First, allow me to say thanks to all those who put their hopes on this story by placing it on their Story Alert list. I hope I'll be able to live up to your expectations!
Harry's eyes opened before his alarm even managed to ring, and cut it off before the first note could be completed. He rolled out of bed and turned on the lights in his room, before checking his appearance in the mirror.
Good morning, Harry.
Morning, Archer. Harry replied.
Ever since Archer took up residence in his body four years ago, apart from his emerald eyes, the rest of Harry's body had undergone a great deal of change. His scar no longer stood out as prominently, having faded to nothing more than a thin line on his forehead, and he developed an eyesight that was extremely adept at picking out details from afar. And with his improved living conditions, he started developing a good deal of muscle. But the changes that stood out the most were his hair and skin, both of which reflected Archer's; his hair was a snowy white with a few flecks of black around the edge, except for the fringe he used to hide the scar, and his skin was a light tan that was more at home on someone living closer to the Equator. His explanation to those who questioned him about it was a casual mentioning of the trauma he went through, and nobody dared to ask any further. He was rather well-known after the debacle, after all.
But that wasn't the end of Archer's influence. Both he and Archer were early risers, and that habit continued to this day. Archer's encouragement also drove him to polish his cooking skills, and he developed an interest in fixing things and helping people just like Archer's past life did, enough to get a reputation as something of a Mr Fixit in his school. His foster parents protested at first, but Harry stuck determinedly to his new hobbies, and they eventually acquiesced. Four years of having Archer in his head had left him with more than a few of his idol's character traits.
After washing his face and dressing, Harry headed downstairs to work on cooking breakfast. As always, he took the opportunity offered by the solitude to practice a small bit of the magecraft he had learned under Archer's tutelage.
Focusing on the stove, he whispered, "Structural Analysis," triggering the magic circuits in his body.
His mental trigger was the nightmare he still had on occasion: a woman's scream followed by a flash of green light. A nightmare that he recently found out to be a memory of the night his birth parents were murdered.
Satisfied that there was nothing different about the object, he began the task of making the first meal of the day.
Still thinking about it? Archer's voice sounded dry.
Four years of sharing one's mind and the occasional memory with someone else also leaves one with a very clear idea of what the other guy is thinking.
Yeah. Harry admitted, I'm a wizard and I'm famous for surviving the evil wizard who killed my parents. How can I NOT think about it? I'm also annoyed that the Dursleys had the NERVE to tell me they died in a car crash!
You could try working out where magecraft and magic are different. Archer suggested.
You mean like what's the difference between wards and bounded fields? Or how they don't rely on magic circuits, but a magic core instead? Or the best part, no one seems interested in reaching Akasha, but seeing what they can do with magic like a child with a toy? Harry retorted waspishly. But then there's just one thing... I don't know any magic yet.
After Harry was adopted by a couple with no children, he found out that what he went through with the Dursleys was something wrong, and reacted like any child would: with anger. His foster parents and Archer helped him to temper that anger, but Harry still showed the occasional hot flash once in a while.
Archer's presence in his mind also helped Harry to learn to notice certain things; the bounded field around his foster home, the odd people who watched him from a distance, and the crazy people who came up to shake his hand or bow to him, all of them were clear signs of magic, according to Archer. Especially when the people would vanish when he tried to get a second look. Archer and Harry, after some discussion, decided to adopt a wait-and-see strategy while training in magecraft and physical fighting.
Harry discovered that while the magic circuits in his body used to be Archer's, they worked for him perfectly, which Archer described as something that shouldn't be possible. Still, with his desire to become a hero like Archer, Harry worked to learn the same skills, practicing Structural Analysis, Reinforcement, Alteration, and the variation of Projection that Archer taught him. However, while he had a moderate degree of success with the former two, the latter was something he could only pull off through synchronized action with Archer, leading the hero to propose the theory that while Harry could use magecraft thanks to the magic circuits in his body, Archer himself had to function as a Mystic Code (1) of sorts when it came to Tracing.
