Ready to touch your soul
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters and many of the places mentioned in this story. The plot is the only thing created by me.
First chapter of the new story is up as promised. I have had too much going on at the moment to have done much writing unfortunately so I will be writing as I'm going along for the moment. Thank you to everyone that supported my first fic and I hope you enjoy this one.
Background information:- This begins in the summer between 6th and 7th year. There are no horcruxes, meaning that the attack on Hogwarts never happened and Dumbledore is alive. The rest is pretty much canon.
Chapter 1:- Wiztops
It was the end of August; a time that all students dreaded as the inevitability of going back to school dawned upon them. However, this wasn't the case for everyone; with the new school year beginning in a week, Harry Potter couldn't be happier to be leaving number 4 Privet Drive for what he hoped to be the last time in his life. Nothing was any different from how it had even been before; the Dursleys hadn't been any nicer to him but thankfully they hadn't been more horrible either. Harry had been looking forward to coming of age for a long time but being with the Dursleys had meant that his birthday was not very well celebrated and that of course, despite the fact that he was now able to legally use magic, he was still unable to when he was refined to their house. Therefore, it was with genuine glee that Harry packed up the last of his things as he waited to be collected by Arthur Weasley to spend the last week of the holidays at the Burrow with his friends.
The father of the family showed no hesitation in his want to be the one to get Harry even though the Dursleys had been much less than hospitable to him in the past. He would never miss up on a chance of being in a muggle home and being able to at least look around at their many curious belongings; he only wished that Vernon and Petunia would be willing to talk to him about what they were. They scowled at him as he simply asked Harry to show him how the telefision had worked and being the polite man he was, avoided further conflict.
"How will you be taking him? You'll not be blasting my living room apart again!" demanded Uncle Vernon, face turning purple already.
"No I felt awful about that last time, particularly after the grief my wife gave me. Though you must know what that feels like, eh?" he tried to joke with the man, wanting to find any common ground that he could. When all he received was a filthy look in return, Arthur sighed as he asked Harry to bring down his things. As the younger wizard complied and headed upstairs, he couldn't help but hear the awkward one-sided conversation that Mr Weasley still attempted to have with his relatives.
"So how's your boy then? Is he not around?" Harry inwardly laughed at what he suspected his uncle's face would now look like: Dudley of course still had his fear of wizards and had gone upstairs over an hour before he knew Mr Weasley would be arriving. Dragging his trunk down the stairs along with Hedwig's cage, Harry made sure as to take one last glance at the room that he had previously occupied before closing the door on that part of his life. Surprisingly, when he turned around he noticed his cousin, Dudley standing and staring at him.
"Are you going now?" he grunted at the smaller man.
"Yes. Don't worry; you can get back to watching whatever crap you had on the telly."
"I wasn't worried! I wanted to come upstairs to sort some things out!"
"Dudley you haven't ever sorted anything out in your room. You've still got toy cars that you had when you were five."
"Only because you didn't want me to have them" Harry finished for him.
"Yeah…" Dudley actually looked partially ashamed of himself before shrugging and going back into his room.
Harry didn't even hang around to hear the door slam as he struggled down the stairs with all of his belongings. Once he had reached the bottom, Arthur had questioned him about why he hadn't used magic to levitate them down. He silenced himself when he noticed that the vein in Harry's uncle's neck was now twitching and that his aunt was grinding her teeth in anger. Saddened by the fact that he hadn't managed to befriend these muggles, who were perhaps the only ones that he would ever meet, Arthur took Harry's trunk from him before heading out into the dark of Privet Drive. Vernon and Petunia came to the door with Harry but said nothing to him whatsoever even when he had wished them goodbye. The door almost hit the frame as they heard a voice shout: "WAIT!"
Harry curiously pushed the door back open slightly and saw his cousin running down the stairs, belly flopping with every step that he took. He clutched his chest as he reached the bottom of the stairs: exercise and Dudley never had gone well together. His cousin walked slower now towards the door where Harry stood with Mr Weasley, his parents looking at him in utter confusion. Not knowing what else to say, Dudley stuck out his hand, offering Harry what he held in it. The wizard tried not to laugh as he saw what it was: a shiny red toy car that Dudley had gotten for his fifth birthday; he hadn't liked it in comparison to his bigger green one and had tossed it aside. Once he had noticed that Harry liked it, he screamed for it back and his parents punished Harry for taking it from him. Since then, it had never been played with but had been hidden in Dudley's room so that Harry wouldn't be able to find it.
"Thanks" he said bewildered as he took the toy from the fat hand that was held out in front of him. Dudley simply nodded at him as he was clapped on the back by his father and pulled into a tight hug by his mother, which he actively resisted. "Bye then" he said to all three of them as they closed the door on him, all too happy to finally be rid of the freak that they had had to look after all this time. Harry followed Mr Weasley along to Mrs Figg's house, as it would be the only safe place for them to apparate without being seen by muggles.
