All right, here's the next chapter. I know, it's been a while since I started this story, but it took me a while to get this to how I wanted it. That said, I have to correct myself. Originally, this was to be one chapter per year for the second to eighth chapter of this fic. I realized, as I was typing this chapter, that doing it like that wasn't going to work - each chapter would have been unbearably long, and, I hate seeing a one shot that would be better off as a chapter story - and I mean those one shots that are around thirty thousand or more words. This chapter alone is almost twenty thousand, and that's just having the first five chapters of my RtB series being observed - and yes, the prologues and epilogues will be observed as well.
So, for now, I've split it up so that each chapter for this fic holds five of each book chapter that they observe being read. I'll probably do the same for the second fic as well. It might change come the third fic and afterwards, though. Also, for anyone who is reading my RtB series on my personal site, I updated the next chapter to Book III up on there several days ago. I still have three chapters to go, but it's getting closer to the end of Book III.
Also, jsut a note. You'll notice little numbers in parenthasis in this chapter. The number is to which chapter of Book I they respond to, so it's easier to tell which chapter each part goes to.
Year I; Chapters I – V
"Guys, it's started," Tristelianna said as she reached the first level.
"I think we can tell," Harry said, look out the window at the sudden rain fall.
"Actually, I mean that the group is about to all meet up, but if you'd rather watch the rain, then I guess I'll go back downstairs alone," she answered back.
"I'll be going with you, actually," Hermione said, coming down from upstairs.
"I'm coming as well," Harry said, Luna following right behind him.
"Anyone else?" Tristelianna asked. The rest of the group shook their heads.
"Most of us haven't actually eaten yet, so we'll come down once we get some food," Azure said.
"Yeah, and I'm going to make up for not seeing grandson last night," Andromeda said. "We'll both probably be down there in a few minutes."
"All right, then," Tristelianna said, turning right back around and heading back downstairs again. The other three were already there, with two of them surrounding the well while Hermione was looking for something.
"Luna and Cedric were just about to walk through the door," Hermione said, finally seeming to find what she was looking for. She picked up a stack of seven books, and headed to the well, using her wand to lower them into it. Tristelianna walked over and looked down just in time to see the group notice the books.
"You don't seem to except the concept of magic rather well, Harry," Hermione said, frowning after hearing about them reading the letter from Tristelianna. "And what do you mean you've taken great pains'? Did you forget about the rest of us who worked on this project as well?"
"That's because my aunt and uncle were very...forceful about their aversion to magic. Up until my Hogwarts letter came, they did everything possible to hide it from me," Harry told her.
"And no, I didn't. I just had a feeling that it would be better not to mention that there had been many working on this project at this moment in time, particularly three of the people who are now going to be reading," Tristelianna said. "I don't think we want them to wonder which three. I can already tell that they're wondering who comes in where, and why."(1)
"You seem surprised to learn that your aunt and uncle are being mentioned," Tristelianna said, though her eyes furrowed as more was read. Not only did his aunt and uncle sound completely horrible – after all, why would they pretend that Harry's mother didn't exist simply because she had an ability they didn't – but she knew that Harry wouldn't have this information, to this detail, which made her wonder where it came from.
"I guess I didn't expect them to be mentioned first thing,, at least, for myself. As for my younger self, he probably didn't expect the note to be completely truthful," Harry said. He too was confused as to why this chapter was there, since it didn't have anything to do with him. However, when it mentioned an owl going by, as well as a cat reading a map, and then his uncle seeing people in funny cloaks, he had a feeling he knew what day this was.
"It's the day after..." Harry started to say, only to stop, unable to really voice it. He hated all reminders of that day – in fact, one of the things about America that he liked was the fact that he wasn't reminded of that day so much.
"Seems to be," Hermione said.
"Seems to be what?" Teddy's voice said. The four turned to see that Andromeda and Teddy were coming down the stairs. Tristelianna raised an eyebrow at this, having believed that they'd stay upstairs and do something fun, but didn't say anything. Like Hannah, he had not been a part of the project. However, unlike Hannah, he had sat in quite a few of the meetings, enough to know most of what was going on, even if he didn't quite understand it all, and what certain things down in the lab were, and what he could and could not mess with.
"The first chapter of the book seems to be set November first, nineteen eighty-one," Tristelianna said. Andromeda's eyes widened, while Teddy looked between everyone, confused, as he didn't have a clue as to what the significance of the day was.
"Why..." Andromeda began to ask.
"We don't really know," Hermione said. "We're kind of wondering the same thing."
"I'm wondering how it got there, considering that none of us were there," Harry said. "Or, rather, were aware of what was going on, and I can honestly say that I wasn't there for any of this part, since I didn't arrive at my aunt and uncle's until the second of November."
"People weren't really careful at the time, were they?" Tristelianna said, listening as the chapter continued. "First the cloaks, owls, and rumors, and now the calling them Muggles straight to their faces. Tsk, tsk." She turned to looked that the Brits in the room. "And y'all wonder why I drilled it into your heads to call the non magicals 'mundane' instead of Muggle."
"We were kind of excited," Andromeda said. "I mean, we had been at war for eleven years and many of us lost loved ones." Her voice was sad as she said this, and Teddy wrapped his grandmother in a hug, knowing that she was thinking about the second part of this war, the one in which he'd lost his parents and grandfather in, the latter having happened before he was even born. "We were all very welcoming towards what we had thought was the end of the bastard."
"Hey, don't blame you," Tristelianna said. "When it comes to megalomaniacs and want to be tyrants, seeing their ends would make me want to celebrate as well. I just think that calling someone a Muggle is just going a bit too far."
"That is true," Andromeda agreed. "But then, British wizard usually don't have any common sense." After having seen how the American wizarding world worked, she knew that what she spoke was true, and, rather bitterly, cursed the British wizarding world for being stuck in the past and unable to see the truth, as well as Dumbledore for being too forgiving, in her opinion. If it wasn't for those two things, perhaps her family would still be alive.
"You know, if Professor Flitwick had a squeaky voice, I would probably think that was him," Harry said, not really listening to the conversation between the other two.
"He wouldn't be walking around in a mundane town, though, particularly since he'd be at the school," Hermione told him.
"That we know of," Neville injected. "For all we know, some of the teachers went out for the 'celebration'."
"They weren't," Andromeda said. "At least, not right away. A few did come to join the celebrations afterward, as Hogwarts actually allowed students to go home to celebrate with their families. I remember hearing about it, as most of them flooed home from the Three Broomsticks and Hog's Head to Diagon Alley."
"I take it that those who would mourn the 'death' of Voldemort also went home," Hermione said.
"I do believe so," Andromeda said. "I remember hearing that the only people left were the younger year Muggleborns, who were watched by several of the teachers."
"Let me guess: the older year Muggleborns either went to their friends houses, or were able to get home themselves without problem," Harry said.
"Probably both options," Andromeda said. "Although, from what I can remember of my years, as well as how my...my h-husband acted after we finished school, it was most likely the latter. Not many Muggleborns stayed in contact with their parents after school, and most of them sort of alienated themselves from their parents beforehand. In fact, back when I was in school, it wasn't common to discover that the older year Muggleborns would stay at the school for Christmas and Easter for no reason other than to stay in the wizarding world."
"Really," Hermione said. "It wasn't like that when I was there, at least, not at first. Fifth and sixth year kind of were."
"They were?" Harry asked. Hermione nodded.
"That's understandable," Andromeda said. "I have the feeling that a good number of them probably thought that staying there at the time would either keep their families from being found. Not that it really matters; anyone can walk into the file department and find everything about everyone, including addresses. That's actually how many of the families were found in the first part of the war. They were able to change it a bit during the second part, though, as there were less Mug- mundane-born attacks. Most of the attacks during the second part of the war, at first, were on mundanes."
The listeners nodded, turning back into the book just in time to hear it mention that Vernon Dursley was still planning on keeping quiet about things.
"It sounds as if your uncle is a afraid of your aunt," Neville said.
"When it comes to some things," Harry told him. "Particularly anything to do with my mother and witches and wizards."
"How is it that your aunt can be happy to about the word your cousin learned?" Andromeda asked, shaking her head. Being proud that a child learned that word wasn't something a good parents was. Harry shrugged. Despite all their attempts, that family was anything but normal.
"That sounds like that guy knows about wizards," Hermione said upon hearing the news cast. When the name of the newscaster was said, Hermione paled, looking at Andromeda, who had also paled at the name. However, she shook her head.
"My husband, during the war, was a Healer, and continued as such up until he lost his job when the Ministry was taken over," Andromeda said. At the mention of Ted Tonks, everyone, though they didn't know him that well, looking down for a moment's silences, though it didn't work out all that well because the four reading the book kept reading it.
"They what?" Andromeda said, eyes blazing in anger. That was something that hit too close to home for her, having had to deal with it in her own family after she followed her heart.
"My aunt and uncle don't like magic. They think it's not normal," Harry said. He didn't mention that the real reason his aunt didn't like it was because she didn't have the ability to use magic herself, and that jealousy had turned into hate for those who did have it.
"If you aunt and uncle don't like magic, how were you welcomed in their house?" Andromeda asked. Harry looked down, and Andromeda had her answer.
"Did whoever put you with them know this?" she asked.
"Yes, Dumbledore did," Harry said. Her face went red with anger, and it was only her Black upbringing that kept her from letting go of her temper. Considering what it was that she wanted to rant about, it wouldn't do for Teddy to hear half of the words she'd most likely use.
However, it was kind of hard for her to keep her temper as she heard the exchange between Dumbledore and McGonagall. Both Harry and Hermione looked down as they saw a clear show of just how blind McGonagall was to Dumbledore – even though she'd watched the Dursley's all day, her objections went away simply because Dumbledore said he didn't want Harry to grow up and have a big head.
That was pure bull in her opinion. Andromeda knew that there would be quite a few people, a few families, who would be more suited to raise Harry without that happening. Her family, in fact, would have done it. She wasn't so taken with the legend about the Boy-Who-Lived that she would let Harry get away with anything. She would have treated him like a son, and therefore, just like a son, would have punished him if he had deserved it, awarded him if he deserved that, and given him an allowance for chores well done. And, while she wouldn't have hidden what happened to his birth parents, she wouldn't tell him the full story until she knew that he could handle it without getting a big head.
Her family wasn't the only one who would have done that. Another family that would have done well were the Greengrass family, along with the Lovegood family, and the Davis family. Of course, like her family, all of these families would have been considered 'suspect' to Dumbledore, mainly for the fact that none of them thought the sun shown from his arse. All of the families had mostly been neutral during the first war, mainly because, though they agreed more with Dumbledore's philosophy – the one he tended to sprout about equality, not the one his actions showed – they didn't agree with him and didn't want to take orders from him, as many of the 'light' families tended to do. Plus, many of them had wished that Dumbledore had been more willing to do what was necessary to deal with the Death Eaters, not lightly slap them on the wrists or only use stunners in battle. In a war, you had to be prepared to kill.
But no, Dumbledore was only interested in protecting the status quo, as well as giving off the impression that a good witch or wizard refrained from doing anything that could effect that. That little lesson about Dumbledore was one Andromeda had learned since coming to America, and it was easy for her to agree with it after having seen what Dumbledore's so called 'Greater-Good' seemed to actually do.
"Pot, kettle, black, Hermione," Tristelianna said, looking at her. She blushed lightly, realizing just how...contradictory her reading self was to both her book self and her. It was clear to her that her reading self didn't like Dumbledore, and, for perhaps the first time, she realized that it probably was a good thing they'd chosen a time before she and Harry got their letters. Her reading self didn't have any knowledge of who Dumbledore was before hand, and therefore wasn't blind to Dumbledore's actions as she was – or had been, anyway. She knew that she had let what she had read about Dumbledore to blind her a bit to his actions, and, even now, still had trouble hearing anything bad about him without thinking that the person was dark.