Harry didn't know whether Archer was right or not, he was just disappointed that he couldn't make swords like Archer did when they were training in the dream world where he first met Archer. For his part, the spirit was impressed with the determination that Harry displayed in his magecraft studies, never flinching or shying from the pain that came with it. It aided the boy greatly when he also began practicing archery at the local community center, and needed to focus on the target.
Then the letter came, delivered by a stern-looking woman in robes, informing him of his acceptance to a school of MAGIC, one that was different from the magecraft Archer was familiar with. Transfiguration, Charms, Potions... both of them were fascinated by this new system of magic.
With Archer coaching him, Harry wormed out information from Professor Minerva McGonagall; his history (he was particularly incensed to find out that the headmaster of the school, the person who left him at the Dursleys, and his magical guardian were one and the same), what happened to his biological parents, and why he was being watched by people who weren't very good at hiding (Harry was amused to see the woman blanch when he informed her about the people who came up to him). In the end, he told her that he would decide by tomorrow.
Which was today. Harry checked the clock; the woman said she would be here at nine, and it was barely seven.
Enough for some morning training. He decided.
He ate lightly, and left the remainder of the breakfast out for his foster parents under a cover before picking up his eskrima (2) sticks and heading out to the back garden where he could train without being watched.
Even with Archer's influence and wholesome meals, Harry's slender body was simply not suited for a style utilizing heavier blades like the Kanshou and Bakuya used by Archer. In accordance with the idea of 'the best defense is a good offense', Harry settled for a sword style that would utilize his speed and agility the most, especially after Archer promised him that he had the appropriate blades for Harry to use no matter what style he chose.
Placing his sticks aside, he started stretching to loosen up his body. Once he was warmed up, Harry picked up the sticks and Reinforced them as part of his magecraft training, then settled them into his hands and adopting his combat stance.
His strikes began slowly, weaving around into the angles of attack, targeting critical areas on the bodies of his imagined foes, and blocking against their perceived attacks. After several minutes of this shadow training, Harry triggered the next stage with the sound of a woman's scream and a green flash in his mind, this time pumping prana through his body to Reinforce it. His fluid movements began to speed up, going faster and faster, until his body was practically blurring in its motion, the sticks whistling as they whipped through the air too fast for the human eye to perceive.
Okay, that's enough. Archer warned him. Your circuits are reaching their limit.
Thanks, Archer. Harry wiped the sweat off his brow and headed in to wash up, cutting the flow of prana as he did.
"Good morning, Harry." His foster parents greeted him as he came back down in outing clothes after showering.
"Good morning, Uncle John, Aunt Diana." He returned the greeting. Harry found it hard to think of anyone as a parent figure apart from Archer, and even Archer was more of an equal than anything else.
"So, you're going to go to magic school?" The man asked, taking a sip of his coffee.
"Yes." Harry admitted, "I'm curious about the world my birth parents came from."
"Then we won't stop you. Just make sure to do well in your studies. We won't be able to accompany you today, though."
"Thank you, and I'll be fine on my own. Speaking of which, I think it might be a good idea to keep up my normal studies." Harry kept in mind Archer's advice about not putting all his eggs in one basket.
"Can you handle it?"
"I'm not sure." Harry admitted honestly. "But I want to try at least."
The couple shared a look, before the woman nodded. "Alright. We'll look into getting you the necessary materials."
"Thank you." Harry checked the clock. "It's nearly time-"
As if on cue, the doorbell rang.
The last time, she knocked on the door. Archer observed.
Harry just went over to open the door. Instead of the woman from yesterday, he saw a girl with bushy hair and rather large front teeth standing on the porch. He blinked at her for a few moments, then realized that the person he was expecting was standing behind the girl.
The girl started chattering without pausing to take a breath. "Oh, hello. Are you going to Hogwarts too? My name's Hermione Granger, I was so excited to find out that I was a witch, you know. I- why are you staring at me like that?" She stopped, finally noticing the look Harry was giving her.
"I believe it's because you surprised him, Miss Granger." Professor Minerva McGonagall said dryly.
The girl instantly blushed and ducked her head. "I'm sorry."
