Hey everyone. I'm so sorry this took so long and its not even a very long chapter. I've had major writers block for this story but when I sat down to write this chapter, I definitely had a few ideas in my head. This chapter is mainly a filler to get the ball rolling and the next five to ten chapters will deal with some open-ends that have been appearing in this story.
I hope you enjoy this chapter and I would love to hear what you think of it, as well as anything you'd like to see in the next few chapters.
Although going to Hogwarts had always put a funny feeling in his stomach, mostly since he was so far away from his dad and his granddad and Tony and Abby and everyone, this time, as he stepped into the bustling castle, it felt different. He'd felt it building since he'd said good bye to his dad at the station, taking the time to give him an extra long hug and spending the last few minutes before the train left just taking in his presence instead of going to find his friends. Having his dad nearby definitely made him feel safer - not only did he have a gun, he had the head of the American Magical Law Enforcement on speed dial; both definitely inspired a feeling of safety.
But saying goodbye had been difficult, even more difficult than normal with the sense of foreboding building in his gut and it only got worse the farther away from Gibbs Jasper got and the closer the castle - with Dumbledore and all he entailed - became. Even with Hermione readily trying to distract him with her babble about what she'd done over the holidays and Ron's extended - for Jasper's benefit, he was sure - complaint about the corned beef sandwich his mum had packed him, Jasper wasn't able to take his mind off the bad feeling. His dad had always followed his gut, even when no one else believed him and Gibbs had taught his son to do the same - the gut was usually right.
Of course, this wasn't something Hermione really understood, having been encouraged by her parents to follow logic pretty much her entire life.
"But Hermione, we're wizards and witches." Jasper complained to her even as they walked into the great hall. They'd been arguing about it since long before they'd arrived at Hogsmead. "We spend the vast majority of the year in a thousand-plus year old castle with no roof yet somehow never gets wet. You cannot say that that is logical." Jasper implored.
"But magic is just another form of science!" Hermione's voice got louder as she tried to make her point, even as she led her friends to an empty spot at the Ravenclaw table. "It had its own laws, just like physics."
"And how do we know that logical by magics standards is the same as the standards set by science? For all we know, they're completely different - after all, magic does things science can't and vice versa." Jasper tried to convince her.
Hermione shook her head, mouth opening to argue that point even further, when Ron cut in, finally fed up of all the arguing and unwilling to let it go on when there was no food on the table.
"Oh, just shut up you two. Both of you are right and both of you are wrong." He told them heavily, like he was imparting some untold wisdom. "Just let it go and agree to disagree." He nodded as sagely as a 12 year old could.
Frowning, Jasper and Hermione looked at each other.
"Oh where did you hear that Ron?" Hermione asked politely.
"Is that what your mum tells you?" Jasper added cheekily.
At Ron's affronted look, both of them burst out laughing.
Finally, something that took Jasper's mind off the feeling he still couldn't shake.
The eyes he could feel on him only made it worse.
Albus Dumbledore steepled his fingers, resting them against his forehead as the voices in his office rose again. Looking at the clock, he noticed he only had five minutes before he was due down to start the welcome back feast and, going by the decibel level, it was never going to happen.
"He's the only one capable of defeating Voldemort. We need to train him and it must start soon." The voice of Alastor Moody rose above that of everyone else in the room and for a moment it was silent.
"But he's only 12!"
"We don't even know for sure that he is the Prophecy Child!"
"For all we know, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was defeated by Charles all those years ago - we still don't know for sure that he's coming back." The reasonable tone of Albus Dumbledore cut through the din and everyone in the room quieted down. "But we have verified that Charles is not the prophecy child, even though it was his protective magic that banished Voldemort on that Halloween night. Young Harry - and yes, young he is - does need some form of training for when Voldemort comes back." Albus rose to his feet after one more fleeting glance at the clock and made his way to the door. "And Voldemort will be back. He was only banished 11 years ago. " He had reached the door at that point. "Now, the Welcoming Feast is starting and I must go welcome back our students. I will trust you, Alastor, to devise a training regimen for when Harry gets on board." Alastor gave a curt nod before moving to the fireplace, now that he had his orders. "I will owl the rest of you once I have the correct paperwork." The five people left in the room gave smiles and head nods. Stopping at the door Albus tilted his head in a respectful half-nod. "Good evening and happy New Year, everyone."
Making his way down the staircase, trusting everyone to leave his office in an orderly manner, Albus allowed himself a small smile. Everything was in motion and soon young Harry would fulfil his destiny and Albus could finally live the last of his life in peace.
His thoughts were reinforced when he reached the Great Hall and he saw Harry - although, he was still Jasper for now, Albus reminded himself - laughing with the young Hermione whilst the youngest Weasley boy pouted. It was a pity none of them were in Gryffindor - they would have been great in his house. Although, if all went well, at least one of them would be requesting a transfer by the end of next year.