Harry smiled when Hagrid was mentioned, though his smile faded lightly when McGonagall made doubts about his ability to take care of Harry.
"Hey, when it comes to something other than secrets, Hagrid is someone to trust," Harry said. "And even then, he's not as bad with secrets as some people make him out to be."
"That is true," Hermione said. "After all, he did manage to keep why he was expelled a secret, as well as what the tasks for the tournament were, until Crouch Jr. convinced him to tell you."
"Exactly," Harry said, turning back into the reading.
"He was even looking out for you then," Hermione said, when it mentioned Sirius. Harry smiled sadly, wishing he'd been able to get to know his godfather more. Andromeda copied Harry's smile. The last time she ever saw him was back when Harry was born, when he told her that he'd been named his godfather.
It was that knowledge that had helped her believe that he was innocent of the crimes he was being blamed for; she knew him well enough to know that, just because he didn't follow the belief that pure-bloods were better than Muggleborns, it didn't mean that some of the lessons hadn't stuck. One of those lessons were about what one should do if they became a god parent to a child, and it was one of the milder talks, which often said that it was an okay deal to follow for those who didn't believe in blood supremacy.
"He did WHAT?!" Hermione, Tristelianna, and Andromeda yelled out in shock. Harry, who had already known this due to the fact that Aunt Marge had often commented on it, and what she would have done if he had been left on her doorstep, winced as that fact came out.
"He just left you there, like you were nothing but a bottle of milk," Hermione said, shaking with anger.
"Of course he did," Tristelianna snapped, having thought about it. "Based on what we've been told already about his relatives, it's clear that Dumbledore wasn't going to take a chance that they wouldn't take him in. What I want to know is what made them keep him?"
That got Hermione and Andromeda's attention.
"What do you mean?" Hermione said.
"I mean, considering how much they hate anything that they consider out of the ordinary, they were obviously bribed with something, maybe even more than that," Tristelianna said. "So the question becomes what did they gain by keeping him?" She turned to Harry, wondering if he knew. However, Andromeda answered instead.
"Money, probably," she said.
"That would work, to a point, but there's probably something else as well," Tristelianna said. "After all, if Dumbledore wrote them a letter, they'd probably believe that you were dangerous to be around, since they'd – or, at least, your uncle – had already heard some whispers about you. It wouldn't take much to put two and two together, though they'd probably come to a bit of a different conclusion, probably believing that others would want to come around and they'd have to deal with 'our kind'." The last two words were said with sarcasm. "So, again, I ask, what did they gain by keeping him?"
"You'll get the answer towards the end of the fifth book," Harry said. They nodded, turning back to the well.
Meanwhile, upstairs, while the four readers met and read the first chapter, those eating upstairs talked and wondered what they might read about.
"Well, I can guarantee that I'm probably not going to be mentioned, at all," Azure said. "I was really good at not being noticed by him."
"If I'm mentioned, it's probably as a Slytherin, and therefore as a blood bigot," Theodore said. "I mean, not only was my father a death eater, but Harry did mention that he used to think of all Slytherins as evil up until the Battle of Hogwarts. You know, he was surprised when he discovered that Blaise wasn't a blood bigot, and was among us Slytherins who helped defend the castle."
"Really? Why?" Neville asked.
"Because he had overhead Blaise acting like Malfoy did," Theodore said. "Blaise doesn't hold those beliefs, but there was no way he'd say anything other than what he did with the group he was with at the time."
"Very true," Hannah said. "It probably would have been suicide to do so."
"Exactly," Theodore said. The group was silent for a few moment, broken only by the sound of spoons clinking against bowls, forks scraping against plates, and food being eaten.
"So how do you think the group reading is going to take what happens to Cedric?" Neville asked quietly after a while.
"I don't know," Hannah said, looking sad as she remembered what had happened to her housemate. "I don't think his reaction will be good, though."
"At least we have some time before we have to hear it happen again, and they'll most likely be able to change it," Azure said. Then she pale. "Oh, god. We're going to actually hear about it in first person."
The others paled as well. While they knew that Harry had given an interview mentioning it during fifth year, they had heard that he had a habit of understating things, something they had also learned in the last few years.
"Well, we'll just have to deal with it when it comes," Theodore said. "Mind you, the only ones who really have to hear it are those three who are already down there."
"Technically, I think it's just Tristelianna, since she's taken it on herself to make sure everything's going all right," Neville said.
"Yeah, especially since Hermione or Harry might jump the gun, and reveal something before it's time to," Azure said. The others laughed at that.
"That is true," Neville said. "Harry just might do that."
"Of course, I don't really blame him. I mean, he'll probably have a hard time not doing it come the book about his third year. Remember, that's when all that stuff about his godfather happened," Hannah said. They all knew the story how Sirius Black was innocent, as well as Harry's godfather. They had also learned what the Ministry never bothered to find out as well.
"So, are we all going to head down there, or..." Neville asked as they finished their food. Azure yawned. "I think I'll wait until after I get a nap in," she said. "I may not have been here in the last few days, but I have been doing something, after all."
"I'll go down there," Hannah said.
"Me too," Theodore said. "Any specific time I should wake you up, or do you want to wake on your own?" he asked Azure.
"Come get me when he's on the train to Hogwarts," she said. "That should be enough time for me to have a nap." Having checked the books, she knew that there were quite a few chapters before he got on the train.
"Okay then," he said, leaning in to give her a quick kiss before following Hannah and Neville down to the lab.
The three entered the lab.
"So, what did we miss?" Hannah said as they came down.
"Just the first chapter," Hermione said, as Cedric took the book, having offered to read the next chapter.(2)
"And it only held information on how I ended up with my relatives, as well as just how crazy it was the day after I stopped Riddle the first time around," Harry said, giving the others a look not to mention how he'd been left there, though he could clearly see Hermione, Tristelianna, and Andromeda fuming about it still.
"Okay, then," Theodore said.
"Where's Azure?" Tristelianna asked.
"Taking a nap," he answered. "She worked a double shift yesterday, and had really only just gotten home before you came."
"Ah," Hermione said. "Any specific time she wanted to be woken up?"
"When Harry is on the train to Hogwarts," he said.
"Awe, she's willing to miss his first visit to Diagon Alley, but not his first to Hogwarts," Hermione said. "I take it she's waiting to see if he thought something of her."
"Actually, she is very doubtful that he mentions her at all in any of these books," Theodore said. "I really don't know why she wants to be woken up them, just that she does. It's something that's kind of shared between us."
"But..." Harry started to say.
"Harry, back in school, Padma Patil, the guys of our year, Cho Chang, and Luna here are really the only Ravenclaws you paid attention to and know. Azure was more in the background than anything," Hermione said. "As for Theo here, other than Malfoy's gang, you didn't really pay attention to any other Slytherin. And then only our year of Hufflepuff were known to you as well, other than Cedric, that is. You didn't even know who was on the Quidditch team for Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, other than a few names, either."
"True," Harry said, blushing lightly. He was quite aware of his faults, including the fact that he had let Hagrid and Ron taint his mind about Slytherin house, and then let the rivalry between the houses get him to continue his prejudice against them.
"They made you sleep where?!" Andromeda's voice interrupted them as she shouted, sounding horrified. Harry winced, realizing that it had just mentioned the cupboard that used to be his room. The others who had her looked at Harry aghast. Teddy, however, was confused, not really listening to the story being told from the well.
"I didn't sleep there much longer," he said. The knowledge didn't calm Andromeda down.
"You should have never slept there to begin with," she said.
"Don't worry," Hermione said. "The Dursleys – or, rather, Vernon and Petunia – got what they deserved." The look of her face was enough to calm Andromeda down, knowing that they had been punished for what they'd done. Harry shook his head. He hadn't quite been happy at the revenge that Hermione had gotten on his behalf, but he understood why Hermione had done it. Knowing that they couldn't just be allowed to get away with it scot-free had allowed him to accept the revenge done.
Of course, based on the look that was on her face now, Harry had the feeling that Hermione was wishing she'd done something more to them than she did, and, based on the looks on the other girl's faces, his relatives were most likely looking towards even more bad luck than they actually already dealt with. These looks increased after learning that Dudley liked to use him as a punching bag and the fact that his relatives had lied about how his parents had died.
"His mother knew mine?" Harry said. "How come she never mentioned it..." He trailed off as he thought about the times he'd met her. They'd only really talked after Cedric died, so it wasn't like she was in a position to go down memory lane. Plus, now thinking about it, everyone who knew his parents rarely told him anything about them anyway. What he knew about them, he mostly learned on his own. Only a bit of it was told to him by their friends, and, even then, it was mostly about his father. No one who was exclusively friends with his mother had ever bothered stepping forward.
He felt a new anger at Snape, who had known his mother, for never bothering to his head out of his arse enough to realize that he wasn't just his father's son, and let him learn about her – not that he was the only one at fault, for no one seemed to think he had anything of his mother in him, despite the fact that he knew he did, just based on some of the things told about his father.
The anger towards Snape was nothing new – that was really all he felt towards him nowadays, particularly after he really sat down and thought about everything he'd learned about it. Any sympathy he felt was erased after that soul session.
"You actually liked your scar once?" Neville said.
"Yeah, because it was unique. I didn't quite know the real way I got it,"Harry said.
"How many presents does your cousin get?" Tristelianna asked. "I wonder because, unless it's all things packaged in big boxes, it shouldn't take up most of the table, unless you have a small table."
"It'll say in a moment," Harry said, just as it his cousin was said to walk into the room. The group snorted when it mention what Petunia thought of her son, though Hermione mentally noted that Harry's comment of him being a pig in a wig wasn't quite true last time she saw Dudley. Then again, Harry did mention that, after having saved his life, Dudley had begun to change, including on how he thought of Harry.
"That's not parenting," Andromeda said, shaking her head at hearing them say that they'd get him more presents while out because he got less than the previous year.
"That's how they were with him," Harry said, shrugging. The group listened with wide eyes as it mentioned the presents that Dudley had gotten, all of them noticing that they were among the expensive type. Hermione made a mental note about how much each item cost at the time, realizing that there really was no way for Vernon to afford that and be able to pay whatever house mortgage he probably has on his salary, no matter what position he was in.
Harry let out a small smile when it mentioned Mrs. Figg. After the war had ended, he'd gotten together with her, and had talked about when she used to baby sit him. Harry was surprised when she mentioned that she used to tell Dumbledore about the neglect he suffered at his family's hands, as well as the bully from his cousin, though she admitted that she had actually never noticed that he had gotten bruised a whole lot.
The knowledge that she has somehow not been able to notice his bruises had startled him a bit, and made him wonder if, perhaps, there had been something to keep others from not noticing the same things. After all, a crash course in learning how things were like here in America, and on what mundanes do when they notice abuse, or, rather, what they're supposed to do when they see it, courtesy of extra schooling that he had to do when he made the decision to move there, had made him wonder how no one had ever noticed the abuse and neglect that he himself had suffered.
"Harry," Hermione said in a scolding tone, only to choke on the rest of her words as he book self completely obliterated them by saying that she could see why he didn't want to see Mrs. Figg. Harry and the others snorted at her as Neville said, "Weren't you going to say something, Hermione?"
She frowned at him, wondering why her reading self wasn't upset at Harry for his thoughts.
"They really are horrible people," Hannah said, drawing Hermione out of her thoughts.
"I wonder what little Hermione there is thinking," Neville said, turning to look at the Hermione in the room with them. She looked towards him, confused as to what was going on as she looked to the little version of herself.
"I don't know – I didn't catch what was read," she said, blushing lightly.
"It had basically mentioned the way my relatives thought of me," Harry said. He told her the line, and, while Cedric told them what accidental magic was, she figured what little her was thinking.