"Actually, it was because you seemed so lively." Harry countered smoothly. "Anyway, I'm Harry Potter. Nice to meet you." He held out his hand.
Hermione took his hand and shook it with a slight tremble that he didn't miss. "Nice to meet you too."
Harry looked up at the woman. "Good morning to you, Professor."
"The same to you, Mr Potter. As she introduced herself, this is Hermione Granger, one of the Muggleborn students that will be attending with you if you choose to attend Hogwarts."
"You mean you haven't decided whether you want to go or not?" Hermione interrupted, sounding horrified that he didn't choose to go right off the bat.
"Miss Granger! That was rude." Professor McGonagall scolded.
"I'm so sorry!" The girl apologized immediately.
Harry raised a hand to stop her. "No, it's fine. And yes, I've decided to go to Hogwarts. Are we going to go to collect our supplies now?"
Professor McGonagall blinked, as though suddenly realizing that Harry was already dressed to go, and nodded. Harry went back inside to inform his foster parents, and soon came back out ready to go with a cap covering his hair.
They piled into a car driven by Hermione's parents, both dentists, and were taken to Charing Cross Road, where Professor McGonagall led them into a rundown pub named the Leaky Cauldron, something that Harry found rather odd,. During the car ride, the professor answered any questions they posed, most of which came from Hermione. Harry found out that his parents had left him some money to purchase his school supplies with.
As the teacher demonstrated how to open the gateway to Diagon Alley, Harry was in a mental discussion with Archer.
What do you make of the girl, Archer?
She clearly has a great deal of respect for adults, judging from the way she hangs onto the lady's words, almost to the point of living for their approval... I'm guessing that she doesn't have many friends her age, if any.
Harry glanced over at the girl in question with a bit of pity in his eyes. He remembered how it was like when he went to school for the first time, and Dudley bullied all the other kids away from befriending him.
But whatever he was going to say in reply was soon forgotten as the entranceway opened up to reveal Diagon Alley, which was a fascinating new world just overflowing with so many new things awaiting to be discovered.
This is amazing, Archer! Harry's thoughts were filled with awe as he followed the rest down the street. I can't believe that something like this is right in the middle of London.
Archer kept silent, but the owner of his host body could feel him struggling not to laugh.
What's so funny? Harry demanded.
Look over to your left, Harry. Archer said casually, drawing the boy's attention to a shop named Quality Quidditch Supplies. See those boys gushing over that broomstick? Archer snorted. Broomstick. Well, it's like non-magical boys doing the same over a brand new bike.
Harry didn't get it at first, so Archer elaborated.
This whole magical alley thing, entering it is just like entering a foreign country. They have their own culture, which is different from the one you are familiar with. Once you get past the thrill, it's actually no different from the normal world.
Harry stopped and considered what just heard, looking around at the shops in a new light. The woman at the apothecary complaining about the prices of one of the ingredients could have been doing the same regarding a vegetable at a grocer's. The menagerie was nothing more than a pet shop with a slightly different selection. The clothing store, the bookstore... Harry realized that Archer was right.
"Harry! What's wrong? Why did you stop? I know it's amazing, but we've got to go to the bank!"
Harry realized that Hermione was calling him, and looked up to see her standing in front of him while the adults waited impatiently up ahead.
"Sorry. I was just thinking about something really important. Let's go." You're right, Archer. There's even a bank.
Staffed by non-humans, so maybe it's slightly different. Archer commented as they walked through the bronze front doors, bowed through by two goblin guards. Be on your best behavior, you never know what might happen. Oh, and there's a compulsion on the silver doors coming up.
Harry slowed down, letting himself fall to the back of the group and out of their attention. He turned to the guards and returned their bows at a slightly higher angle, before hurrying after the adults. The goblins stared after him, taking note of the strange child who had just shown them a manner of respect most wizards wouldn't even imagine doing.
"Mr and Mrs. Granger, you need to get into that line over there. The teller will assist you in converting your money to ours." Professor McGonagall gestured at a counter with no queue.
