Story: Nightshade Academy of Magic
Summary: Harry has suffered the loss of Sirius and the Dursleys, now he must leave his friends behind to prevent them from being harmed by Voldemort who will use them as a tool to weaken Harry's resolve. He accepts the invitation to attend Nightshade Academy of Magic, an interspecies school that focuses on being prepared for every situation, an ideal reiterated in their latin motto. Numquam non paratus - never unprepared. Resolved to his decision, he must endeavor so he will survive his next encounters with Voldemort. However can he survive school first? Fae, Elves, Incubuses, Vampires and etc thrown into the mix.
Warning: Highly likely to contain slash in the future depending on the reception by readers with an OMC. Rated M for future chapters and language.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything from Harry Potter which belongs to their respective owners.
A/N: This has been in my computer for ages and i've finally put it on ff. Sorry for any mistakes that i have overlooked.
Chapter 1: A Black Letter
Harry was being watched.
He knew that Kingsley was patrolling around his backyard because of the height and shape of the shadow that was being cast by a seemingly non-existent being. Harry snickered and waved at the figure from his bedroom window that started in surprise and froze before quickly walking off out of Harry's sight.
No, this was different. This was a new presence that seemed to radiate a subtle power, not so strong that it was overwhelming and oppressive like Voldemort's but niggled at the back of the mind, something forgotten until brought up to attention.
Harry, however, was feeling particularly susceptive to this power and could not put it out of his mind. It was dark and seductive, something that Harry discovered he was very attracted to. He could not stop thinking about it when doing his daily chores and resolutely stared at the ground whenever he was outside weeding the garden as to not betray that he knew of the presence that was certainly not far off and watching him. However, instinctively he felt something a few feet from the left of him and his eyes flickered in that direction regularly despite never seeing any physical sign of anything.
No. This was definitely different.
He had dismissed the likelihood that it was a Death Eater straightaway as they usually did not have the level of intelligence to conceal all clues of presence from Harry who's seeker trained eyes usually caught everything.
Unless it was Voldemort himself, Harry thought worryingly. He shook his head in denial. Voldemort's magic was nothing like this. Heaving a sigh, he sat back on his haunches and arched his back to stretch the muscles that had cramped over his long session of weeding. The hot sun beat down on him and Harry wiped the sweat from his brow trying to ignore the laughter of the Dursleys as they reclined in the air-conditioned living room. He pursed his lips in annoyance and hissed as the sweat dripped into the cuts on his hands from weeding without gloves. The cuts always healed by the next day which was a blessing and a curse since he always had soft skin but the lack of calluses meant renewed pain every single time he weeded.
Harry resumed weeding, his hair flicking through the air as he grabbed and pulled the weeds with renewed force fuelled by his anger, which seemed to reflect in the way the presence of power pulsed around him. Giving a slight gasp at the feeling, Harry could not help but feel slightly aroused at the sensation. Jerkily he got up and ran towards the door, which he slammed close behind him.
The man smiled as he observed his young quarry. The boy was thin and had a slightly underfed look but was built with muscles like a panther, strong and powerful but slim and fast. Despite looking too thin, he was very beautiful.
The man gazed at the slightly damp raven black hair as it swished about, the pale skin that did not seem to tan despite how much time Harry spent in the gardens and the wonderful bright green eyes that continually flickered in his direction. He was also very observant, unusually so for an untrained human.
Shifting slightly and taking a few steps towards his new quarry, he instantly saw the numerous cuts and scratches that marred the otherwise perfect skin on Harry' pale hands. The man's anger flared along with his power at this treatment and resisted the urge to reach out and heal the cuts by placing a chaste kiss on those delicate fingers. Harry jumped underneath his gaze and scurried towards the door like a startled cat.
Leaning back and smiling again as he watched the curtains in Harry's window being yanked closed he thought, definitely an excellent potential student for Nightshade Academy. From his robes, the man extracted a black envelope with Harry Potter stamped in gold lettering and held it up in front of his face. Placing a small kiss on the red wax seal, he then blew lightly, watching as it disintegrated into particles and floated towards Harry's window.
I'll see you soon, kitten.
