had told me earlier about the prophecy?"

Harry looked around the office a bit while the adults were looking shocked. "I see you cleaned the place up since the last time I was here. Do I need to blow it up again before you listen to me? Well listen carefully now, I am through with all of this. I reject you and I reject that stupid prophecy. Marked or not, you're going to have to use Neville because I'm leaving! Consider what Professor Sinestra just said, I should be Lord Potter now. When was someone going to mention that to me?"

Harry stared down the room, noting how at least Flitwick had the grace to look a bit embarrassed. McGonagall, on the other hand was giving him an uncharacteristically venomous look.

Harry continued; his voice controlled and cold. "So in the light of me be eligible to take over House Potter, I'm going to Gringotts, I'm getting my family ring, my gold and I'm leaving this godforsaken island to Voldemort. I'm seventeen now and have completed my OWLs. I am not legally bound to continue my education so there is nothing stopping me from leaving."

Before anyone could respond to this Harry leaned against the Headmaster's desk, green eyes looking up into watery blue, "But of course this really isn't about my schooling and never has been. It's all about the prophecy, isn't it Headmaster? I'm the marked one, the supposed Chosen one. Well considering how it seems to me most of England won't get off their arse to protect themselves and everyone else seems to expect me to swoop in and save the day, I figure Voldemort can have the lot of you. I refuse the role of savior to a bunch of back-stabbing bigots who think whatever the Daily Prophet tells them too!"

"I've had enough of this foolishness!" exclaimed Snape who had his wand out in one fluid motion. The stunning spell he was about to cast died unspoken as he realized Harry's wand was already pointed right between his eyes. None save Dumbledore and Flitwick (who still had his senses sharpened by years as a champion dueler) had barely seen Harry move.

"Enough! Severus! Harry! Lower your wands! This is getting out of hand! Emotions are high and I will not have it! Minerva, take Mr. Potter to his quarters and we can deal with this tomorrow when we have all had a time to cool off." Dumbledore commanded.

Harry's wand didn't waiver nor did Snape's. Flitwick eyes narrowed as he saw the murderous intent flash between the two and a quick flick of his own wand pushed the two apart and broke the moment.

"Ah, thank you Filius. Now, as I said, Harry please go with Minerva to your room and we will talk in the morning. Things will be easier to discuss then, my boy." Dumbledore said kindly.

Harry turned to Dumbledore. "No, I said I was leaving and I meant it."

McGonagall sighed, "Mr. Potter, you are not going anywhere and you are certainly not going to leave Hogwarts for Beauxbatons. Why the very idea!"

Harry locked eyes with the Headmaster. "So you are saying that you are not going to allow me to leave? That you are going to keep me, an adult with OWLs, from going where I wish? My I didn't realize 'for the greater good' had transitioned from allowed child abuse to kidnapping!"

Dumbledore looked a bit troubled, "Now Harry these are dangerous times and if you leave the school it is highly likely that the Ministry would have you in Azkaban before the night was over."

Harry face broke into a nasty smile, "But Headmaster, if I am indeed Lord Potter, then I can't be sent to Azkaban without a trial especially now that it's come out that is exactly what happened to Sirius. I doubt any of the other Houses want that precedent to be set especially given I'm a Head. I will cheerfully plead my case before the Wizengamot and take my chances on Azkaban. Of course if I am supposedly the only one who can defeat Voldemort I'm not sure how I'm supposed to do that locked in a cell surrounded by Dementors. So again, unless I am a prisoner here, then I'm leaving."

Sprout had had enough, "Listen Potter, you are here to go to school and that's where you are going to stay."

Harry turned, "I refuse. I have decided that I no longer wish to learn magic here in Britain. If that isn't enough for you than you can expel me. Or not considering I've yet to take a class and I'm not legally required to take my NEWTs. I think volunteering to leave should mean I get my tuition returned to my vault, yes?"

The teachers all looked at Harry like he had grown another head.