"I'm thinking about what my parents told me if I suspected another kid was being abused," she finally said, having added it to what had been said in the book already. "My parents did bring me up on a strict code of what to do."
"Ah," Neville said, looking a bit surprised at that. He never got the feeling that she knew what to look for when it came to someone being abused. Then again, it wasn't until he met Azure and Tristelianna that he even realized that there were different types of abuse, among other things. He had been surprised to find that he himself would have been considered abused in such a way, what with his Gran's words about how he should be like his father and the way his family had treated him until he'd shown some magic.
"Really? I would have thought that anyone your aunt was friends with would have been as horrible as they were," Theodore said, when little Harry mentioned that Yvonne wasn't that bad.
"No, not everyone," Harry said. "Unfortunately, they all are gossips, and will do anything to ruin the reputation of the others. Yvonne, while definitely calmer than the rest of them, was still like that as well."
When little Hermione mentioned wishing that they would leave Harry in the car, the others opened their mouths to say something, only to hear her explanation, which calmed them.
"You know, for a moment there, I thought you didn't like me," Harry said. Hermione rolled her eyes.
"No, I think I was just believing that someone would do something that would be good in the long run," Hermione said.
"Unfortunately, Dumbledore wouldn't have allowed it," Harry said.
"True," Hermione said, frowning. The fact that Dumbledore hadn't even thought to find a wizarding family to take Harry in, and the fact that he hadn't even given the Dursley's a chance to refuse taking Harry – leaving him out on a doorstep like he was nothing more than just a bottle of milk, despite the fact that it was cold outside, and a number of things could have happened to him – made the ex-headmaster take quite the blow to his image that she had of him. She had the feeling that any lingering defense that she just might still have towards the ex-headmaster were going to be completely obliterated by the end of these books.
"Did you really used to do that?" Harry asked her, while Neville looked at her. Hermione gave the two a look which caused the two to begin to laugh.
"Oh, give her a break," Theodore said.
"Yeah, I doubt that she's the only kid in this room, much less in the world, who did that," Andromeda said. She pointedly looked at Teddy, and the others nodded, understanding her meaning, while Harry blushed. He had a horrible habit of spoiling Teddy when he did that.
"You know when a guy is a good friend of yours when he's willing to cry in front of you," Hannah said.
"We men don't cry," Harry, Neville, Theodore, and Teddy all said, causing the girls to snort.
"Of course you don't," Luna said patronizingly, which caused Harry to pout at her.
"Looks like that spell to redirect and control what the accidental magic does is working," Harry said, as he noticed that little Hermione's accidental magic cause the glass on the table behind her to break once more.
"Good. I would have hated to have the book ruined because of any anger on their parts," Tristelianna said. "After all, three of those reading the books are going to be prone to accidental magic, being that they haven't had any practice in not doing so."
"Yes, Aunt Petunia was more into ignoring me than punishing me," Harry said to the unasked questions he could see in everyone's eyes. "And I think I actually flew, since I didn't feel any discomfort that comes with Apparation."
That part was said in deference to his being on the school roof. The group continued to listen to what was being read, while Teddy began to get bored with what was going on. He wanted to go outside, do something fun, not listen to a boring story, or hear the grown-ups talking. Yeah, sure, it was cool hearing about his godfather's life, but he was just a kid still. Reading books about a person's life were boring.
Hannah happened to notice this, and offered to take him to go do something else, as she kind of felt more like an intruder on the reading, not belonging there with the others. She was, in a way, an outsider to the group, after all. Or, rather, that's what she felt like. So, after Andromeda let her do so, she took Teddy's hand, leading him up the stairs and asking if he wanted to watch a movie, something that had him jumping in joy.
"Our time here isn't going to be good for that boy," Andromeda muttered, frowning. Because of the fact that there would be very limited time outside, they would have to find something fun to do inside that wouldn't get boring. Unfortunately, that severely limited things, as he could just run around the house – he'd probably get lost if he did that.
"Well, unfortunately, unless you were willing to leave him with a babysitter, this was the only option," Tristelianna told her.
"I know," Andromeda said. "Hopefully he won't develop any bad habits, though."
"I don't think any of us will let that happen," Hermione said. They tuned back into the reading, which was coming to the part where Harry mentioned the flying motorcycle from his memory – though he only thought of it as a dream at the moment.
"You know, I never thought of that," Harry said after hearing little Hermione's explanation about cartoons.
"Well, it is true," Hermione said. "Some cartoons do have magic, so seeing it, you might have been able to put two and two together with what you were able to do."
As the reading continued, the group frowned when they saw the actions that the Dursleys did towards Harry.
And I bet that they would have done nothing to stop them Hermione thought when it mentioned that Harry tried to stand a little away from Dudley and Piers when they started to get bored of the animals so that he didn't become a punching bag.
"You know, I wonder what the Dursleys would have done if Dudley and Piers had started trying to punch you," Neville said. "I mean, being in a public place like that, and ignoring it, it wouldn't be good for them, now would it."
"Probably not," Harry said, thinking about it. "There were quite a few people there, and I have no doubt that some of them would have started gossiping about the Dursleys for allowing it and not doing anything to stop it. Of course, the people probably would have just ignored it and acted like nothing was wrong."
There were some frowns at that, as they all had the feeling that he was right, since nothing had been done to stop the bullying when he was at school – and the teachers really couldn't be that blind, could they? – so why would it happen at the zoo. They tuned back into the book.
"Yeah, I guess it makes sense," Hermione said in response to the fact that Harry's luck was about to strike.
"It just looked like it had winked," Harry said, when Hermione looked at him, about to say what little Hermione had already mentioned.
"Is this what you meant when you said that a snake told you it had never seen Brazil?" Hermione asked him, remembering what he had said back in second year, when it was revealed that he could speak to snakes.
"Yeah," he said, smiling a bit as he wondered if that snake had actually even made it out of the zoo, much less to Brazil. "Wait, you were there?" Harry asked Hermione, after hearing her little self say that.
"Yeah," Hermione said, looking towards him. "Funny how close we were to meeting each other, isn't it? I wonder if there were any other muggleborns there."
"Yeah, it is funny," Harry said. He had to wonder what would have happened if he had met Hermione before he met Ron. I'd probably be a bookworm without a sense of having fun he thought, then chastened himself for thinking meanly of Hermione. Plus, there was no actual evidence that it would be true. With both of them being lonely, they could have easily helped each other out, with him being more studious – he had realized, after the war, that he had been extremely lucky not to have been killed because he hadn't studied more like he should have, especially after realizing that Voldemort was still after in back in first year – and Hermione would be more relaxed – perhaps he would have been able to show her that she didn't have to be the best at everything, as she seemed to think. Then, they might have not gotten into so many arguments over the Half-Blood Prince potions book. Of course, now thinking about it, both of them had been strange that year...and they both had started to crush on Ginny and Ron respectively as well...
"That is good advice," Andromeda said, in response to what was said after realizing that Harry was a Parselmouth, which startled him back to what was going on.
"Unfortunately, that didn't happen," Theodore said, remembering their second year.
"What do you mean?" Andromeda asked.
"Harry was 'outed' for being a parselmouth back in second year, when Malfoy conjured a snake, and Lockhart had irritated it, almost causing it to bite one of the other students. Harry had stopped it, but, unfortunately, he talked to it to do it," Theodore said.
"And, of course, many people thought he was the person attacking all of the mundane-born in the school, conveniently ignoring the fact that his mother and I am such, and, if he hated mundane-born enough to attack them, he not only wouldn't have been friends with me, but would have most likely said something horrible about his mother," Hermione said. "If he didn't ignore anything about his mother, of course."
"How come people thought that, and forgot about you and his mother?" Andromeda said.
"The only person I 'confronted' about it mentioned the fact that I disliked the Dursleys," Harry said.
"Wait? How did they know that you didn't like your family?" Hermione said. "Sure, you never talked about them a whole lot at school, but you also never said anything about disliking them, either."
"You know, I don't know," Harry said. "I never actually thought about it."
"He just had to say that, didn't he?" Neville said, breaking into that conversation. He quickly mentioned what was going on in the book that they'd missed listening to.
"Of course," Harry said, once he was caught up. "Piers loved to get me in trouble, it was something that always made him laugh."
"You saying that in pass tense, why?" Tristelianna asked. She didn't know exactly why, but that did strike her as suspicious, particularly since he didn't mention that Piers had changed much.
"He was shot two years after the blood war ended, almost to the day," Harry said, having heard about it from his cousin. "He ended up messing with the wrong person in a drug induced haze and payed for it. I think that was what got Aunt Petunia to finally take notice that Dudley's change towards me was a good thing, as Dudley wasn't much of a bully to anyone anymore. Of course, Uncle Vernon and Aunt Marge were...unhappy about it."
He was putting what the latter two actually thought very lightly, as they were estranged away from Dudley and Aunt Petunia, last he heard. Harry had to admit that, without Uncle Vernon around, Petunia wasn't half as bad as she had seemed to be, which made him wonder just how much of her attitude and dislike of his mother had been caused by Vernon's attitude. Of course, Harry wasn't completely blaming Vernon for Petunia's attitude towards his mother, as Petunia wasn't innocent and had definitely not been nice to her for even before meeting Vernon. Harry just had the feeling that the only reason why they hadn't made up before his mother's death was because of Vernon, who seemed to have solidify his aunt's feelings towards his mother – or, rather, anything to do with magic.
And he only thought that because his aunt had begun to tell him stories about his mother, particularly some before learning that his mother was a witch – these stories had, of course, made him dislike Snape all the more, since he noticed that, once Snape had come, the small rift between his mother and aunt had begun to definitely widen – what had really pissed his aunt off enough to really want to hurt his aunt was not only having been denied a place at the school, but learning that Snape had managed to get his mother to go through her private things, things that he shouldn't have tried to see. In fact, from the looks of it, Snape was purposely separating his mother for his 'competition' for her affections, for it was obvious that his mother had deeply cared for his aunt.
"No wonder you were so good at not getting caught when sneaking out around the school," Neville and Hermione said, startling him from his thoughts once more. He turned to look at them, listening to what the book was saying. He could remember when this was.
"Yeah," he answered. "I always had to be careful if I wanted any food, because it sometimes felt like they knew I would sneak into the kitchen."
"People should be more careful," Andromeda said.
"I wonder, if it was so safe for you to be there, how people could not only know where you were, but that they knew what you looked liked," Tristelianna said.
"I don't know," Harry said, frowning. "I never actually thought about it."
"Aunt Hannah, why is everyone listening to that book?" Teddy asked Hannah after they'd settled down in the living room, waiting for the movie that Teddy had chosen to watch – Star War, Episode IV, A New Hope – to play.
"That book is about your godfather's life when he went to Hogwarts," Hannah said.
"That sounds boring," Teddy said, for he didn't quite know of what his godfather did, just that he helped end a war. Hannah snorted, thinking of just how innocent the seven year old sounded. She had the feeling that he wouldn't quite find it boring if he knew exactly what Harry had done, but then again, he was still a child, and, therefore, would still probably find it boring to hear something that sounded like a biography.
"Yeah, it's does," she lied, snuggling next to him on the couch as the movie started. A part of her couldn't wait until she and Neville had kids, just so that she could do this with them, though she had the feeling that she'd have a different movie on. After all, while the movie wasn't that bad, she's prefer that they start out with others, specifically ones that were actually geared towards children.(3)
As the third chapter started, mouths dropped at what it mentioned happened while Harry was trapped in the cupboard.
"Exactly how long were you in there for?" Hermione asked.
"Several weeks, although I was let out for school," Harry said. He didn't have to say anything else, as the younger Harry explained for him.
"How wonderful," Andromeda sneered as she heard the real reason why Harry had been let out of his cupboard.