The next morning, Harry woke with unblemished hands but that didn't remove the soreness of the invisible cuts and the way his body burned because Dudley had happily used him as a punching bag while Uncle Vernon watched and Aunt Petunia yelled at them to stop. That had earned her a slap across her face and she stayed silent afterwards. Harry had managed to dodge most of the punches thanks to his seeker reflexes however when he had stumbled and fell to the floor, the best he could do was curl up and protect his vitals from Dudley's brutal kicks.
After the two had left, Aunt Petunia had gathered Harry's too light body in her arms and deposited him on his threadbare bed with a whisper of, "Sorry," and a soft pat on the head. Knowing that he still had at least one ally in the house reassured Harry but didn't take away the pain.
Harry groaned as he slowly shifted off the bed. His natural healing magic helped a great deal at times like these but it seemed that last night's attack was something that was past his body's abilities. Reaching underneath the loose floorboard, he pulled up a healing potion and a blood-replenishing potion that he had made over the holidays. Without the close scrutiny of Snape and Slytherins throwing things into his cauldron, Harry managed fairly well in potions, his skills in cooking working favorably for him.
He downed the two potions, grimacing slightly at the taste. That aspect of the potion Harry had not managed to improve despite all of his efforts in experimenting. Feeling the effects of the potion wash over him soothingly, he reached into his drawer to take out the healing salve but froze when he saw a black letter with his name sitting on the bedside table. Carefully, he reached out with his hand and poked it cautiously. Seeing and feeling no ill effects he picked up the letter and inspected the seal.
Nightshade? Harry thought curiously, running his fingers of the seal lingeringly as he debated whether to open the letter or not.
"What do you think girl?" he asked Hedwig. She observed the letter carefully and gave an encouraging hoot. Harry shrugged and broke the wax seal, tugging out the letter, which was penned carefully.
Dear Mr. Potter,
You have been accepted as a student at the esteemed Nightshade Academy of Magic.
Hang on, what? Harry thought furiously, I haven't even applied yet so how can I be accepted? Increasingly puzzled, he continued to read.
Your application for a position at this school is automatic and is processed as soon as you reach all requirements made by Nightshade Academy. The requirements are as follows:
The amount of magical power you possess (otherwise termed as the size of your magical core)
The passing of a visual test whereby you are subjected to be watched over a period of time by a member of our staff for approval.
You have passed both requirements admirably; Mr. Potter and we would be delighted to have you as a student.
It remains ultimately your choice whether to attend the Academy. If you say the school motto 'Numquam non paratus' this letter will become a portkey and will transport you to a station where you will be allowed to board the train to our Academy if you pass two security checks.
If this letter does not receive a reply within 10 days, it will self-destruct and erase any memory or evidence of this incidence with it. Nightshade Academy is a prestigious school only offered to the best (Harry snorted, you mean most powerful) and we are aware of your situation. You will be catered for accordingly. Harry Potter, you could very well use what we are offering in your fight against Voldemort.
Nightshade Academy of Magic
Harry stared at the letter. Well, at least they were extremely straightforward at the end. Harry knew that his magical power had grown slightly when Sirius had died; it had caused him to go on a violent rampage and destroy Dumbledore's office. Not particularly guilty about that yet either, Harry thought with a snicker. Harry's mood became somber. He had not gotten over Sirius' death and he highly doubted he ever completely would.
However, he had finally come to terms with the facts that it was not his fault that Sirius had died. That lay completely and wholly with Voldemort who was the cause and catalyst of everything that had gone wrong with Harry's life up to date, which unluckily for him had been quite a lot.
Collapsing back onto the bed and trying to ignore the feeling of sadness, he turned the letter over and found a whole page of information written in small cramped handwriting. He became more and more astonished with every line he read through, sometimes going back and rereading it because he could not believe what he had just read.
The letter fell through his fingers when he finished the letter. Astonished green eyes looked up at Hedwig who gave a questioning hoot.
"I've got a lot to think about, Hedwig."
Harry's mind worked furiously as he diced the tomatoes that were about to go into the pot. They offer everything, Harry thought with wonder. Physical combat and weapons, wandless magic, ritual magic, voice charming, enchanting, blood magic (which I'm fairly sure is illegal in Britain), death magic…oh the list goes on and on.