Harry shrugged, "Since I have my OWLs already it's not like the Ministry is going to snap my wand. I'm out of here and you can all sod off for all I care. You and the rest of the magical world. If none of the other magical schools will take me than I'll just go Muggle since the allure of magic is rapidly losing its luster to me. I can fake my age well enough to get into the military as a cook or something. I'd rather be slinging hash in Bosnia than stay one minute more here."

Dumbledore's voice had lost all its customary warmth, "Harry, listen to me. You are not leaving Hogwarts and until we sort all of this out you will go to class and you will accept whatever disciplinary actions for your attack on Mr. Malfoy we sit fit to impose upon you."

Harry glared at the Headmaster for a moment and all the Professors and portraits watching were sure the teen would back down. In one quick action, Harry threw his wand down on the Headmasters desk. "I refuse," he said flatly and turned to McGonagall. "I don't think I'll be staying in Gryffindor tower again so will you kindly show me to my cell?"

XxXxX

NORTH TOWER, HOGWARTS, SEPTEMBER 26th 1996 – AFTERNOON

Harry face bore a satisfied smile as he remembered the look on McGonagall's face that night. He had been so cross with her when he realized that she had tried to take him to Gryffindor tower. So he just stopped and wouldn't go any further. It had taken her awhile to realize that he hadn't been kidding when he said he was refusing to play by Hogwarts rules anymore. It wasn't till he challenged her to see if her Imperious Curse would work any better than Barty Crouch Junior's had she finally got a clue he wasn't going to budge!

Oh how she had raged! She had tried to act the stern deputy headmistress. She had tried to act the caring grandmother. He had been deaf to it all. It wasn't till he called for Dobby to bring him a blanket so he could sleep on one of the hall benches did she finally bring him to one of the rooms used to house married students or emancipated lords. Harry had snarked how appropriate the room was considering his actual status.

Harry missed that room. It had been far nicer than what he was in now. He had been rather unceremoniously put in his current room later the next day and had been stuck in the drafty room ever since. He wasn't sure but he felt that this had been an office for a teacher since it had adjoining sleeping quarters with a bathroom to include a shower. Whoever had had this office must have been pretty low on the status ladder. Harry wondered if it had been Slughorn's old office since it matched his description of being cramped and drafty. That it had a potions lab attached to it seemed to bear this out as well. Of course without any potion ingredients, the lab wasn't doing Harry any good.

The overall discomfort of the room just reinforced the idea that he was a prisoner and that was fine by Harry. He had meant it when he said he wasn't going to play the part everyone seemed to need him to play. Harry felt he was trapped acting in a play where everyone else had the program for and he was tired of it. Forcing them to keep him locked up was at least more honest than the manipulative crap he had been fed ever since his First Year.

Harry got back to his self-imposed lesson plan. While he didn't have his wand, he wasn't about to give up on magic. He wouldn't put it past some of the Slytherins or even Snape himself to have a go at him. While he had been honest when he said he was willing to give it all up and be a Royal Army cook working at some IFOR base in Bosnia, he wasn't going to lower his guard a millimeter till he was safely away. Plus while it was an appealing idea to actually go through with his threat and chuck it all, Harry knew this really wasn't an option. Harry doubted magical players like Voldemort and Dumbledore would ever allow him any peace.

For right now, however, being locked up worked to Harry's advantage. He had time to read, meditate and practice his magic all the time getting three good meals a day he didn't have to make like he used to back at the Dursleys. As much as it was fun to shock everyone back in the Headmaster's office about leaving, Harry knew he wasn't quite ready to make a break for freedom. While he could have just kept his mouth shut that night and snuck out later, Harry knew that without money or much of a plan he would have been caught very quickly.

He didn't put it past Dumbledore to have some sort of tracking charms on him or his stuff. Harry knew he would if he was in the Headmaster's shoes. Even if he had made it out of Hogwarts, it was obvious that he would have had to go to Gringotts and between the aurors and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry didn't think he would have made it in to see the goblins before they nabbed him.