"What is that your cousin gave to you Harry?" he asked, not even hiding his excitement.
"It's a toy car Mr Weasley."
"What does it do? Does it drive like real cars? How does it work?" It would have been amusing to see a fully-grown man bouncing on his feet at a toy if Harry didn't already know of Mr Weasley's obsessions with muggle artefacts.
"You just hold it down and push and then it moves along the floor a bit."
"Without magic? These muggles really are amazing."
"You can have it Mr Weasley" he said, handing the toy over to the man and smiling.
"Really Harry? Are you sure?" he eyed the shiny car with sheer delight.
"Of course. You'll enjoy it more than me anyway."
"Thanks Harry! Oh look, we're here."
The two wizards went into the house of the old squib that Harry had known since a child and both declined a cup of tea and some cake before apparating to the Burrow. Harry went through the same routine as usual upon appearing at his best friend's house: Mrs Weasley giving him a squashing hug while trying to flatten his hair, Ron clapping him on the back and Hermione practically jumping on him in an attempt to hug him.
"Hey Hermione, when did you get here?"
"Just earlier on today" she smiled at him. The only thing that was different from usual was the small but awkward smile that was exchanged between him and Ron's younger sister Ginny. Harry knew that he had broken her heart when he told her that they couldn't be together but it was the right thing to do. Voldemort was after him and he would happily use anyone close to Harry as bait and so he broke up with her after the little time that their relationship lasted as to save her. She expected it of course and she wasn't angry at him but she still harboured the same feelings for him that she'd always had, making it partially awkward between the two. From what Hermione had been saying to Harry in her letters, Ginny was more upset about the breakup than she let on to anyone else and Harry did feel truly awful about it but things had changed. Voldemort was no longer the only reason that he didn't want to be with the young witch but he wouldn't admit this to anyone else because truth be told, he wasn't entirely sure what the new reason was.
Over one of Mrs Weasley's famous dinners, Arthur explained to Molly, Ron, Hermione and Ginny that Harry had given him the toy car from his cousin and he even got up in the middle of dinner to try it out. He was delighted when the car raced from his hand and hit Hermione's chair leg before being told to sit down by his wife. Harry and Hermione caught each other's eye and laughed at the simplicity of Mr Weasley's amusement. Harry found that the meal was much quieter without Ron's twin brothers around, after they had moved into the flat above their shop. He didn't mention this of course because he was more than aware that Mrs Weasley was more than likely still upset that she didn't have many children left in her home. After dinner, Mr Weasley took Harry's belongings up to Fred and George's old room and Hermione told him that she was staying in the room next to his, which previously belonged to Percy. Harry followed his two best friends into the living room and sat next to them on the sofa as Hermione pulled something very odd looking onto her lap.
"Hermione what is that?" Harry asked her.
"Harry, are you seriously telling me that you don't know what this is?" Harry observed it and watched Hermione use it before realising that it seemed very similar to a laptop but it had many differences. Firstly, it didn't seem to be being powered by anything and everything that Hermione did on it, she tapped the screen, making it glow slightly brighter in places.
"Well it looks like a laptop but is it touchscreen?"
"What's touchscreen?" Ron asked the two of them, who both ignored him.
"No it's not touchscreen Harry! Haven't you been reading the Prophet?"
"In case you haven't noticed Hermione, I've been living in solitude for the past few months and have only been able to contact you or Ron every now and then without worrying about reading the newspaper."
"Oh fine! This is a magically-made laptop. It can only be used at the touch of someone magical and it has anti-muggle charms on it. It runs off magic, meaning that if I were to use it at home, it wouldn't work because here are only muggles around."
"So it works better when there are more witches and wizards around?"
"Exactly. You might need to get one. But we can go to Diagon Alley tomorrow."
"Why would I need to get one?" Hermione tried not to look annoyed as her friend questioned her.
"Dumbledore has decided that considering what is going on in the world at the moment, every student at Hogwarts will have to have one compulsory lesson of Muggle Studies in order to increase wizard and muggle relations and to reduce prejudice" Hermione seemed to have memorised the quote that she had read about Dumbledore's speech.
"What's this got to do with laptops?" he asked both his friends.
"Well Dumbledore's been trying to get wizards to make their own version of muggle items, you know, so that they can run off magic? He reckons that if we can get people to see what great things muggles have invented then it's a start for reducing prejudice. He hinted in the article that we would have to be using these in the lessons" Ron told him.
"So everyone at Hogwarts is going to have to have one of these?"