Harry and Archer both noticed that the goblin at that counter instantly locked onto their party when they first came in, having trained themselves to recognize possible threats. Judging from the way some of the guards eyed him out of the adults in their party, Harry realized that he wasn't subtle enough.
"As for Mr Potter, please follow me." The teacher looked back at the couple and their daughter. "We will take some time, so please wait for us near the entrance."
They waited in a different queue, with Harry observing his surroundings while Archer remained silent. Eventually it was their turn, and the goblin called them forward.
"Mr Potter would like to access his trust vault. Vault 687."
"Key?" The goblin demanded brusquely.
Professor McGonagall drew a small golden key from inside her robes and handed it to the goblin, who inspected it closely over the glasses it wore.
"That seems in order. Griphook!" Another goblin instantly hurried up. "Take Mr Potter and his companion down to vault six hundred and eighty seven."
Harry bit his lip to stop himself from asking right then, following the small goblin instead. He waited until they entered a corridor away from the hall before he finally spoke.
"Professor, why do you have my vault key?" From the corner of his eye, he noticed the goblin twitch slightly.
"Headmaster Dumbledore gave it to me for the purpose of today's trip." Before Harry could ask any further, she continued, "After we leave Gringotts, it will be yours to keep. I'm sure you are aware how important it is."
"Yes, Professor." Would she have given it over to me if I had refused to attend Hogwarts? I don't like this... why didn't I hear of this vault until now?
Another puzzle. Archer commented. We still don't have any answers, so don't go acting just yet.
I know. Harry replied as their party got onto a cart that came when the goblin Griphook whistled. It's just- WHOOOOAAAA! Whatever thought Harry had was thrown out of his mind as the cart shot off sharply.
When the goblin opened his vault, Harry was struck speechless by the sight of all the gold, silver, and bronze coins within. He barely registered Professor McGonagall telling him about the exchange rates between the coins, but finally came to with Archer's soft reminder in his head.
Harry approached one of the piles of golden coins and picked up a single coin. "Structural Analysis."
It was pure gold, with magic holding the normally weak metal together in a solid structure. If Harry had to define it in magecraft terms, he would describe the magic to be a combination of the earth and metal affinities.
"Hurry up, Mr Potter." Professor McGonagall's crisp voice shook him out of his thoughts.
Harry turned around to give her a nod, before grabbing a bag and filling it with handfuls of coins of each type. He found the bag to remain constant in weight no matter how much he filled it, and analyzed it as well.
Careful. We don't know for sure if they can detect magecraft. Archer warned. Wizards are one thing, these goblins are another.
Chastened, Harry tied the mouth of the bag shut and left the vault. He noted that after the goblin closed the door, it handed the key directly to him with a subtle sneer at the woman.
"Thank you." Surprise again. Do these goblins really get so little thanks for their service? Harry wondered.
Why don't you tell me your conclusions after we get back to the entrance hall? proposed Archer.
By the time he left Gringotts, Harry was sure of one thing. I don't think I like this wizarding society much, if most wizards act so snootily.
Archer chuckles filled his mind. Perhaps you might want to research the reason in the history books.
"I suggest getting a trunk first. There is a great deal to buy, and it is best to have a trunk to store the items in." Professor McGonagall explained as she led the way to a shop selling all manners of trunks in various materials and enchantments.
Harry frowned at the standard trunk, and chose a three-compartment one instead despite the teacher's attempts to dissuade him. He noticed that the girl looked at him disapprovingly, which cemented his opinion of her as a teacher's pet even as he ignored her.
Next they were fitted for uniforms at Madam Malkin's; three sets of plain black robes, one pointed hat (Archer snorted over that), one black winter cloak, and a pair of gloves made out of dragon hide. Harry scanned the last item with his magecraft and was impressed at the protection it offered.
They then moved on to the general stores, where they got the necessary school equipment and ingredients for Potions class and a telescope for Astronomy. Harry found the smell around the apothecary overpowering, but both he and Archer could smell the power in some of the ingredients. Potions felt like it could be an interesting class, which Harry mentioned as a passing comment.
Professor McGonagall overheard and looked at him. "Your mother was quite the potions brewer herself, in fact. She often competed for the top spot with our current Potions teacher Severus Snape. They were friends while they were at school."