Even if he just grabbed the Chunnel to France, the French Ministry would probably extradite him considering that Dumbledore was the Supreme Mugwump of the European Confederation of Magical States. France, however, was still on his list of possible places since he figured the Delacours might help him out considering what he did for Gabrielle and Fleur back in the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

Of course he had other issues to deal with beyond his eventual break for freedom. Dumbledore had totally misread what had happened back at the fight at the Ministry in regards to Voldemort. He seemed to think Harry's pure soul had cast Voldemort out tainted one. What a laugh! In looking back now he realized how Snake Face had been lucky to get away at all. If Harry had known then what he knew now, Voldemort wouldn't have been so lucky.

In the relative peace of Privet Drive, Harry had been able to think about a lot of things. Vernon and Petunia seemed to sense that he wasn't going to take any shit from them and so just avoided him. Harry had done chores like cooking and gardening without being asked if only for the routine of it. Hacking at nine months of weeds and making omelets in the morning helped get him up and moving. Otherwise it would have been easy to just stay in his room and think.

Harry had done that for the first day or two before he realized that it would be very easy for him to actually starve to death by being so wrapped up in processing what was in his head. He had called Dobby and been pleased that the little elf had been happy to bring him food and remind him to shower or go out and do his planned chores.

If Harry had to write out his thoughts he could have overwritten an entire Britannica set. So many things came and went with hardly any time for him to really process them. His grief over Sirius, his worry about his friends and the new rage against the Headmaster made a difficult task that much harder. Plus where would anyone learn how to deal with having another person's life and soul being merged with yours?

Harry laughed at this and remembered the other reason he didn't like to talk to himself or laugh; of late his laugh often sounded like Riddle from the diary. That was problem; it probably was a bit of Riddle's laugh because Harry was now more Tom Riddle than Voldemort was.

Harry glanced at the mirror over his writing desk. He couldn't help it. He kept expecting to see Riddle's face except his own. It had already happened twice although Harry was pretty confident that it had been unintentional on his part. His limited metamorphmagus skills were just another new thing after his bound magic was released when Voldemort tried to possess him. Tonks had once told him that metamorphmagi like her were rare but limited ones were a bit more common especially in the Black line. It had come as a shock but at least it was something he could understand.

After thinking about it since June, Harry was relatively sure he knew what was going on. First, at some point for reasons unknown Dumbledore had bound his magic. He knew young children sometimes had this done to keep them from exposing their magic to Muggles. Since the Dursleys hated magic this might have just been a prudent move on the Headmasters part to protect him.

However from what he knew, you never kept someone's magic bound during their school years. This was doubly important since puberty and sexual hormone increases needed to be synched with the maturing magical core of the teen. So while the binding made sense at the beginning, keeping him bound made no sense at all. If he was supposed to defeat Voldemort, why limit his power at all? Any answers Harry had come up with all sounded either paranoid or just wrong.

Harry wondered if his very flat interest in girls had been because of his magic not synching with his body. He knew there had been plenty of rumors floating around that he was gay considering how many girls there were who would bend over backwards to shag the Boy-Who-Lived if he just asked. To guys like Seamus (and Ron too, Harry thought guiltily) that Harry never took any of the gals up on that was practically proof he was a poof.

Second Harry knew that his curse scar was more than he had been told if the Old Man had even known. It was a horcrux...or at least it had been. When Voldemort had tried to possess him, he had accidentally unbound his magic. Also in the process of throwing Voldemort out of his mind and soul, Harry had made a startling discovery: he had two pieces of Voldemort's soul in him!

One was a small piece which had been a horcrux in the form of his curse scar while the other (a much larger piece) was a soul fragment which Harry could only describe as being Tom Riddle's. He could not explain how he knew but it just felt the smaller piece was more Voldemort and the other as more Riddle.

How this had happened took a while to figure out. Luckily each day brought a better handle on another "gift" he had from Voldemort which was memories. Harry had a good chunk of Voldemort's recent memories as well as more and more of his memories from when he was just Tom Riddle. All of these were becoming clearer in his head all of the time.