"Actually, you ended up being there because of magic," Luna said, when younger Harry mentioned that Dudley and his gang had been chasing him.
"It's not like little me actually knows that," Harry said, shaking his head lightly as he girlfriend. The smile on his face too away any bite that might have been in the words, and she smiled back, leaning in to give him a nice kiss. Everyone gave them privacy, focusing on the readers instead.
"I have to say, while I wouldn't have minded Stonewall, I am happy to have gone to Hogwarts instead," Harry said.
"I was supposed to go there," Hermione said. "Before Professor Flitwick came and told me about being a witch, they finally decided that the other school that they were leaning towards was a bit too far away for the commute they'd have to do, since they really didn't want to move away."
"You do realize that you should have still gone there," Tristelianna said. "At least, for summer school. You'd be able to continue to fit into the mundane world if you had."
"Hey, I do pretty good," Harry said.
"That's only because you pretty much had no choice," Tristelianna said. She was right, of course. Unlike in England, the United States of America did not practice the segregation that Britain did. Even though you were a magical, you were still expected to fit in well with the mundane, and that meant keeping up with the studies that mundanes did while in school.
It actually helped people to do that – where a mundane in Britain could spot a wizard, mundane in the United States were more hard-pressed to find them. Harry and the others had been sent to a magical run college specifically for witches and wizards from other countries that was dedicated for mundane studies. It was the only way to become a citizen for Magical USA, which automatically made you a citizen of Mundane USA as well.
Of course, it wasn't all that easy for many of the foreign magicals, as they had to learn pretty much everything one learned during school years in the mundane world, depending on how old they were. Younger children had it the easiest, as they hadn't been to any school yet.
The watchers laughed with the readers as it mentioned what Harry said in response to Dudley's threats of what he wanted to do.
"I don't blame you for running," Theodore said, "particularly after hearing your reasons."
"I think that right there was his Slytherin and Ravenclaw side at work," Luna said. "His Slytherin cunning for his words, and his Ravenclaw smarts for knowing what the best action when faced with Dudley was."
Tristelianna, who had not gone to Hogwarts, and therefore never learned the point of why such mention of Harry having sides was important, rolled her eyes when no one was looking.
"Chocolate can get old?" Theodore said.
"Sadly, yes," Hermione said, having found that out the hard way before.
There were a lot of snorts around the room as Dudley's uniform was described.
"You know, suddenly, I'm so glad that our uniform was just plain black," Neville said.
"Yeah," Theodore said. "I wonder what those who had wished for different colors back in school would say if they had heard this."
"They'd probably be thankful as well, though they could have suggested that people wear their house colors," Hermione said.
"In a way, that was already true for Hufflepuff," Harry said. "After all, black is one of their house colors."
"Yeah, but I have the feeling that most people forgot about that because of the fact that yellow was the dominant color, like blue was for Ravenclaw, green was for Slytherin, and red was for Gryffindor," Luna said. "The secondary color is mostly just that, secondary, and not all that prominent."
"That is true," Harry said, remembering how all the symbols for each house were, as well as how the Quidditch robes were set up. Gold, silver, black, and bronze had definitely been a color that was mostly shown in small amounts.
The reading was continued, and there were furious looks when they learned what Harry's school uniform was going to be.
"I take it, despite the rather generous care pay they would most likely receive for you, they didn't spend a single bit of it on you," Andromeda said.
"They were paid to take care of me?" Harry asked.
"It was common for families at the time to arrange a yearly stipulate to pay whoever ended up taking care of their children," Andromeda explained. "It was well known that your parents had done so, because the amount they had chosen for your caretakers to be paid was the talk of many gossip circles for a while, after it became known to everyone."
"How much were they paid? Why haven't I been told this before? And what was it about the amount they were being paid was so surprising?" Harry asked, firing these questions at rapid speed.
"To the first and third questions, they were being paid just a bit under five hundred twenty-four Galleons – I know for a fact that they were paid 2,616 pounds yearly, as someone let it get around, since your caretakers were mundane. As for why it was so surprising, most people set a stipulate of three hundred Galleons yearly, and not a Knut more," Andromeda said. "Most people were not only greedy, but seemed to want to make sure that money stayed in the family.
"As for the second question, the goblins probably saw no reason to tell you. In truth, Dumbledore should have told you, although, from the way it seems you were taken care of, he probably didn't want to risk you bringing a complaint to the goblins for misuse of money. And, well, while you should have gotten yearly bank statements, being who you are, Dumbledore probably stopped that from happening up until you were seventeen – you've been getting those statements now, haven't you?"
Harry nodded. Surprisingly, he had gotten lucky for not being banned from Gringotts after the stunt he'd pulled – though it was only because of the fact that, not only had Griphook broken an agreement – and, therefore, lost his honor – but, first, the fact that they were after a Horcrux saved them, as Gringotts didn't care for them (an understatement, as even mentioning the word on goblin territory was forbidden), even if it meant losing business, and second, turned out that Griphook was wrong about Gryffindor's sword. It wasn't a goblin sword, at least, not the way he was thinking.
Apparently, as Harry and Hermione later learned when the two went to find out their status at the bank, the sword was forged by Gryffindor, who had been allowed to learn how to do so the way goblins did. Despite what Griphook had said, it was Gryffindor's sword and belonged to where Gryffindor believed it belonged – at Hogwarts. So, basically, Griphook was lucky to have been killed, because Goblins didn't allow someone who had dishonored themselves to live.
"Was it lost on her?" Neville asked. Harry, who wasn't lost in his thoughts and therefore knew what Neville was referring to, nodded.
"It was probably a good thing, too," Harry said. "She most likely wouldn't have been happy to have heard me being sarcastic with her."
"It's nice to know that you'd be perfectly friendly with me," Harry said when little Hermione mentioned that she would be friends with him. Hermione smiled at him, though she didn't bother mentioning that part of the reason why she was willing to be friends with him was because she didn't have any either. After going to Hogwarts and hearing some of the other mundane-borns stories, she realized that a bit of the reason for the lack of friends was because of the 'strange occurrences' that happened around her – AKA, her accidental magic.
Being a witch among those who could tell that she was different made it hard to fit in properly. The fact that she was so smart and would shove that fact down everyone's throats didn't help her either, though that was a point she was only recently figuring out.
"I was actually trying to be friends with you on the train," Hermione said. "Problem was, not only was I nervous, but when I realized who you were, I had a kind of fan girl moment. Remember, I even told you about how much I 'knew' about you due to the books I'd read."
"What about later?" Harry asked.
"I not only didn't want you to get into trouble, but I was raised on a rather strict ruling not to break rules," Hermione said. "To see you about to break them angered me as well, since, if you were caught, the house would suffer for you idiocy – and, yes, I believed that it was idiocy, and still do. I mean, at first, with the broomstick and then the... you know... sneaking out after dark that very day, there was no reason other than pride at work. It wasn't a life or death situation, which would allow for the disregard for the rules. And, before you ask, with what you did in flying class, I can forgive as well. It's the going out after curfew that I couldn't."
The others looked at her, curious as to what she was talking about – save for Theodore, who at least knew what she was talking about for the flying class. However, none of them asked what they meant by what she was talking about – although Andromeda was curious to know what had driven Harry out after dark. Neville, who thought about it, remembered their first flying class, which he had ended up missing after breaking his wrist. He suddenly remembered that Harry ended up getting onto the team after that; he also remembered their little adventure he ended up tagging along on that very night. He paled remembering what they ended up meeting that night, although, thinking about it, it didn't actually seem that bad.
Still, he did remember that there was mentions of why Harry and Ron were sneaking out, and, honestly, he had to agree with Hermione – risking trouble for pride wasn't worth it.
"Did he really just tell his son to get off his arse and do something?" Theodore asked, shocked.
"You're so lucky Teddy isn't down here," Andromeda said, a scowl on her face at his language.
"And, as you can see, you shouldn't believe that he actually will make him do it," Harry said, as the book continued on to mention that, after Dudley complained and demanded that Vernon make Harry do it, Vernon told Harry to get it.
"I forgot I actually did that," Harry said, wincing a bit at his demand that Vernon make Dudley get the mail. "At least there was something good about that, though."
"How was it good?" Theodore asked.
"This was the day I got my first Hogwarts letter," Harry said. "Had Dudley been made to get it, I doubt I would have even known I got it."
"I take it that you didn't get to read it," Andromeda said.
"No," Harry said. "They didn't even want me to go, and even said that I wasn't, not that Hagrid listened."
"It wouldn't matter if Hagrid had listened or not, because he most likely knew that you were to go," Andromeda said. "Normally, what the guardian was will go, however, if the parents themselves say you were to go somewhere – even if the parents are dead – then you will go to where they wanted you to go. I have no doubt that your father, at the very least, said that you were to go to Hogwarts. Plus, even if they wanted to ignore it, with Sirius being your godfather, they could have gotten his permission, as he didn't lose any but of his authority over you."
"So, as godfather, Sirius has precedence over the Dursleys' decisions?" Hermione asked.
"Yes, especially since your aunt isn't a part of the wizarding world," Andromeda said. "Mundanes don't have anything to do with the wizarding world government. In fact, when a mundane-born is discovered, they are immediately assigned a wizarding guardian."
"What about those whose parents don't let them join the wizarding world?" Hermione asked. Andromeda quickly explained about how, though rare, the mundane-born in question is usually sent to the school anyways, usually because the wizarding world didn't consider what the mundane wanted as being worth following, and basically giving control to whoever the magical guardian was. Hermione's mouth dropped at the information, and her eyes widened in fury when she learned that, sometimes, Obliviations were used to get people to comply. When she heard that, she couldn't help but understand why some people in the mundane world didn't like wizards. Apparently, when it came to the British wizards, that hatred was well deserved.
"Wait, is that true?" Harry asked, not listening to the conversation between Andromeda and Hermione, since he got the information he wanted to know. Instead, he was listening to the readers, and was surprised when Cedric mentioned knowing twins with a little sister who wrote letters almost hourly. While he knew that he had some fan mail that had piled up over the years – the Goblins had, quite gleefully, in fact – mentioned the bank vault that held them when he'd gone to...move his vaults from Britain to America and open up Teddy's school vault, as both he and Andromeda wanted Teddy to go to Hogwarts, even if the schools in America were a bit better. Teddy had a legacy at Hogwarts, and he deserved to go to the same school as his parents had gone to.
"I wouldn't know," Neville said. "I didn't know any of the Weasleys before school. They weren't...they were never invited to the parties my Gran used to throw."
"It's true, to a point," Luna said. "While she didn't write one hourly every day, there were a few days that she would do that. She did write one daily, though."
"Fan girl to the extreme, then," Theodore said. "Particularly since I don't know anyone who would do that."
"I wonder if she had a reason to write so much," Tristelianna murmured, a light frown on her face.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"Well, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if, perhaps, she was led to believe that she'd be your wife by someone," Tristelianna said. "And I'm not saying that her parents did it, but that, maybe, someone mentioned it to her. I mean, considering how close the Weasleys are supposed to be to Dumbledore, I don't think that it's unfair to assume that he might have visited their house beforehand, like before you started school. It could be why most of the boys got such good positions in the later years, like prefect and things; with them being firmly 'his', he was rewarding them, though he probably tried to keep it from being so obvious.
"As for Ginny, well, as a young, impressionable child, if she was told that, when she grew up, she'd be perfect for you..."
"Then she'd probably repeatedly believe it," Harry finished.
"Exactly, which was probably why she wrote to you daily. It was a sort of a 'hello, I'm going to be your wife, so you'll probably want to know everything I did today' deal," Tristelianna said. "And the reason why nothing was said was because only Ginny and Dumbledore knew, a secret."