"We don't know that yet. We should be getting our booklists tomorrow so we'll have to see what it says. I seriously doubt that the whole school will be expected to have them though; it will probably be a thing for seventh years. I've been trying to teach Ron the basics today and he's doing ok." Harry grinned as he watched his friend type Chudley Cannons into something called WizSearch, which Harry assumed was the wizard version of Google.
"How are any of the pureblood Slytherins going to put up with this?" he joked to Hermione, as they both watched Ron jabbing at the screen to no avail.
"I think it will be very interesting to find out" laughed Hermione.
Sure enough, their Hogwarts letters arrived the next day and among the list of many books was also a Wiztop with a note next to it stating that there would be ones that students could borrow if they could not afford them. Ron grumbled at the note, as he knew full-well that his family wouldn't be able to afford one but wouldn't want to have to admit this in front of anyone at Hogwarts. Harry would have offered to buy him one but he knew better than that by now; his friend held far too much pride to accept something like that from him.
"Oh my god!" said Hermione as she opened her letter.
"Yeah we've got tonnes of books to buy, you must have loads more than us with all the subjects you're doing" said Ron.
"No-not that." She handed the letter over to Harry, who read it out loud.
Miss Hermione Granger,
I would like to congratulate you on your position as Head Girl at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed your badge and instructions for the Hogwarts Express and be available to attend a meeting to discuss the school rules regarding Head Girls and Head Boys at Hogwarts. As well as this, as the new school rules show that of integration and not segregation, I hope that you will portray these well as Head Girl. Because of this, I have given Draco Malfoy Head Boy status in the hope that you will be able to work alongside one another to show that Hogwarts does not accept prejudice. I thought it best to pair up a muggleborn Gryffindor and a pureblood Slytherin to elaborate on this point. I expect you both to stand by your duties and to put aside any grudges you both may hold.
Looking forward to seeing you on September 1st,
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
"What the hell is he playing at?" shouted Ron in annoyance over the breakfast table.
"Ronald Weasley! Do not shout like that when we are eating!"
"Sorry mum but seriously, Draco Malfoy? Hermione can't work with him. He's spent the past six years being a git and calling her a…a…well you know what he calls her!" he turned his direction to Harry now, wanting backup from his friend.
"Yeah I don't really think he's thought his one through, although it does seem the kind of thing that Dumbledore would come up with."
"Is that all you can say? What if he'd have made you Head Boy and Pansy Parkinson Head Girl, how would you feel then?" Ron said outraged. Harry shivered at the thought and began joining in with Ron's protests, as Hermione sat at the table speechless. She didn't want to have to work alongside that horrible ferret but if she said no, she was showing exactly the kind of prejudice that she didn't agree with.
"I have to agree" she said simply to her two friends.
"Why?" they both demanded.
"Because if I refuse the post just because I have to work with Malfoy then I'm just as bad as him. Anyway, who's to say that he won't refuse first?"
"He'd better bloody refuse!"
"Ron, watch your language."
Ron was very unsettled the whole time that the trio spent buying their books with Mrs Weasley and Ginny and kept growling at little things. At one point, he spotted Draco in Florish and Blotts and Harry wasn't sure which of them looked more disgusted with the other. He pulled Ron back into his mother's line of vision, knowing that his friend wouldn't do anything in front of her. As they left the shop, struggling with the amount of books they were carrying (Hermione especially), Mrs Weasley suggested that they go to Fred and George's shop before looking at Wiztops. She looked unnerved and Harry couldn't help but wonder if she was putting off the inevitable by not buying them just yet; it had turned out that Ginny was also expected to have one, trumping Hermione's theory that it would just be seventh years.
The shop was busier than Harry had seen it the last time he went in and could only imagine how much money Fred and George were now making. He was surrounded by witches and wizards of all ages, all mesmerised by the products for sale, so much that only a few had been quick enough to point out that he was Harry Potter. Ignoring a group of teenage girls that had asked to see his scar, Harry made his way to the front of the shop with the Weasleys and Hermione to see Fred and George and was greeted by a slap on the back from both of them. The twins lead the five of them into the back area for staff only to get them away from all the noise. Ron was playing with some form of crystal ball.
"What's this? Straight?" he asked his brothers.
"Well are you-"
"Or are you not-"
"Interested in women?" his twin brothers asked.
"I know what straight means but why is the word floating in the middle of the ball?" said Ron, ears going pink.
"It's an orientation detector, don't you know anything" Fred rolled his eyes. Ron suddenly found the object very amusing.
"Excellent! Hermione, you're going to have to try and trick Malfoy into using this: I've always suspected him."