Harry knew it was good that he had these memories because it brought him proper knowledge of occlumension and lectiomension. With this knowledge he realized how badly Snape had been when trying to occlude his mind. Lectiomension was proving critical to help sort these new memories as well as wall them off so he didn't drown in Riddle's life. Considering how he had accidentally seen some of Snape's memories during his so called occlumension lessons, Harry wasn't surprised he ended up with a copy of so much of Voldemort's. They had been sort of merged for a bit during their mental battle.

How all this came to pass Harry wasn't sure. Yes after a great deal of reflection it seemed to Harry from Voldemort's memories and the two soul fragments was Riddle had made a critical mistake when he made his first horcrux. This turned out to be the diary Harry had destroyed in the Chamber of Secrets. For some reason Riddle seemed to think every horcrux he made would have an equal amount of his soul.

As it turned out, each successive soul fragment was weaker than before. To Harry it seemed that making a horcrux leached something out of the soul. So when another horcrux was made, it had less to work with. It reminded Harry of some of the hand-outs back in primary school. They would, more than not, be hard to read because they were copies of a copy taken from another copy.

In the case of the Diary, it was obvious that Voldemort wasn't content to make a back-up copy of himself. No, he seemed to have purposefully pushed parts of himself (memories and feelings) into the horcrux. Knowing what he did now, Harry realized it wasn't the rebirthing ritual which made Voldemort look so twisted. His new body was a reflection of his soul missing so much.

What would have surprised Voldemort if he knew was when a horcrux was destroyed, the soul fragment would bind with another fragment of the same soul if it was close enough. Thus Harry when destroyed the diary, the release soul fragment attached itself to the scar fragment. With so much of Voldemort's original human feelings and a lot of his memories, one could say Harry was more Tom Riddle than Voldemort!

It also explained why the larger piece felt more like Riddle and the smaller one like Voldemort. By the time the scar fragment was inadvertently made, Voldemort's soul was a shadow of its original potency. Harry wondered if this was why the Dark Lord seemed almost cartoonish in his evil ways. Perhaps he had given up (purposefully or not) the part which would make him realize how silly he often sounded when making his threats.

After Harry had worked this out he belatedly realized how Voldemort had almost been destroyed when he tried to possess Harry. The pull of what was left of Voldemort's soul was drawn to what was already in Harry. While he might have a corporeal body, it wasn't his original and so Voldemort's soul wasn't as firmly tethered to it as it would be in his original body. Given how he had used Harry's own blood to resurrect himself just added to the pull on his soul when he trying to fully possess Harry's body enough to try and force Dumbledore to kill him.

Dumbledore had thought his supposed purity of soul was why Voldemort had fled. In retrospect it was nothing of the sort. It had been a combination of Harry trying to throw the Dark Lord out of his mind along with Voldemort panicking and trying to keep from being absorbed into the soul fragments already in Harry. However in the mental battle between Voldemort Harry had inadvertently leached the soul fragment out of the curse scar and merged it with the Diary fragment. The combined soul piece was linked to Harry's own soul. In time perhaps it would be absorbed. Who knew? Harry didn't think it was something which had ever happened before.

This had led to the third discovery. First, Harry found that being linked to Voldemort had nothing to do with him being a Parselmouth. Why Dumbledore had never seen fit to tell him it was a trait found occasionally in many of the older families and in countries like India it was seen as a good thing Harry would never know. He was a bit brassed off at Parvati; she could have mentioned it to him as well. He didn't get to see Padma as often so she at least had an excuse.

With his magic unbound, things had gotten weird for him. The first time his limited metamorphmagus powers happened wasn't very limited. To his horror, Harry had woken from a dream filled with fragments of Riddle's life to find himself looking exactly like the phantasm of Riddle from the Diary. Yet the shock of seeing this in the mirror caused Harry to revert.

While this had happened twice more, consciously Harry found he couldn't do much more than some minor changes to his body like his nose, ears or color of his eyes or hair. It did explain why his hair had always grown back after Petunia had hacked away at it.