"And, just like most of the other Weasleys, Ginny probably wouldn't think that a love potion was wrong," Harry said, remembering how not only did Mrs. Weasley often talk about some love potions she'd made – and used, as he later found out – but how the twins had sold love potions in their shop, because they didn't see anything wrong with it, despite how morally wrong it was. Of course, as he later realized, love potions in Britain aren't seen as anything bad or morally wrong.
"Well, I think we've figured out who it was that potioned you up," Neville said, while Harry frowned.
"It didn't feel like a love potion, though," he said. "And, according to the healer, it wasn't one either. At least, from what she could tell on the list of potions I'd been introduced to."
"There are ways to create artificial love without using a love potion," Luna said. "Plus, I also know of a potion that's so subtle that it wouldn't show up, because it's designed to foster love in someone. Do you know what you were introduced to?"
"A jealousy potion that made me jealous of anyone with a certain person, a disgust potion that had me believing almost every other girl but one wasn't worthwhile, and a keep away potion that basically made me eager not to be in Hermione's presence – though, at the time, I didn't know that," Harry said. "Of course, the last potion didn't work out too well, as I never felt like not being in Hermione's presence."
"So, basically, at least two potions that would create artificial love," Tristelianna said.
"How would it do that?" Neville asked.
"If he was jealous of someone being with a certain person and didn't find anyone else but one person was worthwhile, what would be the first thought through your mind?" Luna asked.
"That I must like her," Harry said.
"Exactly," Tristelianna said. "Add in the potion that subtly increases love – even if it's not real love – and you've got yourself believing that you actually do love the person. It can even trick other potions to believe it as well, including Amortentia."
"How can it trick that potion? Isn't it a love potion as well?" Harry asked.
"In truth, when left to be in it's own state, without adding in anything to key it to a person, it can be used to show who a person truly loves with it's fumes – it can also be used as a antidote to some of the more powerful love potions, as well as as something that can show a person who their true loves are, just in case you can't figure it out from the fumes itself. That's probably why it's considered to be so dangerous – because it actually shows true love over artificial. It doesn't help that the artificial love – when it's keyed to a person – is so strong that it's almost impossible to break the potions effects on a person," Tristelianna said.
"So, basically, it's probably a good thing that Amortentia is so hard to brew," Harry said.
"And with the fact that Ginny wasn't much of a potion maker, and her mother would not use it on you for any reason," Neville answered. Harry winced, remembering what had happened when Mrs. Weasley had learned how Harry came to 'love' her daughter. She'd been horrified – in fact, thinking about it, Harry realized that she had somehow known exactly who had potioned him and Hermione up. The look she'd given Ginny when he let her know what the healers had found, and the fact that he no longer felt the same way about her daughter...
"Ginny's not too bad," Luna said. "While she's horrible at the complicated things, she's not that horrible at non complicated brews."
"Considering that she probably brewed those potions that she used on you – assuming it was her – and Hermione – considering how close you two were when you first got here, I think it's obvious why she did that instead of trying to get you to want her naturally – it's obvious that she isn't a horrible brewer," Tristelianna said.
"Yeah, she probably did view Hermione as competition," Theodore said. "Almost everyone thought you two would get together, you seemed to be so close. Then again, there were a few who thought you and Ron would get together, particularly after the Yule Ball and second task of the Triwizard Tournament."
Harry frowned at him, and Theodore shrugged.
"No offense, but those rumors were brought about by your own actions. You barely paid attention to your date, spending pretty much all your time sitting next to Ron, and then he ended up being the person you'd miss the most? I think you can understand why people questioned your relationship with him," Theodore said. "If it makes you feel better, I know of at least a few girls who thought it was 'hot'."
"That actually disturbs me," Harry said, shaking his head.
"Okay, then how about those who wanted a threesome with you and him?" Theodore asked. Neville looked at him with wide eyes, while Luna smiled serenely and Tristelianna tried hard not to laugh at the face Harry was making. He didn't like the idea of ever being with Ron like that, in any way, and told Theodore so, which made him laugh.
As the groups were talking to themselves, the readers continued to read and speak to each other, so,by the time anyone turned back in, Harry's first letter had been taken from him, and Vernon's paranoia had been mentioned on how Harry's 'room' could be known. In fact, it was just as Vernon visited Harry in his cupboard that they finally tuned back in again.
"Okay, what exactly led to that?" Neville asked, while the females in the room scowled when it mentioned that Dudley had two rooms, since one of them should have been Harry's right from the beginning.
"Oh, yeah. My first Hogwarts letter arrived bearing the name of my cupboard, which caused Vernon to become paranoid that wizards were following us," Harry said, laughing a bit as he remembered how Vernon had acted after the first – and, subsequently, the rest – of the letters.
"I suppose it would appear surprising," Andromeda said. "The quill that addresses the envelops is very precise. Although, someone should have caught that. The letters are, after all, supposed to be gone through to make sure that there isn't something bad going on."
"Bad going on?" Hermione asked.
"Harry isn't the only magical who has lived with magic hating people," Andromeda said. "Most magic hating people are hard core religious folk who, in attempts to drive out – or, when that fails, hide – the 'infected' person are...well, they are anything but gentle. And if they keep the child, the child is usually locked up, harmed, or, like Harry, placed in a spot unsuitable to be a child's room. Most time, those who live like that are taken to an orphanage, where – though it usually doesn't happen – they basically wait to be adopted."
"And, unfortunately, the wizarding world doesn't do anything to convince witches and wizards to adopt any of those children, either, of course," Theodore said. "It's pretty much a wizarding philosophy that you only care for those of your own blood, or those you're a god parent to. Anyone else can rot. And it also doesn't help that most of them are mundane-born, which makes the last phrase even more true. In fact, I know of some pure-bloods who have wished that the mundane-born weren't removed from their homes, as they hoped that they'd be eventually be killed, as they should be to their own minds."
"Of course, I have heard of some kids being adopted. Like that Sally-Anne girl in Ravenclaw, the one in our year? She was apparently adopted by a wizarding couple who took her out of Hogwarts and sent her to a school closer to where they lived," Neville said. Harry thought for a moment.
"So that's what happened to her," Hermione said. "I wondered about her disappearance, but I thought she'd been, well, stupid enough to tell her parents about what happened in fourth year and that they pulled her out as a result."
"No, she was adopted," Luna said. "I remember one of her friends mentioning it."
"Well that's good. And, remembering how the war was, having been adopted probably saved her life," Andromeda said. "Once she took the name of the person who adopted her, she ceased, for all purposes, to be a mundane-born, which put her on par with being either a half-blood or pure-blood."
"Which would have saved her life for not being mundane-born," Hermione concluded. "You know, I'm kind of glad that we left Britain behind. I mean, having actually looked at Britain's real wizarding history – not the goblin war crap that Binns told most of the time, but everything, including the wars that Britain has had over blood status – it's clear that not only are they ruining themselves by staying the same, but that another war like this one is bound to happen within the next century, if not sooner."
"If we're lucky, people like the Malfoys won't be able to get out of prison for a long time," Harry said. While he had owned a life debt to Narcissa, he hadn't been forced to just let them get away with their crimes as what she wanted for payment. She had only begged that he keep her son from not only not receiving the Kiss, but from being in prison for life. She didn't even care about herself, nor her husband, just her son. That was why he not only did as she asked, but also extended it to her – though that was only after learning that her part in everything was purely for show, as she rarely did any hard work.
"Well, you and I both know that Mr. Malfoy won't, at least, not for several more decades," Theodore said. "I have to admit that I'm glad that Kingsley took over for Minister, and that he didn't decide to take advice from Dumbledore's portrait like Professor McGonagall is doing."
"Yeah," Neville said. "Can you believe that Dumbledore tried to convince people that the Malfoy's shouldn't be punished? And not just them, either, but several other Death Eaters as well. In fact, if you can believe it, I heard he actually scolded Mrs. Weasley for having actually killed Bellatrix."
"What?" Hermione asked, never having heard that before.
"I think that's either a story for at lunch, or after the readers are done reading," Tristelianna said. "I doubt any of us are going to be going to sleep when they do, after all, and I plan on having a good wake up time to be set."
"Okay," Neville said. Hermione pouted, wanting to know what Neville was talking about, but, knowing that she wouldn't be able to get the answer she craved at the moment, so she stayed quiet.
"So the second room wasn't so much of a room for him than a room for the things he broke or didn't care for, but also didn't want to get rid of. He makes me thing of a pack rat or hoarder," Tristelianna said.
"If he could bend an air rifle from sitting on it, then that should have told people something," Hermione said.
"Please, they are under the belief that the bigger you are round the middle, the better and more handsome," Harry said.
"Do they really think girls would come running after Dudley for being big?" Tristelianna asked. Harry nodded.
"Well, while there might be some girls who like that, most of the ones I know don't, unless the poundage is all muscle," Tristelianna said.
"Was that true?" Neville asked, when it mentioned the book not having been touched.
"I do believe so," Harry said. "I've never seen him read outside of school. And those books were actually more geared towards younger children, too."
"You aunt must have stopped buying book when she saw that he didn't care for them," Hermione said.
"Exactly," Harry said.
"No one needs two room when there is someone else in the house who needs the room," Andromeda said.
"Well, it looks as if your book self will be getting the chance to do just that this time around," Neville said at the book comment about how Harry felt having the room now. The room stayed silent for a few moments, with some comments on the metal states of Vernon and Dudley, as the book told about the attempts to get Harry his letters. When it came to the letters being hidden in the eggs, most of the group was laughing. Finally, it came to the Sunday, which brought the group to ask a new question to Harry.
"Why didn't you just pick one up from the floor?" Hermione asked.
"I don't know. I was so excited to see the letters that common sense just seemed to leave me," Harry said.
"That must have been a shock to your cousin," Tristelianna said, when it mentioned that Dudley was hit upside the head.
"It was," Harry said. "It was the first time he'd ever been hit by his father. The only time, in fact."
"You know, it's kind of amazing that you turned out the way you have," Theodore said.
"Yeah, particularly since most kids who are in situations like that tend to end up becoming just like those they grew up around," Tristelianna said.
"I decided, after seeing how some people actually acted, that I would actually be normal," Harry said, which actually caused everyone to laugh. Considering that his aunt and uncle were obsessed with that, to know that Harry strove to be the exact opposite of them, and actually be normal stuck them all as funny.
"He really did appear to," Harry said, agreeing with little Hermione's observation about his uncle.
"Oh, poor baby," Neville said sarcastically.
"It looks as though Dudley doesn't take kindly to living your life," Hermione said.
"I have a feeling that, if he had to spend every day like this, he'd end up unable to handle it at this time," Tristelianna said, a frown on her face as she thought about what he'd probably end up doing. Andromeda was also frowning, knowing what Tristelianna meant.
"I guess that's something that separates the truly weak from the strong," she murmured. As it came to the hotel and when it mentioned Harry staying up the night, wondering about something, Neville asked what it was, if he remembered.
"I was wondering who wanted to talk to me so badly, as well as just how far they'd go to do so," Harry said, remembering that night pretty well.
"Really?" Tristelianna said, when little Hermione mentioned that being underage meant that his uncle could do what he wanted to the letters. "Here, if your name's not on the envelop, you're not supposed to opening it, unless you have the recipient's permission to do so. Nor are you allowed to destroy something without the recipient's permission, either. It's why some school systems will put both the students and parents/guardians name on an envelop, so that the parent can also open it without the kid being there."
"Yeah, well, most of the time, if something came for me, my parents opened it up, so I'm kind of assuming that it's allowed," Hermione said. Then again, I usually didn't see the envelop at all, so..." She shrugged.
"I think, because the lady didn't ask to make sure he was me – even though he wasn't – that it doesn't matter when it come to children. Then again, the lady might've assumed that he was me," Harry said.
"They were cutting it close, weren't they?" Hermione said.
"Yeah," Harry said.
"So, who did they send to you, anyway?" Hermione asked. "I mean, they did send someone, right?"
