A/N:Sorry for the long delay but I lost my train of thought especially after posting some earlier than planned. H.P. and company belong to J.K.R. This little plot is mine.Chapter 19 Memories and Preparing for Hogwarts
In the days that followed Harry's ascension as Lord Potter, Harry and Hermione discussed what the rings told him, especially the origin of magic and wandless magic.
"Think about it Hermione, we have already done wandless and non-verbal magic."
"What do you mean Harry?"
"The adults call it accidental magic. Any time we do that we are actually doing what comes naturally to all magicals. We call on our magic to do what we want it to do."
"Oh.' She paused, biting her lower lip as she thought, 'Well that does make sense. I wonder if they teach it at school. We should ask Aunt Minnie."
Saturday August 10
"This shall be the last time I will be able to come as I have much to do before term starts." Minerva informed them when she arrived that morning.
"That's fine Aunt Minnie. We just have a few questions." Harry responded.
"And that is something else; you need to get in the habit of calling me Professor McGonagall, not Aunt Minnie. It's unprofessional and other might think I'm showing you favoritism. Which I wont." she said in her stern Professor voice.
Harry and Hermione looked at each other in surprise, "Yes Professor," they replied together.
"Now what is it you would like to know?" she asked in her normal voice.
"The two main questions we have are, do all students learn occulmancy and do you teach wandless and non-verbal magic at school?" Hermione asked.
"Unfortunately no, we do not teach occulmency at school. I understand the not all people have the ability to master occulmency to its fullest, but it is still useful as a learning tool, as it helps organize the mind, making it easier to recall what you know. That is why I started teaching you two at the beginning of the holidays.'
'As to you second question, yes we do, but not until your sixth year."
"Why? Why wait so long?" Harry queried.
"It is widely believed that you are not strong enough until you reach your majority to learn it, and most struggle with it."
Harry thought about her answer for a moment. "Professor, that doesn't make sense."
"What do you mean Harry?"
"Well think about it. You teach your students for six years to use a wand. Then you try to un-teach them what they have learned. Wouldn't it be easier to teach them at the same time our wand magic last? After all they say bad habits are hard to break. Plus the fact that, even if they are unaware, they already perform wandless and non-verbal magic."
"Un-teach, Harry?" Hermione scoffed.
"It was the only thing I could think of at the time." Harry replied embarrassed. "Come on, Hermione, I'm still getting used to letting my intelligence show."
Minerva McGonagall, transfiguration mistress and professor for over forty years, sat back in her chair as she contemplated what Harry had just said. Never in all that time, had she, or anyone else for that matter, considered that children did indeed perform this type of magic before they reached the school.
"Harry, what made you think about this?" she asked softly.
He thought about what he should tell her. Then he remembered something Hermione had said when they were in the study group this past year. 'Knowledge should be shared. How else would advance as a civilization otherwise?' "The Peverell ring gave the basic knowledge of the beginnings of magic use. Wands didn't come about for nearly two hundred years after the first recordings of magic use. Before then it was all wandless and non-verbal. Wands and staves were made to aid the most powerful witches and wizards. After a time they discovered that wands could be used to fine tune what the caster intended. They were not, as far as I can tell, meant to be the only way to use magic."
"What else have the rings told you Harry?" Minerva asked.
"Gryffindor was an immensely powerful wizard in a time when everyone seemed to want to conquer the world, so he was well versed in battle and battle magic. Transfiguration was one of his main weapons followed closely by charms. The Potters were all about justice, fairness and equality for all races. Slytherin was a master at potion and to a lesser degree battle magics.' … 'Professor, what is believed about Slytherin?"
"He is believed to be a dark wizard and hates non-magicals. The story goes that he delved in the dark arts and they consumed him until he and Godric fought before he left the school."
Harry looked at her in shock for a moment. The houses at school had been mentioned and the attributes that each house looked for, but this was the first time ideology was ever mentioned.
"Professor, what if I told you that was a lie?"
"What do you mean, Harry?"
He held up his right hand reminding her that he was the heir of Slytherin. "The ring told me, beside what I said earlier, that Salazar did not delve in the dark arts. Studied, yes, but only so that he and the other founders knew how to combat them. Isn't one of our classes call Defense Against the Dark Arts? It also told me that he did not hate non-magicals but that he believed that when found these children should be separated from the non-magical part of the family and make them forget about the child. The others felt that the family connection was as equally important. This is what caused Salazar to leave the school. He was trying to find a way to protect them and the magical community. He never did find a fool proof way to do that."
"That knowledge will certainly shake up the magical world. Do you have any proof beside the ring?"
"There are books in his vault, but I can't retrieve them yet."
"Why not Harry? If you are the heir, you should have access to the vault?" Hermione spoke for the first time in a while.
"Salazar says that I'm not strong enough yet. I need to learn more before I attempt to enter the vault as it could prove fatal before then."
"Oh." She said in awe and shock and slightly stunned. "Well, you will just have to wait until the ring says it is safe."