"Ron! We're here to see your brothers not to plot against Draco Malfoy!" warned Mrs Weasley. Annoyed, Ron passed the ball over to Hermione, who looked irritated at him for expecting her to be part of exposing someone's sexual preferences. She pushed it back to him, not wanting to be a part of it and Ron grinned with delight as he noticed the smoke change to Hermione's face and spell out the word 'straight'.
"As you're here mother-"
"We were wondering-"
"Would you get any use out of a Wiztop?" they said at once.
"A Wiztop? They're definitely not for me but I need to buy one for these two" she pointed at her youngest children, who looked at their feet in embarrassment.
"I wouldn't let Ron near one. He's about the only person I know that could break something under an unbreakable charm" laughed George.
"They need them for Hogwarts."
"Well it just so happens-"
"That one of our valued customers-"
"Gave us a few of the newer models."
"Why would they give them away?" Harry asked bewildered.
"As a thank you" shrugged Fred, "some guy at the company brought loads of our supplies for people at his office so we gave him a bit of a discount for the large order. Next thing you know, he sends us five Wiztops." George gave a new Wiztop still in its packaging to Ron and Ginny before offering one to Harry.
"I'm ok. I'll get one. You can give that to someone else."
"Don't be stupid. Take it. We wouldn't even be running this business if it weren't for you." Reluctantly Harry took the Wiztop, though he reasoned with himself that he had technically paid for it with his Triwizard winnings.
Harry, Ron and Ginny spent the next week irritating Hermione with questions about the Wiztops, as she had already learnt how to use them perfectly easily. Harry found himself learn a lot faster than the Weasleys, as he had had slightly more experience with laptops than them. He had managed to go on Dudley's a few times when he was out with his friends and had soon become accustomed to how it worked. One thing that he hadn't been able to do on there, however, was use any form of chat room or instant messaging, which was something that Hermione was all signing them up for now. There was only one type of chat used by wizards, which was called Wizchat; Harry couldn't help but think that all these names were highly unoriginal but he supposed in a world where these things were new, they would have to be named simply. Once Hermione had put it onto all their computers, she set up their accounts for them, trying to explain that generally people didn't use their real names.
"I want to be 'ChudleyCannon80'" declared Ron after Hermione had explained everything to him and had assigned herself the name 'Gryffinclaw'. Soon after, Ginny became 'PygmyPuff' and Harry was left trying to think of a name; anything that he or Ron suggested, Hermione had turned down, saying it was too obvious.
"Yeah alright, 'Scarhead' is a bit obvious" joked Ron, "but 'FourEyes' isn't."
"Ron anyone can get into this chat room. What if Death Eaters are in there and realise it's Harry?"
"So 'BasiliskSlayer' is out of the question then" joked Harry, causing Ron to burst out laughing and Hermione to scowl at them both.
"Fine if you think it's funny. Just use your real name and see how many people target you!"
"I'm joking Hermione. Chill out. How about SnitchSeeker?"
"I suppose a lot of people like Quidditch so it's not really obvious that it's you…ok fine." And she created it for him. Soon enough the four of them were logged into a big wizarding chat room.
"Hey! Someone's talking to me!" said Ron in excitement.
"Who is it?" asked Harry, looking at the screen. The name was BlackAsp40 and they were seemingly making general conversation with Ron.
"What does ASL mean Hermione?"
"It means Age, Sex, Location; they want to know more about you. Most people do it before they start talking in chat rooms." Harry watched as Ron typed back to the person.
ChudleyCannon80:- 17, Male, Devon. ASL?
BlackAsp40:- 57, F, London. Want to meet?
Harry laughed his head off as Ron freaked out and closed the conversation window down.
"What if she finds me?"
"She won't find you Ron! Devon is a big place!' Harry reasoned, still laughing.
"What's so funny? Look some nutter's trying to talk to you too." The four of them crowded around Harry's Wiztop.
CharmsWitch:- Hi. ASL?
Harry went to reply before Hermione warned him not to.
"Harry, don't. If that's a Death Eater…"
"Hermione, my age, sex and location don't make me Harry Potter!"
"Yes but we're going to Hogwarts tomorrow and when you're there and you say you're a 17-year-old boy, people will realise that you at least have classes with Harry Potter and they'll question you. There are only twenty boys in seventh year."
"Alright fine. How do you expect me to talk to people then?"
"Just don't mention Hogwarts and give an age range instead of your age. Say young adult." Harry complied, although irritated at what he believed to be Hermione just being over-cautious. He continued his chat with CharmsWitch, who was a female, also young adult from Yorkshire; it was actually very interesting to talk to a stranger about their life. CharmsWitch was an orphaned only child that had been brought up by her Grandparents and Harry found that they had a lot in common. Perhaps having these Wiztops would be more interesting than he thought.
Bit of an introductory chapter but I'd appreciate it if you still let me know what you think of it and if you think it has potential.