"They sent Hagrid," Harry said. Hermione frowned.
"But, he wasn't a teacher at the time, and only the teachers are allowed to go give a student their letters, because they're able to explain it much better than non-teachers," Hermione said. "So why was he sent to you?"
"Didn't you guys tell me that Hagrid is one of Dumbledore's biggest fans?" Tristelianna said.
"He is," Neville said.
"So would it be unreasonable to say that Dumbledore wanted Harry to begin to look up to Dumbledore?" Tristelianna asked. "I mean, if he was sent, then he would probably mention how great Dumbledore is a whole lot and start turning you to actually believing it as well."
Harry frowned, realizing that, while he didn't do it a while lot, most of what was said about Dumbledore from Hagrid had been all about how he was such a great man. He also remembered what else Hagrid had said.
"He did mention the houses, automatically turning my mind against Slytherin with quite a few simple facts," Harry said. "He also said something negative about Hufflepuff as well."
"What were the facts that he had used?" Hermione asked.
"Oh, just the ones that we often heard in school, about the house being the breeding place of evil and that Voldemort was in it," Harry said.
"So, basically he pretty much told you that it's not worth giving any Slytherin a chance, that they were all evil," Theodore said, a frown on his face.
"Yeah," Harry said.
"I take it that Hagrid knows who Voldemort was while in school, then," Hermione said.
"Actually, I don't think he does," Harry said. "I don't remember him ever mentioning that he knew of the connection between Riddle and Voldemort. In fact, I get the feeling he believes them to be separate people."
"Perhaps you should ask him next time you write to him," Tristelianna said.
"I think I will," Harry said.
"You should have said that you didn't turn eleven every day," Andromeda said.
"That's definitely been true," Harry said, in response to little Hermione's comment. Other than Dobby's interference in second year, Hermione hadn't failed yet to get him a present, and, surprisingly enough, they were always things he liked. It was pretty much only Christmastime that her presents were things he didn't care for. He could still remember what her first birthday present was to him, a well used broomstick service kit. He still had some of it – the polish was gone, the brass compass and silver clippers no longer gleamed, and the book was definitely worn out from being read a lot, but it still remained one of his favorite gifts.
"That does seem to be true," Hermione said, in response to Luna's comment. "As Cedric has mentioned, it being you, I would have suspected that they would have immediately gone to see you a lot sooner than actually waiting for this long."
"Well, I wouldn't be surprised if it was all Dumbledore's doing, seeing as Professor McGonagall most likely wouldn't do it," Neville said.
"Yeah, I don't see her doing it either," Hermione said.
"Actually, after seeing how easily she caved in during the first chapter, if he convinced her to think up of creative ways to get Harry's letter to him, I do believe that she would do it," Theodore said, remembering how Professor McGonagall often was during school when he was there. A good teacher, and mostly fair – unless it had to do with Quidditch – the only problem that Theodore actually ever had towards her was her faith in Dumbledore, to the point of doing anything he asked. Like in second year. The only reason why she kept the school open – despite the fact that it was clearly dangerous to do so – was because Dumbledore made it clear that he wanted the school to remain open. Theodore didn't know how many other times something like that had happened.
"I do have the feeling that little me definitely will take that advice," Harry said, in response to little Hermione's comment.
"Hopefully, you can get a teacher there sooner to help you," Hermione said. "And I mean a teacher, not Hagrid."
"Unless whoever reads it realizes that it's from you, I think that will happen," Andromeda said. "I have the feeling that if they realize that it's from you, it'll most likely be brought before Dumbledore, which would defeat the purpose of having one of the teachers bring the letter to you."
"That's true," Luna said.
"So, I'll most likely have some trouble in that area," Harry said. "I wonder if I can get away with just saying my name is Harry Evans, then."
"Evans?" Theodore said, questioning it.
"My mother's maiden name," Harry said. "I have the feeling that not many people would expect me to use her name."
"Particularly since people expect you to actually like your fame, and want to milk it for all it's worth," Luna said.
"Exactly," Harry said. "Plus, unless they know where I live, I could probably still get someone to come there anyway, especially since I would have invited them."
"You know, you probably have to wish that you'd known that little detail beforehand," Hermione said, referring to the fact that grown witches and wizards could not come to Harry's house without his or Dumbledore's permission. The fact that Harry could have invited anyone to the house that Dumbledore didn't hadn't been known until Harry discovered this fact in some notes Dumbledore had on him. He'd been a little miffed to learn that he had a say in who could come to where he lived and who couldn't, even to the point of overriding Dumbledore's permission if he so willed it. It wasn't a bit thing, of course, just a small, would have been common courtesy to know deal.
Then again, since he could override Dumbledore's permission, it didn't take much for him to realize why Dumbledore hadn't told him. After all, it meant that Dumbledore wasn't in control over something.
"I think they're getting hungry," Luna said, when the sound of growling stomachs echoed throughout the viewing well.
"I think it's still a bit too early to eat here, plus some of us just ate not too long ago," Neville said. Harry's stomach chose to growl then, reminding him that he hadn't eaten when he got up that morning, nor had he eaten since arriving there.
"I think I'll probably get something to eat when they do," Harry said.
The book continued, with everyone in the room sniggering at the fact that little Hermione was actually acting immature, while she blushed at little her's actions. Doing that wasn't the way she normally acted, after all.
"Nice, Luna," Neville said, after little Luna managed to make the other readers jump.
"Thank you," she said.
"Well, I'm going to get something to eat. Anyone else want something?" Harry asked, heading to the stairs. Everyone else in the room shook their heads, not feeling hungry at the moment, and he continued up the stairs.
"So there is a time difference of..." Theodore started to say, thinking about it. He and Azure had gotten there around five twenty, and it had taken a little less than two hours for the elves to gather everything needed...
"About four hours," Tristelianna said, then she turned towards Hermione. "Can I ask why you're trying to make a schedule of how many chapters are read?" she asked her. "I mean, that's not something that's easy to do, especially since some chapters might go on longer than others."
"Schedules are kind of what I do and like doing," Hermione said. "It makes me feel better to have one."
"Yeah, well, I would have thought that you'd try to get the book done that day, instead of leaving some of it for later," Neville said. "Especially since you've never liked to leave a book unfinished."
Hermione blushed at that, knowing what he meant.
"Well, at least you agreed to do Cedric's plan instead of yours," Theodore said. "His kind of makes a lot more sense, after all."
"That's probably was went through my mind once he proposed it," Hermione said.
Meanwhile, upstairs, Harry quickly checked on Hannah and Teddy, then made his way to the kitchen, thinking about the book so far. It didn't feel as weird as he thought it would to have his life read out. While he wasn't completely loving the invasion of his privacy, he did like the idea of being able to change some of his past. And, when he wasn't listening to the book, he actually liked learning about some of the things that Andromeda was mentioning, including some things that he hadn't even known before. He was even enjoying learning some of the things that Cedric would mention during the reading.
He was a bit surprised that Cedric's mother had known his, and wondered if, perhaps, for his little self, Cedric would tell him everything he'd been told about her. At the very least, Harry hoped that Cedric would think to do it without having little Harry ask, as it was quite clear in the books that Harry didn't know much about his mother.
Still he thought, pulling out the things he'd need to make a BLT sandwich, I don't think I really want to hear this next chapter. If what he was thinking was correct, than this next chapter, would most likely contain the information about Hagrid coming and what he'd learned that night. He kind of didn't want to be reminded of it, though.
So, with that in mind, he decided that, once his sandwich was done, he'd go and join Hannah and Teddy while this chapter was being read, since the movie playing was one he didn't mind watching. Since being introduced to it three years ago, he'd become a fan of the Star Wars movies.
"Hey, Harry," Hermione said, coming up behind him. "They're about ready to start reading again."
"I'll be staying up here," Harry said, putting his sandwich together. "I don't think I want to rehear the next chapter."
Hermione didn't take that as a good sign to hear, but didn't argue.
"Okay, then. Should I come get you when the chapter's done?" Hermione asked. Harry shook his head.
"I'll come done when I'm ready to do so," he said. Hermione nodded, then headed back down the stairs, while Harry headed to the living room.
"He's not coming down to listen to this chapter," Hermione said as she got closer to the group.
"That sounds ominous," Neville said. "I wonder why he doesn't want to hear this chapter."
"I think we'll be finding out soon," Theodore said, as he watched little Harry pick the book up to read the next chapter.(4)
"So this is when Harry first meets Hagrid," Hermione said when the title was introduced.
The chapter pretty much started out okay, with little Harry following little Luna's lead in scaring the other readers, though it didn't quite work out that well, as his voice was a still a bit too low. There were even some laughs over Dudley's question when he woke up, showing a hint of what he'd been dreaming about. However, when it came to when the rifle was introduced, there were quite a few worried glances all around.
"Harry would have told us if his uncle 'accidentally' shot him, right?" Neville asked/
"No," Hermione said point blank. "Come on, Neville, he hardy ever tells us if he's hurt or has been hurt. We usually only find out if he ends up unconscious."
"True," Neville said, not all that upset or embarrassed by Hermione's words. He knew the only reason she was scolding him was because she was worried that something would happen to Harry in the book, something that was obviously shared by everyone in the room.
"Nice jump," Theodore said to Hermione, who scowled at him, not thinking that this was an appropriate time for him to be making fun of her. There was still a rifle in the room that could be fired at any minute, after all. Theodore, however, had the feeling that Hagrid might actually know what the gun was, and would most likely take care of it, so he wasn't as worried as before.
"Only Hagrid," Andromeda muttered when Hagrid asked for a cup of tea after breaking the door down.
"Why do you say that?" Theodore asked Hermione, when little Hermione mentioned that Vernon Dursley must only just be able to hide his son.
"Dudley's still eleven, which means that he's still growing," Hermione said. "And, as he seemed to eat a lot of junk food, he will probably grow horizontally instead of just vertically. And, while Harry said he changed, that's not until later, like, six, seventh year, which means he's still has several more years before then, and I doubt he'll just stop eating because of that."
"So he can actually get bigger?" Neville said. Hermione nodded.
"Hagrid must've been the first person to mention that to Harry, at least, for our Harry," Luna said, remembering that Cedric had mentioned that he believed that Harry mostly took after his father, but with his eyes being completely his mother's. And, as Luna was more than willing to admit, the observation actually meant a bit more coming from Hagrid. Cedric's observations were mostly due to what his mother had told him, but that's about it. As Cedric had never actually met Lily Potter, his assessment was mostly based on his mother's words.
Hagrid, however, had known Lily and James Potter himself – unlike Cedric – so he had better observations that weren't second handed like Cedric's were. And since Cedric's mother didn't talk about Lily a whole lot after Cedric started school, his information was probably incomplete, and missing bits and pieces to it, things he'd most likely forgotten about. Merlin knew that Luna, who had also heard about this information, didn't remember it much either.
"Oh, thank Merlin," Andromeda said, while Hermione and Tristelianna also relaxed. Now that the gun was no longer a problem, they didn't have to worry about Harry somehow ended up hurt because of it.
"That's definitely true," Hermione said, remembering all the food Hagrid made. It wasn't Hagrid's fault, of course – most of his food was for giants, not humans. That was something she'd later learned about. Apparently, being half-giant did more than just give him a tall stature and affinity and ability to deal with dangerous creatures.
"I think it's safe to say that someone else made that cake," Andromeda said, also knowing of Hagrid's legendary cooking.
"I have to agree there," Hermione said, having tasted Hagrid's cooking before.
"I don't think you should get on Harry for his rudeness, as he didn't meant to be rude," Andromeda said.
"I believe, based on the tone, that little me wasn't being serious," Hermione said. "I mean, I have no doubt that I would have the same reaction as he did to Hagrid. After all, when Professor McGonagall brought me my letter, I did the same thing. Got yelled at by my parents, though."