"I see." Harry's voice carried no emotion. "I suppose I could ask him about her when I see him."
The teacher stared at him, but eventually nodded silently and moved on.
I advise you to ditch the telescope. The non-magical world makes much better ones, even those that aren't electricity-powered. Archer whispered.
Got it. Harry didn't like the brass telescope that much either. Why is Astronomy even a core class?
Find out yourself, Harry. That's what you're going to school for, aren't you? The voice in his head sounded slightly mocking.
Harry sneered in his mind at that infuriating personality trait of Archer's, while his face remained blank of expression. Archer often tested his ability to control his temper, usually by goading Harry with subtle jabs in a game where the rule was that Harry lost if he reacted with anger, and won if he managed to ignore the jabs entirely.
"Do you wish to get your wands first, or books?"
"Oh, wands first, certainly." Mr Granger said casually. "If we go into the bookstore, we'll never get out before dinner."
"Dad~!" Hermione protested, but it was evident she was itching to go to the bookstore.
Professor McGonagall's mouth twitched into a small smile. "I see you're a Ravenclaw at heart, Miss Granger. Alright, we shall get these two their wands first. Follow me." She swept off, with Harry bringing up the rear as usual.
Ravenclaw... that's one of the houses, for the smart ones. Why do I have a feeling I might not like this house classification? He complained to Archer, who remained silent. Another thing to read up on, then.
This time, he felt Archer's amusement clearly. Harry knew that he could not always rely on Archer, which was why the spirit occasionally challenged him to think for himself by pointing out problems for him to figure out.
The moment Harry entered Ollivander's, his nose itched fiercely from the smell of the magic present, and he sneezed several times. Blinking away tears, he suddenly sensed a presence, and reacted instinctively, diving into a roll and coming up facing whatever had triggered his attention from a safe distance away.
The old man blinked at him. "It's been a long time since a young wizard noticed me before I revealed myself. Interesting reaction."
"Don't sneak up on me." Harry warned him, still not lowering his fists.
"I shall keep that in mind, Mr..." The man squinted at him. "Ah, Mr Potter, I thought I'd be seeing you."
The boy frowned. "How?"
"You have your mother's eyes." The man approached slightly. "I remember her in here buying her first wand, almost like it was just yesterday. Willow, ten and a quarter inches long, swishy and nice for Charm work. Your father, on the other hand, favored a mahogany wand, eleven inches, pliable, a little more power and excellent for transfiguration."
Harry glared at the old man, stopping him from approaching any closer than a meter.
Mr Ollivander's eyes flicked up to the black fringe on his forehead. "And that's where... I'm sorry to say, Mr Potter, that I sold the wand that did it. Thirteen and a half inches, yew, powerful wand. If I only knew what that wand was going out into the world to do..."
Professor McGonagall cleared her throat.
"Ah, my apologies. It's nice to see you again, Minerva. I suppose this young lady is here to purchase a wand of her own?" Mr Ollivander pulled out a measuring tape and set it to work over the girl as he started pulling boxes down from the shelves.
So he sold Voldemort, Harry pronounced his parents' murderer's name with a derisive snort, his wand? That means... he knows who Voldemort really is. Neither Harry nor Archer were under any illusion that Voldemort's name was truly as such.
While Hermione tried out wand after wand with a variety of results, Harry took the chance to study the shop. The constant itch in his nose testified to the amount of raw magic filling the place, right down to the dust covering some of the boxes on the shelves, which stacked up as high as the ceiling. Harry glanced over his shoulder at the adults, then focused his attention on one of the boxes and analyzed it. The box was made of stiff cardboard, and the inside lined with velvet, on which a wand rested. Nine inches, maple, a feather from some creature that was a combination of eagle and horse.
"Oho!" Harry spun around to see Mr Ollivander nodded approvingly at a Hermione whose expression glowed as red sparks drifted down to the floor. "Very good, very good! Ten and three quarter inches, vine wood with a dragon heartstring core. That wand will serve you well, Miss Granger. That will be seven Galleons, please. Mr Potter."