"I have one other question for you, Professor; can the Ministry detect wandless magic?"
"Only if one is very powerful and performs it in an area that is not rich in magic such as Diagon Alley, the Ministry or other such places. There is a trace put on your wand that dissipates around your seventeenth birthday. Of course the same rules apply to wandless magic, if performed in a magic rich environment, it would go un-noticed."
"So only those that live in a non-magical home or community would be found if they used magic? That's not fair." Complained Hermione.
"Hermione, while it may not seem fair, you have to understand that the statute of secrecy is in place to protect us from detection. Students performing magic where anyone could see them breaks that secrecy. We do this to prevent witch hunts that were popular in the middle ages." Minerva said imploringly.
"And you have to admit Hermione; that most children our age would be tempted to show their family what they have learned. I can only imagine the frustration that their families must feel. After all they are paying a lot of money for their children to learn something they don't understand and can't see." Reasoned Harry.
"I suppose." She replied after a moment of thought, clearly not happy.
"Is there anything else, Harry? Hermione?"
"No, we have our books, trunks and other supplies. We will spend the rest of the month studying before school."
Harry, Hermione and her father continued their daily workouts and martial arts training. Harry and Hermione also continued to develop the occulmency training that Minerva had given them. It was on Tuesday after Professor McGonagall's visit that Hermione made a startling discovery.
"Harry, how deep into your center have you gone?"
"Not as deeply as I would have liked as I have been sorting all the information the rings have given me. Why?"
"I'm not sure, but I think I have found my magical core."
Harry's eye widened I shock. "What makes you think so?"
"Well, while I was meditating on my center and what you have explained to Aunt Minnie, I touched something I have never felt before."
"What did it feel like?" asked Harry anxiously.
Hermione thought for a moment. "It was more what I saw more than what I felt. It was like this bright ball of energy in the center of my chest. It felt the same as I feel when we are doing magic."
Harry sat in awe as he contemplated what she had described. He then went into the meditative trance that they had learned to center himself. It wasn't long until he saw and felt what Hermione described.
"Wow! Hermione that is awesome.' He then thought for a moment. 'Hermione, I think that we should talk to Professor McGonagall before we do any more with our cores. I would hate to make a mistake at this point and hurt either ourselves or our family."
"I quite agree, Harry. Since she has said that she will be quite busy until term starts, let's wait until we are at school to talk to her."
"Not a bad idea." Harry looked contemplative for a moment.
"Harry, what's on you mind?" Hermione inquired when she saw his look.
"it's been almost a year since I came here and it was revealed that someone had messed with my memory and I was thinking of having one or more of them restored." He didn't look to happy at the prospect.
"Why Harry? Why now?"
"I've been thinking a lot about what was done to me and wonder if maybe I can find out why it was done. Also we will be entering a possible hostile world. We have no idea how people will react when they find out I'm still alive. Especially after Ms. Skeeter's articles are printed."
"That's true Harry. How will we protect ourselves?"
He held up his left hand, "Godric has given me some advice on that subject. We will practice wandless and non-verbal magic to defend our selves. A good shield charm will be the most effective way to stop an attack."
"Okay, Harry, that sounds like a plan. Now when do you want to find out about those memories?"
"If the curse breaker is available, I would like to do it this weekend. Preferably Friday night."
"Why Friday night?"
"I'll have the whole weekend to sort it out and have the family around for support."
She beamed at him, "That's really well thought out, Harry." Harry just blushed at the praise. The mental scars left by the Dursleys still ran deep, but they were healing a little at a time.
With a quick well worded note Hedwig was off to Gringotts and returned two hours later confirming that the curse breaker was indeed available and would be there Friday as requested.
Friday found an anxious Harry pacing his room.
"Harry, Sit." Hermione commanded him. "Wearing a hole in the carpet is not going to make the time go by any faster. I know you're anxious Harry. I would be to, but you must learn patience."
"I know, Mione. But this is big and to tell the truth, I'm scared."
"Scared of what, Harry?"
"I'm afraid I won't like what I see or that…or that you won't like me any more." He replied with a trembling voice, fear etched on his face.
"Harry, didn't I promise you that I would always be here for you?" she asked as she hugged him.
"I know I'm probably being foolish, but…" he trailed off.
"God, I wish I could do something to the people that hurt you so much." She said as a tear fell onto his shoulder.
"They will get theirs in the end, Hermione. You have to believe that."
"Harry, Hermione, Longknife is here." Emma called up the stairs.
Harry and Hermione walked down the stairs hand in hand.
"Where would be the best to do this?" Harry asked.
"Since you wish to have so many present, I think here would be best." Replied Longknife.
Harry looked around the room. Dan and Emma were here along with Andromeda Tonks, in case a healer was needed, and Augusta Longbottom.
"Is there any way to pick a memory?"
"No Lord Potter, only the one who cast the spell would be able to tell them apart."