Headmistress Merkovich is right; I could use with some of those skills against Voldemort…especially the combat and weapons. Voldemort wouldn't know what hit him if I suddenly threw a knife at him. Bit undignified... but if it gets the job done, I don't think anyone would really complain. Best bit is that there are no year categories; it's all based on personal prowess!
Deeming that the school had an extremely desirable curriculum, Harry scooped up all the tomatoes and dropped them into the pot before stirring it around with the soup. Harry continued to think as he chopped through the lettuce that was going in next. Learning some new things would be brilliant. Increasing my chances of survival would also be brilliant. But Hogwarts, it's my home. Harry paused in his actions and relaxed as he wistfully remembered the high towers and expansive grounds.
"Oi, don't slack off!" Vernon roared from the dining room.
Harry jumped and quickly resumed chopping, imagining he was slicing up the Dursleys. No, he wasn't that cruel but it was all in the name of good fun anyway.
And what of the blood wards. He could be in danger if he attended Nightshade Academy where he would live there all year round, but Harry knew the notion was ridiculous. Any school that went to the point of erasing someone's memory to keep the school in secrecy and required to be transported twice and pass two security checks had to be a very careful school or just very paranoid, which wouldn't hurt Harry's chances either. Harry still had no idea where the school was either; he just trusted his instincts and exploited the Gryffindor nature.
Dropping the lettuce into the pot as well, he stirred once more before placing the lid on top, leaving it to simmer and started on making tonight's desert. Harry's thoughts wandered again as he gently folded the berries into the cream. I'll definitely be safe at Nightshade but I will be safer at the Dursleys, not that I care much about them, and Hogwarts as far as I know. Which isn't a lot.
Harry sighed, wishing Hermione was there. She would have an answer to everything or just nag the brains out of Harry. Ten days. I have ten days to decide. Ten days until I have to decide between leaving my friends behind and trusting in luck or carving out my own destiny and working towards survival.
Ten days later, Harry felt quite odd sitting in the Great Hall with everyone else chatting animatedly around him, happily devouring the Welcome Feast. Sirius had died. Why was everyone so happy? Harry couldn't also shake off the feeling that something disastrous had happened. Something horrible. Something terrible. Feeling quite frustrated and angry, he stabbed the sausage viciously with his fork, ignoring the strange looks from Ron and Hermione.
"Mate, the sausage hasn't done anything to you," Ron spoke and bits of food sprayed out of his mouth. Harry gloomily watched the particles fly through the air imagining them to be squealing, "Free! Free!" as they left Ron's mouth. Hermione looked positively disgusted.
"Ron! Close your mouth!" Hermione cried shrilly. Ron opened his mouth even further in Hermione's direction, much to her chagrin. "Urgh."
Glancing at the staff table, he saw Slughorn stare at him intently with an oddly crazed and obsessed look in his eye like Harry was a rare collectible. This just fuelled Harry's first impression of Slughorn as a people collector from the meeting Dumbledore had taken him with.
Slowly turning away and feeling more than a little creeped out, Harry morosely stabbed his sausage again, shifting uncomfortably when his shrunken trunk dug into his thigh. Harry was thoroughly prepared to leave at a moment's notice for Nightshade Academy as everything he possessed he currently had hidden in the folds of his robes. It all came down to tonight.
Then, the Hall went quiet, apart from the slowing beats of feathered wings.
Harry looked up in confusion and saw a black owl set a smoking red letter in front of him while another flock of owls dropped three large damp black packages around it
"Oh Merlin," Hermione breathed.
"A Howler," Ron said with an apprehensive look. "Mate, you better just open it."
Harry looked around quickly and saw that every single eye was on him. Reaching out carefully, he quickly broke the seal and retracted his hands as malicious, nearly hissing laughter echoed ominously around the hall.
Harry stood up and drew his wand in caution and out of the corner of his eye he saw Dumbledore do the same while Snape gripped his goblet tightly. He recognized that voice with the snake like quality. He recognized it all too well, and by the looks of it, Snape, Dumbledore and himself were the only ones to.