Harry wasn't sure why he could become a copy of Riddle when he couldn't change into anyone else but he suspected it was because of the soul fragment. After a week of experimenting Harry found he could shift into Riddle's format if he spent about twenty minutes of intense concentration willing the change. The problem is he was invariably drained after he did it. Luckily changing his hair color or lengthen his fingernails seemed easy by comparison and didn't knock him out magically. While being able to look like Riddle would probably come in handy some day it also creeped him out.

When Harry wasn't reading or organizing his mind, he practiced his wandless magic. Without a wand it was the only magic he could do. Luckily his recently acquired memories showed how Voldemort felt most Magicals were sheep for just accepting what they heard about magic without a wand. Harry remembered Ollivander saying how the wand choose the wizard but Voldemort had soon learned how wrong this was.

The magic was in the wizard and it called to the wand. While a wand (or the old time staffs) focused the magic, it wasn't essential. Harry found memories of many examples Voldemort had found (mainly in the Far East) of many Magicals who could do extraordinary magic without their wands.

While it was true Voldemort was powerful, Harry realized a lot of his mystique came from being able to do magic without using his wand. Considering how Hogwarts pretty much taught this was impossible unless you were someone like Merlin it was no surprise this had enhanced the Dark Lord's image. Thinking on some of the things he had read over the various summers in the library while hiding from Dudley and his gang cast the idea of wandless magic in a new light to Harry. So much of magic was intent and Harry wondered if Britons had such a hard time with wandless magic simply because they had always been told it was practically impossible.

Since Harry was Muggle-raised, he hadn't thought too much about it. He had accepted it when Professors like McGonagall lectured on the subject but Harry accepted it on the same level he did with anything magic. So he felt he lacked the mental block most Magical raised kids had. If he ever managed to have another D.A. lesson again, Harry felt it would be interesting to get most of the Muggleborn and raised together and test out some wandless magic drills. Except for Hermione and her acceptance of authority, Harry felt they'd do well, especially the younger students.

Of course, mental block or not, wandless magic required lots of time to practice and lots of power. Luckily for Harry he had both. So while the rest of the school watched Gryffindor playing Slytherin, Harry was again sifting through the Dark Lord's memories while practicing a form of magic which most people felt was nigh impossible.

When he finally did make a break for it, Harry knew how the press and the public would act. If Harry started to display the magic he had "learned" from Voldemort while using wandless magic it was going to cause a sensation. That he wasn't going to be Dumbledore's Golden Boy anymore would most certainly get him painted as a budding Dark Lord again.

Harry wondered how many people like Seamus would again go back to thinking him deranged and dangerous. With what happened on the Express, it may have happened already. It was bad enough Harry had to deal with Voldemort and his Death Eaters but the rest of Magical Britain would probably be against him as well.

This just hardened Harry's resolve to leave Britain. While he couldn't just ignore the prophecy, Harry had decided he'd rather gather allies elsewhere who would accept Harry for who he was and not what his so-called legend said about him. Harry figured the Delacour family would be a big help here and he might see about getting a hold of Bill and Charlie Weasley since they were both abroad. Hell since Viktor Krum was a good bloke he might have some great contacts as well.

Harry looked out the window to see the occasional figure on a broom fly up past the tree line hiding the Quidditch patch. He wondered how many sitting in the stadium would see him as Harry the Boy-Who-Lived coming to save them or Harry the Dark Lord with his invading army of foreign wizards? He sighed; he seemed saddled with an unworthy lot. So different than the stories he'd read while hiding out from Dudley and his gang in the library. In the stories it always seemed there was plenty of good people who just needed a leader. In Harry's case they seemed on only want a scapegoat and someone to do the work for them.

Harry turned away from the window and went back to his studies. He had to remind himself he wasn't going to save Magical Britain no matter what the Daily Prophet said when they liked him. He was going to avenge his parents, his godfather and all those who had suffered under Voldemort. After that he would probably be shut of Britain. If the likes of the Malfoys were the toast of society, it was a society he wanted nothing to do with.