Andromeda frowned. While she got along pretty well with Hermione's parents, there were a few times that she wondered why Hermione was still in contact with them, something she wondered even more when she learned who Hermione's grandfather was, and why no one realized it beforehand. Hermione's parents, despite what they appeared to be, were a bit...neglectful of Hermione, and also pushed her too hard. Andromeda knew of how fretful Hermione would get around exam time, even when it was clear that she knew the material. The only reason that Andromeda could think of why she was like that was because her parents made her that way.
The reading continued, mentioning that Hagrid mentioned having tea – or something stronger – and then using magic to light a fire to cook food on. The listeners were happy when Hagrid began making food, denying that any were to go to Dudley, and giving some of it to Harry. They were also cheered when Hagrid, upon learning that Harry didn't know about Hogwarts as he seemed to suspect he would, he'd terrified the Dursleys about it. They also laughed when little Hermione ended up on the floor after being surprised by little Harry.
"I don't doubt that being true," Hermione said. She knew that Harry was rather smart, when he wanted to be. When he applied himself, he did pretty well, even better than her, and, unlike back in sixth year, where she'd been so horrible because he did better than her, she wasn't jealous. Disappointed, yes, but not jealous. Thinking about it, she realized that it should have been obvious that something was wrong with her because of how overly jealous she became after he started doing better than her in class. After all, after having looked at the book again, she had realized that the book the professor used was severely outdated. And, after having looked at a few of the previous potions they'd worked on with Snape, and seeing the obvious difference between the two, well, she realized that she'd gone way to overboard with her reactions.
More than that, she also realized that, had she thought about it, his improvement could have also been because of it being a new teacher. There was no doubt in her mind that Harry might have done well in Potions from the beginning if it hadn't been for Snape, who showed his hatred of Harry from day one.
"You're starting to become immune to his attempts to scare you," Neville said, when it came to the part where Hagrid yelled for the Dursleys after Harry pretty much confirmed that he had no idea about the wizarding world.
"It seems so," Hermione said, while the book continued. They were mostly silent while Harry learned that he was famous, as were his parents, and that he was a wizard.
"What did you do when you were told?" Neville asked when it mentioned what Luna and Cedric thought she would do.
"I accepted it without question, in all honesty," Hermione said. "I'd been able to do strange things for a while and, well, when she said why, It made sense. Of course, it took my parents a while to accept it, until Professor McGonagall turned into a cat in front of them. Then they were more willing to accept it."
The chapter continued on, and the listeners pretty much stayed quiet as Harry read his letter, Hagrid sent Dumbledore a note saying that he'd given Harry his letter, and Harry learned, after Vernon tried to say that Harry wasn't going to Hogwarts, that his aunt and Uncle knew about him being one. There were clenching jaws and wishes that they could hex the living daylights out of the Dursleys as they heard Petunia's ranting about what she truly thought of Lily Potter.
Of course, when it mentioned what Lily Potter used to do during the summer, Hermione turned towards Andromeda.
"I thought it was forbidden to use magic in front of mundanes if you're underage," she said.
"It is," Andromeda said. "However, there used to be a rule allowing mundane-born to do so during the first week of summer to show their parents what they learned. The rule was changed after some pure-blood parents complained about it, saying that it wasn't fair to their own children. The change was actually followed the year Fudge became Minister, when Malfoy suggested it to him. It wasn't a fair rule, though. Wizarding children in pure-blood or half-blood homes can use magic all they want without trouble. It was nothing more than a way to make the pure-bloods feel better about themselves and get a head of mundane-born students."
"So, when it was going, it only allowed for mundane-born students to use magic?" Hermione asked. Andromeda nodded her head.
"Yes," she said. "It was a way to show the parents that they were learning things."
"And also a way to keep them in the wizarding world, particularly since a parent is probably more likely to take them out if they don't think they they're learning anything," Tristelianna said.
"I wouldn't be surprised," Andromeda said. "I mean, it's probably also why Malfoy suggested it. I know that, before I got married, my parents mentioned hoping that it would go through soon, since it was disgraceful to let mundane-born into our worlds to begin with. Even though they wanted them dead, they would have just been as happy to have them not at school as well."
"And if they didn't go to a school, they were technically forbidden to ever use magic anyways, so it would be considered a win-win situation for them," Hermione said.
"Exactly," Andromeda said. "Even if they were still alive, they weren't in the wizarding world, so they could pretend that they were dead anyway."
"How lovely," Hermione said.
"Harry is right, Lily Potter was not a freak," Andromeda said.
"It does sound like she's jealous," Tristelianna said, as little Luna mentioned it. Eyebrows were raised when little Hermione suggested making a bet about it to Harry. The listeners turned to her, and she blushed.
"It's how my parents tend to settle arguments about certain things," she said. "They'd make bets so that they didn't argue as much about things."
"That's a good strategy," Andromeda said. "And I'm guessing it worked if they continued doing it."
"It does," Hermione said.
"Okay, since they appear to be seriously considering betting, this should help them out," Tristelianna said, who had been writing something. She tapped one of the papers she'd been writing on with her wand, muttering something underneath her breath, before sending it and the other paper, through the well. The readers, once they saw it, read what the paper was.
"How does it work?" Neville asked.
"Whenever a bet is finalized, it'll appear on the paper," Tristelianna said. "Once it's...resolved, the winner of the bet will be highlighted. At the bottom, depending on how many bets are done, however much a person win all together will be shown."
"I wonder how many bets are going to be made," Neville said.
"I have the feeling that the majority will be done during this first book over the others, since, as they get into them, they'll most likely forget about the bets," Theodore said.
"Yeah, that would make a lot of sense," Neville said. "I mean, just remembering what happened after the first year..."
"Did you have to add that last bit?" Hermione said after hearing the letter read out.
"It was too tempting," Tristelianna said, smiling.
"I have to agree with little Hermione, that's kind of creepy," Neville said.
"It's true, though," Tristelianna said. "I am watching them. In fact, technically, I'm not the only one watching them, so I could have easily said 'We're watching you' instead."
"That definitely would have been creepier, since we'd be wondering who else was here," Hermione said. "At least, I would."
"I'd probably just accept it," Luna said.
"Well, that's just a nice way of finding out how your parents really died," Theodore said, as the readers continued and it mentioned the finishing or the rant Harry's aunt had been doing.
"Can't expect them to be courteous, though, so it make sense that they'd tell the truth like that," Tristelianna sneered.
The group went silent as the chapter continued, mentioning what Hagrid's reaction to learning what they actually told Harry on the subject became known. Then, a heavy air entered the group as Hagrid told the story of what really happened to Harry's parents. There were a few wet eyes at the story. They stayed silent in respect for the Potters, only considering speaking when the Star Wars reference was mentioned.
"That's what Teddy's watching upstairs," Hermione whispered.
"You know, if I wasn't interested in this, I'd definitely go join them," Theodore said, pouting a bit. Since seeing it, he'd fallen in love with the series, watching it whenever he could. He also loved to read fan fiction on the series, liking the original canon couple stories, but also enjoying some of the non-canon couple stories as well.
"You can watch it with me later," Tristelianna said, who had also looked as if she wanted to go join Hannah and Teddy as well.
"That's not true," Hermione muttered when Hagrid mentioned why Voldemort went after the Potters, but she didn't say anything else, getting caught up into the story. No one heard her, either, since she spoke so lowly, so she didn't have to explain why she said it, either. So, it was silent once more until it came to the point that Vernon Dursley opened his big, fat mouth.
"Now that is not only uncalled for, but someone should beat the crap out of him for saying that," Tristelianna fumed when it mentioned what he'd said.
"Oh, please let Hagrid curse the bastard, he so deserves it," Hermione said, when it mentioned that Hagrid had pulled out his umbrella. She ended up disappointed when Vernon showed that he had some sense and shut up. When it mentioned Harry asked what happened to Voldemort and Hagrid's questions about it, Hermione couldn't help but think about what Harry had mentioned what Voldemort had said happened to him after he'd gotten his body back, and shivered at the reminder. He hadn't been a ghost, he'd been a wraith. However, she couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he hadn't made the Horcruxes, and actually had died.
He'd most definitely be a ghost Hermione thought.
"From what I've heard, he definitely didn't have any humanity left in him," Tristelianna said, in accordance to what Hagrid said about him.
"How surprising that you're the one who caught that," Theodore said drolly when little Hermione mentioned that it was possible that those who 'came out of trances' were actually people who were just trying to save their own arses.
"I wonder what Cedric is thinking," Neville said, noticing that Cedric's face had a troubled look on it.
"Knowing his as I do, I wouldn't be surprised if he was thinking about what Hermione said, and wondering if the opposite – if people who were innocent were thrown into Azkaban – isn't true as well," Luna said. "Despite the fact that his father worked there, Cedric wasn't under any illusions about the Ministry. He knew that it was corrupt, mostly because of what his mother would say about it."
"I think that little me knows that there's something off about the accidental magic deal," Hermione said, noticing the look on little hers face when it was mentioned that accidental magic didn't quite work the way that Harry seemed to think it did.
"I wouldn't be surprised if little you does realize it," Theodore said.
"I think Hagrid had the right idea," Neville said, when it mentioned Hagrid chuckling at Harry's belief of not being a wizard. "And he didn't set the snake on his cousin, he just vanished the glass to it's habitat."
"Cedric was right about that," Hermione said when he mentioned that the twins would probably become good friends with Harry for him being Harry, not the Boy-Who-Lived. "Although, I wonder why he didn't say anything about Ron or Ginny."
"Well, at the time, Ron wasn't someone who would be suggested for Harry becoming friends with," Luna said matter of factly. "He was, after all, a bit of an attention seeker. As for Ginny, well, she is an extreme Boy-Who-Lived fan, which hasn't changed at all. And I do remember her say, once, that she wanted to marry him, and that the reason why was because he was famous and rich. And, well..."
"Considering that both Harry and I were put onto potions to manipulate us, she our prime suspect, which would explain why Cedric didn't mention those two becoming friends with Harry," Hermione said, frowning. The chapter continued on.
"Hagrid is indeed biased towards Dumbledore," Hermione said, remembering how many times she'd heard him mention what a great man he was.
"Well, he's in trouble now," Neville said, considering that Vernon had just insulted Dumbledore in front of Hagrid. Shrill laughter poured from everyone in the room when they heard the results of what Hagrid had done. Even Andromeda was laughing, though she knew that she shouldn't be.
"The only thing that would make this better is if Vernon and Petunia were also cursed," Theodore said.
"Normally, I'd object to that, but since they deserve it..." Hermione trailed off, making it clear why she wasn't against what Theodore said.
Tristelianna opened her mouth to say something when little Hermione mentioned the blind devotion not being good, but Hermione glared at her.
"I know, you don't have to say it again," she said, as the chapter finished out.
"Do you think one of us should go get Harry?" Neville asked.
"No, I'm sure he'll come back down when he's ready," Hermione said.
"Will you be willing to watch Hermione so that she doesn't send a note through?" Tristelianna asked Andromeda.
"Sure. Why, though?" Andromeda asked her.
"I want to go watch that movie. Hopefully, it'll still be going. Plus, knowing Teddy, if he started one, he'll want to at least finish out the trilogy, in not try and watch all of them," Tristelianna said. "And there is no way in hell I'm missing out on that."
"I'm going with you," Theodore said, having heard her.
Andromeda snorted. They really loved those movies.
"I'll make sure that Hermione doesn't try anything," Andromeda said. "So go ahead and get going."
"Where are they going?" Neville asked, having been in a conversation with Hermione and Luna about how different they and little them seemed to be, since he'd noticed that Hermione wasn't the only one who appeared different.
"They want to watch the movie," Andromeda said.