With a firm resolve, Harry said, "Let's do this. Just one memory." He reminded Longknife.
The Goblin curse breaker nodded and began his chant, waving his hand near Harry's head.
'He was six and had come home at the end of the fall term with his evaluation in hand. He was proud of his marks. Then after Uncle Vernon read it, it started. The pain was enormous and unexpected. He was on the floor looking up at a furious Uncle. "HOW DARE YOU USE YOUR FREACKISHNESS TO DO BETTER THAN OUR DUDDERS?" He screamed at Harry as he proceeded to kick or stomp on every part of the small boy he could reach Harry he could reach. After what seemed to Harry to be an eternity, he was thrown into his cupboard, left to heal as best he could. Scraps were left just inside the door. Then just as he thought he was going to die, a man in garish purple robes with stars and moons floating across them appeared, pulled out his wand and healed him enough not to die. Then erased the memory of his suffering but not the cause.'
As Harry was reliving the memory in his mind, he was unaware that his body was reacting to it. Right as his memory showed him fall to the floor after being hit, his body actually fell. As the memory of the beating rolled on in his mind, his body curled up in a ball, hands over his head in an effort to protect himself. Tears rolled down his face, his face contorted in pain, Harry gasped as if struck. He moaned as each blow he remembered landed. "I'll never do it again Uncle Vernon." His body shook as if struck time and time again.
Hermione had tears streaking her face as Harry relived what had to be a night mare in his mind. She knelt and tried to hold him, to offer what comfort she could, but it was if he could not feel her arms around him. Finally it was over. Even though tears ran freely down his face he never uttered a sound other than to promise that he would not do it again.
Once Andi was sure the memory was over, she forced a calming draft into Harry. Slowly as the potion took effect, Harry's body relaxed. His breathing was still rapid and shallow as if he were still in the memory.
"HARRY! HARRY! Come back to us Harry." Hermione pleaded.
Harry could feel arms around him and at first he panicked, then he realized that these arms were not hurting him. Then he heard her voice. He knew that voice. He associated it with warmth and vanilla, of friendship and family and so much more. He opened his eye and there she was, looking down at him. Tears streaming down her face. Concern and something else in her eyes. "Mione." He whispered with all the emotion he could muster. He closed his eyes for a moment. "I'll be fine."
"Do you feel like talking about it?" she asked in a soft tender voice.
"I need a moment." She just nodded.
She helped him up off the floor and sat on the couch were Emma joined them, engulfing them both in a hug.
"Lord Potter, do you wish to do another?" Longknife inquired.
"No. I'm not sure I want to see any more if their all as bad as that and I have no reason to doubt that they will be."
After a moment he asked, "Is there a way to open those memories outside of my mind so I don't have to relive them?"
"I'm afraid not, my Lord. Was it truly so bad?"
Harry took another moment to muster his strength, holding Hermione's hand he started. "I was six and the fall term had just ended for the holidays. I was brining home my first evaluation. I was proud of my marks. That is until Uncle Vernon saw them. Before I knew it, his ham of a fist hit me in the face. I think he broke my nose. I found myself on the floor looking up. He was as mad as I had ever seen him. He bellowed about me using my freakishness to out do Dudley in school. He then proceeded to kick or stomp every part of me he could. Then I was thrown in my cupboard and feed table scraps for the rest of the holidays. I thought I was going to die.' Tears leaked as he relived it again. With a sniff, he continued. 'Then a man with a long beard and hair showed up. He pulled out what I now know was a wand and healed me. Not completely, but apparently enough that I wouldn't die. Then took away the memory of what happened but not why. That's when my grades started to drop. I couldn't do better than my cousin."
"How was the man dressed Harry? Do you remember?" Andi asked softly.
"They were the ugliest purple robes ever, with moons and stars floating across them. Do you know anyone that dresses like that?"
"Unfortunately I do. The same man that declared you dead."
"Are we sure my parents are dead?"
"Unfortunately Harry, yes we are. There are three different records that proclaim that and there is only one that could be tampered with. But as the others also confirm their death, there is no reason to tamper with it."
"Longknife, you said that there were about twenty more memories." Harry said more as a question than a statement. Longknife just nodded his head. "Damn." Surprisingly no one commented on his language. "Is there anything we can do about this?" He asked in general.
It was Andi that spoke. "Even though I am not a barrister, I don't think there is a thing we could do in the muggle world as we would have to explain the existence of magic. On the magical side the man in question holds many powerful positions. Assailing him will be difficult if not impossible."
"Madam Longbottom, since there is no time to plan a meeting of our allies, I will leave it to you to explain what we know and see what they advise. As much as I don't want to, releasing those other memories may be our only choice."
Over the next two weeks Harry and Hermione practiced wandless shields and awareness. Godric's ring stressed that in combat you must be aware of what is going on around you all the time. Even though they were not actually in a war, they didn't know what to expect and felt better being prepared.
A/N:Next the express, the sorting and maybe Rita's article. It will depend on the length of the chapter.