Harry twitched slightly as the man turned to face him abruptly. "Yes?"
"Which is your wand hand?"
"I'm right handed, but I trained myself to be ambidextrous." Harry didn't like the way the adults looked at him with surprise when he revealed that fact.
"Hold out your arm, if you please."
Harry waited as the tape measure measured all sorts of places over him, wondering if it actually mattered since he recalled Mr Ollivander saying something about the wand choosing the wizard minutes ago.
He grimaced on hearing Archer's comment, and the expression stayed on his face as he went through the same process as Hermione, attempting to wave wands to find which one matched him, and either getting them snatched from his hand or causing rather explosive results. And through it all, Mr Ollivander seemed to be enjoying himself, as though he lived for tricky customers who were hard to match. Then he proposed an unusual combination, holly and phoenix feather, only to slump as the wand failed to respond like those before it.
He was expecting something with that one. Archer noted. Holly is a symbol of life, opposite to yew, which symbolizes death.
"How about another unusual combination? Hawthorn, twelve inches, rather springy, containing a tail feather from a phoenix."
The moment Harry touched the wand, he felt a strange sensation rushing through his body.
An artificial magic circuit. Perhaps that's why wands choose the wizard, or rather they choose each other.
Which is it? Harry asked curiously as he twirled the wand in his fingers, creating sparks of black and white.
I don't know. I wasn't really that good of a magus. Third-rate at best. Archer's self-deprecating tone almost made Harry laugh.
"Bravo, Mr Potter! Very good! But curious... very curious..." Mr Ollivander continued to mutter even as he repacked the wand into its box.
Harry figured he was being baited, but bit anyway. "What's curious about it?"
Mr Ollivander's misty eyes locked onto Harry's green ones. "The feather in this wand is the only one of its kind. It was dropped by a phoenix that appeared on a battlefield, and turned the tide of battle with its song. That will be seven Galleons, Mr Potter."
Harry could sense Archer's turmoil of emotions at this knowledge. "I see." He replied evenly as he paid up.
"Mr Potter, a warning. Hawthorn wands have a peculiarity. Their spells, when badly handled, can backfire." The man looked searchingly at Harry's expression even as he handed the box over.
"Thank you for the warning, sir." Harry didn't feel a need to mention that he faced much danger already with his practice of magecraft.
"Let us be off, Mr Potter. You still have books to buy." Professor McGonagall said imperiously.
The curious look Hermione was giving him turned to eager anticipation on hearing those words, and she almost pulled her parents off their feet heading for Flourish and Blott's, diving among the stacks the moment she crossed the threshold. Harry followed at a more sedate pace, waiting for Archer to sort out his emotions while he glanced through the various books. At the counter, Professor McGonagall asked the shop person for two sets of the first year books.
First I'll need some history books to figure out what's different between mine and Archer's world. Then perhaps some reference texts for Potions. And next... Harry came to a stop when he noticed a stand proudly proclaiming his name. What, the, HECK?
He walked over and started looking through the books on the stand, not believing his eyes. The collection of books before him were meant for children, but the content was ridiculous; they told fictional stories of how he, Harry Potter, took on all sorts of monsters and went on various adventures, even as a young child.
Archer, sensing his host's confusion and anger, reacted quickly. Harry, calm down! Don't lose control of yourself here!
Archer, are you seeing this? Harry's mind burned with anger as he glared at the offending book in his hand. They think I'm some kind of savior, saving people and defeating evil, when in reality, I LOST MY PARENTS AND GOT STUCK AT THE DURSLEYS!
Calm down. Archer repeated. That professor already told you how everyone feared that dark lord enough to dread the sound of his name. Then a child came along and got rid of him (Harry could tell that Archer didn't believe that either) , becoming a symbol of hope for them.
There's something you aren't saying. Harry accused.
I'm fairly sure you should have been getting some money for this due to copyright laws. Archer nudged Harry's attention away from the storybooks. Go get the books you wanted.
Harry dropped the book back down onto the pile and headed back among the stacks. Fine, but we'll talk about this later.