"Why doesn't that surprise me?" Hermione said, shaking her head.
"Scoot over, and make some more room," Tristelianna said to Harry, being as quiet as she could as she took a seat next to him on the loveseat. Theodore took a seat next to Hannah, who looked a bit bored at the movie.
"Where are they at in the book?" she whispered to Theodore.
"We just got finished with the chapter were Hagrid came and gave Harry his letter," he told her. "We also learned how Harry found out about how his parents actually died. I get the feeling that the next chapter will hold the trip to Diagon Alley, based on how the chapter ended."
Hannah nodded, then excused herself, seeing that the others were most likely not leaving the room for a while. She was curious to know how Harry's first Diagon Alley trip went, and so made her way down to the lab, leaving behind the Star Wars lovers.(5)
All right, there you go. As you can see, this chapter is pretty long, which is why it's been split up as it'll be.
Okay, there are a few things I want to make note of that happened in this chapter. First is the confusion of why the book started off when it did. That's partially my fault. When I started this series, I wanted to do all book chapters. However, when I started writing this fic, I forgot about it, so they're a bit confused as to why the first chapter read is what's read. Becuase I included it when I started writing, but hinted that any chapter outside of Harry's point of view wouldn't be there, it's confused them. It's not going to be the only chapter that does so, as I am going to do all chapters.
That said, for the durations of this fic, Mundane and Mundane-born will be used in reference for Muggle and Muggleborn. It's a highlight of just one of the many differences the American wizarding culture has to the British one, at least, for this fic and in my head. And, yes, having been in America for the years they've been there will have most of the characters who were from Britain kind of harsh towards Britain when thinking about it.
One of the most common thoughts is that Flitwick was the person that Vernon ran into in the first chapter of the book. I don't see it as being possible, and, as you can see, make it clear that it really isn't for my series. I also, however, show that people really were celebrating that week, to having something that wasn't common to happen at the time happen, in that Hogwarts allowed students to go home for that week to celebrate with the parents. This is mostly to explain why it was so easy for Dumbledore to suggest McGonagall join a party - because there weren't many students left at Hogwarts at the time. Also, I highlight the fact that mundane-borns did not visit families after being in the wizarding world a whole lot once they finished school.
I decided to say that Ted Tonks was a healer, and that he was not the newscaster as some people are prone to say. As you can tell Andromeda doesn't care for the idea of Harry's family acting the way that they do, mostly because her own acted the same way towards her after she married Ted Tonks. It kind of rubs a sore wound. Also, as you can see, Andromeda pretty much shows that Harry really didn't have to go there, because not everyone would treat him the way that Dumbledore believed they would. I also have it mentioned that the only reason why he didn't bother attempting to contact any of these families was because they weren't fanatics of his. As you can tell, Andromeda isn't a big fan of Dumbledores.
Yes, there will be a bit of mentioning how different little Hermione and Hermione herself are, particularly when it comes to certain things. I'm still trying to keep it into character between the two, but I'm also taking advantage of the fact that Hermione doesn't know much about the wizarding world yet, and hasn't ready any books about it, so she doesn't have any preconcieved opinions that she'll refuse to change because of what she's read. And these are the notes for (2).
Next is that I give a reason as to why Harry was never taken from the Dursleys when he should have been. I'm sorry, but I beleive someone would have intervened if they noticed how beat up Harry was. Since they didn't, I'm assuming that there is a reason for it, and that's because Dumbledore made sure that it wasn't noticed. Also, I have it mentioned that Neville now knows that he was abused in a way, and that Hermione takes a blow to her image of Dumbledore that, though she's already taken a small blow for, hasn't changed much about in her opinion of him.
Yes, Teddy is bored. Got to understand that this, to him, is a biography, and therefore, not all that interesting to hear. Harry's thoughts about Hermione when it mentioned what could happen if he met her first are more on par of the influence that Ron has on him than him actually believing that, especially since, had they'd become friends first, Hermione probably would have had her trust in adults broken seeing how they failed Harry. At least, that's what I believe, and that's not going to change, so don't try to convince me otherwise.
Remember, I mentioned that Harry and Hermione's feeling towards the two Weasleys seemed influenced in a way, well, as you can see, Harry is thinking about it, and how it might have effected them outside of what happened as well. And yes, I have Hermione mention how stupid people at Hogwarts were acting during their second year, after it became known that Harry was a parselmouth. And, as you can see, I bring about questions on how Ernie could have known that Harry didn't care about his mundane aunt and uncle when Harry doesn't talk about his family life all that much. And - before people suggest it - I'm going on the assumption that Ron was a true friend and didn't say anything about it, which, for people who've talked to me, is a big thing for me, since I do not like him, and am willing to believe the worst of him. As for the twins, I don't think they'd say anything either.
Since it's been given an impression that Harry and Dudley's relationship changed quite a bit, I'm giving hints that they talked to each other after the war, and that, because of that, Harry learned news from Dudley about things, including what may or may not happen to Dudley's friends, whether he' still friends with them or not. Also, I'm showing that Petunia was beginning to want to get to know Harry a bit better and apologize for her actions over taking the route Vernon was over Dudley's change. Also, Snape is not redeemed at all for his actions as far as Harry is concerned, since, after thinking about it, he realizes that, ha, Snape doesn't deserve it.
Also, I chose Star Wars as the movie Teddy wanted to watch because Star Wars is awesome - also, I've been reading a lot of Star Wars fanfics. Now, what I've been reading is more pointed towards the prequel trilogy, and usually is about a non-canon couple, but still, it is Star Wars. And that's the notes for (3)
Next is a hint of how it is in Wizarding America. I decided to basically make it so that the worlds are not as segregated as they are in Britain. Also is mentioned something that was mentioned in the Diagon Alley chapter of the first book, which is what the Dursleys were paid to take care of Harry. I also let it be known why Harry doesn't know this already, along with letting it be known that Griphook was wrong about Gryffindor's sword having been made by a goblin. I see the founders as having been more into equality than anything, and so they could learn things from other magical creatures that are normally not learned. This is mostly to explain why the sword was able to return to the Sorting Hat, since I'm sure that the goblins would have made sure nothing could take it away if it was truly theirs.
And now, I give my reasons for why Hermione was the way that she was when he first met her. As you can see, she did want to be friends, but she had a bit of a fan girl moment, and the strict rules her parents governed her about towards breaking rules kind of got in the way. Basically, I'm not excusing what she did, but I'm also not condemning her as some people would do. I've put in a balance, as it is.
I've given a reason as to why the Dursley's wishes weren't followed - after all, since they said no to Harry going to Hogwarts, technically, Dumbles and them had to listen. However, if laws state something else, it would give a reason why what they wanted weren't followed. As you can tell, I've painted a bit of a dark picture about the British wizarding world's laws when it comes to mundane-born children and their parents. This also gives a well deserved reason for the mundane to think the worse of wizards -because the British wizards say to, for lack of a better term.
Also, I've pretty much let it be known that Ginny is a bad guy in this fic, to a point. Not only is she an extreme fan girl, but she also had her mind twisted a bit by something she shouldn't have taken so literally. And, I show that she wouldn't have a problem with using a love potion because, look at the family. The mother talks about making one casually - and probably using it - and the twins have no problem selling it in their shop. Doesn't that say something?
I decided that Amortentia isn't so much of a love potion as a showing love potion. I'll be giving my reasons for this later on, probably during the sixth book, once I get to it. However, if you're that curious, then let me know in your review, and I'll tell you why in a reply. Also, I show that Ginny had a lot of reason to potion up Harry, and gave evidence of what Harry and Hermione were potioned up on - remember, I make it clear that there was something wrong with their feelings toward Ginny and Ron in the first chapter. The potioning up also helps explain the problems between Harry and Hermione in the sixth book, as well as why Hermione seemed so...bad.
Hope it doesn't disturb you about the idea of how people saw Harry in school. I mean, if you went to school and saw how he acted during the Yule Ball, as well as the fact that Ron was the person he'd miss the most, wouldn't that strike you as a hint that there may be something between them? I think it would be disturbing for someone who doesn't swing that way to know that people thought it would be hot. Oh, and I'm not trying to seem prejudice or anything, but I'm not into male slash, so I'm not going to have any character swing that way, nor am I going ot have them comfortable with the idea of doing so.
Yes, I show hints of the fact that the Dursleys are not the only people in the world who think magic is bad. I've heard of some people being so...against such a thing that they've done everything to get rid of ideas of magic around their neighborhood, and homes. Heck, I've even read somewhere about how a woman was upset about the fact that Charmed - a show about three witches who use their powers for good - was going to be airing on TV. I remember that they mentioned how they were already walking around the neighborhood trying to rid of anything unnatural, and that she was upset at the fact that she would have to censor the TV because of the fact that Charmed was going to be aired. So, people who don't like magic going to the extremes isn't all that uncommon.
So, as you can see, there is an orphanage where those children go and wait to be adopted by a magical guardian, which, because of the way the wizarding world is, usually doesn't happen. However, I do have it happen at least once for one of the characters of HP that is only mentioned in the first book, and then just disappeard. This show where she disappeared off to. And yes, I see it being a, once you take the name, you become what the people who adopted you are.
Based on the way Britain is, I do believe that they will evetually fall into ruin. Also, as you can see, Dumbledore has taken a bit of a hit by some people in Britain as well, though he's still as popular as ever. And you can't say that Dumbledore wouldn't find it wrong for Mrs. Weasley to kill someone, even if they deserved to die like Bellatrix did.
I believe that Hermione is nice enough to get things that Harry is likely to life for birthday over Christmas, since birthdays are a bit more special than Christmas - in her opinion, anyway. Mine to, since I don't have to share the day with anyone, like you do Christmas. Yes, I do believe that McGonagall wouldn't think something was wrong with having to send so many letters to Harry if Dumbledore said it was okay. Plus, we already know that she has a moment of believing that Harry is his father, so she probably thinks something like that about him concerning this as well. Yes, I do see Harry being the one who can give out permission to who is allowed to the Dursley house, even if it contradicts Dumbledore, which is why he doesn't find out until it doesn't matter anymore. And that's the notes for (4)
(5) doesn't really have anything I want to say about it. The only think of note is that Hermione realizes that it was obvious something was wrong with her due to the way she acted towards Harry in sixth year, especially concerning the book. I actually hate it when people say that she acted that way because she can't stand the idea of someone doing better than her at school, when there is evidence that it's not true. After all, as good as she is at the subjects, there are probably those who beat her a bit when it comes to individual subject. I see Neville beating her at Herbology, Ron for Divination - though, she doesn't take it, so it doesn't really count all that much - and we already know that Harry beats her out for DADA. Yet, nothing suggests she hates him for that, but, no, the minute the idea of Harry doing the same with potions - a subject that he was only doing better in because he just had better intructions - she's a she bitch who can't stand the idea of someone doing better than her. Doesn't work that way. Plus, even if the book wasn't there, I have no doubt that Harry would still do a bit better than her, because potions is a lot like cooking, and Harry can cook. Also, with a different teacher, it's obvious that Harry would do better as well.
So, for that part, I simply say that whatever potion she was effected with caused most of the problem between her, Harry, and that book, and that she would be disappointed over the fact, but not a bitch. Oh, and, at the end, as you can see, I have Tristelianna and Theodore go upstairs because they love Star Wars, while Hannah heads downstairs to hear about Harry's first Diagon Alley trip. Truthfully, she heads downstairs to be with her husband and because she's not that big of a Star Wars fan.
Anyway, there you go. I hope that you liked this chapter - I know it probably seems rather weird because of how it's done, and it might not make a lot of sense if you've never read my RtB series. You don't have to read my RtB series, but it would probably help if you did.
Please Review, I not only want to know what you thought of this chapter, but I also ask some questions in the notes above that I would love to hear your thoughts on.
Hearts In Strangeness