Harry just wanted to be free. Free from the prophecy, public expectations and one certain Old Man with half-moon glasses and a twinkle in his eye.

XxXxX

Chapter Two Preview: Harry gets a surprise visitor to his tower and starts to learn more about the lies which have surrounded his life.

XxXxX

A/N: Since this is my most-read story, lots of author's notes. I really encourage everyone to read them. I don't just put them in to show people I'm clever or something. I was a military intelligence analyst for 15 years and I am used to anticipating questions. So before you review, there is a good chance I may have answered your questions already.

HP & The Rejected Path: This story came about due to a challenge to write characters (especially fanon ones like Daphne Greengrass) in a new way. I CANNOT stress this enough. So while many of the characters I used here eventually show up similar in my other fics (Lilith Moon and Katie Bell being the biggest) the characters are intentionally written different than I normally would. It was part of the challenge. So all you Hermione fans, chill out. I don't hate the character.

Changes to Canon: For most of my stories there are certain changes to the main canon I use. For this story, pretty much everything which happen up to Book 6 prior to the Express ride happened as in canon. Below are the notable exceptions. However, as with all my stories, there is a lot of things Harry thinks he's seen or knows about in canon but there is more going on behind the scenes.

Character Ages: Why aren't there any pre-Hogwarts magical training? Because the kids have to be closer to puberty so their magic can grow with their bodies as they transition into adulthood. Therefore First Years start at age 12 (given this is the average age a male hits puberty). Thus all characters birthday's are backed up a bit.

House-Elf to the Rescue: It was Dobby, not Dumbledore which got Harry and Hermione out of the locked Infirmary in order to save Sirius. Also it was Hermione who came up with the idea to use the time-tuner. (The reason why will become obvious in Chapter Eight)

When Harry Saved Fleur: Harry saves Fleur from the vines as shown in the movie version of task. Also in most of my fics, I like the movie version of Harry versus the Horntail to include the scene where we find Ron knew about the dragons but didn't have the balls to go directly to Harry to tell him.

Black is Black: In my fics, Andromeda is the oldest daughter and not Bellatrix. Also in my fics Narcissa also has the black hair with a patch of white like you see in the films. As will be seen, however, because of how I see wizards and witches aging differently than Muggles , Helen McCrory is shown too old to be Narcissa. (Her mother might look like her but not Narcissa) More about Narcissa in later a/n and chapters. A good photo example to work with is Andromeda looks like Monica Bellucci. Thus Bellatrix and Tonks also look a lot like her.

Spells: I've changed many canonical spells to be more in line with my own spells and those of fanfiction in general. As always, I list the spell at the end. I also have a Excel spreadsheet of them all on my Yahoo group. I will admit to make things easier I won't change all spells if they are close enough in canon. I may change my mind about this. As pointed out on my profile, I've made big changes to divination so I've changed legilimency & occlumency to be more in line with Latin and to do away with the "mency" which while pleasing to the ear, it is too close to "mancy" which means a whole different thing.

An example of this is Serpensortia. It can mean snake birth (serpens ortia) or serpent evermore (serpen sortia) Either way it is close enough, I think, for gov't work. However I do realize if I was being more in line with my other spells, the order would be different. As many reviewers have pointed out to me, a spell like this is backwards. It should be Sortiaserpen or maybe Vocato Serpen for Summon Snake. Thus Vocato Avis would be what Hermione used to summon the birds she later used against Ron and Lavender. The mind of the caster determines which snake or bird which appears. Of course one could go with Avisortia to summon birds if one wanted to go with the more canonical approach.

Bottom line, JKR was very haphazard with her spell creation which irks me in a OCD sort of way. The biggest is her use of 'false friends' which is a linguistic term to denote a word which may sound similar to something in another language but the meanings are different. Muffliato and scourgify are two examples of this as is the mency/mancy issue mentioned above.

Spelling/Grammar Errors: I would appreciate if you spot these types of errors go to my profile and either send me a PM or send me an email. I feel reviews should be more for how you like/didn't like the chapter.