Definitely, promised Archer.
Harry eventually returned to the cashier with Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century, Hogwarts: A History, Things You Need To Remember When Mixing Ingredients, Law and Literature, Goblins and Their Place in Wizarding Society, and Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy, having picked the last one after remembering what Professor McGonagall mentioned about there being purebloods, halfbloods and muggleborns.
Trouble started when Hermione returned at a dash to confront him about the stand she just saw. "I didn't know you were famous. Why didn't you say so? Did you really defeat a dragon? What happened to all those girls you rescued? Is your hair really white because you kissed the Snow Queen?" She brandished the book that her last question was based on.
Harry's expression darkened with each question, and the last one made him snap. "All those..." He hissed, snatching the book from her hand. "Are lies."
The girl gaped at him, then bristled in anger. "Why would they print that then? And there's no need to be so rude!"
Harry... Archer warned, but Harry was past caring.
"I don't know, but you can be sure that I'm going to find out." Harry growled. "As for your earlier question, let me tell you a story. A true story."
The three adults, about to stop the children, paused at the tone of the boy's voice. The anger in it was evident, but there was a matter-of-fact acceptance that didn't seem to match at all.
"About four years ago, the police answered a call about screaming coming from a house. Do you know what they found when they broke in? A man choking a thin boy covered in blood. The boy also had broken bones in his arm and ribs." Harry felt a bit of vicious satisfaction at seeing the shock in Hermione's eyes. "But that's not all, they found that the man had starved the boy, made him do all the chores, and forced him to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs."
Hermione stared at him, unable to believe what he was telling her. Harry's eyes flicked over her shoulder to look at Professor McGonagall, who had turned white, but her expression was sad rather than horrified, unlike Hermione's parents', who seemed to recognize what he was talking about.
"Wouldn't you say it was traumatizing? Maybe traumatizing enough to cause this?" Harry pulled off the cap he was wearing, showing the white hair on his head.
It was actually a lie, but it seemed true in the face of Harry's anger, and Hermione flinched back, tears already spilling from her wide eyes.
"The world isn't as nice as you think, Miss Granger. Don't believe everything you read." Harry donned his cap again, and turned to put his purchased books back into his trunk.
Even after Professor McGonagall left them, the mood for the rest of the trip back was somber, with the Granger family throwing glances at a silent Harry Potter, particularly one red-eyed Hermione Granger. But Harry hardly noticed, he was busy talking to Archer.
That wasn't nice, Harry. Archer said disapprovingly.
I know, I'm sorry I lost my temper. Harry apologized. But she was getting on my nerves.
Don't apologize to me, apologize to her. The two of them glanced at the girl in question, who flinched and looked down instead of meeting their eyes. Still, it might do her some good at least.
Maybe. But I'm more interested in figuring out just why am I famous. There's just something about this whole Boy-Who-Lived thing that stinks.
The car came to a stop outside the place Harry was staying at, and he got off with his trunk. Just as he was about to open the door, someone called out to him from behind.
"Harry..." The young girl's voice sounded so lost that Harry instinctively turned around to see who it belonged to.
"Yes, Miss Granger?"
Despite his tone having none of its earlier annoyance, Hermione shrunk in on herself as though he had shouted at her. "I... I would like to say... that I'm sorry."
Harry stared at her for a moment, before coming to a decision. He put down his trunk and walked towards her. "I should apologize too. I shouldn't have snapped at you like that."
"But I was the one who started it by-" Hermione paused when she noticed Harry shaking his head. "What?"
"Just forget about it. We both apologized. The end. It's over." Harry could see that she wanted to protest, so he changed the subject. "Let's just start over. Hi, I'm Harry Potter." He held out his right hand. "I'd like to be friends."
She stared at it for a moment, before taking it shyly. "Hermione Granger. It would be my pleasure."
Harry noted that this time, she didn't tremble at all.
After a lively dinner with his foster parents where he talked and answered questions about his shopping trip, Harry was found seated on the floor in his room with the books he bought scattered around him, along with papers covered in scribbles from his practice with a quill.