"Harry, who is that?" asked Neville looking wide-eyed.
"Harry Potter. A late birthday present. I do hope you enjoy your relatives' last screams," Voldemort stated smoothly in parseltongue and his voice rumbled loudly around the room. The eruption of hisses caused the student body to scramble away in fear and apprehension until only Ron, Hermione and the DA stood around Harry in a protective ring.
"I'm sure your screams would be much more beautiful."
The letter then burst into flames and the ashes fell to the floor. Harry stared at them and the packages on the table with a horrified and terrified expression, ignoring the way Hermione and Ron tried to bring him back to his senses. Right before his eyes, the packages slowly unfurled to reveal the dripping and bloody heads of Uncle Vernon, Dudley and Aunt Petunia. Their eyes rolled back into their heads and their mouths were open to their fullest extent and through them emitted an undying scream.
Harry stood up and roared in sudden anger and with just a wave of his hand, set them all alight in a towering pillar of flames, which reduced all three of them to ash, causing the screams to cease. The lights all flared brightly and the foundations of Hogwarts shook as Harry screamed in anger down at the table, which he leant over, palms placed firmly on it and his back hunched. He looked like a ferocious animal.
How many more?
So, so many.
He couldn't afford to lose anymore of them.
Friends and family.
I must leave to protect them.
So they don't get killed.
Don't get murdered.
Don't get beheaded.
Leave for Nightshade.
Harry's thoughts were a whirlwind and flying a mile per minute. Small cracks radiated from out under his hand on the table like an ugly flower, as Harry's magic grew oppressive. A voice cut through his frantic planning.
Harry turned around stonily and gazed glassy eyed at Dumbledore and the rest of the staff who stood behind him. They all look nauseated, a look mirrored by his classmates. Some had thrown up on the floor. Some looked wide-eyed at the place where the three heads had lain.
"Harry," Dumbledore repeated gently. "There's only one other person in the world who speaks parseltongue Harry. What did Voldemort say?"
Numbly, Harry repeated what he had heard. Dumbledore seemed to crumple before his eyes.
"I have failed you again, Harry," Dumbledore said softly.
Harry replied with coolness and calm that covered the raging turmoil within. "Why did the blood wards fail?"
"I did not tell you Harry, the day that he took your blood…"
Harry did not wait for him to finish. "I see. In that case…"
He turned towards Ron and Hermione and drew them in a tight hug trying to remember the sensations forever and ignore the sick feeling in his stomach.
"I will be back, I promise. I'll write and everything if I can. Don't ever forget I love you guys," he whispered into their ears, tears starting to course down his face. They looked at him confused and Hermione started to sniffle without knowing why.
"Why Harry, what do you mean?" Hermione asked hysterically, not letting go of Harry's arm. "What's going on?"
"Harry. What's happening? Why are you talking like you'll never see us again?" Ron nearly yelled in his panic. They both felt like they were losing Harry but to what they both didn't know. Harry extracted himself from her grip gently and retreated into the middle of the crowd that had slowly formed around them.
"Harry?" Dumbledore repeated, starting to look quite anxious and worried. Harry ignored him and held up his arm, feeling the familiar weight of Hedwig settle down on him. He then reached down into his pocket and withdrew the black envelope that had been opened and reopened so frequently it looked quite dog-eared. Harry held it in front of his lips and whispered in a voice that seemed to carry around the Hall.
"Numquam non paratus."
And he disappeared.
Ron sat down hard on the floor and repeated the whispered words under his breath as did many in the room did.
"Merlin, what've you done Harry," Ron stared at the floor without seeing it. Hermione shook Ron's arm frantically, "What do you mean? What does it mean!"
Draco Malfoy answered, to their surprise. He looked completely awed and shocked simultaneously as he replied.
"Numquam non paratus. It's Latin for 'never unprepared'. It's the motto for Nightshade Academy," Draco said quietly. "Dear Merlin, Potter has gone to the mythical Nightshade Academy."
Beta-ed by HiddenInWhiteLight
Well that's the end of chapter 1. A little shorter than i anticipated. Please review and tell me what you think, anything you think i could improve or anything you'd like to see happen. Thank you very much.