Acknowledgements: This applies to most of my fics. I would also like to point out here what I've been telling reviewers for a long time. With over 600,000 HP fics on this site alone, it is almost impossible to create a story which is unique. Remember, what is unbearably clichéd for you is acceptable fanon for many others. Just something to keep in mind. Here are the authors I feel I've been influenced from, borrowed from and always been inspired by. The list below is not a complete list. If I borrow something or adapt it, you can bet it will be acknowledged in that chapter's author's notes. Feel free to PM me and ask about something if you think I haven't credited someone. It may be I've forgotten or haven't read the fic and just came up with something similar on my own.

Radaslab: His stories The Harem Wars (5639518) and Breakfast in New York (5141159) were early fan-fic influences on my writing, especially in regards to magical auras.

JBern: The general tone of his works was another early inspiration. In fact I think it is because of his fics that I decided to start writing fan-fics. I use his "Sarah Underhill" character from The Lives I've Lived (3384712) along with her back-story as part of my canon.

Clell65619: Again no one single story stands out except I think that like many fans, The Marriage Contracts Redux (5835213) really helped create the Daphne Greengrass character in fandom.

Mizuni-sama: His work A Prince of a Dark Kingdom (3766574) is the standard all fan-fics of any type should be measured against. I cannot recommend this fic highly enough.

Darth Marrs: Another author who's whole body of work is inspiring, his Firebird series (starting with Firebird's Son8629685) finally got many ideas I had been having about the whole Divination/Runes/Arithmancy classes to finally gel. While this will not be important for this fic, it is a lot more central to my fic Paging Dr. Bell as well as how I see Professor Trelawney.

On Borrowing From Me: A lot of reviewers have asked me if they can use ideas, spells, concepts from my fics. Given how I do it all the time, I have no problem with it. Simply drop me an email/PM telling me (I probably want to see how you adapted it) and put in an acknowledgement note.

Quidditch Match: Yes by the day to day timeline on the HP Lexicon, the first Quidditch game of the season isn't till November, but I see them wanting to play earlier before the weather gets bad. Plus let's get real since it is almost unheard of that First Years are on the team, one would expect with floo that the teams would meet and practice prior to the start of term just like high school football teams do here in America. Why JKR seems to think Magicals would want to play (and watch) games outside in the dead of winter IN SCOTLAND is beyond me, warming charms be damned! Hmm, maybe in America they play Quidditch up till the Christmas break and then play Quadpot later when weather gets nicer.

IFOR: Back during the whole Balkans crisis back in the mid-90's, NATO had a string of missions to help keep the peace. The first was IFOR (International FORce) which led to the later SFOR (Stabilization FORce) in December of 1996 which in turn became KFOR (Kosovo FORce) in 1999. I missed going in with the first American troops back in 1995 due to being transferred out of Germany to Fort Hood, NY right as the mission was starting. If anyone remembers some CNN footage of the time when a river flooded out a camp of Americans, I knew a lot of people being interviewed about it. That almost was me! Alas, the Army waiting till I was 40 before deploying me into a combat zone. =/

Supreme Mugwump of what? I never liked the idea that out of the entire world Dumbledore was head of what looked like the magical United Nations. Considering how backwards magical Britain seemed, this just didn't seem right. So I decided to break it down a step. The European Confederation of Magical States (the ECWS) under a Supreme Mugwump is a regional sub-section of the larger International Confederation of Wizards which is headed up by the Absolute Mugwump.

This makes more sense to me since it allows Dumbledore to control more of the stuff in relation to Europe but not the world. In my fics I tend to have the rest of the world mostly ignore the ECWS as a bunch of backward thugs. Pretty much as the empires of the Victorian Age fell apart, magical Europe withdrew into itself and most of the magical world said, "Good riddance!" I see a lot of the attitudes of the Pureblood Supremacists being similar to people who just couldn't wrap their heads around the fact that the 'Sun never sets on the British Empire' was no more. Better to hang onto the memories of old and lost glories than actually go out and learn about the changes in the Muggle world and actually create something new. (Perish the thought!)