I can't believe they still use quills! Harry groaned as he worked a kink out of his wrist. Everyone in the non-magical world uses pens!
I wonder... Archer mused. Harry, do you have the acceptance letter with you still?
Huh? Yeah, just a moment. Harry rooted through a pile. Here it is.
Harry did so and immediately threw the letter away from him. There's an enchantment on it! He thought, outraged. It compels the recipient to rely mainly on parchment and quills! Why would they do something like that?
Judging by what we saw earlier today, I'm sure it's because of tradition. The Clocktower in my world placed a great deal of importance on that. Wasn't there a Statute of Secrecy or something?
Harry thought about what Archer said. But it still doesn't make sense.
Think about what you just said, Harry. Magic doesn't normally make sense.
Harry looked over his shoulder at the standing mirror, and quirked an eyebrow so Archer could see it too. Ha ha, very funny. But at least now that I know that the enchantment is there, I'm not going to fall for it. I'll be sure to bring pens and notebooks along with me. I'm not about to give up their usefulness to satisfy these wizards' love of tradition.
Harry's words struck a chord in Archer, who was strangely reminded of the man known as Emiya Kiritsugu, a man who was infamously known as the Magus Killer, and a person who viewed magecraft as nothing more than a tool.
Anyway, back to the thing we were discussing in the bookshop. I'm supposedly famous for defeating the dark lord Voldemort in Godric's Hollow on October 31st, 1981. According to this book, Harry tapped one of the non-syllabus books he bought, Only four people should have been present. Yet it seems everyone knows- I mean, thinks that I killed the guy. But there's no body at all.
And your conclusion? Archer prompted.
The Boy-Who-Lived is a hoax. Someone else made up the story, casting me as the hero. The likeliest reason for Voldemort's downfall was some kind of suicide attack by either my dad or mom, or both. There's no way a one year old baby could have defeated the 'greatest dark lord of modern times'.
This. Harry picked up The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble. According to this, the Killing Curse kills its victim in a flash of green light without leaving a mark on the body. That would explain what I've been seeing in my nightmares. But how does it explain this? Harry looked at the mirror, brushing up his fringe to reveal the faint lightning bolt scar. If he used the Killing Curse on me, why do I have this scar? But there's no clear answer that I can think of at the moment.
So back to the earlier question, about who set you up. Who is the person who could have made you the hero?
Harry traded the book in his hand for the one about events in the twentieth century. There are various possible culprits, but only one stands out for various reasons. And one of those reasons is being somebody that most people would believe.
He flipped through the book until he reached the page he wanted.
Will you stop joking? It's the other guy. Harry jabbed his finger down at the other, familiar name present.
(1) According to Type-Moon wiki, a Mystic Code is a support weapon carried by an adult magus, and comes in two types. The first is support-based, either through storing prana, or amplifying the spell. The other, which Archer falls under, is the type that results in a predetermined effect when charged with prana.
(2) Eskrima is the traditional martial arts of Philippines, which emphasizes weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives or bladed weapons.
So that's my first story chapter for Fate Prophecy Break. I hope I managed to flesh out my new version of Harry enough. Strong sense of righteousness, a great deal of determination, and a healthy amount of anger. But mostly I'm just feeling it out as I go. Archer is more of a restraining presence meant to temper Harry's mood, than an actual Servant who will guard his Master.
I can't find my copy of the first book, so I wrote most of the so-called canon lines according to how I remember them, relying on the wiki for the information-type information.
As for mechanics of magic, I took a lot from the Harry Potter wiki. I didn't think canon Harry's holly wand would match this Harry, so I scanned through the wiki for the type of woods that matched his new character, and ended up settling on hawthorn, which leads to the creation of wands that are 'as full of paradoxes as the tree that gave it birth'. Doesn't it fit Harry, with the existence of Archer's Unlimited Blade Works inside him? (not in the form of Heaven's Feel Shirou, though, or Harry would turn into a pincushion of blades)
I don't really know what else I might need to put in these author notes, so I'm ending this here with a request for reviews. Updates will be slow, since I have a job, and I usually write on inspiration.